Happy Camper #6

This year, our August has been bananas. For real though. With two weddings and a class reunion occupying our weekends, we celebrated Jake’s 6th birthday a couple of weeks early.

After much deliberation, Jake decided he wanted a camping party (despite the fact he’s never been camping!), so we went with a “Happy Camper” theme. I, honestly, was thrilled with his choice. As a collector (ok, hoarder) of old thermoses, I knew I’d have a good starting point for more of a vintage camping theme. My mother, bless her heart, had a stockpile of old lanterns. I borrowed all of those from her + a few other “outdoorsy” pieces. I did find a few things on Etsy and Amazon to round out the party decor, but I was thrilled that overall – we already had most of the “camping” decor we would need.

I’ll let the photos do most of the talking – but please let me know if you have any questions on any of the details!

TIP:  I used to have balloons blown up at the local grocery store or floral shop. This year, I realized how much easier it is to buy a helium tank and fill the balloons at home! Bonus: I don’t have to transport them and risk popping a balloon or two, and I can inflate up to 30 balloons with a $20 helium tank!

The teddy grahams + marshmallows + chocolate chips

“smores” mix (pictured above) was a hit!

Jake spotted this mug at a local boutique recently, and he HAD to have it because it would go with his party theme “just perfectly!” 🙂

I found these adorable camping themed pins on Etsy. They were the perfect little addition to the party favor bags!

I’ve never met a kid who loves his birthday more than Jake. He literally wants to start planning next year’s birthday party the day AFTER his birthday. I always have to remind him that we’ve got to get through a few more family birthdays before we can officially start thinking about next year. 😉

With that being said, I hope you have the best and most memorable 6th birthday today Jakers! You’re my oldest baby and my biggest helper. I love your sweet hugs and kisses, and I know God has big plans for you. You have a such a precious, tender heart, and I hope you will always dance. Keep shining your light and never forget how loved you are.

To all the stars and planets and back. XOXO

Cravings + Aversions

We all know pregnancy does many… err…”interesting” things to a woman’s body. From swollen toes that look like tootsie rolls to shedding a few tears because the ketchup bottle is empty. There are many things a woman just cannot control when she has a sweet little bun in the oven.

Uncontrollable CHANGES

When you’re expecting, you know that the bathroom trips are more, the sleep is less (ever heard of pregnancy insomnia? It’s REAL!), and weight is gained in places you didn’t even know you could gain weight (I’m pretty sure my elbows are getting chubby). “Pregnancy brain” has you forgetting why you walked into the kitchen for the same thing TEN times…and still can’t remember. That actually happened. Oh, and don’t even get me started on clumsiness – it just happens.

cravings + aversions

And then there are the many strange cravings and aversions – another thing completely out of a mama’s control. Never in my life did I think I would want guacamole so desperately or hate bacon so passionately.

My cravings have been a bit all over the board, but just for fun – I thought I’d share several of the most consistent cravings and aversions I’ve had during this pregnancy. I’d love to hear if you’ve had any of the same ones…

My Top 5 Cravings:

1. Mint Creme Oreos

2. Cheese Quesadillas + Guacamole

3. Mashed Potatoes + Gravy

4. Hot Sandwiches

5. Diet Coke

(6. Tortilla Chips + Queso)

My Top 5 Aversions:

1. BACON

2. Tacos

3. Chicken (lately this aversion has gotten a bit less)

4. Peanut Butter

5. Eggs

Like I said, I never thought I’d dislike bacon so much, but just the sound of it makes me cringe. I’m actually looking forward to the day I can stomach a good ol’ BLT again – they are normally my favorite! Until then I’ll just be over here dipping my quesadilla in extra guacamole and probably overindulging on a package or two of Oreos…which probably explains my chubby elbows. 😉

So tell me – have you had any of the same pregnancy cravings or aversions? Also, what is the strangest craving or aversion you’ve experienced?!

17 Weeks

PS…My dress is from Pink Blush Maternity, and you can find it HERE. Browse other beautiful Pink Blush Maternity Dresses HERE.

Diapers + Wipes by IncrediBundles

I am SO excited to announce that I have partnered with IncrediBundles to give one VERY lucky follower a THREE month diaper subscription! If you’ve got a little one – you know how quickly the monthly diapering cost adds up. That is exactly why I’m so excited to be giving away three months of FREE diapers! {see Instagram post for deets on how to enter!}

IncrediBundles is a diaper and wipes subscription program available in three, six, nine, and twelve month subscriptions. Most major diaper brands are available through IncrediBundles. A discount is automatically applied when a diaper AND wipes subscription are purchased together! The process is SO simple, and it’s wonderful having diapers delivered RIGHT to my doorstep. No last minute runs or extra errands just for diapers.
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As a busy mama myself, I know how precious time is. Call me crazy – but I’m more than happy to save myself the stress of loading up a carful of kids when the baby needs diapers. IncrediBundles has saved me so much time and energy that honestly, I don’t have. We do so much to make life easier for our children, why not simplify it for ourselves as well??
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Incredibundles = the perfect gift for new parents

Diapers + wipes subscriptions also make GREAT gifts! Many large AND small companies even give diapers and wipes subscriptions as part of an employee benefits package for new parents. Tell me…who WOULDN’T love to be blessed with a prepaid subscription when their new little bundle of joy arrives? Speaking from personal experience, with a new baby comes LOTS of added costs and expenses. Help lessen the burden for parents with new babies, and bless them with a diaper and/or wipes subscription from IncrediBundles. I promise you – they will never EVER forget this amazing gift and what a blessing it was to have diapers delivered right to their doorstep.

Oh…and did I mention?

When you purchase a diaper subscription through IncrediBundles, the recipient receives an Announcement Package including: a certificate describing the gift (along with instructions on how to redeem their diapers), an adorable premium quality teddy bear, and a fun, little storage container!
To purchase a diapers + wipes subscription (whether for you or for a friend), simply visit the IncrediBundles website HERE, select a subscription length, and choose where to send the announcement package. EASY PEASY!

All About Bitsy

I recently shared all about my first Bump Box and the wonderful pregnancy and mama related products inside (see “Bump Box” HERE). Now, I’m so excited and honored to be sharing all about Bump Boxes’ sister company – Bitsy Box.

For you and your bitsy…

Bitsy Box is a subscription box tailored to your little one’s age (up to age 3). Boxes are available with monthly, 3 month, 6 month, or 9 month subscriptions. Inside each box are 4-8 exciting and age appropriate items for your kiddo that are meant to encourage playfulness. Also included in each box is a surprise or two for mama!

After all, if mama gets to celebrate each month while baby is on board with Bump Boxes – we surely should get to celebrate each month once baby is here, right?!

Easton recently received his first Bitsy Box, and the look on his face upon opening the box was priceless! He didn’t even know where to start and immediately began by grabbing for everything. There was no stopping him, and I didn’t even want to! 😉

His box included items such as an adorable wooden earth worm, a sweet little four piece Eric Carle puzzle, lavender calming spray, a super fun snack box, a yummy healthy treat, and so much more!

Check out the photos below to see everything Easton received in his first Bitsy Box. If you’re interested in checking out Bitsy Box for your own little one – go HERE. 🙂 Oh, and be sure to use code BITSY50 for 50% off your 1st monthly subscription box + free shipping!

Bitsy Boxes can also be “gifted” for a special little love in your life! Brilliant, right?? After all, I don’t know a child who wouldn’t love to receive a fun and exciting box JUST FOR THEM in the mail!

Bump Box

Pregnancy is the happiest reason ever

for feeling like crap.

Can I get an amen?! Babies are a blessing, but more often than not – the pregnancy part is no cake walk.

As a busy mama of three + one babe on board, often times my own wants and needs are pushed to the back burner. It’s so easy to run myself into the ground while meeting everyone else’s needs. By the end of the day, I have so little time and energy to care for myself. I’d rather crash into bed than stay up on minute longer than necessary – only to rise after several hours of broken sleep and do it all over again. The life of a mother, right?!

I’m so thankful for monthly Bump Boxes that REMIND me to take care of myself. A Bump Box is a monthly subscription box that is tailored to each mama’s stage of pregnancy. It’s the ultimate mama care package in my opinion! It’s a box of full size products that relate to pregnancy and mamahood.

{ Check out the photos below to see the super fun products I got this month! }

Pregnancy may last only 40 weeks, but when you’re in the midst of it – it literally feels like two years. Bump Boxes have helped ease the long process, and they give me something to look forward to each month before I reach the ultimate grand prize. I love the monthly encouragement reminding me to slow down, relax a little, and take care of my precious growing bump.

Raising my children is the most important job I will ever do, but growing them in my womb is the first step.

I cannot wait to hold that brand new, sweet little babe, wrapped snuggly in my arms. Until then, I’ll be over here reminding myself that this doesn’t REALLY last forever – AND…probably checking my mail for my next Bump Box.

Click HERE to order your first box of awesomeness today! 🙂

PS. Bump Boxes also make such an amazing gift for expectant mamas!!

Momosas?! YES PLEASEEEE!!

 

Pink Blush: Maternity Maxi

I can’t tell you how in love I am with this GORGEOUS, multi colored maxi dress from Pink Blush Maternity. Aside from being a beautiful maxi, I love that it is made of 95% polyester – keeping me plenty cool on these hot summer days. We all know how important that is when you’ve got a precious little bun in the oven keeping mama extra warm! I’m currently only about 13 weeks along, and this dress fits perfectly now with plenty of room to grow. I love how forgiving the stretchy and flowy material is. It’s literally the perfect dress for maternity!

My style – simple and versatile!

I’ve shared in the past of my love for simple and versatile pieces. As a busy mama on the go, I prefer articles of clothing that can be worn for multiple occasions. I also love pieces that I am able to layer. Living in Minnesota, I often start the day with the heat turned up and later I have to switch over to air conditioning! No, really! This dress fits perfectly into both of my style preference categories. It is both simple and versatile.

For a more casual look, I simply paired this gorgeous maxi with a distressed denim vest that I’ve had in my closet for years. The dress is beautiful on its own, but it’s also easy to dress up or down with an additional piece. I plan on wearing it with a denim jacket or cardigan when the days turn cooler in the Fall, and I’ve got a couple of weddings this summer that I will simply dress it up with a sparkly necklace and earrings.

Speaking of weddings – we are in the season KNOWN for weddings, showers, and other parties that I want to look and feel my best for.  Pink Blush Maternity offers a wide variety of stunning maternity pieces, and I love the options available for every occasion.

To see a selection of other gorgeous dresses that Pink Blush offers, click HERE. There are SO many to choose from and so many to love! If you’d like to shop my specific multi-colored maternity maxi, click HERE.

Photo Credit: Ryan Laposky (Instagram: @ryanlaposky)

 

More Than Tea

SOMETIMES…I’m a creature of habit – sometimes. Ok ok, MOST of the time.

I like what’s familiar, and I stick to what I know.

Typically, I’ll usually order the same meal when we go out to eat or choose the same flavor at the local ice cream shop. I like my coffee a certain way, so don’t you dare try to change it. I have the same bedtime routine, and I usually shop at places I’m already familiar with. I park in the same spot at the grocery store, and I sit in the same chair for dinner.

I’m comfortable with what I know, and what I know is what I’m comfortable with. I mean, why fix something that isn’t broken, right?!

Recently, I took a chance(so unlike me, I know!), and stepped out of my box. Let me tell you, I’m so glad I did. I discovered Total Tea. I’d been drinking the same old tea for quite awhile. It tasted fine, and I wasn’t looking for a change. But I’m here to tell you – I need to try new things more often!

I got the variety pack with every flavor, and I haven’t tried one that I don’t like! I will admit, I’m partial to fruity flavors – so the Citrus is probably my favorite. Honestly though, I love them all (organic chamomile, organic white, organic peppermint, organic green, citrus, and a cinnamon flavor!). They are light, yet bursting with flavor – I’m a little obsessed if you can’t tell.

More than just a tea

Bonus – each packet has different added benefits such as: calm & relaxing, soothe & refresh, rich in antioxidants, natural energy aid, and a pure cleanse. The tea improves digestion and increases energy. I’m loving these bonus benefits and noticing such a difference in how I feel throughout the day! I love sipping the cinnamon flavored “natural energy aid” right away in the morning and finishing my day off with the peppermint flavored “soothe & refresh.” Total Tea even offers a gentle and healthy detox.

If you are a lover of tea, I highly recommend checking out Total Tea – EVEN IF you are a creature of habit like me and stick to what you know. I know you will love it and enjoy the flavors just as much as I have. Who knows – you may even stumble across a new love, just like I did with Total Tea!

 

fab fit fun

I can’t tell you enough about how I’m obsessing over FabFitFun’s Summer Editor’s Box! I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but I know you are going to love it! You can’t beat full size products for a fraction of the price – PLUS get them delivered straight to your door step four times a year! A $200+ value for ONLY $39.99 (with coupon code below)!

It’s Simple!

If you’d like to try out FabFitFun for yourself AND get $10 off your first box, simply click HERE and use the code EPIC at checkout! It’s as easy as that.

I can’t wait for you to get your first box! I know you will love unwrapping the surprise just as much as I have.

XOXO

Tay’s Milk Bath

One thing I’ve been wanting to do for awhile now is a milk bath photo session. Tay was more than excited to hop into this old wash tub of milk, and I finally was able to check it off of of my bucket list! Personally – I think she was most excited to play with the flowers floating in milk. I mean, how often does the opportunity to bathe in a tub of milk and flowers present itself? Not often. I rest my case.

While the prep was a little bit of work, it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. My hubby may have given me a few “you’re crazy” looks, and he even asked, “You’re doing this for FUN?!” Well, of course! I’m not sure what his definition of fun is, but if it doesn’t include a big old wash tub + milk + flowers…then we’re definitely not on the same page. 😉

Wash Tub + Milk + Flowers

If you’ve been wanting to have your own little milk bath photo sesh, I highly recommend it! It was so much fun, and I’m so happy with how the photos turned out.

Milk Bath How-To + Tips

Getting started, find a tub of some sort that you’d like to take the photos in. It doesn’t have to be huge, depending on your subject. Tay is pretty small, and this small wash tub was more than big enough.  I totally offered to take my hubby’s pics (after all those lovely glares), but he politely declined. 😉 I’m totally kidding, but we did joke about it!

Next, fill the tub to desired depth with WATER. That’s right. You don’t have to fill a whole tub with JUST milk. You could, I suppose, but it’s not necessary and would be A LOT more work. Once filled to desired depth, add two gallons of milk to the water. TIP: Before filling the tub with the hose outside, I filled it as much as I could with warm water inside. We did add a couple more buckets of warm water once it was almost filled outside. This may have played a role in how well she cooperated!

Lastly, add your flowers! I had read that synthetic flowers tend to sink, while real flowers will more than likely float. Well, I would say they half floated, but I’m happy with the look it gave. We did have a few flowers that sank to the bottom, so I would recommended testing out your flowers before you get all set up.

That’s it! Have your subject/s climb into the tub and snap a few photos! I’m not a professional photographer on any level, and I think these photos turned out great. I’m so happy Tay decided to “take the plunge” into this bath of milk. She’s such a champ at putting up with her crazy mom’s ideas, but I think she had fun with it! AND I was able to capture these photos that I will cherish forever.

Happiness Blooms from within

Live Wild. Flower child.

Keep your face to the sunshine,

and you cannot see the shadows.

It’s what sunflowers do.

{Helen Keller}

XOXO

A Wild One

I can’t believe it’s been almost a WEEK since E turned one!

His first birthday theme was easy for me to decide because he is definitely our “wild one.” Here are a few photos from his birthday party almost a week ago! CRAZY how fast time flies. I know I will blink and soon be planning his second birthday. Until then,  I wanted to share a few photos from his big event!

XOXO

“Where The Wild Things Are”

The banner above was handmade by yours truly! That’s right, I put this baby together in attempts to save a few dollars (which is really was probably only a FEW dollars! Ha!). It was super easy. I ordered the “Where The Wild Things Are” paper pack from Amazon, and threw this banner together in just an hour or two. Overall, I was happy with how it turned out, it got the point across! AND it allowed me to dig out some of those scrapbooking supplies that have been buried for YEARS now. 🙂

 Aren’t these napkins ADORABLE?! I found them on Etsy! Many different colors to choose from.

I loved having guests write special notes and wishes to our birthday boy! If you can’t tell, I’m a bit sentimental when it comes to my kiddos – so things like this mean a lot to me.

Is a first birthday party even a party without a SMASH CAKE?! E loved the frosting but hated the actual cake part.

This mama loves her wild little crew!

Raise them wild