BOO!!! We’re back!

Nothing like a 6 month hiatus!
I hope everyone had a fantastic summer and you are enjoying the beautiful Autumn weather we’ve been having  🍂 🍁🍃🍂 (my absolute favorite season!).

I took a pause from blogging to focus on something important; health.  Back in March of this year, the hubby and I decided to take a huge step towards getting healthy and losing weight (something we had always talked about, but never took serious action on, until now).  We switched to a low carb lifestyle, and let me tell you… it has been pretty life changing.  I myself have lost a little over 30lbs so far and the hubs around 25lbs. Not only do we look better, but we feel great!  In the past month we have added in weightlifting and the results I’m starting to see from that are pretty amazing as well.  You can check out my results and follow along my journey here.  I plan on doing a more detailed blog post once I am closer to my goals.

Our summer went by entirely too fast.  The kids spent every minute they could get running around outside. Hadley mastered her scooter, she’s a total pro now.  Daxxon took on another season of baseball and made even more friends in the neighborhood.  And besides doing tons of healthy cooking & meal prepping, Kyle and I had a much needed mini getaway for our 5th anniversary.  We went hiking at Taylor’s Falls and checked out a local sculpture garden.
Now we are well into Fall with Christmas being only 62 days away.  What?!

Onto something a little more current, our visit to the pumpkin patch!  It was a chaotic, sass filled adventure, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Loving these snaps I got of the kids. 

The weather was perfect, 70° and sunny.  We went over MEA break so of course it was super busy!  The kids were eager to find their perfect pumpkin, carefully examining each one.  My favorite type of pumpkins were the Cinderella variety (if you’ve never seen them, google it).  So whimsical and unusual, no wonder they have a fairy-tale derived name.
Our trip didn’t go quite as smoothly as I had hoped, but does it ever?  (In a mother’s dreams!)
Trying to get both kids to sit AND smile for a picture where they are both looking is near to impossible.  Not to mention miss Hadley was full of attitude that day, and very independent.  She was a little upset when she couldn’t pull the wagon full of pumpkins herself…keep working on those muscles, girl!  Hadley was into the smaller pumpkins, while Daxxon was checking out the white ones.  His plan is to turn it into a Dalmatian, like he did the year before.  Love it!
Of course our trip wouldn’t be complete without Hadley falling trying to get out of the wagon and ripping her brand new pants.  Oh, and when you have pumpkins rolling around in the trunk, they may come out stemless, just saying.

Despite the chaos, I loved spending the day with our crew.  After the pumpkin patch we stopped at Minnesota’s largest candy store and let the kids pick out a few treats before making our way to Target to pick out Halloween costumes.
(Are we crazy for buying the kids candy before Halloween?  Maybe.  But it’s all about the experience!)
Looks like we will be having a tiny doctor & a Minecraft Creeper on our hands this year!

So happy to be blogging again, oh how I’ve missed it.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

 

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Kitchen Refresh + DIY Shelves

Yay!  I’m so happy to say we have finally painted our kitchen!  It was the last room in our house with the original plain, flat white paint; I hated it.  There were so many stains and marks on the walls that were not easily washable.  The color we chose is Almond Wisp by BEHR.  We had previously painted our daughters room + entry way with this color & I fell in love with it.

My dream kitchen would have light cabinets, dark flooring, and a beautiful backsplash…but we were working with a limited budget here!  While it’s not a drastic change, it definitely made our kitchen more pleasing and functional for our family.  We got rid of a lot of clutter as well, including our countertop microwave.  When we moved into our home there was an over-range microwave that never worked, so we finally replaced it.  Just having the extra counter space makes such a difference.

  The distressed shelves we created are my new favorite part of this space.  We had searched for shelving for quite a while before deciding to make our own;  never found anything that fit just right.  Everything was either too expensive, or just didn’t fit our style.  Turns out making your own can be fairly inexpensive, and easy too!

We used some maple-wood boards we had lying around from another project.  Kyle cut them down to 3ft long, 6 1/2in width, just the perfect size for our space (we probably could have even gone a bit longer).    After sanding them down, I distressed the boards (how-to found here) & applied one coat of stain.  I finished them off with two coats of polyurethane to help seal & give them a nice sheen.  The brackets we came across at Hobby Lobby, while on the hunt for shelves!

(That detail!)

A few BEFORE photos for reference.  I did get a little too happy prepping the kitchen for paint and took down a lot of old decor before remembering to take photos…oops!

(happy these 2 microwaves ↑➚ are gone for good!)

Have any fun projects going on in your household?  Comment below with details!

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Christmas Traditions

♪ ♫ ♬   “It’s the most wonderful time of the year…With kids jingle belling and everyone telling you be of good cheer…It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”  ♪ ♫ ♬

Kids jingle belling; that’s my 1 1/2 year old.  All day “JINGLE BELLS!  JINGLE BELLS!”, the best!  I’m so excited for Christmas this year, especially now that my daughter is a little older.  She can join in on all of the fun traditions and is full of excitement, kids really do make Christmastime magical.  9 more days!!!

This past weekend my hubby planned an out of town date to go see A Christmas Story: the musical.  It was perfect, right down to the hot cocoa, the real life dogs running around on stage, and the snowfall when we exited the theater.  I wouldn’t mind making this a new tradition every year; just the two of us escaping for an evening to catch a Christmas show.  While we were away the littles played games and built a gingerbread house with their grandparents.  It’s so fun to see the decorated candy houses each year.  (I’m thinking next year it would be awesome to invite some friends over for a gingerbread house competition!)

One of my favorite things to do every year is bake Christmas cookies with the kids.  I remember being a little girl and getting so excited to make spritz cookies with my mom, we would color the dough green + add sprinkles to the tops!  This year we made gingerbread men.  Hadley helped me mix up the dough while Daxxon was at school.  She loves to help out with anything I’m doing, so this was right up her alley!  The dough chilled as she napped and I even had time to cut them out + bake them before she woke.  When Daxxon got home from school they decorated away.

Another tradition I’m looking forward to is making popcorn + cocoa and driving around to see all the beautifully decorated houses with lights!  I’m thinking Christmas Eve will be perfect.

What traditions do you have for the holiday season?

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Thankful Thursday | Family

My family is my world.  One of my favorite quotes is “Family: we may not have it all together, but together we have it all.”…this couldn’t be more true.  I remind myself of this all the time; when we are scrambling to get somewhere and everyone is frustrated, when we are having an argument, or just simply having a bad week.  No matter what, we will always have each other.  And that’s all that matters.
MamaGroveBlog | Thankful ThursdayMy children – I don’t think I truly knew how much I could love someone until I locked eyes on their squishy, little baby faces.  They have taught me so much about love & empathy, patience & forgiveness, and are always reminding me to enjoy the simple things in life.  I know there is so much more to come, and I cannot imagine my life without them.

My husband – This guy right here – he keeps me sane.MamaGroveBlog | Thankful ThursdayHe always knows how to make me laugh, never keeping things too serious around here.  He grounds me when I feel like I’m losing control of this crazy life.  He adores our children and is the most wonderful father I have ever known.  He provides for our family without complaint, and has big goals & dreams for us.  I have so much respect and love for this man, I wouldn’t want to do this life with anyone else.

Lastly but certianly not least, extended family and in-Laws – I am very lucky to have such a supportive bunch who always has each other backs, and who are always encouraging one another.  A crew who is always there in times of need, and in times of joy.  I am ever so thankful for every individual in my family.

MamaGroveBlog | Thankful ThursdayMamaGroveBlog | Thankful ThursdayFloral Dress | Pink Fit & Flare dress | Tights

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Thankful Thursday | The Little Things

This week, it’s all about the little things.
The things that make me slow down and see the simple joys in life.   

✓ Books
My kiddos treasure story time, as do I.  I love seeing their faces light up with every page turn, and smiles when my husband does a funny voice for characters.  I can remember jumping into bed with a stack of books for my mom to read to me as a child.  The Story of Ferdinand 
was one of my favorites, and The Poky Little Puppy another.  I feel so content when we are doing something we can all enjoy together as a family.MamaGroveBlog | The Little ThingsMamaGroveBlog | The Little ThingsMiss H loves her books!  I find her laying around looking at books all the time.  Seriously, the cutest little reader EVER!

✓ Music
Music is good for the soul.  I can be having a bad day, but turn on a little music and spirits are lifted.  And don’t get me started on the dancing!  Hadley can dance for days.  To any music, any where, anytime.  I predict dance class for her in the near future!  MamaGroveBlog | The Little Things

✓ Games
Our family loves board games!  Not only do we have family game nights with just the four of us, but we love to invite friends over to join in the fun.  It’s a time for everyone to laugh and enjoy each others company.  Some we like to play are Smash Up & Machi Koro, and the kids love Jenga & Go fish!
I would love some suggestions for new games to try out!

What are you thankful for this week?

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Thankful Thursday

Is it really November already?!
21 days to Thanksgiving, 52 to Christmas…bring on the holidays!

But really, this year has flown by, too fast.  And with all the hustle & bustle that comes along with the holidays, I want to slow down and take some time to reflect on what matters most in life and all that I’m thankful for.  When I was browsing Target’s Dollar Spot a few weeks back, I came across this cute little craft kit; a Gratitude Tree.  It’s simple really, you have the whole family come together and write down on the leaves things you are grateful for (this is something you could totally create on your own too, with just a few simple materials) and afterwards you end up with a sweet centerpiece for your table.  It was interesting to see what we all wrote down, and we even added in a few of Hadley’s favorite things (dancing, music and fries!).  I definitely foresee this becoming a yearly tradition in our family.

I hope this inspires you to create something similar with your family too!MamaGroveBlog | Thankful Thursday

I will be doing a Thankful Thursday post every week this month.
This week, I am feeling particularity grateful that I am able to be a stay at home mom.  This is truly the hardest but most rewarding job I’ve ever had.  It hasn’t always been a walk in the park;  there are times when I’m so stressed I could cry, I don’t get sick days or break time, and it isn’t always easy financially.  But I would’t have it any other way, this is the best choice for our family.   I am there to watch my children grow, not missing any milestones.  I am there to teach them, and watch them learn everyday.  I am there to keep the safe from harm.  I can care for them when they are sick or need emotional support.  I am able to get housework done and make sure every member of the family always has what they need.  The list goes on and on.

This Thursday, I am thankful for my title of a SAHM.

 

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Hadley’s Nursery

This is by far my favorite room in our house.  Why?  Because I actually took my sweet time to design it and pick out the little details (I had 9 months after all).

I wanted to design a room that would grow with her and be easy to transition when she gets older, nothing too baby-ish.  When our son was born we went with an all out baby animal/jungle theme, so when the time came to make his space his own, we pretty much had to start from scratch.  Lesson learned.

For Hadley’s room, I went with a neutral wall color, which will make it so easy to switch up styles & decor without having to repaint.

MamaGroveBlog: Nursery

MamaGroveBlog: Nursery

My favorite details are the art pieces.  A couple handmade by yours truly; the cloud garland + isn’t she lovely painting.  I love the fact there is no particular theme going on here, just a mix of decor that works well together.

MamaGroveBlog: Nursery

MamaGroveBlog: Nursery

MamaGroveBlog: Nursery

MamaGroveBlog: Nursery

MamaGroveBlog: Nursery

White furniture is another way to keep it versatile because it pretty much matches anything!

MamaGroveBlog: Nursery

MamaGroveBlog: Nursery

MamaGroveBlog: Nursery

MamaGroveBlog: Nursery

MamaGroveBlog: Nursery

I of course wanted to add some pops of pink (little miss H is such a girly girl); the stool and bean bag chair do this without going overboard.

MamaGroveBlog: Nursery

MamaGroveBlog: Nursery

MamaGroveBlog: Nursery

MamaGroveBlog: Nursery

I absolutely loved putting her nursery together.  It will be just as fun redecorating when she develops her own style!

Convertible Crib | Bookcase | Rug | Rocking Horse | Young, Wild & Free Pillowcase

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