May 28, 2015

What the Kids Have Been Up To + Our Summer Bucket List + My favorite Kids Shoe for Summer

We are officially one week into no school and I'm slowly running out of ways to entertain my little people.  The real kicker is that they wake up earlier and stay up later so there is literally several more hours worth of keeping them occupied.  I thought it would be fun to let them come up with their list of things they want to do this summer.  Not exactly the bucket list of Parents Magazine but it's cute to see what they said.  I'm going to do a follow up post with things to do with kids in the area.  I know it's always helpful when you travel (or even for locals) to be reminded of fun things to do.

Tucker + Tate Knit Dress (true to size, didn't need to order up like we sometimes do) || Girls Scarf (also love this one with the pompoms) || Pink Native Shoes

I get a lot of questions about Tagg's blue shoes (the only thing besides his boots you'll see him wearing // and his orange pants found here) and I have to say they are my favorite three season kids shoe ever.  Of all time.  They are made by Native and are a cross between a croc and a tennis shoe.  Hands down the best thing I have found for kids.  So good I've been debating ordering myself a pair.  They have a super thick sole that is really durable and the holes make them breathable.  I bought Tagg a pair last Spring and he wore them daily during the Spring, Summer and Fall and they are still like brand new.  He wears them in mud puddles, on playgrounds, neighborhood walks, backyard races, and even in at the beach or in the pool.  I can hose them off, Clorox wipe them, and throw them on the top shelf of the dishwasher.  I kid you not.  They're hip and go with trendy clothes and I personally think they look equally adorable with a classic john-john or smocked bishop as well. 

I've also rounded up all of my favorite shoes for my kids.  This is basically the complete list of what is lying on our front hall closet floor at this very minute.  Be sure to check out the full offering for girls or boys.  Thankfully Nordstrom offers free shipping and free returns because some of these brands run smaller or larger than others.  For instance, the natives run big and the salt water sandals run small.  I've found that hunter boots and keens will still work if they're a size too big so you get double the wear out of them.

Get the deal on my favorites below:

*affiliate links used


 And now just a quick up-date on the babes.  Who are officially no longer babes of any sort, for that matter.  The days are slow but the years sure go by so fast.  I'm sure most of y'all aren't super interested in this but the grandparents and extended family love this stuff.  And it's nice to document for us too.

Wells is turning five at the end of the summer.  I can't even begin to describe how sweet and thoughtful this child is to others.  She feels deeply and fully.  She is also shy and sensitive.  An observer.  Cautious.  She'd rather sit on my lap than run and play with a large group of kids.  In small groups and one-on-one settings she shines.  Shines!  She can make you feel like you're the most important person on Earth.  She loves animals and has a gift with handling them.  She's an animal whisperer.  She can't get enough of the water.  She truly believes she might get to meet a mermaid one day.  She has an incredible gift for building things and creating things.  She likes to pick out her outfits each morning and will only wear a headband.  She's headed to Junior Kindergarten in the fall (more on our decision process later) and I think this next year will be tremendous for her confidence and ease in new situations.  She's so bright and articulate and I love our closeness and how much time she still wants to spend together.

 Tagg.  Dear Tagg.  You will be 3.5 soon and I'm having a hard time not thinking of you as a baby.  Maybe it's because you still aren't sleeping through the night regularly and you haven't shown any need for independence like your sister.  ha!  I truly don't think it's possible for you to be more loving and snugly.  All day long you want to cuddle and snuggle and give hugs and kiss.  You are always quick with a smile and a compliment.  Your laughter is contagious and should be bottled up.  Still obsessed with Thomas the Train but quickly letting the fun of playing Jake and the Pirates sneak in.  He is calm and chill and makes you feel like a million bucks.  He reminds me so much of his Daddy in this way.  In a crowd you will find him front and center and leading the way.  Telling jokes and whispering something funny under his breath (Much more like your grandfather!).  He is brave.  So brave.  He loves to play in mud and puddles and get dirty and sit in creek beds and build construction sites.  We recently had his allergy levels tested and his numbers are quite high so it's still a bit frightening navigating his world.  More still when I'm not with him.  He did amazing in the Two's this year at school.  We've finally gotten his asthma under control and we've watched an entirely new child emerge these past few months.  It's exciting to finally meet the real Tagg.  His eczema this time of year is horrible.  I'll try to discuss that in another post as well.  I love watching him run and climb and do "boy fings" and then turn around and climb into my lap, "the snuggle section" for love.

I love posting little snippets of our life on instagram but sometimes it's fun to have a chance to share more about these two little cuties on the blog as well.  Thanks for letting me indulge in their cuteness!  And a big thank you to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post.

May 25, 2015

Swimsuit Season

Thank you so much for those of y'all that have checked in on me recently.  I know it's been pretty silent around here lately.  I just needed a mental holiday.  May was a crazy and busy month for me and I felt like I was out of my groove with blogging.  I wanted to just be more of a consumer of blogs and social media for a little while while I figured some things out in my head.

I felt like I needed to give some grand explanation.  There is none.  I felt like I needed some huge and amazing comeback post.  I don't have that.  And then I felt like if I was gone another week I might not come back.   And I don't want that.  So here I am just sharing a little bit with you today.  And I'll continue to do that every day for the next few weeks until I've filled you in on all that is going on in my world. 

Thank you so much, genuinely, for still being here.  I've missed the connection. 

I've been spending a crazy amount of time with my neighbors and feeling so dang lucky to live in such an awesome neighborhood.  Everyone is just so nice and inclusive and ready to have a drink and hang out and let our kids run and play!  I've been hanging out in little sundresses and swimsuits + cover-ups and drinking lots of fun fruity drinks! 

Today I've rounded up a few of my favorite swim essentials for you for this summer.  We've already had several swim party invitations and it's nice to have a fresh new look to pull on.  I get in and swim in the chlorine with my kids daily so my suits just don't last that long.  Time for some new pretties.  I'm also a major major fan of a good cover-up!  I love cover-ups that can be worn before or after the pool for inevitable grocery store runs.  Anything too revealing only works for the beach.  I'm especially loving this white dress cover up pictured below paired with the white bandeau one-piece.  It also comes in black but I'm really into white this year.  White looks really good with all skin tones but especially nice paired with pale skin because it's less of a contrast.  I think it gets overlooked too often.

Nordstrom has so many pretties right now that I had no problem finding some one-pieces that were still rocking.   Those Trina Turks are so fun and always a hit.  The racy lacy ones are pretty awesome too.  My friend has the one pictured above by the flamingo and it's so great in person.

I tend to stick with one pieces these days because it's easier with two little ones draped over me and clinging for dear life while we swim in the big pool.  I'm also loving this pink strapless bandeau and the sweetheart neckline on this one.  Both of those have amazing ruching around the middle to keep it all in.  That's genius.


Thank you to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post!

May 13, 2015

Tomato Basil Quinoa with Chicken

I've got another dinner for you today that's been on regular rotation around here.  It's really simple and so good.  Something really good to use up all that fresh basil and tomato that's about to start popping up in our home gardens as well.  I think it's really good served warm with some crumbled feta on top or cold the next day as a lunch salad.

Tomato + Basil Quinoa with Chicken
Quinoa cooked according to the package but substitute chicken stock for water
Bake one package of boneless skinless chicken breast seasoned with salt + pepper and garlic (or use rotisserie chicken)
Add 4-5 heaping spoonfuls of pesto mixed into the fully cooked quinoa
3-4 Fresh vine ripened tomatoes cut up
5-6 basil leaves cut up

May 12, 2015

Spring Cocktail Recipes

Spring Cocktails.  It makes me smile just saying it out loud.  I'm helping to plan a Spring Garden Party this weekend in our neighborhood and I've been tasked to bring the signature drink.  I started looking into fun party punch to serve and found several that would both look pretty and taste great served in a batch.  I thought y'all might like to see what I narrowed it down to as well.  Also, I would love to hear any of your favorite fresh cocktails! 

My favorite drink lately is a Malibu bay breeze; Malibu Rum, Pineapple Juice, and a squeeze of lime.  Reminds me of being 22 at the beach.  I'm excited to give all of these drinks below a try as well.  They all look so refreshing and delicious!  Like the kind of good you have to be careful about.

Find the original recipes and directions below:
Meyer Lemonade with Rosemary and Vodka || Citrusy Champagne Sangria || Coconut Mojito || Strawberry Gin Smash || Watermelon Mint Spiked Lemonade

May 11, 2015

Current Obsessions

What an awesome weekend we just had!  A fun neighborhood kids party, a fun and relaxed neighborhood party for just the grownups, a neighborhood yard sale, and Mother's Day.  I couldn't have asked for better weather or more laughs.  We really got so lucky moving in to such an awesome neighborhood.  Is it just me or does May feel just as busy as December?

Lots of parties means lots of cute outfits!  I've still got white neutrals on the brain.  I love how pretty they are in Spring!  And so polished and easy!

*affiliate links used

May 6, 2015


Welcome to the final reveal of the ORC friends!  I can't believe the end is finally here!  I am so proud and happy with the way this space has turned out.  It's truly a room both my husband and I are eager to hang out in.  And let's be honest, the kids too.  There are no rooms off limits to those little munchkins no matter how I try.  It's truly a lovely and serene place to land at the end of the day and a bright and clean way to begin in the morning.  Come on and take a look!

I know it's super picture heavy so I'll just skip the words today.  I'll be back over the next few days discussing some of my choices and details further.  Every decision was really thought out and I tried to make it both a pretty and liveable space.  Enjoy!

If you're new here, I've spent the last six weeks completely making over our master bedroom into a peaceful and easy master retreat!  Be sure to check out the the way this room has evolved below! 

Welcome to our peaceful and relaxed master bedroom!

Thank you so much for following along and for all of the help and encouragement along the way! I would love to know if you are linking up tomorrow so I can stop by and see your space as well!  Cheers to another fabulous One Room Challenge!


Also, be sure to check out the final reveal of the other fabulous participants below.  Everyone has such different style and there is so much inspiration to be found in these spaces!
Trademarked by Calling it Home

Duvet Cover + Euroshams || Headboard || Monogrammed Sheets || Lumbar Pillow Fabric || Navy + White Striped Blanket (homegoods) || Bedside Tables || Capiz Mirror (homegoods) || White Lamps (homegoods) || Art Print (beach scene) || Mohair stool (target) || linen leopard pillow || French Market Basket (with plant inside) || Console Table || Upholstered Chairs from Arhaus || Moroccan Pouf || Seafoam Linen Lacefield Pillow || Blue Medallion Pillow || Blue Chevron Kufri Life Pillow || White Lamps (homegoods) || Blue + Navy Art Print || Blue and Gray Art Print || Taupe Ikat Shams || ReWined Rose' Candle || navy + white leather monogrammed catch-all || acrylic monogrammed tray || Ginger Jar (similar) || Turquoise stools (homegoods) || Stone Herringbone throw || Roman Shades || Linen Bedskirt || Sisal Rug || Paint Color: Sea Salt cut to 50% || Emily Jeffords Art Print || Linen Storage Bench || TEAM FOR LIFE print by me in IKEA RIBBA FRAME || Metal Platform Bed || wicker laundry basket (homegoods)

A special thank you to the One Room Challenge sponsors

It was also a great experience working with these two companies in this space


And a giant thank you to Linda of Calling It Home for orchestrating this incredible blogger event!

May 4, 2015

Decorating Around a TV in the Bedroom

First of all I just wanted to say Happy Monday!  And then, how the heck are we already in the full swing of May?  Time is flying by me. 

TV.  I'm a big freaking fan.  I'm also an avid reader so I feel confident the two cancel each other out.

Let's discuss.  I am all for making what you need work and we need a tv in our bedroom.  Case Closed.  But it's been so much harder than I imagined to make that TV feel like a purposeful part of the room on it's own.  Without decorating around it, it feels a bit random in an otherwise peaceful and pulled together space.  Yet I am trying with all my vignette-loving self to pull back in this room and let it breathe.  We don't need more chairs or another table in here.  We just don't. 

But now our tv is floating on air which feels incomplete as well.  I love the placement of all the other furniture in our room and I don't want to move anything or switch things up so this needs to be something completely new to the space.

And here are the only images I could come up with that feel like something I would recreate in here.

As you know the One Room Challenge reveal is on Wednesday morning which means this has to be completed today so I can photograph it tomorrow.  YIKES.  Wish me luck!

April 29, 2015

One Room Challenge: Week Five

Welcome to week five of the ORC friends. That means we have just one week left before the reveal.  Which means I have less than a week to finish things up so I can photograph and share the results with y'all.  I'm officially in panic mode over here.  The finished touches are always the hardest part for me.  Adding that final layer of warmth without creating unnecessary clutter.

If you're new here be sure to check out week one || week two || week three || week four to see how our master bedroom is evolving into a soothing and spa like master retreat.

I'm going to go ahead and warn you that today's post is picture heavy but I think that's much more fun to see at this point anyway!

Lots of pretty!  There really is so much I love about this space.  It's incredible how much nicer it is to start and end our day in a room we're really excited about.  I know we've come a long way but I've still got a laundry list of things to get this room exactly the way we want it.  Clock is ticking!

One major element in the room that I haven't really talked about it our bed.  It's kind of the elephant in the room for real.  My parents passed it down to me several years ago and Matthew and I love to hate this bed.  We both love it on one hand but we hated the tall poles on the foot board.  They block the view of the tv and made us feel a bit claustrophobic for some reason.

Second problem, we are adamant about having a tufted headboard.  It's just amazingly more comfortable when sitting up in bed.  We've been trying for about a year now to merge the two.  I don't dislike it but I've just never really loved it.  I thought about painting it white but realized yesterday that I needed to get off the fence and just order a platform instead.  I love the look of a taller bed with a bed skirt so we'll still place the box-spring on the new metal frame.  This bed will go into the attic until Tagg gets a little older and upgrades to a larger bed.

 You can see in the next few pictures below that Matthew installed two of the three roman shades I ordered from LoomDecor.  I accidentally broke the third one when I was trying to get it out for Matthew to hang so you'll notice the side window still has the blinds up.  These things work on tension and it's not wise to take off the clips holding the strings tight.  Lesson learned.

Also, I tried to go a wider view for you because that's always helpful for me.  After the addition of cozy sitting area with our new chairs and console table, the bed pillow situation is my favorite.  My new pillow from ShopMaddie G looks amazing.  I had her make a small boudoir pillow to add some punch to the neutral mix.  It's and odd size but I just shoved a spare standard pillow into it and it worked out perfectly.  I'm also really starting to embrace the blue.  I can't wait to see it paired with the Schumacher Garden of Persia.

Also, people always ask where I got my full euro inserts.  They're from Pottery Barn and they're incredibly full and keep their shape.  I've had these for almost three years now and they're just as full as day one.  The shams and duvet can be found here.

I still have a little work to do on styling our bedside tables as well.  I always struggle between pretty and practical.  A bottle of water and a box of tissues just doesn't look good but I need them.

And just in case you think I've got all my ducks in a row and will be sipping cocktails through the next seven days I will gift you with this little wall of "oh shit."  Oh Shit.

I'm officially starting to stress about getting this all complete and photographed for you in just one week.  Yikes!  Maybe some cocktails will be needed after all.

Thanks for stopping by!  Be sure to check in with the other ladies to see what they've been up to this week.

Trademarked by Calling it Home