Friday, January 31, 2014

5 on Fri! Things I'm Loving Right Now...

Linking up with April and friends today with 5 things I'm loving this week....


1. This amazing and unique jazz cover of One Direction's "Story of My Life"....so different from the original but fabulous!


2. Lately my facebook has been full of so much "junk" and I've found that it's kind of tough to filter out the good and bad these days. Last week I read these 2 articles on being a mom and wife, and man, both are so great. It's worth the read if you're like me and trying to figure out how to balance being a great mom and a great wife. 
Before You Were Mommy

3. I just bought these magnets for M from Amazon a couple of weeks ago and we're huge fans. 



They are a great distraction when I'm cooking or cleaning up the kitchen as she moves them back and forth from the front of our fridge to our dishwasher (2 thumbs up for appliances that look stainless but still hold magnets!). We also have fun talking about the animals and asking her to go get certain ones. It's amazing how much she can understand. Also....forgive me for the random "bowl on her head" picture, but this was mid play with the magnets, as you can see them behind her. Can you tell it's been a cold and cooped up week over here?



4. This ice cream from Target. It is my new favorite.


5. About a month ago we started watching Sons of Anarchy on Netflix thanks to a few friends' suggestions, and I think it's safe to say we're hooked! It's a little violent, but I'm completely sucked in.  We're about halfway through season 2 now. Thinking of taking a quick break for the new season of House of Cards that comes out in a couple of weeks (!!!), but then we'll be back to the motorcycle club!


Happy Friday Friends!!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A 15 month update....

For the first twelve months of M's life, I did a monthly update, but I've sort of stopped since her first birthday. However, I love having all of info "documented" somewhere since I have been pretty awful at keeping her baby book, so I figured I'd do them every couple of months in her second year. So without further ado...here she is at 15 months!


M girl....you are a ball of fun right now! It's amazing how much you've changed since your birthday three months ago! I just went a reread the letter I wrote you from October, and my oh my, a lot has changed since then. Here's a quick run down at what's been going on in your life these past couple of months....

  • You've become a much better eater. You took a long time to really start eating three full meals, but once we dropped all your day time nursing sessions (we're down to just morning and night, dropped the mid morning feeding right after your birthday, and the afternoon feeding right after Thanksgiving), your appetite has really picked up and you typically eat a lot at all 3 meals, and have a snack or two through out the day. For breakfast you love scrambled eggs, fruit, oatmeal, and waffles with peanut butter; for lunch you typically eat some combo of peanut butter and jelly, soup, Annie's white cheddar mac & cheese, peas, apple sauce, fruit, yogurt, cherry tomatoes and string cheese; for dinner you usually eat a little of whatever we make and sometimes you'll eat yogurt with it or roasted sweet potatoes...you love when we have spaghetti and chili! You also love Chipotle....you're a big fan of pulled pork and black beans and rice!
  • You drink water out of your straw cup all day long. Or out of whatever water bottle Mommy and Daddy are using! You really won't drink any milk (cow or breast milk) out of it during the day, but we have successfully left you with Daddy when Mommy has been out in the evening, and you'll successfully drink breast milk from a cup for him before bed. 
  • WORDS! Perhaps the biggest change between 12 and 15 months has been the words you've added to your vocabulary. I'm going to do my best to remember them all!
    • MORE! (This one gets used ALL.DAY.LONG!)
    • All done
    • Dog
    • Mama
    • Dada
    • Bye Bye
    • Gigi (she says this when she wants to skype with my mom)
    • Hi (often sounds like Hi-ya!)
    • Night Night (ny ny)
    • Bath
    • Ball (but comes out as a-ball)
    • Hat
    • Baby
    • Up
    • Hot
    • Bowl
    • Bubble
    • No (which is often said no-no-no-no-no while you shake your head)
    • Teeth (sounds like ttttttttt)
    • Belly button (beh-buh)
    • Water (sort of sounds like all done, and I'm only about 75% sure it means water?)
    • Animal sounds you make: Cat (meow meow), Dog (you growl since that's what Rosie and Layla do when wrestling), Owl (hoo hoo!), Cow (moo), Sheep (baaaaa), Cookie Monster (you make a noise in a gravely voice), Lion (growl), Bear (growl).
  • You love to give kisses...to people you love and to your stuffed animals and dogs. You also have several books with pictures of real animals in them, and it makes me laugh when you stop me from turning the page so you can kiss the animals.
  • After almost a two month transition (that was quite rough on all of us, I might add), you're finally down to one nap as of early/mid January. You now nap once a day around 1:30 - 3. Some days it's a little longer, and some days it's only 45 minutes. Those 45 minute days are rough, but we're learning. You usually sleep about 11 hours at night (8:30pm -7:30am), but sometimes it's 10 and sometimes it's 12. 
  • On most days, you usually wake up quite grumpy, in the morning and after your nap. In the morning you nurse and then you're usually a happy camper, but in the afternoon, we usually come downstairs with your sleep sack still on and you eat a snack and we snuggle and watch an episode of Daniel Tiger on Netflix. It's one of my favorite routines in the day because you're so sweet and cuddly. By the time we finish the first half of the show, you're usually back to being your smiley, happy self! 
  • You LOVE books. And when I say love, I really mean you're completely obsessed. You bring me books all day long and curl up in my lap to listen. It is adorable. And it's also one of the few times during the day that I can keep you still.
  • You still don't like the car. Occasionally you tolerate it, but almost always you cry and fuss wherever we go, even if it's five minutes down the road. My backseat is a MESS because it's full of toys, books, and other distraction items to keep you happy.
  • No surprise here, but you're a strong willed little girl! You do what you want and you are trying hard to test your boundaries. The main reasons you get in trouble: pulling the dogs' tails, playing in the kitchen trash, trying to pull the lamp in the living room, and dropping food when you don't want it. For awhile you were biting when you go mad at us, but that seems to have ended...for now at least!
  • When we pretend to smell your feet and then say "Peeeee-UUUUUU" you laugh hysterically and then immediately say, "more!"
  • You love skype and become so excited every time someone pops up on the screen.
  • You've been doing better when we leave you with a stranger or a friend. You have had a handful of "good" weeks in the nursery at church, and the past 2 times we've left you with a sitter, we've gotten a good report.
  • You now have 12 teeth! You got all molars right around Christmas and New Years, and it proved to be much more difficult than those first 8 teeth. We had some rough nights and grumpy days, but thankfully we're past that now. 
  • When you're soothing yourself before bed or if you're upset, you take one of your lovies (you have 3), and rub the tag in your ear. It's adorable. You laugh hysterically if Daddy or I rub it on our own ears. 

Sweet girl, you are getting bigger and bigger by the day! 
We love you to pieces!

Stats
Weight: 23 lbs. 3 oz. (76%)
Height: 32 inches (85%)
Clothes: All of your 12-18 month things are getting too tight. I just bought you a bunch of 18-24 month items a couple of days ago.
Diapers: Size 4 in disposables; 5 snaps open across in the BG cloth, all the way unbuttoned down.
Teeth:12
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Lots of hair is finally coming in. Very light brown. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Getting my "fix"....volume 2

Back in July, I ordered my first "fix" from Stitch Fix. I loved my experience with them, and knew I'd want to order again, but held off for a few months since I knew I really didn't need anything for the fall. 


My second fix arrived last week, and like last time, I was really pleased with the pieces my stylist picked for me! Here's a peek and breakdown of what came in my box....I am no fashion blogger, so you're not getting any pictures of me in the outfits! I would look like a fool! But I did snap a pic of the items plus the style card (which is oh so helpful!) that Stitch Fix includes in the box. 

1. Le Sample Kahlo Embroidered Racerback Tank, $48.00



I really loved this piece!! So different from anything else in wardrobe, nice quality, and I think it's pretty versatile. Also love that it can be used now in the cold months with a cute cardigan or in the summer. This one is definitely a keeper.

2. 41 Hawthorn Maddy Ponte Fit & Flare Dress, $78.00



While this dress was adorable and fit me perfectly, it ended up going back. I did love it, but I just didn't have a good reason to keep it. If I was still teaching, I would have snatched it right up. It would have made a wonderful addition to my teaching wardrobe, but as a mommy who rarely gets to go out in the evenings (and when I do, it's usually more casual!), I just couldn't justify spending the money to keep it. Beautiful dress though!

3. 41 Hawthorn Addison Striped Knit Cardigan, $48.00



Even though I already have more than enough open, flowy cardigans like this, I knew I was keeping this the minute I pulled it out of the box. I LOVE this piece and have already worn it since I got my box last week! I paired it with gray corduroy skinnies, a white tank, and flats...and I loved it! Again, another great piece for colder months and spring.

4. Bay to Bauble Kendall Tear Drop Necklace, $38.00 (no style card for this one)


While I thought this necklace was pretty and definitely fit my style, I decided to send it back. I already have several necklaces in this style and a few in different styles but same colors. I couldn't justify spending almost $40 on a necklace that didn't have space in my collection.

5. Margaret M, Kayla Skinny Jeans, $98.00


(I didn't snap a picture of the jeans, because there was just no way I could photograph them well!)

While these fit me perfectly (which really surprised me! I would not have expected a pair of pants to fit my body well that someone who doesn't know me picked out for me), and I really loved the color and style, they got sent back too. I just don't need pants right now, especially at almost $100. Had they been $50 or under, I would have considered them. 


And there you have it! I was once again really pleased and excited to get my Stitch Fix! If you haven't tried yet, here's a quick breakdown of how it works...


Have you tried Stitch Fix yet? If not, what is holding you back?
Happy styling!

*I was not paid to review my package from Stitch Fix, but referral links have been used! Once you get a Stitch Fix, you can earn $25 when referring a friend!*

Monday, January 13, 2014

Family Photos

This is a little overdue, but I just have to share!

Back in October, Megan from Gambol Photography met us at a park in Huntersville for a photo session. We wanted some photos for our Christmas card and some photos of Maggie right around her first birthday. I couldn't be more pleased to see how these turned out. They are perfection! Cannot wait to get some of them hung in our house! The hard part will just be deciding which ones we want to put up...





















All photos by Gambol Photography

Friday, January 10, 2014

Five on Friday!

Linking up with April and friends this week for Five on Friday!



Today's five: Five of our favorite moments from this week! 

1. On Monday night, sweet Sarah, a new blogger to Charlotte, had me and a few other wonderful Charlotte blog girls to her house for dinner. Katie, Classic Annie, April, Elizabeth and myself all had a wonderful time and enjoyed the fabulous dinner she made for us in her gorgeous home! I didn't snap any pictures, but I'm gonna steal this one from Sarah's instagram of her pretty table she had set up for us. It was a wonderful night away chatting with new and old friends!


2. And then on Wednesday evening the sweet girls in my playgroup (mentioned them here), took me and another gal with a winter birthday out to dinner to celebrate. We went to Chuy's and had a great meal, but more importantly, we sat around and chatter over dinner and margaritas for 3 hours. I am so thankful for these friends. (and for dinner out by myself two nights this week!)

3. Yesterday, the same group of mommies and their babies came over to our place for our Thursday play date. 11 mommas and 11 toddlers is a lot, but we're so glad everyone could come. I am so thankful for mom friends who are in the same place I am right now. I set up a hot chocolate bar (using this recipe for the hot chocolate) and made these muffins (Thanks to Belle on Heels for the recipe!). I subbed coconut oil for the butter so they were dairy free, and they were quite yummy! Enjoyed by moms and toddlers!



4. I got a giant delivery from Zappos this week! I had 6 pairs of shoes delivered to my home and plan to keep two. It's times like these that I love living in 2014. I don't have time or energy to take my toddler shoe shopping with me!

5. And to round out my list, I know this is cliche, but the return of Downton Abbey was this past Sunday! It definitely makes my highlight reel for the week! 


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

12-15 Month Favorites!

Back when M was a wee little one, I did a favorites list for some things we loved in her first three months of life. 

Since then a great deal has changed and other items have come and gone. And these days at fourteen and half months, she actually doesn't NEED all that much! In the early days, their was so much gear. I guess none of it was truly necessary, but as I'm sure most moms would attest to, it sure made our lives easier. 

These days, she really doesn't need much at all. Heck, I should just post a picture of some necklaces and my keys below, because if we're being honest, those are the only thing she cares about these days! However, we do do have a handful of products that we really love and I thought I'd highlight a few of them on here today. 


1. Touch and Feel Picture Cards...a friend had these and we got to play with them at her house, and I immediately came home and ordered a few sets for M. These are so great to entertain her in the car (because there are so many, they last forever!) and she also plays with them at home. Right now she just touches them and looks at them, but I definitely think they'll be a great language tool and conversation piece for when she's a little older. She also knows a few of her cards by name now (dog and ball) and it's neat seeing her being able to identify them! Also, they make great birthday presents!

2. Halo Sleepsack Wearable Blankets...M transitioned from a swaddle to a sleepsack almost a year ago, and here we are at fourteen months, still LOVING her sleepsack. I like that it keeps her warm and cozy while also making it harder for her to climb the sides of her crib! Eventually we'll have to move our way out of the sleepsack, but I don't see that happening soon!

3. Playtex Straw Cups...we used regular sippy cups for awhile, but M just could not get the concept of holding her cup up above her head to drink out of it, which meant that she had to have someone hold it up for her. Thankfully, these straw cups make it easy for her to drink on her own and she doesn't need our help with them! I also love these because when you first introduce it, you can squeeze them to make the liquid come up which helps the baby learn to suck. These are pretty much all we use now!

4. Ikea BUSA Tunnel....this might be the greatest toy you can buy for $14.99! It's fun, entertaining, doesn't make noise or light up, can be used indoors or outdoors, and it collapses small enough to put behind your sofa. And again....$14.99. We love this thing. 

5. Retract-A-Gate...if you have a mobile baby and stairs in your home, you will need gate. There's no getting around it. And I am 100% certain that this is the BEST gate out there. It is does just like the name says...it retracts! Which means when you aren't using it, you don't see it! It's so easy to open and close (I can do it one handed), and when it's in the locked position, your baby can press on it with all their weight and it won't budge (we know from experience!). I have told so many friends about this gate because I truly believe it's the best. Thank you again to Brittany for sharing it with me! 

6. Chicco NextFit...when we registered for M's infant carrier, it didn't feel so overwhelming because there really aren't that many infant carriers out there. But when we decided to switch to a convertible seat....holy moly! There are SO many choices and the prices range from $55 - $300+! There are so many good seats out there, and I think a lot comes down to personal preference and how much you care about extra conveniences and bells and whistles. One friend reminded me that you could have the most expensive seat on the market, and if you've installed it poorly or not buckled your child in right, it doesn't do you any good. After doing some research and testing out a few in the store, we went with the NextFit. Why? 2 reasons....1 - we loved our Chicco infant carrier (Keyfit 30), so I liked the idea of sticking with that brand since our first experience was good and 2 - it's almost impossible to install this seat incorrectly. Seriously...it's the easiest thing to install and uninstall. I liked that this was a seat that I could install on my own and feel very confident that I was installing it properly into any vehicle I found myself having to use. 

So there you have it. 
A few our favorite things right now. 
What have you found is a necessity in your home in this age range? 




**Disclaimer: Affiliate links have been used in this post, but I was not paid to write about the items above. I'm sharing them because I truly have been pleased with each of the items!**

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Goodbye 2013!

I had the best of intentions at posting this on NYE, but life got in the way and that just didn't happen!

Hope your 2014 is off to a wonderful start! J and I got to spend our last day out on a date where we went to see Book of Mormon here in Charlotte. As expected, it was fabulous and funny and so well done! We came home that evening to our little toddler and we stuffed our faces with queso and baked brie plus a little champagne while we rang in 2014 from the comfort of our home in our pajamas. It was a great way to end such a wonderful year! 

And with that said...here's one quick look down memory lane from the past year. It's crazy how much a certain someone has changed since last year!













It was fun, 2013! 
Nice to meet you, 2014!