madison’s closet

a lot of people have been asking me where i like to shop for madison & the answer is difficult because it’s EVERYWHERE. i haven’t bought enough stuff for myself lately (i look a little haggard sometimes) but she always looks fashionable. zara, h&m and gap are the 3 i shop at the most, but i buy a lot of items from small online boutiques (like ruffles buttskid couture), etsy and local stores as well. some of my favorite etsy shops include: lola & darla, olive & birdie, little blue olive, bub + bug studio, sweet lucy jack, sugar plum lane baby, mama case and grey thread. instagram has also introduced me to 1 million shops that i can’t get enough of. a few of my absolute favorites are: hello apparel, finomenon kidsslyfox threads, loved by hannah & eli, knox & lolajennifer ann, and indie nook.

i also typically pin a lot of the styles i like for madison here, along with other fun toddler activities & accessories.

Photo Dec 11, 12 43 01 PM

kentucky fried Christmas 2014


santa suit / sparkle boots / santa hat hair clip


just wanted to post a few of our family photos this year! i am so incredibly thankful that we are able to get together as a family every year at our cabins on the lake! i look forward to it all year long & i get so excited for the opportunity to spend time all together (it’s rare). & letting madison get to run around and play with her cousins now is just icing on the cake. the fact that we can all afford to make the trip, and are able bodied enough every year is something to be over thankful for. we are blessed beyond measure. i couldn’t ask for a better Christmas gifts, than these faces. madison is already missing everyone, and so am i.

Christmas Wish List: Man edition

MAN - Holiday Gift Guide

1.) hook + albert accessory case 2.) hey handsome shaving kit bag 3.) garmin head up display - projects navigation from your smartphone to a transparent film on your wind-shield 4.) 47 brand t-shirts – literally the softest t-shirts out there. if your guy is like mine he lives in these & jeans & his baseball hat 5.) nike for jcrew internationalist sneakers 6.) UNTUCKit elqui valley shirt - this company creates dress shirts that are mean to be worn untucked, great for guys who are of average height that always find their shirts a little too long or bulky 7.) tweezerman grooming kit – stocking stuffer idea, tweezerman just came out with their new men’s collection 8.) stanley vaccum mug – i discovered these on sarah’s Christmas gift guy-de, and they are great! this one keeps drinks hot or cold for up to 6 hours! 9.) zara fur hat 10.) gap reverse sherpa jacket – 30% off use code HAPPY 11.) herschel supply co backpack 12.) sorel waterproof canvas boots 13.) otterbox symetry series iPhone case

thanksgiving hope

i am incredibly grateful for the fact that God has given me enough days in my life to realize what life is actually all about. i am hopeful that all of my selfish mistakes from my youth will be forgiven someday. i believe that people can change, and that i have. and that children are the best kind of redemption. they can alter the course of your life. i am filled with these thoughts this week of thanksgiving, while i hold my sick daughter to my chest. i realize that there is no depth i wouldn’t go or height i wouldn’t climb for her. and i realize that i am not entitled to any of this – all this joy. & that it’s all a gift. well, many gifts. taking the shape of family & friends & immeasurable blessings. nothing i can ever give a proper thank you for either. but the best (and really only) way i know to show my gratitude is to raise madison to be the best person she can be, and to elevate my own standard of living to reflect this. to pass on any knowledge that i have, and all the love in my heart. so that she may have a tenderness for the world, and for everyone in it. to find faith among cynicism. to understand her own worth and know that she doesn’t have to measure up to to anybody else’s standards. and to pray that she doesn’t make the same mistakes that i have made. that she is able to fight through everything out there that is trying to stop her. i hope that she grows up with grace. with roots & with wings. grounded but ambitious. i am so incredibly grateful that i have the opportunity to even wish these things for her. that she is here in the world at all. we have so much to be thankful for. but the greatest of blessings are those which change our hearts, and she certainly has changed ours.

this week, especially during this time of crisis throughout our country, i pray that we are able to release all of our worry and anxiety. God, please help us to focus on all that we have instead of all that we do not. let our hearts be grateful. our minds be at peace. and our actions speak out in love. wrap up your loved ones.

enjoy your time with family & with friends this week/weekend. happy thanksgiving from us xx



gobble gold glitter onesie / moustache skirt (antique mall, gift) / gold bow headband / raccoon plush animal

ultimate christmas wish list

we wish you a merry christmas, we wish you a merry christmas, we wish you a merry christmas & a happy new yearrrrrr, fa ra ra ra ra, and all that jazz! I LOVE CHRISTMAS TIME! i have been counting down the days to get thanksgiving out of the way. i mean i am grateful for a 5 day weekend next week, no doubt about that. and i count my blessings daily BUTTTT it seems as if thanksgiving has become a starting gate for Christmas. as soon as we eat the turkey and stuff our faces with pie & wine, the gun goes off and IT’S TIME! BANG, let’s go! and i am in the starting box, fingers down, butt up ready to run into the holiday season in a full sprint (and i don’t even LIKE running). i am also probably over the top this year about the holidays because i think madison this year will be super excited about everything and that makes it two times as much fun. we have plans to do a little black friday madness then get our tree next weekend & exchange our ornaments (we do it every year). we have to go see santa. who i have been trying to explain to madison if she sits on his lap he will give her toys – this sounds extremely inappropriate – and she’s a smart girl & must realize it b/c when i say toys she says “yes santa give me toys” and when i mention lap she says “no lap!!” – we will most likely get another picture like we had last year. we have to see the BIG tree, at the lighting on december 3rd! we already saw some frozen on ice (amazing btw, if it comes to your town go see it). we have some christmas parties to attend and ugly sweaters to wear. and maybe, just maybe SOME ICE SKATING!

here is my holiday wish list this season! & the full version can be found HERE 

holiday wish list

1.) becker sneakers 2.) blanket scarf 3.) party on bottle opener 4.) mini pearl tassel lariat 5.) lots of dots wallet 6.) eat cake for breakfast bangle 7.) snow sneakers 8.) best day ever mug 9.) lodge moccs 10.) coffee first sleep shirt 11.) leopard and red cross body bag 12.) combined hooded parka 

monday in micro fashion / kate spade for gap!

so it’s no shocker i have been patiently awaiting the new kate spade for gap collection to be released. and the moment has finally arrived. i love the iconic kate spade colors & quirky sayings on little friends. i mean who better to skirt the rules than this princess? she’s making her own rules. setting hearts and wallets on fire (her daddy is scared). especially after she came home with a mini jack! whom the sales woman told me was a collectors item. i swiftly told her in about 10 minutes it would no longer be. not once we got a hold of it, but madison loves her teddy. so i love him too. you can get your own dapper shopping companion here.

PS dear santa, mini mozart wants this piano – it was her absolute favorite!





kate spade hair bow / kate spade skirt the rules sweater / polka dot leggings / suede boots / pink mini “c” tote

** a lot of the KS for gap items are currently sold out but they will be re-stocked so check back often! here are a few of other favorites in stock including the gold foil pretty sneaky shirt that has made it’s way into madison’s closet as well (sneakily…) and don’t forget about jack spade for gap too!!

what i have learned about marriage (part 3)

my first few posts on what i have learned about marriage included comic relief primarily & the truth about the ends & outs of living with someone who might be your polar opposite, as husbands tend to be. and believe me there are still comical moments, but as time goes on it becomes so much more than the day to day.

i have learned that love comes in different packages. and i have learned that it isn’t all about what my perception of love is, it’s about our combined recognition of love. it’s about learning who your spouse is, and how they reciprocate love. & how they share themselves. even if it’s not the same way that you do. this is a difficult part of love (especially for me) but also a crucial one. it’s the part that allows us to be ourselves while still very much belonging to each other as well. also once you realize it, you start to appreciate each other that much more. the little things become the big things. and the most important concept i have learned to embrace this year in love, is that just because his way isn’t always my way, it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. this has taken me a long time to come to terms with & i believe it has made me & our marriage happier.

growing together as husband & wife – and now parents – our love has also evolved. it is stronger because it’s known weakness. it has been tested. stretched. poked. prodded. knocked down. yet still it remains. it is the constant in my life. whether it be during the calm or the storm, it’s always us. and that type of comfort, knowing that we will always get back up and dust ourselves off no matter what, is unlike any other love in the world. because it is also a choice. we choose each other again every day. no matter what yesterday brought, i wake up, and i see the man that i love. the man who changed what really living means for me. and i smile. every day, because i am so lucky to have someone that loves me enough to pick me over and over again.

so cheers to 3 years of marriage, and 8 years of love. happy anniversary brian. ily

and thank you so much to our good friend Anthony for taking these pics of us. you’re the best. 




this is my wedding dress, altered, but the original is eugenia couture / shoes are manolo d’orsay pump 

brian’s sport coat is jcrew (old) similar here / vest is express / skinny silk tie is express 

madison’s dress is h&m / boots are gap 


letters to madison


fleece tulle skirt dress / fur vest / fox knit hat / black boots (old, similar here)

my 22 month old toddler. i should really just say small human, because that is what you’ve become. you’re transforming into a little girl before my eyes. there isn’t much baby left in there, which makes me one part sad and one part elated. watching your personality unfold brings me joy everyday. even in the moments when you test us, which is more and more often. you are trying to figure out what works in this big world and what doesn’t. and we are learning right along with you. learning how to parent is an ongoing struggle. when and how to discipline are high on our “what in the world we do now” list. especially when you deliberately do the opposite of what we say, over and over and over again. we are establishing boundaries and rules right now, while still trying to let you be little. we are still learning how to do this. and we will continue to learn along with you. but what you can always be sure of is how much we love you. and how much happiness you have brought to our lives. when i come home from work & you run to the door and say “mama i missed you” it takes me a minute to compose myself and not burst out crying from your presence. that i am so blessed to have you. emotions over take me these days. a purely overwhelming sense of gratitude. for the pitter patter of your feet chasing your gussy. for our two handed hugs, and when you pull me in for a big kiss. for cuddling in my arms reading bedtime stories. for your innocence and your giggles. for the times we walk around and you tell everyone “that’s my mama.” for piggy back rides and mornings looking out the windows at the birds. the 4 of us snuggled under the covers. for the mushy soft parts of brian you have coaxed out of him. for making him dance on command and have tea parties. for dressing yourself in amazing outfits. for splashing me in the bath, every time. and for the way you need me now. i know that it will be a very short time that you will. i hope that i can soak up all of this like a sponge and that you will stay as sweet as you are now forever. i hope that the world doesn’t get to you.

there isn’t anything in the world i would not do for you.

the mickey mouse club house

minnie mouse-12minnie mouse-2minnie mouse-4

minnie mouse-6minnie mouse-13minnie mouse-8Photo Oct 31

it’s the mickey mouse club house… come inside it’s fun inside! halloween is the best, just the best. and so are grandpas! mickey was the biggest hit of the night. all the little kids saw him & started screaming MICKEY!!! probably b/c he is the size of the actual mickey mouse. & one little precocious little girl told him “hey those are plates!” to which he replied “nope, they’re buttons!” (and yes they were plates, last minute addition i picked up leaving work lol). madison was fasciated yet petrified at the same time. this was the first year she could actually do it herself, although lots of hand holding was needing, especially when monsters were passing out the candy. a few houses she just said “no mama, monsters” and we had to pass them. but ghosts seemed to be okay. there were also several candy passers dressed as olaf offering warm hugs. she loves olaf. who doesn’t right?! and at every house where she was able to choose her candy, she choose a lolli. we have about 56 lollipops at our house now if anybody wants one. and sometimes she would pull the shy face and not reach into the bucket of candy, and then i would reach in and pull something out for her, which triggered her to then reach in also. looking back i think this was strategic so she would get TWO pieces of candy instead of one, and still look innocent. sneaky sneaky mouse.

thank you to my wonderful wonderful father for being such a good sport. he’s the best dad & pappy around. and husband apparently, because all weekend people kept asking him how he got such a young pretty wife, and complementing him on our child. it was creepy to say the least. and i am not sure i am happy i’ve reached the age where people can’t tell if my dad is my father or my husband. i mean come on… do i look that old? he’s ancient (insert sneaky daughter grin here). either way i am looking old, OR like a gold digger. two things i am not so happy about lol. dad sure thought it was great though. especially when jackie joined up. “my daughter & my two wives”  and “what you think you can do better than this stud?” — hillllllllarious dad hilarious.

hope everybody had a wonderful halloweeeeeeeeeeeen xx

OCD: like father like daughter

there is no hiding it – madison is her father’s child. no ifs and or butts about it. not only does she have his gorgeous baby blues, his long eye lashes and soft hands (insert sneaky smile here) she also has his disease: obsessive–compulsive disorder. and the primary symptom is her inability to get messy. she has to be clean at all times. she also hated her first birthday cake smash because again, what we were thinking not cutting up that cake and giving her a proper fork?!  she does not play in the dirt. she definitely does not finger paint (horrible horrible idea). she can’t eat pizza without 15 napkins and making me wipe her hands after each bite. and please see below – she got a little pumpkin on her hands, and lost her shit.

carving pumpkins

every time brian scooped out some pumpkin guts she said EW EW and pointed. eventually we were able to get her to hold the spoon but she wouldn’t scoop anything out except the top edges – for fear her arms would get pumpkin guts if she reached in too far. heaven forbid!! she’s the only kid i have ever met who hates to get dirty and messy. and for me that’s so difficult because i am the epitome of messy. every time i dropped a seed or spilled (which much to my husband’s dismay, was often), she said ‘oh no mama’ and cleaned up after me. good thing we have her, she will be cleaning the house before i know it! i can’t wait. for her 2nd birthday i’m getting her a dyson!

carving pumpkins-3dsfaf carving pumpkins-6 carving pumpkins-7

but beyond pumpkins – her OCDness goes further into the depths of crazy (again, not unlike her father). she has a pair of brown leather boots that now have a scuff on the right toe. she refuses to wear them, pointing at the scuff yelling BOO-BOO! BOO-BOO! i had to kiss her shoe about 13 times the last time i wanted her to wear them just so she would keep them on for an hour. a string on a sweater… “oh no mama, oh no.” gus food that falls out of his bowl when he’s stuffing his face – she meticulously picks it all up and puts it back in for him. she even takes a washcloth and cleans off her princesses. sometimes i feel like an intruder in my own house with these two – i want to throw paint on them and run around singing and dancing while eating a powder sugar donut. if this wouldn’t lead to instant cardiac arrest for both of them, i probably would try it.

Photo Oct 28, 11 59 31 PM

and of COURSE, brian just free handed this mickey mouse pumpkin… NBD (OCD)

i also made these little gems last night. pumpkin-oat chocolate chip cookies that were sooooooooooooo goooooooooood. i highly recommend them for the fall. the pumpkin & cinnamon are very subtle.

then wash them down with a little post road pumpkin ale.



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