Tres Chic Boutique // Put A Bow On It!

bow ring

There are a few things I love most in life, and one of those is bow jewelry. Maybe it’s the chic, Kate Spade-esque look of a bow, or my undeniable love of presents that has me swooning. I have necklaces, bracelets, earrings (that I wear daily and my sister hates because they are beginning to tarnish *insert sobbing here*) and now I have the most gorgeous little midi-ring thanks to my friends at Tres Chic Boutique! If you’ve never owned a midi ring, let me go ahead and answer the 2 questions I know you’re wondering about – 1. Yes, they’re comfortable. 2. No, they will not fall off your finger. If you have a toddler aged child, it will fit them like a standard ring fits you. My 3 year old thinks this ring is hers, despite my insisting it’s actually mine, because “…but Mom, it fits MY finger better!” :-)

Don’t be fooled by all my bow talk; Bows are not the only jewelry I’m swooning over from Tres Chic Boutique…I’d also take this, this, this, and these (which I find hilarious) in a hot minute!! They offer such great prices, especially on large statement necklaces.

Now for a fun little giveaway where EVERYONE WINS!! You will win either a $5, $10, or $15 gift card to Tres Chic Boutique, and entering is easy as pie!

Everybody Sparkles Giveaway Rules:

1. Sign Up Via E-mail Here

2. Follow @treschicny on Instagram

3. Leave a comment on MY (@playdatesandpearls) Instagram photo telling me which Tres Chic items are your favorite!

XO – Samantha

New Year, New Closet – Get Organized!!

Everyone that likes a clean organized space put your hands up, this one is for you!The New Year always makes me itch to get organize.  I know I’m not alone.  All the Christmas stuff is put away and the house feels open and fresh.  You just want to keep that feeling going.

If you haven’t already started your organizing frenzy, Samantha is going to kick you in gear by giving one lucky reader a $50 gift card to The Container Store!!!!

Pretty darn good amiright?!

I love that store.  Seriously, I could spend hours in there.  And I did just that the other day.  To feed my need to get things organized, I finally tackled my daughter’s closet.   She has a really nice space with natural light, but it wasn’t being used well at all.

BEFORE
It was a hot. mess.  All of her clothes were crammed together on a rack so her Barbie toys could be kept below instead of in the playroom (away from her little brother who likes to put things in his mouth).  She could never get dressed on her own because she couldn’t reach her clothes.  The biggest pain ever.  The other side of the closet was all wasted space.
To make her closet more functional we added in some organization game changers from The Container Store.
AFTER

 

 

I think the biggest help was adding the double hanging closet rod on the wall that use to be all wasted space.  Her clothes are more spread out having the second row, and she can easily get to them on her own now.  I also gave her a stool to get to the top row.  No more, “Mom!  I need help!!!”
I also added an additional shelf to that side of the closet.  Now she has a display shelf and another for bins that can corral her craft supplies and other “treasures” she can’t bring herself to part with.
Before I forget, those fun gold heart decals are from Urban Walls.  You can find them here.
On the left side I brought in a stacking shoe rack which works so much better than the hanging shelves we used to have for shoes.  There was enough room to also give her a spot for her jewelry.  The difference in having her favorite pieces displayed verses all mashed and tangled up in a jewelry box is night and day!  The little bracelet stand makes her feel so special too :)
We still needed to keep her Barbie stuff in the closet, but made it less of an eye sore boy making a little curtain to hang from the rod.  When she’s not playing she can close it off.

 

Barbies even have their own spot now in a hanging shoe organizer on the back of her closet door.  This is HUGE people!  This is one of those things I first saw on Pinterest.  Whoever thought of this is a genius!

 

And just because side-by-sides are fun.
If you’re needing to do something similar, here are the workhorses I used in her space.
Now it’s your turn to get organized!  For a chance to win $50 to The Container Store use the Rafflecopter below!
One winner will be announced February 1st.  Good luck everyone!!! 

Bitty Bows

Happy Hump Day, Friends!

My daughter knocked us out with a flu-like bug this weekend, but I’m finally turning a corner and feeling human again, and I have a really fun shop (and maybe a giveaway ;-) ) to share with you today!

Welcome, Bitty Bow Shop!

Here’s what Alexis, the owner and creative mama behind Bitty Bows, had to say about Bitty Bow Shop:

“Bitty Bow Shop started when my baby girl was 2 months old. I had so much fun making headbands to match her outfits, that I decided to take the plunge on Etsy. I am so happy that I took a chance! It is so rewarding to see Bitty Bow Shops headbands and clips on precious little ladies all over the world. I was so excited when I sold my first headband on Etsy. A year later, I still get just as excited when someone purchases something that I create. All of my bows are handmade and because of that, each one is unique. I love using shabby flowers, fold over elastic, bright colors, and classic/whimsy color combinations. I’m a Behavior Analyst by day, Mama to Sophie, Wife, Crafting Addict and Instagram Lover. I would love for you to follow along @bittybowshop! I’m so thankful for this little shop!”

You guys know me, I love supporting creative, hardworking mamas, especially when their business was born out of their love for their baby! When I met Alexis, it was a no-brainer that I wanted to share her and her awesome shop with all of you. Here are a few of my favorite headbands that she offers:

How darling are all of those? Bitty Bow Shop offers a huge variety of headbands, bows, & clips, and they are all incredible priced ($6.50 or less for any of the above featured headbands). These would be especially beautiful for newborn photos. Alexis hadn’t opened Bitty Bows when my little lady was a baby, but I remember loving putting her in bows and playing dressup, and if Bitty Bows had existed at that time you can bet I would have been a customer sooner!

Just for fun, here’s Camryn rocking some bows as a baby…

babycamrynbow

babycamrynbow2

Gahhhhhh!! Have some babies, and buy some bows people. The cuteness factor just goes off the charts!!

Alexis is generously offering a $50 shop credit to one of you, so head on over to my Instagram to enter. No reposting necessary – entry is VERY easy.

A very special thank you to you, Alexis, for teaming up with me to put this post together and allowing me to host such an awesome giveaway!!

XO – Samantha

The Mother of all mothers Giveaway!

Good morning friends, and happy monday! Don’t grump out on me yet, because I promise to make this a very happy monday for you too. :-)

My very sweet friend Jayme, one of the owners and creative ladies behind Kate & James, and I have been talking about hosting a giveaway together for quite awhile now. In the past we had put things on hold because we wanted to bring you all a giveaway that you’d remember; a giveaway worth telling your friends about. Well lucky you, that giveaway is here, and there are a whopping 15 shops bringing you some phenomenal prizes! Jayme & I did our homework on this one, and we rounded up 15 of our favorite mama & mini companies who have so graciously offered up prizes that we’re absolutely drooling over. We own many of these items and are here to tell you that they are amazing! These are the types of women that inspire me daily. I created this little blog so I could stand beside incredibly talented, hardworking women like them, and I’m just so honored to be in their presence. I hope you’re all as excited about this giveaway as I am, because it’s the #MotherOfAllMothers!

All of the images below are linked directly to the item, so feel free to click the image if you don’t want to test your luck and would rather purchase immediately.

Ready to meet the rad ladies behind all the brands? lemons teeKate & James – Lemons Make Lemonade Tee.

Jayme, my giveaway co-host, is the owner of Kate & James. She and her friend Katie started K & J in 2014 and have been killing it ever since. You’ve seen them clogging my Instagram feed on the regular with adorable pictures of Camryn rocking her “Lemons” tee, and with the new arrivals of their baby size tees you can count on Harper rocking hers when she arrives too. Jayme is a personal friend of mine, and seeing her company becoming “big time” makes me so damn happy!! Go. Go follow these babes on IG, peep their awesome tees, and put your kids in them. You can thank me later. - @kateandjames_shop

Coral And Cloud – $30 Shop Credit.

Miko is the owner of Coral And Cloud, and creative mama behind these gorgeous hand-painted necklaces and mobiles. Her modern, colorful, geometric necklaces are the perfect accessory for any mom or hip kid. If you’re not a jewelry fanatic, her mobiles are sure to win you over. How amazing is the pink & gold mobile pictured above?! You better bet that will be hanging in Harper’s nursery! Go follow her on IG - @coralandcloud

Sophie & Lili – Flip Doll.

You’re already swooning over these adorable Sophie & Lili dolls, aren’t you? I mean, c’mon, a princess that transforms into a slumber party doll?! These incredibly creative dolls can be played with, snuggled, and (hallelujah for us moms) WASHED! They make the perfect best friend for every little lady. Follow along on IG to see more - @sophieandlili

minimocMini Moc – $40 Shop Credit.

Amanda, the creative lady behind Mini Moc, popped up on my radar recently after being featured alongside one of my favorite brands, Vonbon. Her beautifully made and ethically sourced mocs come in a huge variety of colors and offer a micro-suede sole for a non-slip indoor/outdoor footwear. Amanda started Mini Moc using leather scraps leftover from her husbands handmade grooms gifts. She is also pregnant and expecting a boy or girl (it’s a surprise!) by the end of the year, so be sure to go say hi and congratulate her! (I chose robins egg, shown above, for Harper’s first pair of mocs.) @minimoc

Whistle & Flute – $25 Shop Credit.

Miranda, the wife behind this husband and wife duo, knows how to design and style kick-ass kids clothes…excuse my french, but they’re that good. She makes “Fine clothes for dapper families”. Her unisex kids and adult apparel can be seen all over the hip kids of Instagram, whom are admittedly her muse when looking for design inspiration.  These cool parents used to be in an indie pop band called The Paper Cranes – like I said, their cool factor is off the charts! Go check them out, if you’re not already a follower. @whistleandflute

Pixel Paper Hearts – $35 Shop Credit.

If there was a rule on Instagram that only allowed you to follow one person, it would be @pixelpaperhearts for me. She is, hands down, my favorite. Charisse is so incredibly funny, kind, and talented. When I was looking for art for Harper’s nursery I immediately went to her shop…and when the print I was dying for didn’t perfectly match my color scheme, she had one custom made for me in the color I wanted. She is good people. Go check her out, buy her hilarious shirts and mugs, and grab some art for yourself and your kids. You will not be disappointed.

Little Big Dreamers – $20 Shop Credit.

Keri, the beautiful mama behind @littlebigdreamers is not only one of my blog sponsors, but also a really sweet friend. Camryn became one of her brand reps over the summer and she has been such an awesome supporter of me, my blog, and my social platforms ever since. I’m grateful to have met her, to have watched as her business flourished, and to be able to support her by rocking her designs all day everyday! The little tiny cutie above (with the sucker) belongs to her, and if you go follow her instagram you can get nearly daily doses of that beautiful face – need I say more?

Kid + Kind – “I have a lot of feelings” tee.

And then there was Jackie. Oh, Jackie, how I love you so. Kid + Kind was a relatively new brand to me, introduced through Jayme (of Kate & James), and a company that I really had to do some research into. Well friends, that snooping around was worthwhile because I discovered that this company is really special. On her website, under the about me section, Jackie describes her journey to create Kid + Kind. She mentions her wealth of knowledge of the industry, and desire to branch out on her own. She talks about the final push she needed to do that, and it’s so powerful and represents such a passion that I have to share. “It was the birth of my daughter that sparked my inherent need to make her world as fun, beautiful, and as inspiring as possible.” It was her baby. If that’s not something we can all understand, feel in our bones, and want to help support than I don’t know what is. She’s pretty bomb.com in my books, and her designs are too! Go check her out - @kidandkind

House Of Mia – $25 Shop Credit.

If you’ve never heard of House of Mia then you’ve been living under a rock. This powerhouse of design is another mama after my own heart. HoM was started after the birth of her daughter Amelia (Mia), and her longtime passion to create. Made with 100% organic cotton, HoM offers leggings, knotted hats, and newborn essentials. They are staples in my house, and pair perfectly with pretty much everything. @house_of_mia

covered goodsCovered Goods – Nursing Cover of winners choice.

@coveredgoods is a company that my friend Jenn introduced me to a few months ago after I announced that baby #2 was on her way. Have you ever been nursing in public, using a traditional cover, and had your baby pull it open or the wind blow it off? Oh, hey giant nipple!! Look, I’m all for public nursing, and I nursed Camryn for 18 months, but I know that on certain occasions I’d rather keep my lovely lady lumps under wrap. Creepy dude at Target, “eyes up here!”. Lady server at that expensive steakhouse, “Quit mean mugging me while my kid eats. I’m gonna tip. And yes, they’re real!” Y’all know what I mean?! All you gorgeous moms on IG posting your breastfeeding pics, I bow to you and your self confidence, and some days I am you…days that I’m not, I’ve got my Covered Goods nursing cover! Here’s why these are awesome, and a total must have: They cover front & back, so your squirmy kid can’t flash you. They aren’t ugly…we’ve all had the ugly nursing cover, amiright? They double as an infinity scarf or car seat cover, and they’re also super soft!

Sweet Kiddo Co – $25 Shop Credit.

Cherie is my homegirl! No, seriously, we share our home city Austin, TX! She makes gorgeous, vibrant, and modern leggings, skirts, and headbands. I absolutely love the statement these leggings make, and how easy they make dressing your babe. Grab a tee and some Mini Mocs and you’re out the door and looking oh-so-trendy! Go check her out on Instagram – give her a “hey y’all!” @sweetkiddoco

Little Sapling Toys – $20 Shop Credit.

This husband and wife team are doing so many things right! They started their business in 2008 and quickly became the top selling toy shop on Etsy. Say what?! They offer the classic wooden toys with a twist, using organic materials, and offering the largest selection of shapes. You can even have your toy customized – what an awesome gift! These do-gooders even plant a tree for every toy sold. I have my eye on about 30 of their toys…totally reasonable, no?! :-) @littlesaplingtoys

panda bandit

bandit printADN Designs -  Panda Bandit Print.

Anna, and “momma to the peej” as she fondly calls herself,  is #1. The hottest mom, and #2. has one of the best Instagram feeds out there. I dare you to check out the hashtag #peejandme – it’s adorable overload of her ridiculously beautiful daughter and her, and it will melt even the coldest of hearts. She’s giving one lucky winner this rad “Panda Bandit” print that any kid would be stoked on. Camryn saw it while I was working on this post and nearly lost her $h!t. @adndesigns

Talia Handler Art – Custom Watercolor Portrait.

Where do I even begin with this beautiful lady? Talia and I connected early this year when she painted Camryn in her blue mustache, and have since become personal friends. Talia is so incredibly talented, and has the ability to turn a photo into a true work of art. I’ve since framed my crazy little mustache girl and smile everyday when I see her. This is one of the prizes that you will cherish for a lifetime, long after your little one has grown up, and outgrown everything. Go say Hi to Talia, and tell her what a babe she is. @taliahandlerart

Everly B – $35 Shop credit.

Another awesome shop started in honor of her kiddos. All of her awesome shirts are “mama designed” and her pants are “mama sewn”, which naturally means they’re made with tons of love! This Cali mom is really bringing it in the summer lovin’ department, and I’m seriously swooning over her trucker hat and striped onesie. She designs with comfort and function in mind, but with a trendy twist.  She is ALSO 25 weeks pregnant, so again, give her some love and congrats! @everly_b

Are you still with me guys?! Phew!! What a group of ladies, and what a giveaway!! One of you is going to get really lucky…ready to find out how?

Head on over to my Instagram and follow me. You’ll find this photo:

giveaway

Go ahead and “like” it, because it’d be rude not to ;-) and then follow all the shops listed (which are all the ladies you just read about). Once you’ve followed all the shops, repost this photo using the hashtag #MotherOfAllMothersGiveaway Here’s a tip – click that hashtag before re-posting the photo and when you go to type it later it will auto populate the hashtag for you (so you don’t screw it up and miss a letter or anything…trust me, I’ve learned that the hard way!) Be sure to also tag me @playdatesandpearls. You must have a public account for the duration of the contest. You can post daily for additional entries. The contest will run for one week, 8/25 – 9/1, and closes at midnight. I will announce the winner on 9/2.

May the odds be ever in your favor.

XO – Samantha

Freshly Picked Moccs WINNER!

Good morning friends! Sorry for the long lapse in blog posts, I’ve been on vacation in Boston and thoroughly enjoyed my break from life. No cleaning house, cooking, working. It was bliss. I’ll share some of the pictures from our trip on Monday.

Camryn & I had the most fun yesterday hanging out with our sweet friend Erica, an incredibly talented local Austin artist that I met through my brother-in-law. We had stalked each other on Instagram for the last year, and finally got to meet. She painted us the most amazing art to help announce the winner of our Freshly Picked Mocc giveaway, and Camryn played model for the day.

FP1edit2.jpgSandra Meaders, LUCKY YOU, you’ve won a pair of FP Moccs!! Please e-mail me at samantha@playdatesandpearls.com to claim your prize.

I’ll be posting more of these darling pictures on Instagram, as well as Facebook.

If you’d like to contact Erica for information on custom murals, and to see more of her awesome art, you can find her on Instagram.

Happy Friday! Wishing you all a relaxing weekend. :-)

XO – Samantha

Freshly Picked Moccs {GIVEAWAY}

What a wonderful weekend I had! My sweet friend Heather said “I do”, and threw the most beautiful wedding on Saturday, and on Sunday my husband and I went for brunch and then played outside all day with Camryn. I wish weekends were 5 days long, and work weeks were just 2. I never have enough days home with my growing little family.

To kick off the always dreadful Monday, I’m bringing you guys an extra special giveaway thanks to my friends over at Freshly Picked. If you know me and my tiny lady, then you know how deep our love affair with FP moccs runs. We’re borderline obsessed with these thick, durable, and eye-catching shoes. Not only can Camryn wear them everywhere, she can also put them on and off herself (which is a game-changer for a toddler), and can wear them without ever complaining that her feet hurt or are getting blisters from rubbing, unlike many other toddler shoes. My favorite thing about all of Camryn’s moccs is her little footprint that has been worn into the soles. They are sweet little reminders of all the fun things we’ve done together while she was growing up in each pair, and they’re something I’ll definitely be keeping to reminisce over in the future. If you’re not as nostalgic as me, FP moccs are durable enough to be passed down to siblings.

Freshly Picked offers a huge variety of colors to pair with any outfit, boy or girl, and is releasing the most amazing new neons for spring/summer. Here are a few pictures of Camryn rocking a few of our favorite moccs:

One lucky Playdates + Pearls reader is going to win a pair of these gorgeous moccs in any size and color of their choice. YOU could be that lucky winner! Enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!

XO – Samantha

So Fresh & So Spring! {Giveaway}

Hello Lovelies!

Remember a few months ago when I mentioned that my husband & I love travelling? It’s our thing. We invest all of our spare time and money into seeing the world, and taking Camryn on new adventures. We visited Paris & the french riviera last fall, and we’re planning a trip this spring/summer to Italy & Greece. Every purchase I make takes away from our budget for this coming trip, so I’m constantly aware when I’m out shopping.

If I just happened to have some extra money fall in my lap, there are a few things I’d have my eye on for our trip, and spring/summer in general.

sofreshandsospring

Sheet Masks || Nars Monoi de Tahiti Body Glow Oil || Sunglasses || Bikini Top, Bottoms || Clutch || Gladiators || Tunic || Nail Polish – Essie “Nice Package”

What would you buy if you had some extra cash lying around? Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could actually buy those things, without breaking the bank, with extra money that you WON?!

Today’s your lucky day. I’m so excited to be teaming up with some fabulous friends of mine to bring you a “so fresh & so spring” giveaway today! Meet the ladies making this all possible, and go check out what they would buy if they won the cash prize:

Bethann of BethAnimalPrint

Katie of Pearls + Girls

Kaysha of That Comfort Girl

Rene of My Simple Kitchen

Biana of BLovedBoston

Are you ready for all the AMAZING prizes?!

ONE of you will win $150 cash, a March Popsugar Box (check out this post for all this details of the contents), a dozen flower cookies from PPGBakery, and $50 credit to TennesseeMeVNTG on Etsy. Many of these goodies would make great mothers day gifts as well. :-)

Enter to win below. All entries will be verified.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

XO – Samantha

Hello again…

Hello darlings! It feels like forever since my last post, and there is so much to tell you all, I’m not sure where to even start.

Christmas in the Hawes’ house was very interesting this year…I’m not sure who was more excited about Christmas this year, my husband or our 2 year old. Instead of waking up at the crack of dawn, my daughter decided to sleep in until 9:30 and make my husband and I wait on her for hours. He kept asking if he could go wake her up. On Christmas Eve he made “santa footprints” all the way up our front walkway and into the house and couldn’t wait for her to see that Santa had come. He also helped her hide a key outside so Santa could come in the front door instead of squeezing down the chimney. Isn’t he the coolest Dad?!  Fast forward to Christmas morning – once my sweet little sleeping beauty decided to wake we discovered Santa’s footprints, the half eaten cookies, and a special note, and then we began opening gifts. My husband and I bought fancy new mattresses for all the beds in our house as early gifts to each other, so I had no expectations of exchanging gifts, but he managed to surprise me with the Popsugar Neiman Marcus box! It’s amazing! You can check out all the contents here. Christmas was bittersweet for us because my BIL had to go to the hospital due to a severe migraine, which they later discovered was from very high blood sugar. We were later told that he was very lucky that he didn’t go into a diabetic coma. He spent the next few days in the hospital, but is now out and doing awesome. The next day was my 27th birthday and my mom and her husband came to visit, so we picked them up at the airport and spent the day eating yummy food, opening MORE gifts, and visiting my sister and BIL at the hospital. Very low key, which was exactly what I needed after a long couple of days prepping for Christmas.

Here’s a few pics from my week:

books

Coffee Table Books – my mom knows the way to my heart!

cocoa

Christmas Eve Cocoa

daddy

Tiny Lady and her Daddy

donations

Delivering tons of gifts to The Ronald McDonald House

facepaint

Rainbow Kitty {Sundays}

happybirthday

Who’s birthday is it again?!

likeaboss

Enjoying my birthday mug from my sister. :-)

ramen

Dinner at Ramen Tatsu-ya. Mmmmm!

How was everyones holiday vacation? What did you guys get from “Santa”? If you didn’t get everything you were hoping for, there’s still a $100 Sephora gift card available for one lucky winner…Go Enter, there’s only a few hours left!!

I’m compiling all my favorite things of 2013 for you – beauty, skincare, haircare, and fashion reviews coming very soon! It will be my MUST – HAVE products. Things I repurchase as soon as I run out, and have used over and over again.

I hope you all had an amazing holiday.

XO – Samantha

$100 Sephora Giveaway

Happy Holidays Everyone! Only 2 more days until Christmas!! :-)

My husband, Sister, Brother-in-law, and I took Camryn to see the “Trail of Lights” here in Austin for the first time last night, and so did everyone else in Texas. It was packed!!

trailoflightsOn Saturday we had a package delivered (Overnighted…Saturday delivery…very important) from Tiffany & Co. I went to go open it and realized it was NOT my name on the package. Noooooo!!! I called Tiffany’s and they apologized and are sending a manager to my house, an hour away from the nearest Tiffany store, to pick it up. The box is sitting on my counter, staring at me, begging me to open it. Why are you not addressed to me?! Ha!

We are visiting my husbands grandparents tonight, and then we’ll be spending Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my sister and BIL. My mom and her husband arrive on the 26th, my birthday….25 again this year ;-), and they’ll be staying with us for a few days. I’ll still be instagramming and on twitter, but today will be my last blog post for a few days.

I had intended on running 3 more small giveaways between last Friday and Christmas Day, but I want to combine those and do one last BIG giveaway.We all love Sephora, right? My final Giveaway of 2013 is a $100 Sephora gift card!! All entries will be verified, so please make sure you’re completing all entry requirements. Many of the previous winners had not met all requirements, and a new winner had to be chosen, so don’t let that be you.

I hope you all have the very best Christmas!! I’ve starting compiling a list of all my favorite products of 2013, so I’ll be sharing those with you very soon. There are so many amazing products to share with you, I might need to vlog it.

XO – Samantha

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Lust List + Giveaway: 12/20

It’s Friday! Ahhh that feels so good to say. IT’S FRIDAY!!! I feel like this has been the longest week, and I am so exhausted and ready for the weekend. If you guys could see the bomb that is currently my home….I would take a picture for you to laugh at, but honestly you wouldn’t find it funny. You’d probably just feel really bad for me. Yeah, it’s that bad. I have storage boxes from all our Christmas decor sitting in a stack by my front door because I’m trying to force myself into re-organizing my hall closet. I had cleaned and organized it over the summer (when I wasn’t thinking of Christmas at all) and managed to pack all Christmas related boxes in the very back of the closet. Everything had to be pulled out, and made a mess of, just to get Christmas decor out. Organize fail. I keep meaning to go buy a garage shelving unit from Lowes for in that closet so I can easily stack boxes and still be able to access all of them without it being a huge chore. Add it to my to-do list. Speaking of organizing and de-cluttering, I think that will be my New Years resolution. I despise clutter, and lately I feel like we’ve accumulated too much “stuff”, and we need a good purge and some fresh organizing to happen. Maybe I’ll do a “30 days organized” challenge in January and tackle a different space each day.Would you guys be interested in tackling this with me, in your own homes? A different task, or space each day, and then we’ll have happier and more enjoyable spaces to live in!  Add it to my to-do list. ;-)

I have been so busy posting about products, giveaways, and the holidays lately that I haven’t had a chance to sneak in a good chit-chat with you. What is going on in your lives lately? We’ve been doing a lot of potty training work over here, and moving from daytime potty training (which we’ve been doing for months now) to night time and nap time potty training. It’s been hit and miss. 3 days without any accidents, and then yesterday she pooped in her undies while sleeping…not my fave. She’s really been doing good though, so we’re sticking with it. The hardest part is having to limit liquids close to nap time, and not allowing her to take a water to bed with her. She’s notorious for chugging an entire sippy cup of water down when she gets in bed. I’m so glad that we tackled potty training in the summer when it was warm enough to run around the house without pants, because it’s too cold here to do that now. If you want to see a post dedicated to our potty training failures and successes, leave me a comment. Otherwise I’ll stop boring you with #2 talk.

We are going to visit my husbands grandparents next week, and spend some holiday time with them, and then my mom and her husband arrive on the 26th (my birthday) to have Christmas with us. Last year was so much fun because Camryn was finally old enough to understand the idea behind Christmas, and had too much fun opening gifts. This year she’s been asking me every single day if she can open presents yet. She’s fully aware of what’s going on, and she knows that inside all those boxes there are toys for her to play with, and the anticipation is killing her. I feel like I say “Not yet…X many more days…” at least twice a day. She’s going to be bummed when she realizes that 90% of those gifts aren’t even for her, and are going to the little girl we “adopted” at the Ronald McDonald House. The anticipation of bringing that family their gifts is killing ME. I feel like a real life Santa this year, it’s been so much fun! I’ll take pictures when we go and share them with you.

OK, enough of my blabbering….Here are the things I’ve been loving this week:

Lust List Image

1.|| This family is awesome, and their Christmas “card” is even cooler.

beyonce-visual-album-fans-on-twitter-handbag

2.|| Beyonce’s visual album is amazing. She always looks flawless.

3.|| I tried out a new food delivery service called Plated, and showed two meals and gave my review over on My Simple Kitchen. I used the code FBFIRSTPLATE to try 4 meals (“plates”) free.

4.|| Have you met Surya the orangutan and her hound dog BFF?

5.|| Jessica from Afternoon Style featured holiday recipes on her blog, including my peppermint milkshake. Told y’all they are YUM!

6.|| I mentioned that I recently visited Ikea – here’s an article about incorporating Ikea finds into your space in chic and sophisticated ways. Love me some Ikea.

7.|| “What does my kid say?” Mommy anthem.

8.|| What are your sentiments on the Phil Robertson interview with GQ that caused him to be “suspended indefinitely” from A&E’s Duck Dynasty?

9.|| Leigh Viner’s etsy shop is a HUGE source of inspiration to me, and her art literally makes me stop and stare in awe. This is one of the many pieces that I’m eyeing (no pun intended). I already own a few of her prints, but I’m dying to snag an original in the new year.

10.|| A celebration of a mom’s love – this will definitely make you teary eyed. Pass the Puffs!!!

Today’s giveaway will be on my instagram at some point today, so keep an eye open! :-)

XO – Samantha

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