Monday, July 21, 2014

Pure Michigan. {Lake Ann. Year 7 in the books.}

Seven years we've been heading up to Lake Ann as a family for vacation. And it's been great every year.  We've got our traditions down in stone; a day in historic Leland, a day at the dunes, a day at Good Harbor beach along Lake Michigan (the most amazing stretch of isolated beach I've ever seen), some downtown Traverse City, Moomers for ice-cream, and a whole lot of laughing in between.  I'm extremely thankful for parents who still make sure this happens every year, a sister who makes a point to get there from Pittsburgh each summer, and a family who loves each other.  

A little video of our week……..


Happy Monday!  

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Firework Day {In Pictures}


4th of July, like Christmas, is one of those holidays that is hands down the most fun with kids.  Kids make small-town parades cool, red/white/and blue everything amazing, glow-in-the-dark (insert everything under the sun) the accessory to have, and watching fireworks the biggest thrill of your life.

We head to historic Greenfield Village at The Henry Ford every year to picnic on the lawn with friends, listen to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra play to the fire-works, and celebrate America.  Here's our day in pictures.















Hope you had a happy 4th!  


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Randomness Schmandomness

Random post alert coming at you……with some scattered info and some FAQ's.

1.  We surprised Georgia last weekend and took her to a big (bigger than our local theater where she first fell in love) production of The Wizard of Oz.  We all wore ruby slippers….because we're also the same family that all wore Mickey Mouse shirts on our first day at Magic Kingdom when I was in sixth grade.  It's how we do.

2.  I get asked constantly what color gray paint I have in my house.  Gray paint is killer to get right.  It either errs on the blue side, the brown side, or the purple side.  I picked my gray out of a builders swatch in about ten minutes when we were choosing everything for the interior of our house during the building process.  I have no idea what the name of it was.  However, if you want something similar use this one from Olympic Paint at Lowes….Secret Passage.

I used it to repaint the staff conference room at my school this year.  There is a ton of natural light in the room during the day and whether it's day or night this gray always looks gray. And really….is it 'gray' or 'grey?'


3.  My favorite places to get IG pictures printed:
  • Foxgram: This site is great for basic square pictures either 2x2 or 3x3
  • Canvas Pop:  I use this to get 12 x 12 canvases printed from my IG feed.  They are always on sale and they'll usually send you a $30 gift card in your order…..for the next time. 
  • Mixbook:  Fantastic for making books out of your IG prints.  They are big too--so they make a statement.  And so easy--you can just dump a whole bunch of prints into a book template and hit 'order.'
And of course there's about a hundred or so more that I've used, but those are the ones I keep going back to.  

4.  Have you heard anything about your adoption?  

No.  Nothing new to report here.  We've been officially waiting just over two months now and we're truly, truly okay with that.  The end of the year at work for me was crazy, even being only part time, and I'm acutely aware that everything I do with Georgia at this point may be the last time I'm doing it with just 'her.' So, I'm soaking those moments up and not wishing them away for anything.  

5.  Your chalk stuff?  What kind of chalk is it? 

Crayola baby.  That's it.  The best side-walk chalk that has ever been made.  And if you're reading this and work for Crayola--please send me a box of straight up black chalk.  I go through that faster than any other color.  





6.  "Where do you get Georgia's clothes from?"

I get a ton--a ton of them from Brickyard Buffalo.  It's hands-down one of the best daily deals sites out there for kids and adults.  I've gotten many of her summer dresses from the site this year--each of them cheaper than $15.  The one she's wearing in this picture was $12 I believe.  And they have a very fast shipping schedule--way better than most of the daily deals sites out there.  


7.  I Like Your Mala……..

Check out the new button in my side-bar right under the word sponsors--the one of the really cool necklace. My sister just launched an Etsy store selling the most gorgeous Mala necklaces.  And whether you're a hard core yogi or not these necklaces are super gorgeous and popular right now so you should probably check them out.  

And I think that's it……..
Like I said---holy random--but some questions I've gotten a lot recently via Facebook, IG, and e-mail.  

Hope you had a great weekend!  It's July this week!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Stitch Fix Try #1

So I got my first Stitch Fix shipment today.  Five pieces.  Three days to keep them or return them in a free shipping bag.  If I keep anything I get to apply my $20 'styling fee' toward it.  If I don't, I forego that fee.

I wanted to either love or hate what I got to make it easier.  I don't hate some of the pieces (some are downright hideous and that makes it easy) but I don't instantly love any of them either.  For the ones that I'm on the fence about I get what they were trying to do in regards to the profile I filled out and they didn't completely miss the mark.  Everything fit perfect too--completely perfect--so that was great as well.  I think they sent quite a bit of variety which is nice because I've heard from others that variety was missing, but at first glance I don't inherently feel that any of it is 'so amazing, I must keep it.'

First up, these shorts.  Initially when I took them out of the box I loathed them.  I have no clam bakes on the beach coming up so I thought for sure they were going back.  However, I actually kind of like them when I put them on.  But still……..not completely in love.


This skirt deserves like a B for effort on their part.  I think I remember that somewhere in the profile I selected that I liked bohemian vintage looking pieces.  I can see where they were trying to go here.  It's linen and embroidered, but……….it's way too 'Talbot-sy' for me and not weird or bohemian enough; much too safe.


This dress.  I'm considering this.  It's so comfortable, fits very well, the belt is rope--which I love, and I can always be talked into black and white.  But, it's sleeveless, which I specifically said I didn't like or want.  So…….I don't know.


I mean, no.  Just no to this shirt.  One hundred times over no.  


And just in case they thought everyone on the planet except me hadn't already picked up a denim shirt from Target………

They chose this extra baggy Coldwater Creek inspired version for me.  Going back.  Quickly.


Whether I send it all back or keep something I'll definitely try it one more time.  I do feel like my pieces were a loose interpretation of what I said I liked.  I get to leave feedback about each one of them in the hopes that the next shipment will be better.  I've seen some incredible boxes from other people--I mean--amazing ones, so I have high hopes.    

It's a fun idea.  If you haven't ever tried it, log onto their site, and at least fill out the online profile to see if you think they'll be able to come close for you.  And then make sure to share with everyone what you've received!  

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Some Looking Down. {It's a good thing.}

This video went viral a couple weeks ago.  And I get why…I guess.  But it frustrates me a little.  For a few reasons.

1.  It's a poem.  Need I say more?  I just can't handle poems.  I'm sure that makes me something horrible and non-cerebral, but poems have always made me a little itchy.  I even wrote a unit on teaching kids poetry one year and presented it at a national conference on education to try and change my own mind--a little exposure therapy if you will.  Didn't work.  Poems are like the algebra of the written word.

2.  I don't think it's really true.  We don't want to engage with one another?  We are a generation of idiots?  We miss out on really big things because we're looking at our phone?  Really??

I get what the author is trying to do here.  I get that he's taking some liberty's with generalizations--every writer does.  But, they're pretty grand and sweeping.  And they don't pay any homage, AT ALL, to the amazing things about social media and technology and what they can do for us.  And for the most part these videos that go viral never do.  If I had the ability to make an incredible video with moving music and poignant images I'd include.............

  • the unbelievable support system I've found through social media in regards to adoption.  A place where women have come together and shared deep and intimate thoughts about all kinds of adoptions and have been safe to wonder what is normal, how they should react to all of its elements, and the "what would you do ifs?"
  • the fact that social media adds an incredible aspect to openness in adoption.  We can keep up with Georgia's birth family so much more than we could without it and them us.  They get to see pictures everyday of Georgia if they want to and I can show Georgia pictures of them all the time.
  • an interview with my sister who lives far away from us, but because of Instagram and Facebook she knows what her five year old niece is up to and can talk to her about it whenever they see each other. 
  • the inspiration that comes from sites all over the internet; the incredible wealth of parenting ideas when something is blowing your mind, the rainy day DIY projects that inspire creativity in your kids and spur them on to do more, the camaraderie, and the network of others who have already been through something, are working through it with you, or who are interested in what you have to say.  
  • the pages and pages of conversations my grade-school friend Karen and I have had over the past two years and how it felt like we picked up right where we left off from when we were ten years old…..and how she has become one of my most trusted confidants and safe places when I'm struggling with something, need some advice, or just need to fire something into the universe and get it off my chest without worrying about how she'll react……all done via Facebook….all of it.  
And these ideas would only scratch the surface of the connections, support, new friendships, and opportunities that I've been provided because of social media and a little 'looking down.'  

So sure, we can swing that pendulum all the way in one direction--the one that makes it sound like if you appreciate, care about, and invest time in social media you must have your head in the sand and you're trading what's on a screen for what's walking down the street next to you OR we can let that pendulum rest a little more in the middle where we acknowledge all the good that social media can bring and accept the fact that it's here to stay and we should glean all the good that we can from it while learning how to sift through the garbage that it (and anything we ever come into contact with) can present as well.

Every generation has had their "thing" that has been a distraction.  Every. Single. One.  And sometimes I don't even like calling them distractions--they're just things that we do.  It's how we do it that makes it good or bad.

So I say--look down some--you'll often be really encouraged because you did.

From last summer.  She told me she was blogging.  Gotta say--warmed my heart. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Father's Day.

Chris has been a dad for five years now and honestly--watching him be a dad--and an incredible one--only makes me love him more everyday.  He is Georgia's world.  There is that line in John Mayer's song, 'Daughters,' that says, "Father's be good to your daughter's.  Daughter's will love like you do.", and whenever I hear it I am so thankful that our daughter is learning to love and how to be loved by Chris.  

He's been traveling a lot lately and it's tough to explain that to a five year old.  I grew up with a dad who travelled a lot so there is a part of it that just feels normal to me.  In fact, growing up I assumed that dads who didn't travel must not have a job.  And even now, if Chris has been home for a couple months and hasn't needed to go anywhere I start to wonder if everything is okay.  But for Georgia, after three nights of him being gone--she's over it.  She wants him here.  To wrestle with, tinker around in the garage with, run errands with, read with, play hide and seek with, talk to him at dinner, take a walk with, and just know that daddy is home.  

And I love that.  I love that for her, daddy means safe and secure and that everything is just how it should be. 

Happy Father's Day to all the amazing dads!  Especially Georgia's!



Friday, May 30, 2014

It's Friday. {I'm in Love}

Another little round-up of some Friday goodness for you.  


I honestly thought I'd fore-go this resurrected trend but then I found these yellow Birkenstocks and thought I'd give it a whirl again.  They sat in the box in my closet for about a month while I contemplated and then… I wore them once…..and I knew they were here to stay.  

This L'Oreal liquid eyeliner?  So easy.  I'm going on about three months of loving this stuff--that you can buy at the GROCERY STORE and is so much better than the MAC or Lancome versions.  


These super summery and cute shirts for G (and adults too) from Hello!  The watermelon tanks sold out  from the time I put one in my "shopping cart" to my phone re-directing me to PayPal--in less than two minutes--more are on the way--but I did snag a Popsicle one for now. But I mean--I love these! 



Happy weekending to you!  It's finally so beautiful here in Michigan.  Sun-screen, ice-cream sandwiches, and kiddie pools are on the agenda for the next two days……oh…….and an incredibly long dance recital Saturday night in which Georgia will dance for a total of two minutes.  #worthit 



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