Friday, June 23, 2017

Returning Outdoors (+ 10 Resources to Help)

Getting back to the outdoors, plus 10 resources to help I grew up everywhere.

In houses, apartments and duplexes. In suburbs and rural spaces. On sidewalks and in cornfields. And I sometimes speak of my childhood with regrets in not having more stability, but the occasional change of scenery and new opportunities to explore were really kind of grand.

I think that is what's to blame for this mixture of a call to nature and a disgust for the creepy crawlies I have. I'm not afraid to have dirt under my painted finger nails, or to lay on a pink towel in the grass, but as soon as I cross a worm or a spider, I'm out. Nature and cozy, clean materialism are both in my blood.

As a kid, I'd leave the house before lunch and not return until my mom called me home for dinner. If it was summer, we'd ride bikes and roller blade and chase down the ice cream truck. In fall we'd build leaf piles to jump into and act out scary stories. In winter, we'd build snow furniture and not care that our limbs were slowly freezing solid. And in spring, we'd venture to the farmer's market for the year's first cheese curds and plums.

As a teenager, when the emotions of the world overwhelmed me, I felt called to sit outside with the breeze and watch the sunlight tickle the leaves.

As a young adult, I sloshed through acres of mud, barefoot, and threw gobs of rotting plants at friends while we laughed and worked our summer jobs together.

As an adult, I picked homes with views of trees and greenery, and have always made a point to wake early to watch and listen to the birds and squirrels and all of the energetic fuzzy things shake the sleep from their eyes in search of breakfast.

In the past year, I've felt called to bringing the outdoors in.

As a yoga student, I am compelled by sunsets, fresh air to breathe deeply into my chakras, and the beauty, personalities, and intricacies of birds.

I love the sound, smell, and feel of a warm rainy day. I love the cozy sweetness of a snowstorm outside our windows.

And I feel the need to push my kids towards a more outdoor way of life.

It's hard, here in the northeast. We have maybe 6 beautiful months - half the year we are struggling to stay warm, dry, and motivated. Our home rests in a sort of in-between neighborhood where there are no sidewalks and kids, and no cornfields and no sprawling, open air. And with their digital upbringing, it's a tricky thing to even convince them that outside is where they should want to be.

I'm starting simply, by building a big chunk of outdoor time into our daily summer schedule. I didn't go into detail when I mentioned our schedule the other day, but I set aside our entire morning for the outdoors. When the sun isn't as harsh and the temps haven't reached their peak, it's easier to get my guys to spend honest time outside. What we do out there everyday is to be determined from day to day, but my hope is that they started to truly enjoy it.

It's more than just stepping away from screens and cozy furniture. It's about vitamin D, natural oils in the air they breathe, good bacteria in the dirt they play in, sensory stimulation in the sticks they collect and the rocks they toss around, and a naturally gleaned agility and basic life skill building. It's so much more than exercise. It's nature therapy.

Feeling the need to urge your kids outdoors, too? Here's some resources for you:

The Nature Fix // This book was such a great wealth of information on how nature impacts our lives and interacts with the natural wiring of humans. Reading this inspired me to get my kids the heck outdoors.

Outdoor Fun Ideas For Littles // This is an old post of mine that includes 30 ways to get your kiddos outdoors and having fun.

Forest Bathing for Kids // This article is kind of a cliff notes version of some of the research done in The Nature Fix. Check it out, specifically to see what it means for little ones.

Shinrin-Yoku // A quick intro to the Japenese concept of forest bathing.

The Dirt on Dirt // This short article explains why letting kids get dirty helps promote health naturally.

How to Get Kids to Value Nature // It's pretty simple, really.

Kid Friendly Backyard Play // Some essentials to have in your backyard to help your kids get the most of the outdoors.

47 Outdoor Activities // Lots of ideas to get you started, here!

6 Things To Do Outside // This little list is sort of a general one, but what I like about it is that it just gets you thinking about how easy it is to just move out there. I love the idea of putting an air mattress on the lawn and just relaxing or sleeping under the stars!

21 Ways To Get Outside in Fall // For when we get there - we have to push the outdoors time for as long as possible around here!

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Summer Schedule Consolidating: How We're Staying On Track AND Keeping It Simple

Making a flexible summer schedule to have a fun and productive summer I'm pretty sure my kids go to school longer than anyone in this entire country, but despite the fact that they are still.not.done., summer has arrived.

And with that freedom feeling to our days, I start to think about how to best spend our summer time in a way that both enriches us all with fun, expansive experiences, and offers us oodles of rest. Schools ask an awful lot of our kiddos these days, and their little brains and bodies need to stretch, sleep in, and slow down. Heck, same here.

Summer's comfortable fluidity suits me so well, but it requires special effort not to squander it, too.

So I try to overcompensate and make these detailed schedules so that I leave myself very little room to sit around wondering what I should do. That's when my rebel nature kicks in and I think, nah...I'm not doing that, 20+ times in a given day.

So what's the solution?

I got the idea from a book I recently read - Love The Home You Have by Melissa Michaels. This was, of course, in the context of housekeeping, but she suggested creating 4 or so simple routines to carryout within a day. Encasing specific tasks within a routine consolidates them in a way that doesn't feel quite so daunting and controlling.

Four routines is a perfectly fine amount for the operations of a home, but when guiding three little ones through endless summer days, I felt a few more were in order. So ours are:

Morning Routine
Lunch Routine
Free Time
Afternoon Routine
Bedtime Routine

They basically still have only 4 routines with some specific time blocks between them, but those time blocks have restrictions within them. And each of the routines have specific things to accomplish, too. But doesn't it all look nice and neat in a stacked little list like that? So much simpler.

There will be days filled with playdates, outings, vacations, and a few tantrums thrown in for good measure, but this little compass to our summer days should help us stay on the right track.

How does your family balance down time with productivity on summer vacation?


By the way, if you're curious about what each of these routines contain, here's a PDF of our full schedule...the detail is just there to help us set habits for each of our routines, nothing is set in stone!

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

15 Links I'm Loving // Summer

15 favorite links for summer!
Tiny bow earrings from
(source: Three Birds Designs)

+ This new digital magazine on simplicity feels exciting - I'm thinking about getting a subscription. The first issue is all about happiness, and features my guru, Gretchen Rubin.

+ These little bow earrings are my go-to lately. I have them in both silver and rose gold, and I know they are meant to be wedding party gifts, but I just bought a pair of each for myself ;)

+ We are planning on re-painting a few rooms in the near future, and I think we've chosen wild lilac for the dining room, wedding mint for the mudroom, and tropical spray for the bathroom.

+ I'm pretty wild about this Stella & Dot necklace, lately.

+ And this is my very favorite bottle of Essie right now.

+ My friend just signed up for a food subscription service, and since I had a code I thought I'd give Blue Apron a try since it was only a $20 commitment. I'm a little nervous that the meals won't be gluten free (they don't cater to allergies and ask you to substitute ingredients yourself), but I'm excited to get some new ideas to pull us out of our current food rut!

Tiny bow choker from Humbler & Spark
(source: Humble & Spark)

+ I recently discovered the sweetest little jewelry shop on Etsy! It's called Humble & Spark, and it features gorgeous, dainty jewelry. The owner sends you a random free gift with every order! I ordered this bow choker, and LOVE the necklace she sent along with it. She's wonderful to shop from!

+ I ordered this rug from Target for my office re-do (coming soon!) and I am wildly in love with it!

+ This book is really appealing to my creative side, my love of beautiful mornings, and my Questioner nature. So many interesting pieces to learn!

+ I am realllly loving this song lately.

+ This one, too, actually (I didn't think I would!)

+ I really want a pair of rose gold druzy earrings, but I always feel like they'll look too big. I've yet to find the exact ones I want...eventually!


+ I found a Home Bazaar bird house at Home Goods a couple weekends ago for only $16.99! It's a little blue cottage with a front porch and a flower box - be still my heart!

+ I'm seriously enjoying Matilda Jane's new women's pajama set. They're so soft and silky, and there's so much style in the top that I wear it as a regular top!

+ I love psychology, human behavior articles, and the fascinating nature of differences from one generation to the next. There was a lot of actual, real-life LOL-ing going on when I read this article. I am a little younger than the author, but I still related to much of it, and think it's an important point that we instill autonomy in our littles! And this one about Millenials and self-care was really interesting!

What have you found on the web lately? Show me!!

This post contains a few affiliate links. Thank you for your support! xo

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Monday, June 5, 2017

June Jane Parade of The Adventure Begins (Release 5!)

Matilda Jane The Adventure Begins June Release IRLs So, Matilda Jane is wrapping up their spring season with another dose of adorable summer must-haves. This release is so bright and cheery, and perfectly suited for summer!

Let's start with a staple tank that comes with a little added interest - the Secret Garden Tank.

Matilda Jane Secret Garden Tank Back of Secret Garden Tank

This pretty pink tank is made of the very-softest fabric and has a little bit of bounce to it. The front has sort of an overlapping asymmetrical hem line, and the back is split with a gorgeous vintagey rose fabric. This top is super versatile and cozy - great with white or denim jeans and leggings alike. It runs big, and it's pretty long, so I would suggest that you size down - I did, and I much prefer the fit! (PS, the necklace above is from Paparazzi)

MJ Secret Garden with Stella and Dot Mina Choker Matilda Jane Lemon Zest Joey Bag

I've been loving Stella & Dot's Mina Choker with a lot of things lately, and this tank is one of them! Also? Our promo for this month is the crossbody you see on the right - it's called the Lemon Zest Joey Bag and it's yours for only $20 with a $150 purchase! It's a beautiful collection of bright June fabrics, with a reversible and adjustable strap so it will suit little girlies and grown up ones alike ;)

Next in women's tops is the Breathe Deeply Tank.

Matilda Jane Breath Deeply Tank MJC Tank and Nasty Gal Necklace

This tiered beauty is so soft and flirty - I love it! I didn't get a good shot of the back, but there's a bow closure on the top of it that makes it extra-cute. This one also runs big - in fact after seeing these pictures, I noticed that it was hanging off me a little too much, so I sent it back to size down. The whole women's line was a little overly generous this month! Also, I love this tank with the rose quartz in this lariat necklace from Nasty Gal! So cute.

Okay, I'm cheating a little on this next top, because it's technically part of a pajama set! But it's so pretty on its own with jeans...I feel like you get a pretty-pretty top with a bonus pair of wildly comfortable shorts! ;)

Matilda Jane At Midnight Pajama Top MJC Women's Pajamas

See what I mean? If I didn't tell you that was part of a pj set, you never would have guessed, right?? It totally is, though...they're called the At Midnight Pajama Set.

Of course, MJ came out with a dress for June, and it shouts summer pretty loudly.

Matilda Jane Summer Sunset Dress MJC Summer Sun Dress

This Summer Sunset Dress is soooo comfy - it's light, breezy, soft, and so pretty! The Joey bag has coordinating fabrics in it, and when you pair them together, it makes it look a little more every-day-casual. Love!

Ready for the funky stuff? This is where MJ gets super fun....when you look at the tween and girls stuff and say, I am not confined to your labels, world, I'll wear what I want! ;)

My favorite is this girl's tank:

Matilda Jane Twister Tank

It's called the Twister Tank, and it's a muted, painted-on looking fabric that I'm wildly crazy about. I love the ruffly peplum hem, the button accent, and the double rope straps that give it extra interest. The one I'm wearing is a 10, but I'll be sizing up to a 14.

This one is a little over the top, even for me...but I am still weirdly in love with it.

Matilda Jane Gimme S'more Dress MJ Girls Dress on Adult

Whyy do I love this like I do? lol  I feel like if I ever needed to wear maternity again, this would be in my wardrobe. This beauty is the girls Gimme S'more Dress, and I am wild about the colors and the back straps...eek. It's sooo pretty.

If you've gotta have any of these beauties, remember to size down in women's (and, in fact, I'm finding that a 16 in Tween is actually too large for me...if you typically wear a small, I'd recommend any tween and girls items in a 14! If you're an XS, a 12 might even be best! Mediums would be comfortable in a 16.)

You can shop all of them (and everything from all 5 releases!) on my website HERE, or visit my trunk keeper FB page for more pictures and info!


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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

May Jane Parade of The Adventure Begins! (Release 4)

Matilda Jane's Spring 2017 May Release | Women and Tween IRL pics on Summer has come to Matilda Jane, and's gorgeous. I have more favorites than money, sighh. Isn't that always how it goes :)

So let's jump in and see what May brings us, yes?

First up, this beauty of a tank:

Matilda Jane As A Rose Tank

When I saw this pretty fabric in the catalog, my heart skipped a beat. A bright floral on a blue background makes my world go 'round! It is so flowy, bright, and flattering, and I love it with jeans and shorts alike.

MJC Women's floral tank MJ women tank Blue Floral Tank Top

So, so pretty! I love it, and I love how it feels's so soft and girly. This runs true to size with just enough to be legging-friendly, but not so much fabric that you drown in it. It's lovely and flattering on. Find it here: As A Rose Tank

My next favorite is actually a tween top (love those tween tops!) - I love the color and the style of this so much! Plus the sheer top panel, and the little cut out in the back - fav!

Matilda Jane Pogo Tank MJ Tween Pink Peplum top

SO cute, right? I'm wearing the sample size 12 in this picture and it's too small...I'm not sure if I'd do a 14 or 16, but this is for sure on my list! Find it here: Pogo Tank

Next up is a beautiful, bright blue, cozy, summer-perfect dress. It is nice and light without being sheer, so you feel totally comfortable with just a hint of dressiness. I LOVE this one!

Matilda Jane Into The Blue Dress

Isn't the color gorgeous? I looove that blue. This sample was a medium that I was trying to pin in the back, but it didn't stay very well. So it's a little more fitted when it is actually your size, but still has a lot of flow and airy-ness to it. Find it here: Into The Blue Dress

Let's keep talking dresses, shall we?

This little cutie is so adorable with some pearls! It's a slightly stretchy modal-spandex blend that makes it soft and smooth and cozy. It looks super adorable and dressy without having to do much work!

Matilda Jane Dot Your I's Dress MJC Women's Green Polka Dot Dress

It's a crowd favorite with ladies of all ages - I've heard so many "that's so cute!"'s! It runs true to size - I'm in a small in the pictures. Find it here: Dot Your I's Dress

The last dress from this release is a pretty, pinky maxi dress that I think a lot of people will adore!

Matilda Jane Perfectly Paisley Maxi

A couple things to know about this maxi:
1. it runs small - like enough that I'd tell you to size up if you order (this is a medium on me, and it fits well)
2. it doesn't run as long as the other maxis from this season so far, if the other two have been too long for you, this one won't be
3. it ties in the back
4. the pockets have an interesting pleat that makes the dress lie kind of uniquely
5. the pink prints you see in the trimming match the peplum tank I showed you, so you can coordinate if you want to!

Find it here: Perfectly Paisley Maxi

That's it for the dresses for May, but they knocked it out of the park this month, didn't they? They're all winners if you ask me!

Back to the's a tank with an interesting twist to it:

Matilda Jane Open Orchard Top MJC women's tank sheer back

The layered sheer back panel slowly becomes a little ruffle hem - love that! This is a small, and I'd say it runs true to size with a little generosity. Find it here: Open Orchard Top

So, okay, it's a little ridiculous that I jammed myself into this next tween top, because my sample is an 8, but I wanted to see what it was like on and whether I'd like it with jeans or what. So keep in mind that I'd probably size up like 3 times on this one. ;)

Matilda Jane Night Blooms Tank

It has a cute, flattering shape to it though, and lots of interesting pattern mixing (there's polka dots on the back panels) so I give it a thumbs up. Find it here: Night Blooms Tank

Okay, are you ready to get REAL summery up in here? 'Cause that's what I've got left to show you.

This little top is so-so-so cute, and girly-sweet for summer if you like to really go full on summer bbq style. I felt so girly in this one...and maybe like 10 years younger? (ha)

Bonus: want to match whatever dish you bring to the bbq? Our promo this month is an adorable cooler (perfect for picnics, bbqs, beach days, theme parks, soccer games, and everywhere else you need to keep some cool water nearby) and it matches this top exactly.

Matilda Jane On My Mind Top Matilda Jane Cooler Promo and matching shirt

I mean, Memorial Day here we come, right? ;) Find it here: On My Mind Top

Aaaaand last but not least, for this summery release....the women's bathing suit cover up. Which, may I add, looks awesome as a layered top with a cami and some jeans and booties, or shorts and flip flops.

Matilda Jane Capeside Cover Up MJ Cover Up MJC bathing suit cover up

I don't know why I love this thing so much but I doooo! The one I have is a medium, and I might (?) be more comfortable in a small, but I kind of like the baggier, bigger look on this one. So, I'm not sure what size I'll end up with but the good news is that you can kinda size this one for however you'd most like to wear it, and look killlllerrrrr by the pool!

Find it here: Capeside Cover-Up

Finally, there are some adoooorable home and accessory items this month, too. Like this water bottle, that matches the promo cooler:

Matilda Jane May Cooler and water bottle

There's three other water bottles, too and they're all sooooo cuuuute.

Matilda Jane Water Bottles

The two on the left are my favs!

Can you see the beach towel in the background? You guys, it's gorgeous. I am a wild fan of color and florals, so it's of course speaking MY love language. It's similar to the pattern on the far left water bottle, and the back of the towel is a pretty, soft purple.

The Adventure Begins Beach Towel

I am so crazyyy about it!

There's also a big pouch that matches the promo from April. It's bigger than the other two pouches that came with the tote and could totally fit an ipad (and keep it safe since it's lined with water resistant fabric!) It matches the women's cover up, so it's a perfect pool-side set!

Matilda Jane Holding It Together Pouch

I am overwhelmed with the amount of love I have for May ;)

Just look at all of this colorful goodness together....I could stare at this allllllll day.

Matilda Jane Home Items

Okay, one last thing before I stop shoving all the MJC in your faces.

I'm offering a little extra bonus to my customers this month, so if you want IN hop on my TK newsletter so you can get the info! xo

Aaand as always, let me know if I can help you get any of this goodness into your closets! xo

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