Friday, August 19, 2016


Let's get right to it, shall we?
Here's what made me feel all twitterpated, smile contagiously, giggle uncontrollably, etc.

  • Painted Lady Catchall Tray // Your beloved bits and baubles will be safe under the watchful eye of this sassy lady.
  • Bobbi Brown Art Stick // At the beginning of the year, I bought one of these sticks in Dusty Pink and it's probably one of my favorites. Now I feel the need to branch out with Sunset Orange, but I think I'll use my mom as a second opinion. I have a sneaking suspicion this bold hue is something Gayle Spannaus over at J.Crew would approve of.
  • It's All Talk by Ellen Surrey // Because every gallery wall or inspiration board deserves some quirky and original artwork.
  • J.Crew New Arrivals // Speaking of my happy place, I couldn't be more giddy to see some of the new pieces in person. Let's just say that my wishlist is long. I find myself swooning over ALL the punchy pink pieces (WILD FLAMINGO!), specifically this Tipped Rhodes Blazer in Burnished Orange. Holy swoon! It wouldn't make any sense to "store" in Swell Rio, but I have a feeling I might kick myself if I didn't add this darling staple to the wardrobe mix. It's timeless! Additionally, I want to see the jewels and sunnies. The website NEVER truly does the pieces justice, so I'm interested in seeing what the bedazzled accessories are like FOR REAL—especially this Circular Stone Necklace in Paris Sky. Oui!
  • Ursula Drops // Wowa wowa wee wah! This shade of cobalt blue is striking. The price point isn't too shabby either.
  • One Trick Pony Rosette // This prize ribbon is the story of my life. Hey, I should be awarded for my consistency, right?!
  • Brass Shaded Wall Sconce // You guys, this online shop has the coolest selection of lamps and sconces. I want em all!
  • Babou 1 Neon Pink Shelf // J.Crew's latest style guide has me hypnotized with all pink hues. Say YES to the shelf!
  • Recipe Box // Suddenly I have the urge to organize every tasty kitchen creation with some help from this adorable box.
  • Celine Women's Sunglasses // I'm obsessed with all specs. This pair is my latest obsession! Maybe it's the Iris in me?
  • Grid Round Tray // I received another random catalog from Unison, and I couldn't help but fall hard for this simple tray.

Oh, and before I forget... CONGRATULATIONS Anna Kudlacz and Jessica Almanza! 
You are the lucky winners of the Beautycounter Giveaway.

Happy Friday, m' dears! Make this weekend count.

P.S. I'll be out of town visiting my family in DC, so regularly scheduled blog posts will begin after Labor Day. 
Thanks for being so patient and understanding!

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Thursday, August 18, 2016


THINKING ABOUT: Last week, while parked at a stop sign, I went searching through my bag to make sure I didn't forget the grocery list when I stumbled upon a random Milkbone and a large toy plane (definitely NOT of the Matchbox variety). I can only imagine that when I put the dogs up before we boarded The Rig, the treat Max was supposed to give to the dogs ended up in my mom bag along with his beloved toy. Because, you know, I don't haul enough of this kid's necessities around with me anyway...

THANKFUL FOR: On Saturday Max and I are headed to DC to spend some time with my parents. Hooray! Since Max turns two in less than two months (what the what?!), we figured it wouldn't hurt to arrange one more trip in which we don't have to pay for our tot's airfare. And since we had some extra points to use toward a plane ticket (thanks hail damage!), we figured this would be a great opportunity for us to get away and see family out east. Because, um, this mama needs a break... To say I'm overjoyed would be a giant understatement! However, I do feel a little guilty leaving Flyboy behind on the border, but he's assured me that he'll keep busy with the help of work, our sweet pups, weekend cycling, and copious amounts of frozen pizza. Phew! And so begins the next 72 hours of pep talks, which will convince me I'll own this whole traveling solo with a toddler thing. Gulp. 

EATING: I can't even remember the last time I penned a Thursday's Thoughts post, but I do know that I tried the world's easiest recipe and it resulted in the tastiest marinara sauce. Ever. With only FOUR INGREDIENTS, I didn't expect much from this tomato sauce recipe by The Faux Martha, but it was a big hit at our house. In fact, I've made it four different times since I originally tried it and the feedback from my family (well, Flyboy and Max...) is the same as the first time I made it because it's just that DELICIOUS! 

WATCHING: Bravo peeps! What's your opinion on the new OC housewife, Kelly? I really wanted to like her, but this latest confrontation with Shannon at Meghan's dinner is making it difficult. Yowzah! Also, what about all of the drama surrounding Luann's beau on RHONY? How's it possible for the Countess to overlook a tiny detail like that? Is she that desperate to be hitched?!

LISTENING TO: We had a tornado warning yesterday afternoon. Conveniently the siren began blaring right after Max went down for a nap, so I grabbed the half-pint, both hounds, and we hunkered down in Flyboy's bathroom until the base area was cleared. For those of you interested, I was not able to coax my sleepy toddler into hitting his crib for an encore snooze as I hoped. Fat chance!

READING: Since I'll soon have the luxury of passing Max off to m' rents (air five, anyone??), I think I might download Shauna Niequist's recent best seller, Present Over Perfect, and devour her latest batch of essays while I'm away. Have any of you read it yet? I've heard nothing but rave reviews, but I think that's because the topic resonates with so many people like myself. Who wouldn't want to leave busyness behind and embrace the person we were made to be? I'm excited to see what she has to say.

LOVING: Let's talk about the return of pink at J.Crew. Excuse me, what I meant to say was that bold hue my favorite store is so lovingly referring to as WILD FLAMINGO! Cue the happy dance, y'all! Yaaaaaaaaaas Jenna and Mickey, yaaaaaaaaas! THIS is what I'm talking about, my friends. And as if all the new goodies aren't fabulous enough, I find myself wishing now, more than ever, that I was part of the official color cataloging crew at 770 because you know a gig like that has got to be the BEST. JOB. EVER.

Enough about me. How are you feeling today? What are you up to? Thanks for stopping by!!

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016


I've never claimed to be a beauty blogger, but when I do stumble upon something I like, I'm often compelled to share it with my readers. Over the past year I've read a lot of feedback regarding the game-changing beauty and skincare brand Beautycounter whose mission is to "get safer products into the hands of everyone." Who doesn't want that?? At the beginning of the summer I finally took the plunge and tried the line's Tint Skin. It wasn't long before I quickly became obsessed with the foundation's flawless finish and lightweight texture. Yaaaaaaaaas! But since it takes me awhile before I can really commit to a new foundation, I was hesitant to share a review on the blog because changes like this take time and personal opinions regarding products can vary depending on one's climate, complexion, etc. I mean, how many of you have ordered beauty products online that you immediately regretted? In this case, I was more than ready to try more of Beautycounter's products, but I didn't know where to start.

So imagine my surprise when out of the blue I got an email two weeks ago from Beautycounter consultant and blog reader, Erin Tomlinson, who offered to send some samples and graciously host a giveaway?? You guys, opportunities like this NEVER happen to me, so I was beyond giddy to experiment with samples from both the skincare and beauty lines. Here are a few of my favorites...

  • Rejuvenating Radiance Serum — I'm a sucker for serums and I LOVED how this felt when it was applied. With hopes of brightening, firming, and hydrating your skin, this has some of the best reviews out of all of the line's products.
  • Lip Sheer in Petal — An everyday lipstick that's moisturizing and lightweight with buildable color. It's a great option for a mom on the go who doesn't have time to look in a mirror for application. Oh, and this stuff smells divine too!
  • Tint Skin — As I mentioned before, this lightweight formula delivers a flawless finish and covers imperfections.
  • Charcoal Cleansing Bar — This bar boasts to detoxify and absorb the skin's impurities without drying the skin. Upon trying it for the first time, it was clear Beautycounter was not messing around with this one. Immediately after using it, my skin looked brighter and felt smoother. I will definitely be purchasing again along with this Purifying Charcoal Mask.

Now, here's where it gets even better. Are you ready?? TWO lucky readers will have the chance to be pampered too as one Facebook follower will win a Travel Set ($50 value) and one Instagram follower will receive a $50 Beautycounter gift card. The winners will be announced in this Friday's Love List on August 19. Woo Hoo! Good luck and GO get em!

Interested in Beautycounter's mission and products? Learn more about the movement here or email Erin.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016



Happy Tuesday, m' dears! A fresh week in Swell Rio calls for a another batch of my favorite details...
  • Last week Max and I managed to get a cruddy summer cold. Bleh! Aren't those the worst?! Despite the inclination to drown my sorrows in Dayquil and throw a giant pity party (BYOT = Bring Your Own Tissues), I kept thinking about this Henri Matisse quote: "There are always flowers for those who want to see them." So off we went to HEB and Walmart to find those flowers and more Boogie Wipes. Because I'm determined like that, I kept clinging to the beloved artist's words and came home with Carnations. Ahem. You guys, I've never purchased the flower in my life. Growing up, my mom put the kibosh to these blooms. They were verboten. When Flyboy saw them in a vase on the dining room table, he looked at me in utter disbelief. Not even a day after bringing the bouquet home, I had to come clean to my mom and confess. I guess desperate times in Del Rio call for desperate measures. Sigh.
  • Since the flower idea was a giant flop, I kept searching for bright spots in the week to keep me motivated. This tenacity resulted in pulling Max's teepee out of the closet and setting up in the backyard, swinging outdoors, devouring unhealthy amounts of vanilla Noosa yogurt (which doubles as a hair mask—conditioner is overrated, folks!), and mixing paints during nap time. Our first full week back from Missouri wasn't quite as productive as I hoped, but considering Max's need to remain active and mobile the snuggle to sniffle ratio was on point. I'd chalk that up as a win.
  • Speaking of winners, let's talk about the Olympics. Flyboy thinks my sentiment toward the event is un-American, but let me explain. It's not that I don't enjoy it, because I do love learning the stories behind the amazing athletes. I also don't mind watching an event or two, but the fact that it dominates every stinking station (looking at you, BRAVO!) for almost two weeks is a bit much. Thank goodness I had a lot of TV to catch up on after Missouri or I'd be going NUTS!
  • You see that adorable vintage toy truck?! We visited my father-in-law's mother when we were in MO, and we learned that she has the neatest collection of toys that she's saved over the years. It was a blast looking through her toy box of treasures, and she was kind enough to let me take this piece home. I'm obsessed with Leslee Mitchell's artwork, specifically the Matchbox series, and this chartreuse jeep got me thinking about how neat it would be to use a similar concept and photograph a toy that has actual sentimental value for Max's room. I still need to play around with the car some more (lighting, editing, etc.), but the excitement was killing me and I just had to take it out for a test drive.
  • Because these photos could easily give the appearance that life here this past week has been all fun and games (trust me, it's not!), I should mention that Friday was a total bust. After being at odds ALL morning, Max and I set out to get groceries. The high was 108 degrees that day (116 heat index), so we needed to get an early start. With a few miscellaneous items left on my lengthy list, the tot managed to bust a Febreze oil diffuser ALL over the groceries in our cart. I quickly hid the evidence behind a random bag of rice and we finished our errand as I intended. It was only when I began unloading the cart amid an epic toddler meltdown that I realized everything was sopping in scented oil. The ink from labels and packaging were bleeding and the liquid from the diffuser was absorbed in anything and everything you could possibly imagine. It was a nightmare! I just wanted to get out of the store as fast as possible. Thankfully, the kind cashier didn't say a word. Hallelujah! Oddly enough, I was so annoyed by my child's antics that I forgot about the dinosaur I threw in the cart when we started. At that beginning of our trip I felt he deserved a special reward—it probably had something to do with his pitiful puffy blue eyes and stuffy nose. Anyway, I just wanted to get to the car without any more tears and screams, so I asked the kind employee to leave the dino out and I'd let Max hold on to it as a last ditch effort to keep him content. Of course he could have cared less about the T-Rex in that moment because he knew there was string cheese somewhere in the cart. He threw a humongous fit and pitched his new dinosaur into the parking lot. I was absolutely enraged and had more uncharitable thoughts about my child on the ride home than I care to admit. Hours later someone shared an article on Facebook about why it's HARD to be a toddler (I'm being honest!), and I wanted to have a few colorful words with the PhD author. I'm not buying it! Not today...
  • For the record, our pantry still reeks of Febreze scented oil and I had to repurchase many of the groceries I bought on Friday because the food smelled and tasted like the busted diffuser. Yuck! Toddlers are crafty like that.
  • On a funnier note, watching Max devour a whole apple reminds me of the SNL skit with Mr. Peepers. You feel me?

Enough rambling on this end. How the heck are YOU?? Also, get excited for a really fun giveaway tomorrow!

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Friday, August 12, 2016


Let's get right to it, shall we?
Here's what made me feel all twitterpated, smile contagiously, giggle uncontrollably, etc.

Happy Friday, m' dears! Make this weekend count.

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