Friday, May 27, 2016


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

  • NARS // Kendra Dandy's Instagram makes me sooooooo happy. Each post is packed with wit and whimsy. Follow her!
  • Cotton Ribbon // I've decided my "dream home" will be outfitted with an office that has an entire wall of colorful ribbon.
  • Shiraleah Upsala Pillow // Because the unofficial weekend to welcome summer requires a hefty dose of pom-poms...
  • Metallic Party Supplies // Long weekends like this make me want to put on m' hostess hat and pull out ALL of the cute party supplies. If I wasn't so introverted, I think I'd like to dazzle guests with these shiny Metallic Paper Straws (for fizzy drinks, of course!) and these snazzy Pineapple Plates. You can always amp up the fun factor with lots of GOLD goodies!
  • Pom-Pom Espadrilles // What's better than pom-poms and espadrilles? Nothing, that's what! These are perfection.
  • Smells Like Queen Spirit // This may be the first time a "hydrating elixir spray" has ever made me giggle. Bravo Anese!
  • Madewell Treasures // After hitting the jackpot with Madewell's Whisper V-Neck Tee, I'm looking closely at all the knits and tops. This Embroidered Swing Tank might be calling my name next. The button detail on the back is money.
  • Mala Beaded Tassel Necklace // This summer's go-to mom-semble will consist of pendant necklaces and a trusty tee.
  • Sugar Paper Fall Preview // Every year when the National Stationery Show rolls around I inevitably geek out. These striped journals by Sugar Paper have Ashley written ALL over them. I can't even handle this much pretty. I'm lying. I can TOTALLY handle the pretty. Now when will they be available for purchase?! I can hardly contain myself.
  • Coasters // With Father's Day in a few weeks, I'm keeping this shop in my back pocket. It's chock-full of manly goods.
  • Kinsley Arm Chair // Maira Kalman fans, doesn't this cozy chair remind you of the one in And The Pursuit of Happiness?
  • Three Shades of Green and the Sky Not So High // I'm currently obsessed with artwork by Marina Adams. Something about this piece specifically caught my eye right away. I'm pretty sure that's because the color palette reminds me of Helen Frankenthaler's Small's Paradise—one of my VERY favorites. Swooooooon!

Happy Friday, m' dears! Have a fabulous Memorial Day Weekend!

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Thursday, May 26, 2016



LISTENING TO: If today's post seems extra scattered it's because I'm typing my thoughts under torturous Little Tikes conditions. The humidity has taken a toll on Max's truck and the horn is going berserk. It's currently parked in the backyard, but no one is safe. I can still hear the blaring sound, which means the neighbors probably REALLY hate me right about now. If you're familiar with the movie Dumb and Dumber, the annoying noise is similar to the one Lloyd Christmas makes in the Shaggin' Wagon. Yep, it's pretty bad. I did a little investigating and dusted off the ol' screwdriver, but I can't figure out how to get the steering wheel open for the life of me. And since nap time is sacred and the blog must go on, I'm just going to have to pray the battery runs out of juice and it eventually shuts up. All I can say is thank goodness for white noise because I don't know HOW Max is snoozing under such conditions.

THINKING ABOUT: Are toddlers supposed to have stinky feet? I was aware that having a boy would come with a stench, but I didn't think that would sneak up on us until closer to puberty. Sigh. I'm not sure why this is so shocking to me quite honestly. It only makes sense when your kid insists on stuffing his bare feet into a set of rubber boots in 90 degree heat. Lord help us! I try to encourage him to wear socks but I just know he'd overheat and refuse them. Oy! Does this mean I'm going to have to start powdering his paws?

THANKFUL FORFlyboy has the next four days off and while we don't have any wild plans for Memorial Day Weekend, I'm really excited we get to spend all of this time together as a family. At the risk of sounding greedy, a day or two of sunny weather in Swell Rio wouldn't hurt. Is there any way we could arrange to make that happen? I'm not asking for much here, people!

EATING: When your 8th anniversary falls on a Wednesday AND you find yourself located in a quiet border town, it's necessary to find some way to celebrate. For a couple like us, this usually means FOOD (namely sweets). I started thinking about various options and Jeni's Ice Cream automatically came to mind. While browsing the online store for flavors, I was excited to learn about the new line of Buttermilk Frozen Yogurt. Flyboy and I have an inside joke about fro-yo, so I knew this would be perfect! It was only when I read about Jeni's inspiration behind the Ultramarine Blue Buttermilk Frozen Yogurt that I knew we had to get a pint (or four). It was kismet.
"As Jeni walked through the Matisse Cut-Outs exhibit at MoMa a few years ago, she couldn't believe how intense the colors were. They were so alive that when she closed her eyes, she could taste and even smell each vibrant hue. How she imagines Matisse's signature Ultramarine Blue tastes is encapsulated in an electrifying wild blueberry buttermilk frozen yogurt. It's a flavor described as "spacefruit"—a term used for something that tastes both alien and familiar."
WATCHING: This weekend we hit a parenting low and got desperate. As you're aware, life with Max can be challenging. When it's good, it's GRRRREAT and we're smitten, but when it's bad it's really BAD. He's tenacious, which keeps us on our toes, but that also means that we're constantly looking for tricks to add to our toolkit. Eager for change and frustrated by all of the hitting and crying, Flyboy and I downloaded The Happiest Toddler on the Block DVD. While books are wonderful and we have a lot of them, we needed a resource that was going to help us feel empowered and FAST. The movie was just as painful and goofy as when we watched The Happiest Baby on the Block, but we desperately needed help. Again. Somehow Dr. Karp manages to find a way to get through to toddlers and parents. I don't know, maybe there's magic in his side-swept bangs or sweater vest?! We're aware that watching this movie doesn't solve ALL of our problems, but it definitely provided us with some new techniques that seem to work—for now.    

READING: I had to take a Big Magic break to revisit my stack of parenting books again (Ahem, Maxwell!), so here's some link love:

LOVING: Last week I sent a t-shirt SOS into the blogosphere and so many wonderful readers responded with tee-riffic input (I'm sorry I went there with the pun). After getting lots of enthusiastic votes for Madewell's Whisper V-Neck Tee, I ordered a white and grey option (the basics) and I'm beyond obsessed. Just as promised, the fit is perfection. This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

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

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016


In the event you're looking to treat yourself or someone you adore, I felt it was my official blogging duty to share this amazing Etsy shop with you all. How fabulous is this French-inspired skincare line?! The packaging alone has me feeling weak in the knees, but the product itself gets rave reviews. Score! After perusing the shop's goodies, I was tempted to add one of everything to my Favorites (AKA my pretend shopping cart), but I managed to pare my selection down to these four favorites. Now let's see how long it takes before I pull the trigger and purchase at least one of these pamper-iffic pretties...

French Girl Favorites:

Happy Wednesday, m' dears! Consider this permission to TREAT YO SELF!

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016



Howdy and HAPPY Tuesday from Swell Rio! Let's hop right to the details...

  • Your kid WILL eat dirt. The decision is ultimately yours to fight it or invite it. While I'd obviously prefer that Max nosh on the Oreo variety, allowing him to go hog wild with the earthy stuff is just one less battle I have to fight and I'm alright with that. He will learn soon enough that it's not that great. Additionally, when there's any kind of liquid AND dirt around, The Laws of Childhood state that he/she must mix the two and make a fun little mess. Extra bonus points if you wipe your eyes or clothing after you've mixed the two. And if conquering stains is a risk you welcome, GAME ON! Let's do this.
  • Our Texas Tornado is back to operating at 100 percent these days. In a span of five minutes it's nothing for him to rearrange the furniture, sprinkle a dozen books throughout the house, and devour two packages of fruit snacks. On Friday all of this happened as I prepped my bag for our weekly grocery outing. As I scanned the house for Max's whereabouts and made one last attempt to corral the scattered stuff before we left the house, I found our tot standing at the living room window waving at a pretty blonde girl parked in front of our house in a golf cart. Because of course...
  • Max and Beesly have a darling relationship. With 1.5 years of nanny duties under her belt, sweet Bee just can't bring herself to stay away from the wily munchkin. He can roll around and be rough with her, get put in timeout for hitting her with his toys, and she'll still follow him to his highchair because she's loyal like that. And on mornings when Max might sleep in, she'll pace down the hallway because she knows he's usually up by now. I think it's safe to say that the feeling is mutual because our resident tot insists he bring his toy Berner with him whenever Beesly has to stay behind. They've become the best of friends and it makes us turn to mush whenever we see them together.
  • Flyboy and I got to go on a day date on Saturday and it was amaze balls! I wore this fun top, we indulged on greasy appetizers at Chili's (the "new golf course"—The Office, anyone?), and we saw Money Monster (my first time at the theater in two years). Saying good-bye to your screaming child is never easy, but it was reeeeeeally nice to get some down time together sans Maxwell. The opportunity to go out this past weekend worked out perfectly because Flyboy and I will celebrate our 8th anniversary tomorrow. Spending the afternoon as a couple was such a delight, and I can't tell you how blessed I feel to get to do life with this man. I said it over a decade ago, and I'll say it again, he's a KEEPER.

Alright, enough of my babbling. How the heck are YOU?! Go on and give it up.

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Friday, May 20, 2016


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

  • Bird Cabin // To heck with the minimalist bird and its needs, I want to live in this adorable mod cabin myself.
  • Jeni's Buttermilk Frozen Yogurt // Flyboy and I have a few pints of this deliciousness headed to Swell Rio next week. Eek!
  • Degaulle Table Lamp // As if that modern silhouette wasn't sweet enough, take a look at the delicious gold interior. Yum.
  • Caicos Napkin // I can already see a Collins glass situated quite perfectly on this colorful cocktail napkin. Get over here!
  • J.Crew New Arrivals // I know what you're thinking... "She's going to talk about THAT shirt again." If I'm being honest, I love so much about the latest collection, but here are a few of my absolute favorites: Oval Link NecklaceSuede Platform Espadrilles, and the infamous Bow-Shoulder Top in Stripe, especially if it's paired with this Mini Skirt in Nautical Stripe.
  • Bella Tassel Earrings // This must be THE summer accessory. Would you just feast your eyes on the array of colors?
  • This Week Notepad // You'll be "Smitten on Paper" when you stumble upon a collection of notepads this adorable. 
  • Baby Gold Rim Milk Vase // As far as fresh blooms go, it's nothing but wilted Mother's Day leftovers at the grocery stores in Swell Rio. Naturally, I long for a colorful vase like this orange gem preferably brimming with hot pink peonies.
  • Blue Ferry Wren // Because an darling birdhouse requires an even cuter occupant. Now shake ya tailfeather...

Happy Friday, m' dears! Make this weekend count.
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Thursday, May 19, 2016



THINKING ABOUT: Why is it that J.Crew is SO obsessed with linen tees and tanks? I'll admit, I love them the first time I wear them, but then they just become shapeless and ill-fitting. With the temps rising and summer just around the corner my mom uniform relies on this closet staple. What's a girl got to do to get a good cotton tee? I've heard a lot of great things about the knits from Old Navy and Madewell, but finding the right fit is key. I like the Crew's Vintage Cotton Tee, but I don't LOVE it. Any recommendations

FEELING: Yesterday my mom, sister, and I started texting only to realize we were all feeling under the weather. It really made me wish we could all climb into my mom's bed and be miserable together. I'm sure we would be in a state of Bravo and snuggly bliss. If only... 

THANKFUL FOR: Last Friday while navigating a grocery cart around HEB and simultaneously attempting to keep Max appeased with fruit snacks, I looked down at my list and found a sweet note at the bottom from Flyboy. As silly as it sounds, there are times when a task like getting groceries can feel challenging with a tot in tow, so this tiny gesture meant the world to me. Sometimes when you're in the thick of this parenting gig it's easy to forget to do thoughtful things for each other. Unexpected encouragement is everything.

EATING: I love following Lauren Brimley on Instagram because she shares a lot of amazing healthy recipes. This past week I made her Salsa Verde Chicken and Mango Salsa. You guys, it was SO good and ridiculously easy. Promise me you'll give it a shot.

LISTENING TO: In case you're looking for tips on how to become Mother of the Year, read on. It was Tuesday evening and we were eager to put Max down so we could settle in for the night and watch our favorite shows. For the past two weeks diaper changes have been difficult, especially the last one of the day. It seems as though our wily guy will go to the mattresses when he realizes what's in store and no matter what we try to do to make it a positive experience, these final moments together can put a damper on a good day. In anticipation of our final bedtime brawl, I opted to set the mood by playing Let's Go by Trick Daddy. For those of you familiar with the song, we went with the clean version. Ha! This odd attempt to get hyped up for Max's bedtime routine has got me thinking that maybe it's time to invest in a smoke machine. Perhaps smoke billowing into the nursery could really set the vibe?

WATCHING: Does anybody out there watch the adrenaline-charged documentary series Boundless on Esquire?! We're hooked. There's just something I love to hate about Simon's haughty demeanor and Turbo is just as goofy as he is adorable. I still don't know how I feel about Rory and Hunter being added to the mix this season, but their personalities are starting to grow on me. Also, why is it that shows in which people push themselves physically make me want to eat the most unhealthy treats? While they scale mountains and run ultra-marathons in places I didn't know exist, Flyboy and I lay in our bed critiquing each challenge while devouring sweets. It's SO wrong, but it feels SO right. They worry about their electrolyte intake,  and I'm stuffing my face with a box of Dots.

READING: Let's face it, I don't make time to sit down and actually read a real book these days, so how about some link love instead?!

15 Things I'd Want To Tell A New Mother via A Cup of Jo — One post. SO much helpful info.
It's Just As Simple And Hard As This via Momastery — I want Max to be kind and brave.

LOVING: I know I talked smack about my favorite store earlier, but you know we're forever besties. A splash of constructive criticism keeps the relationship fun and fresh, right?! With this week's debut of new arrivals I turned into a puddle of mush when I set eyes on this striped number. Gah! It's THE perfect top. I know many of you will agree. Can we take a moment to gush over that bow on the shoulder?! Gulp! Naturally, this will be making its way to Swell Rio very soon and it's going to become a summer staple. I can feel it!

Enough about me. How are you feeling today? What are you up to? Thanks for stopping by!!
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Tuesday, May 17, 2016



Happy Tuesday, m' dears! Let's get on with this week's batch of delightfully mundane details...
  • It's taken me 19 months to figure out that when your child gets sick, it's only a matter of time before someone else in the house catches the crud as well. Despite my best efforts to combat it, I was the lucky winner this time. In the event my writing on the blog seems a bit fuzzy this week, you can just chalk it up to excessive cold medicine.
  • On Saturday Flyboy and Max ran another 5K on base. It's become their "thing" over the past year, and I kind of love that they have these exclusive father-son outings. Obviously it's nice to get some time alone to clean the house and whatnot, but seeing them head off with the jogging stroller and come home with lots of stories is pretty stinking adorable.
  • A few hours after the race we decided to head into town for Starbucks and check out a new running/cycling/swimming store for its grand opening. This was going to be the big to-do of the day—our FUN family outing. After the java pit stop we made our way to the shop and in true Swell Rio style we were slightly underwhelmed. Sigh. There were like five pairs of running shoes, a few tops and shorts. Eager to give the place a little business and buy something, I asked if they had any sports water bottles available. They had ONE. Ha ha! Needless to say, we were in and out in less than two minutes, but here's hoping they add more merch soon. Bummed that our Saturday hurrah was cut short, I spotted a closed antique store with a cute letter "A" painted on the wall and asked Flyboy to pull over so I could take a quick picture. Are you starting to get that we really have to get creative and look for ways to amp up the fun around here?!
  • Despite drab weather (the perfect excuse to loaf around) and family outing flop, installing these IKEA wall sconces was quite literally the bright spot to our weekend. Jazzing up base housing is kind of like putting lipstick on a pig, but it's always worth a shot. In our case, this was a cheap and easy upgrade that added some character and lighting to our digs.
  • Spending the day with a toddler can feel reeeeeeeeeeally long sometimes, so it's important to spread out your activities and have various areas to play both indoors and outside. Lately, Max has had a blast putting around in the backyard with his lawnmower and truck. We also hung one of these cool spinner swings to our tree in the back, and I think I might be having the most fun with it. Now if I could just coax the kid into the occasional push and a frosty beverage...
  • The Aloha Edition of Adore Magazine arrived in our mailbox over the weekend and seeing my piece in print was double-barrel grin-inducing. Clearly this is a topic I don't mind discussing, so  choosing pieces for the feature was a blast. If you're interested in snagging a copy of the gorgeous Australian lifestyle glossy, hop on over to Hattan Home.

Alright, enough about me. How the heck are YOU?! Do tell. I'm dying to know.
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