Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday Favorites

It's Friday, all three kids are napping (#lifegoals) & this is happening.

We had a relatively exciting week over here, the girls got a new whip (hand me down barbie jeep) from our neighbor, so they have been loving life riding it all over the neighborhood every night. Thank the good Lord for this beautiful weather!! We had a few fun play dates with friends and Brandon & I got to have a night out this week to see one of our favorite bands from college, O.A.R. which was so much fun. Giant concert beers were not good to me, however, and I learned a very valuable lesson as I drowned in kids and coffee on Wednesday. Parenting three kids? Not so bad as long as you aren't hungover.

Chambray Romper // Wedges

We are taking the girls to the aquarium this weekend since it is supposed to storm, hoping they will have a ton of fun & we will not be a complete circus the entire time! ;)

Time for some Friday favorites! These gold bunny ballet flats are the cutest shoes ever, although they would be adorable all year round, I had to get a pair to save for Claire's first Easter. (Yes, holidays on the mind, all the time.) Also, if you loved the cat flats from yesterday's post, I just came across this equally cute, but much more affordable pair here!

Love this super easy, kid friendly zucchini pizza recipe, we tried it this week & it was SO GOOD.

How fun are these baby age blocks? It's so easy to take weekly/monthly photos of your babies while they're little but as soon as they're crawling, it is near impossible. These are perfect because they could hold them as they grow!

All of these festive headbands & clips are making me very excited for Fall!

And last but not least, if you haven't seen this hilarious parody "I wanna go to Chic Fil A" here is your Friday laugh! If you're a mom, please tell me you can totally relate!!! ;)
Have the best weekend, friends!!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Mini Style: Little Black Cat

I really can't believe next week is already September, this summer flew by faster than ever! Fall is of course my favorite season, but I look forward to it even more now because cooler weather will make it so much easier to take all three girls out of the house. I have made very few outings by myself with them (including hauling them ALL to the chiropractor with me this week, bravery my friends) but nothing will stop us from hitting the park & outdoor mall once 70 degree temps roll in! ;)

In the meantime, I am loving all of the Fall & Halloween stuff popping up, and little black cats get me every time! Rounding up a few of my favorites today & hoping this stirs a little excitement in your Halloween loving hearts!

 Hooded Kitten Cardigan // Dancing Cat Sleep Set // Cat Nightgown // Stripe Footed One Piece // Cat Mary Janes // Sequin Cat Ear Headband // Sequin Cat Pillow

I am just dying over those dancing cat pajamas & nightgown, I so wish they came in adult sizes! Here's a little throwback favorite of Eloise last Fall, so hard to believe how much she has grown!

Enjoy the rest of your week, hope you all are getting a little glimmer of cool weather wherever you are! XO

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Claire's Nursery

I am so excited to finally share some photos of Claire's nursery today! This has been one of my favorite rooms to decorate in our house, I was so excited about some girly pink walls! There was a little bit of mermaid inspiration behind the room design, but I didn't want to go too over the top with it. The room is really small & doesn't get a lot of light, but I love the way it turned out! My favorite things in the room are the art prints & the acrylic house shelf that I have used to display some of the girls' bows & accessories. Eventually, when they are all a little bit bigger, I want to use this on the floor as a little dollhouse! 

One of my original pieces of inspiration for this room was this Be On The Sea Activity Mat, all of the girls love it!! The colors are so pretty in person & all of the little details are adorable. It is Claire's favorite place to do tummy time, and Eloise & Harper's favorite place to leg wrestle. ;)

Hope you've enjoyed the room pictures & may take a little piece of inspiration away from it as well!

Glider discontinued from Babies R Us (similar here & here) // // Pink Tufted Stool c/o Land of Nod 
Teal Herringbone Baskets c/o Land of Nod // Flamingo Plush // Gold Sequin Cloud Pillow // Fabric Ballerina Doll  // Acrylic House Shelf c/o Land of Nod // Glitter Bows // Dresser (antique) // Sequin Hanger // Mermaid Gown // Kiss the Girl Banner // Pretzel Rattle
 Updated to add: Paint color is Wispy Pink by Benjamin Moore & Light Fixture is from Pottery Barn

If I've left anything out, let me know in the comments & I will source it for you! :) A huge thank you to our friends at Land of Nod for teaming up with us on this space, as well as our photographer (and one of my best friends) Ashley Scobey for snapping pics of the room! 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Three Kids is Like...

Six am wake up calls, two cups of coffee, one cup of milk spilled on a princess nightgown, another cup being shot put across the kitchen & endlessly nursing along the way. 

One baby in your arms, another on your hip, and a toddler yelling from the other room, "mooooom, I pooooooped!"
An episode of Mickey, a dance party & quick game of "let's bring every single toy/pillow/blanket/object that isn't nailed down to the entry way so we can build a boat."

Trying to strap a screaming baby into a car seat while one toddler thinks their finger is a pacifier and is shoving it in the baby's mouth, and the other toddler is all "I'm tickling you mama, tickle tickle you!!" with their razor sharp fingernails on the back of your neck.

Shoving an entire piece of room temperature frozen pizza into your mouth all at once because you know it will be a while before you make it back to your plate.

Reasoning with yourself about sweeping the floor because you're already going to have to sweep again after the next meal, only to have your husband chime in with "well do we really need to bathe the kids because they're already going to get dirty again tomorrow." And you're all "amen! high five! messes fo life!" But then you sweep and also bathe the kids.

Books, stories, songs, prayers & state of the union address before everyone is satisfied enough to go to bed.

Approximately seven hundred deep breaths & two glasses of wine. Six little arms to wrap around your neck in hugs, sloppy kisses times three & more snuggles than one can count. Chaos & love to the moon and back.

And I wasn't kidding about building the boat. 
Happy almost Friday! XO

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Newborn Favorites

It feels like I am writing this post for the millionth time. And I'm sure you feel like you're reading it for the millionth time too. But! Baby products are always changing, and getting better & better along the way, so I am sharing just a few things I am loving this time around.

Halo Swivel Bassinet // Knotted Baby Gown // Angelcare Bath Seat

 Having my third c-section, I have learned the hard way about what makes those first few weeks especially tough, and that is the middle of the night feedings that include sitting up, twisting & bending over to pick up your newborn. With a pack-n-play or traditional bassinet/co-sleeper next to the bed, it also involves pushing it out of the way or trying to squeeze around it when getting out of bed. Enter, the Halo Swivel Bassinet. This is a tried & true life saver for the newborn days, with a full 360 degree swivel, a wide base that will easily go underneath your bed so you can pull the bassinet to you & a drop side to pull your baby into bed with you. It also has a night light, a vibration setting & pockets on the ends for diapers & wipes. I am honestly in love with this product & wish that I would have had it for the other two girls. Here's the catch, it is very pricey & is something you may only use for a month or two while your baby is sleeping in your room. I went in on this with a few of my girlfriends who were also having babies this year, so we have split the cost & passed it around to each other as we needed it for the newborn stage, so we each only ended up paying around $50 for something that was really invaluable.
So so so worth it, highly recommended.

The Angelcare bath seat was something I discovered after Eloise was already sitting up in the tub, but I always dreaded bath time because I always felt like I had to hold onto her in any/all bath tubs/seats that she used. And I swear, we have used them all. I used this when I gave my nephew a bath at my brother's house before Claire was born & knew right away that we had to buy one. This seat tops them all, to use from the time your baby is a newborn through the wobbly-slippery-tub-sitting stage. The soft rubbery back keeps them from slipping & the base stays put in the tub. Claire absolutely loves bath time & I am certain it has a lot to do with her being comfortable in this little seat.

4moms sent us their new bounceRoo a few weeks ago & we were so excited to try it out. I swear by bouncers, I think babies are most comfortable & relaxed in them above anything else, between the vibration setting & the way you can bounce them with your foot. This one did not disappoint, and you know I love the modern style & neutral colors. It is lightweight, portable & battery operated so you can move it to any room of the house or take it with you wherever you go.

My favorite muslin blankets, all natural rubber pacifier & the best ever nipple balm are also must-haves for me. And I think we can all agree that the little knotted baby gown is the most adorable thing ever! These are soft, stretchy & super convenient for diaper changes. I also have to mention the noise machine that we love, we have one in each of the girls' rooms for white noise while they sleep, I swear by them, especially in our crazy loud zoo of a house these days! Also, I recently tried the Ollie World Swaddle which officially takes the cake in terms of newborn swaddles, Claire has yet to break out of it when she sleeps at night!! If you have a swaddle ninja, I would highly recommend trying the Ollie!

Hope you find this helpful!! Wishing you all a happy Tuesday & lots of hours of uninterrupted sleep! XO

Friday, August 14, 2015

Claire 6 Week Update

Claire turned a whole six weeks old on Wednesday, with each new day she is looking more & more like baby Harper, which is so cool to see. Her hair seems to be thinning already, most of Harper's hair fell out by the time she was four months & it seems like hers may follow suit. She is just over 11 lbs. and has outgrown her newborn clothes already. We are anxiously awaiting thigh rolls!! Her sleeping schedule is still pretty unpredictable, she normally goes to bed around 8 and can make it until 2(ish) before I feed her again, then she either wakes at 4 to eat or will sleep until morning when she wakes at 6:00 or so for the day. Sometimes she is up every two or three hours, and even when she is sleeping, she is all sorts of noisy. I am hoping to get her in her own room soon (and sharing the nursery soon too!). During the day, she usually takes two to three naps, but she is definitely not a cat-napper. If she isn't swaddled & in her bassinet or swing, she is wide awake. And when she is awake, her favorite activities are as follows:
1. Eating
2. Being held until it is time to eat again

And maybe occasionally looking out the window for a maximum of three minutes while waiting to be held again. She is definitely not the easiest baby, I end up wearing her a lot in order to keep her calm. I remember people saying how the third child is usually so chill & can easily be forgotten about because they are so laid back. And maybe I took the wrong baby home from the hospital because that is certainly not the case for miss Claire. But I guess every day is a new day, so we will get there eventually!

In other news, I feel like Eloise has grown by leaps & bounds since Claire was born. Of course your older babies look so much more grown up when you bring home a newborn, but developmentally she is changing so much as well. She is learning a ton of new words, which we are really pushing for her to use instead of her favorite form of communication, the point-and-whine. Right now she loves to give "knucks" (which she calls "ducks") and hi-fives, loves to dance & get her hair brushed. This age is so much fun!

Harper is sweeter than ever and started ballet & tap this week! It was insanely cute & I absolutely loved every second of it. She was really nervous, I was worried she was going to cry and change her mind about doing it, but she was very brave & danced her little heart out. I think seeing all of the other sweet girls in their tutus made her feel at ease! I am so excited for her & especially can't wait for their recital in the Spring. 

Also, our first attempted grocery shopping outing this morning went like this: pack up kids, drive to starbucks, realize I forgot my wallet because I had it out of my diaper bag to pay bills, take deep breaths and curse under my breath (why don't I have the starbucks app? and why didn't I think of downloading it on the spot?), drive home, get wallet, say forget coffee, go to grocery store, avoid making eye contact with strangers as I quickly roll through the store with my rambunctious girl squad, leave trail of goldfish throughout store, check out, quickly try to soothe Claire with her paci as she screams her head off during checkout, realize my boob is leaking milk through my shirt because I forgot to replace the nursing pad that I took out to kill a spider Harper found (YOLO), scramble to get all kids in the car, almost forget baby wipes on the bottom of the cart (there should be an alarm or something, right?), pull out of the parking lot debating going back for that coffee, definitely don't go back for the coffee & quit while I'm ahead. If ahead is even the right term.
And now, naptime is over. Because sometimes your neighbor just has to powerwash his fence at two in the afternoon. Happy weekend!!! XO

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Meal Prep + Toddler Food

I have posted similar things before in the past but since the kids ages & tastes are always changing, our menu is as well so I thought I would elaborate a little bit on what we are up to in the kitchen. With life much busier now, making meals quick & easy is super important, but I also want to make sure that the kids are getting a good balance of healthy foods. Because we never say no to pancakes & ice cream around here.

For reference, Harper is 3.5 & Eloise is 16 months, but she has been eating all of this since she was 12 months old for the most part. Also, out of nowhere, Eloise seems to have developed some sort of strawberry allergy. She used to eat fresh strawberries at least once or twice a day, but while she was cutting her recent teeth we stopped giving them to her because she was getting such bad diaper rash. Her face turned really red & blotchy about three weeks ago after eating a strawberry yogurt pop, and again two weeks ago after eating strawberry ice cream. We decided to not give her any strawberry flavored foods, thinking maybe it was something artificial causing it, but sure enough, she had another reaction this weekend after eating a fresh strawberry. So currently cutting strawberries out of her diet until we chat with the doctor.
Below is a rundown of our basic menu that we rotate through during the week, I usually save new recipes or more complicated stuff for the weekends. And I don't make all of this stuff ahead of time, just a few meals a week is a huge help.

Pancakes that I can make ahead on weekends & freeze, easy to pop in the toaster or in the microwave, top them with bananas & blueberries.
French Toast, I find this to be a pretty easy breakfast using a large iron skillet so you can make them all at once, it's one of the girls favorite things so we make this often.
Freezer waffles, I still swear by the Kashi 7 Grain waffles, we love them with peanut butter or almond butter, or my favorite, Nutella!
Overnight Oats
Granola Bars or cereal & yogurt, especially if we are trying to get out the door quick to go somewhere, this is a quick & easy breakfast. 
The girls also love scrambled eggs, but I usually don't make these during the week because they are messy (I also hate cleaning egg pans) so we save egg & bacon breakfasts for the weekends. 

Grilled Cheese (add deli meat like ham or turkey)
Pasta (we love spinach & cheese tortellini with tomato sauce for an easy lunch)
Hot Dogs with mac or a veggie. I love hot dogs, but have never given them to the girls until finding these applegate ones with a not so scary ingredient list. I also get nervous about choking on hot dogs so I cut them into really tiny pieces. They love steamed edamame or green beans with them.
Chicken quesadillas (using shredded chicken made ahead of time) + avocado
Soup, crackers & cheese cubes
Fish sticks/filets with rice or a veggie. My girls LOVE this, they will probably ask for it more than any other lunch. This is my favorite breaded fish recipe & can be made ahead of time to freeze.

Snacks at Home
Apple slices & peanut butter or almond butter
Carrots & hummus (Harper's favorite!)
Yogurt or frozen yogurt bars (fun to make our own!)
Mini pretzel sticks with hummus or peanut butter
Bananas (we seriously go through 20 bananas a week in our house) 

Snacks on the go (we use these little snack containers to minimize the mess)
Cheddar Puffs (my kids are obsessed with Pirates Booty!)
Animal crackers or Annie's bunny grahams
Dried Fruit (bananas & apples are their favorite)

Chicken Noodle Soup (chop veggies during meal prep, use shredded chicken made ahead of time)
Lasagna (make sauce during meal prep, use no-boil noodles & freeze, all you have to do is throw in the oven)
Chicken Fried Rice (I use this recipe, but I use shredded chicken that I have cooked ahead of time)
Homemade Pizza
Carnitas or BBQ Pulled Pork (crockpot)
Maid-Rites (ground beef + can of beef consomme soup, make ahead in crockpot, serve on hamburger buns, here is another recipe, a bit more complicated but also tastes amazing!)
Chicken Tacos, Fajitas or Enchiladas (chop veggies during meal prep & use shredded chicken made ahead of time, make homemade taco seasoning in bulk to add when cooking OR use crockpot to make the entire meal that day by throwing chicken breasts, salsa, seasoning & beans into crockpot & cooking all day until the chicken can be shredded with a fork). I love this oven taco recipe.
Ham & Cheese Sliders (recipe)
Stuffed Peppers (make meat, rice & sauce ahead of time during meal prep & freeze)

To make these meals easier, I will make shredded chicken for the week on Sundays in the crockpot (8 chicken breasts + one box of chicken stock for 6 hours) & then put it in the freezer to use one meal at a time. I plan for lasagna & stuffed peppers in the same week so I can cook the ground beef & sauce all at once, then split it for the two meals. Ham & cheese sliders and homemade pizza can be prepared the night before, or even at naptime, and kept in the fridge until it is time to cook. All veggies & fruit are cut during meal prep & stored in the fridge, and I try to make meals that use a lot of the same ingredients so nothing is wasted, like using chopped celery for both chicken noodle soup & chicken salad.

I mentioned before, there are a ton of resources for meal prep & planning out there, especially on Pinterest or blogs that are dedicated to this topic. This is just a quick rundown of how we do it (sorry it is so long!) but hopefully you can find something a little bit helpful! :) And as always, be sure to share your tips, tricks or recipes, I love hearing what others have on their meal planning menu! XO