project 31, celebrating you

I've mostly been posting pictures and haven't been writing much on here lately ... I prefer having a definite subject I can write about, and it helps if I have a story or opinion to go along with it.

I've seen a few bloggers (like this one) do this type of challenge - a blog a day for 31 days in a row from a set list of questions. I've also seen friends on YouTube do it by posting a video a day for a month.

I'm creating my own list of questions - partially from their lists, and partially from my Formspring page, since I have a huge list of questions I have yet to answer.

If you've been in a blogging slump or just think this would be fun to do, take the challenge with me and link up! You can use these questions or just create your own. It's never too late to start, put your Day 1 post up whenever you'd like your first day to be.

I have to admit, I'm nervous about announcing this kind of commitment. Blogging daily with a toddler around won't be easy - so if you see some of the posts written like this: asdf jkl;j fcfjk, you'll know Carter had control of the post that day. The most days I've ever blogged in a month is 17. Do you think I can do it? Do you think you could?

I'm starting March 1st. Here's the list:

Day 1. I have a three month old and already I'm thinking, I'm going to miss him at this age. Have you felt that way, and what age do you miss the most?
Day 2. What makes you uniquely you?
Day 3.
A photo that makes you happy
Day 4. Style 31. Post a pic of you in your favorite outfit.
Day 5. Write a blog thanking someone who has made your heart come alive.
Day 6. Your m
ost embarrassing moment
Day 7.
Do you believe in the "cry until he sleeps" method?
Day 8. Have a beauty secret (e.g. hair tip, make up tip)? Share, please!
Day 9. What virtues do you value in yourself?
Day 10.
What are some of your favorite MAC products, and what foundation/powder do you wear?
Day 11. Post a recipe. Or if you don't cook, try a new recipe and write about how it turned out (pictures please!).
Day 12. Write about what wears you out as a woman.
Day 13.
A YouTube video
Day 14. Style 31. Post an outfit pic!
Day 15.
What do you wish for?
Day 16. How old was Carter when he started sleeping through the night and how did you do this?
Day 17. Write about 3 things that make you happy.
Day 18. If you could, what would you tell yourself before you had your baby?
Day 19. Write about your significant other
Day 20. Write about your job and why you love it or hate it.
Day 21. Write about your most vivid childhood memory. Post a picture of you taken over ten years ago.
Day 22.
What did you do today?
Day 23.
Who's your celebrity look alike?
Day 24. What is God teaching you presently?
Day 25. Style 31. Post a pic of your favorite comfy clothes.
Day 26. What do you hope your grandchildren will say about you someday when you are gone?
Day 27. Who are your favorite bloggers?
Day 28. Write about your insecurities as a woman.
Day 29. Your day, in great detail
Day 30.
What do you think is going to happen to you after you die?
Day 31. Your favorite quote

Want to take the challenge with me? Link up so I can read your blog! (You only have to link once, not daily.)

Want to post this linkup on your blog, too?

february favorites

What have I been loving all month? I used to vlog about my favorite products. Since I'm currently wrapped up in the blog world, I figured I'd skip the video this time and write a post for you.

Animal stickers

I'm not a teacher. I never know how to explain things to Carter. I start by telling him what things are, but he only listens half the time. In the past four months he's only memorized four animal sounds and maybe a few words that will get him what he wants.

We went to buy him some shoes, and after we checked out, the salesgirl gave Carter a sticker. The Carter I know and love would normally have eaten something like this. But I suppose he's gotten older (hmm, who knew?) and he loved that silly little sticker. Then I got an idea.

The next time I was at Target, I picked up a pack of barnyard animal stickers. Since he's all of a sudden fascinated by stickers, I let him pick out one animal sticker every day. I tell him the name of the animal and talk him into making that animal's sound with me. It's sort of worked - a pig got ripped and thrown on the floor, but he knows how to moo like a cow now.

Pink Sands Yankee Candle

I know, how annoying am I? I've always got some new Yankee candle I'm begging you to smell.
My friend Dani and I are like candle connoisseurs, stick us in a Yankee store together, and we'll spend a good half hour calling to each other to come smell every single friggin' new candle in there. Then we'll spend an additional half hour trying to decide which one we should buy. If there's a sale, forget about us for the rest of the day.

Needless to say, a good, realistic-smelling candle completely relaxes me, especially since I'm a stay at home mom. I need candles burning around my house like office people need plants in their cubicles. The scent of a person's home as soon as you walk in completely dictates your overall impression of where and how they live. That's why I aim for clean, beautiful scents.

After the holiday collection ends, my go-to spring scent is usually Clean Cotton if I don't find anything else worth 20-something bucks. This time a saleslady pointed me toward her new spring fav - Pink Sands. At first glance it looks like it came straight off 1980's cassette cover. When I smelled it, I knew immediately I'd found my new go-to scent. (Ask Dani, she'll tell you it's a pretty major event to deter me from Clean Cotton) It's described as bright citrus, sweet florals and spicy vanilla, but my personal description would be soft, sweet and clean.

Urban Decay's Naked Palette

After I delivered Carter, I looked like a sweaty, just puked-my-guts-up hot mess. People started clearing out of the delivery room, and my doctor paused to confess to me, Matt and our newborn baby, The nurses and I were just talking about how we can't believe you've still got your makeup on.

I'm a believer that, while sometimes it's better to be cheap, with makeup you definitely get what you pay for. If you wear high quality makeup, you'll look high quality.

I've wanted this eyeshadow palette ever since my friend Jessica told me about it in December, but every time I went to look for it, it was sold out! I finally found it in stock at Ulta this month. It's got every neutral color I need to make the perfect natural, smokey eye. It has a combo of shimmery and matte shades. I try to stick with the matte ones because, let's face it, I just turned 30, shimmers enhance fine lines. Boo.

It also comes with brown and black liner and a small tube of Urban Decay's famous primer potion to help your shadow stay put. The price for a single Urban Decay shadow color is $17. This palette gives you 12 colors for $48, that's a steal.

Gerber Graduates Scoopin' Spoons

Carter has the concept of forks and spoons down pat in his head, but he's not quite there with his coordination. I'd been getting frustrated right along with him when everything seemed to fall right off those flat spoons on the way to his hungry, waiting mouth. I seriously don't even think I could have eaten off them without making a mess.

I noticed my sister-in-law got these for my nephew to scoop his strawberries. They're really deep-cut baby spoons, and they save the day! Carter's eating Cheerios with milk right out of a bowl, no problem.

Baby Einstein Around the World Collection Soother (ages 0-36 months)

Carter goes through so many phases with the bedtime/naptime ordeal. Some days he'll cry, some days he'll wave bye bye to me and laugh, some days he'll blow kisses, some days he'll beg to go see Dada or get some crackers. But the one thing that always tugs at my heart is - happy or not - he's sitting in that crib alone. I remind myself it's normal, turn around and close the door.

I've hoped he'd adopt a favorite blanket or stuffed bear to snuggle up with or talk to so he won't feel lonely, but he hasn't been interested in any of it. Then I found a little something to make myself feel better.

It adds light to the room, plays nature sounds or different worldly songs and has small moving animals on it. I like that the songs fill the empty space in the room and the light makes it less scary. It stays on for 18 minutes and then slowly fades out, and if he's still awake after 18 minutes, it has a giant button for him to push to turn it back on. It even comes with a remote control for me if I want to turn it back on from outside the door without having him see me. It's helped us immensely with bedtime.

House of Night series

Like so many girls, I stayed awake until the sun came up reading the Twilight books. Since I finished that series, I've been hesitant to start another book because I get bored reading anything that's easy to put down ... I want to be addicted.

I'm not big on recommending books because reading is such a personal preference. People develop an affinity for a certain book after deciding if they find the main character relatable and the subject is appealing.

The concept of vampires is so fun to me. I got into the first few chapters of the House of Night series and was feeling skeptical, it seemed to be reading like such a teenage book: dirty language combined with dorky slang. But I'd heard how much my friends on YouTube loved this series, so I refused to give up on it. And then the story started getting good - the addicting, i'd-rather-read-than-eat-sleep-or-drink kind of good.

I reach for these books instead of the TV remote after Carter goes to bed at night. They've almost become essential to who I am lately. Being home with my child is wonderful, but the routine makes me feel like every day is the same ... err, hence the word routine. A good book transports you to another world; it makes you feel like you're getting out of the house and leading a second, exciting, YoGabbaGabba-free life.
There are eight in this series, I'm on the fourth book.

Pickle dip

Matt heard someone on the radio talking about this recipe the day before Super Bowl Sunday and told me we had to try it. Just one problem - we knew the ingredients, but not the measurements. So, I made up my own amounts, and it turned out perfectly. I've eaten batch after batch after batch. Five Eight pounds heavier on my scale, and I still ate another batch.

No more pickle dip for me, so I'm passing the recipe on to you. Mix them all together & eat with a classic ruffled potato chip.
1 cup sour cream
4 oz cream cheese
1 cup dill pickle relish

I get in so many food ruts with Carter. I buy the same things (cheese, yogurt, bread, apples, cheerios) over and over because I'm scared to spend money on something he's tried once and didn't like or something I'm pretty sure he wouldn't even give a chance to get into his mouth. I get really tired of dumping entire meals into the trash.

Then I remembered how much he loves the novelty of apples. He likes carrying them around, chomping and gnawing on them. So a couple weeks ago I handed him an orange wedge. It took a little convincing (ok, so I held his hands still and pushed it in his mouth as fast as I could), but once the flavor hit, he was hooked. The cool shape of the wedge was just a bonus for him.

He calls it a rish. I'm not really writing this one so much to tell you that oranges are new to this world, but to help you with an idea that might change things up a little for your picky baby.

Disclaimer: I'm not advertising for anyone in this post. I actually just love this stuff! :)
Do you have any February Favorites? Comment or link up!

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my new desktop background

What do you think of this picture?


Matt said it looks like he's lined against the wall for a mug shot. But I think it's the cutest picture I've gotten of him in a long time. His eyes are finally wide open, and he's not making any of his all-grown-up-toddler grimaces.

marmalade skies

When we moved here back in November, I joined a Mommy Meetup group so I could meet other moms with babies. It's an online group (on for moms needing playdates and friends for their babies/toddlers ... and themselves.

I've gone to a few of the outings so far - a lunch at Chick-fil-a, a mall playground, a Christmas tree lighting; unfortunately no real love connection has been made for little Carter and me yet. The group has helped me get familiar with cool places to take kids around here, though.

The other day we went to Marmalade Skies. The cashier's eyes got wide when twenty moms and their kids crammed into his little yogurt shop. I guess nobody warned him about the stampede.


The setup was cool, you grab a cup and dispense your own yogurt, pile on as many toppings as you want - cereals, cookies, berries, candies, marshmallow goops, fudges and syrups. Then you take the cup to the cashier, he weighs it and charges you appropriately.

Since Carter isn't around kids all that much, I have to get to know him all over again in these types of settings. Instead of destroying his surroundings, he holds onto my leg and wants to sit on my lap and stare. Or he'll just stand there.


We found a spot beside a giant chalkboard to eat our yogurt.




Sorry about the fuzzy pictures. I didn't bring my good camera. I kinda got stared at funny for even whipping out my little camera, so no artsy photos today.

steppin' out saturday

dress (I know, it looks like 2 pieces) - charlotte russe
belt - j. crew
shoes - I didn't like them so they got cropped :)

polo - old navy
cargos - crazy 8
shoes - stride rite
tortilla chip - from the restaurant table we just left

mama style

(as inspired by the great Harper's Happenings)

I'm trying not to limit my posts to only subjects I'm comfortable with. Every week when I click Publish Post on my Steppin' Out Saturdays, my pulse quickens and I feel ridiculous staring at those large pictures of myself on the internet. But I know people enjoy them.

I'm not good at taking pictures of myself. I must have run back and forth from the camera a hundred times. I felt cute in what I wore today though. Cute, considering I'm a mom, that is.

and ... gulp ... ::publish post::




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from toddler to teenager

There are probably two windows in this apartment, so my pictures have been blurry and disappointing since we've moved here because the lighting's so dark. Carter and I went outside to take pictures today.

And let me tell you, I learned a few things about him.

He couldn't care less about looking at the camera.


His hair's starting to look red.


He's not big on getting dirty.


He doesn't like being outside. There's nothing worth exploring out there that could trump a cell phone.


I thought I knew how to make him laugh. Playing peek-a-boo with the camera didn't quite pan out.


Even though I'm not cool or funny anymore, I'm still worth holding hands with.


the date

Scroll to the bottom of the page and pause the music player before you click play.

steppin' out saturday


tank - charlotte russe
shirt - american eagle
skirt - american eagle
tights - bass outlet
boots - nordstrom

shirt - gymboree sale rack
corduroys - gymboree sale rack
shoes - (keds) stride rite


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Matt worked crazy hours this week. I'm so relieved it's the weekend, and I have a witness to accompany my Carter drama. It's highly entertaining to watch Carter take someone else's hand and make him waddle over to the garage entrance so he can request to see the "meow meows" ten times an hour. I seriously crack up at Matt's reaction to this kind of stuff. (Side note: There's a garage attached to our apartment, our cats' litter is out there and they go in and out all day. Mostly Carter's shrieks of joy have them preferring out.)

There were a couple days this week when Carter didn't get to see his dada at all because he went to bed before he got home. While I was rummaging through boxes for my video camera cord, I found some old pictures of Matt. We put them on the refrigerator, pointed and said Dada a few times in a row. Then Carter reached to hold one of the pictures. He carried it around and stared at it off and on for an hour.

So sweet, right?!

(taken with my cell phone)

Wow, I thought, there's some kind of real connection going on here! This picture is proving he really does miss his ---and then, out of nowhere, the picture of my college sweetheart got ripped in half.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Here are some more cell phone pictures of Carter keeping himself busy this week:





I got the cell phone post idea from Amy at A Good Life. Do your own, and go link up!