Friday, November 16, 2018


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

Have a fabulous weekend, m' dears! Make it count.
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Thursday, November 15, 2018



FEELING: In ten days, Flyboy and Max will head to Missouri for a special boys' trip. Yes, my kid drives me bonkers most days, so you'd think this six-day child-free break would be warmly welcomed; however, it will be the first time in over four years that I've been away from our child for more than eight hours and it's making me a little anxious. You see, for the last 1,500 days, we've been a constant for one another. He's kind of my job, a built-in bestie, the Frick to my Frack. The fact that he'll be with FB making memories with family and friends in the Midwest makes this separation a whole lot easier, but I think most moms would agree that it's hard to give up control—especially for  the first "real" time. It symbolizes something much bigger like kindergarten and college (hold me!). Keeping him close is all I've ever known, but the two of us could use a little change for the sake of growth—or at least that's how I try to sell it to myself. Anywho, when I came up with the idea of my favorites heading to MO earlier this Fall, I was hesitant to share the idea with FB because I wasn't sure I was ready to commit. But after giving it some thought and learning about the upcoming deployment, I suggested the idea and knew deep down that facilitating these kinds of memories for my guys was more important than ever. Getting quality family time is a huge priority for us at this point, but ensuring Max gets some one-on-one time with his dad is equally imperative. Getting to do so in FB's hometown surrounded by relatives is the cherry on top.

THANKFUL FOR: After last week's post where I shared Max's dental debacle, many of you responded with the kindest and most reassuring messages. Thank you! In instances of uncertainty, this online community comes in clutch. I'm feeling mentally prepared for next Monday's appointment and I'm certain your encouragement and sharing personal experiences has everything to do with it.

THINKING ABOUT: We fall under the no decorating for Christmas until AFTER Thanksgiving bunch, but this year it feels harder than ever. Gah! I can't freaking wait to deck the halls and it's taking everything inside me to show restraint and follow the family rules. Quite honestly, I blame my internal struggle on this house and Target. I'm so stinking giddy to make our first home festive and Tar-zhay's adorable holiday decor is making me weak in the knees. Send help! I don't know how much longer I can last.

READING: It's no secret I love me some Jen Hatmaker. For this reason, I revisited something she wrote on Instagram a few weeks ago and I thought it was worth sharing. After briefly discussing the midterm elections on my blog and Instagram, I got several cruddy emails in response to how I voted and I lost a handful of followers as a result of me getting "too political"—which really just meant they were disappointed I voted for someone they disagree with. Simply put, it sucked. I can tell you where to find a cute pair of shoes or a basket, but the moment I say I'm excited about an opposing candidate (I didn't even delve into the issues.), you're done with me? Since when did it become so hard to politely disagree ("Good for you, not for me.") and scroll on? Below the Of Mess and Moxie author offers some healthy insight on the polarizing political climate we're living in and how we can be better:  
"My dad sends me looooong prayer texts from home when I travel. To date, he does not think A SINGLE ONE OF YOU who has ever criticized me "knows a bloomin' thing about jacksh*t." None. No critique of me in my life has ever been accurate.
Me & dad don't vote the same, watch the same news channels, we think about church differently, & have vastly divergent ideas about stuff. He would thrive in a big ol' southern baptist church but hangs in with our little band of weirdos at ANC out of sheer love & loyalty.
And he is the best man I know.
This is why we can’t demonize a whole people group in this awful political climate. It's just not fair or true, no matter how easy it is. Social media doesn't tell us the truth.
Humans of New York was in Rwanda last week, & one story stuck with me:
"This is a picture of my father before the genocide. He’s surrounded by his Hutu friends. They’re sharing beer. They’re talking. They always viewed him as a good person. They’d even come to our home and flatter us. They’d tell my sisters and me how good of children we were. And that one day we’d marry their sons. Many of these men would later help kill my family...Before the genocide, there were doctors taking care of their patients. Priests were taking care of their followers. Neighbors were taking care of each other. But none of that stopped them from killing each other."
Neighbors can become murderers by simple group dehumanization. When "all of them" are evil, dangerous, "cockroaches"...or insert the names our 2 sides call each other is not a long road to societal catastrophe.
So in our fierce disagreement, we must resist the temptation to name call, to mock, to post conspiracy theories & propaganda, & do the harder work of dialogue, critical thinking, & engagement.
Note: Do not confuse fierce disagreement with “hating.” That is intellectually lazy. I disagree SO STRONGLY with so much right now, I feel it in my bones & it will indeed come out of my mouth. But fierce resistance does not have to equal dehumanization."  
LISTENING TO: In this edition of #fromthemouthofbabes, I give you five funny things Max has said to me this past week:

1.) "Stop being adorable."
2.) "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"
3.) While taking off his slippers, "Time to let these puppies breathe."
4.) "Being a kid is hard work."
5.) Points to a map of the USA and says, "I just love the country of Texas, don't you?"

WATCHING: If I have to listen to one more episode of Paw Patrol, I might just lose it. Don't even get me started on that whole Mighty Pups crap. Any other parents feel me on this one? StoryBots is one of the few cartoons I enjoy watching with Max. Then again, any series geared for kids that uses Snoop Dogg to explain how a computer works is fine with me.

EATING: We're a week out from Thanksgiving. What are you making? We'll be joining my parents in DC for the holiday and I'm in charge of desserts. I *think* I'm going to go with The Perfect Apple Crisp (Christy isn't lying.) and this Pumpkin Slab Pie that I made last year (because polka dots...), but I'm open to suggestions. Gimme all you got!

LOVING: I plan on getting my hair cut while the boys are out of town. Woo hoo! Despite the excitement and my dire need to get a trim, I'm a little bit embarrassed to face my stylist considering the sad state of these fried ends. Woof! Thankfully, I've been using Trader Joe's Shea Butter and Coconut Oil Hair Mask religiously for the past two weeks in addition to Davine's Ol Oil and this combination has me feeling a lot better about my mop. I've tried a boat load of hair masks at various price points and this bargain buy takes the cake. As for the oil, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE? It adds just the right amount of moisture and shine.

How are you feeling today? What are you up to? Thanks for stopping by!! 

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018


Remember that time we used to live in Texas and Hawaii and I pined for the days I would get to wear sweaters and coats that even the belle of Stuckeyville, Carol Vessey, would envy? Yep, my mom likes to remind me of this every time I start whining about how cold it is around here. But seriously though, I'm starting to think that I'm just not cut out for this changing seasons stuff. I'm already freezing and based on what the locals are wearing, Ugg boots might be overkill at this point of the game so I'm trying to remain "chill" without being chilly. If you find yourself in Delaware anytime soon, here's what I'll be wearing on repeat...


*Currently on promo for 25% thru November 18, 2018

Seasoned readers with experience living in colder weather, tell me all your secrets!

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Friday, November 9, 2018


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

  • Cerise Karo Pillow // The artistry of the Ethiopian pillows at Bole Road is inspiring. The color palette is swoon worthy.
  • Enamel Pink Tray // When it comes to decorative tchochkes like this, you really can't beat the Tar-jay dupe.
  • The Small Transport Crossbody in Vintage Chartreuse // Okay, Madewell. I see what you did here. You KNEW you had me at chartreuse, right?! I'm intrigued and would like to see exactly what the hue looks like at the store.
  •  2019 Planner // I keep getting questions about this planner and I promise to add an updated link when it's available.
  • Card Holder // With those adorable polka-dots, this is a gift giving no-brainer. I can't believe the holidays are upon us!
  • Inca Natural Incense Sticks // I'm a sucker for great packaging and suddenly I have this urge to buy ALL the incense.
  • Perkeo Fountain Pen // Somebody with the letter "X" in his name destroyed my beloved fountain pen. Replacement?!
  • Just Because Card Set // If snail mail is your thing, you're going to want to check out Kate's simply chic line.
  • Sunshine Note Pad // Max clearly knows quality paper because he's taken a liking to my stash and blew threw this favorite jotter. I can't say I blame the kid! Writing down your to-dos on this really is like sunshine.
  • Dreamy Cotton Pajamas in Pink Stripe // Winter is coming and now I feel the need to stock up on snuggly PJs.
  • Candlewick Pillow Covers // We have the blanket that matches these pillow covers and I must say, the playful textured throw has held up remarkably well compared to other pom-pom pieces I've purchased. Well done, West Elm!
  • Mille Fleurs // Is it bad that I want to own countless pieces of Léa's work? This colorful creative is one to watch.
  • Dingus Sweatshirt // Don this cozy crew neck and you'll instantly become the lead star of the Dingus Diaries. Holla!
  • Oh, Hello! // Rifle Paper Co. has done it again and blew us all away with their home line. Those pillows and rugs!!
  • Tumeric Raffia Serving Tray // I'm going to sound like a broken record, but LEIF Shop should be you go-to for gifts.
  • Sugar Paper x Target // Our local store started setting out some of the holiday goodies and it's taking everything inside me to not buy it all. We're big on waiting to decorate until AFTER Thanksgiving, but this is making it reeeeeeally hard. I've got my eye on these Red + White Scallop Dinner Napkins and this Red Stripe Table Runner in particular. My mom snagged a few sets of the Gold Chargers and said they're incredible, especially for the price!
  • Another Saturday Night... // I feel like the woman in this painting after the time change—minus the dance floor part.
  • Malvern Square Ottoman // Has anyone seen these in person? I'm tempted to buy a set if they're Kelly Green as they appear in the look book; however, the product description says Deep Teal. Hmm, what's a girl to do?! 

Have a fabulous weekend, m' dears! Make it count.

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Thursday, November 8, 2018


FEELING: The Texas senate election didn't go as I hoped and the results on Tuesday night felt like a gut punch, but I know it won't be the last we see of Beto. I don't delve into politics much on here, but I want to express how refreshing it was to cast my vote for someone who ran a very clean and civil campaign. Over the past 15 years, I've voted for both Democrats and Republicans and it really comes down to a candidate's character. So much about O' Rourke made me REALLY proud to participate in this election as a Texas resident. Shaun King summed it up quite perfectly when he said that Beto "electrified the state of Texas and sparked the imagination of the entire country" and he did so "with a message of hope, integrity, and equality for all." We need more of that!

THANKFUL FOR: I'm getting my second round of Botox today and I'm so relieved! Just as the doctor and several of you suggested, I could definitely tell when it wore off. About three weeks ago the frequency of migraines returned with a vengeance and I noticed my prescription wasn't quite effective as it has been with the injections. I'm so thankful to have found something that works!

THINKING ABOUT: I've contemplated whether or not I would share this on here for awhile (because opinions and mom guilt), but in the spirit of transparency and connecting with others going through something similar, here we go. In late September we learned Max has several cavities and he will be getting some work done in the next two weeks. If you've been hanging around this corner for awhile, you know I have a complicated past with dental work and visits in general. I'm anxious for my kid and ashamed that it happened. This has to make me a bad mom, right?! Gulp. I've spent a lot of time crying over it, thinking about the last four years and how we could have done better (Too much juice? Did we ditch the sippy cup too late? Why weren't we flossing more? The dentist in Swell Rio never said anything about his teeth. Yada, yada, yada.). I don't know many friends with kids who have experienced anything similar, so I've looked for help online—which is mostly articles about how kids today ingest too much sugar and how lax parents have become in terms of hygiene and discipline. Woof! Both our dentist and pediatrician have reassured us that sometimes there's not a lot you can do based on genetics, how the teeth come in, etc., but this recovering perfectionist feels like we failed another parenting test. Thankfully, Max has been a total trooper thus far and finds his visits enjoyable (mostly because of the treasure box). I have no recollection of flossing, using a Water Pik, or gargling fluoride mouthwash at age four, but Max is DOING IT ALL these days. We're fortunate they're just his baby teeth and we'll get a clean slate (Hopefully!) to work with as he gets older, but as shallow as it sounds, I'm worried about how it's going to look (there's a tricky cavity up front), and I don't want my little boy to be teased or judged as though it was his fault. Parenthood is not for the faint of heart. Just when you think you've hit a groove and you've got everything under control, you're smacked in the face with another lesson learned. I thought I was paranoid about my own dental hygiene, but now it's going to be on a whole new level for our son. Lord help us!

READING: On Sunday morning, I sent a text to my mom with a picture of my gross chipped nails and I joked it was a sign of my current state. I always know when things are chaotic based on my abandoned gel manicure and the cleanliness of the wagon's interior. Up until yesterday, BOTH were in sorry shape. But after a week full of change, details regarding Flyboy's deployment up in the air, Max's dental work, and to add insult to injury a section of my bangs that are badly fried, I felt overwhelmed. In this season of trying to remain present but also plan ahead for his absence, it can build up and feel like A LOT some times. The closer we get to the holidays and his departure, the more I try so hard to control things to give life structure and it backfires. It reminded me of one of my favorite poems by Morgan Harper Nichols and the idea of finding strength in each stage of our story:

For the highs and lows
and moments between,
mountains and valleys
and rivers and streams, 
for where you are now
and where you will go,
For “I’ve always known,”
And “I told you so,"
For “nothing is happening,”
And “all has gone wrong,”
It is all in this journey
You'll learn to be strong.
And to get where you're headed,
You're right where you belong.

LISTENING TO: Max likes it when we get out his dinosaur figurines and I blast We Will Rock You on my phone. We pretend the prehistoric posse is dancing with us, but a certain someone insists we change up the lyrics to "we will chomp you" instead. 

: Has anyone watched the new season of House of Cards yet? I can't say I've heard many reviews, but it's on the top of our rainy weekend to-do list. Also, unrelated but appropriate for the category, what are your thoughts on The Real Housewives of Atlanta? I'm excited about this season, but can't help but wonder what Nene was thinking with that gold head piece. Did she learn anything from Dorit's tragic golden goose episode? If not, can we get a not-so-subtle but witty reminder from Rinna. 

EATING: We forgot to set the only clock that really matters for Daylight Saving Time and that would be Max's OK to Wake Clock. Oops! Just when we thought we'd cash in on an extra hour of snoozing Sunday morning, Max flew into our bedroom at 6:05 AM. Erm. Once we realized what we had done, I rolled out of bed and started Googling breakfast ideas based on the ingredients we had in our pantry. It led me to this Easy Cinnamon Roll Cake via Cookies & Cups, which turned out far tastier than I imagined. I already have plans to repeat the recipe again whenever family comes to visit next. I highly recommend it! 

LOVING: I got this Satin Hair Bow Scrunchie for my birthday and I'm obsessed! I love it so much, I'm willing to overlook the fact that the nurse at my doctor's appointment said the gold bow reminded her of Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Despite the Disney vibes I was giving off, I promise this accessory
 is THE easiest way to up your ponytail game (and helps distract from fried bangs).

How are you feeling today? What are you up to? Thanks for stopping by!! 

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Wednesday, November 7, 2018



Happy Wednesday, sweet readers! A lot has happened since I shared the last batch of details. Let's get to it...
  • We visited my parents a few weeks ago and had a blast in the DC area doing all the Fall things. Max is still talking about getting his face painted, and I'm sure he's going to FREAK when it's finally time to pitch the carved pumpkins.
  • Speaking of Halloween, Maxwell was an absolute riot this year! Per the fournado's request, we practiced trick-or-treating in the days leading up to October 31st, which was pretty smart on his part because it meant he got to dig into the candy stash early. Touche, kid! Despite the T-Rex's preliminary picking, we ended up with more Sweet Tarts and Tootsie Rolls than Flyboy and I might have fancied, but we had a great time walking around our friends' neighborhood and seeing the kids show off their masked looks. Also, I've gotten a lot of questions about Max's dino headpiece since I shared photos on Instagram, and I must give my mom special credit for creating this masterpiece. Paper mache has always been her "thing" and I've wanted her to make something for Max for awhile. This turned out absolutely gorgeous and surpassed my wildest dreams. I feel so lucky to have one of her creations to display and for Max to play with whenever he wants. It goes without saying that this kid is positively smitten with his fierce gear.
  • We had our fair share of power struggles this weekend with Max, but there were a few pinch-me moments as well. For instance, we visited Bombay Hook again and I encouraged him to fill his backpack with the following "exploration" gear: a notebook, crayons, binoculars, and a camera. He initially got out his toy Polaroid, but then I told him he could use the real Instax and his reaction was the sweetest. Watching him capture the experience on his own was the BEST!
  • I had every intention to post more than once last week, but things got hectic around here and it just didn't happen. Sorry about that! As we get closer to Flyboy's deployment, we've found that details seem to change every day and it's exhausting for planners like us to keep up. I'm trying to just "roll with it," but that's easier said than done. One thing is for sure, it's all getting too close for comfort and makes me grateful for weekends spent working together outdoors and evenings where the three of us spread out on our bedroom floor with train tracks and dinosaur figurines.

Enough from me. How the heck are you? I'm dying to know.

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