We’re so honored to share in the release of not only Sonnet James‘ new line, but also their amazing charitable donations! Each day they launch a new dress in tandem with a charity that benefits families, women and children and a portion of dress sales go directly to those charities. Today the Coco dress benefits a cause very near to our hearts: The Syrian Refugee Crisis in Turkey. Some of you may know that Jenna grew up 10 years of her life in the Middle East and holds many memories and people close in that part of the world. Her parents now currently live in Turkey!They have seen first-hand the amazing generosities of the Turkish people, and the unimaginable suffering and loss of the nearly 1 million Syrian refugees Turkey is currently caring for. While Emily was traveling last week she met a Turkish man who works part of the year away from home and then returns to Turkey. He said walking to and from work he often happily finds himself coat-less, boot-less, and grocery-less as he casts off anything he doesn’t desperately need for those refugees he comes across along the way. He said “If I showed up on their door, I know they would do the same.” What an inspiring man and another element to our desire to help. How blessed we are to enjoy the safeties and comforts we do? To know our children are protected, that they will return home to us, to have a home. They still need resources terribly and buying a Coco Sonnet James dress means that you will literally get those resources to their hands. A simple way to say, I see you, and I support you. Jenna herself will be delivering resources in Turkey this Christmas, which we will be sure to share!We can’t thank Sonnet James enough for affording us the opportunity to shed some light from this space onto such a cause. We are proudly joining our voices with theirs and hope that if you need yourself a little black dress, this might be the one you choose. You can follow along with Sonnet James and the highlighted charities at their site and also socially! @sonnetjames
November is here! As usual we love to instill a sense of gratitude – hopefully all year ’round – but especially throughout November! In preparation for Thanksgiving and the chaos of Christmas and Santa and gift giving, we have found if we don’t focus how much we already have it’s easy to think we need more. That goes for all ages, right? So here’s a quick wall installation that you can add to each month:
We did a similar DIY a few years ago but it wasn’t the easiest to execute so we wanted to re-do it in a more perfected way! We’ve found that cutting the leaves out onto solid colored paper is easier than trying to get the pre-colored leaves perfectly trimmed. Always a work in progress over here! You can grab the printable right here.
Each day have your kiddos add a leaf until the end of the month you can see truly how many wonderful things there are to be grateful for! The tree was made with our favorite black skinny masking tape, and this white ink marker always does us right when using black paper!
Find some of our favorite Thanksgiving themed posts right here:
So happy to have Valerie and Brittany back from Little Sous Chef sharing their best banana bread recipe! We love making this with our kids, there’s so many steps they can do with you – mashing bananas, mixing and more! Check it out: Our Favorite Banana Bread
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 heaping cups mashed bananas (about 5-6 bananas)
½ cup milk
2 teaspoons lemon juice
4 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cream butter and sugar.
3. Add eggs and beat.
4. Add mashed bananas, milk and lemon juice. Stir until combined.
5. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, soda, and salt.
6. Gradually add to banana mixture. Stir until just combined.
7. Stir in nuts if using.
8. Divide batter between two well greased bread pans.
9. Generously sprinkle the tops with cinnamon sugar.
10. Bake 50 minutes.
I get today’s Fryday solo today, urged by the girls to share about my 10 year anniversary trip to Europe last week with my main squeeze! If you’d like to see, here are a few highlights!
This trip was in the works for several months and as we got closer we knew we wanted to unplug for the trip. We both work for ourselves in a handful of businesses and being self-employed sometimes means erratic hours, no days off, and always something to be done. So the trip was 100% a vacation from all that. We deleted social media apps, didn’t check emails, and focused on staying present and in the moment and soaking each city up together. I loved this image from the Papal Visit in NYC so much, it was in head each time I wanted to grab my phone. Be the grandma.So now that you have the backstory here’s a peek at the trip! We toured London, England, Brugge, Belgium and Paris, France. It was a crazy whirlwind trip and we had to have walked ten miles a day and we missed the boys like crazy – we both cried sporadically all trip long. I know, we’re not normal!
In London we loved the collection at the British Library. Original handwritten manuscripts from some of my favorite authors like Oscar Wilde and Jane Austen, excerpts read by the authors themselves. James Joyce makes Finnegan’s Wake even harder to understand with that accent. 😉 Paul McCartney’s handwritten lyrics, DaVinci’s sketches, handprinted Kurans and Bibles, and a million more amazing texts. We also did the National Gallery which was an awesome collection – I always love the post 1800 works the best and loved being able to catch Van Gogh and Monet and loads more. Walked through Portobello Road market and the 15,000th row of darling houses in Notting Hill.We saw the Curious Incident of the Dog in Night-Time and that was a top 3 highlight of the whole trip. Such beautiful play. We talked about it for hours after while we walked through crazy Chinatown. I got all teary-eyed watching a mime in Coventry Garden, had high tea at the utterly insane and amazing Sketch in Oxford Circus. Saw famous sites at Westminster, Buckingham, parks and churches galore. We loved London, so easy to navigate and none of the language barrier. Next stop was Bruges, Belgium. Such an incredible, surreal city. Without modern cars lining the streets you would think you’d gone back in time. Everything looks ancient, down to the slate sidewalk curbs, and stone streets. Called the “Venice of the North” for its canal system, along house-lined streets with those notched brick facades were all so beautiful. It made me wonder why the States are so hell bent on tearing old out and putting new in. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any cuter, it always did. We saw the Belfry, Church of our Lady, Basilica, Minewater, and every street in between. Our cab driver for the day said the French call it Bruge de Mort because it dies every night at around 7. Sure enough it did, no nightlife at all! Had unbeatable Belgian waffles, I thought I had some pretty good ones here, but nothing can compare. What do they do to that batter, I’ll never know! Paris was our last stop and I felt like I got my fill of London and Bruges, but it broke my heart to leave Paris! We rented their City bikes and rode to our hearts content. We both had the dumbest grins on the whole time. Although at the time looking back, it was death-defying. Buses and bikes share a lane. Cab drivers are lunatics and we had and saw a couple close calls. But it didn’t sway us in the slightest. I cried when we drove out of the tunnel and saw the Eiffel Tower, I know how spoiled I am to have had this trip. Although it didn’t go without sacrifice and a ton of effort, I am still a lucky girl. The mixture of architecture and sculpture throughout the city sort of just dazzled me. Where Bruges followed a very set equation for their structures, Paris was all over the map and every influence was beautiful. We bought art on the Seine, ate Crepes, pain au chocolat, baguettes and fruit from the stands. Croque Monsieurs from Village le Monge that were killer. Walked through Tuilieries, past gardens, churches the Grand and Mini Palais. Notre Dame, Arc De Triomphe and every darling arronidisement our legs could take us to. Laughing at all these pictures of me by a body of water. So original, Em!
Alright, now for the what I wore portion!
Fall is here and were are in full-blown seasonal eating mode. Pumpkin, nutmeg, soups and ciders, we’ll take it all! You all already know that our favorite salty sweet treats are Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop popcorn (caramel and cheddar!!), but for this recipe we wanted to give another favorite, Kettle Corn, a Autumnal twist! Here’s how you’ll do it:Like any good trail mix there is a nice balance of flavors, textures, and color. We took Angie’s Boomchikapop Kettle Corn as the base. Angie’s was the first brand we could find on the shelves that used Non-GMO corn, they are the leaders in this delicious healthy popcorn world – check out what else we’ve come to, gratefully, expect from them:
Then you simply stir in handfuls of pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, hazelnuts, and coconut shavings! The flavor is out of this world and it’s such fun snack to eat with all the different flavors and textures. Healthy too, so sit down in front of your favorite shows and snack away without guilt!
Thanks to Angie’s, a brand we love and snack on everyday, for working with us on this post!