2016 Recap: Favorite Looks Favorite Books

I can't believe that 2016 is nearly over. The year has flown by, and I feel like it's been such a memorable one. I found out I was pregnant with Violet at the beginning of the year, in February, and spent the year's end adjusting to life as a family of four. What a year! I blogged a lot in 2016 too, so I wanted to share a few of my favorite style posts over the past year. In addition, I'm sharing a few favorite books I read too.

{favorite looks of 2016}

Violet at Two Months

Two months! Once again, time has flown by. In just a few short weeks I have to head back to work, and I have to say that I'm dreading it. Violet has already changed so much, which excites me and breaks my heart at the same time.

Cozy Winter Look: Plaid Blanket Scarf and Cardigan

Hey! I'm still in survival mode over here. I'm starting to wonder how people with two kids get anything done! My house is a mess, between feeding Jona and Violet I'm starving by the time I eat anything, and blogging and blog reading are constantly pushed to the back-burner. I know it will get easier, but right now I have new admiration for people who can maintain a blog with multiple children! And I haven't even started back at work yet...

Anyway, I finally have an outfit post for you today, featuring a this favorite blanket scarf. I've been living in cozy warm clothes lately, and trying to find a balance between put-together and comfortable on those days we venture out of the house. I wore this when we took Jona and Violet to visit Santa.

Cardigan: Loft (similar) | jeggings: Old Navy | scarf: c/o SheIn (similar) | earrings: Nickel and Suede | ankle boots: Crown Vintage (similar)

Currently: December

Usually the first month with a new baby is the hardest. However, it's the second month that is kicking my butt right now, so be patient with me as I try to fit blogging back into my life. Sharing what I'm currently up to is a good way to do just that.

I'm joining Anne, and her co-host Kellie, to share what I'm currently...

In My Library Tote: November Reads for Mom and Toddler

I may be listening to more books than I'm reading lately, but I still have a few I wanted to share. Here's my monthly round up of books that Jona and I have been enjoying.

{recent reads for mom}

Violet at One Month

I can't believe that it's already been over a month since my little Violet was born! It has gone by so quickly. I didn't share monthly updates with Jona, but I'd like to this time around. Especially since the poor girl doesn't even have a baby book yet. Here is her one month update.

Guest Post: Carrie of Curly Crafty Mom and a Fall Date Look

I'm so thankful to feature a few of my favorite bloggers as guest posters while I spend time cuddling our new baby girl and adjusting to life as a family of four. 

I'm so happy to feature Carrie of Curly Crafty Mom as the last guest-poster in my lineup. I am constantly finding inspiration on her blog, where she showcases her gorgeous style, creative crafts, and beautiful home decor. In fact, as someone who is home-decor challenged I'm always wishing that she could just come decorate my house for me, ha! Today she's sharing a pretty fall look featuring jewel tones that are so perfect for this time of year. 


Hi everyone! I'm Carrie over at Curly Crafty Mom and I am guest posting today for Shea while she enjoys some newborn baby time with adorable Violet. I am a Christian, wife, mom of two and I love running (just finished my first marathon, the Chicago Marathon!), family time, reading, pinot noir, chocolate with caramel, cherry limeades, crafting/DIY projects, list making, fashion, bubble baths, France and Italy (or just vacationing in general!), straight hair days and my Apple Watch! I also love blogging and all of the friendships I've made from it. I would love for you to stop by my blog, I post about fashion, DIY/crafts and more.

Our Family and Maternity Photos

Back in September we got some family pictures taken while I was still (very!) pregnant with Violet. Although now we'll obviously have to get some pictures that include our sweet girl, I'm so glad that we were able to capture this memorable time as a growing family. Our photographer was Jenna of Marianne Photography, and she did a fantastic job. I wanted a more urban setting, so I love the shots she got of us in Kansas City (especially the ones by the book mural!).

Now I just have to decide which to get printed so we can finally get some pictures on the wall in our living room.

Guest Post: Anne of In Residence and Mom and Toddler Fall Style

I'm so thankful to feature a few of my favorite bloggers as guest posters while I spend time cuddling our new baby girl and adjusting to life as a family of four. 

I can't remember exactly how long I've "known" today's guest blogger, Anne of In Residence, but I remember her blog being a favorite of mine since before Jona was born. I find myself frequently pinning her content, from her simple yet chic style posts, to her book and podcast recommendations. I also love her posts about her adorable son Hendrik, who is just 2 months younger than Jona, so I'm thrilled to see she included him in this post! 

In Residence: mom and toddler fall style

Currently: November

While I'm too late to join in Anne's linkup, I still wanted to share my currently list for November. This month has been a blur so far for me, filled with lots of baby snuggles, toddler bedtime struggles, and not a lot of sleep. Here's what I'm currently up to so far.

{discovering} a newfound love for leggings. I've never been much of a leggings-wearer, but my postpartum bod is making me reconsider. Not only are my pre-baby pants and jeans not yet an option, but also I don't want to wear anything that's uncomfortable on my c-section incision. I bought a pair of leggings from Target and I haven't looked back. Because I'm not going anywhere most days (or if I do it's just one quick errand), I've given myself permission to be on team "leggings as pants".

{celebrating} life as a family of four. Oh, and the fact that I can now enjoy a small glass of red wine in the evenings.

{starting} to get a little stir-crazy at home. I feel like my day pretty much consists of feeding Violet, and I don't have a ton of time in between feedings. But in the past week I've tried to plan small outings just about every day to help with the cabin fever. I need to take advantage now while it's still nice out.

{wearing} all the lounge wear and nursing friendly tops. During pregnancy I feel so ready to get my "regular" wardrobe back that I forget that whole period of time when nothing fits, and all shirts need to have easy boob-access. I think I need to do a little shopping for some nursing-friendly tops that are both functional AND pretty.

{googling} newborn and toddler sleeping tips. Oh boy, sleep is a disaster in our house right now. I knew sleep would be elusive with a newborn, but it doesn't make it any less frustrating. Violet's sleep anywhere, anytime phase has passed, and now only wants to sleep when we hold her. Which can't happen at 3 in the morning. And Jona, who had been doing well sleeping all night in his big kid bed, has regressed big time and freaks out every time we leave him to go to sleep. Other than Ellie, our lazy dog, no one is getting a lot of sleep around here.

What are you up to currently? 

Guest Post: Molly from Librarian Style and Favorite Picture Books

I'm so thankful to feature a few of my favorite bloggers as guest posters while I spend time cuddling our new baby girl and adjusting to life as a family of four. 

Today I'm happy to have Molly from Librarian Style here to guest post. I love Molly's book recommendations, as well as her delicious vegetarian recipes, and posts about gorgeous Santa Barbara where she recently moved.

Molly is a feminist gemini vegetarian librarian who lives on California’s Central Coast. She write the lifestyle blog Librarian Style, and you can read more of her musing on books for all ages at Book Riot, where she’s a contributing writer. 

I’ve been reading a lot of picture books lately because I’ve taken over ordering children’s books for my library while we’re hiring a children’s librarian and because my partner, a special ed teacher, has been moonlighting at the library by leading storytimes. (Okay, also because I’ve been a little behind on my Goodreads Challenge). When Shea asked for guest posts while she’s enjoying her new baby, I thought I’d love to share some of my favorite picture books of the year.

Guest Post: Emily from Darling, Dearest and a Classic Fall Look

I'm so thankful to feature a few of my favorite bloggers as guest posters while I spend time cuddling our new baby girl and adjusting to life as a family of four. 

Today I have Emily from Darling, Dearest sharing this gorgeous fall look. I'm so thankful to have "met" Emily online this past year. I'm always finding so much inspiration from her, from her honest, open posts on faith, to her effortlessly gorgeous style.

Hi everyone! Emily here from Darling, Dearest, and I'm so glad to be sharing Shea's space while she's loving on precious Violet! I'm a teacher in the beautiful North Carolina mountains and use my little space to talk a bit about life, style, and faith. I love the world that blogging has opened me up to, including getting to know friends like Shea! 

Darling, Dearest

Guest Post: Mica from Away from the Blue and Maxi Skirt Style

I'm so thankful to feature a few of my favorite bloggers as guest posters while I spend time cuddling our new baby girl and adjusting to life as a family of four. 

Today I'm welcoming Mica from Away from the Blue, an Australian blogger who I'm happy to have gotten to know over the past year or so. She is a mom of two boys, a toddler and a baby she welcomed just a few months ago. I loved her maternity style posts and continue to be inspired by her fun, yet functional style, as she navigates life as a new mom of two. Thanks so much Mica for guest posting today!

How to Wear a Maxi Skirt In Fall

Hi! I'm Mica, a petite personal style blogger from Australia. While Shea is enjoying the newborn cuddles and adjusting to life with two kids, I'm helping out by writing a guest post with some Fall maxi skirt outfit ideas! Thanks to Shea for the guest post opportunity! As a mum of two boys I know the initial adjustment days can be tough, but the extra cuddles and love make it so worth it.

Despite being petite I'm a big fan of maxi skirts even if a few need hemmed first... I like to wear them year round. Luckily it doesn't snow in Brisbane so there's nothing stopping me from wearing them in winter. Although it's spring here now, it was only a couple of months ago I was layering up my maxi skirts.

I wanted to share three different ways to wear maxi skirts for Fall (or Winter, if it's not snowing where you are!).

Maxi Skirts and Scarves

My favourite thing about cooler weather is the opportunity to get all my scarves out again! Scarves can add more interest to your outfit with print or colour, and they pair nicely with maxi skirts. Often you just need a little extra something to keep you cosy in the cooler Fall mornings and evenings, and big blanket scarves are perfect for that.

Guest Post: Jess from Tres Fly and Bright Colors for Fall

I'm so thankful to feature a few of my favorite bloggers as guest posters while I'm enjoying some time with my family and our new baby girl, who we welcomed on October 19. 

I'd love to introduce you to Jess from the blog Tres Fly, who is sharing this fun, colorful look. I love Jess's style--she's not afraid of bright color and I'm always admiring her looks that often have a vintage flair. She also has an ice cream shop, which makes her even more awesome!

Hey I'm Jess and I blog at Tres Fly. I'm excited to be guest posting today while Shea is with her new baby.

October Clothing Budget

Happy Halloween! Don't you hate it when it falls on a Monday? Violet and I will be staying in and passing out candy, but Aaron is taking Jona around the neighborhood to trick or treat. Last year all Jona cared about was the candy, but this year he's pretty enthused about the whole ordeal. I'll be sharing the kids' costumes (nothing fancy!) on Instagram and Snapchat (@shealennonblog) later today.

Before the month is over I wanted to share my October budget. I didn't do a lot of shopping this month but I did pick up a few fun things.

{my clothing budget: October 2016}

October clothing budget | www.shealennon.com

Introducing Violet Lennon

Hi everyone! Thanks so much for all the sweet comments I've already received here and on Instagram about Violet's arrival. I promised everyone an update, so without further ado I'll introduce our newest family member.

Guest Post: Beth from The Beth Next Door and Cowboy Cookies

I'm so thankful to feature a few of my favorite bloggers as guest posters while I'm enjoying some time with my family and our new baby girl. I promise to update you all soon with details about her arrival!

Today I'm welcoming Beth from The Beth Next Door, who despite never having met in real life, feels like a true friend to me. Her adorable son Ollie is just a few months younger than Jona, so I love hearing her life updates about him and their family. She also shares her fun, colorful style, local adventures in Minnesota, and posts about home brewing, something that she and her husband love to do (which is so awesome, right?). Thanks so much for being here Beth!

Hi everyone! I’m Beth and I blog over at The Beth Next Door. I’m so happy to be here while Shea is cuddling her new little girl! I have a little boy named Oliver who is just a little bit younger than Shea’s Jona. Now that it’s finally Fall I am super excited to get back into an activity that I loved sharing with Oliver toward the end of last winter – baking!  Today I’m going to share one of my favorite cookie recipes with all of you – Cowboy Cookies.

Guest Post: Becky from byBMG Shares a Cute, Cozy Fall Look

I'm so thankful to feature a few of my favorite bloggers as guest posters while I'm enjoying some time with my family and our new baby girl. I promise to update you all soon with details about her arrival!

Today's post is from Becky at byBMG, who is a blogger I'm happy to have gotten to know over the past year or so. She shares posts about style, food, and life as a teacher and mom of three adorable boys. She also co-hosts one of my favorite linkups, $10 at Target, which is always so fun. I love Becky's style, so I'm so glad that she shared this cute fall outfit with you all today. Thanks so much Becky! 

Hi there! I'm Becky and I blog over at ByBMG! I'm thrilled to be here guest posting today for Shea!I'm totally outnumbered in my house with my husband, Russ, and our three boys. I try to stay fashionable and creative while keeping up with them and teaching at our local middle school.

5 Favorite Fall Looks

We welcomed our little girl on Wednesday and I'll share an update and pictures soon! In the meantime, forgive me for being slow to respond to comments and visit blogs. 

Fall is one of my favorite seasons for getting dressed, and I'm always on the lookout for outfit inspiration. I usually turn to my favorite blogs, but it's also fun to go back and see outfits I've worn in the past as well. Here are a few favorite looks from the fall of last year.

{original post here}

$10 at Target: Halloween Goodies

I've never been great about decorating for the holidays. Other than Christmas, my collection of holiday decor is typically sad. Target Dollar Spot to the rescue! For just $10 I was able to add a little Halloween spirit to my house, as well as some stickers for Jona.

$10 at Target - what I got (lots of Halloween goodies!) | www.shealennon.com

Fall Plaid for Mom and Toddler

Plaid is such a classic print, and while I think there are plaids for every season, I don’t think you can beat plaid for fall. I recently found a fun plaid blazer from ThredUp, and I think it’s a great way to add a little pattern to any look.

I can’t resist a plaid button-up for Jona either, so he has about a million in his closet. In fact, several of the ones I have for him also come from ThredUp or other second-hand stores. I don’t have quite as much luck shopping used clothing at his age now, but items that are considered more “dressy” than just pants and tees I can often find in near perfect condition.

I'm pretty devoted to my stripes, but for fall plaid is definitely up there as a favorite print. What's your favorite pattern to wear right now? 

Fall plaid outfit ideas for mom and toddler boy | www.shealennon.com

On me: plaid blazer: Merona via ThredUp (similar) | gray tee: Old Navy Maternity (similar) | jeans: Old Navy Maternity | earrings: Nickel and Suede | necklace: BaubleBar (similar) | flats: Target (similar)
On Jona: plaid shirt: OshKosh via ThredUp (similar) | jeans: OshKosh Genuine Kids (similar) | shoes: Sperry 

In My Library Tote: October Reads for Mom and Toddler

As you know (and are probably tired of hearing by now!), the countdown is on for baby Violet's arrival. Obviously I'm beyond excited, but I also know that with a new baby comes less reading time. I think I knew that and subconsciously decided to read ALL THE BOOKS over the last several months. I always prioritize reading time, but I feel like I've been in book-overdrive since the summer, and I'm not sad about that. Here are my (fairly) recent reads.

{recent reads for mom}

Maternity Wardrobe on a Budget on the Kansas City Moms Blog

Last month I shared a post on building a maternity wardrobe over on the Kansas City Moms Blog. To read my budget-friendly tips, head here.

Moto Jacket and Striped Dress for Fall

I’ve had a leather or faux leather jacket on my wishlist for awhile now, and I finally found one at a price I couldn’t pass up at H&M. I love how it adds a perfect cool-weather layer, and just a little bit of edge to any look.

This striped dress has been my go-to this whole pregnancy, and adding a jacket is an easy way to take it into fall. Ideally I’d go with ankle boots as my shoe choice, but unfortunately my real-life options that currently fit are far more limited. At least the top half of my outfit says fall!

Adding layers, like jackets and cardigans, is one of my favorite things about fall. What layers are you wearing lately? 

Fall outfit idea - suede moto jacket and striped dress | www.shealennon.com

Jacket: H&M | dress: Old Navy Maternity (similar, non-maternity)  | earrings: Nickel and Suede | flats: Target (similar)

October Goals and September Goal Review

Each month I share my goals as a way to motivate myself to get things done and stay accountable. Here's this month's recap and the next month's set of goals for my home, my blog, and my family and personal life. 

Currently: October

I can't believe October is here! This is the month I've been waiting for, and while I'm so excited for it, I'm feeling more and more anxious as well. In just 2 short weeks Violet will be getting her womb-eviction notice and we will be meeting her for the first time. So, unsurprisingly, my list of all the things I'm currently up to is pretty baby-heavy.

I'm linking with Anne and Jacqui to share what I'm currently...

Currently - October 2016 {cheers-ing, organizing, dreaming, buying, and listening}

Dress as Kimono and a Fall Hat

In August, local blogger and stylist (and new mommy!) Caitlin of Sophisticaited, hosted a shopping event at Savers for their #igiveashirt campaign. I had to miss the event because Jona was sick, but the nice people at Savers still sent me a gift card for a shopping spree, which I finally got around to using over the weekend.

It's a little challenging to shop now, as I don't want to buy maternity clothes but not a lot else fits. However, I found this floral dress that can do double duty as a kimono now and a shirt dress later. I found lots of other fun things as well, like a chunky gray cardigan that will be great for winter, a couple of cute onesies for Violet, and a plaid button-up shirt for Jona.

I also picked up this hat during a Target trip, and after admiring hats on others for quite some time now, I'm excited to finally have my own. This look, which is a little on the boho side, is out of my usual outfit "comfort zone", but it turns out I really like it.

Do you like to shop thrift stores? Have you found any good deals lately? 

Fall outfit idea - dark floral kimono with a fun hat and jeans. No kimono? Do what I did and wear a shirt dress, unbuttoned. Click through for details.

Dress (worn as kimono): Merona c/o Savers (similar) | tank: Old Navy Maternity | jeans: Old Navy Maternity | hat: Target | earrings: Nickel and Suede | necklace: Etsy | flats: Target (similar)

Pinterest Nursery Decor: An Easy Pom Pom Garland

One of my goals this month was to tackle a Pinterest DIY,  and I had this pom pom garland in mind for Violet's nursery. I had hopes that when I completed it, I would be able to show it to you in her actual nursery. One out of two isn't bad--I managed to make the garland (so easy!) but the poor girl's nursery is pretty far from being complete. With less than 3 weeks to go I really need to get on it.

I'm not the craftiest person on the planet, so any project that only involves 2 materials (in this case, scissors and yarn), sounds appealing to me. All I had to do was make the pom poms and tie them to a long string of yarn.

I like projects that allow for multi-tasking. I made the pom poms while sitting on the couch hanging out or listening to podcasts. There was no mess and the chances of me screwing it up were pretty minimal... a win-win I'd say!

Have you tackled any Pinterest projects lately? 

A super easy and fun DIY - a yarn pom pom garland | www.shealennon.com

{original DIY from The Effortless Chic}

September Clothing Budget

This month I had some fun shopping for fall, which I've really been looking forward to. I'm definitely ready for cooler weather, and wearing layers that will work just as well with a bump as without. I'm happy to report that all my purchases this month will work both now and later, which makes both me and my wallet happy.

{my clothing budget: September 2016}

What I added to my fall wardrobe - September | www.shealennon.com

Mom and Toddler Style: Fall Stripes

I’ve never been a big fan of the hot weather, but I’m especially ready to say goodbye to it being 36 years, I mean weeks, pregnant. Luckily this weekend we got a cool front and I was able to pull out a few new (to me) fall pieces I got from a recent ThredUp order.

I’m thrilled that, other than the tee, none of these pieces are maternity, so I don’t have to say goodbye to them after next month. The stretchy knit maxi skirt sits comfortably under my bump, but will be just as comfy as a postpartum option (which is always a tricky time for getting dressed!). And the blazer, well, as long as I don’t try to button it, can be worn any time. Ideally I’d pair this with my taupe ankle boots, but I’ve already mentioned that they’re no match for the current swollen state of my feet.

I scored some new fall duds for Jona too, including this striped tee from (yet another) Old Navy sale. Poor kid, his mother’s stripe addiction carries right over into his closet as well. In fact, he may have more stripes in his wardrobe than I do.

So, have you started wearing any fall clothes yet?

Fall outfit idea - classic blazer + tee shirt + striped maxi skirt | www.shealennon.com

Blazer: J.Crew via ThredUp | gray tee: Old Navy Maternity (similar) | striped maxi skirt: J.Crew via ThredUp (similar) | flats: Target (similar)

Pregnancy Update: 35 Weeks

I'm in the home stretch! 4 weeks to go and I'm experiencing so many emotions. Of course I'm so excited for our little girl to get here, but I'm also nervous about being a mom of two, and anxious about getting everything done before she arrives. Here's my latest (and probably last) pregnancy update, for 35 weeks.

{I'm actually only 34 weeks in this photo, but I didn't get a picture taken this week.}

$10 at Target: Hints of Fall

I know I said I was taking a break, but sometimes just a day is all I need to feel refreshed. I love the $10 at Target linkup that BeckyRachel, and Tif put together every month, and since I did indeed find a couple of fun things at Target this month, I wanted to share them.

While I can’t get behind the Pumpkin Spice Latte, there are many other fall things that I’m ready to embrace. I love making my home feel a bit cozier with yummy scented candles, like this caramel latte flavored one. Also, I’m excited to add more fall colors, like burgundy and olive green, to my wardrobe and makeup stash. I figure that painting my nails a lovely dark burgundy can help me welcome fall even when it’s 90 degrees outside.

The candle was $5.99 and the nail polish was $3.99, so I managed to keep my total right around $10. Win!

With $10 "fun money" to Target I decided to go for a couple of things that would add hints of fall to my life. Click through for details on what I bought.


I wanted to pop in and let you know that I'm taking a little break for the next few days. Life has been especially busy lately, and sometimes I am guilty of putting blog life before real life (especially when it comes to the not-so-fun things on my to do list). However, it's starting to catch up to me, so I'm taking some time to rest and focus on some of the things I need to do at home.

I hope you have a great week and I'll be back next Monday, if not before. Thanks for being my readers and friends!

In My Library Tote: September Books for Mom and Toddler

I'm excited to share our reads this month, because there were so many good ones! I love months like that. Here's what I've been reading, both to myself and to Jona, lately.

{recent reads for mom}

Here are a few books worth adding to your to-read list. To see my reviews and favorites, click through.

Date Night Idea: Murder Mystery Dinner Theater {Review}

One of my goals this year has been to make carving out quality time with Aaron a priority. We are very lucky to have family in town who are willing (and eager!) to watch Jona for us so that we can have regular date nights. Some months are busier than others, but we try to get out of the house and do something together once a month.

We both love to eat and try new restaurants, but often our date night ideas stop there. So I’m always on the lookout for fun date night options that are a little different from the traditional dinner and a movie (because these days, dinner and a movie would turn into dinner and a nap for this tired pregnant lady!). When the folks at The Murder Mystery Co. contacted me to see if I’d be interested in checking out one of their local shows, I jumped at the chance.

Chambray and Sneakers for the Weekend

I'm reaching a point where I'm really, really tired of my maternity wardrobe. For one, it's been really functional for summer, but as the weather cools down my options grow more and more limited. Also, seeing fall looks everywhere makes me miss the rest of my neglected wardrobe.

I'm trying to combat wardrobe boredom by adding a few new pieces to add some excitement to those that are tried and true. For example, jeans, a tee shirt, and my chambray shirt worn as a jacket is a look I've worn multiple times. However, adding a new cross-body bag and fun sneakers makes the outfit feel fresh and fitting for the new season.

How are you finding ways to freshen up your closet right now? 

Fall transition outfit idea - chambray shirt worn as jacket with simple tee and sneakers | www.shealennon.com

Chambray shirt: Madewell (similar) | gray tee: Old Navy Maternity (similar) | jeans: Old Navy Maternity | earrings: Nickel and Suede | necklace: Target (similar) | cross-body bag: Old Navy | sneakers: New Balance via 6pm

6 Pinterest Dinner Favorites

I'm often guilty of "Pinning and forgetting" a lot of the ideas I see online, but when it comes to food, especially dinner, I do a decent job of trying out new recipes regularly. My "What's for Dinner?" Pinterest board is filled with recipes for easy, weeknight-friendly meals, so I thought I'd share a few that we've tried and liked.

Here are 6 of our Pinterest dinner favorites.

Need some dinner inspiration? Here are 6 tried and true recipes that are easy to make and family-friendly. | www.shealennon.com

Currently: September

August was one of the busiest months of the summer, so I'm not surprised that it flew by. I'm happy to welcome September and all it brings. As always I'm joining Anne and her co-host this month Beth to share what I'm currently...

White Jeans with Olive Green for Fall

Happy Monday! And because today is Labor Day and I'm not yet back at work, I do actually mean that. I just wanted to share a quick post from an outfit I wore over the long weekend. I always try to stretch my wardrobe, but right now I'm feeling especially stretched with my limited maternity selection.

Luckily no one follows that whole "no white after Labor Day" rule, because these white jeans will no doubt be on heavy rotation for the next several weeks. Pairing them with this olive cardigan (a recent ThredUp score) makes them feel more fitting for the upcoming season.

What summer piece are you looking forward to wearing into the fall? 

Don't put your white jeans away even though it's almost fall - just add a fall-friendly cardigan or jacket and keep rocking those white jeans! Click through for more details.

Olive cardigan: Loft via ThredUp (similar) | black tank: Old Navy Maternity (similar) | white jeans: Loft Maternity (non-maternity version) | earrings: Nickel and Suede | necklace: BaubleBar (similar) | sandals: Target (similar)

September Goals and August Goal Review

Each month I share my goals as a way to motivate myself to get things done and stay accountable. Here's this month's recap and the next month's set of goals for my home, my blog, and my family and personal life. 

Writing down and sharing my goals each month helps me stay on top of them. Here are my goals for September (plus how I did in August). What goals are you setting this month?

August Clothing Budget

August can be a tough month for shopping, for me at least. Fall stuff is everywhere, but since it’s still so hot out I have a hard time getting too excited about cool-weather gear. However, I did find some fun things for me, and even more for Jona this month. Here’s what I bought.

{my clothing budget: August 2016}

What I added to my closet in August - a few good deals plus a fun dress from Pink Blush Maternity

Versatile Neutral Cardigan: Summer and Fall Staple

Lately I’ve been the cardigan queen. Whether it’s been scorching hot like it has been most of the summer, or muggy and rainy like recent days, it’s the perfect lightweight layer to toss in my bag and pull out when I need it. Plus, they fit me no matter how big this bump gets…

I recently picked up this slouchy oatmeal-hued one when Gap was having a sale, and it’s been on pretty frequent rotation. The color is a great go-with-everything neutral, and I love the thin fabric that will work both now and later with layers this fall. It’s the perfect piece to complete this simple jeans + stripes look, which is an easy outfit to grab when I feel like giving my dresses a break.

I love cardigans so much that I just scooped up 3 in a recent ThredUp order. What have you been shopping for lately?

Late summer / early fall outfit idea - neutral cardigan, striped top, jeans, and colorful necklace | www.shealennon.com

Cardigan: Gap | striped tank: Bumpstart, borrowed (similar, non-maternity) | jeans: Old Navy | necklace: c/o Uncommon Goods | shoes: Target (similar)

Best Ice Cream in Kansas City: 5 Must-Visit Shops

I mentioned in previous posts that I was on a mission this summer to explore Kansas City’s best ice cream, and I think I’ve finally made my rounds. While I’m sure there are places I missed, today I’m sharing 5 ice cream shops worth visiting if you’re in Kansas City. (This was, hands down, the most fun I’ve had doing research for a blog post.)

{5 Don’t Miss Ice Cream Shops in Kansas City}

Kansas City has some excellent food, ice cream included. Here are 5 ice cream shops worth visiting if you're ever in the Kansas City area.

Pregnancy Update: 31 Weeks and Third Trimester Checklist

I'm officially in my third trimester now, which seems a little unbelievable. This pregnancy has sped by, and when I think about all I still need to do before little Violet arrives I panic a little. However, I'm getting more and more excited to meet her. Here's an update on how things are at 31 weeks.

Easy Fall Transition Outfit Idea: Dress + Vest

Dresses have been my go-to this summer, and I don’t see that changing any time soon. I look forward to layering them this fall, although I do hope that the weather will stay nice enough that I don’t have to venture too far into the world of maternity tights.

For now though, I’ll keep wearing my summery dresses with sandals or espadrilles, but add little hints of fall when the weather is right. Since we’ve gotten a little break from the sweltering heat, I added my old but much-loved cargo vest (and since it was actually chilly yesterday morning before church, a cardigan too). This vest has been a favorite of mine since I bought it several years ago; I love how it is the perfect completer piece for a look that’s otherwise simple. I keep seeing new versions of this vest come out, so I’m glad to know that the rest of the world still loves the cargo vest as much as I still do.

Do you have an item in your closet that is several years old but still going strong?

Cardigan: Target (similar) | vest: Old Navy (similar) | dress: Old Navy Maternity (similar, non-maternity) | earrings: Nickel and Suede | necklace: Nordstrom (similar) | espadrilles: Loft (similar)

In My Library Tote: August Books for Mom and Toddler

Another month, another list of books that Jona and I have been enjoying. Keep reading to see what I thought of August's books.

{recent reads for mom}

Looking for a good book? Here are a few that I've recently read and enjoyed. Keep reading to hear my thoughts and see which one I recommend the most.

Jona Turns 3: A Royal Party Recap

Over the weekend we celebrated Jona's 3rd birthday with a Royals themed party. He's pretty obsessed with baseball and the KC Royals right now, so he was thrilled when I suggested we make that his party theme.

We had baseball park-friendly snacks, like popcorn and pretzels. Instead of cake, I made cookie pies from this recipe (as seen on Anne's blog). For goodie bags, I just bought simple white bags and drew on stitches to make them look like baseballs... easy peasy. 

Mom and Toddler End of Summer Style: White Jeans and Plaid

It’s that funny time of year when I see fall items everywhere and I want to buy them all, but then I step outside into the blazing heat and somehow those coveted ankle boots no longer seem as appealing. So, rather than do what I did as an eager kid going back to school, I’m not wearing new fall clothes in the summer heat (although I must say I did, sweatily, rock those red plaid pants one memorable first day of school).

Since it’s Jona’s birthday today, I wanted to include him in this post and share how we’re making our wardrobes walk the line between summer and fall. For me, the summery element is this minty green tee, but both the white jeans and chambray shirt can easily be paired with more fall-friendly pieces when the temperatures drop. Jona can easily swap out his shorts for jeans and look just as handsome next season.

Of course, I still want to shop like crazy, but I think I’ll save wearing any cool-weather buys for a time when we have actual cool weather (imagine that!). Are you still embracing summer or are you ready to welcome fall? I’d love to hear if you’ve purchased anything for fall too!

Chatting with Jona {At Almost 3}

On Monday, my sweet boy will turn 3, so I thought this would be a good time to share a few funny things he's been saying lately. He's always been pretty chatty, and I love hearing a little snippet of what's going on inside that curly head of his. I hope you'll enjoy (and get a laugh) as well.

Spied it, Tried it: Chocolate Energy Bites

It’s an understatement that I indulge my sweet tooth from time to time, but otherwise I’m not typically a huge snacker. However, pregnancy has shaken up my typical eating habits, and now I’m not sure I could get through the day without a mid-morning and a late-afternoon snack. (Not to mention a post-Jona-bedtime bowl of ice cream, but we won’t talk about that one.)

Given my ice cream obsession, I try to keep the rest of my snacks relatively healthy. Fruit, cheese (shout-out to goat cheese, my fave!), and yogurt are all part of my regular rotation. However, sometimes I just need something sweet and chocolatey. I love the idea of “energy bites” because they seem to be the best of both worlds.

I have several different versions on my “Healthy Snacking” Pinterest board, and honestly I’d like to work my way through all of them.

Need a healthy snack? Keep reading for a round up of yummy chocolate energy bites. | www.shealennon.com

Striped Maxi Skirt and Striped Closet MVPs

I don’t think it’s any secret that my favorite pattern is stripes. I could probably wear a different striped item of clothing or accessory every day for, well, many many days. My go-to striped piece tends to be a top, but because the print is so versatile, it works on pretty much anything else too.

I bought this striped maxi skirt when I was pregnant with Jona, and I’ve enjoyed wearing it during this pregnancy too. I’m not sure there’s a more comfortable thing in my closet, which makes it even more appealing. I wore this on a Friday for work, then on a family ice cream outing (I swear, we do eat other foods!) and felt plenty comfy, yet put together all day.

It’s hard to pick I know, but what’s your favorite way to wear stripes?

Striped maxi skirt with white tee and bright accessories - summer outfit idea | www.shealennon.com

White tee: Old Navy Maternity (similar) | striped maxi: Target (similar, only $13!) | earrings: Etsy (similar) | necklace: Anthropologie (similar) | sandals: Steve Madden (similar)