Fall decor

It’s Fall y’all! The holiday season is upon us and decorating my house is my absolute favorite thing to do! I should say “our” favorite thing to do because my girls love to help me. Walking around my house and seeing all the reds, oranges, leaves and pumpkins just makes me smile.

Another great thing about blogging my decor is that I have a place to reference next year when I’ll have forgotten where everything goes. So many times I take out my stuff and cannot remember at all where I put it the year prior. I know I could find a new place for everything but I’m a creature of habit, and I love tradition.

I’ll start in the kitchen. The area behind my sink has a great little ledge that is the perfect place for glass jars full of pumpkins, acorns and leaves, vases with fall foliage and pumpkin-scented candles. I think everything here is from Michaels, besides the candle, from Bath & Body Works of course.

There is another ledge in our kitchen where we keep our wine and fruit, and that’s home to one of my favorite pumpkins.

Next up is the fireplace and mantel in the family room. I really love the brick of the fireplace, it’s the perfect backdrop for pumpkins.

This is our half bath downstairs off the family room. I found the print online for free and I’m obsessed. It really completed the space.

Now off to the living room! At our old house, I used to put fall garland on the mantle but now that we have the TV there, it doesn’t really work. I wrapped the staircase with it and I absolutely love it there.

I have small pumpkins here and there in the living room, keeping it simple.

The dining room is simple as well. A burlap runner with a fall candle, and a pumpkin can vase with fall flowers.

Going upstairs, I have this lovely ceramic pumpkin on the shelving at the top of the stairs. It used to be an air freshener, you poured oil in the hole and it soaked the sticks but it’s a few years old so the oil has dried up. Still looks great as decor though!

Onto my girls rooms and their bathroom. They each have one pumpkin in their room – Sophie, a small sparkly one, and Lyla, a medium-sized velvet one. I love them both. The bathroom has fall-themed stickers for the mirror and a small case with fall flowers. We do the stickers for every holiday. They love to help put them up.

And last is the playroom, one of my favorite rooms in the house. There is a gallery wall that is princess-themed but I have one frame that I change out for holidays. Normally there is a princess subway art print but for Fall, I change it to a happy autumn print. There are two pumpkins on the mantle, one glitter and one homemade, and a shopkins pumpkin on the table, perfect for my shopkins-lovin’ girls.

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A look back – Halloween 2014

With Halloween quickly approaching (this Saturday! ekkk!), I thought it would be fun to look back at last year’s festivities. Halloween has become Lyla’s favorite holiday (that is until Christmas arrives) so I do my best and try to make it really special for her. Halloween fell on a Friday last year, so I surprised her with a Halloween themed breakfast, a balloon, card, and a fun, little message on the chalkboard.

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We had been watching the forecast like crazy because it had been raining on and off earlier in the week and rain was

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I’m back!

Wow, I can’t believe its been close to a year since I’ve done a post. I’ve thought about this blog pretty much every single day during that time and often wondered, why I couldn’t just sit down and write a post? Truth is, once the holidays hit, things in our world got pretty crazy. I underestimated how busy things would get at Lyla’s school, I underestimated how difficult it would be to have a child with a birthday the day before Christmas Eve, and I really underestimated how hard it would be to watch my parents move back to Florida. I really focused all my time and energy went into my kids and my family and my blog just wasn’t a priority in my life during this time. But I missed it. I really did. I would literally write out posts in my head but just never sit down and write them out. I really hope to get back into a normal posting routine and continue to share my world.

That being said, I have so much to catch-up on! So much has happened in our lives since last Thanksgiving. Some good, some sad but so much happy! I hope I can maybe do a quick (yeah right) recap of all that’s gone on in the last nine months. It feels good to be back!!

Weekend recap.

I picked a rather normal, uneventful weekend to do a recap of but you know what, sometimes that is what I love reading about most on other blogs, simple, ordinary, day-to-day life. My parents stayed with us the weekend prior and we went to Tracy’s Taste of the Valley festival and were pretty busy all weekend so we knew we wanted to take it easy this weekend. Sometimes those are the best weekends, the ones with no plans. Friday morning started out with my little baby looking way too big. I swear, the times goes by even faster with number two, what a sweetheart!

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Friday afternoon, Lyla, Sophie and I headed to downtown Tracy. We had an amazing drink at this adorable coffee shop when we first moved here and I promised Lyla we would go back one day. When I walked out of my bedroom wearing a hat, Lyla said, “Oh, I’m going to wear my hat too so we can match,” um, heart melting! Hearing things like that makes me so happy. When I was little, I used to love to match my mom. I’ll be sad when these days are over. Here we are in our hats ready to head downtown.

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My hubby took my car to work that day so we got to cruise around in his car, a Chevy Volt. It was my first time driving an electric, hybrid car and I was a little hesitant. Maybe I thought it would drive differently or something, I don’t know what it was but I was scared. Of course, there was no reason to be. I actually loved driving his car. I missed the space of mine (I have a GMC Terrain) but it was fast, zippy and used no gas, winning! Plus, it looked all futuristic inside.

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Our first stop was Baristas.We discovered this place back in July when we went to the Farmers Market downtown and Lyla had to use the restroom. It was super hot that day so we ducked into the closest place we could find to use the restroom. We ended up ordering the best drink ever, the strawberry lemonade blended. We are loyal Starbucks customers and I mean loyal but we just love this place. It’s adorable and everything we’ve ever tried there has been really, really good. I love the feel of it, its got a good vibe and is decorated so cute. Lyla, of course, ordered her strawberry lemonade blended and I decided on a pumpkin caramel nut mocha blended. I never order these type of coffee drinks because I know they are typically very high in calories but I am so glad I did. This drink was amazing. I keep raving to my hubby that he has to try this place. I cannot wait to go back and try more items off the extensive menu. We’ve only tried the baked goods but the lunch food looks great as well.

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We walked around downtown for a bit, stopping in a few of the stores there and browsing around. Lyla is the best window shopping buddy. She asked me to take her picture in what she called the “secret garden” – here she is. It was getting pretty hot so we decided to head home.

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We made a quick stop at Safeway and Sophie was being her typical, smiley self. She has such a happy persona 🙂

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Sometimes John gets home later on Friday nights so the girls and I went ahead and ate dinner. I snapped this pic and sent it to him to let him know his dinner was ready and waiting, nice and warm. I made balsamic chicken in the crock pot and it came out so good.

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Saturday morning came and Lyla, who started to complain of a sore throat on Friday, woke up feeling really sick as did I. It was such a bummer because we had plans to work around the house this weekend and I was in no shape to be doing that. We did go to Costco for the first time since we’ve lived in Tracy (exciting!) and I’m happy to report that it was barely crowded! Costcos in San Jose are notorious for being insanely crowded all the time, especially on the weekends and it was pretty crazy to see one that wasn’t that busy, especially on a Saturday. I love going to Costco. We aren’t regular Costco shoppers so when we do go, I love to browse around and go up and down every aisle, much to my hubby’s delight.

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Sophie has only recently started to ride in the cart so it was really exciting to see both of my girls in the double cart – Lyla is smothering her sister as usual – lol.

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Can anyone guess where we went to dinner on Saturday night? Does the picture below give you any hints?

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Yep, Five Guys! I texted John on Thursday and said, I’m craving a cheeseburger bad and we are getting one this weekend. I knew that would  make my hubby happy because he loves burgers and I only eat them every so often. We eat very, very healthy during the week and I workout 4-5 times a week so when I crave a burger, I let myself enjoy one, everything in moderation is my motto. Boy was it good!

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Saturday night I started to feel really sick and I hate being sick. I absolutely cannot stand it. I’m a go, go, go type of person and I don’t like it when I can’t do all the things I’m used to doing. I was also planning to go on a long, solo run Sunday morning and I was so bummed my throat starting to hurt really bad. Sophie also started showing the same symptoms as Lyla and she was not happy about it. She has never been sick in her eight months of life and she was just super fussy and had a hard time getting to sleep that night. We were all hanging out in our bedroom and Lyla asked me to take some pictures of her and her girl, her mini Lyla, in their matching pajamas. This made me smile even though I was feeling so bad.

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Sophie slept horribly Saturday night and so did I. I woke up Sunday feeling like I had been hit by a truck so my plans of going on a long run and doing some yard work were replaced with sitting on the couch and trying to rest… kind of a hard thing to do when you have two kids. My sweet hubby went out to Jamba Juice to get smoothies for Lyla and I. Normally, I make smoothies for us almost every day but we were all out of frozen fruit and I was not in the mood to make anything. Thankfully my appetite returned around dinner time and John made an amazing meal. We had picked up the most beautiful piece of Halibut at Costco on Saturday and he prepared it just wonderfully.

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So there you have it, our weekend recap! We were home a lot since the girls and I were sick and as I type this, I’m still sick and nowhere near feeling better. I hope to shake this virus soon!

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Dress: Carters via Carters Store, Headband: Nordstrom. I figured since I did an OOTD post for both myself and Lyla, I had to do one for Sophie. Today, she picked out her own clothes. Some days I have an exact idea of what I want her to wear and others, I have no idea. On those days, I’ll hold her in front of her closet and let her pick (i.e. whatever she lunges for first) her own outfit. It’s great that she helps me out with these big decisions. She must have been in a dress mood today. This one is super cute. Its navy blue, cotton and a size six months (she is eight and it still fits, score!). What a doll!

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Skirt and top both Calson via Nordstrom, Shoes: Isla via Nordstrom Rack. This is one of my comfy yet cute mom outfits. The tank and skirt are so soft and super comfortable. The skirt has a drawstring and zipper detail, and the tank is simple but it fits really well and has a seam down the center in the back. I love simple details like that. My style has changed so much since becoming a stay at home mom of two. I still want to look put together but I have to be comfortable. I don’t wear much jewelry these days because Sophie grabs it, pulls it and eats it and as much as I love earrings, I don’t want one pulled out of my ear. I LOVE these shoes. I tried to get a close-up of the sides because I love the double strap and the gold detail on the front gives them a little something and you cannot go wrong with leopard. I’m still working on the art of the “selfie” – I tried to get Lyla to take my picture but she wasn’t having it. 

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Kindergarten picture day.

Today is picture day! Although I’m not too fond of the standard school picture (hello 80’s backgrounds!), I still get excited for picture day. This isn’t Lyla’s first experience with this since she went to preschool and pre-K but this is her first picture day in elementary school so it seemed a little more special.

We had an outfit all picked out and ready to go last night only to realize this morning that the headband that went with the outfit was left in my parents car (we went out of town with them for Labor Day), omg! Cue last minute outfit change! I’ve really been trying to be a stickler and not let Lyla change her clothes in the morning. We pick out an outfit the night before and I let her know that she cannot change her mind in the morning. She MUST wear what she picked out. This may sound harsh but I know my daughter and I know if I start to give in and let her change, we will be changing outfits all morning long and we’ll never make it to school on time. Anyways, I let it slide this morning because none of her other headbands worked with the outfit we had picked out and we both actually ended up liking the new outfit a lot better.

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This is her new pose. She got it from a Barbie movie. Barbie and the Mermaid Tale 2. I love it.

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I think she looked perfect for picture day. My beautiful, sweet baby girl!! I can’t wait to see how the pictures turn out, 80’s background and all.

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A last minute idea.

I’ve been craving homemade chocolate chip cookies and thought why not turn my craving into a fun, after school activity for Lyla and I to do together? Then I got to thinking and realized we’ve made it through one month of Kindergarten and its been great. Lyla loves going to school, loves learning and loves making new friends. I knew we would have extra cookies and I thought it would be nice to share some with her teacher to show her just how much we appreciate her hard work. 

I put the cookies in a Tupperware container we had at home, found a great free printable online, wrote a nice message on the back and packaged it up in a cute, teal polka-dot bag. I wanted the printable to be tag-sized so I could punch a hole in the side and tie it to the handles on the bag but my hubby printed it large so I had to work with what I had. In the end, what really matters is that Lyla’s teacher feel appreciated. 

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#tbt 4th of July

I love holidays, I just love them, each and every single one. And the 4th is no exception. I love to decorate with stars and stripes and of course, dress up in cute 4th of July outfits. I love to hang out with family, drink wine and eat good food and that is exactly what you do on the 4th. AND my stepsister’s birthday is on the 4th, how cool is that?

This year we got to celebrate in our new hometown. That week, someone in the neighborhood left a flyer on our door for a street party. It said to bring your grills and chairs out front, and of course your fireworks! After living in San Jose for so long where fireworks are banned (except for those used in the big fireworks shows), this was a big deal. Growing up, we always celebrated the 4th on the street in front of our house, setting off fireworks. I was so excited for my girls to experience a bit of a small town 4th of July celebration and I myself absolutely adore little neighborhood celebrations. I love a sense of community. We invited my parents to come up and join us for some good, old fashioned family fun.

One of the best parts of being a girl mom is dressing up my two little angels. Each holiday, I get so excited to find great outfits for them wear. Both girls took a nap this day (its a pretty amazing feat when both girls sleep at the same time) and Sophie woke up first. I couldn’t wait to get her in her star spangled dress. She is such a doll! 

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Lyla woke up not much later and I quickly got her ready. I just loved this outfit on her. It’s one of my favorite 4th of July outfits by far. Typically, I forgo matching outfits for coordinating ones. And these two outfits looked great together. And you’d think I would have gotten a picture of the two of them together, right?? Well I was too busy running around trying to get everything ready for the day and forgot #momfail.

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In the past, when we were still a family of three, I would have one of us wear red, one white and one blue on the 4th (my hubby is usually a very good sport and will whatever I pick for him). This makes for such cute pictures. Since we are now a family of four the whole, red, white and blue idea doesn’t really work so this year I got to play with prints and patterns for the girls. I was too tired and overwhelmed from moving to try and get my hubby to play along so I flew solo on the 4th of July coordination. I wanted something simple yet cute and comfortable for myself. I got the best pair of Joe’s jean shorts earlier this Summer and knew that is what I wanted to wear on the 4th. I picked up the blue tank that week at the mall and paired it with my red star headband. This headband was a complete impulse purchase but it has worked perfectly for other 4th of July outfits years past. I completed the look with a sock bun, my white Kate Spade knock-off studs (thank you Nordstrom Rack!) and my Lyla & Sophie nameplate necklace. Simple, cute, comfortable.

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Since we just moved in the last weekend and had a BIG issue getting all of our stuff (I’ll have to dedicate a post to our move, it was the hardest by far), our house was pretty sparse in terms of furniture, etc. But that didn’t stop us from having fun. We bought a blow-up pool at Walmart that week and Lyla was just dying to use it. We had a blast hanging out, watching her play in the water. Sophie enjoyed it as well.

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I’m bummed we didn’t take more pictures of family this day (I’m usually snapping away all day – I love to take pics!) but again, I was so tired from moving just a week earlier that I let it go. I enjoyed the day with my girls, my parents and my hubby. We met our lovely neighbors from across the street and you’ll never believe where they used to live, Orlando! What a small world. That is right near where I grew up and went to college, crazy!! It was a great, great 4th complete with FIREWORKS! Although, Lyla Rae is scared of loud noises and hates fireworks so when they really started to go off, she couldn’t deal and had to stay inside, #storyofmylife.

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