Let's Avo-Cuddle!

We are so sad to see summer coming to a close. It's very bittersweet. Summer is my season and I feel like it's swept in and out within the blink of an eye. We are so ready to move into our house though and that is making it a little more sweet that we're closing in on October. 

We'll definitely miss being outside all day and enjoying the warm sunshine. As someone who suffers from anxiety and depression, the winter months magnify that tenfold so it can be very scary as the nights become darker sooner. However, a couple months ago Josh and I decided that we'd stash some money away from all of this house building business to take a trip with my mom, sister and nieces to Maui this winter and we are all counting down the days. (Just a side note, I owe so much to my husband. He has been so supportive in helping me become mentally healthy. This trip was his idea and he's just truly my rock. If you don't have a family member to confide in, check with your insurance provider to learn about talking with a therapist or even finding facebook support groups. It's so important to have a good support system.) 

Okay, now back to where I was... It still seems so surreal that I get to experience that beautiful place with all of the people that mean so much to me. It truly feels like a dream! 

The past month we've all been on the hunt for some swimwear and since most stores are making way for winter inventory we've found some killer deals! My favorite by far has been this Mott50 Avocado one piece which is, you guessed it, currently on sale! Not only is it freaking adorable! But it's perfect for being out in the sun all day as it offers 50 UPF! Plus! Mott50 doesn't just offer swimwear but they also have an entire clothing line. It's pretty awesome. Skincare is so important to me, especially when it comes to the sun. I'm all about the faux tan! And if I can get even more protection by way of my clothing, I'm all about it :) Oh and they also offer adorable UPF swimwear for kids. Check it out here.

Do you have any winter travel plans? Josh and I rarely, if ever, travel during the summer. But come winter we're all about it!  

Disneyland Tips & Tricks

Josh and I booked a trip to Maui this winter and we're taking the boys along with us! We really have been wanting to take a vacation just the two of us for so long, but it's pretty hard to think about leaving behind our babies! So we booked 4 flights and 10 days in paradise. Anyway, we booked our flight for LA on a Monday morning. Our flight from LA to Maui doesn't leave until Wednesday afternoon, so of course, I felt like that day in between flights would be the perfect day to squeeze in some Disney. Churros and a Main Street corn dog have been calling my name! 

Josh still isn't 100% on board with my whole Disneyland talk. Although the fact that Copeland is now tall enough to ride the new Guardians of the Galaxy ride is pretty convincing for him. I'm a HUGE wuss, so no roller coasters for me, but now that Josh has his own little daredevil, he's pretty excited!

I ended up going through my hard drive the other night and of course had to click on the Disneyland folder. Josh and I put the photos on the TV and we all looked through the pictures from our past Disneyland adventures together. SO many memories. I don't ever want to forget these sweet times with our babes. It's all going by too quickly but I'm so happy I have these photos to look back on. 

If we end up going back this year I think I'm going to make the boys matching Mickey leggings, like the ones pictured down below from one of Copeland's first visits to the park. One of my favorite things about Disneyland is being able to show off your Disney pride. It's so fun wearing your Mickey ears or dressing in some Mickey get-up. It just adds so much to the magic of Disneyland, in my opinion :)

To celebrate possibly going to Disneyland this winter I wanted to share some of my Disneyland tips and tricks for taking toddlers and babies to Disneyland. So here it goes. 

1. Bring a full size stroller!! Bonus if it lays flat
Okay so Josh and I argued about this before our last trip with both boys. He wanted to bring an umbrella stroller and I said no way! His complaint was packing the double full size stroller through the airport and to the hotel. I finally convinced him it needed to come along and we are both glad we had it! Not only did it do the obvious, but it held all of the stuff you need to bring into the park with you. Yes you can get lockers for your things, but when you have a toddler and baby, it's so nice to have everything in the basket under the stroller. Diapers, snacks, blankets, sweatshirts, souvenirs, change of clothes, etc, etc, etc. Also before when Josh wanted to bring only one umbrella stroller, he was thinking Copeland would just want to walk and if not walk, Josh was planning on toting him around. Holy smokes was he glad we had a double stroller. Copeland sat in the stroller more times then not. He took naps in the stroller during the day as well! Trust me you'll want the full size double stroller :) Josh and I got a tandem opposed to a side by side and it was great! I think a side by side would have been way too wide, especially with the crowds. 

2. Don't forget the extra change of clothes and sweatshirts.
Copeland does so well with being potty trained, but when in Disneyland and all the excitement it's hard to remember when you got to go until it's too late. This happened to us and I'm so happy we had a couple extra outfits, undies included!You should have seen Josh swoop up Copeland and take off to the nearest restroom as soon as he mentioned he had to go. Poor guy didn't make it. Also sweatshirts for everyone for when it gets chilly at night. Somehow I forgot to bring Finn his sweatshirt and it was FREEZING. We ended up spending nearly $40 on a Disney hoodie for him when if I had just planned better, we would have had him covered. Blankets are a must for us as well. Who doesn't love cuddling a blanket while being pushed around in a stroller? ;) Lucky kids! 

3. Bring lots of healthy snacks! 
If you're anything like me, I love my high calorie and fatty snacks from Disneyland. It's one of the things I look forward to most when going there. Copeland definitely shares my sweet tooth so with all the unhealthy things we're buying at the park it's good to have healthy and filling snacks on hand. We packed grapes, string cheese, nuts, peanut butter and celery, and wheat thins, along with frozen water bottles instead of using ice packs to save on space. Just make sure everything you pack is in a soft cooler so you can bring it in the park with you.

4. Baby Carrier.
This was a must for us. Unlike Copeland, Finley isn't a huge fan of the stroller when he starts to get tired. He becomes very needy and extra whiny. Having a baby carriers was great! We were able to get him to sleep on us, while waiting in line and being hands free was a plus.

5. Pack Two Bags.
I may have mentioned this before on my blog. But something I like doing is packing two bags for Disneyland. One bag is just a tote style bag, I love these reusable ones from Amazon

I put in blankets, change of clothes, sweatshirts, diapers, and anything else I don't need on my person at all times into this tote bag. The second bag (I brought my Fawn Design diaper backpack) is filled with things I would take on every ride. This included my phone, camera, a couple snacks for the boys and toys (for keeping them busy while in line), etc. 

Having two bags made it easy to just grab my diaper bag without having to lug around a huge and heavy bag filled with everything we brought to the park. Next time however I think I'm going to get a backpack like this one instead of bringing my Fawn. I LOVE my Fawn, but it was a little too big for bringing on all the rides. 

6. Set a Souvenir Limit and Stick to it.
It can be so fun and easy to get caught up in the Disney magic and just want to buy all the things. Trust me, even I at one point was asking Josh for just one more pair of mickey ears. When he told me that as soon as we got back to Utah, the $25 pair of ears were just going to be sitting in a box for a years on end I snapped out of my Disneyland trance and realized he was right. It's easy to spend money at Disney. Set a limit for the kids (and yourself haha!). We let Copeland pick out one item (within a reasonable budget) per night. He ended up coming home with a lightsaber, a toy story gun and bubble wand. We talked to him before hand about this and made it clear going in. He did so well too! He didn't throw a fit when he saw something and we told no. He understood and was grateful for what he got. It was a pretty proud moment for Josh and I. 

7. Take Breaks!
The Disneyland hustle and bustle is fun! But remember to take breaks. One of my most favorite things about Disneyland is sitting under a tree or parking by a bench, grabbing a box of popcorn or an ice cream cone and just enjoying the atmosphere that is Disneyland. It's honestly so magical! Let the little ones run around for a bit and take a break from waiting in line. The entrance to Toon Town is a great place to do this. We also love to sit in New Orleans Square across from The Haunted Mansion. 

8. Rider Swap or Friends Swap ;)
We love traveling with friends. It always makes trips a little more fun, doesn't it? We love going with our best friends Chase and his wife Brette and their two girls. We've been a few times with them now and it's always the best time! We all get along so well and the kids have a lot of fun together also. Anyway, we did rider swap with them which was really nice. I'd watch their girls so they were able to go on a ride together and then we'd switch so Josh and I were able to go together. Almost all the big rides have rider swap, all you have to do is ask for a rider swap ticket and they'll give you one. It's great and such a time saver!

9. The new MaxPass.
If Josh and I go this winter, this is a must! It's costs extra per ticket (about $10) but WORTH IT! It's basically like a mobile fastpass. You can grab a fastpass for your favorite ride over in DCA while say, you're enjoying the view from flying on Dumbo. It's really great and to us, totally worth the $10 since we'll only be there one day and want to take Copeland on as many rides as we can. 

Okay I think that's it, for now! If I think of anything else, I add it to the list. In the meantime, enjoy these photos from our past trip to Disneyland. Finn was only 9 months old! Yes I'm one of those who doesn't think it's completely pointless to bring babies to Disneyland haha :) It's definitely hard but so worth it!

The Modern Farmhouse: Floor Plan, Sneak Peeks and The Exterior Lights!

This past weekend, Josh's brother, who is a licensed electrician, was so gracious enough to install our electrical. This saved us $6,000 just for the electrician fees. We have another $1,500 budgeted for light fixtures. So all in all we have quite a larger budget to use for upgraded light fixtures if need be. I'm still kinda shocked at how much it costs for an electrician to wire a house. It would have cost us much more than that as well because every room we wired we ended up adding in either more lights, outlets, and/or sconces. I had to make a few trips to get more wire and canned lights. It looks so good though! We kept joking about how "lit" it is going to be. So many lights!

we're all a little excited as we're getting closer to moving in!

Speaking of, we finally picked out our exterior lights and I'm so excited about them because they are so unique, in my opinion. I haven't seen any house with this color of light. We partnered up with Barn Light Electric and decided on These Lights. We opted for the raw copper color and they are gorgeous and huge!! I can't wait to get them installed against the white brick and wood garage door!

Barn Light Electric was so incredible to work with as well. I worked with Betty Lynne and she was so helpful in picking out the right light. I was able to send her our home design and she helped in decided on the size of fixtures. Their customer service is the best!


I swear I've shared this before but I still get asked a lot about it. One of the most frequent questions I get asked about our home is how we decided on the floor plan. This is something that is a HUGE deal, obviously, when building a house. Once you send the plans into the city there's really no turning back, unless you have lots of extra money laying around ;)

Josh and I knew from the beginning that we wanted to build a rambler/ranch style home. After living in our first town home which had steep stairs, we knew we never wanted to deal with them again. I hated forgetting something upstairs and having to go up an entire flight of steep and narrow stairs to get my keys, sweatshirt, or whatever it was that I had forgot.

When we bought our first home it was a rambler and we LOVED the layout. It was just so nice to have everything on one level and we loved the open concept of it.

The Design Process
When Josh and I decided to start designing the layout we knew three things.
1. We wanted at least 3 bedrooms with additional growing room in the basement.
2. We wanted the boys to have a separate bathroom than that of our house guests.
3. We wanted more living space in the kitchen and family room areas.

We searched every floor plan website out there only to be disappointed by our search results. We didn't love anything and we knew designing a home and using an architect could be costly. We were set on finding the perfect pre-designed plan. One that we could just purchase the blue prints for, but like I said that was becoming less likely the more time I spent on these websites. We would find a plan and love everything about but this one space, or that one room, etc. we didn't want to put in the time or money into building something we kind of loved. This is our forever home, as of now ;) We plan on being here for a very long time. We wanted something we would love forever.

One plan we found we loved everything about except for the way the boys bathroom was laid out and the fact that it had a formal living room. We had a formal living room in our starter home and it we never used it. Like ever. It became a storage room for us. So we ditched the living room and took that square footage and put it back into the kitchen, dining and family area. Once we had a pretty good rough draft of our plans we finally decided we needed an architect to get the footings and roof line figured out.

Like I've said in past posts our architect was amazing to work with! He helped us eliminate dead spaces, fixed the staircase to the basement so that it made sense and would be a beautiful feature to the home and added a ton of storage closets throughout! Once we got our layout narrowed down we sent the plans into the city.

So here we are today. Our home is entirely framed out and insulation went in this week! Drywalling is up next! Along the framing process we changed lots of things in the interior of the home like
1. Adding archways into openings of hallways and making doorways taller than standard size.
2.Switching tub, showers and toilet placements to make more sense.
3. Switching closets and pantries, island layout, and cupboard layouts.

I think my biggest suggestion to someone building a house is add more space haha. I'm kicking myself for not adding just 3 more feet onto the back of the house.

Also, don't let your builder just do what they want. You're paying for a custom home so make it custom. Something I wanted so badly but was talked out of it by our architect and builder was a large front porch. They said it would look funny being that large and running across the entire front of the house but it's something I wish I would've put my foot down on. The cost now to go back in and add footings, re-bar and a porch is insane! If we would've added it to the plans, it would've been practically nothing.

Also make sure you know have a pretty good idea of what you want when heading to the architect. Make lists, take pictures. etc.. We have gorgeous views of the mountains from our backyard so windows were super important to us. We decided to put in large picture windows in the dining room but now going through the house I wish we would've done what I originally was thinking about and add 3 windows side by side to give the house more character over just installing plain picture windows back there. Stick with your gut and do what you love.


And now for a sneak peek into the design of the boys bathroom. I've been back and forth on this design for SO LONG. Like we should've just hired a designer because I'm getting to the point where I'm questioning everything I'm picking out.

But as of last week we've decided to do the boys bathroom and the half bath in shiplap. The finish work is ordered which means no turning back now! To our surprise, this is only costing about $300 per bathroom for both product and install. Totally worth it because when we installed shiplap in our last house it was a major pain in the tush. We're planning on it being painted black in the boys bath and white in the half bath.

 The tub/shower surround in the boys bathroom will be white subway tile with white grout and we are going to go with matte black fixtures both in the tub/shower and vanity. We originally were thinking gold, but matte black makes more sense here. We will be using gold accent pieces in the sconces and bathroom accessories. The flooring will match our wood floors but be wood looking tile and we're trying to decide if we should do a herringbone pattern or not? Still up in the air on that one! As for the vanity, we're also still deciding on a color. Part of me wants to just stick with plain old white but then part of me really wants to go dark hunter green with a top mount white sink. Josh thinks it will be too moody and dark but I kinda like that! Opinions?

We just got in those beautiful wood towel hooks that I ordered from HERE.
The black modern wall hook can be found HERE.
The huge oversized mirror is from HERE.
Black tasseled towel can be found HERE and the concrete "brush" holder HERE.
THIS is the sink we're thinking about and faucet can be found HERE.

Okay last update for now. Remember how I really really wanted a Dutch style door as our entry door. We honestly went back and forth on this for at least a month, if not longer. We decided on a dutch door but we sort pf too too long and for the Dutch door to be custom made it would have put a hold on the progress of the exterior. I was so bummed! We decided to do a traditional entryway door BUT we're putting the dutch door inside the house. I'll share whereabouts in the coming posts but it's going to be so nice for what we plan on using it for!