8.05.2017

trip to bear lake

Several weeks ago James and I came to the conclusion we needed to take a little vacation this summer- it's just what you do in the summer time! Some of my favorite childhood memories are from summer family vacations. With Charlotte's arrival at the end of May, we really didn't plan anything for this year (on purpose), but a few weeks ago we were both feeling the need for a little getaway (which also may or may not have been triggered from seeing everyone else's vacation pictures- haha!). After an extensive internet search we were able to score a condo at Bear Lake for a few days (which usually fills up quite quickly over the summer)!

The drive there took a solid hour longer than it should have, thanks to the frequent stops we had to make for bathroom and nursing breaks. Jillian asked "Are we there yet?" more times than I can count and Charlotte screamed her head off for a decent portion of the ride up...traveling with kids is never dull. 
(And if it IS uneventful for you and your crew...just how much Benadryl are you giving them?...I need to know for...reference...)


 
When we (finally) got there, our first stop was for fresh raspberry shakes! Bear Lake is famous for them because of how many raspberries are harvested nearby. We ended up getting one from a different place every day we were there. I mean, we needed to enough data to determine just which shake was the best. ;-) 
(My favorite ended up being the raspberry brownie shake from Jake's Place in Garden City...like I'd drive all the way back just for one of those suckers). 




The next day, the girls were so excited to play in the sand! The evening before we went to the shore, I was texting a friend about the best places to go and she finally said, "You know it's nothing like a Florida beach, right?" Hah!
I mean...is anything? ;-) 
 Although the sand was a lot different and there wasn't a palm tree in sight, it still met my need for sand, sun, and water! Plus the water was so incredibly BLUE! No wonder everyone calls it "The Caribbean of the Rockies."



Charlotte didn't nap as well as we thought she would (I mean...beach naps are some of the best on Earth- or should be), but she was still a champ! I'm not sure if she's just all around a pretty good baby (minus being in the car), or if maybe I'm just a little more chill of a parent seeing as it ain't my first rodeo...but either way, I'll take it!



Trying out paddle boarding for the first time was an adventure. And also way harder than everyone makes it look. Most of the time we paddled around while sitting on our knees. The one time I tried standing up it lasted about 30 seconds because my balance was so terrible. I couldn't help but think of how ridiculous I would look in one of those paddle board yoga classes (but I also still secretly want to try one). 

When I was out with Olivia at one point (Jillian was too scared to try it), I kept trying to sing songs from Moana but she didn't think that was very cool of me. 
And no one knooooows, how far I'll goooooo.



The next day we went to the Raspberry Days festival. We scored some delicious raspberry syrup and salsa! But I was a little bugged that the one vendor selling fresh raspberries was sold out in just a couple of hours! 
 (Like, why weren't there 10 booths selling these...at the raspberry festival...I don't know. We made up for it in shakes).






It was the perfect little getaway! The girls went swimming at the pool and lake so much while we were there it actually ended up being really easy to get them to sleep (in the same bed even) because they were just so worn out by the end of the day.  We're already planning our trip for next summer!

And now, it's time to get "back to reality". The reality that is school starting (next week for me and in three weeks for Jillian). Part of me craves the consistency of a routine and schedule, and the other part of me (the larger part probably) just counts down the days until the next first day of summer. The only thing that makes it a little more bearable is that fall is my second favorite season.
(PUMPKIN SPICE ALL THE THAAAAANGS!)


7.31.2017

jillian's barbie beach party

Over the weekend we celebrated Jillian's 6th birthday! Somehow that happened...six years went by in what feels like two blinks. She wanted to celebrate with her friends via Barbie beach party! She just recently started getting into Barbies since her friend next door and her sister have them. And now I think they've created a monster...dressed in pink...wearing heels...

Normally (as in when I don't have a newborn), I like to spend weeks planning and prepping for a party, getting all of the details just right. But this one was thrown together in about two days...so while things weren't quite as I wanted them, I know Jillian loved every bit of it regardless, which is of course ultimately what matters, right? (Mostly. Yes. ;-) )


Side bar: I didn't realize my camera was on the wrong setting when I was quickly snapping pictures and not looking at them, so only a few even remotely turned out! Ah well! 

But the kids (all 16 of them) started by decorating sand castles! Aka gingerbread houses but with ice cream cones. I think this was a favorite for many since they had unlimited access to a tube of frosting. 





Her cake was from Cravings in Pleasant Grove. I had them make the cake and frost it plain, then I added the crushed graham cracker and other easy decorations! I didn't realize how enormous it would be when I ordered it over the phone, so we were pretty surprised when we picked it up and realized it was about a foot tall and probably 20 lbs (no joke). We sent several people home with big chunks and still ended up with a huge amount! Next time I should probably ask about serving sizes before just ordering away! 


^You can sort of see the pink "trail mix" we had as a snack- pink goldfish, yogurt pretzels and pink jelly beans. Why they don't sell the pink goldfish in a giant carton like the cheese ones is beyond me...because buying and opening 6 little bags of them was annoying. I mean, you know you'd give into your kids and buy a giant carton of pink goldfish over the orange ones. Well, I would anyway.

^Jack's face in this picture...hah!

^I love that look of birthday magic on her face! I think I have a picture from every year where she has this same expression. 

We ended the party with swimming! Fortunately our neighborhood pool isn't very deep and just about every kid had a puddle jumper on- other wise that would have been incredibly stressful! But James was still on lifeguard duty. :-p



And now she is the proud owner of 7 new Barbies, a Barbie house, car, and gymnastics set. She's named them things like, "Pinkalicious" and "Wishes", with a few standard "Stacy's" and "Kelly's" in there. This phase of life, which is really almost a rite of passage in the world of little girls, should be titled "pink, plastic, and why-do-they-make-their-little-tiny-shoes-removable-and-the-easiest-things-to-lose-EVER."

Happy Birthday Jillian! We love you!

7.20.2017

mudroom and laundry inspiration

I get excited about pretty mud and laundry rooms! Like, giddy excited.
This is me guys. 
I'm a super fun person. 
;-)
 
The mudroom (and by extension laundry room) is the first project on the list in our new house! And I couldn't be more excited. A mudroom was on the "must have" list when we were house shopping- we need a drop zone! Right now we just have a little bench and I threw some temporary Command hooks up on the wall to be able to hang things. In a few weeks we're building out some locker style built-ins and I'm stoked! Then we'll get into the laundry room, which is getting a fun face lift. 

So right now I'm swooning over all of these pretty spaces! 
Six design elements I'm loving right now:


1. Natural wood doors with glass! I'm digging neutral wood tones right now- especially paired with dark hardware. I already have the door we're going to use for our laundry room and can't wait to get it all fixed up and in there! I also want to go with a seeded glass for some added visual interest. 


2. All the storage! What good is a mudroom without maximizing your storage space? I love the use of different baskets, drawers, and hooks this mudroom uses. Not to mention the shiplap and butcher block counters...okay...just everything. 


3. Classic textures! Subway tile is super hot right now- but in a classic way, not a fad kind of way, and I'm so glad! I love that the tile covers most of the wall in this room and is paired up with shiplap. There will definitely be some subway tile in our laundry room!


4. Not-white paint. I love the classic, crisp lines of a white mudroom- but from a practicality standpoint, I just don't know how to keep that clean for more than like 10 seconds with kids dropping shoes, backpacks, winter gear...so using a darker paint can help mask some of those scuffs! Plus I think it adds some nice contrast! I'm still on the lookout for what color I plan to paint my built-ins...more on that later.
Image: Elle Decor


5. Open shelving in the laundry room. Not much else makes my organizing-loving heart pitter patter like organized open shelving! Our laundry room has upper cabinets right now and I plan to keep them, but also add a few open shelves between them! 


6. Lighting. It's ahhhhmazing the difference light fixtures can make! I especially like these goose neck sconces on what would otherwise be an empty wall space. While we don't have the room for one in our mudroom, I might be able to squeeze one in the laundry room (above that open shelving!). 

I'm itching to get started!!

7.19.2017

on being tired

It's funny how your definition of "tired" changes depending on what phase of life you're in. I guess that is true, and probably should be true, for a lot of our vocabulary- but namely the word tired.

In high school it was tiring just to...exist. The amount of emotion and drama any given girl deals with in high school is exhausting (sooo much draaaama). And then there's keeping up with after school clubs and activities on top of academics, which makes my almost 30 year-old self yawn at the memory of it. But you're younger then, so energy just metabolizes faster and is expendable.
I was tired in college- staying out late with friends or boys and then getting to an 8am class the next morning. Pulling all-nighters to (start..and..) finish papers. But then you've discovered energy drinks and which classes you can snooze through without messing up your GPA too much. 
And then there's a whole new level of tired you discover once you're a mother. The kind of tired that you feel in your bones. And you're older now- so energy doesn't naturally produce itself as easily as it once did (and not even synthetically if you're breastfeeding...freakin' caffeine limitations...). And you might even argue that it's actually way more important to be at the top of your mental game in the motherhood stage of life- even more so than required in college. I mean, we're talking about keeping people alive here. And preferably not just alive, preferably thriving.

I'm trying to adjust to my new "normal;" my new level of constant exhaustion that comes with having three young kids, one of them being a newborn. I mean, I can barely form a cohesive sentence when talking to another adult. If we've had a conversation recently, you and I, there's a 75% chance I've zoned out entirely to what you're saying solely because my brain is functioning at roughly half the level it did pre-newborn.
But every day is a little easier. Well, sometimes it's a two-steps-forward-one-step-back sorta deal, but we're heading in the right direction!

 Sheesh
Mommin' ain't easy. 
Worth it though. So freaking worth it.


6.26.2017

extend lashes

A few months ago I shared the plans for the eyelash extension salon one of my good friends and total boss babe, Kristen, just opened!

Out of the three inspiration boards I shared on the first post about it, she liked the Kate Spade look the most:

 And here's how it all came together! It also makes me want to start getting lash extensions again...




They gave the whole interior and exterior of the building a facelift. Isn't it so fun!? Everything turned out beautiful and I'm so happy for her new (and so far thriving!) business!
If you know people near Alma, Michigan- make sure to spread the word!

6.25.2017

showering baby bates

My sister is due in less than a month! We're all counting down the days until Baby Bates (whose first and middle names have yet to be decided) shows up- my sister the most, I'm sure. We had a little baby shower for them today at mi casa!
 Since my other nieces and nephews live back in Florida, I'm especially excited to have a nephew living in the same state! 





I'm not gonna lie, I think it was one of my favorite spreads I've ever done. All hail cheese. 






I know a lot of people don't like cheesy baby shower games, so we skipped those (though I totally don't mind them. Sure, pass the diaper filled with a mushy candy bar and lemme smell it while we pretend it's poop...can I eat it?) But we did find a game that was pretty funny- a spoof off of Cards Against Humanity- called Babies Against Parenthood.
 



Thanks to everyone who came! You are already so loved, Baby Bates! I know Michaela is ready for the next few weeks to fly by, but I for one am NOT! That means it's too close to the end of summer, and I'm not prepared to even go there yet!