STYLING YOUR KITCHEN

GOLD RACK | GLASS CUPS | SPOON 

 

Ahhhh, THE KITCHEN.... the heart of your home. The place everyone likes to hangout, life-central, where you feed your family and where everyone seems to drop their junk and leave. Ha! Who are these people and why must they completely destroy the one room in my house I need to have function efficiently. And since I spend so much dang time in here, I'd really like it to look pretty too. Which is why I thought this post would be a good one, and keeps on with the theme of the year, Making Pretty Choices. 

People often ask me, where do you put all your stuff? How come I never see any clutter in the background of any of your pictures or Instastories? Why does everything seem so neat and put together all the time? Well, first of all I run a tight ship. I also have a place for everything and at least twice a day I audit my space. Meaning, I do a clean sweep of the counters and get rid of any thing that is no longer necessary and doesn't belong. Let's just say the base of the stairs to my kids rooms and my husbands office accumulate quite a pile by end of day. {this basket is a must for helping kids transfer their stuff to where it really belongs} I mean, why should the kitchen be a drop zone for all their stuff. And to be completely honest I have a touch of OCD and can't stand 'stuff' all over and more importantly the kitchen is MINE. 

GOLD MEASURING CUPS | WOODEN SPOONS

 

Now, back to what I was saying about pretty things and making pretty choices. That theme is very much present in my kitchen. First things first, I like white + marble and gold. You already knew that. So when selecting things for my kitchen and displaying things we use most, I choose pretty over basic. That goes for my measuring cups and spoons too. Almost imagine yourself living in a model home. You know how cute and minimallistic the counters are there, mimic that in your own home. Or get inspired for a magazine article. Just think clean + clutter free. 

COLOR BLOCKED BOARD (similar) | POT (similar) | TRAY | MINI CUTTING BOARDS

 

I also enjoy setting up a vignette on the counters in my kitchen as well. Nothing crazy really, and quite easy to do. I always start with a tray. Then layer a cool hand towel, maybe a few leaning cutting boards and finish out the look with some greenery. See, that's it. 

That goes for laundry too. Why have a ugly ol' plastic laundry basket when you could camolfauge your dirties in some cute baskets. I found these at HomeGoods. Baskets are also a great place to store your cleaning supplies + soaps and rags. I just find if things are in order and have a place, things stay organized and I don't feel overwhelmed by the end of the day. 


USEFUL STYLE



IN YOUR EASTER FINEST

Spring is officially here and Easter is just around the corner.  Getting a new dress for Easter is such a fun tradition that I know many of you guys share, so I wanted to put together two different looks that would be perfect for Easter.  And since with Spring comes the start of shower season, both of these looks would be perfect for any wedding or baby showers that you might be attending.  Wanna know the best part?  Both of the dresses are under $100! 


DRESS | HAT (similar) | NECKLACE

I can not get enough of this gorgeous blue color and that double ruffle.  I also put my own little twist on an Easter bonnet and added a fun straw hat to my look.  This dress is so flattering on because it skims the body without clinging to any trouble spots and it is the perfect length.  For only $78 it is a total steal too!  It would look really cute dressed down with a pair of converse tennis shoes, a nude flat, or a simple sandal.

DRESS

Can we talk about this dress!?!  I am so obsessed!  Like, I ordered it in all three colors obsessed.  It comes in white, black and the periwinkle color that I am wearing above.  It truly is a perfect all-occasion dress.  It would look so cute for an Easter church service with a cardigan or light weight jacket over it.  I also think it would awesome as a dress for a bridal shower or a rehearsal dinner.  I have a couple of different events that I am going to in the next month or two and I am going to wear this to a garden party at one of the events.  The lace overlay is so beautiful and I love that it is longer than the dress, so it shows a little skin without being too revealing. 

I combed the Internet for you guys looking for all of my favorite spring dresses that would be perfect for your Easter celebration.  I found a ton at all different price points, so I hope you guys all find something that you love!

Xx,

Landyn


EASTER DRESSES UNDER $100


EASTER DRESSES UNDER $150


EASTER DRESSES UNDER $200

AT HOME WITH J.R. WATKINS

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I am so excited to be here with JR Watkins today.  As a fun little back story, they were the very first brand collaboration that I ever did here on Living with Landyn and they hold a special spot in my heart because of that.  Not to mention that they are an awesome Minnesota based company that I really fell in love with when we lived there for seven years.  I am a complete sucker for good packaging and I was drawn in initially by their beautiful packaging.  Once I tried the products I realized they were so much more than just good packaging and I have been hooked ever since.  I am so glad I get to introduce this brand to those of you who might not have experienced the fabulousness that is JR Watkins.  We are going to take a little tour around the house and I am going to show you all the different ways you can use JR Watkins products in your own home.


IN THE KITCHEN

Natural products have been become really trendy the past few years.  I feel like every brand I know is now trying to reformulate their brand to have an all natural version of their product.  The cool thing about JR Watkin's products is that they have been all-natural since the very beginning; all the way back in 1868 when the brand was born.  I absolutely love their dish soap.  Not only do I love how it looks sitting on the counter (remember my package design obsession), but it really works well and smells AMAZING! My all-time favorite scent is their aloe and green tea scent.  It is hard to find sometimes, so whenever I see it at Target I literally scoop up every product I can get my hands on.  It is so fresh and bright, but not overpowering, which I love.  They sent me some of their Lavender scented products and I am really loving that scent as well and would highly recommend it. 

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I actually didn't realize this until I started researching for this post, but JR Watkins has a FULL line of cleaning products, like literally everything you could ever need to clean your house.  They have all-purpose cleaners, laundry detergents, title and grout cleaners, dish soaps...even toilet bowl cleaner.  Another fun fact is that they have all kinds of cooking items too-spices, extracts, seasonings, food coloring, basically anything you need to cook and bake in your kitchen.  I haven't tried any of these before, but I will totally report back in full when I do.


IN THE BATHROOM

Little known fact about me, I have VERY sensitive skin when it comes to added fragrances in most body soaps and body washes.  I start itching uncontrollably as soon as I step out of the shower.  I have to use a very mild bar soap to keep my skin from reacting.  Honestly I was a little bit nervous to try their body wash for the first time because I assumed I would have a reaction.  I am very happy to report that I was able to use their body wash and had absolutely no itchiness at all.  So if you have sensitive skin like I do I highly recommend trying out their products and seeing if they work for you.  I was happyily surprised that they worked for me.

We will not go in to too much detail here, but let's just say that every bathroom can use a good room spray.  I love that they are really light and not overpowering, but they still make the room smell so much fresher.  I highly recommend them if you have little boys (or big boys) who are not always as great with their aim in the bathroom, if you know what I mean. #whydoesitalwayssmelllikepeeinhere


ON MY BEDSIDE TABLE

This next product is actually the one I am most excited to tell you guys about.  As I was selecting products for JR Watkins to send me to try out, I added this anti-aging hand cream almost as an afterthought.  I am SO glad that I did.  Guys this stuff is awesome!  I don't know if it is because of my background as a nurse, but I am constantly washing my hands and it totally shows.  They are always dry and I feel like I have tried almost every hand cream on the market.  This cream seems to almost react with your body temperature as you are rubbing it it.  It feels like it is really sealing in the moisture.  The cool thing is is that when you rub your hands together after you have applied it it almost feels like it is reactivating and you can rub it back in.  Does that make any sense?  If it doesn't, just believe me when I say you have to try it for yourself.  I am all for anything that makes my hands look younger!


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A special thank you to JR Watkins for sponsoring this post.  As always, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.  Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Living with Landyn possible.

GARDENING THROUGH GENERATIONS

Sandals | Kimono Wrap | Bag

I was so honored when Sole Society asked me to be a part of their celebration for National Women's Month.  I am going to share how gardening has been a thread that has connected four generations of women in our family.  I hope this can give some other mama's of girls out there some ideas for activities that allow you to spend time with your daughters and teach them lessons that are really important to you.  I have been so blessed with strong relationships with the women in my life and they have played such a HUGE role in shaping every aspect of the woman I am today.  I am so lucky that I have such a great relationship with my own daughter and that I get to play a role in shaping the woman that she will grow to be. I was so excited that this gave us an excuse to have a fun little mother-daughter photoshoot doing something we love to do together.  I absolutely love Sole Society, it is one of my favorite places to pick out shoes and accessories...I mean can we talk about these shoes and that kimono wrap?!? They always have the best selection and price point and their stuff holds up so well. Okay, so who is ready to go gardening with Lily and I?

For as long as I can remember, being outdoors and being in the garden has been something that has been a huge part of my life.  It actually started when I was really young and would visit my Meemaw.  I have such vivid memories of her in the yard doing something.  It was a guarantee that whenever we pulled into her driveway she would be out there, whether that be weeding, pruning or cutting flowers for arranging.  It is funny how certain memories from your childhood are just so clear and at the time don't feel like such a big deal, but really shape who you become as a woman and a mother.  I would always jump out of the car and run into the yard with her and start getting dirty and helping her with whatever she was doing.  Meemaw handed down her love of being in the garden down to my mom and they both passed it down to me.  We always joke that my mom loves a garden hose.  Just like how I remember my grandmother always being in the yard, my kids always know they will find my mom out in the yard with the hose, either watering her plants or washing down her patio.  Both my mom and grandmother have been such huge influences in my life and their love of being outdoors and working in the garden is something that has become a huge part of my life.

I just LOVE being outside. There is just something so satisfying about working the land, getting your hands dirty and then being able to see the results of your hard work.  I love this time of year in the South.  After so many years spent in Minnesota where your time outside is really limited due to the weather, it is awesome to be back in the South.  I enjoy being able to experience all four seasons here and spend so much time outside.  I really love being able to entertain outside and I think of all of my plants and potted arrangement as outdoor decor.  I have so much fun thinking about what colors, flowers and plants will look good together and then switching out all of my pots.

Top | Kimono Wrap | Earrings | Bag

I am so blessed because my sweet Lily has inherited our love of all things gardening.  She has been gardening with me since she was a little thing. We are so much alike in so many ways and I am so lucky that she likes so many of the things that I do.  She loves putting colors together and loves to go to the nursery with me and look at all the beautiful flowers and think about what looks good together. 

As she has grown, I have come to cherish our time in the yard so much.  I know this comes as no surprise, but raising a tween girl can sometimes be hard.  Lily is so sweet and I am lucky that she loves to spend time with me still, but as she grows I know the pull of friends, school, and activities will only get stronger.  Having the garden as something to do together will only get more important. 

I love that she will talk to me as we are working and tell me about her life, her friends, what is going on in school and what she is thinking and feeling.  I love being able to listen, give advice and teach her things that are important to me.  It truly is such a special time for me and something I cherish.  I hope that I have instilled my love of gardening in her just like my mom and Meemaw did for me and it is my dream to one day work in the yard beside her and my grandchildren and create another generation of memories.

This past weekend the weather in Nashville was absolutely perfect, so we took the opportunity to head to Creekside Garden Center and start planning what we want to put in our yard this spring and summer. We absolutely LOVE Creekside.  It is one of our favorite garden center's in town.  They are always so helpful and knowledgeable and have the best selection.  We totally lucked out because they had just received a huge shipment the day before so there was so much to choose from. 

Lily and I love treating our garden planning days as a girls day.  We typically go out to lunch, hit the garden center, and then go back home change clothes and get to work.  You guys know that I am totally a 50's housewife at heart, so I love instilling in Lily some of these skills that I feel like are a lost art. I feel like some of these things really are a dying skill- sewing, cooking, gardening- as people become busier and more and more things are hired out. 

You know I love to simplify and find shortcuts to make my life easier, but I still think there is so much value in these skills.  I love that gardening gives Lily a tangible representation of her hard work, and is such a great way to impart important life lessons in a really natural (no pun intended) and unforced way.


SHOP MY SOLE SOCIETY FAVORITES

A special thank you to Sole Society for sponsoring this post.  As always, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.  Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Living with Landyn possible.

WHAT + WHEN + WEAR + WHY: DISNEY WORLD

jeans | top | ears | sunnies 

jeans | top | ears | sunnies 

I am so excited for this week's Hey Landyn! Post because it is all about one of my favorite places on earth....Disney!  I have been asked several questions about Disney and how we do it and since we are actually going this week I thought now would be a perfect time to put together a whole post about all things Disney.  I am even enlisting the help of my right hand girl, Julia, because we both love Disney, grew up in Florida going all the time, and she is able to offer a different perspective about doing Disney with younger kids since her boys are 5 and 7.  Hopefully I will answer all of your burning questions.  If there is anything I missed, leave your questions in the comments below and maybe we will do another post down the road.


WHAT'S IN YOUR BAG?


First to answer one of your burning questions, yes I carry a back pack in Disney and so should you.  Let's be honest, we know that as mom's we are the family sherpa's on the best day and I promise at Disney it is one thousand times worse.  You are carrying basically enough stuff to be prepared for a doomsday scenario and you want to be comfortable while you are doing it.  Here is the great thing; back pack have come a long way in the design department and there are so many cute and stylish options out there. 

So what do I actually put in my bag?  Lots of things, but they are all pretty necessary.  Here is my list:  sunscreen, ponchos, hand saniatizer, baby wipes, stain remover wipes, bandaids, portable phone charger, my phone, bottles of water, small toys or activities to keep the kids occupied in line or at dinner, snacks, pain reliever, gum (they do not sell it in park), tissues and lotion.  Whew!  See I told you you will need a back pack.

So here are my thought process on some of these things.  Bring ponchos or rain gear for your family.  There is a very good chance it will rain at least once during your trip and trust me you do not want to have to spend a million dollars on cheap sheets of plastic in the park.  Did you know you can bring your own food and drinks into Disney?  Yep, you can bring an entire cooler full of stuff if you want to and no one will stop you.  They even have lockers where you can store all of it during the day.  It is a great option if you are looking to do Disney on a bit of a budget.  At a minimum have a bottle of water for everyone in your group and a few snacks to get everyone through the day.  Last thought, even though my kids are a little older I still keep a small toy or activity in my bag to keep my kids occupied.  There is a lot of waiting involved in a day at Disney-waiting in lines for rides, waiting for parades and shows to start, waiting for meals- and it is good to have some little boredom busters to keep the whining and meltdowns to a minimum.



WHAT TO WEAR


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I am not going to lie, you will see ALL types of fashion choices at Disney.  Everything from the rattiest of athletic wear to people in heels dressed to the nines.  It should come as no surprise that I do not take a trip to Disney as an excuse to let all sense of fashion and design fly out the window.  My biggest piece of advice for you is COMFORT IS KEY.  You can do comfortable and still look cute at the same time.  A couple pieces of advice.  First and most importantly, wear tennis shoes.  You will be doing a lot of walking- to the tune of 5-7 miles a day on average- and you will want the most comfortable, supportive shoes you can find. This is not the time you want to be breaking-in a new pair of shoes or trying something different then what you typically wear.  The good news is that tennis shoes are SO cute now and there are tons of great options that look good and keep your feet from killing you.  Another important thing to remember is that the outfit that you put on in the morning is going to be with you for probably 12 long hours during the day.  These trips are not the kind of trip where you are going back to the room and changing for dinner or freshening up, so you want to make sure that comfort is taken into consideration when you are dressing.  I know this is not new news to anyone, but Florida is hot, not matter what time of year you go.  You want to wear cool, breathable clothes that will dry fast if necessary and keep you from dying of a heat stroke.  You can never go wrong with athleisure or a cute t-shirt and jean shorts.  Here's the thing, you are going to get your picture taken a lot on your trip and you don't want to look back at all those pictures and think what was I wearing.  Trust me you don't want an oversized t-shirt and yoga pants to be the look that is immortalized in film.

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TOPS



SHORTS



HATS + GLASSES



SNEAKS



MY DISNEY MAKE-UP ROUTINE

I do not typically wear a full face of makeup when I am in the parks.  First off it is hot as fire and most of your make-up will be sweat off by the middle of the day.  Second, while I like to look nice my family does not want to wait for me to execute some elaborate make-up routine before we go into the parks.  The number one most important thing to remember is SUNSCREEN.  I always use my Revision Intellishade Matte because it has an SPF 45 built in and it is a tinted moisturizer.  I will set that with loose powder so it will stay like a make-up, but it is not as heavy.  I also typically bring it into the park and re-apply it mid-day.  Other than that I keep it really simple a little eyeliner, mascara, except now that I have my lashes {LASH Nashville} I don't need that anymore. Just some lip gloss and I am good to go.  Keep it simple. 


WHERE TO STAY


Julia and I are both going to chime in on this because we have all stayed at different places with different price points and can provide different perspectives.  The great thing about Disney is that there really is something for every price point and budget when it comes to lodging.  We are both huge fans of staying on Disney property for several reasons.  The first reason is Disney transportation.  If you are staying at one of Disney's properties you get the benefit of free transportation to and from all the parks either via monorail, bus or ferry.  Second, you get to take advantage of Extra Magic Hours, which are the hours when the park is opened, either in the morning or night, where only people who are staying on property get to be in the park.  The third is it keeps you in the Disney bubble.  Yes, it really is a real thing.  There really is something so magical about the Disney experience and part of it is their amazing customer experience.  Everything is so geared towards families and it is done so well and staying on property just keeps that whole experience consistent.

This year we will be staying at a monorail resort, but typically we have done Disney a little different.  A little known fact, we are a huge RVing family and we would always drive our RV down to Disney and stay at Ft. Wilderness.  We LOVE Ft. Wilderness.  They have awesome pools, you can rent bikes and golf carts and be in nature while still being at Disney.  They have tent camping, cabins for rent, and RV hook-ups.  The cabins are a great moderately priced option and perfect for large groups and families.  They have a bedroom, bunk beds, a family room, full kitchen and bathroom, and a nice front porch.  Best part, you can take the ferry and be at Magic Kingdom in 10 minutes.


Julia here, when we go to Disney we always stay in a value level resort- these include the All-Star Sports, Music, Movies and Art of Animation.  We always stay at All-Star Sports and absolutely love it for a couple of reasons.  First, my oldest is probably the biggest sports fanatic that ever lived so the themeing of the resort is perfect for him.  Second, it is on the Disney bus line, but it has its own bus system and doesn't share with the other All-Star resorts so the lines and waits for the buses into and out of the parks are not as bad.  Third, the cost.  We typically can get a room at All-Star Sports for less than what you would pay at a Hampton Inn or Holiday Inn (the base rate is $100/night depending on time of year you go).  The rooms are small, but immcuately kept and perfect for our family because we spend very little time in our rooms or at the pools when we go to Disney.  We are park junkies at this stage in our family's life, so we literally are only there to sleep and get ready.  A couple of things to note about value level resorts:  there is a fast-food style food court only and no sit-down restaurant on property, the pools are large and well-kept, but there are no slides, zero entry, waterfalls, etc that you will see in some of the other Disney resorts, and only up to 4 "adults" and one child can stay in an regular room, so if you have a larger family or group you might need to explore other options or get two rooms.

DISNEY WITH OLDER KIDS


The way we attack a day at Disney has changed significantly now that my kids are 10 and almost 13. Julia is going to give you a great perspective on Disney with littles, but I want to share with you how we do Disney with pre-teens.  We typically like to take our time in the morning.  We sleep in as long as we want and then we generally hit the pool at the resort for a few hours.  We will then get ready and get something to eat for lunch.  We generally are hitting the parks around 3-4pm.  We usually get Park Hopper tickets and Epcot is our favorite place to eat so we usually start there and walk around the countries and pick out whatever looks good at the time and have some cocktails.  We then hop on the monorail and head to whatever park happens to have magic hours for the day.  We are generally strolling into the parks as the mass of humanity and children in various stages of meltdown are headed out.  After the fireworks displays at each park they usually completely clear out and you basically have the entire park to yourselves and can ride as many rides as you like.  Since my kids are older we generally stick to the thrill rides and our family favorites.  We are luckily past the days of having to hit it all and my kids are past the days of pitching a complete fit if they didn't see their favorite character or ride their favorite ride.  Once the magic hours are over we head home and get up and do it all over again.


DISNEY WITH YOUNG KIDS


Julia again.  We do Disney a little bit different based on the ages of our kids.  On our first family trip to Disney, my youngest was 2 and my oldest was 5.  They are now 5 and almost 8.  My first piece of advice is to either take a stroller or rent a stroller no matter how old your kids are or how well you think they can handle walking.  We always rent from Orlando Stroller Rental (they are awesome) and we rent the largest double jogging stroller on the market and my kids ride in it everywhere we go.  As Landyn mentioned, you are typically walking 5-7 miles a day and that is really hard on kids and I believe can contribute quite a bit to meltdowns from being over tired.  Also, there is nothing worse then walking about 100 yards down Main Street and then the chorus of my feet hurt, will you carry me? begins.  I also highly recommend getting to each park as close to opening as you possibly can.  Let's be honest, it's not like your kids are not going to be up anyways, so you might as well enjoy the parks when they are at their least crowded throughout the day.  At Magic Kingdom specifically, I recommend heading straight to Fantasyland as soon as you get in the park.  You will be able to ride almost all of the big rides your kids want to see before the lines get too long and the crowds get too bad.  In terms of dining, we typically eat our meals earlier when the lines for food are less and dinner reservations are easier to get.  We typically are eating lunch around 11-11:30 and dinner around 5:30.  This keeps the hunger meltdowns at bay and then we are able to ride some of the rides when they are less crowded during typical eating hours.  If you have young children (under 4ish), I recommend leaving the park in the middle of the day and going back to your hotel to rest and take naps and then coming back into the park before your dinner reservation.  This will allow you to stay in the parks longer and experience some of the special night parades and shows that Disney offers.  Other then that just remember that it is not worth pushing your kids to their breaking point for the sake of another ride, another picture, or another character greeting.  Listen to your kids and consider what they can handle depending on their age and you will have an AWESOME vacation!


 FAVORITE THINGS


This is another one that Julia and I will answer separately to give you a good range and examples of things that are great for all age kids. 

Favorite Meals:  Breakfast at 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian, Askerhus Princess Meal at Epcot-great if you have a princess lover/Cinderella fan in your group, Vila Napoli- Italy at Epcot. Magic Kingdom- turkey legs as big as your head. Mickey's Backyard BBQ at Fort Wilderness. Tappan Edo- Japan, La Hacendia Angel- Mexico, Chef Mickey-oh, those Mickey waffles get me every time and sometimes we just want a nice bottle of wine and a steak, either Yachtman's Steak House or Shula's at the Dolphin Hotel, order the bbq shrimp. I die.  

Favorite Treats:  The Mickey ice cream bars (even though the dairy kills my stomach), cupcakes from the bakery on Main Street in Magic Kingdom, and just about any pastry you get in France at Epcot. Here's the deal...my FAVORITE park is Epcot, The World Showcase to be exact. It's where I want to end my day. It's so fun to stroll through the countries, grab a mommy beverage and wind down from an exciting day. 

Favorite Ride:  Our family's favorite ride is Toy Story Mania at Hollywood Studios.  We also love The Land at Epcot, Soarin', Big Thunder, Pirates Of The Caribbean, Rockin' Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror at Hollywood Studios, and Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom. 

Favorite Out of Park Activity:  We love going to Downtown Disney, that is now known as Disney Springs. It has great restaurants, great shopping, an arcade, bowling alley, movie theater, nightlife, basically all the things. And my kids favorite, Goofy's Candy Shop. 


Julia reporting again.  Our favorite things are a little bit different because a: we have younger kids and b: we have two boys, so they are not as in to the princesses as the girls may be.

Favorite Meals:  Chef Mickey at the Contemporary Resort (the quintessential Disney Character Meal experience), 50's Primetime Cafe in Hollywood Studios, Chip and Dale's Garden Grill breakfast in Epcot, Columbia Harbour House in Magic Kingdom, Be Our Guest (lunch and dinner) at Magic Kingdom, and Teppan Edo in Epcot.

Favorite Treats:  Ice Cream Sundae's from the Main Street Ice Cream Parlour, any pastry in France at Epcot, the Gray Stuff at Be Our Guest, cupcakes and rice krispy treats at the Main Street Bakery.

Favorite Rides:  My absolute favorite ride in all of Disney is Test Track in Epcot.  My five year old's favorite rides are Barnstormer and Dumbo in Magic Kingdom.  My 7 year old loves all the Magic Kingdom rollercoasters, but Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is his absolute favorite.  My husband loves the thrill rides, so he love Misson to Mars at Epcot and Rockin' Rollercoaster.  Some of our favorite family rides are Toy Story Mania, Enchanted Tales with Belle (even your boys will like it), Soarin', and Haunted Mansion.

Favorite Out of Park Activity:  My favorite out of park activity is just visiting all of the other resorts on property.  We always try to schedule a character dinner at a different hotel each time we go to the Disney.  I love seeing how the resorts are decorated and themed.  Disney just does such a great job with that aspect and I love seeing it in action.


IKEA BOOKSHELF HACK

I am so excited to be able to share with you more information on my built-in bookcase project that my sweet father-in-law, AKA Mister, built for me last month.  I am not really a DIY blogger, so if you are looking for a step-by-step on how these were built this probably isn't the post for you; however, if you are looking for some inspiration for how to make a beautiful statement piece for less then you are totally in luck.  I am going to share all of my thought and design process with you guys as well as a breakdown of what everything cost at the end.  Would you believe me if I said this entire piece cost me around $600 in materials to build?  You will have to read on to find out!

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THE BACK STORY


First a little history of this project.  If you recall, there used to be a very large white antique buffet along the wall where the bookshelf now stands.  I bought the piece when we were first moving to the South from Minnesota thinking that I wanted something ornate and antique to go along with my new southern digs.  Here is the problem, while the piece was absolutely beautiful, it never was truly my style.  I should have just stuck to what I know and love and been true to my design aesthetic rather than trying to be something I wasn't.  Lesson learned.  I always found myself being really drawn to images of clean-lined, large scale bookshelves on Pinterest and in magazines.  So long story short, after months of thinking about it I finally pulled the trigger, sold the buffet and got to work on designing and planning my bookshelf.



HOW'D WE DO IT?


In an effort to keep costs down and the work that my sweet Mister had to do to a minimum, I decided to try my hand at my first IKEA hack.  The hubs said I could build my dream bookshelf as long as it didn't cost more than what I sold the piece of furniture for, so I was on a mission to do this as easily and economically as I possibly could. I had seen lots of posts on people who had used the Billy bookcases from IKEA to serve as the base of their built-in project and I always thought that was a good idea.  So I headed to the IKEA website and ordered 4 of these Billy Bookcases in white and had them shipped to my home.  Did you know you could do that?  We don't have an IKEA in Nashville, but I was able to order them from the website and then they arranged home delivery for me.  Easy-peasy.  I drew a sketch of what I was looking for on a piece of paper and discussed my vision and how I wanted the final project to look with Mister during one of his visits to stay with us.  He then headed home to his workshop and drew out the plans that would bring my bookcase to life.


MISTER'S MASTER PLAN


We had a door on one end of the bookshelf wall and a window on the end of the wall, so we could not build them truly wall-to-wall, so we created a look that looks like a large custom built-in along that wall.  I knew that I wanted the bookshelf to be as high as the door trim, so we knew that we were going to have to build a base to create the height that we needed.  Once the box was built, we were able to sit the assembled Billy bookcases directly on top of the base.  Before I go any further, we need to discuss Billy bookcase assembly.  I am quite certain that Mister wanted to kill me when we started reading through the assembly instructions for the Billy....at least it made for some good Insta-stories.  If you have any level of familiarity with IKEA flat pack furniture, then you know that assembly can sometimes be quite the pain.  Luckily Mister is the best and he soildered on with a smile on his face.

Once we had the bookshelf on the base and space the way they needed to be, we (I am using the royal we here) added a header board and crown molding to the top of the shelves to finish the look.  Mister also included a piece of lumber that filled the space in between each of the bookcases.  You know I could not live with all of the little adjustable holes that come pre-drilled so he filled each hole with a product called Plastic Wood, sanded it down and then painted the entire bookshelf white.  Have I mentioned he is a SAINT?  As you know, most IKEA pieces are laminate so they require a really good primer to ensure that the paint sticks to the surface of the laminate well. He used Zinsser Oil Based Primer and Sealer and then we painted the entire thing Velvet White. Velvet White is actually a Porter Paint color, but I just took my swatch to Sherwin Williams and they were able to color match it for me.  He used an oil paint from Sherwin Williams because the finish is smoother and harder.  Oil paint is what is typically used for trim work and we wanted it match the finish of the trim work and to have the durability that oil paint provides.  Also to note, he hand brushed, rather than used a roller, both the primer and the paint.


FROM IKEA TO INCREDIBLE



THE LIGHTING 


The only real splurge on this project was the lights, but I was willing to spend a little more on those. Remember, lighting is jewelry for your home and I have a real love affair for Robert Abbey lighting. I'd been eyeing them for quite sometime in hopes of one day soon having this bookcase built. As you recall, Steve said I could spend whatever money I made selling that large piece that once sat in that spot. So I took that money and bought the lights from this really great design studio in Nashville, Redo Home + Design. Oh, if you haven't been in there, you really should. My gal pal and uber talented designer friend, Lori Paranjape gave me the push and helped me decide to pull the trigger on these bad boys. She really didn't have to twist my arm AT ALL. She's so good and knew these were just my style. Thanks, Lori! Did I mention she's a hoot and you should she the projects she works on. I die. Definitely one to follow on Instagram. Trust me. 

The lighting was actually fairly simple to install.  We have outlets in our baseboards so he just pulled the wire up and placed two junction boxes behind the bookshelf.  He then put outlet covers over those and the lights actually just plug right in to those. Easy peasy.


BOTTOM LINE


The total cost of materials for the bookshelf was $632.99. And you can't put a price tag on sweet Mister's time + attention to detail + amazing skills and love he has for his favorite daughter-in-law. Well, he only has one and never had a daughter, so maybe that has something to do with it. At any rate, here is the breakdown in cost of materials. 

Ikea Billy Book Case- $79.99 each x 4= $319.96
Lumber Yard | Trim + Baseboard - $38.46
 Home Depot- $241.08
Sherwin Williams Paint- $33.49
Mister- PRICELESS


 LIGHTS I LOVE 



STYLING YOUR SHELVES


For me, this is the BEST part. Hunting and gathering items to fill these beauties with is the most fun. As you can see I'm not quite finished and I will certainly share when they are complete. But for now, here's what I gathered from pieces I already had around the house. I am going to do a whole post on styling my shelves later, but here are some of my favorite sources for things to style shelves with. Try your local HomeGoods, Marshall's, or visit my home collection with Painted Fox- so many things from there I'll be pulling. Oh, and another favorite, West Elm.  I have sourced some of my favorites down below.

disney,easter,40-0857.jpg

HOW TO WEAR: SCARVES

styling | me / photo lindsey grace photgraphy

styling | me / photo lindsey grace photgraphy

If you know me then you know that scarfs are one of my favorite accessories to add to an outfit.  They truly are the multi-purpose accessory and I think they can take a simple outfit and really step it up a notch.  One of my absolute favorite looks is adding a scarf to jeans and a white tee to take it from boring to fabulous all with one accessory.  You will be see from my choices below that I really am in to a more neutral scarf, #bigsurprise, with a geometric pattern on them.  I don't do a ton of florals and bright colors in my scarfs, although sometimes in the summer I will add some with a little pop of color or pattern on it.  What can I say, I'm a maniac. 

I have filmed four short video's on how to wear scarfs and incorporate them into your everyday wardrobe.  I know it can sometimes be confusing to figure out all the different ways to tie them and what to pair them with, so hopefully these videos take some of the guess work out of it.  Hope you enjoy!

Xx
Landyn


THE HOW TO'S

{cue the goofy freeze frame faces}


MY FAVORITE SCARVES


CRISPY OVEN FRIED CHICKEN

Who doesn't love fried chicken? It's certainly a favorite here in the south and goes perfectly with sweet tea and corn bread. It's just that I wish it wasn't fried. So, I took one of my go-to recipes for chicken tenders and decided to slap it on some drumsticks and thighs too. Let's just say...my family went bonkers. Let me share it with you, so you and your family can react the same way. It's crispy + juicy and downright delicious. 
 

Xx
Landyn


RECIPE


 

  • 6 chicken boneless thighs, with skin 
  • 6 chicken drumsticks, with skin 
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 3 cups panko bread crumbs 
  • 1 cup  cheese, grated or shaved
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • 4 eggs, beaten or you can use egg whites instead

THE STEPS


 

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Using 3 shallow bowls or one of these nifty breading trays.
  3. Fill one with flour, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika. Mix well.
  4. Beat eggs and pour into second bowl.
  5. In the last bowl mix parmesean and panko, salt & pepper to taste. 
  6. Dredge chicken on both sides in flour mixture, then egg wash and lastly panko & parm mixture. 
  7. Making sure to coat all sides well.
  8. Place covered chicken pieces on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  9. Bake in your preheated 400° oven for 20-25 minutes or until the internal tempature chicken has reached 165°
  10. Watch carefully so that panko doesn't burn. If need be, half way through baking, lay a piece of aluminum foil on top to prevent from burning. 

serves 4


IN MY KITCHEN



DRESS LIKE A MOM: EVEREVE STYLE CREW

Dress like a mom.....what exactly does that mean? We know the fashion world doesn't usually put those two words in the same sentence. Probably because the first Image that comes to mind would be high waisted denim and a floral cardigan. But aren't most moms you see these days wearing skinny jeans and a great necklace? Ok, for the most part.

Which brings me to the title of this post, DRESS LIKE A MOM. I've partnered with Evereve to help take the negative out of such a powerful statement. Helping to look at motherhood a little differently and continue to bring EMPOWERMENT + STRENGTH + POSITIVITY to one of the most important people in the world. A MOTHER. Let's not shy away from our title and mumble it when people ask what we do for a living. Let's be proud of our job. Let's embrace those battle wounds they call stretch marks. Let's support each other and build one another up, because if you're having a good day, chances are a member of your tribe isn't. 


MEET MEGAN 

Before I get off on a tangent and start going ALL MOTHER on ya. I want to tell you about a campaign I've recently gotten behind. #DRESSLIKEAMOM An inspirational story about a mother with a dream, and a brand I'm proud to support. My people... meet Megan, the powerhouse behind EVEREVE. I recently was lucky enough to sit across the table from her and hear her story word for word and I was moved. A stay at home mom that craved fashion that fit her new lifestyle and made her feel beautiful again. With no previous retail experience, she set out to make her dreams a reality. Envisioning a place where moms could shop comfortably and leave feeling empowered and beautiful. 

Megan Tamte- CEO + FOUNDER 

Megan Tamte- CEO + FOUNDER 


#DRESSLIKEAMOM


WHY I BELEIVE IN EVEREVE

A few months back I was asked to be part of something really special. Something I was giddy about for many reasons. One, because I believe in their mission. Two, because I was already a fan and three, because they sell some killer clothes. Evereve, formally Hot Mama was a store that I started shopping in 12 years ago. I was pregnant with my daughter and remember walking into this small boutique in Edina, Mn back in 2004. The small staff, actually Megan herself was friendly, helpful and somehow knew just what I needed. I walked out of there that day with a great pair of maternity jeans, a few tops and feeling good about myself. It's amazing what a new outfit can do for a girl, especially a pregnant one not feeling so pretty at the moment. I remember thinking to myself, I'll go back there. And so I did for the next 12 years.

It became my go-to stop and quite honestly even if I didn't need anything at all. I just liked going there. I became friendly with the stylists, and so did my kids. It was a dreamy concept really. It was kid friendly, down to the large stylish glass jars of gold fish + animal crackers. A cute little nook in the corner stocked with the latest games and toys. I told you, genius. Even before my kids could talk, would literally point and babble towards the door as we strolled by. Like I said, it was my place. 

Years went by, my kids got older, they phased out the maternity clothes, changed their name to Evereve, and sweet Megan continued to open over 65+ stores. I mean, #MOMBOSS Yet nothing had changed. Still the same great place and by that time the secret in Minnesota was out. It became quite the boutique. But still staying true to it's values and mission. Megan's sayings and words of positive affirmations would now be printed on the stickers that wrapped up your new purchases. The dressing rooms had some pretty great YEAH, YOU GOT THIS GIRL kinda sayings, you know, the ones we all need to hear when trying on denim. She nailed it. She got us. She was us.

I'm always up for change, and with my husbands career, that's part of the game. When he signed with the Titan's a few years back, that meant us moving to Nashville (which I love and now call home) and leaving behind 7 years of friendships, memories and Evereve. But they assured me that the online experience would be just great. Yes it is, but I missed walking through those doors looking for a date night top. But GUESS WHAT...... I just learned while I was back in Minneapolis to kick this thing off, that they are OPENING A BRAND NEW EVEREVE STORE THIS MONTH in Franklin! I may or may or may not have done a silly little dance in their headquarters. I'm so excited!! Here's a store locations list, click here to see if you're so lucky to have one near you. 

photo | Kris Drake Photography

photo | Kris Drake Photography


WHAT I WALKED AWAY WITH 

 

I left my weekend in Minneapolis feeling refreshed, excited and with an entire suitcase full of new clothes. I mean, you guys. I could. Not. Stop. I really wanted it all. It was so hard to choose what would come home with me. And to be back in the store again was SO FUN! I like to think I know how to pull together an outfit, but dang those stylist they have are GOOD. Here are a few looks from our photo shoot that made their way into my own closet. 

PARTY MOM

WEEKEND MOM

DATE NIGHT MOM

ERRAND MOM


GRAND OPENING PARTY 

PLEASE JOIN ME IN GIVING EVEREVE A WARM TENNESSEE WELCOME

TUESDAY, MARCH 28th

6-9 p.m. 

1800 GALLERIA BLVD. 
COCKTAILS + GOOD DENIM

15% OFF THE ENTIRE STORE


EVEREVE WHO? 

Now, some of you may be asking yourself, why don't I know this store? Exactly. Why don't you? I ask myself that too. When I share where I got things I'm wearing and it's from Evereve, often times people look at me with a puzzled look. Well, let's stop all that nonsense. This is a brand that needs to be shared. Remember, I'm a girls girl and I like to share. I'll never not tell you where I got something. Why keep secrets? I'll never understand those women. Ha! 


MEET THE CREW

Evereve_Stylist_Looks_266.jpg

And while I'm talking girls and mom bosses, let me introduce you to the other members of the #EvereveStyleCrew. (left to right) Liz, The Lemon Bowl + Melanie, Style Scout + Shaynah, The Ruffled Snob + Megan, Evereve Founder + Caroline, Armelle Blog


MEETING YOU

The icing {= Evereve party} on the cake {= stylecrew launch), was hosting a LWL Meet + Greet for all my MN girls at Evereve, Wayzata, my old stompin' grounds. It was a full circle moment for me really. Quite emotional too. Over 100+ followers that I call friends, came out that night to meet me. It was unreal. After the event got underway, I broke away from the hugs and selfies to stand up on a coffee table in the middle of the store to say THANK YOU. And when I did, a wave of emotion came over me and I went basically into the ugly cry. I stood above this crowd of beautiful + strong + funny + genuine women that have chosen to come along with me on this crazy ride. It was completely overwhelming. I locked eyes with every single one of you that night and I knew this is what I was meant to do. And to be honest, I'm not exactly sure "what" that is? But what I do know, is that staying true to yourself, being open and real is what this world needs more of. I'll say it again....... thank you for peeking in on my life, sharing me with your people and keeping me laughing. You are what fuels me. 

Xx
Landyn

I asked my longtime friend and photographer Tiffany Kokal, Kokal Photography to come and capture this moment for me, for us. I wanted to forever have images of that first embrace, the laughs and the tears. She did it so beautifully and organic. It's so her style. Dang I miss her. These are everything to me. Thank you, Tiffany! Love ya! 


MY MINNESOTA LOOKS



A CHIC SPRING TABLE ON A BUDGET

I am here today with my friends from Marshalls to share an amazing spring table for less.  On a side note, you will also see that I have gotten to move my entertaining outside already.  Part of me is like holy cow it's already March and the other part of me is full-on bring on spring.  It is no secret that I absolutely love to get entertaining, decorating and party supplies from Marshalls.  They have an amazing selection of items at even more amazing prices.  When they asked me to do a spring entertaining post you know I was itching to get into the stores and see what they had and let me tell you they DID NOT disappoint.  Holy cow!  If you followed along on my Insta-stories you know I was like a kid in a candy shop.

I really wanted to do a more sophisticated take on a spring table, so I decided to skip the pastels and go to one of my favorite color combos, black and white.  I love how this dresses the table up a little and makes it stand apart from the more colorful tablescapes you typically see this time of year.  I actually got my inspiration from those adorable little bunny napkins...let's call her Miss Gertrude.  I mean who doesn't need a napkin with a bunny wearing glasses in their life.  I love that they kind of play off of my 50's housewife thing. Do you want to know the best part?????!!!!  The napkins were only $2.99. #marshallsforthewin.  Literally nothing in the entire table cost over $20.  Can I get an amen?  At the bottom of the post I will breakdown what everything cost so you can see.

I am so lucky because my Marshalls always has amazing florals, so as soon as I had Miss Gertrude and my theme set I headed straight to that aisle.  I absolutely hit the jackpot when I found these beautiful white ruffled roses.  I am a huge fan of mixing silk florals with real florals, so I knew all I had to do was add some gorgeous fresh tulips and the look would tie together perfectly.  I also completely lucked out because one my way to the florals I passed this cute black and white vase and I knew it would be perfect.  I liked that it had a narrower opening because I knew it would keep my tulips nice and tight.

I mean Miss Gertrude...I can't even.  Those napkins literally kill me.  I love this look for a fun spring luncheon with a couple of girlfriends.  Doing brunch or lunch entertaining is such a fun and overlooked idea.  I think it works especially well when your kids are younger.  You can gather your girlfriends together while the kids are at preschool, or even during a morning nap, and spend some time together without trying to coordinate everyone's schedule in the evening when life is always crazier and childcare is harder to come by. 

I have to dedicate an entire paragraph to these faux boxwoods.  I really feel like they are the piece that takes this table from a nice tablescape to something really special and unique.  Honestly, I am not 100% sure what they are intended for, but as soon as I saw them I knew they would make a perfect place mat.  I love the pop of green they bring to an otherwise monochromatic table and their texture is so beautiful.  I am also loving these little Easter egg plate that I found for only $5.99 for a four pack.  So cute!

I promised a cost breakdown, so I wanted to share what everything cost.  I literally bought everything new, but you could easily substitute things you already had in the house or have used for other parties.  I was able to do the entire table for under $120.  Not too shabby Marshalls!

  • Straws: 12/$2.99
  • Wooden Eggs: Pack of 6/$7.99
  • Large Faux Florals:  $12.99 a piece
  • Small Faux Florals:  $9.99 a piece
  • Vase: $19.99
  • Boxwood Placemats: $7.99 a piece
  • Black cloth napkins: 6/$7.99
  • Egg Plates: 4/5.99
  • Bunny Napkins: 12/$2.99

I hope this inspires you to invite your girlfriends over to enjoy spring with you!

Xx,

Landyn