• Summer Salads + A Challenge

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    I’m always on the the hunt for new, delicious salad recipes this time of year to add to our repertoire and serve as a main course. I always feel better when I’ve had a leafy salad for lunch or dinner instead of heavy meat and potatoes. Especially when it’s warm. Plus, it’s an excuse to pick up some delicious fresh bread to go with it. Do you have a favorite summer salad? Next week I’m planning on doing a personal challenge of eating a new and different salad every night for dinner. Would you like to join in on the challenge?  I’ll report back for sure! A few of my current favorites are below. I’d love to hear yours as well to consider for our menu next week.

    My current favorites…

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  • Cheerios Printable Placemats

    printable cheerios placemats

    What does a typical morning look like for your family during the school year? When I come home from my workout group at 8 am, Henry is just getting dressed and ready for breakfast. We’re often in a rush as Jared and I help pack his lunch, get Edie up, fed, and dressed as well. Sometimes if we’re on the ball we all get a few special minutes together to eat before running out the door to school. It’s such a great way to start the day.  printable cheerios placemats

    There have been all sorts of studies that show the benefits of eating together as a family for breakfast: better school performance, healthier body weight, and general improved family relationships. It just starts the day off on such a great note.

    I’m partnering with Cheerios and their Family Breakfast Project to help challenge more families to slow down their mornings and focus on just a few minutes together as a family around the breakfast table for 7 consecutive days.

    printable cheerios placemats

    Today I’m sharing a way to make those family breakfasts together more fun with this cute printable Cheerios activity placemat. There’s a underwater scene, a cityscape, and a jungle scene. Cheerios are strategically placed on small circles in the design, like on fish bubbles, fruit on the tree, or wheels on the train, to complete the image. A fun way to get breakfast started in the morning!

    cheerios placemats

    Keep reading to get the three different place mat designs and instructions on putting them together…

    Photography by Liz Stanley. Illustrations by Becca Ricks. Thanks to Henry’s friend Harper for joining us for a fun breakfast!
    This post is in partnership with Cheerios Family Breakfast Project. Check out fun ways to connect more with 7 days of family breakfasts right here.

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  • Look for less: denim and white

    by fashion editor Ashley

    madewell june 14-01

    Denim and white are one of summer’s hottest new duos, in my book. They look clean and crisp when paired together and make getting dressed a cinch! Most of these pieces you probably already have in your wardrobe… and if not, here is Liz’s tutorial on making your own distressed jeans!

    The look: Madewell

    For less:  jacket | blouse | jeans | shoes

      
  • Making First Year Baby Photobooks

    kolo photobooks

    Do you make baby photobooks for your kids?  Rather than wait until they were teenagers or older, I wanted to make photobooks of their first year while they were still young and could enjoy them casually here at home. Last year I was visiting my sister Celeste and her two cute kids were completely captivated by these baby photobooks she had made them. I’ve been meaning to make some ever since. Nothing makes Henry smile more than talking about the silly things he did as a baby: how he used to hate taking baths, the funny way he would sit in his high chair with one leg up, or how he nonchalantly sat on his cake at his first birthday party (he’s insisting Edie do the same). kolophotobook8

    We’ve made a storybook before about his birth which was really sweet, but I’ve really wanted to put together an heirloom quality book for him and Edie with as many photos as I wanted from his first year, and have the flexibility to add more in at a later date.

    As I mentioned before, I’m partnering with Kolo on a few projects to create heirloom quality photo products for our family and making baby photobooks was top on my list. Kolo is the premier photo album and photo book for professional photographers and designers. The quality of the their products are unmatched from any other kind of photobook I’ve seen. The pages lay flat and the linen covers are so lovely to handle (and in such amazing colors). The better the quality, the more likely it’ll be displayed front and center in your home and the more times it’ll be opened and shared with family and friends. It’s a really wonderful product that I highly recommend and I truly think it is worth the investment.

    kolo photobooks

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    Keep reading to hear more about the baby photobooks we made…

    Photography by Liz Stanley. Assisted by Sara Albers. Thanks to Kolo for sponsoring this post. Opinions and images are my own.

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  • Secrets of Stylish Moms: Bridgette

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    Today’s Secrets of Stylish Moms features Bridgette of B.JOY! Bridgette is a new mom to 7 month old baby Shepard (couldn’t you just eat him up?). Bridgette spends most of her time taking care of her little guy but on the side she does cool things like photoshoots for proof eyewear, designing and selling the cutest city artwork, and even painting! Here are the details on Bridgette’s lovely look… (more…)

      
  • Weekend Roundup

     

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    I know it’s still May but today was Henry’s last day of school so it’s officially summer vacation! His kindergarten graduation was so sweet earlier this week. If I think about it too much I’m going to get a little emotional so let’s move on. To celebrate school being out we picked him up straight from school and headed up north to hot Sonoma for the weekend to stay at a fun little retro hotel with a giant warm pool and poolside service. Some friends are coming up to meet us tomorrow. I can’t wait to sit by the pool, order a pina colada, and watch Henry practice his cannonballs over and over. He has camp starting next week. Summer is here! Hope you’re up to something fun as well, have a great one. Here are some links to explore:

    Such a great maternity style series

    The prettiest balloons at a flamingo bridal shower

    I’ve been eying this dress from Madewell, and now it’s on sale!

    Pretty illustrated guide on watering plants

    Oh my goodness, this whole Joie collection (feeds my current obsession)

    8 of the loveliest bike accessories

    Such pretty illustrations on these cards

    5 best short hair cuts for summer from Vogue

    DIY stamped napkins (so pretty!)

    Everyone has an awkward stage, thank goodness

    Watermelon slice cookies

    In case you aren’t picnic-ed out: the perfect picnic basket

    Comfy v-neck sweater dress (only $28)

    (Above: another shot of the fabric we indigo dyed from the DIY post earlier this week)

      
  • A Barre Class

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    Since having a baby, I’ve really been trying to get back into a good exercise routine following months of sitting on the couch and waddling around the house. Climbing has been fun, but since it requires a belay partner, it’s hard to schedule. I’ve been doing a boot camp in Golden Gate Park too, but I’ve always wanted to try a class of some kind. Remember that line from Legally Blonde (bear with me here): “Exercise gives endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don’t shoot their husbands.” HA! But seriously, I do find that adding exercise into my daily routine makes me so much happier and more equipped at dealing with stress. And especially with the change and challenges of a new baby, I need that boost more than ever.

    I danced ballet when I was younger. I wasn’t particularly good – my older sister was the real star – but I loved the movements, expression and music. There was just something so incredibly fulfilling about it. When I was a sophomore in high school, I had to make the tough choice between continuing with ballet and playing lacrosse. I went with lacrosse and ended up playing through high school and into college. I even coached a high school team in college and after grad school. I don’t regret moving on, but I do miss ballet and that artistic expression sometimes.

    Recently, I heard about these new barre classes, and I’ve been curious to try them out. I thought they’d be a great combination of my experience with ballet and athletics, and a fun way to mix new experiences into my post-delivery exercise routine.

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    I had no idea really what to expect, but headed in with my DIY workout bag

    Photography by Sara Albers. Also, big thanks to Pure Barre in San Francisco for letting me take a class and giving me a little private session beforehand to learn some of the moves.

    this story is brought to you by vapor-distilled smartwater, who found unique inspiration for their water by looking up to the sky. we hope the change in perspective this piece offers will help inspire you.

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  • Fab Finds Under $40: Picnic Essentials Edition

    by fashion editor Ashley

    picnic essentials

    What a better way to wrap up picnic week here on the blog, then with a round up of picnic essentials under $40! Happy Picnicking!

    1. Dotted Napkins (set of 6) $8.97
    2. Bottle with stopper $3.99
    3. Scoop Ball Set $39.95
    4. Salad Set $28.00
    5. Large Tray $9.99
    6. Compostable Dinnerware (set of 25) $18.00
    7. Weck Jar $2.95 (each)
    8. Herringbone Throw $15.99
    9. Horseshoe Set $30.00
    10. White Dipped Cutting Board $19.99

      
  • DIY Indigo Dyed Blanket

    DIY indigo dying

    In browsing a few of my favorite stores recently I’ve noticed a lot of indigo or shibori dyed clothing and home goods. It’s an old traditional Japanese dying technique of twisting, folding, and binding fabric before adding dye that dates back to the 8th century (precursor of 80s tie dye!). Blue and white have long been one of my favorite color combinations for summer. The deep blue color from indigo dye is incredible and the possibilities for design and pattern are endless. No two pieces are the same, which makes them that much more special.

    I thought for picnic week it would be fun to try our hand at indigo tie dying ourselves and make a summery picnic blanket to enjoy a day at the park or beach on this summer.

    DIY indigo dying

    DIY indigo dying

    DIY indigo dying

    Also, I noticed yesterday that if you go to J.Crew’s seasonal swim page everything above the fold is in indigo tie dye style. It’s a popular new trend (this dress from Madewell too!). Here are the step by step instructions…

    In case you missed our other picnic themed posts this week: The perfect picnic sandwich, 3 favorite homemade veggie dips, what to wear to a picnic, DIY cloth picnic games. Stay tuned for one more tomorrow!

    Photography by Liz Stanley. Assisted by Sara Albers and Jordan Wise

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  • DIY Cloth Picnic Games

    DIY cloth picnic games

    Hey! More fun stuff for picnic week. In case you missed it: Monday Brittany shared her tips for making the perfect picnic sandwich, yesterday I shared 3 favorite homemade veggie dips, Ashley found some perfect picnic outfits earlier today, and now we have DIY cloth picnic games for 2 players: tic tac toe and squares. So easy to make and a great way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon on the grass.

    DIY cloth picnic games

    DIY cloth picnic games

    Keep reading to see how we made them (and how to play squares if you aren’t familiar, it’s one of Henry’s favorites)…

    PS Stay tuned for a tutorial on making this pretty indigo dyed picnic blanket tomorrow!

    Photography by Liz Stanley. Assisted by Sara Albers and Jordan Wise

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