A Weekend in Marco Island!

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Last weekend, Stevie and I took a little trip down to Marco Island, Florida! We wanted to celebrate our 12-year wedding anniversary (I can’t believe it’s been that long!) and also get a little babymoon in before this little one arrives in a few months. 5 months is always a sweet time to travel because it’s not too uncomfortable yet, so we planned a fast 2-night getaway so we could connect, read, eat and talk without our other two cuties pulling on our time.

IT WAS THE BEST.

We had never been to Marco Island. We had heard about it and had some flight points, so we picked the Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort and just went for it. The resort is gorgeously situated on the water, has a seriously delicious buffet breakfast and a killer amazing spa. We weren’t expecting the food on the island to be so legendary, but it is basically all Italian and all INCREDIBLE. I’m not usually one for pasta and pizza on the beach because, I don’t know, I don’t want to feel carb-loaded when I’m in a bathing suit, but being pregnant has it’s perks. I’m always bloated! So we ate like we were in Italy! And it was magnificent. Really and truly.

EATS.
If you’re visiting, we ate a fancy, celebratory meal at Sale e Pepe (incredible fresh pasta and fish!) which was a quick walk from our hotel and has the most beautiful views of the ocean. The pizza and salad at DaVinci almost made us cry and of course we had to indulge in gelato at Dolce Mare where they also home make chocolate truffles. Get the caramel sea salt. More incredible pizza at Joeys and we also loved brunch in Naples at The Cafe on 5th where they had the best juices and crepes ahhhh. I’m drooling just typing all this.

We took lots of pictures, and these are all from my iPhone!

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^ The view from our hotel! So lush and tropical.

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^My 5 month baby bumps vs. Stevie’s (below)

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A lot of the buildings lining the beach were actually condos and not hotels. This is a place for snow birds and we were actually visiting in the off-season! It was truly tropical weather. Like HOT and humid. Most of the snow birds hang out down there Jan.-May.

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Old Navy Suit (sold out in yellow, still in stock in black top and bottom)

^One morning we decided to split up and do whatever we wanted! I crave alone time SO much and Stevie always wants to play golf, so that’s what we did! I ate breakfast alone (SUCH a luxury), laid on the beach and read, and then went to the spa for a pedicure. It was seriously the most indulgent morning I’ve had in years.

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^My tan is so fake you guys. I normally don’t lay out in the sun but since I was only out for about an hour on this particular morning I went for it and ended up spending most of that time in the ocean because it was just SO hot. But I really love getting an organic spray tan at RAW Bronzing Studio and that’s how I look and feel tan without actually baking for hours in the sun ;)

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^Just having a mermaid moment

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JCrew suit (past season, similar here) Target Hat, Target Sunglasses

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Target Dress, Target Sandals

^It was so dark by the time we went to our dinner at Sale E Pepe, but it really is worth visiting! It’s styled like an Italian art museum, with frescos painted on the walls and arched walkways and fountains. It’s really special.

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^That dinner view. I meannnnn.

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^It was so tropical! I couldn’t get over the bird songs and the lush flowers and exotic plants.

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^Downtown Naples! We didn’t get to spend a lot of time here, but we want to plan another trip to explore more because it was SO stunning. I mean, look at this pink building! Is this real life?!

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^Pistachio and Hazelnut gelato. Glory be.

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ASOS dress (sold out, similar here), Target Sandals

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This trip was truly a dream. We ate SO well, we read on the beach, we even went to the spa together and got massages one morning! Stevie hadn’t had a massage in 10 years, so you could say he was due for a de-stressing morning. He was so funny when he came out of the massage room - we met up in the little spa garden and drank cucumber water and he was like, “I CAN’T BELIEVE HOW GOOD THAT WAS.

I don’t feel bad about getting some pampering before entering into another season of sleepless nights and busy baby days. Feeling very grateful for the time we got together, to dream and talk and laugh and wonder about what the future of our family will be like with 3 kids! I am so so grateful to my parents for taking over and watching the big boys while we got away. This was an extra special trip, just getting Stevie all to myself for a few days of fun and relaxation. Hurray for beaches and babies!

10 Things Happening in June + Life Update!

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Happy June! I can’t believe I am almost halfway through this pregnancy (19 weeks pregnant with baby #3!) - where on earth has the time gone?! I really get the feeling like this baby is going to be here like SO SOON. So we are trying to do lots of things this summer, both for fun (!) and for baby prep!

I decided to write this post old-school style, by dumping my iphone photos in here and chatting about what’s been going on. Lately the curated, planned-out posts just haven’t been making the priority list (kids home for the summer, man it’s kicking my booty!), and I’ve put a hold on all sponsored collaborations until I have capacity to really do them well. So here’s a post like those of the olden days!


I love this month of the year! Even in the thick humidity and mosquito-laden evenings, it’s the kick off to summer! Along with all the wonderful summer things like popsicles on the back porch and afternoons swimming, it’s also our wedding anniversary month! And this month also marks the season in this pregnancy where I am starting to feel great again - oh gosh, I am so grateful. I don’t know how I would function if I were still sick… my poor kids would be stir crazy while I laid on the couch. These guys were such troopers the past few months and I am just so glad that we can play a lot together over the coming months. I’ve been experiencing an overwhelming sense of gratitude since I’ve been coming out of the first trimester nausea that seemed to linger longer than my other pregnancies. I am just so grateful to be able to eat again! And laugh again! And exercise again! Life is beautiful, even when it’s so not perfect.

A few things that have been happening over here and things I’m looking forward to!

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1. Everett just finished his first golf camp and he LOVED it. Makes me think about signing him up for another session this summer if we can squeeze it in! We are also doing lots of swim lessons this month so there has been lots of sunscreen and pool time happening lately. My porch is littered with wet towels and sandals. And bubble paraphernalia because that’s been happening too.

2. I’ve been drinking this little combination and it has been the most refreshing treat! Fill a glass up with crushed ice and then do half green tea and half lemonade - it is SO GOOD. I got the idea from the Starbucks shaken iced green tea lemonade. I was going there way too much so I decided to make my own. Does the trick!

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3. There’s Stevie! I haven’t gotten enough pics with him this summer. One of our fave family outings during the week is jumping on the golf cart and heading to the golf course so the boys can hit a few balls. I usually do squats and lunges while they putt and chip - although once I’m out of this baby phase of life, I’d love to take golf lessons, too! This has been a really fun thing for all of us to enjoy together this summer, although it usually means bedtime happens later too…

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4. Ah, those haircuts! They look so big! Okay so I have to tell you a little bit about the lake! My in-laws have a new spot in Alabama on a beautiful lake, so we have been making our way out there as many weekends as possible this summer! It’s really special to get time away from home as a family, and oftentimes, as an extended family! Even though we live in the same town as so much of our family (especially Stevie’s side), we barely see each other because everyone is busy with kids and jobs and just life! So it’s been fun to catch up with each other out there. The boys are getting really comfortable on the water, and they love going out on the boat, fishing, and kayaking! I have decided to take a little hiatus from boating for the rest of this pregnancy because it makes me nauseous. But reading on the dock really does what I need for growing my brain and giving me that much-needed alone time. Have I mentioned how much I crave alone time?? Ha I never get it.

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5. I read this whole series by Kristy Woodsen Harvey and loved it! Perfect summertime reads if you need something light and easy for a beach vaycay. I’m about to start this biography but I am in desperate need for more book recs! If you have some good ones please leave them in the comment section! Thanks in advanced! Also, this is my fave sunscreen this summer and this is the incredible BECASA cotton pullover my friend Emily sent to me - the perfect cozy cover up!

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6. They still thinking matching is cool. How long do you think I get to live this up?! Their shirts and shorts here.

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7. Have you ever heard about Farmgirl Flowers?! They are literally the most gorgeous, fresh arrangements I’ve even seen in my life. They’re pricey but I feel like they make the most incredible gift. I’ve dropped an insane amount of hints about them and Stevie sent them as a complete surprise at the beginning of this month! The note said, “I love you more than all the hairs on your head”, which literally cracked me up and made me feel SO loved. This is a really lame picture of them but this blog post is about keeping things real, not creating a styled shoot of my flowers. Although if I had the time, I totally would have done it.

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8. Speaking of our anniversary! Stevie and I are heading to the beach this weekend for a quick getaway to celebrate our 12-year wedding anniversary slash babymoon situation. Every year of marriage marks its own milestones but this past year in particular has been such a growth season for us. Because of his travel schedule for work and the constant motion of life at home, we don’t always get a chance to connect in the day-to-day (probably most parents with little kids feel this way!), so I am extra excited to get away with just him for a few days. Like, we are going to talk and not get interrupted. Also, I’m excited to lay on the beach and not have to feed anyone snacks or sunscreen any wiggly little people. Like what is that life?!

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9. Pure Americana suburb life is happening over here - we hang out in the culdusac with our neighbors a lot and LOVE it. If its 6pm and not pouring rain, you can find us trashing the street with bikes, scooters, frisbees, sippy cups and lots of kids having lots of fun. We love our neighbors so much!

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10. Last but not least, we have been busy with house projects! We are in the process of creating a shared bedroom for Everett & Daxton and turning the nook outside of the bedroom into a bonus play space. The bedrooms in our house are small and I really want them to have more space to be boys and play, so I’m hoping this will be a good solution for them! We are sooo close on getting these spaces finished so fingers crossed that it comes together soon. After we finish their bedroom + play space we will work on creating a new office/guest space in Everett’s old bedroom and then working on updating our nursery for the new babe! And yes, the nesting phase of this pregnancy is absolutely motivating me - the hormones are crazy!

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What are your plans for summer? I really loved this blog post about not creating a bucket list for summer (I seriously breathed a sigh of relief while reading it!), and we have been really enjoying the self-discovery of letting June just sort of happen to us. Yes, I still keep somewhat of a routine and structure to our day, but I haven’t felt the NEED to hit all these items on a summer bucket list like I have in previous summers. It’s been really refreshing and exactly what I need in this season. Bring on the popsicles and impromptu golf cart rides and Monday night pizza! Happy June to you all! xx

My Wavy Hair Care Routine.

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Sometimes I dream of cutting my hair off really short and sassy, but I have to admit that in my heart, I just feel like a long-hair girl. Probably because I’ve mostly always had long hair. I cut my hair off really short when I was a senior in high school, and that was really fun because my hair was so curly when it wasn’t weighed down by the length. But for most of my life, I’ve had long wavy hair and I really like being able to do so many different things with long hair. Here’s how I “do” my hair when I wear it wavy (which is most of the time!) Especially in the summer with so much heat and humidity - I rarely blow dry and heat style!

In-Between Washes.
For my typical day in momlife, I don’t wash and style my hair. That takes me a hot minute because my hair is long, so I reserve that for a date night or something like that. Since my hair is so long, sometimes keeping it up in a bun on my head or in a ponytail can actually get super heavy and give me headaches, so I try to get creative on days that I don’t wash by doing a low braid or something that I can easily pull together in a few minutes time. I really love the Barefoot Blonde Hair Instagram account for some hair inspiration if I have 7 minutes to do something a little extra, but for the most part, I am like everyone else and just doing something easy. Also, I really appreciate the power of a good hat.

I tend to wash my hair 3-4 times per week and in between washes, I use this Little Barn Apothecary Dry Shampoo (recommended to me by Natalie!) on my roots and this Innersense Refresh Dry Shampoo to keep my wavy hair from looking matted. Also 2-3 day “old” hair is my favorite for trying new braids or twists in my hair because it holds so much better.

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Cleanse + Condition.
When I do wash, I use Innersense Color Awakening Hairbath and Innersense Color Radiance Daily Conditioner - I have been using these for over a year now and I really love this combination and this whole brand. The ingredients are so clean and the aroma is so decadent that I literally find myself closing my eyes and breathing in the scent! It’s these little moments that you get to yourself when you’re a mom that feel like a treat, so I try to indulge in a few extra minutes in there where I can! #treatyoself

Treat the scalp.
Since I don’t wash my hair every day, I like to combat the flakiness that I tend to have in between washes. When I shampoo, I add a few drops of DoTERRA Melaleuca essential oil to my shampoo and massage it in for a few minutes. If you can let it sit for a few minutes more to treat your scalp, that’s a bonus, but I don’t always have time for a long luxurious shower (ha!), so I just do what I can when I can.

Dry.
I like to towel and air dry my hair as much as possible, which is why I wear it wavy most days. Although when I do this is usually take at least half a day to dry! Once I towel my hair dry, I like to spritz the Innersense Sweet Spirit Leave-In Conditioner for added moisture.

Style.
It’s taken me a long time to find something I liked as much as the conventional styling mouse I used to use. But when I read about all the gross chemicals that were loaded in that bottle, I quickly began trying some new products. I was bummed when a lot of them didn’t perform as well as my old fave, but I finally found what works for me by using use two pumps of Innersense I Create Hold gel. I scrunch this evenly into my hair and let it air dry. I LOVE this formula. I don’t usually use an entire product line from 1 brand, but Innersense is seriously, seriously blowing me away with how incredible the products are! And by the way, this post isn’t sponsored by any of these brands at all (I feel like I shouldn’t have to say that these days because I hope that you guys know that whether something is sponsored or not, it’s because I use and adore the products, but sometimes there are new friends around here and I want to make sure you know that!)

For some added hold, sometimes I also spray my half-dried hair with Yarok Feed Your Hold Hairspray and I love that this spray is made with all non-toxic ingredients (the bonus it that it smells like fresh-cut grass!) It gives me just the right amount of hold without adding any crunch to my hair.

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And that’s the hair care routine! I’m updating my Green Beauty Cheat Sheet with these products, so that will continue to be a comprehensive reference tool you can access if you’re interested in finding other non-toxic options for lifestyle/beauty products I have personally tested and loved. Let me if you have questions about any of these products!

*All products shared I have personally used and loved. I do receive a small portion of profit from affiliate links, but only share brands and products I trust and use with confidence. I hope this helps you!

Oh Baby. Growing #3!

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Wearing:

Gal Meets Glam Makenna Floral Maxi, Target Torri Two Brand Leopard Sandals, Stella & Dot Shai Bracelet


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We are so excited to add another wonderful little person to our family!

This first trimester has been my most challenging, ever. I’m a few days shy of 14 weeks and really hoping and believing that I will start feeling better, like really soon! My days are still characterized by the nausea, the exhaustion and just the PREGNANCY BRAIN. It has all been so much worse this time… it’s really true when people tell you that every pregnancy is different. This one has been so challenging and it doesn’t compare to my other pregnancies, so I’ve almost had to forget my other experiences and not compare this one to those. Which has been hard! I can’t tell you how many times over the past few months I’ve said things like, “I should be able to do this!” Because in the past, I could.

I didn’t really mean to take a break from blogging and Instagram, but my energy levels absolutely tanked and it’s been really quiet around here - so that’s why! Just keeping myself and my boys going has been where ALL my energy has gone. Because Stevie is gone a lot during the weekdays for work, I’ve crashed on the weekends and tried to soak up all the sleep. Can you tell it’s been a really special time?!

How I found out //
I always seem to know before I actually know. I woke up one morning feeling so off, so exhausted and grossed out by brushing my own teeth (such a telltale sign.) I decided to take a test and there it was - pregnant! I took 3 more tests to confirm. I kept coming back to look at them throughout the day. I couldn’t believe it! And yet, I could. I was elated. I still am!

How I told Stevie //
He was out of town when I found out, so I waited an entire day and night to actually tell him. I wanted it to be in person, although it was the LONGEST 24 hours of keeping this secret with just myself. It was kind of fun though. I actually wrapped up the 4 tests I had taken and put them in an iPhone box (the phone company had recently sent me a new phone so it was just lying around.) When he came home, I pointed to the box on the counter and said, “It’s the weirdest thing - look at what the phone company sent me. ” He opened the box and just stared. Then he goes, “THE PHONE COMPANY SENT YOU THIS??!” I died laughing. He seriously didn’t get that those were my tests for like a full 60 seconds.

How I’ve been feeling //
Really, really bad. Haha. Trying not to sugar coat it but I’ve seriously never been this sick pregnant. My mornings are okay mostly but by the evening I feel like I’ve caught the flu. My days end in a dramatic crescendo of nausea, exhaustion, and staying huddled on the couch. Also, my digestion has been a problem this time around so THAT’S BEEN FUN. Really believing/hoping that the next few weeks mark a big change because I am so ready to feel that second trimester magic. But even though I’m feeling crummy, I feel weirdly grateful because I know it means that my body is doing what it’s supposed to.

Pregnancy Cravings? //
I have yet to find what I’m looking for, but for weeks I’ve been craving a fresh squeezed lemonade icee. I don’t know where to find such a thing so that craving has gone unmet. Other than that, I’ve just had aversions to most things and I feel like I’ve been eating super unhealthy just to avoid eating gross things like salad and vegetables and meat. Even typing those words out makes me nauseous. I ate 1 piece of broccoli on Easter Sunday and I was sick the rest of the day.

Finding out Gender? //
Oh we most certainly will. I’m very curious!

How the boys are responding //
So, so well! I’m not sure Daxton totally comprehends it, but Everett is over the moon with excitement about “our baby”. He has been setting aside toys in his bedroom for the baby, and he’s been touching my belly everyday and saying, “Mommy, your belly is getting a lot bigger!” He’s also very observant, and been telling me that there aren’t enough parents in our family for the number of kids we will have. He’s right!!!

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But truly, even in the midst of so many FEELINGS, I am so excited to hold another baby. We have wanted a bigger family and it took a little longer than I thought it would this time around, but I am so grateful to grow another life. I feel sensitive about sharing because I never want to hurt anyone who is going through their own journey of trying to get pregnant - it can be really emotional and seeing others’ birth announcements can be jarring. I really get that. If that is you please know that my prayers are with you and I hope that my sharing bits and pieces can be a place of hope and encouragement.

I appreciate everyone’s kind words and wishes on Instagram and Facebook - thank you for the love and support you’ve shown our family! xx

Sweet Potato topped with Pulled Pork & Slaw.

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Whole30 prevails! I’ve been doing my best to keep our meal plan on the Whole30/Paleo train, and it really helps to have some resources that shed light on how to cook this way. I will probably do a second post on that since I have a lot to share in the resources department, but this particular recipe is a mesh of one from Danielle Walker’s new book, Eat What You Love and one from the Whole30 Slowcooker book. This meal is SO GOOD and seriously, it is super easy to make if you don’t make all the ingredients from scratch (which I don’t!) AND you can make this in the slowcooker or Instant Pot, and I’ll include instructions for both!

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Ingredients:
Slaw:
- 1 bag coleslaw or broccoli slaw
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 cup Mayonnaise (I use this Primal Kitchen version because it is Whole30-Approved)
- 3 tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. celery seeds
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- diced green onion

Pork:
- 1 (4-lb.) boneless pork roast, shoulder or Boston butt
- 2 cups Chicken stock
- 2 cups BBQ Sauce (I love this Noble Made version)
- 3/4 cup hot sauce (I love this Noble Made version)
- 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp. paprika
- 1 tbsp. chili powder
- 1 tbsp. garlic powder
- 1 tbsp. dry mustard

Other:
- sweet potatoes (1/2 per person)
- diced cilantro
- sliced avocado

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Method:

1. First, cook the sweet potatoes! Pre-heat the oven at 400 degrees and cook the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet for 1 hour. Then set them aside to cool a bit.

2. While the sweet potatoes are cooking, prep the pulled pork. First, trim the fat off the meat. Cut the pork into 4-6 chunks and place in a a bowl. Add the paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, dry mustard and 2 tablespoons salt and toss to coat the meat well.

3. Pour the bone broth into the Instant Pot (here is the version I have and LOVE) and add the pork. Pour bbq sauce, hot sauce and apple cider vinegar over the meat. Secure the lid until it locks, select “pressure cook” and cook on high pressure for 40 minutes.

1. While the sweet potatoes and pork are cooking, prep the slaw! Chop the red onion thinly and toss in a bowl with the slaw. In another small bowl, combine the mayo, mustard, vinegar and lemon juice. Pour “sauce” over the slaw and toss until mixed well. Add celery seeds and toss a bit more. Refrigerate while you prepare the rest of the meal.

5. When the Instant Pot pressure cook is finished, quick release the pressure. Open the lid and remove the pork to shred the meat. Season with a bit of salt and pepper before serving.

6. To serve, layer 1/2 a sweet potato with pulled pork, coleslaw, sliced avocado, diced green onion and diced cilantro. Bon Appetit!

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A few notes:
- To make this in a slow cooker, increase the bone broth to 2.5 cups. Cover and cook for 8 hours on low, then finish the dish as directed.

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This is a great meal to serve a crowd. I recently served this when we had family in town and everyone was shocked at how healthy it was AND how good it tasted! It’s not often that you really strike the balance between those two worlds, health and happy flavors! This is SUCH a great recipe and I hope you love it!