L performed in her fifth year of The Nutcracker last week! It's always so much fun and (usually!) brings me to tears to see her progress through each different role. She grows so much in a year and it never hits me until I watch her dance every December. 


My love of mason jars and adding new holiday decor every year pair up in this fun + easy DIY!


Did you know there's a Christmas tree shortage happening around the country? It's a pretty bah humbug way to start December. But, I'm on a mission this year to keep the merry happening. This holiday train is going to keep on chugging through stress and drama and overfilled plates. So, in efforts to keep the merry-ness merry, we decided to support another small local roadside stand when our usual "cut your own" farm closed down for the season early. And, we found another great local spot to snap our yearly family photograph.


We drove to the mountains of Georgia a couple weekends ago and went apple picking. The picking is still nothing like our old spot in New York but we did come home with a bag overflowing with apples and the farm was the perfect place to spend a cool Sunday afternoon with the kids. 

There's more apples here than the kids can munch on so, we decided to make some caramel apples! I came up with this kid-friendly version because really, who wants to pair kids + hot, sticky caramel together?


Happy Sunday! It's been a busy week for us. Between settling back in after our hurricane-induced vacation, getting back in the swing of life and school and our routine, and me jumping right back into work with a party to style, I feel like we haven't stopped and breathed much this week.

But, it's finally Fall! September-November are a sweet little break for us before the craze of the holidays and I always feel so much better when September rolls around again. I'm dreaming of quiet Sunday afternoons at home, raking up piles of crunchy leaves, and babes dressed warmly in sweaters and flannel. 

For right now though, I'm looking forward to a few calm days and the chance to sit down with a magazine or two and just be.


We're back in our sweet, little town. And we missed it! Do you guys realize how much you love your town every time you leave it too? We left town for a week to dodge Hurricane Irma and ended up back in my hometown. M spent a few days with us but mostly, it was just me, the kids, and the dog hanging with the grandparents.


Life, you guys! It's been so busy and lively and good. School is back in session, I've booked my biggest job yet, and the kids are happy and growing. And, the weather today was the sweetest hint of Fall. Sitting down with my guy and a bowl of chili after a long work meeting was the cherry on top of this Sunday.


Home sweet home! We got back from Mexico a few nights ago and it feels crazy good to be home again. We're jumping right back into life and routines. Starting with the first day of school!


We're off to Mexico today! I am super nervous but excited. The kids are going to love the adventure. Especially Nico. He's just so into new places and exploring and he seems to fit himself into any place that he's in. And Lia can't wait to spend the week with her cousins. 

So, here's to new experiences, a new country, family time, and one last hurrah before Lia starts second grade! 


We whisked the kids away last weekend for a little trip for just the four of us! We weren't really sure where we wanted to go but we wanted something close enough to make a weekend trip worth it and far away enough that it felt like a vacation to the kids. And, it had to be somewhere we had never been before.

We landed on Amelia Island in Florida and you guys, it did not disappoint. We made the 2 1/2 hour drive after M got home from work on Friday and got into town in time for a late night dinner at the local hotspot, The Salty Pelican, and a stroll around the most charming downtown street.


Life is speeding by, you guys. I blinked and summer happened! We've been soaking up all the last moments of this summer that we're going to get. We're all having mixed feelings about what's to come. 

We leave for Mexico in a few days and that's the very last hurrah of summer for us. School starts right after we get back and we're all going to be diving back into our usual schedules. Part of me is going to miss having my girl home every day with me but the other part of me is really craving a routine and a schedule and the feeling of getting back to business as usual. A change is looming ahead and I can feel it in my soul.


We had a house guest last week! Can I just say how nice it was to have a pretty guest room? It's crazy what a coat of paint can do to a space. But, back to our house guest. M's littlest sister, who isn't little at all, came to visit us for a while. 

The kids were over the moon to have some one-on-one time with their aunt. She basically spoiled them with love and we did our best to play tourist guide for her!


The guest bedroom has been a mess for weeks. It's become a catch-all room with everything going on in the house. Once we had the carpet ripped up and replaced with hardwoods, we put the rest of the house together and just overlooked this room.

Manny's sister decided to fly in to visit this week so we had one weekend to get it in guest-ready shape! And, I'm always pretty excited to tackle weekend projects in the form of room make-overs!

THE FOURTH \\ 2017

I hope you guys enjoyed your holiday!

We're usually away in North Carolina or New York for the fourth so it was fun to just stay home and hang out together. 

It's been HOT. The heat is really kicking in this week, so we decided the pool was the place to be. We spent most of the day at the pool. The kids were just happy to dive in and splash around and snack on watermelon. Then, we headed home to throw together dinner. The kids were wiped from the pool and ended up napping. It was like their very own independence day gift to us, ha!


It's the middle of a long holiday weekend and we're soaking it all up. There's watermelon chilling in the refrigerator, red, white, + blue outfits waiting to be worn, and a fireworks celebration on the calendar! And, I'm pretty sure our night is going to end poolside.

This weekend has been house-update central. We're painting the guest room and freshening it up. Manny's sister is spending some time with us this month and we want the space to feel bright + welcome! And, we finished up a slew of other projects around the house as well.

Can you believe it's July already? Enjoy summer you guys, because it's going by in a blink.


Quick and easy are my two favorite words when it comes to cooking! Cooking just isn't my favorite thing. I do it because well, I have to! So, I'm always on the hunt for recipes that inspire me to want to be in the kitchen while still looking like something I can pull off. 

This pasta salad recipe is something I threw together one night when we needed a simple side. It's great for summer time! Anyways, it's kind of a non-recipe, but I thought I'd share it here with you guys. 


We have a little tradition of letting Manny pick every year where he wants to go for Father's Day and it never fails that he chooses something fun for the kids. So, we set off for the zoo and a day in Columbia last Sunday! 


Happy weekend, babes! I'm sitting in the library attempting to write a list of blog posts to cover a few weeks. I am feeling stressed out. Which is why I'm hiding out at the public library. My anxiety is doing strange things. And, I'm just not feeling myself or very good these days. I think it's a combination of our usual schedule thrown to the wind and the summer blues.

My kids have hit a stage where it's never enough. Sometimes, I think it's because they have too much. Others times, I think it's a typical stage of summer time. Go more, do more, see more. It's summer and we have to fill our days with as much as we can, as often as we can. 

Balance is what we need. And, a clear-minded mom. I'm hoping to find some of that clearness and some summer structure while still totally falling into the pattern of lazy days, long nights, and fun adventures that seems so summer-esque.


Swim lessons started again this week! Last year, Lia was NOT a fan of swim lessons. She cried and refused to jump in the pool and did not want to go back after the first lesson. 

So, we did a second week last year. And that one went a little better. She was excited, at least! 



Summer officially set in two weeks ago when school ended here, but Lia has been at her grandparents house since then and I don't feel like our summer really starts until we get her back this weekend, so I threw together a little summer kick-off kit to celebrate!


With the kids out of town last week, I've had some extra time on my hands! It's been great (and quiet!) and I've spent a lot of it reading. Stillhouse Lake and Dead Certain are my latest reads. They were great! But, they are also mystery/thriller novels and I'm ready to sink into a few more lightweight reads as well. 


I found this book on our kitchen table amongst flowers and handmade cards on Mother's Day! I've had my eye on it for a while but I wanted my own copy. Something I can dig into, make marks on, dog-ear favorite pages.




Shopping is fun, right? But shopping with kids is a whole different thing! I get stuck carrying around a heavy bag full of snacks and diapers and any tricks I can find to get my kids through a shopping trip and generally I end up chasing Nico out of displays and answering nonstop questions from Lia. It normally isn't fun or productive!

So, I've started online shopping for my kids. It's easy enough to determine the size they'll need in most items and I can find great deals. A few of my go-tos are Gap, Old Navy, and H&M. But, my favorite is ThredUp. Thredup is an online consignment store for kids and adults. They only take the best of the crop!


Another year of ballet is in the books for our girl. She's pretty excited about the upcoming year since she'll finally be allowed to audition for parts in the recitals! 


The kids are at their grandparents house in North Carolina this week and I am staring down a long to-do catch up list and a quiet, empty week! The quietness is a little unnerving. I keep checking the time thinking I'll have to grab one kid from nap and the other from school! It's funny but as much as I am enjoying this little break, I also feel like I'm missing something. Two little somethings, to be exact!

With school ending, our floors being remodeled, and a slew of other home/business tasks, this month has completely gotten away from me. I'm not sure how it's about to be June! But, it is and summer is about to be in full swing so I thought it would be fun to recap the end of May and squeeze in all the moments I didn't get around to sharing and writing about.


Everyone has that busy weeknight where putting dinner on the table feels like more of a struggle than usual. Monday nights are those nights for us. Lia has ballet right in the middle of dinner time and then bedtime follows closely after.  Monday nights just aren't always a smooth night for us.


I hope all mama's got to wake up to breakfast and their babes yesterday! Mine brought me breakfast in bed but of course they wanted me to eat downstairs with them. No complaints here! I mean, there was bacon. I'll eat it anywhere!


Happy Friday! This week has been all about our floor remodel. We are so close to the end and we've got a dust covered house to prove it!

It's Mother's Day weekend! Do you have any plans for the weekend ahead? We're off to get passports for the whole family and we plan on wandering through Mayfest, a local festival filled with art and food. And, Lia has been so excited to plan a surprise for me so I'm really looking forward to seeing what she comes up with!


This wild boy started swim lessons this week. The water was ice cold and he wasn't crazy about having a stranger drag him into the middle of the ice cold pool.



It's Friday and Cinco de Mayo! Who's celebrating? We have family photos scheduled tonight and then we'll probably grab some local Mexican food for dinner. Simple and low-key, which is what we need after this week. 

Here's a fun fact for you - Cinco de Mayo is the celebration of the battle of Puebla (not Mexico's independence day, as many have believed) and M's family comes from the state of Puebla. We're making plans to visit this summer and I'm getting excited about indulging in some culture and history with these babes.Today was a little mental health day for our girl. We skipped our usual routine (sometimes we all need a day off from school - especially after rocking her school life with student of the month!) and did lunch and playtime with friends at Chick-Fil-A. It's unusually chilly today so we're taking a break from the pool.


I'm suffering from a classic case of vacation blues! Do you ever end a vacation with the blues?

We were so eager to get home to our babes but I think we'd have been just as happy to fly them over to us in Hawaii and live out our days in paradise!


It's Friday, friends! I hope you've all had a week worth having. Ours was surprisingly quick! We got back to our roots with story time and Thursday evening trips to the Farmer's Market and brought home some new plants.


We went to Hawaii two weeks ago and it was amazing. We've been home for a week now and I've been slowly getting things back to normal and trying not to be too bummed that there's no one here to feed me morning, noon, and night. I really miss having someone cook for me!


Happy Friday, friends! It's officially spring break here and I'm blogging from the road. We are driving the kids to their grandparents house in North Carolina before we fly off on a much-needed kids-free trip to Hawaii!


It's almost April! Can you believe it? April is going to be a busy month for us with a road trip to North Carolina, our anniversary trip to Hawaii, and Easter. We actually won't be with the kids on Easter morning this year. Cue all the tears from me!! But, our plane tickets just worked out to be much cheaper to stay an extra day in Hawaii. So, the kids will spend that day with their grandparents and my siblings and their kids doing all the fun things while we enjoy a quiet breakfast and maybe a hike! Of course, I still have to pack the sweetest Easter baskets for my little bunnies.


These kids belong at the beach. They take to the ocean and the sand like little fish. 

Lia runs right to the water like she belongs there. Laughing as she gets knocked down and then comes out of the water with hundreds of tiny shells embedded in her hair.

Nico is a little more cautious with the water. He holds hands with someone but begs to go our further and further. Belly laughs escape his mouth after he sucks in air as the cold water soaks his shirt. 


We're counting down the days until our Hawaiian vacation and I don't think any of us can wait much longer! I've spent the past few weeks pulling together outfits and essentials we'll need and all that's left to do is pack it all.


Happy Friday, friends! I, for one, am so happy that this week is over. Recovering from strep has not been fun and now that I am finally feeling better, I am ready for the weekend. We're going to an egg hunt tomorrow afternoon and then playing catch-up on the house stuff that's gotten left behind in the mess of the past week.


I caught strep over the weekend, so there's that. I'm living off popsicles and cherry icees from the local Burger King and trying to keep the germs contained. Lia had strep two weeks ago and I'm hoping we can rid the germs soon. The pollen too, please!


Happy St. Patrick's Day! Are you wearing green today? Do you have some fun ideas and tricks planned for your kiddos?


We let Lia pick out a new pair of frames after her recent eye check and after trying on at least 15 pairs she decided on these. She is growing up so fast and I find myself clinging to the moments where she's still a little girl. If I'm being truthful though, those moments are fleeting. So, here's to this spunky girl and those spunky frames!