Life Lately

Monday, March 27, 2017

It's MONDAY and it's Spring Break, which means we are doing absolutely nothing. I wish I was jumping on a plane with the family for a tropical vacation, but instead, I'm sitting here in my pajamas, I've eaten approximately 3 donuts this morning alone, and my house looks like we got ransacked. The kids are also still in their pajamas, 2 out of 3 are napping and I'm wrestling with the idea of working or napping. Virtually the same as vacation, right? #onemaitaiplease
We have been very busy lately getting bedrooms moved, working on a few house projects, doing some spring cleaning and perfecting life with three, just before #4 comes along and throws us for a loop :)
We took a break over the weekend and headed to the mountains for a birthday celebration with family. The kids played with cousins, we (as in the kids, collin, and my calfs) hot-tubbed in the snow, and we even snuck in a nap & a movie! 
Winnie has really become a little person in the past few weeks and we all love to watch her personality develop. She's quite sassy and her opinion is strong. She's not going to be limited by her size or her age and she is NOT going to be taken advantage of by the older kids. This means no cheap toy trades, no stealing her snacks and absolutely nobody will be allowed to keep her from participating in big-kid activities. FOMO at it's finest. 
I'm bound & determined to find something exciting to do this week, in honor of spring break, so if you have any ideas, send them my way. So far, all I have in mind is ice cream ...  #pregnant

It Takes a Village

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

It's really easy as a mom to get into a rut of feeling under-appreciated ... even when you know you are. "He has no idea how much I really do" or "they'll never understand what my life really looks like" are thoughts we all likely have, regardless of how many kids you have, whether you work at home, stay at home or work outside the house (or a combination of it all!).

I think we as moms can encourage each other, fill each other's buckets (if you don't have this book for your kids, it's a MUST) and love on each other most effectively, as we an relate to each other's wins & losses, and fill in for each other where others might not know to. Hint: It doesn't take much! It's sort of like Christmas shopping .... whenever I'm out picking out gifts, I always think about all the amazing gifts I could give to someone like myself, HA! But I'm the only person I don't buy for. #irony

 
Here's a few ideas how we, as moms, can lift each other up... cause we know BEST what us mamas need!

1. Send your mama friends a bouquet of flowers on their baby's first birthday ... this little gesture goes a long way and just gives mamas a little encouragament ... a "you did it!". (Flowers are also appreciated on the most normal of days!) Farm Girl Flowers are our favorites!!

2. Deliver coffee to a mama stuck at home. We've all had those moments where we're trapped in the house, whether it's nap time, a brand new baby, sick babes or just can't gather the circus. If you find yourself near a coffee shop, help a sista out and bring her some coffee (bonus for Donuts!!)

3. Make double if you're doing a crock pot dinner or something similar that's easy to duplicate. Pack it up Pioneer Woman style and drop that baby off at someones front door. I promise you, it won't get wasted.

4. Invite, Invite, Invite! I'm always trying to find something to do with the kids (especially when the weather is gross) and we're almost always open to invitations to doing things! We love to invite friends over, meet at parks or coffee shops or even adventure together to museums or new places. Going somewhere is easier with a group, feels less intimidating sometimes, and let's face it ... 4 year olds can only be so interesting. A mama needs to vent sometimes!

5. An encouraging word goes a really long way. A simple text to let someone know they're an amazing mom, their kids are so sweet or that they're doing a great job balancing it all really goes a long way. It doesn't cost a dime to be nice to someone, and I've never met someone who doesn't love an encouraging compliment. Win-win, my friends.

It's often said that it's "take a village" to raise kids, but let's be honest, it also takes a village to keep us moms afloat. I'd be nothing if not for my friends & family, who love me, regardless of how my kids act, regardless of what I'm wearing (or not wearing) and ultimately, regardless of how much I can suck as a friend sometimes. Be encouraged, we all drop the ball, we all have hard days and our kids all act like lunatics. If you're at a place where you can pass along a little joy & encourage a mama, DO IT. Not only will you brighten her day, you'll brighten your own! 

XO

Pregnancy UPDATE!

Monday, March 20, 2017


It's hard to believe I'm over halfway done with this pregnancy. I genuinely felt like I counted every week with my other pregnancies and really couldn't have had them pass quickly enough. This one is just so different - it's been the easiest pregnancy ever, I sometimes even forget I'm pregnant?! The first 20 weeks have absolutely dashed by and I have had little to no side effects. I consider myself incredibly lucky for this, considering it's my 4th and a laid-up, sick, pregnant mama is really just not an option at the juncture. We're very excited for another baby, but are in no hurry, whatsoever. We're enjoying everyone's ages, spending this time building up some exciting plans and hoping that things will slow down just a little bit before #4.

I'd do the traditional "bump-date" but my answers would be so lame - I have no idea how much weight I've gained, I have zero cravings and everything else is operating at a strangely normal pace. They say there's always a calm before the storm, so I'm not counting myself out, but so far, I'm feeling pretty grateful for smooth sailing! 

We're not finding out gender this time (we've only found out for Winnie) and are super excited about it, albeit my impatience at times. The convenience of knowing is really wonderful, but the surprise and the excitement of not knowing is too much to pass up. It's definitely not for everyone and we are, by nature, not "planners".  Knowing the gender with Winnie was almost a stressor for me, as I felt I had no excuse not to be 100% prepared. This time around, I'll pack a coming home outfit for each gender and the rest will be figured out as soon as the baby arrives! We're still working on a boy name, but are pretty certain about our girl name. The kids have their guesses, I have mine, Collin is our resident "non-guesser" and we're all just super excited for another addition to the family. Bellamy has prepared seventeen beds for the "second baby" and Baylor is obsessed with my belly. As for Winnie, she's just concerned that she's not going to miss out on a meal, baby or no baby. 

Things are moving quickly and we just can't wait to see that sweet baby face! There will be no shortage of kisses and snuggles, and everyone is pretty pumped for that!

What's for Lunch?

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Food is hit or miss over here. Some days & weeks, I'm excited to feed my family, ready to take on new recipes and motivated to feed everyone as if they're Tom & Gisele. Never fails though, the following week is a chick-fil-a, chipotle, pizza marathon. Dinner is hard, as Collin travels or has evening commitments frequently and the thought of preparing a well balanced meal for 3 toddlers who could care less is just not incredibly motivating. They'd be thrilled with annie's mac & cheese and a side of apple slices (and so would I). SO, lunch is where I tend to get most creative, it's where the kids eat the most and it's my personal favorite meal of the day!

Here's what's been on our plates lately: 
Avocado with Sea Salt . Raspberries . Penne with TJ's 4 Cheese Pomodoro Sauce

Edamame with Sea Salt . Blue Berries . Organic Chicken & Veggie Potstickers with a teriyaki dip
Spinach, Artichoke & Parmesan Dip . Raspberries . Organic Honey Roasted Turkey . Wheat Crackers

As far as snacks go, the kids eat a lot of grapes, yogurt, granola bars, fresh berries when they're in season, clementine oranges, apple slices dipped in virtually anything (nutella, peanut butter) and crackers or pretzels with hummus or a spinach dip. We also make a fair amount of smoothies.

And of course, I can't fail to mention our very favorite dishes from RePlay Recycled. I just ordered an entire set of cups & bowls and plan on getting rid of almost everything else. These hold up so much better than anything we've used, they stack together perfectly, and the colors are everything you could ever hope for. A total win in the ol' mom-book. ;)

Tutu Round-Up

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Tutus are a way of life at our house and Bellamy considers it an absolute tragedy when I don't let her wear a tutu for the day. How dare I? ;) SO... I'm always on the hunt for new tutus, so my eyes don't bleed when we walk out the door. I should specify - I could care less what she wears when we're home, but I do have a preference what she wears out the door and costume-like tutus don't leave the house. Because listen, we don't need to be walking around Target like a princess... she already thinks we ought to bow down at her feet. 

I've found a few small shops lately that I really love for tutu's, and of course, the regulars always have some good & inexpensive options.
 

  ONE // TWO // THREE // FOUR // FIVE // SIX // SEVEN // EIGHT 

Happy twirling!

Out of the Mouth of Babes

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Today I'm sharing my personal version of kids say (& do) the darnedest things... because sometimes I wonder if this is really my life... 

// Baylor's been skipping his nap more recently, which is fine, as long as he has a "rest period" in his room. Yesterday, after he was quietly in his room for just over an hour, I went to check on him. As I opened the door, I noticed his pants, laying tangled on the floor, and him, naked from waste down, playing with his trucks. Me: "Baylor, what happened to your pants?" Him: "I had to pee!" Instantly assuming worst case, I asked him where he might of had an accident on the floor (which never happens, but kids, they always get you where you least expect it). He ever-so-nonchalantly handed me a ziploc bag FULL of pee. OMG. Me: "WHAT?! Where did you get this? Did you spill?!" Him: "No mom, I just dumped out some of my trucks ... you let me pee in a cup in the van at Chick-fil-a, what's the difference?" touche, buddy. 

 // While driving to pick up Baylor from preschool, I noticed Winnie's face covered in a white "substance" (in retrospect, I guess I should be thankful it wasn't brown) ... I immediately knew to ask the culprit what Winnie was eating to which she replied "wipstick". Winnie had eaten half of an EOS lip balm and proceeded to start gagging in the backseat and scratching her tongue. She survived, however the chap stick wasn't as fortunate.

// I told Baylor he needs to lay down in his bed for a nap, and he stood next to the bed, crossed his arms, and with a very disgruntled look, said "SO, how is this going to work? You have a tv, a bath tub and a sink in your room and I got nuffing. What am I supposed to do in here?" Poor guy hasn't quite figured out the pecking order around here ;) 

// Bellamy told Baylor this morning that she is "THE QUEEN" and that he must blow bubbles in her face when she walks by ... he looked at her like she was drunk and then smacked her on the ass when she walked by in her plastic heels and gaudy tutu. Again, pecking order.

Things we've shoved in our nose this month: gum, a LEGO guy's arm (this one took a bit of a surgeon's hand to remove) and peas. WHY with the peas?

It's a wonderful life :)

Powder Room Reveal

Monday, March 6, 2017

We recently (i.e. months & months of procrastination) finished our powder room downstairs and I wanted to share with you guys! When we moved into this house, the walls in this room were painted metallic gold and had a pretty ugly tile situation on the walls. We hired a painter to fix it, which also went awry, so I knew I had to come up with a solution that would cover up the hot mess that existed. This bathroom is downstairs, off the main living space, so it's where all of our guests would use the restroom. It gets lots of traffic - the kids are using it to wash hands before dinner, go potty when we're downstairs and I use it as a sanity closet when I'm desperate, only because the coat closet isn't equipped with a lock. ;) I wanted it to pack a punch, but also fit in with the rest of our space. My other focus was that it was bright - it's placed at the end of a hall and it's dark. There's almost no natural light (which made taking photos super fun). 
SO, we settled with this amazing peel & stick wallpaper from Walls Need Love - which was actually super easy to apply. I started the project by obsessively matching the lines and then by the end of it, I decided the buildings not lining up would be just fine for the 3 minutes you're in there doing your business (or 28798 if you're a man). I started each piece at the top of the wall, and smoothed it until it hit the chair railing. We had to cut at that point and then repeat below the railing. The hardest parts were around the toilet and the sink, but it's pretty flexible and I ended up peeling, cutting, re-peeling, ect. until it fit well enough to pass the test. It's not perfect, but who has time for perfection, yes? 
 Let me say though - this wall paper is so durable. It's gotten wet, the kids have colored on it, and it has really stood it's ground. It's a really beautiful texture and has not disappointed in the slightest. 

 
 We switched out the mirror for something a bit more unconventional and it really added a fun flair to the space. The lights were just a basic pick from Home Depot, but fit great for what we need.
WALLPAPER (C/O) // MIRROR (Home Goods - similar here) // LIGHTS // MONKEY PRINT // WHITE & TASSEL BANNER // BLACK & WHITE TOWEL // GOLD HOOK (sold out - similar)
 
I'm super happy with how the space turned out and enjoy peeing so much more now ;) 
Hope you love it, too! 

MOM HACKS

Monday, February 27, 2017

Awhile back, I shared some of my favorite "Mom-Hacks" - short cuts I take as a mom that are super helpful. I'm sharing a few more today - and am always on the hunt for more if you have them!

 SOCK BASKET: We keep a basket of socks near the front door (alongside our basket for shoes - we're a no shoe household, because eww). This way, when the kids are all ready to walk out the door and nobody has socks OR shoes on, it's all in once place. I ran up the stairs for socks way too many times, so we decided to solve the problem. I keep a couple pairs for everyone and if they get used (which they often do), I just throw a couple pairs downstairs when I'm folding clothes).

LITTLE POPPY BOW SUBSCRIPTION: I'll admit to the fact that I'm not the best girl mom. Accessories feel like one more thing to me and picking out a matching hair bow or even putting a bow in the girls' hair is last on my priority list. Bellamy (who has deemed herself "Bellamy Fashion") is ALL about accessories and has forced me to step my game up. I signed up for Little Poppy last summer and am still going strong. They ship you three seasonal bows every month for only $12 (clips or headbands - you pick) and it keeps our bows fresh, lets me skip the task of ordering new bows online and the girls are always excited to see their new accessories. It's a win-win. Sign up here!

CUPCAKE LINER: You've probably seen this one, but we use it all the time. Slide a cupcake liner underneath a Popsicle (just poke the stick through) and hands will stay much cleaner during dessert. Baylor hates having messy hands and will stop eating if he gets sticky, so this is a game changer for him. 

STAIR BASKET: I bought a large basket at target (like this) and keep it on our bottom stair landing There's a million toys, clothes, hair clips and random trinkets that make their way downstairs throughout the day, and this basket serves as the vehicle to take them all back to their homes. We empty it/ sort it every night or every other night before bed (whenever it's full) and then drop it back downstairs. It saves me trips up the stairs (life goal) and keeps everything looking tidy.

HAVE YOU FILLED A BUCKET TODAY?: This one is a little less concrete, but it has really changed our kid's perspective. If you don't own this book, first off, you MUST. It encourages positive behavior by using the concept of an invisible bucket to show kids how easy and rewarding it is to express kindness, appreciation and love by "filling buckets." You'll often hear Bellamy tell Baylor that he's "dipping into [her] bucket" if he takes a toy or locks her in her room (this one is a real problem around here). The kids will do something nice for us and then ask if our "bucket" is full. It's definitely a worthy addition and has taught our kids valuable lessons.

What are some of your favorite "mom-hacks"? We're always looking for ways to streamline around here, especially with another addition in just a few months!!

Friday Favorites

Friday, February 24, 2017

 
Virtual fist bump to you, cause we made it to Friday! We have a fun weekend ahead - we're taking the kids to a local pottery shop to paint their first piggy banks (now I'll have a consistent place to find quarters for the carwash) and on Sunday morning, Baylor has a class performance. I'm sure he'll look incredibly dapper up on stage, singing about Jesus and being the most well behaved little chap.  Just kidding, I'm lucky if he doesn't do a cannonball off the bleachers or stick his gum in someone's hair. 
 
Speaking of gum, I took a whole two minutes yesterday to switch the laundry over, and when I came back to the playroom, Winnie had FOUR pieces in her mouth, and Baylor had at least 6 (wish I was kidding) ... who are these animals?! Winnie pretty much acted like her life was over when I took her's away (true to form) and Baylor spit it out like a vending machine, he's been down this road before.

How about some Friday favorites? 

I just bought one of these Topshop hoodies and am IN LOVE. It's so so cozy & thick, but not stiff. Treat yourself.

We did a Trader Joes run this week... seriously my favorite shopping trip. I love to hear what other people buy there, so if you have favorites, let me know! Our go-to's are the frozen chocolate croissants, the garlic croutons, their cracker cuts cheese, and of course their chocolate covered coffee beans. The wine dipped cheese is a new favorite and we LOVE their 4 cheese Pomodoro & Vodka sauces. The kids devour those. 

There's a BEDTIME feature on your iPhone and it has revolutionized my life. Not really, but I do love it. If you go to the 'Clock' app, and then click on 'Bedtime' at the bottom, you can set your ideal wake time and how many hours of sleep you'd like. It will remind you to go to bed at a certain time. It wakes you up in the most peaceful way and keeps track of your sleep habits based on your phone use. You can also sync to your apple watch if you want further help. Anyways, it's pretty simple but really helps keep me on track. 

Loving all of these garlands - we just bought one and it ended up in the powder room ... can't wait to show you guys next week!

We'll be stocking on Lucky Charms because we will DEFINITELY be making these. I'm all for the holiday treats that are simple, delicious and not too over the top.

Hope your weekend is full of relaxing, cold beverages and at least one cheesy carb. Can't believe we'll be welcoming March next week.

Displaying Kid's Artwork

Monday, February 20, 2017

The kids are really into creating "artwork" for us and every day it seems there's a new masterpiece. Most of them consist of me (a very round creature with questionable hair and a BIG smile, complete with a smaller circle-like attachment holding the new baby), whether we're going to the grocery store in the drawing, or drinking starbucks (pretty much our life in a nutshell). They're all equally charming, and I just don't have the heart to throw them away (not to mention, the older two kids are total garbage monitors and nothing gets thrown away around here without full approval from all staff members. Somehow,  Winnie manages to throw away half our plastic dishware and nobody throws a shit fit, but I throw away one rogue drawing and I may as well devalue them for the rest of their childhood. Riddle me that?
The reality is, these drawings are piling up, the pantry door can only handle so much washi tape and I need a solution. I've scoured pinterest for some inspiration and now just have to come up with a spot to install. Here's a few of my favorites:
all images via pinterest

I have also seen people use a magnetic set-up, but worry that Winnie would consume at least 4 magnets before I could catch her. 

The playroom is almost done & I can't wait to share - I'm thinking one of these set ups will be perfect in there. Send me more ideas if you have em'! 
XO
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