Thursday, February 28, 2013

February Favorite Things

Here are some of my favorite things from February.

Walker boy has been really into books this month.  He likes to carry them around and I always catch him reading.  His favorites, of course, are the ones about trucks.

Super awkward selfie, I'll admit.  And no, I'm not pulling a KStew with a bruise on my arm.  My full length mirror is just that smudgy, due to little baby hands.  BUT, I do love my new glasses courtesy of Firmoo.

Oh my.  Have you seen it?  I do love me some Josh Duhamel.  I also loved the movie because Noel and I saw it on what feels like our first date night in forever.  (And I got a big Coke and a buttery popcorn).  Fantastic night.

In love with my new purse from Target.  You can find it here.  The color is perfect and it can carry so. much. stuff!  

Mr. Charlie is now in big boy underwear!  And he's doing a great job at using the potty.  He is SO my son in this video (with the celebratory dance and everything).

I hope you had a great February!!

And now it's your turn to link up.

1.  Link to your actual Favorite Things post.

2.  If you have an old post you want to use, that's totally fine!!  Just make sure you link back to my blog in some way.  (You can grab a Favorite Things button on the sidebar if you'd like)

3.  Go visit a few other bloggers and say hey!  (I've met some pretty amazing people through link ups!)

4. Go back to the awesome giveaway from Tuesday and add a +10 to your entry for participating.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Birth Order

Similar shirt here,  Scarf here, Similar pants here, my sister's Louis Vuitton purse :-), Similar shoes here
These shoes totally change colors in the sun.  Black inside, brown outside.  So frustrating.

 My youngest sister, Sarah (who took these pictures for me) and I are very much alike.  This got me thinking about birth order, and if it really does affect our personalities.  (I'm the oldest and Sarah is the youngest of 4.)  

From my reading....First borns tend to be perfectionists, but can be bossy. Middle children tend to be peacemakers, but can also be in constant need of attention.  Younger sibling tends to be independent, but can be more "free spirited" (aka wild.)  And the only child tends to be more mature, but doesn't take criticism well.

The thing is....Noel and I are both first borns...and we are absolutely nothing alike.  And Sarah and I (a first child and a last child) are very much alike...both with very Type A personalities that fit all the descriptions of a first child.  The only difference is that she definitely has more "freedom" than I did growing up...because let's face it...she's the 4th child.  

So is there any truth to this birth order thing?  I definitely meet all the descriptions of a first child....but I think that would have would have been my personality regardless.  Do you have the qualities of your birth order?

Make sure you enter to win this monogrammed necklace and JCrew gift card.
And I hope you'll come back tomorrow to link up with me for February's Favorite Things!
Linking up with KristenShannaLauren, and The Pleated Poppy.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Some Good Stuff

I love finding places on the internet that inspire and uplift me.  Naturally, one of those favorite places is Pinterest.  (You can check out my boards here)

Here are 3 of my favorite pins as of late.

You're welcome for the cutest picture ever!

Original source not found

I'm going to grow my hair out a little longer before I chop it, but when I do chop it, I want it to look like this!

Love this about one of my favorite shows.  Friends movie, please?

I'm so excited to introduce you to two amazing ladies today.  2 ladies that just so happen to host places on the internet that uplift and inspire me.

(They're also giving away some amazing things!)

Cortney blogs over at Autumn Sunsets.  I wonder every day why she doesn't have her own show on HGTV.  I'm so serious.  Go check out the wreath she just made, and in that same post you'll see her gorgeous new curtains (that she made) as well.

Rachel blogs over at Rachel's Front Row Seat.  I am constantly thinking, "that's SUCH a cute outfit!", when I click over to her page.   Like with this adorable polka dot top and this oversized sweater that I've been wanting since I saw Rachel wearing it!

Cortney and Rachel are giving one lucky reader an engraved necklace and a $20 gift card to JCrew.  It doesn't get much better than that!

Just use the Rafflecopter below to enter.
(You must be a follower of Dancing with Ashley through Google Friend Connect to enter.  Just click the blue button on the right side that says "Join this Site" and you're all set!)

Giveaway will end this Sunday.

Comments turned off so you can go show Cortney and Rachel some love!
PS.  I'll be adding a +10 entry for everyone who participates in my Favorite Things link up this Thursday!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Dump Trucks and a Survey

Every time I try to teach Walker to walk, he lets out a yell like that goat from the Doritos commercial.  He does, however, love pushing his dump truck around the house.  The boys' new favorite game is to push their trucks around and find things in the drawers to fill them up with.  I think it's pretty creative (even when I can't seem to find my deodorant), and so adorable to see them having so much fun together.  

  If you have 2 minutes, I would absolutely love for you to take a survey for my blog for me.  (You can click here to get the survey.)  There are only a few questions, and it won't take you long at all.  I would really appreciate the feedback!  Thank you so much in advance! (It's anonymous, no worries there) :-)

Happy Friday, my friends!!  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Advice on attending blog conferences

As many of you know, I attended a blog conference this past weekend in Salt Lake.  Coming away from it, there are a few things I would advise.

The Business Cards

During the conference, they had a table set up for business cards.  There was a hole punch (the reason why these have a hole in them), and a key ring, so the attendees could easily carry them around.  I picked up a TON of business cards, but these are the ones that really stuck out to me.  The common theme?  They are all really simple and really tidy.  Not too many words, easy to read font, and just nice to look at.  I also admired the one with the headshot on it.  Super bold and definitely made me pick it up.  On the back of these cards were all the social media links/emails...stuff like that.  Oh, and mine (top left)..have to admit that I'm in love with what Colleen did.  She's SO great, and you need to work with her immediately if you haven't already.   

The Outfit

Ok, super creepy selfie of me in the hotel.  I waited until 1030pm the night before I left to pack.  Big mistake.  I ended up just throwing a ton of stuff in my bag, and this outfit picture was sent out to my sisters and to Kayla about 20 minutes before the whole thing started.  They approved.  (And I wore it with my elephant necklace, neutral TB flats, and carried my big coral bag.)  My sister said that it didn't matter what I wore.  False.  It does matter.  Like it or not, it does.  My advice about the outfit you wear....don't be too trendy.  Think about the biggest trends going on now; mint, polka dots, top knots, bubble necklaces.  I'm a fan of ALL of these, and wear them on a daily basis, but I suggest not wearing these to a blogger conference, because guess what?  Everyone will wear the same thing.  I saw tons of adorable outfits..but most consisted of all the trendy pieces.  I was glad I wore this outfit...a funky skirt, classic blazer, and a bright colored bag was the perfect way to go.

The Prep

(I've been loving my notebook that Kayla sent me!)

Prep for the classes you want to take at the conference.  Most conferences have the schedule posted in advance, so sit down, decide what topics you need to learn about the most, and research the teachers.  I wish that I had done this.  I knew that I wanted to take a class on Pinterest, so I got a lot out of that class...but I kind of floated for the next ones.  By the way...a tip for your Pinterest boards...clean them up, and rearrange them every now and then.  I think I could have taken a lot more away from the classes if I had prepared specific questions for the teachers. 

I think attending conferences is a great thing.  I met a lot of people and have some fresh ideas floating around now.  I'm going to try to go to one every year.

Have you attended a blog conference?  Do you recommend a specific one or have any advice about them?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

1 Jacket: 3 Outfits

Striped Dress outfit inspired by Shanna.  Scarf c/o Apricot Lane.  (Let me know if you want to know where any other piece is from!)

Have you busted out your jean jacket from the back of your closet yet?  You totally should.  I've been loving mine lately, and really like how I can make so many outfits from just 1 jacket.

How do you wear your jean jacket?

Linking up with KristenShanna, Lauren, and The Pleated Poppy.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Airport

Notebook from my gorgeous friend, Kayla.  Business Cards made by the fab, Colleen.  
Not pictured:  Laptop

I attended a blog conference in Salt Lake this past weekend.  It was so strange and so sad being away from the boys for a couple of days, but I know they loved spending all that time with daddy.  

I am the #1 worst flyer.  I hate it.  I find everyone in the airport to be suspicious, and I make sure to look them all in the eyes, so they know that I'm on to them.  

I did, however, have a few good experiences with this whole airport thing that made me feel like I was totally winning.

*I had a connecting flight in Atlanta on my way to SLC.  If you've ever been to the ATL airport, you know it's nuts.  My layover was only 45 minutes, my first flight was delayed 45 minutes, AND I was in the next to the last row on the plane.  The odds were not in my favor to make this flight.  As soon as the plane landed, Noel texted me with my gate information (that he found on his handy Delta App) so so I wouldn't have to waste any time looking at the screen.  I Home Aloned all over it when I got out of the plane, and realized I was only 3 gates down from where I needed to be.  They were boarding and I walked right on.  I was crying...I was that excited and grateful to have made my flight.

*On the flight home, I was stuck in the middle seat.  The MIDDLE seat for over 3 hours.  The lady on the aisle was already seated, but the person with the window seat was not.  I kept crossing my fingers that he wouldn't show up, but of course he did.  The lady with the aisle seat asked if we could all just scoot over so she wouldn't have to get up, and he said sure.  Window seat for me!!!  

*The movie on the flight home was Pitch Perfect.  I could just stop there.  But while they were showing the preview for the movie, a girl a few rows behind me was laughing hysterically, and afterwards let out a "woohoo!" for the movie.  I turned around to make eye contact with her, and gave her the approving head nod.  Little does she know that we are now BFFLs, Best Friends For Life (pronounced biffles). 

I'll share a little more about the conference later this week.

Did you have a great weekend?  Do anything fun?!
(Please tell me that someone saw Safe Haven...I'm seeing it this week and can't wait!)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

3 ways to make your child feel loved

(Love these sweet little Valentines of mine...and yes, that is a vintage NCState sweater Charlie is wearing passed down from his Pops, to his daddy, and now to him!)

3 ways to make your child feel loved:

1.  Listen to them.

If it's important to them, it should be important to you.  No matter how big or small the issue/problem/situation is, let them know that you care about what they're going through.    

2.  Don't tell their secrets. 
(or even day to day things they share with just you.)

Serious or funny.  Big or small.  This is how trust is formed and maintained, I'm sure of it.  

3.  Give them opportunities to succeed.

Introduce them to new things, (classes, books, performances, ideas), so they can excel in a certain (or several) areas.  Support their interests and do everything in your power to help them succeed.

Of course, these are just 3 of the many, many ways you can make your child feel loved (at any age).

How did your parents make you feel loved growing up?  What is something that you do to show love towards your children?

Happy Valentine's Day, my friends.  I hope you're able to spend it with someone you love.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

At Last

I am finally the proud owner of a heart sweater.  How long have I wanted one of these things??!  I saw a link for this one (only $18),  and casually included it in an email to Noel.  I guess he got the hint, because this sweater was in my mailbox a week later!  :-)

Just in time for Valentine's Day!
Linking up with Shanna and The Pleated Poppy.
Make sure you enter to win this Starbucks gift card!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Find yourself. Lose yourself

Short hair days :-)  Photo by Bridget.

I can't even begin to talk about how true this quote is.  I'm so grateful to be part of this world of dance, and grateful for all the people that I've met along the way.

Erika is one of those people.  We met at a studio right after I graduated from college, and I was immediately impressed by her spunk and by her drive.  She has since gone on to start up her own contemporary dance company, Mosaic Dance Project, in NYC.  So excited for her!

Today, Erika is giving one lucky reader a $25 gift card to Starbucks!  Oh yeah!

Just use the Rafflecopter below to enter.

Giveaway will end this Sunday.
Comments turned off so you can go browse Mosaic Dance Project!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Great start to the week

This was the first weekend in....I can't remember, that we've spent together as a family of four.  It was nice relaxing together...and catching up on some Downton Abbey.  (I'm's true.)  I also ate dinner with some wonderful friends on Saturday.  It was great having time to girl chat.

Nothing could start my Monday off better than these sweet pictures of Mr. Blue Eyes himself, Walker.  He is quite the gymnast, you know...and especially loves Bubble Time and the high bar.

And just to show off some of his skills....

4vCDKg on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you had a great weekend!
Linking up with Molly.

Friday, February 8, 2013


My heart swells every time I look at this picture.  I just want to freeze them in this hugs and kisses stage for as long as I can.  If only we could escape to Neverland.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Back in Black

Necklace:  Francesca's

I love how COLOR is the big fashion trend these days.  (The bolder the better!)  I am totally embracing this, but sometimes, I like to go back to the simple and classic all black.  Black pumps, pants, and top, with just a touch of jazz in the accessory.  You can never go wrong with this game plan.

Have you rocked an all black outfit lately?

Linking up with Shanna and The Pleated Poppy.
PS.  Make sure you enter to win this personalized address stamp!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Stamp It

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of anything personalized.  My friend, Jessica, has just opened up an Etsy Shop, called Twisty Twig Calligraphy, and her work is SOOO fun and adorable.  

Jessica is giving one lucky reader this personalized address stamp.  Isn't this font perfect?

Just use the Rafflecopter below to enter!

Giveaway will end this Sunday.

Comments turned off so you can go browse Twisty Twig. :-)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Life Lesson

Friday night was a rough one for me.  

I pulled a muscle in my back a few weeks ago, and can't seem to get it right.  I'll get it back to normal and then I'll either do something to tweak it while teaching dance, or I'll over work it during the day.  

Friday night I started feeling my back flare up, but ignored it, because I had to. (Noel was out of town and I had to get stuff done by myself.)  Anyways, long story short, I was in the worst pain of my entire life.  And yes, I've pushed 2 children out of me au natural.  (Epidural wore off before Charlie came, and didn't kick in fast enough for Walker.)  My back was in full spaz mode, I couldn't catch my breath, and I felt like I was going to be sick from the pain.  

I got out of bed, and literally crawled on my hands and knees to the kitchen to try to find some pain reliever.  When I realized that I couldn't get my body to stand up straight enough to reach the medicine, I laid on the kitchen floor and sobbed.  I prayed out loud that I would be able to reach the medicine, and that I would actually be able to swallow it.  (Fun fact:  I can't swallow pills.  And yes, they make liquid everything these days).  

I mustered up the energy to reach the medicine, took it (yay!), and got in the shower because that was the only place I didn't want to straight up die.

About twenty minutes later, I fell asleep.  

Ok, super long sob story about my weekend.  But here's what I'm taking away from it all.

1.  I need to start taking care of myself.  

Noel is out of town or working all the time.  (Not to make him the bad guy...I'm very proud that he works so hard for our family.)  But with that, I need to start taking time for myself more often.  I need to actually schedule those doctors' appointments (I hate the dentist), need to drink more water, and do all of the things I know I should be doing, but somehow don't have the "time" to do it.  I also don't need to allow other people to guilt trip me into doing anything that I don't feel is necessary.  


2.  I need to ask for HELP.

This one is the hardest for me.  I feel like I can handle it all by myself, but then realize (as I'm laying on my kitchen floor in excruciating pain) that I might need an extra hand every now and then to help out.  

I hesitated writing this post, because I didn't want to seem like I want sympathy.  That is absolutely not what I want. 

 I'm just hoping that when you read this, you will make it a point to take care of yourself, or ask someone for help even though you don't want to, or that you might reach out to someone and help them.

Happy Monday, everyone! :-)  It's going to be a GREAT week.  I just know it.
(Side note:  I have been to the doctor who said I pulled a muscle and to keep icing it.  So I actually did go to the doctor.  Pat on my back.)
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