. . . for Lauren and Lauren: February 2015

February 25, 2015

I Can't Live Without

scarf: discovery    tunic: loft    leggings: costco   boots: justfab

. . . . my Costco leggings.  I seriously wear these all the time.  A worthy $13 investment.  Especially because it's ridiculously freezing here all the time and they are super warm.  And they're thick enough to continue my slippery slope to wear leggings as pants.  

I know it's a general feeling that the blogging community has lessened quite a bit the last year and I really do miss commenting on other blogs and spending time getting to know new bloggers.  So my friend Lindsay from Pursuit of Pink and I decided to try a new link up.  Every Thursday we'll write about something we can't live without.  A piece of clothing, a recipe, a favorite baby item, a tv show, anything you love that you wouldn't want to live without.  Link up on one of our blogs and check out the other posts.  I'm excited to read everyone's posts that link up and hopefully feel a little more connected!  

Our first link up will be next week, Thursday March 5th.  (I always publish my posts in the evenings, so feel free to link up Wednesday night.)  You can grab the code below or in my sidebar to add to your post if you'd like!  I'm excited to read your posts! 
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For Lauren & Lauren

February 24, 2015


Friendships used to be a big struggle for me and a major area of insecurity.  It took me a really long time to feel like I had solid friendships.  A year ago this month I met my now closest friend.  I had seen a picture of her and her daughter on our photographers website and recognized her from our church.  Even though Chris and I had been going to our church for years, we only had close friends from our small group, and didn't know many other people in our big church.  I remember thinking once I had babies it'd be easier to make friends because you'd at least have your kids to talk about. But initiating something with a total stranger is not something that comes easy to me.  But I messaged Meredith, we set up a playdate and right away knew I wanted her to be my friend. 

Since then we text a million times a week, get together with our girls often, ask for prayer for each other, occasionally get to eat dinner and drink wine together, brave errands with toddlers, and she's become my best friend.  I'm so thankful for her and think about how much I'd be missing out if I didn't send her a message on facebook.  The other day I saw someone's post on facebook about how her and her lifelong best friend both got to announce their daughters were pregnant at the same time and that now they get to be grandmas together.  I immediately thought this is going to be me and Meredith.  I pray we get to be friends now until we're grandmas together.  

I'm in a better place spiritually, in a better place as a mom and for sure happier because she's in my life.  It reminded me of my goal this year to be brave.  I wonder what other opportunities or friendships I am missing out on because I let my insecurities get in the way. 

I love you Meredith and Eleanor and I am so thankful you are in mine and Addilyn's life!  

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February 23, 2015

The little things.

blazer: loft    jeans: old navy  tee: j.crew outlet   boots: target 

The weather is awful, cabin fever is in full effect and little things start piling up and feeling like big things.  The easy thankful season of the cool weather and approaching holidays are long gone and it's easy to get into crabby attitudes and stay there.  I was there last week.  I'm still there in moments this week. But I want to do a better job these harder days of finding joy in the little things.  This week they are . . . . 

Blueberry banana bread

This blazer I got from the Loft for $15. 

A good playdate with a friend I hadn't hung out with for awhile. 

Addilyn's ever expanding vocabulary and putting words together, even if it's her recent favorite phase "No want it." 

Saving the last chapter of the Nesting Place because I didn't want it to be over, but finally finishing it and loving it.  

A solo errand trip and cycling class. 

Double nights of the bachelor last week. 

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February 22, 2015

How to nag your husband less

“This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group®, Litter Genie® and Fancy Feast®, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #Catparents http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

I've shared before that I am probably one of the most easily annoyed people in the world, and Chris does a good amount of annoying things.  Proof in the picture of him picking his teeth.  That along with chewing louding, biting his nails, constantly bouncing.  I really do love him.  I just find myself nagging him a lot, which is annoying.  To both of us I'm sure.  So while I save my energy to tell him to stop his annoying little habits, here's some ways to nag your husband less in other areas: 

1.  Say it at the right time.  I learned that there's about a 5% chance Chris and I can have successful discussions about anything important first thing in the morning.  Chris is the opposite of a morning person, and it just never goes well.  Same for the middle of the night.  That one goes to about a 0% chance.  If I want Chris to do something before he leaves for work, I'll save it until he's been up for a little while.  Or better yet, right before he leaves because he often forgets anyway, so it's better to just say it once right when he can do it.  (Like taking out the garbage.) 

2. It's not on purpose.  Chris is incredibly forgetful and I really do think a big part of it is not his fault.  I have to remind myself that he is never purposely forgetting things to make me mad.  He wants to make me happy and has good intentions.  When I remember that, it helps me not be nearly as mad about him forgetting to do something I asked.  

3.  Do it yourself.   There's many times I'm annoyed that Chris left his cup on the endtable or a wrapper on the counter when it doesn't take much time to put in in the dishwasher or garbage.  But I realize it takes me just about the same time to ask him to move it, as to move it myself.  Those little things really don't take much time and I'd rather save my "nagging" for things that I really don't want to or can't do.  Plus he's pretty appreciative when he realizes all the things I do around the house, which makes a world of difference. 

4.  Divide it up.  Speaking of saving your nagging, pick a few things that are always each other's jobs.  For example Chris is in charge garbage.  I rarely take the garbage out and he knows that's always his job.  The same goes for the car litter.  Not that this comes without nagging, but it's his job.  Ever since I got pregnant and the best news ever came that pregnant women aren't supposed to change litter boxes, he took over every time.  

5.  Get a litter genie. Speaking of litter boxes, I hate changing the litter box and thankfully have maybe done it once or twice in the last two years.  I was super excited to try out the Litter Genie system in hopes of it solving my problem of constantly nagging Chris to change it.  Both because maybe he'd be able to do it faster and maybe I wouldn't hate it as much and just do it myself. It's only been a week, but so far so good.   Doesn't he look thrilled? 

(Our laundry room isn't fancy one bit.  Maybe some day.)

Litter boxes are disgusting.  The smell is by far the worst part and our litter box is in the laundry room, in our basement, right next to the playroom where we spend a lot of time.  Often is just smells like cat pee no matter when we've changed it last.  The Litter Genie makes it easy to keep up with changing the litter box and takes care of the nasty odor.  There's a lid, and then a funnel at the top.  You open it up, pull out the handle, dump the clumps of litter inside and close it so it seals in the smells. 

This way you can just quickly clean out the litter box then empty the bag once it's full, which can last up to 14 days.  Our laundry room is quite small so this works perfect for little spaces.  

We spend a lot of time in our basement and now I can just go in our laundry room take a few scoops out, put them in the Litter Genie and done.

Now I just have to teach Addilyn how to do it!  

I was checking out the Litter Genie website and found a $5 off coupon for the Litter Genie, and when you buy any two Litter Genie or Fancy Feast products at Target, you get a free Cat Toy or Friskies party mix cat treat. (Offer available 2/15/15 - 4/11/15 while supplies last.) I purchased the Litter Genie itself (for only $10 after the coupon) and then a refill pack.  I got a toy with Catnip in it for free and Biscuits loved it and Addilyn thought it was hilarious watching her play with it! 

February 19, 2015

My favorite place to decorate

I've shared before that this is my favorite place in the house to decorate.  I found this window pane on the side of the road during one of my marathon training runs.  Thankfully it wasn't far from my house because that thing was heavy!  I love changing the selves and garlands up as the seasons change.  

christmas window pane

I find it a little tricky to decorate when there's not a holiday and find myself constantly switching things around.  However, I love how it is right now.  That is until next week I'm guessing . . . 

Regardless of how long everything else lasts, I think this picture will be sticking around.  

picture: c/o pear tree greetings  

I had so much fun looking through all of Pear Tree's wall art and picking out what I wanted.  Some of my favorites were the pear art print, the family of fonts, and the wall decals.  But I immediately thought of something I could put on my white shelves so I went with the easel art which is kind of like a combination of a canvas and picture frame.  You can include text, but I knew I'd put it next to one of my framed prints and thought that may be too much text.  I love how it turned out.  It's clear and bright and is one of my favorite pictures of our family!

Scrabble letter block:  I found at Hobby Lobby on clearance for $3. 
Owl: was a pencil holder that used to be on my grandma's desk and I love it!  
Framed print: is from my sweet friend Liz's shop Emma Joy Designs.  She made it especially for me to represent my theme for the year, mighty warrior
Vase and pom pom: Dollar spot Target vase and I made the felt pom pom ball. 
Plant: Target 
White garland: two pom pom strings sewn together

Do you have a favorite spot in your home to decorate? Are you constantly changing things around?

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February 18, 2015

This week . . .


cardigan: walmart    jeans: gap   tee & shoes: old navy   scarf: discovery

It appears it's that ever rotating time where I question what the purpose of this blog is.  I don't even know if there's any point of sharing my outfit photos these days.  Clearly sharing my tee, cardigan and scarf takes no fashion genius and I just wonder if it's a waste of time.  If anything perhaps to show other stay at home moms they aren't alone in their borderline boring fashion choices on the few days they choose to get dressed for real?  But do I really need pictures to prove that? 

Chris and I started reading the book Love Does together.  I'm excited to do something other than watch tv with our time together.  One of my favorite things about Chris is his generous and joyful personality and I hope this book helps stir some more of that in me.  

I realize we've probably held on to two naps longer than most, but it's worked and I'm having a hard time transitioning to one nap, as is Addilyn.  Some days she takes two great naps and others won't fall asleep for one of them or has a hard time going down at night so I think it's time.  But she is so stinkin tired and crabby by 11 then the same in the evening.  I think I may just need to suck it up and commit to one nap and get it over with but it's hard! 

We've made huge progress this month in Addilyn's sleep, and while she's still waking up some I haven't been nursing her during the night and we're doing well.  I am thrilled about it! Now to work on the day time, which is hard.  She's so vocal and when we're stuck inside and bored all day I think she'd be happy nursing a million times.  I'm not quite sure how to work on that, but more so worried about the night time nursing since it's so much part of our routine.  While I have mixed feelings, I would like to be done nursing for good in the next few months.

The last week I have just been in a funk.  Emotionally, physically, I'm just not feeling great.  I don't know if it's coming off a really encouraging weekend two weeks ago and having a hard time processing all that and applying it or if it's the awful cold weather and early mornings with Addilyn.  Whatever it is I need out!  So here's to a better rest of the week, weekend and hopefully a continued better attitude! 

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February 16, 2015

Saving it

top: oasap    jeans: old navy   boots: just fab   scarf: made by my sister in law

Do you any of you get a new piece of clothing that you love but then keep not wearing it because you're "saving" for a really good day?  

Embarrassingly I do that all too often, even with a super cute outfit for Addilyn.  Thinking, I won't see anyone I know today so I won't put her in this super cute new dress or wear this top I really love today.  Well I had this shirt far too long and finally stopped "saving it" because let's be honest, my day to day activities are pretty uneventful and I should take advantage of any day I get the urge to not wear yoga pants and workout clothes. 

Please tell me I'm not alone?

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February 15, 2015

Be You

BE YOU sweatshirt: c/o HoneyBeeTrueCo     leggings: target   moccasins: c/o Freshly Picked 

I was so excited to get this sweatshirt in the mail and actually thought a lot about this post.  I shared this post a few weeks ago about the kind of mom that I am.  I shared that I'm working on being more confident in motherhood and the choices that I make in my parenting.  I think there is so much to be admired in mothers who are confident in saying this is what works best for me and is what is best for my kids.  I want to be that kind of mom and I want to raise Addilyn to be that kind of girl.  

I want her to know that while she needs to treat everyone kindly and lovingly, it's okay if she doesn't want to give everyone hugs all the time.  It's okay that she takes longer to warm up to people and that she's cautious in new situations.  That she wants me to hold her a little more, and takes time for her to brave.  That she's fearless with her climbing and running, even though it scares me.  That she likes her space and doesn't always love being touched.  It's okay that her hair does this weird thing in the back and that's she's got quite the outie belly button and the shortest little legs.  

I want Addilyn to know that God made her who she is and that she can be confident in being herself. That is why I love this shirt so much.  I love the reminder that it gives me to be the mom that will teach her to do that.  

 I loved working with Nicole from HoneyBeeTrueCo.  She's a sweet, helpful, creative and talented stay at home mom to two.   She hand paints all of her clothes and there are SO many options.  It took me awhile to decide what color combination and I ended up just telling her to decide because she probably knew best!  I'm so glad I went with her choice because I love the turquoise and grey together.  I told Nicole she needs to get shirts like this in adult size because I need to buy one.  Both because it's cute, super comfy and I could use the reminder myself to be more confident.

I ordered Addilyn a 2T in case you're wondering and she's on the smaller end.  It fits a little loose and she will hopefully be able to wear it for a long time. If you have any sizing questions just message Nicole - she is super helpful!

In Nicole's shop you first pick the shirt you'd like (for you or your littles) and then decide on what you'd like on it.  You can check out her instagram (honeybeetrueco) for lots of ideas or search the #HBTdesigns.   I LOVE the baseball tees and would love a tee for Addilyn that says worth the wait.  I also want this plum tee for me that would say BE YOU.   Shop the rest of Nicole's shop here!  And check out her facebook here for more inspiration and designs.

You can use the code TAKE10 to get 10% off your order now until Monday.

Thank you so much for working with me Nicole! I love your shop and absolutely love Addilyn's shirt and know we will get a lot of wear out of it!

Also, please tell me how to get good pictures of your toddler, because most of mine looked like this.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

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February 11, 2015

Link Love

sweater: target   jeans: old navy   boots: justfab    scarf: ebay 

I got this cute sweatshirt from Target awhile ago for only $6.  I love it.  

I ordered another blanket scarf from ebay for less than $9 with shipping, after I got used to this one's massive size.

I recently made this thai peanut pork in the crock pot and these caramel peanut butter bars.  Both were easy and delicious.  

After attending the IF Gathering last weekend there are many books on my list to read.  I just borrowed Love Does and need to buy Interrupted so I can read it soon.  

I got these three wooden arrows from groopdealz and stained them and hung them up for a gallery wall in our bedroom.  I have one more thing to add and then I am done!  

The drama on the Bachelor is almost embarrassing, yet I am beyond thrilled that it is on two days next week.  Also excited that 19 Kids and Counting comes back too.  Quite the conflicting shows. 

Hope you all are having a great week! 

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February 10, 2015

Smile Brilliant + a giveaway for you

One time in high school I made a list of life goals.  Some really serious and attainable like run a marathon, get a tattoo, get married and have kids.  Others a little far fetched like have a pet monkey or own an orphanage.   Somewhere in the middle was have white teeth.  I have never been super confident with my teeth.  Part of the reason is because I have these calcium deposits on my teeth, which despite any whitening will stay around, but the overall color of my teeth could be whiter for sure.

I have tried whitening stripes once or twice but end up feeling like I'm gagging and can't ever keep them in long and did not get any results.  So I was really happy with Smile Brilliant contacted me asking me to try their products.

The process is really detailed and more time consuming than simple white stripes, but more effective and went pretty fast.  You receive these trays and putty in the mail and make a mold of your teeth. You put the mold in a prepaid envelope they include and mail it back.  Within a week I had my own mold, made perfectly for my teeth.

My biggest concerns with trying out the whitening system was that I seem to have extra sensitive teeth and I also thought keeping trays in for a long would involve lots of gagging and drooling.

Thankfully, Smile Brilliant's whitening kit comes with desensitizing gel that you can use after you use the whitening gel.  By using it for 5-15 minutes it eliminates the opportunity for the whitening gel to get into the more sensitive dentin beneath your enamel.  Also rather than using the trays daily like the directions suggest, thanks to the advice given to me, I spread it out a day or two in between, and stuck to the shorter end of around one hour rather than closer to three hours.  I'm sure I would've seen faster and maybe a little more drastic results had I not been careful about my sensitive teeth but I didn't want to risk it!

And thankfully the trays did not make me gag and I could handle keeping them in for over an hour.  I think the reason is that they are custom fit to your teeth and are pretty thin so it didn't feel like these slimy, bulky trays.  The first time I did put way too much gel on and had to spit it out and start over. A little gel goes a long way!

I am so very aware that my skin color is different in the two pictures and therefore not the most accurate as it was so hard to get a good picture of my teeth before and after, despite the same place and same time of day (we are not professional photographers over here).  You will just have to take my word for it!  

Not glowing white, like Ross in friends, which is what I immediately think about when I picture extreme teeth whitening.  But they a few shades whiter, which makes me feel more confident in my smile.  I'm excited because I still have a good amount of gel left, as it goes a long way, so I am going to keep using it a little longer and down the line I can do a treatment here and there for extra whitening. 

Smile Brilliant is generously offering one reader a $139 credit, which is good for the same kit I received.  It includes the teeth whitening trays plus 3 whitening gel syringes and 3 desensitizing gel syringes.  

Enter here.  All you have to do is enter your name and email!  

If you'd like to see the process of the whitening kit check out this video here!

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