Monday, September 26, 2016

Halloween & Fall Decor Details






Awwww, it's Fall! It's my favorite time of the year for soooo many reasons. And today was the first real Fallish feeling day. The air is brisk, the trees are starting to turn, and the days are getting shorter. Pumpkin flavored treats are on the shelves and... in my tummy. Most importantly, though, my house is getting decked out for the Autumn holidays. 

I started to decorate for Halloween a bit early this year, I usually don't start the set up until October 1st, but Lukas wanted it up sooner. I'll admit, I favor Fall/ Thanksgiving decor more than Halloween decor, but I feel with small kids who love holiday decorations, it's important to go all out. This year, I went a bit understated compared to other years- indoors- but plan on going all out on our front porch (but more on that another day). For now, I'm happy with the details of Fall around our house and look forward to November 1st when I can take down the Halloween decor and add more Autumn around the house. 

Oh and I'm loving my new bracelets from Zaful. I ordered so many treats for myself for the holiday season that I'm wearing every day. Sometimes, it's nice to wear some statement jewelry to make an average day of decorating a bit more pretty. There are so many choices for jewelry, clothes, and accessories. If you're looking for something for yourself or starting your holiday shopping now, give Zaful.com a look around and get some great deals on some great items! 



This post is sponsored by Zaful.com. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Time to Get Real About My Baby Turing 10


I've always been very honest in the fact that I did not have babies to have children. I had babies to have babies. Or at least that was the point at the time. When I decided to have a baby, I never thought much past the having a baby part until I had a toddler.

Then, I thought only about toddlerhood and having another baby.

Then, I had a preschooler but never really thought much about it because I had a new baby.

Then, I had a school-aged child and a toddler, but never really put too much thought into it because I had another new baby.

Now, on the eve of having been a mother for 10 years, a whole decade or a third of my life, and now not having a baby in my arms, I realize I've been raising a young lady. A daughter who has been by my side for nearly every day in these last 10 years, not missing a beat of our life together. A daughter who made me a mother at 21, shaped me into the person I am today, and showed me that having a baby is so much more than that... having a baby.

I think about the book, Love You Forever, by Robert Munch, and of course get tears in my eyes. If you don't have children, it's hard to imagine what the words in that book actually do to a parent. As Heidi gets older- I mean, we're going into double digits- and the idea that she's not physically a baby anymore looms in my mind, I remind myself that she will always be my baby. True, it's not the same, babies have that way about them that even the most perfect 10 year old couldn't match. But none-the-less, she is still my baby girl, my first baby, and I will always have that special relationship with her.

It's hard for me to think that I've been a mother for 10 years and that I'm entering a whole new chapter in parenting. Like I said, I signed up for babies, not children. And whereas I think I've done a pretty good job navigating through the different stages of motherhood and raising children, I'm not sure I'm ready for taking on an adolescent daughter in this day and age. The thought is actually quite terrifying to me. At times, I still feel like I just got out of my teenage years and became an adult. How am I suppose to raise a child through it? I guess I'll figure it out, but I'd be lying if I said I was looking forward to it.

I guess part of me is just feeling very bittersweet about the whole my first born is turning 10 thing. On one hand, it's absolutely the most wonderful thing watching your child grow up. Let's be honest, I've kept her alive all these years and she's smart and nice and so many other amazing things- because of me. But on the other hand, watching your baby grow up is also quite sad. We've all said it at least once, why can't you stay this little forever?

So, with my feelings spread out all over the keyboard and dried tears on my cheeks, I'm going to go decorate for Heidi's birthday and make it the best damned birthday that girl has ever had. I'm actually pretty excited because we are starting a tradition where we travel- just the two of us, no boys- for her day. This year we are starting small and heading to a little beach town on Lake Michigan for a girls weekend getaway. The plan is for her 18th birthday to go anywhere she wants to go for the ultimate birthday getaway. I mean, if I have to suffer each year my little 6-pound baby gets older, I may as well do it while having fun on vacation.

I'd looove to know how you deal with your kids getting older. Am I totally crazy for feeling this way, because I feel a little crazy ha!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Cups!


Oh boy, do I have a treat recipe for you! These little cookie cups are so heavenly that even my non-sweet-eating-self loved 'em. With Heidi's 10th birthday this weekend, I'm making as many of her fav desserts to surprise her with. Yesterday, I decided to come up with something new and tried making these cups... such a hit! They are so easy to make, and the absolute best part being that it makes eating ice cream so fun and easy! Even my 2-year-old had a blast eating these ice cream cups. So if you want to try something new for your next party or just want a delicious sweet dessert, make these cookie cups. You can do so much with them!! 


What You'll Need:
  • 1 pound of your choice favorite chocolate chip cookie dough
  • A muffin pan 
  • Your choice ice cream
  • Your choice toppings
What You'll Do:
  • Heat oven at 350
  • Divide cookie dough into 9 balls and place in muffin pan.
  • Using a handy seasoning/sprinkle container, press the center of each dough ball until the sides of the ball are nearly at the top of the pan (see pic).
  • Bake for 10 minutes. Now, take out of the oven and the center of the cookie cups- the part that was pushed down- might be a little puffy and not looking like a cup. Using a spoon, gently press on the center to release the air inside so that the center falls flat, creating the cup look. 
  • Bake for an additional 7 minutes or until the cookie cups start to brown.
  • Let sit in pan for 5 minutes, then gently remove from the pan. 
  • Add ice cream and toppings, creating the yummiest cookie cup! 
  • Serve and enjoy!! 


Have you ever made anything like this before? It's seriously such a fun way to eat ice cream! 




Monday, September 19, 2016

Sunday Funday


Oh Sunday, I wait all week to have you and then you are gone just too fast. We have been soooo lucky with the most perfect weather, and getting outside to enjoy it has been on the must-do agenda! Sundays around our house are for family down time, spending the whole day together and just being. You know, we try not to make any plans if possible. I do my shopping, the hubs take the older two to church, and then we spend our afternoons outside. We ride bikes, play at the park or find a lake to swim in. I love this time with my family and all the "non-planning" that goes into Sundays. 

This last Sunday, we decided to head to the park, ride bikes and get ice cream. It was a last minute idea that worked out so nicely. I had brought my camera with just to work on some settings in natural lighting and got a few action shots of the fam that I loved. I hope to look back on these lazy days some day and remember them as some of the best times in my kid's lives. I know they are for me.

With the weather continuing to be warm and sunny, something I wasn't expecting in the Midwest going into the third week of September, I'm happy the hubs and I decided to get new sunglasses. Whereas I like to wear glasses year around, the hubs definitely needs them on these sunny days when out with the kids. I was able to get a great deal on both pairs at GlassesUSA.com. There is such a huge selection on high quality glasses, at affordable prices. I found brand names, private brands, sports, kids and even computer glasses, all with the availability to come in a prescription. Now, I've been a skeptic in the past about buying glasses online because it's hard to know if they'll fit my face. At GlassesUSA, there is a virtual mirror that takes the worry away. Just upload a picture of yourself (or use one of their models) to see just how the glasses will look on you. It's really genius! And makes shopping for others that much easier! I was able to get the hub's glasses to fit him perfectly... without him ever trying them on. And the fact that I could choose from a wide selection  at affordable prices was a big deal. I'm so glad I found GlassesUSA

How do you spend your Sunday afternoons? 



This post was sponsored by GlassesUSA.com. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Mother & Daughter Pictures


It's September now and that means my first born, my forever baby, and my only daughter will be turning 10! 10!! How the heck did she get so old? I swear to you, in my mind she is still this sweet little curly haired girl who loves Barbie movies and playing dress up. Now, we are having conversations about cell phones, online safety, and boobs. Whereas I've enjoyed getting to see my baby turn into a little lady, it's also really hard for me to deal with the fact that I will no longer get to play dress up with her. 

For Heidi's 10th birthday, I wanted to do a mother-daughter photo shoot. I've had an idea of how I wanted the pics to turn out for years, thanks to Pinterest. But before I hire a professional to take our pics (and the fact that I want them taken on her actual birthday) I thought I'd have a test run with my hubs behind the camera. Since we have been lucky in the weather department lately, it was easy to use our yard for this practice run. 

I thought I'd share how the photos turned out since my hubs did pretty good -for him- and I absolutely love the dress I was wearing. I've been wanting a new lace dress for the Fall and knew this was the dress for me when I saw it. It's perfect for church, an event, or the holidays. It's comfortable and very feminine. And the color is just what I've been looking for! It's not always easy for me to have time to shop for myself, so anytime I can shop online is a plus in my book. I found my lace dress at  Dressfo.com, where there is a huge selection of dresses and all types of clothing for women. 

Have a wonderful September and enjoy the last 10 days of Summer, as I enjoy the last 12 days before my baby turns 10. 


This post was sponsored by Dressfo.com. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Travel Gallery Wall in the Foyer


Happy Friday! I really can't believe that we're nearly 10 days into September already, because I feel like it was just New Years!! This year has been flying by at lightning speed and before you know it, it will be Christmas. I'm still just trying to get my new home- can I still say new if I've been in for 3 months?!?- put together. By the time I get everything where I want it, I will have to take everything down to hang all the holiday decorations! Oh, first world problems at their finest, am I right?

Anyway, one of the spaces I really wanted to get done was the foyer or entryway. In this house, it's quite a large, unusable space. I really wanted to have a warm, welcoming vibe while using all the wall space that's in that room. I've always wanted to display all my many travel photos from over the years. They are some of my favorite pics and transport me back to the destination when I see them. So it was kind of a no-brainer to have a giant gallery wall in that space. 

This picture wall was not so easy to execute. Looking back, I think I was a bit over my head when I thought I could just hang these pictures perfectly. Let's just say, there was a lot of drawing on the wall, measuring and maybe even some tape! It took me three hours from start to finish to get it perfect -and it's still not perfect but there is no way I'm taking those bad boys down and starting again- and admire my work. Overall though, I'm pretty happy with how the whole space turned out and will say that at this point in my home decorating process, this is my fav room to just sit in. 

What about you, do you have a foyer to decorate? How do you style such an unusable space?? 
Have a happy weekend!!