simply love : June 2017
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thirty-four candles

yesterday, i turned another year older and it was one i think i will always remember. last fall i wrote about my most memorable birthdays (here) but this one is right up there. it was simple, spent with my boys, and full of love. i have spent a good portion of the past year striving for simpler, more soulful living - so this day was ideal for me. 
a confetti bundt cake from a friend ... she brought it over with a bouquet of white tulips last week.
my boys put a gold candle in it and i made a wish (my very favorite part of every birthday!) 
after the perfect service at watershed (love so much) this week, the message really spoke to me- like it usually does there- but it really aligned with our conversations the night before, which made it very special. after church, we met my mother and father-in-law at the workman's friend for brunch (one of my favorite spots in the city!) they watched parks overnight (we had a charlotte staycation) so it was the best just seeing him and spending time with them.  
my sweet brunch date + i love this boy 
saturday night, we stayed at a local bed and breakfast, met one of my favorite friends and her husband for cocktails uptown and then had a romantic dinner at the charlotte city club (which is where we had our wedding reception... four years ago on thursday) they treated us so well (too well) it was lovely. nathan hoffman - the director- is a very special person and we adore him. 
one of the best parts of the day was (finally) finishing the book, present over perfect by shauna niequist. i am a reader- always have been and i am not sure if a book has ever spoken to me in such a profound way. in the book, she offers an honest account of what led her to begin a new journey- a compelling vision for an entirely new way to live: soaked in grace, rest, silence, prayer, simplicity, and connection with the people that matter most. 

so this- this is my main goal for year thirty-four
i feel ready 
never more excited for a new year 
(hoping to share my journey here!)
ps: do you have any advice?

a first birthday party | sweet bunny love

my cousin, megan, and her family were just here visiting from colorado. like i mentioned yesterday, we truly enjoyed their visit and parks is missing his buddy, stella mae, lots today. from the moment i saw photos of stella's first birthday garden party in may, i knew i wanted to share with you all. it's just too cute for words... they celebrated in their backyard with a bunny themed party for the birthday girl. i hope you all enjoy this extraordinary birthday gathering. 
''bunny food' treats! 
she also had some cute food for kids sitting out ~ annie's bunnies and peter rabbit pouches 
vibrant bouquet runner | megan shreve . matilda jane
megan has her own business and is a matilda jane trunk keeper~ you should check it out (the cutest pieces for women, girls, some accesories and home decor) this swimsuit is my favorite for a little girl and i have this black (joanna gaines collection) skirt coming my way. (love) 
calligraphy sign by: mcclelland custom creations
she looks so excited! a nothing bundt cake is the perfect size for this occasion.
it was springtime and easter- so target was full of bunny goodness. (like this garland!)
she took clay pots and painted them with chalk paint for the labels + paper crate holders for the veggies. such a festive look
the one-year-old birthday photo shoot was also simply beautiful 

a mood board | june edition

"what kills a soul? exhaustion, secret keeping, image management. and what brings a soul back from the dead? honesty, connection, grace." -shauna niequist

june mood board
june mood board

hello. hope your week is going well. i have so, so many things to share with you all. it's been a whirlwind of a month but i am excited to be back here (planning to post regularly!) now that we are back from our travels + we have had visitors since june 11 (we have had the best time with my cousin and her family from denver!) parks is going to miss precious stella so much. this morning, on the way to amelie's french bakery, we looked back and they were trying to hold hands from their carseats. just the cutest pair and we are thankful for the time together. we explored museums, markets, consignment shops, library story time, coffee shops, restaurants, pools, ice cream shops, parks, juice bars, and gourmet donuts etc.
has anyone read, 'the book of joy?' i think this might be my next read? also, we just watched 'the keepers' on netflix... wow. anyone else? 

“if you are setting out to be joyful you are not going to end up being joyful. you’re going to find yourself turned in on yourself. it’s like a flower. you open, you blossom, really because of other people. and i think some suffering, maybe even intense suffering, is a necessary ingredient for life, certainly for developing compassion.” ― desmond tutu, the book of joy: lasting happiness in a changing world
when your mom tells you... it's time to leave the splash pad
first ward park in uptown charlotte has an area of fountains and parks is in love. i plan to take him at least once a week... along with many, many trips to the gym (after the past ten days of fun!!) 

gia & the blooms | cincinnati, ohio

-my favorites of all the blooms- 

my sister recommended using gia & the blooms for her baby shower- and i am glad i agreed. it was the most charming experience... so i thought i would share with you all. the owner, yulia, has a background in design and loves to apply her knowledge and love for contemprary and clean aesthics to creating floral arrangements. everything is elegant yet has a 'fresh from the garden' feel. many flowers are grown locally but they also support u.s farmers. in addition, they deliver (for free) to the cincinnati metro area and offer a few styles to avoid visual overload. the shop is in otr or the 'over the rhine' area in downtown and i can't recommend poppin' in enough!! i would totally be a regular but plan to visit when i am in town. 
all of the details were so adorable! the space was quaint, cozy and yet felt spacious (in its own way!) 
i bought my sister's shower card and wrapping paper here as well 
but the girl working was just the nicest - we had the best service! 
one of the things i love most though~ they offer classes throughout the year. here is more info!
i know my sister did the eucalyptus wreath last christmas (i actually posted a pic on insta right before the holidays when i was visiting because i loved it so) for $55 you walk out with a beautiful and festive wreath! (and have fun with friends in the process)

a grateful heart

"if you want to change the world- go home and love your family." - mother teresa

parks and i got back to charlotte early last evening after a trip back to my home state of ohio. we spent time both in my hometown and in cincinnati. both were fun in their own way and lots of great memories were created in both places. seeing my sister so thankful (and happy) at her shower made the months of planning all worth it. her friends were so appreciative of my vision and my sister mentioned all of my hard work over and over (not necessary at all) yet very nice. she was glowing- she was radiant. the weekend was simply 'one to remember' and i just hope that everyone enjoyed. (i love her friends!!) i plan to share all of the details soon (i have already posted a few on my insta feed) and above is a shot from the photo booth i created, which was a good time/lots of laughs... much more coming soon! 

a grateful heart | 

this past weekend we celebrated and we loved. everything felt so new and so old, more beautiful once i closed my eyes and thought about it. lately, i feel most grateful in all that is seemingly simple. 
there was so much love for my sister, my brother-in-law (aka my big brother) and their sweet baby. everyone was so friendly- and very appreciative. this time has become very special... as my baby grows older each day and my sister gets ready for one of the very greatest joys of life. i would love to hold it like i do all of the things i love. like it were a bubble or butterfly or a rose on the brink or an aurora. it's gentle, purposeful- no movement too quick, no reason too slow. i love to watch parks play in the grass at my parent's house as he runs- he runs as hard as he can; giggling and exploring until his forehead gets dewey and his cheeks fiery. all of this, this time of being- it is what i call, the greatest expectation of my life. i can't wait for my sister to experience this soon and i know that just like the last trimester before parks james arrived, there is a thunder in her heart until he or she arrives. 
floral arrangements | gia and the blooms
the cutest flower shop ever. i can't wait to share more about this place soon (all the heart eyes)
like i mentioned, seeing my sister so happy, celebrating with her friends, was the greatest part
my sweet-souled, travel buddy - he was just so good. and for that, i am especially thankful. 

again, i can't wait to share the details of the shower soon
-a weekend to remember- 
xo

currently | june edition


remember- "God always keeps his promises" (always)
shipping a few packages before leaving charlotte yesterday
-fresh flowers form a local farmer's market-

planning | my sister's baby shower (well almost done with the planning and ready to celebrate that sweet thing- the shower is this saturday in cincinnati). parks and i drove to my hometown in ohio yesterday (he never cried once- for nine hours!) i am so proud of my travel buddy. this is such a special time, as my only sister (and bff) gets ready to welcome her first baby soon. the gender is a surprise and she is due at the end of august. i love this precious babe (so much) and can't wait to celebrate with loved ones. most of you know this... but i love planning small gatherings and so this has been so, so much fun. my mom and sister have also helped (we all come together for these types of things- esp. both of our weddings- and i love the bonding memories made) tomorrow i am heading to cincinnati to spend time with her (and run errands for the event) and then my parents will be bringing baby boy on friday afternoon. i will be sharing the details on instagram this weekend and then eventually on here. again, i really have enjoyed doing this and can't wait to shower my sister and my niece or nephew! 

wishing | the temperature in charlotte was just a bit cooler during the summer months. it has been in the low 90's and pretty humid there already... on the other hand, i am currently sitting at my parent's house-in rural ohio- the windows are open (it's 59 degrees- way more my style) ... i can hear the pond/waterfall outside, the trees swaying, the birds, i have a blanket on my lap, a blue jean capri candle lit (i highly recommend), emiliana torrini radio playing, diffuser (oil: orange) is on, and parks is sleeping soundly. i am slightly chilly- just the way i like it.  

learning | to prioritize each day, to say 'no' more often, and to let things go (all things that are hard for me to do... i am a 'true cancer' and have a very sensitive heart) “the world will tell you how to live, if you let it. don’t let it. take up your space. raise your voice. sing your song. this is your chance to make or remake a life that thrills you.” - shauna niequist, present over perfect: leaving behind frantic for a simpler, more soulful way of living. i also love this article: what if all i want is a mediocre life?

browsing | headboard options for our master bedroom... i love a cozy + feminine upholstered bed (colors: gray and blush are leading the way) but also really adore the look of restored wood (brown or gray) in a bedroom. any that you really love? 

going | on more dates/nights out with my girlfriends. last saturday, i met up with some of my very favorites in plaza midwood (a cute area of charlotte) and we enjoyed conversations, dinner, cocktails, and lots of laughs. i came home with the biggest smile on my face. 
we spent last sunday together as a family 
we went to church, brunch, and then had a cleaning party while parks napped
{my college roomies and i always did this and i have so many great memories... laughs + music}
when parks woke up, we enjoyed his pool, bubbles, and a new set of wheels 
(he was so happy!) 
i found this photo on my phone last night... my lula room before it became a shop!
last night: celebrating the end of a long, but successful road trip with momma 
it actually wasn't bad at all

...what about you...
what are you currently loving?

ps: there are still two days left to enter this giveaway
...
linking with Anne and Erin
-this post was not sponsored*

friendly rooster | baby shoes + a giveaway

thank you, friendly rooster for sponsoring this post. as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own
i fell in love with friendly rooster the minute i started browsing their adorable selection. they also do a great job of featuring styles on instagram! all of the options are just the cutest- trust me. plus, shopping with a toddler can be quite tricky so i love online options. friendly rooster carries a lot of fabulous brands - you can view them here. one of my favorite brands is tip toey joey (how cute is that name?) they are made in brazil and it is actually very rare to find these in the united states. tip toey joey uses a very hands-on approach with their production; everything is overseen by the creators of the brand to make sure they uphold to standards of quality, are environmentally responsible, style sensibility, etc. 

check out our photo shoot with kelly bain photography below, along with some of my favorite walking shoes for both little girls and boys, and most of all, a huge giveaway!
how perfect are these for the warmer months ahead? they can be both casual or dressy
what i love most: for every new pair purchased, they donate a pair to a child in need of walking shoes
parks is- over the moon- happy about his new baby boy walking shoes
view his cute pair here
i have been told that the bond between a mom and a son is very special (but i really had no idea.) 
baby boy-- your smile lights up my heart + spirit ... every time.
we are also so thankful for a fun shoot with kelly bain photography at a local farmer's market last week (you may have seen the -behind the scenes- on instagram) kelly was just the sweetest to work with and had the photos edited and back to me in less than twenty-four hours. i felt like i already knew her (through years of social media love) but meeting up in person was just the best. thank you so much for these photos- we are sure to cherish them always.

kelly bain photography info | facebook . blog . instagram
-a few of my favorites-


3. missy mary-jane (favorite) 
4. sambaky esparilles (on sale!) 
5. gifty sandal (love) 


6. tracky sneaker (on sale!) 
enter below for a chance to win $50 off of your order
+ a discount code for all