Friday, May 20, 2016

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday- can I get an Amen?!?! This week has been something, but will be NOTHING compared to next week!

This weekend, we head to the Lake for my sweet cousin's wedding. We'll come back Sunday, only to jump into a week of Savannah's last day of school, an Alumnae event, Graduation, and immediately following that, Memorial Day weekend! Hopefully it will at least warm up a bit!

Here are some of my Favorites from this week:

This picture is from a few weeks ago, but I still crack up when I see it. He kept insisting to Shannon that he was a princess. The best part is that the crown says "New Mom to Be" on it. Best. Teenage. Blackmail. EVER!

Two weekends ago, we took family pictures with my fabulously talented friend Christina. Seriously, we were a HOT MESS that morning. Running super late, Noah has thrown up in the car on his shirt, Savannah was NOT having it, and somehow, Christina managed to get these pictures. I'm so happy with the way they turned out and the color scheme I chose! These are for sure a FAVORITE.

Speaking of Favorites, the dress I am wearing above is a favorite- I randomly found it at TJ Maxx the day before the shoot. You can't see in these pictures, but it has an adorable laser cut detail on the hemline. It's awesome! I can't find it online, but this one is similar!

That's about it for today. Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

LIfe Lately

Here's a little glimpse at our life lately!

It has been cool and rainy in St. Louis lately, which is annoying! I mean, Savannah is supposed to have a pool party after the last day of school next week- right now, you couldn't pay me enough to get in the pool!

Anyway, here are a few pictures from our life lately! It's full of dance classes (recital is in a month), work events, and weddings and birthday parties.

Yesterday, Mick and Noah went to get haircuts and Savannah and I celebrated an evening with no rain at the ice cream place by our house!
On Sunday, we celebrated the birthday of our Gpa! Savnnah was clearly more excited about the large ice cream cake sitting in front of her and less about looking at the camera!
There is a new baby at Miss Shannon's house. Baby Patrick is for sure one of Noah's favorite new people. This picture makes me want to have 10 more babies. #kindof #idolikemysleep

A few nights ago, I came downstairs to find this. Someone had snuck downstairs to see her daddy and fell asleep with him. Some days, she seems so old to me, but here, I am reminded that she is still so little. These two are so sweet together!

Happy Thursday- one more day till the weekend!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Dress up a Derby Hat

Good morning! How is it only Thursday? May is such a crazy month, and since I work at a high school, we are in the thick of event season, from Grandparents Day to Baccalaureate, to Graduation. It's so fun, and a bit bittersweet, to see the seniors graduate and move on to bigger things, but so fun to see the incoming freshman and their excitement for the next four years.

Anyway, on to todays ridiculously simple craft. Last weekend, we got to go to a Kentucky Derby themed party. Mick and I (mainly me!) were so excited about breaking out our Derby attire. We got the opportunity to go to the real Derby in 2010. In my opinion, it is such a bucket-list experience. Everyone should go once! We were lucky enough to have reserved seats, which were well worth the investment sicne the day we went, it POURED down raining. If you buy the general admission, you spend most of the time in the grass, which on a rainy day, is less than ideal!

Here we are before we left for the Derby...

And here we are once it started raining. Trash bag chic!

As you can see on the picture above, my hat was pretty basic when I bought it. But I wanted to dress it up, so I attached a flower to it.

This year, I wanted to add a bit more color to the hat, so I used the same hat and dressed it up with a flower bought at Michaels. Take a look below and see this SUUPER easy way to dress up a basic hat to make it Derby-worthy!

Here's what you need: a hat of your choice (Steinmart is a surprisingly good source for cute hats at reasonable prices!
Hot glue gun
Faux flower(s)

Here's more detail on the flower. It's best to pick one that is fairly flat on the back.

Detatch the flower from the stem. Originally, I was going to cut it with wire cutters. However, I then realized that with a little pulling, I could separate the flower right at the base- this worked better!

You can see on the hat where I attached the flower last time- see the dark spot above the center of the bow! I just put my hot glue there, and firmly pressed the flower onto the hat. A few minutes of drying time, and voila!

Here are the final hats! I didn't do anything to my sons (top center), but I did dress up my daughters a bit. See the pic below to see how I did that one!

This one I didn't want to hot glue as I wanted to be able to remove the flowers and let her wear it to the beach, or on a hot day. So I simply took a few stitches and loosely sewed her flower and the butterfly on. She had a lot of fun picking out her decorations at Michaels.

And here we are in our Derby finest! I'm wearing this dress- super comfortable and I love the bright color! I'm wearing an XS, and it's still a little big under the arms, so make sure to size down. Mick's jacket is a few years old, but he's wearing these pants, which are so darn cute on him!

So that's it- an easy way to dress up your Kentucky Derby hat and personalize it to your style and outfit! Happy Thursday friends- one more day to the weekend!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Stranded on a Deserted Island- Book Edition!

Today, we're talking books! Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE to read. It's seriously one of the most relaxing things I do each day.

A lot of people say that they'd love to read more, but they don't have time. Listen, I hear you! I have a husband, two small children, one full time and one part time job. If anyone understands a lack of "me time", it's me. However, I really feel like reading is just good for the soul. Here's how I make time to read:

1. Carve out time each day. Whether you can get up 15 minutes before your family (which I would NEVER do because I'm not a morning person) or whether each night before you turn out the light you read a chapter (this is what I do as I'm a night owl), it's easy to read everyday if you take this time. Heck, even a 15 minutes break over lunch at work will help you get back into the habit of reading.

2. Have a "Wireless Wednesday". Mick and I try to have what we call Wireless Wednesday. This basically means that instead of watching TV or Netflix after the kids go to bed, we have to do something offline. This means no phones, iPads, TVs, etc. (the one exception is reading a book on the iPad). It's really nice as it forces us to disconnect from social media and the outside world and find something to do together.

Which leads me to what books I'd bring to a deserted island.

Side note: I'm going to try to keep a running log here as sometimes, I forget what I've read, and then when people ask for book recommendations, I can't come up with anything. #goldfishmemory #exceptforphonenumbers #meredithfunfact

The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon
Best. Series. Ever! Seriously, I've probably read these books at least 5 times each (there are currently seven in the series and she's working on the next book right now.) They are funny, romantic, historically based, and just a fun read. The best part is that I get something new out of them every time I re-read them. These are deserted island MUST HAVES!

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
I got this one based on a recommendation from another blogger, and this book did not disappoint. I like to tell people that in my adult life, I've cried seriously three times- that's it. I'm just not a crier. I don't cry at weddings or when babies are born (even my own!). But this book brought me to tears. It's so sweet and thoughtful and really makes you appreciate life. Read this book!

An iPad with an unlimited lifetime data plan
Okay, so I'm cheating here...but hear me out! In a perfect world, my deserted island would have a cell tower, not to call out, but so I could log in to my local online library and check out books. People- if you haven't downloaded your local library's online checkout software, you are missing out! You can check out books, free of charge, and the best part- when your checkout time is up, it returns them for you. NO. LATE. FEES. I know- earth shattering.

Now, there are limited copies of items, and sometimes you'll have to wait longer to get the digital copy than you would a paper copy, but it makes requesting books super easy. When they become available, they are automatically checked out to you and you receive an e-mail that you have a new book. It's genius!

That's all for today- Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Show and Tell Tuesdays- Personal Style File!

Here it is- my first link up! :-) Today, it's all about my personal style.

To tell the truth, I can't say that I have one defined personal style. For the most part, I gravitate towards solid neutrals for the base of my clothes, and generally add pops of color and style with my accessories.

Some of my favorite summer staples right now:

Felicity and Coco Dress- I'll dress this up with bright earrings and colorful shoes!
I got these Tory Burch sandals last summer and have worn them non-stop ever since. I love them!

I got these Kendra Scott earrings for Mothers' Day and I've already worn them once. I love the pop of bright color for the spring and summer!

So there's a glimpse into my personal style. Thanks for reading!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Happy Mothers Day Monday!

Happy Mothers' Day to all of the moms out there. Being a mom has brought me a lot of joy, and challenged me in ways that I never knew I wanted to be challenged.

Sometimes I feel that people try to paint such a pretty picture of being a parent. And some of the time, it is a pretty picture. You have things handled, in a routine that works for your family, and you feel like everything is going okay.

But that's the tricky thing about parenting. As soon as you think you have something figured out, your kids will go and throw you a curve ball in a way you could have never imagined. I've learned that so much of parenting is being able to take challenges as they come along and to make those challenges work for you.

But I digress. With that said, it was a great day celebrating a lot of the wonderful women in my life. And for them, I couldn't be more grateful.

Beware: picture overload below!

On Friday, Miss Shannon took Noah and Connor on Ava's field trip to the zoo! They had the best time together!
Shannon sent me this text along with this picture of Noah. I laughed for a good 5 minutes. I'm so glad that I found someone with a sense of humor who loves my little guy!

Um...giddy up?

These two- Miss Shannon is a saint. That's all I can figure...

Friday, we had Mothers Day Tea at Savannah's preschool. It was so fun to see her in her element. 

She would only take the above picture if we took a silly one as well...
Saturday, Savannah's favorite person, Grace, celebrated her First Communion. Does't she look beautiful!
And we went to a Derby party that evening! I loved getting to wear my hat again. I'll post a little tutorial on how I dressed up my hat sometime this week.

The whole family in our Derby attire!

Brody, Savannah, Sheridan and Noah- they were loving the hats!
I love this picture of the girls checking out each other's dresses! They are such cute friends!

We are going to be in a LOT of trouble when these two get to high school...

Then on Sunday, we celebrated Mothers Day with Mass and a delicious Brunch at the Tavern. We also celebrated in Perryville and got to see Grandma Donna. It was a wonderful day filled with family.
With my sweet mom and mother in law- two amazing women!

After Mass with Joann

After brunch- only missing Ally and Savannah, who wanted nothing to do with this picture! :-) 

Noah was in LOVE with this Gator- my city kids sure love the farm life.

With Grandma Donna- she's getting stronger every day we are so grateful.

Deep thoughts on the swings with Grandma Julie!
Phew! That was a lot of pictures, even for me! Happy Monday!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Life lately- Opening Day edition!

Forgot this in my last post, so thought I'd add it!

Mick and I were lucky to get tickets through his office to go to the Cardinals Opening Day game vs. the Brewers. I have never been before, so it was fun to be downtown (along with what seemed like the entire St. Louis community) and celebrate a Cardinals win. Here's a few pictures from that game!

Mick and I in our Cards gear!

Ran into these boys downtown!

Tracy and I at the game!
And one more random thing. I try to put notes on Savannah's lunch each Friday- though she's not old enough to read, I hope that someday when she is, she will appreciate these notes. My mom used to write them all the way through high school- and now I think it was so sweet of her to do that!