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DIY: Kids Boredom Buster Jar

I mentioned last week that I put together a little Bored Jar inspired by a few different projects I saw on Pinterest (just searching “boredom busters” there brings up an endless array of ideas for any age group). I thought it would be fun to give you a little peek at our jar and some of the things Samantha has done with it.
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My Week Through Instagram


Last week was the first of three weeks before going back to school where Samantha has no activities. We have some things to cross off of our summer bucket list, but otherwise we have no schedule.

Let’s just say Miss Samantha works better with a schedule. She constantly needs something to keep her occupied. It’s just her personality. This shot was taken after I threw some sheets at her and told her to make a tent while I ran downstairs to do some laundry.

Ellie took her first train ride this week! She loved it. As soon as it started moving she yelled “Weeeeeee!” The rest of the ride into Manhattan was spent playing tic-tac-toe with Sam while Ellie climbed up and down off the seats like they were the best jungle gym ever invented.

We were going into the city to meet Tim’s parents at the Museum of Natural History (one of the items on our summer bucket list). The girls absolutely loved it. In fact, there are hardly any pictures of them from our visit that aren’t just a big blur from them running from one thing to the next.

The picture above is from the African mask exhibit, which is pretty awesome.

This shot is not from Instagram but from my mother-in-law’s phone. I had to share it for a few reasons. First, I needed to show proof that at times I carried my chunky little monkey around in what I couldn’t stop referring to as a papoose. Second, that I actually got her to take a nap while walking around the museum (thanks to the darkened bioluminescence exhibit). And last, to show off my little fashionista’s style. Please note her two sparkly purple headbands and her watch. The only thing missing from this shot is her sparkly sneakers.

You know a trip was successful when Samantha declares that she thinks she might take a nap (she never naps). She got comfy on the train using her new stuffed polar bear as a pillow.

The next day, my husband had a rare Friday off so we packed up the chickadees and headed to the pool. Samantha was thrilled to show off her swimming skills to Daddy while he was thrilled to splash me with the freezing water. Brat.

The quality of this picture is especially terrible, but I had to show it. It’s my mom’s driver’s license from the 80s, when she was my age now. The resemblance is a little freaky!

Last but not least, here is my monster caught in the act yet again. There was a bag of chips left over from a game night we had with friends that was tucked away on the side of the counter. Of course Ellie found it and dug right in. This is her trying to share a chip with me when she knew she was busted. That chip was in her mouth before the photo even registered.

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Obsession of the Moment: Mermaids

From the always-present fresh seafood options to the abundance of nautical themes, the town of Mystic, Connecticut (where we took our little getaway) is drenched in hints of the sea. My favorite little reminder were the mermaids. They were just about everywhere and reawakened an obsession of mine.

Of course, my obsessions always lead to online window shopping which I pretty much always share here with you. Here’s what I found…

1 LaFayette & Rushford wall decor :: 2 Design Toscano wall sculture :: 3 Art Nouveau hand mirror
4 Book Lovers Accessory bookends :: 5 Uptown Soap Co. soap :: 6 SPI standing mirror :: 7 Alex and Ani bangle :: 8 Design Toscano architectural wall pediment

Sigh. Aren’t they pretty?

While I’m kind of in love with the bookends, I’m pretty positive my husband won’t be. I may just have to settle for a bracelet instead. After all, my arm party always has room for friends!

Do you develop random obsessions as easily as I do? Please share, if you do–you might help fuel my next one!

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My Week Through Instagram: Getaway Edition

So we finally took that little getaway I’ve been hoping for! It was just a short 3-hour car ride and a one-night stay in Mystic, Connecticut, but it was just what the doctor ordered. We had a blast.

We loaded everything into the car–including tons of activities for the perenially bored Samantha (who is recently obsessed with the Frankly, Frannie book series)–and were on the road by 7:30 on Tuesday morning. While we finished packing up Sam ran around the house singing “Vacation’s all I ever wanted, vacation time to get away” all morning (thank you, Chipwrecked).

There was no sleeping during the car ride but the ladies were all smiles (score!).

After Sam told us a bunch of facts about dolphins from a new book she got, Ellie decided to check things out for herself. Apparently she’s reeeeeally talented at reading upside down.

Our first stop was Mystic Aquarium, where Samantha’s excitement was contagious. This is her touching the glass as a beluga whale swims by. She thought it was pretty much the coolest thing ever.

We also saw everything from penguins (which she’s checking out here) and jelly fish to sharks and a sea lion show. The sea lions “competed” against each other, doing tricks like seeing who could bark the loudest and who could retrieve items from the pool the fastest. Samantha loved every second of it. Ellie was pretty amazed too.

After we saw everything at the aquarium, we headed to lunch at Friendly’s (Sam swears they make the best grilled cheese in the world) and then to our hotel. We hung out there for awhile, exploring, and swimming in the pool. Ellie even took a little nap (those are her toes!) before we headed out to dinner.

We decided on a place in town called Voodoo Grill. It was soooo good. We got alligator bites as an appetizer and somehow got our pickiest eater (that would be Sam) to try them. OK, so we bribed her with $4, but still. She tried them and she liked them!Elyssa loved them too–shocker, right?

I got their chicken wrap and Tim got the gumbo. It was all so delicious! Afterwards, we took a walk through town where we window shopped, listened to a band play on the water, and got some ice cream. It was an absolutely perfect day.

On Wednesday we woke up, had breakfast at the hotel and did a little swimming before heading over to Mystic Seaport. It was brutally hot out (even at 10am), but we still checked out the Children’s Museum (that’s Samantha doing laundry there), saw a show at the (airconditioned!) planetarium, and checked out a ship from the 1800s. Sam also printed a book cover at their little Art Spot and dipped candles.

When we were hot, tired, and had exhausted most of our options, we headed towards town to find some lunch. After making a couple of stops and not finding any food on the menu that Samantha would eat, we decided on Bravo, Bravo. The food was great and Ellie did a little happy dance with every bite of Sam’s pizza she ate.

We had a great time and I’m already itching to plan our next getaway. Any suggestions?

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Diane Kruger and Joshua Jackson: Most Glamorous Couple Ever?

First of all, it should probably be illegal for a couple to be as ridiculously good looking as Diane and Joshua (aka Pacey Witter). I’ve loved him since the Might Ducks days when he was far less fashionable (remember when he bleached his hair?). And she is just so seemingly down to earth and girl-crush worthy. When you combine the two of them and add in a sprinkling of sickeningly sweet adoration for each other it’s almost unbearable.

See for yourself…

click photos for sources

Whether on the red carpet or strolling through the streets of Paris, these two always look amazing. I especially love when they coordinate outfits, as shown in that last photo. It’s something that could so easily be cheesy, but they always manage to look so laid back and cool. I just love them!

Is there a couple who’s style you covet? Do tell!

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Trend To Try: Hi Lo Dresses

If you’re on the prowl for something to shake up your same-old summer wardrobe, you should most definitely consider this summer’s It Dress, the hi lo dress.

1 Noli / 2 ASOS / 3 Loveapella / 4 Bebe / 5 Forever21 / 6 ModCloth

I’m particularly in love with the sheer, flowy, bohemian versions of this silhouette. They look effortless and chic and oh-so comfortable. You can also style them for anything from BBQs to weddings. I don’t know about you, but I love me a versatile article of clothing.

I have one of these so far (a comfy color blocked beauty from Old Navy) and would love to add more to my closet. Have you tried them out yet?

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Fourth of July Party Inspiration

The Fourth of July crept up pretty quick this year. We’re having a game night at our house with some friends the night before and I’m thinking of getting all festive and nerdy with it.

Do you go all out for the Fourth? Here’s a little party inspiration if you do. If not, it’s awfully pretty to look at anyway, no?

pinwheels / straws / ice cream sandwich

sweet potato burger

kabobs

strawberry lemonade

backyard

dress / necklace / sweater / bracelets / wedges / sunglasses / head scarf

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My Week Through Instagram

There was so much action jammed into the last half of last week alone, I don’t even know where to begin! I guess I’ll start with Friday, which was Samantha’s birthday and her last day of school. She only went in for an hour so we saw Brave and went to lunch at Friendlys with our friends. Here are all of the (adorable) ladies lined up after the movie (which they loved):

Next up, we had a weekend full of birthday parties for Miss Samantha. On Saturday our family came over and showered her with kisses and presents.

Ellie was just glad there was cake.

On Sunday we had a spa party with a bunch of her school friends. Three of my (most awesome) friends came over to help paint nails, apply Hello Kitty tattoos and cucumbers on their eyes, and supervise a craft project (DIY details on that to come!) and ice cream sundae making.  There was lots of dancing and hilarious conversation. Here’s a sneak peek at how I made the sleep masks the girls decorated:

After we came down from our birthday/party mania we’ve just been trying to ease into a summer schedule. Samantha started (outdoor) swimming lessons on Monday and somehow it’s suddenly freezing here in NY (at least it is at 10am when it’s cloudy and breezy).

We planned on spending some time at the pool this morning but it was just too cold. Instead, we came home and snuggled up to watch Thumbelina with some popcorn and hot chocolate.

Later on (when cabin fever started to set in(, we headed out to a playground on the river. Sam loved being able to look out at the water while she played.

She also loved the “rock climbing” wall they had. I was shocked at how good she’s gotten at climbing this year and how little fear she has of it suddenly.

This is totally unrelated, but Ellie has been packing purses with random things before we go anywhere lately. She definitely has seen her sister and I load up and she wants to get in on the action.

The other day we ran out to run errands and found that she had grabbed an old book from the college years off our bookshelf and stuck it in there. I couldn’t help but laugh.

Last but not least, these posts are never complete without the obligatory filthy-faced Ellie shot. Here she is after enjoying a single Oreo.

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Style Muse: Jessica Alba

For me, the quintessential style icon for a mom on the go is Jessica Alba. With her easy breezy layers and bright pops of color, Jessica remains comfortable, stylish and on trend. She shows us busy mommas that having babies doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice our style.

With a few simple basics and some great accessories in your arsenal, you can easily (and affordably!) pull together a look like Jessica’s–no matter how jam packed your schedule may be.

Splendid tank / ModCloth scarf / Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses
ModCloth jeans / Nasty Gal blazer

Who is your style muse? Is there anyone you turn to for style inspiration?

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Revisiting Resolutions

Since we’ve just about reached mid year, I thought I’d take a look back at some of the goals I set for myself this year and see how I’m doing on accomplishing them. Here’s the list I shared with you way back in January:

  • Start exercising regularly (hello muffin top, it’s time you find someone else’s midsection to cling to)
  • Reopen my jewelry shop (for real this time!)
  • Style a photoshoot
  • Organize more fundraising/volunteer work (because honestly, nothing feels better than knowing you’ve helped someone when they’re down)
  • Go on a vacation (my husband and I have never been on a vacation together (!). I want to pack up the kids and do something fun for a couple of days–even if we don’t even cross state lines!)
  • Finish the projects I start (I’m talking to you, to-do list!)

. . . . . .

OK, so I haven’t tackled many of these (which probably automatically  means I’m not doing so good on that last one, huh?).

I absolutely have not exercised regularly. Or much at all, to be honest. Maybe oogling some pretty workout clothes will fix that?

1 Old Navy :: 2 Athleta :: 3 Old Navy :: 4 Athleta :: 5 Puma

I have not reopened my jewelry shop, although I did make a few pieces for our Bijou shoot, which ignited a little bit of a flame under my butt. I even discussed photo sessions with my fab business partner and photographer friend. Still, I have not made a single new piece for said photo session. I did make these headpieces though!

photos by Jackie Pfeffer

Pretty much the only thing I did do on this list is styling photo shoots. We had a few for Bijou that  I haven’t shared photos from yet. Here are two screenshots from pages in the first issue:

I haven’t organized any fundraising/volunteer work, but that is definitely staying on my list. I’ll have to brainstorm this weekend.

The vacation thing needs some more brainstorming too. Nothing is set in stone yet, but I’m hoping to have that ticked off my list by the end of July!

How have you done with your resolutions?

PS I finally launched a FACEBOOK PAGE! Come on over and like me! 😉

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