Friday Favorites

Friday, August 7, 2020

 Hello, sweetest friends! So happy to see you here once again. I hope you've had a good week and have some fun plans for the weekend ahead! I have a lot to share/update you on today, so grab a cup of coffee and please say hello. :)

1. School Decision

Early last week I wrote a blog post all about my thoughts and feelings about starting school. I was so, so torn about what to choose for my kids. I think what made this decision so tough for me (and so many others) is that I just want the best for my kids -- I want to choose the option that is in their best interest -- and we're all making these decisions simply not knowing so much. My husband and I were leaning toward our district's hybrid option for most of the time, but truly on the last day (pretty much the last hour) we had before we had to decide, we had a change of heart. I talked to my oldest about it and she expressed that if she couldn't play with friends at school and really interact/socialize, she'd like to try the virtual learning at home. So that's what we went with. And I'm not going to lie, I had a good cry about it all. I feel content with our ultimate decision, but of course, it all just sucks. However, as I talked about in that post last week, I am determined to make it not suck as much as possible for my kids. I've already grabbed several things for our learning at home -- here's what I have so far:

2. Hair Cut

On Tuesday I went for my first hair cut in a year! I got at least 6 inches chopped off and feel so much lighter and better. My salon did a great job with precautions so I felt safe while I was there. It was also a good little mental health break/booster, getting out and taking care of myself a bit! Have you had a hair appointment yet?

3. Kitchen Sneak Peek

I shared this sneak peek of our kitchen update on my new Instagram page a couple of days ago, and am so excited to do an entire blog post about it. We did everything ourselves, so I have some DIY tips for those of you who might be interested in doing the same. It was definitely a lot of work, but we saved so much money and are thrilled with the results!

4. Dance Class

This week the girls had their first in-person activity/class since COVID came around, and I have to say, it made my heart so darn happy. We are only sticking to outdoor activities right now, and when the girls' old dance studio where we went for years organized some outdoor, socially-distanced dance classes for both of their age brackets -- we had to jump on it. Luckily, the weather was absolutely perfect and the girls really enjoyed it! I loved seeing them pirouette-ing around, just being kids. :)

5. Outschool

Speaking of activities, have any of you heard of or used Outschool? It was advertised to me so I made a (free) account to check it out (clearly the advertising worked!), and it seems pretty neat!  There are a ton of online classes for kids on there -- everything from gemology to tea party/etiquette class to dance classes and much more. I'm thinking it might come in handy especially this winter when activities are potentially very limited again. The prices seem reasonable, too. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Hope you have a relaxing weekend!

Weekend Favorites

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Happy weekend & first day of August!

Phew, what a week! I feel like most of my days have revolved around back to school research, talking to other parents, discussing all of the various points with my husband, calling my own mom with updates, reading and debating and writing lists... repeat forever. I know so many of you are in the same boat and I've really appreciated you being alongside me with all of this. The fact that we are all in the thick of this together is comforting. And somehow, we will make the right decision for our families (I shared more of my thoughts on this topic on Monday, here).

Anyway, coming at you a day late with Friday Favorites! Here's what I've enjoyed this week:

-Loving connecting on another level with my new Instagram page where I share my favorite finds, fashion, home decor, and snippets of motherhood. It's a brand new venture and I'd love to meet you.. so come say hello! :)

-This viral message with a pediatrician's advice to parents about making "the school decision"

-Hadley got the round version of this swing for her birthday, and the kids have already gotten so much use out of it. Who am I kidding: I love it too!

-Literally lol'ed at this video -- and then wondered if someone secretly filmed me. Too true!

-I ordered 4 of these kids' mask lanyards -- two for each of our older girls -- so they don't lose their masks or put them down on dirty surfaces. You customize them with their names, fun colors, and a little charm. How cute/genius is this?! They should arrive today so I'll share what we think of them on Instagram stories.

-Check out the new Oprah magazine cover. Powerful.

-I made this salmon twice in one week it was so good (and easy). Let me know if you try it!

-And two sales happening this weekend I wanted to share: bareMinerals Friends & Family (everything is 25% off and free shipping -- this is the foundation I've been using daily for years), and J.Crew is taking an extra 50% off sale styles (sign up for their free rewards program and get free shipping all the time)

Have a wonderful weekend & start to a new month. <3

Monday Coffee Talk | COVID Confessions & Back to School

Monday, July 27, 2020

I can't believe how fast the weekends fly by! Hope you had a great one. :)

We took an afternoon trip to our hometown (the first in 6 months!) to celebrate our nephew's first birthday -- he's such a cutie. On the day he was born, Steve, Carrie, Haddie and I (with Isabelle in my very large belly at that point!) all drove to meet him and met up with my mom for a quick dinner at a nearby diner before we went to the hospital. Turned out the diner's air conditioning was broken, which only really became apparent once we were seated and began sweating profusely as we ordered our meals. It was an extremely hot, sticky July day and I'll never forget that little adventure! ;) He was such a sweet little bundle and my sister-in-law was a champion.


For today's Monday Coffee Talk, I thought I'd share a little bit of what's been on my mind and heart related to a very complicated, confusing, and emotionally-loaded topic for many parents right now: back to school. And up front, I want you to know that if you're in the same boat with school-aged kids, I see you, feel for you, and understand how tough this is. I want you to know, because I know you've second-guessed yourself, that I believe that whatever you decide is the best decision for your family and one made with so much love and so, so, so much thought.

From what I've read, heard from others, and generally understand, each district is structuring their back-to-school plans very differently. I have friends whose districts aren't doing much of anything different except for requiring the kids and staff to wear masks, but otherwise it'll be a full 5 day schedule. I know of people whose districts have decided to go 100% virtual, with no in-person option. And many others have adopted hybrid schedules, with students in class a couple of days a week alternating with a couple of virtual learning days. This is to allow for better social distancing while there are bodies in the buildings.

I think that last option -- the hybrid -- is what our district is going to do (based on surrounding districts), but they are set to officially announce the proposed schedule today. Just being really honest with you, I am still on the fence about what we will do in the fall. I have written pro/con lists, put our two big girls' schedules side-by-side to see what they would look like in every proposed scenario, imagined what next year might look like if we decide one way or the other, talked to other parents, researched the recommendations of trusted medical sources, and agonized. 

I realized the privileged position I am in for even having this choice to make. I am so very grateful to have a job that I can do from home. I am so fortunate to be able to cut back in that role if I need to, to focus on things at home. We are healthy (knock on all of the wood), and we do not live with any immunocompromised or elderly family members. Those are all just starting points for making this decision, and I know all of our starting points are different. 

So here's where I am personally. Why not keep the girls entirely home for remote learning? I could and I very well might, but my reasons for considering sending are that I see a lot of value in personally connecting with a teacher. Since the majority of school will likely be virtual, I think connecting in person a couple of times a week might help my child (six) be more invested in those virtual learning days and ultimately get the most out of this unconventional school year. If I can, I would like to allow her that chance. The AAP and CDC are both in support of in-school learning for a variety of reasons. 

But, yes, I am also nervous about illness (if you know me, that's me during a normal year) and just generally whether I'm "doing the right thing." That's me all the time, too. I want to make the right choice for my family, but I also don't want to disregard others and their needs. I don't want to regret sending, and I don't want to regret not sending. I know any of you in this situation understand these ramblings and have had similar thoughts. If you have, I would love to hear them, to bounce ideas off of each other whether about in-school or homeschool, and to just generally lend a word of support to one another. I have seen so many judgmental, downright ugly posts tearing down parents' decisions no matter what they are, and no matter what I choose, I will not stand for that. That isn't helping anyone.

One thing I have decided is that no matter what path we choose this year, I want to help my kids choose happiness and hope. We are going to do some back-to-school shopping together (online!) as we normally would, they can help to pick out some new gear like backpacks, lunch boxes (even if we stay home!), and school supplies. We are going to set up a comfortable space here at home for virtual learning days. We are going to talk about school and what they might learn, and make sure there are ways for them to safely socialize. We are going to choose joy this school year.

I'll keep you posted on what we decide. Just know that when you're feeling frustrated, unsure, doubtful... you are not alone. And I hope you choose joy despite it all.

33 Things

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Last week I turned 33! We took the girls to the shore for the afternoon/evening and had a really nice (albeit not relaxing in the slightest! haha) time on the beach, followed by a picnic dinner with takeout. Time in my favorite place with my favorite people... can't ask for much more than that to kick off a new year! We also got to see my family this past weekend for a little backyard get together with pizza and cupcakes to celebrate.

33 is supposedly the number that resonates with "the energies of compassion, blessings, inspiration, honesty, discipline, bravery and courage," and tells us "all things are possible." I'll take it!

Just for fun, I thought I'd celebrate by sharing 33 things about me. Some you might know, and some you might not. I'm nosy, so I always enjoy reading this type of thing. ;) What do we have in common?

33 Things

1. My second daughter was due on my birthday, but born three days before.

2. I played violin for 10 years.

3. My bad habit is... snacking in bed at night. Oops!

4. I transferred colleges after my freshman year (Temple --> West Chester).

5. I could easily be a vegetarian, I just don't enjoy eating meat and never have.

6. My wedding DJ turned out to be a murderer (true story, you can read more here).

7. I've had six jobs (CVS Pharmacy, Babies R Us, a leather store, Auntie Anne's corporate, a marketing agency, and my current job which I've had for 8 years).

8. My dad was born in Cuba and came to the United States when he was seven.

9. I'm really passionate about connecting with and encouraging others.

10. I much prefer salty foods over sweet.

11. I'm an enneagram 2.

12. I am an ENFJ (closely followed by an ENFP).

13. I always make a wish if I happen to catch the clock on 11:11.

14. I love traditions -- making them and keeping them.

15. I'm a bit superstitious (I will knock on wood, not get rid of a "lucky" shirt, etc.).

16. The oldest piece of clothing I still wear is my denim jacket, which was a gift from Steve for my 17th birthday.

17. I have a dream of owning a house by the ocean.

18. I don't like horror movies. Feel tense and stressed for 1.5 hours? No thanks! Haha

19. I eat the same thing for breakfast every single day (for the past 7 years) -- coffee & a protein bar.

20. I had gestational diabetes when I was pregnant with my oldest (but not with my other two!). 

21. I can't wait to travel more -- my bucket list is long!

22. I'm a huge animal lover. I can't watch any movie in which an animal gets hurt or there's any negative/sad focus on animals, watch those ASPCA commercials, and you know that saying "wouldn't hurt a fly?" That's me. A friend got me this, and I swear by it.

23. I have dear friends from each stage of my life (starting from toddlerhood!) that I am still very close with and love very much -- I value my friendships a lot and have always strived for quality over quantity in my closest relationships.

24. I've always wanted to be a mom and was obsessed with pretending my dolls were real babies as a kid. I'd always pretend I had three kids. ;)

25. I have motion sickness and can't read or focus on anything too long in the car.

26. Blood doesn't bother me a bit, but vomit is my nightmare. Haha

27. Every night as I fall asleep, I say a prayer of thanks for everyone and everything that I am grateful for.

28. I'm an old-school pen and paper girl. I still keep a paper address book, a paper schedule/calendar/agenda, write lists on paper, and enjoy reading actual magazines and books.

29. I eat cheese every single day. Can't quit you, cheese.

30. I'm sensitive to smells and don't like strong floral scents, the new car smell everyone else seems to love, pine, cigarette smoke, etc.

31. My  favorite scent of all time is sunscreen, especially when on the cheeks of my babies, closely followed by yummy food scents like baked goods and cinnamon.

32. I analyze everything way too much. It can be a frustrating quality, but as I grow I also try to embrace it and use it to an advantage.

33. My professional/personal goal over the next year is to write a book. There, I said it!

So, did you learn anything new or am I pretty much an open book? Did anything resonate with you? I'd love to hear! Have a wonderful rest of the week, xo

It's July! Summertime Questionnaire

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Happy July, all!

May, June, July, and August are my favorite months of the year. Warm weather, lots of fun things to do outside, and plenty to celebrate. This month we're celebrating Hadley's 4th birthday (fun fact: she was due on my birthday!), my 33rd birthday (is 33 a lucky number? It sounds like it could be. I'm going with it is.), and my nephew's 1st birthday! The Fourth of July is also in there, of course. I remember feeling like the Fourth of July meant we were really into summertime as a kid. There's nothing quite like watching fireworks on a warm summer night.

To kick off the month, I thought I'd join in with a couple of fellow bloggers (Dara and Danielle) to share a "just for fun" questionnaire all about summer. One of the best things -- probably the best thing -- about blogging is connecting with others, so I'd love to hear your answers too!

1. Lake or Beach

Beach! Truthfully I love to be by any body of water, but being by the ocean is one of the things that makes me happiest. The salty sea air, the expanse of the water against the horizon, the seagulls... the whole thing makes me happy.

2. Iced tea or lemonade?

Unsweetened iced tea is so refreshing! One of my favorite drinks.

3. Favorite summer vacation memory?

There are too many to choose! When I was young, we took a couple of trips to Canada with extended family -- my grandma, aunt, cousins. Those trips are full of fun memories because it felt like such a big adventure as a small kid. For the first three years Steve and I were married and without kids, we visited Mexico, Bermuda, and Jamaica. I'll always cherish those memories because it was just the two of us, and we knew it wouldn't always be that way. Those trips were so relaxing and beautiful. But maybe my favorite memories come from our annual beach trips to the Jersey shore with our kids, parents, and my brother's family. It feels pretty special to know we're creating lasting memories for our kids!

4. Favorite summer destination?

Avalon, NJ. :)

5. Go-to summer fashion item?

I love maxi dresses for their comfort and effortless style, and I'm a shoe lover so fun sandals are always a favorite. This is one of my favorite new maxi dresses this summer (I got mine in navy -- and for $29! Keep an eye out for more sales!), these are my most-worn flip flops (they hold up amazingly well, on sale for $28 with code EXTRA30) and these are my favorite new sandals (mine are in a woven straw, and unfortunately I can't find them available anywhere).

6. Have you ever been water skiing or jet skiing?

I think I remember trying to water ski a long time ago, but have never been jet skiing. Been tubing plenty of times, though!

7. Favorite summer movie?

Anything light and fun. Sweet Home Alabama comes to mind. Grease is a classic!

8. Song that makes you think of summer?

Danielle mentioned Summer Girls by LFO and I had a moment remembering all the times I listened to that! I like country, and no better time to listen to it than in the summer with the windows rolled down. Anything Tom Petty, and that song 99 Red Balloons always makes me think of summer and fireworks set to music.

9. Best Fourth of July story?

I think my favorite is the first year I met Steve. I was 15, almost 16, and every year my brother, cousins, and I would go to a local park to watch the fireworks display. Steve came along that year (I had just met him less than a month before!) and as we were driving there along some backroads, my teenage cousin was driving too close behind us and tapped the back of Steve's SUV. I was mortified, haha -- but Steve took it in stride and we still laugh about it to this day.

10. Are your fireworks on the 3rd, 4th, or another night?

I feel like it depends on the year around here! They are usually spread across multiple nights depending on the town putting them on, so it's sort of up to us when we go. We've skipped the big crowds the last couple of years with tiny ears and early bedtimes but we usually can catch them lighting up the sky somewhere. ;)

That was fun! Let me know if you join in, I'd love to check out your answers. Have a great Wednesday -- halfway to the weekend!

Summer Fun: Our Bucket List & Favorite Outdoor Toys

Friday, June 26, 2020

No doubt this summer will look a little different than any before it! Our little crew is determined to make the most of our favorite couple of months, though, before it passes us by in a blur. Each season, we make a bucket list with things we'd like to do/see/experience/learn that season. I always have the girls help me add ideas so they have a say and have fun getting into it too. Below is our Summer 2020 Bucket List (I realized how much is food related, haha!), and keep scrolling, because I've also rounded up our most favorite outdoor toys. Camp Backyard, here we come. ;)

My kids will often go outside and mash berries up with some grass clippings to make "stew" or run around singing and pretending. Yours too? But there have been some toys/gear over the years that have proved to be lasting favorites. Some of these items are marked up this summer, so I'd recommend keeping an eye out on local yard sale sites and/or doing frequent price searches online as I'm sure the prices and availability will fluctuate a bit. I've linked our exact, or as close as possible to what we have if it's no longer available:

Splash Pad // Inflatable Pool // Play Set 

Basketball Hoop // Bubble Wands // Paddle Toss

Cottage // Water Table // Sidewalk Chalk

Bike // Scooter // Giant Sprinkler

Wishing you a wonderful, sunny weekend!

Monday Coffee Talk | Father's Day, Kitchen Update, Masks & More

Monday, June 22, 2020

Happy Monday! 

It's been a while since we did a Monday Coffee Talk, so I figured you could grab your second cup (how many cups of coffee do you drink per day, btw? I'm usually a 1-2 cup person), and join me for a little chit-chat. I'm excited and grateful to be getting back to more regular blogging after the craziness that has been the last few months. 

Hope everyone had a fun Father's Day weekend. We enjoyed spending the day with our favorite dada, and also had the chance to visit with my father-in-law for a nice low-key backyard celebration! Almost 27 years have passed without my own dad -- most of my life -- but I think about him every day and often wonder what he would have been like; how life would have been if he were here. Father's Day is always a sort of bittersweet day for me, but I'm so glad to celebrate all of the great men in my life who are wonderful dads.

Dad & me in 1987 or early 1988

Steve & baby Carrington

Steve & baby Hadley

Steve & baby Isabelle

In other news, you might know that we've had a kitchen makeover underway over here. Steve is doing everything himself (superman), so it's not a fast-moving process, but that's ok: we don't have any pressing deadlines, so it's kind of nice not to feel rushed and take our time with all of the decision-making and design. The update right now is: cabinets are finished (we went from a dark cherry stain to BM Simply White) and hardware is on! There was some debate between polished nickel and gold (this color specifically is called champagne bronze), below, but the gold won out on my Instagram poll and in real life! Next up is a new back door installation, and then putting in the new floor which I'm so excited for. I can't to show you the before and after pictures once everything's finished!

Next up, I have a question that one could only ask in 2020: how many masks do you have? Who ever would have thought that would be a normal question? Ha!

I have two that I've been using the most -- one was homemade by a local acquaintance, and then I ordered this one from Tuckernuck. I feel like everywhere has masks for sale now. I even spotted a 2-pack for kids at Target ($4!) the other day and grabbed it, but they were too big for the girls so they can serve as back-ups for me. We are still waiting on our masks from CubCoats, which I'm a little disappointed by. Hopefully they arrive soon and we love them once they do! In the meantime, I've ordered a mask for each big girl from a mom friend who is making them. There are a few local places I'd like to take the kids soon (like berry picking at our local farm), and they require face masks so it's time they have one or two.

How has life been treating you lately? Are you finding your groove with all of the changes that have come along (and as things are constantly changing!), or hitting a wall? I go back and forth depending on the day. One day I feel well-adjusted and content, and the next I feel restless and a little sad (I miss friends, family, and getting out more!). We're all just riding this wave as best as possible and trying not to forget that time is still marching on in the meantime. I don't want to look back on this time as if it didn't exist, you know? Looking forward to living life as best and safely as we can this summer! 

Finally, our weekly menu:

Monday: Trying this beef & noodle casserole for the first time
Tuesday: "Fish & chips" (frozen night -- frozen breaded fish & fries!)
Wednesday: Spaghetti & meatballs, veggies on the side
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Pancakes & scrambled eggs (love breakfast for dinner!)
Saturday: Takeout

Hope your week is off to a happy start!

Reflections on a Memorable School Year

Friday, June 19, 2020

Well... we did it! School is officially out for the summer, and this year is sure to go down as the most memorable school year (I mean, I hope there isn't one more memorable than this coming along... insert wide-eyed emoji here, ha). But really: isn't life crazy? Who would have ever pictured when we sent our kids off to their new classrooms in the fall that the year would end up the way it did. 

Most kids (and adults) thrive with routine, and this certainly was a break from the routine we knew, and had really just gotten used to. Like many others, I went through a range of emotions as a parent. I was sad that the kids didn't get the traditional classroom experience and were missing out on the benefit of being taught by another adult (much more qualified than me to teach!), disappointed for them that the friendships they had newly formed were cut short as seeing their pals everyday and play dates were out the window. I was grateful for the extra time with them -- the talks over lunch I had missed, the relaxing time in the middle of the day reading books to them. I was stressed at times trying to juggle work, helping kids with their digital lessons, etc. I was excited that the girls got more "sister time" together. I was relieved that they were healthy and protected from sickness, at least for a little while. I was lonely, missing the interaction with our friends and family. I'm sure you can all relate with many of these mixed feelings!

But all along, with those grown-up emotions heavy in my mind and heart, the kids were showing just how resilient they are. They adjusted to a new way of learning -- online! -- quickly and, although not every day was a smooth one, for the most part they really rode the waves of this storm with grace and optimism.

A huge shout out to our teachers who went above and beyond to continue to teach our children and make them feel heard, seen, and cared about. I can't tell you how much that touched me. We usually don't get to see our teachers in action, but having the privilege of getting just a glimpse into what they do and all the heart they put into teaching meant so much. These are special, special humans!

And now for an update on our two big girls, who are off to first grade and preschool 4s next year (in person or virtually, or maybe both -- we shall see):


Age: 6.5 years old

Favorite thing I learned in kindergarten: MATH!

Favorite color: Orange

The thing I'll miss most: Seeing my teachers

Favorite memory from kindergarten: Making gingerbread houses and our field trip!

When I grow up, I want to be: A people doctor, and a veterinarian 


Age: 3 (almost 4!)

Favorite thing I learned in preschool: Songs

Favorite color: Pink

Thing I'll miss the most: My friends!

Favorite memory from school: Playing on the playground

When I grow up, I want to be: An artist

Hope your summer is off to a great start! On Monday I'll be sharing our summer 2020 bucket list, along with some of our favorite outdoor toys. Happy weekend!

Breezy, Neutral Summer Outfit

Monday, June 15, 2020

Even though I'm not going as many places these days, it doesn't mean I can't dream up the perfect summer outfit. ;) I've had my eye on breezy, summery, neutral pieces lately. Can't you just picture wearing this easy outfit for a day trip to the beach, or maybe a get together with girlfriends? 

What is the thing you're looking forward to most in June?

Straw bag | Nothing screams summer like a straw bag, and my favorite style is the classic circle bag -- this one looks like it has plenty of room!

Tie shoulder top | This loose, flowy look has my heart -- give me all of the loose and comfy summer tops! I especially love the texture of this top, and the fun tie details on the straps.

Comfy "camp" shorts | I think most of us are rejecting the real waistband these days, and with shorts as comfortable and cute as these, who can blame us? Under $20!

Tortoise sunglasses | A classic summer staple. These are affordable (a must for me, personally, with sunglasses since they usually end up getting lost, crushed, or chewed on!).

Statement ring | Love this beautiful Kendra Scott ring for 50% off! The color is reminiscent to me of the Caribbean ocean.

Leather sandals | Another can't-go-wrong, classic summer style is the slide. These studded beauties are on sale for less than $60 and would go with everything.

Standing Together

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Beautiful artwork by JessicaMingoDesigns

Hi friends.

How are you all?

What a few weeks it has been. I've read a lot of blog posts lately that start off with "I've written and rewritten this post a hundred times" -- and as cliche as that sounds, it's true for me, too. I had a lengthy post written two weeks ago. I read it, rewrote it, read it, rewrote it. 

I have learned that it's often better to listen before speaking. And, quite honestly, over the past few weeks there has been a lot to listen to and so many voices and experiences that take precedence over my own. 

After the tragic, wrongful death of George Floyd (and many others), I opened my eyes, ears, and heart to as many voices as possible. I stood, still stand, and will always stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, but I knew it didn't start and end with a social media or blog post; I didn't just want to post something, and have that be it. I wanted to take a deep dive, to look inward, to figure out what I can do to be a better ally to the black community, and to open the door to a discussion about racism with my own family. Again, I realize that it won't just be a one-time discussion with our kids, but rather an ongoing, lifelong conversation; more than words, it will be a commitment to leading by example.

Within my own family, we have long dismissed the idea of "We don't see color" to "We see color, and it is beautiful." What I'm working on now is "We see color, it is beautiful, we honor your experience, and we will do better." Though my children's friends are diverse, as is our neighborhood, I looked around the house and realized our toys and books were not as diverse as they could and should be. By listening and paying attention, I realized our efforts to support black-owned businesses were not equal and in line with our beliefs. In addition to financially supporting organizations like the NAACP, I sought to do the work within the walls of our home and diversify my kids' books and toys (we didn't have this book, this book, or this book yet so I ordered all three to start). Outside of our walls, I'd like to do better in paying attention to the companies we give our money to -- do they support what we support? Fairness, progress, advancement opportunities, diversity, and equality?

I'm sure you've heard the quote by Maya Angelou, "When you know better, do better." That's the thing about change: it's not a one time event, but a constant process. But we need to take the first step to begin. By taking the time to listen, dig into the issues, learn more about what we simply don't know... we can begin to take inventory of our own lives and the places we can do better. Those seemingly small changes in our thinking, in our daily practices, in how we view and treat others, could very well inspire others to do the same -- and together, we can create huge, meaningful, lasting change. We can do better (so much better), and we can make the world a better place for our children, and their children.

Wishing you a happy, healthy, and peaceful weekend ahead. <3

Friday Favorites

Friday, May 22, 2020

Hooray... it's Friday! It has been a week over here. How about for you? Luckily the weather has been nice where we are, and that puts all of us in pretty great moods. Next week looks even better with temps in the low 80s! Bring on all of the outside activities!

It's been a while since I got to share some Friday Favorites, so... here we go:

Cheers to 10 Years

Steve and I celebrated our ten year anniversary this weekend! It's both hard and easy to believe that warm, sunny May day we said I do was an entire decade ago. On one hand, ten years has gone by so fast, and on the other hand we look around at our three kids and it becomes easier to believe. ;) I am so grateful for the life we have built together and am so excited for all of the adventure, laughter, and love to come.

Kitchen Makeover... officially underway!

Maybe we've just been home too much, but we've decided to get to work on our long-envisioned kitchen facelift. We've been in our house for almost 4 years, and the kitchen has always been on our list of updates. We figured... what better time? We're home more than ever to get the work done, and we're constantly looking at it.

Here are some inspiration pictures. We got these new floors, we're going to paint the cabinets white (going back and forth between simply white, white dove, and chantilly lace if you have any suggestions or experience with those colors!) and get new hardware for them, new appliances, and a new light fixture (looking at this one, and also love this style -- so inexpensive!). We also got a new kitchen table and these chairs, so our expanding family can actually all sit at the table together now! The chairs are amazing, by the way. A great Serena & Lily dupe -- all 4 chairs were the price of 1 Serena & Lily chair. They're comfy and bonus with kids: they can be hosed down!

Isabelle is 8 months old

Our Isabelle Joy turned 8 months old this week! This is the cutest age. She is still this squishy, non-mobile little baby but she's also really beginning to come into her own little personality. She's giving us the best spontaneous belly laughs lately, is obsessed with food, and is basically just the sweetest little soul. I am just enjoying her and her relationship with her big sisters more than I could ever express.

Old Navy Basic Tees with a Twist

I've been living in nothing but comfortable, basic tees lately. I had to buy a few new ones since I didn't get any last year because... pregnant. Haha. My body always seems to change in different ways after each baby, so it was time for some new and better fitting tops. I grabbed these two at Old Navy and have been loving them:

Old Navy Twist Front Tee (I have this in long sleeve, too, and both are great)

Old Navy Open Back Tee (Got this in white!)

A Family Dinner Discussion Starter

Our two oldest kids are at a fun age for games now, and one of our favorites lately (that isn't really a game, but more of a discussion starter) is Table Topics for Kids. We like to pull them out at dinner, ask the questions on each card, and go around the table answering them. There are usually a lot of laughs, too!
Hope you have a nice Memorial Day Weekend! I'm sure it'll look different for most of us, but hopefully the weather allows for some BBQ, outdoor fun, and relaxation. 
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