Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Kenley Drew - 15 Months

Well, 15 months have come and gone.  We have quite the independent and curious toddler on our hands who just longs to be like her big sister.    She had her 15m check up on Monday and clocked in at 20lb 15oz (44%), 30.25" (35%), and not sure the head, but 25%, which is basically the exact curve she's been on, so growing steadily along.  She also has a surprise ear infection.  She has been cutting her molars, so she's been a bit clingy this past week, but she really hasn't had any other symptoms.  She had a day or two of a low grade fever, 100 and less, and no cold symptoms.  I just assumed the attachment to mama was because of her teeth not her ears.  Of course today her nose was a faucet, but she's on antibiotics, hopefully she'll feel better soon.

Not going to keep up with the list now that her vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds.  Still lots of pointing and grunting/mumbling, and most words are probably only distinguishable to me, but I can completely make out her requests for yogurt (gurt/go-gurt... while trying her hardest to open the fridge), blueberries (boo, boo), or bananas (ban... while trying to climb the kitchen chairs to get them from the bowl on the table).  She also correctly and enthusiastically nods her head 'yes' and shakes her head 'no' to communicate her needs.  Speaking of communication, while she doesn't enjoy diaper changes, she does like being my helper.  She'll reach for the wipes packet and I'll ask her to open it, give me one, and close it and she obliges.    It's probably more of a routine than actually counting, but it's cute and helps her lay still.

She's starting to enter the phase where she likes sorting shapes and attempting puzzles with a bit more effort.  I always try to get Ashlynn to "help" her, but naming the colors or shapes since it's good for both of them and Kenley just wants to be with A at all times.   She's a climber, constantly climbing on stools, chairs, sitting on her play table, dancing on the coffee table (too soon!).  Going down the slide backwards, on her tummy, or any other daredevil activities.  Also learning to go down the stairs, the problem is she just wants to back up when at the bottom.

Loves:  Basically everything from last month still applies. Music. Loves dancing.. specifically swirling her hips like she has a hula hoop.   She also spins in circles and loves getting dizzy, she'll also drop it low to "Black Widow".   Still obsessed with brushing her teeth.  When we are upstairs, as soon as I turn my back she's making a mad dash for her bathroom and climbing up the stool reaching for the toothbrushes.  She also likes to brush her hair.  Dress up, even though she trips over most of the princess dresses.  Still loves Mickey, teddy bears, and people in general. 

She also LOVES books.  She'll sit snuggled in my lap for long stretches of time if I keep reading to her.  She also loves bathtime.

Hit or miss.  On average, I still have to go in once or twice either just for a paci grab or a few minute cuddle.  But occasionally she wake more, or even sleep through the night.  Naps are in transition still.  Depending on the previous night's sleep, she'll take one or two. 

Loves blueberries and bananas.  Turkey (ground or deli), peas, green beans, and peanut butter.  Also bean quesadillas, waffles, egg salad, pizza, mac and cheese.  And yogurt.

Does not like American cheese, is seriously offended if you offer it to her, not a fan of pasta either. Who are you?

The girls really have started playing together more recently.  Of course, there is still plenty of crying, grabbing, and occasional pushing, but they really seem to enjoy each other's company even if just sitting side by side playing with princesses, puzzles, or making a mess together of the dress up bin.  Kenley is never too far behind Ashlynn, and the sweet hugs and kisses they'll give each (when playing nice) melts me every time.

Love these girls.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Master Makeover

What a weekend.

We had a Friday date night, just in the knick of time to keep us two for two with getting out once a month.  Saturday I met my friend for lunch and shopping at Nordstrom Cafe, my favorite mall spot.  Food is so good and it's usually never packed like rest of the restaurants on weekends.  And Sunday we finally painted the girls bathroom.  I don't even know where to start describing that mess, but let's just say the primer was a big improvement.  It's fully painted and deep cleaned (hallelujah) so now all we need to do is paint the vanity.

The only room left to pain in the whole house is the guest room that's about to be Ashlynn's new room.  Only took two years, but feels good to have that accomplished.  

Anyway,  as promised, here are some shots of the master bedroom.  Of course I'll start with some pictures from the house listing so you can see the before and after, ridiculous right? You can check this post for more shots, prior to painting.  And I'm also including the "unfinished" areas (or eyesores) to keep it real.

The After....

headboard | duvet | throw | ottoman (similar)

lamp and frames - Target sold out

gold frame - Home Goods

We still need to hang this mirror up, found at Home Goods.

I want to hang some picture ledges in that corner, maybe a small plant. 

And now, the 'problem area'... woof.  This spot prob needs it's own post.  But trust, it's going.

And there you have it.  An almost makeover.  I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Five

1 .  A few weeks back, I was lucky enough to win a giveaway on Instagram hosted by Poppy Lane & Co.  It was my favorite kind of giveaway, no reposting images or looping through twenty some accounts, just a tag a friend or twenty for entry, so I tagged a few girl moms to share this gem of shop, and some how luckily won the prize of  the entire Spring collection!

I was able to get each each bracelet in my size of choice, so I choose three for myself and had the rest sized to fit the girls.  I decided to get theirs all in the 18m-5years size so they could share and spend more time wearing them, rather than getting one for Kenley now.  I think I might even save them to give to them at special occasions to mark a memory, perhaps special mommy/daughter dates.

I chose the pearl, seafoam, and salmon for myself and the rest of the Spring collection - cotton candy, chrome, seafoam/seaweed, sunshine, aqua, teal, hot pink, and clementine.  Definitely a "nice" piece of costume jewelry for the girls to wear on holidays and special occasions.  And you know me with gifts, since they sell baby sizes, it'd be a great gift for Godmother to a Goddaughter or from the family to the Godmother to match the baby.  Simple, sweet, and starting at $15 totally affordable.  Such a special keepsake.  I'm not being perked extra to say any of this, I'm just really stoked over winning and love these bracelets.  

2.  We've been talking about Ashlynn's new room to her a lot lately.  I asked her if she'd like to switch rooms and move to the current guest room; it's a smidge bigger, has a better closet, and is closer to Kenley/further from us.  We always assumed those rooms would be the kids' room.  She seems to be excited about it, saying she's taking Mimi's room.  I think we'll still leave her converted toddler bed in her current room for a bit in case she has trouble sleeping in a new space.  

However, I'm hoping the new scenery and bed improve our current bedtime battles.  I think it's time we give up the nap for good.  While, she'll still sleep 1-2hours when forced to nap - on my bed with me (I don't hate it), it really seems the days she does she really is a pain those nights with crying and asking for everything under the sun.  I used to make threats, "I'll take a friend (stuffed animal) from your bed each time you make me come back in here!", "no fruit snacks in your lunch tomorrow!", "I'm taking back the blue Elsa I gave you for going to bed like a big girl!", clearly negative reinforcement wasn't working, which I should have known since I've a gazillion things about not doing negative reinforcement.  It's just that I wanted her to know I meant business, and the games were acceptable.  So the other night, she asked to see her Penny bank,  naturally, she asked for money so I told her for every night she goes to bed without making trouble, she can put a coin in the morning.  Yes, we are literally paying her to sleep.  But if that means she can buy herself an ice cream cone once a year for going to bed and not being a pain, I'm totally down.  Plus, am I not teaching her about money, saving, and hard work?

3.  Some of her bedding arrived yesterday, and I've already started picking up and picking out some items for her room.    Thank goodness for timely Easter decor!

4.  I finally took some pictures of our bedroom and bathroom.  Neither are "finished", but realistically, it could be a long time before they are.  They are functional, and mostly pretty, of course I'd love a shelf here, hang the mirror on the floor there, and find the perfect towel ladder, but you know, nothing wrong with a real life progress shot.  Because who really lives in Better Homes & Gardens?  I'll get them up next week!

5.  White and gold, completely.   Which just confirms my eyesight is totally shot.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

[Crafty Lady] $5 DIY Jewelry Display

I shared last week some inspiration for a jewelry display for my closet.  I wanted to do this as cheaply as possibly, so I tried to upcycle or use as many items as I had on hand.  

The Ikea Flang is a piece I've had since college. I used it back then to hang my necklaces from, and continued to do so, until we moved into this house and I put it in Ashlynn's room for her headbands.  I thought about painting it, but instead used some of the left over gift wrap I had from the girls' Ikea Latt Table makeover.   I unscrewed the knobs and used spray adhesive to adhere the gift wrap.  I popped the screws through the paper and put the knobs back on.  I have considered painting the knobs gold or even black, but might just leave them.  

Especially since they match the silver jewelry tree, I picked up from Target for $5.98 on clearance.  They had a handful of them on an end cap and they were originally $19.99, and had been marked down 30%.  Since there was so many, I assumed they'd be marked down again, a few weeks later were, 70%.  Target stalking pays!

Oh, and yes, that's a ten+ year old bottle of my husband's Curve cologne.  It's a bit sentimental, the scent, not the bottle, so while it's not used, I like the memories it creates.  

Moving on, the display frame!  I originally thought I would get a shadowbox frame, but when the prices were close to $30 or more, I decided to pass.  I had also thought about creating my own peg board and customizing it to fit my needs, like this, but I really didn't want something giant on the wall.  It's just my space to get ready, not a showroom. So I grabbed a wooden tray, from the wood crafts section by Artminds (can't find it on the website) for just under $5.  It's extremely lightweight, and a bit cheap (obviously), but completely serves it purpose.  

I painted the handles and sides black, and then used spray adhesive for the Rifle Paper Co gift wrap.  I did a top coat of Mod Podge because I thought about giving it to the girls to use with their table as a serving tray.  Yeah, greedy mommy, I'm keeping it for myself.  I hot glued two picture hooks to the back, since all the screws I had were too long for it. I just used some clear push pins to hang the necklaces.   And the handles hanging vertically allow my to place my wide bangles for display too.

I'm sure I'll keep moving things around, or find new homes for some of the items in my jewelry box, so I stop forgetting I own certain pieces.   Nothing like a pretty and CHEAP DIY!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Stitch Fix #5

My fifth Stitch Fix arrived on Saturday, luckily we had just let Ashlynn sit down to watch Frozen.... because it was snowing, so that's like a given, so I took Kenley upstairs so I could try things on.

warning: photobombing in progress

I was lucky enough to have my same stylist as last time.  In my "note" to my stylist on the Stitch Fix website, I addressed it to her in hopes she'd be able to style again for me, since last time everything was on the mark.  She was close this time, definitely knows my style, but sadly not everything was worth keeping.  Or maybe, happily, for my husband's sake.

I had requested a light chambray shirt, my current one is spit up stained and it's time to chuck it.  I also requested any blouses that would transition to spring, casual pullover sweaters since I've been living in the other ones I've kept from previous fixes, and possibly a pair of denim I could wear with my booties.

She started her letter apologizing that they didn't have any chambray in stock, which is a bummer, since I probably would have kept it if it had the right fit.  She then said she included the Just Black Adorra Skinny Jean ($88) since it was a great color to pair with booties and would go with every item in my fix.

I decided to try them first.  Surprisingly they fit perfect in length, which being 5'2", I rarely find a pant with a perfect inseam.  However, I would classify them more as a straight leg jean than a skinny leg.  The pictures aren't the best, but the color is gray stone.  Because of the cut of the leg, they did not cuff well to be paired with my booties and overall I felt the style looked very hiker granola lady. Not trying to offend if you like cargos and Keens, but it's just not my style.  Going back.

Since she had said that the pants went with all the tops, I decided to try on the Skies are Blue Uruguay Pintuck Detail Top ($48).  

I love blue and white (umm, look at my bedroom behind me, ha), but I couldn't decide if I liked the floral print.  I decided to try it on with jeans, since I was over the pants.  While waffling over the print, I realized the pintuck detail at the center was pulling the fabric away from my midsection, making me feel like I was wearing a maternity shirt. I know blouses like this are meant to be loose and flowy, but the profile just wasn't flattering.  Going back.

Next up was the Fate Marshall Stripe Sweater ($78).  Rachel noted she chose the sweater because I had a lot of striped sweaters on my pinterest board.  One pin even had a plaid scarf so she included the Octavia Dustin Window Pane Print Infinity Scarf ($32), and she thought they would be a nice pattern mix together.  

The sweater has a different feel to it.  It's a bit stiff, and almost reminds me of a "summer sweater".  I looked at the content and it's 90% linen and 10% acrylic.  Which means it might actually be nice on cool summer nights.  Bad news, handwash or dry clean only.  Being a mom to two young toddlers, handwash and dry clean are not my first choice.  However, I (surprisingly) love the cropped fit and I generally don't buy black, so the stripe and style is like nothing I already own.  

Tried it on again later, still deciding. Wish it was $10-$20 less. 

I did try on the scarf and while I love the color and window pane print, I just don't need another scarf. And it feels a bit Fall/Winter in color and weight.  It'd be too warm for Spring, so while I like it, just bad timing and something I don't need.  I do agree with my stylist, it looks cute with the striped sweater.  Going back.

Finally was the 41 Hawthorn Colibri Arrow Print Tab-Sleeve Blouse ($48).  My stylist saw I had a few versions of this blouse pinned.  I had previously searched for Stitch Fix reviews on pinterest to find looks and items they have to show my style and preference.  She sent me one in arrow print. 

It's light weight and silky.  I like the fit and cut, though it is a tad longer than I expected (a bit more tunic length than blouse on my frame).  I like the versatility to dress up or dress down and that it could be worn any season.  It'd be cute with cut offs in the Summer, a blazer and riding boots in the Fall, dressed up with dark denim, black boots, and jewelry for a Winter date night, or just like above for a girl's day out shopping or drinking, or shopping and drinking.  Still undecided about this one too.  

If you'd like to sign up and try out Stitch Fix, please use my referral link here.  I'd love to hear your input while I decide which items I keep and send back!

Previous Fixes

Friday, February 20, 2015

Friday Five

So much random today...

1.  When I prodded Ashlynn some more for some bedroom inspiration, like what colors she wanted she answered,

"White.  Gray.  White and gray."  (my girl!)
(long pause)
"And red, purple, and green.  And pink"

Me:  "Do you like polka dots?"
A:  "No.  No polka dots.  I don't like them."
Me;  "Do you like stripes?"
A: "yeahhhh, I like stripes."

Aside for her dislike of polka dots(?) she's making this a breeze.  Luckily, there are some blatant bunny prints out there if I go in that direction.  I figure she is only 3, might as well make it fun for her, hopefully I can class it up bit.  As much as you can 'class' up a bunny room ;)

2.   I finally got myself a new wallet during the Kate Spade Secret Sale last week.  It was basically 60% off and I've had my outofdate lovely black on black Coach signature wallet for easily over 10 years.  It only has 6 card slots and considering I have probably 20 some cards, between credit/debit, rewards, gift, and IDs (medical, library, gym, etc) I've really been wanting to switch over to a wallet with twelve.  I rarely carry cash or my checks, so it's unnecessary.

I'm going to send in my wallet, along with some other unused bags to ThredUp who is wrapping up their "BagUp" promotion where you receive 100% of the sale price on all bags accepted.  I actually received over $80 for the matching Coach tote I sent in a few months back, which I was pretty sure they weren't even going to accept.  Worth the shot.  You can sign up and request your BagUp donation bag here!  You'll also receive a $10 credit to spend by using the referral link.

3.  Speaking of 'treat yo'self', Land's End is having their Friends and Family Sale.  You can sign up here with my member link to receive an email for $25 OFF your purchase over $75 and you can use Friend's and Family code SHARE30 and Pin 1001, just in case you need a pair of booties too!

4.  I love this jewelry organization set up.  I'm in the process of trying to get mine neatly all together in my closet and this was great inspiration.  I just need finish a few more things and I'll finally get my closet pictures together!

5.  The weather can stop it now.  Seriously.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Toddler Life

In just two months, my first sweet little baby will be three years old.  Every day she seems to grow, whether the fact she's finally wearing 3T, her ever expanding vocabulary and conversational structure, or her social skills with becoming braver to talking to people and using her manners.

She received a Frozen Look & Find book from my mom for Christmas, and I can't remember if I mentioned it, but she is obsessed.  She has every object memorized, yet, she still requests to 'read' it every night.  She now can pick out each item by name, and narrate the search the herself... "how about the grappling hook?"or "I don't see the pickled herring... there it is!".  Definitely adding a few more of these books to her collection.

We also decided that we are going to alternate party years with the girls, giving 'parties' as in bigger parties with lots of friends on even numbered birthdays.  This year Kenley will get a party when she turns 2 (Ashlynn had a 2nd birthday party last year) and Ashlynn will get another party when she turns 4 next year, etc.  Of course, her birthday will still be a big deal.  We'll have a family party and I'm planning on taking her to a tot salon for mommy and mini mani/pedi's and letting her get a glitter updo or braid if she wants.  She's already made a few present requests like a pink bunny, although today she asked for a yellow one, an Ariel barbie (like her cousin), and Elsa shoes.  I gave her a pair of Rapunzel shoes for her Valentine, since Target didn't have any Elsa one's and she loves 'Punzel just as much.  She's become a full on clacker around here.  #thetoddlerwearsprada

We did decide that we would finally makeover her room into a 'big girl' room, getting her a twin bed and bed frame and of course, a bit of new decor.  When I asked her what kind of room she would like - fearing character specific "Frozen" and hoping for less vague "Purple!" - she told me "bunny!"... a bunny room.  Good thing I have a jumping point for inspiration!

I've decided I'm going to sell her curtains.  They were custom made by Rocky Top Design are 84" long and have added black out lining.   They are in excellent used condition, no stains, and basically look brand new.  I'm asking $100 plus shipping.  Feel free to email me any questions if interested!

On a unrelated note, Valentine's is over, which means we busted out our green around these parts.

You bet our Irish eyes are smiling!

Monday, February 16, 2015

These Booties Were Made for Walking

I'm about to get really wordy because that' how I roll and if I was talking to you in real life, this is the discussion we'd have in between telling our children to share, not to stand on the table, and wiping up spilled milk.

I live in my Nikes.  They are comfortable, easy to slip on and off, keep my feet warmer than my flats in these insane cold temperatures, and I actually find I have more stability on ice with them, than actual snow boots.  However, since I'm trying to occasionally wear clothes other than leggings and hoodies and actually putting myself together if even just for a playdate or running errands, I've been missing a shoe I can wear with jeans, sweaters, and blouses.  I love my riding boots, but I always find myself skipping them, since they require boot socks, and sitting down to get on and off.  We always use our mudroom when entering the house and when my hands are full of bags and kids, and trying to help them get their shoes, coats, and accessories off, I just find the boots a hassle.  I love the bootie trend, but have been afraid of investing in a pair because I'm unsure how much I'd wear them, with them having a heel.  When out at the Anthro birthday event, I waffled over what shoes to wear because I didn't want to be standing around in my heeled boots, knowing my feet would never handle it.  My friend wore her pair booties and I asked if she wears them a lot and if they are comfortable.  She said she was actually surprised how often she does wear them.  So I decided to get looking.  I favorited these pairs and compared prices, sizes and discounts available.

I love the style of the Rag & Bone Harrow Booties, but can't stomach the price.  I decided to check out Land's End after getting an email with a 30% Off one full price item code, and found these.  I was able to get them for under $100 and free shipping!

They are perfect, I wanted a pair that dipped in front to help not cut straight across my ankle, a taupe suede color, a lower heel, that was still higher than one 1", and best of all, they aren't made with synthetic materials.  I do wish there was a strap or some embellishment, but I think the lack of one makes them more versatile.  They are so comfortable and I already know I will definitely be wearing them into the spring.  Excited to see what my next Stitch Fix has for me to wear them with ;)

Right now you can save $10 off $50, $25 off $100,  $50 off $150 with CODE PRESIDENT and PIN 1790, get free shipping and don't forget 3% back with ebates!

Do you find yourself wearing practical shoes (running shoes, toms, uggs, etc) all the time like me?  I'm thrilled the running shoe trend is in, but happy to have found a real shoe thats comfy and cute.

Friday, February 13, 2015

[Little Foodie] Go Play with Your Food!

A month ago or so, I came across an instagram account with the most adorable personalized melamine (BPA-free) plates by Dylbug.

The personalized plate, comes with not only child's name, but hair style and color, eye color,  and choice of skin tone. The plates come in two sizes, 8" and 10", and each can be ordered with a matching dress cookie/sandwich cutter.

I've mentioned before that Ashlynn has started to enter a pickier phase in her eating habits.  She used to eat anything and everything, especially veggies of all sorts.  Lately, she's become a classic toddler, refusing to try things based on looks, and insisting fruit snacks and cheddar bunnies are a complete and healthy lunch.  I started giving her "bear toast" on school mornings where she is running behind since she eats it pretty quickly.  She never would eat peanut butter toast for breakfast before, but add a few blueberries and banana slices (something we always have on hand), and she gobbles it up.  I knew when I saw this plate, it might help get her to try new things or old favorites she's recently turned her nose at. 

I definitely need some more practice with playing with my food, but look at some of these amazing ideas from Dylbug's insta page

And fret not boy mom's, they also have Little Me boy versions!  Seriously, the pirate... dead.

And Dylbug sells more than just Little Me Dress Up plates, but other personalized dish sets, placemats, lunch boxes, and puzzles too!

I'm excited to come up with new dress up ideas and hope that it encourages Ashlynn to branch out and eat more (nutritious) foods.  Do you play with your kids food to encourage them to eat?

FTC Disclosure:  I received a discount on my purchase of a Little Me Dress Up plate and cutter in exchange for my review.  As always, all opinions stated are mine.