Thursday, October 18, 2018

One Room Challenge | Week 3 | The Perfect Chandelier

Madeline’s bedroom came equipped with a flush mount overhead light. I affectionately refer to these as “boob” lights because well, that’s what they look like. While they don’t bother me in hallways and we have several other ones in our home, I just don’t love them or think they belong in a bedroom. Especially a sweet little girl’s “big girl room.”

Nothing makes a statement quite like a giant boob in the center of your ceiling, right? 

When trying to decide what I wanted to replace it with, I contemplated using a ceiling fan because that is my own preference for sleeping. But, we keep our thermostat set pretty low year-round and Madeline’s room is the first one off the exchange so it wasn’t really necessary, which gave me an even more exciting idea.

What says little girl’s bedroom more than a chandelier? 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Our Baby #2 "Registry"

We have less than two months to go until Baby Boy W makes his arrival and now that his nursery is ready, we are moving on to the rest of our final preparations. We have so many of the essential baby items that we saved from when Madeline was a newborn and infant so our wish list is very small. There are a few items that we skimped on last time, though, and a few others that I just feel will make life a little easier with two little ones.

We are not having a "shower" to prepare for this baby but I did put together a wish list for family and close friends who wanted to gift something and to be able to use the completion coupon for the few big purchases we needed to make. I was even able to score a few of the items in my local mom group as hand-me-downs and I'm excited that at this point we have almost everything we need for baby boy aside from a final outing for diapers, wipes, diaper genie refills, and all the first aid type things right before his arrival.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 
Madeline did not sleep as a newborn. She is such a great sleeper now but that didn't kick in until right before she was six months old. In the beginning she did not sleep. Even as my maternity leave ended when she was twelve weeks old, she was still only sleeping two hour stretches. So, needless to say I'm a little traumatized and decided to splurge on alllll the baby sleep contraptions this time. I got the Halo bassinet because Madeline just loved white noise and vibration when she was tiny. I scored this second-hand from another mom along with a dockatot. This was another splurge because they are pricey but at the same time baby sleep is priceless when you need sleep yourself! One of my friends gifted me an auto rock-n-play. We had the vibration one for Madeline and she really did love it. I am fully aware that these are not safe for night sleep and that using them for extended periods of time can cause hip dysplasia and plagiocephaly so I'll just go ahead and share that I'm not planning to use the rock n play for baby boy to sleep in at night. But, Madeline's rock-n-play was so nice to have for early morning wakeups, naps during fussy phases, and folding up to take with us on the go.

I have this video monitor on my list because I have heard such incredible things about it. I'm not willing to give up Madeline's monitor now that she has so much more freedom with her big girl bed and find a video monitor to be worth every penny. A total must for each child in my opinion! Something else that is worth its weight in gold is a sound machine. I love this one specifically because it has a more natural sound (like a fan) and doesn't get too loud. Its loud enough to drown out the dog barking, the doorbell, or a party downstairs but not so loud that I worry about damaging my child's hearing.

We have the Baby Jogger City Select stroller and have been so happy with it. We use it for neighborhood walks and take it with us to the park, the Greenway, and for outings like the zoo. Our second seat kit just arrived yesterday and I am excited to unbox it and try out the different configurations. I love that this stroller is tandem as opposed to side by side so that it isn't quite as wide. I always keep an umbrella stroller in the trunk of my car, too, so I ordered this double one when it was on sale for less than fifty dollars. I won't be able to use it until Baby Boy is bigger but I know it will come in handy for impromptu trips to the mall or other errands where I don't want to baby wear or Madeline to be able to run free .

This shopping cart hammock came highly recommended to me in a local mom group and it is one of the coolest items I think we have gotten for Baby Boy. It attaches to a shopping cart and baby can either lay in it or you can set the car seat inside and still have room underneath for your shopping items. This leaves the seat in the front of the cart free for Madeline, who definitely still needs to be buckled in tightly to prevent her from wreaking havoc on a trip to Target. I already have an Ergo and K'Tan that I enjoyed with Madeline for when I want to wear Baby Boy while shopping.

My friends who have two children have raved about the Joovy Spoon walker and I was lucky enough to snag it for a steal in our mom group. It folds flat, which is always nice since baby gear can take over your home, and my friends say its a great place for Baby to be once they start to be mobile and you are busy getting big brother or big sister dressed for the day or fed breakfast.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6
I am planning to try to nurse again this time although I've shared before that it was a really stressful process for Madeline and me. We introduced bottles early with Madeline and she never resisted taking one which made the process easier. I love the Comotomo bottles and have fresh nipples on my list to purchase because I know the rubber can get gross and unsafe over time. I also have milk storage bags and the membranes for my pump on my list. 

When I was registering for bath products for Madeline I really had not clue what to purchase and ended up adding products to my registry that contained ingredients that make me cringe now. This time around, I am planning to use the Beautycounter baby bundle of wash, oil, and balm and this diaper cream. I am also a big fan of this diaper cream for extreme rashes. We only had to use it a couple times with Madeline but boy am I glad someone told me about it and it is a safe product! 

For diapers this time, I am planning to try out Pampers Pure. I know diapers can be hit or miss and sometimes depend on the baby. I really want to go artificial fragrance and chlorine-free. There are a number of brands that offer this now that more has come out about the dangers of fragrance but what appeals to me about this brand is that it is available in most stores that stock regular Pampers - including the pharmacy and grocery store by our house so that when I undoubtedly run out right before bedtime I can just grab a new box.

We have this humidifier for Madeline and have been so happy with it that I plan to get another. I know that at some point both babes will be sick and congested at the same time and I will be glad to have two. I also need to replace our Nose Frida because I have absolutely no idea what happened to ours once Madeline learned to blow her own nose but know I certainly can't live without it. I'll also stock up on baby Tylenol, saline, gripe water, gas drops, and a new pacifier medicine dispenser because those are things you need when you least expect them. 

We still have Madeline's infant carseat, snap n go, swing, bouncer, pack-n-play, play yard, play mat, infant toys, jumper, baby bath tub, bottles, and diaper genie that we plan to reuse and tons of other gear that I'm sure I'm forgetting about at this moment! 

Mamas of two or more - I'd love to hear your must-have items for preparing for baby number two's arrival. 

Monday, October 15, 2018

Madeline’s Visit to the Pumpkin Patch

Happy Monday, friends! I am popping in later than usual this Monday because we have just been busy with all things baby, family, and home.

Corey, Madeline, and I enjoyed a low key weekend this weekend with lots of grilling, time on the porch, and even fires in the fireplace at night. Fall seems to finally have arrived in Charlotte and I couldn’t be happier about being able to wear leggings and long sleeves.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

One Room Challenge | Week 2 | A Big Girl Bed

A couple months after my mother-in-law moved to Charlotte she called me and asked if I would be interested in the guest room bed from her Florida home for Madeline. When my father-in-law passed away and she decided to move closer to us the following year she was combining two homes into one and many items didn’t make the cut. The bed in question was one of them. She had purchased it just three years earlier when she and my father-in-law began spending the winters in Florida. 

I always feel like I am more traditional with decor than what is “on-trend” and I go towards wooden furniture. I knew this bed, unlike an upholstered headboard which I had previously considered, would last Madeline through her time in our home. Even though it wasn’t a true match for her dresser that I loved so much, I could tell that some of its details would be a great fit and the two pieces would look gorgeous together. 

Monday, October 8, 2018

Coffee + Conversation

Happy Monday, friends. I hope it was a nice weekend for everyone and that your Monday is off to a great start.

Madeline and I kicked off our weekend with a little donut date. There is a great donut place in Charlotte that makes the best donuts. Our favorite is glazed with fresh strawberry icing and sprinkles. It isn't located in an area of town that is very convenient for us but it just worked out that we had an errand to run in the area so we popped in to grab one. Madeline was so excited.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

One Room Challenge | Week 1 | Before and Inspiration Board

When we learned that we were pregnant this time, I knew that I would be designing not just one but two rooms in our home. Why, yes, we do need a nursery fit to bring home a sweet baby boy but since Madeline would be getting evicted from her crib, I knew I wanted to transform her room into the perfect space for our big girl who is becoming a big sister so soon! 

If you’ve been reading here a while you know that we still lived in our first home when she was born but that while I was pregnant our contract fell through on what we thought was our dream home. So, I moved along with designing her nursery around the space we had and it did turn into such a beautiful, serene room but there were things I never got to do because I knew that we wouldn’t be in that home for much longer. For example, I really wanted a beautiful accent wall. I dreamed of soft floral wallpaper. I thought of a feminine chandelier casting the prettiest glow onto her walls at bed time. But those types of projects just didn’t make sense in terms of resale value for our home so I didn’t end up bringing any of those dreams to fruition when designing her nursery. All of her furniture fit beautifully in her tiny space in our first home though and I was so pleased with how her nursery came out after all.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

26-30 Week Bumpdate

How in the world did we get to 30 weeks? This just blows my mind and it is so surreal knowing that we will meet Baby Boy in 8-10 weeks. So, so soon. Yet, also as anyone whose ever experienced the third trimester knows, also so very far away!

How far along: 30 weeks

Baby is the size of: a large cabbage and weighs almost three pounds.

Weight gain: 22-24 pounds depending on the day. Really getting up there but I'm still feeling good and staying active so I'm just trying to ignore the scale!

Monday, October 1, 2018

5 Goals for October

This morning I found it a little hard to believe that it was actually October. Where did the month of September go? And more importantly, where oh where is the fall weather in North Carolina?

September really went by in a blur and it was the first month in recent months that I didn’t accomplish everything on my goals list for the month so let’s start with those things since I’m moving them over to be completed this month.

1. Plan a baby moon with Corey. We have tossed around so many ideas but haven’t gotten anything down in the books. Other events and obligations keep popping up on our calendar and stealing all of our weekends! We do have an idea of what we want to do but trying to get it booked is a whole different story because I won’t be traveling after 36 weeks even by car because I can’t risk having to deliver at a different hospital after having a serious complication with my last delivery. So hopefully that gets all settled in the next week or two! 

Thursday, September 27, 2018

How I Fight Acne While Pregnant

My teenage self would have certainly thought breakouts and acne would be a thing of the past at this stage in my life, however my skin is just SO susceptible to hormonal breakouts.

When I can feel a deep breakout forming it is a tell-tale sign that my period will arrive within a few days. At this stage in my life, I’ve kind of figured out a routine to catch and treat them early. However, most of the products that treat acne contain ingredients, such as benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid that are not safe during pregnancy.

When I think about that gorgeous “pregnancy glow” I certainly don’t think of hormonal acne. But in reality, it has been a struggle for me in both of my pregnancies. When I was pregnant with Madeline, I used this bundle by Belli, a brand of skincare specifically formulated to be safe for pregnant women. The spot treatment uses sulfur instead of salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. While it really did help with acne, I feel like it didn’t really make my skin feel great overall and I just wasn’t very comfortable with my skin in my first pregnancy.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Coffee + Conversation

Happy Monday, friends! I hope you all had a great weekend.

On Friday, we went to Lowe’s as a family and picked up a couple items we needed for some projects around the house, like gold spray paint to freshen up some dresser hardware, and stepping stones for the back yard. Wild Friday night I tell you! But Madeline enjoyed looking at all the inflatable Halloween decorations and we went out for dinner and frozen yogurt as a family afterwards. 

I sure won’t be sad when all these projects are completed! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

5 Things I'm Loving Right Now

Happy Wednesday, friends! We are finally back to preschool and our regular routine today and I have to say I am really looking forward to settling back in to our new routine. With the storm and being trapped in the house, it was the perfect time to focus on a little online shopping. Here is what I am loving right now.

I missed these in the Nordstrom sale this year but still really wanted them. I kept hearing how comfortable they were, which is always a win for me. I kind of feel like at this point in my life I am over wearing uncomfortable shoes just for the sake of cuteness. These have been cycling in and out of stock (not on sale, though) and I finally caught the gray pair in my size. They arrived just before the storm and I love them. They really are so comfortable and perfect for this time of year when it is basically fall but won't feel like it for quite some time in North Carolina.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Coffee + Conversation

Happy Monday, friends! I hope you all had a great weekend and that if your area was in the path of Florence that you are safe this morning. We were very lucky that Charlotte didn’t get quite as big of a hit as they were expecting and that our house sits up so high that we didn’t have any of the flooding that other parts of town, and even other parts of our neighborhood, experienced.

Preschool is cancelled again today so we aren’t quite back to our normal schedule today but still getting off pretty un-scathed considering so I have no complaints. Except taking Madeline with me to my glucose test appointment since that’s a long time to keep a toddler entertained at the doctor’s office! 

Friday, September 14, 2018

My Second Trimester Workout Routine

Happy Friday! With Hurricane Florence on track to cause a lot of rain and flooding in our area over the next few days, this has been a busy week as I prepared and then had to rearrange some projects and appointments I had planned so my posting has been a little sporadic this week. This post was originally scheduled for Wednesday but I have been running around like a mad woman this week. Corey made it home early from his travels this week, which instantly relaxed me, knowing I won’t be home along if we do have bad weather or lose power. Now, we just relax and use the excuse of days of rain to finish some tasks at home.

I’ve shared before that a big personal goal for me for this pregnancy was staying active and continuing to exercise appropriately throughout. I shared my first trimester workout routine here. The end of my first trimester coincided with the end of Madeline’s preschool year, which caused me to switch up my workout routine just a bit since the gym I use for cardio equipment does not provide childcare.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Our Family Beach Trip

Happy Tuesday, friends. I hope the day finds you well and you are safe if you are in the path of the storm. Before I delve into the post I had planned for today I wanted to take just a moment to send out my love and appreciation for all the families who have been deeply effected by today. I feel so blessed to have grown up in the United States and to have the opportunity to raise my daughter here with all the freedoms our nation provides.

Today, I wanted to share a little recap of our end of summer beach trip. The week before last we took off the later half of the week and headed to the beach. It was our family’s only trip this summer since Corey and I traveled for a couple weddings back in June.

We went to Wild Dunes on the Isle of Palms, which is about twenty minutes from Charleston. I had never stayed at this resort even though I’ve been vacationing at the Charleston-area beaches my whole life but I have to say it was so family-friendly and was definitely the perfect choice for our family and super active little lady.

Friday, September 7, 2018

22-26 Week Bumpdate

Happy Friday, friends! This week has been a busy one as Madeline started back to preschool (just two hours at a time this week) and I delved into alllll the projects at home. I'm technically 26 weeks, 6 days right now but I typed this out earlier in the week so we will still call it a 26 week bumpdate and it will be my last one of the second trimester. Things are getting real!

How far along: 26 weeks (less than 90 days to go!)

Baby is the size of: a rutabaga

Weight gain: 18 pounds. I've gained more weight much faster this time, which is so interesting to me because I've eaten healthy most of the time and have stayed much more active. Not that I am worrying over a number, I have just found how totally different this pregnancy has been in almost every way from my first one so fascinating. Pregnancy is such a mystery sometimes!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Our Screened-In Porch Addition

Over the winter we crossed off one of the biggest projects from our wish list for our home - we built a screened-in porch. This was high on our list when searching for a new home but our house checked off so many of our other important boxes that we compromised with the intention of adding one later.

We have two beautiful sets of French doors in our living room that opened out onto a large deck. The deck was original to our older home and had been well maintained but still wasn’t in the best condition due to its age. We purchased a large outdoor umbrella for our first two summers in the home while we saved for such a big project. Then, last year we moved our focus to the outside of our home. All of the must-do projects inside are complete. Of course there is more I’d love to do one day (kitchen and bathrooms, I’m looking at you), but we were finally ready to create the outdoor space we’d been envisioning since we purchased our home. And even before actually!

We interviewed several builders before choosing the right one who shared our vision of a beautiful outdoor entertaining space that looked natural as a permanent addition to our older home. 

Our porch is the same size as the deck before except that it is a perfect rectangle now and the door is in a different location than the previous stairs. This gave us such a large entertaining space and it really has been a dream come true. 

We chose dark Trex composite decking (in the color spiced rum in case you're curious) on the floor so that it would never need to be restained or painted, aluminum railing, and an off-white for the walls and beadboard ceiling. Then we added a dark beam and bronze hardware for a little contrast. I am so pleased with how it came out and it does look like such a natural addition to our home as if it was always meant to be there.

We repurposed the furniture we had before, using our old conversation set on the small open porch, turning our old coffee table into a child-sized table for Madeline and her friends, and keeping our old dining set just as it was. 

We did purchase a large new sectional. We purchased it sight unseen online after reading dozens of reviews and just crossed our fingers. We needed something large - at least eight feet on each side yet didn't want to spend a million dollars! While I'm a believer in "buy it once and buy it right" I also really try to balance that with practicality and this sectional gave us so much bang for our buck. We are so pleased with it and it really is perfect for the space. The blue color ties in so nicely with the decor inside our home, too.

I recently purchased this rug. It was such a steal price-wise and now I feel like our porch is complete. Or almost complete - I do have some outdoor curtains on my wish list for the fall so we'll be able to block the sun while watching afternoon football games. I picked up the tall rattan planters for next to nothing from Aldi and stumbled upon the lantern at HomeGoods. We have spent so much time out here already and it might just be our favorite room of the house. Or at least my husband’s!

Transforming the outside of our house has been a labor of love and we are still not quite done. The front landscaping needed to be ripped out to just the foundation plants and is finally almost finished and the backyard is so completely different from where we started! We previously had tunnels and archways cut into shrubs to create kind of an English garden. It was beautiful when perfectly trimmed and I know it was a labor of love for the previous owners but unfortunately it was just too segmented and high maintenance for us as a family with young children. Landscaping is far from my specialty but I have learned a lot about it and am so pleased whenever I sit on the porch and stare out into the open, green space that Madeline and Riley so love to play in. 

Next year we hope to add a small grilling patio over to the left before calling our outdoor project complete!

Now, what fun is any room tour without showing you where we began? So, here’s a few “before” photos from our house’s listing.

Obviously lots of overgrown bushes and a few trees were removed to make this project possible but I am so pleased with the finished result. And in the spirt of keeping it real, I snapped these photos in a hurry and shared them with you in all their unedited glory - leaves, dead parsley, and toddler toys and all. But such is life!

You can view more home posts here

Monday, September 3, 2018

5 Goals for September

Happy Labor Day! I hope you all have a fun day planned and are enjoying a little relaxation. We spent the last few days at the beach with Madeline and had such a fun time, even though it was hot! I sure hope the start of September means fall is around the corner because I am really looking forward to some cooler weather soon. 

I can’t believe September is here already but I’m not sad to see it either. Here are my five goals for the month: 

Finish the nursery! This is number one on my list. I have all the pieces except for a replacement light fixture and the handles I want to swap out for the dresser but now I need to put things together and hang art.

Rework my schedule. I’m a paper and pen planner type of girl for staying organized. Even so, it has certainly been a challenge over the summer with no reinforcements. Now that preschool is starting back, I am looking forward to a little extra time - at least for a couple months until Baby Boy arrives. I’m hoping to rework my time to make myself a little more efficient. 

Plan a mini babymoon with Corey. The last time we had a solo trip away was back in February even though we did enjoy time in New Hampshire and San Francisco for some weddings this summer. We love taking long weekends together just the two of us each quarter so I am excited to plan one last little weekend away in the next couple months before baby boy makes his debut.

Start sourcing and ordering items for Madeline’s big girl room transformation. I have a treat for you guys because I think I am going to share her room makeover as part of the One Room Challenge. I can’t wait to get started on this project as soon as the nursery is finished. 

Meal plan! This was the only goal from last month I didn’t fully accomplish. I did get back into the swing of cooking more but I still did a lot of flying by the seat of my pants. I’m hoping with the return of preschool I can get back into my regular routine with this because I feel like I spend way less money and eat much healthier when I plan our family’s meals out for the week ahead of time.

What are you hoping to accomplish this month? 

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Baby Boy's Nursery Inspiration

Today I am so excited to share the nursery inspiration board I created for Baby Boy's nursery. I have been hard at work on this room already trying to get the bigger projects tackled so that I can move along to Madeline's big girl room transformation. It is still a long way from finished but I just can't wait to see it all come together.

This room is so, so different from what I had planned if Madeline had been a boy. You can see that post here. I decided to use navy as my focal color for this room because I feel like it is a color that he can grow into - suitable for sweet little babes or bigger boys, too. I love decorating with blues but I personally usually opt for lighter shades so I am also loving that this is something so far from what I have done before.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Coffee + Conversation

Happy Monday!

This weekend we focused on getting a few projects finished and I am feeling good to get a few things checked off our to-do list. While preparing for a baby to arrive our list is truly endless! 

On Saturday morning I did head out bright and early to The Bar Method. This is where I take classes and they celebrated their third anniversary over the weekend. I was a vendor with Beautycounter and had such a fun time sharing our mission and demoing some of our favorite products. 

Friday, August 24, 2018

Fall Shopping for the Toddler with Mac + Mia

We are so looking forward to heading back to school in just two weeks. As a former teacher, this is one of my favorite times of year. As a parent, it can be stressful though, because toddlers grow so fast that they need an entire new wardrobe each year.

When my friend, Lynn, shared that she had recently taken the leap to become a stylist for Mac + Mia, I was immediately intrigued. I purchase Madeline’s play clothes second hand from a local mom group but I also love her to have nicer, cute pieces to wear around town, to play dates, and to music class. I just love baby and kids clothes so much and I love picking out her outfits, while she's still young enough to let me.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Wednesday Coffeetalk

Happy Wednesday, friends. We are in our last two weeks before preschool starts back and things have seemed so busy even though we had very little on the calendar.

Over the weekend, Corey and I didn't get a sitter or plan anything and just tried to relax. We ordered in both nights, enjoyed some time outside on the porch, and crossed a few projects off our to-do list.

This is my busy time of year for Teachers pay Teachers so I have had a little more work to do in my store than usual but it has also been such a blessing for all of my nursery and big-girl room wish list items. I can't wait to share with you all the inspiration boards for both in the next couple weeks and some of the progress we have made in the nursery.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

3 Favorite Beauty Tools You Can Find on Amazon

Ever since becoming a mom, I have a new appreciation for Amazon and online shopping in general. It is just so much more convenient for me to order the products I need and have them shipped to my door instead of dragging an unruly two year old all over town.

I have found a couple beauty tools that I just love that are available on Amazon. These have become part of my regular  beauty regimen and I’m so glad I stumbled upon them online. 

Monday, August 13, 2018

Coffee + Conversation

Happy Monday, friends. Thank you all for your kind words on Friday’s post - it was a fun one to write and we had a great anniversary.

On Friday, Madeline graduated from toddler soccer. I'm not sure she learned a whole lot (haha!) but we did have fun trying a new activity. I cooked dinner on Friday to kick off the weekend. I made bruschetta chicken and freshly baked bread and we had a nice relaxing evening of watching Suits. We are currently on Season 5.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Six Lessons Learned in Six Years of Marriage

Tomorrow Corey and I will celebrate our sixth wedding anniversary. It is hard to believe that we have been married that long while at the same time it seems a life time ago that I was a twenty-three year old resigning my very first job to pack up my life and move up north with my brand new fiancé to plan our wedding.

Its been quite the ride so far and we've experienced a lot together from lots of fun vacations, new jobs, enduring a few awful jobs, several moves, building a home, selling it to buy another one, the loss of a parent, expecting our first baby and raising her into a real little person, me leaving my full time job, and now expecting another little one. We've definitely seen our fair share of changes...and challenges, too.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

18-22 Week Bumpdate

This pregnancy is flying by! I think I’ve said that every update so far but I really couldn’t believe it was time to post one again and even contemplated skipping the update since it feels like I just did one.

How far along: 22 weeks (22 weeks 5 days to be exact)

Baby is the size of: a spaghetti squash 

Weight gain: 12-14 pounds. It depends on the day but so far I am right at “average." This is double what I’d gained at this point with Madeline but I had a lot of trouble gaining in the beginning with her, which resulted in growth scans and extra checkups, and then it all packed on (and then some) at the end. I definitely think I look much bigger this go around!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Coffee, Conversation, and a call for Help

Better late than never, I suppose. I’m popping in later than usual on this Monday because I had my twenty-two week (!) checkup this morning and didn’t get a chance to get my post together before getting Madeline and myself out the door. It’s not an easy task these days with a stubborn, independent little lady!

On Friday I picked up Madeline an Elsa dress up costume. It was a $5 hand me down from our mom group and it was definitely the best $5 I’ve spent lately because she spent the whole weekend pretending to be a princess. 

Friday, August 3, 2018

On Leaving the Classroom (three years out)

It’s that time of the year - fresh glue sticks line the bins at Target alongside freshly sharpened ready-to-use pencils, composition books, and colorful folders. Little things that I used to get so excited about as I prepared my room for the twenty-some students who would soon make it their second home for nine months a year.

This school year marks the third year that I have not returned to the classroom. I was recently interviewed by our state newspaper about the current teacher shortage in our state and why so many teachers are choosing to leave the profession.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

5 Goals for August

It seems like I blinked and July passed by. I really feel like we just returned from our trip to San Francisco but that was over a month ago!

I’m happy to say that I accomplished everything on my “July” goals list. That doesn’t always happen for me - a lot of time life gets in the way but I really tried to narrow down what was most important for me right now and I’m happy to say I completed it even though I don’t know how because the month went by so quickly.

For August I have a few goals:

1. Finish the nursery. Aside from moving the queen bed out and the crib in because I’m not *quite* ready to transition Madeline out of the crib yet but I’d like to finish the space aside from that swap and get art purchased and hung, the closet organized, etc.

2. Host two charity socials with Beautycounter. These are socials where the profits go to a school, church, or charity in need or to a family in need of financial assistance for adoption or medical expenses. One of the reasons I chose to partner with this company is that we really put our money where our mouth is for helping those in need. If you know someone or an organization who might benefit from this, please help me get in touch. 

3. Keep working out at least five days a week and get back into the swing of meal planning. I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants all month as far as cooking goes and need to do better with planning and prepping our meals.

4. Plan a last-minute mini family vacation so that Madeline gets a few days at the beach this year. Most of our travel time for the summer went to our trip to New England and San Francisco but we still want to sneak in a quick trip with our girl during her last months as an only child. 

5. Celebrate our sixth wedding anniversary!

What is on your "to-do" list of goals for August?

Monday, July 30, 2018

Coffee + Conversation

Happy Monday! This weekend just flew by like they all seem to recently.

We ordered Thai takeout on Friday night to relax after a long week and enjoyed it while watching Suits. 

Then, on Saturday we went to breakfast as a family and ran some errands. We ended up at a local baby furniture store to test out gliders. I know my husband really loves me because I know that is not how he wanted to spend his Saturday. The biggest lesson we learned from that shopping experience is that Madeline will not be getting a big girl bed with a ladder and slide for her room. Haha! 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Stenciled Art for the Nursery

I am not very artistic but I do love a good DIY craft. For Madeline's nursery, I made her some decoupage wooden blocks using scrapbook paper that matched the decor of her nursery. They were really just a filler to style the shelves above her dresser and changing table but as she got older she really developed an interest in them. I told her that I made them for her when she was a baby in my belly and now she loves telling me about how Mommy made them for her before she was born. So, I knew I wanted to do some kind of craft for Baby Boy's nursery, too.

I recently went to a friend's birthday party at a local wine and design type studio. We used stencils to make wooden wall signs. It was such an easy craft but they all turned out so pretty. So, when Stencil Revolution contacted me about reviewing a set of their stencils, I knew this was exactly what I was looking for to add a special touch to the new nursery.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Coffee + Conversation

Happy Monday, friends.

We had a great weekend this weekend. On Friday night we went out with some friends to see Zoso, a Led Zeppelin cover band that was performing in town. It was a fun way to start the weekend.

Then on Saturday I took Madeline to her little friend’s birthday party in the morning while Corey went golfing. We came home in time for nap (after letting her eat chocolate cake with a sand shovel on the way home) and I took a few minutes to rest for myself. This has been the absolute hardest part of being pregnant the second time around. I am just exhausted all the time and have very little time to just lay down and relax or sneak in a quick nap.