play room tour

When we first moved it wasn’t in the budget to get exactly what we wanted for the girls play room area. We settled with some garage sale storage bench finds and inexpensive bins which worked for the time but it started getting too unorganized too often. The girls didn’t have a good system to put toys away therefore they would dump out EVERY storage bench and bin and when cleaning up they’d just throw everything together and it was a nonstop mess that I couldn’t handle anymore! So for Christmas we decided to invest in a system that will minimize the mess. We also put away a bin full of toys in storage that we will cycle through every other month or so. I’m excited to share the girls fun little space with you!

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Gold Bins – Target Dollar Spot // Wooden Boxes JaneMarie Handmade

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I searched high and low for the best option for toy organization that was both cost effective and functional. This cube storage wasn’t particularly my favorite but my research continued to lead me back to them. The game changer that caused me to go this route was finding these gorgeous wooden cube boxes. They add in such character and it’s a huge plus that they hide the toys so well. You can find them at JaneMarie Handmade! They are beautifully made by Halleigh and Brittney and also can be done in varying sizes and stains.

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Mountain Peak Bookends

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One thing we really wanted to incorporate was a comfortable reading spot. I was thrilled to have found these gorgeous floor pillows made by Elizabeth at Ochre Nest. Not only are they extremely comfortable but she hand painted the watercolor plaid which I was extremely impressed by! They’ve been well loved by us all in the short time of owning them. We love to cozy up as a family and read together or watch the girls play.

IMG_2066IMG_2082IMG_2059IMG_2062IMG_2038IMG_2031Previously we had a Teamson kitchen and Caroline was ridiculously rough on it and took off all the doors. I found this darling one on Craigslist for 50 dollars and couldn’t believe I ended up with it because the seller said she had over 20 emails of interest! It’s incredibly well made so I don’t think Caroline can take this one apart even if she tries, ha! What is a cute play kitchen without absolutely adorable play food?!  I could barely handle these boxed donuts and produce. You can find these items and several more made by Jennifer at Play Food Creative!

How do you organize toys? Have you found a method that you love or have you given into the mess all together? I always love to hear of new ways to organize and keep things simplified!

Thanks for stopping by!

xo,

Anna

 

lorena canals washable rug

If a washable rug isn’t one of the best ideas I’ve ever heard of than I don’t know what is. As I’m sure many of you know kids are ROUGH on everything. I noticed that our rugs had half the life in them once my kids starting walking and crawling. We ended up just throwing away a few of ours because having them cleaned was more expensive than buying a new one! I was absolutely thrilled to come across Lorena Canals gorgeous selection of washable rugs.

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The soft pink polka dot was the perfect addition to my girls’ shared room. It was subtle but delicate and lovely, exactly the theme I was going for. You can find the same style but in a grey here!

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Not only is Lorena Canals selection absolutely beautiful but they are so soft. As you can see, Caroline very much approves of the comfort level! It’s so incredibly convenient to just toss this in the washing machine when it starts getting a little dirty. I can’t recommend this brand of rugs enough. Grab your coffee and take a look through their amazing designs and styles here!

holiday looks with janie and jack

This post has been sponsored by Janie and Jack. All opinions are my own. 

I would describe our kid’s style (for the most part) as subtle and versatile. As much as we can, we move away from the loud, bright, distracting clothing and try to stick with pieces that won’t go out of style anytime soon. Janie and Jack hit all the marks when it comes to our favorite types of children’s clothing. They are classic, timeless, and sharp. You are guaranteed to get lasting quality and so many compliments when wearing them. I was thrilled to work with Janie and Jack and put together holiday styles for the kids this year.

For Jack ,I went with the corduroy suspender pant paired with the cutest little plaid bodysuit and layered it with the wool toggle coat in brown and wingtip crib shoe. I mean come on, can it get any cuter than this handsome look in a teeny tiny 6-12 month size?! No, the answer is no, it cannot!

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Bowtie

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For the girls, I couldn’t help myself and went with the full matching outfits. I love doing this for two reasons: 1 – It is extremely cute and 2 – If I really love a clothing item it’s nice that when Maddie grows out of one size she will get to wear it in the bigger size as well.

 

I have been absolutely loving the blush and cream combos right now. These outfits are perfect for a subtle holiday look that can also be worn into the Spring as well as Fall.

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Pom Beanie
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Velvet Purse // Hunter First Classic Rain Boot // Shimmer Rose Sweater

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Velvet Leggings  // Faux Fur Mittens

Now I have to share pictures of all three of the kids together because well.. I’m a mom I cant help myself. Also, I love the look of how the outfits compliment each other!

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Head on over to Janie and Jack to see their gorgeous selection and find the perfect holiday outfit for your little one! Be sure to let me know what you find!

xo,

Anna

toddler gift guide

Many of you are probably finished shopping for your kiddos Christmas gifts but for those of you that aren’t – here’s a list of great gift options!

I am a researcher so before I buy anything, especially toys, I thoroughly read reviews and try to get a good idea if it will be something that will last and also that the girls won’t get bored with easily. One of my requirements is that the toy can grow with our kids. I tend to think longevity with toy purchases, which might not be very common but it helps me to narrow down from the overwhelming options out there. I’m excited to share with you some of our favorite toys and also some of the gifts that will be under our tree on Christmas morning!

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s start out with the toys that are tried and true in our house. We’ve had each of these for over a year and they get played with daily.

  • Magna-Tiles 100 Piece Set – I’m sure just about every parent of young kids have heard of these by now. I can say, without question, that these are these toys live up to all the hype and then some. These encourage imagination in so many ways and kids all the way up through age 10 enjoy playing with them. My Maddie has never been one to focus for long periods of time on anything but with Magna -Tiles it’s a different story. One of my favorite sounds is the clicking of the magnetic pieces going together while my girls are quietly focused on their building.  I would also add that it is worth it to go with the name brand for these (the ones pictured and linked). Ours are still in perfect condition and haven’t lost their magnetic strength over time after being played with very roughly for over a year.

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  • Terra Animals  – Our kids are absolutely obsessed with little animals. The best quality ones that we have found are the Terra brand that are on the end cap off the Target toy aisles. They are durable and have pretty impressive details. I’ve linked to the Terra brand page on Target.com as an example but I would say the best place to buy them would be in the store.

Now onto some fun new items that I can’t wait to give to our girls!

 

 

 

 

  • Fishing Pole – Oh my goodness, this fishing pole you guys. It’s possibly the most beautiful and creative toy I have ever seen! A lovely husband and wife team hand make these (along with several other wooden toys) over at Papa Don’s Toys.   It reels very realistically, and comes with the cutest set of colorful fish that you can catch. I know my girls will will be fascinated with it!
  • Colorful Wooden Train – How darling is this set?! It’s made out of very sturdy, organic wood and I love the unique shape of it. You can find it at Pawoo Toys.
  • Elephant Jigsaw Puzzle –  This little organic wooden elephant puzzle is also made by Pawoo Toys and I can just imagine it being used in so many ways!
  • Wooden Lawnmower – This a great alternative to a plastic lawnmower. Not only is it beautiful, it’s made to last, has a subtle sound, and I think it could also be used as a pretend vaccum! This, like the fishing pole, is made by the husband and wife duo at Papa Don’s Toys.

Non-toy options:

 

 

  • Activity Play Mat – These activity mats by Tater and Frankie are adorable and great because you can easily store them. Anything that can minimize the clutter while still providing fun is instantly one of my favorite things. Use code INSTAFREESHIPPING for free shipping on anything from the shop!
  • Backpacks – Britni makes and designs these darling little backpacks at Benny and The Bear. I’m going to fill my girls’ with some fun chalkboards and craft supplies for them to open on Christmas morning.
  • Cozy Blankets – Caroline’s been begging for a soft blanket and I cant wait to give her this lovely lamb one with llama faux fur. Nicole at Tea House Studio has a great selection of unique fabric prints and backings!

 

Happy shopping, friends!

 

xo,

Anna

dockatot review – is it essential?

It’s pretty incredible how quickly products come in and out of the baby world. What I considered new and essential with my first child just three years ago now seem very outdated. We used almost everything again the second time around because the girls were only 16 months apart. Well, when I was pregnant for the third time I realized just how many up and coming products were out there. One my favorite aspects of Instagram is being able to get a close and personal look at different baby/kid gear. It is so helpful to read other moms thorough reviews of the hot items before deciding to take the plunge and purchase them. I’m excited to share my honest opinion about one of the most popular baby items right now – the DockATot. I’m going to keep it simple with a pros and cons list from my personal experience after using it for about three months.

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Pros:

  • Easy to travel with – it was so nice to just throw the DockATot in the car rather than lugging around the pack n play which takes up about half our trunk!
  • Soft surface that lessens the risk of flat spots – Maddie had and still does have a very flat head. I wanted to do my best to prevent that from happening with Jack and I think putting him in the DockATot throughout the day has played a big role.
  • Comfortable – the Dock is significantly more comfortable then Jack’s crib mattress and I notice he seems to sleep slightly longer stretches in it.
  • Easy to take from room to room and put out of the way when necessary – I’ve loved this because it’s always nice to be able to put baby items out of the way when not being used.

Cons:

  • Not safe for overnight sleep – I’m a major rule follower and especially so in sleep safety. I have not felt comfortable enough to leave Jack sleeping in the Dock overnight in his crib, which I have seen many others do. I just don’t sleep as well (due to worry) if he’s not in his crib with nothing else in there with him.
  • I personally did not notice a significant difference in Jack’s sleep with the DockATot – He sleeps basically the same everywhere (crib, rock n play, floor, etc). Neither of my girls had the DockATot and both were MUCH better sleepers than he has been.

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So, is this highly raved about product an essential or non-essential? My honest opinion would be non-essential. I would classify it under a convenience product that does not make a drastic difference on sleep in the early months. Now this is from my experience and everyone’s will be different. I’ve heard some parents swear by it and I’m so glad that it’s worked wonders for them but that has not been the case for us.

What are your opinions on the DockATot? Would you say its an essential or no? I would love to hear your experiences!

xo,

Anna

postpartum must-haves for mom

Anyone who has had a baby knows what I’m talking about when I say that for those first few months after pregnancy NOTHING FITS RIGHT. I remember feeling so frustrated trying to wear my “normal” clothes with my first two babies. This time around,I was determined to have some key wardrobe pieces that would be comfortable, flattering, and I could easily nurse in. After researching and wearing these items now for a few months I can confidently recommend them and I hope they bring you some confidence and comfort in a season where we can be so hard on ourselves about our changing bodies.

 

1.) Nursing Tanks – I was due for some new nursing tanks as my Target ones were pretty worn out after going through two babies. I wanted to try something a little different and am so glad I found these. They are super stretchy, soft, long, and supportive! They keep everything tucked in without being too tight. Also, they make it extremely easy to nurse. I went a size up and am glad I did because I don’t have to ever worry about pulling down my shirt and they actually go over my butt when I’m wearing leggings.

2.) Zip Up Hoodie – Being that I had Jack in September I knew I would want either some type of robe or zip ups that were easy to put over my nursing tanks when it gets chilly. I got a few of these incredibly lightweight jersey hoodies and have been living in them! It was a good choice for me to go with these over a robe because I can wear it on walks and outings rather then just in the home. Seriously, everyone needs one of these! Mine are from Old Navy but it looks like they are currently out of stock. I’m sure they have some similar styles though!

3.) High Waist Postpartum Leggings – Ok, let me just start out by saying that leggings and postpartum life just go together, now add onto that a high waist WITH support and it’s a match made in heaven. Literally, I’ve contemplated buying more of this exact same pair because I wear them every.single.day. The fabric is breathable but not see through as well.

4.) Flattering Shirts – I feel like I somehow forget about how awkward these first few months feel postpartum as far as clothing fit goes. My sister and I were determined to have a handful of shirts that we felt comfortable in and these hit the mark. Another plus is that they are maternity friendly too! She was wearing them in her last trimester while I was wearing them when just days after I had Jack. They hit in the right spot without making you look/feel pregnant still (although my chiropractor did as me how the “cooking” was going when I met him for the first time a week after I had Jack, ugh!).

A specific store I wanted to share with you all is Pink Blush. Although they specify in maternity wear they have tons of options for nursing moms and everyday womens’ style. Each item I have from them is soft, stretchy, and cute. Here are a few of my favorite go-to looks.

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Burgundy Maxi – Pink Blush
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Black Flowy Tunic – Pink Blush // Seasport Stitches Diaper Bag

Have you had a hard time finding clothing that fits well postpartum? What are your go-to’s? Thanks for stopping by and reading and happy Sunday evening, friends!

-Anna

holiday cheer

We enjoyed a quiet Thanksgiving at home this year with just the five of us. It included all the things that make a good Thanksgiving day – delicious food (thank you amazing local grocery store), gorgeous weather, a nice long family walk, laughter, naps, a little shopping, Christmas decorating, and finished off with a little in home date night of Law & Order SVU and a glass of wine. We definitely missed our extended family but there was something really special about a calm day at home with a relaxed agenda.

I decided to go with more subtle Christmas touches throughout the house this year with silver being a focal point and an accent of gingham. I’m excited to share with you a few pieces from some wonderful small shops.

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There’s a whole lot of brown in the house that we are renting (walls, cupboards, railings, doors, basically everything) so I try to lighten it up as much as I can when I have the opportunity. This gorgeous cream colored burlap tree skirt is from The Burlap Cottage. You know when you open something and can immediately tell that the quality will last? Well that was the case with this beauty. If you’re looking for a skirt that doesn’t distract from the tree or the rest of the decor I can’t recommend this one enough. You can also find the darling gingham ornament there as well!

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Glittered Berry Wreath – Amazon // Nativity Set – Target

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COMFORT & JOY – Jane.com // Bottle Brush Trees – Target Dollar Spot

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Buffalo Check Pillow Covers – Elemeno Pillows

We started a tradition this year where the girls got to each pick out one ornament and I picked out one for Jack. It went about as I predicted it to, Caroline heavily contemplating which one she would go with and once she decided she was set on it. Maddie on the other hand, chose about 15 very random ones and stuck with the ugliest ornament I probably have ever seen. I will write the year on them and this year will be a reminder of just how quirky and hilarious Maddie is at two and a half years old.

Ok, I have to share these amazing candles with you guys. First of all, how cute are the names?! Secondly, I was literally had on burning for five straight hours yesterday and the wax BARELY went down. You can find these amongst some other yummy scents from Diamond Elm Candles here. Also, use code ANNA10 to get 10% off your purchase through December 31st!

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What are your traditions? Do you wait to decorate until after Thanksgiving? Do you have any fun Christmas focused activities you do with your kids? I’d love to hear! I hope you all had a wonderful and delicious Thanksgiving. ❤