Fashion Feature Friday Vol.1

I am super excited to bring you my very first fashion feature! Most people save the best for last, but I was just so excited to share I'm sharing my very best friend (since the 5th grade!!), Amanda Vaughn-Redmon, with you guys for my first ever Fahion Friday Feature! She's a graduate from SCAD in Savannah, worked for several years as a designer for Urban Outfitters and Urban Renewal, before opening her own boutique, Formation, in Kernersville, NC. You can find her own designs and remade vintage items there or at Formation on etsy. She has also recently joined the iPhone and Instagram world! You can find her and her cute pups at amandavaughredmon on IG. Amanda has always had a unique way of styling herself and I recently moved away from Winston-Salem where she resides, so I was dying to see how she's been styling herself since she is an expectant mama. Of course she makes me wish I was pregnant again JUST so I can try out these styles. :)

1. How would you describe your style?
My style is heavily influenced by shape and color, or lack of color (in most cases). I have always dressed in what I feel naturally expresses the creative and defiant part of me, if that makes sense. In other words, I wear what I want, and I do not worry so much about what is currently trending. Styling myself has always been the most favorite part of my day. Maybe I am old fashioned, but I believe in dressing for an occasion...even if there isn't one to attend necessarily. And I don't mean that I go out looking like I am dressed for the ball, but just that I took time to put something together.

2. Who/What is your biggest style influence?
Wow, there are so many style/fashion icons to me out there, and I am not referring to the most recent...like Lady Gaga (although I appreciate that her style is art). One of my all time favorite designers is Vivienne Westwood. I love her spunk and confidence...and she is so punk rock. At the ripe old age of 70, she still has it going on.

3. Tell us 3 pieces from your wardrobe you can't live without.
Although I LOVE all the pieces in my wardrobe (and maybe that is why I layer so much), I could never go without my accessories...particularly my most recent remade leather necklace collection. I mix and match those with my other baubles daily. My boots are the other piece of the ever changing puzzle. Most currently, I cannot dress without my new Ksubi "Dusty boots", which you will most likely see in my pictures. Lastly my harem pant collection has been growing for at least 6 years now. I definitely could not go on without the quick comfort of my harem pants!

4. What is your favorite type of shoe?
All of my shoes must have some sort of piecing or dimension. I never go for anything flat or uninteresting.

5. How do you piece your outfits together?
Well, it all starts with me staring into my wardrobe, until that one key piece pops out to me. It is a feeling I guess. And then the layering begins!

6. Where are your favorite places to shop?
I love shopping in Europe, of course, but my favorite shopping is either in Stockholm or Copenhagen. You find the coolest little shops tucked away on all the little by-streets. The market in London has always been a favorite as well. I found a mini treasure chest full of old keys a few years ago...and some really fantastic handmade metal rings.
7. If you could give one bit of style advice, what would it be?
My advice, in the most simplest of words, is to just find a style that feels like you, and do not follow or mimic what people are wearing around you, because that will change from day to day.

8. What are your favorite beauty products?
Funny thing is, I am totally low maintenance when it comes to make-up. I am very plain Jane with that...basic foundation, a bit of blush and mascara. Nothing crazy. As far as brands I swear on, well...I'm not addicted to anything really.

9. Do you have a favorite fashionable movie/television character?
Although she was as eccentric as they come, I was strangely inspired by Edith Bouvier Beale "Little Edie", most famously known from the movie "Grey Gardens". She was a mess, but a very intriguing mess! Who else would mix swimwear with fur? Well other than the runway...which too have been influenced by "Little Edie", I'm guessing.

10. Tell us 3 random facts about yourself.
I am all over the place...starting projects on top of projects. That is to keep up with my ever-spinning craft-centered mind. A new idea will surface at any moment now! My favorite show growing up...wait for it...The Monkees! The third random fact about me, which sort of contradicts the first one is that I am somewhat OCD (self diagnosed of course) when it comes to my work space. I cannot begin to work when my studio or materials are scattered.

Thank you, Amanda, for sharing with us! Hopefully we can find you in the blogosphere sometime soon!


Give Thanks!

Hello! Happy Thanksgiving to all of my lovely readers! We are spending the day enjoying family time and storing energy for some all night shopping! Woot! We'd just like to share some of the things we are thankful for this year.

Mama- I'm thankful for my family. Each and every one of them. I have an amazing, supportive family (blood relation and in-laws). We are all so different but we all fit together perfectly. I'm especially thankful to my parents for allowing us to live with them this year while we save up and get some of our debt paid down. Though The Dude can get a little wild every now and then, his love and personality make up for it ten fold. Having our beautiful baby girl has made our family even more full of love and I can't remember what life was like without her. But I'm especially thankful for my husband, Brian. My life has been so full of love and laughter since I met him and I appreciate all that he does for us. He is truly my best friend and such an amazing father. I'm also thankful for my friends. I'm lucky to have been blessed with some pretty fantastic friends all over the country! We have some great friends that we miss bunches in Atlanta and California and we sure do miss our friends in Winston-Salem. We hope to get back up to West Virginia to see our friends there and hopefully meet some of our IG friends in the near future.

Dada: I, as well, am thankful for my family, both near and far. The ones I don't get to see too often in Georgia and Alabama and wherever else they may be scattered about. Maybe we don't see eye to eye on some things, but above all of that, we are family and whether we realize it or not, we all have an enormous impact on one another's lives. I am truly thankful for my in-laws, for accepting this random weird dude into their family to marry their baby girl and help raise their grandson. You've accepted me with open arms for years, and have now accepted welcomed us into your home. I'm thankful for Hayden, for allowing me to step in and help raise you and for treating me as if I were your real father. When I met you and your mom, I didn't get an instruction manual on how to raise a kid, but I'm certain you got one on how to raise a dad. You know all the right buttons to push, both good and bad. And the good far outweigh the bad. To my beautiful wife who never ceases to amaze me: you've twice given me the opportunity to be a dad. With the dude (though you did most of the hard work early on), and with the most perfect little darling girl. Just like you said, I can't remember what life was like before her, I can't imagine life without her. You are everything I ever hoped for in a wife; a soulmate, a best friend. I'm thankful for countless friends across the country, that, though I don't see you too often, or even talk to you that often, you're still in my thoughts daily. From different cities within GA, TN, AL, FL, NC, SC, WV, CA and plenty of others, I cherish each and every one of you, and can't wait for the next time I get to see all of you. And finally, I'm thankful, that despite the lack of employment across our country, I have been given an opportunity to work and provide for my family. Elizabeth carried the weight for too long, and now I am able to pay that favor back so that she can stay home with the kids and not stress about going to work everyday. True, sometimes I have stressful days/weeks, and sometimes I grumble about my job, but I love it, and am glad my hard work doesn't go unrecognized.

The Dude: Is thankful for his friends and family. But mostly he is thankful for all of his toys and electronics.  *Oh the simple mind of a child* :P

Magnolia: She told me she is thankful for Mama, Dada, Brother and her toys. She's also thankful for boobies and milk. :)

Happy Thanksgiving Y'all!! <3

PS You guys should go check out this giveaway over at AdaLouVintage's blog! It's for a gorgeous Inspiration Board by Soft Surroundings.


Magnolia's 9 Month Checkup

Monday we went in for Magnolia's 9 month checkup. I was thinking she was up for another round of immunizations, but then I remembered she's not due again until 12 months. Yay! I did decide to go ahead and get her the flu vaccine, only because The Dude is exposed to so many germs and I don't want him bringing anything home to her. This was our first time for her at our new pediatrician's office and they do things a little differently. At our old office we went back, the nurse asked some basic questions, had us strip her down and change her diaper, they weighed her and then went back to the room so they could measure her head circumference and length. At the new office they do all of this at a special little changing station that weighs, and has a length measuring thingamajigger. I stripped her down while they asked questions, then the NURSE took her diaper off (I thought that was kind of weird), they weighed, measured, took her temp rectally and then put one of THEIR diapers on. Isn't that weird? I mean, it was just a Pampers diaper, but when I went to give her one of Magnolia's diapers she said "No that's ok. We use ours." Um. ok.

Then we went back to the room and her pediatrician came in immediately. My mom knows her from working on Pediatrics at the hospital, which is why we chose her. She's seen The Dude a couple of times and now Magnolia once and I really like her. We'll call her Dr. R. She went over all of the basics. I told her about Magnolia not sleeping through the night and how we thought maybe she had a bit of reflux and if maybe that was what woke her up at night. Dr. R agreed that she had heard her reflux a few times while we were there, but that she disn't seem to be unhappy when she did or in any sort of pain, so she recommended not medicating. She told us that newer research shows that those antacids may do more harm than good. They work by eliminating the acids in our stomach which actually HELP keep out bad bacteria. In turn there is a higher incidence of stomach infections. Makes sense to me. I went with Dr. R's advice and we will try not to medicate. She checked her vitals and everything was looking good.

She then pulled her diaper down to check out her hoo hoo. Happens at every appt. Nothing new. But then I got a "huh". She then went straight into telling me that Magnolia had developed a labial adhesion. Dr. R immediately told me what it was which I appreciate. I've worked in the medical field. I've heard of this condition before, but it's nice to have a doc that doesn't drag things out and gets straight to an explanation for a concerned parent. It's exactly what it sounds like. Her labia minora had become stuck together. This basically "closed" her vagina. There is a real basic informational page on the BabyCenter website. It tells us that this happens in about 2 percent of little girls up to age 6 and that it can be a result of baby's hormones from mama tapering off around 3 months. Babies don't have the estrogen that adults have to make the natural lubricants, so there is nothing to keep the area open. It can also be related to irritation from diaper changes or maybe a scented detergent. Most of the time, they don't need any sort of treatment. We were told absolutely do NOT try to pull it apart (duh) as it can be painful for the littlest and can just re-adhere. If it doesn't heal on it's own and gets worse it can block the urethra and cause urine to pool in the vagina which could cause infection and leaking urine. She recommended in Magnolia's case to let her call in an estrogen cream. It's to be applied directly to the affected area with light pressure twice a day. She also told me not to be surprised if Magnolia develops little breast! Eeep! I sure hope not. We've used it since Monday night and it appears to be fixed already. It's hard to tell on a wiggly little baby. I'll try to get a better look tonight after her bath and hopefully we can quit using it already.

We talked about how I had started putting flax seed in Magnolia's food and that she was on board with that as long as I wasn't giving her whiskey as well. Sheesh! She's not even a year yet! We know better than to give whiskey in the first year. :) She didn't have many recommendations for finger foods to try, so I'll be researching that some more. She's had a few pieces of our food here and there. Noodles, green beans, mashed potatoes, peas, toast. I just don't want her to only eat Cheerios and puffs all the time. Do you have any finger food suggestions?

The nurse came in at the end of the visit to give Magnolia her flu shot. She was quick and efficient. Mags was shocked and immediately started screaming, but I scooped her up, snuggled her real tight and nursed and she was happy as a clam! She seemed a little cranky later in the day. I don't know if it was from her shot, lack of a good nap, teething or everything combined. She has to have a flu booster shot in 4 weeks. I guess children under 9 that get their flu shot for the first time have to get a booster. :(

I may be back tonight or tomorrow with another post, but if not I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I have a lovely special lady lined up for a Fashion Friday Feature this week. Can't wait to share with you!

Happy Wednesday Y'all!! <3


Weekend Roundup

Hi friends! We had a fun weekend round these parts. Saturday was spent thrifting with my mom and the kids. I scored some adorable hand embroidered dolls for $3.50. Not sure how old they are, but they were super cute so I grabbed them to go on a shelf in Magnolia's room until she's old enough to play with them. They are even embroidered on the back!

Next we returned to an antique mall we had visited earlier in the week. They were having a big sale and I was hoping to score an old high chair for the little lady. I had to decide between these two gems.

$68 Folds into a cute lil desk!


Initially I went back to get the first high chair. But it was more than twice the price of the second and the second was the style I had been looking for in the first place because I wanted to paint it. So I went with the second, and I'm really excited for it to be my next project! While we were there I found an awesome Fisher Price record player. Marketed for tweens, but I knew the hubs would love it. We are thinking we'll pass it on to The Dude in the next couple of years so he can start his own record collection.

Magnolia begged for this lovely red wig, but I had to let her down gently. Read: I really wanted to buy it and my mom gave me that "don't be ridiculous look".

Can't wait for this child to get some more hair!
We had Chili's for lunch. I die for their bottomless chips and salsa. We went to a couple more disappointing thrift and antique spots. One being a waaay overpriced thrift store. I did score a cute vintage Buster Brown top and brown Levi's skinnies for the lil one and a navy sweatshirt for The Dude for school. He has to wear uniforms and after the new year they are enforcing a "no hoody policy". 

This kid loves his grandparents! I do NOT love his haircut he got from my
dad's barber. Hello Jim Carrey circa Dumb and Dumber... :/

This pic cracks me up. Her posture, her face. Hilarious! 

My mom and I worked on a doll idea I'm considering selling on etsy. The front is an awake face and the back is a sleeping face. It's modeled after some vintage dolls we found, but it needs some tweaking. I'd like babies to be able to actually play with them and Magnolia promptly ripped some of our prototype's hair out. :/ So I'm thinking that may need to be embroidered as well. I may have a few Instagram mamas interested in some boy dolls and I totally know how I'd like to do them. Now to just do it!

Today was our first Sunday enforcing "No Technology Sunday" (until after dinner) and my Pinterest Crafty board is out of control long, so I've been wanting to actually do some of the things I've pinned on there. Today I finally got these little Christmas trees done. They're definitely not as pretty as the originals, but I like them enough to display them. :) 

The hubs usually has Sundays off, but he is crazy busy at the store trying to get ready for Black Friday so he went in for a few hours today. When he got home I dragged him back out to take some things out of the living room over to our storage unit to make room for our Christmas tree!! I'm so excited but there are a bunch of decorations I want to make for the tree so I need to get crackin! Maybe I'll whip up some of these adorable mustache ornaments from over at Jess's blog, My Little Mustache!

Today Magnolia also turned 9 months old! I cannot believe she has been outside of my belly just as long as she was inside. It makes me sad and excited at the same time! While so much has changed in the past 9 months, so much is still the same. 
We still don't sleep through the night. Some nights she's up once and the next night she may be up every couple of hours. all. night. long. We still nurse every 3-4 hours during the day. She has and is crazy for her cereal in the morning. Not so much her fruits, though I can usually get her to eat a little. She'll have a veggie for lunch and then has a meat and veggie for dinner or one of her fancy little organic meals in a pouch. haha. 
Her top right tooth is right underneath the gums (and has been for about a week), so that will make tooth number 3 any day now. 
She still isn't crawling up on her hands and knees but as of today she does this adorable little wormy, scoot, crawl thing that can get her across the room pretty quick. 
She finally, definitely said Dada...a few times today. Magnolia, B and I were laying in bed this morning and she peeked around my shoulder looked right at him and said excitedly, "Dadaaa!" He is smitten more than ever. She's also started saying "Daw" (sounds like dog without the g) and looking at Porkchop. 
See what I mean?! She's learning something new every day it seems! Tomorrow she has to go get her 9 month shots. :( I feel strongly that immunizations are important for children, but I sure do hate taking that sweet girl in for them and doubly hate how she looks at me like "Why are you letting them do this to meeee?!?!"
The Dude helped me out with Mag's 9 month photo shoot today, so I'll leave you with some of my favorites. 

Happy Sunday Y'all!! <3

Big Brother trying to make her laugh. They sure do love each other!

Her face!!! Bahahaha!

Loves to hear herself scream


Jarred Holiday Candle Tutorial

Happy Saturday! Today I'm sharing a little tutorial for a painted holiday candle holder. I have seen a few different painted mason jars on Pinterest (come follow me) and wanted to try it myself. I have some Mason jars that I will be using this technique on, but I wanted to test it out first. So without further ado, I present my Jarred Holiday Candle!

Materials Needed:
- Jar - you can use any sort of glass jar. A mason jar would be great. I happened to have this cherry jar on hand.
- Spray paint - any color. I wanted mine gold so I can use it year after year no matter what my Xmas decor may be that year. You want to make sure you use a spray paint that will adhere to glass.
- Adhesive Vinyl Letters - I found mine in the hardware section at Wal-Mart. They have a couple of different sizes. Be careful which ones you purchase. I saw some that were black letters on a white background. You DON'T want those! You want just the plain letters.
- Tea light Candle - I just purchased these from the clearance Halloween section at Wal-Mart. 75% off = .25 cents baby! Whoop! I may have bought 4 packs.

That's it! First you'll need to make sure your jar is clean and dry. Choose your saying for your jar. I chose the word JOY. Try to choose a short word so that you can see the whole word from the front. Obviously you can fit larger words on larger jars. Adhere your letter vinyl letters to your jar. This is where I wish that I had had a larger jar. My letter curved over the top edge and didn't want to lay perfectly. The sticker buckled and you don't want that. Try to get your stickers as flat as possible and get all of the air bubbles out. 

Carry your jar and your spray paint outside or into your garage. Remember this is spray paint and has the potential to get everywhere. Lay down a piece of cardboard or a drop cloth. From about 8-10 inches away, spray your jar in quick bursts. Try not to hold your can in the same area too long or you will get drips. This is glass so it drips a lot faster than wood. I was able to cover my jar in one coat, but if it's not covering as well, wait about 15 minutes and do a second or third coat. When your happy with how it looks wait an hour to dry thoroughly and bring your jar in!

Now you're ready to peel your letters off! GO SLOW! You don't want to peel off any of your paint. 

Now this is where I had some trouble. I thought I was done at this point. I place my tea light candle in and when I lit it I decided I didn't like how well you could see the candle. I wanted more of a "glow". I happened to have another type of metallic spray paint. Same brand, metallic, but silver and a matte paint with a different type of spray nozzle. I wanted to use this paint to lightly spray the inside of the jar where the letters are. (no need to spray the whole inside) I didn't think much of it and thought the contrast of color might be neat. The paint came out way faster and in a more concentrated stream. I got drips with my first spray. :( I didn't want to go any further with that, so I switched back to the glossy gold. It made kind of a swirly effect which seemed ok...

...until I lit it.

You can reeeaaally see those dang drips when it's lit. It's not terrible, but the "J" is the effect I was trying to achieve. I also wasn't crazy about the ridges at the top, so I added a little gingham ribbon.   

I really like the overall idea of this, but will definitely use my oopsies to make my next one even better! This could be done year round. You could use initials. You could use several that are different sizes and colors and spell a word out to go across your mantle or a bookshelf. 


Wooden Toys

I'm obsessing over wooden toys lately. I'm such a sucker for all of the expensive, bright toys that light up and make horrible noises. I feel like since they draw a child's attention, they must be great. No, they are just bright and loud so naturally a baby will be drawn to them. But what if we just didn't have them to start with? I would love to switch over to only buying vintage, wood and eco friendly toys for Magnolia. At least for the first few years. I have seen all kinds of cute toys and ideas for for things to make her myself. etsy.com is a great resource for all of these toy ideas. Here are a few things I've found that I'm loving from etsy.

Armadillo Dreams has a lot of adorable wooden toys, from this cute
little farm set to natural wooden teething toys. 

Armadillo Dreams

BeneathTheRowanTree has a sweet collection of teeny tiny wooden toys including
these lil ladies. They also have lots of fun dress up type items.

How sweet is this baby gift set from A Summer Afternoon?

A Summer Afternoon also has this awesome car and truck set!

3 Princesses Engraving has these adorable "Smartphone" teethers. A little
compromise between the wooden toys and your little techie? :P

This is an amazing transportation memory game for your older toddlers-preschoolers.
From Little Sapling Toys.

Dying over this wooden camera from Little Sapling Toys!

A North Carolina teether from Little Sapling Toys! They have all kinds of
different states and shapes like cupcakes, octopi, flowers, dinosaurs and
birds. You can even have them engraved!

Adorable Scoop and Sort Set for your preschooler from apple n amos!

So those are some of my favorite lil wooden toys. I'm sure my obsession will continue. I'll let you know if I actually make some purchases! What kinds of toys do you prefer for your little babes? 

Happy Friday! <3