Friday Favorites

Five on Friday/Sunday

buster 2 monthone: Buster turned two months old on Monday and I cannot believe how big he is! He’s gained over 4 1/2 pounds and three inches since he was born, and has inherited my large head. He’s very nearly into 3-6 month clothes, and is starting to sleep more predictably which is a dream. He laughs, coos, and smiles constantly, and eats like a horse.

Fitbittwo: Bert got me a new Fitbit for Mother’s Day since my old one (that he got me for Mother’s Day two years ago) was dying and Fitbit gave me a great coupon since it was past warranty. I LOVE IT. They fixed everything that bugged me about my old one (not being able to see active minutes without looking at my phone, not being able to choose my workout, the goofy charging cord, not being able to replace the band since that’s all that was wrong with my old one, etc) and added some really neat new features and made it looks more like a watch, and I LOVE the interchangeable bands so it doesn’t always have to look so fitness tracker-y. I use mine daily so it was really sweet of him to replace it–and with a really pretty one! Now if someone could figure out how to make a tooled leather band…

brothersthree: dressing Buster in Wacey’s little clothes kills me. Upon seeing this picture, one of my friends commented that Buster’s starting to look more like himself, and maybe a little more like me? I agree on the former, and would be tickled if the latter were true, although their daddy’s a pretty darn good-looking guy so I’m not complaining if he favors him too. They definitely look like brothers, though! I think Buster has more of my coloring though, if nothing else–lighter hair with darker eyebrows and lashes. We’ll see–it’s sort of fun to speculate what he might look like but I’m probably wrong on all counts, since I thought Wace would look like me and he looks just like his daddy.

little missfour: I still can’t get enough of Little Miss. Something about baby horses just makes me want to camp out in the bushes with leaves taped to my head so I can watch them all.the.time. “Every breath you take, every move you make, every branch you break, every step you take, I’ll be watching you…” Not creepy at all, right? As it is, I’m going to bust out the big lens next week (Miss has Little Miss holed up in the trees and willows since the weather is so sucky right now so I can’t even see them to spy on them) and I can’t promise I won’t tape leaves to my head.

bean boots
potholes
blizzardfive: the weather outside is weather. By which I mean the weather is currently masquerading as Winter. So while y’all are all over Instastories with pictures of your kids at the splash pad, we’re breaking out the boots and coats again. Although, I don’t completely hate it, because I got to wear the Bean Boots that Bert (say that five time fast)  got me for Christmas for only the second time since I was so darn pregnant at Christmas that I couldn’t bend over to lace them up. It was lovely. The roads are a mess, and Bert had to move cattle in a near-blizzard on Thursday (the pastures they were in are full of oak brush, which can be poisonous to cattle if consumed in large enough quantities, which is more likely when the grass is buried by two feet of snow). But, much of the snow is already melted and you know it’s gonna be green when it warms up next week.

April showers bring more snow, I guess!

Friday Favorites

Five on Friday

stroller cows

one: hallelujah the spring weather is back! We had a lot of snow and rain over the past week, and yes we needed the moisture and no I have no control over the weather but gosh we were going crazy. I’m glad to get back to going on walks in the morning with both boys and be able to play outside to shake our sillies out rather than having to deal with boredom- and confinement-induced toddler tantrums. We branded today and it actually got hot.

exercise selfie

two: shout out to my amazing husband, who kept the boys two evenings in a row so I could go out for a half hour of exercise. I’ve been trying really hard to stick to my workout routine, but it’s hard when it’s too cold to take Buster in the stroller, and naptimes are reserved for work only, so the treadmill hasn’t been happening (plus b.o.r.i.n.g.) Thankfully, Bert’s supportive of my quest to get back into shape a little faster this time (I miss my old pants!!!) and I’m still feeling the effects of two hard solo workouts in a row days later.

essie gel

three: one of my greatest friends is having her baby shower this weekend, and I’ve been planning my outfit for a while–dressing the postpartum bod with a limited wardrobe is no joke, plus I’m Type A. And, this is one of those social situations where I want to feel and look my best. We’ve all been there, right? Those gatherings where you don’t have anxiety, necessarily, but maybe it’s a group of people you don’t see much, or maybe it’s a little out of your comfort zone,  and you want to give yourself a little confidence boost. My outfit is planned (no boots and jeans for this fancy affair!), but I’ve always found I feel more put together when my nails are done. I’ve been meaning to go and get my nails done for months and months, but who has time for that, especially when the closest (and not the greatest) nail salon is twenty miles away? So I scooped up this little gel situation from Amazon and I can’t wait to try it! It’s gotten rave reviews from my friends and from beauty bloggers, so I’m excited to see if it will truly last a long time. Just to be safe, though, I’m waiting until after branding to do my nails. I’ll report back!

bb dress

four: speaking of dressing the postpartum bod, I had a little bit of sleepiness-induced trigger finger and ordered this dress from Brickyard Buffalo at around four am yesterday. Brickyard Buffalo is a flash sale site like Jane, but I find their items to be a little more unique and classic. I’ve seen dresses like this everywhere, but they’re always sold out, so you’d better bet I grabbed this one while it was in stock. It’s got full short sleeves, pockets, and a flattering cut, and I’m pretty darn excited for it to get here. I haven’t worn dresses in years, since they’re not that practical on a ranch, but I want a few items that are easy to wear while playing or running errands with the boys that will fit while I’m losing the Buster Belly. I’m trying to be very intentional about new clothing purchases as we, like the rest of the free world, are spring cleaning and bemoaning our (okay my) lack of discretion when it comes to certain purchases. Many Goodwill sacks and a huge ThredUp bag later, I am determined to only buy clothes that are filling a need, will get worn to death, or replacing a current item in my closet, and I think this will fit right in!

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five: #loveyourvillage. Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and this is such a beautiful idea. I balk at Mother’s Day being a gift-giving, must-have-brunch holiday. A gift is lovely, but most moms I know want a few things, in various forms, that aren’t gifts: recognition and appreciation, a little time alone, and a day where they don’t have to cook or clean. Being a mom myself, I know that just a little of these things goes a long way. So, love your village. Send a little card or give a little gift or bouquet to those gals in your life that get you through, or gift your mama friends the Coffee + Crumbs book, because it’s really lovely.

Happy Friday, and Happy Cinco de Mayo! I don’t think we’ll probably be having tequila, but I might go super #basic and make fajitas tonight like everyone else, plus I have a bunch of cilantro that’s about to go bad. Plus fajitas are deeeelish. And thanks, internet, for making me talk about fajitas after a dusty morning of branding because now I really, really want a marg.

Celebrate · Fun

Friday Five: Gift Wrapping

I love wrapping gifts, just like I love sending and receiving Christmas cards. Basically, paper goods are one of my love languages. I get everything ordered/bought, and once it’s arrived I put it all away in the guest room (or in a sneakier locale if it’s for Bert, as he isn’t as easily fooled as a toddler, bless him). I set aside an evening or two to wrap in the light of a Christmas movie and the tree, or, in this year’s case, in the light of a Christmas movie and, well, regular lights, since the tree is upstairs, Wacey sleeps upstairs, and for whatever reason the sound of paper always wakes him up. In years past, I’ve wrapped everything and then put the non-Santa/Christmas morning/super obvious gifts under the tree, but again, toddler. So I wrapped a bunch of empty boxes and they’ll be placeholders for the next, oh, ten years or so.

Also in years past, I’ve really put a lot of thought into wrapping gifts, and did a sort of theme each year. This year I’m going pretty basic as the boys could care less how their gifts are wrapped, but I do love gorgeous wrapping paper and am happy to lust at beautiful and festive wrapping from afar. I love things that are simple, colorful, and not too fussy, but are a little more than paper and box.Or a bag. I’m kind of against gift bags for stuff that gets left under the tree for a long time, because it makes it waaaaay too easy to peek, and I’m all about the element of surprise.

Not because I ever peeked at my own gifts inside gift bags, of course.

Although, for those oddly-shaped, don’t-fit-in-a-box gifts, give me allll the gift bags.

Letter tags: I think this would be so great for older young kids to help them figure out whose gifts are whose (provided everyone’s name begins with a different initial!) Plus, glitter and baking twine are two of my spirit animals. I might go so far as to try this for some gifts this year. I know, I know, slow your roll, Martha Stewart.

PS–can you imagine what Martha Stewart’s gift-wrapping is like? In my mind, it’s so lovely.

big-letter-tags

Buffalo Plaid and Kraft Paper: I kraft paper and buffalo plaid is pretty and festive and rustic, even without the evergreen topper. I also love mixing patterns, so throwing in another pattern would work here too! You could use any plaid with this, too, if buffalo isn’t your style.

buffalo

Sharpie Labels: Again with the kraft paper, I know, but it’s vintage-y and simple, comes in giant rolls, and is thicker than regular paper so you never have to worry about sharp corners poking through. It makes a great neutral canvas (yes I just used “neutral canvas” to refer to gift wrapping), and the red ribbon is simple, easy, but also elegant. I like the idea of writing the name of the recipient directly on the paper–it eliminates the whole gift tag step, and is informal and fun. You could also do this with a chalk pen!

gold-sharpie

Jingle Bells: Isn’t this the cutest bow alternative?? It adds just a little something extra, to quote Elle Woods, and bonus points it you color-coordinate it to your outfit. You could go gold, silver, or colorful depending on your decor, and vary your sizes if you’re really looking to win at the wrapping game. I think this would be exciting for little kids, too–Wacey LOVES bells, and if nothing else it might buy you a little time on Christmas morning.

Actually, I’ll take my own advice here, as I have several too-large-to-choke-on bells in my Christmas stash. Of course, the ultimate toddler packaging would involve some lights, too, and something that buckles or zip. Basically, a light-up backpack with a bell tied on. Do it.

jingle-bells

Mixed Patterns and Plaids: How fun does this look?? My mother-in-law gifted me with some beautiful wrapping paper for my birthday, and I mentioned that it was almost too pretty to just be ripped apart on Christmas morning. My father-in-law said “Why don’t you use it for the fake presents under the tree so they stay wrapped?” and basically, he’s a genius. Like I said above, I’m not putting actual gifts under the tree until the Johnston household is a toddler-free zone (soooooo in the next decade ha) and I love this idea with the different plaids and patterns, it fits our whimsical (okay, juvenile)-yet-traditional vibe to a T. Plus, it won’t seem so futile to make things pretty if I keep bringing them out year after year! I still haven’t found the perfect plaid paper (okay, I haven’t looked, but when we went to get wrapping paper Wacey spent the entire time using his roll as a stick and getting pretend cows up like he does in the barn, so we weren’t exactly in perusal mode)

tartan

Now, if wrapping gifts isn’t your bag (see what I did there?), or can’t be because you have a house full of tiny destructive tornadoes, I feel you, because sometimes I just want to put everything in trash bags and hand it over. They do make mint-scented trash bags (to repel varmints), so that’s pretty festive, right? I remember asking my mom if I could help wrap presents and her being like “YES! In fact, you can do it all by yourself!” Now I see what you did there, crafty lady.