UNIQUE BABY SHOWER GUEST BOOK

Last weekend, my mom and I threw a baby shower and this guest book was such a hit with my aunt (aka the baby mama) and the guests that I knew I had to share it with you all!

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Everyone was invited (men, women, kids) so when planning the shower I really tried to be intentional about doing some things that would make it fun for the kids as well! No one wants to be the mom of a bored kid at a shower. After falling down a deep, dark Pinterest hole one night (as you do when planning a party in 2017) I was super grateful when something sparked the idea to do this ABC coloring pages guest book! So I hopped over to Etsy and did a quick search of “printable ABD coloring pages,” purchased this set of lowercase letters and this set of uppercase letters, printed them on card stock paper, bought some Crayons that hadn’t had all the tips bitten off by my one-year-old, and BAM super cute and unique baby shower guest book!

I used a small chalk board to explain to people what the coloring pages and Crayons at their tables were about and asked them to write a little message and sign their name on the back. How sweet will it be for Baby B and his/her parent’s to look back on over the years?! And educational, too 😉

baby shower ABC guest book

baby shower ABC guest book chalkboard

baby shower ABC guest book pages
So cute, right? I plan to take these pages to Kinkos or something soon and get them bound like an actual book before handing them over to my aunt. So let’s all start taking bets if that gets done before the child’s due date. #christmasbaby

Oh, one more thing! Since this activity was geared towards children, you will get some that look like this:

baby shower ABC guest book baby page
But I honestly think it adds to the charm of the thing! It is for a baby after all.

Baby B., you are already so loved!!

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CHRISTMAS LIST FOR TODDLER BOYS

Coming at you (a little late for the link-up) with the first gift guide of the season! I’ve talked about my love for a gift guide relentlessly on this blog so I’ll spare you that again. Usually by now I would be 1000% in full Christmas swing (minus my house, I do wait until Thanksgiving to fully decorate) but Orlando/Disney planning has taken up any of my extra time and brain capacity lately. Maybe now that’s over (post coming soon, promise) I’ll be able to get into the holiday spirit for real! I know linking up with Brittney, Owen, and Emily and seeing all the gift guides today will totally help.

Today’s theme is kid’s gifts and while I admittedly don’t know the most about what all kids want, I can certainly speak for the toddler boys. Thankfully, one-and-a-half-year-olds don’t understand the concept of gifts so I get to fully decide what he “wants.” So this basically feels like my second list, ha! (And of course I don’t have my list done yet #momlife).

toddler boy christmas wish list 2017

We need a ton more toys in this house (said no mom ever) so we will be adding things like a membership to our local zoo and children’s museum, Kindermusik and swimming lesson gift certificates to our list. Try to think about activities available in your town for toddlers and add those! You will thank yourself on those super cold (or super hot!) days when you need to get out of the house.

Outdoor activities reign in our house so this slide, basketball hoop, and tricycle are going on our list. We also have and love this bubble machine, water table, swing, bounce house, bubble lawn mower, and sidewalk chalk that are always a hit as well if you need more outdoor ideas!

Next week we will be turning our guest room into a playroom (to make room for the Christmas tree, I mean GET ALL OF THESE TOYS OUT OF MY LIVING ROOM) and I know Camden would love to have a play kitchen in there! I’ve heard great things about the quality of KidKraft ones, but that they can be a bear to put together. This one is really cute and on sale for less than $70 right now, so that may be the winner! (And of course the Pottery Barn one is more beautiful than my own actual kitchen if that hefty price tag is in your budget.) He’ll need pots and pans, food, and of course this little Keurig for his kitchen. Some storage like this toy chest will be helpful in there as well!

Other things on our list include Little People sets (the barn, school bus, and nativity are already big hit), a stuffed animal for our Curious George obsessed boy, more puzzles and books.

I hope this gives you some ideas for your little boy! Now I guess I better start my shopping…insert monkey covering his eyes emoji here.

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FRIDAY FIVE

Three posts in one week. Dare I say I’m getting my blogging grove back? It helps that we were intentional not to make any after-work commitments this week after two solid weeks of something every single night. Woof. Before we had a kid, it was no big deal to do something after work multiple times a week. Now, it stresses me out to the very max and sometimes I forget that when I’m planning out my week.

All that to say, it was a pretty good week! This weekend is going to fly by with a lot of working for me (Happy Halloween, tis the season!), some solo time for me and Camden while Nathan has some friends over to watch the World Series, and hopefully Boo at the Zoo if the weather cooperates. Hope you all have a good one!

target a new day top
1. A New Day Collection at Target
I am completely obsessed with Target’s new clothing line, A New Day. On a recent trip I picked up three new tops (this is what happens when I don’t have a baby with me) and they are all SO GOOD and all such great price points. Better than almost all of their other brandss for the quality and style, in my opinion. In true Rachel fashion, I’ve only remembered to snap a picture of one of the tops but I will do the others soon! The bell-sleeve top I’m wearing in this picture is so cute and comfy – sort of like a structured sweatshirt material. Nathan was skeptical of the bell-sleeves but I told him to get over it, it looked like they were here to stay 😉 (The other tops I got were this one and this one in case you are interested.)

family pic wedding oct 17
2. Wedding Fun
Last weekend two of my co-workers got married and they were sweet enough to invite us and our crazy toddler along for the ride! The ceremony was a little rough, but he was so much fun at the reception. We had to leave before things got really fun (did you even really go to a wedding if you didn’t get a piece of cake?!) but it was fun while it lasted. Also, will we ever take another family photo where every one is looking at the camera?

famous in heaven
3. Famous in Heaven and at Home by Michelle Myers
I think I mentioned on Wednesday that I was reading this book that dives deep into breaking down the Proverbs 31 woman and I’m loving it. It’s definitely challenging me in areas that I selfishly would rather not get in to, thankyouverymuch, but we are only 11 days in and I’m already noticing a difference in the way I am praying and just my heart for serving my family. Serving a family has always been the deepest desire of my heart (since I was very, very young) and obviously, that’s not the only thing I was placed on this earth to do, but this book is really reminding me that serving my husband and child is good, important work when the world and society tries to tell me it is not. Is it joyful every second? Of course not. But what kind of work is? If this lines up with your heart, I can not recommend this book enough.

october chalkboard
4. October
I can not actually believe that October is almost over! It’s been a good month, and I’ll miss it. November, you’ve got a lot to live up to. I am ready for people to stop giving me weird looks when they realize I’m already listening to Christmas music, though.

camden harper wedding oct 2017
5. Cute Babies & Good Friends
One more from the wedding because who doesn’t want to look at cute babies adorably looking into each other’s eyes?! Camden loves his friend “Ha-pah” and I love the fact that I get to raise my baby alongside of such great, long time friends doing the same thing. (But why does he look 20 years old in his little sweater and khakis? Wahhh.)

Hope you all have a great weekend!

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Linking up with KatieMeet @ the BarreLiz, and The Slaughters.

WHAT’S UP WEDNESDAY – OCTOBER 2017

Linking up with Shay today for What’s Up Wednesday!

WHAT WE’RE EATING THIS WEEK
We’ve been pretty basic this week as we try to clean out the fridge/pantry before we leave for vacation next week! Chicken Club sandwiches, tacos, breakfast burritos, roasted chicken sausage/brussels sprouts/potatoes, and I’m sure we’ll have our traditional pizza on Friday!

WHAT I’M REMINISCING ABOUT
halloween 2016

My little Charlie Brown! I can not believe it’s been almost a year since this picture. I think Camden will “get” Halloween at least a little bit this year and I can not wait to take him trick-or-treating!

WHAT I’M LOVING
My Pandora Christmas radio station. My husband makes soo much fun of me for still using Pandora to listen to music sometimes but my Christmas station is just so perfectly curated, I can’t give it up. My last few plays have been Michael Buble, Bing Crosby, NSYNC, Straight No Chaser, and Nat King Cole – all the greats!

WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO
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All the fall things, of course! I post about our trip to the pumpkin patch and all the fall celebrations in my post on Monday. You can read it here :)

WHAT I’M DREADING
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Dread is such a strong word but maybe taking a one-year-old on an air-plane? I have a feeling it’s not going to be all naps and nursing on this one :)

WHAT I’M WORKING ON
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I got to WORK yesterday selling stuff on Facebook! We are clearing out our guest bedroom to convert it into a play room in the next few weeks. Bye-bye toys all over my living room! (Just kidding, I know there will still be toys in my living room. But they won’t live there anymore, you know?) Gotta make room for my Christmas tree!

I also made an Instagram to clean out my closet! (Yes, it was a busy day.) If you are interested in small/medium women’s clothes go check out @shoprachelemily.

WHAT I’M EXCITED ABOUT
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Halloween! I guess I should get to work on my son’s costume, huh? We are heading to Orlando on Thursday of next week, so I’m obviously super excited about that, too! My husband has to work a few of the days, but we will be squeezing a day at Animal Kingdom and a day at Magic Kingdom in as well :)

WHAT I’M WATCHING/READING
Nathan and I are watching The Challenge, Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder, and I’m watching Law and Order: SVU. So much less TV watching in our house these days. This is what happens when you can’t stay up past 9PM, ha! I’m reading Famous in Heaven and at Home with some girls and it’s really good! I got this book as an audio-book from my library yesterday and I’m loving it! If you haven’t read the I Heart Series in general I would recommend them.

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO
See above about the Pandora station and audio-book. Throw in some Jingle Bell Rock and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood song’s in the car (Camden’s current faves) and now you know the soundtrack playing on repeat in my head all day!

WHAT I’M WEARING
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These jeans I got from the Nordstrom Anniversary sale! Great color, high-waisted, stretchy – literally perfection! They are still on sale for the same price I paid at the anniversary sale so go go go go go order yourself a pair!

WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND
Working a couple of Halloween parties and hopefully heading to Boo at the Zoo with my boys! Give me all the festive things.

WHAT I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH
Our vacation technically begins in November, so that of course, but also THANKSGIVING! The best, most low pressure holiday of them all that kicks off the most wonderful, wonderful time of the year!!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THANKSGIVING SIDE
So hard to pick just one but I think I would have to say green bean casserole. Or homemade mac ‘n cheese. I also live for a delicious roll. I can’t do it. I can’t pick just one!

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PUMPKIN PATCH 2017

Even before we had a kid, Nathan and I began the tradition of going to a local pumpkin patch and carving pumpkins (while watching It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown). What can I say, we are total suckers for holidays and traditions!

We took Camden to a pumpkin patch last year of course, but it was so much fun to watch him actually get it (at least some what) this year. The biggest hit by far was the HUGE slide with the tractor playground coming in a close second. If you are local, I would definitely recommend Mayse Farm as the best pumpkin patch option for kids!

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After a good nap we got to work on our pumpkin! Camden was into pulling the guts out of the pumpkin for about five minutes – basically until he spotted the cheese flavored kettle corn we bought at the farm. Then he mostly wanted to snack and watch Charlie Brown :) I made Pioneer Woman’s Chipotle Chicken Chili (the best) and this amazing (and easy) cornbread for dinner, both were a total hit all around. (Side note. You all know how obsessed with this soap I am so when Liz Marie told me the key to our pumpkins lasting longer was washing them, you better believe I jumped on that. Now we have Apple Cider scented pumpkins and I could die from happiness. Thank you for listening.)

Such a fun day with my boys and great friends! Doing mom things like this fills me up so much. It’s so much fun to me and I can not put into words how grateful I am to be a wife and mom to these two.

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Linking up with Biana, ErinKatie, and Jenna.