Wednesday, August 31, 2016

First Day of School!

Oh, my little darlings on their first day of school!! Tears were flowing this morning when I dropped these babies off. And not even tears from them. They were so brave, and so excited! I worried so much about Eloise, but at the end of the day, she just looks up to her big sister so much that she wanted to do exactly what Harper was going to do. The girls held hands as they climbed out of the car and walked into school with their teachers, and I sobbed into my coffee as I drove away.

I overheard Harper giving Eloise a pep talk about school yesterday, and it was one of the funniest conversations I have ever heard. It went something like this "...and if someone says you look pretty, you should say thank you! Ok Ells? And be very very nice, don't be bad. And always say please and share your toys. And if you don't like somebody's shirt you just don't even tell them. But you can tell them you like their hair!" Oh, the wise words of Harper!! ;) Ha!

We filled out the following questions for them to take to school to share with their class, I loved their answers so much, I totally have to keep track of these every year or do them again on their birthdays!
How old are you: four. but I will be five at Balentine's day.
What is your favorite food: pancakes and spaghetti.
What is our favorite toy: my dollhouse and play kitchen.
What do you like to do for fun: color and set the table.
What is your favorite color: pink and purple. but mostly pink.
What do you love most: my family and having a drink of grandma's sweet tea.
Eloise  (or how she pronounces her own name ell-weez wuby gar-win)
How old are you: tee-oo.
What is your favorite food: a peanut butter sandwich.
What is our favorite toy: babies and blankeys.
What do you like to do for fun: go to target (died laughing, she is just like mama!)
What is your favorite color: blue
What do you love most: snacks.
I am so proud of them!! And so proud of myself for getting them to school on time! ;) Sending lots of positive vibes to all of you mamas who sent your babies off to school for the first time this week, I'm not sure my heart will ever get used to all of their milestones and this whole growing up thing. 
As long as I'm living, my babies you'll be. Happy first day of school, sweethearts!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Moving weekend + house sneak peeks!

We moved in to our new house this weekend & are pretty much over the moon excited about it!! We have hundreds of things to still unpack, and none of the rooms are even close to being finished, but I thought I would share a few sneak peeks of how everything is coming together!

We got amazing news on Friday that our counter tops would actually be installed first thing Saturday morning (on moving day!) rather than two weeks from now, we were so excited about that because trying to live without a functioning sink & counters was not fun with three kids and tons of dishes! We chose a Caesarstone Quartz in a honed finish, the color we picked was called Frosty Carrina from a local stone fabricator, they were amazing & so great to work with. Once the countertops were installed, we finally finalized a color choice for our cabinets, I swear this was the hardest house decision I have had to make, greys can be so tricky & not really something I could afford to mess up. We actually hired a company to paint them for us rather than attempt the DIY & I am feeling so much more confident about it, we went with one of their cabinet paint colors but it is almost identical to Benjamin Moore Fieldstone which was the color I was leaning towards already. I still need to order the rest of our hardware & pick out tile for the backsplash, but I am so excited that it is finally coming together!!!

I put together a fun little makeshift mudroom in our entryway for the girls, and it's so far my favorite corner in the house! I have had some monogram wall hooks for a while now & thought they would be perfect for their backpacks & all of their school stuff to maybe help us get out the door on time each day. We are going to be hard at work hanging some photos in our master this weekend, more on that to come, but it's so fun to have taken down wall art from every room of the house only to re-imagine them grouped differently in new rooms. I am loving all of the natural light that pours into this house during the day, it's such a nice change of pace from our old house.

Sources: Faucet // Farmhouse Sink // Monogram Wall Hooks (similar here & here) // Ruffle Backpacks // Bedroom Jute Rug // Bed from Ikea (similar here) // Metal Chairs

We have had a ton of ups and downs with this move, the renovations didn't all go as smoothly as we had hoped, and we had quite a few set backs. But we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel & it is glorious!! :) A single cotton candy sunset while the kids ran in the grass & the horses stood at the fence reminded us that this is exactly where we are supposed to be!
Can't wait to share more! Hope you all had a lovely weekend!!! XO

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Believe in better milk.

Every now & then, we come across companies where we not only love their products, but we absolutely love everything that they stand for. We are so proud to be introducing one of our newest partners, fairlife, and sharing why we choose this milk for our family. 

For us, it's simple, our family LOVES milk & drinks a ton of it. Harper & Eloise each have a full sippy of milk at breakfast & another at bedtime, and always ask for more. They would choose chocolate milk over juice any day of the week. Claire drinks three bottles of milk a day, sometimes more. When you are giving your kids that much of one thing on a daily basis, it is so important to take a look the ingredients & the process for which it is made.

fairlife milk is lactose free, with more protein (13 grams to be exact) & half the sugar typically found in regular milk. And of course when you hear this, the first thought that comes to mind is "yes, but what does it taste like?!" I will be 100% honest here and tell you that I was a skeptic. I have always been weird with dairy products & was a little weary that this could possibly even taste like milk. But you know what? It was absolutely perfect. It tastes just like milk, but better. fairlife milk is filtered into five components (water, butterfat, protein, vitamins & minerals, lactose) and then recombined in different proportions. So there is no need to add proteins, calcium powders or artificial sweeteners, it's all about proportions.

Brandon's dad (or papa as we call him around here) who grew up on a dairy farm in Iowa, was here visiting us the week that we first stocked our fridge with fairlife milk & he loved learning about their story & mission behind their brand. fairlife grows their own crops to feed their cows & they never use growth hormones, and they pride themselves on giving their cows a happy & healthy life. If you've ever fed an apple to a happy cow, you know how amazing this is!

So the next time you are in the grocery store overwhelmed with the number of milk choices, you can feel confident in knowing what an amazing company you are supporting & even better tasting milk you can get with fairlife.

This post is in partnership with fairlife, thank you for supporting the brands that support us!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Living Room Planning + Inspiration

It's almost move in day, and we are so excited to share a little sneak peek of the room we plan to spend the most time in, our living space!! This room totally sold me on the house from day one, the tall ceilings, skylights & the big open windows looking over the deck & horse pastures in our back yard. I thought I would share a little bit about our planning process, and a bit about what we want to see in this room once it is finished!

In this living room, since the layout is quite different from our old one, we knew that our side chaise sectional wouldn't look quite right in here. We decided to move that one upstairs to our media room, and since we wanted to use our gorgeous charcoal Jonathan Louis chair in this room, we wanted to find a matching sofa for it. We ordered a few swatches, thinking maybe a complimentary light grey or cream would be a good fit, but just couldn't get over this cozy charcoal linen, so we opted for that again in the coordinating Clarice sofa. It is beyond my wildest dreams, and I can't even handle how well it works in this room. I was a little worried that it would be too dark, but I absolutely love it & feel like the durability of this color is going to be such a great fit! Thinking a few of these pillows & a soft jute rug would accessorize it perfectly. Or better yet, maybe I can get Brandon to agree to something pink! ;)

I also love that the wiring for cable is on the opposite wall, and not above the fireplace, which makes me so excited to decorate (especially for the holidays!!!) with mirrors and greenery and such, instead of a television that is most likely displaying a brightly colored image of doc mcstuffins. My media cabinet I thrifted a few weeks ago, and my parents found me this 36 inch vintage bread bowl on the mantle while they were scouring flea markets across the midwest last week. Still torn on what to do with the brick, part of me wants to add some thick white grout, or maybe paint the brick white or black, but until we move everything in, I think it will stay as is. I do love it! Curtains will go up this weekend after we move in (officially!!) and I am excited to do a large gallery wall behind the tv to help it blend in a bit.

So, just for fun, sharing a few of my favorite living room/family room inspiration photos, I am on a mad hunt for this chandelier at an affordable price, if you have a suggestion, pleeeease let me know. I am in love!

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

I feel like the style of this house is so much more ME than the one we currently live in, although I am having major goodbye issues and really feel like I will love our current house for EVER. I'm so excited for our new journey, even though we really feel like we are in way over our heads right now. And I don't think I say this enough, but thank you all for your constant streams of support & encouragement, you'll never know how much it means to me & my family, but it is so appreciated & we just love you all to pieces.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Shop Spotlight: Free Babes

Happy Monday, friends!! So excited to share a little bit about one of my very favorite shops EVER today, the complete & utter beauty that is Free Babes! We have been huge fans of Free Babes since the very beginning, even got the chance to collaborate on a bow line earlier this Summer.

We love the hand-tied quality, the gorgeous fabrics & textures, and most of all, the message behind the brand, classic bows for adventurous souls. It just doesn't get much sweeter than this!

Today marks the launch of their Fall collection, which just might be their very best yet. I am obsessed with the black & white gingham, orange swiss dot & of course all of the darling florals from Rifle Paper! Be sure to check them out & support one of our very favorite handmade shops!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, friends!!! So excited for the weekend, even though it mostly consists of packing & working on the new house, I am happy to just be HOME! It has been the craziest week over here, we had some major storms & lightning that destroyed some of our electronics & trees (not ideal in the middle of selling your house), plus quite a few setbacks on the kitchen at the new house. Our kids have been bouncing off the walls coming down from their vacation high, and I think a little weekending is just what we need! I can barely form thoughts these days so I thought I would share a few fun Friday favorites, starting with my little side chair I found on Craigslist (retails here) earlier this week!! Loving this chair in the entryway & it's seriously making me so excited to move in!! I can't wait to fill this space up with frames!

Completely in LOVE with these tutu ballet dresses for Fall, I got the girls a few in each color & cannot get over how cute & affordable they are!

Craving a good salad, adding this Autumn Cobb Salad to our weekend menu.

The perfect booties to transition from Summer to Fall!

Obsessed with these pajamas, I got them last week on sale for the girls & totally want them in my size.

Loving this DIY firepit tutorial, I need to find an old washing machine (and learn how to weld) asap! ;)

And last, for those of you who asked on Snapchat about the vintage cursive alphabet print that I had framed, you'll never believe that it is just a sheet of wrapping paper that found here for less than $5! So fun for a nursery or playroom & fits perfectly inside a $15 Ikea poster frame!

What are you currently loving, I would love to hear! Wishing you all a happy weekend!!! XO

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

My Brother's Wedding

This beautiful barn wedding in small town Iowa was one of the most beautiful that I have ever been to. My brother & his beautiful bride created such a gorgeous, laid back atmosphere, and you couldn't help but feel in love. In fact, their wedding hashtag was #udderlyinlove (seriously how cute?!). It was on a small farm, in a beautiful wedding barn, with the most perfect weather & sunset that anyone could ever ask for. 

Their ceremony didn't start until 7:30, so the sun was beginning to set during their vows. Everyone came out early to mingle, they had their photos done early in the day, and hung out with everyone during cocktail hour before the ceremony began, which I thought was so fun of them to do! They had a beverage & popcorn station at the front of the lawn to take with you to your seat, I've never had a beer during a wedding ceremony before, pretty much the best way to treat your guests!! ;) They walked down the aisle to one of their best friends singing "Thinking Out Loud" (perfection!) and instead of a unity candle, they planted a tree. So so so cute, I cried through the entire thing.

One of our most "hot mess" family photos of all time but I just love it so much because it was honestly such a beautiful night & we were so happy to be there with all of our family. 

I was so excited to do a wedding chalkboard program for them, which they propped up against a ladder & flanked with burlap bags full of hydrangeas. We also made them a "MR" and "MRS" set of cornhole boards for their wedding gift, which they added to all of the yard games like yard jenga, horseshoes, etc. for guests to play between the wedding and reception. Every little detail was so sweet & thoughtful, big buckets of baby's breath, an old typewriter for the guest book & well wishes, and an old fashioned soft serve ice cream bar instead of wedding cake. The night ended just as it should, us with the bride & groom and the rest of my family, passing around giant bottles of wine to finish, barefoot & rapping pitbull. Take me back!! It was just perfection, I am so proud of my baby brother & my new sister in law.

Congratulations Jordan & Emily, we love you two to pieces & wish you all the best!!! :)