PERFECT PLANTS FOR BLACK THUMBS

I have a black thumb and generally stick to fake plants. In fact, if you saw on Snap Chat (@avestyles) yesterday you would have seen that I killed my purple fig cactus. A cactus!!! Lord, help me! So, when it came time to pick plants for our yard I thought to myself, "Oh no. I don't know if I want to spend money on things that are going to die a couple months later." Haha! But, I can't put fake plants in my yard, so John Harper from Harper's Landscape came to my rescue!

I went to Harper's Nursery to select plants for my Hayneedle outdoor makeover (click here to see how it turned out), and I said, "John, you gotta help me. Please show me some plants that are hard to kill." I don't think it was his first time running into the likes of me. He was really knowledgable and showed me exactly what to buy. Here's what I bought:

Sky Flower - this plant is so beautiful (shown above). It has berries and purple flowers. It also grows like a weed and look pretty in big planters. It definitely needs a good amount of water every day, but that's really it.


Mexican Fence Post - It's a hearty cactus that seems to be doing just fine. The hot, hot summer and direct sunlight haven't killed it yet. 


Agave - Another hearty desert dwelling plant that needs hardly any water. That's my kind of plant. It really thrives in the sun and warm temperatures. It's nice to know we can leave on a weekend trip and know that this plant will be a-okay.

Sour Orange- If you want a plant that can grow sky high, give a lot of shade and have it create a hedge then you might want to buy a sour orange bush. John told me that these are just as good as oleanders, but they aren't poisonous to animals. They do have huge thorns on them though.

Hayneedle157.JPG

Bottle Palm - Nothing says paradise like a palm tree. I wanted to fill these cool Hayneedle planters with a substantial plant, and so John suggested a Bottle Palm Tree. They just need good drainage and clean water. 

My yard feels like such an oasis now. I highly recommend Harper's Landscape for all of your landscaping and gardening needs. Their customer service served me well, and I know that would do the same for you too.

Photos by Rennai Hoefer

SWIM STYLES FOR KIDS

In Arizona, we live in the pool all summer long. It's the only way you can enjoy the outdoors without melting. Fortunately, swimming happens to be Elle's favorite activity, and I'm discovering it's Levi's as well. You could easily say we throw a swim party daily once 4pm hits and the sun isn't as intense. I've teamed up with Janie & Jack to share how we swim in style at our house.

Well, for starters, a great swimsuit for the kids is a must. Janie & Jack hands down has the best bathing suits for kids. The quality is impeccable and the styles are to die for. This cobalt blue one piece suit was too cute to pass up for Elle. I love the vintage silhouette and the halter is much more functional than the spaghetti straps you often find. 

Janie & Jack's coordinating accessories are adorable too. A striped sunhat, vintage style glasses and floral espadrille shoes completed her stylin' swim outfit. I also got a white linen swimsuit cover-up for when she isn't swimming. Remember those days when you lived in your swimsuit? Well, that's what these coverups are for. They don't even have to take their suits off to run a quick errand.

sidebysidejaniejack.jpg

For Levi, I got him this adorable marlin swim trunks. I loved the coral color against his olive skin. These days he mostly just splashes around, so he wears his swim trunks like regular shorts. Just put a white seersucker button down on him with his white summer shoes and shades and he is one stylin' baby. 

Since Elle never wants to come inside for a snack I bring them out to her. To go along with the swimming fun I like to give her Gold Fish, Swedish fish or Otter Pops, of course. Levi likes to have a couple licks of the popsicle. 

If you're looking for quality swimsuits be sure to check out Janie & Jack's website http://www.janieandjack.com/  You can't go wrong with anything from Janie & Jack.

PETUNIA PICKLE BOTTOM GIVEAWAY

Travel season has officially begun, and if you're traveling with kids you'll want to make sure you have the perfect bag to carry your whole world. Petunia Pickle Bottom is a diaper bag company that makes high quality bags for moms on the go. They really have thought of everything you need, so every bag comes with tons of pockets and storage for bottles, diapers and wipes. They also include a wipes case and changing pad in their bags. 

They recently released a collection of weekender bags that's perfect for traveling. I just took mine up to Flagstaff for the weekend, and I was able to fit all of my clothes and makeup with ease. They also sell a matching train case to store all of your toiletries in style.

I'm excited to tell you that you can win both of these bags, and take them on your next adventure. It's a $230 value!  Head over to my Instagram post today, like the post, tag a friend and follow Petunia Pickle Bottom on Instagram. A winner will be chosen at random on Friday, June 24th at 5pm.

Photos by Rennai Hoefer, wallpaper by Hygge and West.

ย 

SUMMER PRINTS

A couple months ago I was introduced to Joules - a British clothing company that loves to make the "ordinary extraordinary." They are now making their clothes available in the U.S., and I couldn't be more excited about it. Here's why...

Joules is best known for their bright colorful prints, and my wardrobe could use a cheery facelift. I am wearing their tops from their summer collection on repeat lately. They really make my boring jeans look so much more fun. Plus, they are all machine washable. Plus, I'm feeling a bit uninspired by regular haunts of GAP, J.Crew, Target, ZARA. Sometimes you need a change, and I know I can always count on our friends from across the pond to breathe some life into American fashion.

They make one crisp, tailored button down shirt too. If you know me at all, you know that my favorite outfit is a button down shirt, skinny jeans and blazer. Without fail it's a chic outfit that's flattering on every woman. But this shirt isn't boring at all with neon stitches in it. I think it might be my favorite shirt of all time.

The quality of their clothes is top notch. It has all of the style and spunk of a J. Crew with the quality of a Brooks Brothers. They make one hell of a cute dress. Be sure to check them out if you're looking for a classic, bright update to your wardrobe. www.joulesusa.com

Photos by Rennai Hoefer

BACKYARD MAKEOVER WITH HAYNEEDLE

Even though it's a record 120 degrees in Phoenix, we still enjoy being outside and living in our pool all summer. This is the first summer in our new suburban home, and it's the first time we have been ready to invest in some outdoor furniture. I was delighted to get to partner with Hayneedle to create a modern, comfortable outdoor living space. They offer all different design styles at affordable prices. Do you want to see how it turned out? 

Because our suburban home has a traditional style of architecture, I wanted to honor that and insert some modern, clean lines that are true to my style. I think it's important to try and balance the integrity of the exterior space because all modern would have stuck out like a sore thumb.

The color palette was kept simple with off-white, wood and pops of blue thrown in. I picked blue because of the bright blue skies and blue water from the pool. 

On our furniture wish-list was a big dinner table that could seat our whole family, as well as different areas we could lounge outside and watch the kids swim and play. Hayneedle offered so many modern conversation sets. It was really easy to find what we wanted.

Coley and Lindsey, stylists and founders of Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market, helped me put the final touches on the makeover project. You can see more of the design process and reveal photos on Hayneedle's blog. Click here to check it out. Shop the entire space here.

Also, be sure to check out Coley's boho outdoor spot and Lindsey's industrial modern makeover with Hayneedle on their blog. Here's a little peek below.

Lindsey's backyard is amazing! This hammock looks so dreamy!

Lindsey's backyard is amazing! This hammock looks so dreamy!

Coley's backyard is a boho oasis. I love how she combines old vintage pieces with new furniture.

Coley's backyard is a boho oasis. I love how she combines old vintage pieces with new furniture.

Photos by Rennai Hoefer