diy choker & 3 ways to wear it

you guys, this is literally the easiest diy.  it takes about 5 minutes and it will save you so much money…that is, if you’re in the market for a choker.  i was shopping for one of these and finding them for anywhere from $35 – 45 when it finally dawned on me to just try it myself.  the supplies are readily available at a craft store, and it cost less than $15.  so, here’s the diy:  cut your cording to your desired length (mine is about 5 feet, but i might shorten it a bit).  thread a few beads on each of the ends and tie a knot at both ends to keep them on.  the end.

here’s what i used:  leather cording; i couldn’t find the exact beads i used online (they came from the jewelry section at michael’s), but these are similar, and these would be cool.  really, anything goes.


look 1:  simply wrap the cord around your neck 2 or 3 times and leave the ends looseimg_0157

look 2:  wrap around your neck twice and tie the ends once.  you could double knot it too.img_0160

look 3:  wrap around your neck twice and tie a bow.  img_0169

i think i might try it in velvet next!  if you’re not into diy, here’s an option.

thanks to my cute assistant for his photo skillz…img_0162


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capsule dressing – for kids

i saw a quote the other day – ‘motherhood has a very humanizing effect.  everything gets reduced to the essentials.’  meryl streep said it, and it hit so close to home for me, particularly right now.

having a third child has been amazing and has also turned our life upside-down.  now, all moments are accounted for.  there is hardly ever a time that someone isn’t needing something – snacks, shoes tied, where’s this toy, diaper change, snacks, play with me, another diaper change and more snacks.  so, as i reflect on this past year of being a family of 5, i have felt overwhelmed for the majority of it.    like, drowning.    super drowning.    so much of what happens on a daily basis is out of my control, and i am trying to react as the day unfolds – moods of kids, how well they sleep at night or nap time, etc. so i think i was craving an outlet where i could have some control.

that brings me back to the point.  reducing to the essentials – streamlining.  i have been doing my best to pare down in every way.  house tchotchkes, clothing, books, toys (some i rotate in and out), kitchen items, you name it.  i am FAR from done, but i have made a lot of progress.  now this doesn’t mean i don’t buy things.  i do, but i try to be A LOT more thoughtful about what comes into this house.  because stuff for 5 people, well, there’s a lot.

one way i’ve tried to be more conscientious is with clothing.  i started reading the blog unfancy a while back and it really resonated with me.  have you heard of a capsule wardrobe??  it’s narrowing your wardrobe down to things that flatter and fit and all work together each season.  i think it’s fascinating.  she has written a lot about it, and if you’re interested, i suggest you check her out.  weirdly, she was the photographer at the wedding of a friend of mine – before she started her blog, i think – and is so sweet in person.  it comes through in her writing, and ya just feel like you’re her bud.  …i digress….  so i’ve tried to employ some of these capsule ideas with chloe’s closet. here are a few tips that have helped me.

  • pick a color palette, and stick to it.  i chose raspberry, navy, black and white as her staples.  pretty much everything in her closet is one of these colors right now.
  • think hard about what your child wears happily.  this is all in an effort to make getting dressed EASIER.  chloe wants to wear a dress pretty much 100% of the time, so that’s really all i purchased for her this fall.  she can wear them with bare legs in early-fall and throw on some leggings or tights as the weather cools down.  she does have two pairs of jeans, but wears them probably once a month.
  • think about pieces that will play well together.  i bought chloe a few tops that we can layer under short-sleeve or sleeveless dresses, and she has a few tops and sweaters that we can layer over.  since everything is in the same color palette, it all can swap in and out, and even when she picks her clothes, it looks acceptable…for the most part. ;)
  • when you’re shopping, remember what you have already.  i used to buy things just because they were cute.  then i’d come home and feel like she had nothing to wear since none of it worked together (i used to do this for myself too!).  sound familiar?  now, i know chloe has plenty of dresses, so the only things she would need at this point would be layering pieces – a shirt with a cute collar , a vest, or possibly a skirt to go with some tops.

the has helped both of us.  i know exactly what she needs and doesn’t, and she has gotten more freedom to dress herself.  win!  so, tell me – have you experimented with a capsule wardrobe??


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a few words on style

i am an observer by nature. if you know me, you know i’m also a questioner – where are you from, how many siblings do you have, what do you do for work, do you have kids?  some people might think i’m interrogating them, but really, it comes from a genuine place of curiosity.  i’m curious about people, and what we wear is part of that picture.  i look for inspiration everywhere – from magazines to blogs to IG to…wait for it….REAL LIFE. i love to see how people have developed a style, how they turn a trend on its head or re-interpret some thing that’s been around for ages.  so, all that to say, if you are curious, i’m going to put myself out there and show you some things that are in my daily rotation.  now, let me be frank.  i am a normal person doing normal things and wearing normal clothing.  i hope that’s relevant to you – it is to me.  i will not be wearing prada or galavanting in mykonos while doing so.  on the daily, i am taking my kids to school and changing diapers and going to target and bringing kids to sports practices.  and i guess i like to feel somewhat put-together while i do all that.  you’ll see A LOT of jeans, some dresses and probably even some athleisure wear.
it took me a long time of being a stay-at-home-mom to stop buying things that don’t fit my lifestyle. i think i was living in a bit of fantasy-land, where i was still trying to reason that I would wear dressier items, but then would consistently reach around them in my closet.  i’ve finally come to terms with what my lifestyle is – casual – and i’m trying hard to work with it by giving things my own spin.
i’m doing all this with the hope that it might give you an idea or spark a bit of excitement about getting dressed in the morning (or afternoon, i’m not judging).  bear with me as I develop this piece of the blog – it’ll be a work in progress.
and, let me ask you – what would you like to see??
(this is me being pretty awkward.  things will get better, i hope.  ;) )
jacket: found this one at tj maxx, similar from the same brand
t-shirt: old from j. crew factory, similar
jeans: old from the gap, similar
sunglasses: similar
shoes: sold out in most places, similar, similar, similar
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halloween recap

every year, i see a family that dresses up as a unit, and think ‘next year!’  well, beckett is 6, and i’m thinking this might have been our last year with any gentle influence on what to wear.  chloe first declared she wanted to be a mermaid – no surprise there.  so, we scrambled and tried to think of something sea-worthy but also ‘cool’ in the eyes of a 6-year-old.  a shark.  the idea for hudson to be a lobster followed quickly, and when i went to get chloe’s costume and found an octopus ‘skirt’, i knew it was meant to be.  jared was a scuba diver, and we were ‘the family that dresses together!’  it didn’t make a lot of sense until we were all together, but i’m glad we got to do it at least once.


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life lately

october has quite possibly turned into my favorite month.  the stress of the start of school and activities has subsided (not to mention the heat and humidity), and we can jump into fall fun headfirst.  the weather has been amazing, and we have packed each weekend with a jillion activities, and while we’ve been so tired at the end of each weekend, we have spent our minutes well.  around kansas city, fall brings pop-up fun of so many kinds – apple orchards, pumpkin patches, and farms turn into gathering places, many of which you could spend your entire day.  we visited alldredge apple orchard in platte city a few weeks ago.  it’s a smaller scale spot, great for little kids, and ours were perfectly happy for a few hours – jumping, chasing chickens, picking apples, and jumping some more.  brace yourself for an onslaught of pictures…







the next weekend, we visited fun farm in kearney.  it is acres and acres of activities – all kinds of farm animals, another huge jumping pillow, ‘gold’ mining, a corn pit, a train, a treehouse, a corn maze, and even a (somewhat sketchy) carousel. my kids were in heaven.


this baby… looking a lot less like a baby lately. img_9589

and this boy… looking a lot more like a teenager (with the ‘tude to match).  i can’t take it.  img_9594

the corn.  they could have stayed in it all day…..and we were finding it in pockets and shirts and pants and diapers all day as a result.  img_9626img_9641


i’d say they had a good time.




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diy {decanters}

i saw some liquor decanters a while back, and the price tag was something like $200. i loved them, but not $200 loved them.  i decided to try doing it myself and they turned out so great i gave them as christmas gifts.  these could be a fun housewarming gift too!  it doesn’t take a lot of time, just a little patience, and there is so much room to improvise with these.  you could write in cursive with the etching cream, make different patterns, i even had a friend who did a set of wine glasses with all different letter C’s as a wedding gift.

here’s what you need:  glass bottles (you could really use anything that’s smooth glass.  these are what i have, and you can choose from a bunch of lid options), etching cream, an old paint brush, painters’ tape, and vinyl letters.

first, wash and dry your bottles.  you want them to be really clean, so the letters stick well and don’t allow any etching cream to seep under them.  apply your letters, and then use painters’ tape to make your borders.  really smooth down your letters and the tape to make sure they are sealed to the glass.  i made the etching go about half-way around the bottle, and you can see below i had my letters ‘rest’ on the bottom border.


apply the etching cream, and let it sit on the bottle for a bit (consult your bottle to see how long your brand recommends).  don’t cut this part short or the etching won’t be as ‘frosty’.  IMG_1754

rinse off the etching cream, peel off the letters and tape, wipe down the bottle to get it completely dry, and voila!  seriously, it’s that easy.



i also did a set just using the vinyl letters that turned out great too.  less time, and a totally different look, but just as unique.



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welcome to glenn lane

welp, we’ve been in this house for 4 years now, and i’ve shown you none of it.  it probably has something to do with the two humans we’ve added to our family in that time.  we moved here when i was about 6 months pregnant with chloe, and we’ve been slowly chipping away at projects to make this place feel like our home.

the thing i love about this part of the house is that it’s the first thing guests see when they enter.  we don’t ‘live’ in this room (or the dining room that’s directly across), so they stay relatively clean, save for the random toys that get dragged up here by miller, our dog.  and here’s my secret – the rest of the house might look like a bomb went off, but you can’t see the rooms we ‘live in’ from this part of the house.  winning.

here’s the before.


you guys, when we moved here, every. single. wall. was. beige.  it was a fine color, but i felt like i was living in a sea of it.  the walls blended with the floors and with our kitchen cabinets and it was just too much of a good thing.  generally, i think if your floors are a ‘warm’ color, a ‘cool’ color on the walls will compliment it best.  and vice versa.  it provides some balance and it’s more pleasing to the eye.

here’s what that room looks like now.


ok, now i can breathe again.  be gone, beige!


i’m kinda addicted to these sheepskins.  they add great texture and lend a cozy feeling.  img_9784

see those pillows below?  i made them, and if you can sew a straight line, you can too.  i use this tutorial.  i did them both in different, but complimentary fabrics, so when i get sick of one side, i just flip ’em.  the back of the navy and white is an awesome batik print that i found on etsy, but it feels more summery, so i just flipped these over recently.  the back of the teal velvet is this otomi print, which i love love love but the velvet feels warmer for now.


i like to keep things personal around here, so the pictures we take with our instax mini go in this wooden bowl.  img_9799



thanks for stopping by.  i’ll show you more soon!

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ok, so if you live in the kansas city area, you have probably seen one too many pictures of peeps in the sunflower fields.  but guess what, we did it too.  just look the other way if you’re over it.  the lovely people at grinter farm open their fields to the public when their sunflowers are in bloom, and it’s a wow event. these pictures don’t come close to doing it justice.

i mean, i couldn’t recreate this if i tried.  i don’t even know how this happened – that they’re all looking at the cameraand look happy about it.  img_9131

this is how it usually goes down.  pure joy!img_8922

followed by taking it just. a. step. too. far.  we’re really raising some reserved children.  img_8923

this little one is changing before my very eyes right now.  i swear each day she looks a little older, her jawline a little more defined, her vocabulary a little bigger.  three seems to be a big year at our house.  img_8942

and this one – he’s changing pretty rapidly too.  kindergarten is shaping him already, and it’s mostly good.  ha!  it’s been quite a different vibe without our third amigo during school hours, but we are adjusting.  he is loving it, and is becoming the governor of his school – yelling out names and saying ‘hey!’ to every kid he knows.  it’s pretty awesome to see.  img_8857

well, isn’t he the cutest…except…img_8948

eating dirt was what he did most of the time.   it’s hard being the third kid.  img_8955


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meet {hudson}

many of you are family and friends and/or follow me on instagram, so this is old news, but we added a new member to our family in august this year, and we are all smitten.  meet hudson.


he arrived with gusto – meaning he had bilateral pneumos (partially collapsed lungs) and a broken clavicle.  the latter is not uncommon during childbirth, but the pneumos seemed to puzzle everyone – especially the fact that he had them bilaterally.  he spent his first days in the NICU at st. luke’s on the plaza, where he was transferred the evening he was born.  i stayed at the hospital where i delivered him, st. luke’s north, until the next morning, which was excruciating.  he stayed in the hospital just one extra day than he should have, but it seemed like years that we were there, particularly that first day, when we didn’t know what was going to happen.  thankfully, the NICU staff was brilliant, his body took care of itself, and our stay was short.  i had some ‘survivors guilt’ leaving the NICU though.  there are so many babies that will be there for weeks or months.

fast forward four months, and we have a very social guy who loves to be held {i.e. rather needy} – must be a case of FOMO {fear of missing out}.  he’s basically a third child who thinks he is a first born.  he is long and lean {busting out of 6 month footie pj’s}, easy to smile and giggle, and very well loved, but don’t think about putting this kid down for two minutes so you can pee.  ticklish on the chin and chest and loves to have you clap his hands, but again, don’t put him down.  beckett and chloe adore him, sometimes too much, but it’s a good problem to have.

i am so aware of fleeting time with him because i know how quickly these first years go by – in a blur of giggles and crying and sleep {if you’re lucky}!


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snow day

the first snow of the season.  there’s not much better.  jared’s office even closed so we all got a bonus day of christmas break.  yahoo!!

snow provides the most beautiful light so i had to get out {in my pajamas!} to get a few shots of the kids.

i can’t make any promises {since we’ve added a (very needy) human to our household since i was last here}, but my goal for 2016 is to get back to this space.  see you again soon!!





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