Saturday, July 28, 2012

Lots of little things

We are back from our heavenly vacation in San Diego. So beautiful. So relaxing. We missed the kids terribly, but they were happy as clams at their cousins.

We transferred back to reality at mach speed.

I was so happy to get back to this goofball.

And this sweet little angel.

As we speak, I am throwing Lily and Cole's Keen shoes in the freezer. I just squirted lemons on them. Then I'm putting them in a freezer bag and into the freezer...hoping this will make the sweaty smell go away. Just talked to Nordstrom on the phone and this is what they said to do. I'll let you know how it turns out. And if others have tried and true tricks, I'd love to know what works.

Update to this: it did NOT work. The lemon juice and freezer helped slightly, but the gross feet smell was still there. Still curious as to what works. ;-(

I heart Pinterest. I also heart butter mints. Have you ever made homemade butter mints? I hadn't. Yet now I highly recommend doing this. Kids loved helping too.

So easy. And highly addictive. Use food coloring and serve at a baby shower.

Another great project we tried from Pinterest is this headband made from old t-shirts. I actually made a bracelet out of a weathered purple t-shirt that had a hole in it. And now that I know how to do a 5 strand braid, I am constantly trying to find things around the house that I can braid. It is SO easy.

My darling sweet friends gave me this coffee cup for my birthday (from Anthropologie) and I am a little bit obsessive about it. It MUST be clean every morning for my coffee. I feel pretty chic drinking from it, especially because I am a new coffee drinker, but also because I've never had a coffee cup other than a plain white boring thing. Thanks friends - you know me so so well.

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, July 15, 2012


You know, there are so many things I could blog about. I struggle sometimes because the possibilities are endless. The way I want to treat this blog is not as an obligation (I MUST do this twice a week!) or to please other people (what would increase the number of hits?!), but rather as a platform for communicating bursts of inspirations and gratitude. Tonight, I took a big step back and looked at the gift that I have been given. The gift of my dear, selfless - truly amazing - friends.

For the past week, I have had the privilege of spending lunches, coffee breaks, dinners and "wine and dessert" dates with close friends - they say with the intention of celebrating my birthday. How lucky am I? Very.

I am 35 now. There are some friends who, when I look at their faces, they are more familiar to me than some family. I see their eyes and it brings me back to being in 7th grade with them, having our lockers next door to each other and passing notes written on notebook paper and folded into triangles. I remember their hairsprayed high bangs. Their tight rolled jeans. More than anything, I remember going to their houses for slumber parties. Hanging out with their siblings and parents. We formed such a bond. Yes, we thought we were "BFFs" and that we would be friends when we were old, but how many friends do you really end up doing that with? Just a few. But oh boy - those few are my everything. These friends are the ones who know it all - the break-ups, the team tryouts you didn't make, the family crap, feeling left out. They still loved you for it. In fact, we laugh our asses off about it now - together. Best part - as the years go on, more experiences occur and it just gels your friendship that much more. Solidifies it. Bonds it.

And then there are some friends you might have just met in recent years. With age has come great maturity and the ability to "just know" right away who will be in your life for years to come. Those who feel like family. Who really are family.

Tonight, a few of my oldest friends (some from childhood and some from college) had dinner. There was absolutely NO gossip. No talking badly about anyone behind their back (we have too many better things to talk about). Just laughing about old times, telling stories about the uniqueness of our children, and a lot of self-depricating humor. It was time to leave but our goodbyes lasted about 20 minutes. We kept inching out the door but stopping for more conversation. Our last location was in the parking lot and the laughter and goodbyes followed as we climbed into our cars.

Friendship. It is my fuel. My therapy. My saving grace. Thank you dear friends - old and new - for being so. incredibly. amazing.

Today is our 6th wedding anniversary. We are celebrating by going back to our honeymoon city, San Diego. Much more about love, marriage and my darling husband in another post. Got a tripod from Papa Chip for my birthday and we got a family picture with both children smiling (which never happens).

On a different note, there is SO MUCH going on with Lily Cole Designs. My eyes are barely open right now, though, so I must retire to bed.

In closing, have you tried the new Starbucks Refreshers? I tried the Berry one today and loved it. It gave me a little boost of energy that I so desperately needed today.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A few favorite finds

I have been coming across some delightful little shops and blogs and such, and I just wanted to share them with you. In syncing up with my personality and obsession, every item screams COLOR.

Wouldn't this be darling for your little girl's bed?

I want to hang this on my wall in my craft room.
This is probably my most favorite painting I've come across in a long, long time. It makes me want to go to the Florida Keys. NOW.
Makes me think of jellyfish. I obviously have the beach on the brain.

If you like crafty things like me, here are a few of my favorite blogs:

My mom had a little light shine on her recently. I am unable to go into any detail, but she has felt some joy in the past 2 days that she hasn't felt in a long, long time. Cheers to special surprises. I hope something special comes YOUR way too. 

Fourth of July was spent at home most of the day. My baby girl has strep throat so we laid low. Yet we made an impromptu 9 pm trip to watch the fireworks in a parking lot and it was...pretty magical for the kiddos. Happy Fourth.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Gotta skip, Papa Chip

See, some things just really "get" me. I have fleeting moments where I am completely overcome by this rush of gratitude and joy. Yet another moment to bottle. The other day, my dad (aka Papa Chip) was leaving our house after staying for a few days. Over the years, a tradition has developed between the kids and Papa Chip - a goodbye tradition. As he peeks his head out of his big blue truck before he drives away, the three of them will do a giant wave with one arm and say "Adios Amigo!" And then the kids will joyously ramble through their goodbyes: Gotta go hippo, Gotta run skeleton, and my personal favorite "Gotta skip, Papa Chip!" Then Cole is over it and runs inside, but Lily waits on the front step until he is out of sight. She'll wave and keep saying goodbye until those taillights are out of view. And then the first question she asks is "when is Papa Chip coming back?"

I remember as a kid going to visit my grandpa (Papa Chip's dad) and he always would wait on the front porch and wave while we would drive away. Full. Circle

This past weekend we took our annual trip to Council Grove, KS to celebrate the Fourth of July. My darling, awe-inspiring cousin, Cassidy, just got engaged. Her happiness radiated off of her. Just a few pictures from the weekend:

Every year all of the "kids" line up for a picture. It is so cool to see how they grow over the years. The happy couple are the 2 on the end. I am over the moon to welcome Rick to our family.

My uncle Tom and Papa Chip (brothers). I told them they looked like a couple of pastel jelly beans.

Cousin Lainey and Lily. They were attached at the hip and in the water most of the day.


I heart my daddy. A lot.

Now we are back at home and back to reality. We are almost always with my dad on the Fourth, so it is so strange that we won't be with him this year.

My mom is doing really well with her knee replacement recovery. She is in a rehab facility that is, for the most part, pretty attentive. Food is good too. Kids enjoy it because there are comfortable couches with a big screen TV and snacks at their disposal.

They are so helpful wheeling in Grandma Janie's luggage! Their biggest joy is throwing in pennies in the outside fountain and also pushing the elevator buttons. Isn't life grand?

Lily Cole Designs seems to have new surprises everyday. I am currently working on a new embroidery designs, new thank you card designs for children, and nursery art with the "twinkle twinkle little star" song. Feeling ever so grateful for...well....everything.