Sunday, July 31, 2016

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: Part 2

Hey guys! The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is open to the public. Prices will go up August 8th, so get the pieces you love while they're on sale! I had so many other items in my cart to purchase but I waited too long and now they're sold out! Dang it. So if something you want is available in your size, grab it!

These pictures were all taken last season, but linking same (or similar) items that are currently part of the sale below the pictures. I tried to break into categories to make shopping this post easier. Just click on the image of item below photos and you will be taken to that item on the Nordstrom site. Hope this helps!

The booties worn here are old, but linking similar booties I LOVE. Also, dresses that are at amazing prices! (Linking sweaters in different category below.) 
Click arrows on either side to scroll through linked images.

Denim worth splurging on. And some black heels I'm totally digging.

Jackets, Hunter boot and Leggings! Love all.

Bags and sweaters I'm loving. Can't wait to bust out these cozy sweaters!
Love Freshly Picked Moccs. Might as well get them while they are on sale! These are also a great gift idea for baby shower, birthday gift for baby, etc. Love. I'm also linking some other adorable kids clothes that are part of the sale!


Scarfs are a must!!

You can read my original post about the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale HERE for more links to items I love. Hope you're all having a relaxing Sunday Funday! XO

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Ryder Paul Turns THREE: Part 2

WARNING: Longest post ever. Oops. Hopefully it's worth the read! :) Tonight I'm sharing pictures and details from Ryder's 3rd Birthday Party. I have a love for throwing parties! Especially for my babies. I decided I was going to keep Ryder's small this year because I knew I'd be throwing a big bash for Blakely's 1st! (Their birthdays are two weeks apart, so it is very busy during the month of July.) 

It was pretty easy for me to decide on a theme for Ryder's party because he looooves tools and anything construction related. I spent some time looking up parties on Pinterest for inspiration, which I recommend doing. Then you don't have to come up with the look all on your own. Once I decided the theme and look I was going for (I knew I had to have those cute goodie boxes for the kids - adorable!) I found Mandy's shop, One Fine Party on Etsy. 

One Fine Party is absolutely amazing. I emailed her right away because I fell in love with her style and knew I'd have a lot of questions for her about making everything custom. She was so great at responding quickly and always showing me mock ups before she made the bulk of everything so I could approve the designs. I took a few things she already had in her shop, but we also created a few more things specifically for Ryder's party. 

After working with her (for months, seriously!) we also created Blakely's party from scratch. We worked together to make everything for both parties and every piece turned out beautifully! I honestly can not say enough good things about Mandy and the quality of her work. I highly recommend her shop. Blakely's party was a different ball game (more time needed for us to get everything figured out) but I will talk more about that process when I blog about her birthday party. (Her birthday party is this weekend. EEK! I can't believe she's going to be one. My bitty baby girl.)

Planning Ryder's party was a little easier and straight forward because Mandy already had most of the things I wanted in her shop! If you are looking to make a simple party really cute, you can add a few things that already exist in her shop and it would be little to no hassle. AND you have an adorable party. #winning

I go above and beyond because I'm freaking nuts and no one can stop the madness in my head. This really was a simple party with our closest friends and family. I think we had 8 families at the party (at a nearby park) and it was so simple, easy to set up and FUN for the kids. The weather worked out perfectly and it was a wonderful day. Ryder understood it was his birthday and loooved everyone singing "happy birthday" to him and eating cake. 

I had Mandy make these signs for me and I just taped them onto cute paper straws.

I ordered these construction sign suckers online from Candy Warehouse. They were so cute! I also couldn't find orange bubble tape anywhere so I bought those online from Candy Warehouse as well.

The construction hard hats were part of Mandy's shop. Making it so easy! Almost everything I needed came straight from her shop.

The Toolbox Treats were so freaking cute. The kids loved filling them up with goodies! They each got a toy dump truck, suckers, bubble tape, "nuts and bolts" (aka gummy candy), "dig in" (aka cheese puffs"), bubbles, a water bottle and a hard hat.
**Note I held party from 10:00am-12:00. Because we had so many snacks - and cake - we decided we weren't going to serve lunch. One less thing for us to think about!

This was the best we could do. Ha! The struggle is real.

My best friend, Kristin.
AKA K.Lo, Kiki (Ryder's Godmother).

Click images below to be taken to Etsy site for that item. (Click arrows on right + left to scroll through photo links.)

Party Planning + Hosting Tips:
1. Plan way in advance. (This means months for me.) Have a theme picked out and an idea of how many people you'll be inviting. 
2. Have decor items purchased and in hand 2-3 in advance. (Everything from ordered custom goodie bags, labels, signs, cups, plates, table clothes, etc.)
3. Order cake from nearby bakery 1-2 weeks in advance.
4. 7-4 days before the party start putting labels on water bottles, ordering balloons, getting drinks, snacks, etc ready to go.
5. About a week before party I like to make sure the birthday boy/girl has the shirt or clothes I'd like him/her to wear. Make sure everything fits, wash it, keep it separate so that's one last thing I need to dig out of the laundry the day of the party! Ha. 
6. If people offer to help, let them! I have the sweetest friends who are all willing to pick up the cake for me the night before the party, come early to help me set up, go grab the balloons from store the morning of the party, grab bags of ice on their way to the party, etc. Everything little thing you can take off your to-do list, do. Friends want to help. They don't mind. At least, I don't think they do. LOL I love helping my friends in anyway when they are the ones hosting an event/party. 

The night before the party:
1. Clean the house (if hosted at your house) OR pack up the car with what you can so you don't have to load it in the morning. 
2. Have everything single thing you possibly can already set up. This way, all you really need to worry about is food, drinks, music, etc. 
3. I personally like to shower and blow dry my hair so I don't have to worry about this in the morning when I have 207 other things to do. Again, just trying to make the day of the party as smooth and easy as possible. 

The day of the party:
1. Pick up filled helium balloons.
2. Pick up ice.
3. Set up the table, food, drinks, etc. 
4. HAVE FUN! Duh. ;)
(**Note: Get yourself ready FIRST!! If you end up running really behind, you can always continue setting up the food and drinks when guests arrive. It's a little bit more awkward/stressful when your guests arrive and you still haven't put a bra on and are in your pjs running around like a chicken with your head cut off!)

I hope these little tips help! I spend a lot of time preparing and planning parties. I enjoy it! It's definitely more enjoyable for me when I'm not stressed about it. The more time you give yourself to plan, order cakes, goodies, balloons, pizza for the kids, etc, the better! Parties are supposed to be fun... NOT stressing you out! 

When Ryder turned 1 we threw a HUGE party for him. I planned it for about 6 months. My mom was living here in CO at the time and she is very crafty. I would show her all the things I wanted to have and she'd say, "oh, I can make that!!" And she was right, she could. Which is amazing. But also very time consuming and can cause stress. I loved that we created so many things ourselves, but that isn't realistic for all of our parties for our kids! (Looooots of trips to Hobby Lobby.) Which is why I am so happy I found One Fine Party on Etsy. She is already a pro at making these things! You just tell her what you want and BAM. It's done. Perfectly and adorably. I love every single thing and will cherish these little moments celebrating our growing babies.
Later that day... We only let Ryder open up our family gifts + 1 gift from a friend. We still have all the other gifts waiting to be opened! I think it can be overwhelming for young kids to get a TON of new shit at once. This way he can play with a few new things and we'll open a gift here and there to spread out the excitement for him. So, sorry for majorly delayed "thank you" cards. :D

Our big gift to Ryder was this water table. We had it set up for him so when he woke up from his nap it was ready to play with! (We've made the mistake many-a-times where we give him really cool gifts, like his tool bench, still in the box. Then the overly excited kid can hardly contain his excitement while we spend the next hour putting it together. Oops. Rookie mistake.)

This "Rad" hat and adorable grill was a gift from Ryder's friend who recently moved away. (We miss you guys!!!) Ryder LOVES this grill. He seriously wakes up from naps asking for his chicken. LOL Honestly, he's the funniest kid ever. He makes us eat his carefully prepared food and I love it.

My three babies. All looking way too old. Love them more and more each day!

Tooth got Ryder a mini tool bench where you can make all kinds of cool things with the parts. Even TJ was entertained all. Night. Long. LOL Daddy for the win!

HUGE shout out to my hubby. He has always supported my desire to throw ridiculous birthday parties. He does a lot of work to help prep for the parties (getting drinks, cleaning, setting up tables, watching kids, dressing kids, packing up the car, etc) and never complains. He is very helpful and I so appreciate him letting me put so much time, money and energy into this hobby of mine. He's too good to me. But seriously, who doesn't love a fun + cute party?! :)

Toy Grill
"Rad" Hat
Mini Melissa & Doug Tool Bench
Water Table
Ryder's Neon Green "Beach Please" Tank

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Ryder Paul Turns THREE: Part 1

My baby boy is three. I can't believe it. He is the cutest little man I've ever seen and continues to melt my heart and crack me up. We took these pictures before his third birthday and he was SO excited about his new digger. He kinda looks too big for it! :( I threw him a construction themed birthday party so I wanted some pics of him in his get-up before his big day came around. 

Ryder loves Lincoln. He runs around with him, carrying Lincoln's ball. Never throwing it, causing Lincoln to bark and chase him around, jumping on him. Ryder loves it!! He giggles and squeals. It makes me smile so big when he plays with him like this! 

He is a funny little dude. Saying funny things all the time. I want to slap myself for not writing things down. But we are constantly cracking up. Oh, like the time he came up to me and said, "hey grandpa, can I have some pretzels? Ok, thanks!!" LOL (He's always doing that. Asking for things and then saying "thank you" before you've even responded. Like, "listen here. I said 'please' so now I deserve what I asked for!") I was so confused why he randomly called me grandpa?!?! I realized later that day that he was pretending I was a character on Paw Patrol. He calls all of us names from Paw Patrol. Generally speaking daddy is Mr. Porter, TJ is Alex and I'm grandpa. HA! I'm sure people are very confused when we're strolling through Target and they hear my son call me GRANDPA. OMG, I love him. 

He loves books and can read a few from memory. He also loves singing and can sing the ABC's, Row Your Boat, Rubber Ducky, Itsy Bitsy Spider, Paw Patrol, You Are My Sunshine... and maybe a couple more. 

Ryd loves his crib and never complains about nap time or bed time. He will sit in there in the dark singing to himself, playing imaginary games, etc. It cracks me up! He's not potty trained and I do not plan on pushing this! He hasn't shown interest in it yet and I know he'll be ready when he's ready. 

He still LOOOOVES his daddy. LOVES him. Major daddy's boy. He begs to ride in daddy's Jeep and points out Jeeps all over town when we're out and about. He's loved tools since I can remember and plays with his tool bench every day. 

He's a brave little soul. Willing to try new things and climb the tallest ladder on the playground (without help!!). He loves watching movies and recently started saying, "mommy, I wanna snuggle," and we'll sit on couch under a blanket together, snuggling. Probably my most favorite thing EVER!! He's very ticklish and tries to tickle Blake! HA! I don't think he has the right touch quite yet because she just stares at him like, "uhh... what are you doing?!" LOL

He is a busy body who loves to be on the go. He always carries/brings lots of little toys with us! He can put his own shoes on and take them off. He's mastered taking off his own shorts, but can't quite get his shirts off alone. This makes him seem SO OLD to me and kinda makes me cry inside. 

He's learning to share with Blakely and friends. Sometimes having great days, sharing everything, other days it's a major struggle. He loves milk and will CHUG IT, slam his sippy cup on the table and say, "YUMMY cold milk!" 

He LOVES the park and could swing for hours and hours. He is very good at entertaining himself and playing. Sometimes he just sits quietly, playing with his toys. Other times he seems to be on a mission and is running around repairing things. I can tell he's playing a very specific imaginary game in his mind and it is the cutest!!!

His blue eyes melt me and his hilarious and goofy personality KILLS US! We are constantly laughing at the funny things he says. I need to start writing them down because I can never remember them! :( 

I don't know what it is about my babies hands. But I love them. As they grow, their little hands in mine are constant reminders that they are growing faster than I'd prefer and to cherish every moment.

I can hardly handle this stud!!
We love you SO MUCH RYDER PAUL!! It hurts my heart, I love you so. I love watching you grow into the independent, fun-loving, sweet, goofy, smart little love bug that you are.

"No one will know the strength of my love for you. After all, you're the only one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside."

Part Two of this blog post will be the details of his birthday party decor. It's adorable! I will link the shop and give a few tips for party planning. See you soon! XO

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Summer Dress + Instagram Husbands

Hey guys! Did you check out Mommy Monday yesterday? It was a good one! Erin is a hoot. Anyway, this dress is a go-to for me lately! I love having light, fun dresses to wear in the super hot days of the summer. This dress is only $20!!! I feel like I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off lately. Summer months are already crazy and then add in my overwhelming desire to throw parties for my TWO July babies. Gesh. It's busy. 

My poor, patient hubby has to put up with me and my anxiety-driven self. Saving all my energy for designing cute cake toppers and shopping the Nordstrom anniversary sale rather than doing laundry and dishes. Oops. Party planning is serious business, people!! Holy shit balls. I love it and have anxiety about it. This is the problem with being a perfectionist who has an intense case of anxiety: They obsess over every little detail and are never happy! It's exhausting. For both me and my family. Buuuuut... The good news is that the kids have amazing and adorable parties and even though it makes me a little crazy, I really do enjoy it. It brings me MUCH happiness to see it all come together. 

You guys know I love me some turquoise. This necklace was a birthday gift from my hubby. I loooove it. It's a beautiful statement piece I will wear over and over again, unapologetically. Everything is linked below!

This little doggy loves me. You can't tell here because he seems super annoyed, but we really do love each other. Best pup there ever was.

Dress // Turquoise Necklace // Bar Necklace // Nude Wedge
Similar Colorful Clutch 

Fashion blogging is a funny thing. I have really enjoyed writing about family, fashion, etc this past year. But capturing these "perfect" pictures bloggers post is very funny from our end. All people see is the final product. A seemingly natural and perfect moment frozen in time when scrolling through their Insta feeds. Do not be confused by this. Rarely are those moments natural, real or perfect. If kids are involved, there is lots of bribing, arguing, tantrums, and sometimes tears. Even when it's just me taking pictures, it's more than hilarious (and embarrassing). 

Like the time I was with my friend taking pictures in a random street. No one was around so I started to change outfits. Once I was semi-naked, a huge party let out at a nearby house. I got looooots of unpleasant looks and comments.

Have you guys seen the Instagram Husband video!? OMG hilarious. And unfortunately, it's kinda true. SOMEONE TAKE MY PICTURE. I LOOK REALLY, REALLY GOOD RIGHT NOW. Let's show everyone how amazing our life is. lol ;)

The part in the Instagram Husband video where she is running with the flag... I was crying laughing. So awesome. I maaaaaaay need to do a shoot with a flag!? LOL Yes. Definitely.