February 15, 2019
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Stuffed Animal/Lovie Coloring Pages For Lola

I love this little thing we did for Lola so I thought I’d share it with you in case you wanted to do it too for your kids! Lola has three main “babies” that she constantly asks about and needs to find throughout the day and at nap time. When Lola started finally getting the hang of coloring with crayons a few months ago I saw that Todd had drawn one of the babies on her paper and she immediately knew who it was and was so excited about it. I drew the other two lovies on another paper, and again, she knew exactly who was who even though they were very simple drawings. I thought it would be fun to trace the drawings onto a plain piece of paper with a marker so I could copy them on our printer (it has the scanner on top of the printer that you can use as a copier) and print out lovie coloring pages of the babies whenever she wanted! The real life babies…Lama (a.k.a “MaMa”), Kit Kat the bunny, and Bunny (a.k.a “BaBa”). If you’re wondering why Kit Kat is actually a bunny, that was the only word she could say when she got him (yep, her first word was feline related) so he’s been called that from the beginning. It’s not confusing at all—ha ha! Not only is it exciting for her to color in her favorite friends, but it’s also been really fun for Todd and I as we can get a bit competitively creative and try and draw them doing funny things with different hairstyles etc. on our pages. If your kid loves coloring and has a special stuffy, this might be really fun for them too and you’d be surprised at how simple the drawing can be (you don’t have to be a professional artist for sure!) and they’ll still know their friend when they see them. Too cute!

xo. Laura

February 14, 2019
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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Besides Christmas, Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. It’s partially because it’s my middle name (Laura Valentine Gummerman) and Lola’s middle name now too, but it’s mostly because I have such fond memories of special Valentine’s Day surprises as a kid that the love of the holiday has always stuck with me. One year we left up our live Christmas tree so long that it started to sprout new growth and we decorated it with hearts as a Valentine’s tree. My dad would always put candies on our dinner plates at dinner time once he was home from work and a lot of the time they were those heart-shaped tins full of candy so I wanted to carry on the tradition with her as well. I bought some cute little tins to be the ones that we use every year now and I’ll fill them with candy or a small surprise present for everyone to open at our V-Day meal. I love that we’ll have reusable tins so they can be our “thing” that we do every year now.

I’ve been getting into the holiday spirit this week by wearing red/pink in some aspect every day, but I really love this tone on tone look with my new red teddy jacket (it’s so comfy!) which came just in time for the “holiday season”, hahaha. Also, people this week may think I’m going a bit overboard with the heart sunnies, but it’s our little secret that I’ve been wearing them non-stop since this summer (although they obvs feel super appropriate this week).  Not too bad for a relatively quick round of decorating! I love all things streamers for Valentine’s Day…
              Lola’s pink romper and hair clip and shoes (similar), My red jumpsuit and bodysuit
If you’ve ever dressed up a toddler to take a photo, you know that it’s quite a risk and can be a lot of work but every time I put the effort in and get some sweeeeet photos like these, it just makes my Mom heart burst and it’s so worth it in the end.

It’s pretty casual but I’m planning on having a little early dinner together with Lola and our heart tins and then Todd and I will do our at-home pizza-date when she’s in bed. Maybe next year we’ll do a proper evening out, but a pizza seemed to fit the budget just perfectly for this year’s events. Hope your day is filled with people you love!

xo. Laura

P.S. Can you even believe how much red I’m wearing lately?? As a person who used to maaaybe wear red once every two years, it’s quite the change. I’m still very picky about my shades of red, but it’s been fun so far!

January 30, 2019
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What Happened When I “Got Ready” Everyday For One Week

Winter is the worst time of year for me. Oh sure, Christmas is fun and sparkly, but once the tree comes down, it’s just crawling to the finish line of a warm spring day. I usually suffer through the winter months and have gotten used to feeling a bit blue and moody without much sun (which I think is pretty normal for most people) and the early sunset, but I realized lately that when I would get up from my office chair halfway through the day and go put on some cuter clothes and makeup, it kind of made me feel better about the bleak weather. I mean, I wasn’t doing cartwheels around the house, but I could tell my disposition was a little sunnier in general.

Based on that, I thought it would be interesting to try getting fully dressed at the beginning of each day for one week (real clothes, hair done, makeup, and some jewelry) to see how it affected my mood. Now, by saying getting fully dressed was a change means that it’s not usually something I do on a regular Tuesday morning (especially if it’s gloomy outside). Most of the time it’s leggings and a sweatshirt with crazy hair and no makeup on the weekdays (unless I have a photo shoot) and I save the effort for the weekends or hanging out with friends, but the possibility of a better mood seemed worth a little extra time spent on getting ready. And the results??

Days 1-5 actually went really well! There were a couple of mornings where it was extra gloomy and I was standing in my bathroom tired and feeling a bit grumpy, but by the time I finished my hair and caked on the bronzer (and I mean, like, a lot of bronzer!) I really did feel a ton better than when I started. I began the morning feeling like Gollum’s sister from Lord Of The Rings and left the bathroom waaay more Arwen if you know what I mean…she knows what’s up with that dewy elf glow….

A few of the days I did have to be in leggings for a morning physical therapy appointment (working my way through some back issues the past 6 months), so I changed back into jeans when I got home, but as long as I got fully ready at least halfway through the day it seemed to help. We did have more sun out that usually that week too, but like I said, the mood change was pretty dramatic on the cloudy days so I really do think it helped.

Day 6 Todd and I went on a Staycation here in town while his parents watched Lola for us at the house. I excitedly packed a bunch of cute things for outfit options, but I came down with a stomach virus that’s been working it’s way around town soooo we had to cancel all our plans and I spent the day in sweats and pjs. Weirdly enough, before I caved and realized I was indeed too sick to go anywhere, I had already gotten all my makeup on and I think once the main wave of stomach cramps passed, I actually did feel a little less gross while sick since I had already made half an effort to get ready that morning.

Day 7 was easy to get dressed for as it was a sunny Sunday and I was feeling so much better so Todd and I went out for a leisurely brunch before going home to Lola. Waking up and getting ready for a weekend brunch date is totally a ritual from a more “care-free” time in my life so it was fun to do that again…

Anyways, hopefully I don’t have to spend too long explaining that it’s not outer beauty that counts and all that jazz and I’ve had my fair share of times (like everyone else) where I’ve had to use my inside (brain) to convince my outside (facial expression) to feel confident and proud but I think it can totally work the other way around too. Sometimes you can jumpstart your grumpy mood by projecting an outside image that looks fresh and put together and bronzed and dewy (thanks shimmer bronze highlighter stick!!!) and the interior mood will follow—maybe not every time and not for every person,  but it still seems worth a try if you haven’t tried it before.

So, will I do this every day? I’m going to try to! Realistically it probably won’t happen everyday, but any day I do put in the effort and notice a difference is time-well-spent if you ask me. The only downside to it is that I hate washing my face every night and I can get away with not doing it if I didn’t wear makeup that day (I mean, I probably still should even if I didn’t put on makeup, but sometimes I  don’t). You may not need this challenge if you live where it’s warm and sunny all year round (lucky ducks) but for those of you who are tired of eating your 5:00 dinner in the dark next to a space heater, well, I hope this idea helps boost your mood a bit too!

xo. Laura

January 19, 2019
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Whatever Lola Wants…

You may have already seen this photo on Instagram, but I made that leopard coat for her over Christmas and it makes my heart so happy to see her wearing it around town…now Mommy needs a matching one, right??

OMG! I finally found a kid version of my favorite sunglasses (I have them in 3 colors I love them so much!). Here we come matching heart sunnies!!

Lola outgrows her sneakers so fast so I’m always out on the lookout for a new pair—I love these gold ones!

UGH, this jumpsuit!

Got one of these cute pom tassel sweaters this week I love how it looks on Lola (use the code GUMMERGAL to get a discount if you buy from their site—10% of the sites profits go to help funding IVF treatment which I think is really sweet).

Definitely in my cart for her Valentine’s Day outfit this year.

Love these flare-sleeved bodysuits and they would be super sweet with this overall dress too…

Lola loves to be out in all weather and I’ve wished I had some rain boots for her several times but these sun boots are adorable!

We are just about out of this natural non-nano zinc oxide cream and it’s my favorite cream to use if she has a bad rash or blistering happening. We are still trying to work out which foods are irritating to her skin so this stuff is great to help protect irritated skin and is cloth diaper safe for our diaper routine!

Thinking about getting one of these kid towers to have Lola start helping in the kitchen—does anyone else have them for their kids? What age should you start?

It feels a little too early for spring baby shopping yet, but I am already seeing toddler swimsuits and the like popping up so it may be too hard to resist! We’ll see…

xo. Laura

January 8, 2019
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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! Our year is already off and running but we had a sweet family dinner party for NYE at the Larson’s house —surprisingly the two kiddos made it halfway through the courses! We decided to put Lola to sleep at their house so we could stay until midnight, and, with a little extra bedtime soothing, it actually worked out pretty well! These two cuties mostly snacked on rolls, crackers, and chex mix for the bulk of their meal so I would say they had the dinner of their toddler dreams. I love that they are both wearing stars too…(by the way, that green stainless steel bottle is great if you are looking for a sippy cup without a plastic body. We use it for dinners out and travel all the time as well as at home.)  I tried my hand at making pate a choux swans with pastry cream filling, and while I went through several batches (and never did get quite the right consistency) they still looked really cute and tasted pretty good too. My Mom and sister made these for a Christmas party when I was a kid and I remember how hard they thought it was at the time—I totally sympathize now! I think my oven temp is way off since mine were getting done in almost half the time the two recipes I tried recommended and I kept leaving them in too long. Someone suggested I get one of these so I ordered one to check the temp next time I bake…

Anyway, it was fun to be out and with Lola and with our friends this year as we were just on the couch with a pizza last NYE (not that I mind a night like that all normally!). Spending special times with friends is not as frequent as it used to be so it’s good to cherish that when you can and I always love getting all dressed up with Todd any chance I can get. I look for a special new dress for NYE but I did a budget option of wearing my favorite sequin dress (mine’s super old but here’s a similar dress) with these really pretty earrings. I’ve had it forever but I still love that dress and I remembered that I wore it two years ago at the Larsons for NYE when Elsie and I were both waiting to be new Moms…and look at us now!

Hope your New Years is off to a good start! I know we have so much to be thankful for, even on the hardest days, and I’m hoping that 2019 is the best year yet for all of you too!

xo. Laura