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

back to blogging

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17 August 2018

One of those bizarrely miraculous and almost harmonious + quiet magical moments captured on e-film. . .

Children Reading Quietly c. 2018.

1. I'm just going to keep telling myself that I'm going to have time to blog more once the kids are back in school and cackle once I realize it was a nice little lie I told myself when it doesn't actually happen but .... this week! Back to school! Let's see what happens, Patton.

2. Speaking of back to school ... I hope I'm not the only one that has yet to do a lick of back to school supplies shopping and realized that supplies were supposed to be dropped off at the back to school open house that happened yesterday? Hoping ...

3. It wouldn't be a summer 2k18 blog post if I didn't give you a painting update and I'm thrilled to report that we only have our room left to paint. Well, and our bathroom but for the sake of sanity let's just say, "ONE ROOM". Celebratory dance. I thought Simon was going to keel over when I casually mentioned I still wanted to paint a few dressers yesterday but the end! It is NEAR. Now, to start the endless deliberations about where to hang things and what to do with all of our newfound freetime in the evenings (Bachelor in Paradise - duh).

4. Becca's finale ... I have to say that I started writing this post a few days ago and her finale already feels like last year's news but ... I press on. I have to say that they seem happy! I was really hoping she'd choose Blake but I think he's in the running along with five other guys to be the Bachelor. I'm on the, "anyone but Jason or Colton" train but ... we ALL know I'll watch regardless of who it is.

5. Alright, I finally finished Summer Wives (and I'm in the market for a new book if you've read anything fun and zippy lately!) and it was good! Not great. I think because I've read a few of her books (my favorite!) before it felt a little bit formulaic and I saw the ending coming from several chapters away but I still enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone looking for something fun but not too beach read-y.

6. These jeans caught my eye during the Nordstrom Sale but they sold out SUPER fast but they're restocked and the number of positive reviews is impressive, to say the least. I'm going to give them a whirl and shall report back with my findings. I'm also eying this cardigan but I'm still in summer mode and not waving my autumnal white flag quite yet.

7. Simon accused me of being "new school" and not announcing baby #7 over here on the blog but on Instagram instead to which I have to say .... touché. New school it is!! We appreciate all of the excitement and we can't wait for January :)

Have a wonderful weekend. Hope any back-to-schooling went well in your neck of the woods!!


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28 July 2018

1. I noticed a lot of people e-yearning for fall today this past week on Instagram and wondered if there was something official about the week of July 23rd being the acceptable time to start wishing away summer? As far as I'm concerned the summer is still in the raging stage and our cardigans (of which I am a proud connoisseur! but all in good time!) and steaming + seasonally flavored lattes can hold their hot little horses. If this plants me firmly in crotchety old lady camp complete with permafrown ... then so be it. Summer -- play on, player.

2. I feel like I will be able to type a, "still so much to do!!" paragraph about the house from here till Christmas. Of 2020. But, it'll be the truth. We're still slowly making headway while dealing with contractor delays and/or no shows which is par for the course but a tiny bit disappointing. In the mean time if you have a paint color suggestion for a bathroom that will be bright white tile from about 1/2 way up the wall down to the ground - I'm all ears. We've stayed pretty light and neutral with paint colors so far so I'm thinking it might be fun to go a little bold for the master bathroom? Look at me - living on the wild side ... old lady camp and all.   

3. Here we have one room that is finally painted and + appropriately furnished. 

laugh - laugh - laugh. 

It does tend to be the room we all congregate (probably because Abe can be safely blockaded from the stairs we haven't found a unicorn gate for yet) so it's nice all the chairs in the whole house seem to reside in here. This room hasn't been painted either but all in good time!

4. I'm about to catch up on this weeks Bachelorette but I saw all the buzz about Jason maybe being the bachelor and I'm not an advocate. I'd rather have round two of Ben H. -- maybe that's an unpopular opinion though. 

5. I'll eat my words after saying I thought Summer Wives would be my favorite book of the summer (thus far!) and it's been a slow and depressing start. I'm not making quick headway but I'm determined to get through it this week. I'll give you my final verdict next week. I can hear the collective baiting of multiple breaths as I type. 

6. I did something I thought I'd never do but I'm not sure I can ever go back (when school starts! I almost swear!) and I ordered Costco to be delivered this week. While the delivery fee did give me pause I think I ultimately saved money by avoiding any and all impulse purchase temptation and I could map out the coupons with one click of my thumb. #notsponsored #justexcited

7. Despite still being in full on summer mode I will admit that I've started to think about doing some back-to-school shopping for the kids if only to take advantage of some of the stellar sales. I'm starting easy with shoes (much fewer shoe restrictions at their new school - and they are pumped) but do have a cart full of uniforms over at Old Navy because everything is discounted to the max ($6 pants!) at the moment. Simon has me on the hunt for some work appropriate pants that aren't scrubs and J.Crew Factory has yet to let me down. I got a pair of my favorite running shorts for my birthday this past week (my old ones were covered in paint - my fault) and I've been living in them ever since.

Alright, happy weekend! 

Hello from the other side

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20 July 2018

1. YIKES. I didn't mean to let so much time slip by without a riveting update a la blog but ... here we are. 

Fourth of July photo fashionably late and all. But, we're back! You won't get rid of us that easily. Just remind me to never ever move again. I'd like to report that we're all moved in! Settled! Every little thing put in its pretty little place but that is far from the truth. The boys dresser is still stuffed with glassware wrapped in towels and blankets, our room looks like we moved in 3 hours ago, and poor Phoebe STILL can't find her prized Cinderella doll that she's been looking for for almost three weeks. While I don't think it's possible for me to love a house more than I love our new house it needs (ahem - Simon would disagree with the word, "needs") quite a bit of paint and a few minor updates that have the unpacking process stalled for now.

2. The house is a breath (2 years - same as a breath, right?) away from celebrating her 100th birthday and has all the character to show for it complete with stained glass, wallpaper, and glass doors that Simon is sure the kids are going to destroy any second (he's not wrong - I'm just being uncharacteristically optimistic for once in my life). I just need to cool my, "lets get it all painted now!" jets. I will. I hope.

3. Anyway, there hasn't seemed to be any transitional period for the kids as they've jumped right into life with cousins and second cousins in the neighborhood along with uncles and aunts galore. We'll see how they take the beginning of the school year at a new school but my guess is they'll be just fine. Phoebe attended VBS with the big kids this week and told me, "I didn't miss you at all but I still love you" after her first day. So! Get thee to the full time classroom, P.

4. Believe it or not - we've been so consumed with general move in and figuring things out around the house and painting after the kids go down that I fell pretty behind on Becca's season for a minute there. I know - I didn't even know who I was either. But, I'm almost caught up and am still a big Blake fan. If he doesn't end up with Becca I'm hoping he's the bachelor though it seems like there's Colton bachelor buzz? Thanks but no thanks from me but ... we'll see.

5. On the book front - I'm trying to read Anna Karenina at an impossible pace (wellllll - I'm semi-cheating by listening but it's still time consuming) for a book club here but still managing to imprudently squeeze in some other books that a few of my favorite authors released in the past few months. I should've paced myself but I couldn't help it staying up way too late reading The Perfect Couple (entertaining but not my favorite of hers!), All We Ever Wanted (another page turner but ended kind of abruptly, I felt?), and I'm only about 14% into The Summer Wives but it seems the most promising thus far.

6. Did you score anything great on Prime Day? I was completely overwhelmed and really wished I'd just bitten the Roomba and TV (actually their are both still decent deals ...) bullets but ended up with a bottle of topcoat and an electric razor for Simon. I did take advantage of Target's version of Prime Day and snagged some furniture which I'm not sure is a step or down from our IKEA stuff ... ??? Don't answer that.

7. And I've haven't done any sort of deep dive into the ubiquitous sale that's taken over IG but I do have my eye on these perfect cross between wedges and heels - although I need to be careful now we're back in the land of four seasons and not go crazy with the summery sandals. They will always be my weakness. I was too slow to grab this cute pair of denim and am trying super hard to steer clear of the cardigans because that's really the last thing I need.

I have a million other updates and will be sure to drone on and on about the 89 shades of white I've been studying (Benjamin Moore's Cloud White is the pick du jour) along with a few photos of undramatic transformations here and there.

summer in style

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10 June 2018

1. Simon took the five oldest to a Tampa Tarpons game this past week. They had a blast and I'm not sure even I would've taken them solo so let's hear it for Simon. Bosco carefully packed the five baseballs they got at the game in a shoebox and dutifully placed it right in the middle of one of our mostly empty moving pods this afternoon. Priorities Patton at your service.

Simon also managed to snap this super candid pic. Please note Julia's cardigan she insisted on wearing in 98% humidity. We told her there was no way she'd need a sweater and she said she was just keeping it around her waist because, "that's the style."

You heard it here first.

2. ANYWAY, skip the remainder of this post and go read Fran's birth story because you know I've read a lot of birth stories and this one - it's PLATINUM STATUS. Go!

3. I got so many kind emails regarding my melanoma excision and am happy to report that the margins were clear!! So, no follow up treatment is necessary and now I'll just be bathing in sunscreen and doing + scheduling skin checks like a skin check fiend and counting my blessings. I got the stitches out and it looks a million times better already. I've never been a neckerchief gal but I'm going to have to hop on that train asap. If you're worried about a weird looking freckle or mole - the only thing that tipped Simon off about mine was that it went from a teeny tiny raised mole to suddenly being completely flat with one jagged edge. So, there was a huge red flag in the appearance change which turned out to be a good catch on Simon's part. I look in the mirror all the time and didn't even notice the change so shoutout to Dr. Patton. And thus concludes neckgate! Thankfully!

4. Moving right along to #bachelorettenation. I'm firmly planting myself on Team Blake and there's not much any of the other guys can do to sway me at this point. I'm SO EXCITED that Ashley is back to recapping because she has a gift for the written Bachelor/ette word.

5. I'll admit that I momentarily abandoned ship on my books (although Simon started reading The Lying Game so I'll give his final verdict next week) because they lacked serious zip but I'm not giving up on them entirely. I did start reading this sure-to-be classic* and it's zippy, that's for sure. I'm not recommending it quite yet though. *joke

6. I've seen these pants on a few of my favorite bloggers these pants and almost broken the, "thou shalt not covet thy neighbors perfect cropped pants" commandment. Almost! Not quite.

7. I've had my eye on this rug for quite some time and haven't seen it priced this low ... ever. Now the conundrum is do I risk waiting until we move and hope the price doesn't go back up or order it and move it? I'll probably go with the former since I'm nothing if not a risk taker of the most wild variety.

Have a great weekend!!

There's No Place Like Home

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02 June 2018

Time to make it e-official (efficial?) and tell you fine folks that we are loading up and moving back up to Kansas in a few weeks!! When we left Wichita two years into our marriage for Simon to start his residency we were so sad to leave Simon's family and the wonderful community behind. So! It's been fun envisioning life with a few more kids in tow back in the neighborhood close to Simon's dad, his sisters and their families, Simon's grandma and cousins GALORE. I'm even working on some of my family to throw on their ruby reds and join the fun so we'll see! I'm hopeful! The kids are ecstatic and we're excited to be in such close proximity to SO MUCH family once again.

I would be remiss in not saying how bittersweet it is to leave our wonderful friends here in Tampa. We've met some wonderful people who feel like family and will be hard to say goodbye to but I have a sneaking suspicion they'll be itching to get up to the likes of Wichita sooner rather than later. Maybe in mid-February? Sarcastic font - where you at.

I'm so proud of Simon for finishing his fellowship (ahem - in a few weeks but close enough!) and am excited for him to start doing what he's been training the past seven or could we count med school and say eleven? years to do. He's going to want me to delete this paragraph but here it stays because he's a rockstar in the most figurative sense of the word.

The above photo was taken not quite nine years ago after we'd packed up our respective and tiny apartments in Kansas City and were headed to Wichita shortly before we got married. We really committed with the digital camera in the grass + self timer trick. You're welcome - future blogger Grace.

And here's where I tell you that the blogging chapter of our lives is coming to a close ....


It's not. Not yet! You won't get rid of me that easily, dear readers.

So cheers to the next chapter. Have a drink or three "with" us tonight!

Onward and upward (literally)!!


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01 June 2018

1. Hellllllo June. This week was a doozy and I wouldn't use the word doozy if I didn't really mean it. This was the first official week of having everyone home for summer and I need to step up my summertime game or just embrace the blessed chaos or maybe a healthy marriage of both. We do start a smattering of activities next week which will add some needed structure and routine ahem so I tell myself. Anyway, the week ended with a bang.

2. Let's stretch this into two takes. The bang being what I thought was going to be a simple excision of melanoma on my neck (rightright above my thyroidectomy scar - cancer likes the front middle of my neck, what can I say?) that would maybe result on a stitch or TWO but ended up being 17 stitches and a z-shaped scar that scared the living daylights out of the kids (beyond understandable). I'll spare you a photo but hopefully it'll heal quickly and I'll feel a little more willing to share (although not sure anyone cares) (how many parenthetical statements can I fit in here?) (too many). The unexpected pain has temporarily taken the wind out of my sails and the sight of the not small z was pretty jarring, to be honest but putting vanity aside I'm so glad we (Simon spotted it) caught it when it was still stage 0. Anyway, douse thyselves in sunscreen! Get your skin checked! Make your kids wear swim shirts even when none of the other kids rocking them! And hats! You get the picture. End PSA.

3. So if you see me rocking a short sleeve turtleneck or ten even in the blazing summer temps - you'll know why. And you'll pass slightly lesser judgement. I hope.

4. Anyway, if you have any really great movie or good shows to binge (although Simon and I have been "binging" Suits for months and are just about to start season 4 ... ) I'm ALL hungry eyes.

5. I'm currently reading TWO books because I was so excited that they both came off the hold list at the same time and they're both very different. The Little Bookshop on the Seine and The Lying Game - so far so great on both fronts but I'll give my final verdicts next week. Bait that breath!

6. BacheloretteNation! I was kind of disappointed for Becca on the guy front but my frontrunner status goes to Blake. I talked alllll about it on Mary's podcast right on over HERE.

7. Two things jumped out to me on the retail front this week and that was these shoes and this sweet top. Will I ever quit peplum + embroidery? Eventually. Probably. Maybe. Yes, of course - I've got turtlenecks to collect.

Have a wonderful weekend.



let the summer break begin

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25 May 2018

1. The boys have been out of school for two weeks but Julia finishes up today and we'll officially be in summer break mode. I tried to be a fun + spontaneous mom yesterday and took the kids on a "nature scavenger hunt" at the park near our house with their Easter baskets. After 30 minutes they all wanted to ride in the stroller and be chauffeured to the nearest cold water purveyor (aka our kitchen). So, it went well. No, it was fun while it lasted despite Bosco stepping in something he thought was a little pile of mud that most definitely was not a little pile of mud.

2. Simon's brother Andrew is in town for the weekend and we're torn between going to the super crowded beach with the rest of Florida or ... not. The kids still love love love the beach so I'm guessing we'll do the former because yolo, right?

3. I stumbled upon a super cheesy but super cute romcom on Netflix by the name of: The Kissing Booth. Simon was gone last night so I gave it a whirl. If you're in need of something in the cheesy romcom genre one of these nights ... I'd give it a shot.

4. I read no books this week! I did watch the afore mentioned Kissing Booth along with Jashley's Story of Us which is not the same but -- priorities.

5. So I'm thinking of doing maybe one wall of peel and stick wallpaper in at least the girls' room when we move. If you've seen or used any that you love - I'd love if you shared! I particularly love this one but when I asked Phoebe she was drawn to this mural like a moth to a flame :).

6. The sales! They're overwhelming this weekend. I don't know what it says about me that I was MOST excited to see that my dream vacuum is 44% off despite the fact that we do not NEED a new vacuum - however dreamy it might be.

7. The one sale I will take the time to comb through is right on over here because free shipping and easy label-in-box returns. This fun collaboration is on sale and I can't get over how many pairs of sandals are marked down. These aren't on sale but I saw them online and thought Birkenstock had LOST their minds but then I saw them on someone IRL and changed my mind. I love them.

And that's all for today.

Happy Summer!

when life hands you changes ...

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24 May 2018

This post is sponsored by Align Probiotics

Even though it was almost three years ago that we moved it feels like we just got completely settled here in Florida and now it's almost time to pack back up for our next move back up to the midwest.  I had sort of blocked out the stress that comes with perfectly timing going under contract on both the house we're selling and the house we hope to buy. And let's not even talk about the fun that comes with keeping a house show ready while trying to sell, because that might be my least favorite thing about the entire process, honestly. I was super guilty of hitting up drive-thru after drive-thru during our last selling/moving/buying process and I'll give myself a bit of grace since I was eight months pregnant that time around and this time I'm not but I am trying to stay ahead of the bad habit curve at the moment.

Sometimes I slip into the terrible mode of making separate dinners for the kids vs those that Simon and I eat but it doesn't do anyone any favors so I'm finding happy mediums with healthy meals that everyone will eat with little (ha) to no complaint. Florida's weather helps us stay active and I'm personally hopping on the Align Probiotics train. My mom has been telling me to take probiotics for well over a decade (thank you and sorry, Mom!) but it wasn't until I did a little deep dive into reading about how beneficial they truly are that I realized the importance of incorporating probiotics into our daily life.

Serenity, be mine.

I'm sure you know that Probiotics are good bacteria that support many essential bodily functions, including healthy digestion. Our bodies needs beneficial bacteria for a number of things and they help maintain the delicate balance between the good bacteria in our gut microbiome, which is made up of trillions of bacteria and is considered a key to overall health. One thing I personally didn't know is that when choosing a probiotic, it is important to look at the strain, which determines the health benefit.

Align is the number one doctor and gastroenterologist recommended brand, contains Bifidobacterium 35624 (say that one time fast :)) which is a unique pure strain probiotic, and has over 15 years of research under its belt. Diet, travel, changes in routine (!!), and stress can disrupt your natural balance of good bacteria in the microbiome and Align supplements your digestive system with good bacteria when diet, travel, or disrupted routine throw your system off.

If you'd like to learn more, has more infographics on the benefits of probiotics here. Additionally, you can learn more about Align specifically and get a discount on Align in stores and on the P&G Everyday Coupons site.


Among doctors that recommended a brand of probiotic in a QuintilesIMS 2017 survey.

the great bedroom rearrange of 2k18: part I

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23 May 2018

Oh, I can already sense your excitement. I can. Now that we're about to pack them all up I thought it would be the perfect time for you to see them in their unnatural habitat which is: clean.

So, a few months ago it was more than time to kick Abe out of our room. When we start having to tip toe around our own room to brush our teeth and slither into bed just so in the hopes of not waking the sleeping dragon ... it's time. The problem was ... I didn't know where to put him. I didn't want to put him in with Bosco since they are the only two that still consistently nap at the same time every day but Bosco did have the largest kids room (riddle me that -- I don't know how that happened) and a crib wouldn't fit in with the older boys but it would fit in with the girls so after measuring cribs and beds and rooms I finally had it all figured out. I just deleted a long and complicated explanation of my thought process that made me yawn upon immediate reread so I'll just tell you for now that Bosco ended up moving into the older boys old room (the smallest room of the three). Solo! Lucky duck.

I was so focused on getting the older kids' rooms perfectly arranged so that beds and at least one dresser could fit in each room that this room felt like a bit of an afterthought slash catchall but I think I ended up liking how it turned out the very best. Don't tell the other rooms.

It might have to do with the fact that of all the dressers I've repainted - this one seems to have held up the best despite taking quite the small handed beating over the past year or so.

I found the hardware at Target and will admit I have a little stash stowed away in case I need to replace a lost pull or knob and I can't find them in stock.

The rug was an eBay find and I looked at that specific crib on a few websites, read lots of great reviews, and pounced when it went on sale. I'm bummed I didn't ask Bianca to get a photo of the glider and bookshelves but you can get a decent idea of the corner from - Oh! No, actually here's a photo from January that I took. The photo quality is outstanding ...

Simon built those shelves back in St. Louis and unless the new owner asks us to leave them here - we'll take them again because they're great.

Alright, but maybe my favorite part of the room is this sweet ABC saints print that I found on Etsy (bought on my own and #notsponsored). It's fun to point out different saints while changing diapers (well, maybe not fun but something to distract babies that like to flail all over the place) and I just love it.

And thus concludes the tiny "nursery" (for an almost 3yo) tour. Bosco will definitely be moving in with his older brothers in our new house and Abe will definitely be sleeping in his own room since Phoebe can't help but wake him when "sleeping" mere feet away. Lessons learned! Never a bad thing.

Excited for room reveal numero dos?

Don't answer that. I already know the answer is yes. 

quick takes: royal(ish) edish

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20 May 2018

My photo game has never been so bad. Double dipping into the gram files yet again. It was either this or an up close and personal photo of a snake skin. Slow week! S L O W W E E K.

1. What are the odds the kids stay asleep through the royal wedding slash a little blog post tapping session on this fine Saturday morning? Slim to none but I like a challenge. Let's go.

2. I haven't gotten a great look at Meghan's dress and I'm seeing a bit of Twitter buzz that people liked Kate's dress better ... what did you think??? I say it's not a competition but - Kate's dress WAS stunning (again! not a great look at Meghan's dress yet)

3. In much less exciting news - did you see that they released the list of Bachelorette guys? I have to admit I literally LOL'd at some of those descriptions. Let the games begin! In a week!

4. On the reading docket this week I just finished Heat Wave which was good and mindless. Perfect for the beach/readers that are often interrupted by their offspring. I wish Summer Wives would hurry up and release itself.

5. I finally gave in and tried this concealer that has a cult like following and you know what? The followers are right. Nothing cakey, creasey, heavy, or shiny about it. It's GOOD. RIP under eye circles of yore.

Alright here's where I waved my white flag yesterday morning but let's soldier on. 

6. It seems like the general consensus was that Meghan's dress was slightly more underwhelming than Kate's (albeit elegant!) but her reception dress! I don't swoon often but that pretty number made me swoon.

7. On the sale front we've got 40% off clearance over here with code: SUNNY and a super rare site wide sale at ASOS (use the similar code: SUNNYDAYS) along with 40% off sale styles over at LOFT.

Alright, and now I'm off to reread The Royal We or rewatch The Crown. Decisions, decisions.

an e-stew of sorts

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11 May 2018

1. Abe looks just like baby Sebastian and Sebastian looks just like Simon did when he was Sebastian's age so let's just title this: Triplets, shall we? We shall. Or at least I will.

2. I'm going to type this up while keeping one eye on last night's episode of Grey's Anatomy because if I keep both eyes on the screen I think I'll melt into a puddle of tears after watching the previews. I'm a big Japril fan ... I can't help it.

3. Speaking of shows ... did you see the first Bachelorette preview that features a chicken and a minivan? Should be a quality season -- as always.

4. I'm guessing you've seen it but if you haven't - you HAVE to check out this insane DIY kitchen makeover c/o Sheena's unrivaled eye for design and the fact that it cost her just over $100? Unreal.

5. I've been slacking on the reading front this week but I did go to the library with the boys and grabbed Moon Shell Beach. I joked to Simon that sometimes I just need a little bit of a beach read to which we both had to laugh because sometimes is all the time in Graceland. Sue me.

6. After I told you about my new favorite drugstore mascara I saw that a favorite e-store of mine actually came out with their own mascara. To say I'm super curious about it would be an understatement.

7. On the sale front ...
+ 40% off shorts right now with code: SHORTS (these are a great middle of the road length - I have and love them)
+ extra 20% off select Nike sale styles with code: 20SPRING
+ I'm not sure I've ever seen Anthropologie's entire website on sale but .. it is! Discount applied in cart.
+ I keep hoping these pants will miraculously go on sale but so far, no dice.
+ Loft's sale is still going strong, not surprising but always appreciated.
+ and finally Gap has some cute summer baby rompers that are breathable but a nice and substantial material. Abe approves.

Alright, off to Moon Shell Beach I shamelessly trot. I hope your Friday night holds some equally wild + crazy plans. 

My experience with 23andMe

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05 May 2018

As previously blogged, I've been anxiously awaiting my results from 23andMe and they're here! Yee haw. If you've never heard of 23andMe - allow me to introduce you to the service that was created for people to better understand parts of their DNA -- including their ancestry. It sheds light on the 150+ regions our specific ancestors hailed from, genetic traits and how they may influence things like taste, hair texture etc, and also health and wellness through genetic analysis. I've been itching to do one and jumped at the chance to partner with 23andMe to send in my saliva (lol) and tell you about my experience with the service.

It was about one hundred times more simple than I anticipated, to be honest. I got the kit quickly in the mail, easily registered my kit online, gave a precious sample of saliva, sent the sample off in the box provided with return label attached and paid for by 23andMe. Easy breezy!!

In the interim, I consented to research and answered questions about my lifestyle and family health history.

And then came the detailed and extensive reprts! I almost wish Simon and I would've each done a kit at the same time so that we could've sat together and compared Health and Ancestry reports.

So, my very Swedish grandma has always impressed upon me that I am, "100% Swedish!!" and since my dad is 0% Swedish I knew that was impossible but still thought I might be at least half Swedish? No. Sorry sweet Gram!!

I know she'd be thrilled with the 16.8% Scandinavian though. I guess I shouldn't have been too terribly surprised by the 48.9% British & Irish but now I'm regretting not going to London or Ireland back in college when I had a chance because that is part of my heritage.

Anyway, that was really fun to see. Moving onto just a fraction of the wellness reports ...

This is all pretty much on the money (aside from the muscle composition but I'm willing to do a little working and digging to find where that might be hiding ;)). I don't flush while drinking, tolerate dairy, and enjoy my caffeine to a serious fault. It's interesting to know that I'm less likely to be a deep sleeper, and also likely to consume more caffeine. If I want to improve my sleep, experts recommend creating a consistent sleep schedule and avoiding caffeine, especially later in the day. Guess I should reconsider my afternoon iced coffee!

Anyway, this just skims the surface of the wealth of personalized and detailed information 23andMe provides. I was expecting pretty basic results given how simple the process was but it blew my expectations out of the water.

If you're struggling to come up with a fun and unique Mother's Day gift - 23andMe might be just the gifting ticket as it's so fun to pore over the Ancestry reports and learn how genetics can influence one's health, helping my mom to live her healthiest and happiest life. 

23andMe takes your privacy very seriously and gives you control over your genetic information. They let you decide how your information is used and with whom it is shared. 23andMe also enables you to opt-in to genetic research and link your data to study topics from ancestry to traits to disease. Your contribution helps drive scientific discoveries -- more than 80% of customers opt-in to answer surveys. On average each person’s survey answers help with over 200 research studies. Also, you can find many customer stories on the 23andMe website at

Many thanks to 23andMe for sponsoring this post!!


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