Thursday, September 22, 2016

Christmas Gift Ideas: Kitchen Upgrade

Happy First Day of Fall! 

It takes no time on Pinterest to find a really awesome kitchen. But let's be honest, adding islands and changing cabinets is an expensive endeavor. If you're searching for cool gifts for friends or family who spend a lot of time in the kitchen, maybe some little things will make the kitchen feel "Pinterest- Worthy." And if you're like I am, those mugs are on my own Christmas list :)
image via

|  Kitchen Upgrade Ideas  |

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Sweater Weather

I know it seems hard to believe, but sweater weather is coming.
Man, it makes fashion life so much easier.
And my mood so much brighter.

image via

| Sweater Weather |

Monday, September 19, 2016

Eila Christine: 7 Months Old

Eila Christine is Seven Months Old!
Diaper Size: 2-3 |  Clothing Size 3-6; 6 month | Weight: approx. 17.5 lb. |  Two Teeth 

Our Sleeper

I'm typing this blog during one of her naps. She is beginning to have a predictable nap routine that she fell into organically. Usually about 90 minutes after the first bottle, she wants a nap. She got sick between 6-7 months with a cold, and it was the first time we have experienced any sleep disruption. That threw the whole house into a tizzy. After a few days, she got better and has returned to sleeping her 10-hour nights. We finally upgraded the Merlin's Magic Sleep Suit to the next size up. 

Our Eater

What a fun and messy time! A couple of times per day, Eila gets "solid" food before her bottle. She enjoys most all of the options except green beans. Sometimes she is a delightful eater, many times she is an impatient eater and occasionally she is a lazy eater and falls asleep on the job. We use Gerber or Beech Nut brands. The doctor told us that around 8 months we could introduce puffs. I've also incorporated the sippy cup for her to explore at her own pace.

Our Travels

We've been to Illinois since her six-month milestone to enjoy the festivities at Oktoberfest and Lucas' 15-Year High School Reunion. We had a lot of fun other than our car trouble on the way home. But even that makes for a good story, right? She still sleeps through most of the 7-hour drive. We appear to be staying home this month. Grandma Pete is coming in early October to watch Eila during the work week while my parents go to Palm Dessert for the concert of a lifetime.

Our New Milestones

 Things are changing rapid-fire around here. We sit up perfectly unassisted. It really only took a week or two for her to firm up her core and stop wobbling. Despite this milestone, she would prefer that you help her stand up. She loves grabbing fabrics like her curtains, silk shirts, blankets and petting them. She really would love if the pets would let her get handfuls of their fur. We find something new every day that makes her laugh. She is infatuated with Elmo and the app "Elmo Calls." She goes into yoga poses when you put her on her stomach and gets frustrated because she wants to crawl but is still figuring it out. The sweetest milestone is that she will lean or sometimes reach for the person she wants holding her and then just bury her head on their shoulder with contentment. 


This month has been so much fun watching you explore the world around you. You absorb all of your surroundings with such intense concentration, but you're quick to let us know if you're bored or ready for something different. I know we have only a few weeks left of our stationary little baby. Before we know it you will be crawling and walking around. That's bittersweet for ol' mom because it is such a grand sign of independence. Thank you for bringing so much joy and knowledge to our lives every single day. We love you so much.


Sunday, September 18, 2016

Overcoming Self-Consciousness in the Beauty Sector

This is a throwback image from three-and-a-half years ago when we went to the Grammy's. Looking at the picture, you may wonder what point I am trying to make here. The point is one on embracing what God gave you. I used to be pretty self-conscious about my eye brows. Being born with a whole lot of dark hair, I always worried that my course, dark eyebrows were too much.  That being said, I had never even waxed them until I was 18, and even then, I was very particular about only wanting them cleaned up. I am, and have always been, deathly afraid of changing their shape or thinning them out. As I have gotten older, I have grown to appreciate my eyebrows. They are so me. And I see them coming in on Eila and think it's adorable.

It doesn't hurt that the bold, spiky eyebrow is getting a lot of positive buzz right now.

I read a blog post on Cupcakes and Cashmere about her beauty mistakes from her twenties, and getting her eyebrows too thin and too arched were among her regrets. 

Girls, when it comes to trends, try not to do anything that can be very difficult to reverse when you get older and the trend reverses. Stay true to yourself, embrace the the things that make you unique and be gracious to yourself as you age. 

For a strong brow game, shop here. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

How Motherhood Changed Me

They say becoming a parent will change you, and I used to think that was the most Captain-Obvious statement I had ever heard. Duh - We are adding an additional human to our lives. Changes like that are more obvious, but I am surprised at how motherhood changed me.

1. Priorities. I'll be honest, I've never been too fond of over-committing myself to activities, but I am now adamantly particular about how I spend my time. As a working mom, I see my daughter in the morning, for a few hours at night and on the weekends. Do you think I am going to want to carve out three weekend nights to do happy hour and network? No way, not at this stage. I want to be home with my family.

2. Finances. Before Eila, I would admit to you that I looked at my bank balance "as needed." It was not a habit I had. I knew I was fine. It isn't that having her immediately put us on tight budget, but it does make me more aware of how I spend. I think about things like savings accounts, retirement plans and building credit. I look for places where I can cut back. I'm more interested in donating clothes and editing my closet down than I am accumulating more things. I am by no means fully reformed, but I have come a long way in how I view money.

3. Fitness. My motivations for fitness before Eila were vanity and Diabetes. My motivation for fitness now is strength. Eila is heavy! I don't know if the C-Section set me back a few steps, but my lower back gets very fatigued when I hold the baby. I make a point to do it more often and for longer durations to build it all back up. I want to be able to hold her without complaining as though I am 85.

4. Worries. I have never been Type A or a particularly worrisome person and, for the most part, I have carried that into motherhood. But I cannot tell you how anxious I get if I even think Eila is in danger. We drove through some nasty weather last weekend, and I thought my heart was going to beat out of my chest. When she got a bad cough, I wanted her in our room just so I knew she was breathing. Maybe those are things that subside with time, but's a crazy love. What I don't worry about anymore is whether her room looks perfect or she has the latest and greatest baby clothes brand. Don't get it twisted, I love baby clothes. And I melt when she looks cute in her outfits. But I am going to be honest, we spend a lot of time hanging out in a diaper when we are home. Guess what? My hatred for laundry is greater than my desire for E to look cute while she sits at home.

5. Politics. I've beat this one to death, but I care more about the world which I want her to inherit than the world that gives the most stuff. I want people to be nice and stop killing each other. I want her schools to be great, but I want all kids' schools to be great! It's so much less about the other stuff to me now and more about how we treat humans and raise the next generations to treat humans. Pretty simple stuff with extremely complicated political solutions.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Christmas Gift Ideas: Home This & That

Christmas Ideas: Home This & That

Whether you just moved into a new house and are looking for a few odds and ends on your Christmas list to add character to your home or are looking for the perfect gift for someone whose favorite gifts are candles, coffee table books and throw blankets, you cannot go wrong with the items below.

I also love a good bar cart, so I couldn't resist!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

World Wide Wednesday

World Wide Wednesday

{What We did this Weekend}

We went to Illinois! Lucas' town has an annual Oktoberfest and it was his 15-year high school reunion, so we drove up Friday after work. We had a really good time visiting with family and spent our Saturday running a 5K, chatting with his old classmates and enjoying the town festival. Needless to say, we were tired by the end of it all. Due to a little car trouble on the way home, we ended up stuck between St. Louis and Cape Girardeau. Don't worry - SuSu to the rescue! We holed up in a Days Inn that allowed small dogs for an hour and a half so that we could all (the baby) be comfortable.

{What We've Done in the Homestead}

Our entryway had been so empty feeling since we moved in, and I knew I wanted a place to actually organize (not stack) mail. Right now, we are obsessed with succulents (real, fake, whatever). We found this table at a cool shop called Nadeau, and I had a lot of fun styling it. It really added a ton of character to the space. 

{What is Eila Doing?}

What is Eila not doing might be the better question. Our girl sits up perfectly on her own now. Even when she tips backward, she is able to use her core to pull her back up and continue playing. I am mostly amazed with how contently she can sit with just a couple of toys in front of her and entertain herself. She was such a trooper on our trip this weekend as she recovered from her cold. She loves to laugh and watch us cook. She is getting herself into crawling poses, but not forward or backward mobility just yet. We bought her sippy cups so she could learn those dynamics. I cannot believe just how rapidly these changes are coming on in our lives. It feels way less like we have a baby in the house and more like the presence of a little girl, which is bittersweet. 

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