Monday, June 30, 2014

Ella Rose's 2 Month Check Up

Our sweet little Ella Rose turned 2 months old on the 23rd. Seeing as Mike and I are clearly expert parents at this point (insert sarcasm), our pediatrician gave us permission to skip a one month check up unless we had any concerns. Since Ella is pure perfection, we opted to oblige... So today was her first check up since the one she had when she was just a few days old and peed all over the scale (twice).

Today she weighed in at a whopping 11 pounds 7 ounces and was 23 inches long. 50th percentile for both, growing like a weed.

Her first shots went pretty much as expected. Ella doesn't cry much, but when she does, it is a high pitched shriek that can be heard for miles.

I know this picture is sad, so please let it be known that there was lots of hugs and kisses and comforting... It just had to be documented. At least she's still cute even when she is furious!

In other news, we had quite an eventful weekend (for us).

Friday was full of the usual craziness that comes with spending your days with an infant and a toddler. While Max napped, I snapped a few (hundred) photos of Ella. Are chubby baby thighs not the cutest?

A few times lately I have found myself feeing guilty for taking and/or posting more photos of Ella than Max on my Facebook page for our family and friends to see, but I have to remind myself of just how many photos I took and posted of him at the same age, and then it seems only fair that Ella gets her time in the limelight as well. That being said, I am making a valid effort to capture every living moment of both of my babes equally. The struggle is real folks.

It was Mike and my 4 year wedding anniversary last Thursday, and in a great-minds-think-alike moment, we both purchased each other Fitbits as a gift (romantic I know, but there were roses and thoughtful cards as well).

Truth be told, I kind of had a feeling that was what I was getting, and thought it would be both fun and motivating if we each had one, since we love a little friendly competition.

It was pure brilliance while I spent all of Friday morning hundreds, if not thousands, of steps ahead... Only to have Mike blow me away in the afternoon while he was out touring the city of Pittsburgh by foot for work while I was stuck in the house nursing Ella and folding laundry while Max slept.

As soon as he woke up, I strapped Ella to me and decided it was time for a stroll.
In theory I saw myself catching up to Mike by doing a few down and backs on our road with the kids. In reality, Max stopped every two seconds to collect rocks, sticks, leaves, etc. Despite a valid effort and several laps around our kitchen table, Mike won that day, but the motivation is certainly there now.

On Saturday we went to a party at a friend's house. Max had such a blast playing with the other kids, and even took a break to entertain himself by removing ice cubes, one at a time, from the large bucket of adult beverages to fill his water bottle with. He entertained all of us when he dropped his drawers while running across the yard due to the weight of his sopping wet shorts from crouching in a puddle made by said ice cubes. Ahhhh, toddlers!

That's about it for now... Here's to another wild and crazy week of fun and lots of iced coffee. Wishing you a lovely week ahead.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Swoon Worthy|Fourth of July Edition

Seeing as the Fourth of July is this coming Friday, I thought it only seemed appropriate to do a special edition Swoon Worthy  post consisting of all of my 4th faves for little ones!

I have always been pro dress-your-kids-for-the-holidays... there are just too many fun options out there to not get caught up in all of the fashion and accessory fun!

Clockwise from top left

1.  Baby Petit Bateau Dress | J Crew

3.  Patriotic Bow Flip Flops | Gymboree

4.  U.S.A. Patchwork Shorts | Gymboree

5.  Patriotic Ruffle Skirt | Gymboree

6.  Born in the USA Moccasins | Freshly Picked

7.  Bandana Tie-Back Dress | Baby Gap

8.  American Flag Sunglasses | H&M Kids

9.  Espadrille Slip-Ons | Gap Kids

10.  Flag Graphic Tee | Gap Kids

11.  American Pledge One-Piece | Baby Gap

I hope you enjoy these super cute and festive finds as much as I do, and have a happy and safe Fourth of July!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

DIY Dip Dyed Tote Bag

I'm in love with the look of dip dye lately... this tank, these sandals... and I was totally feeling the urge to take on a little dip dye DIY project of my own. This perfect-for-summer tote bag was so simple to create at home, that I am now desperately trying to restrain myself from dip dying everything in sight.

I love the subtle ombré effect that was achieved here, and the beautiful aqua color I decided to go with... Although I'm yearning to try it in pink as well.

Canvas tote bag (in your choice of size, I purchased mine at Joann's for $5, and it was labeled as a "large" tote)
Fabric Dye (such as Rit)
Rubber Gloves

1.  Mix dye according to directions on package. Mine called for a gallon of steaming hot water and 1/4 cup of salt. I used a large bucket to mix dye in... This stuff stains, so you'll want to be careful.
2.  Dip just the bottom few inches into dye and allow to sit for about 10 minutes.
3.  Lower bag another few inches, and wait another 10 minutes.
4.  Repeat step 3 as many times as desired for ombré effect. My bag has 3 color layers (not sure if layers is the appropriate word to use here, but you get what I mean.
5.  Remove from dye, rinse with cold water, and hang outside to dry over night, or if you are incredibly impatient like me, hang for about an hour, and then throw it in the dryer to expedite the process).

This tote is perfect for the  beach/pool, to be used as a reusable grocery bag, or even as an every day bag.

Now I am considering adding a pretty liner, or even removing the handles and adding leather ones.  Decisions, decisions...


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Swoon Worthy

Happy first official weekend of summer. I hope this random list of things I'm currently loving finds you in as happy place as I am to finally be able to enjoy this fabulous season!

1.  They had me at miniature lip balm.

2.  If you follow me on Instagram, you saw the super easy DIY project I did this past week with this adorable Ikea frame.

3.  I could listen to this man on repeat. Love!

4.  I love Martha Stewart, I love DIY projects, and I love a good beach tote

5.  These are basically the cutest summer shoes I've ever seen, and they're on sale... ordering now!

6.  This book is on my summer must read list.

7.  I adore a cute bow, stick it on a bracelet and I swoon even more! This Etsy shop is amazing.

8.  If you have never made your own almond milk, I highly recommend it. It's easy and tasty. This is a pretty straight forward tutorial.

9.  Moms and moms-to-be, I'm kind of loving Zoe Organics, specifically their Everything Balm.

10.  I adore these super cute "shorties" for little ones!

Here's to Barbeques and beach/pool days, lemonade and ice cream, mosquito bites and sunburns... ahhh summer.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

A Beautiful Mess

Lately I have been feeling a considerable amount of stress in regards to the tidiness of my house.  

My anxiety level increases every day as I slowly watch my toddler tear apart every last corner of our living room. It increases even more when I think about the countless loads of laundry piling up in my laundry room, the tumbleweeds of dog hair accumulating in the corners, and the sink full of dishes calling my name.

I. Just. Can't. Keep up.

Over the last couple of months, after becoming a mother of two, plus one dirty hound dog and a not-so-neat husband, the cleanliness of our house has really started to eat away at me.

I find myself apologizing when people come over, "please excuse the mess," which always welcomes the "please, you have 2 little ones" reply.  I often wonder though if people are really still silently looking around taking in the beautiful mess that has become our way of life.

In an effort to vent and simultaneously make light of the situation at hand, I recently posted on Facebook questioning what the secret was to having kids and maintaining a clean house. What I got in response was one of the reasons I love social media as much as I do... Other moms helping me to realize, that I am not alone.  The struggle is real, and we all feel it.

One mom even commented that moms who seem to have clean houses probably run around frantically cleaning just before company arrives to give the illusion that they have it all together. I laughed, and hoped that she was right.

Either way, I'm sure as moms, we all have those days where we feel defeated... that we just can't do it all.

On that note, I want to leave you with some inspiration.  Perhaps it will make you feel a little better, I know it helped me. I'm learning to accept the mess.  I'm learning to embrace it even... the reality is, in the end I don't want my kids to remember how clean our house was, I want them to remember how much fun they had, and I want them to know how much they are loved.

A short time ago, after expressing the amount of stress I was feeling about keeping up with cleaning to my mother in law, I received an email from her.  The subject line was this: "Required Reading". The email was full of little poems and quotations about forgetting the mess and enjoying your children.

I am passing it along as "required reading" for all of you... wonderful mommies who are trying your best to do it all.  You are not alone!

Cooking and scrubbing can wait til tomorrow
For babies grow up, I've learned to my sorrow
So, settle down cobwebs. Dust go to sleep
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep

 Excuse This House 
Some houses try to hide the fact 
That children shelter there. 
Ours boasts of it quite openly, 
The signs are every where. 

For smears are on the windows, 
Little smudges on the doors; 
I should apologize I guess 
For toys strewn on the floor. 

But I sat down with the children 
And we played and laughed and read
And if the doorbell doesn't shine, 
Their eyes will shine instead. 

For when at times I'm forced to 
Choose the one job or the other, 
I want to be a housewife... 
But first I'll be a mother.

Love in the Home 
If I live in a house of spotless beauty with everything in its place, 
but have not love, I am a housekeeper - not a homemaker. 

If I have time for waxing, polishing, and decorative achievements, but 
have not love, my children learn cleanliness - not godliness. 

Love leaves the dust in search of a child's laugh. 
Love smiles at the tiny fingerprints on a newly cleaned window. 

Love wipes away the tears before it wipes up the spilled milk. 
Love picks up the child before it picks up the toys. 

Love is present through the trials. Love reprimands, reproves, and is 
responsive. Love crawls with the baby, walks with the toddler, runs 
with the child, then stands aside to let the youth walk into adulthood. 

Love is the key that opens salvation's message to a child's heart. 

Before I became a mother I took glory in my house of perfection. Now I 
glory in God's perfection of my child. As a mother, there is much I 
must teach my child, but the greatest of all is love.

I also wanted to share this blog entry shared by a fellow mom/friend. Grab a tissue.

Happy Saturday... Spend the day enjoying your children, rather than cleaning house!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Swoon Worthy

As random as ever, here is this week's swoon worthy...

1.  I'm finally making some moves to get back in shape post baby (I start crossfit tomorrow, eek!), and I am fascinated by the Fitbit, it is so cool!

2.  I am in love, love, love with the Hazel and Ruby's line at Michael's craft stores. I'm currently working on a little something using their paper rolls that I can't wait to share with you!

3.  Now that I am the proud owner of several strollers (i.e. A Graco, a BOB Revolution SE, and a City Select City Mini Double),  I am fully aware that all of the accessories for these different strollers can cost an arm and a leg. That is until I found This one for $8.00, yup that's right, that fits all 3 of the strollers I have!

4.  If you are looking for some amazing and unique art work for you little one's room, or for an awesome baby shower gift... Look no further... My incredibly talented friend makes the most beautiful stuff. Check out her Shop, and follow her on Instagram @jezzieannedesigns to see what she's working on!

5.  As if I needed another excuse to shop at Target... Their dresses are buy one, get one 50% off right now. I had to have This one!

6.  If you have little ones, you know how awful it is when their little noses get stuffy. It's a totally disgusting concept, but This thing is pretty much the greatest invention ever!

7.  I know I've mentioned them before, but I just can't get enough of Lucky Sage's bracelets. I just ordered matching ones for Ella and I... Can't wait to get them!

8.  Looking for a super easy, super delicious meal idea. Something to Snack On's One Pot Pasta has become a regular go to for us.

9.  In need of some 4th of July door decor? Landeelu's Patriotic Ribbon Wreath, is super cute, and super simple... Even for the craft impaired.

10.  I was already obsessed with their lip balms, but now I'm head over heels in love with EOS Shaving Cream too!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

DIY Tassels

I've really been loving the boho inspired tassel jewelry that I've been seeing everywhere lately.
Like This and This!

Whether on a necklace or bracelet, tassels are super summery, and I love how they add a pop of color to any outfit.

I knew I could make them myself for a fraction of the price... Embroidery thread usually can be found for around 99 cents for 3, so really the color possibilities are endless, even on a budget.

Here's what you'll need:
Embroidery thread for tassels
Gold embroidery thread for wrapping
Gold jump rings
A piece of cardboard (2"x2")
A yarn needle

Here's what you'll do:
1. Wrap cardboard with embroidery thread. You'll want to use the whole thing so the tassel will be nice and full.
2. Using your scissors, cut thread on one side of the cardboard

3. Slip your embroidery thread through the jump ring
4. Pull both sides of thread down on either side of jump ring.

5. Begin wrapping with gold thread near the top.
6. Tie gold thread to secure, and using yarn needle pull extra gold thread through the middle of your tassel.
7. Trim gold thread so ends are hidden within your tassel.

8. Now trim the ends of your tassel and fluff.
9. Make in tons of colors, string to make bracelets and necklaces, and enjoy your handmade, super easy to make, inexpensive, and trendy jewelry!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Swoon Worthy

For any of you who are new to following, once a week I like to do a post of 10 things that I am currently "swooning over", I like to share to inspire others with recipes and tutorials I have found and enjoyed, to bring attention to a new (or new to me) awesome product, and well, just because it's fun!

Here are this week's items:

1.  We've been doing a lot of gardening lately, and love having Max join in the fun now that he is old enough. These garden kits are such a cute idea... I am ordering the Pizza themed one for Max!

2.  I am absolutely in love with these handmade quilts by LWPH sews.  Her work is amazing.

3.  These handmade teething/nursing necklaces by the Vintage Honey Shop, are made from the prettiest fabrics.

4.  For all of you knitters/crocheters out there, I am definitely swooning over the yarn selection from KnitPicks.

5.  Love, love, love these chairs from Pottery Barn Kids. Perfect for summer!

6.  A friend of mine turned me on to Oh She Glows... now I'm pretty much obsessed with both her blog and her book.

7.  Kind of loving the idea between this 4-in-1 dress from Gap.

8.  With the 4th of July right around the corner, this red, white, and blue sangria is definitely happening!

9.  I am obsessed with Justin's Almond Butter... in every flavor. On bananas, in smoothies, on toast. Sooooo good!

10.  A favorite of mine for years now, I cant get enough of Bumble and Bumble's Surf Spray... If I can't go to the beach to achieve that beach hair look anymore, this is the next best thing!

That's all for now!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Mason Jar Succulent Pots

Let it be known, that I LOVE mason jars. I also just adore succulents... Not only because they're the cutest little cacti (are they cacti?) ever, but also because they are tough to kill, and I've been known to murder a plant or two in my lifetime.

I've seen a lot of inspiring mason jar craft ideas on Pinterest, and decided I wanted to combine my love of these sweet little plants and the ever popular Ball jar.

Naturally, I decided to paint them gold, simply because I just can't get enough of that lovely metallic color lately.

This DIY project was inexpensive, simple, and quick... Just the way I like a project to be.

Rustoleum Metallic spray paint in Metallic Gold
4 oz. Ball mason jars
Mini succulent plants

1. Thoroughly wash and dry mason jars. You may even want to wipe them down with some rubbing alcohol to eliminate oil from finger tips.
2. In a well ventilated area, lightly coat each jar with spray paint and allow to dry per directions on can.
3. Add another coat of paint and allow to dry.
4. If desired, add a coat of clear matte spray paint to help seal.
5. Place succulents in jars, and swoon over the cuteness.

It doesn't get any easier than that right?

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