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July 31, 2016

This lemon slice crossbody bag from SheIn.com
I am the first to be suspicious of products that come from websites like SheIn or Beautiful Halo due to the occasional unreliability of some of their products. However, I've been giving SheIn another chance lately and stumbled across this adorable bag perfect for the very last days of summer--and for keeping your smile cheery with the thought of summer all year round!
This Yellow Lemon Shaped Crossbody Bag retails for $11.99 at SheIn

3 Strikes by Terror Jr
Full disclosure: this is the song from Kylie Jenner's crazy 'Glosses' video. Don't let that scare you off! This song actually has become one of my oft-repeated recently due to its badass vibe and the way it makes you feel like you're in a music video of your own. Don't judge before you listen!
The song: 3 Strikes by Terror Jr on SoundCloud

These Emily & Meritt Glitter Critter Pillows from Pottery Barn Teen
When I was drooling over dorm decor I stumbled across these adorable pillows. These fox and bunny pillows can keep your duvet set company as well as pretty up your room...and who doesn't love glitter?! 
Emily & Meritt Pillows retail for $39 each at pbteen.com

The Kennedy Family at their New England summer house
I don't remember how I stumbled across this photo, and I don't know why it touched me in the way it did, but I love it! JFK driving this zamboni-looking cart around the front lawn of his family house with at least 10 kids piled on makes me nostalgic for my own family vacations...of which I just enjoyed at my own Family Beach Week!

I have jumped on the makeup bandwagon, along with the rest of humanity, and have fallen in love with NARS' Orgasm blush. I was sent a sample of the blush along with another, different, beauty purchase and immediately loved it as soon as I swept it across my cheeks! The tint adds a natural-looking tint, as if you're experiencing let's say 'great joy', and just brightens your entire look! Forewarning though: if you use too much it can look like you've gotten too much sun on your cheeks.
NARS Orgasm Blush retails for $30 at Sephora.com
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July 29, 2016


I stumbled across this recipe while browsing one of my favorite cooking bloggers: Gaby from Whats Gaby Cooking. I wanted to make a simple little dessert for Fourth of July weekend and this seemed perfect.

What You'll Need:
8 ounces - white chocolate (melted)
8 cups - popped popcorn (I used unflavored, lightly salted popcorn)
16 ounces - marshmallows (you can use mini-marshmallows or jar ones)
2 tablespoons - butter
rainbow sprinkles

What To Do:
Line a 9x9 baking dish with parchment paper or aluminum foil and spray with non-stick baking spray.
In a large bowl, gently mix together the melted chocolate with the popped popcorn. Sprinkle those sprinkles on top of this concoction + a little sea salt to your taste.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add your marshmallows to the butter and stir until the marshmallows are completely melted and smooth. Note: if you use the jarred marshmallows (no gelatin in jarred marshmallow fluff, making it edible for vegetarians) you can use less butter because the fluff is already more 'melted' than the bag of marshmallows.
Add your popcorn mixture to the saucepan. I added the popcorn in two batches just to make it a bit more manageable. Stir the popcorn mixture around in the marshmallows until the popcorn is well-coated. Take note to avoid burning yourself on the hot marshmallow mixture.
Transfer the whole mixture from the saucepan into your prepared 9x9 baking dish. Press the whole mixture into the dish to keep them firmly together. Sprinkle even more of the rainbow sprinkles on top of the mixture. 

Let the mixture harden for about 20 minutes--you can even put it in the fridge for an expedited hardening. You can cut the mixture into squares or just pull bunches off at a time, which is the method I used. Personally I found this to be a very sweet treat--in the way I often find white chocolate to be almost too sweet, but my family enjoyed the simple popcorn treat.

Original recipe found here

xx

Try it and let me know how it works for you!
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July 26, 2016

Muddy Waters - LP
If you watched season four of Orange Is The New Black, you heard this in one of the most heart-stopping / heartbreaking scenes I think I’ve ever seen. As a result every time I hear this song I feel like either bursting into tears or killing someone. But regardless, I haven’t been able to stop listening to it, because it is incredible.

Way Down We Go - Kaleo
Kaleo is an Icelandic band that’s gaining a lot of prominence here in the States. I first heard this song in the trailer for season four of Orange Is The New Black, back before I knew that they had that heart-stopping scene in store for me. Damn them. Either way this song struck me as special from the minute I heard it.
Another one from Kaleo. Bless their Icelandic hearts for giving me such good music this summer. The music video is worth watching too, and just as pretty as the song. It’ll have you dreaming of pink and purple sunsets / love / flowery fields / really good friends.

All I Got - Santigold
I heard this in a little cell phone commercial or something with Chloe Sevigny in it. I liked it a lot.

Angel Zoo - Phlake
This lil diamond came from a scene out of MTV’s Scream and I have been OBSESSED with it for like two months now.
Frankie Sinatra - The Avalanches
I still haven’t listened to the lyrics very closely, but you know, I feel like I’m having fun when this is on.

Hello - Conkarah
This is a reggae cover of Adele’s “Hello,” and I LOVE IT because it is so good for summer. It has a lil bit of an autotune effect on it so that takes away from some of its beauty, but their voices are still so nice and this version of the song has such a good vibe.

Work - Conkarah
So. I’m feeling reggae this month. This isn’t just reworked in terms of genre but also has different lyrics. Again, it has a really nice vibe for summer.

Waving Wild - Arum Rae
I heard this one on Pretty Little Liars, which I still inexplicably watch from time to time even though it is trash, and something about it stood out to me. It was also featured on The Catch apparently, and so by the looks of it, it’s a song that’s good for like, seduction scenes. So you know. If you want to feel hot and somewhat powerful for some reason, this is your song.

Circles - The Young Romans
This gem came from The Fosters, and it’s just really pretty to me. It can do a good job of calming you down, should you need that.
I really don’t need to put this on here, because I’m sure most people have heard it by now, but on the off chance that you haven’t, or if you’ve heard of it but decided it wasn’t worth a listen, I’m telling you it definitely is.

Sucker for Pain (feat. X Ambassadors) - Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, Imagine Dragons with Logic & Ty Dolla $ign
Again not worth listing because everyone knows it but IF YOU DONT WHAT ARE YOU DOING IT IS A MASTERPIECE. SUICIDE SQUAD!!!!

Be Alright - Kehlani 
I’m still obsessed with Kehlani’s perfect voice, and while exploring some more of her songs a few days ago, I found this one, and thought it had just the right words and just the right vibe for me at this point in life, and I’m sure most of you could use it too. 
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Amrita is the music expert of my life and whenever I feel the need for new music I turn to her. Her taste varies and I find a lot of what she listens to isn't completely mainstream or played on the radio every 5 minutes and I just enjoy her picks.

From A: Some of these songs make me happy and some make me sad and some fill me up with light and I hope they do the same for you."
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July 24, 2016

As Family Beach Week tends to do....it went by way too fast! It seemed like we all just got settled into the house before it was time to leave!
E's annual haircut was the same spectacle it normally is...EB is very attached to her hair and I think it freaks her out to have someone cut it off. Of course, after the tears in the chair she's perfectly fine and loves her new haircut courtesy of cousin Alison.
Butch--photo creds to Charlotte

Alison also was kind enough to trim my hair, Logan's hair, and Uncle Don's hair.
Thursday night was Colington night--we always make sure to go at least once during our week. I've truly grown up at Colington, our whole family is friends with the lovely owners and their family and it's truly like meeting up with more members of family during beach week when we go to Colington Cafe.

Half of us went to Colington for dinner and the other half went to a local baseball game--of course those of us at dinner got home first so we decided to have a little beach time!
L's expressions are priceless

No matter how crazy my family can drive me sometimes, I always know they love me and I always love them. Always. And I really love our traditions--especially Family Beach Week. It's the highlight of my summer and I couldn't imagine being who I am today without traditions like this week.
Friday tends to be the saddest/most hectic day because it's the end of our week--Saturday is move-out. We decided on a really simple dinner of corn on the cob + burgers and hot dogs (with some super yummy vegetarian substitutes, serious kudos to the Morningstar Black Bean burger) and since we have 6 people celebrating birthdays during the summer we always celebrate with a cake!
E really enjoyed her cake

 The cake was a little overkill after a really heavy dinner & it created a lot of leftovers--which was what we always try to avoid at the end of beach week. It was delicious, as always, and seemed a fitting, sweet tribute to the end of beach week. I'm already looking forward to next summer's beach week.

xx

What are some of your favorite family traditions?
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July 22, 2016

Alison, L, EB, Sharon, Mason, Charlotte

Our annual Family Beach Week commenced last Saturday--I can't believe we're already over halfway through! This week has flown by in a flurry of food, crying babies, laughing kids, walks to the turtle pond, movies, catching up with old friends, the beach....the list could go on and on. 
Whenever we aren't out at the pool or beach (or napping...or eating...) we're doing puzzles and playing games! E and C love putting together puzzles together--the cousins were so proud of this one they did together!
Logan
The whole conglomerate of family within these walls is a pretty funny configuration overall.
Mason
EB, Sharon, Mason, Charlotte
S'mores is a tradition within Beach Week itself. We find sticks out behind our beach house and roast marshmallows over the grill until they're golden brown....or on fire. Smush the marshmallows between two graham crackers with a hunk of chocolate and you've got yourself a fire dessert.
The cousins really enjoyed the s'mores
Moi!
We tried to get a photo of all four kids...it didn't go so well. 
This is the closest we got to them all smiling and looking at the camera....
Then it delved into this

The next day was a beach day!
We decided to go to the beach in the morning because one particular afternoon we tried to beach it and burned our feet on the sand! It only takes one time that you have to sprint up the sand in your bathing suit, trying to balance all of your items in your hands. Morning is better, trust my blistered toes.
Mason proudly displaying all his moon jellyfish he's collected off the beach
I asked them to show me their "crazy faces"
By far our most common activity after dinner is a family walk to the turtle pond near our house. We've been coming to the turtle pond since Mom and I and my grandparents actually lived in this house while they were fixing up their own house.
Aunts Sharon and Dawn
"I'm a tree!" --Logan
#WM2020
Family Beach Week, even among all the craziness, remains one of my favorite traditions. I've always loved spending time with my family, and as much as things have changed since I was little and calling for family dinners every night, I still wouldn't trade these wacky people and this crazy week, for anything.

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