Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Gifts for Girls

We've been blessed with three beautiful daughters. They are all precious, and I love them so much! In some ways, they are similar. But in other ways, they differ greatly. My oldest daughter loves girly things like clothes and makeup and also her guitar. My second daughter loves her roller blades and art, and doesn't care for makeup (unless it's for pretending to be a character she's acting out!). And my youngest daughter loves her dolls and frilly dresses and the color pink. 

I love each one of them in their uniqueness!

Whenever I buy gifts for my girls, I try to keep their unique personalities and dispositions in mind. With gift-giving season approaching, I thought I would share a few of our favorite things. 

Books
We love finding new reading material to give our children for gifts! 
Since our older girls were little, some of our favorite books have been The Moody Family Series, by Sarah Maxwell, The Farm Mystery Series, by Stephen and Susie Castelberry, The Chautauqua Series, by Isabella Alden, and The Esther Reid Series, also by Isabella Alden. We also love Lamplighter books. One year we were able to get some of the Lamplighter Theatre dramatized audio books at a very reasonable price, and our whole family has really enjoyed listening to those together. 

Makeup
For our older daughter, who enjoys makeup, I love buying Cowgirl Dirt products. It's nice to know that the makeup she's wearing is all-natural, so I don't need to worry about it being toxic. I discovered Cowgirl Dirt a few years ago (you can read my review here), and their products just get better and better!

I've used quite a few of the Cowgirl Dirt products, and some of my favorites are the lipsticks, the botanical lip gloss, the lip moisturizer, the mascara, and the powder eye liner (love this!). I also use the eye makeup remover and the eye firming cream. 

I got my daughters a few more Cowgirl Dirt items for their birthdays this summer, and in addition to the lipstick and lip gloss, one of their favorites was the stardust body glitter, pictured in the little round containers below. They thought that was very fun, and it's so pretty!

Clothes
All three of my daughters love getting clothes for gifts. So, I find myself scouring all of my favorite online stores for clothing. I bought the above dress from ThredUP, and it was like new. I had a coupon and it was a very reasonable price! My two older daughters have both worn it, one to a bridal shower and the other to a wedding. I got the DownEast Basics skirt, below, on sale at Zulily a couple of years ago. My older daughter received a navy blue one for Christmas.
Christmas is a good time to supply basic items, like a layering tee (below). These cost more than what I normally pay for clothing, but since they're a basic item and they'll get years of use, I feel like they're worth the price. I get ours from Deborah & Co.
I think my oldest daughter would love this whole outfit, which is also from Deborah & Co. You can also find denim skirts, cute tops, and so much more there!
For my youngest daughter, princess play dresses are just what she loves! These are so adorable!
My youngest daughter also loves playing with her 18" doll, and something I love to buy her is these Dollie & Me outfits, where little girls can match their dolls! They even have a Dollie & Me princess dress up set!
You can find a great selection of these on sale at Zulily right now, but the events only last a couple days, so hurry if you're interested in these! I think this matching p.j. set is so cute!
And, how cute is this!? You can even get this trio of mommy/daughter/doll matching aprons!


Toys
I love that Deborah & Co. is now also selling books and toys, in addition to clothes! And they have some of our favorites, too. When our older girls were little, they had this little Fold 'n Go dollhouse. 
All of the children love playing with this, and it might keep them occupied for hours. 

Whenever we think about toys for our children, we look for toys that will inspire creativity. Things like blocks, dolls, a play kitchen, dress-up clothes, etc. A set of playsilks is also fun to have, and you can easily dye your own! You can also stitch up a simple doll skirt using fabric scraps--you can make your own matching outfits for your daughter and her doll! :)

Hair Accessories
Yes, I really do buy Lilla Rose hair accessories as gifts for my daughters! 
Even though I sell these and we have quite a few of them at our house, I do like to gift my daughters with their own. They love having their own Flexi Clips to put their hair up with (my older daughter wears her hair up in a large Flexi Clip almost every day!), and they also love it when I surprise them with the other products, especially the ultra-comfortable headbands.
Speaking of Lilla Rose, the biggest sale of the year is coming! Black Friday is coming, and I love being able to shop from the comfort of home. Can't wait 'til Friday!
In addition to the sales announcements, I have something fun planned that will take place right here on the blog--there's going to be a mystery hostess party, and also a giveaway! If you order through the mystery hostess party, you could be chosen to win all the hostess rewards!!

Now, to finish up those last-minute Thanksgiving preparations...

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Monday, November 24, 2014

What I Wore

This is an outfit I wore awhile back (in the spring!) and never posted it. So, just for fun I thought I'd share it today. We were leaving for church when I took these pictures, so that's why they're not the greatest...I took them myself in the mirror, very quickly!

The skirt is one I made a few years ago, and I found the lace top at an Aeropostale outlet store last fall for a few dollars. I got the boots on sale a few years ago, too--this is my third year wearing them, so they were a good investment at $19! 

I pulled the sides of my hair back with a Lilla Rose Flexi Clip. This one is an extra small.

Denim Jacket: Forever 21 (from my daughter's closet)
Navy Lace Top: Aeropostale
Layering Tee: Deborah & Co.
Skirt: Made by Me (from the pattern I always use!)
Boots: Rampage brand (Zulily often has these)
Necklace: Forever 21
Lilla Rose Flexi Clip: Princess Tiara Antique Brass
Natural Makeup: Cowgirl Dirt

This is going to be a super-busy week! I'm carrying my planner everywhere with me so I don't forget anything! It's got Christmas gift lists, menu plans, shopping lists, and all of my goals for this week scrawled throughout. If you look at the full-length photo above, you can see my planner sitting in the basket by my bed--it goes everywhere with me. :)

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Nurtured

My husband and I were desperately needing some time alone together. We decided to continue a tradition we started last year, of going away for a night in November. We rented a very inexpensive little room at the lake in a nearby town. 

The drive down was beautiful and peaceful. When we got to our destination, we ate chili by the fire (we brought our own food) and enjoyed a night of just being together and nurturing our marriage. It was very relaxing and cozy. We also brought our own sparkling pomegranate juice (found at the discount grocery store), and some crystal glasses my mom gave me. 
The next morning we woke up to snow! Even though we were a bit worried about the roads, it was so festive and fun to have snow! Usually we don't get snow in our area until January, so this was kind of a treat!
After a a leisurely breakfast together, we decided to venture out to do a little bit of shopping, since our children are usually with us, and we wanted to buy a few secret Christmas gifts. (I had to take a picture of this cute dog looking at me from the truck window!)
We stopped at Panera for lunch, which was so delicious! I hadn't been to Panera in years, so I relished every bite. I had broccoli cheese soup and a chicken salad with avocado.
And then we shared a brownie--this was my half--it tasted so good! We went to another store after this, and then we decided to head home before it got dark, just in case the roads were icy.
I think every married couple should try to get away together occasionally if possible. We didn't get to do this very often when our children were younger (because it seems like I was always either pregnant and very sick or nursing, and we didn't live near family), but now that they are getting older and we live near my parents, it's such a huge blessing to go on an overnight date with my man. We come away from our time together with a sense of having a nurtured marriage and a closer relationship. ♥



Friday, November 21, 2014

Coziness

The cooler weather has arrived, and I find myself looking for and creating cozy spots in my home. The scent of something delicious baking, the fact that my daughter has taken up her knitting again, and watching my children create things out of the simplest of {free} materials--all of these make me happy and thankful.
I finally put some photos in these frames (that have been in my closet for years) and started a simple gallery wall in the hallway. Or rather, I added to the existing one. There were two lonely frames with photos here already, but I finally took the time to print some 8x10 black and white portraits (using some free credit that I had at York Photo!), and stuck them in these inexpensive wooden frames (from Walmart). I love seeing these faces smiling out at me as I go down the hall.
We've been plugging away at our schoolwork, and it's going well! We did make a few adjustments to some of our choices, but most everything is working beautifully now, especially the All About Reading, which we're still in love with and look forward to (as I mentioned here, we're using level one and also the pre-reading program for our youngest. The worksheets above are from the pre-reading program).
I love seeing my children being creative. On their own, they created the above little town out of cardboard, duct tape, and markers. That kept them happily occupied for at least a whole afternoon. 

My daughter Abigail quickly drew the below "portrait"--of ME! It's all crinkly because she drew it as a joke and then crumpled it up, but I wanted a picture of it. Hmmm, I can't decide how much it resembles me, except I do know that my hair isn't blue. :)
My husband had a very creative idea for extending the life of our garden. He took this portable greenhouse and set it up over one of the raised beds. He anchored it down to withstand wind, and then the put straw around the bottom of it to keep some of the cold air from getting under the bottom. On a night when it was supposed to be very cold, he put a bucket of hot water in the bottom, and it actually created sort of a greenhouse effect, and the plants survived! We've still been enjoying his fresh lettuce, although after the snow last week, I think we may be done with our fall garden.
I received some of the freebies (mentioned here) in the mail! It's always fun to get something for free. I got the book completely free for participating in the Tyndale Rewards Program. It just took a little bit of time and didn't cost me anything. 
This is how I've been wearing my hair lately (this photo is from last Friday). First, I make a French braid (here's a how-to video I made) and then twist it into a bun, and then I stick a Flexi Clip in it. It's super simple and a great style for Friday, which happens to be cleaning day around here!
Happy Friday!


Sharing With: The Modest MomA Mama's StoryThe Art of Home-Making MondayMonday's MusingsCapture Your JourneyA Wise WomanRaising HomemakersThe Pleated PoppyA Little R&RWYWWWhole Hearted HomeChildren Are a Blessing