Kelly Wearstler jewelry

My  obsession with Kelly Wearstler jewelry knows no bounds. Seriously. Have you seen her stuff? Well now is the time to look because Labor Day Weekend means 50% off select pieces, with the code LABORDAY. Each of the items above is actually pretty reasonable to begin with given the quality. But slash the regular prices in half? Dying. This 22k gold plated Rubric Cuff is under $140, this diamond and brass ring is around $165 and these timeless burnished gold and crystal earrings are, um, $75. Yep. $75.  Oh, and we must not forget this gorgeous druzy and crystal encrusted cuff- under $150.Blueflybags

I often forget about Bluefly, but today I ended up on the site and noticed insane deals on handbags- up to 50% off this weekend. This pink & gray Rebecca Minkoff number is so perfect to complement the fall pastel outerwear trend.  I have never seen a sequined slouchy hobo bag quite like this one from Alice + Olivia before, and at around $150 off, I would certainly like to see more of it (in my closet.) And I can’t even believe that this navy beauty from Fendi is deeply discounted- I thought they were sold out everywhere, but apparently not! 

Anthropologie

Anthropologie has an extra 20% off sale items, and many of said items are perfect finds for Fall. For example, these black satin Superga sneakers and this Anorak Vest.

Torn by Ronny Kobo

I swear by Torn by Ronny Kobo dresses and separates for TV appearances (well, at least I do when I am not 5 months pregnant!) and the entire site is 20% off with the code LABORDAY20. The pieces I would most certainly be buying for fall are pictured above, but there is MUCH more where those came from. 

First Day of School photo

This week Alexa started the 3′s program at preschool. And of course, in this new age of social media snapshots fueled by Pinterest creativity, I had to take the requisite first day of school photo. And truth be told, the photo actually says more about me than it does about her (and I am not just saying that because I am an egomaniacal only child who has to make everything about her…) Let me explain…

I don’t think Alexa really grasps the momentous occasion of starting a new school year and all the changes that it will bring (new friends, new experiences, etc.). She definitely sensed that today marked something new- but the more of a big deal I made about it, the more anxious she seemed to become. So, being the perceptive cause-and-effect parent I guess I am (haha) I began downplaying it a bit as the clock inched closer to 8:45am (inching is the best way to describe that sometimes 2 hour before-school stretch of time, right?) But, there was no way I was letting her go to school without taking this photo. You wanna know why?

Because I made the sign. All by myself. On Photoshop. (Refer to this blog post about teaching myself to do things this year to understand why this is such a personal point of pride.) Last year, at this exact same time, I vividly remember trying desperately to fashion a cute sign out of my Sharpie collection with no success- and then turning to Etsy around 1am in a fervent attempt to find an instant download that referenced the first day of the 2′s but had to settle for a more generic “preschool” sign.

Fast forward 365 days.

I found a little tutorial in chalkboard sign making here. Then I used a special font I had chosen (and figured out how to download into my Photoshop program, none the less!) for Alexa’s school logo wear which I am in charge of this year (another reason today was big for me too- for the first time I wasn’t this shy awkward mom tip-toeing into school, but rather I strode in with the confidence that, for me, only comes with having an official purpose).  In an effort to further personalize my little work of art, I altered the color from white to a bright pink. Then I figured out how to resize the image so it could be printed out and placed in the vintage frame I picked up on a recent Goodwill trip for a perfect fit. 

So many things about the paragraph above make me feel majorly grown up, you have no idea…

Oh- and in case you are wondering, after all of Lex’s anxious pleas to stay home with me for the morning, minutes after walking into her class she was happy as can be and waved me out of the room in favor of playing pretend store with her friends. Go figure- the girl tugs at my heart strings for two hours and then, with the wave of a hand, dismisses me completely. And so is motherhood…

Note: I feel like there should be an apostrophe between the “3″ and the “s” however, in the font I used, it wasn’t an option so I improvised. Also, the smudgy part of the sign is actually where I printed the name of Alexa’s school, but thought it smart to delete that from my public blog post. Honestly, for a few minutes I was torn on whether or not to do the whole smudging thing at the detriment of showing off off my  design prowess.  But clearly safety comes first (see how mature I am becoming?!) hence you will have to use your imagination as to the true extent of my Photoshop expertise. 

 

OneLineaDayJournal

Things that keep me up at night: Losing track of all my photos and forgetting all the funny things Alexa does and/or says on any given day. Especially now, with the reality setting in that a second is on the way and Alexa will never remember this time when she was our entire world, I constantly worry that the special every day moments we share will disappear into the ever-eroding abyss of my memory.

I have tried so many different methods of “journaling” over the past few years, and for the most part, after a week of dedication, I inevitably miss a day here and there, berate myself for slacking, and hide the evidence that I ever started it in the first place. The One Line A Day five-year memory book is the first thing that I have found easy to stick with- and here is why:

1- It is pretty. So I don’t mind displaying it on my night table (as evidenced above.) Having it in such close proximity every evening serves as the perfect non-obtrusive reminder to write.
2- The pages have the dates at the top, so it is easy to skip ahead when you miss a few days but still know that those days won’t forever be lost the following year- you will simply have more lines on the page if you so desire to record extra thoughts.
3- As the name clearly suggests, you really only have room for a sentence or two (I can squeeze in 3 if I use the margins and a super fine point pen on days I feel really deserve the extra characters)- so there is nothing daunting about cracking it open to jot down a little anything before bed.

It for sure helps me to sleep more soundly knowing I have, in some capacity, recorded the day for posterity. And in more promising news, I may have discovered a solution for the whole photo stress situation- currently I am in testing mode but if all goes well, I will soon be able to share one more sanity saver, so stay tuned…

Continuing on the theme of “Things Jenn Never Thought She Would Do” (i.e. have a second kid!), I figure its time to share what is likely my most unanticipated suburban passion….Gardening. Yep, gardening.

SelectingLettuce

When we moved into our house, there was a an area along one side deemed too sunny for grass, so my husband conspired with the builder to turn said space into a fenced in area complete with gravel and garden beds. I laughed hysterically upon hearing this news- I mean, what a waste of space! And it sat there, untouched, for almost an entire year, taunting me every time I looked out the window with a whiny chant that sounded (in my head, at least) something like “Haha you can’t even microwave a meal without burning the edges, imagine the disaster that would ensue should you even attempt to plant (gasp!) something living over here!”.

Never one to back down from an (imaginary) challenge, I decided to give the whole gardening thing a go. It seemed like a fun activity to do with Alexa, and a good way to motivate myself to hone my culinary skills- in an effort to not waste the fruits of my labor (should there be any) I had to amass an assortment of recipes centered around whatever I chose to grow.

Full disclosure- I had some help. My “ghost gardener” Michelle Moore taught me the basics- laying out the garden game plan, if you will. She spearheaded the initial planting, and showed me how to best care for the different vegetables so as to maximize my chances of success. Last summer, Alexa and I spent hours every evening tending to our plants and taste testing recipes. It was a great “witching hour” activity to keep her happy between 5-7pm, and I quickly fell in love with the surprisingly Type A aspects of gardening- seeing your harvest grow based on proper pruning techniques, testing different amounts of watering to yield more or less fruit, etc.

This summer, we doubled the size of our garden- adding 4 raised beds and 2 bamboo trellises. Here is the breakdown:
-Bed 1: Herbs (dill, cilantro, horseradish, oregano, thyme, 
rosemary, sage)
-Bed 2: Lettuces
-Bed 3: Squash (yellow, zucchini, Sspaghetti), shishito peppers, assorted hot peppers, marigolds
-Bed 4: Heirloom carrots, artichokes, jalapeño peppers, strawberries, marigolds
-Bed 5: Cherry tomatoes, russian red kale, red peppers, celery, cucumbers (on trellis)
-Bed 6: Assorted heirloom tomatoes, sunflowers (planted by Alexa’s class on the last day of school), scallions, chives
-Bed 7: Assorted tomatoes, hungarian wax peppers, peas (on trellis), cauliflower, beets
-Bed 8: Broccoli, yellow tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes, mini pumpkins (on trellis), brussels sprouts, onions
-Containers: Dahlias, zinnias, mint (chocolate, mojito, spearmint)

As with anything, we are having some successes (herbs up the wazoo, delicious cucumbers, the most lovely lettuce) and just as many (if not more) challenges (why won’t ANY of my peppers grow and how did my squash plants end up with some weird white speckled disease?!). And while I do get very frustrated by the unpredictability of it all, I try to remind myself this is sort of an experiment and I just have to go with it.  Some things (the weather, the chipmunks) are beyond my control. 

So now I get it…gardening just may be the best form of therapy. And coming home to a delicious tomato, onion and cucumber salad served beside an herb roasted chicken is for sure preferable to a stack of expensive doctor bills followed by hours spent quarreling with your health insurance provider over coverage.  

EatingaPea

RaisedGardenBed

Zinnias

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