6.15.2018

summer shoe favorites

Happy Friday!! Summer is here and we have been loving every minute of it! Between the beach, the splash pad, the park, picnics, popsicles, the sprinkler & all the sunshine, I wish Summer never had to end. I love not being on any sort of schedule, being able to have long slow breakfasts at home and spend all day outside with the girls. We only get 18 summers with each of our kids and I intend to treasure every moment of all of them -- even the hot sticky ones where my car is filled with sand and our laundry baskets are overflowing with towels & swimsuits and bedtime takes 2 hours because the sun is still shining...cause someday I'll look back and miss these days with my little girls and all the amazing + hilarious things they do and say.

To kick off the weekend, I thought it would be fun to share my top picks in Summertime shoes. Over the past few months I've completely revamped my wardrobe to be more minimal like my girls' is and I've been loving it. I've always kept my closet pretty minimal but I've moved toward a much more "capsule" wardrobe with staple pieces that can transition through all seasons (like this jacket that I throw on over everything). And through the process I got rid of all the shoes I wasn't ever wearing and picked out a handful of neutral pairs that are both stylish & comfortable (that I can also chase 3 kids in...) that I know I'll wear for many Summers to come. Shop my favorites below!

I've shared my love for Adelisa & Co's sandals for my girls but did you know they also make women's shoes?? Their Cruz sandals {one} are so gorgeous and pair well with everything. Plus with every purchase you're supporting the families in Nicaragua that make the shoes by hand. The craftsmanship is impeccable and the design is so timeless. Our favorite styles for our girls are these + these

My favorite pair to wear with distressed white jeans, the Crown Vintage Wedges {two} are the ones I most often put on for nights out with my girlfriends. They're also the shoes I brought on my trip to Nashville and walked all over the city in. They come in 3 colors, the cognac is definitely my fav. 

In Summers past I lived in Old Navy flip flops. While I still keep a pair on hand for when I'm in the backyard with the girls, I wanted to upgrade a bit and picked out a pair of White Mountain sandals {three} and Madden Girl sandals {five}. Super comfortable and perfect to dress up or down.

For something a bit fancier, I love these Franco Sarto sandals {four} in taupe. 

Perfect with ripped blue jeans, the Earth Origins wedge sandals {six} are so so comfortable, even on long walks or at the park. Crown Vintage also makes a very similar pair {here}.

Every Mama needs a classic sneaker for Summertime and I picked the Toms Del Rey pair {seven} out in the Wintertime and they sat in my closet for months as I dreamed of warm Summer days. Plus I just can't resist a good polka dot. 

Last but not least, a classy pair of black espadrilles {eight}. They round out the perfect Summer wardrobe and match everything.

Hope you all have the best weekend, celebrating the Dads in your life and soaking up the summer sun as a family. We are headed to a friends' house tonight for a pizza night and bonfire with the kids and then hoping to sneak away for a date night tomorrow before celebrating Dustin and my Dad on Sunday! XO

5.24.2018

celebrating summer with the baby jogger city mini gt

Happy Thursday!! We have been celebrating Olivia's 5th birthday all week and enjoying beautiful (and warm!) weather. Her party was on Sunday and we hosted over 50 of our friends & family which was so much fun. She chose Chipotle for her family birthday dinner (YES to not having to cook in this heat!) and then the only thing she requested was being able to go out for crunch cones with me just the two of us!! 


Even though May isn't quite over yet, it feels like Summer is officially here now that school is out. And when the temperatures rise high enough (after what felt like an extra long winter!!) we spend all day, every day outside. One of my favorite things to do with the girls is take walks during the day at a local nature reserve. It's less than 5 minutes from our house so we go there a lot. I pack a picnic lunch or we stop for breakfast smoothies in the cafe and then spend all day on the trails, exploring and enjoying the sunshine. The girls love collecting "treasures" they find along the way and we bring along our flower and tree guides for them too. All month long we have been taking along our new stroller, the Baby Jogger City Mini GT Anniversary Edition!! Baby Jogger is celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the popular City Mini and City Mini GT strollers by releasing a special edition with some fun upgrades and added extras!

It has been so much fun having some new wheels as we welcome Summer and get outside with our girls!

Penelope is almost 3 now so we rarely need to bring a double stroller along because she wants to explore much more than ride. (Though, after she saw Della riding in our City Mini GT she did ask if she could have a turn). I love that with my girls at their current ages (5, almost 3 and 16 months), this is the perfect stroller for our family because all 3 of them fit comfortably in it but it's still lightweight and compact. We have an SUV with 3rd row seating so there is plenty of room in the back for it, but it also fits perfectly sitting on the floor in front of the passenger seat if I've got the back filled with other things (you know, the standard oversized beach bag and beach towels and coolers and blankets and so much sand...). Talk about a Mom win. And because it's travel-system compatible, you can use it from birth (with the beautiful bassinet) on up to age 5 and beyond. 


A few other features I love:
*Adjustable handlebar to accomodate whoever is pushing it comfortably

*All-terrain tires; these are perfect for going off the trails and exploring through the woods.

*One-handed fold; it even has a "fold here" strap that you pull, which is perfect for Dustin because he uses our strollers much less often and tends to forget how to collapse them ;) 

*Oversized canopy; the days spent outside on the trails get extra hot and when Della needs a break from the sunshine, I love that she is still safely covered while riding.

*Lay flat recline; when Adaline was a baby I kept her on quite a strict nap schedule with two naps a day at specific times. Now that she is 16 months, her naps are much more flexible and often when we're out and about. She can nap comfortably because the seat can be reclined to lay flat in seconds.

*Hand-operated brake; every stroller we've ever had uses a foot brake and I love being able to brake the stroller with one hand easily and quickly


If your family loves being outside as much as ours does, head on over to my instagram @blessednestblog because I'm GIVING ONE AWAY to one of you!! One follower will win a Baby Jogger City Mini GT Anniversary Edition stroller ($379.99 value) for all their Summer adventures!! Whether you're expecting your first baby or have older kids, this stroller is a Summer must-have! Giveaway runs Thursday May 24 through Monday May 28 and the winner will be randomly selected from the entries. Once selected, verified & announced on the original post, the winner will have 24 hours to claim their prize by sending me a DM @blessednestblog. If the prize is not claimed, a new winner will be drawn and announced. 

5.18.2018

friday favorites

Happy Friday!! Feels like forever since I've actually sat down in quiet to blog, probably because it has been. My days lately have been consumed with park hopping & playdates & getting ready for Olivia's 5th birthday party this weekend and trying to keep the girls busy now that Olivia is done with school until Fall. The weather has been gorgeous so we have basically been outside from sun up to sun down and the girls are loving it. I have so many fun things I wanted to share so I had to jump on and put together a quick Friday Favorites post!!


First up, the prettiest floral water bottle. I was ordering something from Target.com earlier this week and I randomly came across it. I love the 20 oz size, the fact that it keeps my water extra cold all day and the price can't be beat. 

The wedge sandals I'm loving this Summer. I brought them on my trip to Nashville last month and walked all over the city in them. Cute with jeans & dresses and available in three colors!

Olivia lives in dresses during the Summer so I recently picked up this dotted pinafore from Alice + Ames. Such a pretty color and polka dots are our fav.

The temps have been in the 80s for the last two weeks and our favorite way to beat the heat is running the sprinkler in the backyard. We have this one and the girls love it. 

We are having a birthday party for Olivia this weekend and while I was getting everything for it at Target, I picked up a few cases of Bai Bubbles for ourselves. I rarely drink anything other than water so these have been such a treat -- the perfect summer drink. Our favorite flavors so far are Pink Grapefruit, Black Cherry & Blackberry Lime. 

The girls have been wearing these flamingo pajamas every night, so cute and on sale! Available in 6-12 months up to 6T so all three of my girls can match!! 

What's on your list this month?? Share any favorite things below!! Have the BEST weekend!!

3.13.2018

Spring Baskets & Gift Guide

One of my favorite things as Spring approaches is putting together Spring Baskets for my girls. You can see what I put in last year's baskets here. Having three little girls makes everything sweet but especially at their current ages I feel like I had so many options of what to fill them with & I had so much fun!


I love doing a mix of practical things they'll use (books, pajamas, sunglasses, bubble bath) as well as some fun things I know the girls will play with every day. I picked some new clothes for the warmer weather & the cutest swimsuits by one of my favorite brands, Tea Collection, a few new sets of their favorite Maileg Mice from My Sweet Muffin, bows & bracelets, hair clips and for Della, some new cuddly things! I always try to choose baskets that aren't traditional Easter baskets so they can be reused around the house instead of sitting in storage for 364 days out of the year ;) Last year I used Pehr Designs Pint Bins and now we use them for their toys, dolls and shoes. This year I fell in love with these darling wire baskets from the Hearth & Hand line and I know the girls will love carrying things around the house in them and I'll also use them for decor and in our kitchen.

One of my very favorite parts of their baskets is something that doesn't actually fit in them -- new floral rainboots from London Littles! Olivia and Poppy love puddle jumping (and I swear they can spot a puddle a mile away) and I love all things floral, so these seemed like the perfect addition. I even got Della a pair so she can be just like her big sisters.


OLIVIA'S BASKET:


PENELOPE'S BASKET:


ADALINE'S BASKET:
Briar Handmade Spring Bonnets
{Use code NEST15 for 15% off your purchase through the end of March}


Other favorite items to fill baskets with are new art supplies, bubbles (the perfect backyard entertainment as the weather warms up), stickers or small bath toys. Once it arrives, I'll be adding the Tubby Sweets Bundle, with one bottle in each of their baskets. We did this last year and it was perfect!

What are you gifting this Spring?? Have you filled your little one's baskets or are you still on the hunt for the perfect thing??

3.02.2018

spring playlist

We always have music on, whether in the car, on my phone or through our Google Home in the kitchen, especially when I'm cooking dinner. The girls love to dance and I'm convinced you just can't be in a bad mood when you're listening to good music, so I thought it would be fun to share a few favorites of ours that have been on repeat lately! 


Hope some new tunes get your weekend started right!! XO

2.22.2018

5 of our favorite traditions

It's been awhile since I've posted on here and as I was folding the laundry last night a post idea came to me that I wanted to share right away with you guys!! After (almost) 5 years of being a Mom and especially as our family has grown, we've added so many special traditions in to our everyday routine. For us, we often do them without thinking but for many of you they might be totally new or spark other ideas of how to have some extra fun and make your days with your kids a little more special!!


one / Taco Dates

Perhaps one of my favorite things ever, twice a month Olivia and I go out for tacos for lunch (and chips & guacamole of course). We both love tacos and it's an excuse to get out of the house, just the two of us, and really spend some uninterrupted time together. Olivia is my best little helper -- when she's not at school, she's at home helping me dress her sisters, fold laundry, empty the dishwasher etc. Two nights ago we were eating lasagna and Olivia stood next to Adaline, feeding her with a spoon and said, "I'll feed Della, Mama, so you can eat your food while it's hot." I just melted when she said that. She has such a servant heart!! As a way to celebrate her, I love taking her to lunch, talking & listening with her, asking her questions, laughing and just being together. If you have an older child that you could do this with, even if it was one time a month, I highly recommend it. Maybe it's not lunch and instead it's going to a coffee shop for hot cocoa or going out for icecream or to the book store to choose a new book...whatever they love, integrate more one on one dates with your child in to your routine. Especially for the oldest child who was used to being the only one but now has younger siblings and has to share you, it fills them up so much!!

two / Painting Pajamas

Our girls love art. They ask to color or paint multiple times a day, every single day. I was getting tired of always scrubbing their clothes (even if they weren't wearing anything special) and painting had become such a chore because I dreaded the mess it always created and the laundry that piled up. Then it dawned on me: just like a child has "play" clothes for the park, we are going to have an outfit that the girls can put on any time they want to paint, that I won't ever scrub the paint out of, and then I'll toss it once they've outgrown it. Of course, pajamas are basically the most fun thing to wear ever, so a few times a year I buy a very inexpensive pair of pajamas for both Olivia & Penelope and anytime they want to paint, they know they need to put on their painting pajamas. Theirs are covered in every color imaginable and even though I wash them each week, the stains are definitely staying. They love putting them on and getting out their painting supplies and I don't care how messy they get, a total win-win.

three / Bedtime Calm

I'm pretty sure our girls would snack all day long if we let them, and I feel like 10 minutes after dinner, they are already asking for more snacks!! Instead of getting in the habit of a bedtime snack each night, we make our girls a calm drink (they sell it at Whole Foods & online). I've shared about this supplement in the past, because Dustin and I both drink this one, but it's basically a liquid magnesium supplement that tastes fruity and sweet. Studies have suggested that more than 60% of people in the world are deficient in magnesium so there is a good chance you and your kids might be too. About half an hour before bed, Dustin makes Olivia and Penelope a "calm" and they sit on the couch and drink it together. Then they go upstairs to get washed up and brush their teeth. They request one every single night and the best part is...magnesium not only supports your bones, heart and mood but it relaxes you and helps you sleep!! I notice they sleep so much better after they've had one and it satisfies their craving for that bedtime snack while benefitting their little bodies!

four  / Penny Jar

I mentioned how Olivia helps me so much around the house and about a year ago (around age 3.5/4), we introduced what we call a Penny Jar. We wanted a way to reward Olivia for how much she helped and for obeying, listening, etc. that she could physically see. We did do sticker charts for awhile (especially when we potty trained her) but noticed she loved taking coins out of her piggy bank and counting them on her bed so we thought pennies would be perfect. For many of the things she does around the house, she gets a penny. If she folds her laundry and puts it away, she gets a penny. If she does something that I don't even ask her to do (like bring Penelope and Adaline's water bottles to the table at lunchtime), she gets a penny. If I have something that I need help with, I say, "I've got a penny job for you! Let me know if you want it!" About 9 out of 10 times she wants to do whatever I'm asking and then gets rewarded with a penny to put in her jar. Certain things have become part of her routine (like getting Adaline's coat on her every morning before we leave the house) that I don't give her pennies for that anymore, but I did the very first time she did it. The concept is to introduce a new task or chore, reward them for it, and then encourage them as they learn it so it becomes part of their routine and they complete the task without hesitation or needing a reward. Then when you notice something above and beyond (maybe something they've never done or something they don't do often) or you introduce a totally new task, you reward them. You can then decide if you want to offer a "big gift" like a new book, a movie night, a new toy etc. once they reach a certain amount of pennies, but really it's the process that Olivia enjoys. Working hard, helping out and earning something she can see and count. She feels good about herself and her abilities when she sees she has earned something, but because it varies how she earns them, it's not necessarily something that feels like an allowance or a chore. 

five / 3 x 3 x 3

I shared this on instagram earlier this week and so many of you commented how you want to start doing it with your kids. I don't even remember how I started but once Olivia was really able to speak in full sentences, I began asking her the same three questions every night at bedtime: What were your 3 favorite parts of the day? What 3 things are you thankful for today? What 3 things are you looking forward to? As I lay in bed with her each night, I ask her these and it gives me a beautiful look in to her heart. Sometimes her favorite parts of the day were things I completely overlooked (like eating breakfast together or reading a certain book or hearing a specific song on the radio on the way to school) and other times she shares things she is thankful for that I had never even thought of or taken the time to appreciate. I also love hearing what she is most looking forward to -- I think it's so important not only to live each day in the present as it's happening, but to make and share plans with our kids that they can look forward to and get excited about. Think about that feeling of having something awesome to look forward to, it's one of the best ever. I love knowing Olivia can experience that feeling too, each night as she thinks about what she can look forward to that week or weekend or even coming later that month. 

I hope this gives you some new ideas of fun things to do with your kids and create some new traditions in your home!! I'd love to hear how you make your day to day special and what you do in your family that others may not! Have a wonderful rest of your week!! XO

2.05.2018

february love list

We are almost a week in to February and I have so many favorite things to share!! We celebrated Adaline's Golden birthday last week when she turned 1 on February 1st. She started the day with a pumpkin muffin and wasn't quite sure what to think about the candle and singing and all the excitement (this is hands down one of my favorite photos of her ever because of her cute little expression -- she looks just like Dustin). Then that evening we had a small family party for her and had so much fun watching her dive in to a big cupcake and open her presents. This past year since she was born has gone by so fast -- I'm convinced that the more babies you have, the faster time flies by. It's so bittersweet to watch them grow so quickly but deep down I know we're not quite done having babies so there is also so much to look forward to!


I wanted to share a few of the things I've been LOVING lately!! 

one | If you're looking for the perfect Valentine's Day gift for your girlfriends, your Mom or sisters, try this grapefruit & peppermint sugar scrub made using coconut oil and essential oils. It's so simple to make and you can personalize it with a cute hand stamped or hand-written tag and message. A thoughtful way to pamper the mamas in your life and it smells incredible! 

two | And if you love essential oils as much as we do, Essential Glow has become my new favorite book for all things DIY.

three | How darling is this polka dot sweatshirt?! I recently got it for Adaline and its even cuter in person. It's so Springy and fun.

four | The sweetest book we have been reading nonstop lately with the girls.

five | The espadrille sandals that have me dreaming of Spring. I got mine in cognac but they also come in black.

six | The cutest popsicle nightgowns for the girls. We love everything Tea Collection makes and their newest arrivals are so much fun. Thinking the nightgowns will have to make their way in to Olivia and Penelope's Spring baskets this year!! Also loving these cute socks for Della, this Make Waves swimsuit and this Tropical Floral swimsuit. Clearly, Summertime is on the brain over here. I blame it on being knee-deep in snow and below zero temperatures.

seven | If you're looking for a Valentine's book for your little ones, If I Wrote A Book About You is a favorite of ours. The girls have also been requesting Snow Sisters nonstop. They love reading it together and pointing out which girl is Poppy and which girl is Olivia (the one with the braids of course). They also love the kitchen baking scenes where Poppy makes scones and then a few pages later, Olivia puts the icing on, especially since we make scones together a lot. This would make a sweet gift for one sister to give to another.

eight | The coziest sleep hoodie ever. I haven't bought new pajamas in so long and stumbled upon this the other day with Olivia. It's lightweight enough to sleep in and so so soft. I have been living in it!!

nine | The book I recently picked up for myself but that would also make a great gift for a new Mom. I am always finding new books to read and my stack is ever-growing, but this one seemed like a perfect fit. Excited to dive in soon!

ten | Polka dot shoes with Poppy's name all over them. I mean, how cute?! She has outgrown her current pair of tennis shoes so I've got my eye on these for her. Bonus: Thinking they will be easy enough for her to get on and strap by herself.

eleven | The Valentine's cards I just couldn't pass up for Olivia's class party. She is so excited to pass them out to all her friends!

Hope the month of love has been wonderful for you so far!! If you've got any favorite things this month, send them my way!! XO

1.04.2018

lemon scones

In my love list last week I shared my favorite scone recipe ever. I didn't think it was possible for them to get any better and then I made a lemon version of them. Oh my goodness. Talk about the yummiest pastry I've ever tasted. I used The Pioneer Woman's basic scone recipe and then added a few of my own twists using lemon essential oil. My recipe is below.


What you'll need

SCONES
+ 3 cups all purpose flour (I used Cup4Cup gluten free flour)
+ 2/3 cup sugar
+ 5 teaspoons baking powder
+ 1/4 teaspoon salt
+ 2 sticks (1/2 pound) butter, chilled
+ 1 whole large egg
+ 3/4 cups heavy cream (more if needed)
+ Zest of two lemons
+ Young Living's Lemon Vitality Essential Oil

GLAZE
+ 4 cups powedered sugar, sifted
+ 1/2 cup whole milk
+ Zest of one lemon
+ 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
+ Young Living's Lemon Vitality Essential Oil

What you'll do

1. Start by pouring heavy cream into a bowl and add the zest of two lemons, plus 8-10 drops Lemon Vitality EO; set aside

2. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt

3. Cut cold butter into pats and using a pastry blender (or your hands), cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles crumbs

4. Add an egg in to the lemon cream (from Step 1) and whisk gently

5. Combine lemon cream with flour mixture; stir gently with a fork until it just comes together (do not overmix); if it seems too crumbly, add a splash of heavy cream (I always need to add a little)

6. Turn dough on to a floured surface and lightly press together until it forms a rough rectangle (mixture will be pretty crumbly but should stay together enough to form)

7. Using a rolling pin, roll the rectangle about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick 

8. Use a knife to trim into a symmetrical rectangle, then cut the rectangle in to 12 symmetrical squares/rectangles. Next, cut each square diaganolly to end up with two small triangles (if you dont get 12 squares, use leftover dough to repeat process)

9. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill in fridge 15-20 minutes

10. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

11. While scones are chilling, time to whip up your glaze! In a bowl, mix 1/2 cup whole milk with the zest of one lemon. Stir in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. Then add 8-10 drops Lemon Vitality essential oil. If glaze needs to be thinned out, use lemon juice.

12. After scones have chilled, bake for 17-18 minutes, removing them from the oven just before they start to turn golden. Transfer to wire rack and let cool completely.

13. Once they've cooled, dip each scone in to the glaze on one side, then the other, to fully coat it. Transfer to parchment paper (I use the parchment I baked them on and flip it over) or wire cooling rack. Allow the glaze to set completely, about an hour. 

14. Store in sealed glass container for 2-4 days. I usually take half my batch and freeze them that night in a freezer bag and then leave the rest out to enjoy! 

Using the Lemon Vitality gave them such an incredible lemon flavor. Wish I could send each of you one, I am already ready to make them again!! To see lots more ways we love using essential oils, follow along on instagram @blessednestessentials. Hope your New Year is off to the best start!! XO

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