In My House

A Few Favorites

I don’t do much shopping, but I like to share some of my favorite things. There’s no theme this time, but here are six of my favorite recent purchases. This is a little more fun than posting my grocery list.

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1. This might be the last year I get to select my youngest daughter’s Halloween costume without her feedback. So an adorable, fluffy snow owl it is! (Target) 2. Just try to challenge me to a game of Golden Girls Trivial Pursuit. Always Fits is my new favorite web site for fun, quirky gifts. (Always Fits) 3. This black bomber jacket has been my favorite item to transition into the chillier months. (Gap) 4. I started purchasing some products from The Honest Company because my youngest daughter has extremely sensitive skin. I selected this mascara on a whim as an add-on product with my last shipment. The primer adds length and the mascara has a great consistency. It stays put all day, but comes off easily with a cosmetic wipe. (The Honest Company) 5. I actually haven’t purchased this super cute rug yet, but I have been eyeing it. I love October! (Pier 1) 6. After years of aggressively ripping a brush through my super thick wet hair I heard about Wet Brush and decided to give it a try. I love this brush! (Wet Brush)

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In My House

Is Every Cast Member from The Hills Promoting Hello Fresh? Weird.

For whatever reason (crazy work schedule, motherhood, trying to be a Metallica groupie) I have been absent from the blog for a while. During that time, it seems that nearly every cast member of MTV’s decade-old hit reality show The Hills has started promoting meal-kit delivery services. Furthermore, it seems that Facebook’s has unveiled a new algorithm with the sole purpose of flooding my feed with these meal-kit ads despite the fact that I have never ordered one, expressed interest in them on social media, or otherwise “liked” them.

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Photo by Tayhart Photography

First I scrolled by Lauren Conrad in a cute pink peasant top in her perfectly spotless (read: unused) white and stainless steel kitchen happily unpacking a Hello Fresh box. Not 24-hours later, I scrolled past Lo. (You’re asking yourself “who?” and I did, too, but I’d recognize that silly name and deer-in-the-headlights facial expression anywhere.) Lo from The Hills. What? Really?

If you’re Hello Fresh, you really have to ask yourself: If Lauren Conrad is promoting your product do you also really need Lo promoting it, too? That’s like getting Stephen Curry to promote your new line of high-end athletic supporters and then also signing the guy who serves Gatorade to the Golden State Warriors to do a later-aired ad for the same product. You like that sports reference? That’s basically just to impress my husband in case he ever breaks away from his Fantasy Football line-up or ESPN.com and reads this blog.

I am not saying I have anything against meal-kit delivery services. I might even be willing to try one someday. I just think some of these advertising choices are a little bizarre, and trying to convince me that Lauren Conrad’s busy schedule as a mom, designer, or whatever you call her, is anything like my life or the lives of the other real-life working moms I know just doesn’t work.

Real-life working moms don’t cook in gorgeously clean kitchens while wearing adorable pink peasant tops. They cook in kitchens with appliances smudged with tiny finger prints, while still in a pencil skirt from the office, but in a Fleetwood Mac shirt with no bra because their toddlers are begging for snacks before they can completely change out of their work clothes.

I haven’t been on Facebook for a few hours, but I can almost guarantee that when I do, something special will be waiting in my feed. It will be Spencer and Heidi standing in a pristine kitchen, unpacking a cardboard box and talking about how Hello Fresh saves them so much time in their packed schedules of juice cleanses, plastic surgery consults, and anal-bleaching appointments.

In My House

Black Hills Summer Photo Session

I’m finally getting around to sharing the photos from our session last month with Tayhart Photography. Tarin is so talented! My littlest one was not the best participant, but the pictures portray her as the angel she (usually) is.

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I love how Tarin captured the real “us.” She incorporated our love of reading to the girls. She photographed my youngest’s seriousness and curiosity and my oldest’s fun-loving spirit.

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Tarin is a mom of six and so she had no trouble at all making my little ones feel at ease. I love outdoor photos in the beautiful Black Hills. While these were taken a few miles from our house, the images truly look like the landscape of our own backyard.

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Tarin’s attention to detail is impeccable. Her turn-around time is also super quick, which was great because I was chomping at the bit to see the images she captured. Thank you, Tarin for capturing our little family and the beautiful region where we live.

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All photos by Tayhart Photography.

In My House

Four!

I feel like it is nearly impossible for a parent to talk about his or her child’s birthdays without also commenting on how quickly time flies. It really feels like just yesterday we were celebrating my oldest daughter’s first, second, and third birthday parties, all at the beloved children’ park Storybook Island. We returned to that perfect venue this past weekend to celebrate her fourth birthday, this time renting the birthday house, which provided a great spot for cake and presents with tons of fun playground equipment right outside the door.

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This year’s theme was unicorns.

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My girl and her grandma planned the cake months ago. It was a tie-dyed unicorn filled with candy.

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Sugar overload ensued, but, hey, she only turns four once, right?

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She’s a big girl now, but I love that she is still little enough to fall fast asleep in the car on the drive home from her party.

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Happy birthday to our sweet, sociable, fun-loving girl. We are excited to see what the next year brings!

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In My House

Neutral Guest Bedroom Favorites

Our big concrete, egress, guest bedroom project is nearing completion. I’m excited to put some decorative touches into play in the guest room after the new bamboo flooring is installed. I’m keeping the palate neutral and fresh with black, white, and gray. Here are a few of the pieces I picked up to make the room comfortable and welcoming. I’m loving this room so much I just might camp out down there once in a while.

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1. The current bedding in the room is still in great condition and compliments the black wrought iron bed well, so I’m keeping it in place. This Madison Park Larissa damask comforter set is very similar. (JCPenney) 2. I wanted to keep the walls light, but not too starkly white. This super light gray fit the bill perfectly. (Valspar) 3. Anthropologie Volcano candles have to be one of my all-time favorite fragrances. The scent is citrusy and fresh without being over-powering. (Anthropologie) 4. This mirror is pretty and practical. (H&M) 5. This large metal basket is ideal for placing in the corner of the room to store extra blankets in case our guests get cold. (Target) 6. These geometric lamps provide the perfect amount of light for reading and are only $10 each. (Target)

In My House

Which is Harder: Backing Out of the Garage or Squeezing into a New Swimsuit?

I hit my driver’s side mirror on the side of the garage door while backing out today. Again. I shrugged it off. I do this about once a month. My car is tiny so I have absolutely no excuse. I live in cattle country where a lot of women can back up a Ford F-150 pulling a trailer in their sleep while applying lipstick. Not me, girl.

Speaking of no excuses and squeezing into tight places, it’s swimsuit season. I was planning to be in super awesome shape by mid-June, but the baby weight (yeah, I know, she’s 14 moths old now) lingers. I don’t feel anywhere near as svelte as I would like to be, but I am getting back into a fitness routine that I can follow at least part of the time. I put the swimsuit on anyway.

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As I was splashing in our hotel pool with my two daughters I totally forgot about the added pounds. I forgot about my work stress and my endless list of tasks to accomplish. My daughters don’t care about a few extra pounds (even though they put them there). They just want to have fun in the pool with their mommy.

As women we are usually our own toughest critics. What it boils down to is that if my daughters feel loved and I am taking the time to care for myself so I have the energy to care for them, I consider myself successful. I will never look like a Victoria’s Secret model or completely cross off every item on my ever-growing To Do List, but there’s more happiness in a little bit of imperfection any day. And please be sure to tell that to my husband when he finally notices the dings in the side of my garage door.

 

 

 

In My House

My Favorite Dresses for Summer (All Under $50)

I’m a fan of wearing dresses year-round, but especially in the summer. Dresses are my go-to for work and play. To me, they win hands down against jeans or pants any day of the week. Here are six of my favorites for summer. I own the top three and frequently wear them. I have not purchased the bottom three, and probably won’t because of my strict one-in-one-out closet rule, but they’re three gorgeous dresses that someone out there should be buying and wearing. (Let me know if that someone is you.) All of these picks are under $50.

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1. This black wrap dress also comes in red. It is comfortable and requires zero ironing. It has been my recent favorite for work. (Gap) 2. I usually shy away from horizontal stripes, but the fit of this dress makes all the difference. I wore this one to a friend’s wedding and plan to sport it many more times this summer. (J.Crew) 3. This dress makes me think of the 1940s, and we all know I love everything about 1940s fashion and décor. I have been pairing this with tights, ballet flat, and a cardigan for work, and bare legs and strappy sandals for weekend plans. (Lauren Conrad for Kohl’s) 4. The floral pattern of this dress caught my eye. I think it can easily be transitioned to fall, too. (ModCloth) 5. This dress looks romantic, but also super comfy and I’m a huge fan of ties at the waist. (Loft) 6. This looks like a great casual dress for chasing the kids around the park or even wearing as a swimsuit cover-up. (Anthropologie)