Our Thanksgiving

First off, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend! We're just back from our annual family trip to Disney World where we share Thanksgiving with my family as well as celebrate Olivia's birthday with them a few days early.

I'm finding so much to be thankful for this year, despite the past few months being some of the more challenging months we've experienced as a family. I know this sounds probably pretty bizarre on the surface, but I'm actually thankful for the challenging times. Sometimes I find it a little too easy to get kind of caught up in the status quo and take almost anything for granted. One of the ways we dealt with our miscarriage was to take stock of all our blessings and we had more than we deserved. In an effort to stay busy I threw myself into work, which helped the business grow. I spent more time with friends which enriched my friendships and helped me make new ones. Ryan and I had to take on some of my health issues together which we hadn't encountered before and that ended up making our marriage stronger and made us even more appreciative of Olivia. So while I wouldn't go so far as to say it was a good thing, I do feel like a number of positives came out of it and I'm grateful for those. 

So now that I've bummed you all out with sad pregnancy loss talk, let's do a 180 and talk about something a little more cheerful. Among the things I'm especially thankful for is how much time we get to spend with our families during the winter. We spent four days in Orlando this week soaking up grandparent time, eating our weight in any food that was more than 50% sugar, walking about 20,000 steps a day (for real!), and working the hell out of that Fast Pass system. Olivia was at a great age this year and was just adorably enthusiastic about the entire trip and all the characters she got to meet! Unfortunately for her, Cinderella stayed behind at the Magic Kingdom and won't be here to serve her Mickey shaped waffles tomorrow morning and admire her manicure. Just good 'ol mom. Sorry, kiddo. Let the Disney detox begin. 

I snapped a few photos while we were there (aka probably drove everyone crazy with all the stopping to take pics) and will try to share an appropriate amount. Not the one million I took, even though it's killing me not to. 

I'll confess that I dragged my big DSLR around for 90% of our trip because my beloved bluetooth SD card makes it such a breeze to get the photos on my phone. It was totally worth it since I got some incredible photos of Liv meeting her favorite princesses and some great action shots! We took a big group shot of all 18 of us and I've definitely got some framers of the three of us. 

Now that we're back, I'm hitting the studio to get those Black Friday orders out (thanks so so so much for shopping WC, we love you!), getting our dire grocery situation rectified, popping our holiday cards in the mail, and getting ready to celebrate Liv's third birthday later this week! We're having a fun little party with her friends at a little party place on Friday and I think she's going to love it!

Have a great week!

Weekend Photos

Just popping in really quickly to share some photos from our weekend!

We're headed to Disney World this week for Thanksgiving and to celebrate Olivia's birthday and WC will be (hopefully!) slammed on Black Friday so there's lots to do around here!

We got our tree set up (the first one since we moved here!), took advantage of the gorgeous crisp weather with walks and bike rides, met friends for coffee, ate crepes (twice because we have no self control), drank more coffee, got burgers (cilantro lime turkey burger bowls are my favorite right now), and I worked as much as I could during nap times and after Liv went to bed.

Hope you all have a great week...I'll try to be back once or twice this week with some Thanksgiving-y posts! I've had one brewing in my brain for a while and I'm hoping I can get it typed out!

A Week of Wear

So it's been a while since I did a Week of Wear post (ok, almost a year but whatever) and I'm back to overwhelm you with my iPhone photography skills. I'm about as far from a fashion blogger as you can get, but I am someone who's spent a lot of years figuring out my personal style, what looks good on me, what makes me feel good, and what works for this phase of my life. I always enjoy reading blogs to see what people with similar builds/lives/styles are loving and have found some real gems from their posts, so maybe one of you will find something you like here?

The goal?

Casual, flattering outfits that are comfortable, can work for toddler drop off, play dates, and grocery runs and can be easily dressed up for date night or girls night.

The result?

For: MDO drop off, errands
Favorite Piece: Gold dipped antler necklace from Shop Mountain Made

For: Girls Night Out
Favorite Piece: Merona Cardigan Sweater (so cozy and versatile!)

For: Sunday crepes with my people, grocery store, working around the house
Favorite Piece: Merona Poncho (so comfortable and covers the tush!)

Tory Burch flats | Target leggings (wide waistband, perfect for muffin top prevention) | H&M sweater  (older but available in three colors this year)| vest

For: MDO drop off, post office, grocery store

Target Sweater | BP Booties | J Brand Jeans

For: Coffee playdate
Favorite Pieces: BP Booties

For: Dinner Out
Favorite Piece: Maeve Floral Top (dress up or down)

Old Navy scarf | old H&M sweater | old Target jeans

For: Lunch date with the kiddo, 
Favorite Piece: Old Navy infinity scarf (chunky and goes with everything)

So Long to the Terrible Twos

Alternately titled: thank God that's over.

You all know I like to periodically drop in and shower you with my lack of parenting expertise. Three (almost) whole years and I'm as sage as they come. Please, please, please sense my sarcasm here.

I'd like to say that two was a rough age. In reality 18 months and on made me call friends and ask if I was a bad mom. They say if you have an easy infant you'll get a tough toddler and vice versa. Since Olivia was a breeze as a baby, I guess I had it coming?

If you're a real life friend, you've likely experienced our particular brand of crying, screaming, throwing herself on the floor, tantruming. The more public the venue, the better. The more trivial the protest, the more ideal. If you're still my friend....I love you.

The temptation to just stay home and avoid the showdowns with an audience was real. But we persevered, dragging our crazy train all over town in an attempt to show the tiny tyrant that we were in charge and not afraid to administer a time out in a Tex Mex restaurant. Were we occasionally afraid that someone would mistake us for kidnappers as we dragged our screaming child through every parking lot in Texas while she screamed "SAVE ME!"? 


Do I think we had it worse than the average toddler parent? Eh, not really. I think I'm just not a born disciplinarian (had to work hard on that one) and I'm still a parenting rookie.

A few months ago though, we seemed to turn the corner. Now I've been warned about "threenagers" and know there's no such thing as a perfect age, but I do know that I'm back to enjoying her the way I wanted to. I'm enjoying motherhood again (and it's ok to admit that parenting is the worst sometimes) and she has me laughing out loud instead of crying in my closet. 

Maybe it's that she's talking now? That Ryan and I have had enough hushed emergency discussions on how to handle her behavior that we have a system in place now? That she's older? That we managed to actually parent adequately?

Who knows. It's probably a mix of everything and it's not perfect, but I'm going to enjoy the "yes ma'am"'s, "please and thanks you"'s and the joy of a child who can mostly sit through a trip to the doctor's office before she starts driving and telling us that she hates us. I'm going to soak up every minute of her sweet little self and her funny little expressions (and carry around a purse full of little plastic unicorns and old stickers). I'm also hoping that when the threenager blows on through I'll be slightly more prepared for it. 

Around the House

Hey there!

I hope you're all coming into the week well rested from your weekend and ready to knock out another busy work week! I know not everyone is a fan of Mondays, but personally I love them because they tend to be one of my most productive days of the week and I need all the productive days I can get at this time of year.

This weekend we stayed busy with family photos (they turned out so so well, I just love them) with Ailee, I worked a lot on WC while Ryan and Olivia had some quality time, and then we overcaffeinated and binge watched Sunday football per usual.

I thought to mix it up I'd share some photos from around the house lately. We've slowly started decorating for the holiday season and just made some changes that I'm really loving!

The only Christmas tree we own at the moment! I found this wall hanging at Ikea a couple of years ago and this will be the third year we've hung it in her playroom. I put it on a cheap expandable curtain rod and have clear command strip hooks at the top of the wall that it rests on. It's a snap to put up and take down and Liv got all excited when she saw it this year. 

I've had lots of questions about her little puzzle rack and you can get it here! It's Melissa and Doug and I absolutely love this thing!

We had a breakfast play date Friday morning (cinnamon bundt cakes required) and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to swap out the navy gingham runner for something metallic and festive (though it's hard to see here!).

I always love the look of gorgeous tablecloths but with a toddler in the house and my level of coordiantion (none which equals loads of spills) it's just not happening for us. Runners are all we sloppy people can handle and that's the truth.

Our living room is my favorite space at the moment. The addition of our Christopher Knight chairs (such a steal!) have made this space so cozy and comfortable and I recently added the ladder with all our throws to top it off. 

A little bit of greenery on the mantle has made my favorite garland (old, sorry!) perfect for winter. 

This isn't available anymore but I found an amazing dupe here by Creative Co-Op at Nordstrom Rack.

I've mentioned before that I had some aqua accents (mostly in the form of pillows) going in the living room and I wasn't really loving that shade of green with the sage color on the walls. Real problems, right? So I've moved the old pillows to my master bedroom where they're a great addition to my gray and aqua color scheme and replaced them with these. I know these might look boring but they have a little bit of a shimmer to them which makes me love them for the holidays, but I've also really been trying to lighten up our living room and these help! We have really dark leather couches (which I love and wouldn't trade) but it's a tricky balance to strike so that they don't make the room look too "heavy". Make sense? No? Ok, perfect.

There are the pillows!

Even I, lover of pillows, concede that there's too much going on here. So we'll need to adjust, but you get the gist. This room is so light that it really needs some color brought in to keep it interesting and the aqua is a start! I've never really shown the bathroom but we have an aqua accent wall that you can see from the bedroom, so I'm trying to pull that color into the bedroom space a little more.

I've been collecting the Rifle Paper Co. children's books (Little Women is my personal favorite) for Olivia and the most recent edition, Alice in Wonderland, is now on our shelves. To be honest, I can't stand the movie version (any of them) because it just freaks me out and gave me nightmares as a kid (I feel the same way about Willy Wonka) but the illustrations are gorgeous and I hope she'll really appreciate these when she's older!

I love when I can use our everyday things as decor and these red boots are no exception. Olivia is obsessed with them because she can put them on herself and I snagged mine at half price (thanks, Costco!) a couple weeks ago. 

These made an appearance in our Christmas photos and not just because I'm a basic B and love them (even though I am and I do). We took our photos in some seriously tall grass and these came in handy...I threw them in the car on a whim and was glad when the heels from my other boots kept sinking into the ground!


1. I've started re-watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix and it's even better the twelfth time around.

I used to drive home from college every week to watch it with my mom and sister when it was on the air and I can't wait to force Liv to watch it with me when she's older. Kind of like how my mom gently pushed The Sound of Music on me and I became obsessed.

2. While I typically take a very strong anti-nightgown stand, I'm willing to make an exception for the flannel sleep shirts from Old Navy.

If something is going to convince me to change out of the yoga pants, it's going to be an easy, oversized flannel shirt that's so cozy and cute. It (plus a thousand cups of coffee) helped to take the sting out of daylight savings and I'll often just throw some leggings on underneath if we need to take a quick trip through the Starbucks drive thru.

3. I have agonized excessively and unnecessarily over what to wear for our family photos this weekend. I think I've settled on an acceptable outfit and it includes these boots.

I wandered into Nordstrom Rack with about 15 minutes to kill before an appointment yesterday and found these staring me in the face at 60% off. I'm officially calling these my best Nordstrom Rack score ever and will continue to wear them around the house just for fun for at least another week.

4. I'm still totally in love with our new living room chairs/rug/entire setup.

We've made some changes, added the new chairs (such a bargain for two chairs) and every day I love it more. 

5. I know a lot of people have a firm "no Christmas decor before Thanksgiving policy" but I'm just not one of them. I won't spam you with it, but I will prance around my house in a stupidly good mood and hang it all up. We travel a fair amount during the holidays so I like to enjoy it for as long as possible!

Have a great weekend!

Well Dressed

We've had our new dresser for almost a year now and it's safe to say it's my favorite piece of furniture in our master. At $250 it didn't break the budget, was a snap to personalize with some new drawer pulls and holds all the knick knacks I insist on keeping on the surface. Since our room was freshly deep cleaned from the weekend (I tend to get a little crazy with the cleaning before new seasonal decor comes out) I thought it would be a good time to share some of the things that have a permanent home on our dresser.

The dresser itself is the Hemnes from Ikea and while I was able to assemble it myself, I did manage to put the top piece on backwards and needed my husband to help me fix it. Whoops. He's super low maintenance and lets me clutter the surface with my odds and ends which I greatly appreciate.

The drawer pulls were a breeze to swap out and I used these bronze drawer pulls from Amazon to give the dresser a slightly different look.

I keep a few go to beauty products handy, including some of the best smelling hand lotion (pomegranate and peony, yes please!) ever. 

Lotion | Gloss (Liquid Lilac Love) | Lipstick (Doutzen's Nude)

I also keep lavender oil handy to diffuse at night. I've been sleeping so terribly lately, so I've been taking melatonin and diffusing lavender like it's going out of style. The little heart box is something Olivia made me for Mother's Day last year at MDO and I'll never throw it away. I keep Hershey Kisses in there and she'll often ask me for one and remind me that she made it.

I don't wear a lot of statement pieces of jewelry but if I mix something up in the accessories department, it's bound to be earrings, so I keep my favorites close at hand. 

I love this acrylic organizer and this small bowl from Paloma's Nest to hold my most recently worn pairs. 

While I don't wear a lot of different bracelets, I do love displaying them! I got this bracelet stand at Marshalls and it's just the right size. Next time you're in TJ's or Marshalls, swing through the home section because they almost always have these in some variety!

A few of my favorite photos make the cut, along with some other dust collectors that have all been sweet gifts that hold a lot of significance.

I got this Texas watercolor by a local artist at Thread (a super cute children's consignment store in Houston) and its something I know I'll keep forever as a reminder of our time in Houston. No we aren't planning on leaving anytime soon, but who knows! We may decide to relocate at some point (I can't even think about the logistics of a move right now!) and I want to make sure we have some unique momentos.

I almost always have flowers on our dresser thanks to the $10 enormous hydrangea bouquets at the grocery store. I split the stems up and can make about 4 or 5 arrangements with them. The vase is Tiffany and was a wedding gift that I try to have on display as much as possible because it's such a pretty reminder of our wedding day! The floral etching is so gorgeous and I'm really in love with the shape.

Olivia loves to sit her little tush on my dresser in the morning and play around with all my jewelry or slather lotion up and down her arms (when she's taking a break from giving me a "bootfiul braid"). There might occasionally be a stack of bills or a half empty box of raisins kicking around on the top, but these are the things you'll normally find on our dresser!
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