My baby turns 5 on Friday.  I can not believe how fast time has gone.  I want to savor all of this amazing time, and I am continuously in awe at how blessed I feel to be his mother.

And look at this beautiful work of art he made for our house:

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He told me it was him loving me and me loving him.  Make a mama’s heart melt.

Also, he is goofy.  At his preschool, his class goes to recess in a separate area from the older kids.  His area is fenced in.  Whenever he talks about recess, he brings up “the cage”.  How his older friends came to say hi to him in his cage.  Or how he can’t wait until he is big and doesn’t have to be in a cage.  It makes me laugh every time.

And don’t laugh at him when he is being serious.  He dislikes being made fun of.

He went to see a play, and loved the bus ride.  He also sat by Ellie, but it’s a rule that you can’t hold hands.

This weekend is my little monkey’s party.  I am so excited to see him interact with his friends.  We have had a countdown going on our fridge, and he is eagerly waiting for Sunday to arrive.

Friday is Halloween.  I will be going to work dressed as Thing 1…or 2.  It is a hideous outfit, and I am fearful of shoving my hair in a small wig (I have a lot of hair).  I will also be bringing a warm beverage with me door to door, because it is supposed to be cold!

Our weekend is jam packed with fun.  Trick-or-treating, a friend’s birthday party, family in town, HJ’s 5th birthday bash…eeks!  Which means, next week you will see lots of pictures from us.  Including HJ’s beautiful 5 year pictures that we had done this month.  Have a great Halloween weekend!

Still wanting to get some warm and cozy fall clothes?   Head to J.Jill and you can get 30% off any full-priced item from the pure jill collection through November 30, 2014, with the code MOPJ30.

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Top c/o eShatki//7 for all mankind Jeans//Mix no.6 heels (similar)

It is no secret I love fashion.  I adore finding new stores with great fitting clothes.  Living in a small-ish size town, most of my clothing shopping is done online.  A huge downfall to this is having to send items back that don’t fit.

When I heard about eShatki, I was excited to try it out.  They differ from other online stores, because they custom make their items.  Awesome, I know.  When I first heard that, I figured the clothing items were going to be well out of my budget.  However, they are actually really reasonably priced.  Especially considering it is custom-made.

Here is how it works:

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You pick out the clothing item you would like to add to your wardrobe.  Then, it will ask if you want to custom size or custom style.  Custom style allows you to submit all your measurements, and have the garment made to fit you perfectly.  The custom style allows you to adjust certain “parts” (sleeve length, neckline, etc).

I decided to go with the custom size, as I liked the original cut and fit of the top.

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It then asked for all my measurements, and even gave tips on how to measure each area.  Once that is completed, you are done!  All I had to do then, was wait for my very first custom-made top to be delivered to my door.

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The fit was perfect.  Being a short person, I am use to having to roll my sleeves.  Most shirts fit too long in that area.  This shirt is perfect bracelet length.  The shirt was fitted, without being to slim.  It is dressy enough to wear to the office, and casual enough for a dinner with friends.

If you are looking for unique clothing items to fit YOU, I would highly suggest eShatki.  My experience with them was nothing but positive.  And best part, they have sizes ranging from 0 to plus size, so they have something for everyone!

Visit eShatki here, you can also find them on twitter, facebook, pinterest and instagram.

 

Aging gracefully

One thing I have noticed in life is that people dread getting older.  I don’t mean children, or anyone under 21 really, but 22 seems to be when it starts.

Today, was my 33rd b-day.  I can not tell you how many people said things to the effect of, “Happy 26th b-day, hahaha.”.  And sure, I agree, and laugh.  But really, what’s wrong with 33?  Since being in my 30′s, I have noticed a few things about women my age.

We have aged gracefully.  The difference between being 22 and 33 are plenty.  Some are good, some are bad, and some are ridiculous.

For one, we know how to wear clothes.  We know what styled fit our body types.  We know how to hide problem areas, and show off our assets.  Living in a college town, I know this is not true for 22 year olds.  At that age, you want to wear the coolest styles, and don’t seem to notice if you should or not.  Short shorts look good on few people.

We also know that you sometimes you will spend extra on a classic piece.  A pair of jeans that fit perfect, or a handbag that you can’t help but swoon over.  Pieces that will last verses pieces you will be over in a few months (or have them break on you).

For another thing, we know our coloring.  I swear, all of my friends in college were blonde.  Now, we all have brown hair.  For myself, blonde washes me out.  I look almost ghastly, especially in the winter.  But in college, I wanted to be a hot blonde.  In stylish clothes.

I know what is good for me.  I know things like tanning aren’t healthy.  I know working out helps me emotionally and physically.  I know what I deserve.

Being in my 30′s has helped shape me into a better person.  A much better person then I ever was at 20.  If life has become this much better in a few short years, I can’t wait to see what is in store for the rest of my 30′s.

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The only group photo, and of course it has a photo bomber.  Also, the photographer was confused on how to use my phone and said “I have a flip razor, I can’t use this!”.

And just like that, my October goal is complete.  With it being my birthday month, it seemed fitting to plan a girl’s night out.  I asked a handful of my friends to come and visit, and luckily we were able to find a weekend that worked for everyone.  These ladies were some of my best friends in college, and I have been so lucky to stay close to them since graduating.  Even though I talk to them quite often via phone, it is still not the same as having a slumber party.

We kicked off our Saturday with a small itinerary to follow (if needed):

4pm-ish until 6ish: Get ready to party like it’s 2003. We can relax, primp and have fun. I have heads up ready to go on the phone and a Pandora station keyed up.
There will be vodka gummy bears to dine on.
Courtney and Heidi, you are in charge of pre-dinner drinks (that seems like a dangerous choice of people to be in charge, but I am going with it).
Mary, you are in charge of a pre-dinner snack…so we don’t get too hammered before meal time.
Between 6-6:30, we will head to main street. First stop, Soho for martinis and Tapas.
(from here on, the schedule is subject to change. Only refer to itinerary at this point if someone says, “I’m tired” “I’m bored” “We should head home”
and it is before 12:30am).
Did someone whine? Or should I say wine? Head to Luna. You can not leave until someone takes a picture with the giraffe. Unless it broke, the amount of people that have jumped on that thing worries me.
If someone suggests pump haus, remind them it is always 19-21 year olds there and they stare at you weird. If you must go to prove this point, do it. Then go to Uncle Harry’s where the “older” crew hangs out.
Toad’s, because it’s toads. And there is never a line for their bathrooms. So ya think ya can dance now? Flip a coin for Jokers or Voodoo.
Then remember why you don’t go to dance clubs and head to berks.
At this point, it might be best to call it a night. Actually, call Dolly’s Taxi at 319-242-2011.
Becky and Ruiz, you should make sure there are some late night worthy treats. There will also be Tylenol, Gatorade and beds available for use.

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Drunk little gummy bears

 

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This was taken right before getting in the cab.  I thought it was a great picture until I saw the quality the next day :).

 

I have been waiting for this weekend for a long time.  Saturday, some of my bestest friends are heading to town for a night out.  I am so excited.  It has been a long time since I have seen these lovelies, and even longer since it involved a night out with no one pregnant or nursing.  Like almost 7 years.  And, since it is my goal for the month, you will get to hear all about it.

Has anyone else downloaded the new apple update?  Every since I did, my phone has been slow as sh$t.  It is so annoying, and causes me to yell at my phone numerous times throughout the day.

The other day, I told you about our trip to the pumpkin patch.  I didn’t share something, because I didn’t want to be a downer on such a fun trip.  But, while we were at the farm, we witnessed a cavy in labor.  HJ was completely enthralled.  I suggested he look away, to which he replied, “WHY?!?!”.  That’s when a random guy said, “Because I have seen 1 live birth, and it isn’t pretty!”.  About this time, I noticed the farmer pulling something out that didn’t seem to a good thing.  At that moment, they moved the animal into a private room.  I kept checking their facebook page, because they posted about other births on the farm, but I never saw anything about the cavy.  I hope everything is okay, and that the mama is fine!

A few weeks ago, I told you all about my favorite splurge site, Shopbop.  They are currently having a 25% off sale until midnight on the 16th.  Check it out and enter code “FAMILY25″.  I have a feeling my sister will go check out her dream handbag.

It’s time for me to start getting the house ready for our 5 overnight guests :).  Hope you all have a fabulous and amazing weekend.

 

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This past Sunday, HJ, my mom and I headed to the pumpkin patch for an afternoon of fun.  After hearing fun things about a Barn Stahl Petting Zoo in Wellsburg, we decided to make the trek.

The moment we got out of the car, HJ was running all around, trying to see everything.  Admission was $5, and included a bag of feed for the animals.  We first went to a barn with lots and lots of goats.  They ate right out of our palms, and the little ones were so cute.  There was also a track set up with scooters, and HJ zoomed all around.

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When we headed upstairs, HJ was jumping with excitement.  There was hay piled up to climb on, basketball hoops and tunnels to go through.  The next barn had a ball pit and a tower to climb up to look out over the farm.

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There was also a sand pit and a corn kernel pit.  There was an incredible tree house, and a tire swing.  HJ loved feeding the horses (they were messy eaters).  And, one of the miniature horses just had a baby.  It was smaller than our dog, and absolutely adorable.

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There were chickens, peacocks, llamas and pigs.  And then, there were all sorts of exotic pets.  We saw a zebra and a camel, cute little hedge hogs and Patagonia caveys.  There were ostriches, and the cutest, friendliest kittens (I almost brought one home). HJ also decided that bison’s have big, fat butts, and couldn’t stop laughing at them.

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Oh yeah, and pumpkins :).

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After a few hours, it started to get chilly and drizzly.  HJ hopped on a tractor ride to end the day.

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The petting zoo is opened year round, and I would love to take HJ on a warmer day where we can spend the afternoon.  He loved seeing all the animals, and I would love to give him more time to learn about them.

If you happen to live in the area, I would highly recommend visiting the Barn Stahl Petting Zoo.  We will be heading back for sure!

 

I have said it before, and I will say it again…I love fall.  I love the cooling temps, changing leaves and curling up with a hot cup of tea.  I also love all of the traditions that come along with fall.  This weekend, HJ, my mom and myself heading to the cutest little pumpkin patch to take in all that fall has to offer.

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pure jill cascading hoodie in charcoal grey c/o j.jill// pure jill ombre infinity scarf c/o j.jill// jeans, sevens in kensie skinny// boots, soda grey buckle

I knew that it would be slightly chilly, and wanted to make sure I was not only comfortable, but warm.  J. Jill always has classic pieces, that are both comfortable and elegant.  With clothing, I am okay with spending a bit more, knowing that the pieces will last me and stay fashionable.  That is exactly what I received from J. Jill’s fall line, Pure Jill.

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I layered a charcoal grey cascading hoodie over a plaid top.  I made sure it was extra cozy by pairing it with a ombre scarf.  Jeans and boots finished off the look, making it perfect for the farm.

As the designer of Pure Jill, Barbara Patin said, “Pure Jill is perfectly imperfect elegance. Comfortable, comforting and confident.”

I was extremely surprised at how warm I was during the cold, October day spent outside.  The cascading hoodie will definitely be my go-to layering piece this fall.  What item from the Pure Jill collection would be your go to fall item?  Get it now, and  you can get 30% off any full-priced item from the pure jill collection through November 30, 2014, with the code MOPJ30.

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Thank you to J.Jill and the Motherhood for sponsoring this post.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

All week, I have woke up in the mornings thinking it was Friday.  And tomorrow, it’s finally here!  It’s not that this week has seemed exceptionally long, it’s that it started out that way.  My Monday was almost 12 hours in the office, followed by a very busy Tuesday.  Wednesday was the first day I felt like I could get caught up on stuff.  By this point, I have put in enough hours that I am only working 9-2 tomorrow.  I think 9-2 would be the perfect schedule everyday.

HJ had soccer tonight.  He has been in this class a few times, and he has officially decided that he is too big for it.  They play on a mini field, and he is ready for a larger scale.

The other day, the dog barked.  HJ looked at him and said, “You can say that again!”.  I can’t help but laugh at the things that come out of his mouth.

We have started planning HJ’s b-day party.  Years passed, I have always had a theme (like last year’s construction party).  Very detail oriented themes.  This year?  HJ picked out a ninja turtle invite.  I thought that meant he would want a ninja turtle cake.  But no, he picked Mario and Luigi.  I am coming to terms that I don’t have to pin cute theme items this year, but I do hope he will let me go theme crazy another year.

We are having HJ’s 5 year pics taken this weekend.  He is insisting he will not smile because he wants to look cool.  Where do kids get this stuff?

After my post on Wednesday, Tracy left a comment giving great ideas on how to style the shelves.  I updated it to this:

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I noticed tonight, she said I should move the Halloween decorations and the jars, so I will have to switch those up.  Luckily, all this stuff was already in my house!  My mom asked me the other day why I always saved glass jars (the jars in the bathroom are pickle and queso jars).  Do you think it looks better?  I still love her idea of whale figurines, but for now, this will work!

I hope you all have a fun weekend.  I will be relaxing, because next weekend is my girl’s night!

Remember HJ’s whale bathroom?  Well, it’s still a whale bathroom, just with more storage.  Back when I did the bathroom reveal…3 years ago…I mentioned that I would love to add some built-in shelves into the little nook in his bathroom.

For the past few years, it was on my “wish” list.  Last spring, I was noticing that the bathroom nook was similar to size as the dishwasher.  When I moved in, the contractor removed a cabinet to put the dishwasher in.  When I measured, I realized thy were in fact the same size.  Perfect, huh?

Only problem, my cabinet was gone.  The contractor put everyone’s cabinet in their garage (I know this, because almost everyone still has them sitting in the garage), except mine.  I figured I would give it a shot and see if the contractor had misplaced it somewhere.  When I called, his assistant INSISTED it was in the garage, just like everyone else’s, and I must not be seeing it.  Right, because it’s pretty easy to lose a 3 foot tall cabinet in a tiny garage.  So I looked again.  And it still didn’t show up.

I pouted, and figured I was sh*t outta luck.

Four months later, I told my neighbor I wanted to ask someone if I could buy the cabinet sitting in the garages.  She sold me hers for $20.  Not only that, but her fiancé offered to cut it to the correct depth and screw it into the wall for me.

I purchased a laminate shelf form menards for $20, and my neighbor was able to cut it down for a top, and we still had enough left over to add the 2 shelves.  For the unfinished edges, we put on a strip of laminate in the matching color with wood glue (cost about $4 for the roll).

Now that it is in the bathroom, I think the before picture looks so bare!  I still need a few decorations, but the extra storage has been awesome.  I am also contemplating shelves in my bathroom, and something in the kitchen.  The wish list keeps getting bigger and bigger!

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Any ideas on how to make the shelves look finished?  I am in need of cute bathroom decorations.

First, a recap of September’s goal.  The goal doesn’t technically end until this month, but consider this a recap.  As of today, I still have 53 of the 100 miles to complete.  And we are 3/4 through our time line…so, there’s that.  I am still determined to finish the 100 miles, it just might take me an extra week or 2.  I had been doing pretty well until the last two weeks.  Once fall set in, it was hard to run outside and the gym has very limited child care hours.  I will figure it out, just need to set a schedule more!

 

September: 100 Miles

August: Back on Track

July: Get a Budget

June: Stay Unplugged

May: Run a 5K

April: Beautiful Nails

March: Get Organized

February: Picture Projects

January: Get Healthy

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October: Plan a Girl’s Weekend

I get it, it sounds fun.  But who said goals can’t be fun?  Plus, I am still trying to knock out this 100 miles thing, so give me a break :).

I have scheduled to have some friends come to town for a weekend in October.  I am planning an itinerary full of fun, that includes vodka gummy bears.  October is my birthday month, so it is only fitting I make a party be the goal.

I don’t think I need to much luck with this one, but I could still use some cheers for the 100 miles.  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.