Wednesday, September 30, 2015

HUMP DAY HAPPY HOUR



If I'm being completely honest, I just REALLY wanted to drink a pink cocktail. Is that too much to ask?! And since I couldn't get my hands on any dragon fruit in the local area (to whip up this stunner), I settled on a summery concoction instead. Because even though it's technically fall, the 95-degree weather says otherwise. A sizzling September day in Swell Rio leaves this Fine parched...

RASPBERRY SMASH
Recipe from A Subtle Revelry
(Serves 2—or in my case one gin enthusiast)

INGREDIENTS:
8-10 RASPBERRIES
3 BASIL SPRIGS
2 TBSP SIMPLE SYRUP
2 TBSP LIME JUICE
4 OZ GIN
4 OZ SPARKLING WATER
ICE

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Turn on some dance music. Steps two through five are going to be a real (boozy) doozy.
  2. Combine top six ingredients in a shaker and shake with delight.
  3. Strain into a mason jar glass that's filled with ice.
  4. Top with berries and a couple sprigs of fresh basil.
  5. Keep dancing. Your moves will improve with each sip, or at least that's what my family tells me! They never lie.

Cheers, m' dears!

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

LIFE'S LITTLE DETAILS


"THE DETAILS ARE NOT THE DETAILS. THEY MAKE THE DESIGN." — CHARLES EAMES

Someone is fighting the urge to nap while I'm supposed to blog, so it's best if we get straight to the details. Mmmkay?!
  • The series of black and white photos in today's post are Swell Rio scenes that occur all too often. If I sit down or look away for one second while Max is on the move, I can expect the three phases of curiosity to commence. Part one entails "Ooh, what's this?! Gold. Mine." Part two means that Max is gonna go for it and he's pleased as punch with his newest discovery. "What's this button do??" Part three means that his buzzkill mom arrives to the fun party and says that "NO!" word. Sometimes I like to watch the wheels turn in his cute little brain as these situations unfold—hence the reason I opted to photograph Max in the act before redirecting him away from my trusty desktop planner. Ha Ha!
  • Yesterday I brought Gemma (my sunny yellow flats, of course) to Wally World. I figured it was time she get acquainted with the most happening spot in Swell Rio, but I get the feeling she was slightly underwhelmed with our outing. Le sigh.
  • Do the lovely folks at J.Crew know more about my kid than I do? Perhaps this is what you'd call foreshadowing?? I'm talking about Max the Monster—the terrifyingly cute little guy behind the googly eyes that's popping up in the Crewcuts section. He's described as incredibly curious with BIG eyes, which sounds and looks awfully familiar. Hmmm...
  • We got this set of alphabet blocks for Max, but they're SO tricky to get back into the little storage box. Flyboy and I are constantly stumped whenever we attempt to put the set back together. Occasionally we like to time ourselves (because we're crazy like that), but our slow speed makes us question if we would ever stand a chance in the Big Brother house.
  • I found these nifty cardboard letters at Walmart yesterday, which will come in handy for a little project I've got up my sleeve. Stay tuned. While I wait for the glue and paint to dry, I think I'll just sit and play with the letter A some more.
  • I made another loaf of banana bread (recipe mentioned here) for Max and he scarfed it down AGAIN. Try it. You won't regret it! Unfortunately, the pretty line didn't break in the middle of the bread because of the baking soda. Why? I'm still not entirely sure. Science is sneaky, but it definitely tasted delish. Better luck next time—and there will be a next time.
  • Last Friday crafternoon was spent working on fun odds and ends for Max's first birthday. I promise to share more details from the party boxes soon. I'm giddy about the final product. They're a real hoot!

Alright, enough of my rambling. What are YOU up to? Happy Tuesday, m' dears!!

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Friday, September 25, 2015

LURVE LOAVE LUFF



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

  • RANARP Floor/Reading Lamp // Um, this IKEA gem is amaze balls, my friends! Can you ever have too many lamps??
  • BONOBONOHRI Illustrations // I often find myself killing time on Behance in search of new-to-me artists. I'm in awe of all the adorable illustrations out there, especially this chair and this perfectly wrapped present featured in this Korean artist's portfolio. Something tells me we can expect more from them on the blog in an upcoming post. So. Good.
  • Cashmere Sweater-Knit Stole // What?! It's fun to dream... Especially in shades of neon pink. Who's with me?
  • Yes Please Ballet Flats // Keep it pretty please with a pair of precious and polite ballet flats. Can you say a-dorable?!
  • Mint Fountain Pen // The loveliest little workhorse I ever did see. I would use the heck outta you! That's a fact.
  • All the Feels Note Card // From Belle and Union's Modern Americanisms collection featuring words and phrases we all love and love to hate. Better yet, the card comes complete with a translation just in case you're not down with the lingo.
  • Unicorn Tears Gin Liqueur // Alyssa of Glitter and Grey fame messaged me over the weekend to tell me about an enchantingly scrumptious gin that's available in the UK. You guys, it's dusted with REAL silver pieces!!! Blimey!!! You're essentially guzzling gin glitter. What could be better than that?! Now I just need to figure out how I'm going to get my hands on a bottle. Who will ship to Swell Rio? I need this magical brew to come mingle on my bar cart.
  • Max's Birthday // Aside from a cardboard paper towel roll, what do you even get a child for their first birthday? I wonder how he might feel about more stripes (perhaps this sweater?) and a few toys that make noise (hello, xylophone!)
  • Metallic Paper Straws // Oh my gold! I thought I died and went to heaven when I found gingham straws at Target this past spring. Who knew?! Sipping from something shiny would be equally delightful. What will they think of next?
  • Sparkle Quote // I couldn't help but adore this quote from fashion illustrator, Jenny Walton. SO my kinda girl!
  • Sand Art Party Cake // A Subtle Revelry does it again with this nifty party idea. It's such a sweet way to brighten a table.
  • Blood Orange Bourbon Smash // It's been awhile since I've tried a new gin cocktail (What up, New Year's resolution!?). This one doesn't feature my spirit of choice, but it sure is pretty. Let's see what I can whip up! I'll be sure to report back.
  • Collection Mesh-Eyelet Skirt // I'm not sure how I missed this gorgeous number from the summer collection, but Jenna's feature in The Coveteur suddenly has me scouring the Interwebs for a canary yellow skirt.

Cheers to a snazzy weekend, m' dears! Make it count.

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

THURSDAY'S THOUGHTS



THINKING ABOUTAs silly as it sounds, I often wonder if Max really likes me. When I found out I was having a boy, everyone loved to tell me how much boys adore their moms. To be honest, he's never been an overly affectionate baby. In fact, I can count on one hand how many times I think we've really bonded in the last year. Sometimes after a long day of tending to his every need, I can't help but compare the way he interacts with Flyboy to the way he is with me. It's just different. I feel like a giant goober because it makes me emotional and slightly jealous. For instance, I even contemplated buying the babe a Tickle-Me-Elmo (oh, lawd!) this week when I saw how much he enjoyed a Sesame Street card my grandma sent him. When I tried to woo him with the annoying talking stuffed animal at the store, he wasn't entertained. Clearly I'll stoop to new lows to win this kid over. Also, babies love paper, cardboard, etc.

FEELING: In less than ten days, my parents will arrive!! Woo hoo. I'm feeling all the feels as we near Max's first birthday. I can't help but reminisce about their visit last October and how so much has changed since then. I really don't think I could have survived these last twelve months without them. They've been on the opposite end of many phone calls and text messages offering encouragement through humor and wisdom. They're the kind of support you want when you venture into an unknown like parenthood.

THANKFUL FOR: As soon as we arrived at Walmart last Tuesday, I immediately questioned my decision to run errands. Max is teething (AGAIN!) and spent the majority of our trip into town serenading me with painful sobbing. It wasn't pretty, but I was certain that biscuits and teethers would help us survive this quick errand. Unfortunately for all of us in the store, the babe continued to cry off and on. Son of a bee-sting! That was, of course, until a portly gentleman wearing a camouflage cowboy hat with missing teeth walked over to our shopping cart and mumbled, "That's a cute baby right thurr." Max was mesmerized by the guy's facial hair and thick southern drawl. I got the impression our new friend expected Max to smile at some point, so I tried my best to get the love nugget to lighten up and flash the stranger a little smirk, but then I realized that Max would leave the grinning up to me. Grrrreat! After parting ways, I noticed my child spent the rest of our time at the store silent and sweet in a peaceful trance. Things quickly changed when we got to the car and I couldn't help but wonder if I could get that man to come back and work his voodoo on Max. 

EATING: If you're in the mood for a little baking, I highly recommend this Greek Yogurt Banana Bread via Running with Spoons. It's an incredibly tasty and healthy-ish way to get rid of ripe bananas. The bread is made without butter or oil, but so soft and tender you'd never be able to tell—just as the blogger promises! I've whipped up two loaves since I initially stumbled upon the recipe and we're all pretty crazy about it. If we're not careful, Max tends to gobble the majority of the bread leaving the rest of us with zilch.

LISTENING TO: Awhile back, in an attempt to prepare dinner and keep the little merp occupied, I handed Max cardboard tube from an empty paper towel roll. Since everything goes in his mouth and runs the risk of being swallowed, I covered both ends of the tube in washi tape for a little colorful reinforcement. I never expected his "toy" would last this long or that he'd still be so interested after six weeks, but he loves it. Until recently, its primary purpose was to wave around in the air and bang things; however, on Tuesday, he began putting it up to his mouth like a party horn and making sounds. It's hilarious to watch and helps me keep track of him as he zooms around the house. I'd call that a win-win! Who needs toys anyway? More Tippi sweaters for me.

WATCHING: Can we discuss Ladies of London? I'm fascinated by Caroline Stanbury's friendship with Juliet Angus—such an unlikely duo! There's just something about Caroline that scares the bejeezus outta me. As someone who sports a resting bitch face more times than I care to admit, I get it, I really do. But why must she look SO unimpressed? It's clear she has very little time for silly shenanigans. Perhaps she's a sucker for Juliet's snark? Or maybe I'm just a tiny bit jealous because I wouldn't mind rubbing elbows with Juliet myself. Sure, some of you may find her obnoxious, but I find her oddly endearing. Hey, maybe Caroline and I are more alike than I thought?! I can already see us buying 'Merican snacks like Goldfish crackers for our kids at Partridges while reminiscing about how much we both miss Target. As budding besties, she would also have to let me borrow the Isabel Marant number she wore LAST season. I still have dreams about that tunic/kaftan! Swoooon! Oh, and don't even get me started on Marissa. She's the worst!

READING: About three weeks ago, The Coveteur featured an interview with Jenna Lyons and I've kept a tab with it open on my desktop ever since. I continue to revisit the article and images because it oozes with inspiration (mylar fringe, neon dinosaurs, shiny ponies, shelfies, etc.). Have you seen it? Color me besotted! Every time I flip through the photos, I come across a quirky new tchotchke displayed in her office, or I notice the way in which she effortlessly ties her shirt and I'm left more smitten than before. There's just something about her that makes me silly giddy. I get the impression that she's humble and approachable—two traits I adore most. In fact, I think I might just keep some beef jerky handy in my tote, just in case we ever run in to one another.

LOVING: Max likes to use my legs to pull himself up. Sometimes I convince myself that he's not just being resourceful and that he really wants to give my leg a hug. It's only when he bites on to my pants that I remember this entire act has very little to do with affection. But hey, for a hot second, it almost felt like a sweet little moment! I'll take whatever I can get.


Enough about me. How are you feeling today? What are you up to? Thanks for stopping by!!
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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

SHOP SPOTLIGHT


CARDS VIA LITTLE LOW
Lately there have been a slew of birthdays and babies that require celebratory mail, so I spent Sunday afternoon checking out my note-card inventory only to realize my current snail mail sitch is lacking BIG time. Yikes, I can't believe I'm actually admitting that on the blog! Kidding, but only kind of... Anywho, while browsing the web for cute options to replenish my stash, I found myself visiting Little Low. I've shared a few items from the Austin-based paperie previously, but I felt it was necessary to "spread the happy" by dedicating an entire post to Caitlin McClain's bright and cheeky paper goods. Can't get enough? Hop on over to the shop!

Happy Wednesday, m' dears!

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

LIFE'S LITTLE DETAILS


"THE DETAILS ARE NOT THE DETAILS. THEY MAKE THE DESIGN." — CHARLES EAMES

Happy Tuesday, m' dears! The past few days have been rather eventful. Perhaps it's best if we get on with the details...
  • On Friday we surprised Flyboy at work with pizza and treats for him and his co-workers. We had a two-hour window to work with before he'd take off on his next flight, so our timing was everything. Unfortunately, after we picked up the pizzas, we got stuck behind a funeral procession. The stall in traffic (does that exist in Swell Rio??) lasted over eight miles and I really thought our celebratory scheme was a bust. Eventually we made it to the squadron and lugged the goodies into the flight room only to find out Flyboy's mid-day flight was canceled and we were in the clear. Phew! Max had a blast socializing with students and instructors—most of which were baffled by the size of his beefy gams. Ha! Ha! I attempted to get a few photos of Pop and Tot together, but Max was being a real Angela (The Office, obvi...). My snap-happy finger just kept taking photos and one image with Flyboy's blurry hand is the best we could do. Hey, we tried!
  • It just so happens that my two favorite men share birthdays that are two days apart. Say what?! On Saturday, we celebrated Flyboy's 30th. Woo hoo! The day was rather low key, but you better believe there were party horns, glitter (I couldn't help myself!), and too much cake for two people to consume in a span of three days. Sorry, I'm not sorry! 
  • I spent most of Friday afternoon decorating the house with obnoxious streamers and plastering the place with Post-It notes as the cake baked and Max napped. When the child finally awoke, he was amazed by the sight of streamers and balloons. He just kind of shuffled around the house in his walker pointing and staring. It was pretty stinkin' adorable!
  • Since it's become increasingly difficult to get good photos of the babe, I was pretty excited to capture a few good images of Flyboy and Max before we ate birthday cake. The outtakes should be a post on its own, but I'll spare you.
  • My dad's birthday was yesterday and I was eager to find a way to for us to send some Swell Rio love his direction. Since Max is a true Texan now and owns his very own truck, we added a few details we thought Gampy might enjoy like a USAF chief's decal (to symbolize my dad's retired rank in the Air Force) and personalized plates. The phrase "taking ma to town" is something my great-grandfather used to say whenever he drove my great-grandmother to the city for errands and groceries. My dad references the saying whenever he runs around with my mom on the weekends or Max joins me on outings throughout the week. We figured these little additions were fitting, so we snapped a few photos to show him that Max is keeping an eye on his parking spot and is eager for Gampy and MiMi's arrival in less than two weeks.
  • After we took photos of Max and his truck on Sunday morning, we ventured into town for some breakfast at Starbucks. Would you believe the boys even let me dress them in matching polos (squee!)?? It was fun to sit on the patio, sip our coffee, and watch Max demolish an entire pastry on his own. I guess the love nugget is pretty jazzed about pumpkin-spiced everything because he was SUPER talkative after he fueled up on baked goods (cough, sugar, cough). It's clear from the photo above that he's a hand talker, which makes me beam with delight. Life is too short not to be expressive!
Alright, enough about our Swell Rio shenanigans. What have you been up to?



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Friday, September 18, 2015

LURVE LOAVE LUFF


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

  • Tassel Balloon // This online shop makes me wish I would have taken Spanish in lieu of German. Ach, schade! I have absolutely NO idea what any of it says, but I love it all. A rough translation says "Let's party, peeps!!"
  • Karma Chameleon Lipstick Crayon // Has anyone out there tried any of the Ilia beauty products? I'm absolutely smitten with this shade. Sarah James of Whoorl speaks highly of the brand, so it must be great. Right?!
  • Polka-Dot Tippi Sweater // This won't be the last time I drone on about the Tippi this fall so get used to it, my friends. The added button detail in this year's version is utter perfection. It's probably time I just add the ivory to my collection.
  • Paloma Pajama Short // My favorite pajamas have holes EVERYWHERE and I just can't seem to part with them. I'm in the market for a new pair and this gingham print from Sleepy Jones is totally wooing me. I typically stick to polka dots, but maybe it's time to mix things up?! Oh, who am I kidding? Sweet dreams and polka dots forever. You're still cute though.
  • Metallic Slingbacks // A set of "shiny ponies" that won't break the bank. What's not to love about a deal like that?!
  • G&T Illustration // To all the 'grammers who love following artists, you're going to want to add Alanna Cavanagh to your Insta-list and stat. Her illustrations are cheeky and whimsical. You won't regret it. I promise.
  • It's Friday baby... // Nina Cosford puts the GIF in TGIF with this animated illustration. Today definitely feels like this!
  • Confetti Tag // I better get to wrapping Flyboy's gifts. His birthday is tomorrow. Hooray! Not to worry, I promise to spare him any hot pink or glitter—no matter how tempting that might be—but there will be bows and cute gift tags. Duh!
  • Scattered Spots Pillow // Throw pillows, I wish I could quit you! But maybe there's someone out there that needs some confetti-like cuteness propped in an armchair or on their couch?? Sharing is caring.
  • Brown Butter Salted Caramel Snickerdoodles // If I wasn't baking a cake, I would totally make a batch of this deliciousness. Who wants to volunteer to try the recipe and get back to me? I know I'm asking a lot here.
  • Plate and Napkin // Have you seen the adorable "All In Good Taste" Kate Spade collection at Macy's? Hubba hubba!
  • Party Hats // Because party hats are necessary at birthday parties, we will all be sporting one in Flyboy's honor tomorrow evening. I already tested one out on Beesly and she was NOT pleased. Pics to come. 
  • Red Color Twist Wool // The latest addition to Knot and Bow's shop, I want to make pom-poms with this chunky yarn. 

Cheers to a snazzy weekend, m' dears! Make it count.
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Thursday, September 17, 2015

THURSDAY'S THOUGHTS


via Lulu DK
THINKING ABOUT: Earlier this week while fastening Max into his stroller, I noticed that the babe was chewing on something. As far as I knew, he shouldn't be chewing on anything. Oh boy! Worried he may have picked up a leaf or a piece of mulch that Tripp brought indoors again, I panicked and investigated inside Max's mouth. I didn't see anything, so I continued to prepare for our morning walk. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I found Max chewing some more. Bamboozled by his imaginary snacking, I wondered WHY he was doing this and it finally hit me. I was smacking on my gum and he was imitating me. I couldn't help but laugh and spent the entire walk trying to decide whether it's a good or bad thing he's so observant these days. Yikes! I'm definitely not ready for this.

FEELING: The cool morning weather (70 degrees is brisk in Texas) and the latest color selection of Tippi sweaters (swoon!) has me more than giddy for fall. But while my heart pines for Pumpkin Spice Lattes, my head says popsicles and tank tops will just have to do. You know I've reached a real low when I convince myself that a 90-degree high is a great sign it's cooling off around these parts. It's true, you can't spell delirious without Del Rio. *Note: Del Rio is the actual name of our town. Swell Rio is a term of endearment.

THANKFUL FOR: Glamorous tasks like getting the vehicle inspected are so much fun with a baby in tow. Speaking from experience, I ventured into town on Wednesday to cross the annual to-do off my list. Would you be surprised if I said that Max was being... Max?? As soon as we entered the body shop and I handed over the keys to The Rig, Sir Fussbucket was ready to put on a dramatic show. Classic, Maxwell! In an effort to quiet the child, I mosied on over to the "waiting room" (It smelled of gasoline, cheap coffee, and smoked meat. Pure machismo.) and began searching for that magical bag of Goldfish I keep handy in my tote. Unfortunately, this kid just wasn't having it. Whenever this happens, it's my instinct to scan the room and smile at EVERYONE. Thankfully, the gentleman that runs the joint offered to turn on the fan and TV in an attempt to keep us cool and entertained. Who knew The Rugrats en EspaƱol would be such a hit? I'm so grateful his bag of tricks worked, because my cheddar-flavored crackers just didn't cut it.

EATING: Since Max is a carb fanatic, much like both parents, I decided to pick up a box of Mini Nilla Wafers for the babe to snack on. Hold up! Did I just try to convince you the box of cookies was for Max? Because I'm certain I devoured EVERY single one of them and I'm not proud of it. When I initially gave one to the babe to try, he automatically threw it on the floor. Again, classic Maxwell! Instinctively I grabbed a few for me to eat and it was like a party in my mouth. You guys, I never remembered Nilla Wafers tasting THIS good. Maybe it's just me, but there's something about the miniature version that's so stinking tasty. It's almost like you get more Nilla to the wafer. I know that probably sounds ridiculous, but try them if you dare. As for me, I can't allow myself to buy them anymore because they're dangerously addicting and I turn into an absolute maniac when I eat them.

LISTENING TO: A love for pasta and bread isn't the only thing Max and I have in common. Nope! It appears our child has picked up on my introverted ways as well. Grrrrrrrrrrrreat! You see, about a week before we visited Iowa, I found he enjoys sitting in his crib with a few toys and a book— preferably alone. I discovered this unlikely remedy when I found myself at wit's end one day. I decided it was best for me to place him in his bed and walk away for my own sanity. Instances like these take me back to the days of colic and I'll try anything I can to soothe him. Sometimes it feels impossible. However, moments after I walked away, I could hear him in a state of babbling bliss. Go figure! Most babies cry because they want to be around their moms and mine requires a little "me" time. I suppose it works out for the best because it gives me some time to tend to chores, but from the sounds of things it seems like I'm missing out on a lot of fun. I've attempted to record him when he's playing by himself, but he inevitably catches me in the act and his party comes to a screeching halt. I will say that I have caught him jumping around on his mattress and doing belly flops into his pillow and it's an absolute riot! I imagine it's the same feeling I get when I sit down with a cocktail and tune in to Bravo. Introverts unite!

WATCHING: Has anyone out there watched the new season of The Mindy Project? Eek, I'm so excited to get on Hulu and stream it!! I've decided it's going to be my treat this Friday night while Flyboy hangs out with his co-workers and Max goes to bed. Now I just need to decide on a snack that doesn't rhyme with villa or safer. Know what I'm sayin'? I just can't be trusted.

READING: I've become REALLY bad about reading texts and not responding for days Some of you can attest to this. I assure you I reply immediately in my head, but putting the thumbs to the screen and hitting send has proven difficult in recent months. I swear Max knows what joy I get when I hear from friends and family (ADULTS!) and seeing me preoccupied with my phone is a perfect opportunity to explore. The moment my head's down, his mischievous side runs wild. You win, Max. You win.

LOVING: Did any of you see J.Crew's Spring/Summer 2016 presentation at NYFW? Gah! I almost felt out of my chair, it was SO amazing. I think the return of madras print errything is what really sent me over the edge. It makes me want to take back what I said about fall weather (kind of). If this is what my beloved J.Crew means by "back to heritage," I say BRING. IT. ON.


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

P.S. My apologies for another Max-centric post. It's kinda my life... Ha Ha!

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