Thursday, June 29, 2017



THINKING ABOUT: A week from today we'll be making our annual Summer trek to Missouri. Since we'll be driving, I'm looking for ANY ideas to keep Max entertained on our 13-hour drive. The four-hour adventure to Austin just about did me in and I'm beginning to understand why road trips are the worst when you have a toddler—not that they've ever been a breeze, but keeping them content when they're restless is a job in itself. Obviously we'll be packing the iPad and it will be loaded with some games and shows/movies, but it would be nice to have a few new tricks up my sleeve. For anyone in a similar situation, I can't recommend the following activities enough as they've been invaluable the last few times we've traveled: Melissa & Doug Reusable Sticker Pads (has helped with his vocab A LOT), Scratch Art Activity Sets, any kind of Magic Marker Coloring Books, and Silly Putty. Now, what am I missing??

FEELING: Despicable Me 3 comes out this weekend and Max is over the moon!! He keeps asking me when we're going to see it, insists that his plush Minion doll (Dave, perhaps?!) come with and that he gets a snack pack and booster seat of his own. Over the past week he's even made it a point to show me how he will instruct his Minion to be quiet during the film. Because of course... SHH!!

THANKFUL FOR: If you've been hanging around here for awhile, it's no surprise that I despise the dentist. For this reason, I've been dragging my feet when it comes to taking Max. I know! Tsk, tsk. My current dentist (so sweet!) has assured me that age 2.5 is just fine for Max's first visit and that I'm not a terrible mother for waiting like I have (phew!), but he did encourage me to get him in soon as possible. After giving it some thought, Flyboy and I agreed it might be best that he take Max to his first appointment (this Friday) so I don't ruin it for the child with my anxious ways. Part of me feels guilty because my inner mama bear wants to be there for EVERYTHING, but I truly think this might be our best move. I'm already worried about how it will go (brushing the teeth of an infant or toddler is pesky especially when they're wildly independent), but I'm so grateful my better half will be there to keep Team Fine calm in this particular sitch. As someone who has never had a cavity in over three decades, he has nothing to worry about. LUCKY!

LISTENING TO: My parents are getting a new puppy (a Bouvier!) in late July and I'm extremely giddy for them!! You guys, the joy in my mom's voice when she talks about my new "brother" makes my heart so happy. Eek! I can't wait to meet him and see the bond they form with the little guy—it's going to be one lucky pup, thats for sure. After losing both of our beloved family dogs over the past two years, I know a decision like this wasn't necessarily easy for my mom and dad, but I think their hearts are slowly healing and it might just be the right time to love and nurture a new fur kid again. Anyone that's dealt with the loss of a pet knows how hard this can be.

WATCHING: I shared this little PSA on Instagram a few weeks ago, but I want to reiterate just how important it is that you begin watching Collin Kartchner's stories and STAT. Are you familiar with him?? As the husband of an Internet famous blogger (Dear Lizzy), Collin has adopted an alter ego of his own and pokes fun at "power influencers" of the social media bubble by acting like one. He's outrageously witty and his punchlines are on point. I promise!! Hawking essential oils (and other #sponsored products) is just a small part of his hilarious schtick as he also shares tidbits about his morning Insanity workouts, carpool karaoke with his kids, and his need for nutritious beverages like DDDP (Did you know Dirty Diet Dr. Pepper was a thing??). I assure you it won't be long before you ask yourself "What the checking heck?" and your day can't officially begin until you know how many woots Collin has. Just ask Flyboy.

EATING: Is it bad that I'm counting the days until we make it to San Antonio and I can stock up on some of my latest favorites?! My parents recently introduced us to Trader Joe's Roasted Plantain Chips and I'm just slightly obsessed. If you get the chance, buy a bag, and devour at your own discretion. Oh, and they're especially tasty with a little guac! The other new-to-me delectable that's worth sharing with you is this Perfect Bar. Yep, you had me at peanut butter, dark chocolate and sea salt!! While it's not Whole30 compliant, the protein bar is totally worth keeping around as a little treat yo self. In my opinion, this bad boy rivals a Justin's Peanut Butter Cup. Yep, you heard me! It's really really good and you know I don't mess around when it comes to the PB/chocolate power couple.

READING: I ask you the following question because I'm clearly in denial, but do you have any book recommendations for our upcoming road trip?! I will more than likely spend the bulk of my time passing out fruit snacks and locating dropped toys, but in the off-chance Max decides to snooze, it might be nice to rely on a riveting new read. I'm open to just about anything!

LOVING: Are you looking for inspiration or a dose of design eye candy?! Daniel P. Cosgrove has got us covered with his series Everyday, A Poster. I dare you to stop scrolling. After drooling over his designs for ten minutes straight, I had to cut myself off and move on to my to-dos. His work is dangerously wonderful and will lift your spirits in no time. But if all else fails, watch more Collin!

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

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Wednesday, June 28, 2017


Sometimes I forget I'm not auditioning for Bravo's Summer House and I get all gussied up to go poolside only to realize this isn't The Hamptons, there's no Rosé in sight, and my end destination is actually the kiddie pool. Oops! But just because we don't frequent white sandy beaches in Hawaii like we used to and Andy Cohen hasn't asked me to be part of some fabulous new series like he does in my dreams, that doesn't mean I can't make the most of the current scenery with another colorful and classic ensemble. Right?!


*Items currently 25% off with code SUMMER
(Offer valid thru June 29, 2017)
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Tuesday, June 27, 2017


We planned our latest trip to Austin around getting a reservation at Hamilton Springs Pool. Visiting this collapsed grotto has been on our Texas bucket list for almost two years now. Needless to say, we were ECSTATIC about the fact that we could finally get in and see this natural gem. It was everything I hoped it would be and MORE! The Travis County Parks Department requires reservations from May through September in an effort to preserve the natural space and monitor the amount of traffic it gets from visitors to prevent overcrowding and overuse. Unfortunately when we visited, we were not allowed to swim because of high bacteria levels, but it was still SO worth it to finally see the gorgeous watering hole in person. If you ever find yourself in the area, this is a MUST see.
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Monday, June 26, 2017


Happy Monday, m' dears! We got back from Austin a week ago and I wasn't ready to jump back into our routine. I guess I wanted to bask in the joy and relaxation that came with our long weekend away a little while longer. Can you blame me?! I think I had a gin-spiked drink at every meal. #GOALS. There's just something really special about that city and it's probably what I'll miss most about Texas when it comes time to move. The energy is just as chill as it is colorful and quirky. For every person you see riding a bike or running, there's also a person brunching or sipping cocktails outdoors. Perhaps this is just what life outside Swell Rio in a bigger city is like (we don't get out much!), but the ATX certainly feels different from other places I've visited and I love it for this very reason. It's what keeps us coming back for MORE! As a lifelong product of the military, it's sometimes fun to think about places where you might like to end up, and while I'm not sure Flyboy is 100% on board with me on this one, I could DEFINITELY call Austin home one day. Sure the heat is atrocious (like REALLY bad), but that's why they created patio misters. Ha! The city has a small town feel, but it's chock-full of charm, low-key activities, adorable amenities, and some of the tastiest treats I'll probably ever eat.

Here are a few highlights worth bookmarking in the event you ever make your way to Austin...

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Friday, June 16, 2017


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

Happy Friday, m' dears! Make this weekend count. 
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Thursday, June 15, 2017



THINKING ABOUT: Over Memorial Day Weekend, I snagged a set of these "washable" Sidewalk Chalk Paint Markers at HEB and figured it would be a fun and easy activity for Max. WRONG! I have experience with a lot of messy things and take great pride in my ability to embrace planned messiness (Type-A/ Control Freak FOREVER!), but this was by far my worst decision to date. You guys, I still have a pair of Max's shorts and his shirt sitting in a tub of my go-to cleaning solution (Oxiclean and Lysol Cleaner) and the neon paint spots just don't want to budge. This miracle mix gets EVERYTHING out, but it laughs at Rose Art's fake washable claim. It's been WEEKS of soaking, but the Monica in me refuses to accept defeat. Fellow parents, take my word, DO NOT buy these wretched things.

FEELING: I know I've talked a lot about how excited we are to get out of Dodge this weekend, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little hesitant to leave Beesly behind at the kennel. The last time she was there she had Tripp by her side. As many of you remember, the day after we picked them up from their stay at Christmas, we were faced with the decision to put Tripp to sleep in addition to learning that Beesly threw out her other ACL. I realize neither of the situations have to do with the kennel at all, but it definitely brings back a lot of emotions. I'm sure a lot of you pet owners can understand. Thankfully, a new facility opened in town and the owner seems very kind. I feel really good about it, and I think switching things up will benefit all of us. 

THANKFUL FOR: Nothing makes you appreciate the tactics (AKA threats) your parents may have used on you like having a kid of your own. Max is really beginning to understand consequences that may result from making bad choices and we've been having a little bit of fun with it. I've been known to get out my phone and make pretend calls to the base daycare center and park outside the facility as if I'm going to drop him off. Taking him there isn't an option at this point, so why not USE it if I can't really use it?! Flyboy finally had the pleasure of joining me in my creative efforts a few nights ago at dinner when Max was playing around and didn't want to eat his food. Little boys like Max have mad respect for the men in blue, so when FB told Max that he was going to have to call the police if he didn't eat his dinner, our little tot's eyes got ginormous, he locked it up, and shoved hotdogs and strawberries down his gullet as fast as he could. You guys, I tried my best to avoid eye contact with FB because I knew I would lose it. Max's reaction was priceless! Sure it's only a matter of time before the 2.5 year old starts to call our bluff, but we'll use the strategy while it's still effective.

LISTENING TO: Last Friday Max and I met friends at Chick-fil-A for lunch and I was introduced to a whole new Bravo bubble I wasn't aware existed. Gasp! Do any of you listen to Watch What Crappens? I seriously had no idea a weekly podcast that revels in all things Bravo existed. Also, why didn't I think of that?! It's GENIUS! The comedic duo behind the podcast dives DEEP into my favorite shows harping on the tiniest details, imitating housewives, and going off on ridiculous tangents that will make you giggle, snort, or both.

WATCHING: Do you ever find yourself scrolling through Instagram when you come across a mom working out with her kid—who's peacefully playing alongside her—in the same room?! I typically exercise early in the morning so I can avoid Max altogether, but I've decided to incorporate this TIU workout video into my routine to focus on toning up a bit. Well, yesterday morning I ran out of time and didn't get to that part of my exercise, so I decided to have Max join in on the fun. I mean, the kids LOVES himself some push-ups and jumping jacks, so this seemed like the perfect solution to my problem. Yeah, NO! Five minutes into the DVD and my tyke is throwing a tantrum because I won't let him wield my set of weights and our resident Berner is sprawled out on my yoga mat making triangle lunges next to impossible. Sigh. After this failed attempt at fitness, I think I'll stick with the original early-rising game plan.

EATING: Here's the deal, I've got a laundry (or Launderette—Hehe!) list of restaurants I want to eat at when we're in Austin, but I can't decide whether to return to a few of our favorites (so worth repeating, I promise!) or try something new? Sometimes I feel like we just need to stay in the city for a full week and then we can eat it all because we do it SO well. For those of you wondering what keeps me up at night, it definitely deals with ATX dining. Prospects for the upcoming trip include June's and Mattie's. Thoughts?

READING: A friend recently told me about a snarky site where readers convene to complain and poke fun of bloggers. Maybe I'm just a total Pollyanna but I had NO CLUE this sort of thing even existed, did you?! Yowzah! The comments some of these people post are just awful. I was shocked to see what trolls had the gall to write about some of my Internet friends and favorite bloggers. Now, I won't sit here and pretend to be perfect and never pass judgment, but I really don't see how someone can sit behind a screen and anonymously pick people apart for fun. Why does it matter to you so much? Maybe you should invest in another hobby?!

LOVING: It's no secret my adoration for Madewell's Slim Boyjean runs deep, but after countless wears I'm down to just one pair. Gasp! Since it's been warm out I've tried to limit the amount of times I wear my favorite jeans and rely mostly on shorts, but that doesn't mean I haven't been stalking the website in hopes they bring back more options—preferably with minimal distressing because toddlers likes Max will hone in on holes and rips like it's their job. After months of losing hope and searching elsewhere for comparable options, I'm elated to announce that Madewell unveiled the perfect pair in their most recent rollout. Cue the hallelujah chorus. No more denim in despair and my mom uniform lives on! Yessssssss!

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

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