Monday, December 29, 2014

See Ya Next Year!

I certainly hope you and yours had a very blessed Christmas. I was surrounded by Tolar's family and thoroughly enjoyed watching Baby K open presents.

I'll be taking off this week from blogging to enjoy more time with family and to recharge. I'll be back next week. Happy New Year!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Beautiful Ornament Storage, plus a giveaway

(I was sent a complimentary box for review purposes, however all opinions expressed are my own.)

Since Tolar and I got married, we have been collecting ornaments. The ornaments either remind us of a special event/place we visited or just happen to be a cute decoration that we really like. No matter what, they were bought to represent our family through the years. As our ornament collection has grown, I've been on the hunt for the perfect storage option to keep them safe, in one piece and protected through the years. Currently I just use a cardboard box with everything wrapped in tissue paper, clearly I need something of better quality.

I found these amazing (and might I add extremely beautiful) boxes from Ultimate Christmas Storage that offer the perfect protection for all of my family's precious ornaments. Besides being one of the prettiest boxes I have ever seen, my Ultimate Christmas Storage box (and all of their boxes) offers archival, aka acid-free storage, designed specifically for Christmas ornaments. My box has removable trays and customizable cubbies so I can store all of my ornaments in one box, regardless of their shape and size. I also received archival shredded paper with my box to help keep those fragile ornaments from breaking.

I have never seen a box so beautiful, I'm not even kidding. The box I received is the Ultimate European Glass Archival Chest and it is extremely well made and covered in gorgeous fabric. The trays are stackable and very sturdy, so I don't have to worry about my ornaments getting smashed by the tray on top. There is a lot of room and plenty of storage space for me to keep all of our ornaments together and neatly packed. I love good organization and the Ultimate Christmas Storage is quite possibly the best type of storage box I have ever used. I am absolutely thrilled with the box I have. I want to keep the box out all year because it is so beautiful. And they have other fabric options to choose from, in addition to the gorgeous red that I have.

This is the perfect gift for your mom or mother in law, or even for newlyweds. I am sure that you will be tickled pink and so proud to give this box for a gift because it will preserve great memories for years to come. I just can't say enough great things about this beautiful box - except that you can enter to win one of your very own!
That's right, use the rafflecopter below and enter to win the Ultimate Ornament Box from Ultimate Christmas Storage. The Ultimate Ornament Box is their best selling item, so be sure to enter to hopefully score one for yourself. Don't miss this giveaway!

Merry Christmas!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Baby K's new room

When we moved out of our house in Alexandria, the room that I was saddest to leave was Baby K's nursery, for many reasons. I just loved that room and all of her decorations, especially the chevron wall which I poured my heart and soul into stenciling. Trying to stencil and paint a chevron wall with an 18 month old running around is not as easy as doing so while pregnant, so I opted to skip the chevron pattern this time. However, I knew I still wanted some sort of decoration on her wall - a statement wall is so fun!

I had been following Urban Walls on instagram for quite some time and really loved all of their decals and designs, so I decided to check out their offerings. Wow! I was blown away by everything they had and thought I might have a hard time deciding what I wanted for Baby K's new room, but then I found my trusty old polka dots and knew I needed to look no further. And I am thrilled with the finished product. We opted for dark grey dots to go on the light grey walls and I just love how it all turned out. And Baby K really likes them too; she keeps saying "circle" and pointing at the wall whenever she enters the room.

The decals were super easy to apply once I got all of my measurements lined out. In fact, it was kind of therapeutic putting the polka dots up on the wall. One thing I loved about this project was that if I needed to stop and take a break (or leave the room so Baby K could go to sleep), then I could stop right in the middle of the project. No need to worry about a mess to clean up or hurrying to finish before I messed up a paint job. I could just walk out of the room and come back to my project the next day and easily pick right up. That is super important to this busy mama, so Urban Walls are a huge hit!

I used a lot of the same decor elements from her old room and added a couple other things too. My aunt gave her a new (bigger) book shelf, which we just love because Baby K has a ton of books. And her room in our house now is so much larger than her nursery in Alexandria, so there is plenty of room for her to play. I love walking by her bedroom door and peeking in to see what kind of fun she is having. I'm so thankful for her to have a fun, bright and cheery space!

Name pillow: Etsy.
Polka Dot decals: c/o Urban Walls.
Curtains and chevron blanket: seller no longer available. :(
Initial letters: made by me.
Changing pad cover: Etsy.

Friday, December 19, 2014

High Five For Friday

Hey party people! Happy last weekend before Christmas. Let's kick this weekend off with some awesome moments from my week.

1.) We took Baby K to the Roanoke Christmas parade and she was definitely intrigued. This was her second parade, so she knew a bit better what to expect.

2.) My Dad took Tolar and I to see Dailey and Vincent's Christmas show. They are a Grammy-winning Bluegrass band and we really enjoyed the show. I didn't know what to expect since I'm not a Bluegrass fan, but I had a blast. Their bass singer was incredible too. I joked all night that my Dad and Tolar let me be the third wheel on their date.

3.) Tolar built a blanket fort with Baby K and they both had a blast! I loved watching Baby K enter and exit the fort, so stinkin' cute.

4.) I finished putting up the polka dot decals in Baby K's room (from Urban Walls) and I love the finished product. Full room reveal coming soon.

5.) Baby K is climbing and exploring everything these days. She got adventurous and attempted to climb up onto our bed and of course I had to snap a picture before I got her down.

Linking up this post with Lauren Elizabeth and September Farm.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Perfect Holiday Tights

So my sister texted me the other day asking what color tights she should wear with a dress and I immediately texted her back  and said black. Black tights are always a winner during the winter and holiday months. Something about them just sets off an outfit and screams, "yep, I'm ready to celebrate." But I should have been more specific and told my sister black ribbed tights. More specifically black ribbed tights from Kushyfoot.

These ribbed tights are my new favorite tights and I knew they would be from the moment I saw them on the screen. I love the texture that the ribbing adds to an outfit, definitely gives a little something extra to your ensemble. A girl like me always loves a vertical stripe, especially in the leg region.

And let me tell you about the amazingness that is Kushyfoot legwear. Not only are these tights extremely durable (even for a person with long nails), but they are comfortable and easy to put on. I didn't have to look like I was trying out for a sideshow when putting on these tights, Kushyfoot nailed it when creating these babies. And one thing that I really love about them is that the legwear has a padded sole to massage your feet with every step. The feeling is amazing, especially when you first slip on the Kushyfoot legwear. I've never had tights make my feet feel rejuvenated before, so cool.

I was sent a few samples from Kushyfoot and I am in love with them all. I received some fleece lined trouser socks that I may never take off again. My feet have never felt anything so soft and I'm incredibly thankful for the fleece lining during the cold months. The fleece tights are a must have to keep you warm, add them to your Christmas list RIGHT AWAY.

There are so many different varieties of legwear, check out Kushyfoot today. I'm really glad I found them, because my hoisery and legwear drawer just got an upgrade!

Skirt: LOFT (similar).
Tank: Gap (similar).
Cardigan: LOFT (similar).
Tights: c/o Kushyfoot.
Shoes: DSW (last year).
Necklace: Stella & Dot.
Bracelet: gift.

I'm linking up with The Pleated Poppy, Because Shanna Said So and Book of Leisure.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Picture this scene with me...
Your husband has night class, you have a zillion errands that you need to run, its dinnertime, there is basically no food in the fridge and you have a 17 month old daughter. What do you do?

Well if you are me, you feed your daughter an early dinner then pop her in the car and start off on your errands hoping and praying that said daughter will take it easy on you. 'Tis the season. This was the scene about a month ago where I think I experienced a moment of insanity. Why oh why did I insist on running those errands during Baby K's witching hours and so close to bedtime? I barely even remember everything I bought. But as most of you expect, after getting shuffled around to a few places Baby K was over the late night (for her) errand run and wanted out of her car seat. The problem with heading home early? Tolar would be home from school and would be hungry and I already told him that I would take care of dinner.

Enter Panera to my rescue. And no, I'm not just talking that there was a Panera close by so I stopped in and picked up some yummy food. They seriously came to my rescue and made picking up dinner with a fussy toddler extremely easy. As Baby K was letting me know that she was tired of shopping and just wanted to not be strapped into something anymore, I quickly pulled up Panera's menu on my phone to make my decision on dinner so I wouldn't have to waste my time in the store deciding what we would eat. And there I saw it - I could order online, pay online and get my food FAST.

Oh thank you Jesus, I wouldn't have to be that person in line at bedtime with a screaming toddler. It is a hard and fast rule; Tolar and I try VERY hard to never be those people. Yes, we know sometimes toddlers just have to be toddlers and the only way they can express themselves is to cry. But I wasn't about to take Baby K into a public establishment and let her have a meltdown that was basically my fault. Thank you Panera for creating your Rapid Pick Up.

Rapid Pick Up is amazing, the bees knees! You place your order online, pay for your meal online with your credit card, select the date and time that you want to pick everything up, walk in, grab your food and leave! There was no line, basically no interaction with people, no shuffling of the purse/wallet/baby and we had our food and were on our way. I could seriously kiss whoever invented Rapid Pick Up. Mothers all over the U.S. thank you. We will be using Rapid Pick Up a lot I am sure. It's too easy and convenient not to! Why yes, I would much rather sit down inside Panera and enjoy their Potato Soup, just like in the picture below. But we need to save those times for when I actually have it all together.

And no, this isn't an ad or a sponsored post for Panera. This is just my public serivce announcement to you. Use Rapid Pick Up, your toddler and husband will thank you. #YoureWelcome

(PS - some Panera's even have a drive thru!!!)

Friday, December 12, 2014

High Five For Friday

Happy weekend everyone! Can you believe there are only two more shopping weekends left before Christmas? I'm in total shock, but oh so excited to celebrate the holiday!

Let's jump into some awesome moments from the past week.

1.) We decorated Baby K's little Christmas tree in her room and I love it. My aunt gave her the tree and I found some pink and silver ornaments to match the decor in her room.

2,.) Tolar traveled to St. Louis to go see his all time favorite musician - Garth Brooks. I love that he went to the concert with his sister, mom and step father. They haven't done something just the four of them in years, such a special time for them. And I was so happy that Tolar finally got to see Garth; the last time he saw Garth perform was 18 years ago!

3.) Baby K experienced her first parade and wasn't too sure what to think.

4.) We finally got Baby K's monthly pictures put in frames and hung on the wall. Only 6 months late. :)

5.) We had our church Christmas party and there was a photo booth with fun props; love goofing off with my little family.

I'm linking up this post with Lauren Elizabeth and September Farm.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wore: Quilted Coat

Coats, they are quite the necessity when you live in places that actually have a winter season. Even though our winters are not quite that brutal, we do have cold temperatures here in Southwest Virginia and investing in a good quality coat is necessary.

For my outerwear, I always opt for very classic pieces so that I can get a lot of wear out of them. Classic pieces will go with many different types of outfits and last for many trends. And I have found an awesome quilted coat from Joules that I am in love with and it completely fits the bill for a classic coat. This quilted coat is not too puffy and not too thin. I love that I feel completely warm in this coat without feeling like the Staypuff Marshmallow man.

The detailing on the coat is incredible. The curdoroy trim and the different size quilting patterns gives the coat a classic look without coming off boring. I don't think there is a better classic coat out there, seriously Joules nailed it with this one.

Another reason I am in love with the coat - it is machine washable. Can I get an amen??? A durable coat that has a great look and I can still wash it at home. Yes please. Let's just go ahead and call this coat the most amazing coat I will ever have in my closet. Joules has some amazing coats, lots of options similar to this one (and this one comes in other colors too). So if you are looking for a quality coat with a classic look I recommend that you look no further than Joules. Check their site out now.

Coat: c/o Joules.
Scarf: Macy's.
Jeans: Old Navy.
Boots: Target.

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy, Because Shanna Said So and Book of Leisure.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Felt Christmas Tree for the Kiddos

I love that Baby K is old enough this year to start to grasp the concept of the magic that Christmas brings. It is my favorite holiday and I hope that she will one day enjoy it as much as I do. To really celebrate and get into the Christmas spirit, I'm working on activities for us to do all month long. First on the list - make a felt Christmas tree.

I love this idea because it gives children a chance to have their own Christmas tree that they can decorate all their own. No ornaments will be harmed or broken either!

Now, I am by no means what one would call "crafty." I like to do a few DIY things, but nothing spectacular or awe worthy. And that is why this craft is so perfect for people like me. You really don't need a lot of special skills - unless you count cutting a special skill, then you need that. And in the end, you have a really cute tree to share with your children and you can trick them into thinking you are crafty.

Another reason I love this craft? It does not break the bank. The whole project cost me about $8! I went to my local JoAnn Fabrics and found that they were having a 50% off sale on felt, score! So I snatched up several colors and headed to the cutting counter. I ended up getting way more felt than I actually needed, so actually this craft only cost about $4 because I used half of what I bought (anybody need some felt?).

I purchased felt that was 72 inches long, more than enough to create all of the ornaments to adorn the tree. For the actual tree I purchased a yard of green felt; I wanted the tree to be big enough to hold a lot of ornaments and presents at the bottom. I then purchased a foot of felt in all of the other colors. In hindsight, I probably would have only purchased 4 inches, since the felt was so long. But hey, you live and you learn. Plus, with the felt being a foot wide, I was able to create presents.

There is no secret trick to this. I simply grabbed my yard stick, a sharpie and a pair of scissors. I decided how big I wanted the tree to be and kind of eye balled the entire thing. No geometry was used and it still turned out perfect. For the ornaments I used a coaster and traced circles and half circles. Then I cut everything out, hot glued the presents to the tree and stuck the tree to the wall. I used Command strips to get the tree to stick to the wall. I love them because when it is time to take the tree down, I won't have to worry about any unwanted holes or messy tape residue.

And now Baby K has her very own tree that she can touch anytime she wants. To encourage her to play with the tree, we would clap and cheer each time she stuck an ornament on all by herself. And it appears we have conditioned her to expect cheering every time she places an ornament because she turns around and claps her hands in between placing every ornament. Love that girl!

Friday, December 5, 2014

High Five For Friday

Happy First Weekend in December! Christmas is my all time favorite holiday, it has been my entire life. I love spending the entire month of December decorating, baking cookies, wrapping presents and going to fun Christmas themed activities. We have a couple planned this weekend.
But before we get into that, lets look at the fun moments from the past week.

1.) We put our Christmas tree up on Black Friday and had the cutest little elf to help us.

2.) Slowly but surely we are turning this house into a home. I finally got the living room painted and was able to style our entertainment center.

3.) I feel so on top of things this year - our Christmas cards arrived this week (thanks to purchasing them super cheap on Black Friday) and they are already in envelopes just waiting on address labels. They will be mailed out on Monday. Woohoo!

4.) I went to the fabric store with Baby K to get supplies for a super fun Christmas craft project. Details coming to the blog next week.

5.) This is one of the coolest Christmas trees I have seen. We went out to eat last night and saw this snowman tree; Baby K was in love with it. Her mama really liked it too.

I hope you all had a terrific week and that your upcoming weekend is fantastic!
I'm linking up this post with Lauren Elizabeth and September Farm.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Family Photos Are My Favorite

I love photos, no doubt about that. Just look at my phone and you will see I have over 3,000 photos taken since the last time I backed up my phone (which was probably only about five months ago). I really love having family photos taken. Having someone who has a great eye for fun shots and who really cares about getting that fab shot just means so much to me. And I love working with different photographers because they have different poses and set up shots in mind, so you can always get a variety.

We have a ton of photographer friends, which we have always been super thankful for. And when we left D.C. I was sad to leave all of our photographer friends, but still held out hope that we would find someone to take our photos as Baby K got bigger. Boy did we hit the jackpot!!! We used Whitney from Shine Photography and she is just awesome. Her work below is definitely going to speak for itself, but let me tell you a little about her. Whitney is awesome - hands down. She knows about so many great locations where you can get a really pretty backdrop for your photo; I love where we went! And Whitney is a mom (we are in the same MOPS group) so she is exceptional with children. Baby K fell in love with Whitney and her camera; she made Baby K feel so comfortable and she was great at getting a laugh out of her. And Whitney's eye for a great shot never stopped, not even as the wind picked up and the temperature dropped. We had so much fun with Whitney! New River Valley/Roanoke friends, I highly recommend that you check out Shine Photography and book a session with her!

And the creme de le creme:

In these photos, Baby K is wearing the first pair of shoes I ever bought her when I first found out we were having a girl. We used them in our maternity photos and now she has them on! So fun!