Wednesday, February 25, 2015

St. Patrick's Day Picks for Littles

Each day the sun is shining more and more and its leaving me eager for spring to arrive. I can't wait for fresh flowers & longer days filled with sunshine! With St. Patrick's Day right around the corner, I wanted to share some of my favorite items to make your day extra festive.

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What are some of your picks for adding a festive touch to your St. Patrick's day? Be sure to check out the shops above, some of my favorites!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Target for the win + e.l.f Makeup Deals!

{So excited Target has Easter stuff out, Olivia's dream = bunny themed everything!}

Yesterday, Olivia and I met up with two of my friends and their kids for a Starbucks date and some Target shopping.  Basically, fueling up before toddler wrangling through the store. We all found great clearance deals on pillows, poufs and more!  Our husbands will probably not let us meet up again.   Pretty sure I embarrassed myself when I ran towards yet another pouf that was on clearance! (As if there was a line of people stalking them.) That being said, my hubby didn't notice the new pillows or lampshade in the living room.  Or second pouf that I am storing on top of the first pouf that was bought... We're in the process of turning our basement into a playroom so while that's being ripped apart I'm basically like a squirrel at this point.  A few pillows here, a few poufs there...all the while my hubby puts blinders on as I tell him it's all part of my plan.  To see our playroom plans, click here.  We're planning on putting a couch down there and when I bought the first pouf he wanted to know what it was for.  I replied that if he had a few friends over, there will be the couch and someone can sit on the pouf.  His reply of "which one of my friends do you think will sit on a pouf??" still has me laughing.  Apparently men don't sit on decorative poufs. Now that we have two poufs I'm sure he'll be thrilled.  I seriously could not pass it up.  Practically free when it was marked down to $15!!! With the three of us, four babies, two strollers and a cart it was too hilarious to not take a picture.  Babies on top of pillows on top of babies on top of poufs.  #HowMomsShopAtTarget

(Pst, that's one of my love)

Moving on, I have to share that one of Olivia's favorite things to do is to play with my makeup.  Most mornings, I get ready with her in the bathroom and she watches me do my makeup.  She loves to use the brushes and recently found my eyeshadow, as you can tell from the pictures.  I let her use one of my e.l.f eyeshadow compacts and she was overjoyed.  She delicately used the brushes and her fingers to apply stripes to her cheeks then smiled at herself in the mirror.  It was too adorable!  Side note: um...hopefully she doesn't think I look like that! 

My favorite e.l.f. eyeshadows are so inexpensive and there's a big sale going on here:  Save 50% on The Classic Glamour Kit. No code necessary. Offer valid 2/20- 2/22/15.  Love it! Here are a few more promotions going on as well (hint: run before it's over!)

I'd love to hear what you think about the products!  I also love their tinted moisturizer and can't wait to try the HD blush.  Hope you all have a great weekend! 

This post contains affiliate links.  

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Inspiration Board || Playroom Edition

I am so excited that we are re-doing our basement and transforming it into a playroom!  Currently, it is my hubby's "man cave" and the dog's room...aka I hate hate hate it.  I rarely spend time down there, with the exception of some nights while I'm trying to be a ninja creeping around post bedtime avoiding making any noise so I can watch some Real Housewives.  I basically told Rob that we were turning the basement into a playroom so I was pleasantly surprised when he didn't argue.  I think he's secretly excited about this, princess tent and all.  I'm trying to keep it neutral with pops of color so it can be enjoyed by everyone.  Except the dog.  Bye bye to sleeping on the couch, Harper.  Is that mean?  Nah...  Dog hair drives me up the wall! We're planning on buying this couch from Ikea. We're going with the white slipcover and before you think I'm crazy, here's why... 1. The slipcover can be washed  2. In the case of dirt, crayons, play doh, cookie crumbs, etc this can be bleached 3. Because I love white and it's gotten so many great reviews I think it's worth a try  4.  Its affordable, yet Pottery Barn inspired.  I'm also planning on purchasing an extra slipcover to use while one is being washed.  In the clearance section of Ikea I found multiple slipcovers in all different colors, being sold for as little as $10!  Gotta love Ikea clearance section.  For extra seating, I found this pouf from Target marked down to $18 on clearance!  It's more of a mustard color than shown and I think it'll be a fun addition to the room. Seriously, bargain shopping makes my day. 

I also found this rug from Ikea as well, marked down to $29 for a 5 x 7...I couldn't pass it up!  It's darker in the picture but it's a nice gray with hints of white.  It's also indoor/outdoor so it'll be easy to keep clean. 

The basement is the only room in the house with carpet, so we're choosing to take that out and use this vinyl plank flooring from Lowes.  Due to the fact that this is a basement, we went with these after doing some research.  It was between laminate and vinyl flooring and our local Lowe's recommended the vinyl, which is better for moisture prone areas.  After browsing through Pinterest, I'm shocked by how real these floors looked.  We went with Antique Woodland Oak to add a rustic, hand scraped look.  

The chalkboard print is from the Caravan Shoppe, which I'm obsessed with for prints!  I had this printed at Staples in engineer size for about $4! I added wood to the top and bottom to create a finished look that I can't wait to show you.

In addition to the chalkboard print, I'm also making a chalkboard wall for Olivia to draw and have fun with.  I love chalkboard walls so I can't wait to see it finished.  We're planning on wall mounting our tv and repurposing a bookcase that we bought years ago from Ikea into an entertainment/storage area.  I'll be using a mix of baskets to hide away some toys and other various items.  Also, as you can see in the inspiration board I included a tree stump side table.  Isn't that fun?  I'm keeping my eyes out during my next HomeGoods trip.  I'm so excited to start the process of turning our basement into a playroom!  You can follow along with our progress on Instagram (@thebirdsnestblog) if you'd like, and as always I'll be posting updates on here as well.  I hope you all have a great day! 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Our Week || Dip, Flowers & No Sleep Ninjas

Part of me can't believe it's Friday already and part of me was counting down the minutes.  We had a busy week with snow, errands, and a toddler who seems to be mixing up her days and nights.  For some reason, Olivia keeps waking up during the night crying/screaming. She has a cold so that may be adding to it, but boy I am not a person who can function on little sleep.  I'm so thankful for my hubby who tends to be much better with getting less sleep than I am.  Hoping our no sleep ninja decides to turn things around ;) I hope its not an ear infection, poor baby!

Superbowl Sunday was held at my sister's house and there was tons of yummy food.  I made artichoke dip using this recipe and also made the beer bread to go with it.  It was so good! Pretty sure I'll make two next time, as it was gone within minutes.

My mind has been turning about Olivia's birthday in April.  I'll be hosting a big giveaway with lots of fun shops and products and I cannot wait to share it with you!  Last year, we had a bigger party with lots of family to celebrate her first birthday - I cannot believe she'll be two!! This year, we'll be having a very small get together with family for her birthday.  Even though we are keeping it very small, I still want it to be really pretty and perfect for her.  I've been loving the look of crepe paper flowers and one of our friends had a book of all different flower templates.  I couldn't wait to try it myself so I headed to AC Moore and picked up a few different packages of crepe paper and tried to make a few.  I really love how they came out and I can't wait to make some for her birthday. 

My sister and I headed to the salon for a girls day and I couldn't be happier for a day out.  Sometimes you just need to do something for yourself to make you feel pretty and refresh yourself as a mom and wife.  I know when I have a little time to myself I can put my best self forward and it really shows. One of our best friends is a hair stylist at our favorite salon, where Carrie Underwood just walked right in from the elevator one day - um, amazing. I couldn't wait to get a haircut and highlights.  It had been since the day before Olivia's last birthday party!  After Teresa did my foils, she told us she had a surprise and that my hubby booked us for manicures.  Wasn't that the sweetest?  He really is so thoughtful and it makes me proud that he is.  It was such a nice surprise and so nice to be pampered.  While we were gone, he had both Olivia and her cousin Brynn and he made cookies with them.  One of my favorite pictures ever, so sweet...

We had such a great day and it was so nice to catch up on some gossip girl time, and relax while enjoying ourselves.  How do you take time for yourself?  Do you schedule in some "me" time or is it months before you realize you could use a little?  It's so worth it!  I'll leave you with my first ever selfie, which I'm still smiling about because clearly one of us has had some practice ;)

Friday, January 30, 2015

Nibble Tray || A Fun + Easy Toddler Lunch

Lunch is always the hardest meal for me.  We don't tend to have many leftovers and I'm not a huge fan of lunch myself so its pretty much a daily challenge.  I tend to make Olivia deconstructed sandwiches or cheese, crackers, and some sort of fruit or vegetable.  She loves deli meat but I try to limit that to once or twice a week.  Sandwiches are not my thing, unless I'm pregnant and craving a forbidden deli turkey sandwich morning, noon, and night.  My husband on the other hand could eat a sandwich for lunch every day of his life and not have a complaint, unless we're out of bread...and deli meat...and mustard.  Clearly I can't get my meal planning act together ;)  Anyway, I've been seeing muffin tin meals pop up all over Pinterest and I wanted to try it for Olivia.  I felt that a muffin tin was a bit too big and I didn't want to overwhelm her with too many choices so I opted for my favorite porcelain egg carton.  (Bought at HomeGoods)  Here is what I put in her nibble tray...

Cubed cheese, avocado, teddy grahams, carrot sticks, blueberries, and chocolate covered mini pretzel sticks.  I decided it would be fun to have a picnic so I sat her on our bed and when she saw the tray she exclaimed, "Oh dis?!" which is toddler speak for all this!! Super excited and she loved everything.  The carrot sticks were her least favorite though, so she decided to feed a few to her bunny Penelope.

This was a great little lunch for her.  It was a new, colorful way to eat lunch, which I think helped her to be so interested in it.  Lately, she's been picky and "no way!" is the answer to pretty much anything in the fridge.  Except butter.  The child can eat butter happily everyday all day.  For example, last night when I asked her if she wanted to eat chicken the response was "no way, yes."  Toddlers can be so fickle sometimes, can't they ;) What are some ways you get your kids to enjoy their food?  Have you tried making a nibble tray?  I'd love to hear from you! 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Our Weekend || Snow + Soup

We had an extended snow filled weekend, which was so nice!  Ok, not the snow part but the extended part.  I love having my hubby around (unless I want to watch Vanderpump Rules alone #letsbehonest) and Olivia loves to play with him.  Pretty sure she's going through some separation anxiety, as she screams and cries when she's going to sleep and all she wants is Daddy.  Moving on to some weekend randomness...

We made a cozy seat for Livvy to hang with some Cheerios and watch Hop.  Laundry baskets for laundry are overrated.  We've watched Hop approximately 43 times in the past four days.  She's not a big tv watcher and I thought she had forgotten about this movie but our DVR has been on replay for days. It's a cute movie and clearly not just for Easter.  Her favorite part is in the beginning where the bunny is playing the drums *cue toddler dance* and the dad calls for "EB"... Olivia is now being called OB and she loves it and thinks that's hilarious.

While we didn't get nearly as much snow as we thought (yesss), we got plenty for her to play in.  I'm so thankful for daddies who play in the snow.  I'll go back inside to make hot chocolate.  

We ended our weekend with some delicious Italian Wedding soup and stayed cozy while watching Downton Abbey.  Hope you all enjoyed your weekend! 

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Girls Lunch || My Current Favorite Salad

My college roommate and I have been besties since, well, the first day of freshman year eleven years ago(?!?!!).  After my mom finished wiping the mattress with Clorox wipes (we still laugh at that) and we set up our dorm room, dubbed "The Tiki Room", she has been one of my best friends every since! I wish I could see her more often so it's such a treat when we get together.  Our babies are 6 months apart and clearly best friends as well.  Between my two roommates and my sister and I, we had four babies within six months of each other! Babies galore!  During our visit, the girls played and we got to catch up between toddler wrangling. For lunch, we had a strawberry almond spinach salad, broccoli cheddar quiche and chocolate croissants.  We also snacked on fruit and amazing Tate's cookies.  

The girls played so nice with each other and it made me and Olivia so happy that they were here with us!  Our KidKraft vintage kitchen was a huge hit! I mean can you stand the cuteness...

Back to lunch, the croissants were from Williams Sonoma (thanks Aunt Jenn!) and they were amazing.   As in a don't-talk-to-me-go-play-these-are-amazing type of way.  Kidding. Sort of ;)  The quiche was super quick to throw together and my sister made the salad.  This salad is my current favorite.

It consists of baby spinach, fresh strawberries, honey almond slices, gorgonzola cheese and Vidalia onion vinaigrette.  It may seem like a weird combination, but it is super yummy and a great switch up from regular salad.  Overall, we had such a great visit and I can't wait to get together again!  Aren't girls lunches so fun?  I think playdates are sometimes more for me than Olivia;)