Top 20

It is so hard to believe that we are now officially over half way through 2022. We wanted to round up your favorite items that we have posted about so far this year! There is something for everyone on this top 20 list. From clothing items for you to a piggy bank for your little ones, this list is all over the board – and I love it! So here it is, the top 20 of the year so far.

one thing that I love about this list is that we have everything (except 2 items) from this list
  1. This blue and white dress is a go to of mine. It’s easy, it’s comfortable, it’s appropriate for pretty much any occasion, and it has been the number one purchase by you all this year!
  2. You all went crazy over this handbag! And for good reason, it could not be prettier (and also super affordable).
  3. This backless pink dress was a hit after I wore it in the Cayman Islands. I love that if you throw on a denim jacket you can easily wear it to work, church, or anywhere!
  4. The best Free People sweater dupe! Trust me. Buy it now, and you’ll be obsessed this fall.
  5. This Packit has been a lifesaver this summer! Anyone else?
  6. Double chin reducer – it really works. Trust me.
  7. Our favorite (and now yours) summer pajamas. If you haven’t snagged your little, or big, ones a set then do it!
  8. I could not be more obsessed with this visor. Major perk – it is packable!
  9. This little bench was such a fun purchase when we got it, and it still is! I love the little table that pops up, it is super practical.
  10. I wore this dress for Easter and I think it is absolutely precious. It is pretty, comfortable, and flattering for all!
  11. This ABC Busy Box was a hit with all three boys! This craftivity is great because kids learn to follow (picture) directions and after a couple they were able to do this completely independently (even Preston, my 3 year old!).
  12. This Spanx top is another top that you need to buy to have ready for the fall! It is perfect for work, errands, or running around with the kids.
  13. The cutest block letter toddler baseball cap. This is one on the list that we do not own, but we may have to get them!
  14. The creativity that happens with the boys while using these foam blocks is truly amazing. They build, create, and imagine all the things with these blocks.
  15. One of my favorite purchases of the year so far are these give, save, spend piggy banks. We firmly believe that all money taken in should be divided into three: 10% give back to God, 10% save, and the rest is to spend on whatever! This little piggy bank has made teaching this system to the boys so much easier.
  16. This floral dress just makes me want to twirl! It is so fun – perfect for a party or a date night.
  17. These shoes are the 2nd item on this list that we do not own, but we love these shoes nonetheless! Maybe I need to get them for Rob?!
  18. I just posted this red dress recently, and I also bought it for the 4th of July! I love it so much and will post it more after this weekend.
  19. The toothpaste cap that saves your counters from a toothpaste mess! Highly recommend.
  20. Another item I just recently posted was this stain remover that we use. If you don’t trust me, then trust the over 18,000 5 star reviews on Amazon.

Preston is 3!

Preston is 3!

My baby is officially three and has (I feel like) grown up over night. One moment he was a little toddler and then I turned around and he is a little boy. He is so excited to be three and is taking his role as a “big boy” very seriously. This weekend we had so much fun celebrating sweet P the whole time. We started Friday night with a party with all the cousins and family. Then Saturday we continued celebrating with a fun outing to Dads Slot Cars for some car racing (actually a lot of fun!), we had an early dinner and went to Triple Scoop’d for ice cream, and ended the day with popcorn and a movie in our jammies.

Party Details
Preston loves football, and specifically the Chicago Bears, so when I asked him what kind of birthday he wanted I was not surprised when he said a Bears party! I got pretty much everything from Amazon, and it was so simple to put it together. Here are the banner, candles, the bears balloons and orange balloons. Then I got this kit that included the plates, napkins, cups, and tablecloths. The polo that the boys wore is just a plain white collared shirt with a football patch that I ironed on. And the cake was (once again) from Sweet T’s Bakery. I absolutely love this bakery and highly recommend using them or stopping in for a sweet treat if you are in/near Arlington Heights.

Update on Preston
Preston is the total third boy in every way, shape and form. He loves playing rough with his brothers (who he calls ‘my boys’). And he would play football all day every day if we let him. But as active as he is, he is the also so content just playing quietly by himself. He loves dinosaurs, Blippi, and dancing. He cracks me up and melts my heart all at the same time. Preston is so much fun and definitely the life of the party.

Of the three boys, Preston is (and always has been) the pickiest eater. He will not try something that looks different and would rather be hungry than eat something he doesn’t want to. His favorite things to eat are: yogurt, oatmeal, pancakes, apples, strawberries, broccoli, and any condiment. He would eat ketchup, bbq sauce, chick-fil-a sauce, etc by the spoonful with every meal if he had it his way.

Preston is in school 3 days per week and loves it so much! Other than school, Preston isn’t involved in any activities at the moment. We just finished a session of swimming lessons at CAST Water Safety in Forest Park. But now we are just waiting for the weather to get nicer to be able to play outside and spend more time at the park.

Love you Preston!

Beach Essentials: for the kids

Beach Essentials: for the kids

Yesterdays spring line launch with Minnow Swim made me realize how close spring break actually is! This year we are taking a trip to the beach for spring break. To say that I am excited is a complete understatement! But I am also completely unprepared.. so I started looking through the boys clothes/shoes and making a list of things I need to get them before we head south. I found items for both boys and girls and think that they are both adorable.

  1. Towels – the pink towel (they have other color options) is from etsy and the blue towel is from Cecil and Lou
  2. Initial Hats – both hats are from etsy, the pink one comes in other color options as well. Here is the pink hat and here is the navy hat
  3. Natives – so many color options! Here are the pink and here are the blue
  4. Sunglasses – I always buy cheap sunglasses for the boys because they always get forgotten places! Here are the pink sunglasses and here are the black ones (these come in a pack of three)
  5. Swimwear – like I said, Minnow Swim is our favorite swim brand. I love that they are shorter for boys swim shorts. I picked out the same pattern for both the girls suit and the boys suit here. They have SO many different styles and patterns to be able to mix and match with siblings.

Spring break cannot get here soon enough. This family of five is ready for fun in the sun!

Are you going anywhere for spring break?!

Grayson is 5!

Grayson is 5!

We had the best time celebrating Grayson turning 5 this past week, I cannot believe that our sweet little G-money is already 5 years old! We had family over for a little dinner party on Saturday night and spent the morning at the splash pad on Sunday. Last night we had a nice evening just the five of us with dinner, mouse trap, and of course more cake.

Sweet baby Grayson at his newborn shoot and now as a 5 year old!

Party Details
Grayson wanted a Spiderman theme for his birthday this year. When I saw this backdrop on Etsy I knew it would be the perfect focal point – I loved seeing his sweet smile when he saw it for the first time! I made the little centerpiece, it was actually much easier than I anticipated. We got his spiderman cake from Sweet T’s Bakery in Arlington Heights and it was not only beautiful (can you say that about a spiderman cake?) but it was delicious! If you are local, then I highly recommend them. And no party (according to our boys) is complete without a pinata! We got the spiderman one from Party City

Update on Grayson
Grayson has grown-up so much this part year. He loves learning and telling us everything he learned at school. Recently he has been all about making us cards and it is seriously the most precious thing ever. Grayson is just so sweet to Rob and I and the best little and big brother. He is a homebody and loves to be with family (I pray this never changes). He is the most particular of the three boys and knows how he wants things to be done. He is a rockstar helper at folding laundry and putting things away in their proper place (another thing I pray never changes haha).

Grayson is a little peanut, we head to the dr tomorrow but he has always trended on the smaller side. As for eating, he is a boy who knows what he likes and doesn’t want to try anything that is new. He will try almost anything we ask him to but typically the response is the same, no thank you! haha He loves oatmeal, yogurt, hotdogs, pizza, and apples.

Grayson is currently taking ski lessons up in Wisconsin for the next couple of weeks. I am so excited for him (and H is doing snowboarding) and can’t wait to take ski trips in the future! He will also start up ISR (swimming) again for 2 weeks in March. Then this summer he will start t-ball! This is such a fun age because he is now able to join leagues and really tell me what he wants to participate in.

We love you Grayson!

Hunter is 6!

Hunter is 6!

This past weekend was so much fun celebrating our big 6 year old all weekend! We started off by having our families over for dinner and a little party on Friday (which was his actual birthday) and the celebration continued through Sunday evening with a party for him and his friends! It was all sports all weekend long for this active, sports loving child.

Party Details
We had a kids party on Sunday at the Athletico Center in Northbrook. They did. such a great job there and I highly recommend it! The kids had a great time playing flag football, soccer, and nerf guns (your choice of 2-3 sports to play). The facility was clean and the staff was great.
Balloon Garland – we DIYed this balloon garland but got both the blue and sports themed balloons from amazon
Party Cups – we, once again, ordered from Sequins and Stripes and absolutely loved our cups! And who doesn’t love a fun (on theme) straw!
Paper Plates – Hunter loved his sports themed plates!
Stationery – invitations & fill in the blank thank you cards are from Ellington Paper Company
Pinata – from Amazon and filled with leftover Halloween candy (haha!)
Sports Themed Cupcake Toppers

Update on Hunter
Hunter is always on the go (he has been since the moment he realized he could do things independently)! The energy that this little boy has is on a different level. He is always moving, building, and creating. Hunter is always on the go, unless he is sleeping (or watching TV haha). He loves TV and would probably watch it all day if I let him. Hunter is all boy and loves sports, ninjago, and fighting. He has also recently developed an interest in drawing/coloring – which he is probably better at than I am. He is kind, a listener, the most precious big brother, helpful, and looks up to his dad more than anyone.

Height and Weight
We take him to the dr today so I will update this later – but Hunter is tall and lean!

We are officially into the “competitive” sports phase in our lives. This summer Hunter was in a t-ball league and this fall he was in soccer. But at the moment he is not signed up for anything. Every sport he has tried, he has loved!

He is still the most adventurous eater of the three boys. He loves Filipino food (his request for his birthday dinner with family), seafood, & olives. He will try almost anything and if he doesn’t like something he will usually say something along the lines of, “Mommy I don’t love this but I’m still going to eat this. Please try not to make it again.” haha!

Hunter typically starts his day between 6:30-7:00 but will play quietly in his room until his light turns red (thank you Hatch light for being created!). We still have him go to his room or the basement for quiet play time from about 1:30-3:30. I cannot recommend quiet play time enough – there are SO many benefits from it, for both the child and the parent! We usually have him in bed around 8:30 and he typically is asleep right away!

Happy Birthday Hunter! We love you!

Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday

After a week (more like a month) of buying gifts for yourself and others, today is a day to think about a cause that is near to your heart or those less fortunate. It’s Giving Tuesday – a worldwide celebration! It is a day where we emphasize generosity and come together to by doing random acts of kindness, giving your time, giving your money, or advocating to support others. We wanted to take this opportunity to share with you a couple nonprofits that are near and dear to our hearts and to give you a couple idea that you could celebrate Giving Tuesday (either by yourself or with the whole family).

Operation Christmas Child
This is a project that the nonprofit Samaritan’s Purse heads up every year. The purpose of OCC is the show God’s love for children in a tangible way, through the gift of a shoebox that is packed with toys, school supplies, and hygiene products. Samaritan’s Purse makes it so easy to donate, you can build a shoe box online here. Every year we do this activity with the boys. They are able to pick out the age and gender of the child they are shopping for and (with some guidance) they pick out what they think the child would like. Throughout the process, this is such a great time to teach them about how blessed we are.

The Well Resource Center
This nonprofit is specific to the Chicagoland area. The Well exists to serve First Responders and their families. They provided counseling services for first responders to talk and process through things that have happened on (or off) the job. In addition to counseling, The Well hosts a number of different social programs to connect with First Responders – two of these weekly programs are a Bike Night and getting together to play basketball. If you would like to give to The Well, you can here! But there are many different ways that you can walk alongside this nonprofit that don’t include the giving of money. You could provide food for a local police department, provide a meal for a first responders family, write a note of encouragement to a First Responder, and more. To connect with one of those ways of giving back to The Well, click here.

CAST Water Safety Foundation
This is another local nonprofit that is near and dear to our hearts. CAST’s mission is to prevent childhood drowning and to create safer swimmers sooner. If you’ve been around here since the beginning, you know that we have the boys participate in ISR for swimming lessons. Since we started ISR we have been continuously amazed with the self-rescue swim lessons that the boys receive. Not only have the boys learned self-rescue skills but we as parents have learned so much about water safety (be on the lookout for more ISR updates as they are starting their refresher course this week!). We have personally benefited from CAST because of the scholarships they provide for those interested in lessons. They provide scholarships for military, nurses, teachers, & first responders families, for those with special needs or a disability (parent or child), or for those in need for financial assistance. If you want to donate to CAST click here, if you want to learn more about ISR click here!

Stocking Stuffers for the Kids

Stocking Stuffers for the Kids

We are so excited to partner with Tubby Todd for a giveaway for the kids today! We love and use Tubby Todd products and cannot wait to share this gift with someone else. Head to our instagram to find out how to enter.

Growing up (even now!) we both loved our stocking presents. In our family, stockings are from Santa and are a great combination of fun but practical items. We’ve kept those stocking traditions going for our families as well and we know our little get so excited to see what Santa brings them! Filling stockings for kids is great because they love the little stuff and you don’t have to spend a TON for them to think it is the best! Below, check out some items we are filling our children’s stockings with.

*Number Robots – these transforming number robots would be perfect for encouraging math fluency while playing
*Water Bottles – functional, leak proof, keeps liquids cold, personalized AND cute…. we have and love these!
*Tubby Todd Bath & Body Products – clean products that help with tricky skin are a necessity for us, it’s a bonus that the packaging is adorable too 😉
*Bath-time Tea Set – bath toys are always something we are in need of restocking!
*Mini Construction Trucks – boy moms, can you ever have too many trucks??? Not in our house at least!
*Toothbrush – our littles love electronic toothbrushes, anyone else’s?!
*Solid Paint Sticks – have a little artist but hate the cleanup process with paint? Try these painting sticks… they are AMAZING
*Bandaids – our children love bandaids and this brand couldn’t have cuter designs (monsters, unicorns, and so many more!)
*Find & Seek – a travel size game for the whole family! Perfect to bring in the car, out to eat, or anywhere that you may need to kill time
*Mini Lego Set – all legos. All the time. Am I right? This set would fit perfectly in a stocking

Kelly’s Family Photos: Fall 2021

Kelly’s Family Photos: Fall 2021

I’ve said it before, I love getting family photos taken. We love our photographer, Shelly, and have been using her for years – if you are local to Chicago and are in need of a photographer, I highly recommend her!

Outfit Details:
Me: romper (sold out but here is a similar), booties (almost sold out so here is a similar pair), earrings
Rob: button down, jeans, belt, shoes
Hunter, Grayson, & Preston: button down, slacks, belt, shoes

Here are some of my favorites from our session together.

Apple Outfits

Apple Outfits

Happy September! Today is the first day, in the Chicagoland area, where the weather isn’t super hot. With the temperature in the 70’s and it officially being September, it is evident that fall is coming. With fall comes all the fall activities – including apple picking! Grayson wore this little outfit to school yesterday and it was perfect since they were starting their unit on apples and the letter ‘a’.

Although this outfit is old (Hunter wore it when he was 3, so 2 years old!), we love it so much and I think it is just precious. I wanted to find some similar outfits for boys and then find adorable apple outfits for girls too. This short set is this years version of the set that Grayson is wearing, it is just a mint color instead of the green that is photographed here. This short set is similar with the mint shorts but it has a white shirt instead of red. I love the royal blue gingham shorts on this short set. The embroidered name on this short set is too cute! If you aren’t into the short sets, then this apple truck shirt might be just the item for you!

As for girls, I found the sweetest bubbles from Cecil and Lou and Smocked Auctions. I adore this little diaper set! If you prefer dresses then look no further – I love this one and this one! Girls clothes are just so precious aren’t they?!

What fall themed clothes do you love dressing your littles in?

Kids Fall Jackets

Kids Fall Jackets

With school back into the swing of things, Friday night lights right around the corner, and pumpkin everything on all the store shelves – there is no denying that fall is rapidly approaching. Fall is so bittersweet for me. I love dressing for fall, I especially love dressing my boys for fall, I love the cozy feels of fall … but winter follows – haha! This early fall time, though, is great to me. Holding onto the summer days and appreciating all the time outside but still excited and anticipating the upcoming season.

Today,I wanted to share these fall jackets I got the boys this year. They are from Hope & Henry (you all know I love this brand) and are perfect for the early fall days. These jackets are extremely lightweight, so they are perfect for early fall when all you need is something light to cover your arms when the sun sets. But then, they will transition nicely into later fall when your little ones have sweaters on underneath too. I ordered the boys actual sizes in these jackets and they are on the bigger side. Depending on how you like your child’s clothes to fit, you may want to size down in these!

I have found a couple of other fall jacket options for you children and am linking them below! Some are lightweight and perfect for early fall (and then springtime). Others are a bit heavier and will take you into later fall, and if you live in the south -through winter.

Boy’s Fall Jackets

Girls Fall Jackets