Wednesday, August 31, 2016

September Eve Excitement

If I had to rank my favorite months of the year, I'd probably say September would come as a close third behind July and December (even the gloomiest of weather can't stop my love of obsession with Christmas).  While there's still technically a few more weeks left of summer, the beginning of September + Labor Day weekend are pretty much the unofficial start to fall.  I will definitely be missing summertime and all of the fun we've been having, but it seems as though there are some things that will be making fall even more exciting this year! :)

First off, we will finally be putting our house on the market.  I'm not sure if I'm more excited about this or completely dreading the entire process... because let's face it, "selling our house is so much fun" - said no one ever.  The thought of trying to keep a house looking presentable with a toddler tornado + three cats living in it, and then packing up said toddler tornado + three cats every time we have a showing seems like kind of a nightmare.  It will all be SO worth it though in the end though.  We cannot wait to get into our new home and are beyond excited for our move...  Just keeping our fingers crossed that we sell as quickly + painlessly as possible! ;)

Secondly, all things fall multiplied by my love of Ellie.  Apple picking?  Hay rides?  Cat-o-lanterns?  Leaf piles?  Pumpkin flavored everything?  TRICK OR TREAT?!  Fall with Ellie this year is going to be so. much. fun.  She is such a tiny human these days and her sweet personality almost makes me wish I could go wake her up in the middle of the night just to hang out with her because she's so much fun.  Ellie's first real trick-or-treating experience is probably going to be the highlight of the season.  I'm sure we won't go to too many houses, but it's still going to be way too cute to see her dressed up, pumpkin bucket in tow!  Our local apple orchards open this coming weekend already and I can't even wait to see Ellie's reaction to getting to pick apples off of a tree.  Not joking in the slightest.  It's so funny how even the simplest of things seem brand new when you have a baby of your own.  Yay for so many firsts... and hopefully lots of mama + mini cat ears. ;)

Thirdly, fall weather means fall style.  I will be sad to see the summer sun go, but weather during the day will most likely stay pretty warm over here for the next few weeks at least.  Nights have already started to get cooler and soon the cool weather will be here to stay (for way too long).  Fall is my favorite season to dress for (and dress Ellie for), so bring on the sweaters, scarves + kitty cat riding boots!

Fourthly, football season.  I am not going to pretend I'm a huge football fan because that I am not; but, any excuse to hang out with family in cozy clothes + eat good food is a win in my book. Ellie's got her Brady jersey ready to wear again this year and Tyler's been ready for the season to begin since February.  So, bring on the comfort food + halftime football in the yard to burn off some Ellie energy... and GO PATS! ;)

hoodie dress // black + white bow c/o // striped blanket // striped shirt (major steal!) // glitter shoes // orange bow c/o

 Just a few of the things that we're extra excited about this fall!  What are you looking forward to most this season? :)  Hope you're all having a fab week + don't forget, tomorrow is the last day to enter our giveaway with Fancy That Party!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Small Shop Spotlight: Fancy That Party

If you're a regular visitor over here, you probably already know that we love any excuse to get a little festive!  Holidays are kind of my jam.  As Tyler always manages to point out, I will think of any reason to throw a "party" and some cute decorations are always a must!  That is why I am SUPER excited to share a little bit about Fancy That Party with you today! :)

Fancy That Party is a small shop that offers a variety of handmade, modern party goods, including some of the prettiest garlands + cake toppers I've ever seen.  The shop is owned by Rae Anne, a wife and mama living in Washington state.  Just as a side note, if you happen to be a home decor + farmhouse loving gal, definitely check out her personal Instagram feed (@fancythatfarmhouse) - her home is to die for.

Everything that Rae Anne makes is absolutely gorgeous.  She incorporates different color schemes + styles that will fit in perfectly with and highlight virtually any kind of existing home decor.

Fancy That Party recently released their fall line, which includes pieces perfect for Halloween + beyond.  There's a ton of festive goodness, but my top favorites have to be the witch hats and the "fall" banner that I couldn't wait to get my hands on! I really love how they're not just the typical red, orange and yellow fall color pallets.  Plus, a little bit of gold sparkle totally makes me swoon!

These garlands are obviously perfect for decorating mantels; however, if you're like us and don't currently have a mantle to decorate, they would look gorgeous strung around chalkboards, bar carts, gallery walls, dessert tables, etc.

There aren't just fall-related items up for grabs at Fancy That Party right now.  There are a variety of garlands + cake toppers perfect for all kinds of occasions, and the floral collection might be my favorite.  The floral garlands are awesome for little girls' birthday parties, as well as used to decorate nurseries + bedrooms and adding a little bit of chic decor around your home for all the time in-between holiday seasons.  All leaves + petals are hand cut, and everything is definitely made with a lot of love!

We are so excited to have teamed up with Fancy That Party to offer one of our readers a $25 shop credit so you can grab some pretties of your own! :)  The giveaway is currently being held on my Instagram page.  I promise it's super easy to enter and doesn't involve following thirty different accounts or doing backflips through burning rings of fire. ;) The giveaway is open until Thursday at 11:59 EST and the winner will be announced Friday on Instagram.  Head over now for a chance to win! :)

Party decor provided c/o Fancy That Party.  As always, all thoughts, opinions + love for the products are entirely my own.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Friday Favorites

A Friday Favorites post two weeks in a row because I just can't seem to quit my online window shopping addiction! Surprise, surprise. ;)  But first, Ellie.

Ellie's playing "jail" with me in that last picture at her Great Grammie's house earlier this week, just like my sister and I used to do.  We used to request bread and water be brought to us (you know, because that's all prisoners eat), but Ellie just seemed to enjoy playing behind bars. ;)

First up for favorites, I would LOVE to know if any of you have ordered from Shop Stevie before.  Her stuff is crazy cute and super affordable.  The only catch?  Things tend to sell out fast and my size seems to disappear so quickly.  I have so many favorites it's hard to choose, but this maxi and this top might be at the top of my list.

This pomegranate cider candle sounds good enough to eat.  I'm willing to bet it smells pretty delicious too.

All the heart eyes for this quilt.  If Tyler has to hear about this thing one more time, he will probably kill me.  I missed out on the size I wanted when it was an extra 40% off over the weekend and am so bummed out about it.  It's still at a pretty good sale price if you happen to be looking for a full size quilt, or maybe are just looking for some pretty bedding inspiration!

This festive dress is too cute for words.

What are the odds I'd like beets in my waffles?  Probably not very high, but ombre + breakfast food? I don't know, guys.  This recipe might have to be tried out.

Speaking of food... If you haven't tried them already, you should definitely check out Campbell's Slow Cooker Sauces next time you're at the grocery store.  We've tried a couple and they never disappoint.  Beyond easy and perfect for football season!

Last but certainly not least!!  Our fall giveaway mini series kicks off this coming Monday!  We're working with some awesome shops and are looking forward to sharing them with you over the fall + holiday season.  Of course there are some baby girl related giveaways, but I promise they are not all just for girls!  The first one will be held on Instagram, so be sure to follow along (@linleynoel) to enter.  More details will also be posted back here on Monday. :)  Hope you all have a fab weekend!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Cozy Fall Favorites + Our Morning Routine

Mornings with Ellie are usually pretty predictable.  She wakes up around 6:00 almost every day, I scoop her up and bring her into bed with me.  She snuggles for a whole thirty seconds before she karate kicks me in the face, I change her diaper and she's off.  And when I say she's off, I mean she's completely off the walls ready to start her day.  Crazy cute bedhead and all.

I race her to the kitchen to shut the baby gate that keeps her from crashing down the cellar stairs, dodging three hungry felines along the way.  I give Ellie a banana and usually hand off the kitty feeding duties to my tiny assistant so I can attempt to make Ellie some breakfast - most frequently cheesy eggs or peanut butter toast and a sippy of milk.  Somewhere in there I'll have put Raffi on the living room TV (per request, of course) and sneak peeks at my tiny dancer while I finish making her breakfast... and clean up the trail of cat food Ellie's left behind, otherwise it will end up in her mouth. Yuck.  She starts to eat her breakfast while I grab some food for myself, and by the time I'm about to make my coffee she's generally completely all set with any kind of activity that involves sitting still for longer than ten seconds at a time.  Ellie begs me to go outside to play and I beg her to "just please let me finish my coffee and I'll do all the fun things in the world" with her.  I put some kind of outfit on that doesn't completely scream "I just rolled out of bed", Ellie picks out some shoes for the both of us and we're out the door to play by 7:30 most days.  

And that is where this post leads me!  I don't typically take a shower until whenever Ellie decides to go down for her nap, which is sometimes 9 a.m. and sometimes 1 p.m.  I like to have pajamas and loungewear that are both comfortable and a little bit cute for my mornings home with Ellie.  I have to admit that I'm not always the best at looking even somewhat presentable, and I can't even imagine what my super (super, super, super) conservative neighbors think of me walking around in the yard in some of outfits I end up outside in.  While I'm not really trying to impress anyone, it just makes me feel a little bit better and ready to start our day when I don't look like a complete mess - you know what I mean?  Today I've rounded up a few things I've come across that I can totally picture Ellie and myself wearing for the cool, cozy fall mornings that will soon be knocking on our doorstep!


Clearly Ellie wears the (color) pants in our relationship. ;)

Those slippers are from last season but they do still have some sizes available!  I grabbed them on clearance last winter and Ellie's feet will finally be big enough to fit into them this fall.  I really hope they meet her high footwear standards! ;)  I think it's more than acceptable and actually totally cute for Ellie to run around the yard in jammies and a pom-pom hat, but I like to opt for warm sweaters, graphic tees, leggings and my favorite Hunter boots.

 I feel like cozy clothes are usually at the top of my wish list and am always on the lookout for new, comfy things!  It's even better when I find pieces that can easily be "dressed up" a bit more for venturing out of the house (and yard!).  Have some favorites or cozy clothes on your fall wish list?  Please share! :)  Happy shopping + stay warm, friends! ;)

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Our Weekend

Another weekend recap which means time spent with family + lots of good food! :)  We spent Saturday afternoon visiting Tyler's family.  It's a rare occassion for Ellie to get to see all of her aunties and uncles on Tyler's side all in one day because of how different everyone's schedules can be.  Somehow it happened and it was pretty awesome!  Ellie also had her first trampoline experience and loved swinging on her grandparents' swing... almost as much as she loved eating macaroni salad and sniffing her baby cousin's feet. :)


Whenever we go to either one of our parents' houses, I always think about how it feels like Tyler and I were just teenagers, doing things like jumping on the trampoline and sitting at the table for dinner with our families.  It never fails to feel like home and we really love getting to see everyone!

Sunday morning Ellie slept in until just after 7 a.m., which never, ever happens.  I had just enough time to tip-toe into the kitchen and turn on the coffee maker before I saw her head pop up on the baby monitor. :)  I  almost hate to put it writing because I don't want to jinx it, but she's been sleeping really well lately and has slept through the night five out of the six past nights.  Knock on all the wood.  I think it's about time for her to start doing that on a regular basis, so our fingers are definitely crossed she keeps it up.  We spent  the rest of our day playing outside, getting some stuff done around the house and going grocery shopping... complete with a little public indecency.  Luckily for everyone involved, it's the cute, tiny human in our family who can't seem to keep her clothes on these days. ;)  We made burrito bowls for dinner and they will definitely be added into our meal rotation!  Super easy, quick and something I don't feel bad about feeding to Ellie, which kind of makes them an automatic win in our book.

Per usual, we've got a little bit of Sunday night blues going on tonight.  Can't the weekends be just a little bit longer?? We hate seeing daddy go to work on Monday mornings, but are looking forward to enjoying what looks like it'll be a week of beautiful weather ahead! :)

Friday, August 19, 2016

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, friends! :)

We're still enjoying the summer and I kind of want to cry seeing it get dark so early and no longer light out when I wake up in the morning already.  We filled our week with lots of playing outside (rain or shine!), an ice cream date with auntie and Ellie even got in some swimming while I was at work one day. :)  Plus, lots of pig tails + a tiny top knot with a lot of attitude.

While we're still loving summer, it doesn't mean I can't look forward to fall and all the fun things it brings!  The past couple nights have been so nice and cool for sleeping - a preview of the change in seasons, for sure!  Lots of fall flavored goodies to share today, including finding pumpkin spice k-cups at the grocery store this week. ;)

There are tons of festive bows + hair accessories out now and we have some fun posts + giveaways coming soon!  In the meantime, our friends at Isla Ann Inspirations released some adorable fall sailor bows earlier this week and they are too cute for words!  The pumpkin print might be my favorite.

Toddlers in scarves.  Need I say more?  I've seen them popping up all over my Instagram feed this week and am loving every one of them!  I grabbed a plaid one from Emmy's Pretties (if it sells out, she has restocked multiple times already so definitely check back!), but there are a ton of gorgeous ones up for grabs at Will & Tess.  They have girls, boys + plenty of unisex styles, plus a ton of other hand-dyed, organic goodies.  If you want to be super cute and coordinate with you little lady (or man!), you could grab this ladies one and this children's one and be all kinds of adorable.

All. the. things. at Old Navy, yes?!  If I had to narrow down my tippity top choices for Miss Ellie, I'd say this tutu dress (shocking) and these shoes that are a similar style to the sandals she and I both loved.  BUT, if you haven't checked out the new arrivals already... run, don't walk.  Everything is 30% off (no code needed) through 8/20!

I usually pick out a couple things for myself each season too, and a plaid button-down was number one on my list for the fall.  I ordered this one and can't wait to see how it looks when it arrives!  I tend to wear the same five shirts on repeat and plan to add my new flannel into the weekly rotation for the change in seasons. :)  Also loving this necklace that would be perfect for fall layering!

I got a few comments on my "my kitchen is for dancing" towel that was in the background of one of my Instagram photos this week.  It's from Parris Chic Boutique and they have a ton of gorgeous home decor pieces!  We have a few things from their shop and love them all.  I highly recommend checking them out!

Lastly... calling all dog mamas!  We are huge animal lovers and while we don't have a dog at the moment, we do have plans to get one eventually... like, after having a couple more human children, if we haven't lost our minds by that point. :)  So, somewhere down the road we'll have that yellow lab puppy we dream of, but in the mean time I'm sharing this one for all of you who actually own dogs currently! ;)  Kai Krates sells affordable monthly dog subscriptions, filled with toys, chews + treats for your fur babies!  The boxes come tailored to your size pup and you can get monthly, three month or six month subscriptions.  Be sure to check out Kai Krates and use code LIFEASANOEL for 10% off your first order!  I think they'd make some adorable gifts and love the idea of not knowing exactly what your pup's going to get.  Pets deserve happy mail days, too. ;)

Hope you all have an awesome weekend!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

These are the Days.

As Ellie's been growing, I've been thinking that every new age is the best, most fun age yet.  Per usual, here I am singing the same tune at almost sixteen months.  It seems like time has flown by since I became a mama.  My sister and I were just talking about how different so many things in my life are from the time Ellie was born.  With each new age comes new challenges and new things to enjoy.  These days, somewhat predictable sleeping times balance out the occasional daily temper tantrum.  Hour long snuggle sessions holding a sleeping six pound baby in my arms have long been replaced by tiny toddler hugs + kisses.  Spit-up stains turned into smeared bananas and mac + cheese.  There are many less dirty diapers and hours up in the middle of the night.  Many more "please don't do that"'s and fights to put on a clean diaper... or just about anything. ;)

Ellie picks up on everything we do these days and it's easy to forget that I have to act how I want her to act.  I'm no longer just a baby-holding milk machine (or so it definitely felt like at the time).  I kiss boo-boos and teach her where her belly is.  I'm a cheerleader, playmate and best friend to my little girl - and she is certainly my bestie, too.  We share secrets, smiles and an infinite love for our kitty cats - or "ki ki ki ki ki", as Ellie refers to them when she's not calling everyone and their mother "mama".  We stand in front of the fridge together and I pull out different things until I get a smile and reach instead of a shaking her head no and "what are you thinking even asking if I wanted that?" look at lunchtime.  She loves to dance and has some really strong opinions about her footwear - glittery gold flats tend to win the shoe battle these days.  Ellie does her makeup in the mornings after her bath.  She sets up beauty shop on her bedroom floor and I try not to cringe as she not-so-carefully applies her favorite shade of hot pink lipstick.  She wants to do what I'm doing, and as much as I could sometimes use a second to go to the bathroom alone, I have to admit that it feels pretty good to be wanted like that.  These days, I give Ellie affection and she gives it right back.  I don't think that's something you could possibly imagine how amazing it feels until you experience it for yourself with your own babies.

With each day comes new things to look forward to.  It seems like Ellie learns new things all the time and it makes my eyes want to explode with all the hearts in the world watching her.  It isn't all rainbows and sunshine, of course.  She has a tendency to push my buttons worse than her daddy does (didn't even know that one was possible) and not-so-occasionally slap me across the face when she gets upset.  There have always been challenges as Ellie has grown - namely the whole lack of sleep and worrying about every single thing possible related to our baby girl kind of things.  While sleep certainly has gotten better, I still find myself creeping on the baby monitor or tip-toeing into her room at 1 a.m. to cover her back up with the blanket that she kicked off.  And worrying?  I am 200% sure that worrying about your babies never goes away.  The difference is that I am not so concerned she's getting enough to eat these days, but more so concerned she's going to fall and break a limb when I leave the living room for thirty seconds and come back to find her jumping on the back of the couch.  Buttons have been pushed all along this journey so far, the difference now is that she knows what she's doing when she's pushing them most of the time... and that is a completely other how do we even know how to properly discipline our child story. ;)

It's definitely a constant struggle between "please don't grow up" and "I can't wait until we get to do this or that together" moments.  Being Ellie's mom has been more fun and more work than I could have ever imagined.  A child's milestones are a parent's victory too and it's been such an amazing ride seeing all that we've experienced and accomplished so far.  I can't wait to see what's in store for my little girlfriend + I, but am trying to soak up all of this (almost) sixteen month cuteness while it's here - these are certainly the days!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Eight Things I Learned This Weekend

1.)  My sister-in-law is a total rockstar.  After over 24 hours of labor, she gave birth to a beautiful, just under TEN POUND baby boy (same size as two month old Ellie!).  He is so cute and has some dreamy, thick, dark hair.   Ellie didn't think too much of him this time, but I think she was too distracted by her surroundings to really even fully understand there was another small human in our midst.   We need to work on getting a better cousins picture, so here's a shot of Uncle Tyler + not-so-tiny newborn Elijah James in the meantime. :)

2.)  Baby fever sky rockets when you see your husband holding a newborn baby again.  I think this one is self explanatory, yes?

3.)  The secrets to getting Ellie to stay seated in the shopping cart for (almost) the entire grocery run are a.) cheese + b.) donuts.  I used to think it was kind of strange when moms would open something for their kids to eat while they were shopping - like really?  Can't they just wait ten minutes?  Nope.  Sometimes they really can't.  Also, I am totally guilty of letting Ellie carry around something for a few aisles so she doesn't cause a scene and putting it in some random spot...  because no, we are not going to buy a can of Spam.  The Reese's may or may not have made the cut, however.

4.)  The best ways to cool down when it's crazy hot + humid include:
a.) multiple baths a day,
b.) sprawling out on the cool tile floor and
c.) enjoying a few good reads - even better if done so in the nude.

5.)  Always say "yes" to getting little messy with ice cream.  Summer will be over before we know it and we will miss it like cray.  So, bring on all the ice cream dates, even if it means alternating between taking bites + wiping the sweat off our foreheads.

6.)  It is so much easier to take family selfies when your front facing camera doesn't have giant crack down the middle of it.  Heads half cut off + an Ellie eye roll for the win.

7.)  Ellie's hair is so much prettier than mine.  Also, a cool aunt does her hair just to look like her niece's.  Perhaps these two will start a new trend. ;)

8.)  There's no substitute for your mom's cooking and a little change of scenery at Grammie + Grampy's house.  Bonus points if your visit involves six kitties.  They are going to their forever homes this week and we will miss them dearly.

Okay, so maybe I knew some of these before this weekend; but, it was a good reminder + we had a lot of fun nonetheless!  Hope you enjoyed yours, too! :)

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