Saturday, November 29, 2014

Swoon Worthy

It is officially upon us, the MOST wonderful time of the year! I love the holiday season so, so much, I can't even begin to describe the elation I'm feeling over sharing some of my favorite traditions with my babies this year!
We had a lovely Thanksgiving, and then basically kicked off Christmas yesterday when we made the trip to the tree farm to cut down our tree. I have always wanted to do this, and it was literally everything I hoped it would be. Max had an absolute blast! 
Last night was spent in front of the fire, watching Elf, and stringing lights... Pure perfection. 
So, since I'm totally feeling the holiday season, here is this week's heavily holiday themed Swoon Worthy list...

1.  You know I love a good DIY project... and a good wreath.  Here are some fabulous wreath ideas.

2.  Totally trying this, this weekend.

3.  I adore this little shop, and I am definitely swooning over this.

4.  I love a good cheeseball, so these sound amazing to me.

5.  This pattern is high on my must-try list.

6.  I'm so infatuated with holidays that I even want to bathe myself in Christmas-y scents.

7.  I this DIY ornament idea is genius. Target has a ton of inexpensive cookie cutters that would be perfect for this!

8.  Seems I post a buffalo plaid item every week now... I just can't get enough!  I love this!

9.  We just received this candle in the mail, and the scent is insanely good!

10.  How adorable is this bakeware? I can't even stand the cuteness!!!

Hope you all have a fabulous first weekend of the Holiday season!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014



We're going to be hosting Mike's family for Thanksgiving dinner this year.  I love playing hostess and cooking for others, even though it can be stressful at times, it's nothing a glass (or 2) of wine can't fix.

The whole affair should be pretty low key, seeing as there will only be 5 adults plus Max and Ella, but I thought I'd share my planned menu along with a few other details.

I always like to have a few appetizers/snacks planned... even though there is a large meal involved, I don't want people starving while they wait for the turkey to hit the table.  This year I plan on making these bite-sized baked brie pops along with this savory pumpkin dip and crackers.  I also like to have a bowl of candied mixed nuts out for nibbling along with beer and cocktails.

For the main course, we will obviously be having turkey, but I am toying with the idea of trying a brine this year.  I am a purist when it comes to stuffing, so I'll be sticking with a pretty basic recipe.  As always, there will be green bean casserole, corn, and rolls, as well as sweet potato souffle and this year, I am making cinnamon honey butter to accompany the dinner rolls.

My mother in law will be bringing pumpkin pie... but I am considering the idea of mini pumpkin trifles, layered in mason jars, that people can take home with them to enjoy after Thanksgiving dinner, round 2!

I picked up some take-out containers, like the type that Chinese food comes in, to send leftovers in, that way there is no shortage of tupperware to worry about.

For our table, I am keeping it simple and rustic.  White plates, white cloth napkins, but lots of burlap, leaves, pumpkin and twine...and of course some gold touches.

I picked Ella up an outfit at the store quite awhile ago, but had a bit of trouble finding Max a shirt, so decided to make my own.  We picked up a plain white long sleeved t shirt, and I created a design on our computer, which I printed as a mirror image onto iron on transfer paper.  I'm pretty happy with the way it came out.

I can't wait to share more pictures and details of our day with you, but in the mean time, I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving spent with your loved ones!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Ella Rose | 7 Months

It seems like it has become the norm now, to begin every one of these monthly Ella updates with, "I can't believe how fast the time has gone by...", but honestly it's true.  I swear it feels like yesterday that I was pregnant with babe number two, and now here it is 7 months later, and we have the sweetest little girl with the funniest personality, who doesn't seem quite so little anymore.

Ella is fully sitting up on her own now, and seems to be getting closer and closer to crawling.  She's joined us at the dinner table and can't seem to get enough of solid food.

She had her first "big girl" bath (in the real bath tub, not the baby tub) the other day, followed by her first bath with her big brother.  She was totally fascinated by the bubbles and with watching Max play with all of the toys!

She's quite the talker... as in she likes to let out multiple consecutive wails just to let you know she is in the room.  She says mama, ba-ba, ra-ra, and does a whole bunch of other babbling.

We still haven't seen any teeth, but a whole lot of drooling and gnawing on teethers has been going on around here.

She's obsessed with the jumperoo, loves to sit and play with toys... and makes a valid effort to play with Max's, when he allows it.  She likes books, and swinging, and laughs when her brother hugs her, her daddy sings to her, or when she hears anyone else laughing.

She is an extremely happy and well behaved baby, although her sleeping habits have taken a bit of a turn lately.  She doesn't go down for the night without a fight, and seems to have developed the need for a middle of the night feeding, but these are the moments I savor because I know that they will be behind us all too quickly.

She is currently weighing in at 17 pounds   2 ounces, and measures   27.5 inches long.  Her hair is sure to be halfway down her back by her first birthday, and those pretty eyes, well, they're still the most beautiful shade of blue.  She's wearing mostly 9 month clothes now, but still some 6 month stuff, and she now sports a size 3 diaper.

It goes without saying, that we are head over heels in love with our Ella Bella.  We are loving every second of watching her grow, and are thrilled to have her here to share in this upcoming holiday season along with Max.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Swoon Worthy

It's been one of those weekends folks.  Yesterday was full of visits from friends, and Christmas card photo shoots, and the majority of the day today was spent working on some serious home improvement projects.

Between desperately trying to get my kids to pose, look at the camera, and smile, at the same time, and bickering with my husband about what should go where in our house... I barely got the chance to sit down at my computer and write this blog post.  But... alas, the stars aligned (both of my kids napped at the same time), and I managed to get 'er done!

So... here is what I am swooning over this week!

1.  So I'm pretty much all about the poncho/cape/sweater fad lately.  This one is super affordable and stylish!

2.  If you're looking for some last minute Thanksgiving decor/tablescaping props, Here are a whole bunch of fabulous free printables.

3.  I'm obsessed with this garland... but I'm also thinking there might be a much more affordable DIY version happening here in the near future!

4.  Looking for a tasty and simple appetizer to bring to Thanksgiving dinner?  I have made these before and they were fantastic!

5.  Last year we started a little "12 Books of Christmas" tradition (more on that in a future post), so when I saw that one of Max's favorite books was now available in a Christmas version, I knew we had to have it!

6.  I love all of this lady's mugs/tumblers, but I think I definitely need this one for the holiday season!

7.  One of my favorite companies just released their holiday collection, I snatched one of these up right away!

8.  I'm head over heels in love with Gap's Holiday collection, in fact we snatched up a couple of their fun striped items (pictured above, along with hats and infinity scarfs from my shop) for our Christmas card photo shoot!

9.  Looking for a festive little cocktail to serve up with Thanksgiving dinner?  This one sounds delightful!

10.   I'll leave you with this!!!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  Keep an eye out for blog post overload this week, my Thanksgiving menu/plans, Ella's 7 month update, and a list of awesome Black Friday deals are all on their way!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Five Reasons to Shop Handmade

As the owner of my own little shop featuring handmade knit, crochet and sewn items, showing support for other makers and other handmade shop owners is a cause that is very near and dear to my heart.

This holiday season, I can't stress enough, the importance of shopping handmade and local. So... I decided to compile a list of the top 5 reasons why I think that you should consider shopping and supporting handmade this holiday season.  In addition, I also decided to include a list of some of my most favorite handmade shops that offer a wide array of items for all of the people on your to-buy-for list this season.  Many of these shops I have personally purchased items from, and I can't gush enough about the quality of the items, the obvious amount of time you can tell went into every detail, and even the thought that went into the packaging and shipping of the items.

Here are 5 reasons to shop handmade this holiday season and always...

1.  When you shop handmade, you're not buying an item that was created in mass quantity.  These items are quality made, not made for large production and quick turnaround time.  There is a ton of attention to detail, because the makers of these items take pride in their work and want their customers to come back for more.

2.  You are potentially buying local, which helps to stimulate your local economy... but even if you are ordering something via Etsy, Big Cartel, a shop's personal website, etc, you are purchasing an item likely made in the USA, not from overseas. *Please note, a few of the shops on my favorites list are located out of the US, but the items and shops were just too fabulous not to include!

3.  You are likely helping to support a family.  I know personally, my family has made sacrifices for me to be able to stay at home with my children.  When you purchase an item from someone like me, you are helping moms and dads to support their family, while doing something that they love and enjoy, and helps them showcase their passions and talent.

4.  Handmade items are items that can be treasured for a lifetime.  More often than not, these items last longer, because they are made with good quality materials.

5.  Handmade items are made with love.  Sometimes I love an item that I make so much, that I have a hard time parting with it.  Knowing that an item that I created is being sent off for someone else to love means the world to me, and I know many other shop owners feel the same way.

With all that being said, the following is a list of my most favorite handmade shops.  Please consider shopping handmade this holiday season and throughout the year.
***If there is a shop you love, but don't see listed, please feel free to comment and share.  I love to learn about new shops and items!

Freshly Picked
Little Hip Squeaks
Sophie and Lili
Candy Kirby Designs
Sweet Littles Handmade
Sahnda Marie Kids
Lucky Sage Shop
Coral + Cloud
Shop Sadie Sky
Alexandra Rose
Hello Apparel
Gulush Threads
Mama and Little
Littlest Crochet Shop
Bannor Toys
Little Mr Ties
The Jones Market
Caged Bird Blog
Mina Loves Bows
Tnee's Teepees
Pen and Paint
Jezzie Anne Designs
Woodland Owl Trinkets
Briar Handmade
Gentry's Closet
Baby Jives Co
East + Acland
Mushy Books
Fawn and Clover
Aidie's Hideaway
Alex & Ally

I hope you all love these shops and the items they make and sell as much as I do!  Happy shopping!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Swoon Worthy


The temperature dropped drastically this past week, and many of us even saw our first snow fall.  This time of year always seems to fly by at warp speed, and while I am trying hard to embrace November, as a mother of 2, it is so hard not to plan ahead, in terms of Christmas shopping, activities, and holiday events. 'Tis the season... so I have been really starting to focus much of my thinking toward gift ideas, Holiday menus, and planning upcoming blog posts.  There are so many exciting things happening around here in the near future, and I can't wait to share.
For now though, you'll have to make due with this week's Swoon Worthy finds (warning, there are some heavily holiday themed items on this list)...

1.  As you probably well know by now, I am all for a fabulous collaboration... especially when it involves 2 companies I absolutely adore.  These Christmas cards are amazing.

2.  Now that it's freezing, I adore a great pair of knee high socks, these are the cutest!

3.  If there is a way to put a seasonal spin on the Moscow Mule, then I most definitely want to try it.  This version will be going down at our house very soon!

4.  I think this little ring dish is super adorable.

5.  In my opinion, it is never too early to break out the Christmas PJ's, which is why I picked up this set for Ella, and these for Max this week!

6.  Well, this combination of flavors sounds heavenly!

7.  I always love giving books to my kids as gifts.  I'm really loving Oliver Jeffers' work lately, and this book is on the top of my list for Max.

8.  If I had the means to spoil myself right now and purchase a new handbag, this one would be it!

9.  I am a billion percent behind purchasing items from handmade shops this holiday season... so when I saw this item, I immediately scooped one up for Ella!

10.  I recently discovered the Green Toys line at our local Whole Foods, and I love the idea.  I'm totally eyeing this toy truck for Max!

***Also worth noting, I discovered the above picture quote on Pinterest recently, and it is available as a print from a very lovely Etsy shop!

I hope you guys are all staying warm this weekend... perhaps a pomegranate Moscow mule will help you! Cheers!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Chunky Knit Boot Cuffs | A Pattern

I seriously freaking love boot weather, between my riding boots, my Hunters, and my Bean boots, I just can't get enough... so I decided to share my super easy, super fast pattern for these chunky knit boot cuffs with you!  If you don't knit, it's totally okay, I've got you covered too.  You can find them in my shop in a wide variety of colors and 2 different yarn choices.

Okay friends who knit.  This project couldn't be easier.  The cuffs can be knit in the round if you so choose, but I knitted them flat and seamed them together in the end... mostly because I couldn't find my circular needles when I started making them, but that's neither here nor there.

With this pattern you will end up with a boot cuff that measures approximately 5 inches in height and around 11.5 inches in circumference, with plenty of stretch... they fit around my runner's calves, so believe me when I say there is give.  You could easily make these longer too if you wish, just continue the stockinette stitch until the desired length is achieved.

US size 13 knitting needles
Super Bulky Yarn ( I like Lion Brand Thick and Quick Wool Ease)
Large yarn needle

Cast on 28 stitches
Rows 1-8: Knit 2, Purl 2
Rows 9-16, Stockinette Stitch (Knit the right side, purl the wrong side)
Cast off, leaving a long tail (at least 12 inches)
Using yarn needle, sew short sides together, with right sides facing each other, in whatever method you choose.
Reverse so the right side is facing out.

Now... make another so you have a pair, and wear them with your favorite pair of boots.

I hope you enjoy the pattern.  Any questions, feel free to ask, and if your on Instagram and you make these, snap a photo and use the hashtag #lpbpatterns so I can see your work!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Swoon Worthy

As the holiday season approaches, I feel like there is/are going to be so many things that I am swooning over that it might be tough to narrow it down to just a few each week.  Everywhere I look I am inspired... to make, to cook, to buy, to try.  As a lover of handmade items, I have to say, my fellow makers are killing it lately by offering some of the most amazing and beautiful items.  Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and the internet in general, are chalk full of so many awesome ideas and things,  that I have been a pinning addict these last few weeks.  As always, many of my favorite stores are carrying some of the coolest items as well.
So... here is what I narrowed it down to this week, for my most swoon worthy favorites...

1.  Oprah's Favorite Things list has long been, and will forever reign, as one of my most favorite things!

2.  I'm pretty much in love with everything in this pretty mama's shop! We recently ordered the mini denim knot bow, among other items!

3.  I will most definitely be needing these!

4.  So, these cookies are on my must-bake list... pretty much the second this Whole 30-ish diet thing is through.

5.  In the meantime, I've been noshing on these things like crazy!

6.  I died over the cuteness when I saw this coat, plus it's on sale right now... naturally, ordering it for Ella was the only acceptable thing to do.

7.  Now that it's really starting to get cooler, I've developed an obsession with faux fur throws.

8.  I also went crazy over how cute these boots were... since they are also currently on sale, Max had to have them!

9.  Sweet Lord, yes to this on so many levels!

10.  These bonnets are pretty much the cutest things ever!

Hope you're all staying warm and having a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Fun Thanksgiving Finds

Today, Max, Ella, and I made our usual Target run (our 3rd time there this week). You know, the type of trip where you go in for toilet paper, and leave $100+ later with a bunch of stuff you never even knew you needed. 
Anyhow, M, E, and I (with my first RED Starbucks holiday cup of the season in hand), were thrilled to indulge in exploring all of the fun Christmas items sprinkled throughout the store (even though this was, once again, our 3rd time doing so this week). 
Now, anyone who knows me, knows all too well, that I have been counting down to the day after Thanksgiving when I intend to wallpaper our house in red and green...However, I would hate to skip over another perfectly good holiday, especially one that involves copious amounts of food. So, before I go getting all Clark Griswold on you, and turn this blog into a virtual North Pole, I wanted to share some of my favorite fun finds for Turkey Day!

one | two
three | four | five | six
seven | eight | nine
ten | eleven | twelve | thirteen

Now aside from potentially sharing my Thanksgiving menu plans... be prepared for the majority of future posts to somehow involve Christmas!  Eek!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Weekend Recap

I'd like to blame daylight savings for getting behind on what had become a pretty regular posting regimen... I'd like to say it was setting the clocks back and losing that hour... But that's just not the case. This past weekend was, in a word, BUSY!

Friday night was obviously Halloween, and this was the first year that we truly took Max trick or treating. We live at the end of a pretty private road, not really in a neighborhood, so last year we opted for the chaos that is "trick or treating" at the mall, and after living through that experience, Mike and I both decided it wouldn't be happening again any time soon!

This year some friends of ours invited us to come celebrate in their neighborhood, which turned out to be perfect for door-to-door candy collecting. 

Max went as a scarecrow, because he has been obsessed with "sharecrows" all fall. In true Max fashion he refused to wear his hat, and would not allow me to pain his face, so he spent the night getting mistaken for a cowboy!
He had an absolute blast trick or treating though. He actually said "trick or treat", "thank you", and "see you later" at each stop, and he insisted on carrying his own pumpkin bucket the entire time, even though at some point, it got so heavy he was mostly dragging it behind him down the road.
Ella, our little baby owl, stayed behind at our friend's house, since the cold and rain made it pretty miserable out.
Saturday night Mike and I had a costume party to attend, so, much of the day was spent putting the finishing touches on our costumes. I went as a doe, thanks to some Pinterest tutorials, and Mike went as Awesom-o, for any of you South Park watchers out there.

The resemblance was pretty uncanny.
Sunday was spent recovering in front of the fire, as well as working on orders from my shop... Which has been becoming increasingly more busy, and I couldn't be more thrilled.
Mike ran out and bought us a mountain pie iron... I had never heard of one of these, but now I am totally intrigued. We cooked a bunch of things over the fire, most of which I couldn't eat, including a peanut butter, Nutella, and banana filled "hobo pie".

Naturally, due to the cooler weather and running around, by Monday we all seemed to have a case of stuffy noses... So it's back to business as usual. In sticking with my Whole 30-ish diet, I think this Buffalo Chicken Meatloaf is on tonight's agenda!
Also, Target is decorated for Christmas, Starbuck's red cups are out, and Ella rode in a cart like a big girl for the first time today...So there's that!
Happy week ahead!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Swoon Worthy

Pinned via ✿⊱Akkie Hoogsteen ≈≈

A day late again thanks to time changes, Halloween parties, and costume making, but I live by the motto, "better late then never", besides, now the countdown to Thanksgiving is on... and we're inching even closer to the day I can happily decorate our entire house for the holidays, eek!!!

Here's the list of things I'm drooling over this week...

1.  Ella is in full blown teething mode, as in gnawing on everything and drooling everywhere.  I just ordered one of these awesome necklaces, so I get a cool new piece of jewelry and she can get her chew on.  Win win!

2.  I know Halloween is over, but can someone please make this candy corn and tell me how it is.

3.  These stickers are such a cute idea.  Keeping them on my must have list for future pregnancies.

4.  So I'm starting to plan my Thanksgiving menu, and my cousin has to go and post this recipe on her blog... um, yum!

5.  Love this bow tie for Max's Christmas wardrobe.

6.  How cute and fun is this idea?

7.  I'm pretty sure I've listed this one before, but I am so obsessed with this collaboration, that it deserves to be posted again.

8.  If you read my previous post, then you already know all about my Whole 30-ish mission, this has been one of my most favorite Paleo recipes for quite awhile now.

9.  Are these handmade bracelets not the cutest!

10.  I love this simple and inexpensive wreath DIY.

There you have it.  Hope you're all having a fabulous weekend.  Happy November!
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