Friday, June 29, 2018

LURVE LOAVE LUFF




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

  • Habitat Gold Extension Cord // Okay, how long has this been around and why didn't I get the memo? Pure genius!
  • Patio Rolling Cooler // I can't stop thinking about this option from Target, but the reviews are meh. Perhaps one of these from Wayfair might be a better choice?? The color options are pretty are enticing. It would look so cute on our porch.
  • Studio Salad Plate Set // Four colorful plates that are fun and won't break? This sounds like a kid-friendly dream.
  • Hip Water Bottle // Style and functionality unite for good. Who wouldn't be on board with a pitch like that?
  • Bruno Rayas Stripe Clutch // The next time I have a little "fun money" to waste, THIS is what I'm buying. Eek!
  • Orly Fireball Nail Polish // In need of a little pampering? This summery shade ought to do the trick. It's my new fave!
  • Lapcos Lip Tint in Pink // Are you familiar with this Korean skincare line? The color selection is gorgeous.
  • Cha Cha Drop Earrings // The name alone says everything. Swing and sway with a set of these adorning your ears.
  • Heart Sunglasses // These look like they would cost a lot more than they do. For $9.99, why the heck NOT??
  • Xinh & Co. Mini Basket Tote // "Xinh" means pretty in Vietnamese. I like that this tote is honest and gets to the point.
  • Tie-Shoulder Dress with Embroidery // There aren't enough adjectives to describe just how much I adore this dress. 
  • Pineapple Keychain // Scrambling for you keys never looked so sweet. Leave it to KSNY to knock this one out of the park.
  • Yay All Day // I get a lot of questions about children's books and I think Wee Society is a great place to start.
  • Pretty Okay At Life Ribbon // These would be nice to have handy and give out when someone needs encouragement.
  • Abstract Collection // Ampersand Design Studio has a new line of planners for 2018-2019 that are bold and cheerful!
  • Thumbs-Up Soap // Start your day off on a positive note with a soap that brings on lots of likes.
  • Green Sailing Ship Kite // I can't stop obsessing over these beauties. They're seriously a work of art. Which color??
  • O Boy // This Kule tee should become a permanent piece in my mom uniform. I feel like it suits any situation with Max.
  • Brass Crab // Fenton & Fenton is an Australian shop that I reeeeeeeeally wish would start  selling worldwide.
  • Ellsworth Kelly Book // This book is just is just as bold as it is beautiful. Something about his colorful work calms me.
  • Suzanne Flat-Weave Rug // I'd eventually like to find a rug for our office space. This isn't it, but we're getting warmer.


Happy Friday, m' dears! Make this weekend count.
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Thursday, June 28, 2018

THURSDAY'S THOUGHTS


VIA

FEELING: On Tuesday I went to my first therapy appointment. I think I'm going to give it another shot; however, they won't be able to see me again until mid-August. Bummer! I can't say anything groundbreaking was accomplished during our visit. Then again, what more would you expect from the initial "getting to know" you introduction? I don't have much to compare my visit to, but I couldn't help but laugh when I left the facility because it definitely checked all of the stereotypical boxes. There was a couch with a box of tissues close by (I had my Oprah moment and used a few!), the room was dimly lit, there was white noise in the background, an array of essential oils, healing crystals, and possibly a lava lamp. No matter what happens, I promise to report back to you on that last detail. I could have sworn I saw something psychedelic and pink in the corner. Don't lose any sleep on this one, but please standby. 

THANKFUL FOR: Have a kid they said. It'll be fun they said. What they didn't tell me was that I'd raise a very bright and curious child who would engage in arguments with me regarding topics like skid steers and whether they have tires or tracks (for the record, they can have both depending on the terrain). First, Ashley pre-Max would have NO interest in this sort of subject matter. Second, I've watched enough Blippi, Truck Tunes, Mighty Machines, etc. to know the answer to this question by now. So when my 3.5 year old quizzed me yesterday about the topic and I responded CORRECTLY, he told me I was wrong and recommended I check my "pooter" because it always knows the right answer. In an effort to put an end to this machinery madness, I referred to Google as Max advised and wouldn't you know I was right?! BOOYAH! Thank goodness for technology and search engines that prove moms are pretty smart.

LISTENING TO: A few years ago when Beyoncé surprised us with Lemonade, it was A LOT easier for me to listen to the album and become familiar with the songs—as mom, dad, and no, were the only words in Max's vocabulary. These days I don't have that luxury, and instead of listening to The Carters in the car like I would have done in the Swell Rio days, I've relied solely on spinning to preview Everything is Love sans child. It definitely gives me something to look forward to when I workout, but it's prolonged the process.

WATCHING: If you need a pick-me-up, hop on Netflix and watch the reboot of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. When they debuted the new cast earlier this year, I was on the fence and wasn't sure I wanted to get to know the new Fab Five, but my sister talked me into it and I'm so glad she did. They're even better than before!! I can't believe I'm actually saying that, but as a whole they're just so stinking endearing and sweet. You can't NOT love them. I'm still working my way through Season 2, but the genuine and emotional growth witnessed in every episode always leaves me in happy tears. 

EATING: What's the deal with Rita's and her "Ice-Custard-Happiness?" Is this an East Coast thing? They're everywhere around here and as an ice cream aficionado, I can't help but wonder if I'm missing out. Is anyone out there familiar with the chain? Is it worth trying? What would you recommend? One of these days I plan on taking Max for a treat, but I thought it was worth asking you all first. 

READING: One of my favorite things to do with Max is sit on the back porch with a stack of books and read together. Being in the company of a miniature version of myself, I try to give up some of the control and let him choose the reading material from time to time (Spoiler alert! They ALWAYS deal with dinosaurs and sharks.). On Tuesday morning, this decision paid off big time when he hopped up on the chair and requested I read Henri's Scissors. This was one of those children's books that I bought when I was pregnant because I just adore Matisse, and it would look super cute in his nursery.  Ha! It was obviously more for me than it was for him, so I didn't expect that he'd be so interested and engaged as I read it. I joke a lot about how I know more about excavators and tow trucks now than I ever imagined I would, but it's pretty fantastic getting to delight in some of my own interests with our little boy as he gets older. Moments like that are fleeting, but it left me feeling tickled to death that I got to share it with him!      

THINKING ABOUT: If I wasn't such an introvert, I'd totally throw a Bravo themed party and insist that Slob-Kabobs be on the menu. Dorinda is seriously the gift that keeps on giving. I love her so much. Please stay on RHONY forever!! The world needs your one-liners.

LOVING: I went off the deep end earlier this week and got all preachy on Instagram about these pants. In my defense, the Point Sur Wide-Leg Crop is kind of BANANAS, and there are a handful of other rejoicing reviewers on J.Crew's website that stand right next to me on this one. I thought the Madewell version was the holy grail, but these have made me reconsider my stance on the matter. 


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

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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

MAXWELL'S ROOM: THE TODDLER EDIT



When they packed up Max's room at our rental in Swell Rio, I seriously wanted to ugly cry. Actually, I DID ugly cry. It was my favorite spot in the house, which I still find hilarious because I spent the first nine months living there in a state of absolute terror because it symbolized the unknown. But as with any new chapter, I grew to adore the space and the memories we shared together over a span of three years. It was our corner of happy in the hamster wheel that sometimes feels like motherhood, and I was really proud of the nursery I created for our wily one. On those days when I felt like I was failing miserably on the "ma" meter, I knew I was killing it on the aesthetic end of things. Ha! Oh, and let's not kid ourselves, my reason for crying as the movers boxed everything up wasn't solely based on sentimental value. No, I wasn't prepared for Max to move into a "big boy" bed. That's right, we were one of the few parents we knew who had a three year old still snoozing in a crib. Gulp! In our defense, he never tried getting out on his own. Max pushed (and continues to...) limits in countless ways, but he always loved his crib and the idea of independently escaping never crossed his mind. Ka-CHING! But, out of necessity, we eventually had to make the transition after Christmas while we were living with my parents. Oddly enough, it went shockingly well — thanks to the magic that is the OK to Wake Clock!

Because it was our threenager's first experience moving, I spent a lot of time talking about the perks of our new place, especially HIS room. I didn't want to overwhelm him with too much change and I selfishly wanted to recreate aspects of his old nursery at our home in Delaware (#letthembelittle), so I integrated most of the same artwork, knick-knacks, and organization as we had in Texas. Since this is what he's always known, it felt like a very natural transition. With a refresh of bedding, a new LARGE bed, light sources, and more room for organization, I was able to give the space a few todleriffic tweaks that I think elevated the space in a way that can grow with him the longer we live here. It's colorful, quirky, and matches the overall vibe I like to maintain throughout the house.


In addition to a few other small future projects and the inevitable tchotchke, here are sources for what I used...
Vintage Pant Hanger via Etsy — Great for hanging artwork!


Note: Some of the items listed aren't in the graphic, but I've included them for reference as they may appear on the blog or 'Gram.



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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

LIFE'S LITTLE DETAILS


"THE DETAILS ARE NOT THE DETAILS. THEY MAKE THE DESIGN." — CHARLES EAMES
Happy Wednesday, m' dears! We got back from visiting my parents last week and Flyboy returned home a few days later from a two-week course in Florida—just in time for Father's Day weekend. Woo Hoo! After a whirlwind ten days in NoVA helping my mom with end-of-school year festivities and enjoying a handful of city life amenities (mostly gelato and croissants), it was nice to return to the Delaware countryside and partake in a little blueberry picking at a local orchard, yard work, evening fireside s'mores, and a trip to Bombay Hook Natural Wildlife Refuge. I think we're starting to find a rhythm out East and it feels really nice!


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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

ON A MOTHER'S NOTE


EASEL // LETTERS // NUMBERS // SCISSORS // CONSTRUCTION PAPER // CHUNKIES // VELCRO


A few weeks ago, I shared a snippet on Insta-Stories of my setup for Max and I got A LOT of questions about it. When we moved to Delaware, I wasn't really sure what our daily routine might look like, but I knew we would need one ASAP or I'd feel very overwhelmed by all the new-ness. While I don't currently have plans to home school Max, I'm always looking to find ways in which we can supplement at home and add structure to our days/week. I suppose our time together during the work week feels less daunting as long as we have a plan. Anyone else in the same boat?! What I'm about to share with you is very simple, requires minimal planning, and should cost you very little. In fact, I feel a bit silly for even posting about it, but for those interested, here's my easy approach:
  • I created a mobile learning center with the help of a cheap easel from IKEA and a set of felt numbers and letters from the dollar bins at Target. After acquiring these bargain buys, I got out a few index cards and construction paper and doodled the days of the week and weather. I wanted to give Max an interactive approach to learning and start getting him accustomed to a routine he might anticipate in preschool or kindergarten. I attached a small piece of velcro to the back of each card, number, and letter, so we could swap them out according to the day/week.
  • Depending on the number or letter we're focused on for the week, I try to look at both our local and home library to pick out a few books that incorporate each. This week we're focusing on the letter "F" and the number six, so we'll read books about fish, farting frogs, and food. Max loves to make things, but I wasn't feeling particularly creative, so we got out the construction paper, googly eyes and markers and threw some fish together on a whim. The thing about kids is that it doesn't have to be "template perfect" to suit their needs. Just let them create and they'll be thrilled to the gills!
  • I've never been someone that LOVES numbers, so you'll probably notice that our weekly lessons are heavy on the letter recognition and reading side. To emphasize math and the number of the week, I rely heavily on manipulatives. We use links like these from Discovery Toys to "graph" our numbers, along with keeping a group of popsicle sticks and plastic bear counters handy to represent the number we're discussing. Each week we add another to our grouping.
  • If the week is particularly busy with other errands and to-dos, learn on the go. Point out items that begin with the letter of the week or have them count. Our makeshift learning lab has helped a ton with Max's recognition. Whenever we're on the go, I'll have him point out the letters or numbers we're talking about on billboards, signs, etc. He especially lives for speed limit signs and likes to remind me to go the speed limit. Ha Ha! Sometimes if things get nutty, we'll extend the letter/number into two weeks. The point is, YOU get to decide the pace you want to go. There are NO rules.
  • I'm a planner, but I'm also busy and would rather spend my free time watching Bravo or scouring J.Crew's new arrivals, so I try not to over think this setup. In fact, most weeks I throw something together on Monday morning while Max eats breakfast. I get out a basket, browse his room, look for items around our house, and come up with a game plan for activities, books, or low-key crafts we can create to learn the letter/number of the week. It could include cooking or baking, building the letter/number out of play dough, collecting items that begin with the letter of interest or the amount we're focused on. Sometimes we'll scan his books to see if he can recognize the letter, or I'll have him look through One Thousand Things and pick out words that sound like they begin with the letter. One of his favorite activities includes sorting through his magnetic letters/numbers and alphabet blocks and collecting the week's number and letter with his vehicle of choice. This is also a great way of having him work individually and I can tend to laundry or drink my coffee.
  • I opted to go in alphabetical and numerical order because it honestly makes sense to organize it that way for us. While there are many opinions regarding the order in which you should teach the alphabet, I believe that symbols like numbers and letters are still very foreign to a 3 year old and Max questions the WHY to everything. If I chose just any random letter or number, he would look at a number or alphabet chart and question WHY I skipped something.
  • As most of you are aware, there are oodles of resources online so you can personalize this however you like. I personally try to stay off of Pinterest, because it can be a lot and most of the projects entail more steps or materials than I'd prefer. Instead, I stick to YouTube for catchy musical videos by Jack Hartmann, Koo Koo Kanga Roo, Go Noodle, and ABC Mouse. These especially come in handy when the weather is less than ideal and your toddler needs to MOVE. A LOT.



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Friday, June 8, 2018

LURVE LOAVE LUFF



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

  • Hugo Lounge Chair // It's nostalgic and modern all at once. This velvet piece would stand the test of time.
  • Twigs + Teeth by Demii Whiffin // More than amused with her work. Also the fact that the 22-year-old artist describes herself as someone who loves big dogs and exclamation points. Um, did we just become best friends?! 
  • Floral Cotton Bath Mat // I stick to white in the bathroom, but this sunny surprise might be just what I need instead.
  • Coin Fob // Clare V. killing it one colorful leather cutie at a time. Her words on Kate Spade this week made me smile.
  • Austen-tatious Tote Bag // The nerd in me thinks there's nothing like a literary LOL to kick-off the weekend.
  • Communitie Cooked Straw Hat // Handwoven in Marfa, Texas. What's not to adore about something like that?
  • Dotted Scoop Back Swimsuit // Let's face it, swimsuits can be spendy. This gem comes in at $55 and POLKA DOTS, baby!!
  • Self-Tanning Drops // Believe me when I tell you that this bottle is pure magic. You get the healthiest glow. I'm hooked.
  • Denim Shorts // Every Summer I hunt for a pair of jean shorts. The wash on these is marvy. How about that inseam?
  • Crisscross Sandals // I tried these a few weeks ago and regret not buying them. The color matches with everything.
  • Blue Velvet Whale // Artist Tamar Mogendorff mixes whimsy with a touch of darkness in all of her impeccable pieces.
  • Metal Basket with Handle // Zara Home doesn't get nearly enough credit for it's amazing selection of house goods.
  • Type-A Patch // I really feel like Katelyn designed this piece of flair with me in mind. It's just so fitting—a definite MUST!
  • Essential Leather Card Holder // Cut from buttery leather, this orange metallic number would jazz up any bag or clutch.
  • Tossed Letters Thank-You Note Set // Gratitude gets a graphic update with this fun set. Adding to my paper arsenal stat.
  • Skip 2 by Frea Buckler // How insanely wonderful is this punchy color combination? See more of Buckler's work here.
  • Cactus Wall Mount // Some days I miss Texas. This addition would certainly raise a Swell Rio smile at our new house.


Happy Friday, m' dears! Make this weekend count.
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Thursday, June 7, 2018

THURSDAY'S THOUGHTS


VIA MORGAN HARPER NICHOLS

FEELING: I'm still trying to process that THE Kate Spade is gone for good. Though I never had the honor of meeting her as I wished I would (it was on my bucket list and I really believed it might happen some day!), her tragic death this week feels very personal. She was a source of inspiration for so many of us and played an integral role in helping me define my own personal aesthetic. Kate brought a world of whimsy and life to fashion and she had this effortless way of encouraging us to find what it is that brings us joy in the form of simple objects and color. She was a light that went out too early, and my heart aches for her family. 

THANKFUL FOR: I wasn't sure if I really wanted to divulge this online yet, but after news broke of Kate Spade, and several friends had the courage to be open about their own mental health recently, I thought I'd share that I have my first appointment with a therapist later this month. I'd be remiss if I didn't say that I've thought about canceling it MANY times because the ego gets involved and my issues/fears/internal struggles seem minute compared to others, but when I learned that going to therapy is covered by our insurance and we're finally living in an area with options, I figured it was worth a shot. We all have room for improvement, but I think something happens when you have a child and you want to be able to give them the BEST version of yourself. I still haven't figured out what I want to accomplish by going, but I hope they can offer me some tools to let go of some of my fears along with this innate need to people please and Dorinda the hell out of life by making it nice. I suppose this Steinbeck quote has always hit close to home: "And now that you don't have to be perfect, you can be good." There's no better time than now to put that plan into action.   

LISTENING TO: Adam Levine does it again with his latest catchy hit Girl Like You. Are you as obsessed as I am? My sister messaged me last week and begged that I watch the star-studded video immediately and I'm so glad I did. It's brimming with powerful female role models from all walks of life making the single THAT much sweeter.  

WATCHING: If my mom is feeling up for it this weekend, I have every intention of taking her to see the RBG documentary. Have you seen it yet? I've heard that it's a touching and riveting tribute to the controversial and beloved supreme court justice.

EATING: If Summer is grass eating season, then look no further than Pinch of Yum's delightful Shrimp and Avocado Salad with Miso Dressing. Wowzers! I've never been one to get "full" from a salad per se, but this was flavorful and oddly filling. 

READING: Does anyone know if the latest edition of Domino (featuring the wondrous Cleo Wade and that stellar striped wallpaper!!) has hit newsstands yet? I thought it was supposed to be available this week, but I've checked a few stores and can't seem to find it.

THINKING ABOUT: Y'all, Southern Charm is BONKERS! It's trashy and chock-full of drama, but that's what makes it so good. Can I get an amen? That Ashley chick is bananas. Never in a million years would I have predicted that Kathryn would be the poised or sane one in the bunch, but here we are in Hilton Head. Just please don't make me watch T-Rav get a pedicure EVER again. Ew.

LOVING: I got a striped version of Rivet & Thread's Vintage Shrunken Tee at Madewell recently and something tells me I'll be returning for another very soon (preferably the classic white). The cut and fit make it well worth the price tag. I'm impressed! 


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



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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

LIFE'S LITTLE DETAILS


"THE DETAILS ARE NOT THE DETAILS. THEY MAKE THE DESIGN." — CHARLES EAMES
Happy Wednesday, sweet readers! I thought I'd pop in and share a few sunny photos with you while Max and I chill at my parents' house this week. Flyboy is away on a work trip, so it seemed like the perfect excuse to head to the Beltway and clock in some quality time with MiMi and PaPa. Wouldn't you agree?! While we're museum-bound on a metro or seated at Strawberry Field for story time, here are a few notes about what we've been up to lately...

  • It's hard being a three year old. For instance, when Max wants something and we refuse to give in, he's taken up the hobby of crying so hard he forces himself to vomit. It happened again last week when we told him he couldn't watch any more of his favorite dinosaur show, and the whole throwing up debacle resulted in nine hours of soaking his bedding in Oxiclean to clean up the mess. Things get extra tricky when your kid's diet consists of 75% berries. 
  • The resident threenager decided it was time we throw his beloved T-Rex, Sue, a birthday party last Thursday. After a dozen or so dreary days in a row, I was down with the idea of an impromptu celebration. And in Sue's defense, she's been there for EVERY milestone; it was only fitting we acknowledge her birth as well! So we got some miniature cupcakes from the Target bakery section, made a banner with paper and markers, wrapped a few of Max's Legos to give as a gift, threw streamers up in the kitchen, and paid respects to this prehistoric peach.
  • I sent my bag to Clare V. for a small repair and since it was at the shop in Los Angeles for a few weeks, I figured it would be a grand opportunity to have my monogram hand-painted as well. As adorable as she looks, I can't help but chuckle whenever I see it. Go on and eat your heart out, millennials! I'm OG AF.
  • If there was a theme to the photos in today's post, it would have to be sunlight. There's more of it on the way, right? Summer, are you there?! Please tell me that Sue wished for more of it when she blew out those candles.

Alright, enough from me. How are YOU? I'm dying to know.


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