Five on Friday

Happy Friday Friends!

I’ve been kind of a slacker on these posts the last few weeks, so lets get right to it!

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Last week I shared how important it has been for my personal sanity to have found a good group of mom friends that we can have play dates with and I’m happy to report that we have continued our weekly sessions and have the next few weeks planned, next week is the Zoo (hooray for cooler weather so we can spend time outside). And in case you missed my post yesterday, for all you locals, Groupon is still offering 2 tickets for the price of 1 ($11) to the Phoenix Children’s Museum and we can’t recommend it enough, seriously, SO MUCH FUN!

TWO

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The weather is starting to cool off here in the desert and I couldn’t be happier! I celebrated by making potato soup (a favorite of mine). Previously, I’ve always made The Pioneer Woman’s Potato Soup and as much as I do love it, there is A LOT of prep work involved! So when I found Angela’s recipe I knew I had to give it a try! And it was amazing!!! So good and so simple, perfect for a weeknight. I’m going to try it again this weekend, but try substituting the potatoes with cauliflower to make it a little healthier, I let you know how it turns out.

THREE

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I finally got around to canning all of my strawberries. I always buy a ton of organic strawberries when the are in season and go on sale, then hull them, dice them and freeze them until I have a chance to turn them into some yummy strawberry jam. This week I had a friend, who wanted to learn how to can, come over and together we made jars and jars of jam! It is definitely a lot more fun canning with friends and she found out it was a lot easier than she thought. Hopefully we can get together again soon and can the 10,000 pounds of tomatoes currently making a home in my freezer…

FOUR

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Spotted at Marshall’s!!! The NuMe curling wand! They had both the 25mm and 32mm in black, pink and teal for only $24.99. This is the best price I have seen, I snagged the 32mm in black. I’ve heard lots of great things about this wand (here and here are just a few of the places I’ve seen them) so I can’t wait to try mine out!

FIVE

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Also while I Marshall’s, I finally found a basket for my snake plant! You guys, I have had this plant for over a year and have searched and searched for an (inexpensive) basket that would fit it. Much harder than I thought it would be, all the baskets I’ve found previously have either been tall enough but too skinny or wide enough but too short. So glad to finally have this checked off my list and that I don’t have to look at the ugly plastic pot it came in anymore, thank you Marshall’s!

Wishing you all a fabulous weekend!

xo, Cassidi

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Toddler Fun- Phoenix Children’s Museum

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Yesterday we had a play date scheduled at The Phoenix Children’s Museum, it was mine and Brynlee’s first time going and I left thinking only, why on earth have we waited so long to go!!! It was amazing and so much fun for the kids. We were there for most of the day and still didn’t manage to visit the many attractions offered.

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When you first walk in there is a huge climbing area, with spots for younger children, an area of building blocks and plenty of seating for parents (thank you Children’s Museum). Brynlee would have happily stayed here all day running through every square inch of this structure. Let me tell you, this child is fearless!!! This mama was having heart palpitations seeing just how high she was climbing. One thing that I especially appreciated was that there were Phoenix Children Museum employees located throughout every level of this structure making sure that all the kids were okay and everyone was happy. It made me feel so much more comfortable while on the ground knowing they were up there.

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Next to the structure they had these tubes set up going every which way with air blowing through them. There were a couple of doors in different sections of the tubes that you could push the scarves through then watch them fly all through the tubes and eventually fly out back to you. The kids had a blast catching them and putting them back in.

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On another level they had a market area, where the kids could “shop” for groceries with shopping carts and baskets, then ring them up at the cash register and head over to the play kitchen area and make their own “food”. They also had this fun ice cream stand where the kids loved to make us all ice cream cones.

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And they also had a hot dog stand. Brynlee loved putting the hot dogs together and passing them out to everyone, whether she knew them or not. It was really cute when other kids started coming up to her and placing their orders, she thought it was the greatest!

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A maze of pool noodles!

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One of my favorite areas was the art room. Kids could go in and craft, there were plenty of tables and supplies set out everywhere for them. It was wonderful and Brynlee loved it!

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They could also put on painting smocks and add their flare to a giant robot!

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Who knows how many layers of paint is on this thing, but I thought it was pretty amazing.

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And how beautiful is this chandelier!!! It’s made entirely of book pages and plastic water bottles!

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There were fun little stations located everywhere to encourage creativity and get the mind thinking.

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This little “car wash” with bikes for the kids to ride was a huge hit! I could barely get Brynlee away and that was only after I bribed her with food, it was lunch time and she had apparently worked up quite the appetite.

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We ended our time there back at the play structure.

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Where the only way we managed to get them out of it was when one employee (bless her) broke out the bubbles for them to all chase.

We had so much fun and will definitely be going back soon! Groupon has a BOGO right now where you can get 2 tickets for the price of one ($11), so I’ve purchased another one for next month too.

*On a side note, I’ve been told we were pretty lucky to go on a day when it wasn’t very busy and there were no field trips scheduled, I guess it can get pretty crazy. They do have a calendar on their website that shows when schools will be there, so we will definitely be checking that before we schedule our next trip.

xo, Cassidi

Simple Sewing Patterns for Kids

In keeping with my theme from yesterday’s post, I thought today I’d share a few of my favorite simple sewing patterns for kids for anyone wanting to get their feet wet in the sewing pool. These are all patterns I own, most of which I have sewn multiple times and come together fairly quick.

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I mentioned Dana  yesterday and with good reason. The First Day Dress was the first article of clothing I ever made. I chose to make the A-line dress first, it looked to be the simplest and it was a great first project. It was very easy to make and although it took me a few hours the first time, I was being extra careful to read and reread the instructions for each step multiple times before completing it, it gave me the confidence to try sewing other clothing items. My second being the swing dress of the same pattern. As I said yesterday, Dana takes great care in providing very clear instructions and beautiful pictures for each step, which is great for beginners. This circle skirt tutorial is another simple sew and perfect for girls who love to twirl.

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Violette Field Threads is my go to for adorable girl sewing patterns. Just browsing their site makes me want to make each and every outfit for Brynlee, they are all darling. And truth be told, I probably own about 70% of their girls sewing patterns, I just need to get my booty in gear and make them all! The Hope Dress is a beautiful dress, designed for a beautiful cause, you can see the one I made here. Not only is the dress reversible (I mean, how fun is that) but it can be made in less than an hour. Its the perfect summer dress or can be layered over long sleeves and paired with tights as the cooler weather sets in.

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The Lola Top is another great one from Violette Field Threads that can be made in just around an hour. It’s super cute and Brynlee always gets tons of compliments whenever she wears hers. Here is just one of the ones I’ve made for her.

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I mentioned Kate yesterday too and it’s easy to see why with this pattern. The Recess Raglan is a great beginner pattern and perfect for this time of year. It has multiple sleeve length options and Kate offers additional add-ons/hacks free on her blog.

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Here’s a picture of the one I made Brynlee last year out of a quilted heart sweatshirt fabric I found at Joann’s. I sized up so she could layer it over a shirt and it worked perfect for her all winter long!

I hope you’ll try out one of these patterns and let me know how you like it! What are some of your favorite patterns?

Happy Sewing!

xo, Cassidi

My Favorite Sewing Blogs

Thank goodness for the internet and lovely people willing to share their talent, if not for them, I still wouldn’t have a clue what to do with my sewing machine! I’ve been meaning to share my sewing story/ journey here for a while and hopefully will get around to typing it all out soon. In the meantime, I thought I would share some blogs that have been instrumental in teaching myself to sew.

There are so many amazing sewist out there and so many amazing sewing blogs, here are just a few of my favorites (I have many), so if you’re interested in learning to sew, go check them out!

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madeeveryday.com

Dana is amazing and almost solely responsible for me learning to sew. It was her blog that first sparked my interest and her tutorials are so well documented, tons of photos and very clear instructions. Plus she now has a YouTube channel with video tutorials making it even easier to learn. I own multiple patterns of hers and would highly suggest them if you want to start making your own kid clothes. She also recently came out with her own fabric line and I am dying over all the bold patterns and bright colors! I can’t wait to get my hands on some of that “eat it all” fabric, I think it would make the most darling napkins!

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seekatesew.com

See Kate Sew is another great blog filled with all sorts of sewing know how from sewing for babies, kids and you! She is always coming up with super fun and unique tutorials, I love her doll fabric/tutorial. And if you’ve ever wanted to make one of those cute triangle quilts, but aren’t excited about all the piecing involved, try her 1-hr shortcut. She also has her own line a patterns and again, I own quite a few of them. I’m really excited to use her basic baby gown pattern for baby boy coming in December, these will make those middle of the night diaper changes “sew” much easier!

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sewcaroline.com

Great resource for learning to sew for yourself! She has great patterns (yes, I do own a lot of them) and tutorials for your everyday wardrobe. She is also a fabric designer for Art Gallery, her designs are so bright, colorful and fun!

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nanacompany.com

This blog is full of inspiration! Amy’s attention to even the most minute detail in each of her projects is something to behold! I love browsing her blog for ideas and she has plenty of tutorials to help out! She has two adorable fabric lines, a book and an Etsy Shop with some darling sewing patterns.

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beeinmybonnetco.blogspot.com

Lori is a quilting genius!!! I would love to be able to quilt like her some day. All of her creations are just gorgeous. Her blog and her home are filled with vintage-y goodness and I love it all! She is a long time fabric designer with Riley Blake, all of which are beautiful designs. She has three books, I own this one and am currently working on the row along quilt. I might finish it some time in the next decade…

If you are interested in sewing or just looking for some creative inspiration I hope you found this post helpful! And please share with me if you have any favorite sewing blogs!

Happy Sewing!

Play Date and Mom Groups

When we first made the decision for me to quit my job to stay home with Brynlee, one of the biggest pieces of advice I received was to find a mom group. At the time I really didn’t think much of it. I had a few close friends who were stay at home moms and figured that was good enough.

But guys, being a stay at home mom can be really lonely! And even though I did have those close friends who I got together with sometimes, our kids were all different ages, which meant that in order to spend time together we had to coordinate nap, school and other activities (like dance, gymnastics and sports) schedules. Not an easy thing to do…

Then, last year when I enrolled Brynlee in dance I got to know the most amazing set of women who I am now so grateful to call friends. The best part, all of our kids are the same age and became friends while in dance so when we all get together the kids have fun and so do we.

And it is so good for my mama soul!

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We now try to get together at least once a week, we’ve had play dates at houses, been to the aquarium, arcades, taken the kids out for ice cream, are planning to visit the Children’s Museum next week and have some Zoo trips planned once the weather is cool enough for us to spend most of the day outside. We even have plans to start a soccer team with all of kids at the beginning of the year.

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Having some adult time with friends throughout the week is instrumental in my happiness and overall well being as a mama. It’s so easy to get lost in all things kids, there are so many activities we are constantly preparing for or chauffeuring them to. When I get this time, I’m a better mama, wife and friend. I feel more motivated to get stuff done around the house, on the blog and it really helps get my creative juices flowing.

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Some other benefits of finding a group with children the same age is that you are usually going through similar phases in parenthood and its a great support system. This group of ladies helped me find Brynlee’s preschool (which we love and couldn’t be happier with) and 2 of her girlfriends from our play group are also in her class, which made the transition to school really smooth for her.

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Even if you are not a stay at home mom, I would still recommend finding a moms group, there are lots of them on Facebook. Its fun for you and your child and the best part is that when you leave, your cup is full and your child is usually ready for a nap! And those are rare these days so I will take them when I can get them!

Today we are having a baking party with our kids after school, we are making cake pops and Brynlee is really looking forward to it!

What are some of your favorite toddler activities?

xo, Cassidi

White after Labor Day???

I dropped Brynlee off at Preschool the other day and while I was there, her teacher complimented the teachers aid on how great she looked that day. The first thing she said was “thank you, I know I’m wearing white (pants) after Labor Day, is that even a thing anymore that I shouldn’t?”

I’m not really sure where the whole no white after Labor Day thing came from, but personally, I love wearing white and really don’t care what time of the year it is. I mean, winter white is a thing too, right?

So today, I put together a few Fall outfits that incorporate white into them. You might be thinking I’m crazy for loving to wear white when I have a toddler with sticky hands who loves messes, but I beg to differ. Thanks to bleach, white is super easy to clean, much easier that something full of color!

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hat / scarf / top (maternity) / pants  (maternity)/ booties 

Keeping it casual with outfit 1, I love pairing chambray and white! Adding in the hat and a blanket scarf and this would be great for a coffee date/lunch with friends, preschool drop off or just getting together with fellow moms during a kid play date.

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necklace / sweater sweater / jeans / shoes

A dressier option for outfit 2, perfect for date night or a low key holiday party. I paired this with flats (because flats are basically my life now, hello always on the go toddler) but this could easily be taken up a notch with a pair of nude heels.

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vest / top / jeans / boot socks / boots

Another casual choice for outfit 3, great for preschool drop off, but I also love this one for a trip to the zoo or any other activity that might keep you outside for an extended period of time when its chilly. The vest would keep you nice and cozy and I love a good boot paired with boot socks!

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hat / scarf / coat / circle earrings /  bar earrings

I also put together a few  white accessories or ones that pair well with white. I love white and gold together and am pretty sure those gold bar earring will find their way onto my Christmas list. I love a white coat, I have one from a few years ago and always get so many compliments when I wear it. I love the bell shape on the bottom of this one, so feminine.

So, what is your take on the whole white after Labor Day thing, yay or nay?

xo, Cassidi

 

Junk in the Trunk 2016 Market Recap

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Oh my, do I love the Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market! I usually go with my mother in law and sister in law and it has become a guaranteed girls weekend for us the twice a year it comes to town.

If you haven’t been, or have no idea what I’m talking about, it is basically a vintage/antique/handmade market that is held twice a year here in Phoenix (actually Scottsdale) and has recently expanded to a market in San Diego and Los Angeles. The two ladies who run it curate some of the best antique and handmade shops around (I think there were over 150 at the one this weekend) to make for one amazing shopping experience.

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We have been to the market a handful of times and have always found some amazing treasures. We learned our lesson quick, after our first market and have since sprung for the VIP tickets. Not only do you get some pretty sweet swag, like the hat and bag pictured above, but you get in a day early and are able to shop without all the crowds. Because on general admission days it is CROWDED!!! As in, you can barely move from booth to booth and it is crazy! Good luck getting what you came for…

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Part of the fun of the market is that you never know what you’re going to find! While I do follow a lot of the vendors on Instagram, it’s always a surprise to see what they bring. This trip I apparently focused more on the handmade, whereas our previous shopping experiences I’ve come home with more antiques.

I have been wanting an Olivewood heart for a long time and am so glad I finally got one! My mother in law, sister in law and I all picked out matching rose gold necklaces to commemorate our special time together! It will be so fun to all wear them whenever we do things together. And the lace hemmed tank is a pregnant girls dream come true! It is basically an extension for any shirt to insure no belly peeks out and even though it isn’t a maternity item, they run big and are super stretchy, I bought a medium and it fits great.

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I also picked a few things up for Brynlee. This dress from Royal Bowtique is perfection!!!! She wore it Saturday to the mall and we had so many strangers stop us asking about the dress. I couldn’t find it online, but hopefully they will restock soon! I’d love to find it in other patterns too! Also from Royal Bowtique, the rhinestone cat ears, they were the last pair and I’m so glad I was able to snag these for my little cat lover. She is obsessed with them and loves that they are sparkly! And the adorable unicorn horn has made Brynlee’s dreams come true! She wears it all the time declaring herself to be Princess Twilight Sparkle.

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And I couldn’t go without picking up at least a few things for the nursery. I am a huge fan of Yellow Bungalow Shop and have this print hanging in Brynlee’s room, so I was super excited to find some prints to add to the nursery. The vintage map print will go perfectly with the theme I have in mind, I can’t want to start hanging everything and see it come together. I’ll share my nursery plans soon!

We had so much fun at Junk in the Trunk and can’t wait to go again in April!

Will I see you there?

xo, Cassidi