Thoughts for Thursday: Current Obsessions

Thank you to everyone for your feedback on Tuesday's post! It was so helpful to hear what everyone was thinking!  We still have not made a decision...  so since we can't come to any conclusions I'm just going to think about pretty things instead of the 1000 design decisions on my mind.

I stumbled upon these sunglasses when I was in Loft last week and could not pass them up since they were $12!! I also picked them up in red

I still don't know if I love the peplum look on myself, but this top is so cute and such a good prices. Perfect for jeans now and shorts in the spring time.  

The cold shoulder is another style I'm not sure of but for some reason I love this dress, was thinking it might be good for my party. 

Everyone's favorite tunic is on sale again. I feel it's always on sale actually!  This blue color is always a fun way to brighten up the dull winter wardrobe.  

Since I'm on a blue kick I love these earrings from J.Crew Factory! I was always a studs girl but lately I've been loving statement earrings.  

I posted this cardigan on instagram this week because it really is that good! The price tag is a little high but I've seriously worn it at least 5 times in the past week.  It's comfy, flattering, and easy to throw on. 

As I start to collect hats and rashguards the closer we get to spring I've been looking for some fun ones for the pool and beach. I love the pom-poms on this one.  

How adorable is this dress? The stripes sold me! 

I love these booties!  I just wish I lived somewhere that I could pull them off but its just too cold here right now. 

Since it's still January I'm all about the cozy sweaters. I love that this one is a little bit longer since I'm tall. 

Nadri Pave Crossover Bracelet
I've been eyeing this as a birthday present to myself ;)  Just something fun to add to my bracelet collection 

Loving this tunic from Lilly! It would be the perfect beach cover up. It's not from the SPF line but it has long sleeves which I love.  

What have you all been obsessing over lately?  

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Kitchen Dilemma: Brass, Polished Nickel, or Mixed Metals

As I mentioned we are finally getting to the home stretch of our first floor renovation which is exciting and stressful.   We have so many decisions to make and I feel like Kyle and I are so indecisive this time around.  When we renovated our other house 3 years ago we knew it probably wasn't our forever home so we picked things we liked but we worked hard to stay in our budget and be practical so we didn't over do it.

This time is different. We're planning to be in this house forever, or at least for a really long time so we want to make decisions that we know we're going to love for the long run and not just because it's what's in style right now.  

We were all set on the aged brass fixtures and hardware when suddenly Kyle decided he might want chrome or polished nickel so now we've been discussing the two for the past few days and pulling up every inspiration photo we can find.  Our cabinets and island will be all white with a white carrara marble that has gray veining through it.   

I put together these some mood boards and inspiration photos to compare.  We know that we want to use the Darlana pendants and Classic Ring Chandelier from Visual Comfort we just need to decide between the brass or polished nickel.

Here is what we've been considering for our brass options.  Even though aged brass is back we're still trending toward the more traditional style when it comes to lighting and hardware. We do like the modern look of the faucet in this one though, if we were to go with a brass faucet.  

Inspiration photos:

Here are the pendants and chandelier in polished nickel.  We changed the look of the faucet, knobs and pulls for this one.  We we aren't sold on these pulls or knobs yet but we do like the look of them.  That's my dream faucet but I can't quite convince Kyle to spend that kind of money on a faucet. 

Here is my third option which is a combo of brass and chrome.  Again the same lighting but different faucet, knobs, and pulls.  I do really like these knobs and pulls but I don't know if the pulls come in big enough sizes for some of our drawers which is my only concern.




So that's where we are! Would love to hear what you all think!  Do you like brass?  Do you like polished nickel or chrome?  Do you tend toward more traditional or modern design?



Thoughts for Thursday: Naptime Confessions

Welcome back to another to another Thoughts for Thursday! I wanted to let you all know that Julie from Borm & Co is joining our link up as another host.  We are so excited to have her so make sure you stop by her blog and say Hi!

I decided to pop in today and share my ever favorite naptime confessions style post, I feel like I've been all about the honestly this month on the blog so here we go...

- I haven't worked out in 7 months!!! This is the longest stretch I've gone since before Matthew was born.  I'm not proud of this fact. I had an awesome gym routine from the time Matthew was 4 months old and then last summer he started throwing fits and screaming whenever I left him in the gym daycare. It got so stressful for me, I just stopped going.  I know that's not what you're supposed to do but I just couldn't deal with it.  I am attempting to go today.  I'm hoping now that he's older and with Miller with him he won't cry. We'll see. Wish me luck.

- To top off the no working out I'm not even eating that well.  The toddler leftovers and rejected food is killing me.  Everyone refused to eat cheese quesadillas the other night, so I ate them. I hate throwing perfectly good food away.  What do you all do in this situation?

- Does anyone have any good toddler meal suggestions? I feel like we are just in a rut. They're so picky which doesn't help but I feel like even they're bored with what I've been putting together lately.
- Our contractor has said 6 weeks until our house is finished!!! I'm thinking it will be at least 8 though.  Our floors are getting stained this week and our cabinets should be here in two weeks. I am so ready to get back into our house.  The townhouse has been a fun adventure for us but you can tell we're all itching to get back home and into our bigger space.

- We chose a custom stain we had our floor guy put together. I snuck into the house yesterday to take pictures even though they told us to stay away- oops! It's looking a little reddish here which is making me nervous but the guy told me not to panic because it hasn't dried yet.

I love the way it looks in this light.

- I have a whole round up of kitchen posts I've been working on to share with you all.  We're finally to the fun parts and I want to share more about the process as we continue through it.  

- Miller and Matthew are becoming best buddies and it's the sweetest thing ever! I never thought the moment would come but they play with each other all day.  They can't wait for the other one to wake up in the morning or get up from a nap so they can play and I love it.  Not only does it give me a little break but it also makes my heart melt to see them together.

- Kyle and I are trying to plan a quick weekend getaway. Alone. We had wanted to do it last fall but it just didn't work out with his schedule and the move for the kitchen renovation.  We're thinking early late March/early April and we can fly free on Southwest, so we want to take advantage of that.  We want somewhere warmer than here with a quick flight.  
I've narrowed it down to: Charleston, Bahamas, Florida (pretty open there), and Cancun.
Where do you all think you would go?  Charleston or FL would probably be the easiest but then I feel like I would get more relaxing done in Bahamas or Cancun.

Grab the button below and link up to AnnieNatalie, and Julie. on your Thoughts for Thursday post.  
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Current Obsessions

Happy Wednesday Friends!  I realized I haven't done an obsessions round up in so long, probably not since before Christmas.  I have a love hate with fashion this time of year.  All the gorgeous spring and summer clothes are coming out but it will still be chilly here until April.  So in the mean time I'll just drool over all the cute clothes and live vicariously through all my friends in the south.

My favorite cardigan is back in stock and only $27.50!! I live in this gray one so I just got the black one too.  You will not regret owning this, trust me.  So comfy and the perfect way to dress up those yoga pants ;) 

How cute would this top be with skinny white jeans and nude heels?!  It just has me craving warmer weather or a trip to a warmer climate

Urban Originals Faux Leather Tote 
I'm pretty much always looking for a new handbag #handbagloverproblems  and this one looks like the perfect winter neutral and comes in under $100 which makes it an extra win.

Lush Split Neck Dress
The weather here is no where near warm enough to wear this dress but I love this style and color.

Citizens of Humanity Sculpt Rocket Jeans 
I need new jeans so badly and I feel like I've been searching forever.  These have great reviews on Nordstrom so I'm hoping they work out, I'll keep you posted.

Old Navy Relaxed Embroidered Tunic
How cute is this tunic?  The last thing I need is more blue and white tops but I just love this embroidered detail around the neck.

Baublebar Clover Drops
These earrings just scream summer to me but could easily be used to dress up a basic black dress for a night out. 

Cabana Life Ruched Rash Guard 
I have to thank Heather for this recommendation! Cabana Life is a company that specializes in UV Spf 50+ swim wear and clothing.  I've already got my eye on a few items I will be adding to my wardrobe this summer like this ruched rashguard above and this adorable tunic dress below.

Cabana Life Sardinia Tunic Dress

J.Crew Factory Boat Neck Blouse 
This blouse

Loeffler Randall Lace Up Heels
These heels give me all the heart eyes! Now when will it be warm enough here to wear these...

CC Ruffle Hem Dress 
I have a Black & White party fundraiser coming up and I've been eyeing this dress.  I love the ruffle detail!  It's in March so it will still be cold here so I'm not sure which way I want to go, because I'm also considering the one below too

Charles Henry Off the Shoulder Dress

J.Crew Factory Cable Knit Sweater 
It's been a few years since I've had a classic cable knit sweater.  I've retired all my old ones but think I might add this one to my collection.
Old Navy Heavy Knit Shift Dress 
Can you ever go wrong with gray and white stripes?  I seriously have a stripes problem but this ON dress is just so cute.  I love that it's paired here with tennis shoes but could easily work with flats or flip flops.

How fun are these bracelets?  Again they scream summer to me but I love adding little pops of color to my dull neutral winter wardrobe where I can.

Stevie Lea Bootie
Just discovered thanks to Lindsay (who introduced me to these) that my favorite booties from last winter are back!  The color I have is sold out but I love this mushroom color and the black ones.  I seriously wear these booties everywhere. They're comfy, easy to dress up and down, and under $70!

I told you the stripes were a problem, another day another Loft sweater to love.  They had had me hooked lately, their stuff has just been so good!  I'm heading there today so I'll report back on if this is worth it or not.  

Barrington gifts just released a preview of their spring 2017 line with a few items available for purchase.  This gray stripe and the pink one are so cute! I'm thinking maybe this gray would carry me through until I got a pink one for summer ;)  The last thing I need right now is a new handbag but it's so hard to resist.  

What are you obsessing over these days?  Have you been shopping a lot or keeping the wallets closed to recover from the holidays?  



Thoughts for Thursday: A Wake Up Call

Last April I noticed spot on my forehead really close to my hairline that I was convinced was skin cancer.   I hadn't been the dermatologist in at least two years and I was convinced this is what I got for not being diligent enough with keeping up with my skin checks.  I'm fair skinned with lots of freckles and moles, and I'm a former sun worshiper.   As a teenager in the late 90s and early 2000s being super tan was the way to be.  Spray tans didn't exist yet and self tanner was guaranteed to make you orange so we did what pretty much every other girl did at this point, we used tanning beds.   Am I proud of that fact, no not at all but you can't really make a 17 year old girl who's worried about looking good in that moment think about what the impact might be 17 years later.

I dragged myself to the dermatologist, knowing I needed to get this spot looked at even though I was nervous of the outcome.  Turns out that spot was nothing, just a little bump, she froze it off telling me to come back in 4 weeks for a follow up and re-freeze if needed.  At that time she looked at me and said, "look you're in the clear now but you need to realize you're coloring makes you more prone to skin cancer and you need to wear a hat and sunscreen all the time, not spray sunscreen real rub in sunscreen"  That advice stuck with me and I did a pretty good job for the next month that I was outside being diligent with my sunscreen.  I had my follow up in late May where she had to re-freeze the first spot, she checked my face again, no new changes and sent me on my way for a follow up in July.

The summer came and I got busy with the kids and vacations. I kept moving my appointment back since the spot looked good and I didn't have anything to worry about.  I finally went back in mid-September.  I remember it was right before my mom's club fall kick off party but I wasn't worried since everything had healed up.  As my dermatologist was looking at the spot she agreed it had healed well and looked good needing no further treatment.  She then glanced down at a spot just a few centimeters below and said "Is this new and I said oh I don't think so, I think it's been there but it just seems to be a zit that won't go away and she was like no I don't think that's it.  It looks very suspicious to me we need to biopsy it today."  I've had a few spots biopsied before that turned out to be nothing.  I was honestly most upset for the cosmetic aspects of having to have a biopsy on my forehead right before a party.   It was quick and painless and she told me if it was anything I would receive a call in two weeks time, if it was nothing then I wouldn't hear anything.  No news was good news.

I went about life trying not stress too much about it.  Two weeks came and went with no call from the doctor.  I felt so relived knowing I was in the clear.  Then a week later I received a phone call.   The spot on my skin was in fact skin cancer, it was a non-melanoma, basal cell carcinoma. I was shocked and upset at first.  I had been so good for so many years.  I was only 34 and I had stopped tanning beds and baking in the sun with spf 8 many many years ago.  I was being so good lately, how could I have gotten this.  I felt mad at myself to letting myself burn so many times, or only wearing low sunscreen or no sunscreen back when I was younger or all the times I went for long runs and never ever thought to wear sunscreen.  The one comforting part of all this is that it is a non-melanoma.

Basal cell carcinoma is one of the "best" skin cancers you can get if you have to get a skin cancer. It's very slow growing and easily treatable with Mohs surgery.   Shortly after getting my diagnosis in November I met with a surgeon and scheduled my surgery for January 10, 2017.   The surgeon explained to me that we had caught it early so it was small and shallow meaning it might only take one try to get it out.

I'm not going to lie cosmetically I was dreading this surgery.  I really didn't want a scar on my face. Thankfully it's on the upper left hand corner of my forehead but it's still on my face.  The mohs surgery was quick and easy.  You don't even have to go asleep for it and I only had to go in once and they were able to get it all.  The scariest part about the whole surgery is that I was the youngest person in the waiting room by at least 30 years.  See for mohs surgery they do the procedure and then you have to wait an hour to a hour and a half for them to run the tissue and make sure they scraped all the cancer.  They have you sit in a waiting room while they process. It was very weird to realize that I was the youngest one in there by so many years.  My dermatologist explained to me that in some ways I'm lucky I got this skin cancer so young.  It means I will be more diligent and thorough with my sunscreen, wearing hats, and rash guards than my peers who still see cancer as something older people get.  The down side is that I'm now at 30% increased risk of developing melanoma since I'm so young so I need to take this seriously.   I can still wear biknis and bathing suits as long as I'm wearing a strong SPF and limit my direct sunlight exposure.  I see lots of sunscreen, hats, rash guards, and umbrellas in my future.

 I'm on day two of recovery and today will be the first day I do a bandage change.  I'm very nervous about seeing the scar.  They warned me it will not be pretty at first and I keep reminding myself I have so much to be thankful for.  It's not a melanoma.  They were able to get it all in one time so my scar isn't as big or deep as it could be.  It's not something I need to stress about coming back. Yes I could get more over the years but it's nothing like getting melanoma.   Today is my last day of the big bandage below, then I move to a small bandage for 7 days until I can finally go to the thin clear silicone strips until my follow up in February.

I urge all of you to get your skin check regularly by the dermatologist!  Especially if you have fair skin like me or have a spot that is worrying you.  It took 3 trips to the dermatologist over 5 months for us to notice the spot that was cancer.   It wasn't something that looked like all the this is skin cancer pictures you see on the internet.  It was just a flat reddish pink spot on my head, that looked like a zit that was healing.

Grab the button below and link up to Annie and Natalie  on your Thoughts for Thursday post.  
Use #thoughtsforthursdays on Instagram and tag us @homeofmalones and @eastcoastnat.
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Thoughts for Thursday

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