What Burning Grilled Cheese Sandwiches Taught Me….

Today was one of those days in motherhood that was just down right hard. Momma’s, I know you all have had those days!

Months and months of sleepless nights have piled up. My baby is struggling through teething and I hate to see him in so much pain! Let’s be honest, shards of bone breaking through tender flesh is not fun for anyone!! Today, I had moments where I lost my patience and used an unkind and unwarranted tone with my sweet babies.  I burned the grilled cheese sandwiches while I was trying to console an over tired, teething baby.  My perfectionistic tendencies really took a blow…..I DO NOT Burn food! Of course this wasted 4 pieces of bread and 3 slices of cheese, not to mention what little energy reserves I was using.

These were not my most Properly Stylish moments but, they happened.

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It’s funny how burning a grilled cheese sandwich can send you into a self deprecating tail spin of feeling inadequate. I immediately began to see all of the ways that I do not measure up as a mother and wife.  As I was spiraling  out of control in my thoughts, Stella was encouraging me in her sweet little way.

Stella : “Oh mom, you burned the grilled cheese. It’s ok! You can make another and next time turn the fire down and watch it very closely. Wow! My tummy is growling so loudly…I must be realllllllly hungry.”

I both laughed and cried listening to her. I took a deep breath, told myself “I AM enough,” and began to prepare the second round of sandwiches.

As women, we are often times juggling many responsibilities and trying to excel at every one. We leave very little room for failure or acting in any way that is less than perfect. The truth of the matter is that none of us are perfect and never will be! It’s an unattainable trait that we try so desperately to achieve. I would never want Stella or Liam to feel the pressure to be perfect in anything they do. As a matter of fact, I tell Stella very often that her best efforts are enough and she never has to feel like she has to be “perfect.”

Parenting can be the best teacher and failing can be one of the greatest gifts! Both require us to strive to be the best version of ourselves!

With both babes on my lap, I apologized for losing my patience and burning the grilled cheese sandwiches. Stella immediately said those beautiful words that set us free and give us room to grow, “I FORGIVE YOU mommy and I LOVE YOU even though you burned the grilled cheese!” Forgiveness is such a beautiful gift!  All was well!

As I prepared the second batch of sandwiches with a crying babe on my hip, I gave myself permission to fail. I gave myself permission to have a less than spotless home, to sleep in my makeup and have messy hair, to not always have the perfect meals prepared with the best ingredients, and to fail without it defining who I am.

I want to be a positive example for my babies. I realized that striving for perfection does not set a realistic example for them. Thank you God for grace and forgiveness!

What truly matters is that my family feels and sees the love I have for them.

Even though I am enormously flawed, I am enough in this moment!

I hope my challenging day encourages you! You are doing a wonderful job and you are so loved!

Lunch may have started black, crusty and undesirable but it ended up pretty fantastic! Oh the lessons we learn!

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Failing can be Properly Stylish….as long as you give your best efforts and learn from your mistakes!

Take care of yourselves and love yourself well…..that is Properly Stylish!

XOXO,

Wendy

Fall and Pumpkin Patches…

It’s finally fall here in Atlanta…..well, kind of. There are still a few days where the temperature sneaks into the 80’s. Gotta love those southern seasons!

Anyone who knows me, knows of my love for the holiday seasons! I mean, I am seriously ready to put up the Christmas tree and it is only the middle of October! I love all of those warm fuzzies that come along with holidays.

This year we have been to both an apple orchard and a pumpkin farm.

Burt’s Pumpkin Farm in Dawsonville, GA is my absolute favorite! It has become a yearly fall tradition for my little family. It is about an hour drive through the most beautiful landscape. Farm land, cows, horses and little antique shops guide you all the way to the farm.

The pumpkins at Burt’s are amazing! There are hay rides and yummy eats to enjoy. They also have a little country store where I have been known to pick up a few jars of the most delicious Apple Butter. You must buy the Apple Butter!!

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These baby pumpkins are always a favorite of Stella’s. She takes in every detail before selecting the perfect one….just like her momma.

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My sweet Stella pondered long and hard over which baby pumpkin was chosen to come home with us. She’s my detailed girl and I love that about her!

 

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Liam took the pick it up and throw it approach. My propriety was kicking in hard as I apologized to other farm goers for the flying pumpkins. 🙂

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Man, I love watching this little one explore!

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Have you noticed Stella and Liam’s sweet little pumpkin monogrammed shirts? I absolutely love them! They are perfect for the fall season! Jennifer at Plum Happy is responsible for all of this cuteness! http://www.facebook.com/plumhappyclothing

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You guys, my heart breaks a little with each passing day as this amazing little lady grows older! She is growing into such a wonderful person. Her heart explodes with joy, love and compassion. I’m so happy she is mine!

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I love this shot of me and my little honey!

 

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You guys, the pumpkins at Burt’s are the size of small children. It’s pretty spectacular!

 

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We love visiting Burt’s Pumpkin Farm!

Fall-in Love….

I am not sure about you guys, but I am ready to say goodbye  to 90 degree weather and hello to crisp air, layered clothing, pumpkin everything and football!! Our summer has been so wonderful! However, I can’t help but long for the holiday season!!

So, let’s look forward to some of my favorite wearable Fall Trends…..

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Pumpkin Spice

Ahhhhhhh Pumpkin Spice! Just give me pumpkin everything!!! Don’t you adore this color? The fact that it’s an actual fall trend and not just the yummiest hot beverage you can order at Starbucks, gets my juices flowing!!

This muted color was seen all over the runways. It’s a very flattering color and goes well with most skin tones!

Bohemian Chic

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Boho-Chic is the way to go this fall! I love an “all you can eat” dress! What a multi-purpose garment! These dresses leave you feeling chic, comfy and allow you to eat as much chocolate has your little heart desires! Asos.com has some of the best maxi dresses at really affordable prices. The white beauty is gorgeous and she is a steal at $78!

Style Tip…..Add a chunky sweater or a faux leather jacket and your fave fall boots!

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Not just Denim….Reconstructed Denim

Dust off those distressed jeans of the 90’s because they are making a comeback! It’s no surprise that denim was seen all over the runways for fall. Everyone loves denim!

Plaid and Suiting

I’m kind of in love with this trend! We finally have permission from the fashion gods to pile on the plaid. I love pairing a simple plaid with a bold plaid. Yassssssss!

CAPES!! Give me all of the CAPES!!!!!!

This is my favorite trend! You can wear a cape with just about any outfit and it increases the glamour factor dramatically.

Okay, are you ready to shop? I know I am!

A word of caution….Don’t feel overwhelmed! Anyone can sport these fashion trends! You don’t have to have a large clothing budget to look like you have a large clothing budget! 🙂 My favorite places to shop are thrift stores and discount stores such as Marshalls and TJ Maxx.

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Did you know you can shop TJ Maxx online? Just found these beauties for $49! I have the perfect spot in my closet for them! 🙂

I hope you are feeling inspired and ready for fall!!

XOXO,

Wendy

Oh The Places We Will Go….In ATL

Hi fellow Properly Stylish people! These summer days are flying by and I can barely keep up! We have been busy with having as much fun as possible before the school year begins. I am always on the lookout for fun family outings! My favorite spots are those that offer both a fun experience and a learning experience.

I think we have found that perfect combo in the Children’s Museum of Atlanta.

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I will be honest the drive to the museum was less than Properly Stylish. Liam is teething and boy has he had a tough time! The last place he wanted to be was in a car seat for a 45 minute drive!

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Poor little lamb! Moving from car seat to stroller did not help matters! And so the adventure to the Children’s Museum begins! Don’t worry, he stopped crying as soon as we walked through those doors!

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Seriously! Look at this place!! How in the world could you be sad with all of the fun adventures you can have here?

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Look at these faces…..Pure joy! It was Stella and Liam’s first fishing experience and they loved every second! They splashed around and yes, they got wet!! It was wonderful to let them enjoy getting messy as they explored!

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Liam absolutely loves water! He would have gone for a swim if I would have allowed him. 🙂

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The next spot we visited was the mini grocery store! Not only is it adorable, but it teaches the benefits of having fresh and healthy food from Farm to Table!

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As you can see, Liam loves his fresh veggies. Stella, on the other hand is a little more selective with her food choices.

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She may have a particular palate but the girl can milk a cow like a boss! I loved this area so much! She actually learned how to milk a cow!!

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I try to explain where our food comes from to my kiddos. Today, it finally clicked! Milking this cow brought up a bunch of new topics to talk about. “Mom, why do we drink cows milk when you make Momma’s Milk? Wait, is the chicken sandwich from Chick Fil A a real chicken? (insert her sad face)” Good questions sweet girl! We will save those questions for another blog post. 🙂

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Liam loved this life size tractor so much! He was definitely in his happy place! Can you tell he has totally skipped his morning nap at this point?

I really believe Stella could have stayed and painted for days! She loved this painting station!

This may have been one of my favorite moments of the day! Stella was using “The Force” to open the elevators. Haha!!

There were so many fun activities and learning centers! There were crafting rooms and party rooms. The science center was mind blowing! We even were able to enjoy our snacks upstairs and chat about all of our favorite learning centers. My mommy-heart was bursting!

I have to mention the nursing mothers room! You guys, it was so wonderful to have a place to nurse Liam and allow him to have a few quiet moments! All of the excitement can be very stimulating.

We love the Children’s Museum of Atlanta and we had such a wonderful time learning while playing! Planning our next visit is already under way.

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Hands on learning is definitely Properly Stylish!

XOXO,

Wendy

Stylish eats to make with your littles…(Video at the Bottom)

I’m always up for some fun in the kitchen with my favorite girl, Stella! Cooking together is one of our favorite things to do!  I asked her to pick two of her favorite things. She quickly responded with chocolate and sprinkles! Well now, who doesn’t love chocolate and sprinkles?

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After brainstorming about all of the ways you could use chocolate and sprinkles, we settled on a fun and delicious treat! We decided to combine them and make edible ice cream bowls! Yum!

Items you will need:

1. Sprinkles – The sky is the limit! We chose traditional sprinkles and tuxedo sprinkles        (aka….crushed Oreos)

2. Melting Chocolate

3. Balloons

Directions:

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper; set aside.

2. Clean and dry your balloons. Then blow them up to your desired bowl size.

3. Place a large, heatproof bowl over a barely simmering pot of water and melt your chocolate.

4. Once your chocolate is melted and you have carefully removed the bowl from the simmering water, begin to dip your balloon bottom into the chocolate and tilt and rotate to create the “bowl” shape. Don’t worry about perfection at this stage. The chocolate imperfections give these yummy bowls character. Besides, you are going to devour it quickly!

**CAUTION** The Balloons will pop if the chocolate is too warm. OOOOPS!!!

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5. Remove any excess chocolate off of the balloon by gently tapping or shaking. Then, immediately place the dipped balloon  into your topping. Coat the chocolate by pressing, lifting, and repeating. Do not swirl or twist the balloon into the toppings as this will cause a smeared mess…..still delicious, just not as stylish!

6. Place the finished balloons onto your baking sheet and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes or until the chocolate has hardened.

7. To remove the balloons, simply cut a small hole near the top and allow the balloon to slowly deflate. You can then easily and gently remove the balloon from your delicious chocolate bowl!

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8. Fill those yummy and Properly Stylish bowls with your fave ice cream and enjoy!

Tadaaaaaahhhhhh!!!

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These Properly Stylish Ice Cream Bowls get a thumbs up from Stella.

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We had the best time with this Properly Stylish, DIY treat! It’s an easy and fun way to get the kiddos involved in the kitchen!

You can watch all of the fun we had together while creating our ice cream dream bowls below!

XOXO,

Wendy

 

It’s been a while….

Wow…..It has been a while and a lot has happened since my last post! I have had some amazing growth in my career, bought a home and added a beautiful son to our little family! We have been busy!!

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Meet Liam Isaac! Ahhhh….pure joy, warm snuggles, and sweet kisses perfectly designed in the tiniest little boy package. He has been the sweetest gift from God…..besides our little Stella. 🙂

Seeing Liam and Stella together melts my heart! So many people told us to expect Stella to act out and have struggles adjusting to having a sibling…..boy were they wrong! The love she has for her little brother is amazing! We made it a top priority to include her in every aspect of the pregnancy and delivery. She learned how to check my blood pressure, use the doppler heartbeat monitor, and apply bandaids whenever I had finger pricks. Needless to say, everyone at my doctor’s office looked forward to seeing Stella! I can not tell you how many videos we watched on the Discovery youtube channel. Life in the womb and (non scary) deliveries were among her favorites! Stella was truly captivated! When my labor began, Stella was right by my side reminding me to breathe. We allowed her in the delivery room until things started to get real……and by real, I mean out of this world painful! Haha! She stepped back in right after Liam was born and began her big sister duties. The nurses at Northside Hospital were amazing. They allowed Stella to give Liam his first bath!  The nurses walked her through every step of his post delivery care. I remember her shouting, “Mom!! I am going to be a baby doctor when I grow up!”  Those were moments I will never forget!!

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When asked what her favorite part of being a big sister is, Stella’s response is simple and sweet….”Snuggling with Liam!” Sighhhhhh!!! She truly is so loving towards him! She prays for him when he cries, dances to make him laugh and reminds him constantly how much he is loved and protected! I am pretty sure she has the spirit of 90 year old woman! How did I ever get so lucky to have the privilege of sharing this life with these precious, little souls?

This new season in my life has brought about many wonderful changes in our little family! Which means that there are tons of new topics to talk about….and you know how much I love to talk!  I love chatting about parenthood, fashion, DIY projects, recipes and general life happenings! So, here’s to walking through this crazy, blessed life and all it has to offer with the Proper Style!

Sick Day Fashion….

The crazy weather here in Atlanta has rendered our little family sick….ughhhhh! My sweet Stella was up all night with a high fever and coughing. 😦 Nothings worse than seeing your baby sick…..all of you parents out there can relate! So, we were off to see the doctor first thing this morning……looking PROPERLY STYLISH, of course!

I know what you’re thinking…..”who has time to look stylish when your sick?” The answer is …..Everyone!

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My ensemble today consisted of flared leg denim jeans, my husband’s comfy shirt (always a sexy little touch, especially for the hubby), cute wedges, and great accessories! All of which you have in your closet! This ensemble is your basic tee shirt and jeans with a kick! 🙂

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This was such an easy look to pull together……it was quick, comfy and Properly Stylish! It’s amazing how much better you feel when you look great on the outside. Funny how fashion can sometimes be great medicine for the inside. 😉

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My little star was also Properly Stylish for her doc visit….gold leggings, comfy cotton tunic, leopard print uggs and funky glasses! 🙂

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Between us, I think she likes going to the doctor just so she can have a sucker. 🙂 Not to worry, she got a bill of clean health. No infections….just a yucky cold.

A simple, but stylish look doesn’t have to take hours to pull together. Pull out those basics and give them a boost with great accessories…..and look PROPERLY STYLISH even on the worst of days!

B. Blessed,

Wendy