Tiny Prints Codes for the New Year

Things that actually just happened: 

Twirling across the living room singing to my husband "I am the Queen of Codesssss" and then saving $25 on my Tiny Prints reorder of the photo ornaments of the girls that I purchased a few weeks ago. 

In the spirit of sharing, get 25% off plus free shipping on Holiday Cards and Gifts with code: CHEERS25FS

Click here to go directly to Tiny Prints.

Happy Coupon Code Redemption! 

*The above are affiliate links, meaning that I may make a small commission if you decide to make a purchase.*

Grace and Josie IRL

They are silly. 

They like playing dress up and the piano. 

Favorite foods include snowman cookies from Starbucks and Pirate Booty. 

20 Last Minute Holiday Gift Ideas for Baby

Do you need a last minute gift for the baby in your life? I do. It's December 13th and Brooke has exactly 0 gifts from her parents. Check out this great gift guide from SmartMom.co! We love it! And not only because we're in it... See #9



iPhone Wallpapers to Brighten Your Day

Bouqs 728x90


Listen, I know what you need. I mean besides a glass of wine and a million dollars. You need some positivity every time you look at your smartphone. And I know you look at it at least 1,000 times a day. So save one of these iPhone (or whateverPhone you have) wallpapers and take a deep breathe before you scroll through your Facebook feed. Election season will be over soon. Ok soonish... : /






Show Off Your Kids: The Holiday Edition



Right now Tiny Prints is offering 40% off everything! 


Why do I mention this? Because I specifically wait for an offer like this every December to add to my family's personalized ornament collection. I started the tradition when Grace turned one and have gotten her an ornament with my favorite picture of the year and her age every year since! This year of course I had to get Brooke her very own First Christmas ornament. 

I also stocked up on some adorable Ornament Cards of the both of them and I'll attach these to gifts instead of our usual Christmas card (which I bought through Shutterfly this year - here's a 50% off code through 12/10)

The best part? It's not too late! You can still get this before Christmas. Buy it today!


This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission.

Gift Guide: Toddler Girl

Gift Guide: Toddler Girl


So shopping for little boys might not be my forté but I am an expert at toddler girls! I found some really cute winter weather attire for your little one at Gap Kids, again at 40% off for a limited time with code: HOLIDAYS. Get shopping!

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Gift Guide: Toddler Boy

Gift Guide: Toddler Boy




As a girl Momma, I don't often get the chance to shop for boys. In fact, in my circle of friends almost all the children are girls! I love these adorable picks from Gap Kids. You can even use code: HOLIDAYS to get 40% off your purchase!


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A Family of Four Photo Session with Elizabeth Watsky Photography



When we were about to welcome our newest baby to the Carrier family, we knew we had to call Liz to book our newborn lifestyle photo shoot. See her work here at Elizabeth Watsky Photography.

Sidenote: If you are even considering a family photoshoot, book it today. You won't regret it. I promise. Here are the family photos we took with Liz at Narragansett Beach in 2012 when Grace was six months old. I cherish these photos with all of Grace's grandparents. 

We had our photoshoot when Brooke was 8 days old and still brand new. Liz came over around 10 am and we just let her lead us through the shoot. If you are a new parent, or even if you've done this once or twice, what you'll love about Liz is her peaceful and calm nature. We knew that we could relax, let her take over and have perfect shots once she was done.
Mommy + Baby

Daddy's Love

Beautiful Brooke

Sisters

Family Time

Rhode Island Inspiration
The hardest part was managing Grace during the shoot, but Liz was so good with her and was able to make her feel special while still focusing on the star of the show (baby Brooke of course!). She captured some of my favorite shots ever of Grace. The one up there of her laughing her head off in the rocking chair? That is iconic Grace.

So again, get the family photos. You won't regret it.

And if you are looking for a Southern New England/Rhode Island photographer for family, newborn, engagement or your wedding please please check out Elizabeth Watsky Photography at her site or Facebook page:

LINKS:
http://elizabethwatskyphotography.com/

https://www.facebook.com/elizabethwatskyphotography

We <3 her!! And tell her the Carriers sent you. xoxox

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How to Bake Sugar Cookies with Your Toddler


I'm not much of a baker. I've baked things here and there but I've never really had the drive to do it regularly. For some reason (ok, probably due to my new Netflix binge The Great British Baking Show) I felt compelled to make a date to bake cookies with Grace on Saturday. I wanted something that would be simple, but also lent itself the opportunity for a little creativity so we decided upon sugar cookies. Good practice for Christmas, right?

Toddler Sugar Cookies
(aka this recipe from food.com)

Step 1: Cream butter and sugar
Admittedly we had to look this one up, but it gave me a chance to take out my highly underutilized Kitchen Aid mixer (yay!). While I was mixing, I let Grace at it with a whisk and a bowl and the leftover bits of shaved butter to keep her busy.

Step 2: Add the egg and vanilla.
Grace wanted to try the vanilla and was horrified to find out what it really tasted like. Rite of passage.

Step 3: Add the dry ingredients. 
Oops. I kind of dumped them in and forgot to add slowly after mixing them all together. 

Step 4: Roll out the dough on a lightly floured board. 
The moment Grace has been waiting for! 30 seconds later she realizes it's not as fun as it looks and I have to take over.

Step 5: Cut out shapes and bake at 400F for 7-12 minutes.
Fun with cookie cutters! This part did not disappoint. I wanted to stick to the hearts but Grace wanted to use all the cookie cutter shapes we had - Christmas Trees, Doves, Gingerbread Men, you name it.

Step 6: Remove from oven, let cool then DECORATE!
After I lost her for a while to Daddy's leaf piles, she returned to frost exactly 2 cookies. Leaving the rest for me. Hmmm Making Cookies with a 3 Year Old. Sounds about right.

Check out our video to see the cookie making in action! I'm still kicking myself for not holding the phone the right way. I'm sorry. It won't happen again. : /




Easy Sugar Cookies


House Tour: Renovation Reveal



I'm finally ready to let you inside our renovated second floor! Things have come along nicely since I've had a few extra seconds to spare while Brooke has been napping. As you'll recall, we moved upstairs in May and that was the start of my pregnancy physical limitations so I didn't have it in me to make any additional trips up and down the stairs.

If this renovation is news to you, or you'd like a refresher check out:

Our Renovation Story, Start at the beginning...

And our final post in May - Movin' On Up

Without further ado,

Take the Tour!



Again, we are so happy with the way things turned out. As it turns out, having two bathrooms really is life changing :)

Ranch to Colonial Renovation House Tour
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A Rambling Post: Sleep



I didn't realize that there would come a time in my life when all of my contemporaries and I would discuss sleep at length. Now, I can hardly complain, but I'm going to tell you about my night in just a minute.

My husband and I were pretty lucky to get two good "sleepers". They both have their ups and downs, pros and cons, but for the most part they are they kids who go to bed a little too late, but will sleep in when they can which is totally in sync with the sleep patterns of their parents. Even though Brooke is only 2 months old, she followed along in the footsteps of her older sister in terms of newborn sleep. That is sleeping through the night after only a few weeks and sleeping until at least 8 or 9 am. If she is like her sister, this good fortune will last until about a year old when all hell will break loose and putting her to bed will become the stuff of nightmares. I'm cringing to think back at Grace during that transition. Lord have mercy. 

Anyway, back to last night. It all started so well. I mean, as well as a toddler bedtime routine can go... Brooke fell asleep before I put Grace to bed around 8 pm which was nice and I just woke her up to eat before I went to bed around 11. Everyone was sleeping peacefully until Brooke woke me up with her little grunts (she doesn't cry to wake me up when she's hungry which is amazing!) to eat again around 5 am. She usually wakes up around 6 am, but with the time change, it makes sense that it would happen an hour earlier this week. I fed her and was just finishing up when I heard the dreaded "Mooooooommy!" from the room down the hall. I waited a minute to see if Grace would fall back asleep. "Mooooooooooooom I had a bad dream!" which lately has been code for "now let me into your bed, how could you refuse me when I'm in a distressed state like this." Too tired to refuse, I let her come into our bed after putting Brooke back. But with all this excitement Brooke was up. Ayyyy now what? Matt was sleeping, Grace was trying to sleep and Brooke was not going to be soothed in silence. I went into Grace's full sized bed and tried to get Brooke to sleep. Then Grace started coughing and coughing and coughing. Matt got up and went downstairs to sleep in the guest bedroom and then like musical chairs, I got back up, put Brooke in the swing and got back into my own bed on Matt's side because Grace sleeps like the Vitruvian Man. And then, as always, as soon as everyone fell asleep it was time to wake up for the day.

So while I feel very lucky to have a sleep through the night (for the most part) newborn, why do I suddenly have a 3.5 year old who will not sleep through the night?? Part of it could be the extra time she gets to spend with Mommy and Daddy if she ends up in our bed. It's not every night so at least there's that. And she does always ask, she doesn't just sneak in. One day, I hope to look back on this post and feel gratitude of all the uninterrupted, bedtime stressful nights I'll have. Or, when I'm elderly and living with them, I'll give them hell going to bed. FIVE BOOKS. No, I want SIX books!

Easy Crock Pot Italian Chicken


Are you looking for something suuuuper easy to do with the chicken breasts you just bought? 

Throw it all in your Crock Pot and come back in a few hours!

2 Chicken Breasts
1 Can Chicken Broth
2 Tablespoons Italian Seasoning (or a combination of your favorite Italianesque spices like Oregano, Basil, Thyme, etc.)
1 Onion (quartered)
4 Stalks Celery (cut)
Handful of quartered baby carrots

Set your Crock Pot to low and cook for 6-8 hours (or on High for 3-4 hours)
Serve with your starch of choice! We usually serve with egg noodles.


Save this for later! Pin to you favorite recipe board.







Halloween How To: Mini Ghost Water Bottles


A big congratulations are in order for me. You see, I was the last parent to sign up to bring something to the Preschool Young 4's Halloween Party. It's ok though, who needs to be saddled with the standard cupcakes or fruit salad anyway? Too much work if you ask me. Instead, my creativity thrives under the conditions of time constraints and desperation.

That's how I came up with these Mini Ghost Water Bottles. I also figured that the teachers and parents didn't need another ounce of sugar added to the equation.


First gather your supplies. I bought 2 cases of mini Poland Spring bottles, a box of tissues, glue, very thin grosgrain ribbon, and of course googly eyes.

Assembly is easy and goes even faster with an assistant! Simply throw a tissue over your bottle and tie with the ribbon. Then dab some glue on each eye and affix to the cap. Done!


Due to the small parts in this project, it's not recommended for children under 3.

A Rambling Post: The Weekend


Grace Styled herself for the Neighborhood Block Party

Wow. We had a super busy weekend and I'm still recovering as I write this on Monday night. Why I keep thinking I'm super Mom and can handle all this activity with a not quite newborn anymore, I'll never know! But you know what? It might not be pretty but I can handle it so maybe I'll just roll with it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Kids=Chaos
I have a group of friends that were friends before the kids came along. It's always so much fun when we get together but now that we have kids I feel like we don't even have a second to find out what the other is up to! I have faith that this will get better... eventually, when we stop having kids and they've all reached the age of umm 8 maybe? I don't know? Is that reasonable?

Anyway, on Saturday morning we all met at my house before the town Halloween parade. Chaos ensued. We were late to the parade and Matt managed to drop Grace and I off so we could make it right in time to be the last paraders in front of the police car. Matt and Brooke met up with us a little along the route but we didn't even find the other 3 couples we came with until halfway through when they cut through the middle of the route. Oops.


Sunday was perhaps the most taxing thanks to a neighborhood yard sale I agreed to participate in. If you've ever had a yard sale you're probably cringing at this as we speak. Oyyy, I don't even want to think about it. From the multiple people who show up before 8 am to rifle through your boxes then hassle you for pricing information while you're setting up (this happens every.time.) to the customers who argue with you over $0.50 and then pay in pennies. WHY BOTHER. Next time I'm loading up my boxes and calling our local charity that nicely and stealthily comes to my driveway to pick up my goods. You see, the thing was, I had SO MUCH STUFF to get rid of due to my 2 month long declutter project that when the opportunity came up, my entrepreneurial self fell for the allure of setting up shop. Maybe I was starved for a little bit of marketing. The best part of the yard sale was when it was over. I pulled the tarp over the tables (did I mention it was also raining) and went inside to change out of damp clothes. I was inside for maybe 5 minutes when the doorbell rang and I looked outside to see people taking the tarp off the tables forcing me back out into the rain. People are crazy.