Smart Style: Capelet

While I had pretty much stuck to a capsule wardrobe this last fall/winter, introducing a few "creative" pieces into the rotation this spring has been quite fun!  This striped cape is one of those fun pieces, as well as my adventure with overalls a few weeks back.  These kinds of trendier looks pair best with neural, understated, white, wood accents, etc.

Capelet: Tiaras // Tee: Target // Black Skinnies: Level 99 // Handbag: Kate Spade // Earrings, Necklace: Lavish Leathers // Clogs: Target

It's about to get REAL HOT here in Texas, and so I'm hanging on for dear life to the chances I get to wear a little jacket or cardigan...or cape!  Summer is coming peeps.

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Date Night Outfit | White Overalls

Overalls // Old Navy, Clogs // Target,  Earrings // Lavish Leathers, bag // Fawn Designs, Necklace // Stella & Dot

Date nights have fallen to the wayside around here...mainly because of a hectic spring schedule we have going on right now, but also because we've just flat-out forgotten to make that a priority in our marriage.  We're definitely trying to ramp back up our date night routine, but it is what it is, and I'll take it if we can go out once a month!  Thankfully, we have such a fun and beautiful city in which to find cool things to do and see around here!

This past weekend, we went over to East Austin for a little french food at the Blue Dahlia, followed up by the COOLEST ice cream place I've ever been!  And that's saying something here in Austin!  It's called Spun and they use liquid nitrogen to instantly freeze your ice cream as it's been spun in what looks like a regular ol' KitchenAid mixer.  I was blown away at how perfectly creamy my "Dark Side" creation was.  We'll definitely be going back!

And as a little style risk, I went for it with my new white overalls from Old Navy for our date night.  In wearing them, however, I learned a few lessons:

1.  Overalls in 2016 are NOT your high-school pair.  This time around, they beg to be dressed up with some clunky clogs or fun heels.  Give yourself some height!

2.  Wear a fitted shirt underneath.  This one might not apply to everyone, but for my body type, it's a must, or I look a bit frumpy.

3.  If you're going for white, BE CAREFUL.  With overalls, there's about 50% more real estate for that white to get something on it.  I got home a realized I had a dark smear on the leg, chocolate ice cream dripped on the bib, and a bit of makeup on one of the straps.  Okay, maybe I'm just messy.

Overall (ha see what I did there), I really enjoyed wearing them.  They were something out of my normal rotation, fresh/trendy, and gave me a bit of a challenge to style them just right.  If you're thinking of trying out this "re-born" trend, I say just go for it!  You never know what might be FABULOUS on you!!!

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Finding a Fiddle-Leaf Fig | The Natural Gardener

Last weekend after our busy Saturday morning of sports, we went off in search of the perfect Fiddle Leaf Fig plant I've been wanting.  If you follow me on Instagram, I posted two names we were deciding between for our new little thing...the consensus was "Bellatrix".  Gives sort of a whole personality to her. Because naming your plants is totally normal...right????

I don't have fond memories of nurseries or plant shopping from my childhood.  My mom dragged me around to those places all the time, and I think I'm a little scared from it.  That, combined with my innate ability to kill plants from the get-go, one can understand how I'm not very well-versed in the "shopping for plants" area.  However, I did have my heart set on a Fiddle Leaf Fig.  After calling around to find most places were sold out of the plant, I finally called The Natural Gardener in Austin and they had several!  But going there was much more of a treat than I expected...the grounds are gorgeous, my kids loved the butterfly garden and labyrinth, and I personally quite enjoyed the swing!  It's a lovely spot to not only get your fill of every kind of plant imaginable, but also a great place to spend a little time exploring, lingering, and enjoying nature!

But back to "Bellatrix"... here's to hoping I can keep her alive!  Any tips on indoor plants, please send them my way!!!!

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Easter FUN | 2016

WHAT a whirlwind last weekend was!!!  Not only did we come back from camping hitting the ground running, but we had two Easter at my in-law's and one at my aunt's lakehouse.  Both were lots of fun and I especially enjoyed the family time.

The past few weeks have been the most busy I've had in quite a while, so all my plans to do Christ-centered activities during Holy Week leading up to Easter unfortunately did not come to fruition.  But...after feeling like a big mom-fail, I thought why can't we do all that stuff the week AFTER Easter...or any time during the year.  Which we totally can, and hopefully will.  After all, I've still got the rolls in the fridge to make Resurrection Rolls.

How did YOUR family celebrate the Easter Holiday?

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Family Camping & Essentials

This past Easter weekend, we went camping right outside of Austin with some friends of ours.  Not being a much of a camping family, we invested in some camping essentials and came up with a few camping hacks to make for a fun experience.

The first night we FROZE our booties off.  I think when we woke, it was in the 30s and I was just about miserable.  Sleeping on a blow up queen-size mattress with your husband and five year old just doesn't quite work when you're trying to keep your little pocket of warmth in tact.  The second night was much better.  Both days were glorious weather, which was such a blessing.  Springtime in Texas can either be summer-ish or still frigid...and this was a happy medium.

We bought a 10-person tent just for this camping trip and it boasted a 60-second set up.  Sure, uh-huh, yeah right.  I kid you not though...I went to the campsite early to set up our tent by myself, and I had that baby up in no time flat.  I could not believe it!!!  Seriously, if you're in the market, this Coleman tent is the one to get.  No rods or slipping through tiny holes....just click, click, and're viola!

Some of the highlights of our camping trip >>>
  • Hiking on a beautiful day!!!  Our two big girls got separated and went on hiking with the other half of our group...resulted in one of their shoes floating down the river.
  • Eating HOT breakfast tacos after our frigid night.
  • Toasting/Roasting marshmallows...and Starbursts!  If you roasted Starbursts, do it at your earliest convenience!
  • Great convos and time hanging out with dear friends.
  • Watching my kids play with friends in nature...back to the basics!

I think we'll definitely be camping as a family more often.  The kids had so much fun and great memories were made.  I'm thankful we have state parks so close to us that make it easy...and also, great friends to share it with!!!


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Being a Boy's Momma

It's no secret being the momma of a boy(s) is just the sweetest thing.  Yes okay, maybe I feel it more acutely since we had three girls before having him...but still.  These boy mom moments just melt my heart....

Last weekend, we got up early Saturday, picked up our favorite breakfast tacos, and headed to a local state park for a little hike and family time.  Being first thing in the morning, most everyone was in good spirits which always makes things easier.  We hiked around, took some "risks", and even discovered a hidden homestead from the 1830's.

But the absolute BEST was when my little guy, every-so-gallantly, said to me, "Momma, take my hand.  I'll help you over that rock."  Or, "Here Momma, follow me so you know where to step."  And my favorite was, "Momma, don't worry.  I'll always be here to help you."  I don't know what gave him the impression I was not up to the task or needing his assistance, but it absolutely melted my heart when he kept looking over his shoulder to make sure I was okay and as his little hand reached out to "help" me.  I mean, I almost couldn't take it.  Never before has he shown this chivalrous side to me, but I can't help but assume it's from watching his Daddy.  I had to hide my giggle as his "help" actually hindered some of my climbing...I mean, how could I let his sweet hand go?!

I tell you what...He will surely melt my heart many times to come in the future, but I will ALWAYS remember this day when my little boy showed his first signs of being a little man.  I felt pride, love, and a special insight of what's to come in my life as his momma.  And then I secretly thought to myself that I sure hope I like his wife...for her sake and mine.

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Saving the "Specials"

Think back on your elementary school days... Do you remember how ofter you had the "specials" such as P.E., music, art, etc?  I seem to remember most were weekly, but I do know we had P.E. nearly everyday.  So one can imagine my shock when I got the schedule for my kids "extras" this year and discovered that my little kindergartner had P.E. scheduled for only once, sometimes twice a week!  Is that not absurd?  Coming from parents who were an elementary principal and a high school coach, I feel like I have a pretty solid idea of what we, as parents, should expect from our schools in terms of programs, enriching field trips, etc.  So why have schools cut back...and more importantly, what can we do to help?

Funding, of course, is a major obstacle for is time, I imagine.  Knowing that my kids are getting less physical activity time at school, especially since they often "skip" recess, I love taking my kids to the park for some good-old unstructured play and exercise.

The other day we went to our local park on a gorgeous day!!!  It was good to see my kids get physically active on their own.  I remember that being one of my favorite memories from my youth...being active.  Whether it was on a competitive jump rope team in elementary school or going on hikes.  I feel it's so very important for our kiddos!

So one of the ways we can help support our schools in the "extras" whether it be P.E., sports, arts and music classes, is through a company called SCHOOLA.  They are an online thrift store and a fundraising platform for schools that raises money to support local schools...specially focused on saving programs like the ones I mentioned.  These programs are so often undervalued, yet make a huge impact on children's development.  Schoola donates 40% of proceeds directly to the school of YOUR choosing!

Here's how to help:
  1. Clean out yours (and your kids') closets - I feel like I do this CONTINUALLY.  It never ends.
  2. Request a Schoola bag - HERE
  3. Fill the bag with gently-used, clean clothing
  4. Drop off bag at post office - Shipping is covered FREE
  5. Designate which school you'd like proceeds to benefit
  6. Pat yourself on the back for doing good in your community!

I'm choosing my girls' elementary school to donate our clothing proceeds to.  I know every and any little bit helps!  Plus, it's such a great incentive to clean out and rotate our closet more often.  I challenge YOU to do the same!  Take part in helping schools save and keep those precious and special activities that enrich our children's lives!

girls outfits c/o Schoola

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