ONE little MOMMA: April 2014

Update Your Closet- Spring Essentials


It took me a long time to realize that a great wardrobe is full of a lot of basics. I wear my basics day in and day out by pairing them with trendy and seasonal items. I'm planning on doing a series about what my basics are in the next few weeks but, because I've been updating my Spring wardrobe lately with some fresh pieces and thought I'd share those today.

1. Dark Skinny Denim- The specific pair I have linked above is my favorite pair of jeans right now. I love that they can be cuffed to be cropped and have a slim super dark wash. A pair of skinny, super dark cropped or cuffed jeans will update so many other things in your wardrobe.

2. Palazzo Pant- I have had mixed feelings about this pant style. Until I found a neutral printed pair at Target last week, I was against them. The crazy and bright prints are not me, but I love the pair I purchased. They are so lightweight and comfortable.

3. Denim Jacket- I will always love my denim jacket, but this year they are definitely still on trend. You could also swap it out for a denim vest- the application is the same. 

4. Red and White Striped Tee- I love this classic yet updated take on a striped tee. I actually have a coral striped tee and it goes with everything. I really think it may be as versatile as a black and white stripe.

5.  Straw Fedora- Fedoras are my favorite kind of hat. Often in the Spring and Summer it gets too hot to wear a scarf or other layers so I will add interest to my outfit with a hat. 

6. White Graphic Tee- I found this graphic tee at Target as well. I love the bold and simple text. This tee will layer well and mix with everything I own. 

I love that all of the ideas above really will mix and match with each other. They will also work well with other basics you already have. 

What have you purchased lately to update your Spring wardrobe? What's on your wishlist?

Thrifting Refashion- How To Make A Tulle Skirt

How to make your own tulle skirt out of a vintage formal dress- great refashion tutorial!

I really wanted to have a tutorial for my Easter dress up today, but I spent all night working on my new website and there are only so many hours in the day. I swear my evenings always consist of EITHER dishes and laundry, filling orders, blogging, or trying to work ahead on the new site. No two can coexist in one night. I try to work on the most important and time sensitive item each night and last night blogging did not win. I shared this tulle skirt tutorial last month on Brassy Apple, but if you didn't get a chance to see it- today is your day. I LOVE the concept behind this refashion and definitely plan to do it again in the future!

Back in January, while thrifting, I happened upon this amazing, although dated formal dress. I tried it on and found that the bodice was too small for my rib cage- but I couldn't leave that beautiful tulle skirt behind!The dress came home with me and I got to work creating an amazing skirt from a vintage formal dress.

How to make your own tulle skirt out of a vintage formal dress- great refashion tutorial!

I love easy projects and this is one that you can recreate too. It can be done in one afternoon with very few supplies. The materials needed for this projects are a formal dress, scissors, pins, a marker, a ruler and a sewing machine.

I started by cutting the top half of the dress off. I left about 4 inches of fabric from the bodice still attached to the skirt, but the rest came off.  As I cut, I had to cut through the zipper on my dress because it ran from the bodice into the skirt. The MOST IMPORTANT thing to remember is to unzip the dress all of the way before you start cutting. By unzipping the dress all of the way down, the pull piece of the zipper is still on the teeth and you will still be able to zip up what is left of the zipper on the skirt.

How to make your own tulle skirt out of a vintage formal dress- great refashion tutorial!

After cutting the top off of the dress, you are left with the skirt and need to finish off the edge. I would recommend first serging around the cut edge if you have access to a serger. If not use a zig zag stitch to 'finish' the cut edge. Then fold the cut edge under and pin it all of the way around with about a 1/2 or more seam allowance. You can determine your seam allowance based on how wide you want your waist band to be.

How to make your own tulle skirt out of a vintage formal dress- great refashion tutorial!

Next run a straight stitch around the waist band, removing pins as you go, to hold the cut edge folded under. I ran a stitch at about 1/4" and a 1/2" distance from the top of the waist in order to create a strong finished waist. When you get to the zipper, just carefully sew over it. You are sewing a stop for the cut zipper which will prevent the pull from coming off as the skirt zips up. You can see the inside of the waist seam above and the outside below.

How to make your own tulle skirt out of a vintage formal dress- great refashion tutorial!

Below you can see the new altered waistband which converts the dress into a skirt.

After sewing the waist, I needed to check the length. I tried on the skirt several times and cut the skirt to the length that I wanted.

How to make your own tulle skirt out of a vintage formal dress- great refashion tutorial!

To cut the skirt length evenly I used a ruler and marker to mark six inches up from the bottom of the skirt lining all of the way around. Then I used those dots as my cutting guide.

How to make your own tulle skirt out of a vintage formal dress- great refashion tutorial!

Next I laid the skirt out and cut the tulle layer to match the lining. I tried the skirt on again and determined whether any more trimming was necessary. Once I got the length cut, I needed to finish the bottom edge of the skirt. The tulle did not need to be hemmed, but the lining did. I folded the fabric of the lining under just enough to finish the edge by sewing a straight stitch all of the way around the skirt.

How to make your own tulle skirt out of a vintage formal dress- great refashion tutorial!

And that is it! Basically this amazing refashion just comes down to cutting off the extra material from the top and the bottom and hemming both edges. It was easy, quick and I loved the result of mine!

This refashion is perfect for upcoming proms or formal to semi formal events. Thrift stores have an abundance of outdated formal dresses that still have great full skirts! How fun would it be to alter a dress into a skirt for just a few dollars and then find a sequined tee or a basic blouse to pair with it!?! I would have loved to have that lower cost and more modest option in high school and certainly will keep it in mind when I do have a dressier event to attend!

How to make your own tulle skirt out of a vintage formal dress- great refashion tutorial!

How to make your own tulle skirt out of a vintage formal dress- great refashion tutorial!

I really think I'll be on the look out for more fancy dresses with cool skirt while I thrift and try remaking one for a holiday party this year or even for my Christmas dress. See other ways I styled this skirt here.

Do you have any vintage formal dresses lurking in your closets and ready for this kind of refashion? Have you tried out the tulle skirt trend?

What I Wore - Mixed Print Scarf and a Camel Cardigan


Camel cardigan, mixed print scarf, turquoise jewelry

Camel cardigan, mixed print scarf, turquoise jewelry

Camel cardigan, mixed print scarf, turquoise jewelry, dark cuffed skinnies

Camel cardigan, mixed print scarf, turquoise jewelry, dark cuffed skinnies

Camel cardigan, mixed print scarf, turquoise jewelry, dark cuffed skinnies

I was telling my husband a few weeks back that I thought I was getting the hang of this three kids gig. I have been feeling pretty confident in my ability to handle three kiddos, and everyday life has been going pretty smoothly. (Knock on wood.) We go run errands, naps are pretty consistent, and all of the boys are sleeping through the night. I'm able to find time to work, the house is reasonably clean, and we've been healthy. I am really happy overall with the stage in life that we are at, but I have to say this weekend tested that content feeling.

On Thursday-Saturday of this last week, many of my good blogging friends attended a blog conference in Salt Lake City. I was able to attend last year and it literally was a life-changing weekend. I originally planned on going again, but it wasn't the right choice for our family this year. While I'm sure I made the right choice to not go, it was still a rough weekend of feeling like I was missing out. What did I feel like I was missing out on? Flying alone, sleeping in a hotel, eating out, girl time, no one asking me questions or screaming for me to wipe their bum, interesting classes, meeting online friends, shopping, and just time to be ME. Sometimes, no matter how well things are going, I just think 'Why don't I ever have time to just be ME? Why can't I just get on a plane and go somewhere? Why can't I just go window shopping or heck, real shopping, alone any day of the week? Why can't I just sleep in?' I was totally feeling like a victim because being a momma is such a FULL TIME JOB. I shouldn't compare, but sometimes I do compare my life to other people's, and it seems like the people who really need breaks are the people who get them the least - and the people who need them the least get them the most! point is that I know myself well enough that I could see right though those victimized feelings. Was it okay to feel sad that I was missing out on a good thing? Yep. But should I have faith in the right choice that I had made to stay home and make the most of that? Definitely. And we really had a good weekend. I was able to get a few breaks and felt so loved and served by the people around me. My husband served me while I was able to go to a local blogger event and do some shopping with a friend on Saturday morning. He served me again by researching and buying me a new dishwasher. (Hallelujah!) Our neighbors served us by babysitting so we could go to our Saturday evening church meeting without kids. I attended church with my family on Sunday and spent the day napping with them, eating with them, and keeping life happy and comfortable for them. I wouldn't change my life and my job in it for anything. I wouldn't trade my calling as a mom right now for the ability to fly somewhere or shop alone. AND I think I'm even happy for my friends who did get a break this weekend - I can't wait to hear all about the conference.

Outfit details:
Shirt: Target
Cardigan: Old Navy
Scarf: Shop Just Dawnelle
Pants: Lucky Brand
Shoes: Thrifted (American Eagle)
Bag: Thrifted
Earrings: ONE little MOMMA

April Beauty Product Reviews


I have always loved makeup and doing my hair, but for most of my life, Suave and Cover Girl have been the only options I could afford. I still use both of those brands, but in the last few years of blogging and reading blogs, it has been fun for me to try out other products. Who knew there were so many other options out there that might actually work better?!? I still typically only buy drugstore products, and I almost never try them without a recommendation. Some of you have requested more beauty product reviews and I get it - I love beauty reviews too! I am totally on board with giving you my opinions about when it is worth it to splurge and when it's better to save.

1. Acqua di Gioia **** 
This is my new favorite perfume! I have been a loyal DKNY Be Delicious customer for years, but this is the first fragrance that has hooked me since. I discovered it last month after I received the roll-on sample at an event. My husband and I both fell in love with it. Because they can be expensive, I personally don't buy perfumes often, but I do find that the more expensive perfumes last longer and are worth the cost. Luckily, I forget to wear it most days, so one bottle usually lasts me a long time. Sephora describes this scent as having notes of "Mint, Brown Sugar, Lemon, Jasmine, Peony, Pink Pepper, Cedar Wood, and Labdanum." It definitely isn't citrusy or floral. I highly recommend smelling it next time you are at Sephora, Ulta, or Nordrstom!

Speaking of good-smelling things, this body butter is one of the best things I have smelled in a long time. It almost smells peachy, and really gets me ready for warm weather and sunshine! I keep a tub of this in my desk, and it really is delicious to rub on while I work. It moisturizes really well although not in a heavy way. Speaking of, I think I need to put some on right now!

3. Essie Go Ginza ****
I love new nail polish. If I'm in the mood for a pick-me-up, new polish is usually the cheapest non-food item at the grocery store that can cheer me up. Usually I go for the $.99 quick-dry polish and it works well enough, but sometimes the best colors are from Essie. I had a Target coupon for an Essie polish and picked this one up this week. I really, really love it. If lilac can be edgy, this is it. Not too pink, not too bright, and perfect for pairing with my usual black, brown, and white outfit combos. 

How do I get those $.99 polishes to stay on for more than an hour? This stuff! This base coat is THE BEST base coat in the universe. It really, really will extend the life of your polish for days. I also love the CND Super Shiny Top Coat. It is crazy shiny and will make your polish look like you went for a mani/pedi when really you did them yourself. 

This product only gets an "I want to love it and I still use it but...". I love, love, love the color of this stuff. It is the best lilac colored drugstore lipstick that I have found, but I hate the smell and the texture of it. It's just too smooth and it smells too waxy. It can't compete with my favorite Revlon Lip Butters, but Revlon doesn't carry this color. So I suffer through it for the sake of the beautiful pastel lilac/pink color. Even my husband loves it, so I guess I'll just muscle through the smell and the texture.

This shampoo, conditioner, and hair treatment set has been the source of a lot of chatter lately. There are great reviews online for it, so I was excited to try it. I have to say I didn't love it. What I did love was the smell - it smells AMAZING. The grapefruit smell lasts all day, and I would keep using it just for that if it wasn't so expensive. The product touts a lot of benefits, and the ones I did notice were extra volume and texture to my hair. What I didn't like was that my hair felt less smooth to me and even a little weighed down while I was using it. It didn't work with my hair, but maybe for other cuts or hair types it does. 

And that is it for April! Let me know if you have any products you would like me to review next month - I think it would be fun to do this monthly. I'll always try to include more drug store brands than high-end brands if I can because those are what I use anyway.

Have you tried any of these products? I'd love to hear what you think of them!

What I Wore - Stripes and Converse

Striped fitted tunic, denim jacket, black pants and Converse

Striped fitted tunic, denim jacket, black pants and Converse

Striped fitted tunic, denim jacket, black pants and Converse

Striped fitted tunic, denim jacket, black pants and Converse

Striped fitted tunic, denim jacket, black pants and Converse

Welcome to Neutral City! Apparently neutrals are all you get around here! Several of you requested that I show more color mixing in my outfits and as I prepped this week's posts, I realized how little color I'm actually giving you guys! The neutrals have kind of taken over, so I will try to incorporate more color in the next few weeks and months. I do love colors and pairing colors together, but sometimes I forget to wear them! I am naturally drawn to a quirky mix of neutrals, and bright colors aren't what I reach for. That being said, there are lots of ways to wear color without it being bright or loud or too... colorful? You know what I mean.

As for this outfit, I really love the width and crispness of the stripes on this top. I do not, however, love how tight and stretchy it is. As I attempted to style this fitted tunic, I felt like a denim jacket was a necessary addition to keep things covered. The concept works - medium width black and white stripes, black ponte knit pants, navy Converse and a denim jacket, but I would opt for a less fitted top next time. My favorite part of the outfit is how well our Black Cut-Out Leather Earrings also work with stripes. They almost mimic each other, and I love it.

What colors are you wearing right now? What colors would you like to see styled more?

Outfit details:
Jacket: Thrifted (A&F)
Tunic: c/o To Adorn
Pants: c/o Boden
Shoes: Thrifted (Converse)

I've included a few different jean jacket and tunic options below.

What I Wore - Graphic Tee, Leopard, and Not-Mom-Shoes

White graphic tee, leopard scarf, dark denim and wedge sandals

White graphic tee, leopard scarf, dark denim and wedge sandals

White graphic tee, leopard scarf, dark denim and wedge sandals

White graphic tee, leopard scarf, dark denim and wedge sandals

Okay first things first, I know these shoes are so not mom-friendly. I'm sorry to have deviated from my normal momma friendly ways, but SOMETIMES I do love to wear ridiculously tall and pretty shoes. These sandals I actually thrifted last fall and I didn't realize how tall or uncomfortable they were until I pulled them out this month. I love, love, love the high wedge, but I don't last long in them. This outfit would work great with a much less angled wedge sandal - or even a flat - so don't be afraid to modify it to make it work for you.

I have to say that as I was looking for similar graphic tee options out there to link up for you - and I was more than a little shocked at how negative, lazy, and dumb so many of them were! I typically make my own graphic tees so I haven't really browsed what is out there. Why do girls or women want to walk around with tees that say such degrading or foolish things on them? I mean, I realize that my tee isn't exactly a confidence booster or even casting me in a positive light, but it's honest. Its clever-ish and I identify with it. But these tees?

I just don't agree with them. Some of them are worse than others, but I'd rather see clever positive graphic tees that celebrates good things about women or even just life, not the negatives. Not the classic put downs or the concepts that make girls appear flighty or dumb or even rebellious. I really love graphic tees and I'm not saying all of the funny or silly ones are bad, but I do wish there were more positive and empowered options out there. You can find a tutorial to make the one I'm wearing today here.

Thoughts? Have you seen any particularly bad graphic tees? Any really great ones?

PS - I didn't forget! Our winner from last week's survey giveaway is merrimanalysia. If that is the start of your email - check your inbox! Thanks so much for all of your participation!

Outfit details:
Shirt- DIY here
Scarf- Amazon
Jeans- Lucky Denim
Shoes- Thrifted (DV for Target)

I've linked up a few similar leopard scarves and reasonable graphic tees below.

Must Ask Mama - Round 3

This month we have another momma on board to help answer your questions - Emily from The Freckled Fox who is a mom to four little ones. We got a great response last month with more questions submitted than ever, so if you have a question to be answered, make sure to send over your questions to Lynzy at sparklingfootsteps (at) gmail (dot) com ASAP to get them answered next month!

ONE: "We started my son off in an infant seat then we transitioned him to a convertible car seat after he turned one. We kept him rear facing until only after he turned two (as recommended by AAP). While the convertible car seat is is still great for two year olds we were looking for an additional seat and came across the high back booster. Most of the manufacturers guidelines for the high back boosters say they are ok for two year olds (and 30 to 70 (or sometimes 90) pounds). My son falls well within this range but I am still skeptical about high back boosters for a two year old. He has weight on him but the high back boosters are so much less bulky than the convertible seats- I feel like there might not be enough protection in the event of a crash. There are a few high back boosters that come with a five point harness rather than just the belt positioning seats but I just feel like it might not be "enough" What would you do?"

Kilee: "Honestly I think you need to do whatever you feel best about. If your son falls within the range that the seat manufacturer describes, then I would be okay with it. I tend to trust what the car seat guidelines say and go with what I can afford that fits. I typically think that the more expensive car seats or the seats with more features will always try to make you to feel unsafe in any other situation because that is what sells their seats. But if you feel like he needs added protection then keep him in the convertible seat for a while longer. If anything they are more comfortable!"

Erica: "I also have a two-year-old but she's on the petite side so I haven't reached this dilemma yet... but if your instincts are telling you that the booster might not be as safe in the event of a crash, I'd try to stick with the regular convertible seat for as long as possible. I think the only factor that might influence my decision in that sense is how happy/frustrated your son is in the car seat. If he's whining or screaming, it will distract you while driving (which will obviously put you at a higher risk for an accident). But if he's content enough in the convertible, I'd say just wait it out. :)"

Emily: "I think the bottom line is that it's important to follow your gut as a mother, and that usually your first instinct is the best! I have a new four year old that I still have in the convertible car seat because I just feel as though she has more protection and security, so I guess my advice would be to stick with what you have until you feel sure he's ready for the booster since that's what your gut is telling you to do!"

TWO: "I am expecting my second daughter in July and will be taking a year off work to care for my babies. This is a dream come true but what has me worried is how to transition my 3 year old from a 3 days a week preschool (my current place of employment) to a routine at home with a newborn. How do you fit in everything when caring for two kids under 3 and still be able to shower and have a clean house? Any tips/advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you, lovely ladies."

Emily: "Boy, I could go on way too long in answering this one, because having four kiddies in four years has definitely forced me to get organized, haha. The best way to condense it would be to stress the importance of lists and schedules! I wake up before any of my kids, or when I'm nursing my youngest in the morning I'll write out a timeline starting with the things that have to happen like meals and nap times, then fill in the spaces with things that should happen like chores and errands, and whatever time's left over can go to the things that you'd like to happen, like showering and Pinterest time."

Erica: "Unfortunately I'm in the same boat as you at the moment, so I'm not sure how to answer your question! I have a daughter who just turned two and a son that will be arriving any day now. I can tell you how I've been trying to prepare, though. I've created a room in my house that is childproof and has different Montessori-type activities for my two-year-old as well as a place for me to sit and nurse, set the baby down, check my e-mail, etc. This room will be my safe haven when things get chaotic. Other than that, I haven't quite figured out when I'll be cleaning the house, making dinner, taking showers, etc. I guess I'm just going to have to find my rhythm as it comes. My biggest hope is that I can figure out a way to get the two to nap at the same time so that I can have a break! Hah. Sorry I couldn't be more help."

Brittany: "Hi, congratulations on being able to stay home with your children! I don't have any expertise with having two children, but I have a lot of friends with two under age 2 and 3. For me (with just one baby), I take advantage of nap time on days when I need things done around the house or a shower. If I am in need of a shower and it isn't nap time, I usually put her in the exersaucer and give her a few puffs and turn on Daniel Tiger or Angelina Ballerina for 10 minutes while I take a quick shower. Most of the time I just shower at night when she is asleep. As far as getting things done around the house, I usually try to occupy my daughter in the room I am trying to clean with toys or other objects she is interested in. I typically just clean the room she is in while she is playing. Another thing I do is have a dry erase board on my fridge with a few tasks to do each day. This is helpful for my husband for when he is trying to be helpful around the house. My husband is a medical student, so he's not always able to help out, but this is the way we communicate what needs to be done without having to ask, and it works for us. Good luck and enjoy every moment! I just know most mamas say the laundry can wait, so try not to stress over it. :)"

Kilee: "I could write a few posts about how I run our home, but my best advice would be to feel confident, work out a loose schedule, and be patient. The best way I have found to get things done, keep our house together, and be a good mom is to adopt an "I can do it" attitude. I have definitely had my overwhelmed days, but I am confident in myself and my ability to do it all. I am motivated and optimistic when I wake up everyday because I want to have a good day, I have things to do, and I can't let myself get bogged down by a messy house or unhappy kids. We just work together and my kids have learned to expect how things go. My kids expect that I will get ready everyday in the morning and usually that is when they are eating breakfast. Because you have one little one and a baby, I'd recommend doing as much as you can while the baby sleeps, but don't stop doing what you need to do just because the kids are up. I get ready with my kids in the bathroom - I shower while the baby lays outside the shower on the floor. I clean while my kids play or they clean with me. I try to follow a simple cleaning schedule where I pick up in the morning and at night and then clean certain areas of the home on each day of the week. Also when my kids were younger we would do the library on Mondays, play group on Wednesdays, and a music group on Fridays. Its hard to have a set schedule because you have to be flexible with little ones, but a basic schedule is essential. And last I'd say be patient. With the first year of a new baby, as you know, things change all the time. You are always in a new phase, so you'll have to be really flexible and just keep working at it. Also I guess the last thing is that you need a hobby. You need a hobby to work on after the kids are in bed or before they are up or during naps. A hobby will make you happier and give your brain a break from being a SAHM. You will love it!

THREE: "Hi ladies! I'm a stay at home mom to my beautiful 4 1/2 month old baby girl. I am wanting to update my wardrobe but I am at a loss of what I should buy that would work for playtime at home and play dates with friends, running errands, etc? I still want to look stylish and put together but I don't want to buy things that would be impractical or could get ruined by spit up and blow outs. ;)"

Veronika: "Though I work outside of the home, I think the key to building a SAHM wardrobe is to focus on pieces that are versatile so you can mix and match a lot of different items together to create different looks. The other thing that’s important is to make sure you have the basics as a foundation for the new pieces you buy. By basics, I mean a great pair of jeans, a basic white tee that you love the fit of, a jacket that goes with everything (neutral color), some great flats and sandals. I think you’re looking for clothes you can feel comfortable in but also don’t mind getting down on the floor with your kids. For spring and summer, I love J.Crew’s colorful chino shorts that come in a variety of lengths so you can choose what you feel comfortable in. I also love their vintage v-neck tees because they are so simple and comfortable but can be amped up with a long gold chain necklace. In terms of clothes not being ruined, make sure to check tags to make sure items are machine-washable and definitely buy some Honest brand stain spray. That spray has literally gotten blackberry, raspberry and paint stains out of my baby’s clothing (even whites!) and it’s all natural. Another thing that’s important to balance a look are accessories - a great watch, sunglasses, and hats (I love fedoras and wide brim hats to protect from the sun) can all make such an impact. I also recommend a cute, cross body purse; it’s so easy to carry while running errands and looks great with any outfit - my favorites are by Tory Burch, Kate Spade, and Rebecca Minkoff."

Denise: "I totally hear ya girl! I am in the same boat with my 8 month old baby girl! Let me just start off by saying I LOVE TARGET. I seriously find most of my casual tops there and they have comfy, easy dresses that you can run around in too. I also love H&M!  I find jeans and shorts there mostly, at great prices (and their baby collection is adoraaaable!). I love JCrew Outlet! If you have one close to you, then you lucky dog you! But if not, you can also shop online."

Emily: "Wow, that's a huge question! I think the easiest way to accomplish that would be to invest in regular items like jeans and t shirts that A, fit well and B, have fun prints! A print instantly dresses up an outfit so it doesn't look so 'boring mom' if you were to run out for errands without having time to change, but they'll still be comfortable enough and washable enough that you won't feel like you're dressed up for the dishes. Also, as much as I like wearing brighter colors especially during warmer weather, I wear dark colors more and more these days with a 4, 2, 1, and 4 month old. They just hide everything!"

Lynzy: "My wardrobe has definitely changed significantly since I had Olivia! Most days I wear comfortable jeans (found some great options at H&M) and a tee with some espadrille canvas shoes (so comfy and more dressed up than sneaks!) In the summer I will mostly live in dresses - so comfy - easy on and off!"

FOUR: "What advice or encouragement can you give for the girl who literally knows nothing about babies (me...) and is considering starting a family. I wrestle with feelings of unpreparedness, embarrassment over lack of knowledge, and anxiety. What prepared you or at least made you feel more comfortable with impending motherhood?"

Lynzy: "Okay so let me first start off by saying... you are never fully prepared for motherhood. Ever. There is never a "good" time to start a family because there will always be SOMETHING - whether it's "we need more money" or "we want to travel first". I can tell you that having Olivia is hands down the best thing that ever happened to me and my husband. There are definitely days where my patience is tried and I feel like I need a break, but we made this little nugget and she is ours and it is a beautiful thing. I haven't read many books or anything, I just use momma's intuition. It's a real thing. ;) "

Emily: "That's tough to condense, but I guess what comes to mind is that everyone will have advice on how you should do things, and they'll always conflict. But in the end you just have to do what you feel is right for your babies and trust your own best judgment, because no one knows your babes like you do and no two are the same! I remember how scary being pregnant with and having my first baby was, and really it's not gotten any less scary. It's a wild, messy, silly, amazing ride so just make sure you don't spend too much time being sad that he or she never wore that one adorable outfit or that you never took 6 month pictures. It's the little tummy giggles and feeling their little downy fluffy heads that matter the most. Your babies will love you unconditionally, and if you have a question there's always Google!"

Denise:"If you’re heart is being led to have children then you are as prepared as you need to be.  Honestly! With that said, there are plenty of books to read during your 9 months of pregnancy and golly day thanks goodness for those million doctor visits you go to because they give you information!  And then, once that little baby lady or baby gent has arrived – their pediatrician will give you tons of information at every appointment. So truthfully my advice, is that you are ready. You are ready where you are right now. You don’t have to have any experience with babies or any knowledge. You will be scared to death with or without that knowledge but something kicks in when you become a mama called instinct. Oh and thank goodness for Google. :)

Veronika: "I think no one is ever truly prepared for deciding to pursue parenthood and it’s a learn-as-you go process because every baby and every family is so different. A lot of the times it’s about trusting your own instincts and also turning to others you trust for support and encouragement. If you already know you want a child but are just nervous about motherhood, I will tell you that though it has many challenges, it is also the most rewarding experience and you may surprise yourself at how it all comes together as you learn and grow with your baby. I did read some books and I did work with children when I was younger, but nothing compares to the experience of having your own child so no matter how much experience you have (or don’t have) you just have to “go with the flow.” I know how difficult that sounds because my own personality is to plan things, but the truth is that you may have a really “easy” baby or a baby with colic (and that’s just one example) and you have to cross that bridge when you get there. The best thing you can do when deciding to become a mother is to be sure that your relationship with your partner is strong and that you can count on your partner to support you and provide the assistance you need with pregnancy and childcare. Having a child can really test even the strongest relationships so making sure that foundation is strong and based on mutual respect, love and trust is crucial."

I hope you read or found something helpful! I know some of you mentioned in the readers survey that these weren't your favorite posts, but I think there is benefit in sharing opinions and view points between moms. I would LOVE it if you had more to add to any of these answers - your comments and experience would be welcome additions to the post!

I Normally Hate Holiday Recaps...

So normally I kinda of hate holiday recaps. I never read them on other blogs because, I mean, the holiday is over. I'm ready to move on. BUT, I'm indulging myself today because we had such a great weekend. And I actually busted out my big camera. So, yes, today will be a photo overload.

I'll start with my favorite part (and my husband's least favorite part) of the weekend festivities - putting together and taking pictures our family's Easter outfits. I bought the fabric for my dress a few years ago at a garage sale and have had this specific pattern in mind since then. I finally decided to tackle it this week and by some miracle it turned out! I will definitely be posting a tutorial next week. I tried to make it as easy and simple as possible, so hopefully you can try to make it too!

Blue and white family photo oufits

Blue and white family photo oufits

Blue and white family photo oufits

Blue and white family photo oufits

For the last three years, my friend Mandy from Sugar Bee Crafts and I have met up after church to take each other's family photos. We love it, and our families tolerate it. We grabbed a pic together this year in my dress and her skirt, both of which we each made. 

Sugar Bee Crafts and ONE little MOMMA

I think the kids' favorite part of the weekend was the Easter egg hunt. I have never been a fan of huge community Easter egg hunts. I think it's because I have visions of big bully kids stealing all the eggs from the little kids at those things, so we don't go to them. But we were really excited when my good friend Sarah invited us to a small egg hunt at her house with just a few other families. That is just my kind of hunt.

ONE little MOMMA

Whether you can tell in the photo or not, they were excited for the egg hunt. Apparently we need to start taking more (or maybe less!) posed photos at our house because these two faces kill me! Natural smiles do not come out naturally when I say 'Smile!', but somehow these grimaces and silly looks never fail.

Easter egg hunt poses

Knox of course didn't really know what to think, but he loves being outside and with his brothers. He is really crawling fast these days. He can move so well on carpet, but he is not so sure on the grass. I know the shorts didn't help, but I'm sure soon enough he'll be cruising on any surface. 

Easter egg hunt poses

I just love these crazy kids. Sometimes they overwhelm me completely, but most days I am just amazed to have them in my life. People ask us if we want a girl and I always say yes - definitely - but being a mom to these boys is such a pleasure. We aren't done having kids yet and although we don't agree on everything, Soren and I definitely agree that our kids are the coolest. We've often said, "Our kids are so great, why wouldn't we want more?!?"

Easter egg hunt poses

Easter egg hunt poses

Knox QUICKLY figured out what it was that was making that shaking sound inside his Easter eggs. He started busting those plastic eggs open as fast as he could. He gobbled up any jelly bean in sight! It was hilarious to see Knox swiping candy from his brother's baskets. He loved it and his brothers hated it!

Easter egg hunt poses

Easter egg hunt poses

Easter egg hunt poses

On Easter Sunday, we had church at 9 am and we ALMOST made it on time to - thanks to great tips in the comments of last week's post. Because of early church, we didn't do much but get ready in the morning. After church, we took family photos and then relaxed at home. I was put in charge of dessert for Easter dinner at my parent's house, so I worked on an angel food cake and a carrot cake (both from a box). Both were fails on account of looks, but they tasted good!

Angel food cake fail

The carrot cake almost turned out until I broke the whole top layer putting it on! You can see the frosting seeping down the crack. It really did taste amazing though. You can't go wrong with carrot cake in my book.

Carrot cake

Ah, and yes we managed to we dye eggs too. I love to dye Easter eggs. It is such a fun creative outlet - unless you have kids. I forgot how much help and supervision is required when handling that much dye and that many fragile eggs! I don't know why I thought I would get to dye any, but lesson learned. I helped the kids and they had a blast.

Egg dyeing

This year we tried to really focus a lot more on the true meaning of Easter. Yes, we dyed eggs and had Easter baskets, but our baskets were really minimal, and anytime we talked about Easter, we discussed our faith. I tried to teach my kids what I believe and know about Jesus Christ as we got ready for and celebrated Easter. Rather than bedtime stories, I told them scripture stories. Rather than watching Disney Junior on my iPad, I had them watch Bible videos. It helped that this year we have been reading the New Testament every night and really talking about our Savior every day. His life and teachings are part of our everyday discussions, and so it fit and made sense to really celebrate Him and the holiday this weekend. I'm so grateful for my belief in Him as my Savior, in His grace and His love for me. 

Regardless of your beliefs or how you celebrated Easter weekend, I hope that you enjoyed good weather,  good friends and family, and good food! Happy Belated Easter!