Sunday, May 28, 2017

Live Your Best Life (for Less) Week 5

It's (already!) the last week of May, which makes it week 5 of my #LYBLforLess challenge. I've been having so much fun doing this that I decided to make a calendar for June as well. Thanks to all of you who have been participating--I've seen some fun, creative outfits on Instagram (looking at you Alexandra and Mica!).

Here are this week's prompts for the end of May and the beginning of June. I'd love for you to join me in any or all of these ideas, aimed at fostering more creativity, style, and contentment in your life.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

A Stubborn Perfectionist's Struggle with Breastfeeding: My Exclusive Pumping Story

My family still teases me about something I said in the hospital when I found out that I was going to have to have a c-section with my first-born, Jona. After the initial panic and disappointment faded, I said to Aaron and the nurses in the room, "But I didn't read that chapter [in the pregnancy books]!" Clearly, I like to be prepared.

I thought I had prepared myself for breastfeeding. I did read the chapters, as well as attend a class at the hospital. Just as many fellow moms warned me, however, the reality was something I couldn't prepare for. My milk took several days to come in, Jona couldn't and wouldn't latch, and on top of everything else my supply was inadequate. After weeks of agony, I gave up breastfeeding and pumped and supplemented with formula. After three months I quit pumping entirely, because the amount I was making wasn't enough to justify the time and effort I was putting in to feeling like a dairy cow.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Favorite Floral for Spring (and more from #LYBLforLess Week 4)

As I was assessing my closet needs yesterday (prompted by my LYBL Calendar), I was thinking about how my style has changed over the last few years. Before I started my current job, I was a teacher (for a short time) and my wardrobe was mostly business casual. For the first couple of years with the company I work for, I pretty much wore the same type of thing I wore to teach. However, since becoming a mom, I've noticed my wardrobe shift much closer to the casual end of business casual. The office where I work has a very laid-back dress code, and now that I work from home two days a week there just aren't that many days when I need to dress up. Mom life just doesn't jive with the colorful pencil skirts I used to love so much.

I find myself creating simple outfits with jeans, paired with basics like tee shirts, more than anything else. I love it when I find tops that work equally well for both mom-days and work-days, and I feel like this floral tee from loft does just that. It's definitely my "favorite floral" right now.

Has your style changed recently? 

This week's #LYBLforLess prompts:

{favorite floral}

Floral tee: Loft (similar) | distressed jeans: Mossimo, Target | earrings: Nickel and Suede | striped espadrilles: Loft (similar)

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Live Your Best Life (for Less) Week 4

Welcome to Week 4 of my Live Your Best Life for Less challenge. And what a week it's been! Jona's preschool had to close on Monday because so many teachers were out with a stomach bug, so I was home with him. Then Tuesday Violet's babysitter was off so I was home with her all day. Thursday and Friday are my usual days to work from home, and those happened to be days that Aaron had evening commitments so they felt extra long, and extra challenging because work was extremely busy as well. To top things off, both kids caught some sort of virus and Jona's been running a fever since Friday night. And I've been running on coffee, wine, and ice cream. (Sorry, Violet.)

Anyway, here are the prompts for week 4. I'd love for you to join me in any or all of these ideas, aimed at fostering more creativity, style, and contentment in your life.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Violet Lennon at 7 Months

Babies grow and change all the time, but it seems like the past month has brought so many changes for our sweet Violet. She's no longer content to just observe her surroundings; she has to be part of everything now. Also, more and more I see that despite the fact that their baby photos look nearly identical (other than eye color), Violet is so much different than Jona was at this age.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Olive and Blush (and More from #LYBLforLess Week 3)

As part of my Live Your Best Life for Less challenge this month, I'm trying to shop my closet and come up with more creative outfits using weekly outfit idea prompts. My goal is to get more wear out of what I have, as well as discover a few things I would like to add to my wardrobe. This week's prompts are olive and blush, graphic tee at work, and leopard with spring brights.

While I tend to be pretty classic as far as style goes, I also like to experiment with unique color combinations. I paired this olive peplum tee with blush accessories the other day, and I really liked how it turned out. I've been drawn to both of those colors lately, and I think they go surprisingly well together.

Olive peplum tee: Mossimo, Target (similar) | jeans: Loft (similar) | earrings: Nickel and Suede | teething necklace: Mama and Little | jeweled sandals: Target (similar)

Monday, May 15, 2017

$10 at Target: Cocktail Time

On my long list of things I love about spring, one that's at the top is eating outside. We have a covered patio in our back yard, so we've been taking advantage of outdoor dining pretty much every day the weather has allowed. Also, since Violet is just getting started with solids, outdoor dining means we don't have to worry about what she drops on the ground. (As you can imagine, Ellie, our dog, is ecstatic about this whole solid foods adventure.)

And what goes better with outdoor dining than a glass of wine, a beer, or a cocktail? This month I wanted to spend my $10 at Target on something I could use for outdoor eating or drinking. I saw this cute plastic stemless wine glass set for $9.99 and knew it would be perfect. They're meant for wine (and believe me, they'll get used for that plenty) but I thought it would also be fun to fill them with a fresh, light cocktail. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Live Your Best Life {for Less} Week 3

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there! I hope you're having a wonderful day and getting pampered. Or at least getting some peace and quiet, which I think may be every mom's dream. It's mine anyway! Anyway, I'm back with the third week of my Live Your Best Life for Less May Calendar. I'd love for you to join me in any or all of these ideas, aimed at fostering more creativity, style, and contentment in your life.

Friday, May 12, 2017

How I Save Money on Food: 10 Tips for a Lower Grocery Bill (without using coupons)

Here's a weird fact about me: I love menu planning and making grocery lists. It's something I do weekly, and there's something about looking through recipes, checking grocery store ads, and making a plan for the week's dinners that I find really satisfying. I use a variety of resources to come up with meals for the week. I have a "What's for Dinner?" Pinterest board and I try to make a note of the recipes I try and what we think, so I use that often. I also have some cookbooks and a recipe binder with some tried and true favorites. Additionally, there are a few blogs I enjoy reading that share weekly meal plans (Pass the Sushi, Mix and Match Mama, and Skinnytaste) so I sometimes go there first for inspiration, although I never follow their plans exactly.

As you know, budgeting has been my life lately, and we've especially been trying to cut spending on food. We're eating at home more, which means I have to work extra hard to keep our grocery bill low. Typically, I plan 4-5 dinners a week and have two nights where we eat whatever we can find at home or pick something up if we have the money. We usually have leftovers for lunch, and something quick and easy (bars/cereal) for breakfast during the week. When I have time on the weekends, I love to bake something sweet to enjoy all week, and sometimes I'll try to make a homemade breakfast on Sunday mornings before church too. It's a lot of cooking and meal prep, but it works for me because I enjoy it.

Is menu planning something you enjoy? How about cooking? Here are a few ways I keep my grocery bill low.

{10 Tips for a Lower Grocery Bill}

{image via

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Trying a Neck Scarf (and more from #LYBLforLess Week 2)

How do you decide what you're going to wear every day? Are you a morning stand-in-front-of-your-closet-and-choose-what-feels-right sort of person, or are you a plan-it-out-the-night-(the week?!) before sort of gal? While I've been trying to go with the flow more these days, I will never truly be a "by the seat of my pants" type, so you can put me in the plan-it-out category. I've mentioned before that I sometimes use the Cladwell Outfits app to help me get dressed, and other times I use Pinterest or Instagram style challenges. Basically, what it comes down to is that I need a "jumping off point" to help me, otherwise I just stand in front of my closet until the clothes stop looking like clothes and I start thinking about why babies don't sleep or how much coffee it's safe for me to drink or how much wine it's safe for me to drink... and then I get nowhere fast.

So on my Live Your Best Life for Less calendar, I had to include some fun outfit idea prompts to help me shop my closet and not get bored. This week's prompts are try a neck scarf, favorite stripes, and neutral outfit with bright shoes.

{try a neck scarf}

I own a lot of scarves and I wear them regularly. However, I haven't really tried the "neck scarf" trend that I've been seeing around lately, with the very French-looking style of the knot at the neck. So I put it on my calendar as a prompt to push myself to try it. I did; I wore this look to church on Sunday. And... well, it just doesn't feel like me. I don't hate how it looks, but I can't say I'd wear this particular scarf that way again. Maybe I would like it better with a different, shorter scarf? I don't know. Either way, it's always fun to try new things, don't you think?

Navy lace tank: Merona, Target | white jeans: Loft (similar) | earrings: Nickel and Suede | scarf: gift from coworker (similar) | sandals: Target

Monday, May 8, 2017

Live Your Best Life {for Less} Week 2

I'm running a little behind this week, but I wanted to share this week's prompts for my  Live Your Best Life (for Less) May calendar. I'd love for you to join me in any or all of these ideas, aimed at fostering more creativity, style, and contentment in your life. Have a great week!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Currently: May

I'm not sure if it's the weather (although as I write it's cold and rainy out) or just the fact that spring is my favorite, but I always feel extra inspired this time of year. As always, I'm joining Anne and her co-host this month, Nancy, to share what I'm currently up to.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Goals for May and April Goal Recap

Each month I share my goals as a way to motivate myself to get things done and stay accountable. Here's this month's recap and the next month's set of goals for my home, my blog, and my family and personal life. 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Live Your Best Life {for less} Week 1

As I mentioned last week, every Sunday I'm going to share the coming week's prompts for my Live Your Best Life (for Less) May calendar. I'd love for you to join me in any or all of these ideas, aimed at fostering more creativity, style, and contentment in your life.

Friday, April 28, 2017

April Clothing Budget

Before going on "budget lock-down" (see my post from yesterday about that here), I did a little bit of shopping for spring clothes. It felt a bit like indulging on Mardi Gras when you know that Lent is just a day away. Or maybe when you're going to start that diet... tomorrow. I didn't go too crazy, but I did buy quite a few items for spring. Here's what I bought.

{April Clothing Budget}

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Introducing - Live Your Best Life (for Less) Calendar!

Aaron and I experienced a "budget wake-up call" this month. We knew it was coming, but when we sat down together to work on our monthly budget, as we do every month, we discovered that the savings that had been our cushion since Violet was born has all but disappeared. We realized that we need to start making some major changes if we want to remain debt free (with the exception of mortgage and student loans).

We already live fairly frugally, but starting this month we are going to implement as many small money-saving changes as we can. The biggest change for us involves food--other than mortgage and child care, that is where the bulk of our money goes. Starting now, we are resolved to eating in more and out less, as well as making smarter choices at the grocery store. Additionally, I will be doing more "shopping my closet" and less shopping in stores or online.

It's easy to get in a negative mindset when cutting back on spending, but I'm determined not to let that happen. Compared to a lot of people in the world, we are blessed with so much, and I know that we can be content, and better yet joyful, with what we've been given.

I thought it would be helpful to have a daily reminder that would encourage me to remain committed to our plan, as well as help me foster creativity, inspiration, and a sense of contentment. Therefore, I created a calendar with daily inspiration for living my best life without breaking our budget. It is my hope that this is something that will benefit you as well, whether or not you're dwelling in Budget Land.

{Live Your Best Life - for Less: May 2017 Calendar}

Here's a link to the calendar if it's not showing up correctly for you. I had one heck of a time trying to format this sucker. #notmystrength

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

In My Library Tote: Preschool Books for April

Before I had Jona, I had forgotten just how enjoyable children's books can be. I've come to look forward to a fresh stack of children's books from the library almost as much as Jona does. It's partly because when he finds a favorite, he wants to read it ALL. THE. TIME. and I'm ready to send it back, but it's also because I truly enjoy a lot of what we read as well. C. S. Lewist famously said, “A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest,” and I think he has a point. This month's books had a little something for everyone: creative wordplay, beautiful illustrations, and humorous storytelling.

{april picture book recommendations}

Friday, April 21, 2017

Violet Lennon at 6 Months

What is it about 6 months? I feel like this is the age when it hits me that my little baby won't be a baby forever, and it breaks my heart! Of course I want her to grow and develop and have a little personality, but it's so bittersweet, you know? Anyway, here's Miss Violet's 6 month update.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

In My Library Tote: Recent Reads in April

Do you set reading goals? I don't set out to read a certain number of books each year, but I do sometimes think about the kind of books I want to read. I tend to stick to fiction, typically contemporary fiction, but this year I made it a goal to read more nonfiction. This month I made some progress on that goal: three of the five below are nonfiction picks!

{April 2017 books} 

Monday, April 17, 2017

$10 at Target: Easy Custom Preschooler Chore Chart

I remember picking up Jona from daycare one day when he was around 2, and all the little kids were picking up toys and putting them away in their bins. Like a lot of things he learned at daycare, it blew my mind a little that he was already old enough to start picking up after himself. After spending so much time picking up after many hours of "Let's Dump Everything Out", his favorite game, it was a revelation to think that he could actually be doing that himself.

So as Jona got older, we started giving him more responsibilities that were appropriate for his age. It started out with just things like picking up toys and putting his laundry in the laundry basket, but now his chores include feeding our dog and putting silverware on the table. He's a helper by nature, so he loves having little jobs that he is responsible for.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Shopping Reviews: Spring Finds at Loft and Target

I may have done a little happy dance when I put my boots and heavy sweaters away for the year. However, when I surveyed what was left in my closet I found that spring was rather underrepresented in there. So, I did a little shopping. Come along with me to the fitting rooms at Loft and Target to see what I found!

{fitting room at Loft}

Loft Vine Ballet Neck Tee - Size S 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Family Easter Traditions and Style - a Blogger Collaboration

I have fond memories of Easter growing up--finding the perfect outfit to wear to church (I would simply ask myself, "What would Claudia Kishi wear?"), hunting for Easter eggs on Easter morning, and dyeing hard boiled eggs the night before. However, I can't think about Easter as a kid without remembering one of our neighbors and their overly-extravagant Easter celebrations. 

We kept things pretty low key at my house. My biggest thrill was finding a whole dollar in one of the "big eggs," aka one of those old pantyhose containers. Otherwise it was mostly candy, quarters, and maybe a small gift or two, and I absolutely loved that. When we moved to a new neighborhood one year, we didn't know just how much entertainment we would be getting every Easter. These people staged elaborate egg hunts in their front yard, and I remember seeing GIANT Easter baskets in their tree and thinking, "How the heck did they get that thing UP there?" I remember being nearly as excited to see just what kind of stuff was "hidden" in their yard as I was to see what was in my own Easter basket. I never felt jealous, mind you, I was genuinely entertained by how much money and effort went into those festivities across the street! 

Now that I have kids of my own, I love creating new holiday traditions with them. We don't have a lot of Easter traditions just yet, but we definitely want to make the day memorable for them, even if our neighborhood doesn't offer quite as much in the way of Easter entertainment. 

I'm joining some fabulous bloggers today for a special family Easter post today, so be sure to check out their blogs to read about their Easter celebrations. 

"Our church has a special Resurrection service and is hosting a coffee and doughnut fellowship time along with family picture time (photographers will come to the church and photograph families). We will also be attending numerous egg hunts and a few family meals."
"This is our first Easter as a family of four, so I was excited to have two little ones to coordinate this year. We got family pictures taken with my husband's side of the family last weekend, so our outfits did double duty. Everyone wore denim and pastel colors for the pictures, so that worked out pretty perfectly for Easter as well. We are ready to go to Sunrise Easter service at our church, and then head home to see what the Easter Bunny brought!"

"Easter is such a special time. We're so looking forward to fun baskets full of outdoor toys, egg hunts and a fun family BBQ. Most important of all, I love sharing the resurrection story with my boys and spending the morning in church!"
"For Easter Sunday we will be going to church and then Vivian will have an egg hunt in our front yard and later will open her basket of goodies to see what Easter Bunny brought her. We coordinated our pastels together. I am wearing a dove blue+white striped cold-shoulder ruffle dress while she has on a mint sundress and blush pink suede sneakers that match the blush pink dots of her white tights. Happy Easter Ladies!"
"This Easter, Aubrey and I will be wearing everything used!  Missy A is wearing an outfit that was handed down to her by some sweet friends of ours whose daughter is a year older and have been so kind as to pass all her outgrown clothes on to us. She loves these baby doll style of shoes and gets really excited when she gets to wear them. You may recognize the dress I’m wearing from last year’s mommy & me collab! Since this year I have resolved to add nothing new to my closet, I’ll be sporting this casual favorite of mine in a new way as we celebrate the day with family."

"The girls are rocking some one-shoulder seersucker dresses handmade by their grandmother. I'm wearing a coral Altar'd State dress from my closet that works well with the floral colors of their dress. We are really looking forward to spending time with family this Easter. And while we do participate in a few Easter egg hunts, I am trying my best to keep this holiday about Jesus. Happy Easter, everyone!" 
"Although Easter is a casual holiday in my family, I do like to look put together.  I love the idea of wearing whites, pastels, and florals for the holiday, so this year I'm going with a little white dress.  To match my boys, I will be dressing them in my favorite white button down from the GAP, and finishing their outfit with jeans and sneakers.  I want them to be comfortable since I know they will be running around outside all day, and hunting for Easter eggs, so dressing up their sneakers and jeans is a perfect solution."

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Currently: April

At church this weekend, I volunteered in Jona's classroom (where he goes while we're at the "big church"). A woman was leading the kids, mostly 3-year-olds, in praise and worship, and she asked them, "Do you know what month it is?" Several little voices (including Jona's) piped up proudly, "Sunday!!!" I thought that was too cute not to share.

Speaking of sharing, as always I'm talking about what I'm up to currently this month and linking up with Anne and Jess. Happy Sunday, I mean, April!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

How To Use the Outfits App: My Tips for Getting the Most Out of This Styling Tool

Last week I talked about an app that has made a huge difference to my morning routine, Outfits by Cladwell. I've been using the app just about every day for the past couple of weeks, and today I wanted to share some tips that are helping me make the most of it.

Violet said she wanted in on this outfit picture action. 

Friday, March 31, 2017

Goals for April and March Goal Recap

The year is a quarter of the way over, can you believe it? Tomorrow starts my very favorite month, my birthday month. I'm going to wrap up March with a review of the month's goals, and share what I'm going to focus on in April.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Outfits by Cladwell: Mornings Made Easier

Does anyone remember the app called "Feather"? It was an app that chose outfits for you based on your local weather. I loved that app, and was so sad that its existence was so short-lived. Well, my Feather-loving heart is feeling all the feels, because I found a "getting dressed" app that I love even more!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Violet Lennon at 5 Months

Ack, I can't believe it's already been 5 months! As I approach the 6 month mark with Violet I am just shocked by how quickly the time has gone by. It may be a cliche, but it's so true, especially the second time around! Here's an update on how my girl is doing at 5 months of age.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

$10 at Target: Spring Beauty Essentials

Spring is my favorite season, and I love indulging in little things to refresh my makeup bag this time of year. For this month's $10 at Target, I bought a few beauty essentials for spring.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Interview with a 3-Year-Old

Three has been quite a challenging age around here, but I know there will come a day when I will really miss Jona's little-ness and would love to see a snapshot of his life at this age. Inspired by a post on According to Kiki, I decided to interview him about his life at age 3.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Winter Floral and Over the Knee Boots

I suspected the early spring weather was too good to be true. It's back to cold weather around here, although it's nothing compared to the real smackdown that the Northeast is getting right now. Stay safe and warm, east coast friends!

But, since I still have spring fevah, I want to wear all the floral-y, pretty things in my closet right now. I picked up this floral top at Old Navy when I was still on maternity leave and sick of all the ever-loving things in my closet that actually fit (which at the time, was like 2 things). I grabbed a solid dark green version as well that I don't wear nearly as often. This thing wrinkles like a raisin and the pretty floral print hides it splendidly, but the solid color reveals my resistance to iron.

Anyway, this top helped me fill the need for spring clothes, but because it still feels like winter I added a cardigan and over the knee boots. I love these boots, but I won't be sad to trade them in for sandals (hopefully!) soon.

Winter outfit idea featuring a floral top, olive cardigan, ponte pants, and over the knee boots.

Cardigan: Loft via ThredUp (similar) | floral top: Old Navy (similar) | ponte pants: Express | earrings: Nickel and Suede | necklace: c/o Uncommon Goods | boots: Target

Friday, March 10, 2017

In My Library Tote: March Books for the Preschooler

I shared my recent reads on Wednesday, but I'm not the only one who's been a busy reader this month. Jona has been enjoying quite a few lately too, which makes my book-loving heart happy. Here are my preschooler picks for the month.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

In My Library Tote: March Reads for Mom

It's been a while since I've shared what I have been reading, but this past month I've found a few gems worth sharing. Life certainly hasn't slowed down, but I'm thankful that I'm still able to find pockets of time for enjoying a good book. My day just goes better when I'm able to find time for reading.

Anyway, here's what I've read recently.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Goals for March

We're three months in to 2017, and I'm finally getting around to writing a monthly goals post. Writing out my goals, and sharing them here, helps me to take the steps to actually get things done. However, this year my goal setting will be more reflective of my current season of life, so I'm going to try to only focus on a handful of items, rather than a big list.

Anyway, here's what I hope to accomplish in March.

{gratuitous funny baby pic... #sorrynotsorry}

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Currently: March

After a warm, spring-like February, the arrival of March doesn't feel like much of a surprise. I'm hoping that this nice weather continues and that winter doesn't use March to fit in one last hurrah. Either way I'm happy to welcome the new month.

With a new month comes a new currently link up, so as usual I'm joining Anne and this month's co-host Carrie to share what I'm up to.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Parenting Triumphs and Fails on the Kansas City Moms Blog

On Saturday I wrote a post for the Kansas City Moms Blog about my parenting triumphs and fails. Check it out (and please share your own triumphs and fails!) here.

Have a great week!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Violet at 4 Months

It's hard to believe my little Violet is 4 months old already! It seems like she changes so much from week to week too. Here is this month's update.

Monday, February 20, 2017

$10 at Target: Big Brother Treats

I've mentioned before that being a big brother has been, unsurprisingly, quite an adjustment for Jona. Aaron and I both try to spend time with just him, and let him know that he is still special and very loved. Time means more than any present or treat we could give him, but sometimes it's fun to surprise him with something. This month I decided to spend my $10 at Target on little goodies for him.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Stripes, Dots, and Blush Pink

Happy Valentine's Day! Like I mentioned in my post on Friday, I don't have any plans for today other than going to Jona's preschool party. There's nothing more romantic than spending your evening with a three-year-old hyped up on way too much sugar, right? #momlife

Other than the touches of pink, this isn't even a very Valentine's Day look, but it's what I wore in real life this weekend. We went to a birthday party for a little boy Jona used to go to daycare with, and it was a blast seeing all the kids together again. I realized after I got home that I didn't take a single picture, unfortunately. We also went to a wedding over the weekend and I didn't take any pictures there either! I've come to the conclusion that if it's not one of my kids or an outfit, I don't take a picture of it. I need to be better about that.

Do you have any fun plans for today? Are you good about taking pictures or do you get caught up and forget too? 

Chambray shirt: J.Crew Factory (similar) | striped tee: Target (similar) | jeans: Loft (similar) | earrings: Nickel and Suede | necklace: Mama and Little | shoes: Loft (similar)

Friday, February 10, 2017

Valentine's Day Kid Picks

Valentine's Day may be focused on romance, but I'm more excited about what I'm getting for Jona and Violet than what Aaron and I will be doing (which will be nothing... he has to work that night). Like a lot of holidays, to me Valentine's Day is made even more fun with little ones.

I've been having fun perusing all the adorable Valentine's Day stuff for kids, so I put a little list together of some of my favorites. Here are a few adorable Valentine's Day gift ideas for the little in your life.

I'm excited to go to my first school Valentine's Day party this year, at Jona's preschool. Other than that I'm just looking forward to having a date night one of these days, even if it's a stay-in date night. What are your Valentine's Day plans? 

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links. 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Currently: February

We're now a month in to 2017, and it won't be long until we have to stop calling this year the "new" year. As someone who loves the start of a fresh year, I'm always a little sad when that newness wears off. However, January's end means that we're one month closer to spring, and THAT I can fully get behind.

As always at the start of the month, I'm linking up with Anne and this month's co-host Erin to share what I'm currently up to.

{packing} away baby and toddler clothes. It's been growth spurts galore at my house, so I've been trying to assess my babies' clothing situation to see if I need to do any shopping. Violet has fully outgrown her newborn clothes, and now most of the 0-3 month stuff is too small as well. I'm trying to stay ahead of the game (they grow so FAST!) and pull out all the 3-6 and 6 month stuff so it's ready to go. Jona doesn't grow nearly as fast anymore, but in the last couple of months, all of his 2T pants from last year now resemble capris, and the 3Ts that were looking baggy now fit. With a fresh haircut, he's looking way too much like a big kid.

{jonesing} for naan pizzas. So, nerd alert, I had to look up what "jonesing" meant to be sure I understood. #oldladymoment (And it's not even a new slang term!) Anyway, I've been addicted to making homemade pizzas out of naan bread. It's an easy dinner, and we all get to have our pizza just the way we want it, which means pepperoni for Aaron and Jona, and goat cheese and chicken for me. The other day we had some leftover roasted potatoes and I sliced those up real thin and added them to my pizza as well... delicious!

{texting} kid pictures. I'd say about 75% of the text messages stored on my phone are pictures of Violet and Jona. Violet's babysitter will often send me a picture of what she's up to, and I love getting that little update during my work day. Also, since my mom lives far away this time of year, I try to send her pictures of the kids regularly so she doesn't feel like she's missing everything.

{reading} on my new Kindle. While I'm still completely devoted to my local library, I just got a Kindle Paperwhite and love it. I, perhaps dangerously, subscribed to Modern Mrs. Darcy's daily Kindle deals email and picked up a couple of downloads for cheap. I just started A Fatal Grace, the second novel in Louise Penny's Chief Inspector Gamache series, which I had on my to-read list after enjoying Still Life last year. For $2.99 I couldn't resist!

{hearting} our new bedtime schedule. Violet really turned a corner with sleep in the last month, so we decided to push up her last feeding from 10:30 or 11:00pm to 9:00pm. So far, she has done really well, sleeping until around 6:00am. Hooray for more sleep at night! I know the 4 month sleep regression is totally a thing though, so I'm bracing myself for that. But for now, I'm enjoying this new routine!

Other than that, I'm getting ready for lots of birthdays and a wedding this month. It's going to be a busy one! What does February have in store for you? 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

My Tips for Dressing Your Postpartum Body

They often call the couple of months after you have a baby the "fourth trimester" because your body, while no longer pregnant, is still a far cry from what it was before sperm met egg. While it's not always the most fun to get dressed during this time, to me it's not the most challenging. For me at least, in those first couple of months if it doesn't have an elastic waistband, it ain't happening. Despite my lack of athleticism I embraced the athleisure trend fully and unapologetically during my most recent "fourth trimester."

What I find trickier is the time after that; when you want or need to wear pants of the non-yoga variety, perhaps even a pair that buttons and zips. Maybe you're going back to work and need to look professional, or you're just tired of looking like you just got back from a workout.

I struggle with this in-between time, because while most of my regular clothes technically fit, they don't fit quite like they did before I was pregnant. Here are a few tips that help me dress my postpartum body comfortably and confidently.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

In My Library Tote: Recent Reads

It's been a while since I've shared what I've been reading lately. Despite the craziness of life right now with two little ones, I still try to make time every day to read a little bit. I feel like it keeps me sane more than anything else... or at least as much as wine does. I typically try to share what Jona has enjoyed as well, but somehow my short term memory disappeared around the time Violet was born and I can't for the life of me remember what we've read! To remedy that I'm starting to track what we read in my bullet journal, so hopefully by next month I'll be back with some preschool recommendations. Anyhow, here's what I've been reading.

{recent reads}

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Violet at 3 Months

It's been 3 months now that my little Violet made her entrance into the world. So much has changed since then; I started back at work and big brother Jona started preschool. Time continues to fly by and this sweet girl of mine continues to grow and change.

Monday, January 16, 2017

$10 at Target: Office Supply Haul

After being on maternity leave since mid-October, going back to work after the new year wasn't easy. In a way, I was ready to have somewhere to go every day, but after two full months of quality mom time I dreaded going back. To ease the transition a little, I decided to treat myself to a few items that would make going back to work a little more fun.

Like I mentioned in Friday's post, I got a Swell water bottle, a nice insulated thermos for my coffee, and a pretty (and functional) lunch bag. I also went to Target and indulged in some office goodies from the $1 spot. For just $10 (plus tax) here are all the fun things I picked up.

Friday, January 13, 2017

8 Things Making Me Happy

I've had a bit of writer's block lately, which I attribute to my current sleep-deprived state (thanks Violet). I was catching up on a few favorite blogs, and I was inspired by Anne's Things Making Me Happy post from this fall. I decided to make one of my own, because after another 4am wake-up, I could use a little dose of happiness.

So here are 8 things on my happy list.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Easy Winter Style: Print Shirtdress with Burgundy Cardigan

It's safe to say I'm not yet back in the swing of taking outfit pictures, and with highs in the 20s and below last week the thought of going outside to take them brought icy little tears to my eyes. However, instead of waiting for the perfect day, or the perfect outfit, as my perfectionism is wont to do, I'm just jumping in.

So, here's an outfit. I wore it to church over the weekend. It was a church service that Violet completely slept through (victory!), and one that Jona, despite having some success at potty training the past couple of days, insisted he wear diapers for (fail!). Things I'm learning: there's not enough wine in the world when it comes to potty training, and baby sleep habits are completely unpredictable.

What has 2017 been teaching you lately?

Cardigan: Gap Outlet (similar) | shirtdress: Ann Taylor Factory (cute plaid option) | earrings: Nickel and Suede | boots: Crown Vintage (similar)

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Currently: January

Whoa, two posts this week! Things are getting pretty crazy over here. Actually it is pretty crazy, as this post goes live I will be starting back at work after being on maternity leave since October. It was wonderful to be able to be home for as long as I was, and while I dread leaving my babies I know it will be good to get back into a routine. Jona will be starting preschool and Violet is going to an in-home daycare, and I know they will both be well taken care of. I will still be home with them two days a week, which I'm so thankful for, although I know it will be quite a challenge to try to get work done those days.

Anyway, I'm linking up with Anne and Jessica to share what I'm currently...

Monday, January 2, 2017

Words of the Year for 2017 Plus a 2016 Recap

Happy New Year! New Year's Day is one of my favorite holidays. Something about starting a fresh new year (and a fresh calendar--this year I have Gretchen Rubin's Happier calendar) is so satisfying to me. I love setting goals and thinking about the things I want to accomplish in the coming year. However, I'm more of a starter than a finisher--unfortunately--so it's always a bit depressing to look at what I set out to complete but didn't.

The past couple of years I've chosen a word for the year, and I really like picking one thing to stay focused on. This year my indecisiveness kicked in and I ended up choosing two words, home and simplify. I may try to continue setting monthly goals, but I'll stick to these two words rather than setting yearly goals for 2017.

{words of the year for 2017}