Friday, July 31, 2015

Portraits of my Children {beachside at Bayshore Park}

Parker: 10 and a half \ tenderhearted, funny, and kind \ the first to clean up a room and the last to get in the car \ prefers a piano over a football \ an art camp in town over a church camp away \ books over bikes \ steak over hot dogs \ smoothies over milkshakes \ peace over happiness ... he's perfectly content to be his own guy, unique and different to the rest, and he's keenly aware of his love for God and living his life right for Him

Monty: 8 \ adventurous, go-getter, who will argue his case till the cows come home and then the next week, have the sweetest, gentlest spirit \ the last to clean up a room and the first to get in the car \ loves extreme sports over the regular safe kind \ prefers spaghetti over burgers \ ice cream over custard \ instant gratification over patience \ protector of his family \ wants to live life to the fullest and try his hand at everything \ will do anything for little sister \ completely wrapped around her finger

Elliot: 5 and three quarters \ so funny, big hugger, soft heart \ wants to "grow" backwards and become a baby again \ still trying to understand that that's not gonna happen \ will only clean if mom is helping or otherwise - tears! \ can't sleep without brothers in the room with him and so, when they spend the night away, he sleeps on our floor \ is the only one invited to give Scarlet a night night kiss after mom tucks her in \ loves basketball cause he thinks he's good at it \ is adventurous and brave just like Monty but more chill \ loves carrots over every other fruit and veggie \ easy going and patient \ eager to please and loves being the center of attention

Scarlet: 2 \ sweet and clever and funny and awesome \ spoiled by her adoring family and all the better for it \ loves to squeeze into tight places meaning, where ever someone is sitting (mom, dad, or brothers) she'll squeeze in alongside \ loves pretending she's big and then asking to be held like baby \ loves having a blanket thrown over her and then yelling for us to find her \ when we do, she says "shhhh" and then hides again \ talking so much now \ has the worst tantrums every time we try to put her in her car seat \ wants to sit in the back, she says \ dislikes ponytails but likes bows still \ loves swimming (to my leg when I'm sitting on the side and then requires a push on her bottom back to the steps where she repeats), biking, scooters, trampolining \ spending time in her tree house \ drawing tiny circles in her art books \ cousin Adorlee \ bubbles \ eggs (which she's apparently allergic to but no reaction, so yay!), hot cocoa \ mangoes \ avocados \ bubble guppies \ her duppy was split into 5 pieces so now there's a big duppy and several baby duppies to avoid future loss and subsequent trauma \ just means that sometimes we have to sleep with 5 duppies instead of 1 \ tomboy and girly girl mixed into one happy little lady who's filled with love and gentleness and goodness

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Mama Style {la la la leopard}

 {dress - T J Maxx, bag - H&M, sandals - Zara}

It seems that animal prints take a vacation along with the rest of the US during summer breaks, don't they? But I bought this dress a few years ago and still love it (feels like I'm wearing a long, comfy t-shirt) and though I'm sure I'm a month too early for leopard here I am! Fashion trends are so predictable and I don't even care. In fact, I love it. Leopard and spicy colors come fall, plaids and leathers come winter, pastels and florals come spring, stripes and chambray come summer. I'm all for it cause each of those trends make my closet a little more excited for each new season. Plus I always know that even though I'm tired of looking at my sequin dresses in early spring, I'll be googley eyed over them when November arrives. It's the cycle of style. ;)

I even styled this little leopard number for a fashion/travel article for YOU mag last year. Take a peek  here - loved that pink hair! Here in Wisconsin, these sandals are such a conversation starter. Seriously. If you ever need a little help in that area (like I do), buy a pair. You'll have all sorts of people you've never talked to coming up to you to comment on them. Church is one of those times when I get the most outfit feedback; good time to test something out. It'll be both "I love it" and "That looks like my daughter's halloween costume". I really don't mind the "constructive criticism" at all ... I think it's amusing. But these, well, they get the most feedback of anything I've worn and it's always in the "I love it" category. I even had a husband ask to take photos of them to send to his wife. Not even kidding. Wasn't weird at all. ;)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Green Bay Summer {Dining on the Deck}

I've said this over and over again, but really, Green Bay is the most fantastic city to celebrate summer time with kids. There are plenty of places to take them to play and swim and so many city organized family activities each week. We really are lucky to live here and to have such a safe place to raise our children, a city that offers plenty to keep them busy and happy outdoors during the summer.

On this particular Wednesday we went boating down the river to the city deck, where all 15 of us hopped off for lunch. It's a weekly outdoor dining event that is catered (each has their own little stall where you can purchase eats) by several downtown restaurants, right there alongside the water. It's pretty fabulous. I usually get the fish tacos and chili con queso from Los Banditos and the kids usually get the pizza from Hagemeister Park and the fresh fruit cups.

And we always stop to play at the splash pad, whether suited up or not. The kids love to take a walk along the docks and sometimes sit and stare quietly into the water, until we're ready take a nap right there.

Now with this being said, I have to admit to feeling a little bit exhausted today. As thankful as I am for lots of fun local activities for the fam, I also think I might die if I have to go to another busy swimming pool/water park again. It's time for mommy to have a mini-vacay kids! Whew. We're at the 2 month mark for school break and well, it's been a nice long while now. But then in the same breath, there's only about 4 weeks left of their break and back to school we go. This absolutely saddens me and then on other days, elates me.

So I thought I'd make a Pro - Con list. I mean, why not?

Pros for going back to school

1. I get (semi) alone time again - be still my heart
2. I can take a morning class of my own (ballet?/painting?/yoga?/karate?just kidding) and maybe something special with Scarlet (creative movement?/music?)
3. I do actually love autumn
4. Once I adjust, I actually enjoy normal bed times and daily routines
5. As a result of normal bedtimes, I get to watch TV again with my husband without falling asleep almost immediately. Plus I have so many shows to catch up on now
6. I can finally get to my projects, like the basement clean out/re-do and Scarlet's room makeover, and all the other odds and ends I want to do around the house

Cons for going back to school (and I'm sure 90% of you will agree)
1. We LOVE sleeping in
2. I'm finally used to later nights, longer dinners out, family fun nights and stress-less bedtimes
3. We're really loving our no rush summer time schedule
4. Back to school for kids means back to work for me
5. I'm really gonna miss the long sunny, warm days
6. Summers are just so stinking happy and relaxed, aren't they?
9. We'll say good bye to trips away, boating, swimming, grilling, sunsets, sun dresses, tans, sun beached hair, green & flowers. Gah! I'm almost in tears over here. Not really. But almost.
10. Winters just flat out scare me
11. Basically, I'm a super chill person and summer is all about CHILLIN' so … we're a match made in heaven

So there, the pros and cons. I'm sure I'll think of many more after I hit POST. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Mama Style {Summer Sparkle}

{tunic dress - Free People consigned, slip dress - Hey Daisy! (GB), sandals - Lady Savannah (GB)}

Happy Monday!

We went to dinner on Saturday night at the new 1919 Kitchen and Tap at Lambeau Field and I thought that deserved one of my favorite dresses. Plus it's sort of got that green and gold thing happening which is all the more perfect (and also horrific, as I only see it now that I'm writing about it, and matching our football team is something I usually leave to everyone else who lives here!). 

Anyway, the real point of all this is (1) 1919 was really lovely, local friends. Very much a big city feel to it which we generally lack in the restaurant biz here. Though don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of hole in the wall spots. But big city just makes a little city crowd feel cool. And (2) no one does beading quite like Free People. They have mastered the art of embellishment and I can't get enough of it. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Summer Life

Hello friends! 

This has been such a busy week for me but I'm finally grabbing a moment to catch up here again. Yay! It shouldn't have been so busy cause the boys were all at a fine arts camp during the mornings, but we managed to fill it up with all sorts of to-do's. The little miss is fast asleep and the boys all preoccupied, so now I'm here catching up with blogland. 

I've been writing a lot lately, in fact, just not here. There was one article for YOU Magazine's Beauty issue which comes out next month and is much more personal than what I've contributed in the past, which is exciting and nerve-wrecking. And the other piece is a work in progress but one I hope to submit to another magazine, one that prints bi-annually and has a nation wide distribution. My creative collabs and I are also working on an awesome photo shoot for submission and we're really going all out for this, so we're pretty excited. Will share some peeks at what goes down with that. But think lanterns, a gold mask and a white dress. Really ethereal and elegant. This has to be one of my favorite past times, dreaming and creating unreal photo shoots like this. The more fantasy, the better. 

We also had some South African friends in town that we spent lots of time with (missing you girls so much and all those hectic laughs) and I met a blog reader/fellow South African (completely unrelated to the first 2) who recently moved in town (hi Lee-Anne!) which has been really fun. So lots of relaxing hang outs lately which is the loveliest thing to do and take advantage of during these gorgeous summer months. In winter we hibernate, so I feel like I see no one but my family for months on end. We just love Green Bay summers!

So for now, I have a little picture update highlighting my favorite moments from the past 2 weeks. Hope to snap a few pictures worthy of another fashion post soon, with a hot and stylish weekend ahead. ;) But I've been doing most of my photo taking on my phone, so here you have it!
 An evening spent at Bay Beach, the best time to go. We all went down this slide side by side, all 6 of us. Elliot on his dad's lap and Scarlet on mine. S and I got stuck on top of that last hump and had to push our way over. It was a blast … the whole evening. (Speaking of getting stuck on slides, you may enjoy a video of my friend and I doing a giant water slide together - one that didn't go quite as expected. I'll post it at the end :)
While the boys ride their dirt bikes, Scarlet hangs out of the sunroof like a party girl.
We took the kids to a nearby park (Voyager for local friends) to do some fishing with the Wild Life Sanctuary. Was a big hit with the kids though I embarrassed myself horribly every time one of them came anywhere near me with their wormy hooks. Ran screaming.
This was a Wednesday evening family night at our church - Celebration Church - and it was so cool. (See, video below for more.)
Evening swims.
An ice cream date to Zesty's and a giant banana split plus a tummy ache to show for it. 
New greens added to the fireplace collection. This one is such a charmer. Thank you Costco!
A new dress from @ockidscloset. My first thought was star costume for Halloween! But I'm in love with this little dress so it won't be a one hit wonder. 
I took this girl out for coffee and a mag read and she fell asleep and stayed this way for most of our time there. It was adorable.
And lastly, this incredible location was the venue for a wedding that we attended. So beautiful!

Here's the video friends. Enjoy you weekend!
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