Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Moose Birthday Party!

Thanks for letting me download some of that yesterday. Still so much on my brain/mind/heard so maybe if I can think of words to verbalize, in the future I will share more. For today though, you get a good old fashioned birthday party planning post!

Little Moosey will soon be a year old and its time to get cranking on a shindig!!

In case you missed the story, when Moose was little, Brother could not say his name. Every time he referred to him, it sounded like he was saying "Mooooooose." From there, Moose's nickname was born and we all quickly took to it.

While I considered a few other idea for my little mans birthday, it only seemed appropriate that since everyone calls him Moose to let that be the theme for the party!! I love it because its definitely a tad different, but makes perfect sense and moose are adorable!

Random side note:: I just googled how to make "moose" plural and Google tells me that it is NOT "meese" or "mooses" but just moose. Can we all please refer to multiple moose as meese from here on out!? Hahahah!

Back to the party. I was just going to go with a general woodsy, moose, outdoors theme. Then it dawned on me that Santa had ordered and given the kids the "If You Give A Moose A Muffin" book from Amazon and they love that book. Given that mid-morning is Moose's best time of day, breakfast food being delish, a Mother In Law who can crank out yummy muffins and breakfast casseroles in her sleep and just like that the party was planned!

...planned in my brain I mean!


Here is the book! My kids love these...along with all of the other If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and If You Give a Dog a Donut type books!

Another random side note...Speaking of those books, does any other parent out there write them in your brain about your kid, day or life as you go?? After we read them, I write my life by them. Weird, I know...

Like after lunch and my kids ask for a cookie, I naturally think, "NO! Because if you give a kid a cookie, they will need milk...then they need a wipe...then they need a diaper change...then they need to flush...then they need to wash their hands...and since their hands are clean they think its time to eat...so then they ask for a cookie."

Anyway, Moose party planning...after I decided the theme and time, I took to Pinterest and have been pinning away. I wanted to share my ideas that I have stolen from the internets! I am NOT pasting each link for the photos below. Instead, I have pulled them from my Pinterest "Moose" board and dumped them here as one image. If you want to see the individual links, click the link below where you can view them all and it easily will take you to the source.

Follow Lauren's board Moose :) on Pinterest.

Here is what I am thinking menu wise::
-Breakfast Casserole
-Donuts
-Muffins
-Fruit Salad
-Cookies
-Cupcakes
-Moose Tracks Ice Cream

On the menu, I know it sounds like lots of stuff and I may still adjust. I know I don't NEED cookies and cupcakes but I love baking and am having so much fun learning how to decorate, so those go on the list because if nothing else, I will have a blast making them. Soon, I will work on the invitation and after that it will just be the decor doing, cookie making and house cleaning left to do!

People always ask how far in advance I do this. I decided the theme last weekend, started pinning on Pinterest last weekend and also ordered a birthday shirt. That was at 8 weeks ahead. Some people plan further out and some people throw it together overnight. Since I like to have the time to DIY and make lots of it for myself, the 8 week time frame allows me time to try stuff and if I mess it up, still go out and fix or purchase! Also, having a few months to do things allows me to spread out my dollars!

I am sure I will have updates along the way and if you see cute Moose ideas, you know who to send them to!

I am an Amazon affiliate and I appreciate you using my link above as a referral! As Annie M would say, "It makes my heart glow!" :* Pin It Now!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Where Grace Abounds

The past few weeks have been interesting to say the least. I have so much to blog and while some of them are fun birthday party planning posts, or kid updates, there has been lots on my brain that I have been trying to consider writing about.

It's a bit odd, because I typically don't blog about all of the deep stuff, but lately, that's all that's on my mind!! That said, I try to write like normal but my brain goes back to what I was thinking about and then I get distracted and never finish posts!! I thought I would take a stab at communicating some of the millions of notes and thoughts that I have had Siri scribble and transcribe for me and if the whole topic is totally not your thing, feel free to peruse the pics and come back later for the party posts!! Those are on their way too, as you know I cant be serious for too long! ;)

-------------------------------------

My kids have been so happy and so healthy {thankfully!} and they are all thriving. We have hit a relatively, dare I say easy routine and after a season {or year} of crazy, I am enjoying the calm. There have been long days, hard times, drama, fun and through it all, grace has abounded.


My husband has been on an off shift for the past year and I have handled dinner, bath and bed routines, dance practices, evening errands and more with three littles on my own. Some days have been long, some evenings have been miserable, but in the midst of it all, grace has abounded.

Recently, there have been a few things I have been burdened by. Just last week alone, I had three friends parents pass away...two to cancer and one stroke. This week another friend changed her Facebook picture yesterday to her and her mother and I feared the worst as her Mom has had numerous fights with cancer. I messaged her just to say I was thinking of them and today got a message back that said her Mom went on to glory yesterday after a battle with leukemia.

I had one friend who prayed for a child for years and finally conceived and delivered last week and the baby is in NICU. Two other friends recently miscarried and I am following the story of another baby with Trisomy 18 who's days {maybe hours?} here on this earth are numbered. They will deliver this week, here in Atlanta. I have a close friend whom I have not spoken to in months that I am missing and another friends who is going through challenges. These aren't the glamorous sides of life, quite depressing, actually, but through it all, thankfully, grace abounds.

Around our home, Annie M is having a hard time thinking and processing "death" and its a constant topic around here. I have no idea if she heard it at school, church or what, but she said something about a song that said "passed away" and that is where she learned it and began to ask, question and process.

We have spent hours talking about her fear of me dying. Hours. She has asked for me to print pictures of me and some of me and her together to carry with her to school and to put in her room so she can always remember me and so I can be with her.

Yesterday, I decided that it was safer for me to never leave the house again because I began to wonder if some still small voice was preparing her for something yet to come! Crazy I know, but its a constant subject around here and fear keeps creeping in my brain given the repeated chats about it....thankfully, grace abounds, somehow I find words to say - and on a somewhat humorous but comforting note, my life insurance policy is intact. :)

We have talked about what will happen when Champ dies and she is insistent on pictures of him too. We had a good hour and a half sob fest the other night and while my words were few and less than comforting, grace somehow overcame.

In the midst of it all, I read about a young stroke victim who is now carrying her second child. She should have died six years ago, had to relearn to walk, talk, eat, swallow and write and instead she is with child and will deliver this summer via c-section with a large team of doctors on hand.

I do not know them personally, though we have multiple connections, but from the blog I followed, her husband was finishing law school and she had a promising model career when he happened to come home for lunch and find her. You can read the full story on the link above, but since then, instead of practicing law, his full time job has been caring for her and now I assume with the limited amount of strength that she has, he will also take on the caregiver mode for the new baby. Huge challenges, huge love and even more grace.

I have friends who have just come home from China adopting a child and friends who are about to depart to go get their new brother. We have friends who are fostering and in the process of adopting and I have another friend who is unexpectedly pregnant and thrilled. Through all of the challenges, waits and trials and now as they celebrate the joys, grace has abounded.

My friends who have lost a loved one are making it day by day, one step at a time. My friend who's Mom had a stroke and passed a few days later, also announced that when her Mom had the stroke, they were at the doctors office for her first ultrasound. Her Mom knew she was pregnant and it would have been her first grandchild. Its not easy, but mercies are new every morning and through the sadness, there is grace.

I have thought about this a lot lately as things have been so "easy" at home, yet my Facebook feed is riddled with sadness, challenges and tough news.

Honestly, I am sitting at Starbucks, sipping my Mocha while I write this and watching as a group of women hang out and chat, a young man being mentored by an older man and a group of teens who have just come in for their afternoon fix. A few men are dressed in business suits and there is a fitness instructor sitting across the table from me. I will soon be off to the grocery store and will easily swipe my debit card knowing that we got paid last week and there is money in the account.

All seems right but I cant help but think of those with dreary and long days ahead. I am also celebrating with those who rejoice and deep down, I know that through what ever trials and toils may come, there is always grace.

Today, I don't want to focus on the good - nor the bad, but be thankful for grace.

I think that is what I am learning. Thankfulness and the importance of grace. Maybe its a combination of seeing all that my friends are going through, learning how to be a wife and learning how to parent a 4 year old, 2 year old and a baby and realizing that the one thing that is needed on all fronts is grace.

Grace is always there and there is always more of it. We all need it, we all should give it and it will never run out. That is an amazing promise - and gift.




Through it all, may grace abound.

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Stella & Dot Sample Sale!

There is a ton going on in the world of Stella & Dot right now and so I wanted to bullet point these happenings, show off some of the new and then list all of my samples at the bottom! Make sure you scroll all the way down for the SAMPLE SALE!

FIRST::
Before I get to the samples, I want to tell you about being a stylist. Recently, I hit a huge promotion. I had a month of great sales, my team was incredible and we all celebrated Stella style with lots of fun jewels and champagne toasts! I know this gig isn't for everyone but if you have questions or want to hear my experience, I would love to share and am an open book...I don't want to post numbers or any of that on my blog but am happy to email or chat about it if you want to know!

This month, they are offering the the best sign up special we have ever had...basically $199 sign up and you get an extra $100 of free jewelry this month so {$450 in sample credits} plus if you sell $1000 retail within your first 30 days they will refund your sign up fee....AND you can host a "double dip" show and receive the commission on sales and free credits really getting you off to a great start.

Please don't hesitate to email me at laurenbtrain{at}gmail{dot}com if you have questions or want details. More info is also on my website hereThis special is only good through January and in the 3+ years I have been a stylist, this is the first time they have offered it! 


SECOND::
The Spring 2015 has been a huge hit!! A bunch of pictures are below but let me know if I can help you shop!! Yall can also head to my website, create a log in and then make a wishlist! Email me with your Cupids name and I will help them shop for Valentines Day! 




These are all images of friends that I work with! We do Fashion Fridays or Style Saturdays and post how we are styling the jewels and I snagged them from our page last week and put them in a little collage! Its fun to see what others wear them with and some of the Stella & Dot stylists are the cutest girls you've ever seen!


I have a bunch of favorites from the new line, but the Engravable Cuff is a FAVE! It has not come off of my arm since I received it and I am considering another in silver...not that I need one, but I really love it! You can get anything you want engraved on it and lots of stylists are getting anything from dates to names and initials, verses, inspirational words, etc on it. On mine, I got coordinates of one of my favorite spots in the world. Every time I look at my arm, I am reminded of a place near and dear to my heart! Love....I also love my necklace - the Havana pendant. 


 

Ring...the Claudia. Its three bands stacked! I have been wearing all three and some people are pulling just one band and stacking it with their wedding bands! Its that pretty!


The Birdie. I've worn this a few times! The petals come off and the necklace can be worn multiple ways! 


I may catch flack for this, but I love this Union Scarf paired with the Melia necklace and Paris Market Tote! Why get flack you ask!??...everyone keeps commenting that its Auburn or Florida colors! Very true that the orange and blue is prominent, but its seriously too pretty not to have! ...I just wont wear it on football Saturday's next year, so I'll be okay. :)

I could go on and on about new line favorites, but that's it for now! If you want to host a show and get some goodies free, let me know! We can do an online show, in person, Look Book, whatevs! 

LASTLY!!!

Woo hoo! Everyone loves a good discount, right!? Like 40%-75% off!? Well, a few weeks ago, I did a sample sale on my Stella & Dot Facebook page {you should click there and go "like" me!}! I realized I never shared about it here. 

Here is how it works. Email me or leave a comment {and leave your email address} if there is something you are interested in. I will respond with price and we will go from there. I accept PayPal and wont ship til its paid! All are in like new condition unless noted and come in original box. 

Most all of these have been worn once by me and then displayed a few times and that's it. I LOVE some of these styles but I have to keep my samples fresh for shows and I cant store or hold onto all I have! That said, I am offering them to you at a deeply discounted price! 


Isadora Pearl Bib

Coral Cay - this one is still available new here

Juniper Statement Necklace

Trinity Pendant - Silver

Peacock Chandliers

Sardinia Bracelet - still available new here

Radiance Coil

Urbane Bracelet

Carrie Bangles
 
Hang On - Red Ikat - Used a few times but great condition

Avalon Clutch

Multi Stripe Jewelry Roll

Waverly Three Way in Black
Union Scarf

Allegra Necklace

Jocelyn Drop Earrings

The Switch Handbag - I carried this a few times but never took the plastic off of the tassel!
Phew! Sorry for the crazy long, picture overload post but I wanted to share with yall! Pin It Now!

Friday, January 16, 2015

FIVE on Friday!

Its been awhile since I have done a Five on Friday!! I figured I'd catch you up with a few things!

Yall join the Five on Friday here!

{UNO}
Stella & Dots Spring Collection is here! I will have to highlight favorites later, but I am so excited for 2015 and the opportunity that is ahead with this company. Last year with the move, new baby and all of the changes was still profitable, but hard. This year, I hope to really focus a bit more, be consistent and love my "job" as a Stylist!




{DOS}
This kid. 

He plays hard and loves hard...and hits hard. We are in a hitting, biting, kicking stage and all I can do is hold on for the ride and pray it doesn't last long. We are looking for mechanisms to coach him more effectively as while nose to the wall worked like a charm with Annie M, it seems to escalate things with him. Brother responds better to Hubby, but lately I have just been sitting him in a corner for time out and that is working much better. Fingers crossed this phase doesn't last long! 

On the flip side, when he is not feeling sassy, all you will hear him ask is, "Mommy {or Sissy or Daddy}, pay wit me!" He LOVES for you to spend focused time playing ball with him or doing trains. Quality time is his love language for sure! At the end of the day, he wants to be held, cuddled and nightly he asks, "Mommy, nuggle me." 

My little blonde headed, blue eyed guy is hard to resist and he always gets a few extra cuddles. Along with being two and his communication and emotions blossoming, he has had a ton of change lately. Since November, we took his paci, moved him to a toddler bed, he moved himself to a big boy bed, switched rooms and been sick three times. That type of change could make even the most laid back person a tad crazy and I am proud of my little boyfriend and how he has handled it all! 

{TRES}
This. I'm pretty sure I laughed for a solid half hour. 



{CUATRO}
Last week, we swung by a little bridal show with our bride to be. Honestly, everything they had, we already had taken care of...photography, wedding dress, DJ, etc. There were a ton of travel agencies, but not to that point yet. It was good though just to walk through and see other wedding-ish stuff and think through more details. Now that its officially wedding year, we will get on the ball sooner than later! 

They had this awesome photo booth thing that Annie M and Aunt Kristin hopped in. They made the booth look good, for sure. 


{CINCO}
Last Sunday, Hubby and I took the kids to dinner and then to Walmart. Its been a while since just the five of us have gone out. Most times, we either eat at home or we are with my parents and have extra hands at the table. Now that Moose is eating table foods, its a bit easier but I was still on edge. You don't want to be the one in there with three screaming kids. 

Honestly though, the kids were incredible. So incredible, that we had others comment on how well behaved all three of our littles were. Amen and amen. 

Annie M was tired and kind of zoned out as she ate. The boys played with a few cars I had tucked in my bag and our waitress had biscuits and an appetizer out within minutes of us sitting down. Our food followed soon after, the kids ate like champs and we paid our bill and were on the way. It was a fun treat to go out with the fam and for the first time in a long, long time, I felt at ease with all three kids feeding themselves, hubby and I still managing/directing them, but all in all, really a good night! 


We followed that with a quick trip to Walmart and the kids were again, perfect! I was SO thankful as we were past both boys bed times and I was afriad we were pushing their limits. We needed to go though as I had been a few places for bed rails to no avail. They had them here, so it was a quick trip. 

Moosey was all smiles and Annie M and Brother were enthralled by this horse and barn in the store.....or the huge Budlight display. #whatevs. 



Yall have a great one! 
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