lit list | favorite fall reads

Happy Wednesday! We've been waking up to dropping temperatures and views of changing leaves outside our windows and now that Fall is officially here, I've rounded up a handful of my favorite festive books for your little ones. Last week I changed over all our bookshelves and we've had so much fun reading books with Olivia that we haven't read in quite some time. With a mix of picture books and board books, below is a list of our all time favorite Fall books; click each title for direct links to purchase.

Picture Books:
Kitten's First Full Moon // also available as a board book
Adventures with Barefoot Critters // a gorgeously illustrated ABC book

Board Books:
Dracula // babyLit
Room on the Broom // definitely an all time favorite
Frankenstein // babyLit

Hope you all are having a wonderful (and relaxing!!) week! If you have any favorite fall reads, I'd love if you shared them below! 


our weekend

Happy Monday! After a fun & full weekend, we have a slow week ahead, which I'm really looking forward to. No appointments, commitments, or anything on the calendar. This upcoming weekend is another busy one, with Dustin's 30th Birthday (how is he already turning 30? When we met, he was only 21!!) and a wedding, so I'm soaking in these week days with no agenda or schedule. I definitely foresee french toast brunch and pajama days in our future.

Friday night was the kickoff of a large marriage group we attend at our church, in which Dustin and I lead a small group alongside two of our best friends. This is our second year as small group leaders and we absolutely love it. We have made so many incredible connections and built life long friendships with so many other couples in the same stage of life as us, so that was a lot of fun to start up again and reconnect with everyone after a busy summer.

On Saturday, we made our (weekly) trip to our favorite apple orchard. The weather this weekend was unbelievably gorgeous and I couldn't wait to get the girls back to the orchard for a morning of apple turnovers, apple picking and a lunch picnic in the sunshine. It was Penelope's second trip there and she slept through it all, but Olivia had a blast as usual, and you can't beat going home stocked with fresh apples, cider and turnovers for the week ahead. 

Saturday afternoon, once Olivia woke from her nap, we headed to the park for a bit. There are few things in the world that make that little girl happier than the park. That night we relaxed at home. My mom made a pan of my favorite lasagna to drop off so I wouldn't have to cook (aren't moms the best?) and we made big caesar salads to go along with it, then tucked the girls into bed and settled in for a movie and some popcorn. 

Most of Sunday was busy with church, cleaning, laundry, some errands and getting ready for the week ahead. But I ended the night taking a long, quiet bubble bath, so all in all a good day with no complaints! Penelope is only waking twice at night now to eat, so I feel like I am settling back into a more "normal" routine and finally getting a little bit more rest. It's hard to believe she is two and a half weeks old already; we just got our newborn + lifestyle photos back, taken when she was 6 days old, and I can't wait to share more favorites soon! But for now, here's a peek. My hubby with our daughters will forever melt my heart.

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!! XO


life lately

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a relaxing weekend! Dustin went back to work today after a 10-day stretch at home and although it was hard to let him go back, the time he had off was nothing short of amazing as a family of four.

Here's a little bit of what we've been up to lately. 

Over the past 10 days, we...

had a baby
celebrated both of my parents' birthdays
spent almost everyday at our favorite park on long walks and picnics
went to two doctor appointments + one chiro appointment
went to the apple orchard. twice
attended the kickoff to my women's bible study last Tuesday
had a leadership meeting for the marriage group we lead last Wednesday
took Olivia to her first day of preschool last Thursday
started our small group bible study last Friday
had Poppy's newborn photos taken
watched two (really good) movies 
ate more caramel apples than I should admit
read countless bedtime stories, savored endless newborn cuddles and soaked up every minute.

Whew! It's crazy to think so much has happened in such a short period of time and that Penelope has only been here for 11 days; it feels like she has been with us so much longer because she was the missing piece of our little puzzle. Hope everyone's week is off to a great start! XO


penelope bae

As some of you may have seen last week on my instagram, our newest addition -- Miss Penelope Bae -- arrived last Thursday, September 10. She was born into the water after a quick, 3 hour labor weighing 7 pounds, 13 oz and measuring 20 inches long. She has a head full of fluffy dark hair just like her big sister did when she was born, and the same big blue eyes as Olivia too. We went home from the hospital last Friday and have spent the past week adjusting to a new routine as a family of four.

Even though she's only been with us 8 days, it's been so much fun to see her personality come about and learn about her preferences and quirks. One of the first things we discovered about her is that she loves pillows. Anytime she is laid on a fluffy pillow, she is immediately the happiest little baby ever. I took a bunch of pictures of her in the hospital laying on various pillows and we've adopted the nickname "love lump" for her. 

She loves having her hands by her face and has the longest little fingers I've ever seen -- a feature she definitely got from me. She has a tiny dimple in her right cheek that peeks through when she smiles and almost always falls asleep with her mouth wide open. 

She is the calmest, most easy going little thing, rarely fussing unless she's hungry or being changed. She is starting to spend more time awake each day and is sleeping 2-4 hour stretches through the night, waking around 1am and 4am to nurse and then again between 7 and 8am to start the day. She has been taking a solid morning nap from about 8:30-10:30 before her next feeding and loves being held and falling asleep on mom and dad's chest. So very tender and mild, very much like Olivia was as a baby.

Big Sister Olivia has been such a dream through the transition, always wanting to help; she brings Poppy her toys, blankets, stuffed animals, pacifiers, etc and even tried sharing her trail mix with her the other day. She wants to hold her all the time and everywhere we go, she makes sure "baby" is coming with us. She can't quite say "Poppy" yet but the love she has for her baby sister shines through and we are just feeling so blessed to be a family of four. 

Thank you for your patience through this transition as my blog has been a bit quiet. I'll be sharing Poppy's birth story soon as well as more of what we've been up to this month as a foursome! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!! XO


shop spotlight | linen & lace shop

Today I'm so excited to be sharing one of my all-time favorite shops for gorgeous handmade wooden signs, 

Owned by mama, Brittani Zmolik, Linen and Lace was started on her old kitchen table, pushing supplies aside when dinnertime came around and rolling them back out any chance she got. Brittani's dream started years ago with a sketch book and pencil but came to life in 2013. Former Elementary teacher turned business owner and mama, Brittani works alongside husband Christopher to create the best quality signs for each customer and to leave them with a great personal experience of L+L. They are expecting their second child in December. All of their pieces are handmade, from start to finish. Each piece is unique and one of a kind, made with their hardworking hands. 

I absolutely love both the design and quality of L+L signs. Chris and Brittani recently created a beautiful custom scripture sign for our home and as soon as it arrived, I found the perfect spot for it! They absolutely brought my vision to life and every time I look at it, I can't help but smile.

In their shop, Linen and Lace offers a wide variety of wood signs, including the most beautiful wedding vows sign, modern arrow love sign and even custom calligraphy name signs, which would be darling in a nursery. They were a dream to work with and no matter what sign you go with, you really can't go wrong! 

coupon code || Save 10% off your total purchase from Linen & Lace Shop using the code BLESSEDNEST10 today through Monday, September 14 // start shopping here

giveaway || Head over to my instagram @blessednestblog to enter to win a beautiful "thankful" sign, just in time for my favorite season! / giveaway runs 9.14 through 9.20 and the winner will be announced on the original post on instagram. 

Happy almost-Friday!


festive fall favorites

Now that September is here, it's officially Fall in my mind and if you follow along with me on instagram, you've probably seen a few sneak peeks of the Fall decor I've been collecting. With a completely redone living + dining room, it's been even more fun this season to decorate for my favorite time of the year! 

I've also just about finished Fall shopping for the girls and am loving all the fun animal prints, vests and sweaters out there. I love pairing neutral dresses with tights and layering for Olivia since every day the weather is a little different.

To kick off the weekend, I've rounded up my favorite festive fall pieces for your little ladies. Did anyone else take advantage of the 40% off + free 2-day shipping from Gap & Old Navy on Monday? I scored a handful of my favorite picks below for next to nothing and love that they've already arrived!

As soon as I saw it, I grabbed the cozy cat dress for Poppy {2} and can't wait to put her in it with some fun accessories. Have you seen the back? It even has a cat tail...SO cute! I can pair it with tights or leggings all Fall long and got this darling accessory set from two of my favorite handmade shops to go along with it.

This season, I'm also clearly loving stripes of all kinds and cat pajamas! During the sale, I ordered the dancing cat PJs {5} for Olivia but also love the organic cat ones from Hanna Andersson with a pop of pink {4}.

Another staple in our wardrobe for cooler weather has always been vests. I have a few from last season that still fit V but couldn't resist grabbing this lightweight quilted one {6} before the temps really drop. I love that its black and super versatile!

I hope everyone has a wonderful long weekend! Olivia was born over a holiday weekend so here's hoping Penelope makes her arrival in the same fashion this weekend! XO


3 years

Today we celebrate three years of marriage. Most days I still can't believe we have two little girls to celebrate alongside us -- they have by far been the best gifts of our marriage. We have made so many memories in three short years and so much has changed since that beautiful day in September 2012 when we said "I do." God has blessed me beyond my wildest dreams with this life I live, the family I have and a husband that loves us girls unconditionally. 

If you want a sneak peek into our special day three years ago, our wedding video can be found here.

Happiest 3rd Anniversary to my forever love and best friend. 
Olivia, Poppy and I are just so thankful to be yours.

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