Happy 4th!

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Here’s hoping your 4th feels like this with lots of popsicle eating, marshmallow toasting and sparkler waving.

In celebration of the holiday, I’ll be taking a break from the blog for a few days, but will be back in business on Monday.

Have a great weekend!

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Lately

running-outside

This was taken shortly after we moved. Ellie is settling in nicely.

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We attended the celebrity softball game that was part of the Big Slick event. It was a lot of fun. I ate my weight in hot dogs. Also, this shirt from Frankly Basic is a new favorite.

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The Container Store is here! In Kansas City! Type A people rejoice. I know I have.

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For Ellie’s birthday, we got her a fairy costume. She put it on immediately and then, started turning Keegan into a frog. We also got her the prequel to Gossie and Gertie Gossie. If you haven’t read them, the books are adorable.

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This was one of our first fancy Sunday night dinners in the new house. The pork chops here were bathed in a wine sauce. It was delicious. The recipe will follow soon.

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You forget how much fun it is to run through the sprinklers until you see a little one do it. Ellie is a huge fan.

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A cava toast to the sale of our old house and successful move into our new one

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A 4th of July Picnic

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Have you made plans for the 4th yet? I typically think of backyard BBQ’s with cheese covered burgers, a simple pasta salad and brownies (or apple pie).

This year, I’d like to recommend something a little different – a 4th of July picnic.

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We had a picnic on our back patio this weekend, and even Ellie got in on the planning. She prepared the cupcakes and brought her own blankets. Oh, and tea too.

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For the meal, I tossed sliced strawberries and whole blueberries in a little vanilla sugar. Then, I whirred together the creamiest white bean dip that was gently flecked with fresh chives.

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Served with chilled white wine, there were sandwiches for the adults (sliced bread for Ellie) and star-shaped candies for everyone.

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Finding Audrey

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Finding Audrey is a Young Adult novel by Sophie Kinsella (writer of the Shopaholic series and long list of other books). It takes on teen bullying and mental illness with wit and humor. Despite the heavy topics, you should read this on your next vacation (or staycation). I promise you’ll love it.

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Finding Audrey is an incredibly fast read. I finished it in a few days. Told from the point of view of Audrey, a young teen battling depression, this book is funny and heartwarming. In it, you’ll find bravery, first love and the connection of family. Hooked yet?

Although she is battling big things, Audrey’s courage left me feeling inspired. Her observations of her family are charming and familiar. Like me, I’m sure you’ll be cheering her on as she takes big, scary steps forward. Read it soon and then, let me know what you think. Okay?

Looking for more book recommendations? Find some here.

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Explore: Strawberry Cornmeal Griddle Cakes

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This weekend, after you’ve crawled out of bed and shuffled down the hall, you should make these strawberry cornmeal griddle cakes from Smitten Kitchen. Faintly sweet and studded with strawberries, you’ll love their light cornmeal texture.

Just do it.

he weekends should be for exploring. Every Friday this month, I’m sharing something fun to check out.

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Big Girl Room

So, we are finally transitioning Ellie out of her crib. Yes, we’ve drug our heels on this, because she has never been a great sleeper, and we were scared. (We are still scared.) But, the time has come where it’s starting to get a little weird, so here we are, selecting the pieces for her “big girl room.”

She said she wanted blue, so here is my inspiration board for the space.

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I’ve ordered the bedding, a bed and the dresser. We have the little clear plastic jar, and she picked out the lamp at Target this week herself (it was a proud moment).

1. Bedding
2. White iron bed
3. Lamp
4. Colorful side table
5. Little printed cases
6. Dresser
7. Plastic jar
8. Prints (1 and 2)
9. Striped rug

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The Power of the LBD

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This summer I feel like the LWD (little white dress) is having a big moment, and while I do think that look is always so pretty and crisp, I’m still a huge proponent of the LBD. She is a workhorse. And, here are visual examples as to why.

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I wore this dress to a work event with a pair of heeled mules.

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Then, I changed my shoes, but kept everything else – the jewelry, tote and red lip.

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Adult Floats: Raspberry Lemon and Aquaverde

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Ever since picking up the June issue of Bon Appetit, I haven’t been able to get the idea of an adult ice cream float out of my head. I loved their combinations, but wanted to try something that was completely my own. I started thinking about sorbet and came up with two versions. Keegan and I tried them for movie night this weekend.

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I’m pleased to report they were both really great. My favorite was the raspberry lemon one. His choice was inspired by Port Fonda’s aquaverde, which has fresh mint, cilantro and lime. We drank both of ours spiked, but they’re also really great without alcohol too. This may just be your new summer drink.

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Explore: NARS Audacious Lipstick

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Have you tried NARS Audacious lipstick yet? It’s really good. The colors are beautiful, but each shade’s even coverage and creamy application make these lipsticks must-have additions to your make-up drawer.

Also, the lid magnetically snaps in place, which is fun.

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From left to right, I’m sharing my current favorites, though I’m sure I’ll be adding more soon. The first is “Claudia,” a poppy Barbie-infused pink. The middle is the perfect red-orange that has great coverage, “Annabella.” Last, but not least, is my new workhouse, “Anita,” a lightly pink nude that goes with everything – perfect for work or paired with a smoky eye.

So this weekend in the spirit of exploring, pick one up and let me know what you think. Okay? Deal?

The weekends should be for exploring. Every Friday this month, I’m sharing something fun to check out.

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Summer Wishlist

ellie

The official start of summer is in a few days, but let’s face it. Summer has been here for a few weeks already, so it’s time to get my annual wishlist in order. Don’t you think?

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Here’s what I’m looking forward to this season:

1. Tomatoes. Lots of home-grown juicy tomatoes, stacked with mozzarella or sandwiched with basil mayo and bacon – I can’t wait to eat them.

2. Finding another swimsuit. I have my eye on a few.

3. A girls’ trip to Sedona – if you’ve been, I’d love to hear your recommendations.

4. Our first family trip with Ellie – We’re keeping it small and simple, but I can’t wait.

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5. Popsicles – I have molds at home and am looking forward to making some of my own with Bellie.

6. Hosting some friends for a low-key BBQ

7. Reading lots of books on my back patio.

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8. Taking walks around our new neighborhood.

9. Eating ice cream (lots of it).

10. Wearing as many sundresses as I can get my hands on. (This one will be on repeat.)

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11. Stone fruit (peaches, plums and nectarines).

12. Exploring Kansas City.

13. Taking Ellie berry picking again. (She loved it last year.)

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15. Visiting the zoo.

What do you have planned for the summer?

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