Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day Weekend

Saturday was pretty much a picture perfect summer day.  One of my favorite things about summertime is being able to go outside to play in our shorts + t-shirts first thing in the morning.  So that's exactly what we did - 6:30 a.m. playing in the driveway in our jammies. :)

I think Ellie might have spent maybe 30 waking minutes inside on Saturday.  We threw on our bathing suits and spent the entire day enjoying the beautiful (and hot + humid) weather.  We played with her water table, turned on the sprinkler, tested out her new flamingo float (on the grass because turns out her kiddie pool didn't quite survive the winter), ate popsicles, "assisted" Tyler with some yard work and grilled out for dinner.  We ended our day with dirty feet, full bellies + happy hearts.


My sister's birthday was on Sunday so we spent the afternoon celebrating at my parents house.  Lots of fun, good food and a few somewhat successful attempts at some family photos. ;)  Happy Birthday to my sister and one awesome auntie!! We love you so much! :)

Monday was a pretty quiet day.  It rained all morning and ended up clearing up a bit in the afternoon, but it was still mostly cloudy and very wet outside.  Tyler did more yard work and, despite this cute smile, Ellie was kind of ridiculously grumpy.  Possibly because she couldn't spend the entire day outside since that seems to be her most favorite thing ever.  We managed to log a little while outdoors and I worked on cleaning out Ellie's closet while she napped.  I put a lot of clothes away in storage bins... making plenty of room for some cute new things! ;)


If you follow us on Snapchat (linleynoel), you've already seen plenty of this little feline.  She is our neighbors' who recently started coming to visit.  She's crazy cuddly and LOVES love.  Our cats tend to run when Ellie tries as hard as she can to gently pet them, but this kitty demands Ellie's attention and Ellie really isn't sure what to make of it - her expression in this photo is a pretty accurate depiction of her feelings about the situation. ;)

red + white striped bow c/o // summer vibes tee  (still the same one Ellie wore tied up as a belly shirt last summer!) // bloomers (old from Gap last year, similar here) // gold moccs

We finished off our weekend with sparklers in the backyard and s'mores dip.  We had intentions of having a campfire this weekend, but never got around to it.  This dip fulfilled my s'mores cravings without the hassle of having a fire... but, I'm still hoping for my campfire in the next couple weeks! ;)

I used one of the mini cake pans I bought for Ellie's birthday to make the dip, but you could really use any pan or dish you can put in the oven.  I also saw some on Pinterest using cast iron skillets.  I used two Hershey's bars and layered them on the bottom, covered the chocolate with marshmallows and cooked for 6 minutes at 450 degrees.  It was so easy and surprisingly good.  I think I cooked it a little too long because the chocolate was starting to actually cook, not just melt, but I was trying to brown up the marshmallows a bit!  ;)   I would definitely make this dip again - it's especially perfect for rainy days or even in the winter.  Hello, Christmas movie marathon + s'mores!!

 And with that, it's unofficially my favorite season of the year!  This obviously isn't Ellie's first summer, but since she was too tiny to do pretty much anything last year, it kind of feels like it is.  I'm so excited for the next few months of summer fun!  I have a feeling Ellia Summer is too. :)

Friday, May 27, 2016

Memorial Day Munchies

  If you're looking for a super quick snack to make for the holiday weekend, this could easily be the easiest snack out there -  a sweet + salty mix with a festive flair! ;) 

You can really add just about anything that would taste good with chocolate (so, really pretty much anything), but here's what I included in ours:

Just lay out all of your ingredients on a piece of wax paper, heat up your melting chocolate as instructed on the package and use a fork to dump drizzle it on.  Add sprinkles if you want while the chocolate is still melty! This was my first time using those melting chocolates and they were super easy to melt in the microwave and hardened up pretty quickly.   I put this together during nap time but think it's an easy enough thing to make with a tiny helper on your hands.  You can totally mix up the ingredients a bit for different holidays too!  Kind of like when Tyler helped me pick out all the "fall colored" m&ms from the bag for a Halloween snack mix. ;)

One of the things I love about this is you can easily make as much or little as you'd like at a time. It's also nice that there really isn't any measuring needed.  PLUS, at least some of the ingredients aren't ridiculously bad for you, right??  

I'm planning to break out the star-shaped cookie cutters for a little star spangled sangria for myself and maybe some star-shaped everything that they'll cut through for Ellie.  Do you have any favorite festive foods for Memorial Day weekend?  Anything red, white + blue will do! :)

Enjoy and have a happy + safe holiday weekend!

"I thank God for my life, and for the stars and stripes, may freedom forever fly, let it ring. Salute the ones who died, the ones that gave their lives, so we don't have to sacrifice all the things we love." -ZBB

Thursday, May 26, 2016

One is Fun.

Miss Ellie is thirteen months old today and I really can't believe it's been a month since her birthday!  I know I've been saying this for at least the past six months, but every new age seems to be my new favorite and one year old is certainly no exception!  I'm definitely not trying to rush Ellie into growing up or anything crazy like that, but watching her grow, learn and her personality blossom might just be my most favorite thing ever.  

bow (use code ELLIA15 for 15% off) // top (old dress from June & January last summer, similar here) // bloomers (old from Gap, similar here) // sandals

Girlfriend is always making us laugh.  She's got some mean dance moves and can't help but bust a move anytime she hears some music... or even when she knows it's coming! ;)  Ellie also loves to imitate us.  The other night when I was vacuuming, she went and got her little push popper toy and started "vacuuming" along beside me.  I almost died of the cuteness.  She's always willing to help in any way she can - she loves to move the clothes from the washer to the dryer and even picks up her headbands and puts them back in the jar after we pick one out in the morning.  Speaking of picking things out, Ellie helps me pick out her clothes and shoes for the day too! She's got pretty good taste, no? ;)

Ellie is my little sidekick and always attached to my hip.  I swear she likes being held more these days than she did when she was a tiny baby!  She loves animals - she goes bonkers over the goats across the street and absolutely adores our kitties.  She loves to play tag and loves to run anywhere we let her.  She also walks backwards and plops down on our laps to read a book or have a snack (and she never turns down a snack).  My favorite thing that she does though is definitely when she gives us hugs and kisses! SO. MUCH. CUTENESS.  Ells is super affectionate and there really isn't anything better.

Of course she also has a mean temper and throws a mini tantrum when we don't let her tumble down the stairs into the basement or take away the rocks she's about to eat; but, all of the goodness trumps the tantrums ten million times over.

One has already been so much fun and I cannot wait to see what's to come in the future... dare I say I can't wait until she can really talk?! ;)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Small Shop Spotlight: Madeline's Box

I'm so excited to kickoff our Small Shop Spotlight mini series with Madeline's Box!  This new mini series will feature small shops (i.e. not Target or Baby Gap, because you already know how we feel about those) that we love and want to share with our readers.  There are so many shops with talented owners working hard at creating amazing things, and we are looking forward to partnering with them to help showcase their products!

If you've been following along here for really any period of time, you probably already know that Ellie is a huge pacifier girl.  She always has been and I have no immediate plans to kick her beloved binkies to the curve - because, let's face it, they are a kind of a lifesaver.   Ells is notorious for Gronk-spiking her pacis on the disgusting floors when we're out shopping, so a pacifier clip is a definite diaper bag essential and something we always like to use when we're out and about.  Madeline's Box has the cutest clips in pretty much any color you can possibly think of - perfect for coordinating with your mini's outfits! ;)  They have braided leather, vintage and softy braided clips (which are crazy soft and very appropriately named, by the way), all in a variety of colors and patterns.  I have a slight floral obsession, so the floral softy was a must-have in my book!  We also got the leather vintage rose, which is a very pretty light pink (almost a neutral).   The leather clips are actually made from a suede microfiber and are cruelty free, which makes them even better.


We tested our clips out at Target today and it was a win for both Ellie and I!  I didn't have to worry about packing six binkies for a hour shopping trip and she was so content just playing with the softy material that she almost didn't need anything to put in her mouth... almost! ;)

Ellie kept the clip on at home and really seemed to enjoy having her paci available at her fingertips no matter where she was headed next.  It didn't get in the way of her playing and made it so I wasn't stuck trying to find one of the two dozen pacifiers we have floating around the house every time she wanted to suck on one.  The clip stayed on so well all day and when I took it off of Ellie's sweater after being on for hours, there wasn't even the tiniest mark left behind.  Madeline's Box clips are modern, stylish and functional - I know we're going to be getting a lot of use out of them!

Be sure to head to Madeline's Box and check out all of the adorable clip styles + colors!  They also have a variety of teethers, Naturstutten pacifiers and these really cool emergency contact temporary tattoos that I am definitely going to keep in mind for the future.

A very special thanks to our friends at Madeline's Box for making our lives (and Target trips!) a little bit easier! :)  Happy shopping!!
Pacifier clips provided c/o Madeline's Box; all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Our Weekend

Early morning dance parties, tea parties + tutus.  Hammie in our jammies, a little bit of yard work + the cutest sandals I ever did see.  Family nap times that last all afternoon + a little taste of summer on the grill.  A Saturday night grocery run (we're wild like that), and a Sunday morning waffle spread.  Visiting family back home + dinner from our favorite high school pizza place.  Lots of snuggles + Eskimo kisses from our sweet babe.  The kind of weekend that you really don't ever want to end.


Hope yours was just as sweet!

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