When we first moved to Kansas I heard about a farm that has gorgeous sunflowers at the end of the summer. The sunflowers at Grinter Farm in Lawrence, Kansas hit their peek Labor Day weekend but I was in Georgia so we weren't able to go. Turns out, the farm gained so much attention on social media that people were flocking to the farm by the hundreds, so they ended up having to shut it down because they just couldn't handle the crowds. They opened back up after Labor Day though and we were able to go a few days later. It was about a 40 minute drive from Ft. Leavenworth but it was absolutely worth the trip! We got there as the sun was setting behind all the flowers so if you're an amateur photographer (like I am) I suggest going in the morning so that the lighting is better. You can't go wrong either way though, because it truly is a sight to behold and they even let you cut as many sunflowers as you want for a small donation ($1 per flower on the honor system). The sunflowers that I cut are still going strong over a week later and I love how they look in a ginger jar in our foyer. Jack seems to like them too :)
How on earth do I have a 10 month old? Jack turned 10 months old on September 2nd and he is such a busy little guy. He crawls very quickly and pulls up on everything. He learned to clap and wave at the end of August and now he waves at everybody as well as his own reflection. It's so stinking cute. I know all babies go through these milestones but it sure is fun when it's your own child. Jack also imitates people now. If you clear your throat he'll mimic the noise, and if you move your lips like a fish he'll do the same thing. He also likes to point at things. We attended a family reunion in Georgia over Labor Day Weekend and he was very social and happy with anybody holding him (as long has he wasn't hungry or sleepy). He still loves pretty much all foods although sometimes he will refuse avocado and he still hates bananas. Our flight from Kansas City to Georgia went well but he was so stimulated that he couldn't take a nap...which made for a very long trip for this momma. Thankfully my seat neighbors were nice and they helped entertain him.
Jack learned how to play peekaboo this past month and will play it with anything: a towel, sheets, his bib while he's wearing it, a tiny piece of paper...it's pretty funny. He gets so excited sometimes that he holds the item all the way over his head so you can see his face, but he still pulls it down and you have to act surprised. It makes me laugh so much!
Jack STILL has no teeth. He's been pretty drooly lately though and he's showing some other teething signs, so maybe he'll have one by the time he's 11 months old. We'll see.
As for nursing, it is still going well although my supply isn't what it once was. He's so busy during the day that he's often not all the interested in sitting still and nursing. I have to go to Wisconsin for a week starting on Sunday (Army Reserve duty) and I just don't have enough pumped and frozen to carry him for the week, so we've given him a few bottles of formula just to make sure he likes it. Well, turns out he loves it...which is a little insulting to me, but it also makes me feel better about only leaving enough breast milk for one or two bottles a day. My goal had been to never give him formula his entire first year, but sometimes life throws you curveballs and you just have to adapt. I'm planning on pumping while I'm gone because I want to continue nursing once I get back, but I am unsure about what to do with the milk. Has anybody flown with frozen milk before? I have to stay in military barracks and I don't think there will be a freezer, so I'm anxious thinking about the logistics of it all. Thinking of pouring it out makes my heart hurt because that stuff is liquid gold! I really want to bring it home so I may bring a cooler with me and find some dry ice for the flight home. I'm assuming Delta will let me check it?? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
jeans: J.Crew Factory (this is the new pair I wore in my last fashion post and I'm still just as crazy about them as ever!) | chambray shirt: J.Crew Factory | Shoes: J.Crew (old, similar) | cotton ball pearl earrings: John Wind
Time is of the essence when you're a mom, which is why I'm all about efficiency and low maintenance routines, especially when it comes to makeup. I don't wear makeup everyday, but when I do I like to keep the application time down to around 7 minutes. Today I'm teaming up with Manna Kadar and my other #MommyMonday blogging mommas to share our new favorite priming lip wands that go on so smoothly and the color lasts for hours.
I used to love emphasizing my eyes but now that I'm a mom I tend to play up my lips rather than my eyes, because it's so much faster! For my eyes I typically just apply NARS Night Star or Fathom eye shadow, quickly line the top lid creating a very subtle cat eye with Rimmel Kohl Kajal waterproof eyeliner (in brown), and then I curl my eyelashes and apply a few coats of Covergirl LashBlast Volume Mascara (in very black). This keeps things nice and simple for my eyes so that I can apply a bold lip color. In these photos I layered two of the new Manna Kadar priming lip wands. I first applied Tarte (which is a punchy peach color that is a bit brighter than I normally go) and then I applied Joie over it (a muted rose color). The lip color lasts a really long time and it's the perfect finishing touch to my simple beauty routine. The J'Adore lip wand is beautiful too and it's a nice blushing nude color.
And guess what! Manna Kadar Beauty is offering y'all 20% off of your online purchase, so be sure to use the code MANNABABE20 if you want to try out these lip wands for yourself! Also, be sure to check my Instagram page this evening for another #MommyMonday giveaway :)
To see how my favorite mommy bloggers use Manna Kadar's priming lip wands in their beauty routines head on over to these other great blogs!
Note: Thanks to Manna Kadar for providing me with these amazing lip wands. I only work with brands I love that I think that you will love too! If you're interested in collaborating with me please email me email@example.com.
I'm finally able to share a few photos of our new home! Jack's nursery still needs a little bit of work but I'm loving this little reading nook that I created. I know that using Ikea picture ledges in a nursery is not a new idea...but it's new to us and I really love having a spot to display some of the books that we've collected about places that are special to us. We have books from Hawaii, Paris, South Carolina, Maryland and Maine on the ledges, as well as a few other favorites.
I also hung a basket down a bit lower to hold the board books that we read often. I've had this basket for years but have never used it so I recently decided to spray painted it and hang it up. I love it's new look and the functionality of it!
As I'm sure you've noticed, I don't do a lot of food posts here on the blog. I rarely measure or take photos of my food so when I do actually share a recipe it's because it was so yummy! I shared a peek of this meal on Instagram Stories last week and got a few requests for me to share the recipe, so here goes!
I use some variation of this recipe quite often because it's so easy to adjust depending on what pasta, protein, vegetables and cheese I have in the fridge. Here is the combo I came up with last week, and I promise it is delicious and super easy. The recipe below is more of a guideline than a recipe, so alter the amounts as you wish.
pasta (we used farfalle/bowtie)
minced garlic (if you like garlic use a lot, if not then just use a little. We love garlic so I always go heavy on it.)
shrimp (I used frozen jumbo shrimp that had already been peeled, deveined and cooked. I thawed them in some water and then removed the tails prior to cooking.)
peas (I used frozen peas that I cooked in the microwave prior to using.)
salt and pepper to taste
crushed red pepper (optional...but I put it on EVERYTHING)
1. Boil water for pasta. Cook pasta according to instructions.
2. While pasta is cooking heat up a large cast iron skillet and melt butter in it.
3. Add garlic to skillet and cook for a minute.
4. Add shrimp and cherry tomatoes and cook for a few minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Be sure to stir mixture often.
5. Add cooked peas and fresh spinach to the skillet.
6. Strain pasta once it is finished cooking but reserve some of the cooking water.
7. Remove skillet from heat and add the cooked pasta to the skillet.
8. Add a little pasta water to the skillet (a 1/4 cup or so).
9. Add chopped fresh basil and feta to the skillet.
10. Top with crushed red pepper if you like a little heat.
shirt: J.Crew Factory (these artist t-shirts have been my favorite for years and I just added this one and a pink one to my collection) | jeans: J.Crew Factory (this is my first new pair in forever and I love them!) | coat: Sail to Sable (c/o) | necklace: J.Crew Factory | shoes: J.Crew Factory (old, similar) | stroller: Uppababy | Jack's shirt: H&M (I can't find it online but I just bought it so I know it's in stores. This one is similar.) | Jack's pants: H&M (old, similar) | Jack's shoes: TOMS (hand-me-downs)
Can you believe fall is just around the corner? I'm a summer girl through and through, but I do enjoy fall fashion which is why I'm excited to share this Sail to Sable #MommyMonday collaboration with you! If you remember, at the beginning of the summer I teamed up with Sail to Sable and shared an adorable white and coral tunic dress (you can see the post here). By the way, that dress is on sale now if you want to snag it for next summer! Sail to Sable has such a preppy and iconic summer look with their clean lines and fun colors, but their fall pieces are just as fabulous.
This navy coat is the perfect transitional piece for fall. It's warm but not too heavy and the tweed is nice and soft. The coral pop of color on the lining and along the zipper is so much fun and I know I'll wear this a lot as the weather starts changing. I paired it with skinny jeans and a striped shirt (because let's be honest...I love me some stripes) but it also looks really cute with a dress. I kind of feel like I'm channeling my inner Kate Middleton with this look, because we all know she is the queen of pretty mid-length coats (as you can see in this slideshow here). Looking pulled together as a mom is sometimes a challenge, and even if my hair is dirty and I'm covered in crushed up puffs I know I'll at least look stylish this fall in this gorgeous coat! Oh and please try to ignore the red ball that ended up in almost all of the pictures...Jack kept throwing it and I didn't realize it was behind me. #momlife, right?
Note: Thanks to Sail to Sable for providing me with this beautiful coat. I only work with brands I love that I think that you will love too! If you're interested in collaborating with me please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you exercise with your partner? I do, and I can honestly say that our time together sweating it out is wonderful (even when I'm grumpy and don't feel like running or waking up early). We still do our own thing a couple times a week but our runs, body pump classes and spin classes are a fantastic time to not only better ourselves, but to also spend quality time together.
In all honestly, I'm normally I'm a bit of a loner and enjoy working out by myself. I don't really talk to others, and I enjoy keeping to myself and doing my own thing. I love having my husband as a partner though because he pushes me while running, motivates me while spinning (he always covers way more miles than I do in class and it's not fair!), and he compliments me during body pump. We have our little routines that I've come to love (he brings me a foam mat while setting up at body pump, I bring him a wipe down towel to use on his bike after spin), and I miss him if I have to go to a class alone. This isn't codependence, we just hold each other accountable and know that if we didn't work out together we would miss out on hours and hours together each week.
The photos above were taken by my mom on our wedding day. Tom and I ran 8 miles together early in the morning, and it was the perfect way for us to kick off our special day. We were able to get out some nervous energy before we said "I do" and it also allowed us to spend a little quality time together before the craziness of wedding day ramped up.
Now that we have a baby we take turns pushing the jogging stroller. I love that we still have our time together and we don't let Jack be an excuse to not exercise. I like to think that Jack is already learning how important fitness is because he sees us exercise so often. I'm so glad that our values are in line and I am excited to watch Jack grow and embrace fitness as well. Sometimes it's hard to get the motivation to work out...believe me, I fight that battle all too often...but having a spouse who is also a workout buddy and cheerleader makes it so much easier to get up the energy and work up a sweat.
If you don't work out with your partner occasionally I highly recommend giving it a shot. Whether it's a walk, a run, or a workout class, it will surely help your fitness and it will also add another dimension to your relationship! And this is not just limited to romantic relationships! Some of my favorite memories with my parents and brother are from exercising together!
(Ok so not gonna lie, I drafted this post before Jack was born when Tom and I could still go to classes together. Now we mostly just run together.)