Friday, October 21, 2016

9 weeks until Christmas!

There are only 9 weeks until Christmas...

And I want to help make holiday shopping and fun for you!

Here are FIVE easy ways to cross some names off your Christmas list before November 1st with Noonday Collection:

1. Win free noonday! I'm parterning with my new friend Valerie to giveaway a Noonday Collection giftcard to one lucky lady. No strings attached! Just visit her blog or Instagram to see how to enter (and to hear about her love for ethical fashion!)

2. Need gift ideas? These super affordable ornaments are perfect for teachers, coworkers, babysitters, and friends (and will be unavailable after Nov. 1st)! This necklace is the standout bestseller this Fall. Know someone who loves to travel? She needs this accessory! And don't forget all the cozy scarves this winter.

3. On a budget? Shop the BOGO Sale before Oct. 31st!

4. Free shipping! If you place an order between now and October 31st and I will refund your shipping cost. Who doesn't love that?!

5. Host a Trunk Show! Make shopping simple and open your home (or favorite local Happy Hour spot) to help your friends get a head start on Christmas shopping while earning free Noonday Collection goodies for yourself. BONUS! Book a show between now and December 13th and you will automatically receive a $20 gift card. Email me to get your Trunk Show on the calendar!

  But whatever you do, I hope you shop with intention this holiday season. If we all use our purchases for good (whether with Noonday Collection or other ethical companies!), we can work together to help build a flourishing world! Need some ideas of ethical companies to checkout for holiday shopping? Valerie has created this awesome list of clothing, shoes, accessories, etc.

Happy shopping!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Pumpkin patch. {2016}

  We're really lucky to live close to some great family friendly places. One of our good friends happens to own a farm that is great for picking strawberries in the summer, pumpkins and mums in the Fall, and Christmas trees during winter. Bonus? It's crazy affordable compared to other similar places around Indy (and has free hayrides on the weekends)!

   This was our first time taking Caleb to pick pumpkins and he LOVED it. That may be a bit of an understatement. He basically chanted "punkin! punkin! punkin!' all day and was very determined to find his own baby ones to bring home. After the hayride (which he was so excited for and couldn't hardly contain himself during), he happily stomped with us through the fields and picked three little baby gourds. He probably would have picked more, but that was all his little arms could handle. He kept stopping to put them down and count them over and over.

(He was trying trying to wait so patiently to ride the tractor aka hayride.)

Can you even tell how much he loved the hayride??

  And since the weather is still pretty warm here, it was just a gorgeous day. Tyler had fun in the carrier, Justin and I had a blast watching Caleb discover everything on the farm, and it was great to get out and do some Fall family things. Now to carve our pumpkin one night this week! I bought this book for Caleb and am hoping it helps make pumpkin carving and all of Halloween even more fun for him.

  We convinced Justin to take us to the farm store and buy us some fudge and a cider slushy afterwards and it was totally worth it. (I'm a sucker for fresh fudge) I think we spent $20 total on all of our goodies (four pumpkins, lots of fudge, delicious cider slushie + tip for the hayride)- so if you're in the Indy area and want a budget friendly place to pick pumpkins, gourds, or the prettiest mums, try Spencer's!

ps. the boys are wearing our favorite shirts from this great shop!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Friday. (a weekly round up)

photo c/o April
  Hooray! It's Friday!

  First, I feel like it's my serious early Christmas-shopping duty to let you know that today is the LAST day to buy this beauty before it goes on backorder until early next year. YOU GUYS. Need the perfect gift for your sister in law? For your daughter? For your bff? For yourself? It's definitely one of those bags that never goes out of style and really truly lasts forever. So seriously, buy one (or two!) today before they're gone for months! And in case you want to see more real life photos of this gem, go here. Even more, want to score a free one for yourself? Host a Noonday Trunk Show! Every show earns free product and the holiday season is the best time to have a trunk show. Email me and we'll get a November show on the calendar!

  It seems like Fall officially hit Indiana this week and I love it. Its been chilly the past few days and and we have a pumpkin patch date this weekend (could we be more cliche?). I picked up this book for Caleb, so I'm extra excited to carve pumpkins and talk about Halloween with him! I'm also running my 5k in the morning and feeling a little nervous and a lot excited. I set this goal back in August and it's crazy that I've stuck with it!

  What are you up to? Have any big plans? Whatever you're up to, happy weekending!

// It's pretty cheesy and little trashy, but I love this mindless show. The newest season is on Netflix!

// Need the perfect babysitter or teacher or coworker gift? These ornaments are cute and handmade and won't be available after next week! The $12 price tag makes them perfect for buying a few. And you'll have names crossed off your Christmas list before November even starts!

// Yes, yes, yes. Exactly what she said.

// I've been working on rebuilding my wardrobe (two kids and nursing for the last three years...) and have trying to be more conscious of where my clothes come from and who makes them. After a little research, I'm not sure I can shop at Old Navy, Gap. or Banana Republic anymore. "In 2014, 2.8% of Gap Inc.’s factories did not comply with all laws or international standards for child or under age labor. 25.9% did not provide 1 day off in 7. And 10.6% did not prohibit verbal or psychological abuse or coercion." Need I say more? 

// Need something to make you smile? Try this.

// This song. So catchy and good!

// I'm in love with this Pumpkin Marshmallow scent! 

// I can't stop thinking/planning/dreaming of ways to make this house more 'us' and Sarah is basically my DIY spirit animal. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Monster Treats.

  I'm terribly predictable and cheesy. If there is a holiday coming up, you can pretty much expect I'll be putting together little treat bags with Caleb for all of his friends. We keep them super simple and affordable (hello, dollar spot!) and always add in some sort of baked good.

  This year, I wanted to do something a bit more fun since Caleb loves to help me bake and is more and more aware of holidays. My only rule? It had to be SIMPLE and EASY. And you guys, these silly monster Rice Krispie treats are definitely both. They are basically impossible to mess up and look adorable!

What you'll need: one batch of Rice Krispie treats cut into rectangle slices, colored candy melts, big and small candy eyes.

How to: I feel silly even writing this because they are embarrassingly easy to make. But in case you want the step by step: Let Rice Krispies cool, flip out of pan onto cutting board and cut into even rectangle slices. Spread slices out on waxed paper. Melt colored candy per instructions on packaging. Dip the tops of each Rice Krispie slice into the melted candy and top with candy eyes, alternating sizes and positions to make them look monster-like. Let melted candy harden, wrap individually with Press 'n Seal or store in airtight container. Voila! Like I said, crazy simple. And your kiddos will love helping you! (See more ideas by googling "rice krispie monsters")

Monday, October 10, 2016

Thanks, Chick-fil-a!


  I'm pretty sure it was a combination of being frustrated about our house drama and realizing that it is just in my nature to be a bit more uptight and orderly than not- but somewhere in the middle of summer I decided to start having more fun with my kids. 

  Maybe that sounds silly to you? I really do like to have fun and we always do plenty of laughing and playing around our house. But I'm always cautiously considering what we're going to do next, how much of a mess something might make (and then, is it really worth it?), how rowdy we're being, how many meltdowns or potential tantrums an outing might create, etc etc. I like to set our days up for success and really, there's nothing wrong with that.

  Unless it means I'm missing out and truly focusing more on maintaining and maneuvering than on enjoying and experiencing and being present. Which, honestly, was becoming the case for me. So I decided to intentionally make small changes to be more relaxed, take more chances, and have more fun with my kiddos. 

  Know what started it all? Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-a. That is something I would usually hear others talk or share pictures of and think about how fun it seemed, but would skip out on. Justin probably couldn't be caught dead dressing up like a cow, so its always been something I would have had to take the boys to on my own and it always seemed like a lot of work (our Chick-fil-a is a madhouse on any random Tuesday, let alone a day they're offering free food!). 

  And you know what? It was a lot of work. I think Caleb had lost all of his spots by the time we reached the front of the line to put our order in, pretty sure I spilled tea on myself and Tyler and I didn't have a chance to eat my salad until at least an hour after we got home. BUT it was a ton of fun! Caleb loved being dressed as a cow and seeing the other cows at the store- he talked about it for days. We laughed the entire way there and back in the van as we made cow sounds. We did something out of our normal routine and we loved it. And hey, free Chick-fil-a!

 I had a stranger take this silly photo of us so I can remember that having more fun and being more present is always worth the hassle. My kids won't remember or care about how long I let dishes sit in the sink, how great all my rules were, or how few paint-stained shirts they owned, but they will surely remember laughing with their mom and playing outside every morning and dressing up like cows in the name of free delicious food. And you know, ever since we dressed up as cows, I've noticed it's becoming easier and easier to just have fun. Thanks, Chick-fil-a!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Saturday. (a weekly round-up)

  It's Saturday! Hooray! We have a wedding tonight and, after the last 24 hours of chipping our kitchen countertop, poking a large hole through our new basement drywall, figuring out our couch won't fit into the basement (aka how we damaged the wall...), and learning our handmade and super special dining table is an awkward size and doesn't have a good place in our new house- I am excited to just spend some time with Justin outside of the house and not focused on house things. It's all so materialistic and small in the big picture, but feels a bit frustrating and emotional (in the case of the table) when we're right in the middle of it (aka spending hours moving furniture, breaking things, etc). But! A date night to celebrate two sweet friends and their marriage! I can't wait.

  Have you had a good week? Or a long one? Ready for this weekend or is it so busy that you're already wishing for Monday? Hopefully some rest and fun and Fall weather happens for you. And in the meantime, here are some of my favorite links from around the internets this week :) Happy weekending!

// I've noticed lately that I don't really want to have the radio on in the car now that Caleb picks up on so much (and Klove gets old!) so I've added some more kid-friendly music to my phone for us to listen to. This brand new album is made for kids, but honestly I love it. And it has dance along videos! (This throwback and this awesome mix are our other current favs to listen to!)

// I couldn't have said it better myself. 

// If you're near the Indy area, this is the perfect family outing/girls night/date night idea! 

// Some of my all time favorite art prints to give as gifts are on super sale.  

// Need an awesome Christmas gift idea. This AMAZING leather tote 
is only available for order until OCTOBER 14TH! After that, our artisans have to work to catch up on work lost during the monsoon season. 

// And speaking of Christmas, THESE ORNAMENTS! THAT GARLAND!  

// I'm not sure I've mentioned it, but I'm running a 5k next weekend and am becoming really excited about it. Progress has been slow and a bit inconsistent, but loosely using this training program has been awesome. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Stone Harbor 2016.

  Did you know I married a Jersey Shore boy? Born and raised two blocks from the ocean, I was sure that marrying Justin meant I would finally realize my lifelong dream of living close to the ocean. (I know everyone says that, but guys. I mean it! I would still move today if I had the chance!) But I was wrong. That Jersey boy became a midwest fan as soon as he started college and evidently, there was no turning back for him.

  But after 7 years of marriage, he finally took me back to the Shore this past July! And we started what I hope becomes our new family tradition of spending a week on the prettiest stretch of the Jersey Shore every summer. While not the town Justin grew up in, his dad's family has been vacationing there since his aunt and uncles were small kids. So fun, right? 

  This vacation fell smack dab in the middle of our moving/not moving/moving drama and was the sweet spot of our summer. We discovered Caleb loves the beach. The ocean, the sand, the sunshine, the people. Every part of it.

  And it was a ton of fun to spend an uninterrupted week (not focused on a holiday) with family we don't see often. We vacation with Justin's entire extended family: his parents, brothers and their families, uncles, aunts, and cousins. So it was a BIG trip! Its definitely one of those family traditions that is sure to ebb and flow and look differently as we adjust to having small kiddos and then, eventually, older kiddos along with us (aka less sleeping, early morning sunrise walks, giving lots of grace for skipped naps and long days in the sun). But that's one of the things I think I love about it!

 Since the trip was three months ago, its been so fun to look at these photos again for this blog post. Now that I see them again, I know that this was one of those vacations that lifelong memories are made of. The exhaustion of sharing a room with two kiddos (one who was eating every 2 hours through the night!) and being up by 6am every day and missing out on eating most meals with the whole family because our kiddos needed to head back for bed, and finding ourselves at the beach before most people were awake- all of that has faded by now. And I'm just left with that cheesy warm and fuzzy feeling of remembering Caleb's belly laughs as he learned to boogie board and chats over ice cream with my favorite sister in law and seeing Justin's dad and uncle and aunt together in a place that holds a lot of history for their family. Gah. Is it July 2017 yet? Can't wait to go back!

Ps. The real Jersey Shore is nothing like the show on MTV. So if you're ever up for an awesome vacation, you have to check out Stone Harbor