Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Life Lately

Life lately has been all about hanging on to spring just as long as we can!

We had a lovely Mother's Day, with phenomenal weather.

Dress | Bowtie 

Parker gave me the best present (sleeping in!) and then led me over to the flowers he picked out for me. He said over and over to take a photo of them - I think he sees me take way too many pictures on the daily, ha!

Parker's card to me is a crack up - he loves writing numbers, and when Max was helping him with the card, apparently he kept wanting to write :#9. Max told him that writing "#1" would be more appropriate, ha!

Sunnies | Sunnies

My boys took me to brunch at Bridge Street - always the prettiest place to be! And then we rounded out the day with a walk downtown for popsicles and tacos - for me, it just can't get any better than that!

These two have my heart. 

I had a special delivery from my Junior League mentor - Gerber Daisies on the front porch!

They are so happy, and one of my favorites! However, I'm partial to flowers you can eat, haha! I haven't made it out to these squash blossoms while they've been open (best for harvesting them), but fried stuffed squash blossoms from the garden are on my list of must-makes for summer. Yum.

Also on my must list? Another trip to Yoshi Sushi Fusion. We made it out to this new restaurant for the first time last week, and I was blown away.

Sushi is, of course, Parker's choice cuisine. Unfortunately, it's not so wallet-friendly.

But, holy cow it was worth it. If you're local, make it a point to head there. (Below clockwise from left, Seabream, Tuna, Salmon Belly, OMG roll. We also loved the Yellowtail and double ordered the fatty tuna, ah-maze.)

The end of spring in the south means the blooming of hydrangeas - we are super lucky to have white ones in the backyard, and blue, purple and pink in the front! So far, just the white ones are starting.

It's been perfect dining-on-the-deck weather :)

Life lately has included lots of iced teas and coffees for me, and cake pops and milks for Sweet P! 

We had a milk/coffee break at the Botanical Garden before heading on to see their latest exhibit - dinosaurs!

The triceratops were our favorite (and super realistic - Parker literally wouldn't pose by this loud, moving one without me!).

Over the weekend, we had an intense, sudden and quick storm roll in early evening. We lost power and had a candlelight dinner of cold leftovers before heading to bed early. Our Amazon Echo woke us up at 1:30am when the power turned back on. Note to self: in the event of another power outage, unplug the Echo unless wanting to be alarmingly woken up with loud, harsh robot voice, inducing understandable freakout. The next morning I headed out early to pick up almond and chocolate croissants from Whole Foods (freshly baked and warm, they are my weakness) and I was stunned to see our street looked like this:

I'd later find out that much of the neighborhood looked like this. In fact, there were places that were without power well into the following day. We were super lucky that we only had small and medium sized branches fall, and no real damage.

I'm still getting used to this crazy weather here in the south! I'm also expecting a scorching summer, after our winter was so very mild.

Summer will officially start for us next week. Parker has his last piano lesson and also his last day of preschool this week. Summer is going to be filled with tee-ball and walks to the community pool, but I also wanted to talk about the other special summery things we have to look forward to - so Parker and I started our Summer Bucket List! Some of these are special one-time things, and some are perfect for the random summer day when we need a little prompting to select something to do. 

1. Music in the Park
2. Make ice cream
3. Catch fireflies
4. California Beach Day
5. Blow bubbles
6. Movie & Popcorn
7. Popsicles at Frios
8. Make cereal necklaces
9. Tour the fire department
10. Scottsdale aquarium 
11. Dinner at the pool
12. Make play-doh
13. Watch fireworks
14. Pick blueberries
15. Sock puppets
16. Pick flowers
17. Bake a pie
18. Jumping at Shakalaka
19. Dessert at Pizelles
20. Farmer's Market
21. Bookstore
22. Bowling
23. Backyard Camping

What's on your bucket list for summer?


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Parker's Spring Piano Recital!

Our sweet little man has been obsessed with symphonies and orchestras since before he could talk. It's an understatement when I say he's an old soul. At age two, he had his heart set on playing the violin, but alas, it's quite difficult (impossible) to find violin classes for a two-year-old. Last year when he turned three, we toured the music school downtown, which accepts three-year-olds on a limited basis. After his interview they suggested Sweet P begin with piano - and to our surprise, he was all for it! He began lessons at the start of their school year, September of 2016. 

Parker took lessons once a week with Mrs. Kish, every Wednesday at 4pm (and of course practiced almost every day at home, as per the conservatory requirement). He played a very simple Jingle Bells in a small, informal Christmas recital in December, and I just assumed that, because of his age, he would skip the bigger spring recital. But lo and behold, a few months back Mrs. Kish asked Parker to select music for the spring recital. I just about died when she played the different pieces for him - I had no idea how he was going to get there, having only been playing a few months and being just three-years-old at that point. 

Parker selected Quiet River, and over the next several lessons picked up chords and mastered the song. It was amazing to see the look of pride in his face each time he played, and most every time he practiced at home. Playing the piano really is something he has grown to adore.

The spring recital was held at The Cooper House, a gigantic historical house downtown. 

Parker was third to present, and watching him walk right up to the piano in front of the entire audience made me so proud! (I also may have let out an involuntary giggle because after the first two elementary-aged performers, Parker looked comically tiny. I forget that he's four.) His teacher helped him place his music on the stand and push the piano bench in because he literally couldn't reach! Ha! But really, the fact that his music school expected this participation from him - for him to play a piece by himself, in front of the crowd - was really remarkable. I feel it shows what happens when expectations are set high, and I really couldn't be happier. My Mama nerves were much calmer this presentation compared to December, and I actually let out a breath and was able to listen this time, once he was past the first few bars and I knew he had it down.

The best part, of course, was seeing the pride and sense of accomplishment on this excited face.

Also, a huge thank-you to Parker's teacher this year for her dedication, patience, and guidance - and also for believing in our little guy!

Proud parents!

Afterwards, Parker selected Baskin Robbins for celebratory ice cream.

I worked at the local B&R all through high school, and they somehow all smell the same. 

Yay for our littlest pianist! 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Friday Faves - Beach Edition

We kicked off May with a trip to Cape San Blas, Florida, and today I'm sharing all my favorites from our week on the beach! Cape San Blas was the perfect sleepy little beach community - it boasted a whopping three restaurants and one "trading post"/general store that also housed a teeny, tiny donut stand (where we picked up hot, freshly made donuts that I'm still dreaming about). We loved the emptiness of the beach- when going away on vacay we kind of look for the opposite of a crowd or a scene - and that's exactly what we got! Here are the items I couldn't have done the week without... 

Y'all this cover-up is my top favorite. It's the perfect weight, material, and length - and because it's Lilly it comes in amazing colors and gorgeous prints. Also, let's stop for a minute and admire the tassels.

Those tassels held up to a machine wash after we returned from the beach (I just air dried post-wash). I was worried they wouldn't look the same, but they're still perfect. 

This tunic had me covered walking out to the beach, as well as for mid-day runs to the local restaurant for baskets of fried seafood goodness for lunch. The cover-up was darling and comfortable, and it's going to be perfect at the pool this summer as well. 


I picked up several different sunscreens for our trip, and this one was by far my favorite. I love a spray (so easy!) and the scent was fantastic! Their kids version was my top pick for Parker. 

A beach read : The Husband's Secret

I started and finished this book, another Liane Moriarty read, while we were in Florida. I love her formula of crime/murder-mystry while jumping from character to character for different perspectives. What I really wanted to take with me, though, was this new release by Paula Hawkins. Alas, my library hold had not come up yet! I'm still waiting (not so patiently) and every so often I'm this close to ordering it from Amazon! 

I toted my book in my old straw beach bag which was on its last leg and has since been tossed. This was actually fine by me because all the new ones available out there are so bright and colorful!! I'm swooning over the pom adorned one above, but the tassel trend is so much fun too. The two totes below are super similar, but can you spot that one is a splurge and one is a steal? Click to see if you're correct!

Graphic Tees!

 Sunnies | Tee | Shorts | Sandals

Old Navy has the best selection of graphic tees right now, and for a fraction of the price you'd find elsewhere. I loved them with J.Crew shorts for post-beach/pool lounging inside the house.


Our sweet Nashville friends (whom we shared the beach house and vacay with) discovered these awesome vacuum lined tumblers (they actually gifted me mine way back in the fall to keep my coffee hot after hearing about how I'd microwave my morning cup fifty times while trying to drink it). These babies were perfect for PiƱa Coladas - like kept them super cold all. day. long. The cups really are amazing - you totally need to see for yourself! Our friends also brought along these straws for the trip. I loved that they were super soft (so they didn't accidently poke anyone) and they color coded the drinks so we always knew whose was whose.

Happy beach days! What are your must-haves for visiting the coast?


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