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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Weekend Wrap-up

This Week: The weather started out chillier on Monday and funnily enough got progressively warmer by like 6 degrees as each day passed, which has made this weekend even better! Also it has been so awesome having Lydia walking everywhere this week because she's been so extra sweet and happy, John has decided that "nope" is a really great answer for every instruction I give him.haha Sophie has been drawing non-stop this week and her pictures are amazing! and miss Ellie had a dr's appointment this week to finally go after some little warts she has on her hand poor girly:( But she was brave and is happy to have them going away.
In other news I played laser tag for the first time ever this weekend on a date with Martin and some good friends which was So Fun! I also made my goal of going to the gym three times, but missed one of my cardio days, and lastly we've been trying to film some footage here and there for a weekend vlog! In case you missed the memo I'm going to be much more regular on YouTube, so definitely check that out if you're interested:)

Weekly Snapshots: amazing cherry blossoms around our neighborhood this week // some of my favorite shots from our family shoot with the incredible Justin Hackworth // a little taste of a big surprise that's coming to the blog very soon! (pic by Morgan < 3 ) // a lovely assembly of pastel goodies from Lulu's

To-do's and Goals for the Week:
- have a family yard day
- plan our Easter dinner
- clean off my desk
- film another vlog! :)
- take the girls to Cinderella
- keep up the meal plan
- finish the laundry (story of my life)
- fix the kiddie pool
- keep up with my vitamins
- shave me legsies
- set more gym goals
- catch up on emails
- sort my sewing table off
- whiten my teeth
- do an Easter craft with the kiddos
- Have a great holiday weekend!

A Few Facts: 
  • I still have empty walls in the Nursery, and I need advice as to your favorite shops for wall art or DIY's for what to decorate with!
  • If I was a food this week, I would be Watermelon.. oh wait, that's every week when I'm pregnant!
  • One thing that I'm really not a fan of this pregnancy is gum, or any kind.haha Which is funny because normally I love mint gum like 24/7! Poor people that have to be up close and personal with me.haha What's something you normally love that you disliked while pregnant?

Something To Take Away:
"You can never cross the ocean, unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore." - via Pinterest
I've Loved that this week! Because too often It's hard to let go of where we're comfortable in order to progress.

Thanks so much for visiting as usual, and I appreciate you so so much! Have a great day!
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Saturday, March 28, 2015

101 Activities for Spring

Happy weekend you guys! Each season I share a new bucket list of sorts with ideas for activities, but being so sick with my pregnancy last Fall and Winter, I completely forgot to write any out much less publish them on my blog:( I didn't even realize I was so behind until I was putting together a big list for my family this week. So here is that list for you, in case you'd like some creative and fun ideas for Spring Activities. Enjoy!
101 Activities for Spring
1.Fly a kite   2.Buy a hammock    3.Go camping   4.Visit the zoo   5.Have a bonfire in the evening   
6.Have a picnic at the park   7.Go on a bike ride   8.Feed the ducks   9.Dye Easter eggs   10.Go to a baseball game   11.Hand-wash your cars   12.Miniature golf   13.Play in the rain   14.Watch a movie outside on the laptop   15.Plant flowers   16.Visit the craft fair   17.Break out the grill   18.Play soccer   19.Visit the aquarium   20.Start a sketch-book   21.Visit the farmers market   22.Try out badminton   23.Plant a vegetable garden   24.Make-over your front porch   25.Visit a museum   26.Sleep out on your trampoline   27.Go to an outdoor music festival   28.Go on nature walks   29.Pick wildflowers   30.Do a craft in the sunshine   31.Go to the library   32.See a meteor shower   33.Go roller blading or skating   34.Break out the finger paints   35.Go for ice-cream cones   36.Visit the pet store   37.Bring home some fresh flowers   38.Start a new book series   39.Skip rocks   40.Make a bird feeder   41.Try out tennis   42.Play laser-tag with friends   43.Go fishing   44.Visit the botanical gardens   45.Try tie-dye   46.Plan a treasure hunt   47.Skip rocks   48.Go on a mini road-trip for Spring Break   49.Blow bubbles   50.Go shopping for a new sundress   51.Go star-gazing in your yard   52.Have an Easter egg hunt   53.Visit the flea market   54.Have a yard make-over day   55.Play frisbee   56.Rearrange your furniture   57.Build a for outside   58.Go volunteering   59.Make a Spring playlist with lots of new music   60.Try your hand at canvas painting   61.Toss a penny into a fountain   62.Have a garage sale   63.Learn a new instrument   64.Watch the sunrise   65.Put together some photo albums   66.Plan some random acts of kindness   67.Bake some cookies for your neighbors   68.Hug a tree   69.Go horseback riding   70.Take an evening walk   71.Go on a day-trip to a nearby city or town   72.Go to the drive-in movie   73.Play croquet   74.Try a new 'Spring' makeup look   75.Break out the side-walk chalk   76.Bake a pie   77.Try a fresh, new hairstyle   78.Do yoga outside   79.Go mini golfing   80.Take a photography course   81.Try some new smoothie recipes   82.Start Spring cleaning   83.Take the canoes to the lake   84.Visit new parks every day   85.Paint your nails a bright color   86.Go sight-seeing   87.Go sunbathing    88.Try a progressive dinner-party   89.Go to an outdoor concert   90.Make popsicles   91.Go berry picking   92.Paper airplane night   93.Rent a tandem bike   94.Sing out loud with the windows open   95.Schedule a Spring photoshoot   96.Make a home-movie   97.Take some old things to the donations center   98.Start learning a new language   99.Paint with watercolors   100.Write a poem   101.Do a service project

Thanks so much for visiting today! I'd love to hear if there are any staple activities that you like to do alone or with your family/friends, etc, and also if there are any of these in particular that you're looking forward to this season.

Take care today, and I hope you have a great start to your new week ahead,
image via peter fudge
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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Let us make your day! | a Canon T5i Giveaway

Hey friends!! It's been many months since we've done a camera giveaway here on the blog, and I have had so many people asking when we'll be doing one again that I couldn't wait to stick on on here. There's one big difference with this giveaway from all the others though, and it's that we're not giving away a Rebel T3i today, we're giving away a T5i!
It's an amazing feeling to send off such an amazing camera to one of you guys, knowing what a massive difference it will make for your blog or shop, or just every-day photography in general:) Even better than that though, is introducing so many of you to this group of such lovely shops, and such hard-working and inspiring woman! I can't tell you how relationships online have influenced my life for the better, so make sure to take a minute and go say hi!
Dressing Dallas      |     Emma Cristy      |     Hello Rigby     |     Dottie Box
I'm so privileged to have the support of such an awesome group! There are so many involved because we wanted to amp up the prize package, so settle in with a favorite beverage or snack and don't miss out on any of the many entries! You never know which one could be the winning pick!! Here we go:

A couple specs about the giveaway:
- the giveaway will run for ten days after which the winner will be selected at random, contacted, and announced via this post, the post of the day, and all social media outlets! Please check all those places before asking weeks later who won? :)
- Again this is open internationally! hooray!
The winner will receive the Canon Rebel T5i in a kit with an 18-135mm lens, a battery and a battery charger, camera case, tripod, SD card, lens cleaner, and lens hood:) 
- Winner's entry will be verified before the public announcement.

Feel free to ask any questions, thank you again for taking the time to enter and letting your friends know about the giveaway, and I hope you come back again soon! Take care, and have a great rest of your week!
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Monday, March 23, 2015

Glam vs. Casual | How to Style 1 Swimsuit 2 Ways!

This post is sponsored by Target. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog! :)

Hey guys! Today's post was really fun to put together (once I got over being pregnant and pale:)) because we have been having ah-mazing weather in the mid 70's here lately, so swimsuit season really is upon us! One thing I thought would be really useful is to share a few ideas for styling one suit two opposite ways, so here we go!
As a short disclaimer, as I said I'm simply sharing a few ideas for you to think about when adding to your wardrobe or putting outfits together this season, I'm not sharing any rules or regulations as far as dressing up or dressing down your swim-suits! :)

Choosing the suit - So to start with obviously we should talk about the suit. Since I hardly ever wear just a suit by itself when going to the beach or the lake, when I'm choosing one to buy I usually like to go with solid colors so that no matter what I pair it with, the patterns won't clash, but not everyone knows what they're looking for! Grabbing a friend or two to take suit-shopping at Target with you can be a great way to get some helpful opinions when you're stuck trying to decide between about 15 different bikinis in the Target dressing room (true story).haha But who can blame me when they have SO many cute styles and colors! It just makes me happy to stand in the suit section and take it all in.haha Okay moving on:
Going Glamorous Vs. Keeping it Casual

Step #1: Thinking through your occasion - 
Glam | If you're going to the beach or to the boardwalk with friends, maybe on a date on a boat, etc, you may want to look the part without actually having any plans to get wet. This is where my glamorous look comes in! Feel free to add some curls or a tidy up-do, and maybe even add a bold bright lip!
Casual | Since most of the time I'm swimming or at the pool/lake/beach, I'm with my family, and I need to be okay with potentially getting my clothes dirty or wet. Mostly I'm just looking for comfort and ease over anything else, but that doesn't mean that I can't still feel cute! Pick hairstyles that aren't too time consuming or put-together, and make sure to keep your makeup waterproof if you go with any at all:)
Step #2: Tops and cover-ups -
Glam | For a more glam look, stick with lighter colors and fabrics that have a more expensive feel to them. Look for details like lace and beading, metallics, animal prints, and don't forget that glamorous doesn't always mean feminine, but it does mean fancier! Also, choosing a solid color for either your top or your bottoms again assures that you can choose any print you'd like for the other piece and you won't clash.
Casual | For a comfy casual look, think more along the lines of tom-boy versus feminine and go with pieces like open vests, cut-off shirts, crochet tops, or loose-fitted T's. Also again with the textures, choosing items with harder, rougher touches like leather or studs, patches, etc can really give your outfit a very easy going dressed-down look.

Step #3: Bottoms - 
Glam | When picking out shorts or a skirt, etc to go with your outfit, again it's all in the details! Say yes to things like lace, flowers, ruffles, and chic clean lines, and put down anything with holes or ragged fringe. I love that with these floral print shorts I can pair them with any color of top and I can have a really cohesive outfit.
Casual | This is where the holes and ragged edges come in! Anything with faded patterns or roughed-up patches gives ease and effortlessness to any outfit. Also don't think that you have to stick to shorts to keep it casual! You can definitely add a dress, maxi or skater skirt, or favorite pair of palazzo pants to your outfit as long as you keep rustic and bohemian textures and patterns in mind.
Step #4: Footwear - 
Glam | These sandals I'm wearing are both lace and white which makes them very 'sweet' in my eyes, and perfect for this outfit, but any sandals (or even some strappy wedges!) in your closet that are metallic, have tidy stitching or maybe some jewels on the straps will work just fine:)
Casual | Who needs footwear when you're in the water?? haha As you can see here I'm totally barefoot for my casual outfit, but I was wearing simple flip-flops on the day:) Also any pair of old converse or sneakers would be great, roughed-up birkenstocks or gladiator sandals, again keeping in mind that you may get them muddy or dirty will help you choose what would look best with your outfit:)
Step #5: Accessories - 
Glam | Remembering the 'guidelines' we've already gone over, feel free to add a large-brimmed or floppy hat, some gold-rimmed sunglasses, a couple pieces of matching jewelry, and an over sized tote-bag.
Casual | For the casual version, maybe pick a panama or baseball hat, some sturdy aviators, a bit of strappy leather jewelry, and a basket-weave tote-bag or one with fringe to complete your casual look. And you're all good to go!

Casual look:
Target plaid shirt, c/o (not online, but similar here)
Target jean shorts, c/o (not online but similar here, and here)

Glamorous look: 

Do you have any tips to share with the rest of us? Anything come in mind from a past vacation? Help a sister out! haha Also thanks for stopping by as usual and for putting up with my bare belly shots today.haha I hope you have a great rest of your new week!
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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Favorite pastel heels for Spring + a big ad sale!

Hey loves! I was browsing around Amazon yesterday (origionally went on for some household staples as usual), and I ended up drooling over so many pairs of pastel heels! I've been really hit by the Spring bug this week and I ALWAYS gravitate towards staples when Spring hits... and heels, always heels.haha 
So! Here are some of my very favorites that I thought I'd share with you, and also I'm sharing a big fat discount code for my ads at the end of the post if you're interested in teaming up!
Nine West Cwercky      |      Guiseppe Zanotti      |      Nine West KiraLee      |      Badgley Mischka Pump

Calvin Klein Pump      |      Kate Spade Larisa      |      Trina Turk Lucca      |      Nine West Cronin

         Joes Jeans Pump      |      Sigerson Morrison      |      Ivanka Trump Drita      |      Vince Camuto Pump

Aren't they so perfect for Spring?! I especially love that last Vince Camuto pump, and also that Calvin Klein print and buckle are so lovely.. Anyways! I've been thinking that it's high time we do another heel giveaway soon, so maybe if you have time you can comment with your pick for an upcoming heel giveaway?!? I think that's a sneaky idea:)

Lastly, I haven't had an ad sale in forever! I always love a good excuse for doing sales, and Spring is one of the best I can think of:) So today, and for the next 24 hours or so (till 12am MST Monday morning) you can get 40%off my Large, Medium, and Small ads using the Passionfruit promo code: SPRINGTIME! 
Also if a spot says it's full, that just means that you might have to wait a little bit for your 30 days to start, but purchasing it puts you right in line for the next opening! Lastly I'll mention that we did reach 1 million monthly pageviews (dying) this year, and there are so many awesome and brand new things coming to the blog!! Let me know if you have any questions at all, and I hope you decide to join up! 

Thank you guys for reading and as always for your constant support, especially lately with the funny schedule. You're gonna be kinda bombarded wit stuff starting next week though so be prepared!
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Friday, March 20, 2015

Ellie turns 5

For some reason whenever Eleanor's birthday comes around, everything hits me much harder than it does with the birthday's of my other children. That bitter-sweet feeling of change, of letting go a little bit more. Maybe it's because her birth is what first made me a mother, first made us a real family, or because as she reaches new milestones I feel the passage of time that much more deeply.

I treasure this life with my family, these years as a mother of so many little babies, and I can't help but try to cling to them as tightly as I can while at the same time encouraging my little ones to grow and experience, and explore. 
As I look through endless albums of toothy grins and fiery hair, I could go on for ages about how much we cherish this little girl, how we savor every moment as her parents, or what a light she is to all who meet her, but to be perfectly honest my eyes are too blurry and my heart is too full:)
So to you Ellie on your 5th birthday:
I hope you always know how much you are loved and adored, and that you have always and will always make us so so proud.
I hope you have the strength to face trials and challenges with confidence and wisdom.
I hope you realize what a blessing your tender heart really is.

You were the first in my tummy, the first in my arms, and the first in my heart. 
Giving birth to you was the hardest thing I've ever done, even now, but clinging to your tiny form and kissing your chubby nose as you squinted up at me, made it all so incredibly worth it. I knew then that I would gladly give my life to protect you, and that hasn't changed.

We grow together, with you teaching me just as much as I teach you, if not more. I learn from your trust, your thirst for knowledge, your loyalty, and your sweetness:) Being your mother is the greatest gift, and I can't wait to see where your life leads you.

I love you to the moon and back. 
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