Wednesday, July 29, 2015


If you guys have been around these parts for any length of time, you know that I thought the world of Leslie Sisti. A Blonde Ambition was one of the first blogs I began reading religiously, and I loved watching her sweet love story with Stephen unfold. And then we became mommies around the same time, and I so identified with her approach to motherhood and life generally (though I'll never achieve her flawless style and perfect combination of wit and Southern charm).

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After the birth of her youngest daughter, Ainsley, Leslie was hospitalized for quite some time for a heart condition. She eventually was able to come back home to be with her family but returned recently after her health took another turn for the worse.

And on Monday, Leslie went home to be with Jesus. 

All I can think about is her husband, who clearly thought Leslie hung the moon, and her precious baby girls who now have to grow up without their precious mama. There's a GoFundMe account where you can donate money to be saved for her daughters' college funds. Leslie was brilliant, and I know her babies' education will have meant the world to her.

In honor of her beautiful memory, I thought I'd share some of the words she wrote a couple of years ago after she had Caroline. I will remind myself of these words and avail myself of Leslie's wisdom when the day-to-day struggle threatens to rob me of my joy:

Know what I call a success these days? 
Holding in this girl. Going to sleep at night knowing that I really savored the moments of the day, which God so generously gave me. Seeing my husband walk in the door and pick up our daughter, his face beaming as he says, "Hey kiddo." The three of us spending a Friday night on the couch snuggled up in front of the fireplace with cheese pizza and an even cheesier Lifetime movie. 
I have a sneaking suspicion that no one will remember me for a spotless kitchen floor. Or a stack of perfectly folded towels. Or for my promptness on replying to emails. 
No, I'd rather them say that I was a great wife and a great mom. 
Isn't it the quality of the relationships with those we hold dear that really enriches us? 
I tend to think so. 
My wish for all of us as this holiday season kicks off is to drink each moment in fully. Live in the here and now. Don't fret over a perfect table setting or making sure the house is in magazine-order condition. Instead, just take it all in. 
I think one of the best ways to thank God for the people in your life is to spend your time with them well. Make it count.

Hold your love ones a little tighter, friends. Make time for the things that matter and spend time with the ones you love well. We only get this one life.

Make it count.

Be blessed, lovelies.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Adulting is hard...

I left work early yesterday to try and make it to the Sunnyvale courthouse in time to take care of the tickets I got a few weeks ago. (Because I know you're curious, I was going 65 in a 45, had expired registration, and apparently my brake lights were out. The cop gave zero shits about the tears I cried. Understandably.)

On the way there, I ignored a sign that indicated that the road I was exiting onto was closed and then got annoyed when traffic began to back up. (Because that's reasonable.) I did what every other law-breaking driver ahead of me did and popped the curb onto the service road. Which was also backed up. So I took a "shortcut" through a movie theater parking lot. Which was also backed up. 

I finally made it to the municipal court, dealt with a rude clerk whose job I do not envy, paid nearly $300 to make the tickets go away, and went home.

I popped into our study to admire the gallery wall I spent hours hanging the night before and saw this catastrophe on the floor.

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Apparently those Command strips are no substitute for a hammer and a nail. Thankfully, the (overpriced Pottery Barn) frame was intact, so I'll just have to have a new pane of glass cut to fit.

Micah had a softball game last night, so after tucking Miss Priss in for the night, I crawled into bed at 8:00 and called it a day.

Of course, that meant I forgot to pack Gracie's bag for splash day at school, which means she'll be the only kid splashing around in the water in her t-shirt and shorts rather than a swimsuit. (At least I had the foresight to bring some extra clothes for her cubby last week...)

Mother of the year over here, y'all.

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Can I have a do-over?

A Stitch Fix Review: July 2015

A good, but not great, month with StitchFix. My stylist nailed it fairly well on style (three items were on my Pinterest board!) but the details were just slightly off. But I did find one keeper. Scroll on down to see what it was!

Gilli Sina V-Neck Printed Maxi Dress ($74)

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I had pinned this dress because it looked fabulous on someone else. But on me? The fabric looked strange, and my, ahem, bosom was abundant. Not a good look.

Brixon Ivy Ronan Maxi Dress ($78)

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I also pinned this one and LOOOOOOOOVED it. Like, wanted to marry it. The coral color is perfection, and the waistline is so flattering. But it seems to run a bit small and was a smidge too tight on my tummy and derriere. Begrudgingly, I sent it back.

Zad Elvira Natural Stone Pendant Necklace ($34)

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I wanted to love this but didn't. The color of the stone was very blah to me, and the gold chain and setting looked pretty cheap. I do want a natural stone necklace of some sort, but this wasn't quite what I was looking for.

Skies Are Blue Kaia Crochet Trip Top ($54)

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I feel like we've talked about the fact that cap sleeves usually aren't my favorite. I haven't said this to my stylist, though, because she sent a cap sleeve top once that I really loved. This one was fine (and apparently I pinned this one, too!), but the problem is that I would likely wear this to work, so the sleeves would make a regular bra impossible. And there's no way I'm suffering through a strapless bra all day. Sent this one back, also.

Papermoon Toland Kimono ($48)

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The fabric, the crochet detail on the back, and the roomy fit of this kimono made it a winner for me. I do so much black, so the navy and cream were a nice change. I've worn this a couple of times now and have gotten compliments each time. Fabulous with a lacy, cream tank and skinny jeans.

I'm definitely still loving StitchFix. Even when I only keep one item, I find the "investment" totally worth it, and my closet is full of things I probably would never have picked out for myself. Give it a try for a month or two and see what you think. I bet you'll be hooked.

** All links in this post to StitchFix are referral links, but I love this company and do these posts because they're fun. Over and out.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Hallelujah and amen...

So my phone fell in the toilet on Monday. What's ridiculous and unfortunate is that, just before I heard the telltale splash, I thought to myself, "Oh wait! My phone is in my back pocket. Maybe I should take it out. Nahhhh.... it'll be fine."

The moral of that story is that, if I am ever blessed with psychic powers, you can count on me to do absolutely nothing with them.

Fortunately, the phone is just fine. My screen was being a diva for a few hours, but apparently everything dried out, and I have avoided, for the time being, having to go buy a new phone. #hallelujah (#yesIknowblogginginhashtagsislame)

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And that Whole30 number 3 I was doing? Well, I made it solidly to day 16 when I cheated in an epic way. And then I squeezed through to day 22 before I enthusiastically gave up the charade. Ugh. I'm definitely doing the moderation thing okay right now, but goodness gracious. I don't need moderation. I need motivation.

Thankfully, a friend at work has been persistent in encouraging me to join her in her workout sessions. Our firm just installed a gym in our office, which really renders my ready-made excuse ("I'm too busy to schlep all my stuff to the gym and spend 45 minutes working out!") sort of moot. The workouts she does (mostly strength training with some bursts of mountain climbers, etc. to get her heart rate up) take 30 minutes at most, and the gym is right there. So I've gone with her the past week and am really liking it. I sort of overdid it yesterday (which is so lame because I was going super light on the weights), and my quad is on fire today. Let's all say a hearty "amen" that today is rest day.

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Compounding the soreness of working out, I've also made the switch to a stand-up desk at work. It's adjustable, so I can move it back down when I need to rest, which is nice. It's probably the case that, 20 years down the road, the research will demonstrate that stand-up desks are no healthier than sitting on our rears all day, every day. But for now, I feel like I'm doing something good for my body for standing up a bit more each day. And, I swear, I feel more productive. I think it's because I tell myself that I get a sit-down break as soon as I complete a task. And for a person who really despises standing, that's a pretty good incentive.

(Also, how pretty is my new painting? I got it from One King's Lane, and I'm really liking it. The artist has several pieces that I'd love, as I feel like they're the perfect mix of, "I'm a professional, and I hang serious art in my office" and also "I've totally got two X chromosomes.")

One other thing I forgot to mention here, though you may have seen it on Instagram: I'm a brand-new contributor to Dallas Moms Blog! So crazy, right? If you're a mom in the DFW area and are not already a reader of this blog and/or following them (us??) on Instagram and Facebook, you're definitely missing out. I had been reading for over a year when they announced an open call for some new contributors, and I just thought, "Hey, I think I want to get to know those women!" Because it really is a diverse group of moms who have tons of great ideas on doing life well with kids. I think I'll most certainly be the underachiever in the group with not a whole lot to contribute, but you'll nevertheless be able to find me there once a month, rambling as I do here. :)

Last, but certainly not least, Gracie is still cute.

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Just in case you were wondering.

I'm linking up with Kristin and Joey for Stuff and Things. What stuff and/or things do you have going on this week? Link up and share!

Monday, July 20, 2015

She loved life... (and a treat for you!)

You guys know I'm a sucker for an adorable graphic tee for toddlers. It's just so hard to find tees that aren't cheesy and/or covered in cheap-looking appliques. (I'm looking at you, Carters.)

That's why I buy most of Gracie's clothes from small shops on Instagram or Etsy. I'm never disappointed with quality, and the designs are different and clever. I stumbled upon Alley and Rae Apparel last November when a friend tagged me in a picture of their I Stole Santa's Cookies Tee. I immediately purchased it (along with the raglan version of this Sunshine Tee), and it arrived quickly and was as adorable as I had hoped.

You may remember it... 

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(I think this particular design may be retired for the moment, but let's all beg them to bring it back for the holidays again this year! Also, someone please tell me where my chubby baby disappeared to.)

So you can imagine that when I got the opportunity to try out a few more of their things, I said yes just as fast as I could.

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This is their She Loved Life Tee, and I'm obsessed with it. It's in the most beautiful watercolor lettering, and it's probably the softest thing in Gracie's closet.

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"She loved life and it loved her right back."

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Yep, I'd say that pretty much sums it up.

They also generously sent their Inner Beauty Tee, which is just as fun.

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I styled this one with another kimono, some bright Saltwater sandals, and, of course, some shades.

The product is fantastic, but the thing I love most about Alley+Rae Apparel is the way their clothing promotes positivity and optimism and, of course, inner beauty. You guys know how nerdy I am about that stuff.

You can find more from them here:
Website Link:

And I've got a treat for you guys, too! Use code "LOVELY15" for 15% off your purchase. You'll love their stuff, I promise.

Happy shopping, friends!

* I received these products in exchange for a blog review, but, as always, all opinions are my own.

Monday, July 13, 2015

My Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks

Apparently I've been living in a cave because I didn't fully understand the import of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale to the blogging community until this year. But if you, like me, have also been living in the dark, let me enlighten you. 

It's a big freaking deal.

It's Nordstrom's biggest sale of the year, and they drop their stuff down to, what I like to call, "normal people prices." Like that pancho down there? Less than $40. So is the Kendra Scott necklace.

I love shopping at Norstrom because shipping is always free (no minimum!) and because they offer free return shipping. When buying your toddler's shoes is akin to fitting Cinderella's glass slipper because her feet are so chunky, you really appreciate free return shipping. But, to be honest, I used to feel kind of douche-y when I shopped there. Because I grew up in the country, and you had to go to the fancy mall to shop at Nordstrom. Now I realize that's dumb because (1) normal people shop at Nordstrom (2) the aforementioned policies and (2) it's awesome.

The catch is that you can't actually shop the sale until July 17th unless you're a Nordstrom credit card owner. So... I got a card. (Sucker. Well done, Nordstrom.) Even if I only ever use it for purposes of this yearly sale and pay it off immediately, I will consider the two minutes I spent applying online well-spent.

Below are all the things I bought. I clearly have zero self-control.

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks

Good luck to you, friends. Hold out as long as you can. I know you're stronger than I am. :)

This post contains referral links, but all opinions are my own. Duh.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Friday shenanigans...

I swear I didn't fall off the planet, y'all. We've been busy (both at work and at home), so I took some time away from blog-land to maintain my sanity. But you guys know I can't stay away for too long.

So here's what we've been up to:

Fourth of July-ing. 

We spent the morning on the lake in the new boat, which was a blast. Gracie likes to "go fast" and go "fimmin'" in the water. (I'm not a huge fan of swimming in the lake because an alligator is obviously going to come by and eat me for breakfast.) And then my best friend turned 30 on July 5th, and her adorable husband threw her an awesome "surprise" party in the evening on the 4th. (I say "surprise" because Lauren is nosy and knew about the party way ahead of time, so we didn't even go through the charade of hiding. She just showed up when the rest of us did.)

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We had a ball listening to people sing karaoke, splashing around the little kiddie pool they had set up for all the toddlers... and then watching Grace puke all over everywhere.

We still have no idea what that was about, but she took a turn when it got dark (just as all the fireworks were going off around us!), and we had to hightail it home.


Thankfully, she didn't puke again, but from Saturday through yesterday, she consistently ran a 100-101 fever and had a sore throat. (She also thought now would be a good time to boycott the thermometer and all medicine, which was super fun.) So Micah, his mom, my dad, and I have all tag-teamed staying home with her this week, which has been crazy for me at work. (Of course it has.)

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(I have no idea about the antlers.)

Given that all her cultures came back negative for bacterial infection, we think it must have been viral. From what I can see on my Instagram feed, it looks like it's going around. We've watched a ton of movies, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and Sophia the First. (If I hear the hot dog song one more time, I may lose it.) And I got to pretend to be a stay-at-home mom for a couple of days, which was fun (and hard - kudos to you ladies!). HomeGoods is so much less crowded at 10:00 on a Thursday morning!


Speaking of HomeGoods, I've also gotten motivated to really try and get my house finished up. I'd say it's, like, 80% decorated now, and I'm mostly just working on finishing touches. (And switching out all the bad decisions I made when we first moved in...)

Certain parts are coming together. Like this little vignette on the buffet in our dining room.

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(The fact that the cloche isn't straight over the greenery is annoying me, too, friends, but I forgot to snap another picture after I straightened it.)

What I really struggle with are walls. What are your go-tos for decorating a blank wall? I've got about a 7 foot by 9 foot alcove above our stairs that's been torturing me since we moved in in 2011. I feel like I won't be able to find something I like without spending one zillion dollars.


Oh yeah. So I'm on day 17 of my third Whole30. It's a lazy girl's Whole30, though, because I haven't been sticking to all the rules the way I did before. I've had some green juice, a Paleo cookie, and I had donuts with Gracie for breakfast yesterday. Ha. But at this point, my focus is really just to regain some semblance of moderation and get my mind back in the game. And I figured y'all have seen enough pictures of my eggs and Louisiana Hot Sauce that I probably don't need to blast them all over the blog and social media again. You're welcome.

And even though this post isn't technically in confession style, I can't resist linking up with Leslie because I'm SOFREAKINGHAPPY that she's back and healthy and just as lovely as ever. I'm a broken record, I know, but if y'all don't follow her, you are just really missing out.
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