Summer Recap + Oh Hey Friday

I know I know, last Friday I talked about how excited I was for the Fall and this week I'm recapping summer. I often get excited about something that I obsess over it and forget that anything else is even possible to exist in life. Okay, that sounds dramatic but you get my drift.

Last summer I was either MEGA pregnant or was a new mother of two and it was all very overwhelming to be frank. I was scared out of my mind to leave the house with two kids. Scared to sleep more than a foot away from my newborn. Scared that I wouldn't loose the baby weight.

I have obviously left the house and Sky now sleeps in his crib just fine. Loosing all the baby weight is another story for a different day. One when I am brave, today I'm not that brave and I'll just talk about how bombdiggity this summer was! 

In order to do this I picked my 5 favorite moments from the summer and am linking up with Karli & Amy! If you missed my guest post over on Karli's page here it is for your viewing pleasure! Without further mumble jumble, I give you my 5 top moments of Summer 2014!

1. Lake St. Clair Metropark- This was a recent little day trip that we took a few weeks ago and I keep thinking about it! I'm really contemplating heading there again since we have a 4-day weekend coming up!

2. Port Huron Beach- This was a little bit of a drive for us and we kinda sorta go 'turned around' ie: LOST {not my fault!} on the way home but the scenic route was a nice touch to such a fun day on the beach. This beach wasn't our favorite from the summer because it was pretty rocky but it was so nice to get out of town and escape for the day that it didn't matter!

3. My 28th Birthday-My actual birthday was spent at work and then at home, grilling and swinging with the boys, just how I like it! The weekend before was nothing crazy, I just requested that we go to dinner and grab a drink. All I wanted was to be with our favorite couple and be kids free! Tyler and I also acted like children and posed for pictures on top of blocks pushed together in a pyramid in downtown Detroit. Yolo bitches!

4. Skylor's 1st Birthday- It's crazy to think that last year I was a wobbling whale wearing grandma moo-moos. No really, I basically wore the same 5 outfits through out the week and laid out in our back yard in a sports bra and granny panties to sunbathe. I'm a hot mess I tell ya.  Fast forward a year later and my like Sky Sky is 1!We had family and friends over for a "ice cream social" themed first birthday and it was a ton of fun!

5. Troy Aquatic Center- This was the most recent family outing we had, last Saturday in fact! We'd been hearing about this place for a while now and it's not too far of a drive. After 5pm they cut the price in half {or something like that} so we went for a few hours for the twilight special to try it out. The place is total family zone and amazeballs! There were places to layout at, a nice concession stand, kidding pool & slide, big kid/adult water slides and an Olympic size zero entry pool {I think that is what it's called!} plus a splash pad and really nice restrooms/changing rooms! There is also, beach volley ball, a HUGE sandbox and a jungle gym. Needless to say it was a blast and we will be back! Sadly, after this weekend they close down for the season, but I did see on the website that they have an indoor portion! {Hello winter time when you need to wear your kids out!}

Well, there you have it guys! I basically am here to tell you that we need to sell our house and move closer to the water {and a big city.} It seems that this is where we enjoy being together the most! What do you say Jer ;)

Favorite Blogs & Sponsor Post w/ SEPTEMBER Farm

You know that feeling when you come across a new blog and you just can't stop reading it. You get lost in different tabs, sections, links, and pictures that you can't even remember how the hell you got there in the first place. Well hopefully this post does that for you! While I love receiving compliments from others saying they enjoyed my post on Iggy Azalea inspired makeup or our half bath makeover I  also love letting people in on a good blog that I know they would adore! So today that is what we are doing.

I've broken them down into categories so if you are partial to a specific topic, hopefully this will help you navigate through all the awesomeness you are about to witness. While the list ranges from friends to big house hold named blogs theres really something for everyone.

{Remember that it's extremely hard to classify a blog based on one sole category. I myself write about kids to makeup to food to DIY so I consider my blog along the "life style" line. Some may not agree with the groupings I've listed below but it's more, or less, just a guide! Not trying to offend anyone.}

As you can see I have a thing for the lifestyle blogs, its like KUWTK but a not at all. Make sense? k anyways, there you have it, a few of my favorites that I like to stalk browse on the reg! Now for some exciting news! One of my favorite, mama-baby-food-lifestyle blogs {see how hard that is!} SEPTEMBER Farm is having little old me over on her blog for a special guest post. So fun!

Karli currently has one sweet little girl with another one on the way! I'm still trying to persuade her to go for the arranged marriage deal but I'm not sure we're there yet. So hop on over to Karli's little space of the web and check it out! PSST! She's also part of the $150 giveaway that's going on, so go enter if you haven't already! {Major score!}

Oh Hey Friday || All Things Fall + Giveaway

Lets be honest with ourselves here. It's August 22nd and I live in Michigan.
This past winter was one of the worst winters yet.
I could go back to all the Facebook post from January and show you the feet of snow people posted but there is really no need to remind ourselves of that nonsense.

What I do need to remind you of is that Fall is JUST around the corner. No really, like if you look around the corner at Starbucks, there are pumpkin spice lattes being prepped and scarf wearing people working on their laptops. It's a glorious thing really!

Fall is my favorite season. I don't do cold well and I don't do sweltering hot either. The spring in Michigan is bullshit to put it lightly, but the fall, the fall is AMAZING. With the leaves starting to change and the beanies and boots preparing for their arrival there is a smell in the air that I can't help but love. I know, I know, I'm rushing summer out of the house like she was a bad bootay call but Fall is my JAM!
So what do we do on Fridays {besides eat Pizza!}, we link up! 
Not only am I linking up with these two wonderful ladies{Karli & Amy} BUT I'm part of a massive giveaway going on as well! So after I get your mind, body and soul all geared up for fall, pop on over to SEPTEMBER Farm and meet some new ladies, and enter to win that cash money! You can then spend it on things like Pumpkin Spice lattes, beanies and boots! Cause you know I would!

1| Nikon Monopoly 40mm Watch- this is semi unrealistic but I've been lusting after this baby for a while now. {Le sigh}

2| JC Rumble Boots-Also unrealistic, but I've wanted these for a few seasons now because they go with EVERYTHING! Contemplating that blow to the wallet though, yikesss.

3| Pumpkin Spice Latte-Figure out the code and you could get pumpkin spice latte on Aug 26 instead of Sep 2! Mark my words, I WILL figure this out!!!!

4| MK Jet Set small travel tote- Dying over neutrals lately and navy is my go to blue these days. With fall coming I ultimately carry a huge bag and this baby needs to be in my life.

5| Flannels-The least expensive clothing item on the list and the only one I've already purchased {this past weekend}. I plan on stocking my closet with a few different color variations of these. They are great for layering well into the spring even!

Conclusion? My taste is getting more expensive by the minute and my wallet is going to jump ship sooner rather than later. What is YOUR fall staple? Anything I should swap out that I would like but for a better price, I'm all ears, I do love a great deal!

Don't forget to check out the amazing amazing giveaway hosted by Karli from SEPTEMBER Farm and enter enter enter! If you win, make sure you let me know, we could like, go shopping together, maybe you could buy me a PSL? No....okay then.

soup of the day | beautiful things | p. s. my name is madeline | September FARM
east willow grove | elizabeth loves
harris heart to hearts | a life like mine
blue giraffes + concrete jungles | simply love | the farmer's wife | ribbon in the sky

A Day in the Life in Pictures

I'm not really sure how to start this off other than I work full-time and I'm not a SAHM. Before you start assessing this in your head about me using the SAHM phrase this isn't a 'why I'm a better mom because I leave my house to work' or a 'why SAHM's are better because they are with their kids all day watching them instead of someone else' post. This is a 'I used two vacation days from work and one of the days I took pictures of everything we did' post. A fun one, not one that debates why one type of parent is "better" than the other because I honestly think both rule! Lord knows I could NEVER stay at home full-time, I would honestly go insane and I commend all you full-time SAHM!!!

Moving on to the point of this post. I've seen these 'day in the life posts with pictures' so I figured, you've seen our daily shenanigans on my Youtube channel and figured why not via photos this time; you know, spice things up. Realistically these photos aren't something you'll find in a magazine or ones that I would take 500 of to capture the best lighting of a product because this post is not a review of something. These are taken with my iPhone.  It's not a photo shoot of the boys where I put them in white and hope they don't ruin their clothes. These are plain, real, everyday photos where I don't put a bra on till 2pm and I let my kids watch TV while I drink my first third cup of coffee and relax on the couch. Yea those kind.

Let's Get Started Shall We!

We have a king size bed and this kid takes up about 70% of it. {He's laying horizontal in case you're wondering.} I got up and out of bed to go downstairs and do a little work on
computer before they woke up.
Hot, what can I say.
B R E A K F A S T: My favorite coffee at the moment & yogurt with a granola mix
and he's up
Milk & fruit while he watches a show. The ONLY way the kid will be semi nice in the morning!
"helping mumma work"
Time to make breakfast. If you have kids, add food coloring to pancake mix! Both kids are OBSESSED with the multi-colored pancakes!
Sky is still sleeping {crazy!} so I take care of the dishes, bottles and laundry.
Whoever gave Tracen Play-dough for his birthday, you can have it back! This shit is all over my seats, rug and floor. However, it kept him busy for an hour!
He's up!!! And so so happy! He's been sleeping for 13+ hours lately and it is AMAZING!!!
Dressed and chowing down on pancakes
Time for tea and down to the basement for some dress up and I attempt more laundry.
Lunch. Yes my kids eat a lot of macaroni. I try to buy organic so I feel better about the 10 boxes in my cart. They also eat a TON of fruit, so it balances out, right? righhh.....
I then turn my back for a second and it's all over the floor because I forget how tall Skylor is
Sky goes down for a nap and I took a shower which Tracen then stripped down and climbed in with me. He's obsessed with shaving cream and the kid probably needed a shower...
After 2 hours of Sky sleeping and Tracen BEGGING to go see his friends, we're off.
Spent some time with miss Mia!
We head home and Jer is home from work. Look in the fridge and make some grub. Pork loin and roasted green beans and sweet potatoes.
Tracen calls this "making his playground". We usually get really annoyed that he takes our whole couch apart but I'm exhausted and I sit and watch while he has fun and I paint my nails. I need a moment to myself so and no one broke a bone so it's all good.
After some books and snuggles he's finally out. {For a few hours till he climbs in our bed}
We get ready for bed and watch a DVR'd show or two and it's time to pass out.

This is some what of a normal day when I'm at home with the boys and not at work. There are plenty of other things that happen through out the day, like meltdowns, poops in the potty, work on my computer, naps that are not taken, did I say meltdowns? There's laughing and yelling and crying and the "that's mine" screams and the "take a deep breath because that's not how we talk" talks. These days can be long but I really do love being at home, I just wish I could split my time at work and home in half but such is life and we have a mortgage to pay!

Beach Day with Orbit

Michigan summers are worth writing about. Michigan winters blow. majorly.  The only time they are talked about are when no one wants to go to school/work and wishes for snow days. Sadly I'm no longer in school so all I have to talk about is how glorious summer is. I realize that this summer hasn't been that great to be honest. There's only been a handful of nice, hot days unfortunately. 

Sundays are usually spent doing laundry, cleaning and Jerek complaining he's bored. Well instead of doing boring things, i.e: see above, Jerek suggested the beach. I then started singing the infamous 'lets go to the beach beach lets go get away' song and it was decided. WE WERE OFF! 

Last time we went to Port Huron the beach was small, packed and pretty rocky. This time Jer suggested that we go to Lake St. Clair Metropark, it was about half the distance than Port Huron was and let me tell you, it was 100 times better in terms of, EVERYTHING.  The beach was smooth, the land was clean, there was TONS of parking, places to lay, sit and space to play. There was an Olympic size swimming pool with water slides and a big splash pad which both boys loved. There were tons of bikers, roller bladders and walkers. You can rent paddle boards {which I'm dying to do next time!} and there is also a boat launch. We will totally be going back a few more times before the weather leaves us! 

Going to the beach with two small children is never an easy task as there is so much crap you need to lug with you! With Skylor growing out of his infant carrier and into a big boy carseat, I've been obsessed with my Orbit G3 stroller. We decided to bring both the G3 and our light weight Summer Infant 3Dlite. We've had our 3Dlite for a while now and it's a nice little fold up stroller but it has almost zero storage and did not do well pushing across the sand or grass. We basically brought it so Trace had somewhere to sit his buns down when he needed to. 

The G3 on the other hand was a BREEZE to push through sand and grass. It acted as a high chair for Sky when we were eating with it's 360 degree turn capability it fit right up to the picnic table.  It was a cot for when he was tired and needed some quite time out of the sun. It also fits any size Starbucks cup, just in case that is ever a question {Yes, it ran through my head!}

To see the stroller or us in action you can check out the vlog from Sunday up on my Youtube page. I wish we could spend every weekend at the beach but the summer is short and we are a busy family!

 Side note: I do not promote frying like a tomato as skin cancer runs in my family. I simply freaking forgot and now have lame tan lines and a sunburn, nice one Chelsea.

I'm a brand ambassador for Orbit Baby and all opinions are my own

DIY Scrapbook Paper Garland

It's no secret that I love a good DIY. I usually get the idea, tell Jerek my big plans and than watch the kids while he performs the magic {IE: our half bathroom makeover}. However, when it comes to decorating I like to do things myself, especially when it is for my dressing room. This room is one that I thought I might be able to escape to and relax in while I get ready but basically it's a boy magnet and no one ever leaves me along when I'm in there!

Since moving in we've spent time ripping out flooring, molding, and carpet. We've painted countless rooms and cabinets {more to come on that topic soon.} We've bought furniture, bedding and accessories and donated a ton as well. When it came to my dressing room I knew I wanted it to be fun and bright but calm and relaxed as well. The room isn't 100% done but it's nearly there.

This past weekend while picking and cleaning up my dressing room I noticed that the wall behind the dressers needed something. I've been eyeing some garlands on Pinterest like this and this. Instead of shelling out some cash-o-la on Etsy I went through my scrap book paper stash and picked out some patterns, textures and colors that I thought would go well with everything else in the room and started crafting.

{I realize that this probably doesn't need to be in a tutorial format as it's pretty black and white 
but there are some people that might find it useful, plus there's a video at the end! Sooo here we go!}

First I gathered up some fun scrapbook paper and twine, both which I had already had in the house. But if you don't, Michael's has a great selection of paper and you can use a 40% off coupon making it hella cheap. You will also need a quad americano because you may have gotten close to zero hours of sleep the night before.

After you trace your shapes the cutting begins. {I suggest watching your favorite reality TV show while doing so, or Peppa Pig if you no longer control the remote these days. Yes I'm using a zippy cup of Tracen's to make my circles}

For me it was easier to lay out and arrange everything so I could visually see how it would look when hanging. Remember you need to have a front and back circle so use the buddy system when laying out the circles. {Looking back, I would have ran to Michaels,  and bought a few different size circle hole punches instead of tracing and cutting these by hand but you live and you learn.}

Glue, stick twine,second circle and repeat. I did three different lengths of twice but you can do whatever your little heart desires!

I found the oversized clothes pins in the Target dollar section months ago and am finally able to use them. {Secret: that section at Target sucks you in! I buy so many things from there because I need them!} I hung the clothes pins up with common strips so they were easy to take down and change out when I want to.

So it's really that easy guys! If you are interested in seeing my ENTIRE dressing room I did a "tour" of it on my Youtube channel as well!

Happy Monday and have a great start to your week!