Thursday, December 29, 2016

Product Review: NIVEA Men Post Shave Balm as Primer

Good morning everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and Hanukkah! I LOVED seeing everyone's posts on Facebook and Instagram! It was such a magical day for us, I'll be sharing a recap next week!

Today I'm sharing a review of NIVEA Men Post Shave Balm as a makeup primer. Yep, you read that right. When the balms arrived, Matt thought they were for him and I was going to put them in his stocking! Um, no sir, those are mine and I might share with you if you're nice. Using the Balm as a primer became popular with several YouTube beauty vloggers and totally took off! It's made with glycerin which acts as a glue to your foundation helping it last and last. I'm a total beauty junkie and love finding new products that serve multiple purposes. I couldn't wait to dive in!

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Monday, December 19, 2016

Recipe: Delicious Whipped Cinnamon Honey Butter

This past weekend Ellie and I got our holiday baking on! We baked and mixed into the night on Saturday and I love having her as my little helper in the kitchen. She even has her own reindeer apron that is just the cutest thing I've ever seen on her.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Gift Guide: Toddler Girls

Good morning, I’m so excited for today’s post- a gift guide for toddlers because shopping for the girls is my favorite! They are at such a fun age and the magic will only grow over the next couple of years. I started my holiday shopping early this year and I only have two gifts left to buy! Unfortunately, I’ve also over shopped for them and will be putting some of their gifts away for good behavior. We're going to be doing a massive purge in the toy room and donating all of their toys this weekend.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Recipe: Candied Nuts

Today I have one of my favorite recipes to share with you, I'm so excited! My grandmother was a wonderful baker and two things I learned from her is there's always room for treats and that treats have a season. I loved everything she baked and always looked forward to holidays and celebrations to have our special treats. Divinity for weddings, strawberry cake with coconut frosting for Valentines, raisin cake for birthdays, rice balls for Halloween, and sugar cookies for Christmas. It was a fun tradition and made each celebration even more special.

I don't have a lot of treats under my belt yet (I'm going to try her pecan crunch this year!), but I make some amazing candied nuts! I make them every Christmas and they're so easy! I love any recipe that has items I have on hand and is simple to make. Matt asks for these every year earlier and earlier, they're great for camping, snacks, crushed up in salads, and treats for neighbors, friends, and coworkers.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

OOTD: Pin Stripes and Ruffles

Happy Tuesday everyone! I'm still recovering from Thanksgiving weekend, but I'm so excited that the holidays have officially started. We've had our tree, lights, and home decor up for a few weeks now, my shopping is almost done, and on Sunday we started our holiday baking. This year is going to be so much fun with the girls and I have so many things I want us to do as a family!

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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Gift Guide for Her: 25 under $25

Christmas shopping is a ton of fun, but sometimes it can be a bit daunting if you have a long list or you're not sure what to get for who. I started early this year, I have the girls done and I'm half done with everyone else. Just waiting for Black Friday deals to finish off my list. In our family we have a $25 limit per person so as I was racking my brain for ideas for the ladies and myself, I thought I'd share some goodies on my list!

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

6 Beauty Products for a Busy Morning!

Good morning!! My mornings can be pretty hectic and I'm working on a post with my morning routine now that I have two kiddos I need to get up and out the door, and I wanted to share my favorite beauty products I use every morning. For hair and makeup, I give myself 20-30 minutes, just depending on what my schedule is going to look like that day. I would love to be able to do a full face every day, but sometimes it's just not doable so here are the six products I rely on for an easy and pulled together look.
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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Recent IG OOTDs

Good morning! Hope your day is off to a good start and your work day goes quickly. I love daylight savings time in the mornings, but man I hate coming home in the dark! Arizona has it good when it comes to the time change, plus, who really gets an extra hour of sleep? Honestly.

Here's a few OOTD pics from Instagram, I'm hoping to do some more outfit pics, but it's so hard on the weekend with all of our activities and now with it being so dark after work, it's gonna be tough! I love these posts so I'm hoping to have more soon!

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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

5 Tips for Perfect Family Pics with Kids!

Thank you for all of your kind words and support on my 5 Tips for Styling Family Photos! It was perfect timing since so many of you are taking pics for Christmas cards, I can’t wait to see your photos! Family pictures can be so stressful, once you’ve found your photographer, your outfits, and your location, you never know how it’s all going to come together. Will it rain? Will my hair cooperate? Will my children smile? Will they take a nap that day? Will they wake up happy from said nap?

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Friday, October 28, 2016

OOTD: Pink Florals + My Q&A!

Congratulations, you've made it to Friday!! It's my favorite (work) day of the week! As always, I'm excited for the weekend- tonight I'm going to a craft fair with my girlfriend and tomorrow we have a Halloween dance class for Ellie, a family BBQ with some family who's in town, then Sunday we have church (I'm helping in nursery again!), and I want to make something yummy in the crock pot for dinner. What's your favorite dish? I'll probably do a loaded potato soup recipe my girlfriend shared with me.

I'm so excited about today's post too! I absolutely love this Pink Blush dress, it's the same silhouette as this dress, and I love it so much. It fits true to size, is fully lined, and so comfortable. Pink Blush has so many great pieces right now, I love their items and wore a few during my last pregnancy that I still wear now. Everything I have from them is good quality and has been really versatile to work for the different seasons of life. I know it's the end of October, but we're still enjoying (or should I say suffering?) through warm temps so my summer dresses are getting lots of use still. It's easy to "fall-ify" your clothes with hats, booties, layers, and tights. This get-up makes for a perfect weekend outfit, GNO, or date night.

One Instagram last Sunday, I asked everyone for some questions for a Q+A and here are ALL of the answers! It was so much fun and there were so many really great and fun questions, plus a few that really made me think! Thank you so much to everyone who commented, I really appreciate your support, it means so much to me!

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

OOTD: Distressed Tee + Pumpkin Patch

 Last week we took the girls to a pumpkin patch, and I can't wait to go again! There's some really great ones by our home and we've only been to one! Last year, this was my last month on maternity leave so I felt like we were always doing something fun. Our weekends are so packed, I'm hoping to maybe squeeze one more in before Halloween with the girls.

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Monday, October 24, 2016

OOTD: Fall Floral + PinkBlush Giveaway!!

One of my favorite trends this year is florals, I've been wearing them since Spring and the "fall" season isn't slowing me down! I L-O-V-E this gorgeous emerald floral print, just looking at it makes me happy! I plan on wearing it for Thanksgiving this year, maybe with a hat?
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Monday, October 17, 2016

5 Easy Tips for Styling Your Family Photos

When I shared our family pictures from this year, I told you guys how I plan on taking pictures every year as a family until I’m cold and dead. It’s so important to me to have pictures taken and I know I will always treasure them. Planning for pictures can be daunting, you want to coordinate but not be matchy-matchy so I put together an easy how-to to get you started! Finding pieces that match the look and feel you’re looking for can be tough, but I really enjoy the entire process!

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Friday, October 14, 2016

Friday Faves- Beauty Products

Hello and happy Friday! I haven't done a Friday Faves in a short bit and I'm happy to bring it back with some of my recent beauty faves, some new and some tried and true. I don't usually have a theme for these posts, but today's just happened to be all beauty items. Do you guys like these posts? Do you prefer a theme? Let me know, I want to make sure I'm creating content you enjoy reading.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Our Family Pics 2016

When Matt and I first were married, I told him we'd take family pictures every year until we died. I want to be able to see our family over the years, have something to look back on that captured our family and varying stages of its growth. While in Washington, one of my aunt's had their playroom covered in their family pics from over the years and I loved looking back at them and seeing their family grow. It's exactly what I want in my own home, 100s of pictures over the years and stories to tell with them. Pudgy fingers, goofy smiles, bad haircuts, missing teeth, awkward years, I want to remember and have something tangible to look through when I'm old and gray and share them with my grandchildren.

For pics this year, we met with Dana and Nate of Lovers or Love photography at the Santa Rosa Plateau. It was a gorgeous location and gave us a few different backdrops, I think we'll even go back next year and check out a different part of the park. Just like last year's, I had this planned for months and months. Our outfits had been carefully picked out before Easter even! It was our fifth session together with them and they did not disappoint. We're so comfortable shooting with them and I can always count on our pictures turning out just beautiful. I was worried about the girls, but they hammed it up! Smile after giant smile and these pictures would have to be my favorite ever! Yesterday, I had several printed and switched them out in our frames. I have so many more I want to print, it's just so hard to choose my favorites! Below is just a few of them, otherwise I'd have to include them all!

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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Fall 2016 Reading List

Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend! I have a few posts coming up in the next few weeks that I'm excited for. It's been so hard to find the time to blog lately. I'm trying to be more present at home and relax without doing 10 things at once so blogging has moved to the back burner for a bit. I'm hoping to work out and find a better schedule for working on posts, so I really appreciate your support! Blogging is so much fun for me and I love all of your comments and "meeting" each of you through social media. Thank you so much for following me along in my little corner of the internet.

Are you a reader? I’ve always been a pretty avid reader since childhood, I love getting lost in a book and always have a reading list a mile long. Recently on Instagram, I talked about a recent book I read that I recently enjoyed (Find Her by Lisa Gardner, I couldn’t put it down!) and asked for recommendations for my next book. There were so many great recs, thank you! I’ve added just about everything to my library’s reading list and put together a small list that I’m hoping to tackle in the coming months.

The only time I get to relax and read a book is during my lunch break at work. Now that I’m not pumping during my lunch breaks, I have so much more time to read and have been trying to tackle my list each week. I typically read a book a week (give or take depending on the length) and I've been so good at staying on top of my list so far. Here’s a peek into the books I have on the top of my list, in no particular order. I’m really excited about some of these, I’m hoping to read Behind Closed Doors and Orphan Train next.

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Thursday, September 29, 2016

What I Packed: Toiletries & Beauty

One thing I think everyone hates doing is packing. I mean, unpacking is the absolute worst, but packing is just terrible. At first it's fun and you think about cute outfits you're gonna wear, and items you bought specifically for a trip or pieces you don't get to wear enough, and then the doom sets in. Can I bring just two pairs of shoes and make them work for everything or do I really need to pack all four? How can I pack such and such without ruining/wrinkling/breaking it?

A few weekends ago, I started this blog post for my beauty items and just didn't get it finished in time to post before we left.  I thought about scrapping it altogether, but I always like to see beauty and travel posts and went ahead with it. Full disclosure, my beauty/bathroom bag tends to be larger than my clothing! Since we were gone for just less than two weeks, had a full agenda including a wedding, I thought out what I’ll be packing that will get me the most use and be versatile. When I first seriously started thinking about what I wanted to pack I promised myself that I wouldn’t overpack and paid attention to which products I used most often and which I could leave at home.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Our Washington State Trip Recap Part 2

Hello! Welcome back to the second part of our vacation recap, did you miss the first part yesterday? Check it out if you want to see all of our Seattle activities.

To pick up right where we left off (after Pike Place Market) The next day we did a bit of laundry, packed our bags, went outlet shopping, and swimming. It was a nice relaxing day before we headed out on our drive to Spokane. For the drive, we picked up Matt’s Dad who flew in early to spend time with his sister. We made a few stops for pictures, Honeycrisp apples, lunch and enjoyed the scenery. Once we got to Matt’s other aunt (his Mom’s sister) we unpacked, freshened up, and headed out to the rehearsal dinner at a nearby restaurant. The rest of his family trickled in on different flights, and everyone was there by midnight. Friday morning started bright and early with a homemade breakfast, a Costco run, some small errands and then we headed to the park to celebrate a cousin’s birthday with a big family soccer game. It was so fun to watch everyone play on the field, kids of all ages and parents all got in on the fun. I loved watching Matt on the field, he scored two goals! After the game we headed back to his aunt’s for a BBQ and to hang around the fire pit.

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Monday, September 26, 2016

Our Washington State Trip Recap Part 1

Wow! This past week has been a whirlwind coming home from vacation. We were gone a total of nine days, coming home past midnight Monday and heading straight to work on Tuesday. Never again I tell ya! I’ll be sure to plan some time before returning home and work next time. Work has not slowed down for either of us and we had to get right back into the swing of things right away which was pretty tough! The girls adjusted really well, but I have been struggling all week long.

Have you ever been to Washington? It is one of the most beautiful states I’ve ever seen! Everywhere is so green, the sky is extra blue, and the clouds look painted on. We’ve been planning this trip for years, and finally had the chance and opportunity to go. Matt and I both have family up there and when we first planned on heading up there we bought our house and when I transferred positions I wasn’t able to get the same vacation week I had before so we put it off for the next year. When the next year came about I was pregnant and Emma would be born right around the time we would want to visit so we put it off again. Then, Matt’s cousin got engaged and planned her wedding for this September and boom, we were going!

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Monday, September 12, 2016

Baby Food Recipes with Gerber Lil' Bits

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When we started Emma on solids, I did the same thing for her as I did for Eleanor and made all of her food myself. It’s important to me to know what I’m feeding them, the ingredients that went into making it, and ensuring that they’re getting the best to help their bodies develop. I also wanted to make sure that as I was introducing them to a wide variety of food with different flavors and textures.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

OOTD for the Kids: What I'm Packing!

I've started packing for our upcoming family trip and put together a few outfits for the girls using my Labor Day Sales  and some recent purchases and I'm so excited! The girls have the cutest clothes and I'm so looking forward to cooler temps so they can wear these sweet looks! I also wish I had a few of them in my size too!

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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

OOTD: Date night

Matt and I had a nice little sushi date last week and I couldn't wait to get dressed up! Matt loves a girl in jeans so I make sure to always wear them when we go out together. I bought these jeans last autumn and they're my favorite jeans ever! I've had other Rockstar jeans from Old Navy, and I'm not sure how these are different, but they're so much fit than my other ones! They fit like a glove and are so comfy! They're my go-to jeans any time we're going out.

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Monday, September 5, 2016

Labor Day Sales for the Kids!

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I've been loving Old Navy for the girls lately, they've had the cutest designs and prints! I'm obsessed with this romper for Emma, I want to get it in the pink too. Just about everything is on sale over there right now, with the savings taken at check out, no coupon code needed!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

OOTD: Dusty Rose

Happy Wednesday everyone!! I love my white moto leggings from Journey Five so much, I had to have them in their dusty rose too! They are seriously so comfortable, I know I'm gonna be wearing them all the time. How cute will this color be with a deep plum sweater? Or a grey crewneck and scarf? Oh the possibilities!!

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Monday, August 29, 2016

Our Weekend

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This past weekend was a whirlwind! We had so much fun and it didn't seem like it was gone in a blink of an eye. There was lots of laughs, lots of food, and most importantly some quality time with the girls. We played, cuddled, napped, and ate. I wish all weekends could be like this!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Road Trip Essentials for Baby and Toddler!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SuperAbsorbent #CollectiveBias

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In the upcoming month, we have a family trip planned for Washington and we’ve been looking forward to this trip forever! We’ll be visiting family on both sides and have lots of activities planned for our stay. One thing that’s been on my mind for the trip is a 4+ hour drive we’ll be making from one stay with family to another. Our girls are great in the car, but this will be our longest ride with them both. I've been worried about what to bring with us, for the trip and the road trip, and the obvious items are easy- diapers, snacks, extra clothes, but what else?

Friday, August 19, 2016

Friday Faves

Friday!! My favorite day of the work week is finally here!! Last weekend was so busy and flew right by and I've been looking forward to this weekend all week long. We just have a few plans, but I mostly plan on staying home and hanging with my littles. Swim, dance, cleaning, purging, relaxing, and lots of ice cream are on my to-do list.

This week's Friday Faves is a little bit of everything and I'm super excited about each one. I love sharing these posts with you guys. It's been a great way to share different items and shops I've found. I try and do them every week, but if I don't have enough things for a post, I just put what I love on the list for the next post. Everything I share here is always items I truly, and honestly use and enjoy, whether they're items I've bought on my own or were gifted to me for consideration. If it's not something I love, I'm either going to give it an honest review letting you know to skip it altogether, or I simply won't share it. You can always know that my posts are a 100% reflection of my true feelings.   So let's get started!

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

OOTD: Falling for Floral

Happy Wednesday!! Hope you're week is going well, I'm still recovering from the weekend and I'm fine during the day, but am so tired when my alarm goes off! I should probably be in bed now, but I'm catching up on Big Brother!! Paulie, what are you doing? I'm totally team James and Natalie! Are you watching? Who are you rooting for?

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Our Weekend

Happy (super late) Monday! I"m finally sitting down after a long day and it's even Tuesday for some of you! We had such a busy weekend, but it was so fun! We were out every night and had back to back activities and we stayed up way too late and were up way, way too early. What I would have given for today off or even an extra two hours asleep!!

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Quick & Easy Toddler Snacks

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Eleanor has always been a great eater, and I’m so thankful for that. Of course, she’s gone through spurts of being picky or eating a plain peanut butter sandwich for weeks at a time, but having her eat healthy has never been a challenge. Thinking of different meals and options for her has sometimes been tough, but I thought I’d share our favorites and go-to snacks, on the go treats, and what I pack for trips and playdates.

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Ellie loves frozen sweet peas and they were perfect for her when she was teething too. She also loves carrots, broccoli, and cucumbers.

Her favorites are grapes and strawberries, but she also loves figs, blueberries, watermelon, plum, and apples.

-Savory Snacks
We love to have something else with our lunches or snacks that add a different texture than fruits or veggies. I make sure to always give her an extra item like veggie straws, string cheese, popcorn puffs, graham crackers, pretzels, or our new favorite Larabar Bars and Bites.

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We don’t eat totally healthy all the time, there’s plenty of drive-thru chicken nuggets in our diets, but I really try to have healthy food available for ingredients and snacks for our family. It’s really important to me to teach my girls to eat healthy and pay attention to what they’re putting in their bodies. We can see a difference in how we feel and even our behavior (hello sugar crash) when we focus on eating good, natural foods that isn’t high in sugar, sodium, or has been heavily processed. That’s one reason why I’m so happy to have found Larabar at Sam’s Club. They’re delicious, easy to grab for a quick bite, and have simple natural ingredients (that I can read and pronounce). We enjoy both their bars (the apple pie is my favorite!) and the bites, and because they’re food made from real food, I never feel guilty about having them or giving them to our family. Larabar is gluten free, vegan friendly, and dairy free which makes for a great snack to have on hand in case any of our guests have allergies. My nephew is on a gluten free diet and we make sure to always have items on hand for him to eat when he comes by, and these are perfect for him! We just have a hard time keeping them on the shelves since we love them!

What are your favorite toddler snacks?

Monday, August 8, 2016

A First Birthday Garden Party

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Well guys, the day has come and gone. My littlest baby, Emma, turned one and I still can’t stop crying about it. Didn’t I just announce that we were expecting her arrival? Wasn’t I just sharing my hump day bump day pics? Didn’t I just bring her home? Ugh, the agony. Time is so dang selfish! Ok, I’ll stop the pity party to get on to the fun garden party we had to celebrate her.

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Since I first started thinking about Emma’s birthday, I knew I wanted to do a garden party theme with soft pinks and a relaxed vibe. She is just the easiest baby, so sweet and always smiling and I wanted the party to reflect that. We’ve also had a bit of a floral theme throughout her first year with her nursery, monthly photos, and clothes I’ve leaned towards when shopping for her so a garden party was an obvious choice. We invited just our families to celebrate her big milestone, which still makes over 30 people, and since it was a small gathering, it was nice to really sit and visit with every guest. It's so easy when you're hosting a party to be so busy that it feels like you didn't get to really talk to anyone. I loved that we were able to enjoy the party and catch up with loved ones. We even stayed up till 230 with a few of my cousins just chatting and eating late night pizza around our fire pit. It was a great end to a perfect day!

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At parties, I always like to know what people serve at parties and this year we kept it simple with sandwiches, fruit, veggies, broccoli salad, potato salad, and various chips and dip. Dessert was vanilla and chocolate cupcakes with white frosting and sugar crystals. They were so yummy! For favors, we had pink chocolate dipped rice krispie treats (with pearl sprinkles!) wrapped individually for our guests. I'm glad I made extras because nearly everyone wanted to take one or two extra home. We had them at the dessert bar at Eleanor’s first birthday party and they were gone in minutes so I knew everyone would enjoy them. We set up seating outside, had a bounce house, our guests played cornhole, and we just talked, ate, relaxed, and had a great time!

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Emma didn't care much for her cake, even after sissy showed her what to do! We put some on her lip, but I think there were too many eyes on her for to check out the cake for herself. It was so cute and she smiled so big when we sang happy birthday! It was really a beautiful day and the party turned out fabulously.

For her party, I partnered with some really great shops for decorations. Without them, the party wouldn't have had the same feel and I just love how everything looked! The toppers, balloons, florals, everything was beautiful and I saved them for keepsakes or for future decorations in Emma's room and the girls'  playroom. They were all a dream to work with and helped make her party a success!

Floral Headband // Floral Highchair Garland – Enchanted Bow Shop
Tissue Garland// Emma is One Balloons – LoveGarlands
Cake Topper – Rustic Daisy Designs
Cupcake Toppers // Happy Birthday Emma Banner – Good News Lane Get 15% off using EMMA15
Felt Flowers (used for photo clips) – Wholesale Bow Supply
“One” Highchair Garland – Sugar Daisy Doo
Moss Table Runner – Amazon
Pinwheels – Hobby Lobby
Chalkboard signs – Amazon (from our wedding!)