Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Our Easter Holiday

Since childhood, Easter has always been one of my favorite holidays to celebrate. It's a great spring holiday that celebrates the resurrection of our Savior so we can start again and again. Easter has always been special to me, you don't need to have been "good" all year long, or have a significant other, or shower everyone with gifts. It's a day to rejoice in the greatest love and sacrifice that has been given to us.

We had Matt's parents stay with us Saturday night so we could spend the morning together before the family party for Ellie's first Easter. Matt's mom and I bought the guys some candy and BBQ sauces and marinades- I can't wait to test them out! Sweet Chili Pineapple chicken sounds delicious and perfect for summer. I made some simple garlands using poms and plastic eggs. It took me made 30 minutes to make both. I love how they add color to the fireplace (ignore the wires at the bottom, we are changing out all the face plates and still need to mount our tv).
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We woke up pretty early and Ellie was so excited to see all the eggs and goodies. She was just all smiles and giggles as she went through her basket. She's been playing with eggs all week and we've been practicing her egg hunt and filling them with Cheerios and puffs for her.
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After breakfast we got ready and went to Matt's sister's for an awesome egg hunt for the children and adults, good food, and a great time with our family. Then after a few hours we went to share the day with my side of the family at my aunt's home. It's so great that our families live (relatively) close to each other so we can share it with everyone.
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When we bought this house I knew we would have to get a swing for the deck. My grandparents had one and I remember swinging off the back porch and pushing my younger cousins in it. Ellie loves being in the swing and I was so excited to get this hung up for her (thanks Matt and Grandpa!) it's going to get so much use this summer and in the next years.
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I hope you all had a fabulous holiday with your loved ones!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Harts and Flowers Giveaway Winner

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This giveaway has to be one of my favorites to share because I just love this headband so much and I can't wait to see it on a beautiful little girl.  Just this weekend I bought the same one myself for Ellie. Huge thank you to Harts and Flowers for being so generous and sweet to work with. I absolutely love our peach headband and can't wait for Ellie to wear it all summer long! Thank you to all the entries and congratulations Brandy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Easter Basket Goodies

Easter has always been of my favorite holidays. I am so excited to celebrate this year with Ellie and see her face when she sees her basket the bunny left for her this year. I've already started looking for and buying some goodies for her. I thought it would make for a fun post to share and get some ideas from you guys too! Shopping for little ones can be so much fun, but when they're too young to really understand the holiday or the gifts it can be hard to see what would be good options for them. 

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Outfit (here) // Towel (here) // Animal Eggs (here) //  Stuffed Animals (here and here) // Hat (here)
Books (here and here) // Blocks (here) //  Bath toys (here)  //  Swimsuit (here)
Sippy Cup (here) // Socks (here) // Sandals (here) //  Puffs (here)

Some other fun goodies would be bubbles, pool toys, a name puzzle (here), a teepee, or a porch swing. I plan on filling Ellie's eggs with puffs, Cheerios, and yogurt melts. I've gone back and forth with what type of a basket to get here. I'd love to get her a nicer basket to use year after year, but I don't have any Easter decoration and don't want to store just a basket by itself. I may wait until we're done having children and get them all the same type personalized. For now, I just got her a really cute throw away one. Growing up we had a variety of baskets; throw away ones, large wicker baskets, ones my grandmother made us, and it was kind of fun seeing what type of a basket you would get each year. Then, I also love the nostalgia of having the same one year to year like you do with a Christmas stocking.

What are some of your favorite Easter traditions? We always got our swimsuits every Easter and I look forward to continuing that with Ellie.

What goodies do you give your little ones?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Monday, April 7, 2014

Harts and Flowers Headband Giveaway!

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I’m so excited about today’s giveaway because I absolutely love headbands on Ellie, especially from Etsy shop Harts and Flowers. We were getting ready to take family photos and I had Ellie’s outfit all picked out and ready, but I didn’t have a headband to match her outfit. I searched shops and websites for several days and when I found this pretty peach number I knew I had to get it. I’ve bought a ton of summer outfits for Ellie and several have a lot of peach details and this would be the perfect headband for her wardrobe. I emailed Amanda about it with some questions about color and sizing and she got back to me right away. We quickly started emailing back and forth all day and I just fell in love with how sweet she is. I ordered my headband the same day and it arrived by the weekend and it was absolutely darling. Ellie looks adorable in it and I can’t wait for her to wear it all summer long. It’s such a lovely peach shade and the lace band is so feminine, I want one in every color for her now. I love finding shops and items that are a great price point and good quality, it’s even better when the customer service and overall experience is awesome.

A little bit about the shop and the owner, Amanda and her family live in Milwaukee, WI. Amanda’s husband is a kindergarten teacher and she stays at home with their beautiful daughter Hazel. Hazel is just younger than Ellie and will be 9 months on the 13th. I love finding other mamas who have babies close in age to Ellie, it’s like we have an instant mommy connection. Amanda started making headbands for Hazel when she was pregnant and opened her Etsy shop Harts and Flowers as a creative outlet and extra spending money. She loves playing with her supplies and enjoys coming up with new designs and color combinations. Her headbands are all made to order and customer orders are also available.

Here are some of my favorites from her shop, the fun color combinations and varying textures are gorgeous. There’s a headband for all outfits and occasions.

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Amanda is such a doll she offered this gorgeous headband for one lucky baby girl! There are a few ways to enter, check it out below and a winner will be announced next week! Be sure to follow her on Instagram and Facebook for sneak peeks of new items, coupons, contests, and promotions (you earn an entry for following too)!

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

House to Home: Playroom

Thank you so much for all the awesome feedback on my post about our big purchase! It's such a thrilling time in our lives right now, we are looking forward to having a place that's our own. I still can't believe our dreams are coming true!

I loved all of your comments on my living room post (check it out here!) I've decided to create House to Home as a regular series as I look through inspiration. It will be all about decor and style, a different set of posts than what we are doing in the house to make it our own.

We were looking for a place that is child friendly and our home has a great loft we'll be making into a playroom for Ellie to call her own and can bring some organization to all the toy chaos. I'd love to create a place that's calming, but has pops of colors like pink, aqua, and lime. We'll have the couch we use now in the room, which is also a sofa bed which will be great for guests to stay on. We will eventually add a TV, but not anytime soon. I also want to put in a great play tent for her like the adorable teepees that are all the rage right now. I would totally be living through my child with a teepee. Having a small nook of your own is so awesome as a child and I remember building forts all the time with my mom growing up. A chalkboard accent would be cute too, but I don't want to paint an entire wall with chalk. Thankfully, I have a TON of chalkboards from our wedding so I'll just nail a large one on its side for Ellie to use. You know, because she can totally write her name already. Ha ha ha. Just thinking in both the long term and short term use for a playroom.

Here is some of the inspiration I've found on Pinterest, there's something great in each picture.
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Please tell me your thoughts! What makes for a great play area? Does chalk on a wall just create a big mess on the floor to clean up from the dust? What aspects of a room do your children enjoy most?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Snip, Chop, and a Giveaway!

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Welp, I've cut my hair. I've been talking about it for years- seriously, I looked back on my blog posts and it's been a good 3-4 years that I've been talking about doing it. I finally decided to just go for it and I tell ya, the moment I did I felt like my hair had grown to be the length of Rapunzel's. Of course it wasn't though, it has been the same length it had always been and wasn't getting any longer. I gave up the dream of having mermaid hair without extensions and went for it. I really like the change, I'm thinking about going shorter on my next appointment. I was worried about what my husband would think because he prefers long hair, but he loves it! He keeps telling me how much he likes it and how good it looks. I mostly wear it straight but since I'm on vacation this week I hope to try a couple of different styles and really play with it.

Here are some of pictures that inspired my cut. I wanted it to be a nice mid-length (a lob if you will) with a slight angle to the front. It's still long enough to be put in a ponytail and is about the same maintenance that I had before I cut it. It's a great style that I think looks good on anyone.

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Remember the Nelson j Beverly Hills Argan Oil 7 Moisture Healing Mask I've been using? Read about my review here, I'm giving 3 away!! I'm so excited to share this product with you guys, it's been awesome and has made a huge difference in my hair- it's so much softer and healthier (even before my cut). Just see below on the ways to enter and the winners will be announced next week! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

This Weekend We...

bought a house! I can't believe our dream has come true. After looking for what seemed like forever and taking almost a year break from looking, we found, bid, and closed escrow on a house in less than a month. We are beyond excited and I look forward to raising our family in a place of our own. The whole process was really easy and not stressful, but the moving part is going to be tricky. We have some time before we need to be out of our apartment, but I'm out of town for almost a week and we have plans in the following weekends that we can't cancel or change. We've already bought our big kid items like appliances and a couch and have started to pack up the house. There's a few little things that we need to get together, but I'm hoping we can make a smooth transition.

Here are some pictures of the downstairs of the house. I'll definitely be doing lots of posts on home decor and inspiration. Luckily, the house is a flip home so we don't have to do anything before we move in. There are some small changes we are doing before we move, but only because we want to do some things to our taste.
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We picked out a couple of shades of paint for some of the rooms and it was mind numbing. After a while, they all seriously seemed to blend in together. Grays looked purple, blue, and green. Blues looked gray and chalky. Somehow we settled on two and I can't wait to see how they look in the room after some test spots.  photo 79EFB9F2-A859-491B-92AD-026995A1035C_zpsql6yogrv.jpg

Any advice for home decor and design? Where are your favorite places to shop? What cleaning supplies are must haves for wood floors and carpet? Share your secrets please!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Obsessed: Very Jane

Want to know my late night obsession? Jane.com. It started when I brought Ellie home from the hospital. They have tons of goodies for babies, home d├ęcor, and lots of cute accessories and clothes. I became obsessed. I religiously check their Facebook account to see what items are going live at midnight and even set an alarm so I don’t miss out on them! I started ordering this and that at all hours of the night when I would be up nursing Ellie and would forget what I ordered until I had a nice surprise in the mail. Matt has even been conditioned to my late night shopping sprees, every time we get a package in the mail he asks me, “Now what did you buy from Very Jane?”. He’s so cute.

I’m no longer a shopping zombie, I’m still just as hooked to the site. I've found so many great items that I use and wear all the time, it’s my little secret shop that I just have to share with everyone. I've posted about my great finds and the site several times in the past, but I think it deserves its own post. Jane is a daily deals site that lists new items every day at great prices from some of my favorite boutiques and Etsy shops. Each item showcased is linked back to the shop so you can check out other items from the shop or if you missed the sale on Jane, snag it directly from the source. Everything I've bought from there has been great quality and they’re always up on the latest trends. I've only had one issue with an item, a jewelry piece was delivered broken, and Very Jane and the shop replied back to me right away and I had a replacement necklace within days. I love great customer service and was happy to have the issue resolved so quickly.

These are my first clothing items from them, and I can't take them off! I've worn them each once a week since they arrived. I recently wore the Bow top with the Stella Frosting necklace out with some of my sorority sisters and got so many compliments. The bow on each sleeve is such a sweet detail. I'm thinking about wearing one of them for our family pictures we're taking in a few weeks, but haven't decided which yet. The tan top is called the Kendyl and I absolutely love the silhouette. It's great to wear with jeans and looks fantastic tucked into a pencil skirt for work.

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 Below is some of my favorite items from the site. They are seriously my go-to for jewelry and have lots of new goodies each day. My sister and I have a jewelry problem and this just feeds our addiction. As you can see, I've bought a ton of jewelry, but also tons of headbands for Elle Bell. 
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Have you checked out this Very Jane yet? You can follow the daily deals and sale sneak peeks on their Instagram and Facebook page and set your alarm to get your shop on!

FTC: The Bow Top, Kendyl Top, and Stella Frosting necklace were all gifted to me by Very Jane. All other items posted were bought by me with my own money. All opinions given were based on my own experience and I am not being compensated for this post.