I have a whole lotta catching up with friends to do. It started in the driveway the night we rolled in from our trip and continues tonight in–oh, about twenty minutes when I get picked up to go out.

So a little enjoying today.


Debby Does Naples.
And by that I mean, of course, Debby the Tropical Storm who rolled in to our beaches with her crazy wind and her big waves.


When we know it’s not too dangerous, we always try to hit the beach before or after storms because it really is spectacular. In 2004, before Hurricane Charley and certainly before the boys were old enough to understand what qualifies as “My parents embarrass me,” we actually went to the beach as a family in–wait for it–orange plastic parkas. Kid you not. Made fake weather update videos and took pictures of surfers. It was a real blast.

Not-Your-Grandma’s Spoonrack.
Okay, maybe it’s still a grandma spoonrack, but that just makes it sweeter because seeing it makes me remember the exact one my grandma had hanging over the barstools, right above the cookie jar with the Fig Newtons. The dark wood rack was full of spoons she collected on mission trips. I found one at an antique shop in Michigan–brought it home, gave it a bath, fed it some cookies, painted it yellow, and now it’s happy. And so am I.


Friends with Benefits.
And by benefits I, of course, mean felt teepees.


My friend Rebecca has a felt teepee, and if you knew Rebecca, you’d understand why I didn’t even flinch when I arrived to the park the other day to find her holding her kid’s hand in one hand and a giant teepee, folded up in a mess of 6-foot sticks and wadded felt, in the other. We hauled the teepee over half a mile of boardwalk to our supersecretspot in the woods–the one where the gnomes live. It felt very summer camp adventurous–especially that part where the rat snake slithered across our walking path.


You know that part in Parent Trap where Hayley Mills scares the bears away? Yeah.



Dogs Who Photobomb


What I was trying to take a picture of:


Birthday Traditions
In keeping with good traditions, I took Lainey to the dollar store today to pick out ten things for Brett. The rule (per Brett) is simple: I butt out of all gift decisions. She intently scoured every inch of Dollar Tree and settled on a pair of new scissors, some rope (“to make crafts”), two car wash sponges–one pink, one blue (“so we can wash the cars together”), two packs of flower seeds (“so we can plant together”), a roll of paper towel (“so you can clean”), a cheap pair of outdated craplastic sunglasses and a card that inside reads “Time to cough up a big thank you” This whole ordeal makes Brett’s birthday one of my favorite times of the year. I can’t stop smiling.



Lainey enjoyed it immensely.


Hope you all are enjoying your week as well.

So sad to hear of Nora Ephron’s death. I ordered I Feel Bad About my Neck today in honor of her. I’ve been wanting to read it for a while now.

I love her quote: “Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”


Congratulations to the giveaway winner of the Piper and Paisley hat:

Comment #17, figwittage: I love that the sun pours in my bedroom windows in the morning and I can see stars and airplanes at night. There’s no place like home… past and present. xx

Figwittage (I recognize you from Instagram!), please e-mail your contact info to kellehamptonblog@comcast.net with the subject line PIPER AND PAISLEY GIVEAWAY, and your next bad hair day will be all taken care of.


Happy Thursday!



Leave a Comment
  1. I’m glad to hear that you guys had so much fun Kelle, great photos, you’re such an awesome family.

  2. Great shot of the dog! What happened to the cat and the rabbit?

  3. I’m never gonna be first! :)

  4. We have a huge tepee from when our grown up out of the house children were little. I will have to get it out and use it with these little ones. My BOYS will LOVE it! Have fun on your girls night out! Hugs!

  5. I feel like all of my comments are so repetitive – beautiful girls, beautiful photos, beautiful writing, beautiful post – but it’s so true! :) Happy Thursday!

  6. I love your tradition of having Lainey shop for Brett’s birthday at the dollar store. Her choices are so cute. Nella and Lainey are getting so grown up and gorgeous.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. I think next year you double the spending limit and let Nella have a go at the dollar store. Our daughter usually picks out a card with a silly looking dog and “googley eyes” or Dora but daddy loves it anyways.

  9. Kelle, you make me smile with every blog post. Just wanted you to know :)

  10. Happy Birthday Brett..:-)
    OMG a rat snake slithered across your path and you sounded so casual about it…lol…you sounded like an Aussie who say’s thing like, “I had to net the damn brown snake out of my swimming pool…I’m sick of finding them in there”… which let me say is super tough….p.s brown snakes can be deadly…lol….you would make an awesome Aussie…xoxoxo

  11. love you sista.

    okay nella’s booties make me happy. like really happy to my toes. and lainey’s hair is adorable. wish i could have seen you in the orange parkas and weather stats. too funny. love how you do those crazy things. make life fun! that’s what we are supposed to do right?

  12. I absolutely ADORE that last picture of you and Lainey. Priceless!


  13. In the second pic, Ivy looks like she has pigtails with your hair 😉

    Love Lainey’s red Toms, Nella’s boots, Lainey’s braid, and the Parent Trap reference (FAVE growing up, and still now..)

    Well, I love the whole post, as usual!

  14. That video is AMAZING! So hilarious!

  15. That last picture of you and Lainey is so perfect! Treasure for sure!

    Enjoy your night out, may it be filled with plenty of high kicks and gut laughs.

  16. i love how in Lainey’s mind, YOU get to clean while she and daddy are off planting and crafting together. Hilarious!

  17. Oh my gosh…I always love making connections to your stories. Today my kids and I were sneaking around the grocery store plotting how they could buy my husband birthday cards. My son, 5, is able to wait until Sunday to give it to him and my daughter, 3, kept her secret long enough to tell several strangers we walked by before heading back from the coffee shop to meet back up with Daddy. Surprise! She shouted and there you go. Her brother told her not to speak a word of him buying one so they concocted a sneaky story and she actually kept that secret. I love it. Happy Birthday to your Brett.

  18. LOVE the idea of the Dollar Store gifts – I can only imagine what my boys would deem to be good gifts :-)

  19. YAY! Love the dollar store posts….gives me the giggles every time!

    My grandma had a spoon collection, too! Most famous possessions of hers (well, that, and her hundreds of handmade Christmas tree decorations)….I would bet every grandchild would mention her spoons if the question was posed. It hung right inside her door on the pine walls my grandpa built.

  20. Love the tent in the woods! So fun!

  21. Love the dollar store gifts!


  22. Love Lainey’s braid. And I can’t believe how quickly your bangs grew back out.

    We do the free-choice gifts too but our cheapy stores are all $2-$3 items so the girls just get to pick one each.

  23. Oh, wow! Bloody brilliant, I’m stoked! In 5th grade, we had to have a day at the Sheboygan Marsh and there was a giant teepee, but that felt one is way cooler! The card Lainey got for her dad actually made me laugh out loud :) & I love The Parent Trap! xx

  24. “Time to cough up a big thank you.” Hahaha

    Such a sweet idea to let her pick out ten things for his birthday. I will have to remember that when my kids are old enough to not just pick out ten candy items for themselves.

  25. Mary Marcumson, That just gave me the giggles! So fun!

  26. After reading quite a while ago about your tradition for Lainey to pick out gifts for Brett at the Dollar Tree, this year I took my three year old daughter there to pick out Father’s Day gifts. She chose a plastic American flag, silly string, and a blue balloon that read, “It’s a Boy.” Such a fun tradition that I will definitely continue!

  27. Love,love,love the felt teepee! We copied the dollar store tradition for my husbands birthday last year! It’s so awesome to see what little girlies pick for their daddy’s! Have a great weekend and happy birthday to Brett!

  28. Love that Nora Ephron quote! Having a movie marathon this weekend in her honor :)

    the photo-bombing dog made me laugh out loud. Have a great weekend!

  29. Dogs who photobomb… Hilarious!!! I have one of those, now I know what to call her when she is driving me crazy and in my shot. Enjoy your night out! :)

  30. aw, what lovely photos! that teepee adventure looks like so much fun!

  31. Good to hear everyone is having a great time.

  32. I love that so many of Lainey’s choices are things to do together :)

    I think my favorite memory this year so far is camping–little Iz was one month post-op and while she was healing well physically, she had a hard time emotionally. She loved camping and we got to see her relaxed and happy during that trip :) she has had more and more good days since then and I look forward to camping with her again 😀

  33. Love, love, love that spice rack! That chair that Nella is sitting on is also great…the one that looks like patchwork.

  34. Oh my goodness…the weather video…hilarious! Makes me wish we were friends in “real life”! LOL!

  35. I am enjoying exploring San Diego for the first time…. taking buses everywhere, meeting lots of new people and staying with amazing strangers via Couchsurfers.com :)

  36. Ok, Nella in her boots and white sundress…holy cow-she is adorable! And I love Lainey’s Pinterest worthy side swept French braid. And so funny when I watch the news and see that FL is getting wet weather I think of you, even though I don’t really “know” you. I guess I am just jealous of your weather…beats the heck out of sunny, dry and 110* every darn day. Lived in AZ until 3 weeks ago, now we’re in NV. Big change, I know…. 😉 Have a great weekend Hamptons!

  37. Our next birthday is in Sept. Can’t wait to try that tradition.
    And Wow! You are brave in the middle of those woods. I thought about something crawling around in that adorable pic of nella crouching in grass. But it still looks like great fun. Your creativity is so inspiring.

  38. Beautiful! I love how you guys do life!

    I love the ten things idea – if I may I am so snaffling that when I’m older, if I procreate!

  39. I LOVE how you let Lainey pick out the gifts!!! I can’t wait to do that with my girls!!

  40. I was so sad to hear about Nora Ephron, too. You’ve Got Mail is like the ultimate comfort movie to me and one that I can play back in my head (every scene is just exact) when I’m having a boring day at work. I think I’ll follow your lead and order her book as well.

    Also, totally jealous of that yellow spoon rack. You’re totally making your Florida home into a little English cottage inside.

  41. Thanks for making me smile today, Kelle.

  42. Beautiful words :-)

  43. I love the birthday gift idea! What a great tradition to have! The pictures are amazing. I just love to see your little girls. They are so beautiful!

  44. I have to say… I LOVE Hayley Mills version of The Parent Trap. It’s definitely the best. And, I definitely know how to scare bears away. :)
    ps. The last picture of you & Lainey, frame it!

  45. Kelle,
    LOVE the pictures and how you make each and every day special! Thanks for sharing!

    Happy Birthday Brent!Love how Lainey puts so much thought into her gifts. (She must take after her mom trying to make the day special.)

    Have a GREAT weekend!

  46. you cracked me up with Lainey’s Birthday presents for Brett, I hope you have fun “cleaning” jaja… kids!
    Have a great weekend Kelle

  47. SUMMER! love the beach. It seems that everyone’s happy, smiling face. Want to spend with my family too like this :)SEO Philippines.

  48. I agree with Katie above…..I smile every time I read your posts.

    What a fun tradition for Brett’s birthday….and love the gifts and why Lainey picked them. Keep us posted on them 😉

    Love Lainey’s braided hair; Nella’s moccasins (sp); cute pic of her in your colorful chair; and love your bangs swooped to the side.

    Have a great weekend =)

  49. The stick photos are great :)~

  50. Love the family pictures and I lived in Florida for 22 years,to me its always about the beaches there. Richard

  51. always love your posts, kelli~ precious pics and teppee. so cool. {and that is not how you spell teppee.. teepee?? and i’m totally drawing a blank} anyway. the main thing that stuck me here is, I LOVE YOUR BANGS PINNED BACK! like, hello face. i don’t know.. just so open and fresh looking. pretty you are, either way. but just had to say it. :)

  52. If in doubt, paint it yellow. I love your teepee and the supersecretspot. :)

  53. I died laughing when I watched the Hurricane Charley movie! 😀

  54. I love that quote from Nora Ephron. It is so absolutely true. What an inspiration.

    I love all the pictures! The photobombing dog cracked me up! What an adorable mooch.


  55. I love that quote from Nora Ephron. It is so absolutely true. What an inspiration.

    I love all the pictures! The photobombing dog cracked me up! What an adorable mooch.


  56. I love that quote from Nora Ephron. It is so absolutely true. What an inspiration.

    I love all the pictures! The photobombing dog cracked me up! What an adorable mooch.


  57. Love Nella’s moccasins! Very appropriate when you’ve got a teepee to inhabit.

  58. I love your loyalty to positivity on your blog! Always lovely. I especially love the Michigan posts.

    PS. I love the Parent Trap – and it was scaring mountain lions away, in the movie!…although, maybe it works for bears as well.

  59. “Time to cough up a big Thank You”… I almost peed my pants! Hilarious!

  60. Literally laughed out loud at the Dollar Tree haul. SO awesome!

  61. AH Nella looks so awesome in those precious moccasins!

    And I love the Brett Birthday tradition. Hilarious and sweet. :)

  62. Firstly- loving regular posting, I missed your sweet home. Love Brett’s birthday tradition- and Lainey’s choices. Love Lainey’s braid. That last photo of the 2 of you – perfect. Teepee love too. But finally dog photo bombing. A topic dear to my heart. Nigella somehow gets being a model. It makes us laugh. The funniest time was when our friend came down to take laser levels of the driveway – he and Rob kept taking the levels down the steep hill. The laser thingy was on a tripod, and I guess looked like a camera to her. She kept moving and sitting in front of the laser thingy in her best pose. But she was really getting in the way. I suddenly worked it out she thought our friend was taking her photo and he was being picky about the background. Happy weekend Kelle.

  63. Nella’s boots! Adorable! And a teepee in the woods… Yea awesome. My sister and I still camp in the backyard in tents (a senior in highschool and college graduate) I hope nella and Lainey can continue teepee and tents!

  64. Kelle,
    I wish I had your spunk! You’re a mixture of girly-girl, and outdoor-girl. Great combo. I’m working on the outdoor part — never did like camping and all asoociated with it, but you sure have a way of making it look like fun!

    Love, love, love your photos!

  65. i love your pics***

  66. Where’s my bookplate? I’d like to be enjoying THAT, thanks!

  67. That photo of you and Lainey is adorable. And someday–as in, when I have kids–I may steal your Dollar Tree idea. It’s fantastic.

  68. Oh Kelle! I thought you and I were similar before but now that you used a Parent Trap reference it made me realize you are even more awesome than I thought. :)

  69. @Fifty-two pairs in 2012,

    As I’m sure you know, I’ve left a comment on your blog requesting your address and have searched my e-mail for an address for you as well and have found nothing.

    While your frequent comments are disparaging and attempt sarcasm, they are also predictable. And yet you continually come back to read. I’m so glad you find something of worth here that keeps you coming back.

    If you’d still like that bookplate, please send your address to kellehamptonblog@comcast.net. Perhaps you can put “fifty-two pairs” in the subject line so I know it’s you!


  70. Kelle: I just finished your book today. Thank you for being so honest with all of us. Sometimes as a parent, it is not all peaches & cream. You let us know what was in your heart & your head. You showed us what it was like to have a dream, see it change without our control & embrace it. You showed us that friends are the family that you pick for yourself & what a group you have picked! They are amazing. Thank you for sharing your story.

  71. You do so many fun things! Love reading and looking at the pictures too :)

  72. First time commenting…been reading for over a year now. Just want you to know that your story, family & photography have all provided inspiration for my rudder…thank you:).

  73. I’m a proud Michigan gal, so I love when you post about home, but when the weather is crappy here, I love even more that you post so much about the Floridian waterfront. How spectacular to see the ocean after something so powerful has swept through.


  74. Weirdly, I had a dream about Nella last night! I was holding her and she was clinging to me it felt so nice :-)
    I love storms.
    I love the spoon rack!!!

  75. I ordered “I Feel Bad About My Neck” on Thursday too. We share an admiration of an amazing woman.

  76. Hi there, I’ve enjoyed your blog for quite a while but have never commented. I was reading your book last night (I work at a library, it came across the desk and I grabbed it!)and I realized that maybe yesterday was your anniversary??? If so, happy anniversary! You have a beautiful family.

  77. Love the teepee. A friend of mine & I threw one together for a makeshift Valentine’s Day shoot in my back yard. It was a hit.

  78. Thursday? It’s Monday here, and I’m just seeing this post. LOL. Love that Nella is wearing moccasins. Did you plan that? Adorable. Happy week!

  79. I smile every time I come visit your blog. What a beautiful life you live!

  80. The bit about the paper towels cracked me up!

    Also-I adore the fact that your friends show up with teepee’s. How cool is that?

  81. My mom did that Parent-Trap-Stick-Tapping thing last time we were on a hike. :)

  82. Love those pictures and your family looks adorable :)

    Vintage Inspired Girls

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>