Saturday, August 29, 2015

Swoon Worthy

It's here... the last weekend of August.  My Facebook feed has been clogged with back to school photos, and I have pumpkin lattes on my mind...

and even though I am totally prepared to welcome my favorite season with open arms, we're holding onto summer for just a few more weeks around here.

Today we're off to the lake, and next week we're heading to Maine for a (much needed) week long vacation.

I hope you all get the chance to savor every last second of summer, before diving headfirst into days full of football, pumpkin flavored beer, and weekends spent apple picking.

Without further ado, here's what I'm loving this week...

1.  This quiche recipe, which I have posted countless times here on the blog, but it's too good not to share.  It has become a staple in our house, and I love how versatile it can be.  I literally find myself making it with the most random of ingredients.  This weekend, it's grape tomatoes, grilled corn (removed from the cob), sauteed onions, cheddar cheese, and basil!

2.  Couldn't purchase these little shoes fast enough when we came across them in the store.

3.  This book is so beautiful, it's worth buying for the cover art alone.

4.  You had me at salted, and Nutella, and latte.

5.  Love the fit of these lightweight sweaters... they're perfect for early fall.

6.  We've been longtime fans of this handmade shop, and their new line of fall leggings is no exception.

7.  This stuff is pretty amazing... and it works with all of their amazing colors!

8.  We were so pumped about the release of the new version of one of our favorite books!

9.  Wine scented candles... yes please!

10.  Another fabulous, and natural, line of products for little ones.

Enjoy your weekend, friends!


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Craving Fall

I don't know if it's the fact that September is just a few days away, or that Autumn just so happens to be my favorite season, but I literally could not be more excited for fall's impending arrival!

Obviously I've been scouring the internet for everything Autumn, and wanted to share a few of my favorites from the items I've found...

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Swoon Worthy

Cheers to another weekend!  I hope you all have big plans to totally soak up what's left of summer, or to kick back and relax over the next couple of days.  No doubt, our weekend will be a combination of both of those things.

I'm just going to jump right into things this morning... Here's what I'm swooning over lately...

1.  This "recipe" basically sums up my go-to breakfast lately!

2.  I can't get enough of these long sleeve tees (which happen to be on sale)... they'e perfect for the transition between late summer and early fall.

3.  Like I said before, I'm not trying to rush summer away, but these fall planters make me really happy.

4.  Isn't the print on these napkins so gorgeous?

5.  This shop makes the most beautiful blankets for babes!

6.  Dying over this tiny version of my favorite ballet flats!

7.  I baked up some of these delicious muffins the other day... as always, Martha never fails!

8.  Once again, not quite ready to say goodbye to summer, but I'm having a really hard time not lighting my most favorite candle.

9.  Love this company, and love this item (on sale this weekend)!

10.  By far the most comfortable "pajamas" I have purchased in a long time... perfect for lounging around in.

Have a great weekend, friends!


Friday, August 21, 2015

DIY No-Sew Felt Bows


8.5x11 sheets of felt
cutting mat and rotary cutter (optional, scissors and a ruler will do)
glue gun
panty hose


To make one size fits all nylon headbands, cut one leg of a pair of panty hose into 1 inch strips, and then stretch each band by hand. set aside.

For the bow...

1.  Cut a 1/2 wide strip from the 11 inch side of the felt sheet, trim a 2 inch long piece from one end, then snip each end at an angle, as pictured above.

2.  Shape bow, by crossing ends over each other (as pictured above).

3.  Place 2 inch strip of felt across the top of bow, and flip over so bow is face down.

4.  Place nylon headband across back side of bow.

5.  Add a small dab of hot glue on the top of the piece of 2 inch long felt, then fold over, and hold down until dry, on top of nylon headband.

6.  Repeat step 5 for the bottom of the piece of felt, overlapping the top piece that you just glued down.

7.  Make these in a ton of colors, to give as gifts, for your own little ones, or for yourself!

***nylon headbands are super stretchy and will fit newborns-adults.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Weekend Recap

This past weekend flew by in a total blur, but it sure was a good one.  

It seems crazy that there are so few summer weekends left at this point.  Mike and I were discussing yesterday, that we feel guilty about spending a summer Saturday or Sunday lazing around, because we know that all too soon, it will be cold here, and we will be longing for the warm summer days that we should have spent at the lake.

Still though, it feels so good sometimes, to spend a day at home, lounging, playing, cooking, and watching movies... especially after an exhausting Saturday spent partying all day at the neighbor's house.

So that's exactly what we did...

I did however manage to hit up Bath & Body Works to take advantage of their 2 for $24 candle sale.  Their fall scents are my absolute favorite (leaves in particular), so when they're on sale, I make it a point to stock up.  I believe the sale runs through today, so if you want some, move quick!

On Sunday, we totally indulged, and I made some homemade pistachio ice cream from the Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home cookbook.  Her recipes are some of my fave!

We also, tried Bread Cheese for the first time.  If you have no idea what this is (like me), this article explains it perfectly.  We grilled ours, and drizzled honey over the top along with chopped walnuts (which I failed to photograph).  Honestly, there are so few cheeses I dislike, but this stuff was incredible.

Otherwise, we played, pumped gas in our underwear, and mowed the lawn in a dress.

Another perfect weekend in the books.  Hope yours was perfect too.


Saturday, August 15, 2015

Swoon Worthy

Cheers to another weekend friends!  I'm not sure how it's already half way through August, but I suppose, somehow, it is.  Soon enough these lists will be all about pumpkin EVERYTHING, but for now lets just enjoy what's left of summer, live in the moment, and try not to rush things.

I'm kicking things off this week with a personal family recipe... one that I make regularly for breakfast on the weekends, just for us, because it's even great reheated, or when we're entertaining guests.  It's simple to whip up, and it's always a crowd pleaser.  So... let's get to it...

1.  Breakfast Sandwich Casserole

1 roll of Pillsbury crescent roll dough (reduced fat or regular work)
7 eggs
1/4 cup milk
s&p to taste
1 cup of breakfast meat of your choice (ham (diced), bacon (cooked and crumbled), sausage (cooked)
1 cup of shredded cheese (I prefer a blend of cheddar and colby, but honestly any cheeses work here )

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.  Roll out crescent dough in bottom of pan. In a bowl, beat eggs milk with a fork, and add s&p. Spread meat on top of dough, then pour eggs over the top. Sprinkle cheese over egg mixture, and bake in oven for 25 minutes, or until eggs are set.

2.  Seriously, how cute are these little hoodie dresses? J&J is killing it with all of her new products releases.

3.  I'm a big fan of monthly workout challenges, because let's be honest, these days. I need all the help I can get... Thinking about giving this one a whirl.

4.  I just discovered these juices at Target the other day... The peppermint lemonade... one word. Amazing!

5.  Our absolute favorite kid's footwear line is coming out with a hard sole version of their super popular moccasins... I'm so excited to snag a pair for Max! These will be perfect for fall!

6.  You guys know pretty well by now, that I love a good diy project... especially when it comes to nursery decor.  This mobile is so sweet.

7.  This hat is totally on my must-have list for fall!

8.  As I previously mentioned, I'm not trying to rush the end of summer... but these pj's for this fall... Love!

9.  I finally broke down and bought a spiralizer, and I don't know why I waited so long.  Sweet potato noodles are life changing, so this recipe is next on my must-try list!

10.  Many of you know by now, that I am originally from Maine, and that my affection for my home state runs pretty deep.  It makes me so happy whenever I learn that people are going to be traveling there (especially during the summer months) for vacation.  So, I'm leaving you with this... a list of awesome things you should do, if you ever get to visit "Vacationland".  There's a ton of stuff here that I've never even done and I lived there, naturally, I'm adding these things to my Maine bucket list for sure!

I hope you all have a great weekend!


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Adventures In Potty Training

Allow me to preface this blog post, by stating the (very) obvious... I am by absolutely no means an expert when it comes to potty training or pretty much anything else that comes along with the parenting of toddlers.  This post is merely a sharing of our experiences, what worked best for us, and what didn't, and a glimpse at the products that we used, that in my opinion, contributed to our overall success.

When the thought of potty training Max first crossed my mind (quite some time ago), I literally felt lost, like I had no idea where to start.  Of course I was aware that there are tons of resources out there, that offer up the latest and greatest methods on how to finally get your kid out of diapers, but I honestly wasn't sure which version would work best for us, and what would be most effective.


I purchased our first potty chair, a little before Max turned 2, and I'll be honest, I had high hopes that my child would be a prodigy when it came to toileting, but I was quickly brought back to reality when I realized that he wanted absolutely nothing to do with it.

My thought process went a little something like this:  "I know, I'll purchase Max a potty chair... just to get him interested.  We'll read some books about going on the potty, and get really excited about it, and in turn he'll get really excited about it, and in no time it will be bye bye diapers."

In hindsight, I seriously must have been crazy.  I'd like to blame the fact that I was in my 3rd trimester of pregnancy with Ella, and it was wishful thinking that I would only have to deal with one child in diapers at a time... yeah, we'll just go with that.

When I mentioned to our pediatrician that I was considering giving potty training a whirl, he very quickly talked me down from the ledge and instructed me to wait until after Ella's arrival, to attempt such a thing.  He was concerned that Max was about to have enough change to deal with, and that we should cut the poor kid some slack and give it some time... so that's exactly what I did.

Before long, I had 2 kids under the age of 2, and even the slightest thought about potty training had slipped by the wayside.  Several months passed, before I decided to give it another try, and even then our attempts were halfhearted.

I still didn't feel comfortable forcing the issue, and really just wanted to put the idea out there and ease Max into it.  I wasn't surprised at all when he still had zero interest, as I had been told about a zillion times that boys could be tough to train in the toileting department.

In all honestly the sheer mentioning of the potty sent Max running for the hills, and so after being told on several occasions, that he would go when he was ready, I decided to drop the issue, once again, until he truly showed some interest.

That was until we decided to enroll Max in a preschool program this fall.  The program, though only 2 days a week and a couple hours long, demands that all of the children in the class are 100% potty trained... as in no pull ups, and no "regular" accidents.  This mandatory rule meant it was time to step our game... like now.

So, last Monday I set out to get Max potty trained once and for all. A friend of mine had sent me an extremely detailed email, outlining the "3 day method" (also in book form), which she swore had worked for her, so I decided we would give it our best attempt as well.

First thing that morning, Max helped me collect all of his diapers, and we placed them in a trash bag.  I explained to him that we were done with diapers, that he was a big boy now, and that if he wanted to go to school, he would have to pee and poop in the big boy potty.  Shockingly, he was pretty excited about this pep talk.  I then proceeded to put a pair of real underwear on him, and explained to him that big boys don't pee or poop in their underwear, and that they keep their underwear dry.

It's important to note here, that I had let Max pick out his big boy underwear himself.  I truly believe it helped that he was excited about the designs that he chose, which in turn made him even more thrilled to be wearing them.

The first morning, he had 2 pee accidents, very early on.  I made it a point not to get frustrated or upset about this, and instead focused on telling him that big boys keep their underwear dry, and that having wet underwear feels yucky.  On day 1, I watched him very carefully, and kept the potty chair close... in the living room even (gross, I know).  I probably asked him 1000 times if he was keeping his underwear dry, and would have him sit on the potty every 20 minutes or so to try to pee.

I was in a complete state of disbelief, when by 11:00 that morning, he was independently walking himself to the potty, announcing that he "had to go pee pee", and in fact going 100% by himself.  He was literally so excited about going on the potty, that he was totally disappointed when he would try and nothing would come out.  I did offer him a couple of m&m's every few times that he successfully went on the potty, and that was enough for him, I never had to offer any other form of prize.  I did offer him lots to drink that day, and even allowed him to have a few popsicles to encourage things along, but other than that, it took very little to transform him into a pottying pro.

I'll wrap all of this up with these thoughts... I'm not sure whether our success can be attributed to the 3 day method, the fact that Max was finally ready, or if it was a combination of both.

We spent 3 days at home, literally not leaving the house, and dedicating ourselves to getting him trained... and while it was a tough 3 days, it was totally worth every second we put into it  He is still wearing pull ups at night (which I should note, I always put on him while he is standing, I never lay him down to "change" him anymore), but he's been waking up dry in the mornings more often than not lately, and I finally feel confident about sending him to preschool, even though just a little more than a week ago, the thought of him leaving the house in underwear terrified me.

If you are interested in the 3 day method, you can find a ton of info on it by googling it, or by looking on pinterest, and by all means if you have any questions about it, please feel free to ask.  I'm curious though, what methods did you guys use?  What worked best for you when it comes to potty training, and how did you get your little ones potty trained at night?


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Life Lately

I totally dropped the ball this past weekend and didn't get the chance to post one of my weekly "Swoon Worthy" posts.  Then, before I knew it, Monday came and went, without the publishing of a "Weekend Recap" (#bloggerfail).  Now, here it is Tuesday, and I am finally getting the chance to sit down at my computer to write a little blurb and fill you all in on where the heck I've been, because I am sure you are dying to know.

Lately, life has been a whirlwind of potty training, toddler tummy issues, teething, and... on much a higher note, my mother in law came to visit this past weekend and gave Mike and I a (very) much needed break.  Some friends of ours came to visit, and thanks to Nana, we finally got to get out for some adult time, for the first time in way, way too long.

I have a tendency to get so caught up in the day to day routine around here with M&E, that I forget how much fun it is to escape every once in awhile and decompress.  We got to enjoy dinner out Friday night, and then even hit up the horse track with our friends (a pretty big deal around these parts this time of year). As expected, though I couldn't wait for some times sans kiddos, as soon as I was away, I missed them like crazy.

On Monday, it was right back to business as usual, with an early morning trip to the doctor's for Max... which was not exactly how I wanted to kick off the week, but our poor little guy has been having some digestive issues, and wasn't feeling so hot.

Now that we are settling back into the swing of things, I have some upcoming blog posts on my mind. I'd like to share some of the details from our little potty training adventure, seeing as it was (shockingly) successful... I know it helped me to read what other parents had tried, so I'm hoping to offer some insight, even though I am, by no stretch, an expert on the topic.

There will also be some other exciting posts/changes coming in the near future... but for now, I felt the need to catch you all up to speed on why I was a little absent this week.  As always, you can find me on Instagram (@contemporarydomestics), in between blog posts.

Hope you're all having a great week!


Thursday, August 6, 2015

Beauty on a Budget

I'm not denying the fact that I have been known to splurge on beauty products in the past.  Trips to Sephora to purchase high end cosmetics are something I enjoy probably a little more than I should admit, but these days, I've really dialed back my beauty routine, since I highly doubt the effort is much appreciated by my 3 year old and 1 year old.  

Lately, budget beauty purchases have totally become my jam.  Given the amount of trips I make to Target on a weekly basis, I've become accustomed to quickly throwing something in my cart before a toddler tantrum ensues, and hoping that when I get home, it's as fabulous as I envisioned in the frantic moment that I decided to grab it and give it a whirl.

The following are the items that I've randomly tried, liked, and come to use on the regular.  Most of them are under $10, and all of them can be purchased at good ol' Target, making them even easier to love.

1.  NYX Concealer  This stuff provides great coverage for the dark circles under my eyes, that result from the minimal hours of sleep I've been getting, as well as the occasional blemish.

2.  Pixi Sheer Cheek Gel  I love the pop of pink that the "flushed" color this gives my cheeks.  I use it year round, and it lasts all day long.

3.  Maybelline Baby Lips  I own this stuff in pretty much every color.  A self-proclaimed lip balm addict, the price of this stuff makes it great to stock up on.  I love the colors, and the moisturizing benefits.

4. e.l.f. Eye Brow Kit  I recently realized the impact you can get from lightly filling in your brows... I use the term lightly, because one can certainly go overboard here, but a few light brushstrokes of this through your brows really does make a world of difference.

5.  Maybelline Pumped Up Colossal Mascara  You guys, I LOVE this stuff.  The best inexpensive mascara I have purchased in a long time!

6.  NYX Dusk til Dawn Eye Shadow I like to think of this palette as the Naked palettes much, much cheaper knock off.  The colors are great for both day and night, and it offers great versatility for the price.

7.  e.l.f. Jumbo Lip Gloss Stick  At $2 a pop, you can't go wrong with this stuff.  It's great when you want to experiment with color and not spend a fortune.

Like I said, I still like to splurge on certain items.  I have my go-tos when it comes to bronzer, BB cream, and blush... but I feel a lot less guilty about it with the money I save from purchasing these great items.

What are some of your favorite budget beauty purchases?


Saturday, August 1, 2015

Swoon Worthy

Happy first Saturday of August, friends.  This week flew by despite the fact that it was a bit of rough one.  We're currently deep in the throws of potty training attempt number #5,679, so I'm going to jump right into this week's list of what I'm loving lately, so that I can get back to assuming my parental duties.

Here's what I'm swooning over this week...

1.  I am dying to attempt this DIY idea. I'm a total sucker for a monogram, and I think these would be so cool to give as gifts.

2.  My love for Mexican food runs deep... so it's a no brainer that these nachos are going to have to be tested out at some point!

3.  I'll take one of everything from this shop!

4.  You guys.  This dress.  Love.

5.  We are huge fans of Honest Company's products, and I love that they're now offering personal care products.

6.  This handmade shop makes the most beautiful items.

7.  Don't these lettuce cups sound like a great idea for an easy summertime dinner?

8.  There isn't anything that I don't like about this sangria recipe.

9.  I'm not trying to wish away summer, even though fall is my most favorite season, but I couldn't resist this little dress for Ella when I saw it.  I think it will be a great crossover piece between seasons, great for late summer, and paired with leggings in the fall... I can't get enough of the color.

10.  Such a versatile piece, this vest is everything.

Hope you all enjoy your weekend!


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