MOTHERHOOD: SEEKING OUT JOY

If you all are like me, I’m sure you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and even afraid during these uncertain times.  A germaphobe on my best day, I’m really having to seek out the little things that bring me joy to help me feel centered and grounded.

Staying connected to people always helps me to center myself. I’ve never felt more love and support from my IG community and for that I am truly thankful. When my friend Sarah from Cozy Little Joys reached out and asked if I wanted to do a collaborative post with her about seeking joy, I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to help others in the midst of chaos.

Below are some ways of how I am seeking out the joy and establishing some sense of normalcy to our everyday lives.  

  • Take a walk. For me being near the water grounds me, so there will be many family walks down by the river and lake in my near future.
  • Learn a new hobby. I’ve wanted to learn how to use the manual mode on my DSLR camera. What a perfect time to teach myself a new skill and capture precious moments in the process.
  • Practice yoga or meditation every morning and as needed. L loves to do yoga poses with me so might as well make it a family activity.
  • Catch up shows or movies you’ve been wanting to watch (hello Newsies, Sound of Music, and everything on Disney Plus).
  • Turn on your favorite music and have a dance party.

If there is time to learn how to disconnect from all the noise, now is that time.  We must take care of ourselves, mentally, emotionally, and physically, in order to get through these very trying times.  We also must take care of those around us too. Be kind. Be flexible. Be loving. Have faith. Hug your family tight and let’s all hope for the best. 

For more ways on finding the joy in the everyday, head over to Sarah’s page, Cozy Little Joys!

Slainte,

Shannon 

MOTHERHOOD: A DAY IN THE LIFE, WORKDAY

A few weeks ago I shared a glimpse into what a day looks like when I’m at home with L.  Today I’m attempting to share a look into what a day looks like for us when I’m working.  Our morning and afternoon routines are always the same on working days, but my actual work day in the office varies.  I can provide a general idea of what my day consists of, but working in public relations means no day is the same and you constantly have to adapt to the unexpected.  So, without further ado, here is another peek into our life. 

6-6:30am: Hubby and I wake up.  Sometimes I get up and do yoga and sometimes I sleep until 6:30 (the latter is more realistic ha!).

6:30-7:00am: I shower, get dressed, put on my makeup, clean up the master bedroom and bathroom.  Hubby heads downstairs and takes care of the dog, eats breakfast, empties the dishwasher. 

7-7:30am: I make my breakfast, pack my lunch and L’s lunch, write out her schedule, pack up our bags, etc. 

7:30-7:50am: L wakes up and gets breakfast. 

7:50-8:00am: Babysitters arrive (if it’s a Monday, one of us drops L off at my sister’s house).

8:00am: I arrive at work.  For anyone new, I manage the public relations and marketing for my city (Yes, I work for the government and I love it). 

8-9:00am: I check all the social media accounts and respond to questions and comments.  I read and respond to all emails. Then I go over my to do list for the day and prioritize what needs to get done 

9-12:00pm: This is where it gets tricky to quantify what I do.  Depending on the day, I could be in meetings, responding to media requests, working on graphic design projects, planning out social media for the week, developing new marketing and informational materials, drafting talking points for City officials, the list goes on and on.  Each day is different and that is what I love about working in PR. 

12-1:00pm: I generally take an hour lunch break during this time.  Sometimes I go home and eat and relax, sometimes I run errands, and sometimes I stop by and see L.  Just depends on the day! 

1:00-2:00pm: Social media and email check-in.  Review what needs to get done on that particular day and prioritize those tasks.

2-4:30pm: Similar to earlier, I could be in meetings, responding to media requests, working on graphic design projects, planning out social media for the week, developing new marketing and informational materials, updating the website, drafting talking points for City officials, etc. 

4:30pm: Leave work and pick up L.

5:15-6:00pm: If I’m picking L up, we usually get home about 5:15.  We unpack the car, bags, and lunch boxes, take Gryff outside, change our clothes, prep dinner, and play if we have time. 

6-6:30pm: Family dinner time.

6:30-7pm: Playtime with daddy while mommy cleans up the kitchen.

7-7:15pm:  Bath time.

7:15-7:30pm: Relaxing and watching Peppa Pig, Blue’s Clues, or Paw Patrol.

7:30pm: Bedtime. 

And there you have it! The days I work are extremely busy and I’m usually ready for bed by 8:00pm!  But I do love the variety of the day and love that most weeks I know that the following day I get to be home with my sweet girl! 

Slainte,

Shannon

HOME: PLAYROOM UPDATE

We learned long ago that home projects take time, money, and lots of patience.  One of the items we realized we need sooner than later in the playroom is an adult sized chair.  No joke, there is no furniture for an adult. I’ve been scouring the internet for some comfy and stylish chair options that won’t break the bank. Below are the pieces I’m currently eyeing.  

BEST ROCKING CHAIR

The DaVinci Adrian Swivel Glider in Cream is one I’m eyeing for style, color, and the simple fact that it has an ottoman.  This chair is very similar to the chair we have in the nursery and we love it. I want something that will be comfortable and practical.  This option would definitely be a good option for all the snuggles and reading. ($429.99)

BEST OPTION FOR EXTRA STORAGE

The Million Dollar Baby Classic Sadie Swivel Glider is another great rocking chair option that comes with an ottoman.  The ottoman top opens for extra storage, which is always a win in my book.  This option comes in three different colors and I think the white linen would match the aesthetic of the playroom the best. ($599.99)

MOST LUXURIOUS

The Newton Chaise Lounge from Birchlane is my dream chair.  I’m eyeing this one for the playroom and our living room.  This chair would be insanely comfortable and provide plenty of room for all the snuggles.  The color is also perfect. But it’s definitely the most expensive option and quite a bit more than we want to spend for the playroom. ($827.50)

BEST PRICE

This ivory feather filled chair from World Market is definitely the best deal.  And even though the color is ivory, the material appears to be pretty durable and able to sustain spills, crayons, and everything else that comes with a playroom.  Crafted of pine solid wood frame with polyester-nylon performance upholstery, feather filling and swivel base, this chair looks like it will be so cozy.  I’m happy with the reviews and price point on this one. We could potentially even purchase two of these which would be a win. ($279.99)

BEST IN PRICE AND STYLE

The Joey Armchair and Ottoman from Joss and Main is also a great option.  It’s priced extremely well, has exceptional reviews, and is very stylish.  It appears to be slightly oversized, so reading with L will be cozy and comfortable.  This is definitely high on the list as a possible contender. ($299.99) 

I might spend some more time looking, but these five chairs have so far been my favorites.  Leave me a comment below with your favorite or send me a few other suggestions if you know a great chair for a playroom! 

Slainte,

Shannon

FASHION: STYLING LAYERS

You guys.  Spring is JUST on the horizon and I’m so excited.  If you have been following my blog for awhile, you know that I’m a warm weather girl.  Usually by the beginning of March I’ve had it with old man winter and I’m ready to pack away my winter coats, boots, sweaters and everything in between.

But, living in Ohio, means that March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb. The first part of March is always cold, snowy, and miserable. I still have to dress warm, so if I’m not in the mood to wear a big, bulky sweater, then layering is my go-to.

Layering is actually often associated with minimalist style. Layering allows you to be creative in your look and pair classic pieces together in a fun, new way. You can play around with textures, patterns, and colors to create a look that is unique to you.

For this look I chose one of my denim button up shirts (by the way, a button up shirt refers to any shirt that buttons up the front, whereas a button-down is when the collar of a shirt can be fastened to the shirt via buttons) and layered it underneath one of my classic striped J.Crew shirts.

The key is making sure the layer on top is slightly larger than the layer on the bottom (you also want to make sure the sleeve lengths are different lengths – for this look I rolled up the striped shirt so you can see the denim shirt underneath). Otherwise you will feel very uncomfortable, and no one wants that. Fashion should be easy and effortless.

I added an additional layer with my puffer vest and even layered my puffer coat on top of that for more warmth. In these awkward transition months, layering really is the way to go. Especially when it’s frigid in the morning and warmer in the afternoon, being able to take away or add pieces of clothing is always a good idea.

Below are links to a few other layering ideas that I love and have recreated myself.  

Layering Inspiration 1

Layering Inspiration 2

Layering Inspiration 3

Layering Inspiration 4

Happy layering!

Slainte,

Shannon 

SHOP THIS LOOK: Button Up | Striped Tee | Denim Jeans | Hunter Boots | Puffer Vest | S.Lynch Knitwear Hat

FASHION: THE 9-5 EDIT

SLEEK SEPARATES

I’m so excited to be sharing this new fashion series, The 9-5 Edit!  Once a month, I’ll share a work inspired ensemble for all you working ladies.  My wardrobe has to be very versatile since I work three days a week in public relations and then stay at home two days a week.  Even on my days at home, I like to get dressed and look put together, so I try to buy pieces that will work for both work and my casual days off. 

The first outfit in this series is focused on sleek separates.  So let’s get down to business, shall we?

WHY SEPARATES?

Purchasing separates allows you to mix and match all day long.  Investing in two to three cardigans, four to five stylish blouses, two to three button ups, a blazer, a skirt, and two pairs of classic pants or trousers will provide you with a closet full of chic and easy outfits to choose from.   You can really get creative with pairing different items together, which makes getting ready for work (or at least I think so).

When shopping for separates, look for pieces that are tailored, structured, and comfortable. In my opinion, it’s better to splurge on classic and timeless styles that will last for years. If you love trends, you can still look have fun through your use of color, pattern, and accessories.

HOW I STYLED SEPARATES:

A classic navy or black cropped pant in stretch twill or ponte is a must have for me. This style will always stand the test of time and having a pair of navy and black gives you unlimited styling options. (No joke I’ve had these navy pants for six years!)

I chose a monochromatic look (back on this trend again) by pairing my navy cropped pants with a navy gingham button up. I opted for no fuss pearls, my Kiel James Patrick bracelets, nude flats, and a classic, 1960’s inspired hair style to complete the look. Oh and I can’t forget the belt! The belt breaks up the navy and the anchor detail adds a little extra prep. This is such a simple, clean and polished look, perfect for the work day.

Investing in classic separates is the easiest way to have a clean and refined wardrobe for work. I’ve included a few of my spring favorites below.

Sláinte,

Shannon

SPRING SEPARATES IDEAS:

Blouse 1 | Blouse 2 | Cardigan (I have this!) | Trouser Pant | Skinny Pant | Shoes 

MOTHERHOOD: A DAY IN THE LIFE AT HOME


A week or so ago my friend Katie (Sunshine Style Blog) shared her morning routine and I loved reading about that glimpse into her life!  I’ve realized that an easy way to connect with others in this digital age is by sharing something we all can relate to.  Everyone has a schedule or routine, and my family is no different.  Although it varies from day to day depending on if I’m working or at home, we still stick to a general structure to our day. 

I’m at home two days a week with L and boy do we have fun! Enjoy this fun glimpse into what we do each day!

7-7:30am: I get up and make my coffee, chat with my hubby before he leaves for work.

7:30-7:45am: L wakes up and we sit and watch a show for about 15 minutes (usually Mickey Mouse or Peppa Pig). 

7:45-9:00am: I make breakfast for L and me.  This usually consists of eggs in some form, French toast and an organic purée packet.  After breakfast I clean up the kitchen and then we head upstairs so I can get ready for the day. 

9-9:45am: We read books, play kitchen, practice fine motor skills, engage in sensory activities, etc. 

9:45-11:30am: We venture out and run errands, go to a park, the aquarium, the library, Local Roots (local juice shop) or the 577 Foundation (local spot that has a greenhouse and tons of outdoor activities).

11:30am-12pm: Come home and start prepping lunch.

12-12:30pm: Lunchtime! I eat and clean up whatever needs to be cleaned up in the house. 

12:30-1:30pm: Playtime (reading, playing outside, anything and everything).

1:30-1:45pm: We head up to the nursery and get ready for a nap.

1:45-4pm: Naptime usually lasts about two hours, sometimes less and sometimes more.  While L naps, I do household chores and rest a bit myself.  This is also usually my time to dedicate to my blog – writing and planning out posts, taking pictures (with my trusty tripod), etc.  I usually wash my hair and blow it out during this time.  There is always lots to do during naptime, which makes this time go by far too quickly. 

4-5:30pm: Wake up and have a snack.  We then play some more, go for a walk, or run last minute errands before Daddy comes home.

5:30-6pm: Usually all of us are in the kitchen, prepping dinner and catching up on the day. 

6-6:30pm: Family dinner time.

6:30-7pm: Playtime with daddy while mommy cleans up the kitchen.

7-7:15pm:  Bath time.

7:15-7:30pm: Relaxing and watching Peppa Pig, Blue’s Clues, or Paw Patrol.

7:30pm: Bedtime. 

And there you have it!  If I’ve learned anything over the last 16 months, it’s that everyone’s schedule looks different and you do what works best for your family.  We’ve changed our schedule many times based on L’s needs.  I’m sure it will change again at some point, but for now, we are happy with this stage and are embracing the every day. 

Slainte,

Shannon

FASHION: FIVE WAYS TO TRANSITION YOUR WARDROBE TO SPRING

Spring is only four weeks away – YAY! This warm weather girl is incredibly happy about this fact.  Although in all fairness, Ohio has experienced a VERY mild winter.  

Nonetheless, this time of year I’m always ready to transition my wardrobe into spring.  Below are five easy ways to bring a little color and warmth to your style. 

White Denim

If you don’t already wear your white denim all year round, now is the perfect time to bring out this classic pant. White denim is the perfect blank canvas in which to pair bright colors and prints. For me, wearing my white denim jeans gives me an instant warm weather vibe. My favorite pair of white denim is from J.Crew Factory (love the high rise), but these are also good styles: white denim 1, white denim 2, white denim 3.

Floral earrings

A simple easy way to feel those spring like vibes is with a cute pair of floral earrings. I’m all about the flower power and these pretty white and pearl flowers from Sea Marie Designs (thanks for the rec Claire!) are a lovely addition to your wardrobe. These particular ones also come in black and pink!

Gingham

Gingham is the universal print for spring and summer. Adding a subtle touch of gingham with a headband (this one is also from Sea Marie Designs) is a perfect way to add a summer aesthetic to your outfit. You can also try a button down gingham top and pair it with your white denim. I have this shirt in navy, pink and light blue.

Flats

The easiest way to make your wardrobe feel more springy is by swapping out those winter boots for some easy, breezy flats. By mid-February I’ve about had it with wearing heavy boots, so any time the temperature rises above 40 degrees, you better believe I’m bringing out the leopard flats or a pair of loafers.

Bright Handbag

Although I don’t limit this handbag to spring and summer, carrying a handbag in a bright hue always adds an instant warm weather vibe to your look.  In my opinion, color never goes out of style, so don’t be afraid to buy a classic, structured handbag in a bold color. 

These five easy switcheros to your wardrobe will instantly help you feel a little more hopeful that warmer, sunnier weather is on the horizon.  Be bold and bright my friends! 

Sláinte,

Shannon 

SHOP THE LOOK:

CHAMBRAY TOP | WHITE DENIM | GINGHAM HEADBAND | FLORAL EARRINGS | LEOPARD FLATS | KATE SPADE HANDBAG (OLD)

FASHION: MONOCHROMATIC MOMENT

It’s that time of year where I’ve had enough of winter and am pining for spring. What better way to add a little skip to my step than by pairing white on white with a pop of lavender?!

Wearing white on white (or cream on cream) is classic, simple and clean. Any monochromatic styling is quite easy to do, and funnily enough, the monochromatic look is having quite the moment right now. A monochromatic color scheme can be as much as a statement as patterns and prints. It instantly adds an element of sophistication and style to any look. Dressing head to toe in one color or shade can actually elongate your silhouette and allow you to highlight a certain part of your body.

Styling an outfit with monochromatic colors can include different shades and tints of the same color. I would also recommend adding texture or pattern, which will create some depth and originality. For this outfit pairing, I chose bright white denim with a cream, cable knit sweater. And since it’s the middle of winter in Ohio, I added my lavender J.Crew Factory City Coat to keep me warm.

In addition to white, I also enjoy styling navy and pink monochromatic looks.  Look for a pink look coming soon to my IG! 

Sláinte,

Shannon 

SHOP THE LOOK:

WHITE DENIM | CABLE KNIT SWEATER | CITY COAT | KNIT HAT | BOOTIES

HOME: KITCHEN REFRESH GIVEAWAY

One of my favorite aspects about blogging is being able to connect with and partner with other creatives.  This week I’m co-hosting a giveaway with some of my favorite ladies! 

This time of year always makes me crave some sprucing up of my home decor. So what better time to give some lucky followers a few new items to freshen up their kitchen! The winner of the giveaway will receive a cutting board and two towels from Homegirls Boutique, a blue plant art print from Hammer Kate Art, and a recipe journal from J.Sperling Paperie! Head to my Instagram for the rules on how to enter.

Homegirls Boutique: Based in Jacksonville, IL, Homegirls Boutique specializes in home accessories, women’s fashions, and good smelling things!

J. Sperling Paperie: The goal of J. Sperling Paperie is to collect moments and create heirlooms. Whether it’s collecting family favorite recipes, navigating the ups and downs of motherhood, or sharing the pages of a correspondence journal, J. Sperling Paperie has something for everyone that treasures timeless paper goods.

Kate Hammer Art: Kate Hammer Studio offers the most beautiful watercolor botanical and acrylic landscapes. Kate specializes in gorgeous paintings of fruit (lemon and peaches), herbs, landscapes, wildflowers, and plants. She also accepts custom orders.

Enjoy the giveaway and good luck! 

All photos courtesy of Kate Hammer Art Studio.

Sláinte,

Shannon

COASTAL OHIO: ERIE AND ANCHOR DOCKS IN HARBOR TOWN

Almost one year ago, I sat at my computer and drafted up an email, mustering up the courage to hit send.  I had been following an Ohio based brand for quite a while and was pitching them an idea to collaborate with me.  It was my first time ever reaching out to a brand and I was so nervous.  

Within a couple of hours, the owner of the brand replied to my email and was just as excited as I was about the opportunity to work together.  After an hour long phone call we set up a day to get together for lunch and thus began my journey working with Erie and Anchor

Fast forward eleven months, and I’ve had the joy of watching my favorite Ohio brand open their first brick and mortar store. I remember sitting with Micah at our first lunch and talking about this dream of hers to someday open her own retail store. When she told me she was going to do it in the place that inspired Erie and Anchor, I knew without a doubt I wanted to be there for the opening.

This past weekend, Rob, Lilly and I hopped in the car for the hour long trip to Vermilion, Ohio for the soft opening of the Erie and Anchor flagship store. We had never been to Vermilion, but let me tell you, it is a coastal gem. It’s described as the “crowning jewel of the south shore of Lake Erie” and it’s 100% accurate.

This enchanting seaside community has all the charm of a New England coastal town. It’s full of quaint shops and restaurants, beautiful old “Lake Captain” homes, spectacular beaches, and an adorable lighthouse and maritime museum. It’s the perfect setting for an Erie and Anchor store and I’m already planning many more trips back to enjoy all the delights this coastal community has to offer.

The Erie and Anchor store is situated on the corner of Main Street and Liberty Avenue, right in the heart of “Harbor Town” (what the locals call the downtown).  It’s the perfect location! 

The inside of the store is absolutely gorgeous.  Everything from the window displays, to the hardwood floors, and shiplap wall are just stunning.  No detail was overlooked and it has such a cozy, easy going, lake vibe atmosphere.  

One of my favorite parts of the store includes the back wall which boasts five rowing oars and two floating shelves with nautical rope. So simple, yet perfectly preppy and right on brand. I also love the large wooden sign behind the checkout desk that is a beautiful replica of the logo. It’s one of the first things you see upon walking into the store and it’s just stunning.

Micah will be selling not only Erie and Anchor merchandise, but also merchandise from Coastal Cleveland, Shabby Shore, and a few other Ohio based companies. It’s truly a store that embraces coastal Ohio and the community that loves the lake.

I had no idea what this brand would come to mean to me and how much working with Micah would change my blogging life. I’m so grateful for her support, encouragement and friendship. I don’t know where A Dash of Solt would be without her. I’m so thrilled that I have been able to watch her grow her brand, not only across Ohio, but across the country.

The Erie and Anchor store will be open on Saturdays and Sundays from 12-6:00 p.m. until the grand opening weekend on March 21 and March 22.  If you aren’t local to Ohio, you can always shop their merchandise online.  And as always, a percentage of each purchase made is donated to the research and cleaning up of Lake Erie! 

Congratulations on a beautiful dream coming true, Micah!! Thanks for letting me be a part of it. 

Sláinte,

Shannon