Thursday, June 30, 2016


We have gone back and forth on hosting a second birthday. While I was dead-set on something with just family, something tells me to plan one while I can still pick out the theme. My future looks like princesses for several years.

With any good party theme, comes the invitation and I am a sucker for a good invitation. While most of our festivities' invites are designed by yours truly, there are some pretty talented people out there to choose from.

1) Love Lucy Design - This is the cutest little Etsy shop and even has a great Instagram profile. I love this little barnyard invite, if only the hubs would go for a mobile petting zoo.

2) Cameron Norris - I have one talented college roomie. Cameron is the sweetest thing ever and is one talented lady. This dino party is just the cutest for little boys.

3) Paper Etiquette - How cute is this British theme? It would be perfect around another royal birth or wedding... or even the perfect excuse for high tea.

4) Lemonade Moments - I am dying to do a Fiesta themed birthday. I can see it now - crepe paper, pinatas, tacos and margaritas.

5) Twinkle Little Party - This is precious for a summer pineapple party but would also be a great housewarming invite.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Five on Friday

I have vowed to get in shape. However mother nature has been limiting my runs due to the 99 degree weather at dusk. Saying that, I reignited my love/hate relationship with Tony Horton. This new video is amazing and I have only done one. Yep I am sold. 

 I love this new dress from Banana Republic. Actually, I would love a place to wear it as it would look out of place at Chik-fila-A. All you people with exciting, traveling lives should totally get this dress and wear it in various exotic places.

The only TV I watch these days is Paw Patrol or reality TV. I got caught up on the Southern Charm finale and it left me with an epiphany: They are all crazy... every one of them! But really, I love the show and all their #realworldproblems. It actually makes me feel better about my drama-less life.

J. Wills is having a summer sale! Stock up on precious pieces for now or next year! Our Fall collection is coming in as well so snag some of the cutest little outfits before they are gone!

 Tomorrow is the husband's birthday! We love birthdays in our family, so much so that I try to pull out the most embarrassing picture I can find and post it to Facebook. Unfortunately I think I have used them up after 11 years together but I am holding out hope on finding a gem.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Hacks {ikea hacks}

Ikea - a man's vision of a Swedish deathtrap.

I, on the other hand, am completely fascinated by it.  Yes their furniture is not the highest quality but we have plenty of their pieces around our house that have carried us from college to now.

Our two newest pieces are pretty great buys. The first is a large sectional sofa in our basement (aka doggie den) that is perfect for that space. It also doesn't break my heart when it gets dirty because the slipcovers can easily be popped in the wash. We also chose an Ikea dresser for the nursery and I am still very pleased with it. With a quick change of the hardware, it looks like a million bucks.

Ikea hacks are all over the internet and some of them are mind-blowing. You would never know it came from Ikea after a little elbow grease and imagination. Here are a few of my favorites:

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Dad Day

Oh man, this guy. We don't do public displays of affection, we don't do mushy. But oh man, this guy is an amazing father.

I don't tell him enough. I don't tell him how much is support means but gosh I am thankful. Thankful for his calming spirit yet the ability to be firm when warranted. I am thankful for his shoulder to cry on and his contagious grin to laugh with. Sadly I think I am more thankful for his lending hands when they aren't there (two weeks of straight travel can teach you that).

I am thankful for him, especially when I see that look in our daughter's eyes. That look of love, a love that will last forever.

There haven't been many girls in his bloodline. Saying that, there haven't been many hairbows, pink or baby dolls. There haven't been bloomers, smocked bikinis or princess castles but this man, this preppy, boys-boy has embraced all things girl. He has embraced all things his daughter.

I see this man being front row at ballet recitals, being that dad at a pop star's closest tour stop, being the tough father figure greeting her date for the first school dance or being that sentimental father-of-the-bride before taking a long walk down the aisle.

You hear everyone say they love their spouse more after having a child together. I think it is more of a greater respect. A respect, a silent acknowledgement, of we have got this. We can rally through lost sleep and temper tantrums as long as we are a team. To me, having a lifelong team mate brings that warm and gushy feeling.

So.....Thank you Aaron, my team mate. Happy Father's Day.

Thursday, June 16, 2016


Let's just be real, Banana Republic had a few bad years. Everything was drab and slightly depressing. I love black clothes and their instant slimming abilities, but I also love a pop of color here and there.

However, they have been knocking it out of the park these last few seasons. It could be my favorite neon green or it could be the 40% coupons, but whatever the reason I have become a Banana fan again!

Envelope Clutch | Again with the clutches but this one is sleek and classy - perfect for a night out.

Flutter Sleeve Dress | I am not a print person. Seriously, you won't find too many printed items in my closet. However, I do like a pattern or two and this fuschia / blur-ple combo is a winner.

Vee Top | This chartreuse, neon green color is currently my favorite. I looks better with a tan which is a sad work in progress. Anywho I love the dressy look of this top, perfect to dress up or down.

Lace Shorts | I have become a shorts lover and these are great. This navy version would look perfect with a white blouse and wedges.

Fringe Sandals | I was gifted these for my birthday and that are as amazing as I imagined. Super fun and pretty comfortable.

Peplum Tee | Tees have become my weekend friend when I don't want to be that grunge mom rocking a fraternity shirt from 2006. (I will note this still happens more than it should)

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


I think it is human nature to take the easy way out. We always look for the shortcut or the fastest means to an end. We use apps to save time and we will hire help if it frees up some more minutes in the day. The easiest way is not always the best.

Sometimes the hard thing is the right thing. Standing up for yourself, letting go of stained relationships, starting fresh. But sometimes the hardest thing is to follow your dreams.

Starting my own business is that dream. Of course I have others but it is the biggest. I have learned that starting your own business is all about putting yourself out there. You have to put your all into something because you own it, you created it. The curse of putting yourself out there is the comparison that comes with it. You compare everything; second guess everything; become doubtful about everything. Comparison becomes a devil of sorts and it digs. It digs at your confidence; it digs at your vision.

But, just this week I had an epiphany of sorts. This little dream is mine. This little dream is up to me. This dream is what I make of it and I choose to continue fulfilling that dream. I will be the first to admit, this little dream has cost me sleep, hours of free time, workouts, nap time relaxation, time with my family but this dream has given me so much more. Confidence. Assurance. Optimism. This little dream has opened my eyes to how lucky I am to have an amazing support team.

If you stayed with me thus far, I encourage you to dream. It doesn't have to be a business. It can be that trip of a lifetime or a new hobby. A dream is what keeps us moving forward and becoming the best versions of ourselves. Because really, a dream becomes the promise of tomorrows.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Toddler Favorites

Oh toddlers... how thee's attention span is quite small. Mary Tilman has a few favorite toys but we only play with them for 47 seconds before moving onto the next thing.

I love other blogger roundups so I know you are pining for my list :)

Spiralin' Seas Water Table | During the summer months, you can find us out back with this awesome table. Mary Tilman thoroughly enjoys soaking herself with cups of water. Really though, she would actually suffice with a water hose but we try to keep it classy around here.

Crayola Color Wonder | Mary Tilman is in a major color phase. Every night while prepping dinner I hear: "Momma, Color. Dada, Color. Color!" The magic of these color wonder markers are that momma's carpet doesn't get touched and little bit creates a masterpiece. Win, Win!

Bathtime Numbers | Disclaimer - I found this set at Home Goods but it has been a major hit during bathtime.

Johnson & Johnson Bubble Bath | I think toddlers are hypnotized to think bubbles are the best thing ever. I can't walk into the bathroom without hearing BUBBLES! In all seriousness though, I think bubbles are a momma's best friend during a bath boycott.

Disney movies | We are finally into a movie phase...can I get an amen? Movies make car rides home less panic-inducing and make everyone happier all around. The Jungle Book happens to be the current favorite and I am A-OK with that.

Books | Our bedtime ritual consists of three books and I savor this snuggly time. On the Night You Were Born makes me tear every time #sappymom

Thursday, June 9, 2016


I have been loving all things embellished lately - tassels, pom poms, embroidery. I also happen to love clutches but they are quite limiting once you add your wallet, phone(s), lip balm, lip gloss ... you get the picture. That doesn't even account for the little who has more baggage than me. Sigh.

But if I was in the market for a clutch, which will be in about 10 years, I would snag these beauties.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Post-vacay Blues

We just returned from eight days in Destin, Florida and it was a MUCH NEEDED trip away. Who doesn't love sand, sun, drinks and QT with friends and family?

I want to throw it out there that whoever said family vacations were relaxing must have been extremely exhausted to even think that. After a weekend spent with friends, we were truly not prepared for the never-ending whirlwind named Mary Tilman. This girl is nonstop but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Mary Tilman loved the beach to an extent. She refused to enter the water without you and found consistently pouring buckets of water on herself to be the most exciting. At least she managed to look precious while being a handful :)

The pool, however, was her element. She jumped off the side maybe 359 times. We literally had to pull her out of there kicking and screaming, much to the entertainment of bystanders.

She also loved the camera and decided to model on our beach walk to dinner. And from the above photo, I say model loosely as she was easily distracted by airplanes in flight.
While at the beach, we celebrated my birthday at a favorite Harbor Docks. I wanted sushi and we both wanted cheap child entertainment - boats coming in and out of the harbor.

One night Mary Tilman donned her favorite pajamas during story time on the balcony and I grabbed a few photos. I thought it was the sweetest picture because she loves her "babies" so.
 I also learned to never take my eyes off of her as she literally ate my eyeshadow... and looks rather proud of it.

Another dinner save by goldfish crackers and something to look at, this time beach-goers at the Back Porch.