Month : March 2016

Easter 2016

Easter Decor |

The bunny officially made his stop by the Smith house this morning…

Easter Decor |

…and it didn’t take someone very long to find the goodies. (Notice…going right for the pouch of food. Somebunny knows this kid is all about the snacks!)

Easter Decor |

It’s been a quiet morning with my boys, playing with new treats and toys, even a new place setting for breakfast.

Easter Decor |

And when Crew crashed early for a morning nap, Page and I went about attempting Eggs Benedict for brunch.


So yes, even with just the two of us, I had to play set the table. Any excuse to bust out china. ūüôā



We gave ourselves a B for effort (maybe less for presentation ha!) but it tasted good, so that’s most important, right?


Happy Easter to you and yours!

He is not here, for He is risen. Just as He said.  |  Matthew 28:6


less stuff. more organization.

(guest room closet¬†before…)

I’ve been on a mission to de-clutter our home. I think (??) it started with the flex room¬†and wanting to sell the hutch that lived¬†in there (thus needing to find¬†a new spot for my photo supplies). Then again, it might be stemming from wanting to get our basement under control, so we can take steps to finish it later this year. Then again, it might be that all I did for the first 6-9 months with a newborn in a new house was to just throw crap in random spots, with no energy or brainpower to organize.¬†Wherever the motivation began,¬†what finally kicked my butt into gear was swooning over this craft closet reveal, after planning to do something similar in our guest room closet. So yes, the declutter/purge/organize bug has bitten me HARD.

IMG_1513(…now my “craft closet”)

It’s that start of the new year thing that makes me take a fresh look at our stuff…and frankly, the maintenance and time to clean, organize, pick up, make room for, and search among, it all. We don’t NEED all the stuff. I’m also just more than ready to start really LIVING in my HOME, instead of feeling like in many ways, we’re still moving in and finding more permanent spots for things.

To get started, I’ve been tackling a few projects:

  • I hosted a Facebook “virtual” garage sale to family/friends with an album of everything I collect in my “must go” pile. (Anything not worth the time to snap a pic and post with a price can just go in the car for a Goodwill drop-off.) I like that, as opposed to a traditional sale with price haggling and strangers, I can just name a price, people can decide yay/nay and comment accordingly, I can make piles and totals for pickup, and it all leaves my house in a short, orderly time frame.
  • I’ve been using ThredUp – to consign clothes as I go through my closet.¬†womens and childrens clothing. I’ve¬†been less than impressed by our local consignment shops¬†and how unorganized they are, and I love how easy it is to just fill the bags they send me and whisk off magically to the land of sell and recycle. I don’t even have to do my post-consignment-shop trip to Goodwill with the items they didn’t take. ThredUp recycles anything for me that they don’t take, and I cash out via Paypal. I just sent in my fifth bag. Ahhh.
  • As for baby clothes and gear, I’ve¬†been able to part with a few items as we’ve found our parenting style and which gear best serves us. Several apparel items¬†have moved out,¬†either because they are so worn they can be tossed, they’re a bargain brand that can be donated, or we found it was hard to put on/too itchy/etc so it was never really worn to begin with. Aside from donating/tossing, any brand-name/designer things we can do without have been sent to ThredUp.

As I’ve been going through things, I’ve been doing a little online reading to keep myself on track. In particular, I liked this breakdown of five of the best-known methods for decluttering, the philosophies and personalities attached to them, and of course, links to the books written about them. Also in my search to get motivated to declutter, I came across this blog, which, while more extreme than I have the desire to go, was a pretty fascinating read, and definitely confirmed that there’s plenty around our house with which we can part.

I’ve always been weirdly excited by the idea of purging. Case in point: when the boys were out of the house for a couple hours one Saturday recently, I went wild with my free time…and organized the junk drawer. And loved it. #livingontheedge

I have been using the tools over at A Bowl Full of Lemons (her 14 week challenge is so well organized!).¬†I also stumbled across this 52 weeks to organized checklist (each week is a clickable link to get you psyched for the week’s task). I haven’t followed either plan¬†religiously, but it does keep me on track to tackle SOMETHING on the list each week.

One project I’m particularly excited about is to¬†tackle photos. I found myself nodding along with this article — we are in the exact same boat — so many albums and scrapbooks that take up too much space and never get looked at. I’m hoping to scan my heart away and piece together some albums from our last eight years of marriage. Plus I love that unlike my “system” now for photos, MyPublisher will archive my images on their site and I could reprint a new book at any time in the case of a disaster.

So there is my random rambling of a catch-up, complete with “meh” iphone pictures, on what’s been going on around here in recent weeks. I’m hoping to create a couple posts of the more transformed spots in the house (an updated “before” of our basement, and my reworked guest room closet, housing all of my crafty stuff). Until then, you can likely find me creating categories on my label maker. Try not to be jealous of my coolness factor.

Crew: 14 months!


I’m doubling up last week’s “Oscar shoot” as your 14-month pics. ūüôā It’s been a particularly fast 30 days from month 13¬†to 14, and you seem to have made big changes this particular month. Words are becoming more pronounced, your general gesturing at things has turned to very deliberate pointing, and you’re quickly realizing there are things you can’t do and that¬†frustrates you greatly!

I wouldn’t say we’re in a full-on tantrum stage, but it’s almost as if the “arch my back, squint my eyes, and groan ultra dramatically” for a few seconds has just become another “phrase” in your vocabulary. You stop almost immediately and are on to the next thing, but you’re not about to NOT let us know when you’re annoyed with the outcome of something. You are getting better about using your very limited vocab to let us know as well — “nah nah nah” (no no no) and “ah dah!” (all done!) are common when I pull out the snot sucker ha!


You are becoming more and more obsessed with the (growing) collection of Baby Einstein DVDs. I have to admit — I don’t even feel bad that you’re watching them. It’s engaging images and vocabulary set to classical music…and we’re convinced it just might emit baby crack as it plays. You are entranced, point to every new object and look at us to name what it is, and you break into huge grins when the kids come on, and you sway to the music. Did I mention? It gives us a solid 10 minute window here and there to do anything from unload the dishwasher (withOUT your help), to even¬†using the restroom in private.¬†It also helps (somewhat) deter your CONSTANT need to climb. Everything.


You have been doing swim lessons the past three weeks, with more to go, and are loving it. It’s kind of amazing to watch the progress each week, both in your ability in the water, and your huge leap forward in trusting your instructor. The first week you were cool as long as Dad was holding you, and you weren’t at all scared of any of the exercises or the water itself — it was merely the new face who would take you from time to time and demonstrate the drill. Fast forward to the next week where you had some trepidation, but you’d let him hold you (briefly) and by the end you were giving him high fives. This last week, you pretty much spazzed with excitement when you saw him and were laughing as he did circles in the water with you. It makes me feel good to see you trust other adults, especially another guy, since all of your sitters/teachers are women.

We are¬†itching for Spring to arrive and bring temps that allow us to be outside for more than a few minutes at a time. I sometimes think your lack of patience is attributed to needing some new environment and things to challenge you. I can’t wait to move your water table outside, eat some lunches in the yard, get to the park more, and eventually the pool this summer. We are planning to hang a baby swing from our patio overhang,¬†just for the season, as well. You have LOVED the few wagon rides we’ve been able to take you on around the neighborhood — any time we go through the garage now you point to it and start jabbering. ¬†

Crew’s Valentine was a hit #musiclover #crewyeartwo #valentines A video posted by Liz Smith (@lizblogphotog) on

You’re suddenly afraid of loud noises, and it’s one of the few things that will make you cry. You are doing better with separation anxiety that seemed to appear around your first birthday, although saying “bye bye” is not your favorite thing to do. You continue to LOVE bathtime, being naked in general, and your sippy cup of milk. I swear I’m at the store every three days buying another gallon. A couple weeks ago, we were at Book Babies at the library and you were¬†mesmerized by the day’s story,¬†Maggie’s Ball. So much so that I ordered a copy for home, and we read it at LEAST three times a day. Maggie’s ball is a tennis ball, so I got out a sleeve of them for you to tie it all together. It has become your new favorite toy – taking the lid off, the balls out, throwing them around the room, collecting them, putting them back in the tube, and trying to get the lid on. Hey, whatever keeps you busy!

It’s so fun to watch your little brain think right now – anything that “fits” into something else, connects, has a lid to remove/replace, is all fascinating to you. You now hold your pouch of applesauce, taking a swig of it, then putting the cap back on, then taking it off, between each bite. Learning, learning, all the time!


We are seeing more independent standing, but no steps yet. Mom has been over-buying for your Easter basket, the next holiday we can’t wait to celebrate with you. We’re all looking forward to the change of seasons with you and seeing what’s in store for you next. Happy fourteen months, little man! We love you!


a baby’s / toddler’s Easter basket

Easter Basket for Baby |

While his first Easter (at three months) was fun (the bunny brought him pacifiers and a bib we still use every¬†day!), this year has been WAY¬†more fun to plan for, as Crew is starting to really react to things and we know what types of things get him especially excited. What a difference a year makes…the contents of this year’s basket crunch, light up, makes sounds, and more. #bigboybasket

It seems the blogosphere has all kinds¬†of ideas for Easter (and Valentines for that matter) that are aimed at girls…so I thought I’d share¬†what I’m pulling together for my car-loving, ball-throwing, cause-and-effect obsessed 14-month-old boy.

Easter Basket for Baby |

  • I ended up going with some other items instead, but I still¬†love this little bunny nightlight. It would be so sweet to put in his room during the countdown to Easter¬†each year!
  • The bunny theme continues with some new Kickee Pants jammies (similar) (the softest you will ever buy!). He’s wearing these already, and of course I’ll be snapping some Easter morning pics in them. This particular style came out last year, but¬†they are still available on Amazon.
  • After reading a rave review by another blogger, I ordered Marco for the bath (get it? Marco Polo!). He bobs up and down in the water and his light turns colors when he’s above versus underwater. Crew LOVES things that light up, and at swim lessons, he¬†is working on identifying what¬†is above/below water and bobbing for toys, so this seemed appropriate. Plus I love, love, love anything Boon makes.
  • I have a book wish list a mile long for Crew, but have been saving this title for Easter. Every parent I’ve talked to has a rave review on this book! Some other titles that would be great for a basket include Pat the Bunny, The Runaway Bunny, or Easter Bugs.
  • Crew got the VTech garage for Christmas and a couple of the vehicles for his birthday. He plays with them¬†every. single. day. so it was easy to justify another car for the collection.¬†¬†(Page made fun of me that of all the choices, I got the van — womp womp, but truthfully, it was one of the cheapest, Crew¬†doesn’t care, and Mama wanted those bunny jammies!)
  • I might put some jelly beans in an egg and see if he’ll taste them, otherwise¬†his eggs will be filled with the pastel-colored goldfish, mini marshmallows,¬†some white cheddar bunnies¬†and vanilla and cocoa bunnies.¬†I’m guessing even before they’re opened, he’ll love holding and shaking those eggs. They’re nearly balls, after all — one of his favorite things!
  • Last year, I ordered Crew’s basket from Pottery Barn Kids (pictured above). I love the quality of their baskets, and I’m a sucker for anything I can monogram!

It seems everywhere I turn, I see something else I can either justify adding to the basket, or¬†I have to¬†talk myself out of! Just this morning I was in Walgreens and spotted a squishy yellow “chick” shaped ball that lights up and was a fun/new texture to hold, as well as¬†jars of bubbles shaped to look like the “Peeps” bunnies. Must. Stop. Shopping. His basket runneth over. ūüôā

I ended up with¬†a couple¬†other add-ins not pictured including a mega-refill bottle of bubbles, a carrot-themed pouch of baby food (he still loves these, especially when a tooth is coming in!), a bouncy ball that lights up, and a little watering can, shovel, and spade from the dollar spot. Bring on the warm weather toys and spring. We can’t wait to get outside!

Post contains affiliate links.