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    Win the Morning

    Win the Morning

    I've never enjoyed mornings. We don't get along. I get up at 6am. Sometimes 5:45.... sometimes 5:30. I drink the coffee, I read, I write, I run. But I don't know that we will ever be real friends. So I made myself a pretty little printable to hang by my bed to greet me when I forcefully pull myself awake. Feel free to grab it for yourself, print, and enjoy.... or grumpily stare and and wonder if you'll ever be a morning person. 

     

     

    Spring Outfits for Little and Me with Jen from Paisley + Sparrow

    Spring Outfits for Little and Me with Jen from Paisley + Sparrow

    Hi everyone! I'm Jen from Paisley + Sparrow! I'm a mom to 2 kids under 2, a wife to a hunky Indian guy and we all live in Minneapolis with our dog Chloe! My goal is to bring joy to your life, style and home. I share tips and tricks to finding and loving your personal style for you and your home over on my blog and try my best to share encouragement to women of all walks of life - especially to you mamas! Let's face it. Being a mom can be a hard job. You have to make about 2,000 decisions before noon and most of those aren't even for yourself. (The one exception is how much coffee to drink that morning.) There's no doubt in my mind that your little one's closet is full of the most adorable outfits ever. (Who can pass up a cute grandpa sweater for your little man or ruffled bloomers for your little girl?) But how often do you leave the house for a playdate, church or even Target and realize your kid is looking more fly than you?! I'm totally guilty of that and just pray that everyone my son waves to at Target will notice how adorable his little jeans and button up is and not realize I'm actually still wearing my pajama top with a sweatshirt over it and leggings. I'm here to help you (AND me if I'm being honest). I love the days when I'm coordinating with my kids so here are 3 outfit ideas that are simple yet adorable!

    First up, a park outfit!

    Park wear should be simple and easy. I absolutely love mustard yellow and it's a perfect accent color to your basic black and white ensemble. (You never know if you're going to meet your new mom bff at the park so you might as well look a little cute!) 

    For your little one: Bumbelou's peplum tank is perfectly matched with their retro shorts. Some fun moccassins and cute little bow completes the outfit (or keeps your kids hair out of their face like my daughter!).

    For you: Black denim shorts (I personally own these and LOVE them! They're perfect for sitting in the sand!) and a white top (There's also a mustard yellow option if you want to get totally matchy matchy!) is an ideal starting place for a summer outfit. Tie a mustard yellow bandana in your hair or better yet, around your neck (like below) and you'll instantly get some compliments from fellow moms who appreciate your style.

    spring fashions yellow scarf

    Don't think you can pull of a bandana? (First of all, yes you can.) Add on a stack of gold necklaces or fun gold earrings to accent your outfit! Top it of with a pair of comfy Birkenstocks and you're good to go!

    Sunday Best!

    Church or Sunday brunch can be so hard, am I right?! Not only do you need to look good yourself but we want our littles need to look put together. These are the moments to keep it simple. For both mom and little, put on a dress!

    For your little one: The Pirouette dress is adorable and perfect for those times you need to dress it up a bit. Pair it with a colored bow and shoes that strap on (nobody needs a skinned knee when you're looking your best).

    For you: The Leith dress is great for summer and is the most flattering dress for any body type. There's rouching in all the right places and isn't too short for bending over to pick up a kid or two. In summer I love to add on a scarf of some sort not only for looks but also to keep warm in air conditioned buildings! If it's far too warm for a scarf add a necklace or two and a pair of earrings.

     

    And lastly, a vacation outfit.

    For your little one: I loved Penelope's little peplum tank and retro shorts from Bumbelou and Roy had on a coordinating tank as well! I'm a big fan of brothers and sisters coordinating outfits!

    For you: I wore this simple outfit in California while we were on a family vacation! The best thing about these shorts and my top is they're super versatile. I wore the top with jeans as well as shorts and also layered under a denim jacket. I wore the shorts with 3 different tops (a simple white tank, this "be a nice human" tee and the green tee in the pic). Don't be afraid to try shorts with some embroidery! I really love them! 

    vacation wear for mom and little

    I'm also sharing one more outfit over on my blog featuring Bumbelou's Pineapple Peplum and Bloomer Set. Be sure to go check it out! Be sure to stop over on Instagram and say hi as well! I love making new friends!

    xoxo, Jen

    At Home Play - 5 Fun Ways to Pass the Day with Toddlers

    At Home Play - 5 Fun Ways to Pass the Day with Toddlers

    at home play with toddlers

    With the flu spreading like wildfire this year our family has been looking for fun and creative ways to spend time at home. We are a family who loves to visit the museum, hang out at the mall, even spend an hour at the library looking for new books and playing in the children's space, and while we are still doing these things I gotta tell the truth and say: it freaks me out a little to be in a crowd right now so we are limiting those things.

    Here is a little round up of things we’ve been doing at home to have a little extra fun, be creative, and basically just not kill each other with boredom especially in these cold months when outdoor play is limiting at best. If you have any family favorite at home activities I’d love for you to share them with us also… winter is far from over.

     

    1. Ballet at home: I’ve shared this one so many times I can’t even count, BUT we go back to it so much! This started with a simple youtube search for “toddler ballet class” and my girls loved it so much we decided to search for a DVD version. We have this ABC Jungle one and also Petite Feet. Over the course of a couple years we’ve also bought leotards and inexpensive ballet slippers so now part of the fun is getting into costume first. Often the play lasts longer than the 20-30 minute DVD because they just keep dancing. In the facebook group Rachal D shared a youtube channel for toddler yoga called Cosmic Kids Yoga which we’ve also done a few times and loved.
    1. Streamers & Balloons: We have Fall and Winter Birthdays for the girls and every year I’m reminded by how much entertainment some simple streamer paper and balloons can provide. Our girls love coming up with all kinds of random I-totally-don’t-understand-the-objective games when they get their hands on these. We even sometimes just invent a party to decorate for. Streamers, paper chains, posters (coloring pages hung on the wall with blue painters tape), balloons, if you’re really feeling it make yourself some cookies or cake with the kids! It’s so easy to make a day magical.
    1. Bath with Shaving Cream: Shaving cream in a cake pan is one most parents have heard of, but if you are like me, the eventual mess doesn’t sound super fun. So we grabbed our shaving cream and head to the bathtub. I think the girls have more fun and freedom to go crazy and it is super easy to rinse off when done. Add in bath toys and a few drops of natural food coloring and you’ll see them light up. And if you want to try some other creative shaving cream play here is an epic blog post and resource for ideas. 
    1. Family games: I credit my husband with the start of our family game times. I thought the kids (newly 4 and 2) were too young, but we quickly realized they weren’t AND there is a plethora of games on the market that are great for these ages. Our favorites have been the cooperative games where the whole family works together to win. This style game was totally new to me and for the younger ones it’s such a great way to work on the ideas of game rules, turn taking, and teamwork. Here are some of our favorites in addition to classics like Candy Land:
    1. Recently my girls have turned into quite the little crayola artists and it's often the first project we go to. We are constantly coloring and crafting and end up with a TON of projects… truly too many to keep. So we started mailing our coloring pages and projects to family and friends who we don’t get to see much. We love to use that time to talk about things we can do to cheer people up, kind ways to show love, and we often pull out Facebook and look at photos of our far away relatives so the girls can make the connection to people we love but don’t get to see often. I’ve found that it’s a good idea to be intentional about using regular size paper and making projects that will fold up easily so we can mail it with just a regular postage stamp.

    I would love to hear more creative ideas how you and your family stay busy at home! Leave a comment or join the discussion in the FaceBook Group: Friends of Bumbelou.


    Xo, Jenna

    2017 Baby and Toddler Gift Guide

    2017 Baby and Toddler Gift Guide

    With the holiday season officially in full swing I’m loving all the beautiful handmade items that fill my Facebook and Instagram feeds. As a big time supporter of small shops + businesses (and as a small business owner myself), this time of year makes my heart especially warm and fuzzy. Some of my favorite and most treasured items are from handmade shops… the heirloom quality, the attention to detail, the true joy that a maker pours into what they create… it truly does make holiday shopping magical + meaningful.

    I’ve put together some of my favorite items from some of the best shops I know, so read on and prepare for one of the best years of gifting ever.

    baby and toddler gift guide

    Save 20% on any Bumbelou purchase today through 12/10/17 with code: HOLIDAY

    1. Bumbelou BodysuitWe likely won’t be finding out the gender of baby number three, but this bodysuit is definitely on my list of favorites for the newbie. I love that it’s gender neutral without being boring, and the blend of cotton + spandex means it’s super soft with that extra little bit of stretch, one of the best qualities in baby wear (in my humble opinion!)


    2. Bannor ToysAfter being disappointed in a lot of the quality of toys that are manufactured today I was so pleased to find Bannor Toys when my first daughter was born. Hands down some of my favorite toys for all of my kiddos are from Bannor. Heirloom quality and simple designs, we’ve always been so happy with anything we’ve gotten from them. I especially love the classic rattle and may just  have one already waiting for the new baby’s arrival.


    3. Finch Designs Giraffe Stuffie: Made in Minnesota but loved around the world everything that shop owner Lisa Finch designs + makes has been a hit at our house. We especially love the giraffe stuffie we adopted a couple of years ago. It’s made to withstand lots of hugging, pulling, tossing, and loving. The fabrics are always super darling and on trend which I love since we don’t do a ton of primary color which are often the only options with typical baby toys. Heads up - the last day for holiday orders is December 8! Use code "FREESHIP" for free domestic shipping. 


    4. Bumbelou Vest: Let’s be honest, a buffalo check vest really is a winter essential, and with its darling leather ties this is one of our favorites from the Holiday Collection from Bumbelou. Perfect for both upping the stay warm and look cute factor! So perfect for pairing with both our tops and dresses.. Can you imagine how cute with your favorite Bumbelou dress, tights + tall boots?!


    5. Oona Handmade Heirloom Dolls:  We own SEVERAL of these Oona Dolls and each one is truly an heirloom doll. Gloria, the owner + creative designer and maker behind these beautiful works of art (and truly, they’re works of art) puts her heart and soul into each and every doll she makes, and it shows. Each one has its own personality, its own unique traits and is beautifully one of a kind. If you’re looking for a special baby doll who will last for years to come I can’t recommend these highly enough. Bumbelou readers can use code “oonagiftforyou” to score 35% off these beauties - an additional bonus? Holiday shipping cut off is December 14th!


    Legacy Learning Academy Table Top Bowling Set:  We got this set a couple years ago and it’s held up SO well - it’s fun for both the girls and for the grown-ups, especially on those cold Minnesota days when going outside just isn’t an option but the TV has got to go off. Shop owner Ashley has a collection full of wonderful play-based learning goodies, so hop on over and pick out your favorites! Bumbelou readers can even take 25% off with the code “legacy25” at checkout!


    Bumbelou Rowdy Pants: Finally, I LOVE these pants for a lazy loungey winter day. They’re perfect for playing and having that “I got to stay in my PJs” feel but without looking so… pajama-y. That way when grandma stops over, it looks like I’ve totally got my mom game together (which of course I always do) but the minimal effort is my little secret.  Woop! Extra perk? These work perfectly for both your little fellas and your little ladies!


    I so encourage you to shop small + support handmade this holiday season and all year long! Happy Holidays!


    XO,  A

     





    Giving Grace : a note to new mothers

    Giving Grace : a note to new mothers

    giving grace a note to new mothers

    Whenever I attend a baby shower and they do the activity where they pass around paper + pens and ask for us to all write down some words of wisdom for the new mama to be I know exactly what I want to write. 

    “Grace. So much grace.”

    Usually the papers are small and people write all kinds of “great advice” on them… sleep when the baby sleeps. Go on monthly date nights. Let the dishes and laundry go to snuggle the baby.

    They mean well, their hearts yearn to tell the new mother that this insane life change that’s about to hit them is going to be both glorious and terrifying.

    But I want to tell this sweet mama, with her glow of anticipation of all that is to be, that it’s going to be hard. It’s going to be beautiful and ugly simultaneously.

    There will be moments of heart bursting love.

    Moments of exhaustion and unkind words.

    Tears, from everyone, for any number of reasons.

    Triumphs.

    And mistakes.

    And through it all, the one thing I wish for all new mamas, is grace. Grace for their partners + their babies, for their well meaning family members and strangers who ask completely rude and inappropriate questions while offering unsolicited advice, for the person who steals the “reserved for new and expectant mothers” parking spot at the grocery store, and for the receptionist at the clinic who will tell you it’s a 10 minute wait and 30 minutes later still hasn’t called you and your screaming child back for your appointment.

    Grace. For all of them.

    But most of all... I wish for these mamas that the same grace they extend to those they love (and those they don’t) they also embrace for themselves, and for the other mothers around them.
    It’s the best (and honestly the only) advice I like to give new mothers… “Grace. So much grace.” Trust me, you’re going to need it.

    xo, a

    bumbelou blog