The Perfect Christmas Dresses.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

This post is sponsored by Bonnie Jean Dress. All opinions are mine alone. #partner

When I found out Oaklyn was a girl, I was completely shocked. For some reason everyone and their dog was telling me they just had a feeling my baby was a boy. I got used to the idea of having a boy so by the time we found out she was a girl, I didn't know what to think! I had to completely shift gears and at first it was kind of hard for me. Then, I started thinking about all the girly things I love and I kid you not, one of the things I was MOST excited about was Christmas dresses. I pictured a little girl dressed up in a pretty dress every Christmas with her hair curled and big bow atop her head... suddenly having a girl was all I ever wanted! I have absolutely loved putting Oaklyn in a pretty little Christmas dress every year. Then Cam came along and it was double the fun! Seriously matching little girlies is practically the cutest thing in the entire world. I had a problem though... they quickly started outgrowing the "matching" sizes. Luckily I found a company that has the absolute cutest Christmas dresses and always has the perfect size range for my two little girls. We used Bonnie Jean Dress last year and if you follow me on instagram, you know the girls wore them like every other week this year. Oaklyn LOVED that red "spinny" dress and Cam loves being just like Oaklyn. It's a good thing those dresses are dang cute because they wore them nonstop! This year I let Oaklyn take her pick for their Christmas dress and she immediately chose the Emily Sparkle Lace Dress. Her eyes completely lit up when she saw it and that was all I needed to have it ordered that day. When the dresses arrived Oaklyn was so excited I thought she might rip it out of my hands, ha! The whole time we took pictures she was spinning around and smiling ear to ear. Gosh I love that girl and her love of all things girly. Cam followed suit and it was precious. They absolutely cannot wait to wear their dresses again on Christmas Sunday! 

Their sizing is true to size, Cam is wearing a 3T and typically wears a 3T. Oaklyn is wearing a 5t and also typically wears that size. The quality is incredible and I know it'll hold up for them to wear all year long this year. The lace is sturdy and holds shape rather than being fragile and thin. The rhinestones are perfectly in their place and made it through the girls constant dancing while taking photos. The tulle is the perfect amount of thickness and made for a great twirl. 

They have an entire holiday shop where you can view all of their Christmas dresses here.  Trust me, you'll asolutely find something you love. We want them all! I hope you love dressing up your little girlies in their Bonnie Jean Dresses!
All my love,
Aleigh Joy


2019 Christmas Cards

Sunday, December 8, 2019
This post is sponsored by Shutterfly. All opinions are mine alone. #partner

I'm so excited to share our 2019 Christmas card with all of you! It may just be my favorite yet! Somehow, we actually managed to get a few good pictures during our disaster of an afternoon taking family photos. I have a hard time paying for family photos each year when I know how to take them myself. It sure is more challenging being behind and in front of the camera, but it definitely saves money! This year we spent soo much time trying to get a few good shots and after ending photos super discouraged, (cue the two year old meltdowns here) I thought there was no way we'd have enough to do a bigger card... but I'm so glad they turned out better than I thought. With over 50 photos in our family album this year, I knew I'd need a big card to display my favorites. Thankfully, I knew just which company to look at for a card that fits all my wants and needs! We've used Shutterfly/Tiny Prints for over 4 years now on both Christmas cards and birth announcements. Every single time, they have been delivered better than I expected them to be! Shutterfly has so many options you are bound to find at least one card you love, but I can promise you'll find more! The past two years I have gone with a tri-fold card to have enough space to display all of our family photos. I love the tri-fold options but they also have flat cards, folded cards, and gate folds! On the side bar you can pick which type of card you're looking for, select colors you are wanting, how many pictures you want to display, size, trim options, and even a theme! Once you've found the card of your dreams, you can simply upload the photos straight from your computer into your card and drag the photos where you want them. You can add text and change both the font and size. You can get custom addressed envelopes by simply inputting the addresses of your friends on your list and even add a fancy insert or get custom stamps. Not to mention, they are always running the BEST deals! Thank you Shutterfly for making one of my favorite traditions a breeze!
See the card I picked here.


A Little Fall Decor Inspo + Update

Thursday, October 24, 2019
Well hello old friends! My goodness, it has been a while since I've written a blog post! As many of you know, I took a job to be the head cheer coach at my old high school. It was super unexpected and sudden but has been fun to get back into cheer. It has also come with a lot of challenges such as finding a balance between cheer stuff, mom stuff, church calling stuff, wife stuff, and blog stuff... I think it's clear which one got pushed out. But, I don't want to give up blogging! I'm still working on finding a balance and making it all work but I figured the first year coaching would be a lot so this is to be expected. Hunter works his full time job then comes home to take care of the girls while I'm at practice. In a couple weeks he is also going to be coaching the jv basketball team at the same high school as me. Sooo life is about to get even more insane! Oaklyn is in her second/last year of preschool and killing it. Every time I talk to her teachers they speak highly of her and she does awesome on all the worksheets they give her. She's a sassy child so I'm wishing she acted that way at home all the time...but I guess I'd rather her be good for others than me. She's also taking gymnastics/tumbling and loving that. Cam is my little bestie these days. She practically never leaves my side and we both like it that way. She'll be going to preschool next year and it's actually breaking my heart. I just want her to be my baby forever. 

I had fully planned on posting this in September... HA! But I guess better late than never! If you're like me, you already have Christmas on your mind. But if you're not like me, fall will be staying up for another month so I guess this post isn't superrr late. Right? I absolutely love this time of year. Fall is soo much fun. It's still too hot in San Diego so I can at least decorate for fall to feel festive! When Hunter and I first got married I bought a lot of fall decor with really strong and bright oranges. The traditional fall decor with leaves and orange pumpkins. While I don't mind that look, it was really clashing with the way my decor style has evolved so I tried to transition into more neutrals and muted burnt orange. 

Little fall signs are from the Target dollar section a few years ago. Fabric pumpkins are from the dollar section. Friend pumpkin is a chalkboard pumpkin and a friend did the calligraphy. The white pumpkin is from Hobby Lobby. I then bought fall florals and arranged them on the top of the pumpkin to my liking. The wood bead and tassel banner is from Hobby Lobby. 

The wood tray is from a cute local store called Finely Home. The mini fall sign and buffalo check pumpkin pillow is from the dollar section along with the orange ceramic pumpkin. The florals and vase are from Hobby Lobby. 

The grey and white vase is from Hobby Lobby and the stems and ceramic pumpkin are both from Target's fall section. 

Blanket ladder was a DIY and can be found here. Pumpkins are from Michaels and I did the ombre and glitter design on them. Little Happy Fall sign and leaf wood block are also DIY projects. All supplies were found at Michaels. Cotton wreath is from Hobby Lobby.

Metal wall hangers are from Hobby Lobby and spray painted silver. Stems inside of them are from Michaels. Buffalo check fabric pumpkins and wood signs are from Target Dollar Section. 

Little wood signs come in a two pack in the Target dollar section. 

Letterboard and wood beads from Hobby Lobby. Chalkboard from Walmart. Wood pumpkin from Target Dollar Section. "Home" cutout from Michaels and hot glued on. 

Grey and white pumpkins are from the Target dollar section. Cactus is from Shop Liv3. Black Pumpkin is old and I can't remember, ha! Buffalo Check pumpkin was a DIY project. The wood pumpkin cutout is from Hobby Lobby along with the M. I taped sections off and painted the stripes on then hot glued the M.

So there's a little fall inspo! I can't promise it'll be up much longer though... I'm kind of a Christmas fanatic. Anyone else??

Now on to finishing up our family costumes and getting ready for all the festivities next week! I hope you all have a wonderful and safe Halloween!

All my love,
Aleigh Joy

Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

In 2015 Hunter and I binge watched the show Friday Night Lights faster than we had ever watched a show before. Actually, it's probably the only series Hunter has ever actually finished. We were obsessed. If you haven't seen the show, it's on Hulu and is a must! It's about a high school football team in Texas with an incredible coach. It follows the life of the players and the coach and whether or not you like football, I promise you'll like this show. And if you don't... then I have no words! Ha! In the show, the team chants "Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't lose" before every game. Hunter and I became obsessed with this saying, along with half of America. We ended up adding it to our family motto because the saying holds so much meaning that we want our girls to embrace. Here's what the saying means to me...

Clear Eyes: Living life with a clear focus. I know that life gets hard. I know that things will always get thrown our way that may distract and deter us from becoming who we were meant to be. However, I think that living your life with clear eyes means having the ability to see clearly during the hard times rather than letting the end goal become blurry.

Full Hearts: I think that going through life with a full heart means living each day with gratitude. It means not taking what you have for granted and appreciating even the smallest things. When you have a heart full of gratitude, you're sure to see the good in each situation. I also think it means keeping your heart full of love, passion, confidence, honesty, humility, and dedication. It means working on yourself to become your best self and the best way to do that is to keep your heart full and your path (eyes) clear. 

Can't Lose: At the end of the day, if you've given it all you've got, you cannot lose. This slogan means so much more than simply winning the game, but also imparts the importance of being the best version of yourself. Because if you win with a hard heart and blurry vision, did you really win at all? By approaching life with honesty, heart, and accountability, the "loss" is not really a loss. Instead, this saying imparts the value of doing one's best and accepting that it doesn't always mean "winning" in the world's eyes. The important element here, is that it does not mean the non-winner is a loser, but rather that by upholding values of perseverance, humility, and dedication, the individual is a winner regardless of what the "scoreboard" says.

As the girls get older and life gets tougher, I hope they always remember to keep their eyes clear, their hearts full, and remember that winning isn't all about a number or a "prize" but rather what's on the inside. 

All my love,
Aleigh Joy


Being Her Example

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

As we put Oaklyn down for bed tonight, Hunter asked... "are her eyes brown?" He has always wanted a brown eyed girl. His eyes are brown, the only one in his family, and when the nurse in the hospital told us Oaklyn's eyes are brown Hunter was thrilled. Over the past 4 years, I've noticed hints of green and bits of gold in the sun so I personally think they are more hazel. But, Hunter is still holding out for his brown eyed girl. So when he asked again tonight if her eyes looked brown, I responded as I usually do; "yeah they have some brown, but I see some green too." Oaklyn then looked up at me and said, "just like you, right mom? Me and you both have green in our eyes, right?" I responded with "yeah mine have a little bit of green in them." Then Hunter said, "but you also have brown like daddy!" Oaklyn did not like that answer and quickly let him know that her eyes are like mommy's and not his. Oaklyn is pretty much a spitting image of Hunter, with my hair. We hear it all the time, but Oaklyn doesn't like it. She is always telling me that her hair is like mine and not her dads. That her clothes are like mine, her smile is like mine, one time she even told me her pinky looks like mine. I've always thought it was sweet that she wants to be just like me, but today it felt sweeter than ever. As she looked up at me with a little wrinkle in her nose and the cutest baby teeth smile, I felt so much joy that I was raising a daughter that wants to be just like me. 

After putting Oaklyn to bed and getting ready to put myself to bed, I started thinking more about raising my daughters. I felt so excited for the future... for back to school shopping, for prom dresses, for lunch dates, cooking holiday meals, for dance recitals, trips to get our nails done, girl talk, planning their weddings, and for teaching them that they are strong women. I kept coming back to Oaklyn's words, "Just like you mommy." They kept playing in my head. She wants to be just like me. She wants to look like me, act like me, talk like me, dress like me, and right now I am her biggest example of what a woman should be. My daughters will grow up knowing their mother did things a certain way, and then be able to choose if that's the way they want to do them. So, I hope to be setting the best example I can be. Whether we like it or not, we all become like our mothers... right? I hope as my girls grow older, I give them an example theyare proud to mimic. If you choose to drink orange juice with your breakfast every morning, chances are your daughter will too. If you choose to wear heels to church every week, your daughter will probably beg you for a pair of heels. If you show an interest in dance, your daughter will probably want to be a dancer. Our girls want to be just like their mommies, so let's give them an example we're proud of. We're raising the future of women and it's up to the mamas of little girls to be an example of strength, love, integrity, kindness, positivity, devotion, and virtue. I feel like if I want my girls to turn out the way I hope, I need to make sure I'm a good example first. I hope my Oaklyn girl knows that she can be and do whatever she puts her mind to, but if she chooses to be like her mama, I promise to give her an example I'm proud to have her follow. 

All my love,
Aleigh Joy


Easter Tablescape Using Pieces From Around Your Home

Thursday, April 18, 2019

The Easter Countdown is on! Are you ready?? Honestly, this year it totally snuck up on me. I treally thought I had at least another week and it turns out this is the last week soooo... oops! This whole week I've been scrambling to find my girls matching Easter dresses for church and it was ridiculous how many stores I had to go to just to find some that are decently priced and decently cute. Alas, I found some and all is well in my 4 year old's world. As far as their Easter baskets go, I at least have the baskets... Clearly I have a busy next few days... 

I preach all the time that holidays will be as special as you make them. As the mom, or dad, or grandparent, or whoever you are reading this... you have the power to make your holiday as special as you want it to be. I personally try to make every holiday have a special meal. Some examples are heart shaped pizzas on Valentine's Day, a BBQ on the 4th of July, a fancy Christmas dinner, a chili dinner on Halloween, etc... Everyone does Easter a little bit differently but the most common meals are Easter dinner and Easter brunch. While I'm obsessed with Christmas, Easter is quickly becoming my favorite holiday to decorate for. I looooveee spring colors. The muted pinks and soft yellows mixed with robin's egg blue and sage green are just gorgeous with all the white and cream. I decorate my home with mostly white and grey and other muted colors so this holiday is so easy for me to just grab things I already have [or what my mom has ;) ] For this tablescape I chose to make the middle of the table a statement of all things Spring. I collected cake stands my mom and I already had, greenery we already had, bunnies we already had, and then just arranged them all together to look extra springy and extra well... EXTRA! The only penny I spent was on the silverware pockets which are from the Target Dollar Spot and were literally $1 for 8. So what should you be looking for around your house to make a pretty Easter tablescape? Start with a tablecloth. My mother in law had this rose pink one and some vintage lace doilies I threw in the middle. If you don't have one, go grab one from the dollar store for a dollar. They always have SO many colors. You can also go to a local thrift store. They have the best priced linens and a lot of them are super unique. If you want to invest in a tablecloth, here's a cheap option. Next up find some chargers and dishes. I used my moms white dishes because mine are still boxed up but here's an affordable option for white beaded plates that work for any occasion! The chargers are also my mom's but Amazon has a ton of galvanized charger options! I also just used some regular silverware in a paper pocket from the dollar spot. These would be super easy to make too! My mom had these adorable place card holders and I searched the internet for more with no luck... however I did find these adorable wood round place card holders as well as these burlap bow ones! Next Up you're going to want to find all the vases, cake stands, greenery, light colored florals, and other Easter/Spring decor from around your house. If you don't have any florals or greenery... head outside or to the store! I'm sure you'll be able to find bushes, trees, and other wild flowers in your yard to arrange together. If not, trader joe's, sprouts, and other grocery stores have great flowers for cheap! Baby's breath is one of my favorite cheap Spring options. Don't have any vases or cake stands?? Head to your nearest dollar store or thrift store! The dollar store always has vases that are begging to be spray painted and you can make your own cake stands by buying a plate, a candle holder, glass glue, and some white spray paint! I made some for Oaklyn's first birthday party and have used them numerous times since. When arranging, just let the creative juices flow. Work with the different heights and designs you have. I added some inspo photos below and hope that it gets you excited for your own Easter brunch of dinner! I'd love to see photos of what you come up with, so send them my way! 

All my love, 
Aleigh Joy