Monday, March 30, 2015

National Pizza Day + A Free Online Calligraphy Class Tomorrow!

According to our family March 30th is National Pizza Day, also known as my dad's birthday! He's a New Yorker who loves (!!!!) pizza, so for as long as I can remember we've referred to this day as National Pizza Day and eat at his pizza joint of choice for dinner. The whole family (minus the sons-in-law) will be here today, so we're looking forward to dinner out together later on.


Today I'll also likely pick up a calligraphy pen and do a little bit of doodling following the beginner's calligraphy class I took yesterday thanks to The Scarlet & Gold shop. SO FUN! Scarlet & Gold a small business based out of Auburn, Alabama and sell all kinds of pretty things that I basically want to decorate my whole house with. I talked about them briefly last summer when I first purchased one of their notebooks and some placemats!

I follow them on Instagram and noticed a few weeks ago that they were gearing up to offer a free calligraphy class. I've never had an interest in calligraphy but have a huge interest in sending snail mail, so I figured trying my hand at it could be a fun way to spend the afternoon. Hadley and I ran to Michael's yesterday afternoon to pick up a beginners kit, and I was set up with my materials and laptop at 4 o'clock for the live stream!


The intro class lasted about 40 minutes, but it flew by and felt like five. I'm no where good at it, but sitting on the couch practicing last night was really relaxing and a fun way to wind down before bed. 



If you're interested in taking this free beginner's course, Scarlet & Gold will be offering one more course tomorrow night! It's a little late to order the materials online, but you can pick them up at any craft supply store. Here's the link for more info!

I hope you have a great Monday! See ya later this week.


Note: This post is in no way sponsored by Scarlet & Gold. I genuinely loved their class and their business in general! I think you will too!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Warm Weather Toddler Girl Essentials Under $30 from Nordstrom

Happy Friday friends! I hope you've had a great first official week of spring and are hopefully enjoying some warmer temperatures. It's going to be a pretty quiet weekend around here, which is a-okay with me! April is shaping up to be a busier month, so I'm going to try my best to soak up a few lazy days with my folks while I can.

Speaking of warmer temps, April, and springtime, our bank account is quickly learning that with each new season brings a whole new set of needs for our growing girl, and though buying her winter coats & cutesy warm hats was fun, I'm way too excited about shopping for all of her spring and summer staples!

I'm borderline obsessed with Nordstrom's "$30 & Under" section, so I've pulled out some of my favorite items that are sitting in my shopping cart just waiting to be purchased.

Spring & Summer Toddler Essentials 
for Under $30 from Nordstrom


1. Native Shoes - I read about these shoes about a month ago, and I don't have one good reason why I haven't ordered them yet! These shoes are the whole reason I've been on Nordstrom.com as much as I have lately; I can't find them anywhere cheaper! They just went on sale, so Hadley is definitely about to own a pair in a size six (the size she's bordering) in pink. I need these to last all spring and summer!

The customer reviews go on and on about how awesome they are for kids because of how breathable and comfortable they are. They're also supposedly super easy to slip on but stay on as well as tennis shoes. The idea of just quickly slipping them on her feet and running out the door to head to the park, gym, pool, etc. sounds perfect!

2. 'Taryn' Ankle Strap Sandal - These sweet little sandals look perfect for church or daily outings that don't require her to do a ton of running around. I love shoes with ankle straps for her because I know there's a better chance they'll stay on her feet while still being comfortable.

3. Eyelet Bucket Hat - She had this hat last year, and I loved it because it coordinated with everything. It provided good coverage for her face while still letting her see.

4. The Honest Co. SPF 30 Sunscreen - After a small skin cancer scare last year, I'm all about having her covered from head to toe in sunscreen. I know The Honest Co. makes very reputable products for children, so this sunscreen is perfect.

5. Little Me 'Rose' UPF 50+ Swimsuit - I'm dying! I can't wait for her to wear this sweet suit! We have an amazing community pool with a huge kiddo area, so I know we're going to spend a ton of time there. I'll feel much better about her running around in a swimsuit if I know it's helping protect her from the sun. Cute + sun protection = winning toddler swimsuit.

6. Tucker+ Tate Two-Piece Rashguard Swimsuit - This suit is another winner because of it's sun protection components. Plus it's precious! I can't wait to see her wear this one.

7. Tucker + Tate Two-Piece Fitted Pajamas - Last summer Hadley wore onesies to bed because as new parents we had no idea what she should wear to bed when it was 100 degrees out. This summer Hadley will be sporting jams more like these. At $15 a pair, we'll be sure to snag a few that will surely last us all spring, summer, and maybe into fall based on Nordstrom's long-lasting quality of clothing. Love.

8. Peek 'Happy' Foil Print Ruffle Sleeve Tee - I think every mom of girls is in love with the pink and gold trend right now. Shirts like these are the reason why I get tickled picking out Hadley's clothing every day.

9. Joe's 'Annie' Roll Cuff Shorts - These little shorts are so versatile, and I know she'll get a ton of use out of them. Plus they'll look super cute paired with the pink and gold shirt above!

10. Tea Collection 'Holi' Wrap Cotton Dress - These are the types of dresses I know she'll be wearing to church all spring and summer long. They're airy and comfortable but still modest enough for church or a dinner outing.

Ah, just typing up all of this just makes me giddy for weekdays at the pool with our friends and their babes and evenings at the park once the temps have cooled down. Spending last summer in Arizona was an amazing opportunity (and we sure did soak up the gorgeous climate), but we are so looking forward to getting outdoors as a family and having a little fun now that Hadley's mobile.

Question for you! What're you most looking forward to now that the temps are warming up? What do you and your family enjoy filling your time with during the spring and summer?



Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Slice of Life: Hadley through my iPhone (16 months old)

My aunt and I were talking about my blog the other day, and she told me that she really enjoys my "slice of life" posts best that just capture our random family happenings. I loved the term "slice of life", so I'm going to run with it and stick that label on casual posts that are mainly just filled with pictures and blurbs of my little fam.

Besides my recent trip to Asheville, the last couple of weeks here in Alabama have been filled with keeping my mom company around the house while she keeps her ankle propped up. Hadley doesn't have a clue that anything's wrong, so she's been bouncing around the house and the yard just as happy as can be! Here's a few recent pictures of my spunky little 16 month old.


March 13th: Bath time is one of her favorite times of the day. I realized after I took this picture on our first night in Alabama that she didn't have any bath toys, so I called to my dad to bring us a few. She was an even happier girl once she had a few things to play with.


March 15th: It was a gorgeous spring day, so we did a little bit of running around the front and back yards with Teddy right alongside us! Last summer her polo hat was way too big, and now it's getting way too small. How cute are those shades from my sister though? 


 March 15th: Hadley got to spend a few hours with two of her 2nd cousins. The top picture is from September and the bottom picture is six months later. It's fun to see how much these two grew in six months.


March 16th: My parents really have no need to go buy new toys for Hadley when she comes to their house because apparently they've held on to many, many of our old favorites! They've gotten a real kick out of seeing her enjoy them as much as we used to.



March 16th: My brother came home for a few days to hang with us during his days off of work, and he played with Hadley from sun up to sun down. I was really impressed and really thankful for the time he spent with her! The cutest thing he did was go search through the garage for old balls and bats and take her into the backyard for over an hour to play with her. Now she's obsessed with all kinds of basketballs, beach balls, etc. He's the best!


March 24th: Hadley got a princess sticker pack from my friend Ashley, and she loves it! I took this picture to send to Ash yesterday.



March 24th: She's being a little redneck baby and playing the driveway barefoot. She's taking her new favorite ball for a ride.


March 24th: Clearly being a diva while sitting in my old rocking chair.


March 24th: I spontaneously painted her nails and toes yesterday, and she sat perfectly still while I painted them and blew on them. She was just completely in awe of what I was doing! I was dying last night over watching my baby drink a bedtime bottle with painted pink nails.

And here's a few of my favorite videos from yesterday (you may have already seen them if you follow me on Instagram):


This may sound like total baby gibberish, but she's very clearly (to me) saying Teddy. She's been saying it a hundred times a day the last three days, and I'm just loving it.


This one is one of my favorite videos of her ever. She's so calculated about everything she does! Kills me.

Finally, congratulations to Amanda Eilders for winning the Stitch Fix giveaway! Thanks to everyone for entering! I'll definitely be doing more Stitch Fix giveaways on future posts!


Monday, March 23, 2015

Asheville, North Carolina Girls Getaway Weekend


Things have been a whirlwind around the Olsen household lately. My mom's spirits are as high as they could be considering she can't do much because of her broken ankle (she has a long road ahead), but I'd say she's doing pretty well. Hadley has no idea that she's hurt and climbs on her and plays with her like nothing's wrong at all. :) Mom's received so much kindness in the form of meals, texts, cards, etc. from her friends, coworkers, my in-laws, my sister's in-laws, etc. and she's really felt the love.

My big personal challenge last week concerned a vacation I'd had planned with my two friends to Asheville. We'd been planning a long weekend getaway for a while now because the timing was perfect for everybody. We'd booked our lodging and entertainment weeks in advance, and I was really excited to give my parents the opportunity to have Hadley all to themselves for four days.

When my mom broke her ankle, things changed a bit and my aunt (who I referenced here) immediately jumped in to help. Not only did she want to fly down to Alabama to help care for my mom, but she also wanted to offer to keep Hadley so that I could keep my commitment to the vacation with my friends. I felt really conflicted about to do, but my family encouraged me to keep my plans and convinced me that they still wanted the alone time with Hadley. I knew she was in great hands, so I packed my bags and headed to Asheville!

Amberlee, Ashley, and I picked Asheville, North Carolina because it's a travel spot that none of us have hit yet. We pulled up to our B&B (Pinecrest) Thursday afternoon and squealed because the outside was so cute and home-y!


We were immediately met by Janet (who we affectionately referred to as our house mom) who chatted with us for a bit before showing us our room.


We stayed in the Cowley room because it comfortably accommodated three people for a much cheaper price. The air mattress was super comfortable, and we each agreed to take a night on it. Worked perfectly!




After getting settled, we freshened up and headed downtown for a bite to eat. We picked to eat at Curate because it's the #1 restaurant on Trip Advisor, and it did not disappoint! We all enjoyed the tapas-style meal and some wine to celebrate finally being together. After dinner we passed the French Broad Chocolate Lounge on our way to our car and quickly agreed that chocolate would be the best way to end our first night of vacation! We got three desserts to go (plus we knew there was lemon pound cake back at the house - oh gosh!), drove back to the B&B, slipped into pajamas, and got comfy in the living area of the house. We laughed and told stories for what seemed like hours before making our way up to bed. Fabulous day!


On Friday, we woke up early to make sure all three of us were dressed and ready to go for the day by breakfast at nine. We ate a big meal prepared by the owner's daughter and were quickly out the door for a full day at the Biltmore. It wasn't a very pretty day, so doing things inside all day was perfect.




We toured the mansion for a few hours, walked around the property's garden area, and made our way to the Bistro & Winery. We ate a big lunch before enjoying the wine tasting.


The best part of the wine tasting was running into my cousin Tara who I hadn't seen in almost four years! It was so fun to see her!


We didn't leave the Biltmore until after five, and we basically collapsed back at the B&B as soon as we got there. We all vegged out and napped until around 8 when we finally decided to get our acts together and head to dinner. We didn't have reservations, so we picked the Bier Garden pub downtown since it didn't have a wait. We had the most relaxed, casual dinner and were home in bed sacked out by midnight.

Saturday was our last full day, so we decided to sleep in a bit. Ashley and I made the last minute decision to run a couple miles on a nearby trail before breakfast, and we got back just in time for breakfast at nine.


We took our time getting ready after breakfast before heading downtown to enjoy the gorgeous day!


We walked around and shopped for a couple hours before our big event for the day, the "Eating Asheville Food Tour". It was highly rated on Trip Advisor, so we splurged and went for it. It was basically 2.5 hours of walking around town on a guided tour with about 20 other people while stopping at seven different local restaurants to sample their best foods and drinks.



We had a really good time and would highly recommend a restaurant called The Night Bell (same owners as Curate) for dinner if you're headed to Asheville. Absolutely incredible atmosphere, food, and drinks. I'd never seen at atmosphere or tasted food like what they served. Awesome place.

The rest of the day we just wandered around before grabbing dinner and heading back to the B&B around 10. We stayed up and cried laughing at stupid YouTube videos hung out for a while before crashing hard again.

On Sunday we had a great breakfast again, except this time the owners sat the three of us in the sunroom because of how full the B&B was that morning. No complaining here!


We hit the road after breakfast completely wiped out from a really, really fabulous much-needed girls weekend. I thank God and count my lucky stars all the time to be able to call these two best friends since middle school. My life is so much richer because of their friendships.

To my Tante Lynn - Thank you from the bottom of my heart for loving my girl and running around like crazy for four days caring for her so well. She really loves you and so do I!



A big thank you to my parents as well for entertaining and loving on my girl too amidst all that you had going on. She had the best weekend!

Asheville, NC trip recommendations:

Lodging: Pinecrest B&B (#4 on Trip Advisor)
All-day attraction: Biltmore Estate
Afternoon entertainment: Eating Asheville Food Tour with Hank
Dinner: Curate bar de tapas & The Night Bell
Dessert: French Broad Chocolate Lounge & Chocolate Fetish

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

4th Stitch Fix Review + a Giveaway - March 2015

Just because I'm in Alabama this month didn't mean that I was willing to miss out on my monthly Stitch Fix box! I changed the shipping address to my parent's house a few weeks ago and eagerly waited for the doorbell to ring yesterday with my box! I get more and more excited every month for my little fix. :)


This month I requested a pair of springtime skinny jeans, casual dresses, and casual spring tops. The moment I opened my box I knew that my stylist had attempted to fulfill my request. Take a look at what she included!

Pink is one of my favorite colors, so this shirt immediately caught my eye. I noticed there was also a pair of jeans like I'd requested, so I put them on together to make an outfit.


This is the second pair of pants that Stitch Fix has sent me, and it's the second pair that has fit perfectly! I'm just amazed that someone else can pick out pants that fit so well when I have a hard time picking out jeans for myself that fit this well. I love the lighter wash look for spring and they're super stretchy and soft without looking like it.


I also instantly loved this shirt. It's soft and comfortable, and I love the more modest neckline. I'm also a big fan of the backside coverage.


I tried this one on next because I really liked the color and the silky feel. It's pretty obvious that this one doesn't work too well. Not only is it way too short for my longer torso, but it makes me look quite pregnant from the side (no kidding).


This next shirt is an example of a top that I would have never picked off the rack, and I've said before that this alone is why I just love Stitch Fix. My eye just doesn't normally go to this color combo, but I liked this top much more once I tried it on. It fits well and hits everywhere that it should. This one would be easy to wear year-round and dressed up or down based on how I styled it.



In my note to my stylist, I mentioned that my favorite color to wear is cobalt blue, so I was tickled when I saw this dress! I also love love love a good maxi dress and have been known to live in them all spring and summer.


The only issue I typically have with maxi dresses is the length, and that's exactly the problem I have with this dress. It's anywhere from an inch to two inches too long (depending on where I pull that elastic waisted area to), and at its price point I don't want to pay extra to alter it. I also don't love where the chevron hits on my hips. It widens me when looking at me from the front.

Purchased/Returned

Level 99 Cayden Skinny Jeans ($98) - Kept

Papermoon Ocala Henley Tank ($48) - Kept


Collective Concepts Mendolan Pintuck Detailed Jersery Tank ($58) - Sent Back


Collective Concepts Bethanne Abstract Chevron Print Tank ($58) - Sent Back


Pixley Jakobe Chevron Print Maxi Dress ($78) - Sent Back


What is Stitch Fix?

Stitch Fix is a stop-anytime apparel subscription service that sends customers five pieces of clothing and accessories each month (or more or less depending on one's preferences) based on price points that one designates in her profile. Stitch Fix stylists hand-pick what to send each customer based on one's online profile created upon sign up. Customers are charged a $20 styling fee upfront per shipment, but the styling fee is later applied to any item(s) the customers chooses to keep.  If one chooses to send back all five items, Stitch Fix keeps the $20 fee. A customer's best bet is to keep at least one item since $20 has already been paid. Stitch Fix also includes a prepaid bad to send all unwanted items back. If a customer chooses to keep all five items, she gets a 25% discount off of the entire box. So awesome! I love this concept of shopping!

Additional note: As of a couple weeks ago, Stitch Fix now offers petite sizes and maternity styles! I would have loved this when I was pregnant a couple years ago because I never loved any of the maternity clothing I had. Our selection in the Clarksville area was limited to Target & Khols. Whomp whomp.

My Previous Stitch Fix Reviews

February 2015
January 2015
December 2014

Giveaway

Want to win a $25 gift card to Stitch Fix? That's enough to cover your styling fee + a little extra. :) Use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Giveaway will last for seven days. Good luck!






a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ready to get started? I'd love and appreciate if you used my referral link here to check it out!

I do receive a small commission for referrals I receive which allows me to keep up these posts! THANK YOU to those who've used it in the past. I know who you are and so appreciate you using my link! :-)