May 23, 2016

Life Lately

I completely slacked at blogging last week.  Tyler was out of town a few nights for work and to be honest, the week was just kind of a blur.  When he's home, I usually take some time to myself to sit down and blog so when he's not here, I really only get that time after the kids are in bed.  And by that time, the days are exhausting and I'm ready for bed myself!

So I thought a little life update post was appropriate, even though most of our days are exactly the same!

Every morning these two race to get the iPad off the charger first and lay in bed and watch it for a few minutes.

Kyla is really into dressing herself.  All. Day. Long.  She wears one thing to school and then as soon as she walks in the door she goes straight to her room for outfit #2 of the day.

She could use a little work on her model poses :)

This particular day she was annoyed that I wanted to take her picture again so she did this...

And this...

While Kase is downstairs in therapy and Kyla is at school, I have been doing some fun "school" things with Kenley.  I basically just pull out certain (purposeful) things for us to play with that aren't her every day toys.  Last week we focused on the color red.  She LOVED it!

One morning I found this paper plate under my pillow.  She just loves to write and color and draw pictures for people.  And I just love finding sweet notes all over my house! :)

She also loves my planners and my stickers.  I gave her my Erin Condren horizontal planner that I don't use and I'm pretty sure it was the best day of her life.  She sat at my desk for over an hour and said, "Mommy, I have a lot of work to do."  A planner girl already!

With Daddy gone, this was a necessity...

On Saturday I got a mommy day!

I spent some time with my mom and aunt and it was much needed!

Remember the Mother's Day gift I talked about here?  Well, I needed a little pick-me-up last week so I opened one up.  I love this quote!

I could (and may) do a whole different post on this, but I am extremely frustrated with Kase's therapy provider right now.  He is scheduled for 26 hours this week so we will see how many he actually gets.  But either way, we are meeting with a new provider on Thursday this week to see if we want to make a switch.  I'm anxious about possibly switching, but it's my job to make sure he gets exactly what he needs.  He deserves better than what he's currently getting.  More on this later I'm sure!

That's pretty much life lately around here.  Hope you all have a great week!

May 17, 2016

Chore Chart for my 5 Year Old

Kyla has always loved helping me around the house.  She's constantly asking if she can do dishes or sweep the floor.  For the most part, she's a huge help.  Her sweeping skills need a little work as it usually makes a bigger mess than we started with, but she's trying!  So awhile back I decided to get this super easy chore chart for her that she could keep track of each week.  I got it on Amazon.

These are the chores she has every week that we keep track of, but she also helps a ton with just picking up around the house.

She gets $1 at the end of each week if she completes all of her chores.  It's been a great lesson in working hard and saving her money.

She's trying to collect all of the Disney princess dolls from Target.  They are $8.99 each so it's taking her several weeks to get enough money.  It was a hard concept for her to grasp at first, but now she knows when she gets $9, she can decide if that's what she wants to spend her money on.

Those (plus Merida, who was in her sister's room at the time) were all gifts.  She really wants Cinderella next!

May 16, 2016

$10 at Target (May)

I saw Elizabeth's $10 at Target post last month and thought it would be fun to join in.  If it has to do with Target, it's right up my alley!  I go on a weekly basis (at least) and most times I take my sweet time looking at all kinds of things I don't need.  I usually end up just getting necessities or stuff for the kids so it was nice to force myself to look for something just for me.

I knew I wanted some chocolate and normally I'd buy something small and cheap, but this was about treating myself.  So Ghirardelli it was!  I went back and forth a few times, but decided some new Sharpie pens were needed.  I use these a ton on my planner stickers (they're my favorite on glossy stickers), plus Kyla likes to use them once in awhile too.

Chocolates - $4.49
Sharpie pens - $4.99

I was really proud of myself because with my 5.5% sales tax, I knew my total was exactly $10.  But when I got to the checkout, I realized I had forgotten about my 5% red card discount.  So my total was $9.51.  I looked around to see if I could find something for 50 cents, but didn't see anything and there were people in line behind me.  If I go over a little next month I guess I'll call it even. :)

I loved this little link-up and it made my Sunday night bath much sweeter!

Head on over and see what some of these other awesome ladies bought with their $10!

If you want to join in next month, we'll be sharing our hauls on Monday, June 20th!

May 12, 2016

Stitch Fix #2

I had seen a few friends post on Facebook about Stitch Fix and was always intrigued, but I didn't really get too interested until last month when a couple blog friends started sharing about it.  So I hopped on the Stitch Fix train and scheduled my first fix.

If you haven't heard of Stitch Fix, you should definitely check it out.  You fill out a pretty detailed survey so they know your sizes and style, plus you can create a Pinterest board for your stylist to check out.  You can let them know what kinds of things you're looking to get and also let them know things you don't want.  Then the stylist does the shopping for you!  You get five items sent to you, along with some product information, a pricing sheet and a self-addressed bag for you to send the items that you don't want back.  I think that's one of my favorite parts - how easy it is to send the stuff back!  Plus they have a super easy app that makes everything really quick and easy!

You pay a $20 styling fee, but if you purchase something, that $20 goes toward an item.  If you happen to love all five things and keep them all, you get a 25% discount.  If you don't keep anything, you're only out $20 styling fee.

If you want to check it out, this link will take you there and will also give me a referral credit, which would be awesome! :)

I don't have pictures of my first one because at that point I wasn't blogging again.  Although I only kept one shirt, I was pleased with it.  I can't remember my stylists name (sorry!) but she was pretty spot on with my style.  I really liked a pair of skinny jeans and they fit perfectly, but they were $68 and I had some very similar.  I just couldn't spend that much on something that I already have.  She also sent a pair of black skinny jeans, which were too tight.  Then she sent three shirts.  One was cute, but not really my style and kind of reminded me of my grandma in the sleeves (sorry, Grandma!).  One was long sleeve, fit well and was really cute in the front, but it had like an open split back, which I wasn't too big of a fan of so I sent it back.  And then this is the shirt I kept...

(borrowed a picture from Google)
As soon as I got that fix I scheduled my next one!  I requested no pants since I'm good on pants.  I requested a maxi dress and then a couple tank tops to go with skinny jeans.  My stylist this time was Rachael.

Before this fix came, I created a board on my Pinterest for my stylist.  While doing that, I found this shirt that I really liked so I decided to put it in my request and see if she'd send it.  And she did.  I was really happy she actually took my request seriously.

(Disclaimer - all pictures were taken by my 5 year old with my iPhone.  I will try to do better next time, but I ran out of time this week!)

Pixley | Panorama Henley Blouse | Size: L

Since I requested this one, I had high hopes for it.  It's cute and comfortable and I feel like I could wear it casually on just a normal day as a full time mom or dress it up if we have something going on.  Sorry the first picture is so blurry!

Verdict?  Kept it!

Renee C | Leida Crew Neck Blouse | Size L

I actually really like this one on the styling card.  My main problem with it is that it's short.  I like my shirts long.  I also wasn't crazy about the split in the back.  I like longer shirts with skinny jeans.  It's just what I feel comfortable in.  This one was just way cuter on the card and didn't feel or look right on me.  Granted, I tried it on with the same jeans because my white skinny jeans were in the washer, but I still don't think I would have liked it enough to keep it.

Verdict:  Returned it

Market & Spruce | Alan French Terry Asymmetrical Zip Cardigan | Size: L

I could use a good cardigan so I was excited about this.  It was really soft and really comfortable and I liked that the sleeves were plenty long.  You can't really tell in the picture, but as the name of the product states, there is an asymmetrical zipper.  It's just not necessary and it kind of threw me off.  I was on the fence about this because I really do want a nice cardigan, but this just isn't it.  I don't need the zipper feature.  I just want a cute, comfy basic cardigan.

Verdict:  Returned it

Gilli | Mitchel Knit Maxi Dress

I really liked this dress.  I liked the colors and I was very specific about the type of top I wanted.  She nailed that part.  I'm not crazy about the opening in the back, although it wasn't a deal breaker.  However, my daughter did tell me that I should not wear dresses with holes in them.  I'll remember that :)  I was surprised that my husband liked this.  I do think it'd be super cute with a jean jacket, which I don't have (yet).  The one downfall was the mid-section area.  I still have some baby belly to lose and I felt like the grey stripe just fell in a really bad spot.  I felt self conscious about it.  Normally I like to wear some type of tank top under things to help me feel more "tight" in that area, but with the open back in this dress, that wasn't an option.  I feel like if it was a darker color in that area, it would have made a big difference.  I kind of wanted to keep it as motivation to start working out and lose some belly, but I just couldn't pay for a dress I can't wear right away.  So...

Verdict:  Returned it

Moda Luxe |Palermo Stitch Detail Clutch

I'll be honest, I was kind of annoyed with this one.  I didn't specifically say I didn't want purses and/or clutches, but I didn't request one either.  I said I'd like a maxi dress and shirts.  So I felt like I lost out on another shirt for this clutch.  There's not really anything wrong with it, it's just not my style.  I'm a stay at home mom and I'm looking for some casual items for every day.  If I have something going on where I need a clutch like this, I would request it.  But I just don't think it made sense for me and my profile.

Verdict: Returned it

Overall I was excited I got the top that I requested and I ended up liking it on.  I definitely plan on scheduling another fix!  Another nice thing is that you can have it set up to automatically send you your next one or you can request it when you're ready.  I think I'll schedule another one for sometime in June.

This fix also made me realize that I am extremely pale and need to get out in the sun asap! :)

Linking up with Maria from Crazy Together.

May 10, 2016

Top 10 Newborn Must Haves

Although it has been a little over a year since I had Kenley, I feel like I still have a pretty good list of things worth sharing for any new mom's.  It can be pretty overwhelming heading into a store to start a baby registry.  I remember having no clue what I was doing.  Now, three babies later, I feel like I have a good idea what things I definitely couldn't live without.  I also have a list of things that would be nice to have, but not necessities.  Like things that would be good for a registry.  I mean, if someone really wants to buy me a sleep sheep that swears will help my baby sleep, I wouldn't complain!  Lastly, there are a few things that I think are a waste of money - even if it's someone else's money!  More on those on another day.  Let's start with the must have's.

All images link to Target because well, I love Target.  I do not receive anything for sharing these and all opinions are my own.

1. Car seat/Stroller Travel System.  The one I used for all three kids is not sold anymore, but I am a Graco fan all the way.  All of our car seats have been Graco.  If you look in our van now, you would think I was a spokeswoman for them or something!  A car seat is obviously a must and in my opinion, so is a stroller.  I am a big fan of the travel system.  It's just so easy and convenient.  I definitely got our money's worth with ours.  There are so many good ones out there.  Just do a little research, read reviews, and find what you think will work best for you!
2. Swing.  This thing was a lifesaver, especially for the second and third babies.  When you have toddler(s) running around and needing your attention, it's nice to have something like this to keep your baby comfy and safe.  We had one similar like this for Kyla and Kase and this exact one for Kenley.  It's fairly cheap when it comes to swings, but it got the job done.  Since I never had one of the cradle 'n swings or any other super fancy contraption, I can't really speak to whether they're worth it.  Just get whatever you like and can afford, but definitely make sure you get a swing of some kind!

3. Video monitor.  With our first two babies, we had just an ordinary monitor, without the video feature.  When I was pregnant with Kenley, my mother-in-law kindly offered to buy us a video monitor.  It was one of those things that you don't realize what you're missing until you have it.  I can't imagine not having a video monitor.  I love it.  We have this one pictured and really like it.  We also have a second base for it downstairs in the therapy room so I can listen in on Kase's sessions to see how he's doing.  If you can swing the extra cost for the video feature, it's definitely worth it!
4. Swaddles.  We swaddled all three of our babies and I wouldn't do it any different.  They were all great sleepers and I truly believe swaddling helped.  We tried several different kinds, but in the end, the Halo SleepSacks win.  Make sure you get the ones with the zipper closure in the middle with the velcro that wraps around.  Then when they're a little older, you can get the ones without the velcro for more flexibility.  There are arm holes and it zips from the bottom up, which is really nice for middle of the night diaper changes!
5. Diapers.  Lots and lots of diapers.  Again, like everything else, you have plenty of options, but I have always been a Pampers mom.  It's just what I started with for Kyla and never had any issues.  We started buying them early with all three babies.  Don't buy too many size Newborn though.  I'd say two boxes at most and if you need more than that, buy them when the time comes.  The size 1's start at 8 pounds so your baby will be in them in no time (if they're not already).
6. Baby bathtub.  This is the same one we have and it has lasted for all three kids.  Actually, Kenley is still using it.  She is terrified of being in the regular tub without this thing.  We have tried several times and she just loves this thing so much.  She sits up and plays and laughs so we're letting her keep it for awhile.  But as far as baths go with a newborn, we always did sponge baths in/near the kitchen sink until they're belly button cord falls off.  Then we moved them into this.
7. If you are going to breast feed, you will want a breast pump.  I had an older one for my first two kids, but got this one for Kenley (our insurance covered the cost - woo hoo)!
8. Bottles.  Although I breastfed all three for different lengths of time, they all also took bottles after about three weeks old.  With Kyla and Kase, we used the Playtex Drop-Ins.  With Kenley, we used these Avent bottles.  I definitely prefer the Avent.
9. Sleepers with a zipper.  I learned this quickly with Kyla.  With all of the middle of the night feedings and diaper changes, we always tried to keep the lights dim to not fully wake her up.  Those sleepers with the buttons were such a pain!  We only had a couple that zipped and I found myself always making sure they were washed right away so she could wear them all the time.  Definitely a must have!
10. Nighttime lotion.  I know this one may seem more of a "nice to have" and not a necessity, but I'm telling you, this stuff is the best!  It may be a coincidence and I may just be lucky to have three good sleepers, but we used this stuff every night with all three.  I swear by this stuff!

There are many other things I would recommend, but these are the ten that I personally think are the most important and I would never go without.  Some other obvious things I used were burp clothes, blankets, books, pacifiers, boppy pillow and a diaper bag to haul all of this stuff should you ever decide to brave leaving the house! :)

Let me know in the comments what your must haves would be.  Also, let me know if you'd be interested in a post like this, but for older babies and toddlers.  I'm thinking I could do a whole new list for 6 months and up and include toys, foods, etc.