Thursday, May 14, 2015

A Spring In Your Step!

Mothers Day with two babes was the best ever, just the amount of chaos I was sure to happen. We woke up, headed to breakfast, then to church and got to hangout all day. That's a perfect day in my book. Xander was the sweetest and made me a couple gifts, including a cupcake he gave me and then asked if he could have back. I couldn't help but laugh, that's typical Xander. D also got me a couple bracelets I had been crushing on from Tom Designs on Etsy, they're so simple yet beautiful and represent the boys wonderfully.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Onto putting a spring in your step... Have you checked out the amazing shoes out this spring?! So much fun, I can't wait to get my hands on every single pair in this post. Obviously not necessary to have them all but I want them all!
 
 
 
 
 
 
I feel like everywhere I look, platform wedges are there! Are you loving the platform wedge craze or are you ready for 1970 to call and ask for their shoes back? Happy Thursday, friends!
 
XO

Friday, May 1, 2015

X & O Company

Since about last December, I had been toying with the idea of starting an online shop to sell the infinity scarves and nursing covers I make. I have a very odd fascination with fabric shopping and I get a very odd joy from finding cute new fabrics and I really wanted to share these finds with other people. I get a lot of questions about the nursing scarves I use so finally, I thought why not just go ahead and start a shop? This hasn't been easy by any means and I thought if I gave myself 6 weeks to wrap up the final details then it would be easy breezy. Right? Wrong! Six weeks flew by so fast, every day I was like "Oh, I have weeks left until it opens. I have time!" Well, today at 10:00 am, X & O Company was opened! And I couldn't help but laugh when 9:59 am rolled around and I was nursing Ollie with one hand, trying to quiet down the dog, play Legos with Xander and then realized I had to open the store and get some quick announcements out. I guess those few extra-chaotic moments are a glimpse of what I got myself into but I'm truly so happy to get to share these items with you guys and hangout with the best little sewing assistant!


There's free shipping with all orders for the first 24 hours so, take a look around :)


I hope you have a wonderful weekend!!
XO

Monday, April 20, 2015

Can I get s'mores donuts, please?

We were all primed to have a fire Saturday and make s'mores but it ended up being a rainy day here. So, Xander and I decided to bake some s'mores donuts instead. They are delicious and I may or may not have had three already. Ya know, calories don't count on the weekend :)
 
Can I just mention, if you have ever baked anything with a toddler then you should go ahead and pour yourself a glass of wine because you deserve an award and a break. I decided to let Xander be in charge of sprinkling throwing the chocolate chunks on the donuts and I'm still finding chocolate chunks throughout the kitchen. But at least he thought it was hilarious and had fun. Or at least that's what I'm telling myself. Anyway here's the recipe!
 
 

 
Base donut recipe adapted from here
 
Chocolate donuts:
 1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup chocolate chunks or chocolate chips (optional)
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
6 tablespoons sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter
 
**Cake donuts tend to dry out so I highly recommend glazing them and letting them sit for 20 minutes or so before adding the s'mores topping
 
Donut glaze:
1.5 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Marshmallow topping:
10 oz. mini marshmallows
4 tablespoons butter
 
S'mores topping:
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup chopped chocolate or mini chocolate chips (I prefer dark chocolate for this recipe)
 
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare donut with nonstick spray or butter. In medium bowl combine all dry ingredients. In large bowl combine sour cream and milk until smooth, stir in sugar, and add melted butter, vanilla, and egg. Once combined, slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Finally, stir in chocolate chunks or chocolate chips.
 
I find it is best to put donut batter into an icing bag or large ziplock (cut the corner) and pipe the donut batter into the donut pan. Bake 8-9 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into donut. Let the donuts cools lightly before glazing.
 
Glaze and topping directions:
In small bowl, whisk powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth. If you prefer a thicker glaze, reduce milk by 1 tablespoon. Dip each side of donut in glaze and let set on cooling rack for 20 minutes.
 
Meanwhile, in a medium pot on medium heat, melt butter and slowly add marshmallows. Continue to stir until fully melted and smooth. The marshmallow topping will be very hot so please use caution. Spoon desired amount of marshmallow onto each donut. While topping is still warm sprinkle each donut with graham cracker crumbs and chocolate chunks. Enjoy!!
 
 
 
I hope you're having a great Monday!
XO

Friday, April 17, 2015

Oliver, the 3 month update, & Modern Burlap

Each month that has passed since Ollie arrived I find myself looking at the calendar and saying "When did this happen?! Didn't I just have him??" Maybe it's the permanent pregnancy brain or the exhaustion from constantly being pulled in two different directions by a 3 month old and a 3 year old but yet again, here we are. This little guy has started giggling (aren't baby giggles the best?!), he's started cooing at us, and is getting pretty great at swatting at toys! And of course, I can't forget his crazy awesome old man hair.
It has been just over 3 months since Oliver was born and I still feel like I'm doing this for the first time all over again, I never expected Ollie to be so different from his older brother, it should have been my first clue when the two pregnancies were night and day different. Oliver still prefers to be held- all the time and will only sleep if he is swaddled. Because of this two products have saved my sanity- Boba carriers and Modern Burlap swaddles. I purchased the Boba 4g carrier to help ease things along. I love my Boba wrap but it has been consistently in the 70s & 80s here and this boy sweats so much, I needed something that would allow some air to get to him and cool him off! I really can't say enough good things about the carrier, I carry him probably 4-7 hours out of the day and have had no problems at all, its easy to get on, Ollie is super comfortable, and my back never hurts so- win, win, & win! If you're looking into carriers, I highly recommend you give the 4g a chance.

We are also going crazy over these muslin blankets from Modern Burlap, they are much bigger than the usual muslin blankets which is great, making swaddling a 13 lb baby much easier. But they also create a big play area blanket where Oliver can kick and stretch his legs. The monochrome blankets are also great at catching Ollie's attention, he loves to stare at the black and white patterns. A swaddled baby is so adorably sweet and makes them feel so secure and loved, Modern Burlap will also donate one blanket to someone in need with every blanket purchased, just select the 'One for One' option when perusing the blankets to spread the love and comfort to other babies in need!


Have a great weekend friends!
XO

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Spring Wardrobe on a Budget

Florals, flat sandals, and flowy skirts, oh my! Spring has officially taken over and it is time to update your wardrobe to include some fun colors and prints and this task doesn't have to break the bank. It's been a while since I have had time to blog but I have been searching for great spring finds and I'm pretty happy with what I have found so far, hopefully you will be too!

We headed to dinner Friday night and I took a quick trip hour long tour into Forever 21 and found a great light weight floral sweater and it sparked a fire in me to add some spring staples to my wardrobe. I'm beyond in love with the smoke colored tulle skirt, its a great balance for all those bring spring colors and prints. It will also flow smoothly into fall, score!


Floral Crewneck (on sale- $9.00!!)


Happy Sunday and have a fantastic week!

XO

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

What's in your gym bag??

I always love how I feel once I leave the gym, getting a good workout in does wonders for my mood. However, getting myself to the gym is a whole other situation. Most days I'm all for heading to the gym without a second thought but on days when I'm dragging, things like a fun gym bag and workout clothes help give me that extra push! I change my gym bag up regularly, my most recent change was to a Vera Bradley tote (similar tote here- on sale!!), its fun, durable and large so it holds everything I pack and any extras I may need like a change of clothes, shoes, a jacket, etc.  
 

 
 
My first few items that have to be in my gym bag are my headphones, Polar FT7, Yes to Grapefruit face wipes and lip balm- this is seriously the best lip balm and face wipes I have ever used. I love how fruity they smell and how much they refresh and brighten my skin and lips after a workout!

Chasing a 3 year old and tending to an almost 3 month old usually wears me down by the time I'm heading to the gym and Chia Bars help give me a quick energy boost without making me too full to workout, I also keep a That's It bar in my bag for a quick post-workout snack. Reduce water bottles are my favorite water bottles to keep in the my purse, gym bag, or diaper bag. We just fill them up in the beginning of the day and keep them in the fridge until we head out, they're the size of a normal water bottle so they don't take up too much room and they help reduce waste!!

I usually go to the gym after D gets back from work which means I workout and hurry to head home and start dinner so I shower once I get back home and since I only wash my hair every few days, I love to use dry shampoo, blast it with the hair dryer or keep the windows down on the way home, and then my hair is back to normal and looks clean! I also hate when my hair is in my face during a workout so I throw in a few hair ties (similar found here) and headbands to keep me sane (:
 
What must you have in your gym bag?
xo



Thursday, March 5, 2015

New Baby Must Haves

Baby O is now almost 2 months old (when did that happen?!) and there have been quite a few items that have helped me through the past two months. When we were purchasing items while I was pregnant, I thought I had a pretty good handle on what I'd need because ya know, you know everything with a second baby. Right? Right?? Wrong. The 3 years between the boys could have easily been ten years with how fast baby gear changes.




The Snuza Oma+ has brought us a lot of peace and has helped me sleep, we have had a couple false alarms but it was the result of my not securing the diaper tightly to keep the monitor in place. Boon Grass is amazing, it holds all baby items so they aren't falling over and they dry quickly. Oliver likes to be held, all the time but things still need to get done around the house and while out running errands so, my Boba Wrap is the only reason I'm able to do anything all day. I was slightly intimidated when it first arrived but it is easy to get the hang of, I also prefer to put it on before I leave the house if I'm going to be wearing it while shopping or at the park.

Also, I have the Medela Pump In Style and while I love it, the Harmony breast pump is so convenient and personally, I think it cuts pumping time in half easily. When I was looking for a manual pump, I was a little nervous to order the Harmony because of all of the mixed reviews but I've had it a month and haven't had one regret, it has also enabled me to pump more and create a decent freezer stash. This gripe water has been such a blessing, once I started giving it to Oliver, he seemed like an entirely different baby. I give him two doses a day and he is a lot calmer than days without it. 
I Finally, I can't say enough good things about Aden + Anais Swaddling Cloths, they're lightweight and a lot larger than the average swaddling cloth so it still fits him at 11 lbs and keep him warm without overheating him. They take up such little room and are very versatile, we also use them when he is playing on the floor so I keep a couple in the diaper bag all the time.

What are some items you have found you can't live without?

Have a wonderful day!
xo

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Spring Inspiration- Colorful Handbags

The three inches of snow we just got hit with has me yearning even more for spring! I've been crushing on some handbags, here are a couple to get you inspired for spring as well. What are some spring things you are looking forward to? I doubt I'm the only person who is planning their spring wardrobe in their head while walking through the snow. 




 I'm going to start preparing my closet for a few new handbag additions. Let me know which ones you like and which ones you would pass on. Stay warm!
xo

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Guinness Shamrock Cakes & Irish Cake Bombs

St. Patrick's Day is a few weeks away which means I'm looking forward to boozy cakes. The past few years I've made a basic Guinness cake with Baileys Irish Cream frosting but this year I felt like making it a little more festive- which brings us to Guinness Shamrock Cakes! This process was so fast and easy and left me with some adorable little shamrock cakes. 


Ingredients

Guinness Cake

  • 1 cup Guinness
  • 1/2 cup butter (melted)
  • 3/4 cup dutch processed cocoa 
  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • 2 eggs, beaten 
  • 3/4 cup dutch processed cocoa 
  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Baileys Irish Cream Frosting

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease jelly roll sheet.
  2. In large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In stand mixer, on low speed, mix Guinness, melted butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cocoa powder and espresso powder until sugars are dissolved. Add eggs, vanilla, and Greek yogurt.
  4. Enjoy remaining Guinness while completing the following steps.
  5. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet and mix on medium-high speed for 2 minutes.
  6. Bake for 15 minute, allow to cool. 
  7. While cooling, prepare frosting and set aside.
  8. Once cooled cut out shamrock shapes with cookie cutter.
  9. Divide  shamrock shapes into groups of two, frost one shamrock shape of each pair and top with second shamrock shape. Drizzle melted dark chocolate over finished layered cakes.

 

Irish Cake Bombs

  • Remaining cake
  • Baileys Irish Cream Frosting
  • Chocolate Bark
  • Sprinkles

  1. In medium bowl, crumble remaining cake, add 1/3 cup chocolate chips and 1/4 cup Baileys Irish Cream frosting.
  2. Roll mixture into tablespoon size balls and chill for 20 minutes. 
  3. Once chilled, prepare chocolate bark according to package and use fork to dip each ball. 
  4. Top with sprinkles while chocolate bark is wet, allow to solidify and enjoy!
 What are some of your St. Patrick's Day traditions?

I hope you have a great week!
xo

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Lactation Cookies- Three Ways!


Breastfeeding can be a challenge, an exhausting, emotional, totally rewarding challenge. Even without latch issues or other physiological issues, it can still be difficult. In the beginning, baby O and I were great and then a few weeks later I had to take an antibiotic that all but killed my supply. After days of taking supplements to help increase my supply, power pumping, some tears, and telling myself I should just give up,  I remembered I made another batch of lactation cookies, decided I was not going to give up breastfeeding, and never look back.  That was a month ago and baby O and I are still going strong.

But now I make lactation cookies regularly and eat one or two every day. Since the recipe makes so many one batch actually last a while too! But, I'm just going to be honest, this post should actually be titled I'm Indecisive and I Like Options. When I first read the recipe 4 dozen seemed like entirely too many of one cookie so I decided to have a few options on hand! These cookies contain oats, ground flax meal, and brewer's yeast all of which help boost your milk supply. Cookies and an increased milk supply?! Yes please, sign me up. I never really need an excuse for cookies but it is nice to have one! Has anybody tried lactation cookies and seen an improvement? Let me know in the comments below.


 

 Variations: 
  • Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies
  • Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies
  • Glazed Oatmeal Chocolate Chip and Craisin Lactation Cookies

I love that this basic lactation cookie recipe is so versatile, you can just decide if you want regular cookies or ones with a nut butter whip up the base recipe for either plain or cookies with nut butters and divide the cookie dough into a couple different bowls, mix in what you like and have 2+ different kinds of cookies. Time saving is crucial when you're racing against the napping-baby clock. When I make these I just mix in whatever I have on hand which in the past has varied from chopped nuts, dried fruit, nut butters, chocolate chips, candies, etc. Just to give you a couple ideas.

Recipe adapted from here

Basic Lactation Cookies

  • 1 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4  cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flax seed meal
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • .5 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 2 cups of mix-ins (chocolate chips, chopped nuts, dried fruit, etc)
  • 2-4 tablespoons of brewer's yeast

Nut Butter Lactation Cookies

  • 1 cup nut butter (almond butter, peanut butter, etc)
  • .5 cup butter
  • .5 cup sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flax seed meal
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • .5 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1.5 cup of mix-ins (chocolate chips, chopped nuts, dried fruit, etc)
  • 2-4 tablespoons of brewer's yeast 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixer cream butter and sugar (or butter, nut butter, and sugar) together. Mix in one egg at a time and then add vanilla. In separate bowl combine all dry ingredients and slowly add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Stir in mix-ins, mix just until combined. Drop by tablespoons onto baking sheet, baking for 9-12 minutes. Allow to cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes then transfer to cooking rack until cooled. Once completely cooled, add glaze if desired.

Glaze

.5 cup powdered sugar
.5 teaspoon vanilla
1-3 tablespoons milk, depending on consistency desired







What are some of your favorite mix-ins of choice?  If you try this recipe please tell me about it. I love getting feedback about what did and didn't work for you.

Enjoy!
xo

Monday, February 9, 2015

Valentine's Date Accessories


Life with a 1 month old and a 3 year old has been a whirlwind! We are slowly getting settled into a routine but being cooped up in the house so much is getting exhausting. Like most of America, we are ready for spring, warm weather, and the ability to take the boys on walks without feeling like we may get frostbite or blow away with the ridiculous winds we've had lately. The longing for spring, warm  weather and all things heart-shaped is in full swing here! In honor of Valentine's Day, I'm sharing my favorite date-night accessories to dress up any outfit.



Chain Strap Clutch  (on sale!)
Fitted blazer  (on sale!)



Have a great week! 
xo
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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Happy Due Date!

Today is my due date for baby #2. However, as I write this, I'm holding a baby that is 1 week and 1 day old :). Oliver Jon arrived January 10th at 4:54 pm, at 38 weeks 6 days. He was 8 lbs, 5 oz and 20 inches long with some pretty thick dark hair, which was quite unexpected!






Happy one week, little man!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

38 Weeks

I hit 38 weeks on Sunday! Now that the holidays are behind us I feel like I can finally start getting the house in order and prepare for baby #2, which could make his appearance any day now!


Hope you all have a great rest of the week!