Pretty Party Earrings

December 11, 2017


My day to day style as a mom who lives at the beach is pretty low key, as I'm sure you can imagine.  I often wear the same pair of shorts 5 days in a row, a solid tank top, flip flops and a simple pair of diamond studs that I never take out.  Any chance I have to up my style a bit though pretty much always ends up with me in a dress and a pair of statement earrings.  One of my go-to brands for statement earrings is Lisi Lerch.  I've loved Lisi Lerch for years and my pearl tassel earrings (seen in my post from Charleston here and from Fripp Island here) are one of my all-time favorite party earrings to wear.  I've teamed up with Lisi Lerch again (as well as my Mommy Monday girls) to share a few more pairs that I seriously love.  

This hot pink tassel pair I'm wearing in these photos is so much fun to wear.  I even paired them with a Lilly Pulitzer dress for a date night a few weeks ago and I felt very Palm Beach chic (even though we live in Hawaii where the style isn't quite so preppy).  The earrings are super light weight too, which is nice.  I feel like I never get to wear dresses any more because I always need to be able to nurse, but thankfully off the shoulder options are nursing friendly.  My mom got me this one as a birthday gift and I think all the colorful tassels on it are so much fun!  This exact dress isn't available anymore but this one is just as cute and only $38. 

I wore my pair of pearl button earrings in a blog post a few weeks ago and I like how they make a statement but they aren't dangly so my toddler or baby can't pull on them.  Plus I'm a sucker for anything that's pearl or has a pearl finish because I think it's such a classic look.

I haven't gotten a chance to wear the light pink tassel earrings yet (seen below) but I think I will next week once my parents get here and Tom and I can go on a date again (woohoo for free babysitters!).

In all seriousness though, if you need some festive party earrings for yourself or your girlfriends give Lisi Lerch a look.  So many colorful and fun options to choose from!  And as always with these Mommy Monday posts, be sure to check out my blogger friends to see how they style Lisi Lerch for the holiday season:

Nina of The HSS Feed
Ali of Inspired By...
Mireille of City Peach
Tiffany of Tiffany Style Blog

Thanks to Lisi Lerch for sending me these pretty earrings!

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A Very Beachy Christmas

December 8, 2017

Have you even spent Christmas in a warm location?  It's a little tough to get into the holiday spirit when it feels like summer outside, but I'll tell ya, there is something pretty magical about palm trees covered in Christmas lights.  This is our first Christmas in Hawaii and it's very different than the Christmas we had in Kansas last year (here is last year's Christmas post...gosh I miss the charm of that old house but I do not miss the weather or being land locked!).  Last year we had 2 fireplaces to hang stockings on and this year we have none.  I've made due though and turned my giant bookshelf into a makeshift fireplace.  This year Crab & Cleek sent me these adorable nautical stockings that fit in perfectly with our not-so-traditional Christmas décor.  The stockings are made of canvas and designed to mimic the look of a their adorable tote bags (pretty sure I need this one with striped shirts and this one with palm fronds).  I chose two crab stockings and two lobster stockings and I love how they look next to our blue sofa and dark pink wingback chair.  

If you're into the nautical Christmas look like I am be sure to check out Instagram later today because I'll be giving away a pair of Crab & Cleek stockings to one lucky winner!


preserved boxwood wreath | string lights (similar) stockings (c/o Crab & Cleek) | chair (vintage, similar) | pillow (old, similar) | my dress

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How to Prepare for a Long Distance Move

December 7, 2017

*I've published this post twice before but the link hadn't gone live yet...soooo third time's a charm and the link officially works now!*

Today I'm over on Progressive Insurance's Life Lanes blog sharing all my tips on surviving a long distance move.  I've had more than my fair share of moves across the ocean and moves to non-adjacent states, so if you have a move in your future be sure to check out the article on Life Lanes!  The moves never get easier but they are definitely less painful if you plan ahead.

I was paid for the article I wrote for Progressive Insurance but all thoughts and photos are my own.

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Getting Your Baby to Sleep

December 5, 2017

I am by no means a pediatrician or sleep expert but I am the mother of two children who both slept through the night by 2 months old.  It's probably luck (because let's be honest, babies have minds of their own) but I've been very diligent about setting the right conditions for sleep and it has worked well for our family.  I'll be honest, Caroline is extremely difficult during the day and cries whenever I put her down and she is not great a great napper, but she sleeps 12-13 hours straight at night and has done so since 8 weeks old.  I've had quite a few requests for my sleep tips so here are the things that have worked for us:

Follow their Cues.  

If you think that newborns have no timelines and should go to bed late then you may be missing out on the cues they're sending you.  Sometimes Caroline can wake up from a nap around 5PM and get so fussy an hour later that the only thing that will make her happy is going to bed.  When she's crying with her eyes closed in a sleepy way, even if it's only 6PM, I'll start our bedtime routine a little earlier.  Sometimes they just want to go to bed!  But if you don't pick up on those cues then you can accidentally miss out on that window.

Make Sure they are Full.  

This obviously goes without saying, but a full belly is important.  I end up cluster feeding before bedtime almost every day and I think that helps top Caroline off before bed.

Observe Their Body Language.
When Jack was a newborn I would try to feed him in the old hand-me-down rocking chair in his room before bed.  He would kick against the arms of the chair though, which I didn't think was a good thing for him to be doing before bed and it was kind of annoying to me.  I ended up feeding him while sitting on a low stool, and since I couldn't rock him after he finished eating I would stand up and sway.  I tried to hold him upright with his head on my shoulder but he would somehow move his body in a way that made it seem like he didn't want to be held that way.  Eventually I kind of let him end up in the position he wanted to be in, which turned out to be horizontal to the ground with his belly facing inward with his eyes hidden in the crook of my left arm.  I never in a million years would have thought to hold him that way, but because I picked up on his body language and cues I found the position he wanted to be in.  I swayed with him in my arms like that for the next few months and it almost always worked like a charm.

Choose One Song and Stick with It.  

I read something about this when I was pregnant and it made so much sense to me.  Rather than singing a random lullaby every single night (or a bunch of different songs) Tom and I decided that we would only sing Jack one particular song when we put him to bed.  (Sweet Baby James by James Taylor is the song we sing.)  Sometimes we'd have to sing the whole thing 4 times in a row, but we still stuck with that 1 song.  By the time Jack was a little older, maybe 7 months old, as soon as he'd hear the first words of the song he'd immediately put his head down on my shoulder or start leaning into the crib.  Turns out, we conditioned him so that when he heard that song he wanted to go to bed.  It still works today even with a 2 year old.  We are doing the same thing now with Caroline.

Keep the Bedtime Routine Short and Sweet.  

If you create a long bedtime routine you'll likely end up with a baby that expects that every time.  While the time before bedtime is tender and precious, sometimes you simply won't have the energy for a 45 minute routine.  With Jack we keep ours very short with a couple books, a quick prayer, a few seconds of singing and then we're out.  

Use a Noise Maker. 
I shared my enthusiasm for noise makers/sound machines in this post on baby essentials, but I'll say it again here: get one for your baby's room.  This one is our favorite because it only makes one simple noise (you can adjust the volume) and it's not distracting like some white noises are.  We turn it on right after reading and prayers, just before we start singing.


Even if they fight it, chances are your newborn will sleep better if they are swaddled.  I've watched Caroline fall asleep without a swaddle and she startled herself over and over again which kept waking her up.  We use these wraps and they work great.  The velcro is kind of annoying but we've tried 2 different kinds and these work the best for Caroline and they did for Jack too.  We'll stop swaddling/using sleep sacks once she's rolling over but for now it definitely helps her sleep better.

Embrace Side-lying Breastfeeding. 
In the first month or two with a newborn I always use the side-lying breastfeeding position when they wake up at night.  It's relaxing for me, it's comfy for them, and it helps them fall back asleep quickly once they've finished eating.  Also, in order to make sure I fall back asleep quickly I make a rule that I will not check my phone.  I'll check the time just to see how long she slept, but I will not unlock my phone.  When I check my phone in the middle of the night it stimulates my brain too much and makes it too difficult to fall back to sleep.  

Change Diapers before Feeding.

Newborns poop regardless of when you change them, so in the early days I always made sure to change my newborns before feeding them in the middle of the night.  By doing this I never disrupted them once they were full and ready to go back to sleep.

Dark Room.  

I'm a firm believer in a very dark room with no nightlight.  Blackout curtains are a lifesaver!  My custom Carousel Designs curtains are my favorite.  I have them in both Jack and Caroline's rooms.

Drowsy, not Sleeping.  

Put them to bed when they are drowsy, not fully asleep.  They need to learn to fall asleep without help otherwise they are always going to rely on you for them to fall asleep.  I make sure to start with this very early on.  If Caroline starts falling asleep while eating I'll rub her head from her forehead backwards (kind of like petting a dog against the grain) and that will help keep her awake.  

Embrace the Pause. 
I remember reading in Bringing up Bébé that you should embrace the pause.  If you baby wakes up in the middle of the night give them a chance to fall back asleep before rushing in to swoop them up.  Babies need to learn to work through their REM cycles and put themselves back to sleep.  They will never learn this if you always go to them as soon as they make a peep.  Of course, every baby is different, but I always try to wait a little bit just to make sure they really need me. 

As I mentioned above, all babies are different so these tips may not work for everyone.  Heck, they don't even work for Caroline a lot of time during the day.  They work at night though and a full night's for everyone makes all the difference in our house!  Hopefully one or two tips will work for you too :)

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Holiday Meal Traditions with MacKenzie-Childs

December 4, 2017

One of my family's newer traditions is to spend Christmas at the family beach house in Fripp Island, South Carolina.  My parents, brother and his wife, and my little family have all packed into the house and it's been so much fun creating new memories in one of our favorite places on earth.  It's not really warm enough to swim but we still have such a wonderful time watching the waves crash on the beach, riding bikes and sitting around the chiminea at night.  Our house is simple and we don't have tv or internet, so we love to cook up yummy dishes and spend our time chatting and laughing together  on the screened porch as a family.  Because Fripp Island is in the Lowcountry of South Carolina we always end up eating a delicious meal of Lowcountry boil (also known as Frogmore Stew) and peach cobbler.  (We even served this at our rehearsal dinner we love it so much.  It's such a wonderful meal to feed a crowd!)  Since we're spending Christmas in Hawaii this year we've decided to bring our Lowcountry boil tradition to the Pacific.  We always use the recipe that is provided at Gay Fish Company, a little seafood market on Saint Helena Island that is credited with creating the dish (and also the location where the shrimping portion of Forrest Gump is filmed) and it's always delicious.  Here is a link to their recipe.  Part of the fun of this dish is peeling the shrimp as you eat them, but today I'm using shrimp that have already been peeled because that's all they had at Target and I didn't have time to go anywhere else.  It's always best if you use fresh though!

I'm using my MacKenzie-Childs Courtly Check enamel 7 quart stock pot for the dish and I love how fun the black and white checkered print is.  The 7 quart size is perfect for the meal if you aren't feeding a huge crowd.  Funny story about MacKenzie-Childs, when I was a little girl my family went to NYC and West Point for my dad's 20 year reunion.  When we were in the city my mom and I went into the MacKenzie-Childs store and I have vivid memories of wandering the shop and soaking in all the whimsical patterns!  Funny what sticks in your head over 20 years later.

For the peach cobbler it's best to use fresh peaches but we're out here in Hawaii and it's winter so I'm using frozen peaches instead.  Not quite as fresh but still delicious, especially with some vanilla ice cream.  I cooked it in my MacKenzie-Childs Courtly Check enamel baking pan which is the perfect size for cobblers, coffeecakes and small casseroles.  Here is a great peach cobbler recipe (I always trust Southern Living for southern recipes.  They're the best!).

These MacKenzie-Childs cookware pieces are such a fun and whimsical addition to any cook's kitchen, and their other home items are wonderful too.  Be sure to check out my Mommy Monday girls to see how they incorporate MacKenzie-Childs pieces into their holiday season:

Nina of The HSS Feed
Ali of Inspired By...
Tiffany of Tiffany Style Blog
Mireille of City Peach

Oh and we will be doing a big giveaway on Instagram so make sure you check there too!

Thanks to MacKenzie-Childs for sending me these pieces.  

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Men's Holiday Gift Guide with Fulton & Roark

November 29, 2017

Fulton & Roark solid cologne | striped tie (Tom wore this at our wedding!) | monogrammed socks | leather iPhone wallet case | Movado watch | tartan tie (great as a pre-holiday gift to wear in photos) | Fulton & Roark 2-1 shampoo and body wash | Ray-Ban New Wayfarer sunglasses | monogrammed cuff links (a great and cheaper alternative to Tom's pair from Tiffany & Co.) | Hemingway quote flask

Anyone else's husband difficult to shop for?  Tom isn't really into tech stuff, he wears an Army uniform most days (and we live in Hawaii) so there isn't much need for suit accessories, and he's always content with what he already has.  Over the years I've given some great gifts as well as a few that have fallen short, so today I'm sharing a few that have been real winners.  I've also included a few items from Fulton & Roark, a line of high quality men's grooming products and solid colognes that smell amazing.  The company was started by a childhood friend of mine and I first blogged about Fulton & Roark back in 2014 (see the post here...although don't judge the formatting because I was still getting the hang of blogging haha).  I bought Tom one of their solid colognes (Tybee) and he loved how handy it was and thought the scent was fantastic.  Since then, Fulton & Roark has been featured in GQ, Men's Health, Southern Living, and many other publications and it's neat to see my friend's company making a name for itself.  Fulton & Roark just sent Tom a few of their newer products and he is a huge fan!  The company's new cologne is Limited Reserve: Sterling and it smells sooooo good.  Tom even called it his new "signature scent" and he wears it everyday.  If you're looking for a great stocking stuffer for your husband be sure to give Fulton & Roark a look (and use code MOMMYMONDAY15 to get 15% off of your purchase!).  Their colognes, 2-1 shampoo and body wash and all of their grooming products are a nice way for the man in your life to pamper himself.

Don't mind the mess in the background...Tom was heading to the airport and I didn't have a chance to clean before he left :)

Be sure to check out my Mommy Monday girls to see their men's holiday gift guides as well as their husband's thoughts on Fulton & Roark!  

Nina of The HSS Feed
Ali of Inspired By...
Tiffany of Tiffany Style Blog
Mireille of City Peach

Oh and check Instagram because we will be doing a giveaway too :)

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Holiday Beauty Gift Guide and a Giveaway

November 28, 2017

Beauty products are so much fun to give and receive during the holiday season.  They make great stocking stuffers and are a nice way to show your girlfriends, sisters or mom that you care about them.  I've rounded up my most used and favorite beauty items here, as well as a few additional things I'd love to receive myself (I'm looking at you, striped makeup bag).  I own Glossier cloud paint in 3 colors (they work on all skin tones!), the Sugar lipgloss is a perfect everyday color (I wear it all the time), the oval barrette is one of my favorites, the Bareminerals foundation and brush provide great coverage without feeling like I'm wearing a lot of makeup, I always have one of these bars of soap in my shower and display the rest in a glass apothecary jar, and Colleen Rothschild is a new favorite for skin care products. 

And just in case you'd like to try out some of the amazing skin care products from Colleen Rothschild (see my post from last week here), my #MommyMonday girls and I teamed up with the company to giveaway a $200 gift card!  Be sure to enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway