this summer in style and life…

we go hard in the summer. hence my erratic blogging lately.

this summer, i fell in love with rompers and mumus. so did ruby.

ello became a nail biter because he used to twirl his hair around his finger until it made too many “nuts” in his hair so he switched out that adorable habit for nail biting. which on a germ level makes me sick but on a mom level i love how cute his little fingers look all chewed up. wrong of me? probably. he is gonna get worms right?

myes has spent like three days with us. he is killing me with all his sleepovers with cousins and a vacay with mema and papa. the few days that he we are rad enough to enjoy his presence we have been at the skatepark or surfing.

my bff came to visit in between his finals (my beauty contributor is also kind of a genius and is getting her masters in clinical mental health).

and sister finally finished her home in malibu. it is my happy place. it is 100 stair steps from the beach white, modern, finished with all tiles by heath ceramics and amazing. you know when people used a super human amount of restraint in their design and it comes out so much more stunning then if it was mucked up with elements? that is this house.

sister malibu house

they built this locker at the bottom of their stairs so we don’t have to lug our chairs and umbrellas and boogie boards up and down those stairs.sisters beach house 2

lacey and me

ruby and halle

jumping in malibu

myes skateboarding

old navy stripe tankini for little girls swimwear for little girls ello baby

Me: hat/ romper/ sunnies

ruby: tankini (similar)/blue mumu from amazon/ cream mumu

ello: striped shorts

myes: his favorite printed socks



life…the time i failed her

the time i failed her and my mama saved us. this school year proved to be a world of discovery for both ruby and i. she was in awe over all the adventures kindergarten provided. magical worlds filled with eric carle illustrations and castles made of yogurt cups and her first glimpse at the rules of the playground. A lot of things came really easily to her, following directions and being a bucket filler and not a bucket dipper were among them     “hey myes, stop dipping my bucket.”

Then there was this moment after the holiday break when i began to have concerns about her reading progress. i was volunteering in her class and looked around at all the kids and was like “wait, those kids are reading. what are we working on?” only to look down and see we were working on a skill already developed by the other kids. holy crap. my daughter was at the table with the kids that don’t read?? when did this happen? what did i miss? when did everyone charge ahead blending words and leave us behind sounding out each syllable with a clap? i later learned not all the kids couldn’t read but the evidence was strong that we were in this group for a reason and suddenly my heart swelled with love for all these little guys at my table for fighting to “get it”. they were officially our posse, gang signs included.

when we met with her incredible teacher my fears were confirmed. ruby was not understanding some basic reading concepts. her teacher gently guided me towards ways to improve ruby’s literacy. although ruby does not have a learning disability, as far as we know, she was struggling to understand concepts and would be ill prepared for first grade at the rate she was going.

i was heart broken.

i was and always have been a big reader. reading took me to places my childhood could not and introduced me to characters that made me feel happy, alive and never alone. did anyone else obsesses over Claudia’s earring choices at the Babysitter Club meetings?  i looked at my little girl who is full of imagination and creativity and my heart shattered. she loves when i read to her. she lives for things of magic and enchantment and stories of tough girls and courage.

i felt like i failed her, so as i beat myself with the “i am not a good enough mom measuring stick,” i searched for solutions. i did not have to search far, the solution was right in front of my face. my mama. she taught me a love for books that has lasted a lifetime. mama came with me to my next meeting with ruby’s teacher for two reasons. one i was incredibly sick and nervous i wouldn’t grasp all that the teacher was saying.  two my mom happily agreed to help tutor ruby with her reading and i wanted her to hear exactly what expectations the teacher had of us.  we needed to know where she needed to be by the end of summer so we could measure her progress and look for more help if necessary. our teacher gave us great tips and pointers and while myes continues to spend hours at the ball fields, now ruby goes over to nana’s and they practice reading. NANA LOVE I cannot believe the improvements we have seen in her literacy over just a few weeks. part of me still feels guilt over not spending enough time practicing her reading skills more regularly. part of me is so overcome with gratitude to be living near a mom that cares so much for my kids that she goes to parent teacher conferences with me and tutors my daughter every tuesday and thursday. she whips up a mean flashcard and comes up with games as well as her coveted prize jar filled with items that missy can keep once she can spell it out loud. What? amazing.  not to mention she  goes to conferences with me when i am dressed in a giant caftan with a top knot that has been there for three days. that’s love. blessed i tell you.

these two.mama and rubes here are some of our favorite books we have been reading in June: summer reading list

A Little Princess / American Girl Friends Book / Dick and Jane / The Day the Crayons Quit

we have been snuggling a few nights a week since may and reading A Little Princess, complete with accents for each character.

we are hoping to hone our friend making skills and learn how to pick and develop good relationships. this book by American Girl is written in an easy to understand way with examples and darling pictures too.

the day the crayons quit is the silliest most clever book. no wonder ruby kept begging for it after we had to leave barnes and noble during a certain little man’s tantrum. she literally asked me everyday, “mom do you think it’s sold out yet?” until we returned to claim it.

i secretly cheered when ruby picked this classically illustrated Dick and Jane beginning to read book over the commercialized character books. she mastered it in two days and added it to her “Old Time Classics” pile.

What is the “Old Time Classics” pile? well, that freaking rad teacher i was telling you about told us to divide our books into piles. the first pile is “mastering at the moment”. the other pile is ” old time classics.” once ruby has “mastered” a book and can easily read it she can add it to the “Old Time Classics” pile and take a new book from the “Learning to Read” pile. this way she is encouraged by seeing all the books she has mastered, that were once difficult switch piles to her classics pile and she can pick a new book from her learning pile to start mastering. she is liking this. a lot.

reading time in the backyard

we decided reading outside at 7 o’clock at night suits us real nice. especially when a sweet older brother brings her rainbow sherbert ice cream to encourage her along (and keep us outside so he can take three scoops instead of the measly one scoop i give him. he is smart cookie.)

should we talk about the sunburn on her cheeks? yes, we will get to that next week. yet another mom fail.

reading time

she loves to read the books to me like a librarian/vanna white.getting ready for first grade reading outside with the kids reading in the backyard

the day the crayons quit book black and white floppy hat for little girls


oh and ps…does hurt that i bribe all my kids. $1 for each book over 20 pages for Ruby. $1 for each book over 60 pages for Myes and $2 for any book over 100 pages. my good friend has really strong readers so this technique is going to make her broke so she has adjusted accordingly. this technique was my other motivation to read as a child, aside from claudia’s dangling earrings.

next week: BOOKS FOR BOYS that would way rather be outside. we have tried them all this will be a good post.

how could i not take some pics of this girl when she comes out of her room lookin like this? she kills me.

similar of our favorite floppy hats here at jcrew for $29. vest $15 for toddlers, and $19 big girls/ dress from target, not online but similar here and this black maxi for little girls here / leopard sandals $10

could this post be any more wordy?

DIY cut off shorts for kids

we have all cut off our jean shorts before and cut them way too short and hidden them from our parents. now its time to play teen queen again! i actually keep a pair of fabric scissors in my closet because i am constantly cutting here and adjusting there.

I also keep out my dremel sanding drill in the my craft room for quick distressing and whiskering. this summer i was thinking about all the shorts i wanted to buy and all the pants i wanted to pack away for the kids so in my haste to be teen again i began cutting their pants and am so so happy i did.

ello likes his shorts above his knee . It is hard to find cool pairs like that so I cut his skinny gray cords that were too short, his way to big army green chinos that will never fit him and myes old jeans so he has a loose baggy fit. he loves them all.

miss james got the hack on her overalls and printed pants from last year.

DIY kids clothing how to cut jeans into shorts for summerDIY cut off shorts for toddler boys | the blue closetcut and roll big brother's old jeans |the blue closet cut off cords for toddler boys boys cut off corduroy shorts |the blue closet ello and ruby cut offs diy denim shortalls for girls



chambray top camo shorts for girls


ruby’s chambray top not available online at gap. here is a cute toddler version and baby version.

ruby tuesdays… big things

big things are happening for this kindergarten graduate. Zara Kids Summer 2014 | the blue closet Schools Out 1 Zara Kids Palm Tank | the blue closet Zara Kids tropical tank for little girls | the blue closet

Ruby's kinder grad 1 Rubys Graduation Kinderon ruby:

zara tropical tank $16 / pink shorts $15.90 / cowboy boots

necklace (old from my closet) dress (old from jcrew but we LOVE this blue stripe dress $39 and this sleevless embroidered number is perfection and this coral number / sandals

me: hat/ sunnies / top/ cut off jeans from years ago / sneakers $35



monday rad deals… swimwear for kids under $20

Swimwear for kidsHappy Monday! It’s been a while since I did my monday rad deals so lets get going. i have a small obsession with bathing suits. they are just so cute and we wear them so much i am always looking for a good deal to add to the pile. and t he pile is a little ridiculous.

here are my favorites all under $20 and some as low as $5 . wha what? yep. truth.

click on item description to purchase.

Dude Swim bottoms $7 / american apparel leopard print one piece $5 / sun hat $16/  green stripe swim shorts $14.95 / short black swim shorts $10 / ruffled stripe bikini $14.95 / orange polka dot tankini for girls $16.99 / tween tribal two piece $19 /  girls surf bottoms $18 / black and white butterfly two piece $16 / navy heart one piece $10neon yellow one piece swimsuit $9 / green shorts $17 / blue printed flutter top bikini  $19.90/ pink tribal flutter top $19.80  / paisley print swim shorts $16.90 / red stripe swim shorts $18 / polka dot ruffle suit $19 /


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