simple night

we had a low key, simple night out with the fam. i love moments like these. we can get together, have dinner, hang out, and shop! us gals can really shop. i don’t know how and why. it cannot be explained. were we born with the shopping gene?? yup, i think we were. there is such a thing as a shopping gene, right? some people are born with it and others are not. when you have the shopping gene, you can shop for hours on end. you are able to go to one store, to the next, to the next, and the next without getting bored or exhausted. yes, that is what me and my sister’s have. the unique shopping gene. πŸ˜‰

well. we started out the evening with a tasty dinner at cpk. we had our usual server, our usual order, and the usual routine. the boys colored and i fed olive her dinner. hc ordered a pizza and i wasn’t super hungry {what?!}, so i ordered a bowl of soup. split pea soup…delicious, add a dash of ground pepper and it totes is a meal!

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[selfie and cpk]

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[chunker cheeks]

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[coloring]

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[my love]

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[these two being silly!]

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[pizza! pizza!]

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we actually went shopping before dinner {because there was a wait} and before dinner ended, i ran out to pick up a few things for miss olive at babygap {a fav store of mine for the little missy}.Β the fam finished up at the restaurant and hc came over to tell me they were headed over to nordstrom. i made my purchases at babygap and we walked our merry way over to nordstrom kid’s shoe department. i could spot them from across the store…all three cuties had their balloon in hand!

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olive was having a great time playing peek a boo with her balloon and reagan. oh, reagan. he is the sweetest with her…always doting on her and being such a great, big cousin to little olive. it is so sweet to watch. as you can see, she was all smiles!

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[peek a boo]

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[weeeeee! weeeeee!]

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after much strolling, shopping, and a whole lotta fun, it was time to go. the usual…get miss olive home and start her nightly routine for bedtime!

having family close is the best thing. easy dinner. easy company. easy shopping partners. God bless my family and yours!

xoxo

olive’s second date

we were super excited to have a date with kim and brady! olive had a fun playdate with mr. jett recently and now she’s on her second date with mr. brady!

it was definitely long overdue. the last time we saw brady and kim, was when brady was 5 months old! so, we were looking forward to having a fun day with the both of them.

we packed ourselves up {after a long morning with olive…she went down for a late nap and boom! we were behind schedule} and headed on the road. it was a long ways to get to kim’s house. her and mikey just bought a house way up north {about 43 miles from our home}! i was super excited for them…we know the gleeful, satisfied, wonderful feeling of owning your own home, so we couldn’t wait to see it!

we pulled up to the beautiful brick front home and i pulled olive out of the car, walked up to the door, and rang the bell. i was greeted by bruster, kim, and cutie brady! yay! i pulled olive out of her car seat and she immediately started to explore her new surroundings. it was total cuteness overload! as olive crawled around, brady followed. they were curious about each other, although olive seemed more curious and intrigued by all the fun toys!

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[housewarming gift & brady’s birthday present]

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[helloooo…we haven’t seen each other since i was two mo. old and you were five mo. old!]

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[brady was so cute…he’d walk to his chair and plop down like a little cool dude]

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[such a little sweetheart]

brady was soooo sweet. he would give me hugs and kisses. i was in love! too adorbs. Β he’d walk up, just fall into my arms, and give me smooches. it was beyond presh. moments likes these are to die for! these babes are soooo stinkin’ cute.

kim had ordered and picked up lunch for us {at a place down the street from her}! so kind! we immediately started chatting up a storm. oh, there was so much to catch up on. our houses, our kids, the days of our lives πŸ˜‰ brady and olive were having a swell time playing together. olive was so fascinated by all of brady’s toys! baby girl only has 1/10th of what brady has! so she was in play heaven!

we gabbed for quite a bit when i realized we had ordered food and hadn’t eaten yet! so kim and i ‘sat down’ to eat. i had ordered the breaded portobello mushroom sandwich and fries. it was delicious but a bit hard to eat with olive in my arms and i’m feeding her cereal puffs! so i forked the mushroom apart, left the bun, and gobbled on the fries. yum.

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[breaded mushroom sandwich and fries]

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[my cheeky babes]

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[the beautiful momma and the handsome babes]

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[brady gets so mesmerized by the tele!]

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[we couldn’t get a proper pic of brady because he was glued to the movie! so adorbs // pic by kim]

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[pic by kim]

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[pic by kim]

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[pic by kim]

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[we both so wanted a pic with the two babes sitting in the chair together…this is all we got!]

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[mommy selfie!]

we hung out with them all afternoon {and could have hung out longer, but i’m always on a schedule with olive, and i like to coordinate her naps with car rides πŸ˜‰ }. we had such a fun, relaxing time. we talked, we chilled, and reveled in all of life’s happenings. it was pretty awesome to be able to just chill in her new house and have our kids running amuck with no worries!

i love kim! just like jodi, our lives are so parallel in major milestones. dating, engagements, marriage, and children! we have been able to connect with so many wonderful events in our lives throughout the years of knowing one another. we feel blessed to have them in our lives!

well, it was another successful date! olive and brady had a grand ‘ol time playing together! i’m hoping it’s not as long of a time in-between before we see each other again! as soon as olive and i drove off into the sunset, baby girl passed out in her car seat and took a good, long nap πŸ™‚

xoxo

happy ten months!

happy ten months olive!

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[photos taken on 9.27]

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oh em gee. it’s getting so close to her birthday, birthday! wow, time is surely flying by! this past month has brought us so much joy! her personality, her quirks, her sweetness…all coming into fruition, forming her cute little self. this past month, i’ve found myself thinking, “oh my gosh, she’s becoming a little girl”. sniff, sniff.

she is still standing on her own. baby girl is no where near walking though. she, well, i wouldn’t say she’s lazy {not as ambitious?} because she does stand. she contemplates taking a step but would rather sit down and crawl because that seems easier and faster! i’m excited at the prospect of her walking but i always say, i love having her as is. don’t grow up too fast! i know once she starts walking, it’s going to be a constant chase. so, slow it down baby girl!

she loves to snuggle. oh, it’s the best! after her feedings in the mornings, she loves to roll around in bed with me. it’s intensified since her nine month mark. she loves to give me hugs and kisses. she loves to cuddle and snuggle. she loves to wrap her arms around me and just lie there, skin to skin. it’s the best feeling in the world. her sweet actions just makes my heart melt. she turns to me and kisses my lips or face. she will rest her head on my side, my leg, my arm, wherever she lies down. she loves it when i caress her cheeks. there are times when we are sitting on the floor together and she will crawl up to me, stand up, and wrap her arms around me and gives me a long hug. *sigh* those moments make life so beautiful.

eating food is her favorite activity. she loves to eat. she loves it when we feed her…she gets so excited! she is still eating solids three times a day with snacks in-between. we’ve graduated into non pureed foods. the next thing i’m about to write might gross some people out but it’s so inherent for me to do. so, yes, if you like, you can call me alicia silverstone. i actually will put food in my mouth, chew it up, and feed olive. ok, not like chew, chew, chew with my molars but i will break it down with my front incisors and then give it to olive. it helps break down the texture and it’s easier for her to eat. we love to eat like that together and it lets me feed her such things as fruit and meats, certain items that might be a little tougher for her to break down with just her gums {since she only has one tooth!}. so, overall she is still a hungry, hungry hippo!

her sleeping patterns are such a blessing. we are so lucky she’s been such an amazing sleeper since her fourth week {let me tell ya, those first four weeks were hellish, let’s just say we never slept those first weeks}.Β she goes down around 9:30pm and she is up around 7 or 8am. the latest she has ever slept was until 9am! the only thing that is bothering her of late are her teething episodes. but that hasn’t really stopped her from sleeping through the night! she might cry out for a minute or two but she always falls back asleep. she is just a little bit more fussy in the morning or fussy with her naps. but otherwise, she is sound asleep all night long.

exploring her surroundings has been her new thing. it’s too cute. she will crawl around the house and explore all of her surroundings. she can entertain herself for quite awhile when she is doing this. she will look inside all the rooms. she will pull things off the shelves {mostly toys in grace’s room} or just sit in a room and stare around. she loves to touch everything and look inside boxes and bags that are sitting around {like a curious cat!}. she just recently started to try to step up on the stairs or the hearth by the fireplace. that’s only been the most alarming action so far {time to buy a gate!} and it’s something we must keep our eye on at all times now!

she hasn’t yet spoken a solid word. we are waiting. so excitedly waiting. she mumbles a lot of different things and she has said mama and dada but hasn’t yet used it in a way that has it’s true meaning. like, she hasn’t cried and called out to me, addressing me as mama. so, i’m anxiously waiting!

this past month, she has been loving the act of throwing herself back onto the bed. oh, she thinks it’s soooo funny. what a clown. i will place her down on the bed and she will give me a sly smile and then throw herself back onto the bed. she then giggles and rolls back around to do it again. she also loves it when i take her and throw her [face first} onto our bed of pillows, she pushes herself off, and then gleefully throws herself backwards onto the bed! she will smile ear to ear and waits for me to do it all over again! what a funny gal!

well, those are olive’s ten month milestones, quirks, and memories. she has been such joy for us. we love, love watching her grow. we love listening to her giggle and ‘talk’. we love how much she brightens up our lives. we can’t wait to share olive’s eleven month fun! happy monthly birthday to our little love!

xoxo

flashback friday

today takes us back to a loooong time ago. oh, gosh. i can’t remember what year this was taken. probably 10 years ago…2004? give or take a year. unfortunately, this photo isn’t dated and it’s so pixelated {excuse the blurriness}.

rebecca and i are bridesmaids at a wedding. yes. a wedding. we are wearing long black gowns, black hair flowers, fingerless red netted gloves, and {fortunately you can’t see here} black satin chokers. bex actually took her choker off {smarty}.

oh, becky. b. bex. rebecca. we are long time friends. connected through high school. bonded through college. united through life’s ups and downs throughout these years. we would cross paths as we got older, we would drift through months and months and not see each other, we would reconnect from time to time and everything would feel the same.

life has taken us down some crazy paths {i’m gonna say more b than me} but rebecca and i now sit on similar roads. she’s currently in seattle with her husband and two beautiful little girls {ruby & wren…pretty awesome names, right?!}! i am settled in dg with my husband and our beautiful little olive. we are such family ladies now! life has really changed for us {for the better, duh!} and we are dedicated to raising our wonderful little girls and committed wives!

i am blessed to still have this sassy, fabulous lady in my life! she is one of a kind, unique, smart, lovely, sweet, and fun. i do love, love this picture of us {and yes, i mainly have blond hair highlights}. it captures our personalities so well. spunky, sassafrass b and who gives a crap me.

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i hope you take a moment to connect with an old friend or recall a fun, wonderful memory that makes you smile. happy friday y’all!

xoxo

a day dt

we spent a lovely afternoon in the city. first, we started off at my hair salon, michael and michael. my sisters and i usually book our appointments together. i started seeing misako before she came over to m&m salon {i don’t even remember the name of the old salon…it was on oak st. and i think that might have been it’s moniker}; hmmmmm, 15 years later, i am still getting my hair styled by her.

my sis kim started getting her hair cut by misako many years ago and only a few years ago, did thuy finally cave in and started seeing misako as well! so now it’s a family affair. we all go together and make it a daytime event.

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[hanging out at michael and michael salon]

***

this time around, though, i had an agenda. i needed to exchange a hat my dad had purchased for olive. he was really bummed the one he bought was too small and asked me to exchange it. the unfortunate part?? he bought it at navy pier. ugh. i dislike going there! especially on a saturday! the worst day ever to go to navy pier!

anyhoo, it was our mission, so after i got my haircut, we all headed over to navy pier to exchange the hat. we contemplated the idea of pulling the car over and i was to run in but that deemed to be an impossible feat. so, we were going to make it the best afternoon ever at tourista navy pier!

we walked around and finally made it to the area where they have all the little kiosks. we found the little hat stand and traded in olive’s hat for a bigger size. success, although olive wasn’t very happy with us putting different hats and sizes constantly on her little noggin’. or rather, her big noggin’ πŸ˜‰

we then perused a few different shops, when grace asked if we could eat at bubba gump restaurant. ha! of course we had too. it’s freakin’ navy pier!

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[checking out one of many fun shops]

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[honestly, i am not sure what grace is doing…]

it was actually a really long wait, so we put in our name and decided to do some more shopping. before we did, we fed little miss olive. she’s so silly…she constantly makes the funniest faces when she eats. so cute! after shopping for a bit, we rounded back to the restaurant and finally got seated!

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[funny faces while eating]

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[trying to take a cute photo together. uhhhh, she wouldn’t stop putting the stroller cord in her mouth!]

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[at bubba gump restaurant]

well, what do you get at bubba gump restaurant?? shrimp, of course! i ordered the southern shrimp, hc got the shrimp sampler, and grace got the fish n chips. the service there is always so fast and very friendly. everyone is so nice there!

our server actually quizzed us on the movie and we got all the questions right! ha! we love the movie forrest gump! she asked us: besides, jenny, who were forrest’s two best friends? which three presidents did forrest actually meet? which leg did lt. dan lose? of the three presidents that forrest met, what did he say to one of them right when he met him after drinking his favorite drink? what is forrest’s favorite drink? hmmm, i think those were all the questions she asked?! that was really fun when she did the quiz!

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[rich’s margarita coronita]

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[southern shrimp]

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[shrimp galore]

after eating, we headed out. it was a great day, starting off with my sisters and me finally getting my mane freshened up! woo! we really did enjoy our day together as a family, at navy pier. it’s always fun for grace and it was great to be able to have a low key, relaxing day together in chicago.

xoxo

farmer’s market

it’s official. it’s fall {ooohhh, cool coats and boots, here we come!}. but hey, technically it was still summer when we did this. so, with that, we were able to cross off another summer to do on our list! we went to a farmer’s market in downtown downers grove. i heard through others that it was a great place and that it offered a lot of great produce, amongst other items.

i was super excited to explore it. as crazy as this sounds, i have never been to a farmer’s market before. yesssss. it’s true. never. ever. been. although, i have heard so many wonderful things about them, i never really took the plunge to go to one and now here we are. my first time evah and i was soooo excited!

we got up and got ready to go. we knew that there would be food there, so we wanted to hold off and get breakfast at the market. we found a parking spot nearby and strolled our way to the market.

once we stepped inside the lines, we were greeted with such goodies! the first stand we stopped at, the lady was selling pies. all organic, no preservatives, all made from scratch ingredients. they all looked so good. then we saw a stand that made piping hot fresh doughnuts…oh em gee. we turned around and there was a crepe stand. there were so many fresh veggies, fruits, and fun knick knacks to look at. it was all i imagined it would be! chock full of goodness.

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[selfie at the market! fresh flower stand behind us!]

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[fresh veggies]

we ended up buying veggies at this stand, the carrots were huge! we purchased green beans, carrots, potatoes, and fruit.

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[lots and lots of independent stands full of goodies]

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[she just woke up from a nap]

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[organic mini pies…sooooo delish]

these pies were sooooo good. we gobbled them up! they were perfectly sweet, the crust was delicate and light, and the filling was decadently rich. we will definitely purchase these pies again!

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[snuggling her bear]

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[apple cider donuts from st. charles]

these cider donuts were to die for. they were so yummy, sweet, and densely cakey. perfectly cakey goodness. i could, seriously, eat three in one sitting.

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after we perused the whole place, we started to make our purchases. we picked up veggies, fruit, a hat for olive, donuts, pies, and finally decided upon breakfast. we all wanted a crepe. hc got a paella crepe, gracie wanted a banana hazelnut crepe, and i chose the ham and cheese crepe. we watched the chef make each of our crepes…we were so hungry by then! it was such a popular place, there was quite a line at this stand but we got there just in time, before the rush. we got our crepes right away! woo!

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[breakfast! grace with her banana and nutella crepe]

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[the chef in process of making my crepe]

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[my ham, egg, and cheese crepe]

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[enjoying our breakfast in this great weather!]

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[as we ate our breakfast, we enjoyed the polka band playing near us!]

after we ate our crepes in the warm sunshine, while listening to the polka band, we gathered our goodies and headed out. i must say, it was a successful visit to the farmer’s market! we headed out with a whole bunch of good stuff. i loved my first time at the market and can’t wait to go again. unfortunately, most likely next year since all the farmer’s markets are closing up shop soon. boo.

nevertheless, it was pretty awesome. i had a fantastic time with my family exploring such a great farmer’s market so close to home. cheers to such great, yummy finds on that day!

xoxo

decorating

oy…the joys and whoas of decorating a new home!

it’s tough. we are working on the living room right now. we need to buy a new rug and curtains for it. ugh. i am overwhelmed with the options…so many choices and i need to make a decision soon! we need curtains asap! there is nothing on our window right now and we need to have the privacy and i want to have the room aesthetically pleasing.

we keep debating back and forth on patterns and colors for our curtains. it’s such a big expense and i can’t make up my mind!

here are some ideas for the curtains:

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this swatch is from regal drapes. i love the cross pattern and colors. i am torn though, i’m not sure what color i really want the drapes to be! i want color but i’m wavering on committing to one!

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this one is from the shade store. as you can see…i am leaning towards yellow. i do love the yellow and gray, i think it will be a nice accent color and give the room a nice pop of brightness.

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i like this iron gate style from drape style.Β i’d maybe do this in a dark grey but i think i am leaning towards color. ugh. i dunnoooooo! honestly, everything i peek at looks really nice, i wish i could get several options and just change them out when i feel like it! yeaaaaahhhh, right.

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the iron gate looks very nice, i think the print will impactful in the space and neutral enough to play around with when it comes to any accents.

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hc and i really like this print above. it’s from an etsy seller, she offers quite a range of fabrics and color.

as for rugs, i played around with idea of doing something bright. i am now leaning towards something more graphic and bold. a nice statement rug that can flex with any of the color and accent changes in the room.

here are some ideas around rugs:

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i love this rug from ikea. i like the bright colors. the only issue i have with this is that is doesn’t come in a larger size. the size it is will do but we really want a larger rug to fit better into the size of the room.

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i love this rug from rugs direct. i like how bold it is but still neutral where we can change our room colors around it. i like the graphic design and the bold neutral colors that still make a statement. the only thing that makes me nervous is that it is a cream color! i must be crazy to want a cream colored rug with kids!!

i wish i had everything available so i could play around and then truly make a decision {wouldn’t that be great?!}! the whole decorating thing is fun…it’s our house and we get to make it as beautiful, lovely, comfy, and cool as we please! i love it.

well, once we finalize everything, i’ll let y’all know what decor we decided on! we will still have a lot to do with the room but getting the main pieces implemented is our main focus! ooohhhh, I can’t wait to share!

xoxo

olive’s first time in a pool!

another fun activity crossed off our summer to do list!

well, we did do this awhile ago, but i’m finally getting around to posting it. life is just so busy sometimes and getting a blog post published can take up so much time and it’s harder since i have the little one! i used to go, go, go but now {ok, now some people might say i’m still like that} but now i slow down and put things to the side because i’d rather have a little more snuggle time with olive, more one on one time with her, and more cuddly moments. the truth is…i know these moments don’t last forever and i am doing my best to cherish her little baby moments.

ok, so this was fantastic! i was so excited for olive and couldn’t wait to see her reaction. after a lovely brunch with my friend andrea and her friends and family, we headed to the hotel {palomar}, that they were staying at, to hang out at the pool.

i, unwillingly, changed into my swimsuit {um, having a baby does cray things to your body and i just ate lunch, hello!} and i dressed olive in her minnie mouse swimsuit {a present from gramma jane!}. we excitedly scurried to the pool, i couldn’t wait to get her into the water! i wasn’t worried she wouldn’t like it, i was sure she would love it! she loves bath time and has become so fascinated by the water.

so there i went, gingerly stepping into the pool {it was cold!}, my feet hit the ground and in olive went. she immediately loved it! yaaay! it was too presh. she cooed, mumbled, and splashed her way all around the pool. she was having the best time evah! annddd so was her momma! i loved watching her and i was super happy to see her love it so much!

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[here we go!]

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[she’s loving it! or am i loving it more?!]

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[look at that face!]

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[in the water!]

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[honestly, olive really did have a blast, although it looks like i am having more fun]

we actually stayed in the pool for quite some time. maybe 45 minutes? the only reason we got out was because i needed to head home. it was time for another nap for the little one and a car ride home would suffice. so, we got our raisin hands and toes out of the water, changed our clothes, and went on our merry way. baby girl zonked, i mean zonked out in the car! out like a light once we started moving on the road.

it was so fabulous to have experienced olive’s first time in the pool. we both had a blast! we can’t wait for future pool dates together!

here’s a little vimeo of her in action!

xoxo

flashback friday

today takes us back to august 2011.

here we are at my bachelorette fete. it was hosted by olivia, carol {who couldn’t make it}, and andrea, at andrea’s place in wicker park. it started out in the early evening at her place, everyone gathered there for apps {tasty bites prepared by olivia} and socializing. it was a breakfast at tiffany’s theme {i wasn’t aware of the theme until i got there! how cool}, so all the gals wore black dresses, pearls, and sunglasses…so fun! they even got me a tiffany’s blue box with a white ribbon cake {from alliance bakery}!! so sweet, literally!

carol had sent, from seattle, some cute photo booth props and we were having a grand ‘ol time with it! as you can see, thuy and i are loving it. we played around a bit with the fun props, snapping photos with our phones. but then andrea and olivia really surprised me with an impromptu photo session! they had hired a photographer to come in to do a mini ‘fashion’ shoot with everyone! that was so awesome {maybe a future flashback friday post?!}. the photos turned out fantastic and what an awesome way to capture a fun moment in my life!

anyhoo, i had the most amazing time at my bachelorette party! it was an evening full of wonderful friends, family, delicious food {yum, sea dog – my other favorite sushi place}, entertainment, hitting the bars, drag queens, and fun little games {it’s not complete without a panty guessing game!}! what a bachelorette party should be, celebrating the last few days of me being a single lady {yes, he put a ring on it}!

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[i love this pic of me and thuy!]

i hope your weekend is filled with lots of hugs and kisses and love, lovies. happy friday y’all!

xoxo

august snapshots

really?! august has come and gone?! what a great month it was. there was a lot of time hanging out with family and friends. definitely how life should be spent. i love life and i really do see the glass half full. life is too short to not revel in all the good things in your life. i try my hardest to live by those rules. i’m not always successful but i do believe i always have a sunny disposition that will always take me to the brighter side.

of course, a lot of these snapshots are of our beautiful, baby girl olive. she brightens our day, everyday. πŸ™‚ this past month, we were able to celebrate my nephews birthday, my sister kim’s birthday, do a lot of outdoor activities, and enjoy the last bits of warm weather!

oh, summer…you are coming to an end and we are not ready. we love having you around and all that warm weather you bring. if you stay, i promise i will bake you a cake πŸ˜‰ or maybe hc will bake you the cake. no matter, you will get cake, as long as you stay. pretty please. with sprinkles on top. and a side of ice cream. yum.

so, here is our past month in rewind. i hope you enjoy the pics and the many pics of our darling baby girl! here’s to another fabulous month to come!

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[snuggling with daddy]

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[not happy and very tired, teething babes]

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[tired little peanut]

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[olive, hc, and b]

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[best fast food burger ever]

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[typical look of disgust from our baby girl]

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[baby yoga while sleeping]

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[bath time // that’s reagan’s hand]

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[scooting around with cousin reagan]

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[bennett’s awesome birthday cake]

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[personalized cheese plate courtesy of my sis in law, missy]

via tandeminlove.com

via tandeminlove.com

[sq. 1: “why is gracie still sleeping? sq. 2: “hmmm, i’m looking at you!” sq. 3: “heeheehee” sq. 4: “yaaayyyyy! she’s awake!”]

xoxo