Monday, February 27, 2017

Easter Basket Ideas for Toddlers

It's about that time of year again, Easter is going to be here before we know it.  Thinking of things to put in Ellie's Easter basket has been a lot of fun, this kind of thing is hands down one of my favorite things in the world to do!  Options are pretty much endless, but today I'm sharing a few of my favorite finds for toddler girls' Easter baskets. :)

I came across that book after Easter last year and have had it filed away ever since!  I think it'll be right up Ellie's alley this year with all the different animals. :)   Some things to add to her dress up collection, chalk that comes in an egg carton, and of course some egg-shaped lip balm for the girl who is always stealing my chapstick are all on the list as well.

That fruity coin purse is so fun. The new Cat & Jack spring line also has a ton of super cute bags + other accessories out right now.  I always check the big girls' section and they never disappoint - how cute are these glasses?! :)  A pair of spring/summery jammies or shoes are both cute and practical ideas.  I love the idea of an "April showers" theme, including things like an umbrella and a new pair of rain boots.

Of course Ellie will also be getting a little bit of candy in her basket and I plan to fill a few plastic eggs with her favorites (chocolates!) and snacks.  Small things like stickers, hair accessories, nail polish and jewelry are cute ideas too.  I snagged the only $1 flower necklace I could find in the Target dollar spot a couple weeks ago and am stupid excited about it.

 I also came across some cute baskets (available in a few colors!) that I grabbed for the girls.  No, Willow's will not be filled, but I loved the style, shape and size (perfect to fit a book!) and knew I'd want to have matching ones for next year.  TWO Easter baskets to fill - can you even believe it?!  Me either. :)

Thinking of gifts for Ellie keeps getting more and more fun as she starts to appreciate them more.  Although, I honestly think she will be most excited about anything edible. ;)  I'm really looking forward for Easter this year and can't wait to set up a little egg hunt in the yard for her, I have a feeling she will be pretty excited about it! :)  Have some fun Easter basket ideas?  Please share!!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

25 Weeks

How far along: 25 weeks.
Gender: Girl!
Belly button in or out:  Out.
Maternity clothes: Does changing from pajama pants to leggings count as "getting dressed"??
Stretch marks:  Nothing yet.
Sleep:  A few nights of having trouble falling asleep this week, and lots of way before the crack of dawn wake-up calls thanks to big sis.
Best moment of the week: We had some really great weather here a few days this week! Lots of time spent outside playing and soaking up some sun. Is it spring yet?! :)
Miss anything:  Still at the point in this pregnancy where things aren't too uncomfortable, so I can't complain too much.  I remember days when I would be crying on my drives home from work when I was pregnant with Ellie because I hated having to sit for another hour after just sitting at a desk for sometimes ten hours straight.  It has been SO nice not having to deal with any of that this time around.
Movement:  Yes, she's quite a mover and a shaker.  I don't think she stopped moving the entire time I was sitting at the dentist getting my teeth cleaned this week!
Cravings:  Lots of fruit still to help curb some sweet tooth cravings - grapes, strawberries + grapefruit to name a few faves.  Also, iced tea.
Queasy or sick:  Feeling good.
Looking forward to: Spring for sure!  This week made me realize how much happier both Ellie and I are when we're able to get some good fresh air.  Plus, springtime is a pretty good time of year to have a baby.  Just sayin'. ;)

Thursday, February 23, 2017

A Peek at Ellie's Toddler Room

I am so excited to share a little bit of Ellie's toddler room today!  As I mentioned, it's still a work in progress with a couple "toddler room" things still missing.  We're going to spray paint her bed frame white and are waiting for a day warm enough to get it done.  We also have an antique piece of furniture to fix up, which we haven't even started working on yet.  I'm not even sure what to call it - a vanity maybe?  A big mirror with drawers to hold her bows, jewelry + play makeup with a little bench in the middle.  Regardless, we will likely spray paint that white as well and add some new knobs + pulls and it will be ready to go!

For now, we have a section of her room in good shape.  The painting of the trim took quite a bit of time.  If anyone happens to be interested, we very lightly sanded it all down first (more like scuffed up) using scotch bright pads.  We did two coats of primer, then two coats of paint on top of it and it seems to have covered the wood really well.  Then we went ahead and painted the walls pink.  And by we, I really mean Tyler. :)  Trim color is Chantilly Lace and wall color is Light Quartz, both by Benjamin Moore.

Ellie's window bench is by far my favorite part of her room.  Ever since I knew we were buying this house, I pictured this room being Ellie's and knew for sure I wanted to do a little reading nook right here.  A small light, book shelves, pillows, blankets + of course some of her babies were on the list and I love how it came together!

 book shelves // light // pillows are all from Target, flower one is still available here

We hung the light high enough so that Tyler and I could sit under it and read to her, but of course she seems to like to put all the pillows under the book shelves and read.  Either way, we've already spent hours playing, reading and fake sleeping right here and I am loving it. :)

Another thing I really wanted to incorporate into Ellie's room was some kind of way to display some of her dress up clothes + accessories.  I've seen a few really cute larger racks (this one would be perfect!), but knew she really didn't need a giant thing taking up space in her room right now to hold only a handful of things.  Enter the Ikea spice rack!  This is super, super cheap (also available on Amazon) and works perfectly in this space right now.  I primed it first using leftovers from the trim in the room, but just used cheap acrylic paint from Target on it.  I tried a gold bar for something a little "different", but may end up just painting it all white.  Tyler flipped the mounting hardware on the backside upside down and it was good to go!  We are thinking of adding another in this corner, plus I want to get one or two to hang really low in Ellie's closet for doll clothes storage. I really just kind of threw some stuff on there for now, but love how it can be used as a shelf to display things as well as hanging storage!  I'm not a fan of too much clutter, but tutus are too cute to be put away in a closet. :)

 I was able to find a spot for the floral garland that I spent way too many hours making for Ellie's first birthday party around her mirror (which she loves!).  Her bureau is the same one that we used in her nursery - since her closet is significantly bigger than her old one, it is the perfect size to hold her jammies, socks, tights, etc. without being jam-packed. :)

Ellie's new twin bed will go right in the nook that her crib is currently in. I love the slanted ceilings in the room, I think it adds so much character!  Ells went bonkers over that unicorn hanging on the wall at Target last weekend so we pretty much had to take her home.  I also have a small gallery wall planned on the other side of the room, but want to wait to hang it until we get all the furniture in there.  Also, I think an area rug would look really cute since there's a lot of open floor space for playing, but am undecided what I'd like best right now.

unicorn // quilt

It is certainly a work in progress, but there has been a lot of thought (and so much love!) put into this space and I can tell Ellie is enjoying it already!  This room was my sister's at one point in time, and I spent many, many nights sleeping in here instead of my own room right next door.  Willow will have her own room to start, but I know our girls will be making lots of memories in here together and it makes me so happy. :)

If there's anything I didn't link that you'd like to know about, feel free to ask! :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

24 Weeks

How far along: 25 weeks tomorrow.  Doing a really great job at posting these timely, huh?
Gender: Girl!
Belly button in or out:  Out.
Maternity clothes: Same as before, thankful for stretchy shirts and unbuttoned cardigans!
Stretch marks:  Nothing yet.
Sleep: Definitely feeling a little bit of insomnia some nights.  Usually once I'm asleep, I'm good though.
Best moment of the week:  Another doctor's appointment!  We are measuring on track and everything looked + sounded good.  My doctor also reminded me that my labor will likely be even faster this time than it was with Ellie, which is both good (because who wants to be in misery any longer than they need to), and a little scary (because no one wants to have their child on the side of the road). :)
Miss anything: My patience for sure.
Movement:  Yes and loving it!
Cravings:  Grapefruit has been really good at keeping me from eating a ridiculous amount of junk food.
Queasy or sick:  Feeling good.
Looking forward to: Starting to plan baby girl's nursery! :)

Friday, February 17, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!! I'm very excited for the weekend, mostly because we should be getting Ellie moved into her new room!  Projects tend to take nine hundred times longer with tiny helpers around, adding in trying to get settled into our house as a whole, and we are really ready to have her room in good shape. :)  We still have to work on her big girl bed, I just ordered the spray paint today, but having her in there and (mostly) set up will be so nice!

I have some Friday Favorites to share today - all kid related, because these girls of mine are kind of my life, plus you know I get so excited when I find things I love!  First up, these sheets.  If you love the swiss dot ones from Land of Nod, you will probably love these as well.  I haven't gotten them yet, so I can't speak to the quality, but the price is so good.  Especially to put on a soon-to-be potty training toddler's bed.

Love, love, love new Pillowfort stuff at Target!! There are so many cute things that I want to check out for the girl's rooms, but this swan head might be my most favorite.

I love that Old Navy brought back our favorite sandals for toddlers this season!  Ellie has already been wearing them around the house in February for no apparent reason. :) 

This book that I ordered for a certain almost- two-year-old's birthday.  If your kids love to help in the kitchen too, it just looks way too cute!

Speaking of helping in the kitchen, Ells has been loving her step stool from Ikea.  She can pull it right over to the counter herself, which is both a blessing and a curse. ;)  I got the natural one so we could give it a little makeover (tons of ideas on Pinterest!), and am currently trying to decide what level of pink I want to go with it. :)

Wild hair, don't care.

 Lastly, Ellie is a huge fan of popsicles.  In fact, that might be an understatement.  We buy the Outshine fruit bars, so they're not packed with tons of added sugar, but they're also probably not the best thing to eat at 7 a.m., right?  I'm going to try making some homemade breakfast-y pops for this weekend and see if she likes them!  I've seen so many variations using yogurt, milk, cereal and fruit.   I want to try a few different kinds to see what she thinks - be sure to send some ideas my way, especially if you have some that your kids love! 

Hope you all have a great weekend! :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Valentine's Day Weekend

If you're like me, you might already be planning Easter baskets; but, before too much time goes by, I wanted to make sure I shared some Valentine's Day pictures - I only took approximately one million, shocking.  We "celebrated" (if you can even call it that?) this past weekend when Tyler was home with us.  Ellie loved having a fire in our fireplace and is always wondering why we don't constantly have one going now.  We made fireplace s'mores, which is something I've only been dying to do since pretty much forever, and I'm willing to bet we will go for round two very soon. :)  Sunday morning, we had our Valentine's Day breakfast and gave Ellie her gifts.  Her new balloon and bubbles definitely took the cake over any and all pink food I could offer her! :)  Of course my girl and I spent Valentine's Day at home together.  I gave Ellie a pedicure last week and ever since then, she's been dragging out the foot bath for me to fill up on a daily basis.

Last but certainly not least, is this picture that I wish so badly wasn't blurry.  Tyler brought home flowers for his girls after work on Tuesday and I kid you not when I say that Ellie couldn't get out of the tub fast enough so she could hold the bouquet.  She was so, so proud of them, it completely melted my heart and I am taking notes for her birthday. ;)

Hope your Valentine's Day was just as sweet!! :)

Monday, February 13, 2017

23 Weeks

Big sister smudges, footprints and popsicle drips. ;)

How far along: 23 weeks.
Gender: Girl!
Belly button in or out:  Out.
Maternity clothes: Still mostly regular clothes, except for things like jeans in which case my regular ones haven't fit in about 10 weeks.
Stretch marks:  Nothing yet.
Sleep:  Sleep is pretty good.  The biggest challenge is whether or not my toddler sleeps good, but she hasn't been too bad for the most part. :)
Best moment of the week:  A cozy weekend at home, a fire in our fireplace, s'mores and Valentine's Day breakfast!
Miss anything: While it's just the beginning, I can definitely tell baby girl is growing and moving up higher.  Things are starting to feel a little cramped in my ribs.
Movement:  It feels like she's been doing a lot more big movements this past week, so much so that I couldn't fall asleep last night!
Cravings:  Ice cold water for sure. Lots of cereal, fruit and really anything sweet.  As for a weird craving?  Spinach and pickles on a spinach wrap with a splash of Italian dressing for lunch.  At least I'm getting some veggies in! ;)
Queasy or sick:  Feeling good.
Looking forward to: We are this close to finishing painting Ellie's room, which means we hope to get her settled in there this weekend!  We've had her crib in our room, which apparently is three times bigger than our old room square footage wise so it really doesn't feel cramped, but it will definitely be nice to have our own space back.  Looking forward to decorating, getting storage boxes out of Willow's room AND getting a little bit of happy mail for Baby Lo this week! :)

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Valentine's Day Snacks

A big old snow day today left us looking for something to do, other than watch the same ten episodes of Ellie's favorite TV show on repeat of course.  One of our favorite things to do together is cook, more specifically bake!  It doesn't really matter what it is, Ellie gets excited about it no matter what.  Her favorite part is hands down cracking the eggs, but as long as I help measure, she will happily pour in all of the ingredients + even mans the hand mixer! :)  After eating Super Bowl leftovers and sweets all week, the last thing we needed was more junk in the house; but, who can resist heart shaped sugar cookies?!

While it's a little bit messier and requires a lot more patience than just doing it all myself, we're at the point where Ellie can actually be helpful if she so chooses and these were honestly probably the best sugar cookies we've made to date. :)

I'm planning a somewhat healthy Valentine's Day breakfast (except for powdered sugar donuts, because YOLO), but am not opposed to squeezing in as many Valentine's Day inspired snacks into our menu while we can!  Here are some of my favorite festive food Pinterest finds in case you're looking for some menu inspiration too:

Mozzarella cheese filled hearts // Ellie is addicted to cheese, I might have to try to squeeze these in before Tuesday!

Egg in a heart toast //  Another Ellie favorite, plus she'd really just like to crack the eggs. ;)

Sugared hearts donuts // I've never made donuts before, but these ones look SO good.

Strawberry cake in a jar // Delicious and adorable.

Heart shaped fruit skewers // Super easy + healthy too!

Homemade heart shaped marshmallows // Perfect for hot cocoa or fireplace s'mores.

Heart shaped burgers // Does Whole Foods really sell these?!  Something heart shaped even Tyler could get on board with. ;)

Peanut butter sweetheart cookies // A festive twist on one of our favorites.

When all else fails, break out the heart shaped cookie cutters - options are pretty much endless!  Hope you all have a happy Valentine's Day weekend! :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Building a Mini Wardrobe: Spring Staples

I don't know about you, but we are definitely itching for spring and some warmer weather!  I love, love, love seeing new toddler clothes hit the (virtual) shelves.  Dressing Ellie is ten million times more fun than dressing myself will ever be, and it always feels like a treat to be able to pick out some new favorite things each season!  Apparently I'm not alone in how much I enjoy dressing my toddler, because my fall wardrobe staples post is my second most popular blog post EVER.  That being said, I thought I'd share some of my favorite recent spring-y finds!

While I'm totally guilty of buying things Ellie has only worn once or twice, I try to pick a handful of pieces that can easily be mixed and matched each season.  When she's not wearing her pajamas all day, I'm usually dressing her in my same favorite things over and over again anyway.  She's been more interested in what she's wearing lately, or maybe it's what she's not wearing, so I'm excited to see her little personality come through in her style soon!

Ellie wears a lot of leggings in the cooler months, but those jeggings are way too cute in person!  With warmer weather, I love dresses or skirts that can easily be thrown on.  They made diaper changes much easier last summer and I'm hoping will make potty training easier too. ;)  While you might be paying a little bit more than some other brands, J&J dresses are my favorite - the quality is awesome, they're really stretchy and seem super comfortable.  Plus, there are so many colors to go with any outfit!  I'm already dreaming of dressing Baby Lo in Ellie's old onyx striped dress this summer.  Heart eyes for days.  Also, have you seen the new peplum tanks coming out this spring?!  I totally wouldn't mind getting my hands on one of those either.

I also love the look of long sleeves with shorts before the summer weather really hits.  A few simple tees and a cardigan are perfect for layering, and that glitter belt is screaming Ellie's name!  She seems to have developed a weird obsession with belts and puts Tyler's on when he gets home from work every night - it wraps around her little waist twice! ;)

As for footwear, I am  d y i n g  to get Ells her first pair of Hunter boots this spring.  I'm totally hoping April showers bring new rain boots, if you catch my drift! She has a couple pairs of sneakers, but they honestly almost never get worn.  Instead, she's almost always wearing boots, some kind of ballet flats or sandals, depending on the season.  Girlfriend is most opinionated about her shoes at this point, and I'm confident all of the above pairs would be Ellie-approved. :)

There are so many adorable options out there for toddlers right now, this is just a teeny tiny fraction of the cuteness.  I seriously cannot wait for warmer weather to arrive so we can test some of these looks out!  Have something you love?  Please share! :)  Happy shopping!

Monday, February 6, 2017

22 Weeks + Our Weekend

First up, my 22 week bumpdate!

How far along:  22 weeks.
Gender: Girl!
Belly button in or out:  You should see what this thing looks like when I tighten my abs... or lack thereof. Yikes.
Maternity clothes: Mostly just living in leggings these days.  Thankfully, my Pats shirt still fit no problem!  I was 25 weeks pregnant with Ellie when they won the Super Bowl two years ago, so I had to make sure I wore my shirt for the picture this time around too.  Not superstitious or anything like that. ;)
Stretch marks:  Nothing yet.
Sleep:  Sleep hasn't been bad. I don't think I realized how much I missed sleeping in our own bed until we set it up again.
Best moment of the week: Thank God the Pats won the Super Bowl.
Miss anything:  Some days an afternoon cup of tea sounds so good to have as a little pick-me-up, but my morning cup of coffee always takes my daily caffeine allowance.
Movement: This past week was the first time I've noticed being able to see her move around from the outside which is always exciting! :)
Cravings:  Special K with fresh blueberries and deli meat, which is a little ironic since I'm sure it had been months since I had a deli sandwich before I got pregnant and I didn't seem to be missing it then.
Queasy or sick:  Feeling good.
Looking forward to: Continuing to get settled in our house so we can get back to the important things, like decorating Ellie's new room and planning Willow's. ;)

It's been awhile since I've done an "our weekend" post, but was looking back at old ones last week and decided they are some of my favorites to go back and read.  I used to have to delete so many pictures off my phone to be able to take more (before I got a new phone with more storage), so I was coming across so many pictures I didn't even remember seeing and it definitely put a smile on my face. :)

Friday night, getting the mail turned into a little sledding session while Tyler was on his way home from work.  Once I convinced Ellie to come inside and warm up, we kicked off our weekend with heart shaped pizzas!  You'll never guess whose dinner idea that was. ;)   I used Pillsbury dough, free-handed the shape of the hearts with a pizza cutter and actually used a pair of (very clean) scissors to cut the pepperoni since my heart cookie cutter is too big for that.  Yes, Ellie did actually look excited when I took hers out of the oven and showed it to her - definitely worth the little bit of extra effort! :)
 Saturday was pretty quiet, Ellie and I hung out at home during the day and worked on some more unpacking.  I got most of her clothes organized, set aside the things that she's outgrown recently for baby sis and hung a bunch of stuff in her closet.  Afterwards, we all headed out to Tyler's parents' house for dinner.  It was just a small gathering of 16 people and only one of Tyler's siblings was missing, which is pretty impressive considering it was kind of a last minute get-together!  The only pictures I took were of Ellie helping feed her baby cousin, Elijah.  I feel like it was a little bit of a preview into my life in just a few short months! :)  Ellie was really interested in him and surprisingly gentle, it was the sweetest to see.

On Sunday, Ellie and I ran out to grab some supplies for the Super Bowl first thing in the morning.  The rest of our day was spent baking one of our favorite desserts and getting ready for the game that night.  Tyler's parents, my parents and my sister came over to watch the game - having all of Ellie's favorite people in one house at the same time definitely blew her mind!  This weekend felt like it was really the first we got to enjoy and take advantage of having our families living so close to us now and it was so nice.  Of course, the crazy win by the Pats didn't make for a bad weekend either! :)

Staying up way past my bedtime to watch the end of the game was so worth it.  I think it was better than Christmas morning in Tyler's world! ;)  Hope you had a good weekend too!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Valentine's Day Love

Happy February!! One month closer to spring! That alone is something to celebrate in my mind, but I really do love Valentine's Day, or maybe it's just the excuse to incorporate all things pink into our lives?

Tyler and I have never really been crazy into Valentine's Day, definitely not an over-the-top kind of a couple.  We don't do big gifts (or any usually), but we like to do a little something fun to celebrate each year.  This year's plans include using our fireplace for the first time (hopefully!) and a festive breakfast the weekend before.  Yes, we are totally homebodies but I'm more than okay with that. ;)  None of us, including the tiny dancer doing flips inside my belly as I write this, are going to complain about an excuse to eat good food (and hang in our pajamas!).

I will probably always get our babies a Valentine's Day gift, just something small, fun and festive! This year, I grabbed Ellie a heart-print tote from Target's dollar spot, a book to add to her reading nook in her big girl room, a box of her favorite chocolates and a necklace since she's been loving going through my jewelry box lately.  I thought I'd share some of my favorite Valentine's Day-esq finds for ladies and littles, which may or may not be just a random collection of pretty pink, red + white things! ;)

I'm not sure the cookbook screams "V-Day", but it's definitely on my wish list and I'm sure you could find something yummy to whip up if your plans involve a cozy weekend at home too! :)

February, we are ready for you!!
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