friday favorites

Happy Friday! It's Olivia's birthday weekend so we've got lots of fun things planned, including homemade pop tarts (a birthday tradition), her party & a few other special activities including lots of time outside, paint-a-plate and more. To kick off the weekend, below are a few Friday Favorites for you!

1 // This derby dress in dusty rose is gorgeous. Piper & Scoot is my go-to spot for mama-friendly pieces that are not only super comfortable but beautiful and this one is just so good. A summer staple for sure.

2 // For you expectant mamas, this journal looks so darling & is definitely on my wish list for baby #3. Here is a baby book version by the same company. We have one of theirs for Olivia and it's such a beautiful gender neutral, classic way to record those special moments during the first year with your little one.

3 // This year I asked Olivia what she wanted for her birthday and she so matter-of-factly said "a pink cake and one book!" I've shared many times that I have a deep love of children's books and share a lot of our favorites here on my lit list page as well as my ongoing #BlessedNestLitList series on instagram. Every few months I create a wishlist of new books coming out for the girls and being that she has loved all the past Flora books, I was so excited to pick up Flora and the Peacocks as her "one book" for her 3rd birthday!

4 // Dustin, Olivia and I love salads but I've always struggled with finding delicious and healthy dressings that aren't full of junk and totally negate the healthy habit of eating a salad in the first place. We recently discovered a few new ones at local food fairs that have quickly become favorites. We picked them up for weeknight dinners and absolutely love them. Salad Girl has such a range of delicious ones, our favorite is the Dark Cocoa & Sea Salt, which is like a rich balsamic with just the right amount of sweetness. We love it on mixed greens with raspberries, walnuts and an aged cheese like parmesan. I also recently stumbled across this Italian dressing by Hampton Creek (makers of our fav "just mayo") and love how versatile and flavorful it is.

5 // One of our all-time favorite shops for handmade dolls & loveys is Dainty Cheeks. Chrissy's stuff is so good that it sells out within minutes every time she restocks, but is well worth when you do get your hands on it cause it's truly incredible. She's most well-known for her unicorns and unicorn loveys & this week I teamed up with Chrissy to give away a $50 shop credit to one of you for your own! To enter, head over to my post here. Giveaway ends next Tuesday.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend!!


summer favorites

Happy Wednesday! Hope you're all having a great week! We had our designer out this afternoon to go over our kitchen remodel and it has me super excited to start demo'ing everything....just as soon as Olivia's birthday party is over! ;)

The weather has been sunny & warm lately and the girls have been in dresses and rompers every day. I rounded up a handful of my favorites, all rather inexpensive and in such fun geometric neutrals and floral patterns. I especially love that Olivia can wear a floral tank top {4} to match Poppy in a dress {5}. 
one / two / three / four / five / six / seven / eight

I picked up almost all of these for the girls and after an automatic discount that old navy was already offering and a reward, got over $150 worth of clothes for $9 using my silver gap card. I can't wait for Olivia to wear the halter maxi dress {3} and the linen romper is so whimsical and fun {2}. Which is your favorite?!


birthday invites with minted

My first baby turns three exactly one week from today! I still don't think it has quite hit me yet that I will have a 3 year old. Her party is this upcoming weekend and we decided to keep it pretty simple & small with just some close friends and family. Olivia requested pink cake and when I asked her what she wanted she just said "one book!" That makes it easy on me ;)

I had the opportunity to partner with Minted this year to design Olivia's birthday invites & had so much fun planning her party around them. Mint is one of her favorite colors so we went with the cupcake celebration invitations. This particular design comes in three colors but their party invitation options are endless. Whether you're throwing a kid's party, grad party, baby shower or something totally different, they have countless options, all designed by amazing independent artists. They also have tons of birthday party decor pieces, many of which match their birthday invitations!

For decor, we decided to keep it really simple. I love the custom cake toppers from Hooray Everyday, party hats by Little Blue Olive & anything with poms always finds its way in! 

Minted also offers matching Thank You cards to send after the party! I went with kraft brown envelopes for both our invitations and thank you cards and thought a scalloped border for the invites and striped mint backing would be fun extra touches.

One of my favorite parts about ordering invitations through Minted {and actually a feature I just discovered recently!} is their recipient addressing service. After you order your invitations you can input all your guests' addresses into a virtual online address book. Then all the envelopes are printed with them in the font & style you choose and when your invites arrive, all you have to do is put a stamp on them and send them on their way! The perfect solution for busy Mamas. Plus with a Minted account, you can store all your addresses online, export them to various documents, print them and even access & edit them anytime for future parties. We have ordered from Minted for years for every party and celebration as well as all our holiday cards and I can't believe I wasn't using their addressing service sooner!

A few of my favorite birthday invitations from Minted are below:

little adventurers invites / northwoods invites / piece of cake invites / orchard blossoms invites / bulldozer invites / simple + sweet foil-pressed invites

I also love these fanfare invites, which we used for Olivia's 1st birthday party, and these darling flower & ladybug invites. For a summer party, these icecream cart invites would be so much fun! All their invitations can be customized with wording, border, envelopes, backing, photos & more!

If you are needing invitations for your own party, you can save 10% and get free shipping on all baby & kid products using the code BKSHIP10 at checkout. Discount valid Monday May 16 only.

In addition to invitations, we also love Minted art prints! I did a round up of my favorites a few weeks ago here when we updated our living room gallery wall for Spring & Summer. Hope you're having a wonderful start to your week! Can't wait to share more party details soon!


summer 2016 bucket list

It's been an extra rainy week and that has us all dreaming of warmer summer days ahead. I thought it would be fun to create a little summer bucket list to share some of the things we're most looking forward to doing this summer as a family of four.

Olivia is at such a fun age and it makes everything we do extra fun and Poppy just loves being outside in the sunshine. When we're in the backyard, she spends most of her time in our favorite play yard here {seriously amazing!!}, but has adventured a few times onto the grass and didn't quite know what to think of it.

summer 2016 bucket list

backyard campfires & s'mores
make strawberry rhubarb crisp
swim at nana & grandpa's pool
spend a weekend (or a few!) at the lake
go to the state fair
visit the farmer's market
eat mini donuts
plant a garden
remodel our kitchen
take the girls to the zoo
watch fireworks on the 4th of july
visit our favorite strawberry patch to pick berries
play tennis & frisbee
make root beer floats
visit an old fashioned candy store
eat crunch cones on a hot day
build sandcastles at the beach
make homemade lemonade
go out for frozen yogurt
have picnics at the park
eat watermelon
take the girls to a local splash pad
eat dinner al fresco over & over
make a big batch of caprese salad
snuggle & nap in the hammock
draw with chalk & teach olivia hopscotch
make grilled angel food cake
go to an outdoor movie
ride a carousel
go antiquing with my mama
take a few day trips to tiny cities around the state
make homemade pizzas on the grill
put up a pergola in our backyard
eat lots & lots of icecream

What's on your summer bucket list?! Hope you're having a wonderful week!! XO


mother's day weekend

It's hard to believe we are nearly halfway through May and that I just celebrated my third Mother's Day. We had the most beautiful weather for the weekend which always makes for a good time since we can be outside with the girls in the sunshine. Dustin worked Saturday and then on Saturday night we went to a garden party with a bunch of other couples. Lots of good food, kid-free conversation and the dreamiest setting. We were there way too late and I still wonder how I used to stay out past midnight during my college days because it seems when we do that now, it takes me a week to recover! 

On Sunday I slept in a bit (my one big request for Mother's Day) and then we went to brunch with my parents. The restaurant had hundreds of balloons blown up for kids on Sunday so we came home with about a dozen...Olivia loves balloons and that has provided for lots of entertainment this week. On Sunday afternoon I wanted to update some of our landscaping in the front yard so my Dad, Dustin and I worked on that all afternoon. There is something so therapeutic about getting your hands dirty and working the ground. I am hoping to build Dustin will build some planter boxes for me to garden vegetables this summer once our new backyard fence is finished this week! 

Sunday night we relaxed and it was early to bed for all of us because I was still exhausted from Saturday. This year for Mother's Day, Dustin gave me a mini session with my girls done by our wonderful photographer and it was definitely my favorite gift yet. As soon as I got them back, I printed them all and updated the frames in our home. The joy of seeing our photos each day continues to fill my heart over and over again. These girls that made me a Mama are my dream come true. We have our family lifestyle session coming up in just a few weeks, but before that we've got a very special 3rd birthday to celebrate! Lots to look forward to this month & next.

Hope you are all having a lovely week so far! It's been cold and rainy here so we have been baking, staying in our pajamas and watching movies. Not a bad way to spend our days but we're ready for some sunshine soon. I hope each of you Mamas had the best weekend and know how amazing you are for all that you do! XO


friday favorites

Happy Friday! I can't believe we're already a week into May and that Sunday is Mother's Day! Last year my parents were actually on a cruise and I was 23 weeks pregnant with Poppy so Dustin, Olivia and I had a low key day together and it was really nice. This year we'll just be going to brunch with my parents and then hopefully spending the rest of the day outside. We are getting a new fence next week and have been wanting to start gardening and updating our landscaping so the boys might tackle that on Sunday while my Mama and I relax with the girls! ;)

Here are a few things I've been loving lately to kick off your weekend!

1 // As a Mom of two little girls {who are just so much fun to dress}, I feel like I so often forget about finding cute & comfortable pieces for myself. Since most days are spent at home, it's easy to forget how good I feel when I dress in clothes other than yoga pants and tee shirts. My go-to place lately for clothes for myself has been Piper & Scoot. I picked up some gorgeous floral dresses for our photos last weekend & our family session coming up in June that are seriously a dream come true. Many of their pieces are nursing-friendly and maternity friendly {when you size up}, plus I love that everything is really affordable. They offer free U.S. shipping on every order and with each order placed, you receive a 10% off code for your next purchase in your emailed receipt. So...hint hint, buy one thing you love and then using your code, grab another! This High-Lo floral dress is pictured above but I also love this mint one here & this top. They release new pieces often but they tend to sell out fast because they're just that good.

2 // We are taking a few trips this summer with the girls and I am starting to think ahead now of what exactly we'll be needing to bring along for them. These ubbi tweat snack containers are my new go-to for packing my diaper bag or for a trip. Unlike ones we've had previously, these actually have a lid that snaps shut but still have an opening that a child can reach through for easy snack access. That way I can pack up what I need ahead of time, throw it in my diaper bag and it's set to go without getting stale. Our favorite thing to fill snack cups with for Olivia are animal crackers or trail mix. Poppy mostly just gets puffs these days but girlfriend loves them just the same.

3 // I have been on the search for ankle boots for sometime now and every pair I found was so uncomfortable. I came across these last weekend and they were everything I wanted in a low boot but still so so comfy. Because of the slit in the side, they don't hurt or press against your ankles when you walk. I could seriously wear them all day! I bought them in taupe but they also come in black.

4 // You guys know I love everything floral, even when it comes to my laptop screen, and ever since I can remember I've loved the free "dress your tech" downloads from Design Love Fest. You can find countless styles here with new ones added each week but this set of two floral borders is one of my favorites. I have one on my screen now and love opening my computer and seeing it every day! It's all about the little things, right?!

5 // Last but not least, I recently custom designed wooden love letters for our girls in collaboration with My Deerling Made. I absolutely love how they turned out and am so excited to have them hanging up in the girls' rooms. If you love rustic wood signs as much as I do, be sure to enter to win a $75 shop credit to @mydeerlingmade over on my instagram page here! Giveaway ends Tuesday May 11.

Have the best weekend and Happy Mother's Day to all you Mamas & Mamas-to-be!! XO


kitchen remodel plans

Since moving in to our home after getting married, we have completed a lot of renovations -- our entire basement, our basement bathroom, our laundry room and most recently last Spring, our master bathroom. Four major renovations in less than 3 years through 2 pregnancies, one with a toddler. Looking back I'm not quite sure how we did it, especially since Dustin did a lot of it himself with his background in plumbing & construction and the time he put in to it was on nights and weekends. But we absolutely love how everything turned out and each of those spots in our home are ones we enjoy every single day. It's amazing to think back at how those rooms were before because the transformation was so dramatic.

We've also done lots of little projects here and there and have really spent time making our house a home. I want every single room to be my favorite room in our home and it's been a lot of fun making those changes one at a time, putting our mark on these four walls and bringing our visions to life. The last piece of the puzzle is updating our kitchen to more reflect our rustic style and function for our family and lifestyle. We've been going back and forth at when we want to take the project on and finally decided that June & July are perfect, since most of our time is spent outside anyway and we grill almost all of our meals...the ideal time to be without an oven and stove! Plus warmer weather always makes for easier demo, haul away and less stress when replacing windows, doors, etc.

We have Olivia's birthday party toward the end of May and then plan to get started on our demo shortly after in early June. Below is some inspiration I'm loving for our new kitchen. Find me on Pinterest @blessednestblog to follow along and see all my favorite home ideas.
All images taken from Pinterest.

We are turning one of our kitchen walls into an open shelving pantry with rustic wood shelves, uniform glass jars and shiplap! Dustin has been wanting to do shiplap in our home for quite some time (we are loyal fixer upper fans over here) and our smallest kitchen wall is the perfect spot for it. I love the look of open shelves over shiplap and have always wanted to fill glass jars with food for easy access and a fun, functional decor piece.


We also want to get a farmhouse sink and I've always had my eye on a hammered copper one. We found a few we like and can't wait to put that in with a new faucet.

We don't have a dishwasher right now so we will be shifting our sink and kitchen window (which looks in to our backyard) slightly left to fit one in next to our backdoor and then do a smaller open shelving unit above it to tie in with the adjacent wall's open shelving, a lot like the photo above. My plan is to store all our dishes on that shelving unit above the dishwasher and to use the other exclusively for food in our jars. I haven't decided yet if I want to do floating shelves mounted in to the wall or to use some fun antique-looking brackets.

My absolute favorite style of countertops has always been a butcher block so I'm really excited to put that in. Then we'll be getting new white cabinets, putting in a classic white subway tile backsplash and combination oven/range {ours as separate right now} as well as new flooring. Good thing Dustin is so good at what he does...I probably wouldn't know where to start! Other than pinning the dozens of ideas I want to incorporate!

Have you done any home renovations?! They are a lot of work but always worth it in the end. Not only do they greatly increase your home's resale value but really allow you to put your stamp on your home and customize it to best fit your family's needs. Knowing the right people and having the tools or expertise to do some (or all) of it yourself also helps a lot and saves a ton of money. I can't wait to share our progress as we conquer our newest project! 

Hope you're having a great week! XO


our weekend

Happy Monday!! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! After a week of rain we had lots of sunshine and warmer temps; it's always so nice to get the girls outside in the fresh air, especially after a long week of being stuck inside. There is just something about being outside that makes the days go by so much quicker! And fresh air always makes for extra long naps for the girls...a definite win in my book!

Our weekend was low key, just the way I like it. We went out to dinner and for frozen yogurt on Thursday night and spent Friday relaxing at home.

We had our Mother's Day mini session on Saturday night and it was so much fun to get dressed up and take some photos with the girls. Can't wait to share them soon!

Sunday was spent getting ready for the week ahead and doing some spring cleaning. I went through my entire closet and tried on countless outfits that I haven't worn in ages (aka since having babies). You know how you hang on to stuff that you think you'll wear "that one day" or don't want to get rid of it because what if you need it for "that one thing"? Yeah, I finally decided that if it isn't something I reach for to put on every day, it was time to part with it. I cleared out so much stuff and now just have a closet with my absolute favorite clothes. And it feels so good!! It's also a great reminder to be super discerning before I buy something new...I want to be sure it won't end up in the "get rid of" pile a few months down the road.

We are loving the sunshine and summer weather here and spending as much time in the backyard and at the park as possible. I've started planning Olivia's 3rd birthday party, which is in just under three weeks! May is always a favorite month around here and there are lots of things we're looking forward to in the weeks to come!!

Hope you have the best week! We started ours off with Olivia's favorite bear toast. For those of you wanting something new in the mornings with your little ones, I shared all our favorite easy breakfast ideas a few weeks ago here. Happy May!

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