Freshly Picked-Can’t Get Enough!

Ahhh I am so excited to be sharing these moccs with all of you yet again!

IMG_2059

IMG_0680

I’ve blogged about Freshly Picked in the past and frankly I just cannot get enough.

Read about how well they have held up here!

IMG_0676

These moccasins are so durable and comfy that my babes and I just keep coming back for more.  When Freshly Picked released the new Fall line I just knew Giada needed the Leopard is a Neutral pair. They screamed her name and I knew they would go with so much of her Fall wardrode…especially her fur vest!

IMG_0678

Giada is starting to get extremely opinionated about her apparel and given the choice she always seems to gravitate towards her moccs. I think it’s because she can easily put them on herself!

Not only did Freshly Picked send us these amazing Leopard moccs, but they are also giving away a FREE PAIR to one of my followers! Head over to my facebook page to enter!

Family Photos 2015

82E7EBF3-266D-4DD9-B644-E7D69F18F5F9

I’m so excited to share some of our family photos with took this summer with Kathy Davies. I wanted a color scheme we have never done before so I went with teal, grey, and purple.

C83B67A6-5820-4E64-9DA8-2EC3AC4541E4

The inspiration came from this Matilda Jane Platinum dress I got for Giada. CC8823DE-E160-41C1-BE04-6D92790EBA15

9Q4B0447

The kids warmed up pretty quickly and it made for a painless photo shoot!

9Q4B0455 9Q4B0462

9Q4B0728

9Q4B0569 9Q4B0480

I think they turned out perfect!!!  I’m so thankful for having such a talented photographer to capture these memories of us!

Fall Bucket List

Fall is OFFICIALLY here and before we know it, IT will be gone in the blink of an eye. It always seems that time flies during my favorite season!

IMG_0028

Here’s my ambitious bucket list for the Month of October!

IMG_0014

Pick apples at a local orchard!

FullSizeRender

Bonfires with friends!

Cider mill for fresh cider and doughnuts! We are lucky we live super close to Yates and they have the BEST doughnuts around!

1

Zoo Boo! The Detroit Zoo hosts trick or treating on the weekends for the babes. They can dress up and see the animals!

IMG_0008

02_697_full

Scary movie night. Halloween jammies + popcorn + Hocus Pocus? Doesn’t get much better!

j

Pumpkin picking with our pumpkins!!!

4

Pumpkin carving!

IMG_0023 IMG_0024

Visit the Firehouse. My brother is a firefighter and we love to go to their Fall open house!

IMG_0009

IMG_0025

 

…and wear all the plaid!

What’s on your agenda for Fall?

 

Friday Favorites; Back in Action

Happy Friday!! I’m linking up with some other bloggers today to share my Friday Favorites! This was our first full week back home from Vacation and it was back to school and routine!

untitled

On Saturday Mike took Ari to a University of Michigan game for the first time ever. He was so excited to go to the “Big House” with his dad. Hearing all about their adventures when they got home was a favorite for me. He was so happy!

IMG_0749

While the boys were out Giada and I did some shopping and went diaper-free!! She’s been doing so well for the past week and I cannot wait until  we are officially done with diapers over her! Girls shopping morning? A favorite for sure!

5

Which reminds me of my all time favorite emoji.  This is what she was reenacting. See the resemblance?

sticker,375x360_u3

After G and I went shopping, the weather was cool and I was feeling the Fall vibe so I searched pinterest for a new chili recipe. I found this White Chicken Chili one and only needed to grab a few things to make it! It turned out to be exactly what I was looking for in a chili recipe. I’ve already made it twice since Saturday. Hubs loved it, I loved it, and most important, the babes devoured it! This is definitely a new favorite recipe in our house!

IMG_1480

Later in the week we got to take a walk to our favorite place for treats… 711!

 2

Giada got a bunch of new necklaces from her favorite jewelry shop; AK’s Hidden Gems and has been rocking them all week!

3

…and we got some amazing Mommy & Me matching scarves from Trendy Stop! These are going to be a favorite all Fall long. I love the colors in them! They match a ton of stuff we already have!

  4    Giada got to meet her Speech teacher for the first time this week! The Lucia top from Matilda Jane? Definitely a favorite of mine! You will be seeing lots of this!

1

Oh and how about that high pony? It’s so cute to see her in action with her speech teacher. She gets undivided attention for the whole session and just eats it up.

IMG_1434

6

Wednesday night we went to a Just Between Friends sale and hit the jackpot! You can see all my steals here. This style shopping is my new go-to for second hand shopping. I absolutely loved the layout of it!

24

Last night we met some friends for a last minute playdate at the outdoor mall. Nordstrom on a Thursday. Sun was shining and the kids all cooperated. Holla.

FullSizeRender

Last up. Did you see our Halloween pics?! They are the cutest thing ever. I think they are my favorite yet. Check them out and head over to facebook to enter to win your own mini session too!

IMG_1382

This weekend is another low-key one for us. I cannot wait. 

Best Dressed Riding Hood

I am so excited to share our Halloween costumes with all of you!

02_697_full

I’m pretty certain this will be the last year that I get to choose their costumes, so I wanted some photos to document the cuteness! We met Mac from Buchanan House Photography at a local park and I can’t say enough good words about her and her work! It was a hot day and the babes were less than thrilled to be in their costumes in the woods, but Mac was so patient and even convinced them to play a game to she could get the right shot!

03_698_full

Buchanan House Photography offers many different portrait options and we went with a mini-session that lasts typically lasts 30 minutes. It was the perfect time frame to get some great images of the babes!

When deciding what they should be I wanted them to be something that coordinated, but didn’t seem too juvenile for Ari. Hey, he needs to keep his street cred while matching his little sister! I also wanted something that my hubs and I could easily match too! When we go out as a family my hubs will be a huntsman and I will be the Granny ;).  Growing up my brother and I usually had homemade costumes made by my Grandma or passed down from older cousins. I really wanted to find costumes that were homemade and not found in a store! I stumbled upon two etsy shops; See Sal Sew & One Two Three Shop that made us the most beautiful costumes I could have ever imagined!  If something is handmade it is always a little more special to me as it reminds me of my Grandma who used to sew just about everything for me!

Giada’s dress & cape were from One Two Three Shop. Her dress is made with an elastic waist and NO zipper. I don’t know about your kids, but mine don’t love zippers touching them like a lot of other costumes. The dress is full enough to add a tutu skirt underneath for extra flair and the cape comes all the way to the ground.  It will help keep little miss warm in the event we have chilly Michigan Halloween (which is 99% likely) and there is plenty of room to layer underneath! They have lots of other costumes and handmade dresses and One Two Three Shop is offering 15% off any purchase now until October 15 with code redriding15.

12_707_full

Most of the wolf costumes I found online seemed very young/cartoony looking. I wanted his costume to look realistic and not like he was in a “baby” costume. When I saw this one I just about died. It was exactly what I was looking for! Ari’s costume came with a handmade hat (that is so intricate and realistic looking), gloves with fur, and a tail. Depending on the weather he will be wearing a black jogging suit that he already owns!  See Sal Sew is a mom run shop in MD. She makes a variety of other costumes too and will take custom orders via private message on etsy! Let her know I sent you!

09_704_full

These images are so near and dear to me. When I think about how few Halloweens I will get with them being little I get a little teary eyed. They just seem to grow up so fast.  Because Mac is pretty sweet, Buchanan House Photography is offering a FREE Halloween mini session for one follower too! Head over to facebook to enter! Details announced 9/17 at 9pm.

*30 minute shoot in Rochester or Shelby Twp with 3 5×7’s included.

IMG_1382

Just Between Friends Shopping!

11667271_1618876431658145_1025644596741207224_n

Tonight was SO much fun and unlike any other mom 2 mom shopping I have done in the past!

10

I got to shop the pre-sale for the Just Between Friends sale in Madison Heights and I can’t believe the DEALS I got! Let me start by saying that everything was in AMAZING condition and the sale was very organized. I loved that I could just skip to my babes’ sizes and choose from name brand clothes that were all hanging nicely. I came from work tonight and was able to do all my shopping (with the babes in tow!) in under 30 minutes! It’s safe to say I have NEVER shopped a mom2mom that fast!

Here are the details of the sale:

876 Horace Brown Dr
Madison Heights, Michigan

Thursday Sept 17 9-7pm($3.00 admission fee that benefits HAVEN in Oakland county.)

Friday Sept 18 10-6pm (FREE Admission)

Saturday Sept 19 9-1pm (Free Admission) most items without stars are 1/2 off

Strollers are welcome anytime! They accept Cash, Visa, MC, Amex, sorry no checks.

Just Between Friends just celebrated 150 locations in the USA and Canada. They have been featured on the Today show & Good Morning America to name a few media spots.

Can’t make this sale? Head over to their facebook page to see additional sales!

OK… On to the good stuff. What did I buy!?!?

I spent $50 on the dot and I got the babes some pretty awesome Fall clothing! I wanted stuff that would work for layering and I was so excited to find all this!

19

This denim shirt for Giada was $2 and the possibilities for it are endless! I envision her wearing some cute boots and a big headband, of course!

23

This chambray shirt and maroon H&M corduroy skirt will look awesome with some mustard tights she already has!

15

This was my most expensive combo but all the pieces can be used separately or all together! The coral jean jacket was from Crew Cuts!!

21

Last outfit is that denim shirt again with a bubble skirt/legging combo. G just loves skirts and I know she will want to add a fun necklace with this outfit!

20

I got Ari some pretty awesome Fall stuff too!

Clockwise from top left: (Zara sweater, True Religion button down, Gap button down, lightweight Northface, and Zara pants).

16

While I was there I was immediately drawn to the HUGE selection of shoes….unfortunately they weren’t the right sizes for my babes, but take a look at how awesome these are (and all were marked $5 and under)!

I also found a TON of Under Armor for bigger boys!

… an amazing deal on a Britax B-Agile!

2

And tons of Halloween costumes!

14

If you are in the area you really should go check it out!

24

Road Tripping 101…with Kids!

IMG_0458

Hubs and I just returned from a week long road trip with the babes! We went from Michigan to Virginia (and back) with a couple of stops along the way! This was our first adventure like this and I do have to say it went pretty smoothly! The babes LOVED staying in a hotel and the car rides were pretty painless. Here are some of the things that helped us remain stress free!

5

-Split the trip up!! Our entire trip was about 8 and a half hours one way without stopping and we decided that we shouldn’t try and make it in one day. Both ways we stopped at the halfway mark and stayed over night.

-Try to drive during a normal “rest time”. The very first day we got on the road it was 4pm and the babes were no where near tired. This was probably the most restless part of the journey.  The days that we left right before naptime (noon) the babes were naturally ready to rest and it made for a pretty quiet ride.

-Portable DVD player is a MUST! We borrowed one from a friend that had dual screens. It was nice to start each leg of our trip with a movie. I also borrowed movies that the babes hadn’t seen before. It kept their attention!

-Make up little travel bags with coloring books, crayons, and stickers. I got all these items at the dollar tree and didn’t show them to the kids until we got to the hotel! They loved it!

4

  -Utilize the hotel cribs! Giada still sleeps in a crib and it was super hard to contain her to a bed at night. The second day of our trip I called down and we got a rolling crib! It was the perfect solution to keep her contained!

-Pack easy to travel/eat in the car snacks. I brought applesauce pouches, mini cups of pringles, apples, and other individual snacks they didn’t need to be refrigerated. I also brought a loaf of bread along with peanut butter & jelly for easy lunchtime sandwiches!

-ALWAYS get a room with a mini fridge! Each hotel we stayed in offered free breakfast. Every morning we would take an extra milk from breakfast to have for later in the day!

-Use fast food drink holders as individual plates for the car! This was an easy way to portion meals on the go for them..and allow them to still have their dips!

-Let the kids run off some steam at rest stops!! Or better yet, find a waterpark! We stayed at one on our last night and it was so refreshing to have a place to go play instead of camping out in our hotel room!

FullSizeRender

-If you can’t find a waterpark at least find a hotel with an indoor pool!

6

-Bring an ipad or tablet that can connect to the hotel’s wifi. Hotel TV’s are always hit or miss as far as catching a cartoon. This way the adults can watch the TV and the babes can relax with their favorite shows at night!

FullSizeRender3

-Have a diaper bag close to the front of the car with all incidentals you might need along the way. Our bag included band aids, ibuprofen, Tylenol, wipes, a change of clothes for each kid, sun block, bug spray, hand sanitizer, toothbrushes, and toothpaste. I wanted something easy to grab without having to sift through luggage.

IMG_9593

 

-Make a schedule, but allow for some flexibility. Sitting in a car for a long period of time isn’t easy on anyone! Sometimes you just need to go with the flow on vacation!

 2

Friday Favorites; A Taste of Fall

The past week has been an unexpected taste of Fall and I’m not complaining. We finally turned the AC off, opened our windows, put on hoodies, and started fully embraced all things pumpkin.

I’m so excited to be linking up with other bloggers for Friday Favorites!

img_4105

On Monday I grabbed the babes from daycare and we did a little pumpkin shopping. Pumpkin spice anything is a favorite for me! I just love this time of year so much!

IMG_8557

…speaking of all things pumpkin. I’m counting down the days until the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte. I saw this on Instagram and loved it.

IMG_7775

We took our family photos this past week and as usual I am in love. I’ll share more of the pics later but our photographer Kathy Davies is one of my favorites. She’s been taking our pictures since Ari was a baby and I just how she interacts with the kids and always captures great memories for us.

IMG_7456

Last weekend we hit up a local fair. Cowboy boots with her Matilda Jane?! A new favorite for sure!

IMG_8273

We are about to embark on a road trip to Virginia for my sister in law’s wedding. The babes are standing up and I cannot get over how much of a gentleman Ari looks like. This burlap bow tie from Country Couture is def a favorite.

    IMG_8559Pretty sure this will be one of Giada’s favorite fall outfits;

The Harper tunic from Matilda Jane and a matching bow from Bow Kay!

IMG_8673

…and I can’t forget about Fall favorites for ME!… I have this scarf & shirt coming and I cannot wait! They are going to make the perfect pair this Fall!  Don’t forget to use code “bestdressedbabes” over at Fresh Apparel for free shipping on any order!

They See Me Rolling { Double Stroller Tips }

IMG_8495

I’m in a few “mom” support groups on Facebook and I cannot tell you how often we talk about double strollers. Do I need one? Should I get a tandem? What about side by side? Does it have to be compatible with my infant seat?

1157692_10103766754505594_1917454288_nm

 

My babes are 22 months apart and for us a double stroller was 100% needed. There wasn’t any way shape or form I was going to let my 22 month old walk for any extended period of time.

After researching and hunting for nine months we decided on the Britax B-Agile double stroller. The side by side style seemed most suitable for us and it folded up so small!

4447483254147m

I opted to not use a car seat convertor for my double stroller and here is my reasoning…

First, the convertor was an additional $70+. I thought that was outrageous! Second I tested out the convertor bar in the store and just didn’t feel like it was a good fit. It made the stroller seem a lot bulkier and I didn’t want to have to take the bar in and out each time I used my stroller. Instead I got this newborn insert and put Giada in the stroller completely flat.

130892123070c

1025692_10103525942674434_420117072_o
A few tips for you to decide.

1. Acutally test out the stollers! I went to Buy Buy Baby several times before I made my final decision and walked around the store with each model I was considering. I found that the tandem strollers were a lot harder to maneuver vs the side by side strollers.

1043901_10103551465736014_1883488560_n

2. Check out the storage situation. The Britax B-Agile double had easy access to the basket from the front!! So when my diaper bag was hanging I could easily get underneath!

IMG_8492

 

3. Consider if the canopy’s are individual or one large shade. You might want your infant covered, but your toddler will have other plans.

FullSizeRender1

4. Practice folding the stroller closed and fitting it in your vehicle. Buy Buy Baby is great about that and will let you! Some strollers are very large when folded and don’t fit easily in trunks.

1000268_10104586552329184_967668194_n

5. Consider buying second hand! We’ve used ours for 2 summers and are just about done with it. It’s in mint condition so I’m sure other’s will be as well!

Happy Stroller Shopping!

FullSizeRender

Blue Cheese Chicken Wrap

 IMG_7884   It’s { almost } time for back to school!! Summer is coming to a screeching halt and it’s time for the babes to head back to school! For me that means the return of packing lunches. Womp Womp. During the school year things are very hectic in the morning and I leave the house super early. There is NO time to be playing around with lunches in the morning so I make everything the night before.

This wrap is perfect for mom & dad anddddd your babes! I can’t say enough good things about it! The flavors combine so well and it is a great make-the-night-before lunch! I would have never thought to throw an apple in a wrap, but it adds the perfect sweetness & crisp.

IMG_7883

Ingredients:

Diced Chicken, 1 Tablespoon of Cream Cheese, 1 Tablespoon of Blue Cheese, Whole wheat tortilla, Half of a Granny Smith Apple chopped

In a microwavable bowl combine the blue cheese and the cream cheese. Microwave for 20 seconds until the sauce has a creamy texture. Spread this on your tortilla and then add the rest of the ingredients.

IMG_7886

Roll it up and wrap in plastic wrap!!!

A few { time saving } tips!!

Pre portion chicken in small bags from Target (this is a great job for little hands)! I use this chicken for salads, wraps, nachos, etc. I always check the nutrition and figure out exactly how many 100 calorie servings I have and then divide accordingly. It’s a great portion control!

IMG_7887

Toss a little lemon juice on your diced apple to prevent it from browning!

There you have it! I hope you { and your babes } love it!

 

IMG_7888