Ella's cute little life lately (as recorded in a zillion and half pictures)

 Ella's favorite position in the grocery cart:
Where she usually ends up sitting by the end of the grocery trip:
Because she does things like tear apart lettuce leaves when she is in the main part of the cart:
Although, her absolute favorite thing to do at the grocery store is help me push the cart.
I put her down on the ground and she puts her little hand on the back of the cart and we very slowly make our way through the entire grocery store like that, occasionally she switches hands, but she never tires of pushing.
This has led me to discover one of the best ways to entertain that girl at the park is to place her and the stroller in the middle of a large grassy field and let her push it for as far as she can go.
This honestly keeps her happy for 20+ minutes, that is phenomenal to have her entertained by one activity for that long!

Also, I love her face.
She is such a happy girl!
She is always excited about something and on a constant adventure.
"Places to be, people to see" is this girl's motto, always on the move.
The one exception to that rule is when Dancing With The Stars is on, then Ella will sit down next to me on the couch and watch when the dances are on.
I think we need to get this girl enrolled in a dance class when she's a little older.
She likes to dance in her carseat to the music playing in the car, waving her arms in the air and bobbing her head.

 Bedtime routine goes like this:
Ella says "Nigh nigh"and waves her hand to let us know she is tired and then we change her diaper, put on PJs and she brushes her little teeth all by herself and then Dadda gets to brush them (while Momma sings and makes crazy noises in the background to keep her entertained and not throwing a fit) and then Ella gets to brush them again.
She loves brushing her teeth, she just sucks all the toothpaste off.
When we say "time to brush your teeth" she opens her mouth wide and says "Ahh."
Then we say, "Time for a prayer," and that little girl folds her arms while we pray and then sometimes when the prayer is over she keeps her arms folded and says her own version of a prayer.
And then we get "Baby" Gerard and say "nigh nigh" to everyone and blow kisses.
And then we sing You Are My Sunshine (her favorite is when both Momma and Dadda sing it together  and not just one person) and then we lay her in bed, she cuddles up in the very far corner of her bed, with Gerard held right in front of her mouth with one hand and the other hand's thumb stuck in her mouth and we close the door.
She likes to sleep the short way in her bed, all scrunched up.
Sometimes we hear her talk and giggle to Gerard for a little bit after we say goodnight but sometimes she just goes straight to sleep.
I love that sleep time is not a traumatizing time, it's calming and she eagerly tells us when she's ready for it.
Let's hope sleep-training goes just as smoothly with Baby Boy.
She still sleeps from 7pm-10am (and sometimes longer). 
This is a girl who needs her sleep.
Although we've recently cut down from two 2 hour naps a day to one 2 hour nap.

Little Girl does not like being fed the same foods over and over again so this has forced me to be creative.
Thank goodness for ideas on Pinterest.

Whenever Ella is getting upset at being in the store for too long, find a mirror and place her in front of it.
This will buy you at least 2 minutes of time to grab things you need on the aisles near the mirror.
Or go to the toy aisle to keep her happy.
I have a really hard time making decisions, but Ella won't let me stand still in an aisle long enough to make choices (things start flying out of the cart and she starts getting restless and upset) so I just grab all of the choices and head to the toy aisle and let her play while I try to decide if I should get the blue one or red one.

 She kind of is in love with draping things around her neck, like purse straps, balloon ribbons and swimsuit bottoms with belts.
She's a hoarder through and through.
And a bag-lady in the making.
She gathers as many things as possible in her arms and walks all over the house until she is forced to put something down.
When she sees Gerard or an infant or toddler she says in this sweet little high-pitched coo "Hi beebee (baby)!"
One thing I love is that she does things to imitate her Momma.
I go everywhere with a messenger diaper bag over my shoulder and so I was absolutely tickled when I first saw Ella imitating me doing the same thing.
She found this bag of mine that I had back in middle school, and this bag has been waiting it's whole existence for Ella to find it because it has never been so loved.
She pulls it over her shoulder and goes around with an adorable proud strut to her walk, quite obviously feeling very grown up to be doing what her Momma does.

Also, going on walks and watching barking dogs are still a favorite:

 She is a constant snacker.
Which is fine by me.
Now that we have been shopping for Baby Boy of Chunkiness we sometimes get things that are big enough to fit Ella, so she's been wearing Baby Brother's clothes.
Occasionally throughout the day Ella will say, "Dada" and point to the garage door, as if she wants him to walk in it.
It breaks my heart when she does this on a day when she won't see him because he's gone from morning until late at night at work and school.
Oh she loves him!
She understands SO MUCH!
I love that I can say, "K, let's go to the car" and she'll walk to the car by herself.
Or "let's go outside" and she walks to the front door.
And when I put a shirt on her I put one arm through a sleeve and say "switch hands" and she switches whatever toy she is holding to the other hand and then puts her now-empty hand through the other sleeve.
She used to get so upset when I would remove her toy from her hand to put it through the sleeve, but now she understands switching hands and we don't have to get upset anymore!
And I love the face she makes when I say, "where is your nose?"
And she points to her nose.

 We love snacking on Costco dried mangos, they are one of Ella's favorite snacks (although they are probably terrible for her teeth)

 Little Girl is an organizer.
She likes to sort things.
She has a "discard" pile on her highchair tray where all of the undesirable piece of food get placed.
And she likes to line things up and move items from one place to the next.
Here she is organizing golf balls:
 With the new apartment to equip and a baby on the way, Ella and I have been running around thrift stores and checking Craigslist like crazy.
Everyday Adam comes home to a wildly excited me, telling him about the beautiful cherry wood dresser I found for $40 at the thrift store, or the $50 espresso crib from craigslist, or the 80 bajillion adorable boys clothing items I found for 50 cents to $2 a piece.
I'm sure it also thrills him to hear about all the projects I have enlisted him in to refinish the furniture I just found for such a steal.
Anyway, sometimes we find additional things along the way that are super cute and a fabulous price, like a cute striped summer dress for $2 at a thrift store:
Oh, I just love good deals!
And I love that girl!

A wedding and a cake-topper

This cute couple got married today (the red-head is Adam's brother):

Kyrsten (the bride) asked me a while ago if I knew anyone who did clay cake-toppers and I didn't.
 As we were texting back and forth about where to find little clay people, I pulled out the fimo clay that I used to play with when I was in middle school and started playing around to see if I could possibly make a decent looking clay person.
And this was the result:
Seth is an avid golfer (he's in the golf program in Las Vegas) and Kyrsten likes soccer.

We love Kyrsten and I'm kind of stoked to have someone as amazing as her as a sister now.
Having grown up with no sisters I kind of lucked out with the sisters I've gained from marrying Adam because they are incredible!
The wedding and reception were beautiful.

Ella had the snottiest nose you've ever seen and a rash on her face that I have yet to figure out how to get rid of and she was so tired while we were taking family pictures, I'm pretty sure she is screaming or bawling her head off in every single one.
(Above picture from my brother-in-law, Jake)

7 Days of Style

I've mentioned this blog called The Little Things We Do before.
The author is from Oregon and she has a little girl named Fern who she dresses adorably.
On her Instagram she hosted a challenge called 7 Days of Style.
Basically she was challenging herself and whoever wanted to participate to choose three items of clothing of your baby's and the baby has to wear one of those three things each day of the week but they can't wear it in the same way that they did earlier that week, so it forces you to be creative and find new ways to mix and match their clothes and basically just expands their closet when you find new ways for them to wear the same things.
That was a long sentence, did it kind of make sense?
Anyway, I love to dress Ella (I love it way more than I like to dress myself) and so I thought it would be fun to do the challenge.
These are the pictures that I took from that week and at the end of the week Ella's picture was featured in a little post on Babble written by Lauren, the lady hosting the challenge. 

One of the items of clothing that we chose was a peterpan collared onesie.
Ella wore it layered under a t-shirt

As a shirt under a cardigan

 And by itself with just stockings.

The second item of clothing was this little slip dress that I've been dressing her in since she was a tiny.
She wore it with just a cardigan. 

 And also as a shirt, tucked into a pair of pants.

The third item was a floral summer dress. She wore it as a skirt, with a shirt on top and she also wore it by itself with some stockings, but that was on Sunday and Sundays are absolutely insane for us so I didn't get a picture of it that day.

She also wore her moccasins almost every single day, which is pretty typical.
Everywhere we go she gets compliments on those moccasins and not only are they cute but she is able to walk much more smoothly in them than in any other pair of shoes she wears.
They have a thick sole so that she can wear them outside but the sole is really flexible so they move easily with her little feet, which is important for a little girl still figuring out how to walk on different kinds of terrain.
Most moccasins come at $40+, which was not an option for us, but these moccasins are only $19 (and we got them on sale for $15).
They are made by Minnetonka, in case you are interested.

The End.

A cute apartment on a budget

Pretty soon we'll be able to move into our new apartment and we're getting pretty excited with the task of needing to decorate it.
When we lived in Provo we weren't home very often because we were always at work or school so it didn't really matter if it looked cute or not, but now Little Girl of Cuteness and Baby Boy of Chunkiness (I guess I don't technically know if he's going to be chunky or not but he sure seems to be stronger than Ella was at this age and my belly is sticking out way more than it was with Ella so Adam says it's safe to assume he's chunky) and I will be home quite a bit and so we want it to feel like a nice place to be.
But we also need to keep it within a budget, so it's been fun trying to find what we need but also have it be cute and within our price range.
We have one shower curtain but now that we will have two bathrooms we needed another one so yesterday I was on the hunt for cute one to add spunk and color to our neutral bathroom.
Did you know that there are shower curtains that cost over $100?
There are.
These are some examples of very cute shower curtains that are over our budget:

But then I stumbled across a shower curtain that I'm kind of in love with, for a mere $11 on Amazon.
Look at this wonderfulness:
Does it get much better than Singin' in the Rain?
I don't think so.
This shower curtain will fill in the gap of the Singin' in the Rain ring tone that I had for 4 years and no longer have.
Oh I just love it! 

But it's a good thing that we're not getting the chevron shower curtain because then it would almost exactly match the living room carpet that we're planning on getting for our tiled living room floor and that would just be weird, since that bathroom branches off from the living room.
The carpet is like this:

And maybe on our living room walls I could make something like this of the different places we've lived in our life and called home:

Although I'm kind of digging the alphabet on the wall as well (and I'm sure Ella would appreciate it with how much she loves the ABC song, so maybe I could put it in her room instead of the living room):

Also a good idea for the living room wall:

With our apartment being neutral colors and our main furniture pieces being neutral as well, I'm looking for good ways to add color, like with the curtains and pillows and maybe painting some of the wood furniture we already have and these little pom poms will add a lot of cute color as well.  
I've been saving empty glass jars in all different sizes for a long time now, just to do something like this with them:

And I could add color to the kitchen by hanging something like this over the window:

I must really into little colorful balls because I also want to make these colorful streamers for Baby Boy's room:

And maybe a big letter like this to go above his bed:
And I already have tissue paper puff balls and bunting to put up in Little Girl's room like that picture above.

And perhaps I could make some curtains like this:
Curtains make a room so homey and add a lot of color to a neutral room, so I'm hoping they are as easy to make as I'm imagining.

Just this past weekend I stopped at a garage sale (we stop at them a lot with all the new things we need to get for the apartment and baby #2) and the lady who was running it was a school teacher so she had the most phenomenal children's book collection and she was selling them for 25 cents a piece.
We're talking Caldecott winners and classics and just a whole bunch of awesomeness (including this book, which I've been wanting for a while now).
Oh, I was in heaven!
I went through each and every single box of hers (and even returned the next day to go through them one more time and find more) and ended up with 50 childrens books for $12.50.
Happy wonderful day!
You guys, I love children's books.
I love the illustrations and I love having all that beautiful art in my home and I can't wait to expose my children to that beautiful art and those wonderful stories.
So I added those 50 books to the 100 other ones I've already collected and I think with some of them I will rip out some of the illustrations and frame them and put them up in the kids rooms like this:
To buy a print of a children's book illustration would cost way more than 25 cents so I'm pretty excited about this whole idea, although I'm having a hard time convincing myself to tear pages out of books.

Right now we are in the middle of painting a table and chairs (that we got for a grand total of $50 on craigslist) for the dining room, the table is off-white and the chairs are each a different color, kind of like this, except the table is totally white:

Obviously it will be a while before I can make all the stuff that I want to for our home, but it's so fun to dream about it and draw out plans and search Pinterest for ideas on how to make a home cute on a budget.

All pictures came from this board and this board on Pinterest (except for the shower curtains that came from this website and Amazon).