Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My first Fix - Stitch Fix

I so wanted to try out a Stitch Fix when I first learned about them in the spring. But with the news that I was losing my job and had to look for employment, signing up just wasn't in the cards for me. I told myself that once I found a job and started working I could reward myself with a Stitch Fix. I found a new form of employment as a Nanny and finally my hopes came true and I signed up for one in the middle of November!!

What is Stitch Fix? It's the coolest concept. Basically you fill out a profile with your style and cost preferences and then direct to your style  board on Pinterest and you get a box of 5 items sent picked out by a personal stylist and sent right to your door. You don't have to buy any of the it's if you don't like them but they will charge a styling fee ($20). If you choose to keep an item they will take off your styling fee and a bonus if you keep all five items a 25% discount!!

I have seen several of my favorite bloggers post about their fix's and I can't wait to share mine!!

Happy Mail Day!
I was so excited when I opened up my box and saw the polyvore card and the sweet note from my stylist Lana!! The first thing I noticed on the card was the heart sweater at the bottom and prayed that I would like it on!!

I was also looking forward to trying on some floral since I'm in love with it for Ellie. 

The first item I tried of was the faux leather jacket. I hated this. The fit was too tight in the shoulders, the waiste a little short and I couldn't get past the feeling of the faux. It was an item I definitely would not pick out myself and it's just not me. Maybe for someone else.

I was really looking forward to the floral top. I loved the blousiness of it and how it fit me. But ultimately once I got it on I felt like the pattern was just a little too matronly for me. 
Looking back at the pictures I think I made the right decision in sending it back. 

The next item I tried on were the distressed black demon pants. I loved the fit of these and have been looking for a new pair of black pants. They were a great length and just right around my waiste, I thought the distressing was fun but a little too over the top with my line of work (crawling on the floor with infants and toddlers) plus I might add a little more distressing than is socially acceptable!! I was so sad to send these back, I might have kept them if they were under $50 - but requested a similar pair for my next box just sans holes!

Finally I got to try on the sweater! It was love!! The fabric is so soft and light, I love the way it fits, that the sleeves are short (I'm always rolling my sleeves to this length) and the actual length of the sweater - I can wear it with leggings and feel comfortable and covered!  These is the type of tops I am in the market for.
I got to model all of these for Thomas and asked him which item he thought I should keep - hands down he said this sweater "it's got your be all over it" he said! Well done Lana on this sweater pick. I love it!!

The fifth and final item I tried on was this great infinity scarf with some birds on it. Now I love me some birds and some scarves. This had a great weight to it and the fabric was soft and smooth. It was super cute but I have a similar scarf in blue and a dress with the exact pattern in black. For the price it was just a little too high and my scarf drawer is overflowing with my collection (hoarding). So I sent it back.

Even though I only kept one item from this box I absolutely loved this experience and the items my stylist chose for me. I am so looking forward to my next box! Each box your stylest gets to know you better so she can pick out just the right items for you!!

Have you tried Stitch Fix before? If not and you want to please use my referral code here!! Thanks for helping a sister out!!

♥ Ashley

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Our Christmas Day

To read about our Christmas Eve click here

Christmas Day started super early for me.  I woke up around 5am and just decided to go with it! I left Thomas in bed with Ellie, since she refused the crib the night before. Then I played Santa with the stockings and Ellie's easel. 

My plan was to get started on the cinnamon rolls I was wanting to make. I remember my mom making both cinnamon and orange rolls almost every Christmas morning and want to continue the tradition with Ellie (and future kiddos God willing). But procrastination took over and I chose to read up on some blogs and watch a hallmark Christmas movie - I'm a total sucker for those! 

Before I knew it the family was up and I got started on the cinnamon rolls. Ellie walked straight to her easel and was so excited. We opened our stockings and Santa brought some great things! Ellie got a toothbrush, two pairs of shoes, some dry erase markers for the whiteboard, and an apple. We got some standard items in ours: toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash, gum, and chocolates.  Then I got some shave cream and a great scarf while Thomas got some beef jerky and hair gel. 

We got the water boiling for some French press coffee and started on the presents.  I got Thomas a super cool pair of boots and the cutest travel mug! He added to my kitchen hoarding with a new oven mitt and another baking sheet! We're going to need to move to a house with a bigger kitchen here pretty soon to hold all my collections. He also got me some really cool vegetable garden markers I can't wait to use, some leggings and another scarf! I'd say this guy really loves me!! 

 Already quite the artist!
Family selfie in front of the tree
This girl cracks me up!!

After we had a chance to enjoy our quiet morning of a family of 3, Thomas' parents came over to give Ellie her BIG gift! The most adorable table and chair set. We had Ellie go into the playroom with Nanny while Papa and Daddy brought it in (I was finishing up the cinnamon rolls) then we videotaped Ellie walking out to see her table. She loves it!!
Then we told her she was going to Disneyland and she got a big smile on her face - though I'm pretty sure she has no idea what this means! Girlfriend is blessed for sure!
We had fun playing with "cors" aka colors aka crayons. 
And enjoyed eating my first ever cinnamon rolls. I made a double batch - the second half is in the freezer and are going to turn out much better! But these were so good!
After her nap we played with some more "cors" and got ready to go the Christmas with my family. 
My sister hosted this year and it was so fun to see Ellie interact with all my family (we don't see each other very often). We brought her piano with us and it kept her quite busy!
With great grandma above (my moms mom)
And cracking up with Grandpa (my dad he got that hat while we were in Scotland this summer) and great grandpa (my moms dad)
And then posing with my aunt (my moms sister). It's a miracle we even got this picture since my aunt always hides from the camera - Ellie has a gift!! 
We had a great meal of homemade pasta and a chicken dish - my sister is a great cook just like my mom. 
Then we opened some more presents and Ellie continued to get blessed. She got an adorable owl headband, some "cors" (that's all she wanted to do the rest of the night), a rubber ducky, reusable stickers, play doh, and a gift card to toysrus. I got a Nordstrom gift card and I'm so excited to go shopping in Bellevue with it!! Thomas got a dvd set of Drunk History. 
Another family selfie!
And a photo with my babe - new scarf and boots!!

We had a very blessed Christmas! How was yours?

♥ Ashley

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas Eve Recap

Christmas is over!! All that waiting and planning and waiting and preparing and waiting has all come to an end. 

We had the most fabulous holiday and Ellie was blessed for sure!! (I prefer blessed over spoiled because I feel the latter has negative connotations.)

I had to go into work at church (I work in the childcare) for an hour so Ellie came with me so that Thomas could finish up her easel. Girlfriend is short so we needed to chop down the legs so she can reach the chalkboard!! Then Ellie had a stellar nap (almost 3 hours!). She woke up with a wicked cough that really scared her but after a cracker, some milk and a chewable medicine tab she was a happy camper. We got dressed and ready for the evening. 

This year we had it at Thomas' parents house and we had their traditional Prime Rib dinner. Before I started dating Thomas I didn't like Prime Rib!! I have no idea what was wrong with me. We served it with potatoes, carrots, and rolls. It was beyond delish. Ellie did great sitting in her high chair and eating the meal (potatoes and carrots being the stars). Then our desserts were a bunch of little bites: rice crispy treats, Buckeyes, and peanut butter blossoms. Ellie is a huge PB fan so the blossoms were her favorite minus the chocolate kiss of course. 

It was so much fun for Ellie to spend time with her Aunt, Uncle,cousins (Thomas' other brother and wife were out of town) and great grandma! Ellie was definitely feeding off of her cousins energy and did get in trouble for continuing to run into the kitchen (that was busy with lots of cooking - hot stoves and open ovens) after I had told her stop. Ellie is quite the observer these days and is picking up all sorts of things from the other kids I watch - like the funniest scrunch face ever!

After dinner we all sat around the tree and opened presents. 
I wanted Ellie to be aware of who gave her which gifts so before we opened them we looked at the tag and then the gift giver and blew a kiss for a thank you and repeated after we opened the gift. 
Girlfriend loved opening the gifts - a real wrapping ripper!! 

Ellie got some musical instruments: maracas, a tambourine, a kids keyboard, cymbals, and a wooden clapper. She also got an adorable outfit, matching scarf with me, a cute little sheep stuffed animal (Baa's are her favorites right now). Thomas and I recieved a one year Costco membership! I got a matching scarf with Ellie, and a great pair of boots!! Thomas got a gift card to Bass Pro Shops and a Bear Grylls utility/survival knife!

Once presents were all done, Ellie had an outfit change and we were off to church for the candlelight service. Ellie was fairly well behaved. We did have to take her out to run around a bit and she found the door to the stage...but she is a good listener and turned around to come back to me when I told her to. And once again I'm convinced we have a future pyro on our hands. Ellie cried when we blew out the candle for her to hold!!

Then it was back home to go to bed and see if Santa came!  Ellie was so jazzed up from the nights festivities that sleeping in her crib was out of the question (after four attempts) so into our bed she came. And just talked and babbled for a good 10 minutes before finally settling down. 

Check back tomorrow for our Christmas Day Recap! How was your holiday?

♥ Ashley 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014

Just wanted to wish y'all a Very Merry Christmas from our Farm!!

Ellie was beyond blessed this year by our families and we are so grateful for our sweet baby girl!

Merry Christmas!!


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Home Tour

I shared my home tour back in September, you can see it here. But now that it's the holidays (and Christmas is tomorrow!!) I wanted to share how we decorated this year!

We decided to tone it down and go just a bit more simple this year and I am actually loving it!

Christmas cards have been coming in and I finally decided on a way to display the photo cards. Just some twine and mini clothes pins from Ellie's baby shower!

Our guest bathroom gets a little festive
With a jingle bell swag on the door
And it's very own Christmas tree and nutcracker!

Here is our dining room area. Just a few touches here and there. An Elf, snowman, sled/sleigh and a few Angels. I love the sleigh on the table, that is where you can find some more Christmas cards. Our Elf hasn't been too adventurous this year...maybe next year. You can also see Ellie's Christmas craft from last year "mistletoes" I still need to do this years. 

I am loving our tree this year. We tried something a little different with the ornaments (all like colors together). This will be our new way to decorate!

Most of our decor goes in the same spot each year and our mantle is pretty similar year to year. Ellie's little chair warms my heart and I just love seeing her stocking hung up! 

We started a tradition last year where we get Ellie an ornament for our tree that she will be able to take with her. Nanny and Papa also wanted to do this tradition for Ellie so she gets two ornaments each year!  Last year we picked out the Pink Deer and this year we got her the Flamingo. Nanny and Papa got the deer on the right last year and a gingerbread girl this year!

Here is our living room all ready for Christmas.  I love the addition of the red check pillow (ikea FTW). 

I have a love affair with nativities. Ellie has a small one in her room but I really wanted one she can play with. Nanny for the win brought over this adorable felt one from Martha Stewart! The one below is from my mom. 

Christmas books and movies are some of my favorites and I love to display my growing collection. 
And finally I have always enjoyed a nicely wrapped present. It was an activity I enjoyed to do while growing up. Also when I worked in retail (at a jewelry store) I was taught how to properly wrap a present and tie the bow - one of the best things I took away from that job! When we visited ikea a few weeks ago I fell for their green paper collection and just knew that it would be perfect in my home! I also hand stamped the gift tags this year and hope to be able to reuse them next year!

How do you decorate for Christmas? Do you display your stockings all month like me or do you reserve them for Christmas Eve?

♥ Ashley

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Jams!

I am so ready for Christmas. We are just two days away!! 

Last year we sorta dropped the ball on getting Christmas Jams for Ellie. I didn't even know it until I saw the linky party for showing off your Christmas Jams!!! So we frantically shopped the day before Christmas Eve trying to find at least one set that looked somewhat like a Christmas Jam. 

I wasn't going to be caught in the same pickle this year - so Ellie has an abundance of Christmas Jams this year and I love all of them!!!

♥ Ashley 

Monday, December 22, 2014

{monthdate} 19 months

Christmas is just a few short days away and here we are with a 19 month old!!!

This time in Ellie's life is for sure my favorite to date!!  So many changes are happening on the daily and her character and personality is shining, growing and showing more and more. 

Lu is quite the adventurous eater but she certainly has her favorites. Topping the list are: green beans, broccoli, cornflakes, Cheerios, gold fish, cheese, mac'n'cheese, rice, potatoes (mainly French fries), and apples. Things Ellie does not seem to like: chocolate, meat, oranges, and pretzels.  We have been working on table manners and she is a champ at praying for our meals and actually does a pretty good job at sitting the whole time. She does better at sitting in a chair than her high chair. 

Miss E is developing physically very well. She is an expert climber. She has finally figured out how to climb up on the couch and our chairs and she enjoys being a "big girl". Though she needs to be reminded often that we do NOT stand on furniture.  I got tired of telling her that she cannot climb on the coffee table (among other things - because that is not polite) so Christmas came a little early and we got Ellie a slide. (Killer Black Friday deal). She is running around everywhere and stairs are her favorite, she goes right back up after falling down them. And when the goats purposefully knock her down she gets right back up and pushes them! - this girl really has no fear!

Ellie's vocabulary is growing every day and she amazes me with the words she is picking up!! Standards: mama, dada, nana, papa, baa, neigh, meh (goat), ssss (snake), hoho (Santa) caw caw (crow) caaaaa (car) upah (up). New Words: buh (bowl, bus, or ball) choo choo, pease (please) taka (thank you) moh (more or milk), bye, apah (apple), heppa (help please) and a few words I'm still trying to decipher. She is also starting to repeat words when asked. She is proficient in waving hello/goodbye and blowing kiss for thank you. 

Sleep is really hit or miss, which is kind of frustrating but we relish the nights that are good. We are still working on eliminating the middle of the night milk, which we can mostly do with a cuddle. We think it's pretty good if she makes it to 4:30 or 5 before needing her sippy. Most nights she does end up in our bed, but I will take that over some of the behaviors I've seen other little kids display out in public!! 

Speaking of behaviors, Ellie does have her fair share of tantrums. Luckily they have only lasted less than a minute or so.  Most of her tantrums are because she wants me to pick her up or because I can't understand if she wants to eat or drink!  Also thankfully she has reserved most of these outbursts for our house!!! PTL. 

Some character traits and behaviors we are working on are: staying calm, helping to clean up toys (actually she is really good at this - she loves to put things in bags/boxes!), using utensils at the table, staying seated while in her high chair, saying thank you when we leave places, as well as waving hello or goodbye.  Ellie also has a chore at our house and she LOVES it! She gets to help feed the puppies their breakfast and dinner. We started out slow with giving her the kibble cup right next to their bowls, but now she can walk down the hallway and dump in the bowls all by herself!!!! 
Keeping her hands off the Christmas tree had been much easier than anticipated but she sure does like to try and get something when she thinks we aren't looking. 

This truly is my most favorite age yet! Just the other morning Thomas got up before me (like he does every morning) and was making coffee. Ellie was in our bed and woke up. I told her to say Daddy and she proceeded to roll all over the bed. So I put her down on the floor and told her to go open to door and find daddy. She walked really get over to the door, opened it and ran down the hallway to see him. This is one of my top memories of watching and hearing her find him to date!!

♥ Ashley