Joanna Gaines + Matilda Jane

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Can I be honest with y'all? I'm a creeper. I love looking at what people wear, how they decorate their homes, etc. I can't tell you how often I drive by my favorite houses in our neighborhood and think to myself "hmm.. I wonder how they've decorated and if they would let me come peek!" Anyone else with me?

My dear friend Tiffany sells Matilda Jane Clothing, and when I attended my first party in February of this year I went 100% for support. I knew it was a girls clothing brand so I had no reason to shop. But I was VERY wrong. MJ has women's clothes, and over the past year has become one of my most trusted brands. All of the items are great quality, very soft, and many have an Anthropologie feel for a smaller price tag.

What does that have to do with stalking? I'm hosting a Matilda Jane party tonight at home for local friends, but thought I would open it up online for y'all! The Joanna Gaines collaboration released today and is likely to sell out, so if you want anything.. here are your directions:

And put down Victoria as your "Jane" so that I can send you a thank you for joining in! 

Back to stalking.. Tiffany has access to a group where people post photos of themselves and their children in their favorite MJ looks. It's a MAJOR rabbit trail. I love seeing how REAL people style clothes. Not fancy fashion bloggers, not print ad people.. I like seeing real ladies and how they dress. So here are my favorite stalker pics (which I'm allowed to share, by the way, haha!) 

This dress is by far my favorite for little girls. It comes with a removable apron. WHY does it not come in my size?! Someone please by this for your little girl so I can live vicariously through you!

I love this dress so much... it's on my wishlist!

How cute is this green dress with boots? 

This is by far my creepiest creep pic that I saved. I have and LOVE this dress, but now I'm convinced that I need the cardigan to match. 

I adore these mother daughter aprons.. I kind of want the mama one just for me! I also have the dress that she's wearing in another colorway. If you order, size up on the dress!

This top is by far the piece I'm most excited about from the Joanna collection. It can't arrive at my house soon enough! So cute with jeans and booties! I didn't save a photo of it, but I also have my eye on this comfy tee

I love this outfit for little girls!

This lady is wearing a tween dress in size 16.. and she has me convinced to try. So maybe there is a clementine print dress in my future! 

Other items I have and love: 
My Easter dress from the spring (worn while pregnant!)

Check out the Matilda Jane website and let me know which items are your favorites! :) If you order anything, follow the instructions I left above and it's super easy! Happy Shopping!


Thanksgiving Week Recap

Sunday, November 27, 2016

We started off the week with a quick trip to New York City with our Strader siblings.

The fall leaves were outrageously beautiful and provided the perfect backdrop for the trip. I intentionally left the photo below unedited so that you could really see!

We flew in early Saturday morning (3:30 am wakeup call.. yikes!) and when we arrived, we grabbed Shake Shack and headed for a walk through the park before napping before a trip to Chelsea Market, and to dinner. 

Chelsea Market is always a favorite stop! 

The inspiration for the trip was Sam and Kayce never having been to New York, and Sam really wanting to eat at one of the world's best rated steakhouses, Peter Luger. 

On Sunday morning we ate breakfast and headed to the Top of the Rock. The strong winds made it super chilly and the top deck (my favorite) was closed. Sad! We still got some good photos, though! 

Once we were back on solid ground, we grabbed hot drinks at Starbucks and while everyone else browsed the Lego store, Ben and I watched the skaters. I thought that the scaffolding around the Christmas tree was super interesting! 

It isn't a trip to New York without Levain cookies, and the line was about three times as long as I've ever seen it. We braved the cold, and it was SO worth it when we finally got our delicious, warm cookies! 

To finish off the trip, the whole reason we came, Peter Luger! We headed to Brooklyn and enjoyed a great meal. The steak really was delicious, and it was a really cool atmosphere. The next day we came home and our flight was super delayed. We FINALLY got to Beau at around 1 am. I won't lie to y'all, I had a really hard time being away from my boy! I really just think he would have enjoyed New York with his daddy and mama! Next time. :) 

Our first day home was spent unpacking, going to the dentist, and snuggling our boy extra! That night, we went to dinner with our good friends Spencer and AJ.. and Beau tried on Spencer's cowboy hat. :) 

The day before Thanksgiving we took a little day trip to visit Ben's college roommate's hometown, because he was visiting for the holiday from Nashville. Collin is one of our closest friends, so it seems silly to describe him as "Ben's college roommate", but bear with me, haha! Last time we made a Thanksgiving trip, on the way home I had some of the worst morning sickness that I had while pregnant.. yikes! We had a great time with Collin and his mom, as always!

Thanksgiving day was great as always! We started the morning and Ben's Granny's house.. check out this amazing photo of her with all of the great grandkids... how on earth are they all looking?! It was extra sweet for me to have Ella, the oldest, hold Beau for his first extended cousins photo! 

Before we left, it was a little chilly so I bundled Beau up for a photo.. this is now one of my favorites of him! 

This year, because of being gone at the beginning of the week, we ordered turkey in instead of making it. I am a turkey purist, but it was so nice to just relax and not be constantly basting. In our family photo you can tell we've been snoozing the afternoon away! 

On Black Friday morning we threw on our matching pajamas and put up our Christmas decorations. It was such a sweet morning! Then, Ben and Beau went to take our cars for servicing while mama binge watched the new Gilmore girls. I have SO MANY THOUGHTS. Like, I considered doing a full blog post on it, haha. What did y'all think? 

Hope y'all had a wonderful Thanksgiving week!


Friday No. 50 & Some Black Friday Picks

Friday, November 18, 2016

No. 1
Last weekend we left Beau for the first time and went on a sibling trip to New York City. It was a great trip, but it only affirmed our thoughts about traveling with kids.. we wished Beau had been with us so bad. I wanted to take photos of him in the Central Park leaves so bad! I'll be recapping our whole Thanksgiving week so soon! We're already daydreaming of a trip back to the city with our boy.. and we actually just booked a family trip in the Spring, can you guess where? :)

No. 2
I have a new favorite photo of Beau! While shopping at Target one night with my bestie we spotted this little sweater romper and knew that who we knew at the time as #SweetBabyStrader needed one! We found the right size and this week Beau wore it for the first time. His little nose kills me!

No. 3

If you're shopping today.. here's what I have my eye on:

Emily Ley: My fave stationery on sale.. the planner sale is out of control!
Gold Pineapple Simplified Planner (what I had last year and LOVED!)
White Leather Weekly Simplified Planner   (what I have!)
Navy Leather Weekly Simplified Planner 

Anthropologie: 30% off!

A few things I have and love:

This dress is my pick for holiday gatherings. Also please note my angel baby snoozing and letting mama get her shop on. :) My booties are also on super sale!

And on my wish list:

Jcrew: 40% off
If I'm in jeans, there is a good chance I'm wearing these.

This is my favorite winter coat. Annnnd here's a similar item for a better price at Nordstrom!
I've had my eye on this for so long, and may have to pull the trigger during this sale! 
These gorgeous pajama pants will be Target price with the discount!
I really like this top, but it would have to wait until Spring.


This little girls vest is ADORABLE!
I love this little badger jacket for Beau. 
A gorgeous cowl neck sweater for me on sale for $22!
This coat is kind of my dream.
Another great price on a simple sweater.
I've been stalking this Free People sweater for ages.. now on sale!
If you see me wearing booties, they are 100% of the time going to be these. Snag them while they're in stock and on sale!

The Honest Company has 40% off your first order with code WOOHOO and so I signed up with Ben's email for a second account to order a bundle of diapers! Just sharing with y'all my tricks! :)

All of my Friday posts can be found here.

Crafting with Beau

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

With the holidays approaching, it's been on my mind more now than ever that I want to savor the sweet times with Beau. I really want to plan intentional ways for us to create keepsakes and make his first holiday season really special. For him, for us, and for the rest of our family. I was set on wanting to get some pottery done with his hand and footprints, so I called up our local pottery shop. It turns out that getting a plate completely done for you can get really pricey really fast, and I was convinced that I could do it.. so off to the pottery shop we went!

I chose a morning where two friends could accompany me to help get Beau's hand and footprints taken care of, and about 20 minutes into our time my mother in law came to pick up Beau so that I could paint the rest of the pieces without worrying about what Beau was up to. This really helped the process a ton! I realized that I really enjoyed creating something different and our of my ordinary daily activities. 

The plate that I kept is for Thanksgiving! This is a progress photo, partially done. I could write on the plate in marker and the marker burns off when they fire the pieces. 

This one is a great example of that! As you can see, I started marking out the letters and it was really bad placement haha! That plate has already found a home and was a birthday gift for my mother in law. We also knocked out a few more gifts while we were at the studio. The way that ours worked is that you paid a "studio fee" for all your paint and supplies ($8) and then you just pay the cost of whatever pieces you're painting. So in two sessions we knocked out a TON of gifts and keepsakes.

After the first time we went, after I got the pieces back Ben requested a mug! So a little footprint tractor was the perfect gift for him.

I also wanted a Christmas ornament for us after seeing they had gotten some in! The other side was a footprint and it says 2016 where the hand says Beau. The studio I went to had a ton of examples there, but I also looked on pinterest. Our studio also had the option of paying $10 per piece for lettering, and names and ages always free. The girls in the studio said my lettering looked great, but in the future having them paint the letters is something I would really consider. I don't have any Easter decorations, so I'd love to do a decorative plate for Easter in the spring, and maybe have them letter it.

I'm really really pleased! Have y'all ever done handprint art? There are so many creative ideas out there!


What I'm Making for Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

You may or may not know, but Ben and I have hosted Thanksgiving every year since we got married. Our December wedding gave me some time to emotionally prepare, haha! ;) You can read about that here, but basically I decided that if I was going to learn to cook I needed to learn to host a wonderful Thanksgiving. I went from Lean Cuisines in college to a beautiful roasted turkey on the table, and wouldn't have it any other way!

In case you missed it, last year's posts on Thanksgiving prep:
Tables capes
Thanksgiving 2013
Thanksgiving 2015 (this post makes me miss my baby bump, but I'm glad he's bumping around our house now!)

Unintentionally, I try a new stuffing recipe every year. I'm still trying to find the perfect one. I really thought buttermilk biscuits a few years back would be it.. but I'm still searching. :) The one in The Magnolia Journal caught my eye and is what I'm going to try this year.

Texas Corn Bread Dressing with Sausage
via The Magnolia Journal 

Prep: 10 minutes Bake: 25 minutes at 400 degrees + 50 minutes at 375 degrees

3 8.5 oz packages corn bread mix pls ingredients to prepare
2 cups chopped celery
1/2 chopped onion
1 10.75 oz can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 10.75 oz can condensed cream of celery soup
1 cup milk
1 Tbsp leaf sage, crushed
1 1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
8 oz ground Italian sausage or breakfast sausage, cooked and drained
3 hard cooked eggs, peeled and chopped

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, prepare corn bread mix according to package directions, adding in celery and onion. Pour batter into a greased baking pan. Bake about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cornbread cool completely and then crumble. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In an extra large bowl combine soups, milk, sage, pepper, poultry seasoning, and salt. Stir in sausage and eggs. Add corn bread, folding gently to combine. Spoon mixture into a greased 3 quart oval baking dish, cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes, Uncover; bake about 20 minutes more or until heated through, brown on top.

I'll also be making a pumpkin pie, but am looking to mix it up. Has anyone got a great swirled pumpkin pie recipe? I'm thinking like a pumpkin cheesecake pie? Is that a thing? Haha! I also love making pecan pie.. I'm all about those classic Thanksgiving staples. I'll also throw some easy mashed potatoes in the crock pot (recipe in my side dishes blog post) as I really want Ben and I to be able to enjoy our time with Beau, spending a little less kitchen prep time this year.

It will also be our first Thanksgiving with Beau, AND in our new home. I'll be bringing y'all a new house update early next week, but I'm really excited to start making some big memories here. I think it will make this place feel more and more like home.

What are y'alls Thanksgiving plans? Will any of y'all use my turkey recipe? Last year was SO fun getting tagged in photos and seeing y'all feeding your families!

Ps. I'm linking up with Melissa today! 

Baby Beau: 6 Months

Monday, November 14, 2016

6 Months as of 11/11/16

15 pounds 9 ounces
25 and a quarter inches long 

My baby is now officially in 6-9 month clothes and 6-12 month clothes.. I cannot believe it! I feel like over the past month Beau grew a TON! 

This month I started consistently waking Beau at 7 am each day.. which has made his naps so much better! Daylight savings last weekend was a little hiccup, but Beau mostly did okay. The first day I thought "how is this so hard when we literally adjusted to a 7 hour time difference in just a day!!" but he's doing great now. 

Two full naps each day, with usually one more cat nap in the evening. Naps are flexible when we're on the go but always happen. :) 

Doing great!

My sweet boy is so happy these days, I can tell we're entering a really fun phase!

holding onto his feet 
his mirror in the car 
kisses anywhere on his face 
leaning down to touch noses
sweet potatoes

mangos might be the worst thing that's ever happened to him, haha!
the bright sun in his eyes in the car

Sitting up on his own, not consistently yet though, eating solid foods 

Places You’ve Gone: 
all over the place with mama and daddy!

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