Shop Category Archives

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

 

Boho Vibes and Coffee breaks

Stephany Khayat from Stephany's choice wearing a Fedora hat from Target and Free People shirt and vest

Stephany Khayat from Stephany's choice wearing a Fedora hat from Target and Free People shirt and vest

Stephany Khayat from Stephany's Choice wearing a Free People Shirt and Vest

Stephany Khayat from Stephany's Choice Wearing Free People Shirt and vest, hat from Target

Stephany Khayat from Stephany's Choice Wearing Free People shirt and vest

Stephany Khayat from Stephany's Choice Wearing Free People Shirt and vest, hat from Target

Stephany Khayat from Stephany's choice wearing a Fedora hat from Target and Free People shirt and vest

Stephany Khayat from Stephany's Choice in ASOS sandals

Stephany Khayat from Stephany's Choice Wearing Free People Shirt and vest, hat from Target

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Stephany Khayat from Stephany's Choice Wearing Free People Shirt and vest, hat from Target, and Sunglasses from Quay Australia

 

Stephany’s Choice: Top: SIMILAR HERE || Vest: FREE PEOPLE || Shorts: SIMILAR HERE || Sandals: ASOS || Purse: SIMILAR HERE || Sunglasses: NORDSTROM || Hat: TARGET

I’d like to introduce you to my ultimate Coffee drink and my favorite fedora. Good hair day, bad hair day, no hair day, this is the best friend you never knew you had! It’s the perfect color, matches everything and nothing says ‘boho babe’ like a great hat! I love this heather gray one, but did you see this cherry red color!! It’s so festive and cute. I think red is my new favorite color, I see it everywhere and I just bought a great red lipstick to boot! Next on my wish list is the perfect leather red clutch. Maybe an oxblood red? Something sleek and pretty, I’m going to challenge myself to find one before the holidays and try to take advantage of those Black Friday weekend sales!!! 

But honestly, there are few things in the world more pleasant in the world than an extended holiday weekend. After having 2 days off from the crazy routine that is everyday life it’s a total relief to know that we still have two more days before “real life” kicks in.

One of my favorite past times on the weekend, and probably the week days too, is grabbing coffee at our local coffee shop. I think my perfect office would be by the window or outside under a parasol of a busy city cafe. Laptop in front of me, punching away at the keyboard and sipping on my favorite coffee drink of choice.

What’s that you say?! Well let me share it with you now..

Say Hello to the SKIVEL

Tall

Extra hot

Decaf (until nursing is complete ;))

Skinny

Vanilla

Latte

That’s it! Extra hot because it always gets cold by the time I take my first sip (hey, installing the baby chair into the car seat and packing up the stroller takes more than just a minute!). Decaf-because like I said, breastfeeding. Skinny because I wish I was! Vanilla syrup is like a tiny treat to kick off my day. Actually Vanilla has always been my favorite flavor/scent. Ice cream, perfume, etc… And a latte: lots of creamy milk and a shot of espresso.

Viola! I also always ask for a Venti Cup of ice water to stay hydrated. It fits perfectly into my left cup holder on the stroller and Angelina loves it too:)

I used to be completely obsessed with drinking water and these days I’ve been slipping behind. Could it be that weaning Angelina has made me less conscious of what I’m drinking? Perhaps. I bought a bottle of whole milk at the beginning of Thanksgiving break, thinking that it would be the best time to start weaning her but it’s just sitting in my fridge. Unopened. Soon we will hit the 13 month mark of nursing. I think 13 months sounds like a nice number to stop at *deep breath* let’s try and see if I can do it…Update soon, watch this space.

Ps. It’s our anniversary in a couple of week’s what should I get Michael for our 7 years? Is there some kind of tradition that you need for 7? Other than an itch?!! 😉 ♥

Photography: Beckleyphoto.com 

Thankful

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Stephany’s Choice: Dress: GAP || Bag: GAP || Shoes : SIMILAR HERE

Annabelle’s Choice: Top: SIMILAR HERE || Skirt: TARGET || Shoes: SIMILAR HERE || Bow: LIBBY LOU BOWTIQUE 

Alexander’s Choice: Top: GAP || Pants: SIMILAR HERE || Shoes: SIMILAR HERE

Angelina’s Chioce: Top: GAP || Pants: GAP || Bow: NORDSTROM

Thankful. One powerful word that I don’t use nearly as much as a should. Today I’m pinching myself. I am typing these words as the warm sweet smell of turkey baking in my oven fills the house. The Thanksgiving Parade is on channel 5 and the children are playing dominos with Michael. I can hear them laughing. Everyone is in Pajamas and is relaxed. There is nothing on the schedule for today or the next few days but togetherness (and lots of delicious homemade food). 

This year we have kept our canned items to a minimum. Cheating only with gravy, apple pie, and vanilla ice-cream. Everything is homemade. Um, OK as I write this I immidiatly realize that Michael’s the one that made pretty much everything this year. Let’s see : Turkey, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob and salad. Yup. I think we should include Michael at the top of my thankful list this year.

Family, Family, Family

My husband Michael. He’s there during the good, the bad and the meltdowns. He’s my best friend. 

Speaking of best friends, I wouldn’t be able to put together any kind of thankful list without my mom. I basically count on her for everything. She has high standards and is really picky. She also has a really playful and free side to her that is daring. I’m really inspired by her fearlessness and her generosity. Pretty safe to say she’s the best Glamma ever. 

Right behind every great woman is a wonderful man. My dad. The sweetest and most thoughtful person. I never have to ask my dad for anything twice. He’s always looking to help and improve on any situation. I know he’s always just a phone call or text away. An expert on everything from camera lenses to minivans. My dad is someone I know I can always count on.

Last and certainly not least, my children. Yes, the three little people that stole my heart. I am so thankful to know them ,to love them, to laugh with them. They come to me when they are happy and when they are sad.

I am so proud to be their mama. I am thankful to them for making me a better and happier person. I want to be the best Stephany I can be for them. I never want to forget their huge toothy smiles. Singing along to songs on the radio in their car seats. Pointing to things out the window,” LOOK AN AIRPLANE!” and even the bad days. Losing a friend on the playground. Falling off the scooter. Or frustrations with not being able to nail the perfect cart wheel. 

 New friends and devoted readers

I want to give a personal thank you to all of you who have supported me and encouraged my work. This is such a personal platform for me to share and express my ideas and life. It’s so intimate as I try to be as honest and forth coming as possible. I am so grateful for everyone that has been on this journey with me. I have met so many gracious and beautiful people. I am inspired daily by your kindness and warmth. I hope I can let you know how much your love and support has kept me driven to do my best to produce truthful material every week here on www.stephanyschoice.com.

“Today, I am grateful for family who are friends & the friends who become family”.

Thank you, and a Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

Photography: Ashley Kay Photography

 

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

 

Mad about Plaid

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Stephany’s Choice: Dress: GAP || Scarf: GAP || Tote bag : GAP || Shoes: SIMILAR HERE

Annabelle’s Choice: Top: GAP || Jeans: GAP || Shoes: TARGET || Bow: LIBBY LOU BOUTIQUE

Alexander’s Choice: Top: GAP || Jeans: GAP || Shoes: GAP

Angelina’s Choice: Top: GAP || Jeans: GAP || Shoes: GAP || Headband: Similar here

It’s finally starting to feel like Fall here in Texas, and I’m loving every moment of it. It’s a relief to be able to jump out the door and not be sweating beads by the time you’ve buckled your kids into their car seats! I love all the things that Fall represents like being cozy, layering up, and spending more time indoors. I’m thinking family games, trips to the library, baking, crafting, funny movies, and long Autumn walks. I’ve also signed the kids up for some fun after school activities this semester and I really hope they love them.

Skating was something that I loved doing so much when I was growing up in Switzerland. Yes!! You may be surprised to learn that I grew up in Zug, Swizerland!! We moved there when I was about 4 years old and stayed until I was 12 (6th grade). Often people ask me if I speak fluent German, but actually we went to a private English school with other kids who came from an international background. We grew up loving Winter sports (naturally). A lot of our filed trips where to ski villages in the mountains or our local public ice skating rink on Fridays. We also skated on the weekends, skied on holidays and with the family. The mountains were huge and vast, with bright white powdery snow. The local ski villages were quaint and cozy, small and private. We would ski for hours and then stop for lunch at the top of the mountain peak. Usually, a packed lunch provided by the camp, a sandwich, apple and candy bar. The sun would be shining and we would lay in the snow, sing songs, and get ready for the final round of ski.

At the end of a great day we would walk down the village to our cabins with our skis over our shoulders. After warm showers and getting into cozy clean clothes we would write in our journals, and catch up with our roommates (about 4- 6 kids in a room). Then finally the cafeteria for dinner. One of the best nights was fondue night where we would sit boy, girl, boy, girl around a big pot of fondue. Everyone would have a long fondue fork with a piece of bread for dipping on the end. If your piece of bread fell into the fondue then you would have to kiss the person (boy sitting to your left). It was a lot of laughs and a lot of fun. Of course on other nights, bonfires, scavenger hunts (not one of my strengths) and fashion shows.

I love these precious memories I have from growing up in Switzerland and I will cherish them forever. 

 I haven’t hit the slopes in years and I miss it so much. I think the last time I put on my skis was before I had Alexander (can that be right?!!) I really want to plan something for Michael and I in February somewhere, maybe Colorado??

So, I’ve gone ahead and signed the kids up for some ice skating lessons this season. I hope Annabelle and Alexander can learn a few skills and have as much fun on the ice as I remember having. Last week was their first time and they did such an awesome job! What I was the most proud of was that they never quit. They fell a few times but just got right back up and kept on trying. They had such a great attitude and never gave up. My little mama heart was just bursting with pride. Of course I want my children to have success in any and many things that they strive to achieve but the grace and character they demonstrate when it doesn’t always go their way is just as, if not more important. I hope we can continue to achieve both. In any case, I’m not sure there was ever a day where they didn’t make me so proud. 

What sports did you grow up loving? Thank you for following along! Please feel free to ask me any question in the comments below.

Photographer : Beckleyphoto.com 

The Incredibles

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Stephany’s Choice: Mrs. Incredible costume: Similar here || Boots: Similar here 

Michael’s Choice: Mr. Incredible Costume: Similar here || Sneakers: Nordstrom

Annabelle’s Choice: Violet Costume: Similar here

Alexander’s Choice: Mr. Incredible : Similar here

Angelina’s Choice: Baby Jack: Similar here

Trick or Treat?!! Hope you are having an Incredible Halloween!! Ok, I’m not going to lie, I’m totally getting carried away with all the Incredible references. Honestly, being a super hero for the day is a really awesome feeling, and being united with the kids is even better! I’ve had this costume in mind for a few years now, but last year I was 9 months pregnant on Halloween and just so busy planning for baby. In other years we were a family of four and Annabelle had her own ideas of what she wanted to be. This costume was an easy sell. Everyone knew who the Incredible family was (we own the DVD) and everyone agreed that they were happy to dress up as a superhero! I was undecided as to what level I wanted to take the costume to, wigs,etc.. But we decided to settle on this, the simplest version. Sometimes simple is best, it’s more streamlined and less fussy, and becomes more impactful.

The rest of the weekend is going to be busy with one thousand Halloween parties, and then we will leave the trick or treating till Monday. We will probably plan to leave the house when it starts to get dark maybe around 6:30pm or so and walk a block to some of the homes that have dressed up their entrances with spooky Halloween decorations. I would say one to two hours will be perfect for walking around the neighborhood. It’s also a lot of fun to see how everyone else has dressed up and check out the other costumes and cool decorations. Last year I was the size of a pumpkin and walked so much I literally felt sick that night.. what I was really going through were contractions and I ended up giving birth to Angel the next day!! It’s known as the “Halloween effect” apparently when you are heavily pregnant and you go “trick or treating” with your other kiddos, it tips your pregnancy over the edge and can induce early labour!! Or that’s what I was told! The hospitals expect and influx of patients coming in the next day because of this reason!! I guess it makes sense, I had never heard of such a thing in my life but there we were the next day, in the emergency operating room for the day’s first urgent C-section! Crazy, spooky… I thought we would have plenty of time (another week) after the Halloween festivities to prepare for baby. I guess Angelina had other plans!! In any case I feel so blessed that everything was smooth and I had this perfect, healthy little girl. I was worried that she would be born on Halloween, then I became worried that she may have had a complication, then finally I was so appreciative that everything went smoothly. Halloween will always be a really fun time with the kids, but it will always remind me of that last day that I carried my last sweet baby in my belly. It will forever be, Incredible. 

Photography: www.theretropenguin.com

 

 

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 

The Perfect Fall Floral

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Stephany’s Choice: Dress: NORDSTROM || Clutch : ASOS || Heels : Similar here 

This season I’ve been so attracted to floral prints and I’m not quite sure why. I pretty much always go for solid colors, and lots of layers but these days all I want to wear are these lovely floral designs. I actually don’t even want to stop there really. I want to wear flowers in my hair, put flowers in the girls’ hair, buy fresh flowers for my home. When we went to the Arboretum it was so refreshing to see all the pretty gardens and beautiful pumpkins and flowers. If I had to pin point a moment where my obsession was born it would probably be then. I guess this dress kind of reminded me of both of those things, the pretty flowers and the warm, rusty Fall tones. It’s been a wonderful Summer but I’m actually looking forward to the cozier months ahead. Ok, maybe not the freezing cold months but at least the ones where you can layer up and bundle just a little. I really want to start cooking more too. Annabelle and Alexander love to be in the kitchen. They are truly the best little helps out there. Yesterday we made a simple spaghetti (“sketti”) dish and he was so sweet rushing around the kitchen trying to be really helpful. The only terrifying part is trying to keep him out of the stove area, and I think I scared him half to death with what could happen if the boiling pot of water were to tip over! Bella likes to be involved too, in really helpful ways now. She can set the table, she does a wonderful job, and pour the drinks. She seems to really enjoy the process, or is she just happy to dodge reading time?!! haha. It’s hard to tell. A lot of times we do the 20 minutes of reading in the kitchen while I’m preparing dinner. Having said that I do really think she enjoys the art of table setting. My Mother is really similar and loves to put out a beautiful table spread. I’ve even seen Annabelle decorating napkins with personalized designs for each family member at their designated spots on the table! She puts so much care into it, like Alexander’s always have a little car on them, and hers will have a rainbow or something. She’s so creative and sweet. She always keeps so busy and can craft with the most mundane house hold products. Her imagination is amazing and it’s so fun to watch her and what she can make. Alexander on the other hand is such a little helper, he’s quiet and wouldn’t hurt a fly. Giving him clear tasks and letting him see the finished product is fun enough for him. He just wants to participate, be included and helpful . I always joke with Michael that Alexander will be a wonderful husband someday. Angel loves being in the kitchen too, especially when the whole family is at home. She loves to sit on her little high chair in the middle of all the action and be a part of the atmosphere. 

Thank you for reading along, soon I’m going to feature a special family Fall recipe, so stay tuned  ♥

Photography: theretropenguin.com