Friday, July 31, 2015


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

  • Vibrant Stripe Print // This piece by Kristin Kohut is stunning! Can we just take a minute and swoon over the punchy pink and red color combo? Suddenly I feel the need to click my heels, I'm so stinking giddy.
  • Cocktail Recipe Card // I didn't think I needed cocktail recipe cards until now. Thanks for giving me another excuse to buy more paper, Rifle! I suppose this is a really good reason to test and document all of my favorite gin concoctions!
  • Rosé Sangria // Yes, way! With triple digits temps in Swell Rio, this might be a necessary weekend to-do. Who's with me?
  • Wall Light Peace Sign // Don't ask me how I came across this German gem, but I'm so glad I did. Let's pretend we're going to take an imaginary trip to Munich for some treasure hunting, mkay? Ja, bitte.
  • Fuchsia Lounge Chair // A pair of chairs never looked so pretty. I can already see myself lounging in these colorful seats.
  • Jump Rope // I can't remember the last time I played with a jump rope. Middle school, maybe? I definitely think I would have enjoyed it more with handles bedecked in polka dots. That's a fact.
  • Mama Tee // I was so sad to see this tee was sold out. Maybe the shop will get them back in stock and soon??
  • Shwings // These promise to make a pair of old shoes fly. Perhaps it's time Max put them to the test.
  • Puppy Slippers // I'm such a sucker for slippers and shoes, especially in a miniature form. These are charming!
  • High Contrast Dot Cube Bin // Land of Nod's collaboration with artist Lotta Jansdotter is absolute perfection. What's better than organization and polka dots? I'm stumped, because the answer is NOTHING. It doesn't get much better.
  • Gemma Flats // I see you, J.Crew. Don't think I'm not tempted by the wondrous shade of chartreuse. I just have my doubts about the comfort level. Someone, please tell me Gemma is easier on the ol' tootsies than the Harper Flats.
  • Hells Yeah Pennant // Picture me running around the house waving this pennant shouting TGIF! All together now...
  • Red My Lips // Seeing my mom and sister next week means I'll get some REAL feedback regarding all of the shades of lipstick I've purchased recently. I need some honest feedback from people I trust. Anyone else this way?

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

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Thursday, July 30, 2015



THINKING ABOUT: Glennon of Momastery likes to remind her readers that "we can do hard things." On Monday while Max ate lunch I was reminded of this in the most ridiculous way. You see, my dear child decided to sprinkle bits of quinoa and scrambled eggs all over Beesly. Do you know how ridiculously complicated it is to get that stuff out of her coat? Yowzah! Days later and I'm still finding remnants of his meal in her fur. With all of the messes we've got going on around here, this is a new one to add to the list.

FEELING: Earlier this week Flyboy forwarded me an email that was circulating around the office. They were asking for volunteers to move to Canada and be instructor pilots up north as part of an exchange program. FB asked, "Want to move somewhere cooler?" As I scanned through the email and briefly looked over the details of the job description, I couldn't help but get a little excited at the idea of leaving Swell Rio. Say yes to new adventures, eh?! I had visions of outdoor activities, a colorful winter coat collection, and donuts from Tim Hortons (Hey, Robin Scherbatsky!). Curious about the location, I referred to Lady Google for more information. After thirty minutes of searching the town and nearby cities, I was reminded once again why pilot training bases are often located in remote areas. This place was essentially a frigid version of Swell Rio. My hopes for charming rentals and amenities were quickly squashed when I browsed the local property listings (no bueno) and found a tire and collision shop listed as a shopping center. Come again? Panic really set it when I remembered the cost of shipping items from J. Crew to Canada. No, thank you. If this was God's way of reminding me to keep things in perspective, it worked. Listen big guy, I hear you loud and clear. Perhaps it's best in this case if hell doesn't freeze over. Swell Rio, you're not too shabby! And hey, Chick-fil-A opened yesterday so we've got that going for us...

THANKFUL FOR: In less than ten days Max and I are headed to Iowa. Hooray! While we're there, we plan to visit oodles of family and offer moral support to my sister as she gets situated at Creighton. I have a feeling it's going to be a trip for the books! The last time I visited the area, I was seven months pregnant and my relatives threw me a baby shower. The love, wisdom, gadgets, and gear I received from them has been invaluable these past ten months. There may be miles that separate us, but their ongoing support means everything to me. I have a BIG hug ready for each and every one of them, although I'm certain they just want to see the baby already. It's not often that we get together like this, so I'm beyond grateful for the opportunity to introduce Max to my dear family.

EATING: In case you have questions regarding the egg and quinoa fiasco mentioned earlier, let me explain. In my attempt to feed Max healthy-ish meals, I've been bookmarking ideas left and right. This week I decided to try two new recipes: Mini Veggie Frittatas and Cheesy Quinoa Bites. While I'm certain Max would have been content eating Cheerios (AGAIN!) and the banana pancakes I mentioned in last week's post, I'm determined to keep introducing new table food. I can't say there was anything too special about the frittata recipe, but I'd consider myself a fan of the quinoa bites. Now if only Max would share my enthusiasm and devour the dumb things instead of sprinkling bits around like confetti. Alright, fine, you can have the Cheerios! Here's hoping I have better luck with next week's recipes. Oh, and if any of you have ideas you think I should try, send them my way por favor.

LISTENING TO: Podcasts, podcasts, and more podcasts. Last weekend while Flyboy was out of town, I decided to paint our drab kitchen white. Now that it's finished I'm happy with the results, but I totally had regrets about taking on the task not even thirty minutes into the project. To help pass the time, I listened to The Longest Shortest Time, Sorta Awesome, and Mystery Show. It made hours of rolling, taping, and cutting a bit more eventful. If you're looking for podcasts to listen to, I highly recommend all three.

WATCHING: A few weeks ago, Grace of Camp Patton shared a link to this video. It made me so happy I decided to keep the link open on my phone for whenever I need a pick-me-up. After viewing the "Summer Safety Tips" more times than I care to admit, I've decided I need Veronica as my life coach. Because if you go into the shark's house, you're gonna end up on the plate...

READING: Kait Hanson of CommuniKait is a fellow military spouse and blogger that I "met" via social media within the last year. She's flipping adorable, and I was so sad to learn that we lived in Hawaii at the SAME time and didn't cross paths until AFTER I moved to Texas. Womp womp. Yep, I'm just a little bitter. Anywho, I can't tell you how proud I am of Kait! She recently published her first book, Sweet Eats & Dog Treat, a gluten-free cookbook of baked goods for you and your four-legged friend. With all of the baby food that's being prepared around here, Tripp and Beesly are super excited at the prospect of me whipping up a batch of Carrot and Apple Biscuits this weekend. Oh, and maybe the adults in the house deserve a Cookie Cake? You can download Kait's book on iTunes.

LOVING: Is there anything better than a freshly pressed button-down? I didn't think so. This boy shirt in pink and blue plaid is beckoning. For days I've been planning outfits around this piece. Perhaps it's time I just add it to my wardrobe already??

Enough about me. How are you feeling today? What are you up to? Thanks for stopping by!!
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Wednesday, July 29, 2015


Who's the bonehead mom that scheduled Max's doctor's appointment during the coveted nap time? Raises hand sheepishly. Clearly I WASN'T thinking. At all. So in an effort to remain optimistic and trust the babe will be nothing but sunshine this afternoon for the doc, I figured I'd go ahead and share these fabulous bundles of joy (just like Max!) from the online boutique Noble Carriage. These would be adorable gifts for anyone in your life who's got a bun in the oven. Not to mention, they serve as fantastic inspiration for assembling a personalized baby bundle of your very own. The best part? Pieces from each bundle are sold separately. Cute overload.

Have a swell Wednesday! You can count on more rambling in tomorrow's post. xo

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015



Happy Tuesday, sweet readers! Sometimes I sit down to write these posts and I think about what I can tell you that I haven't already said before. In fact, on my walk this morning with Max, I created a mental list of topics or details to cover—none of which inspired me. I guess it would have helped if I took more photos of my favorite moments, but it's getting harder to keep up with this child. He's into EVERYTHING! Anywho, while reviewing last week's highlight reel in my mind, I realized that motherhood makes me feel like a walking contradiction. While I have very few snapshots from this past week to show for, any stranger could look at the texts I exchanged with my mother and they might wonder if I could just make up m' damn mind already. It goes something like this...

"Max is a maniac. Yogurt fingerpainting was SO much fun. What a riot!"

"HE WON'T GO TO SLEEP. I've tried everything. I seriously need this time for my sanity."

"I really don't think I've EVER known a love quite like this." Heart face emoji overload.

"I'm so weak. I don't think I'm made for this motherhood thing. I can't make this child happy."

"Someone was a gem at nap time. What a dreamsicle! I think I'll make him pancakes for dinner."

"After a day like today, I deserve a good gin buzz."

"I picked up bubbles at Wally World for Max. This is going to be a BLAST!"

"Do you think God gave me a slightly disgruntled baby to keep me from being a Smother? #areyoutheregoditsmeashley "

"Some days just feel like defeat. Bedtime and Bravo will be nice."

So yeah, I'm definitely an oxymoron—emphasis on the moron, but the lovable kind (obvi). In the last nine months, I've learned within a fifteen-minute period Max can make me smile so big my cheeks hurt and also drive me so crazy I want to reside in my closet forever. I most definitely count down the minutes 'til nap time, but you know I'm eager to roll around on the floor and watch the babe giggle once more. And if a stranger in the checkout line points out that Max has my eyes, I can totally overlook the meltdown that occurred in the freezer section just moments ago because I'm so stinking proud to be this kid's mom. I'm equal parts honored and scared at the idea of motherhood, but this mom gig wouldn't make sense to me unless there was ANOTHER contradiction.

Alright, what are some of YOUR highlights from this past week? Contradictions welcome.
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Friday, July 24, 2015


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

  • Pocket Confetti // In the event of spontaneous joy, it might be nice to keep a few of these packets handy in my purse. You never know when you might need it, right?? Besides, if life is a celebration, it's best I show up prepared.
  • No. 2  Print via Sugar Paper // Artist Jennifer Vallez collaborated with my favorite stationery store and created a set of fabulous prints and note cards featuring her adorable illustrations. Also, is there anything better than a side pony?
  • Striped Peplum // Oh, you know this number is at the top of my J.Crew wishlist. I love that it has structure. And stripes.
  • Uptown Tote // Lord, help me! They went and made my favorite mom tote in the most cheerful shade of yellow.
  • Boom Chicka Puff // Last Friday on our weekly grocery spree at HEB, I stumbled upon this goodness. I initially thought it was the popcorn and got excited, but after a little a bit of investigating, I noticed the emphasis on PUFF (no Diddy). Intrigued by the concept, I threw a bag in m' cart and I'm so glad I did. Can I call it a healthy version of Cheetos?
  • Kids' Max The Monster Backpack // Is nine months too early to start considering school supplies? Because I'm certain Max needs this in his life. Can you just imagine my little half-pint walking around with this strapped to his back? I'm dying. Coming from a bag lady, it's never too early to start adding to your child's collection.
  • 50/50 Color Pencils // How fun are these? Better yet, you need to check out the online shop, Burro Goods. I'm obsessed!
  • Brass House Numbers // Because it's The Love List, you know I'm allowed to dream about a home with brass numbers.
  • Citrus Tufted Ottoman // And inside my dream house you'll find this delicious tufted gem in the living room. Swoooooon!
  • Wooden Bowling Set // Who knew bowling could look so cute? The best part? No ugly bowling shoes required. 
  • Fingerprint Fun // Since Flyboy will be away this weekend, I've been looking for ways to add some fun to the next few days with Max. You know, just a little something to make the weekend feel special or different from the work week?! Anywho, I've decided we're going to unleash Max's inner Matisse and play with with edible fingerpaints.

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

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Thursday, July 23, 2015


THINKING ABOUT: Sometimes I forget that Tripp will turn twelve this October. For being such an old soul, I take great pride in the fact that he's got so much spirit in him. Technically our firstborn, it never really dawned on me that he was aging like the rest of us. After all we've been through together (read more here), I suppose I thought he was invincible. But in the last two weeks we've seen signs of him getting older. He moves slower than he ever has, and he recently lost control of his bladder one evening while in a deep sleep. This isn't like him at all. After my family lost our Black Lab, Maggie, this past March, it's hard not to think of the worst. So instead I'm trying my best to focus on the way our lovable Golden gently picks up whatever food Max has dropped from his high chair, or the way Tripp reacted so sweetly to me blowing bubbles with the babe outdoors.

FEELING: Remember those pesky birds from last year who insisted on building their nest above the car port door and Flyboy just didn't have the heart to knock it down? Yeah, well those birds have returned with a vengeance. Despite countless attempts to knock the nests down and crafty tin foil barriers, they remain relentless in their efforts to call our doorframe home. It annoys the hell outta me! I have a feeling the birds take great pleasure in rebuilding every time I whip out the garden hose and spray down their day's work. I'm sure this all sounds quite heartless, but I wish you could see the way these things dive at me whenever I attempt to load and unload The Rig. It's awful! While this may sound dramatic, FB has seen the way these terrible creatures come at me with great haste. I guess you could say we've got a Seinfeld and Newman thing going on, and I refuse to back down. In my latest feisty attempt to show the birds who's boss, I cleaned the door with bleach and fired up my trusty pocket hose. After I was finished, I stood back and scanned the yard for the devilish duo, giggled at how absurd the situation is, and thought "Who gon' check me, boo?"

THANKFUL FOR: When we returned from Missouri, it took me several days to check our mailbox. This is so embarrassing because I live for checking the mail—it's kinda my thing. Anywho, upon filling my Baggu with catalogs, coupons, and junk mail, I was ecstatic to find an unexpected package key. I knew I hadn't ordered anything. What could it be? Much to my delight, a sweet blog reader sent me a fragrant candle from Magnolia Farm in JoJo's signature scent. She knew I was a fan of the show, Fixer Upper, and picked it up on a recent visit to Magnolia Market in Waco, TX. How thoughtful was that?! I'm still just blown away by her kindness and generosity. Lighting the candle and taking in the fresh linen aroma has been an absolute treat. There might be Max madness going on around our house, but if I close my eyes, the candle makes it feel like I'm at a serene spa and the laundry is ALL done.

EATING: Max recently transitioned from eating purees to solids. It's been a riot to watch him feed himself and explore new flavors and textures. After doing a little research for recipes and meal ideas on Pinterest, I decided to make a batch of Ambitious Kitchen's Oatmeal Cottage Cheese Banana Pancakes (high in protein and gluten free). You guys, they were incredible! Since preparing them for the first time last Sunday, I've made several batches to freeze. Max and I are equally obsessed with the recipe, and we're both really excited for breakfast each morning. Hands down, this is the best recipe I've tried in awhile. Promise me you'll give them a shot!

LISTENING TO: As Max has become more active, snoozing throughout the day is now lumped into one or two long naps. Huzzah! My two-hour reprieve each afternoon has become sacred. I not only depend on the time for my sanity, but it gives me an opportunity to work on the blog, tend to odds and ends around the house, or workout. Unfortunately, as I type today's post, I'm listening to a neighbor's car alarm blaring. Worst. Nightmare. No amount of white noise can keep Max from waking after hearing this horrendous sound. Gah! What's a girl to do? This is when I like to take advice from my dad and grab Flyboy's noise-canceling headphones. It's best to block out the sounds and pray my child falls back to sleep. Stat means NOW.

WATCHING: Yoo Hoo! Is anyone out there watching this season of Big Brother? What are your thoughts? Honestly, I still can't decide who I'm rooting for at this point in the game. I just know that Audrey is super lucky to have gotten this far. Also, something about the way she acts in the Diary Room irritates me a bit. Is James playing with any strategy? I like him as a person, but he's oblivious about what's going on in the game. Nice only takes you so far in the BB House. I wish Jason was part of a better alliance because he picks up on details and reads people well. This season's Twin Twist is pretty hilarious and has kept things interesting. Flyboy and I love that the dentist picked up on the difference in the duo's teeth.

READING: Flyboy won't be around this weekend so I have a tentative date with the August issue of Real Simple and a bottle of Fentiman's Rose Lemonade (spiked perhaps?). The only item on Saturday's nap time to-do list is a little light reading and relaxation al fresco. Not melting would be a huge bonus, but that's asking a lot in Swell Rio where 100-degree temps have been the norm lately.

LOVING: A few weeks ago Flyboy shared the following nugget of fatherly wisdom with me regarding Max, and I can't tell you how many times I've found so much truth in what he said. So without further adieu, I give you FB's wise words: "Be still. He's like a T-Rex. He detects movement." His rationale initially seemed comical, but I'm here to tell you he's right on the money with this one. 

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


From time to time I stumble upon a new-to-me artist on Instagram, and it kind of feels like I won the lottery. Sydney based artist Liz Payne is no exception. Her work combines a vibrant mix of paint colors, intricate stitching, and tiny beads, which are used to create layers of bold texture and relief. Payne gives her Insta-audience a glimpse into the creative process by sharing gorgeous details from her one-of-a-kind hand embroidered pieces. As a result, her feed oozes with inspiration and makes my heart oh-so happy! Do yourself a favor and follow along for a glimpse at Payne's work in progress. You won't be disappointed.

Color lovers rejoice! Fawn over Payne's artwork on Instagram and Etsy.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015



Happy Tuesday, sweet readers! My favorite cling-on has made it his primary mission to prevent me from getting much of anything accomplished lately. Charming, isn't he?! I've become an accessorized jungle gym, short-order cook, and the clean-up crew. By 10 AM—yes, you read that right—my top knot is disheveled and my lipstick is smeared—most likely the result of me kissing on Max or him grabbing at my mouth with delight. Not even three hours into a normal day and I'm already counting down the minutes until I get a little reprieve at nap time. This is life right now, and I'm doing my best to embrace the recent wave of uncharted chaos.

Amid the fussy cries and smashed peas stuck to my derriere, there's still a lot of the good stuff. This week's warm and fuzzy highlights can be found in snapshots of Beesly's expressions, a punchy color palette, unexpected snail mail, a fun project in the works, time spent outdoors with an inflatable rubber ducky pool, the fan I won from Rejuvenation, and dinosaur toes on footed PJ's.

Enough about me. What are some of YOUR highlights from this past week?
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