Easter Basket Inspiration for Babies

^^ a little throwback to Copeland's first Easter 2014 ^^

Easter has always been one of my favorite holidays. I love that it's spring and everything is blossoming and coming back to life. I adore all the pretty pastels, getting together on Easter Sunday with family and the fun Easter egg hunts with the kids. I also love putting together something special for my babies. This year is Finley's first Easter! I remember Copeland's first Easter like it was yesterday. It was one of the warmest Easters we've had and I'm hoping this year will be the same. 
I've teamed up with Bitte Shop to share some of my favorites for filling up those little one's baskets. 

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I love the idea of using a cute and practical basket that can be used again as decor in the nursery or around the home. This cute zig zag print one would look adorable with green grass spilling out of it and all these cute goodies stuffed inside! I LOVE that egg bodysuit for Easter breakfast. Seriously, the cutest thing! I always love giving a book for any occasion. Our book collection is pretty extensive because I usually tend to give at least 3 every holiday haha. Bitte shop has a some really great ones to choose from HERE. A stuffed toy is always on my gift giving list for the littles as well. For the babies I like to give wooden toys. Not only are they so cute but I appreciate the natural element of them as well. 

I hope I was able to give you guys some fun inspiration to get you started with filling up those babies Easter baskets. One of the best parts of being a parent is getting to celebrate holidays with our families, isn't it? :) I love finding special things I know my kids will just love. I'll be sharing some inspiration for the toddlers next! 

Float On

I keep joking with Josh that we own so many pool floats we should probably just put in a pool. 
We both love swimming and having fun floats is part of the fun for us and the kids! 
I've gathered up my favorite ones, some of which we already own and some of which I want 
to purchase, like that pretzel!? So cute! And the rainbow float is a favorite! 
Happy floating!

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Home Build Update: The Lot and Permits

When Josh and I first decided to build a home it was about this time last year. We first started just rough drafting layouts, doing lots of research on what we wanted and then finally went and got pre-qualified. Once we knew we qualified we stared interviewing builders. We interviewed about 5 before picking one. But one of the questions all the builders had was "where is your land located". Funny they should ask because we didn't have any land. So that's when we started looking. Finding land for our new home was the hardest part so far. This is going to be a home where our kids will most likely be raised in. One where they will start school so we had to take that into consideration. We also had specifics on which way the house faced, location for Josh's work commute, and neighborhood CC&R's. One lot we looked at had crazy rules. One being the front yard grass wasn't ever allowed to get above 2" in height! Which would mean if we ever went out of town we'd have to hire a landscaping company to come mow. Just seemed a bit too strict. We also knew we wanted at the very least a third of acre of land. Taking all that into consideration made the seacrh pretty difficult. When we thought we found the one, we'd call on it only to find out it was sold already.

Finding everything we wanted was hard. It took several months but we eventually found the perfect half acre lot in a beautiful neighborhood with a few CC&r's to keep the neighborhood looking nice and respectable but not crazy strict 😉 Something that the bank and our builder told us was that if we found a different lot we'd have more money to spend on the house but the location of the house was more important to us than making the house bigger since we feel there is plenty of room in the new house and a large yard is what we truly want. After a little negotiating on the lot, Josh got it down from 166K to 163K, not a whole lot of a difference but every little bit counts, right?

Anyway, we put in the offer for the lot and had put down Earnest money. That's when we started praying about the decision to build and when I got a very firm no from the big guy upstairs. It was hard but we listened. At that point our current house only would be listed for $230,000. Which was really great but we decided to put the whole thing on hold for a while.

Some time passed and we came back to idea of building. I prayed again and got a much better answer! We called the real estate agent that morning and he got back to me that night and told me over the past few months the market had gone up and our house was now going to be listed at $250,000!!! So happy we listened to our answered prayers. 

Once we listed our home, we dug out our old house plans that we put up for the last several months and started really reworking everything. Once we got a plan we loved we headed to the architect. He helped us really finish making the house more liveable and it is everything we could have ever dreamt of! I think it's a humble home that will have some personal character. The plans just got finished after about two months of working and reworking on it. They were sent into the engineer a couple weeks ago and we are just waiting on him to approve them before we can send them to our city for building permits.

So I know I've been talking about bringing up numbers for our build and I'm going to talk a little bit about that here and then once we get a final line list from the builder I can talk a bit more of specifics like electrical, paint, etc. . But for now the architect and engineer's fees are roughly $2,500 for the plans/and official stamp. (It helped A LOT that Josh had drawn up our plans on Auto-CAD and that the architect didn't have to start really from scratch as we pretty much knew exactly what we wanted.) That money will most likely be worked into the loan although we have been thinking about just paying upfront for it. The city building permits are $20,000. Of course permits are different for every home depending on lot size, loan size and home size I believe. But for our home we are building on a 1/2 acre of land and our home will be a little over 2,000 finished square feet with an unfinished basement. So roughly 4,000 square feet total finished and unfinished. 

Okay so just a past history on our current house and the process of buying it/selling it because it plays a HUGE role in us being able to build right now. I talked briefly about this HERE. But a little bit more detail...

The top of our budget when we were house hunting 5 years ago was about $190,000. Anything over that was really stretching it for us at the time. Especially because we knew someday I'd eventually want to be a stay at home mom and we'd only have one income. We put two offers in on two separate homes, both offers were rejected and it was really hard emotionally. When house hunting it's super exciting but really stressful as well. It seems like everything you want is just out of budget. When we stumbled upon our current home we put an offer in the second we looked at it. We won the house at $153,900! I look back and still can't believe they chose us. We had to write a letter telling them about Josh and myself -and sent in a picture haha. Worth it!

Anyway. We knew from the beginning that this would be a house only to make a profit on. Everything we did to the house had to stay neutral for potential buyers. When we listed the house we got 3 offers on it within a day! The first all cash offer is the one we accepted but the buyer backed out about a week later. Read all about that HERE. We ended up going with the second full price offer. At the time we closed Josh and I owed $136,000 on our home which meant we profited $114,000. After closing costs, realtor fees, taxes, etc we made about $92,000 on our house.

It's still a pinch me moment! We can't believe we made that much off our little home that we put so much love into. So fast forward to now, our house is sold, we moved out into our in laws home while they are gone for the winter and we are planning on breaking ground sometime this month if all goes well! It's such a scary process and we honestly went back and forth, back and forth, back and forth the whole time until our good friend who works at the bank basically told us to just jump in and do it. It's totally scary taking on a new mortgage but we know it will be worth it in the end. So as soon as we get back our actual line sheet from the builder I will go over a bit more in detail what things cost. Of course this is all based off our budget for the home. A big thing for us was making sure we had enough for a 20% down payment. If you don't put 20% of your total house price as a down payment you'll get hit with PMI which is private mortgage insurance and can be around $200 extra a month on top of your mortgage.

I'm going to be sharing our layout and exterior next so stay tuned!!!

Hello Sunshine

dress & here Similar one here / shoes sold out- similar style & love these & these  / purse- similarnecklace 

I told Josh that my soul needs the sunshine. I was made for the summer heat. He told me we better not build a house here in Utah then haha. We had a brief moment of reconsidering this whole thing. Jumping in the Nissan, taking our profit from the house we just sold and moving to the coast. Seriously I'd do it in a heartbeat if it weren't for both of our families living within 30 minutes of us here. You never know what the future holds though. Maybe someday my mom and sister will end up following Josh and I to Texas or California.

Out in the sunshine is my happy place and I'm so happy we are coming up on Spring. I suffer terribly from the winter blues. It crushes me like 1,000 bricks. January/February in Utah is the worst you guys. I'm so happy we got through it and now we've got sunshine to look forward to (maybe with a little snow mixed in somewhere). But for now there is sunshine and blue skies and Josh and I celebrated with iced chais and cake pops! We also have been listening to this song on repeat.

Oh and we officially closed on our house  almost two weeks ago! Holy gauc! WTF. We both never thought we'd see the day. We are absolutely terrified, nervous, and excited. Even though we are both coming up on 30 years old we still feel like a couple of kids playing house at times.

Anyway, I'm blabbering on. What I wanted to talk about today is a new book I recently ordered through Amazon. This is not sponsored it's just a great book that has totally helped me out of my wardrobe funk. I feel like after each pregnancy I've totally lost myself in motherhood and that includes losing my personal style. Your body changes so much that you really don't fit into your old clothes so you're kind of just stuck with the over sized clothes in the back of your closet, right? Well I've had it up to here! Haha but really, it totally stinks not feeling like yourself because you don't fit into anything that use to define you. Clothes really are so personal and help show people you. So the book I ordered is THIS ONE and I loved it!!! It has helped me look at clothes in a whole new light. I use to just buy things to buy them because they were on sale, they were the latest trend, etc. Now I actually look at the piece and decide if it's something I truly love. If it fits me well and if it's a classic piece (classic to me, not classic in the terms that "style gurus" define as classic since classic can mean many things to different people.) The book also helped me find my new personal style (everyday feminine), something I feel like I completely lost after I had Finn.

I really recommend the book if you are stuck in a similar situation and need a closet detox. And just know that detoxing your closet doesn't happen overnight, unless your a millionaire, of that I would be majorly jealous! I would assume that it will take me about a year or longer to rebuild my dream closet but it will be totally worth it to have pieces that fit me perfectly and are my exact personal style. You can check out my dream curated closet on my Pinterest board HERE