Toddler Gingham Dress | 20+ Things 6/14

^ Loved going to Coalfire Pizza on the Southport Corridor last week! Such a nice family outing. Snapped this photo of the girls and it’s one of my all-time favorites!

$18 Toddler Gingham Dress / Girls’ Gingham Dress / $17.90 Amazon Essentials Sandals (Check back regularly as they come in and out of stock every few days. SO soft. Run a tad big. Lucy wears a 7 and Emma wears an 11.)

Yawn. Hello!

Here are the first 20+ things that come to mind:

  • Mitch and I are flying back from New York today! We flew out last-minute with our friends Dave and Natalie, who were going on a business trip. I’m writing this in advance, but I’m going to go ahead and say we had a fabulous time. ;) Hopefully I got to attend Carly’s baby shower (!!), see my parents and take a ton of photos. Post coming soon!
  • I chatted with Ali, one of my college roommates, last week—and it warmed my soul. We fell out of touch for no reason other than we both have two young children, but it was awesome to catch up on each other’s lives. Crazy to think how long it’s been since our days at Fairfield University; seems like a lifetime ago but also just yesterday! (You guys would love Alison’s style, btw. So polished and preppy. We need her to start a blog! 😉)
  • Chicago is 100-percent open. To be honest, it feels like it’s been 100-percent open for a few weeks now. But the city’s numbers are improving steadily and I have so much hope for the upcoming year. I’ve missed our city!
  • I need a good book! Help. I have a really hard time staying awake at night these days—wonder why!—so a quick and easy read would be great. Anything you’ve read lately that you’ve loved?
  • Mitch and I are giving up television in favor of deck hangouts at night. Now that “Mare of Easttown” is over (SO GOOD), we want to be spending more of our alone time at night outside! We’ve been taking the baby monitors up to the deck and just talking, and it’s been really lovely. I think we were out there for two hours on Wednesday last week!
  • Check out Fly Little Bird in Chicago for great kids’ gifts. Using vintage and natural mismatched fabrics, Jen (a Chicago mom!) hand-makes a collection of one-of-a-kind stuffed animals with partial proceeds going to Donate Life America. (Inspired by her late mother who who was a liver donor, and her father, who is a donor recipient.) So amazing!
  • In honor of Pride Month, I love this sweater. If the company looks familiar, that’s because Ellsworth & Ivy makes the famous Nantucket sweaters!
  • Emma had her first sleepover (not at our house) on Saturday! Again, I’m writing this in advance, so I’m not sure how it went. But I’m going to assume the girls had a total blast, and I can’t thank my good friend Bradley enough for hosting. (And can’t wait for the families to hang out again! For the past couple of months, whenever they’re in Chicago, we’re gone… and vice versa, haha. Miss that crew so much!)
  • I want to start making monthly sensory boxes for the girls. I’ll probably just use kinetic sand (as much as I don’t like the mess) and little trinkets from Amazon and Etsy. They entertain the girls for HOURS and I love seeing how creative they get with the sets! No need to pay $50 per box; just make ’em yourself!
  • I can’t recommend Archie and Oscar dog crates more. We’ve had ours—now discontinued—for approaching two years, and it’s such a nice upgrade from the previous eyesore we had. We keep it in the kitchen and it blends right in! The quality is off the charts, too. This one is my favorite in case you’re in the market.
  • “One Home Project Every Day” update: Admittedly not a very exciting update, but…
    • I donated old throw pillows and blankets. Blankets are a go-to kids gift, and we’d accumulated so many over the years. I got rid of some a few months ago but decided to do another sweep. Now we have a normal amount, haha!
    • I’ve started to plan out organizational bins for the laundry room. The cabinets are a mess, which at this point in the pandemic is a little surprising to me 😆, as I’ve organized most other cabinets in our home out of boredom.
    • I created outdoor play baskets! These things are WATERPROOF. I filled one up with toys for sidewalk play (and keep it in the hall closet), and one for backyard play. It makes the experiences so much nicer.
    • I ordered tarps for our outdoor cushions. I spent a long time researching deck boxes that could possibly work for our outside space, but quickly realized that we’d need a massive one to fit the cushions—and we really just don’t have the space anywhere for it. (Would have to get rid of some of the kids’ stuff, and I don’t want to do that!) Mitch also hates outdoor sofa covers; says they’re too annoying and time-consuming. (I suppose I agree.) So I bought tarps with grommets. 🙈 Will simply tie them to the back of the couch and flop ’em over the cushions when there’s an upcoming rainy spell or we’re going away. Can’t be worse than what we did last year, which was letting them get soaked! (The Pottery Barn ones surprisingly held up SO well. We just have the basic cushions that come with the Torrey all-weather wicker furniture, too!)
    • I cleaned the grout in the showers. Feels like I JUST did it, but it needed it again.
    • I did all the laundry. With two kids who get extremely dirty every day and a husband who runs every night, it’s always a feat. ;) Also can’t let Mitch help. As much as he tries, he often wrecks loads. Just not worth it, haha.
    • I decided on a paint color for our bathroom cabinets. Did I already tell you this? Probably. I’m going with Benjamin Moore Kennebunkport Green. Pumped about it. And thank you to the reader who suggested it!
    • I invested in a new outdoor water toy for the backyard. Water toys make summer actually enjoyable for us. ;) The girls LOVE this one. Check the Playmobil website for a better price, too.
  • I have fallen deeply in love with this denim skirt. It’s seriously so good. Just the right amount of stretch, and the length is perfect. (I don’t flash the world when I bend over to pick up Lucy.) Highly recommend. Very flattering, and looks great with nearly all my tops. It also comes in white!
  • Read: “Don’t Approach Life Like a Picky Eater.” I always enjoy Arthur Brooks’ pieces.
  • Also read: “No, Mornings Don’t Make You Moral.” Okay, I really loved this. Now that I’m older and find myself falling asleep earlier than ever, I do actually enjoy my mornings. I even feel most productive and inspired then! But in my teens and 20s, I despised them, and was a true night owl. And it’s so true: early risers are seemingly thought of as being morally superior. A very interesting read, and one that’ll make you feel better if you’re not a morning person. ;)
  • Have you seen this dachshund toile from A Thing Created? I mean, it’s perfection.
  • Also, Bama to Brooklyn has a great dachshund print. As I mentioned before, I need zero additional blankets in my life, haha. But this is VERY tempting.
  • I want to go to Robert’s Pizza Co. on the Chicago Riverwalk. The floor-to-ceiling windows open up to the Chicago River, and I’m dying to go. Looks like such a dream, and the girls are pizza-crazy.
  • Mark and Graham started carrying Chappy Wrap! Most of the blankets we kept during our clean-out were from Chappy Wrap. They’re just so nice! You can also order direct from Chappy Wrap.
  • I found an old Neiman Marcus gift card, so I bought this swimsuit. IS IT NOT BEAUTIFUL? I have a feeling that it won’t work for me, as I have a very long torso. (J.Crew long torso suits always win out.) But fingers crossed.
  • This sleek black high-waisted bikini from Old Navy, though, is just as good and way more affordable. Also works for people with long torsos. ;)
  • I booked Emma’s birthday party. VERY EXCITED. We’re having a pool party on the rooftop of our gym. (Sounds way nicer than it actually is. 😜 That’s just where most gyms have their pools in the city.) Can’t wait to see her in her Dino dress!
  • I am LOVING this block print dress. So stunning. And the busy pattern looks like it would hide stains from Lucy very well.
  • Also in love with this gorgeous maxi from Boden. It’s selling out so quickly, though, so order ASAP if you’r din love, too. (And it’s recommended that you size down.)