October 29, 2018

Fall's Must-Have Accessory: Wooden Watches

Thank you to JORD Watches for sponsoring this post!

I took about a week to step away from the blog for a much needed breather after Nova's birthday extravaganza! I'm excited to be back at it and share with you one of my favorite accessory pieces this fall. The warm tones of this time of year are such a compliment to a wooden watch! JORD Watches makes the most beautiful men and women's watches that are high quality, warm and unique. They truly are fall's must have accessory! 

Something that I first adored about JORD Watches was their packaging! I know, you have heard me say it before but I am a sucker for good packing! This women's watch was perfectly packaged inside a beautiful wooden box. It was as if my watch was screaming "luxury!!" in such simplicity and I absolutely loved it! 

JORD Watches provide so many styles to choose from. Mine in particular is perfect for my wardrobe. I like to keep my accessories classic and meaningful. These unique wooden watches do just that for me. The Koa & Ash watch from the Frankie Series gives me all the heart eyes! Before JORD, I would go through watches like nobody's business. They just wouldn't last due to poor quality and the style wouldn't be in any longer. I love that these Wooden Watches are timeless and really allow for minimalism in your jewelry box. Say goodbye to cheap watches, my friends! You really won't ever want to look back!

JORD Watches wants to giveaway a $100 credit to their online store! Entering is made simple! All you need to do is enter through this link: 

This giveaway will run until Sunday, November 18 at 11:59pm! Even if you don't win, JORD was sweet enough to give you a code for 10% off your order! Just use code: [enter code here] at checkout.

You can find yourself a JORD Watch here: 

October 15, 2018

Nova's First Birthday Party!

I'm still in shock over the fact that I have a toddler. "One-year-old + wiser too..." from the primary song keeps ringing in my head. Nova Violet is one-year-old. It is quite possible the most difficult thing to wrap my head around! Such is life. But, you're here for party details, not a mama's denial story! I am very excited to share a little bit about her birthday party! It was such a fun party. I was actually shocked that we were able to get everything done in basically one night and one morning! All the hard work really paid off. 

Saturday, October 6th, was perfect weather. We woke up to wet grass and grey skies. The party was in my parent's backyard but I wasn't worried about having to pull the party inside. Thank goodness there was no rain during the party and the weather continued to give us a cool breeze and grey skies. My parents have a beautiful and simple backyard. We used their patio area for eating, impromptu dance floor and a Photo Booth. I decorated with A TON of streamers, balloons, lanterns, photo garlands, paper fans and DIY decorations. 

One of the things I really wanted at the party was a photo book for everyone to sign. We used Shutteryfly to make the book full of pictures from Nova's first year. Our guests signed it for Nova to look back on for years to come! I want to do this for all of our baby's first birthdays. 

Since the party was in the back, we had some balloons, an arrow and a beautiful sign directing everyone back there. The sign was made by the very talented, Lindsay Ashworth from A Touch of LA. She also made the sign for our Photo Booth and did an amazing job! Everything matched Nova's party invitations perfectly. Lindsay makes beautiful and unique decorations for all themes and is so sweet! Check her out on Instagram

Originally, the theme was a subtle take on bohemian but the morning of the party I realized it was more just a girly, pink party and I was totally okay with that. We got so many compliments on all the decorations and party activities, I was really glad that everyone enjoyed the party as much as we did! We had music, games and lots of laughter. Unsurprisingly, there were a lot of tears shed. Before we ate food, Ryan asked me to say a quick prayer. Emotion swelled up inside me and I realized just how grateful I was. Grateful for this beautiful daughter of God to be mine and to celebrate that day and grateful for the family and friends there to celebrate with us.

That's not where the tears ended, let me tell you! My second-oldest sister, Amy, and her husband bought a ticket for my oldest sister, Kelly, to come for the party all the way from Florida. It was such a wonderful surprise and beautiful reunion. I am the youngest of five children and everyone except Kelly was able to come to the party. That motivated my brother-in-law to buy her a ticket to come just for two days. I found out the night before but we surprised my mom during the party! I was so grateful that all of my siblings could be together for the first time since Ryan and I got married. 

The cake. Oh boy, oh boy. If you only knew what I wanted to do but didn't have time for! We made a baby-version of Carrot Cake with very little sugar and a cream cheese frosting on top. It turned out just fine and I was just happy Nova actually played with it and smashed it! The cake for the adults was my family's favorite: Pound Cake with cream cheese frosting. It's the same cake we served at our wedding and was gone faster than anything else! Anyway, back to the smash cake ;) It actually took some motivation to get her into the cake. She kept looking up at me with the most confused look on her face! Once she figured out it was for her, she had fun making a mess!

Nova's best friend and cousin (only two days younger than her!), Kaleo, jumped next to her! It was quite possibly the cutest event of the day. Nova LOVES her little cousin and is always trying to kiss him, hug him and play with him. It is so fun watching them grow up together! Neither one of them seemed to enjoy the cake as much as the frosting (go figure..) but they were dang cute making this big mess!

The food is where we really kept everything pretty simple and easy. I wanted food that would appeal to everyone there and that would avoid plastic cutlery. The morning of the party, I made 80 croissant sandwiches, 40 ham and 40 turkey. We made a giant bowl of fruit salad and put those into cups as well as veggie cups with ranch at the bottom. This was seriously the easiest way to serve food and prevented a lot of messes! The very best thing we could have done was setting out bags of snacks and applesauce packets for a quick snack during the party. I got so many compliments on this and definitely recommend it for baby birthdays or kids birthdays! 

As much fun as everything was, I told Ryan we probably won't be doing this big of party again for a while! I love party planning, decorating and everything that comes with hosting a party but WOW. It is so much work! I'm so grateful we were able to do this for Nova and that so many people who love her were able to come and celebrate with us. 

A HUGE THANK YOU to Maddie Decker from To Bloom + Wander for photographing the event! She did an amazing job and I love her so much! Please go give her some love, she is so talented!!

October 5, 2018

n o v a : t w e l v e | m o n t h s

The day has come. My baby is one and I am in complete denial. I sincerely feel like we just brought her home while at the same time feel as though she was always here. Nova Violet Fullerton is quite possible the sweetest and funniest baby I have ever known. I am extremely proud to be her mom and am overjoyed that she is my daughter. 

When Ryan and I first met Nova, everything felt right. In just one year, she has taught us more about ourselves and life than we could have ever thought possible. Ryan has such a sweet spot in his heart for his little girl. My capacity to love has grown wildly. These babies truly are pure magic.  

| her twelfth month |

weighs eighteen and a half pounds + twenty-eight and a half inches tall 

she is walking! prefers to crawl but can walk independently 

loves to play peek-a-boo 

can now say "please" but doesn't understand what it means

♡ knows how to sign "thank you" just chooses not to! 

♡ favorite meal right now: chicken, mozzarella + blueberries

♡ almost into twelve month clothes and loves wearing shoes!

 loves when mommy counts "1...2...3" + then tickles her!

♡ really enjoys being independent but still loves snuggling with daddy 

♡ still the most sweet, kind and happy baby since day one

Watching Nova love and learn about the world around her is a magical thing. She is so innocent and sweet while also maintaining a very strong personality. My mom always says Nova is someone who already knows exactly what she wants! I am excited to be raising a strong, independent woman ;) I am especially excited to watching her continue to grow and learn during this next year. Watch out world! She's going to do big things :) 

A one-year-old is so many things,
a tiny discoverer of butterfly wings,
a hugger of teddies, a sweet sleepyhead,
and someone to dream for in bright years ahead…

A special new person who, right from the start,
has a place in the family and, of course, in your heart.

And, just when you think that you’ve learned all the things
that your dear one is and the joy that they bring,
a hug or a grin comes with such sweet surprise
that love finds you smiling  with tears in your eyes!
-author unknown-

I love you so much my sweet Nova Violet. Happy first birthday.

October 3, 2018

Reading to Your Infant

Okay, lets get really real right now. I used to be awful about reading to Nova. It seemed like such a chore and she would never sit still! We also only had about 5 board books and the rest were filled with pages that were ready to be ripped to shreds. Reading at an early age was, at one point, not our strong suit. 

One day I was listening to a speech therapist talk about how important reading to our infants is. One piece of advice she shared really resonated with me. She said, "Even if your baby or child doesn't seem interested and walks away, let them. Continue to read. They will make their way back eventually and if they don't, they still hear you reading to them." I tried it out for a few weeks and eventually Nova became infatuated with reading! Once stubborn and uninterested, she now brings books to me to read to her! 

Oftentimes, I have a difficult time finding good books that are exciting and beneficial without spending tons of money. The Bookroo Subscription Box has really made that much simpler. This is a monthly subscription box that brings 2-3 books right to your door! They make it easy by allowing you to select what type of books you would like to receive dependent on your child's age and needs. 

I also loved receiving Nova's first box because of how adorable it arrived! Packaged in the beautiful blue box with a large print of their logo, you open it up to find your books wrapped individually! It felt like a birthday present and really personal. I know that as Nova gets older, she will look forward to receiving her very own subscription box! 

Picture from Bookroo.com

In a world full of electronics and social media, it is becoming drastically more important to get our children excited about reading. Something to consider if you are struggling with reading to your infant, is how much of a benefit it is to your baby! Even though they may not understand what you are saying, reading aloud:

• teaches a baby about communication •
• encourages listening, vocabulary skills, memory •
• introduces numbers, letters, colors and shapes •
• builds brain activity and encourages learning •

Be sure to check out Bookroo for the perfect gift to yourself or a friend and encourage your baby to learn! Something I have loved about reading to Nova everyday is that I feel an overwhelming amount of accomplishment. Every day does not go perfectly but if I have done my part in helping her learn, I know I did at least that one thing right. 

To receive 15% off your order with Bookroo, use coupon code: FULLERTON