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Here are just a few things I'm currently loving this summer:


All the new layouts for Shutterfly photo books. After YEARS of saying I'd get around to scrapbooking photos from last year, and the year before, and the year before, I finally caught site of one of my good friend's adorable little girls gracing the cover of one of these photo books at her home. That was it -- it was decided I would finally get around to creating my own albums. So far I have created albums for 2007, 2008, 2009, our wedding, and our honeymoon. More to come!


 If you haven't previously seen pics on the blog of our pup, Flaps, you don't know what kind of cuteness you are missing. He's a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier we rescued last Fall when he was only 10 weeks old. My pup-based obsession right now -- these great, fluffy dog beds from L.L.Bean.

 I haven't braved the recent Maxi Dress trend, but I picked up this black Maxi Skirt from Old Navy and have been wearing it non-stop the last couple of weeks. So comfy, it even suited me for the 9 hour road trip to Mackinac Island two weeks ago. Love!



I picked up earrings almost identical to these at Paisley on Main, an adorable gift shop in downtown Glen Ellyn, Illinois (about 30 miles west of Chicago). The turquoise is perfect for summer and they were only $12.99! They also have a great selection of Nora Flemming, Vera Bradley, and lots of other adorable gifts!


Umm, high quality luggage with embroidered monograms? Yes, please. Pottery Barn just debuted these beautiful pieces (shown is the Tomlin Rolling Carryon). Definitely a new item on the wish list.



I've been on a home crafting binge lately and these placemats are my next project. Pinterest-inspired (of course), check back here for a tutorial on creating these over the next week!



 My obsession with monograms is no secret, but still at the top of my wish list is a gold monogram cutout necklace. Our fifth wedding anniversary is in two weeks. I'd like to think The Captain is a good listener. I'll keep you posted on how good after July 7.



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Cleaning a Pack-n-Play

My mommy friends often ask me how to clean a Pack-n-Play. Likely because my toddler is all about making the biggest messes possible. After a few rounds of taking a damp rag to it like the manual suggests (HA), I thought, there has to be a more effective way to do this. Look at that dingy grossness:



So what does Pinterest suggest we use to clean, like, everything? Dawn and White Vinegar. I'll try anything once.

Here's how it went down:

1) Filled a bathtub with hot hot hot water, 1 c Dawn and 2 c White Vinegar.



2) Folded up the Pack-n-Play, shaking out any crumbs (there are always crumbs), and laid the whole thing down into the hot bath. I ran my hands along the netting and material to agitate any dirt and grime off of them.



3) Allow to soak about 15 minutes. To rinse, I drained out the tub water, then turned on the shower and hopped in to direct the shower head all over the Pack-n-Play to rinse well.


4) To dry, you can either lug it outside, pop it open (upside down) and allow to …

What to do when baby has a cold...

As a new(er) mom, I sought out the advice of moms before me when my little one had her first cold. Of course, so many advice gets thrown at you, but when they're too little for medicine, here is the best combination of remedies to help baby colds and congestion:


Of course, do not use this as a substitution for professional medical advice. This is just what's helped at our house, and I hope it can help at yours too.
Stay fabulous,


Welcome to the Thirty-One family!

I'm so excited to report I've joined thirty-one gifts as a consultant for their products. I've been a long-time shopper and after a YEAR of haggling with my sister about joining, I decided to bite the bullet.


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