easter sunday

the easter bunny came!

i have hemmed and hawed over the idea of the easter bunny, tooth fairy, and santa. i wasn’t sure if i wanted to push a made up character to persuade olive to be a good kid. ’cause honestly, she’s a good kid without persuasion. there are some big debates between parents around this subject. these fictional figures have been molded and it’s american made, it’s financially driven, it’s lying, it’s bribing, and so forth.

easter and christmas are christian religious holidays celebrating jesus. i want olive to know and understand that those holidays are stemmed from the life of jesus. that is why we celebrate on those days.

i also loved the idea that these characters added to the magic of the season and are really fun to believe in. i did believe in them when i was a kid and it didn’t harm or taint me. my parents didn’t enforce the idea of santa, the easter bunny, or the tooth fairy on me, it was all about church, the bible, and our faith but i loved the magic behind it. i was never upset they weren’t real. honestly, i always knew they weren’t but loved believing in something magical. i definitely don’t look back on my childhood and think i was scarred or lied to. all i remember is magic, love, excitement, and damn good memories with my family and friends.

my heart is so full to see her so excited over things like the easter bunny. she loved her basket from the bunny, she loved finding the eggs the easter bunny left behind. she giggled with excitement at the idea of presents. i’m ok with that.

what i try to do every day is parent with love, respect, and discipline. do i fail, alllll the time but i try, try again. i want to raise my girls to become strong, smart, independent, kind, and to be filled with gratitude {to name a few attributes}…the list goes on and on.

so whether they believe in the easter bunny or not, or whether i push it on them or not. i think they will grow up just fine and hopefully pass the traditions and love to their children to create magical moments together too.

{we celebrated easter together in the morning and then met my family for brunch in chicago, at swift and sons, later in the day!}

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[ellie making her way to the easter baskets]

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[olive eyeing the baskets and excited!]

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[ohmergawd her hair!! talk about bedhead!!!]

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[digging through her goodies]

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[she sooooo wanted this bunny!]

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[she was so excited over everything!]

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[ohmergawd, this sweet babe]

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[look ma, an egg]

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[i’ll pretend to eat it]

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[hahaha! just kidding!]

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[i’m so funny, i crack myself up!]

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[easter egg hunt time!]

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[checking out her goodies]

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[so excited for her shopkin surprise!]

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[easter egg hunt aftermath]

*****

BRUNCH AT SWIFT AND SONS!

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[sweet cousins]

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[opening up her easter basket from r + b]

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[always doting on her]

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[thuy getting festive]

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[flummoxed]

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[my love]

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[i loooooooove bloody mary’s!]

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[cheers!]

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[dan and agata]

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[preptastic]

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[we fail ,every holiday, at taking a family picture together]

xoxo

easter bunny

my sister kim, last minute, asked us to come with her to go see the easter bunny at 900 n. olive paid a visit to the easter bunny once {at a local easter egg hunt}, when she was two years old but we didn’t see one last year. we hosted an egg hunt at our house versus going to one and seeing an easter bunny at a local mall or so.

the next morning, we did our usual routine and got ready to head out. i remembered back in the days, something like this stressed me out with two kids {hahaha…and yes, i only have two. not three. not four. referencing, it’s all relative, right?}. getting them ready & dressed, getting myself ready, getting them fed, packing up enough toys, diapers, snacks, etc., not forgetting anything for myself, getting them layered up for the cold weather, getting them strapped into the car seats {’cause, hell, that’s a process in itself!}, do i have the stroller? all sorts of things to remember and plus, i was always late. yes, it used to stress me out but now it’s like second nature.

we were ahead of schedule and hit the road to head to 900 n michigan ave. we parked, i fed ellie, i assembled the stroller, we rolled in, walked around, i had to go to the bathroom, we went to the wrong floor, and then we finally found the easter bunny area and signed up for a visit. it was an hour and forty five minute wait! oy! there were 40 families ahead of us!

everyone finally rolled in and we all gathered around the 6th floor {for coffee at oak tree}, to wait our turn for the easter bunny while the kids played in galt toys. olive obsessed over a unicorn bouncy. she was smitten. the entire time we were there, she bounced on it all around the store. she was sooooo happy! she showed it off to anyone who would listen. it was so cute. when we were leaving, she asked me if she could ‘borrow’ it. her word for, can we ‘buy’ it. i said, “maybe you can tell the easter bunny to bring it to you?”. her eyes totally lit up!

it was finally our turn to see the easter bunny! it went by much faster than estimated {one hour versus the hour forty five}, thank goodness! as expected, ellie was a hot mess when i left her with the easter bunny but overall we received pretty awesome pics!! olive was so good! i was so surprised and my heart was so full that she was excited to see him and not scared! the set up was so gorgeous! the balloon arch was beautiful and the flowers and lights were so springy and fun! i was so happy with the results!

after the easter bunny pics, we headed on over to the blue door kitchen and garden down on elm. it was so cute and cozy inside! the dinnerware was pretty, the libations were tasty, and the food was so delicious! i absolutely enjoyed our service; everyone was so attentive and polite! i definitely hope i can get back there with hc to eat again!

after our excursion at the restaurant, we shopped a little bit more and then headed on our way home. later that evening, the family came over to our house to eat dinner and dye eggs! our day was filled with so much fun!

it was such a lovely day. it really was. we had such a great time with everyone. seeing the easter bunny was so much fun, the restaurant was so good, and the company was even better. it was a really fun day with the family! time spent like that is priceless. oh, and the easter bunny did get olive her unicorn bouncy! yay!

happy easter lovelies!

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[i’m typically walton]

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[how gorgeous is this balloon display?]

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[i could stare at this all day…it’s so whimsical and pretty!]

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[i think i was more excited than olive when the easter bunny came out!]

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[she spotted the bouncy]

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[she’s going for it!]

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[no pictures of this next event but the poor babe fell on her face. eep!]

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[she faired better on this riding toy]

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[sweet babes running through the center]

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via tandeminlove.com[my sweet babe]

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[sweetest cousins]

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[cookie monster]

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[super auntie thuy and ellie]

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[what really happened…oh poor babe was so scared!]

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[blue door kitchen and garden]

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[terry and kim]

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[cutest kiddos]

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[the most delicious tea drink everrrrrr]

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[i love her so much]

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[yummy, yummy hummus]

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[my sweet olive]

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[this kale and brussel salad was ahhhhhhhmazing]

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[lan and avery]

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[these babes are too sweet]

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[i love her bob]

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[eating pizza before dyeing eggs]

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[reagan’s creative egg dyeing]

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[sweet babe ready for bed]

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[olive’s eggs]

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[pj time!]

xoxo

easter treats

i always love making fun, quick, super easy desserts. it’s great for olive to get involved and so easy for her to help – the most important part! but what i love most is that it’s e a s y. i can juggle this fun activity for olive and not have a huge mess to clean up or be too involved in the process to a point where it takes me away from ellie.

i did the prepping and dipping, olive did the sprinkling! i think she had the best job of the two of us.

this cookie dessert is so simple, it doesn’t need any instructions. all you need is one bag of white chocolate chips, a bag of oreos, and sprinkles. i always melt the chocolate in a pot separated from another pot of boiling water {a makeshift double boiler}. i half dipped each oreo and placed them on wax paper and olive sprinkled them all. that’s it! at first, she tried tipping the sprinkle jar onto the chocolate and that was a compete disaster! hahahaha! so, i poured the sprinkles into a bowl and it was much easier for her to control it and cover the cookies!

she did such a great job and we really had fun! gosh…with each passing year, this babe is such a joy! i love how helpful she is. i love how understanding she is. i love that she has an opinion {although there are plenty of times i wish the opposite! ha!}. i love that she can articulate her feelings to me. i love that she is so sweet. i love that she is a great big sister. i love that she loves me and always wants to be by my side {until she turns 14…wahhhhh}.  i love that she forgives me when i am letting her down. my heart is so full watching her grow.

well, these cookies did not stay in the house! we divvied them out to others to enjoy! it’s such a fun, springy treat to gift others…holidays and sweet morsels always go hand in hand!

happy easter lovelies!

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[getting ready to make chocolate dipped cookies!]

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[big mistake…i let her shake it out of the container and she pretty much dump the bottle on the cookie! ha!]

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[yuuuuuuummmmmm]

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[this babe chose her outfit…the dress, the bow, all her!]

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[i dipped the oreos and she covered each one with sprinkles]

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[i looooooove her!]

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[finishing touches]

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[so pretty!]

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[she was cracking me up biting into this cookie!]

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[ohmergawd…she was BOTHERED that the chocolate had dripped on her mouth and chin. i had to beg her to stay still for a photo but i am sooooo glad i got a pic because it makes me laugh so hard every time i look at it. mainly because i was there to witness it and that she was so upset and laughing at the same time!]

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[take two!]

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xoxo

easter baskets

i try to be creatively proactive with the holidays because if i don’t make a conscious effort, it seriously slaps me in the face unexpectedly. hahaha! then, honestly, i get disappointed i didn’t fair better. innately, i have always loved holidays.

growing up catholic vietnamese, my parents were very religious. so, holidays were all about church, jesus, mary, and celebrating the life of. absolutely nothing wrong with that because i am all about being catholic, respecting my religion, my faith, and the idea of just doing/being a better person and preaching the word of the Lord. easter is all about jesus being resurrected and that is it in a nutshell.

buuuuuuuttttt, i have always looooooved the frilly aspect of it. the commercial, american way of celebrating religious holidays. i love it for the fun, whimsical notions. i like easter baskets, the easter bunny {i adored the easter bunny as a kid!}, and the cute, fun decorations that come with it!

so, with that being said…i had the best time creating easter baskets for the girls. it’s definitely hard to shop for them when they are with me! i had to hide stuff or tell them that they don’t get what they did see until easter. olive was like, “okaaayyyyy”. i am so blessed olive is so compliant and sooo freakin’ well behaved. she just plain listens to me!

i created their baskets the other day and was so pleased with how they turned out! i wanted to limit the candy {although they still get a few treats!}…because i tend to go overboard every year with that and focused more on fun things they would use or like.

voila! useful, fun, pretty, reusable easter baskets! i’m in love. i can’t wait to give these baskets to the girls!

happy creating my friends!

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counter clockwise: garland: hooray everyday // book: little owl’s colors // bunny: target // unicorn horn chalk {not online but in stores}: nordstroms // mini melissa’s unicorn shoes {they’re not available online but similar ones here}: nordstrom // macaron bath bombs: nordstrom

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https://www.target.com

xoxo

easter sunday

ohmergoodness. i am finally posting about easter. it’s been a whirlwind in life of late. i don’t know why it’s been so busy and hectic for me. i feel like life hasn’t changed much but yet, i am constantly chasing time!? smh.

anyhoo, my sister kim had planned an easter brunch at maple and ash…a yummy little restaurant in chicago. i was excited to go because we had celebrated new years there and it was epic. so, of course, i was stoked to eat brunch there!

we arrived pretty early, well early for us, and casually walked in & got seated right away. my family wasn’t far behind us. once everyone arrived, we ordered beverages and waited for our server to explain any necessary information guiding us in our soon to be brunch consumption.

we then took off and starting gathering copious amounts of savory sorts onto our plates. it was yummy! i loaded my plate full of bacon, fruit, sausage, and pancakes and i am sure i am forgetting what else. ok, ok, i put a lot of food on my plate because i was going to feed olive! hahaha but i did eat most of it, darn that breastfeeding! i am always hangry!

i love maple and ash. it’s so pretty, fun, and always a great time. we love the service and food there and we always have fun interacting with the staff and exploring new palates.

it was a great time out with the family and it was an absolutely gorgeous day out! what a fabulous easter it was. ellie’s first easter was awesome and olive’s 4th was just as amazing. i love celebrating holidays with the family and it brings me such joy to see my girls enjoy it too!

xoxo

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[brunch menu at maple and ash]

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[she’s so sweet & highly emotional]

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[sisters]

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[bromance]

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[the seafood starter was amazing]

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[aren’t they sooooooo cute?!]

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[i captured the sweetest moments between these two loves of mine]

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[my love]

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[the delicious bunny cookie]

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[uncle dan and reagan]

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[cheeky little monkey]

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[happy easter!]

xoxo

easter pre-game

we had quite the eventful day before easter!

one, it was hc’s birthday and two, it’s easter! we love to do fun things like decorate easter eggs and participate in fabulous easter egg hunts!

it was all very last minute because olive had been sick for a few days prior to this and we could not get out of the house with her. poor thing was glued to the toilet, so no easter egg hunt outings or anything of that sort due to her not feeling well.

i scrambled to put together something…we didn’t have any food to host with, nor did i even decorate! ha! i thought i was going to get away with not decorating for easter but then we, last minute, decided to have our family over and how could i not decorate to create a little bit of a festive environment?! sphhh, hello…it’s me. so there i was in the morning, hanging banners, pulling out fun decor, and filling easter eggs. {let alone, i had to make a quick or tried to make a quick trip to the grocery store too!}

my family came over and we sipped lemonade, ate a simple lunch, and hunted for & decorated easter eggs! the weather was a m a z i n g!!! seriously, it was so beautiful out! the kids had a blast searching for the eggs and opening up their goodies to find toys, candies, and money inside!

after all that, we then opened up easter gifts! {of course we saved olive’s basket for the morning because the easter bunny needed to drop that one off} the kids were so excited and spoiled rotten. gosh, we tend to do that with every special occasion. when you have that many family members…it can get cray with the gifts!

overall, it was truly a wonderful day! we celebrated hc, we celebrated easter, and we were all able to spend some great family time together! until next year my bunnies!

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[easter prep]

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[my new favorite glasses]

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[we wished hc a happy birthday!]

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[super aunty thuy created the prettiest french braid for miss o]

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[always the yummiest]

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[hc’s easter birthday cake]

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[tulips are so pretty]

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[easter egg hunt!]

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[the contestants]

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[olive finding the eggs!]

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[this way!]

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[run!]

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[dada helping olive out]

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[ellie famous face with aunty kim]

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[levitating eggs]

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[checking out her goodies]

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[happy birthday hc!]

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[raspberry lemonade refresher]

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[bunnies]

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[ready to dye easter eggs]

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[i love how excited olive is!]

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[she did so well!]

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[she loved her pink decorated egg!]

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[eggcited for easter gifts!]

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[baby ellie opening her gifts from aunty thuy]

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xoxo

hoppy easter

it turned out to be a really nice morning and afternoon. we were expecting rain all day, well at least in my mind i was. i didn’t check the weather report what so ever and i only remembered seeing rain in the forecast and thinking, ‘bummer…it’s going to rain on sunday and we can’t do an easter egg hunt outside’. well, i was wrong and i should have checked the weather report again! eep!

my morning was way too chaotic and it shouldn’t have been. it definitely should have been more relaxing but i am a glutton for punishment, aren’t i? i cram in too much stuff and it could have been a lot more low key and chill. thank goodness hc is so understanding of my madness and puts up with my shenanigans, as always.

we finally got ready and over the river and through the woods, off to grandmother’s house we go {literally}! we arrived to a full house and olive was grumper mcgrumps, just waking up from a nap. she looked so stinkin’ adorable in her easter outfit and i was excited for her to show it off! so cute! i held the babes for awhile, until she became comfortable to venture out on her own.well, thank goodness aunt missy lured her in with a gift and distracted her!

aunt missy presented olive with her easter basket and she was smitten. olive was loving all the goodies aunt missy had given her and that really lifted her spirits. olive also really loved staying in papa’s room. she loved all the ‘toys’, the choo choo train, and watching t.v. on his bed!

we mingled and visited with everyone. we had lunch and continued to socialize with the family until it was time to leave. we had to head out to our second engagement of the day, dinner with my famille!

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[my little babe enjoying her easter basket from aunt missy]

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[i can’t get enough of this cutie in her easter outfit]

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[the ubiquitous jello mold]

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[happy easter!]

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[having fun with gramma!]

we headed out to meet up with famille and now, it was raining. yuck. we made decent time and of course, olive did her famous – i will fall asleep 10-15 minutes before we get to our destination and wake up to be super grumpy. as usual, she met her end of the deal and was crazy grumpy. ugh. my poor family always gets the bad end of the stick with this gal. we usually meet my parents or family for dinner and it is always right after a nap. olive is no happy camper when she wakes up and acts like a mad little person for at least an hour. gah!

anyhoo, we really enjoyed our time together. it was nice because the restaurant was quiet and we literally had our own little nook in the corner. it almost felt like we were in a private space. we ate, imbibed tasty beverages, and enjoyed our relaxing dinner together on this cozy easter evening.

it was a perfect way to end the day. it was a bit hectic and exhausting but always so worth it to see both sides of our family! it was a happy easter indeed!

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[thuy and reagan]

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[so typical]

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[mom and dad]

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[thuy and olive]

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[oh these bro’s]

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[olive is too busy texting to say cheese]

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[mr. bennett can sleep anywhere]

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[nobody puts baby in a corner]

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[i love this face]

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[i had to squeeze in a few photos of olive opening up her easter basket from auntie thuy]

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[her face lit up when she saw the tinker bell toy!]

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[she loved, loved, loved her tinker bell toy from auntie thuy!]

xoxo

hoppy easter!

what an easter! it was the most perfect weather and a wonderful day!

our morning was a bit of a whirlwind. our brunch reservations weren’t until right after noon but it was one thing after another {like every morning!}, such as feeding olive, chasing her down, playing with her, feeding her again, me getting ready, hc getting ready, getting olive ready, finishing up the easter baskets, getting coffee, packing her bag for the afternoon, etc. just a few things to do. natch. haha!

my brother dan and sis thuy came on over so we could all hitch a ride together. of course, i was running around grabbing last minute things, taking photos, and running behind {as usual}. we packed ourselves into the car and arrived at the restaurant in no time.

unfortunately, our brunch time was in the middle of olive’s nap time. i was hoping that our baby girl would fall asleep in the car but that was not happening. she was too distracted with us being in the back seat! so, of course, she fell asleep right before we got to the restaurant. we let her sleep for just a wee bit {like 10 more minutes} before she awoke, on her own. bummer…i just knew she was going to get delirious…

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[getting easter bunny ready!]

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[i love these baskets]

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[my little movie star]

we waited inside the restaurant for a few minutes, awaiting everyone’s arrival. once our party was all there, they led us downstairs to a private dining spot. so cool. like seriously so cool. it was in a vaulted area…like we were going down into the deep freezer but it was an awesome private dining room. perfect for the kiddos {to run around and play} and us adults {to relax and enjoy our afternoon}.

i loved the privacy, the one on one service, and the amazing wine cellar! the room had such a great aesthetic appeal. my favorite decor in the room was the chalkboard, the whale tail that you see was legit…a work of chalk art!

we had easter brunch with the becka’s {helen, mike, gabrielle, and sam}. they are a sweet, sweet family that my sister kim had befriended awhile back {sam and reagan go to school together!}. helen, seriously, cracks me up! she is so darn funny and witty. she just entertains me with her humor! her husband mike is one cool guy and her children are so cute and sweet. they are such a great family and we were so excited to spend our easter with them!

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we ordered drinks and selected our entrees and the rest was history. they slowly served the food and the drinks and we nibbled, ate, and sipped at our pace. it was fabulous…and of course, we snapped a bazillion photos, as you can probably tell. i did edit a few out! 😉

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[our private dining space at gt fish and oyster]

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[it looks like i have a 50’s do and olive is sad about it…haha! olive’s ootd: peek ivory and hot pink lace dress, mini melissa shoes, and fancy free finery felt flower crown]

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[the becka’s, doan’s, walsh’s, and heintz’s]

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[besties helen and kim]

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[dapper dudes checking out the wine cellar]

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[soeurs]

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[the cutie corner]

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[hard liquor, apple juice, and mimosa…a range of drinks…hey, at least we all have our serving of fruit!]

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[me and the best, hc]

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[you can’t be at gt fish and oyster without an order or two of oysters!]

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[these two couldn’t keep still]

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[a plethora of food]

after brunch {ummmm, three hours later!!}, we parted ways with the becka’s and went on our merry way home. everyone came on over to our house to exchange easter baskets but unfortunately {fortunately?} little miss olive fell asleep, so only the boys got their baskets. she needed it, she was dunzo & delirious at the restaurant! regardless, it was fun and cute to see them so excited over their treats. btw, how cute are their outfits??!! they are so adorbs and i love how my sister dresses them! such dapper dudes.

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[easter basket exchange]

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[it was a happy easter! *wink*]

well, that’s all folks! it was an ah-maze easter. we had a wonderful time with our friends and family, celebrating the resurrection of Christ! thank you for stopping by! muwah!

xoxo

springy

i love having a ‘new’ home. a place to call ours. i have the best time decorating it, especially with the seasons and/or holidays. now, granted, we are still in the process of remodeling our house. with that said, our kitchen is oooold {not our counters or appliances but pretty much everything else}. as you probably have seen in previous pictures, we have wood paneling on our walls. yes, you read that right. frickin’ wood paneling. i can’t wait until we hit up this room and update it.

anyhoo, decorating our place is fun but sometimes difficult, because the aesthetics of certain rooms negate what i am trying to do. so, i try my best to incorporate my likes onto my dislikes. for example, i love the fireplace that we have but i totally dislike the mantle. to me, i can put something super nice and pretty up on the mantle but all i see is that fugly mantle! i hope y’all get what i am saying!

well, i fancied up our home with some spring/easter fun decor. i love spring…the segue into summer! i always start with our chalkboard. i love drawing something fun and festive onto it, whether it’s a pretty picture or saying. that always sets the tone for the decor!

via tandeminlove.com

[i love chalkboard writing…ever since i was kid]

i am obsessed with these paper flower garlands from target. obsessed. they are so pretty and delicate. i fell in love as soon as i laid my eyes on them while shopping a few weeks back. i love decorating our front bay window with every holiday that comes around or i like to put something seasonal in there to jazz it up. i thought these garlands were going to be perfect up on our window and they are…natch.

via tandeminlove.com

[how gorgeous are these paper flowers from target?!]

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[another view]

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[ok, last one…so purrrty!]

i then pulled out some ‘old’ decor i had from our basement. when hc and i moved into this house {almost} last year, i had purchased some easter decor that had gone on sale at some stores {after season} and then packed it away for next year! well, next year is now here and i pulled out the decor i had collected. i was excited to see all the goodies i had picked out last year come to life in our house, finally!

via tandeminlove.com

[let’s go on an easter egg hunt!]

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via tandeminlove.com

[i love green glass anything]

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i love spring and i love that it feels light and springy in our house with our festive touches. now, we just need the weather to catch up and mother nature needs to stop with all that snow! well, it might be cold outside but it’s warm and fun inside our abode!

happy spring!

xoxo

happy spring!

spring is here! spring is here! we are so excited, ’cause that means that it will only get warmer and summer is on it’s way! yipeeeee!

i love spring for it’s warmer temps {which we have been blessed with lately…hey, i’ll take a few 70’s but high’s of 50’s will do, at least it’s not zero degrees!}, flowers a bloomin’, things turning greener, and lots o sunshine! ya know what i love most? the snow has melted. hallelujah. don’t get me wrong; and i’m not trying to jinx us…it does typically snow after the first day of spring but at least there is {almost} no snow on the ground!

my hubs has been ecstatic over the change in weather. he’s been outside non-stop. whether it’s him tinkering with his cars, riding his bike, taking walks with miss olive, or playing in the parks, he is loving it.

i love that i will soon retire my puffer coat. i love that i will no longer feel like i am peeling off a whole ‘nother layer of clothes when i get inside. i love that i can wear flats. i love seeing the ground. i love driving around with my windows down. so saaaaweet!

via tandeminlove.com

[banner by littledovie]

here is a little pic of our mantle. i love mantles. i love this but i can’t wait until we remodel this area! anyhoo, i whipped up a fun design for our chalkboard to celebrate the spring season. the banner is a nod towards st. patty’s day but i feel like it’s just a cute sign to have around because i do feel lucky {st. patty’s day or not!}.

well, lovies. happy spring indeed! i am counting down the days until summer but look forward to every warmer day we get with our spring season!

xoxo