Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Layered Looks

I like classic neutrals. And jewel tones. I like stripes. And plaid. I like camo, chenille and flannel. And the best part about a layered look is that I get wear several of them at the same time. Okay so there's also a practical point to be made for layering clothes. When it's still warm in the afternoon but chilly in the morning it's easy to take off the top layers without changing clothes. Even if it's the dead of winter wearing multiple layers keeps me warm but makes it easy to take off a jacket or vest before I start to break a sweat while running around with my kid. And then there's the whole pregnancy thing. Layering a scarf or vest over a t-shirt or sweater is weather appropriate and stylish but also bump friendly. Open front shirts, jackets and vest are also great for layering over nursing tanks for new mamas. I mean is there a downside? 


Friday, October 13, 2017

Favorite Finds: Small Shop Edition

Now that our fall weather has, probably only briefly, returned from its several week long hiatus I thought it would be a good time to share some recent seasonally inspired finds. These posts are so fun for me to do and I hope you enjoy reading them too. I love to see what other people are loving for their wardrobes, homes and kiddos and it is really nice to have a direct link to the things others are raving about, because if they are that good, I want them too!

When I received an email about working together with ReplayRecycled I was SO excited. Fallon was eating straight off her high chair with her fingers still and I was washing the same few snack bowls and cups every day. Not only do they have an adorably cute selection of tableware for kids, the company behind the products is pretty amazing. It was founded by a husband and wife team and produces recycled, FDA approved, food safe plastic products for moms and kids alike to love. And the company is all run right here in the USA. We have been loving the divided plates for meals, bowls for all the snacks, flat plates for donuts dates and sippy cups to coordinate with every outfit. 

One day Fallon will have enough hair for ponytails and braids but in the meantime, there is always something denoting her as a girl on her head. It drives me nuts when people assume she's a boy! WesternWanderers has the cutest textures and prints for fall and how could I not snag this striped head wrap for my girl?! And can we talk about baby turbans, or topknots as they are so sweetly called over at Olive & Mama Co.? I about died from the cuteness of Fallon wearing this gorgeous neutral print. 

At this point it will come as no surprise to you all who have been following along that my daughter has a thing for blankets and all the soft things in general. She may even become a bigger blanket hoarder than mama! We received the most beautiful black and white quilt from Clemetine Kids and Fallon has been dragging it around with her EVERYWHERE. Of course I'm tickled that it's so Halloween photo appropriate and it washes like brand new every time. I am certain we will end up collecting all of this amazing brand's prints because they are just so good!

And speaking of snuggly soft things, Fallon has slept with the Slumberkin we got her when she first slept through the night in her crib nearly every single night. And while Sugar Plum (yes, we name everything) isn't going anywhere she's a little worse for wear from all the love. So the chilly air, perfect for cuddling has me thinking she should have a new one. Y'all, these little guys are just right for little hands to hold and feel comforted by. New babe will definitely be getting one when he or she arrives! 

Of course Fallon is growing like a weed and was in need of fall clothes, so I had to sneak in some items into her wardrobe from my favorite small shops. The crewneck sweatshirts from Childhoods Clothing are my favorite! She looks so cute in them and they are perfect for exploring outside in the chilly air. The faded red is such a fun color and worked in well with Fallon's capsule wardrobe

Happy Friday!


Monday, October 9, 2017

Fall Diffuser Blends

It's probably no surprise to you by now that fall scents are my absolute favorite. All of the crisp air, falling leaves, baking spices and cozy home smells just put me in a good mood. I used to buy candles by the dozen and burn them like they were going out of style. But since I've been using oils I've been slowly burning down my old soy candles and experimenting with diffuser combos instead. I ordered every fall scent I could think of last month and it has been so much fun to discover all the new ways to make my home smell like the season. I love learning which scents other people are diffusing and am always looking for more ideas. So I thought I would share the ones we have been loving lately. Maybe they are already your favorite combos too or maybe you'll get some new inspiration!

Northern Light Black Spruce + Tangerine + Cinnamon Bark

Bergamot + Lemon + Cardamon

Cedarwood + Orange + Cinnamon Bark

Patchouli + Thieves + Nutmeg + Ginger

Stress Away + Bergamot + Cinnamon Bark

Thieves + Cinnamon Bark + Orange

Orange + Bergamot + Ginger

Clove + Nutmeg + Cinnamon Bark

Purification + Thieves + Orange 

Patchouli + Stress Away + Ginger


Thursday, October 5, 2017

Easy Toddler Meals

I don't know about dinner time at your house but over here it used to go a little something like this: me scrambling to prep, cook and keep all my fingers in the process while a tiny human clung to my legs screaming. Chris works nights so he is asleep when the last meal time of the day rolls around, and that also conveniently happens to be witching hour. Don't get me wrong, Fallon pulls this at every meal but it's 10 times more intense at dinner time. And I was losing my mind every single evening trying to run the show solo something had to give. I boarded the easy meal train and never looked back. 

We're moms, we work our butts off all day long, by 5:30PM we are tired. So tired. And we deserve a little slack. I had to stop thinking like an adult in terms of meals and start thinking like a kid. I now cook less, clean up less and stress over dinnertime less by ditching the Pinterest menus and fancy meals. Now if cooking is your thing and chaos does not ensue every time you attempt it, I am certainly not knocking your style. But if you're over chopping, sautéing with a 20lb hungry gremlin wrapped around your ankles, welcome to my world. You don't have to make gourmet fajitas to be a good mom.

The first thing I had to get over was feeding Fallon traditional meals. She doesn't know the difference nor does she care if she's eating lasagna and garlic bread or a plate filled with random foods. Secondly, kids like what they like. They are happy to eat the same thing twice in one day or 3 times in the same week. And finally, I keep in mind that the post dinner clean up on aisle EVERYWHERE responsibility will always fall to me. Spaghetti anyone? So a little meal prep when she's napping or otherwise occupied because her belly is full and a whatever works attitude have been the winning combination for a total game changer in our house. I no longer desperately try to cook over a hot stove or chop veggies under the pressure of a raging toddler underneath me. I just mostly shovel a few food groups onto pretty plates, drop it on the high chair and let her go to town while I enjoy the peace. There is something about a colorful meal on a colorful plate that just seems toddler tailored. We have been using plates, cups and utensils from Replay Recycled and they are so durable (they've been launched across the room), easy to clean and just fun for Fallon to use for meal time. When I put together a meal I choose foods from each food group and serve. Quick, easy and Fallon approved.

Protein: Chicken in the crockpot is one of the greatest ideas ever. Put it in, turn it on, let it cook. Done. Beans are so easy to rinse and serve, lunch meat can be rolled up or quickly torn into strips and sausage can be cooked ahead of time then cut up to serve. Scrambling a batch of eggs to eat throughout the week is so easy too. And I am NEVER above a good old peanut butter sandwich. 

Fruits/Veggies: I am a fan of ready to serve fruits like blueberries and raspberries but grapes, bananas or avocado can be so quickly sliced a monkey could make it happen in seconds and Fallon can peel a little mandarin orange herself. Steam in a bag veggies are always on hand but I also don't mind doing a little prep by chopping and sautéing or roasting them to store in the fridge when there's not a hungry gremlin hanging around. 

Sides: Cheese sticks or shredded cheese are often in our line up for lunch and/or dinner as well pretzel thins, pita bread or sliced almonds. Fallon also really likes cheese tortellini or mac n cheese so those can easily be made during nap time or while Chris is home midday to wrangle her. 

On Chris's off nights we sometimes will have family style meals like homemade pizza, french toast or spaghetti squash. But my oven is rarely on during witching hour these days and that's the way I like it. I'm running on E by the that point and barely having to think to get Fallon's dinner on the table is necessary for my sanity. Fallon goes to be early so I eat later and if I want to cook something for myself and leave Chris the leftovers I can do it stress free while she sleeps. It's not a new concept. Keeping things colorful usually equals nutritional and my kid is healthy and happy. But I definitely did the whole hand to the face thing when this idea of meals a la cart occurred to me. So if you're sitting there thinking DUH, you're not alone and I'm not a genius. It's kind of like when you see someone wearing a really cute outfit and you have the same pants, top and jacket at home but never thought to put them all together. You had this thought somewhere in the dark recesses of your mind, you just needed someone to turn the light on. 


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Baby #2 First Trimester Bumpdate

First I would like to thank you all so, so much for your kindness on our big announcement last week. It really does mean a lot to have people feeling so excited for us and this next chapter.  I read each and every comment and although I am unable to respond personally, THANK YOU. 

In all honesty this pregnancy was unexpected. I know, I know. How does that happen? Well, it does. It just does. But it's funny how things work out. While we might not have planned it this way, right now it seems like perfect timing. And I have to say I'm thrilled that the remainder of this pregnancy will happen through the cooler months. 9 months pregnant in Northern Kentucky July heat was not my favorite thing about the first time around. And speaking of the first time around, my pregnancy with Fallon was SO easy. This time, not so much. 

I cannot complain too much though because I haven't actually been getting sick, just feeling like I might at any moment, for most of the day. Heartburn kicked in almost immediately, the keep me up at night, tums work minimally if at all kind of heartburn. And oh my goodness the exhaustion. First trimester with Fallon I didn't realize I was any more tired than normal until I hit second trimester for comparison. But chasing a toddler while feeling like crap were new factors this go round and I was dead on my feet every night. I am officially out of the first trimester, sitting pretty at 14 weeks. The nausea has all but left the building and I feel like my energy is slowly starting to pick back up. I need every ounce I can get to keep up with my little wild thing. 

My due date is 4/04/18, but it changed 4 times before becoming final in the chart! I found out I was pregnant pretty early on, in an odd twist of fate. I've been taking pre-natal vitamins for the past 2 years as it is recommended to continue while breastfeeding. Fallon self weened just last month so I was on a Target run to get what I assumed would be one last bottle for awhile. Joke's on me. While in that aisle my sweet little toddler knocked some pregnancy tests off the shelf. As I was picking them up I had a moment. Maybe you know what I'm talking about when I say it was one of those prickling feelings down my spine like something was about to go down. It occurred to me that, according to previously known information about myself, something should have happened that day that as far as I knew at that moment, had not. I checked my calendar and then brushed it off because, well, these things are not always precise, especially after having a baby. But that prickly feeling caused me to leave the store with a test in my cart. And it was negative, or so I thought. 

Y'all these home tests are so good that the faintest of lines can show up, so faint you might not notice if you aren't sticking the test in front of your eyeball and squinting. I only ended up doing so because I later swore I saw a line and thought I was going nuts. The second test confirmed I was not crazy, at least in that respect, and the digital that said PREGNANT was kind of inarguable. So my first ultrasound was scheduled for what we assumed was 6 weeks. But the tech put me at just 5 and asked that we come back a week later to get a better picture. 2 scans later my due date had already changed 3 times, with every visit. When I finally saw my doctor for the first visit last week, I expressed my thoughts on the due date and she agreed it should be moved up 4 days based on the original scan. 4 days is 4 days people. Now watch me go overdue to the 4/08 date the tech last dated me with. 

So to recap, I am already 14 weeks pregnanct and have yet to take a weekly bump shot. Sorry second kid. We are thrilled to add another baby to the family but still shaking off the shock that it will be happening so soon. While I'd love to be able to do weekly bumpdates like I did with Fallon, this is a new season of life and that just won't be possible. But I do plan to do them whenever I can so you can all follow along with this pregnancy and I can document as much of it as I can. 

Happy Bump, I mean Hump Day!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Hilton Head 2017

If you have never been to Hilton Head, SC then you really need to book a trip. And if you have, well, then you already know what an amazing place is it. We were so fortunate to spend a week there with my parents, sister and her boyfriend and no one had more fun than my daughter. The weather was perfect, the beach was beautiful and the crashing waves lulled me right to sleep every night. 

We stayed at The Sea Crest Resort, which has a prime location right on the beach and just across the street from Coligny Plaza. This was ideal for a family vacation since Coligny includes enough shops and restaurants for everyone and even a Piggly Wiggly grocery for any forgotten necessities. I was bummed I was exempt from wine smoothies from the wine shop or spiked frozen drinks from The Frosty Frog but I certainly enjoyed all the food! 

My family had never vacationed at this time of year before but we found mid September to be a really great time to do so. Everything was open, just less crowded and the weather was wonderful. Everything was very kid friendly and the restaurants we went to were so accommodating of our little diva toddler. We visited Harbor Town where we saw a beautiful sunset over the water, shopped and ate at The Quarter Deck right at the bottom of a real lighthouse. Shelter Cove is also a really fun place to go with more shops and restaurants, a full marina and live music. Coast was such a beautiful place to eat on the beach and I loved that it was welcoming to beach goers in bikinis just looking for appetizers and drinks as well as those there for a nice evening out. The Black Marlin had a really fun outdoor patio atmosphere with live music and amazing stuffed flounder. The Salty Dog Cafe is an iconic restaurant at a very cute place on the water and also had live music. Are you sensing a theme here?! And our hotel had one of the best beach bars around, Pool Bar Jim's. Fallon of course made her way to a stool and was served her very own smoothie and all the cups of fresh fruit she could eat. 

I loved getting coffee from Coretta Coffee Co. at Coligny in the morning and walking down the beach or down the street next to our hotel to see all the beautiful private beach homes. We split our time between the hotel pool and the beach, although it was hard to pull Fallon away from her beloved tide pools. She truly was a beach baby, running right for the ocean the second we arrived and playing in the sand and waves all week long. Although Fallon won't actually remember this vacation, we captured so many memories on our cameras and in our hearts to share with her one day and I like to think that she will carry those moments with her always. 

I highly recommend Hilton Head as a family vacation destination, especially if you have little ones! We are rookies at this whole traveling with a toddler thing but a few things that worked for us were driving through the night and sticking loosely with Fallon's routine at home. We left to drive down and home around her bedtime so that she would be tired and sleep most of the way and luckily that worked out. The condo we stayed in had the option to rent a full sized crib and we were able to have it in a separate room from the one Chris and I stayed in so she was in her own space, just like home. We brought our baby monitor and she was so tried from her days running down the beach and charming everyone she met that she went to sleep fairly easily at night. We let naps happen when and where they happened whether it was in the stroller on a walk, in the room or on the beach. 

she did't want to leave!

Hilton Head is definitely a place we'd like to spend future vacations, but it will be tough to top this one!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

5 Fall Baking Recipes

It's been hotter here in Northern Kentucky this first week of fall than it was at the beach last week! But the temps are supposed to be dropping back down so fall baking is back on my mind. When it was feeling all autumn like earlier this month I pinned some must try recipes for the season but so far I'm only 2 deep. I'm planning to get back on the horse this weekend and hopefully I'll have a tiny helper to make it really fun. Cooking just isn't my thing but I love to bake and all the flavors of fall make my mouth water. It probably also has something to do with my huge sweet tooth. So I'm sharing a list of 5 recipes we should all indulge in as the leaves change and the temperatures dip. 

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