Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Girls Trip to SLC

My sister, Santanna and I have been planning this get away since we were knee deep in diapers, baby vomit and breastfeeding. We decided that once we were both done breastfeeding that we would jet the heck outta town. Easier said than done - because we are kind of emotionally attached to our babies! We were all talk for a little while, but we made it happen. It was a glorious weekend.
Our husbands worked from home on Friday, so we took off around 9:00am. We drove straight through Salt Lake City to Draper... Hello IKEA! I had never been to IKEA, so I was pretty giddy! I already can't wait to go back! So many IKEA hacks floating around in my brain!

We checked into our hotel downtown SLC, grabbed some food and rented an overly priced movie in our hotel room. Worth it. 
We didn't really sleep in... mostly because we are moms and our brains are programmed to wake up early, so we got ready, grabbed a quick breakfast and walked around Temple Square while we waiting for City Creek Mall to open. We started in Nordstrom so we could focus our energy into the #Nsale!! We didn't plan to be in Salt Lake during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale - that was a very happy coincidence! To make a long story short, we shopped until we dropped. We took a small break and drove to Toys R Us to grab toys for the babies, and then went back to City Creek to snag all the purchases we were unsure about before ;) Instead of venturing out and trying some fancy restaurant for dinner, we grabbed personal pizza from Pizza Factory, (not enough) chocolate from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, changed into our jammies and ate pizza in bed. So cozy.

I got a text from Matt on Saturday saying, "Kane did it, so Kess wanted to..." with this picture attached! I almost died from the cuteness! This babe is an outside girl! She loves being in the backyard with Kane!

The next morning we sorted through all of our purchases, packed our bags, called down to get our car (we paid for valet parking - one of the best decisions of the entire trip), and headed off to Bruges Waffles... best waffle of my life. I wouldn't lie to you. Santanna and I ordered the basic waffle with strawberries and whipped cream. We figured it would be good because - let's face it, a waffle is a waffle, right? Wrong, dude. Not all waffles are created equal. These were sweet, crispy, sugary deliciousness. I'm not sure I can ever eat a regular waffle and not feel some disappointment. Ok, that was a really long paragraph about a waffle. Moving on...

We drove a little too fast to get home to our hubbies and babies... go figure. Kess girl was asleep when I got home. I was a little bummed, but got over it quickly when Matt said, "So... show me what you bought!" Once Kess woke up and I gave her a bottle, let her wake up for a minute and then she gave me tight squeezes! Oh it was the best feeling ever! She has never hugged me so tight! She looks so big in this picture, too. She's still tiny, don't worry! ;)

I'll do a post on my shopping budget and how I decide if something is worth purchasing or not. I like to get more bang for my buck! ;) I found some great staple pieces over the weekend that I am oddly giddy about! 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Kess' 1st Birthday

Celebrating Kess' 1st Birthday was bittersweet, but mostly sweet. I know I've mentioned this before, but I wasn't sure I was going to survive motherhood. It was so much harder than I had anticipated. I was so sure that I would never get used to having her around, never get used to carting her with me everywhere and most certainly never get used to putting her needs before mine. Then all of the sudden, all of the things I was so worried about became my new "normal." I can't imagine my life without her and I know Matt feels the same way. We often talk about how we don't only emotionally love her, but we love her spiritually as well. What a blessing!

This last year has been the hardest of my life (so far), but it has also been the most magical. I have never known a love like the love I feel for Kess. To watch her grow, develop, learn and change has been one of the best things I have ever witnessed. Being a parent is truly magical.

I picked Kess' watermelon theme waayyy before I should have even been thinking about her 1st birthday. I didn't want to spend a ton of money on her party, even though it's a milestone for our family - I have seen too many people drop way too much money into what should be a simple, yet exciting occasion. We decided on a backyard bbq with our parents, grandparents and siblings. It was great weather! Started out hot, then overcast, then down-poured right after the cake smash - excellent timing.

We had the typical BBQ cuisine - hot dogs, hamburgers, an array of homemade salads (thanks to everyone who brought food), fruit & veggies, and homemade desserts! I decided to make Kess' smash cake and the other sweet treats, mostly because those things add up quickly.

My sister & I made watermelon shaped sugar cookies with royal frosting. It was our first time making and using royal frosting - trickier than it looks, kids! I think they turned out great & we only had one toddler/cookie incident - bonus! ;)

I made the cupcakes, (my favorite) buttercream frosting and the cupcake toppers. The cake was just a box cake, but split into 3 pans and dyed different shades of hot pink. I had never done an ombre cake before, so that was fun to try! The toppers were super easy, just scrapbook paper, cut into two different sized circles, glued together & cut in half! I used the same paper to make her "ONE" banner, using this printable template.

Kess girl was totally spoiled by all of her family - so many toys (as if she didn't have enough already.) I actually kept some packaged up and stuck them in the closet to pull out later. I am trying to rotate her toys. Little babes seem to get bored of their toys quickly, so I figure if I have a rotation going we can avoid that.

Kess' cute watermelon dress is from Alligator Lane. This was the only thing I couldn't make for Kess - I mean, I could have tried, but I figured I would save myself the frustration & buy something well made. This dress was perfect, so adorable and she will still be able to wear to church or out and about.

Thanks for all your party detail inquiries, I love being able to share this stuff with you all! I really enjoyed keeping Kess' party low budget, intimate and fun! It was the perfect day! Have a great weekend you guys!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Fourth of July

I hope you all had a great 4th! I'm pretty sure I say this every holiday, but holidays sure are different with kids. Granted, last year I was 38 weeks pregnant, so I wasn't lighting fireworks and running for dear life like usual - I was waddling and sweating. This year we were home early, got our little miss tucked into bed and prayed that our jack-wagon (my new favorite swear word) neighbors didn't wake Kess up with their obnoxious fireworks. (did that make me sound old?)

Our 4th was actually really great! We had a BBQ at my sister's house, had lots of family over, the babies got to play in the mini pool, play with toys, be the center of attention and have the crap scared out of them by fireworks. We lit a of those pretty colored smoke bombs for the babies, thinking they would love them... they didn't really care. I, of course cared very much because I really wanted to get an "Instagram-worthy" picture of Kess with pretty colored smoke in the background... eh, such is life! ;) We also lit a few (what we thought were) sparkly fireworks, but they ended up going off like a car back-fire and Kess clung to me for dear life, bawling. It was awful! We felt so bad and thus ended the firework fun. So we all gathered in the living room with lots of toys and let the babies play until their hearts content!

We made matching shirts for the BBQ. Because everyone needs a 4th of July shirt, right?! Yes. We decided to sew these cute little pockets on... trickier than it looks. Don't look to closely. I have moderate sewing skills, remember? ;) It was actually a fun little project, but might have to wear it for a couple of years to make up for the trouble (and seam ripping.)

Sunday we went to church in the morning and relaxed all afternoon! It was so nice to not have a thing to do. We watched movies, Kess napped well, we played fetch with Kane and went for a bike ride. I scored a bike trailer at a yard sale. Kess loves it!

And, the most exciting of the weekend shenanigans... Kess took her first steps!! It was so exciting! Obviously, more for Matt and I, but still! She did so great. She's still wobbly and defiant. We try to stand her up to walk and she won't put her feet down. I wonder where she gets that from? We are super excited for this next milestone! It's so fun to watch her grow and learn! We've been practicing lots over the last few days so she'll be running away from me in no time! ;)

I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July with your loved ones! Stay tuned for Kess' birthday fun next week! 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Shop Beautiful Effort

It's official! You can now SHOP Beautiful Effort graphic tees! Designed by yours truly! I am so excited to move forward with the blog and to be able to earn a little bit of extra money without having to leave Kess. I love doing hair and will more than likely always carry a small clientele, but in order to make more money - I had to leave Kess with a sitter or bring her with; which became challenging because a baby at a salon is a little crazy & I always miss her when I leave her! I'm a wuss! Isn't that the craziest thing? We always want a break and then we miss those darn kids! ;)

I had been thinking of ways to create a little extra income while staying at home. I have mediocre sewing skills and I'm not very crafty. But, I love to design - I like to think I have an eye for it, plus I have been loving all these trendy adorable graphic tees I kept seeing all over social media. Then I decided I had a few ideas of my own up my sleeve and gracefully did a swan dive
"cannon-balled" in.

It's had a few glitches, frustrated moments and doubts along the way - I'm sure I will see many more as we grow. But, I have also been really excited, happy and blessed to see this come about. Thank you all for being apart of this with me! I truly couldn't do this without you! I love this community of friends, wives and mothers that I get to be in touch with every day! Thank you for keeping my life real, honest and uplifting! You are all awesome! Have a great weekend!

To purchase a Beautiful Effort tee click SHOP on the right hand corner of the screen! Follow @beautifuleffort on Instagram for discount codes, giveaways & more designs to come!