Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Spreading a little LOVE (in Sloan's room!)

Sloan is definitely my daughter that is most like me (Phayre is laid back exactly like Eric, we're just not entirely sure where her wild and crazy side comes from!).  I feel like Sloan and my relationship  is so special because we just "get" each other.  One thing we definitely have in common is our love for holidays!  And decorating for holidays!  She get's so excited to help me decorate and is equally as sad when it's time to take the decorations down (she talked about missing our Christmas tree until last week).

This last weekend Sloan and I put up some Valentine decorations in her bedroom and I seriously think I made her entire year!  She was so excited and helpful, it was adorable.  When we were all done she couldn't wait to show her sister.  They twirled around and looked at books until I finally forced them to go downstairs and eat some lunch!  It's the little things you know!

My very sweet friend Amy from Pearl & Jane made all of the Valentine decorations and I'm so impressed by the quality!  These will definitely last year after year!  Amy is offfering all of you 10% off with code BABYBROWN! I hope you enjoy a peek inside Sloan's festive room and get some good ideas for your littles room!  I so highly recommend throwing some decorations up in their room, it will make them feel so special!



Valentine's decorations c/o Pearl & Jane // bed // bedding // book ledges // girls dresses c/o Remie Girl // Bows c/o Ellia May Designs // "Loved" sign above bed is old and I couldn't find anything similar

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Hello Fresh: Making moms lives easier with every delivery

If you know me well, it's no secret that meal planning and cooking are NOT my favorite thing to do.  I'm actually a pretty good cook, but since having children cooking has become a chore and much less of a passion.  Meal planning, shopping, AND preparing a meal all while taking care of young children is hard.  While it's hard and very time consuming, it's also incredibly important to me that I feed my family healthy and nutritious meals.  It's a struggle (and a pressure!) that I'm sure every mom feels.

Recently, I've been majorly failing in the meal planning department.  We have been so busy on the weekends (when I normally meal plan) that I end up running to the grocery store on Monday mornings and throwing a bunch of random stuff into my cart.  Dinners are scattered and hectic and I feel so much guilt when I don't have a meal ready when Eric gets home.  He works so hard all day so that I am able to stay home with our daughters, so having dinner ready for him is important to me.  It's like my way of saying, "thanks for working so hard for us today babe!"

We recently tried out Hello Fresh and I've been dying to share our experience because the week that we used the service was incredible.  I didn't have to plan or shop for a thing, every ingredient and recipes showed up at my door, and dinner was ready and waiting when Eric got home each night.  The meals were healthy and SO delicious and I think we might be hooked for life.

Hello Fresh is a meal delivery service that plans and shops for your meals.  They send you a box full of all the ingredients you'll need plus easy step-by-step recipes for each meal.  The meals are all full of fresh ingredients and are all dietitian approved.

I assumed that the meals would be pretty straight forward (as in easy to prepare) and taste good.  My biggest concern was portion size.  Because the meals are so "healthy", I worried that they would also be tiny!  I was so relieved when our box showed up and I realized how much food they sent for each meal!  The meat sizes were very generous (which Eric loved) and a few times we even had a little bit of leftovers (which Eric also loved).  The food was so incredibly flavorful, much more flavorful than something I could have thought up on a weeknight.  They were also super kid friendly, our girls ate all of the meals that we chose.

Each meal took me about thirty minutes to prepare and cook.  Which is about as much time as I can get away with before one of my girls becomes needy.  None of the meals were super complicated and the recipes were very easy to follow.  There was a little vegetable chopping involved with each recipe and that was about the hardest part.  I think it's because I felt so much more relaxed about cooking, but it actually felt fun preparing the meals!  And the girls even pulled chairs up and helped me make two of the meals.  And by "help", I mean making a massive mess but they had a lot of fun ;).  There are different plans you can choose from depending on the size of your family, you can see the plans here.  We went with the family plan and it was perfect.

We absolutely plan on using Hello Fresh again!  If I'm being totally honest, we probably couldn't afford to use it every week (although I wish we could!!).  But we could definitely use it a week or two a month, trying to plan on using it during busier weeks when planning, shopping, and cooking is too stressful.  I felt so good about feeding my family quality, healthy meals when we used the service.  And not having to spend the time planning and shopping for meals was amazing.

I highly recommend trying out Hello Fresh, I promise you will not be disappointed in the food!  Eric and I were talking after we had tried it for a week and we both thought this would be the perfect service to gift someone when they have a baby!  Cooking is so hard right after having a baby, but you're craving yummy home cooked meals.  Obviously it's a great service to use anytime, but that popped into both our heads after using the service and realizing how much easier it makes life!

Just for you guys, you can save $35 off of your first box with code BABYBROWN35 (how generous is that!).  And after thinking back about all the yummy Hello Fresh food that we ate, I'm starving now!  Time to go order another box!

Cherry glazed pork chops with cous cous.  They were seriously DELISH!

I partnered with Hello Fresh for this post, but all opinions are 100% my own!  

Monday, January 23, 2017

Up, up, and away with Mini Boden // DIY Cape

It's no secret that Sloan and Phayre are quite the girly girls.  It's all tutus and princesses over here.  Every once in awhile, it's important to mix things up and do something a little different with the girls though.  I like to expose them to different activities and interests so that they can decide what they like.

Yesterday we made superhero capes and the girls absolutely loved it!  It was pretty far out of the princess realm that we usually stick to and really so meaningful.  The capes were totally free to make and so easy.  I cut them out while the girls were eating a snack and then the got right to decorating.  Sloan and I talked about how powerful girls are and how important it is to help others stay safe.  We talked about nice ways to help others and how that makes other people feel.  The activity was fun and easy and ended up being much more meaningful than I even thought it would be.  Sloan and I had such a great conversation and she's actually brought it up and few times since we made the capes!

When it comes to art projects, easy and free are always my top priorities (it's the former teacher in me!).  I grabbed an old pillow case (it was actually a king size pillow case, but any size will work), drew the outline of the cape, and cut it out.  I didn't cut the capes out perfectly, but that's the beauty in kids art- it doesn't have to be perfect (or even pretty!).  The girls went to town painting their capes (with washable paint!) and then Sloan talked me into letting her add glitter to hers (so messy!) and P ended up painting herself!  It was a perfect gloomy and rainy day activity, followed by a sink bath!  Once the capes were dry, the girls put them on and immediately began flying around the house!  So easy and so free!

Mini Boden actually just released the cutest spring line inspired by heroes and rescue and that's what inspired me to do something a little different with the girls!  I love this line because it promotes heroes and rescue to boys AND girls!  The clothing is so darling (and soft and well made because it's Mini Boden!!).  I especially love this superhero tee for girls and this coastal rescue sweatshirt for boys!

I have teamed up with a group of amazing bloggers to give one of you a $500 Mini Boden gift card!!!  See below to enter!  And be sure to visit their sites for more cute styles and heroic fun. The Chirping Moms have a DIY  cardboard rescue boat & super hero accessories. To go along with the accessories Lay Baby Lay has DIY super hero capes. Hello Happiness visited local heroes to say thank you and I Love You More Than Carrots has a yummy rescue themed snack & hero masks. Seven Graces is sharing why her kids are her heroes. For great spring style inspiration, visit Style SmallerJordan & CoFancy Ashley and Walking in Memphis in Heels. #minibodentotherescue

You can also save 15% and get free shipping on orders of $49 or more at Boden with code 2E9T (valid through 1/29/17).

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Friday, January 13, 2017

Valentines Round up for Littles!

You guys, Valentines Day is in one month (and one day, but who's really counting?!)!  I've seriously missed all of our Christmas decor and have been craving a holiday to celebrate (and decorate for!).  I love Valentines Day, I mean who doesn't love hearts, cupid, and love?!  Today I decided to share some of my favorite Valentine's clothes and accessories for littles instead of a Friday Favorites.  Because these things are allll my faves right now!

I just put up some Valentine decorations around the house and the house finally doesn't look bare after taking down our Christmas decorations!  The girls and I have been reading lots of Valentine books and it has Sloan so excited to exchange Valentines cards at preschool.  It's no secret that I'm a major occasional dresser... I love a good theme.  I picked up some cute Valentine pajamas and tee's for the girls and I can't wait for them to wear them!  I rounded up some of my favorites for boys and girls and linked everything below!  Happy V-Day dressing!!

Poppy dress / Blush striped cardigan (available in limited quantities on January 20th from June and January!) / Bows / Candy heart pajamas / Knit heart sweater / Heart tights (toddler size here) / Pom hat / Stud muffin sweater / Infant heart sleeper / Red shoes / Heart on my sleeve tee (look below for a discount!) / Necklace 

Lindsey of Little Dude N Dudette has been generous enough to offer all of you free shipping with code TOGETHER.  I love that her "I wear my heart on my sleeve" tees are gender neutral and can be worn even after Valentine's Day is over!




Sunday, January 8, 2017

Playroom Tour! (updated)

My playroom post has been one of my popular posts which makes sense because it's one of our favorite rooms in the house!  I started getting emails and messages last week saying all of the photos on my playroom tour post weren't showing up anymore.  I ignored them thinking it was just a bug that would work itself out.  I kept getting more and more messages so I decided I better check it out!  It turns out about half the photos from my blog have just disappeared :(.  I have tried everything I can to retrieve them, but poof they're gone.  Deep breaths, I'm letting it go and moving on!

So I decided to snap a few new photos of the playroom, but then realized that this post probably needed to be updated too!  I love how much my kids play in their playroom.  The space is fun, colorful, and practical!  When I first turned our home office into the girls playroom it was soooo girly!  Now that Briar is mobile, he actually goes into the playroom all the time and plays with his toys.  So it's a little less girly now with a good mix of dress up things and vehicle toys :).  I put all of Briar's toys on the bottom shelves so that he can easily access them and I just love walking by and seeing him play.

Corner kitchen here.  Similar corner kitchens here and here.  Tiered baskets here.

We've had  this kitchen for almost two years and the girls still play with it all the time!  It's held up really well and is a nice size for older toddlers.  Eric spray painted all of the hardware gold (not sure of the spray paint brand, it was a matte gold from Michaels) and I sewed little floral curtains.  I tried to use a peel and stick backsplash, but had trouble because there are curves in the kitchen's backsplash.  I ended up modge podging some wrapping paper instead and it turned out so darling.

For the backsplash, I traced the kitchens backsplash (which was just a board) onto the floral wrapping paper.  I cut out the wrapping paper and set it aside.  I painted a thin layer of modge podge onto the backsplash (board) and then laid the wrapping paper that I had cut out onto the backsplash.  I smoothed it out with my hands and made sure that there weren't any air bubbles.  Then I painted another thin layer of modge podge onto the wrapping paper.  I waited for it to dry completely and then painted one more layer of modge podge.  It took a little time, but was actually super easy!

We also spray painted the tiered rack gold.  The paint has chipped a little where the baskets hang from the stand, but it has actually held up really well!  I love how many of you have tagged me in photos of your play kitchens with this rack!  It really is a great storage rack for a playroom!

I've tried to keep up on the comments on this post!  If you have any other questions, please leave them in a comment below!

Marisa :)

Wall color is "whisper white" from BEHR paint, my favorite white wall paint!

Play table is old and no longer available,  similar table here.  Large shelving unit from IKEA.  Rug c/o Rugs USA (size is 5'x7'5").  Star garlands from my fave  Pearl and Jane.

The girls color on this chalkboard wall all the time!  Art print c/o  Sugarboo And Co.


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