Monday, October 20, 2014

Lilli's 7th Birthday {Party}

Brelynn, Lucy, Lilli, Elly, Sydney
Kamryn, Maren, Addison (+ Javier), Lauren, Ashley

This Saturday Lilli celebrated her 7th birthday with 9 of her closest friends.  

The party was from 5 to 7, which nearly killed Lilli having to wait all day.  But, for me it was the perfect time.  I was able to spend all day getting ready, which was good because I had literally JUST started planning/preparing that morning.  It's so not like me to not have a 'plan' or even a theme picked out for that matter months ahead of time.  I kept telling myself that I was going to keep it low key and I did...and it was absolutely perfect.  Lilli was SO happy and judging by all the screaming and giggling going on, her friends had a pretty fun time, too.

When the girls arrived, they all ran out to the back yard and jumped on the trampoline.  

When they were jumping I realized that some of them may not know each other since it was a combination of Lilli's friends from school, preschool, dance..ect.  So, I had them all sit in a circle on the trampoline around Lilli and then take turns saying their names, how they knew Lilli and then something nice about Lilli or what they liked best about her.  Their answers were so sweet...mostly that she is really funny, caring and kind and they all love to play with her.

Then we head inside for pizza, doritos and juice boxes.

While Adam and I cleaned up the table, the girls went downstairs to dance on the girls' stage in their playroom.  When I went down there to take some pictures, I saw that they were all standing in a single file line, taking turns on the stage.  I was expecting complete chaos, but they figured out the best way to give everyone a chance all on their own.  So cute!
And those pictures??  All blurry, of course!! 

After the danced off their pizza they came back upstairs for ice-cream.  We decided to forgo a birthday cake/cupcakes this year and just go with a fun sundae bar with a bunch of Lilli's favorite toppings.  It was a huge hit with the kids and not a single one of them asked for cake.

Adam got Lilli a little piece of chocolate brownie so that we could sing happy birthday and she could blow out her candle, but it's actually still in the fridge waiting to be eaten.

After ice-cream, Lilli opened her presents.  She received so many fun gifts from her friends.  What a great group of girls.

After presents, we played Happy Birthday BINGO and got about 4 games in before parents started arriving to pick up their girls.

Overall, the party was a huge success.  Lilli was happy and is so grateful to all her sweet friends for coming to help share in her special day.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Garden Variety Kids Review {+ Giveaway}

You guys, I hate to say this but the girls are making it clear to me that they are old enough and independent enough and far more fashionable than I am to be picking out their clothes anymore.  Sad, right?  But, the one thing that all three of us can agree on is a good quality handmade piece.  They know what feels good, fits good and what's made well.  When I think of the clothes that I like to wear, it's a lot of comfort over style and the girls are the same way, but they prefer both - comfort & style.

Sarah at Garden Variety Kids creates clothing that's not only fun and playful, but stylish and appealing to a child's fashion sense.  She sent Lilli's this amazing chevron maxi-halter dress and let me tell you, my little girl can't get enough of it.  It's the perfect length and size, the fabric is chic and trendy and the design is simply adorable.

The ruffles on the bottom and around the neckline at character to the dress and even tho the dress is long and there is a lot of fabric, it's not bulky or heavy.  Lilli as been seen riding her scooter and jumping on the trampoline in this dress.  So, it's not only perfect for play but the perfect dress for all special occasions.

Sarah is a proud mommy of an energetic 3 year old who gave her the inspiration to create fun, bold and sophisticated clothing and accessories for children.
She works from her home in central Missouri and is constantly working on offering new designs and style options that are practical and fun enough for every day while styled for the most special occasions.

I'm holding on to every day that goes by that Alexa and Lillian let me help them get dressed in the morning and I know that when I suggest a special piece like this one from Garden Variety Kids, it's a shoo in!

Sarah is super sweet to offer one of my lucky readers a $25 shop credit to her Etsy Boutique.

Garden Variety Kids :: Etsy :: Facebook

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Thursday Thoughts {Vol.4}

Alexa turned TEN on Oct. 1st and Lilli celebrated her 7th birthday on Oct. 4th.  Needless to say, October is filled with all things birthday.  The girls are really good about celebrating together being their birthdays are so close, but we try our best to make each of their days extra special. They each have 'friend' parties coming up.

Alexa's birthday was on a Wednesday, which was perfect for her.  She always loves having her birthday on a school day so that she gets all the attention in class and gets to pick an activity for the day.

She also has dance on Wednesdays, so in between Lilli's and her classes we met up with our friends Chad and Amy and their girls Sydney and Macy at Dairy Queen for dinner and a birthday ice-cream treat.  They were so sweet and brought her a little gift of nail polish, a journal and a friendship necklace that she split with Macy.  After that Macy got to join Alexa for her Leaps and Turns class, as it was 'bring a friend to dance week'.  She brought cookies for her whole class to enjoy afterward.  I still can't believe my big girl is already 10!!  

Lilli's birthday was on Saturday, so she celebrated on Friday with her friends in school and we took her bowling Saturday afternoon.  She was quick to point out that it was her 7th birthday and we got put on lane 7!  We had so much fun as a family celebrating the birth of our girls.  We ate pizza at the bowling alley and then went out for ice-cream.  I'm not sure what feels weirder...Alexa being 10 or my BABY being 7.  

The girls participated in all the dress up days during Homecoming week at their school.  The first day was Disney day, so they wore some of their dance costumes from last year and then there was tie-dye day, wear all pink day, Hawaiian day and then of course, school spirit day where they wore their school colors, orange and black.

The girls had team pictures at their dance studio! It was so fun getting them all dolled up.  I can't wait to see how they turn out.  They put up the panoramic pics in the hallway at the studio.  Alexa and Lillian are so excited to be apart of it this year.  

{Kaylee, Alexa, Jillian & Rachel}

The girls had 'bring a friend to dance' week and each got to bring friends to 2 of their classes.  Alexa had her friend Hannah N. and Macy join her and Lilli chose her friend Sydney for both classes.

Last weekend our friend and neighbor, Meghan, was home from college and offered to take pictures of their girls for their birthdays.  I couldn't turn down the offer!!  Meghan is just the sweetest girl and is so so talented.  I've gotten a sneak peek of some of the pictures and can't wait to see more and then of course share them with you.  We had an absolute blast.  The girls were in such good moods and giggled the entire time.  Meghan has amazing patience and is so good with kids.  We just love her.  

We had parent/teacher conferences this week and I was almost brought to tears by the stellar reports my girls received.  Conferences were a nightmare last year for Lillian, not because she was a bad student, but because her teacher was very negative and it just brought our spirits way down.  She focused a lot on poor behavior when in reality I think her negative personality reflected onto the students.  Anyways, Lilli's teachers are AMAZING this year and had such wonderful things to say about our sweet girl.  Alexa is doing fabulous, too, and loving her leadership role in the multiage classroom.  She still adores her teacher and from the sounds of it, the feelings are mutual.  We are so proud of both of our girls !!!  I could sense from the beginning of the year that this was going to be a great year, and so far it's proven to be.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

LOVE Dance!

 Alexa and Lillian are neck deep into their dance schedule for the season and each week it seems like we're adding more.  Alexa is in the Amazing Stars Companie this season, which she is more than excited about.  The Amazing Stars are a group of girls who have just clicked from day one and have competed together for the past few years.  Alexa is the newbie to the group, but proved herself during try-outs and was ecstatic to be positioned on this team.  However, it's been a big challenge for her and requires quite a bit of additional hours at the studio to catch up to the rest of the group.  

She amazes us every week with her hard work and dedication to her sport and to her team!  We love that she has such supportive teammates that have welcomed her with open arms and dance teachers that are willing to go the extra mile to make her feel comfortable and confident that she belongs with this team!  

Adam and I could not be more grateful for such an awesome studio the girls belong to.  We just 'know' that this is such a good fit for the girls and for our family!!  

Currently Alexa is taking ballet, tap and jazz with her companie and an extra ballet class.  She's also taken advantage of many of the technique classes offered including, strength and conditioning, leaps and turns, acro and an additional tap class.   Whew!!

Lillian dances with the Starlights, the youngest companie group at their studio!  It's a group of 7 girls that have become super close over the last year.  Lilli and 2 others danced together in their rec groups last year and all decided to try out for a companie this year and were so excited they all made the same team.

It's been so fun to watch Lilli blossom in dance over the year.  She definitely knows that there is a difference when it comes to companie and takes her classes very seriously (or so I hope....I haven't heard otherwise, thank goodness!! ;))  She loves that this is something her and her big sister share together and looks up to Alexa for love and support.

Lilli is just doing companie classes this year, which is just fine considering Alexa has a full schedule.  Lilli's time is coming when more of the technique classes are required.  So, for now we're keeping it pretty simple with her.  And who knows, next year her and Alexa may be doing a duet together.  How cute would that be?

Lilli's classes include ballet, tap and jazz with her companie and an additional ballet class.

With Alexa and Lillian's continued obsession with dance comes a common need/want for all things DANCE..including all the dance clothes they can get their hands on.

Recently, the girls were asked to be brand reps for Love Dance Clothing Company.  Excited screaming and squealing is hugely understated when it came to their reaction.  How could they not want to represent a clothing company that designs clothes that are inspired by a passion for dancing??   

Trisha is the owner of Love Dance Clothing Company.  She is a mama of 3 children and was a dancer growing up for 14 years.  Her 8 year old daughter now dances at the same studio she did as a child.  As a dance mom, Trisha found it difficult to find age appropriate tops for her daughter to wear to dance class.  So, Trisha and her daughter designed these t-shirts and tank tops together.  They have a passion for dance and want to offer clothing to girls who love dance as much as they do.

Alexa and Lillian are modeling the 'Eat. Sleep. Dance. Repeat' and 'keep on dancing" t-shirts from the Love Dance Clothing Company collection.  We loved them so much and they were an even bigger hit at their dance studio that their whole teams ordered the same shirts to wear to and from dance class.  I should add how equally awesome and convenient it is that their studio colors are pink and black!! :)

For more designs, visit Love Dance Clothing Company's Website, Facebook and Instagram.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Jamberry Nails Review {+ Giveaway}

I recently had the opportunity to try the new fashion trend for nails called, Jamberry Nails.  

First, I love cute nails.
Second, I hate nail polish.

Being the busy active mom that I am, my nail polish doesn't last more than a few hours before I get a chip or it starts wearing off.  I'm constantly washing my hands, cleaning dishes, playing with my kids, working..ect.  Plus, I'm never patient enough to let it dry, so then I get some serious smudging and that alone is enough to drive me crazy.

I've tried a different nail wrap before and I wasn't a fan.  It was cute and fun right away, but I quickly noticed that the quality wasn't up to my standards.  The wraps were pretty easy to put on but they were really thin and ripped easily when applying them to the nail and they didn't last very long.  I was picking and pulling at the wraps constantly and when one would peel off, I'd pick at the others.

So, I have been hesitant about giving Jamberry a go.  I didn't want to run into the same problems as before and be disappointed.  But, after hearing so much about Jamberry Nails around social media and the blog world, taking a look at all the amazing designs Jamberry offers, and all the positive feedback they were getting, I finally gave in and told Alyson that I'd test them out and let you know what I thought.

I chose the mint green and gold horizontal pinstripes and the vintage chic.  Something a little different than I normally would wear.

I have to say, the quality is by far better than the wraps I had tried before.  They are thicker and heavier duty.  I knew they's last...and they have!

They were very easy to apply, however, I feel like perfecting them will come with time and practice.
I do kind of feel like I have a sticker on my nails, but again...the more I use them the better I'll get at filing the tips and making them perfect.  I will definitely be trying these again!!!

Overall, I'm really liking them and there are so many fun designs to choose from on their website.  Be sure to contact Alyson if you have any questions and to place and order.  With the holidays coming up, these would make great gifts, stocking stuffers or something special for that hard to by for teenager. ;)  And of course you're going to want your nails looking good for all the fun parities you'll be attending.

Another awesome thing about Jamberry is that they cater to little kids, too.  Having two daughters, I know that nail polish is not only a fashion trend for women, but for the younger generations, too.  Alexa is obsessed with all things nail polish, so when I showed her these cool nail wraps, she thought it was the greatest invention ever...Duh! ;)

Unfortunately, Alexa was at dance when I started my little nail party, so Lilli got to take part instead.  Don't worry, we saved some for Alexa, too!  

How cute are they??  
She can't wait to show them off to her friends at school!

I'd love to know...have you tried Jamberry Nails?  

Alyson is also offering one of my lucky readers a Jamberry Nail Kit that includes nail prep wipes, nail files, sample nail wraps and more.