Friday, September 30, 2011

We've Been Married for 5 Years!

... and I just happen to think it's a huge deal and we're hot stuff! Five years is a longish time, right? It's at least the first benchmark. And at this very moment, as you take a look at our time together over the past 8ish or so years, we're here. Feel free to take a virtual tour of my humble abode, but don't look at the hot tub for too long because a) you might get jealous or b) you ... probably don't wanna know.

Girlfriend just went there.
Before I share the awesomeness that is Husband and me, I just want to say a few things to him. So hey, babe... I, uh...

I still get butterflies when you say you love me. And when you tell me I'm beautiful without makeup on, I want to go wipe my mascara off and be the kind of beautiful that you fell in love with me for. I'm so glad you still laugh at my jokes and listen to me sing. And thanks for humoring me and taking my outfit photos while we're rushing out the door for church or when I have a crazy idea to take a week's worth of photos on a Saturday afternoon. Thanks for letting me drive the brand-spanking new orange Camaro that we rented for this trip right after we picked it up from the airport. Especially thanks for letting me drive it alone. I felt so cool in the grocery store parking lot. Big dudes were jealous of me. I love you so much for putting up with my neurotic behavior, day in and day out. I appreciate that you do the dishes right after dinner (sometimes) so that I don't have to say anything at all. And I love your motivation to clean the cars on a whim - even when it's dark outside and past 11:00 p.m. You have no idea how teary eyed I got while putting this photo montage together. We've been through it, for sure. And I know we have lots more ups and downs to go, but there's no one I'd rather take this ride with than you. Thank you for helping me make the most beautiful little girl in the entire world and being such a wonderful Daddy. I love how you two run around the house having tickle fights on Saturday mornings. I still think it's so funny that you have to ask me what to feed her for breakfast and that you don't feel comfortable picking out her outfits. In the back of my mind, I know it's because you're afraid you won't dress her in a way that I would think is "fashionable." I'm so excited for our next endeavor that is me being able to stay home and raise Little S. and hopefully we'll be able to add to our family within the next few years. We make cute kids... just sayin'. Thank you for these last 8 years together, 5 years of marriage, and I'm looking forward to spending the rest of my life and beyond with you.

Your Kimberly

September 2003 - Husband's 20th birthday party at Virginia Tech

December 2005 - Newly engaged at the Sigma Alpha Iota holiday formal

September 2006 - First dance as husband and wife

All three above:
September 30, 2006 - Five years ago, today

(photo is a small facebook profile picture, so I can't blow up any bigger)
April 2007 - Outside of our first apartment together

June 2007 - Friend's wedding

 January 2008 - The day we bought our first home

October 2008 - 6.5 months pregnant

November 2008 - Baby shower 

March 2009 - Smunchkin -aka- Little S at 7 weeks old

March 2009 - Jackie and Christina visit Little S. for the first time
photo by Jackie Ranson

April 2009 - Little S' first Easter

October 2009 - Family Photo Session at Jackie's house

November 2009 - Visiting the Swans and Aunt Whitney's house warming

January 2010 - Smunchkin turns one!

June 2011 - Visiting Aunt Jenny & Uncle Jim, first Herndon Festival
Also, Aunt Jenny teaches Little S. how to do a forward roll!

July 2011 - Brent & Kathleen's wedding
Best man, bridesmaid, flower girl

So many memories made. 
So many more to make.
I'll hold your hand forever, babe.

Don't forget to check out Old to New in October and come by to participate in the refashion challenge!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Guest Post: The Frugalista Diaries

Good morning, friends! It's hubby's and my 5th anniversary week (actual day- Friday) and I've lined up some lovely guest posters to handle the week while I pack and get out of town! Today's featured blogger is Megan of The Frugalista Diaries and she's here to talk to you a little about the five minute face that most of us busy mommies have to embrace!

The Frugalista Diaries 5 Minute Make Up Routine

I spend enough time standing in my closet, racking my brain on what to wear, so my make up routine needs to be quick, simple, and of course, put together- not resembling that of a clown. I wish I had all the time in the world to sit around in front of the mirror putting make up on, but since becoming a mom of two, 2 and under, it gives me about oh, say 5 minutes.

1. I start with a fresh face. I normally don't wash my face in the morning, so I just throw on a nice amount of moisturizer which serves as my 'primer' so make up just glides on. Then I sponge on a little compact make up in my troublesome areas or wherever redness occurs.

2. Next, I dab some concealer under my eyes and blend. If I'm fighting a pimple, I dabe and blend on that as well.

3. After the concealer dries, I sweep my cheekbones and temples with a little bronzer.

4. Eyes usually follow and I tend to go with the winged eyes. I slowly line my top lid and add a little wing at the end to 'open up my eyes.'

5. Add mascara to the top lashes- I rarely do bottom lash mascara because it's been known to age and enhance dark under eye circles.

6. Then I sweep my entire face with a mineral make up to set the rest.

7. I'm a fan of bold lips, so I often throw on a little color, such as this bold pink.

8. And, Voila!

A big thanks to my IRL girlfriend, Megan, from The Frugalista Diaries! She's beautiful without make up but I'm so glad she could share her five minute face with us, because I still don't have it down! And... crap. I use mascara all over the place. Probably including my under eye circles. Oopsie! Head over and visit Megan to see gorgeous outfits of the day, splurge vs. steal posts, and lots of coupon and discount codes! You might even get lucky enough to catch a glimpse of her sweet little ones every once in a while!
Please take a minute to check out the October refashion collaboration I'm doing with Required 2 Be Inspired called Old to New in October!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Day in the Life Too... Realistic Momma Style

Good morning, friends! It's hubby's and my 5th anniversary week (actual day- Friday) and I've lined up some lovely guest posters to handle the week while I pack and get out of town! Today's featured blogger is Brittney of A Day in the Life Too... and she's here to talk to you a little about some realistic momma style!

Hey guys, Brittney here from A Day in the Life Too... I'm a mom of three young kidlets and I don't run around naked every day (you're welcome, world), so I told Kimberly I'd be happy to write up a post about Realistic Momma Style: comfort, wearability, and versatility.
So. Here are my go-to Momma Style pieces.

1. Dark skinny jeans. Especially with fall just around the corner, these puppies are invaluable. They go with anything, they require virtually no brainwork to style (some days I let my brain sleep in a bit while I get dressed. It's only a problem when, at lunchtime, I look down and find myself in something like this), and they're both casual and chic, sometimes at the same time. Hello. Yes please.

2. Skirts. They're cool in summer, cute (with tights) in winter, and always in style. I used to reserve skirts for Sundays only, which now seems odd to me. I mean, it's just as easy for busy moms to throw on a skirt as a pair of jeans, and they're so much more feminine, colorful, and fun! And you can still play barbies, legos, or driveway-basketball. Seriously. Wear skirts, moms! Don't wait for an "occasion"...unless you're like me, in which a trip to the grocery store is absolutely an occasion. (What can I say? I live an awesome life.)

3. Shoes. Sometimes, if I have nothing too crazy going on, I'll wear "non-mommy" shoes, like heels. Because they're sassy and awesome. But sometimes, let's face it, sassy shoes just aren't going to cut it for what I've got going on that day, so I'll do something like pull on a pair of Chucks (which doubles as a throwback to my teen-hood). Sometimes sandals. Sometimes boots. What I've discovered is that an otherwise "dressy"(ish) outfit can be made pretty cashe based upon the footwear you choose.

4. Fun. My kids compliment me on the oddest days, fashion-wise, and I just barely put my finger on it a month or two ago: When I was having a good time getting myself dressed, my kids must've sensed it and, despite the outfit's actual outcome, decided I looked good. (On an unrelated note, we've made a special eye doctor's appointment for my son...)

Welp. That's about all I got. Any other ideas? I'd love to hear them.
Thanks, Kimberly, for letting me come chat about mommyhood and style. To the rest of you: Come on by my blog if you'd like! Sometimes my humor isn't even lame. Sometimes...

A big thanks to sweet, sweet, Brittney for guest posting while I'm preparing for cabin-dom! Isn't here style SO COOL? Please check out her blog- you won't be sad you did! xoxo.
Please check out the upcoming Old to New in October project!!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Old to New in October with Required 2 Be Inspired

I have such an exciting announcement to make! I discovered one of my newest favorite blogs recently and it's Natasha's Required 2 Be Inspired! We got to talking and decided it would be really fun to do an October project. Both Natasha and I are mothers to toddler girls, like to make clothing, and have personal style blogs. We figured we could come together with a fun, budget friendly link party that would not only involve our readers, but SAVE MONEY by refashioning current belongings to make new items!

That's how Old to New in October was born.
The premise is simple. Take something you own and make it new again with a little elbow grease. Each Thursday of the month, Natasha and I will host a link party on our blogs where we share our project of the week with you and you can share yours as well! We are really encouraging our readers to take part in this project because you'll not only save money, get to be creative, and add to your cold-weather wardrobe, but each time you link up, you'll be entered to win some fabulous prizes at the end of the month!!! Our giveaway(s) are still a work in progress, but rest assured, it's going to be awesome and we'll keep you in the know throughout the process!

If you're planning to participate in Old to New in October, please leave a comment below this post or on Natasha's post so we can check out your refashions! Each Thursday, you'll be able to come either here or go to Required 2 Be Inspired to link up your project and enter the giveaway. Also, if you are going to be a part of this exciting series/challenge, please grab the button below to display on your sidebar and/or in your Old to New posts!

a little bit of this

Trendy Tots Tuesday: Growing Up & an Accent Vlog!

Sometimes you can't deny the beauty of your own child. I'm not tooting my horn. I'm tooting hers! Husband took these photos last weekend and while I was going through my camera, I just about melted in a puddle.

Friends, Little S. is getting *SO* big. I can't stand it. She's turning into such a little girl. Where did my teeny tiny go?

top and jeggings: Old Navy
shoes: Baby Gap via Mell
cami: Target
Yankee Bear: Yankee Candle via Grandma

Link up with your sweet little one!

Bekah of Matters of Merrymaking tagged me in an accent vlog, so I decided that in my great insomnia, I'd oblige to the challenge. (Hey, girl!)

Monday, September 26, 2011

WINNER: Initial Necklace

I just wanted to let you all know that the winner of the hand stamped initial necklace from The Word Jewelry is Valerie of A Texan Odyssey! A special thanks goes out to Stacey who makes the beautiful pieces and was kind enough to donate one to the ALBOT giveaway! I love working with Etsy shop owners that are truly proud of their work and go about sharing it in such a generous way!

Congratulations, Valerie! I'm sending your shipping information to Stacey RIGHT NOW and I hope you enjoy your initial necklace as much as I do mine! Thanks to everyone who entered and stay tuned for a very special giveaway coming up later this week on Yours, Mine & Ours from my very own Etsy shop!

Guest Post - Law Mama Liz

Good morning, friends! It's hubby's and my 5th anniversary week (actual day- Friday) and I've lined up some lovely guest posters to handle the week while I pack and get out of town! Today's featured blogger is Liz of Law Mama Liz and she's here to talk to you a little about kid-friend home decor!

Hi Little Bit Readers! My name is Liz and I blog about mama style and life with an almost two year old over at Law Mama Liz.

I'm really into reading home decor and DIY blogs (anyone else obsessed with Young House Love and Apartment Therapy? No? Just me?), but a lot of the time I don't see houses and decor ideas that are especially toddler friendly. So I thought I'd write about the evolution of our living room from a completely adult space to something that is very kid friendly but also has room for the adult things too (get ready for a photo heavy post!).

When we first moved into to our house (almost three years), we didn't have a TV in the main living room, and the cats quickly took over the couches. I couldn't figure how where to place everything, but I really liked the idea of making a "conversation space" -- hello, I watch way too much HGTV for my own good.

Here's what it looked like initially:

Living room, spring 2009

I'd hit up Ikea and gotten a bit creative with the mantel, but we were still working with the tiny dining table from our itty-bitty duplex and I hadn't figured out how to use the space yet.

And then after watching far too much HGTV I decided to paint the fireplace wall brown. It took so many coats to get coverage (seriously, primer was invented for a reason), but the hard work paid off with a big impact.

Brown wall, spring break 2009

Then something big happened that changed the way I looked at decor and home functionality: I got pregnant! We didn't do very much to change the space while I was pregnant other than create a "library" corner to the living room.

Cute baby + addition of bookshelves. Spring 2010

No, the big changes happened when Zeke started to get mobile and baby-proofing became something that was imminently important. And seriously, this kid went from laying on the floor playing with toys to turbo crawling all around the house in a week. I swear it was so fast!

So we needed more play space, and fast. The first thing I did was to move the coffee table in front of the fireplace to block access and to reallocate the shelving for his stuff.

Coffee table as fireplace blockade, late spring 2010

Then we realized that we needed more space, and I finally gave up on having the big tan couch in the middle of the space. Once that was out of the way, it was AMAZING how much more open the space was.

Couch moved so Zeke has room to crawl. Fall 2010.

So with that very long preamble, here is the finished current space (it's definitely still evolving and far from done).

a place for shoes

As soon as Zeke started crawling, we decided to have a shoe free house. There's nothing like spending all day on the floor to help you realize how dirty shoes are. Now that we've gotten into the habit, we aren't looking back. I usually don't push the rule when we have people over, and entirely give up when we have parties, but I figure the main people tracking in dirt are us, so if we keep our shoes off we're doing our bit to keep our floors cleaner!

a place for bags & coats

Having a designated spot for all the junk I carry around on outings has helped a lot with the clutter, and we keep the keys up high so Zeke doesn't set off our car alarms (of course, Jerm never manages to get his keys into the bowl and spends many mornings searching high and low for them. Is my husband the only guy that does that?).

open play space

Then, the biggest change help for making our living room kid friendly was to open it up and ensure that there's lots of room for playing. Now normally, this area is littered with toys, but I thought I'd clean it up before I put pictures of my living room up on the interwebs.

toy containment

Having a place for the toys to go has made it much easier for Zeke to learn about cleaning up and it makes it much faster for me to clean up in the evenings after he goes to bed. I'm still on the look out for a good toy chest to fit in the space, but for now this system is working well! The toys are easy for Zeke to access, and easy for him to put away also. 

chalkboard wall

A few months ago, we added the chair rail and chalkboard paint. We had a clear spot for the rail (there was a line where the chairs had bumped the wall repeated), and we thought chalkboard paint would be a fun thing to try. Zeke loves it, but sometimes this happens:

um, oops.

Um. Yeah. We're working on that (and for the most part he stays on the chalkboard part).

current mantel

So there you have it! A tour of my evolving, kid friendly space. It's definitely been an adjustment redesigning the space so that it's both stylish and toddler proof, but I think we've reached a happy medium! What do you think? How has your home changed to accommodate kids?

Thank you so much, Liz!