Monday, July 25, 2016

A BLOGGIE BREAK


By the time you read today's post, we should have arrived in Missouri. 
I'll be taking a break from the blog to enjoy time with family and friends. Hooray! 
Regularly scheduled blog posts will return NLT August 9th.* 
Until then, be sure to follow along via InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.

*Return date updated on August 4th. 
I think I was a bit ambitious to think I could return to blogging two days after our trip. 
There's still a lot of post-vacay adulting that needs to happen. I'll see you next Tuesday! It's a promise.


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Friday, July 22, 2016

LURVE LOAVE LUFF



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

  • Green Seersucker Napkins // I think Ellen Bennett is the cutest. Ever. I desperately want to be part of her #apronsquad, but I can't decide which one I want. Perhaps I should start with a table runner or a set of napkins first?
  • Cardinal // The Charley Harper goodies at Land of Nod take the cake. I've got my eye on this cutie—for Max, obvi.
  • J.Crew New Arrivals // I could seriously go on and on when it comes to the latest rollout. Swooooon! It's flipping outstanding! I've got my eye on a few different pieces, namely this Ruffle Top and this Calf-Hair Signet Bag (personalized with one of these customized colorful tags). Did anyone else notice the price drop in some of the flats and jewelry? I'm looking at you, Sadie Flats and Crystal Necklace. Let's not forget about this Charm Bangle Set, too!
  • Tallulah Pink Tassel Earrings // Coming in at $25, these vibrant stunners are an easy way to add flair to any ensemble.
  • Monstera Leaf // Leave it to Rifle Paper Co. to create the dreamiest print. In honor of Lil' Puna, it's a gallery wall MUST!
  • Polka-Dot Tumbler // Max has managed to ruin ANOTHER water bottle, so I'm thinking this is the perfect replacement.
  • Iris Pin // Oh, for the LOVE of all things Apfel! This adorable pin by artist, Georgia Perry, is a definite NEED.
  • Teal Velvet Settee // This sort of delicious elegance deserves ALL the heart eyes. Could you even imagine resting here?!
  • Britt Bass Summer Print // Amid this week's chaos and endless to-do's, I found so much inspiration from this abstract.

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


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Thursday, July 21, 2016

THURSDAY'S THOUGHTS



THINKING ABOUT: Last Friday while waiting patiently for Flyboy to get home, I found myself scrolling through Instagram. It was one of those days where by 6 PM I'd given up on adulting and motherhood so I let my child run totally amok. In an attempt to escape through the act of double-tapping pretty pictures, I realized that my bestie (remember, Mindy Lahiri says best friend isn't a person, it's a tier) is 6.5 years old and was somewhere in Atlanta at a trade show. How random?! Ha Ha! I'm talking about Riley Peterson, the creative director behind Little Lux—a collection of jewelry made from neon strings, toy animals, tassels, etc. Squee! I'd seen her pieces featured on various blogs and magazines in the past, but after viewing this photo I knew we were meant to be BFFs by the way she was adorably clad in a gingham button-down, a tulle skirt, and perfectly accessorized with pom-poms and tassels.

THANKFUL FOR: While we're in Missouri, we get the chance to reconnect in St. Louis with friends we haven't seen since we were stationed in Hawaii together. Eek! In the name of bestieship, Flyboy is absolutely stoked to reunite with one of his favorites from Hickam (where the two guys flew C-17s together). A lot has changed since we said "a hui hou" with a round of karaoke in 2013—namely BIG details such as KIDS and jobs. Gulp! I still can't decide what will be cuter, seeing our little boys meet for the first time or watching two grown men catch up over beers and a barbecue?! I think it's going to be one epic reunion.

EATING: Max has discovered the glorious world of cookies. He says the word frequently and will devour the sweet treat as often as I let him. Because I am also VERY obsessed with confections of every variety, I've found that I have to exercise self-control and not give in EVERY time he signs "more" and says cookie in the cutest manner ever. Parenthood is hard. Saying NO to sweets is harder.

WATCHING: All of this week's to-dos have gotten in the way of quality time spent with the DVR. Three days have passed and I have yet to watch this week's episode of The Bachelorette. The fact that it has everything to do with the hometown dates makes me disgusted with myself. Priorities, Ashley. Where's your head?! Because of various social media outlets (Boo!), I already know who went home (Sigh.), but that's okay. Who do you think JoJo will pick? Are you rooting for anyone in particular?!

LISTENING TO: Last Friday I took Max to the childcare center on base so I could work on a few projects and give him a chance to socialize with other kids. It's good for the both of us, right?! More often than I care to admit, I dream about time alone from my kid, but the moment I opt to drop him off, I can't help but miss the goober. Feeling guilty en route to the Child Development Center, I turned into the parking lot and heard a very matter-of-fact "Uh-uh! NO!" come from the back of The Rig. Max has only been to daycare five times, but he knew as soon as I turned left where we were headed and he was not having it. I couldn't help but giggle inside because he uttered those words in such an assertive manner. What did he think, he was going to have a say in the matter?! Ha Ha! Despite having to peel him out of his car seat and escape the death grip he had on my hand, I think we both had a lot of fun.

READING: I pose the following question as though I'm going to have a ton of uninterrupted free time on our road trip to Missouri (I'm looking at you, Maxwell...), but do you guys have any book recommendations? I'm open to anything right now. I do have a few parenting books that I should probably dust off, but I think my brain deserves a vacay as well.
 
LOVING: Can we take a moment and drool over the snazzy new arrivals at J.Crew?! From the ruffled details to the customized bags and bee-jeweled Tippi sweater, it's ALL so flipping fabulous!! I can't look away, and I honestly don't want to.


Enough about me. How are you feeling today? What are you up to? Thanks for stopping by!!
P.S. I promise to reply to comments reeeeeeeally soon. I've read each and every one of them. They always make me smile.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

LIFE'S LITTLE DETAILS


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

Happy Wednesday, m' dears! I thought I'd pop in for a hot second and say HELLO! This week is a bit of a doozy as I'm trying to wrap up a freelance deadline, do the mom thing, and tie up a few loose ends so we can leave for Missouri this weekend. I'll save the long-winded rambling for tomorrow's post. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy a few recent and incredibly random snapshots from my camera roll. If you need me, I'll be over here chasing my favorite busy body, crossing items from my to-do list, and probably discovering another secret stash Cheerios somebody has stored in my rain boots. Again.

Now, fill me in on all that's good and crazy in your life. I'm giddy just thinking about it!

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Friday, July 15, 2016

LURVE LOAVE LUFF



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

  • Artwork via Emily Isabella // If you're looking for a delightful dose of inspo, look no further. Emily's Flower Workshop and Elsworth Kelly Pattern are just a few of my favorites. Check out her adorable portfolio here.
  • Vintage Industrial Letter // Just the description of this Etsy shop is enough to pique my interest. "A kaleidoscope of rare sneakers for freakers, lost home decor pieces, plus memorabilia and other collectables curated to raise your curiosity."
  • Norah Peplum Top // Sign me up for swiss dot errythang. Wouldn't you agree this peplum is absolute perfection?
  • Costa Dhurry Clutch // Accessorize with a pop of sunshine. The snazzy tassel accent is the cherry on top.
  • Wide Bow Sunhat // I'm going to need to add this girly headpiece to my collection. It's very Anne of Green Gables.
  • Black Letter Board // This is one of the funnest things I've purchased. Every week I look forward to changing it out.
  • Shilo Engelbrecht Pillow // I know, the price tag is ridiculous but boy is it fun to drool over this abstract beauty.
  • Orange Crush Cocktail // I promised to never tangle with tequila ever again, but this concoction looks awfully tempting.
  • Double Dot White Play Chair // Every time I see The Land of Not catalog I wish they could make it all in my size.
  • Ludlow Nail Polish // As far as orangey-red goes, I'm good to go. Why is it so hard to find the ideal shade of pink??

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


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Thursday, July 14, 2016

THURSDAY'S THOUGHTS

ILLUSTRATION BY MADDY NYE FOR DESIGNLOVEFEST

THINKING ABOUT: We'll be headed to Missouri next weekend to visit my in-laws. With the impending road trip approaching, I really need to remember to order a reaching tool of some sort from Amazon. Perhaps this nifty nabber?? Now, I realize this probably sounds bizarre to some of you, but anyone that has traveled with a toddler will understand that the chucking game is VERY real. In fact, I don't know what this next detail says about me, but last year I got a bruise and rubbed the skin of my bicep (if you want to call it that...) raw from all the retrieving of snacks, toys, drinks, etc. Wow, just typing that last sentence makes me feel a teensy bit lame and pathetic, but I'm going to spin it instead and cite it as just another example of how I mom so hard.

THANKFUL FOR: I try to keep the details of parenthood fairly honest on the blog, and while 75% of the time Maxwell is terribly rotten, the remaining 25% of the time he can be incredibly sweet. Please keep in mind the figures above are guesstimated numbers that I believe work in a certain tot's favor. Ha Ha! Anywho, one of the sweet little things M. C. Fine has been doing lately involves hugs. OMGosh, you guys... I'm talking about the kind of genuine embrace you only witness at the arrivals gate at an airport. He begins the loving gesture by letting out a sweet long sigh, tilts his head to the right, and throws his arms out like "Come here, you!" It's enough to make me turn to mush. But in true Max fashion, HE has to be the one to initiate the hugging or you will more than likely be denied. I know this because I swing and I miss all too often. Lucky for me, the half-pint has learned to use this sweet trick to his advantage before bed and I get sucked in every night. It never fails, after hug number SEVEN, I'll catch Flyboy standing at the door and shaking his head because we all know it could go on forever, and I'm being played like a fiddle. Okay, but just one more! If you insist...

DRINKING: Eager to find ways to shake things up in Swell Rio, I headed to Starbucks on Tuesday to give the new Iced Coconut Milk Mocha Macchiato a whirl. I expected to try it once and go back to my dearly beloved, but I was pleasantly surprised by the creamy goodness. I'm already plotting my next outing so I can indulge in the limited-edition beverage again. Have you tried it??

WATCHING: Like many blogs, this space was created with the intention to find beauty and humor in the everyday, but last week I found it hard to keep things light and creative with everything going on in the headlines. I didn't want to turn to blogs or Instagram for the usual pretty escape, but I also didn't know what to say or do myself. I felt speechless and helpless with the desire to learn more. As Kate Arends stated so perfectly, "What we can do when faced with questions without answers is to combat our own fear and judgment with the practice empathy." The notion almost seems too simple, but it's so true. Please, I urge EVERYONE to watch this video by BrenĂ© Brown as she discusses the topic. I guarantee you will learn something about yourself and others in the process.

LISTENING TO: It's no secret Max is obsessed with Sesame Street songs, namely Feist's version of 1,2,3,4, so it only made sense for him to start clucking (like the chickens who just came back from the shore) when Billy Joel's A Matter of Trust started blaring in the car. I suppose the "One! Two! One, two, three, four!" at the beginning of the 80s hit set him off, which meant that I'd spend the rest of the drive home blending lyrics into a toddleriffic mashup to appease the child. Whenever Max would look at me in the mirror confused like "THIS ISN'T MY SONG!", I defaulted to clapping because clapping fixes everything.

READING: Gretchen Ruben recently shared a post she wrote several years ago about Julia Child and since I'm totally captivated with the vibrant chef's personality, reading A Happiness Lesson from Julia Child? seemed like a no-brainer to me. After the heavy feelings that came with last week, a splash of joy couldn't hurt. Here's one reminder I treasured most from Ruben's piece:
Enthusiasm is a terrific quality. The more I think about happiness, the more I value enthusiasm. It can seem cooler and smarter to be ironic, detached, or critical, and it’s certainly much easier and safer to adopt that sort of stance. But enthusiasm is more fun. Enthusiasm is generous, positive, energetic, and social. It’s outward-turning and engaged. It’s unselfconscious, warm-hearted, and kind of goofy. Like Julia Child! 
LOVING: Whenever I write stuff down, I noticed that I hold myself extra accountable and I get the pleasure of checking items from my list. Because something so simple makes my Type-A heart flutter, I decided to start tracking my workouts and water intake. I jot my list down at the beginning of the week, post it on the fridge where I have to see it several times a day, and every time I down a bottle of water, go on a walk, or finish a spin sesh, I get the privilege of crossing it off m' list. How's that for enthusiasm??


Enough about me. How are you feeling today? What are you up to? Thanks for stopping by!!
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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

WISHLIST WEDNESDAY



After discussing fitness trackers with my mom this week, it occurred to me that I've had every intention to share THE Iris Apfel's smart jewelry collaboration with Wisewear, but I never got around to it. Shame on me! What was I thinking?? As if our beloved feisty fashionista hasn't conquered enough already, the 94-year-old style icon went on to design a line of wearables. Squee! Just as you might imagine, they're daringly modern—like Mrs. Apfel herself—and simply stunning. See the rest of the collection here.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

LIFE'S LITTLE DETAILS


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

Happy Tuesday, m' dears! I'm SO glad last week is OVER. The holiday hangover that followed the 4th of July left Max and I at odds, and it was emotionally draining. No matter what was going on, the two of us butt heads nonstop. Stubborn is as stubborn does, am I right?! Gulp. I found I had very little time for shenanigans and it felt as though Max upped the ante in the mischief department. We're talking BIG time! At one point I went to the sink to fill his juice cup (per his crafty request) only to realize that he snuck out to the backyard on his own. I swear I didn't look away for more than 30 seconds AND the door was locked. Sigh. This toddler stuff is not for the faint of heart, I tell you. I've been told we're currently in the "trenches" of parenting, and I can totally believe it. Once again, we have to rethink the way we handle everything and add more tricks to our toolkit—this seems to be the only constant in parenthood. 

With all of the messes and hairy moments that came with last week, it was especially important to keep an eye out for the little successes. Victory came in the form of fresh mango salsa, nap-time libations with Flyboy (Peach G&T, anyone?!), and getting m' hair did on Saturday. Hallelujah! To top it all off, we had a playdate at the park on Sunday morning with some friends and when we got home Flyboy and I were beaming. Max was incredibly sweet to the other kids and even more persistent about passing out hugs, sharing his hat, and giving high-fives. All bias aside, it was darling to see him interact in such a kind and loving manner. Sometimes it feels like we spend so much time caught in a power struggle with a 21-month-old child. We spend so much time saying the word "NO!" and correcting our tenacious tot that it's very easy to overlook what we're doing right. I think I'll chalk this up as a win!

Enough about me. How the heck are YOU?! I'm dying to know.

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Friday, July 8, 2016

LURVE LOAVE LUFF


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

  • Artwork by Laurie Fisher // I stumbled upon Laurie's work while poring over Serena and Lily's website. The holiday hangover had me craving something creative. I couldn't help but fall for the bold colors and messy lines, which led me to Fisher's online portfolio. I've decided By The Sea and Vinyl are some of my very favorites, but they're all sooooo fabulous!
  • Sugar Paper for Target // It turns out we don't have to wait for Christmas to see this power couple unite for another fabulous collaboration. I may have snagged a few office essentials online (these punchy pencils, snazzy scissors, and this oversized eraser), but part of me thinks this lamp is an absolute necessity. Has anyone seen it in person??
  • Faby Designs Wristlet // Every once in awhile you get the chance to work with someone who's incredibly creative. For me, that's Feben Teffera, the insanely stylish designer behind Faby Designs. We worked together at J.Crew in Hawaii, but it wasn't until the military separated us that I learned about her knack for creating accessories and clothing. Each piece is handmade and one-of-a-kind, which is a rare treasure these days. I still can't believe I own one of her designs! Eek!
  • Ole Henriksen Power Bright // When Emily of Cupcakes and Cashmere fame tried this at-home brightening mask with her staff, I was astonished by the results. I'll let you know my thoughts as soon as it arrives. I have high hopes!
  • Canvas Weekender // You guys! I adore this bag. So much. I wonder if it has anything to do with living in Swell Rio. Ha Ha!
  • Ruffle-Sleeve T-Shirt // I can't help but wonder how this top compares to the version J.Crew unveiled earlier this summer.
  • Ariella by Hayley Mitchell // She's precious! There's something about those sweet lips and cheeks that make me squeal.
  • Ultra Glam Gold Leaf and Hot Pink Swivel Chair // Imagine this luxurious lounge chair in an office or over-the-top closet. 

Happy Friday, m' dears! Make this weekend count.
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Thursday, July 7, 2016

LIFE'S LITTLE DETAILS


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


Happy Thursday, m' dears! Despite a four-day weekend with Flyboy, the Swell Rio struggle has been VERY real as of late. Perhaps that might explain the late start to the blog week?! Sigh. Let me explain. I'm sure we can find humor in it all anyway. We always do...

  • Because we just visited Austin and have a few upcoming trips on tap, the 4th of July holiday kind of snuck up on us. Aside from washing both cars and yard work, we thought we'd take it easy and relax. Unfortunately, this YOLO approach backfired when Flyboy blew through SEVEN tubes on his road bike and popped a few flats. Of course I couldn't come to the rescue right away because on both occasions we had to work around a napping tot and a cake baking in the oven. I think we can all agree that 108 degree weather is a prime condition to be stranded and sweating in the "dry" TX heat.
  • To shake things up on Sunday, we hopped in the car and ventured to Garner State Park (approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes away). On the way, we had breakfast at a cute little coffee shop in Uvalde called The Local Fix where we devoured steak, eggs, and French toast. We knew we were going to be burning some serious calories later that morning hiking and swimming, so we might as well make brekkie count. Oh, but the joke was on us! You see, when we finally arrived at the state park, we found out that it was FULL. The sweet lady working the parking lot explained that it was uncharacteristically busy, even for a holiday weekend, and that they wouldn't be allowing any more people into the park. Womp womp! We were so bummed. To make matters worse, Max was less than thrilled to be cooped up in his carseat and was kicking and screaming like a fool. The idea of driving another 100+ miles under these conditions (toddler shenanigans and an outing letdown) made me want to cry. Thankfully, on the trek home Flyboy noticed a big black footprint on my forehead. I looked in the mirror and realized it must have been when Max dropped his juice cup and kicked me in the face when I went to retrieve it. Well played, kid. Oh, and to top it all off, the air conditioner stopped working later that evening, but maintenance swooped in to the rescue and after three hours of fixing our AC unit we were back to Chill Town by bedtime. Hooray! It's moments like that which make us happy we rent. Silver lining, anyone?!
  • After a few weekend flops, Flyboy went all Clark Griswold on the holiday and decided that we needed a kiddie pool for the backyard to keep cool. I was honestly tickled by his enthusiasm and knew this option seemed awfully convenient considering our fickle toddler and his current sentiment toward the lake and pool. So, while Pop and Tot ventured into town, I dusted off my favorite beach hat (haven't donned that bad boy in YEARS) and skipped around the house imagining all the fun we'd have sipping cocktails and making memories in our backyard. Hahahahahaha! Imagine the look on my face when the boys returned home with nothing but contact solution and a set of arm floaties. What the what?! They made several stops at various stores in town, but they found NOTHING. Apparently this is the time of year that Walmart and HEB swap out the fun summer merchandise for school supplies. Because THAT makes complete sense, right?!
  • Feeling defeated yet again, I put on my happiest beach hat and the boys slipped into their swim trunks. After a weekend of nonstop flops, we were bound and determined to just roll with the punches. While we noshed on pretzels and pistachios and threw back a pair of stiff Tom Collins, I watched Flyboy sit in Max's old baby pool to keep cool and smiled as our sweet little boy ran through the sprinkler with the most genuine excitement. Sure the holiday had is upsets and struggles, but it all worked out and we were together. Perspective is everything. Oh, and for the record, we planned NOTHING on Tuesday, kept our expectations for the day reeeeeeeally low, and there were no glitches. Sweet success!

Now, tell me something giggle inducing that happened to you or your family this weekend. I'm sure there's something...
P.S. Mad props to Flyboy! You see that last photo? He's totally winning at fatherhood as he carries a screaming Max to the car after it's time to leave the park. In 99 degree heat at the height of nap time, this is NO easy feat. Bravo!

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