Best Dressed Easter {A Spool Full of Sugar}

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Let’s just take a minute and cue all the heart eyes….

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…because this dress is that good!

I had my heart set on finding Giada a handmade Easter dress this year and A Spool Full of Sugar knocked it out of the park. A few weeks ago I found her handmade shop on Instagram and instantly fell in love with her style. When we got ahold of her “Ella” dress it was love at first sight and I knew I needed more of where that came from.

 

When I first contacted A Spool Full of Sugar about an Easter dress she already had the 3 fabrics she planned on using. We kind of went back and forth about the style that she was going to create and we both agreed that a flutter dress would be perfect for Easter!

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We also both agreed that big pockets (to put eggs in of course) were an absolute must! After that I let A Spool Full of Sugar do the rest. When this dress (and matching bow tie) arrived in my mailbox I was speechless! The dress was absolute perfection.

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Every last detail was perfectly crafted even down to the 3 colorful buttons on the back. Everything about it screamed Easter!

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Of course a handmade dress isn’t complete without a coordinating headband and  Darling Delilah never ceases to amaze me! This headband is the perfect compliment and Giada loves it!

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…and in case any of you were wondering, Giada’s shoes are Mini Melissa and I recently found them for a great price at Saks Off Fifth! Not only do they smell amazing, but Giada just loves that they are bunnies! Looks like they no longer have them in pink, but you can grab the purple here.

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There you have it, the perfect little Easter ensemble! Hopefully our Michigan weather will cooperate!

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Inspired Spirit Wear & Accessories

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I can’t tell you how much I love connecting with other moms who share my love for clothing and accessories. I was so excited when Megan & I connected through Rodan and Fields and I found out she was selling little girl accessories!  Inspired Spirit Wear & Accessories is your go to boutique for classic and stylish accessories for your little one and you!

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Inspired Spirit Wear & Accessories was created to bring parents and their little ones the most fashionable creations out there. Megan is a mom to two little fashionistas and living in a small town she found it was very difficult to find headbands and accessories that fit her style. She decided to give it a go and make them herself! What started out as a hobby quickly turned into a business! This is how Inspired Spirit Wear & Accessories came to be.

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Giada was so excited to try on her new bands from Inspired Spirit Wear & Accessories! They were the perfect compliment to some of her current outfits! What I loved most about the process was the fact that I could send her a picture of Giada’s clothes and Megan made something to match! It was completely customizable and the headbands turned out perfect!

 

 

Inspired Spirit Wear & Accessories has some fabulous Valentine options! Make sure to contact her with your needs!

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To make it even better she is giving away one custom flower in pink or red on a skinny elastic!

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Head over to Facebook to enter!

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Minty Snaps Styled Shoot

Last weekend I had the pleasure of working this Eunice from Minty Snaps.

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We got together for a styled shoot. Eunice was looking for a whimsical look and inspired me to get Giada her very first floral crown.

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We met super early on a Sunday morning and searched downtown Birmingham for the perfect backdrops.

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It took a little bit for her to “warm” up….

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…but then Eunice got out some fake snow

…and Giada was her smiley, happy self!

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These pictures mean the world to me! I cannot wait until Giada grows up and looks back on these. They really capture her personality and her sweetness.

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Details on Giada’s Style:
Brown Dress: Adorable Essentials / Floral Crown: Bow Kay / Gold Dress: Borrowed from a friend (similar styles on Zulily) / Gold Headband: Darling Delilah

Want your own styled shoot? Minty Snaps is offering a 30 minute styled Free Session to one follower! Details will be on Facebook later today!

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All photos taken in Downtown Birmingham, MI by Minty Snaps

#itsnotjustclothes

I’ve been meaning to post about Matilda Jane for quite some time now. Truth is, though, there is just so much to say.

IMG_9383Many people in my life just don’t “get it”. So I never really had the time to sit down and explain it all and what it meant to me. I didn’t even know where to begin. There’s my story with Matilda Jane; how I got started with it, my relationship with my trunkkeeper,  and the most important part…the community that I belong to because of it.

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Matilda Jane’s founder Denise DeMarchis started the line with this motto in mind.

“Come’on who doesn’t love a compliment. It makes your day, all day. That is what I want MJC to do, make the girl smile from ear to ear. I want her to love what she is wearing and be proud of how she looks. I want MJC to showcase the sweetness of the child.”

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This past week, sadly, Denise lost her battle with cancer. She was a wife, a mom of 2, the creator of Matilda Jane, and a woman with a heart of gold. She not only touched peoples hearts and lives with clothing, but she also gave her self to raise money for children in Kitale, called the Mighty Acorn. Giving children in Africa a place to sleep, school, food, and all the things needed to survive. You can read a little bio about her here.

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After news of her passing the Matilda Jane community rallied to do something in her honor. Women all over the world started paying it forward in Denise’s honor. They are putting the initials “DD” on the tag of a Matilda Jane item and sending it for free to another little girl.

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My newsfeed is flooded with the outpouring of love and giving of these beautiful pieces.

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The directions are as follows:

It will come to you with DD written on the tags in Sharpie.

“You can never buy a DD. You can never sell a DD. Just wear, enjoy and pass on when you’re done!”

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I still can’t quite put into words the feeling I get putting Giada in these clothes but the least I can do is share this feeling with another mama. I’m going to send our very own DD dress to one of you. This dress is called the Veranda. It was one of our very first Matilda Jane items and Giada wore it for Easter this past year. It is so beautiful and I know whoever gets it will love it. The dress is a size 2, so please only enter if your little girl can wear it.

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 Head over to Facebook to enter.

Happy 2nd Birthday Giada Estelle!

OMG. My girl is 2. I truly cannot believe it. Turning 2 is the gateway to becoming a big kid and this lady has been on the fast track lately. Giada is such an amazing little girl and I am so very lucky that I get to be her mama.

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{6/5/13}

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Shirt: Olive and Birdie, Moccs: Freshly Picked

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{6/5/15}

Outfit: Matilda Jane, Headband: Bow Kay, Necklace: AK’s Hidden Gems, Moccs: Freshly Picked

Giada is as girly as it gets. She loves bows, jewelry, and SHOES! The more sparkles, the better!

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She’s very particular and knows exactly what she wants… and has been working SO hard to be able to communicate it recently! Since going to speech therapy her language has really taken off!

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Giada is like a magnet to babies. She loves caring for them and nurturing them. When we see other babies she’s immediately drawn to them. She sleeps with no less than 3 babies in her crib each night.

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 She adores her big brother and wants to do everything he does. Their relationship has really blossomed over the past year. Giada is no longer the annoying little sister but now his sidekick.  I hope this stage lasts a long time! They enjoy a lot of the same activities and tv shows. It just melts my heart seeing them interact.

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Giada has the perfect amount of Sugar to go with her Spice. Happy Birthday Miss Thang, we love you.

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Read about when Giada turned ONE here.

Say What?! 5 Ways to promote language development.

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I’m certainly no speech expert, but I’d like to think I am an expert when it comes to my babes. While I can recognize that every child develops differently, I knew that Giada was behind when it came to speech. She has some words and can get her point across, but I could tell she was getting frustrated. I expressed my concerns with my ped and she told me that typically there isn’t a worry until age 2. Since Giada’s birthday fell at the end of the school year, though, she said it wouldn’t hurt to take her in to be evaluated early since services aren’t offered during the summer..

We met with our local school district and the women there were beyond friendly, helpful, and extremely patient with Giada. They tested Giada’s hearing, her comprehension, and then her ability to communicate. Giada fell in the 24 month range for her understanding but only 15 months for her speech. Because of the discrepancy between her understanding and her ability they recommended speech therapy for her! I was SO happy I listened to my “mom-intuition” and didn’t go any longer leaving her frustrated. Sometimes… what works for one child doesn’t work for the next and us parents need to make some modifications to what we are doing. Language seemed to come very easy to Ari, but Giada needs some changes to her environment.

The entire evaluation experience was so educational for me. I was an early elementary teacher and knew so many of these strategies, but when you get caught up in the day to day you sometimes forget. Before we left the evaluation they gave me some super easy strategies to implement immediately. Honesty I can’t believe the difference it has made in only a couple short weeks.

If you have a toddler on the verge of talking or one that is struggling to talk I highly suggest using some of these strategies!

Ditch the Sippy Cups/Pacifiers – They couldn’t stress enough the negative impact these two items had on language acquisition. I read this post before and “knew” they weren’t the best thing, but I never really cared that much until I was sitting in a speech evaluation and being told my daughter needed ME to toss them.  I was nervous about giving her an open cup at meals, but overall the transition hasn’t been terrible! I got cups with handles from Target for $.79!

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Strengthen the entire body – The body works together in complex ways. They suggested doing wheelbarrows with her and getting her to try to balance on one foot!

Stimulate the Mouth – Some children need extra stimulation in their mouths. It was suggested we get her an electric toothbrush instead of a regular one. Giada loves it!

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Give her the words – This one made perfect sense now looking back. Instead of asking her a yes or no question you offer a choice, use adjectives, and give her the word you want her to say. The last word out of your mouth should be what you want them to say.

Example: instead of saying “Giada do you want this hairbow?” All she can respond with is yes and it’s not expanding her vocabulary. You say “Giada, do you want this clip or this PINK HAIRBOW?”. It allows her to repeat the last thing you just said because you are giving her the word. I’ve been using this technique a TON and I am so surprised at how many new words she is trying to say just by me changing my behavior!

Use songs/body movements – Using a song or a beat allows children to easily chime in at words they know. Now we’ve been singing songs every night that involve hand movements like “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “Baby Bumblebee”. Giada has been so engaged and tries to sing along with us!

I’m sure there’s going to come a day when I wish Giada wasn’t talking SO much. But, for now, I’m determined to do everything in my power to help her get where she needs to be! In just a few weeks of doing these things I have seen such an incredible difference in her communication. I can’t wait until our actual first lesson! I will be learning as much as Giada.

First Birthday: Giada in Onderland

   I just LOVE entertaining.  Before my hubs and I were even married we were the first of our friends to own a home. Every weekend you could find a group of us partying in our kitchen until the sun came up. I just love seeing people come together and live for the little details of the parties I throw. I love making each event I host special.  Currently I’m in MAJOR party planning mode for a joint birthday bash I am throwing in June and realized I never blogged about the babes’ previous parties!

Wait no further! Giada’s first birthday party…Giada in One-Derland!

I wanted to make her party as girly as possible! Since my babes both have summer birthdays I knew down the road I would be combining their parties. This was my one shot for a girly party and making it through the first year of having 2 under 2 was something to celebrate! So we did it up big!

Let’s start with the most important part…WHAT SHE WORE! I got Giada’s dress from Lovers Dovers and it couldn’t have been more perfect.  It fit her perfectly and the tutu was so adorable! Her headband was custom made to match by the fabulous Darling Delilah!

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Photo credit: Adriane Baden Photography

Next party detail: INVITES!

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Katie Doodle did an amazing job making invitations, a chalk board sign, and lots of other signs for me to use at the party.
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DECORATIONS!

For months I shopped our local thrift stores to find all white tea-pots to use as centerpieces! I bought a couple of mixed bouquets and arranged them myself! The giant cards were from Oriental Trading.

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I made full use of my Cricut and made some signs as guests were coming down my stairs.

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I also made a super easy banner with all of Giada’s monthly pictures!

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About a week before the party I found a local mom that had recently had the same theme.  Her mother in law made these giant lawn decorations and lent them to me for the party. How lucky was that!? They really set the scene as all my guests arrived.

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The dessert table was by far one of my favorite parts! I tried to combine vintage tea items with fun girly colors! I already had candy dishes for Ari’s previous parties so I only needed to buy a G, D, and another A!10374029_10105085143777924_8040055114269293520_n

I made Cheshire Cat Tails out of marshmallows, colored chocolate, and sprinkles!

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Of course no party is complete without Best Cookies by Farr.  They taste incredible and look cute too!

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Giada loved her cake! Babes just make a mess out of their cake so this mama made it herself!

Headband, Bandana Bib, DIY Fabric Garland

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The Monday before the party I decided my son & hubs needed these shirts. NO ONE on etsy was making this combo in child/adult. You had to either purchase two child tees or two adult tees. Awesome Custom made them for me and they were just what these two needed! I couldn’t believe they were able to turn them around and ship them to me so quickly!

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…and there you have it! LOTS and LOTS of planning for a perfect afternoon! I’m sure Giada won’t remember this day at all, but I can’t wait to show her pictures when she is older!

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Everytime I come around your city, Bling Bling

 So…. it all started when Giada was around 6 months old….

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 I would dress her up and put her in one of my necklaces…It made picture taking easy because instead of trying to escape, she was infatuated with the necklace around her neck.IMG_20140324_111712

Fast forward to now. Giada is almost 2, although sometimes it seems like she’s almost 22, and I still give her necklaces to wear when I want her to smile for a picture.  The only difference now? She won’t take them off.

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I came to the realization that Giada needed her own collection of jewelry.  If you know me by now you will know I don’t do anything in moderation. She couldn’t have just one necklace to wear with her entire wardrobe?!?!?

….and so I was on the hunt for someone to make us a collection FAST!

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Insert AK’s Hidden Gems, a local Shelby Township mom that makes the cutest jewelry for moms and babes! I messaged her pics of Giada’s clothes and she quickly made us a plethora of necklaces and bracelets to coordinate.

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The sets are made for children and are sized appropriately.  Like any potentially hazardous item, though, I never leave Giada wearing her jewelry unattended.

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Does your little diva need some accessories? You are in LUCK! She is offering 10% off to all my followers. Just enter BESTDRESSEDBABES2015 at checkout on Etsy.

Go like AK’s Hidden Gems on Facebook for discounts and a giveaway coming so SOON!

Nicknames

It’s funny how nicknames get started. My sassy little thing Giada? Yea she is now called Sea Otter.

Recently we started calling her Gia-der at home. Ari thought it was silly and ofcourse started calling her Gia-der at daycare.  It caught on amongst the kids and soon they all started calling her Gia-der. Our daycare teacher’s husband, being silly, asked why they were all calling her Sea Otter…. and now the name has stuck!

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Photo by the fabulous Luna Signature

Get your craft on.

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I’m sure it’s pretty obvious that I like to accessorize my babes.  We have more headbands than I even know what to do with but somehow I always need more.  You know what else we have a ton of?  Clothes that no longer fit.  Since my hot glue gun is always ready to be fired up I decided to try my hand at making my little miss a headband.  It was late and I didn’t feel like going to a fabric store, so I decided to repurpose some of my favorite clothes to make headbands!! You may have seen my previous post about making hairbows from old clothing.  Buttttt that involves a little bit of sewing. I wanted something simple so I went for rosettes!

I transformed these two skirts into a fab headband!

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For those that don’t know how to make a fabric rosette I’m going to break it down for you.  It’s beyond simple.  All you need is a strip of fabric and a hot glue gun.  Cut your fabric into a strip between 2 and 3 inches and fold it in half lengthwise.  Tie the end in a knot to make you center/starting point.

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Next, start twisting and rolling your fabric around the center. You can leave the “tail” of your know on the underside.

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Add a dab of hot glue to the side every few turns to hold your rosette in place.

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When you are happy with the size simply finish by gluing the bottom piece to the bottom of the rosette!!!

I added a simple flower I had on stash and put them on plain white elastic!

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What do you think!?!?!? I am in LOVE!  …. and it didn’t cost me anything!  Go ahead, get your craft on!

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