Friday, June 26, 2015

Friday Favorites - Smelly Edition :)

On Monday night we met Dave's family for dinner at the Country Club to visit and celebrate his dad, Charles.  I had the nachos (one of my FAVORITES) and they smelled delicious :)

This was Griffin's first meal out to not sit in a high chair and she did so well!!!  


 Griffin played with sugar packets, Luke built Legos and Mason Facetimed :)


 Mason was getting antsy near the end of dinner, so he and I headed outside to run off some energy.


Homeboy likes to run!




Luke and Griffin joined us for some twirling...


... and some racing.


The next picture cracks me up because Griffin is basically in the same spot, but Luke is WAY off. hahaha  #soclosesister


Everything is a competition!  Every. Thing.


Then the boys spent a solid 20 minutes doing this...


Which is why Luke looks like he's going to lose his dinner in the pictures with Uncle Stephen and Cynthia below :)


I may have warned him about rolling after eating a "few" times, but sometimes you just have to learn by experience.


Griffin and Jack Bauer are still each other's FAVORITES.. especially when her breath smells like peanut butter toast :)  And let's just reminisce to teeny tiny Jack Bauer back in January!
 

And y'all can kiss that shaggy dog goodbye... he's getting groomed this morning and will be looking SLEEK by tonight. hahaha

  

This kid has been smelling STINKY every morning by 10 a.m. when he's been getting home from tennis camp.  He's been having so much fun working with the pros and coaches and has made some great progress. 


And yesterday he was pumped about the zinc war paint/suncreen that he came home with.  He asked me if I could order him some from Amazon Prime.  That's my boy! hahaha


Yesterday afternoon we attempted a sensory play activity that is a new FAVORITE for the boys.  And my whole kitchen smelled like shaving cream when we were done :)

I saw the directions for this on Pinterest and I was totally skeptical, but the boys were excited about it so we tried it out.  We got a big plastic tub and they each scooped out 3 cups of play sand into the tub.




Next, they each got to spray an entire can of shaving cream into the box.  I'm fairly certain that Luke's dimple has NEVER been so deep :)  I was also just as certain that he was about to turn and spray me with the shaving cream. hahaha


Then we mixed.


and mixed and mixed and mixed.


It was supposed to turn into "sand foam", but ours ended up like mud.  We threw in more sand and shaving cream to see if that helped.  It didn't :)


Also, note in the picture above that Griffin stuck about 3 fingers into the sandy yuck and was done.  "WASH HANDS, MOMMY!!! WASH HANDS!!!"

The boys played for a solid 45 minutes with the gunk before we made them stop so we could clean up.  I took all of them (Luke, Mason and the container) out back and rinsed them all off with the hose.  :)

It did NOT turn out as planned, but I'm counting it as a success because the boys had a blast.


An activity more up Griffin's alley???  Beads on a pipe cleaner.  


She would get one bead on and then want another pipe cleaner.  We kept trying to get her to put more on, but she wasn't having it.  And the pink pipe cleaners and pink beads were TOPS in her book.


We all made bracelets and this moment may have been my FAVORITE from the week.


My next FAVORITE is seeing how much my littles love the grocery store.  That's Griffin waving to the girls at Starbucks :) hahaha  


 And how about this... while I was prepping stuff for our What Griffin Wore sale earlier this week, Griffin wanted the lights on.  So she made it happen.


 On Monday night when we headed to dinner I wore some of my FAVORITE things.


And on Wednesday night got to do one of my FAVORITE things... pool time and cruising the golf course with my people!






 When Luke was a baby I washed EVERYTHING in Dreft and I loooooooooove the smell.  It's one of my FAVORITES.  I stopped using it when his eczema was really bad (it's gone now) and have been using free and clear detergent ever since.  I'm a big fan of the Unstoppables, but when I saw the Dreft version of them this week I had to give them a try.  Oh my goodness, y'all!  It's like having a baby again without the spit up smell! :)  I washed all of our pillows yesterday and today and they all smell like a precious newborn.  It's amazing.  (And if you're in the market for a stain remover, the Dreft one is the BEST!)


Who would have guessed that the purchase of an electric pencil sharpener would be Mason's FAVORITE part of the week???  Not me.  But it was :)


  Back when I worked at a store downtown McKinney I fell in love with Lollia products.  I'm a sucker for pretty packaging and they all smell AMAZING, but one of my FAVORITES was always the Breathe perfume.  I ran out forever ago and this week decided to reorder it.  Mason told me that I smell like zombie, but I'm taking that as a total compliment.


Lastly... It's no secret that I love Matilda Jane - I fell in love with the brand before I even had a girl.  I loved giving it as gifts and would admire it on other little girls.  After having Griffin it wasn't long before I had her in her first piece of Matilda Jane and it's been a love affair since then.  I think that the designer and founder of Matilda Jane, Denise DeMarchis, said it best... 

"It's all about keeping a little girl... a little girl.  Keeping her youthful.  Keeping her spinning and twirling and carefree.  And most importantly, bringing her happiness."

Denise was diagnosed with ovarian cancer two years ago and she passed away this week after a recurrence a couple of months ago.  Even though I never met Denise, I found her passion and vision inspiring and was often in awe of the community that she created through a little girls clothing company.  The lives she touched and children she impacted through charity around the world was amazing to see. 

Whether you like ruffles or don't, if the dresses are "too busy" for your taste or if you just don't "get" the sometimes quirky designs - one thing can't be denied... they're whimsical clothes that make little girls and their moms smile. 

I'm not naive enough to think that GG is going to want to wear ruffles and bows and all of that for her entire life, but in years to come when I think back on this time, Matilda Jane will be the backdrop to a lot of those memories.  Rather than post a million pictures, I put together a little flipagram of some of my favorite MJ moments from the past two years :)


"Sometimes, when you put on a certain dress, you feel a certain way. When you put on Matilda Jane, you feel just happy and twirly. You just feel good." – Denise DeMarchis

I LOVE sharing Matilda Jane with all of you and whether or not you "get it" I hope that you feel happy in something you put on this week.  Life is short and it's too short not to feel twirly on occasion :)   

Happy Friday, girls!

   
PS - This post contained a few affiliate links, which means that if you clicked on a link and purchased an item, I may receive a small commission.  THANK YOU!!!

92 comments:

  1. Ahhh! DREFT UNSTOPPABLES?! You just made my day! And we love MJ, my daughter is 6 and still feels extra twirly when she's wearing a dress and bennys, it's so sweet to allow her to pick anything to wear and know that it will most likely coordinate, and that it will keep her looking age appropriate. Can't beat that :)

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    1. Right??? My laundry has never smelled so good! Loooove that dreft baby smell! And yes... I couldn't agree more about the MJ.

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  2. What a smelly week you had! :). I'm pretty sure you could have dumped straight mud into that tub and they would have been crazy happy. Griffin and the pipe cleaner/beads is too funny!

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    1. mud pretty much what it turned out to be and yes.... Sister with the beads was cracking is up. Happy moving day!!!

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  3. When I saw the article the other day of her passing I was just heartbroken, a beautiful life gone way too soon. I agree not everyone gets the MJ clothing, but it is fabulous and its so true that they won't want to wear it forever, it's so sad when our little girls start growing up and deciding what they want and don't want to wear;(. And tiny Jack bauer ...so sweet. Have a great weekend

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    1. I'm excited to see how Griffin wants to dress herself, but (admittedly) I'll miss these days of ruffles and bows ;)

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  4. I love twirly outfits, both for my daughter and I must admit I love a twirl outfit for myself too!

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    1. Love!!! We all need to feel twirly on occasion ;) Happy Friday!

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  5. Happy Friday friend!!! Luke looks so big in the tennis camp pictures :).

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  6. I just love reading about your little clan! How is Griffin big enough to sit in a chair by herself?!?! Tell that baby to stop growing :) I burst out laughing with Mason's zombie comment. His personality is so much like Hallie's. Luke's zinc war paint is awesome. I'm going to try to find some for our July 4th competition games. I LOVE your Griffin and Matilda Jane video. #itsnotjustclothes Happy Friday!!

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    1. Hahahaha. Yes... Smelling like a zombie is a total compliment from a four year old boy, right???? ;) I'll let you know if I find the zinc anywhere. Happy Friday!!! (And ps - it's totally not just clothes)

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  7. I love your golf cart trips!! Also, what a fun sensory project!! I bet the boys were having a blast!! :)

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    1. They loooooved it! It was gooey and messy and made their little days ;)

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  8. Loved everything about this post :)! Have a lovely weekend Andrea.

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  9. I can't even believe the amount of money you spend on Griffins wardrobe. Although none of my business, it seems so shallow as its only clothing. Can't you invest in her future? Or take the kids to Disney? Make memories instead of buying some much excess when there are children in our own country that have nothing. And you don't even donate them after, you sell them!!!

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    1. Except you really have no idea what I spend or don't spend. I host shows which gives me the opportunity to buy things at a discount as well as earn credit. I resell her clothes and end up dressing her for less than it would cost me to at a store that I'm assuming you would deem appropriate. This kind of comment makes me so discouraged because there is so much judgement based on so little information. The truth is you have no idea what we spend or invest or donate. (In reality, by buying/reselling her clothes we actually have more money to use in other areas) And who is anyone to say what's excessive and what's not for someone else? So a $39 dress from GAP is okay, but a $45 one from MJ is not??? We buy what we can afford and what we feel is best for our family.

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    2. So I read my comment over again and I don't want to come across as defensive, but I guess that's what's going to happen when I'm left to defend my choices. My main point is just that the judging that happens (not just in blogs, but in daily life) over situations where we don't have all of the details needs to stop. I do it just as much as the next person, I just wish that we could all give each other a little benefit of the doubt before jumping to grand conclusions. ;)

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    3. First, I have never commented on your blog but I've been a longtime lurker :-). Love your style, your family and the precious moments you chose to share with us. I personally think you responded great to such judgement. You're a momma and when anyone questions your motives on how you dress or care for your children and your religion...defense is our first thought. However, I have 3 children (11 and 5 year old boys and 9 year old girl) who love certain clothes better than others. As a momma and queen of laundry in our house, I've learned certain brands hold up better than others. MJ has always been one of the brands we invest in because not only do they hold up well (and the dresses become tunics as she grows) but they can be worn to school, church, and out to dinner so I don't really have to buy clothes for each of those when I can accessorize and make them dressier. Plus the outfits mostly coordinate so I don't have to buy so many and then they can easily go into fall and winter with the add of a cardigan. I use to waste so much money on other brands before biting the bullet and investing in MJ clothes for Katie Grace but I'm so glad I did! She is ALL girl and loves the ruffles and twirly of MJ and I love that she still wants to dress up. She's really small for her age and will be going into 4th grade so who knows how longer this will last but I'm enjoying the moments now. I also resell what I don't keep for my niece and it really does help! Like someone else has said, having a blog opens you up for criticism at times but don't let it get you down. Happy Weekend! We are heading out bright and early for a big family vaca to the smokies 18 people in one big cabin...Lord help me. :-)))

      Jenny Stilts (Sorry, I can't log in my google account for some reason to comment so I'm only slightly anonymous...lol.)

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  10. I think it is very materialistic to buy the excess that you do.. And you claim to be Christian???

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    1. Please reference above ;) and also... As far as finances go, we believe it all belongs to God and that we are to be stewards of those resources. The "claiming to be Christian" comment is so out of line. Being a Christian means that you've accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior and you are striving daily to honor Him in your choices and decisions. That is exactly what we feel we are doing. As far as money goes, we are not excessive spenders... I've found a way to dress griffin in beautiful clothes for a small price and that's being a wise steward of our resources.

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    2. Oh these hateful anonymous people commenting...I hope they do not call themselves Christians with that kind of hateful talk. Love your blog!

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    3. I just can't get over the judgement! CRAZY! Thanks, Mary!

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    4. I'm really sorry people feel okay tearing someone down all while remaining anonymous. It's sad and unfortunate to see. It speaks volumes to their character. You've chosen to document your family's life on this blog. And if they don't like something you're doing then they should not be reading. You get to choose how to raise your children. We don't know your finances. Maybe this is where you splurge while cutting back in other areas. It doesn't matter as long as you can afford it, it's no one else's business. Being a Christian has nothing to do with the price tag on your kids clothing. I know this doesn't take away what the person said but don't let one person affect the way you live your life. Buy that Matilda Jane girl! Hope this helps! Love you, your sweet family and blog!
      Xoxo
      Jennifer H

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  11. I laughed at Griffin wanting her hands clean after playing in that goo! My 16mo old was the same way last week after I set her up to finger paint. She was horrified at the mess on her hands! Haha :) Have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. Griffin will get her hands in art supplies all day, but she was NOT feeling the mud ;)

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  12. Your family is just beautiful and such a lovely post about Denise. The flipagram almost made my heart burst :)
    P.S. Cant wait to try out the Dreft scent boosters!

    <3 from FL

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    1. Thank you!!! And let me know what you think when you try the dreft ;)

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  13. It is so sad about Denise, the MJ founder. I have always admired the designs and company but just could not ever justify spending the money. Maybe I will in the future, she is almost 2. Anyways, some of my FB friends are big into MJ too and shared this video. You may have already seen it, but just in case you didn't.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/ege933yypchonhl/denise.mp4?dl=0

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    1. I'll have to watch it today! Thank you for sharing!

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  14. I will be singing and twirling all morning.

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  15. What bag is that pictured in your Wednesday night swim/golf cart fun? I'm always looking for a good pool bag.
    Thanks!

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    1. It was actually a free gift with Matilda Jane purchase earlier this Spring ;)

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  16. Such a fun post! And I actually just purchased my first MatildaJane clothes yesterday. Such a loss but her legacy will live on. Happy weekend Andrea!!

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    1. Eeeeeek! What did you get??? And yes... Such a great, charitable legacy to be a part of. Happy weekend to you too!

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  17. So cute! Your little one is pretty stylish (as are you!). I hope you have a great weekend!

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  18. Such a fun post! Love the MJ video tribute at the end! Color makes everything better and brighter :) I need you to be my clothing stylist. I hope to have lunch with you someday :)

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  19. I love reading your blog and it pains me that people are so judgmental of you (ex: the car pics or the cute clothes for your girl). I hope you do not take those spiteful comments to heart. You have a beautiful family and an amazing faith that you share so vividly with strangers. I am forever blessed by your writing each morning. My son is 5 and so many of your ideas and crafts I bring into my own home and am blessed by. Thank you for sharing your life with us and being real. Can I say tho...I'm so jealous of the Texas green grass!! Being from CA and in a drought I haven't seen grass that green in years. Green grass is so cheery and happy!

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    1. Our lawn isn't this green... but the golf course is always beautiful :) hahahaha
      And people are quick to judge and slow to apologize - not just to me, but to others as well. It's disheartening and sad. I appreciate your thoughtful words so much and I'm glad that you and your son are having fun doing some of the crafts. Thanks, Jo!!!

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  20. Those were beautiful words you had about the founder of Matilda Jane. I love MJ clothes and love that you sell them so I can allow my daughter to dress in beautiful clothes!! ;-) so thank you! You are an awesome mom! Keep it up!

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    1. Thank you!!! I"m happy to pass them along for more years of love :)

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  21. What a lovely post :) Love the flipagram with Griffin's photos :) Have a lovely weekend!

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  22. I read your blog every morning and I absolutely adore you and your lovely family. I think that you are an amazing mom and I use many of your craft and activity ideas with my own boys! I think that your sweet Griffin is absolutely precious and I look forward to seeing her adorable outfits everyday! It amazes me how quick people are to judge and criticize others from behind their computer screens. Ignore them and keep doing what you are doing and inspiring your readers and followers! Sending thanks all the way from Alberta, Canada! Happy Weekend!!

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    1. Thanks, girly!!! I appreciate your sweet words!!! And YAY for Alberta! (I lived there in 1985/86!) So fun!

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  23. It is really nobody's business what you spend your money on or how much you spend on your/your family's clothing, etc. I also agree that unless you live in someone's house and are witness to their daily activities, you shouldn't judge because you don't have all of the facts. This is something I think we all try to do daily, but it's easy to get derailed and pass judgement. That being said, I think people tend to pass judgement on you Andrea because of the volume of material items you consume. That's not being judgy. It's a fact. You've posted pictures of Griffins necklaces, bows, shoes, and clothing, and it's shocking. I'm sorry, but providing a two-year-old with that quantity of items borders in gluttony. I realize that much of what you and Griffin receive is free or deeply discounted. But it doesn't appear that you donate any of it (as evidenced by your daughter's extensive necklace collection and your collection of Evy's Tree Hoodies) with the exception of that pink tulle skirt, which you admitted you'd likely never wear again. I'm not trying to tell you what to do. If you don't want to donate or raffle off items that's your choice. But you should at least understand and acknowledge how materialistic and consumed with appearance you seem to many of your readers, without becoming so defensive. You are right, being Christian is accepting Jesus into your life. However, part of being Christian is also not overindulging and not being precoccupied with material things, in your case clothes. Some readers may feel you don't practice what you preach. You can deny you are like this, and claim others are judging you without all the facts, and maybe they are, but please don't forget the part of your life you've put on display which clearly depicts a woman who lacks self-control (your closet and accessories illustrated this), and is very consumed with outward appearance, shopping and clothing/accessories.

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    1. Here's my issue - I don't talk about the items I donate because then I would be called out for being braggy or doing those things for the wrong reason. But for full disclosure's sake today, in the past month we've donated our crib, bedding, stroller(s), high chair, etc. to families in need, I sent 6 bags of clothing (mine, Dave's and the kids) to Africa with a mission trip and I sent a bag of necklaces to my cousin's little girls. We provided refreshments for a 5k, meals for friends who are going through a health crisis and continued to support the missionaries and organizations that we do every other month. We've helped support employee's of Dave's as they transition into new/better housing and helped purchase necessities for an elderly Veteran trying to get back on his feet after an amputation and brought water.

      The problem arises when you see my closet or Griffin's necklaces and make all kinds of assumptions. The fact that I like dressing my daughter a certain way or like clothes in general isn't mutually exclusive from us being generous or charitable or Christian.

      I hate that I've been perceived that way, but all I can do is keep being honest and myself and hope that people take the time to look at the "whole picture" that I put out there and not just the snippet that they want to focus on.

      Also - and this is just a thought to ponder, but what determines "excess"??? Are 3 hoodies okay, but 4 aren't? 9 necklaces are fine, but 12 are over the top? I have family who think that the home we live in is excessive, but other family members who think we live super modestly. We spend what some people might think is a LOT on our kids education, while other people might think it's inexpensive.

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    2. Hi Andrea. I agree with the comment above. I used to love your blog, but it just seems to have taken a turn to pushing so many products recently. Everyone judges, especially when you put yourself out there as you do. I just think a lot of mommy bloggers out there now have that vibe that say "you NEED this or that, this is a must have" and when you don't, makes others feel inferior. That is why i stopped reading many blogs, but i hope yours doesn't go in that direction. My oldest is 12 and blogging wasn't popular then but i see so much judgement now and it's discouraging.

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    3. Anonymous, I appreciate your feedback and honesty. When I highlight a product, it is (TYPICALLY!) something that I own and love. I get asked often about my clothes, shoes, bags, etc and so sometimes highlighting those items on a Friday Favorites post is easier than answering a ton of individual questions. I also like to work with and showcase small businesses that I LOVE (Evys Tree, Albion, Sprinklings, Hippie Chick, etc.) because I love supporting other women and their business endeavors and I enjoy being able to provide my readers with discount and/or coupon codes (or giveaways). I hate to think that anyone would ever feel inferior after reading one of my posts - which is also why I try to show all sides of my life including the not so "pretty" moments :)

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  24. I'm so sorry you have to read hateful, anonymous comments! Griffin and her brothers are so precious and it's obvious you put a lot of time and effort into hosting shows and selling/donating their clothes when they're outgrown so I don't see a problem at all (not that it's anyone's business besides your and Dave's anyway). I especially loved where you said MJ would be the backdrop to so many memories of G's toddlerhood. Precious!

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    1. I go back and forth about even publishing them - but I'm not one to shy away from a dissenting opinion and I can appreciate feedback - but the amount of judgement that has been passed on me and my family today is over the top. And YES! It will totally be the backdrop! :) Thanks for your sweet words, Melissa!

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    2. I am so bummed people are being so rude and judgy! I find you to be engaging with your kids, totally humble, and really just an inspiration in so many ways. I've never understood why people leave mean comments on people's blogs nobody is forcing them to read. You are fabulous, keep being YOU! And, please don't let this ruin your day with your babies!!!! Much love!!!

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  25. Add glitter to the shaving cream and see if GG would like that! As someone who loves anything sparkly, I def think that would be fun - see link : http://happyhooligans.ca/shaving-cream-and-glitter/ Happy weekend girlie!

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    1. Ooooooh! What a fun idea!!! I have a can of shaving cream left over so we may have to try that this weekend. Thanks for the idea!

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  26. I've said it before and I will say it again! You are awesome! I 100% agree with what you said - there is so much judgment in our world today and it needs to stop! As Christians, we are called to be the image of Christ and LOVE one another. Keep on keeping on girl!

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    1. Right!!! LOVE! :) Keeping on keeping on over here! hehehehe

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  27. Andrea - what a plethora of pictures! Need to mention a few specifically that tugged at my heart strings... Griffin twirling on the grass - ala "Sound of Music"? Griffin and Jack Bauer (big picture, kissing/nudging in the kitchen) - how adorable... he's getting to be a big boy, and so well loved. Beads on pipe cleaners - great way to work on dexterity, hand/eye coordination while being fun and colorful. Have a great weekend!

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    1. Thanks, Laurie! We're working hard on fine motor skills over here! I have several other little projects that I'll be sharing next week - lacing is always a big hit at our house. And yes... it's TOTALLY Sound of Music!!! And we're waiting on the call to pick up Jack Bauer from the groomer - can't wait to see him all groomed! :)

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  28. Andrea, I look forward to reading your blog every day. I wake up at 5:30 AM on school days and your blog is a good motivation to get out of bed and get going :) You and your family are adorable and you are a great role model! Have a great weekend!

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    1. Maybe I should start reading my own blog to get motivated to get out of bed :) hahaha Thank you so much for taking the time to comment!!!

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  29. I am sorry people are leaving such hurtful and judgmental comments today. They are obviously not looking at the whole picture, which is you are an amazing mom and person. Your blog is uplifting and fun and that is what's important. I guess they are too busy focusing on what they can use to tear you down instead of lifting you up. Guess they missed all the pics and posts of your crafting with your kids and taking them to the museum and park and pool and spending quality time with them!

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    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! I so appreciate your kind words :) And thank you for recognizing that my main focus/priorities aren't clothes or materialistic things, but creating fun memories with my kids (and being well dressed while doing it - hahahaha - totally kidding) :) Thanks again!!!

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  30. Sending lots of love your way today, Andrea! Thanks for sharing a snapshot of your life with us- your posts are an encouragement and blessing to so many :-) It is never fun or easy to be the subject of hurtful comments. Let's build each other up, gals! Have a great weekend!

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    1. Thanks so much, Blake!!! I take the bad with the good and move forward being "me" knowing that not everyone is going to like or "get" me - which is totally fine. Although I do wish sometimes that the people who don't enjoy my blog would find some that they do enjoy to read. hahaha Have a fantastic week!

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  31. Hi Andrea!
    Those anonymous messages above are appalling so I wanted to write another encouraging note for you :)
    I'm a 21 year old college girl from Southern California and I just wanted to say how much of an inspiration you are in my life. I have followed you (and Shay, Erika, Shaeffer,etc) for almost 3 years now, I read your blogs pretty much every day! I am a Christian, and while I wish you could be a personal mentor in my life, you are AWESOME for sharing so much of your life on the internet so we can get to you know and your precious family! I have pinned many activities and ideas that you do with your kiddos so I can hopefully do them in the future, I love your style (you've encouraged me to bring some boho/color/hippy fun into my style! Anytime I go into Anthropologie, I think of your style!), and above all, you are this awesome women of God and mother that I strive to be like everyday. I even want to start buying some of Griffin's MJ clothing- To support you, and save for my future girl(s)!
    Thank you for being you! Please don't stop blogging and sharing on Insta!
    Xoxo,
    Abby
    Lifeloveandlace.com

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    1. Hey, Abby!!! Thank you so much for reading and for taking the time to leave such an encouraging comment. You absolutely made my day! I am beyond flattered and appreciative.
      :) Andrea

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  32. Wow, I cannot believe how judgmental people are being! Please try to focus on all of the positive comments and the smiles your sweet kiddos give you every day! I hope you have a blessed weekend!

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    1. Thanks, Calley!!! I appreciate you taking the time to comment and your kind words mean a lot!
      :) Andrea

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  33. Andrea, wanted to tell you how much I love your blog and thoroughly enjoy and look forward to your posts! The way you share your life is beautiful, inspirational, and just plain fun to see! You are a beautiful example of a woman serving the Lord, her family, and her community (including us followers who you make feel like girlfriends as you invite us into your day!). I pray that the hurt of this day fades away quickly and that you have a weekend full of love and laughter with your sweet bunch! -Charissa

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    1. Hey, Charissa! We had a FANTASTIC weekend as a family and it was definitely full of love and laughter :) I so appreciate you reading and taking the time to leave such a kind comment. It means the world!!! Have a fantastic week, girly!
      :) Andrea

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  34. Oh my goodness the comments you got today! Hang in there girlfriend! "You can be the sweetest peach ever but there will always be someone who doesn't like peaches" :)

    On another note, I love MJ for myself & have no girls LOL #boymom but they make quality pieces that are worth the investment! And that video of GG?! My word, she's grown so much in 2 years! I love the ruffles and bows!

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    1. Totally agree on the peaches! I'm totally okay with not being someone's cup of tea, but don't think I'll ever understand the need for people to stick around and tell me why they don't like me. hahaha To each their own! And YES!!! She's grown WAY TOO FAST!!!! Make it stop! :) HAve a great week!!!

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  35. I'm late to the game here posting since I was at work all day, but I wanted to say that you handled all the comments VERY well. And the poster who wrote about using Disney as an example of an alternative to excess? Disney is the definition of excess!!!
    As has been mentioned before, people put others down to make themselves feel better. It's super hard not to take it personally, but try not to. :)
    (Sorry to post anonymously whenever I comment but I haven't figured out the other ways to post)

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    1. Replying on my own comment, as I've been thinking about this topic a lot although I'm sure you just want to put it to rest lol... Looking from the perspective of the negative commenters, obviously there is jealousy and insecurity, but maybe it is also how the Christian mom blogger & small-business community in general present themselves (not singling you out, I think people attack you because you are open and honestly it's great that you stand up not only for yourself but others too). There is a lot of focus on clothing, accessories, nordstrom, anthropologie, small businesses catering to upper class clients by their pricepoints. While there is a lot of focus on other topics as well, and I know there is MUCH more depth to all of you than appearances, for someone not part of a Christian community, it could easily appear that Christian moms are obsessed with looks and fashion. I still think leaving rude judgy comments is wrong and bashing someone else who is supporting other workers and our economy makes no sense, but sometimes thinking from the other side helps on how to address it.

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    2. Hey! I think it's a hard balance... I get some of the biggest feedback and response (as far as page views and other stats) from posts where I'm talking about outfits and such - so when I look at those I tend to think, "give the people what they want!" :) I never try to give the impression that I'm obsessed with appearances (I try to limit my posts about clothes and such to Friday Favorites or other designated link-up days), but try to share lots of aspects and facets of my life including family activities and traditions, teacher tips and then "deeper" topics thrown in as well. I sincerely appreciate your feedback and honesty as well as you taking the time to comment (twice!). I'm thankful that you're able to have a conversation and dialogue with me WITHOUT being insulting and rude. Imagine that! :) Have a fantastic week!

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  36. First I just wanted to say I think it's great that you address people's questions! It's unfortunate that some aren't so civil / polite. Anyway, after reading the comments on this post, I totally see your perspective and I am in no way judging, but just as a more general parenting question, do you ever worry about your kids becoming spoiled/entitled someday, and if so, how do you go about preventing this? As a teacher, I think this is a serious problem, and I'm curious as to how you handle it.

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    1. YES! I think every parent worries about that, right??? It's such a hard balance between wanting your kids to have everything and spoiling them rotten. With me in private education, Dave at a country club and in the town that we live in - we see "affluenza" often and it's hard to keep it in check. I will say that neither Dave or I were raised in a way where we were just handed things.. My parents had the ability to give me anything I could have wanted, but instead put me on a budget at 15 and I was responsible for the majority of my own expenses (school activities, clothes, movies with friends, Prom dresses, etc.) I also knew that I was going to be responsible for my own college education. Dave grew up very humbly (he only received toys/clothes/anything at Christmas or on his birthday, he shared a bed (not just a room) with his three brothers until he moved out and he paid for his own college education as well) and those backgrounds influence how we parent for sure. Our kids see how other people live... both more affluent and less affluent than us and we put a heavy emphasis on being thankful for what we have and not comparing our lifestyle/home/lack of video games (hahaha) with our friends, classmates, etc. I feel like I'm rambling - sorry! I'm going to think more on this and maybe do a post asking for feedback from more experienced parents. Thanks for the point to ponder!

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    2. Thank you so much for responding! You brought up some great points for me to think about as well. I think the key word you mentioned is balance...finding that balance between providing for children and instilling a sense of gratitude at the same time. We don't have kids yet (hopefully soon!) but I think about these things all the time so I appreciate you sharing your perspective. Have a great day! :)

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  37. I love reading about your family! Your blog is one of my favorites. I have all boys so I've never bought the MJ clothes but lots of my friends with girls buy the clothes and love them. Griffin is so precious. I think the couple of people that were so critical need to stop being so judgmental. Your blog reflects the kind of person you are and it's evident that you are a very down to earth and generous person. They really should be ashamed for attacking you so personally.

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    1. Thank you! I appreciate you taking the time to comment and for your sweet words. :)

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  38. I wish I had a little girl. I love how you dress Griffin.
    I saw the shaving cream thing on Pinterest. LOL!! Glad I read this first.

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    1. YES! It didn't make foam - but was still fun. I have no idea how the original pinner made sand foam! hahaha And thank you! I have a great time dressing her :) #obviously

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  39. Griffin reaching for the light with a book...that is totally how I am using a box to try to get something from a top shelf at the grocery store. 5'2" problems. :) haha!

    Cheers to smelling like a zombie! That is hilarious! :)

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  40. Well said, Andrea! I love me some MJ, such an early and tragic loss of its founder...

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  41. This post is so great for so many reasons!! But, I must admit that some of the comments have been very upsetting to me. Let's all remember, Christian or not, we are all on this earth together. Being a woman is hard and I can imagine being a Mom is even harder (I'm 6 months pregnant with my 1st!!) and we need to uplift each other and be positive influences for each other. Andrea is writing a blog to be helpful, insightful and positive and I cannot fathom why people read and comment if they don't have productive things to say. How DARE we judge each other based on shopping habits, money, clothing style, beliefs, parenting styles, etc. Let's remember to build each other up!!! And if you don't agree with something, it doesn't need to be written for the world to see on a blog. Solidarity and positivity will go a long way!! We need to agree on every little thing but we do need to respect each other :) End of my peaceful, Christ-loving rant!

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