A Quick Little DIY

Pretty much since we moved in we've had some aqua accents in our living room. Some candlesticks here, pillows there, you know. 

As the room nears completion (after two long years!) I've decided I really don't love the aqua. The walls are sort of a pale sage green and I'm not really sure what I was thinking, they don't really go well together. 

So the pillows get the boot to the guest room for now, and I decided kind of spur of the moment to give the aqua candlesticks on the mantle a little refresh. I figure metallics are a good place to start since I consider them a neutral, and I've always got cans of metallic spray paint laying around. They're perfect for impulsive decor decisions.

The candle sticks are from Hobby Lobby and I really love their kind of funky shape and that they're substantial enough to flank the TV without looking puny, so I was glad to easily spruce them up and keep them in the space!

Before: 


After:




Ta da! Probably not worthy of a dedicated post, but that's never stopped me before!

Lies I Tell My Toddler



1. The playground is broken.

Anything we can't currently use/don't want to use is "broken". She doesn't get that it's pouring rain and maybe we don't want to sit and get soaked while she scales the rock wall a dozen times (regardless of how many times we try to explain it),  so we tell her it's broken. This applies to iPads with no charge and our phones. Parents of the year. 

2. If you pick your nose, it will turn green.

She's pretty much perpetually knuckle deep in a nostril these days and it's disgusting. Ryan is responsible for the little green nose bit, but it hasn't deterred her. She just picks with her usual enthusiasm and asks us if her nose has turned green yet.

3. We'll go to the airport later.

Technically not a lie, since we'll end up there eventually, but she asks us to go the airport daily. 

4. Your tutu won't fit in the carseat.

Almost not a lie either. She calls all dresses, skirts, dress up of any variety, a tutu. Usually I'll let her wear almost anything she wants out in public, but I draw the line at the Belle costume with full hoop skirt. That thing is a pain in the ass to fit into the carseat, so we tell her it won't fit and we usually end up with a costume change with minimal fuss.

I like to think these fall into the Santa Claus category of lies. Harmless little untruths that make our days a little bit smoother and get us just a little bit closer to 8 PM. 

Pumpkin Bread for the Domestically Challenged



I love the smell of fall spices on a weekend afternoon. Lazy days with football playing in the background, kiddos napping (and mom and dad napping), and a treat fresh from the oven when we all wake up.

That normally doesn't happen around here. 

I rely mostly on candles for the seasonal scent and if I want a pastry it probably comes from Dunkin' Donuts. Once in a while, though, the baking bug bites and I pull out my not so secret, found on Pinterest, three ingredient, pumpkin chip bread recipe.


Cake mix. Pumpkin. Chocolate chips.

That's it. 

Blend it, bake it at 350 until a toothpick comes out clean, and you're done!

You can get all fancy and add some cinnamon or nutmeg if you want. I don't, but go nuts if you feel so inclined.



I made four mini loaves and then delivered three of them to some friends since we have no business eating four loaves of chocolate laden bread. Or four loaves of any kind of bread period.

I feel my domestic urges have been sufficiently satisfied for at least the next week and I fully expect to barely keep up with laundry this week, use baby wipes for a lot of our household cleaning, and find a week old fruit snack (or twelve) in the couch next time I sit down. 

From Mom Duty to Margaritas

I had a really fun dinner with some of my favorite moms last night and can definitely say it doesn't happen enough! We got Mexican, margaritas, and enjoyed several hours of adult conversation and the sharing of birth stories (why does this inevitably always happen?!). 

While I did wear jeggings with an elastic waistband, I managed to throw on some heels, actual lipstick, and maybe even a statement necklace. That's where my effort stopped though. We had a pretty busy day yesterday and I just knew I wouldn't have the time/inclination to do a makeup reapplication, especially since I couldn't even use the ladies room without company. Fortunately, I've got a few tricks up my tattered sleeve to help my morning makeup application last throughout the day so that only a few minor tweaks are needed to transition my look from mom chic to slightly more mom chic.


The best place to start is with that little miracle in a tub called Hangover Rx by Too Faced. It takes tired, dull skin and gives it a little pick me up while simultaneously making your foundation stick. If I'm going to take the time to use the darn Beauty Blender and properly apply foundation instead of just smearing it on with my hands, I want that stuff to last.


Next up is the Ben Nye Banana Powder. I'm not sure what magical powers this possesses, but I don't care. When I'm totally finished with my makeup, I dust this miracle dust on my face with a blush brush from Ulta. From hairline to double chins, this locks it all. Shadow won't budge, blush stays put, and it keeps all that effort from creasing and looking crazy.


For finishing touches I reach for a little bit of lip color in the form of my favorite lipstick ever. The Julianne pink from L'Oreal is the most flattering (for me) pink I've ever found and it's a smooth, almost glossy lipstick instead of being too matte or cakey. I don't wear it a lot during the day so it's the perfect finishing touch without being too much.


Lastly, the Tarte Showstopper palate is always handy to add a smudge of extra shadow/liner under my lower lash line or to make my cheekbones look like they exist with a dash of highlighter. 

It takes a little more than the five minutes I normally give myself beauty wise to get ready for girls night, so I'm grateful for some tools that make my efforts last through all the tales of epidurals, c-sections, pregnancy weight gain, and multiples margaritas. 

5 Things I Almost Never Do

1. Blow Dry My Hair

Between the length and sheer number of hairs on my head, blow drying takes forever. I just don't have the patience (a recurring theme in my life), so I always wash it at night, sleep on it wet, and pray my cowlick can be curled, combed, or otherwise tamed in the morning. If all else fails, braid the damn thing.

Exceptions:

- Something fancy where I can't take the risk of having unruly hair.
- That's it.

2. Wear Sneakers With Jeans

I just can't bring myself to do it, it feels so 1980's mom style, which I'm obviously drawing from my own experience...love you, Mom!  Unless it's Converse with boyfriend jeans. Then it's stylish, right?


3. Make Phone Calls

If you call my phone and get sent straight to voicemail, don't take it personally. Unless it's my mom, my grandmothers, or a call from Stephanie that I know is work related, I won't answer. Just text me.

4. Order Something New

No matter how many times we go someplace, I order the same thing. Call it boring, call it consistent, call it OCD, whatever. When we get Mexican, it's always fajitas. If it's BBQ, lean brisket and three bean salad. Chick Fil A? Grilled nuggets with Chik Fil A Sauce and a Diet Dr. Pepper.

What can I say? I like what I like.

5. Watch Live TV

The only reason, or reasons, we even have cable are:

- Disney Jr. is my savior
- Football season

Other than that, I don't watch any of my shows live. I love crime dramas no matter how many nightmares they give me, but those are all viewed on Netflix or Hulu. The Mindy Project is probably my favorite but I own the season on Amazon Instant Video and watch them there, especially when we're flying.

Now I'm starting to see why I'm always over my data plan.

Just kidding, I knew why.

Weekend Stuff

I'm trying to get away from boring you with the ins and outs of our weekends, because from now until February they're all going to be the same. Work around the house, eat, watch football, eat. Consider it my public service to you. 

Instead, I've got some shots from around the house that aren't grainy outfit selfies or videos of Liv telling me how she's going to turn green because she picked her nose (husband gets credit for that gem). Here's the condensed, verbally trim, and heavily filtered look at what's been going on.


Making oatmeal peanut butter energy balls for the kiddos lunch boxes this week.

Target Pillow

My new favorite nap spot.


Cheese tortellini and sausage soup from here



Loving my new Rugs USA Rug.

Target Vase 

A tiny bit of Fall decor creeping in.

Hope you had a great weekend!
xo

Mom Style PSA

Before you all head off to your weekends, here's a little public service announcement on a mom friendly (and everyone friendly, really) top that you'll probably all need.


The best plaid shirt I've found in a long while. It's a pullover style which I really like, lightweight for a great transition piece, and available in a bunch of different color combos. So great that I was willing to risk the awkward photo to share it with you all. I'll be pulling this on with jeans and flats/booties at least three times a week for easy outfits for MDO drop off, the grocery store, and other places where I might risk seeing other people more put together than myself.

Details? It's from Old Navy and $24, so it might be a good idea to just pop one in your cart immediately.

Oh, and while you're at it, toss this bucket bag in there too. I love trying a  different trend (and a new color) on the cheap and for $25 you can't go wrong! 


Happy shopping and happy Friday!

Whoops

You ever have one of those weeks where you feel like it's stupid screw up after stupid screw up? 

We're all about those over here and I'm racking 'em up left and right.

I went over our data plan this month. For the third month in a row. My husband is straight up going to kill me. I've turned off my push notifications, made sure my wifi is on, and even committed to learn how to operate the GPS in my car as opposed to on my phone. I need help.

I lost our mail key. This means they put our mail on hold (deliver it straight to the post office) for two weeks until they change our lock and give us new keys. The best part? I still have a Massachusetts ID after two years in Texas (because I'm lazy and there's an issue with a lost social security card) so I can't even pick up our mail at the post office. Sorry, water bill. Even more sorry, new dress. 

Those are just a couple of my most shining moments this week. On the plus side, O and I made our way to the cupcake ATM way across town the other day for sustenance and her taste in cupcakes kicks the you know what out of mine. I tried to dial back the calories and go for the sugar free version of my favorite (red velvet) while she went for straight up strawberry. I was left regretting my decision, begging my two year old for a taste. These are proud moments for me.



As for the rest of the week? I've considered just shutting myself in the house to avoid dumb mistakes, but I'll probably get hungry. I'll want coffee. We'll run out of toilet paper. You know.

Early Fall Favorites


Since Fall is a little slower to arrive in Houston than in other parts of the country, I take my sartorial transition to Autumn nice and slow. I mainly start with purses, shoes, and other accessories and add major pieces in as the weather continues to cool off.

I (obviously) favor black and cognac color wise for this time of year and consider the fact that they're both neutrals one of the major steps in simplifying my daily dressing. Flats and booties push the flip flops and espadrilles to the back of the closet along with the other goodies Olivia is secretly stashing back there (three apple remotes, guys. three). 

Now I know that every sorority girl in America has these black Tory Burch Revas in their closet and I don't care. I love them. I love the fit, that they go with everything (I wear probably too much black during the cooler months), and I almost never meet a gold accent I don't love. These plus the black Madwell cross body bag (with gold monogram of course) are a match made in heaven. Jeans, a a tee, those two, and you're out the door. Probably with banana smushed on your butt if you're me, but you're not late for MDO drop off and you're not in pajamas. For once.

The cognac BP booties are new and under $100.  I was having a "treat yo self" moment after our Fall launch and I'm glad I did. The stacked heel is super comfortable, the color is a dead match for the Madewell Transport tote that I will endlessly post on here about (not even a little sorry), and it's just the right height on the ankle to wear with cuffed jeans. 

While I'm waiting for sweater weather to arrive (I'm looking at you, October), I'm obsessed with these Old Navy tunics. They're $17, come in three colors, two of which I own, and they're lightweight transition perfection. Go get them. Now.

Finally, my sister talked me into the Tarte Showstopper Palette, which honestly wasn't hard. I'm a sucker for the packaging, I love Tarte products anyway, and when I saw the eyeshadow colors I was a goner. I can't get enough taupe, brown, and subtle shimmer. I go pretty light on eye makeup during the Summer (this year, it was mostly just lash extensions and nothing else), but I'll definitely be adding shadows back in to the make up rotation this Fall.  

From the Camera Roll

While I have an insane number of photos on my phone, most of them are honestly imported from my digital camera (thanks to the amazing bluetooth SD card that allows you to send the photos right to your camera roll!). I hardly use my iPhone for photos anymore, mostly just to snap screenshots of funny memes on Instagram and send them to friends. My "real" camera is always around the house, so it's easy to grab and I'm just so much happier with the quality of the photos that my iPhone takes a back seat more and more. 

But! 

I do still use it occasionally, and find the moments I capture on it are often the most spontaneous, and often the most special. I have a few from this Summer I haven't 'grammed or blogged (hard to believe I haven't spammed you with every photo in my possession, I know!) that I thought I'd toss up on the 'ol blog today since a weekend recap just wasn't in the cards (we've been so. boring.). 


Back when we were in Maine, Ryan and I got to spend some time sans toddler. Granted, we talked about her interminably, but we had a few actual dates, including breakfast. Breakfast dates have always been our favorite and are how we started dating. We like to find tiny little dive restaurants (they always have the best, best coffee), order the same thing no matter where we are (egg white omelet and wheat toast with extra strawberry jelly for me and blueberry pancakes for him), and talk. It's one of my very favorite things and I hope we'll keep it up until we're old and have to shout at each other across the table.


Two sure signs (for me) that cooler temps are on the way. Gray nails and a chic black cross body bag. I love this small little staple from Madewell and you know I'm a sucker for a monogram. 


Fun balloon leftover after a Cuteheads shoot with Cake & Confetti and Snapshots and My Thoughts. It will surprise no body that trying to wrangle 5 toddlers is pretty much just like herding cats, but we attempted and had fun in the process.


Oh, my love. She's so fun these days. I'm NOT going to jinx myself and say that I think we're maybe growing out of the terrible twos, but....


Her hair. Ok? For a little girl who was bald until she was 18 months old, she's really made up for lost time. The curls, color, and texture are identical to mine when I was young and it (stupidly) makes me happy. She's always favored Ryan and I selfishly like to see some evidence of that. Evidence that isn't stretch marks.


From our first trip to Maine this Summer. My dad is a really keen fisherman and my sister and I both know how to bait a hook, even though I'll be fine if I never have to do it again. He's wasted no time in passing on his love for fishing to Olivia.


Pictures of pink peonies aren't as basic when they come from your mom's garden. Right?


Did you guys know I stage most of my Instagram content? Shocking, I know. Really though, Instagram is both a peek into my life as well as advertising for WC and I like for it to be just right. This photo though wasn't staged though, and just captured an early morning in the studio before Liv woke up. I really love those times when I can hear myself think and really appreciate how far WC has come. I never thought I'd find a job that not only matched my former income, but that allowed me to stay home with my daughter, set my own schedule, and use my creativity. It's kind of a pinch me moment.


An extra fancy spa sandal selfie with my sister two days before her wedding. I love this photo because every time I see it, I remember how I neglected to put my shirt in the locker before we went to our massages and it was gone when I came back. I left the spa topless under a jacket, while my sister laughed so hard she nearly peed. Totally typical of our time together.

A Little Bit of This...

Ready for random?

Great, that's what I'm serving up today!

1. It has been so, so nice to get back into a routine after our Summer travels. Nothing too predictable or boring, just regular enough to feel like my head isn't spinning. Groceries are bought regularly, kiddo started (and is loving) Mother's Day Out, and I've actually been getting some real work done. If we can squeeze a date night in some time next week, we'll be batting a thousand!

2. This link on long distance friendships gave me a chuckle or two. Courtesy of Steph. Number 9 is real. We have a tradition of me sending her the ugliest selfie I can on a launch day and she's going to be able to blackmail me reeeall good some day. 

3. Football is back! We don't watch college ball (sorry, so not Southern) but we love us some Patriots football. I never watched football prior to getting married, but soon realized I should get into it or I'd be very lonely on a lot of Sundays during the year. Dare I say I almost get the game? Maybe. Do I love the snacks and apparel? Totally.

4. I can. not. get enough stripes. I've bought at least three tops in the past couple of weeks with stripes and I'm not sure way, I'm just gravitating towards them. I'll link them next week. They're from Old Navy and if you've got super cash laying around, they're basically free.

5. I have  12,000 photos on my phone. Yikes. I managed to put about 10,000 of them on an external hard drive but have yet to free up the space on my phone. So lazy.

Our plans for this weekend?

Breaking in the new grill, hopefully fixing a small (huge) cosmetic blemish on the ceiling from a year ago (Ryan may have accidentally put a foot through the ceiling while running cable in the attic), and seeing how many public places we can grace with our presence while Olivia wears her new Belle costume, complete with hoop skirt.

Have a great one!

Small Business Series : Interview with Free Babes

For this installment of the WC small business series, I'm taking a short cut.

Just kidding, but not really.

Instead of rambling at you with paragraphs of text, how's a 17 minute long video of myself? You can insert your narcissist hashtag anytime now. 

I had a really fun chat with Hilary of Free Babes back in June about what it's like to be a small business owner and entrepreneur. We talked about balancing motherhood and business, marketing, and how I've grown WC over the past two years among a number of things. 

I detest my voice on video (Karen Walker, anyone?) but I do like this interview and think it's a great insight into some questions lots of you ask me about WC! You can see the video as well as a written interview on her blog!


Fummer

So I know I got all enthusiastic about it being Fall and all, but this weekend's heat and humidity has put me firmly in my place. It's not Fall, it's Fummer.

That time of year where sure, it's starting to cool off (80's instead of 100's which I'll take), and I'm officially sick of my Summer wardrobe and pretty anxious to break out the Fall stuff. That time of year where it's still freaking hot. So hot and humid in fact, that the prospect of wearing my hair down downright scares me. 


While I'd like to bravely (and basically) protest and wear my sweaters, my common sense and desire not to sweat to death prevail. So this weekend I did a few of the things that help me mentally make the transition to Fall while awaiting the arrival of cooler weather.

I cleaned. 

I like to do a big wardrobe purge every season ideally, but it most realistically happens at the beginning of September. I sorted through Olivia's stuff, making room for all the 3T things we'll need to purchase because the girl got tall over the Summer and almost nothing fits. I'm keeping lots of her little dresses as sweet tunics to be worn with leggings but almost everything else got the boot. 

I went through everything I didn't wear this Summer and donated it, along with shoes and bags that I just don't love anymore. I'll confess that my collection of nude flats (and nude shoes in general) is downright embarrassing, so something had to be done about that.

I polished.


I love a pale pink or bright, fun color during the warmer months, but I sure do love my grays, navys, and burgundies September through March. I wish I knew the name of the polish (when are they going to start naming all the gel polishes?!), but this light gray was a perfect transitional color.

I ate. And cooked.


We travel so much during the Summer that my already sub par cooking tendencies really take a hit. During the Fall and Winter months though, we're home watching football (so eating out less) and I'm more apt to hit up Pinterest for a great dip recipe or make some chili. This weekend I made manicotti and ate every honey crisp apple I could find.

I lit candles.


I love, love, love a good Fall candle. My absolute favorite (even more than Anthropologie's Volcano) is Target's Blonde Woods and Musk. It's like Fall in a bowl and I have three (yes, three) spares in my pantry for when the one I'm burning 24/7 (not at bedtime, just exaggerating) burns out. 

Within the next month or so, the weather will get its act together and Houston will enjoy a lovely Fall and Winter without having to deal with the snow and prolonged cold (you win some!), but until then, I'm embracing Fummer the best I can!

I'm hoping to do a roundup later this week or maybe next of some of my favorite transitional wardrobe pieces, so stay tuned for some rockin' selfies!

Best Friend Week

It seems like the theme of my life sometimes is "long distance". We live 2200 miles from all our family and even my best friend lives across the country! Thanks to technology and an astronomical cell phone plan (I'm always going over data....always), it's totally doable and most of the time, it doesn't bother me.

Once it a while though, you just need some real face time with your bestie and last week Steph and I made it happen in Maine of all places. It was fantastic.

Before we go there, though. Have we told you guys about how we met (I feel like this is how people talk about their spouse, but whatever)? It's funny how many people I've met through blogging, but Stephanie is the best example. 

The Fall after we moved to Texas I started blogging which helped me stumble across a blog called Newlyweds North. After a week or so of reading I realized "hey! this girl lives in Maine!". After another week or so I realized "HEY! This girl lives in Bangor!". So in true sketch form, I promptly sent her an email telling her how I was from the Bangor area and how much I was enjoying reading about her time there (at a time when I was crazily homesick), and how she was a better Mainer than I had ever been. She wrote back and a casual correspondence was born. When I was home over Christmas she asked if I wanted to grab coffee at the one and only Starbucks in town (twist my arm) and when we got up to leave, four hours had passed. The rest is history. 

With her bouncing up and down the East coast and my living in Texas, it's not always been easy to get together. She's made a couple trips to our house and a trip to Greenville is on my itinerary, but time together in Maine (where it all began) is scarce. So we had a checklist of things to do while we were together and it was mostly food related. So sue us. 

Oh, and for two people who spend an asinine amount of time photographing, staging, and photographing things some more, we have a shocking lack of photos from all of our time spent together. At least photos I'm willing to post online. I have one great snap of her drying her hair in a towel but posting those things are friendship ending and we all know it. Photos of each others kids? Well we have buckets of those. We don't take pictures of our food since we're so busy inhaling it, and we don't have photos together unless they're WC related. I got this selfie, which gets blog publish approval since we both have "skinny chin" going on, which is no easy feat after a 3 day restaurant bender.


We loved on each other's babies (Olivia is very familiar with "Miss Nee" thanks to FaceTime), ate most of the lobster and fried fish in the state of Maine, got our Target on (we can't be stopped, it just makes us happy), watched bad reality tv, got some actual work done, and double dated with the husbands. I have the sweetest video of Gray figuring out that he's watching himself on camera that's getting me through missing him now that we're back in our respective places and since WC has a launch tomorrow, we'll talk about 23 out of the next 24 hours.

So there you have it. A not so interesting tale of two long distance friends and the love of calories that keeps them together.

Apple Picking

With it officially being September 1st, I feel like it's safe to dip a toe into the pumpkin spice latte that is Fall. Ok, that sounds disgusting and I don't even like those things. Pretend I didn't attempt something clever.

This week my parents, Ryan, and I took Olivia to my favorite apple orchard from when I was a kid, Treworgy Farms. They have the requisite apple trees and corn maze, as well as some goats to pet and feed, and a hayride if that's your thing. She just about keeled over with happiness when she got to feed the goats and has taken tiny nibbles out of nearly every apple in the 1/2 bushel we took home.


I've always secretly been terrified of corn mazes since my lack of a sense of direction is second to none, but figured I should probably get a real problem and tough it out. I obviously hustled right over to sign the "hall of fame" in the middle to celebrate that four full grown adults didn't get lost in a children's maze.



Ever since, she's been cupping her hand to show me how she fed the goats. She likes to fill that hand with milk, cereal, whatever will most easily spill, for her reenactments. 

With it officially being "Fall" (or at least a Fall month), I'm feeling a little excited for one of my favorite seasons. Granted we don't get the crisp, cool air and gorgeous foliage in Texas that got me hooked on Fall in the first place, but I'm all about the back to school shopping, the sense of renewed structure, and a cider scented candle on the mantle. Just wait until October hits and I'll get really crazy on you. Between my birthday, our engagement anniversary, and tiny little costumes coming to life, my inner basic just might be at its happiest.
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