Monday, September 23, 2013

Olivia: 15-16 months

❤️Olivia is 16 months and is learning so much everyday! She's still our little peanut at 21 lbs. and 29 inches tall. Her hair is getting more blonde and her eyes are a beautiful shade of blue.

She is talking so much now. She clearly says: mommy, dada, juju, nana, ball, trash, up, down, baby, please, yes, no, dog dog, me, mine, shoes, juice, ow, ouch, uh oh, thanks, and probably a few more words that I'm forgetting. If she can't say what she wants or how she feels, she's great at getting her feelings communicated to us. 

She's walking and running... and chasing her big sister. They play together often now and it's so much fun watching them grow up together.

Olivia's favorite food is cheese without a doubt. She also loves strawberries, pineapples, corn, yogurt, ham, chicken, and of course, Goldfish crackers. She still nurses about 4 times a day. We have surpassed my goal big time and I'm so proud of our nursing relationship. 

We love you, Olivia!




Tuesday, September 17, 2013

family: SC in September

We had the exciting opportunity to go to South Carolina and stay at a beach house in Folly Beach for my best friend's wedding! We helped plan, decorate, and enjoyed the beautiful scenery! Julianna was the flower girl. She was super excited about her job until it was time to do it! She froze up, hid behind mommy (I was also in the wedding), and I ended up holding her. Then she discovered that she never threw her flowers so she threw her flowers towards the bride and on the beach after the ceremony began. Of course, she wouldn't just let me hold her. She wanted to get down and explore in the sand and by the rocks on the beach. And her flower girl craziness wouldn't be complete without exposing her princess panties to the whole beach while she bent over to pick up shells. But it was a gorgeous wedding! Everything was great and the weather was so perfect. We had such a great time!
 
Congratulations, Brittney and Gabe!














family: Apple Picking

I love this time of year! It's not quite fall weather yet but let the fall festivities begin! I love pumpkins, apple crisp, hayrides, and cool fall mornings! Fall is definitely my favorite season! We kicked it off today by going apple picking with my mom group. We had our bi-weekly at date at Millstone Creek Orchards. This was my 3rd visit and it never disappoints. We successfully picked 6 lbs. of apples and enjoyed a delicious apple cider slushie a with friends. Such a perfect morning!


















Julianna: first day of preschool

Julianna is officially attending preschool! She had her first day on September 4 and has been so excited for this new adventure. Since I only work part-time currently, I had planned to work with her at home and essentially do homeschool pre-schooling. Well, when people say that your children will listen to other people better than you, I believe that. Give me a room full of 22 third graders and I can teach them anything. Give me my own 3 year old and nothing will get accomplished. Julianna needs structure that preschool provides as well as the socialization with other children her age. So far she is doing really well and learning so much. She looks forward to going 3 mornings a week. And I'm so happy that this has been a good transition for her after just being at home with mommy for over a year!








Friday, September 13, 2013

thrifty: August outfits

Here are a few of my favorite outfits from the month of August:

Family Dollar shorts // J. Crew Factory shirt & bracelets  // Toms

Target shirt & wedges // thrifted skirt // Groop Dealz necklace & spike bracelet // Sira & Mara bracelet

Groop Dealz necklace // thrifted polo & shorts // J. Crew Factory bracelet // Target sandals

Target dress & wedges // Groop Dealz necklace // Sira & Mara bracelet

Target dress & sandals // Groop Dealz necklace & pink bracelet // J. Crew Factory bracelet 

Target sandals // thrifted dress // Old Navy bangles // J. Crew Factory bracelet

Gap shirt // Old Navy shorts // Target sandals // Sira & Mara jewelry 

Old Navy shorts // thrifted shirt // Target sandals // Our World Boutique necklace // J. Crew Factory, Sira & Mara, Groop Dealz, and Old Navy bracelets

Target dress & sandals // Groop Dealz necklace // J. Crew Factory bracelet // Old Navy bangles

Forever 21 shirt // Old Navy skirt & bangles // Our World Boutique necklace // Target sandals // J. Crew Factory bracelet

Target shirt // J. Crew Factory shorts & bracelet // Luxe Craving necklace 

J. Crew Factory shirt & bracelet // Groop Dealz necklace & pink bracelet // thrifted shorts // Target sandals

thrifty: tips

My thrifty tips for finding goodies at thrift stores...
  • Go often! To find the best stuff you have to go thrifting on a regular basis so that you don't miss out on any great finds. I go at least once a week to my regular thrift store.
  • There is usually a "best day" to go. For many of my thrift stores it's Mondays. A lot of people make donations on Saturdays and often the new stuff isn't put out until at least Monday.
  • Check out the racks of stuff that hasn't been put out yet. I always find amazing stuff there because no one has looked through it yet.
  • Find out if your thrift store has a customer savings program. For example, Goodwill has a Preferred Customer program. For about $15 per year, you can save 10% every time you shop! It will pay for itself in no time if you shop regularly.
  • Most people say they don't have the patience to go through all of the stuff so here's a trick I use. I look at the fabric. You can tell a lot about the quality of an item by just looking at the fabric. I don't bother even looking at anything that looks worn out, faded, or the fabric doesn't look like it's of good quality. Josh makes fun of me for this one, but I also just go down the aisle and touch the fabric to see if it's good quality. Good brands = good feeling fabric!
  • Speaking of brands, I have a list of brands on my phone that I look for. This list would vary depending on your taste in clothing but some of my favorites are J. Crew, Gap, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Lucky, Guess, and anything from Anthropologie. These brands generally have great quality clothing so even if it's second hand, it's typically going to be in good condition.
  • Look everywhere! I've found women's clothing in the men's and children's sections of the stores.
  • Sizing is so different from brand to brand so don't be afraid to try on a large if you typically wear a small. I've found some really great items by giving an item that wasn't my size a chance.
  • See if your thrift store runs any sales. I have a favorite thrift store that has daily deals but they also take 50% of all clothing on Mondays. I love a good sale!
  • Shop for the whole family! About 80% of our wardrobe is from a thrift store. I find amazing clothes for the girls at thrift stores!
  • Styling your thrifted items is the fun part- I love mixing my thrifted items with items that I've found at regular retail stores. You can make a thrifted item work with the latest trends!
  • Being patient is essential. You won't find a ton of stuff that works for you every time but don't get discouraged. A piece or 2 at a time is fantastic and sometimes I leave with nothing. Don't buy it if you don't love it because it will just hang in your closet and end up back at the Goodwill in a few months.
  • Look out of season. This especially works well for children because kid's clothes don't ever really go out of style. I buy summer clothes in the winter and winter clothes in the summer. I've had such great luck with this! I bought so many gorgeous summer dresses for Julianna this past winter.
  • There are certain times of the year to be sure to shop. Always go at the end of December. Everyone is cleaning out their closet for tax deductions. I've found amazing clothes, toys, and more! Also, spring is a great time to shop at thrift stores. Particularly around March when most people are doing their "spring cleaning."
  • Have something in mind that you are looking for to focus your search. It can be really overwhelming to enter a thrift store if you aren't used to digging through stuff to find a bargain. Focus on jeans if that's what you need or a particular pattern that you love.
Feel free to e-mail me at emily.soto@live.com if you have any thrifting questions!

Happy Thrifting!
My thrift store find today- this brand new Fossil jacket for $5! So perfect for fall!
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