MEET ME IN THE TULIPS

 ^^ I picked the best tulip out of the bunch! I could kiss those cheeks all day long! ^^
 ^^ That sky looked like a painting right out of Andy's room from Toy Story, ha ^^
 ^^ Twinners!!! ^^
 ^^ Those little overalls, pigtails and high tops were the star of the tulip festival. Everyone kept stopping Zoe to get a good look. She's just so funny! And she was all about those puddles, rocks and chasing after birds. We ended the day with her face planting in a puddle of mud! Luckily she was a good sport about it. ^^
 ^^ Playing peek-a-boo through the tulips. ^^
 ^^ She's so pretty! ^^
 ^^ Always holding rocks, and throwing them, and showing you. My future geologist. ^^

Before typing this up I was looking at our time at the tulip festival from last year (here).  I remember envisioning back then how fun it would be to see Zoe walking around the tulips for the next year. I just can't believe we're here already! 18 months new and the cutest out of the bunch! She is all about rocks, mud, birds, and chatting up a storm. I love when she puckers her lips and drools while she's talking to you so serious like, pointing in every direction. And the older she gets the more and more she looks like her daddy. I love it! I was staring at the two of us in the mirror this morning and just sat there thinking, where am I in this little girl? Her hair and eye color is all me. And that sassy personality she has is mine too. But boy, is she sweet and sensitive like her dad. Oooohh, I could just squeeze her! 

Story time: While we were packing up the car heading out for the festival we were looking everywhere for Zoe's iPad. We rely heavily on that thing for long car trips (Moana and Trolls are always on repeat). *I know, I'm one of THOSE moms that let their babies watch TV. Judgement free zone over here* I looked for it in all the typical places and was driving myself crazy. I hate to loose things. Finally after 10 minutes of searching Eric confesses that he remembered moving the iPad around and thought he might have left it on top of the car and drove off with it the other day. Panic mode set in because basically that thing could be anywhere. And my parents had JUST given it to us. AND our neighborhood roads were being repaved that morning. I quickly got on our neighborhood Facebook page and wrote asking if anyone had happened to see an iPad laying around in the road the other day (amongst the torrential downpour). After about two hours I received a message back saying in fact that they had found one that morning RIGHT before the pavers came and that it was still working, despite the rain. HALLELUJAH! Long story short, there are still good people in the world. And our neighborhood is awesome! 

See you next year tulip festival!

'HOPPY' EASTER!


LET'S BE HONEST MAMAS






* All photos by Kate Livingstone
There's something about a new season that always makes me crave a fresh start. A fresh start on working on mini goals, a fresh start on working on my relationships, a fresh start on Spring cleaning! I don't know what it is about cleaning your home, cleaning out of your emails, cleaning out the clutter  of life that just makes you feel so refreshed! Having a crazy toddler running around with sticky fingers all day long makes cleaning, however, almost impossible now a days. Incorporated into my night time routine now includes a clean sweep of putting toys away, cleaning dishes, washing stains out of clothes, and putting shoes and jackets where their supposed to go. No point in trying during the day when two seconds later mess will follow. Love you Zoe 😉

Do you ever notice yourself apologizing to people when they come over to your home for the mess that your babes have caused. I have, and I kind of want to stop. I say mess means life and fun happen here. Of course there's a fine line between mess and MESSSSS if you know what I mean.

It's time for another "Let's Be Honest Mamas" Q&A! All things Spring cleaning!! Make sure to read through our posts to see how other mamas keep their homes organized (or at least try). Shout out to our girl Hannah for starting this all! And play along if you want by sharing the hashtag #letsbehonestmamas and tagging me and all of these fun ladies found down below. Because let's be honest, we all need to stick together!

1. Do you have any routine spring cleaning that you do? How do you go about it?

My husband and I always go through sprits of "cleaning mode". That's where we start cleaning one thing and the next thing we know our whole house is sparkling. With Zoe, cleaning can be kind of hard. She doesn't quite know how she feels about the vacuum, but that always makes for an interesting experience. Most cleaning happens now either during nap time or when she drifts off for bed. Somehow I always get roped into toilets (how did this happen?!), and Eric always gets vacuuming. I DESPISE vacuuming. I always get so hot and sweaty (just me?!). We like to clean together though, in the same rooms. Talking or singing to music always makes the time go by faster. 

2. What does living simply mean to you?

Having babies means acquiring a lot of toys. Before being married or having Zoe I was a nanny for 7 years. One of the rules that the family had was whenever they got a new toy they had to give away three toys. I always appreciated their simple living and knew I wanted to incorporate that rule into my own home when the time came. Finding great hiding spots for toys also is a great way to "live simply" when people come over. We keep two baskets underneath our coffee table that are easy to pull out for Zoe when she wants them, and easy to hide when guests come over. 

3. What are five of your "go to" products for your home?
* None of these products are sponsored. I just really love them.*

- Babyganics toy and high chair cleaner is on hand multiple times a day. I love that it's soft and gentle, and also fragrance free while getting the job done. I always feel things are properly clean once I wipe things off with this stuff. Definitely a must for mommies in my book!
- Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser. Because of Zoe's fair skin, her skin is extremely sensitive to lots of soaps and lotions. When it comes to keeping our babe clean we only trust to wash her with this. It was recommended by Zoe's allergy doctor. If you notice your little one ever suffering from dry itchy skin try giving this a try. We were also recommended this lotion to put on her afterwards to keep her skin from drying out.
- all Free Clear Laundry Detergent. We noticed that even the laundry detergent we used effected Zoe's skin. Ever since we switched to this it has helped immensely.
- We love this rope basket that we keep in Zoe's room to store her stuffed animals. I love that it's soft and not stiff. Zoe looooves to pull out all of her toys, climb in and then cover herself up with her toys again. She's so funny! It's something simple, but so easy for keeping rooms organized!
- To help with smells I love to whip out my Capri Blue Iridescent Jar Candle from Anthropologie. This candle smells amazing and quickly fills my home. Even more, I don't even have to light it. I just pop off the lid and instantly each room smells great!

4. How do you approach tidying?

Keeping things tidy can be tricky when you have a little one pulling things out the second you put them away. For my own sanity, I love to do a quick sweep during her nap, and then a more proper clean up when she goes down for the night. You have to pick your battles during the day, ha!

5. How often do you clean your home?

Daily Cleaning:
- Making the bed. I try to make our bed every morning, it's a great way to start off your day! It's the small accomplishments, am I right?
- Dishes I love to clean the second they hit the sink. One less thing to deal with at the end of the day.
- We have our Ubbi Diaper Pail which was nice for newborn diapers (pre baby food), but once Zoe started eating solids those dirty diapers are one tough stink to keep hidden. The second we change diapers, those go straight out to the garage trash can. So running to the garage is a frequent stop of the day.
- Picking up toys every night.
- With hardwood floors downstairs, sweeping is a daily chore (especially after meal time with Zoe). It's those times I wish we had a dog, ha!
- Stains are inevitable when it comes to Zoe's clothes. I'm scrubbing at least one article of clothing each night.

Weekly: 
- Laundry, laundry, laundry! I think I'm one of the only people who actually likes doing laundry. I love listening to podcasts or watching something off Netflix while I fold laundry. It's almost therapeutic.

Once a Month:
- Okay, I know this is discusting but I am not up to date when it comes to cleaning. Eric and I do a whole house cleaning at the end of the month. This includes bathrooms, vacuuming, dusting. Don't judge! 🙈

Make sure to take a look at all the other amazing mama's who participated in the "Let's Be Honest Mamas" post!

Amanda Krovic - Amanda Krovic@amandakrovic
Britt Havens - Britt Havens @britthavens
Carla Natalia Thompson - Curious Natalia / @thecuriousnatalia
Hannah Renee - Hannah Renee Blog / @thehannahrenee
Amber Hill - Amber Lately / @amberlatelyblog
Victoria Schneider - The Southern Trunk / @govictoria

FEBRUARY FLORAL SHOOT


With the start of a new year I wanted to dabble in something new. After having Zoe it's hard to make "me time". I miss being creative, learning something new (besides random baby facts), and connecting with talented people. A few months back I went through old journals and remembered I had written down that I wanted to learn more about floral design. So don't mind me. You may see flowers on the blog ever once in a while. Thank goodness for talented and beautiful friends who can help my little dreams come true.
Thanks to Kate and Becka

LET'S BE HONEST MAMAS



Moments to myself are non-existent these days. Whether it's working out, folding laundry, taking a shower, or running to the grocery store, sticky little fingers are always tightly wrapped around my legs (which makes for an interesting time when going to the bathroom). Having Zoe these past 16 months have been some of the hardest, happiest, trying, and reward times of my life. Patience is a skill I pray to keep throughout the day, because babies know how to push your buttons. To other mommies out there, do you ever feel like your babes don't like you sometimes? I swear when we are at home Zoe will scream and cry, and then as soon as I meet up with friends she's happy as a clam. No one ever believes me when I tell them how hard she is at home. Is it just me? Please say no, or just lie and make me feel better. 

Something I've quickly learned after having a baby is the importance of forming a tribe around you. You need other mommies to let you know you are not alone in this. Introducing the "Let's Be Honest Mamas" group. Because let's be honest, it's so easy to check out your Instagram or Snapchat feed each day and see all these pretty squares and cute videos of happy smiley babies. Yes, babies are stinkin' cute, but they can also be stinkin' hard. I love the "Let's Be Honest Mamas" group because it allows you to share true facts about your life without feeling shame or guilt. So make sure to read through our posts, and play along if you want by sharing the hashtag #letsbehonestmamas and tagging me and all of these fun ladies found down below. Because let's be honest, we all need to stick together!

1. Describe a typical day's schedule.

7am - I can always tell how the day is going to go by Zoe's wake-up call. A good day is waking up to the cutest little baby voice talking to her stuffed flamingo. A not so good day is instant cry fest, and boy are those days hard.

7.15am - Breakfast time. Zoe always starts off her days the same - She eats a handful of cheerios and drinks from her water bottle while I heat up her milk. I eat cereal in t-minus 5 minutes while her bottle heats (otherwise I don't get breakfast). We watch the morning news, I feed her her bottle, and we play on the floor. Z loves her ball pit, it's always the first thing she runs to when I put her down.

9am - Gym time. I recently started heading back to the gym. I LOVE the gym, but I've had so much anxiety about what to do with Zoe. I've never left Zoe alone with anyone besides my mother or mother-in-law. And the idea of putting her in the kids club that's provided by the gym terrifies me. I get worried about germs. I get worried that she'll pick up bad habits. I get worried that she'll miss me. I get worried that she'll be crying the whole time. First mom problems. I finally caved and put her in kids club. I mainly spend my time in my kickboxing class watching the class door or my phone for them to call me in but that time apart is good for both of us (at least that is what I'm telling myself).

11am - Quick shower while Zoe pounds on the glass door with a big smile on her face and I splash water at her. This only lasts for about 10 minutes before the entire bathroom is a pigsty.

12pm - Lunch time. Zoe eats the same thing almost every day. Is that okay? She eats a cheese stick, pb&j sandwich, cut up fruit, sometimes craisins. The only way she lets me clean her up afterwards is if I play the FRIENDS theme song. This girl cracks me up!

1pm - Nap time. This lasts anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours. Let's be honest, it's more so on the lower end. She has never been a good napper, so I try to use my time wisely. It's mainly spent eating my lunch in peace. If she sleeps longer I get to read a chapter out of my book, read through some emails, pin, or binge watch This Is Us (finally got on that train).

3pm - I try to leave the house at least once a day otherwise we both go a little stir crazy. Depending on the weather that might only be a 15 minute loop around the neighborhood or we head straight for the playground. I love that Zoe is finally getting big enough to have fun at the playground. Her favorite thing is climbing up all by herself and pushing herself down the slide. Her other favorite thing is to sit at the top of the slide and watch for dogs to walk by. She LOVES dogs and always freaks out when she sees one.

5pm - I feed Zoe her bottle and then get dinner started. I'm challenging myself this year to make at least four new meals a month. So far so good. Thank goodness for Pinterest and all the plethora of ideas.

6.30pm - Bath time. This is Zoe and her daddy's time to bond. It's my favorite thing to listen to him singing to her while she splashes around and I clean up around the house. Then we wrap her up like a little burrito and play peek-a-boo with a blanket before lotion-ing her up, brush her hair, brush her teeth, give her vitamin D drops, clean her ears, diaper, pajamas.

7pm - While I take a shower, Eric plays with Zoe in her room. After my shower I read Zoe 1 million books. She loves her books.

7.45pm - Zoe's bedtime. This is my favorite part of the day because no matter what it always ends the same. I feed her her bottle while she slowly relaxes in my arms. Sometimes she falls asleep, sometimes she doesn't, but no matter what when she finishes she always wraps one arm around my neck while I carry her to her crib. I lay her down, kiss her forehead, stroke her stomach, wave bye-bye, and then close the door.

9pm - Tanya/Eric time. Eric and I always give ourselves an hour to just do our own thing and then we meet up at 9 to snuggle, eat ice cream, watch a movie or tv show before bed. We talk about our days, and Eric always ends with giving me a back massage and braiding my hair. I know, I'm lucky.

10.30pm - In bed.

2. What is one thing as a mama that makes your heart pitter-patter?

I love when I get to just sit and watch Zoe play all by herself. It makes me think that I did something right. I love when she makes herself laugh, when she turns to look at me to make sure I'm watching and she gives me this little closed mouth smile before turning back and playing again. I love when she drags her stuffed monkey around and talks to him. She'll even bring him her toys. Basically listening to her little baby voice is the ultimate greatest. I love when she brings her hands up and raises her shoulders like she's asking you a question.

3. How has being a mother/homemaker challenged you?

Overcoming loneliness. You'd think having a little sidekick 24/7 would never let you feel alone, but sometimes motherhood can be the most isolating thing.

4. Do you struggle with routine or do you have a happy reliable routine down?

Routine is definitely not our strong-suit in this household. The only thing I hold on to is nap time. Everything revolves around nap time. But I'll look forward to that happy reliable routine someday.

5. What are two things you do for yourself to recharge? 

"Me time" is so important when becoming a mother. It's so easy to get swept away in helping your baby, your spouse, and keeping up with household chores before finally turning to yourself. Like the saying goes, you can't help others until you help yourself. Exercising is one great way to refocus and boost my energy to chase after the babe. I also love to just relax and watch trashy tv shows to turn off my brain.

6. How would you describe your parenting style in 3 words?

Relaxed. Compassionate. Learning.

7. When do you feel the most joy in your day? 

Whenever Zoe is truly happy is when I feel the best. It helps reiterate to me that I'm doing okay in this mommy gig after all.

8. Do you ever feel a sense of guilt being a stay at home mom?

I always knew I wanted to be a stay at home mom. I do miss feeling like I'm contributing economically to our family household (and buying myself something is always a struggle), but raising a baby is no joke people. For any mama's out there who have a sense of guilt, trust me, you are doing enough!

9. Share three activities/places/crafts you currently enjoy with your babe.

Activities: Peek-a-boo. Playing Tag. Bath time.
Places: The Park. Indoor Play Spaces. Grandma's House.
Crafts: Pulling Out Markers and Putting Them Back. Finger Painting. Throwing Paper.

10. Lastly, just for fun, how many babies do you want to have?

I looooved being pregnant. I would be pregnant 20 more times if I could, but I think 3 or 4 babies is enough for me and my family.

Make sure to take a look at all the other amazing mama's who participated in the "Let's Be Honest Mamas" post!

Mary Salas - Honey Wild
Carla Natalia Thompson - Curious Natalia
Hannah Renee - Hannah Renee Blog
Amber Hill - Amber Lately
Kacie Ellis - Elements of Ellis 
Kymberly Janelle - Life With Kymberly Janelle 
Victoria Schneider - The Southern Trunk 

ZOE CHILD




Whenever my mom sees Zoe she loves to call her "Zoe child", and for some reason it's my absolute favorite. So this little post is homage to her... and also so you can see some of just the MANY faces that Zoe loves to do on a regular basis. She cracks me up!

Missing this little slice of the Internet and hope to post some more updates soon!
XO 

CHRISTMAS FAMILY PHOTOS


I can't believe it took over a year for us to finally take family photos with our baby girl. Christmas is the best excuse anyhow! Here are some of the photos our good friend Kate took for us. She is seriously the best. Zoe did not want to give any smiles that day but she drew some out of her and was so fun to shoot with. If you are in the Seattle area make sure to look her up!

Can't wait to send out our first official Christmas cards in the next few days!



^^ All I want for Christmas are my two front teeth 😉 ^^
 ^^ Seriously the most loved baby that ever lived. Obsessed with her! ^^
 ^^ These two are twins! Especially their facial expressions. Just the best. ^^

 ^^ My whole world! ^^
SWEATER: American Eagle / PANTS: American Eagle / HAT: Target
 ZOE'S BEANIE: Zara / SWEATER: Zara / PANTS: Zara / SHOES: Nordstrom

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