Right in the “feels”!

Okay, so I’ve shared plenty of my husband’s amazing creations for our boys – be it cakes, costumes, or piñatas. Something completely unexpected happened recently and I can finally share it with you all – one of our boys’ homemade costumes will be making its debut on the big screen!!!

This is the costume our youngest wore 3 years ago – he was obsessed with Godzilla and daddy obliged. Alex had some sensory issues at the time and didn’t want his hands covered, and he loved being able to see out of his costume:

A couple of weeks ago, my husband was contacted by a lady on behalf of Make a Wish Illinois – a young boy’s wish was to be Godzilla, and a movie would be made with him starring as “Madzilla”. She had found his costume and inquired about getting it for the movie. We donated it and have been waiting to see some pics of sweet Maddex wearing the costume. Now, you can see a series of pictures at the Chicago Tribune. People like Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel and football legend Mike Ditka will also be appearing in the movie.

To say that we are beyond happy is a complete understatement. It’s so gratifying to see the looks of wonder and the smiles on our boys’ faces once Steve completes a costume, but to have helped make this sweet boy’s wish come true? Indescribable.

Have a wonderful week!

Patriotic Mani

Just in time for today’s soccer game AND for the 4th of July, I bring you a couple of red, white, and blue manis.

One is pretty awesome, full of creativity and gorgeousness.

The other one is mine.

Seriously. that ONE NAIL took me 45 minutes. And it chipped like, 2 minutes, after I took this picture. Thankfully, it was AFTER.

But enough of that, let’s look at the pretty :D

Girlfriend’s just too critical of her art. I think it’s gorgeous. And glitter! I should have added glitter. Duh.

Carina is a dear friend from college, we got back in touch a few years ago and of course, then she moved to Seattle. Sheesh. On the plus side, it meant that I got to see her when we went on our recent road trip. She’s just awesome and does amazing nail work.

Thank you for convincing me to do this, even though I massively sucked at it! Love ya, C!!!!

40th Birthday Swag Bag Blog Hop

My sweet friend – and Brit lit author – Pauline, contacted me about joining a blog hop and, considering my love of putting things together, I had to say yes! The idea is that you’re gifting a few items to your best friend, sister, etc. and money is no object. That sounds right up my alley :D

The categories are: book, beauty product, snack food, music album, and “my choice.”

Book - It would have to be Outlander, the first in a brilliant series by author Diana Gabaldon. I gave away a copy a few months ago, and if you’ve been thinking of reading it or need something new to read, I urge you to give it a try, especially because Starz will be airing the miniseries starting on August 9! Here are the protagonists of the series, as portrayed by Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan.

Beauty Product – I have been completely won over by Nail Butter, a nail and cuticle enhancer that has turned my nasty, dry, cracked cuticles into soft and smooth skin. Love this stuff, love the gardenia smell, and it’s all natural and cruelty-free, which is also a great thing. Here’s the gross before, and I apologize in advance:

And the lovely after:

Snack Food – Being the complete Hershey bar-loving peasant that I am, I cannot possibly suggest something like Pauline’s choice of Hotel Chocolat’s Chocolate Dipping Adventure, but I do have something from England – McVitie’s digestives.

Of course, being me, I prefer the ones with milk chocolate. They are wonderfully filling and during my first trip to England, often kept me fed and happy during long days of sightseeing.

Music Album – Hmmm. This one is kind of tough. I like all sorts of music, from Classical to Country, and what I listen to often depends on my mood. I absolutely love the voice of one Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor, aka Lorde, so I will suggest her smash album Pure Heroine.

My Choice – Hmmm, trip to Paris? That would always be my choice, but if I had to pick a thing instead of an experience, I would choose something beautiful and endlessly versatile:

The Sutton Necklace in green.

Brain Dump

It’s been a while since I posted – life has gotten super busy but also, there was a bit of news I was dreading to share. Our sweet Willie-Boo, our Egyptian Mau, passed away a few weeks ago. We had the pleasure of his company for over a decade, and will always remember him as the most loving kitty we’ve met.
willie1

He brought so much joy to our home and is sorely missed. Our other cat, Bernie, also misses his buddy of 11 years, and has become a lot more active in wanting attention and love.

In happier news, I threw a small party for Steve’s 40th birthday – he’s a voracious reader, so the party was book-themed. If you follow me on Instagram, then you got to see various shots of the party prep:

I had Steve create a list of books he wanted to read in case anyone asked what to get him for his birthday. He got a bunch of new books and our friends were kind and generous in other ways as well. It was a fun afternoon with lots of good food and even better conversation.

The boys are almost done with school. Part of me wishes they would bundle all the no-school days at the end so they could be done a couple of weeks early, mostly because of Alexander. Autistic kids, especially, rely on routine, even more than regular kids, and having days off here and there really mess with him and make it harder to go back to school. We have been lucky with a group of teachers and therapists that have worked with us to help Alex get the most he can out of school.

Last weekend we had a wonderful time with Steve’s sweet cousin, she is an amazing riding instructor and was great with both boys, getting them to ride and trot, and do pre- and post- ride work on the horse:

Thank you so much, cousin T.!!!!

I will be bringing a “virtual swag bag” post next Monday, sharing with you some ideas for cool gift items.

Hope the rest of your week is amazing!

Unexpected dinner date

The thing with autism is, the unexpected becomes routine.

We were thinking of going to an Italian restaurant for dinner last night, the boys both love filled pastas and we’d gone there before and had a good time, but nope, Alexander wouldn’t have it. So it became my husband staying home with him and me and Aidan going out to dinner and bringing food back for the troops.

Dinner date

Thanks to this super cute and comfy dress from Old Navy and my trusted Sutton necklace, I was dolled up in five minutes, ready for a dinner date with my sweet son. We had a good time and actually worked out a solution to store his assortment of Nerf guns. He loved the pictures I showed him from Pinterest (if you look up Nerf gun storage you’ll see many ideas using pegboard) so I think that might be a project that is tackled soon. He inhaled his adult-sized portion and then we drove home.

As a busy mom, I value pieces that let me get dressed and feel like I am put together without a lot of fuss. Steve picked out the dress for me, and I got it in the gray as shown and in a stripe as well. When I call him my own personal Tim Gunn, I am not kidding :D

It was an unexpected chance to spend some one-on-one with Aidan and I loved it. Hope your week is a wonderful one!

Styling the Sutton, part 2

Last time I showed you a few ways in which you can style Stella & Dot’s Sutton necklace. This time I will show you a few ways the removable green strand can complement a variety of outfits.

Sutton single strand

As you might guess, the whole Sutton necklace makes for a bigger impact than one single strand, but these sweet green stones pack plenty of punch on their own. Added to neutral pieces like grey and white dresses and tops, it adds a pop of color. Added to a piece in an analogous color (a color next to it in the color wheel), like the pale blue top, it makes for a cohesive look. The only color I would recommend you avoid is, you guessed it, green. If it matches exactly, it becomes a little twee; if it clashes, it can be jarring. And this green strand deserves to be showcased.

Now, to style the Sutton WITHOUT the green strand:

Styling the Sutton 3

I would use the multi-strand Sutton (without the green piece) for a bigger impact, wither with some stronger color pieces or with items, like the dress, that have a pattern that can stand up to it. The shirt at bottom left is not a dark color, but it is a saturated color, it can handle not only the multi-strands but the variations in color. Same with the dark blue pieces. Whereas I would pair the single green strand with more delicate colors, I would add the multi-strands to darker colors that will not be overwhelmed.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these looks, I will be showcasing some other pieces from Stella & Dot in future posts. I am absolutely loving being a stylist and the vibrant, fun pieces in the current collection.

Styling the Sutton, part 1

The Sutton necklace is one of the most versatile pieces of jewelry you will ever own. It can be worn five different ways — I own the mixed metals version, but I put together a few looks with the Sutton green, which might be my mother’s day present ;D

Sutton 1

You can wear it with our without the green triangle strand, long or short, or wear the green strand on its own.

sutton2