Thursday, April 30, 2015


THINKING ABOUT: While reading an article online, I stumbled upon the word "meraki" and immediately turned to Lady Google for a definition. I guess the meaning of this Greek word spoke to me in a really big way because I felt the urge to scribble it in my notebook. I spent the bulk of my twenties searching for a purpose and felt the need to be validated by my work. I wasted a lot of energy trying to figure out my place in this world; I wanted to be successful. Somewhere along the way I began to embrace that life's journey wasn't exactly as I'd expected and explored other outlets that brought me joy. Why fight it when you can delight in it? It was only when I read the definition of "meraki" that I realized I was finally at peace with my purpose right here and right now. Of course I still dream about what lies ahead, but for now I feel pride in the love, soul, and creativity I put into my current work (blogging, my role as Max's mom, wife, daughter, sister, and friend). If every day I put a little bit of myself out there, I can call myself successful.

FEELING: Back in November, my father-in-law built us a few garden boxes and we filled them with some low-maintenance wild flowers, herbs, and a jalapeno plant. With the exception of pulling random weeds, I can't say I've done much of anything with the contents of the boxes, so I can't really take credit for what I'm about to share with you. Anywho, on Tuesday evening I went to water the plants and noticed I've got some peppers growing. Upon my little discovery, I ran inside the house to text my mom and sister. "YOU GUYS, I'M A GARDENER!" I'm going to pretend they didn't see the text because neither of them responded. Yeah, they totally left me hanging on this one, and no I'm not bitter at all, but I digress. I guess for a fleeting moment I got a taste of what it feels like to be Oprah. This must be how she feels when she tends to her garden in Maui filling baskets with gorgeous fruits and veggies proudly displayed for all to see on her Instagram account. Then I remember I'm not Oprah, this isn't Maui, and I've got two tiny peppers to show for. Hey, I guess the excitement was fun while it lasted!

Just when I complained about the toasty Texas temps, we experienced a few days this week where the high was in the mid-70s. It was GLOOOOOOORIOUS! Max and I could not spend enough time outdoors. I absolutely adore getting to wear him on walks in the ErgoBaby Carrier, so it was really nice to soak up the sunshine and not come home a sweaty mess.

EATING: I'm not entirely sure how I allowed this to happen, but I forgot to tell you some really exciting news. Hold on to your hats because Swell Rio is getting a Chick-fil-A this fall! I'm not sure how they pulled this off, but it's kind of a huge deal. Every time I swing by SBUX, I get a glimpse of the progress and my heart skips a beat. I see many chicken sandwiches in our future, and I don't hate it.

LISTENING TO: Aside from white noise and iTunes radio, I've been listening to a lot of Podcasts lately. Since Flyboy is back to working twelve-hour days, hearing another adult speak is rather refreshing. I remember streaming Podcasts in college and the selection was a bit stale. These days there's so much to choose from; I'm really enjoying myself. Are there any series I should consider listening to?! I know I'm late to the Serial game, but everyone seemed to really enjoy it. I'm still not sure it's up my alley, but I also said that about Breaking Bad and we all know how I feel about Walt and Jesse.

WATCHING: Here's the deal, I adore m' 
girl Bethenny, but does anyone else think she's acting extra neurotic in this season of RHONY? All of my crazy loves and appreciates all of her crazy, but it wouldn't hurt if she dialed down the intensity just a tad. I understand she's dealing with A LOT, but YOWZAH! I'm interested in seeing her interact with Heather in future episodes. Two alphas are bound to face off and it's about to get good. My money's on B. Frankel. Everybody say it together, "Get off my jock!"

READING: Don't confuse the blurb regarding the word "meraki" with me having it all figured out all of sudden. Not quite. I deal with varying degrees of anxiety each day, but I've found ways to manage and cope over the years. Sometimes I think we're quick to assume others have it all together, especially in this world of social media where it's custom to put our best out there for all to see, so I was incredibly grateful to read about Whoorl's experience with the "vortex of doom" and some of the practices she uses to prevent herself from going down the rabbit hole. It's easy for me to dial up to 100 when I think about the future, so I found a lot of comfort in this statement: "Focus not on the fear of what lies ahead, but the great possibilities you might create."

LOVING: Up until this past week Max hasn't been terribly entertained with mirrors or reflections. However, after a morning walk this week, I noticed he caught a glimpse of himself in the hall tree mirror. We stopped for further investigation and the expression on his face was priceless. The fact that he could see me AND my reflection blew his mind. He just kept grabbing at my face with a death grip only a mother would find adorable and then he'd stare at our reflection. It's moments like that I don't ever want to forget.

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

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015


The striped tee is a wardrobe staple many of us already have in our closet. In fact, some of us may have more "options" than we'd care to admit. Hey, there are worse problems to have! On an average day, you'll find me sporting one of my favorite Bretons because it can literally be paired with ANYTHING. Since I've been wearing these Boyfriend Jeans on repeat, I figured I'd share one of my favorite mom-sembles. You could argue there's nothing entirely special about a basic striped tee paired with jeans, but they make the perfect canvas for playful accessories and random pops of color—two characteristics I believe complete an outfit. In my opinion, some pieces are worth the splurge like this tassel necklace and this studded bangle if I know I'll wear them regularly. Other pieces like this tote, these slingbacks, and sunnies are on-trend and budget-friendly buys that keep outfits current and fun.

I'm interested, what pieces are worth the splurge? Where do YOU like to browse for bargains?
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Tuesday, April 28, 2015



Happy Tuesday, sweet readers! I thought I'd pop in and share a few ways we're keeping it swell in The Rio...

  • Just when I started to feel slightly confident about this whole mom gig, I realized Max's needs have changed once again. The majority of last week was spent tweaking our daily routine to better suit us both. So after a few really fussy days, I opted to throw on my favorite skirt and shirt, don a BIG bow belt, and I totally owned the dayOf course it didn't go perfectly and it won't, but there's something about feeling your best. Whenever I'm defeated, I turn to my trusty toolkit to turn things around. We all have something that makes us feel a little more confident or pulled together (an outfit, activity, hobby, etc.). In my case, I didn't have anywhere special to be or anything terribly exciting on the agenda, but I needed to DO SOMETHING to make myself feel my best to give Max my best.
  • As I mentioned in last week's Thursday Thoughts post, I'm kind of ecstatic that Max finally fits into his seersucker shorts! I hope it felt life changing for him as well, because I see a lifetime of classic prints and pattern in this kid's future.
  • Flyboy's name got painted on a jet, and it feels so Swell Rio official. Izzy is his call sign and it stands for Incredibly Zealous Zippy Youngster. The acronym seems awfully PG for a bunch of rowdy pilots, but I think they were fairly insistent on Izzy and there are only so many "Z" words to choose from. I've decided that when people ask me about ol' Izzy Fine, I'll respond by saying "But of course!" Get it?! Izzy Fine? Is he Fine? Yep, I think I officially embarrassed FB in today's post.
  • While feeding Max a medley of fruits and veggies, he caught a glimpse of Big Tex and went straight for my Fiddle Leaf Fig's leaves. It was cute for an entire 30 seconds. Then I realized what sorts of "fun" we have coming our way once he's mobile and I suddenly felt the need for a really stiff drink and proceeded to order Design Mom's new book.
  • I can't say I find ninety-degree temperatures in April overly delightful. But since it's warming up in Swell Rio, I finally decided to pull out my tub of shorts to try on. Note: This wasn't a task I'd been looking forward to. I haven't actually donned a pair of shorts since October 2013. Yikes! Anywho, while digging through some of my summer clothes, I couldn't help but wonder why anyone in their right mind would need six different shades of green shorts?? 
  • Max and Beesly's bond continue to blossom. For a few weeks Queen Bee kept her distance, which I found a little odd because they've been inseparable since we brought him home. It wasn't until Flyboy mentioned Max pulled on her whiskers and it all made sense. Oops! Thankfully, things seem to have returned to normal. Whenever he's playing on the floor, you can bet she'll be right by his side. Watching them interact might be one of my favorite things. Ever.

Alright, enough of my babbling. How are YOU? How's your week?
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Friday, April 24, 2015


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

  • Bluma Project Lolo Tassel Necklace // I think I finally found my go-to tassel necklace. The colors are absolute perfection.
  • Token Tangerine Geo Pendant // Yes the price tag is a little steep, but lusting over fabulous pieces never hurt anybody.
  • Paris Map // I wouldn't mind adding this punchy Parisian print to a gallery wall. Clearly bright pinks and corals are m' jam.
  • Gold Cage Lamp // Why don't you throw some serious shade with a splash of hot pink? You're killing me Target!!
  • Pearl Place Rosebowl Vase // I've wanted this vase for ages and all of the Kate Spade Mother's Day emails are not helping. Shouldn't all flowers be displayed with a hint of whimsy and a splash of modern?! I thought so.
  • Lacquered Wellington Three-Drawer Dresser // I should just go ahead and name today's post The Lust List. So sue me. I can't help that my mind wanders and I daydream about colorful campaign dressers. That glossy yellow is everything.
  • Umbrella Stand // Does it get any more adorable than this?! It's not often you find an umbrella stand quite this charming.
  • Hand Block Bolster Dog Bed // In case your prized pooch needs artisanal dog productsFillydog Co. has you covered.
  • H&M Accessories // I was browsing H&M's baby selection but found myself drooling all over the latest batch of women's accessories. Oops! This Round Should Bag and these Striped Flats. No surprises here.

As always, thank you kindly for stopping by. Cheers to a snazzy weekend, m' dears! Make it count.
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Thursday, April 23, 2015


via Chocolate Editions
THINKING ABOUT: Sometimes I wonder if Max and Tripp know one another exist? I've found it's entertaining to watch them catch a glimpse of the other. It's as though a tiny lightbulb goes off like "Woah, where did you come from? When did you get here?" Over the course of the last week, Tripp seems to have taken an interest in whenever Max is fed in the high chair. This is huge, people!! While he maintains his distance and watches us from the kitchen, I have a feeling he knows this will some day become prime real estate when Max can feed himself. Mama didn't raise no fool, but she certainly picked the most socially awkward rescue pup in the bunch...

FEELING: There are certain silly milestones you hope to reach when you have a baby of your own. For me it's something as simple as Max's first set of seersucker shorts. Squee! You see, I've waited patiently for the moment he'd fit into his first pair since I learned we were having a boy. From time to time, I'd have Max try them on but they remained far too large. I contemplated buying a smaller size, but exercised some restraint because I knew his first time donning them would be epic. Since the Texas temps recently climbed into the 80s and 90s, I figured it was worth another shot. Much to my delight, they finally fit on Wednesday!! I sat there and beamed. It was equally as magical as the first time he wore gingham. Some things you just don't forget.

THANKFUL FOR: They've been doing some 
maintenance on the aircraft so Flyboy has been getting home each evening earlier than what we're used to. It's been such a treat; I'm afraid I've gotten spoiled! It's rare that we get to eat dinner together or take evening strolls around the base. I know the tempo will pick up again soon so we're enjoying the extra time together while it lasts. 

EATING: I'm trying to behave after all the indulging I did on our trip, so I'm just going to pretend I'm diving into one of these gorgeous Chocolate Editions candy bars. Just look at these beauties! They are quite literally a work of art with packaging created by the ├╝ber talented Mary Matson (Kate Spade fame) and Matt Even. The duo launched Chocolate Editions from their home as a means to celebrate the candy bar as a perfect pop object. The deliciously artful line draws inspiration from an eclectic array of favorites—rugby shirts, works by Sol LeWitt and David Hockney, Neapolitan ice cream, etc. I don't know about you, but I'd say they achieved their goal of modernism with a smile. I may be a little late to the game, but how do I get my hands on one (or all five)? 

LISTENING TO: To prepare for the Adventure Race, one of Flyboy's co-workers stopped by the house last week for an evening bike ride. Max was in his Jumperoo, which means everyone inside the house is subjected to listening to the ONE razzle-dazzle tune it plays while he hops around. FB's friend didn't even make it through the entire song before he made the following observation, "Wow, I bet that song gets old fast." We couldn't help but laugh because we barely even hear the torturous tune anymore. Oh, parenthood...

WATCHING: On Monday night I cozied into bed and had a date with the DVR. The latest episode of Shahs of Sunset had been recorded and I was eager to see GG's 
results from the lie detector test. Clearly I'm talking about pressing issues here. I guess I didn't realize the episode had greater moments in store for me. I'm talking about my favorite train wreck MJ and her deceased Pug, Pablo. Did anyone else freak out a little bit when they realized she was keeping him in the freezer? Yikes! Oh and how about Mercedes' mom, Vida, and her mad ping pong skills?! Shut up. I almost fell out of bed from laughter when she whipped out her special shoes.

READING: Because not every day can end with Persians, Pugs, and ping pong, Flyboy and I have decided we're going to pick a night each week to read before we hit the hay. Maybe then it will become more of a habit? The time I spend reading is typically devoted to children's books and parenting guides, so it might be a nice opportunity to delve into something fun or insightful. Who knows, maybe I'll finally get around to that stack of glossies that's sitting pretty next to my desk?!

LOVING: I so badly want to see the new Iris Apfel film by Albert Maysles. While it opens in theaters April 29th, I have a feeling it won't be showing in Swell Rio anytime soon. Oh well! If you get a chance, PLEASE go and see it for me. I've watched clips from the documentary and the trailer a gazillion times, and I can assure you it will be SO worth it.

Enough about me. How are you feeling today? What are you up to? Thanks for stopping by!!
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Wednesday, April 22, 2015


While we visited my parents, I picked up two bottles of craft gin (Aviation and Green Hat) to try in various cocktails. Priorities, am I right?! After sipping on a Cucumber Gin and Tonic at Matchbox with my family, I thought I'd make something equally refreshing but with a little springtime in Swell Rio twist. As a nod to Flyboy, this particular recipe takes wing with a splash of Aviation Gin.

Recipe from Refinery 29
(Serves 1)


  1. Chop English cucumber and puree with water in blender until smooth.
  2. Shake three ounces of cucumber juice with gin, lime juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker for 30 seconds.
  3. Strain mixture into an ice-filled glass.
  4. Garnish with cucumber slices.
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Tuesday, April 21, 2015



Happy Tuesday, sweet readers! You could say that spring in Swell Rio is in full swing because we've spent the past two weekends sprucing up the joint with paint and plants. Once again, Home Depot becomes our home away from home as we put that delightful military discount to good use. The small changes we've made feel refreshing, and it's been relaxing to attack random projects as a family—after all, there are three of us these days. Being in the company of a six-month-old baby certainly keeps things interesting. In the old days we could divide and conquer as a duo, with great ease I might add. Now we attempt to tackle to-dos together, but that realistically means that one of us has a baby strapped to our chest and will most likely have to bail in the event the love nugget needs something and he usually does. Simple projects seem to become drawn out when you're tending to an infant, but we're learning that's okay. We have nothing but time down here. If anything, it's a nice reminder that all of this togetherness is a blessing.

  • In the past week or two I've been off my 'Grammin game. Forgive me. Max has become so handsy and feels the need to reach for my phone every chance he gets. Since it's fairly new I'm extra paranoid about him chucking it across the living room, which he's been known to do in the past. As a result, I haven't been taking as many photos and my Instagram feed feels a bit lackluster. While prepping today's post, I realized this is problematic. Better fix that and stat.
  • I can't say enough great things about Benjamin Moore's Simply White. After painting the walls in the living room, I look around our rental and every piece of furniture and knick-knack really seems to pop. I love it! The space feels so clean.
  • Speaking of clean, Tripp and Beesly visited the groomer last Sunday. They look so shiny and actually smell pleasant. It's a miracle! I can't say either dog was very pleased with their spa day. In fact, Beesly has been playing hard to get and refuses to look at the camera whenever I attempt to document her primped prettiness. Ah, the art of the look away...
  • On Saturday morning, Flyboy rode his bike from the base to Lake Amistad in Laughlin AFB's Adventure Race. While the route was nothing new for him, it was a blast to see him get so jazzed to ride with a team and cheer them on.
  • I'm not going to lie, it's taken awhile for the Swell Rio Starbucks to really master the Caramel Macchiato. I don't have much room to complain because I still can't believe we have one in this rinky-dink town, but in the last month I've noticed my initial sip is absolute bliss (as it should be) and my first thought is "Bravo baristas! You really nailed it."
  • As evidenced by the photos, Max has such a happy spirit. His smiles are absolutely intoxicating; I could eat him up! Sure there are moments in which I feel overwhelmed and out of my element, but as each day passes he becomes more fun. It's a riot to witness this tiny human with such a BIG personality grow. Seeing the world through his eyes is a treat.

Alright, enough of my babbling. How are YOU? How's your week?
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Friday, April 17, 2015


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

  • Intersecting Passages by Julie Hansen // Excuse me while I fan myself for a moment. The vivid hues scream HUBBA HUBBA! While the bright colors had me at HELLO, I was endeared when I learned the artist hails from Kansas City.
  • Slim Broken-In Boyfriend Jean // Up until recently I had a hard time finding a pair of Boyfriend Jeans that I really liked. Desperate for new denim, I gave these a whirl and I'm so glad I did. I even ordered another pair on sale last week because they suit the daily mom-semble quite nicely. They're comfortable and I still feel polished.
  • Got It From My Mama Sweatshirt // In Max's case, this should probably read "I Got It From My Gampy"... #TWINSIES
  • Glitter Bow Gift Set // While browsing Leif Shop, I couldn't help but drool over these adorable paper bows. Naturally the attraction led me to Meri Meri's website, which is chock-full of pretty paper party goodness. I think I'm going to need to add these candles, these hats, and these party horns to my arsenal.
  • Inflatable Cactus // I saw these and immediately thought about Swell Rio. In my opinion, cactus are not entirely cute plants. I couldn't help but wonder if the terrain surrounding Highway 90 was filled with these instead the landscape in this area might be considered pretty charming. Is there a magic seed I could sprinkle and these would appear instead?!
  • Beachwear Sandals // Some days I forget I ever wanted a little girl (I may be fibbing just a tad), and then I come across something so stinking adorable like these sandals. Squee! A splash of leopard with neon orange piping?? I'm dying.
  • Karuma Pull-Back Car // Then it's back to the reality of having a little boy and I choose to get jazzed about colorful cars. I convince myself I feel the same joy as I did when I saw the sandals. I am such a liar. The sandals are stellar.
  • Bite Matte Cream Crayons // This week Whoorl featured these Matte Cream Crayons, and I'm intrigued. Sucre and Framboise are calling my name. Have you tried anything from the Bite Beauty line?
  • 25 Things That Make Us Really Happy // I loved this list featured on the Kate Spade blog. I found myself nodding along.
  • Hape Scoot Around Ride On // Thankfully we have awhile to go before Max is this mobile, but that doesn't mean I didn't pin it for future reference. That color green speaks to me, but you already knew that...

As always, thank you kindly for stopping by. Cheers to a snazzy weekend, m' dears! Make it count.

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