{lake living loves} beautiful handmade mugs on etsy.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

If you know me at all then you know I have a slight, shall we say, obsession with mugs.  Maybe it has something to do with how much coffee I drink?  Of course I want to be drinking it out of a cute mug!  The same goes for milk - I can't even fathom drinking milk out of glass - gross.  I think that habit goes back to the time I discovered that it's much easier to dunk Oreos in a mug of milk than a glass of milk.  Obviously.

So anyway, I thought for this edition of lake living loves, I'd share some beautiful handmade mugs from Etsy!  I'm also bookmarking these for myself, because hello Christmas list!

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

I hope you guys have a great rest of your weekend! Stay cool out there. :)

moody monday: a posh purple big girl room

Monday, July 9, 2018

Hello and happy Monday you guys! I hope you had a fantastic 4th of July last week - wasn't it so weird being on a Wednesday?

I used to do a series here called "Moody Monday" in which I shared a mood board I put together for imaginary spaces.  I thought I'd resurrect it today, but in this case, the room isn't imaginary!  I'm already starting to plan for S2's big girl room (when we decide to move her, sometime next year) and thought it would be fun to share my initial plans.

The room she'll be moving into is a good size, but to maximize the space even more, I thought it would make sense to get her a daybed.  There is not really a corner to tuck a bed into, so by doing a daybed, we can avoid a bed sticking out into the middle of the room and maximize floor space.  After all, she's still little and has lots of toys to play with. 

Here's a little mockup I did of the bed wall with the sconces.

I still need to think through the details, but this is the big picture - cutie patootie Hygge & West "Daydream" wallpaper + upholstered daybed + gold + purple = perfectly posh room fit for a princess. 😁. Also, I think by doing the wallpaper only on the upper 1/3 of the wall, it won't be too busy, and will mimic the birds flying in the sky.

She's on board with the purple, I just have to bring her around to the birds and clouds.  If it were up to her, there would be a big Rapunzel decal stuck onto neon purple walls. We gotta compromise here, folks. 🤣

insta update.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Hello friends and welcome to another insta update!  I like to do these on the first Thursday of every month, because it's fun to look back and see what we did over the last few weeks! 

Also, it's July, whaaaa?  Our culture has a hard time living in the moment, instead always looking forward to what's next.  I've been trying to consciously live every day to the fullest, but now that it's July, it's almost August, and almost September and I loooooove September.  

Anyway, here's what happened on Instagram last month...

jenna_lovelakelivingMy front porch got all summer-ified with a new yellow front door 🙌🏻💛 Only 5 hours and 4 coats later 🙄😓 More pics on the blog - link in profile.

jenna_lovelakelivingWhat a fun day we had at #tweetsieRR seeing #thomasthetrain(swipe left for more pics) I hadn’t been to Tweetsie since I was a kid, but I remember going allll the time with my grandparents and I have such fond memories. Not much has changed in a couple decades, except the cowboys and Indians gun fight on the train is now more of a comedy sketch. 🤣

jenna_lovelakelivingThis girl was all giggles tonight. I love seeing her little personality develop! 😍 In #momstyle news, I’ve lived in these #aeriereal pajama pants for a week now and haven’t washed them because then what will I wear?! I think I need all the colors. So soft and comfy! 💃🏻 Liners by @pedsbrand of course. 😜 find them @targetstyle 🙌🏻

  • jenna_lovelakelivingWe’re living it up this Friday night with pizza, bicycles, and chalk art (swipe). Also, my hydrangeas are 😍.

jenna_lovelakeliving4 months old! Well technically she was 4 months a week and a half ago but #momlife 🤦🏻‍♀️ She’s rolling over like crazy and loooves to stick out her tongue at us! Generally she’s a pretty good baby and we are so lucky to have her. ❤️

jenna_lovelakelivingShe’s just so cute I can hardly stand it. Yeah sure, babies are hard work but a heck of a lot easier than a sassy 4 year old. 💁🏻‍♀️

jenna_lovelakelivingSydney asked me tonight why I give the baby so many kisses. I mean, just look at these cheeks - could you resist? 😍 Also apparently I need to kiss Syd more because #momguilt 🤷🏻‍♀️

jenna_lovelakelivingFinally getting around to sharing Reese’s 4 month pic. She has her checkup tomorrow and I’m anxious to see how much she weighs now! She has chunked up in the last month for sure. She loves to play on her play mat and laughs when we tickle her belly. She really is such a good baby ❤️

jenna_lovelakelivingThe baby took an extra long nap this afternoon 🙌🏻 so I took the opportunity to Americanize the mantel for the 4th (um how is it already almost July 4th?!). It’s always fun to switch things up and it makes me wonder why I don’t do it more often.

{lake living loves} the 10 most essential baby items for new parents.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Hi friends, welcome to Saturday and another edition of {lake living loves}.  I am SO enjoying putting these together for you - I hope you find them useful.  If you missed one, you can always check out past posts by clicking here.

This post has been on my calendar for a LONG time now, but I kept erasing it and moving it out because I wanted to be super thoughtful about what I think the most essential baby items are.  This post has nothing to do with cutesy baby things, and everything to do with what you absolutely NEED if you have a baby.  Now, I will put out a disclaimer that these are the exact things that we use and love, but everyone's budget is different, so just take this as a starting point.  I'll give you thorough reasoning behind why we love each item and you can use that info to make informed decisions when shopping for yourself or a mama-to-be in your life.

So let's get to it.

1. We bought the Boon Flair high chair when S2 was about 6 months old.  I didn't register for one when I was pregnant because I was so picky and none of the ones at Babies R Us (RIP) or Target fit the bill.  My criteria when high chair shopping were as follows (in order of most importance to least importance): (a) it had to be completely wipeable - no fabric (b) it had to have a small footprint to fit in our dining room at the time (c) it had to be simple but cute.  I actually stumbled across this one on Instagram, and while it was really more than we wanted to spend, it has proven to be so worth it.  Let me just list out the myriad of reasons why this is the best high chair on the market (in my opinion!):

-- Completely wipeable. The only "fabric" on the whole thing are the woven harness straps, but even those are so easy to remove and soak in the sink when they get nasty. But from day-to-day, they wipe fairly clean with a cloth.

-- The tray can be removed single-handedly.  There's a latch underneath that you use your right hand and slide and pull to remove the tray.  With one hand.  No tricky latches on each side like most high chairs.  And us mamas need as many hands as we can get!

-- Comes with a tray liner that can be popped off and washed with the dishes. This is the piece that gets dirty at each meal time. The rest of the tray and arms just take a quick wipe down and are good to go for next time. (Also, the orange seat pad and matching tray can be changed for a different color.)

-- No wide legs to trip over.  This is so annoying to me - how WIDE the legs stick out on a lot of high chairs.  Not only does it take up so much room, but you inevitably stub your toe on one of the legs and your baby learns some choice words.

-- This thing is on WHEELS.  We roll it up to the table at dinner time, and roll it back into the corner when we're finished.  This also makes it so easy for us both to help with feeding.  I turn her toward me to give her a few bites, and then S1 turns her toward him to give her a few bites, so we can actually both eat dinner as well.  Oh and the wheels also lock for safety if your little one is WILD. ha.

In conclusion, you can't go wrong here.

Okay, I had a lot to say about high chairs, I apologize. I'll try to keep the rest of these much shorter!

2. The Owlet Smart Sock baby monitor provides such peace of mind at night.  It's a device that you put on the baby's foot (comes with 3 sock sizes) that monitors their heart rate and oxygen level.  If anything is out of range, the base sounds an alarm, and it also sends an alert to your phone.  I love that it is worn on the foot and attaches securely with velcro. We haven't had any heart-stopping red alert notifications because it can tell the difference between being unable to register a reading (due to the sock positioning, etc.) vs. your baby actually not breathing.  With S2, we had a Snuza, which was great, but we had several false alarms with it, just due to the nature of the product (clips onto the diaper to monitor movement of the belly to determine breathing).  Nothing will make you jump out of bed and have a minor heart attack quite like the Snuza going off.  Warning: the Owlet is pricey, but if you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), you may be able to use those funds for the Owlet (check with your provider).  The Snuza is 1/3 the price, so it could be a good option if your budget doesn't allow the Owlet - or if you have twins!

3. I puffy heart our Rock 'n Play.  Baby R sleeps in this at night, right next to our bed.  This new version features Smart Connect, which means you can control the settings right from an app on your phone.  She has slept great in this thing from day 1.  Now, I will say, if you have an Owlet, it will not register vital signs when the Rock 'n Play is rocking on high speed.  But it will at the low speed.  Always check the Owlet app before going to bed to make sure it's reading signs and doesn't say your baby is "wiggling."  We've actually had two RNPs because the first one had a software malfunction and wouldn't stop rocking unless it was unplugged - but Fisher-Price customer service was GREAT and sent us a replacement via 2-day shipping.

4. Cloth diapers as burp cloths = winning.  They are absorbent, simple, wash and dry like a dream, all the good things!  Save your money and don't buy the "cutesy" burp cloths - function over form here people!  But you can also jazz them up with some decorative stitching - so easy as a beginner sewing project.

5. Avent Soothie pacifiers are the only ones we've used with our girls.  We tried to give S2 a different kind that we'd gotten at our shower but she would have NONE of it.  Soothie all the way!

6. I actually have a prettier diaper backpack that I use, but I can't recommend it as much as this Diaper Dude that I got S1 for Christmas before S2 was born.  TONS of pockets and lots of different zippered areas make this diaper bag backpack super functional.  It's the one we like to take if we're going to be out all day shopping, at the Zoo, at Disney, you name it.  Also, it's super affordable!  Win win win here people.

7. These Tommee Tippee bibs have an absorbent collar that is a game changer when it comes to spit up.  The collar fits nice and snug against baby chins, which means no errant spit up can get behind it and onto their clothes.  Tell me you know what I'm talking about here.  All bibs are NOT created equal.

8. I bought the LILLEbaby Ring Sling after realizing that structured carriers are hard to operate by yourself.  The structured carrier I have is great when we're out for the day and S1 is there to help me, but if I'm around the house by myself, I can't reach between my shoulder blades to buckle the straps (seriously, who designed this thing? or maybe I have short arms?), so the ring sling saves the day!  It's also super comfortable for baby wearing.  I actually snagged this color on the LILLEbaby site for $60 when it was on sale, so maybe stalk their site or Amazon to see if they have another sale on these.

9. Everyone needs a diaper clutch.  We were at small local amusement park a couple weeks ago, and were waiting our turn to use the changing table in the women's restroom.  The lady in front of us laid her baby right on the nasty changing table and had her wipes in a ziploc bag.  I felt so bad for her.  I didn't get the impression that she couldn't afford a small luxury such as this, more like she didn't know such a thing existed.  People, get yourself and all your friends a diaper clutch.  It's a changing pad, diaper holder, wipes holder in ONE, and you just pull it out of your diaper bag and take it into the restroom when it's time for a change.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

10. The Dohm white noise machine deserves all the praise hands. It's simply white noise, no ocean sounds or crickets chirping, which makes putting a baby to sleep at night so easy.  She loves it, we love it, it's really the best.

Okay, y'all, that's it - the 10 most essential baby items for parents-to-be.  Did I miss anything?  Tell me what your #1 is!

the easiest iced latte at home.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

I'm not a food/recipe blogger, like, at all.

But I recently suffered an addiction to Dunkin Donuts iced vanilla lattes and my wallet did not thank me, so I had to try to find a way to recreate them at home.

It's so easy and not really a "recipe" at all, but I couldn't find anything similar on Pinterest, so I thought that the WORLD NEEDED TO KNOW.

Here's what you need:

Iced coffee
Cane Sugar Syrup
Flavored syrup (optional)


Step 1: Buy iced coffee.  This Starbucks coffee is in the refrigerated section of my grocery store and is under $5 for the container.  Yes, you can make your own cold brew coffee, or brew regular coffee and refrigerate it, but this recipe is called the easiest iced latte, so buy this jazz.

Step 2:  Fill a cup with lots of ice.  But not TOO much or you'll quickly have watered down coffee and no one likes that.

Step 3:  Pour the coffee into the cup of ice about 3/4 full.

Step 4:  Fill the rest of the cup with milk (sometimes I'll buy skim milk for this purpose because #calories, but if not, I use the regular 2% we always have).  So the ratio is 3 parts coffee, 1 part milk.

Step 5:  Splash in some creamer.  I love this Dunkin Donuts creamer because it's slightly sweet without any flavoring and really thick and rich.

Step 6:  Add one pump cane sugar syrup (more or less to taste).  One full pump is perfect for my cup. Again, you can make your own simple syrup, but why?

Step 7 (optional):  Add your favorite flavored syrup.  Sometimes I'll do a pump of vanilla.  I think adding just the flavored syrup without the simple syrup is either not sweet enough, or gets too overpowering with the flavor.

And that's it, a yummy iced latte at home!

Let me know if you try it! Here's a pin to save for later:

building a boat dock.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Hiya friends!

I'm here to dispel a myth today.  It's this: "Oh, it must be so nice to build a new house and have everything done at one time!"


This house is more of a work-in-progress than our last house was.  Only 80% of the actual house is finished, the landscaping is still... annoying tedious, and even though we live on the lake, we had no way to access it for the last 2.5 years.

So this spring, we finally allotted the cash to building a boat dock.  For those of you who are unaware, I'm here to educate you: building a dock is expensive.  I'm talking, put one kid through college expensive.  So, while we would have loved to do this at the same time we built our house, it just wasn't feasible.  For anything "extra" like this, we're paying cash, so we have to space these out a little bit.  Next year, we might finish part of the basement!  And the year after that, I'm sure something else will come up that we want to do.

Oh, speaking of expensive, the dock is still only 50% finished, because putting a roof (or roof deck) on is $$$$$$.  So yeah, I'm keeping it real here today because this is REAL LIFE.  Things don't happen overnight.  I think if you read as many blogs as I do, the slow pace of "real life" can feel downright discouraging because legit bloggers (of which I am not) are able to do makeovers at the speed of light.  ANYWAY, got a little off topic there.

Here's our experience building a boat dock!

We opted for a stationary dock (vs. a floating dock) because they're generally more sturdy and can stand up to the elements a little better.  Plus I just liked the idea of being able to sit out there and not worry about my drink spilling if a big wake comes through.  We had our contractor build the dock as if he was putting a roof on it, so that we can easily add one later.  The supports are in all the right places to support a roof, etc.

The dock has two "fingers." A lower one on the left for accessing the boat, and a higher one on the right for hanging out.  One thing about a stationary dock - if the water level gets a little high, then the lower finger could potentially be submerged.  We haven't run into that issue with ours yet, although the water is high at the moment.  In these photos, the water was historically low because the power company was doing some maintenance on the dam and had lowered water levels.  Normally, the water level is about a foot or so below the lower finger.

We chose to use all-weather composite decking so we could be barefoot and not have to worry about splinters. Also, so we don't have to deal with the maintenance that wood decking requires.  I also chose to do a picture framing detail around the outside of the deck boards.  Not only does it just look a little nicer, but I think it looks more finished because you can't see the cut edges of the boards at all. It was a little more money (because of the labor involved to lay the boards this way), but I think it was worth it.

It took the guys about 3 weeks to build it - and we couldn't be happier with the result!

We ordered the same railing that we have on the deck so that everything is nice and cohesive.  We still need to order some furniture to sit out here - we're thinking Adirondack chairs.  We were also going to put an umbrella out here, but the dock is in the shade the majority of the day so it's not needed.  Also, spiders hide in umbrellas and no thank you.  You've never dealt with spiders until you live on the lake - spiders love a moist environment apparently.  Ugh.

You can see in this ^ picture just how low the water level was!  See how low the boat is compared to the dock - now scroll back up to the previous picture and see where the boat normally sits.  It was crazy.  S2 doesn't really have the patience for fishing, but she likes the idea of it.  Now it's nice to have somewhere to fish.

I thought I would include a picture of the dock from the house (just ignore the green concrete - we have to get the pressure washer out soon).  This was when it was just finished, hence no leaves on the trees yet. 

Oh, and a photo from the water, with our house in the background.  Here you can really see how far our house is from the actual water (it's quite the trek to get down the hill).

And a final after picture!  We are so glad to finally be able to enjoy all that lake living has to offer now.

{lake living loves} loco for lemons.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Do you think I could insert one more L word into the title of this post? 😝 I just couldn't resist.

Welcome to Saturday, friends! Have you noticed that lemons are the it fruit of 2018? Like, literally, they're everywhere and I'm not at all mad about it. I've had a lemon rug in my kitchen for 2 years now, so I like to think I was ahead of the trend on the lemon-love. Pineapples are so 2017, so hop aboard the lemon train and let's go!

Here are 15 CUTIE PATOOTIE lemon-themed items that I found and love.

For the kids

1. This roundup wouldn't be complete without a couple items (also see: #4) that say easy peasy lemon squeezy. This kids tank is adorable, especially the pink and yellow color combination!

2. Okay, #1 was for S2 but this one is for Baby R. How CUTE is this little nautical-inspired lemon outfit? She needs it.

3. It's a plush smiling lemon toy. Enough said.

For the home

4. I think I need this hand towel to match my lemon rug, don't you?

5. Amazon is quickly becoming my go-to place for home decor items. I just love this table runner!

6. I'm sure you've heard the cliche "When life gives you lemon, make lemonade." This print goes a step further than lemonade and says "make lemon everything." Yes, please.

7. This print has a really pretty painterly quality that I'm drawn to. And again with the pink and yellow color combo.

8. My lemon rug was from Target 2 years ago (how many times can I mention that rug in this post?), and is no longer available, but I found another one for you! So cute.

9. The color of this colander is "lemon" so it totally counts as a lemon item. Plus I need it to set on my counter holding fruit - how pretty would that look?

10. I'm a total sucker for anything with black and white stripes (see: my closet), so this painted lemon art really caught my eye. And obviously if you buy the colander, you need this little lemon painting to sit next to it. Obviously.

11. This notecard is so pretty, I don't think I'd want to write anything on it.

For you


13. I'm a little wary buying clothing from random Amazon sellers, but I just might take a chance on this dress. It's so fun for summer.

14. Isn't it funny how you can have a whole drawer of pajama pants in regular rotation one year and the next year, they're all ratty, 10 years old and omg I need to go pajama shopping, I'm so embarrassed. Pick up these lemon capris, you'll thank me. (Also available in shorts!!)

15. A 3-pack of lemony crew socks. Please and thank you.

So, tell me, are you as loco for lemons as I am?  I'm unstoppable.