valentine's day gift guide

Happy Monday!! Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. We have been trying to soak up these last weeks as a family of four and rest + relax as much as possible. With February quickly approaching, I'm so excited to kick the week off with a Valentine's Day Gift Guide!

Valentine's Day has always been one of my favorite holidays. I'm not much of a roses & chocolate kinda girl (but give me alllllll the coffee icecream and tulips); I just love that it's an excuse to express the love I have for my husband, our girls, and friends & family even more than usual. This year I am especially excited for Valentine's since our baby girl is due just a few days beforehand. It wasn't planned but all 3 of our girls are holiday babies, which I just love!

Having three little girls, Valentine's is also one of my favorite holidays to celebrate & shop for. I set up our favorite gathre mat for the girls to make their own Valentine's and they had so much fun. Books, toys and snacks of course were also involved ;) We try to keep things pretty simple around here when it comes to gift-giving so I focus on giving the girls practical gifts that they'll use everyday, but still items that are fun and sentimental.
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first up, baby girl.

I absolutely love the modern wooden teethers from Lexy Pexy and this cotton candy one is darling. All her eco-friendly, non-toxic teethers are handmade in NYC and I love that this one says "love at first bite," it just seems so fitting for Valentine's Day.

Knowing I was due right around V-Day, this Yarning Made bassinet heart blanket in hot pink was another gift I knew she would get a lot of use out of but that would also become a special keepsake as she grows.

I have shared our love of Sugarboo Designs many times before and this Sugarboo Designs love letter pillow is the perfect addition to a nursery or master bedroom for Valentine's Day. We have this set of canvases in our kitchen and the matching pillow is equally gorgeous and so cozy! Definitely a new favorite piece in our home.

Last but not least, these pink dotted oxfords from Piper Finn are so sweet. The Size 1s are so tiny, I can't wait to put her little feet in them once she is born!

next, penelope (16 months).

I've had my eye on these gorgeous boots from Adelisa & Co. for quite some time and when they arrived in the mail they were even more beautiful than I imagined. I absolutely love Adelisa & Co. for what they stand for, and these boots are handmade by artisans in Nicaragua with so much care and attention to detail. A portion of every purchase goes back to support the artisans and their families. We have this gorgeous handmade swing from Adelisa & Co. as well that Poppy just loved when she was younger and will definitely be put to use with our littlest as she grows. Such a fun piece for a playroom, nursery or even outside in the Spring & Summer.

Poppy absolutely loves puppies and hearing her say "woof woof" is just about the cutest thing ever. I've had this book pre-ordered since November and was excited to see the original release date was moved from 2/21 to 2/14, just in time to be a sweet Valentine's Day gift. Written by the author of another one of the girls' favorite books, Gaston, this new release looks so sweet and I can't wait to read it to all 3 of the girls all year long. Another favorite book of ours for Valentine's is Romeo & Juliet by BabyLit.

our oldest, olivia (3.5).

I shared last week on instagram that I had the opportunity to curate a Valentine's Day clip set in collaboration with Ryan & Wren. These are my go-to snap clips for the girls; I love how sleek and classy they are, that they stay in place and all the fun patterns and colors Mary offers in her shop. Naturally, Olivia's favorite colors are pink & purple (so Valentine's Day is definitely her kind of holiday!) so she'll be getting this set as part of her gift this year to share with Poppy. You can shop the full set here.

Another favorite hair accessory for Olivia (and Poppy) are Cute Bird Kids Classy bows, which come in three different sizes. I absolutely love the size of the largest ones for Olivia; they make such a statement in her thick curls and are so well made. I especially love that so many Cute Bird Kids bows are made of corduroy in such bright and vibrant colors and patterns (orchid corduroy bow pictured above on Olivia); there is just something so timeless and nostalgic about the texture and material. Enter BLESSEDNEST15 at checkout for 15% off your purchase today through February 28, 2017.

One of my favorite things about Olivia, especially at this age, is her imagination and watching her play & pretend. These Maileg mice from Rose & Rex have quickly become some of her favorite toys and for Valentine's I added this Princess Mouse and the Pea set to her collection as well as the Little Sister Mouse for Penelope. Both are seriously so darling.

Last but not least, as Spring approaches I knew one of the things I was most looking forward to doing with Olivia was taking her puddle jumping. It's just a childhood requirement, isn't it?! Mud, messes and just letting them be little. Of course for that I wanted to get her some classic Hunter boots, something I've had my eye on for a long time. After finding the exact black matte style I wanted in her size, I knew they would be a perfect gift that would last her through the rest of the year and into the next and then be passed down to Penelope once Olivia outgrows them. For Valentine's, I also love the hot pink ones. I love knowing the pieces we decide to invest in will get years & years of use with all three of our girls.

Hope this gives you some fun ideas for your tiny Valentines! Only two weeks away!! Hopefully by then we'll have our tiniest Valentine in our arms! XO


baby stationary favorites from minted

We are weeks away from welcoming baby no. 3 and of course I have had so much fun thinking about creating her birth announcements and sending them out to friends & family once she's here. We will also be hosting a Sip & See a few weeks after she is born (which we did for Penelope and had so much fun with!) so I designed invitations for that as well. 

My go-to brand for all our stationary needs is Minted, an online design marketplace founded in 2007 which sources creative content from independent artists around the world, and then offers those designs as stationary, art, home decor and more. I love their continued support of so many independent artists and wide range of card styles. 

It was incredibly hard to decide which invitations and announcements to choose since their selection is so vast and gosh they are all just so darling. Below I've rounded up a handful of my favorite invitations for showers and gender reveal parties, many of which can easily be personalized for a Sip & See or Sprinkle as well. 
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We have never done a gender reveal party (maybe we will if we have a fourth...someday) but I absolutely loved the "What Whale it be?" invite (8) for that. As for baby showers, there are so many lovely invitations that are easily customizable by color or gender. A lot of their invites have 2-3 different color options (sometimes more) and the process of personalizing cards through Minted is so easy. 

I love the simplicity and modern look of the black and white Oh Baby! invite (1) and my heart melted over both of the designs incorporating Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (2 / 5), probably because that is Poppy's absolute favorite lullaby and I sing it to her every night; I just thought they were both so sweet. 

The nesting dolls invitation (6) is so colorful and eye catching and I love the idea behind it because I feel like whenever I am pregnant (and even when I'm not...) I'm constantly nesting and coming up with more projects, house renovations and things on my to-do list before baby arrives. Ha. My husband loves that, as you can imagine ;) I also love the storybook garden invitation (3) and how whimsical it is.

I thought the graphic on this bonjour baby one was so much fun -- something I would definitely frame & hang in a nursery after the shower as a special keepsake. I also loved this bun in the oven invite and for a Sip & See (especially as Spring and Summer approach), I love this lemonade one, which comes with three different color options.

For birth announcements, I am always drawn to their foil-pressed designs, especially the really classy & simple ones with a single photo. This gilded garden one caught my eye because of my love of floral, and so did this golden posey one. This storybook one is absolutely stunning as well and such a unique way to present the announcement.

Hopefully if you're on the hunt for the perfect invitation or announcement, that gives you a little inspiration! I've shared this before but I absolutely love that Minted offers free recipient addressing on all the envelopes, so us Mamas have one less thing to think about doing with all we have going on! Hope your week has been wonderful so far!! XO


monday favorites

Happy Monday! We had a really fun & relaxing weekend together at home that was much needed after all the busyness of the holidays. On Friday night Dustin and I hosted our monthly couples small group and stayed up way way too late, but it was so much fun. On Saturday Dustin ended up working so I spent the day lounging at home with the girls and he got home right as they were going down for their naps so we both took a nap too. The only trouble is when I nap in the afternoon (at 35 weeks pregnant!), I don't want to get up! ;) On Sunday we all slept in and the girls spent the afternoon at my parents' house while we went on a fun lunch date out for Italian and then (finally) found a neutral rug for our new master bedroom, made of microfiber...softest thing I've ever walked on! :) 

Since deciding I wanted to completely redo our master about two months ago to be a bit more reflective of our farmhouse style and more of a relaxing retreat at the end of the day (thank you, nesting), we've painted the walls gray (they were cream before), gotten a new bed (here) + bedding (here) and a really neat rustic gold chandelier that reminds me of something you'd see in Beauty & The Beast. Much better than the outdated brown ceiling fan we had before! ;) Dustin built new curtain rods, I hung up new curtains, some custom art from Hunt & Gather Goods with the girls' initials (watch for a coupon code + giveaway coming next week) and a darling Moses basket in the corner that matches the bassinet we were given when I was pregnant with Olivia (similar here with slightly different bassinet color)...my very favorite part of the whole room. It's still surreal to me that we'll have a little babe sleeping in there soon! We are still on the hunt for the perfect mirror (I'm looking for something antique in gold or bronze to tie in with the chandelier) and some type of architectural art for behind the bed, but other than that it's nearly complete. That is unless I can convince Dustin to create a wood accent wall in all his spare time ;) Can't wait to share a mini tour soon!

To kick off the week, I thought I'd round up a few of the things I've been loving lately!!

one | I shared this picture of our kitchen last week on instagram and so many of you were wondering about the mug rack. It can be found here (for less than $20!) and is such a fun way to display mugs or glasses in your home. I also recently came across this copper and wood paper towel holder and knew it was the perfect piece for our kitchen; I was ecstatic to get rid of our old boring one and love the rustic look this one brings to the space. Oh and for those of you who love a good candle as much as I do, I can't get enough of this clementine & honey one.

two | We never had to baby proof with Olivia because she just didn't ever get into anything and to be honest up until a few days ago, we didn't own a single baby gate or lock. Penelope is a bit of a different story...our middle one with all the moxie ;) Poppy (or should I say the two of them...) seem to get into everything these days when I'm not looking, including the snack drawer in our kitchen, which they completely emptied last week and spread out over the entire floor. Olivia helped Poppy open 6 mini boxes of raisins, which they ate in about 5 minutes as I was laying on the couch trying to rest in the living room. After a million times picking up things they weren't supposed to be into, I decided enough was enough and went on the search for practical drawer and door locks that wouldn't show from the outside and didn't require drilling into our new cabinets. I found these magnetic locks on Amazon and absolutely love them. They come in a set of 4 locks + 1 key or 8 locks + 2 keys. The minute they arrived I put them on (so easy to install) and I haven't had a mess to pick up since! I also love that the key itself is a magnet, so we store it high on the fridge where we can always find it when we need it.

three | As I approach the final weeks of pregnancy and reality is sinking in that soon I'll have three little girls to take care of, I've been thinking of all the ways I can make my life a little easier, especially during those first 4-6 weeks when you're sleep deprived and can't form a complete thought. One of the things I'm most excited for is having diapers & wipes delivered straight to our door for baby girl from Parasol Co., something we've done since last summer for Poppy and absolutely loved.  The diapers are ultrasoft, super absorbent and come in the most fun modern patterns, plus created with natural ingredients that are safe for baby. The wipes are quilted to be extra soft, smell like cucumber and aloe and are free of all the junk most wipes on the market contain. Parasol Co. offers convenient subscription services that allow you to decide the frequency of your deliveries (every 3-, 4-, or 5 weeks), modify the patterns and size anytime, and track your package once it ships. I've never found diapers or wipes I've loved more than Parasol ones and can't wait to put our little babe in the tiny ones once she arrives. If you've been curious what all the hype is about, enter BLESSEDNEST at checkout for 20% off your first subscription.

four | We are desperately dreaming of Spring over here and ready for warmer temps where we can get outside and run around the yard and play. I came across this jacket on sale last week for Olivia (currently 40% off with the code GOODSTART) and knew it would be the perfect piece to transition from Winter to Spring. Wish it came in my size!! I also loved this polka dot tulle dress for her, also on sale right now. I used my Silver Gap card and a reward that was about to expire and got both pieces for $8.80 total with free 3 day shipping. I seriously swear by our gap card; we use it exclusively for gas & and groceries and then earn rewards and extra discounts at Gap + Old Navy, so the majority of the girls' clothing is free or incredibly inexpensive. Excited for her to start wearing them as the weather warms!

five | Last but not least, we are starting our Valentine's baking early around here since baby girl is due just a few days before V-Day. I've got this sugar cookie recipe on my radar and can't wait to try it out soon with Olivia. She had so much fun making sugar cookies for Christmas and frosting + decorating them, I'm excited to do it again. I also love making homemade pop tarts every year for Valentine's, a labor of love for sure but so so tasty! Recipe can be found here. Hope your week is off to a relaxing start!! 


best of the nest | freshly picked

Happy Friday!! This has felt like the longest week ever so we are all extra thankful the weekend is here! We host a small group in our home one Friday a month and we have that tonight so Olivia and I have plans to make 7-layer bars this afternoon before nap time, one of my forever favorite treats!

I've shared my love of Freshly Picked moccasins many times in the past because it has become a tried + true brand for our family over the last several years. Olivia was just a few months old when she wore her first pair and since then we have been totally hooked. The quality, craftsmanship and durability of Freshly Picked moccasins is unmatched. I have been able to save many of Olivia's old pairs for Poppy and they are still in such great shape that our littlest lady will wear them as well. Of course it's always fun to add new pairs to the girls' collection and I love their Platinum moccasins as the perfect everyday staple since it matches everything, especially as we move into Spring! 

When Olivia was born in 2013, Freshly Picked hadn't yet released their crib moccasins (now called The First Pair), which are Size 0 and perfect for newborns & those tiny baby feet. Poppy wore an heirloom blush and gold pair as her first shoes, which has now become a special keepsake that sits on a shelf in her nursery. A platinum pair is waiting in my hospital bag for our new baby girl and every time I see them I still get weak in the knees that she will have feet small enough to fit them, especially when I look at Penelope and Olivia and how much they have grown and changed since we first brought them home from the hospital.

A few of our favorite things about Freshly Picked...
one | They stay on a baby's feet. This is definitely #1 on my list because it seems every other shoe out there made for babies and toddlers so easily falls off. Even as much determination as Poppy has, she can't get them off her feet when I'm not looking. And I love that!

two | They are so well made. Kids wear shoes out like nobody's business but our FP moccasins have stayed in such great condition through all the girls' adventures. The colors haven't faded, leather hasn't peeled off and the elastic around the ankle stays strong and secure no matter how much it has been stretched.

three | The style. This one goes without saying but I love all the options that Freshly Picked offers in terms of soft sole moccasin style. I tend to stick with the neutrals and metallics and especially love Gold, Rose Gold,  and Weathered Brown (the perfect gender neutral mocc!). 

four | The fit. I can't speak directly from experience since FP doesn't actually make moccasins in my size, but I love how comfortable the soft sole moccs seem on my girls. Their feet are never being restricted when worn (unlike many hard soled infant shoes) and they are easy to get on and off without much effort. They can be worn with or without socks and are just as comfy worn around the house as they are when we're out and about. Penelope never even notices she is wearing shoes when she's in FP, which makes me think they must be pretty darn comfortable!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!


the new year

Happy 2017!! I love this time of year when everything feels fresh & new and the whole year is ahead with so much to look forward to. January is one of my favorite months in general but this year is especially exciting because it will be our last month as a family of 4 before we welcome our baby girl in early February. I'll also be celebrating my 27th birthday at the end of the month with some fun date nights with Dustin that we're both really excited about.

We rung in the New Year at home, cozy on the couch, with the girls asleep upstairs and honestly, barely made it to midnight ;) That afternoon before nap time we popped popcorn and shared a favorite soda and Olivia had so much fun using the air-popper, something I don't think we've ever done with her (which is surprising for how much we make popcorn!). My mom makes old fashioned caramel corn on the stove and that's my go-to way to eat popcorn aside from classic butter & sea salt or parmesan & rosemary. I'm pretty sure Olivia is going to be asking to make air popped popcorn every day for the next month!

We spent most of Sunday relaxing and going a few of our favorite places -- a local nature reserve, out to lunch, a favorite bakery (whose bittersweet chocolate cookies are my absolute favorite!) and on a carousel ride.

I don't generally make New Year's resolutions but in the past have chosen a focus word or phrase as an overarching goal for the year. This year my biggest hope is to simplify and live with intention, especially as a wife & mom. I have said it so many times before, but I can hardly believe how fast time is passing these days, especially with our girls. I feel like just yesterday we were bringing Olivia home from the hospital and now we are weeks away from bringing home our third baby girl. 

This Spring we celebrate Olivia's 4th birthday and Poppy's 2nd birthday in the Fall as well as our 5th anniversary. Didn't we just say "I do"?! So many times as Stay at Home Moms we feel tired, worn out and often stuck in the same day to day routine, which I think is especially amplified in the Winter months during those long & cold gray days where the majority of your time with your kids is spent indoors. 

Instead of waiting for the weekend to make memories or special occasions to do something extra fun with the girls, I really want to focus on being intentional with them on an everyday basis -- even if it is in really small, simple ways. To me, this means being present with them and living in the moment where I am focused and soaking it all in. It means saying yes to their ideas and always being ready for an adventure. It means enjoying the ups and downs of each day -- both the routine tasks and the more out-of-the-ordinary ones. Olivia especially is at an age where she finds even the most simple experiences to be so wonderful (baking together, going out for coffee or lunch, watching a movie before bed, etc) so I want to bring even more of that into our home and family this year. 

I also want to continue to simplify our life as we move forward into 2017. I have shared a bit in the past about our continuous desire for simplicity + minimalism (read more in a blog post here from January 2016) and that continues to be a goal we are striving for -- simplifying what we own, what we buy, what we bring in to our home, what we say "yes" to and what we take on in general, so that we can focus on what really matters -- being together as a family, making memories and giving our daughters experiences rather than just "stuff" as we raise them.

We actually own less now than we ever have before (despite having 3 little ones), but what we do own is not only higher quality but much more treasured because there is less of it and it was brought into our home with incredible intention, thought + purpose. Not to mention the joy of living in a house I rarely have to clean or organize. I absolutely love the feeling of openness and the absence of clutter in our home, knowing the girls always have space to dance, move, imagine and play. 

For us, living more minimally means freedom to live with purpose surrounded only by what is most meaningful to us, not being suffocated by stuff that doesn't matter or that distracts us from actually living. It gives me so much peace of mind knowing that everything we own is purposeful. Many of our closets, cupboards, drawers and shelves are empty rather than piled high or crammed with stuff we don't need or use anyway. Every piece of clothing the girls own is incredibly special to me, and I can fit all their clothes (yes, for all 3 of them!) in a single 6-drawer dresser. At the end of the day I am never left picking up toys because we have very few of them and the girls have learned to put everything away when they're done, an easier chore to teach when there is less stuff to put away! Plus their creativity and imaginations are continually thriving. Olivia always tells me she loves being "neat and tidy" and I love that I can lay down on the couch at the end of the day without seeing toys and clutter everywhere I turn. A win-win for us all.

Every day I continue to find myself more and more fulfilled with my role as a Mom to the 3 little girls God has given us, and as a wife to my best friend and I am aware more now than ever that my fulfillment has nothing to do with our stuff. My longing for things and for a certain type of lifestyle has been completely stripped away over the past 5+ years as I have learned what truly matters and how this life is just a single breath in comparison to eternity. And how time is something that can't be purchased no matter who you are or how much money you have...and how much more time we are able to grab hold of and use when we remove the things from our life that aren't life-giving.

We absolutely still love creating a beautiful home where our girls, friends & family always feel welcome and loved, but I know firsthand that atmosphere can be done with less stuff. It's amazing what getting rid of stuff does for your mind. In every experience Dustin and I have had, less stuff = less stress. The things we most look forward to have nothing to do with what we own, but rather who we're with and the memories we make together. And I believe this mindset of "owning less and living more" which we have really adopted since we got married in 2012 but put into practice more each year goes hand in hand with living intentionally and purposefully in 2017. 

Below are a few articles I have come across over the past few years that really stuck with me and further confirmed our lifestyle shift toward living more simply. I hope they bring some inspiration if you are looking to do the same!

Hope your January is full of new beginnings and so much fun!! XO

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