Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Summer Fix (Stitch Fix #5)

I just got my summer Fix, and I couldn't be more pleased.  I waited a long time between my last fix and this one, because I wanted to save some money up, and it was really fun to get one again.  I forgot how much I enjoy getting to shop in my own house!

Some quick facts about Stitch Fix:

-The styling fee is $20 per fix.  The $20 is deducted from the price of any item(s) that you purchase in that fix.
-You can specify your price range for the items that you receive.  You can also specify how often you want to receive a fix.
-You will receive 5 items that are hand-picked for you by your stylist, using the style profile that you will fill out upon signing up.  You can decide to purchase them all, just a few items, or to send them all back if you don't want to keep any of them.
-You have 3 business days to choose what you want to keep and send back what you don't like.  They give you a prepaid shipping envelope that you can just pop in your mailbox (so easy!).
-If you choose to keep all 5 items, you get 25% off your entire order.
-You can earn $25 in credit for every friend that uses your link to schedule their fix.  Its a win-win!

My Fix:

Liverpool Mira Ankle Skinny Jean

If leggings and jeans had a baby, these would be it.  I asked for extremely comfortable jeans, and my stylist delivered!  I can get on the floor and play with Parker in these with no problem.  They are petite in length, which my stylist chose especially for me so that I wouldn't have to get them hemmed.  Excuse me if I wear these every day of my life, thankyouverymuch.
Verdict: Kept

Sweet Grey Abbots Knit Top

This top is SO soft.  I love the detail of the color blocking around the bottom and the different colored pocket.  There is also a little stripe down the back, which is really unique and cute.  It is the perfect length for me, since I love the versatility of longer tops that can be worn with leggings or jeans.
Verdict: Kept

Zacasha Abbey Beaded Tassel

I didn't tell my stylist that I had been on the lookout for a fringe necklace, but somehow she must have read my mind, because she sent my this one and I loved it!  It is perfect for a date night with the hubs, church, or a fun dinner with friends.
Verdict: Kept

Kut From the Cloth Mona Boyfriend Short

My stylist took a risk and sent me these comfy shorts for summer.  I do not typically like to wear shorts, but it is pretty hot in NC, so I have invested in a few pairs.  I wasn't sure about the white color at first, especially because I tend to get a lot of stains on my clothes these days (thanks Parker!), but I decided they were comfortable enough to keep and I would just keep some bleach handy.
Verdict: Kept

RD Style Skriver Tie Waist Top

Be still my beating heart.  This top is EVERYTHING.  It is light and flowy, long enough in the back to wear with leggings, and it is SO pretty.  My stylist knows that I love Anthropologie's "boho" vibe, so she hit it out of the park with this choice.
Verdict: Kept

Above is my style card that my stylist sent with my fix to give me some ideas on how to style the clothes she sent.  I almost sent the necklace and the shorts back, but since Stitch Fix offers a 25% off discount for keeping all 5 items, it was actually cheaper to keep everything than to just keep 3 pieces!

I'd love to know what you think of my fix!  Leave me a comment and tell me what your favorite piece is!

Want to give it a try?  To get your fix, click here!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Hidden Gems: Favorite Books for Toddlers

If you know me, have taught with me, or especially if you have been taught BY me- you know that I absolutely LOVE to read.  I am hoping to pass that love for reading down to Parker, and so far it seems to be working (yay!).  One of his favorite things to do (and pretty much the only time he sits still) is when he curls up in my lap with a good book.  
You have probably heard of many of the classic favorites for little ones, like Dr. Seuss (Green Eggs and Ham) and Eric Carle (The Very Hungry Caterpillar).  We love those as well, but the following hidden gems have been some of our unexpected favorites.  I thought I would share because they would be great gift ideas for the toddlers in your life!  
National Geographic Kids First Big Book of the Ocean by Catherine D. Hughes
The real-life pictures in this book are so captivating, and the author keeps the facts short and sweet.  We like to read about one or two animals a night before bed.  This particular series also has books on animals, bugs, space, etc.  It is a great intro to our world for little ones.
When I Feel Angry by Cornelia Maude Spelman
I love this entire series of books because they focus on helping toddlers (and older kids too!) understand their feelings and how to deal with them.   This is a great find!
Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle
My husband and I can recite this entire book.  That's how many times we have read it.  But seriously, it is such a great book, and teaches a sweet lesson about helping others in need.  
My First Look and Find: Thomas and Friends
Parker loves this book because it is fun to find the pictures, and I love it because it helps him learn new words, along with colors, shapes, etc.  There are many different versions, including ones with popular Disney characters, and series that appeal to both boys and girls.
Sheep in a Jeep
This silly story is a quick and funny read.  It uses simple rhyming words that a toddler can easily pick up on and "read" with you.  This is another one that we have read again and again.
The Complete Book of Farmyard Tales by Stephen Cartwright and Heather Amery
I earned this book for free when I did my first Usborne Book party last year, and it has quickly become one of our favorites to read before bed.  Like most kids, Parker loves all things "farm" related and we enjoy reading about all the adventures at Apple Tree Farm!  Also, this book has both simple text (at the top of each page) and complex text (at the bottom), so that an early reader and their parent can read it together.  Its a definitely a gem!
The Beginner's Bible: Stories About Jesus
Parker has many story bibles, but this is our current favorite.  It is a board book, so he can bring it in his crib with him at night to read.  He often wakes up in the morning and starts flipping through it and "reading" it himself, which is really cute.  We love it because it brings the stories of events in Jesus's life to a level that a toddler can understand.  The stories are short and perfect for the short attention span of a toddler.

Thanks for stopping by the blog today!  Hope you pick up a good book today, no matter your age:)

Friday, July 1, 2016

Simple Fourth of July Decor

Happy Fourth of July everyone!  
I try to be super simple when I decorate for holidays.  Less is more, especially when you have an active two-year old and not a lot of time!  Here are a couple things that I did around the house to decorate for the fourth.

I draped an American flag printed scarf from one of the shelves in the dining room, and printed a free printable that I found on Pinterest to put in a frame.

 In the kitchen I hung some festive dishtowels, and rested a USA sign from Hobby Lobby above the stove.

My goal is to one day have a vintage looking pendant banner to hang above my fireplace (check out my bestie Katie's awesome banners at her blog, Thrifty Finds and Redesigns), but since we are about to start the process of building a new house, I opted to save money and bought a pack of three felt stars for $1 at Mighty Dollar.  I strung them on some twine and that was that!  I hung a second strand in the dining room bay window (not pictured).

My sweet mom bought me this American flag sign at Homegoods.  It is painted onto wood, and would be a really great DIY idea to try with an old pallet.

Well, that's all, folks!  I hope you have a happy and safe Fourth of July!  Thanks for stopping in!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

An Unexpected Kitchen Renovation

I mentioned in my last post that I went away for a weekend to visit one of my very best friends, Lauren.  She and her husband are getting ready to undergo a renovation to their beautiful 800 square foot cottage in Orlando, FL (follow their journey at Lauren's blog, This Little House).  I vaguely remember saying to her that it was really fortunate that they were doing this reno now, before they have kids, because I would HATE to do a reno while juggling a family (particularily a toddler).  Famous. Last. Words. 
I then came home to my moldy mess. LOL. 
Since we were having to tear out a lot of our kitchen anyway, we decided to do some updates that we had previously planned for next year.  It wasn't really that we hated the look of our kitchen before, but that it just didn't feel like our style.  Also, please excuse the crazy countertops in the below pic.  That was from the time of baby bottles, aka cluttered counters.
A "before" pic of the kitchen, from last Christmas to be exact :)
In our kitchen, we painted the cream colored cabinets a bright white.  
Our kitchen "after"
We then changed the old light green walls to Paper Craft, a cream color by Sherwin Williams.  
My goal here was to brighten up the kitchen and make it feel larger, since we don't have an open floorplan, and the kitchen is kind of separate from all the other rooms.  Previously, we had a short granite backsplash, but I have wanted a tiled backsplash for a long time.  To me, tiles are so much more functional, because you can easily wipe off any splashes from the sink or stove, rather than having to deal with splotches on your painted wall.  I chose a white subway tile with a charcoal grout.  I am SO happy with the way it turned out.  Our kitchen feels light and airy, and the backsplash gives our kitchen an upgraded, "finished" look.  
I still have a couple of things to do, like changing out the hardware on the drawers, but I'm pretty pleased with the result so far.  What do you think?
Stay tuned for posts about our DIY open shelving in the breakfast nook and chalkboard wall!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

An Update and a Big Thanks!

About 3 1/2 weeks ago, I came home from a wonderful weekend in Orlando, FL, to a HORRIBLE smell in my kitchen.  To make a long story short, this is what happened:

-smelled horrible smell
-thought maybe it was a dead squirrel in the wall (gross, I know, but we have a creek and we do have a lot of critters running around our property)
-called Pest Guy
-Pest Guy traced smell and...... WABAAM! Problem spotted.  The wall behind our stove was soaking wet and moldy.  Apparently we had a slow leak that was in just the right place to go unnoticed.  

Our kitchen during the demo process.

View from the living room.  We had 6 fans, a Hepa filter, and a dehumidifier going constantly for over a week.

All of this resulted in many weeks of living out of our bedrooms and playroom, since we lost the use of our kitchen, dining room, and living room once we found the issue.
I am happy to say that we are now mold free, and our house is back to normal.  Thank GOODNESS, because this clean freak was literally losing her mind!!! We also made a few decorative changes along the way that I am excited to share with you very soon!

This was a really stressful time for us as a family, but we were so lucky to have so many people that helped us out during our time of need!  We want to express our sincere thanks to all the people who brought us meals, welcomed us into their homes, and helped us with childcare.  We love you guys!!!

Parker did enjoy getting to eat breakfast at Bojangles once or twice (ish)!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Evolution of a Patio

Our house is currently in total disarray due to a water leak and mold issue (wahhhh!), so I thought 
that I would post about the one area of our house that actually looks decent right now.... our patio!  

Our patio: Circa 2013

We have been working on making improvements to our patio since we moved in our house over 4 years ago.  The first thing we did was to double the size of the concrete slab to give us room for both a seating area and a dining table.  I'm especially glad that we did that now that we have Parker, because now it is big enough for his swimming pool and/or water table too.

Most of our patio furniture was a mix of antique finds and hand-me-downs from my mom.

I found these vintage chairs at Metrolina Flea Market.  I sanded them down and painted them a sunny yellow.

Our Patio: Circa 2014

Last summer, we installed a wooden pole in one of the corners and hung cafe lights.   I originally tried tying the lights to a shepherd's hook, like in the pic below, but the lights were too low for my tall husband to walk under.  The pole looks a lot better than the hook did, but it was a good temporary solution until we installed the pole.

I planted plants in an old washtub, also found at Metrolina.

Making the Final Changes!

Our old picnic table practically fell apart after years of use, so we got a new one and painted it a pretty blue.

Don't let this picture fool you, I did most of the painting-he just jumped in at the end there to finish it off ;)

Our Patio Today!

 Finally, we picked out an outdoor sectional to replace the old metal loveseat.  My favorite thing about the sofa is that each of the five pieces can separate so that you can move them around and change their look.  We have a lot more seating, and it is SO comfortable.

I love that we have plenty of space for Parker to play outside.  He is a big fan of his water table!

We also love to use the patio in the evenings, after Parker goes to sleep.  It is so peaceful and comfy! 

Outdoor Sectional found at Lowe's
Picnic table and plants purchased at our local Lowe's
Picnic table paint color: Benjamin Moore's Wythe Blue, mixed at Lowe's
Outdoor Turquoise/Coral Medallion Pillows and Room Essentials Outdoor Turquoise Stripe Pillows similar here
Yellow Chair paint color- Krylon's Indoor/Outdoor Spray Paint: Bright Idea in Gloss, (Walmart, I think)
Yellow chairs- Metrolina Flea Market
White lanterns- Pottery Barn
Cafe lights- Target

I am so happy with how our outdoor space turned out! It feels like we added a whole new room onto our house.  

What changes have you made to your outdoor spaces this summer?