Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Scarlett's first Halloween

Happy Halloween!  Halloween was extra fun this year, because we got to dress our little princess up like a little princess!

...Princess Leia, that is!  The Princess Leia costume was pretty easy:  Luke's sister got her the hat before she was born, his mom found her the white sleep sack, his other sister made the adorable bag you will see in other pictures, and my only real contribution was the little twine belt, which looks nothing like Princess Leia's actual belt, but is still cute.  Ha!

We spent the night at our church's trunk or treat night where Luke's family made donuts, which has turned into a tradition.

Here Scarlett is with Grandma and Grandpa, in front of a crowd of hundreds of people.  We had a huge turnout this year!

Whenever Scarlett is overwhelmed in a loud, busy situation, she blocks it out by falling asleep.  I think that's what's happening here with her Nana.

...And Aunt Moey

But she eventually woke up for a few more photos...

Here she is with Aunt Di

...And Mommy and Daddy.

And just for fun, here we are at Trunk or Treat night a year ago.  It was freezing, Hurricane Sandy was about to hit, it's the last time I was skinny, and also pregnant but didn't know it yet.  What a difference a year makes!

I know it was kind of silly to dress up our 3.5-month old.  But oh my goodness, I'm so glad we did!  It was so fun!  She'll look back at these pictures someday and love it, I think.  Especially if she's a Star Wars fan like her Daddy!

Is it too early to start Pinteresting next year's costume ideas?!  Because that's about to happen.

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Fall Touches

I usually do a fall decor blog post.  This year I'm having such a hard time just keeping my house clean, my thoughts were, "What's the point of decorating?!"  But I did add a few little festive touches:

These are delicious. Also, I'm wearing my favorite fall nail polish (at the moment): OPI - I'm Not Really a Waitress.

8 of these coasters for $1 at Target

Lost track of the salt shaker, but this is cute enough to be out on its own.

 Wait, how did that get in there?  (Just kidding.  I couldn't resist).

I like to keep a basket full of seasonal goodies on the counter

Right now I've got apple cider K-cups,

Starbucks Hot Cocoa - Cinnamon dolce (delicious!),

And random candy.  I don't usually buy candy, but as I said on Instagram (jessicaw1106 -- follow me!), Halloween is a good excuse!

 Scarlett has some fall decor in her room as well.

We read these books just about every day, and she loves them!  She is really getting to the age where she is actually paying attention to the pictures at least.

That's it for my fall decor this year!  

And a little life update since I NEVER post anymore: I finally decided that I can't worry about getting all A's and also clean the house and spend adequate time with Scarlett.  So I've given myself a break, and decided that, who cares if I don't have all A's?  What difference does it really make?  My employer will care much more about my experience than GPA, so why kill myself?  I feel like a giant weight has lifted from me, and I refuse to be a ball of stress during this time of year, especially with Scarlett.  She can sense when I'm stressed, and I think it makes her grumpy too.  Life's too short!  

Coming up later this week:  Scarlett in her very first Halloween costume ever!  I love this time of year!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Fall Favorites

All right fellow bloggers...I recently came up with a genius plan.  Are you ready for this?  Here it is: every company that sells a product or a service must pay a fraction of their revenue to a "blogger" fund.  Then everyone who has a blog gets paid from that fund.  Because I've realized that I am a million times more likely to go out and buy something if a blogger *who is not endorsed by the company* recommends a product than if I see an advertisement for that product.  So us bloggers will be compensated for promoting the things we like without biases based on payment from specific companies.  

Anyway, that's a silly idea.  But to me it makes sense!  I love hearing what products bloggers recommend, because I know you are just normal people like me.

I decided to do a "Fall Favorites" post today.  This might become a monthly thing, or a seasonal thing here at "Something Beautiful."  I'm sure you all could use a break from the Scarlett posts anyway!  

Favorite Home Fragrances:

My favorite home fragrances right now are all from Bath and Body works.  These 3-wick candles can be a little pricey, but I try to buy them during their 2 for $22 sales (one is going on right now). They last for a long time, so they're worth $11 in my book. 

 Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin.  The scent description from Bath and Body Works says, "A fall harvest favorite inspired by delicious treats found at the local market: pumpkin pie, vanilla cream, and spice." (source).  I've written about this scent before because it's been one of my favorites for years.  I would say I smell more cinnamon than pumpkin in it, but it is just perfect for fall.  And I LOVE all the labels in the Fresh Picked line.  I never use candle holders, because I think the labels are so pretty themselves.  Perfect for fall!

Leaves.  As you can see, I burn this candle a lot!  It's almost burned down.  And this is hands down my very favorite fall scent.  The scent description says: "Celebrate the Brilliant colors of autumn with this rich blend of golden nectar, red apple, and spiced berries." (source).  I definitely smell the apple and the berries, and even a sweet, perfumey undertone.  I have the scent portable in my car for this scent too because I love it so much!  Again, the label is beautiful!

Cranberry woods.  I have yet to burn this one, but it smells amazing cold!  I thought it would be perfect as a fall or Christmas candle, so I'm kind of saving it until later in the season.  The scent description says, "A mysterious blend of cranberry, rich blackcurrant and raspberry delicately layered with notes of cinnamon bark, cedarwood and warm amber inspired by the magic of the woods during harvest time."  I would say it smells a lot like cranberry with a little sweetness and spice to it.  It will be the perfect scent for Thanksgiving! 

Favorite Body Care Items
All from Bath and Body Works.  We'll start with anti-bacterial gel:

 I'm not a germaphobe or anything, but since it will be cold and flu season soon, I thought it would be good to keep some pocket bacs on hand.  I like to hook them to Scarlett's diaper bag or my school bag.  I bought a bunch a few weeks ago, but these are three of my favorite fall-specific scents.  I had to take a close-up picture of each, because they are so adorable!

Pumpkin caramel latte.  Again, I love the label!  What a cute picture!  The scent description says, "Gather with friends and celebrate the season with this warm, rich blend of creamy pumpkin, spiced caramel, and sweet cream."  (source). Honestly?  this smells like none of that.  It smells like pure maple syrup to me.  But I still think that's a nice scent for fall.

Aspen Autumn Day.  This is a very unique scent.  I like it a lot.  So much so that I have it in scent portable and foaming hand soap forms as well. But I would imagine it could be hit or miss depending on your taste.  I can't find the scent description for this one, but I would say it smells like apples with a hint of something else.  I can't figure out what that something else is, but it's good!  

Pumpkin Cupcake.  Honestly I am not a huge fan of bakery scents for body care items, so I mostly like this one for the cute label. Ha!  The scent description says, "Satisfy your sweet tooth with the scent of a freshly baked pumpkin covered in loads of rich buttercream frosting." (source) I'd say that's pretty accurate to what it smells like -- just very heavy on the frosting.

Now here are a few body care items that are not fall-specific, but I've been using them this fall, so I'm including them.
Pink Chiffon lotion and shower gel.  This is from their signature collection, so it's sold year-round. This scent is so sweet, and it just makes me feel really pretty and girly whenever I wear it.  It almost smells like cotton candy.  I know that sounds strange for a body care item, but trust  me, it's good!  The scent description on the back of the bottle says, "This whimsical scent is a delicate blend of sparkling red pear, jasmine petals, and tiare flower whisked with vanilla orchid and chiffon musk."  

I also love these little hand creams that are $5.  

Vineyard Berries is my favorite.  It goes from my school bag, to my purse, to the diaper bag.  Basically it travels everywhere with me, because my hands get insanely dry this time of year.  I can't find the scent description, and I can't even find the words to describe it.  But it smells amazing!

Sweet Clementine is also amazing.  I leave this one in the bathroom and use it in the mornings a lot.  The scent reminds me of orange juice, which is just a pleasant smell in the mornings! Actually, I'm sitting here smelling it again, and I think it smells more like an orange creamsicle than orange juice.  Which is even better if you ask me!  Again, I cannot find the scent description.  But yeah, just think of an orange creamsicle.

Favorite Clothing Items
 I'll start with my favorite fall clothing item for me, and follow with a few of my favorite clothing items for Scarlett. 

I have not been shopping for clothes for myself much lately.  But yesterday I found this Ohio State t-shirt at Old Navy.  It was 50% off this weekend, so I got it for an amazing price!  I needed a new Ohio State shirt because my old ones don't exactly fit my new body.  I loved this one, because hello! says "scarlet"!  And it's really soft, comfortable, and long.  I didn't know Old Navy had college team gear!

This is also from Old Navy, but it's obviously for Scarlett.  I like Carters, but honestly get sick of animal and sayings on everything.  We get love mommy.  Do we really need to print it on every piece of clothing you own?  So this was a nice change.  I think she's going to wear it to church next Sunday with black leggings, and I can hardly wait to see her in it!

I know I just said I get sick of animals printed, or embroidered on everything for babies, but this is different.  Because it is just so cute!  This is also from Old Navy.  It's made of thick fleece, so I thought it would be good for the colder weather I'm hoping will eventually come our way in Ohio. It's extremely soft, too.  

This is a little sweater dress, and it came from Gap.  And I want a matching one for me, because that's how much I love it!  My mom bought this for Scarlett a few months ago, so I'm not sure if they're still available.  But doesn't the little elbow patch just kill you?  It's my favorite part!  This is still a little too big for Scarlett, but I literally try it on her once a week to see if it fits her yet.  I'm just so excited for her to wear it!

 Favorite Home Decor Items:
I bought a few of these little owl banners for $1 apiece last year at Walmart.  I love them!  I  hung a few in random places in Scarlett's room.  She needs fall decorations too!  (Although I guess we could keep them up year-round).

And I found this owl chalkboard at Family Dollar, of all places!  And it was $3!  I put it on my bathroom sink because that room needed a little touch of fall.  I love it!

 Favorite Nail Polish
Essie's Master Plan.  This is my favorite gray polish that I've bought to-date.  It has a bit of a purple tone to it.  I think it's perfect for fall.  

Essie's Bahama Mama.  The name sounds like summer, but I think this is the perfect fall color!  I love dark colors for fall, and this is such a warm, rich, purple.  I think this might be my very favorite color in  my entire collection (which really is quite small, but still...) at the moment.

I think that's it for my fall favorites!  I've had a bit of a Bath and Body Works obsession lately.  I'm finding that after having Scarlett, I just don't feel pretty or girly anymore.  I think it's because I'm a few pounds heavier, my clothes don't fit like they used to, and I just don't have time to worry about my appearance.  But if I smell good, and if my nails look good, I feel much more feminine and pretty.

What are your fall favorites? I would love to know!

Friday, October 11, 2013

3 Months Old!

Dear Scarlett,

You are 3 months old today!  Look how much you've grown!

You had a doctor's appointment on Monday, and you weighed 9 lbs, 5 oz.  Almost twice what you weighed at your lowest weight! (4 lbs, 12 oz). You are wearing newborn clothes and even some 0-3 month clothes, and size 1 diapers.  

People continue to remark about how alert you are!  I think it's because your beautiful blue eyes are SO BIG! And because you really are just very alert.  You just seem so amazed by this whole new world, and you want to take it all in.

The doctor commented this week on how social you are.  We laid you down, and you looked right at her and started smiling and cooing at her.  She said you were very social for your age!  You love to make eye contact, smile, "talk," and now even laugh with everyone!  

You make the funniest faces.  You are very animated, and it cracks us up all the time.  Your voice has recently become a lot more animated as well.  You'll get in "talkative" moods, and you'll just coo nonstop!  Your coos are starting to have a lot more intonation and expression -- almost like you think you are really carrying on a conversation with us.  I told daddy that I have no idea where you would have gotten such a talkative nature!  (Just kidding...I'm pretty sure I know!)

You support your head on your own, just about all of the time now.  When you're laying on your stomach, you can hold your head up, and hold yourself up with your arms for a few seconds.  You also bear all your weight on your legs if we stand you up.  You haven't rolled over yet, but you'll kind of rock back and forth when you're on your back, so I'm sure you'll do it soon!  For such a little peanut, you're a pretty strong girl!  You also reached up and grabbed the little hanging monkey toy while you were laying on your activity mat the other day.  You had been laying there for about 10 minutes, and all of a sudden, reached up with both hands and started playing with it.  It was the first time you had really reached out and grasped something that wasn't immediately in your reach.

You also have started blowing bubbles and raspberries with your mouth.  It is so cute!  You seem to be obsessed with watching people's mouths, and I think that might be my fault.  I always do things like stick out my tongue, open my mouth wide, puff my cheeks out, and blow raspberries, and try to get you to copy me.  This is the future speech-pathologist in me.  I can't help it.  Also, it gets a laugh out of you every time! You really are just discovering new things every day.  It's a lot of fun to watch!

Mommy and Daddy are both happy to report that you sleep a block of 6-7 hours at night!  It has been at least a month since you've gotten us up before 6 AM.  THANK YOU!!  We are so glad you are such a good sleeper!

You've done a lot of fun things this month.  You've gone to football-watching parties (where your cousin Hudson LOVED to hold you!), church, family parties, shopping trips, your first real family night with mommy and daddy when we went shopping and out to dinner, you went to meet your new friend Ella who was born exactly 2 months after you, and your first trip to White House Fruit Farms.  

Here's what you looked like this month:

Every day you learn and discover something new, and you are just getting more fun and interactive each day as well.  We can't wait to see what next month brings!

Mommy and Daddy

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Girl's Weekend & Scarlett's first White House Experience

Last weekend Luke was in Columbus for the Ohio State game.  It was a night game, so he and a friend stayed there Saturday night so they didn't have to make the long drive home late at night.

So basically, this was Scarlett's and my first girls' weekend!  I know she is way too young to appreciate that, but we (I) had so much fun anyway!

On Saturday, Scarlett napped away while I got a chance to clean the house.  There is just absolutely no time to do much cleaning during the week, so it feels so good to have a clean house on the weekends!  And I was finally able to put out a few fall things, about 3 weeks later than normal.

Later we went out to dinner with my aunt and cousin, plus her two littles, at Chipotle, and then did some shopping.  Scarlett and I went to Bath and Body Works, where I spent way too much money on fall things!  Shopping in that store is an addiction during this time of year.  Everything from my car, to my house, to my body smells like cinnamon, apple, or pumpkin.  Anyway, one of the sales associates pretty much followed me around the store fawning over Scarlett (or just making sure I wasn't shoplifting.  I've worked retail before -- I know how that works!)  And told me that she wins the cutest baby of the day award!  Even though one of her co-workers brought her new baby in earlier that day!  (Let's ignore the fact that she was probably just trying to butter me up so I'd spend more money). I may be 20 pounds overweight now, have frizzy hair, and spit-up stains on my clothes, but tell me my baby's cute, and my self-esteem is restored!

We came home and watched a chick flick and did manicures!  AKA, I watched "I Don't Know How She Does it" (I wouldn't recommend that movie by the way, it was kind of boring) and painted my nails while Scarlett slept in a coma-like state.  Still fun, and made me look forward to the time when she's older and we can do these things together.

Sunday after church, we went out to lunch and made our annual trip to White House Fruit Farms with my mother-in-law and sisters-in-law.  Scarlett literally slept the entire time.  3 straight hours.  We decided she will be more fun next year!  We got some cute pictures, at least.

Here I am with Diana, Maria, and the little sleepy-head

 Yay, pumpkins!

 Me and my girl...still completely out

 Here she is for a picture that is sure to become an annual tradition.  Literally the one and only time she opened her eyes while we were there.  And it kind of looks like she's smiling, but...

 ...nope, that is the start of her "I hate this!" face.  

Better luck next year, I guess!  Ha!  Overall, it was a fun day, and I can't wait to share many more like it with my girl.  Next year I will probably let her have a little taste of her first White House donut, so there's no way she'll have anything but a giant grin on her face!  

I am trying to cherish these special days before they are over.  I love every minute with Scarlett, but time is just going way too fast!!  I cried when I used her last newborn-sized diaper the other night.  I can't wait until she's older and can understand and appreciate all of these things more, but I also want her to stop growing and just stay this precious size and age forever.  I'm learning that motherhood will forever make me feel this way.