ho ho ho

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10 December 2018

1. I've never thought Abe and Phoebe look very much alike until this photo and their unparalleled enthusiasm for all things Claus and Christmas suddenly has them looking downright identical. I do have to say that in an effort to beat the crowds and go see Santa on a notfreezing night WITH our cousins (aka this photo is from November ... sue me) the kids weren't at all concerned with what to ask for which has me taking the liberty of choosing for them and is ... QUITE NICE.

2. However! Christmas is a little more than two weeks away and while I feel readyish I think I'll get my laser focus started in April next year if I want a truly wrap/shop/stress free Advent.

3. I feel like it's feast or famine on the reading front in graceland and right now it's a bit of a feast which is just the way I like it. I finished A Christmas Memory and The Thanksgiving Visitor for book club which were unexpected delights that ushered me right on into the Christmas spirit. I convinced Simon to read and discuss An American Marriage with me (although right now he's pretty into A Gentleman in Moscow ... but will probably still finish An American Marriage before I do ha ha ha) and lots of my friends warned me that it was tough to get into -- I'm thoroughly enjoying it so far! A longtime reader (hi Kris!) suggested Ghosted and that's next on my list along with our next book club book: The Reed of God. Oh! There's also a ton of amazing suggestions right on over here.

4. It's been a long time since I've gotten a "fix" but future postpartum Grace decided she could use some help in the postpartum department and just got my box in the mail yesterday. I'll never get over how underwhelmed I am when I open the boxes only to find that oh! I actually love this fit and fabric and how it falls etc etc etc so if you order and have a similar initial reaction - don't despair until you actually try things on! It's tough to picture a postpartum wardrobe while still rocking a large bump but they did a phenomenal job of finding pieces that were comfy but still look pulled together enough to leave the house (but mostly comfy! As I requested).

5. I think I mentioned several months (years?) ago that I read and liked Dumplin' and so imagine my excitement level when I saw that Netflix made a movie version and that it's already out?! Simon and I watched it last night and it was well done! Very cute if you're needing a breather from the Hallmark movie classics this time of year!

6. But back to postpartum clothing (and a motion to have stores like Old Navy etc to have specific postpartum clothing sections? at least online? yay?) and these joggers that I keep seeing pop up on my favorite IGers. They've made a strong case and they look like real winners for both home and the brief outings away with a baby in tow. I missed them on sale but I have faith that they'll pop back down again. This sweater has also been on my radar but my cardigan collection needs no new additions. Or does it?

7. J.Crew is running a 5 days of Christmas sale special and today is 50% off the entire site with code MONDAY (this sweater blazer has been calling my name for MONTHS but naturally, it's excluded from the promo) and I'm curious to see how they're going to top 50% off in the coming days ... no my life doesn't need any excitement, thank you very much!

Alright, have a wonderful week!!

Gobble Gobble

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23 November 2018

How's that for a post-Thanksgiving blog post title?

Shake it shake it.

There, now it's reached its full potential and it'll all be downhill from here.

1. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We hosted my family here but had quite a bit of help from my mom on the food front so I don't really feel like we can take much credit for hosting duties! It's such a strange but great feeling living soclose to family for the holidays and I hope that those of you that don't were able to celebrate with friends or travel to feast, at the very least! Phoebe called everyone's place cards, "credit cards" and marched Uncle Daniel right on up to her room where her tattered Target toy catalogue resides, to show him her Christmas hopes and dreams of the tangible variety so it's nice to know my kids are really embracing the reason for the season - finally. It's also nice to know that I've really mastered not throwing down a good old fashioned run-on sentence. My apologies.

2. We didn't have snow this week but we did last week and most of the kids were thrilled. Bosco had a hard time with the concept that if you remove your gloves and then put your hands in the snow - they'll get cold. I think he's learning though ... I hope. They might've been the only kids that tromped off the school in bonafide snow boots for a few inches of powder but better safe than sorry, I suppose.

3. I'm trying really hard just to chill on the house project front for a little bit (although -- surely painting some book shelves wouldn't be that much time + effort, right?) and I should have bathroom photos back any day now to share with you so gird those expectations. I've also never ever been an early Christmas decor kind of gal (although the new trend seems to be tree rightafterhalloween) but I'm wondering if a (faux) garland here and a string of lights there wouldn't hurt? Just until the advent of ... Advent 2K18?

4. Bookwise, I'm reading A Christmas Memory for book club and still working my way through Elin's latest. I'm not winning any speed reading awards but I'd rather be falling right to sleep than staying up until the wee hours at this point in pregnancy. Speaking of the baby, I just realized this is the first cold weather newborn we've had in six years (since Theo!) and I'm wondering if you have any favorite cold weather baby gear? We will not be heading out on any snow shoeing expeditions so "gear" might be dramatic but you know, everyday helpers for a mom hailing from the dark ages here. Joke. Sort of.

5. Also, speaking of the baby (and therefor mememememememeME) my favorite non-maternity but work really well for maternity pants are 33% off right now. They are worth every penny of the full price, though. I did go up one size for this third trimester but the super soft interior elastic waistband -- it's a miracle worker. Between those and this tank ... maternity dressing hasn't been the horror show that it can be for me. Don't let the pic on the model fool you -- they are GOOD. Pregnant, not pregnant, postpartum, whatever. Best denim on the market.

6. Black Friday sales are feeling a little on the overwhelming side this year as suddenly they seemed to have started at the beginning of the week? I'm staying focused on my quest for requested golf shoes for Simon, a (potential!!) Roomba for um, the family, and a Really Rad Robot for Sebastian who wants one. Really Bad. And I'm suddenly realizing might be really hard to find. Oops. I've yet to hop on the Instant Pot bandwagon but I know this is an amazing steal and there are a few car seats that are 50% off right now. Am I an exciting shopper or am I an exciting shopper? Don't answer that.

7. You can't beat the J.Crew 50% off sale especially since they're including boots which they rarely to never do. And some of the Macy's kitchen sales are kind of insane ($17.99 from $79.99?!) ($29.99 from $119.99?!) but I'll stop there before I become part of the overwhelming problem.

Happy looooong weekend!!!


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09 November 2018

Shortly before it started snowing.


1. The kids were so excited for an actual winter until they realized that it involved freezing cold weather for an extended period of time and then their inner mother came out to play and realize that it's not alllllll it's cracked up to be. They'll learn to love it. Or hate it like I do. Kidding! Semi. Mostly. Somewhat.

2. I touched on this last week and this is definitely less riveting than weather prattle but how is it that we're staring down the last full week of school before the week of Thanksgiving is upon us? I don't know. We're all so excited because my siblings are making the trek to Wichita we get to meet the one and only baby Seaton cousin, Damien. Abe has a difficult time showing restraint and appropriate affection (oh, I can't lightly-pat-quickly-crescendoing-into-a-hard-hit this adorable cherub?!) around babies so it'll be a nice little practice run for January.

3. On the house project front - I am making progress! Giving myself the old, 'sprint not a race' pep talk but I do think things are coming along at an average clip. I'm finally getting a photographer over here this coming week so I can show and not just tell you about it. And by progress we all know I just mean paint but .... it makes a difference! Or so I tell myself and Simon who claims he'll come home to painted kids and a painted car one of these days. Har. Har. Har.

4. I started reading Winter In Paradise and I really like it but I could be reading the most riveting tail in all of the land and it would still put me to sleep two paragraphs in (which I appreciate since any measures I can take to prevent insomnia are most welcome!). I cannot wait for Crazy Rich Asians to be available on Amazon to watch/rent since that was one of my favorite books last year.

5. The holiday sales are heating up and for once I'm not ignoring them because I'd like to have things all wrapped and ready to go early on so we can enjoy Advent and Christmas break this year (not that we haven't in past year - you KNOW what I mean). I've been needing to fill a few outerwear holes since we moved and was THRILLED to see that all coats and jackets (and sweaters and denim!) are 50% off right now. I snagged this one for Julia, this one for Simon, and if I'm being honest ... this one for myself. After nixing several pairs of denim - the girls finally settled on not just tolerating but even loving these (soft but structured - not leggings territory). Yee Haw.

6. Our dining room chairs (a monthS long search) are 40% off (!!!) at the moment and I can't say enough about them - aesthetic + quality + wipe-down-ability (most important?) are all A+. They're even taller than this fancy pair I kept coming back to (but could/would never pull the trigger on for obvious price reasons) and this is one case where I think I like the "save" option so much better!! All of their furniture is on sale - hold me back.

7. J.Crew Factory is having a flash sale and I'm glad I waited on grabbing black flats for the girls because while these are nice and simple - the back bow makes them just the right amount of fancy, Phoebe-approved for SURE.

Alright, that's allllllll folks!

Happy Weekend. Stay warm. 

check it up check it in

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02 November 2018

checking in!

our 3948239804th trip to Lowes since July.

1. Even Julia remarked, "October flew by!" yesterday which ... I have to admit is an actual truth and not just a feeling. Flew!! Before we know it we'll wonder where Advent and Christmas went but I'm going to fight the rush with all my might because we might as well enjoy the season, right? Right, Grace. We're not to Thanksgiving so let's hold those horses. But, it does feel like all of a sudden everything is happening at lightning speed.

2. I'm counting our blessings that we had a relatively warm Halloween as I remember lots of cold ones growing up (in New Mexico, not Kansas -- but still!) and that the kids seemed to have a LOT more fun handing out candy than they did trick-or-treating. We made the neighborhood rounds and they made out just fine but Phoebe loved getting in everyone's face and telling them how much she loved their costume before thrusting candy in their bag. She also told me that if we share hair brushes I might give her diabetes so -- her statements can't be trusted. (I don't have diabetes - or lice ... I don't think).

3. House projects are coming along! The pink bathroom is pretty much finished. Or, as finished as it'll be. I'll write a post all about the floor stenciling but a month in - the floors have held up beautifully against the frequent bath splashing and unfortunate (but not accidental?) toilet misses. I'm JUST about finished painting the master bathroom tile (you can see it in the tile painting highlight on my IG) but ... it's taken triple the time I thought it would and while it's a HUGE improvement ... it's still painted tile (but I would do it again! it looks SO MUCH BETTER). Done shouting :).

4. We (or um, I) rounded the 30 week mark this past week, had an ultrasound - and the baby is measuring niiiiiice and big. This makes me think more boy only because Abe was our biggest by far but Simon says he puts no stock in that (what does he know?). I think it's more power of suggestion because I really was feeling totally fine until this week but suddenly I feel like I'm lumbering around and wondering how much bigger this baby can get (MUCH MUCH bigger - I know). But, aside from terrible heartburn (that I'm taking the ACV route to combat) ... I really am feeling mostly fine!

5. I don't have any fun books to report on ... I spend most evenings looking for very specific lighting fixtures (this one? orrrr ooooh look at this cool shop! for that room? etc etc) for various parts of the house but I should be reading My Name is Asher Liev for book club but I ... uh ... have not. Simon and I did start watching A Million Little Things and Simon says he's giving it two more episodes before he declares it to be too slow but I like it! I also really want to see a Star is Born and might even go to a movie theater for the first time in five years to do so. Living LARGE.

6. Alright definitely an odd one to share and I wouldn't if I didn't love them SO much but these undies from AE might be my favorite purchase of 2k18. Super stretchy and soft and a pregnant and postpartum lady's bff+e.

7. If you're in the Christmas pj market - these are 30% off today! We have a few pairs from when Julia was a baby and they are still kicking! Unfaded, not stretched out, etc. They (fortunately - for comfort's sake) are not made of solid gold but sometimes it seeeems like the might be, figuratively. Also, 40% off Fall Favorites right on over here. Woo to the Hoo.

BONUS - I've been waiting for MONTHS for this rug to come back in stock. It's so pretty and depending on how you view neutrals it can totally be a neutral in a darker or bold colored room - so, so pretty! The (short lol) runner is especially affordable. Okay - end bonus.

Alright, TGIF!!

girls' room paint color + sources

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06 October 2018

Real quick (ish :))!! I thought I'd go through some of the nit and grit of the girls' room for the two parties that are/were interested. I'll do an entirely separate post on painting the bunk beds since that's what it warrants and deserves but for now -- walls and all the accoutrements.

Wall Paint Color - Sherwin Williams Intimate White (it is definitely SUPER light pink, not white). I wanted/needed something to go with the cream trim (which may or may not be addressed at some point in the distant future) and after a lot of extensive and arduous googling (L!O!L!) I settled on this shade. I think it's a tiny bit cooler than I was hoping for but I'm pretty happy with it overall. The pink is just about as subtle as you can get - as far as pinks go!

Bed and Dresser Paint Color - Sherwin Williams Jasper I made the mistake of thinking I could just wing finding the right shade at the store with kids in tow and ended up going with Jasper at 90% saturation to which the paint guy laughed and said it would made no difference in the darkness and ha! ha! he was right. I wanted it dark and am still pleased with the color but cutting out that 10% made me feel like it wasn't going to be basically black paint? I think some people might still mistake it for black which is totally fine. I'm tempted to use the leftover paint to give our dining room buffet a face lift ... time will tell.

Tone down the word count, Patton.

Bed - Ikea. More on the painting process later!

Bedding - I took advantage of a big sale and sprang for these and love them. They are super cozy and easy for the kids to "make" their beds. Bunk beds are the WORST to make and these aren't life changing but pretty darn close.

Rug - Sold all over but currently in stock over here!

Pink Chair - World Market

Wall Planters - Amazon

Large Planter - Amazon (but similar versions can be found many places like Target, World Market, etc)

Girl Bandit Print - Society6

Stuffed Wall Animals (technical name) - Target

Mermaid Print - wrapping paper

Wall Calendar - Stendig

I'm thinking I'm getting too nitty gritty and no one wants to know about the fleck of dust to the left to the left of the fireplace so I'll stop here. But! If there's anything you're curious about let me know and I'll let YOU know in return :)

Bye :)

the girls' sparkling room reveal

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24 September 2018

Well, the rest of the house is most definitely a work in progress but we're SO excited to have one room mostly checked off the, "finished" list ...

... the girls' bedroom! I've been holding onto these cool BeatSync LED lights since before our move knowing they would be perfect for the kids' rooms and all of the upcoming birthday celebrations. We've been taking the, "a little bit of work on each room at a time" approach but honed in on the girls' room this last week and now I'm dying to fully finish each room since it's so nice to walk into a room that is fully painted with art on the walls and all!

If Julia had her way we would've painted the room neon pink but she's pleased with the light pink paint along with the addition of the BeatSync lights that helped ease any lingering neon-less disappointment. The room had formerly been a pretty dark brown so lightening it up with a less stark paint color + the addition of the twinkles both made an enormous difference.

I love how subtle the lights are and that when turned off - they are all but invisible to the naked eye ...

(lights turned off)

Aside from painting the room - I painted their bunkbeds and dresser super dark green (almost bordering on black - but I like the contrast) and added touches of gold with the switch plates, mirror, and drawer pulls.

The mirror used to be Simon's grandparents and having met his sweet grandpa I think he'd get a kick out of the additional sparkles surrounding it at the moment.

I used art we had hanging in our Tampa house aside from one girl bandit addition (pictured above) and used a basket to cover the tiny protruding pipe in the fireplace.

They get the coveted giant calendar (for now!) ...

decorated with BeatSync lights.

The boys have called dibs on the multicolored strings of BeatSync LED lights that are ready and waiting for their room to be painted and put together ...

... I told them maybe we could save them for Christmas decorations and they looked at me like I had 5 heads so I think I might let them win this battle.

The cool thing about the Beatsync LED lights is that they are battery powered and can be easily put anywhere. The wire bends easily and can be hung on almost any wall and the most fun part? They have a built in microphone and can blink along with the beat of any music you play which the girls absolutely love. Their exclusive sound technology puts on a different light show each and every time. At night I let them keep a string or two on (the no blink setting) since it's so much less bright than their lamp or a nightlight. They come in both 50 ($5.98) and 100 ($7.97) light strings, can be purchased at Walmart and would be so fun and easy to use for any celebration.

Overall, I wanted the girls to have the girly room they wanted and I was hoping for something light + bright and I think we achieved all of our goals! They had a little playdate yesterday and they stayed playing in there the entire time (the novelty! it will wear off!) and I love how much they love it.

Thank you to BeatSync for motivating us to get our productivity in gear and for sponsoring this post!!

updates, updates, updates

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21 September 2018

{photo unrelated, as always}

1. To the tune of, "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia" ... because these updates are not noteworthy and yet! Here I am. The little engine that will throw it at allll your way whether you like it or not. I scoffed a few years ago when someone suggested (a person? an article? I forget) that Instagram would replace blogs but I have to admit that it kind of has and I kind of hate it. But, that's okay. I'll forever be trying to post more often here while simultaneously posting over there too. Eating my scoffs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

2. SPEAKING OF ... If you've been following along on stories (bless you, if so) you'll know that I decided to paint and stencil the kids bathroom floor. It took about three weeks longer than I anticipated (lol - why I should never switch over from realist to optimist land, ever!) because I had to paint the door and trim and heater cover (technical term) and then scrub off the adhesive stubbornly coating the perimeter of the floor (I suspect someone glued a different floor over the original floor and while I don't blame them I most certainly cursed them for leaving such awful glue-y remnants). I need to find a vanity fixture (thinking this?) and then I'm going to subject Mollie to some picture taking so I can properly share the final results. They're underwhelming at best but I like the floor better than before so still! A victory - albeit minor.

3. Because I spent MANY a late night stenciling and painting (and painting over my many mistakes) - my reading has been on the pathetic side but I did start listening to Matchmaking for Beginners and so far ... so decent. I'm also reading An American Childhood for my Well-Read Mom book club but it's been slow going and I need to kick that into serious gear.

4. I can't remember if I addressed the Colton Bachelor announcement (probably) and while I was initially almost appalled I've decided that all my hope now lies with the ladies. Hopefully he's got some good ones and hopefully he's (all together now) in it for the right reasons. Bachelor in Paradise lullabied me right to sleep every time I put it on but I'm a big Astrid + Kevin and Joe + Kendall fan. May the Bachelor odds be ever in their successful relationship favor.

5. Phoebe is a few weeks into preschool and is loving it all around. She's had a few shy drop offs but overall she seems to be thriving from what I glean from the bits she reports and the tiny bit of spying I can do while she's on the playground (what? you'd do it too). The other kids seemed to have adapted to their new classrooms just fine although the boys are not a fan of the monthly jeans days because they don't like wearing jeans. I keep hearing that these are extra soft but I'm not going to force jeans on them if they are so staunchly opposed. Uniform it up, boys.

6. I'm sure this isn't a new thing but only that I just noticed that Old Navy now has a whole tab dedicated to Tall sizes (I think it's just now more prominently displayed on the app). I'm not excited because I'm particularly tall (I'm not) but because I love buying longer non-maternity shirts to wear as maternity and then postpartum and nopartum wear. They've also made great strides in the perfect t-shirt department. Bravo, Old Navy.

7. a. I've never been a HUGE Crocs person but I have to tell you that I bought these for Sebastian over the summer and was so pleasantly surprised. He has a wider foot and tears through shoes (pricey and not) but these held up really well and he may or may not have gotten away with wearing them to church on a few occasions because they look relatively dressy-ish. Tis not the season for those types of shoes but ... stick that in your back e-pocket for next summer. I'll remind you too ;).

b. After lamenting that A Pea in the Pod never goes on sale in my last post, Hannah kindly pointed out that Macy's often carries their inventory and it actually does go ON SALE. I found exactly what I'd been eying at a fraction of the price and had to share the good word with anyone else in the market.

Alright, have a wonderful weekend!!

sayonara summer

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31 August 2018

1. We asked but didn't expect the sellers to leave this swing set so when they DID ... we were so excited. I envisioned hours of entertainment for the kids and memories made and etc etc etc. And it's not like the kids don't love and spend time on the swing set it's just that they've spent triple (or more?) the time playing in this little playhouse that was also left behind. Good lesson for my future self if she ever finds herself in the market to buy a fancy play structure ... (whispers: don't do it! Kidding! Mostly!).

2. We're finishing up the second full week of school and so far? So good. I'd say Simon and I are the ones having a difficult time adjusting to getting out the door on time and lunches made the night before and not the morning of. The kids are loving being in class with their (second) cousins and having the same teachers that Simon and his siblings had just a few (ha) years ago. Phoebe starts preschool next week and I don't know that there's ever been a kid more excited to start school than that girl. Full report coming next week.

3. Did you hear the rumblings that the next Bachelor will be announced on GMA this coming Tuesday and if the rumors are true ... it's going to be Colton. No thanks. Will I still watch? Begrudgingly. He's grown on me a bit in paradise but not enough to fill the Bachelor shoes. We'll see! Hopefully the rumors are wrong. Fingers extra crossed.

4. So I picked up Anita Shreve's A Change in Altitude from our little free library down the street and I was cautiously pessimistic but a few pages in and I'm really liking it -- proving myself wrong already.

5. Now that the house is pretty much completely painted I'm slowly starting to get things on the walls and I was SO delighted to see that my friend from our St. Louis days opened a shop of gorgeous prints galore. I've had it open in my browser for days trying to narrow down my picks. This weekend! Decision time. Definitely. (But how wonderful would the Magi print be for a Christmas gift? Too perfect). She has no idea I'm writing this - just sharing the good word/print here :)

6. Alright, maybe you caught it on IG but I reported back on how much I LOVE the jeans I was curious about a few weeks ago. Totally doable for maternity and will be so wonderful postpartum. I will definitely go up a size for the third trimester but they fit pretty true to size for now and are super comfortable. And now you know!

7. Any big holiday weekend sales you've spotted + worth sharing? I'm hoping this specific top magically goes on super sale (this one too! but it's not looking likely) and I'm hoping to find a rug for the dining room (something pretty neutral like this - which feels hypocritical since we spent weeks painting the brown and beige out of the house but want to hang some colorful art on the walls and paint an old buffet a fun color so ... balance!) but other than that ... I'm going to steer clear. I think!

I hope you have a wonderful long weekend! TGIF


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