Lately

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Everywhere she goes, she is running and shouting “Come on!” to anyone in sight.

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We’ve been doing some adult things lately without Ellie, and she is always asking if she can “come too.” To help her understand what’s ahead, we’ve posted a calendar in the kitchen complete with illustrations by yours truly. I think my stick people are pretty spot on. For those of you with toddlers, how do you explain work (or fun) trips with your little ones?

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These two love a good playground.

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Best Dressed: Emmy’s 2014

Is it just me, or were there two extremes on the red carpet last night? It felt like dresses were either pretty Plain Jane (lots of columns) or a little divisive. While watching the coverage and filling in the gaps online, it was fun to see some risks mixed in with the usual suspects, especially since there was so much red. I love the color, but missed seeing other hues.

Here are my six favorite looks in no particular order.

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All photos via InStyle.com

If you forced me to choose, I’d say Lizzie Caplan (#3) was my favorite, but I also really loved how fresh Sarah Hyland (#6) looked (I need to learn how to do a topknot like that, so chic).

So, now that I’ve spilled my picks, which dresses were your favorites?

P.S. Did anyone else think Amy Poehler was Miranda Lambert on the red carpet when they first saw her? It took me a minute to figure out who it was. I thought she looked fantastic and loved that it was such a different style for her.

P.P.S. Was anyone else surprised at the number of long sleeves? It’s been over a hundred degrees here, and all I could think was I hope those ladies aren’t too hot. Pit stains ruin glamour.

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Eye-Spy Ikat

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Dress: Frankly Basic (old); Sunglasses: Target; Shoes: Franco Sarto (old); Clutch: In Clover (old); Earrings: H&M; Bracelets: Standard Style (old); Belt: Forever 21 (old); Lipstick: MAC Ruby Woo

I don’t know about you, but every time I have an event that calls for a dress, I turn into a crazy person. I spend hours scouring the Internet for the perfect outfit and flitting from store to store in my free time. Sometimes this works, but most often, I end up with something over-budget, not quite right or both.

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Lemon, Blueberry Donuts

As we picked blueberries a few weeks ago, I dreamed of what I’d make with them. I considered muffins, scones and pancakes, until I landed on something amazing: lemon, blueberry donuts. I’d made baked donuts before using Daphne Oz’s recipe, so I thought I could use it as a base to create these. Studded with blueberries and glazed with lemon, this twist on her recipe is something really special.

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While I was whipping these up, someone decided to put on something a little fancier, “her princess Cinder-aya” to be exact. I am of the strong opinion that a dress like this deserves a party, and in our case, one serving tea seemed appropriate.

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Ellie was in charge of setting the table. I like how she lined everything up along the edge.

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Missalaney: August Favorites

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1. Have you seen Rachel Parcell’s closet? I am now gripped with major shoe envy.

2. This round-up of photography tips from A Beautiful Mess is exactly what I’ve been looking for to up my picture taking game. I can’t wait to put some of these to use.

3. Brown butter, cornbread? Sign me up!

4. I was a huge Laguna Beach fan, so it’s fun to see what the casts are up to 10 years later. (And now I feel 50)

5. Are you familiar with .gifs? They’re basically animated pictures and have become super popular online. This tutorial from Gimme Some Oven has me thinking I might be able to make my own.

6. This top from Ann Taylor Loft would be perfect for work or weekend – and it’s machine washable.

What has you buzzing online? Anything I should check out?

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Make Your Own Pizza Party

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A few weeks ago, I hosted a much overdue playdate with some old friends. We were meeting up a little before lunch, and they had suggested letting the kids make their own pizzas. I jumped on the idea right away. Feeding toddlers lunch can be tricky, but allowing them to create their own meal put them in their favorite place – the driver’s seat.

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For our pizza party, we kept it really simple. Each of us provided pizza supplies – plus a few extras. We used store-bought crust and English muffins for the base, but French bread, pitas or tortillas would work really well too. After baking off the crust, we let the pizzas cool and then, placed them on paper towels in front of each kid. Letting the crust cook and cool was easy, but to make things even simpler, I’d stay away from the dough. Toddlers are not the most patient people, ahem.

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Lime, Coconut & Sugar Scrub

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There’s something about whipping up an at-home beauty remedy that makes me feel like I’m in sixth grade at my best friend’s house trying on make-up and practicing new ways to do hair.

Well, I may have moved on from braces and big bangs, but I still love a good, at-home beauty treatment. Yesterday, I mixed up the simplest sugar scrub that left my not-so-cute feet soft and sandal ready. The whole thing took me less than ten minutes and cost just a few bucks, which was kind of brilliant.

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On My Bookshelf: The Rosie Project

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I read one of the most charming books on our vacation, and I’ve been dying to tell you about it.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simison is a comedy and romance rolled into one. The protagonist, Don Tillman, is a brilliant scientist, who is incredibly honest and socially awkward, but somehow still very charming.

In a quest to find the perfect wife, he creates a questionnaire to weed out anyone who wouldn’t be a good match. When he meets Rosie, he immediately disqualifies her based on his test, but is intrigued after learning about her quest to find her biological father. The two form a strong friendship as she looks for her father and he searches for a wife.

Smart and funny, pick up The Rosie Project if you’re looking for something light, but well-written.

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Uncorked: August

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After a few busy weekends, we’ve been spending the last few at home with a glass of wine and a good movie. We’ve actually liked most of the bottles we’ve tried. Here are three recent favorites.

Clancy’s, Red Blend (Cabernet, Shiraz and Merlot), 2011: Light and just a little peppery, this was my favorite wine we tasted this month.

Pine Ridge, Chenin Blanc + Viognier, 2013: When I gave this one a sniff, I was worried I wouldn’t like it, since it smelled like grapefruit. I’m not a big Sauvignon Blanc lover, so my radar was up; however, this may be the perfect substitute. Refreshing and crisp, I really enjoyed this wine.

Ribera Del Duero, Torremoron, Tempranillo, 2012: A pretty neutral red, I think this would be perfect at  your next dinner party.

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