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A Different Kind of Membership

A Different Kind of Membership

Hello from the Larkin Family’s cozy living room! I try to do something exciting or special for Emma every week since she no longer has (physical) school, play dates or group sports to look forward to. This week’s magic came in the form of some new activities, a ridiculously affordable princess play tent, and some warm home decor. Oh, and the fireplace. ;)

The Best Artificial Pumpkins of 2020

The Best Artificial Pumpkins

Artificial Small and Large Pumpkins / Artificial Mums via Etsy (Cheaper) / Faux Mums via Walmart / Buffalo Check Pumpkins (Also have this one from Ballard, and it’s adorable!) / Artificial Mums (Try these potted fall sunflowers if the mums are sold out!) / Artificial Topiaries / Chinoiserie Planters / Dachshund Topiary / Newer Lanterns

While this is our second fall in the new house, I feel like it’s our first. (Last year, we were living under tarps and five-month-old Lucy wasn’t fond of sleeping. 😉) So I’m going ALL. OUT. With artificial pumpkins, of course.

Fun fact: Real pumpkins will survive longer if you give them a water/bleach bath. (This prevents rotting and can help ward off animals.) And I do plan on setting out some real pumpkins in our garden. But as for the front stoop and indoor decor, I’m (predictably 😆) going faux because they require no maintenance and are far less messy.

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The Birks are Back in Town

Birkenstock sandals review

Mitch here!

I wore a pair of Birkenstock sandals every day for nearly a decade of my life. They were my primary mode of transportation. I wore them in the snow. I wore them while playing sports. I wore them to graduation. I even wore them while commuting to my first job (and immediately changed into a pair of work shoes I kept under my desk upon arriving). But something happened–I got old and forgot myself, I suppose–and my feet have gone un-Birked for far too long.

That is until now.

A Windy Day on the Beach

White Lace Dress (Check out this nearly identical one, this gorgeous button-up one, this beautiful maxi, and this stunning eyelet one!) / Mitch’s Shorts / Mitch’s T-Shirt / Lucy’s Lilly Shift / Emma’s Dress / Emma’s Bathing Suit

This was the first day during which we could “feel fall” this year. The air was warm but crisp–uncommon for the Shore at any point, really–and when the sun sank behind the dunes, we had to pack it in and head home.

50% Off J.Crew Outerwear

50% Off J.Crew Outerwear

J.Crew is offering 50 percent off outerwear today with code “COZY,” and some of my favorite styles are included. :)

My two favorites are the Quilted Cocoon and the Utility Jacket.

View all posts in:
Fall, Lincoln Park, Chicago, Sales
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Recent Finds, 9/25

Faux Fur Vest: A favorite! Emma has the small and I have the XL. Works perfectly!

Hey, Friends!

I’m checking out early today because I need to get my ducks in a row for this weekend. We’re heading down to the lake house! Charlie and Shirley are getting married in their backyard over Columbus Day Weekend, but tomorrow, we’re having a family-only shower to celebrate Shirley. Mitch will be hanging with the boys (and Lucy), and Emma and I will be in attendance. :) Can’t wait.

Intermittent Fasting

Lucy’s Madras Dress and Shorts (Similar) / Mitch’s T-Shirt Polo / Mitch’s Birkenstocks / Mitch’s Shorts

Mitch here!

I’m too fat for my clothes. At least I was two months ago. Getting fat was entirely my fault; I wrote a whole blog post on my love for frozen pizza, for example. Today, though, I’m here to talk about my journey and how, with the help of intermittent fasting, I lost 12 pounds in 60 days.

The Best Artificial Mums of 2020

The Best Artificial Mums of 2020

Faux Mums via Etsy (Cheaper) / Faux Mums via Walmart*

*If sold out, try these potted artificial fall sunflowers

An interesting story:

Six-Year Noodle Update

Six-Year Noodle Update

Jack Rogers Sandals (Also check out the Comfort Collection here!)

My mother recently called to let me know that not only did I miss Noodle’s birthday, but I also missed National Dog Day. 😆 Sorry, Old Friend. One day, you’ll get this kind of attention again. For now, though, thank you for licking Lucy’s toes while she repeatedly pokes you in the eye. You are a good dog, Noods.


It’s been a while since I talked about Noodle on the blog! The long and short of it is that she’s good. (See what I did there? HAHAHA.) She’s not getting a ton of attention from Mitch and me these days, but she is getting it from Emma and Lucy as well as from our next door neighbors’ little girls. (We’ve decided to let them play together as both families have been extremely cautious during the pandemic.) Noodle is the star of the show; the girls squabble over who gets to hold the leash, and they race up and down the sidewalk with her. Heck, all four girls have matching dresses with teeny Noodles all over them. Let’s just say that if dogs went to high school, Noodle would win the popularity contest–paws down. (I couldn’t help myself with that one, either. 😂)

View all posts in:
Lincoln Park, Chicago, Noodle
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Childhood Shore Cottage

Ocean City, New Jersey house

My parents recently sold “our” childhood Shore house in Ocean City, New Jersey. (I say “our” because in no way did my brothers and I own any part of it; we just luckily grew up going there. 😂)

Several years ago, when grandchildren were on the horizon, Mom and Dad decided to buy a bigger place that could accommodate the growing family. They rented out the old one, which they enjoyed for a while, but it was a lot of work. So not too long ago, they waved goodbye to it. Or “launched it,” as Dad says. ;)

Recent Finds, 9/18

Recent Finds 9/18

The famous Sophie Blazer is now available in chevron. I’m obsessed.

Also, J.Crew shoes are 50 percent off today with code “SHOPNOW”

Now that we’ve decided to rejoin society in a few days, I’m getting somewhat excited about fall fashion. Here’s what I have my eye on:

Ocean City Boardwalk

Links at bottom of post

Get ready, guys. I’ve taken a ridiculous number of photos while down here, and you’ll be seeing most of them over the next week. (We do think, btw, that we’re going to head home this coming Sunday! I have a couple of projects I need to shoot in Chicago, and we need to pick up an important packet for Emma. As it turns out, we’re not staying on the Shore for the rest of 2020. Though we did consider it… 😆)

Easy Kids’ Crafts

^ I made this. No big deal.

One of my favorite 2020 mom hacks is quickly typing something like “penguin kids craft” into Pinterest and creating my own little version of it for Emma. At this point in the pandemic, I can put a simple art project together using just the contents of our arts & crafts drawer and other household items in less than five minutes.


Listen: You don’t have to painstakingly plan and organize an original craft the night before in order to be a great mom. Real Life On-The-Fly Moms are just as awesome, and while they might make drunk-looking penguins instead of perfect ones, kids are none the wiser and just as happy. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when Pinterest Moms have already done it for you! 😜

Giveaway Winner, New Styles + What We Own From the Sale

Sale product: Palazzo Pants

Today’s the day!

New styles added to sale

It’s the last day of the Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale, which means that NEW STYLES HAVE BEEN ADDED. (This patchwork dress is my favorite from the new additions. Lilly also restocked the classic baby dress as well as the girls’ anchor dress. New anchor swing dress for women, too!)

It’s also time to announce the $500 giveaway winner as well as the Margot Dress winner.

Recent Amazon Buys

Miraculous Ladybug Costumes: My brother- and sister-in-law sent this to Emma for her birthday, and it was the sweetest! She was thrilled. We got one for her BFF Walker, too, that way they could twin. (The two families quarantined so the girls could celebrate together.) Thank you, John and Sarah! Oh, and if you don’t know what Miraculous Ladybug is, consider yourself lucky and move on. 😜

I find posts about people’s purchases made on Amazon to be very entertaining–probably because there are usually stories behind them. :)

So here are ours from the summer!