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May 2013

6 Pictures, 6 Things…

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1. We had a major storm pass through here last night. Holy Moly! It was crazy! Tornado warnings, flash floods, hail and then a full double rainbow.

2. The town pool opened!! Yay! We got a pass this year and I can’t wait to spend all summer there. I want to try to get Rowan into some swim lessons. The next few days are going to be in the 90’s. Swimming here we come!

3. Since Finley was born, decorating and getting settled in the new house sort of took a back seat. The past month though the overwhelming urge to get things done has returned. I am trying to focus on getting one room done a month. That way it’s not too much all at one time (even though I want it all done now!)

4. I have a feeling June is going to be a really great month. We have some fun things planned this month and we also celebrate our 7 year wedding anniversary! That is so exciting to me! I can’t believe how much time has passed since that http://www.flickr.com/photos/jenloveskev/3632036059/.

5. I decided the other day that I am not going to run a marathon this year. It was a hard decision but considering time and nursing and other things, I just don’t think I can do it. I will however train for a half and then run a few of those this summer and fall. Kev and I are planning on finding some cool ones we can travel too and make a fun weekend out of it, hopefully exploring some new cities. A full marathon will just have to wait till next year.

6. We are getting a trampoline this weekend! We are all so pumped about this one!! Did you have a trampoline growing up? We did and I have so many fun memories playing on it with my sisters. We use to camp out on it too.

*the dollhouse is a Barbie Dream House from the 70’s. It was a gift from a friend and Rowan is smitten
**4Moms generously gifted us the Breeze Playard and I have nothing but amazing reviews for it. It comes with us everywhere.

My Everyday Style

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Are you a maxi dress lover? I am trying to like maxi dresses more. I always love them on other people but on myself… I am not so sure. Yes. This is an on going thing. I think I try to like them every summer. I was excited about this one though. I thought it was a lot more flattering and fitted than most. Kev even said he really liked it and he kind of hates maxi dress. It has just enough weight to the fabric to fit your curves but not be too clingy. And being 4 months postpartum that’s a big deal because don’t get me started on baby weight! Who ever said you loose weight while breastfeeding is lying. Well, in my case they are. I don’t over eat and I exercise 3-4 times a week, but you want to know something? I only weigh 4 pounds less than I did the morning after I gave birth to Finley. In 12 hours I lost 23 pounds and in 4 months I have only lost 4lbs. I am trying really hard not to be depressed about that one! Ha. I just am trying to focus on continuing to eat healthy, exercise and be super duper proud about nursing Finley.

What about you guys? What was your story with breastfeeding and weight loss?
(oh yeah this dress works great for nursing. V neck and stretchy fabric! Score!

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OUTFIT DETAILS:
Dress: Target
Jean Jacket: J.Crew
Sandals: Similar

An Evening on the Dock

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Ever since I posted those kite pictures yesterday, I’ve been thinking about simple and sweet moments. I decided this week we should all focus on finding those moments. I am pretty sure they come more often than we think, we are just too busy, distracted or focused on the negative to find them. I encourage you to post about your simple and sweet moments this week too!

Leave a link in the comments if you do post about them so we can enjoy them as well!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jenloveskev/8840987195/^^sisterly love

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/jenloveskev/8840971545/^^Watching the Dolphins swim down the canal

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/jenloveskev/8841584808/^^waiting for the manatees

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Don’t you just love golden hour? It’s pure magic. The warm glow, the colors, I can’t get enough. It was a very lovely evening out on the dock all together as a family.

Rowan and Finley’s outfits were a gift from Winter Water Factory.

Let’s go fly a kite…

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Somedays life is simple and sweet. This particular day was one of those days. Before we headed to Florida, we had promised Rowan we would get her a kite. She was in heaven and so were we. I hope I can always remember her cute little face as she went running down the beach flying her kite by herself.

Happy Sunday (and long weekend!)
Hope you can find your simple and sweet moment this week!

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Weekly Wishlist

A few items that make my heart flutter a little bit faster than normal lately…

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1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

and some other favorites from around the internet this past week…
1. Did you know Nordstrom is having a giant half year sale?? Up to 40% off so many items!! Like this ergobaby! These super cute baby denim shorts! and ooooh these studded sneakers!

2. Really loved Danielle’s thoughts on blogging about her son. It’s something I think about a lot.

3. How dreamy are these sparrow pjs. Perfect for warm summer nights.

4. I loved reading about the Deal’s journey with raising chickens. It’s something I find very interesting and would possibly consider doing for our family (if I decided to stop being vegetarian that is).

5. What do you think about black and white striped skinny jeans? I kind of love them!

6. Doesn’t Sydney just ooze beauty in this post? So pretty!

7. I know it’s summer but this sweater has me dreaming of being cozy by a bonfire roasting marshmellows, with cut off jean shorts and a big messy bun.

8. I’m sure everyone and their mother has heard about and bought the Beautiful Mess app but in case you haven’t YOU SHOULD! So proud of Elise and Emma! They are so inspiring.

9. a leather dress? yes please! If only my wallet could afford it.

10. Oh Danielle! I just love you! Way to go girl. You should all head over to Take Heart and follow her blog.

11. How pretty is this skirt? Sort of like the old school botany etchings that I love to much.

12. HEY! Are you going to the TxSC Conference this year? If not you should!! It is going to be a blast. Kev and I will both be there speaking. Come meet lots of awesome bloggers and have a super fun weekend!! Learn more and register by visiting www.texasstylecouncil.com/

13. CAT TEE! (nothing else needs to be said!)

Let’s Grow Something…

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When we were on the search for a house last year, one of our top priorities was to have a nice big yard. I have dreamed of having a vegetable garden for years now. I’ve never had much of a green thumb though. So when Miracle-Gro approached me to be part of their Gro Project, I jumped at the chance to make my garden a reality. I wanted to prove anyone could get out there, enjoy the outdoors and grow a little something! Now, since I am a newbie to all this I decided to try out a little container garden first instead of jumping head first into a big ol’ garden. I wanted it to be really fun, manageable, and a little more personal than just planting in some store bought containers.

Here are the steps to creating your very own container garden…

garden15^^I bought this big tub (well feeding trough) at the Tractor & Supply Store. The other round container is just from Home Goods.

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garden12^^Create a stencil and hand paint any kind of pattern you want on your tub. I went with some black triangles. I painted 2 coats and then sealed it so it wouldn’t come off.

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garden8^^With the round tub I taped it up and spray painted the bottom a neon pink.

garden9^^Since they aren’t meant for gardens I needed to drill holes in each of the containers so that I could create drainage for the plants. You can fill the bottom of your containers with recycling to take up sq. footage letting you to use less soil and making them not so heavy in case you want to move them.

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garden5^^Planning everything out.

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garden3^^I only planted a few vegetables this year to test the waters, but planted quite a few herbs.

Visit Miracle-Gro on Facebook and Pinterest for some other great ideas and products for getting out there and growing something!

This post was sponsored by Miracle-Gro. All opinions and diy are my own.
We choose to work with specific sponsors when it’s a natural fit in an effort to raise money for our monthly charity/service projects. Thanks for supporting that!

Mother’s Day

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I wanted to write some deep, well thought out post on being a Mom for Mother’s Day but over and over I’ve been drawing a blank. I just keep coming back to the idea of being grateful. I am just so grateful to be a Mom. What a blessing it has been to my life. It has stretched me in ways that have been joyous and painful all at the same time. I feel like Motherhood really brings out your true self. I wish I could say that it was always my best self, but it prunes you. It brings to light the areas you struggle with (hello patience!) and forces you to work it out. To get better. To take that deep breath and fight to be a better example for your children. It is the toughest, hardest, most rewarding job I have ever had and for that I am grateful.

I also want to say a big huge THANK YOU to all you wonderful Mom’s out there (and non Moms too!). Your comments, tweets, emails, etc.. throughout the year always mean the world to me. I am honored to be walking this road with you all. You daily inspire and encourage me to be a better Mama.

Our Mother’s Day was spent all together as a family going to church, out to lunch, and a wonderful walk through a sculpture garden/Museum. So happy to spend it with my own Mom, Kev, Rowan and Finley…

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p.s. Although spray sunscreen is God’s gift to Mom’s, it is quite greasy. Add that to a 95 degree day and Rowan’s hair takes on a life of it’s own. I could not stop laughing about her crazy do in these pictures.

and my skirt is from the LOFT

Disney World

There is something so wonderful about bringing your kid to Disney. Yes, it’s hot, crowded and ridiculously expensive (ever seen the Jim Gaffigan skit?) but I have to say, none of that compares to seeing your kids face light up over it’s pure magic. I pumped for like 2 weeks just to get enough milk so that we could leave little Miss Finley home with my Mom and just take Rowan. It would have been nice to have her with us but let’s face it, a baby at Disney is not the easiest. It was such a special day to give Rowan. Mommy and Daddy all to herself! She was in heaven. We brought her last year at a little over a year and half years old and it was good, but now at a little over two and half years old it was even better! I think this was the perfect age for her. Still free, but at an age to totally enjoy it all!

I had to bring my pump to pump during the day and let’s just say that was an experience I hope I quickly forget. Yikes. Not my most elegant moment. I only had an electric pump with me so I had to head to the Baby Care Center to find outlets. The “nursing rooms” at Disney are a little scary. If Finley was with us I would not have been nursing her in that dingy closet of a room.

NURSING MOMS TIP: Head to the Hall of Presidents. It is a long show, clean, dark and air conditioned.

Anyway, as I have mentioned before Rowan is obsessed with Princesses. I think her mind just about exploded from getting to meet them all. It was so hard not to get all choked up watching her get so excited over everything. I am going to say her favorite moment of the day though was getting to meet Minnie Mouse though. What an awesome day we got to have all together. One we will not be forgetting anytime soon.

We made a short little video of our day at Disney…

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p.s Rowan was like a cm too short to go on Thunder Mountain. We were so bummed but umm how is she almost 40in? Such a big girl!

6 Pictures, 6 Things…

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1. Rowan is a little fish. I think she could stay in the water all day long. Ocean, pool doesn’t matter. As long as she is swimming she is in heaven.

2. Finley took her first boat ride today. The white noise of the wind, waves and motors put her right to sleep. Can you blame her though? Being on a boat is one of the most relaxing things to me. I think it’s safe to say I am my happiest when I’m on a boat. I’m now obsessed with the idea of getting a pontoon boat.

3. Kev is here!!! It was a long week away from him but he arrived on Thursday and now we start are 2 weeks here in FL together. Rowan and him had just about the sweetest little reunion at the airport. Can you hear her giggling as she runs to him?

4. Kev and I went running last night together after the kids were in bed (my mom was here to watch the girls) and it was awesome to actually get out there together and not be pushing a stroller. Although, I will admit I dragged my feet at first. So tired!

5. We bought Rowan a kite today and she was just the cutest as we went to the beach to fly it. She kept saying “Thank you daddy for buying this kite for me”. Seeing her running down the beach with kite flying over head brought one of those big ol’ mama lumps to my throat for sure.

6. Outdoor showers are the bomb diggity.

My Everyday Style | 05.03.13

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Lately I’ve been feeling sort of at a loss as to where to shop. I can’t always justify the price at j.crew/madewell (even though I’d love too) and well, Gap bottoms don’t really fit me all that well. The more I go into Forever 21, the more I can’t stand anything in there. I don’t have a 14 year old body and definitely I don’t want shorts or jeans that show any part of my butt. Ha! It is tough finding pieces that are still younger, but not too young. Do you agree? My style over the past 2 years has become way more relaxed, more casual and much more functional. Don’t get me wrong. I see my dear Kendi’s posts everyday (so gorgeous!) and wish I had somewhere to where cute dresses and heels, oh the heels! but that is just not my life. And you know what? I am ok with that. Anyway, long story short, I went to the LOFT the other day and hit my jackpot. Some stuff there I will agree, is a little old lady like for me but, the fit of there shorts and the length of their skirts is perfect. Plus, everything was on sale! I walked out of there with like 4 pairs of shorts, 2 skirts and 2 shirts for a steal.

and just so you know… linen, drawstring shorts are like wearing pjs. So awesome!

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OUTFIT DETAILS:
Eyelet Top: Old Navy
Shorts: LOFT
Sunglasses: Target
Kork-Ease Sandals (my favorite!): Nordstroms
Striped Tote: c/o Massi (so perfect for summer!)

The Second Child…

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I was laughing the other night with a friend over the differences between having your first and second kid. It’s so funny how much more relaxed you become. I can only imagine how you feel with each subsequent kid. I think I was already pretty easy going with Rowan, so poor little Finley, no special treatment for her. Ha! Still the same amount of love though!

I thought it would be funny to list out some of the major differences between kid one and kid two…

1. I only took 1 pregnancy test. With Rowan we went back to the store twice that very night. I peed on like 6 sticks with her. With Finley I took 1 and was done. I just knew.

2. I did not read a million books. In fact I didn’t even open one. With Rowan, I read every weekly update/report there was on the baby’s progression. With Finley I peaked on Baby Center every so often but that’s it.

3. I hardly remembered how far along I was until the very end, and by then you for sure know every day closer you are to getting that baby out!. Those mid 20’s weeks all seemed to blur together.

4. I was way less cautious about everything having to do with being pregnant. I was smart of course, but I realized you didn’t have to be a crazy person. I ate things off “that list” with moderation. I went in hot tubs (kept not too hot and not for too long) and I drank a wee bit of wine towards the end too.

5. I did not prewash all the baby clothes before she was born.

6. We didn’t buy anything new for Finley except we did get a new swing. And of course I couldn’t help but buy some new clothes. Any excuse right? With Rowan I thought we needed everything and we needed it right then. Guess what? Babies don’t need a whole heck of a lot.

7. Once Finley was here, there was no addiction to remembering the number or pee/poops she had or number of feedings and how long ago. I had like 4 apps that basically all did the same thing with Rowan. We’ve been going with the flow with Finley. Following her lead.

8. We let her sleep right in bed with us. No cosleeper. And I wasn’t terrified of rolling on her or her being smothered in blankets and oooh I slept good! The fear they instill in new parents- good golly! I remember thinking oh my gosh! If I fall asleep in bed with Rowan in my arms she is going to die.

9. We moved Finley to her crib, in her own room way faster than with Rowan. We all felt ready way sooner. And guess what? We let Finley sleep on her belly. Gasp! With a blanket. Double gasp!

10. I didn’t freak when Rowan tried to feed her a chocolate popsicle.

11. Because Finley was gaining weight just fine, I never woke her up to eat just because 3 hours had passed.

12. After 6 weeks I stopped referring to Finley by how many weeks she was when someone asked. We always just say something like “she’s almost (insert number) months”. With Rowan we milked that weeks thing way too long.

13. Not pushing/dying for the next milestone. With Rowan I was always just so excited for the next phase. Always buying the next new thing she might need before she even needed it. Now I realize just how fast they grow up. I know each new stage will come so I better enjoy the one we are in now before it’s gone.

14. I’ve taken way, way more pictures of Finley (sounds absurd because we have a lot of pictures of Rowan) but looking back I wish I had more of little baby Rowan. I’m trying to capture all the sweet moments with Finley.

15. This one is my very, very favorite! With Rowan I wasn’t always confident when someone disagreed with my parenting choice. It would make me feel judged, upset and that I wasn’t a good Mom. It’s taken a while but now no matter what mean or catty thing someone has to say about my choices I can laugh and shrug it off. I will gladly stand up for myself and for friends over decisions made. I love that we all parent differently. I wish we would be more kind to each other as mothers. I am always learning and I do make mistakes, but I do always try to make the best decision for our family. I know that, Kev knows that and at the end of the day that’s all that really matters.

What were the differences for you between your first and second (or third, forth, & fifth)…
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Finley’s headband is of course from our favorite shop… Little Hip Squeaks!

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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