In My Library Tote: July Book Picks

If this month's books had a theme, it would be "big feelings". While a couple of these were just lighthearted, fun reads, the rest inspired a wide range of emotions, reminding me why reading is my most-beloved hobby.

{recent reads: july}

$10 at Target: Kids Snack Baskets

It's Thursday at 8:00am at my house. Jona is sitting on the couch, Violet is on the floor, playing with some toys (likely ones that aren't hers, or not actual toys). They both just finished breakfast, and I turned some cartoons on, hoping that they're both occupied enough that I can get a little work done. 5 minutes in: "Mom, can I have a snack?" Me: "You just ate breakfast!" Jona: "Yeah, but can I have a snack?" "No, not yet. It's not snack time yet." I swear, I could have just given him a 3 course breakfast (#nothappening) and he'd still be begging for a snack 20 minutes later.

To Jona, snacks are the best thing ever. To me, they're about the most annoying. (Giving him snacks at least... I love a good snack myself.) While I want to have control over when he's allowed to have a snack, the idea of him getting the actual snack himself is appealing. So I cleared out a drawer in our pantry and made it just for Jona. I spent my $10 at Target this month on two baskets to corral snack options and special treat options. (The baskets were on sale for $3.99 each and I also picked up a box of animal crackers that was less than $2. Those got eaten before photos were taken.)

Summer Trip to Minneapolis: Packing List

I always love seeing other people's packing lists, so I thought I'd share what clothes I packed for our recent trip to Minneapolis. I started with a current favorite color combination - blush pink and olive - and I based my outfits off of that. We went in late June, but the weather there was pretty mild; if your destination is warmer I'd recommend swapping out the jeans for shorts.

{summer trip to Minneapolis: packing list}

Currently: July

Happy July and happy summer! Between our recent vacation and the 4th of July holiday, work weeks have been nice and short, and life has been good. As always, I'm joining Anne and her co-host this month, Stephanie, to share what I'm currently...

Goals for July and a June 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. 

June Clothing Budget

My shopping goal lately has been to stick to my "wardrobe holes" list, which I did a pretty good job of this month. The only things that were impulse purchases were the gingham sneakers and the foil print tee shirt. Considering all the sale emails I get, as well as the number of trips to Target I make, I'd say that's pretty good.

{june clothing budget}

Family Vacation to Minneapolis: Our Favorite Places to Visit

After we had Jona, Aaron and I decided that we'd like to visit at least one baseball stadium (other than our local Kauffman) every year. We went to St. Louis to see the Cardinals for Jona's first vacation, but until this year we haven't had a chance to visit any others. This year though we decided to make Violet's first vacation one to Minneapolis, to see the Twins play (and more of course).

We had a wonderful time, and everyone concluded that Minneapolis is a place we'd very much like to return to when we get a chance. Here are some of the highlights of our trip.

{kid-friendly destinations}

Minnesota Children's Museum - Recently renovated, this huge, interactive children's museum has so much to offer to kids of all ages. A few of Jona's favorite areas were "Our World", an interactive mini city, the "Backyard", an outdoor exhibit, the car wash area, and the seed-filled sensory tables. There's even a place for the baby/young toddler crowd, although since Violet was content to observe from the stroller, we didn't have a chance to check it out. If you have kids, this museum is a must-see in Minneapolis!

In My Library Tote: Preschool Book Picks for June

Our library started putting a little basket of staff favorites next to the check-out kiosk, and I think it's such a great idea. I'm in my library pretty regularly, but it's mostly just to pick up my holds; I don't do a lot of browsing. It's nice to have a few hand-picked favorites right in front of me that I may not find otherwise. I've come across a few that Jona has really enjoyed that way.

Here are a few recent favorites from various sources, including the library basket.

Violet Lennon at 8 Months

Violet turned 8 months old during our recent trip to Minneapolis, and I have to say I'm loving this age so far. Here's a little update on what Miss Violet has been up to lately.

{Violet at eight months}

In My Library Tote: Book Picks for June

Somehow the month of May came and went, and I forgot to do a blog post about what I read. Better late than never though I guess, so here are a few recent books from my library tote.

{What I Read}

Drawstring-Waist Skirt with Sneakers (and more from #LYBLforLess week 7)

I tend to live in denim, but when it starts to get hot outside I like having other options. I love finding skirts that work just as well dressed up as they do styled casually, and I think I found a winner here with this drawstring-waist one from Loft.

Paired with a tee shirt and slip on sneakers, this skirt is the "fancy" (although barely so) element for my fancy + casual prompt for this week's #LYBLforLess.

{fancy + casual}

Tee: J.Crew Factory (similar) | drawstring waist skirt: Loft | earrings: Nickel and Suede | necklace: Mama and Little | slip on sneakers: Loft (similar)

Live Your Best Life (for less) Week 7

I hope you're having a good weekend! Ours has been busy, but fun. I wanted to pop in and quickly share this week's prompts for my June Live Your Best Life (for less) calendar. I hope you join me!

Currently: June

I think June is pretty great. The days are long, it's (usually) warm but not sweltering, all the good produce is in season (peaches! corn! cherries!), and there's baseball on just about every night.

As always, I'm joining Anne and her co-host this month, Erin, to share what I'm currently...

{veggie photo via unsplash}

Gingham Sneakers and an Embroidered Top (and more from #LYBLforLess week 6)

Do you know how to set yourself up for failure? Go to the shoe section at Target, just to browse, while there to buy household essentials. I mean, I wouldn't do that at an ice cream shop, right? So naturally I came home with some shoes on my last Target run - this cute little $17 gingham pair. I've been pretty good lately about only buying what I need, but every now and then, shoes happen.

Since one of my prompts for this week's LYBL calendar is "gingham love", I'm sharing how I styled these new gingham sneakers this weekend. I love how the little details keep this simple look--jeans, a white top, and sneakers--from being boring.

{gingham love}

Embroidered top: Alison Andrews, Target | jeans: Loft | earrings: Nickel and Suede | gingham sneakers: Target

Live Your Best Life (for less) Week 6

Over the weekend I learned something. A frozen banana may have the same texture as ice cream, but it still tastes like a banana. Whomp whomp. Jona and I made smoothies yesterday, of the peanut butter and chocolate variety. I poured them into our cups, getting pretty excited since it looked just like a milkshake. Jona tried his, made a face, and said "I don't like this." I wasn't too surprised, because he likes about 5 things right now. Then I tried it, made a face, and said "I don't like it either." It tasted like banana. I don't like banana (unless it's in banana bread). You'd think that I'd be smart enough to NOT make a smoothie out of frozen banana, but I really thought the other stuff would mask the banana flavor. Not so. Live and learn (and stick with milkshakes).

Anyway, here are the prompts for this week's Live Your Best Life (for less) June calendar. Just like last month's calendar prompts, these are also aimed at fostering more creativity, style, and contentment in your life.

Goals for June and May 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. 

Three Staples for Spring - 9 Looks

When I made the prompts for this week's outfits on my #LYBLforLess calendar, I unknowingly included three things that have been on my "spring staples" list for a long time: a jean jacket, chambray, and a vest. In fact, the pieces that I'm featuring in the below looks have all been in my closet for years, and they're still among my closet favorites. Trends are fun, but you can't go wrong with the classics. Here are a few ways I've previously styled this week's prompts.

{layer with chambray}

Chambray is right up there with stripes on my "things I'm addicted to" list. It's so wearable and versatile, and is perfect in any season. My chambray button-up is one of the most-worn items in my closet. It's great on its own, but also works well as a layering piece. 

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.

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.

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)

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.

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.

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)

$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. 

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.

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

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

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!

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.

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. 

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.

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}

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

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}

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.

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} 

$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.

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 

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."

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!

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. 

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.

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!

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.

$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.

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.

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

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.

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.