It’s The Little Things: Truly


My children were gone for eight days. They went camping with their grandparents. I am not going to lie. It was a wonderful feeling to have a continuously clean house. Alone time with my husband. A whole house just for adults. It felt wicked. And calm. Serene. Partly empty. But still. And free.

And now the kids are back.

And with them, messes.

And more messes.

Did I mention messes?

And more food to prepare. More people to feed. More worries.

But more cuddles. And more laughter. More stirrings.

It was interesting to get a small glimpse into how my husband and I will be in a few short years when the kids are out of the house. You never know what an empty nest will feel like or the impact it will have on a marriage. It is good to know that we are fine in the silence. And in the calm. We had movie nights and even indulged in popcorn. This is rather a big deal, because popcorn has been banned from our house in the last three years of ongoing teeth braces for the children.

But it was also nice to appreciate the moments with my children now that they are back.

It made me realize how quickly that empty nest is approaching. It is something I will not be able to fly away from.

So, whilst I deal with yet another load of dishes. Another load of laundry. A random sock on the floor. And an unwanted eye roll here and there.

I know that these are the little things.

That make everything big.

I will not take them for granted. At least for a little while.

Although, I will admit that now that I have had popcorn after the long break, it is all that I am craving.

With extra butter.

I guess that will be something else to look forward to, in the long years to come.

But for now, I am enjoying the rustling.

The pitter.

And the pattering.

Of ever-growing feet.

Because, too soon those feet will have stopped growing, and will walk right out that door.

It will not feel little.

And with every pop of that long-anticipated popcorn, the cracks in my heart will pop a little, too. I now feel like despite the cracks, the structure will remain true. The house will survive. I will survive. Our marriage will survive. But I am not quite ready for that moment yet. And so I am taking each of these days, and enjoying them. With the laundry. The smiles. The dishes. The laughter. The quarrels. And the mess.

Little by little.

A Decent Proposal


When I purchased the Free People White Romance Maxi Dress (sold out, very similar here) at the beginning of 2013, I knew I wanted to wear it on my trip to Seattle with my husband that same year. We went and saw Teatro Zinzanni in a 1920s circus tent and it was just perfect for the occasion.


But after being chased down the street by two very intoxicated young men asking me to marry them after the performance was over (my husband was on the other side of the street trying to hail a cab), I had not worn it again. I did not need any more random proposals. I guess this dress conjures up an image of a bride to some people.

It is long. It is flowy. Intricately embroidered. And white.

So, I don’t know why that could be.


The other day, I had a brave moment and decided to wear the dress again.

Out of the house.


We went out to lunch and then stopped at the rose garden. It was a lovely, beautiful day.


I did not get one proposal. Looks, yes. Many, many curious looks. But not one proposal. I am assuming they either thought I had all ready received one based on the dress.

Or they would have proposed I attend a different sort of place where everyone wears white. And the rooms are lovely.

And padded.


If you look at this picture closely, you can see that I did not attract a proposal, but I did attract some sort of mysterious presence.

Because that sentence does not just confirm what I had said earlier.


I will take a ball of light over young intoxicated men any day.


What do you think it was? My guess is a traveling gnome. Would you wear a long white dress on any day besides your wedding day?

* I shared this on The Pleated Poppy!

Anthropologie Early Summer Reviews

I was at an Anthropologie a few days ago, waiting to meet my father at a nearby restaurant so we could eat lunch and I could pick up my kids after their camping adventure with him. I was not planning on doing reviews. But so many great pieces beckoned to me and so I decided to share them with you.

I did not buy anything, because I had splurged on this dress and this vest during the tag sale. But I added many items to my wishlist. I was surprised, because nothing popped out at me online, but I loved them in person.


First, I wore my Modcloth dress from a winter sale, that day. It is long sold out (similar dress here), but Modcloth always has fit and flare dresses that are great year round. And this dress has been on my wishlist forever, but always sells out in my size before I can buy it. The necklace is Simply Livly’s Turquoise Necklace. And the shoes are Anthropologie’s Almanac Sandals, now on sale.


I love. Love. Love. Love the Dolan Horizon Lines Maxi Skirt. It is $88. It is elongating. It is not too clingy. I am definitely picking this up soon. I am wearing a medium and apparently I am not wearing it right. I guess the waistband is supposed to fold over on itself, but I prefer it this way. It is big at the waist, but I think a small would be too clingy around my thighs and hips. The colors are muted and remind me of watercolors.


And the Gabo Eyelet Tee is so good. So, so, so good. Well, except for the price. I am going to try to hold out on sale for this one. It is artsy and just unique and different (which is kind of what I am exclusively looking for lately). My husband says in no way should I ever wear these two together. And I know they clash, but I like it. What do you think? I do see what he is talking about, so you won’t hurt my feelings either way. I am wearing a medium here and that is what I would buy. It has big holes with no lining so it will definitely need a camisole underneath it to wear out into public. To wear for pictures on the public internet? Meh. That’s up to you.


If I did sleeveless, I would be all over the Tulipan Tank Dress. It is comfortable. It is flattering. I love the two different colors on the dress. It comes in four different color combinations. It does run big. I am in a small in this dress, so I worry the more petite girls might be sized out of this. I have this in my wishlist, because I would definitely buy this for a sale price. It has a weird criss-cross back and my bra straps did show, so that is something to consider, because I hate wearing special bras.


I adore everything about the Embroidered Cutwork Dress. I love that it comes in black and white. I have so many white dresses, but I have wishlisted this dress in both colors. This dress is a tricky one in terms of sizing. I am wearing a small in the picture above.


And a medium in this picture. I am unsure which size to get. I am leaning towards small. I will be patient with this one and wait until sale. It is a basic piece and I like how it can be dressed up or down. I also like the length of the dress as it is not too short.


I wish you could have seen me in the dressing room trying to put on this shirt. What? Jenni, that is not a shirt. That is a romper. Um, yes, I eventually did figure that out, but it took me an embarrassing amount of time to put this on. First, because the leg holes confounded me for a shirt opening and second, once I realized it was a romper and not a shirt, I had to decide if I was actually going to try it on.

And I did.

For you.

I am wearing a medium.

I am just not a romper girl. I jiggle too much to be a romper girl. I think this will be amazing on so many girls. I have a friend in particular who would rock this romper. Kerri, I’m talking to you. But it is just not for me.


I would be pulling it down all day. And it would eventually look like this. I think we can all agree that would be a bad call.


I was intrigued by the pattern of this skirt, on the hanger. It is called Apolline Maxi Skirt. I do not think this is a maxi skirt. More like a midi. I did not find this flattering on me. I am wearing a medium. It is a flimsy material and I think the price tag is high for it. It does receive good reviews online. It is just not for me.

The shirt in the picture is great. It is the Lace Lined Tee. I am wearing a medium. It has great details and I have wishlisted it.


I also tried on the Carte Neoprene Skirt with the top above. It was on my store’s last chance rack and happened to be my size 6. I think I would size up to an 8 in this. It was a little tight. It is also, short, short, short. No surprise, my husband loved this skirt. I loved the map design on it. It was different and cool. The material is really odd on this. It is thick and slippery. I think this one is a pass for me, because of the length. This would be great on the younger set.


I tried on the Mira Shirtdress. I think the pattern is pretty and the colors are great. I am not a shirtdress girl. I would say this runs true to size. I am wearing a size six here. If you are a shirtdress girl, then I think this one is cute.


I have been waiting for the River Fade Dress (previously called Bavay Dress) to hit sale for months and months. Now they have renamed it and put it back in the new arrival section, so it looks like I will have to wait even longer.

The dress did not disappoint in person. I love that smooth easy feel that chambray can take on. The dress is very flattering. I am wearing a medium above.


And the small here. There really was not much of a difference between the two sizes. I think I would order a small if it ever goes on sale. I love everything about this dress, although my husband said it reminded him of a kangaroo.

Great. Just call me Kanga.

Have you tried on anything you love lately? Did you buy anything during the tag sale? Isn’t it hard to wait for sale?

*This post contains affiliate links. Clicking on or purchasing from certain links may result in a small commission to feed Roo for this blog.

Maui 2014


My family and I returned from a trip to Maui, last week. We chose to stay at The Fairmont Kea Lani again, because Costco Travel was offering an amazing price. I love Costco Travel!


The Fairmont Kea Lani is a beautiful hotel in the Wailea area of Maui. It is next door to The Grand Wailea and The Four Seasons. For us, it is perfect. The hotel is all suites so the kids have their own room to sleep in at night (my daughter slept on the pullout couch and we paid for a rollaway bed for my son each night). Each room has a huge veranda so we could choose to eat inside or out.

We reserved a deluxe ocean front room with a beautiful view. The room came with a Keurig coffee maker and pods, a small refrigerator and a microwave. This was convenient for our small snacks and food items.

The hotel is not crazy busy like The Grand Wailea nor uncomfortably demure like The Four Seasons. It is, in the words of a famous little blond thief, “just right.”


At the hotel’s restaurant, Ko, we all had amazing dinners of fish. And whilst the ambience and meal were not as good as Mama’s (but honestly, it is on a level all by itself), the ease and convenience of it being just steps from our room, make it a restaurant we would absolutely eat at again.

And we all scraped our plates clean. It was very good. This is the third time we have eaten here and the flavors are always yummy.

I do recommend sticking to wine or beer if you indulge in alcoholic beverages after having tried four different cocktails on my visits here.

One of my favorite things served here was the edamame dip that is served with the bread. And those rice cakes? Swoon.


We reserved pool cabanas two of the days and we really enjoyed this on one of the days. We had a problem with the air conditioning in the room (the picture below is me sweating and drinking wine (gotta make the best of it) whilst waiting for engineering) and so the manager very, very generously took the two cabana charges off of our bill. He really did not have to do that, but it definitely was appreciated. This made the situation much better and allowed us to continue to think of the Kea Lani with fond memories.


We would absolutely return. The Kea Lani continues to be one of my favorite hotels. The staff is so friendly. On certain days (depending upon which woman they have hired to make leis that day), they even have free flowers for guest’s hair, complete with a long stick so it would stay behind your ear. My daughter and I loved this small little gesture and I hope they continue to hire the woman that provides that small detail. She was lovely. And it was such a little thing, but it remains in my memory as a wonderful detail about the hotel.

Another small detail is the containers of water and iced tea in the lobby, so there are always refreshments at your leisure.


There is a man that lights the torches around the hotel at night and blows a conch at certain points on his journey. It is quite magical. They encourage little kids to follow him and it is cute to watch his little entourage trailing behind. One night I spotted a little boy and his brother gleefully filling up waterguns and trying to put the fires out. I have no idea where their parents were, but they were quite intent on their task.

And, no, I would absolutely not allow my kids to do this. But drinking wine on my balcony watching someone else’s kids do it? Entertaining.


My favorite part of The Kea Lani is definitely the beach.


They have free umbrellas and lounge chairs for guests that they will set up for you when you come down from your room. It is so relaxing and at all points around the hotel, they have stacks of white fluffy towels for you to just grab as you make your way to the beach or the pool.

I love that.


We were down at the beach almost every single evening watching the sun set and our kids playing in the surf.


I took many memories away that I will treasure.


During the evening, we discovered the cutest little crabs flitting along the sand and ducking into little holes.

We learned that they are called Ghost Crabs. It was a perfect name for them, because you almost did not believe that you saw them, they were so quick.


Of course, the sunsets were incredible. We tried not to miss a single one.


My son’s favorite aspect of the hotel was the water slide. He was up and down that thing for many hours during our stay. The picture above is him waiting for his dad at the bottom. I love that adults can use the slide, too.

One of the other things I love at Kea Lani is the ability for night swimming. Several of the hotels nearby close their pools very early, but The Kea Lani keeps theirs open. I have fond memories of night swimming as a child and I really appreciate this aspect of the hotel. We only swam at night twice, but I enjoyed having a glass of wine and watching other families enjoy the pool and making memories at night, from our balcony.


However, one night I was drinking wine and my husband took my son night swimming. This was what I got to look down on from my balcony. I had a moment of panic. But then he swam and did it again. So, I took some pictures, because I like to remember what his idea of fun was at age ten. My son loves to lay like this in the pool. But I have to wonder what other vacationers thought when they looked down at him.


One evening, we were strolling back from the beach and we spotted a sign to star gaze with a woman with a large telescope. It was an amazing spontaneous adventure. I appreciated that The Kea Lani allowed this to take place and we got to see the rings of Saturn and even one of its moons. It was really neat.


Was our vacation perfect? I guess it depends on how you view that word. For us, yes. But I view the imperfections as stepping stones to happiness, too.

I truly believe that life is what you make of it.

And vacations are no exception.


My husband and I had a tiff on one of the nights we were on vacation. It happens. It was easily communicated after a night of sleep (I am not a believer in the adage: do not go to bed angry) and now I think it is funny. And the tagline that infuriated me and started the fight might be my new favorite thing to bring laughing tears to my eyes, “Settle down.”

If I never had a bad meal, then I would not know what a good one is. Even our bad meal was served with the best coffee I have ever had. Do you know what we took away from our one bad meal on Maui? Questions like this:

“Honey, where can we find coffee like that?”

And the bad meal also taught me: please don’t. Please don’t ever. Ever. Ever. Serve colored rock salt in butter with the bread basket. It is beautiful. And guess what? Salty. Crunchy. Salt. Salty.

No. Don’t do it.

Instead, we think of the yummy coffee. We forget about colored rock salt. And we dream of that coffee.

Of waves upon a shore.



Ghost crabs.

Rings of Saturn.

Flowers in our hair.

Sunscreen mixed with sun.

Blissful sleep.

Sunset waters.

Sandy toes.

“Settle down.”