Thursday, November 30, 2017



*We swear by the Bruder line of trucks (the quality is SUPERB!), but they can be on the spendy side. 
Check your local TJ Maxx or Marshall's for bargains. I've scored several Bruder trucks over the past year that were $30 or less.
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Wednesday, November 22, 2017


Happy Wednesday, m' dears! This week has been a little hectic with painting and Turkey Day prep (Who's reading blogs right now anyway?! Presence over presents, right??), but I just HAAAAAAADDDD to pop in for a hot second and share this gem of a shop with you. Are you familiar with Cabbages and Kings?! If not, you better jump on it. I'm talking about some SERIOUSLY cute accessories for kids—the kind that will leave you feeling mopey they don't make it in your size. Womp womp! And can we talk about those pom-poms? Who in their right mind could deny these knitted knots of cheer? The adorable details are practically perfect in every way.

All pom-related threats aside, have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING! 
I'll be back next week with Gift Guide mania. Are you ready for it? 

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Friday, November 17, 2017


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

  • Pumpkin Pie Slice Ornament // I've never been big on pumpkin pie, but this ornament has me thinking otherwise.
  • Hand-Knit Scarf // I've hit the jackpot this year in terms of finding cute scarves and gloves. How to choose?! 
  • Magic Flag // I like to think this is the sort of thing that might hang in Roald Dahl's writing hut. Perfect, isn't it?!
  • Velvet Faux-Fur Pom-Pom Slippers // Get that Boden look for a quarter of the price. Seven dollars?! Seriously.
  • City-Themed Glasses Case // This chartreuse case has me thinking I need to get to Miami and stat. Isn't it adorable?
  • Art Canvas Travel Pouch // LEIF is one of my go-to online shops for gift giving. This pouch would be a slam dunk.
  • Havana Lounge Chair // I've decided we're going to need something in bright yellow velvet at our next house. Swoon!
  • Cherry Red Square // Inspired by Matisse, Mick Jagger, and a dusty old book store—Ann Howell Bullard has done it again!
  • V-Neck Boyfriend Sweater // Anytime J.Crew offers an item in Neon Fuchsia anything, you know I'm SOLD!
  • 2018 Unsolicited Advice // When you want to get your sh!t together, but you also want to feel supported by a planner with serious personality. Artist Adam J. Kurtz has got us covered with his simple, cheeky, no-nonsense planner. I'm in.
  • High Heel Ankle Boots // Something about these jumbo sequins remind me of mermaids. Wear these and be a mermaid.
  • Dusk Throw // We're going to start painting this weekend. Argh! I want to wrap up in this and watch Bravo instead. 
  • Robert Motherwell: Early Paintings // How insanely great do you think the essays are? I'm giddy just thinking about it.
  • Reset Button Sheet Mask // I'm going to need a dozen of these draped over my body after all that "Macadamia" madness.
  • Everything Wallet // You guys! Ric-Rac details are one of my weaknesses, but you already knew that. C'mon!
  • Art by Dustin Williams // This week's source of inspo comes from a visual artist based out of KCMO. Holla!

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

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Thursday, November 16, 2017



THINKING ABOUT: I can't believe I'm going to share this, but part of me was kind of sad when I left the dentist yesterday. I know right, WHO am I? For someone who has always despised dental visits, the notion seems absurd, but this local practice has been so good to me these past 3.5 years. Maybe it's my filling-free streak that's talking (Hello, braggart!), but if Swell Rio wasn't 2.5 hours from an airport or Target, I *might* consider staying here forever. Kidding! Totally kidding. But trust me when I say they've been outstanding!!

FEELING: Here's the thing about base housing (or any rental for that matter...), anything you paint has to return to its original color. Yes, even if you pick Benjamin Moore's 2016 Color of the Year "Simply White." Dub tee eff?! And despite the fact that we're without orders and our pack-out date is essentially nonexistent, it's probably time that I whip out the ol' roller brush and cover the walls in a khaki color they call "Macadamia." The only thing accurate about the hue is that I will be NUTTY by the time this project is completed.

THANKFUL FOR: Getting family photos taken in Swell Rio was never an item on our to-do list (It's never a priority, period.), but then I stumbled upon a photographer who just moved to the area and decided that documenting this chapter might actually be a good idea as we've lived here the bulk of our married life. It's also the town that gave us Max. Awww! But now that we're getting closer to our shoot with the photographer, I'm starting to have major regrets about my sentimental impulse. Yikes! I hate getting my picture taken and suddenly we're having to make decisions about the location, outfits, props (??), etc. It just feels overwhelming! Luckily, the photographer has been very sweet and reassuring throughout the process. With her talented eye and easy-going personality, I'm sure we'll get at least one good shot (it's all we need!) that accurately represents our Fine little family. Here's hoping... 

LISTENING TO: I know we discussed her a week ago, but with the release of Reputation last Friday, did you REALLY think I could forget about Taylor?? I actually HAVE to turn to the blog regarding the songstress because in my family I'm alone on Swift Island. My sister had bad blood with her before there was a catchy anthem featuring an A-list squad, and my mom's allegiance has always been with Katy Perry because who doesn't want to feel like a teenage dream?! Flyboy and my dad miss the old Taylor (she's dead, BTW) and long for the days they all felt 22 again. Fellow Swifties, PLEASE humor me and share your thoughts on the new album. The fact that This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things and I Did Something Bad are on repeat around here probably says a little TOO much about my musical maturity level; however, I think they could easily be considered theme songs for motherhood. No? 

WATCHING: We're TWO episodes in to this season of the Atlanta Housewives and it's a snooze fest. Would you agree?! It makes me extra ticked off at Phaedra for being so shady last year because we could really use some of her nasty wit and one-liners by now. I was hopeful that Nene's return might fill the void, but this is one tea party I will have to RSVP NO to if they carry on as they have.

EATING: Flyboy's dad and step mom are headed to TX for Turkey Day, so I should figure out what we'll be eating already. Seriously though, how are we a week away?! Gulp! You might recall that my father-in-law got remarried this past July, so we're looking forward to hosting the newlyweds this Thanksgiving as it will also be their first trip to Swell Rio. We can't promise them much in terms of sightseeing and attractions, so that means food and drink options will be paramount. Send your best recipes and gin!

READING: My mom was out of town last weekend for her aunt's memorial service in Florida, and my dad texted me on Sunday to say that he read Braving the Wilderness in FIVE hours!!! Something about this makes me smile so big just thinking about it. Maybe it's the fact that he was snuggled up next to Fergus (my little fur brother) when he read it?! Ha Ha! I loved the book so much, and I really adore the fact that he did as well. Now which one of you is next?! I promise you'll be hooked by Brown's writing in no time.

LOVING: The Danny Tanner in me was in stitches when my grandma told me she was sending me a new steam mop for my birthday. Clean freaks unite! I've blown through three of Shark's base models since we moved here (hard water is NOT my friend) and could never rationalize buying the fancier version. Once my grandma found out that we were headed for Delaware, she decided it was time for me to upgrade and WHOA she was right about this one! These gymnasium-esque linoleum floors don't stand a chance!    

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

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017



Happy Wednesday! I'm off to get my teeth cleaned, but I thought I'd pop in anyway and share a few bright spots in my week.
  • Last weekend was pretty great! It's not that we did anything exciting per se; we just didn't spend our time worrying about everything—a rarity these past four months. On Friday we made our way to San Antonio to get the Touareg worked on (again!). They forgot to connect wires in the door panel that allow the passenger to exit the vehicle from the inside. Because Flyboy primarily drives this vehicle, it took us almost four weeks to realize it wasn't working. Sigh. Needless to say, we weren't pleased, but the dealership made up for it with a speedy repair and we had an excuse to eat at Whiskey Cake and stop by Trader Joe's for flowers and treats. Gimme Tulips and all the pumpkin errrrything!
  • As some of you are aware via Instagram, I was approached a few weeks ago by Pinhole Press to create a Petite Flat Lay Book. I typically create stuff like this to give as gifts, so I was beyond giddy to design a visual memento that I could keep as a reminder of this chapter in Swell Rio. I love how it turned out, and I have a feeling I'll be creating more of them in the near future. Once we get this move out of the way, I have big plans to create individual books for various holidays, trips, etc. In the meantime, I'll be handing these bad boys out as gifts because HOLY SWEETNESS that was fun!
  • Flyboy makes a mean apple pie (he uses his Gammy's recipe), but he doesn't bake them often unfortunately. Womp womp! I think the last time we had one we lived in Hawaii (???), so imagine the joy that came over me when he agreed to stop by HEB for the ingredients on Sunday morning. Yep, it was a Joe Biden level BFD!! Max thought the whole process was a riot, and I could tell that peeling apples was his favorite part based on the number of slices he shoved in his mouth over a period of ten minutes. Later that night the three of us went to town on the finished product (generous scoops of vanilla ice cream are mandatory), and we decided that FB's still got it! Because it was so tasty, we also concluded that he needed to take the rest to work because my jeans can only handle so many weeknight desserts.
  • When Emily Maynard of Elva Fields approached me about participating in a Leading Lady series, I had to pinch myself! I started my blog 6.5 years ago as a creative outlet and online journal to document our mobile lifestyle and to share sources of inspiration along with some of my favorite things. Around that time, Pinterest was just beginning to take off along with the online magazine Matchbook. I can't remember which of the two I can thank for introducing me to Elva Fields jewelry first, but I quickly became obsessed. It wasn't long after that when I noticed some of my favorite blogging and design darlings (Oh Joy and Mrs. Lilien) were fans as well. Who wouldn't fall hard for these dazzling duds? The pieces incorporated in my necklace had been sitting in my jewelry box for awhile. The flower brooch and clip-on earring were pieces my father-in-law let me keep when we cleaned out his garage back in 2008. They were his mother's and he encouraged me to take a piece or two because he knew how much I also appreciate a sparkly accessory. The magnolia flower fell off a cuff I was given after I graduated from college. I took it to several jewelers to see if they could fix it for me, but I had very little luck. I was devastated that it broke, but held on to the idea that someone someday could help me and repair the beloved bracelet. Little did I know that it would be Elva Fields to the rescue and that all three treasured pieces could be incorporated into one gorgeous necklace specifically designed for me! It's the kind of colorful stunner that brings out your inner Iris Apfel, and I'm so honored to have been chosen to participate. It's a dream come true! You can read more about it here on the Elva Fields blog.
  • Despite dinosaurs drenched in mud, military orders that are still MIA, spilled coffee on clean jeans (they were stretched to comfortable perfection), and a series of dreary days hunkered down indoors, my heart is very full right now. There are a lot of unknowns, but also a bunch of new opportunities that await (I can feel it!). With Thanksgiving just eight days away, I'm reminded that it's two sweet boys and a Berner who keeps BEGGING to hop into bed with us that bring me the most joy—although fresh flowers and a delicious scented candle certainly help!    

Enough of my babbling. How the heck are YOU??
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