Violet's First Birthday Party

Sunday, November 27, 2016

A couple of weekends ago we had Violet's first birthday party at our house. Over the last few months, I'd gone back and forth a lot about whether or not I wanted to have a party at all, I kind of wanted to just have a nice family dinner with presents and cake. But finally, I decided we would have a party here with family and close friends. After all, you only turn one once! Violet is a very social little girl, so I knew she'd have tons of fun playing with a bunch of kids and having a lot of people around. So Joe and I found some cute party supplies and did some DIYing and baking (does dipping pretzels in white chocolate count as baking? haha) and hosted our first party! I was nervous about having so many people in our relatively small house, but it worked out perfectly. We ended up having enough food, favors, and room for everyone. The only somewhat disappointment was that Vi wanted nothing to do with her smash cake. She had the tiniest taste then was completely over it, which surprised everyone because that girl can eat! I was expecting some awesomely messy cake smash photos, but that's okay, she had a ton of fun with everything else, so that's all that matters!

Girls Holiday Dresses

Monday, November 14, 2016

I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks dressing a little girl is way more fun than dressing yourself. I become so obsessed with finding the sweetest little outfits for Violet to wear, and have so much fun choosing what she wears before she forms her own opinion! Here are a few adorable little dresses that could work for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any holiday parties. I've already bought the swan one for Vi to wear on Thanksgiving!

Halloween 2016

Monday, October 31, 2016

I think it's safe to say that Violet had the best first Halloween ever. We weren't sure how she'd like wearing a costume and wandering around in the chilly weather in a big crowd of people, but judging by the huge smile on her face the whole time, she absolutely loved it. We decided to go trick-or-treating in a neighborhood in town that always gets super into Halloween. All of the houses are decorated spooky and tons of kids come to collect candy. Even though Vi isn't only enough to eat candy (or even know what it is!) she held on to her pumpkin bucket so tight the whole time and got so excited whenever someone dropped a piece of candy in. We arrived downtown at about 4 and stayed until about 5:30. It was perfect timing since it was mostly other little kids out and the huge crowd of older kids started to arrive right as we were leaving. I had an absolute blast watching her enjoy herself so much, and it makes me so excited for all of the Halloweens to come!

Here we are trick-or-treating as a baby giraffe and zookeepers (or maybe we were safari guides, that's what a lot of people thought, haha!) I hope you had an amazing Halloween as well!

My Favorite Parenting Reads

Saturday, October 29, 2016

I never wanted to be that mom that lived by a parenting book, "the book says to do this, the book says to do that..." I really believe that majority of parenting decisions should come from instinct, and of course advice from doctors, and I'm sure there are amazing parents out there that have never touched a parenting book. But I'm too crazy for that. Sometimes going with the flow is less of my thing than I'd like. When I first found out I was pregnant, I read "What to Expect When You're Expecting" cover to cover. I downloaded apps and read magazines. I wanted to know every single bit of information possible. But since actually becoming a parent, I've learned that trusting my own instinct is the way to go. There have been multiple times I've questioned my own decisions because a book or friend suggested something different, but there are so many different types of parents out there, there is no one right way to raise a child. In fact, there is an overwhelming amount of different ways. So I know choose to get as much information as possible, then decide what's best for my daughter and family.

That being said, there are a few books I'm reading/have read that I really value and consider when it comes to parenting. Everything always comes down to what Joe and I think is the best decision, and if it comes down to it, asking our pediatrician, but for everyday questions I have, these books have really come in handy for me. 

What to Expect the Second Year. This is one of three What to Expect books I own. I read the pregnancy one, the first year one, and just picked up this one to start. The main reason I really love these books is because it's more just straight information, rather than trying to get you to parent a certain way. I kind of see it as more of a textbook. It's basically just facts from actual doctors that you can take then decide what to do with. They revise it every few years, so the information is always up to date. These books have been around forever and are trusted by tons of people, so I feel really good reading them.

Bringing Up Bebe. This book is written by an American raising her daughter in France. She notices that French children behave very differently than they do here; they eat adult meals, play by themselves quietly, and don't throw temper tantrums. She decided to start taking notes on the differences in parenting styles and talks about her discoveries. I picked this book up more out of curiosity than really a parenting guide, but it makes a lot of great points. Kids can be curious, imaginative and have fun while being well-behaved. I also think some of the things she notes French parents doing are a little out-there for my personal style, it did give me some ideas of different ways to approach certain situations. 

The Honest Life. I'm a huge, huge fan of The Honest Company. We use their diapers, wipes, shampoo, lotion, sunscreen even their house cleaners! Basically, if Honest makes it, we use it. Not only are the products completely safe and clean, they actually work! I saw that Jessica Alba had written a book a couple years ago and decided to pick it up since I love her company so much. This book is all about living a natural and chemical free lifestyle. It's not necessarily a parenting book since it covers way more than kids and babies, but it's all about a way of life that could definitely affect kids for the better. It covers eating, clothing, beauty, home life, and of course children. Like the last book, some of it seems a bit out there and even a little unrealistic, but it gives a great idea of how to steer toward the direction of an "honest" life. I learned a lot from this book about different chemicals and how to look for certain things on labels. A great read even for people without kids.

Although I'm all about following your own parenting style that works for you and your family, I also think it's a great idea to educate yourself as much as possible. You can make the best decisions when you know a lot about all the options. Do you have any parenting (or life) books or guides you love and recommend?

Our Day at the Pumpkin Patch

Friday, October 28, 2016

Last weekend we decided it would be fun to go to the next town over and let Vi experience her first ever pumpkin patch! This same farm has hosted Fall Festivals since I was a kid, and always loved playing, eating and picking out a pumpkin! This is one of those things we weren't sure Vi would actually enjoy yet, but she does seem to love seeing new things and watching people. And this was no exception! She just looked around the whole time and took it all in. She especially loved sitting in the "corn bath" and throwing around corn (and we made it home with only on kernel in her diaper!) I'm glad we let her experience things like this even if she's not quite old enough to participate, I say the earlier the better for fun traditions like this! I think next year she'll really love running around and actually being apart of the fun!