Monday, August 22, 2016

Shop Spotlight: Free Babes

Happy Monday, friends!! So excited to share a little bit about one of my very favorite shops EVER today, the complete & utter beauty that is Free Babes! We have been huge fans of Free Babes since the very beginning, even got the chance to collaborate on a bow line earlier this Summer.

We love the hand-tied quality, the gorgeous fabrics & textures, and most of all, the message behind the brand, classic bows for adventurous souls. It just doesn't get much sweeter than this!

Today marks the launch of their Fall collection, which just might be their very best yet. I am obsessed with the black & white gingham, orange swiss dot & of course all of the darling florals from Rifle Paper! Be sure to check them out & support one of our very favorite handmade shops!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, friends!!! So excited for the weekend, even though it mostly consists of packing & working on the new house, I am happy to just be HOME! It has been the craziest week over here, we had some major storms & lightning that destroyed some of our electronics & trees (not ideal in the middle of selling your house), plus quite a few setbacks on the kitchen at the new house. Our kids have been bouncing off the walls coming down from their vacation high, and I think a little weekending is just what we need! I can barely form thoughts these days so I thought I would share a few fun Friday favorites, starting with my little side chair I found on Craigslist (retails here) earlier this week!! Loving this chair in the entryway & it's seriously making me so excited to move in!! I can't wait to fill this space up with frames!

Completely in LOVE with these tutu ballet dresses for Fall, I got the girls a few in each color & cannot get over how cute & affordable they are!

Craving a good salad, adding this Autumn Cobb Salad to our weekend menu.

The perfect booties to transition from Summer to Fall!

Obsessed with these pajamas, I got them last week on sale for the girls & totally want them in my size.

Loving this DIY firepit tutorial, I need to find an old washing machine (and learn how to weld) asap! ;)

And last, for those of you who asked on Snapchat about the vintage cursive alphabet print that I had framed, you'll never believe that it is just a sheet of wrapping paper that found here for less than $5! So fun for a nursery or playroom & fits perfectly inside a $15 Ikea poster frame!

What are you currently loving, I would love to hear! Wishing you all a happy weekend!!! XO

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

My Brother's Wedding

This beautiful barn wedding in small town Iowa was one of the most beautiful that I have ever been to. My brother & his beautiful bride created such a gorgeous, laid back atmosphere, and you couldn't help but feel in love. In fact, their wedding hashtag was #udderlyinlove (seriously how cute?!). It was on a small farm, in a beautiful wedding barn, with the most perfect weather & sunset that anyone could ever ask for. 

Their ceremony didn't start until 7:30, so the sun was beginning to set during their vows. Everyone came out early to mingle, they had their photos done early in the day, and hung out with everyone during cocktail hour before the ceremony began, which I thought was so fun of them to do! They had a beverage & popcorn station at the front of the lawn to take with you to your seat, I've never had a beer during a wedding ceremony before, pretty much the best way to treat your guests!! ;) They walked down the aisle to one of their best friends singing "Thinking Out Loud" (perfection!) and instead of a unity candle, they planted a tree. So so so cute, I cried through the entire thing.

One of our most "hot mess" family photos of all time but I just love it so much because it was honestly such a beautiful night & we were so happy to be there with all of our family. 

I was so excited to do a wedding chalkboard program for them, which they propped up against a ladder & flanked with burlap bags full of hydrangeas. We also made them a "MR" and "MRS" set of cornhole boards for their wedding gift, which they added to all of the yard games like yard jenga, horseshoes, etc. for guests to play between the wedding and reception. Every little detail was so sweet & thoughtful, big buckets of baby's breath, an old typewriter for the guest book & well wishes, and an old fashioned soft serve ice cream bar instead of wedding cake. The night ended just as it should, us with the bride & groom and the rest of my family, passing around giant bottles of wine to finish, barefoot & rapping pitbull. Take me back!! It was just perfection, I am so proud of my baby brother & my new sister in law.

Congratulations Jordan & Emily, we love you two to pieces & wish you all the best!!! :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Iowa trip & our vow to never roadtrip ever again.

We came home late last night from our ten day trip to Iowa, I can't really put into words the amount of chaos that went on & how happy we are to be in our own beds. We had planned to head back for my brothers wedding and just stay for a few days, but in recent news of both of grandparents having some health issues, we decided to make it a longer trip so we could spend more time with them. We are SO glad that we did, and know that all of us will cherish that extra time together. On the other side of things, it feels like we have been gone for six weeks & I feel like it will take me just as long to recover from it.
Fourteen hours in the car is WAY too long for three kids. We left Saturday afternoon, and were going to attempt to make it to St. Louis, but our wheels were falling off the bus by Nashville so we just stopped there. Word to the wise, never do the short part of the trip first, because by the time we were strapping the girls back in their car seats in the morning, they were screaming before we even left town, and we had 8 hours to go. We somehow made it to Iowa in one piece, but the same can not be said about the return trip. Harper got bored and stuck her gum in her hair, Eloise painted her entire car seat with an ice cream sundae & Claire shattered my iphone. At one point Claire & Eloise were screaming as loud as they could, while Harper was laughing hysterically with wide eyes. It was fucking bananas.
Did I mention how happy we are to be home? :)

We started the trip staying with Brandon's parents so we could visit all of our family, the girls had so much fun seeing their cousins & we had fun doing a little food tour of the midwest eating all of our favorite foods. Happy Joes, Maid Rites & sweet corn are some of the best things about the midwest! We did slip-n-slides, sparklers, pools, sandboxes, sidewalk chalk & shucked dozens of ears of corn. Relaxed for movie nights & woke up extra early for good pancake breakfasts. We always wish we could be closer to our family there because they are so much fun & such good hosts, we love them all to pieces!!
We took the girls to Adventureland, our favorite childhood amusement park in Iowa, and ended up having a ton of fun! The park is so kid friendly, the weather was beautiful & there was tons of shade.  And only two rides had to be stopped to let Eloise off because she was crying & screaming her head off, so we considered that a huge success.

There's something so special about getting to show your kids places that mean so much to you, especially by the time they get old enough to appreciate it. We loved showing Harper places we used to work or spend time together when we were dating.
We stayed with some of our best friends in Des Moines who have kids close in age to ours, got some good bagels for breakfast (love this little coffee klatch reading the auto trader) & visited a few more college friends before heading to southern Iowa for my Brother's wedding. I will share lots of beautiful pictures & details from their day, which so stunning it needs its own post! ;)
It was a much needed break from blogging & most social media (I just can't quit you snapchat) but hoping to return to regularly scheduled programming very soon! But first, coffee.
Have a great week, friends!!  

Friday, August 5, 2016

House Progress, Day 14!

I'm so excited to share this before & (almost) after of the back exterior! The one thing I really hated about our house, which almost made me not come see it in the first place, was the (flesh colored) exterior. The neighborhood has some really beautiful homes, but this exterior was so dated & well, just plain ugly. We were confident that we could give it a much needed facelift & couldn't be happier with the outcome!

I mentioned before, we had a very dated arch window that already needed replaced, so we actually had it completely taken out. We have an AMAZING carpenter, he did our screened porch & pergola in our current home, and so far has done an incredible job with this window & the giant deck that is bigger than our very first apartment! The deck is almost done, we have to wait a few weeks before we can paint & stain, but we are loving the updated look & modern black spindles. We had the exterior painted white, and decided last minute (after maybe a few beers) to throw some black paint on the window trim to see how it looked. And I love it!!!! I still have a million more windows to do, but I am obsessed with the outcome. We ordered a few of these overszied barn lights (and gave them a fresh coat of black matte spray paint) to replace the old lanterns, and are on the hunt for a wooden screen door that we will also paint black. 

On the far end of the deck, we put up an 8 foot privacy wall to give that end a little more character, that we will use to string lights on & hang some planters, and hopefully turn into a super cozy seating area.

In the kitchen, cabinet boxes are finished & a few of our appliances are installed. So far our biggest hurdle was installing the sink, since we didn't use an Ikea sink with the cabinets, we had to do a little customization & add in some reinforcements. I am SO excited for this sink!! Next comes our cabinet doors, which again will still need painted before installation, and once they're installed, we will be able to have our fabricator come out to measure for our countertops. Seems so far away! ;) We chose a frosty white honed quartz, I can't wait to see the contrast against our grey/green cabinets!! 

And that's a wrap!! So exciting, yet majorly overwhelming right now. I feel like we have so much on our plates but somehow it all feels so right!! 
Hope you all have a happy weekend!!! XO

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Mini Style // Back to School

Only a few more weeks until our girls are headed off to school, pre-k for Harper & 2 year old preschool for Eloise. It's so bittersweet this time, I know they're going to love it so much, but I'm going to miss them like crazy!! Harper is SO ready for school, she used to be so shy but has come out of her shell so much & is such an outgoing little sweetheart. She loves everyone, by nature, and makes friends so easily. She also just loves learning, always asks me to write things out so she can practice them, loves to draw & paint, learn new songs & play make believe. I am so confident that she is going to just love school, and I am so excited for her!! This will be the first time Eloise will go to school, or really go anywhere without me or Brandon, so I worry a bit more about her, but I know she will eventually learn to love it. Although she is a bit shy, she is easy to win over, she loves to play & is never afraid to try new things. She also lives for snacks, so as long as there are goldfish involved, I think she'll open right up! Claire & I will probably get tired standing in the hallway stalking them through the classroom windows, but oh well, we'll live! ;)

I thought I would put together a little back to school mini style inspiration today, as I am on the hunt for some easy outfits & key pieces that will make getting ready in the mornings EASY. We can't get anywhere on time, ever, and I hate myself for it. Convenience is key for us, shoes that the girls can put on themselves, comfy dresses & of course our long tie favorite backpack that they both cannot wait to use!!

Embroidered Dress // Gold Sparkle Flats // Tulle Backpack // Cargo Vest // Kitty Lunchbox // Stripe Mix-Fabric Dress // Camo Backpack // Suspender Cargo Pants // Varsity Sweater

 This year at their school they are going to bring their lunch instead of coming home before it, which means lunchboxes + major meal planning! ;) I'm also 100% planning to be that mom that draws pictures & writes notes for their kids lunch, and you know I'm totally excited to do that. We will also have dance twice a week, and I'm confident Claire will start dropping her morning nap just as soon as my big girls start school, so I'm probably going to need to get a Costco membership so I can buy coffee & wine in bulk.

Are your babies headed off to school this year? How are you holding up?
Sending good vibes. XO

Friday, July 29, 2016

House Showings, Potty Training & Coffee.

Here's a little run down of our week. So we have had a million showings, honestly, but turns out our backyard is kind of a deal breaker for everyone. Which is funny to me because we never thought twice about it as buyers, but maybe we were just naive as first timers, and it is obviously the reason we chose to move, so I guess joke's on us. I was confident that showing our house a bunch would be a good thing, like I would keep my house super clean all the time and we would just go on a bunch of fun outings while people were here, and hahahahaha no. That's actually not even remotely close to how it works. It's more like fourteen minutes before each showing I shove evvvvverything anywhere I can (and obviously can't find anything later because I can't remember where I shoved it) and I swiffer our barefoot selves out the back door. The fact that my kids can fully destroy the entire house in one hour + one meal in between every showing, has me completely baffled, and completely drained.

For the record, a list of things to never have in your home while you are trying to sell it and have toddlers. 1. Stickers. 2. Sticker books. 3. Crayons. 4. Chapstick. 5. Toilet Paper 6. Yogurt 7. Toothpaste 8. Did I mention stickers?

Eloise decided that this would be a good week to potty train herself, which I am one hundred light years away from being ready for, but apparently there is nothing more fun to her than taking a diaper off and leaving it somewhere so she can go flush half a roll of toilet paper down the potty. I used to complain about rompers not having bottom snaps but lately it's all I want to put on her because she can't get it off herself. I put her in the car quickly the other morning to run to the hardware store and discovered as I was buckling her car seat that she didn't have a diaper on, just a bare ass in a mermaid nightgown headed out the door. All the apologies to whichever potential home buyer discovers that missing diaper, wherever it may be.

Claire is getting her molars & has been really clingy lately, which means I am usually holding her unless she is sleeping or in her car seat. This makes talking to contractors at the new house extra fun when I have a baby on my hip who is trying to chew on my hair, but I am strangely loving every single bit of this chaos because we have always dreamed of this stage of life. 

Our Ikea cabinet "guts" were installed yesterday & this morning, so we are ready for the next step which is our cabinet doors & all of the framing, and painting. Our doors won't be here for another week or so, so in the mean time we will store food & kitchen items in the laundry room and garage and attempt to still live out of the house starting next weekend-ish. This weekend & coming week will be nothing but a packing marathon, fueling up with lots of coffee & wine! Exciting times!!!

Again, I can't stress enough how thankful I am for all of you, and especially after all of the sweet comments on my post yesterday. Virtual hugs to each of you!! Have a happy happy weekend!!! XO