January Favorites

I love starting my month out by focusing on goals, but I've been trying to come up with a consistent post to end the month. I used to do a monthly clothing budget post, but lately my purchases haven't really been exciting enough to document. Plus they've just about all come from ThredUp. One thing I love seeing on other blogs are round-ups of favorite things from the month, so I'm going to jump on that bandwagon and see how it goes.

Here are my January favorite things.

{january favorites}

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Violet Lennon at 15 Months

I hadn't planned on doing another Violet update until she was 18 months, but I forgot how much changes between that year to year and a half mark. While I can't bring myself to stop calling her my baby (and likely never will), she has officially strutted her way into toddler-hood. Sob. Here's what the little lady is up to at 15 months.

{Violet at 15 months}

5 Healthy Family Dinners We Love

As someone who loves to cook and especially, to eat, I belong to camp "Everything in Moderation". At my house we eat carbs, red meat, dessert... but I strive for balance and try not to indulge in everything, every night. Not every meal I cook is a healthy balanced one, but I want those little indulgences to be the exception rather than the rule (for dinner, at least).

This month, like a lot of other people, I've been focusing on making healthy choices, and my family (whether they want to be or not) is along for the ride. Here are five healthy, easy, weeknight dinners that we have enjoyed again and again.

{5 healthy dinners - easy and family friendly}

Chatting With Jona: Comic Relief from a Four Year Old

If you ever start fear that you're taking life too seriously, just spend a little time with a four year-old. Whether he intends to or not, Jona provides quite a bit of comic relief at our house. I try to write down the funny things he says so I don't forget, and share them with you all just because it's something I always get a kick out of reading on other blogs too. Here are a few recent conversations that made me laugh.

Lying in his bed one night after reading stories (from his favorite superhero book), "Do superheroes...? Does Captain America wear underwear?"

Mommy and Me Style: Vests and Blush in Winter

After spending the last several weeks cooped up in the house, the weather warmed up enough to enjoy a little time outside this weekend. We took a walk to the park, and I also (finally) got some outfit photos taken. I hope to get back to regular style posts in 2018, but I just can't motivate myself (or Aaron) to take photos when it's below freezing out.

Inspired by a post last week on The Blended Blog where everyone was styling vests, Violet and I are sharing our winter vest style. We've both been wearing vests a lot this season, and I love how they add warmth without too much bulkiness. (Plus as long as they're not too puffy, it's a layer I can leave on in the carseat...win!)

I've also carried over my love of blush pink into this season, and I think it's a color that can totally work for winter. When paired with darker colors, like black and olive, blush pink adds a bit of lightness that I love to incorporate this time of year.

Violet, fairly new to the walking world, was having a blast walking around outside on our driveway. I can't wait for spring when she'll be able to explore outside on a more regular basis! (And run some of that energy off!)

{mommy and me style: vests and winter blush}

On Violet: Chambray peplum top: Cat and Jack, Target (similar) | black leggings: Cat and Jack, Target (similar) | pink quilted vest: Old Navy (how cute is this rose gold one?) | pink moccasins: Little Wanderers
On me: black gingham shirt: Target (similar) | olive utility vest: Old Navy (similar) | black jeans: J.Crew via ThredUp (current version) | earrings: Nickel and Suede (LOVE this blush knit version) | Teething Necklace: Mama and Little | black ankle boots: Arizona, JC Penney

On Privilege at Year of Gratitude Blog

Hey there happy Friday! I wanted to let you know that today I'm guest posting at my friend Alexandra's new project, Year of Gratitude blog.

Each week, Alexandra and her co-author Rachel share journaling prompts that aim to help you foster more gratitude and mindfulness in your life. They each answer the prompts and feature guest writer's responses as well. I'm happy to be writing a guest post for this week's prompt related to privilege. Go check out my post here. Be sure to follow the blog for more gratitude inspiration. 

Have a great weekend!

7 Day Capsule Challenge with Cladwell

A few years ago, tired of cramming too many clothes in a too-small closet, I took on the challenge of a capsule wardrobe. I did it for a few seasons and learned a lot, but eventually got tired of the restriction. Since then we've moved and I have a much larger closet. Now I'm having quite the opposite problem: I feel the need to fill the space and in turn have too many options to choose from.

$10 at Target: Healthy Snacking

I'm doing a Happiness Project this year (inspired by Gretchen Rubin), and this month I'm focusing on health. One way I am trying to be healthier is by cutting back on the amount of sugar in my diet. I have a major sweet tooth and I know that the amount of sugar I eat is my worst eating habit.

There are certain parts of my sugar consumption that are non-negotiable to me. I love to bake and I don't plan to give that up anytime soon. And you know how I feel about ice cream. However, I know that I could significantly reduce my sugar intake by making better snack choices.

For this month's $10 at Target I decided to find some fun, healthy snacks that I don't usually buy to shake up my snacking habit.

Secondhand Shopping Challenge: 6 Months of Buying Used

Back in August I decided to challenge myself to only shop secondhand for six months. Part of the challenge was to save money, although I do know it isn't always cheaper to shop used. The second part was to shop more ethically and sustainably. Ethical and sustainable clothing is often more expensive, and I don't have the budget to buy all my clothes this way. However, shopping secondhand is a step in the right direction towards buying less fast fashion.

I haven't done much to make this challenge "official", but by the end of this month it will have been six months. So, how did I do?

In My Library Tote: Family (Dys)function

I think on some level everyone considers her family to be a little bit dysfunctional. That's why I think there could be a whole genre wholly devoted to novels about dysfunctional families. It's great, because if you're feeling the need for a break from your own family's brand of crazy, there are so many fictional families to turn to, many of whom are likely much more crazy than your own. Here are a few dysfunctional family novels I've enjoyed recently.

{recent reads: family (dys)function}

New Years Questions from The Blended Blog Asks

I love surveys and questionnaires. Do you? Every time The Blended Blog does one of these TBB asks linkups I always see it too late to join in. This time though I caught the announcement over the weekend and decided to join the fun. Here are my answers to this month's New Years-themed TBB Asks.

I loved ringing in the new year with these hooligans! 

5 Chapter Books to Read to Preschoolers Plus Tips for Reading Aloud to Younger Readers

Preschoolers are notoriously squirmy and wiggly; nothing holds their attention for long. Yet Jona has always been captivated by stories and will happily sit and read a book even (sometimes especially) if it's on the long side. When he was just shy of four I decided to try reading a chapter book aloud to him to see if it would keep him interested. Since chapter books typically have very few pictures, I wasn't sure he would like it. As kids often do though, he surprised me by really enjoying it, and a new read-aloud habit began.

Here are 5 chapter books that we've read together, all of which I think are excellent for preschool-aged listeners. Additionally I'm sharing a few tips for reading chapter books with young kids.

{5 Chapter Books to Read Aloud to Preschoolers}

Currently: January

Ahh, January. Aside from the ridiculously cold weather, I love it. Beginnings are the best. Starting a new month is fun, but starting a whole new year? Fantastic. I was talking to Aaron about my excitement over the new year and he doesn't get it. He doesn't like New Year's resolutions, and he doesn't share my joy in a fresh start. What do you think, do you enjoy starting a new year?

One thing that's not new is that I'm joining Anne for the monthly currently linkup. Here's what I'm currently up to so far this 2018.

2018 Word of the Year and January Goals

Happy New Year! The last couple of years I've chosen a word to focus on for the year. Last year I had two words, home and simplify. I tried to keep both of those words in mind throughout 2017. For 2018, I chose the word intention.

Photo by Hope House Press on Unsplash