Links + Loves

The Van Stash + a Petunia Pickle Bottom Giveaway


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I love this “Cat Lady” gift guide from Grace!

Dying to make these mugs!

I wrote David a letter for his first birthday. I ended up writing it in a journal that I plan on adding to over the years (thanks to a sweet reader who left that suggestion in the comments last week!) I distinctly noted how profound it felt to write “love, mom” for the first time ever. I call myself “mama” all day in order to teach him how to say it, but I’ve never signed the name “mom”. I was surprised at how that hit me, in a really special way.

Perhaps the most beautiful watch I’ve ever laid eyes on.

I wish I had pretty hand writing. This “thank you” card is beautiful.

I’m 5 days into being a van owner (Honda Odyssey) and not only do I love it more than I thought I would, but I love it so much more than I thought I would. One of justin’s most repeated phrases is “having the right tool for the job” and let me tell you the van is the right tool for me. I was getting along just fine in my SUV but I got pretty tired of trying to squeeze David out of his car seat and lift him between myself , a half open door, and the car next to me. I can barely believe I’m about to have 2 car seats in the back seat, but I’m excited for the space and storage.

I asked for these for christmas after seeing them on my friend Sam. Any and everything “hands free”, even small things like putting on my shoes, makes getting out the door easier! If I get them, I’ll let you know if they are as awesome as reviewers claim them to be.

I’m loving this tinted lip treatment in “lips + flowers” from anthropologie.

Justin and I have a few boy names picked out but we cannot seem to settle on a girls name! I had no idea how hard it would be to pick a name for a girl!

Lauren and I cannot wait until Sunday for the Lou & Grey shopping event. I’ve got a few hair tutorials to demo, and she’ll be sharing a couple styling tips (she posted one on her blog today!) , but the rest of the time will be shopping the store! If you are planning on coming, can you RSVP for us? It will help to make sure we have enough food and beverages! Thank you! Hope to see you there!



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Sissi says · 12.17.14

If I would have gotten a girl it would have been: Lily Melissa. Maybe you like this or it gives you an inspiration? 😉

Jessica says · 12.17.14

My husband and I had a hard time with a girl’s name too!! Boy names we came up with easily, but a girl name took longer. Eventually we found one we both liked, and now 4 1/2 years later I still adore her name 🙂

Laurin says · 12.17.14

LOVE the watch!!! You have the best style.

Debbie says · 12.17.14

I am one month into being a non-Honday Odyssey mini-van owner, and although I love my new “ride”, I miss everything about my Odyssey – the sliding doors, the space between the two front seats where I could put my purse…It carried me and my four children near and far and was part of my identity – a mini-van Mom! Before I had kids, I swore I would never be one of those mini-van owners, but now…I miss it.

And for a girl, had I had my wishes I would have named my daughter Carys. It means “beloved” in Welsh and I just loved the sound of it. In the end my husband won out in the name game for all of our kids, but especially for her because I was convinced she was going to be a boy (no ultrasound, though) and because we couldn’t agree, I didn’t worry too much about it. Boy were we surprised when she was a girl! Good luck with #2. Kids are a true blessing.

Elizabeth says · 12.17.14

My husband and I are due with our first baby on 2/10. I could name 100 boys, but we found out we are expecting a girl and we don’t have a name yet either! We have a few leads going into it, but nothing I could 100% commit to. I totally get it! 🙂

Karrie says · 12.17.14

My husband and I had a hard time with our daughter’s first name I(middle was easy. we each have one sited. they are both named christine.) So we took one of our favorite boys names, and that was it. She is Morgan Christine.

Karrie says · 12.17.14

+sister. we each have one sister.

CindyK says · 12.17.14

When I was 18 years old I promised myself I would never own a mini-van. I held that position for years until I saw the new Honda Odyssey body style. They are lower to the ground and fatter. I love mine too. So glad you are enjoying yours. I am walking in a never.

Jenny says · 12.17.14

I’ve always wondered if one day I’ll be the mom with a minivan hauling her kids around. I’m glad you’re liking it and that it’s making life easier for you and your baby!
Jenny // Mish Mosh Makeup

Cindy says · 12.17.14

FYI 🙂 Those adorable flats are on sale for $99.95 on the Cole Haan website.

Carolyn says · 12.17.14

Choosing a name for a girl was difficult for us too. We loved Rose for a middle name and decided on that first. After weeks of deliberating, we narrowed it down to Anna or Michaela for the first name. We went with Anna once we saw her for the first time. Little did we know, Anna Rose is an actual rose-light pink in color. 🙂

Katie O. says · 12.17.14

Two things:
1. Ugh. I’m so jealous! I have a 2.5 yo and a 1.5 month old… & I need a minivan! My SUV just isn’t “doing the job!” But my husband sees it as trading in his man card even though he won’t be the one driving it! Help!
2. I also had such a hard time with girl names!

Isabella says · 12.17.14

I think the names Georgianna, Caroline, Julia, Emmanuelle, and Harper would all be lovely choices for a baby girl 🙂

Tara says · 12.17.14

I have to comment on the van thing. I waited until the weekend before having my 4th child to buy a van, because I did NOT want to be a minivan mom. But when you have four, it’s either that, or the world’s largest SUV. When my husband went to trade in my car (I was much too miserably pregnant to go) a piece of me died inside. But when he got to the house with our van, I loved it! So much room! And there were cup holders everywhere! Since then (it’s been two years), I’ve used that van to haul full size furniture, christmas trees, loads of kids, kids and beach gear, etc… Love that thing. Although, I still really enjoy driving my A3 Audi around. 🙂

Stefanie says · 12.17.14

My boy name picks are little out there which I don’t think is your style (David is pretty traditional). But if our last would have been a girl the name would have been Kirsten Mae.

I have 3 kids and just can not get behind a mini van. I know the pros outweigh the cons. I just love my Explorer too much 🙂

Jen says · 12.17.14

I too recently got a Honda oddessy for baby number 2 due in feb and I love it. I love it SO much more than I would have thought. Especially getting into it myself pregnant now. I drove my husbands 4Runner the other day and was cursing it because I had to lift my legs to get up instead of just sliding in (horror!). And we are having a second boy and cannot decide on a boys name. We have a Joshua David already.

Christa says · 12.17.14

We have a Lydia! Julia and Clara are next on our list… If God gives us another girl 🙂
Good Luck! Names are hard.

Crystal says · 12.17.14

1) Your hubby must be an engineer in a plant because I work in a plant and we always hear “the right tool for the job”!
2) Since David is a classic and traditional name, something like Charlotte would be nice for a girl!

Jenna says · 12.17.14

I’ve been writing in a journal to my daughter (almost 10 months old now) since I first peed on that stick. While I was pregnant and for the first few months of her life, I always signed “Love, Mom” but now I feel like my identity is “Mama” and that’s probably what she will always call me and it’s how I’ve always referred to myself, so now I write “Love, Mama” and it just feels right.

I’m sure these babies of ours will cherish these letters that we write to them. I know I would have.

I plan to give Sydney hers when she starts a family of her own. And if she decides not to have children, then I will continue to write in it and maybe give it to her on some momentous occasion or maybe just leave it for her after I’m gone.

Jenna says · 12.17.14

Oh, and we have a Sydney Leigh, which was the ONLY name we could agree on. We knew Leigh would be her middle name, after my late mother-in-law, which narrowed down options for first names! I loved Quinn, but Quinn Leigh just didn’t sound right. Good luck! Name choosing is hard.

Bonnie says · 12.17.14

We never settled on a girl name, either. And we ended up with two boys, so it worked out fine.

Amber Smith says · 12.17.14

We had one boy name and one girl name picked out and my husbands family is 5 generations of boys. So when we found out we were expecting out second child we had a hard time with boys names. Luckily we are due Jan. 24 with the first Smith girl. So I get to use the name I have loved since elementary. Persephone.

Katelyn @ Real Housewife of Greenville says · 12.17.14

So glad you are enjoying your new van! I would love to have 3rd row seating but I don’t think I could let go of my SUV. Love those Cole Haan flats! I’ve heard great things about them as well as the Tieks. Wish I could be attend the workshop but I won’t be in Raleigh until Tuesday. Sounds like lots of fun!

Catie J Buck says · 12.17.14

Oh my. I think I have to request for that watch!

meagan says · 12.17.14

I’m all about names that can work for either gender… pick one of those and you’re set!

Jennifer says · 12.17.14

I’ve had my Honda Odyssey for almost 5 years now and still love it!! My kids are getting older now and don’t think I’ll buy another van but it was perfect when they were younger, so much space and storage. As for names, I always liked names that were a little different but something that people could still pronounce. My son, Gabe, is now 11 and I have to say, it is rare to hear that name in my area. As for my 7 year old daughter, Falon, that only other time I’ve heard that name is when we were waiting in a line to see Rapunzel at Disney World (small world, I know). I’m sure whatever name you come up with will sound perfect when he/she is born!!

Runt says · 12.17.14

Your van comment is too funny because we ended up getting a van after our first little one was born as well. I DID NOT want a van, at all. But Hubs did so I went along for the ride (get it? hehe). And as much as it pains me to say it – having a van with little ones is SOOOO nice. Just don’t tell Hubs I think that. :]

Amanda says · 12.17.14

I signed my kids up for an email account. I email them weekly, sometimes daily. I tell them about all the new things they are doing and loving. I write them inspirational notes as well. The neat thing about this, is that I also send pictures or videos to them. I will give them the email and password when they graduate high school.

When I first started doing this, I had that EXACT profound feeling when I signed “Love, Mom”. It somehow hit me that I was the Mom.

Jen says · 12.18.14

OK. I absolutely love that idea, Amanda. And I’m having a hard time not being really sad reading this right now. My two boys are already 10 and 12. How I *WISH* I would have thought of this at the beginning. What a wonderfully manageable way to remember the week-to-week or more. I guess it’s never too late… I guess… but I feel like I’ve missed so much in documenting their life. Someone tell me I’m not a bad mom.

Amanda says · 12.18.14


Start now!! It is never too late. Wouldn’t you still love to hear about your life when you were 10 or 12?? You are NOT A BAD MOM!! I only heard of the idea around the time my second was born, so my oldest child will miss out–but its never too late!
You can even still write about memories from when they were younger.

misty says · 12.17.14

Great idea to journal for him!! I did a journal for each of my 3 kids as they were growing up…not NEARLY as often as I should have, but nonetheless…my oldest graduated last year & my next graduates this year…my plan was to give for graduation to them, but I have plenty more room so now my thought is to give night before wedding (if they marry…didn’t quite think that one all the way through until just now! HA!)…anyway. The intent being that if I still have room left, they can then journal for their kids in the same book. Or maybe they’ll want to start one of their own. But…regardless, I know they’ll enjoy reading back to the hilarious things they said, or the special days I jotted down, or even the random moments I just had to write down for them.

Grace - Stripes & Sequins says · 12.17.14

oh my goodness kate – thank you so much for the link love! I really appreciate it. hope you are having a great week! XO

Kacie says · 12.17.14

Growing up, we always had a van. It wasn’t until about 3-4 years ago that my mom got a small SUV and she actually wishes she had a van instead. She loved the room and space, and it was easy to haul 7 people around. Now when we go to my grandparents and bring them to an aunt and uncles… we have to take 3 cars instead of the 1 we had to before. Have fun with it!!

Lori says · 12.17.14

Oohhh I love girl names (I don’t have a girl!)
How about:

Justina Katherine
Justina Kate
Dayna (or Dana)
Kiley (or Kileigh, Kilee)

Aleassa says · 12.17.14

First of all, minivans are awesome.
Secondly, I love those mugs, and I’m so excited to hear there is dishwasher safe mod podge…the possibilities!!!
Lastly, I can’t help myself when it comes to baby names, especially girl names because I have 1 girl and 3 boys in a row. So here are a few suggestions, the first of which are inspired by your posts:

Grace or Greyce 😉

My personal favorites:

Aleassa says · 12.17.14

P/S my daughter’s name is Lily Danielle. If my 1st son had been a girl, the name would have been Chloe Marguerite. If my 2nd son had been a girl it would have been Ava Juliette. If my 3rd son had been a girl it would have been Emilia Faythe. Instead, I have a Jackson Walker, Marcus Alexander and Tanner Jayson. I’ll go now before I keep rambling on and on. 😛

Michele says · 12.17.14

We have a boy and a girl (Clayton John and Alexa Jean) and we had planned to have more but God had other plans. But I still have names picked out, just in case! Tobias Jackson and Erica Jo.

Jackie says · 12.17.14

I too wish I had pretty handwriting!

Emily says · 12.17.14

Love this! Those mugs are soo cute

katie greenlaw says · 12.17.14

We had a girl name picked out before we even got pregnant. We were going to name her Nixon. First baby, was a boy (Luke), and then when we got pregnant with #2 it was a girl. I just couldn’t pull the trigger on the name Nixon. It just didn’t feel right for this baby….so she’s Juliette Kathryn instead. Baby #3 was another boy (Devon). I had 3 under 3, and #2 & #3 are a year an a week apart. It’s a chaotic and beautiful life 🙂

Melanie E. says · 12.17.14

When I was pregnant we figured out our girl name that very night we got the positive pregnancy test! haha It was the boy names that we never got excited about. (We had a girl and named her Susannah Grace. Feel free to steal it!)

Jen W says · 12.17.14

I’d love to win this for my fashionable niece who is expecting her first baby this spring!!!

Amanda A. says · 12.18.14

I love my Honda. It is my second one and I have had it for 4 years and I don’t want any other. Being able to fit 8 people in it has come in handy. In June I will be going on a road trip with my 4 kids and my best friend and her two kids to Washington. So great to be able to fit us all. You are going to love it and tell all your friends about it until they too go and buy one. I had three friends also buy an Odyssey.

I knew my daughter’s name before we even got pregnant with her Lilyann Elaine. Then I had 3 boys after that. I only had a girl name picked out for two of them. Malayna and Calysta but I had a Wyatt, Wesley and Colby instead. If we had another girl it would be Linzy which is a family name. We are big into using a family name as a middle name for all of them and two also have a family name for the first.

Jessica says · 12.18.14

My husband keeps trying to talk me into buying an Odyssey! We only have one son (14 months old) so I haven’t given in yet! =) He worked at a Honda/Acura dealership for 9 years so nothing by an Odyssey if we do get one! We sell Honda parts on ebay (I’m a “work from home” mama like you!), so hit me up if you guys ever need parts! 😉 Also, I love your “links and love” – I like checking out things I wouldn’t have seen elsewhere!

amm says · 12.18.14

im kind of disappointed you didnt buy an america car for your new van. Many americans depend on their jobs producing american made cars.

Jillian says · 12.18.14

My husband and I were the total opposite. We had a girl name picked a month after we found out. But we had a boy, it took us until I was about 7 months pregnant to decide on a boys name.

Sara H. says · 12.18.14

I love the mug idea! I can’t wait to make this mug! Thank you for giving an easy craft idea.

Kelly smith says · 12.18.14

I also love the idea of writing letters for them to read when they are older. My mom keeps a journal for me to read one day. She writes when things in life happen like going off to school, when I was accepted into college, when I had my white coat ceremony, etc. I know she keeps it and cannot wait for the day she gives it to me. Maybe when I have a kid of my own! I am happy that you share this blog, I love your posts and writing style.

Liz F. says · 12.19.14

My husband and i just had our daughter 2 months ago and had opted to not find out gender ahead of time which made for such a sweet surprise. That said I was so thankful she was a girl not because I would have loved a boy ANY less but rather because we still had not agreed upon a boy name! We discussed (bickered) over names for my entire pregnancy and then when i was about 8 months along we FINALLY agreed upon a boy name! James Edward Foley (the first and middle names are our respective father’s middle names combined). I felt so relieved and ready to relax for the remainder of my pregnancy (as relaxed as someone with wicked heartburn, enormous cankles and a touchy bladder can be). What happened next? That poor journalist was beheaded…his name? James Foley!!!! We were back to square one….

Evelyn says · 12.20.14

So, I have to give some suggestions for a girl’s name! Evelyn, of course, Isabella, Olivia, Luana and Vivian!

Happy Holidays!

Vanessa says · 12.24.14

Love the journal idea. I have been doing that for all 3 of my kids since they were born. I write in it when the mood strikes or when they do something silly I want to remember or on big milestone days. Already reading back in my soon-to-be 5 year-old’s journal, I read things I had basically forgotten about and relive some of those amazing times and the love that overwhelmed me in the moment. You will be glad you started!

Tyana says · 12.25.14

Those are literally the cutest mugs ever

check out todays blogmas

Kim says · 12.26.14

A quick note regarding the Honda Odyssey van- I’ve driven Hondas all my life and enjoined several models of the van with my two daughters as they grew! t
They are now 21 and 18- we have two golden retrievers and I love my Honda Pilot…. But, I’m headed back to the mini van soon!!!! Aging dogs need they ease and comfort of the family van!!! I’m 47 and about to reenter the mini van world! My kids can’t believe it! Enjoy all the great memories to come!

pengobatan Sipilis Paling Ampuh says · 01.10.15

links loves