We always said we would never live in the suburbs. Well, never say never folks because we are rockin' the suburbs now. Maybe the minivan will come next because we also said we would never buy one of those too. We moved away from the city because Ryan was commuting an hour each way to work and we were craving way more family time. It was bittersweet to say good-bye to our cute 1950's ranch house and buy a home in a development where all of the architecture looks the same. Afterall, it was our first house, the place we brought Elle home to and we had put a ton of work into it.  

When we found our new home we knew it would need some work to update it, but the layout and bones were perfect. Ryan and I decided the first thing that we would going to do was repaint the whole house white, replace the flooring downstairs and upstairs and get new appliances. We wanted to start with a clean slate, and the first room to tackle was the kitchen.

As I am sure you know everyone congregates in the kitchen no matter how big or small. You cook three meals a day in there, and with little ones I'm always in there getting snacks too. This kitchen had the original appliances from the 1990's. They were functioning, but the oven seemed like it was going to fall over when you opened the door. We upgraded to stainless steel Kitchen Aid appliances. Though their original oven was electric we saw there was a gas line available, so we chose a gas stove. We are super happy with everything except the fridge. It feels a bit cheap when you open the freezer. 

We chose to pain the walls and cabinets West Highland White by Sherwin Williams. We LOVE this white. It's warm and bright and not too yellow at all. For the new floors we picked out a hand-scraped hickory that had a lot of color variation. We wanted to minimize the appearance of scratches or marks, and we are sooooo happy with this choice. It goes with all of our furniture really well.

I knew I wanted to add hardware to the cabinets. I was toying with the idea of gold handles, but I would have add to change out all of the hinges because you could see the antique brass poking through. Instead, I went with antique brass modern handles from They were under $3 a handle verses $8 to $12 for gold. With 30 cabinets to accessorize you bet I went with the cheaper option. 

We weren't in love with the existing beige speckled countertops, but we didn't have the budget to replace them all. Instead, I found mini hexagon marble tiles that had some flecks of brown in them but also incorporated gray and white. By splurging on carrera marble we were able to elevate the kitchen without having to spend the extra amount on the countertops. 

We are so in love with our newly upgraded kitchen. It finally feels like "us." Sadly, however, a month after we renovated our kitchen flooded and destroyed our new floors and lower cabinets. Luckily we have some leftover wood and the damage isn't too bad, but it definitely is frustrating that we have to rip up the floors again. Oh well! That's life I guess. haha.


Bath time is probably one of my favorite parts of being a mom. It's time away from the phone and television to play in the water and have the silliest conversations. As I a kid I could spend hours in the bathtub, and I don't think it's any different being a parent (well, I definitely could do without all of the cleanup and water spilling over the tub some days). 

Every other night we give Elle a bath. We usually play tea party or mermaid. Munchkin has some really great bath toys, and we are big fans of their pink sparkle tea party set complete with cupcakes. 

Once we have had some fun (sometimes with bubbles, sometimes without) we wash Elle's hair. We love using Be Good products because they are 90% natural and completely safe for kids of all ages. We also love their message to kids - it's all about teaching your kids kindness and love towards one another. How cool is that?! The packaging is gorgeous too, so it doesn't look ugly to leave your shampoo bottle out. You can get a trio of their shampoo, body wash and lotion for $49 at Ulta and save $13


Everyone always wonders how Elle gets her curls. I must say it's mostly genetics, but after we use Be Good I brush her hair with The Wet Brush. These things are MAGIC I tell you! MAGIC! She doesn't cry when we brush her hair with it, and it gets out the tangles so much faster than any other brush I have used. Then I scrunch her curls with my hands and let it air dry. 

To celebrate bath time fun with your kids, I'm teaming up with Be Good to giveaway a spa basket worth $165 for your kiddo. You will get Be Good shampoo, body wash and lotion along with a Pottery Barn bathrobe, matching slippers, a wet brush and kids nail polish. You'll have everything you need to make beautiful memories with your child. Simply comment below and share what you love about bath time with your kids, and then head over to Be Good's Instagram and follow them. The contest ends at 5pm MST on Wednesday, November 25th. Good luck!

*This is a sponsored post by Be Good.


Fall is such a wonderful time of year. From the turning leaves and chilly temps, to the good food and even better company--what's not to love? Unlike other holidays (looking at you, Christmas) Thanksgiving is super easy to decorate for. All it takes is a few simple fall accents to make your home Thanksgiving ready. In fact, you can even recycle your Halloween pumpkins while doing it!

Here's how to make a gorgeous centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table using a pumpkin and some fresh mums:


If you have an un-carved pumpkin leftover from Halloween, now's the time to give it new life. If not, head to the supermarket or your local farmer's market and pick up a medium sized pumpkin. While you're there, look for some mums or your favorite flower in autumn tones. Cut these down so the stems are about 2-3 inches long. 


Next, all you'll need is a skewer or other sharp pointy object. Use this to poke holes in a ring around the stem on the upper 1/3 of the pumpkin. Doing so flower by flower will allow you to better space the flowers and ensure that you've got full coverage. Keep adding flowers until you achieve a full, luscious look.


How easy was that? The great thing about this arrangement is that it will last. Since the holes in the pumpkin are so small, the pumpkin will not rot with the same speed of a carved pumpkin. Make this arrangement a few weeks before Thanksgiving using fake flowers so you can enjoy it's beauty all the way up to the big day. If you want to use fresh flowers take three minutes out of your busy cooking schedule and pop the flowers into your pumpkin. SO EASY!


Sometimes things just don't work out like you had hoped not matter how much you pray or how badly you want it. 

Even with a second chance at breastfeeding I'm left with the same outcome - my body is just not able to produce enough for what he needs. It has been two months since I had Levi, and for two months he has been so hungry. He was gaining weight just fine at the beginning, but I didn't realize that nursing every hour to every two hours when they are two months old isn't normal. I finally started pumping and realized I was only making one to two ounces. At this point he needs about three to four ounces per feeding, so I would definitely say he was hungry.

I finally gave him a bottle of formula and he scarfed it down like he had never had milk in his life. It was so sad and I cried. I felt like a terrible mother for not knowing how hungry he was. I felt like a terrible mother for not being able to exclusively breastfeed. I was just overwhelmed with sadness and guilt.

The thing is that I've been in the place before and I promised myself I wouldn't put my heart through it again. I promised myself that no matter what I was going to do what needed to be done, and if that meant formula that's okay. It's just knowing the breastmilk is the healthiest thing for my child and not being able to give it to him KILLS me.

I feel embarrassed every time I pull out a bottle in public and instantly my mind is filled with a bunch of excuses of why I can't breastfeed so that I can defend myself to random strangers. So dumb, right? Have you been here too? At my church there is a "nursing room," so does that mean I can bring a bottle in there or not. Why can't it just be called a mother's room? 

But you know what?! Levi is so, so happy. He is babbling all of the time and he is sleeping so much better. And you know what else, I'm still breast feeding for five to ten minutes to give him that tiny ounce to two ounces that I have, and at least it's something. But even if I didn't have that I'm just happy I have a healthy baby, and I'm so thankful that I have formula. Imagining my child starving and failing to thrive because my body can't do its job right is a horrifying thought.

I'll spare you all of the visits with my lactation consultant and the triple feeding and the herbs, etc. I did it and it didn't work and who cares, right?! At the end of the day I am at peace with knowing that I'm being the best mother I can be. That's all we mothers can do, and I need to remember that every day. Perfection is not something to desire as a parent. Peace is, and that's what I have today. And that's perfect.


Hello! Leah here, Alex's assistant, and I'm bringing you this week's Pinterest look for less. As a college student always on-the-go, I'm loving the sporty look featured in this top performing pin. My personal style is very eclectic and I'm a big fan of mixing and matching different looks to create contrast in an outfit. For example, give a simple, pastel look some edge by throwing on a black leather moto jacket. Then, add some classic white sneakers to complete the "cool girl" vibes. Adidas Superstars are having a big moment, and while you could shell out $80 for the real deal you can also head to Topshop and grab a similar pair for half the price! Here's how I managed to pull together this look on a college budget:

Look for Less #4

Romwe Moto Jacket - $35

Uniqlo Crewneck - $8

Chicwish Skirt - $37

Topshop Sneakers - $35

Amazon Purse - $29

Total: $144

There you have it, all for under $150! I'm a firm believer that you don't have to shell out big bucks for major style. In fact, I challenge you to recreate whatever pin you've been swooning over lately. Share the results with us by tweeting us @AVEstyles!