Archive | links I love

Have a Wonderful Weekend!

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Went on a food tour for work yesterday! Writing for a small-town newspaper is turning out to be the best job ever.

Happy Friday, everyone! What are you up to this weekend? We’re looking forward to a visit from my cousin and her family, and my wonderful parents are also in town. So we’ll be playing tourist in our own city, as well as opening up our home, which are two of my favorite things to do!

If you’re in a reading/browsing mood, here are a few things I’ve been reading and shopping for and thinking about.

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Elliott sent me this wonderful article with the subject line, “Let’s open a bookstore!”

I just saw this movie and it was dreamy. The plot is far-fetched, but take a friend and go ooh and ahh at Blake Lively’s wardrobe.

Speaking of clothes, I’ve been on the hunt for a new swimsuit, and so far I’m coming up empty. I scored a beautiful new Anthropologie suit on eBay for a mere $30, but I was waaaaaay too tall for it. Any suggestions for a girl with a long torso? I’m looking for a one-piece or a tankini, but so far I haven’t found a tankini I like…

This amazing giveaway ends tonight! You could win! Enter now!!!

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His favorite place is IN their bed. They seem to love it.

I need another baby girl just to have some of these blankets. Love those florals!

Our book club just chose this novel for June. Love, war, and… going to war side-by-side with your husband. Can’t wait. Have you read it?

She is my favorite blogger for so many reasons.

And on the subject of blogging — when I’m not writing here, I’m working on two or more articles a week for a local newspaper. In addition to covering local news for them, I also write a weekly column called “Coronado Living” about hospitality, simplicity, and life in my town, where you’ll get more of the Becca you know from this blog. Here’s a recent one about a trip we took to the ER in the middle of the night (poor Lena!).

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Doing much better and building Magnatile cities.

For my work and for our fun, my mom and I are going on this historical homes tour on Mothers Day in Coronado. We love beautiful old homes and a hodge-podge of decorating styles, so it sounded like a fun mother-daughter activity!

What a gorgeous wedding. I’m totally in love with this local florist’s work.

I checked this cookbook out from the library and finally decided to buy a copy myself. Every recipe was so good. (Just don’t remind me that it’s springtime and not “slow cooker season”… I’m always behind the trends.)

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And that’s it for now. Happy Mothers Day to all you life-shaping, world-changing, truly amazing mommies out there!

12 :: in life lately, links I love

Pros and Cons of Saltwater Sandals

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A reader and friend, Bethany, wrote me an email awhile ago and asked what I thought of Saltwater sandals. She noticed Lena wearing them on my blog, and she wanted another mom’s opinion before she ordered them for her girls.

Well, I wish I had asked someone, too, before I bought three pairs last year to get the right size! In case you’re considering them for your kids, here are a few pros and cons from our family:

Cons of Saltwater Sandals

  • Lena can’t get them on by herself because of the old-school buckle. It only takes me a few extra seconds, but sometimes she’s already chosen other shoes that she can get on by herself.
  • The sizes run large. Order a size smaller than your child’s other shoes.
  • They don’t have a great grip. The soles of the shoes are hard and smooth. It doesn’t seem to bother her now that’s she’s used to it, though.
  • Lena has had to break them in, so expect a blister or two at the beginning. Putting them on your child during her bath will help them soften up and mold to her foot.
  • We got the sandals in white, and they do look a little dingy after awhile. If I could do it again, I might get gold or champagne or something, just to be a little more fun and hide the scuffs.
  • They’re pricey, at least if you buy them during the summer.

Pros of Saltwater Sandals

  • She can’t get them off by herself. Do you know how nice that is?!
  • They are the only shoes she needs all summer (except for a pair of sneakers, I guess). Last summer, she wore them to weddings, church, the beach (they’re waterproof), and for everyday errands. They’re leather, they’re cute, they’re comfortable.
  • Did I mention they’re waterproof?! The specially-treated leather means they don’t get soggy or dry hard.
  • If you buy them in the off-season, they cost about 50% less than during the summer.
  • They pretty much go with everything and make any outfit look good if you get a neutral color. And if you get a bright color (like my friend Emily with her daughter’s lime green Saltwaters), they add a sparkle to even the simplest outfit.
  • They are the most durable kids’ shoes I’ve ever met. They still look new (except for the slightly dingy look on the white shoes) at the end of the summer. Lena still fits into the ones she wore last summer, so she’s wearing them again. They could last through a couple more children and summers, too!

In the end, I would recommend them. I’ll get them again! They are cute shoes, and hold up well, and go with everything. What’s not to love?

P.S. These are the “new” kids’ shoes I have my eye on for Gil. Equally pricey, unfortunately, but stinkin’ cute and waterproof. Have you tried them?

9 :: in gift guide, Lena, links I love, wishlist

currently enjoying

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Happy Monday! It’s a blustery, almost-wintery one here, which totally foiled my friends’ and my plans for a pool date with our little kiddos. Way to be confusing, June.

Instead, I took my kids to the gym on base, where I locked them up in the ingenious kids’ play area and attempted to get a 15-minute speedy jog in on the treadmill. I kind of have a gym-phobia (all those intense people), but I also keep saying I want to “get back into running” when we move to CA. And… I haven’t run regularly since college… six years ago. So wish me luck. Do you run/exercise regularly??

In other news, here are some fun links to start off your Monday:

I tear up every time I watch this. So much joy and beauty in this dancing!

The photo above is from dinner last night, which is one of the quickest, cheapest, tastiest meals I know. Win win win!

Can’t stop thinking about this outfit. (And Madeline and Natalie are pretty great too.)

Think of your local thrift store as your storage unit.

Love Taza and Oh Joy! teamed up to make this fabulous new app. I think I’ll try it!

I inhaled two books over the weekend: one about flowers, one about cancer.

Lena’s uncle promised to teach her how to do this! (J/k…. but wow!!!)

What if humans were dogs? Hilarious.

Toxic sunscreen + some safe options. (We love this one.) Thanks for the link, Laura!

3 things to save time every day.

I love Anne’s amazing blog, and her summer reading list is the best around.

What were they celebrating?

I have the 5 euro-bought-on-the-street version of these and love ’em. Maybe if I ever want to spend $100 on sunglasses…

I picked this back up as per my goals for 2014… let’s see if I stick with it to the end this time!

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What are you reading? What are you enjoying? What are you wearing? I’d love to know!

 

0 :: in eat this, good reads, links I love

life & links

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Gil where the sink used to be. Lena (dress on backwards) just observing his predicament.

It’s naptime. I lit a candle, warmed up some coffee, started some laundry, and settled down to enjoy a few blogs and some quiet time before buzzing around like a bee again. Elliott’s brother and sister-in-law arrive tomorrow afternoon, and we are so excited to see them! This house needs a little lot of ship-shaping before they see it, though, and I’m spending tomorrow morning at a Ricotta Cheese Workshop with the kids, so this afternoon and evening are my chance to wash sheets and towels, hide clutter, sweep dirt under the rug, you know…

In the meantime, I thought it might be fun to share a few recent links. Cup of Jo’s Friday link posts are my favorites; it’s always fun to see what others are discovering around the internets! Do you have any links to add?

So creative… and beautiful!

Tsh’s new post about organizing vs. decluttering. Inspiring.

My latest purchase.

The trailer for American Blogger caused a big backlash. What do you think?

My new favorite mommy blog and her hilarious answer to the question, “Do you work?”

The anti-vaccine movement and Jenny McCarthy? There’s a link.

Made me laugh.

Rumsfeld’s hilarious letter accompanying his 2014 tax return.

Another sobering reminder to put your phone away in the car.

Yes, please!

I started this book in Paris and it’s so good!

5 easy ways to improve your handwriting. (#2 is my biggest takeaway.)

I made this last week and it was meh. Do you have a favorite Thai recipe?

My thoughtful friend Courtney posted about why she is not a hands free mama, which reminded me of this great piece by Sarah Bessey on why she doesn’t mind her kids seeing her on her computer. Great food for thought.

Any favorite links to add? I always love a good reason to procrastinate!!!

Have a great Tuesday.

7 :: in links I love

how I finally donated my hair

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Instagram photo I snapped in the salon before the Big Cut

Except for an unfortunate time in college when I cut it waaaay too short, I have pretty much always had long hair.  My whole life whenever I mention that I’m going to get a haircut, people ask, “Oh!  Are you going to donate it?”

And I always said no.  Always no, and always for a logical, pretty unselfish reason.  I just wanted a trim, or it wasn’t long enough, or I didn’t want cut it all off to meet the minimum donation length.

But one day I hoped I would say yes!  Yes, I am going to donate it.  Yes, I donated my hair!  Something that could be useless — my hair in a trash can — is going to be something beautiful and useful, something that will meet a great need for someone else.

Back in the spring I was getting so. sick. of my long hair, especially with my newborn and toddler constantly stuck to me.  I mentioned on this photo on Facebook that I wanted to cut it, and a lot of people cautioned me about my plan to donate it to Locks of Love.  In the end I decided I needed to do more research.

In the process I learned about this article, which exposed Locks of Love’s apparent wastefulness with its donations.  Also, Locks of Love often donates its wigs to children with alopecia, not cancer.  If possible, I wanted my hair to go to someone with cancer because I lost a dear childhood friend to that disease, and I remember her own hair loss and her own wig.  I also did research into which organizations accepted hair and were reportedly honest and reliable.  Over and over one name kept popping up: Pantene Beautiful Lengths.  Even the American Cancer Society (which does not provide wigs) recommended this organization.

Also, as a bonus, Pantene Beautiful Lengths had a shorter minimum length requirement (8 inches); Locks of Love and Wigs for Kids required 10 inches of hair.  As I still wanted my hair to be touching my shoulders after it was cut, I wanted to stick to 8 inches.  My hair, which has some layering, varied from 8 to 10 inches in length, and with Pantene it seemed like most of it could be put to good use.

I felt ready.  One afternoon while we were still in the States, I got the blessing of my husband (“It’s ok as long as you’re donating it… but I really love your long hair!”) and asked my mom to watch my two children, and then I drove down the road to the same salon where Lena had just gotten her first haircut.  I put my hair into two pigtails (in order to maximize the length), tied hair ties around each one, let the stylist move in for the kill, and… chop chop!  The deed was done!

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It was weird looking at my hair detached from my body.  I slipped it into a zippered bag as directed and took it to the post office right away.

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I thought it would be cool to hear when my hair made it to Pantene, and so I followed their instructions and wrote my name, mailing address, and email on the bag.

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And there it goes!  I donated my hair for a great cause, and I hope with all my heart that it makes it to someone who really needs it someday soon.  In fact, just this morning I read this amazing article by a cancer survivor that made me even more thankful that I had donated specifically for a wig for a cancer patient.  Maybe I’ll grow my hair out and donate again!

becca-garber-hair-donation-pantene-5 Finally, here are two things that made the experience even more fun: an M&M McFlurry (one of my many guilty pleasures… drooling just thinking of it now…) and having the same French braid hairstyle as my little girl!

Have you ever donated your hair?  Would you like to one day?

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