Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Mother's Day Gift Guide

I had to run a few errands on my lunch hour recently, and saw this display in HomeGoods, and it hit home that Mother's Day is only a few weeks away. 

Here are few ideas that I know I am considering for my own mom and I think are great. Now, jewelry and gift cards {to Nordstrom Rack} are always a good idea, but I found these ideas on Amazon. You have to love Prime shipping!

Good Mom Mug - this is similar to a mug I got Tony for our anniversary a few years ago. 
Find it here - You are a good mom mug

Find it here - Mama Bear t-shirt

FitBit Alta - for the sporty mom. I like to see how many steps it takes to chase the kids on the weekends.

Some Mom's prefer gift cards to also enjoy the shopping experience. Some mom's prefer the handmade gifts, and some mom's prefer the fancy brunch. Whatever it is, try to fit it to her love language*. ~Cheers!

*Have you read that book, The 5 Love Languages? I find it useful everyday, not only with Tony, but with each of our kids too. For example, Avery LOVES gifts. They can be recycled items from our house, but the girl loves presents. Gavin on the other hand, well, we had to sit him down and force him to open presents at Christmas and his birthday. He could not care less for presents. He likes physical touch and words of affirmation. They are just different. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Working Mom Lessons

After 6 years as a full time working mom, here are a few lessons I've learned. 

  • I will never get up as early as I need to. Every Sunday night, I think to myself that this will be the week that I turn it around, and every week I fail. Edit- I'm 2 for 2 on getting up and walking in the mornings before getting the kids up. It's working so far!

  • I need to schedule that "Ooops" time better. That 10 minutes I needed to clean up a potty accident overnight, and strip the bed. That 10 minutes that was better spent snuggling still sleepy kids, rather than getting right down to breakfast. Something always comes up. Always. 

  • I should get up earlier and get myself completely ready before waking the kids, so I can focus on them and getting them ready without the added stress of making myself presentable for work. It never happens. 

  • Having a dinner menu and plan thought out for each weeknight is a life saver. The food is thawed, the ingredients are in the pantry, and there is no wondering what can be thrown together for dinner. It's just right into dinner making mode. The weekly grocery shopping has been a good decision. 

  • I always feel like I am failing at something. Working over spending time with the kids, staying home with a sick kid, but then missing work and falling behind. Don't even get me started on my non-social life. It's not non-existent, but it's not exactly thriving either.
  • I really, really love my job, and really, really, really, love being a mother. It's just hard sometimes. Not all the time, but sometimes. Accepting that and moving on saves my sanity.

  • Long commutes suck, but it is also needed decompression time. It's also the time I talk to my mom several times a week.
  • I am incredibly thankful for a job that allows me to be flexible. This would not be possible without it. Flexibility is key for a working mom. It just is. 


Monday, April 24, 2017

Weekend Recap

I started walking in the mornings again. The weather has been so nice, and it is also nice to have this quiet time to clear my head. 

We went to Minnesota this weekend for the first time in months! We celebrated our niece's 13th birthday. I just cannot come to terms with her being 13. She is a lovely young woman too. Props to my brother for being a single dad and doing an amazing job with her! 

Papa got the tire swing back out for the grandkids, and I think Gavin spent several hours over the course of the weekend on this, the hammock, and moving rocks from one pile to another. He loves it at Grandma and Papa's house. 

Playing ball with the big girls. 

 Oh, these two. 5 months apart and the best of friends. 

He lets her boss him around a little bit for now too. 

Kickball on Saturday night, and I am sore on Monday morning!

We had a bonfire as per usual and noticed that there was a really bright star. I think all of us downloaded an astronomy app on our phones and discovered it was actually the planet Jupiter. 

Being out in the country, away from the city and suburban lights really made the stars brighter for me. I've been away from country living for too long now :)

Sunday was another gorgeous day, and we had a big breakfast and played outside again as we all packed up to head home. My brother had his new camper set up and my parents brought theirs out of storage and we had a mini campground set up as well. It worked great and the kids loved playing in them. 

Time for tractor rides before heading home. 


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Bower House Book Club

I finally sat down and read this book, and WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG?!?! 

OMG. I FLEW through this book, promptly bought the second book, flew through that, and have the 3rd in the trilogy on pre-order. 

Trust me when I say this is good. It's GOOD. It is a quick read, very funny, and very endearing. I want to visit Singapore right quick. 

This book, the final in the trilogy, comes out next month.

And, then today I just saw that it is being made into a movie! Yes, Yes, Yes!!

If it's not clear by now, I fully recommend that you read Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan. 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

It's all in the details..Crystal knobs

When I first started this job, I was given a tip. 

"The devil is in the details" 

It did not take me long to figure out what that meant, and some hard lessons were learned on what questions to ask, what to never assume, and how to carefully think out each design step. 

The details have now become my favorite part of the home. For this custom house, we went with Emtek crystal knobs with decorative back plates in a combination of finishes and shapes. The crystal knobs coordinated well with the crystal cabinet hardware and the light fixture in the owners suite bedroom. 

I think the details make all the difference and can really elevate a home design to the next level. 

What are your favorite details?

Monday, April 3, 2017

Catching Up - It's Already April!!

It has been a whirlwind around here. Work is picking up as spring has sprung, and we've had some changes at home too. I've been busy, busy, busy!

First, we got a new car! It's a new to us, 2013 Toyota Highlander. We knew we were in the market for a new vehicle for me to drive this year, and after some mechanical issues on my Equinox, we sped up our search and decision. It's only been a few days, but I am happy to be back in a Toyota. I've had good luck with them before and am hoping that continues with this one as well. 

Avery and I ran a bunch of errands Saturday and had a great time shopping. 

Friday night, I celebrated a friend's birthday at a newer restaurant in downtown DSM called Magnolia Wine Kitchen. We split a few plates between the 3 of us, and it was fantastic! 

As you can see, the interior design is just as good as the food. I will be back. {Oh, and the have Prosecco on tap! Tap!}

I've been working on rearranging a few things in our home too, so in typical Danielle fashion, our house is a disaster as I make my way through it!