Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Let's Get Physical

As a side note, I cannot think of that song (Let's Get Physical) without thinking of Michael Scott singing "Let's Get Ethical.  I digress.  

Staying sane with a toddler while trapped inside?  Requires some work.  Some of my favorite activities include playing hot lava with couch cushions, or sledding down the stairs... also with couch cushions.  If you're out of ideas, here are some good toys to get your littles moving!

1.  Trampoline- handle is important!
2.  Slide
3.  Tunnel
4. Push walker wagon- they have this at the open gym we go to and Ophelia cannot get enough.  She walks it baaaacck and forth across the gym and then we come home and she takes a GREAT nap.  
5.   Another heavenly nap maker.  We have this jumpy in our basement and we usually bounce on it before bed.  
6.  Sneakers! Girl option here, boy option here.  
7.  Gymnastics mat- only $25 right now! This just might be on Santa's sleigh already!
8.  Ball pit + balls.  This is one of our favorites.  

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

How We Montessori: A Christmas Tree Craft

Any other toddlers totally photo of faces obsessed? Especially with photos of their own faces? Ophelia cannot get enough of pictures of other babies, or pictures of herself.  So for this, I used her face as "ornaments" for a tree, stuck velcro to them, and let her go crazy arranging them.  She is OBSESSED, and it's been a really fun thing to see her work with!  
Originally I had it on the ground, and now it's taped to the wall to help with her new current standing, bending, and crouching thing. 
 Her Christmas lights jammies are these (boy version here)- and they glow in the dark!

The tree looks a little sad now- but you can tell it is well loved!
She was seriously digging the lights.  The holiday season is so much fun with this little gal!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Holiday Gift Guide: For the New Mama

Everything on here would have been soo clutch last holiday season, my first with a little one.  Come to think of it, I wouldn't turn down anything on here this season either! 

Carriers: Get a new mom a carrier!  They are the number one lifesaving device, and our most used item!  Ophelia may or may not be sleeping in the Lillebaby on me right now.  Okay, she is.  

K'tan for when they are teeny tiny, Lillebaby for all the time, and a Ring Sling for quick errands
Body Scrub- it's been awhile since she has taken care of herself!// On that note, a spa gift card!//
Mama Bear Sweatshirt, also love this one// Slip on Sneakers// Water Bottle// Personalized Necklace- I got this for myself after Ophelia was born and I treasure it! // Nespresso Coffee Machine- our favorite// aaannnd take out/restaurant gift cards!  The gift of food, especially food they can chose themselves but not have to make it, is never not appreciated! 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving Weekend Shopping Guide

Happy, happy, happy Thanksgiving.  I hope everyone is celebrating with someone they love and something delsh they love to eat.  Another great thing about this holiday? The shopping!

Now, I've never been a Black Friday- punch someone's grandma to get the cheapest DVD- kind of gal.  But shopping online from my couch?  Yeeeeeap, all in.
Here is your key to all the best deals.  

Amazon: Shop all the deals right here
ASOS: 30% off the entire site! Use code THANKFUL30 at checkout- love this!
Shopbop: Take up to 25% off your order with code GOBIG16
Target:See deals here- Ophelia has this on the way to her!
Ann Taylor: 50% off everything on the site with code CELEBRATE 
Anthropologie: 30% off every.thing with code LETSGO
Banana Republic:40% off with code BRFOURTY
Gap: 50% off your entire purchase with code TGIF50
J.Crew: 40% off your purchase with code HOLIDAY. I’m obsessed with this!
J.Crew Factory: 50% off everything (literally everything) on the site
LOFT: 40% off almost everything on the site with code THANKS
Madewell: 25% off your entire purchase with code THATSALE. My fave store! 
Old Navy: 50% off everything 
Bella Luna Toys (natural & wooden toys): 10% off with code JOY10
Mille: 30% off everything use code BLACKFRIDAY2016
Carters: 50% off entire site


 My picks for Mama:

My picks for Babe:

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Holiday Gift Guide: For the Babes & Toddlers

This is a good one!  The best stuff for the littlest members of the family.  We have almost all of these, and they are big hits over here!  

Activity Cube- occupies Ophelia forever! // Personalized State Teether- so cute!// Slide
Walker// Moccasins// Jingle Rattle- we still love this!// Pretend Keys- why do all babies love keys?
Oball- the perfect first toy// Baby Stella// Tunnel
Corduroy Dress- I can't wait for Ophelia to show this off!// Music Set- she would be all over this// Reindeer Hat// Pounding Set// 
Activity Gym- our favorite from 0-7 months and such a steal!// Rainbow Bowls
Stacking Rings// Bunny Hat and Mitten Set// Ball Toy- this was so good when she was little!// 
Bow Tie Onesie

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

DIY Winter Floral Wreath Crowns

I got a little crafty this weekend and made my girls and I some floral wreath crowns!  It was way easier than I expected, and we all felt very cool and winter fairy like.

All we needed was some floral tape, floral wire, wire cutter, and some greenery.
Then just cut your wire to fit your head, and tape the flowers around it! 

 Little miss was a tad cold, so the smiles were hard to come by. 

 I am wearing this sweater, this tulle skirt, and these boots.  Ophelia is wearing this dress, these pants, and these moccasins.  

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Gift Guide: For Your Mama

For your mama- the one who you've come to know and respect so much more since YOU have become a mama!  I want all of these for myself too-  aaannnd maybe your mom doesn't wear sequins but mine totally does!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Weekend Reading + Steals

We've had the best pink skies here lately. 

I cannot handle that Thanksgiving is next week.  I know everyone says it, but it seriously feels like time is flying at warp speed.  Does anyone else get really overwhelmed this time of year?  Like there's so many fun things you want to do, but adding them on to the already day to day stuff seems impossible- a lot has to do with the feeling of keeping up with all the "Joneses" out there.  I'm feeling the urge to put my phone away this weekend, look for ways my family can volunteer and be of service to others this season, and just relaaaaaxx. 

Here are some good links for slowing down this weekend!

I loved this post on staying well this winter.

Restaurant secrets- this was so interesting!

For making any simple outfit more festive- I'm dying for this.

The only thing bringing me joy from this election- the bromance between my boys.  Can he just be president forever?

16 party approved flats- because heels are not my friend.  

Fall candle roundup- I want to try this one!

Best paint colors for 2017.


Styling your fall family photos

An easy Christmas craft for my photo loving toddler.

What to eat when you are sick.

This rules.  

Congrats to Grace on the launch of her (so cool!) jewelery line!

Give me all the chunky knits.  

Local peeps- here's a guide to Family Fun Twin Cities Holiday Events.


In case you missed it: The start to my gift guides- gift guide for the kiddos

Good Stuff Under $50: These- obsessed! This, these, this- so cute, and thisThis looks so cozy, and an elastic waistband will be very needed next week!

Annnd this and this for the littles!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Baby, It's (going to be) Cold Outside

Annnnd just like that, we have the little snow icon in our forecast!  It's been so unreal weather wise here, it kind of seems like it might not happen- as I write this post it's 65 degrees and sunny... But we have to be prepared!  
Some of our new cold weather favorite finds (say that five times fast! mom jokes!) : 

M A M A 

Vest// Beanie// Fleece- I live in this all winter// Boots

M I N I 
Teddy Suit- Ophelia wore this all the time last winter. // Pom Beanie- we get compliments on this everywhere we go! // Mittens- they go all the way up the arm so no snow gets in! // Bogs, more colors here // Hat & Mitten Set// Waterproof Walker Boots- such a steal// Patagonia Bunting- the big guns// Fleece lined bodysuit

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Holiday Jammies + A Big Sale

Tiny baby Ophelia last Christmas! I cannot handle this picture.  She is wearing last year's version of these.   

I have never been a pajama person, but having a baby has totally changed that.  Babes in jammies is a complete cure all- so bring on the holiday pjs!
just click the pictures to shop!

Annnnd, big news! Gap and Old Navy are 40% off today with the code "FRIENDS".  Here are some brand new arrivals I'm smitten with!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

A Velvet Skirt Fit for a Holiday Party

I am obsessed with velvet this season.  This velvet skirt is amazing!  I paired with a chunky knit here, but it would also work with a dressy blouse, or even a chambray shirt! 

Wearing: Sweater// Skirt// Heels

Some more fun velvet pieces for this season: 
click to shop!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Holiday Gift Guides: For the Kids

Woohoo, the countdown to the holidays is on!  I have several gift guides prepared that I'll share weekly, for your parents, friends, babies, toddlers, and today- for the kiddos! 

I consulted with my two favorite five and seven year olds for these, so I think they should be pretty darn good.  While I did seperate them for boys and girls, I'm a big fan of equality so everything on both lists works for all- AND you will notice the Harry Potter books (and Strider bikes! The best for learning how to ride!) are on the lists for both boys and girls- Harry Potter is magic for everyone. 

Fair Isle Sweater// Set of 4 Balls//Yeti Slippers// Toy Toolbox // Strider Bike// Tic Tac Toe Game// Disgusting Science Set// Human Sized Blocks- so good for getting energy out while stuck inside// Deer Trapper Hat- seriously adorable // Harry Potter Books// First Duplo Set// Garbage Truck- the detailing is amazing!
Kitty Hat// Dollhouse (I love this one too!) // Stuffed Unicorn// Pretend food + Grocery Bag// Play Kitchen- also available here. So many good hacks to make it your own!// Sparkle DressPizza Purse// Teepee// Calico Critter Set- my advisors are obsessed with these and spend hours playing with them!// Strider Bike// Cat Mittens// Doctor Kit// Boots- I want these in my size! // Harry Potter Books

Friday, November 11, 2016

Weekend Reading + Steals

So, I usually write my posts ahead and then schedule them, so I haven't had a place to really write my thoughts following the election.  I went from complete disbelief, to horror, to sadness.  I'm still a little bit confused on how to move on- I've been browsing the Swedish immigration site, but also trying to hope for the best?  

It's so interesting to me how much of a bubble I live in- the people I surround myself seem like they must be a completely different species than the majority of Americans- which is why posts like these two from interior design blogger Emily Henderson asking her readers why they would vote for Trump , and her response, were interesting to me.  Apparently a lot of people voted just because he was the candidate for their party, or for financial reasons.  I understand that, I guess, but for me, you have to reconcile your vote with who he is as a person.  Are you okay with how he speaks about women?  Are you comfortable with how he speaks about Muslims?  Or Mexicans?  Or people with a handicap?  Does who he is as a person matter less to you then your possible financial gains or the other reasons you voted?  I guess that's something only those who voted for him can answer.  

Additional election depression links include the largely shared "What Do We Tell Our Kids?" article,  this one on coming together by Joanna Goddard, The Facebook Filter Bubble- on How Trump Won and You Didn't See It Coming,  and  "To My Daughter, on The Day After the Election".  

And on a lighter note... 

What could cheer me up more than babies in jammies?  A list of the best cute and cozy winter pajamas for kiddos- Ophelia wants these!  

Is gluten bad?  Milk?  Some truth about wellness fads.  

Some good new winter arrivals:  These winter boots by Madewell & Sorel and this holiday party ready skirt

We can't really have a bar cart with our little friend, but I loved this round up of nine fantastic bar carts, and how to use them!

Such a cute fall outfit.    


Good Stuff Under $50This, this, this- yes!  These, this looks so cozy, this would be cute as a diaper bag, and this is so pretty and easy.  This is stunning, and I can't believe the price!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

current vibes: want/need/wear/read

I once read a good guide for gift giving- something you want, something you need, something you wear, something you read.  I thought I'd share some of our current vibes based on that saying- here is where we are at lately!

M A M A 

WANTING: Madewell blouse- Unfortunately I need another bohemian, blouse-y tunic like I need a hole in the head, but one can dream! 
NEEDING: new running shoes!  My current ones have SO many miles on them. 
WEARING: this swing sweater on repeat.  goes with everything, isn't too hot, isn't too cold.  it's Goldilocks' pick of sweaters! 
READING: The Whole Brain Child- I actually just got this but I cannot wait to crack it, I hear amazing things!

O P H E L I A 

WANTING: wood cars- Ophelia was playing with these at the library and went absolutely nuts over them! 
NEEDING: kleenex.  seriously, the girl is a snot fountain.  We are so lucky this is the first time she's been sick, and it's only a cold, but it still seems so tragic! 
WEARING:  chambray overalls-  Little Miss wears a lot of chambray- it just looks so good on her with her blueberry eyes! 
READING:  Everywhere Babies is definitely one of her current favorites she brings to us over and over again.  I secretly love the normcore nineties style in the book!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Best Natural Products for Babe

My husband told me the other day that the older I get, the more hippie I become.  Not sure if that's possible, as I've been pretty groovy my whole life, but I'll take it!  Making our home a non toxic place when I was pregnant was super important to me, and now the stuff I use on my precious little misses' skin is another top priority!  Here are some of our favorites we use everyday- these would be such a good gift in a basket for a new mom! 

1.  Honest Healing Balm- we are big Honest Company fans here!  Having everything delivered to your doorstep makes like 10 times simpler.  We've never once needed to go on an emergency diaper run, which I hear is pretty rare!   This stuff soothes, well, anything.  We're currently using it on Ophelia's chapped snot nose- super cute!

2.  Acure 4 in 1 Bath- This is what we use for bath time- it smells dreamy! I secretly use it as body wash too.  

3. Badger Sunscreem- a clean sunscreen that isn't too thick and globby.  

4.  NoseFrida!  The Swedes come up with the best stuff.  

5.  Honest Diapers- available here, here, or here.   They always have the best prints, they're gentle on baby and the earth.  What else can you ask for in a diaper?

6.  Honest Diaper Rash Cream- we've never had more than a slightly red bum and this takes care of that super fast.  

7.  Honest Wipes

8. Zoe Organics Breathe Balm Stick- this is like a natural Vicks- clarifying when they're congested. 

9.  Wood teether- essential and cute!

10.    The Banana Toothbrush- so far, this is the only toothbrush Ophelia needs and its great for teething!

11.  Clean hand Sanitizer-I'm pretty big on getting dirty, and building antibodies/ strengthening our immune systems, but this is great to have for after a dirty diaper. 

I tried to get my real baby to pose with her bath products, but she was waayy too busy so Stella had to take over! 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Holiday Dress-Up for Mama + Mini

Mama sweaters: one, two, three
Mama skirts: one, two (under $20!), three

Tis the season to get all fancy!  

I'm totally channeling Poppy Delevingne for Vogue in the above look with a tulle skirt + sweater! 


Mini sparkle dress, mini cableknit one piece, mini dress, mama dress- LOVE!


SIDE NOTE: most important thing today- go vote! 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Guide to Looking Cute & Cozy Postpartum

cardigan// tank (these are basically all I wore for months postpartum... also, um am wearing one currently)// postpartum leggings- suck in your bits- the best// encouraging water bottle// scarf// mom life sweatshirt// moccasins
Another reader request!  This is a good one.  Ah, postpartum.  Probably the craziest time I have ever gone through. I cried about 17 times a day, both when I was happy and when I was sad. Your body is recovering from the biggest task of it's life, your hormones are a roller coaster ride, and your heart might burst with love for this new creature in your arms.  Looking cute ( and um, basic hygiene) pretty much falls to the wayside.  Luckily, I stumbled upon a pretty basic method to looking somewhat presentable post babe!  Nursing tank + leggings + cardigan will have you covered for visitors, your first visit to the pediatrician, and your life saving new mama group.  (Twin Cities mamas, go to Blooma!

You'll become burning hot every couple minutes and whip it off, but having it will make you feel so much cozier (and helps cover up the cold, floppy belly/arms/flesh you aren't used to seeing).
click the pictures to shop
 Leggings that hold all your wobbly bits in place are good, and cozy joggers for laying on the couch are the best. 
N U R S I N G   T A N K S
See this post for more recommendations!

M O R E    G O O D    S T U F F
Graphic sweatshirts always make you feel like you tried a bit, a scarf can pull everything together and doubles as a nursing cover, and slippers (with no back! everything has to be easy, people!) are a necessity. 

AND most important! 
1.  A supportive spouse or mom (in my case, both!) who will cook for you, bring you water, and take over the laundry/dishes/cleaning duties.  Your only job is to lay around, nurse nurse nurse, and get to know your babe!  If you don't have one of these, a postpartum doula might be up your alley.  
2.  Good, nourishing food
3.  Lots and lots of water
4.  Grace and patience with yourself.  You will take a normal shower again someday!