Monday, August 26, 2013

Weekend Shenanigans - Wedding and A Project or Two

This weekend like most others flew by in a flash! A couple of things we had going on this time included a wedding and the start of two projects! Nothing too exciting or crazy. 

Friday night we started in our next project from the Shanty to Chic girls! You can check their swing along with Miss Ana Whites plans Here and Here!

Below is the start of the swing, we are currently at a stand still waiting on some screws to be delivered in the mail. Keep checking back to see the finished project. 

Next we spent Saturday running lots of errands and then ended up at Kristin and Tyler's Wedding for a few hours. 

Sunday we completed this ladder shelf which was an idea completely stolen from my sister-in-law, but I absolutely LOVE how to turned out! 

Hope everyone has  wonderful week!

Kelly Erin

Friday, August 23, 2013

Five on Friday

This last week has flown by so fast that I can't believe its friday already and time to hook up with some amazing bloggers Darci, April, Christina and Natasha. Go check them out!


I'm loving the fact that even though summer is winding down and fall is on its way that we are leaving for the beach next friday! So Virginia Beach here we come...

This was last summer when I was 20 weeks pregnant, we are looking forward to Noelle's first of many trips to the beach. We hope she grows to love the ocean as much as we do. Any mama's out there have any great beach tips for wee little ones?


I find that I feel so much better physically and mentally when I get a good workout in and after a couple of months of really wanting to order this workout program I can finally say it will be arriving next week. We have been doing the insanity workouts here and there but into the second month the workouts are close to an hour and time really has become the issue. These workouts are awesome because they are equal to working out for an hour but are only 25 minutes, and everyone has time for that. (Or so I keep telling myself)


I love shopping for clothes for my little, but lately I have found that I'm ecstatic about some hand me downs! Two girls that live really close to us each have a daughter 6 months older than Noelle and they both invited me to go through their clothes and pick out whatever I wanted to buy. JACKPOT. I found more clothes, shoes, jackets, and headbands than Noelle could possibly even wear this winter but I can't wait to dress her up. The best part is that the clothes are in fantastic condition (some still WITH tags) and all name brand Gymboree, Crazy 8, Calvin Klein, babyGap, and Carter's. Stay tuned for some Trendy Tot Tuesdays...


 Pinterest is flooding with fall and Christmas pins, and I absolutely love it. This is just my favorite time of the year as the air gets crisp, everything pumpkin emerges, ALF (Autumn Leaf Festival, a huge weeklong celebration in our town that brings in thousands of people) is coming and I can't wait to sit on the back porch of our relatively new home and enjoy watching as the leaves change color. 


PROJECTS. As summer is coming to an end it has felt good to start getting the house organized and cleaned for the long winter ahead. This week I was able to tackle Noelle's closet, my pantry (although reconsidering once I see Samantha's Shoe rack tip), and now we are moving onto the building of this porch swing. (We hope it turns out as wonderful as the hall tree did!)

I'm looking forward to reading everyone's Five on Friday, but for now I'm off to snuggle this precious little one to bed. 

Kelly Erin

Monday, August 19, 2013

A Letter to the New Mama: 52 Weeks of Blogging with a Purpose

Today I'm linking up with Becky again for the 52 Weeks of Blogging with a Purpose. This is such a perfect day for this post as one of my very best friends delivered a healthy baby boy this morning! (Also it is my dear husband's 30th birthday) It has been a truly wonderful day!
Welcome to the world Heath Christopher! 

While I've only been a mama for the last 9 months there are so many things I wish I would have known before I delivered my baby girl, so to the new mama's or soon to be mamas out there, this one is for you. 

Its ok to miss being pregnant. I loved everything about my pregnancy and 9 months later I still miss feeling the little kicks, knowing that somebody is always with you. It was like for 9 months I was never alone and while you are so excited to deliver the baby at the same time a small part of you will miss them always being with you. And that is ok...

Follow YOUR instincts. You will know your baby best and have a bond that is truly magical. If your mama, aunt, friend, grandma, sister, or whoever is giving you advice and it doesn't feel right to you then forget about it. Don't get caught up in reading so many books or internet articles that you don't know which direction is right. Everyone out there has an opinion of their own when it comes to parenting and its easy to get mixed up. 

Its ok to say "NO" to visitors. Those first days and weeks home from the hospital can be overwhelming as it is and it seems like if you have family and friends in the area they constantly pour into your home in the evenings which is a nice gesture but can be exhausting too. If you just want nights at home to relax with you and your significant other than that is ok too. 

Ask for help. I only say this because I was one that never wanted help especially when it came to caring for my baby girl, I wanted to be the one to feed, change, bathe and dress her but if I could do it again I would ask for help with things such as cooking, dishes, laundry and cleaning so we had more time as a family to sit back and relax.

Read to them from the day they are born. We asked for books instead of cards at our baby shower and we have put them to such good use. You can never start reading to them early enough and it is a time
 they will always cherish with you. 

They grow up too fast. While I know everyone says this it just has so much truth behind it. While the days seem long and the nights seem longer the months go by in the blink of an eye. Every stage though is so wonderful and trying at the same time.

All in all just remember, its ok to do everything you thought you would never do, the housework can wait, its ok to spend day in and day out loving them, you will make mistakes but tomorrow you can start over and one day you will feel like you know what you are doing.

Enjoy every moment, because motherhood is a gift and a blessing that many never get to experience or understand. Love them always....

Kelly Erin

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Baltimore National Aquarium

Last week my mom, Noelle and I packed up the car and headed on our way to Baltimore. It was a girls trip that would allow us to spend some much needed quality time with my mom's sisters (and my aunts). 

We were mainly headed down that way for an appointment for my mom but had plans to take Noelle to the National Aquarium and of course there was some shopping involved too! Here are my thoughts on the exhibits, cost and time to go!!

First of all the cost can be quite shocking, at 34.95 for an adult this seems very steep (especially coming from Clarion, Pa where everything is fairly inexpensive); however once you get in there and see the exhibits you realize that it is well worth it. You have to remember all the up keep that goes into a place like that, the animals they have their are just amazing! 

Noelle was only 8 months when we took her and I had to carry her in my Baby Bjorn front facing carrier due to the NO stroller policy. Now if you have never been there you're probably thinking the same thing I did: How could they not allow strollers in the aquarium? Once you get there though you realize with the small area to navigate through, all the escalators, and moving walkways it would be nearly impossible and dangerous to have a stroller. This is why you have to carry any non-walking child. 

*They do have a place that allows you to check in your stroller if you need it to continue cruising the downtown harbor area!

(This is an awful picture but one of the only ones I could get)

Now on to some of our favorite exhibits: 

{one} Black tip shark reef 
Probably the coolest exhibit they have in there and one you get to see several times over and from all different angles! It's there newest exhibit, and was definitely one of my faves! You get to see it from all the levels as you increase up through the building and also from below as of you were underwater with the sharks.

{two} SHARKS
In honor of shark week (the actual week we were there) there display of sharks was by far one of the best we had ever seen! They had such a variety of different sharks, you got too see them at different points throughout the aquarium but got your best look at them when you headed down into a dark hallway that wrapped around the inside of their tank. The whole atmosphere really made you feel like you were right in the shark tank. Along with the tanks there were employees along the way that had teeth and jaws of different sharks for the kids to touch,learn and feel!

{third} Dolphins
Dolphins have always amazed me since I was a little girl, and this trip was no exception. There dolphin tank is an open exhibit that you can watch from above or below, while also having education shows at different hourly times. We snuck in right at the beginning of a new show, while it was very simple it was still wonderful watching the dolphins play and interact with the trainers. Noelle remind content through the whole show and I think was in awe of the giant creatures!

{four} Jellyfish
While this was the tail end of the day and Noelle was starting to get very tired, the jellyfish was a quick exhibit that was worth walking through and taking a glance at. The pictures speak for themselves!

Overall we had a great time and wonderful experience, I would highly recommend anyone to go and see it at least once especially if you're going to be in the area. If possible I would try to stay clear of weekends, holidays and special event while trying to go during the week while the kids are in school if you can. Below are just the rest of the photos of some other exhibits:

And one very tired little girl...

Friday, August 16, 2013

Five on Friday...

Happy Friday Everyone! I'm looking forward to doing this link-up for the first time with Darci, Natasha, Christina, and April! I think its such a simple way to get a post in on this busy Friday!

I'm especially happy this friday because this mama is exhausted after picking up extra shifts all week long for my partner as well as party prepping for my husbands "DIRTY THIRTY" birthday party which we will be hosting tomorrow. 

I'm totally loving my VITAMIX! I know it is a ridiculously expensive blender, but seriously there is nothing that this thing can't do, it has a 7 year warranty and the average life span is 20-30 years. My uncle is still using his grandparents vitamin from who knows how long ago. I'm having so much fun experimenting with baby food, soups, smoothies, and ice cream. 

I'm still in a form of shock that my husband is going to 30 on Monday! Seriously, Where does the time go? I met him back when he was 21, and now he is going to be 30. However it makes me so proud to look back over the last 9 years and see everything we accomplished, conquered, and the life we have built together. He is the most caring, supportive, and generous guy a girl could ask for. I couldn't be luckier to have him by my side on this wild journey we call life. 

Loving that my little was an absolute trooper as I took her to get her ears pierced today. She didn't even shed a tear or flinch and I couldn't be more proud of the tough little girl she has already become. 

We are all looking forward to tomorrow (and tomorrow being over) as we throw a 30th birthday party and all our friends and family come to see our beautiful home for the first time. All the prep work has been done and we are off to enjoy the weekend! Hope everyone else has a nice weekend as the chaos of school starting back up is just around the corner!

Kelly Erin

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

9 Months...

Dear Noelle,

While 9 months seems like a lifetime ago at the exact same time it feels like just yesterday. The memory of you living inside me becomes more like a distant memory every month. 

This month has been exciting and full of energy for you! You have refined your ability to crawl and can get just about anywhere in a quick amount of time. The big change this month has been your desire to stand up on your own and walk with our help. (Although at times you feel like you're able capable of walking on your own)

We are now at a point where we give you bites of our own food, give you some whole food chunks of your own and still doing some purées (loving my new vitamix)!  You have been a vegetable girl, loving anything green and are just now warming up to the idea of fruits! Weird, I know! You have also been loving your morning toast and puffs, but giving your fruit to Ryleigh!

It's such a joy everyday to watch you grow into this little girl! Your hair is getting longer (and maybe a tad redder) each month. You love when Daddy reads you stories, Ryleigh eats from your hand and are still a bit of a Mommy's girl (I think only because I'm still nursing you though)!

I can't wait to see where you are next month and how much you grow but on the same note SLOW DOWN! You are becoming too big and independent too fast! 

We love you so much! 

So until next month....


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Pushing out of my comfort zone

I have been anxiously waiting to post about our first DIY project. I find that Im pretty crafty and can tackle a lot of projects and my husband is very creative himself; however this project was definitely stepping out of both of our comfort zones.  

First of all I have to say:I love the Shanty to Chic girls, after scoping out some different projects on Pinterest I found myself continually going back to their site. To give a quick background my husband Travis' 30th birthday party is rapidly approaching (and most guests have yet to see our new home) and I wanted this Hall Tree for our mudroom in the worst way and wasn't willing to spend a ridiculous amount of money on it. You can find the plans for the project HERE!

So I drug my reluctant husband to Home Depot to begin to purchase the wood we needed. For his birthday my dad purchased him a new drill and we were going to attempt to build the project without the Kreg Jig. This was a huge mistake, unless you want screws all through the bench and weak joints you have to buy one! We found it was well worth the money and plan to use it on several more projects.

We worked on the project at night and during Noelles nap time. We probably had a total of 8 hours in the whole project but it did turn out beautifully and is exactly what I wanted. 

Had to sneak an adorable photo of my little and I taking a much needed break!

And the final product ...(minus the baskets in which I'm still on the hunt for)

Thanks to the Shanty to Chic girls, I foresee many more projects (BIG and small) in our future! It was such a great feeling to accomplish/tackle this project together! 

Stay tuned for our next project...