Thursday, July 2, 2015


happy thursday! every once in a while i mention books that i'm reading to addison lately and i thought it might be fun to share a few more here that are in constant rotation around our house as of late with addison. children's books are probably one of my very favorite things so it's fun to have an excuse to sit down and read them with our family.

pout pout fish by deborah deisen // this is one of our favorite books. i know it's weird. she loves it though. addison constantly grabs it and brings it up to me to read. i don't really know what that means about us but she loves the pout pout fish. it's really cute and has an adorable story line.

julia, child by kyo maclear // if there's one thing we absolutely love about this book, it is completely the illustrations in it. they have the prettiest pictures in it and it always leaves me wanting to bake more. but really, addison is constantly trying to pick up the food in the pictures. you and me both babes! 

giraffes can't dance by giles andreae // i like this book especially because it's got such a good rhyming beat to it. the book is about a giraffe who goes to the dance and all the other animals make fun of him because he is stumbly on his feet. it has such a beautiful message behind it and it will inspire any child to be all they can be. i love reading this book to addi.

madeline by ludwig bemelmans // when i was young my parents bought me all the madeline books so when we found out addison was a girl, i knew i wanted to read her all the madeline books. the scene is always in paris (hello pretty) and the stories are so sweet.

rosie revere, engineer by andrea beaty // i heard about this book when someone mentioned it on a podcast i was listening to and i went on the hunt the next day for it. i probably read this book to addison once a day (if not more). she absolutely loves it and the colors and pictures are so vibrant. plus the story, i mean it will lift anybody's spirits.

what are some of your favorite books for toddlers right now? we are always looking to add to our book collection!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


it's july, it's july!!! for real everyone, it's my very favorite month ever. mostly because i adore all the festivities that come with the fourth of july.

my family and i have been going to the parade every year for forever and lucky for me, i get to spend the holiday with them again! i cannot wait to dress addison up in her fourth of july garb complete with stars and stripes sunnies and glittery headbands! it's going to be fab.

but also july. it's such a great month. nice and toasty everywhere, lots of sun. lots of shorts and swimming suits. lots of popsicles. all good things.

so happy july july july to all! and my goals this month? they're mostly going to consist of eating too many popsicles on the patio, grilling out, and spending time keeping cool and swimming. but i'll get into those next week. it's more fun when it's all spelt out ya know ;)

image found on top inspired

Monday, June 29, 2015


enough reading in the last two months to finally make a book report out of it!

maine by j. courtney sullivan // this was interesting. every chapter has a different person's view which is one of my favorite ways to read so i definitely appreciated how the author moved from story to story with each character (there are four main ones). it got a little drawn out in the middle but overall i thoroughly enjoyed this book.

the vacationers by emma straub // i had heard lots of good things about this book and those people i heard them from were right. it grabbed me. it was a quick easy read, a good one to take on vacation and it left me on the edge of my seat always wondering what was going to happen. i didn't want to put it down until i knew everybody would be okay in the end.

the life-changing magic of tidying up by marie kondo // yes. just yes. i posted a full blown review here if you missed it. this book blew my mind and shifted my entire house and mindset around.

the one and only by emily griffin // i got through the first 125 pages (not an easy feat) and finally put the book down to rest. i love emily's writing but i just couldn't do it anymore. i felt like all i was reading about was football and how this girl is in love with her best friends dad but doesn't want to admit it.

the likeness by tana french // i could not put this book down. it's a murder mystery with a twist...a woman turns up dead who happens to look exactly like an local detective who used to work undercover. there are no leads in the murder so they pretend the victim didn't die and the detective pretends to be her to gain insight into her life before she was killed. completely unrealistic? for sure. but i absolutely enjoyed it.

Saturday, June 27, 2015


what are you up to this weekend? addison and i are spending LOTS of time with family and friends and we simply cannot wait for the week to come! hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend and here are a few links i've been loving lately...

finding new podcasts to add to my must listen list.

a really cute chair that would look perfect in our rearranged living room.

pretty pegs to jazz up the above chair.

thinking i should get started on my summer bucket list before summer disappears.

a pretty nail polish color.

j.crew is about to get a whole lot cooler.

i sort of want to cook my way through this cookbook.

my sweet friend started a new food blog!

Friday, June 26, 2015


if you've been here for a bit, you know that i am all about simplifying. simplify was my one word in 2014 and it worked. it helped.


i am one to have stuff. and i don't even know what it all is. there are always piles stacking up until they tip over or shirts that haven't been worn in ions but lord knows if i get rid of it, i will find something that i need it for. or gifts that i have been given that still have the packaging on them but i don't want to get rid of in fear of hurting somebody's feelings.

it didn't realize it until after i read this book that all this stuff that i have; it is giving me anxiety. why can't i just pair down and live simply for the LOVE?!?! i mean i get rid of stuff all the time. andrew asks what i did when he gets home and nine times out of ten i say cleaned. organized. sorted. he just looks at me with the again??? face on. god bless the man.

i saw marie kondo's book before i heard all the hype on the internet about it. it was on an end-cap at target and it intrigued me. but then it sat on my shelf for a bit. i skimmed it a few times and kept putting it back. i'll get to it, i'll get to it.  then came all the instagram hype and people were blogging about how they put the books methods into action and yada yada. so i picked it up one more time. read about twenty pages. grabbed a highlighter. went back to those first twenty pages and colored in the passages i wanted to remember. three days later i was done with the book and a day later my closet was being torn to shreds.

because you know the passage that stood out most in my head was "do you want your home to be a place of rest or a storage unit?" i do not want to live in a storage unit. i do not want to live in a house where i have to cringe every time someone opens a closet. it used to be easy to hide things. we used to have a basement. i didn't care because basements be basements. but we don't have one and that changes my game. and even so. i do not want to live in a storage unit.

there were about a dozen other passages that i wish i could quote but a few weeks after i finished the book, i had a friend come over and i practically thrust the book into her hands demanding that she at least read the highlighted parts because she's pregnant and hello? nesting! and how it will change her life and she probably just took it because she was being polite. (hi morgan.)

moving on though.

i got rid of a lot of stuff when we moved down here from milwaukee last year. last summer and fall i unloaded that house and was making weekly trips to goodwill for at least two or three months. i thought i was down to the nitty gritty already. but i didn't realize i had been asking myself the wrong question when i start the whole getting rid of stuff process. my inner voice question has always been will i use this again? how long has it been since the last time i wore it? will i miss this if i get rid of it? wrong questions. the recommended question to ask yourself is does this bring me joy?.

i went through every nook and cranny of this house. it explains how to organize and sort your home into categories. not rooms. never would have thought of that on my own but once i tried it, it made so much more sense.

i started in the closet, worked my way through shoes, accessories, etc. moved to the books, homeware, papers, miscellaneous stuff (kitchen stuff, craft supplies, etc.), and personal belongings (pictures, cards, stuff of that nature). i spent a few hours for four days working on this. except for the first day. the first day was my closet and it was a sunday so andrew was home and even though addison was always under my feet sitting in shoeboxes and whatnot, i spent a good six hours in there.

i became obsessed. in the end, i came out with twenty garbage bags of things i was donating to goodwill and two packed thred up bags waiting to be shipped out. it felt so good to have the whole house down to only the things that brought us joy. i skipped around our house for a few days with a big ole smile on my face because i was so proud of myself.

that. i never want that feeling to leave. not everything we own is perfect. but everything we own is loved and it brings us joy. it has a place. we have a space.

ready to do something more with our time than organizing and cleaning and sorting.

Thursday, June 25, 2015


making time to sit back and watch addison do what she does. because her exploring skills are so on point these days and it's so fun to watch.
drinking all the apple juice i can get my hands on.
reading the likeness by tara french and enjoying it so very much.
watching orange is the new black. i still can't believe i'm not done with season three but i felt bad watching it without andrew.
listening to a lot of shania twain lately. and construction behind us since they're stillllll building houses.
eating greek salad every day.
smelling laundry detergent. guess what day it is?
wishing we lived closer to the zoo or museums. we go there every dang week but it's always a forty minute drive. and those get long.
enjoying the hair off my neck again because i got it all chopped off on saturday and it's just feels so refreshing.
loving our wednesday play dates a whole lot.
hoping that the flight back to milwaukee by myself with addison goes smoothly. or at least no meltdowns.
needing new work out shoes. i've had mine since 2013. i'd probably say it's time for an upgrade.
feeling so happy.
wearing a lot of lotion on my feet with socks because my heels are always cracked and i just can't take it anymore.
wanting longer checkout dates at the library. two weeks just sometimes isn't enough time when the book is six hundred pages long!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


there was a lot of things to think about when i first got pregnant with addison. the one big one that always stuck out for me was the diaper bag. i didn't want one that screamed mama but i still wanted a bag that was big enough and practical to carry all the stuff that a child needs. in the end, i registered for a bag that i liked but didn't love. that bag served me well for the first year but it was never something i was crazy proud of carrying around. it was the typical diaper bag. plus as a new mom, i was carrying around WAY more than i needed to. i felt like half her nursery was in that 20 pound bag,

finally one day, after running around with this crazy heavy thing on my shoulder, plus toting around a 20 pound toddler, i put addison down for a nap and dumped everything out. i needed to get down to the essentials. the nice thing too is that toddler's don't need nearly as much stuff as newborns do.

so away went the dreaded diaper bag and i decided i was going to get something bright, summery, happy. something i was proud to walk around carrying. and i tell you, now that i have been using this bag for a bit, i feel like i have a much better attitude just knowing that i'm toting around something i can smile about.

here are the essentials that you can find in my "diaper bag" these days.

the mom bag: i wanted something stylish but didn't break the budget. initially, i wanted to start saving up money to splurge on the lily-jade bag because i find it completely dreamy. though i'm still saving my pennies for that beauty, i scouted out a few bags at my favorite trusty store, target, and scored a killer deal on this gorgeous bag. i love this one and this one too but that yellow one, it just yelled summer to me and that's exactly what i needed.

diaper duty: obviously addison isn't potty trained yet so diapers and wipes are a must. we have a jeep changing pad too that we swear by (best gift ever) and it's easy to fold and unfold and have all the wipes and dipes stashed right in there plus never having to worry about dirty bathroom changing tables. i also keep diaper rash cream and these dirty diaper baggies in there because we always seem to need both.

feeding your babes: little a could eat for days. and things are further away for us than your typical ten minute drive so i like to keep snacks in a snack cup whenever we go somewhere. animal crackers and cheerios are a big favorite. also she uses the munchkin sippy cups because they have the straw and she loves drinking out of them.

all the extras: considering we are in the thick of summer, sometimes we have spur of the moment park days after we run errands. i always like to keep a sunhat and sunscreen in my bag just in case those happen, plus a extra set of clothes. she is typically wearing shoes before we leave the house but when things get hectic and we are running late, you can find her freshly picked moccasins floating around my bag.

mama's stuff: i keep a small zipper pouch inside the bag with all my stuff so it doesn't get lost in the mix. wallet, keys, cell phone, sunnies, chapstick, and a tide-to-go pen for those moments where i am bound to spill coffee on my white shorts.

to all the mom's reading this, what are your must-haves in your bag? where have you found cute diaper bag options?
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