10 Things 7/11 | Kelly in the city hydrangeas

My mother-in-law’s hydrangeas are on point this year! (And always.)

It’s been a while! Here’s what’s been going on with us. Please excuse the typos as I’m in the car. 😜

  • We had the best couple of days with our friends. Our friends Dave and Natalie (who recently moved to Florida) came back and stayed with us. What a blast! Highlights included going to Ada Street (SO GOOD) for the first time, cocktails on the deck, bringing the kids to The Willow Room (a neighborhood favorite), and setting up a massive sleepover for them in the basement. Because their parents still live in the Chicago area, I really do think we’ll see each other regularly—and that’s been such a comfort! :)
  • TOMORROW IS PRIME DAY! You can find all my favorite Amazon products in the Kelly in the City storefront.
  • We’re driving to Ocean City today! Our Nantucket flights were a cinch day-of. But the months leading up to them were a disaster, haha. They were delayed, cancelled and rescheduled eight times, and it was very stressful. So we decided that for Ocean City, we’d just drive. I’m actually writing this in the car; we have 4.5 hours left! NOT BAD. The morning was a little touch-and-go because we had to wake the girls up so early. But fast forward a couple of hours, and things became a lot easier. We packed a ton of snacks and drinks in the cooler, and Emma packed a giant tote full of toys—both of which have come in very handy. Needless to say, though, we’re all looking forward to getting out of the car. ;)
  • Lucy had a quick stomach virus and she threw up into my eyes and I’m traumatized. It was bad. 😆 But oof, guys. It was obviously way worse for Lucy. My heart broke for her. Seeing her so sick and sad was really hard, and we spent a lot of time cuddling. (Which is how I ended up with vomit in my eyes it’s fine.) Thankfully, it was short… and miraculously, no one else caught it. And I’m so glad we’re on the other side of it.
  • I LOVE these pants from J.Crew. I’m thinking the petite size would give me a cropped look. (I’m 5’4. Do we think this would work?!) I think these would be gorgeous pants for date nights during the remainder of the summer!
  • A few products I’d love to highlight: This Alice and Wonder x Liz Adams “Mama” sweatshirt, these dachshund sweaters, these absolutely darling Petite Plume dresses to benefit children’s cancer research, and these kids’ play mats. Heart eyes for all of them, but I really can’t tell you how many compliments we receive when the girls and I wear the dresses! They’re stunning and so comfortable.
  • The girls LOVED summer camp! We only did a week and a half since we want them to have a good amount of those old-fashioned long summer days. But man. They were ridiculously excited to go every day, and had the time of their lives. I truly hated summer camp growing up 😆; I guess they’ve come a long way?!
  • Cute Lucy story: Okay. So Lucy hates going to bed at night, and nine times out of 10 she puts up a fight and pulls out every excuse in the book to come downstairs. For the last few months, though, she just sits in bed screaming, “I CAN’T FEEL MY EYES! I CAN’T FEEL MY EYES! CALL THE DOCTOR!” At first, it was so alarming. But then we realized that the only time she says this is at bedtime. And a doctor confirmed that there is nothing wrong with her eyes. I’ll admit that it’s pretty funny (and friends and family get a real kick out of it), but after a few weeks, it got draining. One day, though, Lucy came home from camp with pinkeye, and was prescribed conjunctivitis medication which I had to smear across her eyes. She was thrilled. “Did the doctor give me that?” she asked. “Yes,” I replied. So I smeared it across her eyes, and she went to bed. 🤯 It was amazing; Mitch and I got a full night’s sleep for the first time in two months! Understanding, we panicked when her pinkeye treatment came to an end. Like, really panicked, haha. I crossed my fingers on the first night and put a little water on her eyes, telling her that the doctor had given her a new medicine. And she smiled and went to sleep. My dad offered to put Lucy down every night in Ocean City because they have such a strong bond and she doesn’t give him a hard time, so I told him that he’d need to do the water thing. He couldn’t stop laughing. ;)
  • Mitch and I saw the Barenaked Ladies and the Gin Blossoms at the Chicago Theatre. What a night! I’m so behind on the blog. I’ve taken so many photos but time is short and time with my sweet girls is more important these days. But (perhaps) I’ll share them soon. For now, I just can’t recommend seeing BNL or the Gin Blossoms more. It was such a fun, nostalgic night—and I loved listening to the songs that held so much meaning for me in middle school, high school and college… and reflecting on the wonderful fact that despite all my worrying, it all worked out. ♥️
  • One Home Project Every Day:
    • I got rid of my last “pile.” Please tell me you have a pile or two of stuff somewhere in your home. No? Is it just me? Stuff you want to get around to… but don’t have the mental energy for? To be honest, I had a few of them up until this year when I decided to tackle ’em. But one still remained: The one in my office. Gifts for family, returns, press packages, donations—they all just seemed to end up there, and even though I’d work on it every week, I’d never quite finish, and the pile would ultimately return. This past week, though, I decided that it was stressing me out. I didn’t like having a huge pile of junk in my office space! For me, a clear room = a clear mind, and I’m far more inspired in a space that isn’t strewn with clutter. So I did it. I found a new home for gifts, I did the returns, I shot and posted about some of the press packages, and I got the donations into the right hands. And now when I walk into my office, I feel calm and collected. If you have one or two of these piles in your home, maybe commit to getting rid of it this week! I should have done it sooner.
    • On a similar note, I tackled my computer desktop. I am not someone who was born neat and organized. I was born messy and disorganized, no matter how much I wish that weren’t the case. ;) And while I really have to fight against my predilection to procrastination and chaos, I’ve made a lot of progress these last few years! One area with room for improvement, however, is my digital life. Goodness gracious. Here’s my issue: I don’t physically see the wreck that is my digital life in our home. I can shut the computer down, and boom! Everything looks and feels tidy. But turn that baby one, and yikes. So I cleaned up my desktop, trashing a lo and getting the rest in their rightful folders. Felt good. These were/are my goals for this year, though I’ll admit that my progress has been slow:
      • Organize all my photos and get them onto one hard drive. Back it up onto another hard drive, and then digitally back it up with the program Backblaze. (Recommended by our programmer friend. It’s GREAT.)
      • Create a digital address book. CHECK! Can’t believe I’m going to be able to send Christmas cards this year. (I did this right after Christmas when I was feeling ashamed that I dropped the ball yet again. I used Postable because it’s super simple and exports into an Excel spreadsheet that I can upload to other companies’ websites if I decide to go that route. Though I love the idea of Postable because they’re sent FOR you!) 
      • Achieve a zero inbox. After years of thinking I’d eventually “catch up,” I admitted defeat and simply archived everything and started fresh. It’s been the best feeling. I make sure to deal with every message I receive every day, whether that entails marking it as spam, unsubscribing, deleting or responding. I feel like a new person! To all those who have emailed me in the past and did not receive a response, I’m so sorry. Those first few years of motherhood killed me and I admittedly gave up. Now’s the time to send a note! :)
      • Stay on top of digitizing the girls’ artwork. I just do this by taking iPhone snaps of it on white surfaces. I then put it in folders on my phone, e.g. “Emma Kindergarten.” At the end of the year, I print it in a book! (Way better than keeping the physical copies, in my opinion. Few people ever open storage bins but they do pull their albums of the shelves!
    • I cleaned and tidied the house—and did all the laundry—before leaving for Ocean City. This is a rarity for me, as much as I wish I did it before every trip. But man does it feel good! Nothing better than walking into a clean home after a trip.
    • I rearranged some bedding and put this simple linen quilt on Emma’s bed for the summer. She loves it! It’s much easier for her to make the bed. Come to think of it, duvet covers are hard to make look good, even if you’re older than five. Always getting bunched up!
    • We changed the porch lantern lightbulbs from 4000k to 2700k. It’s so much more inviting!
    • We got a cooler for the deck. (And for the beach.) We’re loving it. It was on sale when we bought it and it was the one that Mitch had been pining for over the last couple of years, so I told him to go for it. We’ve already gotten so much use out of it. It’s in the back of our car as we speak!
    • I collected all the lightbulbs that were strewn across the house and put them in the “store.” I lined the shelves of the laundry room with these bins, and then put household (non-daily) essentials in them. I love that Mitch no longer asks, “Have you seen the ______?” 😉 He knows to just go to the “store.”
    • I washed all the throw blankets. I try to do this once per month!
    • I donated some of the Lucy’s shoes that are now too small. Crazy how quickly they grow.