Spring Style | Fashion + Home

March 20, 2017

Hello first day of Spring!!! LOVE that winter is over with and we can look forward to warmer temps, longer days, and (hopefully) no more snow! Transitioning to spring in the house and in the closet is THE BEST. I love to get rid of the dark colors of winter and launch into some pastels, brights, whites, or just basically, COLOR. Winter gets so boring! Already dreaming about the first flowers popping up, pretty tulips draping over the vase, and a new wardrobe filled with flowy tops and trendy jeans!

I updated my favorite room in our house last week, a little ahead of spring, I just couldn’t wait! So nice to get some color in this room!!

And, I’m proud to say that all of my indoor plants are STILL ALIVE! Wooo hoooo! I totally neglected them over the fall and winter, and somehow they made it. Pretty pumped about that because I love a little greenery around the house in the nice seasons!

Now to update some of my wardrobe! I looooove this stripe off the shoulder maternity dress – so beautiful! I can’t wait to get into some dresses that show off the bump. Sick of wearing jeans! But will never be sick of wearing leggings :)

Here are some of my favorite spring fashion and home styles

blanket | clutch | sunglasses | vase | top | espadrilles | sneakers | white pants | denim jeans

Toooootally loving the embroidered jeans trend! They’re everywhere right now! Some are super embroidered and I don’t think I can do that, but I thought the ones in the picture were just a touch enough. Plus I love the frayed hem on the skinny jean! Channeling my (wannabe) inner hippie for those!

Loving all the summer sandals too! Espadrilles are so pretty, but can never go wrong with my yoga pants and sneakers look :)

Gimme all the flouncy tops and flowy blouses! Love the wide ruffle look on the sleeves and the romantic off-the-shoulder look. Finally get to show a little skin with these warmer temps!

Shop this post for my favorite spring styles and home accessories!

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Happy Spring! Hope you had a fabulous first day!

Shop Spotlight || Bloom Box

March 18, 2017

If you are from Sioux Falls (or really anywhere for that matter) and haven’t heard of Bloom Boxes yet, you need to! When Andrea from The Speech Mom reached out to us to try one of her Bloom Boxes, we were so excited! I’ve seen them all over social media lately and have been wanting to try one!

A little about Andrea (Instagram @thespeechmom) – she is a mother of two adorable boys, Hank and Gus, and she’s also a speech language pathologist who has a passion for speech, language, feeding, and kids! I swear, Andrea is like a wonder woman, she does everything and is soooo knowledgeable! We’ve worked together on a social eating post with our four kids (see that post here) and it was a blast – so much to learn from her!

Andrea has recently launched her new venture – the Bloom Box, a monthly rental program enhancing child development through play. Choose one of the various boxes (over 20 options! And growing!), and it will be delivered to your doorstep with an activity guide to help target your child’s development!  Enjoy a month of play while your child develops language, cognitive, social, fine motor, and sensory skills! Then at the end of the month, you just ship it back with the prepaid shipping label and if you purchased the subscription, then comes another to your door! AMAAAAZING!

Ivy chose the cupcake bloom box to play with and it was above and beyond my expectations! All of the items in the box were in terrific condition and were great brands like Melissa and Doug, Learning Resources, and Hape. All of the supplies were very high quality, very well taken care of, and the box was very well put together! I was blown away! You can tell Andrea put a lot of thought into choosing items that would fit her vision!

Plus, there were SO MANY things to play with! I was expecting maybe just a couple of items to play with for the month, but no, the box was FULL with several different hands on items and about 8 different structured activity lessons to go through with your child. And that doesn’t even count the free-play that Ivy and Leo loved! I just let them explore with everything in the box at first, and they sat and played for an hour straight before I had to pull them away for lunch!

The description on the activities and on the box says for children ages 3-7, but I’m telling ya, Leo almost loved it more than Ivy and he’s only 22 months!! He was all about making cupcakes, using the mixer, and attempting to master the tongs! Which was hilarious :)

Ivy, on the other hand, really got into the activities and lessons and loved making the cupcakes and playing the “Cupcake Shop” activity. She would make her cupcakes for her store (there were pictures of cupcakes you could make for a price amount to give the kids ideas, but Ivy was all about being creative and coming up with her own creations!), then I would be the customer and come choose and pay for a cupcake with the fake money that was included in the box. I’ll admit, even I was having fun with her!

There were pink, brown, and white fluff balls to represent the flavors of the cupcakes (I’m a white vanilla fan!!! She was obsessed with pink, of course!), then there were little fluff balls to top the cupcakes off with candy or cherries or whatever you wanted it to be. So many options to get creative with your cupcake making!

There were also two other sets of cupcakes to venture into – these Learning Resources cupcakes that separate and you could match the shapes to the shapes in the pan, then also happy birthday cupcakes with candles that you could attach. Ivy sang “Happy Birthday” to all of us each with a different cupcake, so cute!

Plus, she had never used tongs before and she had so much fun trying to figure it out before she finally mastered it. A great skill to learn, I think I’ll start using her in the kitchen more! ;)

Overall, you’ve got to give the Bloom Box a try – you can purchase month-to-month, or do the six or twelve month subscription.  It’s so nice to know you have it for the month. I’d pull it out every other day or so and it was like a brand new toy for them each time! Plus if your kids are like mine, it’s nice just ‘renting’ these toys because mine get sick of theirs so fast before they’re on to the next thing. Great opportunity to give toys a try then ditch em when you’re done. Love that idea! Tired of so many toys around the house anyways! Love that you can have fun toys for a month, then move on to the next thing. Totally fits kids’ 2 second attention span ;) Haha.

Good news! Andrea is offering blog readers a discount – use promo code appleofmyivy for $15 off your box! Head to Bloomandlearn.com now and pick your box to get started!



Baby #3 // 28 Weeks

March 15, 2017

I am 28 weeks this week! Officially in the third trimester! My doctor said that this week and I was like WHAAAAT. Clearly not paying attention to my old pregnancy textbooks that I so diligently analyzed with our first! Haha. I can’t believe it! A bit scary, yet very exciting that we are getting closer. Pretty much on cruise control from here! This month has really been all belly, making it harder to bend over and do workouts. I know I have so far to go still, so I’m trying to not complain about this belly that’s constantly in the way already : /

Here’s comparing my last 3 months. And you can notice I got a haircut and color! Whew I didn’t realize my hair was sooooo long!

How far along: 28 weeks
Gender: Girl
Weight gain: 17 lbs (gained 3 pounds this month)

Last Doctor’s check-up: 28 week checkup – I had to do the glucose test, which I passed, hooray! Baby girl’s heartbeat was 145 and I’m measuring right on track. Yay baby!

Maternity clothes: I’m into more fitting things lately to show off da bump. I bought a couple colors in this bodycon dress (bc $9.90!!!), it’s not maternity, but I sized up and it works! Pair it with a cute long cardigan and I love the look! Otherwise, this teal dress is stunning. The color is so fabulous. Also, this cute bomber coat is so great! I love the fur around the top. Here are some tops I’m eyeing also! This B&W striped flute sleeve top, this denim embroidered top, this white ruffle top, this button down denim chambray top (fave!!!), and this plaid shirt. Gah! Actually some great tops out there right now!  Lasty, gimme all the distressed jeans or pants.

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Best moment this month: So much movement! She is spinning and turning and kicking all the time I feel like. Also, I started feeling her hiccups this month, which is always so cute! Itty bitty. And Ivy is loving feeling the kicks not that they’re really prevalent. She will say her baby is kicking her too! Oh boy :)

Worst moment this month: Having to make accommodations on my workouts at Barre3. My abs are basically separated making room for this babe, so I can’t do much mid core anymore and try to not be on my back for too long. So I’m struggling doing any ab work! But still working those legs, butt, and arms. I really want to bounce back fast after the baby since it’ll be swimsuit season and the middle of summer! : /

Miss anything: Bending over with ease. Humph.

Cravings: SLUSHES! I don’t think this is pregnancy related, because I have ALWAYS loved slushies and flavored ice!! I have like 5 different cups of frozen juice or lemonade in the freezer to pop out and unthaw to eat. So weird. But I can’t get enough!!! Kids love it too :)

Names: Meh, still no name. Added a couple to our list and also still have some on the list from when we had Ivy. John loves one, I love a few others, really can’t decide! I think we will go with May being her middle name though, which is also my middle name. So we have that! Now to pick a first name that goes with that. Struggling!!!

Looking forward to: Girl’s trip to Chicago!!! Next week me and eight of my best girlfriends from high school are headed to Chi-town for a getaway! Can’t wait for some much needed girl time, food, shopping, and fun! One of my other friends is also pregnant, so thankfully I will have a sober buddy! :)

Here’s to the last trimester! Hip Hip Hooooooray!

Our Favorite Books

March 9, 2017

It’s National Reading Month! And we read a TON over here! Ivy has always been a huge reader, but Leo literally goes up to his room and sits in his chair to read his books, it’s so great! I think he loves it even more than Ivy! He cries every time we stop reading at nap and bedtime and yells out, “Booook!” I chuckle every time :) I love that I have kids who enjoy reading!

We read two books at nap and two more books at bedtime each day with each child, so we are going through a lot of books! And if you have a kid like Ivy or Leo, sometimes they pick the SAME BOOK OVER AND OVER AGAIN. I can reason with Ivy now telling her we already read that one, and sometimes I win the battle, and sometimes I don’t, but with Leo, there’s no winning. He is a freak! I have to hide books from him sometimes so that we stop reading the same book without a serious meltdown, haha. So we are always looking for new recommendations to change it up!

We have recently been heading to the library to get some different books and the kids love going there! That’s how we discovered some of our new favorites! It’s so nice to read new books and they love to pick theirs out.

Here are some of our favorite books to read right now!

Poke-a-Dot Colors | Poke-a-Dot Monkeys | Trucks | Animal Alphabet | Little Blue Truck | Crafty Chloe | Today I’ll be a Princess

The Poke-a-Dot books are AMAAAAZING! I can’t believe I’ve never had them until now! We have two of them and I want every single one (there are a bunch!!)! The kids have so much fun with them! You know bubble wrap? Well there are raised buttons that you push and they pop as you go throughout the pages to count, look at colors, go through the alphabet, find animals, etc. So many different things and Ivy and Leo LOVE pushing the buttons to hear the POP! It’s funny when I hear “POP!” up in Leo’s room, I can always find him now! ;)

Animal Alphabet is a fun book for both kids too! It goes through the alphabet showing the letter and half of the animal, then you have to slide the panel covering the animal to reveal the whole thing! It’s a ton of fun for Leo and Ivy loves to say each animal as we go through the alphabet together. Below is a picture of the pop book and the alphabet book.

Leo is OBSEEEEESED with trucks and animals! I’ve read the Little Blue Truck probably a gazillion times, this is by far his favorite – trucks and animals together! He also loves to see all of the different kinds of trucks in Trucks – who knew all the names of those things?! I didn’t!

Ivy is tooootally into dress-up and princesses right now. Today I’ll be a Princess is right up her alley! It’s all about dressing up and being like a princess, but also about how it’s not always greener on the other side of the castle walls. Super cute and adorable pictures. Ivy loves to find what she would want to wear if she were in the book!

Lastly, Crafty Chloe is one we’ve found at the library! This book is so adorable about how Chloe crafts up a birthday present for her friend. It’s really cute and fun to see what she makes! Heart-warming awwwwwe at the end :)

Hope this helps you switch it up a little in your house! Always looking for new books and recommendations. And if you haven’t signed up for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, you MUST! Not everyone is eligible, but you’ve got to register to see if you are! Kids get one book a month until they are five! Ivy LOVES to get a new book in the mail each month. Or head to your local library to check out some new books!

Happy reading!!! :)

Under the Stairs Dress Up Playroom

March 5, 2017

So excited to share this room! It’s been a really fun project – channeling my inner princess and making this as pink and girly girl as possible! I’m pretty jealous of Ivy on this, what little girl wouldn’t want her own little area for dress up and play! Pretty happy to utilize an area much better than storing junk in it!

This vision all started out one day as I opened this storage room door in the playroom downstairs to get out a baby pillow and bassinet. I then realized WHAT THE HELL is even in this room?! After recognizing that it’s all “junk,” I hauled it out to the garage and put it in my garage sale pile that’s seriously daunting, and started thinking of some inspiration… the fun part!

I thought about how much Ivy LOVES to dress up, but how much I HATE to clean it all up! I have all of her dress up clothes just in a big canvas storage bin, and she pulls out every single one until she finds the exact one she wants, which results in clothes ALL OVER THE PLACE. It bothers me every time! While she does pick them up, it’s still such a mess during the process. DING DING DING! I thought, how nice would it be to have all the dresses and costumes hanging up?! Immediately I knew, THAT is what I want this room to be! A place for Ivy to be her own little princess and dress up and put on pretend makeup and play and dream and sing Frozen “Let it Go” out loud! Her own little princess dress-up playroom. Ahhhh :)

I knew it had to be as girly as possible. Lots of pink and purple, her favorite colors! I took off the door because I thought a curtain would be really fun! And much more cute! She loves to keep it shut so “no boys” can get in, eh eh, Leo, even though he goes in there with her all the time! The curtain is really fun though, plus taking it off added more room for the mirror.

Next, I purchased a piece of wood from Home Depot cut to the size I needed along with pink and fuchsia glitter spray paint. I also purchased enough double hooks for all of her pretty dresses and costumes! I spray painted the wood pink and the hooks pink with the purple fuschia over it.

I thankfully already had the table (it’s a storage bench without the storage bins) and stools already, then I purchased this perfectly fitting storage organizer with these bins to hold essentials for dress up such as shoes, wands, purses, and crowns, of course :)

I also bought this mirror and spray painted it the same pink to go over the table so she can see herself dressing up and putting on her little girl makeup. I already had these pink and teal feather hooks and used them to hang her necklaces.

tiny bow wall decals

Furthermore, I had this cart and used these bins to organize her headbands, lip glosses, nail polishes, perfume (pretty sure I had those bottles since high school!!), hair brushes, dolls, etc. I keep finding new things in there everytime she’s in there!

Princess makeup kit

Princess mini lip gloss and nail polish

Lastly, I knew I needed a large mirror so she could see her whole dressed up princess self! I found this one on Craigslist for $20, so that was awesome! There’s also a super cute mini princess mirror that fits too! I used command strips to hang everything. They’re so easy! Pink garland I already had from her room to add a touch of pink, rug (similar here) I also already had, and voila!

princess mirror

Ivy is absolutely loving it! She goes down there to play all the time, by herself even! So that is amazing :) Plus the hooks are sooooo much better than the bin or hanging them by hangers! She can actually do it by herself and it’s so easy to take them on and off. Overall, now it’s just another play area, but organized! For now… :) haha

always wear your invisible crown wall art



Friday Finds // 3.3.17

March 3, 2017

Just trying to survive these next few days! I’m solo parenting while the hubs is away this week. We are anxious for the nice weather Saturday and Sunday (60’s!!!) to get outside again. Grandma Betsy is taking Ivy to the Sleeping Beauty ballet, which I KNOW she will LOVE! All the dancing, outfits, AND sleeping beauty?! What’s not to love! Such a girly girl. Meanwhile, I’m going to finish up some last touches on her new under the stairs playroom/dress-up room. Can’t wait to reveal! Anyways, hope you all have a great weekend! Enjoy the weather and here are some of my favorite finds around the net. TGIF!

I can’t wait to fill that coat rack with cute spring jackets (like this one or this one – both in pink!) instead of bulky winter coats! :)

Fashion Finds

This bardot off-the-shoulder maternity top! EEEEP! Love

Even more, velvet ruffle top, YEAH. Love the color too!

Saw this bow sweater on one of my fave bloggers, and it’s sooo pretty!

Comfy striped tees 4-eva. Fave is the red

St. Patty’s day in this or this green top?

This floral one-piece suit is joining my closet for the summer

All the perforated shoes out there right now! Like these booties or these from Target!

Speaking of Target, they are absolutely killin’ it with shoes lately! These velvet booties (CRUSH), these blush lace-up sneakers, and these Mary Jane platform shoes. SER-I-OUS-LY

Easy, breezy, bohemian in this top

Okay… joggers. Could I really pull these off? Love the ikat print in “sky” color

For Ivy – discovered River and Jax and their stuff is soooo cute! Rompers, dresses, and skirt suspenders. Obsessed with everything! This bunny romper is sold out but I think it would be adorable for Easter! I’m sure there will be a restock, I hope!

For Leo – love Zara tees for him and this watercolor one is perfect. His blue eyes would look so cute with it!

Links I Love

I want this lamp! Matches our house and I love the look

John Mayer’s new EP. So good. Love the bluesy “Still Feel Like Your Man” – kinda like JT music

Always looking for new pillows with the changing season. These crochet ones are so pretty and neutral to trend into spring before all the bright summer colors.

Seriously need to get better at makeup – inspiration here!

Pretty excited about this book The Magic of Motherhood – Read more about it here, it sounds so beautiful and inspiring!

I’ve been prowling on this site for baby name ideas

Give me all of these super gorgeous cute lovely swaddles for da babe

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