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Amazon Essentials: 30+ Basics for a Steal

Amazon Essentials summer to fall

Have you shopped Amazon Essentials apparel yet? Amazon Essentials is one of Amazon’s private label apparel brands, and they specialize in basics. The idea is that you can build a capsule wardrobe for any member of your family by spending around $15 to $40 per piece. (With a few products priced lower and a jacket or two priced a little higher.) It’s pretty awesome if you’re after a simpler life, which I know so many of us are—these days, especially.

Gammy Camp 2021

Gammy Camp 2021

Camp Gammy T-Shirts (Mitch’s graphic designer for his company did the logos!) / My One-Shoulder Striped Bathing Suit (Solid here) and Sunglasses / Emma’s Blue Floral Bathing Suit / Lucy’s Striped Bathing Suit / Emma’s Ruffled Bathing Suit / Emma’s Sunglasses

That’s a wrap! Today is the last day of Gammy Camp; the Virginia Larkins leave bright and early for their trek back to the East Coast.

Every summer, my wonderful mother- and father-in-law have their grandchildren down to their home on Lake Bloomington in central Illinois for a week or two. Emma looks forward to it all year! They do everything, from water sports and crafts to cooking and farming. (Mitch’s grandfather, dad, and younger brother are all farmers. They grow corn and soy bean crops, and also run a chicken farm called Above Normal Eggs!)

The 10 Best Lululemon Buys

The 10 Best Lululemon Buys

Align High-Rise Leggings / Align High-Rise Shorts / Align High-Rise Joggers / Align Tank Bra / Flow Y Nulu Bra / Swiftly Tech Long-Sleeve Shirt 2.0 / Swiftly Tech Short-Sleeve Shirt 2.0 / Swiftly Tech Racerback Tank 2.0 / Essential Tank Top Pleated / Hooded Nulu Define Jacket

Ah, the world of Lululemon. If you haven’t tried the brand before, I might suggest not doing so lest you become addicted. 😆 (Just kidding. Kind of.) Seriously, though. It’s so nice, and the quality and softness is unparalleled. I wear it every morning these days—whether on bike rides during the spring, summer and fall or on walks with Lucy in the winter. (Though I heavily rely on Athleta’s fleece-lined Altitude Leggings for extreme cold in Chicago.) And I need to admit that I sometimes wear my Lululemon all day because #momlife.

It’s no secret that the brand is pricey. But I’m at the point in life where I’d rather own just a few pieces of high-quality athletic apparel as opposed to a lot of so-so stuff. My drawers aren’t overflowing, and I truly adore every single thing I own. And I’ve literally never had to retire anything because it’s worn out. That’s correct: My original leggings are six years old, and they’re still with me!

My best advice when investing in Lululemon is to buy basic pieces in solid colors that’ll go with everything. White, navy, black, gray and olive green are my go-to colors, and because I stick to them, most of my pieces can be mixed and matched. I don’t own a ton, but I can create dozens of different “looks” with that I do have!

Here are my all-time favorites:

Photo Diary: Ocean City Beach Days

Ocean City Beach Days

Black Ruffled SwimsuitVineyard Vines Hat / Sunglasses / Girls’ Rufflebutts Swimsuits / Lucy’s ClipsEmma’s Minnow Swimsuits / Mitch’s Favorite T-Shirts

I’m very much guilty of unloading camera cards onto my computer and then totally forgetting about the images. But I came across these Ocean City photos yesterday while trying to make sense of my disorderly desktop, and they made me smile. So I thought I’d share them today on the blog. :)

The Best Amazon Beauty Products

The Best Amazon Beauty Products

Amazon Beauty is legit. It took me a while to realize how utterly fantastic it is, but the prices are awesome, the selection is vast, and nearly everything I order is on my doorstep within a day or two (and sometimes only hours later). Even better, you can set up “Subscribe and Save” on products you need regular refills for. (You can also select when you want the refills to come—anywhere from once every two weeks to once every six months—and there’s no penalty for discontinuing. I normally see a 15 percent discount for subscribing.)

I recently took some time to round up my favorite skincare, haircare, and makeup products, most of which are available via Amazon. (I’ll note here that Amazon’s makeup inventory is currently lacking, so I included where else to find them at the moment! Hoping that portion of the site is improved soon, as it’s really not in keeping with the company’s usual standards, in my opinion. 😉) Anyway, I really enjoyed putting this blog post together. :) Any Amazon beauty products you swear by that I should consider?!

Foster Beach, Chicago

Foster Beach, Chicago

Lucy’s Swimsuit (Sold out version here.) / Emma’s Swimsuit / Girls’ Red Gingham Dresses (In this video of the night!) / Girls’ Denim Jackets / Nantucket Sweater / Sail to Sable Maxi Dress (Newer. Also love this one!) / Sunglasses / Mitch’s Sweatshirt / Mitch’s Warby Parker Sunglasses

This was one of my favorite nights of the summer some of our best friends—Peter and Bradley—and their kids. ♥️ Want to see a video of the evening? Watch it here!

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Clear The List

Clear The List Movement 2021

Mitch and I have the utmost respect for educators. They empower our children, help them realize their potential, and instill a love of learning in them. They shape the future. And while teaching is an incredibly rewarding career, it’s also a grueling—and often thankless—job.

Over the next few weeks, most teachers will be returning to school. 2020/2021 presented countless problems in education, but one quick and easy way to support educators right now is to get the materials they need into their hands. They’re asking for our help!

24 Neutral Coffee Table Books

24 Neutral Coffee Table Books

I love a good coffee table book. There’s just nothing like sitting down in a tidy living space and leafing through, coffee (or wine 😉) in hand—even if just for a few minutes. It’s that brief pause from life—a little escape—that helps me refocus and breathe. Coffee table books also make for beautiful decor. They tie everything together, add dimension, and signal a sense of calm.

In terms of design, my favorites are neutral coffee table books, as they can be moved from room to room, regardless of color scheme or style. Here are 24 great options:

Navy Striped Maxi Dress

Navy Striped Maxi Dress

Newer Tiered Navy Striped Dress (Here’s the exact one I’m wearing! Love it in the navy floral, too. Girls’ version here.) / “H” Sandals / Men’s Performance Vineyard Vines Polos / Mitch’s Shorts / Mitch’s Sandals

Wanted to share some happy photos from the Shore today because J.Crew Factory recently came out with a very similar version of my striped maxi dress! I promptly bought it because I wear the one you see here so often—and it checks out. Lightweight enough to wear on the hottest August/September days, and TTS. (I went with the small and it’s perfect.) Transitions into fall well, too.

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Ocean City, New Jersey, Outfits, Style, Summer
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Recent Finds, 8/6

Nantucket Sweater | Recent Finds 8/6

Nantucket Sweater / Sail to Sable Maxi Dress (Newer. Also love this one!) / Sunglasses / Mitch’s Sweatshirt / Mitch’s Warby Parker Sunglasses

^ From a recent fun night on Foster Beach in Chicago!

Hello there!

We got a head start on the weekend yesterday with the arrival of my brother- and sister-in-law and their family. (They’re in from Virginia for Gammy Camp!) The kids headed down to the lake house this morning with Gammy and Pop Pop, and the parents (plus Lucy) stayed behind in Chicago for a few days together.

(You should have seen Lucy. When everyone was getting ready to leave, she put on her sandals and her Elmo backpack like she was going too. When she realized what was happening, though—and that the kids were leaving the parents—she freaked out and started screeching for Mama and Daddy. It was the saddest, sweetest sight… and it ended with the three of us cuddling on the couch together, watching the Mickey Mouse Club. Phew, haha.)

More on all this ^ soon, but on to this week’s Recent Finds for now. :)

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