simply love : July 2017
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i carried you | a year older

while we were at the beach last week in south carolina, i remembered a post i wrote exactly one year ago. the monaco family beach trip included just parks and i for the majority of the week (tim sadly had to work) and was only parks' second time to the shore. i remember telling him, 'this is the sea. do you hear that? that's a wave. it's the water breaking on the shore. do you feel that? that is sand. you can see imprints of your feet sink into it. the taste on your lips? that is salt. isn't it so beautiful?" i would tell him as he slept. 
ps: i can't stop listening to this

a mood board | july edition

this month i am all about the light and airy. i am loving mustard, greens, stripes, roses, creams, and blush tones. maybe it was our trip to the shore last week but i feel relaxed and rejuvenated. this summer, the days at home with parks have been long and short all at once. we wake and have oatmeal at the table. we spend a lot of time playing with wood blocks, reading, and taking walks together. he smiles at me often, so does his whole body, and i always say, 'i feel so loved by him." his eyes are a golden brown, sometimes a deep hazel. he loves to nuzzle into me as i type or work, grazing his soft hands over my arms. in those moments, i know why i was sent here, why i needed to be sent here, why i needed to find him. 

a mood board | july

a city guide | charlotte, north carolina

ten years ago this past weekend, i moved to charlotte from columbus, ohio. i knew only two people from college- and not very well. one remains a very close friend, someone i can always count on. looking back, i hardly recognize that person~ a young and fairly dependent twenty-four-year-old, fresh out of college + studying abroad and beyond ready to take on middle school as a new teacher. but if i am being really honest, i was quite naive about life in general. however, i had a deep and true support from my family, who never once questioned my decision... and although i was scared out of my mind, moving here remains one of the best decisions of my life. growing up, i yearned for approval from the average bird and i grew to be good at following the rules and doing things that would make other people happy. i became good at shifting my words and personality to stay on the safe side. but what i have learned is that that is the fast track to losing yourself. i learned that sometimes we hide the real us under a thick security blanket that is itchy- but often appears perfect. i don't know about you- but i don't want 'perfect.' i want real, i want authentic, and i want connections that bring moments of presence. moving here gave me some permission to break out of those constraints. i began to recognize and love my country roots even more- while finding a new place to call my home, a charming southern city. this new road map and + countless life experiences all led me to a life that involves more calmness, acceptance, a passionate pursuit of balance, peace, and a love affair that struck the deepest chord of my soul. over the past few years, i am embracing myself more and have been celebrating the person that God created more. both my husband and i remain open to new adventures throughout life- but one thing i know for certain- charlotte, north carolina will always remain a special place. because of this move and all of the good people i have met, i appreciate the little things so much more. the mountains and the beaches always make me feel the closest to God and i am forever grateful for having the chance to live in such a beautiful state. as i continue my journey here, i pray to stay soft, to continue to find solitude, strive for balance, and hope to never stop exploring (and growing) in this one life. 
places to stay | 

places to eat |




on my radar to try soon: roots cafe, wu's cajun sea food, stoke and the suffolk punch
"exploration is really the essence of the human spirit' 

parks james | eighteen months

"this is the secret to finding and keeping friendships: become women who want to see the women around them flourish." - lisa-jo baker :: never unfriended 

on july 15, parks james turned eighteen months old. it just keeps getting better and better and he is growing up so much. we enjoyed a week at the beach last week (and are actually going again this weekend for a birthday celebration- sans baby boy). a weekend with friends will be wonderful and we both feel very grateful for the chances to escape and take in the salty air. parks loved exploring the beach and swimming in the pool and i can't wait to share the memories with you all. i did share some on instagram but have more to share soon. 
doctor's appointment today :: eastover peds (we love, love dr. cross)
he used her stool as a stroller for his baby while we waited (he was so excited his baby was with us!)
i think he has his momma's memory and remembered that this place means bad things: finger pricks and vaccinations. it's rare for this boy to cry and he cried right when we walked into the room... it broke my heart. he charmed the nurses and doctor with his thick comb over and sweet disposition though (and he did a great job!!) i rewarded him after the appointment with a smoothie. 

at-home teeth whitening for the busy mom

this post was sponsored by Smile Brilliant. all opinions are completely my own
lately i have been striving for simple. i have been purging, organizing, re-evaluating, reading more, and trying to enjoy the simple inspirations of life a little bit more. as a result, i have found that i am calmer, happier, and more productive. it's been a good month. as a mom, blogger, small business owner, and wife... sometimes i run out of time and there are not enough hours in a day. in addition, coffee and wine are almost aways part of my day. as a result, i started to notice that my teeth were not as white as they once were and my confidence was being affected. life is all about self-love and our teeth + smile are one of the first things people notice. enter smile brilliant (a company out of st. louis, missouri) they offer the absolute best value for your money. the kit works for both very sensitive and deeply stained teeth (it's even suitable for people who have stains from childhood or from tobacco). the process was smooth, easy, and i loved, loved my results. i feel like this also makes the perfect gift for a loved one. 
{via}
want to be a good mom? take care of yourself 
you can do this while you put the kids down for a nap, clean the house, mow the lawn, etc. 

the process |

1. creating the dental trays: the first thing i had to do was create custom trays that would hold my whitening gel. the instructions were very easy and quick (it comes with detailed instructions) and then you ship them back in a pre-addressed mailer. within two weeks, the trays arrived and i was ready to begin...

2. application of whitening gel: smile brilliant provides the gel in plastic syringes and the process is very easy. i love that the molds allow for every part of your teeth to get whitened at the same time and they don't slide around like whitening stripes (plus, this kit blows away those results!) you simply apply a thin strand of gel along each tray and affix both trays to your mouth. the only issue i had was applying (way) too much the first time and the taste and sensation on my gums wasn't pleasant. however, by the second time, i was good-to-go. if you experience this, here is some more information about tooth sensitivity. 

3. application of desensitizing gel: the last step is to apply this gel, which is done the same was as the whitening gel. i did not experience any sensitivity from this gel and felt like it made my teeth feel clean. 

top nordstrom anniversary sale picks

the 2017 nordstrom anniversary sale is here! thanks to my mom and sister, i am a big fan. i used to love more (less quality) things but have moved over to their side of the world in many ways. the customer service at nordstrom is the best of the best and i love to browse and shop with them. i recently fell in love with their zella workout line (amazing.) and bp (so soft) tees. today is the first day for early access so i thought i would share some of my favorite picks with you all. 


my fifteen favorites |



-what are your favorites-
if you score anything, i would love to hear! 
let me know in the comments below
xo

baby beach gear

as we get ready for our annual beach trip next week, i wanted to share some of my favorite pieces for toddler girls + boys this season. last summer, i shared ten tips for the beach with a baby. sometimes i think that once you figure out how to pack, it can make all the difference. mom tip: i read once that a mom of five recommends building a large hole right when you get there... then the kids can play in it for hours while she can read (fingers crossed) or at least relax. what a great idea!! 

on my shelf | five books for mom + baby

"when you were too small to tell me hello, i knew you were someone i wanted to know." emily winfield martin, the wonderful things you will be 
{via}

for mom |

+ no-drama discipline by daniel siegel 
+ the morning miracle by hal elrod 
+ the handmaid's tale by margaret atwood 
+ podcast: parenting great kids with dr. meg meeker (any podcasts you love lately?)

starting to look into more podcasts options + just starting to get discipline advice for our (almost) eighteen month old... please let me know if there are any you love. 
for baby | 
+ the wonderful things you will be, emily winfield martin (the most beautiful illustrations and message) 
+ pat the bunny by dorothy kunhardt (his favorite + i love the vintage feel and he loves to do each page; patting the bunny is his very favorite though) 
+ bare and hare - where's hare? by emily gravett (fun, perfect for counting and he thinks it's funny) 
+ pantone color book by pantone (colorful, creative, and parks looks at it over and over again) 
+ if i could keep you little by marianne richmond (cute photos and will make any momma tear up) 


i think all of these are great picks to bring to the home of a new baby or a shower in lieu of a card

a 'kids memory' journal + tacos

"the snow is only meant, created, commanded to fall. the rain is only meant, created, commanded to pour down. you were only meant, created, commanded to be who you are, weird, wonderful, imperfect, messy and lovely. :: shauna niequist | present over perfect 

last week i was talking to a woman who has three grown kids and she said something to me that was so profound that i wanted to share with you all. we talked about her children and the struggles of raising them- the bullying (my greatest fear- besides health), the hardships, the overcoming, and the achievements. she saw parks and mentioned how much she misses them being little (i am going to have a very hard time with this... i know this.) then she mentioned her biggest regret. she said she wishes that she would not have been caught up in buying the perfect journal or having the perfect prompts to write... she wishes that she would have written a few simple things at the end of every day. 

creating a memory journal:
1. a simple notebook (any journal!) 
2. complete a few lines every day: the date, a few things that your kids did that made you happy, a few things they did/said that were funny
3. i think i am going to add a few things that i am grateful for 
4. i plan to keep this in the nightstand next to our bed 

i am so grateful for our conversation 
anyone want to join me?

speaking of joining... anyone else love tacos?
'let's taco bout it' {romper: amazon}
charlotte locals: you can get it at kid to kid huntersville (new) for $8.99

summer style | poppy and dot feature

this post contains affiliate links- all opinions expressed are 100% my own 
 one of the things i want to share more in this space is both my fashion style + parks' baby boy style. i hope to share more posts about ideas + favorites + tips. this past monday, my mom and i spent about seven hours browsing our favorite shops at a local mall. i rarely go to the mall (maybe about three times a year and usually only when she is here - it's one of our favorite things to do together + so many memories) we only went to a handful of stores and we had a great time together. although it was fun, i usually love to shop online for new pieces. one of my favorite places to shop is on instagram + small boutiques online. i am very excited to now be a blog ambassador with poppy and dot, which is one that i adore. they have such cute pieces + some of my favorite floral robes ever. please enjoy 10% off your order with the code: janelleM10 and let me know your favorites below... i would love to hear. 

my current poppy and dot favorites 
{use code janelleM10 for 10% off your entire order!}


clothes |

shoes | 

currently | july edition

“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

documenting | my dreams- both big and small. as you all know, i love, love our amazing church and last week, the focus was on resistance and achieving your dreams. i plan to make a board with my micro and macro dreams, along with how i plan to achieve these; conquering the resistance. 

accomplishing | last week was beyond successful! i can't even count all of the things i knocked off my to-do list but it felt great. lots of trips to good will + organizing almost every inch of our home + a deep clean. i am also focusing on healthy eating and working out... @emilybreeze on insta is doing a burpee challenge this month. it started with ten on july 1 and then you add one each day. you should join as well! 

enjoying | having a clean, organized home, where everything has a place and relaxing on the white rocking chairs on our front porch (my birthday gift from my boys) 

reading | chasing slow (it's probably the coolest + most beautiful book i have ever owned and so, so good!) and then our july book club pick is the handmaid's tale by margaret atwood. our book club began seven years ago this month and i still enjoy it very much. do you have a book club? if so, what's your set-up? we used to go to one another's homes but several of us had babies in the same year- so now we venture out to a local restaurant or wine bar. (and yes, we talk about the book... for a few minutes. haha) 

spending | time together with loved ones as much as i can. my parents visited charlotte this past weekend and we enjoyed walks, church, popsicles, delicious meals in and out, a shopping day with my mom all day monday, the splash pad + market uptown, parks, brunch, cocktails, and games at night. it was a very nice visit. in addition, i loved celebrating our anniversary with tim and parks last thursday at the whitewater center. parks loved watching the kayakers and rafting go to down the rapids- he would laugh and clap. we enjoyed salads, a beer, live music and a long walk. lastly, a fourth of july cookout with friends last night was the perfect way to celebrate ~ we grilled burgers/hotdogs, awesome conversations, we laughed, i made a trifle (layers of fruit, whipped cream, pudding, and pound cake) we spelled our names using sparklers and watched fireworks as they surrounded our neighborhood. how did you celebrate? i hope it was lots of fun!! 
haberdish sunday evening was fabulous and we had the best service- i love this place.
after dinner, we walked across the street to popbar (delicous!)