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March 2012

Weekly Parenting Ups and Downs


I’ve been sitting around this morning trying to come up with lists for this post and I was really struggling to find some downs. Of course there were low points to the week, mostly because of the cold weather but then I realized it was just an overall good week with Rowan. I should be glad in that! I don’t want to search to find the bad if I can’t remember it. These weeks don’t come all the time so I should just be happy with that!

My Ups:
I don’t know what it is but as soon as we hit that 18 month mark Rowan has been such a joy. Again, she was always awesome but her personality just exploded at 18 months. She talks and interacts so much with you. She has me laughing all day long. The things she comes up with and does just crack me up. Last night Kev said “I’m so cold” then jokingly said “Rowan can you get me a blanket?” like 5 seconds later, out came Rowan from her room with 2 of her blankets for him. It was seriously the cutest thing ever. I feel like next to Kev she is becoming my very best friend. She is just so sweet with all her hugs and kisses she gives. Her little smile with all her teeth just melts my heart. I love hearing her little girl voice say words and communicate with us. She really is one in a million!

I hope you all had a great week. Maybe this week we can all try to focus on the good & remember just how good it is to be a parent. What was your very favorite part of this past week?

Happy Weekend!

40 Weeks | A Photo Book…


There is no hiding the fact that I am pretty in love with getting photo books made. Recently, I decided to make a book with Pinhole Press of all our pregnancy photos from when I was pregnant with Rowan. We took all these pretty pictures during my pregnancy to post about on the blog, but then they just sit in a folder on the computer forever and ever. I love books because they are real, they are something you hold in your hands and share with friends when they come over. Pictures on the computer are good but having them in a book is a million times better!

I think I have looked at this book like a hundred times already since we got it. It starts when we announced we were pregnant at week 15 and goes all the way to the very end… all the way to week 42. UGH!!! Let’s hope I am never that late again.

Here are some of my favorite pages…


Make sure to check out all the awesome Baby products you can design at Pinhole Press.

My Habit (& cute Easter Dresses)

I am pretty obsessed with sale sites online. I am a big fan of Gilt, Fab, and Zulily.

I have to say though, my favorite right now is by far MY HABIT. They have free shipping, free returns and is run by Amazon (doesn’t Amazon Prime save your life?). They were kind enough to send us some beautiful Laura Ashley dresses for Rowan to try on for Easter. We had be looking for the perfect dress and theses ones were just beautiful. The Laura Ashley sale is up now and runs through Saturday. My Grandma use to get my cousins and I Laura Ashley dresses for special occasions when I was little. I can’t help but think of my family when I see Rowan wearing them.


We had a hard time deciding our favorite though! Head over to The Fix (their blog) to see some adorable pictures of Rowan in the dress we finally decided on and a little guest post I wrote. So cute!!!

Style File | 03.28.12


We’re taking a step back today. I realized I never shared my most favorite outfit from Texas. The Posh Party was on Saturday night during the conference. Oh boy, I love dressing up! I’ve been eyeing this dress over at ASOS all winter. Finally, the price dropped enough that I pulled the trigger and bought it. It’s the perfect mix of vintage, super girly and just all around fun. I paired it with a neon yellow belt from J.Crew and the beaded necklace I made before I left. I wore some leopard wedges which you can’t see in any of the pictures but I really liked what they added to the outfit.


During the night I was helping Lands End Canvas show off there must have items for spring. It was a cold evening so I wore a cute little cream cardigan from them over the dress. They also made Kev even more handsome than he already is with a checkered button up and fancy leather belt. Theses are some of my most favorite pictures from the trip…


All Photobooth photos by Peter Tung
Appearing top to bottom: Elizabeth, Jentine, Adam, Julie, Kendi & Megan

Dress: ASOS Sequin Dress with Fitted Bodice
Neon Belt: J.Crew
Necklace: Handmade
Leopard Wedges: Lulu*s (c/o Last summer)
Cream Sweater: c/o Lands End Canvas

Last Nights Dinner | 03.27.12


Last week Rowan and I had the lovely Rachel and Addy over for lunch and a play date. Addy is Rowans best little friend. She walks around calling any picture she sees of a little girl “add dee.” Yesterday, I could hear her in her room saying “add dee” over and over again so I went in to see what she was doing. She was standing in front of the mirror with one of Addy’s hair clips that got left here trying to put it in her own hair. It was very cute.

Anyway, I found this recipe from one of my newest favorite blogs (great food and treadmill work out tips!) and knew I wanted to try it out for our lunch date. Let me just say it was the best thing I have made in a very long time. It was so yummy. The gorgonzola on top was heaven!


1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed & drained
2 cups water
2 kiwi, chopped
1 mango, chopped
1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
1/4 cup red onion, minced
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro

For the Lime Ginger Vinaigrette:
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp lime zest
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp brown sugar ( I used more brown sugar than this to sweeten it up just a bit)

1. Bring water to a boil in a pan. Add quinoa, place a lid on top and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until quinoa is tender. Pour into a large bowl and allow to cool. Once cool, add in kiwi, mango, tomatoes, red onion and cilantro.

2. Combine all ingredients for the vinaigrette together and pour over the quinoa mixture. Stir together. Sprinkle with cheese. Season with salt and pepper if needed.


Style File | 03.26.12


Happy Monday! Well, we are back to real March weather here in NY but at least last week I was able to break out some new summer dresses. I got this polka dot dress at the Lulu*s Swap in Texas. Isn’t it just the cutest? I am pretty sure I will be wearing it every day this summer. It is one of those dresses that as you walk it just flows so beautifully that you can’t stop looking at the way the fabric is moving.

I am hoping to try some new lengths of dresses this summer. I love maxi dresses on other people but can’t seem to be comfortable in them myself. I am hoping maybe to try again this summer and maybe find a few more mid length like this dress.

Last time I wore a maxi dress I was 34 weeks pregnant with Rowan.


Polka Dot Dress: Swapped at the Lulu*s Swap in Texas
Neon Belt: Gap
Letterpress Necklace: Gift from Julie
Sandals: Blowfish (c/o last summer)

Our Week in Snapshots…

As I was editing all the photos from this week I realized that almost every single one was of us at a park. Haha. I guess it is safe to say we spent a good amount of time outside this week. Rowan loves the park. We have been driving or walking to different ones around the area lately, we are still on the search for the perfect one.

Happy Weekend!

Style File | 03.22.12

I seriously can not get over this weather. It is going to be 82 today. 82! In March! We are very spoiled and I am trying not to take it for granted. We have been able to hangout outside everyday for like the past week and a half. It’s been amazing. Yesterday, we went for a super long walk and on that super long walk Rowan threw my keys overboard (don’t ask why I gave them to her in the first place) and well, we lost them. For like 2 hours we were scurrying around trying to find them before it got dark. No luck! Guess what though? Someone found them out in the town and must have lived in our building and recognized the keys because they returned them to the office this morning. Ahhh I couldn’t believe it. Thank you , Thank you!!!

We are off to get our taxes done this morning. Pray I return in one piece and don’t die from the shock of what we owe.


Jean Jacket: J.Crew
White Button Up: American Apparel
BB Dakota Dress: c/o Lulu*s
Belt: Thrifted
Boots: American Eagle
Sunglasses: Target


My Favorites…

When you were a kid did you have a cup that you loved so much, that you would fight your sisters (brothers) over  who got to drink out of it for every meal? haha. I did. I can’t help but have favorites of things I use on a regular basis. I thought it would make a fun little series to share some of these favorite things. None of them are all the special, just items that I seem to gravitate towards using more often than not.

Do you have favorites items in your house?








The way things are…


Life moves pretty fast around here (haha Ferris Bueller?). I feel like in a blink of an eye the last 6 years of my life have flashed by. I have loved every moment but this weekend it really hit me all that has come to be. Ever have one of those moments where you feel like you are outside your body looking around at your life. haha. That was me this weekend. Saturday started like any other Saturday: Rowan woke up, we cuddled on the couch, we ate a few cherrios, we put on some music, we took a bath, we made some breakfast and then in the middle of cooking scrambled eggs it hit me… This is my life. My Saturday is not just my Saturday anymore. As I thought about that I realized that I am ok with it. In fact, I LOVE IT. There I was, singing out loud to Rowan as we danced around cooking breakfast and well, I couldn’t imagine it being any other way. I think sometimes after becoming a mom we (I mean me) can get swept up in remembering the times you could stay out late, eat a slow meal, go out with friends, take a relaxing vacation and decorate your house all fancy. Then on the bad days, when your kid is screaming on the floor, you wish it was simple again.

Saturday morning was nothing special. It was just our regular routine, but it hit me in the middle of that routine that I truly love being a Mom. Maybe this comes sooner to others than it has for me. Don’t get me wrong though, I haven’t been walking around the last 18 months hating it. I just don’t think as a whole I have ever been so in love with it as I am now. This whole weekend was one of the best weekends we have had in a really, really long time. We got to play outside for a good 90% of it and I think that really makes a difference. The winter blues are terrible. Being outside really is good for your soul…


Style File | 03.19.12


It has been so beautiful out lately. I might die if the weather gets cold again. I do have to keep reminding myself that it is only March and that it is highly unlikely that it will stay 70. Anyway, this skirt is the first real spring item I’ve purchased for my closet. It is so bright and colorful. I am glad I got it. When we were in Texas, I wore this outfit for the Swap on Friday night. I was working with Lands End Canvas over the trip as their Brand Ambassador. This checkered top is from there. Not going to lie, it total rivals my most favorite J.Crew button ups but these are like 20 dollars cheaper!

Hope you all enjoyed your weekend!!


Button Up: c/o Lands End Canvas
Pencil Skirt: J.Crew
Belt: Thrifted
Heels: Steve Madden (c/o Lulu*s)
Bracelets: gifts, Forever 21, J.Crew

Some pictures from the swap! (Thanks Adam for the photos)


1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

It’s St. Patricks Day! We always head over to our favorite Brewery (Brown’s Brewing Co.
) and get a drink. Every year Brown’s asks our pastor Ed to do a blessing of the bar. It’s fun to listen to the bag pipes, learn a little more about St. Patrick and celebrate with friends. I thought in honor of today, I would share my very favorite green items from around the internet. Which is your favorite?

Here are my favorite posts from around the internet this week…
1. I have watched this video way too many times to count this week. It just kills me. Oh little Harper!

2. Elizabeth did a great recap of what our panel talked about at the Txsc COnference. It was an honor to be on the panel with her!

3. Love these little mini celebrity style posts that Brandy does. This one is particularly cute!

4. How cool is this bedroom? Love it.

5. Yay!! Big huge congratulations to Whitney!!

6. Mara is totally rocking these floral pants!

7. How cute is this heart magnet diy? or how about these cute diy sunglasses?

8. Jordan looks so cute in her casual date night outfit! That braided crown is just too pretty!!

9. Oh goodness this watercolor is just beautiful! So, so talented!

10. I want to eat every one of these pizzas. Mmmmmm homemade pizza. (minus the meat of course. hehe)

Weekly Parenting Ups & Downs…


Rowan gets really excited when Kev brings his iMac home from his office. I think she thinks of it as her personal tv that she gets to watch cat videos on whenever she wants. It’s funny to think about the age I was when I got my first cell phone (20) or own computer and here she is, 18 months old using a magic mouse and swiping thru pictures on my iphone. That makes me feel old. haha I finally bought The Happiest Toddler on the Block book. It’s that time. We had the baby one and it was very helpful, so I figure I should read this one for some tips. She is so strong willed. We are at a constant whining phase right now. It’s like all the sudden she realized she has feelings and emotions and that getting the things you want, when you want them feels much better than not.

2. She shakes her head “no” to pretty much everything you ask her.

3. She has learned the word “Ow!” Which she uses when she isn’t getting her way. She says it mostly when she is upset and not hurt at all. So now when she goes limp and flails around on the floor, when you try to pick her up she starts yelling “Owww!” There I am turning bright red as everyone in Target thinks I am beating my child. Oh boy! The upside of these new profound emotions are the intense love and passion she can show towards you and the things around you. Her hugs have more meaning, her kisses have more meaning, the way to plays with her toys, the way she gets excited about new things. Everything is so heartfelt.

2. She does this thing sometimes when you are putting her to sleep. It is too cute for words. We still rock her to sleep because well, we love it. The room will be dark and she will be cuddled on your chest with her head on your shoulder and she does this thing where she lifts her head back to look at you. Her face ends up being like an inch from your face and it is usually lit softly by the street lights outside. She always has the biggest smile on her face and then she will lean in to give you a gentle kiss on the lips. Then she usually giggles just a little, then puts her head back down on your shoulder. A few moments later she will do it again. It always seems to be in slow motion, like she is half asleep. It is beyond the sweetest thing ever and makes me laugh every time. It just kills me.

3. I know I mentioned this in her 18 month post but she is such a good little helper. She wants to feel involved so badly. She helps me carry up the groceries (usually a box of mac and cheese or something), she helps me put toys away, she helps put wet clothes in the dryer, she LOVES to throw trash out. She also loves to say the word “trash.” I hope she will stay like this!

Style File | 03.15.12

When I saw this skirt at Beacons Closet last time I was in nyc, I was so pumped! I think it was handmade. There are no tags on it and the way it was sewn you can just tell. It is such a great skirt. I started thinking though… it would be so easy to make a skirt like this. Then I went on pinterest and there in my feed was a tutorial for a full gathered skirt. Bonus! I have a few things to get done on my to-do list but after that you can bet I am going to make some skirts. They are the perfect shape and length for the summer.

(This was my outfit from the mentor breakfast in TX.)

Cardigan: Target (similar)
Cropped Top: AE
Vintage Skirt: Beacons Closet (similar shape skirt)
Swedish Hasbeens: c/o modcloth
Belt: Thrifted

p.s. If you saw my tweet a few weeks ago about how I could wear that cute cropped top I found at AE. Well, here you go. Just wear a super high waisted! skirt!

18 Months


Dear Little Cheetah:
Holy cow! How are you a year and half already? When Daddy and I were flying home from Texas the other day, we sat on the plane and looked thru 5,000 pictures from my old iphone. It spanned over the last 3 years. We saw the pregnancy tests pics, we saw my belly getting bigger and bigger, we saw the pictures of me drinking that nasty orange juice, and so many more and then pop! there you were. My phone pictures were instantly all about you. We looked through you growing over the last year and half. Time really goes by so fast. I feel like we left for Austin on Thursday, came back on Monday and you were not a baby anymore. These last few weeks I can actually see how much you are developing everyday. You are so smart. You say more and more words everyday. I know you can understand everything I say to you now. You like to shake your little head yes, or no to everything I ask you. You say “mama” ALL THE TIME NOW!! You like to be a little helper. You want to be involved in everything. Your favorites are throwing things in the trash and putting wet clothes in the dryer. Your personality is getting bigger by the moment. You are so full of life- you seek adventure like no other kid I know. You keep us busy from the time you wake up, to the time you go to bed. I am so happy it is finally warmer out. Each day now, the world is our oyster. You are at such a fun age to go out side and play. Everything else seems unimportant in comparison to the fun of being outside with you. The laundry is piling up, the dishes aren’t done, but it doesn’t seem to matter because when we are out exploring we are in our own magical world. The big smiles that flash across your face as you see birds, dogs, other kids, etc. melt my heart. You never want to come inside. We love you so much little Rowan. You have made our hearts 3x the size they were 18 months ago.

With all my love,


Rowan is wearing:
Jacket: Joe (from Canada)
Cardigan: H&M
Tee: Target
Skirt: Target
Tights: Target
Shoes: Zara

Over the Rainbow…

Photo credits clockwise from top left: Elycia of Love Elycia, Kaylah of The Dainty Squid, Rubyellen of Cakies, Shareen of Vintage Mavens, Me, and Rachel of Smile and Wave

Since St. Patty’s day is coming up, Modcloth decided to have a fun little contest where you can win a $50 gift certificate. They sent pretty colored dresses to a bunch of bloggers (including myself) to style and take pictures. The Color Yourself Lucky Contest is easy to enter if you want: Just fill your modcloth wishlist with variety of rainbow colored items, then share it with friends and family, and you could win your very own ‘pot of gold’ – a $50 gift certificate!

Get more details and learn how to play over on the Modcloth blog.

My Outfit Details:
Look Over your Shoulder Dress: c/o Modcloth
Skirt: Swapped
Belt: Swapped
Necklace: Forever 21
Tights: Target
Jessica Simpson Wedges: Thrifted

Style File 03.13.12


We are back! We got home last night at 2am. It was a long day of traveling and it was nice to finally get home. What a whirl wind trip! It was nonstop since the moment we touched down in Austin last Thursday. I don’t think I am going to go into a million details other than the fact that Indiana is a wonderful lady, who really put on an amazing conference. It was an honor to be a part of it. I am continually impressed by her. It was awesome to meet so many readers and get to hang out with some of my very dear friends. Don’t worry Texas, I wont hold it against you that it was freezing and raining almost the whole time.

I ordered this dress from ASOS a few days before the conference. Boy! I’m sure glad I did. It is most definitely my favorite dress that I own now. Kev kept telling me I looked like a curtain, but I just loved all the colors and patterns in the fabric so I had to order it. The fabric is really heavy too, like upholstery fabric and it’s got a pretty silhouette to boot!


Outfit Details:
Printed Dress: ASOS (best dress ever!)
Belt: Target
Steve Madden Heels: c/o Lulu*s
Bow Necklace: c/o Modcloth

Here are just 2 quick photos of my panel about Blogging:Lessons Learned…
Thanks to the other ladies on my panel: Elizabeth, Kyla, Molly and Jeanette

Photo booth time!

When a random dude tells you to get into his van to take pictures you do so with out any questions, right? Well, we did. I guess we didn’t learn anything from our parents. It turned out to be freakin’ fun and well, I couldn’t really stop playing in the photo booth. Thanks shutterstock for stopping outside our Karaoke bar. We are having a blast here in Austin.


In photos: Julie, Amy, Jentine, Merl, Amanda, Elizabeth, Andrea & Kev

DIY | Sculpey Bead Necklace


I had a very clear idea of what kind of necklace I wanted to wear with this pretty dress I got to wear in Texas. Modcloth had one that I really liked, but it kept selling out. I knew I wanted a mint colored necklace to contrast the pale yellow of my dress. Instead of trying to find what I was looking for, I decided to make it instead. I headed to the Michaels and bought some Sculpey and started making tons of round beads. The end product came out better than I thought. I think I might be making a bunch of different necklaces like this. All different colors. All different patterns.

1. Start with some Sculpey…


2. Start rolling out a bunch of ball shapes…


3. Bake them in the oven. 275 degrees for 15 mins.
4. Come up with a design for your statement necklace and start stringing. I used 3 different strings to sew all pieces together.

5. You could string beads all the way to the end or leave the string exposed and tie in a bow at the back.



Enjoy! Let me know if you make your own Sculpey bead necklace. I’d love to see!

Style File | 03.06.12


Whoops. It’s been quite a while since the last style file. I am just so tired of the cold and taking pictures outside. SPRING HURRY UP!!! haha. Boy, I am whiney today. Anyway, I made this skirt way back in the day with my best friend Laura. I don’t wear it too often but when I do, it makes me think of her and I like that. She is awesome.

p.s. don’t mind my stupid flippy do bangs. Not sure what else to do with them. Why is growing out your bangs so hard?


Outfit Details:
Cardigan: Target
White Button Up: American Apparel
Polka Dot Skirt: Self made
Tights: Target
Oxfords: Thrifted
Belt: Thrifted
Bracelets: Stella & Dot, Gift from Ruche

Last Night’s Dinner | 03.06.12


When my sisters were in town last week, I went on a hunt for something tastey to cook them for dinner. We are all vegetarians (well sort of) and all LOVE sweet potatoes. What’s not to like right? I found this stuffed pepper recipe and knew I had to make it. It was delicious. I even had leftovers for lunch today.


3 Red Peppers
2 large sweet potato, peeled, cooked and mashed
1 cup onion, chopped
1/3 cup garlic hummus
1 large carrot, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp real maple syrup
1 tsp cayenne
salt/pepper to taste

1. In a pan, sauté onion, carrots and garlic with a little olive oil. About 5 mins.
2. While sautéing, roast peppers under broiler for about 5 mins.
3. In a bowl, mix together mashed sweet potatoes, onion, carrot and garlic mixture, hummus, syrup, parsley, oj, cayenne and salt and pepper.
2. Fill up peppers with the mixture. Re-cap, stick in oven and cook at 400 degrees for about 10 mins.
3. Eat! I served ours with sauteed broccoli that had just a dash of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos on them. Yummy!

Weekly Parenting Ups & Downs…


sick baby

This week has been harder than most. My downs kind of lumped together into a week of falling short on patience, giving love, and feeling motivated. You know those weeks when you just can’t seem to get out of your own head. Yeah. I had one of those weeks. I felt down on my self for the stupidest things and let myself go down the road where at the end, I am left feeling jealous, left out, and inadequate in terms of blogging, parenting and well, life. It is embarrassing to admit. I hate feeling like I am working so hard to keep up yet, it seems like everyone else gets things handed to them so easily. Then on Wednesday Rowan got really sick. We think she caught coxsackievirus from someone at church last sunday. She had a very high fever for about 2 days and we sat on the couch and didn’t move almost the whole time. Poor baby, she was so out of it. Her fever is gone but she is still not herself yet. Very clingy and very irritable. I hate to say this, but it is what I needed to kick myself in the butt. To realize the things I was struggling with were not the truth. That this baby right in front of me is what really matters. That the husband that works hard for us and comes home with a smile to greet us is what matters. How trivial the things that were consuming my mind were. It’s funny how easy we can loose perspective on things. Our vision gets cloudy and you feel totally consumed with negativity.

I feel silly writing this now. I was feeling this during the week and then when Rowan got sick I was able to get out of my funk. My family also came to visit which was awesome. Plus the most amazing thing happened this week!! Rowan started saying “mama”!!! I was a crying mess when she just one day started saying it to me over and over. When we were out grocery shopping later that evening, every time she would see me in the aisle she would yell “MAMA” Umm so freakin’ awesome. So, in the end, even though it was a rough week I am now choosing to focus on the good. I will remember the things I am thankful for. I will kiss Kev and Rowan and know that they are my world and that is what matters and I will know without a shadow of a doubt that my worth does not come from the world around me but from above.

Here’s to a happy new week!

DIY | Make Your Own Chalkboard


This DIY is so super easy and so fun. Are you ready? All you need is…
1. Get this drip pan from walmart. The drip pan is awesome because it will have a cool metal edge all around it after you paint it. It looks more finished than if you just painted a piece of wood. Also, the lip does a good job of catching the chalk dust!
2. Paint it with chalkboard paint (3 coats)
3. Done!
4. Draw, draw, draw!!

Fun for the whole family!!

*inspired by this pin.

Hi, I'm Jen!

Welcome to my personal lifestyle blog. It features topics such as motherhood, family life, fashion, cooking, and all sorts of adventures. I hope you enjoy what you find!

Jen Loves Kev