Petunia Pickle Bottom || Cake

The official launch of the Cake collection by Petunia Pickle Bottom happened yesterday! 
My Instagram feed was full of beautiful Cake bags and it made me so happy! 

A Cake bag was the first diaper bag I ever purchased from Petunia. 
It was love at first sight and I know you all will fall in love with this new collection 
just like I have! 

This collection screams decadence. The soft velvet cut outs are seriously to die for 
and it is paired so nicely with the black leather handles and gunmetal hardware. 

This particular bag is the Cafe Carryall in Dragonfruit Cake and I love the fact that there 
are several pockets on the outside of this bag. That is a huge + in my book when it comes 
to a purse or diaper bag. I love that I can store my keys, phone and chapstick in an easy 
to reach outside pocket and the side pockets are even big enough to carry Copeland's sippy cup! 

After using the bag for a bit, my favorite feature is the magnetic snap closures. 
It's also Copeland's favorite, he's obsessed with anything magnetic! :) 

Oh I also would like to note the Valet Stroller Clips this bag comes with and the 
removable changing pad! That will definitely come in handy on our road trip next week!

I swear you guys, if you've never owned a Petunia bag, you must! I am hooked and 
love the fact that their diaper bags don't look like diaper bags at all! Well worth the investment. 

What do you guys think? 
I've been having fun pairing this pink bag with different outfits but if you're looking for 
something more neutral, the Cafe Carryall in Black Velvet Trifle Cake is beyond gorgeous!

You can also check out the whole Cake collection here and Follow Petunia Pickle Bottom on IG here

thank you Petunia Pickle Bottom for sponsoring this post! 
As a lot of you have already noticed, I set my blog to private. It was a spur of the moment kind of thing and I just really needed to think about some things.

The other day I came across a website. It's basically where a bunch of, I'm guessing, middle aged women get together and bash pretty much anyone and everyone who has any kind of a blog or Instagram account. There's a thread or forum on almost any blogger you've ever followed or come across and there just so happens to be one on me! I know! I was pretty shocked to find it. I mean with such a small following, I figured I'd be the last of anyone's wrath. But nope, even the smallest of the smalls get talked about there. I guess that's just how desperate they are for new material. 

When I first started reading the comments, I was really upset and hurt. Like loss of appetite and nauseas kind of upset. Thinking about it now it's pretty comical how badly I let it get to me. When my husband got home I told him about it and told him how upset I was. So he went on there to see what on earth I was so hurt over. As he was reading he started laughing, which made me even more red in the face. Are you seriously laughing? He looked at me and asked if I was seriously upset at the comments made. Of course I am! And he laughed some more. He said he couldn't even believe I even gave a second thought about the things that were said. He couldn't believe I cared what strangers online were saying. "If you've got this many people talking about you, clicking on your blog, stalking your accounts, you're doing something right. There's no such thing as bad publicity." As I sat there and listened to him I started seeing what he saw. The mundane, petty comments, most of which were recycled from other forums of other bloggers and all of which were extremely predictable. 

We both had a good laugh reading through the whole thread. I even laughed at myself from some of the extremely old posts they dug up and criticized. And I realized that there will always be critics (not that the people on this forum are any kind of real critic with any sort of credentials or value). If any of the points they were making we're actually valid, many of the bloggers they talk about would either have stopped blogging or would have changed their formats. But as most of you may know these top bloggers continue to blog and continue making money off of it. However, people will always find or make the time to be mean and with social media it's such easy access for these people to hide behind computers and say whatever they want with no consequences. What a life, right?  If I'm being completely honest with you guys, I've been one of those girls, wayyyyy way back in high school and thank The Lord I grew up then and found confidence in myself and the true happiness in life because living with that kind of deep seated animosity is a heavy burden to carry through out ones self. 

If I've learned anything from this it's that gossiping continues throughout life and there will always be petty people who hate what you're doing, who mock you and try to tear you down. Apparently there are even "top contributors" on this site who eat, sleep and breathe every little thing you put out there. But that comes with the use of social media and I get that. So I brushed off the silly things that were said and will continue to blog. Not only do I love blogging and connecting with other amazing moms and forming great relationships with you guys but blogging for me is my income. It's a job that I have designated hours set aside for. I feel so lucky I get to do something I enjoy while making money from it. So I guess all I can say to the people of those forums is thank you for keeping me in business and being supporting customers by clicking on my blog :)  

And to everyone who emailed, asking what was going on, thank you! It meant the world to me to know there are decent people who follow my blog. I really appreciate and love you guys! You are the reason I  want to continue to blog and the reason why it's enjoyable for me. I love hearing your opinions, your comments and your stories. I know I don't always comment back and I really try to, it's just sometimes Copeland has woke from his nap or wants to play and it's hard for me to respond. I hope you all can understand that. But I do read each comment and very much appreciate you. I'm sorry and feel so dumb that I even let something so stupid get to me haha. There has just been so much going on in my life lately which starts building up inside of you and just one small thing, no matter how extremely small and pointless it is, can bring everything kept inside up to the surface and release a lot of other emotions and thoughts. 

I really went back and forth on posting this but wanted to let you guys know why I just changed everything to private without notice. 

Backyard Pergola | Building a Future

This is my favorite update yet! 

We searched Pinterest and found These Plans from Ana White, but honestly
 we just built it to our specifications and kind of did what we wanted with it, 
mixing in aspects of different pergolas that we've seen. 

We love it so much! It makes the backyard feel so much 
more like a part of the house, instead of  a cold empty patio!
We still need to get a few things like party lights, fire pit, rug and a 
table but all of that can wait. The total cost to make it ourselves 
was roughly $450. If we would have paid to have this built I'm almost 
positive it would have been over $1,000

Do you feel like we are constantly updating our house, like I do? 
It's for good reason I promise! 

When Josh and I first met, well no, when we first really started getting to 
know each other and really deciding if we wanted to spend the rest of 
our lives together, we talked a lot about the future. What we both wanted 
to do, achieve and work on. Something that Josh wanted was something 
I never really thought about. A house. With my family, we grew up renting. 
That's pretty much all I've known. For Josh, he knew from the moment he 
got out of high school he wanted to buy a home. He knew real estate was 
the greatest investment. Unfortunately for us, I had terrible credit. I maxed out 
Victoria Secret cards, visas, you name it and they all went to collections. 
Before Josh and I got married, we had to pay them all off before we could even 
think about buying a home together or for Josh, even think about getting married. 

Once they were paid off and we got married, we went to see if we qualified for a loan. 
I was so embarrassed when our bank told us I was the reason why we didn't. 
My credit score was horrible. I felt so bad I was the one keeping Josh from his dream. 
Two years later and my husband keeping my spending to a minimum (a good learning experience) 
we tried again this time qualifying for much more than we wanted to spend! Yippee! 
(We wanted to keep our mortgage low, so if needed I could stay home if we decided 
to have kids. Lucky for us, we had Copeland and because of our small mortgage of 
a mere $900, I am able to stay home!)

House hunting took us months. It was the most stressful thing ever. 
We couldn't find anything within our spending budget and finally we set 
into the idea of paying more and me continuing to work full time. But that's 
not what we wanted at all. And then bam! It was like all was right and we 
found a home way within our spending budget that had everything we needed. 
Not wanted. This was not our dream home, this was our make money off this 
house someday, home.

We couldn't sign the papers fast enough! And just like that we were moving 
into our "new" home. It was the biggest sense of accomplishment we've ever felt! 
It was so surreal to be a home owner at 24 years old! Saving for a down payment, 
purchasing this home by ourselves, although we had family members offer to help, 
we really wanted to do this together, on our own. There are still days I wake up 
and can't believe we did this. I'm just so grateful. 

The house definitly needed work. Nothing major, just cosmetic, like painting, 
new kitchen flooring, new light fixtures, etc.. If we were going to make money on 
this, it had to be updated and if I've learned anything from watching countless hours
of HGTV, it's that house updates payout big time! Especially kitchen and bath updates.
We knew from the get go that we wanted to makeover the kitchen. The biggest 
selling point that I look for is a nice kitchen. We didn't have a huge budget to work 
with, so everything was DIY or bust. We applied for a Home Depot credit card and tackled 
one project at a time. (Home Depot has an awesome offer of 0 interest for anywhere 
between like 6-24 months!). Now, it so would have been nice to makeover everything at once, 
but you do what you can and be grateful :) Once we got the kitchen out of the way, we 
moved onto the bathrooms, painting, flooring and just small things here and there. 
Eventually we turned our house into our dream starter home! It was perfect and still is! 

But with Josh's graduation coming up very quickly (he applies for graduation in November!!!)
we're put in the spot of now what? Where do we go from here? We know we 
won't stay here forever, it's far too small for anymore than the 3 of us and let's 
face it, I am BABY HUNGRY! But it's hard thinking about selling this place. 
We brought Copeland home here, he learned to crawl, walk and talk within these 
walls. We've put so many hours into this place, for what? Someone else? 
We've gone over what we'll do a hundred times, either sell or keep and rent out. 
Our biggest dream would be to keep it and rent it out until it's paid off and then 
keep it for our kids, to do whatever they wish with it. But buying or building 
something else, is where that gets tricky. We've talked with realtors recently 
about all that ans it's pretty intimidating. 

We've also recently started to really talk about and look at land to purchase for our next home. 
Josh is dead set on building, but I really enjoyed buying an older home and giving it 
a little makeover. So we'll see who wins ;) As of right now, Josh wants to buy land and 
sit on it for about a year or two to pay it down some. It's scary, thinking of that. 
Thinking of starting over, after you've already made one place your home. 
It's scary thinking of leaving. Not the state, but leaving the memories.

We'll see what happens in the next couple of years. It's exciting and scary. 
Building a future for our children is what we want most. Being able to provide for
them, giving them more than what we had. It's all for them. Every penny we make 
off this little home, no matter how small, will go into college funds, savings, etc., for them. 
(I keep saying them. I'm not pregnant but just know that there will be more someday) 

What are your thoughts on planning for the future? Thoughts on selling vs. renting? 
Thoughts on building vs. buying? And lastly, I can't be the only 20 year old who had 
mass amounts of maxed out credit cards right?! 

Sorry for such a lengthy post! I just felt compelled to share our story on this.
When I was in high school and even the couple years out of it, I just never really knew 
what I wanted in life. I was lost and going down a bad path. Josh completely changed the
way I view things and think. I just know that there are girls in high school that read my blog
and If I could share one thing with you it would to make right choices. Plan for your future. 
If high schools totally sucks for you, like it did for me, I promise it gets better. You just have
to be smart in your choices for your life. Really think about what you want and go after that.
Be a good person, have a good heart and things will work out. Maybe not quite how you 
envisioned, but you just got to be a little optimistic :)  

Okay I'll stop now! Bye! :)

Guest Post || Him & Her & Him

A little bit ago as I sat here with Copeland and Josh, playing blissfully in the backyard,
basking in the sun with hamburgers on the grill I suddenly remembered that school was
a dreaded few weeks away. I tried to soak in as much time and memories as I could before
I lost my husband to long days of being away at school and full nights of being
hidden away studying. It's a hard thing, not having your husband there with you, whether
he's at school or his job. I remembered my friend Allison mentioning her husband being at
school late or not seeing him for a while because of school and I thought "could it be!?
Another mom going through the exact same thing I am, having the same feelings?".

I then realized that there may be many moms who are going through this and so I asked
Allison to share a little bit of her life as her husband attends medical school.
Thank you Allison!


Before I begin this post, I'd like to start with a disclaimer: I tend to exaggerate. This post is every bad day and complaint from the last three years rolled into a few paragraphs. About fifty percent of the time, my little family works around a nine to five schedule (for now. Residency, I see you sneaking up on us) Medical school makes for an ever changing schedule and is an always different process that keeps us on our toes, but, for the most part, doesn't completely suck. And, when it does, because sometimes it does, I know that in the long scheme of things this is a very short season of time in our life and there's nothing that either of us couldn't put up with for a few years at a time (though, admittedly, somedays I "put up with it" with much more grace than others). So, while we will be making a few stops on the complain train in this post, I am extremely happy and I am immensely blessed and more than just you readers, I hope my husband always knows that. Ok, continue. When Natalie asked if I would write a guest post for her blog on being married to a medical student and raising a family through this crazy adventure, I was honored and excited, but a little nervous as to what I would write about. Truthfully, I felt a little inadequate. Who am I to write about these things, as if I'm the one whose got the hard end of the deal. It's all my husband, guys. He is busier and more stressed and has more responsibilities, worries and pressure put on him than I will ever understand. He is the one doing the work, I just have to deal with some of the side effects ;)

Stephen started applying to medical schools when we were dating, he went through the interview process when we were engaged and exactly one month after our wedding we moved to Alaska to start this adventure - this is all we've ever known. This has always been our normal and our constant. Everyone said, "don't get married before or during medical school," "don't have a baby during medical school and especially not during second year"... The odds may have been stacked against us, but we're still here, three years later. Stephen hasn't dropped out of school and we haven't killed each other, so I think we're doing pretty good ;)

So, all aboard the complain train, shall we? Where do we start? Going to sleep by yourself, waking up by yourself (because I can't decide which one is worse!), preparing a dinner that goes cold, the unpredictability of it all, moving every ten months, having Stephen come home from the hospital only to leave the house again to go study, working weekends, vacationing without your husband, single parenting because his schedule keeps him from seeing Uriah four days in a row, the feelings of rejection and guilt... I tend to stay on the train long past my stop. I think the easy thing to do is to get mad - get frustrated - because I see his work as a break from being at home with Uriah, but I forget that it's actually work and I need to remember when he comes home, that's his break. I get stuck in a "me, me, me" rut when something finally pulls me out and I see that as hard as it is for me, it's so much harder for him.

What pulls me out of that rut? I wish I could say. I wish there was a button that I could push to stop being so selfish and magically turn into the ideal housewife my husband deserves. Trust me, if I had such a button I would share it with you. Sometimes it just takes a really good day at home with Uriah to not "need" Stephen to take over when he gets home. Sometimes it takes a lot of self control and intentionality to focus my energy on Stephen and not myself. Sometimes it's harder than others and sometimes I manage it more than one day in a row, while sometimes I don't manage for a week at a time. I think it helps to understand and accept that though - that it's not going to be perfect and it is going to be hard and it's going to take a lot of push and pull from both of you to make it work. You're going to fail and he's going to fail you. It happens. But! Isn't that the truth of life? Of marriage? Of parenting? Isn't that something we've all read and heard before? Something we know we need to work on, but of course, is always easier said than done.

It's also hard when no one understands - maybe you've been there, too, fellow momma. When your family and friends don't get why he has to study for 12 hours a day. Why he can't go on vacation or take a day off or stay up until midnight. Why he can't come home early to help out or take a break from studying when the baby is crying. While I am so proud of my husband for being so diligent, determined and dedicated, everyone else is judging him for "ignoring" me and Uriah.

A fellow medical student's wife, a good friend of mine, once said that she'd rather have a one hundred percent man ten percent of the time, than a ten percent man one hundred percent of the time and I couldn't agree more. Though more often than not we get Stephen far more than ten percent of the time, he's the best dad and husband I could ever ask for and I'm so appreciative. So maybe when you're getting your husband just ten percent of the time, you'll remember me and my little five seconds of fame on Natalie's blog and I'll serve as your reminder that your husband is a one hundred percent man. That you will have your time, but maybe it's not right now. Maybe you need to be there for him first so he can be there for you later. Maybe, as hard as your day was at home with your teething baby, his day was harder. And on top of that, he had to come home to that teething baby...! Maybe we're all struggling and maybe we all need to work on being a little more selfless and a lot more loving. Maybe...

It's definitely been a long journey, shortened and condensed and crammed into three years. And we have more to go - six years more. And I know that residency will be different and harder and that complain train is probably going to gain a few more stops, but I signed up for this and so did he. And maybe Uriah didn't, but he was born into it by birth so he doesn't have a choice ;)

You can find me on my blog, him & her & him, here
You can read past posts on medical school, here, and posts on motherhood, here.

Shabby Apple || Subtle Femininity

I absolutely love dressing femininely and getting "dolled up"
and if that's not a known fact by now, it should be. Don't get me wrong,
I love wearing my basic tee's and comfy pants, but being a woman and 
mother, it's fun to curl your hair, put on a little lipstick and wear something nice. 
I know my husband appreciates it as well!

Heading out to the market for groceries is one of those times when I usually
throw on a baggy v-neck and some skinny jeans or sweats, but Shabby Apple
has changed all that! They make it so effortless to be feminine, even while out at the
grocery store!

This lovely sweater is the perfect example. Not only is it extremely comfy and cozy, 
but the subtle hints of silver sequins popping through the threads make me feel girly
and feminine! Everything from Shabby Apple is so feminine and beautiful! They are 
defineilty one of my favorite stores! 

Check them out here and let me know what you love most! 
I know you guys will fall in love with their vintage style clothing! 

thank you Shabby Apple for sponsoring this post!

Cook with Me || Homemade Pizza on the Grill

If you'd rather not watch the video, here's the gist of it all :)

Lets start with the dough! 
I've never made homemade dough before. Ever. 

When Josh and I went up to my mother in laws the other night and
she was telling me all about this great recipe for homemade pizza,
I knew I had to give it a try! 

side note* my mother in law is thee best cook EVER! 
Everything she makes is amazing!

Anyway, I LOVE pizza so much! 
And homemade? Even better! 

I headed to the market that night to get just a few things; cornmeal and yeast.
I chose to use the pizza dough yeast, but you can use bread yeast as well. 

Making the dough is as simple as following the instructions on the back of the yeast packet!
So easy you guys!

not pictured: water & olive oil 
Please read the yeast packet instructions for exact measurements.

I made my dough in the morning and let it sit while Josh was at work.
If you choose to use the pizza crust yeast, like I did, you don't have to do this, but I chose to. 

When you're ready to make the pizza, just pull out your dough, stretch it to size and 
spread a little olive oil on the top and plop it on the grill!

I prefer LOTS of toppings!

Have fun and if you have small kids, this will probably be
really fun for them to choose their own toppings!

Once your crust cooks on the grill for about 5 minutes,
spread a little more olive oil on the top, flip it and start adding your

I chose marinara sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, olives, tomato and basil!

Cover and cook another 10-15 minutes and enjoy!