My New Favorite Party

Life is always crazy, but the second Thanksgiving comes around it becomes a whole new ball game. The holidays are literally just insane. We have the Christmas shopping, wrapping, parties, decorating, baking, parties …. oh so many parties.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good classic party, sipping drinks, catching up with family & friends, laughing, dancing the night away. I live for getting all dressed up, wearing heels. BUT …

My new favorite party is … a party with good old Saint Nick. I am talking about breakfast with Santa. Thankfully for us our local Boys & Girls club throws the best Santa Breakfast.

For just $25 or a gift valued at $25 per family (& all proceeds go to the Boys & Girls Club, bonus!) you get to eat an amazing breakfast, decorate cookies, make ornaments, leather bracelets, & meet holiday unicorns & Santa, plus take in breath taking views at the Voyageur Environmental Center. It seriously everything you could ask for!

The kids got to run around, it wasn’t over crowded, the staff was friendly & all dressed up for the occasion. They were super helpful with the crafts, but really allowed people to do it on their own. My favorite was the leather bracelet.

A real treat was meeting the Holiday unicorn & horse. The kids loved running around outside & feeding the animals. Unicorns are real!

But truly the best part about it all was being with friends & family. Making new traditions & experience the magic of Christmas all over again. This is definitely my kind of party.

Weekly Style | Week 1 

It’s getting cold in Minnesota. The lakes are starting to freeze, the air is dry, & the trees are bare. I really do love this weather, mostly because of the clothes. I can’t get enough layers, patterns, & different textiles.

Glasses: Zenni Optical, Sweater: Heather B, from Hope Chest for $12, Tank Top: Free People, from Hope Chest for $6, Jeans: Levis, from Opitz for $17

My winter essentials are jeans, boots, & sweaters. Duh, the basic-white-girl look! If I added a huge blanket scarf & Carbiou in hand (which I usually sport) then I really would be the epitome of basic-white-girl.

Glasses: Zenni Optical, Sweater: 525 America, from Opitz for $15, Jacket: Lucky Brand, from Opitz for $25, Jeans: Mossimo, from Goodwill for $6

Don’t get me wrong I love layering with scarfs, but seriously it’s the worst for us girls with long hair. After just 15 min of wearing a scarf with my hair down it is tangled into the biggest, unbrushable birds nest. Just not worth it for an everyday staple for me.

Glasses: Zenni Optical, Shirt: Allison Joy, from Hope Chest for $8, Jeans: Mossimo, from Goodwill for $4

So I will just keep my scarfs for dirty hair days, when I am feeling lazy, but want to look polished. What do you other long-haired girls do in the winter? It’s not just scarfs that turn my hair into a hot mess, but also hats & thick turtle neck sweaters. I need your tips!

Upstairs Circus 

When my friend suggested checking out Upstairs Circus all she had to say was bottomless mimosas & I was in, the awesome craft I created was just an added bonus. 

Glasses: Zenni Optical, Sweater: Bow & Drape, from Opitz for $20, Jeans: Mossimo, from Target for $14, Shoes: Timberlands, from DSW for $60, Jacket: Columbia, husbands hand-me-down from his grandpa

This place is seriously the best for a day out with the girls, bachelorette party, or any crafter who loves to sip on drinks while creating. 

We entered Upstairs Circus & were greeted by the nicest staff. We checked in, showed them our IDs & handed them a credit card for any drinks we may have wanted above the mimosas that were included. They handed as tiny little plastic animals & showed us to our table. 

We brought in our own treats, some cupcakes. It turned out we were indeed celebrating something. It was one of my friends first time ever hanging with the girls without her son who was born 2 & half years ago. That’s right first time! We were going to need all of the momsas we could get our hands on.

After we got settled we headed to the back where all of the crafts were on display. There were so many options from house decor, signs, jewelry, & much more. I chose a marble serving tray, I turned my little plastic tiger in & received all the materials I would need along with the directions.

We headed back to our table & got started on our projects. The directions were easy to follow & the staff was great with any questions we may have had.

Not only was the staff nice, but the decor & style of the place was on point. Most DIY studios I feel can be a bit messy & lacking in decor, not Upstairs Circus

The floors were black & white tiles, from the ceiling hung upside down umbrellas, our chairs were modern & clear, & everything was clean. The bar was so cute with fun coloring books on it & an adorable popcorn machine in the corner.

I really couldn’t have asked for a better Sunday-funday. It took about 3 hours for as all to finish. I would say it was an hour of work & 2 hours of laughing with friends & getting a bit tipsy. All of this was just $40. A steal of a deal I thought!

I was so happy with my final product. It is actually something I like & would use. Those DIY painting classes are fun, but usually it is never a painting I enjoy or would hang in my house. 

I really just can’t say enough good things about Upstairs Circus. I highly recommend it. They have many locations around the country. So get the girls together or the hubby & head to your nearest Upstairs Circus. You won’t be disappointed! 

White After Labor Day is a Must

The saying goes ‘no white after Labor Day,’ this is obviously a dated rule of fashion that must stop NOW! I wore my white jeans a few times this season already & every single time I have, I have got many compliments. “I love that your still rocking the white,” “you look great,” “will you be wearing white all winter?”

Glasses: Zenni Optical, Coat: hand-me-down from sister, Sweatshirt: Disney, from Opitz for $10, Jeans: J Brand, from Opitz for $8.60, Shoes: Vans, from DSW for $45

The answer is YES. The way to make white work in fall & winter is easy. It’s all about the layers & textures. I chose thick wools & patterns to go with my white jeans. All of my white sweaters have fun details so it doesn’t look basic.

Glasses: Zenni Optical, Sweater: Trina Turk, from Opitz for $12

So put on your white jeans or sweater & rock it all season long. Forget the rule & I know you too, will get ton of compliments.

Glasses: Zenni Optical, Sweater: no brand, from Opitz for $12, Shirt: Liz Claiborne, from JCPenny for $18, Tank Top: Michael Stars, from Opitz for $5, Jeans: J Brand, from Opitz for $8.60

Living in Construction 

I live in construction & have lived in construction since we moved into our home 4 years ago. Not just a little bathroom makeover, but whole house makeover. We moved the stairs, took out walls, new roof, new windows, redid all of the electrical & plumbing, striped vinyl off of original hard wood floors, the list goes on & on. The best part is we are doing it ourselves.

This is me 8 months pregnant with Rowan, helping Tyler pour concrete for our new stairs. Glasses: Zenni Optical, Shirt: Husbands work shirt, Leggings: Some pregnancy leggings I found at a consignment shop, Shoes: DKNY, from Opitz for $5

If you know me, I like things a certain way. I hate clutter & messes. You would think & I thought that there would be no way I could survive a house remodel, a long-on-going house remodel, that still isn’t done 4 years later. But I am & I am not going crazy, thanks to Tyler.

My husband is an electrician, but before that he worked for his dad building houses, he started at just 4 years old with little tasks & I can tell already that’s going to be Rowan. I am so lucky, I married the ultimate handy man. But the real best part about Tyler is he has his priorities right, which helps me with this whole living in construction thing so much easier.

Family really does come first to Ty. The other night at a family event one of Tyler’s uncles asked us how many kids we want. We replied with our usual answer, 3 or 4. He replyed joking that we must not like money, to which Tyler replied

“You can’t hug or hangout with money, it’s way more fun to have a kid”

So the house might not be done, & it might never be done. I may not like that the trim isn’t up & my walk-in closet is not started, the basement isn’t even close, the garage is falling apart … but we are fine & healthy. Tyler is working his non-existent butt off everyday, but he is also at the park with us every night, eating dinner, spending quality time together. The house really can wait. 

Parenting … Preschool at 2

Lets be honest we really don’t know what we are doing when it comes to parenting or at least I don’t. I struggle with this on the daily, “am I handling this right,” “am I overreacting,” “did I say the wrong thing,” the list goes on & on.

Glasses: Zenni Optical, Shirt: H by Borefaux from Opitz for $6, Pants: Mossimo, from Goodwill for $4, Shoes: Birkenstocks, from Opitz for $35

My biggest fear is messing my kid up. I’ve heard so many stories about how just about anything can affect your child later in life, in good ways & bad. Not giving them enough attention, giving them to much attention, over praising, pushing/encouraging them into things, the list goes on & on.

At the end of the day I really just want my child to be happy. I want to give my child every opportunity in life. I want to give him a step-up & set him up for success.

That is why we chose to send Rowan to preschool at the early age of 2. My husband, Tyler, really struggled in school. He claims to have had the longest IEP in the history of his school. I don’t know if I believe that, but Tyler couldn’t sit still, got frustrated easily, & didn’t do great in a classroom setting. Tyler’s parents THANKFULLY ended up getting him help through special education around 2nd grade.

If Tyler had got help in preschool, maybe those first few years of school wouldn’t have been so hard. Maybe he would have already learned tools to help him be more successful in the classroom.

Rowan is a lot like Tyler already. So this is why we chose preschool early, I want to give Rowan a leg up. I want him to flourish in school & have all the tools needed for him to be as successful as he can be.

Mom Style …say Yes to new trends

Sometimes I feel that just because I am a mom that I should dress a certain way. That there are these unspoken rules about what is & isn’t exceptable to wear. That you need to cut your long locks & have a “mom” haircut.

Glasses: Zenni Optical, Shirt: Free People, from Opitz for $10, Bandana: from Goodwill for $1.50

Obviously, I think this is ridiculous. Just because you’re a mother or older doesn’t mean you have to stop following fashion trends.

Glasses: Zenni Optical, Jacket: Bagetelle, from Opitz for $32, Body Suit: Xhiliration, from Target for $12, Jeans: Frame, from Opitz $60, Shirt: Velvet, borrowed from husband, Shoes: Splendid, from Opitz for $32

Don’t get me wrong, I still can get a bit self-conscious about trying new things. Thinking “Do I look like I am 12?” “Can I really pull this off? “I did wear this when I was 12.” The truth is I need to shut down those thoughts. Every single time I try out a new style, step out of my comfort zone, I am always complimented. If that’s not saying keep doing you, I don’t know what is.

Glasses: Zenni Optical, Sweater: Bishop + Young, from Hope Chest for $12, Tank Top: H by Borefaux, from Opitz for $6, Jeans: Mossimo, from Goodwill for $4, Shoes: Jessica Simpson, from Opitz for $30, Hat: Target, from Goodwill for $5

The key to trying new trends is really just to try it. If you want to wear something new, do it. Find what you love about that style or outfit & chose the main thing & implement into your daily look.

Glasses: Zenni Optical, Jacket: Bagatelle, from Opitz for $32, Shirt: Guess, from Opitz for $16, Jeans: J Crew, from Goodwill for $8, Shoes: Splendid, from Opitz for $32

For example I was LOVING the choker trend with a tight bodysuit. I was a little nervous about trying both. So I decided to first try the choker. I was a little nervous, because I definitely was wearing a choker in my 5th grade yearbook photo. I didn’t want to look like I was trying to be in elementary school again. I really did love it though. So I bought one. (& since then I have bought 5 more) I tried it with a simple outfit that I felt confident in. Then the next time I tried it with a bodysuit. Baby steps.

Glasses: Zenni Optical, Body Suit: Xhiliration, from Target $12, Sweater: Kensie, from Goodwill for $5, Jeans: Mossimo, from Goodwill for $6, Shoes: Rebel, from Goodwill for $5

So next time your thinking that I can’t wear that. Stop. Put it back on. & Rock it. 

Glasses: Zenni Optical, Jacket: Gap, from Goodwill $5, Tank Top: Free People, from Opitz for $10, Jeans: Frame, from Opitz $60, Shoes: Mossimo, from thrift store $5, Bandana: from Goodwill for $1.50