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Wednesday Wants

June 29, 2016

Wednesday Wants.

I started What Alice Forgot last night.  This is the third book of hers I've read and it's really good so far!  Last week I read What She Knew and Luckiest Girl Alive.  I loved both of those books the entire way through until the endings.  I'm not sure I loved either way they ended.  I wanted something else. Have you read those yet?  Any thoughts on the endings?

I've also compiled a list of all my favorite finds from this week.  A little pretty to get us over hump day.  Clearly I can't quit the blues as of late.  Loving a little bit of that moody turquoisy-emeraldy green blue sneaking in.

BB Dakota Vivi Stepping Dress || Diamond Shibori Print Pillow Cover || Wedge Flip Flops || Straw Tote Bag (on sale) || Jackie Wedge shoes (on sale) || Lace Up Fringe Sandal || Lauren Liess Habitat book || One Piece Monokini || Sleeveless Stripe Knit Maxi Dress || Off The Shoulder Dress || Art Prints: Passage I & Passage II || Striped Eyelet Coverup (on sale with code:SHOPNOW) || girls gingham dress (40% off wide code:SHOPNOW) || Colorblock faux leather tote (under $50)

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Wedding Guest Dresses

June 28, 2016

Wedding Season is in full swing and I thought it might be helpful to round up a few of my current favorite cocktail dresses for you!  I love a good summer dress.  Having a little color on my legs certainly helps.  I love all the pretty blues and pinks but couldn't leave off a good LBD from the list.

mara hoffman cut out wrap dress || cece cold shoulder fit and flare pink dress || mara hoffman swing dress (on clearance for $80) || ruffle high low dress || black off the shoulder dress ||

Mara Hoffman tie front maxi (on sale) || zoe off the shoulder floral dress || striped skater dress || Amanda Uprichard floral silk dress || Lilly Pullizer pink party dress

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Beach Paintings II

June 27, 2016

I just finished a few new beach paintings all ready to ship!

I seriously wish this were the real thing I was looking at this morning.  Can't you just imagine the pretty view, a good book, and a frozen cocktail?  Heaven.

11x14 oil & acrylic on flat canvas

$200 unframed
$325 framed


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Monday Monday

 Monday Monday.  Oh man, the weekend went by too quickly as usual.  The kids and I went to the pool for a while yesterday and Saturday night Matthew and I got our first real date in a ridiculous amount of months.  Possibly since December.  Every time we had something planned either Matthew or Tagg would get sick.  Not even kidding.  We had two and a half amazing hours together to talk and eat cheese fries without interruption.  Bliss.

 earrings // bag // shoes 

My dress is by Kayce Hughes but I don't think it's available anymore.  There are actually only a few days left to shop her site at all.  If you're anywhere near Nashville you absolutely must stop by the store closing sale.  It's bananas and your husband will be so pissed until he sees how many items you picked up for such a steal.

You know I love a good stripe so I rounded up a few of my favorites for your below.

one || two || three || four || five || six || seven || eight || nine || ten || eleven

We had an unexpected bit of slightly cooler weather last night and Matthew and I had the best time playing outside with the kids.  Well, he had a fun time playing with them while I got to sit back and watch.  It's been a bit of an adjustment this summer with the kids staying up so much later than they used to do.  They've always kept a pretty strict 7:00pm bedtime and now they're raring to go until at least 8pm and it's more like 9pm before they're actually asleep.  At least they're sleeping in until 8-8:30 in the morning so they're still getting enough sleep.  Me on the other hand, I like to be in bed by 8:00pm so this is really cutting into my down time!  Matthew and I might have to start staying up later which I'm not looking forward to doing!

On a sad note, my sister had to put her dog to sleep on Saturday.  I can't even imagine how hard that was for her and the boys.  She and her husband rescued Winston right after they got married and he's been there through countless moves and job changes and only somewhat begrudgingly transitioned into the role of big brother to two little boys who loved to chase him and sleep on him.  Please think of her and the boys today it's been really rough on them all.

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Summer Mini Sessions in Richmond VA

June 26, 2016

It's the perfect time for mini sessions now that we all have some color on our cheeks but before it gets too hot!  Email me at JuliaKyleRyan@gmail.com to reserve your spot.

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Dressing Room Diaries

I slipped out alone for a few hours yesterday for a Costco run and to make a return at the mall.  Wells vetoed the dress I bought her last week.  Love that she has an opinion on her own style but it's hard to let her express it sometimes.  I popped into Nordstrom

Socialite high neck dress

I'm wearing a small in this dress and the length is totally fine which I had been worried about.  The fabric has a nice weight to it and it's got pockets which I freaking love.  A complete steal at the $20 sale price but would totally be worth the $34 regular price if they don't have your size or you want a different color because it comes in lots, including two stripes.

Socialite Stripe Cross Back Dress

This one was a surprise favorite.  I've been eyeing it for a while but had yet to try it on because I assumed it would be unflattering and or too short.  In order to get a decent length I had to size up to the medium.  There were several extra inches between the S & M.  The loose trapeze fit is actually really really flattering and the soft fabric is so comfortable and decently thick.  This might be a game changer dress because it's so versatile and easy to throw on and pack in a bag and it comes in so many colors.

Everly off the shoulder dress

I can't find the blue dress online but check your store because ours had several left.  I'm wearing the XS and it's much more flattering than it looks in my picture.  it lays really well when I'm not lifting my arm up for a selfie.  This one is super flattering for standing around looking pretty but it's on the shorter side so not a dancing dress.  It's lightweight enough to help you stay cool too.

Leith Midi Dress

Perfect for date night.  Dang this dress holds it all in and smooths you all out.  And the length elongates rather than being awkward.  You can see the middle detail better on the model because the lighting in the dressing room was too dark to catch on my photo.  It's crazy flattering and keeps the dress from being too much.  Certainly not a work dress but pretty awesome for a girls night or date night when you want to make the boys look twice.

ASTR Linen Dress

Okay, this dress shows off the girls which I'm really used to doing.  But, Matthew saw this picture and said, "your boobs like nice in that" so maybe this is just the perfect dress after all.  And if I were on my honeymoon or had a tropical vacation planned with my man you better believe this number would be in my suitcase.  Also, I'm wearing the Medium in this one and I probably could even go up to a large so definitely size up.

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Navy Family Room Ideas

June 24, 2016

We've been home for 36 hours and we aren't in a rhythm back yet.  It's funny, I adapt really well to travel.  The change in schedules, the unpredictability of bedtimes and meal times, the busyness of our days; I go with the flow. You know what throws me off?  Coming back home. I always have a hard time getting back in my groove after being gone for several days.  The house never feels clean enough and my to-do list feels overwhelming.  I'm feeling the strong need to move something around!  It's clearly my way of re-gaining control over my environment.

All that to say, I've got a mood board for you today full of preppy with a side of boho and a slight masculine edge to keep it from being too sweet.  Hmm, time for a family room re-do?  I hope Matthew doesn't read this before he goes to work.  I'm going to need a full day to make this kind of transformation.

Art Print: Range // White Sofa // Becky Console Table // Sisal Rug // Cowhide Rug // Art Print: Meet Me There // Pillow Cover: postage in navy // Pillow Cover: Galbraith & Paul Fern in wave // Pillow Cover: Peter Dunham Ikat in peacock // faux succulent garden // Seeded Glass Table Lamp // Cobalt Ceramic Lamp // Straw Basket // Copper Decanter Set // star wire sculpture // Organic Cotton Throw // Art Print: Dorothy Shain pool bar print III // Blue Stripes Serving Bowl // Drink More Wine paperweight



Tory Burch // extra 30% off sale styles with code: EXTRA30
I've got my eyes on this cross body bag and these wedges
Kayce Hughes // store closing up to 60% off

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A few new things

June 23, 2016

I took an unexpected week off from the internet and it was amazing!  Other than a few instagram posts I've pretty much stayed entirely offline since last Thursday.  It was nice to enjoy my trip to Nashville and be really present.  And now I've got lots of fun things to catch you up on like a few new summer clothes I accidentally bought myself on Matthew's Birthday, three books I read while away, a new favorite rosé, some details on a store closing sale  you won't want to miss and my insider's guide to Nashville. I'm hoping to have that ready for you by this weekend!

And here are some of the fun new things I just picked up to mix in with my summer wardrobe!

Gingham Shorts // 40% off with code: THURSDAY
Pink Jackie Cardigan // extra 40% off all sale styles with code: THURSDAY
Off the shoulder dress // super light weight soft guazy cotton (you'll need a little slip on the bottom or nude panties, maybe both) and the prettiest blue and white stripe with trim at the top.  Super comfortable and a decent length even if you're tall!
Beach Dress // always love a light weight breezy cover-up!
Mixed Media Pleat Top // this one is also 40% off and runs TTS, I got the XS
Blue & White cotton button down // this brand always runs really small so I got a size 8 so it would fit slightly loose and be a bit longer.  Can't wait to throw this on with white jeans and brown sandals
Nude Tassel Sandals // yes ma'am, goes with everything and these are price matched!
Pink Lipstick //  colror: aim for gorgeous.  Y'all know I love a pink lip!
Dior Makup Pallette // in "holiday couture"
+ free 24 piece Beauty samples bag with purchase of $150

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Road Trip to Nashville

June 15, 2016

The kids and I are hopping in the car with my parents this afternoon to hit the road to Nashville.  Surprisingly the kids do really well on long trips.  They were both horrible in the car as babies and toddlers so it's been a really pleasant surprise to have them adjust so well the past year or so.

Last year's trip to Nashville!

Here are a few tips that seem to help things run smoothly.  None of them are earth shattering or remotely educational but they work for us.

1.  Snacks // Everyone gets a lunch box packed with snacks and they get to hold it and eat it whenever they want.  While I typically try to have something sustaining mixed in, this is not the time to fight them on veggies.  Gummies and chips for the win.  Also apple slices, strawberries, blueberries, squeezable applesauce, crackers, and Back to Nature chocolate fig bars.  Everything is neatly packed in little snack size ziplock baggies for easy disposal.

2.  Water bottles //  I pre-fill two Nalgene bottles per kid (Wells has pink and Tagg has green).  Both go in the cup holder of their booster seats.  I think the chips counter-act the excess water and I'd rather have an extra bathroom break than dehydrated kids.  I also keep several bottles of water with me that I can use to re-fill their bottles as needed.

3. Shoes and Clothes //  They both were simple and comfortable clothing.  For Wells I try to put her in a dress and for Tagg I always go with elastic waist shorts.  It's more comfortable for a long ride and makes potty breaks easier.  Especially the inevitable side of the road pit-stop.  I also always have them wear rain boots or something super easy to slip on and off.  They never wear them in the car but can pop them on quickly for stops. This also helps keep those out of the luggage with clean clothes.

4.  Blanket + Lovey + Pillow // Each child has a travel pillow and they get tucked into a big fleece blanket with their favorite lovies.  I like to keep it cold in the car so I don't get car sick and those babes get chilly.  Cold car plus snuggly blanket is the perfect cozy combination.

5.  DVD player // my car has built-in DVD players which is magical but I realize not everyone has that option.  I also purchased a dual screen dvd player for my last car that changed the game.  We have a pretty solid movie collection but I always take the kids to the library before a trip to rent some new ones.  Novelty is always a good thing six hours in.  I will note that they don't watch tv the entire trip, although honestly I probably would let them.  I personally don't think this is the time for enforcing screen time.  Because we don't have any real rules around it they usually watch something for a while and then talk or play together for a long while before picking a new movie out.

6.  DVD case // I purchased a cheap CD book and took all the movies out of their plastic boxes and rounded them up in the soft case so it's super easy to flip through and find a movie.  We let the kids take turns picking something out.

6.  20 Questions.  This one gets old fast.  For the adults not the kids so consider yourself warned.  How many times are we all going to have to guess Ariel, Wells? Homegirl could play this game for 24 hours straight without getting tired.  However, it works pretty well to ward off the are we there yet whines.

7.  Count the Blank // We do water towers and whenever we collectively get to 10 we get a surprise snack.

8.  Animal sounds // Every time you see an animal you have to make their sound.  First to blurt it out wins.  And it needs to be obnoxiously loud to ensure you startle the driver.  A soft neigh or moo will not do for this fun game.

9. Ideal Go-Time // every child is different so you might have to experiment with this one.  But our kids do best when they leave first thing in the morning.  We're a get up and go kind of family.  The later the start the whinier the trip.  Plus they need as much downtime as possible when we get there so late night arrivals suck.  Also, they don't sleep in the car so late night or over night driving doesn't work well for us either.

10.  Trash bag // this probably seems like a no-brainer but I can't stand all the empty baggies floating around the backseat so I just tuck a little plastic grocery store bag into the door of my seat so it's easy to ditch when we stop for gas.

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On my radar

June 14, 2016

On my radar this week!

Tomato Red Mini Pleat Flounce Dress // this would be so pretty for a summer wedding!  Add a cardigan for the office and ditch it for post work drinks!

Stripe Off The Shoulder Dress // what a fantastic price point to jump on the best trend of summer.  This looks like such an easy.

Buffalo Check Shirt Dress // another easy dress I could see myself wearing multiple times a week.

Print Romper // oh man how I love this romper.  the print is gorgeous and it appears I could actually sit down without any embarrassing situations. Really think this might be my first romper purchase.

Eyelet Caftan // I can't even begin to count the number of hotdogs and gin + tonics I can hide under this pretty lady.

Eyelet Bell Sleeve Dress //  So pretty and currently 40% off!  The description says it's 36 inches long so it's an appropriate length for work or Church even for someone on the taller side like me!

Layered Orchids Print Sleeveless Dress // this one is so cute with that fringe!

Tie Neck Woven Shift Dress // I love this print so much and I could see this as a bit of a safer purchase than the romper while still looking fabulous.

I always go back and forth between spending money on the kids, myself, and the house.  Summer is the hardest because I want it all!  Hahaha!  Here are a roundup of a few good sales going on right now if you're in the same boat looking for a deal!

J.Crew // 40% off summer styles + extra 40% off sale items PLUS FREE SHIPPING ON ALL ORDERS TODAY ONLY.  Really big fan of these shorts!
J.Crew Factory // FREE SHIPPING with code: BUBBLES
Serena & Lily // FREE SHIPPING ON EVERYTHING wide code:GETSHOPPING offer valid through 6/16
Anthropologie // extra 25% off sale items.  I've got my eye on this dress and this top
Loft // $30 off dresses and skirts and 30% off sale styles.  Love this dress, this dress, and this dress

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Our Weekend

June 13, 2016

Happy Monday, y'all.  Just kidding.  We had such a great weekend and I have zero interest in going back to reality this morning.  I'm feeling a little better but the sleep thing is still an issue, I've got work training from 9-4, my house is a disaster, I'm pretty sure there are no clean underpants in the whole house (we're playing Russian roulette with the short cycle on the washing machine this morning), Matthew has a crazy week at work, and I need to get us packed and organized for Nashville.   

We did have a really fantastic weekend though.  Like so good!  My parents threw a big welcome home party for my brother who is back home from Italy.  He's going with us to Nashville before spending the summer in Guatemala.  But after that he's back in Virginia for a year before returning back to Rome.  I'm so excited that the kids will get more Uncle Jamie time, that's really important to me.

Tagg turned into a kid over the past few weeks.  He's majorly obsessed with obstacle courses and races.  Lord help me.  It's incredible to watch him though, such a preview of what is to come!

I didn't take any pictures but we did go to a fun little birthday party at Core Academy, the gymnastics place here in Richmond, and now the kids are both obsessed with being gymnasts.  Wells is telling everyone who will listen that she's going to start training EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Our friends own an Oyster Company out of Tangier Island and dropped some off for us last night.  So delicious!  Nothing better than a bloody Mary and oysters with friends!

Of course we had more pool time yesterday.  The kids are total pool rats and I love it!  Tagg braved the shallow end without his puddle jumpers.  He can touch all the way up to the 4ft so we've been trying to convince him that he's ready to start swimming.

Anyway, totally random post today.  Hope y'all are having a great morning!

Don't miss my 25 TOP GIFTS FOR DAD!

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25 Gifts For Dad // Father's Day Gift Guide 2016

June 12, 2016

Just consider me extra lucky because Matthew's Birthday always falls around Father's Day Weekend so I get to magically come up with twice the gift ideas.  Yay me.  He's more of a buy it myself so there are no surprises kind of guy which has always worked in my favor but now that the kids are getting older they have opinions on these things and want to celebrate him with wrapped gifts and cake.  So it's back to relying on gift guides to pick something out.  Everything here is Matthew approved so I have a feeling you can find something for the special men in your life too!

1. Peter Millar Shorts // 2. Peter Millar Shirt // 3. Peter Millar Shirt // 4. Smathers & Branson Needlepoint Belt // 5. Orvis Duffle // 6. sunglasses //  7. Fit Bit // 8. Slim Fit Non-iron Check Shirt // 9. long sleeve pullover // 10. Rainbows // 11. Nike Zip Pullover // 12. Kiehl's Mens Shaving Starter Kit // 13. Titleist Pro V1x golf balls //  14. Vineyard Vines Tie (30% off) // 15. Bose Bluetooth Speaker // 16. Scotty Cameron Putter // 17. Nike Golf Shoes // 18. Seamus American Flag head cover // 19. Ugg Slippers // 20. Mr. Burberry Cologne // 21. Indoor Putting Green // 22. Vineyard Vines hat // 23. Nike elite cushioned athletic socks // 24. Indoor hitting net // 25. Gift Card

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I Hit A Snag

June 9, 2016

One of the things I've found most fascinating about the past six months is how recognizable my "symptoms" of anxiety have become now that I'm not constantly experiencing them.  You know like when the sun sets in the evening and it's getting dark outside but your eyes adjust so you can still see just fine but if you're in a well lit room and someone suddenly cuts off the light the room goes black? The lack of light is so much more noticeable and easy to define.  On Saturday morning my light went out and I'm struggling a little bit to turn it back on.

We got Tagg's yearly allergy testing results in on Saturday.

Milk, egg, and peanut are all extremely elevated.  Please continue to follow strict avoidance and have epinephrine available at all times.

Yup, the blood test didn't offer us any hope that he's outgrowing his food allergies.  They even broke down the peanut protein into several different tests that can better gauge potential anaphylaxis and those weren't good news either.  So another year of living on the edge of my seat. Another year of explaining to an even older child why he can't eat the food at the birthday party and why I'm walking around the table with an oversized smile knocking mom's out of the way to personally wipe their child's hands down before they go back into the bouncy house ball pit with my son.  Or why we skip the Church Ice Cream Social all-together and I die a little inside each time I have to navigate the food section of Costco with him in tow.  Why I try to find softer or just flat out more interesting versions of "I'm sorry they don't have your kind" here.

But that's nothing new.  It's all just more of the same.  What I think is super fascinating is the way I'm dealing with it.  If you read here regularly you know that for months now I've been an early riser. Like riiiiiiiiiiil early.  Every day at 4:45ish my body wakes up and I'm excited.  I'm eager to sneak down stairs and sip my coffee and write.  I play on Pinterest.  I catch up on blogs I've missed.  I write blog posts for the day.  I write blogs posts that I'm not sure I'm ready to share with the world yet.  I work on my real estate data base and website.  I plan my day.  I play in photoshop.  I empty the dishwasher.  I read scary mommy articles on facebook.  I'm happy and eager to start my day.  I'm awake and productive all day before falling into bed excited about doing it all again tomorrow. Now y'all, sometimes productive just means taking the kids to the pool and throwing some chicken in the crock pot before we leave, I'm not trying to be Beyonce´.

The past few days since I got those results?  On the surface I'm okay with it.  It's what I was expecting.  Of all the diagnoses out there this one is easy.  There are no surprises, we've been managing this for years.  But the reality is that it is affecting me.  I'm not sleeping well.  I'm wide awake at 2 am and then sleeping late.  I'm feeling unproductive and agitated.  I have zero appetite.  I'm starting my day tired and already wishing it were bedtime.  The light went out.

I know I'm a complete weirdo because I think this whole thing is incredible.  Absolutely fascinating.  My mind literally has a mind of it's own.  The rational part of me knows that nothing has changed and this is manageable.  But the #girlboss part of my brain dictates that shit sucks right now and we're closed until further notice.  I'm going to embrace that and let myself feel it.  I'm going to give myself permission to be down right now.  Feel it fully then flush it.  That is so much healthier for me in the long run than ignoring my hurt and just carrying on as normal.

I want my light back on.  This time I'm not going to learn how to fumble around in the dark.  I'm just going to give myself a chance to adjust to the dark and then march straight back over to the light switch.

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Swim Cover-ups Under $50 + Marysia Swim on Sale!

June 7, 2016

Swim season is in full swing around here!  It's finally gorgeous and sunny and I'm stuck inside for work training all day the next two weeks.  Boo.  However, on a positive note, I freaking love when we're in the middle of a season and fabulous pieces are already on sale in time to still wear and enjoy them!  I found a gorgeous pink Marysia scalloped one piece on sale plus rounded up lots of great cover-ups for you all around $50 and under!

Surf Gypsy V-neck cover up // 40% off making it $35! Still full price on other sites! // Marysia asymmetrical one piece // ON SALE! I love when a great piece like this goes on sale.  Only the pink is on sale, black is still full price // Lightweight Tie Die Poncho // Surf Gypsy Poncho ($42) // Surf Gypsy Poncho with crochet trim + tassels ($45) // white + navy embroidered tunic (also comes in mint) // Fringed Swim Cover up ($32) // off the shoulder bell sleeve tunic // J.CREW Pom Pom lightweight tunic ($22) // Raviya embroidered trim maxi ($33 with code:SUMMER)

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Beach Paintings (original art by Julia Ryan)

June 6, 2016

I'm really excited about these beach scenes!  They were so much fun to paint and I love all the bright and happy colors.  I am so thankful for all of your encouragement and support of my art and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Please email me for purchase information and be sure to include the number of the painting you would like as well as your first back-up if you have one.  Thank you so much!

oil and acrylic 11x14 flat canvas
series by Julia Ryan

The paintings you see above are featured individually below as well so you can click on them one at a time to see them larger.  If you have any questions or would like to commission a larger piece please don't hesitate to send me an email.  Thank you so much for all of your support!

11x14 oil and acrylic on flat canvas
All paintings in this series are 11x14 unframed 

11x14 oil and acrylic on flat canvas
All paintings in this series are 11x14 unframed

* Please know that these will not be ready to ship in time for Father's Day but if you would like to purchase one to celebrate the best man in your life I am happy to send you a file with the image to print out and place in a card.


Please email me for purchase information and be sure to include the number of the painting you would like as well as your first back-up if you have one.  Thank you so much!


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