The Emerald Girl

The Emerald Girl

casual. classic. curious.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Sister, Sister

Top: J.Crew | Jacket: J.Crew | Jeans: Levi's | Shoes: Madewell | Bag: Dooney & Bourke (old)

Each summer my parents like to take the whole family on a weekend getaway. While I have four sisters in total, this year only myself and my older sister's family could make it. We had really wanted to visit Seabrook as the town itself looks so charming and quaint. It rained throughout the day Saturday but that didn't stop us from walking the streets admiring the picture perfect homes. The weekend always flies by so quickly but we vowed to return again next year, maybe earlier in the summer.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Camouflaged in Seabrook

Sweater: J.Crew  |  Pants: J.Crew  |  Tee: J.Crew  |  Shoes: Ivanka Trump (old)  |  Necklace: handed down from my mom

Spent a perfectly Pacific Northwest weekend in Seabrook on the coast this past weekend. We stayed in the Coastal Living Idea House which was perfect and with breathtaking views of the ocean through the trees. Had plans to dine outside but the the cold winds started really blowing and we ended up eating inside instead. Dahlias give such a good bang for their buck. At $10/dozen, I could not pass up buying an abundance of these to take on our trip.

I'm really loving all the camouflage that's hitting stores this fall. Reminds me of my childhood - my dad always made sure his girls had a pair of camo pants from the Army Navy Surplus stores and my older sister reminded me that our highschool team spirit was camo. These ones are high waisted and super soft and comfortable.

Lots more to come from this trip!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Watermelon Limeade


Let summer never die!

I'm savoring these last few days of summer. With school starting next week, I'll have to leave this dream I've been living in. I'll be waking up and actually getting up and at 'em during typical hours. I'm optimistic this routine will bring good things and I'm forever grateful for the summer I thought I'd never have, hopeful for more to come.

This watermelon limeade was a hit with both the kids and I so we made it one more time before summer ends. If you, like me, are savoring this unofficial end of summer weekend, grab a watermelon and a lime and make yourself a pitcher. Pour a glass and take outside, it's supposed to be hot in Seattle this weekend!

Watermelon Limeade

Watermelon (mini)
Limes (3 big ones)
This will yield the amount seen in the photos above.

1. Cut watermelon into small chunks
2. Place chunks into tall container
3. Using hand mixer, purify chunks into a liquid (or you could use a blender)
4. Pour liquid through strainer into a pitcher (note: you will need to use rubber spatula to push liquid through the strainer)
5. Repeat steps 3 & 4 until all of the watermelon has been purified and strained into pitcher 
6. Squeeze limes into pitcher to taste
7. Add ice

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Clipping Hydrangeas

When we first moved to our new rental, I was so excited to see that the neighbors had two very large, unkempt hydrangea plants on the side of their house. All winter the excitement was building and into spring, I watched as the plants slowly came back to life. Finally, summer hit and the blooms started popping. If, like me, you're thinking I'm unusually excited about hydrangeas, it's because I've never had a beautiful yard or garden of my own and even though these are not mine, I still relish in getting to live in the beauty of it. For anyone wondering, the home owner did say I could clip some (technically, he said Jack could clip some for me but same thing 😉).

Monday, August 14, 2017

5 Random Facts About Me

Now that I've written this all out, I feel completely self-absorbed. In case you read all this and think "Dang, this girl really thinks she is the", rest assured I am probably more insecure than you. The "10 Things About Me" post is circling the internet but I could only think of 5 things that might be mildly interesting so there you have it!
1) I have two middle names, Elizabeth and Faith. My mom gave me the latter because she says she knew I was going to be her child of faith. I'm still not sure what that really means but it sounds like a lot to live up to. I've carried on the tradition and given my daughter two middle names as well. Because Morgan has the two names, Jack felt he also needed a second middle so he gave himself the name Buddy.

2) Sentimental does not describe me. I delete everything (or get rid of it). I hate the idea of stuff filling up my physical or digital house. This is ironic because as a child I literally saved everything so that my future children could one day play with my toys because that was my idea of perfect. I also had many large collections of seemingly very useless stuff, ie: stickers, pogs, dolls, gift bags, Power Ranger pencil top erasers from Pizza Hut, anything having to do with Noah's Ark, anything having to do with CareBears, Beanie Babies, McDonald's toys and I'm sure there are more. Someone please psycho analyze this for me!

3) Matt and I were married in a court house and then had our official wedding 5 months later. We told no one except our parents and I think Matt might have told his brother. I think it was a Thursday. I threw a crumpled up note to my friends at work saying that I was going to get married as I left for the day. I live for exhilarating moments and this was definitely one of them. This and our spur of the moment idea to leave work early on a Friday and drive down to San Francisco. That was the best.

4) A fact that most people who are in my life now don't know is that I went to rehab when I was 18 (you know, the year I dropped out of school). Let me preface and say although I'm completely open to talking about it, this fact often makes me feel like a complete loser. Even though it was so long ago it's weird thinking that was ever my life, I'm reminded that in fact it is a part of my life and had I not had the experience I am about to write I can't imagine I would still be alive 14 years later, so crucial part of my life. Rehab didn't save me. No, no. It was months after that and several failed attempts of my own to stop using drugs. Whenever I doubt if God is real, I remember the time He saved me from addiction. There is no other way to explain it. I tried many times to quit. I couldn't. I would just pray a simple prayer to ask God to not let me use and swiftly He released me and took me out of that life. He filled me with such a peace. And let me just say that typically the day after you decide to quit using meth when you've been using it everyday for months, "peaceful" is not how you would describe it. I remember sitting in the passenger seat of a car, driving on a lonely road with the window down. It was May. Sweet smelling air washed me anew.

5) Linguistics. I say soda, you say pop. My best friend in 10th grade grew up in the mid-west and always said "soda". Of course, this was way cooler than pop and I forced myself to replace the word "pop" in my vocabulary to "soda". Now soda is natural to me, which when I think about is quite funny, I don't even know what pop is because I am that cool. In junior high I started writing the lower case "a" like you see it typed out but have since reverted back to the much simpler common form. Also during my school days, I learned that people who are in a hurry don't dot their "i's" or cross their "t's" so I decided it would be cooler if I stopped dotting my "i's". Again, this silly detail became habit and to this day I still don't dot my "i's" unless there are two in one word in which case I have noticed that I dot the latter. I'm thinking about forcing myself to switch back to dotting all "i's" as it is a pretty little detail.

6) Lastly, because this is really important in case we ever have to live together. I don't like when people step out of the shower wet. Dry off completely before getting out and then promptly pull the shower curtain closed so no one has to look inside the shower. Sheets and blankets should always have the tag furthest away from my head as possible so make the bed accordingly. In terms of cleaning up and/or putting things away, I prefer the 1-touch method. Just put it away where it goes the first time. Hey, we all have our quirks, mine just involve being neat and clean.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Blue & White Gingham and a Bow

When summer started I had exactly zero pairs of sandals. When we moved, I threw every pair out. It sounds incredibly wasteful but you have to understand that I hated, hated, hated our last apartment. The smell was depressing and saturated everything; I felt gross just being there so I almost never walked around barefoot, I wore sandals the whole time.

This summer I'm continuing to value timeless pieces but also having fun embracing more feminine details. Admittedly, when I first saw these sandals from Sam Edelman, I thought they looked like house slippers but the bow really grew on me and I kept thinking about them. Now, I absolutely love them, they are so comfy and blue/white gingham goes with pretty much my entire blue wardrobe.

Note: these are not wear to the beach sandals. After owning the pair for 10 days, the cork started to separate from the rubber so I had to return them. I'm not really sure why but a friend suggested maybe it is sand at the beach wiggling its way in the cork and loosening the glue (or whatever holds the cork to the rubber). So now I am torn about whether or not to repurchase.

Should I buy them again and just steer clear of the beach or should I hold off since we all know summer will be ending in a few weeks?

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Sunflowers in My Room

Sunflowers are a long-lasting sign of summer. It seems like sunflowers are in bloom from now until early fall and their bright color is a welcome change when the peonies finally leave the scene. When I saw the pair of Soludos at Nordstrom Rack at the beginning of summer I knew the embroidered sunflower would be the perfect detail for these hot days (not to mention the perfect addition to a sunflower themed styled shoot).

Despite the fact the I knew the Soludos wouldn't last long, I grabbed a pair anyway. You can read my review on the slipper from last year here. Though I expected the shoe to wear out in the toe area, I didn't expect it to wear out so quickly! I've already stitched it back together. One might wonder why I bought them again in the first place especially since I am not the biggest fan of disposable fashion however, I haven't spent the time researching other affordable but sturdy slip-on shoes so if anyone has any recommendations please let me know.

Shirt + Shorts: J.Crew
Cookies: Jenny Cookies

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Monday, July 31, 2017

Bedroom Inspiration

I've never spent the time to truly design my bedroom. I've always prioritized the areas of the home that we spend the most time in or that visitors see the most. However, I'm finally tired of living in a bare and drab bedroom. Bedrooms are a sacred space. A space to unwind and relax. A bedroom represents your ultimate space. It is the first room that is all yours when growing up and it's always been a favorite room to hang out with friends but once I had a whole apartment to myself, the bedroom moved to the back burner.

As I start to make plans - starting first with purchasing side tables and then an actual bed frame - I've rounded up my top bedrooms that I've pinned on Pinterest over the years. In examining the following photos, I've noticed the following similar themes that speak to me:
- Lots of light balanced with dark compliments and spots of color
- Different textured materials
- Details in the furniture (tuffets, spools, etc)
- Vintage pieces

I really want this room to feel like coming home. To be a cozy sanctuary when I want to be alone and to be a space where the whole family cuddles in bed. It has to be orderly so I can keep a clear mind but not so orderly that it doesn't feel like I can live.
From Classy Girls Wear Pearls
From SF Girl by Bay
From Lonny
From Style Me Pretty

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Monday, July 24, 2017

Being Mom

Pic by Meghan Klein.
I always dreamed of having a family.

I did not always dream of being a mom. Not sure what the disconnect was there except that I obviously have one.

To say that being a mom is the biggest challenge of my life is an understatement. I think that all moms, the ones that dreamed of being moms and the ones that did not, would likely agree.

At points throughout the day, on those days when I find that I have been correcting and disciplining all day, I just wonder who the heck I am. I am not this person. I like to have fun, I like to dance, I like to be carefree and adventuring. Raising kids is certainly not (for the most part) all of those things. Your life really does change when you have kids. And it has to, for sure, if it didn't, you wouldn't be raising kids to be kind, hard working, respectful of others, loving, etc.

I did want to have a family. I wanted to make holidays and birthdays special, I wanted to have fun traditions, I wanted to have family photo albums, I wanted to eat dinner around the table, I wanted to have a school schedule and kids that bring home art projects, I wanted to experience the seasons of the year and of life with my family. No matter how great my childhood was, I wanted to create a life for my family filled with all of things that I thought would make a perfect life and give my kids the life I always wanted. I think all parents feel that way.

When I was pregnant with Jack, I remember telling people that he was not calling me mom, he would call me Jen. I wasn't going to be some mom. I can't help but laugh thinking about it. As introspective as I can be, I can't quite figure out the disconnect there. I still feel it. But the kids call me "momma".

Being a parent: challenging, soul shaping, rewarding. In that order.

If you're into personal growth, have kids. There will be a million opportunities to dig deep within yourself, to stretch beyond limits you knew existed, to have a life not solely focused on yourself, to learn what it is to lay down your life for another. (I'm writing this at night, at home, alone, while my husband is at work and the kids are sleeping and in another world I would have been partying it up at Capitol Hill Block Party. At least I also enjoy writing. And now I want to cry. What the heck.)

Did I mention yet that I love my kids? Or that I know I'm living my dream life? And my family photo albums sure are pretty. And that all of these hard days are necessary pieces of the puzzle.

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

A Night in Bellingham

If you followed my Instagram Stories then you know that last week Matt booked a surprise suite for our little family at The Chrysalis Inn for a night. Matt's summer schedule is always crazy and we are not able to travel at all for the most part and we never know more than a few days in advance if he will have a day off at any given point so when we knew he would have two days off during the week, we both wanted to get away for a night. He booked the place without telling me where it was which made for an exciting little road trip.

The drive North is just about 1.5 hours. For those of you not familiar with Washington state, Bellingham is 20 miles south of Canada which surprisingly makes the drive from Seattle to Canada approximately 45 minutes quicker than the drive from Seattle to Portland.

The Inn looks out directly across Bellingham Bay and has a stunning view of the sunset. Having kids, I am not often out of the house and able to watch the sunset on these warm summer evenings since bedtime is 8pm for the littles. We mostly ate food and walked along the long stretch of pier on the South Bay Trail. Mexican food, burgers and gelato. As an added bonus, since we stayed during the middle of the week, our room was a Sweet Suite, which meant we had a complimentary basket of sweets to devour while watching a movie after the kids went to bed. Long live my sweet tooth!

When traveling with kids, if not booking an AirBNB, a suite is really the best way to go. Bedtime, ideally, is made so much easier if they have their own room. I say ideally because, ideally we shouldn't have fed our kids gelato 15 minutes before we wanted them to go to bed and then maybe we wouldn't have fought for 2 hours to get them to bed before 10pm. I should've just given up and tried again later but my selfish desires to have 3 hours to relax with Matt to myself were persistent and angry and was darned sure to not give up, to conquer, alas, I was conquered and then I left the room to clear my head and walk to pier alone while the sunset. It was gorgeous. All in all, the trip was exciting, we got to explore a new town and spend time together which is really all the matters.

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