Tuesday, April 30, 2013

one last florida outfit post.

tee:: {jcrew factory}
skirt:: {american eagle}
bracelet:: {gap}
sandals:: {target}

On Friday evening, we took our last walk on the pier as a family. The pelicans and seagulls soared over our heads and I kept thinking about all the times we walked it while Silas was still growing in my belly.  I love peering over the edge onto the clear waves crashing on the sand. I never fell in love with Florida the way some do, but I'm thankful for the sunshine and the salt air, and Panama City will always have a place in my heart as my baby's birthplace. 

As I type this, Chris and I are whispering back and forth while on our computers and Silas is sleeping in a pack n'play in the corner of our North Carolina hotel room. We're road-tripping up the East Coast to Boston, after getting the house packed up all day yesterday. Settling into a new home in Boston is still a long way off, and it's rather exhausting to be 'homeless' again, but we're ready for all the new adventures that a new city brings. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

one more weekend!

It's actually here. Our last weekend in Florida. On Monday, the movers come and pack up all our stuff again. The memory of our pack-out day in Hawaii is still fresh in my mind, and yet, things are quite different this time around- even though it's only been one year. This time, instead of tears at the thought of leaving, we're ready to move on from Florida and giddy about the prospects of living in Boston. Instead of a baby kicking in my belly, we're corralling Si as he zooms around the house on his little knees. We are still house-less, but trusting in God's faithfulness. One more weekend in Florida, and we're determined to make it a good one! 

If your heart is in summer mode already (like mine is!), you'll appreciate this guest post I wrote for Kim today. I'm sharing all my favorite 'must-haves' for summer for her Favorite Things Friday feature. Go over, share your own 'must-haves' and make sure you stick around to check out Kim's adorable blog (and precious new baby boy!) 

Happy weekend, friends!

Monday, April 22, 2013

say no to the frump:: 5+ swimsuits that won't make you miss your teeny bikini this summer

A few months ago, I came to the conclusion that a bikini would not be in the cards for me this summer. I'm back to my pre-pregnancy weight, but my body is definitely not the same and I'm not about to subject my fellow beach-goers to this jelly-belly. I was determined not to feel frumpy though. Just because I'm chasing my little sand eater (he ate about 7 handfuls at the beach yesterday) instead of sipping mai-tais doesn't mean that I should wear some unflattering piece of Spandex.

And so began my search for an adorable swimsuit that wouldn't break the bank. I started out looking at tankinis, but most of the ones I found were way too loose and flowy. I soon realized that a) I needed to find a one-piece suit, and b) I needed to spend a little bit of cash to get a quality suit. I spent a lot of time searching the internets and was surprised that I couldn't find great, up-to-date roundups of cute suits for mamas and other modest girls out there (Andrea wrote some helpful reviews here.) So, I'm sharing what I found. Click through the links to see more styles and colors.

(clockwise from the left)

Padded Knot Bandeau Tank from JCrew >> This is the swimsuit I bought after two months of searching and I'm so happy with my purchase. Honestly, it makes me feel less like a frumpy mom and more like a classy pin-up. (Is that a weird thing to say on my blog? I just felt really adorable.) The bright red color is so fun and the quality is spot-on. In my opinion, it's money well spent. (See it on me in the photo below!)

Tribal Design Halter One-Piece from Ann Taylor LOFT >> I thought this one was super cute. Even though it doesn't have ruching like so many of the others, I think the fun pattern would do a great job obscuring possible problem areas. Check out more cute LOFT suits here. 

Ruched Bandeau Tank from JCrew >> Another cute one from JCrew. I almost went with this one. Love the ruching and simple silhouette.

Sara Bra Cup Halter Tankini from Athleta >> This was the only tankini that caught my eye. It's got the all-important ruching, padded bra support and comes in this lovely plum shade.

Assets Push-Up One Piece from Target >> Yes, this is a push-up, and it's made by the makers of Spanx. So, you can imagine, this is a one-piece with a bit of 'wow factor'. I tried this on in Target the other day and it's pretty awesome. Honestly, not the most comfortable swimsuit ever, but it does the job--there's not a bit of frump in this suit. See more swimsuits made by Assets here. 


Criss-Cross Suit from Albion  >> This swimsuit is almost perfect, but it's over $100, so it didn't make my list. The silhouette is adorable and Albion has lots of other styles that are unique!

 Have you found a swimsuit that makes you feel great? Feel free to share details in the comments below!

Friday, April 19, 2013


If you're like me (a blogger, shop owner, IG addict), I wonder if these following thoughts will resonate with you. 

In the past few weeks, I've become painfully aware of how much time I spend scrolling through Instagram while Silas plays next to me. Or how often I mindlessly open my lock screen, just to see what's going on, even if I did the same thing three minutes earlier. It's a habit that is starting to take over my days and I'm becoming weary of it. 

I love the online community, the inspiration I find there and the creative people I've connected with and grown close to. But I'm weary of spending so much time staring at a screen when I should be focused solely on my baby boy or the conversation that I'm floating in and out of with Chris. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on balancing your online life and home life. How do you remain present at home with your kids, husband, and friends, but maintain an active presence online? 

For a few weeks now, I've felt the tug to join with Hayley for an 'analog weekend'. You can read more about her decision to disconnect on the weekends here. I'll probably still capture some moments with my camera, but I won't be uploading them to Instagram the second they happen. I want to enjoy our trip to the strawberry patch without inviting the whole blog community. And I want Chris to have my full attention with each conversation. 

(The photo above is one reason why I love having my phone on me all the time. I adore the moment captured and I think I'm going to have to print this one off nice and big to hang in our new home.) 

PS. Just picked the winner for the Seek First giveaway! Anna from Navarre Charm is the winner! Congrats Anna! Just sent you an email! If you didn't win-- feel free to pop over to Seek First and use the code HELLOHUE for 20% your order! 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

{from our recipe box} chris' spicy and sweet barbecue sauce

Last year, Chris and I were craving some barbecue ribs and decided to look up the best barbecue sauce on the web. Instead of one singular recipe, we found 10-15 recipes that looked delicious. We decided to come up with a sauce of our own, using different components of sauces we thought sounded yummy. I've been meaning to share it with you for awhile, and now that the weather is warming up (for most of us, anyway!), I thought it was the perfect time! The recipe is below. It's tangy, spicy, and just a tiny bit sweet. We love using it on ribs and boneless chicken thighs, but it would also be amazing over grilled veggies! 

3/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons sriracha sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1.5 cloves smashed garlic
cayenne pepper and black pepper to taste (depending on your preferred spice level)

Simmer on low heat for 5-8 minutes. Sauce will thicken. We store ours in a jar in the fridge-- that's if there's any leftover! You can adjust any of the ingredients to make it more or less spicy or sweet. Marinate your chicken ahead of time, coat ribs while grilling, or use it as a dipping sauce for sweet potato fries. 

It's not even lunchtime and my belly is growling from writing this. Let me know if you make it and what you think! 

PS. This felt garland giveaway from Seek First ends tonight! Go enter if you haven't already! 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

leaning into His promises.

(pictures from our Boston house-hunting trip last week)

Yesterday, I was minutes from posting this, when I hopped on Facebook and saw the news about the Boston bombing. Suddenly, our housing woes seemed trivial as I watched news clips and read about what happened. Last night and this morning, as Boston has been on my heart in more ways than one, I've been leaning into God's promises for us.

Two weeks away from our big move and we're still without a house to move into in Boston. A lot of people have told me that He must have a really amazing house waiting for us. I think that's certainly a possibility, but I don't believe that's how He works. He's not a genie waiting to grant my wishes. Maybe He has plans for us to live in ugly base housing outside of the city. If I believe that His love for us is perfect (which I do), than His plans for us are going to be perfect. But not necessarily how I envision 'perfect'. If I'm being honest with you (which I always try to do here), I selfishly just want his plans to include a sun-filled home, close to a subway stop, with beautiful old doorknobs and three or four bedrooms. 

I'm not sure what His provision in the way of housing will be this summer, but I know He will be faithful to provide. I know that He loves us and cares about my desire for a beautiful home, but He also knows what's best for us. I've found through my life that His provisions come in different forms-- and sometimes they include wading through hardships or disappointments in order to see His goodness on the other side. He doesn't always make sense to me. As I'm reminding myself of His promises, I'm praying that the people affected by yesterday's bombing would be able to see Him and His goodness even through the horror of the week.

A verse that remains true no matter how many times I read it and no matter what situation I am in--

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future..." Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, April 11, 2013

a little studio tour and a colorful felt garland giveaway!

Part of me wishes I had "Pinterest worthy" photos to share today of my studio. Perfectly exposed photos of perfectly organized painting supplies and gorgeous hardwood floors to boot. But, eh, all that perfection can be boring. My studio is messy. It's unorganized and I often find myself tripping over canvases (I counted over 60 in there this week!). I do my best to organize my supplies and inventory, so that I'm more efficient, but let's face it, I'm about as far from type A as one gets. 

I keep track of my finished canvas magnets and painted necklaces on an old baking sheet and corkboards. Washi tapes and rubber stamps overflow from cardboard berry baskets and shipping supplies fill up drawers and shelves. I toss my paint tubes in a wire basket on my desk and my paintbrushes (if they're not spilled on the floor being eaten by Silas) are stored in cleaned out jars. 

But I like it. I'm surrounded by happy things that make me smile and inspire me. A colorful rug, a hand-stitched embroidered hoop from a friend. The globe that I grew up spinning (moved from Si's nursery after he started knocking it over). Little notes from Chris about me as a mom. Oh, and a super cute baby who crawls around and gets into everything. 

Also, a recent addition. My bright yellow felt garland, made by Lauren, of Seek First.  Lauren sent me this custom felt garland last week and I hung it up immediately. I love how the sunshine peeks through it and it adds some bright color to my once-naked windows. 

I'd love for you to have your own felt garland to add some happy to your space (be it nursery, playroom, studio, or even your kitchen!). Enter on the Rafflecopter widget below to win a garland of your choice (either from Lauren's shop or even a custom garland!) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To get to know Lauren better, check her out on her blog, Twitter and Instagram!  And if you're just too excited about her shop to wait for the end of the giveaway, use the code HELLOHUE for a generous 20% off everything (including custom garlands!)

Monday, April 8, 2013


A ton of pictures, but just a peek into our weekend trip to New Orleans. We met up with our dear friends from Hawaii, Tim and Katie, and their two little girls. It's been almost a year since we left the islands and we feel refreshed after spending time with friends that are more like family than friends.

Most of the trip centered around strolling through the streets, admiring the colorful architecture, and stopping only to sample the rich food-- beignets, jambalaya, gumbo and étouffée. You can imagine how tasty it was, since I didn't take a single photo of our eats. 

After lots of traveling over the past 6 months, Chris and I are ready to hunker down and rest up before our big move at the end of April. I love our ever-changing, adventure-filled life and feel so blessed that we have the means to travel and see new places and old friends. 

psst. more New Orleans pictures here from our first trip last summer. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

what i'm loving. (a gussy sews review and glance at my week)

headband:: {c/o gussy sews}
top:: {jcrew factory}
belt:: {target}
shorts:: {american eagle}
sandals:: {target}

This post was supposed to go up on Tuesday, but we left for Boston at 4am and I didn't get a chance to open my computer all week. It's refreshing just to live life and not think how to blog each moment. Anyway, our house hunting trip was a whirlwind and we came home without a house, but with a few options on the table. I know we won't be homeless in Boston, so it's just a matter of seeing where God takes us and how He provides.

As we head into the weekend, here's a list of things I'm loving and not loving this week.

Loving the chance to spend time walking around Boston with Chris this week and dream about the next three years.

Not loving the mess (and laundry!) that comes from all the packing and unpacking.

Loving that we get to reunite with Hawaii friends in New Orleans this weekend!

Loving wearing shorts again after bundling up in Boston this week.

Not loving the conviction I felt after reading Jami Nato's post here. I think my diet needs to change. After our New Orleans trip, of course. Can you say, beignets?? (But seriously, loved the post. Go read it.)

Loving the longer naps Silas has been taking lately. Thank you, Jesus.

Loving the sight of his little butt stuck in the air while he sleeps.

Not loving the sound of the pacifier hitting the floor and rolling under the crib for the 30th time while trying to put a fussy baby to sleep.

Loving the response to my new Aloha print. I've got some fellow Hawaii lovers out there!

Loving the headband sent to me by Gussy Sews (aka Maggie Whitley) to style up. Here ya go, girls. A super cute headband that doesn't make you feel like your head is in a vice. I love how different the ruffles are from your typical rosette headbands and her fabric choices are so cheery.

Interested in your own super cute Gussy headband (or any of her cute rufflies!)? Use the code HELLOHUE10 for 10% off your purchase until May 30th.

What are you loving and not loving this week?

Monday, April 1, 2013

in my studio.

I've been spending most mornings in my studio lately. It's my happy place. Even if I'm not getting any work done, the morning light beckons to me and I just can't resist at least sitting in there and trying to soak in some inspiration from my supplies and inventory. I hope to do a studio tour for you before we pack it all up again for our Boston move. I'm always fascinated by studio tours-- I love to see how other artists organize their supplies (or don't organize them) and the pretty things they surround themselves with while they craft their own pretty things. 

As we get ready for this move, the shop's going to close for a little while again. Closing the shop so much has been a bit frustrating. It's been a crazy winter/spring and it bugs me that I keep losing momentum when I have to close. Once we get to Boston, it will be nice to settle down for a little while. I can't wait to be surrounded by lots of blogger and artist friends up there and I'm praying that opportunities for connection and growth for my shop and blog will be abundant!

So, the shop will close on April 20th. Mark your calendars and don't forget your mama! (Mother's Day is Sunday, May 12 this year.) I anticipate being open again the first week of June. 

I put two new prints in the shop this morning. 

Tomorrow, (waaay too early in the morning) we are headed up to Boston for a whirlwind househunting trip. Prayers are incredibly appreciated, if you are inclined. We really hope we find a great house to buy this week, and above all, that God's will would be made clear to us when we're making these decisions!  

Have a great week!