SMALL BUSINESSES TO SHOP THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

It’s officially the holiday season! A few people in our neighborhood even have their Christmas lights up (not kidding!). I’m sure many people are shopping early this year so I want to make sure I share all my favorite small businesses with you guys early.  

I’m a huge advocate of shopping small and shopping local.  We always make a point to support as many small businesses as we can each holiday season. 

Instead of offering a gift guide of specific items, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite brands. I’ve broken them into categories featuring artists, accessories, apparel, home, and jewelry.  I’ve had the pleasure of either owning something, partnering with or getting to know each of the creatives behind these brands and I know how much it means to them when people shop small. So please give these brands some love in any way you can this holiday season, even if it’s just following them on social media, sharing their product, or sharing this blog post. Every interaction goes a long way! 

ARTISTS

It’s no secret that I love art and I love getting to know the artists. Below are some of my favorite artists. And I’m fortunate to have many of their works of art in my home. 

Becky Elgart

Becky creates the most beautiful abstract and figurative coastal scenes.  Her pieces of art invoke a feeling of peace and nostalgia for a simpler time. I have the pleasure of owning two of her pieces, one in Lilly’s playroom and one next to our piano.  Both bring me so much joy. Shop her art here

Brooke Lancaster Fine Art & Jewelry

Based in Savannah, GA (where I attended fashion school!!) and continuously inspired by the coastal, marshy landscape, Brooke creates the most vibrant pieces of art and jewelry.  If you love modern/retro style, bold colors, and nautical vibes, then you will love Brooke’s artwork.  I am so inspired and enamored by her collection of clothesline paintings.  These paintings always evoke a sense of nostalgia in me and remind me of my own mom and grandma who used to hang clothes on the line.  Brooke also creates beautiful pieces of jewelry that are cut from the paint palettes that she uses to create her fine art pieces.  Learn more about Brooke and shop her art here

Jen Strandberg Studio

Based out of NYC and Nantucket, Jen Strandberg Studio specializes in colorful coastal watercolors.  Full of coastal scenes, summers on the water, and hydrangeas in full bloom, Jen’s artwork makes my nautical loving heart so very happy.  She has since expanded to creating the most beautiful calendars, wrapping paper, and more. I have one of her pieces of art hanging in our playroom, as well as some of her stationary and I love them all! Shop her art here.

Michelle Brunner

If you love impressionism and Ohio, then you have to check out Michelle Brunner Art. Michelle Brunner was my first Instagram turn real life friend! Michelle’s art speaks to my soul in a way that I can’t even describe. Her paintings bring me so much joy and they transport me to a place of peace and contentment. With a style that is somewhat abstract and somewhat impressionistic, Michelle’s focus on color and texture is just outstanding. A true reflection of Ohio Midwest living, Michelle’s paintings bring to life long summer days on the lake or relaxing car rides through Ohio’s’ farm country. Michelle Brunner Art is a perfect gift for the person in your life who loves modern art or coastal and farmhouse décor

Kelly Pelfrey Art

With a style that is contemporary and impressionistic, Kelly’s coastal scenes and still life scenes represent all that is southern.  Based in South Carolina, Kelly does a beautiful job bringing the southern landscape to life. I love her use of color and texture and am instantly imported back to the marshy south when I see her work.  A few months ago Kelly was so inspired by one of the photos I took on Lake Erie that she recreated it in painting form and a print of this beautiful piece of work is hanging in Teddy’s nursery.  I’ve also been eyeing a few of her coastal birds to hang in our living room for months! Click here to learn more about Kelly. 

Where Ocean Meets HB

Hannah is the artist behind Where Ocean Meets HB.  Hannah and I actually met at the Savannah College of Art and Design.  We have recently reconnected on Instagram and I’m so glad we did! She is an amazing artist whose coastal scenes stop me in my tracks.  Her work is bold and fierce and so very beautiful.  Her use of color, line and texture always stops me in my tracks.  She offers everything from oil paintings, to greeting cards, to phone cases and more. Learn more about this artist and shop her work here.

ACCESSORIES

BITS AND BOWS

Created by two sisters, Katie and Sarah, Bits and Bows is a preppy lifestyle brand that is famous for its innovative and feminine Bow Baseball Hat. Bits and Bows is not only stylish, preppy, and fun, but the mission of the brand is to create a community and sisterhood that focuses on “inclusivity, friendship, and self-actualization.” I mean, what’s not to love about that?! You can customize, monogram, and match your mini with their may style options. Learn more about their brand and shop their hats here.

Eva’s House

If you are looking for beautifully crafted, timeless bows and headbands for your little girl, then Eva’s House is the place to shop! We have quite a collection of Eva’s bows and they are our favorite! Every hair accessory is handmade by Eva herself. Based in Switzerland, Eva is the sweetest person and I love supporting her and her small business. Shop her collection of hair accessories here

Shore Bags

Women owned and women founded, Shore Bags is a Midwest based brand located in Indiana. This is a newer brand to me and I have not tried their product yet, but I’m obsessed! Shore Bags creates 100% biodegradable and eco-positive tote bags and accessories.  With a mission to help reduce the amount of plastic in the environment, Shore Bags uses all sustainable raw materials to design and create their products. I personally love the striped cabana tote! Shop their products and learn more about this brand here

S. Lynch Knitwear

If you’ve been following me for awhile, then S.Lynch Knitwear will be no secret to you.  I’m obsessed with Sam’s beautifully crafted hand knitted hats and scarves.  Her hats are the only ones I wear in the winter – they are that warm! Plus she offers Mommy and me matching sets, which is a win in my book! Shop scarves, hats, gloves, and more here


Sunshine Style

My friend Katie launched her Etsy shop of hair accessories in 2020. If you love preppy, coastal style, then you will love Katie’s colorful and vibrant headbands and scrunchies! It’s hard to find headbands that are comfortable and hers are some of the best! She also creates mommy and me sets so if you have a little, be sure to check out her shop

APPAREL

Coastal Cleveland

Based in Avon Lake, Ohio, Coastal Cleveland celebrates coastal living and life on the water, specifically life on Lake Erie waters. Coastal Cleveland offers a variety of clothing for anyone who loves the water. From cozy collegiate crewneck sweatshirts, to the softest cotton t-shirts, all of the apparel designs are created by Erin, the owner. If you are native to the Ohio Northcoast, you will find shirts that give a nod to Avon Lake, Lakewood, Cleveland, and of course Lake Erie. In addition to running this business, Erin also maintains a blog where she shares her love for all things coastal, boats, Northcoast traveling, and everything in between.

DESHLER DESIGNS

If you love monogrammed gifts and apparel, then Deshler Designs is your new go-to. Whether you are shopping seasonal pajamas, mommy and me sets, personalized towels, or handbags, Deshler Designs has it all. There is a saying among preppy loving folk that if it is not moving, monogram it! And Deshler Designs offers customization and monogramming on all of their products. I personally am loving the Christmas outfits and jammies for Lilly and Teddy. Check out their shop here.

Duffield Lane

Duffield Lane creates timeless and classic styles that span generations. Located in Grand Rapids, MI, Duffield Lane’s styles are inspired by an effortless, coastal way of life. The brand started out as a pajama company but has since expanded to offer five collections a year. They are known for their perfect fits, bright preppy fabrics, and high quality craftsmanship. I’m not lying when I say I love every single piece I own from Duffield Lane.  Shop their Mommy and Me styles here

Erie and Anchor

You guys know my love for E&A runs DEEP.  Erie and Anchor is an Ohio based company that sells unique nautical products.  It’s a lifestyle brand designed for anyone who loves to live and play on Lake Erie.  From cozy sweatshirts, to lightweight tees, to canvas totes, baseball hats, and wine tumblers – Erie and Anchor has something for everyone!  For every purchase made, 5% of earnings are donated back to Lake Erie to help support water quality and research.  The family based company is passionate about ensuring the lake will still be a place of enjoyment and relaxation for decades to come. Shop my favorite sweatshirts here

Northern Drift 

Based in Minnesota, Northern Drift is an apparel company that celebrates the coastal summers of the Midwest. Their casual and classic clothing celebrates all that is beautiful about the Midwest region. Shop everything from tees to pullovers to crewneck sweatshirts to windbreakers and more. I personally am eyeing the Women’s Birch Quilted Quarter Zip Pullover. I love the color and it looks so cozy!! Shop their clothing here.

Meg and Marie

Based in the Midwest, Meg & Marie is a women’s clothing boutique that carries high quality pieces in classic, timeless, and preppy styles.  From classic sweaters to preppy dresses and pretty blouses, Meg and Marie has something for the sophisticated woman who loves classic style. Shop this family owned boutique here

Rudder USA

Midwest based and female owned,. Rudder USA is a timeless, preppy brand with strong American values. At just 23 years old, Nicole officially launched Rudder USA in August 2020. Nicole created Rudder USA to be a common ground for people that love life around the water, boating, and the lifestyle that comes from those things. This brand is for the water lovers – from rivers to lakes to oceans – this brand values life on the water and the feeling associated with that lifestyle. The products reflect the classic, American style that you guys know I love. If you are a passionate boater, water lover, and love supporting small businesses, then you have to check out Rudder USA. You can shop all of their products here.

Shore Society

Shore Society, a favorite coastal Ohio apparel brand, prides itself on creating pieces that are reflective of the lakefront lifestyle that encompasses the Great Lakes and the Midwest. Founded in 2012 by Rachael Koenig, Shore Society products are inspired by the nautical aesthetic of Cleveland’s coast. In the seven years since its founding, Shore Society has expanded to include sweatshirts (for Lake Erie and Lake Michigan fans), tee shirts, hats, totes, mugs, candles, pennants, art prints, and so much more. It’s a lifestyle brand that offers something unique for all coastal lovers. They also launch incredibly fun, seasonal apparel products that are hugely popular.

HOME

Jayes Studio

Based in New England, Jaye’s Studio has a perfectly curated collection of classic, bright, and preppy products.  The attention to detail makes this brand unique and their products one-of-a-kind.  I love their beautiful and high quality pieces for the home, but I also love their pajama collection, which is bold, bright ,and so comfy! Shop Jaye’s Studio here

Line and Cleat

Line and Cleat offers classic accessories for everyday living.  Think preppy inspired tumblers, serving trays, drinkware, wine totes and more.  Shop the collection here

Nautical Boards

Handmade in Atlanta, GA, these nautical themed serving trays and cheese boards mimic the look of a classic boat deck. I personally love the contrasting dark and light wood of these trays and I love that a cleat hitch is used as the handles. I’ve literally never seen such a unique and beautifully crafted serving tray before.  Choose from serving trays, carving boards, or cheese boards. You can customize each item with your monogram, your boat name, a special date, your last name, a “welcome home” if you are gifting it, the list goes on. Shop the collection here. 

Sternlines

Reclaimed lobster welcome mats, canvas totes, and New England inspired clothing for adults and children, Sternlines has the coolest selection of products.  Every doormat they create tells a different story as to where the rope originated from.  The brand’s story is so cool and you should definitely check them out if you love coastal living.  Shop the collection here.

JEWELRY

Allison Cole Jewelry

A jewelry collection that is classic, nautical, and all handmade in New England.  The owner, Nicole, proudly designs and makes every single piece of jewelry herself.  I wear the monogram Essex bracelet every single day.  Shop her collection here

Kylie and Bryn

Handmade right here in Columbus, Ohio, Kylie and Bryn is a jewelry/accessory company with the brightest and prettiest African vinyl and wooden bead bracelets. The moment I laid eyes on these colorful, vibrant bracelets, I knew I needed a few to add to my accessory collection. All of the bracelets are handmade and the craftsmanship and quality is just beautiful. The owner, Amber, creates bracelets in the brightest of colors – from neon pink, to royal blue, turquoise, and kelly green to yellow, blush pink, and even rainbow! And, she offers school spirit inspired bracelets and customizable word bracelets. You can purchase the bracelets individually or as a medley stack. There are so many options to choose from!

Little Lavender Lobster

Little Lavender Lobster offers handmade jewelry, watercolors, custom stationary, and so much more – all created and designed by Rachel herself.  Everything is inspired by coastal living in New England.  The pearl stud earrings are my absolute favorite! Shop her collection here

Mermaids and Madeleines

Mermaids and Madeleines offers the loveliest handmade coastal jewelry and art.  Heather, the owner, designs and makes all the jewelry herself.  I am fortunate to own the most beautiful necklace and alphabet letter print from her collection.  Shop her jewelry and art here

Sewcialite

If you love baskets, bowls, handbags, and jewelry, you will love Sewcialite.  All of the items are handmade out of rope (except the jewelry) by Roula herself.  The rope creations are truly incredible.  Roula recently launched a coastal inspired jewelry line and the pieces are exquisite.  Shop the collection here. 

I broke these small businesses down into specific categories, but don’t forget about the service industry. Gifting gift cards or paying for services such as photography (check out Kelly and Kelly Photography!), salons and spas, event coordination, florists and other services helps out many a small business! If you are looking for an event planner, then you should check out Pineapples and Parties! Local to northwest Ohio, P&P specializes in wedding planning and event planning. They work one on one with their clients to offer floral arrangements, wedding details, table decor and more. Learn more about their services here.

I hope this list provided you with some ideas for shopping small this holiday season. All of these brands are founded by some truly wonderful people so I hope you take the time to support their business in any way you can.

Slainte and Happy Holidays!

Shannon

SOLTY FRIDAYS 10.15

Another edition of Solty Friday’s is below!

Last weekend, Rob and I enjoyed a day date at our favorite brewery (Twin Oast), followed by a walk along the North Shores of Lake Erie. I brought along my exceptionally cozy sweatshirt from Rudder USA because I knew it was going to be chilly on the beach. I love the fit of this sweatshirt and how it’s a little bit longer, something I definitely appreciate post baby! Earlier this year I shared a Brand Spotlight on this Midwest based brand. You can read more about them here.

This week I received some happy mail from Eva’s House. I actually won a giveaway hosted by Eva and a few other bloggers a few months ago and I’ve been obsessed with the quality and style of these bows and headbands for Lilly ever since. All of the bows, headbands, and scrunchies are handmade by Eva herself. The products are beautifully made and so elegant in design. Plus, Eva is such a kind and beautiful person and so it’s easy to support her business. I bought this style for Lilly’s stockings in navy and light pink. I’m so excited to give these to her, I don’t know if I can wait until Christmas! Definitely check out Eva’s House and give her a follow on Instagram.

Books: I just finished reading The Midnight Library.  A New York Times bestselling book, this story really makes your mind wonder what could have been. In short, this story is about the choices we make and don’t make and how that affects our life (or our many different variations of our life).  It’s a fascinating and charming read and I highly recommend it.  Up next on my list is The Lighthouse Witches – a book that involves witches and Scotland so naturally I’m intrigued. 

Like everyone else, I’m already buying gifts for Christmas. Lilly has been obsessed with her play kitchen lately.  We play picnic, bakery, supermarket -you name it- on a daily basis, so we thought it would be fun to buy her a “Farmer’s Market.”  I found this Kid Kraft version on Amazon and cannot wait to give it to her. 

I’m hosting a giveaway on Instagram this week with some lovely bloggers and we are gifting a lucky person $180 to Lake Pajamas! I’ve been wearing Lake Pajamas for several years now and I have to say they are hands down my favorite. They are just insanely soft, comfortable, and flattering. I highly recommend you check out the giveaway if you want to try and win some new jammies!

And with that, I will sign off for the weekend.

Slainte,

Shannon

ON THE BLOG THIS WEEK

Style: 30 Days of Daily Style

STYLE: 30 DAYS OF DAILY STYLE

About four years ago I dreamed of creating a space of my own on the internet where I could share my love of fashion and my own personal style.  In the summer of 2017 I finally found the courage to launch this little blog of mine.  Over the past four years I’ve found immense joy in blogging about classic style, our home, motherhood and coastal Ohio.  Never in my wildest dreams did I envision this blog evolving into a community of beautiful people who share the same passion for classic style that I do. 

Lately though I’ve been feeling uninspired to get dressed. This past year really did a number on my style as I was pregnant and not feeling well. Now I’m in the postpartum stage and getting used to a body that I don’t feel all that comfortable or confident in. It’s been a struggle to dress in something other than workout shorts and t-shirts. I’m ready to find my sense of style and my love for getting dressed again. 

Just last week I saw on Instagram that my friend Katie from Sunshine Style is doing “31 Days” outfits. Hers was inspired by the TikTok challenge but I loved the idea so much that I decided to do my own version. 

So starting today, I’m committing to sharing my daily outfits on my Instagram for 30 days. I think it might be challenging to style an outfit I feel good in, but I also feel ready and up to the challenge. I’m hoping the next 30 days will help me fall in love with my style, my body and my wardrobe again. I’m hoping this process will help me vet my current wardrobe and purge any items that don’t make me feel great.  I’m also hoping that I can take inventory of what makes me feel amazing and focus on purchasing more of those styles.  And I hope I can inspire someone else who might need some confidence or some new ideas on what to wear, because I truly believe you can feel comfortable, polished, and stylish on a daily basis.

Slainte,

Shannon

HOME: COASTAL FALL DECOR

“I can smell autumn dancing in the breeze. The sweet chill of pumpkin, and crisp sunburnt leaves.” 

Autumn is officially here! I love the chilly mornings that turn into warm afternoons. I love sipping hot coffee while wearing a cozy oversized cardigan. I love the smell of leaves and the sound of geese flying overhead, heading south for the winter. I love picking out apples and pumpkins at the local orchards. And I love the brilliant colors that come with the changing of the leaves. As much as I love summer, fall in Ohio is truly something magical and will always hold a special place in my heart.

I’m not a huge seasonal decorator, but I do enjoy decorating for fall. With my blue and white, coastal aesthetic, sometimes that can be challenging, seeing as the colors associated with fall are reds, oranges, yellows, and browns. Today I’m breaking down how I decorate for fall to match my coastal vibe.

Stick to your current color scheme.

If you want to stay true to your coastal aesthetic, you have to stick to the colors already in your space. I choose to decorate with pumpkins in shades of blue and white since my home is based around those colors. You can also go with a softer color palette (light blues and greens, grays, tans, creams) if that’s the vibe you already have in your space.

White pumpkins can easily be found, but blue is a bit more difficult. Last year I found some blue and white napkins and paper mâchéd some old glitter pumpkins. You can also order white pumpkins in bulk from places like Amazon and Target.

Choose natural textures. 

This can be in the form of woven pumpkins, corn husk pumpkins, straw grass, wooden pumpkins, etc. Staying true to a coastal vibe with natural elements will keep the flow and easily transition your space into a cozy fall sanctuary. Target has some awesome options this season that are perfect for a coastal home. I’m looking to add this pretty herringbone woven one to my collection.

You can find some really unique coastal inspired fall decor by shopping Etsy, following artists with a coastal vibe, or making your own like I did with the paper mâché pumpkins.

Shop some of my fall decor:

Happy decorating!

Slainte,

Shannon

SOLTY FRIDAYS 09.24

I can’t believe it’s Friday already.  The days somehow are very long but also fly by at the same time. We don’t have much planned for this weekend except for a few household chores, which nowadays is about all we can handle as we still adjust to being a family of four.  Below are a few things that I’ve been thinking about this week. 

  • Now that Fall has arrived and the temperatures are quickly getting cooler, I’m looking to add a few cozy sweatshirts to my collection.  My favorite sweatshirts are my Erie and Anchor ones.  They are seriously the softest and comfiest sweatshirts I’ve ever owned.  I wear them ALL the time.  I’m loving this one, this one, and this one for me and this one for Lilly. Last year I put together a holiday gift guide of all my favorite Erie and Anchor styles. You can find there here.
  • I’m still on the hunt for a pair of postpartum jeans.  After Lilly was born I was back in my normal clothes very quickly, but I’m pretty sure my entire body shape has changed after having Teddy so I can’t seem to find jeans that fit this new body.  Currently looking to try these three styles: Denim Jean 1, Denim Jean 2, Denim Jean 3.
  • The Morning Show started last week and I’m so excited for this second season.  We absolutely loved the first season so I have high hopes for this one.  
  • Although there isn’t much time for reading these days, I try to carve out twenty minutes before bed to read a little something.  I just finished The House in the Cerulean Sea and I highly recommend if you like magical and whimsical tales that end happy. I’m also reading the 123 Magic Book which is about parenting toddlers (a recommendation from my friend Stephanie from Linen and Littles) – we definitely need all the help we can get in that arena as our precious toddler certainly has a spirit of her own lately. 
  • If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen that I’m running a giveaway with Bits and Bows, Duffield Lane, and two of my favorite mommy bloggers.  Be sure to check it out to enter to win a matching Mommy and Me baseball hat set and $100 to Duffield Lane! 

That’s all for now!

Happy weekend!

Shannon

BRAND SPOTLIGHT: BITS AND BOWS

One of my favorite series has returned and I couldn’t be more excited to introduce Bits and Bows as this month’s brand spotlight!  Created by two sisters, Katie and Sarah, Bits and Bows is a preppy lifestyle brand that is famous for its innovative and feminine Bow Baseball Hat. 

Lilly and I have had the opportunity to style this super cute baseball hat for a few weeks now and we are in love! Below I go into depth about the quality, style, and affordability of this accessory. But before I do that I must comment on the values behind the brand. Bits and Bows is not only stylish, preppy, and fun, but the mission of the brand is to create a community and sisterhood that focuses on “inclusivity, friendship, and self-actualization.” I mean, what’s not to love about that?! I’ve absolutely loved working with Katie and Sarah and they truly live up to their goal of promoting a sisterhood.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

The idea to adorn a baseball hat with a customizable and interchangeable bow started as a vision nearly seven years ago and came to fruition this year. This ultra feminine baseball hat is the perfect accessory to ensure a woman is perfectly styled from head to toe. To customize your own baseball hat, you simply pick a style and color, decide if you want to personalize it with a monogram or initial, and choose your bow style and color (White Sailor or Skipper Snap Bow). That’s it! So easy and stylish.

STYLE

I think it’s a no brainer that I love the style of this hat. I love the classic fit and the variety of feminine colors offered (Lilly has the Lilly Lavender and I have the Birdie Blue). My favorite detail on this hat, besides the bow detail on the back of course, is the customizable monogram! You can customize the front of the hat with your monogram or initial. I chose the classic interlocking script for both of our monograms and it adds an extra dose of prep and style to these hats. I find myself reaching for this hat daily. It doesn’t matter if I’m wearing a t-shirt dress, a sweater and chinos, or workout clothes, I love how my hat looks with every outfit. I definitely give this hat a 10/10 for style!

QUALITY

I can’t say enough great things about the quality of this hat. It’s 100% cotton so it’s very lightweight and you can tell it’s made of durable fabric. The bows are also beautifully crafted and what’s really cool is that they are hand sewn! As a sewer myself I appreciate small details like that. We have been interchanging the bows on each of our hats and the 3-D printed snap is strong and reliable. Definitely a win on quality!

AFFORDABILITY

Overall these hats are extremely affordable. For a customized hat, it’s a base of $34 for women and $30 for girls. You only pay $10 extra for monogramming and selecting a bow style. They also just released hats with cute icons such as an anchor, a unicorn for girls, and golf clubs at a very affordable price ($38-$44 for women and $34-$40 for girls).

If you are looking for a preppy accessory to up your style game, then I definitely recommend the Bow Baseball Hat from Bits and Bows. You will look great and be supporting a small business, which is always a win in my book.

Click here for the Bits and Bows website.

Click here to follow Bits and Bows on Instagram.

Slainte,

Shannon

SOLTY FRIDAYS 09.17

It’s been awhile since I shared a Solty Fridays post, but here we are.  Life has felt like it’s been on turbo speed lately with Rob back to work after paternity leave and the kiddos and I adjusting to a daily routine.  My last maternity leave consisted of lots of sleeping and watching Friends.  This time around I’m still watching my fair share of Netflix, but there is a lot less resting and sleep and a lot more on the go activities in order to keep Lilly busy.  

Because I’m awake a lot in the middle of the night doing feedings, my brain seems to be producing a lot of creative content (yay!) so I have a list of blog posts and new series I’m hoping to launch this fall and into the new year.  For now though, we will begin with sharing some everyday things for Solty Fridays! 

  • In case you missed it on Instagram, I wrote a guest blog post for Nautical Boards a few weeks ago. I talk about my thoughts on the brand, the serving trays, and how I style mine.  You can read that article here. 
  • TV Shows and Movies I recommend watching: 
    • Outer Banks on Netflix: I binged both seasons of Outer Banks in a week and a half! I totally loved the teen drama with all the added suspense of a treasure hunt.  
    • Virgin River on Netflix: I also watched all three seasons of Virgin River and highly recommend it.  It’s sort of a cross between Gilmore Girls and Everwood.  
    • Friday Night Lights on Netflix: I’m re-watching Friday Night Lights right now and it gets better and better every time I watch it. 
    • Cruella on Disney+: We have watched exactly one movie since Teddy was born and that’s Cruella – it’s SO GOOD. The costumes and acting are just phenomenal. And the story is so interesting, because how do you humanize one of the greatest villains in Disney history?!
    • Ted Lasso on Apple TV: And lastly, everyone needs to get Apple TV stat and watch Ted Lasso.  I think it’s one of the best TV series I’ve ever seen.  If you love soccer, England, and wit, then you will love this show.
  • Fall decorating begins this weekend! Every year I add a few pumpkins to my decor and this year I found these $5 coastal inspired ones from Target.  Target always has the best selection of fake pumpkins.  I have found a lot of my blue and white ones by shopping the $5 bins. 
  • As much as it pains me to say this, I’m starting to think about Christmas shopping.  With the COVID shortages I’m hoping to get my shopping done early.  I also need to order Teddy a stocking! We all have personalized needlepoint stockings from L.L.Bean so I’m excited to pick one out for him.  Currently looking at this design (snowman with puppies) for him!
  • I’ll be sharing more about this brand next week, but Lilly and I are loving our monogrammed bow baseball hats from Bits and Bows, a preppy lifestyle brand founded by two sisters looking to offer a casual product that is both elegant and feminine. Be sure to check them out and come back next week for more on this favorite brand! 

One more thing before I sign off, I’m running a giveaway with a few friends on my Instagram this weekend! Follow us and you could win $100 to H&M! (Enter here!)

Recent Blog Posts

COASTAL OHIO: SAVING LAKE ERIE
STYLE: FIVE ITEMS I’M SHOPPING RIGHT NOW

STYLE: FIVE FALL STYLES I’M SHOPPING THIS SEASON  

Growing up, my favorite time to go shopping was right before school started. I always loved picking out new outfits to start the school year.  Even as an adult I get a little giddy at the thought of updating my wardrobe.  This year is no exception and I’m once again looking forward to adding a few new fall classic pieces to my wardrobe.

This season I’m all about timeless, effortless pieces. The desire to invest in quality pieces that will last me season after season is stronger than ever right now.  I think a huge part of that is how I shopped while pregnant. I was so uncomfortable that I shopped for whatever I thought looked comfy. That resulted in many poor decisions and many spur of the moment Amazon purchases. My shopping was sporadic and I feel so much buyer’s remorse now.  

This season my goal is to be MUCH more intentional with my purchases.  This will probably mean I’m buying fewer pieces but they will be pieces that are better quality, timeless, and will be styles I will love for years to come. 

My body postpartum is vastly different from a year ago and I still have 15-20 pounds to lose before I’m back at my pre-baby weight. So I’m shopping styles that will work now, but also work after (hopefully) the weight comes off. 

My inspiration this season is drawing from my favorite fashion icons.  Think Jackie Kennedy and Audrey Hepburn. I also love Ali McGraw’s wardrobe from A Love Story. I’m craving classic silhouettes and neutral colors.  Here are a few of the brands I’m shopping:  

  • Duffield Lane
  • J.Crew
  • J.Crew Factory
  • Alice Walk

Style wise I’m shopping for a new pair of denim jeans (I just bought these) and tops that will work for nursing. Here are a few items I have my eye on:

Alice Walk Cotton Gauze Cloud Top

I’ve heard amazing reviews about this top from other bloggers and nursing mamas.  Word on the street is that this top is insanely comfy, flattering, and very nursing friendly.  The price point is steeper than what I normally spend on a single top but I think the classic silhouette and timeless colors makes this the number one purchase for me this year. I especially love the blush pink and sage green, both of which are currently sold out.  I’m going to see if there is a restock, otherwise I think I’m leaning towards the Navy Blue (shocker).

J.Crew does have a less expensive version, which I’m loving in the faded chambray. 

Alice Walk Three Quarter Tee

This is another item I’ve been eyeing for months.  This classic striped tee has a flowy look to it and I love that, especially as I’m trying to hide all the extra pounds that comes with having a baby.  Although this is not nursing friendly, it is a piece that can be worn for years to come.  Throwing a nursing tank underneath would solve the problem of being able to wear it this year. 

Duffield Lane Sasha Dress in Navy Plaid

I already own this dress and it’s amazing for fall. From pockets to a tie waist and a curved hem, this dress has it all.  It’s functional, classic, and the blue and white plaid perfectly matches my aesthetic.  And the best part: it buttons so it’s perfect for nursing. 

J.Crew Factory Navy Flannel Plaid Shirt in Boy Fit

I love these button down flannel shirts from J.Crew Factory.  They are insanely comfy and a button down literally never goes out of style. The flannel adds an extra layer of cozy, plus who doesn’t love plaid for fall? 

J.Crew Classic Fit Puff Sleeve Shirt in Stripe

I always say I have too many stripes but every time I shop I end up buying at least one striped piece.  I just can’t resist the modern twist on this classic button down. I love the collarless detail and of course the puff-sleeve! And again, the button down makes it perfect for nursing. 

What are you shopping for this fall?!

Slainte,

Shannon 

COASTAL OHIO: SAVING LAKE ERIE

If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen me posting about our trip to the beach this past weekend.  I shared in my stories that we couldn’t swim in the lake because the algae toxin levels were too high from the algae bloom.  

Lake Erie has been plagued with algae blooms for decades. Algae blooms are formed when warm water temperatures mix with light and nutrients. Since the 1950s, runoff from farms (manure and fertilizer), sewage and industry have caused these blooms to become toxic and harmful. Certain types of algae become abundant in shallow bodies of water and because Lake Erie is so shallow, it often is a catch basin for algae blooms. These blooms are extremely harmful to fish, animal life, and humans.

In 2014 the algae bloom was so horrific, residents in northwest Ohio were unable to drink or use the water for days (this actually fell on the weekend of my bachelorette party. Waking up to no water was not ideal after a night of fun). This incident in particular raised the alarm to the importance of cleaning up and preserving the lake.

As one of five fresh bodies of water (that make up 20% of the world’s fresh bodies of water), it’s really important we do our part to keep Lake Erie clean and free from harmful toxins. Not only do we love the lake for its sandy shores and recreational purposes, but Lake Erie has a huge impact on the local region. Lake Erie provides drinking water to 11 million people. It’s also a large tourism destination and produces the largest amount of consumable fish than all the other Great Lakes combined.

Recent years have seen many individuals, organizations, and brands fighting back and working to clean up and preserve this Great Lake. If you would like to learn more about how you can help conserve Lake Erie, the following organizations are a good place to start. This list is just a start, so if you know of more organizations fighting to preserve our lake, please message me and I will add them to the list.

If you want to support Ohio brands that also contribute to protecting and promoting the Lake Erie lifestyle, then be sure to check out the list below. 

And finally, you can do small things now that make a big impact later such as picking up after your pet, adopting a beach, becoming an ambassador to educate others, or volunteering to clean up streams.

Just by reading this post and being here you are already supportive of protecting Lake Erie and for that I thank you!

Slainte,

Shannon

WELCOME TO THE WORLD BABY TEDDY!

July 19th. The day that completed our family and brought us the greatest bundle of joy. Although ten days early, we welcomed Theodore “Teddy” Robert Solt with open arms on the morning of the 19th and have been living in newborn bliss ever since.

Teddy’s actual due date was July 29, or the 27th, or the 24th. At one point we had three different due dates so we just told everyone the last week of July. I knew by six months he was going to be early (I literally felt so huge) and that was confirmed at our 34 week appointment when he was already weighing 6 pounds 3 ounces (Lilly was 6 pounds 14 ounces at 39 weeks!!). We actually thought he would be a week earlier than the 19th, but T wasn’t ready yet.

I had been experiencing Braxton Hicks for weeks (probably since the middle of the second trimester). For a few days leading up the 19th I knew they were starting to change, but I also knew they weren’t quite labor contractions yet. I woke up around 2:00 a.m. on the 19th with what I thought were pretty significant Braxton Hicks. By 4:00 a.m. the contractions were becoming slightly more intense and lasting 15-20 minutes apart. I woke up Rob around 4:15 and told him what was going on. Within an hour my contractions were pretty severe and coming every 5-10 minutes.

The plan once we went into active labor was to have my parents (who luckily live a mile from us) come pick up Lilly.  For about two weeks prior to this my parents had been sleeping with their phones on in the event we went in the middle of the night.  Well, in the wee hours on the morning of the 19th when we knew it was go time, we called my parents 15 times with no answer.  Rob had to drive over and bang on their bedroom window to wake them up! We laugh about it now, but when my contractions were coming five minutes apart, I was not so amused!

Rob was gone a total of 15 minutes getting my parents but I knew once he got back we would need to jet out the door. Apparently Gryff, our 90 pound labradoodle, felt the frenetic energy and as Rob and I were leaving, bounded out the door and right into the front seat of the Jeep. Again, not so amused while having significant contractions, but we had a great laugh about it after T was born.

Thankfully there wasn’t any traffic on the road since it was still early and we rolled into the Toledo Hospital around 6:00 a.m.  We parked in the wrong parking garage (in our defense it was the parking garage where we parked when we had Lilly, but the hospital had changed the parking garage to employee parking only).  Luckily a very nice healthcare worker was entering the hospital at the entrance (of which you needed an employee pass in order to enter) at the same time and took pity on us (I was in A LOT of discomfort by this point) and helped us to labor and delivery. 

By this point my contractions were lasting about a minute and coming every two-five minutes.  We checked in at triage and I barely made it through all the questions and check up.  And at this point I was already 7 centimeters dilated and 90% effaced (I had actually been 3-4 cm dilated for about two weeks prior to this).  Rob on the other hand, in all the excitement of the morning, became rather queasy watching them insert the IV in me (which took them about 15 times) and he decided to take an unplanned nap!  Good thing that they keep juice and crackers at the ready!

We were in triage for about an hour to an hour and a half and it was the longest moments of my life.  I was begging for the epidural at this point.  My labor did not progress this fast with Lilly so I don’t recall the intensity of the contractions with her.  This is definitely something I never want to experience again! 

Once they finally got us back to our labor and delivery room the epidural arrived and I was much more comfortable, although I could still feel the contractions pretty significantly since we were so far along.  I tested positive for Strep B so the plan was to wait as long as possible so the antibiotic could get in my system.  After about an hour or two the doctor came in and said it was go time, there wasn’t any more waiting!  He broke my water (it still hadn’t broken) and within an hour I was actively pushing and five contractions later Teddy was born! The doctor laughed as he was delivering him and said, “Wow! This is a big baby!”  I knew Teddy would be bigger than Lilly, guessing him to be about 7.5 pounds, but I never imagined I would birth a 9 pound baby!! I am still so amused by it. 

But let’s not forget about Rob! The nurses gave him some water and peanut butter with crackers after he felt faint in triage so he was doing much better and doing a good job keeping me comfortable with a wet washcloth (my face was on fire right before and during the active labor). During labor, he was “overcome with joy” and had to sit down again. He has been a steady rock since then and I can’t imagine the last four weeks without his support.

Teddy was born at 10:20 a.m. on July 19, weighing in at 9 pounds 2 ounces.  Only four hours had passed from the time we got to the hospital until the time we had him, and less than an hour had passed once my water had broken! My fear throughout this entire pregnancy was that he would come very quickly and we wouldn’t have enough time to get to the hospital (my family has a history of having babies quickly!).  But thankfully everything worked out beautifully and I wouldn’t have wanted to labor any longer than I did!

If you made it this far, I thank you! We had quite the exciting birth story to share.  I’m so glad we are home and settling into a routine.  Now we just need to get T to sleep and feed longer than every two hours! 

Slainte,

Shannon