August 29, 2016

Dresses And High-Top Sneakers


dress (similar) | hi tops | sunglasses | backpack

Hey hey. Can you believe summer is winding down? No, me neither. Most of the country has even started school already. Gasp. Up here in the PNW, we get until Labor Day (this year, a bit before and apparently everyone went insane about that).

Regardless of school starting, it’ still HOT in many places. I don’t typically wear dresses, but this recent stint of living without AC has made me realize that dresses are the coolest outfit to beat the heat. No thank you to shorts sticking to your nether regions (insert covered-eyes monkey emoji here) or heaven forbid pants above 90 degrees. Nah gurl. Put on a dress and feel pretty even though you’re sweating buckets.

My edit?  Balance out girlie pieces (like a dress) with something tougher.  I rely on my trusty black hi tops to add an unexpected element to the ensemble. What I adore about this combo is that it’s great for all-day this time of year…cool enough to get you through the heat of the day yet not overly casual for picnics, BBQ’s or dinner on a patio.

Keep reading to see a few no-fail dress styles that have worked really well with hi tops…..

August 28, 2016

Sunset Cruising On The Miss Avalon



We have fun friends.  Namely, they know how to find fun that is both kid and adult friendly.  Balance, people.  It’s all about balance.  And really, any fun that is to be had after 6PM – especially in the summer – should start with WIN and end with an E.  #winwithanE #thatswhatI’msaying

So this past Thursday, we took the kids on a sunset cruise aboard the Miss Avalon.  It departs from Avalon (bay side) and either cruises around the bay, or heads oceanside to look for dolphins and such.  Depending on the weather.  But it almost doesn’t matter, because A. you are on a boat, and B. you can bring whatever food/snacks/drinks you’d like.

Our buddy brought this canned rose (no seriously – it was gooood) and a full cheese platter.  Like I said, fun friends.

The Miss Avalon does such a nice job with the kids, too.  Not only is there something naturally calming about a boat, but this baby is two stories (so fun to explore), and the Captain lets each kid take a turn driving the boat (and they print a certificate after).  The Captain takes back the helm to cruise under a drawbridge, and watching the bridge lift – just for us!! – is a thrill no matter the age.

By August 28, 2016 7 No tags Permalink
August 26, 2016

Airport Style: My Favorite Travel Outfit (Even Works For Nursing)



We received a reader question about airport style recently.  Specifically, airport style that is comfortable, yet chic enough to go straight from the airport to a party.  Oh and nursing friendly, thankyouverymuch.  Here’s what reader M wrote:

I need an outfit that will survive: nursing, running to the airport, flying (Hello gorgeous naptime, it’s been awhile!), lunch, baby shower, pumping, and flying back. All in 9 hours.   I want to escape my usual maternal athleisure costume & be pretty! But I need to be COMFY, not “comfy”….I’m thinking since you’ve traveled recently you might have some fresh ideas for me? 

Yes!  I do, actually.  On our recent trip we flew overnight to Barcelona, then immediately caught another flight to Nantes (in France), and upon landing there, met the family we’re doing the house exchange with…for drinks.  Obviously I had to be comfortable enough to sleep on a plane (and deal with mad temperature fluctuations and madder children haha), but I wanted to look good, too.

Turns out, I’ve got a dress for that.  It feels a little bit like wearing pajamas, never wrinkles, is nursing-friendly, kind on the post-partum tummy, and dresses up nicely for a party.  Keep reading for pics of my travel outfit, as well as a few examples of how I’d tweak the styling if I were nursing or traveling with toddlers because #momming.  It’s how we do.

Also, traveling with kids of any age is kind of a gong show #extremeparenting, so keep the photo expectations low.  Most look like this:



By August 26, 2016 24 No tags Permalink
August 25, 2016

Best Back to School Backpacks from Preschool to College


So I was flipping through channels and came upon a charming show called “Don’t be Tardy” starring an ex-‘Real Housewife’, but which could in fact be the theme song for my life recently. (Facebook told me it’s my 8th wedding anniversary today, which totally didn’t register until my hubs rolled over bright & early and confirmed – um, whoops? I have no grounds for getting mad about his lack of planning for special events for the foreseeable future.) Also, suprise – I’m behind on back to school shopping. Most importantly, for a backpack. I realize many of your kids have started the school year already but in my state we don’t go back until after Labor Day so there’s still time! If your brain’s still on summer vacation like mine, I rounded up the coolest backpacks for toddlers through teens that have fast shipping (and many are on sale since it’s so late!) Off to have that recurring stress dream about forgetting it’s the 1st day of school…

By August 25, 2016 8 No tags Permalink
August 24, 2016

The Summer Outfit We’ve Been Wearing on Repeat


Music on 3rd is a monthly event in Marquette during the summer where different musicians play up and down Third Street.  There’s music of every genre and it’s a blast to walk up and down the street, stopping to listen and have a drink here and there.  Last week my friend Ashley and I brought our girls.  The goal?  To walk Ashley’s tiny baby, Aria, to sleep . . . and get G to work off some energy so the mamas could have a beer.  We all have goals, people.  This is our goal for a late summer evening: sleepy babies and beer.  And looking cute.  Which brings me to my next point…this “uniform” of sorts.  It’s easy, it’s comfy, it’s cute: denim cut-offs, soft drapey tees and complicated shoes (heels optional).

Aria was drifting off to sleep when we came across a young singer (Anna Clifton – seriously check out her instagram) who did amazing covers of songs like Christina Perri’s Arms and Vance Joy’s Riptide, which were PERFECT for Greenlea to dance to.  First goal?  Achieved.  Onto the next:  Pizza and beer.


By August 24, 2016 19 No tags Permalink
August 22, 2016

Touring Normandy Beaches With Kids – What We Learned


One of the highlights of our trip this summer was taking Raines (age 8) and Pax (age 5) to Normandy.  Our oldest is the type who tends to…focus on one topic, and for the last two years his focus has primarily been on World War 2.  We’ve watched countless documentaries, The Longest Day six times, visited battleships, war museums, even attended a World War 2 Weekend in Pennsylvania (which was amazing), and have, roughly, 15-20 notebooks filled with Raines’ drawings of planes, battleships, tanks, and general war scenes.  For a while there, bedtime stories were supplanted by his favorite resource guide, Weapons of World War II:  “The M18 Hellcat weighs 18.8 tons, it’s max speed is 50mph, the range is 105 miles on road, and there are 3 cannon in the turret, plus one .5 MG….”

I just can’t even.  A girl can only read tank specs aloud so many times.

But we dreamed of bringing Raines to Normandy.  So when one of our options for a house exchange popped up a mere 2 hours from the Normandy Beaches, we didn’t hesitate.

the boys playing in a bomb crater....

the boys playing in a bomb crater….

By August 22, 2016 16 No tags Permalink
August 21, 2016

Two Ways To Style Taupe Booties (Now And Into Fall)



We just got back to Philly from an amazing vacation.  We did a house exchange in France, then flew to Barcelona to meet up with my big brother and his fam.  Much more about our trip soon, but at the moment, we need to talk about these boots.

I bought these unassuming little beige (taupe?) booties during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (they’re the Lucky Brand Bashina boots), almost on a whim.  I didn’t realize that these boots would quickly become the cornerstone of my travel capsule wardrobe.  I wore these boots all over France (and a little bit in Spain, too).  The reason this style of bootie – chunky heel, lighter color, cutout detail – is so good is because it’s so darn versatile.  Flippy little summer dress?  Wear the boots.  Denim cutoffs?  Yes, boots.  And then, when temps drop, pair the boots with skinnies and jackets and – this is important – your outfit comes together effortlessly because the taupey-beige is one of those colors that manages to go with everything while matching nothing.

To keep my outfits somewhat cohesive (I swear, that’s how I should start describing my personal style, ‘somewhat cohesive’), I found that a lighter bag helps to pull it all together, even when I was wearing black.  (Actually….especially if I was wearing black).

Two things of note:

1.  I’ve mentioned these boots before, and they keep selling out.  Never fear, I rounded up several other solid options (and a few I even like better).

2.  I’ve gotten a few questions about cut-out boots with socks.  I’m not convinced that it’s not possible….but it’ll be tricky.  I’ll play around once the temps drop, but at the moment, I plan to treat mine like sneakers:  bare ankles.  So we’ll see.  (I’ve also included a few pairs in the roundup below that will easily pair with socks…)

Keep reading to see how I wore these booties all over France for a little Wear Now / Wear Later styling game…..

By August 21, 2016 39 No tags Permalink
August 18, 2016

Teva Sandals: The Summer of my Rekindled Romance

megan's platform tevas

I’ve always had a soft spot for Teva sandals, although admittedly, they aren’t the most stylish footwear.  Functional, durable, sturdy, comfortable – these are shoes made for grand adventures.

I still have the first pair of Tevas I ever owned, worn religiously during a college semester spent backpacking in Yosemite over a decade ago. They were ultimately packed away and passed over in favor of something more stylish and trendy (and less comfortable).  But thanks in part to Teva’s recent design collaborations with the likes of Open Ceremony and one of my favorite designers, Leah Duncan, Teva’s new designs offer fresh takes on an iconic sandal.

My romance with Teva has been rekindled.

So, with the help of my friend, Megan, we highlight our favorite styles and show you how and where we wear them.

August 16, 2016

The Trunki Ride-on Suitcase – A Review


Summer! Traveling! Fun! Three year old meltdowns!

This has been our summer so far:  fun and 3 year old drama. While I cannot promise this amazing little ride-on suitcase will get rid of the drama, I can attest to the fact that it makes tromping through airports with kiddos way more fun. Follow me for all you ever needed to know about the Trunki and whether it’s a worthy purchase.

By August 16, 2016 12 No tags Permalink
August 15, 2016

The Easy, Everyday Dress (Wear It Now And Into Fall)


When we were in Philly recently, Shana took us to Spruce St. Harbor Park, a summer pop-up park in Philly that includes sand, hammocks, riverfront views and all kinds of fun.  It’s usually crazy packed on the weekends, but was perfect during the week when we went.  There were comfy lounge chairs right on the water, tasty margaritas and awesome food.  The chips and guac were to die for.  TO DIE FOR.  As you can tell in these pictures – not sure I stopped to breathe.

It’s always fun visiting my sister in the city–we walk everywhere, stopping here or there for drinks, shopping or just sight-seeing.  But when I say walk everywhere, I mean it.  Shana’s always like, “Bring comfy shoes!” and I’m like, “yeah, yeah, yeah.”  (Fast-forward to having to run into a store midway through the day because my feet are killing me.)  We often leave the house in the morning and don’t come back until after dinner.

So . . . aside from the shoes (comfy), what to wear?

For me, the easiest thing is to find a drapey dress that can easily go from day to night.  Going to a nice dinner?  Add a statement necklace or earrings and some fancy shoes.  The park?  Add sneaks and a hoodie.  These dresses are super versatile and comfortable, and the drape means they’re flattering even after a big meal. (Of Guac.  Lots and lots of GUAC.)

By August 15, 2016 20 No tags Permalink