Reading With a Nine Year Old

I have heard that when it comes to kids reading the most important thing is that they are comprehending and processing the story. Phonemic awareness is a great start, but it’s nothing if the child isn’t gathering any information from the text.

This is one of the reasons that Z’s 3rd grade Language Arts teacher does a 40 book challenge rather than tracking reading minutes. Here is an excerpt from one of her emails:

“My ultimate goal is to inspire students to
become passionate, independent readers. Who wants to be curled up in bed with a good
book and their reading log, tracking every minute?
I believe in reading nightly. Research shows that the more a child reads, the more
successful he/she will be in all content areas. I still expect students to read at least 100
minutes/week, but I am no longer going to require students to record every minute he/she
has read. My plan is to create a more authentic experience for our readers. Instead of
recording the minutes read, students will record when they complete a book. I am
presenting it as the 40 Book Challenge, inspired by the work of educator Donalyn Miller.”
Z is a proficient reader, but like a lot of boys he doesn’t get giddy about reading. In fact, as his 2nd grade teacher pointed out, it’s a struggle to get him to read a story rather than informational text.
He recently got some new books for Christmas. Quick side note: His class did a gift exchange where each student brought an age appropriate gently used book. It encourages reading, sharing, recycling, and all in the spirit of Christmas! I loved this idea.
Anyway, as he’s been reading I’ve tried to initiate dialogue about the books to make sure he’s really applying himself. I know better than to ask yes or no questions, so I’ll say something like:
Who is your favorite character in this book?
Have there been any funny parts?
What do you like about it?
The problem is he thinks I am asking for my sake; on more than one occasion he has offered to loan me the book so I can find out the answers for myself! I am not terribly interested in the latest books he has finished,  but J had the idea to start the Narnia series and came home with all 7 books one day. So now J, Z, and I are all reading them together.


When I say reading together I don’t mean aloud. We are all reading separately, but at the same time. When we each have a sliver of opportunity we’ll grab the book and pick up where we left off. Our schedules are all so different it’s been easy to share. Z likes reading in the morning and early evening. I am mostly free mid day and J has later evening and weekends, not that any of it has been that structured.

I gave Z the assignment of making individualized book marks so we each knew where we were at in the book. He did a great job!


Z was hesitant to get started with this story, but now he loves it and is further than all of us in book #2!


The Magician’s Nephew is the first book if you are reading them chronologically. It was written in the 1950’s, but takes place in the year 1900 and it’s british so a lot of the dialogue and vocubulary is a little difficult to keep up with for a little guy. Z describes it as being written in biblical language which made me chuckle. Coincidentally, we just recently watched Mary Poppins and it was the perfect movie to accompany our book. I know that may sound strange, but it is also set in London in the year 1910 (and written around the same time even). This gave a visual and auditory example of the setting that we had been reading about!

Sorry, I know I am rambling, but I am a book nerd through and through and I had to share about this little endeavor. It’s turned into a great boding experience for us. All three of us have completely fallen in love with the Narnia series and we can’t wait to read more.


By | February 4th, 2017|Uncategorized|1 Comment

iPhone Cases and Apps That You Will Love

First of all I would like to say thank you to JimmyCASE for giving me the chance to review this awesome iPhone SE wallet case.


The JimmyCASE iPhone card holder is  ideal for a variety of situations.

For dudes, it’s super slim so it slips in and out of your pocket with ease. It can also eliminate the need for a bulky wallet, which means a lot less junk in the trunk. The JimmyCASE can hold 6 cards plus cash. Everything slides in easily and stays put. It’s amazing.


For moms like me, I still carry a purse most days, but I love this iPhone case. It especially comes in handy for the many situations when I just want to bring my phone and a little bit of cash.


For example, when I go to the Children’s Museum I need to carry my phone, ID, membership card, and my debit card. Before the JimmyCASE I would carry everything loosey goosey in my pockets. I was constantly worried that I would loose something important because I have had stuff slip out of my pockets on more than one occasion. The alternative was to bring another bag to carry my wallet in. As a mom, I’ve always got my hands full, so I would rather not bring my purse. It was a conundrum! The JimmyCASE solves all of that. Whether it’s the beach, hiking trails, a concert, or anywhere else I want to pack light, it’s JimmyCASE to the rescue.

My only complaint is that the top power button and side volume buttons are difficult to push with the case on; I am told that it is because it is new and it should break in with time. That makes sense. My favorite shoes are the same way.

You get to customize the look of your iPhone card holder by choosing from an assortment of colors and combinations. Each case is handmade with a silicone bumper and genuine mahogany wood core. The “Magic Elastic Pocket” is designed to never ever stretch out.

The best part about JimmyCASE: they are all made in the good ol’ USA. You can’t beat that.



Now onto my favorite apps.

  1. Cozi– A long long time ago when SJ was first diagnosed with hearing loss I had to get organized to keep track of all the Doctors appointments. So I went to you dear readers and asked for help. You all came through when you recommended the Cozi app family calendar/organizer. I use it everyday and would be absolutely lost without it!
  2. List Ease– This is my grocery list app. Cozi actually has an option for shopping lists, but I like List Ease because it automatically catogorizes the items in the department that they are located in store. Also, I keep multiple lists labeled and organized easily. Lastly, when you check something off of the list a little animated cartoon comes and checks it off with a pencil. If the kids are shopping with me I keep them entertained by letting them be in charge of Mr. Check Mark and they love this. It’s the little things.img_6640
  3. Disney Magic Timer– This is the Disney Oral-B app that helps kids brush their teeth, and it has been a huge game changer for their oral hygiene habits. First you select a brusher, then when you scan your toothbrush a screen of white bubbles comes up. The timer is set to 2:00 minutes and as the child brushes their teeth the suds are scrubbed away to reveal a colorful Disney picture. disney-timer-app-carsThen the picture acts as a reward sticker for their own personal sticker album. Finally, the toothbrush calendar is a way you can keep track of their brushing. BRILLIANT!brushing-calendar
  4. NBC– Nothing fancy about this app, just a chance to acknowledge that I am on the This Is Us bandwagon. I watch almost no TV at all, in fact I don’t have network television so the only way I can access an NBC show is online. For those that watch, wasn’t this weeks episode sooo good!? I love what they are doing with Kevin’s story. I did not see that coming.
  5. OverDrive– This is for my library audio books. I love me some free audio books, let me tell ya. This app gets the job done. I just recently finished “Raising Grateful Kids in and Entitled World” by Kristen Welch and I would definitely recommend it.

I’ve got other favorites like Trulia (we are currently house hunting, more on that later) and the Bible app, Walmart grocery pick up app, email, social media etc. Those are all the main ones. I keep it pretty simple.

Those are my picks for phone cases and apps. What is on your phone?


By | January 27th, 2017|Motherhood, Uncategorized|4 Comments

The Many Ways to Fall Asleep

How Do you fall asleep at night
A couple years ago I wrote a blog post about sleep habits and was absolutely fascinated with the diverse responses I got on the subject. As I mentioned yesterday in my post “15 Weird Fact About MeI like to fall asleep on my back with my feet tucked behind my knees (Indian style). My husband isn’t the biggest fan of this habit, so I will sometimes compromise with what we call “the figure four” where I put the leg nearest him straight and the other leg bent at the knee.

I also start off with socks, but then I kick them off in the middle of the night. By the end of the week there is a pile of socks collecting at the bottom of the bed.

Lastly, I prefer it to be really dark. When I was pregnant with Ezie I struggled with insomnia and had to wear a sleep mask. Sometimes I still put something over my eyes like a soft headband. I can’t have anything covering my mouth and nose though, but I know people that swear by keeping their face covered to go to sleep.

One thing is for sure, most people have a preferred ritual for maximum rest and I find it all very amusing.

Here are the comments I received from readers in the past. Please feel free to add your own if you haven’t already!


                 I sleep on my left side all curled up under my blankets, and my hair has to be covering my right ear. I cannot sleep if my ear is exposed. Random 🙂


                My sleep isn’t boring; neither is it regular!! I don’t always fall asleep right away, or stay asleep for long. I tend to wake up MANY times during the night. I                   think I sleep better the last 2 – 4 hours of the morning!! And, I also wear socks to bed in the winter…but if my feet get warm, my whole body is warm and I cannot     sleep; so, yes, the socks come off!

                  –Barbara L.

               I use to sleep without a pillow. I’d read somewhere that it was better for you. My husband hated it. Over the years I changed. Now I’m a pillow snob. I                      would travel with my own pillow more if it were easier.


I used to have a harder time falling asleep, but after my deployment everything change. I had to sleep with lights on, people being noisy, other random military type noises. After a week of not sleeping my body decided to just sleep through everything. lol Now I can sleep almost anywhere, but if I need to pee, I will lay awake for hours. So now I just hop out of bed if I have been awake for more than 15 min and it usually knocks me out.
I am a back sleeper and when I’m pregnant I have to sleep on my side which annoys me. 🙂

Amanda H.

Depends on the season of the year, if it is summer, I throw the covers down and sleep on top of my head. If its winter, I love to be snuggled up under my blankets. I like having my feet warm too. I actually go to bed with slipper socks on which I love. You should try them out if you haven’t. I like no noise too.

Tara U.

I need my feet covered, ever since a childhood babysitter said a lion would eat them if I threw the covers off. I do love me some nice cotton sheets to cover up with though.

Jennifer P.

I have to have my covers all bunched up tight around my neck and shoulders even if it is smoldering hot, but I often kick my feet out. I also like to tangle up my legs with my hubby’s but it bothers me if he moves and rearranges me. I have figure 4 sleeping son and it has always cracked us up that he could sleeps like that.

Colleen M.

I start out Indian style! But I move a lot before actually falling asleep. I used to sleep on my belly, with my arms underneath me as well. It isn’t good for my neck & back (therefore my migraines), though. At some point in the night, I’ll wake up and discover that I’m on my belly, so I’ll roll over onto my back again. If my husband is already asleep, I sleep with earplugs so I don’t hear him snoring! If I really need to sleep in on a Saturday I’ll use a sleep mask. I wear socks when it’s cold, and I keep my feet covered.


Well I sometimes start with socks but usually they are kicked off as well. I almost always have one leg/foot out of the covers at some point. I sleep with an extra quilt on my side because my husband is a cover thief, and I have a pillow I hug up to and a box fan. Box fan goes everywhere with us and if we don’t have enough room to travel with one it is the first thing we buy when we get into town and then we return it on our way out of town.

Laura M.

I am not really interesting.. I sleep on my right side, hugging my pillow 🙂


Pitch dark. No socks. Tank top and undies only. Sheets pulled up over my head. On my back. Arms across my chest holding my own hands.

Susan S.

I typically fall asleep best on my back or side spooning my husband from behind.

He likes noise in the background because he has ringing in his ears and sometimes it bothers me but I can usually fall asleep with noise. Same with light, I don’t need complete and total darkness.

I’m very much like my mother, I can fall asleep anywhere, anytime. lol


I sleep on my side and hug a pillow, my husband jokes and says I create a fortress for myself which is sort of true but I do it on purpose, I just find it most comfortable to be in a cocoon.


My husband also sleeps indian style, but he even crosses his arms too! Very annoying…after 18 years though I’ve gotten used to it.


By | January 17th, 2017|Uncategorized|7 Comments

15 Weird Facts About Me

Looking through old blog posts I came across one carnival I joined up with where you had to share random facts about yourself. Some of the old ones didn’t really apply anymore, so I decided to start a new list. Here are 15 random things you may or may not know about me.

  1. I own a pair of pink cowboy boots that my aunt wore in a movie with Whoopi Goldberg.west
  2. I used to be a puppeteer and even competed. It was a children’s ministry I was a part of in Atlanta.
  3. I can cross my pinky toe over my other toe, but only on my right foot. I don’t want to post a picture of my gross feet so here is a drawing I found online. 

overlappingtoes-300x2504. I learned the Greek alphabet in the 6th grade and I still remember it. Of all the things I have forgotten, that one stuck.

5. I used to be allergic to shrimp and bee stings. I am no longer allergic to shrimp because one time I accidentally had some dip made with shellfish and I did not react. The jury is still out on the bee stings because I haven’t been stung since I was  young girl.

6. I tried  hair extensions one time


I know that’s probably not what you were expecting to see, but my hair was really short at the time.


Also, this was 2005. Emo was the thing and chunky extreme layers were in style, plus I was 22.

7. My husband has a niece and a nephew that are older than me, and no they do not call me Aunt Natalie.

8. I ate cow tongue once.

9. I prefer falling asleep on my back in the “criss cross applesauce” position.

10. I haven’t drank soda since high school

11. I used to be a big time couponer. In 2009 I got $1,000 worth of free products and was questioned by the police for trying to find coupons in a recycling bin.

12. I am Natalie and my husband’s name is Jeremy. My brother’s name is also Jeremy and his wife is also named Natalie. We each have 2 boys and 2 girls. Between the two of us they are ages 9, 7 (in a month), 6, 5, 4, 3 (in a couple weeks), 1, and 10 months. 

13. I used to work on a farm and milk goats; this goat is a buck which I did NOT milk. 

buck14. We have lived in 5 different homes in the last 5 years: three different states, 4 different houses, and one apartment. 

15. My favorite kind of book is memoirs. I don’t know how many I’ve read, but definitely over 50. I am currently reading “The God I Love” by Joni Eareckson Tada. 


By | January 16th, 2017|Uncategorized|3 Comments

How to Make Slime by L. Pikachu


Over the summer I worked with my 8 year old and his best friend doing reading and writing projects. This was a way to bridge the summer gap and start off 3rd grade ready to learn.

With this assignment they even made a few bucks. I wanted them to know that writing is beneficial in all areas of life and can help you make money too. Without further ado here is a guest blog post by L. Pikachu (not his real name)


In this experiment you’ll get all the information on how to make slime.  You can make slime, but when you don’t add food coloring it will be white. Slime is a very squishable thing. You need lots of stuff to make it.

Here is What you need:


  1. 3/4 cup of cold water

  2. 1 cup of glue

  3. food coloring

  4. 1 teaspoon of borax

  5. 1/2 cup hot water


Instructions :


Step 1: In bowl mix together cold water, glue, and food coloring.





Step two: In another bowl mix together the cold water glue and borax until the borax is completely dissolved



Step 3: Slowly add glue mixture to borax mixture. Mix well. Pour off the excess water.

The Way Slime Works:

Slime is a liquid plymer. Molecules in the glue are in strands like a chain. When you add borax it connects all the chains.

My favorite part is that I can play with it. The slime is very fun.





By | January 10th, 2017|Uncategorized|6 Comments

How to Throw a Successful First Birthday Party


Having your little baby turn one only happens once and you want to make this first birthday party special. Where do you begin?

Having gone through the experience 4 times with each of my children I have a few tips that been helpful to me.

Here are 5 tips for throwing a successful first birthday party

1. First Birthday Party Theme

The theme is like pizza crust. You can’t start adding all the delicious toppings until you have your crust. The theme can be as simple as a color, number, or letter. You can also go with characters from movies or books. Sometimes the theme ends up being whatever was on the clearance rack.

For my oldest son the theme was construction. He got a Tonka truck that year and 9 years later he still uses it!


Baby #2 was Cupcake theme. Delish.


Baby #3 was One Happy Camper


Last, but not least we just recently celebrated with a Fun to Bee One party.


2. Party Time and Location

The most important part here is to go with what you know works best for your child. If their bedtime is early have an afternoon party on the weekend. If your child is uncomfortable in unfamiliar places stay home.

3. Enlist Helpers for the First Birthday Party

You cannot do this alone! You should be enjoying this special event and you can’t do that if you are running the whole show. Here are some jobs that you may want to assign to close friends and family, or a professional.

  • The food and drinks
  • Cake
  • Decorations
  • Photography/ video
  • Someone to watch the baby during set up
  • Someone to keep a record of what gift is from whom for thank you cards.

4. First Birthday Party Schedule

You don’t have to stick to the schedule, but it is better to change it as you go than make it up as you go. Given that your child is turning one, short and sweet is going to be your best bet for this occasion.

Here is an example schedule from our last first birthday party

1:00 pm guest arrive

1:15 Eat (pizza, salad, snacks, and drinks)

1:35 Sing happy birthday and eat cake (change baby’s outfit after cake)

2:00 Open presents

2:20 Piñata

2:45 Watch slideshow of guest of honor

3:00 Party ends

5. Some Things to Consider When the Party is for a One Year Old

Throwing a birthday party for a one year old will be different than any other birthday party. You will want to decide how to handle some of the party activities before hand.

Here are some questions you may not have thought of
*Who is REALLY going to blow out the candle?
*What will the baby wear before, during, and after the cake?
*Is the party going to be after naptime and how long will it last?
*Who will help the baby open presents and how much will they assist? 

*What is your backup plan if the guest of honor does not seem to be enjoying things? 

Pinterest is full of ideas and it’s fun to incorporate your own special touch. However, don’t let unrealistic expectations get in the way of being able to enjoy the moment. You can’t control if your baby cries through the birthday song or if he or she is disinterested in the presents. Just be prepared for whatever happens, the more relaxed you are the more your child will be. Have a good time and be sure to document it. The guest of honor probably won’t remember their first birthday party, but down the road you can remember how special it was and later don they can hear all about how fun it was and see pics of how cute they were.

By | January 6th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Bumble Bee Birthday Party

“Fun to Bee One” Bumble Bee Birthday

I had been planning Elle’s “Fun to Bee One” bumble bee birthday party in the back of my mind since she was 6 months old. It all came together beautifully and I wanted to share some of what made the “Fun to Bee One” party a success.

Before I dive in, let me stress that all of my parties are small space and small budget. I hope that can be an encouragement for some other families out there. Now, let’s get started.

Bumble Bee Invitations

First off, it was no coincidence that Elle was a bumble for Halloween. I took photos of her in her costume and then designed this invitation (I censored the time and place, because this is the internet after all.) The Bumble birthday party invites were printed on 4×6 photo paper at Costco for 13 cents a piece.


Bumble Bee Photo Collage

I decorated this old door with photos of the birthday girl. I made a pom-pom garland of yellow and black and picked up some scrap book paper from Hobby Lobby to use as a frame for the photos.

Bumble bee birthday party photo collage

Bumble Bee Birthday Outfits

We didn’t totally coordinate, but I tried dressing the family in yellow and black.

Its fun to bee one bumble bee birthday party

bumble bee birthday party

SJ was also a bumble bee for Halloween so her outfit for the bumble bee birthday party was a no brainer.

its fun to bee one bumble bee birthday party

DIY Bumble Bee Piñata

You probably spotted the piñata in the photo. This was one of my favorite parts. This is my 5th DIY piñata and I’m proud to say the whole concept was my own.

diy bumble bee piñata

The body was made from a papier mache balloon covered in streamers. The antenna were from SJ’s bee costume. The face was simply card stock, marker, and googly eyes I pulled off of one of the kid’s art projects. The wings were a wire hanger with white panty hose. In other words the whole thing was made almost entirely from items found around the house.

bumble bee pinata

I’ll admit, it wasn’t my best work in terms of functionality. The whole bee sort of dropped off of the string instead of gradually bursting open and flinging candy everywhere.

bumble bee piñata

It wasn’t a total wash though. Would you look at those smiles!?

bumble bee birthday party
bumble bee piñata

Side note, in the background you’ll see the compost pile I wrote a tutorial for a few months ago.

bumble bee piñata

Bumble Bee Birthday Party Decor

bumble bee birthday party

The yellow gift bags were from the Dollar Tree and were used for gathering piñata candy. They also made good weights for the balloons and they had a wallet size print of Elle in them. So that was our party favor.

bumble bee birthday party

The party was buffet style, but I set the table anyway to make it look festive. Most of these paper products were from Amazon and since I had a lot of left over unused plates and decorations I sold it all for 20 bucks on Craig’s List. Score!

bumble bee birthday party


We served water or lemonade for beverages and the stripes on the lemons were colored with a thick black sharpie. I actually had a dream that we served lemon wedge bumble bees on the edge of a glass and that’s where the idea came from.

bumble bee lemon wedges


I found this little guy for a dollar at a yard sale over the summer and hung him from the ceiling.
bumble bee birthday party

Bumble Bee Cupcakes

The cupcakes were made with white cloud frosting tinted yellow and topped with chocolate sprinkles. The cupcake wrappers were from Amazon and they were so fun because one side was striped and the other side was bumble bee and bee hives. The bee hive side I used for the snack cups which were filled with Honey Comb cereal. Lastly, the cupcake stand was the cheap pink cardboard one that we have used over and over and painted black for Ezie’s batman party. This was the last use though. J made me throw it away. In all fairness, it was time. 
I think this busy little baby enjoyed her first birthday party and so far I’d say she’s proving that it really is fun to bee one. 


By | January 4th, 2017|Parties|1 Comment

10 Goals for 2017

Fun fact. Actually, cancel that. It’s not really fun. Everyday I have a to-do list of 10 things that I want to accomplish that day. I have done it this way for YEARS. In fact when SJ was diagnosed in 2012 I had “SJ’s ENT appointment” as #8 on my to do list that day. I will never forget it. It was supposed to be so simple. 1 of 10 things to do that day. Who knew that number eight would dramatically change my life forever. For a while I even stopped making lists because it haunted me. I couldn’t keep the habit at bay for long though before I was back to my to-do lists. If you are a list person you understand. We get each other.

In the spirit of my daily to do lists here is a master list for the year.

1.Devotions with kids

This year we kept it simple for advent by doing a daily scripture reading and devotion ending with a prayer. While the fights over who got to put the sticker on the advent tree could be brutal, the kids have already missed this daily time focusing on Jesus a family. So yesterday we started Fruits of the Spirit. We aren’t going to be doing one every day, but maybe weekly or bi-weekly. Whatever rhythm we end up with, I hope to make to do at least 10 lessons, because it’s been so great for all of us.

2. Pinned it Spinned it

I blogged about this yesterday. I am hoping to participate in Pinned it Spinned it a couple times a month, like those rare times I am actually out of the house.

3. Get Ezie in Preschool


Ezie will be turning 5 in 2017 (Gasp. That sounds so grown up.). That’s not until October though, so he still has another year before he starts kindergarten. However unlike public school, preschool isn’t free. In fact it’s really expensive.  I could skip it, but I think at age 5 he would really benefit from the structured environment that would prime him for when he does go to school the next year. Lots to think about it.

4. Eye doctors, ear doctors, and dentists OH MY!

I am bad about keeping up with all the regular exams. When you have a family of 6 with at least 3 doctors each (except for Ezie who only goes to the pediatrician, but needs to start seeing the dentist) you end up with over 40 doctor visits a year. I hate going and dragging along all the younger kids along for the ride. But everyone is due for all kinds of regular checkups so I am going to make that a priority. Bleh.

5. Clean up old blog posts

I have a lot of old blog posts that either need to be deleted or revamped. What this means, along with #6 below is that I won’t be writing new stuff on the blog as often as I usually do. I’ll be around though.

6. Get a book deal

I know this sounds ambitious and it is. This is my number one focus for the year. Even if the deal is with myself. I am ready to move forward with the book I have been working on.

7. Four Fabulous Dates


Year after year my goal has been to go on one date a month with my husband. It never happens. NEVER. This year I’ll make it realistic and aim for quarterly dates and hope to make them really  special.

8. Relaunch my email list

I am so sorry, I have failed big time when it comes to my email subscribers and I am hoping to change that.

9. Soak up every last drop of school for SJ.

This is it. We’ve spent the last 5 years of our life primarily focused on giving SJ the gift of communication. She started at OVV when she was two years old. She is about to be 7! She won’t graduate until summer of  2018, but she starts 2nd grade in the fall and it will be her final year. We’ve had so many memories and traditions that are now coming to a close. There will be lots of emotions going on. There are also practical matters as far as transitioning her into a main stream school. So that’s going to be a big focus for the second half of 2017.

10. Get Elle hearing aids


Elle gets hearing aids in January. Hearing aids were a nightmare with SJ, but they were not benefiting her because her hearing loss was so profound whereas Elle’s will make a notable difference. I was told to be prepared to struggle for a few days or weeks even. After that hopefully it will be smooth sailing.

 I am looking forward to the new year, and I wish you all the best as well. Cheers.

By | December 30th, 2016|Uncategorized|3 Comments

Pinned It Spinned it

*This post was originally posted on two years ago and never transferred over when I switched to Word Press. I wanted to reshare it though because I am going to be doing it Pinned It Spinned It again this year.* 

I recently saw something on instagram called “Pinned It Spinned It”. I thought the idea was to pick any pin you want from your “fashion board”  and try to recreate it.  But, it turns out that is not how it works. The outfits for the week are preselected and if you want to follow along you can view the pin for that day and then put your own spin on it.

Pinned It Spinned It

Get it?

At first I didn’t think I would like that because I would rather pick outfits that I pinned personally, but in the end I really enjoyed doing it this way. It forced me think outside of the box and make different combinations using what I already own in my closet. I don’t dress up everyday  hardly ever, so I only partially participated. I still had so much fun with the three that I did do.

A Pop of Pink! 

pink tights

SCARF: The Limited (although I bought it used)

DRESS: Target (my friend tried it, but it didn’t work for her so she gave it to me)

TIGHTS: Target girls department

SHOES: Yard Sale

 This dress is made of soft, stretchy tshirt material that isn’t even hemmed, so it’s super casual and comfy. Also, the neckline is low and stretchy enough to breastfeed in a dress. I just have to keep the score kind of middle of the road because it’s always tricky to chase little ones in these boots.

fun grey booties

I still love them though!

Go For the Gold

pinned its pinned it casual

JEWELRY: The necklace used to belong to a friend, but she was getting rid of it so I scooped it up. Over the weekend I wore it long,

long gold necklace

but this pin inspired me to double loop it to make it shorter.

Pinned its pinned it go for the gold

The bracelets were a gift from my brother from Africa.

SHIRT: Gap outlet and the white tank is Forever 21


SHOES: Lucky Brand. Also a reject item. I don’t like that word! Regift? Recylce? Eh, whatever. They were my sister in laws, but she was giving them away so I took them. Anyone else starting to see a pattern here?

pinned its pinned it skinny jeans

The only reason it’s not a 5 star for moms is the jewelry. Shiny jewelry with my children is just no the best combo. This outfit is still very practical, although for the record I changed to boots before I left the house because it’s freezing cold and I am not walking through ice and snow in flats!

Business Casual Layers

pin it spin it

SHIRT: Denim shirt from Target and the grey sweater was from a  yard sale.

COAT: Thrift Store

denim shirt with black blazer

This outfit was so fun because I NEVER thought about putting these pieces together, but when I tried to think of what I owned that could spin this look, this was the winning combination after some trial and error.

The jacket is a tad bit restricting and the pants are dressy so I might not take this one to the playground, but I would totally wear this to a parent teacher meeting, or lunch with J.

So that’s it for my first ever pinned it spinned it.

If you want to joint in on the pin it spin it weekly challenge you can follow the pinterest board and follow Amy and Jamie on instagram. And if you don’t already follow me, but you want to connect on social networks then by all means follow me at or messymom, or twitter/themessymom.

One more link and then I’ll leave you alone. Check out What I Wore Wednesday at the Pleated Poppy for more inspiring outfit ideas.

Have a great day everyone!

By | December 29th, 2016|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Christmas Card 2016

Christmas has been so incredibly great this year. This year’s card was finished up and sent out by the first of December and we’ve gotten some really precious cards in return.

We had our family photo taken on the beach this past July thanks to my best friend in Michigan pushing the button on my camera.

I briefly toyed with the idea of different wintery themed photos and card, but it was short lived. I didn’t want to add any extra stress this year. I slapped a “Merry Christmas” on the inner tube and voilá. Done.


Only 5 days left until Christmas. I hope everyone has a wonderful Holiday weekend!

By | December 19th, 2016|Uncategorized|1 Comment