Friday, June 21, 2013

Guest Post: Baby Fashion, Summer style!

Rounding out the week for me is Meredith! She's basically a super-mom in my eyes because she has boy/girl TWINS...they are stinkin' adorable and have THE best style! She's sharing some of her favorite shops and stores with y'all today! And yes, we should totally be friends in real life some day, Meredith! ;)


Hello everyone!  It's Meredith from A Work In Progress.  :)  Katie is currently on a gorgeous beach drinking adult beverages with tiny umbrellas.  I'm stuck in Dallas with zero beach, zero fruity beverages, and 1,000 degree temperatures.  Regardless, I was really excited when she asked me to write a guest post.  Katie and I have never met but I've enjoyed getting to know her beautiful family through her blog and Instagram.  Maybe one day we'll meet in real life.  :)

She told me the topic was "Summertime with Littles" and it took me approximately three seconds to decide I'd write about baby fashion.  Let's be honest, next to politics and religion, baby fashion is all the rage.  As I mentioned above, we live in Dallas where you'll break into a sweat retrieving the morning paper at 6 am.  My twins (Jude & Sloane) are 7 months old and while both would rather be nudists, I know that somewhere deep, deep down they long to wear the latest trends.  Jude especially.

When I'm out shopping for these two I keep three things in mind: expense, comfort, and practicality.  Oh and cuteness.  Can't forget cuteness.  When we found out there was not one but two babies in my belly we decided I would stay home with them for the first few years.  Frivolous spending might as well be considered the "F word" around these parts and therefore I do a lot of website stalking, constantly looking for sales.  I very rarely pay full-price for anything the twins (or I) wear.  Patience is a virtue, blah, blah, blah.

Along with expense, I now realize how important comfort is for these two.  I've made the mistake of buying ridiculously cute items that looked uncomfortable on the hanger and even worse on the twins.  They HATED it.  I would dress them and they would look at me like I had 10 heads.  Oops.  Along with comfort, practicality is huge.  I once purchased a romper for Sloane that didn't have snaps on the bottom.  Meaning, each time the girl needed a new diaper I had to take the ENTIRE OUTFIT OFF.  No amount of preciousness is worth that struggle.

I don't think I need to explain "cuteness" but I will mention a few things.  I love when they coordinate. I love unique items that will not be seen on every child in their playgroup.  And most of all, I love clothes that aren't so in-your-face that you can't see the baby wearing them.  Babies are cute--why do people feel the need to make clothes with 50 bajillion items/animals/jewels in colors that are so bright you feel like you're staring at a miniature sun? 

So with that in mind, I wanted to share a few items I've found that (I believe) match the criteria listed above and are perfect for summer.

For HIM:

Jude wears t-shirts.  Lots and lots of t-shirts.  This is mostly due to the fact that he has no neck and can look a little ridiculous in collars.  My favorite t-shirts for him are from Peek (  They are made of the softest fabric and typically have verbiage that is either funny or insightful.  I like to believe people see his shirts and think he is either hilarious or brilliant, depending on the content.  I find him to be both.  :)

I will be the first to admit that Peek is EXPENSIVE.  However, they have dang good sales (in store and online).  Their clothes are extremely well made and wash beautifully.

Another favorite baby store is Zara (  Cute, affordable tops! 
Below are some of my favorite casual boy tops from Peek and Zara right now!

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

For HER:

Sloane spends most of her summer days in dresses.  Some of my favorites are from Tea Collection (  The patterns are so much fun and the cotton is durable but isn't heavy.  I've washed them multiple times and the color doesn't fade a bit.  Tea is a little pricey but has regular sales.

I also love the Liberty of London dresses and tops from Peek.  Talk about lightweight and great for summer!  These are perfect for the hottest days!

H&M has adorable clothes for babies that are trendy but cheap!  They also carry great basics.
Below are some of my favorite summer dresses and tops from Tea, Zara, and Peek!

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

I find Old Navy and Children's Place to be the best places for baby accessories: shoes, hats, etc.
On Jude: Top - Polo; Fedora - Old Navy; Sunglasses - Children's Place
On Sloane: Dress - Tea Collection; Sunglasses - Children's Place

While I could spend all day writing about this, I have a sale to catch! ;)

(In case you're curious, the sale is Hanna Andersson!  While their pajamas aren't specific to summer, they are the most durable pjs your children will ever own!  Right now they are also selling Hanna Andersson jammies at Costco.  Do yourself and your baby a favor and get a pair!)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Guest Post: Beach Bag Essentials!

I'm thrilled to have Jen guest-posting here today! She & my hubby were actually college buddies before I ever made it over to HSU, and now we've reconnected through blogging! She's mommy to the most adorable little girl, and she has great taste in everything from little girl fashion to home decor...just visit her blog! You'll see :)

Hello there, Perfectly Us readers! I'm Jen and I blog over at Down with the Dearmores, where I blog about marriage, motherhood, and everything in between!
I was so excited when Katie asked me to guest post for her while she is away on a fun beach vacay with her hubby and friends! Ahh...doesn't that sound nice right about now?!?

Katie asked me to share some of my favorite beach necessities for littles! This couldn't come at a better time as I have a 21 month old baby girl and we are at the beach often {thanks to my sweet in-laws who have a beach house about 2 hours from our home}! Such a nice and fun getaway every now and then! Now, you know I couldn't resist sharing some of my favorite beach pics of my little miss! ;)

  I've created a board with some of our very favorite beach necessities! This will give you an idea of where to even begin when packing for your little beach babe! Yes, a simple beach trip can be hard work toting around even more stuff than the usual + a little one! Did you know moms tote around 20 pounds on average?! The nice thing for us is we are right next to the beach, so we load up the golf cart and go, but I realize for most, that is not the case {again, thanks to my sweet in-laws}! There are many different kinds of beach carts and wagons that you can load all of your stuff in to save the hassel of dragging around multiple bags, towels, sippy cups, and a very anxious toddler. Just trust me on this one! ;) 
There are obviously many different brands, versions, kinds, etc. of each of the items I posted, but this is where you come in to find what works best for you and your babe. You can click on the link below for details about each item.
{what's in my beach bag} toddler version

1. Umbrella/Tent - You will definitely want a place to take a break from the sun!
2. Beach Tote - This is the tote bag we use the most. Very durable and holds a lot!
3. Beach toys - Bring lots and lots of them {at least that is what has worked for us}! Anything from buckets, shovels, squirt toys, and sand molds. 
4. Laundry basket/bag - This is where I like to store all of our toys. It allows most of the sand to fall out before you even have to rinse anything off!
5. Snacks - Toddlers expend lots of energy at the beach, so be sure to pack lots and lots of drinks and snacks.
6. Baby Powder - you know the trick, right?! Before you get in the car, or walk into the beach house, dust your feet with some baby powder and the sand falls right off. So nice!
7. Beach hat - I didn't think our little one would keep it on, but sure enough, she did! Our favorite one is from Baby Gap {as seen in our pictures above}.
8. Coppertone Water Babies sunscreen - It's cheap and works great! I've used both the spray on kind and the lotion, and both have worked for us. Remember to apply sunscreen about every 1-2 hours...gotta protect their precious little skin!
9. Sunglasses - this is still a tricky one for us, but I haven't given up! This is my favorite pair to date!
10. Beach cover-up - I simply can't get enough of little swimmies and beach cover-ups! We've had great luck finding them at Carter's, Baby Gap, Old Navy, and Children's Place.

The best advice I would give you is to simply have fun and remember capture all the many memories! Afterall, don't we all feel like kids when we're at the beach?! 

Thanks again, Katie, for having me today! And for those of you reading, I'd love for you to stop by and get to know me and my little fam a little better!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Guest Post: On Being a BOY-mom!

I'm so happy to have Mateya posting in my absence today! She was one of my first "blog-friends," and I truly feel like I know her. Our kiddos are close to the same age, so I love sharing stories and advice with her. Plus, we're both married to Roberts ;)


Hey guys it's Mateya from The Best is Yet to Come! For those of you who don't know me, I'm wife to my farmer husband, Robbie, and mama to our sweet boy, Hayden who just turned 1!  
I'm so excited that Katie has asked me to guest post for her while she's busy soaking up the sun.  Katie's been a great friend to me for a couple years now and I'm so grateful that blogging brought us together. I hope she's enjoying an umbrella drink for me! 

All my life I envisioned that when I had babies they would be girls.  I'm a girly-girl and I just couldn't imagine what I would do with a BOY! I saw pink and giant bows, and shopping trips, and slumber parties.  

The moment I found out I was pregnant, I knew in my heart that the sweet little miracle I was growing was going to be a boy.  I think the Lord began preparing my heart for what it would be like to have a son from the very beginning.  As time went on I got so excited about the thought of being a boy mom.  People always talk about the love and special bond between a mother and their son(s) and I started to get really excited for it. Sports, trucks, dirt, animals...I was ready and I couldn't wait! 

Let me tell you, having a son has truly been the greatest joy! I love that little boy more than I could have ever imagined and now I can't imagine ever having a girl!  Funny how that works, isn't it?! :)

We live in South Dakota so the weather takes awhile to warm up, but once it does it is WARM.  We've been patiently waiting for it to warm up so we could be outside more.  Hayden LOVES to be outside and gets so upset when we have to go in.  Poor child :)

He isn't quite walking yet, so outside play can get kind of tricky, but his favorite thing to do is push his little John Deere tractor.
He would push that thing forever if we let him. He also got a great climber and wagon for his birthday which we have yet to test out!

And he loves our dog.  And our dog, Redick, is such a trooper.  She lets Hayden poke her in the eyes, stick his finger up her nose, pull her hair, you name it. 
We take lots of walks and roam around our farm.  He loves seeing the cows, tractors, and trucks.  Typical boy.   

We're also looking forward to taking Hayden to the zoo and the pool. Last summer he was a newborn and it was unbearably hot so we didn't really get out of the air conditioning much.  

I'm excited to keep learning and growing as a boy mom.  Lots of baseball, swimming lessons, scraped knees, and boo-boos are headed our way and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited.  

What summer/outdoor things do you have planned with your little ones?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Guest Post: Watermelon Rind Pickles

First up on my guest "series" is Leslie of Lamberts Lately! She's momma to Emma Ramey, who is just a few weeks older than Jaqs, and she's the designer of this blog! In addition to those things, she's always coming up with yummy recipes, so I'm excited to have her share a summery one with y'all today!


Hi friends!  My name is Leslie.  Among the many things I like to talk about on my blog, I occasionally post recipes that fit my weird taste.  This seemed like the perfect recipe for summer...Watermelon Rind Pickles!
I had heard of Watermelon Rind pickles before...maybe it's a southern thing.  I hadn't tried them, but it was worth at least seeing what I thought!
What I made turned out to be a sort-of-spicy, sort-of-tangy, sort-of-sweet recipe...and in a weird way, I liked it!
Here's the recipe!
Watermelon Rind Pickles
1/4 of a Watermelon worth of rinds, chopped into 1" pieces (a little fruit can be left on the rind)
1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 1/2 cups Water
1 tbsp Mustard Seeds
1 tsp Pepper
1/4c White Sugar
2 tbsp Salt
Bring everything but the rinds to a boil, stirring every couple of minutes. Once the mixture is boiling, add the rind and boil for about 5 minutes, just to soften it up a little.
Take off the eye and cool to room temperature.  Put in an air-tight container and refrigerate for 24 hours before eating.
Will keep for up to 2 weeks after making these.
Enjoy this awesome summer treat!

Monday, June 17, 2013

first haircut, father's day & other ramblings

Monday, we are again! I've got nothing to complain about though because 1.) It's SUMMER. 2.) We're going to the beach this week! Woooohoo! I wanted to pop in and post a little update before we leave though :) We had a fun weekend in Abilene with our families!

--I had a hair appointment Saturday to get some fresh highlights, so Jaqs came along and got her first trim, too! I really didn't know how it was going to go, but she was such a good girl!! She just sat on my lap and munched away on her graham cracker. I was very proud of her, and her hair looks so cute! She, of course, didn't need much of a cut, just enough to get the scraggly ends looks so cute! I've been going to Holly since I was TWELVE! She's the best!
--Baby girl has had a blast playing in Grammie & G-Pop's backyard. She mastered climbing up the steps and sliding down her slide on her own...such a big girl! I think she'll be outside most of the time we're away :)
--We celebrated our favorite guys Saturday evening when both mine & Rob's grandparents could join us and had a great time! Yummy food, gifts for our favorite guys, and quality time spent...that's what it's all about!

--We continued on celebrating Rob & my dad Sunday, and just had a fun day spent together.  I'm so thankful for these two and the dads (and now grandpas) they are. Jaqs and I are lucky girls to have them!
 --Jaqs made her first foot craft for part of G-Pop's gift, and I think it's safe to say it might have been one of his favorite gifts ;) There's not much sweeter than baby feets!
 --We had to do it big because G-Pop will have Jaqs by himself for the first couple days we're gone. How many grandpas do you know willing to do that? I think it's pretty great!
--I also want to wish my big brother the happiest of birthdays today! He became a daddy just a few weeks ago, and he's already rocking at it, but that's no surprise! I look up to him in so many of my very favorite people! He keeps us laughing, is one of the smartest people I know, and he rarely gets his feathers ruffled. He loves all of us unconditionally, and has always been a source of encouragement for me. 
I love you, KB!!

--I've got a few guest posts scheduled for this week, so I hope you'll check those out and show some love for the awesome mama's posting on my behalf! I'm so excited to do this for the first time!

--Hope you all have a wonderful week, and I'll see ya next week! Don't worry...I'll soak up some sun for you ;) Can't wait to park my hiney on the beach with my hubby and our besties!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Five on Friday

Ahhh, Friday, we meet again! This was officially the first week of Summer vacation for Rob, and it has been glorious! This time of year makes up for all the long hours in the Fall/Spring :) Anyhow, I'm linking up with the adorable Darci & her "Five on Friday" co-hosts again today...this is such a fun little link-up and a great way to round out the week!
1. Have you girl-moms heard of Fallen Star Couture Inc. on Etsy? Well if not, let me just tell you, these are the BEST little clip-in bows for baby and little girls. Their 3 inch bows are just the right size to sweep hair to the side or even to double up and use for pigtails. They come in every color of the rainbow, and let me not leave out the fact that they're ONE DOLLAR. Yep. ONE. Crazy, huh? I ordered 10 recently, and when they arrived one of them was broken, so I emailed Shannen, and she immediately sent a replacement as well as a few bonus bows to make things right. Talk about awesome customer service! I can't say enough good things about these bows...go get some for the little girls in your life! :)
Here's Jaqs in one of her bows...
2. Our trip to Punta Cana is rapidly approaching, and I'm getting more and more excited by the day! I'm also getting more and more anxious about leaving Jaqs. I know she'll be well taken care of, loved on, and played with non-stop, but I just don't want her to be confused or mad {for lack of a better word} at us for leaving her. Wah!! I'm sure it will all be fine, and I need to stop worrying about it.
3. I went out for some shopping when Rob got home yesterday afternoon in hopes of finding a few new things for our trip. Wouldn't you know that I couldn't find ONE dang dress that I liked well enough to bring home with me? What's up with THAT?! I did, however, come home with some new tennies that I totally scored on at Kohl's! With discounts, coupons, and Kohl's cash, these babies only cost me $32! Not bad.
4. Have y'all tried L'Oreal's new sunscreen products? I've been using this SPF 50 spray, and I have to say I'm pretty pleased with it. It does feel slightly greasier than I might prefer, but it doesn't really bother me. I like this spray vs the aerosol cans because it lasts so much longer and seems to cover a little better as well. This is a must have for my pale skin on vacation!
5. I made copy-cat P.F. Chang's lettuce wraps one night last week, and OMG, they were so yummy. I will definitely be putting these on the dinner rotation for awhile! I based them off of this recipe, but of course made a few changes/additions as well.
 2 lbs. ground chicken breast
8 oz. chopped mushrooms
1/2 an onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large carrots, peeled & grated
1 zucchini, grated
4 oz. water chestnuts, chopped

Brown the chicken in a couple tablespoons of sesame oil, and break up as finely as you can. In another pan, saute all the veggies together in sesame oil until tender. Combine the two pans.

4 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon ginger (minced or dry)
Siracha hot sauce---to your taste

Combine the ingredients for the sauce and add to the chicken/veggie mixture. I also made a little extra to serve on the side like they do at P.F. Chang's & Pei Wei. Let the sauce cook into the chicken mixture for 10 or so minutes, then scoop it into iceberg lettuce cups & devour!

Whew, this ended up being a little longer than I intended, so thanks for hanging around if you made it this far ;) Hope you have a WONDERFUL WEEKEND!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

perfect iced coffee!

I love my morning coffee, but when things start heating up this time of year, I can't stand to drink it hot anymore. It seems ridiculous to turn my a/c down just so I don't sweat to death while drinking a cup of coffee, right?! Enter iced coffee. Now, you could certainly buy those expensive "Iced Coffee" K-cups or even brew a pot up and ice it down, OR you could make it in bulk and get a glass out of your fridge whenever you feel like it! That's what I'm talkin' about!
I truly first found out about this recipe from a friend, but I've also pinned it here.

12-16 oz. bag of whatever ground coffee you like
6 quarts of cold water
2 large containers or pots
mesh strainer

So, here's the low down:
 Dump a bag of ground coffee into a large container, then pour 6 quarts of cold water over it and stir to combine.
Let that sit, covered, for AT LEAST 12 hours. I do mine for about 24 usually. Keep in mind the strength of your coffee as well because if you have a bold roast, it will come out quite a bit stronger. I used a medium roast for mine.
 Once your coffee is ready, place a mesh strainer over your 2nd plastic tub or pitcher, then layer over a couple layers of cheesecloth. Pour the coffee through the strainer, and press the liquid through as needed.
 You'll be left with over 5 quarts of black gold that will keep in your fridge for up to a month! You can discard the used grounds, but I always sprinkle mine over my garden.
 To serve, fill a mason jar with ice and add 2/3 coffee to 1/3 vanilla almond milk. If I feel like sweetening it up a bit more, I may also add a splash of CoffeeMate to the mix!
Y'all, this coffee is SO GOOD! It's great to keep in the fridge since it lasts forever, and it's dirt cheap to make if you average out the cost per glass. Can't go wrong here!
I'm linking up with Katie & Stephanie for Saw It, Pinned It, Did It! :)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

this moment...

You know those moments where you sit, amazed and overwhelmed with love and gratitude for the blessings you've been given? Yeah. I've had many of those since becoming a mommy a little over 14 months ago, but they've really been hitting me hard lately as I watch Jaqs learn something new just about every day. I {obviously} know that she's not the first toddler to draw with sidewalk chalk or spout off new words that I didn't even know she knew or work intently to put on her shoes, but she is the first toddler I've watched do these things through the eyes of a mother. The unbiased eyes of a mother, of course ;)
I'm so thankful for this girl and all of her little quirks and unique traits, and I'm also thankful that God has been pointing them out to me even more so lately as if to say, "soak this up, it'll be gone sooner than you know." Because that's the thing about kids...they just keep changing, growing, evolving. I want to absorb every aspect of Jaqs' little being right THIS moment and never forget it.
I never want to forget the way she gives us the biggest, cheesiest grins I could ever imagine, the way she says "bore" after anything we do she likes or thinks is funny, or the way she grunts and groans like an 80 year old man when doing things like climbing on the bed or putting a lid on something; the way she crams so much food in her mouth she can't even chew. I never want to forget that she puts the phone behind her head to "talk", the way she says "HI DAD!" every time he walks in the door, or the way she says "MMMM!!" every time she tries to feed me something of hers she doesn't want.
Every age has been my favorite so far, but this 14 month old is really rocking my world right now and might actually be my favorite ;) She's my pride, my joy, my constant sunshine. We delight in her like we never knew possible, and look forward to all the fun ahead!

Love you to the moon, Peas!

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