olivia's official birthday!

Happy Birthday Olivia!!!
I swear she woke up today and looked older. I blinked and a whole year went by! Crazy town.

We celebrated her birthday with our extended family earlier this month when my parents were in town, but we still wanted to celebrate today! (Besides, do we ever need a reason to eat cake?) 

 We got her a little slide, which was a huge hit with both girls! Olivia kept saying "boo!"- her word for "boom" when something falls down, in this case her.

^A true face of determination. "Get in my BELLY, cake!"

I love yer leedle chubs, Livvy Loo! 
Happiest of birthdays!


giveaway with Pink Blossom Design!

Onesies are absolute staples in our house! Especially with summer coming up, I love not having to fuss over layers or multiple pieces to bundle the little ones- just throw a onesie on 'em and they're good! Best. Thing. Ever.

I'm super excited to partner up with Pink Blossom Design Co. to do a GIVEAWAY for a custom designed onesie or t-shirt of your choice! 

For Olivia's 1 year-old birthday, I was looking for a onesie that said "one" in gold lettering. There were pages of them on Etsy, but I loved hers the most! Simple, elegant, and most of all very well made on a super comfy Carter's onesie! 

 Here are some others from her shop that I love!

Enter below for a chance to win one of the adorable onesies or t-shirts of your choosing in her shop for your littles!
Giveaway ends Saturday, April 25th!


living room update!

Once I finished painting/staining my stair railing, I looked around my main floor and thought, "there's WAY too much dark furniture goin' on in this area." Like, way. We bought a lot of our furniture a few years ago when we were in an apartment and I didn't really know what my decorating style was, so I tended to buy everything in black (which shows an awful lot of dust for someone who hates dusting...I didn't realize how much of a problem that would be at the time or that would've been a DEAL BREAKER).

So my next couple of projects revolve around making the main floor lighter and brighter with a lot more color/texture/variety. 

The first project was a shelf above the couch- I don't have a before picture, I was feeling lazy...but it was (guess what color...) BLACK with black rod iron twisty looking support brackets. 
A few quick coats of spray paint and some updated shelf brackets (from Ikea) made a monumental difference!
Next up: the big awkward wall. During Christmas time we rearranged our small living room layout to accommodate our Christmas tree and actually ended up liking it a lot better, so we left it that way. I KNEW the current TV/giant mirror situation did not look good at all, but I left it that way until I could think of an alternative. 

So here are the three main issues with the current setup:

 1. The mirror is the same size as the TV. 
While a mirror IS good to use in small rooms (reflections make it feel larger), one that is the exact same size as the object right below it is not. :-)

Our townhouse is a decent size, but I've quickly learned (especially with the arrival of baby #2) that organization is KEY and using valuable wall space is essential to keeping our life somewhat put together. P.S. that green and white striped thing is Jillian's teepee that gets pulled out when she wants to use it...in case you were wondering...

3. Poorly styled frames
Not working with the mirror. And you usually group frames (or most other things) in odd numbers- it looks better. (that's totally not a 100% rule, but if you're unsure it's a good guideline to stick to!)

So here's the trick to small rooms- you want your eye to be drawn upward and outward, which will give the illusion it's bigger than it actually is. If your eye is drawn downward and centered on something small (like in this before picture^) it makes it feel just as small as it is. You also have to be careful when selecting furniture for small rooms. Obviously giant furniture will overcrowd the small space and make it feel cramped, but furniture that is too small will emphasize it's smallness! Complicated...I know. 

When you walked into this room (which is the first room you walk into when you walk in the front door- so kind of important), your eye is instantly drawn downward and inward to the small TV stand. Wah-wah. 

So my PLAN!
 Lighten and brighten/appear larger. And some more storage never hurt anybody. I saw this idea for faux built-ins and it was love at first sight.

Once I added the shelves, that alone made a huge difference! 
(the table in front of the left one was acting as a barricade for the tiny humans since they weren't bolted into the wall yet). 
 See how your eye is drawn to two totally different places when comparing each picture?! It's almost magic. (excuse the fuzzy phone photos- again, laziness.)

I used two Ikea Billy Bookcases and then added trim to the top and bottoms, as well as lattice trim up the sides to make them look thicker and more substantial. It was actually a train wreck of a DIY project- I never want to cut crown molding again. After cutting it wrong TWICE, the third time (and my 5th trip to Home Depot in 2 days) resulted in me recruiting the help of our friends next door. So the whole budget friendly DIY thing didn't really happen with the shelves since I had to buy the trim THREE times. *Face palm.

^We have our DVD's in the bins on the bottom to make them easier to see, instead of crammed into the TV stand.

^Flipping some books around on a bookcase gives a more seamless and cohesive look, especially if the book covers are all really different from one another.
^The mirror is probably one of my favorite things about it all.
Even after all of the crown molding mishaps, the end result was WORTH IT!
I love that it lightens the room and makes it feel so much larger. Mission accomplished.
Next, I'm going to paint the TV stand white, remove the glass doors, and rearrange the shelving set-up in there so I can fit some more DVDs in media bins on one side, and do a big vase of some type on the other side. And then the living room project will be DONE!
Sometimes I catch myself walking by them just to look at how pretty they are. True story. Not. Even. Ashamed.
(I also think of how dumb cutting crown molding is.)


hangin' out with nana & papa!

We had so much fun with my parents while they were visiting last week! When Jillian woke up this morning she said, "Put me in a box, Mom. Put me in a box and mail me to Florida." (Very dramatically and matter-of-factly).
Some days she probably doesn't realize the thought actually crosses my mind... ;-) 

I asked her what her favorite thing we did with them was and she said the dinosaur museum! She'd been wanting to go for weeks!

Behold: all the blurry phone pictures. Sometimes the best kind, in my opinion.

My Grammy is out visiting for a while and she came with us! Jillian LOVES her and is basically attached to her hip any time we're with her. It's pretty cute. 

One of her favorite parts was the sand and water table! What is it about kids and messes? They seem to naturally attract one another...

We also went on a HUGE Mommy/Daughter date (with like 14 moms+daughters) to see the new Cinderella! Back when it first came out, my friends and I talked about dressing the girls up in their princess attire to see it. We quickly realized how unoriginal our idea was when we started seeing similar pictures popping up on our news feeds. ;-) Great mommy minds think alike.

For Christmas, my parents got us the entire collection of books they read to us as kids. My mom had to get many of them from Ebay or track them down from various places because some of their are so old! The LAST book (and one of our favorites), Popcorn, just came back to print, so they brought it with them when they came out! At Jillian's request, I think they read it to her precisely 43 times. She has half of it memorized already. 

At one point my mom said, "I can't believe I used to read these stories to you guys as kids and now here I am reading them to my grandkids." I couldn't help but think I may be saying something similar in about 30 years. Why does time go by so fast

Such a fun week with them celebrating Olivia's birthday, Easter, watching General Conference, and hanging out with our family! 



Happy Easter! 

We had a fun, relaxing day with our family and huge extended family! All of the kiddos had fun doing an Easter egg hunt and finding peeps to exchange for prizes! I usually never buy Easter candy (unless it's going in the Easter baskets), but this year with my family being here we bought SO many Cadbury eggs...oy...forget a New Year's gym resolution- I need a post-Easter gym resolution.

I loved this Easter video the church made. He is risen! There truly is hope for the hopeless, then, now and always!


olivia's 1st birthday!

We celebrated Olivia's first birthday this weekend! She doesn't turn one until the end of the month, but since my parents are in town we wanted to celebrate with them. I don't think Olivia minded much. ;-)

Olivia is such a little ham and she loved all of the attention! (Quite a change of pace from Jillian on her 1st birthday- when she cried as we sang "happy birthday" and then puked all over her cake- to each her own I guess...).

^Seriously those those leg rolls kill me! (Hers...not mine... ;-) 

^With Grandma! 

^With Nana & Papa! Everyone asks who Olivia gets her bright blue eyes from and it's my Dad! He and all of my siblings have super blue eyes!

^I may or may not have matched my outfit to the party theme. 'Cause I'm super cool like that.

^This little 5 inch cake was perfect for a smash cake!

^Jillian's face in that picture kills me. We're working on a good camera smile- as you can see it's a work in progress! (HAHA!)

She LOVED her cake!  It didn't take her long to realize it was pretty tasty. The whole time she was saying "mmmm! mmmmm!" I tried to take it away after a few bites and she yelled at me, so, there ya go.

Thanks to all of our family who came and celebrated with us! 
And a Happy (almost) Birthday to my sweet little blue-eyed babe. We love you to pieces Livvy-Loo! 


Twinkle Little Star banner- DIY
High chair "One" banner- DIY
Tassel garland- DIY (but similar one here)