Handmade Love: Love Mae Designs


I came across this lovely shop when I was working on a project the other day and fell in love with the playful/whimsical crib sheets! You can see more from Love Mae Designs here.

P.S. 16 of My Favorite Sources for Crib Sheets + 6 Tips for Decorating a Nursery on a Budget

P.P.S. Don't forget to enter the Hanna Andersson and Stuck on You giveaways - a $100 prize for each!

Bright Baby Nursery Design Board + A Giveaway!


Today I'm so excited to also be partnering with Hanna Andersson to bring you all a super fun, bright, and colorful nursery design board plus another giveaway for a $100 gift card! The lovely folks over at H.A. contacted me about their new Bright Baby Basics collection and I was instantly smitten! I absolutely love the colors, design, and patterns and thought it was just the perfect inspiration for a fun and fresh nursery design board.

I love that everything in the collection is both adorable and affordable and that it was inspired by Hanna's very first designs over thirty years ago. The fabrics are all organic but the colors are so vibrant - not always the easiest combination to find in my experience. They sent a few pieces for Lucy and we just love them - they're so soft and comfortable but also cute and stylish. You can find the full collection here.

To enter the giveaway, simply follow Hanna Andersson on Pinterest and leave a comment below that includes your Pinterest handle. The giveaway is open internationally and you can enter through Wednesday 7/30/14. Best of luck! xo, Lauren

Bright Baby Nursery Design Board Sources:

Mini Library
Zip A Dee Do Dah! Print
Pendant Light
Crochet Garland
Wooden Sailboat Toy
Lemon Print
Enzo Mari Pear Print
Bright Baby Basics Blanket
Apple Print
Geometric Lamp
Wooden Toy Camera
Caravan Dresser
Lion Nightlight
Cloud Pillow
Colorful Stripe Rug
Stripe Crib Bedding
Gold Pouf
Framework Metal Letter

P.S. Don't forget to enter to win one of two $100 gift cards to Stuck on You

Giveaway: $100 to Stuck on You


The folks at Stuck on You were kind enough to send over a few goodies for our beach trip and I love them so much I wanted to do a giveaway for all of you! They're generously offering two $100 gift cards for two readers to spend as they please!

Stuck on You offers personalized kids' labels and gifts, which was perfect for us as Violet is currently completely obsessed with having her name on everything. They sent us a beautiful embroidered towel for both of the girls and a bunch of other labels and goodies - our favorite of which is Violet's personalized drink bottle. It was a lifesaver on our trip. It kept her water cool and sand-free at the beach and she, of course, loves that it has her name on it. (A couple other favorites of mine are the lunchbox and personalized back pack).

To enter, simply visit Stuck on You and leave a comment telling us your favorite item. The giveaway is open worldwide and is open through Tuesday, 7/29/14. Good luck! xo, Lauren

Mom.Me - 50 Favorite Mom Bloggers

Just wanted to pop in and say that I'm super flattered to have been chosen by mom.me as one of their 50 favorite mom bloggers alongside some of my favorites - A Cup of Jo, Mom 101, and Girl's Gone Child to name a few! So fun - thanks mom.me :) xo, Lauren

Beach with a Babe - What Worked and What Didn't

After all of that stressing and thinking and planning we finally made the trip to the beach with our two babes, and it was a little slice of heaven. Blue skies, the aqua ocean, a big house full of family, and perfect temperatures - we got so incredibly lucky. We only had a half day of rain during the entire trip, and other than that the only other problem all week was a dead alternator on the drive down. Thankfully we had pulled over safely into a parking lot and were able to call AAA to give us a jump and follow us safely to a service station.

We were lucky that it happened at lunch time and the parking lot we were in was full of restaurants, so we waited for the tow truck driver in comfort while we ate some yummy sandwiches instead of hot and sweating and stuck in the middle of a six lane highway. When we got to the service station a weight loss infomercial was blaring on the television, the only available seating was an old couch and a few uncomfortable benches, and the place was outfitted with a bathroom that was clearly cared for by men who weren't afraid of a little dirt (and no baby changer in sight), but the service was friendly and they worked hard to get us out of there as quickly as possible. After consulting the other patrons I switched the television station to one of the only other options available - a station playing opera and classical music, and the girls and I pretended to be ballerinas and twirled around on the tile floor. I think there was a collective sigh of relief when the voice screaming at us to take diet pills was replaced instead by the sound of violins, and there were definitely more than a few grins at our tiny dancers. When the girls tired of twirling we played with a few matchbox cars that we had packed until eventually Lucy's eyelids started to droop and I popped her into the Ergo carrier for a nap. The situation wasn't ideal, but it gave us a chance to stretch our legs and we made the best of it. I was really proud of our girls for being so positive and flexible in a less than ideal situation. Also sooo happy that it died when it did and not when we were out driving on the beach!

I was a little worried about how Violet would react to the ocean - the last time we had taken her at age two-and-a-half she had been absolutely terrified of it, but this time as soon as our toes hit the sand she started asking to go in the water. She loved being in the waves with her papa especially - he was tall and made her feel super safe in that big blue expanse. Lucy loved the water as well - especially the warmer tide pools that formed on the beach. One day we were lucky enough to set up near a deep hole that another family had painstakingly dug earlier in the day which ended up being a perfect baby pool for our little ones.

Being the over packer/over planner that I am, we had actually purchased our own cheap inflatable baby pool to bring to the beach, but only blew it up one day until we realized that the tide pools worked just as well and the kids seemed to enjoy them more. Plus they didn't involve us bailing water from the ocean. We did use our Shade Shack every single day - it was so lightweight and easy to carry to the beach and set up in about thirty seconds flat.

Baby powder was my absolute savior with Lucy. She got so incredibly caked in sand every time we were there, and the saltwater only did so much to remedy the situation. I used it on her hands, on her face, and when I changed her diaper. It took the wet sand right off - absolutely amazing.

She loved palling around with her Uncle Dan while we were there. I love that even though she has only really interacted with him on Skype (seeing as how he lives in Australia), she took right to him and they were best buds during the trip. Her little batik cloud dress and yellow hat were my absolute favorites - so comfy and pretty. I died every time she wore them of the sheer cuteness. And of course Saltwater sandals - they were Violet's when she was Lucy's age and they've held up so well. I love that they're cute, comfortable, and water-friendly.

We also brought one warm, plush beach towel for the girls to share and used foutas for ourselves because they were so much more compact. And I loved using our Pyramids travel throw for the same reason - everything fit so nicely into my tote, which was really great on the day that Lucy unexpectedly fell asleep in my arms at the beach and I had to lug her dead weight the whole way back to the house. It wasn't far, but it felt like forever, trying to keep her little face out of the sun and make sure she was comfortable.

We also made a ton of use of Lucy's pretty cover-up from Rikshaw Design. I've found that rash guards just always made Violet super cold and shivery when she was a babe, but I still wanted something to cover up Lucy's skin when she wasn't in the water, and I didn't want her to get overheated. This kurta was the perfect solution - the material was really lightweight and breezy but kept her arms, back, and chest extra protected from the sun's rays.

I feel so incredibly thankful that everything worked out the way it did. I so wanted my girls to have a positive experience with the beach and to enjoy our time with our family who traveled so far to spend time with us. We couldn't have asked for a better week - we celebrated our anniversary (eight years!), climbed the stairs of the lighthouse, drove on the beach, flew a kite, enjoyed the waves and pool, and ate copious amounts of ice cream. I only wish it would've lasted longer, but I suppose all good things have to come to an end. We have one more week with my sister and her family before they head back to Oz, and we're trying to soak up as much time as possible. Although I know Lucy probably won't remember our first beach vacation as a family of four, I hope that the bonds she and Violet made there will last and grow despite the many miles between them and us. xo, Lauren

Lucy's Kurta: c/o Rikshaw Design
Lucy's batik cloud dress: c/o Hiho Batik

A Pair of Pears


I came across this pretty pear painting on Pinterest and fell in love - it's right up my alley with that peachy pink/bluey mint color combination. Throw in a bit of black stripe and a generous amount of gold and stir. You can find all of the sources and more over at my post for Houzz.com.

Favorite Parenting Links Lately


We've been super busy around here the past couple of weeks - getting ready for our beach trip, hanging out with my sister and her family who are visiting all the way from Australia, and just generally enjoying summer! It's been so much fun getting to pal around with my sister again and spend time with my nephew (I just want to squeeze him!) I also picked up a job writing for a local design magazine and am pretty excited about it. So I just wanted to say sorry if posting is a bit sporadic. Hopefully I'll get things back up to speed soon :) I have a ton of stuff I want to share with you (we started phase two of our kitchen remodel!)

In the meantime, here are a few of my favorite parenting links for your reading pleasure:

1. Finding me - one of the hardest things for me to do, because I almost always get lured in by that super cute family of mine.

2. What postpartum moms really need.

3. Hilarious and true. Sorry FWOK!

4. The crazy things you do as a parent. (Numbers 15-17 made me laugh out loud!)

5. Loooove this. (And the follow-up post)

6. Sibling rivalry tips and tricks.  We definitely do numbers one and two.

7. Dear children, let me explain this thing called summer.

xo, Lauren

Handmade Love: Long Story Co.

Loving all of the colors and designs in this sweet little shop I came across the other day. It's right up my alley - full of yellows, pinks, navy and mint and the sweetest little sailor dolls. Check it out here at Long Story Co. 

The Cutest Kids' Beachwear


Yesterday I shared some of my favorite things for beach babies, and today it's the big kids' version:

1. Straw Hat | 2. Umi Sandals | 3. Embroidered Dress | 4. Pink Sunglasses | 5. Stripe Beach Bag |
6. Star Swimsuit

P.S. Aren't those Umi sandals adorable?! I think it's my new favorite brand of kids' shoes - they are seriously the whole package: cute and classic, super sturdy and comfortable, and the strap looks like it buckles but it secretly is velcro! They sent the girls a few pairs and I'm now their biggest fan! I kind of secretly want them for myself. Why do grown up shoes have to be so much more expensive than kids'? I'm too cheap to buy myself nice shoes most of the time. Does anyone else have kids with nicer footwear than your own?

The Cutest Baby Beachwear


I'm so excited - in a few days my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew are arriving all the way from their home in Australia to visit for a few weeks. Every time she comes to visit, it seems like everyone on the planet wants a little bit of time with her, and I never get to see her quite as much as I'd like. So this time we've planned a little beach getaway while she's here to make sure that we get some quality family time. I can't wait to hug everyone and squeeze my nephew about a hundred million times! Anyway, I've been on a little bit of a shopping spree getting us all ready for our beach trip. Here are a few of my favorite baby beach finds that I've come across:

1. Hello Kitty Bandana | 2. Yellow Sunhat | 3. Bloomers | 4. Pineapple Swim Diaper | 5. Tuxedo Kurta | 6. Ruffled Swimsuit | 7. Color Block Sandals

P.S. Our visit to the beach down under + Beach with a Babe

Lovely Reads: Puffin in Bloom


I just discovered Puffin in Bloom and I am kind of obsessed. They're illustrated by Anna Bond of Rifle Paper Co. and I swear she can seriously do no wrong. Amazing. You can find them on Amazon (available for pre-order and only $12 each - wee!):


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