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November 2012

At This Moment…

Dear Rowan:
Let’s talk about how awesome you are at this point in your life (although, you are always awesome of course!)
Here are a few things I want to remember about this age forever…

1. You now refer to us as Mom and Dad. You say things like “yeah, sure Mom, sure” when you answer a question I ask you. You always call your Daddy like this to come play “Hey Dad, come with me”.

2. You are obsessed with singing. Every time we get in the car you are very specific about what songs we have to put on. You hate it when we sing with you if you are not in a good mood. We love hearing you mumble every word of every song on the cds. You know a good portion of them but the ones you don’t you still try to sing. It’s like a very funny skit on snl that we like. Your favorite songs are Twinkle twinkle little star, This little light of mine, The wheels on the bus, and Itsy bitsy spider. You also like your music loud or “big” as you call it.

3. The new thing you say at bedtime to make us stay longer is “cuddle me”. How are we suppose to leave the room when you say heart melting things like that? Ha! You love cuddling in bed.

4. A few weeks ago you Daddy told you that you had to stay in bed until the sun came up. Now every morning when you wake up, you like to yell from your bed “Look Dad! The sun is up. I did it”. If only daylight savings didn’t just happen and the sun isn’t up at the crack of dawn now. It’s still cute though.

5. When we are sitting together you do this thing where out of no where, you lean over real slow and give these slow motion kisses. Then say “aww I lub (love) you too”. You do it over and over again. It makes me laugh so hard because it’s always so random and so slow. It cracks me up.

6. You have decided that when food looks different than normal it is all the sudden yucky. If your fruit has a spot on it, “it’s yucky”. If your baby carrots have a split in the bottom they are “yucky”. You are very particular about they way food looks.

7. You love freeze pops!

8. You love to be covered with blankets and say things like “it’s cozy”.

9. Every night when we pray you ask to pray for Anna, Baby Wes, Paul and Anna’s Mommy. It never fails.

10. You love your “slippy shoes” which are your Hello Kitty slippers.

11. Everyday you want to paint and use all the “barkys” (martha stewart sparkles I have) downstairs in the basement. You and your Daddy make me very special pictures all the time.

12. You are so good at riding bikes. You pedal all around the house and the basement on your bike. It’s super cute.

13. You are also great at being polite. You say lots of please and thank you with out being asked.

14. You are always very concerned with what the weather is like out. You like to tell us each morning what the weather report is. You especially like to tell us when it’s not raining out. Whenever I say it’s cold out you always say “No, Mom. The sun is out”. I wish it worked that way! I’m not looking forward to winter.

15. You love your little sister already. You know her name and like to rub my belly and talk about her. You are the sweetest.

(and yes, you can throw a tantrum like no other but we’ll pretend that it doesn’t happen…)

Love you my sweet girl!
xoxox

Mom

Christmas Trees and Potty Training

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I don’t know what it is, but every year we seem to have a doomsday sort of christmas tree experience. We are cursed to have the most ridiculous things happen. It never fails. This year it all surrounded the potty and little miss Rowan.

She has been completely out of diapers now (except for naps and bedtime) for about 3 weeks. We have been doing the no diaper thing at home for months, but we finally decided to bite the bullet, get over our fears of peed pants in public places and just make the full commitment. She has been doing great! Hardly any accidents at all (poop may be a different story but…) We always bring the Bjorn potty seat in the car and make sure to bring her to the bathroom just “to try” in each store or place we go.

Now, lets talk about Sunday at the Christmas tree farm. We had just gotten back from having thanksgiving at Kev’s parents. We left our beloved potty seat there by accident, so we didnt have it in the car with us. Strike one. The farm we went to was suppose to be a pretty large deal. Cafe, Trolley rides, Animals, I thought for sure there would be indoor bathrooms. Ha! I was wrong. All they had were porta potties. Ugh! When we first found that out, Kev and I were joking back and forth who would have to take her. Let’s face it, bringing a 2 year old to a public rest room leaves no room for germaphobes! I think we ended up making too big a deal out of it in front of her and scared her. When Kev tried to bring her she freaked out crying “yucky” the whole time. Strike two. I figured (wishful thinking) maybe she just didnt have to go and when she did have to, it wouldn’t matter if it was in the porta potty or not.

We had to take a 15 min trolley ride out to the trees. It was fun and all, but all I was thinking was please let there be a porta potty out there. I noticed one when we got off the trolley. Score. Off we went to find a tree. We had walked quite a distance when Rowan said what I was hoping she wouldn’t “peepee”. Great. We thought maybe, just maybe, we could get her pee in the woods. I dropped her pants, scooped her up and told her to pee. Ha! Yeah right! Poor girl, she had no idea what was going on. She refused and started getting upset. Kev said he would run with her back to the porta potty. Off they went. About 10 mins later I heard him calling for me. I ran out the the path and saw a very upset Rowan, waddling like she was very uncomfortable. Strike Three. After refusing to go in the porta potty, she had peed her pants on the walk back. She probably had to go so badly and just didn’t know what to do anymore. DOH! We decided to cut any tree quick, take the trolley back and then go change her in the car. After the whole incident we were left with a dinky $65 dollar, over priced tree and a girl who is now scared for life of peeing in a porta potty. Well done Kev and Jen. Well done.

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When I was trying to get her to pee outside.http://www.flickr.com/photos/jenloveskev/8226115694/
Running off to the potty.http://www.flickr.com/photos/jenloveskev/8226116194/
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When you are potty training, going out with out wearing diapers is a very scary thing for a parent. Here are some items that I keep in what I call my “potty training survival bag”…

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1. Wipes
2. Extra Undies
3. Extra easy to put on pants. I don’t worry about matching outfits or anything. Just easy pants to throw on in a jiffy.
4. Towel. This is key! When your kid pees and is standing in a puddle in the middle of a store (yes, it happened in old navy to us) you can quickly soak it up. Then wipe the area with wipes. I would feel terrible about leaving the puddle.
5. Thirsties Wet Bag. We used this for our cloth diapers but now its our potty bag. I use it to hold all this stuff in my purse, but when an accident happens it will hold any wet, dirty towels and clothes.
6. Treats. Also key! We use these YummyEarth Organic Vitamin C Pops . Never underestimate the power of treats and using the potty.
7. Socks. You would be surprised how many times her socks get wet too when she has an accident.

Oh the joys of being a parent! As hard of a journey potty training is, it’s pretty exciting to see them becoming little functioning humans. Rowan gets so excited. I can’t help but laugh every time we are at a restaurant and Rowan runs out of the bathroom screaming (so everyone hears) to Kev that she peed on the potty.

A Servants Heart…

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Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

It has been almost a year now since I decided to stop taking ads on my site. It is a decision that I still stand firmly behind and have not regretted once over the past year. Things have not changed but I have a weight pulling on my heart for something new.

I don’t have the largest amount of readers out there (far, far from it) but I do know I have a good readership (THANK YOU!) and because of that I am always looking for a way to make a difference. I want to use this platform to do some good. I have been struggling lately with this idea of servanthood. I read this post on The Friendly Fox a few months back and it has stayed with me since. Motherhood has really, truly brought out a servants heart in me. I have always like helping others but becoming a mom has stretched my heart in new ways. It is something that sometimes doesn’t come easy, but having a little one who needs you every minute of the day really puts your own selfish desires in perspective. I try my best (and I do fail a lot!) to daily find true joy in being a mother to Rowan and to serve her with a pure heart.

As she is getting older, it has become clearer to me that I need to show her what servanthood is. Not only in my actions towards her, but in my day to day with others. I want her to grow up with a huge heart for people. I want her to be humble, helpful, and to put others first. I know the best way to do that is to model that to her. This is why I have come up with a new plan for ads…

As you can see, there are now ads on my site again. I have not reached out to companies for ads- I still don’t want to bombard my content with obligated sponsored posts. I didn’t want to owe anyone anything. The ads were chosen and put there by me. They are all affiliate links which means when you click on them and purchase something I get a small percentage. Rowan and I will now be doing 1 service project a month with the money generated from these ads. It may not be a lot but it will be something. We will do a post each month on the charity we chose and share how we were able to donate and help with the money. Each month I hope to pick a different charity/organization and figure out a way to be able to get Rowan involved. I know she is still young and may not fully understand, but it’s a start to teaching her about having a servants heart.

If you would like to help out, I ask you be mindful in your online shopping this holiday season. I have chosen ads from my favorite stores and if you remember, make sure to click one of the ads on my sidebar before you shop. You may be going to buy gifts for your loved ones but you will also be helping spread some good in a much bigger way!

Thanks!

If you want to start shopping here are some great deals!
MADEWELL: 25% OFF & FREE SHIPPING ON EVERYTHING! CODE: TREAT
J.CREW: 25% OFF! PLUS, FREE SHIPPING ON $150+. USE CODE COLOR25

p.s. this is totally off topic but I know everytime I post a picture of Rowan wearing her fox coat people ask where it is from soooooo… It’s from a etsy shop called Little Goodall.
p.p.s Melissa had a similar idea at the beginning of the year. Love that girl!

Maternity Style | Week 34

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Happy Monday! Isn’t this week so exciting? I love this week. It’s like the official start of Christmas. We are getting our Christmas tree on Friday and I can’t wait!! Anyway, for this post I teamed up with IFB and Lookmatic to celebrate how different everyone can see the world. We are all so unique and I love hearing people’s perspective on how they personally see the world.

I like to see the world full of endless possibilities. I love trying to keep a positive point of view and I really, truly believe that you can accomplish anything if you work hard and go after your dreams. It’s really important to me to foster that kind of attitude in my children as well. I want them to grow up thinking they can accomplish whatever they put their minds to. I want them to see the world as a place where they can dream big.

Ha! Did you catch that? I wrote “children”? Crazy, huh? It still blows my mind that we will have more than 1 kid soon.

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OUTFIT DETAILS:
Abby Glasses: c/o Lookmatic
Jacket: c/o Lulus
Button Up: J.Crew
Maternity Skirt: h&m (similar)
Maternity Tights: Destination Maternity
Booties: Seychelles

Lookmatic has some super affordable and super cute glasses available. Make sure to check them out!
How do you see the world?

Our Week in Photos

(well maybe the past couple weeks)…

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Before & After | MUDROOM

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We have been working hard to get some of the rooms in our new house to a “finished” state before the baby comes. We are pretty much moved in, but putting those final touches on things hasn’t really happened yet. We have nothing on our shelves or the walls yet and the furniture was just kind of placed anywhere it fit.

When I was visiting Punky the other week, she gave me some awesome old barn wood. I am making a bench out of one of the pieces but the smaller piece I wasn’t sure what to do with it. I finally decided to make a cool coat rack for our mudroom. After we painted everything white in the house, the mudroom seemed a little too sterile to me. I think because it is such a small space. The walls are white, the doors are white and the floors are white. I LOVE all our other clean white walls but in the mudroom I kind of hated it. I decided to buy some light grey paint and paint 6 inch stripes on the wall. Nothing too dark but just enough contrast to add something to that area. I grouped some art on the wall and instantly the mudroom become one of my favorite little areas in the house so far.

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DETAILS:
White Paint: Valspar Du Jour
Grey Paint: BEHR Gentle Rain
Don’t Be An Art Killer Print: Self made screen print from a million years ago
Crow Print: Self made lithograph from college
Washi Tape: Modcloth
Billy Buttons: Etsy
Coat Rack: Self Made
Home Print: Vol. 25 via esty

The stripes were made using lots of ScotchBlue painters tape, a bone folder and a large level that had a ruler on it. I just measured, marked, taped and pressed down on all the tape edges with the bone folder before rolling the stripes.

Coat Rack was easy! Buy some hooks. Measure them out, drill them in and then hammer some random nails in the board. Use different colors string to create geometric shapes.
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What Rowan Wore | 11.19.12

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Yay! Someone’s cute little personality is slowly starting to show itself again. It’s been almost a week of miss cranky pants. Poor baby. Her smile is finally coming back too. It’s hard watching your kid be sick. I wish there was a button you could press that would print out exactly how they are feeling. That way you would know best how to help them.

We have had this cute vintage dress for a very long time. We have waited almost 2 years for it to fit her. Isn’t it just the cutest? A friend gave it to her and I have waited patiently to put it on her. I put on a denim button up this morning and Rowan told me she wanted to wear her matching one too. I added a little bow though to her outfit to sweeten it up a bit.

Happy Weekend Everyone!

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OUTFIT DETAILS:
Vintage Jumper: Gift
Denim Button Up: Boy’s Section at Old Navy
Tights: Target
Minnetonka Boots: Zappos

p.s. ha! the picture with her hand to her ear is what she does every time she hears a strange noise. It cracks me up. The garbage truck was outside while we were taking pictures.

Maternity Style | Week 32

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I wasn’t sure how I would feel about wearing a sort of babydoll/tent dress while pregnant but… IT IS AWESOME!! Especially when it’s super soft and a beautifully made Dear Creatures dress. So dang comfortable!! When you’ve been deathly sick all week a pretty dress can make you feel a whole heck of a lot better. This week has been pretty terrible for us. We have all be sick. Rowan has been waking up like every hour through the night crying for the last week. It’s been like the worst combo ever… Pregnancy + sick kid (like 104 fever sick) + sick self and husband + teething + no sleep + no family around= the longest week ever. I can’t wait to make the trip home to Massachusetts this week for some r&r and some family time with our parents. I don’t know how you Momma’s with more than 1 kid do it. I am excited for this new little one to get here but the excitement doesn’t come without some nerves as well. This whole week I just kept thinking how would we be doing this if there was another baby around? I know you just adjust and it becomes second nature but sitting around waiting for the unknown makes me a little nervous.

p.s. this dress has pockets! AMAZING!

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OUTFIT DETAILS:
Dear Creatures Dress: c/o Modcloth
Maternity Tights: Destination Maternity
Vintage Boots: Thrifted
Earrings: Target

Painted Onesie…

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I’ve been on a mission lately to make some clothes for the new baby. I am not confident about sewing outfits, so I’ve been thinking of other ways to create some special little things for her. I loved the video The Girls With Glasses made a while back and thought I would make some of my own. I wanted to go for more of a watercolor feel so I added water to my paint. I love the unexpected bleed throughs it made under the tape.

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Calzones for Everyone!

Sometimes all you need is a good ol’ family dinner night to make every thing seem right! I was cleaning off my card reader today and found these pictures from back in September. I sure wish my mom and sister were here tonight for dinner. We had so much fun that night making calzones. My dough hated me though and refused to get any bigger than my fist. Doh!

It’s the perfect, hearty meal to make with your kids or when friends are over. I know Rowan loved playing with the dough and picking ingredients to put inside. When we made these ones, we had a whole smorgasbord of goodies to fill the insides with. We just bought pizza dough at the store and went to town. Stretch out the dough, fill with cheese and whatever else you want and fold up. Brush with egg and cook in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 mins.

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New Makeup Routine

Every few months I find myself in a new makeup routine. It’s usually because I tried something new, really liked it and then use it over and over till I get sick of it. I like to keep things simple. Simple is fast, easy and motherhood approved.
Here are some of my current favorites…

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1. Conair Instant Heat 3/4″ Curling Iron. I got a new 3/4″ curling iron and it’s the perfect size! I had a 1/2″ one which was too small and I had a 1″ one that was to big for my shorter hair after I got it cut (I am sounding very goldilocks here). This size is perfect. The conair one is cheap, works good and heats up fast.

2. Garnier Fructis: Surf Hair. I love this hair wax. I rub a very small dab in my curls after I am done curling my hair. It breaks them up a bit and makes them look just a tad bit messy. This is by far the BEST smelling product ever.

3. Burt’s Bees Natural Throat Drops. We are all sick here at our house. These are a life saver and pretty yummy too.

4. Arbonne: FC5 New Cell Scrub. The perfect face scrub to keep you feeling refreshed and clean.

5. My favorite part of my makeup routine! Rowan likes to watch as I get ready and she always wants to wear “ip-stick” too. My lovely friend Julie gave me this Rosebud Perfume Co. Strawberry Lip Balm and every morning Rowan and I put it on. I let her swipe her own little finger and put it on her lips. I put it on after I use my Joe Fresh Lip Stain of course. The cutest part? Rowan thinks it mandatory to kiss after we put it on. Love it!

6. Arbonne: FC5 Moisturizing Night Crème. I am pretty picky about moisturizer. I don’t like it heavy and I don’t like it greasy. I LOVE this Arbonne moisturizer. It is a little bit pricey but I think it is worth it. I just use a small amount every time I get out of the shower.

7. Eye Care: I’ve been wearing only mascara and some light eyeliner lately. I really love COVERGIRL Lashblast 24 Hour Mascara. I can’t bring myself to pay a butt load for mascara and I think this does a good job for the drugstore. I also love Radiant Cosmetic eyeliner and for the perfect cat eye, Revlon ColorStay Liquid Eyeliner Pen .

8. Burt’s Bees: Mama Bee Belly Butter. Your belly gets so itchy when you are pregnant. Stupid stretching skin. I love this Belly Butter. It is perfect for after the shower or whenever really. Let’s hope it keeps the stretch marks away!

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What Rowan Wore | 11.02.12

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What is it about a kid in overalls? These were some cute overalls that we got her in the spring. They are getting a little bit too short, but I kinda think it adds to the cuteness. I can’t help but think it’s an outfit that screams “I am ready to play!”. Poor little Rowan has been sick these past 2 days. Yesterday her fever was close to 104 and I was a little concerned there for awhile. It’s under control now though and she has perked up a little bit today. Isn’t it so heartbreaking when your kid is sick? It kills me.

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OUTFIT DETAILS:
Overalls: Target (similar)
Yellow Shirt: H&M
Vans: Zappos

and some photos from outside:
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Our Week in Photos…

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Breakfast after a morning bath | Chamomile tea | Rising sun | Favorite Halloween Ornament | Raking leaves | Daddy’s little helper | Always needing to be outside even first time in morning | Car guy | Baking brownies | Our 1st library haul | Drilled holes in pumpkin | Her favorite place to sit | Halloween bump | Obsessed with my iphone case. Reminds me of my Dad | Halloween dance party | Minnie and Butterfly | 2 hour late night video chat with my Sister and Brother in law.

Hi, I'm Jen!

Welcome to my personal lifestyle blog. It features topics such as motherhood, family life, fashion, cooking, and all sorts of adventures. I hope you enjoy what you find!


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