Monday Morning Links

Ever since I worked with Lou & Grey I kind of can’t get enough. I added a few new pieces to my wardrobe the other weekend. They are just so easy and chic. Here is what I got…

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Linen Romper | Striped Maxi | Striped Chambray Dress | Chambray Zip-Pocket Pants

The week back from vacation is always a little tough. Back in routine. Lots of laundry. Kev back at work. Ugh. Hoping this week is a little better than last. Happy Monday everyone! Here are a few of my favorite things around the internet lately…

1. Naomi was sweet enough to order a necklace from my instagram flash sale the other week. Doesn’t she look fabulous wearing it in her most recent post? You can purchase all necklaces from my etsy shop now if you are interested.

2. A few people asked about my black strappy back bathing suit top from the Costa Rica post. I got it at Pac Sun but it’s not on their website anymore. I found this one which is very similar. It looks reversible so you could wear it on the black side for a similar look. I love that top! Speaking of suits… How cute is this Pina Colada suit? Also, READ THIS ARTICLE!

3. These Raspberry Lemon Yogurt popsicles look amazing. We will definitely be making these this summer!

4. Julie look so beautiful in this dress. Perfect outfit for summer. And goodness Andrea is a babe! Love the white tank and leather skirt.

5. These yellow wedges are about the cutest thing ever! How sweet would they look with a pretty summer dress? This dress would be perfect.

6. We had plans to meet up with Drea and Marlowe when we were in FL, but unfortunately some plane issues made me have to cancel (major sad face!) but I wish we could have hula hooped with those two. They are just too cute!!

7. Have you ever tried homemade granola bars? In an effort to be less processed in our house I have been trying a bunch of recipes. This one looks delicious!

8. I’ve been looking for the perfect chambray skirt for summer and I am pretty sure this is it!

9. Congrats to Melissa on the new blog/blog name. Dearbaby was one of the very first motherhood blogs I followed. I have so much love for her and her family.

10. And lastly the sweetest little ice cream sundae shirt for Rowan.

Celebrating 8 Years in Costa Rica

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Last week Kev and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary and what better way to celebrate than hopping a plane to Costa Rica for a long weekend together. It was a quick flight from FL to the Liberia airport in Costa Rica. We stayed at the Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort. Let’s just say it was by far the nicest, most beautiful hotel we’ve ever stayed in. There was a huge shower that had sliding glass doors that opened up to the balcony, making it an awesome outdoor shower overlooking the jungle and the bay. Poured cement floors, lots of natural wood and light. It was like they knew the way to my heart. There were monkey’s right outside our balcony! We just fell in love with the country. With only 2 full days there, we didn’t get to explore a whole lot (which we would have loved to do) but instead decided to just relax and enjoy the beauty of the Papagayo Peninsula with hopes of returning on a longer trip one day.

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We didn’t need a long time away from the kids (we’d miss them waaay too much) but having 2 days of one on one time together was so important for our relationship. After 8 years we are more bonded, more in love, better friends than ever. It is work, don’t get me wrong. We have to be conscious to feed our relationship- and that can be very hard with small children. I am so very thankful we got this time away. I’ve been reading a book called Home Making (thanks Lesley) by J.R. Miller. It was written in 1882 and I had my doubts about it before I started. I wasn’t sure I would like what he had to say about being a wife and motherhood from a perspecitve so long ago. I honestly have never underlined and dog-eared more pages of a book ever! I just loved it. There is a whole chapter about married life which really struck a chord with me. There was so much simple truth to what he wrote. I loved that he listed out these things as most important 1. loving patience 2. courtesy 3. unity of interests 4. guarding against misunderstandings (there is no room for pride) and 5. presence of Christ. I couldn’t agree more. They are all simple things but I feel like they are usually the first to be forgotten as the years on go. I love these sections of the book about marriage…

“The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions, the little soon-forgotten charities of a kiss or a smile, a kind look, a heartfelt compliment, and countless infinitesimals of pleasurable thought and genial feeling. These may seem trifles, and the omission of them may be deemed unworthy of thought, but they are the daily bread of love, and hearts go hungry when they are omitted. It may only be carelessness at first in a busy husband or a weary wife- which fails in these small, sweet courtesies, and it may seem a little matter- but in the end the result may be a growing far apart of two lives which might have been forever very happy in each other- had their early love but been cherished and nourished.”

“Love is always ready to deny itself, to give, sacrifice, just in the measure of its sincerity and intensity. Perfect love is perfect self-forgetfulness. Hence where there is love in a home, unselfishness is the law. Each forgets self and lives for others.But where there is selfishness it mars joy. One selfish soul will destroy the sweetness of life in any home. It is like an ugly bush in the midst of a garden of flowers. It was selfishness that destroyed the first home and blighted all the loveliness of Paradise; and it has been blighting lovely things in earth’s home ever since. We need to guard against this spirit.”

Sometimes I think it’s so easy to focus on the negative things about our spouse. What they are doing wrong, what they aren’t doing to help, etc… but you will be surprised the change of attitude that can happen and the change in your spouse actually when you really start examining yourself instead. That last quote about being less selfish is one I am really trying to pray over more these days. Kev is a wonderful man and husband. He loves the Lord, he works hard and he loves unconditionally. He is the boy I fell in love with over 10 years ago. The one I want to travel and explore the world with, to be neck deep in this parenting adventure with and the person who knows my every hurt, joy, dream and sorrow. He is my everything. It’s such an honor to live this life alongside him. He’s my best friend and hands down favorite person on earth. These past 8 years have shaped us into who we are today. I am excited to see how another 8, than another 8 will change us as well.

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Summer Style With Cupcake Mag

The newest issue of Cupcake Mag is out and I had the honor of sharing a summer style guide for all the fun occasions that pop over the warmer months. Kourtney Kasdashian is on the cover and I am just going to to assume and tell everyone from now on that Kourt (we are close now) knows who I am and reads my blog. That seems like a fair assumption, right? hahaaha. Anyway, the summer issue is a lot of fun and I am so happy to share the pages with some of my favorite ladies. Make sure you check it out!

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Here are a few of the outfits I shared…

THE DATE NIGHT:

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OUTFIT DETAILS:
Fluted Skirt: J.Crew
Peach Button Up: J.Crew
Denim Jacket: J.Crew
Kelsi Dagger Sandals: c/o Lulu*s
Glasses: c/o Bonlook

THE WEDDING:

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OUTFIT DETAILS:
Maxi Dress: c/o Lulu*s
Chelsea Crew Heels: c/o Lulu*s

THE WEEKENDER:

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OUTFIT DETAILS:
Billabong Kimono: c/o Lulu*s (ahhh this was my most favorite piece for summer and I just lost it in Costa Rica!!! I’m so sad).
Obey White Tanks: c/o Lulu*s
Dittos Ankle Jeans: c/o Lulu*s
Sunglasses: c/o Warby Parker
Kelsi Dagger Sandals: c/o Lulu*s
Prettiest Gold Chain: Stitch Fix box

Clean Eats | Summer Treat

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Somedays just feel waaay too hot to eat meals. And being the never quite on top of things kind of Mom I find myself being most days, I don’t always have homemade smoothie popsicles waiting for the girls on these super hot days. Rowan loves frozen treats though. Every time we are at the grocery store she begs for the same Hello Kitty popsicles with all the fake coloring and 1000 ingredients. I just can’t bring myself to buy them. So the other day when it was like a billion degrees and Rowan was again asking for a cold treat, we decided to make our own frozen lemonade. It’s by no means a fancy or new concept, but it worked in a pinch! Plus! You know all the ingredients, you can control the amount of natural sweetener, it takes like 5 mins, you don’t have to plan ahead (other than having lemons on hand but we usually have them in the fridge) and Rowan loved it. It was a win in our household for parents and kids alike.

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Ingredients:
Lemons
Ice
Water
Raw Honey

Directions:
Zest and juice lemons. I used 4. Add a bunch of ice (around 2 cups) and a tad bit of water. Start off with 2 tbs of raw honey and blend. You can adjust more ice, water, honey or even lemons as you see fit. There is no exact science or recipe for this. Just go for it and add things as far as your tastes go. I also muddled a bit of mint and added it to mine. Mmmm Mmmmm Mmmmm

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House Tour | The Girl’s Shared Room

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We have 3 bedrooms in our house. Most days I wish we had just 1 extra bedroom, but I love our house and it’s not really too big of a deal until guests need to stay over (or you start thinking of growing your family). So far no one’s minded an air mattress in the living room. Again, it’s a very first world problem. I know. Anyway, as we started our foster care certification we realized we would need to make room for another baby. By law each child needs their own space and bed (no pack and plays, co sleepers, etc… even if they may be infants). We decided then to create a shared bedroom for Rowan and Finley and to give the foster child their own room. Rowan has been asking for bunk beds for well over a year now. She was pretty excited when we told her the news. The lovely folks over at The Land of Nod generously helped us out to makeover Rowan’s current room into a shared space for the both of them.

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I like to keep the bedrooms pretty simple in our house. Not too many toys and things. I prefer bedrooms full of books and areas to read. The room isn’t huge and the bunk beds are quite big so there wasn’t much room for anything else anyways. I love all The Land of Nod’s storage pieces. I especially love the wire wall cubbies for books or toys. We went with a full mattress on the bottom of the bunk bed. Rowan was already sleeping in a full and we’ve really enjoyed that extra space on nights when we end of sleeping in there with her for whatever reason. Plus, with Finley still being pretty young to be out of a crib, the full gives her more space to move around. She is pretty use to sleeping in a bed though already. The bunk beds are seriously like the nicest piece of furniture we own.

I wanted to keep a sort of neutral platte but add bright pops of color for some added fun to the room. I love the mix of the black and white walls with the black and white furniture and bedding. I painted 2 walls black and left the rest of the walls white. I made a few of the decorations for the walls to tie it all together with the same bright colors. All in all we are all pretty happy with how it came out! Rowan walked into the finished room and yelled “This is sooo awesome”. I am glad she likes it!

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ROOM DETAILS:

White bunk beds: Land of Nod
Yellow dot sheets: Land of Nod
Black and White striped sheets: Land of Nod
Mustard Quilt: Target
Mint Quilt: Target
Coral Pillow: Target
Anchor Girl Pillow: Land of Nod
Rocking Chair: My Grandma gave it to me when I was a baby
Book Caddy: Land of Nod
Cat Tattoo Print: Amanda Atkins
Emerson Print: Katie Daisy
Black Toy Chest: Land of Nod
Gold Geometric Lamp: Land of Nod
Doll House Frame: Target
Shag Carpet: Land of Nod
Teal Wooden Chest: Flea Market
Wall Weaving: Handmade
Dream Catcher: Handmade
White Wire Wall Bins: Land of Nod
Gold Clip Lamp: Land of Nod
Floor Pouf: Target
Coat Rack: Land of Nod
Curtains: Ikea
Cross Blanket: Pia Wallen

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
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