Lovely Simply

Style and Lifestyle in New England

Month: August, 2016

Falling into Pink

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I have a lot of mixed feelings about Autumn. On the one hand, I love the return of hot beverages. I love being able to bake again without heating up the house. I love running in the morning with a slight chill in the air. But I am always, always, bothered by a bite of nostalgia. By a sense of sadness and longing that I can never fill. I think I actually figured out where these feelings come from– but that is all for another post. A slightly heavier post. And that post is not for today. Today, it is very hot. And it doesn’t at all feel like school is about to start.

Last Saturday, my sister and I (and Redmond) met for lunch and coffee. She was toddler free for the day, and although we had to wrangle Redmond away from devouring the entirety of that almond croissant up there, we had a generally grown up date. We strolled around her little town and ended the afternoon with mojitos for us and chocolate milk for Red at an outdoor restaurant. I wore this pink pleated dress which is currently on super sale for TEN DOLLARS. You guys….worth it. The quality is great, and its the perfect breezy, easy dress to say goodbye to summer in. img_8732

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The next week or so will be full of transitions. Back to school, back to work, new schedules– the whole nine yards so to speak. I am always anxious about change, but I am also ready for it in a lot of ways. There is a comfort in the rhythm that develops in these first few months. Once the initial craziness subsides. And god knows I like a schedule. I just always fear the change before it happens. There are exciting things on our horizon. And part of me is ready to embrace it with a whole heart, and part of me is wanting to bury my head in the sand like an ostrich.

You know what makes life better? Caramel lattes. And almond croissants. Pink pleated dresses. And time with my sister.

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dress c/o

hat, sold out

shoes, old

watch, c/o

Dog Days of Summer

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The past few weeks have been peppered with super hot days. Like the sort of August days I remember as a kid. For some reason, summers in New England seemed much warmer then. Maybe kids just don’t get cold…which would explain how we were able to spend hours in frigid ocean waters while I can barely get past my knees now.

Last weekend, we went on a spontaneous little day trip with some friends of ours to Hampton Beach. Its only about a half hour from our house, and I used to go there as a child with my grandparents every summer that we were in the U.S. But for whatever reason, I have never been there as an adult. It had a real cool sort of west coast vibe to it with surf shops and taco joints and smoothie shops. I wore this vintage-y swim suit from PakPak and was feeling all California cool until I actually put a toe in the water and it was insanely, insanely cold. Like, aching numb feet cold. Like, you probably couldn’t have paid me to get all the way in cold. So cold. Needless to say, we didn’t do any swimming. But we DID have a really great lunch at the secret spot— a taco for me, a fish burrito for Nick, and a green smoothie for Red. Although, let’s be real, he ate half my taco too. We are going to have to start ordering him his own meals because the kid eats so much. img_8225

Don’t be misled by his grumpy face. He had a straw in one hand and a smoothie in his sippy cup and all was right in his little worldimg_8219img_8221

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As a teenager, I was obsessed with Marilyn Monroe in particular and 1950’s/60’s style in general. I spent hours scouring the internet for vintage inspired swim suits back in the mid 2000’s, (is that what one would call 2004/5/6?) with very little luck. So, the fact that high waisted swim suits have been in for the past few years brings me no end of joy. NO END I tell you. Add to that the fact that I don’t have to worry about that extra bit of post giant baby belly skin to the mix, and I’m one happy beach bather. Also, I love the pattern. And the fact that I was the only girl on the beach wearing a suit like this. Again. I really like to stand out from the crowd. I’ll admit it. I was a theater major for goodness sakes, its in my blood. Running through it like a show-offy wine. I’m kidding. I’m not kidding. Maybe I’m kidding.

Anyway. We wrapped up our beach day with a naked diaper bum baby (after he covered himself in sand) and a peek at our friends new camper van. Which made me really want a camper van. Which made Nick really want a tent. Which caused us to spend a day at L.L. Bean looking at tents…Nick was starry eyed imagining the fun we’d have in some remote area and I was imagining the special kind of crazy it would be to camp with a one-year-old who loves the hell out of his crib and his ten hours straight a night in that crib….would that mix with the great outdoors and a sleeping bag? Would it? I’m willing to find out, but only if we stash a good bottle of tequila in our backpacks….img_8224

Outfit details: swimsuit top and bottom (super affordable) c/o/ heart shaped sunglassessimilar sandals/overalls (Mine are sold out, but I love this flared version for fall)beach tote c/o and on sale

 

The Big One

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This past weekend, Redmond and his cousin celebrated their first and second birthdays (respectively.) My sister and I basically planned the entire thing about three days before it happened because I kept putting it off– the planning of it made it so very real…Redmond is a whole year old. It has been an entire year since we brought him home– since we took our first walk around the neighborhood–my two day old held close in the grey wrap that I clumsily and fearfully put on. There are so many firsts in this thing called motherhood. The first bath, the first blowout, the first tantrum (getting my share of those this week…) the first steps (his record is three right now), and of course, the first birthday. With the universal appeal of Pinterest and the ever rising pressure of Instagram, I felt mildly overwhelmed about the prospect of THE party. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money, and I didn’t want to spend precious summer hours working on crafts. Luckily my sister and I both did most of the work for our own weddings (with lots of help from friends and family) so we have a plethora of table cloths and bunting and general decor. So we pulled our things out of storage and gave them all a second life. Nick built a tepee, my sister made some insanely good food, and I did some serious baking. We cut some greenery from a few trees, hung up some bunting, and called it good. And it was good. A real good day. img_8021

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We had some friends and some family, and Redmond reveled in the attention (I don’t know where he gets that from….). I made little personal cakes for Red and Aurelia. I figured he’d have a few nibbles and move on…Aurelia took a few dainty bites out of hers, and Redmond picked up his entire cake and ate almost the whole thing. Like a baby cake monster. img_8023

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This past week has been an exercise in patience. And I have found it necessary to remind myself continuously that these days are short and that I need to treasure them. My usually content and independent boy has been constantly wanting to be held. There are times when this is nice, but to be honest, I’ve been listening to a lot of whining and crying because I just very simply cannot hold him all of the time. I know (at least I hope) that this is a phase and that it will pass, but for now, I am tired.

But when I look back on the speed with which this year has streaked by, I know that this will all seem distant in no time. I already get waves of nostalgia for last year. I mean, I get nostalgic for days that we had like a month ago. Life can get so cluttered, and I want to be able to strip away my guilt (the house isn’t clean enough, I’m not working enough, I’m eating too much ice cream, I am not patient enough) and allow myself to just sit in bed with Redmond, put on some Justin Bieber, and let him dance and snuggle and wrestle and be happy. That’s exactly what we did today when Nick got home, and it was wonderful. img_8025

 

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To end this post, here’s a round up of things that Redmond likes lately.

The jungle gym at the playground. Cantaloupe. Thai food. Being in any body of water. The playhut at my gym (he graduated to the big kid side.) Playing ball with Lupe, our dog. Any ball ever. Walking while holding my hand. Top forty hits (especially Bieber). Wrestling with his daddy. Giving slobbery kisses, and lingering just long enough to make it mildly awkward. Pointing at everything he is curious about. Giving hugs out after he’s been naughty.

Things he doesn’t like.

Diaper changes. Getting into his car seat when he’s tired. The second nap of the day. Kale. Being put down when he’s in snuggle mode.

All in all he’s our favorite thing. And Lupe is coming around to him too. img_8026

Reds shirt c/o / my dress, old/ woodland creature cake toppers/

Wedded Blissfully

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I’m finally getting around to posting these photos from a big wedding weekend we had in Massachusetts for Nicks brother and his beautiful bride. I feel like I have been wildly behind on most things lately, and am having a hard time catching up. I still feel like I’m sort of treading water these days, and the advent of Redmond crawling and trying to walk has made that feeling even more intense. My patience feels thin sometimes, and worn. And I catch myself snapping at him, or sighing with frustration, or telling him to just stay put. And I have to remind myself that these days are fleeting. My baby is growing up.

I love weddings. I love dressing up, seeing the bride in all her glory, the food, the drinks,  the dancing. I love all of it. I love being reminded of our wedding as well– and I always feel a little more in love with my husband when we are together at these events. Our four year anniversary is coming up in three weeks, and it is is simultaneously hard to believe that it has been four whole years and that it has been ONLY four years. In so many ways, I feel like I’ve been with him forever. Like my life before him was a whole different one. Just like our life before Redmond seems hazy and far away. img_7900

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These days of motherhood are beautiful and easy and difficult and messy and rewarding and exhausting and blissful. But I always feel deeply, deeply blessed to have a partner in my husband– someone who is an incredible father. Someone who makes me feel beautiful even when I am in a dirty t-shirt and an old pair of boxer shorts. Someone who makes me laugh hysterically on long car rides. A man who shares my passion for all things Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. A man who adores his son. A man who things it’s funny and charming that I give every animal ever a voice (our dog is constantly talking back.) A man who loves me deeply, purely, and entirely. I do not take this for granted. Not for one single moment do I take it for granted. img_7899

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Even in these wild, new days of the entrance into toddler-hood (A post to come on Redmond turning 0ne) and the beginnings of tantrums, and the exhaustion that comes along with it, he is patient with me. And patient with Redmond. And he calms my frazzled nerves.

I meant to get a good family photo at the wedding. We are so rarely all dressed up together, and Nick looked so handsome, and Red looked so cute…but of course, we forgot to ask someone to take it, and by the time I remembered, the light was mostly gone. But we took one anyway. And even though its blurry and shadowed, I love it.img_8005

Anyway. Redmond has been keeping up a steady stream of wails upstairs as he fights his nap…so I’m going to mix myself a mojito and put on some music while I cook dinner. And I bet that eventually he will fall asleep….right? (Update. No. He did not fall asleep. I eventually rescued him from his forty five minute battle with the Nap enemy.)

outfit details: dress c/o Cuddy Studios/ clutch c/o Daylin Skye

Man Bag, Girl Bag

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Nick constantly teases me because…I’m sort of a shambles of a human being when it comes to my purse. It’s like an extension of my car (which is an utter embarrassment…) and I just shove stuff in and zip it shut and hope for the best. Whenever I need to find something, I am digging around, sometimes in a minor panic, and trash is sort of flying out of it, and I look like a full on mess. Remember when I said I had lost my keys in this post? I ended up finding them in a cranny of a diaper bag…So my point is, I really love to carry a small bag when I can. I can’t lose anything inside of it because there isn’t any space to. But with a nearly one-year-old (WHAT?HOW?), I can’t downsize very often. Until last week when Nick got his own diaper backpack. A man one. A man diaper bag that is so cool looking that Nick was excited to bring it. Its from Twisted Mustard Seed’s warrior collection, and is everything a diaper bag should be with lots of space, an insulated snack box, and a nice, big changing pad. So I brought this tiny, beautiful vegan leather mini and carried just my barest essentials and it was amazing. The bag was a generous gift from Daylin Skye and is truly so lovely. Handmade, and with gorgeous detail. I love a small business run my a creative woman!img_6959

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I miss Thailand basically all of the time, so last week, we decided to have an “Asian” day in Portland. We went to Bubble Maineia for cold bubble teas (it was REALLY hot that day), then stopped in at a little Asian super market for pocky and a yogurt drink for Red, and some Thai groceries to take home. Red sipped his drink and ate his strawberry pocky on the quiet little green that is pictured up there before we continued on to do some shopping. I wore a favorite two piece outfit that I found in a Thai clothing market the last time we visited my “home” country. I paired it with my new watch from Arvo–I felt like its pink band was the perfect playful touch– and a pair of comfy kicks for walking.img_6958

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We had dinner at a relatively disappointing Japanese place that was clearly irritated with us for having a baby and rushed us out as fast as they could….to the point where we hadn’t even taken a bite of our ramen and the waitress asked us if she could package it up for us… “Can I get some to-go boxes for you?” “Um, no, I’m going to eat it…” So yeah. Bound to happen I guess. We just haven’t yet experienced it. To lift our spirits, we stopped in Wells for ice cream at scoop deck which is everything an ice cream joint should be. img_6961

It was a good day. Another good day. We have had a lot of them this summer. I am in the trenches of planning (last minute because OF COURSE) Redmonds one year birthday party for this weekend. His cousin is turning two, so they are having a joint party. Hopefully the first of many. I can’t believe that this time last year I was desperately hoping to go into labor. Huge with child, full of longing to hold him in my arms. And now, he’s almost walking…Time…its a crazy thing, am I right?

Anyway. That’s all I have for today. I would love to hear about some of your favorite summer things to do!

diaper bag c/o Twisted Mustard Seed/ vegan mini bag c/o Daylin Skye Designs/ pink watch c/o Arvo