Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Weekend Links

I just got back from Vancouver and didn't get chance to share this while there, so here are some weekend links on a Tuesday! The photo above was taken on a little hike we did in Lynn Canyon, to see the suspension bridge. It was so green and beautiful there- Western Canada never fails to make me fall in love with it a little more each time I'm there.

Now, some links --

First, check out one of my new clients here. Sign up to see what the excitement is all about...we launch next month and I'm so looking forward to seeing it all come to life.

I am going to try and get around to sharing my second post this week, but in the meantime, did you see all my first round of Nordstrom Anniversary Sale picks? Annnd did you catch my August Blogging Challenge post?

Wishlist: loving these pants, this quilt, and this cute little stool.

Need a cute new Fall bag? Loving all of these Madewell picks.

The spending habits of teens.

I just finished reading this book and enjoyed it! A fun, fast-paced beach read.

And next up on my reading list.

Replacing all of my underwear with this brand- seriously so comfy and worth it!

I love this cute doormat.

I'm 33.

10 things I've learned working for myself.

BB Dakota jackets are always a must for Fall and Winter. Well priced and good quality!

You guys...we just got THIS! The kids are so excited to get it all set up.

Why being single in your 30s is incredible.

An adorable, modern Olivia the Pig birthday party!

On my Fall list: a slouchy sweatshirt, new ankle boots, and a cute new jacket. Also I've recently fallen in love with this brand- so many cute, classic pieces.

Obsessed with this chair in pink. I love it!

"Everything Chicken"! I recently fell in love with the Trader Joe's "Everything" seasoning so this is a must-try for me.

Why we're asking for experiences, not toys.

Super interesting read: What is an Influencer?

Have a great day!


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

August Blogging Challenge

planner here // couch here (in Sienna) // poster here // pillow here // light fixture here

Okay. I've been thinking so much lately about how much I miss blogging on the regular. The other day my friends did a blog post recap in their stories of all of the posts they'd shared that week, and they had posted Monday-Friday, like the good old days! Wow! So inspiring and it made me think about how I miss that. I have the best of intentions but then all of a sudden it's Sunday night and all I've shared is a Nordstrom Sale round up. Fun to share, sure, but I need more meat to this sandwich! I mean, that's why I've always read and still read blogs- I love clicking on fun stuff and online window shopping as much as the next person, but I want the good stuff. The random thoughts, the going-ons, the daily photos. Back in the day I was a newlywed English teacher with all the time in the world to post on this blog. All dang day if I wanted to. Today is a bit different. I run a business and work full time, I have three children, and a very full schedule. Fitting in time to write in my own personal blog isn't always high on my priority list. However it's important to me, and even though some people say that "blogging is dead" I completely disagree. It's different for sure, but I don't think having a space for yourself to share what's going on is ever going to go away. It's a little trickier for me because I am always thinking about the kids and not wanting to share too much, but I think I have struck a good balance and know how to do it right, for our family at least.

SO, with that said- I've decided to challenge myself in the month of August to blog EVERYDAY, Monday-Friday. I'm nervous just typing that out. I think my average is 1, maybe 2 posts a week for the past year or so. And seriously as soon as I typed this I was thinking, "Ahh, no. Just do 3 posts per week! That you can do!" And yes, that would be easy(ish). But then it wouldn't be a challenge right? But I believe I can do this! I'm not talking about insane crazy outfit posts or home tours or life changing advice posts every single day (or any day, haha). Just checking in, talking about my day...BLOGGING for the sake of blogging...that's what I'm going for here. I've tried to blog more in the past but always fall short, so I'm hoping challenging myself in this way will be inspiring and push me to write more.

And why August? Well my kids go back to school, we don't have a ton planned, and I think it's a good time to jumpstart this hobby of mine.

So I have two questions for you-

1) Will you join me? You can a) start a blog, or b) get your old blog up and running again, or simply just post to your sometimes-blog, like me!

2) Are there any topics you'd like me to blog about? I'd love to answer any questions (I might do a Q&A later on), topics, whatever in between all of the other stuff I'll be sharing.

So excited. Kind of nervous to commit to this. But it's gonna be good guys...and I hope at least ONE person is excited with me, either to join the challenge and blog too, or even just read what I'll be sharing. Let me know!


Monday, July 17, 2017

East Coast Trip 2017: New Jersey

Being from New Jersey I can NEVER get enough of it. We usually spend a couple weeks on the East Coast every summer, visiting family and friends and soaking up a bit of time in our old stomping grounds, and we always, always have to spend at least a week on the Jersey Shore. There are so many misconceptions about New Jersey thanks to flying into Newark (not so pretty), or Jersey Shore the television series. But let me tell you, it ain't called the Garden State for nothing! It's absolutely beautiful, from its lush forests to sandy beaches, and any time spent there is a little slice of heaven for my family and me. I was born and raised in Jackson, NJ until we moved to Arizona when I was in junior high, so most of my childhood memories take place in New Jersey and it's a really special place to me, and now for Hank and the kiddos too, which I love.

For this first leg of our East Coast Summer trip we stayed at our favorite little spot tucked away next to Island Beach State Park- Island Beach Motor Lodge. It's our spot that we've been going for over a decade, and it's super affordable and the most insane location. Be warned though that it's completely unfancy, no frills, etc. But it's perfect for us and we love it! It's family owned and just the coolest little spot. We always stay in the ocean view suite, which has more than enough room for our family of five. My parents rent the one next to us, and it's perfect. You literally walk right out onto the sand!

The focus of this trip (like every trip) was all being together, but particularly special this time around. If you've been following along you may know that my Dad is dealing with cancer so every moment we have together is precious. I might talk more about it at a later time, but as you can see in the photos below he was feeling SO good and we truly had the best time. I'm getting a little emotional even typing that out, because the trip was really everything we had hoped for and I will ALWAYS cherish all of the special things we got to do together and the little pockets of time spent with my Dad in our favorite place. I'm really grateful.

Everyday we spent right there on the beach. The hotel has a private beach right in front, so it's always super empty and very quiet. We'd set up our beach tent, I'd bring the Dockatot down (the travel bag really came in handy), and we'd all hang out, I'd nurse Olive, and she'd nap right there all day. It was pretty amazing. We also got to spend time with my childhood best friend Corin, her kiddos, and her Dad (my Uncle John), my parents' got to have a night out with old friends, we did the boardwalk one night, and of course ate a ton of really delicious food. So much fun.

Another thing I wanted to mention is the logistics of how we do the trip. So we fly from Phoenix to Newark typically, then rent a car and do our road trips from there. Two summers ago we were gone for almost 6 weeks and it was so much fun. Lauren and Lucy are always with us too, but this trip Lauren was finishing up nursing school so they stayed behind. But this time we did two weeks and it was a good time frame for Olive's first big trip. This year Budget also graciously provided a car for us and we chose a...minivan! We have SUVs at home so this was a big change for us and the boys were SO excited to have their very own van for a couple of weeks. Thanks to a super delayed flight we arrived well past midnight into Newark, but our check in experience at the Budget counter was seamless as usual and we were literally on our way in 20 minutes. Best car rental agency ever.

Next I'll be sharing our time in upstate NY, but today here are the photos from our week at the shore- enjoy! Oh, and if you saw my last blog post you'd know I have a LOT of posts coming up. One of the big ones on my list is sharing how I pack for a our fam in just three suitcases! ;) And sharing a bunch of tips we've learned along the way for traveling with kids.

Here are some random details too:

Suitcases- c/o Away (the hype is real, you guys! I'll share more later but these are really that great.)
Olive's bows: Baby Bling
Dockatot and Dockatot Travel bag (c/o)
Charlie's Skip Hop suitcase- (c/o)
Charlie's travel marker set
Henry's travel twistable marker set
Olive's swimsuit
My swimsuit
Bebe au Lait popsicle blanket (c/o)
My black and white gingham dress
My white slide sandals

I think that's it, but if you're curious about anything let me know in the comments and I'll get right back to you!