July Retrospect

July really flew by! I feel like it was just last week that I was up in Vermont but that was already a whole month ago – oy vey, time flies when you’re old lol! In a month full of doctor’s appointments and days spent in bed, there were a few shining highlights that made July very special and I’m nerdily excited to share!

We started the month off with our annual family vacation to the shore in Rhode Island, where my mom rents a little cottage so that once a year our whole family can all be under one roof together again. It’s nice for the kids to be able to spend time with their grandparents and aunt, and it’s wonderful to get away for a few days and be near the ocean. We weren’t able to stay quite as long as we wanted to this year due to a lack of available cat sitters, but we did manage to cram in a few hours at the beach and even a little shopping!

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When it comes to the beach I’m not your typical “beach person.” I don’t like to lay out tanning because I can’t tan, I just burn lucky me. I’m also not a huge fan of swimming even though I know how and I’m fairly decent at it. So I don’t enjoy spending an entire day at the beach – all I need is a couple of hours and a walk on the shore here and there and I am a happy little clam! So we also had plenty of time to do all the usual sight-seeing type stuff, like Wickford town center and the lighthouse at Point Judith. We also got a chance to eat at the new Iggy’s Doughboys and lemme tell yas – that shit is good. We all very much enjoyed the food and Max was especially happy because he got to have a chocolate milkshake for the first time!

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One night we happened to stop for a stroll at the Narragansett town beach on the way home from a late dinner. We had missed the sunset so it was already getting dark, and a heavy fog was just beginning to lift. All of a sudden, we look out across the sea and notice a tiny red glowing dot on the horizon. Could it be a party boat with weird lights or some kind of coast guard vessel? And then it got bigger. And bigger. And started to rise into the sky sightly. And I am not gonna lie to you, I was a little bit scared. Other people started to gather along the shore. We joked that the Russians had built a Red Death Star, but seriously no one was laughing. After about five minutes it began to rise higher and higher and thats when we all realized…IT WAS THE MOON. I swear that motherfucker raised up like a ball of fire! Within about half an hour, the full moon had risen further and had turned a peachy orange, and a couple hours later it was just plain old white again. I haven’t been able to find anything about it on the internet, no astrologists predicted this – in fact there are other Strawberry moons predicted for this year but not in July – and there was nothing on the local news about it ether. SO WEIRD. Since there is no evidence to suggest otherwise, we’re calling it a freak Blood Moon and it was the most incredible natural thing I’ve ever witnessed and I doubt I will ever see anything like that ever again in my life. I will never forget the reflections of scarlet light of the waves. It was so beautiful and eerie and mysterious and glorious. Damn, nature.

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I guess anything after that is fairly anticlimactic, eh? Well, you’re right. We came home from Rhode Island and as soon as we unpacked the kids came down with colds, which turned into sinus and upper respiratory infections, which we have now been passing back and forth for weeks. Hence doctors appointments and days in bed.

I’ve been doing a lot of baking lately which has been really therapeutic. I made a pound cake for the first time, which ended up weighing about ten pounds IRL lol. I also finally perfected my recipe for the perfect salty and sweet cookie – you have got to try my Bacon Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies! They will seriously blow your taste buds’ tiny minds!

Being a sicky bear, I haven’t had much time for OOTDs or going out in general, so I haven’t been able to use my handmade pompom purse as much as I’ve wanted to. Have you tried to make one yourself? I can’t wait for a summer night out on the town to get all dolled up!

Speaking of which, I recently went through my wardrobe and realized that I have a lot of clothes that I either don’t wear or don’t fit me. I’m considering letting y’all raid my closet and take whatever you want – would you like that? As soon as I work out the logistics I plan to roll that out because I have some really cute clothes that need to be worn. Like my eyelet lace romper that my husband accidentally shrank in the dryer, or my tea party dress and fascinator and much much more.

On the topic of my shrunken romper, I have already found a replacement for the missing onesie in my wardrobe! While we were in Narragansett, we went to one of our favorite hidden gems – a shop on the main drag called Crosswynds Traders that is essentially a little outlet that carries brands from Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Gap, and many other high name fashion brands. As such, their plus size selection is almost non-existent – few items go above a size large and when they do it’s only to 12-14, so I usually go in looking for cute accessories and other stylish souvenirs. (My daughter however, ends up with an amazing haul from here every year!)

Anyway, while were shopping around I stumbled upon this sophisticated, simple romper by Gap and since it looked like a roomy XL I decided to try it on – and lo and behold it fit!

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I’m sure you’ll be seeing LOTS more of this piece before the year is over! I’m going to try and see how many different ways I can wear this versatile little one piece – glammed up with a belt and heels, paired with simple flats and bold accessories, or warmed up with tights and a cardi in the fall.

FALL. I can’t believe September is right around the corner. I’m not gonna lie and pretend that summer is my favorite so I am always extremely happy to say hello to autumn. Ella will be a senior this year and Max will be starting pre-pre-K so next season comes with a whole lotta baggage that I’m currently pretending is not happening (empty nest syndrome ahhhhh) but there has been one thing that has made back-to-school shopping a cinch this year – the AshleyG for BlueSky line of desk products!

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The designs are adorbs to be sure, but they are so functional it isn’t even funny. From the daily planner to the desk calendar, everything is laid out in a clean, minimalist fashion which makes these really easy to use.  The color schemes of black and white accented with pastels and gold foil are so appealing that not even my picky 17 year old daughter could resist!

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Ashley happens to by a cousin of mine who has worked her creative ass off to produce this gorgeous line of paper items and office supplies. I’m so proud of her work ethic and dedication! It’s so cool to be walking through Target and see my lil cuz’s name in big letters across such a cute display! I almost attacked a random lady who had the poor luck to stop next to me to look at the stuff. “That’s my cousin!” I blurted out awkwardly and way too loud. “Ashley. She’s my cousin. Aren’t her designs fabulous?!” After a couple minutes of politely listening she scurried off looking frightened – but hey, she put a notebook in her cart so at least she has a good story to go with it.

Now it’s time for August, the last stretch of summer heat before the chaos of a new school year and the change of the seasons. I’m hoping to get at least one or two more afternoons at the beach before school starts but we’ll see how the weekend weather cooperates over the coming month. In the meantime, I’ll be in the kitchen tinkering with a few of my Grandma Rose’s recipes and waiting for some DIY project inspo to strike – so if you’ve got any WIPs or recipes you’d care to share in the comments below, I’d love to try something new! Until next time…

xo

Lauren

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