Thursday, March 23, 2017

Coffee Talk

My sweet friend Chelsea occasionally does 'coffee talk' posts, and I was inspired to do one myself today! While I love a good confessions post, or shopping guide, or baby update, sometimes I just have a million thoughts swirling around in my head that don't fall into any give category. Rather, it is a compilation of thoughts and emotions that I would likely spill over to anyone listening on a good old coffee date. So read on, grab a cup of coffee yourself, and let's talk.
I feel like lately, I just don't have it all together. I try, really I do. I think maybe it is the weather. This is always the hardest stretch of the year, with no big holidays to look forward to, weather that keeps us Midwesterners locked inside, and the general end of winter 'blahs'. I keep hoping a bit of inspiration and excitement comes my way soon.

I don't think I have found my calling, career wise. I do not know what my ultimate goal is, and sometimes it can be a downer to feel like you just aren't as motivated as you think you should be. Is motivation a magic pot of gold that I just might not find? Or maybe it's just that darn end of winter blues hitting.

My boys are and continue to be my whole world. There are days where my fuse runs short, and they drive me up the wall, but those aren't the stories I share about them, because those moments pale in comparison to the sweet, joyous moments they bring to my life.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that a sweet, ten month old baby is what you would find in the dictionary if you looked up the literal word 'baby'. Sweet babbles and giggles, wrist rolls and finger dimples, and those cute little baby teeth spell literal baby perfection. It is one of those stages you wouldn't mind bottling up and keeping with you forever.

I have been majorly working on cutting back what I spend lately. I haven't put all things on hold, but I am being more mindful, trying to use rewards points/major sales whenever possible, and just thinking a bit more before clicking add to cart. Of course, the exception to the rule was getting this top this week. Over coffee, I would admit to you that I own this shirt in five different colors, and wear every single one a regular basis. I mean, if the shoe fits, right? I would tell you that you should buy it in every single color, and then we could be adorable tunic wearing twins.

I would tell you I am excited about things that have been happening with my blog and writing lately, but I am often hesitant to talk about it. I often worry what others will think, and feel as though a lot of people don't understand why I do what I do. I love to write, I love to share my favorite finds, my inner thoughts, and memories of my little family. I really pour my heart and soul into this space, and tell myself that if I am able to touch even one person with my words, it is 100% worth it. But for whatever reason, to try to explain that to others is scary.

I would tell you that I drink way too much coffee, eat way too many desserts, and then would probably ask you to make plans next week that inevitably involve food.

What have you been thinking lately? I would love to coffee chat!

Linking up with Annie today.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Weekending and a Giveaway Winner!

This weekend, like all of the rest, flew by much too quickly. We were promised some warm weather, but it really don't show up until late Sunday, so that was kind of a bust! I am so ready for spring weather that sticks around for the long haul! Our weekend was pretty low key, but it was a fun one!
..AND, if you entered my Freshly Picked giveaway, read through to the bottom to see if you are the winner!
On Friday, we got the grand news that the bishop had lifted the meat restriction for Friday due to St. Patrick's Day, so HELLO PIZZA ;-) Aside from photo shoots of the boys in their St. Patrick's Day shirts, it was a pretty laid back evening.
Please note that Lincoln has a Nick Viall hair tuft going on. I made fun of him that whole episode for his hair, and then looked at my baby and he had the exact same thing going on. I personally think Lincoln pulls it off better ;-)
 I also whipped up some of my Special K bars. And maybe I am biased, but my Special K bars are seriously the BEST and I will share the recipe I use soon. The pan didn't last long!
On Saturday, Mike worked, which isn't common, but he has had a few weekends the past few months where the projects couldn't be done during the weekdays. So, me and the boys were on our own. Once we woke up, Jackson did a happy dance at the mention of going to grandma and grandpa's house, so we headed that way in the morning. He did lots of playing, and mama drank lots of coffee.
Jackson found this old backpack filled with my little pony toys, and wanted to wear it and kept announcing he was going to ride the bus. Stop growing up, Jackson!
We came home for afternoon naps, but then ended up going back to my parents for dinner. It was a celebration of my sister passing her boards and my brother and his new fiancé getting engaged! It was such a nice night, full of wedding talk :-) I just love me a good wedding, and my brother's fiancé is one of the sweetest people I have ever met.
My parents pulled out my brother's old Fisher Price castle, which I honestly think is worth a small fortune, and Jackson was SO excited he started jumping up and down and declaring 'DASTLE! DASTLE!' I wish I could be half as excited about things as that sweet boy is.
Once it was time to leave, I loaded up the boys, took the long route home, and was able to get them both directly into their beds, sleeping, all on my own. I definitely cracked a beer in celebration of that one! Mike got home from work a little before 9, yay for 14 hour work days! So we relaxed and watched an episode or two of The Office before calling it a night.
On Sunday, we finally decided to get our taxes done (yay returns!) and went to my in-laws to use their program. While we were there, my sister in law announced she was coming over to give us a little gave to announce if they are having a boy or a girl. I'm not quite sure I'm at liberty to say yet or not, so I suppose I will have to share that another day ;-) So, what was a morning doing taxes turned into most of the day! We did lots of planning for my other sister in laws baby shower, and came up with so many cute ideas that I can't wait to share afterwards!
I had some Gap Cash come my way, so I did scoop up these chinos, and this utility shirt dress from Old Navy. In case you didn't know, Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic all share a shopping cart and go towards the same shipping minimum, and Gap Cash if you have a credit card works at all three!
Once we got home, it was finally warm enough and sunny so we threw the boys right into the stroller and enjoyed a walk around our neighborhood! They held hands and were so sweet and it was so obvious how happy they were to just be outside. So PLEASE mother nature, keep sending nice weather our way because my babies and everyone else is so much happier when we are able to step outside of the house!
For dinner, we had a dumpster meal, basically eating up any and all leftovers that were in the refrigerator. We are so bad about putting things in tupperware and then just throwing them away a week later, so sometimes it feels good to make an effort to be less wasteful with our food! 
The evening was capped off with The Walking Dead. Only two episodes left this season, I have a feeling the next two weeks are going to be so high intensity!

And now, the winner of the giveaway is...

Sarah Rose!

Congratulations Sarah, you will be receiving an -mail from me shortly!

Linking up with Biana today.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Friday Favorites: St. Patrick's Day!

Happy Friday, friends! This week had a little curveball thrown into it when Jackson randomly got sick on Wednesday right after being dropped off at daycare. I hadn't even gotten out of the door from leaving Lincoln at my parents when I had to turn around and go back home with a sick kiddo. The rest of my week has just felt off, being out of the normal routine in the middle of the week will do that to you! Today is St. Patrick's Day, and while we aren't one bit Irish, I plan to dress my little loves in green, make some sort of festive treat, and enjoy a beverage that is green this evening. Green beer isn't my taste, but Midori, that is a drink I can get behind ;-)

1. Freshly Picked Giveaway
For those of you that missed it, I have teamed up with Freshly Picked and am giving away a free pair of moccasins! It is open through Saturday, you can enter to win on the original post! These moccasins are seriously the cutest shoes, with quality that is a step above the rest. I chose the classic Zion color, but there are countless fun options, too. If you have a kiddo that wears shoes, this contest is for you!
2. Florals
I am itching for spring weather like crazy, especially after having a string of pretty cold weather lately. At least we didn't get hit with snow like all of you on the east coast, but still! I did a post earlier this week sharing some of my favorite office looks for spring, and this floral blazer has me swooning! How cute for work, but also for a night out with a tee and jeans! Other floral looks I am loving include this dress, these pants, and how fun is this jacket?!
3. Song
I am not usually on top of the 'music' game. But I heard the song That's What I Like by Bruno Mars and was hooked instantly. I do not know what I find so darn catchy about it, but I seriously get excited when it comes on the radio. My poor kiddos have had to witness me sing and dance to this song, which is totally not kid appropriate. Good thing neither of them have any concept of the words in songs quite yet. ;-)
4. Cotton Stems
My blog friend and fellow boy mama Brittany from Life As The Mrs shared a photo on Instagram earlier this week and I now NEED some cotton stems in a pretty blue vase in my house. I just love accents of blue and white for the house, and am now on a mission to have some of my own. I am pretty much always finding inspiration from Brittany, she has the cutest style, the cutest boys, and is one of my favorite mamas to follow! 
5. Pinterest
Keeping it real, I totally fell off of the Pinterest bandwagon recently. So many apps, so little time ;-) But I have a few parties and things I am looking for inspiration for lately, and have been loving all of the ideas that can be found on Pinterest! I have a fun St. Patrick's Day board, filled with cute ideas for you and your kiddos! And obviously, lots of green treats, because sugar is my love language. And if you are looking for dessert ideas, some of my best concoctions have come from this board. If you don't already, come follow me and enjoy the random pins to get a good idea of what is going on in my head at any given time ;-) Hint: usually sparkle, birthday parties, and food.

Be sure to link up with the awesome blogs below to connect with other awesome bloggers! Have a fabulous weekend. We are expecting sunshine and downright balmy temps in the upper 40s/low 50s ;-) Minnesota springs are such a tease!
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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Spring Fashion for the Office

I don't know about you, but I am sick and tired of my 'winter' wardrobe. I am craving all things bright, colorful, and spring! It is time to swap out the thick, chunky items in dark and wintry colors. Give me all the florals, pastels and neons! I work a desk job that requires me to dress business casual, but that does not mean that my work wardrobe doesn't have seasons throughout the year just like my regular wardrobe. I love to swap out items, and cannot tell you how excited I am for the weather to be warm enough for me to start wearing pencil skirts again. Let me tell you, nothing makes you feel more polished and put together than a pencil skirt ;-) I rounded up some of my favorite fashions for the office that are available this spring, and am dying to share!

White Skirts
My mission this season is to find a cute white pencil skirt. I wear my black and navy skirts on rotation with my favorite tunic tucked in, and love them! I think white brings such a different look to this classic business style. Paired with a pretty blue or yellow top, and you look ready for spring and that fun board meeting that's on your calendar.

1 // 2 // 3 // 4

Blush Tops
I cannot stop loving all of the blush things. I really love wearing a blouse to work recently, it is just so much more classy and delicate than other options. The cold has forced me into a lot of thick sweaters the past few months, so I can't wait to start busting out my airy and pretty tops this spring!

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

Maxi Dresses
I love, love, LOVE the fact that warmer weather makes it allowable to wear maxi dresses to work. I won't necessarily pull out this look on a day where I have an important meeting, but maxi dresses can be dressed up or down. Throw on a cute blazer or cardigan and it is totally office appropriate. And, at the end of the day when it warms up outside, you can ditch the jacket and be ready to run errands or hang out outside!

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

White Pants
Similar to my love of white skirts, I am also obsessed with white pants! They just feel so fresh, and immediately brighten not only your look, but your mood too! I have been wearing mine already with booties this winter, but think they will look great with some nude flats in a month or so, as well!

1 // 2 // 3

Fun Blazers
Who said all blazers need to be neutral and safe? I love throwing on a floral blazer for a fun pop that is still professional. A bright colored blazer is a fun option too. And continuing on the blush train, this option with the cute cuffs on the bottom is my absolute favorite!

blazer 1 // blazer 2 // blazer 3 // blazer 4

Fun bottoms
Similar to the blazers, a pop of color in your pants is such a fun and unique way to liven up an outfit! I love to thrown on a pair of blush bottoms (again with the blush!) or even a bright red, and then pair with a neutral top. It is a great way to get noticed and stand out for the world of black and navy, while still keeping it classy.

colored pants 1 // colored pants 2 // colored pants 3 // colored pants 4

What are some of your favorite items to wear to the office? How do you keep your work wardrobe from getting stale and boring?

The Pleated Poppy // Life in the Green House // Sydney Fashion Hunter // Pumps & Push Ups // The Mummy Chronicles // Classy Yet Trendy //  Going the Distance 
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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Freshly Picked For Your New Walker [and a Giveaway!]

I remember when I was pregnant with Jackson, I just swooned over all of the little baby shoes out there. They were so cute, I couldn't wait for my little guy to wear them. I was gifted some very nice pairs of shoes at showers and after he was born, but then reality hit. Babies hate putting shoes on. And not only do they hate putting shoes on, but good luck keeping them on those precious little feet! I was continually baffled by how hard it was to get the darn things on, yet my teeny little baby could kick them off in a matter of seconds with no issues whatsoever.
Needless to say, my excitement was quickly put aside and more often than not I opted for my baby to go barefoot. And that worked for a little while, because, as many of you may know, newborn babies don't walk. So we wore lots of thick socks and called it good until he started walking the following summer. By then, it was somewhat easier to keep shoes on his feet. Somewhat.
With Lincoln, shoes were one of the last items on my list of things to buy. I knew from experience that baby shoes were just a pain, and while they were cute, they just weren't worth the hassle. Anything with laces, or even Velcro, basically gets a quick glance before I immediately move onto something more practical.
Enter baby moccasins. These little shoes are quite the craze right now, and with good reason. The elastic band and functional design make them easy to put on, and they also stay on. Freshly Picked is where the trend all began, and trust me when I say that they do moccasins, and they do them right.
These adorable moccs slip on easily, and they stay on. After trying numerous pairs of shoes from a number of different brands and price points, I can tell you that the quality on these is impeccable. The leather is soft and giving, and they are truly a step above the rest. As we are entering the early stages of standing and walking, these shoes are absolutely perfect. We went with a classic color, and I am so glad that we did. They match just about anything, and can be dressed up or down. Perfect for pairing with his Easter outfit, but also great for afternoons at the park. If you are looking for options with a little bit more personality, though, the rainbow dots or B-A-N-A-N-A-S are about the most precious little things I have ever seen! Okay, all of their moccs are adorable. I do not think there is a single pair that doesn't have me swooning. 
Now for the fun part. I am excited to be giving away a pair of Freshly Picked moccasins to one lucky winner!** Enter with the options below, and tell me why you would love a pair of Freshly Picked moccasins for your little one! The giveaway is open through Saturday, and I will announce the winner next Monday!

*This post is sponsored by Freshly Picked. All thoughts and opinions are solely my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Stang&Co.
**giveaway open to U.S. residents only. Winner must not have won any giveaways associated with Freshly Picked within the past 60 days.
Freshly Picked

Monday, March 13, 2017

Weekending: A Chilly March

Hello friends, and happy Monday! We are coming off of a long weekend as a family, and I am always amazed how an extra day off can be so good for the soul. I just feel a little bit more ready to start the week. Of course, an indefinite weekend is ideal, but in the meantime, I'll take the extra day.
We started off Friday by both taking the day off of work to spend with the boys. We decided to head down to the Mall of America to go to Underwater World! Jackson, as we expected, loved it. He was so excited to see the seahorses, and of course the sharks. Lincoln was pretty into it all too, and loved looking around and taking in the sights.
After we finished up checking out the sharks and fish, we thought it would be fun to take the boys to the Rainforest Café for lunch. Well, we ended up being seated at a table right next to some sort of a cheetah/leopard type animal, and it would randomly growl throughout or meal. The boys were terrified! Lincoln even curled out the lip and some big crocodile tears, while Jackson kept trying to escape our booth to get away from the thing. I felt bad for them, but it was also just a tiny bit hilarious ;-)
Once we got home in the afternoon, I saw I received this dress from Old Navy. It is so cute, and has me dreaming of summer days when I can finally wear it! I am thinking with sneakers and a jean jacket for the cutest little casual outfit to wear to dinner!
I cleaned up the house and prepared for my parents, older brother and his wife to come over. My brother was home from Iowa for the weekend, so we decided to hang out and have pizza so they could see the boys! We hung as late as we could manage..which was about 8pm. HA! The boys were both up around 4am, so we were absolutely exhausted.
On Saturday, we had a pretty slow start. For whatever reason, we were all just kind of wiped out this weekend! We lounged around and ate cold leftover pizza for most of the morning! Mike's parents ended up telling us we should go check out the local home show for ideas for how to begin landscaping our yard, so we pulled ourselves together, dropped the kids with them, and took off! The show was kind of a bust, we both joked that a year ago it would have been AWESOME to go to..when we building our house! We walked away with a few ideas for the yard though, I totally found the design for my dream pool ;-) I am pretty sure that it where it will remain my dreams!
Once we picked up the kids, we went home and took it easy again. I whipped up some homemade alfredo pasta and peas, we gave the boys baths, and were all lazy in our jammies the rest of the night. Mike ended up coming down with a migraine, and I was just so tired, so once I put Jackson down we both went right to bed. Around 8:30pm. #adultingsohard
So Sunday. Daylights savings. Maybe I sound crazy, but this year is honestly the first time I kind of enjoyed springing forward and losing an hour! Hear me out people. My kids wake up early. Their wakeup time would have been 5:30am, but because of the time change I tricked myself into thinking I was treated until sleeping in until 6:30am, which is what the clock read ;-) Now, if the clocks had been turned back, that would have been a 4:30am wakeup time, and one heck of a long day! In all honesty, when the kids wake up as early as they do, it was kind of nice to have the ridiculously long early morning cut a bit short!
Mike continued to have a migraine Sunday, so I hung out with the boys while letting him sleep and rest throughout the morning. I managed to take Lincoln into town with me, where we did some damage at Target. On nothing but groceries and household products. #howdoesfoodcostsomuch #takeallmymoney
Once we got home, Jackson was already down for his nap, so I fed Lincoln and got everything put away. He went down for his afternoon nap shortly after, and I decided I was going to go out to the garage to work out and do Insanity. Literally as I was changing my clothes, I looked over at my bath tub and realized the house was quiet and both boys were sleeping. So, I kicked the workout clothes aside and filled that tub up, turned the TV in our bathroom onto Fixer Upper, and did some much needed relaxing instead!
The rest of the day including more lounging. The boys woke up in great moods, so I even managed to squeeze in some quality time to work on the blog, which honestly doesn't happen nearly as often as I would like. I have bought a trail mix at Target that is called 'bunny bait', and we taught Jackson to call it 'bunny crunch', which he pronounces 'bunny bunch', it is so precious!
I got an e-mail that Gap and Old Navy were having awesome sales, so I finally scooped up this swimsuit for Lincoln's Easter basket, and these socks. I have been struggling to wear flats or slip-on sneakers lately because it is too cold to go without socks, but I also don't like the Michael Jackson look of white socks with low cut shoes ;-) At 40% off, I scooped up a few pairs!
We capped off the evening with leftovers for dinner, and The Walking Dead. I never like Sunday nights, but I do always look forward to TWD and finishing off our weekends on a fun note! AND, who is looking forward to The Bachelor finale tonight?! I can't wait, and I also can't wait for the next season of The Bachelorette to start, with someone a little bit more likeable than Nick vying for love ;-)
Linking up with Biana today!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! Friday is my favorite day of the week, and it is made even sweeter when it is a Friday spent off with my family! We are taking the boys to the Mall of America and are going to Underwater World. Jackson is loving sharks and fish lately, and we both think he is going to be in heaven. We are bringing Lincoln along, too. I am so excited to finally be getting to that stage where we can start to enjoy things with both kiddos. The weather is supposed to be icky this weekend (with highs that are only in the 20s!) We figured this was the perfect opportunity to get the kids out, because who wants to do an indoor outing once spring weather arrives and we want to do all of the things outside!? And Ikea happens to be next door, so my mama heart may just explode over the goodness that this day will bring! Before heading off on our little adventure, I have to share some Friday Favorites!
1. Graphic Tee
I am not a graphic tee fan. I made a decision before having my babies that I would not buy the tees covered in slogans and characters. Of course, as they grow I make exceptions. Jackson is loving Toy Story, so I will obviously cave to buying a t-shirt with Buzz on it! But for the most part, I like to keep their style classic. But an old skating coach of mine sent me a link to this strong like mom tee this week (hi Stacy!), and she was so right that I needed them for my boys! I love the message it sends. Most little boy stuff boasts 'strong like daddy', or 'daddy's tough guy', but mamas are some of the strongest people out there! It was so sweet of her to think of me and share!
2. Standing
My little man is standing! Well, he is using the wall a bit for assistance, but he is so darn proud of himself! In all honesty, I was trying to snap a few pictures of him, and decided to give it a go kind of on accident. And he held himself up like it was nothing! He can stand without the wall, too, but gets a little timid and usually drops to the ground within a few seconds. But against the wall, he can stand all day long! Every milestone with your baby makes you realize how quickly time can go, but the view changes so much once they are able to stand up! I mean really, a baby who has never been on their own two feet looks so strange standing and proudly smiling at you. I probably overuse the word sweet, but seriously, this boy is so sweet.

3. Open Cups
Jackson has been majorly resisting drinking out of a cup without a lid. He seriously freaks out whenever we give him a cup, even if it is adorned with robots and characters from Finding Dory! I saw these cups and am thinking of giving them a try. The price tag is a little steep, so I am curious if any other mamas have tried these out? And, just general advice on how to get a kiddo to drink from an open cup!
4. Blush Flats (and basically all of the blush things)
Continuing on with my blush obsession (I know I'm not the only one!) I just stumbled across these flats at Old Navy. Seriously, how cute are they!? I love the crochet design, the pointed toe, everything. They come in a number of other neutral colors, too. I do not know if Old Navy can do any wrong lately! This tote would be adorable paired with the shoes, or this bucket bag. And finally, I don't know if anything beats a pair of blush skinnies. LOVE! I own multiple pairs of the rockstar jeans from Old Navy (in tall), and they seriously are amazing. They are mid rise, meaning no muffin top, have tons of stretch, but hold their shape. They are fantastic!
5. Best Friends
After ten months of what I would consider tolerating each other, my boys are becoming real life friends right in front of my eyes, and it is about as much sweetness (see, there it is again, the word sweet) as my heart can handle. Jackson is always asking for Lincoln to sit next to him on the couch, and whenever Lincoln babbles, Jackson just beams and declares 'Lincoln talk to Jackson!' He is so very proud, and I have tears in my eyes just thinking about how their relationship is blossoming. Jackson has discovered how to jump on the bed, and now loves to go upstairs and insist Lincoln goes with. He invites him into his room, and will ask 'Lincoln sit on bed'. I will help Lincoln bounce (which he loves) and both boys dissolve into a fit of giggles. Watching them start to explore the world together is everything I have been waiting for and dreamed of. You all know I don't sugar coat life, and I don't pretend that life with two was perfect and easy. It may have taken ten months, but my boys are finally becoming friends and it is one of my favorite experiences I have had as a mother.

We are off to look at the sharks and enjoy a lunch at the Rainforest Café. I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Five on Friday // Oh Hey Friday! // Friday Favorites // Friday Favorites // High Five For Friday
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