GIFT GUIDE – UNCOMMON GOODS

Here are a few of our favorite things!
Uncommon Goods literally has something for everyone. Helloooo taco mobile. Anyone having a baby? Can we please get you a whole taco themed gift? Personally obsessed with the light box, and my kids are obsessed with the ice cream truck! Our friends, Haulin’ Oats have their amazing oatmeal on here- and we can testify that the cinnamon girl flavor is to die for!
The best part about Uncommon Goods is that they promote small businesses, emerging designers, and hand makers. Each item has a story behind it and a bio of the artist. As makers ourselves, we SO appreciate that! They also keep sustainability in mind- helping the earth and helping us gift beautiful, handmade items? Yes please.
Scroll down for links.
Love that the ice cream truck is made out of very easily put together cardboard, so it can be disassembled easily when your kids are finished playing. Great for small spaces.
As a blogger/instagrammer, the light boxes are perfect props for styling photos! And we’ve been using this as our shop sign when we do markets.

Here are our favs below, but also check out these easy to shop gift guide links:
BABY
KIDS
FOR HER
FOR HIM
bloody mary mix
men’s wooden watch
moscow mule carry on kit

TURN YOUR KID’S ARTWORK INTO ART

A perfect art project for Teacher’s Appreciation Day or Mother’s Day. By simply taping the edges of fold-over notes, it creates a clean border for the chaos within. Then write your sweet note inside and send! Or make a few and bundle them together with twine and give as custom stationery. Step-by-step tutorial below.
WHAT YOU NEED:
acrylic or oil paints
paint brushes
masking tape or painters tape
foldover notes or cardstock
willing children
STEP 1:
Line up all notecards so that the sides are touching
STEP 2: 
Put one piece of tape down in between two cards just to save yourself time and supplies. Tape ALL edges down so that you have a tape border around each card.
STEP 3:
Have your kids fill each card with paint edge to edge. I like to choose the paint colors myself so that they turn out sort of nice no matter what! Start with warm tones, then cool, then have them finish with a clean skinny brush for a metallic paint. 
STEP 4:
Carefully peel off the tape and voila! A nice clean boarder that looks pretty enough to gift!
xo

KID’S EASTER TABLESCAPE | UNDER $20

Hey guys! Happy Friday! We are ending the week with a suuuuuuper simple kids’ table setting for Easter brunch. It is usually a gloomy day on Easter, and the lighting for this table shoot is no different. ha! It has been raining here in Nashville, and that beautiful natural lighting is hiding out.
We got most everything you see here at…. wait for it…. Target!! Surprise, right? Honestly, when I came across these UUUUHMAAAZING paper plates that Design Love Fest did for Cheeky Home, I knew I had to do something with them. We scored in the dollar section, which is always so great for projects like this. Kids tend to destroy things, so you want the table to look great, but don’t want to break the bank. Of course we had to add in some of our custom tattoos (here in our Etsy shop) because they are just so fun! My daughter wanted to put all of these on, and didn’t understand that we needed them for the table as well. She is a huge supporter of the biz! 😉
What are your Easter plans? We always do our church service then head to brunch as a family. It is truly one of my MOST favorite holidays. I love getting the family dressed up, eating good food and just enjoying such a happy day.

xo!

DIY HALLOWEEN COSTUMES FOR LITTLES

Halloween is soooo far away, but according to instagram, it’s like next week. Here are some of my kids’ past Halloween costumes that are easy to DIY!
DIY HALLOWEEN COSTUMES
1. HARRY POTTER
This one is my absolute favorite! You know what a Harry Potter nerd I am. We tell Ari Harry Potter stories (the non-scary ones) now, so he loves looking at this picture of himself! 
Last year, he decided to be Harry Potter again! Needless to say, we were thrilled!
OUTFIT: khaki or black pants, white button down shirt, black or gray vest or v-neck sweater. Cloak purchased here.
SCARF: I knit this using this pattern
GLASSES: here. I popped the plastic lenses out
SCAR: Purchase our lightening bolt tattoos HERE for the whole family!
2. MARTY MCFLY
I still giggle at this one. Ari obviously didn’t get who he was but people loved it! The Back to the Future Trilogy is one of Jeffrey and my favorite movies (next to HP obvs). 
OUTFIT: jean jacket, white button down with blue/red plaid, maroon t-shirt, red suspenders, red puffy vest, tight light wash jeans, white Nike high tops
“Look at them moccasins!”
3. SADNESS
New fav!!! Links HERE
4. AC SLATER
He has the curly hair, so why not? Links HERE
5. THE ORKIN MAN
Ari is obsessed with our Orkin man, George. I think he thinks of George as a grandpa?? George retired that year, so it was only fitting to pay homage to him.
Outfit: white button down, pleated khakisred hat
Details: I made the epaulets out of red felt with a white button sewed on. I just winged it whip stitched them on the shoulders BUT I did it backwards. The button side is supposed to point towards the neck of the shirt.
You can download the Orkin logo I made here.
Stick on eyebrows/mustache found at a costume shop.
I covered Max in little plastic spiders to make it more Halloween-y!
Tutorial for the spray can is below. There was probably a way easier way like using a silver coffee can, but I used what I had!
Punch a hole through the oatmeal can top for the rubber tube (bought at a hardware store)
Tape the tube inside and on the top of the can
Punch holes for the string before you tape the top on
Wrap can and hose with duct tape
6. CARDINAL
I made this for Ari’s preschool costume, but count it anyway as a great Halloween DIY.
Tack/sew red boa around the turtleneck. I used yellow felt for the feet and attached it to Ari’s crocs. For the hat, I glued felt on top of a foam visor from the craft store. You could always just stick feathers on a red hat and call it a day!
7. BABY NERD
This was my laziest costume but effective. Max already had the white onesie, cardi, and bowtie. I just put masking tape on Ari’s Harry Potter glasses (above)!
8. HASHTAG THE PANDA
Our love for Jimmy Fallon is STRONG.
Similar panda costume HERE.
You can download the name tag I made HERE, but you could easily buy the name tag stickers and write “Hashtag”. If you don’t get it, you don’t get it. If you do, it’s pretty hilarious.
9. TINKER BELL
Ari adores Tinker Bell! His preschool had costume day, so we went with his hero!
Tutorial for the costume and educational art HERE.
This year is most likely directed by Ari who is now 5! Sad! So far, he wants to be Sadness from Inside Out. I’ll update you with the progress! Good luck, mamas!
-L

GUIDE TO ROAD TRIPPING WITH LITTLES

Every summer, our family vacations at our lake house in Northern Michigan. It’s our little slice of heaven. The problem? It’s sort of hard to get to. Flights are expensive, and we somehow miss our connection all. the. time. So this year, we drove! My husband was at Lollapalooza, so I was in the car by myself one day, then my parents drove my oldest the second day. It went really smoothly, so I wanted to share… any mamas out there getting ready to hit the road with littles? 
1. ORGANIZE. Organize the crap out of your car.
Back seat: 
*Structured tote bags (so they don’t flip flop all over the place) of toys for each kiddo in reach of their car seats- more on this later…
*Blankets for nap time
*Hats and sunglasses (and lather your kids with sunscreen before you start- learn from my mistakes)
*These window shades- they just adhere to the window! No sticky residue, no suction cups. Love. 
*Cooler and snack bag
Front seat: 
*Large box of baby wipes
*Diapers and changing pad
*used plastic bags to be used as trash bags or wet/dirty clothes
*Phone charger
*CD’s (Harry Potter audio books obvs)
*Secret grownup snacks
Trunk:
If you’re spending the night half way like we did, pack the stuff you’ll need at the hotel last for easy access. I packed each of our jammies, toiletries, and clothes for the next day all in one bag, so I wouldn’t have to search through each suitcase in the hotel. 
2. KEEP ‘EM BUSY
First thing to note… I don’t have a DVD player in my car. Soooooo if you do, you’re probably all set. But if you don’t, read on. In each kid’s tote bags, I brought age appropriate toys for each. Max is 9 months, so he gets bored easily with toys. I just packed a ton of little things I could hand him as he tossed them out of his seat when he was done. Ha! Ari is 3 1/2 and is able to really concentrate for a while. I had him go through all of his activities before playing with the iPad.
We also played a lot of games like I spy, car bingo, cloud shape-spotting, etc. 
Here are Ari’s picks for iPad apps. I’d love to know yours! 
Comment below if I’m missing some of your favs. 
3. SNACKS. So many snacks.
I’d love to say I packed little ziplocks of fresh fruit and veggies for my kids… but at least I thought about it! Since Max is still too little for most snacks, I love to give him Mum-Mums– I can just hand him one from the front seat, and he can eat it all by himself. Ari is a snack monster and very food motivated, so I have healthy snacks but also “special treats” for milestones in the trip. In the front seat were secret grownup snacks as MY special treats. Anything crunchy and constant is a good way to keep busy (and stay awake). Oh and caffeine. Duh.
4. SCHEDULE + PIT STOPS
If you’re able to, schedule your drive around your kids’ nap times. Start an hour or two before nap time so the nap essentially breaks up the trip. I love to drive in the evening, so we can get some driving done when the kids are sleeping. 
Think about when your kids eat meals. Eating in the car takes up a good chunk of time for activities on the drive. Stopping to grab food for the car is a great time for potty breaks! Ugh. My first road trip with a non-diapered kid! We practiced a couple weeks before “holding it in” and it went pretty smoothly. I planned on stopping every few hours to pee, stretch, etc. 
On that note… when you stop, make sure to get your kids’ wiggles out! I make up a game with Ari which essentially has him running sprints and doing jumping jacks! I’m that mom in the back of Burger King. You gotta do what you gotta do. 
Since we were driving in Northern Michigan, we were lucky enough to stop in some cute little towns on the bay. The perfect time to Yelp some restuarants. Found this little gem in South Haven. You know I loooove donuts! Excellent coffee at Julia’s too. 
Worth it!
I hope your trip goes smoothly- as smoothly as it can be of course. 
And the most important things to take away from this are: 
1. wear stretchy pants
2. cut yourself and your kids some slack
3. try to make it fun! 
What are your tricks of the trade for travel? 
-L

FAMILY PHOTO SHOOT – WHAT TO WEAR

We had a little family reunion on my husband’s side of the family in St. Louis- so fun! Magic House, Butterfly house, lots of outdoor play- if anyone needs ideas for kiddos in St. Louis, please email me. So much great stuff to do. I grew up in St. Louis, but going back there with littles is a whole new ballgame. 
We had all eight little cousies together and needed to document it! We wanted our outfits to be coordinating, NOT matching, which I think is key in planning family photo shoots. We went with the color scheme of chambray, navy, white, and yellow in different patterns and textures. I love mixing stripes with plaid with solids…to the horror of our photographer! But I think it really worked. If you mix patterns and shades, it looks a little more natural than being totally matchy matchy. Since each family lives in different cities, I did all of our shopping online to make it easy – Gap, J.Crew, and Zara. 
A classic.
I hope this helps give you ideas for your own family portraits!
-L

EASTER WARDROBE PICKS

I can’t believe that Easter is this week!! It is one of my favorite holidays. I love dressing up, going to church and celebrating Jesus, and enjoying an amazing meal with family/friends. It is usually rainy here in Tennessee and cold even. However, it is calling for a beautiful day this year, and that alone makes me ALMOST more excited than eating my weight in Reese’s Pieces eggs. ALMOST! This will be Amara’s first year hunting for eggs also, so that is pretty special.
Here are some of my favorite picks for the little ladies and gents. I totally believe in buying an outfit that my child will wear beyond Easter. We don’t splurge too much on Easter clothes, but it is still fun to buy a special outfit for the occasion, don’t you agree?
Look one: dress shoes / Look two: dress shoes / Look three: dress shoes

Look one: shirt tie pants shoes / Look two: shirt shorts boots / Look three: shirt pants sandals

Any special plans for Easter or special traditions you have with your friends/family?