Magnolia

So unless you live under a rock, I’m sure you’ve heard of Chip and Joanna Gaines and Fixer Upper. I’m a fan. Obviously they are big into the whole modern farmhouse vibe and so am I. So when Brian had a work trip in San Antonio, TX he easily talked me into going with him (and our littles) by promising me a stop in Waco to see the Magnolia Silos. And trust me, I earned the stop by being stuck in a hotel for a week with two kids under the age of three….

Waco is about an eight hour drive for us, so we left in the evening and drove as far as we could so the kids could sleep for most of the drive. We stopped at a hotel about an hour outside of Waco so we could wake up and only have a little bit of a drive and get to the silos right after they opened. I HIGHLY suggest getting there when they open or soon after on a weekday. It was already busy, but there were still plenty of free parking spaces left and while the store and bakery were bustling with lots of people, we didn’t have to stand in line or anything.

I follow the Magnolia store on Instagram so I was prepared for everything to be beautiful, and it was. As someone who worked in retail for half of their life, I fully appreciated all the work that goes into setting displays and watching people rearrange and touch all of your hard work. I can also sympathize with all of the refolding of t-shirts that must go on in that place! The store was really clean and open and if there was something you wanted to look at but couldn’t because there was a crowd in the way, it was usually in another place or two. Things were a little pricey in my opinion, it was priced a lot like Anthropologie or West Elm. I got a t-shirt $28 and a couple candles for $26 a pop.

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We also stopped into the bakery, which is so, so tiny. It looked so much bigger on t.v.! It was worth the stop though, Brian and I both got a warmed, cheddar, bacon and chive biscuit….heavenly. I NEED that recipe in my life. I’m really kicking myself for not getting some cupcakes to go. It’s one of my biggest regrets.

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The kids’ favorite spot was the large, faux grass yard. I loved it too. It was a great way for the kids to run out some energy before we had to get back in the car and drive to San Antonio. I loved the fake grass because it looked nice and kept the kids clean…I am now wishing our lawn was fake grass. There were bins full of balls and outdoor games, but we didn’t even need them, Hollis ran laps while Bo took some wobbly steps.

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There were also big swing sets at the far edge of the lawn, but we didn’t get on them. I was impressed with how clean and tidy everything was. I can only imagine how full this lawn in on the weekends!

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There were also a couple of rows of food trucks and tons of picnic tables and places to sit. We would’ve loved to try some of them, but we were there too early. Next time, maybe. Although, I could just live on biscuits every time I go and be perfectly happy about it. They also had tours you could take that would drive you by some of the housed the Gaines’ have done. We didn’t have time for anything like that, but it would’ve been fun to see them.

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Brian even ran into someone he knew there, because of course he did, he knows everybody. We couldn’t leave without taking the obligatory picture out in front of the Magnolia sign. The employees were spread out all over the place and were all very friendly. There were a few outside the store that offered to take your picture for free, which I gladly obliged since there are only about six pictures of all four of us together in the universe. I don’t even care that we aren’t all looking at the camera….All in all, it was a good trip and I’m glad we had the opportunity to do it, and I would do it again anytime!

Mom Style: Vacation Looks

 

So as many of you know, I had a baby…4 1/2 MONTHS AGO. What?! How is that possible? With my first baby, I fully expected to snap back to my pre-pregnancy weight at this point. Breastfeed they said. The weight will fall off they said.

No. Just no. That did not happen.

For some reason I’m one of those lucky women who packs on the pounds while breastfeeding. The weight just sticks like glue no matter what I eat or how often I exercise. After I’m done, things seem to pretty much go back to normal with a little work. This second time around, I already anticipated this problem so it has been annoying, but much less traumatic than the first time around. I don’t plan on weaning baby boy until around 12 months, so in the meantime, I’m stuck dressing this body the best I can.

Most days I live in my stereotypical “mom gear”. Yoga pants and a t-shirt are pretty much my uniform if I’m not leaving the house. I try to step it up a little when I actually encounter people other than my children. Since we are going on vacation in a couple of weeks, I would like to find a weeks worth of things that are a break from my ho-hum, everyday look. We are heading to Colorado and will be stopping at a lot of parks and outdoor attractions, so I want to stay cool and comfortable. I am trying to buy pieces that are a little more forgiving and that I can wear now and when I eventually (hopefully) lose some weight.

vacation attire

  1. Poncho blouse. Fitted tees are no longer my friends right now. I’m all about flowy, breezy tops that keep me cool and still look pretty and put together.
  2. Kimono Romper. I must admit, I am super late to the romper/jumpsuit trend. I’ve never own one…well at least not since I was 10. I like that this is just one item to pack and still a complete outfit.
  3. Pink Crepe Pants. I love this pale pink for summer. And I love me an elastic band right now.
  4. Floral Wrap Dress. Midi and maxi dresses are just the best. Shorts aren’t always my favorite, especially post baby, so I reach for dresses a lot in the warm months.
  5. Gauzy Tunic. Tunics are great all year long. They look good with shorts, jeans, leggings, etc. I like this light, gauzy material for summer.
  6. Jumpsuit. Again, I’m new to the jumpsuit, but this one looks so comfy and effortless.
  7. Striped crop pant. These lightweight, cropped pants are so easy to wear. The drawstring waist doesn’t hurt either.
  8. Colorblock Maxi. I hope the maxi dress never goes out of style. I don’t know what I will do. I love throwing on an easy dress and being done.
  9. Crochet Trim Blouse. I don’t know how I lived so long without some good, flowy tops in my wardrobe. As easy as a t-shirt, but looks a lot more polished. Bonus points if it’s something I can nurse in easily!

Still have a few items to get, but this post has me excited to start packing.  Bring on vacation!

Fave Outdoor Toys For Toddlers

My kid is OBSESSED with being outside. I love that she would rather be outside digging in the dirt than sitting in front of the t.v., BUT Mama can only play with rocks and sticks so long before I want to poke that stick straight into my eye. So I’m on a hunt for some new outdoor toys that we can play with this Summer. We have plans to buy or build a playground of some sort later on, but I want a few things the kids can play with now while they are little.

Favorite Outdoor Toys For Toddlers

outside toddler toys

 

  1. T-Ball Set My child loves hitting things so this is basically right up her alley . I love that it teaches her hand-eye coordination and helps develop fine motor skills. It also breaks down and hangs on the wall for easy storage.
  2. Garden Tools We have some cheap, plastic versions of these already. And they get used ALL the time. Hollis loves to dig around in the garden with them so much that I’m not sure they will last long enough for little brother to get to use them. I really like these nicer, heavier duty ones. Plus they look just like the ones I use!
  3.  Garden Table We are in the throws of the terrible twos…but my toddler is also in a phase where she wants to be doing whatever mommy is doing. Since my time outside is usually spent working on the garden, I think she would love having a gardening table of her own. Throw some dirt in there and she would be in heaven.
  4. Sidewalk Chalk Paint I spend a lot of time repeating the words, “STAY OUT OF MOMMY’S PAINT” while working on projects. It would be so great to head outside and just let my little monster go to town and paint up the sidewalk.
  5. Froggy Toss and Grip  Another good activity for practicing hand-eye coordination. Hollis can throw a ball pretty good, but she hasn’t quite mastered catching. She seems to think every game with a ball is dodgeball.  I think this would be great practice before trying a ball and glove and safe for her and her brother to play together when he is old enough.
  6. Splash Pad So we have a little, above ground pool, but it’s too deep for the little ones to do much other than sit in a floatie right now. I like the idea of playing in the sprinkler, but hate how muddy and grassy we get. I love that we (me, toddler, baby) can all sit on this and enjoy splashing around in the water together.

What are your little ones favorite outdoor toys and activities?

Pillowfort at Target

Have you all checked out the new kid’s line Pillowfort at Target? I’m in love. Cute stuff for boys, girls and tons of gender neutral stuff too. The prices are actually pretty reasonable, I picked up a new comforter set for Hollis for $40 + 10% off + free shipping. I want it all, but I’ve narrowed down a few of my faves!

 

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So cute right?! I didn’t even pin pics of all the adorable bedding, so many great sheets, blankets, and comforters!

Baby Stuff We Loved So Much We’re Using It Again

Since I’m about to have this baby, and I’m not really able to do many projects, I thought I’d do a little post of my favorite baby things that we really, really used the first time around and that we plan to use again with baby number two. There is so much baby stuff out there these days, and we found some of it unnecessary. I’m focusing this list on mainly newborn baby needs. It’s funny to see all the lists of what you need for baby on different sites, because every baby is so different, they like different things and respond to things so differently. So this list is what worked for us for baby number one. It will be interesting to see if baby number two likes these same things too.

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  1. Boppy Nursing Pillow. I was advised to bring this with me to the hospital when baby was born….I did not listen. I didn’t think I would really need/want it there. I thought it would just be one more thing to haul with us, but I will be bringing it this time for sure. I didn’t consider just how tired and weak I would be after a c-section, and this pillow would have made supporting baby while nursing so much easier. Other than feeding, we used this as a baby lounger. I loved that I could put it in the middle of our bed, or on the floor and Hollis could be propped up enough to look around and play with her toys or drink a bottle.
  2. Wearable blanket/swaddle. We were given one of these at the hospital and we loved it immediately. Hollis wasn’t crazy about being swaddled with a blanket unless it was nice and tight, but she loved this thing and it was really easy to adjust for tightness. I felt safe with her sleeping in it and I liked not having to worry if she kicked off her blanket and was cold.
  3. Two-piece outfits. These little seperates were so handy for us. In case you didn’t know, babies spit up and poop….a lot. Our baby rarely did both at the same time, so I loved being able to swap out just her top or bottom and not having to completely undress her. It also made it really easy to peek inside her diaper and change her while she was asleep. I would suggest buying several of these in similar colors so you can easily mix and match them.
  4. Boon Lawn Drying Rack. I know a drying rack is a drying rack. But I liked this one because it was cute and if it’s going to be out on your counter all the time, then it might as well be cute right? We still use this daily. We used it for bottles, toys, teething rings and these days we use it for sippy cups, tupperware, and little plates and bowls.
  5. Pack ‘N Play. We registered for this because we wanted it for traveling mostly. Once we got it, we decided to use it in our bedroom instead of moving the crib in there or using a traditional bassinet. Once we moved to this house, which is a two-story, we set it up on the first floor as a diaper changing station and place for baby to nap. That is what we are doing with it this time around too. It was so nice to have a place to change a diaper without having to take baby upstairs, especially when it was an emergency blowout. When Hollis was older, we removed the bassinet and changing table and she used it as a playpen or napped in it when we were downstairs.
  6. Rock ‘N Play. This is one of the things I did not register for, but got at my baby shower. It is one of the most used things from when Hollis was a baby. I love how lightweight and portable it is. This went with us anytime we traveled, because it was so compact, easy to set up and Hollis loved sleeping in it. I could move her into the kitchen while I cooked dinner, or take her to whatever room I was in easily. When we first brought her home from the hospital, she slept in this right next to my bed which made getting up with her at night and nursing a lot easier.
  7. Bumbo Seat. This one isn’t for newborns, but more for three months or when baby can hold their head up well on their own. Hollis loved this thing. She was a very alert baby and was much happier when she was propped up where she could check everything out. I loved it because I could set her in whatever room I was in and do chores or projects and she could sit there and play or eat and watch me and whatever I was doing.
  8. K’tan Wrap. There are tons of great wraps on the market right now, this is just the one I used. I admit, I found it a little intimidating at first, but once I got the hang of it I really loved it. There were days when I would not have gotten anything done without this thing. I loved being able to snuggle with my baby while getting things done around the house like laundry, or vacuuming, or making myself some lunch. I also liked it when I was getting groceries because I hated that her car seat took up so much room in the cart….and strangers couldn’t come up and touch her or breathe all over her.

Do you have any baby items that you just could NOT live without? Or loved so much you would use with baby number two?

Maternity Style: Holiday Party

I know outfit posts aren’t usually my thing, but when I am  seven months pregnant, what to wear is pretty much all I think about. Getting dressed is becoming a chore. Nothing fits right, I feel super fat in everything, and I’m very aware of all the ways my body has changed over the last few months. I get especially stressed when I have to find something to wear for a wedding or holiday party. So I decided to throw together a little style post that includes some of my favorite party dresses I’ve found. (All of these dresses are from ASOS maternity, they have an amazing selection!)

P.S. I promise I will get back to more DIY projects and posts after baby boy gets here. I just don’t have the energy right now while so pregnant and with the holiday hoopla.

Maternity Style: Holiday Party

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Holiday Gift Guide: For (almost) Anyone In Your Life

Hope everyone had great Thanksgiving!

Ours was awesome, I think living away from your family makes you appreciate every minute with them even more. We traveled to Kansas City the Wednesday before, my plan was to come back the following Sunday. The weather here at home had other plans though. They had quite the little ice storm here so I ended up staying in KC until Tuesday because the roads here were just too icy to travel on. I grew up in the Midwest so driving in ice and snow is nothing new, but being pregnant apparently makes everyone question your driving capabilities! The good news is, I got to spend my birthday there and did some solid shopping. And by the time I got back here to the farm, the ice was almost completely gone!

While I was getting my shopping done, I mostly shopped for Christmas gifts (and some baby stuff too!) Picking out gifts for my family is no problem, but you know those awkward times when you need to buy a gift for someone you don’t know all that well? It could be a white elephant gift, a co-worker, a new neighbor, or an extended family member. This is where I hit a snag. I have a couple of gifts to buy for people that I just don’t know that well and it has been stumping me.

I love to buy gifts, but when it comes to people I don’t know very well, I tend to second guess myself. What if I buy a bottle of wine for someone who doesn’t drink? What if I buy a beautiful pink cardigan only to find out that the receiver of the cardigan HATES pink? What if I buy a cute little dog figurine for someone and find out they have a debilitating fear of dogs?  These are the thoughts that run through my mind all of December!  I know it’s the thought that counts, but I still don’t want to be known as the person who gives crappy gifts. So I decided to come up with some gifts that require little knowledge of the person receiving the gift.

2015 Holiday Gift Guide: For (almost) Anyone In Your Life

2015 gift guide

  1. Stumptown Coffee and Mast Brothers Chocolate Pairing Who doesn’t love coffee and chocolate?! I like this gift because it’s gender neutral and feels decadent.
  2. Fringe Colorblock Soap + Dish Set Everyone uses soap…I hope. And this simple gold and white dish would fit in with almost anyone’s decor, anytime of year.
  3.  Ceramic Ring Holder How pretty are these ring holders?! I love gifts that are pretty AND practical. I don’t know any gal who wouldn’t appreciate one of these.
  4. Color-Cut Cake Stand Again, this falls under pretty and practical. I also love that this looks much more expensive than it is. It would be a great gift for anyone who likes to bake or entertain.
  5. Urban Cheesecraft: Mozzarella and Ricotta This would be great for the foodie in your life. Or anyone who loves cheese….which should be everyone!
  6. Branly Candle Holders So these may be a little too funky for some people. But they are so fun and would be great for anyone you know who has great style.
  7. Gold Cocktail Shaker + Strainer This classic style shaker is great for anyone who likes cocktails. Even if they already have a shaker, this one is pretty enough to leave out all the time.
  8. Just Add Color Adult coloring books are so popular right now. I love this mid-century modern one would appeal to guys, gals, young, and old.

Happy shopping!