May Favorites

May was a hot month cram-packed with things to do. Between preschool graduation, traveling to visit family, and lots more activities and events, the month went by very quickly. It pretty much felt like summer, weather-wise, all month, but it's hard to believe that summer is officially just about here. Here are some of my favorites from the month of May.

My favorite picture this month - look at that cute face! 

Updating a Dress with a Kimono

This navy blue knit dress is one of the oldest items in my closet and dates back to my early blogging, pre-kid days. Sometimes I'm tempted to put it in the donate pile because it's so old, but when I ask myself if I still like it, my answer is always yes.

It's soft and comfortable, easily styled for work and weekend, and the neutral navy color goes with everything. When I ordered this kimono (found from a great Wikibuy deal!) I decided that it would be the perfect thing to give this dress a fresh, dinner-date worthy feel. And that's exactly where I wore this over the weekend, on a kid-free dinner out with some friends. (Hooray for that!)

I've had a kimono on my wish list for an embarrassingly long amount of time, and I'm not sure why it took me so long to finally get one. I've seen them on a lot of bloggers, but it's been seeing all the ways that Mica styles her kimonos that finally made me decide that I must have one.

Do you hold on to your clothes for a long time or do you refresh your closet more frequently? I consider myself somewhere in between. There are some items, like this dress, that I do keep for a long time, but other things I keep for a season or two and then sell or donate. I do try to be conscious of waste and only purchase items that I know I'll get plenty of wear out of.

Dress: Loft | kimono: Olrain c/o Wikibuy | earrings: Nickel and Suede | necklace: Nordstrom | sandals: Target

Neutral Cardigans with Green for Spring: Mommy and Me Style

Does the season affect your mood? I've been feeling so much more happy and relaxed lately and I think it has a lot to do with the beautiful weather and longer days. I wouldn't consider myself an outdoorsy person (like, AT ALL). Yet the past few weeks I've been outside a lot and it's put me in a great mood, and I've noticed an increase in my energy. So maybe I'm more outdoorsy than I originally thought? Just please don't ask me to go camping.

We had a rare day this weekend that was cooler (still FAR from cold, thank goodness) and I needed a cardigan for both outdoors and indoors. This gray Loft cardigan from ThredUp has been my go-to lately, since it goes with just about everything. Violet's cardigan is also a ThredUp find, from Baby Gap, and I love how soft and lightweight the fabric is.

Unfortunately we had a bit of a photo fail for today's post. Aaron didn't realize at first the ISO needed to be adjusted and the photos were too bright, and by the time he did the camera battery died. Trying to get photos with Violet is hard enough, so I wasn't about to try the whole production again after the battery charged, so we're labeling these photos "artistic" and just going with it. Live and learn.

$10 at Target: Inexpensive Home Spruce-Up

Since learning about the $10 at Target linkup, hosted by Becky of byBMG and several other lovely bloggers, I have loved the idea of giving myself a bit of "fun money" to spend there on whatever catches my eye. However, by nature I am a terrible decision maker and am paralyzed by too much choice. Give me $10 and ALL of Target and I'll wander the aisles for hours, picking things up and setting them down until people (specifically, my family) start to question my sanity.

To make this little challenge work for me I try to stick with a theme every month, and this year I've been letting my Happiness Project be my guide. Since this month I'm focusing on my home, I accepted the challenge of finding a couple of things to spruce up my house for just $10.

Well. Target is a budget shopper's paradise, but it is not easy to find home decor for less than ten bucks! Not one to be easily defeated though (I'm a stubborn Taurus), I did manage to find a couple of things to refresh my house while sticking with the $10 budget.

My Bookish Life: Reading Habits Survey

I've seen this fun survey for bookworms floating around on a few different blogs (here and here), and since I'm a lover of both books and surveys, of course I had to join in. Here are my thoughts on books and reading habits.

Photo from Unsplash

Spring Trunk Club Review

One of the things on my 35 at 35 list was to try Trunk Club, which is Nordrom's answer to a style subscription box. I'd heard of it before, but it was seeing the review on Whitney's blog that made me take the plunge and give it a try.

Despite Nordstrom's prices typically being above my budget, what sold me was the sheer number of things they send. My trunk had 12 items in it. 12! That is more than double what you get from a similar service like Stitch Fix. You pay a $25 non-refundable deposit, which goes toward anything you decide to keep. I don't have to tell you that I'm typically a bargain-hunting budget-conscious shopper, but I treated this shopping experience as a little birthday treat. Plus, I knew from the outset that I would only buy one or two items. Keep reading for a full review and to see what I kept.

Knotted Chambray with a Striped Midi Skirt

I must have complained a little too much about the cold weather, because after about a week of spring weather, we've skipped straight to summer. I'm happy to finally be able to put away my boots, but I miss layers.

This is what I wore to church and brunch for Mother's Day yesterday, and I had planned to wear a different top and a jean jacket. However, we're not even in the cool mornings stage right now, it's just plain hot. So sleeveless chambray shirt it was. It turns out, I really like the combination, and I felt cool and comfy all day (although I did bring a cardigan to wear indoors).

Sleeveless chambray: Who What Wear, Target (similar) | striped midi skirt: J. Crew Factory | earrings: Nickel and Suede | necklace: Jane | bag: Amelie Galanti c/o Wikibuy | sandals: Target (similar)

In My Library Tote: April Picture Book Reviews and Recommendations

This post is a round-up of picture books I read with Jona last month, but in the spirit of entertainment, I had to share the TV show that he's been into lately. It's not a cartoon and it's (surprisingly) not superhero-related; instead, it's a show called Chasing Monsters, about a guy who travels all over to catch giant, often dangerous, fish. I think Aaron watched it once when Jona was around, and since then he's been hooked. (See what I did there?)

I'll let Aaron influence Jona's screen-time experience, as long as I get free-reign over his reading life for now. (Because dear Lord, what would he be reading under Aaron's guidance? Sports Illustrated Golf?) Without further ado, here are our picture book picks for April.

{picture books we read in April}

All About Entertainment: TBB Asks

I'm a couple days late to the party, but I wanted to join The Blended Blog ladies' TBB Asks for this month's questions, which are all about entertainment. I'd love to hear your thoughts as well--answer in the comments or join the linkup here!

Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

In My Library Tote: April Book Reviews and Recommendations

Do you participate in reading challenges? I've been doing Modern Mrs. Darcy's 2018 Reading Challenge so far this year, and I also created a little Spring Reading Wishlist to check off a few books I've been meaning to read this season. While I would read regardless of such challenges, it's nice to have a little direction so I don't get lost in my endless to-be-read list. Here are my April reads, many of which come from these little challenges.

{what I read in april}

May Goals and April Wins

This year, inspired by Gretchen Rubin's book, I've been doing a Happiness Project, focusing on one important aspect of my life every month. Last month my goals centered around parenting, while May's focus is home. The idea is that the months should build on one another and the habits formed in one month should continue into the next and so on. Each month I share my wins from the previous month, as well as goals that fit the theme of the current month.

Photo by Irene van der Poel on Unsplash

Currently: May

While I wasn't in a hurry to leave my favorite month behind, I'm looking forward to what's in store for May. Boys golf season winding down means that Aaron will be home more (and I won't be outnumbered during the dinnertime crankies). I'm also starting my online library science class this month: Resources and Services for Early Learners. Finally, Jona has his preschool graduation this month, and although it's a little silly how much of a "thing" they make it, it's exciting (and bittersweet) to think that in the fall he will be starting a brand new stage of school-age life.

That's what I'm looking forward to, but as always I want to share the things we've been up to lately. I'm joining Anne and Carrie today to talk about all the things I'm currently up to.

{currently: may}