Fix #16

It's time for another round of Let's Pretend I Wear "Real" Clothes! 
Stitch Fix #16 is here!

We have family photos coming up next month (I like to pretend I'm really organized and ahead of the game). And, I figured Fix #16 would be a great opportunity to nix the Family Photos what-do-we-wear dilemma well before our session.

I asked Raquel (hi, Raquel!!) for Fall-ish pieces possessing gem colors and tones. I specifically requested (read: begged for) the 41Hawthorn Cristen Shirt Dress as well as a Yumi Jodie dress. The Yumi wasn't available, but the 41Hawthorn was. Per the norm, Raquel did a knock out job listening to my requests, sifting through my Pinterst Inspo board, and perusing my blog for pieces to fit my fix. (If you don't have Raquel as your Stitch Fix stylist you should ask for her - she's amazing.)

Before I jump the gun on the Shirt Dress, let's take a look at the other pieces that were in this fix.

Franco Sarto || Saban Laser Cut Ballet Flat
We'll start with these, as I paired them with every dress in this fix.
The color is so fun, and something I wouldn't normally pull from a store shelf. I loved the laser cut. The detail is just awesome. And, I really appreciated how the color really complimented each dress I wore. All that said, the shoes were just a smidge too big and kept slipping off my feet. I didn't even bother with requesting an exchange in size, as I just knew these wouldn't be shoes I'd reach for often enough. Had they been a more neutral color, say tan or nude, they would have been keepers, for sure.

Verdict || Returned

Free Heart || Shamira Dress
Let me tell you, I didn't even know I needed this dress. But, once on I knew I couldn't part with it. I'm currently loving the cold shoulder look; I fully appreciate the adjustable straps, so I won't have to worry about pulling the dress up; the color is more chambray than denim; the ties at the sleeves are the sweetest touch to give this dress a little more character. And, I cannot accurately describe how soft this feels on. Though I don't think this will be a contender for family photos, I already have big plans to wear this on date nights, as well as bring it with me on a vacation we have lined up soon.

Verdict || Kept

Pixley || Millie Textured Knit Dress
When I saw this print out of the box I wasn't in love. I like gray, and I like pattern, but there wasn't anything about either that I liked with this dress. However, with all Stitch Fix things I had to give it a shot. My first impression didn't steer me wrong. On me I loved the dress less than when it was in the box. The knit was just too hot, the print left me feeling like a walking bee hive, and the color didn't do me any favors.

Verdict || Returned

Honey Punch || Tammie Layered Knit Dress
Out of the box I was smitten. It's no secret I'm a sucker for navy and white stripes. The pop of burgundy on the sleeves and hem was a unique addition I was really into. However, when I put he dress on I was just kind of "meh" about it all. The dress itself doesn't have a whole lot of shape, so I felt kind of boxy in it. The tassels (is that what they are?) on the arms were distracting, and I could just see them being drug though a bowl of macaroni during a lunch. Lastly, the dress wasn't any too long, and when I walked I was constantly tugging at the bottom of the dress to keep it down. Chasing two kids is difficult enough, I need a dress that's going to keep my backside covered while doing so.

Verdict || Returned

41Hawthorn || Cristen Shirt Dress
This is one of the two dresses I begged for in my requests. To be fully transparent, out of the box this looked great, and I liked it, but I wasn't too sure. It didn't seem to posses a lot of shape, and I was left a little worried. I was banking on this dress to be "the one" for our family photos.
But on? THIS. DRESS. The colors. The floral print. The tied belt. The little gold details on the belt (which I'm kicking myself for not photographing). The flowing, light fabric. IT. IS. EVERYTHING. I firmly believe any floral-loving-print-person needs this in her closet. It is perfect. I'm positively giddy about this one, and I cannot wait to share it once our photos are taken.

Now, tell me. Did I keep the right pieces??

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Kindergarten, Here We Come!

The anticipation for school to begin has been building for weeks now. It seemed like we were waiting for The Big Day to come for ages. The last few days of summer were getting pretty long, and it was very apparent that everyone in our house was ready for school to begin. As a mom, I'm only so cool and so fun for so long - and that usually expires daily, right around lunchtime.
Naturally, as a mom, Day One was entirely bittersweet. Anyone who tells you the first day of Kindergarten didn't pull on their heart strings is either A) lying through their teeth or B) doesn't possess a heartbeat. How do you watch your baby walk into actual, big kid school, and not feel just a teeny tiny bit of sadness?
As emotional as it was to walk my main man through the gates on his very first day of elementary school, I couldn't help but be beside myself with excitement for Marcus. He's been so eager to start kindergarten for so long. His excitement to get in those doors was so contagious that I couldn't help but be thrilled for him.
Our neighbor, and one of Marcus' best friends.

There didn't appear to be any nerves from Marcus (or me!), just a readiness to get this next chapter started. At one point, as we were waiting in the courtyard to say the Pledge of Allegiance and morning prayer Marcus turned to me and said, "When are you going to leave, Mom?" And, surprisingly, the only one to shed tears about dropping Marcus off was Julia. I may have gotten a bit misty-eyed as Marcus headed into his room, but aside from that, it was such a smooth morning for us all.

At pick-up, Marcus gushed about his day. He met a new friend, had stations which they rotated through in the class room, his favorite part of the day was prayer time, and they got to play outside, which was so hot (his words). He also made sure to check that he'd be going back to school tomorrow, and the next day, and next week. If I had to guess, I'd say he's pretty excited to be there.
While Marcus is in school (full day, hallelujah!!) I'm looking forward to spending some one-on-one time with Julia. Up until this point she and I haven't had a lot of that kind of time very often, so I'm certain this next phase will be pretty amazing for all of us. We'll try to squeeze in all the things I used to do with Marcus when he was Julia's age.

Sadly, Scott has had work obligations all week which prohibited him from being home for the first day. So, we did what any crazy good parents would do, and we took the obligatory family First Day photos just a few days early. 
Aside from these two photos with Scott, all the other photos were taken from Day One.
To Marcus, 
I'm so excited to watch as you grow, and learn, and meet new people and make new friends. I hope and pray that this year brings you nothing but joy, excitement, growth, and memories you'll remember forever. 

Here's to Kindergarten, sweet boy!


A Sweet Celebration {Julia's 2nd Birthday Party Weekend}

Julia is very likely our last baby, so for her second birthday I wanted to celebrate her big day for as long as everyone in my family would allow. And that's just what we did.

In May when we first visited the Museum of Ice Cream it was apparent Julia was in her happy place. Loud, booty-shaking music, bright, colorful rooms complete with sweet treats all throughout. Sign. Her. Up. It was then that her Ice Cream Birthday Party theme was born. It was also during that visit that I snagged tickets for a second run through the museum, and just days before her birthday.

We were lucky to have both sets of grandparents as well as Scott join in the Museum of Ice Cream fun.

* * * *

Saturday morning friends and family joined us at our pool to load up on sweets for her Ice Cream Birthday Party.
I went super chill with the decor this year. Just a few banners and a few hanging cones. Set up was easy, clean up even easier.
The party was complete with the finest of toddler food (pizza). We also had and an ice cream bar where guests could top their ice cream bowls with the all the sundae toppings: three different types of sprinkles, chocolate syrup, caramel syrup, M & Ms, crushed Oreos, cherries, and whipped cream.
I was slightly shocked to learn most kids just want ice cream doused in sprinkles and chocolate syrup. I was also surprised to learn Julia hated having "Happy Birthday" sung to her. The entire time she had her pout lip out, her head down, and the deepest of furrowed brows.
During the party I failed at taking any real, good photos. Just a few snaps with the phone camera - which means success, as we were all too busy enjoying company and celebrating Julia.

I did manage to get a few photos of the ice cream cone cupcakes that I made. I remember my mom making these for my birthday when I was younger, and I was more than thrilled to share these with Julia this year. I'm hoping another birthday party presents itself for the opportunity to make these (you know, so Julia can actually remember them).
I used this cupcake recipe,
this frosting recipe,
and poured the batter into the cones, used a cone baking rack to keep the cones upright in the oven,
and baked the cupcake cones for 27 minutes at 350ºF.


Sunday was spent with family, finishing off all the left over party food, and of course cake and ice cream.

We rounded off the festivities on Monday, Julia's actual birthday with a few photos to mark her day, we logged some pool hours, and once again polished off bowls of ice cream.

Though I know she won't remember the weekend we celebrated her, I know I sure will.
It was fun, it was sweet, and admittedly, slightly exhausting. Kind of like Julia. :)


Julia || T W O Years

Two complete trips around the sun, little lady, and here we are. You're TWO today! 
We've celebrated you and your day for four straight days. 
There has been no shortage of ice cream, laughter, the occasional (albeit obligatory and perhaps mandatory) tantrum, and so much love. 
Drama is your friend, attitude is your companion, stubbornness and determination are the name of your game. 
Those who don't know you well have a difficult time cracking your tough shell. But once through, you are sweet as molasses. You make others work for your trust, but once it's earned you're best buds forever. 
Marcus is your hero - except when he's not. However, I have a feeling he'll always be your biggest protector.
Your vocabulary is exploding, and you seem to have a gift for gab. Some say you're your mother's daughter...
Singing and dancing make your eyes twinkle and your booty shake. 
You despise shoes, love dirt, and would likely run wild with a pack of wolves if allowed to do so. 
Along with your trademark bare feet, your wild curls seem to personify who you are. Those locks are a wild, tangled, beautiful mess. Just like you. 
I can't believe we're already here, but I'm so glad we are.
Our family wouldn't be complete without your sassy ways and sweet demeanor.  
Happy TWO, Julia! 
Momma loves you.