It always sounds so cliché, but it’s so true: The first year of a baby’s life goes so quickly! Our youngest turns one tomorrow. We celebrated with a donut-themed brunch over the weekend.

Audrey's First Birthday (13)

The bear cake, made by my mother, is a family tradition. I had it for my first birthday, as did my oldest daughter, my cousin (who is also my youngest daughter’s godmother), and my niece. The girl was really quite dainty about eating her cake. She didn’t even get frosting on her shirt!

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We had donuts, cake, and cupcakes. I felt a tiny bit embarrassed because our family dentist who is also a good friend was in attendance with his wife and adorable daughter. I apologized for the sugar overload (while stuffing my face with a sprinkle-covered donut.)

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Happy birthday to our sweet baby girl. You are a cuddly, entertaining, delightful soul. You are a terrific walker and say “mama” and “dada.” You love animals, your sister, and making us laugh. We love you!



In My House

In My House: Noodle & Boo

I had never heard of Noodle & Boo when I received some of their products as a baby gift. I was instantly hooked on the delicately fresh scent.


I have been using the lotion and baby hair and body wash on both my newborn and my toddler. I have also used the products myself a few times and love them. Noodle & Boo also has a line of products for pregnant women. Several of their items come perfectly packaged in adorable boxes like the set I received did.

Noodle & Boo’s web site says the company is “Where nature and science come together in perfect harmony to create world-class products that are both safe and effective for every newborn, child and “mama-to-be.”


Their packaging is recyclable and products are nontoxic, biodegradable, and developed with sustainable, plant-based ingredients.

I loved receiving Noodle & Boo as a gift and will be ordering more when my supply runs out.

I received no compensation for writing this post, I simply enjoy sharing products I love.

In My House

My Favorite Baby Items

Our new baby will be arriving soon, and I am grateful to have invested in and registered for some great basic items during my first pregnancy that will serve us well with my second baby. We have had very little to stock up on this time: Some diapers, some new bottles, and a few cute outfits so she doesn’t have to completely rely on her big sister’s hand-me-downs. We’ll also need to pick up a new umbrella stroller at some point because our first daughter’s has been run into the ground.

Here are some of my favorite baby basics that I used constantly with my first daughter and will once again turn to with our new girl. What are your favorite baby items? What were some of the over-rated items you wouldn’t spend money on again?


1. Aden + Anais swaddle blankets were one of my favorite gifts received when our first baby was born. They wash up beautifully every time and feature gorgeous patterns. They serve as a blanket, burp rag, and wiper of all things gross, but look brand new after each trip through the washing machine. ( 2. Because our older daughter was small for her age, she continued to nap in this Graco Simple Sway Swing even when the motor completely died because we used it 22 hours a day. We were happy to invest in a new one for our second baby and hope it is the lifesaver it was the first time around. (Target) 3. The Cuisinart mini chopper doesn’t seem like a baby item, but I loved it for making homemade baby food for my little one. (Bed Bath & Beyond) 4. We used Dr. Brown’s bottles from the very beginning with our first daughter and she never had tummy troubles at all. My best friend and I swear by them. (Available at Target or online) 5. The thought of carrying around a bag featuring images of Winnie the Pooh or teddy bears was too much for this handbag fan to handle. My husband gave me this classic diaper bag for Christmas right after we found out we were expecting our first baby and I still love it. I’ll use it this time around, too, and might even use it as a work tote after I no longer need a diaper bag. (Kate Spade) 6. I loved this Fisher-Price high chair that straps on any kitchen chair. It was great for use at home or trips to Grandma’s and turns into a simple booster seat as the child grows. (Kohl’s)

In My House

The Extra Stocking

My husband and I received these beautiful monogrammed stockings for a wedding gift. When our daughter was born, I ordered a matching one with her initial from Bed Bath & Beyond.


When I opened the package, I found the company had shipped me two stockings monogrammed with the letter A. While ethically, I probably should have contacted Bed Bath & Beyond and arranged to return the stocking, I felt it was a sign. I believed this stocking was intended for someone I haven’t yet met.


Now, the two A stockings hang next to each other. One for our dear girl, and one for her baby sister.


They make me smile. Merry Christmas to all of you. Make time to enjoy the season.


Boy or Girl?

Happy Friday! Earlier this week we found out the gender of our newest addition.


(Photo by Alyssa Crawford Photography)

I’m thrilled to announce that it’s a girl! I grew up with a brother and he’s great, but never having a sister makes me so excited to see the special bond my daughters will share. I cannot even think about it too much or I’ll burst into hormonal tears. Earlier this week my daughter said “Mommy, we’re friends.” I said “yes we are.” Then she said “and Baby Sister will be our friend.” I nearly fell apart at the seams from raw pregnancy emotion.

Every part of me was saying “Girl! Girl!” but my instincts were off with my first daughter, so I truly didn’t know what to expect. So far this pregnancy has been exactly like the first in that, at 15 weeks along, I’m still feeling nauseous and exhausted most of the time. I believe it is subsiding a bit now, though, and I’m sure before long I’ll be fully embracing my need to eat 37 times a day.

My husband will be the most amazing father ever to two girls. He’s patient and so kind. I look forward to watching him share his hobbies of hunting, fishing, and sports with our two daughters, while also participating in tea parties or coloring sessions at a moment’s notice.

In My House

Some News!

We have some exciting news to share…


(Photo by Alyssa Crawford Photography)

We are expecting our second child in April!

People say every pregnancy is different, but so far this one has felt exactly like my first one. I have been horribly nauseous almost all day and the exhaustion is paramount.

What’s different this time around is how quickly things seem to be moving. I attribute that to being busy starting a new job while still taking care of some duties with my previous job as well as chasing a busy toddler around.

I have been a bit absent from the blog because of that, but now I’m excited to share some of this journey here on A HOUSE WITH CHARACTER. You know, riveting details such as my cravings for Frankenberry cereal. Stay tuned.

In My House

Three Unrelated Ridiculous Things

Just for the fun of it, I have compiled three completely unrelated things I have recently observed and find to be ridiculous.


(Image from

1. Oprah’s “Ode to Bread” on her recent Weight Watcher’s ad campaign. Don’t get me wrong, I love bread, too, but Oprah takes it all to a new level. She goes on and on about how obsessed she is with bread. It is awkward and painful to watch.


(Image from

2. Pee Wee Pumps. While the baby boudoir photo is kind of an exaggeration of how these would really be worn, it proves my point that these things are truly ridiculous. I suppose most babies would pair these with a classic pencil skirt, pantyhose, and a tasteful tailored blouse, but, guess what, still ridiculous. If this is your cup of tea, they are available at


(Image from

3. Prince’s passport photo. This one is really more impressive than ridiculous, but I included it because it made me stop and say “what?!” The photo recently went viral because Prince really knows how to work the camera, even when renewing his passport. In my own passport photo I look washed out and chunky. I’m also wearing a navy blue cardigan with the United States Postal Service emblem on the lapel because I showed up wearing a sleeveless shirt and the lady told me “you have to cover your shoulders or they won’t let you into Middle Eastern countries.” I didn’t think to tell her that I have no desire to travel anywhere I can’t wear a sleeveless top. Prince clearly doesn’t worry about those things.




One of the milestones I have been most looking forward to as a mother is watching my daughter devour cake at her first birthday party.


And the girl did not disappoint.


On the day of my daughter’s birthday party, the temperature hovered around 100 degrees. We rented the gazebo at a park in a nearby town that features statues of storybook characters.



My mom had saved the bear cake pan she used at my own first birthday so she recreated that cake for my own girl. How sweet is that?


She also assembled this horse out of cupcakes, a trick we had seen on Pinterest.


After a while, the girl grew tired of using her hands to eat the cake and just went for it, face first.


After a much-needed wardrobe change, we were ready to play on some of the storybook-inspired scenes. That’s Kanga from Winnie the Pooh.


Of course no July birthday party is complete without sitting on Santa’s lap. Here’s my girl with her cousin (who, believe it or not, is four months younger than she is).


Happy first birthday to my dear girl.