Thursday, October 13, 2016

When the pregnant lady feels stylish

It's not often that I get to take the time to actually shower and put makeup on (in the same day!), so on the rare occasion it happened, my handsome photographer helped me with a little photo shoot. 

It's really hard to be serious with him.
Most of my maternity clothes are thrifted or shared in a communal family maternity tub (thanks to my many generous cousins who also keep having babies), so it's rare that I actually pick out something on my own to sport for those temperamental maternity months. It's hard for me to really focus on clothes I won't be wearing forever (well, at our rate, I probably will), but I'm also realizing self-care is VERY important during these months.

I picked out this PinkBlush Maternity dress before I started showing, thinking it would become a staple in my closet... and I thought right. It's fast, stretchy (obviously), and super comfortable. Then I was afraid it would only be a summer dress, but I'm having a blast transitioning it to autumn (best season ever). Here are three ways I sport my new favorite maternity dress:

I call this one "running out the door in the hurry for a play date when I still want to look cute for Joel when he gets home, probably before me."

dress / jacket (thrifted) / hat (hand-me-down from Francine) / flats (Kohls from 3 years ago)

This is my "I'm super excited I still fit in a non-maternity cable knit sweater so I'm going preppy for a PSL run because tis the season" look

And finally, date night! I wore this with heels to a wedding recently and felt like a stunna (but heels don't work in the grass, so flats will have to do. Still date night, just a tad less fancy. Hair blowing was not intended but I'm going with it. I'm likely wearing some rendition of this for our anniversary date in a couple weeks!

dress / cardigan (similar) / necklace (gift from my mama) / flats (Kohls from 3 years ago)

Also, PinkBlush is running a sweet sale on dresses! I'm a little late to the party sharing this, but until tomorrow night, use the code DRESSSTAPLES for 30% off dresses. Score!

What are some of your maternity staples? Anything I should add to my traveling capsule wardrobe tub?

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

7 Things to Do In The Fall

It's finally sweater weather! The Indian summers are gone, the leaves are changing and starting to fall, and I've renewed my love with pumpkin spice lattes. Autumn is by FAR my favorite season, but it also feels like the shortest... by the time the weather decides to stick to the 60's, we have about a month or two to enjoy it before the Thanksgiving decorations come down and everyone starts prepping for Christmas. 

That means it's up to us to knock out our autumn bucket list before the season gets away from us! Here are some of our favorite things to do in the fall:

1. Challenge a corn maze - One big advantage of living in corn country is corn mazes. I've always wanted to rush my way through one, but I didn't have the opportunity until just after Celine was born and we visited Solsma's Corn Maze. I got hooked! It was just as much fun as I had hoped, even when pushing an ill-equipped stroller. This is a new fall staple for us. I can't wait until the girls are old enough to enjoy it for themselves. (Hint: If you get lost, touch the side with only your left hand and eventually, you'll get out ;) )

2. Get some FRESH produce - I swear you can taste the difference between grocery store produce and farm to table. Saturday mornings are perfect for busting out the stroller and browsing the freshest fruits and veggies (soup season, amiright??) and supporting locals at the same time. Win win!

3. Pick some apples at an orchard - Joel and I actually took our wedding photos in an apple orchard, but unfortunately that year it was after a snow or two so the fruit was mostly picked over. However, there are always TONS of activities with families in mind, not to mention loading up on apples for bobbing at Halloween parties. 

4. Stock up at a pumpkin patch - We added Emma's Apple Orchard to our fall bucket list this year because I have heard some AMAZING things and Celine is finally getting big and brave enough to attempt some activities. However, this one is only open until October (or as long as apples are left) so we'll have to get a move on if we're going to make it ;)

Our attempts at carving last year... mine is the one that looks nervous, Joel's is the fun one. Pretty much sums up our experience of parenting thus far.
5. Get some fresh air - Fall is near the end of the 5k/10k/half mile/etc season, but if you're looking in the right places, they're not all done yet! The last 5k of the year in our area (unless I'm missing some?) is the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot. don't worry, it's in the morning, so you're free to refill on calories at dinner ;)

6. Satisfy your sweet tooth - Halloween is not that far away anymore, which means we'll be buying candy for neighbor children and probably end up eating most of it ourselves (hey, it's not our fault our street is not a trick-or-treating hot spot!). However, some churches have started a Trunk-or-Treat (which I have not heard of until last year), where people decorate the back of their cars and meet in the church parking lot instead of having the kids all over town. It's a great way for families to spend time together too, instead of waiting at home for someone to show up. Even though our kids have been too young to get what's going on so far, we still get into it.

7. Read under a tree - Allergies aside, this is my favorite time to be outside. I like to grab a few things from the Rotary Book Sale (hello, Little House on the Prairie and Anne of Green Gables series!) and perch myself on a blanket while the weather is pristine. And I mean, come on, look at the LOADS of books!

BONUS: Libraries also host movies, signings, and crafts for the fam, but those are all year round here! :)

Now I realize this might totally look like an ad to come and move to northwest Iowa but I assure you, it's not (do it anyways, it's amazing here). This is not a sponsored post. I just love how many different things are in the area that are budget-friendly, family-friendly, and help me get out of the house before I'm cooped up like the Ingalls family until spring. If you're interested in checking out some local fall events in your area or you're hosting an event, check out Eventbrite's lists and resources.

Happy autumn everyone!!

And camp/bonfires. Always.


Saturday, October 1, 2016

Monica is ONE!

Our baby isn't so much the baby anymore, as this little walker celebrated her first birthday, making her officially a toddler.

We celebrated by inviting some family over for a ballerina brunch, complete with a donut tower cake. She didn't seem to mind not having birthday cake on the day.

I can't believe she is already this big. It's hard to imagine our little brunette baby we welcomed into the world a year ago. Our spitty, fussy newborn has grown into a bronde, hazel-eyed gem who is brave, busy, inquisitive, and usually smiling.

So naturally we give her sugar.
And she skips to the important part of the donut.

It's harder than you'd think to shop for a one-year-old with an older sister, but we managed to find a few things that Monica specifically would enjoy.. and that she did ;)

Sweet Monica,

We love you more than you can ever imagine. Your spunk and joy inspire me every day. If I could give you a "word" (apparently it's a thing), yours would be bright. Your eyes are bright, your personality is bright, and you light up a room with your toothy grin (all 8 of those badboys). 

Your favorite toys right now are two small plush animals: duck and cat. You carry them around, seek them out, and hold them up to us and excitedly yell, "Cat! Duck!" It's awesome.

You just figured out walking about a week or so ago. You still haven't made it clear across the living room yet without falling, but it's not for a lack of trying. You're going to be running through the house before we know it! Until then, we'll enjoy watching you toddle around like a newborn fawn who just got off of a boat. :)

You love to dance, sing, play peek-a-boo, and above all explore. You are constantly tugging climbing (attempting), digging, throwing, tasting... anything to help you better understand the big world around you. As a result, you're very busy, which is great (we love that you are learning so much!) but if you could tone it down at mass and bedtime, I wouldn't mind. 

Thank you for all of the light you bring to our lives. Everything has changed since you came into the world, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I love how even though you aren't very cuddly anymore, you still cling to us (and I'm the favorite at the moment, so thank you for that too). We love you oh so very much.

Love love love,

Daddy and Mommy

I've consented to the fact that family portraits aren't really going to be happening anymore, so I'm going for the ones that show the most personality as the winners.