April Favorites

Well, it may have started out feeling more like January than April, but my favorite month of the year sure ended on a beautiful note. The past week or so has been gorgeous, and I'm hoping that May will bring even more sunny spring weather. Here are my favorites from the month.

Violet Lennon at 18 Months

I love that my birthday month is Violet's half birthday month. My sweet, sassy little lady turned 18 months old this month, so I thought it was time for an update.

{Violet at 18 Months}

35 at 35: A Year's Worth of Fun

I can almost hear Aaron's eyes roll when I start a sentence with, "So I heard on a podcast..." It's pretty clear that I'm a podcast junkie and I get way to much inspiration these days channeled through my earbuds. But if you're also a podcast-lover, I'm sure we're in the same boat. It's no surprise then that today's post was inspired by a long-time favorite, Happier with Gretchen Rubin.

At the beginning of the year, Gretchen and Elizabeth shared their 18 in 2018 lists: 18 things they want to accomplish in the year 2018. On another episode they shared an idea for celebrating a milestone birthday: create a list of things you want to do in that year so you can look forward to it.

Today I turn 35. It's not really a milestone, but it feels a bit like one to me. I haven't been dreading it, but I do like the idea of making a list to make the year feel more joyful and less "oh boy I'm getting old." Inspired by the podcast, I created a list of 35 things I'd love to do in my 35th year. This isn't a to-do list and it doesn't include things that I feel like I should do. Instead, it's a fun list. I'm only including things that I truly want to do and that would bring more joy to my life. Things that, if I do them, will make me happy, and if I don't, I won't feel any guilt about.

{35 at 35: my want-to-do list}

Photo by Wout Vanacker on Unsplash

Camo Jacket and Tie-Sleeved Stripe Shirt: Updated Classics for Spring

My style hasn't changed too much over the years; I still love classic pieces and am very devoted to my denim. Lately I've been looking for ways to freshen up my wardrobe without straying from the style I love. 

One way I've done this is by swapping out my old, worn out olive cargo jacket for this fun camo print one. The color and print are still neutral so it goes with pretty much everything, but it's different enough that it makes every outfit feel new. 

I feel the same way about this striped top. It's a classic piece and I already have a few striped tops that I wear a ton. This one was a great closet freshener-upper because of the cute tie-sleeve detail. 

Has your style changed a lot over the years or are you, like me, looking for ways to update the things you still love? 

Camo jacket: Old Navy | striped tie-sleeve top: Old Navy | jeans: Gap via ThredUp (similar) | earrings: Nickel and Suede | teething necklace: Mama and Little | blush sneakers: Universal Thread, Target

Spring Shopping Reviews: Old Navy, J. Crew Factory, and American Eagle

Last month I shared an online spring shopping haul, which kicked off a bit of a spring shopping extravaganza. As usual, I shopped sales and tried to only buy the things I needed (with a few exceptions, of course), and I'm pretty happy with what I got for my money.

Since my last review post got a pretty good response, I thought I'd share round two of my spring purchases, sub-par iPhone photos and all. (Please forgive my dirty mirror--yikes! and cluttered background. That ugly chair and ottoman is in my room from my pumping days and needs to go...) Here are a few recent spring purchases from Old Navy, J. Crew Factory, and American Eagle.

Floral for Spring: Mom and Toddler Girl Style

What do you do when you have a spring outfit post planned, but on the only day you're able to take pictures the HIGH is in the mid 30s? If you're a dedicated, badass blogger, I'm sure you put your game face on, go outside, and try not to look like you're in pain. If you're me though, you move all the toys to the other side of the living room, and power through an indoor photo-shoot with an uncooperative toddler. I'm keeping it real over here.

I haven't really jumped on board the off-the-shoulder trend because it just isn't practical for my life. However, I love the subtle cold-shoulder cut-outs on this pretty floral blouse, and I find it much more real-life-friendly. If the weather cooperates (and it better!) this is what I plan to wear to birthday brunch with my crew in a couple of weeks.

On my recent Old Navy haul I also picked up a few things for the kids, including this adorable bell-sleeve floral top for Violet. Full length bell sleeves and toddlers would be a disaster, but this three-quarter length works. She's no more covered in food than any other day.

What trends have you been trying lately? 

On Violet: yellow bell-sleeve top: Old Navy | jeggings: Cat and Jack, Target (similar) | hair bow: Target (similar) | silver bow moccasins: Amazon (similar)
On Me: floral top: Old Navy (navy version) | jeans: American Eagle | tassel earrings: Sugar Fix (similar) | sandals: Universal Thread, Target (similar)

$10 at Target, Kid Date Edition

I have a mom confession. I don't like to play. I dread when Jona asks me to play dinosaurs or cars, and my answer of "I'll sit by you and watch you play" is clearly never good enough. I try to suggest something else that we can do together, like reading stories or doing a puzzle, but lately he can't seem to get enough attention from Aaron or me. Therefore we've been trying to spend more one-on-one time with him, and that's been helping.

On Friday evening I had a few errands to run so I decided to make a night of it with Jona. Thankfully he is just as excited about a Target run as he is about building a race track for his cars. It helps that Target is right by our favorite ice cream place and it had been quite a while since we'd been there.

In My Library Tote: March Picture Book Reviews and Recommendations

I love finding new books to read with Jona each month. I get just as giddy bringing him a stack of books as I do cracking open a new one for me. One of my goals last month was to apply to re-enroll in the library science program I started before I had Jona, and I'm thrilled that I'll be starting classes again this summer. My first class is all about early learners and I can't wait! Initially I wasn't sure what direction I wanted to go in with the library program, but I think I'm going to get a concentration in Children and Youth Services. Anyway, I thought this post would be a fitting place for me to share that.

On to what Jona and I read in March. (Poor Violet will get incorporated into these posts eventually, but for her it was A LOT of Duck and Goose, Dr. Seuss ABC, and Dear Zoo.)

{picture books we read in march}

Neutral Classic Pieces with a Touch of Blush

Prior to last month, I hadn't been doing much regular shopping. I recently did a 6 month secondhand-only shopping challenge, but even before that I only bought a few things here and there. So last month when I was looking at my closet and anticipating the coming spring season (which I hear may actually get here soon...) I knew I needed to do a little updating.

More than anything else I wear pretty simple, classic styles, so things like jeans and versatile work-to-weekend tops were on my list. I've been on the hunt for white jeans for a while, so I was happy to find this affordable Old Navy pair. I also picked up this basic black peplum top when J. Crew Factory was having a buy one get one free top sale. I know I'll wear both of these pieces a ton.

I do love bright spring colors, but the color I've been buying more than anything else lately is blush pink. I snagged these blush mules (and a pair of blush sneakers...I have a problem) when Target was having a buy one get one 50% off sale on shoes. I love how the muted pink color acts almost like a neutral and goes with a wide range of colors.

What color are you addicted to wearing and buying right now? 

Denim jacket: Gap (similar) | black peplum tee: J. Crew Factory | white jeans: Old Navy | earrings:  Nickel and Suede | necklace: Jane 

In My Library Tote: March Book Reviews and Recommendations

Jona is starting to read, but I can't wait for the day when he's able to sit with a stack of books to read himself. Yesterday, a cold, drizzly day, thinking he was preoccupied with some toys while Violet napped, I snuggled up on the couch with a blanket, ready to dive into a new book. Along comes Jona with a million questions about my book, what it's about, if he could sit with me... I appeased him by reading a chapter in Matilda before I had some "quiet mommy reading time". I love my kids, but I'm a much better mom when I have my reading time. Here's what I read in March.

{what I read in march}

April Goals and March Wins

This year, inspired by Gretchen Rubin's book, I've been doing a Happiness Project, focusing on one important aspect of my life every month. Last month my goals centered around career, while April's focus is parenting. The idea is that the months should build on one another and the habits formed in one month should continue into the next and so on. Each month I share my wins from the previous month, as well as goals that fit the theme of the current month.

Currently: April

I was looking back through some archives and saw that I wrote my first "currently" post back in October of 2012. I didn't start writing them consistently until 2015, but it's fun to look back and see what was on my mind this time three years ago, two years ago, and last year

So, just as I've been doing for the past few years, I'm joining Anne and her co-host this month, Jessica, to talk about what I'm up to currently on this favorite of months. 

{currently: april}

Thoughts on Spring: TBB Asks

It feels kind of funny to be writing about spring when it was 30 degrees and sleeting yesterday, but that's spring in Kansas I guess. (By the way, I did wear my Easter dress, but it was with tights, over-the-knee boots, and a sweater on top. You do what you gotta do.)

I'm joining in with The Blended Blog where they're asking questions about spring today.