Casual Friday

(Old photo snapped of our group. Me, mid-story, looking only a little nuts. Haha)

It’s not news that one of our favorite things to do is to have people over. It started a long time ago, before we even had kids or a mortgage. Shortly after we were married, we hosted our first Friendsgiving. We didn’t have fancy serving dishes or recipes or cloth napkins. After we had our first daughter, and she went to bed at 6 pm (!!), we invited friends over for dinner, after she went to sleep, as a way to still socialize as new parents. But now, it’s definitely grown to be a bigger constant in our lives and something our girls look forward to. At least 3 times a week, we have friends or family into our home for a good meal and we sit around the table for hours to talk or play games. I think it’s part of the reason why I am so passionate about making our house into a welcoming place for us and others. And why Chris loves to learn new recipes and collect cookware. They are our favorite hobbies, and work and play!

Last weekend, we hosted Easter dinner, but also a fun pizza night with friends the night before. Chris had recently purchased and devoured (pun intended) this Real Pizza book and turned out some of the best neapolitan pizza I’ve had–and he made it in our oven! Besides the book and the dough recipe inside, he lets a pizza stone (we love this one and have 2!) preheat in the oven on 550 for about an hour–the pizza itself only takes 5-6 minutes to bake when you do this. Try it! 

Other fun things this week!

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

• I said a few weeks ago, that one of my favorite things to add to an outdoor space for instant charm is a set of string lights. But this week, I discovered something even more magical–really good looking, SOLAR-POWERED string lights. No awkward cords leading to a plug that are a total pain, and tripping hazard and have to be cropped out of every photo. These all have a small solar panel at one end so you don’t even have to feed one string to another if you have multiple sets! And! They come on automatically when the sun goes down, instantly inviting you outdoors. Ours currently look very similar to number 1 (although ours are not solar powered) and we’re totally upgrading to these.

• This pegboard above a bed is such a cool take on a gallery wall! Plus, you can change things around so easily!

• I loathe shoe shopping because I have embarrassingly big feet (size 11!), but I really needed some comfortable summery shoes before our trip to Hawaii next week. I found myself in Kohl’s trying on these LC slides and they were so so comfortable (even at a size too small) and so cheap (normally $25, on sale for $15!!) and so beautiful. I wanted every color, but they only went up to size 10. I actually still might get the nude ones. If you’re looking for an affordable every day summer sandal, I don’t think anyone could regret these.

• This year, Chris and I have made it a goal to have more quality family time with our girls. To, sometimes, not pick up a power tool or computer for entire weekends. To go explore our beautiful area of the country and beyond as a family. We have had a few successful “ultimate family weekends” as we have dubbed them, and it has been so. fun!! A friend of mine introduced me to friends of theirs who just launched a kickstarter for a family-friendly duffle bag that they designed and it was so in line with the goals for our family that I couldn’t not back them. Check it out!

• Really excited for this documentary!

• Awesome news! ASOS just started premier shipping! For $19, you can get free 2-day shipping for an entire year! It’s like Amazon Prime for clothes. The best clothes! But instead of $99, it’s just $19. How awesome is that?! I have found all my favorite maternity clothes on ASOS, and even before I was pregnant, I found myself and Chris shopping there frequently.

Hope you all have a great weekend!



22 Comments

  • Reply April 25, 2017

    Danielle

    Thanks for the tip about the solar lights – I’m definitely adding those to my patio wish list!

  • Reply April 25, 2017

    Katie P NC

    I’m headed to hawaii next week too. If you’re going to Oahu I’d love some “really awesome places to visit” posts. I don’t really know any of the super fun spots except jumping off the rock at Weimea and obviously Pearl Harbor.

  • Reply April 22, 2017

    colleen

    Hi Julia, I wasn’t sure where to ask my question so I hope this is okay. When you were working on your deck you showed a picture of a horizontal white wall that you liked. I was trying to find it to show my husband as we are redoing our deck after 31 years and I loved that wall. I’m not where to look could you post a link. Thank you so much.

    • Reply April 22, 2017

      Julia

      Check this post?

      • April 22, 2017

        colleen

        Thank you so much, he said yes to the wall but no to the fireplace, I can’t wait to get started

  • Reply April 21, 2017

    Elizabeth

    I also have big feet, 10 or 11 depending on the shoe. I mostly live in Birkenstocks. Although I did buy these shoes today at Dillard’s http://m.zappos.com/p/sofft-rio-black-oyster/product/8818221/color/667698

  • Reply April 21, 2017

    Alison

    BUMMER, I thought we were going to get the dough recipe – – I had that on the docket for dinner tonight from your IG story, oh well, maybe next time.

  • Reply April 21, 2017

    KathieB

    Love the string lights, but the idea of having to take them down if there is going to be “inclement” weather is a deal breaker for me.

    The slides ate lovely and I plan to head to me nearby Kohl’s in the morning!

  • Reply April 21, 2017

    Erin Kahlenberg

    I have been looking for a really nice, simple duffle bag! Thank you for sharing! I’ve been so defeated going into stores and either only seeing “giant hole” bags as I call them, or the classic stiff roller luggage.

  • Reply April 21, 2017

    Heidi Lambeth

    Try Long Tall Sally for shoes also. They are a bit spendy, but carry pretty on-trend items (and some not so on-trend) – and they ONLY carry sizes 10 and up!

    • Reply April 22, 2017

      Heidi

      HauteLook has a flash sale starting today for women’s extended shoe sizes over ten :)

  • Reply April 21, 2017

    Mary

    I’m a size 11 too! I swear by Sanuk sandals in the summer. They are my absolute favorite. I have like six pairs…. They are so comfy and 11s are easy to find, which is rare!

  • Reply April 21, 2017

    Brittany

    Hi Julia! I also have size 11 feet and mine are very narrow. It always feels like if I find something, it’s wide! I’ve had really good luck at Target finding cute, comfy, inexpensive shoes.

  • Reply April 21, 2017

    Kristal Simel

    I. too, wear a size 11 to 11 1/2 plus I live in a small town. Zappos and Nordstrom are my friends. I order a whole bunch and send back the ones that don’t work. A strong tree needs a strong base.

  • Reply April 21, 2017

    Jenny B

    One note about solar lights -years ago we had some, but they were not as bright as regular lights and did not last more than a few years. However, technology is changing by leaps and bounds, but I would maybe test a strand before you go all out to make sure they are bright enough.

  • Reply April 21, 2017

    Trilby

    I don’t have perfectly average sized feet (which comes with it’s own set of problems while shoe shopping – everything in my size always out of stock!), but I am IN LOVE with Born sandals. They’re not overly cheap if you buy them at full price, but I always do a Google search to find ones on sale (6pm, Zappos, Nordstrom Rack, etc always has cute Born sandals). I’ve bought a pair each summer for the last three years, and I haven’t paid more than $30. The best part of Born shoes is that they’re SO, SO, SO comfortable. I took a pair of these (http://www.zappos.com/p/born-mai-cuoio-brown-full-grain-leather/product/8249074/color/533779) on a ten day long trip to Spain last summer and wore them everywhere. I can walk miles in them!! And Born shoes go to size 12!! (P.S. Aren’t you glad that we’re starting to get a peek of spring so that we can ditch the boots and start wearing sandals again?)

    • Reply April 21, 2017

      Trilby

      Oops – meant to say I DO have perfectly average sized feet.

  • Reply April 21, 2017

    Ashley - The Gold Hive

    I totally get the challenge of having big feet. Mine are a size 13! I’ve embraced menswear shoes and having a minimal closet, but it’s still tricky! When I want more feminine shoes, I go to http://www.longtallsally.com

    • Reply April 21, 2017

      Elizabeth

      You should check out the daily connoisseur, she has some great ideas on a 10 item wardrobe!

  • Reply April 21, 2017

    Sabrina

    I have huge feet too! It can be so frustrating finding shoes that fit. I’ve had good luck finding cute, comfy sandals from Maurice’s. They even go up to 12! Can’t say I like their clothes, but you might want to check their website for sandals. Hope you have an amazing time in Hawaii!

  • Reply April 21, 2017

    Ann

    The Walker kickstarter is awesome! I’m sharing it. Also, my 15-year-old daughter wears a size 11 and runs into shoe issues. The slides will be perfect for her and my size 10! Thanks for sharing, i’ve been following you for a few years and love your work .

  • Reply April 21, 2017

    Katie

    The string lights look awesome. I wonder if they would work if I hang under an umbrella?

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