August 30, 2017

FAMILY // A Batman Birthday Party

I have officially handed over the party theme reigns (for at least one tiny human). A certain 5-year-old very firmly insisted on a Batman birthday party this year, the first time he requested a theme outright. Resistance was futile, so I immediately fired up Google for guidance.

I usually try to incorporate things we already own into party decor instead of just buying a bunch of stuff that isn't reusable. However, I was fresh out of bat-emblazoned items so I had to get a little creative this year (with the help of Pinterest, Etsy, Party City and Oriental Trading Company - my party-planning saviors). I also sent out the bat-signal to call in our favorite party entertainment folks from Party Palooga.

H wore his Batman costume from Halloween, excitedly explaining that his guests would "be so surprised that the REAL Batman is at MY house, and they're never going to know it's me!". I think at some point he did reveal his identity, but his friends didn't seem any less amazed that the birthday boy was lurking under the mask instead of Bruce Wayne.


Skyscraper cupcake stand - Oriental Trading
Superhero table cover - Oriental Trading
Batman piñata - Party City
Cupcake toppers - Etsy
Batman t-shirts - Target

August 21, 2017

STYLE // 5 Things You Need to Pack for a Trade Show + Outfits

This past week I made the bi-annual pilgrimage to Las Vegas for the FN Platform Footwear Trade Show (I had missed the past 2 shows between being 36 weeks pregnant for one, and having a nursing infant to care for at the time of the other).

The list below are my packing tips for making attending trade shows a little more comfortable...

  1. Wear-Tested Shoes - One word: Blisters. More than one word: A trade show where you'll log more steps in your fitness tracker over 3 days than you have in the past 3 months combined is NOT the place to break in new shoes.
  2. Band-Aids - Especially useful if you ignore #1 (see above).
  3. Large & Small Bags - A long-handle tote is essential for hauling all of your business-ey wares during the day. A clutch (or other smaller bag) will prevent you from morphing into your group's Sherpa when you're headed out to a client dinner.
  4. Battery Charger - You may not always have access to a power source or have time to be tethered to one while you wait for your phone to charge. Pop this guy in your bag and skip sitting on the floor of that conference center hallway (the one that had the only available charger in a 200-mile radius).
  5. Nightlight - Chances are, you'll find yourself stumbling around at 2am in a groggy, over-hydrated stupor trying to locate the bathroom in your hotel room. Your usual options are: endure temporary blindness from the overhead light or possess inhuman night vision that allows you to locate the toilet in pitch black darkness. I vote for option 3- pack this lightweight, slim profile nightlight and do what you need to do without disrupting your circadian rhythm or smashing into the door frame on your way out.

// O u t f i t s //J.Crew Factory Crosshatch Embroidered Shell

Travel to LAS from SLC

J.Crew Factory Crosshatch Embroidered Shell // J.Crew Denim Shorts // Jack Rogers Palm Beach Sandal
J.Crew Factory Beaded Tassel Earrings

Trade Show - Day 1

J.Crew Linen Chevron Maxi Dress // J.Crew Factory Beaded Tassel Earrings // Eastland Hickory 1955 Sandal
Eastland Gia Cap Toe Ballet Flat

Trade Show - Day 2

J.Crew Stripe Knit Shift Dress // Madewell The Transport Tote // Eastland Gia Cap Toe Ballet Flat

Trade Show - Day 3

J.Crew Factory Striped Pleated Shift Dress // Eastland Kelley Crisscross Slide Sandal

Travel to PWM from LAS

Lilly Pulitzer Eda Cardigan // LOFT Striped Tie Back Shell // 7 For All Mankind Skinny Jeans // Madewell The Transport Tote // Jack Rogers Palm Beach Sandal

And me and my new bestie - Blair Underwood 😆

August 1, 2017

STYLE // Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Reviews #NSale

Hi, friends! It's been awhile since my last post and if you follow me on Instagram Stories, you probably know why (ahem, "Mom-Taxi" duties).

In addition to not having much time to blog, I also don't have much free time to shop in-stores these days. Most of my shopping is done online with retailers that offer free shipping and free returns, such as Nordstrom.

Maine summers are amazing but zip by quickly, so it's not too much of a stretch to be thinking about fall sartorial needs already. Queue the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale - happening now through 8/6. A bunch of new fall arrivals are released and marked down during their annual event.

While shopping the Anniversary sale in the past, I've found it helpful to see what items look like on real humans who eat carbs. I thought I'd pay it forward this year by reviewing the items I ordered. Below are my honest reviews and slightly grainy iPhone photos. Hope some of this info helps!

Clearly I was in a turtleneck-shopping mood on the day I placed my order. For size reference - I tend to wear a Small/Medium in looser styles, or a Medium/Large in more fitted tops and tees. I have a longer torso and I don't like tops that cling to my midsection (hi, post-baby weight!).
Calson Cabled Cowl Neck Pullover
RETURNING - Caslon Cabled Cowl Neck Pullover (Size Small / Color - Heather Oatmeal)
(Sale: $45.90 / After Sale: $69.00)
I purchased this sweater hoping to replace an older cream-colored turtleneck that had definitely seen better days (and maybe one too many après-ski pizza dinners). However, I have super sensitive skin and the small bit of turtleneck that brushed against my skin was instantly itchy. It's my fault for not checking the material mix before purchasing (68% acrylic, 21% nylon, 8% wool, 3% spandex). I can only wear wool sweaters with a barrier layer of a long sleeve shirt and I would've never purchased this if I'd realized there was any wool present at all. However, for anyone who's not a wool-wimp like me, this sweater was super comfortable in the body. I ordered a size small based on Nordstrom's size guidelines, and thought it fit true to size.
Free People Split Back Turtleneck
KEEPING - Free People Split Back Turtleneck (Size Small / Color - Moss)
(Sale: $44.90 / After Sale: $68.00)
I don't currently own anything from Free People, but the model photo of this top just made it look too darn comfortable not to buy. I ordered a size small based on Nordstrom's size guidelines, and thought the fit was spot on and perfectly slouchy. The split back hangs mostly closed when just standing still, but I'll likely layer with a cami underneath for more coverage. The material is super soft and the turtleneck has just enough structure without being constricting. I'm looking forward to pairing this with skinny jeans and leggings after the next month or so of steamy summer temps.

1. Sarto by Franco Sarto // 2. Cole Haan // 3. Blondo // 4. Kork-Ease
I've been on the hunt for a low-heeled ankle boot since last winter and have bought and returned about 8-10 pairs of boots in the past year. I've been looking for something ankle height as a break from my usual riding boot/rain boot/Bean boot rotation. My perfect pair needed to be high enough to cover a normal short sock (instead of having to fish no-show socks out of the bottom of my boots all day) with a low enough heel that I could still outrun tiny humans.

For size reference - almost every pair of shoes I own is a size 10 except for my running shoes (size 10.5) and a couple pair of Jack Rogers sandals that I felt like ran short (size 10.5 in those, as well).
Sarto by Franco Sarto Paivley Bootie
RETURNING - Sarto by Franco Sarto Paivley Bootie (Size 10 / Color - Sandstone Suede)
(Sale: $86.90 / After Sale: $129.95)
I really wanted to like these booties (especially since they were the cheapest of all the styles I ordered), but sadly they didn't make the cut. The collar rubbed in an unfortunate spot on my ankle, making them instantly uncomfortable. I also have slightly narrow feet, but these left me with no breathing room in the toe area. The Paivley booties also dipped too low for me to wear short socks, which is a no-go with cold Maine winters on the horizon. They fit a little narrow and you'd likely want to size up at least half a size if you have a medium to wide foot.
Blondo Ida Waterproof Bootie
RETURNING - Blondo Ida Waterproof Bootie (Size 10 / Color - Mushroom Suede)
(Sale: $99.90 / After Sale: $149.95)
Sooooo smelly. Though the odor toned down after they sat out of their box for a few days, I could still detect their distinct aroma while trying them on again. I love the concept of waterproof suede, but is it possible to achieve "waterproof" without the stink? Overall the booties were cute and comfortable. The soles had good grip and I could see them doing well on slippery, slushy days. They fit true-to-size and the inside zipper paired with the elastic panel on the outside made it super easy to get these on and off.
Cole Haan Lyla Waterproof Bootie
RETURNING - Cole Haan Lyla Waterproof Bootie (Size 10 / Color - Harvest Brown Leather)
(Sale: $159.90 / After Sale: $250.00)
Though they were the priciest pair in my order, the Cole Haan booties left me pretty underwhelmed. I had ordered the Harvest Brown and the leather lacked any dimension or variation in tone - the color was just flat and boring. I also thought the leather was stiff and didn't give much when I walked around. They fit a bit narrow and I found it a little hard to get in and out of these, even with the side zips.
Kork-Ease Mindo Chelsea Bootie
KEEPING - Kork-Ease Mindo Chelsea Bootie (Size 10 / Color - Brown Leather)
(Sale: $129.90 / After Sale: $199.95)
These. Are. Awesome. I ordered the brown leather and they're a beautiful hue that is similar to the color of my Frye riding boots (which easily pair with at least 80% of my Fall/Winter wardrobe). The insole is super comfy and the heel is the perfect height. My only gripe is that I have a little trouble getting in and out of these, despite the hidden side goring, but they're perfect once they're on. They fit true-to-size and are roomy enough for a slightly thicker sock on extra cold days.

I hope this information was helpful to someone out there in Internet-land. Please feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions and happy shopping!

March 1, 2017

MAINE // Samoset Resort (Winter)

After the holiday bustle died down, we found ourselves suffering from a family-wide case of cabin fever. A few back-to-back illnesses and blizzards resulted in too many weekends spent indoors. Our friends, the Burnells, were feeling similarly cooped up, so Super Bowl Sunday we hatched an escape plan.

Saturday morning that plan was put into action and we ventured 70 miles up the coast for an overnight getaway to the Samoset Resort in Rockport. Neither family has school-aged kids yet, so we didn't intentionally pick the tail-end of February vacation week for our trip. I was a little worried that the resort would be too crowded, but there was just the right amount of guests for a good energy without feeling like we were on top of everyone else.

It was unseasonably warm this past weekend (almost 50 degrees on Saturday!), so we walked the property after dropping our stuff off in our rooms. The resort is perched on a hill overlooking Penobscot Bay. An 18-hole championship golf course fills the stretch between the hotel and the shoreline. The warm temps and fog had cleared most of the snow from the greens, so there was plenty of room for the older kids to run around. The babies hitched rides in Baby Bjorns strapped to the Burnells (thanks for carrying our kid, Shawn!).

The Samoset is usually only open on weekends in the winter. However, they're open every day for February school vacation week and offer a bunch of different kid-entertainment options. A whole conference room had been converted into a rec room complete with board games, corn hole (emblazoned with lobsters), a ping pong table, and a CedarWorks indoor playground. The staff also hosts an arts & crafts activity a few times a day, which is how we became the proud owners of a baggie of green slime.

Unfortunately we couldn't take advantage of the temporary ice skating rink they had set up on the property. The warm temps had turned it into a 100' x 50' puddle with a pretty view. We also missed out on their Glacier Ice Bar. It's an outdoor bar that's carved each January out of 20,000 pounds of glacial ice (we might need to head back without the kids for that one).
The majority of our time was spent at the indoor pool. The 4-year-olds were equipped with swimming aids and the babies were popped into floats, making multi-kid lifeguard duty a little easier to manage. It was W's first time in a pool and he loved it! I think it's safe to say both our boys have the fish gene, boding well for future family beach vacations.

The one time we did feel the fullness of the resort was at dinner. The onsite restaurant, La Bella Vita, was completely booked until 8pm when we inquired around 4pm. We should have made reservations in advance, but we honestly expected to go to dinner somewhere in Rockland. Instead, we were all so comfortable that eating at the hotel was most appealing. Thankfully the hostess was super helpful and recommended the adjoining Enoteca Lounge as another dinner option. The seating in the lounge is first come, first served so we arrived promptly at 5pm and snagged a spot next to the wine display. The full restaurant menu is available in the lounge, but there were also some lounge-only options. Everything sounded good, but flatbread pizzas wound up being the most popular order at our table. I had the Rustica Pizza (grilled chicken, pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, mozzarella, ricotta, garlic-olive oil, Parmesan cheese) and it was delicious.

Sunday morning the guys picked up an easy breakfast from Hole in the Wall Bagels in Rockland. We ate in the room then clocked in some more pool time. We originally had hopes of walking around outside again, but the temps had dropped back down into the 30's and high wind gusts made an outdoor stroll seem a little less appealing. Instead, we wrapped up our 24 hours at the Samoset before lunchtime to time the drive home with the babies' nap schedules, ensuring a peaceful ending to our trip.

January 13, 2017

Life // My 2016

2016 // The year we went from a family of 4, to a family of 5!


DECEMBER // Getting spoiled by Grammy, Pop and Nana

DECEMBER // Soaking in the last days of maternity leave

NOVEMBER // First snow

NOVEMBER // Cousin-palooza (and Dog Beach photobombs)

NOVEMBER // Taking advantage of the mild weather

OCTOBER // Trick-or-Treating with Batman, a Baby Reindeer and a Pumpkin Dog

OCTOBER // Annual pumpkin picking trip to Pumpkin Valley Farm

OCTOBER // East and West Coast Creelmans collide

SEPTEMBER // Brotherly Love

SEPTEMBER // Welcoming the newest, littlest Creelman to the family

AUGUST // Birthday cruising on Casco Bay

AUGUST // This is what 4 looks like!

JULY // Rachel and Chris' wedding in Massachusetts

JULY // Summer shenanigans at the lake

JULY // Strawberry picking at Maxwell's Farm

JULY // Family trip to the Samoset Resort in Rockport, ME

JUNE // Jenna and Mike's wedding in New Jersey

JUNE // Dave Matthews Band in Mansfield, MA with the UML ladies 

JUNE // Dave Matthews Band in Bangor, ME

MAY // Memorial Day weekend in LBI 
(Long Beach Island, Jersey Shore)

MAY // Celebrating our 6th wedding anniversary with a stay at the Kennebunkport Inn 
(see full post here)

APRIL // Quick trip to San Diego 
(Sorry to everyone we missed - we hope to return soon!)

MARCH // Orange County for C's baptism and Disneyland!

FEBRUARY // Ski trip to North Conway, NH 
(and a full season screening of "Fuller House")

FEBRUARY // Remodeled our kitchen 
(this is just the "Before"... full blog post coming soon with the "After"!)

JANUARY // H's First Ski Lesson


Okay, 2017 - let's see what you've got!