COUSIN REUNION

08/20/2014

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It’s been pretty quiet over here over the past two weeks. Sorry about that. I’ll give you an update on what’s been happening in our neck of the woods… I celebrated a birthday. I am not really a big fans of birthdays (well, my birthdays), but I had one of the best I’ve had in years thanks to my sweet husband and thoughtful friends. We celebrated at City House, one of my favorite restaurants in Nashville, followed by a good birthday hang at a friend’s house, complete with my favorite gals and good wine. They totally made me forget about turning 25. ;)

The next day, two of my cousins flew in from out-of-state to stay with us over the next four days. I have not laughed so hard in a really long time. There is just something comforting and fun about family. We caught up over the course of their stay, since we don’t get to see each other that often, ate delicious food, talked about everything under the sun, and played with the kids. The photos above are from our day at Arrington Vineyards, drinking wine, playing with little friends, getting dirty, and enjoying the sunset. We’ve decided that the cousin reunion needs to become a regular thing.

The big kids came home this past weekend and I could not be happier. I always feel an immediate sense of completeness when they return from their trips. They had an amazing summer with their dad, step-mom, and little sister, and returned home an inch taller and with new hair cuts. Julian is 6’3″ tall now and towering over all of us. He turns 14 next week. I can’t even believe it!

It’s Birdie’s fourth birthday today. We spent the morning at home eating donuts, opening gifts, and playing with her new toys and balloons. We asked her where she wants to go for her birthday dinner tonight and she said “The place where the man cooks and does cook tricks with the food.” So, we will be going to get hibachi and then returning home for ice cream cake.

I am also preparing for a trip this weekend. I am flying to California to see my business partner Katie and then meeting up with some friends and driving down the coast to LA over a four day period. This will be my first trip, other than my over night stay in Austin nearly three years ago, sans children, in over a decade. I am excited, but also incredibly nervous about being away for so long. But, I do think it will be good for me to have some me time and I can’t wait to see some people who I love!

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I apologize for not updating this space more often. Mother Magazine (which has been doing incredibly well and is truly a passion and labor of love) along with my family, take up much of my time and it’s hard to find a steady balance. After my trip things should start to settle down, and I will definitely be taking my camera along for the ride to California and will share lots of photos. xx

Footnote: Birdie and Sailor’s cute clothes are from Darling Clementine.

EAST TENNESSEE

08/08/2014

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I wanted to share the rest of our East Tennessee vacation photos with you. If you saw our commercial, then you will recognize many of the places we went to. They were fun to look back on after a couple of months. We had the best time exploring our state together as a family and will be returning one day soon. The cabin we stayed in, which unfortunately I didn’t get many photos of, was enormous and so beautiful. There was a family of kittens living under the porch that we fed each day, the girl’s would trick them inside by setting out a little trail of food. It worked and they were all smiles.

Here are some more photos of our trip, some of which you can see our awesome film crew in. These first few are in Knoxville. This town stole my heart. So quaint and green, with lots of cute shops and restaurants.

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Here are a few photos from the aquarium. The kids loved the jelly fish and the penguins, and of course the gift shop on the way out.

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The sky ride over the Smokies was one of our favorite parts. It was so beautiful and also a little scary being up so high. The pictures don’t do it justice.

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When we reached the other side of the sky ride, we saw a little animal preserve that had just closed for the day. With a some sweet talking, they let us in so we could see the bears, hawks, and otters. This was one of the highlights of our trip because we spent over an hour with the guy who runs the place, and he told us great stories about each animal and where they came from. The kids loved it!

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Breakfast at our cabin. I really wish I would have snapped more photos here. It was so gorgeous and peaceful.

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We really didn’t get any photos from zip lining, except Plum all geared up and ready to go. So cute.

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The view at the top of the mountains was insane, and also a little cold, which was a nice break from the southern heat we are accustomed to. We got some great family photos here that I will have printed, one of these days.

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Julian was most likely saying something a little shocking and inappropriate here—happens often at this age, but I love his wit.

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Photos from the water park. Again, I didn’t get many photos. We were too busy having fun.

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Of course, I had to stop and snap a photo of this sign.

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Lastly, some photos from the go-kart place. I stayed back at the cabin with the little ones, since it was going to be a late night, while Aubrey and the big kids got to enjoy some quality time together. They loved it, even though he won the big race, every time.

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And there you have it, our little trip in a nutshell. Sorry for the photo overload, but there were just too many great ones. I love the memories from this trip and can’t wait to go back, especially since it’s just a short car trip away. I am still dreaming of that cabin. For more information on where we went, visit the Tennessee Vacation site.

Enjoy your weekend!

WORN / 22: The Farmer’s Market

08/04/2014

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The weather here in Nashville has been amazing lately. We’ve been taking full advantage by spending lots of time outdoors as a family, including evening walks through the neighborhood, trips to the park, and eating outside. We went to the Franklin Farmer’s Market (our favorite one in the area, just outside of Nashville) on Saturday morning for hot donuts, fresh juice, and some local goodness. I picked up some incredible homemade bread and tomatoes from this sweet little old lady and her husband, and a bunch of freshly made pasta for dinner, which I highly recommend. It was seriously some of the best tasting pasta I’ve had. It was so flavorful and delicious that we skipped the sauce, only adding a little butter and grated parmesan cheese. We visited a bit with friends and I hit up the crepe truck while the kids listened to the band, before heading back home. We don’t visit the farmer’s market often enough, in fact this was our first time all summer, and we were reminded just how great it is. I’ll be going back next week for more pasta!

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Worn / Royal Sheath Dress, Ace & Jig. Straw Hat, Imogene + Willie. Sunglasses, Karen Walker. Sandals found secondhand, Beatrice Valenzuela. Handwoven basket Tote, Lydali.

SUMMER PANZANELLA SALAD

07/30/2014

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This salad is so delicious! It’s the kind of salad that just gets better after sitting a bit, so make sure you have seconds. The bread!!! Oh, the delicious bread! Simple, fresh, and surprisingly filling. Too good not to share.

SUMMER PANZANELLA SALAD

You will need:

3-4 slices of thick cut sourdough bread, sliced into cubes
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup cucumber, chopped
1/2 cup red onion, diced
2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
1/2 cup baby mozzarella balls, halved
Salt and fresh cracked pepper

For the vinaigrette:

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon shallots, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 1/4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and fresh cracked pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place bread cubes on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Toss to coat the bread and pop into the oven for 10-15 minutes or until bread is golden and crisp. Set aside to cool.

In the meantime, prep the vinaigrette. In a bowl, whisk together the fresh lemon juice, shallots, Dijon mustard, and red wine vinegar. Slowly add in the olive oil, whisking vigorously until the vinaigrette is emulsified. Season with salt, fresh cracked pepper and set aside.

In a large bowl, add in the tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, baby spinach, mozzarella, and cooled bread cubes. Drizzle with a little bit of the vinaigrette and toss everything to coat.

Serve right away, or let the salad sit in the fridge for an hour or two to let the bread soak up the vinaigrette.

Hope you like it!

GIVEAWAY / MAVEN COLLECTION – NOW CLOSED

07/29/2014

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This is a good one you guys! Maven Collection is a lifestyle brand featuring ethically sourced products that are handmade from artisans across the globe. In celebration of the brand turning one (congrats!!!) they are giving away a $500 gift certificate to their online store. Think gorgeous Moroccan rugs, wedding blankets, giant Kilim floor cushions, throw pillows, woven baskets, handmade bags, shoes, and more.

To enter to win simply visit Maven Collection’s site and comment back here with how you would spend your winnings. We will choose the lucky winner next week! Good luck and thank you for playing.

This giveaway has ended and a winner has been chosen!

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