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TWIN-kle TWIN-kle little star twin gender reveal baby showerI co-hosted a baby shower for my cousin and her fiancé back in November. It was such a fun challenge to come up with the perfect theme because this party was for twins. And it was a gender reveal party. This was a party lover’s dream come true!

TWIN-kle TWIN-kle little star twin gender reveal baby shower

I’m cheesy. I can’t help it, so I came up with Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars and chose it because the word TWIN was a part of TWINkle. I liked that I could also use the phrase “how we wonder what you are” since we were finding out if the babies were boys or girls or a combo. And the gender neutral color palette was an easy fit.

TWIN-kle TWIN-kle little star twin gender reveal baby shower

I love stars and clouds. The backdrop was something I’ve always wanted to try and was an easy DIY backdrop using honeycomb balls from Target.

TWIN-kle TWIN-kle little star twin gender reveal baby shower

TWIN-kle TWIN-kle little star twin gender reveal baby shower

Star cupcake toppers took minutes and were a great project for Bodhi and I. I bought the silver star toppers and the cupcake liners from Amazon and my mom brought delicious star cookies from my hometown bakery.

TWIN-kle TWIN-kle little star twin gender reveal baby shower

The cake was made by Whole Foods and was delicious!

TWIN-kle TWIN-kle little star twin gender reveal baby shower (1 of 20)

A s’mores party favor bar felt like a natural element to this party. Read More »


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I’m working with Blogelina today on this sponsored post offering a limited time 4 Week Online Blogging Class {Including Blog Set-up} – For Just $.99! Sign up here.

Monetizing your blog

I’ve been sharing more and more about the business of blogging over the past few months and today I’m going to share my story plus a fabulous opportunity for new bloggers who want to make blogging a career. For all of my amazing readers who aren’t bloggers, don’t want to be a blogger and have no interest in this topic, I’ll be back tomorrow with a fun post.  For those of you who are interested, this post is for you.

I know a lot of readers are either new to blogging or want to start a blog and don’t know where to begin. I get a lot of emails with questions and I love to help others with the knowledge I’ve gained over the past five years.

Making money blogging

Some of you have read about my transition out of the corporate world, but I want to share a bit about it again today. Quitting my corporate job was a long time coming, but I had worked very hard to get to where I was, so it wasn’t easy to leave. I worked in a well-respected department in a large successful company. I had great colleagues and what most would consider, a really good job.

But, what has stuck with me since I attended the Making Things Happen Intensive in December of 2010, was this quote that Lara Casey shared that day.

A year from now, you will wish you had started today. -Karen Lamb

It took me a while to realize it, but it’s 100% true for me. I had been freelance writing, doing some photography, events and blogging for years! Bit by bit, my skills got stronger, I got more confident and more work started flowing in, but I couldn’t really grow in any of those areas while working full-time and still get the time I needed with my husband and new baby.

I left my job and started working my tail off on the three days a week when I had childcare and during all of Bodhi’s naps. Bodhi was just one year old when I left.

After a few months of putting myself and my dreams out there, I had a successful business that was growing every single day. Did it happen overnight? No way! But, hard work pays off.

I am a big believer in working hard to make our own dreams come true. Dreams can come true, but no one ever just gets lucky. Everyone I know who is very successful in their industry now, especially entrepreneurs, started small and worked incredibly hard to get where they are. You do have to start somewhere. Start now!

I actually stumbled a lot in the beginning when this blog became a big part of my career. I learned a lot of blogging lessons the hard way and was slow to adopt new strategies for creating revenue. I’m hoping those of you who want this as well can skip learning some of blogging lessons the hard way like I did. Today I’m so so excited to share this amazing opportunity with you. Read More »


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This shopping experience has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DisneyEaster #CollectiveBias

Marvel Easter Basket plus DIY Alphabet magnets #DisneyEaster #CollectiveBias

This year I’m extra excited about Easter. I have been shopping for weeks and am all ready. I think there’s something really fun about having both boys and getting them each a basket. We already have so many wonderful holiday and birthday traditions with just Bodhi and it’s fun to teach Ezra how things roll in our family.

Marvel Easter Basket plus DIY Alphabet magnets #DisneyEaster #CollectiveBias

When I had the opportunity to work on an Easter basket for Bodhi using items from Disney’s magical line of products, I knew that Bodhi would be thrilled by Marvel with his newfound interest in super heroes.

Marvel Easter Basket plus DIY Alphabet magnets #DisneyEaster #CollectiveBias

Creating traditions for our family is something that is really important to me. We have a pretty solid Easter tradition. We wake up, help Bodhi find his Easter basket and we give him a couple of small gifts from my husband and I. We then enjoy a fun breakfast as a family. Next, it’s off to our neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt. We are so lucky to live in a neighborhood with fun traditions like this. Read More »


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My Sunny day

I’ve talked about money here a lot lately. There is something wonderful about the feeling of financial freedom and I love sharing resources that help lighten your load as they do mine.

You know the saying “saving for a rainy day?”

What does “saving for a RAINY day” mean to you? For me, saving for a rainy day means saving for things to go wrong. Whether our rental house has issues or our basement in our current house floods, it’s money for life’s emergencies. Not so fun.

For the longest time, I’ve thought of saving for things to go wrong and feel gross when I think about it. That creates a really negative feeling about life and about things happening and makes saving not so fun. I’ve recently stopped thinking of our rental house as a negative. Instead, I think about how lucky we are to have it and that saving for it gives us freedom and takes the stress away if something does happen.

View More: http://melissaoholendt.pass.us/flannigan-faleel-lifestyle

I also love setting aside money to save for big fun things. Travel is the big one for me. Read my post about wanderlust here and learn how I traveled all over even when money wasn’t something I had extra of by simply saving a little bit each paycheck. Saving for fun things makes those experiences guilt-free when the time comes.

Flipping the old adage “saving for a rainy day” around has been great. Saving money can be challenging, especially when the goal may seem soooo far away or out of reach. It actually becomes a little easier when you envision the goal as the moment you are living for rather than the amount of money you need to save.

We are in the process of saving for a three or four season porch and a deck on the side of our house. I imagine having friends over for a lovely dinner under the stars. Thinking of that moment definitely makes saving money fun.

View More: http://melissaoholendt.pass.us/flannigan-faleel-lifestyle

Let’s think about saving for a sunny day, shall we?

No matter how you envision your sunny day, SunTrust wants to support you. They offer advice, tips, and tools so you can live for a sunny day rather than save for a rainy one. Sign up for their new newsletter Shine! Twice a month you will receive money inspiration and motivation to help you achieve your goals and live for a sunny day! Read More »


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Wanderlust and traveling with children

Wanderlust
noun wan·der·lust \ˈwän-dər-ˌləst\

A very strong or irresistible impulse to travel.

Wanderlust and traveling with children

I’ve always been a traveler. Ever since I was young and experienced my very first airplane ride, a trip to Seattle with my grandma when I was in third grade, I have loved everything about traveling. Read More »


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A Coffee Date: Their squishy cheeks and other thoughts on my growing children

 

Good morning and welcome to another Coffee Date here on Live the Fancy Life. Overall, life has been beautiful lately.

Our days are full but manageable, our boys are growing healthy and strong and I’m finding the parenting/working juggle to be a blessing. But the one thing that just doesn’t feel right is time. Time is tough. And watching my once tiny newborn baby turn into a toddler is giving me such joy and is also hurting my heart in some ways. And my big boy who was a toddler yesterday (right?) is seriously a little individual person! How did this happen?

A coffee date: Coming to peace with my growing children and time

But just like Winter turns to Spring (thank goodness), these boys are growing as they should. Finding the peace in that is really hard. I’m fairly certain that our family is complete with Bodhi and Ezra. My heart feels full. My body feels strong and I have a lot of energy even going on very little sleep. Things just feel right for our little family. Read More »


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Unstopables plus five home decorating tips for spring

For the past three years, I’ve been on a mission to make our house a home. We moved in three years ago next month and we’ve slowly turned our house into a bright, fresh, cheerful home that we love. Our kitchen and powder room are two of my favorite rooms in our home. I’m excited to share a look at both today since the powder room hasn’t been on the blog yet.

Unstopables plus five home decorating tips for spring

 

I love our white kitchen cabinets and white, grey and black granite. The subway tile backsplash was actually a last-minute change due to our original tile being out of stock. We went with subway tile because it’s incredibly inexpensive so we wouldn’t feel bad replacing it quickly, but since then, I’ve found that I LOVE it and have no intention of changing it at all.

Unstopables plus five home decorating tips for spring

Our kitchen is really bright thanks to a south facing window.

I’ve learned things along the way in decorating our home and while my aesthetic isn’t for everyone, I’m happy to share five tips for creating a bright cheerful home just in time for spring.

Unstopables plus five home decorating tips for spring

Read More »


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Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair for winter skin

Winter in Minnesota has been incredibly cold this year. We haven’t had much snow at all compared to a typical winter, but the freezing temps and dry air have done a number on my skin and hair.

I love playing outside during every season. Whether it’s sledding, snow tubing or just going for a walk in the fresh air, winter doesn’t mean you have to be stuck inside.

My top five favorite activities are:

1. Snow walks. Simply going for a walk in the snow all bundled up is so much fun.

2. Tubing. I’m a woman who loves a roller coaster and generally am a thrill seeker.

3. Sledding. So easy but so fun. Even just pulling the kids is fun.

4. Playing on the snow pile at the back of our driveway. We have a long driveway so we end up with a pretty fun little hill right in our own backyard.

5. Making snow cones out of real snow. But be sure you only use the fresh stuff. :)

Playing outside in winter

Temperatures might take a nosedive this time of year, but the moisture of your skin doesn’t have to.

Vaseline for freezing cold Minnesota winters

Before spending the day outside playing with my kiddos, I’ve started using Vaseline Intensive Care™ Advanced Repair lotion on my hands and sometimes cheeks. My hands are definitely the driest between the cold winter air, running in and out of preschool and washing them constantly.

Vaseline for winter skin protection

I keep a bottle right next to my sink so I remember to slather it on every chance I get.

Vaseline for freezing cold Minnesota winters

The first layer of protection for cold weather? Your skin. Before you head into the cold, give it the proper moisturizing, healing treatment it needs to weather the coldest days of the year.

Vaseline

About Vaseline® Intensive Care™ Lotions
Vaseline® Intensive Care™ Lotions contain healing micro-droplets of Vaseline Jelly to deeply moisturize to heal dry skin and is clinically proven to heal dry skin in 5 days.

Disclosure: I participated in this sponsored campaign on behalf of Vaseline® and One2One Network. All opinions stated are my own.

Outdoor photos by Melissa Oholendt Photography.


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Matching Brothers, boy fashion #OhBoyStyle
My boys have been matching lately and I LOVE it! I joke that I’ve waited Ezra’s entire life to do this! I bought these shoes at Nordstrom Rack before Ezra was born and we are now at the point when they fit both boys. And these beanies are a fave from Childhoods Clothing, an adorable shop!

Oh Boy Style Instagram Sale

I’ll be back to sharing boy fashion over on Oh Boy Style soon. But, if you are in the market for some adorable duds for your baby or toddler boy, be sure to follow our Oh Boy Style Instagram account. I’m putting on a huge sale next week featuring very gently used items from Mr. Ezra’s closet including the kicks in the photo above. Instagram shopping is such a fun and easy way to create a fabulous wardrobe for your little one without leaving home and without spending a fortune. Have you tried it yet?


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Monetizing your blog

Today’s post isn’t for everyone. It’s for those of you who want to blog and eventually make it an income source for you and your family. If this isn’t you, skip this post and swing by tomorrow. :)

If it is you, grab a cup of coffee and let’s chat.

I am 80 percent done writing  an ebook about blogging. I’ve had SO many people email me, text me, Facebook message me etc… for details on how I’ve made blogging into a part of my career. And while I don’t mind meeting with people, my time is precious right now. I have two little boys and an amazing husband. When I’m not working, I want to spend my time with them.

So, for a while I started jotting down notes and putting together my blogging journey to share with people via email when they asked. My journey has been very different from those of others and although a lot of the information I’ll share is probably out there somewhere, my story isn’t out there.

I met with one of my very close blogging friends (Ashley of Mama Brooks) who is also a real-life friend, a year or so ago and realized that while it was probably somewhat helpful for her to have me there explaining things, the information was what she really needed. I wanted to find a way to help my friends and others who want in on this space with the knowledge I have while also sharing my story.

I was late to monetizing my blog for a lot of reasons, but the biggest one is that I knew NOTHING about it. I didn’t know about these blogger groups that help each other out. I didn’t know how to do advertising or get sponsored posts. I had NO idea. But that didn’t stop me. And it doesn’t have to stop you. Read More »