Monday, December 2, 2013

Lately... And some news!

Lately, I have been just awful about documenting all the fun things we've been doing my friends! But, oh my have we been busy having fun.  The month of November was full of fun playdates, Thanksgiving, Christmas decorating and more.  We have also had a lot of nasty weather and Mommy has had to get creative with at home activities and we may or may not have broken out all of the Christmas movie already!!  Once I finalize our outdoor Christmas decorations I will share some pictures here.  If you can make it through the photos you can also hear our news :)

We broke out Christmas clothes this weekend for a little trip to the playground!

Shopping for a new TV with Daddy!

She loves to walk around wearing this hat saying "hoho!"  We were also dogsitting for my sister while she was in Paris.  Natalie was in heaven with a "woof" around.

The littles holding hands at a Thanksgiving dinner with my Grandfather.  I love when I'm able to capture sweet little moments like this!

Shaving our tummies with toy razors and foaming bath soap... I highly recommend this activity.  It supplied us literally hours of entertainment!!


We recently had some built-in book shelves put into our living room and I could not be more thrilled with how they turned out.  The only thing left to do is to mount the doors that cover the TV.  I'm so excited to finally have a proper television cabinet and do you see all of those doors across the bottom... that's toy storage... woohoo!!! Obviously I have not styled the book shelves yet, but give me a few weeks or a year and it will get done I promise :)

Finally, if you follow me on instagram, you might have already seen this picture but, if not, this is going to have to be my drink of choice over the Christmas season because...

This little family of four is adding a new member in June!

As you can imagine, I feel awful right now, but trying to bear in mind at all times that that is a good sign!  We are over the moon excited and yet terrified at the same time.  We've done this all before of course, but something about having three kids sounds really official, am I right?  Ha!
I'm trying to decide if I should do weekly pregnancy updates this time.  I never did them before or even really took any bump pictures so it might be fun this time around and I will do my best to document.
I'll be back tomorrow to share an AHmazing recipe courtesy of my mother.  It is literally the only pasta recipe you will ever need.  Be prepared for deliciousness!!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

An Equestrian Tea Party Baby Shower

A couple of weeks ago, I threw a baby shower for one of my best friends. She WAS expecting her first, a little boy, on November 27th, but he surprised us all by coming four weeks early! We had the shower just in time :)

My friend Talia adores horses and has been an avid rider since her childhood, so the equestrian theme felt uniquely her.  We threw in the proper English tea party twist, because she met her husband while living in England.

Like me, my dear friend must eat gluten free, so the food was the crowning glory of this shower.  I made everything myself from scratch, so that she could enjoy all of her favorite traditional tea party favorites.  We had date scones with clotted cream and preserves, orange pistachio biscotti, smoked salmon tea sandwiches, cucumber tea sandwiches, chicken salad tea sandwiches, petit fours, and nut brownies. To drink, we enjoyed three types of hot tea as well as Pimm's Cups.

The d├ęcor was simple, and mostly made by me.  All of the paper goods (tags, banner, etc) I made myself in Publisher.  The plaid fabric and striped ribbon were from Hobby Lobby.  The black and white napkins are Caspari.  The silver chalkboard trays are from the dollar tree painted with chalkboard paint.  All of the rest of the silver trays are from my collection of vintage and antique silver.  The horse accessories came from Talia herself.  Talia is not a fan of shower games so instead we opted to have guests share "midnight messages" on diapers.

Guests left with wrapped macarons from local bakery Patisse.

It was such a wonderful celebration, and just in time for her to set things up for her little boy's arrival just one week later!


Friday, November 1, 2013

Sunshine Award

I was recently (okay it was a few weeks ago... bad blogger!!) nominated for the Sunshine Award by the fabulous Lobster Meets Peach. Thank you so much! It means a lot that someone thinks this blog brings a little sunshine into their day.

Here are the questions that she posed for me:

1.If you could live anywhere, where would that be? Right where I am!  Seriously.  I have lived in a couple of other cities, and while I enjoyed some aspects of them far more than Houston, this is home.  To me, home is where the people you love are and that is here!

2.Do you prefer romantic comedies or suspense thrillers? Romantic comedies.

3.What is your favorite sport (to watch or to participate in)? I'm not really a sporty person.  I hate watching sports to be honest but I do the occasional football game with hubby if I get to sit in his company box, ha!  I guess the closest thing to a sport I participate in is running.

4.What is your favorite sound? My babies saying "Mommy."

5.Starbucks or Dunkin' Dounuts? Starbucks

6.What is your favorite season? Spring

7.PC or Mac? PC but that is only because my husband prefers them and he is my tech support!

8.What is your favorite vacation spot? Anywhere on the beach.  I love cruises!

9.Do you collect anything? I collect Nutcrackers for Christmas time and I collect antique and vintage silver pieces.

10.What is your favorite blog post you ever written? Good question!  Probably this one, just because it felt really cathartic to write and I got such an outpouring of support from other mommy bloggers.

Halloween 2013

Phillip wanted me to have a costume and this was the best I could do at the last minute!

How was everyone's Halloween? Ours was great for the most part.  Phillip loved it again this year and Natalie trick or treated for the first time.  She was VERY into grabbing candy and trying to eat it before it was even unwrapped, ha!

She was not so into her Minnie Mouse ears.

We started out the evening with a spooky supper of mummy hot dogs and ghost mac n cheese.  After that it was into our costumes and out for some trick or treating.  Last, but not least, we made an appearance at my sister's Halloween party where she got to show off the adorables in their costumes.

With Gigi, my mom

With my sister Amy

My gluten free mummy dogs... very yummy but not so Pinterest perfect :-)

After an exhausting and fun evening, everyone was in bed and lights out by eight.  Now, that is what I call a successful night :)

 To sum it up:


Cranky. And eating chocolate.


Monday, October 7, 2013

Fall Finally: Fashion Edition

At least for the moment it is actually cool here! Can I get a heck ya??

I've bought a few items for fall already, but I've mostly held back because up until this weekend temperatures have still been into the 90's every single day.  I think temperatures will soar at least once more before I bring out my jeans and flats for good, but for the moment I'm soaking it up!

Flats are my shoe of choice for all of fall.  I do break out boots occasionally, but for me, flats are just so comfy, easy to throw on, and always look chic.  As an aficionado of flats, I of course love Tory Burch.  Have any of y'all hit up the Tory Burch Friends and Family sale? (Use code FRIENDS for 25% off and free shipping).  I was thrilled to learn that Nordstrom is simultaneously discounting all of their Tory items 25% as well!!  Since I had some Nordstrom notes to use, I picked up these beauties:

I've been hunting high and low for months now for the perfect nude flat and snagged these Vince Camuto nude flats last month.  They are relatively affordable and SO comfortable.  I also think they are the perfect nude color (not too tan and not too pink).  They go with everything!

Last night I paired them with this engineered striped boatneck top from J Crew for the Fun. concert with my hubby (sold out but I love this one).  It was our first date night in months btw!

Today they went great with this outfit for dropping Phillip at school and a little shopping date with my Mom at Nordies:

In the bargain department, have y'all seen these adorable quilted barn jackets and vests from Old Navy?? This tweed puffer vest is adorable too and only $40.

A few weeks back, when J Crew Factory had 40% off everything in store, I picked up this chambray dress (Factory is currently having 20% off all orders over $100 with code EXTRA20).  I love it but this one from Old Navy is pretty cute too!

J Crew Factory - on sale for $64.50

Old Navy - $34.94 but use code ONSAVE20 for 20% off.

Lately, I have been obsessed with the array of affordable accessories available on Etsy.  Last year I was so disappointed when I hesitated too long and missed out on the Missoni infinity scarf.  But, I found this scarf on Etsy that is so cheap and just as cute, IMO. 

$30 from seller DesiLoop on Etsy.

So, tell me ladies... what trends are y'all loving for fall?  Also, I just recently upgraded to the new iPhone 5S (believe me not by choice... my old phone recently suffered a grievous injury at the hands of my adorable daughter!).  I'm looking for a cute cover that will not break the bank.  Any suggestions?


Thursday, October 3, 2013


My big brother Tom and me at my wedding in 2006.

I know I promised y'all some fun fall posts, but I need to share something a little heavier today. This post has really been a long time coming.  I've started to write it a hundred times, but just never felt like the time was right.  I've mentioned before in passing that my brother passed away but I've never really talked about it here before.  This really probably needs to be two separate posts (or maybe even more): one about what happened to him and at least one about how I feel about it, but for now, I'm going to focus on the more pressing issue and that is: why it happened.

Two years ago, on Christmas Day, my older brother Tom died.  He was 31 years old.  He was a graduate summa cum laude and phi beta kappa from Trinity University.  He was a many time marathon runner, iron man triathlete, and he had recently qualified for and was scheduled to run the Boston Marathon.  He was, most of all, a beloved uncle, brother, and son.  Then, on Christmas Day, he took his own life. 

The moment I found out that my brother had died was an absolutely defining moment in my life.  I lost a vital part of myself.  To say it devastated me and my entire family is a gross understatement.  I will spare you all the details but the events of his death left some members of my family in treatment for post traumatic stress.

Tom and me at almost the exact same ages as Phillip and Natalie.

Growing up, Tom and I were as close as a brother and sister could be. I  spaced Phillip and Natalie's ages with that closeness in mind.  Huge parts of my life were experienced only by the two of us.  His death would have left a gaping hole in my life under any circumstances, but his sudden shocking end was especially devastating.  But, as I said before, I'm not writing this post to say woe is me or even to really share how his death has affected my life.  I want to talk about depression.

At Disney World - 5 and 7.

I've never been depressed.  Not truly.  Not the way he was.  And I really didn't understand it.  At its height, his depression made me too sad, and uncomfortable, and even angry to be around him.  I carry around a lot of guilt and feelings of "what if??"  But the fact remains that people who are depressed do a pretty good job at hiding their issues and not expressing the true extent of their depression.  I think a lot of that has to do with how society views it.  This TED Talk by Kevin Breel has really helped me understand a lot better what it feels like to be a depressed person and also shed a lot of light on the huge problem that it really is.  He reminds me so much of Tom.  I hope you'll take the time to watch it.

If you know someone with depression, please let them know that you understand and you're there for them.  If you know someone who is or who you think may be suicidal, force them to get help.  I have several posts with tons of searches on Google and pins on Pinterest and I have no doubt that this will never be among them, but it was too important not to write.

Finally, if you are here and still reading, my family and I will be participating in a walk to raise awareness and understanding for and to prevent suicide.  If you'd like to donate, it would mean the world to me, and if you are interested in participating there are Out of the Darkness walks all across the country.   

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