Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Our Favorite Toys

With Christmas just around the corner and Black Friday just a few days away, I thought today would be the perfect time to post Ellie's favorite toys over these past (almost) 18 months. I've included toys that had the most use and would make great gifts for any littles you're buying for. Some ages are harder to buy for than others and I thought I'd give my take on what has been played with the most. Some of these gifts were bought for us and I'm so happy we were gifted them because they have been so much fun!
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Books // My Pal Violet // Ring Stacker (the old school plastic one is great too!)    

What toys does your family/littles enjoy the most? Please share!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Recent Purchases: Mama + Me

Lately, I've been picking up a few items here and there so I compiled a post of everything over the last few weeks.I love to see what everyone is buying, what new products are out, and what deals they've found. Luckily, I've found some great deals and sales, especially with the holidays coming up. Around this time of year, I try to wait to buy things until Black Friday so I can get the best deal, but there's been a few items I've just had to have or I took advantage of pre-Black Friday deals.

On a side note, what the heck is up with the stores opening so early this year? Shopping at 6 is like regular shopping, not Black Friday shopping. They're taking the fun out of it! I think I'll just go shopping at my regular time and not care about standing in line or getting into a store first. Plus, I don't have anything specific or big to purchase.

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Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Polish
After seeing a ton of reviews I had to snag this for myself! I love Sally Hansen and will be doing a full review soon.
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Milani Blush in Luminoso
Another winning recommendation from Meg. It was hard to find this shade- it was sold out everywhere. I really love the color, it’s a gorgeous neutral and I want to pick up a darker color for the fall season.

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I saw this a while ago on someone's IG account and when I saw that Ulta had some as stocking stuffers for $3 I scooped one up to test out. So far, I really like it! Especially when I wear my hair straight and I'm on day 2-3 hair and need some extra lift.

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Remember the gray beanie I posted about on a previous post? Well, it finally cooled down enough to wear it a few days and I can’t freaking find it anywhere. It’s been abducted by aliens. So I picked it up in black until the martians decide to return it to its owner.

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When do I ever turn down a scarf? Never! Grabbed this one from Target asap when I saw that it was 50% off!

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Again, if it’s a scarf I must own it. I love this thick knit and the wine color is beautiful. I can’t wait to re-create this look from pinterest I pinned a million years ago with it. (LINK TO PIN)

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Remember this gem from my Mama + Me post? I had to snag it, even if it was full price. I plan on being twinsies with Ellie for Thanksgiving this week.

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Boot Socks (in store)

Here are some things I've bought for Ellie:

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I saw these online, but they didn’t have them yet in store at Carters, but I found them at Kohls! Add to cart. I wish they have feet attached at the bottom though, I prefer for Ellie's pajamas to keep her feet covered in the winter time. I'll just dress her in socks.

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As soon as I showed this to Ellie she hugged it and I knew it was a winner. Now if I could only find one for me!

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This is the perfect skirt for the holidays! It’s so pretty and I love the material. I can't wait for her to rock this little pretty to the parties.

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How cute will these tights be with the above skirt? Love the fun polka dots!

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Northern Isle Pjs
I love winter jammies that Ellie can wear all season (not just for Christmas) and this fun bright print was perfect! I want to buy her a larger size for next year I love it so much.

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Denim Skirt
I love the look of fun printed tights/leggings with skirts/dresses for layering on little girls. This skirt is so cute on her, she wore it for our family pictures a few weeks ago. 

These shoes are so adorable!! I love the silver flats (they run big) and want to get her the same pair in gold now. I couldn't help myself with the fox flats, they are just too cute.

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Although this is from the girl's section, it totally looks like a boy's shirt. Until I dress my little Ellie Bell up with a giant bow and fur vest (or puffer vest)! Can't wait to see how cute she looks in this top.

Hope you all have a fabulous short week!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Mama + Me: Chambray and Camo

Today's post is another easy outfit to wear for you and your littles. It's inspired by an outfit Ellie wore this week, actually. We have all of her outfit picks and she hasn't worn them together yet, but after dressing her in her camo leggings yesterday I thought about how could they would be with her chambray top. The lace headband adds just right feminine and girly touch to pull it all together. I love little guys in button down shirts, they always look so handsome in them. A nice chambray top is something everyone in the family needs in their closet. The material is so soft and easy to wear and play in. I wear mine nearly weekly, it was also nice when we were nursing, so it's been a fave for a while.

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Little Man

Chambray Top ($15! Order a Tall for tunic length)

Little Lady
Chambray Top (still available in store)
Lace Headband 

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Product Review: Maybelline Color Tattoo Eye Shadow

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Since buying our house, I haven’t had the chance to replenish some of my Holy Grail beauty products in a while. Our area is still developing and our closest mall is a solid 20 minute drive and I don’t make it over there that often. One thing I’ve been out of for a while is my Urban Decay Primer Potion (see my original review here) and I’ve had to check out some other primers in the meantime (like this so-so elf one). I wear eye shadow daily and like to use a primer base underneath to ensure it lasts my work day without fading or creasing. I know I can order it online, but I like going into beauty stores to check out other products and I’ve been wanting to go in to see some products from my Fall Beauty Inspiration post.

One item that’s been on my radar for a while is MAC’s Paint Pots (specifically Bare Study and Ochre). I’ve tried a paint pot in the past and didn’t care too much for it, but I have been wanting to try it again. A few of my girlfriends swear by them so I thought I should give them another go and added it to my Christmas list. While browsing my usual beauty blogs and Pinterest, I kept seeing the Color Tattoo Shadows repeatedly as dupes for MAC’s Paint Pots. During a late night pinning sesh, I found this particular pin and decided to test the Color Tattoo Shadow in Barely Branded since it’s considered a dupe for Bare Study.

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Barely Branded is a pretty shimmery champagne color that makes for a good neutral base for shadows. I’ve used this only as a shadow base, but have used it almost every day since purchasing it. I use a small concealer brush (similar to this one) to apply a thin layer all over my lid to my brow bone before applying my shadows. The shadow is creamy and soft, creamier than I remember the paint pots to be. I was afraid that it would be hard and not blend well, but it applies easily and “sets” quickly. It’s a pretty wash and is buildable in color if you’re going to wear it alone. This color is very shimmery and adds some extra shimmer to the shadows I top it with. I don’t mind that since a lot of my shadows are shimmery anyways, but I do skip it when wearing matte shadows or I don’t want to add the extra shimmer to my look. One day when I think I applied too much I did have some creasing, but typically I haven’t had any creasing and my shadows last a solid 8-10 hours before fading. Win!

After trying this out now for a few weeks, I’m very pleased with it. I’m not interested at this time in trying other colors or using it alone, but I really like it for a shadow base. After finding this base, I don’t care about trying the paint pots again since this is working for me, especially with its great price point ($6.99). I do plan on re-purchasing my Urban Decay Primer Potion as that is a clear base, but will probably use them both equally depending on what shadows I’m using (matte vs shimmer).

What primers do you like to use? Do you use a primer at all? We have a shopping center opening up near our home in the next year or so and I’m crossing my fingers that it will include an Ulta!

Friday, November 7, 2014

OOTD: Blush + Booties

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Blush Top // Jeans // Boots (last year, similar here)

This past weekend, I had a baby shower to go to and I knew exactly what I wanted to wear. I love those days when checking out your closet is easy and something immediately comes to mind. I snagged this top after seeing how much Megan loved it and had to try it out myself. I loved it immediately! I bought it online, but when I went into the store they had it for 70% off so I snagged two more in black and white. It's such an easy top to wear, I've already worn it and the black one to work already. It's super comfortable and I love how it drapes in the front. I totally feel like an Old Navy ad though since I'm wearing them head to toe.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Recipe Review: Tomato Salad

My co-worker often makes this salad and it smells amazing so I asked her for the recipe because I had to have it. This is a really common salad, I've had this same salad at lots of parties/showers, but I've never made it myself. It's really simple, delicious, healthy and we've been loving it at our house!

Here's what you need:
- Cucumber (one whole one, or half of a large one)
- Tomatoes (you can use whole or baby)
- Bell Peppers
- Cilantro
- Onion
- Vinegar (2 Tablespoons)
- Olive Oil (1 Tablespoon)
- Salt and Pepper

Optional Ingredients:
- Dash Seasoning
- Basil
- Garlic
- Mozzarella
- Infused Vinegar (we use mango infused vinegar and it's delicious)

There's no perfect amount of vegetables to use, you can make it with more or less depending on your tastes. If you choose to include mozzarella, I wouldn't mix that in until it's served or slice it into medallions and put the salad mix on top.

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Chop up all your vegetables to bite size portions and mince the cilantro

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I'm craving some right now...

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Add your vinegar and olive oil. Since we use a mango infused one, I do one tablespoon of regular and one tablespoon of the infused.

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Mix it all together and let chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes!

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Serve and enjoy!

The salad lasts for about 2 days in the fridge, but the tomatoes and possibly the cucumbers will get soggy by that last day. When using half of a large cucumber and two whole tomatoes, I get about 4-5 servings for Matt and I. There's always extra dressing with those portions so I could definitely add more veggies without having to increase the olive oil/vinegar ratio. We also use a lot of cilantro and about two slices off of an onion for our own preferences.

This is one of my favorite and easiest recipes I've tried. It's so good and is a great side dish. 

What are some of your favorite recipes? 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Day Off Snapshots

Last week I had to take some vacation days off work and it was glorious. They were days I hadn't planned on taking off, but with my change of positions I had to switch my scheduled vacation time. It worked out though to have Halloween off so no complaints. It's always wonderful to have a few days off during the week to run errands and spend extra time with family.

I loved being home with Ellie! She's at a fun age and it didn't seem like it was as much "work" as other age ranges have felt in the past. Yes, she's always on the go, but maybe we have a better routine down now? She's been on a fantastic nap schedule for a few months and that has really made life much easier. I was one of the lucky women who had a baby that rarely napped so this new sleep schedule is very welcomed. She just takes a one two-hour nap, so it's nothing crazy, but it's better and easier than two short naps like she was taking before.

So here are some random shots from the week:

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We snacked a ton. Lots of hummus was eaten.

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My girlfriend came over and we worked on some holiday crafts

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I finished a wreath, made some ornament balls for our banister (they still need some fabric ribbon to hang from), and monogrammed a pumpkin

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Anytime I asked Ellie if she wanted to check the mail, she ran to the door

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With awesome mail days like this package, why not? 
The Olivia Lace set from Willow Crowns

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We snacked some more

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I snuggled up for some Lifetime movies during naptimes
Why do boot socks say they're One Size, but I struggle to put them on?

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Wore leggings almost everyday. 
Love these printed leggings from White Plum (c/o) 
Snag 25% off with code LEGGINGSLOVE through November 21st!

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Wore more leggings

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Then finally put on some real pants for about 30 minutes

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Enjoyed being outside

That's a little bit about how we spent our days together. I wish I could stay home all the time and play all day with Ellie. We had so much fun together and I loved having friends over and making dinner (who knew?) for us. If only there was more time in the day to really enjoy our time together and get more stuff packed into each day. 

Hope you're all having a wonderful week!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Mama + Me: Buffalo Plaid

After talking several times with my mommy friends, one post idea that has kept coming up repeatedly was Mommy + Me outfit ideas. I've been working on one long post for so long and it finally dawned on me that it would be easier to do one outfit at a time. Then I thought, what if I made this into a weekly feature? Is that something you guys would be interested in? Let me know in the comments!

So this week's outfits are pretty easy, buffalo print has been everywhere! I love the look and it works easily for the whole family.

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Little Man


Little Lady

I bought Ellie that plaid tunic last week and I'm kicking myself for not buying myself the top when it was 50% at Old Navy! Now I'm stalking the site and store for it to go on sale again. 

Do you like to dress alike with your kiddos? Did you like this post? Let me know!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Weekend Snapshots

This weekend felt so long, but it went by so quickly! It was so much fun and we had such a great time together. I had gone to the store several times this past week and kept thinking about how we needed to get candy to pass out, but of course I ended up at 3pm buying several bags on Halloween. The stores were so packed! I'm happy that they had a ton of "good" candy left, no one wants to be that house.

We started Halloween off with a party at Ellie's daycare. It was so cute and fun! They decorated treat bags, had a little program where they sang songs, decorated sugar cookies (Ellie skipped the work and went straight to eating hers), had a scavenger hunt in the "spider's lair", and had their face painted. I'm so in love with her new daycare! She has so much fun and I love the attention she gets from her teacher and friends.

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For the party, I made monster cupcakes that I couldn't wait to share...
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But one of the kids wanted to help me carry it and knocked over the case, so they definitely became MONSTER cupcakes. I couldn't stop laughing, he was so cute to help! Plus, they still tasted just as yummy!
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After Ellie's nap, we finally painted her pumpkins. We had been meaning to do this earlier, but we've had lots of visitors and Matt and I didn't want to do it without the other one being present. So day of decorating totally happened. I used some painters tape to make a design in her pumpkin and I'm thinking an art project for the playroom should totally happen soon using the same method.
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I wish I could keep it forever! I love how they turned out! I'm thinking about having her decorate a foam one so I can. It was a really fun project and it wasn't nearly as messy as I had expected it to be. 
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After dinner it was time to trick or treat! We just went around to 4-5 houses and then came home and had a firepit in our driveway with some scary music playing and passed out candy.
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It was just a great night! Children make holidays so much fun and I can't wait for Thanksgiving and Christmas next!

Oh! Here is my costume for the holliday, I went with a Halloween classic- a ghost!
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