Monday, June 27, 2016

The Sunflower Farm

We took a little trip to a local sunflower farm last week & the girls have not stopped talking about it ever since. Harper called it "the land of yellow corn flowers" and after sneezing a bunch after we left, she got very concerned about having "aller-jesus." It has always been my dream to own a place like this, a Christmas tree farm in Vermont or a bed & breakfast in Savannah. Or a house on Melrose in Iowa City during tailgating season. ;) A place of your own, that you get to share little bits & pieces with everyone else. Kinda like blogging I guess.

I gave Harper & Eloise each a dollar bill so they could go buy a sunflower to bring home. They ended up pulling off all of the petals one by one, and stuffing them inside some hydrangea stems they pulled out of the front yard, and made wedding bouquets to run through the sprinkler with. I love their imaginations. And the fact that I got to drink coffee in peace & quite for almost an hour outside while they were doing this! ;)

If you have a sunflower farm blooming near you, it's a definite must-see before they are out of season! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!! XO

Friday, June 24, 2016

Mini Style // Red White & Blue

Fourth of July is just around the corner & we have been scouting out the cutest red, white & blue gear mini styles for a few weeks now. Holidays like this are when I have the most fun dressing my girls, I remember when I was pregnant with Harper, the very first thing I bought (before I even knew I was having a girl) was a little red, white & blue hair bow. Rounding up a few favorites, for both girls & boys, and clearly obsessing over bubble rompers & chambray right now! :)

We are super excited for our 4th of July plans this year & so hoping we can make it through the fireworks show with everyone's sanity in tact. Harper & Eloise are old enough to enjoy them, and Claire is pretty darn easy going so we hope she may just sleep through them. It's hard to believe that at that time last year, we were spending our very first night at home with our newborn. And cursing every single person who shot off fireworks all night long.

Also as a quick Friday Favorite, I just have to share, for all of you who have asked about our acrylic hobnail glasses that I use all the time, I found them years ago at a local pottery barn outlet, but randomly came across them here on clearance & with free shipping today! Such a steal of a deal, they look so pretty but are so durable when you have toddlers!! :) 

Hope you all have a happy weekend!!! XO

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Exciting News!

Well friends, we have some super exciting news to share today! We are moving! We bought a house, an old beauty of a fixer upper that we absolutely cannot wait to live in! The home has good bones, which was the most important thing to us, but we will need to completely renovate the kitchen, bathrooms & most of the exterior. It is full of projects & potential, which is both exciting & terrifying at the same time. I don't have a ton of pictures right now, but wanted to share a few that I snapped on inspection day, the natural light & old restored hardwoods are some of my favorite things about the house. There is a front & back staircase, which is something I have only seen in older homes around here, but reminds me of my grandparents' house growing up & I love that!

So here's how it went down. Last year, when our house was on the market & we thought we were going to build, we went to see this house when it was in foreclosure. We fell in love with it because of all the charm & character, and the beautiful back yard. We knew that it needed tons of work at the time, and that the financial investment would be quite a bit, but we just loved it so much that we thought we would take a chance. We put in an offer, and waited. And waited. And waited. Until the bank finally let us know that they accepted another offer from an investor who was paying cash. We were heartbroken, and eventually decided to take our house off the market because we just couldn't find anything we loved quite as much. We thought maybe we would just stay put for a few more years, because ultimately we just didn't want to rush into something just for the sake of moving, and we were okay with that because we really do love our current house.

Fast forward to late Spring, our realtor called us up to tell us that this house that we loved so much was back on the market, with all of the repairs needed & a few cosmetic fixes (like restoring those hardwoods!) and we had to go see it. No surprise, we loved it just as much & it just felt right. We had to act quickly because there was already another offer on the house and we didn't want to lose it a second time, so we made our offer late that night!! After a bit of back and forth with the seller, we were able to come to an agreement later that weekend. We quickly put our house on the market (more on this in another post) and started dreaming up plans for the new house. Things almost fell through at inspection when we discovered some major issues, but we are so thankful for a very willing seller who was open to making the necessary repairs. 

We are just a few weeks away from closing, and we cannot wait to call this place ours! A little view of what originally sold us on this property, this beautiful yard that backs up to HORSES. And when you get the chance to feed carrots to horses in your own back yard, well, you just don't walk away. Even if that means there is linoleum on the bathroom walls.

We cannot wait for the adventures to come! XO

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Watermelon Margaritas

We have been loving everything watermelon around here lately, and with a bunch of fresh slices in the fridge the other night, we decided to throw together some watermelon margaritas to top off the weekend. The thing I love most about margaritas is that you can make them with all different fruits & flavors without any additional sugar, just freshly squeezed fruits & a little salt! These are so fresh & summery, I already can't wait to make them again. I got a little hand juicer when we were first married at a thrift store, and can't believe how much use I have gotten out of it over the years!

We have a little Sunday Funday tradition over here, we eat an early dinner & get the kids ready for bed before seven. They're usually so worn out from the weekend, so by the time we get them settled for a movie, they're ready to fall asleep. They go to bed while the sun is still shining, so we make a point to leave all the dishes in the sink & spend the next hour or so together on the patio with a cocktail. It's our chance to connect & catch up, we can reflect on all the funny things the kids did over the weekend, plan out our week or just relax with our favorite patio playlist. It really is the best way to end the weekend, rather than having what we call "the empties"  or anxiety about Monday & all of the fun being over! ;) A Sunday well spent brings a week of content.

Ingredients // 4 oz. lime juice (about 5 small limes), 3 oz. fresh watermelon juice (about a quarter of a watermelon), 3 oz. tequila, 1 oz. grand mariner, sea salt & ice

Instructions // Using a small handheld juicer, squeeze limes & watermelon & add all of your fresh juice to a cocktail shaker. Add tequila & orange liquor, then fill almost to the top with ice. Shake, shake, shake! Rim glasses with lime & salt, fill with ice & pour margarita mixture over. 
Optional: add 1 oz. of simple syrup if the mixture is too tart and/or mint garnish! :)

Monday, June 20, 2016

Happy First Day of Summer!

Happy official first day of Summer, friends! Every year, we make a little list of things we hope to do over the summer, it seems like the weeks fly by so quickly, so it's fun to have a few things mapped out that we want to accomplish. It's fun for the kids, but also as a list-maker at heart, so fun for me!

1. Pack a breakfast picnic & eat it poolside.
2. Create the ultimate strawberry shortcake.
3. Take a trip to the beach & try not to bring too much sand home with us.
4. Find lots of excuses to wear off-the-shoulder dresses (like this one).
5. Go to a baseball game.
6. Have an outdoor movie night.
7. Paint something pink, and not just our nails.
8. Make a homemade pizza on the grill.
9. Work out at least three times a week, eat ice cream at least once a week. #balance
10. Take the girls on a surprise summer adventure, details tbd.

Also rounding up a little summertime inspiration with a few of my current favorites, including the cutest pool float (slightly less outrageous than the swan), a delicious cold brew & new fave sunglasses.

Pink Clay Mask  // Ice Cream Pool Float // Watermelon Slice Napkins // Cold Brew Coffee // Vintage Inspired Sunglasses

What's on your summer bucket list?! I would love to know any fun ideas or plans you might have!! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!! XO

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Easy & Refreshing Guacamole

If you've been reading here for a while, you know we LOVE guacamole, it has been one of Harper's favorite foods since she was just a baby! For the longest time, we only ate guac at restaurants, I guess I never thought about making it at home (so strange, right?) but over the years, we have experimented & have come up with a fool proof, easy & so-very-refreshing recipe. My husband loves his food super spicy & adds hot sauce to everything, so he likes for guac to be cool & refreshing. This works out well because we love giving it to our kids, so we leave out any jalapeños or cayenne pepper that a lot of other recipes use. I also love love love cilantro, but learned this week that cilantro tastes like soap to some people, based purely on genetics! How crazy is that, are you one of them?! I would love to know!

We love chips & guac, but this recipe is also so good over grilled chicken, on toast or even scooped up with a spoon! ;)

6 ripe avocados
1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
1/2 finely chopped red onion
2 tbsp of your favorite salsa
juice of 2 freshly squeezed limes
1 tsp of sea salt

First things first, chop up your onion & set aside in a bowl of warm water. This will help to keep the flavor of raw onion from being to overpowering in the guac, essential to keeping the overall taste super refreshing! Slice your avocados, scoop out (and save one seed for later) and add to a large mixing bowl. Cover in freshly squezed lime juice & mash, leaving slightly chunky depending on how you like it. Add chopped cilantro, salsa & sea salt. Drain your onions from the water & add to the mixture, then combine all ingredients until preferred texture is achieved. Drop in a single avocado seed (which will keep it from turning brown, remove before serving) & place guacamole in fridge for 10-15 minutes to chill before serving.
Best enjoyed with a strong marg. XO

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Summer Days

The days are long, but the summer days are longer. I think that's how the saying goes, right? ;) We are just a few short weeks into our summer break over here, where the sun is up longer, and so are our kids. The weather is already hot & humid enough to feel like there is a wool blanket over your head. Summer schedules aren't really a thing over here, we usually have one or two big outings per week, like to the zoo or the splash pad. And you know, I do feel guilty sometimes when all my mom friends are taking their kids to music class and mommy & me yoga and all sorts of African safaris every single day of the week, but I just can't do it. Keeping three kids happy, cool & slathered in sunscreen every 30 minutes isn't an easy feat. It always ends in meltdowns & extreme exhaustion.
All three kids are usually awake these days before seven. On days that Claire slept all night, I feel like I can really get a head start if I wake up before them, shower & maybe drink a cup of coffee. Occasionally I have been able to sneak out for barre class before Brandon takes off for work, and on those days, I feel like superwoman. Other days, running on very little sleep, we frump around in our pajamas all day & might make it out the door for a Target run if we're lucky. I used to think it had to be one way or another, we are either schedule people or we are pajama all day people, but I've learned that it's a balance that works best for us. My kids love being at home, they want to jump on the trampoline while I spray them with the hose & have peanut butter sandwiches for lunch, and that's okay with me.

When the babies are napping, Harper likes to do "gardening" with me, where she checks on our snake plants, helps me water the lemon trees (we are attempting to grow them, but they are still a little sad looking) & see if we have new mint leaves we can bring inside for our waters. It's been such a fun way to spend time together, and she totally holds me accountable for not killing all of our plants.

A few things I am currently loving about summer:
1. my kids can be found barefoot & shirtless most days, and nobody gives an eff
2. watermelon
3. late afternoon water table play on the porch means cooking dinner in silence, which always makes me want to try new recipes
4. sprinklers
5. the unwritten rule that says it's okay to stay up past our bedtime for wine on the porch, even on weeknights

And on that note, to the porch we go! Hope you all are having a happy week so far! XO