Brand Collaborations Category Archives

Merry + Bright, ColoredOrganics

Annabelle and Alexander Bowman wearing matching lougewear sets from ColoredOrganics

Annabelle Bowman wearing lougewear set from ColoredOrganics

Annabelle Bowman wearing lougewear set from ColoredOrganics and Pink Bow from Libby Lou Boutique on ETSY

Annabelle and Alexander Bowman wearing matching lougewear sets from ColoredOrganics

Annabelle Bowman wearing lougewear set from ColoredOrganics and Pink Bow from Libby Lou Boutique on ETSY

Annabelle’s Choice: Loungewear set: COLORED ORGANICS \\ Bow: LIBBY LOU BOWTIQUE

Alexander’s Choice: Loungewear set: COLORED ORGANICS

And just like that Christmas is over. Typically I would be having Christmas withdrawals but this time I think I’m ready to celebrate the new year.

Now that Annabelle and Alexander are getting older it’s a lot more pressure to try to find them gifts that they will love. More importantly we try to keep things fair for the two of them.

Alexander got a big, huge, police car (his dream come true). All he wanted this year was a police car with,”lots of buttons, two seats, a siren, and it can go forward and backward”.. Annabelle is super into dolls this year and just wanted an American Girl doll. We ordered one that looked like her with blonde hair and green eyes which she promptly named, “Antoinette”.

I was freaking out on Christmas eve because Michael and my dad assembled the police car and it was totally massive. It took up my whole kitchen floor. When I looked over at the doll it seemed so small in comparison. So, we started to wrap tons of other gifts for Annabelle to try to make up for her “smaller” sized pile.

Two years ago we bought Alexander the perfect gift, one of those non battery operated cars and he loved it. I don’t think he even knew what else was under the tree. He spent the whole day jumping in and out of his car.We expected the same thing this year. All he would want to do was get in and get out.

To our surprise, all he wanted to do was unwrap gifts. In the end we put him in charge of unwrapping gifts for everyone. He opened all of Angelina’s 2 presents (haha) and all of mine. I’m not sure he was all that worried about what was in them. I think the thrill and surprise factor was what was he enjoyed.

Annabelle loved everything she got. She seemed really happy. All random and small gifts went into the stockings. DVDs, coloring books, fresh socks, some sweets, etc… It was a first for stockings and a huge hit.

The best part of the whole day was when my Grandparents arrived at noon for lunch. It made our day complete. The kids were so excited to show them what Santa got them.

My mom brought the kids metallic sneakers that lit up into flashing colored lights. Annabelle and Alexander put on a dance performance with their neon shoes. Watching them move so freely and so happily made eveything worth it.It wasn’t what they recieved or how much they received that made their day special. It was the feeling that they were heard, they were important, and that Santa thought they were very “good” this year. It was having their Grandparents, Great-Grandparents, Uncles, Mom and Dad with them all morning and afternoon. We admired them, listened to them and cheered on their performances. 

In the end, cliche or not, it was these moments, that made our day special. They are the most important things in the world and they are my gift, everyday of the year. 

Thank you so much to Colored Organics for these super soft and cozy matching loungewear sets. Use the discount code: STEPHANY25 and receive 25% off your purchase!! 

Merry Christmas from our little family to yours.

Photography: Ashley Kay Photography 

Winter Days, ColoredOrganics

Alexander Bowman wearing Colored Organics Vest and shirt

Alexander Bowman wearing Colored Organics vest and shirt. Stephany Bowman in a lace Nordstrom dress and Angelina Bowman GAP

Annabelle and Alexander Bowman wearing Colored Organics

Stephany Bowman from Stephany's Choice wearing Nordstrom lace dress. Angelina Bowman is wearing baby GAP. Annabelle and Alexander Bowman wearing Colored Organics

Stephany Bowman wearing Nordstrom lace dress. Angelina Bowman in a hair bow from Claire's accessories and outfit from Gap baby

Stephany Bowman from Stephany's Choice wearing Nordstrom lace dress. Angelina Bowman is wearing baby GAP. Annabelle and Alexander Bowman wearing Colored Organics

 

Stephany’s Choice: Dress: NORDSTROM \\ Shoes: SIMILAR HERE 

Annabelle’s Choice: Top: COLORED ORGANICS \\ Skirt: COLORED ORGANICS 

Alexander’s Choice: Top: COLORED ORGANICS \\ Vest: COLORED ORGANICS \\ Pants: SIMILAR HERE

Angelina’s Choice: Dress: BABY GAP \\ Tights: BABY GAP \\ Shoes: BABY GAP

Just a couple more days till Christmas and I’m starting to panic slightly because 90% of my gifts this year were purchased online. Only a handful of those items have arrived. I guess I had a late start ordering my gifts. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I was even sure about who the final guest list would include.

The reason the gifts are taking so long is because each one is custom made. When ever I order something that is personalized like this it takes me forever to create it. I chose every single detail and want it to be just perfect. 

There have been so many wonderful memories and moments shared that I wanted to bring my favorites to light. One gift that I have ready and under the tree (thankfully) is a huge piece of fabric that I ordered for my mom with a photograph of a beautiful building in San Remo that my father took. 

She is very crafty and I can’t wait to see what she does with the fabric. If she loves it I will go ahead and order more items with the same image. Hope she loves it!

I ordered Michael a large picture of Angelina for his office because he doesn’t have a picture of her there yet(third child problems). He only has one of Annabelle and Alexander. Angelina just turned one, so I think he will be appreciative to have the missing image!

For my Grandparent’s I ordered them each a personalized coffee mug with their names and a picture of a red bird on them. They love to have a cup of coffee in the morning and my Grandfather is an expert bird watcher so I hope they feel like I put a lot of thought into their gifts.

My only regret this year is that I wasn’t able to personalize the Christmas stockings in time for the holidays so we may have to skip out on that tradition this year. 

All I want for Christmas is a cozy morning in my pajamas with Christmas music playing in the background. A huge cup of boiling hot chocolate and all of my gifts wrapped under the tree. I want to make sure the kids are totally surprised and excited about the presents. I’m a little worried that Annabelle’s gift isn’t as “big” as Alexander’s and that she will be upset about this. There has been so much pressure mounting for Christmas. Every time they want something from target or a new toy my excuse has always been,” you have to wait for Santa”.haha. If they have been acting naughty I say,” Santa’s watching!” This is probably not your best parenting technique but until I find something more effective I’m going with it! -at least for two more days…

Thank you so much Colored Organics for the softest outfits!! 

Thank you for reading along, what are you excited to give under the tree this year?! 

Photography: Ashley Kay Photography 

Barefoot + Breastfed, ColoredOrganics

Stephany Bowman from Stephany's Choice wearing Zara black and white smocked dress, over the knee cream knit socks from Free People and Black Mary Jane heels from Topshop. Fedora is from Target. Baby Angelina Bowman is wearing Colored Orangics from head to toe

Stephany Bowman from Stephany's Choice wearing Zara black and white smocked dress, over the knee cream knit socks from Free People and Black Mary Jane heels from Topshop. Fedora is from Target. Baby Angelina Bowman is wearing Colored Orangics from head to toe

Stephany Bowman from Stephany's Choice wearing Zara black and white smocked dress, over the knee cream knit socks from Free People and Black Mary Jane heels from Topshop. Fedora is from Target. Baby Angelina Bowman is wearing Colored Orangics from head to toe

Stephany Bowman from Stephany's Choice wearing Zara black and white smocked dress, over the knee cream knit socks from Free People and Black Mary Jane heels from Topshop. Fedora is from Target. Baby Angelina Bowman is wearing Colored Orangics from head to toe

Stephany Bowman from Stephany's Choice wearing Zara black and white smocked dress, over the knee cream knit socks from Free People and Black Mary Jane heels from Topshop. Fedora is from Target. Baby Angelina Bowman is wearing Colored Orangics from head to toe

Stephany Bowman from Stephany's Choice wearing Zara black and white smocked dress, over the knee cream knit socks from Free People and Black Mary Jane heels from Topshop. Fedora is from Target. Baby Angelina Bowman is wearing Colored Orangics from head to toe

Stephany Bowman from Stephany's Choice wearing Zara black and white smocked dress, over the knee cream knit socks from Free People and Black Mary Jane heels from Topshop. Fedora is from Target. Baby Angelina Bowman is wearing Colored Orangics from head to toe

Stephany Bowman from Stephany's Choice wearing a ZARA cape with faux fur collar, smocked dress, and Black Topshop shoes. Angelina is wearing Colored Organics onesie and beanie

Stephany Bowman from Stephany's Choice wearing a ZARA cape with faux fur collar, smocked dress, and Black Topshop shoes. Angelina is wearing Colored Organics onesie and beanie

Stephany Bowman from Stephany's Choice wearing a ZARA cape with faux fur collar, smocked dress, and Black Topshop shoes. Angelina is wearing Colored Organics onesie and beanie

Stephany Bowman from Stephany's Choice wearing Zara black and white smocked dress, over the knee cream knit socks from Free People and Black Mary Jane heels from Topshop. Fedora is from Target. Baby Angelina Bowman is wearing Colored Orangics from head to toe

Stephany’s Choice: Dress: ZARA ( sold out- similar here) \\ Cape: ZARA \\ Socks: FREE PEOPLE (sold out-Similar here) \\ Shoes: SIMILAR HERE \\ Hat: TARGET

Angelina’s Choice: Onesie: COLORED ORGANICS \\ Beanie: COLORED ORGANICS 

I can’t believe we are less than two weeks away from Christmas?! I don’t think I’m even half way through my shopping list and I feel like I’m really being stretched pretty thin right now. This week Michael was traveling for work and I was home alone with all the kiddies. Let me add, I was battling a cold and home alone with all three kiddies!

Yikes. I guess all those holiday parities really caught up with me. Buzzing around all day and all night is something that I cannot continuously pull off.

Not to forget that I still haven’t had one uninterrupted night of sleep in almost two years. Yes, that is my way of implying that the reason I look so tiered, am so forgetful, continuously overwhelmed and frazzled is because I am up all night breastfeeding.

Every time I am pregnant I set “realistic” nursing goals for myself. When pregnant with Annabelle, for example, I wanted to make sure I breastfed exclusively for at least 6 months. I managed to achieve this target with a lot of struggle and a ton of hit and miss guesses.

With Alexander, I set a lower goal for myself because I remembered how difficult breastfeeding was with Annabelle and so I thought that breastfeeding a second baby with a toddler was going to be virtually impossible.

Instead, the opposite happened! It was all smooth sailing (pretty much) . I had learned so much from breastfeeding Annabelle that breastfeeding Alexander was less painful and I was way more experienced. I knew what I was doing this time. I was also a lot more confidant, and less shy about breastfeeding. I actually really enjoyed the bonding and loved being so close to my baby. So I surprised myself and breastfed him for almost a year.

I stopped only because Michael and I were going on an anniversary trip to The Bahamas and so I had to have Alexander weaned before we left him with my sister-in-law.

When I came back from holidays I missed nursing him and knew that if I had the opportunity again, I wouldn’t rush it along.

Well here we are, a few years later, and you can certainly say that I kept true to my promise.

Angelina will be 14 months old on January 1st and we are still breastfeeding. I have tried to introduce the bottle to her but she hasn’t taken to it. When Michael gives her the bottle he has better luck. I wonder if it’s because she knows that that might be the best she’s going to get from him. haha. 

She still wakes up in the night for a feed-or several. I’m torn between enjoying it and dreading it. One on side I dread it, for obvious sleep deprived reasons. On the other side, it’s the sweetest most cozy spot in the world.

Tummy to tummy. Her little feet still fit in my hand.  I stroke her peach fuzz, soft, little head. Hold her little warm body close to mine. She’s like my very own hot water bottle. My little doll. 

Last night we moved her crib out of our room (deep breath). I think this is the next big step. Our big move. Let’s see how the week goes. Maybe 2017 will be the year of sleep? 

Thank you Colored Organics for this super soft onesie and hat. Use the code: STEPHANY25 and receive 25% off your purchase!!

Photography: Ashley Kay Photography 

Rocking Reindeers, with PinkBlush

Reindeer sweater dress from PinkBlush, Over the knee boats from Steve Madden, Lipstick by NARS, Waterproof baby bag from Longan +Lenora

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Reindeer sweater dress from PinkBlush, Over the knee boats from Steve Madden, Lipstick by NARS, Waterproof baby bag from Longan +Lenora

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Reindeer sweater dress from PinkBlush, Over the knee boats from Steve Madden, Lipstick by NARS, Waterproof baby bag from Longan +Lenora

Reindeer sweater dress from PinkBlush, Over the knee boats from Steve Madden, Lipstick by NARS, Waterproof baby bag from Longan +Lenora

Reindeer sweater dress from PinkBlush, Over the knee boats from Steve Madden, Lipstick by NARS, Waterproof baby bag from Longan +Lenora

Stephany’s Choice: Sweater Dress: PINK BLUSH || Boots: STEVE MADDEN || Diaper bag: LOGAN + LENORA || Lipstick: NORDSTROM

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!! Breaking out all my favorite holiday decorations and clothes. I think we were a little late this year. Everything seems to be catching up to us so quickly. I can’t believe we are exactly 2 weeks away already.

I finally ordered Annabelle’s American Girl doll. She was between 2 dolls, a Samantha doll and a “just like me” doll. In the end I put on a little pressure on her to make a decision and choose one. She went with the look-a-like doll. I ordered one with long blonde hair, bangs, fair skin and green eyes. Yay! What a relief. So many items on the site had already sold out. I guess I can’t fully exhale until it arrives in the mail.

Michael ordered an electric car from Amazon for Alexander. A police car I think. I hope he loves it! It’s pretty much going to be the only thing he gets for Christmas. Rolling the dice here…

Angelina is getting nothing. I think this is probably the last year we can get away with that. Maybe some ice cream?

Let’s talk lipstick!! I’m so obsessed with bright holiday reds!! Wow! I never really did a red lip before but something about putting on red lips makes you feel so dressy and makes me want to stand up a lot straighter all of a sudden. Also, white teeth. I feel like my teeth look so much brighter instantly when I apply a darker or brighter shade. 

When I put on the red, I tone down all my other features so I don’t end up looking like a clown. 

Today, I’ve also done something a little different with my hair. I’ve parted it in a zig-zag to cover up my roots. I used to go for highlight touchups once every three months but find myself going a lot more often these days. Probably about once every 2 months.

This is exactly what I ask for: Mini partial + Baby Blonde

That’s it. I don’t even let them blow dry my hair, brush or cut it. I bring in my own detangle spray and my favorite brush. I find that if I’m not the one brushing my own hair a lot of it gets broken off. 

I also want to discuss this too cute diaper bag from Logan + Lenora. They are producing the cutest waterproof bags for moms. This one is the perfect size, easy to clean and is so cute to take around. I even slipped in my lipstick inside.

5 Basic items in my Logan + Lenora Diaper bag:

Diapers

Wet wipes

Disposable Changing pad

Tissue

Lipstick

Yes lipstick because, we’re in the bathroom any way right? Haha. I never used to include items for myself. I’ve come along way. I still try to keep things as simple as possible. That’s probably going to be my motto for the new year, keep things simple. I think this has helped me a lot in general. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with my daily to dos and run arounds and then I just have to take a deep breath. 

I guess I have one week left, because kids are out of school on Friday! Ekkk, This Santa needs to kick things into high gear. At least I can look festive in this cute holiday sweater right?!!!

Photography: Ashley Kay Photography

 

 

Family fun in OshKosh B’gosh!

Angelina Bowman in an OshKosh B'gosh Fur coat

Annabelle Bowman wearing aOshKosh B'gosh Faux fur coat and Croc Rainboots

Alexander Bowman wearing aOshKosh B'gosh Orange boys sweat suit

OshKosh B'gosh Orange boys sweat suit

Annabelle Bowman wearing aOshKosh B'gosh Faux fur coat and Croc Rainboots

OshKosh B'gosh Orange boys sweat suit

Alexander, Annabelle, and Angelina Bowman of Stephany's Choice wearing OshKosh B'gosh Kids

 

Annabelle’s Choice: Coat: Oshkosh || Boots: Crocs || Bow: Libby Lou Bowtique || Tights: Similar here

Alexander’s Choice: Sweatshirt: Oshkosh || Sweatpants: Oshkosh|| Polo: Oshkosh || Shoes: Similiar here

Angelina’s Choice: Coat: Oshkosh || Tights: Oshkosh || Hat: Similar here

I am so excited to be teaming up with one of the most iconic brands, OshKosh B’gosh!!! This is such a “pinch me” moment as I grew up with this brand, and now dress my own children in their adorable and wholesome clothes.

A lot things I’m drawn to are things that I grew up doing and loving. There is definitely an element of nostalgia there. I have to admit that I am a very sentimental person. Haha. Especially around this time of the year. Something about the holidays, the music the decorations, remind me of days past. 

I’ve picked out a couple of my favorite staples from Oshkosh’s winter collection. I love the bright colors, mix and matching everything. Occasionally, when I dress up the kiddos I don’t end up putting them in what I originally envisioned. Either they aren’t feeling the look, or something is in the wash!! Yup, totally unintentional. Most of the time, however, it all comes together wonderfully. Honestly though, kids can make anything look cute- especially when they are happy and having fun.

Afternoons with nothing on the the schedule is one of our favorite things in the world. We love to go to the park as often as we can. This spot is right by the school and sometimes I try to pack a little picnic to bring along. I’ve even stopped by our local Krispy Kreme donut shop, and pick out half a dozen fresh goodies 🙂 Of course, I try to grab a coffee for myself from “StarBUGS” too,  and a magazine if I’m feeling ambitious- which I never end up reading! I’m always terrified one of the kids is going to end up falling into the water. Probably Alexander…ekk..

There are also lots of ducks and geese here and the kids love to feed them. Sometimes the birds can get a little aggressive and competitive fighting for the bread and I panic slightly:) The kids don’t seem to notice at all and love every minute of it. Honestly, when the kids are happy I am happy. Sometimes I think it’s easier to take them out, rather than just keeping them at home all afternoon. Sure some days they need to come home and relax, but for the most part a little fresh air and a walk in nature is probably not a bad thing. Or are they just in it for the donuts?!! 

This is also the best time of the year, not too hot, not too cold. Just perfect.

Now that Angelina’s starting to walk around I hope she doesn’t get too intimidated by the birds. I think they are probably about her size or taller. It’s going to be a lot of fun watching her out there. Alexander is great a throwing the bread into the water. The only problem is a lot of the time he eats up all the bread before even throwing one crumb to the birds. haha. Love that cheeky boy so much 🙂 ♥

Thanks for reading along, did you wear OshKosh as a kid? What was your favorite item?

Photography: BeckleyPhoto.com 

 

Lady in Red, with Stylewe

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Stephany’s Choice: Red Dress: STYLEWE || Shoes: SIMILAR HERE || Lipstick : REVLON

Red dress!! Y A A A S S S !! Okay okay, I’m crushing on this red dress way to hard, but really?!! It’s so challenging to find the perfect little RED dress!! I mean, really! How cute is this?! It’s kind of a cherry red color and it’s elegant too. It sort of shoots out at the bottom and is really flattering. I think I’m in love. If you buy one holiday dress this one should be considered. Plus, it can double for Valentine’s Day?! Woo! STYLEWE has a huge selection of gorgeous dresses. It was really tricky trying to narrow down my search. A variety of prices, hundreds and thousonds of options.

When searching for the perfect holiday dress what do I look for?! I’ve broken them out to a few main points..

Holiday dress code

Short and sweet: because long dresses get in the way and short dresses feel more flirty and modern.

Sleeves must be long : I love a good sleeve, as my dresses are always short I think a sleeve gives me more coverage. A good sleeve can also be more flattering than one that is cropped or cut off on the arm. Also, I hate being cold and that extra fabric is something I can count on for warmth and keep the chills at bay.

Babydoll and loose fitting: As the dress is already short, having it skin tight may be slightly provocative for me. Not that I’m so conservative or anything it’s just more discreet and flattering. If I’m eating at the event or walking around I begin to get self conscience, and wonder if anyone can see any bulge or curve out of place. Besides, I love the movement and texture of lots of fabric. 

Color should be fun and flirty. Most importantly,choose something that makes you happy, today mine this happy cherry red! 

My best accessory here is a secret weapon: Black Cherry lipstick. It’s been a favorite of mine for years. 5 years ago I had a near panic moment when I thought it was discontinued. I ran to every cosmetics counter that I could find and bought up as many as I could. Luckily, it seems like they haven’t discontinued the shade after all. haha. I love the color because it makes my teeth look white and bright. It also builds up to a really pretty deep red color. You can also apply just a tiny bit and it comes on as a pretty rosey shade. Dab some on your cheeks for a cute sun kissed look too! If you’re worried about going red or going dark this is the perfect season to try it! If you over do it, just blot on a kleenex and put on a nude matte shade.

Try it out and let me know what you think. Every single one of my handbags (especially my sparkly date night clutches) has one inside!! Speaking of date night, Friday is going to be our 7 year anniversary date!! All I want is a margarita and guacamole, is that lame?! I seriously just want to sit back and relax, catch up and have a laugh. I’m so glad I get to do that with my best friend. 

Photography: AshleyKayPhotos.com

 

Black and White Basics, With Marie D’Argan

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Stephany’s Choice: Playsuit: TOPSHOP-sold out ; Similar Here || Bow : Similar here || Heels: Similar Here || Bag : LOUIS VUITTON, Similar here || Stretch Mark lotion: Marie D’Argan

I often get asked about my beauty routine and which products and rituals I swear by. A few favorites that I can’t live with out are products for my hair, and lotion for my face and body. If I don’t adequately moisturize I feel like my skin is dry and irritable all day and never fully set into my own skin. I don’t even like to get dressed if I haven’t put on cream and good cream isn’t easy to come by.

When choosing which lotion to purchase at the drug store I’ve gotten it wrong many times. Buying something for dry irritable skin sounds promising but when I bring the product home to try it I’m disappointed to see how thick, heavy and it is awkward to apply. On the other hand buying a cream that’s cheap or not creamy enough feels runny, slippery and I never actually get that nice soft moisturized feel I’m looking for. Haha. Like I said, I’ve had my fair share of trials and tribulations!

I’m not the expert on skin either, but lucky for me at this time in my life it doesn’t seem like I have any stretch marks yet. Now of course I may have inherited other battles, but I think as far as stretch marks go I’m on the lucky side of the genetics here. This doesn’t mean that I won’t monitor my skin and listen to my body. I will definity keep my eyes open for preventative measures and am willing to try anything that can keep my skin as smooth as possible. I think I have a tendency to have dry skin. Although I moisturize my face daily so it doesn’t look flaky when I put foundation on. 

When I tried Marie D’Argan’s moisture rich body lotion I instantly loved it. The texture and consistency was perfection. The smell divine. The bottle is the perfect size and it’s a pump, my favorite application. Its main ingredient is 100% pure argan oil made from the best argan seeds hand-picked by a women’s co-op based in Morocco. Their products are high quality and free of parabens, sulfates, SLS and phthalates. This is safe and even recommended for pregnant woman for use to minimize stretch marks. I use this all over my body once daily after I shower, but they suggest you apply generously, and twice daily. Marie D’Argan has various other products in their range, including some oils for hair and skin. All their products smell wonderful and make a really lovely Christmas gift if you’re looking to spoil someone you love (yes, that includes YOU too!) 

I love that they use pure, natural and organic oils. I find myself moving closer to natural products these days. I’m trying to eat clean and avoid packaged food if I can help it. Even my choices for skin products are simpler and more natural. 

When I’m at home and I feel like having a sweet treat I pick out an apple instead of raiding the cookie box (most of the time :)) I must say I feel better for it. I hate to admit it but ever since having Angelina I’ve been battling adult acne again. It seems to come back on and off right around my jaw line.  It’s so frustrating and I think I break out a lot more when I wear make up. My favorite make up is thick creamy matte make up so maybe my pores are crying!! So on days that I “don’t need” to wear any make up I go without. At first, I was so shy and embarrassed to be caught with a bare face in public. Now I love it, I think my skin is healthier and I break out way less. 

Anyway, I guess it’s all kind of a balancing act and I’m still trying to get that perfect balance between what products will help me and which ones will set me back. If I come upon anything else I love, I’ll certainly share it here. 

Let me know if there is a product that you love? Have you tried using natural and organic beauty products?

Thanks for reading along.

Thank you to the Marie D’Argan team for sharing these wonderful lotions with me!

Photography: TheRetroPenguin.com 

 

A Fall Family Recipe, with Whole Foods Market

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Stephany’s Choice: Top: ANTHROPOLOGIE || Shorts: SIMILAR HERE || Shoes: SIMILAR HERE || Cuff : SIMILAR HERE || Bag : SIMILAR HERE

Angelina’s Choice: Dress: SIMILAR HERE || Tights: SIMILAR HERE || Headband : NORDSTROM

It’s a drizzly Fall evening and I can hear the rain outside my office window. The night is dark and the house is warm, calm and smells so delicious. It finally feels like Fall. I took the kids to the dentist to get their teeth checked today and it seems like Annabelle may have a cavity in her back tooth. I’m so bummed about this news and feel like a total failure. I’m responsible for every single tooth in her head and I feel terrible that we have a follow up appointment and need put her through the motions of this uncomfortable procedure just because I dropped the ball.

Then we got home too late.  It was raining cats and dogs and there is always a ton of traffic on rainy days. Or is it just rush hour?! Who knows, Angelina was totally over the whole thing and I was too!

So let’s turn this afternoon around! What’s cooking in the oven?!! Oh yes! Just a couple of fresh Acorn Squash I picked up from our favorite local Whole Foods Market. Okay, I’m totally showing off a little here. But it’s true!! The house smells warm, spicey, cozy, and just like Fall. You won’t believe how easy  this dish is to make, and it tastes even better!!

So, cooking isn’t exactly one of my strong suits. Although I love to be in the kitchen, around people cooking and at grocery stores (pretty, organic, clean ones of course 🙂 )Plus, let’s be honest, it’s a big part of my job. I love the idea of having something cooking on the stove or baking in the oven. Preferably something fresh and seasonal. 

Last year, when my mom came to stay over Thanksgiving I was kind of baffled when she showed up with this huge Acorn Squash in her grocery basket. I’m thinking, “is this a decorative thing, or are we going to cook this when Grandma comes?!”- My Grandma is the best and I’m not sure how she does it, but she always includes a whole variety of healthy food options in every meal she puts together. She would be the one to incorporate a Fall vegetable like Acorn Squash, know exactly what to do with it, make it look so easy, and have it taste totally delicious. 

For me, as a Mom, I tend to stick to easy simple recipes that are in my comfort zone. It doesn’t even stop with food, in general I tend to choose parks, libraries, coffee shops and basically everything that serves the purpose and doesn’t take a PHD to figure out 🙂 My time is limited and I want to be as efficient as I can be. So when my Mom baked this wonderful meal in less than an hour and it was tasty and easy?!! I had to know how to do it myself.

Now, if you are anything like me, limited kitchen skills, Mama on the go, but wanting to make something yummy, simple and healthy, this is for you!! Impress your family, guests or treat yourself with this fool proof nutritional dish. The best part is all you need is 3 ingredients and most of them will probably already be sitting right there in your pantry 😉

Grandma Erickson’s Simple and Sweet Acorn Squash recipe

Ingredients:

1 Acorn Squash (Choose one with the smoothest surface)

1 Table Spoon of Butter

 1 Table Spoon of Brown Sugar

Wax paper

Non Stick baking sheet

Prepare:

First, Preheat your oven to 350 F. Next, wash off the Acorn Squash. Now, (This is an awesome tip) place your Acorn Squash in the microwave for 5 mins to soften it up. When complete, take out the Squash carefully, it will be very hot. Allow to cool down for a few minutes. Once you can handle it safely cut it right down the middle to make two halves. Scoop out all the seeds and discard them.

 Place the two halves upside down with a little water on a backing sheet. Then into the oven for 30 mins.

Acorn Sqush makes a quick, healthy and easy snack too! To save time, instead of placing the squash in the oven, put it back into the microwave. Simply cover each half with wax paper and turn on the timer for another 5 mins!

Finally once your squash has been warmed, scoop out a table spoon of soft butter and place it right into the heart of the squash. Add brown sugar and mix around for a sweet and delicious Fall treat, or Salt for a savory hearty option

Tadddaaaa!! That’s it!! So quick, simple and easy!!

This can be a complete meal (that’s what my mom and I did) or serve with Turkey breast, salad and a little rice. Whatever you do, your kids will love it. We just took a big spoon and scooped out every bite! Angelina is going to love it too, it’s soft and easy to eat like a mashed potato. Last year I ate this until April. Acorn Squash keep for a long time, so I had something available to eat if I didn’t have any fresh groceries that day.

Whole Foods Market is offering YOU a discount to get fresh food delivered right to your door!! Instacart is a great new tool to save time, and never compromise on your health. You can use the code: stephany25 and receive $25 off your first purchase of $50!! Okay even though strolling through Whole Foods Market is something the whole family just loves to do (Bella loves the pepperoni pizzas!!) busy Moms know that fresh food, right to your door is ahhhhmazzzzing!!!

See the below coupon for more!

instacart-coupon

I hope you love this easy and simple family recipe as much as we do. Don’t be afraid to try it, it’s basic and filling and nutritious for the whole family .

Thank you so much to our wonderful local Whole Foods Market the warm welcome and inviting us to your lovely store

Don’t forget to let me know what you think when you try this at home, and if you’d like to see more recipes on StephanysChoice ♥

Photography : TheRetropenguin

 

Spooky Fun with Pottery Barn Kids

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Stephany’s Choice: Dress : Free People || Pink Flats : Similar here || Shorts : Similar here

Annabelle’s Choice: Butterfly Costume : Pottery Barn Kids

Alexander’s Choice: Dinosaur Costume: Similar here and here 

Angelina’s Choice: Kitty Costume : Similar here

So apparently we love dressing up. Any excuse to dress up in a costume is exactly where we want to be. If Annabelle could wear some crazy princess, butterfly, unicorn combination every single day she would. Alexander would happily dress up as a Fireman or anything that makes him feel he is one step closer to being able to drive a fast car. Last year he begged me to dress him up as a garbage truck!! Being the devoted parents that we strive to be, we actually did some web searches ” Toddler Garbage Truck Costume”, needless to add that it turned up nothing. Although I think Amazon may have had a cardboard recycling truck box that you could strap on…We went with a lion costume( second year in a row :|). He didn’t seem to mind and the kids were so good about knocking on the doors,” Trick or treat ?!” and soon after , ” Thank you!” -Then Alexander’s final parting words: “ROAR!” Hahaha.

We have this Pottery Barn Kids store close to our house and right next to our neighborhood Starbucks and I love any excuse to stick my nose in there. Even the kiddos love going in. The staff are so friendly and they have little train sets and cars that they don’t mind if the kids play with while I stroll through the place. My favorite times to go are when there is something seasonal going on like Easter, Valentines Day or Christmas. Decorating a table for a party is almost as much fun as getting dressed up for one. Especially a theme party (in my opinion). I love that they have cute personalized options too. I have some personalized Christmas dishes for the kids and they are some of my favorite table decorations of all time. I also love these tumblers. I have them with the witches and they are the perfect size. The quality is really good too, I throw everything in the dishwasher and while they don’t look brand new anymore (I’ve had mine for a year now) they still look pretty good. For decorating a party table with a theme you don’t have to buy every single thing on the table in that same theme. You can choose key colors, maybe 2 or 3 and then sprinkle a couple of spooky Halloween pieces. I think that’s almost better because when there is too much stuff on the table or too many decorations your main pieces may get lost in the mix. A few chunky ones, and a couple of detail items are just perfect! I’m getting more of the tumblers and then I think I’m going to get these cute personalized pumpkin plates. Alexander’s Dinosaur costume is sold out online but I think the hood was kind of bulky anyway and started sliding off in the store. Probably not a bad idea to have them try on the outfits before purchasing, just in case, if you can. They look different on the kids than they did on the shelves and sometimes the fit isn’t comfortable or overwhelmens the child. Bella chose her outfit and seemed really pleased with it. Angel’s was cozy and comfy too. All around, we had the best time, and we will definitely be going back for more!! I wish they made adult costumes ?!!!!

What’s your favorite local store? Do you prefer to get dressed up or dress up the table?! Thanks for reading along with me!!

I want to give a special thank you to the Pottery Barn Kids staff on Knox: Dale, Kyle, and Jennifer! Thank you for teaming up with us, and for being so generous!! 

Photography : Theretropenguin.com 

Little White Dress with Harper and Bay

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Stephany’s Choice: Nursing Dress: HARPER & BAY 

I can’t believe I’ve almost reached my goal for breastfeeding for 1 year!

Angelina is now 10.5 months and although I do have to accept that nursing is winding down I can’t help but worry that I may miss this. The cuddles, the closeness the bonding. Time stops and we curl up together on the couch for a check-in and it feels great.

I guess what I will miss most is my baby.

In a way, I’m saying goodbye to my newborn and I have to accept the reality that I will never have this again. The finality of this is so scary. In other ways I feel like we are ready. I know what a relief it will be for to not have to worry about breastfeeding. I can drink wine, wear regular (pretty) bras again, any clothes-not just breastfeeding friendly ones. I’m hoping for a goodnight sleep too, as much as I love the late night (or all night ) snuggles, teaching her to call for a bottle will allow me to set her up and then dispatch from the room entirely. I know I sound totally all over the map here, maybe I still have mixed emotions about this.

Maybe what it boils down to is, I love the closeness, I love my baby, but I know that the time for us to move on is also going to be a good thing. Sometimes I’m so afraid of change, especially with my children, especially when things are going so great. What I have learned, however, is that yes things do change, but they only get better. As the old proverb goes, “without change there would be no butterflies”.

Are you ever afraid of change? How do you battle transition?