Easter Outfits Made Easy: My Picks!

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Growing up I always loved reading Peter Rabbit with my mom! And, now Gymboree is releasing their cutest (in my option) Easter collection I have seen.

These pieces have been specially designed for the littlest ones in your life. This collection is the perfect way to celebrate baby’s first Easter with bunny-soft styles, sweet ruffles, and exquisite embroidery fit for a prince or princess.

Displaying I am loving the vintage feel and inspiration of this line.  It reminds me of how my mom dressed me as a baby. So sweet and nostalgic!

I am so excited to have been able to partner with Gymboree for their sweet Easter collection.  And with that being said, I am attaching a 20% off coupon for your WHOLE order! Not just their Peter Rabbit collection…..EVERYTHING! Just click through the link below and voila!

20% off all orders with code LUNAR20 at Global.Gymboree.com

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Some of my favorite things about Gymboree is the quality, colors and easy ability to mix and match all of their collections.  Also, I LOVE planning and matching my boys.They are three years apart and sometimes it is hard to find baby and toddler clothes that match….but at Gymboree? No problem!

Shop the Brand New Peter Rabbit Collection from Gymboree

I hope you love this collection as much as I do.  I can’t wait to get my boys dressed to impress….and of course match!

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The Longest Moments

6:24

The kitchen is a mess.  We’ve just finished dinner and Charlie, my four-year-old, is upstairs having a screaming match against himself.  I sent him to his room for standing on the table and not getting down after I asked him five times.  Henry, my 19-month-old, is screaming just because he has just finished all of his milk and well…..it’s just all gone.  My dear husband is on his hands and knees trying to clean up all of the corn the baby flicked on the floor….well because it was not covered in ketchup…his new favorite must have food.

The reason we could not use any ketchup is because Charlie also loves it….so much that he licked the lid of the bottle because it is ‘so delicious’ and I had yet to clean it off.

I looked at the clock again and it was only 6:28…..seriously??? That must have been the slowest four minutes EVER.  How was I going to get to 7:00? Yes, my kids go to bed early….but thirty two minutes away seemed like an eternity!

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These boys are sweet and sneaky.  A unstoppable combination.

After a few minutes I go upstairs to see a puffy faced,  sad looking boy.  He was so upset he could hardly talk. “Mommy….you….. you….. you made me sad.” Oh jeez.  The guilt.  I was totally in the right to send him to his room.  He chose not to listen to me and had several warnings.  But in that moment my heart was breaking for my little con-artist. He can put a steak through my heart then kiss it better in about three seconds. He says sorry and we hug.

6:39

Back downstairs the baby has calmed down and I changed him into his pajamas. Then the three of us go back upstairs and snuggled onto the rocking chair in the baby’s room to read books before bed.  If you were a fly on the wall in that moment, you would see a mother and her two adorable children who were giggling and hugging and kissing each other as we read an Elmo nighttime book.  It was like the last twenty minutes didn’t even happen.  Like the blink of an eye that horrible, crazy part of the night was gone.

Why do they do this to my heart and my soul?

At moments like this, I cherish being their mom.  It is the best thing in the world. But, I, like most moms also get so caught up in the moments of pure exhaustion and frustration. Right now, though,  I will just rock them and soak it in…..

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Trying to choose to remember all the good moments!

7:22

Both kids are in bed.  I can take a deep breath and realize that we made it through another night.

This night was not our normal, but by no doubt it happens…..sometimes several nights in a row.  I complain. I get angry. Sometimes I  yell……but I also love, hug and kiss. All of this often happens the span of a few minutes!

Those sweet faces constantly keep me on the edge.  The edge of sanity, of breakdowns, of laughing fits and crying fits….you name it and I have felt it.  They keeps our hearts raw and wide open. These days with small children are full of extremes.  Extremely hard and extremely fulfilling.  Not much in between.

I’ve heard many times before that I should cherish these days.  One day they will just be a faint memory…..and as much as I hate to admit it….they are right.  Looking back at chaotic vacations or school recitals…..I mostly remember the smiles and adorable performances….not the whining and  the exasperation I feel getting out the door.

So, for right now, I will enjoy the next two hours in peace and quiet knowing my little love muffins are happily sleeping, resting up to wreak havoc tomorrow.

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Baby Shower Diaper Wreath

This past weekend I went to a sprinkle for a friend who is about to have her third boy!  We wanted to celebrate and make her feel special……and although I wanted to get her something practical (what mom does not need diapers)? I also wanted it be be a little more special then just a boring box of diapers.  In the past I’ve played around with making a diaper ‘masterpiece’ and often my well intentioned diaper elephant creation ended up looking like a lopsided cow.  So…..I decided to keep it simple and focus on the details to make is cute!

This diaper wreath was pretty simple, but has the wow factor too! I was able to create it the night before her sprinkle while watching TV in about an hour.  It is easy to customize for girls, boys or neutral theme.

Here is what you will need:

  • Package of diapers (I bought the smallest package….37 diapers and still had several leftover).
  • Floral foam wreath.  I got mine at Micheal’s.
  • Curling ribbon.  In whatever colors you want. I picked white and light blue.
  • Small baby items (pacifiers, travel size shampoo, lotion, rattles……you pick)!

 

First make sure you use the side of the diaper facing up that is mostly white.  For mine (Target brand) it is the backside, so I flipped them over. Cut a long piece of ribbon- at least two feet. You want enough to curl it. Tie the ribbon around the diaper and wreath as shown below. I am alternating white and blue.

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As your wreath gets more full, push the diapers closer together so it will be full when finished.

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Once all of the diapers are on, start adding your fun baby items you picked out! Just use another piece of curling ribbon and tie around the desired diaper.

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Once this is done I pushed the white ribbon diapers to the back and brought up the blue ribbon diapers to the front and  fluffed them out to make it full-looking. Now you can curl all of the ribbon!

And you are done! Everyone will love this adorable and practical gift!

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Bumpdate 27 Weeks!

FEELING: Excellent! Wow! This pregnancy is flying by! Maybe because with my first pregnancy I had a lot of time to think about EVERY MOMENT……but now I hardly have a second to myself! She sure it growing quickly though.  I feel her kicks and am love it. No, I am not one of those people who loves being pregnant, but am trying to take in that this will be my last baby and trying to enjoy the moment.

WARDROBE: Leggings. Lots of leggings. I feel like I am getting ‘dressed up’ when I put on jeans.  Leggings are just so comfortable! Paired with a long sleeve shirt or cami and open sweater I’m usually dressed for the day.  Since I don’t have a huge need for dressier clothes, I have gotten by with two dresses I wore over the holidays.  I just change up the accessories and call it a day. And, lets not forget the power of a good pair of shoes.

CRAVING: Smoothies! Yum! I am starting to feel really full, really quick (as she is growing,  I am losing space in there)….so they are filling me up and giving me a boost of vitamins and protein. Usually I include: Frozen Strawberries, banana, ice, baby spinach, avocado, Greek yogurt, a little bit of OJ. Delicious!

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OVERALL THOUGHTS: This is getting real! I am a little bummed out that I wont have her nursery ready when she is born….we will be moving a month or two after her arrival….so there is no point in setting it up. But, I am getting my ideas together and will have all the pieces ready to set up.

I am also starting to freak out a bit (or a lot) about how I’m going to handle three kids! Charlie will be in full-time school this fall, but I am worried about getting through the summer.  Luckily my mom and dad are around often and I have wonderful friends to help me though with moral support (and hopefully wine).

NAME UPDATE: Nothing set in stone.  We are still negotiating and deliberating.  But, don’t worry! We will know soon. I need time to order some monogrammed clothes for her big arrival!

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Baby Girl Nursery Inspiration

I mentioned that two really exciting things are happening to my family this year…..we are in the process of building a house and after having two boys we are welcoming a little girl into our world this spring!!!

I am over the moon happy! And the type A personality in me wants to starts planning and getting her nursery ready….but right now our house is bursting at the seams! She will only live here the first few months of her life (probably next to our bed).  So, I won’t set up the nursery until we move.

This is killing me!

When my second, Henry was born, I think I had his nursery set and finished when I was 28 weeks (I’m 26 weeks right now). So, I think I need to gather my thoughts….and probably start ordering stuff so I can make it a priority once we move.

I’ll be honest, I’m overwhelmed.  I like pink, but don’ t want to have her room look like a bottle of Pepto Bismol exploded in….I am thinking wallpaper this time.  Florals, pinks, beiges and golds…..

{This post does include SOME affiliate links, but these are all MY opinions and I am sharing the LOVE I have for these pieces}

WALLPAPER

How cute is this! I can totally see me using this wallpaper print in her room. It is so cute and delicate.It isn’t too pink, which I wanted to avoid, but super delicate and girly.  I think it is a print that can grow with my her from a baby into a young girl and beyond.

floral-wallpaper

CRIB

I have had a slight (major)  obsession with Jenny Lind when I first got pregnant with my first baby….but then found out it was a boy! So, I never got around to buying this crib! I hope this time I can make it happen.  I LOVE everything about the old fashion look, but it comes with the modern conveniences (and safety) aspects new modern gear.

DaVinci Jenny Lind 3-in-1 Convertible Crib, White

STORAGE

I have this one already in Henry’s room.  This shelving piece has taken a beating and still is standing up pretty well.  I like how you can just throw all of the toys in the bin to clean up quickly. I will be moving this one to the baby girl’s room.

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LIGHTING

Lighting is so important.  And, I love this whimsical floor lamp.  I don’t want anything too heavy looking in the room.  This seems to keep everything light and airy.

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DECOR

In all of my kids nursery’s I have started their decor with their name.  Pretty basic, right? But, I always like to personalize it.  While we don’t have a name set (just yet….stay tuned)! These letters are an adorable font style!

I know that this is just the start….but I am in LOVE with the wallpaper….everything will just have to match it.  What else would look good in her room?
The safest way to swaddle

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I’ve Lost a Friend… And it Sucks.

My friends are precious to me.  Throughout my twenties I had a lot of different kinds of friends.  Ones I see on Friday nights for drinks, work friends, friends from high school I see once or twice a year.  But, there were a lot of them.  I could always call the right one for the right event.

Fast forward ten years.  A happy marriage, two kids with one more on the way, a move across states, and living back in the city I grew up in after a eight years. Things are different.  I still keep in touch with many of my friends from me twenties (thanks to social media), but I have had to work hard to cultivate new and meaningful relationships with women that I can connect with.  Often, because my life is consumed by my children, most of my friends are my ‘mommy’ friends.

friendship-3
The best of the best. This is what friendship for over 15 years looks like.

And I love them.  We can vent about our kids/husbands/lack of sleep/ need for wine, ect….and we all GET each other. In theory we support each other and give each other a little slack.  We all realize that plans sometimes get broken last minute due to sick kids, working husbands and pure unadulterated exhaustion.

But sometimes things go wrong.  Wires get crossed.  One little thing gets way out of hand. Feelings and egos get hurt.

This recently happened to me and it sucks.

I’ve lost a friend.  I know what you might be thinking….just apologize if you miss her! I’ve already apologized….and there is still bad feelings.  Even though I think things we both said things that need to be taken back….I just wanted to move on. But it didn’t seem to work.  Things are not the same and maybe will never be. I don’t want to get into details about what happened, but the root of it was stupid.  Really stupid.  In my mind I didn’t understand why the next day we both couldn’t say something like: ‘Hey! I never meant for that to hurt your feelings….lets just move on!’ But it didn’t happen that way.

I thought I was  pretty kind and passionate (and maybe a little over-sensitive and temperamental) person…..but I guess I still have some growing to do.

Over the years I’ve realized that some friends are only meant to be in your life for a certain stage of life……people move on, but usually not after a fight.  People grow apart and I get that. But this was shocking and abrupt.  I’m sad and hate that there is no closure.  Just nothing.

While I have a bruised ego and unanswered questions, I realize I can’t make someone be my friend who isn’t interested in it. Being right isn’t necessarily the best outcome if it is more important then the person.  If we both can’t have a sense of empathy for each other’s feeling….then maybe it wasn’t the friendship I thought it was.

So, while I will keep my heart open for the future, right now I’ll just concentrate on fostering the relationships in my life that want our friendships to grow.  Like I said, my friends are precious to me.  I don’t know how long any of them will last. So I’ll just treat each one like it will be lifelong.

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I Might Be the Mom the Internet Hates.

I like my home to be clean. I shower and put on make-up daily. I like to make home made dinners. I smile and am usually a positive person. Apparently that makes me the most annoying mom on the internet.

No…..I’m not at all (remotely or even kind of close to) perfect. But, it seems lately online, if you are a stay at home mom and like the gig, so many mom blogger wants to make you feel bad for it. I am assuming most of these posts I hear are tongue and cheek.  I actually can get a good laugh from some pieces.  But I wonder if there is any seriousness to what they are saying.  Like everyone else….I have bad days (like yesterday….pregnant, exhausted and a non-napping, teething toddler).  But for the most part I love what I do!

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I love to dress my kiddos in matching outfits.

Land Of Nod: Design for Kids and People That Used to be Kids

I think it just part of how I was raised and my own type A personality, but I hate a mess and want things done ‘just so’. I will be the first person to admit I am a bit of a control freak.  And yes, I have been known to complain to my husband after a long day with the kids…..that’s just natural.  But I know when I wake up in the morning it is a chance to start fresh and put positive, happy vibes into the world.

I’ve actually gotten the side eye when I showed up to a play date freshly showered and in full make-up.  I don’t think any less of moms who don’t do these thing. I think we all need to do what we need to do to get through the day.

Just because my house is (usually) clean does not mean I neglect my children. Freshly vacuumed carpets and gleaming kitchen counters make me feel calm and in control. Again, I’m not saying there is ANYTHING wrong with not doing it…..I just don’t like going to bed with dirty dishes in the sink.

And I LOVE Pintrest.  Seriously, I do.  I find it inspirational…..it give me great ideas and lets me show off my creativity.  I don’t scroll through it and hate all of the pretty pins of cute ideas.  I happen to think making a cupcake that looks like a lamb is a wonderful idea for a barnyard first birthday!

pintrest-party
Pintrest birthday party for the win!!

Yes, I often coordinate my kids outfits when we go out to dinner.

Yes, I do my best to bake homemade treats for my kid’s classroom parties.

Yes, I iron all of our pillowcases because I like them to look crisp. (Even I will admit this might be going too far).

These things make me happy! And if I am happy, I can enjoy the time (which is most of my time) with my family.  In my opinion, being happy just does not come easily for everyone. Sure we all have happy (and sad) moments in life, but to be a genuinely happy person takes a little effort and work.

I want to know that I have given my best to everyday.  I look back at old pictures and remember that I really did enjoy that trip to the zoo, or birthday party.  Maybe it took me some extra effort, but to me it was worth it.

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Winter Maternity Must Haves

My first two babies were summer babies.  So, my maternity clothes were basically a few summer dresses….this time around I am getting into the thick of things right in the middle of the winter! Baby girl is due around Easter.  Just another excuse to shop, right? Kind of.  Maternity shopping can be stressful and often and an expensive endeavor when you will only be wearing the pieces for a few months.

I have found that getting several basic pieces can go far with the addition of what is already in your closet! Open sweaters, cardigans, scarves, athletic wear (i.e. stretchy clothes) and accessories can really take your maternity wardrobe from BORING and basic to well…….more like you! Interesting and fashionable without breaking the bank.  Here are a few pieces that I have LIVED in so far.

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Leggings

I live in these.  I have several pairs of these Rosie Pope leggings. They have become my go to.  Like almost EVERYDAY.  They are not too thin (especially for the cold winter months). But are super soft and stretchy.

Maternity Jeans

These are also a must-have.  Get a style or two of jeans you like and feel good in! These are from Pea in the Pod and again are pretty soft.  They also have the ‘secret belly’ panel.  I am partial to that type of maternity jeans.  I like the support and coverage in them. Aaaannnnddd…..they are easy on the pocket book!

Layering Camis

In colder months, I often put a cami on and layer it with a open (non maternity) sweater or hoodie.  Finding basic black and white ones that are long enough are sometimes a challenge.  These Ingrid & Isabel ones are smooth and don’t pile and will keep their shape after a several washes.

Stretchy Long Sleeve Tops

The name of the game is layering in the winter! Stretchy long sleeve tops will go from the fall through the spring (and grow with you too)! Get several in different colors and styles so you don’t get bored.  I like the ease and versatility of this Jessica Simpson style.

 

Go-To Dress

When leggings and jeans wont work, do yourself a favor and get a simple dress that you can change the look with different jewelry and accessories.  This one is from Ingrid & Isabel and comes in several different colors.  I’m a big fan of this dress, because it is pretty flattering even for post-baby wear.

Date Night Shirt

Just because you can’t drink martinis, does not mean you can’t get dressed up for a night on the town with your husband or girlfriends.  Invest in one or two fun shirts that make you feel cute!

 

And, here are a few items that I personally think are a waste of money:

  • Maternity underwear.  They have just never seemed necessary to me! My regular ones worked just fine.
  • Winter maternity jacket.  My current jacket still fits me and actually looks kind of cute when I add a belt to it! If I get to a point where I can’t zip it, and am freezing, I might change my mind….but I am just going from the car into a building.  It’s not like I’m going skiing this winter.
  • Maternity cardigans.  I will never understand why they sell MATERNITY open sweaters……it just does not make sense!!

What are your favorite ‘basic’ maternity must-haves?

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My Selfie Dilemma: Not Sure of My Face in a Blogger’s Word

I am new to blogging. And I love it! Most of 2016 I was a contributor to a very well established blog and was able to write on a regular basis about all things being a mom.  I got some great feedback from readers and realized I might actually have a voice that people would want to hear.

So I took the plunge and decided to do my own blog! And here I am. I launched it almost two months ago. I am learning by trial-and-error (many, many errors). Slowly I am finding my niche.  And also, slowly people are checking my blog out!

One thing that has been my biggest hurdle is the whole selfie picture situation. Yes, on my social media I have had profile pictures of myself, but not many were actual ‘selfies’. I would often have to crop my face from a group picture. I’ve just never been a ‘selfie’ kind of person.

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Make-up and hair selfie

It’s not that I think I’m ugly…..I’ve just always been self conscious of taking a picture (or multiple) and posting them for the sake of posting them.  I am completely in awe of my friends who can post a beautiful and interesting picture of themselves!

But, with that being said, doing a blog about my family and my life obviously was going to entail taking pictures of myself (or having someone else take pictures of me).  Maybe I am comparing myself to other more established bloggers and don’t feel my pictures and composition are as good as theirs.  It will take time.

So far, I haven’t gotten any horrible feed back (think: wow! You have a huge double chin! Or, hey! Your fly is open)! For some reason I have this nagging thought that people are laughing at me behind my back, but to me this is a slow, self discovery process that has taken me years! When I was little, I was so shy! I seemed to gain a voice during college, but it really didn’t come out until after I had children. If anyone is really laughing at me behind my back……guess what? I don’t care! Laugh away!

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No make-up and hours after I had Henry.  I love this picture taken by my husband.

I am still a total novice at taking pictures of myself, and being in pictures…..but here are a few things I have learned along the way :

  • A little make-up goes a long way.  Under-eye concealer, mascara and blush help me look and feel great.
  • You don’t have to look ‘perfect’ for every picture.  No one is perfect.  Not being perfect can be more interesting.
  • Natural lighting is your best friend.  Using a flash can sometimes wash out your face.
  • Be conscious of your background! No one wants to see a dirty bathroom or a messy pile of mail behind you (unless it is part of your story)!
  • My husband is becoming a great photographer! He has no qualms about taking pictures and doesn’t feel the pressure that I do to take a perfect picture.  Often his casual snap turn out great!
  • Sometimes emotion can outweigh getting the ‘perfect’ shot.  Even if you don’t think you look great, showing real emotion can be very moving.
  • Use filters carefully! They can  be your best friend or worst enemy.  I prefer a little softening, but nothing that makes me look less human.

Do you take selfies? What do you do to make them look the way you want them to?

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Healthy One-Pot Mexican Quinoa

After several weeks of (over) indulging we are trying to get back to our (semi) healthy ways.  I realize I might be about five years late to the quinoa trend….but slowly I am learning yummy ways to eat it! We have basically replaced rice with quinoa.  It makes me feel less ‘carb stuffed’ than rice after a meal.  And obviously it is packed with protein. I might be behind in some food trends…..but better late then never!

This an awesome and filling meal that you can add whatever you have in your kitchen and change the tastes up to your liking! It is pretty easy to put together in less then 15 minutes.  And it’s a ‘one pot meal’.  So clean up is a breeze!

I think the one thing that makes this recipe stand out is using salsa verde  yum.  I love the tangy flavor of tomatillos…..there is just something about the flavors that makes it so good.  And, often I’ll add diced up avacados to it if I have them in my kitchen.

Healthy One-Pot Mexican Quinoa

Makes about (3) 1 cup servings

  • 1 cup of quinoa (rinsed)
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can diced green chilies
  • 1 jar of salsa verde
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • hot sauce (optional)

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Prepare quinoa: Add one cup of quinoa and two cups of water to a medium sized pot.  Bring to a boil then lower to simmer, uncovered.  It is ready when you can see the seed inside and the shell is translucent. This takes about 10-15 minutes.

In the meantime, chop up the red pepper into small bite size pieces.  Add to the quinoa as it cooks, so it can cook the pepper at the same time.

Open all of the cans (and rinse off the black beans).

Once the quinoa is ready, dump in the other ingredients and combine. Salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately! Enjoy!

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