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 Make / Summer Smoothies

 

     Hi there! I wanted to share my current favorite smoothie combo with you all today! It's not the most photogenic (thank you raspberries + spinach), but it sure is delicious and nutritious, and that's what matters most! See the recipe below. 

Ingredients:

- 1 cup of raspberries

- 1 banana

- 1 cup of frozen peaches

- 1 cup of spinach

- 1 cup of almond milk

- 1 tsp. of flax + chia

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients in your blender, and blend until smooth. 

2. Serve chilled and enjoy! 

To Style / Summer Capsule Wardrobe

 

     Hi there! Today, I'm sharing my summer capsule wardrobe with you all! Summer can be tricky as far as capsule wardrobes are concerned, because I tend to be in a more versatile mood. My closet is filled with more colors and prints during this season, so it can make narrowing down the essentials a little bit tougher! See my list below!

Summer Capsule Wardrobe:

Tops

- white t-shirt

- blush crop top

- white cotton blouse

- chambray blouse

- white knit tank

- striped t-shirt

Dresses

- floral wrap dress

- denim shirt dress

- white cotton midi dress

- rust shift dress

- black floral maxi dress

- olive mini dress

Bottoms

- denim shorts

- white overalls

- crop-flare jeans

- denim mini skirt

- red vintage maxi skirt

Shoes

- cream mules

- tan flat sandals

- black slide sandals

- blush low-heel pumps

- black point-toe slides

Accessories

- straw hat

- blush bandana

- black mini handbag

- straw tote

- vintage gold earrings

        That's pretty much it! There are about ten outliers that I don't consider part of my constant rotation, but for the most part, this makes up my day-to-day options. Thanks for reading, and have a fun Monday!

To Make / After-Sun Balm

 

     Good morning! Today, I'm sharing a DIY that's essential for summer: after-sun balm! Regardless of skin tone, and susceptibility to sun burns, any sun exposure to the skin damages it. If you're lucky, it's not visible (like with burns or sun spots), but thanks to UV cameras, we know it's there! That being said, there are ways to treat your skin after being out in the sun, and my favorite (and most natural way) is with pure aloe vera. I have a aloe plant, and haven't utilized its gel until now! It's bizarre, but each stalk is only covered with green skin and is actually filled with a clear gel column. All you do is remove the skin and then mash the gel and it's ready to use! Get the rest of the how-to below! 

Ingredients:

- 1/2 cup of aloe vera 

- 1 tbs. of beeswax

- 1 tbs. of jojoba oil

- 1/2 cup of shea butter

- 1/2 cup of coconut oil

- 20 drops of lavender essential oil

Directions:

1. Melt down the beeswax, shea butter, coconut oil, and jojoba oil together in a double boiler. 

2. Transfer to your container, and add your aloe and essential oil. 

3. Let set for a few hours, until fully hardened and cooled. Enjoy!

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!

For #MomStyle / Lake Life

 

     Good morning! Today's post is all about #momstyle. I love being a mom, and contrary to what you might have heard, it doesn't completely alter every little thing about the person you were before you had a baby. One of the things that hasn't changed for me is my love of style. Before, I thought it was a love of clothes, but I've since discovered that it's less about the things, and more about the way I see and use those things. 

     One of the most important "things" in my wardrobe is a classic white t-shirt. They are a staple in most peoples wardrobes, but as a mom, there's nothing more essential than something that can be worn an infinite amount of ways (because time, laundry, and the never ending mess that is motherhood). You can style them any way you like, and are basically the blank canvas of the clothing world. 

     This month, I'll be sharing two ways to wear your white t! Today's is a casual, relaxed pairing in the form of culottes, slides, a cap, and straw tote. I was on vacation at the lake house shooting this, and the vibes there add to the simplicity and comfort level of this outfit. 

     We are fairly isolated at the lake, and it always makes for a beautiful backdrop. We are constantly doing something, and I brought along a diverse wardrobe to complement that. Culottes are a great casual pant that are still unique but basic enough to pair with a lot of things. The pants combined with the t-shirt made me feel like I was almost wearing PJ's!

     The most fun element of this look is the hat I scored at Pacsun. I don't usually shop there, but they have good sales at the lake, and you can always find something on trend. The cap is my favorite color (blush, duh), embroidered with a rose, and with the french words for "I love you". It just screams "Sam!". 

       Not to mention, it's cool cotton, so it's perfect for summer and keeping those rays away from my face!

      I had a ton of fun shooting this with Kristen, and can't wait to share the next way to style a white t! Hint: it involves denim, as most white t-shirt outfits do (and should, in my opinion). 

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun Monday!

Wearing: Everlane t-shirt / Target culottes (past season, similar here) / Old Navy slides (past season, similar here) / L.A. Hearts cap / thrifted straw tote (similar here)

All photos by Kristen Williams

To Read / Summer

 

     Hi there! I set a summer goal to read at least five books, and so far it's going well! I've finished The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie, The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, and The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff. All three were excellent, and currently, I'm reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman and The Secret Life of Plants by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird. 

      My interests vary when it comes to books, so if these picks seem like a strange melange of choices, they aren't. I just happen to like multiple kinds of books! American Gods is actually a new TV show, and I haven't checked it out yet, but if it's anything like the book, I'm sure it's good! The Secret Life of Plants is nonfiction, but abstract enough in ideology that some may not view it that way.  

       Plants have always had a connection to humans, since we've been around at least. We couldn't survive without them, and I think that's a relationship worth delving into! 

       Thanks for reading, and let me know what your favorite summer reads are! See you back here on Monday!

To Cook / Strawberry Stuffed Croissant French Toast

 

     Good morning! It's strawberry season, and while Bailey can eat tons of them on her own, there are always quite a few left over that have to be made into something delicious before they go bad. Enter: Pinterest! Pinterest has been a godsend for recipe inspiration, since I'm not a fan of just snacking on berries. Snacking on apples or bananas, sure; but there's something about berries that calls for them to be additions in my head, not on their own. I stumbled on this recipe from Half Bake Harvest (my go-to food blog!) and had to give it a whirl, with my own twists of course! Check out the recipe below!

Ingredients: (serves 2)

- 2 croissants

- 1/2 cup of almond milk

- 1 egg

- 1 tsp. of vanilla

- a dash of cinnamon

- 1 tbs. of butter

- 1 cup of Greek yogurt whipped cream cheese

- 1 cup of fresh strawberries

- maple syrup for serving

Directions:

1. Whisk together your milk, egg, vanilla, and cinnamon. Soak both sides of your croissants in the mixture, and add them to your heated (on medium!) + greased pan. 

2. While your croissants are getting all golden in the pan, stir together your strawberries and cream cheese. Be sure to set aside any strawberries you want to top the croissants with!

3. Once your croissants are golden on both sides, remove from the heat and smother in your strawberry cream cheese + maple syrup. Enjoy!

To Style / Keep + Toss for Summer

 

      Good morning! As part of bringing in more style posts, I wanted to share some tips on what to keep around for the summer, and what to toss out for the season. Some things simply don't work because of the nature of summer, and others are just dated this time around! Either way, if you love something I think you should toss, then keep it and love it! Style comes down to peoples personalities, so by all means, keep that personality in tact. Let's get started!

 

Keep:

- bandanas (these became popular last year, and are still the perfect addition to any summery ensemble!)

- slide sandals (slides are ideal for throwing on to run around on a hot summer day)

- straw bags (a new trend this year, straw bags in smaller sizes are the number one way to keep your style current!)

- off the shoulder tops (this style of top, in any shape or form, works with so many outfits that I'd be shocked if the trend didn't last for years

Toss:

- destroyed denim shorts (people nowadays are going for a somewhat classier look with perfectly worn denim, as opposed to shredded)

- sky high heels (a more demure low heel works better with the shorter hemlines of summer)

- mock neck tops (this trend will still be cute in the fall and winter, but for the hotter months, I recommend you store any neck covering tops)

- oversized sunglasses (I used to love this style, but people are gravitating towards retro styles instead of the Olsen twins look)

      That's all for now! Let me know if you're liking this kind of post, and if there's any specific style questions/topics you'd like me to cover. See you back here tomorrow with a recipe that puts a new twist on French Toast! Thanks for reading, and have a fun Monday!

To Make / Rose Facial Spray

 

      Good morning! It's finally June, and that means summer! Along with the coming solstice, there will be a few changes to the blog. I'm rolling out a new business venture in collaboration with the existing blog, and this means that with the new work being shared, there will be less posting here. My goal is to post 3 times a week, expanding on fashion and style, while still keeping a couple of recipes and projects around. I'll share more about the business I'm working on in the coming weeks, but for now, lets kick off June with a refreshing, summery DIY! 

     Rose facial spray has been on my list of essential DIY's for awhile. As you may know, I'm in love with anything rose, from the scent to the color. I just can't get enough! What with the temperatures heating up and all, I figured it's time to share how to make this little gem, to keep your skin hydrated all summer long. Get the how-to below!

Materials:

- rose essential oil

- witch hazel

- distilled water

- a glass spray bottle

Directions:

1. Pour your witch hazel in your bottle, about half way to the top, then fill the rest with distilled water and add 20 drops of rose oil. 

2. Shake the bottle to combine the ingredients. 

3. Mist your entire face and let it soak in. Enjoy! 

(Side note: this is such a fun thing for kids to do. Bailey asks me to spritz her face on the daily with the spray, and thinks it's hilarious. Of course, this is perfectly safe to-do, which is the whole point of these chemical-free, natural DIY's!)

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 Make / Cornbread Waffles

 

     Hi there! I'm sharing a new (and final, for a while) waffle recipe today! These cornbread jalapeno cheddar waffles are a dream. They are savory but sweet, and work perfectly with a chicken sandwich and pair well with some yummy queso. I highly recommend these for a summer brunch or bbq! Get the recipe below!

Ingredients:

- 3/4 cup of cornmeal

- 3/4 cup of flour

- 1/4 cup of sugar

- 1 tbs. of baking powder

- 1 tsp. of salt

- 2 eggs

- 1 cup of milk

- 4 tbs. of melted butter

- 3/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

- 1 jalapeno

Directions:

1. Whisk together the dry ingredients. 

2. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together, then add the butter. Add in the dry ingredients, then fold in your cheese and sliced jalapenos. 

3. Cook according to your waffle irons instructions. 

4. Serve with queso or fill with chicken for a sandwich, and share with your best buddy! (Bailey actually loved the cornbread part, minus the jalapenos!)

To Go On Vacation

 

     Good morning! We are currently on our annual lake vacation this week, but we'll still have regular posts here, so don't worry. I just wanted to wish everyone a belated happy mother's day, and hope you all had an awesome weekend! Thanks for reading, and we'll see you back here tomorrow with the latest addition to my waffle obsession. 

To Paint / A Succulent Planter

 

      Hi there! Just wanted to share this cute little planter I made over the weekend! It was sooo easy, and the end result is simple and pretty. 

       I started with air dry clay, which I rolled out flat and cut into the base and sleeve of the planter. Then, I attached the two pieces and let it dry. After that, you just paint it however you like, and voila!

 A couple of tips if you decide to make your own:

1. Make sure to punch a hole through the bottom of the base for drainage, if you decide you want it to be a planter

2. Use a small amount of water on the edges to smooth out any cracks and unevenness.

For #MomStyle / Shorts Season with Bailey

 

      Hi there! It's shorts season! It's one of the best feelings, when you get to finally bare your legs in the sunshine (with sunscreen of course). Here in Columbia, it's already been too hot for a few days to not wear shorts or a skirt, and I anticipate it will probably stay that way for a while. With that in mind, I wanted to share Bailey + I's go-to outfits for when it's finally time to break out the denim shorts!

       My uniform of sorts for the summer is usually a white t with denim shorts, mostly because my favorite cotton t-shirt is so breathable, and these shorts are just the easiest to throw on. Simple = big time saver. I like to spruce up the look with a cute bandana as a necktie or a fun necklace! Add in chic and classic flat slides (a thrift score!) and I'm good to go.

     Bailey's looks are always a bit more fun, because really, children can pull off anything. She's still loving this adorable cactus + succulent t-shirt my mom got for her (no longer available!) and it pairs perfectly with her basic denim shorts and cute jellies! 

       Her jellies really are the perfect summer shoe. They can get wet, are breathable, and much more durable than your average toddler shoe. Bonus: they are velcro, so little girl can get them on and off on her own! Now, to just get her to acknowledge that there's a difference between her right foot and her left foot...

    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 Make / Laundry Detergent

 

     Hi there! I've really been enjoying Homesong, a blog about topics ranging from motherhood to essential oils, written by Amanda Watters, a KC local. She has inspired so many small changes I've implemented in my life, and most of them always come back to providing a clean and natural, well-rounded home for Bailey. I've made quite a few of her DIY's already, and I have another one to share with you today! This homemade, all natural laundry detergent is everything you could want, and it actually works, which can't be said for all homemade cleaning supplies. Get the how-to below!

Ingredients / Materials:

- one bar of Dr. Bronners castille soap

- 1 cup of washing soda

- 1 cup of borax

- 20 drops of essential oils, your choice

Directions:

1. Chop up your bar of soap in quarters, and then quarter those.

2. Add in all of your ingredients to a food processor, and blend, then add the essential oils. 

3. Use about 1 tbs. for an average size load, and you're good to go!

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!