Fashionable Giving

So today I wanted to talk about a really cool website: Schoola. A friend introduced me to it, and I am in love with the idea. Basically it is a secondhand online children’s/women’s clothing store, but with a perk: for every purchase you make, they will donate money (to the actual schools who donated the clothes you are buying) to help with programs like Art, PE, etc. I love the idea of buying something while also giving back to a cause. If you don’t like the idea of buying secondhand, then this may not appeal to you, but I have been wearing secondhand clothing my whole life (I come from a big family), so it’s not a big deal to me. Plus, if you think about it, buying secondhand gives clothing a “second life” so to speak, so it is environmentally friendly as well.

I have actually purchased twice from this site, and just received my first package a few days ago. I bought a cute vintage shirt, but on my short little 5’3″ frame, it fits more like a tunic. The fabric is a bit thin, so I am waiting until this frigid Minnesota winter turns into spring so I can bust out this bad boy!

My package arrived wrapped in yellow tissue paper and fastened with a sticker.

schoola 3

And it also came with a decent-sized bag for used kid’s clothes.

schoola 2

And here is the shirt/tunic. Excuse the no makeup/bathroom selfie photo haha! It is the only mirror in my apartment.

schoola 1

So there you go, I hope you guys check it out! If you do, you can use my link, and, here’s the really cool part, if you sign up for a free account, you will automatically get a $15 credit, and I will get a credit as well! When I did this, I used the coupon code “hurry” to get free shipping. I am not sure if it is valid anymore, but it might be worth checking out. Otherwise, the shipping fee is pretty nominal, I think it was under $5.

*One last note: they have a lot of different kid’s stuff, but I actually found my shirt/tunic under the “high schoola girls – 13+” category, they actually have a lot of women’s stuff there as well.

Hope you guys check it out, and happy shopping! Let me know in the comments what is your favorite way to shop eco-friendly.

Cheers!

– Melissa

PS – This is not a sponsored post – nobody is paying me to write (although it would be cool if they did haha!)

Why I Love Having A Boy

When my husband and I went for our second ultrasound when I was pregnant (the 16/20 week one to find out the sex), we were both super happy when the ultrasound tech told us it was a boy. Obviously, we would have been happy with either gender, but I’ve always liked the idea of a boy being the oldest in my little family, so I’m glad that it worked out that way.

While I love that I can come to this blog and say things like “You guys, my toddler did this and he is destroying my house and ahhhhh!”, I also really wanted to write down some of the fun things that I love about having a little boy around. Because someday, he won’t be so little, and I want to remember all of this, the good and the bad.


aiden why i love having a boy

Their toys are awesome

I was a major tomboy when I was around kindergarten age. I was the kid that wanted monkeys and stuffed animals to sleep in the toy doll bed (which my older sister was not too happy about). And while I don’t specifically remember playing with cars or trucks or anything, it could have happened. But boy toys are so cool, you guys. They have all of the superheroes, tons of trucks, and super awesome Legos (although I’ll admit, Legos are mostly gender neutral). And I love that now that my toddler is a little out of the baby toy age and more into matchbox cars, balls, and that sort of thing, that my husband and toddler can really enjoy going to the “boy” toy aisles in Target to look at toys together.

They love noises

Maybe this is a toddler thing in general. But my toddler loves to make noise. And if he finds something that does make noise, he will continue to play with that toy/bang that hammer/etc. He also loves animal noises. We were reading “Polar Bear, Polar Bear, what do you hear?” the other day, and he just started flipping through and making up noises for some of the animals. It was adorable.

They love their Mommas

This one kind of surprised me. I’m not sure why, but it did. I never really thought about little boys as being affectionate, but oh my gosh this kid loves his Momma. He loves snuggling, and hugs, and tickles, and when he needs something, he will come over and grab my finger with his whole hand and say “Go!“, and lead me to what he wants, then reaches to be picked up so he can see over the counter. It melts my heart every time, and I love it.

They love to play

One of my toddler’s favorite things to do is to put his blankie over his head and start calling out “Hewooo!“, then start giggling like crazy. He loves taking pony rides on Daddy, and he loves handing me cars so that I can make car noises with him (the big trucks are the loudest, btw.)

So I’m sure that there are so many more things I can add, but those are the few at the forefront of my mind when I think about my little guy.

Let me know in the comments below what you guys love about having a little guy (or gal!)

– Melissa

Not Ready For Two

My little boy turns two in less than two months. How did he get that grown up?

aiden with bagel - 2

It seems like not that long ago he was so tiny, depending on me for everything. For food, for changing, for transportation (well, some things haven’t changed that much…)

But I’ve seen him grow into an independent little person with a huge personality all his own. He is obsessed with puzzles, matchbox cars, and with counting things. He gives hugs and kisses now, and wants to stop and watch big trucks go by and planes fly overhead whenever he hears them. He is obsessed with doggies, and even said “puppy” the other day for the first time (hint hint to mama? 😉)

I think there is this dichotomy that every parent faces. On one hand, we are always looking towards our children’s future. We teach them letters and numbers and colors, hoping that they will be a little ahead of the curve when they start school, and that in turn they will be successful and well-adjusted adults. On the other hand, we are always looking a step behind, and pining for the stage that our child used to be in. Sometimes I wonder when my toddler will be able to put on his own shoes and coat and hat, because by the time I get him ready to go out, I am already exhausted. But then I think of how small he used to be, and I miss his little miniature hats and coats, and I know I will miss this stage too once he is passed it.

I certainly haven’t gotten it all figured out. But I think the important thing is to treasure the stage that they are in, whatever stage that is. Sometimes that means working through each tantrum with as much patience as we can muster. Other times it may mean cuddling our littles when they wake up afraid at night, and watching Baby Einstein for the umpteenth time. Because someday they won’t want to cuddle with Mama, and they will want to put on their own shoes and coats.

I’m still not ready for the big “2”. But I am ok with him staying Mama’s boy … if just for a little bit longer.

– Melissa

Organic & Simple Everyday Mommy Makeup

So, I was on Pinterest the other day (ha! That’s about how two-thirds of all of my conversations start now it seems…), and I found an infographic on how many chemicals the average woman puts on her body every day. You guys, it’s over 500. That is crazy ridiculous. I was talking to my husband about it, and I’ve come to a decision. I’m not going to throw out all of my makeup. That would be crazy, expensive, and a little intense. I like a minimalistic approach to makeup, so as my products run out, I will be either evaluating whether or not I need that certain product. If I decide that I do, I will try to be a little bit more conscious of the products that I am buying, whose pockets that money is going into, and putting only good things on my face and body, I compiled a list of products that would be in my “dream beauty makeup bag” as it were. These are products that, as far as I can tell, are organic, natural, and stay away from parabens, fragrances, irritants, etc.

Let me know if you guys have any favorite makeup brands, any products you’ve been wanting to add to your makeup bag, or any suggestions for me.

– Melissa

PS – I am not affiliated or sponsored by any of these brands or websites. Also, a lot of products are from Physicians Formula or Pacifica, and that’s just because I know that I can find those brands at Target, where I normally shop for my makeup.

Quiet Time When It’s Not Quiet

Hi guys! So this is something that I’ve been wanting to talk about for a while, but I didn’t want to sound preachy or “I’ve got it together”, because this is one area where I TOTALLY don’t have it together. And that is quiet time. God-time, prayer-time, meditation-time, whatever you’d like to call it, it is so vital to us as Mom’s, and I feel like I kind of found a little trap-door-hidden-under-a-rug secret.

It’s an Audio Bible app.

Seriously, I love it. My favorite time to turn on the app is when I am putting on my makeup in the morning (if I’m going somewhere…so a few times a week. Ain’t no one got time to do that everyday), or while I’m having my morning coffee (now that is an everyday essential), or to put one earbud in when my son’s taking a nap and listen to a chapter or two while cleaning or doing the dishes at night.

So there’s my “secret”. I just finished the first few chapters of Proverbs, so I’d say it’s working out pretty good. And I like that this app isn’t just someone monotonously reading, there’s a good variety of narrators, as well as some light music in the background. Plus, you can choose which version you want to listen to, which is super awesome. So, if you Mom’s struggle with finding “God Time” like I do, maybe this will give you some ideas. 🙂

PS – I’m not sponsored or affiliated with Bible.is in any way, I just really like the app! 

– Melissa

My Week In Pictures

So, I thought it would be fun for a change of pace to show you guys what I’ve been up to with a few photos.

IMG_0200

IMG_0267

I finally finished editing the engagement photos I took in December for my brother and his fiance. Aren’t they too cute? 🙂

IMG_7050Started this baby blanket for some friends who were having a baby. Then the baby was born early, so I had to rush to get it done.

IMG_7058

But I think it turned out really nice. 🙂

chunky mittens preview

And I uploaded my first pattern to Etsy and Ravelry! If you are a knitter, please check it out.

So, that’s about it. Sorry for a crafty-heavy post, but, well, that’s what I do. 🙂

Talk to you guys next time!

– Melissa

I Was That Mom

Yesterday, I was that Mom.

Y’all know what I’m talking about. The Mom of the toddler running up and down the aisles in Kohls, touching the clothes as he ran past saying “No! No! No!” because it is his favorite word as of late. The little face pressed up against the glass running around the jewelry counter saying “Oooh! Aaah! WOOOOW!”

The Mom who was struggling to balance a cup of coffee, a purse, a toddler’s hat, and his little hands as I helped him up the stairs and helped him count as we went. The bribing Mom who keeps things like books, toys, snacks and chocolate in her purse to entice a squirmy little one to sit still while I fill out forms. The Mom whose son is running around the exam room touching everything because he already ate his other snacks, and the last bite of the mini chocolate bar was eaten right as the doctor came in, and now he is more hyper than ever.

So if you see a Mom like that today, please do one thing for me: don’t judge. I’m a good Mom, but I’m also a very tired Mom who has been up between 3 and 5 am for 3 mornings in a row with a clingy toddler. I needed him to run off some steam in hopes he would sit still during my appointment, and Kohls seemed like a good place to do it, because we didn’t have time to go home between appointments. And I really needed that cup of coffee more than you know, even if I only got to drink half of it. And he is a sweetheart and doesn’t often throw tantrums, but you have to understand that children have a one-track mind, and if he climbed one set of stairs, he’s going to want to climb the next set and cry when I try to lead him away.

Be gracious, friends. I was that Mom. Maybe today you’re that Mom. And if I see you, I’m going to ask if you need help, and give you a knowing smile, because I know where you are and how you feel.

aiden watch 2

– Melissa

Hello, 2015!

I trust that everyone had a fantastic holiday season. I was thinking about this blog these past two months, but on top of everything else, push came to shove, and this blog got shoved. 😦

But here are some memories from the past few months – enjoy!

mommy and aiden - christmas Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset mommy and aiden christmas aiden batman

Also, my sister-in-law gave me this absolutely adorable necklace with the name of my blog on it. How sweet and thoughtful is that? As a fellow Etsy seller, I wanted to give a shoutout to Allison at The Ladybug Box. This necklace is seriously adorbs, and she does good work. It came in a little small black box with a pink bow which has since been lost (I have a toddler, remember?) but the packaging was very cute.

tiny toes necklace

And while we are on the subject of Etsy, the reason that i have been gone from the blog a lot in December (and probably will be in future Decembers) is that I run my own Etsy shop. Knitch&Co is a shop I opened in August of 2013 to sell handmade knitted and crocheted accessories. I started with cup cozies (and still do quite a few), but have also branched out recently to include baby accessories, mittens, fingerless gloves, and other knitwear. I’ve had quite a few custom orders this past month (and in January as well), so thank you to everyone! And please check it out if you feel so inclined.

I know this post is very random, but I just wanted to check in and say hello, and to say that I have not forgotten about y’all!

I received an email the other day from WordPress that said that I had almost 500 readers of this little blog since August. WOW! Thank you guys so much for taking the time out of your day to hang out with me and share this little corner of the blogosphere. The analytics also said that I had several readers in the UK, and even one reader in Russia! So to that reader I say,

RUSSIAN

Thank you guys so much for stopping by. I have so many ideas for new posts this year, and feel so excited for what this New Year will bring.

Cheers,

Melissa

The Best Pumpkin Bread Ever

So, for those of you who know me, I love baking. In college, a lot of my husband’s friends knew me as “the muffin lady” because I was always making muffins and making his friends take some home when they came to visit.

A few months ago, I found this pumpkin bread recipe on the wonderful blog www.abeautifulmess.com. This bread looks so weird when you are putting it together, but I promise you it is DELICIOUS! I keep forgetting to take photos of the initial process, and I won’t post the whole recipe here, but if you click the above hyperlink, it will take you to their recipe.

Basically, you mix the sugars, butter and eggs together, then mix the flour mixture and divide it between two bowls, and add the sugar/butter mixture to each bowl. Then you mix the pumpkin and greek yogurt in both bowls and add cocoa to one of the bowls.

mixture blobs

Aren’t my mixing bowls so pretty? 😉 Haha anyway, then you plop the blobs of the mixture into your greased pan. I like to alternate them in a checkered pattern, but they’re going to get twirled together anyway, so it really doesn’t matter. Also, please excuse the terrible lighting. I have no natural light in my kitchen.

Next, take a butter knife and run it back and forth between the mixture to swirl it together, like so.

twirled together

Then after that, just plop it into the oven and wait for it to bake! I will say, I usually bake this about 10 minutes longer than the recipe calls for, so take that into consideration. I also usually end up using vanilla Greek yogurt, which gives it a bit more of a vanilla-y taste with the added vanilla, so if you do do that, you can probably leave out the extra vanilla extract, I just always forget, and don’t mind the taste.

bread cut openfinished bread

Then let it sit in the pan for a few minutes after it is done baking, and pop it out! This bread is super delicious, and so pretty to bring to Thanksgiving or any other holiday get-together or hostess gift. Unfortunately, the whole loaf is not going to make it to Nana’s house for Thanksgiving, because this is what my toddler was doing while I was taking the photos.

aiden's hand

Real life, y’all. Real life. So after he signed “please”, he got to have a little taste, and immediately asked for more.

aiden signing pleaseaiden eating bread

So there you go. Mommy loves it, baby loves it, and I’m sure whoever you make it for will love it too.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Melissa