Tuesday, February 21, 2017

An Ode to My Baby

I have made more than 6,000 bottles for my children over the last six and a half years.
Six. Thousand. Bottles.

Soaking them, rinsing them, sanitizing them, filling them shaking them, storing them. With each new baby, has come the familiarity of the routine and five days in, you've got it back down.

As each baby gets older and needs fewer bottles, the amount of time it takes to make them gets shorter and shorter. And as the one year mark approached with the first two babies, a happy dance was done on the final night of baby-bottle making.

I am now on my final week of baby bottle preparation.

Because my final baby turns one-year-old on Friday.

Cue the waterworks!

I can honestly tell you all - without anyone telling my two oldest babies - that I don't remember having these emotions when they turned a year old. I was excited, a little sad, but just happy to be moving on to the next stage!

If you asked me right now if I would let Tess stay a baby for another year, I would say absolutely! I mentioned how Tess was the bright light in a dreary year and what I'm realizing is maybe Tess is just going to be that bright light forever!

This girl never, ever, ever ceases to bring a smile to my face. Or to her dad's face. Or her sister's. And when Reece remembers that Tess is around, he is so proud to show her off. Or not let a doctor in the door to give her a shot (even though she wasn't getting a shot).

Matt and I joke (in a serious way) that our kids are not like most kids and are straight-up crazy. After some long days, I believe that. But I know deep down in my heart that they are just normal kids. They just drive US crazy, which is different than being diagnosed cuckoo.

Our third baby just seems to watch the older two, soaking them in, laughing at them constantly, chasing them as fast as her two little knees will go. So it's hard to imagine that at some point, she will be categorized as one of our straight-up crazy kids.

But for now, I'm going to soak her up. I'm going to savor her saying 'Hi', waving to Wrigley in the mornings, her smile and laughter when Sloane gets home from school, the way she gladly lets Reece help her when we are in the car, her face attack when she knows her dad is trying to tickle her, her extra hard cuddles when she doesn't know someone and they are trying to talk to her, how she lays her head on my shoulder when she knows its time for bed and how she rolls right over on her belly as soon as she is laid down.

I know a year from now, I won't be able to list off all of these things that Tess did as a baby because I will probably have forgotten, like I have with the other two. But like the other two, I usually remember one very distinct thing about their time as babies.

And I will always remember that Tess always, always gave me a reason to smile!

The countdown to the tossing of the basin they sent home with us from the hospital that was used to give infants baths in, which in turn always became my bottle-making tub is on. And if you hear that I was crying on Thursday night while making bottles, you can believe that it was true.

An end of an era.

I love my babies.

And I've loved making their bottles.


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Valentine's DIY from a Non-DIYer

I am one of those Pinterest people that absolutely loves Pinterest and pinning 256 things per hour. But very rarely applies those pins to real life.

Except on Valentine's Day Eve.

I finally put my pinning to work!

Sloane had to have a box for all of her Valentine's from her school party - another of those momentous "firsts"! Since I knew I would be making this by myself (I knew it would be once everyone was in bed and I knew that Matt would probably be watching TV on the couch -- but to his credit, he wasn't even home so I can't give him crap for this one), I knew the task could not be too difficult or time consuming.

I pinned some options and after reviewing my pins, I narrowed it down to the easiest one, showed Sloane, got the approval, and moved forward.

Below was my inspiration:

Hello Kitty
After single-momming it for the day and everyone was bathed and in bed, I began my chore for the evening. Operation Sloane Valentine's Day Box commenced!

Thank you to Two Dots for donating a box for this event.

Also on the crafting island for the evening was a large stack of white tissue paper, a thick pad of construction paper with numerous colors, a knife, two pairs of scissors (large AND small) and two kinds of tape. A glue stick would have been a better option that double-sided tape, but go figure - I didn't have any. I don't know how because I could swear to you I've seen 30 random glue sticks lying around recently. But not tonight, not when I truly needed them!

A Coke was also apart of this evening.

You can be sure that this part of the box-making process was where I used the most brain power. 
I spent the most time cutting out small oval circles for eyes. Because they had to be perfect (not because of Sloane but because of my over-analness).
 And BOOM.
Just like that, I completed my first real do-it-yourself project and it didn't take me days to complete or tons of money. 
Just some peace, caffeine and patience when using double-sided tape on the entire project. 
I'd deem it a success! She had a smile on her face the next morning and when I asked if I could throw it away when she got home, she was very angry with me and said "Hellll no, Ma! Back off!" 
Or maybe that's just what I heard. :) 
I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day! 
XXOO, Allyson





Friday, February 10, 2017

Friday Favorites

We made it to Friday! Everyone pat yourselves on the back!!! :)

Ladies, I cannot begin to tell you how long this bag has been on my Amazon Wish List. What I can tell you is that it has been on there long enough for cool version of the Amazon Wish List (that you could add any item from any site on the World Wide Web) to not exist anymore!

I love this Sole Society 'Mason' Weekender Bag! I don't know if it's the cool factor, the "Hey, look at me! I'm trying to be Jennifer Aniston with my cool bag and my aviator sunglasses!"or if that the price point is legit (less than $80). But I love it. And I am telling you this bag will be mine!

Before Amazon Wish List totally disappears!

I literally just saw this Sigma Brush Cleaning Mat on Facebook earlier and watched the video, which was strange (not gonna lie) so I dismissed it and moved on.

Then I found it on Nordstrom and it immediately moved back up to the 'Worth Listing' category. Nordstrom has that strange effect on me.

This mat is only $25, has suction cups on the bottom to stay in place and has only great reviews for easy makeup brush cleaning! It has seven different textures for all of your different types of brushes.

Yes, please!

I have mentioned these flats by JCrew Factory before and I'm going to do it again!

These Anya Ballet Flats are my very, very, very favorite ballet flats! They are beyond comfy and the color selection is great! I own the tan and bright pink. In fact, I wore the bright pink to Chicago when Lauren and I went to market for Two Dots and was stopped by a very flamboyant gentleman who asked me if my shop sold my shoes. I wish, flamboyant gentleman. I wish.

But now they are selling them in metallic! OOOOOH yes... yes they are! And I can't pass up on metallic. It's a great pop if you are wearing a simple outfit.

So please do me a favor and try these flats out!

Gals, I just bought this sweater at Gap for my weekend trip to Chicago and wearing it as we speak. It's SO soft and comfortable and comes in five other colors! Great transition sweater for winter to spring! Check it out!

Speaking of bags (see my first favorite), I need to give a shout out to Thirty-One Bags. My mom started buying them for me probably six or seven years ago and since then, I have accumulated quite the collection. It also helps that my best friend Jenna sells it so I get bags from her as well.

They are so fantastic though! There are so many options from backpacks to coolers to large utility totes, which are my personal favorites. I love the large tote and the deluxe utility tote, which has pockets on the sides!

I take these with me when we travel - throw coats, hats, mittens in some, pillows and kids blankets and stuffed animals in another, diapers and wipes and anything baby-related in another, baby bottles and snacks in a cooler, etc.

The quality is fantastic - I've had ZERO issues with any of mine since I started receiving them!

Designs change from season to season and you can get bags monogrammed. They are great gifts to give and great gifts to receive! If you are interested in them, comment below and I can send you Jenna's e-mail and she can help you out!

This week's color of the week is Caramel Apple! I tried it for the first time last weekend and it's so pretty! It's not too bright, but just enough color to notice. Everyone that tried it on, loved it and wanted it! I finally was able to get my hands on some and will be shipping them out as soon they arrive on my doorstep!

Everyone have a wonderful weekend! Matt and I will be in Chicago house-hunting slash enjoying time away slash not giving baths to children. Best of luck to my parents who WILL be doing that. :)


Thursday, February 9, 2017

Etsy Finds of the Week

Thursday. We've made it to Thursday. I don't know how, but we are here and my kids are all still alive and everyone has been fed and bathed.

Yes, Matt has been gone.

Which explains my lack of post yesterday! I even was working on one --- and then when I sat down at 5 AM this morning to try and finish it after feeding a sick Tess, I thought "Allyson, this is straight CRAY. Go back to bed for 15 minutes."

So I did.

BUT I'm here today so let's do this!
Modern Bib/All-in-One Scarf
By: Scabib

My sweet nephew Anderson is still too teeny for bibs. And I doubt there is tons of drooling going on there yet.

But you can guarantee when the drool starts, he needs to be wearing this. This exact bib/scarf!

My brother will cringe.

But it will be fine because he's adorable and he will be in buffalo check and he will bring all the ladies to the yard!

I personally love this because you can just keep moving the bib around as one side gets a little more drenched.

It has a velcor-like/hook-n-loop closure and is the size of three bibs!

Can I take like 12 for Tess?!

Donut Party Birthday Shirt
By: Lil Threadz Clothing
$33 +

As a parent, you sometimes do silly (dumb) things. Like buy your growing toddler a pair of Uggs that they will only be able to fit in for five months.

Or give them yogurt while they are wearing nice clothes.

Or buy them birthday shirts that are $30.

I can confirm that I have done at least two of those three things.

AND I'm probably going to do one of them again for my Tess, who turns one on February 24! I LOVE these shirts! I got Reece a heather blue more simple version of this tee for his first birthday and I will say that we got every penny out of that shirt - he wore it ALL the time!

Look at that sweet baby!
So the quality is great, the prices are doable because your kid will wear the shirt every other day!

Beer Caddy
By: Mustache and Kisses

Friends, I must admit... I don't really love Valentine's Day.

I might be demoted from Girldom for admitting that. But Valentine's Day is tough for me.

I LOVE to give gifts, I totally rock Christmas. But I never know what to get Matt because it really is more of a girl holiday (that guys hate) because it's lovey dovey, full of flowers and hearts and all that shtuff.

But thank goodness for my Etsy Finds of the Week because I found an awesome gift that will the giftee will be SO thrilled to get!

Ladies, you are welcome (for finding your guy the gift he will love)!

These babies are made of cedar and have a handy bottle opener attached to the side.

Shipping is just over $12. Get it ordered ASAP! :)

Everyone have a great Thursday and I pray Tess takes a nap so I can work on Friday Favorites! :)


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Sick Days

Have you seen the Nyquil commercials where the parents walk in to their kid's room and say "I'm really sorry, I'm not feeling well today - I have to take a sick day." And then they walk out.

It is obviously a joke because as all parents know, specifically moms, that you don't get sick days.

Kids get sick days.

Even dads get sick days.

But moms do not get sick days.

Just last week, I texted my husband because I felt really dizzy. And it was strange. I was drinking water, I even sat down for a little bit to see if that would help. Then I'd stand up. And I'd be dizzy again.

I told Matt that I wasn't feeling good, was feeling dizzy.

After texting him, I knew that even though he did care about the state of my health, in the grand scheme of things, unless I was on my death bed, he wasn't coming home. I can sum up his job in one word at this moment and that word is madness. I know my brain is all over the place 24/7, but I know Matt's is the same with his job right now.

So I get it.

Sadly though I think that even if he did come home, he would have his computer out so the point of him coming home is moot.

In the end, I was fine. The kids and I went outside and enjoyed some fresh air and 70-degree weather and it definitely helped.

But MAN... It is something I dream about, pulling the sick card and actually being able to use it. Not pull it out, then slowly put it back in my pocket.

I will not lie, I have recently thought about even trying for a fake sick day... just to lay in bed and watch TV all day long!

But if you refer back, it's not an option.

I'm saying many prayers each night that we, as a family, make it through this time of year and avoid the worst of the sickness. Tess is the only one down in the dumps and it's mostly a cough and some congestion (and the first time she's really not felt well since she was born)!

So... for those of you moms ... and dads out there that feel like crap and the last thing you want to do is take care of anyone but yourself, I give you permission to give your kids a movie, a tub of snacks, tell them you love them, but beg them to not talk to you for two hours.

And now I want a nap!


Friday, February 3, 2017

Friday Favorites

And we're back! Sorry about last week, friends. It was just "one of those weeks". By the time Friday rolled around, I didn't even KNOW it was Friday!

But let's get going...
I follow Kate Byran on Instagram (@k8_smallthings) - she is a hairstylist turned blogger and I like her 'easy look' - her hair is usually down with some beach waves and her makeup is pretty simple and neutral but she just always looks cute!

She did a 'quick face' video on her Instagram last Thursday of her doing a simple makeup routine and she mentioned all the products she used.

And now I want to try the It Cosmetics CC+Cream. I currently use ShadowBox's BB Cream, which I have liked because I don't want a heavy foundation/cream that looks cakey. I want it to feel light on my skin, but I want it to even out my skin tone.
So they show...
I feel like it's definitely light, but not sure about the rest anymore.

This has a little illumination in it, SPF 50 and anti-aging hydrating serum (yes, please - I'm not getting any younger over here, folks!).

This went on her flawlessly - maybe she has perfect skin, I don't know! But you can find it at Ulta or Sephora for $38. I currently pay $32 on Amazon Prime for mine so... potato, potahto. :) And right now there is a free gift with purchase, so check it out!

Since my friend Abby's wedding (I wonder how many times I have referred back to that event since October... I'm guessing ATLEAST 12 times), I've seemed to be a little more aware of my eyebrows.

I've always had to get them waxed because they are dark and thick. My niece Perry and I will be frequent visitors to the salon to get this procedure done for the rest of her lives as her mother has the LIGHTEST eyebrows you have ever seen... while Perry is me.

But I seem to be more aware now that eyebrows really help frame your face. And just by 'helping them out' a little, it does a world of difference!

You guys know how much I love Elf Cosmetics - I use their concealer, bronzer, mascara, eyelash curler, and now - their eyebrow kit. Because it's $3 and hard to pass up.

But yet again, I found another blogger, Champagne in the Rain, on Instagram (@emilybrunotte) and she was showing a new brow gel that she wanted to try and nowwwwww, I'm wanting it. I need to stop following fashion and style bloggers ASAP.

It's the Boy Brow by Glossier and it's $16. Rather than using the gel above, this is more like a mascara that you sweep on your brows. It comes in four different shades including clear if you like the color of you brow but want to shape it and keep it in place.

Gals, it's all about the brows.
Friends, we have entered the month of February. Which means Spring is not too far away! I officially say it's OK to start breaking out some fun colors (I tend to prefer neutrals in my clothing and my nails through the winter months...).

Let's start with some fun on our nails -- this color is gorgeous! It's called Canyon Coral and I love this shade because it's not a red and it's not an orange! The color will look good on ALL of you! So let's break out some color!

Friends, how do we feel about stripes?

Like... I kind of love stripes. And I have the body type that stripes are not great in. I've got the big chest, short torso -- I feel those are just two big no-no's for stripes.

Atleast horizontal stripes.

I saw this on Anthropologie's website and thought.... "Hmmm... vertical stripes... question mark?!!" This looks so slimming despite the dolman sleeve and I'm digging it! It's screaming "BUY ME AND WEAR ALL SPRING!"

Look no further for the most comfortable, laidback, cool vibes weekend shirt in the history of comfortable from Free People!

It's a henley-style shirt layed over a waffleweave long sleeve tee. Those two tops by themselves are classified as "classic" and "comfy wear" and they just put them together!

It comes in five colors and I loved three of the five, but decided this would work for me better.


This week, we are going with Coral Reef! This color came in my first batch of stock and my aunt Lori bought it. And I can't WAIT for her to send pictures of it on. It's so pretty! It's probably a little brighter than maybe your every day neutral go-to, but I think everyone should have some lip colors that make you step out of the box. I can promise you, if you pick the right color, people will notice, will compliment and boom, day is made!

And that's it for this week! I love Friday Favorites!

Have a great weekend everyone, see you next week!


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