March 4, 2015

Swimsuit Season: 2015 Edition

Swimsuits are adorning mannequins all over town lately and I must say, I'm actually pretty excited this year. There are SO many great styles!

Here are some of my favorites and I've got them broken down into categories:

These are perfect for surfing and I plan to do quite a bit of that when I'm visiting back home this Summer!

Then there's the sexy, but not necessarily functional if you're doing anything besides laying around look (i.e. a beach day with friends, not chasing after the kids look)

Southwest print

The wild card one-piece:

And then there's the functional, yet still very cute suits:

Love the color block style

Polka dots are small enough to keep this flirty

Perfect color combo!

 Annnnnddd, there's the mix and match option. Victoria's Secret is my go-to. This one of the options I picked out.

So tell me, have you picked out a new suit? Are you a bikini, tankini, monokini, itsy bitsy or one piece gal? 

March 3, 2015

Spring Look Book

Are we all finally sick of Winter?? I know I am! Saturday morning, just as I was leaving my hot Yoga class, it began to snow. All day long it snowed and we got so restless being stuck inside that everyone jumped at the idea of shoveling the driveway. The driveway! All four of us grabbed shovels and in ten minutes, it was cleared and we all sort of looked at each other like, now what? Sunday morning, there was newly fallen snow and it was bitter outside and ridiculously windy as I drove to dance class and I just sighed. Yesterday though, Landon asked why the snow was melting and said he wishes there would always be snow and I respectfully disagreed, because, yuck. Winter, we're through. Finito. Done. 

I've been perusing my favorite stores for Spring colors lately. Lots of Southwest and Aztec prints coming up this year, which I'm very happy about. Bright, bold colors work really well with my olive skin. I also love some of the more toned down looks. Lots of stripes again this year, it seems. And skirts for dayyyyyyyyssss. 

I just want to take a moment to say how good I feel about the fashion era we're living in right now. Everything is in-there is no right or wrong here. (except for fringe and glitter. These things will always be wrong) 

You can throw on a beanie and ripped jeans and go grunge. 

Or you can don a striped shirt and a pretty mid-length skirt and be preppy. 

Or you can do ripped shorts and a tank with lots of necklaces and bangles and go bohemian chic. 

It's all good! But maybe you already knew this? I am finally catching on and developing styles and fits that suit me, so forgive me if I'm a little late to the party. ;)

I've been pinning like crazy and I can't wait to start putting my Spring/Summer wardrobe together! Here are a few more looks I love:

What styles are you looking forward to for Spring?? Link me to your Pinterest style board! And while you're over there, check out mine for more fun warmer weather fashion ideas. Tomorrow, we'll address swimsuits ;)

February 24, 2015

Life Made Easier- A Little Help from Zaarly

As I swept up crushed graham cracker from the kitchen floor for the forty billionth time one day, I began calculating how much time I spend cleaning. Let's see, there are 24 hours in a day-carry the one, divide by 3 and subtract 5...yeah, approximately 23 hours spent making things pretty, watching it get destroyed and repeating the process. 


Okay, maybe not that much. But it sure seems like it. I often question what the point of all of this rigamarole is. 

When Zaarly reached out to see if I'd be interested in trying one of their services, I said, of course! Zaarly is a pretty neat company in that they seek out local artisans and entrepreneurs that truly love what they do. They have three main categories: House Cleaning, Lawn Care and Handyman services. It goes well beyond the basics of each category-there's light installation, organization, electrical, plumbing, custom cabinetry, garage door repair, irrigation, gardening, etc. The site is super easy to navigate and the people I worked with were friendly and very quick to respond to my questions.

I decided to go with house cleaning services, as you probably guessed. I worked with Kristy and her team. They did an amazing job!

I really hate cleaning the showers in the guest bathrooms, so this definitely made me happy. :)

I admit it was sort of awkward for me to have people (albeit, very nice people) come in and clean my house. I've never done that before, opting always to do all the work myself. But I could see how it'd be very handy and time-saving. Not to mention, I think it'd be especially useful for parties and general home get-togethers when you're typically scrambling to clean the place top to bottom and then cook for a large group of people. To have someone else clean would ease the stress of entertaining. 

Even if it's not cleaning services you're looking for, I'd recommend checking out the other options. You're sure to have a good experience!

* I was offered services through Zaarly in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.*

February 18, 2015

CopyCat Panera Potato Soup & Buttery Rosemary Rolls

Cold weather calls for heartier meals. My friend passed along a potato soup recipe that tastes just like Panera's version! Add some of my favorite rosemary rolls and you've got yourself a delicious meal. Even better, it's all ridiculously easy to make!


4 cups Chicken Broth
4 cups Potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup Onion, minced
1/2 tsp Season Salt
1/4 tsp White Pepper 
1/4 tsp Ground Red Pepper
1 (8 oz) pkg Cream Cheese, cut into chunks
Bacon Bits (or fresh bacon, crumbled)
Cheddar Cheese

1. Mix broth, potatoes, onion and spices into a pot
2. Boil on medium heat until potatoes are tender
3. Mash some of the potatoes to release the starches for thickening
4. Reduce to low heat and add cream cheese
5. Allow to cook until cheese melts
6. Top with bacon bits, chives, cheddar cheese and serve!

Frozen, Unbaked Dinner Rolls (I use Sister Schubert's Dinner Yeast Rolls)
Melted Butter, Regular, Unsalted
Fresh Rosemary, coarsely chopped
Sea Salt

1. Preheat oven according to package instructions 
2. Spray pan with cooking spray or grease with olive oil
3. Place rolls in pan and brush with melted butter
4. Liberally sprinkle chopped rosemary. Brush on a little additional butter and sprinkle with sea salt
5. Bake until rolls are a light golden brown
6. Serve!

February 17, 2015

Long Time, No Talk

As I type this, snow has begun to fall for the second time today. Fat snowflakes float down from the clouds and occasionally land gently against the windowpane, allowing me a quick glance of their intricate designs before melting. I love and hate Winter in equal measure. I love looking out at the shimmering white landscape. I love waking up to a cold, grey morning when there is nothing on the agenda besides staying warm and cozy with the boys. I hate Winter when it's cold AND windy, when the sun doesn't shine for days, when all the beautiful white snow turns to black slush. And I REALLY hate it when the boys are literally launching themselves across couches because of all that pent-up "outside" energy. 

I looked at my last post date on the blog this morning and was surprised to see that it's been almost a month since I last wrote here. A month? Seriously?! But I promised myself and my readers a long time ago that I would only fill this space with quality-posts and essays that were important to me, that inspired me to write, rather than filler junk simply for the sake of "updating 3-5 times a week per the mysterious blogging business schedule." Let's be honest, ain't nobody got time for a filler post, amiright?? 

Here we go-the latest and greatest! (please excuse some of the blurry iPhone pics; ironic considering the above speech on quality. heh)

All hail the first snow day of February! Everyone, this is Fin, the preschool's class pet. Fin, this is everyone. 

Then there was that little thing called The Superbowl, where I was mad until pretty much the last few seconds of the game. That interception? No. Words. #GOPATRIOTS

And then, for good measure, Landon turned FOUR! I teared up a little just typing that. Four. How can I possibly convey all of the lessons I've learned from him over the last four years, ten months and 2 days? How much time do you have? ;) 

And even though he drives me crazy sometimes, I absolutely adore him. He's incredibly bright and headstrong and a lot of serious with a little bit of silly. He take this few second pause after you've said something and you can literally see him processing the information before responding. It's a kind of careful that I don't typically see in kids. He points out similarities and compliments other kids on the playground, just before asking them if they want to play. He's fiercely independent and very well-spoken. In so many ways, he reminds me of myself. Though, I hope he mostly just picked up my strengths and not my weaknesses. For one thing, I'm a terrible drawer. 

Did I mention he's a Valentines Day kid? Pretty sure that means he was born with an extra big heart. 

Friday, we had a superhero birthday party for him. He invited some of his friends from the neighborhood and his preschool class. Eight 3-4 year olds tearing through the house for approximately an hour? You bet! Actually the party was an hour and a half, but I'm guessing there was about 30 minutes of relative stillness between opening the presents and eating cake, so you know, take it where you can. It was fun-it really was. I was exhausted afterwards, but I know Landon enjoyed it. And he had a really cool cake! He asked me to make him Captain America's shield. It was relatively simple and delicious, if I do say so myself. 

(I never realize how short I am until I see myself in a picture)

See? Stillness.

And of course, presents! 

Yes, it's been a good month indeed. What have you guys been up to lately??


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