soul’s seventh birthday outfit

For Soul’s birthday outfit, I made her a dress with Star Wars fabric and a Luke-inspired jacket. She’s been wanting his jacket from Episode IV, which is pretty basic, so I added some fun pattern inside. Also, the extra layer will help it be more of a jacket. She was ecstatic when she opened up her gifts to see her specially made for her outfit. I think her little smile says it all. I think she’s worn this outfit a hand full of times already, and she only got it a little over a week ago.

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huzzah!

This week’s learned, links, and thankfulness…

I’m super thankful my migraine is gone. It hit me hard for 2 whole days; I felt so nauseous the whole time.

Jean Jean Vintage has some samples for sale (such a steal at about half off!), see them here.

I love this funky coat. Not sure if I could pull it off, but I’d like to try. I’ve been keeping an eye out at the thrifts for something fun like that.

I’d love to make a beautiful Christmas cake like this.

If you’re a basket lover like me, you’d appreciate this woven lace basket bag.

The girls are super excited about Rogue One coming out this week.

Someone get this unique, tooled leather, bucket bag. It’s so cute!

I love Annie Costello Brown earrings. She does an interview here and totally understand what she’s saying whenshe describes her love for thrifting.

We have a long list of handmade Christmas gifts to make, and as soon as we are on break, we will start working on them.

I fall in this trap. I definitely settle for too little in my Bible reading.

My order from Kosas Cosmetics came in and I can’t wait to try these lipsticks out (I chose Rosewater and Elektra). These are natural (and I’ve read great reviews about it), so while have loved my lipsticks from MAC, I’m hoping that these workout for my lips, so I can do without the parabens, phthalates, and sulfates. I’ll share how it goes with you!

Happy weekend friends!

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kid gift ideas

We love toys that promote physical activity, so the ones above are some of our personal favorites. Glow received this (1) Kidoozie foam pogo jumper last year and loved it (and still loves). Actually, we all do, and have taken our turns jumping on it. One year later, this gift is still getting plenty of play. I have fond memories of having a scooter as a child, so when each girl was given a (2) Razor kick scooter a couple years ago from Ben’s sister, I knew they would love it too. Each girl had a (3) Rody Horse, and used him for years, until slowly each one got a hole in it. Nevertheless, they got a few years of play from each one. We still keep meaning to patch up the Rodys, but just haven’t made time. The (4) balance bike is a toy we never had, but friends have raved so much about it for their little ones. For True and Brave, (5) adjustable roller skates are on this year’s list. I love the look of the classic white old school skates, but with the constantly growing feet, I think adjustable skates would be a better investment, and then once they outgrow it, it can get passed down to Soul and Glow.

1) Kidoozie Foam Pogo Jumper
2) Razor Kick Scooter
3) Rody Horse
4) Balance Wonder Bike
5) Trac Star Adjustable Skates

Santa brings the girls one community present to share each year, and one of the best ones he ever brought was a (1) Crosley record player. We have had ours for several years now and it’s still going strong. I had to change the needle out once, but other than that, we haven’t had any issues. We have collected many vintage read-a-long records, and when the girls were just learning to read, the record player was wonderful for reading along to extra reading time. Beware of giving them a (2) harmonica. They love it, but you might not. Our (3) Schoenhut piano got played so much and lasted about 10 years intact before the keys started falling off from all the playing (and stepping on) from 4 girls. Just like the harmonica, this (4) accordion is fun, but you might need to give your ears a break from time to time.

1) Crosley Record Player
2) Harmonica
3) Mini Schoenhut Piano
4) Little Red Accordion

If you still needed ideas for little ones, I hope these help. Most of these are toys (all, but 2) we have and have loved for many years. Thus, I can attest to my kids loving them for longer than a day and these toys getting many opportunities for play and memory making. If you have any other toy suggestions of toys that have lasted and been loved in your home, do share in the comments here. And don’t forget to check out our list of favorite building block sets too.

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make a laundry monster


In our home, laundry is something we are never in short supply of. There are always plenty of dirty clothes to wash, and clean clothes to put away. Plus with four little girls, I find clothes (not sure if it’s dirty or clean) under beds, stuffed in corners, between the bed and the wall, and stuffed in other random places. Oh the places the laundry will go! I partnered with ARM & HAMMER™ to share this quirky Laundry Monster, so the girls will remember to feed the monster their dirty laundry, and hopefully this helps keep all the laundry in one place.

The girls and I worked on the Laundry Monster together; I did all the cutting and sewing, and the girls did the painting. Obviously, the video shows the abbreviated version of how to make it, but if you want to make your own laundry monster, you can print out full instructions here, or see the step-by-step below.

If you need something to make sure the laundry stays in one place, you certainly need a Laundry Monster in your life too. Tell the kids to feed the monster their laundry, otherwise, maybe the monster might eat them!

Advertising Sponsored by Church & Dwight, the Maker of ARM & HAMMER™products. All opinions are my own, and I’m thankful for the support you give me, this space, and the brands I partner with.

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jean jean vintage

Jean Jean Vintage is one of my go-to shops when I’m looking for vintage and antique jewelry. I have a couple of Jean Jean Vintage antique lockets, and even got True and Brave’s lockets from this lovely shop too. This reminds me to check the shop for some sweet lockets for Soul and Glow. Emily, the lovely purveyor behind Jean Jean Vintage, has such an eye for curating gorgeous antique pieces, but she has taken it a step further, and now has her own collection made from antique wax seals. I love seeing my favorite shops blossom and grow.

She has two collections… The Cachet Collection and Es Fui Skull Collection. Emily shares, “The Victorians used wax seals to stamp all of their correspondence and the choice of which seal to use was intensely personal and powerful. The seal was the first thing that the reader would see – a preview to what was written inside. News of a death required a somber seal with a phrase of comfort, a “billet doux” to a lover something tender or playful, and a business contract perhaps just stamped with the day of the week.”

The pieces in these collections can be made into a pendant, ring (even a swivel ring), and cuff links (with ranges from $80-$560).

With the Cachet Collection, antique wax seals become wearable “objets d’art”; small reminders of the big sentiments that rule us all. The messages and images on the seals are timeless, carrying just as much meaning for the modern woman as they did for the Victorians almost two centuries ago. Cast from original ca. 1850s artifacts, hand-finished with love in Michigan, and designed to be worn every day. My favorite is piece from this collection is seal No. 9 because I commonly use the phrase, “Such is life.”

The Es Fui Skull Collection reminds me of the brevity of life. I’ve always been enamored with the sentiments behind “Memento Mori” pieces. The collection is cast from of a ca. 1880s Victorian wax seal, originally in black glass. In shorthand Latin it appears as, “Es, Fui; Sum, Eris,” which means, “What you are, I once was; what I am now, you will be.”

Besides her own collection, she curates beautiful antique pieces. If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know I save my pennies for shoes and antique rings (I make Ben play jewelry store with me and my collections, and he just laughs). To me, antique jewelry are like little works of art, since they are often one of a kind.

If you share in my love for antique and one of a kind jewelry, take a peruse through Jean Jean Vintage and add a few things to your Christmas wish list. Then, don’t forget to send that list to your husband (or significant other, bestie, parents… basically, any one who likes to spoil you from time to time). Happy shopping!

top four images, clockwise: no.9 wax seal pendant, sterling silver signet ring, no.14 wax seal pendant, skull ring
middle image: double sided wax ring seal
bottom four images, clockwise: 1900s French seed pearl ring, japanese enamel pendant, 1930s patterned band, flowers and tassel locket

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