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May Book Club: Motherhood

in: Weekend Reading

May Book Club: Motherhood

This month as we celebrate our moms and the mother figures in our lives, we want to share a few reads dedicated to the joys and real life struggles of motherhood. From hilarious realities to the importance of making time …

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House of Harper Book Club: Motherhood, May 2019

This month as we celebrate our moms and the mother figures in our lives, we want to share a few reads dedicated to the joys and real life struggles of motherhood. From hilarious realities to the importance of making time for yourself, our May book club picks are enjoyable whether or not you have little ones of your own!

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by: Caroline Harper Knapp
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April Book Club

in: Weekend Reading

April Book Club

In Houston the Spring is never long enough -- I cherish these few weeks of being able to play outside with the boys before the heat sets in! For April Book Club, our team picked reads that are all about …

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House of Harper April Book Club

In Houston the Spring is never long enough — I cherish these few weeks of being able to play outside with the boys before the heat sets in! For April Book Club, our team picked reads that are all about the home, outdoor entertaining, and gardening. I hope these inspire you and your family to enjoy the outdoors this season as much as possible!

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March Book Club: Women’s History Month

in: Weekend Reading

March Book Club: Women’s History Month

We're celebrating Women's History Month by reading books that celebrate amazing women and give inspirational advice! We hope these reads are uplifting and that they motivate you to encourage other women in your life -- a mentor, parent, sister, friend, …

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We’re celebrating Women’s History Month by reading books that celebrate amazing women and give inspirational advice! We hope these reads are uplifting and that they motivate you to encourage other women in your life — a mentor, parent, sister, friend, or someone you admire from afar. Read on below for our 5 book recommendations!

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by: Caroline Harper Knapp
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January Book Club

House of Harper Book Club January 2019
in: Weekend Reading

January Book Club

We're excited to reset this month and launch into our new year goals! Our team rounded up five inspiring reads to help motivate you in all areas of your life, from career and personal goals to wellness and nutrition. We …

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House of Harper Book Club January 2019

We’re excited to reset this month and launch into our new year goals! Our team rounded up five inspiring reads to help motivate you in all areas of your life, from career and personal goals to wellness and nutrition. We hope these reads inspire you as much as they have inspired us!

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December Book Club: Team Picks!

in: Weekend Reading

December Book Club: Team Picks!

Where The Crawdads Sing: "Caroline shared this book with me on our trip to Germany last month.  It was Reese Witherspoon's September book for her Hello Sunshine book club - so I knew it must be good!  This book is based …

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Where The Crawdads Sing: “Caroline shared this book with me on our trip to Germany last month.  It was Reese Witherspoon’s September book for her Hello Sunshine book club – so I knew it must be good!  This book is based in a small town off the coast of North Carolina and explores a possible murder mystery that rattles the small town and forces Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl, into the spotlight.”  – Sarah Harper Mackay, Caroline’s sister

We Were The Lucky Ones: “I read this book on our recent trip to Germany and couldn’t put it down on the flight home! It’s inspired by a true story of one Jewish family separated during World War II. It follows their incredible and heart breaking journey and their determination to survive and reunite with each other. It is still so hard for me to believe this time period is part of our actual history. If you love this book as much as I did, Sarah’s Key is another great read!” – Caroline’s pick

Spilled Milk: Based On A True Story: “This book is a tragic, true story that ends with strength and resilience. It’s about a young girl’s fight for justice after anonymously reporting the escalating violence in her home. It was a glass of spilled milk at the dinner table that forces her to speak about the cruelty she’s been hiding. In her pursuit for safety and justice, Brooke battles a broken system that pushes to keep her father in the home. It was so good I read it in one day!” – Denise / Sugar’s pick (Caroline’s mom) – Sugar, Caroline’s Mom

Cork Dork: A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live for Taste: “I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know much about wine, but I’ve always been interested in learning more! I’m loving this true story about a tech reporter-turned-oenophile’s personal journey of navigating the wine industry and learning the ins and outs of the *very* intense journey to become a Master Sommelier. It’s both entertaining and educational!” – Kathryn Worsham Humphries, House of Harper Content Director

Crazy Rich Asians: “When the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his girlfriend to meet the family chaos ensues. Crazy Rich Asians has all the ingredients needed for a fun entertaining read – satire, romance, and family drama galore!” – Jessica Kelley, House of Harper Intern

November Book Club: 5 Perfect Cozy Reads

House of Harper November Book Club
in: Weekend Reading

November Book Club: 5 Perfect Cozy Reads

We're excited to share our November book club list with you! These are the perfect reads for curling up with on a cozy evening with a favorite fall candle or fireplace burning. These stories include characters from historic time periods, …

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House of Harper November Book Club

We’re excited to share our November book club list with you! These are the perfect reads for curling up with on a cozy evening with a favorite fall candle or fireplace burning. These stories include characters from historic time periods, romance, friendship, a dream dinner party — perfect subjects for unwinding after a long day! Read on below for our picks.

Evergreen Tidings from the Baumgartners: This debut novel from Gretchen Anthony is the perfect book to read before the craziness of the holiday season. Follow along as perfectionist and family patriarch Violet Baumgartner learns to be perfectly imperfect through a series of mishaps.

The Clockmaker’s Daughter: Wrap yourself in a cozy throw blanket with a warm cup of tea and let yourself be transported by this story of murder, mystery, love, and loss that is told from dual storylines set in England in the 1860s and the present day.

Becoming Mrs. Lewis: This books explores the love story between C.S. Lewis and Joy Davidman. Told from Joy’s perspective, the story explores how a young poet changed the life of a respected author and inspired books that still enchant us today.

The Friendship Cure: We recently talked about how to be a better friend in your thirties and we agree with Journalist Kate Leaver that friendship should be a priority and that it is essential to healthy and happy life. This book explores what friendship is, how to keep it, and why we need it.

The Dinner List: We’ve all been asked “If you could have dinner with five people, living or dead, who would they be?”. In this story about a thirtieth birthday, someone’s dinner guest wish list becomes a reality (spoiler: Audrey Hepburn is there!).

Do you have any favorite new books we should read this fall? Let us know in the comments below!

7 Tips For A Successful Book Club

in: Entertaining

7 Tips For A Successful Book Club

It's no secret that we are big fans of Reese Witherspoon and Draper James around here. Her southern style, laid back personality and the effortless ways she entertains are all things we strive for here at HOUSE of HARPER.  I …

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It’s no secret that we are big fans of Reese Witherspoon and Draper James around here. Her southern style, laid back personality and the effortless ways she entertains are all things we strive for here at HOUSE of HARPER.  I was so excited when her team reached out about her new coffee table book, Whiskey In A Teacup. I was immediately inspired to host a book club with her new book and beautiful tabletop line Draper James x Crate & Barrel.

The book is all about Reese’s southern heritage and her favorite traditions for entertaining, decorating, and holiday traditions. As someone who grew up in a small Texas town, I can definitely relate to a lot of her sentiments and attachment to old traditions that have been passed down for generations. Read on below for a few of my own favorite traditions along with tips for hosting a book club!

-Shop The Post-

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by: Caroline Harper Knapp
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September Book Club: 5 Books That Will Inspire You to Be Present, Healthy, & Organized

in: Weekend Reading

September Book Club: 5 Books That Will Inspire You to Be Present, Healthy, & Organized

I hope everyone's September is off to a great start! I am excited to be participating in Camille Styles' social media challenge encouraging us to put down our phones, connect with one another, and enjoy the simple pleasures in life, …

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I hope everyone’s September is off to a great start! I am excited to be participating in Camille Styles’ social media challenge encouraging us to put down our phones, connect with one another, and enjoy the simple pleasures in life, like reading books! The books we’ve selected for our September book club are fantastic reads to help reset, reorganize, and give yourself a little grace when you can’t do it all — because no one can!

For more inspiration to have a productive, healthy fall, be sure to sign up for our exclusive newsletter series!

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March Book Club: The 5 Parenting Books at the Top of My Reading List

in: Weekend Reading

March Book Club: The 5 Parenting Books at the Top of My Reading List

It's hard to believe that February has come and gone and that we are launching into spring. With Spring Break on the horizon, it's perfect timing for a new list of books to read while taking a relaxing break somewhere …

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It’s hard to believe that February has come and gone and that we are launching into spring. With Spring Break on the horizon, it’s perfect timing for a new list of books to read while taking a relaxing break somewhere sunny.

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by: Caroline Harper Knapp
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5 Books About Love for Our February Book Club

in: Weekend Reading

5 Books About Love for Our February Book Club

February's book club theme is appropriately about relationships and love -- from a devotional about marriage by our New York pastor, Tim Keller, to a teen drama.  What can we say, we have depth. ;) 1. The Meaning of Marriage …

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February’s book club theme is appropriately about relationships and love — from a devotional about marriage by our New York pastor, Tim Keller, to a teen drama.  What can we say, we have depth. 😉

1. The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller: Tim Keller is the head pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church where we were members in NYC and where Knox was baptised.  If you haven’t read any of his books, I highly recommend them.  He is an extremely theological preacher that can speak to anyone, no matter where they are in their faith journey.

“There has never been a marriage book like The Meaning of Marriage. … Using the Bible as his guide, coupled with insightful commentary from his wife of thirty-six years, Kathy, Timothy Keller shows that God created marriage to bring us closer to him and to bring us more joy in our lives.”

2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: A classic that we come back to again and again. We are always entertained by witty heroine Elizabeth Bennet and her from-hate-to-love journey with Mr. Darcy.

3. The Selection Series by Kiera Class: I kept hearing Grace talk about this one on her IG Stories so I officially downloaded the series for our weekend getaway coming up this Friday… stay tuned for my thoughts, but here is what Grace had to stay abou it…

4. The Idiot by Elif Batuman: An adorable, funny coming-of-age novel about a college freshman girl adjusting to life on campus, falling in love, and traveling the world.

5. The Marriage Plot by Jeffery Eugenides: Another collegiate love story, this one a love triangle that explores relationships between studious English major Madeleine and two guys: Leonard, a bandana wearing, attractive intellectual, and Mitchell, her old “friend” who takes off to travel the world searching for the meaning of life.

-February Book Club Favorites-

by: Caroline Harper Knapp
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5 Books To Cozy Up With This Fall

in: Weekend Reading

5 Books To Cozy Up With This Fall

I'm counting down the days until we have crisp fall weather in Houston and I can cozy up on the couch with my favorite candle and a good book. In the meantime, I'll be cranking down the A/C and pretending! …

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House of Harper Book Club - Books to cozy up with this fall

I’m counting down the days until we have crisp fall weather in Houston and I can cozy up on the couch with my favorite candle and a good book. In the meantime, I’ll be cranking down the A/C and pretending! 😉 Our team wanted to share 5 books that we’re curling up and reading this season. Happy reading! xo

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5 Can’t-Put-Down Books to Read on Summer Vacation

in: Weekend Reading

5 Can’t-Put-Down Books to Read on Summer Vacation

When it comes to packing for summer vacation, a can't-put-down book is almost as important as a cute new swimsuit. We enjoy few things more than a relaxing day at the beach with a captivating read in one hand and …

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When it comes to packing for summer vacation, a can’t-put-down book is almost as important as a cute new swimsuit. We enjoy few things more than a relaxing day at the beach with a captivating read in one hand and a refreshing beverage in the other. With the team spreading out in the next few weeks on various summer vacations, we decided to share a list of 5 highly recommended books that we plan to pack (or download).

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by: Kathryn Worsham Humphries
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12 Books On Our Reading List for 2018

in: Weekend Reading

12 Books On Our Reading List for 2018

We’ll admit that our list of must-read books has been stacking up on our nightstand more quickly than we can read through it. One of our New Year’s resolutions is to make a significant dent in our reading list and …

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We’ll admit that our list of must-read books has been stacking up on our nightstand more quickly than we can read through it. One of our New Year’s resolutions is to make a significant dent in our reading list and to spend less time scrolling on our phone and Netflix binging. Thankfully, with so many audio books available, we can knock a good bit of our list out while we are in the car to and from meetings, school drop offs, and while traveling. We’ve pulled together a list of books that have been on our radar, as well as a handful that are coming out this year. From fiction novels to inspirational career boosts, and a savvy financial advice book, these reads will make it easy to turn hundreds of pages this year. Happy reading!

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by: Kathryn Worsham Humphries
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How to Make the Most of Your Last Days of Summer

in: lifestyle

How to Make the Most of Your Last Days of Summer

The end of summer is always bittersweet -- we’ll miss long, lazy days but are looking forward to back-to-school, cooler weather, productive schedules, and all the festivities of the fall season. We’re making the most of these last weeks of …

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The end of summer is always bittersweet — we’ll miss long, lazy days but are looking forward to back-to-school, cooler weather, productive schedules, and all the festivities of the fall season. We’re making the most of these last weeks of summer by doing all of the things we won’t be able to do once Labor Day has come and gone. Read on below and be sure to soak up summer while you can!

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by: Caroline Harper Knapp
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Our End of Year To Do List

Our Fall Checklist
in: WORK LIFE

Our End of Year To Do List

There are always those to-dos that we put off again and again because frankly, we just don’t feel like doing them! By the time fall rolls around, we realize that we have a running checklist of items that need to …

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Our Fall Checklist

There are always those to-dos that we put off again and again because frankly, we just don’t feel like doing them! By the time fall rolls around, we realize that we have a running checklist of items that need to get done by the end of the year (and only two months left to cross them off!). We’re sharing a few items that we are taking care of this month before the holidays are in full swing — we have a hunch some of these are on your list as well. If we take care of these somewhat tedious tasks now, then we’ll feel more relaxed and organized for the rest of the year. This means slow, anxiety-free Sunday afternoons, and even better, a more enjoyable holiday season!

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by: Caroline Harper Knapp
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Our September Checklist

Our September Checklist

There are always those to-dos that we put off again and again because frankly, we just don’t feel like doing them! By the time fall rolls around, we realize that we have a running checklist of items that need to …

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There are always those to-dos that we put off again and again because frankly, we just don’t feel like doing them! By the time fall rolls around, we realize that we have a running checklist of items that need to get done by the end of the year (and only three months left to cross them off!). We’re sharing a few items that we are taking care of this month — we have a hunch some of these are on your list as well. 😉 If we take care of these somewhat tedious tasks now, then we’ll feel more relaxed and organized for the rest of the year. This means slow, anxiety-free Sunday afternoons, and even better, a more enjoyable holiday season! 

Photo from WeWork Tour

Closet Clean Out

If not every season, a thorough closet clean out at least once a year is essential to keeping things organized (and sane!). This can be a daunting task when you have multiple closets to tend to — your own closet, kids’ closets, hall closets, etc. We’ve decided to block off one weekend this month to tackle all of our closets in one fell swoop.

We find the best method is to pull everything out of a closet and start fresh. Once you decide what is staying and what is going, a trip to The Container Store for storage bins, hangers, and baskets will help maintain an organized closet for longer.

A good rule of thumb for sorting through clothing is to toss any pieces you haven’t worn in a year, as well as any items that don’t fit, or are stained or damaged. A lot of times we hold on to things for sentimental value, even if the item is no longer functional, which causes a lot of unnecessary clutter. In our September Book Club, we recommended The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up which takes readers through the revolutionary KonMari Method for organizing and storing — definitely worth a read before you take on this process!

Photo credit Oh Happy Day

Give Back

Sometimes we can have great intentions, but go months (or even a whole year) without actually executing them.  An often the really important things –  like giving back, volunteering your time, cooking that dinner for your friend or even writing a simple thank you note – can be pushed to the bottom of your to-do list or the back of your mind.  This month we are dedicating a Saturday with our kids to give back to our community.  I always find I leave gaining more from the experience than the people we are actually there to help.  I want my boys to grow up learning to serve others who may be less fortunate and to know the joy it brings to help others, and not just during the holiday season when we typically think to do it. 

how to style office book shelves
Photo from Office Reveal

Tax Prep

Ugh, taxes. We tend to put them off for as long as possible, but if we at least get organized in advance, it makes the whole process seem much more doable. This month we’re digitally filing our receipt pile and making sure that we’re on top of deductions way before taxes are due. For some 1099-friendly tax tips, check out our interview with a seasoned tax lawyer.

Reevaluate the Annual Budget

Chances are you made annual budget goals in January, but of course unexpected expenses always arise. Hopefully we are all looking at this on a monthly basis, as well. But this is a great time of year to take a look at where you are with your annual budget and determine if you need to cut back in certain areas, or perhaps allocate finances to take care of larger expenses like a car note or mortgage. Of course the holidays tend to be an expensive time of year with gifting, travel, and events, so it’s smart to prep ahead for that as well. There are many digital budgeting tools available to help you set a plan and stick to it like Personal Capital and YNAB (“You Need a Budget”).  I recently started using QuickBooks online and have found it to be a game changer for me personally and for my business.  

Annual Doctor Appointments

Before flu season is upon us, we’re making annual well check appointments for the whole family. (It helps that both the boys birthdays fall this time of the year!)  From our GP to the dentist, this is the month to check off routine check ups before the holidays when everyone is scheduling end of year visits.  Some doctor visits that are important that may have been forgotten in the past few years include a general physical exam with blood test and a visit to the dermatologist for a full body scan.  

Insurance Enrollment

For many of us, our insurance coverage is taken care of by our company or our spouse’s employer. However, for those of us who are 1099 employees, open enrollment for insurance is approaching, which means it’s time to make changes if you are unhappy with your current policy. Start researching policies now so that you can make an informed decision during open enrollment which is from Thursday, November 1 to Saturday, December 15 2018.

Preventative Car Maintenance

Surely we aren’t the only ones who dread car to-dos. This month we’re planning to visit the car shop for an oil change and inspection to make sure all is running smoothly. If anything needs updating or maintenance, we can include these (unfortunate) expenses in our end of year budget.  We also love a good car wash to feel organized!  All the mamas out there know how quickly our cars can fill with toys, crumbs general clutter.  I love the feeling of getting into a clean car in the morning! (If if it doesn’t last more than a week.)

image from here

Reevaluate Your Fitness Goals

We all kick start the year with big fitness goals and plans of “this is going to be the year I…”, but why not check-in before the holidays to make sure you are on track to actually achieve those goals.  Imagine if we didn’t wait until next January when we have to tackle the additional five holiday pounds and actually could prevent them from happening in the first place.  Grab a friend or neighbor and take a morning or sign up for a class together, it’s a great way to catch up while fitting in some exercise, as well.

Do you have any to-dos that you put off until the end of the year? Share your list with us in a comment so we can make sure we’re not forgetting something! 

by: Caroline Harper Knapp
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5 Beach Reads for The Last Weeks of Summer

in: lifestyle

5 Beach Reads for The Last Weeks of Summer

There is something so luxurious about picking up a novel in the summer months for pure enjoyment. While we love a great classic or a profound business book, summertime calls for indulgent novels whose characters take us to other worlds …

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There is something so luxurious about picking up a novel in the summer months for pure enjoyment. While we love a great classic or a profound business book, summertime calls for indulgent novels whose characters take us to other worlds full of drama and heartbreak while we relax. Whether you have a beach trip planned or are simply looking forward to work-free evenings and weekends, these five novels will transport you to far away places and take your mind off of the your ever growing to-do list.

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by: Caroline Harper Knapp
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The Ultimate Summer Bucket List

milano cookies advertisement with HOUSE of HARPER
in: lifestyle

The Ultimate Summer Bucket List

Photo courtesy of Hydrangea Hill Cottage The season of summer Fridays and slow afternoons is here, and we are excited to finally get around to all of the "must try" activities that have piled up in our Notes app. We've …

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Photo courtesy of Hydrangea Hill Cottage

The season of summer Fridays and slow afternoons is here, and we are excited to finally get around to all of the “must try” activities that have piled up in our Notes app. We’ve created the ultimate summer bucket list, which is a must read for anyone seeking fresh inspiration, new experiences, and a little culture in between glasses of rosé this season. The best part about these activities is that most of them can be done just about anywhere, and they’re budget-friendly. 🙂 For those of you with kiddos, many of these are great for the whole family to enjoy. And if your kids are taking off to summer camp or participating in daytime activities, be sure to take a moment to enjoy summer by trying one of the solo or date adventures (rather than tackle your to-do list!). Read on below and join us as we make it an official summer goal to cross off everything on this list!

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by: Kathryn Worsham Humphries
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Relationship Advice for Every Life Stage

what to wear for valentines day date
in: family

Relationship Advice for Every Life Stage

February is "Relationship Wellness Month" and we are making it a priority to focus on how we can better nurture our relationships and spend quality time with the people who mean the most to us. It seems like every year …

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what to wear for valentines day date

February is “Relationship Wellness Month” and we are making it a priority to focus on how we can better nurture our relationships and spend quality time with the people who mean the most to us. It seems like every year gets busier and busier, and our lives are constantly inundated by deadlines, emails, and Instagram stories. We are feeling motivated to slow down and care for those around us who make a difference in our lives every day.

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by: Caroline Harper Knapp
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SUMMER READING LIST

in: Weekend Reading

SUMMER READING LIST

Caroline and I decided to switch things up this weekend and feature summer must-reads instead of our usual weekend reading! Is anyone involved in a book club? I recently started one with a few neighbors, and after years of being …

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READING LIST

Caroline and I decided to switch things up this weekend and feature summer must-reads instead of our usual weekend reading!

Is anyone involved in a book club? I recently started one with a few neighbors, and after years of being a lazy reader, I’m motivated again! If you’re not already a part of a group, I highly suggest starting one. It’s a great opportunity to discover books you might not read on our own, and the conversation is always great. Plus wine is usually involved! Keep reading for the books Caroline and I are most excited about this summer, but since it’s impossible to include them all, share your favorites with us in the comments at the bottom.

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Tulum, Mexico Travel Guide

in: travels

Tulum, Mexico Travel Guide

Happy Friday! We're excited to bring you a guide to Tulum, Mexico written by HoH team member Kathryn Worsham Humphries who just went there last week. I went on a day trip to Tulum a few years ago with FMK …

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Happy Friday! We’re excited to bring you a guide to Tulum, Mexico written by HoH team member Kathryn Worsham Humphries who just went there last week. I went on a day trip to Tulum a few years ago with FMK and my family when we were staying in Playa del Carmen, and we loved it! We swam in the cenotes and explored the ruins and beaches. Kathryn and I were chatting about how it’s become quite the hotspot, so we wanted to share a handful of suggestions of where to stay, eat, and explore in case you have plans to visit. Continue reading for the full guide and a few pro travel tips!

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by: Kathryn Worsham Humphries
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End of Summer Recipes & Hosting Tips for Labor Day Weekend

in: recipes

End of Summer Recipes & Hosting Tips for Labor Day Weekend

Photos courtesy of Mostess Of all seasons, summer is always the hardest to say goodbye to. Nothing beats sunny, school-free days and leisurely weekends spent with friends and family. With Labor Day weekend a few days away, we're saying farewell …

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Photos courtesy of Mostess

Of all seasons, summer is always the hardest to say goodbye to. Nothing beats sunny, school-free days and leisurely weekends spent with friends and family. With Labor Day weekend a few days away, we’re saying farewell to summer by having friends and family over to celebrate.

Hosting, especially in the summer months, should be carefree and easy. Summer entertaining is about relaxing with friends and making everyone feel at home so that they don’t mind helping themselves to food and drinks. Below I’m sharing my favorite end-of-summer appetizers, cocktails (and mocktails), and hosting tips that will make this Labor Day weekend a breeze, even if you’re the one in charge!

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by: Caroline Harper Knapp
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7 Steps for an Easy Kitchen Refresh

in: Home Inspiration

7 Steps for an Easy Kitchen Refresh

Photo from Our Kitchen Tour I’ve been feeling inspired lately to do a mini refresh in the kitchen. We recently renovated our kitchen, so I’m not interested in a significant makeover or big budget alterations -- just a light update …

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Photo from Our Kitchen Tour

I’ve been feeling inspired lately to do a mini refresh in the kitchen. We recently renovated our kitchen, so I’m not interested in a significant makeover or big budget alterations — just a light update that makes the kitchen feel more fresh and organized for the summer months. As I’m sure many of you can relate to, we spend a lot of time as a family in the kitchen and with summer approaching, I know we will spend even more time around the table and making the kids meals while they are out of school for summer break. Plus, we love entertaining this time of year, and it’s nice to feel inspired by your kitchen space when prepping for guests.

Today I’m talking about seven budget-friendly ways to give your kitchen an inspiring refresh for the change in seasons. I go back to these every few months when things feel unorganized or just a bit dull. Read on below and share your own home refresh tips in the comments!

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by: Caroline Harper Knapp
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Mom Crush: Heather Avis, Author of “The Lucky Few” + Advocate

in: MOM CRUSH

Mom Crush: Heather Avis, Author of “The Lucky Few” + Advocate

We are so excited and honored to share with you the incredible story of Heather Avis's motherhood and career journey. You might be familiar with her book The Lucky Few, or her Instagram account @macymakesmyday, or you may have even …

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We are so excited and honored to share with you the incredible story of Heather Avis‘s motherhood and career journey. You might be familiar with her book The Lucky Few, or her Instagram account @macymakesmyday, or you may have even heard Heather speak at an event. As the mother of three adopted children, two with Down syndrome, Heather is both an amazing mom and an advocate for adoption and children with Down syndrome. In her own words, she travels from city to city to “shout the worth of her children”. Her message, centered on faith and trusting God’s plan in the unknown, is powerful and uplifting. We know you will feel encouraged by her words of wisdom in today’s post!

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by: Caroline Harper Knapp
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Mini Travel Guide: Palm Springs Edition

in: travels

Mini Travel Guide: Palm Springs Edition

FMK and I recently skipped off to Palm Springs for the weekend to celebrate our birthdays and it was exactly the type of getaway we needed. Sunshine, chic hotels, beautiful design, delicious food, and just the right amount of outdoor …

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FMK and I recently skipped off to Palm Springs for the weekend to celebrate our birthdays and it was exactly the type of getaway we needed. Sunshine, chic hotels, beautiful design, delicious food, and just the right amount of outdoor activity.

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by: Caroline Harper Knapp
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Weekend Reading

in: Weekend Reading

Weekend Reading

I am so excited to officially introduce you to Chelsie!  Chelsie has been and Editor at Glitter Guide and currently puts her talent to work at Biscuit Home, but lucky for us, she has also joined our team!  Chelsie will be …

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weekend reading 12

I am so excited to officially introduce you to Chelsie!  Chelsie has been and Editor at Glitter Guide and currently puts her talent to work at Biscuit Home, but lucky for us, she has also joined our team!  Chelsie will be sharing her favorite links from around the web every weekend, as well as contributing to other fun projects for us. (Did you see her Mother’s Day Gift Guide this week?)  Give Chelsie a big welcome!  And without further ado, here is Chelsie’s round-up for this week!

I’m excited to take my 13-month-old to Levy Park this weekend! Caroline took her boys there last week and had the best time. You should check it out if you’re in Houston.  Also, be sure to check our Houston Guide for more family fun activities!

Have you heard of the One Room Challenge? Twice a year a group of designers complete a 6-week room makeover, and at the end, the spaces are revealed on House Beautiful. This season my favorite was The Pink Pagoda‘s dining room (if you love blue & white like we do, you will LOVE this space), but Caitlin‘s master bedroom came in close second. Two completely different styles, but both gorgeous! See all 20 makeovers on House Beautiful.

I can’t stop watching The Beguiled trailer. The Sofia Coppola film doesn’t come out until next month, but I’m already making plans to see it on opening weekend!

As we enter the toddler stage with our barely one-year-old, I’m constantly bookmarking articles that I think will help us navigate through this next stage. Caroline and I both found “Not Naughty: 10 Ways Kids Appear to Be Acting Bad But Aren’t” a must read!

Glossier launched their Invisible Shield Sunscreen this week, and I’m intrigued. It’s apparently a clear serum that absorbs into the skin without leaving a white cast or greasy residue. As someone who has a love/hate relationship with sunscreen, I’m definitely giving this product a shot to see if it lives up to its claims!

Cheers to mom! Here are three big-batch brunch cocktails that are perfect for day drinking. I can’t decide which looks better, so I’ll just make all 3. Thanks for the recipes Martha!

I also plan to treat myself this Mother’s Day weekend to a few sales around the web.  This stripe jumpsuit is currently in my cart at Club Monaco! It’s one of those items that could easily be dressed up or down depending on the accessories, which is always an easy buy. Oh, did I mention it’s 25% off, along with all rompers and sandals?

xo, Chelsie

ALAMO DRIVE HAPPY

in: sponsored

ALAMO DRIVE HAPPY

 I checked something off my bucket list last month, and it was everything I dreamed it would be.  FMK, Knox and I rented a car from Alamo at the San Francisco airport and headed south on Highway 1 towards LA. We …

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Photo Mar 08-12

 I checked something off my bucket list last month, and it was everything I dreamed it would be.

 FMK, Knox and I rented a car from Alamo at the San Francisco airport and headed south on Highway 1 towards LA. We didn’t’ have much of an itinerary, we just knew that we wanted to truly experience the area and make wonderful family memories! It was one of those trips where all the stars aligned – Knox was so good and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect!

 If you remember my Alamo Drive Happy Family Travel Resolution, you know my travel goal for 2015 was to “get off the tourist path and explore the local culture”. Luckily for us, two of my best friends live in California and they shared their local spots with us so we could do just that! It was also nice that FMK and I had been to LA before so we were excited to relax and spend the weekend as locals, instead of all the touristy stuff.

<To read more about our trip and to see all our pictures, click the link below to keep reading.>

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by: Caroline Harper Knapp
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BEE IN THE CITY

in: travels

BEE IN THE CITY

Our family was asked by Bugaboo to take the new Bugaboo Bee3 stroller on a trip to test the new features. As a Bugaboo Bee owner and fan, we happily obliged!  We picked San Francisco for our destination since it had been …

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SHOP THE POST

Photo Mar 06
Our family was asked by Bugaboo to take the new Bugaboo Bee3 stroller on a trip to test the new features. As a Bugaboo Bee owner and fan, we happily obliged!  We picked San Francisco for our destination since it had been a while since we made it to the west coast.  Plus, we partnered with Kid & Coe for our housing and there was the most amazing home available in Oakland, just a short drive from the city.

As I mentioned in my past travel tips, we gate check our stroller when flying to keep it with us as long as possible!  We find it easier to have Knox contained and we can store our luggage in the basket under his seat or hook it to the bars. The Bugaboo Bee3 is extremely easy to collapse and store into the travel bag for safe keeping during the flight.

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 We arrived to this sweet note at the Dover Residence.

If you aren’t familiar with Kid & Coe (somehow it was new to me), it is a well-edited AirBnB / VRBO for families.  Every home available is a carefully selected property that is both beautiful and family friendly.  The concept is brilliant, you can leave your pack-n-play and toys behind because everything you need will be waiting for you at your destination.  The Dover family was so kind and left us a list of their favorite things to do in the area (all family friendly), and a list of other helpful information (like the best nearby grocery store).

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 We took these pictures of ‘Knox’s bedroom’.  It was an adorable bedroom with a crib and bunk bed that would easily sleep two children.  Knox slept in the baby bed and loved playing with all the new (to him) toys in the morning while FMK and I got ready for the big day ahead.  It was so nice to have entertainment in a kid safe room just across the hall from the master bedroom so we could keep an eye on him while we packed, got dressed, etc.

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As you can see, Knox quickly took to the laid back California vibe, and his new Bugaboo Bee3!

Our favorite new features of the Bugaboo Bee3:
* The improved redesigned base that allows for an even smoother ride.
*The new harness has 4 separate straps to easily strap your child in without having to pull their arms through a hole
*A more generously-sized stroller basket for baby essentials, yay!
*The Bugaboo Bee3 now has the same extendable sun canopy as the other 2014 Bugaboo stroller models, providing even more shelter for your little when it’s sunny outside!
*More color options!  We picked out this cute ice blue!

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 We headed to a local diner for breakfast the first morning, it was an easy stroll from the house and just what we needed to fuel up before our big day in the city!  This is a view of the outside of the Dover Residence. Isn’t it incredible!?

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 When we got to the city, we parked our car near The Embarcadero because we knew it was best to get out and explore by foot.  First stop, FMK wanted to take Knox to see Giant’s stadium.

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 Next, we strolled along the water and took in the sights of the boats off the piers.

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 My favorite stop is always the Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings!  We settled for some Blue Bottle Coffee and food, but I wished I could take all the flowers and fresh fruit back to Texas with me!

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 After a busy morning of exploring the city, Knox needed to come home for a nap so he could enjoy the rest of the day.  FMK and I lounged in the cute courtyard with a book while he slept.

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 The view of Alcatraz from Chrissy Beach.

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After Knox’s nap and a full day of exploring, we thought it would be fun to go watch the sunset at Chrissy Beach before catching an early dinner.  It was by far the highlight of our trip!

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  Knox hadn’t felt sand on his toes since our 4th of July trip to the Hamptons.  It took him a few minutes before he figured out how to walk on it without falling down.  The funniest was watching him try to stand back up without touching the sand with his hands.  ha ha!Photo Mar 07-6

Knox with his new Bee3!

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 This photograph might be my favorite, ever.  These two have so much fun together!  I am so blessed to have these boys in my life.

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 After dinner we enjoyed a little more fun at the house before time for bed.  When we got home I had to get Knox a guitar and some stacking dolls because he loved theirs so much!

Photo Mar 10-14

 This is Knox getting off the plane in Houston.  We had to wake him up when we landed to get him to the car.  I love the way he sits in the Bugaboo Bee3, as if there was any question about it’s comfort!  ha ha!  Until next time, San Francisco!

Outfit details: 
On Me: dress: J.Crew | jacket: Rag & Bone | shoes: Madewell | hat: J.Crew | Sunglasses: Ray-ban
On Fred: short: J.Crew | shirt: J.Crew | sweater: J.Crew | shoes: New Balance
On Knox: t-shirt, stripe shirt, hoodie, linen shirt, shorts: Janie & Jack | sweat pants: Zara kids | Jeans: Gap | polo: Ralph Lauren

All images via our camera or iPhone.

Disclaimer: Airfare and lodging were provided by Bugaboo and Kid & Coe.

by: Caroline Harper Knapp
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paisley, please

in: outfits

paisley, please

{dress: j.crew c/0 the shops at colubus circle; belt: zara; shoes: bandalino; necklace: gilt; clutch: tory burch; sunnies: rebecca minkoff} Being a former Upper West Sider, I am a huge fan of The Shops at Columbus Circle.  So, when they …

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{dress: j.crew c/0 the shops at colubus circle; belt: zara; shoes: bandalino; necklace: gilt; clutch: tory burch; sunnies: rebecca minkoff}

Being a former Upper West Sider, I am a huge fan of The Shops at Columbus Circle.  So, when they invited me to come shop with them last weekend, I already knew my way around.  For those of you who aren’t as familiar with the shopping destination, it is an indoor shopping center (which is all too rare in Manhattan!), centrally located at Columbus Circle.  I usually think of it as an upscale destination so I was so excited to learn that H&M and C. Wonder will be opening there this summer.  I picked out this cute J.Crew paisley dress to wear to a summer wedding.  Don’t you just love it?!

To celebrate the arrival of the new shops, The Shops at Columbus Circle is joining forces with Lucky Magazine and C. Wonder, to find an original design for The Shops’ first official shopping tote. The tote will debut in  the new C. Wonder flagship store, opening Sept. 20, 2012.  The winner will be selected by a panel of judges including C. Wonder creative director Michael Leva; Lucky’s executive digital editor, Lauren Sherman, and contributing digital editor, John Jannuzzi; and Professor William Colon of Fordham University’s School of Visual Arts.

The prize package for the winning designer includes: one $500 gift certificate to C. Wonder; dinner for two at Time Warner Center ($250 value); two tickets to enjoy an evening of jazz at Dizzy’s Club; and their winning design will be featured on The Shops at Columbus Circle shopping tote, produced by C. Wonder and featured as a gift with purchase to celebrate the retailer’s September opening at The Shops.

*Be sure to enter the “Wonders of Columbus Circle” contest or view submissions on Time Warner Center’s Facebook page.

Share links below to your submissions so we can check them out and vote for CITC readers!  Good luck!

by: Caroline Harper Knapp
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