Thursday, April 17, 2014

Birthday Gift Guide for the Husband

I really wanted to title this post "Birthday Gift Guide for the Picky Husband" but decided that sounded a little harsh. Zach is very picky, but hey...that should make me feel good that he chose me. Right? Just gonna keep telling myself that. :)
Thankfully my sweet, picky husband doesn't read our blog so it's safe to share all my gift ideas for his birthday in a few weeks! For as long as I can remember, I've struggled with gift buying for the men in my life. I never, ever know what to get my brothers. My Dad gets a book every Christmas and birthday. And Zach usually says "Oh. Cool." when he opens his gifts from me. I'm making it my goal for 2014 (and every year after!) to up my game in the men-gifting department.

What I have picked up on after all these years is that guys like to feel special. Just like us ladies! The more personalized a gift is, the better. Which really puts a damper on my Target-the-night-before-someone's-birthday runs.

I've compiled a list that I hope you'll find useful the next time you need to buy for a special guy.
First up, the card.
When I discovered treat. greeting cards, my life was changed forever. I will never buy a lame grocery store card ever again. Why would I when I can create something personalized, one-of-a-kind, and truly special in a matter of minutes? And amazingly, I paid less for Zach's card than I have for most store-bought ones. Treat. gives the option of simply printing from your home computer, but I chose just to have Zach's card shipped. Three days later, it was in my mailbox.
The quality of the card can really only be explained when you hold it in your own hands. Unlike a normal flimsy card, this one will not be ripped up by chubby Bear paws. :)

 Now for the gifts.
When I saw this hammer on Etsy, I knew Zach had to have it. He's such a handy man and this will certainly come in handy around the house. They even have father & son personalized hammers for when Bear gets a little bigger. Be still my boy-bonding loving heart.
 Zach is obsessed with building things. He was a lego fanatic when he was young, so I know he'll love this premium kit from littleBits. It's a collection of 14 color-coded Bits modules that snap together with magnets to make over 600,000 possible circuit combinations. Sounds like fun, right?
We're obsessed with the song Happy by Pharrell Williams. Yes, it's overplayed on the radio, but that doesn't stop it from being the ultimate feel good song. I'm so excited to add the vinyl to our record collection! When Zach gets home from work everyday, the first thing he does is turn on the record player and dance with Bear. It's such a sweet moment. This is also a great party tune for when we have guests over. This is seeming a bit like a gift for myself, too... ;)
 I've never been great at picking out men's watches, but this one is perfect. Made from all natural black wood, it's "manly man" enough while still being fashion forward.
 And because Momma told me the way to a man's heart is always through his stomach...
Zach's favorite candy. This will likely be his favorite gift (mine too).
Bear's card will be handmade (scribbles on construction paper) and we'll wrap everything in plain brown paper so he can "decorate" the gifts, too. He's big into stickers these days, which makes for lots of Goof Off for this Momma. :)
We're so excited for Easter weekend and all the family festivities! Hope yours is a special one!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Easter Fun

We are having the best time celebrating Easter this week; Bear is at such a fun age! He doesn't fully understand everything but is still very interested in it all. At our playgroup egg hunt this morning, he picked up tons of eggs but had to open each one and survey the contents before dropping it in his bucket. Of course a few leaves and sticks made it in the basket, too. :)
We're (we being me) all about the matchy matchy these days.

Yesterday afternoon was full of festive snacks and egg-shaped sidewalk chalk. Houston has had perfect weather the last few days and we've been soaking it up.

Peep Pops were Bear's favorite!
We're really excited to be heading back to see family in a few days! Safe travels for all of you who will be on the road/in the air this weekend!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Chubby Thighs & a Few Photography Tips

I'm not a professional photographer. FAR from it. I do, though, love taking pictures of my son and am a proud "mamarazzi". Through the world of Instagram and Facebook, there are several tips I've learned along the way to take better phone pictures of littles (and big people, too!).
Please excuse the blurriness & graininess of these photos; my iPhone photos always upload blurry to the blog :(. Anyone else have this problem? Help! 
Anyway, here are three easy photog tips!

1. Capture the un-posed moments.
This is simple and most people already do this. But in the world of social media, it's easy to get caught up in achieving that perfect, preplanned moment. Inevitably, the best pictures are always the ones you stumble upon by surprise.

2. Get on their level.

When we first had Bear, I took every picture from my level. It was always a birds eye view of our Little Man and as I look back, I realize how much better the pictures could've been if I would've taken them from different angles. Luckily I had a pretty cute subject so they still came out okay :). Now, I love getting at Bear's eye-level and capturing moments from his perspective.

3. Find the light.
Any professional photographer will tell you that lighting is the most crucial part of a good photo. We like to take pictures outside because natural lighting seems to work best for camera phones, plus there are lots of distractions for busy toddlers! Bear will stop to look at trucks driving by, airplanes flying over, and of course to pick up sticks and leaves. It also helps to find shady areas because the pictures always seem to come out better and it protects little one's skin.
We also edit all photos prior to posting on Instagram or Facebook in the Afterlight app. It's a lifesaver! So many great features and filters; it's definitely a mamarazzi's best friend.

Hope you'll find at least one of these tips helpful for your everyday picture-taking! Do you have any secrets to taking great phone pictures? Please share!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Bear's Easter Basket

It's Bear's second Easter (insert waterworks here) and I can't believe it. We had our first egg hunt this morning in our neighborhood and Bear was more interested in picking up leaves than eggs, as expected :). He didn't cry when placed on the Easter bunny's lap, though, and that was a big surprise! Our baby boy is growing up too fast.
Apparently our neighborhood Easter Bunny just came from the gym. Bunny's gotta stay in shape, too!
 You mean there's candy in these things?!
And now for the basket! It was fun putting together a little basket for Bear this year since he'll actually be able to enjoy the contents. We mostly did inexpensive things since those are inevitably always his favorite.
basket from Pocketbaby

The contents: a few shirts for spring, sidewalk egg-shaped chalk, Mickey stickers, a turtle that grows in the water (? will let you know how this turns out), bubbles, books, a Mickey ball, crayon carrier, and a little candy
shirts: Target (stripes), Macy's (red), stickers/turtle/egg chalk/bunny book/ball: Dollar Tree, bubbles/If Big Can..I Can book: HEB, Noisy Farm book: Homegoods, crayon roll-up: Peyton's Lane

I can't wait to use this crayon carrier from our friends at Peyton's Lane; it's perfect for restaurants, travel, and all those crayons floating around in the diaper bag. Bear's is the Anchor's Away design, but she has all kinds of different colors and fabrics!
What are your favorite Easter Basket fillers? Would love to get some ideas for next year when Bear will really understand!
 Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

What Did Bear Wear?

Our style has been pretty casual as the weather warms up in Houston, and we're not complaining. We love spring here in Spring! :)

I try to put Bear in outfits that will be comfy for playing outside, hats to protect his face from the sun, and shoes that can handle a little mud. He's all boy and I do LOTS of laundry. Wouldn't have it any other way!

A few looks from the past two weeks:
romper:Old Navy (gift from Grandma Candy), hat:Baby Gap, shoes:TOMS

hat:Janie & Jack, shirt:Carter's, suspenders:Target, shoes:Saltwater Sandals via Amazon, cut-offs:Crazy 8 (jeans that we chopped!)
And another look...minus the shoes, plus the chocolate cake.

shirt:Polo via Homegoods, shorts:Target

Local Cutie shirt:Carter's, cut-offs:Children's Place (chopped jeans), moccs:Deerie Handmade on Etsy, hat:Children's Place

shirt/hat:Janie & Jack, shorts:Polo via Homegoods, shoes:Target

And a couple Mommy & Mini styles!
on me: shirt:Anthro, jeans/shoes:Homegoods, necklace:Charming Charlie
on Bear: shirt:Joe Fresh for JC Penney, jeans:Levi's via Dillard's, belt purchased from a local vendor (wish I could remember the name! It has "Bear Clayton" stamped on the back)

Super casual caps & cut-offs!
My cut-offs are Lauren Conrad for Kohl's. On Bear: shirt/hat:Baby Gap
Does your style change as the weather warms up? Do you go for more casual looks, too? I find that when we can't layer, our style naturally gravitates toward casual cotton tees & denim shorts.

We spent a chunk of last night in the ER...Bear fell on a drill bit in the garage and sliced his hand up pretty good. Luckily they were able to glue shut the big cuts and he handled it like a little champ. Mommy & Daddy feel terrible but lesson man cave for Bear 'til he's much older!

Hope you're having a great week!

Sunday, April 6, 2014


Hi there!

Hope you had an amazing weekend! Ours was pretty busy; Zach's Mom came in town and we spent the weekend having a booth at the Art & Wine Festival in Old Town Spring. Logs 'n Lace has been super busy lately! We'll be taking a bit of a break over the next few weeks to enjoy Easter festivities with our little man. Which, of course, I'm ridiculously excited about. Just ordered the last Easter basket goody tonight & I can't wait to do a post soon on what all will be inside Bear's basket!
Heading to the fest this morning.
A little too much leopard? No such thing.

Nautical Bear
I have so many posts in the arsenal, just waiting to be composed. So many pictures and thoughts I want to share! Hopefully there will be some long naptimes this week and I can get busy :). Until then, this is all we've got. Have a great week!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Why I'm Not Anti-Selfie

I'll admit, there was a time when I was anti-selfie. The people, mostly teenage girls, that flooded my Facebook feed with an out-stretched arm and duck-lips kind of turned me off to the whole idea. I vowed never to post something so self-righteous (gasp!) and stick with staying mostly behind the camera rather than in front of it. That is, after all, the safest place. Right?

As time went on and selfies began popping up everywhere, I started to actually enjoy seeing them. It was as if they each told a story; I could see something in the eyes of my friend or even a stranger that told me about where they've been and the courage they have. Yes, courage. Not shallowness, narcissism, or insecurity and a need for compliments as so many in society (myself previously included) falsely judge.

There really is beauty in the bravery of putting oneself out there. There's something really special in showing that despite your own flaws and imperfections, you love yourself enough to say, "Hello, world. This is me today."

We have no idea what triggers each person's desire to take a personal head shot. Maybe Susie took a selfie because she just made an A in a class she thought she was going to fail. Maybe Marsha took a selfie because the guy bagging her groceries told her she was pretty and she hadn't heard those words in over a year. Maybe Brittany took a selfie because she fixed her hair for the first time in two weeks (new mom problems. go ahead and judge).
Whatever the reason, I applaud those willing to show the world their face from the front seat of their car, in the bathroom mirror, or wherever they so desire. Because people are beautiful and so are their stories.
 Chubby baby cheeks in a selfie? Even better.

Bear is unimpressed with selfies. Mickey Mouse is more important.
What is your take on Oxford's Word of the Year for 2013? Yes, it was selfie.

Yay? Nay? In moderation (a selfie a day turns people away)? Would love to hear your opinion!