Two Teens And Their Mama

Friday, May 26, 2017

Magic And Friends And Toronto


I keep getting older, and I keep learning lessons.  To take chances.  To be brave.  To step outside your comfort zone. And you can never have too many friends.

That last one is important.

It's taken me all week to write this post, because I've needed time to let the gratefulness sink in.  I believe there are people in the world that you're destined to meet.  People who make your life better, fuller, richer.  You never know where you might find them, but if you keep your eyes and your heart open, magic happens.

Last weekend I traveled to Toronto to laugh, talk, eat, shop, and spend time with ten amazing ladies from The Blended Blog.  We took the longest bus ride ever, walked the longest walk ever, ate all the poutine, drank all the margaritas, stopped for a million pictures, and connected like we'd known each other for years.  Seriously, if you had told anyone around us that we just met, they wouldn't have believed you.

I don't know how we found each other in this great big blogging world, but it was obviously meant to be.  It's that magic thing.  All I know is, my heart is full, and I'm so thankful and happy to call these women my friends.

Today I want to share them with you.  Be sure to visit their blogs, because each of them writes with such a beautiful, authentic voice.  

P.S. Sadly, I don't have pictures with all of the ladies.  I'm terrible at selfies, so I usually give up, and then regret it later.  Must up my photography game.  In random order:


I first met Deena three years ago when she came to Seattle, and we clicked right away. She is smart, funny, thoughtful, utterly organized, and totally delightful.  I admire her relationships with family and friends, and kind of want to be her when I grow up.  She called me a big sister, which melted my heart, so now we're family, l'il sis.


Christy is Deena's BFF and after meeting her, I can totally see why.  Right away I loved her energy and beautiful smile, her taste in music, and her positive attitude.  She has two boys, and it's fun to relive all those parenting moments through her adventures.


I really enjoyed getting to know Lisa, and wish we'd had more time to talk.  She's so stylish and creative, and wears a tuque better than anyone.  Right now she's working on a clothing line, and I can't wait to see everything, because I know it will be amazing.


Shaunacey and I met last year in Vegas, and I couldn't wait to see her again.  She's so kind and fun, and I love her sense of humor and the way she sees life.  Plus, she's the most adorable pregnant lady I've ever known.


I have so much admiration for Katie, and she's another one I wish I'd had more time with. She's strong and determined, and her enthusiastic love of life is contagious.   She also has the prettiest clothes, and I want them all.


Sarah just makes me happy, and I feel like I've known her forever.  We also met in Vegas, and I was so excited to spend more time with her.  Luckily we sat together on the longest bus ride ever.  Her kind smile is infectious, and her heart is as big as they come.  She also takes the best selfies, has the best hair, and knows her makeup.  I need lessons in all these things.


Nicole has been on an amazing journey over the last year, and she inspires me daily. For real. I wish I had her motivation and will power.  She's super cool, creative, and fun to talk to.  I loved that she was tall with me, and she took the most incredible pictures of our weekend.


Alison kind of sneaks up on you.  She quietly sits back and takes it all in, but once you get her talking she's witty and smart and so fun to hang with.  She's also a member of the tall club and has the prettiest shirts.


The "moms" of the group were Andrea and I.  With our boys off to college, we have a lot in common, and a lot to talk about.  I was sorry we didn't have more time.  She is as genuine, caring, thoughtful and sweet in real life as she is on her blog.  Nobody rocks an off the shoulder top like Andrea!


Whitney is a french teacher and world traveler, which I think is so cool. I was very thankful for her great advice before I went to Paris last year.  She's sweet and kind and knows the best poses for the camera.  More lessons for me.


Yep, it was meant to be. Can't wait to spend time with these ladies again next year!




Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Fashion Files: Aritzia


Welcome back to Fashion Files!  The ladies at The Blended Blog are taking style inspiration from Pinterest and other bloggers to recreate favorite outfits.  We hope you'll join us and link up your fashion posts below.

When I travel, it's always fun to shop in places I don't have at home.  During TBB's trip to Toronto last weekend (more to come on Friday), I was excited to hit up a few Canadian stores that my blogger friends often talk about. Aritzia was at the top of the list, and I was hoping to find a particular skirt that Deena had styled before.

Success!  
This may be the most comfortable skirt I've ever owned, and I know I'll be wearing it all summer long.  I added a sorta french graphic tee in honor of Deena, and floral flats because I don't have a cool floral blazer like hers. Next time I could dress the skirt down with sneakers and a cardigan, or try sandals and a tank top.  


Linking up  with The Pleated PoppyThursday Fashion FilesFashion FridayFabulous FridayPumps and PushupsHow I Style ItNot Dead Yet StyleMy Refined StyleThursday ModaI do DeclaireAgeless StyleWednesday's Wardrobe , Get Your Pretty OnShelbee On The Edge

Time to link up!  I hope you'll join us again this week, and follow along with #theblendedblogstyle.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Gone To Toronto


Happy Thursday, friends!

As you read this, I'm on my way to Toronto for the second annual Blended Blog Meet Up.  I can't wait to spend the weekend with my blogging sisters, hugging old friends and meeting new ones.

I'll have a recap next week, but in the meantime, you can follow our adventures on Instagram.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Fashion Files: White Shirts


Welcome back to Fashion Files!  The ladies at The Blended Blog are taking style inspiration from Pinterest and other bloggers to recreate favorite outfits.  We hope you'll join us and link up your fashion posts below.

I've got a thing for white shirts.  They're so crisp and clean and go with almost everything. When I saw this pretty look on Brooke from Pumps And Pushups, I knew I wanted to give it a try this week.

I especially love white shirts paired with pastels.  This one from Loft caught my eye because...well, it's white. And also the bell sleeves and split neckline.  It's sold out, but this one is really pretty.  The chino's are from JCrew, and the bag is the one and only clutch I own.  I received it in a Stitch Fix last year, and it can be converted to a cross body.


Has spring arrived in your part of the world?  Sadly, it was 50 degrees and raining when I took these pictures, so this outfit didn't stay on for long.  Someday my spring will come!

Linking up  with The Pleated PoppyThursday Fashion FilesFashion FridayFabulous FridayPumps and PushupsHow I Style ItNot Dead Yet StyleMy Refined StyleThursday ModaI do DeclaireAgeless StyleWednesday's Wardrobe , Get Your Pretty OnShelbee On The Edge

Time to link up!  I hope you'll join us again this week, and follow along with #theblendedblogstyle.



Monday, May 15, 2017

Straw Bale Gardening in Seattle


We're halfway through May, and it's time for some Spring Time Fun with the ladies from The Blended Blog.  Today we're talking about gardens in different climates.  If you're visiting from Leslie or Sheila's blogs, thanks for stopping by, and we hope you'll link up with us below!

For many years we planted a large vegetable garden, mostly because our youngest son begged us to.  We have the perfect spot in our backyard, nice and flat and sunny.  But as he lost interest, so did we.  Gardens are a lot of work, and our neighbors were tired of finding zucchini presents on their front porches.  Sadly, our garden became neglected and overgrown.

But recently my husband read about straw bale gardens, and the idea intrigued us.  Spring in the Pacific Northwest is traditionally cool and wet, so planting has to wait until late May or June, which leads to a short growing season.  By conditioning compressed straw bales with fertilizer and water for a few weeks, the straw begins to compost and release heat, which allows earlier planting and more success.


After the bales have conditioned for a few weeks, you can plant vegetable starts directly into the straw by making small holes.  Or, spread a little potting soil on top and plant seeds. Then keep watering, and soon you'll have a full garden.  No weeds, no mess, and no more fertilizing needed.

This past weekend we spent a day preparing our yard area.
Tomorrow we'll pick up the straw bales and start the conditioning process.  Hopefully we'll be able to plant these guys in a few weeks and start sharing zucchini with our neighbors again.  I'm sure they're as excited as we are!


Have you ever planted a straw bale garden?  Or any kind of garden?  Be sure to visit Sheila in Florida and Leslie in Texas to see how their gardens grow.  We hope you'll link up with us below!




Friday, May 12, 2017

Spring-y Friday Loves


Happy Friday, friends!  I'm linking up with the lovelies at The Blended Blog to share some spring-y favorites today.



Fruit tarts might be the perfect springtime dessert, and this one from Sally's Baking Addiction looks so delicious with the mascarpone cream .  How fun would this be for Mother's Day brunch?



I've been wanting to create a succulent garden, but I'd be sure to kill it in record time.  Love this candle centerpiece by Simplicity In The South made with items from the dollar store.





I've been following Jennie at A Pocketful Of Polka Dots since she started her blog three years ago. She has such a pretty, feminine style...and the shoes!!!  Oh, the shoes.  



Tulips are my favorite flower this time of year, but they don't last once you bring them into the house.  Follow The Yellow Brick Home has some great tips on making your tulips last longer.





Finally, thank you so much for all of the kind wishes on my birthday.  I was overwhelmed by the messages, texts and phone calls.  You made turning 50 especially happy!  My guys took me out for a special birthday dinner and made me feel like a queen for the day.  That's asparagus juice in the upper right corner - and it was so delicious!



Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's out there.  Hope you have a very special day!


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Birthday Fashion Files


Welcome back to Fashion Files!  The ladies at The Blended Blog are taking style inspiration from Pinterest and other bloggers to recreate favorite outfits.  We hope you'll join us and link up your fashion posts below.

And in honor of my big 5-0 birthday today, keep scrolling for a little Q&A about my growing up years.

Sooo....this is one of those outfits that didn't quite turn out the way I pictured it in my mind. In fact, I wasn't going to post it, but then decided it would be a good example of "what not to wear".  The concept (see the lovely lady on the left) was there, but the execution on my part fell short.  At least I was having a good hair day.
I recently purchased this Octavia skirt and I love everything about it.  It's flowy and feminine and I don't have anything else like it in my closet.  But I'm clearly at a loss for ways to style it.  The shirt should have been tucked in, because the proportions are all wrong.  And I like the nude pumps instead of black.  Better luck next time.  Suggestions?


Linking up  with The Pleated PoppyThursday Fashion FilesFashion FridayFabulous FridayPumps and PushupsHow I Style ItNot Dead Yet StyleMy Refined StyleThursday ModaI do DeclaireAgeless StyleWednesday's Wardrobe , Get Your Pretty OnShelbee On The Edge


Now on to the birthday questions!  A friend sent these to me last year, and I thought it would be fun to share some randomness about my childhood.

When and where were you born?  Any special stories about your birth?  I was born on May 10, 1967 in Berkeley, California.  I was my parent's first baby, and they were young and nervous.  On the way to the hospital, they were stopped by a large Vietnam War protest. My dad had to get out of the car and  plead with the protesters to let them through.

Why were you given the first (and middle) names that you have?  My father had a previous girlfriend named Lana, and when he suggested it to my mom, she thought it was pretty.  He failed to mention the ex-girlfriend part until I was five, and mom wasn't happy.  My middle name is Lee, same as my mom.  Don't I sound like a southern belle?

What's your first, most vivid memory?  Mom was taking me to preschool when I was four, and I decided to see what would happen if I opened the door while the car was moving. There were no car seats in 1971, but I didn't fall out and nothing bad happened. It was the first time I'd ever seen mom SO mad though, and I still remember it to this day.

What were you like as a child?  What did you do for fun?  Being the oldest, I was studious and responsible and very sensitive.  My brother is only 18 months younger than me, so we played together a lot and I was a bit of a tomboy.  We grew up in North Carolina and spent most of our time outside, playing in the woods and eating honeysuckles.

What was the best gift you remember receiving as a child?  A Donny Osmond album, "Disco Train".  I had the hugest crush on Donny, and I obsessed over that album for months before my birthday.

What did you want to be when you grew up?  A teacher.  I used to hold "school" for my siblings and the neighborhood kids.  I can't remember when/why that changed.

When did you learn how to drive?  What was your first car like?  Driver's Ed was part of our high school curriculum, and my teacher had us run errands during class.  We went to the pharmacy, the grocery store, and to pick up dry cleaning.  Seriously.  My first car was the ugliest Mercury Montego with red plaid seats, but I loved it.


How did you spend your previous "decade" birthdays?  On my 10th birthday I got to have my first slumber party with friends from school.  I don't remember 20, but I was just home from my second year of college, so I was probably working.  When I turned 30 I was pregnant and on bed rest with Thomas, so that was a fun one. And 40 was really special because George planned a surprise vow renewal party in Sonoma.

How do you feel about growing "old"?  Bring it on, because the alternative is worse!


Time to link up!  I hope you'll join us again this week, and follow along with #theblendedblogstyle.


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