Friday, May 31, 2013

Dollar Bills

Right now the boys are really into money.  Whether it is from gifts, finding it on the ground or collecting it from their chores, they love to see their savings build.  Over the years we have spent a lot of time discussing the need to save their money and it is working.  They understand that it is important to put it away rather than spend it at every chance they get.  We can thank the finance hubby for this.  Me, I tend to not be an amazing saver.  But that is a story for another day.

Even though we have spent a lot of time discussing the need to "save" their money, we have really just touched the surface of discussing the need to "give" their money.  It has been mentioned once or twice, and they love to hand out our money at church, but they had not really understood the concept of giving away their own money to others.  Though the hubby and I try to donate whenever possible, we have never really explained this to them.  So, that was our "giving back" exercise for May.

After First Communion, chores, birthday and some great saving, the boys had accumulated a nice amount of cash and they were anxious to spend some.  They added up everything and told me all that they could afford.  My first question to them was, "well, how much are you going to give to those less fortunate?".  They had never really had that questioned asked of them before and they had no idea.  I think I was offered a dollar.

This led to a nice long conversation on "the more you have, the more you give".  We discussed the donations we make to their school, the church, charities and others and just how important this was to do.  We discussed that any amount is great but that they should always assume 10% of their money should go back.  After a little math, they realized how much they would need to give of their own money.  The greatest part of this conversation is that when told their amount, it didn't even phase them.  They didn't question it.  They simply said, "okay, well we will bring it to church on Sunday".  I was proud of them for being so willing to give, but I wasn't sure how long it was going to last.

After a month of discussing this, it is apparent that they will not forget.  They continue to save money and add it to the jar but every time they mention something they want to buy with it, they also mention how much money they will give.  Though it was our May exercise, we will continue to instill this in them each day, month, year.  I am crossing my fingers that they stay generous and aware as they grow up and always remember "the more you have, the more you give".

Happy Friday Everyone.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Santa Ynez Faves

I promise this is my last Santa Ynez post.  I just thought that since this truly is one of my favorites places ever, I would share some places that have made the trips there so amazing.  Perhaps this helps you plan a trip there or just gives you a little more insight into this little town.  Either way, it was fun to pull together and it makes me excited to go back.


Breakfast and Coffee
Corner House Coffee 


Horseback Riding:

Bar and Line Dancing:

If you are interested in looking back at some of our previous trips to Santa Ynez this year, here is JanuaryFebruary and May 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend

As I mentioned yesterday, we spent our Memorial Day weekend in Los Olivos with friends.  Back when we were all there in February, we had decided that we MUST plan another weekend back and so we did.

This weekend could not have come at a better time.  I needed a weekend away!  We rented a house in downtown Los Olivos and spent our days horseback riding, wine tasting, resting, exercising, cooking, eating, and enjoying the simple pleasures of life.  And I just love that even though we do not live close, all of our kids are becoming friends.  Just like last time, it was incredibly hard to say goodbye.  And yes, I am already thinking about our next trip up there.

These pictures could go on for days but I am going to try and show just a few of my favorites.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Quick Glimpse

Yesterday we returned from four days in Los Olivos and I am just not ready to get back to "real life".  We had such an amazing time, which I will tell you all about, but here is just a quick glimpse from the iPhone.  More to come soon!

And I can't take credit for all of these.  Our friend takes some pretty fab photos so I stole them from his instagram (@mcclain922).  Thanks C for sharing!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Favorite Place

Tomorrow the family and I are heading out to one of our favorite places for a long weekend with friends.  Because it takes forever to get 5 people packed and ready to go, I am checking out now and will be back next week.  I hope everyone has a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, where ever you may be!

Cheers to kicking off the summer!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

HOPE (less) or (ful)

Worry.  Fear.  Anxiety.

Yes, I know that you are all aware that I have anxiety and that I continue to work on coping with it.  That is old news.  This is a different side of anxiety.  Ninety nine percent of the time, I think that my anxiety is something that is irrational and not always necessary, and I work on that.  Then there is the one percent.

One percent of the time, life hits me like a truck and I realize that for all the times I try to not feel anxious, sometimes I am justified to feel as much as I want.  How could I not?  I am a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter and a friend.  When events like Oklahoma occur, the reality that I could lose someone that means so much to me smacks me in the face.  Of course I feel sadness for those affected, but I am not going to lie.  The feeling also turns selfish, making me think about how terrible it would be if that were me, or my child, or my parent, or my friend.  I wish it didn't, but it is human nature.  You can't fight it.

The truth is, I am scared of these types of situations.  9/11, Newtown, Hurricane Sandy, the Boston Marathon, the Cincinnati abductions, Texas and Oklahoma.  This actually makes me sad that it only took seconds to list all these without thinking about it.  These are only a few that bring an anxiety of loss that I cannot fight and feel completely justified with having.  Will I change my life?  No.  Will I let this affect who I am?  No.  But for once, I am allowing myself to be anxious and not telling myself to "stop it".  Life is scary sometimes.  It just is.

I know that anything can happen.  I know that someone I have today may not be here tomorrow.  I know, thanks to my faith, that this is not the end.  I know all of this.  But it doesn't mean loss doesn't scare me.

I can't be the only one who feels this way right?  Anyone else?  

It is a funny thing this adulthood isn't it?  When I look at my children, they do not see the possibility of loss, hurt, and pain.  They enjoy each day as if it could be their last, without even knowing it.  They love unconditionally and they celebrate the little things.  I wish I had the ability to always see things this way.

For those affected by the disaster in Oklahoma, please know that many are thinking about you and your families.  The strength and support the community has shown is something to live up to.  The prayers will not end.

And for those of us who are watching this all unfold, tearing up at the loss and thinking about the many "what if's" in our lives, may we have some peace, learning from the example we see from these communities who cope with loss with immeasurable strength and grace, and feel HOPEFUL instead of HOPELESS.

M Missoni Summer 2013

Yesterday I attended the Friends of CASA, Orange County Luncheon and M Missoni Fashion Show.  Not only was the event supporting an amazing organization but the fashion show did not disappoint.

In true Missoni fashion, the prints were bold while still versatile and left everyone there anxious to see more.  We could not stop talking about how perfect each piece was for vacation and I think the entire collection heightened the need for school to end and summer to begin.  From the clothes and handbags to the shoes and the accessories, there was really nothing I didn't love.
You can preview the entire M Missoni Summer 2013 collection here

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Even though there are a few pieces we are still looking for to put in the family room, I am beginning to start gathering inspiration for the formal living room.  Right now, there are only three things I know about this room.  One, I already own pillows for the couches.  This is because when you find one of a kind pillows that you love, you buy them.  This education came directly from my interior designer and I quickly passed this knowledge on to the husband.  They are sitting in the closet just ready to make their debut!  Two, we know we are purchasing emerald green velvet couches.  This is because when you find fabulous pillows, the couches need to be equally fabulous.  And three, there MUST be book shelves.

I have always dreamed of a formal sitting room with a wall filled with my favorite books.  Old books, new books, kids books, art books.  You name it, I want it on the wall.  The big question right now is, what will the shelves look like.  I have changed my mind numerous times with this, stretching from traditional to modern.  Thanks to Pinterest, the ideas are endless.  Here is some of my current inspiration...

1 /  2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

Monday, May 20, 2013

Get the Look: Casual Summer

This look is my ideal casual look for summer.


It makes me think of warm weather and vacation.
The countdown to summer is official on.
Summer Casual
Shirt: Mango / Shorts: J. Crew / Tote: Tory Burch / Espadrilles: MARC by Marc Jacobs / Sunglasses: Ray-Ban for J. Crew / Scarf: Alexander McQueen / Cuff: Vintage Chanel

Friday, May 17, 2013



Baby Girl, how did you go from this...

to this?

Tomorrow she turns 3 and I know this is so cliche but the youngest seems to get older the fastest.

She is independent, happy, determined, loving, and stubborn.
She loves clothes and refuses to let me get her dressed in the morning.
She cannot get enough of her brothers and absolutely loves to be with with them.  
She is as tall as a 5 year old and tells people that is how old she is turning.
She walks around in my heels and carries as many dolls as she can.
She brings the spunk to this family and we all love her to pieces.

Happy 3rd Birthday Baby Girl!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

C. Wonder Sale

I love a sale.
I love a sale even more when they give you up to an additional 75% off items.

That's right.
Until midnight tonight, C.Wonder is hosting a Flash Sale and offering major discounts on their already discounted merchandise.  
It is sale overload.

Here are some of my favorite items but you would be silly not to peruse for yourself.

Remember, you only have until midnight!
C. Wonder
1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Merritt Charles

On Monday I made a visit to one of my favorite boutiques, Bardot, to peruse their new merchandise and talk shop with Dana, the uber cool owner.  One line that continued to catch my eye throughout the store was Merritt Charles.  The LA based company prides itself in creating high end closet staples and it is apparent they are successful at it.  Each piece I picked up was beautiful, simple and are items that would be in your closet forever.

If you are in the Orange County area, make a visit to Bardot to check out the available collection.  Not in Orange County?  No problem, you can shop online here.

all images via Merritt Charles

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

American Girls

On Saturday I headed up to the American Girl Store at The Grove with Baby Girl, my mom, my sister and her daughter.  Baby Girl turns 3 on Saturday and my niece (and Goddaughter) turns 4 on June 1st so it made perfect sense to celebrate both birthdays at once!  We shopped, visited the "doll salon", ate lunch and enjoyed some girl time.  I love that three generations of women were represented and look forward to making this a tradition.  Now I am responsible for changing Baby Girl's doll's outfit a couple times a day.  Apparently the doll likes to change her clothes as much as Baby Girl does.  

Monday, May 13, 2013


Happy Monday!

Indeed, it is a Happy Monday because, for the first time in 11 days, I am starting to feel human again.  The meds are working and I am hoping this psycho cold is FINALLY getting pushed out.  I have never had a cold/sinus infection take me out like this.  It was brutal.

Mother's Day was incredible around here with breakfast from the hubby and kids, brunch with my entire family and then a quiet walk all by myself.  I feel so blessed to have the people in my life that I do.  I hope all you mommies out there also had a fabulous day.

The weather here in Orange County was also showing some gratitude with delivering heat in the 90's for the first time in SO long.  It felt nice to sit outside and really feel like summer is approaching.

Dare I say we can pack away the sweaters and pull out our shorts?
I sure hope so.

Tank: Splendid / Denim Shirt: Madewell / Necklace: Stella & Dot / Shorts: J. Crew / Sandals: ASOS / Bag: C. Wonder

Friday, May 10, 2013


Well, what I thought was going to be a day or two of not feeling "that great" turned into an entire week of feeling "TERRIBLE".  By Wednesday I was at the Doctor's getting medication and today I think it is starting to work.  The hard part is that I know if I were to stay in bed for a day, drink a ton of fluids and get rest, I would probably feel better faster.  Unfortunately, life as a mother doesn't work that way and I have been spending the week trying to balance rest with all the events going on for the kids.  Yes they have watched more TV and played more video games than normal but you gotta do what you gotta do.  It is what I like to call "survival mode".

Regardless of how I am feeling, this weekend brings baseball games, Baby Girl's Birthday Party and Mother's Day....YEA!  I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and all you fabulous moms out there have a wonderful Mother's Day.

And will I be back to my regular scheduled programming on Monday?  I SURE HOPE SO!

Happy weekend Everyone.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Though I am still feeling horrible (and perhaps completely drugged on cold and sinus medicine), I had to share my look from our event Saturday night.  I have always been a huge fan of The Great Gatsby and am enamored with 1920's fashion.  With all the Gatsby-inspired dresses that have recently been seen on the runway, I was itching for a reason to "dress up".  This fundraiser was perfect.  And even though the ocean weather was not accommodating to the curls in my hair, it was still so much fun to put the look together.
Dress: All Saints / Shoes: Pour La Victoire / Acceessories: CEEK / Headpiece: Nordstrom / Makeup:  Sarah at Nordstrom

And here is another with our little pre-party group

Remember them from last year?
I am laughing at how different my looks are.

And now back to laying down, drinking tea and getting better!
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