The Cutest Baby Dresses at Old Navy Right Now

The shopaholic in me can’t help but browse through baby clothes all the time even when we don’t need to buy things, so I figured I would start sharing things I love here from time to time. One of my biggest weaknesses is browsing the adorable baby dresses at Old Navy, so here are my favorite picks from there right now. The images above are linked so click a dress if you like it to get the details. I got Isabelle this Striped Empire waist dress and it’s so cute! (AND only $10) I’m kind of sad I ordered a size up because I want her to be able to wear it already. Anyways, happy browsing friends!

Hello 2016

It’s 21 days into the New Year, does that even qualify as “New Years” anymore? Have most people dropped their resolutions at this point? I feel like the gym is getting less crowded every day.

Anyways, WHO CARES?! 
It’s 2016! Hello 2016, it’s me, Anne. 
I have big plans for you. 2015 was actually fantastically great in a lot of ways (Isabelle’s birth I’m talking to you). It was also the year I gave myself a break. There was a new baby and a toddler very confused about the new baby, and moves, and time’s where my husband was gone for far too long, and it was hard. I needed to give myself a break last year. 
But this year is the year for me to get back to work! 
This is my year to get back into running and healthy eating and loose my baby weight. Which isn’t really all baby weight, it’s like 40% baby weight, 30% stress eating, 10% I couldn’t work out last pregnancy, and 20% went to chic-fil-a too many times when we lived in Texas for the summer. 
This is my year to get back into blogging and really record memories for myself and our little family. 
This is my year to read more books. To get back into designing more. To take care of myself. To focus on being a better mother and better wife. 
There are so many things I want to work on, and not because I want to glorify being busy or overwhelm myself, but because I want to better myself and more fully reach the potential that I have. And the best part is, I’m really excited about it! 
So, hello 2016, let’s do this!

Our Christmas Advent Calendar

I can hardly believe it’s only four days until Christmas! Time has really flown by this month and I feel like it was just yesterday I took some photos of this Christmas calendar I made for the kids. Well, really for Eli. Having kids makes Christmas all the more magical, and seeing his face light up each day asking to do his Christmas calendar is the best!

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Christmas Cards with Tiny Prints

I’m so excited to show you our Christmas cards this year! Our first card as a family of four and Isabelle’s first Christmas! Let me tell you, no one ever told me how dang difficult getting a family photo is with a two year old. But I absolutely love Tiny Prints‘ photo cards so persist I did!
I’m obsessed with everything plaid so Tiny Prints made my dreams come true with this card, and these matching plaid address labels. It’s from the Petite Alma collection for Tiny Prints. And these tree envelope liners just made it for me! It’s almost like I can overlook my toddler grimacing in the photo because the cards are just so so good. I was able to upload my photo right to the Tiny Prints website and browse the different designs with our own photo in them to see what I liked best.
I can’t wait to walk to the mailbox in the snow with Eli and let him send the cards off! I think snail mail is magical and I know he will think it’s so fun to mail them to our family. Having little ones make each part of the holidays that much better! If you’re looking to get some holiday cards I would highly recommend Tiny Prints because they have great designs, great quality paper, and great customer service (the Christmas card trifecta!).

*save up to 40% with code 40SWDEC until 12/13!

And now for fun, here are some outtakes from our super quick photo session for our Christmas card. I  knew we needed to make it fast because Eli basically holds still for no man. It was an above freezing day which I was considering an early victory. We drove to the park across the street from our house because I knew the short walk would push the kids into the nap time zone. I set up the tripod and hailed Dan and the kids over for photos and Eli instantly started whining about how cold his hands were, cue not wanting to take any photos. Of course after 5 minutes when I gave up, he ran off to play in the snow, what?! Toddlers man.

trying to fix the hand problem
 this face
 get off me mom
+this post is in partnership with Tiny Prints but all opinions are my own

The Friends Fan Guide to The Thanksgiving Episodes

Happy Thanksgiving Eve Day everyone! That’s a thing. Around these parts it’s the day where pie is made and we marathon the Friends Thanksgiving episodes because there’s just nothing better to get me excited to tomorrow! As I pulled out my trusty sticky note from my Friends dvd’s listing all the episodes I thought it would be fun to share for all my fellow Friends fans. And for all my old school fans with the dvd’s as well, they are always on disk two, you’re welcome 😉 you know before Netflix went amazing and got all the seasons. If you have Netflix and haven’t watched them all, might I suggest that for your next binge. So without further ado, Friends Thanksgiving index, guide, go.

Season 1 “The One Where Underdog Gets Away”
episode 9
favorite moment: Chandler style Thanksgiving food saves the day

Season 2 “The One with the List”
episode 8
*disclaimer: this season didn’t do a “real” Thanksgiving episode so this one is the closest it gets
favorite moment: mocklate

Season 3 “The One with the Football”
episode 9
favorite moment: what the actual Geller Cup looks like

Season 4 “The One with Chandler in a Box”
episode 8
favorite moment: Monica’s eye patch

Season 5 “The One with All the Thanksgivings”
episode 8
favorite moment: when Monica brings a baby carrot to the hospital instead of Chandler’s toe
*MOISTMAKER BONUS: “The One with Ross’ Sandwich” Season 5 episode 9 

Season 6 “The One Where Ross Got High”
episode 9
favorite moment: Beef in the trifle

Season 7 “The One Where Chandler Doesn’t Like Dogs”
episode 8
favorite moment: how Ross just can’t remember all 50 States

Season 8 “The One with the Rumor”
episode 8
favorite moment: Brad Pitt everything and Joey’s “meat sweats”

Season 9 “The One with Rachel’s Other Sister”
episode 8
favorite moment: Rachel and Amy’s girl fight

Season 10 “The One with the Late Thanksgiving”
episode 8
favorite moment: Joey’s head stuck in the door

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Taking Stock 06

Making: plans for our upcoming Alaska trip 
Cooking: up a batch of strawberry rhubarb jam
Drinking: apple cinnamon herbal tea in the evening 
Reading: nothing at the moment :/ really need to get on that
Wanting: everything plaid
Looking: for Halloween costume ideas for the kids
Playing: in the tunnel we made for Eli
Watching: Parenthood – I love it when I find a show I love once it’s over because I can marathon episodes!
Sewing: possibly something for the aforementioned Halloween costumes 
Wishing: for a whole new wardrobe 
Enjoying: the cooler fall weather 
Waiting: for our student loan check
Liking: being back in Canada!
Wondering: when Izze is going to start crawling- scary!
Loving: when my kids interact together
Hoping: the oil industry gets better quickly

Marveling: at how fast babies grow, it will never stop blowing my mind 

Needing: a really long nap
Smelling: baby blankets to see if they need to be washed (tmi?)
Wearing: long johns cause it’s chilly!
Following: weather reports like a nerd
Noticing: how my husband didn’t notice when I cut 5 inches off my hair haha
Knowing: I live a blessed life 
Thinking: about Christmas- what is wrong with me! I just want a Christmas tree already…
Bookmarking: restaurants in Calgary I want to try 
Opening: a giant new tin of hot chocolate for this cool weather 
Giggling: about Eli’s toddler bed antics watched over the baby monitor 
Feeling: extra worn out today- thanks kiddos 😉

The Village Magazine // Vintage

Yesterday was a rough day on the motherhood front for me. I was rushing around the house trying to get both kids ready so we could drop off some items at a children’s consignment shop before our move. Whenever you need to be somewhere by a certain time, guaranteed all the kids will be filling their diapers and needing snacks, and crying for some reason or another. But, we did it, we made it, we hustled. We got there and dropped off some items, and were one step closer to less things to pack and move. Unfortunately the wait time on processing the items was going to take an hour. Of course I hadn’t planned on this. WHY hadn’t I planned on that? We waited the hour. The kids were getting really restless. The usual toddler nap time had come and gone, and I just finished nursing my sweaty baby in our hot car. They were done. I was done. And yet, we had to go into the store one last time. 
So I ushered them back in with me, Eli by the hand, and Izze in her car seat. She was so fussy and mad about being in the car seat, but of course I’d forgotten to throw my baby wrap in my diaper bag. Izze begins to scream her best crazy baby scream, and Eli sees a cars toy and rips his hand from my grip and bolts in the store. I’m lugging around the baby bucket and chasing after a toddler who very much does not want to be caught. And when he is caught, oh gosh. There were screams, and he threw himself on the floor and it was quite the show. Don’t forget the baby is crying! It was a three ring circus comforting them both and trying to get the show on the road.
Let me tell you why I’m telling you this whole diatribe of the afternoon. Because in a children’s store full of other mothers I expected to maybe get some knowing looks. Some I’ve-been-there-and-its-ok looks, or some hang-in-there-you’re-doing-ok looks even. But instead I was met with looks of annoyance, and judgement. I was embarrassed and frustrated enough as it was, but the mother’s around me made me feel even worse.

When my saint of a husband got home from work he told me to go to the pool and he would make dinner and be with the kids. Praise the Lord! I grabbed a diet coke and the Village Magazine I’d been waiting to read with me. Precious and alluding alone time was mine!

Laying down in my chair by the pool, sun on my face, I flipped vol. 2 open to the letter from the editor by Krystal Donovan and the words she had about mother’s needing to come together and form a village were like a healing balm to my soul that day. 

“The one thing that we all have in common IS motherhood. We are all connected to one another, there is always something, some facet of this journey that we can all relate to that bridges the gaps between us all, something that bridges the gap between judgement, and the ridicule.”

“I miss that village of mothers that I never had. The one we traded for homes that, despite being a stone’s throw, feel miles apart from each other. The one we traded for locked front doors, blinking devices and afternoons alone on the floor playing one-on-one with our little ones.” 

I realized lately, moving somewhere new temporarily, I’ve been missing my village. It’s easier to pull away and even just rely on my “online village”, because I’ll take my mom friends from afar via instagram or facebook over loneliness any day. But, I want to reach out further, and push myself to trusting others, and relying on others, and giving help and kindness back in return. It also made me dream of a global village, where the motherhood bond we all share can bring us together. Where I can smile at a new mom and tell her it’s ok when she can’t navigate her giant stroller though the narrow grocery store isles, and she can smile back and politely tip me off about the buttons I forgot to redo on the front of my shirt last nursing session. It’s the little things that can add up to be bigger things. Things that I think would make motherhood even happier. 

One little article sparked so many thoughts for me. The whole magazine though is filled with beautiful words, and even more beautiful photos.  I love reading things that leave me feeling inspired, which is exactly what this did! Inspired to find time for myself, to be present in the moment, and to share real pieces of me. To slow down and enjoy life more instead of getting caught up in a modern busy day to day.


You can find The Village Magazine on: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

Purchase your copy of The Village Magazine Vol. 2 Vintage HERE


Isabelle Snow: A Birth Story

It was the eve of me being 38 weeks pregnant. Dan and I had just finished reading a chapter in a book we were reading together, and had stayed up much too late. I of course had to go to the bathroom again before bed so I rolled over to get up and, bam, water broke. I told a very sleepy Dan, “Uhhh I think my water just broke.” and when I stood up I knew for sure that’s what had happened.

For the past few weeks leading up to her birth I just had this feeling she was going to come early. I just felt so done and ready. But, I chalked it up to wishful thinking because I desperately wanted her to arrive before Dan left for Texas. The odds were against me, with Eli coming a week late.

So when my water broke, I had this surge of excitement. I get to meet her! I don’t have to be pregnant anymore! It was a bit past midnight and I had a midwife appointment scheduled for that morning, Thursday, April 30th. My water had broken, but I was having zero contractions.

We had planned to do a home birth, so I gave the midwives a call in the middle of the night to see what our game plan should be. I cannot testify more about how much I love midwives, LOVE them! I hope I can birth all my babies with midwives. It’s like getting care from the best of friends. Even in the middle of the night, when they were currently at another birth, they were so excited for me!

Since I wasn’t having any contractions the plan was for me to try and get a night of sleep and see if any started up by morning. Dan was a huge fan of this plan, because he was out cold haha. I woke him up and told him, and then as an emotional pregnant woman cried because 1) I was about to change Eli’s life and I was so worried about him, and 2) my phone was out of memory and there I was sobbing about how I wasn’t going to be able to take any photos of our new baby.

After some consoling, Dan went back to sleep, but I was completely wired. I was going to have a baby! I charged my phone and deleted old pictures so I could have pictures of the new baby. I did the same for my camera. I took a shower. I shaved my legs, I removed old nail polish, and cleaned the bathroom a bit. You know, total normal labor stuff. By 3:00am I finally felt tired enough to go to bed and fell asleep until 7:30am.

That’s when Eli wakes up. We had a totally normal family morning, with pancakes for breakfast and play time with blocks and the like. I called my midwives at 8:30am to report no contractions at all still. At this point the home birth we had planned unfortunately had to go out the window. I was group B strep positive and needed to be induced so the baby would come that day. As much as I wanted to a do a home birth I wasn’t upset we had to change plans, because births never ever go according to plan, and I was at peace with that. Since I couldn’t be induced at home, we changed to plan B at the hospital, and took Eli to a friends house to spend his time till the baby was born.

This was one of the most emotional experiences for me. I was a total basket case about leaving Eli. I had this nervous pressure in my chest about how he would react to the new baby and how he would do with a possible night away from home. In that moment I didn’t want to leave, I just wanted to cling to my sweet boy. I stayed in the car while Dan dropped him off because I didn’t want to scare him with all my crying. Eli of course was just fine and happy as could be to play.

We had never been to the hospital in Canada, and they don’t do tours of birthing wings at the hospital we were at, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. When we arrived we met up with one of my midwives, Luba, in a triage room because a birthing room wasn’t available yet. She gave me the antibiotics for the group B step. To distract me from the needles we all chatted about how *spoilers* Shonda Rhimes cruelly killed McDreamy off Grey’s. At this point I had had a few mild contractions but to my knowledge nothing regular. I was hooked up for some monitoring and to my surprise the contractions were happening at a regular interval, just very light still. We decided I would go for a walk and see if we could get things moving along.

We really got after it with the walk at first because I was determined to have this baby, but once it was apparent nothing was changing, and I was going to have to be induced once my one hour walk time was up, we decided to ditch out for some pizza before I couldn’t eat food anymore. We walked to this pizza place we saw on the street corner by the hospital. It was a small establishment with a grandmotherly woman who served us. She asked when I was due, and I happily said “Today!” I swear I must not be the first pregnant lady to bust up in there for some pizza before a baby arrived. Anyways, it was like a strange unplanned date where Dan and I happily ate alone together, and then walked back to the hospital and it was lovely.

At this point there was a room waiting for me in labor and delivery (or should I say labour and delivery, eh?!). We met up with my midwife Carol and got ready for the pitocin to be given. They gave me what they were calling just a wiff of pitocin, as little as possible to see what we could get started. The plan was to up the dosage every 30 minutes as needed, but only happened once around 4:00pm.

So Dan and I took a little cruise around the halls, but I couldn’t walk far without one of the baby monitors going out of range. My contractions really started coming at this point and the pain of contractions had me gripping Dan’s arm and saying things like, “I’m never having another baby again.” We returned to our hospital room and the comfort of the bouncing ball. Dan got out a book we were reading together and read aloud to distract me from the pain. I listened with my head on the bed, bouncing on the ball, and stopping to breathe through my contractions. The deep breaths I was taking really helped and with each push of air out of my mouth I could feel our baby moving lower and lower. Things were happening fast. 

I crawled back into the bed because I just needed a change of position. I was curled up on my left side hugging Dan’s arms and squeezing his hand and breathing through my now very quick and hard contractions. I could feel her moving really low and quickly and I was like, “I NEED to push!” and my midwife said, OK. I had to pause and say, “Really?” In my mind I was prepared to be at this all for hours but that was so not the case. I gave a push and Dan and my midwife were excitedly telling me her head was almost out. I gave another two pushes, and there she was, sliding right out and then plopped on my chest! It was the best feeling ever!


She was warm and sticky and the best thing I’ve held in my arms. She was beautiful! Our Isabelle Snow. With those almond eyes I’ve grown accustomed to seeing on my babies. We spent awhile having that heavenly skin to skin time in our quiet hospital room. She had come so quickly that our second midwife didn’t make it in time for the delivery. So it was just Dan, my midwife Carol, and I, and it was so special. It was private and simple and just how we love things, not a big to do.

6:50pm, 7lbs 8oz. Less than two hours of active labor. As we laid there marveling at our new baby told Dan I guess if it was that quick again we could have another baby 😉

The cord was no longer pulsing so Dan did the honors and cut it. Once Izze had her first go at nursing, my midwives did all the necessary checks on her. Her breathing was a bit gunky and she had a little wheeze, so we decided she wouldn’t do her first bath in the tub with me at that time. She stayed with Dan and laid on her side trying to get her nose to drain some. I went and got in the hot fresh drawn bath for me and it was straight up heaven. Water has never felt so good AND I could finally breathe!

Because Izze’s wheezy breathing continued a bit I was to stay the night at the hospital instead of going home that night, just in case. We moved to the recovery room and as it was casually mentioned to Dan where he would come back to get me the next morning it dawned on us that he couldn’t stay the night with me. Enter crazy hormonal freak out. The recovery rooms are shared at that hospital (weird right?!) and there is nowhere for husbands to stay, so go they must. So Dan stayed that night until 11 when he had to leave, and Izze and I had our first solo night together. Luckily, I didn’t end out having anyone who needed to share a room with me, so it really was a solo night, just us girls. I actually got some sleep, and began the wonderful journey that is nursing a baby again.

In the morning, some light streamed through the windows, as I held my baby girl in my arms who had a case of the hiccups, just like she frequently did in the womb. But there she was on the outside, looking up at my face and hiccuping away in the cutest way possible! Dan came to take us away, and off we went with a baby in our car to pick up Eli. And there you have it! We headed home as a family of four. Four!

We love you Izze girl! The perfect addition to our family. 

Briar Handmade Bonnets + a Giveaway!

Babies in bonnets goes on my top ten list of cutest things ever a baby could wear, it just melts me! When I found out we were having a girl I was pretty excited to get to dress her up and buy her cute things I’d been dreaming of. Briar Handmade makes the most gorgeous modern bonnets and were one of my very first purchases for Isabelle. I can’t wait to get get that pom-pom bonnet on her head… but I suppose I don’t want to wish winter upon us that soon.

I’ve been having her wear this one non-stop because the fabric is so soft and it covers her sweet newborn head from all the sun we’ve been having. Their new brimmed bonnets would be perfect to keep the sun out of their eyes as well. I think I have a bonnet addiction and may form quite the collection at this point. Good news is they’re really well made and are totally the type of quality item with classic style that can be passed down from child to child, which we love.

To make sure you don’t miss out on new styles, releases, or deals, you can follow along with Briar Handmade via their facebook, twitter, instagram, and pinterest!

 Briar Basics Oxford Bonnet c/o Briar Handmade
+ GIVEAWAY! Right now on my instagram you can enter to win a $40 gift card to Briar Handmade so head on over there for that 🙂

Isabelle Snow Hill

Say hello to our sweet new baby, Isabelle Snow Hill. Born April 30th at 6:50pm. 7lbs 8oz, 20.5 inches. She surprised us by coming two weeks before her due date, and we could not be happier she’s here with us! Here’s a bit more about the name we chose for her.

Isabelle: Devoted to God
Snow: We chose snow not only because we love snow, but because of the purity the snow represents. “…though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” Isaiah 1:18.

When we went to take these photos for our baby announcement this pregnancy, snow began to just pour from the sky. We had this name chosen in advance if we were having a girl, and we kind of thought then the snow was a sign our Isabelle Snow was on her way. What a sweet sign it was.

Welcome, Izze, we just love you!