In My House

For the Mom Buying Her Own Stocking Stuffers

Like a lot of moms out there, I buy a few goodies to stuff my own stocking every Christmas. I don’t want my four-year-old asking why Santa filled everyone’s stocking but Mommy’s, and, quite frankly, I just really love stocking stuffers. They’re small, fun, and don’t require cleaning out an entire closet to find space to store them. So, pretty much, they’re the best kind of gift! Here are my favorites for my own stocking this year.

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1. These enamel pins by Rifle Paper Co. are perfect for a stocking. I’m actually also giving them as gifts to my daughters’ preschool teachers this year. (Anthropologie) 2. This cute little box holds a small tube of my favorite moisturizer and a purse-size lip gloss. (Clinique) 3. This drinking glass features a schnauzer that looks so much like my own Norman. I would use this on my dresser as a jewelry catch-all. It comes in other dog breeds as well. (Anthropologie) 4. Wear Your Music offers jewelry made from guitar strings of all kinds of musicians ranging from James Taylor to Jason Mraz. I would of course choose a bracelet made from James Hetfield’s guitar strings. (Wear Your Music) 5. This is one of my favorite hand creams to get through the dry winter months. Vanilla marshmallow is one of the best fragrances. (The Body Shop) 6. I love the bow detail on these gloves and gray is always a favorite for me. They also come in black and pink. (Kate Spade)

In My House

Some Holiday Favorites

It is hard to believe that Christmas is only a little more than a week away. I have been enjoying the anticipation through the eyes of my two young daughters. I also shamelessly ordered all my own stocking stuffers from Sephora and Anthropologie. Are there any other moms out there who order their own stocking stuffers? I’ll post my favorites later, but for now here are a few other items I’m loving this Christmas season.

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1. These animal ornaments are the cutest and would make great gifts for teachers and friends. Who doesn’t love a small smiling sloth? (Crate & Barrel) 2. I am thrilled at the abundance of non-candy advent calendars on the market. This Playmobil Santa’s Workshop has been a huge hit with my girls. (Target) 3. These metal monogram ornaments are gorgeous on the tree or tied on a gift in place of a bow. (Anthropologie.) 4. This table runner will be lovely to dress up with red and green décor, but also will work for everyday. (Target) 5. My friend and I visited Anthropologie on our recent trip to Salt Lake City and both fell in love with this skirt. It’s pricey and we had both just spend a lot of money on Metallica tickets so we passed this time, but I’ll be watching to see if it goes on sale! We were thrilled that the store is featuring the same fox image on their shopping bags this season so we still got to take this lovely design home, just not in skirt form. (Anthropologie) 6. A store in my small town carries homemade taper candles in a variety of gorgeous hues. I recently grabbed some dark forest green ones to pair with a black and white runner on my dining room table. These are similar and under $4 for a pair. (Target)

In My House

Sweater Weather (All Under $35)

This morning when I drove to work, the thermometer on my car said it was 1 degree outside. Yes, 1, people! It’s officially sweater weather in western South Dakota. While I’m not a fan of freezing cold weather, I do enjoy a cozy sweater and here are four beautiful ones. I ordered the first one over the weekend and am holding off on the others for now, but someone out there should definitely purchase them soon. Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week?

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1. I ordered this sweater online this past weekend because I love the deep green. I hope it arrives in time to wear for Thanksgiving and it will be great through the holiday season. (Banana Republic) 2. Loft is my go-to for comfortable sweaters that take me from work to play to church and back to work again. This light blue is gorgeous. (Loft) 3. The cheerful bright yellow and ruffles on this sweater caught my eye. (Halogen for Nordstrom) 4. I love how the sleeves on this sweater add feminine element to an otherwise basic black top. (J.Crew)

In My House

A Few Favorites

I don’t do much shopping, but I like to share some of my favorite things. There’s no theme this time, but here are six of my favorite recent purchases. This is a little more fun than posting my grocery list.

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1. This might be the last year I get to select my youngest daughter’s Halloween costume without her feedback. So an adorable, fluffy snow owl it is! (Target) 2. Just try to challenge me to a game of Golden Girls Trivial Pursuit. Always Fits is my new favorite web site for fun, quirky gifts. (Always Fits) 3. This black bomber jacket has been my favorite item to transition into the chillier months. (Gap) 4. I started purchasing some products from The Honest Company because my youngest daughter has extremely sensitive skin. I selected this mascara on a whim as an add-on product with my last shipment. The primer adds length and the mascara has a great consistency. It stays put all day, but comes off easily with a cosmetic wipe. (The Honest Company) 5. I actually haven’t purchased this super cute rug yet, but I have been eyeing it. I love October! (Pier 1) 6. After years of aggressively ripping a brush through my super thick wet hair I heard about Wet Brush and decided to give it a try. I love this brush! (Wet Brush)

In My House

Is Every Cast Member from The Hills Promoting Hello Fresh? Weird.

For whatever reason (crazy work schedule, motherhood, trying to be a Metallica groupie) I have been absent from the blog for a while. During that time, it seems that nearly every cast member of MTV’s decade-old hit reality show The Hills has started promoting meal-kit delivery services. Furthermore, it seems that Facebook’s has unveiled a new algorithm with the sole purpose of flooding my feed with these meal-kit ads despite the fact that I have never ordered one, expressed interest in them on social media, or otherwise “liked” them.

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Photo by Tayhart Photography

First I scrolled by Lauren Conrad in a cute pink peasant top in her perfectly spotless (read: unused) white and stainless steel kitchen happily unpacking a Hello Fresh box. Not 24-hours later, I scrolled past Lo. (You’re asking yourself “who?” and I did, too, but I’d recognize that silly name and deer-in-the-headlights facial expression anywhere.) Lo from The Hills. What? Really?

If you’re Hello Fresh, you really have to ask yourself: If Lauren Conrad is promoting your product do you also really need Lo promoting it, too? That’s like getting Stephen Curry to promote your new line of high-end athletic supporters and then also signing the guy who serves Gatorade to the Golden State Warriors to do a later-aired ad for the same product. You like that sports reference? That’s basically just to impress my husband in case he ever breaks away from his Fantasy Football line-up or ESPN.com and reads this blog.

I am not saying I have anything against meal-kit delivery services. I might even be willing to try one someday. I just think some of these advertising choices are a little bizarre, and trying to convince me that Lauren Conrad’s busy schedule as a mom, designer, or whatever you call her, is anything like my life or the lives of the other real-life working moms I know just doesn’t work.

Real-life working moms don’t cook in gorgeously clean kitchens while wearing adorable pink peasant tops. They cook in kitchens with appliances smudged with tiny finger prints, while still in a pencil skirt from the office, but in a Fleetwood Mac shirt with no bra because their toddlers are begging for snacks before they can completely change out of their work clothes.

I haven’t been on Facebook for a few hours, but I can almost guarantee that when I do, something special will be waiting in my feed. It will be Spencer and Heidi standing in a pristine kitchen, unpacking a cardboard box and talking about how Hello Fresh saves them so much time in their packed schedules of juice cleanses, plastic surgery consults, and anal-bleaching appointments.

In My House

Black Hills Summer Photo Session

I’m finally getting around to sharing the photos from our session last month with Tayhart Photography. Tarin is so talented! My littlest one was not the best participant, but the pictures portray her as the angel she (usually) is.

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I love how Tarin captured the real “us.” She incorporated our love of reading to the girls. She photographed my youngest’s seriousness and curiosity and my oldest’s fun-loving spirit.

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Tarin is a mom of six and so she had no trouble at all making my little ones feel at ease. I love outdoor photos in the beautiful Black Hills. While these were taken a few miles from our house, the images truly look like the landscape of our own backyard.

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Tarin’s attention to detail is impeccable. Her turn-around time is also super quick, which was great because I was chomping at the bit to see the images she captured. Thank you, Tarin for capturing our little family and the beautiful region where we live.

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All photos by Tayhart Photography

In My House

Neutral Guest Bedroom Favorites

Our big concrete, egress, guest bedroom project is nearing completion. I’m excited to put some decorative touches into play in the guest room after the new bamboo flooring is installed. I’m keeping the palate neutral and fresh with black, white, and gray. Here are a few of the pieces I picked up to make the room comfortable and welcoming. I’m loving this room so much I just might camp out down there once in a while.

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1. The current bedding in the room is still in great condition and compliments the black wrought iron bed well, so I’m keeping it in place. This Madison Park Larissa damask comforter set is very similar. (JCPenney) 2. I wanted to keep the walls light, but not too starkly white. This super light gray fit the bill perfectly. (Valspar) 3. Anthropologie Volcano candles have to be one of my all-time favorite fragrances. The scent is citrusy and fresh without being over-powering. (Anthropologie) 4. This mirror is pretty and practical. (H&M) 5. This large metal basket is ideal for placing in the corner of the room to store extra blankets in case our guests get cold. (Target) 6. These geometric lamps provide the perfect amount of light for reading and are only $10 each. (Target)

In My House

Which is Harder: Backing Out of the Garage or Squeezing into a New Swimsuit?

I hit my driver’s side mirror on the side of the garage door while backing out today. Again. I shrugged it off. I do this about once a month. My car is tiny so I have absolutely no excuse. I live in cattle country where a lot of women can back up a Ford F-150 pulling a trailer in their sleep while applying lipstick. Not me, girl.

Speaking of no excuses and squeezing into tight places, it’s swimsuit season. I was planning to be in super awesome shape by mid-June, but the baby weight (yeah, I know, she’s 14 moths old now) lingers. I don’t feel anywhere near as svelte as I would like to be, but I am getting back into a fitness routine that I can follow at least part of the time. I put the swimsuit on anyway.

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As I was splashing in our hotel pool with my two daughters I totally forgot about the added pounds. I forgot about my work stress and my endless list of tasks to accomplish. My daughters don’t care about a few extra pounds (even though they put them there). They just want to have fun in the pool with their mommy.

As women we are usually our own toughest critics. What it boils down to is that if my daughters feel loved and I am taking the time to care for myself so I have the energy to care for them, I consider myself successful. I will never look like a Victoria’s Secret model or completely cross off every item on my ever-growing To Do List, but there’s more happiness in a little bit of imperfection any day. And please be sure to tell that to my husband when he finally notices the dings in the side of my garage door.

 

 

 

In My House

My Favorite Dresses for Summer (All Under $50)

I’m a fan of wearing dresses year-round, but especially in the summer. Dresses are my go-to for work and play. To me, they win hands down against jeans or pants any day of the week. Here are six of my favorites for summer. I own the top three and frequently wear them. I have not purchased the bottom three, and probably won’t because of my strict one-in-one-out closet rule, but they’re three gorgeous dresses that someone out there should be buying and wearing. (Let me know if that someone is you.) All of these picks are under $50.

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1. This black wrap dress also comes in red. It is comfortable and requires zero ironing. It has been my recent favorite for work. (Gap) 2. I usually shy away from horizontal stripes, but the fit of this dress makes all the difference. I wore this one to a friend’s wedding and plan to sport it many more times this summer. (J.Crew) 3. This dress makes me think of the 1940s, and we all know I love everything about 1940s fashion and décor. I have been pairing this with tights, ballet flat, and a cardigan for work, and bare legs and strappy sandals for weekend plans. (Lauren Conrad for Kohl’s) 4. The floral pattern of this dress caught my eye. I think it can easily be transitioned to fall, too. (ModCloth) 5. This dress looks romantic, but also super comfy and I’m a huge fan of ties at the waist. (Loft) 6. This looks like a great casual dress for chasing the kids around the park or even wearing as a swimsuit cover-up. (Anthropologie)

In My House

A New Look: A HOUSE WITH CHARACTER is Three!

You’re in the right place, friend! A HOUSE WITH CHARACTER recently turned three and with that birthday, comes a new look for the blog. I hope you like it and find it easier to read and navigate. Thank you for continuing to read, comment, and share. Without you, the blog wouldn’t be possible.

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