Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Carolina's Hope Chest Dress Review {+ Giveaway}



Chrisy is a busy mama of 3 kiddos, 2 boys and a daughter named Carolina Hope.  Having daughters of my own, I always find it fun to find shops where mama's are inspired by their little girls.  Clearly, Chrisy gets her beautiful ideas, design inspiration and a passion for her work from her sweet little girl.

Chrisy designs the most beautiful dresses, boutique clothing sets and so much more.  They are also huge sports fans in her house, so you will find many sports inspired pieces in her collection and if you don't happen to see your favorite college or pro team, she's happy to create something for you and add it to her collection.  Custom orders are encouraged.


With the holiday's coming up, many of you are planning for the perfect outfits for your kids to wear to church, family dinner parties, holiday get-togethers, ect.  This time of year is also a great time to get those family pictures taken and get started on your Christmas cards.  Chrisy has the most adorable holiday sets and can coordinate sibling sets, too.




I love character clothing.  When my girls were little they loved Dora, Elmo, Curious George and all the princesses, of course.  Seeing their favorite's on their clothing is extra special for them for special occasions like their birthday, or just for fun.




I could spend hours paging through all of Chrisy's designs in her Etsy shop.  I am such a huge fan of ruffles.  Chrisy's attention to detail and the added ruffle features in many of her designs are my favorite.



Chrisy was so sweet to send Lilli a beautiful dress from her collection and we were able to give it to her for her 7th Birthday.  She was so excited about it.  It has ruffles on the shoulders and it has plenty of fabric in the skirt to give it a pretty big twirl when she spins around.


It fits her just perfectly and I'm hoping she doesn't grow too much so she can wear it plenty more in the spring.  But, right now she's pairing it with some cute leggings, and a sweater.  



 It's excellent quality and I know she'll be wearing it for as long as she can.


Chrisy is so sweet to offer one of my readers a $25 shop credit to her Etsy store.


Carolina's Hope Chest :: Etsy :: Facebook



Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Home Tour {Living Spaces}



Welcome to my home!!  

I was nominated by one of my favorite bloggers, Amy at Keepin' Up with the Smith's to give a little tour of my house.  

My family and I live in a 2200 sq ft, 4 BR, 2 BA, split level home just south of the Twin Cities in Minnesota.  Prior to living here we lived in a couple apartments and then a town home.  Our goal was to be in a house before Alexa went to kindergarten and we exceeded that goal by almost a year and a half. 

When you walk in our front door, there is a small entry way with a spacious closet.  You have the option to go either up or down the stairs....

We'll go down first!  This is our family room, where we spend a lot of our time just hanging out watching TV and running on the treadmill.  




I'm in the process of adding a gallery wall to the blank wall behind the futon.  I have all the frames and everything, I just need to paint them a different color.  It's been on my to-do list for far too long.  I'm hoping to have it done by the end of the year.

To the left of the large cabinet below are the stairs going up to the front door.  Down the hallway is a bathroom and 2 bedrooms.  One of the bedrooms we are using as a guest room and the other is a large playroom for the girls.


We did a few updates to the downstairs bathroom, but there are still more that need to be done including getting rid of that awful linoleum.  



Now, let's head upstairs to our main living room.


To the right of this space is our dining area and kitchen.  Straight ahead down the hall is mine and Adam's bedroom, to the left is the girls' bedroom and the bathroom is on the right.


We spend most of our time in this room.  Also, please ignore the happy birthday banner.  I've clearly not taken all the party decor yet. ;)


This photo is quite dark, but this window area is one of my most favorite parts about our house.  That big oversized chair is where I love to relax.


The large vaulted ceilings are what my husband and I fell in love with in this house.  Everything is so open, which is exactly what we wanted.



So that's a little glimpse into my home.  Who wants to come visit?? ;)

I'm nominating Lo {Our Crazy Ever After} and Bridget {Life as Bridget Knows It} to share a piece of their home with us.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Alexa's 10th Birthday {Parties}




Macy, Lilli, Hannah H., MaKenna, Katie, Abby, Hannah N.
Madison, Hanna H., Adeline
Ava, Fantasia, Alexa & Miranda


This weekend was all about ALEXA!!! She turned 10 on Oct. 1st, but we celebrated with her friends this weekend.  This girls has a ton of friends and loves to party, so we kind of split the weekend into 2 separate events.  The first was at one of her favorite places....Cherry Berry!!  

12 of her close friends joined us for frozen yogurt and cupcakes, games and lots of giggles.




After cake and ice-cream, Alexa opened her gifts...and my goodness was she ever spoiled.  I told her friends that they were ALL going to be invited to MY birthday party, too.   Nail polish, Target gift cards, Starbucks gift card, TC Nails gift card, hair accessories, candy, fun crafts, cute clothes and scarves, ect.


Once all the girls were all hyped up on sugar, we played some games.  The first was a race to see who could get the most m&m's from one bowl to the next by carrying them with a straw.  We had played this at one of Alexa's past birthday parties and some of her friends had begged to play it again this year.  It was a huge hit....with m&m's flying everywhere. 








We played BINGO towards the end of the party as parents started coming to pick them up!  Alexa was so happy and had such a fun time.

We did some last minute cleaning up when we got home and prepared ourselves for her second party.  She invited her Amazing Stars dance team to have a sleep over.

We had pizza when they arrived and then opened presents.  Again, she received such cool things...a Synergy dance sweatshirt, a pink sparkle caboodle with nail polish, a pink sparkle purse with an "A" on it with a notebook and feather pen inside, a large fleece tie blanket with her name on it and more $$ to spend at Target.  After presents...a huge dance party ensued.....







Isabelle, Rachel, Alexa, Carly, Kaylee, Jillian


The ice-cream bar was a favorite at Lilli's party, so we offered it at Alexa's, too.  Pretty sure this has taken the place of cake for all future birthdays.


Apparently the companie dance teams are competing to win a sleep over at the dance studio.  The director will pick who's showing the best sportsmanship, respect and is putting forth their hardest effort in class.

So, the Amazing's decided to go the extra mile and make little notecards for all the companie members.  They wrote fun and inspiring dance quotes on bright pink notecards and used glitter and rhinestones to decorate them.  


AND a huge banner for the teachers and staff at the studio.  They painted their hands and made little hearts in their prints and then wrote their names.  The "no standing, only dancing" was their favorite quote.
They'll be delivering them tonight during class!!


They painted each others nails, ate popcorn and puppy chow...






...watched the movie Parent Trap and then stayed up waaay past my bed time chatting and giggling.




{breakfast}


All of Alexa's friends are such fun girls!!

I was really on edge about Alexa turning 10...I mean, double digits..YIKES!!
But, I have to say...so far, 10 has proved to be a pretty cool age. 




Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Favorites



 Are you guys sick of me talking about the girls' dance yet??  Ok, good...because we are getting right to the good stuff, like...the recital theme, competition songs, costumes...ect.  Things are slowly being revealed to us and it's OMG so exciting!!  So far we know that the theme this year is "numbers", so every song or song title is going to have some sort of "number" or "number lyric" in it.   Which brings me to my #1 favorite thing this week......wait for it....Bruno Mars' song "Count on Me".  Lilli's companie ballet class will be performing to this song and obsessed doesn't even come close to describing how we feel about this song.  If you haven't heard it click over to this Youtube link and have a watch and listen right now.....so worth it.  And while you're listening, imagine seven  6 & 7 year olds little girls dancing ballet to it.  Melt this mama's heart why don't you! haha




 Last weekend after our trip to the pumpkin patch we took a nice little family hike through a nature trail near our house.  Alexa was not a happy camper about going.  Who knows why?  She's 10!  And Lilli, of course, put on a sour face to mimic her sister.  Anyways, not 50 feet into our excursion, both girls had found a walking stick and were happy little mijas.  Because that's what being out in nature in the Fall does to a person.  We didn't have the best Summer, but mother nature is making up for it this Fall...the weather has been phenomenal and for some reason the trees are holding their leaves a little bit longer so that we can enjoy them more.  Enjoy them we did....



 We got our flu shots yesterday morning.  When we were on our way home from dance late Wednesday night Lilli realized that it was the next morning that she was going to get the ever dreaded...SHOT!  Naturally, she started crying and being way over dramatic about a silly little poke in the arm.  I was being sympathetic to her, but at the same time not really letting her tears get to me.  But, Alexa on the other hand hates seeing her sister sad, scared, worried, ect.  The conversation went something like this...

Lillian : {crying} "It's going to hurt SO BAD...I don't want to get a shot, please don't make me get a shooooottttt..."

Alexa: "It's going to be OK Lilli, we're all going to get flu shots and we'll all be together."
{grabbing Lilli in a hug}

Lillian:  "Nooooooo!!  I can't do it...I don't want a shot" {more crying}

Alexa:  "Lilli, calm down...you know what I heard??  I heard that if you're really brave, it won't hurt at all."

Lillian:  {embracing Alexa's hug and snuggled her face into her shoulder}  I love you Alexa.

Alexa:  "I love you, too, Lilli"

These two girls amaze me every single day.  When I just wanted to tell Lilli to suck it up, Alexa stepped in and gave her the words and comfort she needed.  
We got home and the girls were getting ready for bed.  I took Alexa aside and said.."Hey, I heard what you said to your sister.  You handled that so well!  Thank you."  She gave me a smile that said she would do anything for her sister always and forever.  My heart could burst...




 Here I go talking about dance again....but, seriously it takes up so much of our life right now and I really can't say that I mind it.  My girls are so darn happy, which makes me happy.  
Alexa came home from class and said she had homework...'dance' homework.

And incase you're wondering what dance homework looks like....





OUCH!



Happy weekend, friends!




Thursday, October 23, 2014

League of Letters Review {+ Giveaway}


We've lived in our home for 5+ years now and I'm still finding fun decor pieces to add to my walls.  It's so fun to get creative and switch things up every once in awhile, too.  We recently brought the coffee & end tables from our living room set upstairs and switched them with the set we have in the family room in our basement.  It was such a simple change, but made the world of difference to us.  I love to do that with my wall space, too.  Switch up my shelves and rearrange pictures, ect.  It just keeps everything fresh, you know?

Last week I received this amazing single letter "L" monogram with a square border from League of Letters and have been brainstorming where I'm going to display it in our house.  For now I have it on a floating shelf in our living room, but I have some other ideas for it, too...like, adding some ribbon or burlap to it and hanging it from the front door, or incorporating it into my gallery wall in our family room.  There are just so many options.



For now I have it on a floating shelf in our living room, but I have some other ideas for it, too...like, adding some ribbon or burlap to it and hanging it from the front door, or incorporating it into my gallery wall in our family room.  There are just so many options.


 

League of Letter's is a husband wife team who enjoy making and selling custom monograms and letters to be used for weddings, nurseries, birthdays or home decor.



Their pieces are either sold in their plain form for you to be as creative as you'd like with color or adding other personal touches.  Or, you can purchase them already painted and ready to be displayed.
Their selection includes monograms, single letters, cake toppers, coasters and more.

Cody and his wife are very unique when it comes to customer service.  They treat each of their customers like family and truly care about you.

They are extending their generosity to one of my lucky readers by offering your choice of any 18" or 24" monogram. 



League of Letters :: Etsy :: Facebook