Mr. Cohen

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Today my baby turns 7. Each birthday gets harder and harder for me. Cohen changed me, made me a better person. The day he was born my greatest dream came true. I became a mommy. As I reflect on his life I see how I have grown right along with him. No matter how old he gets he will always be my baby.

I was looking through old photos of him and old journal entries and I found thisletter that I wrote right around the time he was turning 5. It made me tear up to think how much he has changed in just two years time.

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To my cautious Cohen-

Oh the funny things you do….You constantly keep me on my toes with your question after question. (I love how you tell me it’s only cause you are getting smarter). You amaze me daily. Yes it takes a lot of patience to answer every crazy thing that pops up in your mind (what is 10+5=1?). However I love watching your brain grow and develop, watching you soak everything in like a sponge! You are so smart, way beyond your little years. You are a computer wiz. I love watching as you figure things out on your own. You can’t read, but you can still figure out which button says “games”, which buttons says “back”, and which button is “quit” or “close” all through problem solving and letter recognition. Not only are you smart, but you are sweet. You give hugs and kisses. Sometimes you wipe them off, but I tell you mommy kisses are FOREVER (said in the voice from the sandlot ;). You are very encouraging. You use expressional words like “mommy this dress is BEAUTIFUL!” or “mommy this would be soooooo cute for the baby”. You are such a good big brother already, and the baby is only a few weeks old. You think he is the cutest baby in the world. You say you are ready for him to play with you, but you also want him to stay a baby because of how cute he is.

You are a little shy, but I love watching you slowly open up. Just in the past few weeks you’ve started really talking to kids you may not know and really playing well with them. I watched you play with a little girl who was only 2 1/2. You were jumping on the trampoline with her. You didn’t know I was watching, but every time she would fall you would stop bouncing and wait for her to get up before you starting jumping again. I love how you love life, and how the smallest things mean the world to you. Like snuggling with mommy during a movie. You pay such a attention to details. You want to collect every small figurine you see. You don’t try and break mommy’s bank. You know the limit, and you obey. You try and get the most for your money. If you have $5 you will ask how you can get two things and stay in budget. You have a great memory. You bring up things from the past and we reflect on them together.

The best part about your personality is your love for Jesus. I love how He is a part of our daily conversations. I love when others tell me things that you say to them (reminding your little friends that Jesus is always watching). I love the way you pray hands folded face down to the ground. I love when we talk about Heaven and Grandpa Dave. There is nothing more I could desire for your life than to watch you grown in the Lord and for you to bring others along with you. You are so innocent and sweet and I wish you could stay four forever. So even though the house is never quiet and you follow me like a shadow. Though I can’t even move into the next room without you saying “mommy where are you going?”. Though every morning when I’m getting ready you are smashed right up behind me playing with all the toys you have drug into my dressing room and it seems every time I go to put the eyeliner on is right when your superhero flies through the air and nudges my arm. I wouldn’t trade this time for anything because I know all too soon it won’t be “cool” to attached at the hip with mom. I will miss having you right next to me. I will miss having you sit in my lap and kissing your sweet face. So my dear Cohen please NEVER change! NEVER lose your joy and your love for your family and most of all continue to be a shining light for Jesus.

Love,

Mommy

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Newborn must haves + a pink invasion giveaway

Pinterest is so great isn’t it?! How did I ever organize my thoughts without it??!! Actually the other day I found a note book from before Cohen was born with a list of things I wanted for the hospital. I had to chuckle at how stone age 7 years ago seemed and how the number one item on my list was “a really cute blanket”. We’ve come a long way since then, and there is SO much more to choose from. Hello Etsy?! I’m slowly starting to compile a list of wants for the new baby. I made a mood board, both with things I loved from when Kemp was born and things I’m looking to purchase this time around.

 

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1. Helvetica “hi” blanket by Yarningmade. This blanket is so soft and a great statementpiece for the nursery!

2. Wooden teething ring with crocheted beads. Etsy shop Nihamaj

3. Life Factory glass bottles. I LOVED these with Kempton and plan to get some for baby girl.

4. We are jellycat fans for life! These stuffed animals are so cute plus the floppiness of the beans inside make them easy for kids to drag around.

5. Freshly Picked Moccasins. Need I say more?! These shoes are so soft and actually stay on your baby’s feet!

6. The Snug Bug travel changing mat. Lightweight and super portable. Plus comes in tons of cute patterns.

7. 4moms Mamaroo swing/bouncer. This product is a life saver. Five different motions to move baby the way you do. Genious!!

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Other items I have used and loved are Aden + Anias swaddle blankets (preferably plain white), Dolcino organic baby wrap, wubbanub pacifier, Angel dear lovey, Lalaspequenos knottie baby sleeper, and Little giraffe baby blanket.

It’s all overwhelming I know!! That’s why I love making wish boards and slowly purchasing from it. But I am going to help you out a bit. I am continuing with my “pink invasion” give a ways! Over the next few months readers will get the chance to win several items from my mood board. Today I am giving TWO lucky readers a Snug Bug changing mat of their choice!

The Snug Bug is a California based company started by  Hollywood mommy Heather Hendrixson. Together with her costume designer friends they have created a line of baby essentials to meet all your needs and look stylish while doing it. They are committed to the highest quality products and simply want to make life easier for all the busy moms out there. I can honestly say this travel mat is a game changer! It is so lightweight and versatile. I actually keep mine in the car because I use it not only for diaper changing time, but also for a lunch mat. It wipes up so well and can easily fit in any purse I am carrying. I chose the Moxie travel mat, and since baby girl is not here yet Kemp got to try it out.

The mat lays out to 17″ x 25″, to last until your baby is out of diapers. Rolls up to a compact 8″ x 1.5″ to lighten mom’s load. Another great feature is that the mat is CSPIA tested safe for babies and kids, and free of harmful chemicals like BPA, PVC, Vinyl, and Phalates. All products from The Snug Bug are boutique quality and made in the USA with attention to every detail.

Last Thursday we  had a fun afternoon with friends teaching Kemp all about baby sister coming and learning how to be gentle with the baby. Oh and baby Selah was the perfect model huh?! Needless to say I think Kempton is actually starting to get excited about having a little sister.

Head over the the Snug Bug shop and check out all the other great products they offer.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

*I was provided a Snugbug travel changing mat to use and review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Bumpdate

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I am starting to get very sentimental. Even as the uncomfortable moments are rolling in I find myself wanting to make this pregnancy last. Most likely this will be the very last time I ever feel a baby kick inside of me, or take bump pics. I want to savor every moment, but is that even possible while taking care of two rambunctious boys?!? I have not documented this pregnancy (or any pregnancy for that matter) how I wished I would of, but it’s not too late to start eh? Here is a little update or as I like to call it bumpdate of where I am currently.

 

22 Weeks

How far along: 22 weeks and 4 days

Baby is the size of a: spaghetti squash. 11 inches and almost 1 pound

Maternity clothes: nope still in all my regular stuff. I do find myself raiding my husband’s soft tshirt drawer a lot though. And Kimono’s are my best friend.

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 Sleep: I’m still sleeping great. This is about the time that I get nasty heartburn though.

Exercise: Still running around 6 miles a week, lifting weights, and doing yoga. Keeping up with my workouts have seemed to make this pregnancy so much easier. I feel stronger and more like myself.

Movement: She kicks delicately, nothing like Kempton did, and it is always on the left side. At our last ultra sound the doctor pointed out how she has really long legs.

Any cravings: Nutella. I went from craving carrots and apples to needing just that little bit of sweetness after almost every meal :/ I usually make a piece of whole grain toast with pb2 and nutella. No one else in my family really likes it so I get the whole jar to myself!!

Best moment of the week: The baby kicked against daddy’s arm. Although he couldn’t feel anything it was a very sweet moment.

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Miss anything: I miss wearing some of my yoga clothes that no longer zip and running long distances.

Anything make you queasy or sick: smells in general. Everything is just so strong right now.

Have you started to show yet: Yes, yes, yes!

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Labor signs: none

Belly button in or out: my belly button pops out quickly.  It’s been out for quite sometime now. The kids think it is hilarious, and Brooks says I’m lucky that I can get it really really clean.

Wedding rings on or off: on

Happy or moody: I’m usually happy. I have really felt great this time around.

Looking forward to: Spring break trip and working on the nursery.        

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Who doesn’t love Kate Spade?!

Today is my 20 week ultrasound! The boys and I are so excited to go peek at our princess this afternoon that we can barely contain ourselves. I thought it might be fun to get you all to join in our excitement by doing the first of my pink invasion giveaways today. This give-a-way is hosted on instagram. Head over to my page @madeoverbymandy to enter! You or a lucky girlfriend could win these babies!!!

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Winner will be chosen tomorrow. Good luck!!!

Love you all,

Mandy

 

 

It’s spring in my makeup bag!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. One of the best mood boosters during this never ending winter is to think spring (as much as possible) in your wardrobe and makeup choices. If you step foot into any department store winter is gone and spring has sprung!  A majority of the shoppers I see in the stores are grinning from ear to ear as they fill their bags with bright colors and floral prints. Needless to say we are ready for warmer climates, and no more snow! Here’s a little heads up on which cosmetic items you should be on the look out for.

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One of the most consistent trends I am seeing for the coming season is shades of coral and orange for the lips and cheeks. Each cosmetic line is putting their spin on an orange lip so you should be able to find something that suits you. For example some will go for the extra bold Timanfya from Nars while others will step out of their comfort zone with a coral from Dior or a peachy nude from YSL. (The YSL product is a glossy stain! It’s so amazing you must try it. They just launched a bunch of new colors so go check em’ out) Also don’t forget to check your local drug stores for the new L’oreal Color Riche Extraordinaire glosses. Orange Tempo blows my mind!

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When it comes to eye shadows my go to brand is usually Nars. I just love the pigment their brand offers for the price. I find myself pairing a light golden eye with the standout orange lips so I’ve rounded up some of my favorites. Nars came out with a new duo for spring called Kauai. This duo pairs a beautiful light gold with a truly unique purple. The purple is less intense than it looks and definitely adds the perfect amount of contrast to this look. I start with a light gold on the lid, a neutral beige in the crease, and the purple to contour.  I am also loving the limited edition illusion D’ombre creme shadow from Chanel in shade 90 convoitise. It’s a cream shadow that is very long wearing and does not settle into creases. I love this gold shade and hope it stays around longer than just the spring season. Also M.A.C. is walking a little on the wild side this spring, but I’m loving some of their gold tones. There is the mineral quad in shade Meadow or the loose pigment in Lily White.

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Another great option to keep in mind are these neutral artist pallets. More and more lines are coming out with their own and they are always a great price for the amount of shadows you get. These are my three favorite so far. Narsissit pallet for $79, Urban Decay Naked 2 pallet for $52, and M.A.C. x15 warm neutral or cool neutral pallets for $100. Also for a cheaper option check out e.l.f. cosmetics sold at Target stores. A lot of their shadows are very close dupes to Nars colors.

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As much fun as it is to add some new colors to our makeup bag we CANNOT skip the skincare. Spring is a time when our skin starts to make a change from dry and flakey to more plump and supple. Bring on the vitamin D! Two things I’m a really big fan of during this transition are exfoliators and oils. Dead skin tends to cling to our face like glue and can hang around way longer than necessary. Leaving dead skin on the surface does not let our cells  produce healthy new ones. All you need is a good exfoliator to the rescue.  I’ve searched high and low for a good replacement to my old Dior favorite and am happy to report that the Nars double refining exfoliator does not disappoint. The small beads are perfectly round to prevent ripping or tearing of the skin, it’s paraben free, and it’s light reflecting complex brightens the skin. Read more about it here! Once our faces are free from the old dead skin cells our new ones will need some support. This is where face creams and specifically oils come in. When the weather is still quite dry I like to use treatment oils on my face. I feel that,more than creams, oils replenish my skin and bring it back to life. I am by no means an expert on these, as I’ve only starting using them in the past two years, but I’ve absolutely loved the results! One’s I’ve tried and loved include Fresh Seaberry moisturizing face oil, Kate Somerville Dilo Oil Restorative Treatment, Origins Plantscription Youth-Renewing Face Oil, and Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil. Most of these brands can be found at Sephora and there is plenty of great info on their website. My best advise is do your homework first because they can be an small investment. But hey, keeping your skin (the largest organ in your body) healthy is worth an investment right?!

Here’s to hoping spring comes quickly. In the meantime shop around for some of these great springtime products so you’ll be ready!!

xo,

Mandy

DIY colored glass bottles

I’m craving pastels. I’m craving florals. I’m craving spring!!! Since the weather isn’t cooperating I decided to do a springy home project. First I gathered up all my clear glass vases, jars, and bottles and picked which sizes and shapes I wanted to use. (I buy fun stuff like this at goodwill and save them for spontaneous projects). Then I got out my paints and decided on a color scheme. IMG_2314

I chose shades of blue and minty greens. Also note that I used two different kinds of paint, these acrylic Plaid paints and indoor latex paint (left over from painting my bedroom).  I liked the acrylic paints so much better. I’ll explain why down further.

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Then all you do is squirt the paint in the jar and swirl it around till all areas are coated with paint. You could even mix colors to give it a marbled look if you wanted. The sky is the limit!!

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The reason I liked the acrylic craft paints the best is because for small vases its so much easier, and less messy, to squirt the paint in small amounts into your glass object. With my gallon of latex I had to use a funnel and it got all over the place!! Anyways just keep swirling to your desired look. I ended up taking a small paint brush and helping the paint along in some areas.

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Look how pretty, and expensive they look now! This project is so easy, and you can’t mess it up. Another idea I had was to spray paint the outside with a frosted spray paint. Walmart sells a clear frosted rust oleum spray paint, and I love it for so many reasons!!!

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Image via A beautiful mess blog.

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Then I just went to Michaels and purchases some spring flowers and wah la!I love the way they turned out!! Such a great addition to my mantel. Here is the blog that first gave me the idea.

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Oh and I just noticed I’m missing a few hedge apples (fake from crate and barrel). My kids think they are balls….grrr I’m going to have to go hunt those down now. Happy crafting!

 

xo,

 

Mandy

My 30th birthday in Cabo {and a surprise ending!}

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Celebrating my 30th birthday in Cabo San Lucas with my hunky husband!

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Not only was this vacation a celebration of my 30th birthday, it was a…..

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BABYMOON!!!

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To say we are excited would be an understatement!! Look for a gender reveal and lots of give-a-ways coming soon!!

xo,

Mandy