Yellow + Polka Dots

I used to think that being blonde meant I couldn't (or shouldn't) wear yellow, but I've long since changed my mind. In fact, I think bright yellow looks pretty darn great on lots of hair and skin tones. The trick is finding the right yellow.

Scuba Flare Skirt c/o Riffraff // Dot Mess with Me Blouse c/o Riffraff // Necklace (old) via Forever 21 // Earrings (old) from Francesca's Collections

Blondes should steer away from pale yellow, as it can sometimes make us look a little sallow. Instead, opt for brighter shades, like the lemon-colored skirt in the photo above from Riffraff. Brunettes can pretty much get away with any pigment, and redheads - the brighter the yellow, the better. 

Toss in some funky polka dots and you've got yourself a cute little combination. 

Until tomorrow, gals and dolls. 


Confessional Friday: (Link Up)

Hold on to your hats, ladies. It's Confessional Friday and we're gettin' real.

1. I confess that I changed clothes FIVE times yesterday before leaving the house for work. I’m in that weird post-baby-body phase where I feel like nothing fits in a way where I’m comfortable, or I feel like outfits just look frumpy. (Mamas, can I you all relate?)

Anyway, our bedroom looked like the fitting rooms at Nordstrom after a sample sale.  Clothes everywhere. Luckily Caroline hasn’t inherited this quirk from me yet and seems to be satisfied with her first choice of clothing every day ; )

2. I confess I cannot get behind buying a $70 pair of moccasins for my INFANT. I mean…what on earth?? Seems like everyone’s just throwing money down for those (admittedly) adorable, yet horribly expensive moccasins, and I’m over here like, “We went to Carter's!” (By the way, love me some Carter's. Caroline would be naked without them.)

Anywhoodle, it’s America and you can buy whatever you darn well please for your kiddo, but I just can’t quite take the plunge on spending that much myself. On baby shoes. For my baby that isn’t walking, nor requires shoes.

For $65, those puppies better feed, dress and change her stinky diapers, too.

3. I confess that I'm not buying a swimsuit until this post-C-section tummy gets a little more toned up. I tried one of my old ones on at home last night and it wasn't exactly pretty. Of course, a tan probably would have made it a bit less shocking. Thank you all for the exercise dvd recommendations! I'm off to purchase a couple and also look into some of those free YouTube workouts, too!

Happy Friday, bunnies. Happy Friday.


Professional Organizer Needed (But, Seriously)

Happy (almost) Friday! I had plans to put up an outfit post today with some Riff Raff pieces, but it started pouring yesterday about halfway through taking pics. So, looks like that will go up Monday!

I kind of took a little bit of a hiatus this week to unplug from the blogging world and do some much-needed spring cleaning. (How exciting am I?) No, but seriously...we'd really like to list our house this summer, so we've been double-timing it around la hacienda, trying to get it re-organized and spruced up.

Let me tell y'all something. You accumulate a TON of stuff as a single person, two thousand more TONS of stuff as a married person, and once you have a kid...oh man, forget it. Stuff galore.

Our house looks like the site of a Buy Buy Baby pop-up shop.

A few randoms since, apparently, I've completely thrown in the towel on organized blogging this week:

1. Baby Nella's Instagram auction starts TODAY! Get yourselves over to Instagram and follow @wonderfullymadeauction to bid on items from a whole bunch of amazing businesses, including Crown Beauty Bar, Honey Pie Accessories and many more. Let's raise some money for little Nella and her family!

2. Anyone out there read Divergent? I keep seeing the ads for the movie and I'm intrigued. Should I read the book first or just head straight to the theater?

3. Any suggestions for workout DVDs that won't take more than 20-30 minutes out of my day? I really want to tone up a little before summer, but with Caroline, my time is super limited in the evenings. And ain't no way this girl is getting up at some ungodly hour to do P90X.

Alrighty, same place/same time tomorrow. 


Confessional Friday

This week has been really short on content, but I did have a blast taking photos for Wednesday's post. I'm sort of addicted to hanging out with my kid, if you can't tell. And yes, she's even infiltrating outfit photos now...oops ; )

Let's confess, shall we?

1. I confess that I stopped at Starbucks on my way into the office Tuesday because I had a free beverage coupon. The nice barista asks for my order and I say, "Grande Caramel Flan latte with extra whipped cream." She says, "Okay, that'll be $4.39." And I say, "Oh, I have a tampon for that!"

Good lord.

2. I confess that I bought some of that Younique 3D mascara that everyone is raving about because I'm a sucker for beauty products. I'm not sure if I'm applying it incorrectly or what, but by the end of the day yesterday, I had TONS of flecks of dried mascara under my eyes. It looked like I'd taken a walk next to a volcano a few hours post-eruption, (read: ash-looking mess all over my face.

If anyone also bought this stuff and can give me some pointers on preventing the flecking, tell me. Again, I'm sure it's terrific when correctly applied; I've seen photos of other women wearing it and it's really impressive and beautiful.

3. I confess that I think a baby in a simple cotton onesie is just as cute as a baby in pink frills and lace.

4. I confess that I actually laughed out loud when the on-call pediatrician yesterday commented that Caroline had "weird, tiny hands". It was, to date, the most random comment on my kid I'd ever heard. Don't know if it was delirium from lack of sleep this week or what, but it made me laugh.

It also made me think of this gem:

Link up or drink up. (Coffee, that is.)


Keepin' It Casual: {Outfit Pics}

Lately, I've been wearing a whole lot of what I like to call "the mom-i-form" on my days that I'm home with Caroline: leggings, long-sleeved tees and sneakers.

But, here's the thing: I like looking put together. So, I've started looking for comfy yet stylish pieces that can be worn on days at home with the kiddo OR dressed up for days I head into the office. Pieces that can play well with a pair of Converse sneakers or Brian Atwood stilettos.

Sunshine Stripes hoodie c/o Impressions // Pretty Little Tank c/o Impressions // sunnies here // jeans here // wedges from last summer, but similar style here

I love the ease and versatility of the Sunshine Stripes hoodie from Impressions. I paired it with their Pretty Little Tank in ivory, threw on my favorite skinnies and donned a pair of wedge heels from last summer, (similar here.)

Oh, and grabbed a cute baby. Because every photo needs a cute baby.

Easy, right?

A few other pieces that definitely fall into this category at Impressions right now:

Nautical Glam hoodie sweatshirt jacket

Spade Lovely blouse


Also, I couldn't help but share this pic of my adorable photography assistant yesterday. I'm so glad she's mine, y'all.


Caroline Rose: {Five Months}

Weight/Length: As of exactly one week ago, she was 12 lbs. and 8 oz. Caroline is also 23.5 inches long and her head is measuring 40 cm.

Still a little peanut of a thing, but MAN goes girlfriend have some cheeks on her! I could squish and kiss those puppies all day. And sometimes, I do.

Hair: Hasn’t changed a bit. Still brown and still growing fast : )

Diapers: Size 1 Pampers Swaddlers. We tried on a Size 2 and, um, nope. The dang thing came up under her arm pits, haha!! She has a teeny booty, that Caroline.

Clothing: 0-3 month in Old Navy and Baby Gap, 3 month in Carter's and most everything else. She still can't wear any of her Mud Pie clothes - they're huge on her! I've heard this is common for that brand??

Favorite Things: Her Sophie the Giraffe toy, her Bumbo seat with play tray, her Olivia the Pig doll and her jingle bell ball.

Likes: Right now, our petite princess loves: looking at books with bright pictures, having songs sung to her, music, watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on the iPad, bath time, getting her diaper changed. And "standing". She loves when we hold her in a standing position under her arms and let her put her feet down and straighten her legs. She likes this because it usually ends in us clapping and cheering for her like a bunch of buffoons.

On Wednesday in her stroller. 

Dislikes: The Nose Frida. Not funny, but kind of…she’ll grab the Frida when we’re trying to use it on her and hurl it at us.

Milestones: She rolled over from back-to-tummy on February 9th, then a week later started rolling from tummy-to-back. She began holding her own bottle around the beginning of February, also, right before she turned four months old. She is also starting to gear up for crawling and sitting. She also loves to "talk" and belly laugh, especially when her daddy plays peek-a-boo with her.

This month, she has also started imitating us. We can make a funny sound and she’ll mimic it. It’s so neat to interact with her this way!

She is also learning to pet the dogs. This delights Ruby (our miniature dachshund) to no end because she loves anyone who will dote on her. Ari couldn't care less, but he's a great sport while we let Caroline touch his ears and gently pat his head.

Sleeping: Up until the dadgum time change last Sunday, we were doing great, haha. She’s still sleeping through the night, but instead of going down at her normal time, it’s taking us about an hour longer to get her to sleep. We’re just being patient and looking it as though this just gives us more time to cuddle with her at night : )

She takes one long nap around 10:00 a.m. for two hours, then another nap around 1:30, then her final one around 4:30 p.m.

Mama Thoughts: 

Caroline is changing overnight these days. Clothes that fit last week don’t fit this week. Her little mind is like a sponge and soaks up new things every single day. I’m taking advantage of this and exposing her to as many things as I can. I noticed her staring at a flower in a vase on our countertop the other day. I took this opportunity for her to touch the petals, take in the bright red color and admire the beauty of this new discovery.

It’s true what they say.

When you have a child, everything is new again.

Faster than her little body is growing, is our love for her. I simply cannot imagine being more in love with another tiny human. I miss her terribly on the days that I work, although I do enjoy the time out of the house. But do you know what? That moment when I walk in the door in the afternoons and see her face light up - perfection. Can't put a price on that, friends.

Another stroller walk this morning.

Her blue eyes are getting bluer by the day, too. I'm still not sure if she favors Stephen or me more, but those eyes, y'all...those eyes. Someone said one day that she could probably cut glass with them because of the piercing blue color...I think they might be right.

Until next month, friends. 


P.S. Sorry about Confessional Friday, but I cannot get InLinkz to work this morning. And this little cutie took priority ; ) 


Just Wait 'Til...

No cutesy intro. Let's just talk.

I read this post by Kate at The Small Things last night and it resonated with me on so very many levels. An excerpt:

If you are a parent it is no news to you that people will steal your beaming joy about a long nap or an evening of no fussing by telling you to "just wait" or "yeah, give it two more weeks and everything will be different. She'll never sleep again."

Sometimes, I think that's their way of trying to relate to you by sharing their experience with the same thing, that ultimately didn't go as well as you hope. The pessimism would temporarily get me down but I figured out how to push through it and not let it get to me. I preferred the "ignorant bliss" of hoping, just hoping, that the toughest night was behind me. 

But, like I mentioned before, I feel emotionally stronger and am more resilient than I was even a few short weeks ago. I have found joy in parenting, and am even more thankful than ever that God gave Justin and I this gift.


Amen, sister. A-freaking-men.

Just like her, the thing I get most tired of hearing as a new mom is "just wait until..." This is for a couple reasons:

1) I feel like veterans moms and dads sometimes like to scare the ever-loving wits out of new parents just because they can.

2) It has such a negative connotation. Example: "Oh, you just wait until they start crawling. You'll just think you were tired before!"And while I'm sure that some of this is just anecdotal, it eats at a new mom who is trying her hardest to deal with the here and now, while ENJOYING the presence of her child.

My best example of this is something that happened to us at Christmas. We had taken Caroline to get a photo with Santa at our local shopping center. Several people in line commented on how mellow and calm she was, when suddenly, a father standing with two boys says, "Yeah, well just wait until next year when she can talk and walk. They turn into brats then."

Couple things, dear sir. For starters, my child isn't yours. Maybe she will be more difficult next year, it's quite possible. Maybe she won't be. But you don't get to determine her fate, now do you?

Also, how lovely that you refer to your own children, right in front of their faces, as "brats".

Another example: we were shopping in Dillard's with the baby at New Year's and she was smiling and cooing at people in line. A mom of a toddler boy said, "Enjoy it now. He," she points to her son, "was all smiles last year at this time when he was about her age, but I'd rather eat glass than spend a day out with this kid now." Now, I'm sure she didn't really think about the words she was using in reference to spending time with her son, but it ran all over me.

Do I naively believe that life will be all daisies and sunshine with a baby? Um, no.

For the love of Pampers, there are hard, HARD, days NOW.

I've been peed on, pooped on, thrown up on, been up all night with a sick baby, had days where eating and showering didn't happen.

And of course there are new challenges as she gets older. But that's the thing. They are NEW. There were other challenges, different ones, when she was a newborn. Those have since gone away and been replaced by new ones as she is developing into her own little person.

So anyway, all that to say, let's be positive about our children. Better yet, let's help build up other new parents. Support each other. Be a rock (a positive one) for another parent. (My sister-in-law is one of the BEST lifter-uppers I have in my life.) Remind others of how each day spent with their child is a precious one and how they have much to look foward to.

Just one new mom's thoughts.


My Momma Favorites

First off, I'm going to be real with ya. The whole mom chat thing? Probably not happening any time soon. Y'all ever raised a four month old? It makes me le tired.

This was a chat topic once upon a time, but since that idea went "poof" into the wind, I thought I'd share my favorite things for Caroline and me thus far.

This is definitely one of those post series that, unless you are a mommy to an infant, probably is about as boring as counting beans. Unless you enjoy that sort of thing.

Maternity Favorites

I adored, adored, ADORED Blush Maternity and bought a good half of all my maternity clothing there. In fact, I loved a few shirts I found on their website so much that I even wear them once in a while still!

I loved the Be Maternity BeBand (found here) as a support band when the bump began to grow. I bought the nude color and the black, as well.  It's super comfy and gives you a nice smooth silhouette under tighter fitting shirts, (read: it minimizes the sticky-outy belly button when you hit that third trimester mark.)

1. Aden + Anais Swaddle Blankets, here 
2. Timi & Leslie Marilyn II Diaper Bag, here 
3. Prince Lionheart Wipe Warmer, here 
4. MAM Start Silicone Pacifiers for 0-3 months, here
5. Fisher-Price Rock 'n Play Snugabunny Sleeper, here
6. Aden + Anais Mum and Bub Bath Wash, here
7. Wubbanub Pacifiers (we have the lamb, caterpillar and puppy!), here
8. Medela Tender Care HydroGel Pads, here
9. Medela Pump in Style Breast Pump, here
10. Britax B-Safe Carseat, here

1. BrightStars Pretty in Pink Activity Mat, here 
2. Dr. Brown's Bottles in Special Edition Pink, here
3. Britax Agile-B Stroller in Black, here
4. VTech Touch and Swipe Baby Phone, here
5. Olivia the Pig doll, here
6. Sophie the Giraffe teether, here
7. Carter's sleep gowns, here

*All opinions are my own and I am in no way affiliated with the brands or manufacturers listed above. This is simply one mom's list of must-haves.


A Story You Need to Hear: Baby Nella

I was contacted last week by a very sweet reader, blogger and fellow Instagrammer named Kristin. In her email, she told me about baby Nella, a sweet little infant who's currently in the fight against SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy), Type I.

Until Kristin's email and her blog post, I'd never even heard of SMA. What I found out after reading Nella's story not only made me aware of this disease, but also made me want to fight fiercely for this baby girl and her family. But how do you fight for someone you've never even met?

Through prayer and awareness, my friends. Prayer and awareness.

So, here I am. A mom myself, asking you girls to pray fervently for sweet Nella.

I wanted to make sure that I included every detail correctly, so I'm sharing these words from Nella's Facebook page:

Our beautiful Nella Evangeline was born on August 7th, 2013. She was the daughter we had been praying for. She was born perfect, with a perfect apgar score of 10. Within hours of being born, Nella was holding up and lifting her head. We headed home anxious to start our new life as a family of 4.

After noticing Nella had some regression with her strength around 11 weeks old, we took her to see a pediatric neurologist. On October 24th, 2013 our world came crashing down. The neurologist immediately identified what he believed to be Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Type 1. Nella had the most aggressive form of SMA. We followed up with a second neurologist the following day, who agreed Nella most likely has the most aggressive form of SMA. On November 5th, 2013, we got confirmation that our sweet girl has SMA type 1.

There is no treatment and no cure for SMA type 1.

We believe that God is the ultimate healer, and Nella is in His hands! We remain faithful in prayer and grateful for the blessings we see daily. We BELIEVE in the power of prayer and that God will perform a miracle on our sweet Nella.

SMA is the #1 genetic killer of young children. Why had we never heard of this disease until it devastated our family? We have to change this!

Spinal Muscular Atrophy affects approximately 1 in 6,000 births, and is the leading genetic killer of infants. SMA is a progressive neurological disease that affects both infants and children. Infants with SMA suffer from severe muscle weakness and atrophy of voluntary skeletal muscles. Muscle weakness in SMA is due to the death of the nerve cells (called the motor neurons) that connect brain to muscle. Simply put, infants with SMA become weaker and weaker, which eventually affects every muscle in the body hindering the ability to walk, sit, stand, eat, swallow, and even breathe.

SMA is caused by mutations in the survival motor neuron gene (SMN1). Researchers now understand that these mutations result in a reduction in the amount of protein, called SMN, which is crucial to the function of the motor neurons. Without this protein, motor neurons in the spinal cord degenerate and die.

1 in 35 people, or nearly 8 million Americans, unknowingly carry the gene mutation responsible for SMA. Few have any known family history.


If you're asking yourself what you can do to help, here are a few different ways:

1. Pray. 

2. Participate in the Instagram auction to benefit Nella and her family March 27-29! You can follow her mommy @bowenandnellasmama for daily adorable photos of Nella and @krisestok for more details on this auction. Lots of AMAZING vendors/boutiques are donating fabulous items. You don't want to miss it!

3. Tell others about the Instagram auction by sharing the below pic and using the hashtag #prayersforNella.

4. Share this post or Kristin's post on your own blogs. We want awareness to spread like wildfire!

5. Send Nella and her family a card! 

Nella Evangeline
PO Box 28567
Gladstone, MO 64188

IF you are a vendor/boutique owner/maker of something awesome ----> listen up! If you think you'd like to donate an item for the auction, let me know. Shoot me an email at askblondeambition@gmail.com and I'll connect you to the people heading up the auction. 

I'll be back here tomorrow, y'all. Please squeeze your kiddos and loved ones extra tightly today, okay? I know I will. 


Confessional Friday: {Link-Up}

'Tis Friday, my friends! Thank you, thank you for stopping by to say "hello"! As we gear up for the weekend, I thought we'd do our little weekly confessional sessional.

1. I confess that after 12 weeks of going without highlights, I am FINALLY getting some new blonde today. See you at 10 a.m., Crown girls (and my stylist, Casie!)

2. I confess that after ogling a gazillion pairs of heels online last night, I ended up ordering a pair of Chuck Taylor tennies. I'm in need of a good pair of flats/errand-running shoes and I'm not really a fan of Toms. I love, LOVE heels on the couple of days I'm actually in the office, but when it's the kiddo and me at home? Bring on the Chucks! Classic, cute and boy, are they ever hot right now. (Got 'em here, if you are in need of a pair.)
3. I confess that NWA Fashion Week is going on right now and, I've gotta say, I'm really not that sad I'm not going. Why? The little bambina below. I have more fun spending my nights with her now. It's so funny how your definition of an enjoyable evening changes dramatically (and for the better) after kids come into the picture.

4. I confess that I am deeply considering buying a boatload of Reese's Eggs while they're on shelves. Holy Peter Cottontail, those things are good. I always say I'm going to buy a bunch and store them in the fridge, but this time, I may really do it.

5. I confess that I appreciate each of you that participate in this little link up every week. Whether it's just stopping by to read, or actually linking up, I appreciate the support! I know there are some pretty massive (and awesome!) link ups in the blog world on Fridays, so the fact that you'd take time to mosey on over here for this wee one just makes me smile!

What's on your mind this Friday?