3.29.2017

Fix #13

It's been a hot minute since my last fix! This fix actually came almost three weeks ago, and I've been meaning to get around to it, but, life...

To be completely honest, I dropped the ball on the note to my stylist (hi, Raquel!). I basically left the note blank, with exception of a request for a moto jacket I must have mentioned upon checking out from my last fix. Thank goodness Raquel is seriously THE best, and she scoured my Pinterest board and pulled all sorts of inspiration from that.
So, let's just dive right into the goodies, yes?

Raquel knows the way to my wardrobe-loving heart. I was thrilled to see grays and navys and stripes peeking out from my box.

Le Lis || Towen Woven Detail Knit Top
I'm ready for all things spring and summer, tops included. When I pulled out this mixed media top I was really hopeful. I loved the idea of the floral print on the bottom. The knit top was super breathable and lightweight, the straps were wide enough to hide bra straps. But, the floral was sewn in to the knit top at a spot that just hit me all wrong, and I felt like it added more to my hips. And, ain't nobody got time for even wider hips than absolutely necessary. 

Verdict || Returned 

Colette || Chavez pop Color Cuff Knit Top
This top was so soft when I pulled it out of the box, I couldn't wait to try it on. Black and white stripes are just about as amazing as navy and white stripes, and that pop of bright yellow had me smitten with it before I even put the top on. I loved how it felt, I loved that it didn't cling to me, and it just seemed like a really good wardrobe staple. Since receiving this fix I've already worn this top no less than a handful of times.

Verdict || Kept

THML || Livy Knit Maxi Dress
Navy, stripes, embroidered detail, fun tassels, all in one super comfortable maxi?! It checked almost every box I use when shopping for clothes. I was THISCLOSE to adding this one to my closet. BUT, I have a navy and white maxi from Stitch Fix that is just too similar to this one to justify keeping this beauty. As much as I wanted to hang on to this piece I just don't have a need for two dresses that are so similar. 

Verdict || Returned 

41Hawthorn || Dawney Scallop Trim Blouse
Navy. Soft. Scallops. Perfect for almost any occasion in the summer. Just go ahead and put this one right on a hanger in my closet, please and thank you. Oh, and I have to mention that the bottom tapers in just a bit so it's fitted nicely and doesn't rise up when I move. I'm seriously loving this top. 

Verdict || Kept

Market & Spruce || Elissa French Terry Moto Jacket
I had the cutest little fashion helpers!
Market & Spruce || Elissa French Terry Moto Jacket
41Hawthorn || Dawney Scallop Trim Blouse
Kut From the Kloth || Dayna Skinny Jeans
Seychelles || Laser Cut Bootie 
THIS. JACKET. 
I saved the best for last. This is the moto jacket that I specifically requested, and I was beyond shocked and thrilled when I discovered it was in this fix! (I also happened to be wearing Stitch Fix from head to toe when we were out and about looking for pretty walls, so Liz kindly obliged in playing photographer for me while I stood in front of the #bleedinghearts wall). This jacket is literally everything I want and need in a jacket. It's not too heavy, so it's absolutely perfect for those days when the temps are cool, but don't require serious outerwear. It's so soft, so when I layer it with a tank top it's crazy comfortable. It's the perfect shade of gray, so it pairs well with literally every single thing in my closet. And, the zippers and buttons add the nicest little touch to bump up the character of this piece. I've worn this so many times since receiving it that I've lost count. If you don't have this jacket in your life you're missing out, and you need it. Request it in your next fix, stat.

Verdict || Kept

A 3/5! I consider that a total victory considering I gave little to no instruction to Raquel in regards to pieces I wanted. 

Thoughts? Did I keep the right pieces??

If you haven't signed up for Stitch Fix yet give it a shot and sign up here! 

3.27.2017

M & J Monday

Grandparents are for stories
about things long ago.
Grandparents are for caring
about all the things you know.
Grandparents are for rocking you,
and singing you to sleep.
Grandparents are for giving you
nice memories to keep.
Grandparents are for knowing
all the things you're dreaming of.
But, most important of all,
Grandparents are for love.
If these photos don't accurately capture my children, none ever will. ;)
Happy Monday!

3.23.2017

Marcus :: F I V E ::

To my kind, loving, sweet, sensitive, cautiously curious, silly, cuddly, funny, smart, little man:
I can't believe we're celebrating FIVE - that's a whole hand's worth of fingers. A half a decade! In a blink you've gone from my chunky little monkey to this little boy.
Often I find myself wondering how in the world I was so lucky, so blessed, to be your mom. Not a day goes by where I don't give thanks for the joy and light you've brought to this world.
You go with the flow, you follow the rules, you strive to make others happy all the time. You love sports, all of them. Snuggles are your specialty. And mac and cheese ever remains your favorite food. Next to ice cream, of course.
As far as big brothers go, you are truly the best. The patience you have with Julia is amazing. I honestly wish I was more like you.
Today is your day, and I hope five is just a special and wonderful as your are.
Happy Birthday, Marcus. Mommy loves you.

3.21.2017

Wall Crawl - Venice {Abbott Kinney Blvd}

If I had to pick the most unique area of Los Angeles I'd gladly hand that award over to Venice. Everywhere you turn there's something that catches the eye, from wall art and murals, to publicly encouraged graffiti walls, to canals with the cutest walkways and bridges, to people watching. The place is jam packed with character, and a vibe that I've yet to find anywhere else in this city.

After Liz and I decided another wall crawl was in order I suggested Venice. I've seen several walls that have been begging for a visit. So, we did what any sane parents would do. We packed up our kids and headed to Venice to see what we could scope out.

Let's talk about Abbott Kinney Boulevard. Holy buckets, that street is just teeming with walls that scream "PHOTO!"

I had a few walls mapped out, because there is nothing I dislike more than zigzagging all over the place and wasting precious time when kids are in tow. However, we quickly learned that no map was needed because every few steps seemed to showcase spectacular wall art.

We started at 1420 Abbott Kinney Blvd. (Happy Socks) and ended at 1025 Abbott Kinney Blvd. (Casa Linda Mexican Grill). In that short distance we came upon so. many. walls (praise hands)!

Julia was most content cruising in the stroller and snacking rather than prancing around in front of the walls, so she makes a very brief cameo. However, the boys were more than cooperative with all of our requests.

Ok, on to the walls!
Even the plant pot is perfect!
Happy Socks - 1420 Abbott Kinney Blvd.
Marcus spotted this wall and said, "That's a pretty wall!" I asked if he wanted a picture by it and he said yes. Who am I to deprive him of a colorful wall like this? It also needs to be noted that Mason found perhaps the most colorful mailbox he may ever see! ;)
I don't have an exact address for this, but this is just down the street a bit from Aviator Nation (which is the blue wall below).

Hip! Hip! Hooray!
Aviator Nation - 1224 Abbott Kinney Blvd.

This wall actually displayed a massive rooster, but, birds creep me out. And the bird was on the corner of the building. I liked the two-tone greens so much better, and it was fitting for St. Patrick's Day.
Roosterfish - 1302 Abbott Kinney Blvd.
How sweet are these two?!
#bleedinghearts
This wall was recently changed to a black background. Before, the background was white with the colorful hearts.
1239 Abbott Kinney Blvd.
I love that Marcus played along with this one.
Intersection of Abbott Kinney Blvd. and Santa Clara Ave.
Real talk. This isn't my favorite wall find, but since we were in Venice it seemed almost mandatory to snap a quick pic in front of this one.
1146 Abbott Kinney Blvd.
Probably my third favorite wall. It was shiny!
1130 Abbott Kinney Blvd.
This piece was so much bigger than I could capture in one tiny frame. But, SO GOOD.
1118 Abbott Kinney Blvd.
A two-for-one wall!! AND, Julia's only appearance!
1025 Abbott Kinney Blvd. This one is tucked back behind the butterfly mural below, we had to access this from a side street, so we stumbled upon it while trying to get to the butterfly wall.
HANDS DOWN my FAVORITE of the day!!
This was also my inspiration for M & J Monday, yesterday.
1025 Abbott Kinney Blvd.
The Geometric Wave wall.
Intersection of Abbott Kinney and San Juan Ave.
This was our last stop along ABK, and we literally stumbled upon it as we were making our way to the car. The boys with the phones cracks me up every single time. And, I couldn't walk away from this spot without an actual selfie with my favorite little man.
Another wall I don't have an exact address for, but it's near Aviator Nation (the blue wall with yellow/orange/red stripes), along AKB. If you're looking for it you'll spot it!
We quickly headed down to the boardwalk for one last piece of art before calling it a successful wall crawl.
My second favorite wall of the day.
A massive van Gogh for the win!
1101 Ocean Front Walk
I mean, FIFTEEN walls in just about an hour. COME ON!! I think I told Liz no less than a dozen times, "This is literally all of my wall dreams come true."

Venice, your walls have my heart forever and ever and ever, amen.

Also, feign surprise if you see some of these pop as #latergrams. Thanks to Instagram and Chatbooks I have a couple of books in the works featuring all of our fa├žade adventures. If you want to see all of our walls check out #mackewallcrawl!

No tell me, which Venice wall was your favorite? 

3.20.2017

M & J Monday

I'll spread my wings
and I'll learn to fly
I'll do what it takes till I touch the sky.

Happy Monday!

3.17.2017

The Year of Color {Green} Edition

First and foremost, Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

With this month's Year of Color prompt being green a few ideas immediately came to mind. Naturally, St. Patrick's Day was our primary focus.

Let's start with the monthly mom and kids pic.
I've been sporting this t-shirt for the last three or four St. Patrick's Day and it never gets old. There's nothing better than showing a little Iowa love whenever we can! Bonus points for actually being Catholic and part Irish to really the holiday a boost.

Moving along to the more hands-on portion of our green prompt.

Read
While we don't have any St. Patrick's Day books in our collection, we DO have Green Eggs and Ham! Per our usual routine while Julia naps, we pulled this book off the shelf and got cozy. 
Since reading this for the prompt Marcus has requested to hear Green Eggs and Ham several times. 

Bake
This may be the easiest "baking" I've ever done. I mean, does a two "ingredient" recipe that calls for microwaving even count as baking?? But, Marcus helped with a majority of it, and he loved the snack as the outcome, so I'm calling it baking.
Shamrock Pretzels
Small pretzels
1 bag of white candy melts 
10-15 drops of green food coloring
Sprinkles - optional (but necessary)
Parchment paper

Melt candy melts according to package instructions, add green food coloring.
Dip pretzel into green candy melt.
Lay pretzel on parchment paper, repeat three more times, and arrange pretzels so they resemble shamrocks. 
Add sprinkles before candy coating dries.
Right on cue, Julia woke from her nap juuuuuuust in time to eat a shamrock pretzel of her own.

Experiment
When in doubt, grab baking soda and vinegar. Explosions are a sure fire way to keep a kid excited and entertained. With this experiment we simply added blue food coloring to baking soda, yellow food coloring to vinegar, grabbed a bottle with a skinny neck, and went to town.
We talked about how the vinegar reacts with the baking soda to make it explode. We also talked about how when the blue and yellow colors were mixed the explosion was green. You know, simple science stuff.
When the explosion first happened Marcus was a little unsure about the whole thing. But as the fizzing and erupting continued he thought it was really cool.

Marcus has asked no less than 347 times to do this experiment again. And, who am I to say no?

Green Explosion
1/4 cup baking soda
5-10 drops blue food coloring
1/2 cup vinegar 
10-15 drops yellow food coloring

Mix baking soda and blue food coloring together, stir until blue is fully incorporated.
Combing vinegar and yellow food coloring, mix so yellow is fully incorporated.
Add baking soda to a bottle with a funneled top (this makes the explosion more dramatic).
Pour vinegar into bottle.
Watch the reaction create and explosion.

Since the Green Explosion lasted about 10 seconds, I figured we would try our hand at an experiment that took a few days. 

We simply put vinegar on pennies and waited to see what happened. 
After about four days we saw that our pennies were no longer shiny and copper colored. Rather, they had turned green where the vinegar had settled.
Green Pennies
A few pennies
Vinegar
Paper towel

Place pennies on a paper towel.
Pour vinegar on the pennies and saturate the paper towel. 
Allow pennies to set for several hours/days. 
The longer the pennies set in vinegar the more green they become.
Note: We had to add more vinegar to the pennies and paper towel on the second day.

Each morning of this experiment we would check on our pennies to see if any more green had formed. It was kind of fun to have that to look forward to before we headed into our morning routines. 

Twenty-four hours with vinegar on the pennies.
Four days with vinegar on the pennies.
The color changed from green to more of a turquoise, but that's still considered part of the green family, right?
For this one, we talked about the reaction of the vinegar and copper, and how that made the pennies change colors.

Craft
This is literally the easiest craft we've ever done. Marshmallows, green paint, and some paper. 
Marshmallow Shamrock Stamps
A handful of marshmallows
Green paint
Paper
Paint brush

Dip marshmallows in green paint and stamp to create a shamrock leaf.
Use paint brush to add a stem. 
The end.
Poof. Shamrocks that were turned into snail mail for the grandparents! 
This craft took about 5 minutes, and that was just enough time to hold Marcus' attention before he asked me if he could eat the marshmallows rather than paint with them.

That's a wrap on March's green prompt! 
Did you sprinkle this month with green? If so, be sure to link up with the Year of Color below!

Next month's colors are PASTELS!

For those who like to plan well in advance:
May's prompt is YELLOW
June's color is PURPLE