Baby Girl Nursery

Baby Girl Nursery
Baby Girl Nursery

Summer Bucket List

Summer Bucket List
Summer Bucket List

Drugstore Beauty

Drugstore Beauty
Drugstore Beauty

8 Months of Hadley


Hadley girl is EIGHT months old as of Saturday, February 25th! Don't mind Nick's feet in the pictures... these are proving to become more and more impossible the more mobile she gets!

I feel like this month she just became so much older. She's so much more interactive, sleeping better, eating well, you know- practically heading off to college. We've just had so much fun this month.

She's still the happiest baby around. Smiles at everyone and anything, but I really think Brady is her absolute favorite. If she's in her jumper and I'm trying to wash bottles or prep dinner and she starts fussing, I just have to call Brady into the kitchen and she's all smiles and squeals for him. Meanwhile he's just mad that I made him get up for no reason. #lazy pup.

Girlfriend is on the move. I have no idea how an army crawling babe can move SO FAST. She recently discovered Brady's food/water bowl in the kitchen and books her way over there as quickly as she can. She loves to pound her hands on the hardwood floors and pull on all the drawers. I'm thinking it's time to do some serious baby proofing around here. Baby gates, here we come.

She's also sitting up totally on her own now. I was worried that day was never going to come, so we broke out this 'walker' that forced her to sit up to play with it - and it worked! I love being able to just set her down now and she can play with stuff. She also really started babbling towards the end of this month. For a few days, she was saying 'dadadadada' nonstop. I know she didn't know what it meant, but it was the sweetest sound!

Eating is going great. She continues to try any and all foods and seems to like pretty much everything! She takes 5 bottles a day (and occasionally one in the night), usually 4-6 ounces each time. She's still on the low side of weight - 15 pounds, 4 ounces last Friday - but I think it's because everything is going straight to her length! She is one loooong baby. But hey, tall and skinny, that'll treat her well in life ;)

Hads has 2 bottom teeth and then FOUR coming in on the top. So we've had a few rough days/nights working on those bad boys. One Sunday evening, she was just so unhappy and so uncomfortable. She wouldn't stop crying - at all. It was like a flash back to the newborn days. We decided to give her a warm bath and some Tylenol to help make her feel better and then put her to bed at 6pm because we just honestly didn't know what to do with her, she was so sad. Poor thing slept until 7am the next morning, but woke up her happy self again! Teething is rough. 

Overall, she's sleeping great though. She sleeps through the night more often than not, and actually still takes three naps a day. I know all of the books say she should have dropped that third nap by now, but she seems to need it, so we keep it for now.

It's really been such a great month. I said it before, but she just seems so much older over this past month. She is truly like my little best friend. Our days are filled with so much joy and hanging out with her is my favorite.  It's fun now that she's starting to get more into her toys, so we can actually play. I'll literally do anything to make her smile or laugh - she's super ticklish and I take advantage of that more than she probably likes ;) 

Happy 8 months Hadley girl, we love you SO MUCH!

Eight month favorites: bathtub // cool mist humidifier // jumper (on sale!) // learning walker (finally helped her learn to sit up on her own) // baby cell phone // safety spoons // teething wafers // zip up pjs // rattle balls // pacifiers
16

Dinner And A Movie

One of my previous favorite bloggers (I miss you, Ally!) used to do these posts on Mondays and I loved them. A good recipe is always something I'm interested in and now that I realized that our Amazon Prime subscription comes with FREE movies (how did it take me so long to discover this?! what else am I missing?), I'm accepting any and all of those recommendations as well.


First up. The recipe - vegetarian Mexican casserole. I actually delivered this guy to our friends that just had a baby over the weekend and it was a big hit! It took a whole 30 minutes to throw together and looked & smelled so delicious. Paired with a bag of tortilla chips, sliced avocado and a small container of sour cream, it's the perfect dinner to deliver to any new mom (freezer friendly, too!). Or just go to town on by yourself with a Lime-a-rita, no judgement here.


For the movie, we watched Into The Wild on Saturday night. Well honestly, it was so long that we watched half of it on Saturday and the other half on Sunday night. It's older - 2007, how crazy is it that that was 10 years ago? - and based on a true story about Atlanta's Christopher McCandless who abandons his family, possessions, basically his entire life, to hitchhike to Alaska to live in the wilderness. The nature scenes are breathtaking and the movie definitely makes you think about the life that we live in our society today. We thought it was such a great movie and one that's worth the (long) watch.

And if a good meal and movie aren't enough to get you through a Monday - I feel ya - how about a couple of awesome sales? This canvas military jacket is a MUST have (I own three military jackets and have no shame in wearing all of them nonstop) at $40 with free shipping. And MAC is having a sale on their travel size mascaras, some of them are only $5!!! Check it out here.

Have a great start to the week!
14

Snaps From The Week

What a weeeeek it has been! We are having the most beautiful weather here in Michigan right now. The warmth and sunshine are breaking all kinds of records for February! It's crazy and I swear it just puts everyone in the best mood. 

Also! Two of my girlfriends in town had baby girls this week. I may have been feeling a tiny bit of baby fever. But then Hadley slept through the night all week long, so I got over that real quickly ;) It's just so hard to believe that she's not the newborn anymore and will be EIGHT! months old this Saturday.

Here's what else was awesome about our week...


Okay, let's just start with one of the best: WE HAVE A CHICK-FIL-A! I've waited so long for this. My love for CFA runs deep. We used to go down to Florida every.year to visit my grandparents growing up, and if we drove, we would always, always stop at CFA when we got into Georgia. It was like the sign that we were almost there. We would throw back some chicken nuggs and then beeline it to Orlando or Naples, wherever my grandparents were at the time. Lots of good memories from those trips.

Anyway, I'm so pumped to have one right here in town. It's dangerous - for my wallet and my waistline - but now I can get my fix whenever I want.


Hadley girl had a great shopping week, ha. I spend all of my money on clothes for her now. How amazing is this Joules pullover? Be prepared to see this one on repeat in all the pictures. I also ordered her this cute military jacket and striped swimsuit for the summer (only $10!). 


We skipped the gym in favor of walks outside with friends this week. So basically it was Brady's best week ever. Mom essentials: this vest (which is on a GREAT sale!) and these leggings.


And in case you missed it, from the blog this week: a post on motherhood struggles and a new perspective, drugstore beauty finds I'm loving, and my top ten favorite phone apps.

Now Friday is here and it's rainy (but still in the 60's!) and that's okay because I love a good rainy day. We're heading to the gym and grocery store today and as for the rest of the weekend... this mom is getting her hair done, we'll be visiting our friends and new babies (these make for an awesome newborn gift, the magnets are everything), and packing and getting ready for our ski trip to Park City next week -- send me all of your best recommendations if you got 'em! 

Let the weekend begin! 
19

Top Ten Phone Apps

I love my phone and I hate my phone at the same time. Anyone feel me?

I'm attached to that thing like white on rice and use it to do pretty much everything from order baby wipes to reading books to editing pictures. Sometimes it's nice - and necessary - to be unplugged for a little while though. I am trying to be better about putting my phone in the other room in the evening or leaving it behind when we go on family walks.

However, the rest of the time, the obsession is real. I'm going to blame it mostly on Instagram because I always want to see what's going on in all my friends lives, but here is what else is keeping me attached...


Instagram
Let's just start with the obvious. Instagram addict, party of 1. I even deleted my Snapchat because I love the Instastories so much. I don't post as much as I should to be a #goodblogger, but don't worry, I'm constantly stalking everyone else. Shameless plug, feel free to follow me here if you love pictures of babies, golden retrievers, and the random Target find.

Target Cartwheel
And speaking of Target... Cartwheel is a must have if you like to save money. So that would be everyone. Download now.

Amazon
One touch click purchase is very dangerous, but oh so convenient and completely necessary. Right?

C25K
This is the couch to 5k program I've been doing and I love it. It starts off slow - which was perfect for me because I literally was coming from the couch - and slowly builds up to a 5k over 8 weeks. Or like 12 weeks if you're me and keep getting sick all winter.

Kindle
This syncs right up with my actual Kindle and I love that I can read/have my books with me wherever I go.

VSCO
My photo editing app of choice these days. The S1 filter is my jam, I also usually turn down the temp a bit and sharpen.

Facetune
...but before I do any of that, I use Facetune to brighten my photos. Hands down the best brightening tool I've found! It lightens your photos without losing all of the contrast. I also love the smooth feature if one of us has dog fur on our clothes in pics (so all the time).

Bloglovin
When I'm having a busy day and don't have the time to sit down on the computer, Bloglovin is the best to still be able to keep up with my faves. This is happening more than often than not, so forgive me for not commenting as much as I used to - it's a little harder on the app!

Keenai
When I take pictures with my real camera, I use this SD card and Keenai to transfer them to my phone. Super easy.

Planoly
Planoly is AWESOME for anyone that is as obsessive about their Instagram feed as I can be sometimes. It allows you to plan out your grid and make sure everything looks cohesive and cute. I have the free version which allows 30 uploads a month and so far that's been perfect for me, but they do have packages if you need more.

The one thing I'm lacking is a good music listening app. I have iHeart Radio, but just don't love it. What's your favorite way to stream music? Any other go-to apps I NEED to download?!

Gorgeous photo via
17

Drugstore Beauty

Let's talk beauty today.

I've been trying to get into more drugstore beauty products over the last few months and have found some really, really good stuff. I don't know where I got this idea that higher cost equals better products when it comes to makeup, because it's definitely not true at all. Plus, have you ever tried to maneuver the 'aisles' at Sephora with a stroller? It's not fun. It's practically impossible to NOT knock something over. Therefore, if I can pick up dry shampoo or foundation or a lip color when I'm already out and about, heck yes please.

So we're saving money and can easily do a restock on our weekly (twice weekly...) trip to Target. A basic moms dream.


Okay, first up we have this amazing shampoo and conditioner set. I didn't feel like shelling out the $25 for the shampoo I've been using, so I randomly picked this stuff up at Target one day. Cute packaging for the win. (Turns out it has tons of amazing reviews on the Ulta website too, so I'm not alone in my obsession.) I find that it makes my hair super, super soft and shiny. Just very healthy looking and strong feeling. I can use all of the moisture I can get during these dry winter months and this set delivers. I also love how well it lathers and the fact that it's made with more natural ingredients. Best of all, it's only $7.99 a bottle!


Another awesome hair product, this curl cream by OGX. I first read about curl creams here and picked this up via their recommendation on my next trip to Tarjay. First of all, this stuff is coconut scented and smells freaking amazing. I think that might be 75% of the reason I must use it every single day. And to back that up, it works really well to smooth my hair, specifically my ends. It helps seal up those dry, split ends without making my hair greasy. Love it.


I've already preached my love for the L'Oreal Infalliable Pro-Matte foundation before, but be ready to hear it lots more times. IT'S SO GOOD. I had to return my first bottle because the color wasn't right, and Target took it back, no questions asked. I was impressed (the girls at Sephora always seem to give me the side eye with a side of huffing and puffing). Anyway, this is my first drugstore foundation and I'm seriously impressed. I apply it with this brush and it goes on like a dream. It holds up well all day, too.

As for eyeliners, you can't get much cheaper than Rimmel Scandal Eyes at a whopping $3.99 (plus on sale right now), but it definitely gives my $20 eyeliners a run for their money. And I'm not alone, there are almost niiiine hundred reviews with five stars. Why do I and everyone else think it's so great? It's goes on smoothly, stays put (ie. no smearing) but is still easy to remove at night, and the pencil seems to last forever.


Last but not least, two of my favorite face products. Let's start with a recent find in the Garnier Micellar Water. I use it with a cotton ball before washing my face to take my makeup off. I swear my skin feels so much better when I'm washing it once it's already clean. It's not harsh at all on my sensitive skin and doesn't dry me out at all.

The Acure Brightening Facial Scrub was a rec via Kristin Cavallari and it has proved to be one of my most favorite beauty products of all time. I use it a couple of times a week for exfoliation before my regular cleansing routine (but after the micellar water ;)). I'd recommend using it in the shower because it's muddy, so it can get a little messy! I like that the exfoliating beads are gentle and my skin feels amazingly smooth after.

Tell me your favorite drugstore beauty find! Next on my list to try is this bronzing cream for summer. I'm intrigued.
23

Sunday Night

Tonight was a good night.

Hadley took a long afternoon nap, so I snuggled up on the couch and read, while Nick hit up the grocery store and made dinner. He makes this delish olive oil and veggie pasta that has become kind of a Sunday night tradition when it's warm out. And oh was it warm out this weekend! We got up to 67 degrees. In Michigan. In February. Pretty much unheard of.


Anyway, while I was relaxing while my amazing husband made dinner, I finished reading The Magnolia Story. I am on a roll with the good books lately, guys. I LOVED this book. It was a light, easy read (which I needed after this one) and Chip and Joanna's story is truly inspirational. There was also a chapter near the end that totally spoke to me as a wife and a mother. It was about thriving - not just surviving - in this season of your life.

Motherhood is messy and hard and completely all consuming. I've struggled a lot since becoming a mom with how to balance everything. I feel like I'm not giving my all to anything, except Hadley, which is how it should be, but I can't help sometimes feeling like I'm half-assing everything else and I hate that.

I'm sick of feeling stressed about the cleanliness of my house, what we're going to have for dinner, how I wear leggings almost every day of my life. I don't want to be that stressed out, high strung mother and mom - especially over things that don't even actually matter in the long run. Motherhood may be crazy, but it's absolutely the best ride of my life and I want to ENJOY every single moment of it. I just haven't really figured out how to do that yet - let all of this little stuff go - in a way that works for me. But in The Magnolia Story, Jo brought up an amazing point about not looking at these little things as stressors, but instead as blessings. And that little shift in perspective has really hit home for me.

When I feel like toys and clothes and bottles are everywhere, I need to remind myself that it's because a happy and healthy baby lives here. 

When the laundry piles up and there are tumbleweeds of Brady's fur everywhere, I need to remind myself to be thankful for a roof over my head and the blessing that my family is.

When I have another Junior League meeting, I need to appreciate the fact that it has brought me some great friends and we are doing wonderful things for the community.

When blogging starts to feel like a chore, I need to remind myself of how wonderful it is to have something for just myself, a kind of creative outlet, and all of you amazing ladies that stop by here every day.

When our weekends are busy and there's no time for relaxing, I need to be reminded of how blessed we are to have family and friends that want to spend their time with us.

It really is all about perspective. In every situation, I can choose the 'surviving' response, or the 'thriving' response. It's such a simple thing, but it really spoke to me, so I had to share. Who knows who else needed to hear this tonight, right?

If you guys haven't read The Magnolia Story yet, I'd highly recommend it! Now which one I should read next...

18

Good Things

Happy Friday!

This week brought to you by Nyquil, saline sprays, cough drops, and caffeine. Yep, sick again. I came down with whatever sinus thing Nick had going on and so did poor Hadley girl, plus she's working on some top teeth and moved up a size in diapers, so she's been a busy lady. It was just a really long week for all of us. We did learn that Hadley thinks it's the funniest thing when we blow our noses though, so at least one of us got a little enjoyment out of it! 

Also very random, but she think it's hilarious when I wear a baseball hat - she does this little chuckle thing that makes me laugh. And there was lots of baseball hat wearing this week because when I'm sick, my low standards for washing my hair become even lower if you can believe it. Dry shampoo for life.

Anyways. I'm sure you're sick of hearing about our sicknesses, because I'm sick of talking about it. Instead let's talk about the good stuff from this week! It was the week of love and despite not being able to breathe or keep my eyes open past 8pm, there was still lots of happiness to be found.

bow // sweater // tights // chair

We had a nice little Valentine's Day. Neither of us were feeling well, so we didn't do a date night, or cook up a big fancy meal, or really anything to mark the big day, but Nick did bring me home chocolates and chocolate covered strawberries, which I devoured on the couch that night. Those little boxes of chocolate are kind of my favorite, I love sitting there and taking a bite out of every single piece and then going back and eating my favorites in order.

Plus, Nick offered to do bedtime that night which, in my opinion now, is the best gift of all. Funny how things can change in a year!


His and hers amoxicillin. How romantic.


 The love between these two continues to grow and it makes my heart so happy.

I feel like Brady has gone through the five stages of depression since bringing Hadley home, ha! First he was depressed and a little angry with us, ie. acting out, and then he became indifferent and ignored her, and now he's starting to become a little interested. I'd say the fact that she has leftover food on her face after eating a couple times a day is helping moving this relationship along by quite a lot. He loves to lick her entire face and she responds by pulling fistfuls of his hair out.

Progress.


New shoes!!! These guys have been sold out everywhere, so when they finally came in stock in my size, I grabbed them as quickly as I could. Can I just tell you how happy I am that athleisure is all the rage right now. It's my daily uniform and no surprise, I love these shoes. They are super comfortable and we all know how much I appreciate a good neutral, they literally match with everything in my closet. They'll be a spring staple for sure.

Get them here or here (almost all sizes stocked), both sites have free shipping. I find the shoes run true to size, if not a tiny bit big!


And this was what the rest of the week looked like. In our pj's, playing and hanging out. SO looking forward to these next few days though because the weather forecast is calling for high 50 and 60 degrees! It's the best winter ever.

Enjoy your weekends!
21

Master Bedroom Updates

Master bedroom, almost complete!

I've been working hard on this room over the past couple of months and wanted to share a few of the updates we've made. I find that master bedrooms are easy to be forgotten about when you're in the process of decorating an entire house - mostly because no one sees it but you, so you put all of your time and energy (and money...) into the areas that you entertain in.

But behind our living room and Hadley's room, we spend the most time in our bedroom, and I was sick of looking at a half finished, mish-mash room full of random decor. So one day, I mapped out my game plan, did some online shopping, and started to bring my vision to life.


Nick and I had already painted the room way back when we first moved in - Benjamin Moore's Cedar Key - and thankfully I still love it. I have a bad relationship with paint colors. Don't ask me how many times I've repainted our entryway. I'm also obsessed with our headboard. It's from Target and such a great deal. What I was really struggling with though was what to put above the headboard.

This room drives me nuts in that it is not symmetrical at all. I have a window on one side of the bed and then a dark corner on the other. We needed something above the bed to bring it all together. If you saw my Insta-story a couple of weeks ago, you saw that I was considering a couple pieces of art, but neither of them just seemed right. I ended up going with a picture ledge because I cannot get enough of our newborn photos and just want to use them ALL over the house (so I am).

I used Keepsake because I am the absolute worst at getting frames for my photos and I love love love that they do it all for you - print your photos, frame 'em and deliver them right to your doorstep. And delivery was epically fast, like two days later, which I love because Amazon Prime has ruined me.


Didn't they turn out amazing? I went with the Bristol frames in the 11x14 and can't get over the quality. And ordering them took a whopping 5 minutes, if that. They even have an iPhone app that you can order from! I used their website (because I have serious storage issues on my phone) and it was just overall an awesome experience.

Moving on to beside the beds. Our nightstands are actually $70 dark brown IKEA Hemnes ones that we (Nick) painted white. We also attached new handles because that really does make a world of difference. Topped with lamps from Target, the sweetest picture that makes me smile every night when I'm getting into bed, a delicious smelling candle, a favorite hand cream, and the occasional fresh flowers.


I was also on the hunt for new sheets. I love me some Target/Homegoods/budget finds, but if there is one thing I insist on splurging on, it is sheets. (With an exception to the Costco flannel sheets, because those things are the best.) But I really love a good, crisp sheet set. We went with the Circle Cut set from Serena & Lily and they are goooood. It's part of their luxury bedding range - yes, please - and it seriously feels like you're climbing into a hotel bed every night. It's the little things, right?

It's hard to be able to see the pattern because it's so very neutral and tiny, but I love that the sheets have a little something to them. I also just realized that they have the same pattern in a crib sheet so I'm thinking Hadley girl needs one, too!


I'm really happy with how the room is coming together! I just have a couple more things to change and then it should be dunzo. I want to switch out our ceiling lighting and the wall to the left needs something on it. I'm thinking one of these big signs. Also contemplating a rug for under the bed. What do you guys think? I think it might be nice to break up the carpet a bit. 

Oh, and as a treat to you guys for getting through this monster post, if you want to try out Keepsake framing for yourself, use code KatieElizabeth15 to get 15% off of your order! I highly, highly recommend it - they're awesome!
32

Ladies To Love

Welp, another man down this weekend. Nick ended up with a sinus infection, poor guy - we just can't seem to break out of our sickness streak over here. So it was another weekend of laying around on the couch, ordering in food and entertaining ourselves by watching Hadley 'dance' to the music of her new cell phone. Sometimes those are the best memories made anyways, so I can't complain. But since my handyman was down for the count, our master bedroom will be finished up and shared later this week instead!

Today - in honor of the day of love - I'm sharing four of my most recent favorite bloggers. We all have them, the ones you get super excited over when you see their names pop up on your Bloglovin' feed. I freaking love finding a great blog to follow. I comb through their archives, read all the best posts, make lists of their product recommendations and follow them on every social media channel I can. It's a good time, and extremely stalker-ish of me when I put it this way. They all have absolutely no idea that I exist, but that's okay, because then they can't file restraining orders against me. 

Just kidding ;)


From left to right....

Lindsey Regan Thorne is a beauty guru. She's based in Charlotte and I actually found her via Instagram when she did Emily Maynard's hair and makeup for her wedding - so you know she's good. She has the best product recommendations and let's not even talk about her house. It's all white and all around gorgeous. Holy City Chic can be found in the other Carolina, in one of my very favorite cities, Charleston. Megan has amazing fashion sense and the cutest little family. Her son is only a couple of months older than Hadley, so I can't get enough of her baby posts.

Sequins & Stripes totally fills the void I have when I'm missing Chicago. She lives right in the heart of the city with her husband, son and this is random, but I love how much she loves her dog. A lot of style bloggers clothing are way too out there for me to wear on a daily basis, but Liz's outfits are actually ones that I'd recreate and be able to wear as a stay at home mom. Now, if you are looking for hair inspiration, Twist Me Pretty should be your GO TO. This mom of four (!) has got the braid game down pat. I'm totally jealous and always trying to copy her looks and live by her product recommendations.

Hope you guys have a great Valentines Day! How are you celebrating? I was trying to be a crafty mom yesterday by making donuts and a chalkboard sign... they were both epic failures. Thank goodness I have a couple years to hone my skills - or more like figure out who I can outsource things to - before I have to help Hadley get all creative with making Valentines. 

Tonight you can find Nick and I on the couch with a glass of champagne and catching up on This Is Us. My perfect way to spend the holiday!

Ps. give me more bloggers to stalk...
8

Saturday Shopping

Don't mind my crappy little iPhone snap, but one of my fave sweaters is on major sale this weekend, so I had to share!

This merino wool blend sweater is from Gap and I love the multicolor stripes. Perfect for brightening up those winter blahs. My favorite way to wear it is under my navy blazer with dark jeans, but I think it'll also look awesome come spring with white denim and wedges. I found that it does run a bit on the smaller side, so I sized up one. The shoulders look a little big, 80's style in the picture, but don't worry - it's just the angle and my big fancy (best ones ever) hangers!



The cost? It's normally $70, but marked down to $39.99 and then 40% off on top of that, so this guy will only cost you $24 today! I also found this similar striped one that is only $15!!! Such great deals.

And if you're like me and love to match with the babes, pick up this little hat or these tights, too. SO cute.
8

Friday Five

I can't believe it's Friday again. This week seriously flew by. We were busy, but the good kind of busy. Getting together with friends, Junior League meetings, gym trips and of course, Target runs. And I have some GOOD Target info to report to you today, so why don't we just get right into it...


ONE
Okay, so this first one isn't from Target, but it's still a must have. I picked up this Lanolips superbalm when we were in Chicago over the weekend and I love it. I'm trying to break my Carmex addiction (it's real) and this might just do it - it's hydrating, long lasting, and made without any of that scary paraben/petrolatum/palm oil etc stuff. I kind of also love its lemonade flavor which brings me back to the good old Lip Smackers days.

Ps. nail color is OPI Let's Be Friends from the Hello Kitty collection!


TWO
I'm about to change your life with three little words... EDIBLE COOKIE DOUGH. You guys. This stuff is dangerously addicting. I can't stop stealing bites of it all - day - long. It tastes exactly like raw cookie dough, but you know, without the raw eggs in it. Get it at Target (they also have a peanut butter flavor!).

THREE
You know you're reading a good book when you set your alarm for 5:30am to get in some reading before your baby wakes up. I cannot put it down - I'm a little over halfway and I am already pretty sure it's one of, if not THE, best book I've ever read. Have any of you guys read The Nightingale? I keep telling Nick I want him to read it too so I can have someone to discuss it with! Also why I've sucked at responding to emails this week, sorry about that...


FOUR
Target is killing it with the collaborations lately! How cute is this SUGARFIX by Bauble Bar stuff? You can bet a pair of the tassel earrings came home with me. I'm also super pumped about the Kristin Ess haircare collab. She's all over Pinterest, working with The Beauty Department and famous ladies like Lauren Conrad, and she does amazing things with hair. I can't find her line in any stores, but I've ordered a few pieces online, so I'll be sure to report back!

FIVE
If you have a shaky hand when it comes to applying eyeliner, this tutorial is for you. And for me because I can't draw a straight line to save my life, so this is how I do it and it's the best. I use this brush and right now I'm loving this mega-cheap eyeliner.

My main mission for the weekend is to finish our master bedroom - and hopefully, fingers crossed get the post up on Monday. Wish me luck! Happy Friday!
23

Chicago Snaps

We had the BEST girls weekend in Chicago! When I moved back to Michigan, I didn't know anyone in the city we were living in and it was hard, especially coming from Chicago with a big group of girlfriends. After a full year of living back here, I joined the Junior League and was lucky enough to land in the most amazing group of fellow new members ever. We've all become really close and this weekend was our first girls weekend away. We left the families and mom leggings at home, and proceeded to shop, eat, drink and stay up until 4am like the crazy kids we used to be. 


View from my hotel room! You know you're with a group of moms when everyone wants to get their own hotel room instead of sharing, so you can have some alone time and take over the bed and get some SLEEP! Not that we ended up doing much of that, but still, there is a lot to be said for having your own space now.


I finally got my hands on the Sugarfina candies and they did not disappoint. My favorite were the Champagne Gummies - check 'em out here. They would make such a fun V-Day gift!


We got lucky with gorgeous weather. Sunny and kind of chilly, but when it's not snowing in the winter in the Midwest, that's considered a success.


We ate so much good food. Pretty sure I gained back those two pounds I lost from having the flu, but the lobster roll, sushi, burgers, brunch and 4am meat lovers pizza (why?) were totally worth it.


Spending two hours laying in bed on Sunday morning reading was literally heaven.


My black jumpsuit didn't come in time (tear), but this floral off the shoulder top made up for it. I wore it with black denim and these earrings. I really wanted to break out my choker, but I wasn't sure if I could pull it off?!


If you're ever in Chicago, get your butt over to The Hampton Social. The entire place is Instagram worthy and the food (get the lobster roll - Maine style) isn't too shabby either.

Now I'm back home with my girly, back to making dinner and running to Costco and going to baby story time. I definitely one hundred times over love this life the most, but I'm learning that it's important to continue doing things just for myself, too. I'm a better mom that way. Girls weekends are good for the soul and let's just say the planning is already under way for the next one!
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What We're Eating This Week

I love reading these posts on other blogs. It's easy to get stuck in the dinner rut of making the same 5 things over and over, so it's nice to see what other ladies are whipping up for dinner. Or ordering for take out, no shame in that game!

My requirements for a week night dinner are threefold. First, it has to be easy to make. We're talking only a handful of ingredients (that can be found at the grocery store, I'm not Amazon Priming spices) and doesn't require a crapload of mincing, chopping, etc. Second, it should be decently healthy. I'm not above making lasagna on a Tuesday, but for the majority of the nights, I'd prefer to eat a bit healthier. (This is really just so I can go all out on the weekend without feeling badly.) And third, I prefer when the meals can be assembled ahead of time. I like to get everything ready during nap time earlier in the day when I'm still feeling productive, and then be able to pop it in the oven come five o'clock.

Enough rambling, here's what we're eating this week...


Monday: Last night we made the Roasted Asian Sea Bass recipe from the Skinnytaste Fast & Slow cookbook. I already had cod in the freezer from Costco, so I subbed that out instead and it was really good - and really easy with only a few ingredients. On the side, we had salted edamame (I'm addicted) and couscous (I love this brand because it only takes 5 minutes!).

Tuesday: We always do one leftover night a week (usually on Thursdays), but since I have a Junior League meeting on Tuesday this week, that will be leftover night instead. Thankfully we have tons of good stuff left from the Super Bowl.

Wednesday: Breakfast bowls! Bowls are my favorite, that's another thing we have about once a week. Breakfast and Mexican bowls are our go-to and I love them because they're so filling - requiring no side dishes. For the breakfast version, we do hash browns or diced potatoes with eggs on top, either bacon or sausage crumbles, sautéed green pepper and onion, topped with usually cheese for Nick and avocado for me.

Thursday: I'm trying this honey mustard chicken recipe for the first time. On the side, we'll have leftover couscous from Monday and caprese salad.

And on Friday, we almost always do PIZZA! There's a funny story about how that started. A few years ago, Nick's friend was telling him how his family does pizza every Friday night. Nick was like 'ugh, that's amazing, I wish I could join his family' and I said 'you know you don't actually have to join a new family to have pizza every Friday night, we can do that ourselves' - ha! So now we have pizza on Friday nights!

What are you guys eating this week?
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Hadley: Seven Months

Good morning! The Monday after the Super Bowl is always r-o-u-g-h. Like really, why can they not play this game on Saturday night? Why? I'm still recovering from my girls trip to Chicago over the weekend too, so today will most definitely be a stay in pajamas all day type of day. 


THIS GIRL is now seven months old! Beyond crazy. When everyone says that time flies, they really weren't joking. Month seven was a good month. If month six was the one where we partied, this month was the one with all the firsts. 

First time sleeping in her own room
We did it! You can read allll about it here in my baby sleep post. To sum it up, it went well because I think we were all ready. She was outgrowing her bassinet and Nick and I were ready to have our space back. Not going to say there weren't any tears shed over it, but that's just ME being the baby.

First sickness
Poor girl had her first little cold this month. We broke out the humidifier, the snot sucker (she HATES that thing), saline spray, lots of cuddles, anything I could think of really. Of course, she was so happy through the whole thing, you could barely even tell that she was sick. Luckily it didn't last long and didn't warrant a trip to the doctor or any meds.

First Christmas
The best first! We had such a great first Christmas as a family of 3. I think it's so fun that her half birthday falls on Christmas.


First foods
We skipped the cereal and got straight into the good stuff. We started with avocado on a Sunday morning and she seemed so confused, the facial expressions were kind of amazing. She had no idea what to think and didn't eat much at first, but it's starting to grow on her. So far she's had avocado, green beans, butternut squash, pears, and banana. Funnily enough, she's not into the fruit at all. She'll take one bite of them and then refuses to open her mouth for any more. Butternut squash is by far the fave. I've made all of her own food so far and love love the Baby Brezza and this guide book.

First time away from us
Mom and Dad headed to Dallas for the Cotton Bowl over New Years and it was my first time leaving her (Nick has been away for work before). She stayed with my family and I won't lie, it was a little hard on me. She was totally fine, but she's my best bud and I didn't like being away from her! But we all survived and we all had fun, so it was good for everyone.

First diaper rash
I know! I can't believe it took us this long. Her two teeth coming in brought seriously runny diapers and I think that caused her first diaper rash. She didn't seem bothered by it and it cleared up quickly.

First time "crawling"
Girlfriend is on the move. She officially started army crawling this month and I can't even keep up. However, she shows absolutely NO interest in sitting up. She can do it, but just doesn't want to. She'd rather flop right over onto her belly and get going. It has made me a little nervous at times that she's not really sitting yet, but I keep reminding myself that she's not going to be a 15 year old that can't sit, it will happen when she wants it to happen.

Seven month favorites- Jumper // Rattle Balls (by far the fave) // Links // Dr. Brown Pacifiers // Banana Tooth Brush // Teething Necklace // Bath Toys // DADA Book // Ring Stacker // Pulling Brady's hair & wall outlets ;)
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Asked & Answered


I got so many good questions from this post and I figured a Friday was a perfect time to start answering them! I'll probably break this up into a couple posts because there were so many, so if I don't answer yours today, don't worry! Here we go... and starting with the question I get emailed about THE MOST.

Is your IKEA Hemnes dresser in the nursery the white or the white stain?
We have the white stain! When we went to IKEA to check them out, the white stain appeared to be much more of a 'true' white and it is indeed. It also has less of a sheen than the white - more of an eggshell finish. I just think it looks higher quality. And speaking of quality, it is awesome for the price. We love this thing and it is holding up extremely well. Updating the knobs to these went a long way, too!

How do you find the balance on the blog with friends and family and deciding what to share?
Ahhh, I feel like the balance is hard and ever changing. I try not to share too much about times with friends or family or pictures of them because at the end of the day, this isn't their blog and it's not up to me what they want to have broadcast all over the internet. But sometimes a few snapshots of a fun time are okay - so it really just depends on the situation and which friends we're talking about.

As for MY family, I have gone so back and forth on what to share about Hadley and what not to. But I always come back to the fact that this blog is about my life and if I left Hadley off of here, it would not at all be an authentic representation of my life. The reason I love blogging so much is that it's really a virtual scrapbook, and I love documenting all of these times with her. And how cool that she'll be able to look back on the blog and be able to read all about us preparing for her, welcoming her into the world, and learning how to become parents. I do try to be conscious about not over sharing and keeping any pictures off that might come off as inappropriate.

How did you and your husband meet?
Speaking of inappropriate, we met at a fraternity party, ha! It was actually ten years ago at the end of January that we met - my freshman year of college - which honestly blows my mind. We didn't start dating until September, but we've been together ever since. After college we moved to Chicago for five years, where we got engaged in September 2012. We got married the next July 27th, 2013 in my hometown and moved back to Michigan the next August 2014. And you know the rest!

What are your favorite hair products?
I don't switch up my hair products TOO much because I have a few that I really, really love. I'm just going to go ahead and list them off, in no particular order - Oribe Texturizing Spray (worth the splurge, lasts forever), Living Proof Dry Shampoo, Kerastase Elixir Ultime, Alterna Leave In CC Cream, Macadamia Moisture Masque, Wet Brush, Neutrogena Clarifying Shampoo, Hot Tools 1.25" Curling Wand, Oribe Conditioner for Beautiful Color, L'Oreal Elnett Hair Spray.

What has been the most surprising thing about becoming a mom?
I'm cheating and saying two things. First, the insane amount of love I feel for her - it really is like nothing else. I mean I grew her in my body! It's crazy how all encompassing that love is. And second, the most surprising thing is that it has also really shown me the worst about myself. I can be impatient, selfish, and lazy, and taking care of a human 24/7 around the clock that needs literally everything from me, has brought out the worst in me at times, as much as I hate to admit that. It's really opened my eyes to what I need to work on to be a better mom and human in general, especially because I don't want Hadley to pick up this stuff from me. I know I'll never be perfect, but I want to improve myself as much as I can for her.

What is your exercise routine?
Well, I've never been much of an exercise-r. I have always loved to play sports (volleyball, soccer, whatever) and go for walks, but I had never been a gym goer. Until I had a baby and realized that baby weight won't just lose itself.

So Nick and I set out to join a great gym this past fall and it has actually been kind of life changing. Now I get that endorphin thing everyone has always talked about! Right now, I am doing a couch to 5k program. We go to the gym Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings and I stretch and run around the track or on the treadmill for about 45 minutes. I've been loving it and Hadley does too because the childcare is awesome. I think it's been really good for all of us. And I don't hate hitting the steam room and taking a long hot shower after working out either ;)

Once the weather starts to warm up again, I want to get a jogging stroller and start getting back out around the neighborhood every day with our Brady boy.

Okay and now I have a question for you guys... has anyone ever tried these makeup drops to lighten your foundation for winter?! I'm so intrigued by them, but could also seem them going very, very wrong. Let me know.

I'm off for a little blogging lunch date with the amazing SARA today and then heading to Chicago for the weekend with my girls! TGIF!

Image via
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Happy February

Helloo, February! I am so ready to say goodbye to January. January was a long, dark month full of sickness and to be honest, just kind of sucked. So we're very ready for the fresh start that a new month brings. I already have my Valentines Day garland hung up on my fireplace and I just got the cutest heart tights that I can't wait to dress Hadley in. It also doesn't hurt that it's the shortest month of the year and I like to think that it's practically spring once March arrives - wishful thinking for a place that snows through April, but roll with me here.

In honor of the month of love and pretty and all things feminine, I present to you a Valentines Day wish list. Although, Nick and I will probably spend the big day re-heating leftovers for dinner, binging watch Netflix (Homeland obsessed!) and then fall asleep at 10pm - so romantic, I know. We've never been begin Valentines celebrators and it's honestly okay with me. Babysitters are expensive ;)


Aerin Perfume // Shashi Circle Necklace // Barefoot Dreams Robe (the best!) // H&M Cable Knit Hat (only $7) // Nude Heels (a girl can dream) // Heart Dish // Crystal Barrette (obsessed) // BP Colorblock Tote // 

What's on your agenda this month?
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