MERRY MULTITASKING with AUTOTRADER

Who wants a new car for Xmas?? NOT ME... but, read why I changed my mind?! 

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Y’all.... I’m opening up here. First of all, this blog post is sponsored by Autotrader, but you know me.... these thoughts are definitely my own. If you frequent this blog or communicate with me via social media, you may know a few things about yours truly already.
Secondly, I can be indecisive. I deplore it and am WORKING ON IT. Finally, I don’t love change. WORKING ON IT. 

Something you probably DON’T know about me is this: I have outright owned my car since January 2005. Yep. In one month, it will be 14 years. I’m not sure what all that says about me, I’ll let you all make your own opinions (and feel free to share in comments cause I’m curious). 

All this to say, Joel wants me to get a new car for Christmas. I kept saying NO NO NO, I like my car. I take care of my car. It has served me well and is still very safe. But now, even my parents are chiming in....they think I will appreciate driving my children around in an updated vehicle with back up cameras and all the added safety components. 

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Ok. Fine. I will say when I get my car serviced and they give you a dealership “loaner,” it is tempting to want that upgrade!! But who has the time it will take to do this?? So, I put it off. I mean, I still haven’t picked that chandelier I’ve discussed with you! (oops, that was a confession). I can barely get to the grocery store! This is the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also the most hectic. So many little things to attend, gifts to remember to buy. It seems everyday, I remember somewhere else I WANT to be. Holiday school performances, charity events, etc. My husband, kids and work obviously take a great deal of attention. So, when I finally have a moment to myself, I usually want to go for a run or yoga. Or sleep. (Or catch up on my shows, am I right??) Not go car shopping. UGH. It sounds overwhelming. 

When AutotraderAccelterate reached out to partner for Christmas, it seemed serendipitous. I thought, ok, if I needed ONE MORE SIGN to do get this car thing done, here I have it. I wanted to test it out to see if was really helpful before sharing anything with y’all. I started using their online (mobile, iPad, computer) service Accelerator. I could easily get so many answers from my fingertips. This is a merry-multi-tasker’s dream!! Could I trade my car in for anything? Or should I donate? What is the safest model out there right now? If we have another baby (I KNOW, A WHOLE DIFFERENT CONVERSATION), what vehicle comfortably fits THREE CAR SEATS. (Oh.MY.Goodness). Am I now only able to drive a minivan or are there other options?? 

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According to USNews.com, more people buy cars in December than any other month. Are any of you adding car buying to your already busy to-do list? It does make sense. People want to get inventory off their hands by the end of the year, make sales quotas, donate a car for tax purposes (and to be a good person- wink, wink!). So, the heat is on for me to make this transition 

You may already be using accerator, but if you’re not, I highly suggest checking it out. It does so much of the work for you. I put the kids to bed, pour a glass of wine, get cozy and shop for a car. On my own time. In my own weird, picky way. #MerryMerry to me! 

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They do so much of the work before hand. (Did you know an average buyer spends 3 hours in the dealership completing their deal. WHO HAS THAT TIME??) To learn more about car shopping online, look HERE.

Here’s the deal: So, basically, #AccelerateWithAutotrader has a search algorithm that drives more relevant results for you. It also has Kelley Blue Book so you purchase with expert, up-to-date data and pricing info. You do all the hard part with your hot cocoa in bed at home (even the majority of the paperwork, credit, etc), then all you have left to do is SHOW UP, TEST DRIVE AND SIGN on the dotted line. So, depending on how exciting my car driving adventure will be, I’m allotting under an hour on my schedule. No joke! Drop off gifts, go GET MY NEW CAR, pick up dry-cleaning, pick up Huck after school. Look at me, being decisive and getting stuff done. 

PLEASE, let’s encourage each other just to be decisive and get stuff done if you’re in the same boat. If not, feel free to encourage meeeeee! I’ll be reading all the comments today;)

xox

AAJ

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Could I love anything more?

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I was recently at an event where I was asked by several other mamas if Joel and I are considering having another baby. It's a common question, I know. I get asked it a lot. It's such a cliche, but I can't imagine loving another child as much as I love Hayden and Huck. I loved the time with Huck (and loved him) so much before Hayden was even here.... now that I have these two, I can't fathom another little baby! So, I'm interrupting the wellness posts (and looming other posts on work) to ask y'all about this cause it's just on my mind.

Before having Hayden, I used to think it was so silly for parents to say they couldn't comprehend loving another child as much as they loved their current ones. Well, my mind couldn't comprehend something that sounded so ridiculous. You just do, I thought to myself. My parents had three kids. My best friend has four kids. All kids are loved immensely. 

But, I get it now. It's not that you think you wouldn't love them as much, it's more about spreading your attention. This time with Hayden alone is so special, I want to love him and teach him as much as I can. Hayden is the only child often. Huck is in school and with his mom when he is not with us. But we do everything in our power to make the most of every minute with Huck. 

I do believe the concern of spreading yourself too thin is legitimate. Do you? I don't work outside of the home everyday, so that's a plus. Who knows if it's in the cards for us to ever expand the family, but I'm hoping you will share your thoughts if you have more than one child...or a blended family. My guess is that most of you will say things evolve organically, the way God intended. 

photos by  @ographr

photos by @ographr

*Jumper is on sale for $47. CUTEST cut out back. (I'm wearing a strapless bra). Really a great buy. I plan on adding a sweater (when it finally cools down here) and boots for a transitional look. 

On a different note, I plan on sharing more about the StarFish Project soon. Their mission "restores hope to exploited women in Asia." They provide life-changing opportunities through  Holistic Care Programs and social enterprise where women create beautiful jewelry and become managers, accountants, graphic designers, and photographers.

I am happy to support companies that are in the business of helping women and giving back to their community. I'm wearing these delicate dangle earrings here. FYI: the packaging is so sweet, with a note from the woman that made them. 

xoxo

AAJ

Summer Sales

I'm working on another post right now for y'all. A health and wellness one. But, I absolutely had to interrupt that to bring you the sales going on right now. Basically, sales during summer are Christmas in July. I have some fun things to share right now, so I'm combining a few posts into one (most items are on sale, but not everything). For those of you that've seen some of this before, scroll right on by the repeats;)

Today, the big one is AMAZON PRIME DAY. I JUST ordered the amazon fire stick with Alexa remote and paid full price (eye roll), and today, it's half off. So, I'll be scrolling looking for practical things I need that are on serious sale today. Not sure how "practical" this is, but I'm thinking about this TV!? What are you scoping out?

Last weekend, I wore this tie-back, polka dot jumper below. Just love it. It's $58. I had it on with red flats (Rothy's), then swiped out for slips that I wouldn't mind getting dirty as I walked through the Huntington Gardens this weekend. Next time, I'll wear it with chucks. Cuter, right?

Moving on.... I'd be remiss if I didn't mention my star cut-out top below that is a conversation starter (and I get stopped by strangers every time I wear it). It is on sale for $20 right now!! Down from $78. (It's also at Nordstrom HERE if they sell out, but it's not on sale there yet). And my sunnies are $14. I mean, no brainer. Too fun. (update: I just saw the sunnies are sold out since my posts with them have gone up, but there are similar ones HERE). And Hayden is also wearing stars!

NORDSTROM ANNIVERSARY SALE

I've been wearing some bright colored dresses lately. And I love them. Read all about why in the post HERE.  I ordered some more "make-me-happy" pieces that are on sale now and wanted to remind you this yellow lovely item below is also on sale. It's hard to wear it and not smile a bit more. 

Below are the items I think are worth checking out. I have discussed this before and am not shy about admitting how much I love a little help with tricks of the trade (the post is over a year old, so links may need updating, forgive me. I'll work on it soon).  Like, literally squeezing into Spanx or another girdle-like undergarment. I wear them often. I felt smooth and better in this dress HERE IN THIS POST only because I had on these spanx. And they come in petite and plus sizes. How fun and lovely would it be to have a Victoria Secret model body, but alas, that ship has sailed for me! Anyway, I digress. I am sharing because this is the time of year I restock or try a new body shaper. Nordstrom Pre-sale (open freely the 20th to those of us who do not carry their credit card) has items normally not on sale, around 40% off. For instance, these spanx are under $24, but only for this sale. 

This list is random because I am so tired and need to go to bed, but I tried. HA. I have so much more to add for the next post! Love you all. Big Hugs. And know that some of the prices do NOT reflect the sale price. I will work on that. Some pictures do, but not all of them. Ok... night night!

 

ONE EASY WAY TO BRIGHTEN UP YOUR DAY

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1. Amy's adorable Romper 2. My Yellow Dress (40% off!) 

Life isn't always the easiest. I'm sure we can all attest to that. I know I often put on a happy face on social media (or I just don't post at all and take a break). I don't feel like venting to the world on such a public platform, but a blog is a more personal space to share or at least seems to be, even thought I try to be positive here, too.

And you all have been incredibly supportive when I do open up here. Thank you. Plus, I've really appreciated hearing your thoughts on things. You all give great tips! Some of my recent favorites were in a post on instagram where I asked about stress relief (at bottom of this post). 

I'm learning there are different levels of stress and disappointment. {UPDATE: after reading some of the comments below, I felt the need to edit this. Yes, I've always known there are different levels of stress, but not until certain life events happen do I realize how I would react. I can project how I would react to major events, but there's not way to know until you are living it.} Some things alter life permanently, while other stresses you won't remember in a month. When life feels so all over the place, sometimes I have to do small things that I can control. I remember Dr. Oz telling me the easiest three things I can do for myself are: drink water, do some sort of movement for the body (even if it's rolling your shoulders back and forth) and take a vitamin. I'm adding two things to this very easy list. First and foremost, prayer. I believe in prayer. It keeps me focused on God and changes my perspective on Earth.  

And this other one may sound silly, but wearing a pop of color like my yellow dress really does raise my mood. A doctor told me this when I was pregnant. She said even if it's underwear that only we see throughout the day, bright colors can elevate our mood! Ha! I thought it was bogus, but tried it anyway when I was pregnant.

So, recently, I've been opting for patterns that make me happy. This yellow dress did the trick! It's the ultimate summer pick me up color. I'm wearing a size 2 regular, for reference. And it is 40% off right now at $82. 

And Amy's romper is everything. Right? I love the pockets, too. I mean, if my yellow fruit basket of a dress is too much, opt for her romper. It really is the best. I would be borrowing, but as you can tell, one of is in in a petite size and one of us is not! lol For reference if you are petite like Amy, she is wearing a 0 petite. I would wear this in a regular size 2. 

What are your simple tried and true tips for elevating mood?

ps- a few of you have asked here and I've been getting DMs about vitamins and all around "health and fitness" type of stuff (which I believe goes right along with this post), so I'm going to do my best to make time for it this week if there is still interest?

 

THE GINGHAM DRESS WAS ALL I HAD TO WEAR

Happy Sunday! Hope you all are enjoying the weekend. I had a busy few days shooting the film, but relaxing today with Joel and Hayden. Branching out here in this summer frock! It's not a typical pattern I wear. But the summery vibe caught my eye and I wanted to share it with you before it sells out

School is out and it is officially summer!! Nothing says summer BBQ quite like gingham! And this adds a bit of flirty farm girl with the bandeau style (or at least my husband thinks so;) and cut-out back, keeping the look modern, chic and fresh. The adjustable straps and A-line frame make it flattering to a variety of shapes and sizes. And love the pockets (don't we all?). You really can't beat the 50% off price tag under $45. I'm telling you, this dress will sell out-- especially for 4th of July! I get so frustrated wanted to share items with you all, only to find out they are gone by the time I get a blog post up! 

The dress is kinda the star of the look, so no need to compete. I wore simple diamond studs (these linked are in honor of the late, great Kate Spade). And I've been wearing these fun white sunnies nearly everyday ($14). I kept thinking I needed a tan to wear this dress, but gave up on that....and I'm okay with it! 

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The coffee inside the cup is too pretty not to share. I've become a real coffee person lately. You may have noticed if you watch my insta stories. And I put up our latest coffee finds on the liketoknow.it app (if you don't follow me, please do! Download the app and I'm @ashleyaubra. I post links more often about things I like or find. On the app, though, you can read the captions, too.) You can also always check out the SHOP link here on the website. 

As always, thanks for visiting! Hoping to get some good posts (that you all have been requesting) out this week. 

OH AND PS- WHO KNOWS WHY I PICKED THIS TITLE? xoxo leave in comments!

xoxo

AAJ

little update: title of the post is a line in a Dolly Parton song! #oldschoolcountry. ;)

 

Best under $100 #NordstromSale

Hey Y'all... Happy Saturday. I'm looking for what I'm going to wear to two weddings this summer (first up is my best friend Kaley's wedding, rehearsal dinner, bachelorette dinner party!). As I'm surfing sites, I found some items I wanted to share that are one sale at the Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale. I love these deals. I often get a few items that I know I'll wear over and over again. Last year, I didn't jump on it fast enough and sizes went fast, but the pieces I did snatch up, I seriously wear!

The red dress pictured above- I wrote about here  - is back in stock and on sale for $52 in many colors. This item has been a year round gem for me. It's easy and can be dressed up or down. Great for certain weddings or a rehearsal dinner. 

And if any of you liked the "perfect shirt" I wrote about recently (the one I borrowed from my sister;), it's on sale now for under $29! I am getting the black and white striped version (there are several patterns). SO cute with white jeans or shorts. I ordered the small, but for a more "boyfriend" type feel, I could go up to a medium. 

Below are just the pieces I tagged as some of my favorites. Scroll through and let me know what you think... some of the prices are lower than the tag, FYI.

I'm still scoping out the sale... so stay tuned. Enjoy your weekend! 

xo

AAJ

CYBER MONDAY sales

So many outfits I've worn this year are on sale today.... like the peacoat (scroll down to see picture) I've loved is now $30!! There's still time to snag the best deals of the year! I outlined some of my favorite sales going on HERE in this post and they are still going strong... with some additional savings today only. I just stocked up for Hayden and Huck at the Gap. 50% off everything - PLUS use code TREAT after you use the first code CYBER and get an additional 10% off- no minimum and free shipping! I left some items in the "cart." When I came back, several were sold out. Now, I'm not waiting! 

J.CREW's site is having issues, but if you can catch it when it's not down today (too much traffic)- the sale is great. I just got Joel this leather belt for almost $20. 

My favorite denim jacket (pictured below) that was $90 is now $54. For reference, I'm wearing a size 6.

I know I've nearly exhausted discussing this jacket below that Ali and I are both wearing, but it's back in stock for $30!! I have it in a medium for layering, but if I wanted to wear a small, that would work well, too. 

This red silk dress below comes in many colors and is only $42!! The perfect holiday dress to wear under your coat!

I pulled some amazing deals on great gift ideas below. Most are priced way below $30 after you apply the codes the stores require at checkout. 

THE BLACK FRIDAY SALE starts now! Adding new info all the time;)

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Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

I want to spend the first Thanksgiving holiday in our new home, well... in our new home! 

But I have a bit of FOMO about the sale extravaganza going on this week that we've all come to know as Black Friday. A part of me wants to throw on comfy shoes, get in traffic, search high and low for parking (which I'll promptly forget unless I video or photo where I am), fight the crowds, risk the store not having the right size or color-- all in hopes of scoring the big ticket item for a fraction of the cost. It's so gratifying to get to bring it home, too. But, truly, I'd rather be curled up with the boys working on my digital scrapbooking (on Shutterfly, which- incidentally is having a great sale right now, too). Increasingly more people are clicking away on their tablets, phones and computers for Black Friday. Wanna see what I've been scoping? Duh. I wanna hear what you've been eying online, too!

Best Deals I'm finding Right NOW

All Saints- the iconic edgy brand is up to 40% of everything right now. If you're gonna get a cool jacket, now is the time. 

Ann Taylor - almost the exact opposite of AllSaints (ha!)...50% off of everything. Even Sales Items!! Check out their crystal layering necklace. Love this. Will be under $25.  

EBAY- don't forget eBay. Such a good place for tech gifts for Xmas. We love our Alexa. I wish I had one in white... we got ours when it only came in black. There are some great deals on eBay.

JCREW - 40% off your entire order!! Plus free shipping. This is a no- brainer. Use code THANKU

Madewell - 25% off of everything. Get a fab coat, or stock on basics like their best selling t-shirt  for under $15!

NEIMAN MARCUS - 40 % OFF select items. FREE shipping both ways. I got these "let's make lemonade" pjs. I'll post them soon.

NEIMAN MARCUS LAST CALL. Up to 80% off. Check out these over the knee Charles David boots marked down to $75. Or these heeled over the knee boots are half off for $150. 

BAUBLE BAR - 30% off of everything. They have the greatest gift sets and trendy, fun jewelry. (These earrings I've been wearing lately are now only $30!).

BLOOMINGDALES - up to 60% off. The star faux fur jacket I've been wearing that many of you have asked about (instastories) is 25% off. Hasn't been on sale anywhere yet.

 

NORDSTROM - their Black Friday sale is on point! I am ordering this off the shoulder tunic sweater for about $40 right now in beige. Sexy and sweet! 

NET-A-PORTER - For major designers at once a year prices, check them out. Up to 50% off now.

H&M - serious sale. Also, I never realized there was an H&M Home section? Did you?

SHOPBOP - Up to 30% off with code MORE17

WILD FOX -Almost never on sale...ever. It's pricey, so I only buy now 40%off. My sister would look so cute in this star crossed road trip sweater. Use code ALLSMILES.

GAP - 50% off everything with code BLKFRIDAY

Villeroy & Boch - love this sale. I'm ordering the water glasses for hostess gift (great morning orange juice, too). And this 12 piece set of glasses is lovely!

Vineyard Vines - The preppy iconic brand rarely goes on sale, but right now, it's 25% of everything!! And free shipping. How cute is this little toddler shirt for Hayden? And I think I'll get matching ones for Huck and Joel. ha.

Willimas-Sonoma - up to 50% off and free shipping, no minimum.

Happy sales! Scroll below for some of the items mentioned in this post...

Can I come, Mommy?

Honestly, how can I resist that face? Never. After moving recently, we are in need of a few key items. So, we headed out early this morning to take advantage of the sales this long holiday weekend. Honestly, it's so much easier to buy online! Especially with a baby... so, we're back home now. ha! 

For our household/furniture items, I'm looking at HERE! Up to 70% off! And I am loving Potterybarn's sale, too!

My husband stocks up on JCrew every year, so here we go!   

I have two fun events next week and I'm looking at Nordstrom's half yearly sale  for a couple of dresses. Also, I'm loving this  Anthropologie (also having a sale) dress HERE.... cute fridge for summer. I haven't had time to organize my thoughts much, but here are a few other fun pieces:

And the comfy printed flats in this picture are free shipping this weekend! Dr. Scholl's updated for all sorts of new comfort. Pretty perfect for moms!

Are y'all checking out any of the sales? Let me know what you find. Enjoy the day. 

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TWINSIES in different colors ($37 PEACOAT?!) YES, PLEASE.

I met up with Ali Fedotowsky for coffee to help plan a little Bachelor get-together for tonight. (I know, how lucky am I to get to watch with a former bachelorette?!) Lo and behold, we were wearing the same jacket, just in different colors. I take this as a pretty big compliment because Ali has a fabulously approachable style. I've blogged about this jacket here  before (and the jacket sold out), but now that it's back in stock, it's worth mentioning again. I seriously get stopped about this jacket on the street. It's warm and cozy, but still looks sleek with it's clean lines and buttons. I like wearing it buttoned up, or open like Ali is wearing it (and don't you love her coat color? It also comes in black and hunter green). 

We both kept our looks simple, but funny enough, both had on our namesake jewelry. My nameplate necklace says HENRICKS on it (my married name!), and Ali's says MOLLY (which I LOVE). Ali usually has a statement piece of jewelry on as well. Today, she is wearing a pretty fabulous necklace -- I might need to borrow this or just get my own here or here. And I wouldn't be a decent blogger if I didn't admit I've asked her several times about her leggings. Every single time, she's wearing these compression leggings. I have my own go-to leggings (that some of you now love, too!), but I might add these compression leggings to my wardrobe, also.

We both tied our looks together with comfy, easy boots. Ali is wearing over-the-knee boots that I know she enjoys wearing often. And in case we might have forgotten, my coffee mug reminds us that we are not regular moms, but totally cool moms;). Yeah, right. Maybe she is!

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I didn't get a good photo of the fun, stackable bracelets I'm wearing today, so I pulled a photo from a previous post. My sister wears her "she believed she could, so she did" bracelet all the time. I love the reminder on my wrist to simply believe! And if you have a friend expecting, a great shower gift for a mom-to-be or a new mom (or a new bride!) is this custom "all because two people fell in love" bracelet from The Silver Loft

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So, HAPPY NEW YEAR... and to those of you tuning in for The Bachelor, have fun. Check back tomorrow with some thoughts from our viewing party tonight. #momsnightout! Thanks, hubby! xoxo

#CYBER MONDAY starts with STATEMENT JEWELRY

So many reasons to smile! I'll never get over this guy!! I'll also never get over you guys...I'm really loving getting to come here and read your comments and chat. I'm THANKFUL for you all.  The weekend was packed with Huck and Hayden and today is equally as busy with work and errands, but I thought I'd share a few things.... I'll be back on here tonight. Hope you all have wonderful Mondays...and happy cyber shopping if you are. I'm off to an audition and to get a hospital grade pump (never thought I'd put both of those in the same sentence!!). More on that later....  

A LITTLE CYBER MONDAY UPDATE. THE NECKLACE in photo above  (AND EVERY OTHER PIECE OF JEWELRY at BAUBLEBAR is 35% off of 2 items).  And the comfy sweater I'm wearing is $20. I'm wearing an xs. It runs BIG!! Both have free shipping!! Keep scrolling down for updates on Friday's post.

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I recently said in a post that I felt like I'm more of a sharer of information than anything else. I love collaborating and sharing ideas, style concepts and SALES!! And we are entering a big sale weekend. TIME magazine is predicting an all time high in cyber shoppers over Thanksgiving day weekend. I'll forever relish a fabulous find on sale.  I researched my favorites retailers with the best sales and am here to share! Just click the store names below in BOLD CAPS and happy shopping! Plus, I rounded up recent posts that are now on sale (see below)! Items are selling out FAST! Prices are NOT reflected correctly for some stores. You have to click and go to some sites, use the code and the deep discounts will show up in your cart. Lemme know how it goes! 

EXPRESS- 50% off ENTIRE STORE. WHAT??  I'm getting this sweater now. ps- it also comes in yellow!

NORDSTROM - 20% OFF EVEN SALE ITEMS! I just ordered THIS SWEATER for $22! It comes in several colors. Genius. What a fun gift, too. And the sweater below you've seen me in several times (several colors) is only $20 in red!  check out the sale HERE!

Hoover over images in photo (and other photos in this post) below to shop the necklace (NOW $27!) and other items. 

OVERSTOCK.COM - 70% off FOR REAL??! Amazing time to buy jewelry, watches, etc. for gifts.

POTTERYBARNKIDS- 20% off entire store (and up to 40% off some items) AND free shipping. I'm all about this store. I'll be posting in the morning about Hayden and Huck's room, but more than several items are from this site!!

SHOPBOP - 15-25% ENTIRE ORDER, depending on how much you spend;)

AMAZON has AMAZING DEALS in their home dept and furniture department today! And check out what they've got going on in their PET section for our 4 legged family members!

I posted this picture below yesterday, but prices have dropped AGAIN! So, hoover over images, click and shop! T-SHIRT IS $15!! 

 

In a perfect world, I had this all prepared and ready to go. But, I want you to have the info asap. I'll be adding as much as I can, (with photos that I haven't uploaded!) as soon as I can. But, Hayden is needing me right now. So, stay tuned. This'll be a fun ongoing post for the weekend. 

xoxo