Archive for January 2016

Hey There Friday

January 29, 2016

{one} Clap your hands if you love Fridays! We sure do! Sadie has started clapping her hands and it is just about the cutest thing that I have ever seen.

She thinks she's pretty cool. She can clap. Crawl. Pull her self up. SLOW DOWN sweet girl. Mama's heart can't handle this speediness. 

{two} Sometimes I just stare at my children and it takes my breath away. I still can't believe they're mine. Like what did I do to deserve such a great gift? Does anyone else do that? I don't mean to be sappy but they give me ALL THE FEELS.

{three} Our house is almost done. We have final walk throughs next week! If all goes well the house will be ours. Yay! It doesn't really feel real at this point. I guess I should start packing (again!) right? Also, side note, I do NOT recommend building a house when you are super pregnant/have a newborn baby. We picked out everything months ago and I totally couldn't remember our selections. Things started coming in and I was like "wow! I picked that? I LOVE IT!" and sometimes "um...what was I thinking?" Luckily, mistakes were very few (toilet I hated, Sadie's paint color was awful etc.) and they weren't too hard to fix. I have a few more building a house blog posts to share with all of you and I'll be sure to let  you know what I would have done differently, now that the house is done!

{four} I've been having marathon Scandal watching parties (by myself, in my pajamas, staying up way past my bedtime) and I'm almost done with season 4. I'm obsessed with this show and I hope I can find season 5 online because otherwise I'll go through withdrawal! Hulu has it but not all of the episodes are on there and I don't think I can wait for it to be on Netflix. #firstworldproblems Also, what should I watch once I'm caught up? I need some good recommendations! (besides Gilmore Girls and Parenthood which I know are fan favorites....I have already watched those both live and loved them!)

{five} I promise I'm not going to just blog once or twice a week. At least I'll try. Working from home + caring for two kids + building the house has all kind of kicked my booty. I'm ready for things to calm down a little bit, even though I know that's probably months and months away. Thank you for sticking around. My goal is to catch up on blogs today, so you might see me popping in and commenting!

Have a great weekend!
Linking up with:

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My bag....also known as my life

January 26, 2016

Everything is in my bag. My whole life is in my bag. Can anyone relate? I'm sure if you are mom you can. Every time my husband picks up my bag he remarks how heavy it is. But really, I NEED everything that's in there. I would be lost without it.

When I had Hudson I searched and searched for the perfect bag, but never found it. I didn't like any of the typical "diaper bags" because they just weren't me. I usually ended up just buying a giant purse and stuffing all of my junk in it and calling it good.

But then I discovered the most perfect diaper bag ever by Lily Jade. When I went to California for work, my boss Alissa had the Meggan and it was so lovely....I seriously sat in the back of her car and held it in my lap and just was in awe. I knew I needed some Lily Jade in my life asap.

On a daily basis I carry around the following items:
change of clothes for Sadie
change of clothes + undies + socks for Hudson
changing pad
burp cloth
baby wipes
Covered Goods nursing/carseat/shopping cart cover
baby toy
hand sanitizer
make-up and chapstick
snacks: apple sauce pouches, granola bar, fruit snacks
candy....for bribes
phone charger + portable battery
...and at any given time random coupons, receipts, grocery lists. 

So basically I'm obsessed with my Meggan diaper bag by Lily Jade. I love all of the compartments....there's a spot for everything I need to carry around as a mom. And I mean everything. No more digging around in my bag for a snack for Hudson...I now know exactly where it is. And the insert is I can take all of the baby stuff out of my bag for a fun night out.....or even put the insert in a different bag. I LOVE that it doesn't look like a diaper bag! And it's so soft and well made...I know I will use it for a long time.

Fun fact about me: I use baby wipes for basically everything. Wipe up spit up? Clean tables when we go to dinner? Wipe sticky hands? Clean the dashboard of my car? Check, check, check. Anyone with me?

Sadie loves her a cute bag....she's always getting in to it. Stinker.

What's your favorite diaper bag?

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Building a House: Frequently Asked Questions Part 1

January 19, 2016

You know what makes me happy? The fact that so many of you are just as excited as I am about my new house. I'm thrilled that it's almost done and that I get to share it with you! I thought I'd take some time to answer some of the frequently asked questions about the building process. Feel free to ask any other questions you have in the comment section and I'll be sure to answer them in my next post!

Also, keep in mind that everyone has a different experience depending on where you live, your preferences, budget, and your builder. This is just mine.

1. How did you know building was for you?
For us, this process started several years ago. My husband and I LOVED our neighborhood and our school district, but didn't love the layout of our house. We talked about moving but our school district was so highly coveted that houses were selling fast. So fast that we often couldn't even get in to see a house before it sold. We looked for about a year but never found the right house for us. It was then that we started talking about building. Flash forward a year later and we started talking about building a house with a guest cottage for my mom to live in. I grew up with my grandma living next door and wanted the same for my kids. My mom loved the idea and jumped on board.....yep, that's right, we are building with my mom! I'll share details on her space in an upcoming post.

2. How do you start the building process?

Oh goodness, this part has many steps:
Step 1: Decide on a budget. My husband is a numbers guy, so he crunched the numbers to determine what we could afford in a monthly mortgage payment. If you need help doing this there are a lot of mortgage calculators online. We also spoke with a few realtors to figure out the approximate value of our current home, which we figured we would have to sell first in order to pay for the new house. For us, the steps to figuring out what we could afford to build were the same steps we would take if we were buying an existing home. We set a budget range we were comfortable staying in and tried to stick to it as best as we could. Basically everyone we know who has built a house told us they spent more than they had originally planned.....and we sort of did too. I recommend having a range and trying to stick to the low end of it....but create a cushion in case you end up spending a little more. We stayed within our range but we did get close to the top of our budget. But the good news is we didn't go over it!

Step 2: Research builders. We did A TON of research on builders. We went to a home show where several builders set up booths and we spent the day talking to all of them. We made a lot of phone calls. I even drove by subdivisions that I liked and then googled around until I found out who built the homes and then gave the builder a call. We took recommendations from friends. We also toured homes that each builder had built because seeing their work in person made a huge difference! You name it, and we did it. Ask each builder their average cost per square foot and use that number to figure out if they are within your budget. We narrowed it down to three builders and then started more serious discussions. When it came down to deciding on the right builder we just went with our gut...and thankfully we all liked the same one! 

Step 3: Decide on your "Must Haves." Sit down with your spouse and write out what your dream home would look like. Does it have an open floor plan? How many bedrooms? Bathrooms? From there, discuss what you each MUST HAVE in your home. If you are anything like us, you probably can't afford your perfect dream home. So take a look at your list and pick 3 things that you must have. These are the things that you will have to look out for when selecting your property location, builder, and floorpan. For me, my must haves were: school district, an open floor plan where I could see my kids while I was in the kitchen, and a walkable neighborhood. My husband's were: at least 1 acre of property, school district, and natural gas. Since school district was really important to both of us, we knew we had to focus in on a certain area. So we kept all of our must haves in mind while we shopped around. (spoiler alert: I ended up compromising on one of my must haves....finding a property that was large enough for my husband to have some land yet was also in a walkable neighborhood really didn't exist in our price range.)

Step 4: Find property. This was probably the most challenging part of the process. Some properties restrict you to working with certain builders, and some builders only work on properties they already keep this in mind when selecting your builder. Since we knew we wanted to work with our builder we only looked at properties that didn't make you work with a particular builder. We looked FOREVER. My biggest advice for this is to ask your builder if they know of any land for sale, check online resources every day, use the map on zillow to find properties, and drive around and look for for sale signs (we found a lot of property for sale that wasn't listed online). We had our builder meet us at several properties to evaluate them and see if they would work. Sometimes we would love a property but after walking it with our builder he would point out things we didn't know to look for that would make us change our mind. Again, picking a quality builder you can trust is key!

Step 5: Draw up plans. This stage took several weeks for us. Our builder had some pre-built plans that we used as a guide to custom build our home. They had the base plans loaded in to a computer system that allowed us to move walls around, make things bigger or smaller, and basically customize it to our needs. Do your research online (I recommend pinterest!) to help you figure out what you want. Also, go to open houses or a parade of homes to get the feel for what types of layouts you prefer.

Step 6: Re-evaluate the budget. Once you have your property, house plans, and an idea of the types of finishings you want in your home (hardwood floors, tiled shower, fireplace etc.) your builder should be able to give you an estimate on your final costs. You may have to sit down with your lender to review the costs and make sure everything is in your budget. 

3. How long does building take?
It depends! For us, the whole process took about a year. Keep in mind that includes the time we spent researching builders, deciding on our must haves, finding land, drawing up plans, and, you know, actually building the house. 

Dang, that was a lot for only three questions. I'll start working on part 2....but be sure to drop your questions in the comments!

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House Updates.....It's Getting Real

January 14, 2016

Good gosh this house project is going by more quickly than I thought it would! I feel like we just started and now it's almost done! But in reality we started the whole process over a year ago. The actual "building the house" stage seems to be going the quickest. I'm planning a big post on the building process but in the meantime I thought I'd share some updates with all of you! We started with this.....

which turned in to this....

and now this!

The second picture is the only one I have that shows the whole house. It was really cold when I snapped this photo and I didn't realize I didn't include the left side. But you get the idea!

Our house in the woods is coming along nicely! Once things are done I'll focus on the details, but for now here are some of my favorite spaces....

The kitchen. Oh how I love this kitchen. I can't wait to start using it. That island is massive (8 feet and some change by 4 feet!). They actually made a mistake and ordered the a smaller countertop....and as soon as I saw it I knew right away it was wrong. It was just fixed this week and I'm swooning over it. 

We have tons of counter space. I'm just in heaven. And here you can see some of the cabinet hardware being installed! This was taken by my husband yesterday....I still haven't seen it in person yet. 

This photo is a little older, but here's a shot of the dining nook. The original plan called for the living room to flow into the dining area and then flow in to the basically one giant room. While I loved the open concept, I hated the thought of having to walk around my farmhouse table every time I went from the living room to the kitchen. So I had them bump this dining area off to the side. Best idea ever. I also had them vault the ceiling in the dining nook. On the right side of the dining nook is a sliding glass door to the deck. 

The other side of the kitchen. That's the pantry on the left. And yes....that's a farmhouse sink in the island!

When you are at the island this is your view in to the living room. Right behind the built-ins and fireplace is the master bedroom, and to the right is the stairs, entryway, and office. 

And here are the stairs....which, obviously. 

Down that hallway is the office and then the entryway and front door.

Here's the office door as viewed from the entry way. LOVE. We also added this entryway paneling after seeing how nice it looked in our mudroom. I'm obsessed. GIVE ME ALL THE PANELING. 

And part of the mudroom (which is off of the kitchen and garage entrance). I can't wait to get my hands on those cubbies. Storage is so important to me and this house totally reflects that!

Here's a sneak peak of our double shower in the master bathroom. I'm loving the white subway tile with dark grout....because it looks cool! And will be easy to clean! And did I mention it looks cool? The floor is super dirty...but it looks cool too. 

And there you have it. Stay tuned for more next week!

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Sadie Mae: 7 Months

January 11, 2016

Our sweet little lady is 7 months old. Hudson's first year seemed to fly by but this girl's? It's going at super sonic speed. Time needs to slow down...and so does Sadie. She's on the go go go.....and we just can't get enough of her. (You can find Sadie's flamingo toy here and polkadot blanket here)

Sadie is all smiles and giggles and babbles. She loves to bounce in her jumperoo and is a non-stop chatter box. She charms the pants off of anyone she meets....that is, as long as mommy is holding her. If I'm not holding on to her tightly she'll give every stranger major side-eye. And if she looses sight of me she'll throw in a quivering lip and start crying. She's a mama's girl for sure and isn't afraid to let everyone know it. For the first time this month she gave the ladies at the church nursery a hard time. Girlfriend likes her mama and simply will not stand to be apart. Thankfully she still does great with her grandparents and with daddy too of course. But it's major heart eyes for mommy. Which obviously I LOVE.

Girlfriend weighs 20 pounds and is 27.8 inches tall (at her six month check up, which was last week because #secondchild). She's right on track with her big brother at this age

The biggest development this month is that Sadie is officially a girl on the move! She started crawling  this week and now is in to EVERYTHING. And she's fast. Once she figured out how to get those legs and arms moving she was off! She totally beat her brother to this milestone. And she's pretty determined to put every single one of Hudson's (and Wrigley's) toys in her mouth. I swear the only reason she's crawling so expertly and so quickly is to keep up with big brother.

Also, she started clapping her hands. So. Stinkin'. Cute.

Sadie usually sleeps 7:30pm-7am and is up once (sometimes twice) in the night. But usually just once. On New Year's Eve she decided to sleep through the night so I thought 2016 was off to a good start. But it hasn't happened since. This month her naps have improved a's still not perfect but we're moving past the 20 minute cat-nap. On a good day she'll nap an hour and a half in the morning and another hour and a half in the afternoon. But a lot of the time we are on the go so she just naps in the car. And sometimes she take 3 shorter naps. She likes to keep me on my toes.

And speaking of toes....hers are always in her mouth. It's impossible to get a photo of her these days because she stays still for a few seconds and then is rolling away from me as quickly as she can. As for her diet, she's a breastmilk all the way kind of girl. She'll eat a few bites of homemade baby food but so far only really like's playing with the spoon. She's had rice cereal, sweet potatoes, peas, bananas, and applesauce. I tossed a raspberry her way last night at dinner and she had fun smashing it and making a mess but didn't take a single bite. I'm making her food just like I did with Hudson and it's super easy. I use this and I love it. 

Sadie has such a happy, bubbly personality and lights up a room. She's got us all wrapped around her little finger and we wouldn't have it any other way. What did we do before her? She's the perfect addition to our family and we just love watching her grow!

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Sixteen in '16

January 8, 2016

2016! Wow. Sounds weird right? I thought I'd end this first week with a bang. And by bang I mean, a little "fun things you might not know about me" post. Let's do this!

{one} I'm originally from Southern California but moved to Michigan for grad school...and then ended up meeting my husband and so I stayed. I still considered myself a Californian....there are just things that are different here in Michigan that I will never understand.

{two} Our Christmas decorations are still up. Hudson has a fit whenever we talk about taking them down. Not gonna lie...I don't hate it. 

{three} I wear yoga pants pretty much every day but haven't done yoga in like 10 years. They should just call them "mom pants." 

{four} I'm a Star Wars nerd. Love me some Star Wars. New, old, you name it. We FINALLY got the chance to see the new movie and it was so good.

{five} I'm not much of a shoes girl. I'll pick a new bag over shoes any day. I have a few pairs of boots, two booties, some rain boots, two pairs of flats, some chucks, and a few pairs of tennis shoes. I doubt any of my heels still fit (thanks baby #2)...and I haven't even tried to get them on. 

{six} I was once the song leader (along with this girl) in my sorority. Which was ridiculous because I am quite possibly the world's worst singer ever. 

{seven} We are currently building a new house and it's almost done! I've got a house update coming your way next week. 

{eight} This girl live-tweeting made me snort like 5 times. 

{nine} I can't stop saying "It's handled". I finally jumped on the Scandal bandwagon. I started watching it on Netflix and now I totally get all the hype. 

{ten} When Harry Met Sally, The American President, The Help, Steel Magnolias, The Wizard of Oz....all movies that if they are on, you can bet I'll be watching. No matter how many times I've seen them. 

{eleven} Snapchat has replaced my frequent blogging. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

{twelve} I'm not sure if we are done having kids. Some days I say yes, we're good with two...and some days I think we'll have one more. 

{thirteen} Green is my favorite color. And it's also my best color. 

{fourteen} If my husband wasn't allergic I would totally become a crazy cat lady. We always had cats growing up....and in fact we have 2 right now. My poor husband suffers through it. Kitties have always had a special place in my heart. I've had 11 total in my life. ELEVEN (Wizard, Tramp, Pumpkin, Mouser, Molly, Pepper, Scout, Bailey, Pancake, and currently Henry and Sophie)

{fifteen}  A new Gilmore Girls and Fuller House on Netflix have me more excited than I should ever admit.

{sixteen} I almost hit publish on this post and then re-read my title and realized I actually needed 16 things. And that basically sums up my life. I think I've got it all together one minute and then the next get distracted by kids, laundry, dirty dishes, the dog needing to be fed, sheets needing washing etc. and then forget where I was. 

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I'm not one for resolutions...

January 4, 2016

I don't make resolutions. I have trouble sticking with them and it's just too hard during this busy season of my life. Instead, I've decided to focus on two things. 1) Organize and 2) Be Still.

I'm a strange bird...I can go from being the most organized mom on the planet to being the most chaotic in a matter of minutes. But this year we are moving to a new house and the goal is to organize that bad boy so that it suits our needs. No more clutter. No more junk. No more clothes and shoes I haven't worn in years. It all has to go. I also need to start utilizing my planner more. I bought a new pretty one and need to put it to good use. Things get out of control when I'm not organized so I really need to work on this!

Also, I need to try to remember to be still. To me that means: reading my bible, writing in my journal, learning to ignore the mess, and just enjoying my children. They only have one childhood and it's just flying by way too fast. Hudson and Sadie are my legacy and they are all that really matters. All the extra can go. 

What are you focusing on this year?

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