the one with the dude gift guide

A lot of the women in my circle say their husband is the hardest person to buy for. Well mine is too. So I had him help me with this list. It’s a mix of mostly things he wants, and things I think he should have. Because what is better than getting them something you know they need, but won’t buy for themselves. But there is also some things I’ve got him before and he still loves! My husband is very much a dude. Hopefully that makes sense. He likes to be comfortable, he likes to work out, he likes beer, he likes quality things because he doesn’t want to go shopping a lot so they need to last, he likes music. But he also has a job where he has to act fancy, and he’s a very interactive daddy. What’s on your husbands wishlist this year?

art of shaving kit . beer chiller . wireless charger . sweats . nike stay dry tee . yeti . running shoes . belt . watch . punching bag . headphones

the one with Jack at 14 months

Height:  32 inches

Head: 17.5 inches . . . I said 47 inches last month haha! oops

Weight: 23 lbs

Basics: He hasn’t nursed in almost 3 months, and so that’s 3 months of sleeping through the night! Sometimes when he’s teething he’ll wake up early or just randomly in the middle of the night. But it’s not bad. He’s currently getting somewhere between 4-6 teeth right now. 2 just popped through after a week of terrible teething, and I’m pretty sure he’s getting his 1 year molars as well. With the teething, comes the not eating. He’s not usually picky. There are a few things he doesn’t like, but it’s not hard to get him to eat either. But it is when he’s teething. He basically won’t eat anything but yogurt, fruit, and chicken . . . but only with ketchup. Mama’s ready to go back to normal.

Fun Stuff: We finally have a walker at 14 months! He’s not quite stable yet. He definitely is not one of those kids who walks and then runs immediately. Now I’ve said that and he’ll start running today. But he prefers to walk and just be close to the wall or hold my hand over crawling. He LOVES to climb the stairs (which we don’t let him do without one of us right behind him). He’s very good at sorting things especially all of his balls and other round toys. His favorite thing is to play catch and toss the ball. He’s very good at talking back when appropriate or asking for things he needs or wants. We’re not quite there with the words yet tho. Everything is da. We’ll say do you want to eat and he’ll go da.

Tomorrow is his first Thanksgiving to eat the food! I think he’s going to love it. As long as he gets to watch Trolls at least once. Because that is literally his very favorite thing in the whole wide world.

We also had our first glaucoma appointment here in Indiana. To catch you up . . . my husband and his brother were born with glaucoma. It’s genetic so we have all of our children tested in the womb, and then also seen by a specialist. Congenital glaucoma can present anytime between 3 months to 1 year old (some present even after that). Jack was low risk for genetic conditions in the womb, and has always been very good about checking his eye pressure. His eye pressure has always been GREAT! He never has a problem focusing on things and his eyes are never fuzzy or blurry looking. Our doctor in Florida thought his case was fascinating because of the family history so she saw him for up to an hour at 2 months, 3 months, 4 months, 5 months, 7 months, 9 months, and wanted to see him again at 13 months.

But we moved to Indiana. So now we see my husbands doctor from when he was a kid! With Jack he said he’s confident that Jack does not have glaucoma!! He still wants to check him occasionally, but there is no constant worry of glaucoma anymore. He’s recommended having Scott genetically tested and then just check all of our children against that to see if they share the gene. That certainly sounds easy so it’s what we’re looking into now.

the one with a hostess gift guide

I’ve had so much fun shopping for gifts this year. I don’t know why, but I’m somehow even more into it than usual. So I thought I would share the things on my list for the ladies in my life. These are things I’m getting for the party hostess, my mom, my sisters, my best friends, etc. Best part – it’s all under $50. Just learn a few things about what they like, and you can find the perfect gift here! Coffee lovers, beauty lovers, tech lovers . . . all of it! What’s on your gift giving list this year?

Most of these things are from Shopbop! As you know it’s one of my favorite places to shop, and today starts their big sale! Be sure and stop by to save some major, gals! Maybe even get that shopping done before the Holiday rush.

champagne cocktail kit . bluetooth speaker . velvet slippers . anthropologie candle . mug . cashmere scarf . rollerball perfume . tassel earrings . corkcicle unicorn tumbler . wine chillerbutter london lips and tips collection . sugar lip blooming beauties collection . rifle paper co calendar . decanter . kate spade picture frame

5 pieces 1 outfit: the perfect green top

Hey friends! 5 pieces 1 outfit is a twice monthly series where we feature 5 pieces that bring together 1 perfect outfit. It doesn’t take a lot of time, money, and or pieces to create a fashionable look that anyone can create. 5 pieces is all you need to make another outfit killer. First, I find it’s best to have a theme so you have a place to build from. That can be a color combo or maybe even an event. But most of all you just need a good base piece. This is something I do in real life quite often, and sometime I like to show you guys. This week’s theme is this perfect green top! Of course, you’ll notice I have on more than 5 items . . . that’s because this was an outfit I wore to church and you can’t wear sunglasses inside. So they don’t count!

top . jeans . boots . earrings . bracelet . watch

the one with a christmas list for kids under 2

I am so happy it’s almost Christmas. More so than usual. When you have kids, I think you have to be. You’re at least going to be pretending for the kids. But for me there’s no pretending. Jack is going to love all the lights, and all the wrapping paper, and all the attention! And new toys!

We’ve decided to get him 5 gifts this year, inspired by the pinterest thing that goes around. 1 gift from santa, 1 gift he needs, 1 gift he wants, 1 gift he can wear, and 1 gift he can read! IT keeps us from spending too much and spoiling him. Plus it gives him things he will actually use more than once or twice. What’s on your kids list this year?

art table . trolls coloring book . nike’s . tool belt . farm . snowsuit . books . mega blocks . workbench . cars . play kitchen

the one about 22 weeks with baby #2

How far along? 22 weeks

Maternity clothes? yup! But I finally started putting more time into my appearance again after a busy time in our life, a sick first trimester, and then laziness – so that’s resulted in realizing I can still fit in pre maternity clothes. So I grabbed some long sleeve t’s at target for $10 just in a bigger size. This will get me through winter and next winter I can wear them to sleep in or when I want something baggy. I’m bigger this time around. Not gaining a lot of weight, just showing more I guess. So that plus being tired all the time has made getting dressed difficult.

Sleep: Great except I’ve been hunching my back for some reason so my shoulders are sore a lot.

Best moment: our 20 week ultrasound

Miss Anything?: a drank.

Movement: lots of it! big kicks have started! Ben is a lot lower than Jack was so it feels . . . interesting.

Food cravings: pumpkin pie and chinese food again

Anything making you queasy or sick: nope!

Gender: a boy! Benjamin ? Stark We’re struggling a little on his middle name. But we’re close to our answer.

Symptoms: I feel pretty good lately actually. 

Belly Button in or out? in, and i doubt it comes out

Wedding rings on or off? on and comfortable.

Happy or Moody most of the time: I’m not necessarily more irritable so that’s good, but the past couple weeks I have been more emotional. I feel happy, just very emotional. With Jack I felt very connected to him the whole pregnancy. I’m sure it’s because I talked to him the whole time, and I didn’t have another little one to look after. So it’s been harder to connect with this pregnancy. But seeing Ben’s face and his body at the ultrasound has caught me up 🙂

Looking forward to?  Being pregnant on Thanksgiving, and of course, watching big brother enjoy his first Thanksgiving meal!


the one about 2nd pregnancy insecurities

When I was pregnant with Jack, I would read all the things. I felt totally prepared for everything that would happen to my body. And honestly, not much was surprising to me. There were some and I wrote a post about it. But even postpartum I felt prepared. It wasn’t that I didn’t have insecurities, I mean everything lays differently now and there is some breastfeeding weight I didn’t get rid of before I got pregnant again. But I knew it would happen, and I knew Jack would be worth. And mostly I knew with some hard work I’d be able to fix most of it. To give credit where credit is due, I also have an amazing supportive husband who is really good at making me feel beautiful. He always helps to keep my insecurities in check.

But with Ben’s pregnancy, I was not as prepared. None of the symptoms surprised me; although I was a little at how hard they hit this time. But mostly it’s that my body changed . . . even more. Not only did the symptoms hit harder and faster, but I’m showing earlier and lower and bigger. Oh lord, bigger. There are clothes I was wearing a week before I gave birth to Jack, that I know won’t fit much longer. I’m not gaining more weight so that’s not it. The only difference is Ben sits lower.

But you know what, it’s ok. For some reason, God gave me the blessing to carry these babies with little problems and I won’t take that for granted. There are women, some of you reading this probably, who have terrible pregnancies or can’t get pregnant at all. I count my blessings, and a changing body because it is growing healthy baby boys is one of them. Plus, with a little hard work I can get it mostly back to normal 🙂 And what is physically harder than giving birth . . . certainly not working out.

This outfit is perfect for those girls like me. It has lots of room for growth, lots of room to hide those things you’re insecure about, and it’s incredibly comfortable. On second thought, this a great outfit for all girls.

dress is Carly by Lu la Roe (if you need a consultant email me!) . cardigan . necklace via . sunglasses . booties


the one with my christmas list 2017

Somebody once told me I make the best gift guides. Now I feel the need to make them for her and only for her. But at Christmas time they do come in handy for my mother and my husband. These are not simply suggestions here at the niche . . . this is my legit christmas list 2017. I want to clarify the year there for anyone coming to get ideas. So if you know someone like me then these are suggestions . . . I actually feel like I need more on my list this year so send me your suggestions. Why am I struggling you ask? Because I’m preggo and it would be dumb to ask for clothes . . .

phone case . flour canisters . jacket . handheld . oven mitts . shoes . charger . sunglasses

the one with broccoli cheese cassarole

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and if you’re anything like me the sides are the most important part. I mean turkey is great and all, but your plate is mostly full of sides. For me it doesn’t matter how good that turkey is if the sides don’t compliment it well and taste just as delicious! So today I wanted to share one of my favorites. Broccoli Cheese casserole is something always on our holiday table. What’s great about it is with a few changes it can even be a fairly healthy family dinner year round.

the one with broccoli cheese cassarole


  • 4 cups chopped broccoli
  • 1 (10 ounce) can of cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup of butter melted (1/2 stick)
  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 sleeve of Ritz crackers, crushed


  1. Preheat oven to 350*F
  2. Place broccoli in a steaming basket on stove and steam for 5 minutes or until broccoli is tender to a fork.
  3. Remove broccoli from stove and chop into bite sized pieces. Place into a medium size mixing bowl.
  4. Add to broccoli, soup, mayonnaise, butter, eggs, onion, salt and pepper. Mix well.
  5. Add 3/4 cup of cheese to broccoli mixture and mix well.
  6. Pour entire contents into an 8x8" square baking dish.
  7. Top with remaining 3/4 cup of cheese and Ritz crackers.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and top is golden.

To make this a fairly healthy family dinner, I change the mayo to greek yogurt, change the soup to chicken stock, and leave out the crackers! Then I put some chicken on the side or mix it all in for a chicken casserole. easy peasy!

What is on your menu for Thanksgiving this year? We’re hosting so I’m thinking 2 green vegetables, 2 not green vegetables, turkey, stuffing, rolls, and lots of desserts! Maybe a salad for an appetizer. Our family is pretty easy  . . . as long as you have the sides they want! But I always like to try and expand their tastes, and maybe even make it healthier! So send all your recs.

5 pieces 1 outfit: Thanksgiving

Hey friends! 5 pieces 1 outfit is a twice monthly series where we feature 5 pieces that bring together 1 perfect outfit. It doesn’t take a lot of time, money, and or pieces to create a fashionable look that anyone can create. 5 pieces is all you need to make another outfit killer. First, I find it’s best to have a theme so you have a place to build from. That can be a color combo or maybe even an event. But most of all you just need a good base piece. This week’s theme is a Thanksgiving maternity look!

`leggings . tee . cardigan . boots . earrings