You guys. Guess what? Yesterday was DAY 30 of the Whole30, which means that today I am officially a free woman! In fact, while you’re reading this, I am most likely drinking my first latte in 30 days.

Aaaaaaand it most likely tastes like heaven.

Anyway, this Friday I leave you with a TON of photos from our recent trip to Galena. I haven’t really busted out my big camera as much lately so I kind of went a little overboard. I think the colors and my family and the beautiful weather all just got me super inspired and I definitely won’t apologize for that….although I will apologize about how much “inspiration” I pour out in this post, I can never just pick a few, I love them all!

We left for Galena around 7pm on Thursday evening and left Sunday afternoon. We had originally planned a trip up there because they have this awesome and big Halloween parade every year that we thought Olivia would like…..but she ended up being kind of scared for most of it. There were flames, and fire trucks honking their horns….she is not a fan of either of those things.

Let me back track a little. Friday we spent all day in downtown Galena. It was a little rough being on the Whole30 and not being able to have coffee from the cute little coffee shops, or chocolate, or popcorn. But somehow ;) we persevered. We got home that night and immediately went straight into the hot tub.

Saturday was my favorite day. Somehow we all woke up pretty early and it was so beautiful outside. I rushed and got Olivia and I dressed while Dominic dressed himself and we went on a long morning walk. It was seriously such a mood booster, we all really love being outside. I took full advantage of taking a few (I always use that word super lightly) pictures of my little tribe and if the sun wasn’t so strong so that my husband had to squint (or maybe he should just stop forgetting his sunglasses!), they would’ve come out reallllly nice. Anyway, after our walk we went in the hot tub again, or hot pool as Olivia so adorably refers to it, and then showered all before 10:30am. I don’t even know who we are anymore….

We spent the remainder of the day in downtown Galena, waiting around for the parade to start. We had to get there super early to ensure that we got good seating (for Olivia, obviously) so we pretty much spent like 6 hours walking up and down. We found a really cool antique shop that had about 50 old cameras that I cannot stop thinking about! Everyone was in their costumes, and Olivia really liked that but once the parade started, she got a little scared like I mentioned above.

I think we all had a little different expectation of what the parade was going to be like. In the pictures that we saw beforehand, it looked pretty elaborate and I guess in a way it still was, but I honestly don’t think it was worth waiting around all day for. I’m glad we saw it at least once, but I know we won’t be itching to see it every year. I will say though, there were three separate school bands that played throughout the parade and they were seriously all so awesome. Easily mine and Olivia’s favorite part….although there was also a Frozen float so that might’ve stolen her heart a little more ;)

Sunday morning we woke up early and guess what we did? We went outside and shot the photo for our CHRISTMAS CARD. I really am trying so hard to not be behind on anything this year because this time of year is always relatively crazy (Halloween, Olivia’s birthday, thanksgiving, and then all of our Christmas festivities that last through out the entire month of December). The house we stay at has such a beautiful back yard so I knew it was the perfect time to just get it out of the way. I also got to use my tripod which was really nice, but I realized that I should probably invest in a clicker!

After we were done, we packed up all of our things and then spent the rest of the day driving home and making a pit stop to shop until we dropped at one of the outlet malls. I bought the cutest pair of boots from the Gap amongst other things….mostly for Olivia, of course.

And now for the photo dump….

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What Olivia Wore: Twinning Edition


Okay so let me start off by saying that these pictures were actually taken awhile ago, and I never got around to posting them (shocker, I know). I’d also like to say that I kind of have a serious problems when it comes to anything that’s black, anything that’s white, anything with stripes and especially anything with black and white stripes. So OBVIOUSLY if I see these things in baby form AND I have a sweater to match, well, of course I had to have it.

Which brings us to this post.

We were actually able to wear these outfits on a very strange, but very welcome, fall-like, summer day. I never thought I’d be the mom that matched her kid…..

Oh, hell, who am I kidding? Of course I thought that.

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Fall Bucket List #2: Go to the Pumpkin Patch!


During the same trip that we made to Mchenry that included our beautiful nature walk, we were also able to squeeze in a visit to the Pumpkin Patch! Every year since Olivia has been born, we’ve taken her to Stade’s Farm in Mchenry, IL. It’s so cute, so fun, and very reasonably priced!

This year was our best year yet because Olivia was able to get involved more. I have a feeling I’ll probably say that every year but I’m okay with that! She was seriously SO fun! The first thing she wanted to do was go on the ponies which really shocked us but we didn’t give her a chance to change her mind, I literally ran to get a ticket for her. My Aunt walked with her so I could take a few pictures and I love how happy and interested Olivia looks in each shot. Her pony’s name was Sapphire and Olivia still talks about her!

As soon as the pony ride was over, we headed straight for the petting zoo. Olivia was so excited to play with and feed the animals. She was so cute with them and so gentle! She even held a rabbit! I love that she is getting past the fear stage and heading straight to the “I want to do that!” stage!

We stayed at the petting zoo entirely too long, but we just couldn’t pull her away from all of the baby animals. Once we finally did though, we took her on all sorts of rides. The train, the slides, the bouncy house. The Pumpkin Patch was her oyster and she had a blast.

After we she was wiped out from all of the running around, everyone stopped for lunch (we’re still going strong on the whole 30 so Dominic and I missed all of the pumpkin patch treats!) and then we went on a hayride to pick pumpkins. This was our first year taking the hayride to get them (I honestly don’t think we ever knew about it the two years before), and the patch was huge! There were so many different kinds of pumpkins. I was on the hunt for a white one, Olivia was on the hunt for “baby ones” and Dominic followed us around so that he could carry all of our pumpkins back to the tractor ;)

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Olivia the Photographer.


Olivia has really started getting into taking pictures, and it makes me insanely happy. It makes me so happy that I almost forget about all the unflattering photos she takes of me….almost ;)

About two months ago, Dominic came up to me and said “Hey, did you take sleeping selfies of yourself on my phone?”


After he showed me the pictures, we began to notice a pattern….after all of these weird sets of photos in our camera rolls, we’d see a very familiar little face, with a very satisfied-with-herself look. It was so funny and now we pretty much look forward to finding little surprises in our phones.

Here is the first set of photos, Instagram video style:

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Yesterday afternoon, I received a bouquet of flowers in the mail from Bouqs. When they contacted me to work with them, I was super excited because Bouqs is a great company and their bouquets are seriously so beautiful.

If you’ve never heard of Bouqs, allow me to tell you a little bit about them. Bouqs is pretty much putting all of their competitors to shame. They grow and pick their flowers from one of two places: an active volcano (so cool!) in South America or from the sunny surf of California. They get to work on picking your flowers the minute you place your order and have them delivered within a week.

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I love Bouqs for a few reasons. One, they’re affordable. There are no hidden fees, which is my favorite. It’s 40/50/70 dollars flat, depending on the size! Two, they’re eco-friendly! They only pick what they sell, instead of over-picking and wasting beautiful flowers. Three, it is so easy to order from them. Seriously, three steps and you’re done. And four, they seem like a really awesome company to work for. Bouqs provides living wages, childcare, health care and adult education to their workers– how great is that?

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The bouquet that I picked is called Peace and it was even more beautiful in person. They came in a heavy duty box and wrapped really good so that nothing happened to them before they got to me. I really loved that Bouqs were separated into two bouquets. I kept one for myself and I put the other one on Olivia’s easel and she loves it!

I already can’t wait to order from them again. Actually, I’ve already seen Dominic eyeing the website ;)



The Bouqs - Premium Farm Direct Flowers

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