Friday, July 29, 2016

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! :)
As always, we're looking forward to the weekend ahead, but I can't believe it's the last one of July!  I know I say it all the time, but time is seriously FLYING.  It will be cat-o-lantern season again before we know it.

You know when you try so hard to take your kid's picture and she's 100% all set?  I find the cutest ones always come when I'm least expecting them, like trying to keep Ellie occupied with snacks while I put groceries away.  And apparently stop to take 57 pictures while I'm at it.  That toothy grin is my first favorite this week!  Ellie rarely shows her (12!!) teeth when she smiles so this made my heart melt.

Adding to my list of adorable toddler styles I shared earlier this week are another one million things, but I will just share that Carters and OshKosh shoes are buy one get one FREE.  So get over and check out the adorableness, like these kitty riding boots right meow! ;)

Anyone else checking your fave stores for new releases of Halloween goodies like five times a day?  At least, right?  Where are all the festive jams at?!  The good news is I think I've decided on a Halloween costume for Ells so that will keep me happy in the meantime.  It will involve a little DIY project (I think), so based on my track record I better get making now if I want it to be done in time.

I am swooning over this dress for ladies. The bottom reminds me of a tutu and the top is striped, so what's not to love? Also obsessed with these boots.  The super sale price is haunting me in my sleep a little bit. ;)

Taco poptarts?! I'm thinking a little fiesta is on our Saturday night menu.  For me (the worst meal planner on the planet) to plan a meal a day or two ahead, it must be a big deal.

Some super cute pretties can be found over at Sweet Water Decor, and today is their last day of their semi annual sale!  I love, love, love all of their coffee mugs and am wishing we could jam just a few more mugs into our already overflowing kitchen cabinet. 

This lighting collection at Target is the bomb.  I had wanted to get the table lamps for our nightstands but they didn't have them online or in store at the time (my mom was looking for them at Christmas).  They're still not available online but I saw them in store a couple weeks ago and they are SO cute!  I'm looking for some kind of lighting for our living room and they are at the top of the list right now.  Definitely check your local store if you're interested!

Also loving this rug, currently on sale!  I have a weird obsession with decorating with pink.  Insert hubs' eye roll right about here. 

Sometimes it feels silly to write about things like cute boots + taco pop tarts when there are so many crazy things going on in the world, but I like to think of this space as a little escape from the crazy and hope you do too. :)  Hope you have a fast Friday + fun weekend ahead!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Thirteen, Fourteen + Fifteen Month Favorites

Ellie officially turned fifteen months old on Tuesday!  I know, I can't believe it either.  I'll be sharing a little quarterly Ellie update after we get her stats at her doctor's appointment next week, but thought I'd share some of the products we've been loving over the past few months in the meantime!  Ellie seems to prefer anything that isn't actually a toy best, but isn't that the way it always goes?  ;)  I couldn't even begin to count the number of times a day I ask her "do you want to go play with your toys now?", as she's climbing on top of Tyler's desk to turn the "dance music" on or turning the washer + dryer on and off twenty-seven times in a row.  In terms of actual child products and toys, we are still using many of the same things we've been using for a while (find them here), but these are some of the new + different things we've been loving lately.

Crayons + Chalk // Oh boy, does girlfriend love to doodle.  Paper, the chalkboard, the walls, the furniture, the neighbors' cat - you name it, Ellie has colored on it.  My mom just got her washable crayons today, which will likely go over much smoother, but we started her on these egg-shaped ones that she got in her Easter basket.  She goes bonkers whenever she sees the chalk or her crayons, but obviously doesn't understand that she can't just color on whatever she pleases at this point.  Regardless, she loves it so I try my best to keep her from going color crazy and let her still use them under very watchful eye. ;)  I was also thinking of looking for a Magna Doodle to fulfill some of the coloring urge and keep the need for stain removal at bay, what do you think?!

Lift + Flap Books // Ellie has been really loving the interactive nature of lift + flap books like Red Light, Green Light and Dear Zoo.  We read quite a bit and Ells does enjoy pretty much any book at this point. Goodnight Moon might be her most favorite right now (approximately 3,597 times a day). #classic

Utensils // Yay for attempting to use utensils!  It's so messy but she's learning and these ones are perfect for Ellie-sized hands.  Forks are easier than spoons since the food generally stays on them better. :) 

Convertible Car Seat // We finally switched Ellie out of her infant seat after she turned one and have been liking this new seat much better!  I said I wanted one that would last her forever, and this is supposed to do just that.  There's lots of space for Ellie, I love the color (and stripes), plus those cup holders! ;)

Beanie Baby // Ellie has really been loving the two Beanie Baby kitties we got her - most random Party City purchase ever.  She also loves baby dolls that have binkies or bottles that she can put in their mouths.  Yes, seeing her act like a little mama gives me baby fever overload.

Wagon // Anything that she can drag or push around is awesome in Ellie's eyes.  She loves to throw some toys, snacks or anything she can get her hands on in there and pull it around the house or yard.  Ellie also tries to climb in herself, but it usually doesn't end too well.  I was thinking of getting some kind of wagon-thing that Ellie could actually fit in to take a ride, but haven't bought anything yet.  She does have her little tricycle contraption that I mentioned before. It's not quite the same but she does like to cruise around it in a bit!

Not pictured: You know the giant bouncy balls in the netting at Target or wherever?  Ellie got one for her birthday and it was an instant hit that she's still pretty obsessed with.

Any recommendations for the upcoming months? I'd love to hear!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Building a Mini Wardrobe: Early Fall Favorites

Not sure about you, but fall shopping is in full swing over here!  I mentioned a few posts back that I really wanted to not go insanely crazy when it comes to Ellie's fall wardrobe this year.  I'm trying to stick to staples that can easily be mixed + matched... and very well loved! It's kind of a weird feeling for me to have to start each season from scratch in terms of clothing; I always wonder if I'm going a little overboard, but sometimes it's hard to envision what a tiny wardrobe will actually come together to look like when you're buying in bits and pieces (and makes it not so easy to see why I don't actually need that ridiculously cute pair of pants that I thought I needed rightthissecond but match absolutely nothing she has and end up collecting dust in Ellie's bureau for months) .  I also tend to have some severe FOMO over Ellie's clothes, thinking I'll either miss out if I don't order fast enough and they sell out, or I'll buy too early and something EVEN CUTER comes out later.  I know, it's ridiculous - please tell me I'm not alone!  Today I've rounded up a handful of my ultimate favorite finds thus far as I try to narrow things down a bit - some items have already been ordered, and some are still impatiently sitting in my shopping carts! ;)

A little breakdown...

Cardigans //  Ellie wore her cardigans so much last fall, winter + spring, so I ordered that same one in all three colors it comes in.  Such an awesome price point and they go with everything.  My other favorites are from J.Crew Factory (Crewcuts stuff all runs a little small, just as an FYI) and this gold one from Old Navy.  I just love littles in layers, and they're especially great when you're not supposed to dress your kids in giant puffy coats while they're in their car seats but don't want them to freeze while the car warms up!

Chambray top // Matches just about anything and is a year-round staple in any girl's wardrobe!

Vest // I love a vest for layering and faux fur has my heart, but I also love this one.  I am totally going to see if Ellie's Gap puffy vest from last year will still fit her since it was way too big until this past spring. ;)

Hoodie // Another staple in anyone's wardrobe - comfortable and cozy when the cool temps show up. A pair of sweats or joggers would be the perfect lazy day addition!

Jacket // A lightweight jacket in a neutral color to match anything Ellie wears.  I love the ruffle hem and the hood on the one above.

A couple simple tees and a few chunky knit sweaters that I grabbed on sale at the end of last season will also be included in Ellie's tops this fall.  Plus, I love this tee in dark red from the boys' section and think it would be too cute for words with either a skirt or leggings and a cardigan on top! I know hubs will approve, too.  Got to be game day ready! ;)
Skirts // All the heart eyes for that tea length tutu!! I've been waiting for some new ones to come out and they did not disappoint.  For bigger girls, I love this one from the new Cat & Jack line at Target.  The toddler line comes out August 7th and I'm so excited to see what they have available in Ellie sizes!

Dresses //  Dresses are currently my favorite thing to dress Ellie in since they are so easy to get on and don't require taking any articles of clothing off for a diaper change!  I am obsessed with that striped dress, which happens to be very June & January -esq.  That long sleeved one is an adorable alternative and super affordable.  I'm also loving this simple one, these stripes and the pattern on this pretty!

Jeggings // Jeans and babies still in diapers don't mix too well in my opinion (a PITA to get on and off), but jeggings fit so great and give the denim look while keeping things comfy.

Leggings // The easiest way to mix things up and add a splash of color!  A few pairs of leggings that show off cute baby booties + legs are a must.

Footwear //  Moccasins are the best for babies + toddlers.  Ellie never had a problem walking in hers even when was just taking her first steps.  Also, I love those gold glittery flats which happen match Ellie's bag. ;)  Tyler definitely rolled his eyes when I told him I wanted to get Ellie some Hunter boots to match mine, but once he saw them I think he might have changed his mind. :) My Hunters are one of my favorite pairs of footwear I own and I wear them all. the. time. in the fall and winter - they're super practical, really durable and adorable, too.
Not pictured?  Tights + accessories - will be sharing my favorites in another post!
Yes, I really do take shopping for Ellie this seriously all the time. Welcome to Crazy Town, folks. ;)

I really like how all of these pieces came together "on paper" and think you could create quite a few crazy cute outfits by mixing + matching them!  Can you guess which colors are my favorites? :)  I'm still keeping my eyes peeled for some tiny flannel and a new pair of leopard print leggings as well, so please send the links my way if you see any!  As always, Ellie's fall wardrobe is shaping up to be much, much cuter than mine.  Have some fall must-haves?  I'd love to hear!  I guess this post won't help much if you're a boy mom, but I'll be sharing some ladies favorites soon as well. :)

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Our Weekend

It was a pretty perfect summery weekend, complete with ice cream, swimming + "sleeping in".  We even managed to sneak in some adult-only dinner + drinks outside Saturday night, so high five to that.  I used to love doing nothing on the weekends, and while that can be nice sometimes, I know Ellie loves to be out and about.  We're always looking for something to do that involves getting out of the house without melting in the summer heat, even if it's only for a couple hours.  A little ice cream outing made a hot + humid Saturday afternoon much more bearable, especially since it involved all kinds of animals for Ells to make friends with through the fence.  Don't let her little eye roll in one of the photos below fool you, she was having a ball. ;)

Seeing some of our family + going for a dip in the pool rounded out our weekend perfectly!  Ellie is such a little fish, she would probably stay in the water all day if we let her. 

I love babies in bathing suits, but how cute is topless Ellie going for a swim? :)

Hoping she sleeps well tonight after our adventures + hoping you all had a great weekend, too! XO

Friday, July 22, 2016

Small Shop Spotlight: Dear Grace and Parker

Today I'm featuring another adorable hair accessories shop, Dear Grace and ParkerDear Grace and Parker offers a huge selection of accessories, including bows, gorgeous glittery clips and even the most adorable mini party hats.  The mama behind the shop, Katrina, has been hand-making + selling bows with lots of love right here in New England since 2010.

 First off, I am totally kicking myself for not coming across this shop before Ellie's first birthday because I absolutely love the mini party hats; however, they would also be perfect for so many different occasions, holidays + events!  Playing dress-up or just your average pancake breakfast dance party in your tutus would also be 100% acceptable times to wear your hats.  Every day is a party if you choose to celebrate it like it is, right?! ;)

felt chubby ribbon bows

Dear Grace and Parker has some super cute bows to choose from as well.  Ellie got to test a few of their bows and clips out recently, and it was almost too hard to narrow down all of the adorable choices!  Dear Grace and Parker bows are available in a variety of designs, colors + materials - solids, prints, sailor bows, felt bows and sparkly glitter bows - just to name a few!  They're available on one size fits all nude nylon headbands that stretch as your baby grows, or mini alligator clips that have been covered with super soft felt.

SO many heart eyes for the Liberty of London hand-tied bows.  They're definitely classics that I don't think will ever go out of style.

liberty of london bow

At Dear Grace and Parker there are also many options in the shop if you're looking for something other than bows.  Snap clips have been one of our favorite hair accessories lately since they stay so well in even the finest of hair.  Dear Grace and Parker offers snap clips in every glittery color under the sun, plus star, heart and gorgeous felt flower clips + headbands!

star hair pins

After having Ellie (the toddler tornado) wear her new Dear Grace and Parker hair accessories over the past few weeks, we can say for sure that they are excellent quality and very durable.  Everything in the shop is affordable, which is awesome because there is totally a headband or clip for every outfit you can possibly imagine.  Also, I am a huge sucker for pretty packaging and Dear Grace and Parker does not disappoint - these accessories are gift-ready if you're looking to spoil any of the little ladies in your life!

artichoke classic fabric bow // liberty of london bow // silver snap clip

 One important thing to note about Dear Grace and Parker?  Their deal of the week!  Each week, a different item is selected and offered at a discounted price.  While Dear Grace and Parker prices are already budget-friendly, this is such a fun way to snag some pretties for an extra sweet deal!  If you want to be in the know about their weekly deals, as well as new products, sales + shop updates, be sure to follow them on Instagram + Facebook.

Now for the fun part, ladies!  Dear Grace and Parker has generously offered a $30 store credit to one lucky reader!  All you have to do to enter the giveaway is put your name in below.  Check out the extra entry options to increase your odds of winning, but be sure to actually complete the extra steps if you indicate you do so.  The winning name is always checked against the selected entry to make sure it's fair for everyone who enters.  The giveaway will be open through Monday, July 25th.  Be sure to head over to the Dear Grace and Parker Etsy shop to see all of the pretty accessories + good luck! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Ten Truths.

In an effort to mix things up + keep things real (although I think I already do a pretty good job of that), today I'm sharing some random truths.  Confessions, if you will...

1.)  Last Friday night, Ellie ate her dinner while sitting in the kitchen sink full of water.  That's what she wanted to do and I had already fought many battles that day, I wasn't about to fight another.  The fact that she was eating was good enough for me.  Yes, that totally counted as her bath that night.  Also, here she is snacking on the kitchen table for the same reason I just mentioned.  Why she is so against sitting in her high chair, I will probably never know.

2.)  Ellie is super sweet.  She's also super strong-willed.  Judging by her current reaction when we tell her "no", I'm a little afraid to see how she is when she hits the "terrible twos".  Although, I've heard that three years old is actually worse than two years old.  So if three is worse than two and two is worse than one, I think we're going to have our hands full with this one. ;)

3.)  After having one child, I am fairly certain I want three.  Two seems like not enough and four wouldn't fit in a regular car with two adults.  Seems pretty logical, yes?

4.)  It made me stupid happy to see how excited Ellie was when she woke up and saw I had painted her piggies pink while she was napping.  I'm sure I will love having a boy if we do end up with one someday, but I love, love, love having a girl.

5.)  I've spent a pretty ridiculous amount of time thinking about Halloween costumes already.

6.)  My phone screen that I got replaced a few weeks ago after being shattered for months is already broken again.  The most frustrating part?  The front-facing camera is cracked so Snapchat puppy faces just aren't the same anymore.

7.)  It's a pretty constant battle between ice cream because YOLO and salads... well, because YOLO.  I frequently eat both.  Everything in moderation??

8.) Ellie is fearless, which is completely terrifying.  Since she is so fearless, she gets hurt frequently and always has some kind of bruise or other boo-boo.  The other day, she hit her chin on the corner of Tyler's desk and started crying.  After listening to her whine for the previous two and a half hours, it was the straw that broke the camel's back and I started crying too.  As soon as she saw me, she stopped crying, wiped the tears off my face and gave me a kiss.  It was the sweetest and most heartbreaking thing all at once.  Cue more tears.

9.)  My house looks like I didn't vacuum it within thirty minutes of vacuuming it every. single. time.  So many crumbs, so much cat fur.

10.)  I took a nap with Ells today and it was the best thing ever.  I don't remember the last time I did that and I should probably do it more often.  Nothing got crossed off my endless to-do list during that time, but I got extra snuggles + we both felt refreshed afterwards.

Sometimes it can be easy to feel alone in these types of things, so if you have a confession (or a few),  I'd love to hear! ;)  Hope you enjoyed some Tuesday night randomness!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Backyard Mini Session

I'm excited to share our photos from our backyard mini session last week!  It had been a long time since our last family photos, so of course I wanted to get some updated ones taken since Ellie has grown so much!  I also liked the idea of getting a few photos taken at home - our first home that holds a lot of special memories - while we're still living here.

I do really like lifestyle-type shots where we're just kind of doing our thing because they obviously look more natural, but I can't get over the fact that we got a nice picture where we're all looking at the camera AND genuinely smiling!!  Not an easy task, guys.  That one might have to be printed as a giant poster size. ;)

It was hot and Ellie was overheated, overtired and desperately missing her binky.  You know when you try to be a good mom and plan your photo session around your baby's nap time?  Well, that works but only when she actually takes a nap during her "nap time".  Also, she totally bit my thumb so hard it ripped the nail polish right off while we were getting these pictures taken.  Regardless, Adrienne was super sweet with Ellie (not to mention extremely patient) and I could tell that Ellie really liked her!  Thank you again for capturing sweet photos of my girl and our family.

Be sure to check out Adrienne's website if you're local!  We have loved having her as our photographer and are very much looking forward to our session in the fall! Don't hate me when I say I'm already looking forward to Christmas cards. :)

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Our Weekend

Just another weekend recap!  Tyler spent all day Friday and Saturday at his parents' house helping them put in new concrete counter tops.  Yep, totally "Fixer Upper" style!  It looks like they did a great job from the pictures I've seen, and while I'm sure it was a lot of work, they made it look like an easy weekend project!  

With Tyler being gone, it meant Friday night was my first night ever home alone with Ellie overnight.  I will say it felt pretty much the same as if he were here during the night (no offense to my hubs, but he will totally admit that I wake up with Ellie 99% of the time), except for the fact that sleeping alone is not my favorite.  One too many episodes of "Unsolved Mysteries" as a kid? ;)  Of course we missed daddy a lot but we attempted to have a little bit of fun girl time!  Friday was kind of meltdown city and I was just glad I managed to get a few smiles out of Ells the whole day, but Saturday was much better - who could complain when your day involves donuts + a Target run though? ;)

Ellie's curls are getting out of control cute and I am not complaining! ;)

We spent Sunday afternoon at my parents' house... so, the usual overload of kitten faces on Snapchat and eating way too much delicious food. :)

Ellie decided to put on my mom's oven mitts so I couldn't help but snap a picture.  The things she picks up on always make me smile. :) Also, how about those kitten faces?!  Heart eyes.

 I am very sad to see this weekend (and our staycation) come to an end - tears might actually be shed when Tyler leaves for work tomorrow.  Is it possible to need a vacation after your staycation?? ;)

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