9.25.2015

friday five: the FALL bucket list.

Happy Friday! This week was a little crazy, Violet got her six-month shots yesterday (she handled them like a champ!) and our internet was pretty shaky all week (hence the lack of posts). So I thought I'd switch things up and share my Fall bucket list today (and link up with ChristinaApril, and Natasha AND Katie and Pinky). 

1. Wear Fall clothes. I hate to sound like a broken record but the heat and humidity this summer has been terrible. I was never a huge fall fan (mostly because in the Midwest that means winter is next) but now that I live in the South I totally understand why people love autumn. I'm excited to pack away my summer dresses, tank tops, and shorts and start wearing jeans, sweaters, and scarves again.

2. Decorate our mantle. We have a fireplace and a mantel in our home so now I'm trying to figure out how to decorate the space. The middle of our mantle is occupied with a flat screen TV, so I really just need to focus on the ends. I found a few fall pieces that I think would look great together: 
mercury glass pumpkin (I found a similar pumpkin at TJ Maxx!) / taylor glass hurricanes + pillar candles (orange) / oak leaf garland / brass pumpkin (I have the mini pumpkin and I love it!!)

3. Dress up Violet for her first Halloween. Violet's costume arrived in the mail the other day and I couldn't resist buying her a little felt pumpkin bag for her candy (which obviously I will be stealing + eating). All Halloween treat bags are currently 20% off with free shipping!
4. Carve or decorate pumpkins! When I was growing up our neighbors had a huge pumpkin carving party -- it was the best. The adults cooked out and the kids carved pumpkins. I always loved scooping out the goop and seeds, and I want to make sure we continue the tradition with Violet :)
more ideas here + monogram tutorial

5. Eat all the seasonal things.... pretty much everything pumpkin, apple or pecan.

What's on your fall to-do list?
-xo-
Jillian
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9.22.2015

weekend good things.

This post is a little late (thank you very much AT&T internet)... but I still wanted to share a few photos of our weekend:
My aunt Tracy, cousin Kacie, and her baby visited. It was really fun to have two babies in the house!! I love seeing Vi interact with her second cousin -- she doesn't see other babies too often (aside from brunch dates with Caitlyn's baby boy), so it's cute to see her try to figure out what's going on. I imagine she is thinking "who is this? and why is she playing with my toys?!" We'll have to tackle that whole sharing thing in the future.

My cousin Kacie and I visited Charleston a few times with my grandparents when we were younger, so she is somewhat familiar with the city. She wanted to go back to the City Market to shop, so we spent most of Saturday afternoon shopping and sampling candy :) I found a really sweet tooth fairy pillow and bought some triple dipped malted milk balls from my favorite peanut shop.

Since it was my aunt's first visit to Charleston I wanted to show her some of the historic mansions so we walked around The Battery and watched the girls play. Afterwards we braved the heat and went to the beach (it was 90 over the weekend!) Violet loves the ocean -- she loves watching the water and she is totally content sitting in the sand (until she tries to eat some and I have to swoop in to stop her!) I'm excited to go back to the beach later this fall and winter when it cools down a little bit.

How was your weekend?
-xo-
Jillian
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9.18.2015

five on friday.

Happy Friday! I'm linking up with Christina, April, and Natasha and sharing five things on my mind:
shark hoodie via / baby beach pic via
ONE: My cousin, her baby girl, and my aunt are visiting this weekend!! I am so excited to see the babies play together :) If hopefully the weather cooperates -- we are going to take a trip to the beach and shop downtown at the market. 
TWO: I'd love to buy a pair of brown or beige booties for fall, but I have a few requirements: the heel can't be too high (bc I'm clumsy) and I want to keep them under $150. Here's my favorites:  TOMS leila ankle bootie / zada woven ankle bootie (my favorite but the heel way too tall for me) / basel ankle bootie / valli ankle bootie (these are waterproof!) / hala buckled bootie / bolt bootie
THREE: Growing up my mom used to make me pumpkin pie for my birthday (in June) and we had mini pumpkin and pecan pies at our (summer) wedding... so it's safe to say I'm a pumpkin spice fan. I'm totally craving these desserts: pumpkin cheesecake / pumpkin hershey''s kiss cookies / pumpkin pie crumb bar
FOUR: Yesterday I posted about Pottery Barn -- I love Pottery Barn Kids (+ BABY!) just as much. On Violet's wish list: penguin plushelephant bank / elephant plush rocker / fun on the farm stacker
FIVE: Don't forget to enter the Freshly Picked Moccasin giveaway! A winner will be emailed on Tuesday, September 22.

Have a great weekend!
-xo-
Jillian
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9.16.2015

worth another look.

I used to feel really out of place when I walked into Pottery Barn. It was filled with old fashioned furniture -- tufted chairs with arm rolls, stuffy leather couches with nailhead trim, and endless rows of table runners and napkin rings (who uses those?!). It was a all a little too shabby chic for me. But after ordering a few things for Violet's nursery (white gallery frames + elephant sheets) I started receiving catalogs and I was surprised with how many things I actually liked. I'm glad I gave Pottery Barn another chance. 
dearsley embroidered pillow cover - I love the timeless pattern on this pillow and I'm a sucker for blue + white / gold rim mirror tray - This would be a cute tray for drinks or it would look great on a dresser for perfume and jewelry / PB classic glass canisters - I have a similar set from Crate and Barrel in our master bathroom, but I like the details on these -- and you can add a monogram! / beaded silver-plated frame - I love the beaded detail on these pretty silver frames / cozy cable knit throw - I bought this blanket last year and I sleep with it every night! (it's available in five different colors and currently 20% off!) / blue ikat vase - again with the blue + white / buffalo plaid lumbar cover - how fun is this pillow? It's not something I would expect to see at PB! / malta lantern - I would love to get two of these for our mantle / chicago crewel embroidered pillow cover ... because how could I resist?! / wheaton stripe napkins another fresh fabric option (the matching pillow cover is cute too) / glass display hurricane - These would look cute on our mantle too (and the wish list keeps growing...)

Are you a Pottery Barn fan?
-xo-
Jillian
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9.15.2015

freshly picked moccasin giveaway!

Full Disclosure: Thank you to Freshly Picked for sponsoring this post and providing me with an item to review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

What better way to celebrate a milestone than with a giveaway :) Freshly Picked has the cutest collection of baby moccasins. They are beautiful in person and made out of genuine leather. I also love that the shoes are made in America and they are easy to get onto Violet's feet AND they actually stay on! The moccasins are available in a variety of prints and colors. I'm loving the "Leopard Is a Neutral" line right now. You can shop for the moccasins online on Freshly Picked or at Nordstrom -- or enter to win a pair below!
Freshly Picked is generously giving away a pair of Moccasins to one lucky reader! The winner can pick their favorite color and size. Please enter below using the Rafflecopter widget. The winner will be emailed Tuesday, September 22, 2015. 
Good Luck!
-xo-
Jillian

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9.14.2015

six-month baby favorites.

Violet turns six-months old today!! I'm not sure where the time went, but she is the happiest, sweetest baby, and we are absolutely in love with her. And apparently totally obsessed... H and I find ourselves looking at pictures of her and watching videos when she is asleep at night :)

It's been awhile since I have shared a favorite baby gear post (you see my favorite newborn picks here). Here's a roundup of our favorite 6-month baby things:

1. Baby Bjorn Babysitter with wooden toyIt took Violet a couple of months to get interested in this chair but now she loves it. We use it almost every night to keep her entertained while we eat dinner. She especially loves the wooden toy (we nicknamed the little googly-eye guy Fred and she loves to lick his face!! It's hilarious!!). 
2. Joovy Spoon Walker. I LOVE this thing. It allows Violet to be independent and entertain herself (with the help of some suction toys -- wood bead maze + fascination station wheel). She can practice walking (right now she is all about the moonwalk and only goes backwards). I like that I can push her around the house and it gives my arms (and back) a break from holding her. It folds up flat for storage and adjusts to different heights so it'll grow with your baby.
3. Mamas and Papas Baby Snug. We initially used the Joovy Walker as a feeding chair, but then switched to the Mamas and Papas Baby Snug because the seat is easier to wipe down. I like that you can take the teal insert out and continue to use the white exterior chair as the baby grows.
4. Halo SleepSack. We transitioned Vi out of traditional swaddles once it became clear she was breaking out of them in the middle of the night and they were no longer safe. Now she loves sleeping in her muslin SleepSack and I love that it's a safe way for her to have a blanket in the crib.
5. Skip Hop Gray and White Foam Tiles. These neutral tiles are a nice alternative to the bright rainbow option. I put them in our dining room (which has been taken over by Vi's toys) and they make it possible for her to roll around on the otherwise hard, wood floors. I love that you can arrange the tiles into a variety of different patterns (right now we're doing stripes).
6. Freshly Picked Moccasins. These are still a favorite! Violet looks adorable in her little moccasins...even when she's trying to eat them. (check back tomorrow for a giveaway!)
7. Storytime + books. Violet loves when I read to her and it's my favorite part of our afternoons together. I rounded up her favorite books last month (and we recently added Madeline and Where the Wild Things Are to our reading list).
8. Teethers. She has two (!!) teeth trying to poke their way through her gums so she loves teethers. She rotates her IcyBite Hard/Soft Keys and Fruit Gel Teethers c/o Nuby, with her Sophie the Giraffe and WubbaNub duck (which she treats more as a teether than a pacifier...she's still not a fan, and we have given up trying to have her take one).

Happy 1/2 birthday baby girl -- We love you and I can't wait to see what you get into next!
-xo-
Jillian
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9.11.2015

friday five.

Happy Friday! I'm linking up with ChristinaApril, and Natasha and sharing five things on my mind:
ONE: Jord was kind enough to send a gorgeous hand-crafted wood watch for H and he loves it! We were both really impressed with the great packaging (it comes in a wood box, and the watch is wrapped around a fancy herringbone stuffed pillow). H received a watch from the Fieldcrest Series, and it's made from natural West African zebrawood and maple. I've never seen anything like it before and it would make the perfect gift (Christmas will be here before you know it!).
Mens Wood Watches
TWO: After devoting the last few weekends to our master closet and Violet’s nursery we're taking a break from house projects for a few weeks. Instead I’m working on reading a few books. I just finished Luckiest Girl Alive and Silver Bay — they are totally different books (thriller v. romance) but they both were really good. 
"Syria's civil war is poised to become the worst humanitarian disaster of our time." - Neal Keny-Guyer, Mercy Corps CEO

THREE: By now it’s clear there is a major crisis going on in Syria and European countries are scrambling trying to figure out how to handle refugees fleeing war and violence. The situation is heartbreaking -- especially since HALF of the refugees are children. Learn more about the crisis AND how you can help.
FOUR: Violet is turning SIX months old next week. She had her first taste of “real” food last weekend — mashed up bananas with breast milk. After a little hesitation (and trying to figure out what to do with her tongue!) I think she liked it. She has a tooth ready to pop through her bottom gum any day now and she’s sleeping in her own nursery now (even naps!) It’s all bittersweet. I love seeing her change and develop, but it makes me a little sad my baby is growing up. I'm pretty sure that means mom and dad deserve cake or at the very least pancakes...right?!
FIVE: Peanut Butter & Co. just released Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter! It's delicious and my new favorite flavor. You can win a #PSiloveyou Box that includes a jar of Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter, a cute mug + Yankee Candle pumpkin spice votive candle.
Have a great weekend!
-xo-
Jillian
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9.10.2015

Minted home - fabric by the yard.

Full Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Minted. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Minted is my favorite place for printed announcements, holiday cards, party supplies, and art but did you know they also have printed fabric?! The fabric is sold by the yard and it can be used to create unique items for your home. I'm not very crafty so I enlisted the help of my mom and she made Violet an adorable pillow using an adorable cloud print fabric. I was really impressed with the quality and thickness of the fabric-- I think it'll hold up to years of love :) 
It was hard for me to decide what fabric to order -- Minted has a ton of great options for kids (and adults!) And they also sell finished pillows and curtains (in case you don't own a sewing machine or have no DIY skills like me).
I still have a couple of yards of printed gray fabric (pictured above, last row, on the far left). Originally I was going to have my mom make a car seat cover with it but I received another one as a gift. So now I'm trying to decide what to do with the fabric -- more pillows? Or maybe a runner for our new kitchen table? 

What is your favorite DIY project with printed fabric?
-xo-
Jillian
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9.04.2015

friday five.

Happy Friday! I'm back linking up with April to share a few things on my mind: 
ONE: Humans of New York just finished visiting Iran! H's parents grew up in Tehran and his dad visits every year. I love seeing his photos and videos of family, and this series was a nice way to explore more Iranian cities and "meet" different people. The  stories are the best -- especially this one and this one :)

TWO: I did yoga four times this week (!!!) that's a huge accomplishment because I haven't had the energy to work out in a long time. I figured out a time that works for Violet where she's happy playing in her bouncer while she watches me attempt cobra :) When she gets antsy (usually after 20 mins) I put her on a mat next to me and workout for another 10 mins. It's not the longest workout, but I'm just happy to be practicing again. I need to try some of these moves.

THREE: I ordered a set of Jo Jo Moyes books the other week (thanks to a promo I saw on the Today Show). The set included Me Before You, The Last Letter From Your Lover (two favorites) and two that I haven't read yet: Silver Bay and The Ship of BridesOh and if you haven't heard -- the sequel to Me Before You -- After You comes out at the end of the month! I can't wait to read it.
FOUR: My dessert of choice lately? Break and bake cookies! This isn't earth-shattering news but freshly baked, warm cookies are sooo much better than the prepackaged stuff.  I also love that I can just make one or two instead of having a dozen sitting in the kitchen begging me to eat them! I bought classic chocolate chip this week -- white chocolate macadamia nut and chocolate chip peanut butter deluxe are up next :)

FIVE: It's Labor Day Weekend that means there are a lot of sales going on! Here are my favorite picks:

Gap // 40% off everything - I have this stripe tee in burgundy... now I want to buy every other color. It runs a little big -- I sized down and bought an XS. I have my eye on these leopard workout shorts.

J.Crew Factory // 50% off everything (Ends 9/7) - I still want this striped boatneck tee and I love this black and white embroidered tee

J.Crew // 30% off your order of $125+ - Code: GETSHOPPING (Ends 9/9) I know it's too early to be talking about wool coats but isn't this one pretty? I'll take one in mint or gray!! And this stripe shirt is perfect... (yes, I realize I have a problem). 

Madewell // take 30% off fall essentials and an extra 30% off all sale styles (Ends 9/7) I tried this top on in the store and it's gorgeous! I totally regret not buying it (especially now that I can't find the plum color). 

Nordstrom // save up to 40% on sale items (Ends 9/13) I love these strappy sandals (under $35!), patterned romper, and plaid shirtdress for Fall. 

Old Navy // up to 60% off everything - I want this Halloween onesie and buffalo plaid dress for Violet + a stripe dress for me.


Have a great weekend!
-xo-
Jillian
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9.03.2015

master closet makeover with chasing paper.

Thank you to Chasing Paper for providing us with removable wallpaper for this post. All opinions are my own.

When we moved into our home a few months ago it needed a lot of work. The walls were worn with scribbles, holes that needed to be patched up, peeling paint, and scuffs -- pretty much the normal wear and tear you would expect from a family of five. And if that wasn't enough the kids rooms were hot pink and lime green (!!!) and every room had popcorn ceilings. So we decided to leave it to the professionals and have them paint every room in the house and remove the popcorn ceilings. After we wrote them a big fat check we decided to tackle the master closet on our own. 

Our master walk-in closet is the stuff of dreams -- it has a pocket door, 8 built-in drawers, 8 huge shelves, and spacious his/her areas for hanging up clothes. But the closet was in rough shape and it needed some love. It took us a few weekends to putty the holes, caulk the corners, sand, and clean. My father-in-law helped us with three coats of white paint last weekend, and we installed the finishing touches -- new knobs, hooks, and patterned wallpaper! 

Chasing Paper is a line of stylish removable wallpaper. They have a ton of different patterns and colors to choose from and the paper will stick to nearly any surface. It's also really easy to install. Of course I'm a big fan of all of the blue patterns:
After a lot of debate I chose the black Speckle pattern (aka dalmation print). The print is really popular with a lot of style bloggers and I thought it would look great in our closet. But when I received the paper it just wasn't "me" -- H wasn't a fan either. So I exchanged it for the light blue Dot + Line pattern. The paper is gorgeous and perfect for our space. It was also easy to install -- just peel, stick, and trim with a X-ACTO knife. We finished off the wall with some silver hooks for my jewelry and now we have a finished master closet we can be proud of!
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Have you ever tried to use removable wallpaper? 
Which pattern is your favorite?
-xo-
Jillian
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