// At A Glance

I had every intention of "taking off" a couple of weeks at the end of the year, to just focus on friends and family for the holidays. Of course sign paintings trickled (way) over into that time, and I had a few design installations and a boat load of emails to tend to. That "break" is already 8 days in the rearview mirror but I think I'm *finally* at a place with work that I can sort of check out for a week or so. I'm looking forward to just enjoying some downtime, and relishing in Mike being home from school for two more weeks. (With that being said, you'll probably see Linden's monthly post soon and then a bit of radio silence or something, maybe until the new year. We'll all be too busy to notice anyway haha!) Anyway, here's a little glimpse at what we've been up to these past few days.

I made Linden a few little shirts just for fun. (The sloth print is from Nation of Amanda) and the tattoo one is just a version of one all over the internet haha. They're just iron-on transfers, but I'm pretty impressed with how well they worked! I also made Toby a shirt and a sweatshirt, and I used the dark transfers and love how it turned out! (I'll show that one soon, but it's a surprise for someone so I have to keep it under wraps!)

I painted a million and one signs this holiday season. I was trying to paint upwards of 10 a day, but I'm happy to say they ALL made it out in time. Every sign was supposed to be delivered by yesterday, but tracking numbers are saying a few are lingering out to be delivered today. Fingers crossed!

These Brookside Crunchy Clusters are seriously AMAZING! I love the pomegranate ones, but these are so much better. I'm hoping Santa just fills my stocking with these haha!

I finally gathered the guts to try an ice galaxy dye on some osnaburg this weekend. I bought 4 yards to dye in hopes of making a fun ring sling or shorty. I basically did *everything* wrong when I dyed it, so it came out a little less than perfect and a bit more pastel than I had hoped for, but it wasn't a total fail. I'm going to work on wrapping it today and see what I can do. I might paint some little stars and constellations on it with fabric paint.

Yesterday was fun of fun for Toby. He painted some fun gifts for Christmas and made a ton of salt dough ornaments. Today we're going to work on painting the ornaments!

Linden is generally in a really good mood all day long (thank goodness!) but he's been skipping out on the sleep at night recently. His reaction here is how I feel about that haha!
I've been slowly trying to get the hang of my ring sling when wearing Linden. It's been so intimidating to me, but I'm learning. (He's a bit too low here, but hey, he's up with a decent seat!)

Linden has been getting lots of hang time in his MamaRoo lately. He can finally reach the mobile and he has so much fun batting it around and picking up his toys to slap it haha!

This was my situation last night. I finally got Linden to sleep in my arms and Tater Tot decided my chest looked super comfy. She laid there for at least fifteen minutes before I totally couldn't breathe anymore haha

Happy Festivus! Merry Christmas! All of those fun things. I hope y'all have a happy holiday! xo

// Instagram Favorites: December

Here is my sixth installation of my monthly Instagram favorites. Each month I choose 5 accounts to highlight and I share a few of their most recent snaps that I've enjoyed. Some are highly curated, some include more "real" moments, and some are just really nice to look at. Hopefully you find a few new favorites to follow! As always, you're welcome to share your favorite accounts, or even links to your own, in the comments below! xo

One word: PINK! I love all the confetti and pink going on in the Bando IG feed. It always looks like a party and I love the Girls Pop-Up they just hosted! 

Trisha's feed is always full of fun photography projects that she's working on. She's a photography student by day and it's neat to see what she's getting into. 

Brittany's feed is always full of fun #crafttherainbow submissions, and I love seeing what DIY project she's whipping up. Her gift guides are always pretty to look at, too!

Brumley and Wells is a gorgeous feed full of film photography. Mike and I took a short break from shooting since Linden was born, and I can't wait to get back out there in the Spring. My camera needs to be dusted for sure!

Emily's feed is so fun. She's a fellow Nashvillian and I love seeing my former neighborhood through her eyes. She can craft up some incredibly meticulous photos, too! Check out that Fruity Pebbles one! NUTS!


And those are my December favorites! I'll be back next month to share another round of lovely Instagrammers. Feel like sharing your own or tossing your hat into the ring? Leave your links below! xo 

See other monthly favorites HERE

// Things I Love Thursday v.210

this is my dream bath! ♥
this view! ♥
these "feet" photos (why are feet photos so tempting? at least these have a view!) ♥
these look DIVINE! ♥
this series by malou cohen ♥
this is what i'd like to be eating right now ♥
this owl has eyes that look like the night sky! ♥
these "time painting" photos of the moon ♥

// I love these half-painted room ideas! This is what we plan on doing to Toby's room soon.

Feminism is not about who opens the jar. 

It is not about who pays for the date. It is not about who moves the couch. It is not about who kills the bugs. It is not about who cooks the dinner. It’s not even about who stays home with the kids, as long as the decision was made together, after thinking carefully about your situation and coming to an agreement that makes sense for your particular marriage and family. 

It is about making sure that nobody ever has to do anything by “default” because of their gender. The stronger person should move the couch. The person who enjoys cooking more, has more time for it, and/or is better at it should do the cooking. Sometimes the stronger person is male, sometimes not. Sometimes the person who is best suited for cooking is female, sometimes not. You should do what works. 

But it is also about letting people know that it is okay to change. If you’re a woman who wants to become stronger, that’s great. If you’re a man who wants to learn how to cook, that’s also great. You might start out with a relationship where the guy opens all the jars and the girl cooks all the meals, but you might find that you want to try something else. So try it."
// Peppermint Crunch Dark Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies... Say that five times fast!

// Roxy shared some super fun and exciting news recently! Excited to see what's in store for her!

// SO much holiday travel happening this week and next. Keep these Traveling Beauty tips from Sadey handy! (I'm not the only one who feels like a grease bucket after getting off a plane, right?!)

// I know it's engagement season, so if you just said yes, or you're planning your wedding, you should totally wear one of these! AHH so pretty!

// Got a little lady in your life? This free felt bow pattern is adorable!

What are you loving this week?

// A Boy + His Dogs

I think there are few things more meaningful than the relationship between a kid and his pet. To this day I still consider my Bichon Frise, Bert, to be one of my very best friends. We had him for over 13 years and he finally passed away (in my arms. wahhh!) when I was 16. We'd snuggle up together at night (he hogged the pillow), and be attached at the hip during the day. I owe so much to that relationship with Bert. I can even remember the very day we "got" him. (He was a rescue who had been thrown from the window of a truck). Seriously, I loved that dog more than life itself. I think that's one reason I am so so happy Toby has the relationship he does with our dogs. Especially Pipkin. I love having these photos from him when he was only 3 years old.

Georgia has taken to Linden like her own. If he cries, she runs to him. If he's laying/playing in the floor, she's right beside him. The other day she laid right up next to him so that he could pet her while they were on the blanket together. It's my sincerest hope that they grow closer and closer as they both age.

There's nothing like growing up with a special animal in your life, I'm sure of it. Seeing the way the boys interact with ours just makes my heart sing. I can't get enough of it! xo

// Vine Vera "Cabernet" Skincare

I've never been much of a "skincare" girl. Truth be told, my routine is as follows: Wash face, use some Aveeno moisturizer. Boom. Done. I'm not a complicated gal. But Winter does an absolute number on my face. My skin gets so dry. It's terrible. It feels awful. It looks awful. It's just awful! Like, sandpaper awful. I've tried a few creams, I've tried some exfoliating wipes and masks and whatever else. But nothing has really ever done the trick. Kerry from Vine Vera emailed me several weeks back asking if I might be interested in trying out some of their skincare goodies. Since it's not normally something I really use, I didn't know if it'd be a good fit. However I am trying to step up my game a little bit and not be "Sandpaper Face" haha! I explained to Kerry that I didn't know much about stuff like this, but that I had very dry skin. She recommended the Cabernet Collection products and said she'd send some over for me to test out for a few weeks. Spoiler alert: My skin is hydrated and so smooth! (And I still know squat about skincare.)

When the box showed up at my house, I was sort of floored at the bevy of goodies sent over. Pinch me! I only really expected to get one or two pieces, but was so excited to see a wide variety of products. I wanted to get as much use out of the stuff as possible before writing about it because obviously I needed to experience it. Before I even used the products I was drooling over the fantastic logo (the wine glass V!) and the packaging (magnetic flap clasp boxes!). Seriously packaging alone can be what drives me to buy a product (even if I'll never ever use it. This is not Mike's favorite trait ha!) And I'm sure you've picked up on it already, but the whole brand is wine themed and the collections are various kinds: Merlot, Cabernet, Zinfandel, etc. Reservatrol is the main ingredient, and is commonly found in red wine. My mom would probably love it. She really likes wine.
I didn't really know how to use the collection, so I Googled the brand and BOOM: HowToUseVineVera.com showed up. It doesn't get much more straight forward than that. Anyway, now that I actually knew what to do with the stuff and when to use it, I started crafting my routine. Hands down, without a doubt, my favorite product in the collection in the Reservatrol High-Potency Cream. Before getting ready for the day I'd put some on my face and moisturize my skin before putting on my makeup. It helped everything stay in place, even without primer. What really sold me on it was that my foundation didn't crack on my nose during the day (from the wind/cold). Ugh that's the WORST! The Contour Eye Firming cream came in really handy when Linden's 4 month sleep regression kicked in. I've been using the Cellular Peel twice a week and the Serum at night (it moisturizes like the cream does, but goes on feeling so silky!) 

If you're into clean, paraben free cosmetics and brands that don't test on animals, this one is a hit. You definitely pay for the quality, but I know some folks who consider their skin care goodies gold. There wasn't a single thing in the collection that I didn't enjoy, though I think you might be able to get amazing results by just buying the cream or serum. They seemed to be the most effective for my skin type at least. The bottles/jars of product are VERY generous, so even with twice-daily use, the cream is sure to last me for a long time.  

So when it comes down to the final verdict, I really do love everything I've tried, though I think some of the pieces in the full collection could be a little redundant. I'd totally recommend the face cream/moisturizer above everything else. Would I buy it? If I could afford it, yes. It's probably pretty out of my league normally just because I'm still pretty clueless to it all, but I feel more comfortable with these products just from 4 weeks of use. Can you get similar results for less money? Good question! I'd like to compare the effects with something slightly more in my budget and see how they stack up. I'm certainly grateful for the chance to try it all out though, because now that I see a distinct difference in my face, I realize just how important a (good!) skincare routine is. You can check out the rest of what Vine Vera offers, as well as see where their store locations are, HERE. You can also follow Vine Vera on Twitter! xo

// Things I Love Thursday v.209

this amy poehler interview on npr is everything! ♥
this is accurate ♥
this tattoo! ♥
these little kitty ears. ♥
♥ this is proof that tina is my spirit animal ♥
this gorgeous area! ♥
this gorgeous pink lightning! ♥
these plants are so lovely ♥

// Exhausted new mom's hilarious take on "expert" sleep advice goes viral. (via Caitlin)

// I nearly ruined my relationship by constantly comparing myself to my boyfriend's exes.

// 33 times Mindy Kailing was the queen of 2014. YASSSSSS!

// An open letter to my daughter's step mom. This was beautiful! They're a lucky bunch.

// 15 simple moves that will change your career.

// No one is reading the CIA torture report so we turned it into 11 fun memes. There's seriously nothing fun about it.

// 22 life lessons you learned from George Costanza. I feel like I've maybe shared this 300 times, or a similar variation, but that's because I love the Costanza man!

// Unpopular opinion: 6 reasons why your utopic vision for a mixed-race future is my nightmare.

// Wishlist Wears: this plaid dress // the ballerina print on this dress is AMAZING -- it's a short and sweet list this week! haha

What are you loving this week?