Sunday, September 29, 2013


It's a been a few months since I've been responsible for keeping a fruit tree alive and I'm happy to report everything has been going pretty good! I've learned that my little tree doesn't like to be watered every day, a good soak every other day seems to be perfect. Also, it doesn't like the strong winds we have whipping down the hill behind our house so I have moved it in front of the house. Other than that, this little lemon tree is pretty low maintenance.

We picked our first lemon the other day! The tree has been covered with green lemons for months now, but there was 1 gorgeous yellow one that was finally ripe enough to pick. I let Beatrice pick it and we sliced it together.

It was tart and citrusy and lemony and perfect. It made a mean lemon water too. I'm so proud of me for keeping this little guy alive and healthy. I can't wait for the other 20 lemons to ripen!

Thursday, September 26, 2013


I don't have a cohesive decorating plan for anything in my home. I buy things that I like and hope they all complement each other once they are put together in a room. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don't.

The living room is a work in progress that started with the navy and ivory trellis rug I bought back in April. We added the gray couch last month and I really like how the navy and gray coordinates, but I wanted more accent colors. I'm not great at knowing what colors go together, so I googled! Lavender was in my top searches, so I bought a cashmere lavender throw for the end of the lounger. I love how the cool purple pairs with the icy gray and navy.

Google also taught me that metallics look fabulous with navy and gray. That is all I needed to know, I love gold accents. One can't have too many shiny gold accents in her home! Can they?

I didn't love poufs at first. I thought they were sort of like a fancy beanbag chair. But then I kept seeing them as legitimate design features and they kind of grew on me. I found this gold one and fell in love. It works as an ottoman, a side table, a stool, or a princess throne.

I made the gold pillow. It is shiny and looks pretty sitting on my couch.

I traded our old wooden side tables for this gold iron one. I like it a lot.

And finally, this glittery gold Tennessee print I made the other day.

Too much gold? There is still a lot to do in this room, but so far I'm digging the bling.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

My Hair

My hair has been a thorn in my side for most of my life. It is thick, coarse, and unmanageable. Styling is difficult because my brittle hair is naturally frizzy and big. The more I do to it, the bigger and crunchier it gets. All I ever wanted in life was to have shiny, silky hair that was soft and bouncy, but that is not my hair's reality.

After having my babies, my hair is even worse. I've always had some waves, but now it is really curly. So much so, that it's almost impossible to fully straighten it. After fighting my hair for 31 years, I'm finally surrendering and just letting my hair be what it is: wild, curly, natural. Basically, I'm a hot mess.

Selfie overload! This is what my hair looks like without any product or "fixing" whatsoever. I washed it, combed it out, towel dried it, and gave up. I'm not totally confident leaving the house like this, but my friends say that women pay to make their hair look this way, so.... Are my friends liars?? 

Wearing my hair like this is definitely easier, but is it acceptable?! Do I look unkempt? Disheveled?? Shaggy??? I've come to accept that I will never have a soft, perfectly coifed mane, but do I want a wild, unruly one? I think I kinda do...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Favorite Kid's Gift

A few months ago, I found the cutest thing at a children's store: a gummy bear nightlight. I bought 2 for my niece and nephew's birthdays, then got Penelope one for her birthday. They were a big hit with all the kids, score for Aunt Aly! Poor Beatrice was so upset though, she desperately wanted a gummy bear nightlight too. I told her she had to wait until her birthday, but I couldn't torture her for another month so I went ahead and ordered her one too. It arrived today.

The girls absolutely love their nightlights. Beatrice named hers Aurora and Penelope named hers Gummy Bear. They play with them day and night and think they are the coolest things ever. If you are looking for a gift for a kid, this will be a sure favorite!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

New Couch

It's been an exciting week for our living room. I finally got rid of our old couch. Picking out a new one was pretty simple, and after careful consideration I chose this:
After sinking into the old couch for 6 years, I knew I wanted furniture with more support. This baby is firm and structured without being uncomfortable. No one is sinking into this one for a long, long time.

We bought a bold rug a few months ago so I went with a light gray couch. I have so much more to do in terms of window treatments, pillows, and decor in our living room - that's why you're only getting a glimpse of the new couch - but the light gray will go with so much, I'm excited about the possibilities.

The best seat on the couch is the lounger. It's long and perfect for sitting and lounging or curling up for a catnap. It can be positioned on either the right or the left side so it works no matter how we set up our living room.

The best part about having a new couch is just having a couch. I got rid of our old furniture back in July. The new furniture arrived last week. I'm not sure what lesson I was supposed to learn by not having anywhere to sit for 6 weeks, but all I know is the floor is hard and it's better to sit on a couch.

Hopefully I will complete all of the decorating details in the next week or so. Until then, we are loving our new furniture.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Late Bloomer

California summertime is a bit of a late bloomer. While the rest of the country is thawing out under sunny skies in May, we are huddled under blankets and sweaters as the "May Gray" looms all around us with its thick clouds and misty, cool air. June brings hopes of warmer days, but only for an hour or two around lunchtime. July is even cool and mild while its bright, clear skies are deceptively cold. By the time August rolls around, we are all starting to wonder if summer is going to pass us by altogether.

But it doesn't. August brings the broiling heat and thick, hot air with little to no breeze. August is the month of sweat. August is the month of sunburns and no makeup and ponytails. August is the month of letting yourself go, one sticky, hot day at a time.

And now it's September and even hotter. We don't have AC so the heat is met with contempt from most of our family. We wake up stuck to the sheets and we are grumpy just knowing that we've got a long, hot day in front of us.

To beat the heat, we've been hanging out at the beach, pool, and sprinkler.

Watermelon, no clothes, makeshift pools, and homemade ice cream make the heat more bearable. We have about another month of the hottest part of our summer, but we are going to make the most of it. Viva la watermelon and sprinklers on the front lawn!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Shopping Cart

Penelope loves to push things. She got a doll stroller for Christmas and plays with it almost everyday, but I wanted to get her something for her birthday she could use outside of our neighborhood. I decided on a shopping cart that she could bring to the grocery store with me. She absolutely loves it. Today, we brought it to the grocery store for the first time.

I thought it would be a semi-disaster with all sorts of aisle display crashes, selecting of random items we don't need, and collisions with other shoppers, but Penelope did great and stayed right by me. She did throw a few avocados out of her cart, but they were an impulse buy so I didn't blame her. The other shoppers didn't mind how slow she was or how we blocked entire aisles, they thought she was the cutest shopper ever and enjoyed talking to her.

We have a bit of a nose picking problem going on here.

Our shopping trip took twice as long as usual, but we all had fun with the little shopping cart. I think it's going to be a regular fixture on all our shopping trips.