To Share / Family Photos

 
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     Good morning! When we were having Kristen take some photos of Luna, we wanted to incorporate a family photo shoot into the day as well! I think it's high time we send out a Christmas card this year, and one of these photos is the winner (but I'm not sharing which 'til the cards come out)!

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     I loved all of them though. It was very comical seeing how hard it is to get one with everyone looking decent. There were some really good ones that Bailey "ruined" (not really, she's still adorable) by pulling the sides of her mouth out with her fingers for her smile! LOL. She thought it was hilarious (it was) but probably not the best for an official portrait. 

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     She's doing it here, but showing me, so it's kind of hard to see. Luna was a trooper throughout the whole thing! She can be really patient for a puppy sometimes, but mostly only when food isn't involved. Girl loves her food!

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    She really is my little sweetheart. She loves it when we match, and I'm sure you can guess that I do too!

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      Brett dislikes being in front of the camera, but he made the sacrifice for Luna. :)

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      And now just a few of Bailey! She's always loved being in pictures and taking them. I guess it's a result of a photographer aunt and a blogger mama! 

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      How many times can I say "be still my heart"? An infinite amount? Ok, good, wouldn't settle for less.

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     Bailey + Luna's most recent favorite activity has been jumping in the never-ending leaf piles that Brett has been making. They really do love playing together, but has there ever been a child + puppy combo that hasn't? (My parents are most likely scoffing at this, as I was the most petrified of dogs until my teen years. I used to tell a story about a past life I had as a cat in China when I was little, so our theory is that's the reason why I was so scared of dogs. I know mom + dad, I was the exception to the theory that children love dogs. I'm just glad Bailey isn't scared like I was!)

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun weekend! I'll be back next week with a pie recipe (duh, thanksgiving)!

All photos by Kristen Williams

To Explore / Peach Tree Farms

 
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     Hi there! Just wanted to share a few photos from our visit to the pumpkin patch! Ironically, we didn't get any photos with the pumpkins - we were too busy enjoying all of the other activities that Peach Tree Farms offers!

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      They have sunflower patches all over the farm, and this was as close as I could get, as the bees were thoroughly covering the flowers. They also had a new feature this year: a "corn crib" for kids to play in! It's a giant crib filled with dried corn, like a sandbox or ball pit but with corn. It was Bailey's favorite part, as you can probably tell! 

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      More pretty flowers! The ones on the left were swarmed with butterflies, so much so that I couldn't help but think they plant them specifically for the butterflies! 

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      Brett's going to kill me for this picture, but Bailey looks so glorious with the sunlight shining on her! It looks like she's on a mission, which she probably was (she adamantly insisted on getting popcorn and pumpkins after this)! And yes, she's covered in dirt. Apparently the children's corn maze was a little muddy and poor girl took a tumble inside while trying to run around! 

      Thanks for reading, and have a fun Thursday! We will be moving all weekend to a new house, so it may be a little quiet in this space next week. However, regularly scheduled content will follow the week after, so be on the look out for more fall goodness!

To Love / Welcoming Fall with Bailey

 
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      Good morning! Tomorrow is the first day of fall, and thought temps are supposed to be in the 90's, I'm going to ignore that and bake pumpkin cookies (recipe coming in October), decorate the house with our fall things, and do a fall craft with Bailey. The leaves are dropping like flies around here, and that's enough for me to say bye to summer!  

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        Now, one of the fun things about parenting is that you get to make a big deal out of stuff like the seasons changing! It's to get kids excited about a new season, and to also teach them something about the way our Earth works, which I think you're never to young to be aware of. That being said, I've rounded up a list of fun fall activities for everyone in the family, most of which I plan on trying to do this season with my own family. Check it out below!

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Fall To-Do (Bailey Included!):

- Do a few fall crafts / My favorite ones are this fox puppet, these pumpkin apple stamps, and any of these nature projects (fall is the perfect time for foraging outdoors!)

- Go apple picking / There is an orchard near Columbia that lets you pick 'em yourself, and we plan to finally go this year! I've never been apple picking, and neither has Bailey, so this is the fall activity I'm most looking forward to!

- Bake all of the pumpkin treats / As I mentioned, I'm making pumpkin cookies for the blog (and our pumpkin loving tummies) this weekend, but we've already made these brownies, and ya they were as good as they look!

Explore new trails / Fall is my favorite time for hiking (hello pretty trees everywhere), and though I've lived here for 6 years, I still haven't trekked all of the ones in and around Columbia. I plan to chip away at the list this season! (Bonus: Bailey has endless energy and is an excellent hiking companion)

Visit Rocheport / Rocheport, MO is the closest thing we have to a wine country around here. We like to do an outing each fall, starting at our favorite pumpkin patch with a corn maze and tepees, and ending with a picnic on the bluffs of Les Bourgeois winery.  

Thanks for reading, and have a fun Thursday!

 

 

To Style / Bailey's Fall Wardrobe

 
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     Hi there! Just wanted to share the items I consider essentials to a toddler fall/winter wardrobe. They're mostly the same as adults but much cuter, as always! See below for more!

Bailey's Cold-Weather Essentials:

- A denim jacket / goes with everything and the warmth from the denim goes a long way

- joggers (also known as sweatpants) / these are perfect for little ones because they are just as comfy as leggings, but are cozier for their little legs

- boots of some kind / this year it happened to be star patterned motorcycle boots (she picked them herself) :)

- a "fall-ish" blouse / I typically get her one nice shirt, as even toddlers get to dress up sometimes

- the coziest sweater you can find / no reason why adults are the only ones who get to enjoy #sweaterweather

 

     Thanks for reading, and we'll see you back here on Monday for one of my favorite #MomStyle's yet!

To Get Ready for Preschool

 

     Good morning! Bailey starts preschool in less than a month now, and it's strange, but I'm more excited than sad. Of course, I'm a little lethargic about my once baby turning into a full blown kid, but obviously I can't stop time so there's not really a point in dwelling on it. Like with most things in life, I choose to focus on the positive! The main positive here is that Bailey's getting the education and attention she needs during the day, specific to her age. With both Brett and I working, it's just time. 

     It helps that she's ready too. She can blossom and flourish in a preschool environment, and that's more important to me than my own feelings on the subject. It also doesn't hurt that I get to revisit the school supplies section (my favorite growing up) for the first time in I won't say how many years. Do all parents get this excited about getting their children school supplies?! I'm sure it's irrational, as Bailey will probably not care at all about her supplies, but I don't care. It's my silver lining, so I'm sticking to it! 

     I'll be sharing Bailey's school wardrobe next month on her first day of preschool, so be on the lookout for that! See you here Thursday with some shibori dying!

To Love / Summer with Bailey

 

     Sunshine. Pure sunshine. For some reason, that's one of the first words that pops into my head when thinking of Bailey. It could be her hair, but I think it has more to do with how her face lights up at the prospect of something new and exciting. This happens often, but it's a constant in these crazy, lazy, hazy days of summer. 

      Summer with Bailey is many things, both good and not as good. Excessive heat and relentless sunshine don't bring out the best in most people, myself included, but especially not a toddler who just wants to play outside, and doesn't really grasp why she can't. It's hard not understanding, so I let her go and see why playing outside isn't really an option. Less than 5 minutes outside in 90 degree heat shows her my reasoning.

       All this is to say that even in the depressing aspects of a season, there's an opportunity for learning. That yes, life isn't always easy, but those hard things mean just as much as the simple things we enjoy. One of our favorite "simple things" to do is pick dandelions, and you would be correct in guessing that we choose the ones in their puff ball state. Why would you pick a little flower over something you can blow into mama's face? It's her happiness in this little activity, and all of the other small ones, that made me fall in love with this summer. 

      Bailey in the summer is wild, free, raucous at times, sweet as the strawberries she picks, and observant of all of the life that's sprung up around her from spring. It's quite the event watching her have her own experiences. From registering the first unforgiving summer storm that she's ever seen roll in, to staring with curiosity at the tiny glimpses of light that are magically emitted from seemingly ordinary bugs, there is much to ogle at in the summer. 

       I'm not sure what fall will bring (although I could give it a few guesses), but I know it will include new experiences for my little one. It's well known that they don't stay little for long, which is the purpose of this documentation. However, the one constant and comfort is that the newness will never fade. 

      Thanks for reading my little ode to the summer of Bailey. Have a fun Thursday + weekend, and I'll see you back here on Monday with one of my favorite subjects: shoes!

All photos by auntie Kristen Williams.

To Find / Something Organic

 

     Hi there! Just wanted to share one of Bailey's favorite snacks today. I always try to get her to eat healthy, and for the most part she does, but snacks are where this is trickiest for us. Girl likes her chocolate, so I looked around for something organic that she would actually love.

     We ended up on these Horizon Organics Chocolate Snack Graham Cookies! Bailey's a huge fan, and loves pretending to be the Cookie Monster while eating them. She also is in love with cows, so that was a big selling point for her.

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun Wednesday!

For #MomStyle / + Bailey Style Too!

 

      Hi there! We are spending Easter at the lake this year, so I wanted to share our casual versions of Easter dress with you all today. Honestly, we'll probably be barefoot, but if we decide to venture out after brunch, these shoes will go perfectly!

      I love a breezy dress for spring, when it's just warm enough to enjoy having bare limbs before it becomes a necessity. This little second-hand floral dress still fits Bailey, and my beloved Old Navy shirt dress has held up well, so they are our go-to's for cute/casual dressing.

     For accessories, we keep it simple. My necklace is a favorite of Bailey's, so when I wear it, we both get some enjoyment out of it. On an unfortunate note, Bailey is growing out of her Converse, and they've been so cute and perfect on her, that I may have to invest in a properly fitting pair soon!

      Thanks for reading, and have a fun Wednesday! Let me know what your Easter plans are! I love a good traditional (and competitive) egg hunt and breakfast, so you could say I'm ready for Sunday to hurry up and get here.

To Adventure / Cosmo Park

 

     Hi there! We had a blast a couple of weekends back at Cosmo Park in Columbia, so I just wanted to share some snaps from that day! 

     Bailey was very into throwing all of the pebbles she could into the water, as most toddlers are. 

     Everything was just starting to bloom around town, so I had to stop and pick the tiniest bouquet! 

      They have the coolest playground equipment here, and this little set is probably my favorite. I can't resist the cabin vibe! 

     Bailey can't not look cute playing on a slide. You can see the look of quiet excitement on her face! 

     Thanks for reading and have a fun Monday! 

For a Craft with Bailey / Painting

 

     Good morning! For Brett's birthday back in February, Bailey and I made a sign for him!

     I really just wanted her to get to finger paint, but unsurprisingly, she was more interested in creating handprints on anything but paper! We still got a few good ones on the sign though!

     She did love the paint though, so I think we'll have more large scale paint projects in the future. Thanks for reading, and have a fun Wednesday!

To Make / Flower Crowns

 

      Good morning! My sweet Bailey is three today!! Instead of going into the depths of time and how fast it goes, I just wanted to share a little DIY I made for Bailey's spring flowery themed party this weekend. There will be a few of Bailey's play date friends there, along with her little cousin Madi, and I wanted to make them special flower crowns for the festivities. Get the how-to below!

Materials:

- paper flowers (these were in the $ section at Target!)

- twine

- scissors

Directions:

1. First, get the wires attached to the flowers unwound and ready for the twine. Also, measure out your twine around your head and cut to the appropriate size.

2. Attache the flowers with the wiring to the twine in an alternating pattern.

3. Tie onto your adorable models head, and enjoy!

To Take Photos / Over the Weekend

 

     Good morning! Just wanted to share some photos from this weekend with you all today. It was a nice, relaxing one, and it was warm enough to venture out to our favorite gardens! The sidewalks are basically Bailey's running track, so we just walk behind and make sure she doesn't get too far ahead. We had to stop in the school house to snap a picture of Bailey of course!

     Then, all weekend, Bailey was styling her stuffed animals. She's gotten in the habit of arranging them somewhere then asking me to take a picture. I guess she's picked up on some of what I do!

       At the gardens, they didn't have a ton of blooming plants yet. Shockingly though, there were quite a few beds and bushes that already had shoots coming out of the ground.

      They did have some magnolia trees already flowering. This type of tree is the only kind I've seen doing that so far. Brett's parents have one in their backyard, and it was also flowering last week! Crazy!

     Lastly, I've started meal prepping on Sunday's something to eat for breakfast all week. This time, it was whole wheat banana muffin bread, and it's the perfect thing to have on hand for my busy mornings.

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun Monday!

For Bailey / Lately

 

     Hi there! February's short, so that means it's already time for another Bailey, Lately update!

Bailey, Lately:

- is basically not napping anymore. She'll have the random late afternoon one once or twice a week, but other than that, it is nonstop toddler time from dawn til dusk!

- can draw smiley faces. Like an actual smiley face! She draws them over and over again, saying who each one is.

- has also been coloring within lines fairly well. She obviously can't get marker perfectly inside a shape, but she definitely will fill each shape and not just scribble all over a page now.

- is starting to count on her fingers. We've been teaching her that she's two and holding up two fingers, which she just mastered. She can do three easily, but holding down that extra finger to make two took her awhile to get the hang of.

- speaking of two, Bailey will be three in about two weeks. Don't even get me started on how fast time flies, and all of that jazz.

- is a big fan of Horizon Organic Honey Graham Crackers. As is my duty as mom, I've tried them out myself and can understand the obsession. They are mighty tasty!

- is about to finish up her winter activity of gymnastics. We will continue it in the fall, when it's time to head indoors again, but now that spring is basically here, we want to get her involved in outdoor activities! Most likely, it will be soccer (her Dad is a skilled player).

- can't get enough of the aforementioned warm weather. It's meant parks mostly for her, and that is her happy place. Any place that has a slide and she's there!

     That's all, folks! Thanks for reading, and have a fun Tuesday! 

To Adventure / Winter Park Time

 

     Hi there! A couple of weekends back, it was 60 degrees in the dead of winter (and we've had and are due for more days like this since!), and we couldn't not take advantage of this rarity. We bolted to the park with Bailey, had a picnic, and just enjoyed getting outside when everyone is usually hunkered down in their homes. I snapped some pics, of course, and wanted to share those today!

     Bailey had a blast, as per usual, and loved soaking in some sun. Slides are her favorite, although we are constantly working on the fact that you can't go up the slide, only down.

     See what I mean? LOL

      The park wasn't too packed, as it's kind of an off the radar one, compared to the other well-known and trafficked parks around town. Bailey doesn't seem to mind when it's busy though, as she's always interested in what other people are doing. 

     She always tries this rock-wall, and has finally semi-grasped the concept of it. She doesn't quite have the fine motor skills yet to get very high, but she just loves trying!

     Since it's supposed to be even warmer this upcoming weekend, you can bet we will head out at least once to a park. Letting Bailey scramble around for an hour is the best break from doing laps around our house.

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun Wednesday!

For Bailey / Craft Time

 

      Hi there! Since tomorrow's Valentine's Day, I wanted to share a little craft I did with Bailey the other day! I had her put together a card for Brett, and it turned out adorabley!

     We just used a simple sheet of red construction paper, some appropriately colored pom poms, fabric glue and a marker!

     First, we glued on the pom poms around the heart shape that I drew with a marker.

     Then, I had Bailey color all over it and on the inside with the marker, and added a few hearts and some text. That's all! Thanks for reading, and have a fun Monday!

To Make / A Bedtime Box

 

      Good morning! Today, I wanted to share a fun idea I had for getting Bailey more interested in a bedtime routine. She already loves going to brush her teeth and put on some lavender balm before bed, but I wanted to take it a step further with a bedtime box!

       All you need are a few items for your child to associate with bedtime to keep in a little box. We bring it out at night, and she looks through it, then starts using the items. We plug in her nightlight, do a couple of drops of the lavender oil on her pillow, read her tiny book, all while she snuggles with her tiny Pooh!

        It's really just something to make bedtime a little more fun. You can rotate out the items with other things, and really customize it to whatever your child likes!

     I think Bailey's favorite part is the box though, as she loves putting away her little treasures somewhere hidden. She hides coins under blankets, little dice in a drawer, and once hid our smart TV remote in a piggy bank. She's already quite the mischievous one! Thanks for reading, and have a fun Thursday!

To Make / Baby Balm

 

      Good morning! We've created a really solid night routine for Bailey, and it includes this DIY Baby Balm! I wanted something calming with lavender oil, to help her sleep soundly, and this balm fits the bill. See how to make it below!

Materials:

- jar

- 1 cup of coconut oil

- 1/2 cup of shea butter

- lavender essential oil

- 2 tsp. beeswax pastilles

Directions:

1. Mix together the coconut oil and shea butter in a standing mixer until smooth. Add in about 30 drops of essential oils.

2. Melt your beeswax in a double broiler, and pour into your jar.

3. Immediately add your oil/butter mixture to the jar. Then, let it set overnight.

4. Store in a cool place, and use liberally on yourself or baby! Enjoy!

For a Craft with Bailey

 

      Hi there! A couple of weeks ago, I adapted my winter wall hanging DIY, and crafted a small version for Bailey! It hangs as a mobile in her room at the moment, and she loves watching the felt diamonds sway. Take a look below to get the how to! 

Materials: 

- felt + scissors

- a small branch or dowel rod

- string + twine

Directions: 

1. Cut out your felt shapes, and spear  them at the top to create a hole for the string. 

2. String them on embroidery thread, and knot to secure them.  

3. Knot your strings onto your branch, and trim excess. 

4. Attach your twine and hang. Enjoy! 

To Observe / Bailey, Lately

 

     Good morning! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. We spent a lot of ours indoors, waiting for an ice storm that never came. Bailey does surprisingly well during the winter, having not yet accessed the infallible energy that unlocks around age four. She's slowly building said energy up, but it's not too much to where she goes insane when confined to l'intérieur. However, this doesn't mean she isn't up to something at almost all times. Look below for what Bailey's been getting into, lately. 

Bailey, Lately:

- is officially a little gymnast! We've been to two classes so far, and its visible that she is slowly coming out of her shell.

- just keeps expanding her inner dictionary, further and further. One of her favorite things to ask is "what's this?". This question was posed yesterday, in reference to a piece of red fuzz. It surprisingly wasn't the easiest thing to explain to a two year old, as they don't realize that small fibers make up materials, yet. I did my best though!

- has also improved on her diction and grammar. She's started to form actual sentences, and speaks much more concisely than in the past couple of months. My job as interpreter isn't as in demand as before!

- is really starting to take more to drawing and coloring, thanks to the addition of her easel from my parents for Christmas! (Thanks mom and dad, she's really loving it!) The dry erase markers are especially her favorite.

- eats and eats and eats. She was one of those toddlers who seemed to have mostly no interest in food, because she was just too busy to care. Now, though, she's realized that food is delicious, and eats regularly. Her favorites at the moment are these sneaky chicken nuggets that (shh!) contain pureed veggies in addition to chicken. I tried some myself and they are better than most regular chicken nuggets, which makes both of us happy.

- just gets sweeter and sweeter. She openly gives kisses and hugs, and has been cuddling more once she's sleepy. I also taught her "I love you" and she hasn't quite gotten the pronunciations right, but it's close and just melts my heart when I can get her to say it.

Thanks for reading, and have a fun Monday!

 

For a Photo Project / November

      Hi there! With the first holiday of the season having passed, and the continuation of yearly traditions, there were a lot of photo opps in November. We had a blast, and Bailey's really coming out of her shell and starting to connect with cameras. Above is our monthly mommy and me shot, and in matching coats for this edition! 

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      She's recently started showing the camera her toys! Here she is with one of her cars. 

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     One of the last trips to the playground for the season (sheds a tear).  

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       In the bath, showing her crayon to mama. 

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      Snoozing one evening. She was curled up and cuddling in a blanket, and you would be hard pressed to find anything cuter.  

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       Stirring a casserole at thanksgiving. She was very serious about her role. 

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     In profile, at the playground. I'm loving black and white shots in really exposed sunlight pictures these days! 

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      A close up of that pretty visage on the way to pick a tree! Kristen toon this one with her big camera, and Bailey is super interested in what the heck that thing is.  

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun Friday!