When I came across this mama's feed on Instagram I was instantly inspired and couldn't wait to interview her. Amanda's photos makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside and the most adorable photos of her children enjoying everyday family activities makes your heart sing. A mummy blogger and Insta mum living in Kansas, US, Amanda has made her blog amandapahls.com and Instagram feed a place of inspiration for thousands of mums around the world. There she shares her home and family life, and her simple, yet utterly beautiful way of living.
A: Who is in your family?
A.P: I am married to my college sweetheart and we are about to celebrate our 7th year of marriage! In 2012 we welcomed our first daughter Norah, than another, Charlotte, in 2014, than another, Ada, in 2016 and now we’re due with our 4th baby in October!! We don’t know the gender yet, but… I’m kind of rooting for one more girl: D Either way, we’re so excited!!!
A: Super exciting, congratulations! How do you like to spend your days and what is your main occupation?
A.P: I love being able to be home with my little ladies during the day. Dance parties, crafting, baking, dress up, playing all things girly really! We’re currently educating them from home and I am absolutely loving it! I recently finished my Masters in Counseling and finished all my requirements needed to take my licensing exam to be a Licensed Professional Counselor. I really enjoy being able to help others through the art of Counseling! Our plan after Licensure is for me to continue staying home and then working around that schedule and I am so very thankful to get to do a healthy mix of what I love!
A: How would you define your personal style?
A.P: My personal style? Is tired a style? I like simple and easy. Having a house full of little people means not a lot of time to maybe get as fancy as I would like. Dry shampoo is now a necessity in my life :D I try to stick with a few simple staples. I have been pregnant and/or breastfeeding straight since 2011 so I try to dress comfortable and in clothing that has easy leche access and can be worn with a fluctuating waist line. My wardrobe is pretty much made up of skinny jeans, leggings, ankle boots, boyfriend tees, sweaters and cardigans. My make up & hair routine is simple and I try to wear something that can be worked in, played in and spit up on… I would live in a robe if I could though!
A: How do you like to style your girls and what are some of your most favourite pieces for them?
A.P: I love dressing the in well-made, quality pieces, especially dresses. They love dresses and pinafores and I would dress them like this everyday if I could. Most of their clothing comes form Instagram shops. Thelittledesignco, Pinenanfhoneyhandmade, NellieQuats, EmiesRoom, CarlyMeganClothing, CanvasHouseDesign, PetiteCoo, Fin&Vince, Shoptherabbitandfern, JamesVincentDesignCo, AliceandAmes, RedRoverKids, SwellsandSolis, MilouandPilou, TheLittleSpoons, and there are so many more. I love knowing that their clothing was made with love and care by someone who put a lot of intention into the piece. They hold up so well and are darling! I dress my babies in mainly cotton pieces, rompers and bonnets galore :D
A: Your girls always look adorable. What influences their unique style and is where do you find your inspiration when creating it for them?
A.P: Thank you for the compliment. Honestly, my two oldest pick out their clothes. If I find a shop we like, I’ll let them choose and I’m always impressed with their style. I joke that they’re cooler than I’ll ever be…but it’s true. They dress themselves and it’s so fun watching their styles and personalities flourish! For my littlest, I like simple, sweet and cozy. A romper, a bonnet, some tights or knee socks and some little t-straps or moccasins and she’s good to go! Probably my biggest concern about having a boy is how will I dress him? :)
A: Do you have any tips on how to make dressing your toddler stress-free? Or are you kids quite easy going when it comes to dressing them?
A.P: I feel really lucky in that I can think of less than a handful of times that I‘ve had to ask them to wear something else and it’s usually because something no longer fit or was too big. Most of their clothing is stuff they picked out themselves and so they are usually happy to wear something I suggest and I am usually happy with what they pick out or suggest. They share a lot of clothing now and so there are the occasional arguments over who’s going to wear what, but other than that I think let your kids be themselves!
I’s really fun! Sometimes I’ll be like, “don’t you want to wear this?” and if they say no than I give them a few other options to choose from. Toddlers like having choices so I have found if I give them the option of a few things they will most likely choose one of them. If I could choose they would be in soft neutrals every day but I am learning to accept that if they want hot pink covered in glitter, they're at least going to get hot pink! Oh, and they love matching lately. They call it being “matchy matchy” so I try to find pieces of clothing that compliment each other so they’re not identical but similar and then they're usually really excited!
A: How do you like to decorate your home and are there any favourite places where you like to shop?
A.P: I am so cheap when it comes to decorating :D My husband is a former high-school art teacher and graphic designer and we love making our décor. Most of our tables, benches and art is homemade. I love TheBirthPoster and we currently have 3 of these and will add another when baby #4 arrives! LachlanandLenny is another shop that does watercolor family portraits and I like displaying fun pieces like this. We also enjoy framing or simply hanging our daughter's art from vintage wooden hangers. Cheap and/or free and so fun to display their pieces throughout the house! Our style is a little bit boho, modern and pretty eclectic. White walls, plants and baskets in every room is kind of what I like best! A few pretty throws, decorative pillows, pretty wooden hangers to display functional items in a pretty fashion and baskets!
I could go on and on about baskets! They’re the perfect trick for making your house appear clean and organized. I have bolga baskets and baskets of various kinds placed all over the house. I keep diapers, wipes and toys in them so I’m never far from the things we might want or need but also it keeps the house from appearing cluttered. PlumandSparrow, Mnimalist_shop, fair trade stores, thrift stores and Amazon are where our baskets are from. If you’re a mom with toddlers or babies, I highly recommend storing all the little things in pretty baskets! Bows, brushes, teethers, toys, blankets, blocks, baby dolls, essential oils…baskets, baskets, baskets!
A: I'm a huge fan of baskets myself. So versatile and beautiful at the same time. What do you love the most about living in Kansas?
A.P: I like our community of friends and the size of our community. Salina is not my favorite place I have lived but it is just the right size that I can meet lots of new people but also see someone I know almost anywhere I go. I loved how in college I knew so many people wherever I went. I felt so connected and safe and I feel that here. If I go to Target or thrifting, out for coffee or out to eat, there will be someone we know and that gives me a sense of security that we are cared for and we have people to care for wherever we go.
As a parent, it is a very special feeling to know that there are lots of people who truly love your children and family surrounding us. That saying ‘it takes a village’ is really true and I am very thankful for the village we have here! And if my family is happy here, than I am happy here! We have a lot of friends all over the map and I am so thankful that technology allows us to connect with them in so many ways no matter where we live!
A: What makes you the happiest in this world?
A.P: Being with my family. It maybe sounds cliché or cheesy maybe but nothing makes me as happy as seeing my girls play together, wrestle or sing with their daddy - he’s an awesome musician - having dance parties, snuggling in bed, reading together, watching movies, making meals together, learning together, going out together, just all of it! We recently got a minivan and I love it so much. I never would have imagined the words, 'I love my minivan' being in my vocabulary but I do! We just planned our first family road trip and I’m so excited! You would have thought we brought the girls to Disney World when we showed them the van. My husband’s and daughter’s joy Is probably what brings me the most happiness! Their joy is my joy!
A: Love it! How can people connect with you and find out more about you?
A.P: You can find me on Instagram @amandapahls or at my blog amandapahls.com. I am trying to blog more but sometimes struggle making time for it.