Friday, May 19, 2017


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

  • Ashley Mary Art // When I visited my mom, I fell head over heels for her gorgeous Ashley Mary original. Hubba!
  • How To Make An Eden Rose // This stunning tutorial is going to make me forget about that boring housewife on RHOBH.
  • Sugar Paper Notebooks // These ladies weren't kidding when they promised to create a stationery line with style.
  • Autumn by Rachel Castle // This colorful batch of cutouts is enough to transport me to Matisse's red room. Swooon!
  • Tropical Rum Coco-Lada // I've got 12 more days of this Whole30 nonsense and you better believe I'm ready to celebrate.
  • Orange Flask With Canvas Carrier // Because even a lush deserves a pop of color when he or she opts to accessorize.
  • Matisse Leaf Earrings // A work of art you can wear on your ears. I love this modern twist inspired by m' fave artist.
  • Tortoise Charm Bangle Set // My dearest J.Crew, I bet you knew this was a slam dunk when you added that terrific tassel.
  • Collection Embroidered Dot Tulle Skirt // You guys!! This. Skirt. You know it's marvelous when it sells out so quickly. Sigh.
  • Vintage Cotton Crewneck in Stripe // It's about time they got their act together and offer a striped version of the classic.
  • Kayu Mini St. Tropez Tote // I have this in black and I'm kicking myself because I should have gone for the PINK! Then again, is it possible for one person to have TOO many straw totes? Yeah, I didn't think so. Pom-poms sweeten the deal.
  • Tosca Storage Basket // Max has so many toys. It's time to purge a little this next week and rethink our storage options.
  • Tahini Brownies // I had to grab a napkin and wipe up the puddle of drool I had on my desk when I pinned this recipe.
  • Poplin Light Emerald Napkins // This soft green shade is so serene and screams summertime get-togethers. Gimme!
  • Wild Things Slide Flats // When can I expect a knockoff from Target or Banana?! These are spendy, but THAT color!!!
  • Hot Pink Bench // With all of the testosterone in this house, you better believe I'll have a piece of pink furniture one day.

Happy Friday, m' dears! Make this weekend count. Oh, and drink something fizzy for me! 
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Thursday, May 18, 2017



THINKING ABOUT: On Sunday afternoon I took my phone and earbuds outside and watched the documentary Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict while Flyboy went on an afternoon bike ride in town. I think I need to start doing this more often because it was so peaceful. I can honestly say I haven't been that relaxed while lounging outdoors since we sat on the beach our last day in Hawaii. Additionally, I highly recommend the film to anyone who's interested in the art world. I knew a little bit about the famed Ms. Guggenheim, but WOWZERS! Her story is brilliant and intriguing. You will become obsessed and hungry to learn more about this femme trailblazer.

THANKFUL FOR: Lately we've had a handful of neighborhood kids (ages 2-8) just show up in the evenings ready to play in our backyard. I suppose it might have something to do with the freeze pops and juice boxes I've been handing out, but Max is in heaven. Because our resident toddler is the youngest of the bunch, he mostly stands back with the goofiest grin on his face and watches everyone run around—occasionally trying to get their attention by throwing a ball or asking if they can drive his VW van. It's pretty adorable! As soon as he wakes up from his afternoon nap, he stands by the sliding glass door in the dining room and waits patiently for all the children to come home from school. He wants very little to do with his peers, but he's fascinated by the older kids.

WATCHING: Whenever I saw ads for the Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn movie, Snatched, I couldn't help but laugh hysterically. Seriously you guys, I snorted on several occasions just watching a thirty second clip! It was clear I NEEDED to see this chick flick but I wasn't sure about going by myself until Flyboy encouraged me to catch a matinee and treat myself for Mother's Day. Awwww! I almost opted out of going so I could tend to some afternoon cleaning (BORING!), but with 15 minutes to spare I arrived at the theater just in time to find a seat. Score! Have you seen it yet?! What did you think?? I thought it was a riot, as expected, but I kind of wish there would have been more Goldie. My sister and I were smitten with her back in the day (Private Benjamin, Overboard, First Wives Club, etc.), so it was a little odd to see her play a somewhat bland character, but with Amy as a costar it was probably necessary.

EATING: During my first round of Whole30, I struggled with the whole black coffee thing. I can do it, but it's not ideal. Having tried a bunch of options, I didn't expect much when I read about mixing 1 tsp. coconut oil with my coffee (kind of like the bulletproof coffee craze) in a blender, but I'm surprisingly pleased with the results. I still miss my frothy whole milk, but this certainly fills the void.

LISTENING TO: Last week Max made the connection that the four-year-old boy, Walter, that lives behind us is not only his friend but also our neighbor. Say what?! Anyone familiar with Daniel Tiger knows that Daniel begins every episode by greeting the viewers with a jolly "HI NEIGHBOR!" Yep, my half-pint's mind was blown when I explained it to him. Now he insists on saying "HI NEIGHBOR!" every time he sees Walter. I'm fairly certain Walter is over the Daniel Tiger phase because he looks at me confused when Max greets him that way and asks "Why does he have to say that every time?" Wouldn't it be great if we all felt that giddy about our neighbors??

LOVING: Have you seen the new Sugar Paper goodies released this week? You guys, dreams are made of these darling striped and polka-dotted journals! How can I go about getting a fat stack of these cuties on my desk?! This is what I call Ashley's kryptonite.

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

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017


If you've been following along for the past 2.5 years, you've learned grocery shopping is kind of the big to-do for us each week. Naturally that requires a cute and colorful outfit for yours truly, ALLLLL the Baggu reusable bags I can fit in my tote, AND a lollipop tucked into my purse that comes in handy when a certain toddler starts to get restless. Here's what I'll be wearing this Summer...

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017



Happy Tuesday, m' dears! Let's jump straight to the Swell Rio details, shall we?!
  • If I had to choose an MVP for this past weekend, it would have to be Flyboy. Then again, he'd probably get that title every weekend, but this past weekend he went above and beyond to ensure I got some relief from Max in honor of Mother's Day. Bless. His. Heart. In between a manicure and matinee on Saturday, I met the boys in town for a quick trip to the park and a stop at Home Depot. I was especially happy I brought my camera along to snap a few photos and document the day's most delightful event! It got me thinking about how many of my favorite images have occurred on a slide. It never fails, you will ALWAYS get the most raw and joyful expressions. The kid comes out in every one.
  • Sunday was rough. Max went from one lengthy tantrum (lasts up to 45 minutes) to the next. At one point things got so bad that Flyboy witnessed his first "airport level" meltdown and finally understood how Max can get so explosive, you can't help but feel rattled. It's hard to describe until you've experienced it. Needless to say, it wasn't exactly how I envisioned Mother's Day would look, but in the spirit of honesty THIS is our life right now. I pray it's a phase and continue to look for ways in which I can help Max manage his behavior when things escalate and he becomes aggressive. It only seemed fitting that I call my mom ON Mother's Day in tears looking for MORE advice and encouragement. She always knows what to say. I now celebrate the holiday on a whole new level because I appreciate her more than ever before.
  • Truthfully, I didn't have the heart to download photos from the park until Monday morning. Sunday was just so exhausting. If it wasn't for the steaks we devoured at dinner, I was ready to call it a day by 3 pm. Haha! How pathetic is that?! Flyboy tried so hard to make everything go right, but we've learned those standards are near to impossible when you're working with someone as volatile as a toddler. In my opinion, if you treat the holiday as just a regular day, the monstrous meltdowns don't seem to sting quite as bad—it's just another day in the books. Ha Ha! But when the time was finally right and I decided to take a look at the images after waving good-bye to Flyboy yesterday morning as he left for work, my heart was happy and I realized this weekend wasn't so bad after all. We're not perfect, but we're learning from our mistakes. And to say we're underprepared for this parenting gig is a giant understatement, but we continue to show up anyway and LOVE the heck out of this child. The beauty in bringing your camera along to document the little moments, something as simple as a Saturday morning at the park, is that maybe one day I'll forget all the tears I shed and instead focus on the faces I saw on the numerous slides we've enjoyed over the years. Because right now the tears feel like the norm and as much as I wish it wasn't that way, I understand it's just a part of the hardest job I'll ever love.

Enough about me. How the heck are you? I'm dying to know.
(Also, I know I'm behind again with comments and emails. Bear with me, peeps.)
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Friday, May 12, 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, May 11, 2017



THINKING ABOUT: You guys, I think I'm raising a criminal! Hold up and let me explain. We just got back from running a few errands in town last Monday when I told Max that we were going to drop a few things off at the house and then we'd proceed to the park. He was ecstatic. Upon our arrival, I set my keys, phone, and sunnies on the dining room table because I knew I'd take them with us on our walk. In the meantime, I let Beesly outside, threw a load of laundry into the washer, and made a pit stop at the restroom. Mind you, when I left Max to do all of the above, he was playing quietly with his tractor on the living room rug. Pleased with the ease at which everything was going, I told my scheming toddler it was time for us to leave when I noticed my specs, cell, and key ring were missing. I began to wonder if I just left them in my purse when I realized Max was watching me scan the counter tops and table. Thinking out loud, I rhetorically asked my son where I put everything when he replied, "I know where it is!" Slightly confused but open to the help, I watched him run over to the chaise lounge, pull up the slipcover, and reach under the sofa. "Here they are, ma! I found them." He was proud as punch with his "discovery", but it got me wondering what else he had hiding under there. I still don't know what his motive was by hiding my essentials, but you better believe I'll be keeping an eye open when it comes to this 35 lb. thief.

FEELING: After last week's new motherhood low, my mom and I discussed the disadvantages of living in Swell Rio when you have a toddler. As far as daycare, preschool, and play groups go, there's very little this tiny town has to offer. In fact, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results (the same could be said for motherhood), and if you think about it we essentially do the same things EVERY day making the two of us extremely bored and comfortable in our routine. I realize there's only so much that I can teach Max on my own, so I've looked for ways to push him socially and mentally as it will also allow for growth. However, after the last debacle at the CDC, Max learned that opting out of group activities and refusing to eat will ultimately lead to his mom coming to pick him up at the request of the staff (Toddler-1, Mom-0), so we've pretty much ruled that option out for future use. Sigh. Determined to keep looking for options, I found a new-to-me facility in town this week that offers drop-in daycare services and a part-time preschool program for kids Max's age. Hooray! After discussing my goal in taking Max to a place like this 1-2 times a week for a few hours (i.e. help with his social and verbal skills), I felt very encouraged by the director until I read in the registration packet that he needs to be toilet trained. Gah! I totally understand where they're coming from on this issue, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel defeated once again. I'm hoping that if we play up the whole school thing and that he'd get to play with kids like his bestie Anna, then maybe he'll be motivated to try potty training again. *Fingers crossed.* I just know the more you push with Max, the more he has the tendency to resist. Who knows, maybe he'll prove me wrong and it will all work out?! 

THANKFUL FOR: You buy some really weird stuff when you become a parent, but necessity is the mother of invention. After we got back from our DC trip, Max decided that he likes waking up at 6:30 AM. I realize this isn't terribly early, but it's not as ideal as when he used to wake up between 7:00 and 7:30 AM. News flash! Mama needs her alone time and you're cramping my style, kid. Enter Mirari's OK TO WAKE! Clock — an alarm clock intended to teach kids to STAY in bed. I'm not sure who I should address a thank-you note to, but I'm grateful for people (probably tired or fed-up parents) who come up with this random stuff. The product gets rave reviews, so I remain hopeful that the device works with Max. Have any of you had luck with the clock?! Tips or tricks welcome.

WATCHING: Hotlanta fans! How awkward was it watching Phaedra in part four of the Real Housewives reunion this past Sunday?! Yowzah! I was shocked by Miss Parks' lack of apology or explanation for her malicious lies toward Kandi. In the past, I've been quick to give Phae-Phae a pass because she's entertaining, but she went too far this time. Frick and Fraud looked REALLY dumb.

EATING: Participating in Whole30 solo is kind of the worst. This past week Max tried to force feed me his cheese pizza AND he asked if we could bake cookies. What is this, a death wish?! Nevertheless, she persisted. With the help of Pinterest and the occasional RX Bar (Chocolate Sea Salt and Blueberry are m' jam!), I'm trying to keep this second round as fun and fresh as possible. All jokes aside, I've been pleasantly surprised by the whole food protein bar. They're surprisingly tasty and something I wouldn't mind keeping handy once this whole nutritional reset nonsense is over. And don't ask me how the chocolate is W30 compliant. I'm not complaining!

LISTENING TO: It was only a matter of time before my son became obsessed with flatulence. Yes, Max likes to tell me every time he breaks wind. Lucky for him, he's pretty cute when he utters the following words, "Hey ma! Max had a toot. I fart." We're still working on the excuse me portion of our exchange, but he better milk the adorable factor while he can because Flyboy doesn't get a pass.

READING: One of my favorite reads is Pema Chödron's book When Things Fall Apart. After stumbling upon one of her quotes on Instagram this week, I was reminded that I should probably dust off my copy and revisit it this weekend. Her words help me make sense of things when life gets uncomfortable or feels uncertain.
"We think the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don't really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It's just like that. The healing comings from letting there be room for all this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for mystery, for joy."
LOVING: I live in Madewell's Whisper Cotton Tees, so I was excited to see they offer a Tank made from the same soft fabric. I ended up buying two when I visited my parents, but I'm eager to add a few more colors to my wardrobe as the temp rises. Some reviewers mentioned the arm holes run larger and they're right, but I didn't see it as a deterrent because the price and quality are on point.

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

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017



Happy Wednesday, m' dears! Let's get on with the delightful details, shall we?!

  • Three years ago when I was pregnant and confident about very little, I knew for sure that the bond this little boy would share with our resident Berner would be everything I hoped for and more. I swear my whole heart turns into a big pile of mush when I watch them interact. Max's reckless behavior is warmly welcomed by this gentle giant and her innate need to nurture the ones she adores most. Nothing makes me want time to stand still more than when they're together.
  • On Saturday, Flyboy participated in his third Adventure Race. Woo hoo! In the past he competed with a team, but this year he opted to cycle, run, and kayak individually. We couldn't wait to meet him at the lake and watch him complete the race, but I had my doubts we'd make it there as Max's wily meter was dialed up to eleven that morning. Yikes! After two dramatic rounds of timeout, I began to wonder if we'd ever leave the house, but we rallied and with minutes to spare arrived in time to watch him transition from bike to boat. Phew! The proud look on Max's face as he watched his dad in action was almost enough for me to forget the events that transpired earlier. I said almost. 
  • Speaking of expressions, I'm constantly in awe of genes and the crazy ways in which they work. The top black-and-white image is ALL Flyboy. I look at Max and see my husband's face. But then I glance at the photo of my boys at the race and I see a mix of my sister and me. Ha! Maybe it's just the awkward smile?! Anywho, you don't really notice these nuances until you have a kid of your own. Then you find yourself wishing your child inherited more than your resting bitch face.
  • While these pictures make me incredibly happy and allow me to focus on details that bring me joy, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that last week was probably one of the hardest I'd endured since becoming a mom. On Wednesday, Flyboy came home to find both Max and me kneeling on the dining room floor bawling. My waterproof mascara—that NEVER runs—ran so much that day, I resembled Tammy Faye Bakker. Needless to say, we were a scary sight to come home to! I can't say exactly what ONE thing occurred that led us both to snap that afternoon. I suppose irrational toddler behavior paired with our mutual need for control led to meltdown after meltdown until this 2.5 year old finally broke me. Nothing seemed to work. He had me and he knew it. Sweet readers, I've never worked so hard at something like I have at motherhood and fallen flat on my face like I do with Max. In that moment, I've never been so happy to see my husband or so eager to go to bed that night and wake up to a fresh start. This gig is hard. Really, really hard.

Thank God for great accessories, bright blooms, slobbery snuggles, and fresh air! Now, how the heck are you? I'm dying to know.

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Friday, May 5, 2017


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

  • Yorkville Zig Zag Pillow // Some of the latest throw pillows at Kate Spade are DROP DEAD GORGEOUS. This is m' fave!
  • Commet Sun Hat // Would somebody just take me back to Maui already and insist I NEVER take off this hat?! Thanks.
  • Matisse Man // Speaking of KSNY, did you know they have an insane selection of art and prints?! How perfect is he??
  • Batik Bone Pen // I adore the Target collaboration with Accompany. This polka-dot pen has my name written ALL over it.
  • Neon Gradient Bandana // Wear it around your neck, in your hair, or tie it on a straw tote. The scarf options are endless!
  • Island Time Tee // Since Maui ain't happening, I'll settle for this shirt instead. FYI: It runs SMALL. Be sure to size UP!
  • Boy Bye Pin // This week was ROUGH. Most nights I was ready to tell Max "Boy Bye" and drown my sorrows in Bravo.
  • Gaia Pom-Pom Hair Tie // Gaia's mission makes my heart sing and I'm SOOOOO happy to see they teamed up with J.Crew.
  • Monogrammed Old-Fashioned Glasses // Like m' girl Reese likes to remind us, it's always better with a monogram. 
  • The Whipstitch Mini Tote Bag // Bags (and ballet flats, obvi) are my love language. The "tigerlily" hue is spectacular!!
  • Apple Bowl // The color combo used in Jenny's "Bowl Series" is dreamy. The chartreuse makes me weak in the knees.
  • Pencil Snail Mail Flat Note Set // This weekend I need to make time for the little things that bring me joy like snail mail.
  • Metallic Green Court Heels // Do these look like the shoes of a mermaid's dreams? They're giving me life aquatic.
  • Crosley Pay Phone Wall Phone // I suddenly feel the need to get a landline after laying eyes on this nostalgic cutie.
  • Fiesta Floral Necklace // I want to grab my pom-poms and make a budget-friendly option of this showstopper.

Happy Friday, m' dears! Make this weekend count. 
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Thursday, May 4, 2017



THINKING ABOUT: Last month I visited my doctor about the frequent migraines I'd been having. I wanted to check with him and see if there was any medication that might be effective quicker than the Zomig pills I was used to taking. When you spend your day tending to a toddler, you want something that's going to work and FAST. He suggested I try the Zomig nasal spray, which I've thankfully only had to use twice since it was prescribed. The first time things went pretty well, but I had to use it again this past Tuesday and I did something really wrong because I could feel the medicine seep into the back of my throat and it burrrrrrrrned. Does anyone know what I'm doing wrong here?! I'm a naturally rammy person, so it wouldn't surprise me if I shoved the sprayer device too far. Oops!

THANKFUL FOR: I'd heard about ThirdLove via social media and hadn't considered trying it until my mom told me that she gave it a go recently and was thoroughly impressed with the results. Yep, my interest was officially piqued! So as soon as I got back from visiting her, I took the little Fit Finder quiz and a bra was delivered at my doorstep for me to try free for 30 days. In the event the bra sent wasn't a perfect fit, I could always return/exchange it for free OR I could purchase it if I'm pleased with product. As a self-described small chested pear, it hasn't been easy for me to find a push-up bra or t-shirt bra that fits comfortably, looks natural, and also balances my top half with my "German peasant stock" lower half. I was fully prepared to send whatever bra ThirdLove mailed to me back, but after wearing it for an hour I knew I was going to keep it. I LOVE it and HIGHLY recommend you trying it!

WATCHING: You know you've reached ultimate #boymom status when you see a construction site in the distance, get a little too excited, and go out of your way to drive by it because you know it will be a big hit with your son.  Oh, yeah! Yesterday there was a crew of guys with a boat load of equipment hard at work and I knew it would make Max's day. The sweaty gents probably wondered why we got as close as we could in the wagon and why I rolled down the windows so Max could take a pretend picture with his camera, but it was so worth it to see the smile on his face. I even got a "Thank you, ma!" out of it. 

EATING: In the event you're like me and looking for Whole30 recipes to incorporate into your repertoire, I highly recommend this Turkey Avocado BLT Salad with Dump Ranch, these Creamy and Smoky Chipotle Pork Chops, and this Zucchini Noodle Bolognese.

LISTENING TO: I remember my dad (an historian) reading the dictionary when I was younger and I thought it was the coolest. Definitions and spelling aside, you could ask him about the etymology and he'd spit out an answer. In the off-chance he didn't know the history or the origin, he'd gladly look it up and get you an answer. It was always fun to pick his brain and it made me wish I had the same ability to retain knowledge just as he does. I found this skill to be fascinating, which is probably why listening to A Way with Words on NPR every Sunday has become a ritual I look forward to so very much. Are you a fan?! I guess it takes a special kind of nerd to get this giddy about an hour-long discussion regarding language, grammar, word origins, regional dialects, expressions, etc.

READING: Jean Jullien's This Is Not A Book has quickly become one of our favorites. I picked up a copy while we were in D.C. —mostly because of the adorable illustrations— and now I'm eager to add more of his wordless pictures books to our library.

LOVING: Last year I wanted to get an outdoor table for Max; however, the one I was looking at was $120 and I knew it wasn't a necessity. But now that he can participate in activities for longer periods of time and we spend A LOT of time outside, I figured I would take another look at what's available just in case I could find a good deal on something that's aesthetically pleasing, good quality, and functional. So on Sunday I found myself browsing Amazon when I realized the exact set I was looking at last year (Outdoor Table w/ Benches & Umbrella) was HALF THE PRICE. Say what?! For $59 I figured it was worth a shot and I'm happy to say that we're really pleased with the purchase.  I'm not entirely sure why it went down in price (maybe the turquoise color?), but I figured I would pass this nugget of info along to you all in case you're in the market for something similar.

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