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.

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 Garden / June

 

      Good morning! I just wanted to share what we are gardening this summer! We have a lot of herbs growing, including lavender, thyme, basil, dill, and chives. 

     Brett also potted a few other plants for me! A couple of them look like succulents, but grow in bushes, so we'll just have to see how they turn out. 

      Bailey always jumps at the chance to water the plants. Girl loves her puddle jumping! It doesn't hurt that she has an adorable toddler sized watering can to help her parents. 

     These are our tomato plants. Last year, we had some that produced fruit, but just as they turned red, some sneaky animal stole them away in the middle of the night! This time around, there is one tomato growing, and you can bet I'm protecting that thing. 

     We also have a pepper plant that is budding nicely! Since this photo, the peppers have started to turn red, so I'll do an updated post next month with how everything is growing. We're getting weather that is hotter than usual, but as long as consistent rain and watering keeps up, the plants should do fine! 

    Thanks for reading, and have a fun Thursday!

To Do / Summer 2017

 

     Hi there! It's time for the summer bucket list! I had one made at the beginning of May, but I actually got to check a couple of the to-do's off before June hit, so I edited it and am sharing that version with you all today! I wrote the list down at the start of a new sketchbook I bought, and plan on documenting each thing with a sketch and description. It just sounds like the nicest thing to be able to look back on this summer and see what I've done! Check out the list below:

Bucket List / Summer 2017

- Go Camping! I want to take a family trip and see if Bailey will enjoy this kind of thing (I'm thinking she will).

- Read (at least 5 books!)

- Kayak (this is as adventurous as I get at the lake)

- Put together a swing for Bailey! We have a large tree in our front yard that is calling for a swing. 

- Picnic (we actually picnic'd last weekend, so check!)

- Explore Columbia (summer is the best time to do this, as most of the Mizzou students are gone and Columbia's slightly peaceful again)

- Make bruschetta, panzanella, and sangria! Apparently, my culinary tastes for summer are exclusively Italian (I've got major Tuscan vibes going on this season). 

      That's all! I'll update at the end of August on how my summer went, and share snippets of the sketchbook. Thanks for reading, and have a fun Tuesday!

To Go On Vacation

 

      Good morning! We are back from vacation and have once again become homebodies! I missed my little things that make me happy at home, and I think Bailey was especially happy to have her own bathroom again (we all shared one bathroom at the lake, and Bailey's potty seat had to be moved quite a bit). Back to the trip though, it was a blast! I got to play tennis for the first time in awhile, and it felt good to still be able to play decent-ish. 

      I also bought my new favorite hat! It's from Pacsun, and I originally bought it to share with Bailey because she loved it so much, but she's basically forgotten about it (toddlers) and I've been wearing it non-stop. 

     We visited the Tan-Tar-A arcade again, and you better believe Bailey left with another Minion prize!

      I kept the skincare simple for this trip, mostly due to the fact that lake weather never agrees with my skin anyways. I did bring a fun collagen gold sheet mask though, and it kept my skin from getting too dull in all of the humidity/wind/sun exposure. 

        One of my favorite parts of the trip was driving over to the Ha Ha Tonka State Park! It's a forest situated on bluffs at the most northern part of the Lake of the Ozarks, where a natural spring feeds into the man-made lake. Not only are the views gorgeous, and the trail kid-friendly, but the park holds the ruins of a 20th century castle style mansion that burned down in the 1940's. It was built by a billionare from Kansas City in the 1900's, and was bought by the state after the fire to turn into a park. I can see why, because it's one of the coolest things you can see in Missouri!

      We mostly just explored the ruins for a bit, and then a few lookout spots. Bailey could not stop running around the castle! I think it probably reminded her of playgrounds a little bit. She also had her first experience of having to use the bathroom in the woods, and while she was slightly confused, it went as well as it could have! 

       I know this is probably an insult to Rome, but the ruins really reminded me of the Colosseum, just smaller and not circular! The stone archways, the overgrown interior, it was all so cool. Everyone else on the trip had been there before because they're from here, but I never even knew this place existed before moving here, and I think it's something any outsider would love! 

      That's all, folks! It was such a relaxing and refreshing trip, and was the perfect way to start the summer. 

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun Tuesday!

For Morning Habits

 

     Hi there! I've been thinking about revamping my morning routine lately, and wanted to share some tips that I've found helpful for a relaxing and productive morning!

      First, I always start with a warm glass of water filled with lemon juice. It's super good for your digestive system, and gets your metabolism up and running first thing! Then, of course, I reach for the coffee, and try and limit myself to two cups per day. Some days are easier than others!

       After that, especially if it's a weekend morning, I like to chill in bed with said coffee and one of my many notebooks. I've found that my brain works best with a list, something tangible that clearly states what has to get done that day. Otherwise, there are just too many ideas and sporadic tasks that run through my head and I end up forgetting to do some things all together!

     Lastly, I do some light yoga to stretch myself out for the day, and mostly just to wake up my joints and muscles after sleeping. Stretching always feels the best in the morning after a good nights sleep! 

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun Wednesday!

To Recap / The Weekend

 

     Good morning! This weekend was fairly uneventful, as we are saving all of the fun things for the next couple of weekends. This Saturday, Brett will graduate from Mizzou, and we will head to the lake for a week of relaxing and vacationing. But before we go, we got our plants and garden in order over the weekend. Above is the little herb garden Brett brought home for me from one of his greenhouse classes. I can't wait to dry the thyme, infuse the basil, and chop the cilantro up for pico!

     Then, I got some reading done. I'm almost finished with The Enchantress of Florence, just in time for a long list of summer books. I'm sharing my summer reading list in June, so be on the lookout!

      And also for June, I'm sharing how to make this after-sun balm. It's filled with lavender and aloe vera gel straight from my plant I have at home! Literally, each green "leaf" of the plant contains a column of clear gel that you just scrape out. Mind=blown. If you spend any time out in the sun this summer, save your skin with this balm!

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun Monday! 

For Inspiration / April 30th - May 5th

 

     Good morning! This week was a bit more eventful than usual, as Bailey finally decided she deemed the potty useful to her. I'm way more excited about this than I should be. Also, Brett graduates from Mizzou a week from tomorrow, and secured a "grownup" job this week! Everything is starting to line up as we are about to go through some big changes as a family, and we are all ready for it. 

       A not so big thing, but somehow just as exciting to me as Bailey being potty-trained, is that I bought my dream shoes of the moment from Target! Eeeek!! I've already worn them a ton since they were delivered on Tuesday, and I plan to wear them 24/7 for the next few seasons, until that dreaded winter shows up again. 

      Another favorite from this week are these Maple Bacon waffles I made on Sunday! I know, I'm going a bit waffle crazy, but there are just so many recipes out there. I topped these with yogurt, honey, and more bacon, and as I said on Instagram, you know you're doing something right when your toddler is stealing your bacon. :)

      Speaking of said toddler, we took her to Shelter Gardens twice this week. Once was for some puddle jumping in between rain showers on Sunday, and the other was on Tuesday afternoon because the sun finally came out! I prefer the gardens to a play ground every now and then, because Bailey gets to run her little heart out on the winding pathways, and we get to leisurely follow behind. Win-win!

     Lastly, I made this adorable little succulent planter to add to my collection, because honestly, I've already bought too many succulents this year, and I'm running out of planters! I like to make my own sometimes, because it's more customizable and less boring that way. This pretty little DIY will be on the blog next week, so keep an eye out!

    Thanks for reading, and have a fun Friyay!

To Find / Something Sustainable

 

     Hi there! I've been more and more drawn to simple linen in the past year, especially in kitchen towel forms. My favorite part about a large pack of towels like this is that it cuts down our paper towel usage. I keep three of these hanging in various spots in our kitchen, and then when there's a tiny milk spill, I grab one of these and once it gets a little grungy, I just throw it in the wash and grab another from the drawer. It's a really simple rotation that is a necessity in a house with a toddler, where the spills are constant. You just need towels way to often to use only paper towels. Eventually, I hope to cut out the paper towels completely, but for now, these do the trick! Thanks for reading, and have a fun Wednesday! 

For Inspiration / April

 

     Hi there! April was awesome, and today I'm sharing what made my month! First, we went home to Arkansas to visit my family, and it was beautiful. Spring always is there, and this time was even more special because my parents azalea bush was in full bloom! That color! The fullness! I was obligated to get Baileys photo in front of it. 

IMG_1276.JPG

      On the way down to Arkansas, we stopped in Springfield to have lunch with my little sister, and I got to check off Cherry Pickers from my restaurant bucket list! We had triple cheese grilled cheeses with bacon and ya, that's going to be hard to top. 

IMG_1515.JPG

      Then, it was magically Easter all ready, so we headed to the lake house! We dyed and hid eggs for Bailey, and it took a minute, but she actually got into searching for them. That girl never stops moving whenever we go to the lake!

IMG_1478.JPG

      Next, I did one of my favorite DIYs to date: blush pink dye using avocado pits! It turned out so well, and now I'm tempted to dye everything possible pink. Not the worst problem to have! 

FullSizeRender.jpg

     Lastly, it finally got warm enough to plant some seeds! I'm starting with dill, chives, and jalapeños! Now I just have to be patient enough to wait for the seeds to sprout.  

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun weekend! See you in May! 

To Find / Something Organic

 

     Hi there! Just wanted to share one of Bailey's favorite snacks today. I always try to get her to eat healthy, and for the most part she does, but snacks are where this is trickiest for us. Girl likes her chocolate, so I looked around for something organic that she would actually love.

     We ended up on these Horizon Organics Chocolate Snack Graham Cookies! Bailey's a huge fan, and loves pretending to be the Cookie Monster while eating them. She also is in love with cows, so that was a big selling point for her.

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun Wednesday!

To Celebrate / Easter!

 

     Hi there! Just wanted to share some snaps from our Easter weekend at the lake! We made natural dye this year (tutorial coming Thursday!), and they made the prettiest pastel colors.

     I made the pink dye from avocado pits, and the yellow is made from turmeric! You just boil each in water, and then for egg dye you add a little vinegar after the boiling. So easy!

      The light pink was my favorite, although the turmeric created different shades depending on opacity of the dye. Both were awesome!

     Brett's parents also brought along some confetti eggs, which are hollowed out shells you can smash and they explode with confetti. I'm sure you can guess which activity was Bailey's favorite!

      All in all, we had a great time. Bailey doesn't stop moving when she goes anywhere that's not home, so hopefully this will lead to an easy Monday evening (but let's be honest, toddlers have an amazing ability to bounce back from a busy weekend, so I'm not expecting much :))!

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun Monday!

To Adventure / Cosmo Park

 

     Hi there! We had a blast a couple of weekends back at Cosmo Park in Columbia, so I just wanted to share some snaps from that day! 

     Bailey was very into throwing all of the pebbles she could into the water, as most toddlers are. 

     Everything was just starting to bloom around town, so I had to stop and pick the tiniest bouquet! 

      They have the coolest playground equipment here, and this little set is probably my favorite. I can't resist the cabin vibe! 

     Bailey can't not look cute playing on a slide. You can see the look of quiet excitement on her face! 

     Thanks for reading and have a fun Monday! 

For Pinning / March

 
Pesto-Artichoke-Havarti-Grilled-Cheese-4.jpg

     Good morning! Spring has brought on a whole new breath of inspiration to my Pinterest board. The change in colors and overall mood is one of the best parts of the new season, when it's suddenly ok if it rains, as long as it's not freezing. That new outlook can bring out the creative in anyone, and the main way this creative is looking towards spring is visualized through these pins. Above, a farmers market fresh grilled cheese that will hopefully satisfy my need for artichoke dip and a grilled cheese at the same time.

      The prettiest shade of butternut, perfect for bringing in color and warmth to your look!

      I didn't think I'd ever see blue, olive, brown, and lemon look good together, but for some reason, these colors feel perfect for a moody spring look.

       Another dish I want to make soon: veggie filled enchiladas. I'm always in the mood for mexican food this time of year, especially when it involves a stream of avocado's on top.

81b5dca64564bf733721dbad8ffae15a.jpg

      I think it's ok to be obsessed with shearling year round. It doesn't hurt to pair it with tan leather, either!

      Lastly, I need some speckled earthenware in my life asap! I have a mug that has a similar texture, but I just have the feeling that one piece in this style is not enough.

     Thanks for reading, and be sure to check out all of these pins on my board here! Have a fun Wednesday!

To Find / Something Natural

 

     Good morning! For this month's natural product, I wanted to put a spotlight on one of my favorite essential oils: grapefruit! Aura Cacia makes awesome oils, and the grapefruit instantly lifts your mood.

      The citrus really does make you joyful! It's light and sweet, and perfect for just dabbing onto your wrists or incorporating it into a spray or salve.

     My personal favorite use is in body scrubs. I plan to make a summer one soon that will be bursting with the scent of grapefruit. Thanks for reading, and have a fun Monday!

For an Adventure / Sister Weekend

 

     Good morning! Just wanted to share some of the photos from a couple of weekends ago when my little sister came up to visit! She hadn't been to Columbia for a few years, so I took her around the downtown area and to a town-favorite french restaurant, Upper Crust. First we did some shopping downtown though, and picked up some cute stuff! That chocolate is definitely already gone, and the mug has been a staple in my collection. We found most of these items at Route!

      This was at the restaurant. We were all surprised by how large Bailey is now, compared to the last time she got to sit on Becca's lap (btw, Bailey turns 3 tomorrow!).

     We had a delicious brunch at the aforementioned Upper Crust, and yes, that Bloody Mary was too good!

     Thanks for reading! For family that is reading, can't wait to see you all this weekend for Bailey's birthday! For everyone else, have a great Wednesday!!

To Take Photos / Over the Weekend

 

     Good morning! Just wanted to share some photos from this weekend with you all today. It was a nice, relaxing one, and it was warm enough to venture out to our favorite gardens! The sidewalks are basically Bailey's running track, so we just walk behind and make sure she doesn't get too far ahead. We had to stop in the school house to snap a picture of Bailey of course!

     Then, all weekend, Bailey was styling her stuffed animals. She's gotten in the habit of arranging them somewhere then asking me to take a picture. I guess she's picked up on some of what I do!

       At the gardens, they didn't have a ton of blooming plants yet. Shockingly though, there were quite a few beds and bushes that already had shoots coming out of the ground.

      They did have some magnolia trees already flowering. This type of tree is the only kind I've seen doing that so far. Brett's parents have one in their backyard, and it was also flowering last week! Crazy!

     Lastly, I've started meal prepping on Sunday's something to eat for breakfast all week. This time, it was whole wheat banana muffin bread, and it's the perfect thing to have on hand for my busy mornings.

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun Monday!

To Find / Something Natural

 

     Hi there! Just wanted to share my new favorite face mask today! I picked it out as a Christmas gift, and have been loving it ever since.

     It's from Moon Rivers Naturals, and is made from turmeric and calendula. Both of those ingredients are anti-inflammatory, which is perfect for my always rosy skin. 

     My favorite part about the mask though, is that it dries into your pores super well. When you remove it, you can really feel it cleaning them out, and afterwords, your pores look noticeably smaller. Highly recommended! 

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun Monday!