Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

 Happy Easter, everyone! We are filled to the brim with sweets & happiness after yet another fun holiday weekend!

 Easter popcorn recipe found here.

 On Easter morning, we had a quiet breakfast at home we were so excited to show Harper that the Easter bunny came! She loved her Easter basket & goodies! It was so fun seeing her squeal & fake laugh with excitement over all the colorful goodies! Have I mentioned how much more fun Holidays are when you have a kid?! :)

I love this picture of her squatting down to pick things out of her basket. It was only a matter of time before basket fillings & ten thousand strands of Easter grass were strewn all over the house.

After Church (where Harper proceeded to yell "tickle tickle tickle!" at the end off the Lord's prayer), we came home to find that our magic jellybeans turned into a garden of lollipops!

As you can tell, Harper was totally skeptical of the magic (she's gonna need to get her shit in check before Christmas)... you gotta believe!

Unfortunately, it started downpouring on us just as we were about to pick up eggs. So, naturally, we put Harper down for a nap & got busy with our afternoon mimosas (aka. I drink them & Brandon eats the booze-soaked fruit out of the bottom, we are such a team) When the sun finally came out, we were able to go back outside for a bit so Harper could pick up the rest of her eggs. Mother nature raining on our parade couldn't stop us from sneaking in a few pictures before heading to Easter dinner.

 Pleated Dress, Headband, Soprano Striped Dress (similar here)

And PS. If you have five million plastic Easter eggs rolling around the house after today, they make perfect bath toys! Most of the ones we have actually had holes in the top & bottom, so they even rain! (thanks to the genius Mr. Garvin for pointing that out & making Harper's bathtime exponentially more fun this evening).

From our family to yours, Happy Easter!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday Goodness

Happy Good Friday from my little bunny to yours!

This little no-nap-ninja got roped into a quick bunny hat photo-sesh yesterday & was less than impressed. Per usual, I couldn't get a smile, but I'll chalk this one up as a win.

We are about to kick off our Easter weekend festivities with a little Good FRYday party this evening! We bust out the turkey fryer only a few times a year, Thanksgiving, Fry-fest during football season (it's an Iowa thing) and of course, TODAY. Although my husband's motto is typically "if it flies, it fries" we are attempting a Lent friendly menu with jalepeno poppers, fish & donut holes. Emphasis on the donut holes.
With that said, the rest of our festive meals have been a little on the healthier side today! ;)

Just as you can shamrock shape anything, you can also likely stuff anything into a color coordinated plastic egg. Get creative with it! :) 

Harper practiced her egg hunting skills in the yard this morning. She picked up only one, but carried it around with her for the next two hours. A solid effort.

We have a fun weekend ahead filled with lots of Easter festivities, Brunch & of course, March Madness! I am still in the process of figuring out what all to put in her eggs, but have so far filled them with hair bows, goldfish & graham crackers. If you are still looking for any last minute Easter ideas (not to be confused with last minute Christmas gift ideas, in which, the answer is Frank Shirley), the festiveness is flowing on my Easter pinterest board. I can't wait to get my hands on some chocolate dipped peeps before the weekend is over! :)

And of course, one last Good Friday goodie, Harper's famous fake laugh on video. I can't even put words to this video, it is just too much.

We wish you all a very Happy Good Friday & wonderful Easter Weekend! God Bless ...and of course, bottoms up! :)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Easter Basket Making

 Thank you all for the well wishes on my last post, we are all FINALLY feeling a bit better over here. Gotta be in tip top shape before the Easter bunny comes! :) Harper & I have been hard at work over here with some Easter basket goodness.

Headband, Leggings, Felt Bunny Baskets from Target's Dollar Section (score!)

I'm still working on part two of the questions & answers, but wanted to share this fun project... an Easter basket for my man!

Grab a six pack of beer, remove three from one side (and obviously drink them) & fold back the separators in the empty space. I used Stella since it's not only one of my husband's favorite beers (he otherwise prefers Busch Light in a can), but the bottles are also pretty.

 I used a roll of white tissue festooning (you can find this at any local craft store or make your own), used double sided tape and just started cutting & sticking strips of it around the beer box. FYI, you can get totally cray here & really stick any thing on here... cover it in wrapping paper, stickers or if you're hard up for craft supplies, cover it in cotton balls, seems legitimately festive to me.

Then just grab some Easter grass & fill the empty side with all of your goodies!

I stocked it with beef jerky, a mini whiskey, candy, gum, k-cups & some notes in a plastic egg.

Beer Easter Basket

Now I just hope he doesn't see this blog post before Sunday!
And if he does... I'll take some chapstick, a pastel Essie nailpolish (or two) & a family sized bag of Fritos in my basket.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Your Questions Answered (Part 1)

Happy Easter Week, everyone! We are all still a little on the sick side over here, our colds are totally overstaying their welcome.

(Thanks for the cute H&M dress, Uncle Zach!)

I wanted to take the time (while working from my sick-couch-bed watching it SNOW) to answer some questions that I have gotten via email or comments.

What do I do for a living?
I work from home as a marketing strategist for a digital marketing agency based out of FL. When we lived there, I worked in the office every day, but when we relocated to GA, I ended up keeping my same job/position but work remotely. I travel once a month or every other month for a few days to the office or to client meetings. It was such a blessing once Harper came along, it is amazing getting to be home with her during the day, but as you can imagine, it's also a complete shitshow half the time. I've gotten a lot of emails about tips for working from home with your kids, my best advice would be to wake up extra early, don't even count how many cups of coffee you end up drinking & stay as organized as possible. (This is also the reason that I am years behind on emails, so if you have sent me one & I haven't replied, PLEASE FORGIVE ME.)

Where do I buy most of Harper's headbands & how do I organize them?
 I buy most of Harper's headbands & bows on Etsy. I usually seek shops that have something similar to what I am looking for & then request for them to make custom items for me to match whatever outfit I have in mind. Other times I just come across ones that are already awesome & then I have to hunt for an outfit to match :) Up until recently her headbands were scattered all over the house (and the diaper bag) but I have finally organized them into these awesome glass canisters! Much easier to find what I'm looking for & oh, so cute.

Keep an eye out on Instagram (@jlgarvin) for a seriously awesome headband giveaway that is in the works.

What is my everyday style & skincare/makeup routine?
Well, this is embarrassing. I work from home, which means on a normal day it consists of a sweatshirt, leggings & chapstick. But in the event that we will venture out in public, that doesn't always fly.

Shopping for myself really breaks down to the cost-per-use. Don't laugh, it's totally the way to go. While I would occasionally splurge on an expensive dress or pair of jeans (and by occasionally, I mean once a year, if that) I am much more likely splurge(ish) on comfy clothes. I live in Victoria's Secret sweatshirts, Target long & lean tanks and my favorite Pure Body crews. This is me on a normal weekday, rocking my old cotton capri's from a hundred years ago.

Victoria's Secret Sweatshirts are a little pricey, they are so soft & fit so well! I wear them almost every day, therefore the cost per use is minimal

Also, you'll never be the same after you rock a pair of Pure Body dance pants. I originally bought them to wear home from the hospital after having Harper. I felt them (and their forgiving waist band) in the store & was in love. I recommend them to EVERYONE. Whenever my husband mentions a zombie apocalypse, I just respond with "well I hope I'm at least wearing dance pants." (shout out to my Walking Dead fans!). I save all the fun clothes for the weekends, maxi skirts & colorful v-necks are my fav! And of course, warmer weather means lots of dresses! :)

Makeup & skincare. I've really struggled to find the perfect skincare regimen, although I might almost be there with my recent purchases of some awesome Philosophy products. I realized one day that every.single.product that I've ever bought from Philosophy has blown my mind & always ends up being my favorite. I've recently bought some of the skincare products (moisturizer, cleanser, etc.) so we'll see how they stack up! :)

My go-to makeup item is easily the Philosophy Supernatural Airbrush (in bronze). If I could only have one thing (other than chapstick) I would pick this. I was introduced to it probably 8 years ago & have never looked back. It's a little pricey, but lasts 3-5 months. I can honestly say that almost every single one of my friends that has seen/tried/heard me rave about mine, has bought it & fallen in love with it. I also use Benefit Porefessional Primer, Laura Mercier Concealer & Nars Bronzer in Casino. I use a random assortment of eyeshadows, blushes & highlighters on occasion. I love love love the eyeliner & mascara that I use, I've tried tons & am positive these are the best. I use L'Oreal Lineur Intense, Buxom Lash Mascara & L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara. I know makeup is totally one of those things where certain products work better for different skin types, but I will rarely try a new product unless I got a great recommendation from someone. (Happy to elaborate more on all of this in another post!)

What is the secret to drawing on my chalkboard & when will I do a tutorial?
I swear there really isn't a secret. I use dry crayola chalk & clean the board with a wet hand towel in between drawings. I have been drawing & taking art classes since I was little, but really it just takes lots of practice & patience. Sometimes I walk away from my board & come back the next day if I feel like it is getting sloppy or if I am struggling. 

I still plan to do a tutorial, but things are so crazy with work, Etsy & the kiddo that I just haven't had the time yet. But it's coming! :) Hopefully in the future I will also be able to offer custom prints, but that is still up in the air for the time being.

What are some of the workouts that I do?
If you remember, I hate hate double hate working out. I go for workouts that are QUICK & that I can do at home. I still do the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, but for the most part, I do Crossfit workouts. (You can find more about working out/losing baby weight in this post).
My go-to workout when I don't have much time & the weather is uncooperative, is what I call the Dirty Thirty.

 It's easy, but it sucks. I sometimes switch out squats for lunges or jump squats if I'm feeling ballsy. You'll be surprised how quick this goes & how much you'll feel it the next day! :) You can find some other quick Crossfit-inspired workouts here & here.

How do I make picture/product collages? 
I don't use a website to do this, although I think you can make styleboards similar on Polyvore. I search for items that I want & save the images of each item as .PNG files (to keep the background transparent) and then I arrange them & add text using Adobe Illustrator.

This covers a lot of the questions that I had, if you have anything additional, please ask in the comments section of this post & I will do part 2 this week! Hopefully everyone will be back up & running over here soon, we have big plans for Easter & hope to be healthy in time! :)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Sweatshirt Tutorial

Thank you all for the sweet comments about my sweatshirts! I accidentally shrunk one & resorted to cutting the collar in order to make the sleeves fall so they would be long enough. I ended up loving the look, so I cut another one! :) I did this with the Gap Sunkissed Pullover in green (although I was loving the grey one) but you can do this with any crewneck sweatshirt. You know I am a bargain hunter, so I got this sweatshirt 40% off a few weeks ago, Gap is always having sales so although the original price is high, there's a good chance you can find it cheaper.

Other great options for crewneck sweatshirts you can style this way would be this Forever21 Pullover or this American Apparel Fleece.

You know I was THISCLOSE to cutting Harper's too. But it just looked so damn cute how it was, I just couldn't. Yet.

 Mama Sweatshirt, Baby Sweatshirt

This is super simple & anyone can do it. All you need is a sharp pair of scissors (I think mine are even made for fabric) so you don't get frayed/jagged edges. 
Lay your shirt flat on the floor & smooth out the wrinkles (clearly I had not gotten that far in my first pic). Start with the scissors about one inch (or LESS) from the collar on one side and cut very shallow at an angle toward the center of your collar so that you actually touch it in the middle. Then scoop back up and aim for the same spot on the other side. Try your best to do long, smooth cuts to avoid jagged edges.

The trick is making sure that you don't cut too far away from the actual collar. Although it appears that I just cut the sweatshirt straight across starting a few inches down the sleeve, that would definitely result in your shirt falling right off. A little goes a long way here! :)
I used the same method to cut my Hello Apparel sweatshirt shown in this post!

And please don't kill me if you eff it up.
Maybe practice on an old fitted tshirt or something first? :)
Hope that is helpful, happy cutting & good luck!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

First Day of Spring Style

Happy First Day of Spring! Although the sun is shining outside, Harper is still under the weather so we are feeling a little on the gloomy side. There is nothing worse than a sick babe! Ok, I lied, there is. A sick babe, a 4am flight home to take care of her & your car breaking down on the drive home from the airport during rush hour is worse. Come onnnn. When it rains, it pours.
We hope to be on the up-swing soon, but in the mean time, we will still welcome Spring with open arms!

little baby garvin

With warmer weather on it's way, here are some of our Spring style favorites! Seriously all of these bright colors & the comfy, casual style has me wishing once again that all of these came in my size! Can you just imagine adults running around in ruffle rompers? :)
Little Baby Garvin

Ladies with little dudes, you have it GOOD right now! I have been dying over all of the new Spring stuff for boys. In fact, I have been ordering a few boys items that look a little gender neutral, for Harper to wear! Including this Grey Terry Romper, I am obsessed!
Little Baby Garvin

Around the house, we have been doing a little spring cleaning & a lot of Easter decorating. With all of our new Target sippy cups (not to be confused with target practice sippy cups) & the fun Boon Grass Drying Rack, I feel like this has turned into it's own festive, spring-y corner of the kitchen!

I know many of you are still stuck in colder weather (I just broke out in song in my head as I typed that, ZBB, for the win) but Spring is just around the corner, so hang in there! And we will be doing the same. :)

Monday, March 18, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Shenanigans

  Ah, the Monday after St. Patty's weekend. Nobody likes this Monday. Including me. I had way too much FUN this weekend. Let's recap some of it, shall we?

Saturday evening was so festively topped off with a few green beers. We hammocked some more (yes, I turned it into a verb) & then grilled out. And shortly after, turned our grill into a fire pit. We are so classy.

After Harpie Doodle went to bed, we got a little creative with our evening activities. Remember all of the sippy cups I told you leak or have cracked after getting hulk-smashed to the ground? Well, they always say sippy cups aren't for chardonnay, but nobody ever said they weren't to be used for target practice! It's just a harmless pellet gun (although it looks totally badass, right?), but I told you there would be shenanigans!
 We're from Iowa, folks.

Since we grilled Steaks on Saturday night, my husband informed me that we could not have a festive breakfast because we would be eating Steak & Eggs on Sunday morning. He apologetically told me that I couldn't make it festive, no green eggs, no shamrock shaped steak, just a regular ol' MAN breakfast.

Jokes on him.

 I told you it was possible to shamrock shape anything.

Harper loved her first taste of kiwi, it's been so fun introducing her to all of these new foods. I guess it took a green holiday for me to consider buying that seemingly weird fuzzy fruit.

And in the spirit of Saint Patrick, she even let me put on her festive leprechaun hat (from Von Maur), just long enough for me to capture these hilarious pics. One day she is going to discover these pictures & I just know that I'm going to pay.

The rest of the afternoon, we wore our matching green sweatshirts & soaked up every last drop of the beautiful weekend weather outside. Harper got this outdoor swing for her birthday so we are anxious to hang it now that the weather is nice. It's just a matter of figuring out where to put it, Brandon shut me down on hanging it in the dining room.

(Updated: yes, Harper's is from the boy section & I cut the collar of mine again. I took pictures this time so I will post a quick tutorial for anyone interested!)

Unfortunately, we rolled into this week with Harper not feeling so hot & me having to go out of town for a few days for work. No mama wants to be away from their sick babe. All the more reason why I wish I could rewind back to the start of the weekend. Boo.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day Eve!

  St. Patrick's Day is totally one of those holidays that might be a toss-up about whether it is more fun to celebrate with or without kids. While it seems like endless amounts of green beer & shenanigans is hard to compete with, spending the day with this adorable little leprechaun officially can't be topped.

 I had big plans for a festive St. Patty's Day Eve breakfast, green pancakes with cool whip & LUCKY CHARMS. I accidentally got addicted to them over the past week.

Harper couldn't quite believe that she was getting another delicious plate of sweets, although I didn't actually let her eat this, it was switched out for a big plate of festive green fruit after a few messy bites of the whipped cream topping.

 "You serious, Clark?"

That face totally says "this ROCKS!" which makes my life complete. Making every day fun & special for my kids will always be the most important thing to me. Holidays put that part of me in overdrive & I get so excited that I might actually burst.

So far, today has been one for the books. The weather was unbelievable so we spent most of the afternoon outside. Brandon even caught a few pictures of Harper being calm (an extremely rare occasion) while I read to her in the hammock. Seriously, talk about Heaven on earth.

Of course, it didn't take long for the moment to be ruined when a family of squirrels went running up the tree & scared the shit out of both of us. Possibly the ones that used to live in the attic? Bitter because they got kicked out? Anyway...

Happy St. Patrick's Day Eve, my friends! Let the shenanigans begin! :)