Hello 2018

It is a frigid start to 2018 here in Indiana. I do have to say I really don’t mind the cold… you might even say… “the cold never bothered me anyway”. But along with some of my personal goals for the new year, I thought I’d share some warmer Florida Christmas Beach pics. We traveled down to Florida to see family for Christmas and although I know many people love to escape the cold, it never really ever feels like Christmas there. We had a challenging trip with crazy kids and everyone getting sick, but mostly had a great time seeing friends and family. We are happy to be back home even if it’s really cold. We spent Christmas morning walking along Indian Rocks Beach, Florida. It was our first Christmas beach trip.

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Goal #1: Save More Money… not a lot to say on this one. I really love clothes and sometimes I get too excited. This year I am making a much bigger effort to cut down my spending. There are alot of clothes and makeup and shoes and jewelry I would love to have but I guess I don’t really need. This one will def be the most challenging for me but I am hoping it will pay off in the future.

Goal #2 Get Working on my Paintings… Now that we are more settled and in a routine I should be able to spend a few hours a week on my personal paintings. It is something I am passionate about but has fallen to the back burner the past couple years. The biggest challenge of this one will be the lack of studio space in my house.

Goal #3 Get our New Indiana House Updated… It is a very nice house but totally off from my personal decorating taste. There are alot of projects with this goal and I plan on sharing more home project we do. I enjoy them and I am hoping you, my readers, will to.

Goal #4 Stay in Shape… I have worked very hard this past year getting healthy and in shape. I am finally very happy with how I look and feel which is really hard to get to. I want to continue my personal workout plan and increase my healthy eating even more to maintain my fitness and weight. Just today I decided add to my fitness goals and to run a half marathon with one of my bffs in October. Having a goal buddy will really help us both. Long term goal but I have never run one and would really like to. Purdue half marathon here we come!

Goal #5 Stay Positive… Sometimes when things do not go the way I planned, I tend to get upset and sad. I want to work on staying up beat and positive about my life. I think this will help me be a better person in general and I know this is a major weakness of mine.

What are your personal goals for 2018? I am hoping to make this a great year ahead for myself and my little family. It does seem to help me to share with others to make my goals seem more concrete and achievable.

Until next week, XOXO.

Cookies for Santa

On our list of many preparations before Santa comes down the chimney is always baking some sugar cookies and decorating them for Santa. When I was growing up, we made a big deal of this every year. I always remember being so excited to decorate cookies. Many wonderful memories were made along with many very creative Christmas cookies. Since this was one of my favorite traditions, I wanted to continue to do it with my boys. This was the first year Jake could really do anything. Liam is still young but enjoyed helping bake and then eat quite a few cookies… hey its Christmas; it’s ok to indulge. At least thats what I tell myself. I saw and tried this new Velvety Soft Sugar Cookie recipe. OMG is it good! Delicious.

The boys always love helping me cook anything so the baking part was pretty fun as well.IMG_9324IMG_9336IMG_9348

 

Then its the cookie cutter time which Liam enjoyed throwing them on the floor but Jake really liked cutting the cookies out. IMG_9401IMG_9402And finally the decorating…IMG_9413IMG_9419IMG_9420

 

We only had the patience to decorate maybe a third of the cookies but thats is ok . They are delicious just plain too. Here are Santa’s cookie plate cookies as well as some other awesome cookies.IMG_9424IMG_9425IMG_9426IMG_9427It is an awesome activity for little guys even if it’s not Christmas. This Dump Truck and this Bulldozer cookie cutters could make for a fun cold and snowy January afternoon I am thinking.  And I definitely recommend trying this sugar cookie recipe. I am eating one right now! haha.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays all around. Until next week, XOXO.

Hot Cocoa and Family Jammies

My best friend threw a Christmas Pajama themed Friendsmas party and I was sooo excited to get all my boys matching Christmas jammies. There were tons of cute family pajamas everywhere but I really love the classic buffalo plaid look so I got us these. They turned out so cute all together. We even got Emma a little doggy bandana… sorry Tiny cat but I didn’t see any matching cat shirts. IMG_9171IMG_9176IMG_9182IMG_9186I was a little sad after these festive pictures turned out so well that I already made and sent out Christmas cards. I will just have to remember this when doing Christmas cards next year.

I had made some snowflake marshmallows for some winter hot cocoa too. It seemed like a perfect thing to sit in front of the fireplace and sip hot cocoa in pajamas. The boys loved it. It was just a small thing to do that seemed so fun and special to them. I used this Martha Stewart recipe I found and they turned out really cute. While the marshmallows where sitting, I sprinkled some christmas sprinkles on some of them to make a little extra fun.IMG_9213IMG_9201IMG_9205

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IMG_9313It was very fitting that we had a hot cocoa day since this past Wednesday was national hot chocolate day. We just had so much fun. Today we are working on making some cookies for Santa and planning a fun week before Christmas full of Christmas activities. Cheers some hot cocoa and snuggle someone you love while relaxing and remembering the Spirit of Christmas this coming week.

Now where is my snow??!

Until next week, XOXO!

Halloween Time!

20171017_165739-2Down the street from our house are the most adorable wooden Pumpkin decorations on the fence. I love it! What an awesome Halloween decorating display. Everyday that I had driven past them this month I had been thinking how cute it would be to walk down and take some festive Halloween pics. They even have a cute black cat right in the middle. (I did not get a picture of the whole set up unfortunately.) So of course, one very nice afternoon we walked down to take some pictures in our matching Halloween shirts. It was the perfect back drop. 20171017_165616-220171017_165617-2

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It is so hard to get them to cooperate for pictures sometimes but I do love these fun crazy pictures. It’s pretty much the most accurate depiction of my life. haha

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As many of my readers already know, I love Halloween! I don’t think I will ever outgrow the excitement of getting to dress up as a character I enjoy. We did Game of Thrones last year but we didn’t get much of a chance to show off our costumes so this year we decided to do it again (and get daddy to go along too)… and hopefully more people will be as excited as I am!

^such adorable little dragons 🙂 ^
20171027_191254^Family Hayride!^

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I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe time Treat-or-Treating or whatever Halloween evening activities you have planned. I am currently enjoying a bit of Stranger Things binging while writing this post 🙂 . Until next week, XOXO.

All Seasons Orchard

While we were waiting to be able to move into our new house, we stayed with my in-laws up in northern Illinois. We took a day to go with some friends to All Seasons Orchard in Woodstock Illinois. It was fabulous. They had so many fun activities for the kiddos and us adults had a great time too. It was the perfect family day. We picked a ton of delicious apple crisp apples but unfortunately I never got around to making an apple pie or crisp because everyone ate them. I think this weekend I will just buy some from the store to make one. I have been craving it so much!20170916_10415720170916_111222^One of my bbf’s little girl. She just looked so adorable in her red dress picking apples. Makes me think of Snow White.^20170916_111503^Jake took his picking job very seriously. 🙂 ^20170916_11160920170916_11173720170916_111818Then they all discovered the apple eating!

There was ALOT of apple eating…20170916_11183920170916_11203920170916_11304420170916_11305420170916_113829And just alot more fun apple picking pictures because you all know I love pictures.

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The rest of the farm had tons of fun activities, food and even a little petting zoo! I was super excited to find a pink tractor… who wouldn’t be!?20170916_13042620170916_130526The boys just love any tractor they see.20170916_11583420170916_12524020170916_12524120170916_134254^Some super super tired little men at the end of the day.^

Hope you all enjoyed my tons of Apple picking pictures. Until next week. XOXO.

Father’s Day Painting

For Father’s Day we painted a cute little beer crate. I know painting can be super messy but with these Toddler Finger Paints, clean up is a breeze. Liam is still a bit small to enjoy the paints or use them without trying to eat the paint. Thankfully it is nontoxic. Jake really gets into the painting and all the different colors. He was so proud he painted all the screws in the beer crate for dad. IMG_8567IMG_8569IMG_8571

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After Liam failed at painting, he got put in charge of coloring the card the boys picked out. He also tried to eat the crayons too. IMG_8575IMG_8576IMG_8556IMG_8554

We got some balloons and Jake was sooooo excited about them. He even asked me to take his picture with the balloons. I knew he would be too excited about them to keep it a secret. 20170616_113218The Father’s Day pool party I planned got rained out but everything the boys and I made for dad was a big hit.20170618_153138Delicious mini cuban appetizers. 20170618_19462620170618_161543^It was starting to storm and Jake has been so scared of thunder lately. This ended up the best daddy and boys picture we could get.^20170618_185059

It was so much fun celebrating such a great daddy. Until next week, XOXO!

9 Months

The past 9 months seem to have flown by in a heartbeat. This little wild man is even more wiggly and mobile than his older brother was! He is one super fast crawling machine and pulling up on everything. He learned to clap and give high fives. He is finally sleeping all night. He is getting his 7th tooth. Since he started moving, he has not slowed down one bit. He loves his big brother and looks up to him so much. Watching them develop their brother relationship makes my heart sooo happy. He hates anytime someone tries to clean his face off (He is always super dirty) and getting his face wet. He is already becoming very independent and insists on feeding himself at meal times. That makes him even more messy!

I was only able to get one good monthly picture this month. Here are some out takes that really do highlight his inability to sit still!!

IMG_8542^All that I got was his little toes! He’s so FAST! So typical!^

IMG_8551^Even tried to let him stand for one and as you can see; It’s blurry.^

My crazy fast wild man… I love him so!

I will have to start planning a first birthday soon. Until next week, XOXO.

Sleep Training Diary

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The past 8 months, we have been having quite a bit of trouble getting baby Liam to sleep through the night. First he was a newborn then he started sleeping all night like normal… then he got sick, then he started getting teeth, then we traveled, then he got sick again, then he got more teeth and finally he just seemed to have gotten in a bad habit of not being able to put himself back to sleep. It makes it super hard when you never seem like you get a full nights sleep. So, after making sure he’s not sick or in pain from teeth and its just a middle of the night habit, we began to do some re-sleep training. I am a super light sleeper and cannot sleep if my baby is crying even if dad is helping him. So each night I lie awake watching him on the baby camera, waiting to see if he can try to put himself to sleep. I usually spend those wee hours looking at social media. That gets old and not too much updating at 2 am so I started a little diary while I was awake with my most intimate middle of the night sleep re-training thoughts.  I hope no one takes it too seriously and gets a bit of a little laugh.

Night 1. It is 3:30 am. Liam is not really crying but not really sleeping. Watching him on the camera until he falls back to sleep on his own…20 min tonight. Now he’s awake again at 5:30. Hungry. Not much to do except be awake too. Everyone else is sleeping. Im tired. 6:20 hubby offered to go watch tv with him.

Night 2. 1:30 am. Liam is doing the same thing. Lets hope faster fall asleep. Jake keeps coughing. YES! Only 15 min tonight. I hope we are making progress.  Liam woke up Jake… thank goodness he’s a good sleeper! 3am and Jake came down. I jinxed myself. I think he doesn’t feel well. 4:45am. Liam’s awake again. SOB! what a terrible night. I don’t think i’ve slept at all. I can see Liam yawning. Did I mention it’s officially Mothers Day now too. Im just going to nurse him at this point I’m too tired and the hubby is snoring anyway. 5:15… all boys asleep… maybe ill get a few hours. I really wanted to go to the beach today. (Jake had a bad dream and I was able to get enough sleep to go to the beach.)

Night 3. Holy shit! Is it really 6:00am?! Did Liam really sleep all night?! Omg I’m so happy!

Night 4. 3:30 am. Not luckily enough to have an all night repeat… damn…sadness. 15 min now…he’s getting louder not sure if I continue to let him try to go to sleep or go up there…going up there. He’s crying hard. Broke down and nursed him. Maybe he was randomly hungry. 4:08 am now and hoping to sleep until morning. Morning wake up at 6:44. Not bad except the 3:30 problem.

Night 5… it is 5:44 am. Seeing if hell fall back to sleep but he’s probably hungry. He did way better. A little early but at least he slept all night.

Night 6… 2:05 am. He’s doing his sleep whining. Waiting for him to put himself back to sleep. I just cant understand why we cant always sleep all night. ☹ Update… 2:21 am he’s looking around, rolling, standing and crying on and off. 30 minutes to fall back asleep (at least i think he is now). 2:51 am. I have no idea if I’m doing the right things to get him to sleep. Broke down and I’m downstairs rocking him. Maybe he’s got a cold like jake? Teeth? Do i give him tylenol? Ugh I’m tired frustrated and have no idea after 8 months and a kid before. The cat keeps bothering my feet now too. Ended up waking the hubby for help. I needed someone to help me figure out whats going on. Determined he’s not feeling well. Gave some meds and let him nurse. 3:43 am and I’m going back to sleep. (We concluded he had an upset/gassy tummy)

Night 7: Its 6 am!! He slept all night!

 

That was just the nights this past week. I am hoping we get a night 7 repeat going. 🙂 Over Mother’s Day weekend, I bribed Jake with fruit snacks to do a mommy and me photo shoot. I do really love these boys more than anything… sleep or sleepless nights included. IMG_8413IMG_8423^He discovered he loved pushing the self timer button and kept running back and forth.^

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Hope you other sleepless moms out there know you are not alone. Let’s raise our Starbucks and cheers to all the hard working mama’s out there. Until next week, XOXO.

Mother’s Day Craft Idea

Last week we had a couple little craft days. I let the boys get super messy with some finger painting. Since they love getting dirty outside, I thought they would love being covered in paint too. And of course they did! I found the clay pots and thought it would be cool to have the boys paint them for their Grandmas this Mother’s Day. I wanted to include some flowers but I did not think they would ship well. I really love having the boys create gifts for all those special people in their lives. I am a big fan of homemade gifts. I think it makes everything so much more special even if its not picture perfect and it is so much fun to do together too. Here are a few snaps from the painting day. I had taken more (some cute ones when Liam was putting the paint bowl on his head) but realized halfway through I had forgotten to put a memory card in! But I still got a few pics of the painting.

Just a few plain unpainted clay pots. IMG_8377IMG_8378

Then it was time to do some painting. It was so exciting to see Jake concentrating so hard on his painting. He was working quite hard on making his pots pretty. IMG_8380IMG_8381IMG_8382

Liam needed a bit more help to keep the paint out of his mouth.IMG_8385IMG_8386IMG_8387IMG_8388

After the initial finger paintings had dried, I went back over the kid scribbles and added a little bit of painting details to make more recognizable pictures.IMG_8389IMG_8392IMG_8393IMG_8395

I thought the finished product was pretty cool. I hope all you mothers out there get to enjoy a nice Mother’s Day weekend with your families. Personally I am hoping Liam finally starts sleeping all night again regularly for me. I think we are stuck in a bad habit and I haven’t done a good enough job sleep training him. #momfail right?! Until next week, XOXO.

Mom Hair Inspo and Thoughts

This week I have been so busy. Liam is cutting teeth again and isn’t sleeping well. I hope he gets done soon. I’m new to this teeth issue. Jake’s didn’t seem to bother him at all. At least Liam is happy during the day. Just has a bit of trouble going back to sleep when he wakes up in the middle of the night. But really this week I feel like we’ve just been running around everywhere! I have several projects I have been trying to work on but I really haven’t found a good balance of when to get them done yet. One day this week Liam randomly didn’t take his nap and now today Jake isn’t napping. And now on top of the boys and the animals to take care of, it’s also been sooo dry down here that a bunch of our trees are dying and we have to make sure to water them all the time. SOOO much stuff right now!

I think alot of time most everyone thinks I am a crazy stressed out person who needs a break. Actually I love staying home and taking care of everyone… well I could really care less about the trees. I am not normally crazy either, it is just hard when people question what I do or try to confuse me. And I do get stressed out but not usually from the boys; I get myself stressed out about what other people think of me. I have a hard time and worry that everyone thinks I am a crazy bad mom who doesn’t do the right things for my kids. I also know I am not the only mama that worries about these things and with Mother’s Day approaching, make sure to tell mama’s you know how much you appreciate what they do and that they are doing a good job. I know it will mean tons to anyone.

But since I didn’t work on any projects to post about. I thought I’d share some hair inspo with you all. I don’t like to just wear leggings or yoga pants and top knots all the time. I do enjoy staying up to date with fashion and looking good. That is something important to myself and goes a long way to make me feel good. I spent my tiny naptime break yesterday searching pinterest for hair ideas. Some of these I have actually tried in some way or another and are pretty easy to do.

and here were some tutorials on how to do some easy mom friendly hair styles. As you can see I love the braid option especially since it’s so hot down here.

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I have tried a simpler version of this Pull thru braid and I just love the look of it. It really doesn’t take too long to do and give your side braid or pigtail braids a nice full look!

I also like this Braid into ponytail too. It is harder for me to do and mine never turns out quite as good as hers. But I still like the look and its just adds a little bit to a boring ponytail.

Here are some pics of different times I’ve tried these various styles and other fun braids.

And not to forget the classic mom go to top knot or messy bun or pony. I’ve tried to make mine not so lazy looking as well. Heres a few different tries.

Anyway just sharing a few of my go to mom hair styles and maybe inspiring a few of you to try them as well! Until next week, I’ll be enjoying mom life. XOXO.