Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Friends in Texas!

This past weekend was a good one. Richard and I had some of our best friends come down for a long weekend trip and we had a blast. Most of the time I would talk about how quick this weekend went by and I can't believe it. But for some reason that is not the case this weekend. That is not to say we did not have a great time because we did, but we had a pretty solid mix of being busy and just hanging out that I did not feel completely wiped out after the weekend was over. We had a fun weekend exploring what the Dallas/Fort Worth Area has to offer.

The weekend started on Friday when we picked Sammi and Herman up from the airport. They came into town late at night so that they did not have to miss work and it worked out for everybody. Once we picked them up, we gave them a house tour and hung out before going to bed.

Saturday was Sammi's birthday! We woke up somewhat early and headed out to our neighborhood garage sale. Garage sales in Texas are not quite the same as Minnesota, but we did find a few fun items to buy. After the garage sale, we made a quick lunch before heading to the Fort Worth Stockyards! The stockyards are about an hour from us so we wanted to make a day of it. We had fun walking around, shopping, getting drinks, and watching the cattle drive. The cattle drive is where they move the cattle from one pen to the other by having them walk down the road. It was awesome to see it in person and those cows are amazing. A very Texas afternoon.
After the stockyards, we headed back to our area again, picked up some fro-yo before stopping at home again. We took a mini break while the boys worked on homework and the girls watched some netflix for a bit. Then when it was time for dinner, we headed to our favorite pizza place that lets you bring your own beverages. When we got there, the place was packed because the local minor league hockey team was playing an away game and the pizza place streams their away games. There was not a single table open, except for their back party room that luckily was not in use so we asked to sit there. While we waited for our pizza, we played Settlers of Catan which is our favorite game night game. Sammi ended up winning on her birthday, which was the perfect end to the day! That and cake, yum.
Sunday we slept in a little bit, ate a very large home made breakfast (thanks Richard) and then headed out to our local downtown square area where we walked around and antique shopped for a little bit. We then went to meet some of Sammi and Herman's friends that also live in the area. We met them for appetizers and drinks. We have met them before at Sammi and Herman's wedding so it was nice seeing them again. We were hanging out there while the Dallas Stars were playing the Minnesota Wild and sadly we had to watch the Wild lose among a bunch of Stars fans. It was friendly and us being there made it more fun for the Stars fans I am sure.
After meeting up with them, we went back to the house for a bit before we went into Dallas to the Truck Yard. The Truck Yard is a fun outdoor area where they have a bunch of patio furniture and tables outside along with a few food trucks, a bar and a philly cheese steak restaurant. It was the perfect place to just hang out and chill and then eat when we got hungry.
The rest of the weekend was spent just hanging out and talking. Monday morning we went to a restaurant that Richard loves for breakfast food. We then brought them to the airport around lunchtime. Richard and I were then able to spend the rest of the day together for some quality time. Overall, we had a super fun weekend and we were grateful for friends that we could show them around the Dallas area.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Stitch Fix #4

If you are keeping track of how many "fixes" I have blogged about, which is something most of you are probably not doing, this is my fourth Stitch Fix Box, but I have only done three posts. Why you ask? Well, because for my 25th birthday I received a box and I was extremely disappointed in what I received. I did not even care enough to take pictures of my items and I have honestly forgotten what was even in the fix. I was over the whole process and did not even have the desire to schedule any new fixes for almost a year. Out of the blue I just felt like scheduling one and since Stitch Fix has gained popularity in the last year, I was hopeful that I would have better results. And I most definitely did. This fix really messed with my brain and I had the hardest time deciding what I wanted to keep and what I wanted to send back. So here are all of my items and my thoughts behind my decisions.

For those of you who have never heard of Stitch Fix, here is the concept. You fill out an online profile of your size and style, and from there your stylist picks out 5 items to send to your front door. Then you can try on the clothes in your own home and decide what you like (and would like to keep) and what you do not like (and would like to send back). They even include a pre-paid shipping bag for all of the clothes you want to send back. It costs $20 to send your box, but if you like something and decide to keep it, the $20 can be applied to your purchase as a credit. If you do not like anything and decide to send it all back, you pay the $20 as a "styling fee". Also, if you keep everything in the box, you get 25% off the entire purchase.

THML-Jardina Split Neck Tunic- $64 {Kept}
The minute I put this tank top on, I fell in love. I love how loose and flowy it is and even better is its extremely comfortable. Richard told me he did not love this shirt, but I did not even care. I am always on the hunt for longer shirts that I can wear with leggings and this top is perfect for that.

Market & Spruce-Spencer 3/4 Sleeve Striped Dress- $58 {Kept}
This was one thing I had a hard time deciding on. I kept going back and forth on whether or not I should keep it and even after I decided to keep it, I questioned my decision. Richard loved this dress on me so I think his opinion swayed my opinion. I really don't like the neckline on this dress for some reason, it just looks weird to me. But, I was able to add a scarf to the dress and I think that makes a big difference. I also don't really wear dresses all that often anymore so I struggled with how much I would really wear it. But I kept it and so far it is working well for me.

Pixley-Lillibeth Stud Detail Blouse- $58 {Sent Back}
This shirt was something I could take or leave. It is definitely outside of my comfort zone and I would have been fine with keeping it had I decided to keep everything in the box. But, I did not love it and I did not hate it. It was a little big and I think that was my main reason for not loving it.

Fun2Fun- Ferndale Henley Blouse- $48 {Sent Back} Pictured Below
I really really wanted to love this shirt. I loved the pattern and the style, but it was just a little too big and I did not love where it ended on my arms. It sounds weird, but it is true. If the arm holes had cut in just a little bit more I would have loved it. Looking at these pictures makes me wish I would have kept it, but in person I knew I did not love it so I sent it back.

Liverpool-Kona Distressed Boyfriend Jean- $78 {Sent Back} Pictured Below
This was another item that I would have been happy with had I kept it, but I did not love it enough to choose to buy them. I just have a really hard time justifying paying that much for a pair of jeans considering we are trying to get pregnant. They were again a little big as well so that affected my decision too. They look super cute in these pictures and I probably would have worn them, but I hate buying clothes I don't love for a price I don't love.
As you can see, I had a really hard time deciding whether to keep everything or just some things. That discount is no joke. It makes things really confusing when trying to decide. But, I was able to save myself about $100 by choosing not to buy everything and only by a few things I really liked. Although, part of me wonders if I really should have kept the dress. If you noticed in my description, I mentioned that a lot of these items were too big. I have the hardest time deciding my size, even when I go shopping in person. I decided after this fix to change my shirt size from a small back down to an extra small. Most of these shirts are loose fitting anyway, so I feel like an extra small will not be too small on me. I have already had a fix since this one, which I am sure I will share eventually. The extra small definitely works for me.

If you are interested in giving Stitch Fix a try, here is my referral link. I receive $25 for anyone who signs up using my link, but then you can share with friends and receive money too!

Overall, I was extremely satisfied with my items and I am sure I will be scheduling one again sometime soon.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

B's First Twinkle, Twinkle Birthday

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be able to go to Minnesota for my niece's first birthday party. I was there for my nephew's first birthday so I figured my niece deserved the same. Plus, any excuse for me to make a trip is a good excuse in my book. My sister planned out the party and I helped her from a distance by designing both the invite and some cute little signs she put up everywhere. Her party invite was fun to design and we were able to take pictures for it in December when I was home for Christmas. The theme was Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. I had to delete the address info so that is why there is a random gap.
I decorated behind the high chair again with streamers like I did for my nephew's first birthday. We added tissue poms at the top of the streamers instead of balloons this time and it looked super cute. We even reused the "One" sign from my nephew's party, but added some purple and grey ribbon to make it more girly. I love having this behind the high chair because it creates a great backdrop for the smash cake.
My sister had taken pictures of Brynlee every month for her first year and created a cute banner with all her pictures. It was so fun to see her change as the months went on. I created some signs from quotes that my sister then printed out and framed and they were placed all around the house.
Her smash cake was fun too. We just created a simple cake using a smaller round dish, frosted it and then added the skewers with foam star stickers at different heights. Super simple and super cute.
For food, my sister had a fondue theme. She had both the chocolate fountain with fruit, marshmallows, and graham crackers to dip and cheese fondue with veggies, bread and pretzels for dipping. She also had different sandwiches to eat as well. We then made cupcakes and frosted them which was an adventure, but they turned out cute.
My sister also bought a super cute shirt for her birthday that said "One" above her name. With the coordinating skirt, she looked pretty darn cute. She is also definitely on the move so it was hard to get a good picture of her birthday outfit. 
There was a playdough station for all the older kids if they were interested. Plus, purple and silver colored sixlets as a party favor for all the kids.
She loved her smash cake and chowed it down right away. She looks so happy to be eating cake in these pictures.
Then onto presents! Her older brother was much more interested in the gifts than she was. She lasted a few minutes before deciding to just crawl away.
A whole bunch of pictures with grandpa and also her new skill she learned the day before her party, walking!
Overall the party went by so quickly, but thats what happens when there are a lot of kids at a birthday party. It is funny to think about the difference between my nephew's party because he is the oldest of most of my sister's friend's kids and now there are so many more kids that have been added to the mix. I was focused so much on pictures of the birthday girl that I did not get any pictures of the other kids or guests. Whoops. But the birthday girl was the star of the show so it seems fitting to have a whole bunch of pictures of her. 

The pictures of all the signs I made are hard to make out so I included them here as well. I am really proud of the way these turned out because I for the most part figured out all the design aspects on my own. If you want to download them for your own party head over here to my dropbox account. The images were designed to be used in 5 by 7 frames so that is what size they will fit best. 

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