Wednesday, October 19, 2016

I'm all for traditions over here and a total sucker for anything festive. Baylor & Bellamy are just old enough to start getting excited about traditions, making them exponentially more fun. 
We decided it was time to "BOO" our friends, a foreign concept to my kids. If you don't know what "boo-ing" is, you create a goody bag full of festive treats, make a "boo" sign, and drop it off on your friend's doorsteps anonymously. They are then tagged with the responisibity of boo-ing two of their friends, and hopefully it travels from there! 

We bought a handful of halloween goodies from Target, added some candy and made a boo sign (which you can download HERE) and off we went. Just download the sign, drop it off along with your BOO bags and you've done your job! 

Here's the thing... boo-ing with toddlers isn't as foolproof as you'd think. You're supposed to ring the doorbell, and then run off so nobody sees you when they open the door. Two kids in carseats who insist on getting out each time, who can't buckle themselves and decide they want to smell some flowers on their way back to the car made our boo-ing a bit less anonymous than we'd planned ;) Also, Bellamy ran off with the boo-bag in hand at least three times... #fail. 

Nevertheless, this was a super festive & fun activity to do with the kids, they thought it was amazing and hilarious and I got to drive around town with a coffee and quiet children all harnessed in their seats.
I'll take that every day of the week. :)

"BOO" Download 

11 Months of Winnie Wilde

Monday, October 17, 2016

Winnie is SO close to being one and it's totally freaking me out. I seriously wake up every day and can't believe how big she's gotten, how much she can do, and how much she's turning into a little toddler before my eyes. 

She's walking all over, and getting more comfortable every day. She started chasing the big kids today while walking instead of crawling, and we basically threw a parade, cause it felt like such a big-girl moment! 

She loves food and will make sure you know that she wants whatever you have. Her favorites are apples & yogurt. She's not sleeping through the night, which I really could care less about at this point - it doesn't bother me, she's only up once. Sleep is just really low on my priority list at this point in my life, so I pick my battles ;) 

Winnie adores Baylor & Bellamy (ahem, she tolerates Bella, stage 5 clinger) and loses her shit if I leave her sight. Her She loves her blankie, hates the vacuum,  and has presumably eaten 7 legos this month alone. Girlfriend eats everything

We're getting ready to plan her a first birthday bash and she's celebrating her last "first" this month -Halloween! 

We can't resist her intense eyebrows, those chubby thighs, and her hot temper that makes her who she really is... wild

Quick & Easy Wall Art

Monday, October 10, 2016

Often times, when decorating a house, art work ends up being the last addition, because it's expensive, difficult to decide on and bottom line, doesn't offer much functionality. 

However, It does make a space look beautiful and often times feel complete. I have a handful of art-hacks that I use to save money on art or make a big statement with a small budget, but today, I just wanted to share a really simple one with you! 
If you go into any stationary store or gift boutique, chances are, you might find these Cavallini posters or just decorative paper in general. I always find a way to totally talk myself into buying a few every time I see them. 9 times out of 10, they sit in my paper basket, nicely rolled up and I just stare at them for a few months before I end up doing something with them. 

BUT, they make excellent and very inexpensive art. If you find a paper or pattern you love, you can easily frame it (bonus: at any size you want... just trim down for smaller sizes!). These add great interest & color to collage walls and some can even stand alone!

I recently found this wooden dowel hanger (there's also a horizontal one) and love how easy it is to use and how many ways I can use it. We hung ours on a lonely wall in the living room. The dowels just have a removable adhesive, so you can change the poster out however often you'd like.

Seriously, it doesn't get easier, you guys! 

Life Lately

Friday, October 7, 2016

We've had a relatively slow week around here, after a really busy weekend. We've done our normal school routine (which is still feeling like such a chore) and have indulged in our fair share of fall things. 

-Butternut squash roasted with brown sugar (not a total crowd-please over here, but ask me how much I care...) 
-egg-nog in my morning coffee (so basic of me)
-lots of creative & nutricious breakfasts, because I'm SO over cereal & yogurt (smoothie bowls with granola & a honey drizzle is our current favorite)
-This delicious pot roast ... you must add this into your rotation!

Winnie is getting dangerously close to "1" and I'm having a hard time believing it to be true. It's totally blowing my mind and I'm just remensigin about how sweet & tiny she was, only 11 months ago. She has now learned the art of screaming if someone takes her toy (which means she screams all day) and she has made it very clear that despite her birth order, she WILL NOT be taken advantage of.

Fall! Everything from the pumpkin patches to the rainy weather to the costume shopping. It's all just magical and exponentially more fun with little ones.

This week we met some friends at the Pumpkin Patch, Baylor had school, where he learned the goofiest "tooty-ta" song and Bellamy has been scheming ways to skip her nap, much to my dismay.

The next 29 years of no sleep. Mama is tired

We absolutely love our books from Pinhole Press that I've made for each of the kids and I'm currently working on the girls books in anticipation of their birthday's coming up! 

Christmas. Need I say more? Ok, Halloween, too. 

Well, naturally, I'm of course watching the Real Housewives and New Girl. I'm dying to have a cozy night in watching "This is Us" considering people say it's similar to Parenthood (I have my doubts). Parenthood is considered a stage in my life, and I'm basically a Braverman, so, there's that. Their backyard is perfection.  
Also, College Gameday every Saturday morning. It's a religion in this house. 

Reading? Ask me in 10 years when I don't have kids standing at my feet begging for snacks like they're completely famished. 

Our current favorite is "Good Good Father" by Chris Tomlin, but I'm loving the new Bon Iver album, and of course Ed Sheeran in the fall is always so damn cozy.

Lots of jeans, sweatshirts, rain boots (these are on my current wishlist!) and my favorite raincoat ever. 

I hope to sit on the couch for at least one football game and just really relax. We have pretty low-key plans with some friends on Sunday night and otherwise, we're just taking it easy ... just what the dr. ordered!

Christmas. Because November 1, those pumpkins go in the trash and Santa is setting up shop. 

We're moving some furniture around and I'm super pumped to show you what I'm working on. In the meantime, I'm looking for all the good bar-cart inspiration :) 

Happy Friday, friends!! Enjoy your day! And if you happen to be a SEAHAWK or COUGAR fan, go check out our shop for lots of GAMEDAY gear! 

(questions via mixandmatchmama

Making Things Beautiful

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

I was recently asked to write a post for our church blog about how I see God REIGN in my life. I took a slow & thorough inventory of that very thing, my life. I assessed my marriage, my children, my business, my parenting skills (or lack there of, some days!), my possessions, and my faith. While all of these are intertwined for the obvious reason: that they are what make-up my life, I was able to discover where he ultimately reigns. 
My gift in life, my calling, is to make things beautiful. Here’s the thing: as I took this inventory, I went through the highs & lows, the good & the bad, the ugly & the pretty. Yes, my marriage is great and I adore my husband, BUT, we still disagree. Yes, my kids are healthy and fun, BUT, some days they act like terrors and make me hide in my closet (thank you, Jesus, for walk-in closets). My faith is steadfast, BUT I don’t get to spend time in the word nearly as much as I desire.  Regardless of the ebbs & flows of life, I have found that my passion and my calling is to make it all beautiful. Because just as beautiful as the mountains, are the valleys. It’s hard to appreciate the beauty of a valley though, until you’re on a mountaintop, yes? Ecclesiastes 3:11 says "He has made everything beautiful in its time." While life isn’t always perfect & beautiful (in fact, sometimes, quite messy), there is a time & a place for everything, and when God reigns in our lives, beauty will shine through, in God’s perfect timing (waiting is surely not easy, though!) Beauty to me is more than just internal; it’s more than just choosing to see beauty. It’s about making things beautiful. As a designer by trade, I can’t help but pour into this gift that God has given me. I want to make my children's childhood memorable with beautiful birthday parties and bedrooms that reflect the tiniest intricacies of their little beings. I want to make our home beautiful with mantras about kindness, happy colors and cozy textures - a place to rest & restore. I want to create beautiful art, that reflects the most personal matters of my heart. Proverbs 4:23 says: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”  I want my home to reflect my heart. I want my kids to see the beauty in creating & in creation. Ultimately, God reigns in my life through beauty. The beauty in the unknown, the beauty in the tragedies, in the tough days, and the beauty in the blessings. I want to have a beautiful outlook, a beautiful home, create beautiful things, and by the grace of God, live a beautiful life.

A Festive Fall Baby Shower

Monday, October 3, 2016

Over the weekend, I threw a baby shower for one of our favorite girls who used to watch the kids and now works for me. She's moving to Florida with her husband (in ONE week!!) and expecting her first little boy around Christmas. We're going to miss her dearly (as will our kids!) and wanted to give her a proper send off. She loves all things fall and won't get too many cozy, festive days in Florida, so we went all out to make sure she had pumpkin-flavored everything to tie her over :)

The shower was at 11, so we did a "light lunch" and it worked out perfectly. If you're looking to do low-maintence food for a baby or bridal shower, this is perfect. I wasn't cooking or hustling around the kitchen during the shower, I was able to put everything out 20 minutes or so beforehand. It allowed me to relax and enjoy the shower without feeling like I'm running around to make it all work. 

I served: 
- mini bagels with pumpkin cream cheese 
-macaroons (trader joes has great ones in the frozen section!)
apple pie caramel apples (recipe - these are a total crowd pleaser and people are always so impressed even though they're SUPER easy!)
 -charcuterie platter (salami, prosciutto, cheeses, brie, fig jam, crackers, truffle almonds, cashews, grapes, dried apples, dried oranges and whatever else you can think to add ;) 
- wafer cookies
- caramel corn 
-warm spiced cider (makes the house smell amazing, too)
- mimosas & coffee

I decorated the table with tons of pumpkins and then added greenery before the shower to make it look more robust! Make sure to layer your plates to add some dimension and don't be afraid to just go for it! It'll pay off! 

It's Monday, and we're just over here trying to survive. More coffee, please! 

Age Gaps

Friday, September 30, 2016

More often than not, when we're out and about with the kids, we get asked about their age gaps. They're all little, crazy and unpredictable, and something tells me people can sense that ;) 

Age gaps are one of those "double-edged swords" for lack of a better term. Our kids are all under two years apart... Baylor & Bellamy are 18 months apart (I got pregnant when Baylor was only 9 months old!) and Bellamy & Winnie are 21 months apart. 

There's a lot of pros & cons to having kids close together, and vis-a-versa with spreading them out. If you're debating age gaps for your family, or are just curious how it works for us... 

The PROS to small age gaps (less than two years):
1. They know nothing else. There's no jealousy, and no "before we had the baby" because they don't remember life before siblings. (ps...siblings are THE BEST!)
2. They play really well together. Because their ages are so similar, they're into similar toys & activities so it makes entertaining them much simpler. 
3. We're all doing it as a family. It feels like everyone is in a similar phase at the same time. We're not waking babies to go to football practice or doing homework in the evenings. It feels like we're growing as a family, which is really unifying and kind of exciting. 
4. It's super fun! We really feel like we're in the thick of it, like "these are the days" and when we chose to just soak it up, it's really a blast. The kids keep us on our toes and constantly have us laughing. You never really know what to expect! 

The CONS to small age gaps: 
1.  Nobody is self-sufficient, I'm tying three (six) shoes, helping three go potty and buckling three into their carseats. It's A LOT of work - physically & mentally 
2. The baby years go by in a flash. By the time we're done having kids, it'll have only been about 6 years (if all goes accordingly ;). I know I'll miss their precious baby months as they get older and I do see the appeal of spreading it out and really soaking each one up. 
3. Sleep - count it as a total loss and hope to sleep in 10 years. WTF is sleep? 
4. As the one delivering & nursing all these babies, my body is exhausted! I have been nursing or pregnant for 5 years straight! 

So spill...what are your favorite parts about your age gaps? What's the most difficult part? 

Apple Picking

Monday, September 26, 2016

The kids & I met up with some of our besties last week to do some apple picking, and it was the perfect fall day (rain boots, donuts, coffee and apple picking are all at the top of my list). Sometimes, the best days come from no real plans, and spur of the moment jump-in-the-car decisions! 

Now... what on earth do I do with all these apples? Leave your best apple recipes in the comments, because mama needs some inspiration!! 

Happy Monday! XO


Friday, September 23, 2016

Fall is finally here and I sort of feel like I've waited my whole year life for this :) Summer is great & all, but I play hard core favorites and in this instance, it's fall. Can't beat the crisp air, the pumpkin patches and the feeling like everything is right again when festivities resume. 

I wanted to share a few of my favorite fall things with you, because I want you to love fall just as much as I do. Collin thinks I'm nuts, and Baylor has totally jumped on my bandwagon, assuming his "concerned citizen" status by worrying about every store or place we go to that hasn't yet decorated for Halloween. I totally agree with him - get on it, people! We also drove by the pumpkin patch today and he begged that I call them to find out when they open - he's dying to get his chubby little fingers on an orange pumpkin. He's going to make a bitchin' husband one day. :) 


All of these things are total favorites around here - the easiest plates for kids in the most festive colors, perfect halloween jammies that fit everyone, the cutest book about a Fox who is confused about falling leaves (very pertinent for a very curious 4 yr. old), the most delicious smelling fall candle I've found, perfect halloween cookie cutters (that crooked witch hat is amazing!), and our favorite hand soap, which also comes in counter spray & dish soap, in the most festive of scents!

Hope your weekend plans consist of comfort food, football, and kicking your feet up - TREAT YO' SELF!

10 Months of Winnie Wilde

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Happy 10 Months to our sweet Winnie Wilde! 
Some of her favorite things: climbing stairs, grazing for whatever the big kids drop on the floor :), giving big juicy kisses and when her big brother gets her after nap time. 

Her favorite foods are yogurt, strawberries, turkey, and quesadillas. She's standing on her own but hasn't quite taken a step yet - I fear we're very close! ;) She sleeps from 7-6 and sometimes wakes up around 3:30 or 4. She's still napping from 8:00 -10 each morning and then again from 1:30-3:30 in the afternoon. She's happy to just sit on my hip & observe the chaos, but doesn't hesitate to jump in if duty calls! 

Her favorite things are her blanky (the COZIEST EVER!), her walker, & these teethers (teething sucks!) 

She's full of joy, a little bit wild, and overly adored by each one of us!

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