Thursday, November 30, 2017

Life Lately | November

November has been such a blessed month and we are so grateful! It's been incredible settling in as a family of 4 and I am really enjoying the time home spent with my girls! See what else I have been up to this past month. 

Books I've Read

  • Books? Who has time to read any books with a newborn?! Hopefully I can get back to reading in the next few months as things calm down a bit. 

Recipes I've Tried

  • Old El Paso Taco Dinner Kit 
    • I got a package of these to try through Brandbacker and made them right before Aveline was born. It is a quick week night meal and the boat-shaped tacos make them so much easier to eat! My daughter loved them and commented on how her taco fillings weren't falling out the other end like they normally do! 

  • Slow Cooker Wild Rice Soup
    • I just made this soup this past week and used the rest of our turkey, mashed potatoes, and green beans from Thanksgiving. I added a lot of other vegetables, too. It was easy, hearty, and perfect for a cold day. I would recommend adding some salt though. Otherwise it tastes a little bland. 
  • Trader Joe's Sweet Potato Pixie Pie Mix
    • My mother-in-law picked this up for us while she was here and we just made it this week. It's a delicious cake-like pie with marshmallow creme. We love it topped with whipped cream! I don't know if it is still available in stores, but I found in on amazon and linked to it above. 

Skincare Products I've Been Using 
I received Neostrata's SKIN ACTIVE Tri-Therapy Lifting Serum from Brandbacker to try out. I have used some of Neostrata's products before and had a good experience with them so I was looking forward to giving this one a try. Neostrata has a passion for developing the very best in anti aging physician grade skincare. Neostrata works to create highly effective formulations with results that are proven by rigorous studies. Each product is backed by the highest standards of quality and effectiveness.  
 It is formulated with a triple anti-aging complex to help volumize and sculpt skin, filling the look of deep wrinkles and improving the appearance of skin laxity. While I don't have deep wrinkles, I do have some fine lines forming that I have been noticing more and more in the past few weeks. Lack of sleep really does a number on your skin and of course I want to do whatever I can to combat that. This formula is made to help volumize slack skin, help to plump and firm skin for a more lifted appearance, renew tone, enhance exfoliation and even pigment for enhanced clarity, and smooth skin by providing surface hydration and exfoliation for increased luminosity. 
To use this, simply apply 3-5 drops to the face after cleansing in the morning and evening. Follow with a moisturizer. The before and after photos on the website (here) are impressive showing a drastic improvement in the eye area with crow's feet and on the rest of the face with improvement in skin tone. I haven't been using this for 12 weeks yet, but I am very excited to see the results. I have been noticing some fine lines around my eyes lately and would love to improve that area. With pregnancy, I also developed some melasma on my cheeks and forehead. After using this product for a week, I have noticed that is fading and I don't need as much foundation to cover it up each day. I was sure I was going to have to see a dermatologist to fade it, but now I can't wait to see how much my skin will improve after using this for a full 12 weeks. 

What We've Been Up To

  • Honestly we haven't been up to much! Just settling in and trying to get into a routine (as much as possible with a newborn). Figuring out nighttime feedings is always tricky! Claire is still attending daycare 3 days a week because we thought that would be best to continue what she is used to. It also gives me time to focus on Aveline a few days a week which is really nice. 
  • We had newborn and a few family photos taken last Saturday by my talented friend Michelle from Holm Photography. I can't wait to see them and order baby announcements and Christmas cards! I swear I don't trust anyone else to take our photos now. She does such a great job! The photo at the top was one we took with our iphones during the photo shoot. 
  • We started a sticker chart for Claire where she can earn Big Sister 'dates' with a parent for being a good listener. We hope it will reinforce her helpful nature and listening to her parents (which can sometimes be a struggle). Hopefully it also allows some nice one on one time with her. She was an only child for almost 5 years so I want to make sure she is getting attention, too. Michaels has children's craft classes almost every Saturday for only $2. It's a great opportunity for a Big Sister Date for a good price! We signed her up for some zoo classes in the upcoming months as well. If you are in the Milwaukee area with kids, the zoo membership and zoo classes are phenomenal! 
  • Our house is all decorated for Christmas! We decorated the day after Thanksgiving and everything looks so pretty. I just love how extra cozy and festive the house feels with all the holiday decorations up. Most of the gifts are purchased, too. There are a few lingering handmade items I still need to do, but we are hoping to work on them this weekend. 
  • We are all looking forward to December and celebrating Christmas together with family! 

 Linking up with Anne and Catherine 


  1. Oh these photos are the cutest! :) Also I need to try taco boats, haha!

    I'm glad things are going well and you're starting to settle into newborn life. You are super mum for thinking about cards and presents too and being so organised! I'm hoping my Christmas cards arrive today and that I'll get some time this weekend to address them to everyone. Fingers crossed, ha!

    Hope you are having a lovely week! I'm surprised it's December already, but excited too, we are going to put up our Christmas tree this weekend.

    Away From The Blue Blog

  2. I just love seeing pictures of your beautiful family and that precious baby girl is really too cute for words! When I had my second, we continued to send our oldest to his sitter's house a few days a week because keeping his routine was important for all of us. He actually really loved going too so that helped! It's such a special time in your life, I am so very happy for you and your family!
    God bless you all,

  3. Such sweet pictures !! Love their matching outfits!

  4. Lovely post dear!!
    Mónica Sors

  5. The fact that you have a newborn and are managing to get dinner on the table and content on the blog is amazing to me. Good thing you aren't finding time to read too or I'd really be feeling like a slacker in life! ha! Loved this fun update!
    Gina || On the Daily Express

  6. I have been so behind on catching up with my blog reading and completely missed that the baby is here. Congratulations!! She is adorable and look how proud big sister is. I hope you are feeling well, mama! Sierra~Beautifully Candid

  7. My daughter was born around the same time and oh, it was so magical to have her at Thanksgiving and Christmas so quickly after she was born. It was also a good excuse to stay home and just soak it all up! Those taco boats look so tasty! I haven't been doing as many Brandbacker things lately, been so busy... but, man, sorry to miss that one! Yum!!


  8. I think you idea about the stickers and earning dates with y'all is just genius. She looks like a very proud big sister. That picture of y'all is absolutely beautiful and I love the red lipstick. This will be such a special Christmas. XO

  9. Oh, mommy, are you in pig heaven or what? Look at those beautiful babies in their buffalo plaid. Now that is a picture!
    You put me to shame...I still have Thanksgiving decorations out and you, you with a newborn and a four year old have your home decorated for Christmas. I don't know how you manage. Bravo!

  10. Oh my goodness, Laura! Your family is so beautiful! I somehow missed that you had given birth, CONGRATULATIONS! I love that you are doing a sticker chart for Claire. My parents did that with me growing up and it was such an effective motivator!

  11. Such beautiful pictures Laura ! What a beautiful family :)

  12. Keeping your older daughter in daycare is genius. I always think how hard it must be to settle in with a new baby while also keeping a toddler occupied. Thank you for linking up!