M & J Monday

If you want to know how much I love you...
Count all the waves in the sea.
Happy Monday.



The Elevate Conference Edition

Ages ago Liz and Erin mentioned attending Elevate, a blogging conference right here in Southern California. To be honest, I was a little hesitant to register. This space of mine is small. I wasn't really sure, what good would a conference be for me?

Then I discovered the conference landed on the day after Scott returned home from a two week work trip. I couldn't pass up the conference. A day dedicated to blogging, empowering women, and hanging out with two of my favorite ladies? It was exactly what I needed to recharge after two weeks of solo parenting. 

While I'm not going to give a fully detailed run-down of the day (Liz did an amazing job, check out her post for all the deets), I dowant to hit the highlights.

1. My Happy Place.
Blogging is kind of a weird thing to try and explain to non-bloggers - especially when I start talking about on-line friends. But this little space of mine truly makes me happy. It's something I pride myself on. For an entire day I was surrounded by people who got 'it'. I never felt awkward or weird saying, "I blog." And *that* is a special thing.

2. Inspiration.
Ok, so not everyone in this picture was a new face. But, Jenica and Lindsay were so sweet to oblige in a 5-person selfie.
Jenica, from A Slice of Style, was the absolute sweetest. Not to mention, she's due with twins (!) (after 3 round of IVF), and was one of our speakers for the day.
Though many of the women at the conference did so much more than blog (at lunch I was seated at a table with the creators/owners of Chatbooks, another woman made and sold diaper bags, another lady laser cut wood to make all sorts of great things) everyone was so positive and willing to share their story, along with encourage each of us to set big goals and go for them.

3. The Food and Drinks.
We ate some of the most scrumptious food and devoured sweets that were nothing short of mind-blowing. I also experienced my first Dirty Diet Coke - it. was. so. good. I only slightly kid that I'd like to attend next year just for the food.

4. The Swag
The Happy Planner ladies gave every one of us a brand new planner along with so many accessories and supplies for said planner. It was bananas!
The sponsors and shops that made the conference possible were beyond generous with the goodies. The amount of stuff I brought home was simply insane.

5. These two.
Never in a million years did I think documenting my life on a thing called a blog would lead me to people that I consider my closest and dearest friends. I'm pretty lucky to be part of this tribe.

So, what good did a blogging conference do for me and this little blog? It pushed me to meet new people, it brought inspiration I didn't even know I wanted or needed, and gave me a day to spend with some pretty phenomenal ladies. 
I'd say it did a whole lot. 

Have a great weekend!


Fix #6

Fix #6 arrived over the weekend. YAY!
For this fix I had our annual trip to Cabo in mind. I'm in dire need of some new clothes that are acceptable for the beach as well as all summer long. Along with beach-worthy clothes I also asked for some sandals that would be beach and summer appropriate.

I requested Alex or Raquel, both of whom have prepared fixes for me in the past. I was so pleased when I discovered Raquel was my stylist again.
Enough chit chat. Moving along to the beach-themed fix!

Level 99 || Cindie Printed Linen Short
Admittedly, when I saw these shorts I was a little hesitant. I'm not sure I've ever owned shorts with a print on them - especially not a print that involves a floral design. I had mixed feelings. And then I put them on. Geez, Louise. The fit was perfect, the length was just right, and I could totally see myself wearing these out to dinner at The Office one evening with Scott. 
Verdict || KEPT!

Pixley || Landers Lattice Crochet Detail Tank
I've been seeing so many cute crochet detailed items out there, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't desperately want one for my own closet. I was thrilled when I pulled this gem out of the box. 
The lace detail is minimal, but adds such a boost to a top that would otherwise just be another tank. The straps are wide enough that they cover bra straps. It's super lightweight. And, I love that the back hangs just a bit longer than the front.
Verdict || KEPT!

Gilli || Sebastian Maxi Dress
Just looking at the style card I knew this was going to end up on a hanger in my closet.
I'm a sucker for navy. Throw in some stripes? It's basically a done deal. The v-neck. The fabric with the forgiving bit of stretch (also perfect for nursing). The dress is light and airy. Not to mention the skirt hits pretty low to the ground, of which I'm a big fan. I couldn't NOT keep this!
Verdict || KEPT!

Papermoon || Lupita Cross-Back Top
The colors of this tank are 150% me. I love the blue and turquoise, it's totally something you'd find in my closet. But, it's such a sheer top. And, the arm holes are cut quite low. There is no way I could wear this without a cami underneath. While I do like how it looks on (with the cami), I'm a fan of how the back is longer than the front, and the back detail is adorable, but I'm so undecided. It's cute on, but I'm not sure I'll be pulling this one from the closet often. Do I keep it??? HELP!!!
Verdict || Undecided! HELP!

Franco Sarto || Grip Thong Sandal 
These beauts will literally go with ev.er.y.thing. The color kind of picks up on whatever is being worn. A cross between a silver-ish and a gold-ish. They are insanely comfortable. I could throw them on for a beach day, or slip them on for an easy transition to complete any cute outfit. It's obvious where this is going...
Verdict || KEPT!! 

What do you think?? Did you love this fix as much as I did? And seriously, I need to know, do I keep the Papermoon Cross-Back top?!

Are you a Stitch Fixer? No? What are you waiting for?
For $20 a box, a personal stylist will hook you up with some fun, cute clothes. If you love what's sent your way, the $20 is then applied to your total. Don't love anything? The $20 is about what it would cost you in gas to head to the mall. Toss in the mandatory Starbucks you grab while shopping at said mall, and you've easily spent $20+. Not to mention, you get to have a little fashion show in the comfort of your own home (it is so awesome to be able pull pieces from your closet and jewelry box to see if they'll go well with a Stitch Fix item). Wins all around, if you ask me.

Give it a shot! It's honestly one of the most fun things I've done for myself in a very, very long time. It doesn't hurt that my wardrobe is seeing some major improvements from it as well.
Click here to get started on your profile (pssst, making a profile is free - you aren't charged a styling fee until you receive your fix).


M & J Monday

I knew when I met you and adventure was going to happen.
A. A. Milne
Happy Monday!


The - We're Together Again! - Edition

For the past two weeks Scott's been away for work training. The kids and I managed to survive that time with no injuries and no serious illnesses. Total success.

I know two weeks is but a drop in the bucket compared to some families - I'm looking at all the military families out there. During the past two weeks I gained an even greater appreciation for the moms and dads who do this gig solo on the regular. It's no easy feat, and hats off to anyone who mans this ship alone.

But, two weeks have come and gone, and today Scott is finally home!

Taking a look at the highlights:

1. Woohoo!
Marcus did such a good job helping decorate the sign I made to welcome Scott home. I thought surely a few letters would receive a couple of dabs of paint. I was pleasantly surprised when Marcus wanted to do all the letters, did a good job staying in the lines, and then wanted to paint the rest of the paper. We easily killed 30 minutes with this little project.
We're pretty proud of Scott and all he accomplished while he was away!

2. No excuses to keep on moving!
I have a goal to run a 5k by the end of today, with both kids, with sub-10min/miles. Wish me luck!
I was really concerned my workouts would take a hit with Scott being away. Luckily, I found my big girl panties and just rolled with the punches... By way of pushing a stroller - sometimes with two kiddos in tow - for every run. Boom.

3. Great neighbors!
These two get along so well. They'd paint, they'd pretend, and one afternoon Marcus even got a full makeover, complete with blue lipstick.
Every.single.evening between 3:30 and 4p.m. I would text my neighbor, who has a daughter just four days older than Marcus, and we would meet up in the alley so our kids could play before calling it a day. Some days Marcus would play at their house, some days the little girl would play at ours. It was so nice to have someone Marcus could play with while Julia helped me prep dinner. I honestly don't know how we would have survived without our friends just down the way.

4. The Park!

Most afternoons we'd walk to a park near us and blow some steam - before heading out to play with the neighbor girl.

5. Family!!!
Me, Julia, my mom, my brother, my cousin, Marcus, my aunt, my uncle.
I was a little sad when I realized Mother's Day landed right in the middle of Scott's work trip. BUT! My mom and brother had a quick trip scheduled to San Diego to visit my aunt and uncle. Naturally, the kids and I had to head down to spend some time with them over the weekend. 
It was so good to be with them. I can't remember the last time I've seen my brother. And, Julia, Miss Stranger Danger, took to my brother like she's known him forever.

Oh, happy weekend!


The Picture Perfect Project {{5}} - From Behind the Lens of a 4-year Old

Not all that long ago I handed over our old Olympus camera to Marcus. The thing is basically indestructible, and waterproof. We gave him total artistic liberty to take as many pictures of whatever his little heart desired. Over the span of five days he racked up over 1,500 photos. Many of those were of every day objects around our house, but some he wanted to snap of Mommy, Daddy, and Julia, which I found to be the sweetest thing ever.

At first I was hesitant to put these pictures up. Many of the photos are without makeup or hair done, and one is personally quite intimate. While *I* might not think I looked presentable, Marcus *did*. I'm trying a bit harder to be more present in photos with my kids, so if these are what made Marcus happy, then so be it. I have a feeling when (if) he looks back on these pictures that he took he won't think, "Mommy sure should have done her hair!" Instead, I hope he remembers the joy he had while taking all the photos. And, I hope he thinks no matter how messy my hair, or how little make-up I wore, that I was pretty in his eyes. 

Selecting photos from 1,500+ was difficult so bear with me. But, this month's Picture Perfect Photos are as seen through the eyes of a 4-year old. 

The selfies:
I had to laugh when I saw these. The kiss face and super cheese kind of took me by surprise. The serious looks are so much more Marcus. And the flip flop shot - I have to say, I think it's adorable.
The everyday objects (there were hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds of these):
If I had to guess, Scott will really appreciate the shot of the Jeep.
The food shots:
Marcus didn't do too shabby with some of these! I was actually kind of impressed with his skills.
The garden photos:
I love the pumpkin shot. P.S. That thing is still around - we've had it since Halloween...
The pets:
For some reason, getting all the parts of the animal into a photo was a bit of a challenge.
The pool:
These are some of my favorites! The bubbles, the shot of his swim trunks under the water, the angle he took of the chairs, and even the shot of his legs as he was lying out to warm up, I think they're all actually pretty great.
Pictures of Julia:
Being held, crawling, standing, playing. Marcus captured Julia exactly as she is in this phase of her life.
Pictures of Daddy:
Clearly Scott can take a serious photo.
Pictures of Mommy:
Marcus caught me during so much of my day-to-day routine. There were things captured that wouldn't normally be seen from behind a camera. I kind of love that he snapped these moments. Also. I clearly can't take a serious photo, either. 
Though none of these photos were taken by me (no one said the photos for this link up had to be taken by me!), and from a technical standpoint, there's nothing perfect about these pictures, I happen to think they're just right... Simply because Marcus loved what he saw from behind his lens.

From this month's project I took away a few things: 
1) Be more present in photos *with* my family, regardless of make-up or hair. 
2) Apparently Scott nor I can take a photo without sticking our tongues out. Oops.
3) Let the littles have some fun with a camera, you just never know what they'll capture. 
4) Everyday life can be kind of beautiful. 

Be sure to link up with us for this month's Picture Perfect Project!