20+ Things, 4/5

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Here are the first 20+ things that come to mind today:

  • Lucy has been quite destructive lately. 😆 Now that the baby gates are down, she’s really enjoying having free rein of the house… and she often gets into things like pencils, pens, candy and makeup. (Thankfully the dangerous stuff has always been out of reach!) After she took to Emma’s desk, I really had to go through the upstairs rooms and toddler-proof them. The best was when she was caught red-handed with my stash of candy in my office, and she was like, “But I need it.”
  • Buy a bracelet, support Ukraine: 100 percent of profits are donated to World Central Kitchen, which has locations set up in Ukraine and in surrounding areas to feed those who need a warm meal.
  • I had lunch with a new mom friend from Emma’s new school, and it was really good for the soul. We dropped the kids off for a birthday party and walked over to a nearby restaurant, and laughed a lot. I don’t know; halfway through, I found myself thinking, “See? It all worked out.” It’s been an emotional and trying few years—filled with lots of twists and turns—but perhaps we’re exactly where we were meant to end up. ♥
  • Lucy is a chatterbox. Remember when I was so upset about her not talking around this time last year?! Well, now she’s nearing three years old, and she has SO much to say. It’s amazing. Though tonight she demanded a “rainbow on the floor” before going to sleep, and that was a whole thing. (???) Be careful what you wish for. ;)
  • As a nervous traveler, I am making a ready-to-go bag. Like, I’m such a nervous traveler that I can’t sleep the night before a trip. I’m also daunted by the idea of packing which has to exacerbate the problem. Recently, though, I read somewhere that putting together a ready-to-go suitcase (with some basics in it) and Dopp kit (with all the beauty products one uses, in travel containers) can end up deleting a lot of that stress. Here’s hoping it helps me! I think it will? (PS: Favorite travel pouches include these airport security-approved ones and this vegan leather one.)
  • We saw our friends James and Gretchen this past weekend and now we’re planning out all the Ravinia shows we’re going to see together this summer! If you live in the Chicago area and haven’t been to Ravinia yet, please go. We had some of our best summer nights there last year, and adored vibe. Most people bring some portable chairs, this table (once called “The Ravinia Table”!), and food and wine. It’s a blast. My favorite was seeing Ben Folds!
  • I cannot wait to get down to New Orleans. I MISS KIM. (And Patrick and Danny and his girlfriend and my nephew, haha.) And I can’t wait to see the new house. And meet the new baby once he arrives. And bask in the warm weather.
  • The Sephora sale is on! (Use code “SAVESPRING” to take 20 percent off your entire order, and 30 percent off Sephora Collection products.) Above are my faves, and here are bestsellers.
  • Have you heard of the “Too Good to Go” app? It’s where you can basically order surprise to-go bags from restaurants that have excess at the end of the night. We haven’t done it yet but plan on trying this week!
  • OMG GUYS I HAVE MY FIRST DECLUTTERING/ORGANIZING CLIENT. It’s my childhood best friend. She’s been the best. Every day I give her an assignment—something that doesn’t take very long—and she’s been a rockstar with accomplishing it. If you’re interested in getting started on a similar journey of “less,” I would really recommend reading Shira Gill’s book. It’s the best I’ve read!
  • Watch: The Dropout. I think most people have already finished this, but I unfortunately am one of those people who fall asleep within the first 20 minutes of a television show or movie, so I tend to move at a snail’s pace. So just in case you haven’t seen it, watch it! I’ve been loving my 20 minutes every night, haha.
  • Mitch and I are “going on” a staycation next week! It’s the girls’ spring break, and my mother-in-law is taking them to the lake house for a week. They’re so excited for fun and activities with Gammy and Pop Pop, and Mitch and I are so excited about finally tackling the garage and going out every.single.night, haha. (Will we die? Verdict’s out.) WE LOVE YOU, LISA.
  • I might be working with Dana Rebecca and I’m freaking out. I have dreamt of this necklace for a long time! I love how dainty it is and how it can be worn year-round to literally everything. :)
  • If you’re looking for a great (half-size) kids’ trampoline, get this one. We have an old Little Tikes one, but our next-door neighbors have this one, and it’s held up much better than ours has. Granted, Chicago winters are rough, and this is going to be our third year with it. But bravo to Nicki for finding the best!
  • The girls really only play with miniature toys right now and it’s been life-changing. They love tiny things. And tiny things are so easy to clean up and store! Of course, thing still get out of hand from time to time, as evidenced by my Instagram Stories this past weekend. 😆 But in general, it’s been a nice break from the huge messes.
  • I burned the heck out of my face with a retinol cream. Bah! I used it two nights in a row, which is a no-no when starting out with a new product. Many thanks to my friend Natalie for coming to my rescue with some products to save my skin! (You’re the best, Natalie.)
  • Our friends are moving and my heart hurts. We’re truly happy for both families but it’s so hard. We went through this a few years ago when a good number of our friends left Chicago, and we were hoping that we wouldn’t have to go through it again. Then 2020/2021/2022 happened, though, and here we are. But there are so many seasons of life, and this is simply one of them! Looking forward to lots of trips to see our friends, and crazy fun sleepovers at our house in Chicago.
  • Have you explored Anthropologie’s beauty section? It’s pretty interesting, haha, but there are a lot of great finds! I discovered my favorite nail polish there.
  • This travel steamer is on my wish list. I’m hyper-focused on becoming a better traveler, and I love the idea of ditching my bulky steamer (which takes up way too much room in my suitcase) for something a bit more sleek. How pretty is this one?!
  • One Home Project Every Day: Again, I’ve FINALLY reached the part of our decluttering journey where I can move on to organizing! I’m having so much fun with it, and apparently I am a lunatic. But listen. As nutty as I sound, things are starting to make sense in our house because of all my bins and jars and labels. And I feel like a better wife/mom because I’m not so focused on tidying? For the most part, things just stay clean now?! (Wild.) Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it. 😆
    • Your resident crazy lady finished organizing her medicine cabinet. Watch out, Mitch, you’re next. I ordered these plastic amber jars and these labels, and friends, I love the uniform look. (If there are any 20-somethings left here, this is what you have to look forward to!)
    • I’ve been reading The Laundress blog and how-to section to learn about how to take care of our family’s clothing. I actually use the baby detergent for the whole family because I fell in love with it while Lucy was a baby… and it works really well for the sensitive skin that Emma and I have. Keep in mind that most Laundress detergents are highly concentrated, meaning you only need (and should only use) a couple of capfuls. A little goes a long way! Also, you NEED this washable measuring cup. You throw it directly into the machine with the laundry. Literally zero mess!
    • We had a few cheap toy bins break on us, so I replaced them with my favorite Amazon storage bins, and HEART EYES. Playrooms are so tough. I feel like we’re all inundated with Pinterest-worthy photos of kids’ spaces with seemingly two (beautiful wooden) toys total in them, but I’m sorry—in my personal experience, that’s just not the reality of a functional playroom. Still, there are ways to make them look nicer. One way? Classy storage bins. I can’t believe the difference!
    • I put together a deck box for outdoor cushions. Guys, it’s laughably huge. But it just barely fits the couch cushions. I can’t believe it took me so long to do this! It’s going to be a much easier summer.
    • I hung art in the dining room. Only took me approximately four months. And the only reason I did it was because Robert (our Roomba) was attacking it every night and I was worried he was going to destroy it.
    • I put misc. food in these bamboo bins in our kitchen cabinets. Before, I feel like we didn’t know what was in those cabinets and we would accidentally buy duplicates at the grocery store. Now, though, because everything is categorized, we don’t. I also find that we’re more adventurous in the kitchen because we know the contents of our cabinets!
    • I put larger quantities of spices that we don’t use frequently in these jars and used these leftover labels and then some from this label pack. The key here is to always have a few leftover empty jars that can accommodate for spillover.
  • I am totally blown away by Birch Lane. The whole website feels like a curated shop just for me, haha, and the quality is wonderful. Mitch and I have actually been buying Birch Lane for years, mostly through Wayfair, but I would highly recommend checking out the actual BL website because it’s wonderfully easy to navigate and find what you’re looking for.

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