Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Home Inspiration- Christmas Decor

I absolutely love looking at all of the Christmas decor that's displayed right now.  My own home is lacking a little though... too busy with a 3 year old and a baby.  We have our stockings up, large tree up and finally almost fully decorated, and a somewhat festive front door decor.  I'll also decorate and set the dining table our for Christmas Eve dinner that we host.  I have two small (under 2ft) trees to still put up as well- one in the kids room and maybe one in the kitchen.    I took the easy way out and put them back in the boxes still decorated from last year so they shouldn't take too long to put up.  Does anyone else do this?!  If I had some extra time and space I'd love to replicate the looks of the beautiful decor shown below.

How beautiful is this staircase garland? Goals.
Found on Pinterest here

I love the matching wreath above the mantle garland and the little village houses are a perfect with it all .
Found on Pinterest here

I love trees on tables like this one.  For Mary-Grace's second Christmas, she was only 16 months old and was into everything.  So, we put up a small 3ft tree on a table similar to this but I didn't have a cute basket like the one shown here.
Found on Pinterest here
 There's something about wreaths with striped ribbon that I love and especially shown with a boxwood wreath like this one.
Found on Pinterest here

Monday, December 4, 2017

Monday Must-Haves + Life Update

"Monday, Monday, so good to me" at least she better be.  This weekend.  These past 6 days.  They have been rough.  I've been MIA from quite a bit since then.  Last Tuesday, Mary-Grace had a stomach virus.  The day started with her vomiting everywhere and it lasted all day.  It was awful.  I felt so bad for her.  I prayed the rest of us wouldn't catch it and thank God we didn't.  Have any of you tried the grape juice "trick"?  I'm now convinced it really works.  The past 3 or so times Mary-Grace has had a stomach virus, we've drank multiple glasses of grape juice and we haven't gotten sick.  I think it's now more than coincidence.  It's suppose to do something with the acids in your stomach.  By Friday Mary-Grace was feeling a lot better.  However, right after helping her recover from that, Benton started to not act himself on Friday.  He was lethargic and more fussy than usual.  By late Friday evening, he had a fever of 103.2.  I was freaking out because I don't remember having a fever that high and Mary-Grace luckily has never battled fevers.  That same evening it so happened that his pediatricians (who we love btw) phone line was having technical difficulties and it took us a while to get in touch with the triage nurse to ask for advice.  I was seriously ready to take him to the ER.  He was sweating, beet red, and still lethargic.  We followed their advice though and stayed home treating him with Motrin and I nursed him as much as possible to keep him hydrated during the night.  We took him in Saturday morning and they told us he might have hands, foot and mouth.  We already had a bad experience with that with Mary-Grace and Josh a couple of years ago (another story for another day).  Thank God it doesn't seem that he has that though.  We think it was just another virus.  Josh and I didn't feel well all weekend either.  Sore throats and exhaustion for us.  We slept for a total of maybe 5-6 hours all weekend.  So yeah, Monday, please be good to us.  We want and we need a better week.  Please and thank you!

On to other things now.  I keep a running list of things I like or find useful on Pinterest, Instagram, or as a mental note. There are so many things right now that are on those lists but I'll start with sharing the most practical for the home.  What's on your lists of must-haves for the home?

First, these bins.  I grabbed one a couple of months ago to store our laundry detergent and the cleaning supplies that we keep upstairs.  I want to grab another to store toilet tissue and paper towels.

Also, one or two of these metal baskets to store breads. 

Next up, a couple of these picture frames for the kids' room to display some new family pictures (shared here). Their dresser and the crib is the same simply white.  

We've been acquiring more dishes that require washing by hand so this drying mat would be really helpful! For now, we've been letting them air dry on paper towels or dish towels. 

Our little peanut, Benton, still gets sink baths.  It's so much easier for me to give sink baths than using  the bathtub.  He's finally starting to outgrow the sink and he's starting to get "bored" while in the bath and there's not much room for toys in there.  I think it's about time we made the switch to bathing him in the bathtub.  We already have this bathtub that Mary-Grace used but this kneeling cushion may help save my knees when bending over to bathe him.  Also,  this cute matching rinser would be perfect for Mary-Grace.  We just use a plastic cup right now but she always freaks out when we try to rinse her hair saying it's going in her eyes or ears.  Maybe it would help?

We have a Shark steam mop that we got soon after getting married that we love. It's so easy to use and does a great job with getting any dust, grime, or spills up.  I can't find the exact one that we have so I'm not sure if they just changed the design.  It came with two or three mop pads but after years of use, even bleaching doesn't get them looking great anymore.  They're starting to look grungy so a new one would be practical.  I found this two-pack of replacement pads that should fit that were surprisingly just over $10.  

Also on the list (and the largest item), is this shelving system from Ikea. We are overloaded with toys, books, and movies.  I've seen this multiple times in photos of playrooms and I think it's just what we need (with cute bins).  The multiple baskets we have are no longer cutting it.  I can't decide if we need the 4x4 or 5x5.  I was also hoping for a Black Friday sale on this.  There's an in-store coupon but I believe the closest Ikea to us is in Charlotte, and I'm not about to drive there.  Do any of you have this and love it?

These bins to go with it to store the smaller toys?  By the way, I think Target has such a great selection of cute storage baskets and bins.  I already have some similar to these in gray and white for the kids' bedroom that stores diapers and wipes.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Holiday Gift Guide- For Him

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving!  Did you travel or cook a meal at home? We went to my mom and stepdads home for a big lunch.  It's about an hours drive and luckily the kids napped on the way there. There's so much to be thankful for that I don't know where to start, but at the top of that list is my family and Gods love for us.  We are truly blessed and I don't take that for granted.

I was up during the night last night, in the middle of Benton crying and Mary-Grace trying to crawl into our bed, looking at Black Friday promotional emails.  Does anyone else feel that it's a little overwhelming to see all of the emails and commercials?  First world problems.  There are some great sales this year though!  Honestly, I rarely buy anything that is not on sale.  It's difficult to pay full price knowing that the price will eventually come down- sometimes just days or weeks later.  So far I've bought Mary-Grace the CUTEST dress that I've loved for a while now from The Beaufort Bonnet Company and I got Benton a dress shirt to wear with his Christmas outfit, but he can wear it with just about anything.  We also pulled the trigger and purchased Benton a new carseat while it's on sale.  We got the same one that Mary-Grace has- the Britax Marathon.  It's a big purchase but like Josh said, it's necessary and safety for him comes first.  He should able to stay in his current infant seat for another month or two at least, but we'll have the new seat here and ready for him.  Have you purchased something on your want/need list today?

Below I'm sharing a gift guide for the men in your life.  A lot of these are my husband approved.  He actually has over half of these products and uses them all the time.  Hopefully it'll give you a good idea or two for a gift!

Ridge Wallet: here | R+F Lip Shield: here | Fitbit: here | Pants: here | Gloves: here | Sneakers: here | Tumbler: here | Headphones: here | Apple Giftcard (that you can get just about anywhere) : here | Cologne Set: here | Water Bottle: here | Pullover: here

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Holiday Gift Guide- For Her

Happy Hump Day!  Are you ready for Thanksgiving?  What are your plans?  We're driving up to my mom and stepdads for lunch.  My grandparents will also be joining us.  It's a little over an hour away so I'm hoping the little ones will nap in the car on the way there and back!  We're making a couple of side dishes to bring and so are my grandma and mom.  My stepdad and grandpa are frying a turkey.  Does anyone else fry their turkey?  Is it just a southern thing?  Anyhow, I wanted to share with you another gift guide today- this time it's gift ideas for her!  Maybe this will give you some ideas for your mom, sister, friend, daughter, etc. that you want to shop for.  So many of these are already on sale as stores are starting their Black Friday sales early!

Candle: here | Gloves: here | R+F Lash Boost and Bright Eye: here | Picture Frame: here | Slippers: here | Earrings: here | Scarf: here | Pom Keychain: here | Tea (so good!): here | Tote: here | Frame: here | Throw Blanket: here

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Holiday Gift Guide- For the Toddler

Only two days until Thanksgiving! Today I'm sharing with you a toddler gift guide for the holidays.  We've asked Mary-Grace, who is now 3 years old, what she wants from Santa Claus this year and she has told us books, a Finding Nemo/Dory toy, and snacks. Snacks! haha.  She's definitely related to us. Even though she doesn't need anymore toys (I feel like she has so many), she'll get one or two from Santa and I'm sure from other relatives.  I've been picking up books here and there that are age appropriate for her and that I feel she'll love.  I'm so happy that she loves books and I won't mind that she'll have a lot of those.  As a side note-  I saw instagrammer post about having a bag that says "Toys to give to Santa" that your child uses for toys that have served their purpose that other children may love and donating them.  Such a great idea!  Below is a fun guide I've put together for children around her age that consists of educational/imaginative play toys as well other ideas if you don't want to buy just toys like myself.  I hope it gives you some good ideas!  By the way,  Mary-Grace has the tent shown below except in pink stripes and it is very well made for its price point and easy to put together!

Veggie Tales Book: here | Dr Suess Book: here | Hoodie: here | Chef Dress Up Set: here | Rain boots: here | Train Set: here | Music Instruments: here | Finger Paint: here | Hand Sign Alphabet: here | Panda Bear: here | Teepee Tent: here | Number Puzzle: here | Backpack: here

Monday, November 20, 2017

Holiday Gift Guide- For the Baby

Happy Monday!  The holidays are now upon us!  I can't believe Thanksgiving is this week.    I thought I'd share a few gift guides this week to hopefully give you some ideas of what to get your loved ones.  I always love looking at other bloggers guides and seeing their picks.  I thought I'd start off with a guide for baby.  A lot of these choices are things on my list to get Benton.  He'll be 9 months old at Christmas (going on 10 months).  He won't really know what is going on during gift giving but he still needs a few little things, and I'm sure he'll love helping to unwrap!  Even if you don't have a baby yourself, maybe these will give you some ideas if you have a little niece, nephew, godchild, friends baby, etc. to shop for.

Placemat: here  | Booties: here | Baby Book: here | Soft Book: here  | Nutcracker Book: here | Puppy: here | Hat: here | Monogram Bib: here | Burts Bees Skincare: here | Shape Sorter: here | Sweater: here

Monday, November 13, 2017

Family Photos

Happy Monday! Hope you're all having a great start to the week!  We're having two friends over for dinner tonight to celebrate their birthdays.  Other than that, not doing a whole lot.  Benton woke up 4 times last night so I don't have any extra energy today!

Back at the end of September we had some family photos done at Fort Fisher.  Mary-Grace absolutely loves having her picture taken; definitely not camera shy AT ALL.  She is always wanting us to take pictures of her with our phones and loves to take pictures of things herself. Benton on the other hand, could have cared less about what was going on and wanted to go to sleep, ha!  Anyhow, I wanted share a few photos from the shoot.  Dana Hawley, who is a local photographer in the Wilmington area, was so patient with us taking these!  We first met her when she took our engagement photos then has done several more after that.  As Mary-Grace recently said "we're a whole pile of family"!