olive’s last day of school!

ohhhhh it was olive’s last day of pre pre-school!

what. a. year.

i clearly remember her first day of school. she was nervous, i was anxious, and it was such a huge milestone for the both of us! fast forward to the last day of school and it was full of joy, laughter, and friendships.

olive had a wonderful time at school. her teacher, mrs. f, was so kind, sweet, caring, and loving. we couldn’t have asked for a better teacher to kick start olive’s education. she looked forward to every day of school. she loved mrs. f. she loved her my little pony toys that she played with every school day. she said lakshya and collette were her best friends. so many great memories created!

she learned how to put on her coat by herself, the days of the week, recognizing numbers and letters, the weather, colors, drawing, painting, cutting, shapes, the holidays, and so much more!

they hosted a costume parade for halloween {blogged}. they held a winter concert {blogged} and a mother’s day concert {blogged}. olive told me about thumbs up thursdays and special projects they worked on from day to day.

i always had a ritual. every day after school and before dinner. we would pull olive’s backpack out and we would look inside to see what she brought home and we would discuss her school day together. she would tell us about her friends. or what she learned. or whatever the focus was that day. it was my favorite part of our evening, listening to her talk about it.

i feel very fortunate to have been so involved with her teacher and all the fun activities they allowed us to be a part of. my most favorite volunteer event was when it was olive’s birthday and she was star of the day {blogged}! i was able to come in, observe their morning routine, watch olive lead the morning activities, and then i was able to read a story to the class! that was so much fun!! of course, we brought treats for all the kiddos to take home!

it seemed like the school year just flew by! before i knew it, her last day was upon us! i scrambled to put together a gift for her teachers and had to prepared my brain that this was her last day and i had volunteered to help out!

the kids got to take a field trip the ice cream shop – everyday’s a sundae! all the volunteer moms gathered outside the classroom and waited for the kids to come out. each mom was responsible for two kids each for our walk to the shop.

once we arrived at the ice cream shop, all the ice cream was pre-ordered and prepared! olive and her classmate kinley were the only two kids who ordered popsicles {their friend lakshya had pre-ordered ice cream but changed her mind last minute when she saw the other girls with popsicles!}!!! the rest of her classmates ordered ice cream! go girls! be YOUnique!

after the kids ate their ice cream, we all walked to the post office, where all the kids mailed letters to their parents. once we did that, we then all walked back to the school where we said our goodbyes and the kids continued on with their last day of school!

oh how bittersweet! it was such a wonderful school year and such a sweet ending for olive’s last day. thank you, thank you to all the teachers out there that do their best to further these kids minds and show them that you care!!! we appreciate you!

happy summer vacation!

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[waiting for her treat!]

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[she requested a popsicle]

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[oh my sweet girl!]

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[the last one to enjoy her treat]

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[spotted her paparazzi mama]

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[sending a letter to us…how sweet]

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[her new thing…biting the inside of her lip]

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[my diy teacher’s gift – MANI thanks for a great year!]

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xoxo

pre mother’s day celebration

hc’s parents came over to our place, one day early, to celebrate mother’s day!

it was a lovely morning. hc took the kiddos, got them ready, and let me have time to myself for a couple hours in the morning! it was fantastic. i laid in bed for a bit, pouring over social media {ahhhhhhh, i miss those days of just lounging in bed, after slowly waking up!}, got ready, cleaned up the house {again}, and lounged for {literally} a second before everyone got home and hc’s parents came over.

gramma and papa brought over toys for the girls and hc came home with all sorts of surprises! hc knows the way to my heart, pretty flowers, great wine, and starbucks! it was so adorable; i saw them come home, so i swung the door open. olive came running up with flowers in her hand and ellie sloooooooowly wobbled to the door {like sooo dang slow, olive stood at the door beaming and waiting for ellie to coincide with the surprise} with the biggest balloon!!! it was three times the size of ellie! hahaha! it was so dang cute watching them run towards me with the biggest smiles on their faces!

once everyone was settled, hc starting prepping for lunch. we visited with each other and hc cooked up a storm. it was super yummy and it was a very relaxing afternoon spent together.

jane and i drank some bubbly while the girls played and hc cooked up a delicious lunch for everyone {roasted potatoes, vegetables, grilled chicken, sausage, and cole slaw}. after lunch, we relaxed on the couch, watched clips of olive’s mother’s day concert from school, and ate cake! yuuuuummmmmmm!

after several hours, dick and jane left {to get home to sadie, their dog}. it was a wonderful afternoon spent with hc’s parents. it’s always so fun when you get to spend time with family!

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[hc knows the way to my heart]

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[gorgeous tulips]

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[flowers for gramma from olive and ellie]

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[a bit of morning bubbly]

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[playing with papa]

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xoxo

mother’s day concert

olive’s school hosted the moms and their families to the mother’s day concert!

i was excited. i love being involved in anything school related. i love supporting olive in any school activities. i find these moments, these years too short. i try my best to be present. i try, i fail, and i succeed. i am not perfect.

olive has become more tenacious, more vocal, more opinionated, and together we have become more combative. she levels out my thinking and really makes me look into the mirror, which i am so grateful for. i realize how difficult i can be, how irrational and temperamental i am. i absolutely love her honesty towards me and it definitely puts me in my place.

being a mother is such a great gift. i feel so lucky to be on this journey. the lessons i’ve learned, the selflessness, and the reflection i must look at helps me become a better person. having children forces me to be a better human as i help them become better human beings. it’s my calling. it’s my purpose. it’s what i am meant to do. children are the greatest gift in this crazy, messed up world!

anyhoo, the concert was so stinkin’ cuuuuuute!!!!! so cute! they did such a great job singing all their songs and i was so proud of olive! she belted out some tunes! it was so cute to watch and hear her sing her songs.

after the concert, each student grabbed their gifts for their moms and walked down to us! it was so fun and sweet to see olive so excited to see us and give me her present! it was a book of handprints…from september to may, celebrating each holiday or milestone throughout the school year. i loved seeing her hand print grow with each month…oh my heart!

after the gifts, they had cookies and water for us to enjoy. it was so darling and fun! i attached a video of one of the songs they sang. you can hear olive so clearly in this one. my heart is so full!

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[getting ready to sing!]

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[waiting for the teachers to call her down to give her gift to me]

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[olive ready to give me a mother’s day present!]

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[my focus was sooooo off but i love her expression here, so i had to post it.

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[how cute is this??!]

[my focus was sooooo off but i love her expression here, so i had to post it.

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[she’s so damn sweet]

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xoxo

brunch with mutts

i met mutters or mutts {also known as danielle}, hmmmmm, maybe 8 or nine years ago??? it might be longer but i honestly can’t remember. she could clarify but that’s not the point. i have known her for quite some time and have seen her grow as person.

she was a single lady {all the single ladies!!}, dating a douche on and off and finally reconnected with an old flame that led into a serious relationship, then into an engagement, then into marriage, then into pregnancy. the circle of life, non? for some, not for all, but definitely a circle that goes round and round for most.

anyhoo, mutts and i were really close all the years we worked together and when i went my separate way, we stayed in touch. she’s a sweet, silly, and sassy lady who cracks me up. i love seeing her, hanging out with her, and now she’s expanding her family and it’s so awesome to see.

we met up for brunch the other week and holy cow! she’s was due in eight days! wowza. i was like, don’t have the baby while we’re eating. haha! just keeding. having a baby is nothing like what is depicted in the movies.

we had a great time. we talked about babies, birth, life, work, kids, and all sorts of stuff. my girls were being great and i was really surprised how calm ellie was being. sometimes, when i/we are at a restaurant for too long, she becomes restless but that day, she was happy as a clam sitting in a high chair.

maybe i was was talking too much but i felt that i barely ate my food! after a hour and a half, we decided to go. mutts was going to go get her nails done and us gals were going to go shopping.

it was a gorgeous day out and we were excited to get out there and shop for new shoes, dresses, and fun stuff…whatever we needed. we said our goodbyes to mutts and wished her luck on her upcoming labor!

well i am happy to say that she delivered her sweet baby girl, skylar, on may 12 at 4:05 am weighing in at 8lbs 4 oz. congrats anthony and mutts!!! we are over the moon at your sweet blessing!!!

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[ellie being entertained by paper]

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[mutts]

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[my sweet olive]

xoxo

hello olive

so i thought i’d interview miss olive and ask her a few questions.

i wanted to capture her innocence and sweet personality. i wanted to freeze a brief moment in her, well, our lives. i want to remember her clearly at this age. 4 years and almost 6 months.

she’s grown so much in the last year but lately, each week, each month she grows exponentially. i am surprised and pleasantly shocked at her thought process. her maturity. her emotions. her loving and caring nature. this girl is soooo utterly emotional and sensitive. she can crumble easily but forgives instantly. thank God because i always need to be forgiven. i am too temperamental and rash, i am alway kicking myself for getting too heated but this amazing soul, we call olive, always comes back to this bear of a mother and forgives. she turns my heart into a puddle and my love for her is indescribable and so big, it’s beyond words.

she listens and is so compliant. i am amazed by her inherent abilities to flex with her environment and other people’s personalities. she dotes on her little sister ellie. she is so patient. she is kind. she has a memory like her mama – sharp and clear. her social skills have blossomed so much over thee past few months and i am amazed every time i see her so talkative and receptive to others that she might not know as well.

my ‘interview’ was short and sweet. so, i asked her a few simple questions:

kiki: what’s your favorite color?

olive: purple!

kiki: what’s your favorite thing to do with kiki?

olive: play with a tea party {which we did after this interview!} with my dollies

kiki: what else do like to do with kiki?

olive: to decorate the house

kiki: what’s your favorite food?

olive: hot dogs!

kiki: is there another favorite food?

olive: pancakes!

kiki: who’s your best friend?

olive: grace

kiki: what is your favorite toy?

olive: my dollies for a picnic; bunny unicorn and rockstar

kiki: what is your favorite holiday

olive: shopping

kiki: olive:

kiki: what’s your favorite dessert?

olive: a pancake!

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[a 24 hour old olive]

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[the only time she took a paci…after that, it was history]

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[her sweet baptism]

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[ten months old]

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[first birthday]

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[two years old]

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[four years old]

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[my sweet baby]

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

valentine’s day ’18

one day, maybe a month or so before valentine’s day, olive asked me if we could have a valentine’s day party. well, ok! i thought it was so cute that she asked! i then inquired who she would like to come to this party, and she, without hesitation, said, “reagan, bennett, and terry!”. alrighty then. i thought it was hilarious! so i text my sisters and let them know what olive had asked and who she wanted to come to the party. my sister kim said, “well, i didn’t want to come anyways!” hahaha!

so, we had our family over for a fun little party! of course we kept it simple. wink. wink. in all seriousness, it really was a simple and easy party to get ready for! olive and i did some food prep before everyone came over. we cut up some ingredients for the apps and olive helped me cut out heart shaped pepperoni for the heart shaped pizzas hc was going to make!

i decorated the kitchen area and we waited for hc to come home from work. he started pizzas while i started apps. we had mozzarella sticks, jalapeños filled with cream cheese, and guac dip. the heart shaped pizzas turned out so cute and delicious and after dinner, we served a yummy cake!

after dessert, we gave the kids their valentine’s day gifts and the kids played and had a ton of fun. olive is always excited to hang with her cousins! our evening was short for it was a school night. so after a couple hours of visiting, we wrapped up our evening and said our farewells.

the party turned out so cute {if i do say so myself} and a good time was had by all! it was definitely a day of love indeed!

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[kid’s table]

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[she’s such a ham!]

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[heart pepperoni]

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[hc and terry]

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[my girls]

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[cousins]

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[hc and kim twinning]

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[look at that pout face]

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[present time!]

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xoxo

snow day

i am not one to watch the weather reports. i typically glance at the daily temperature so i have guidance on how to dress the girls. so, it was totally by word of mouth when i heard that we were getting a huge snowstorm! whaaaaaa?!

the days leading up to the actual event, i felt like i heard so many tall tales! such things as, we were going to get 6-12″, we were going to get 15″+, it was going to be crazy, things were going to shut down, water bottles were selling out, there was a mad dash to the grocery stores, the snowfall prediction grew by inches as the days rolled towards the actual day of the storm.

my attitude was: humph…it’s chicago. we’ve had worse. and so it began. the snow started to fall, and fall, and fall, and fall. i absolutely love fresh snow! it’s so clean, calm, and beautiful. it kept falling and falling, on and off for almost three days. we ended up with 15″+ and it was a total winter wonderland!

hc wanted to take miss olive out in the snow. one – to put on the gear he had bought for her and two – how could you not?? there was sooooo much snow, you had to have some fun it!

olive was apprehensive at first. she was uncertain about the mounds of powdery white snow. slowly but surely, though, she started to become keen about it. and soon enough, she was giggling and wanted to play in it!

well, we survived the massive snowstorm of 2018! the roads were cleared over night {after the heaviest snowfall} and all was well. it was back to business the next day, although it continued to snow but like i said – it’s chicago. it’s not our first rodeo! yahooooo!

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[ready for the snow]

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[she’s not quite sure what to do]

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[holy snow!]

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[she was not happy]

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[oh her sweet unhappy face]

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[throwing snow at dada!]

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[hc jumping in the snow, entertaining olive]

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[she thinks dada is soooooo silly]

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[she’s so sweet!]

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xoxo

from the heart

for the past few years, olive has made valentine’s day cards for her friends and family. we love this crafty moment; it’s a fun time for olive to learn about valentine’s day, create something pretty, and know that she’s sending out a little love in the mail.

i purchased the typical heart cards from papersource. i have bought them every year there for this purpose. i can’t tell you how much i love that store. when i lived in chicago, i used to go to the one in lincoln park, on armitage, allllllll the time. then they opened up the one on southport and i then had choices!!! i always feel like i could spend hours there looking at everything, wild with crafty ideas!

i pulled out my valentine’s day craft box and gathered all the crafty bits and pieces together to help olive create fun little valentines for her friends. she was loving it! she loves to paint and put stickers on everything! it’s one of her favorite things to do! she was waiting all week to do this!

she painted, then decorated, then signed some, and then got bored. hahaha! i must say, she completed a slew of cards…she does every year. i am always amazed by her tenacity and focus! like daughter like mama! i finished out her cards with a wish and assembled them all in light or hot pink envelopes. i addressed them {practicing my brush lettering}, literally stamped and stamped them, and we placed them in our mailbox to go! we love snail mail. it’s so old fashioned and fun.

happy valentine’s day my friends!

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[she’s ready to go!]

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[i love her little ankle cross]

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[painting her heart cards]

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[i love that smile]

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[kisses!]

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[oh that smile!]

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[her painted masterpieces]

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[putting her final touches on the cards]

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[full focus]

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[ta da! the almost finished product!]

xoxo

classmate vday cards!

now that olive is in school, it’s been fun creating birthday treats, teacher christmas gifts, and now we get to be creative for our valentine’s day cards!

since good ol’ pinterest has been around, creative ideas are in overdrive or overload or overwhelming. it’s like a pot o’ gold of ideas. well, of course i pinterest’d a valentine’s day card concept from there! i loved the one where you take a photo of your kid and stick a lollipop in their hand! i’m sure y’all have seen this one!

olive’s valentine’s outfit du jour for the pic? a heart headband and my little pony pj’s. that’s my girl! we love hanging out in pj’s all day every day!

everything cost just a few dollars apiece and it was quite inexpensive to make! everything was on ‘sale’ {i only quoted this because, lately, sale is usually the regular price}. the most time spent was looking for the supplies, only because i do love to shop and find the right pieces! my problem is that i love to look at everything, every shop, every possible option…not to find the best deal but to find the best stuff to execute the ideas that float around in my head.

hc printed out the pics for us, i bought the supplies, and olive helped assemble all the lollipops onto the cards! i stuffed each heart covered plastic baggies with a card, a few pieces of candies, a bubble wand, and stickers! voila! cute, fun packages to hand out to her classmates on valentine’s day!

olive was quite happy with the final results and i can’t wait for her to hand out her sweet valentines to her friends at school!

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[she looks thrilled doesn’t she?! hahaha!]

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[what do i do with this lollipop besides eat it?]

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[she did it!]

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[focus!]

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[i love that smile]

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[ta da! her valentine’s day card]

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[a valentine’s day card, bubbles, stickers, and candy!]

xoxo