KIDS VALENTINE'S DAY GIFT IDEAS

Even though Christmas feels like it was yesterday, I can't pass up the opportunity to spoil Ruby, especially if it's in honor of a holiday celebrating love! While she truly needs nothing I use Valentine's Day and Easter to buy her essentials and a small thing or two she will really love. For instance, we are going on a warm weather vacation at the end of March, so along with a toy and book she will be opening a new bathing suit and pair of sunglasses. It's a win win!

1. Swimsuit - This sweet little swimsuit is the perfect way to celebrate a holiday centered around love. Hearts never go out of season, or style!

2. Nike Sneakers - As warm weather days begin to pop up, the babies need a shoe option other than their fur lined, waterproof, chunky boots. Sneakers are a great weather transition shoe!

3. Book - No one can ever have too many books! This twist on a classic is perfect for reading to your little ones on Valentine's Day.

4. Pajamas - A practical gift that is guaranteed to excite when it hosts their favorite character! In this house, we can NEVER have enough Minnie Mouse. Ever.

5. Sunglasses - These polarized shades are too cute for words. The tortoise shell frames are guaranteed to conjure up a few "oooohs, and ahhhhs," and sunglasses are a necessity as we head into the warmer months.

6. Puzzle - We love puzzles, and the added fun of a magnetic fishing pole makes this particular puzzle a slam dunk. 

7. Swing - If we had a yard for this swing, it would be in my shopping cart ready for purchase. I love this fun alternative to a standard swing and I am sure kiddos would get hours of entertainment out of it.

8. Rain Boots - Before the sunshine comes the rain. With the rainy months approaching a great pair of rain boots make puddle stomping acceptable! 

9. Umbrella - To pair with their rain boots, of course!

10. Legos - While Ruby is still a bit young for traditional Lego sets, the Duplos are perfect for her tiny hands. She loves to build and create, and she LOVES Minnie. She will be opening this on Valentine's Day. 

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SIMPLE VALENTINE'S DAY OUTFIT INSPIRATION

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE to dress up. If I could find an occasion that called for an evening dress at least one night a week I would be all for it. Realistically, I am a mostly stay at home mom who lives for nice jeans and simple tops.

I'll be 30 this year and have NO desire to wear a skin tight, super short, red lace, strapless dress - even on Valentine's Day. Now, I want to feel and look like myself, I want to be comfortable, and I want my husband to feel like a lucky guy. Not too much to ask right? 

Valentine's Day looks should be attainable, and exciting, but they should also be "you."  I think a great fitting pair of skinny jeans (distressed if you want to step it up a notch), and a strappy top make the perfect match. Paired with a classic black pump, jewel toned bag and lipstick, perfection.

Easy, simple, classic, subtle, yet still incredibly sexy! 

Top | Jeans | Purse | Heels | Nail Polish | Lipstick (Dark Side)

WHERE HAVE I BEEN?

Good question..."Where have I been?"

Well I haven't been doing anything too crazy I just haven't been blogging, and for no apparent reason. I haven't had a lot to say so if you have any topics or ideas you would like me to talk about please let me know. In the comments here or on Facebook. And if you reallllly want to know what we are up to follow me on Instagram, I post Instastories like it is nobody's business.

Ok, onward. Here is a little recap of what has been going on in our lives the past few months. Obviously, home renovations were happening. Below are a few pictures of the chaos we were living in. I am SO happy to report that all major work has been completed. Walls are up, drywalled, and painted. Phew! Ruby's bedroom now looks like a one year old's bedroom instead of an abandoned warehouse. More photos of that coming soon!

In early December we headed to Boston for a sweet family wedding. We got to spend time with Phil's family and Ruby found out just how great it is to have cousins. Unfortunately, she was battling a terrible, never ending cold, along with a double ear infection. Our evening was cut short, I forgot to apply lipstick, Ruby failed miserably at her "passing out bells down the aisle" duty, but all in all it was a wonderful trip. Although, I don't think we have ever been happier to get home.

And then out of nowhere, it was Christmas! Christmas card photos consisted of bribing her with milk and covering up her chafed nose and cheeks with concealer - but hey it worked!

Sadly, Santa was not a hit this year. Ruby was unusually quiet and still while we waited in line to meet the big guy. As soon as it was our turn and we began to make our way toward his lap the screaming and kicking began. Phil is a sweetheart and only made her sit there for approximately 3 seconds before he scooped her up and took her straight to the play place for a welcomed distraction. Oh well, I feel likes it's a right of passage of some sort to have a screaming Santa photo. Now we have one!

We spent Christmas in Ohio with my family and were able to see lots of long time family friends. The holidays are such a special time, we all had a blast traveling from house to house, eating delicious dinners, playing games, staying up late, opening gifts, and laughing till our faces hurt. 

Christmas morning with my people! Side note - opening presents is easier, and more fun when you don't have pajamas in your way.

A few days later we hopped on a plane and headed to Orlando for Christmas with the Marks. Ruby is a well traveled little girl but knowing Anna and Elsa were there to distract her for 2 hours was more comforting than I'd like to admit.

Visiting Florida is always a great time. We have lots of people to see, warm weather to enjoy , and Minnie Mouse is EVERYWHERE. 

After a fantastic few days in Florida we headed home, slowly coming down off of our Christmas high. We spent an evening at Zoo Lights, Ruby played in the snow for the first time, and she got her first haircut! I know, she hardly has any hair, but the hair that she did have was getting weirdly stringy and mullet-like, so we trimmed it up. Here's hoping it's shoulder length by the end of 2017!

What's next? Our bathroom remodel! One of the major bummers about this house is that it only has one bathroom. One as in one, no additional half bath, no nothing. This makes remodeling the bathroom that we do have particularly tricky since we have to leave our home entirely while the work is being done....because we would have no where to....use the bathroom. We have just finished up tile quotes, subway tile refinishing quotes, and are working on a date for all of this to go down. In the meantime, here is a pretty corner of our bathroom, just waiting to be overhauled.

PUMPKIN BABY

Seeing seasons and holidays through Ruby's eyes is one of my favorite things about parenthood. Everything is new and exciting for her and Phil and I love experiencing them with her. Now that fall is in full swing we have taken advantage of pumpkin patches, hayrides, and petting zoos and she couldn't be more obsessed. 

In Chicago, the Lincoln Park Zoo has a fantastic pumpkin patch on the weekends. Ruby spent a long weekend in Ohio with my parents and they spent their Saturday in Amish country. Lots of petting goats, picking pumpkins, and (of course) eating! Heck, even Home Depot and Trader Joe's have pallets of pumpkins (which is where we got our pumpkin from!). Happy Fall!

Lincoln Park Zoo | Jacket | Leggings | Shoes

Lincoln Park Zoo

Amish Country | Sweatshirt | Jeans | Shoes

Amish Country

Amish Country

Amish Country

Amish Country

LIFE (and a cute 4th of July outfit)

Ugh. It's been a long couple of days. Ruby has a summer cold, she is teething (AGAIN!), and had a long day yesterday of serious belly/potty troubles. We have done more loads of laundry, taken more baths, and gone through more tissues than I care to disclose. Being sick isn't fun for anyone, especially a baby who can't tell you exactly what is wrong or how she is feeling. I feel for her, poor little thing. On top of that, my sister who is currently stationed in Kansas, found out yesterday that her weekend pass request to Chicago was denied. So, she won't be able to come visit this weekend like we had all been planning on. Such a bummer, and I'm sad. Ugh.

With that being said, I am completely uninspired and could not think of a topic for today's post for the life of me. It's hard to talk about fashion when you are Clorox-ing liquid diarrhea (that escaped a diaper) off of your hardwood floors, your pockets are full of snotty kleenex, and all you want is to spend the weekend with your sister. Here's hoping that Ruby starts feeling better and that my sister's Sargent has a change of heart. Fingers crossed.

I'll leave you with a little Fourth of July outfit inspiration - here is what I plan on wearing to celebrate this Independence Day!