For a Bucket List / Summer Progress

 

     Hello! As summer starts to come to a close, it's time to reflect on the joys from the season! I think it's necessary to fully appreciate the way you live your life, and all of the fun things you're lucky enough to get to experience. So here goes!

Summer 2017 Bucket List:

1. Visit HaHa Tonka! √ (This was so cool and I can't wait to go back!)

2. Go camping (Going this weekend!)

3. Read √ (I've read at least 5 books this summer!)

4. Kayak √ (Also planning to do more of this over the weekend.)

5. Put up a swing for Bailey! (Hasn't happened yet, but this can still be done in the fall!)

6. Picnic √ (More of this to come as well)

7. Explore Columbia √ (Downtown is always a fun experience!)

8. Make bruschetta, panzanella, and sangria (Half check LOL I made sangria of course!)

9. Patio refresh √ (We've been loving our front porch all summer long)

      That's all! Thanks for reading, and have a fun weekend!

 

To Make / Healthy Red Pepper Dip

 

      Hi there! During my Whole30, I tested a lot of recipes. You basically have to, to survive a month of eating no dairy, grains, legumes, or sugar. That's one of the best parts of the program though, it pushes your creativity! One of my favorite things to test was snacks. I love a good snack after work and am always switching it up. When I stumbled upon this recipe from A Beautiful Mess, I had to try it out! Roasted red peppers give the best flavor, and combined with pumpkin seeds, make a super nutritious dip. Get the recipe below!

Ingredients:

- 1 red pepper, sliced in half and roasted

- 1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds, or pepitas

- lemon juice

- chili powder, paprika, and salt

Directions:

1. Put your peppers and pumpkin seeds into your food processor, then squirt in some lemon juice, and sprinkle in your seasonings. 

2. Blend until smooth. 

3. Serve with chips of your choosing and enjoy!

To Make / Shibori Textiles

 

     Hi there! I've been wanting to try out the shibori dying method for awhile now, and when I stumbled upon this spray dye, I finally had the chance! The spray is really interesting, and saturated the textiles well. My goal was to be able to incorporate Bailey in the craft, since the spray isn't nearly as messy as conventional tie-dye methods, but her little fingers weren't quite strong enough to push down the mister to get dye to come out. She enjoyed observing though, and one of the things we dyed was a t-shirt for her, which she loved! I think it made her feel special, and that's my end game always. I had to revisit her shirt (the pattern I tried on her shirt didn't pan out as well as the other one), and after it was heat set, she proudly wore it the next day. Get the how-to below, and I highly recommend you pick up one of the many colors of this spray dye. It's magical!

Materials Needed:

- whatever textile you plan on dying, we did a shirt for Bailey and a tea towel!

- SEI Tumble Dye in Blue Berry

- rubberbands

Directions:

1. Shibori prints are beautiful and usually a deep indigo (hence the dark blue dye choice). I did a popcorn pattern on my tea towel, and a random one on Bailey's shirt that as I mentioned above didn't pan out. For the popcorn method, you just gather a small amount of the fabric and wrap a rubber band around the base, creating a little ball on top. 

2. Shake your spray well, and start spraying your textiles! Try and get it as evenly on the cloth as possible. 

3. Let air-dry for 20 minutes, and then remove your rubberbands. 

4. Dry in your dryer for another 20 minutes to heat set the dye. Then wash as normal and enjoy! 

To Get Ready for Preschool

 

     Good morning! Bailey starts preschool in less than a month now, and it's strange, but I'm more excited than sad. Of course, I'm a little lethargic about my once baby turning into a full blown kid, but obviously I can't stop time so there's not really a point in dwelling on it. Like with most things in life, I choose to focus on the positive! The main positive here is that Bailey's getting the education and attention she needs during the day, specific to her age. With both Brett and I working, it's just time. 

     It helps that she's ready too. She can blossom and flourish in a preschool environment, and that's more important to me than my own feelings on the subject. It also doesn't hurt that I get to revisit the school supplies section (my favorite growing up) for the first time in I won't say how many years. Do all parents get this excited about getting their children school supplies?! I'm sure it's irrational, as Bailey will probably not care at all about her supplies, but I don't care. It's my silver lining, so I'm sticking to it! 

     I'll be sharing Bailey's school wardrobe next month on her first day of preschool, so be on the lookout for that! See you here Thursday with some shibori dying!

For #MomStyle / Vintage Sandals + Classic Denim

 

      Hi there! I have a fresh new #momstyle for you today! I picked up some adorable vintage heels this weekend, and had to shoot them immediately. 

     They pair perfectly with my favorite vintage jeans and a simple white tee. All I added was my go-to purse and some statement earrings to complete the look!

      This is a great dressy-casual look for shopping, getting a coffee, and perusing all things downtown, which is where we shot this outfit! Columbia has a really cool downtown scene, and I've been meaning to get down there to take some photos. I'm so glad we finally decided to go this weekend! 

      With the weather being so mild lately, it's been making my sartorial side so happy. I forgot that's one of the things I love about fall, I have way more dressing options without the limiting heat (or cold, I see you winter!). 

      A close-up on those earrings. For some reason, I really love their quirkiness, and they're the only earrings I'll wear that aren't studs! I've tried to wear others, but am not comfortable with the usual heaviness. These, luckily, aren't heavy at all compared to how they look!

      Now for the shoes; I spotted these in a shop on Friday, and was shooting them the next day. This style, like most trends based on styles from a few decades ago, is very popular right now. There are a couple of cult brands making very similar shoes for a few hundred dollars, and I scored originals for $9. You could say my day was made!

       I plan on wearing these long into fall, and maybe even in the winter if we have one like last year (hello above 50 degrees in December!). The brown leather is just the color way my shoe wardrobe was looking for! Try not to get annoyed if you see these here often! 

     Thanks for reading, and I'll see you back here tomorrow to discuss Bailey's impending first day of preschool (I'm not crying at all). Have a fun Monday!

Wearing: Everlane tee / Vintage jeans (similar here) / Vintage heels (similar here) / Forever 21 bag (no longer available, similar here) / H&M earrings (no longer available, similar here)

All photos by Kristen Williams

To Read / Summer Book Progress

 

     Good morning! Just wanted to share an update on what I'm currently reading! I finished the Alchemist, and have started Love Story. I loved the Alchemist, but wanted something less philosophical this time around, and Love Story is perfect. I saw the movie at least 6 years ago (thanks mom!) and have always known it to be a classic, but had no idea it was based on a book! So far, it's very good, basically the same as the movie, and a quick read. Perfect for summer! 

     Thanks for stopping by, and I'll see you back here on Monday with one of the last of my summer outfits! 

To Make / Peach + Citrus Smoothie

 

      Hi there! I have a yummy, summery smoothie to share today, and it packs the perfect citrus punch to get your day started right! With fresh peaches being in season, I've been including them in my smoothies as much as possible. They just scream "summer" to me. Get the recipe below!

Ingredients:

- 1 cup of orange juice

- 1 banana

- 1 peach

- 1 tbs. of flax/chia blend

Directions:

1. Chop your banana and peach, and toss into the blender.

2. Pour in your OJ, and blend. Enjoy!

For #MomStyle / At Home with Bailey

 

      Good morning! A big part of my life, that also determines what I wear, are my day-to-day activities with Bailey. I decided it's important to share that influence, and invited Kristen over last weekend to shoot what my morning looks like with Bailey, and on this particular morning, it was making some coffee and getting ready for the day. 

     Bailey's been aware of me drinking coffee since birth. She knows exactly what it is, and is always interested in checking it out whenever I'm pouring a cup. We got her the cutest wooden toy coffee machine a couple of years ago, and she's become our little "barista"!

      Now, onto the dress. I requested it for Christmas last year, and it's my perfect "special occasion" dress. I wanted to showcase it differently this time though. While it might not be what immediately comes to mind when thinking of casual dresses, it has enough boho vibes to be an amazing "no special occasion" dress as well. 

       I love the tassel details on the sleeves, and the beautiful floral pattern on this dress. It makes me feel like Michelle Phillips or Stevie Nicks, which is never a bad thing!

      I paired the dress with my favorite lace up flats to venture outside in. It's been cooling off lately, and we've been soaking up as much outdoors time as we can. 

      These shoes were made for this dress, in my opinion. They aren't available any longer, but I'll share a similar pair below! Thanks for reading, and have a fun Monday!

Wearing: dress - F21 (no longer available, similar here) / flats - Asos (no longer available, similar here) / Bailey's jumpsuit - Old Navy (no longer available, similar here)

All photos by Kristen Williams

To Make / Invigorating Body Oil

 

      Hi there! It's summer, which means it's smooth skin/bare skin season, and I've got the simplest DIY to ensure your skin is moisturized and gorgeous. A body oil is a great alternative to lotions and creams because it soaks in quickly and doesn't leave behind a residue (ew). It's also a lot easier to go all natural, due to lotions typically having way more ingredients and chemicals in general. Get the how-to below!

Ingredients:

- 1 cup of carrier oil (I used a combo of Vitamin E, Sesame, and Safflower oils)

- a peppermint essential oil

- any other kind of scented essential oil (I used tea tree to compliment the peppermint)

- a large amber glass dropper bottle (find online or at your local health foods store!)

Directions:

1. Pour your carrier oil into your bottle. 

2. Add your peppermint oil.

3. Add your choice of essential oil.

4. Shake lightly to combine. Enjoy!

To Style / Favorite Summer Shoes

 

     Good morning! Just wanted to share my essential summer shoes with you today! I can always find a pair I love at probably any store, but I try and keep the hoarding to a minimum. Check out my four picks below!

Favorite Summer Shoes:

- Mules (top left) / These are my go-to shoe for when I want to be a little dressy, but keep the rest of the outfit casual.

- Flat Slide Sandals (top right) / My every day shoe in the summer. It doesn't get much better than a classic and quality leather sandal!

- White Sneakers (bottom left) / Perfect for pairing with a cute mini dress or with denim shorts and a blouse for the park with Bailey. 

- Blush Pumps (bottom right) / These are my favorite dressy heels for any season, but the blush color pairs perfectly with those summer sunsets!

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun Monday!

 

To Love / Summer with Bailey

 

     Sunshine. Pure sunshine. For some reason, that's one of the first words that pops into my head when thinking of Bailey. It could be her hair, but I think it has more to do with how her face lights up at the prospect of something new and exciting. This happens often, but it's a constant in these crazy, lazy, hazy days of summer. 

      Summer with Bailey is many things, both good and not as good. Excessive heat and relentless sunshine don't bring out the best in most people, myself included, but especially not a toddler who just wants to play outside, and doesn't really grasp why she can't. It's hard not understanding, so I let her go and see why playing outside isn't really an option. Less than 5 minutes outside in 90 degree heat shows her my reasoning.

       All this is to say that even in the depressing aspects of a season, there's an opportunity for learning. That yes, life isn't always easy, but those hard things mean just as much as the simple things we enjoy. One of our favorite "simple things" to do is pick dandelions, and you would be correct in guessing that we choose the ones in their puff ball state. Why would you pick a little flower over something you can blow into mama's face? It's her happiness in this little activity, and all of the other small ones, that made me fall in love with this summer. 

      Bailey in the summer is wild, free, raucous at times, sweet as the strawberries she picks, and observant of all of the life that's sprung up around her from spring. It's quite the event watching her have her own experiences. From registering the first unforgiving summer storm that she's ever seen roll in, to staring with curiosity at the tiny glimpses of light that are magically emitted from seemingly ordinary bugs, there is much to ogle at in the summer. 

       I'm not sure what fall will bring (although I could give it a few guesses), but I know it will include new experiences for my little one. It's well known that they don't stay little for long, which is the purpose of this documentation. However, the one constant and comfort is that the newness will never fade. 

      Thanks for reading my little ode to the summer of Bailey. Have a fun Thursday + weekend, and I'll see you back here on Monday with one of my favorite subjects: shoes!

All photos by auntie Kristen Williams.

To Assemble / Strawberry Pico Chicken Salad

 

      Hi there! As you may know, I'm in the thick of my Whole 30 health reset. It's going swimmingly so far, and I'm feeling much more confident in being able to make healthier choices once those 30 days are up! What I've enjoyed the most so far about this process is letting my guard down when it comes to new flavors and not just sticking to what's comfortable. I'll try most things once, and if it contributes something new to my palette, then all the better!

     This mindset is what brought me to today's recipe. I'm always looking for ways to get the trifecta of fruit, veggies, and protein all in one dish, because I'm not big on just eating fruit on its own. Unless it's an apple or banana, it's going into a recipe! So, when I was searching for a way to incorporate the massive amount of strawberries I needed to use up (because a certain little toddlers' tastes change on the daily), the thought of strawberry pico de gallo came to me. I'm a huge fan of pico (it's so fresh!), and strawberries add just enough sweetness to whatever they touch. Perfecto! With the addition of a balsamic vinaigrette, the flavors of this salad balance just right, breathing life into something that could easily be bland. Taste for yourself through the recipe below! 

Ingredients:

- a large handful of spinach

- grilled chicken

- 5-6 ripe strawberries

- 1/2 cup of pico de gallo (our local grocery stores all stock fresh pico made there on the daily!)

- 1 avocado

- chives

- 1 tsp. of balsamic vinegar

- 1 tsp. of lime juice

- 1 tsp. of olive oil

Directions:

1. Dice your strawberries and mince your chives. Stir these into your pico!

2. Assembly time! Chop up your avocado, and toss together your pico, spinach, and chicken. 

3. Whisk together your vinegar, lime juice, and olive oil. Drizzle on top of your salad. 

4. Serve with the leftover vinaigrette (if there is any!), and enjoy!

For #MomStyle / Matcha at the Lake

 

     Good morning! I'm a big fan of peaceful moments and intentional relaxation. One of my favorite ways to do this pre-Whole 30 was to chill with a glass of wine and a good book, and while I still fully support this method, I've had to modify it for my summer of wellness. I plan to indulge in that glass of wine once my Whole 30 is finished, but for now, I'm finding new ways to unwind! My go-to at the moment is with a matcha latte, preferably lakeside, and yes, a book glued to my side. This combination is so ideal, that the last time it happened, I had Kristen snap some photos to document my happiness! Check out more photos below!

      What pairs better with the lake than overalls? Especially in summery white.

     Overalls are kind of idyllic on their own when it come to mom life. My toddler can't pull down my pants/pull up my shirt, and they have tons of pockets, getting me that much closer to hands-free!

      Just a girl and her matcha. I'm still downing coffee on the regular, but I love any kind of latte, and also anything that makes a beverage more special!

        A lot of people are weirded out by matcha because it's bright green (less so in these photos), but it's so nutritious that I wouldn't expect it to be any other color. 

     It does have a strong green tea taste, but a little cinnamon and almond milk make it a sweet treat. 

       Side note: I'm a big lover of themes, and anytime we go anywhere outdoorsy, the image in my head always has to include enamelware. I can't help myself, I just love turning any situation into it's best self, and this time, that included a "camping" mug nowhere near a campsite!

      Thanks for reading, and have a fun Monday! I'll be back tomorrow with a flavor packed bowl recipe!

Wearing: Forever 21 Overalls (past season, similar here) / Asos blouse (past season, simliar here) / Charlotte Russe sandals (past season, similar here)

All photos by Kristen Williams

To Make / Salt Spray for Beachy Waves

 

     Good morning! Today, I wanted to share a fun summer DIY with you! I'm always in the mood for beachy hair in the summer, even though I don't live anywhere near a beach. My natural texture is wavy-curly anyways, so this salt spray just adds a little more definition to it. For the fine hair folks out there, it will breath life into limp hair! Get the how-to below!

Materials:

- distilled water

- macadamia oil

- 1 tsp. of Himalayan Pink Salt

- grapefruit + tea tree essential oils

- an amber glass spray bottle

Directions:

1. Grind up your salt and pour it into the bottle. Then, add water until the bottle is 3/4 of the way full. 

2. Drizzle in a tiny amount of macadamia oil, then add 10 drops each of your essential oils. 

3. Give the bottle a good shake, and spritz onto your hair for mermaid waves! Enjoy!

To Style / Summer Fabrics

 

     As the heat index reaches over the 100's today in sunny Missouri, I thought it appropriate to share my ideal fabrics for summer clothing! When the humidity level reaches above 90%, you don't want to be caught outside in polyester (it retains heat in direct sunlight).  

     When dressing for warmer weather, always reach for your cottons and linens first! They are the most breathable fabrics, and your body will thank you later. Then, for when the temps dip below 70 at night, it's always good to have a light knit piece on hand. My favorite is my slightly open weave maxi cardigan from Urban Outfitters! It has just enough weight to give me the warmth I need for evening summer strolls downtown or sitting on the back porch at the lake house, checking out the stars with Bailey. 

     That's my round-up! Is anyone else as obsessed with cotton in the summer, or is it just me? Have a fun Monday, and thanks for reading!

For Hobbies / Summer

 

      Hi there! The other day, I was thinking about how much more I try to get done during the summer. I guess it's the extra day light, but one of the things I've noticed this season is that I try to pack so much into summer days! It just seems like there is more room that I can choose to fill or not fill (sometimes you have to lounge). This leads me to all of the hobbies I'm constantly rotating. It's become quite a bit, so I've decided to narrow it down to what I've enjoyed most! Check out the list below. 

Summer Hobbies:

- Reading (I'm tearing through The Glass Castle at the moment!)

- Growing and Drying Fresh Herbs (I'm never taking the abundance of herbs that summer weather brings for granted again.)

- Pilates (I've always enjoyed yoga, but transitioned to higher intensity pilates this summer. It's the only exercise routine I've stayed consistent with in awhile! #momlife)

- Flea Market Hunting (Something about the warmer weather drives me to scrounging the flea markets for the ultimate score.)

- Craft Time with Bailey (My mother heavily encouraged creativity in all its forms, and for me and my two sisters, that meant craft central (our craft/kitchen pantry) all summer long. It's been one of the only things I can do to occupy Bailey when it's too hot to go to the park this summer!)

      That's all! What do you do to fill your time in the summer?? Leave a comment below! Have a fun Thursday!

To Make / Iced Matcha Lattes

 

     Hi there! I'm doing the Whole 30 this month, and am on the biggest health kick of my life. I'm not sure why, but it just clicked one day that I want to nourish my body, and not just keep it running but enrich it with all of the good things, and not as much of the bad. Don't get me wrong, I'm a cheese + chocolate lover (one of my nicknames growing up was Mouse), but it's just time for a reset. After the Whole 30, I know that I'll love and appreciate those small indulgences even more, keeping them special and not just for everyday consumption.

    On that note, I've been trying out new things that have major health benefits, which brings us to matcha! Matcha is a powdered green tea that is essential for keeping a healthy metabolism, is full of antioxidants and vitamins, and enhances your mind and concentration. I've been a believer in green tea for awhile, but the powdered version has more flavor and pairs better with almond milk to make a yummy (unsweetened) latte! Get the recipe below!

Ingredients:

- 1 tsp. of matcha

- 1 cup of water

- 1 cup of almond milk

- glass of ice (because it's summmmmer!)

*Note: if you aren't on the Whole 30 and want your latte to be a little sweeter, I highly recommend adding a little honey!

Directions:

1. Boil your water, and add your tsp. of matcha to a shallow bowl. Pour your hot water over the tea and whisk until the tea dissolves. 

2. Chill the tea in the fridge for 15 minutes. (This is only for iced versions, if you want to make a hot version, just add your milk, stir, and enjoy!)

3. Assemble your latte by first pouring your milk over your ice. 

4. Add in your tea. 

5. Stir and enjoy!

For #MomStyle / Independence Day

 

      Good morning! Tomorrow is Independence Day, and half the fun of the holiday for me is picking out a slightly themed outfit including at least one of the good ol' red, white, and blue. My first choice this year is this adorable dress from Charlotte Russe! 

      Not only is it the perfect shade of brick red with dainty white flowers, it's in one of the most flattering cuts out there: a wrap dress. You just can't go wrong! 

     A wrap dress cinches at the waist, accentuating the smallest part of the body. I don't think anyone would say they don't want that! 

       For this outfit, I paired it with my favorite purse and trusty tan sandals. Perfectly dressy but casual enough for daytime! 

     I've been wearing this dress non-stop since I got it. It's definitely a staple! What are you all wearing for this festive holiday? Leave a comment below!      

    Thanks for reading, and have a fun Monday! 

To Make / All Natural Bubble Bath

 

     Hi there! I've got a super easy DIY today, and bonus: it's for mamas and kid's alike! All natural bubble bath only has 3 ingredients (try and find that on children's bubble bath!), and it really only requires a couple of pours and a good shake. Get the how-to below!

Ingredients:

- 4 cups of lavender castille soap

- 1/2 - 1 cup of vegetable glycerin (this just depends on how much bubbles you want!)

- 20 drops of tea tree essential oil

Directions:

1. Pour your castille soap into your bottle. Then, add the vegetable glycerin. 

2. Add your essential oil drops.

3. Give the bottle a good shake, and you're done! Enjoy!