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Week in Review // July 14 - July 20

Last week was fairly uneventful, aside from some house hunting which is both fun and frustrating at the same time. We've seen quite a few houses so far, but nothing has 'clicked.'

Lark has some new vocabulary, including shaking her head 'no,' which makes telling her 'no' that much more difficult because she shakes her head back and it's so damn cute that all you want to do is laugh!

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Warby Parker Beacon Collection

I've worn glasses since I was 8 years old, when I got my first pair of prescribed reading glasses. They were a pink and green speckled wire frame with rose-hued lenses, because I thought that added some pizzazz. I couldn't wait to wear them and I thought they were amazing. Turns out, I hated wearing them. Partly due to laziness and partly because, well, kids are mean and wearing glasses was JUST. NOT. COOL. in 1990.

Enter the age of the hipster, where everyone is trying to wear glasses, even sans prescription lenses. In my twenties, I started wearing glasses for distance, and by that age, I could really care less whether or not they were cool because being able to see at night was awesome. But I love that glasses are embraced in our current state of affairs and more importantly, that being yourself is becoming more mainstream and kids and adults alike are encouraged to let their quirks shine. Hipster or not, bad vision or 20/20, glasses are a classic accessory and span the decades yet somehow remain 'current.'

It's no secret I love all things retro, frames included, and that's usually what I look for when shopping for spectacles, and a company I've grown to love for their modern take on 'vintage' eyewear is Warby Parker. I've always been a believer that glasses are far too expensive, and Warby Parker is out to change that by offering affordable eyewear. The frames in this collection are priced at $150 a pair with prescription lenses, which is considerably cheaper than designer eyewear. Not everyone is blessed with insurance to cover glasses, and in some places, people cannot obtain eyewear at all. Warby Parker guarantees that with every pair of glasses sold, a pair is donated to someone in need. Help your vision, help someone in need. It's a simple concept, but has a major impact.

 I got the opportunity to preview their new Beacon Collection. And it did not disappoint.  This set of frames takes cues from that retro vibe, yet translates them into a streamlined and modern addition to any adventure that may come your way. I love the inspiration for this collection, the morning star, which can only be seen at certain times of the day and year...thus reinforcing the unique qualities of Warby Parker's collection.

From Warby Parker:

Our Beacon Collection is inspired by impromptu, can’t-duplicate-them all-nighters, when having no plans brings endless possibilities. The collection name is a hat-tip to the morning star, which you can catch just after sunset or just before sunrise, depending on the time of year. We designed our Beacon Collection frames to make a similarly fine companion to late night dates, rooftop sunrises, and everything in between. There’s something just as unexpected about each new frame: they’re repeat contenders, no matter the hour.

Images courtesy of Warby Parker and Petra Collins

As a photographer, I appreciate and admire light. There's a certain magic to the glow of night, and the soft whispers of that first morning light that really are magic. Warby Parker's collection captures that in the colors and creation of these frames. With the muted hues and the subtle changes with the angles and transparency of the frames, you get that whimsy and magic in an accessory that will accompany you on those magically lit adventures. Photography Petra Collins truly captured the essence of this idea in her photographs of the Beacon Collection.
Images courtesy of Warby Parker and Petra Collins

My personal favorites from the Beacon collection are:

The Garrett in Blue Slate Fade
The McKee in Moonstone:
and because I wear sunglasses equally as often for distance and light-sensitivity, I also love
The Nancy in Lemon:

All in all, the Beacon Collection is beautiful and I think it's full of wearable, yet whimsical styles. Read more about the Beacon Collection at warbyparker.com!


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Week in Review // July 7 - July 13

I didn't film as much as usual last week, but we had a good week and I documented the important stuff. I also had some issues uploading, so it took a little longer to get this video up!

Lark finished out her swim lessons with a bang! She ended up loving it in the end and even made a friend in the process! I'm so glad things turned around, because she really hated it in the beginning and I felt like I was torturing her!

Brennan turned 16 on the 10th and I still can't believe it. He was 7 when I first met him and now he's nearly a man and stands much taller than I! He spends summers with his mom, but now she lives closer and she threw him a party here in our city since she is from here and has family in the area. James, Lark, James' sister, Trista and I headed over to celebrate with him on Saturday and it was a nice party. The food was amazing, but there is never a time when Mexican food isn't amazing...at least in my book! And Lark and I spent some time playing with Brennan's other sister from his mom, Sarah. She's 3 and just precious and she really got a kick out of Lark. She loved helping me feed her watermelon. And she is basically a clone of Brennan, you know, except for that thing where she's a girl...but they look JUST alike!

We also continued house-hunting. James and I love anything and everything HGTV, so an obsession with houses is no surprise. We weren't really looking for houses at all, especially since we aren't sure where we'd like to end up in the next few years. But James found one after picking up Lark one day that was so adorable! We didn't get it, but it opened our eyes to the possibilities of owning a home again (James sold one a couple of years ago). So we're browsing. Maybe something will come along, we'll see...

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Heat...

Heat...something I'm not terribly fond of. I literally struggled when thinking of something to write for this month's prompt. I thought to myself, while rocking Lark to sleep one night, "How am I supposed to relate something I hate to my current life?" As this thought quickly entered my brain, I immediately noticed my current position in the universe at that very moment...my daughter, the one I grew and birthed, was nestled sweetly in my neck, like any typical night, and my cheek, resting sweetly on her head, again, like any typical night. I stood, in that moment, taking in the beauty of the heat passed between bodies, the sweat forming in tiny dewdrops between us. And at that moment, I wondered how I could hate the very thing that makes us feel alive, that makes us feel warmth.


 I don't do well in heat. My skin breaks out in rashes from the sun and I'm usually found in some shady corner, basking in the glory of boob sweat. But I do love summer. I love the warmth you feel on a summer day, the cool drinks that whisk the heat away, even if only for a moment. Heat is life, heat is pain, and heat is the feeling of happiness you feel in moments that define your life.

Lark was born in the summer. End of summer, but summer, nonetheless...I remember feeling cold in the hospital. Leftover pain meds and glamorous hospital gowns had me chilled to the bone. But she was there, a bright, warm light in our room. And when I held her, she was the warmth that made me feel alive. A living, breathing, warm little being. The day we brought her home was stifling hot. I was dripping with sweat as we got in the car because the only piece of clothing that fit me when we left, was a big, fuzzy robe. But that day has been engrained in my memory. We brought our daughter home in the heat of summer, and it was the most beautiful day.

So I ask myself another question, "How can I hate the very thing she brings to my life? Heat, warmth and passion. And how can I hate the very thing that created her life...heat, warmth and passion?"

Two bodies, now three, in an everlasting,
metaphorical (and literal) warm embrace
where heat reminds us
that we are living, and we are loving, and we are us.



"Heat" is the July writing prompt of The Mommy Blogger Collective. In addition to a monthly writing prompt, the collective hosts a monthly blogger featurette. This month we are featuring Renee of oh renée. A few words from Renée --- Oh Renée started as a creative outlet for me a few years ago, a happy place to share creative and fun projects or fashion. Since then, it has evolved into one of the best things I could ever have done with my time! The last few years of blogging have become much more personal to me- more of a way to document this life of mine, with my husband, with my little boy and with the world around me. I enjoy sharing glimpses into our days and sharing in other mom’s lives as well, as part of this wonderful world of social media. Being a mother is better than anything I could have expected! Truly. I call Ohio my home, I keep the joy of traveling and exploring new places close to my heart, i spend my evenings knitting and am never without a book in my hand or in my purse. My blog is much of the same! You can find me on Instagram at instagram.com/ohreneedesign. /// The Mommy Blogger Collective /// Christina, Courteney, Dena, Erica, Erin, Gillian, Katie, Misty, Nicole, and Renée. //

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Week in Review // June 30 - July 6

Last week went by too fast, especially considering it was a 3-day holiday weekend. Days off always go by too fast!

Lark's Tuesday swim class was cancelled, and we didn't make Thursday's because of our trip north for the holiday. The week wasn't anything exciting, just our usual day-to-day.

The fourth was great. I always enjoy spending it in northern Michigan with family and friends. I was sentimental, being that it was Lark's last 'first' holiday. I know, I'm THAT crazy mom. But she's 10 months today, and we have gone through an entire year of first holidays, which means she's almost one and that much closer to not being a baby anymore. My heart aches, yet bursts with joy at the fun to come...motherhood is the saddest AND most amazing journey at the same time.

It was a pretty chill weekend with Friday's usual parade-watching and fireworks. We also enjoyed some tacos from a delicious taco truck, Happy's Tacos. And they were amazing! I got sunburnt, of course, and we initially thought Lark's cheeks did as well, but then realized it was an allergic type of reaction from an unknown source, but she was fine. Her sleep schedule was a little off, which could have contributed, but she was a happy camper all weekend.

She also got to meet her cousin, Lance, for the first time. They're only 2 days apart so that was a lot of fun. He's all over the place, standing and nearly walking, and was pretty smitten with Lark, as she was with him. She would just giggle when she saw him. It was cute.

Saturday was spent celebrating Lark's great-great aunt, who turned 90 earlier in the week. After the party, lots of cousins played a very competitive game of wiffle ball. I proceeded to hang on the sidelines and get eaten alive by mosquitoes. Just a typical day for me.

Sunday we came home and were so tired. A pile of weekend laundry leftovers and luggage still lies in the middle of our dining room. Maybe I'll clean it up today...maybe...

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Firmoo.com Sunglasses Review

As I'm sure you've noticed, I'm a glasses-wearer. I have been since 8 years old when I was prescribed my first pair of reading glasses. But as an adult, I have some issues with distance, thus...glasses. I did try my hand at contact lenses a few years back, but they became a nuisance when they started to really bother one eye. I have a recurring eye pain in that one eye that seems to be seasonal in relation to allergies, and the contacts were a pain when I'd have episodes of that. My prescription isn't horribly strong, and sometimes I do go without, especially in the summer when I wear sunglasses. My eyes are extremely sensitive to light, so sunglasses are a must. I've just never bit the bullet and purchased prescription sunglasses. Mostly due to cost. Glasses aren't cheap. I buy all of my eyewear online these days.

But thanks to the internet, there are many companies who offer discounted eyewear. One such website is firmoo.com. I'd seen them around in my web surfing from time to time (do we still call it that? I'm aging myself...). They reached out to me last month, asking if I'd be interested in reviewing their products. I basically said "hell yes!" and my eyes said thank you.

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I browsed the site and study the styles they offer, when I came across these beauties that reminded me of a Prada pair I've been lusting after, but can't seem to afford because I don't have $245 just laying around. Sigh...

But these! These tortoise shell beauties arrived in my mailbox last week! The tortoise shell detail was hard to photograph, since it's a very dark tortoise, but it's gorgeous! The temples are jet black.

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They're extremely well-made, sturdy and the prescription is spot on! They arrived in the cutest vintage map case. It's like they know me and my obsession with maps! Also included was a soft case, which I'm actually not a huge fan of. Only because the tie that gathers the opening closed doesn't stay shut. But I think that will change with use as the fabric softens from use. They also included a large lens cleaning cloth that's probably one of the best I've ever owned!

Overall, I'm very pleased with these. I love BIG sunglasses, and these fit the bill. They also have a very retro vibe, which also a requirement for any eyewear that adorns this face!

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Sunglasses c/o firmoo.com // Coral Stripe Peplum Tanks c/o Bold Threads

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Ring courtesy of my baby daddy and I never get tired of seeing it on my finger!

Firmoo.com has amazing prices. These sunglasses, with prescription and polarized lenses, are a steal for less than $100. You can also order any frame they offer without prescription. They'll definitely be my staple accessory for summer!

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Week in Review // June 23-29

Weeks are passing by really fast, especially since we started these videos! It's just...insane!

Last week consisted of more swim lessons. On Tuesday, Lark cried the whole time again, making us feel awful! So on Thursday, I put her on the steps for a few minutes, where she could sit and stand and feel the ground beneath her. She was happy to splash around there and when I moved into the deeper part of the pool, she was happy! She laughed, splashed, kicked...it was amazing. She still had moments of uneasiness, but overall did amazing!

We headed north for the weekend as well. Spent Saturday at a family party, where the only food was ice cream since it was an ice cream social, so we ran back into town to grab some food, that I downed with a happy hour Oberon. It was so good and gave me a buzz. I'm a post-pregnancy lightweight! Then we hung out in the evening at the campground where James' sister was staying for the weekend. We took Lark swimming and it was her first lake experience. She was actually pretty into it, until some tiny waves smacked her right in the face. The fun was over after that.

On Sunday, as I was playing with her while everyone slept, she did/said the most amazing thing!! I swear this kid has learned to say 'all done'! I've noticed I'm saying it to her a lot these days, and she's picking up on it. James was skeptical that that is what she's was really saying, but it happened more than once, even with arms in the air at one point! Babies are amazing and learn so much in such a small amount of time. She's so smart! But, you know, I'm bound to think she's a genius, she is MY kid after all...

On Sunday, we met up with James' old college pal for lunch, then headed home later that day. It was a fun weekend, but ridiculously hot and humid!

Here's to another week!

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