. . . for Lauren and Lauren: 2017

August 17, 2017

Weekend sweatshirt

sweatshirt: shein

This sweatshirt is so soft and comfy.  I'm sure there are many that disagree but I am ready for Fall weather.  Comfy sweatshirts, windows open, a new season.  This sweatshirt will be on repeat. (I'm wearing a medium for reference, as you never know with sizing and it fits perfect.)  Addi starts preschool next week and I feel all kinds of nervous thinking about starting preschool again. I'm praying it'll be an easier transition than last year, and know it is so good for her.  And I'm looking forward to some solo time with Isaac.  But for now enjoying the weekend and not thinking about Monday!  Happy Friday friends! 
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August 15, 2017

I could be wrong

skirt: c/o shein

I feel like these days any length of skirt, dress or pants is acceptable, and while in the past I would never buy a mid length skirt because I thought it was unflattering on my short self, I love them now. Although I do feel like this could pass for a day in the prairie.  When I taught third grade we did a unit on pioneers and at the end visited a little town set up like pioneer days, with a one room school house.  Pretty sure minus the knotted tee, this would be an appropriate costume.   So perhaps I should reconsider it has my new favorite piece of clothing.  

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August 14, 2017

Mint Standard - the best dress made by one of my favorites

dress: mint standard clothing  sandals: target

I'm so excited about this post! You all need to know about the most comfortable, versatile dress that you're going to want to wear every single day.  Kelley is the creator behind Mint Standard Clothing and if you don't know her already you will love her and her ideas and designs.  I first became friends with Kelley from blogging years ago when our girls were babies.  She also has another daughter Isaac's age, so it's extra fun to follow each other as we're in the same life stage. (Her daughter Olivia is hilarious and her and Emma are just the cutest.)  She is sweet, funny, gorgeous and I wish we were neighbors.  I fully plan on meeting her in person someday! 

Kelley wanted to create a dress that could be worn for work, for playdates, to lounge around in, run errands in and everything in between.  She wanted it to be as comfortable as yoga pants, hide sweat, and still looking put together.  It took her awhile to find a fabric that could do all that, but she finally did.  The dress seriously feels like my yoga pants.  The material is so soft, but not thin.  I am in love with the sleeve length and how it fits, and the length is perfect.

I almost forgot about the pockets!  Any dress with pockets is automatically better, and these are so big, you can hold your phone, your keys, whatever you need when you're at the park with your kids or running into a store.

My only problem with dresses in this stage of life where I'm chasing two little kids or sitting on the floor is that if I did all that I'd surely flash everyone.  Which is why Kelley also designed these shorties.  They are the same fabric, so they're super comfortable and they even come with a pocket that holds your phone perfectly.  So if you're stuck with a dress without pockets and wear these underneath, you can stick your phone and keys in there.  I've worn these under multiple dresses and love them.  They don't ride up and they are high waisted and smooth and suck you it.  It makes it so much more comfortable to wear dresses these days.

Also Kelley won me over even more when she lifted up her dress to show these shorts when she was interviewed on tv.  She also pulled a baby doll out of the pocket.  She seriously could not be cuter and did such a great job.  (You should watch her interview here and will love her.)

I got the original in black.  I think I can wear it year round.  Sandles in the summer, boots and booties in the Fall.  I think it'd look cute with a statement necklace or a scarf, with tights or tennis shoes. She also created another style called the cinch and both come in a few different colors.  (I want the striped one too!)  Kelley is also coming out with Fall styles soon and I can't wait to see them.   Her dresses could be worn so many different ways and for any thing you do during your week.  I have no doubts this dress will be worn again and again.  

Kelley I think you are a total rockstar.  Full time job, amazing mama and now designing and running a clothing line.   I am so so proud of you and am cheering you on big time!  

Make sure to follow Mint Standard on instagram (@mint_standard) and facebook (mintstandardclothing) to keep up to date with new looks and news!  

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August 9, 2017


ONE.  I went to Old Navy last week and they had SO many good clearance things!  I don't even know what I was thinking not buying this orange dress because it was only $10.  I did buy this cute tank top for $12 and these jeans for $10.  Plus some super cute workout tank tops for $5, a swimsuit bottom for $1.50 and some summer clothes for my kids next year for $2 each.  I want to go back!

TWO.  I have SO many pictures from our family vacation.  A good 300 pictures that I need to go through them.  My blog has been a good motivator to keep up with editing and organizing our pictures!  I can't even handle Isaac's face in this one: 

THREE.  My nephew spent the afternoon and then night with us on Tuesday.  I never want to take for granted how lucky we are to live so close to my siblings.  Our kids are so lucky to grow up together and I love spending time with them! 

FOUR.  A few things I want to own . . . 

 one  //  two 
I want both of these for Fall!  With booties and a sweater? 
three  //  four
I've seen this first dress many places and think it's so cute! And it's less than $20! 

FIVE.   It's been a weird two weeks since we got home from vacation, and I've felt a little overwhelmed and emotional lately.  I am praying for a relaxing weekend and hopefully better week ahead!  
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August 3, 2017

Kiko & Max - as if baby booties weren't already cute enough

We went on vacation last week with my family and I have so many pictures to go through. We had such a great week away!  There was a beach about five minutes away that we went to a few times and all the cousins had so much fun playing in the sand and the waves.  Isaac isn't too thrilled about cold water, but he loved the sand.  Before we left we got this adorable little swim diaper from a friend and Isaac's little self looked too cute in them! 

My friends' neighbor started a cute line called Kiko & Max and I was so excited when she contacted me.  These swim diapers are perfect because they have snap closures on the side for an easy on and off, they are soft and comfortable and the best thing is that you don't need to wear an actual swim diaper.  They hold everything in and can be hand washed and dried.  Swim diapers can be expensive if you use them often so these are a great option!  (You can currently buy them on Amazon prime here: Kiko & Max for only $13.  Isaac is in a size medium and they seem like the right fit (small 11-18 lbs. medium 16-21 lbs & large 21-35 lbs.). Their girl diapers are SO adorable too! Check them out here!)

Kiko & Max currently sells swim diapers, but soon will have a Fall line out with baby outerwear and cute rainwear.  I can't wait to see it!  Follow them on instagram at @kikoandmax for updates and new products!  Their Fall line will be available on Amazon and other department stores too. 

Thank you so much for the adorable swim diapers Paula!  I love them and am glad we have some summer left to wear them! 
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July 31, 2017

On saying yes

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I know there are a ton of people that write or talk about how they can't say no, or need to work on saying no more often.  I actually am pretty good at saying no.  Sometimes I think it's really healthy and that I know my boundaries and what works for my family.  And other times I think I'm making my family ridgid and I probably miss out on some fun things.  So I'm learning where that line is and am trying to say yes more often. 

Fourth of July weekend was a great example.  We had few plans for the four days before they came and then ended up doing so many things.  We said yes to a boat ride, a neighbor's party, BBQ at a friends and fireworks at another friends.  We were home very little and off our normal schedules.  

And about 80% of it went well.  Which I'm going to say is pretty good odds.  Isaac did great at the fireworks until the last ten minutes.  We then proceeded to sit in the car and not move AN INCH for over an hour.  At 10:00 at night.  I was about to lose my mind. We didn't get the kids to bed until after 11:00.  Isaac then woke up at his normal 5:30 and cried for a straight hour and a half and was so so crabby the next few days. Like he was paying me back for the four hours of sleep he missed that night.  BUT Addi had a total blast and it was one of my favorite things watching her.  It was a rough morning after and even maybe a few days of crabbiness for Isaac, but looking back a few weeks later it feels totally worth and was a great family memory for us.

The other Saturday we decided last minute to join my family at the zoo.  To someone else that may seem like no big deal and a completely normal, fun thing to do.  To me if felt out of character and a big deal.  I don't really like the zoo, it's far, a full day trip and just not my thing.  But Chris loves it and I knew Addi would too, and I wanted to spend time with my parents and nieces and nephew. We had 15 minutes to pack up our bags and drive over an hour to the zoo.  Skip nap times, plans to get things done that day, and do something fun as a family for the whole day.  Just about every part of the day went well.  And I'm so glad we said yes.

I am a full advocate of schedules and routines and predictability.  It makes me happy, sane and feels important to my family.  And I want most of my days to be full of those things.  But I'm slowly learning the importance of saying yes in those circumstances. In knowing that it'll be tiring and more work, but often come with fun memories.  And remembering that sometimes saying yes may still mean a disaster trip, or sitting in your car not moving an inch at 10:30 at night with both kids.  But in the long run the yeses will be worth it.

July 24, 2017

The last

 top: c/o shein

New piece of clothing I gotthis top.  It's one size which it's always a little risky, but I love it.  Really comfy and I think it'll look super cute with a cardigan and jeans in the fall. 

Thing I ate: a handful of M&M's.  

Show I watched: the Bachelorette.  I will be sad when it's over, especially since Bachelor in Paradise won't be on after.  We have very few shows to watch these days. 

Podcast I listened to: Jen Hatmaker has a new podcast and I love her and loved listening to her first episode.  

Book I read: I'm not a huge reader, but do enjoy it once it awhile.  It's taking me awhile (because of shows like the Bachelor) but I'm ready Lisa Jo Baker's book Never Unfriended and am really liking it. I'm hoping to read the rest of it on our vacation.  (Is it called a vacation if it's with two little kids??) 

Thing I searched for to buy online: I really want a rug for our living room but haven't bought one because I'm afraid our kids will ruin it and keep thinking I'll wait till they are older.  Yet I look online all the time.  

Thing I did with the kids: I took them both to the beach by myself and was really proud of myself. It actually went really well and we all had fun!  I'm make sure to remember that when our next solo outing doesn't go as well! 


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July 23, 2017

Favorite summer dress for $18

dress: c/o shein

I LOVE this dress.  I love that it's smoked at the top so the arms stay in place.  It's so comfy and I want to wear it somewhere immediately!   It has two little slits in the front that I thought may be weird looking, but they aren't at all.  (For reference I got this dress in a large.  I always look at the measurements for each item because sometimes their sizes run different.  Reading the reviews help too!)  Hope you're having a great start to your week! 

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July 20, 2017


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ONE.  I wore this pants to my in-laws for dinner the other day and my father in law asked me if I was wearing pajamas.  I shouldn't be offended as they look and do feel just like pajamas, but hopefully an acceptable outfit.  I bought them at Target when Addi was a baby and still love them four years later. 

TWO.  We've been talking about upgrading our kitchen with new countertops since we moved, as the counters and backsplash are this heavy green tile.  Which is a total pain and gross in terms of cleanliness and I don't like how it looks either.  Our cabinets are a lighter brown and I want a grey/white quartz countertop with white subway tile backsplash but am nervous how it'll look. Anyone have brown cabinets and white backsplash? Send me a picture if you do!

THREE.  I am loving these relaxed peplum tops.  I have a few like them (and own the yellow one below) and love them.  They are comfy and I feel like they look great with shorts now and will look cute with a sweater and jeans in the Fall.  Plus they are all under $13! 

one  // two // three
one  // two  // three

FOUR.   I got this sunscreen as part of an Influenster box to review and I love it.  I put it on Addi the first time and she said on her own "This is so smooth and smells good."  I usually use the generic spray sunscreen and still do as it's so easy to put on, but I've seen a bunch of those sunscreen articles about safe best sunscreen and do care about what I put on my kids!  This stuff goes a long way and really does go on smoother and easier.  I love it! 

Image result for La Roche-Posay Anthelios Dermo-Kids Sunscreen SPF 60
(I received this product free for testing, but all opinions are my own.)

FIVE.  We leave for vacation tomorrow!  We're heading to Wisconsin with my whole family for a week. I am so excited about spending a whole week together.  We'll be renting a house on the lake and I can not wait!  

July 19, 2017

Birthday Interveiw

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Toddlers are crazy and bipolar, so I honestly don't trust any answers.  And I asked a few the next day and they were already different.  So perhaps this interview is pointless, but still fun to do.  Read her answers from last year here. 

What is your favorite thing to do?  eat ice cream 
Do you have any nicknames?  Rob, Addi, Addi Vale  (Literally said Rob.  I said "Addi, no one calls you Rob." and she said "Yes they do.  They said 'Want to play Rob" all the time.) 
What do you want to be when you grow up? fire fighter and help people get better
What is your favorite thing to do with the family?  eat ice cream with all of us, kiss and hug and sing and dance
Who are your best friends?  Aaliyah, Ellie, Lena and all my cousins 
What makes you happy?  playing with my friends
What do you like to learn about?  firefighters, preschool
What makes you sad? When I don't have any friends to visit me
What do you do really well?  loving mama
If you had a million dollars what would you buy?  a million toys
What is your favorite thing to do outside?  play tag
If you could go anywhere, where would it be?  to Target and buy lots of toys 
If you could have one wish, what would it be? another Addi or another one of mama 
What is your favorite birthday present?  scooter and my note pad 
Favorite things:
food: oatmeal  (so not true.  I'd say waffles or cereal) 
holiday: 4th of July
book: Jack & Annie books
toy: coloring books
treat: chocolate 
song: You are my sunshine, Shout it Out He is Risen 
animal: bunny
movie: Trolls  
color: pink

July 18, 2017

Our day with the birthday girl

Last Friday Addilyn turned four and we had such a fun day celebrating her!  I love that she looked forward to her birthday, help make plans and was just so excited the whole day.  

I decorated her door and she was so excited when I got her in the morning.  We had Lucky Charms for breakfast, and headed off to donuts at the park later than morning.  The last two years we've invited some friends and family to the park for donuts. It's been such a fun, easy way to celebrate Addi and I think we'll do it every year! 

Waiting for her friends to arrive!
 We are so thankful for friends who love our sweet girl.

After Isaac's nap we went to my in-laws house.  My mother-in-law made Addi the cutest flower cake and then we took a walk around the neighborhood and down to the lake by their house.  We had wanted to swim but it was too cool.  Which is crazy because last year on her birthday it was in the 90's!

I took the kids to Culver's for dinner and then we came home.  Chris had been out of town all week and thankfully got home about a half hour before bedtime so he got to see Addi on her birthday. She had such a great day and I am so thankful we live by family and friends that can help celebrate her! 

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July 13, 2017


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Dear Addilyn - 

FOUR.  I can't believe you are a four year old.  

You are still this tiny little thing.  You weigh 30 pounds and are mostly in 3T clothing.  We'll find out at your next dr. appointment how tall you are, but you're definitely a short little thing.  Your big brown eyes are still my favorite and you are becoming less and less this little toddler and turning into a beautiful girl.  

You are so smart.  You have the best memory.  You do not forget random words you learn, things people say and memories we've had.  Which can be good and bad for me! You are so sassy and feisty with your words.  And with your facial expressions.  You know so many random things like the streets everyone lives on, doctor's names, birthdays, and tons of weird words like "emancipate and cream of tartar." You are such a little character and say the funniest things.  Like most toddlers you are also incredibly dramatic.  

You've gotten much more affectionate.  You've always been affectionate to me, but now you always hug your cousins, grandparents and many others!  I know it makes them all so happy! 

You've become so much more independent.  I'm sure some of that is just because you're getting older, but I think a lot is because Isaac is here and you've had to learn how to do things on your own and how to let others help you.  You went to preschool this year, which was really hard at first, but has helped with this a lot too.  Dropping you off places used to be such a struggle and I am so thankful that you do well when I leave.  You still have times when you cry when I leave you with daddy or a few rough school dropoffs, but they are much more few and farther between.  

You have the best, cutest little imagination.  You love playing with your little dolls, animals, trains, whatever is out.  You make them talk to each other, and can entertain yourself for quite awhile. You love doing crafts and projects.  You love coloring pictures, writing your name and playing with playdough.  You have gotten so good at doing things on your own which has been so nice for me!

You had a rough experience at the dentist and had to get your tooth pulled, which meant you couldn't use your pacifier for three days.  We were going to wait until you were four to take it away, but stuck with it then.  It was NOT easy at all, and made for a rough two weeks but now it's not even a thing anymore.  One day you said "I decided life can be good without my paci and someday when I'm old I'll say 'back in the day I used to use a paci."  We also said goodbye to naps when we got rid of your paci, which was also tough!  I am so glad we held onto those naps for so long, but I miss them! We're working on quiet time in your room when Isaac naps, and you usually end up just watching a show or playing on the ipad.  Your favorite shows are Kate and Mim-mim and Daniel Tiger.  

You love your cousins so much.  We're so lucky we see them so often!  We spend a lot of time at Aunt Lauren's and at Grandma and Grandpa's with your cousins.  You just had your first sleepover at both of their houses and had so much fun!  You also love playing with Kensie and Braydon, and always talk about Aaliyah.  

You and Isaac have started to play together more.  Which also comes fighting over things more too! But you are such a good big sister.  You make sure to kiss him everyday before his naps and bedtime. Give him lots of hugs and share your things with him.  He loves you so much and it makes my heart so happy knowing you two will be friends forever (hopefully, right?)

You get so excited about doing things.  You loved the fireworks, love going to the beach or swimming, and it's been so much fun doing things with you this summer.  I am loving this age and can't wait for age four.  Becoming your mom was something I dreamed about for years and years, and I couldn't be more thankful that God chose you for me.  You make my heart so full and happy and I could not love you more.  

Happy fourth birthday Addilyn Jane!