// Things I Love Thursday

Another week, another post full of wonderful! This week's TiLT is filled with animal photos and gifs, and too many links to even fathom. Here's to hoping you can make your way through it before next Thursday! ;) Let me know your favorite inclusion below! xo
these artworks by Kendra Binney are magical! ♥
this is so adorable! ♥
♥ this is a beautiful view. ♥
these koalas are so sweet! ♥
♥ this episode made me cry and cry and cry ♥
♥ and this is an otter playing basketball. ♥
this series by Benoit Paille is pretty awesome. ♥
this poor pug! ♥
these cinemagraphs are beautiful ♥
You don’t have to get a job that makes others feel comfortable about what they perceive as your success. You don’t have to explain what you plan to do with your life. You don’t have to justify your education by demonstrating its financial rewards. You don’t have to maintain an impeccable credit score. Anyone who expects you to do any of those things has no sense of history or economics or science or the arts. -- You have to pay your electric bill. You have to be kind. You have to give it all you got. You have to find people who love you truly and love them back with the same truth. But that’s all.” -Cheryl Strayed
//  DKNY stole 300 photo from a NYC based street photographer. It's pretty messed up.

// CAT LADIES! I compiled an awesome list of kitty-themed clothing + accessories (um because hey, why not?!) --> scarf // dress // watch // dress // platform boots // coin purse

// "If You Pick Your Nose, Your Eyeballs Will Fall Out" And Other Lies To Tell Children. Did your parents tell you anything ridiculous when you were little?

// Have you seen FLOTUS Michelle Obama doing the "Evolution of Mom Dancing" with Jimmy Fallon? Here are the gifs! SO good!

// Brothers of a Boston fraternity band together to help raise money for a transgender brother's female-to-male surgery. Probably not the first thing that might come to mind when you think of Greek life, but this just goes to show how wrong stereotypes can be. They exceeded their goal in record time, but all exceed funds will go to the Jim Collins Foundation!

// Legally Blonde was such a great movie. You go, girl!

// AHOY! Nautical pretties: this dress // this dress // this scarf // this necklace // [here are links to two dresses in my last Stitch Fix haul! navy racerback + ivory striped] // 

// Procrastination Is Not Laziness. I had never heard this take on it. What do you think? (Better question: Are you a procrastinator?)

// Imagine an vending machine for books... printed before your very eyes. It's real! The Espresso Book Machine has access to over 500,000 books and prints books at a rate of over 100 pages per minute. Whoa!

// 16 bloggers from around the world will trade lives (and blogs!) for 10 days through the Big Blog Exchange. WHAT?! I'm totally signing up! This is the coolest thing, and of course there's a big picture belief: cultural awareness and appreciation can help save the world.

// Wishlist Wears: these sandals will be mine! (and i'll wear them non-stop! ps; they're only $25!) // these pink bow flats! and in mint, too! // pleated ivory dress perfect for spring // this blue polka dot frock! // 

// I Can Lengthen My Words And So Can Youuuuuuuuuu. Guilty as charged. (and not proud).

// Foodie Finds: tomato asparagus salad // chocolate chip cookie dough brownie bombs (what?!) // corn + black bean stuffed peppers // cinnamon cream cheese coffee cake // soft pretzel bites

// I talked more about feeling on the brink of self discovery + a "new season" on my Jux today!

What are you loving this week?

// G O T C H A ! ! !

Today is Toby's "Gotcha Day!" -- I know that's a pretty weird thing to call it, and even weirder to celebrate probably, but it's such a special day to us. One year ago today we brought home this precious little dude. The past twelve months have hurried by, and on many occasions I just wanted to write about the experience. From remembering the time spent with Toby when he was a baby, to not being able to see him for so very long, then all of a sudden getting that call. Our entire lives seriously just got turned upside down and we had no idea what to make of the situation. We played the waiting game (we were so scared + impatient!), we played the wondering game. And it was a seemingly normal Friday afternoon to start... We had no idea that we'd become full-time parents in a matter of minutes.
The day we brought him home with us // Feb. 2012
There have been so many times I've wanted to share how and why and answer all of the questions that y'all have, but as I've said before, it's simply not my story to tell. I know we'll have that conversation with Toby at some point in the (distant) future. I (we!) feel so fortunate to have been given this opportunity even though it came from a dark place. Seeing Toby for the first time in nearly a year and a half last February was so eye-opening. He didn't look like the same baby we had regularly seen. He was so tiny and looked so scared (We were terrified, too) -- the first few days/weeks were really an adjustment on us all. 

Today you'd have no idea that he's the same kid. His days are full of laughter and learning, and counting to 100 is currently his favorite thing to do (even though he calls the number twelve "two-teen" haha! He almost has it!) When we realized that today marked one whole year as a full family, we were shocked that it had flown by, but that it also had only been twelve months. I still have trouble believing that everything happened so quickly, but I wouldn't change that for the world.

// A  F E W  F A V O R I T E S //
q_ISZu on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs
Toby's ticklish face. Just pretend you're going to tickle + he dies!

Seeing him evolve this past year has been so awesome. I love that I get to share that with all of you here on the blog. You get to watch him grow into such a rad little person, so thanks for taking time out of your day to spend with our family.

Today we're going to celebrate with cupcakes and lots of play time. Today we really count our blessings and recognize just how lucky we were to be given this gift. We get to be the parents he deserves. It's kind of the coolest thing in the world. Happy Gotcha Day, Toby... we love you so so much.

PS; The orange-pants photos are from yesterday...That hair! I know! Toby's grandparents are very gung-ho for a haircut, but that kid just doesn't want to give it up! I have to admit, he looks pretty adorable with his long hair when he's on his skateboard!

PPS; I know a post like this might seem like *major* overkill, but there are seriously no words to describe how much I love that little dude. I mean, just look at that gif. That's what it's all about.

// Things I Love Thursday

I think Thursdays might be my new favorite. I'm growing a bit reliant on the sort-of-mid-week pick me up in the TiLT posts! Do you write a TiLT/Friday Favorites post? If so, leave a link to your blog below so I can check it out! Enjoy!
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♥ i love this installation. ♥
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this makes me want summertime real bad ♥
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this striped iceberg is so cool! ♥
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♥ this picture is so simple but so pretty ♥

♥ anderson cooper interviews a woman who supports a pastor's anti-gay rant ♥
I just gotta say - AC - you rule. So much more can be said, but I'll keep it simple.
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♥ this is the prettiest picture ever ♥
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this is perfect. ♥
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this perfect breakfast is perfect ♥
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these self defense kitty keychains are a great tool to have ♥
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♥ this. ♥

♥ this is so stinking cute! (via) ♥

// So I polled everyone on Twitter + Tumblr yesterday, but they were seriously split on this question. Should I get the tan or peach version of this dress? (Peach is my favorite color, but I do own a bit of it, and ultimately I want to wear the dress with these shoes!) What do you think?

// Did y'all catch the McDonald's Twitter hack? Oh my stars! It was hilarious. Then the next day Jeep got hacked... yowza!

// Rilo Kiley wants you to let them back in! Help create the video for their new single! (My heart is weeping tears of joy that they're back in the saddle!)

// "Lena Dunham Made Me A Feminist" - Seriously, one of my absolute favorite pieces this week. I caught up on all 6 episodes of the current season while sick and I just love GIRLS.

// Mike and I considered going on a cruise for our honeymoon, or maybe even for our wedding anniversary this year, but this article may change my mind! 7 Reasons To Never Ever Ever Vacation On A Cruise Ship. I mean, obviously those aren't typical occurrences, but in the wake of the Carnival ship stuck at sea, it's a bit fresh!

// Have y'all seen the glitter "confetti" wall decals over at Emerging Thoughts? I'm placing my order today and I'm stoked to slap those babies up on my office wall! Ahh, so sparkly!

// Omerica Organic just relaunched their newly designed site! Holla! They now carry jewelry, too! Seriously, if that initial pendant isn't the best piece of jewelry ever, I don't know what is. (Just a heads up! You can use the repcode KAELAH for 20% off!)

// So I know y'all probably don't take my shoe love seriously considering I like ugly shoes 90% of the time, but for real, these are all gorgeous. and NORMAL! -- I want these so bad I can't even... JC Xylophone flat // JC Caesar flat (but in natural!) // JC Cinda flat (those scallops!) // JC Study Buds flat (oh em gee)

// A meteor struck Russia last week... whoa! What's up, Mother Earth?! (The videos of it falling from the sky are unreal!)

// Wishlist Wears: a flamingo sweater (!!!) // perfect kate spade shoes // scalloped leather tote bag // cutest mittens (and under $8!) // a gold sequin dress... be still my heart! // floral loafers that i'd like on my feet please!

// Taco Bell is a BAMF. That is all! (also - that last tweet/reply... you go, TB!)

// Julia's Long List Of Things Your Parents Taught You That Really Were Useful - love this list! If you're fresh out on your own or in college, this is a great read!

What are you loving this week?

// Stitch Fix Haul - Fixes #22 + #23

It's been a while since I've shared a Stitch Fix haul, so I thought it'd be the perfect opportunity to dish on my two most recent Fixes since they were both major hits. I've been using Stitch Fix for just over a year now and this most recent fix was #23 (I think?) -- basically meaning I've been getting one on the regular every 2 weeks or so. Usually I'm a bit too busy to photograph all of the boxes before I send back the "No" items, but I love when a Fix is so perfect, I keep the whole kit 'n kaboodle. 

For those who don't know - StitchFix is a clothing subscription company that sends you a box of 5 items that fit your style, your schedule and your budget. I'm a frugal gal so I subscribe to the lowest price point. I've received things from $25 jewelry to $100 dresses. That might sound high, but I'm also very specific in my questionnaire. Over time SF gets to know you and your style, and your Fixes become more personalized. It's just a $20 fee to get a box, but if you keep anything from your Fix, that $20 gets applied to the purchase price! If you keep all 5 items, you get a hefty 25% discount (More often than not, that covers the price of one or two things you may not have totally loved. Then you can just regift, sell, etc) Anything that you don't like, you just pop it into the pre-paid envelope they send along and drop it in the nearest USPS blue bin to send back. You don't get charged for anything you don't keep! The very best part is that you get to try the items on with your existing wardrobe. You can't cart all of your closet to the mall with you, so this definitely has it's perks. Plus we now live lightyears away from any reputable malls! haha

My last 2 Fixes were awesome! The one before last (#22) was a total keeper. All 5 items below were in there and they were total hits. I loved them so much I tweeted out to Stitch Fix to thank my stylist (Margaret) and I immediately requested her for my following Fix. I love that you can customize your Fix like that. If you really really love a stylist that you get, ask for them again! Want a fresh pair of eyes? Just say the word! Anyway - here are the 5 items from Fix #22 --
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This navy dress was probably my favorite thing in this fix. It's sturdy but lightweight, and it reminded me of a tennis dress or something. I loved the racerback detail and the piping, too. This is totally a dress I'd own in many many colors!
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I'm a huge fan of Willow & Clay thanks to Stitch Fix. I have so many W&C dresses now, and this one is just the cherry on top. I really didn't expect to like it when I opened the box because of the sleeves. Normally sleeves are just "meh" on me but this was a total homerun. The print is fun, too :)
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This is the only dress in the Fix that didn't 100% fit. It fit... just not in the most flattering fashion. It's a bit tight in the hip section (and by a bit I mean quite a bit haha). I absolutely love the print - it reminds me of cotton candy! (Hmm, maybe a reason for it not fitting? haha) Luckily the 25% discount more than covered the cost of this dress so I'll either gift it to someone or pop it into Kaelah's Closet. It's the perfect dress for Spring!
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This was Mike's favorite out of the bunch. Similar to the racerback dress, it is a sturdy yet lightweight material. It came with a nautical/rope belt but the belt was entirely too small for the dress. (I don't get that?! The dress fit like a glove, but the belt was just not happening. Shame, as the belt was really cute!)  I really like the way the stripes meet in a chevron type manner in the front of the skirt. I'm a fan of this LOST brand - I had never heard of them before!
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This necklace is totally out of my comfort zone normally. All the more reason to give it a go! The 25% discount covered most of this necklace too, because I was on the fence about it. I think I kind of love it now. I have to find the perfect outfit to pair it with, but I think I'll be pleasantly surprised!

These last 2 items were from Fix #23. I actually liked all 4 dresses (and the necklace) they sent, but I have an issue with length. Seriously, I'm 5'2... you'd think length wouldn't be a problem! 
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I really really love Tulle, and this bud print dress is so perfect for spring. The silky material feels so soft, too! I think it'd be super cute with a really bright cardigan, and some sandals!
stitch fix little chief honeybee kaelah bee
This Angie dress was a nice surprise. I actually hate shoulders/armholes like this, but normally I just tuck them under or wear a cardigan over it anyway. I feel like they're not very flattering to fuller arms, but the print and feel of the dress definitely swayed me over. I think the brown belt with the bright blue is a nice touch as well.

Overall - as usual - I'm super stoked on my Fixes. I've got another one scheduled for the very end of the month and I requested that my stylist focus more on longer lengths, if possible. The SF inventory is always something new so it's a fun gamble to see what's available and how you can make it work. To be honest, I wouldn't know of/wear any of these brands if it weren't for Stitch Fix. I don't typically shop at department stores where these lines are typically carried, and I love how it opens my eyes to what could work for me out there. If you want to sign up for your own Fix, feel free to get on the list! I'm amazed that I still love it as much as I do -- typically I pick something to obsessively love then I fall off the wagon after a bit haha 

Have you tried StitchFix? What's your verdict?

// Adventures in Home Renovation v.3 (+ Life Lately)

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[ Georgia and Saturday morning coffee in bed // Couch squisher // Mangosteen Green Tea + Honey for an all-of-a-sudden cold // Pretty new $9 flats // A round of custom signs going out the door // Toby fell asleep mid-pizza slice (tuckered out from the move... and yes, we were eating pizza in the car ha) // Kitchen renovations 1 + 2 -- our kitchen feels so big! // My office is coming along nicely... // Lack of furniture in the living room (we moved in our old couch until we buy a new one) // So many pink kitchen appliances // New shoes galore! (both of these are Jeffrey Campbell!) // Husband's cute booty while fixing a leaky pipe // Got Mike a guitar shaped house key "just because" // Hall view to the bathroom + my office // Couch cuddles with my little // Valentine donuts are the best donuts // A pretty wedding gift surprise from Emilie // Our dream diner booth kitchenette! Totally going to open up my own "at home" soda shoppe! ]

Renovations are going well. We're finally in the "cleaning" stage and we're trying to make our home livable. The cabinets still lack painted doors, not to mention all of the interior (and exterior!) doors need to be painted in the house. We have so much furniture we need to build and we've hung nothing on the walls... I hate that limbo you go through when you're "moved in but still not quite moved in". It's fun to find a new home for everything but it's also exhausting. 

Today I'm trying to battle off a cold that came out of nowhere yesterday. I'd love to say I was planning on being super productive in preparation for the work week, but NCIS and a blanket on the couch sure does sound appealing... I mean, it's good to take a break every now and then, right? ;)

Happy Sunday friends!