all grey for my favorite day

Oct 30, 2016

Monochromatic looks for fall
Monochromatic looks for fall
Monochromatic outfits for fall
Monochromatic outfits for fall
Monochromatic Outfits
lace top // grey jeans // blazer :banana republic (similar) // sunglasses // shoes 

If there was ever a Monday I could love, it is this one!! I am so excited for Halloween, and who even knows why. I spent most of yesterday decorating the outside of the house. I put a few shots on snapchat if you want to check them out (kelsey_pardonmf). I am sure I will snap up a storm tonight as well. Chris and I threw a costume together, and I think it will be a good one. Thank the Halloween gods I talked him out of yet another year as a zombie. That man and zombies.....there will be an intervention in the future I am sure. 

The kids are all so excited too. I don't think we will get a ton of trick or treaters, our neighborhood is kind of small and filled with lovely retired couples. There are a few houses doing some driveway partying, so hopefully that brings a few doorbell rings. That is if they can get past my decor. It tends to turn a few people off. 

Nevertheless, I am determined to make it a great night for the kids. Are you dressing up? What are your kids going as? I love seeing pictures of everyone on Halloween. 

This outfit however is not costume worthy, but it is fall worthy. And you know I love a monochromatic look, especially in the form of shades of grey. This top is just stunning for under $50. The details are amazing, and the back buttons up too! I have been living in these jeans lately as well. If you don't own a pair of rockstar denim from old navy, I highly suggest you get a pair. They easily rival designer pairs in my closet. And I think they get better with age! 

I think that is all I have for this very special Monday. I will be hitting up the Halloween store one last time today, just to see if I need anything else for the haunted house. 

I hope you all have an amazing Halloween, stay safe! Take that candy from those kids asap, it's a school night. HA!

5 thoughts on a friday

Oct 28, 2016

FRIDAY! I love you for so many reasons this week, mainly because I have been kicking it solo in the parenting department all week, and that will come to an end today! Not only that, but we are inching our way closer to my favorite holiday. Halloween is it for me man, I could go without Thanksgiving and Christmas, but I look forward to Halloween all year. I think this really stems from my mom. Every year she went all out on Halloween, doesn't even matter if we were throwing costumes together last minute. Some of my favorite memories growing up were from Halloween. My parents always went crazy with the decorations ( and one year we decided to stick my little sister outside in a terrifying alien mask thing. She sat on this rocking chair by the front door, still as a statue and when someone would come up to the door and ring the door bell she would start rocking in the chair as they were waiting for someone to answer. Of course we were all watching from inside dying of the reactions. Ahh! I am so excited for Monday, although this year I have dropped the ball entirely. 
Family Halloween Costumes
Which brings me to some thoughts....

-I still have no idea what Chris and I are going to dress up as. Usually I have these things planned well in advance, but this year between Chris' class schedule and the kid craziness, and the sickness that has plagued our house for the last ten days, I have done just about nothing. I don't usually decorate the outside to much before Halloween because I like to give the neighborhood something to really talk about. Thanks to Amazon Prime the kid's costumes came this week, and I am hoping that Chris and I can come up with something. 

-I truly find this so odd, but whenever Chris is gone, I start to notice that my house stays so clean! How? He is just one human, and an adult at that. But somehow the house stays so clean! Minus the playroom, but that is to be expected. I have a couple theories on this. Chris is a tornado when he comes through the house. Always rushing from one place to the next. He showers twice a day, and changes clothes probably three times. That's a lot of items being thrown around. The same goes for his eating habits. He makes every meal as though it is his last, so the number of dishes is overwhelming. I try to contain everything in his office, but it doesn't work. My other theory is, that when he is home I just don't want to spend time cleaning. I would much rather spend time with him after the kids go to bed, so I tend to walk away from the mess at night. When he isn't here, I am constantly cleaning just to pass the time. Needless to say, I have enjoyed my clean-er house this week. 

-My new "goal" (I use the word goal lightly here) is to read a book a week. This may not seem like a challenging goal for some people, but for me, in my house it can be. It has been working out nicely the past month. I read Behind Closed Doors last week, and I really liked it. You have to kind of like a little psychological darkness, which I'm into. And then when you finish that, you can move onto The Things We Wish Were True, this book started off a little slow for me, but I love how it was written. The characters were relatable, and it had some unexpected twists, but ended with this renewed sense of hope.

-I also took the time to clean out all the kids' closets this week. Do you see the pattern here? When Chris is gone I just can't stop. Pierce got a huge boost in the wardrobe department since he inherited Ace's Alaska collection. We bought everything a little big when we lived in Alaska, for layering purposes, so now it all fits Pierce pretty well. Odette got all of Avalon's closet goodness as well. Which leaves a few opening for Ace and Avalon. I am loving these leggings sets,  and corduroy pants for Avalon. Ace takes all fashion inspiration from Chris, so I basically buy him mini versions, this cotton sweater fits the bill. As do these jeans, and I love that they have the drawstring waist!

-Before Chris left he gave the kids a little pep talk as he always does (and I usually spy on it) "okay guys, be good for mom, don't make her any crazier than she already is. She loves you so much, so listen to her, be nice to each other, and don't play with lightsabers in the kitchen while she's cooking. Ace you're the man of the house, so take care of my mama!" It's all sweet and wonderful until Ace really took that to heart. This whole week "since I'm the man of the house I get to stay up late right?" no. "So, guys I'm the man of the house so you have to listen to me" no. "Mom, I can't go to school I'm the man of the house dad said so" no. "Okay mom I'm the man of the house and for dinner I think we should have ice cream then salad then pie" no.

It's time to overthrow this tiny dictator.

Mother Dirt

Oct 27, 2016

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HealthySkinSolutions #CollectiveBias

When we first moved to Alaska I thought well, we have nothing in common. I think I had gone camping once in middle school? Hiking wasn't really on my to-do list. The boys were still very little, and being pregnant with Avalon left me in a constant state of uncomfortable. So essentially I wasted my first nine months in Alaska feeling sorry for myself. Then summer rolled around, and I watched the snow melt and everything around me transform. If you ask anyone that has lived in Alaska or even visited in the summer, it is like nothing you have ever seen. It awakened my inner Annie Oakley.
The next thing you know, Chris and I are making lists of hikes to go on. Places that we must see! Planning camping trips, backpacking excursions, and researching the things we needed to really live up our time in the last frontier. Honestly, it transformed us. Chris maybe more so than anyone, but it was contagious.
So we hiked, and fished, and camped, and lived it up in the winter as well. And that sense of adventure has followed us to Georgia as well. When time allows we are always outside. Playing tourists, finding the things to do outdoors that we never thought of doing when we lived here before.
Living in Alaska helped to jumpstart a fun and healthy lifestyle that I hadn't really given thought to before. So I was excited for this idea to carry over to skincare as well. I had read an article about Mother Dirt awhile ago and thought, what a cool concept to use good bacteria to clean and nurture your skin!
Mother Dirt Skincare
I use a ton of different beauty products, and I am always willing to try something new as you guys well know. So I wanted to challenge myself by using these skincare products and seeing how they worked on my skin, as opposed to the cabinet full of other products I rotate through. The first thing that really stood out to me was the AO+Mist, which contains live bacteria! Yes, you read that right. You even keep it in the fridge between uses.
Mother Dirt Skincare
First impressions were....

This isn't cleaning my skin.
I don't feel clean.
I am going to use this whole bottle in order to get a good scrub.
Mother Dirt Skincare Products
Mother Dirt Skincare
All wrong. With all the products we put on our skin, they are stripping the natural oils from our skin which leaves us with that "clean" feeling. Which can also translate into dry, or tight. That is the opposite when using Mother Dirt, less is more which took me a little while to get used to. My favorite product by far is the Moisturizer. It is an oil, but it soaks into your skin so well and leaves it feeling soft throughout the day. Another thing I noticed was there was no adjustment period. You know, when you change skincare products and your skin freaks out a little bit. I didn't have any breakouts, or dry patches, which happens sometimes with my combination skin. It was a pretty smooth transition.

The one product that I have had a hard time with over the last month, is the Shampoo. Because my hair is dry from dyes and heat, it needs that extra dose of moisture to not become a frizzy mess. But, Chris tells me that he really likes it for his hair! Which I should mention that Chris became increasingly interested in these products as time went on and they were on the bathroom counter. He is ever the outdoorsman, and his favorite product is the AO+Mist because it is the little spritz of clean that you need throughout the day. It's great for coming in from playing outside with the kids, or walking the dogs, and wanting to feel clean but don't have time for a full shower break.

So if you are looking to rethink clean and want to use products that help promote the beneficial bacteria that our bodies naturally produce, I highly recommend Mother Dirt!

a little off the top

Oct 26, 2016

Lace Off the Shoulder Top
Loving all the lace off the shoulder tops
Styling lace for fall
Styling lace for fall
Fall Outfit Ideas
Side Stripe Pants
lace top: chicwish // pants: loft (old) // shoes: zara (similar grey pumps)

Despite the lack of healthy immune systems in this house, the week is going by rather quickly. Maybe that has to do with the fact that I am willing it away. I am never really one to wish time away, but this week can kick rocks! 

On top of the human germs being spread around, my dogs have decided I needed just a little more cra-to-the-zay in my life. Caspian is currently on a hunger strike. No we did not try and feed him real actual dog food, because my goodness how cruel would that be? Even though he is a DOG!!!! No no, I have put in front of him the same homemade dog food he has gobbled up since he was eight weeks old. But this week? He has turned his nose to it. So much so that I even took him to the vet even though I checked his temp at home, and he was good. Ears clean, teeth and gums fine, so I took him to rule out anything else. Vet said "he is one good lookin guy...." so basically he wants to act like a stubborn asshole. Bless his heart, he wasn't around when we broke Pierce of his picky eating stage so he doesn't know that I will not give in. Shameless has been so excited about it all because if I turn my back for a second, he eats Caspian's food. But my giant breed puppy got stung by a bee the other day and lost his damn mind. Hip all swollen, whining, just a nutcase. It should be noted as well, that the bee stung him, fell to the ground and then Shameless ate it. 

Other than all that things have been pretty normal around here. 

Moving on from that telenovela, I happen to be loving the side stripe trend that is popping up on pants. I don't own a ton of trousers, but the few that I have are ones that I feel will last me a long time. As far as trousers go. I got these last year on a whim from Loft and I think I wore them once. But after finding them in my closet again I was like, I like these, I like these a lot (maybe that's why I bought them in the first place). Anyway, I like that the stripe gives them a less corporate vibe so they are easy to dress down as well. So when I saw this lace goodness of a shirt online I immediately knew I wanted to wear it with these pants. And that is the making of this outfit. Aren't you glad you know all that now? 

Probably not.....but happy Wednesday! 

similar pant options:

when life hands you three different viruses

Oct 25, 2016

Let me just go ahead and beat this family sickness stint to death for you....

I mean have you ever seen someone drag on, like four posts about being sick? Well allow me to be the first. This probably in no way surprises my family....they know I can drag some shit on and on and on. But really, this weekend was just insane. Ace was the first of the outbreak patients. He had a sinus infection that had been building, but it was manageable until he got strep throat. I was almost certain all of us were going to get it and gave my pediatrician the heads up that we would be seeng a lot of him. Little did I know it would be for different sicknesses. 
(recovery painting outside)

Then Chris started in with the sore throat and fever symptoms, but really, was I supposed to have sympathy? I said, buck up. And he did until it was going on day three of a fever and then he went for a strep test. Positive. 

The middle of last week, Odette and Pierce both woke up with gnarly runny noses, no fevers. So we went with that. Just treated the symptoms and went on with life. Avalon and I were like sitting ducks at this point. Would we get strep? Would we get the flu? Small pocks? Measles? Worms? Who knew. 

Friday I woke up feeling like I had a handful of needles in my throat, and said see ya Avalon you're on your own. But I'll be on the couch if anyone needs to snuggle. 

By Saturday all six of us where sniffling, coughing, shivering, and enjoying each others misery. Pierce I could tell was not really himself, but he wouldn't sit still long enough to even get a good read on him. With Pierce, anytime he gets sick it is always a constant watch kind of thing because his breathing goes from good to bad faster than any mother can handle. It has been going on since he was two, and we have all the inhalers, and nebulizers to deal with it. He doesn't have asthma, but anytime there is the presence of an abundance of mucus (that was a gross statement) we have to be really mindful. So Saturday was all gravy until I was putting everyone to sleep and had Pierce lay in my bed so I could monitor his breathing. After about 30 minutes I didn't like what I was seeing and hearing. His breathing was so shallow and laboring, even with a few puffs of his inhaler. I told Chris I wanted to take him to the ER to which he thought was a little bit of an overkill, but you have to stick with that mama gut sometimes. 

I loaded him up and off we went to the emergency room. My mom has asthma, so I know the drive when it comes to the ER and breathing problems. What to say, what numbers they want, and so on. They got us right into a room. Pierce at this point was awake enough to be bouncing around on the bed, but his oxygen was a little low and he spiked a fever. They did a bunch of tests to rule out any other virus and then sent us for X-rays which would eventually tell us that he has pneumonia. A couple intense breathing treatments later and we were sent home with a nice bag full of meds. 
Sickness and children turns me into the most crazy paranoid person. There is no cool calm and collected. I hover and monitor and then hover some more. I will stupidly google things that will ultimately lead me to death and then I will pace the hallways in the house. Chris will tell me I am crazy and I will say, I KNOW. But I won't sleep, especially when it comes to Pierce. So the last few nights I have slept in his bed and watched and counted his little breaths. Listening intently to the wheezing and coughing. Was that a wet cough? A dry cough? A barking seal like cough? Was that even a cough? 

Crazy person I tell ya. 

I have had a running spreadsheet going with med times and distribution, breathing treatment schedules, and wine time penciled in! 

Thankfully all antibiotics are alive and kicking in everyones systems so hopefully everyone is back to their normal chaotic selves. But, Georgia fall you got us good! 

Any other moms out there turn into a looney tune when their kids are sick? When my kids are all healthy it is a free for all....nothing really phases me. But I am just down right annoying when a fever is present.

Honorary helicopter mom only when children are sick....out!

it's a jungle out there, or in here!

Oct 23, 2016

Styling Leopard Print Pants
Leopard Pants For Fall
Leopard Print Pants
Mom and Me Style
Fall trends- leopard print
Fall Outfits with Leopard Print
Mom Style
Leopard Print Pants
Fall Outfit Inspiration
Mom Style
long cardigan: nordstrom // tee: american apparel // pants: zara (old, leopard pants here )
shoes: nordstrom (old, obsessed with these!!) // sunglasses: ray-ban

Avalon's outfit: dress and shoes

I am sincerely hoping that your weekend was much better than ours! Good news is, I think we are on the mend. Bad news is? 

I can't think of any bad news. Which might fall into the good news category. But these pictures were taken before the triple threat immunity apocalypse hit our house. So I figured I would pop in today and share them, because truly it beats cleaning my house right now, and getting out of bed for that matter. The weekend was a complete blur of tissues, thermometers, medicine distribution, and restless sleep. But, the temps decided to cool down a bit which was wonderful for all of our hot cold symptoms. The cool air felt so good on our sore throats, and it also felt good to cozy up in a sweater and watch the kids have glimmers of energy. 

Some of our friends in Alaska sent us some snap shots of all the snow they have gotten over the past couple days, and although it was all beautiful and 8.9 seconds of me said "I miss those gorgeous views blanketed in fresh white powder". I couldn't imagine battling snow and sickness right about now. So I will take our cool mornings, and slightly warmer afternoons. 

Summer you will always have my heart don't you worry. 

And with that, I am pulling up my covers and pretending that my house will magically clean and disinfect itself. Happy Monday you beautiful people!

whole30 chicken soup

Oct 20, 2016

There germs in this house are spreading like wild fire lately, and it seems like everyone is coming down with something. The bacteria is infiltrating my immune system as I type, I am sure. First Ace with the allergies, turned strep throat. Now Pierce and Odette are walking fever zombies. And Chris is battling through his aches and sniffles like a baby champ. So Avalon and I are doing our best to runaway, I mean, stay away. While still being helpful of course. 
Whole30 Chicken Soup
We all know the magical healing powers of chicken soup for the achy couch potato soul, and I have made this one three times in the last two weeks. 

I know the way we eat is slightly confusing....whole30 is meant initially for 30 days. But we kind of carried that over for the last almost two years and adapted that into our "normal". So during the week we try to make just about everything whole30 compliant, minus a snack here or there for the kids. On the weekend we usually have a cheat day. So having a huge pot of this in the fridge is great for everyone!
Whole30 Chicken Soup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large chicken breasts
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3 carrots peeled, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4-5 yukon gold potatoes, chopped (you can leave skins on, we do just depends on your preference)
  • 1 teaspoon thyme (I sprinkle a little more on the chicken as well)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasonings (if you're doing whole30 make sure to read your label)
  • 2 teaspoons parsley flakes
  • Salt and pepper 
  • 8-9 cups water

I use my dutch oven for this, but whatever large pot you have, heat the oil over medium heat. Add in your chicken breasts and season with salt and pepper. I usually do a sprinkle of thyme on the chicken as well to give the stock some flavor. Cook on each side for 2-3 minutes. Add in onion and garlic and cook until fragrant. 

Add in water and bring to a boil, then simmer until chicken is done. 

Once chicken is cooked through, pull it out of the stock and let rest. Then add in carrots, celery, potatoes, and the remainder of the seasonings. Bring back up to a boil for 8-10 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender. 

While waiting for that to boil I pull out my stand mixer to shred the chicken. This is the greatest kitchen hack in the word. Just throw the chicken into your mixer and use your flat beater attachment, and watch that baby shred it with ease. 

Then add it back into the pot and simmer until you are ready to serve. Check your seasoning and add salt and pepper to your liking. 

Enjoy! And hopefully it makes your feel better for a minute or two. If you aren't feeling ill, this is just a perfect soup for the season!

Shop Spotlight + Giveaway with The Picket Fence Boutique in Pittsburgh

Oct 19, 2016

Some of the best boutique finds come when you are just driving around, trying to prolong car naps and then you suddenly see a small shop with cute window displays and you jot down a new note in your phone to remember to come back when snag some alone time and are not on a time sensitive mission. 

That seems to always be the case for me. But there are amazing women's and kids boutiques everywhere, which is why I am so excited to introduce you to The Picket Fence a boutique in Pittsburgh. 
The Picket Fence Boutique in Pittsburgh
The Picket Fence Boutique in Pittsburgh- Kids Clothing
I browsed all of the home stuff, women's things, and kept coming back to this little girls top. I love the tiny stitch pattern, the fit and flare waist, the composition overall. But then....
Cutest top from The Picket Fence Boutique
I saw this back detailing, and it just screamed Avalon! Anything with a girly flare is going to be a favorite of hers. And sure enough when it showed up, and she opened the package she said "Oh, this is gor-de-ous!!!"
Boutiques in Pittsburgh- The Picket Fence
Cute Kids Boutique- The Picket Fence
I'd have to agree! I cannot get over how cute it is, and it is so well made. Which is the allure of small boutiques. That handpicked one of a kind piece that is a stand alone in your closet. Or Avalon's closet for that matter. But, The Picket Fence has so many cute things! 

Now....the part you have all been waiting for.....$50 online credit to The Picket Fence is up for grabs! Do yourself a huge favor and checkout their home section as well. Truthfully everything is amazing, and I don't know how you will choose but, good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

pumpkin patch parents

Oct 18, 2016

On Saturday we did a very original thing for this time of year, we visited a pumpkin patch. I know what you're thinking, totally random. But you know what? It just felt right. And you can't deny that loving feeling.
Fall Festivals
(normal picture, mom laughing Pierce pouting)

When we went blueberry picking not long ago, we marked our calendar for the fall festival back at that same farm. It did not disappoint. We got the kids amped up on our drive over for pumpkins, corn mazes, food, and just so much fun. Odette fell asleep, and Avalon refused to get out of the car at first, so you see, we are really good at getting a party started. 
A little bribing and some threats of the pumpkins getting up and walking away, and we were ready! As soon as we got our wrist bands on for pumpkin de la fun, we were ready to go to the patch. That is when a large wagon pulled by a tractor showed up. The kids jumped right on, not even looking for an approval glance from paranoid mom. And the next thing you know we were off, on what I would like to categorize as a roller coaster wagon, minus the chest harness and the automated voice saying "please keep all hands and feet inside the wagon at all times". This ride was bumpy, and slightly frightening as I was trying to hold the majority of my children in a seat before we hit a bump that would for sure send one flying. But as I was making myself a human seat belt, my children were screaming with delight. Except Odette, she hated it. 
Backyard Orchards, Alabama, pumpkin patches
Fall Festivals
Once safely at the patch it was pickin' time. True to this families form, it became a competition to find the biggest pumpkin, thing had to be able to carry it yourself. Chris caught me in a moment helping Pierce cheat as Ace was getting dangerously close to bringing his pumpkin back to the rendezvous point. Teamwork isn't cheating right? I'll let you imagine the speech Ace gave us on   "cheaters never really win"....blah blah blah Pierce and I's pumpkin was badass. 
From there we made our way to the corn maze. This had to have been my favorite part. What do you get when you put three alpha male personalities together in a corn maze? Chaos. Chris of course the navigator of all navigators put up a good fight against Ace who from the start "knew" how to get through. Pierce went along with their shenanigans for two too many wrong turns before he said eff it, and went off the path to find his way out. Avalon was either too hot, or too bored, or too "princessy" to get dirty, so she sat down somewhere. Odette was on a mission to collect every abandoned piece of corn and adopt it into her Angelina like arms and take them home. 
After we bushwhacked our way out of the corn maze, we decided to try our hands at the obstacle course that was set up. Oh, of course after saying a prayer and getting back on the wagon of death. 

This was so great for the kids!! I think we spent a solid hour just letting them climb on everything and race each other through all the obstacles. From there they went into the sandbox and to play in all the corn in the barn. 
The owners and their kids came out to play as well, and we sat and talked to them about all things farm life, and Chris and I were just so amazed at this hard working family, generations of hard workers. And we could not give them enough praise and compliments for sharing it all with us. 

After two and a half hours, the kids led us back to the car. We loaded up our pumpkins and left with another date to put on the calendar for next month, the syrup festival!! 

So for all those in the Columbus, GA area head out to Backyard Orchards. Get some homemade ice cream, ride the wagon for an adrenaline rush, and tell them Kelsey sent you. 

Just kidding they have no idea who I am, but they might know who Odette is. They probably have a wanted poster with her corn thieving mugshot on it!


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