Monday, November 28, 2016

Freshly Picked : Giveaway!

The season of shopping is upon us.  I love shopping for my kiddos especially.  The clothes and shoes I buy them not only clothe their adorable little baby bodies but they become part of the memories we make.  As they outgrow them I always have the pictures.  When Leavitt was a new babe a short three years ago now, we bought him tons of baby shoes.  We had caught an episode of Shark Tank and were in LOVE not only with their adorable baby moccasins but their story.  I especially loved how stylish and functional they were, and being a boy mom I wanted all the style I could get to jazz this little man into being my new fashionable best friend.  My husband was sold on supporting a small business that had such an amazing story, and so our love of Freshly Picked moccasins was born.

When I look back on my favorite pictures and memories, there is almost always a pair of Freshly Picked moccasins on him.  I kept them all, and the ones he never walked in we are using with our new stylish little man.  The ones he did take his first steps in however will be saved as cherished keepsakes with his tiny little footprints embedded in the soles.  As his feet grew so did his zest for life and you can see that he was a little harder on some than others but that they all held up against his rambunctious ways.  Those memories pull at my heartstrings just staring at their little marks.  I still remember him taking his actual first steps, climbing lobster traps and meeting Santa for the first time in the cherry pair.  Running around the dining room table and meeting the Easter bunny in his glacier moccs.  He ran around the sidewalks of my sister's neighborhood in Florida in his neon green pair.  He wore chocolate moccs his first time apple picking, and in his precious nine month pictures on our front porch.  He wore camo downeast to meet his extended family for the first time, and I bought them a second time in a bigger size because camo is a neutral if you're a little boy from Maine!  He rocked the Born in the USA ones on his first fourth of July at camp.  Each pair telling a story of where we have adventured together.

So much life has happened in those shoes.  So many memories, and firsts.  I can't wait to do that all over again with Preston.  He loves the hand me downs but he's also being treated to the new colors and prints thanks to all the amazing new designs I just can't say no to.  These dark gray ones sweetly named, sweater, are my new favorites.  They are so handsome looking, and the cozy cable knit embossed suede is the perfect detail for all his winter outfits! 

They make the perfect gift for all the precious babes on your list and will not only get tons of use, but will be cherished keepsakes for mom!  If that isn't enough to set your gift giving heart on fire there is a Cyber Monday sale going on today starting at 10MST all you east coast mamas, that's 12 noon our time!  The sale will only run for 24 hours and sizes can sell out fast so don't wait! All the seasonal styles will be 25% off!

As an added gift to you all this holiday season I have teamed up with Freshly Picked to give one of you a chance to WIN a pair of moccasins in the color and size of your choice! To enter the giveaway, there are a few things you must do...
1. Find me on Instagram @bringingupleavitt and make sure you are following me AND @freshlypicked
2. Like the giveaway post AND tag a are now entered!
3. For an additional two entries find us on Facebook here, like the page AND share the giveaway post.  I will be double checking before the random winner is announced to verify you have done these things!

You must be a resident of the USA
You cannot have won any other giveaway including a  pair of Freshly Picked moccasins  giveaway in the last 60 days.
The giveaway will run until December 3rd.  I will announce the winner the following day.
 You will have 48 hours to claim your prize.
Love you guys so much and I am so excited for whoever wins!

I was provided a pair of moccasins from Freshly Picked for this campaign.  All opinions are and always will be my own!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Q & A

Every now and then I like to do a little housekeeping on the e-mail and direct message front and share some of the most asked questions I get, and answer them here on the blog.  

Are your eyelashes real?

Right now they actually are because my go to lash gal has been on a mission trip to Uganda spreading the good word.  Obviously the fact that I have a lash gal means that I usually have extensions on.  Lets be honest the temptation to go full on mom mode, skip makeup and succumb to a life in yoga pants and under-eye-bags is fierce.  While my motivation might be lacking to look put together during early morning drop offs with a toddler and a newborn, I manage to fake it a little with lashes and tinted moisturizer.  Lashes are a total luxury and to be honest if I ever cut back on lady maintenance, they will be the first to go.  I will also no longer look like I get considerably more sleep than I actually do.  Would that be tragic?  I vote maybe.

What is your Starbucks order?

Are all those shameless coffee pictures on Instagram making you wonder what I am drinking?  No? OK, well a few people want to know so here it is.  I order a venti non-fat vanilla dirty chai.  Now all my lady friends who ride shotgun with me on the regular ask me what it means if your chai is dirty... simply means it has a shot, or in my case two shots of espresso.  Lashes make me look awake... espresso means I actually am awake.  See whats happening here? A lot of effort to keep on keeping on... such is mom life.

How often do you go on date nights?

HAHA! Almost never! sorry that's not funny is it?  Here is the total truth to this.  I have a very busy life that doesn't involve my husband, and he's busy at work.  When we get alone kid free time, we are both usually so tired we can't muster the energy to leave the house.  I love getting dressed up and having dinner with my husband.  I actually love being alone in the car with him the most, because it almost never happens, and we used to road trip together a lot.  It seems like even when we plan to head out for a night on the town together we both deep down are happy to just be home and that's the season of life we are in.  Maybe once we hit our stride a little more on the planning front we will make those date nights happen more often.  

Are you going to try for a girl?

I get this not only in my inbox, I get it in person a lot too!  The short answer is no.  I guess being a girly girl, it would make sense that I would want a daughter.  I do in a lot of ways love the idea of having daughter.  I also love the idea of moving back to Florida, but that's not in the cards for our family.... having a daughter may not be either.  Being OK with that is essential to enjoying what I do have, which is two healthy, amazing, little boys, who I love more than anything.  I am complete.  I have no idea what the future is.  Four years ago I had no Idea I would have these two sweet sons of mine.  If we ever decide to have another child it will be because we want another child, not because we desire to raise a girl.  I have nieces I can spoil with girly things, but in some ways it makes me glad no one will be stealing my shampoo, or makeup, or worse my shoes if she were god forbid a size 7.  In all seriousness before I had confirmation of my maternal instincts I knew both my babies were boys.  I had a connection to them in that way before the test results or ultrasounds confirmed it.  Maybe someday I will get that same feeling with a girl too, but I don't see us wanting another baby anytime soon... sorry grandmas!

There you have it, the answers to your burning questions!  I love reading your messages, and getting to know you all better!  If there is anything else you want to know fire away, if you just want to say hi I would love that too!

A little heads up on something top secret and oh-so-exciting happening next week, you will want to make sure you find me on Facebook and Instagram to get a head start! Happy Thanksgiving loves, wishing you full bellies and hearts this week!  

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Holiday gift guide: Maine Made

As you all know I am a Maine girl and love all things Maine made.  Any time you spot me out and about you can always find at least one accessory I am wearing from a Maine shop.  I am sure I have mentioned it before but for those of you who don't know me my great grandfather on my mom's side was a downeast fisherman and my great grandfather on my dad's side owned a potato farm.  I still have relatives in Aroostook and Washington counties... for those of you not in Maine it doesn't get more Maine than that!  That being said I hope you enjoy these little pieces of Maine goodness as much as I do!

So here are my Maine made picks for gift giving this year!

This black and white clutch is begging for a girls night out.  I love these bait bag clutches by Alaina Marie.  They are made in Portland, ME and I have three already that I use all the time.  They are perfect for me because I throw them in the diaper bag,  carry them on a date night with my husband, or a night out with the girls.  The price is perfect at $75.00 for a Christmas gift.  You can dress it up or go casual, and the black and white will go with anything and work in all seasons.  Its a win!

I mentioned that my mom's family comes from downeast, specifically Perry, Maine.  I love that these amazing shoes and slippers come from this teeny tiny town.  I have a couple pairs of shoes from them, and while they are a little on the pricey side, they are quality through and through.  These slippers fall on the lower end of their pricing at $179.00 but whoever gets these as a gift will be slipping them on for years making them worth every penny!

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen my Ropes bracelets in many of my pictures.  I wear one every single day.  Something about them just works with my standard mom uniform.  I love that they go with everything I wear, stack well with my other jewelry, are nautical without being touristy, and come in so many color combinations.  This particular one caught my eye a while back for fall and winter, but they have so many great options that will work in all seasons.  There are several variations and knock offs of this brand, many at half the price.  I have gotten my hands on several of them and none compare to the real deal.  The price is perfect for a close friend or special relative at $70.00.  

I just snagged this little gem during the Bar Harbor pajama day sales at A Little Mad, my favorite store on MDI.  This little cuff is dainty, cute, inexpensive, and stacks well.  For $24.00 it makes a great gift for teachers, friends, or anyone who you need a little something more for.  

|| Wine Bag ||

By now everyone is familiar with Sea Bags.  I love the re purposing of sails and the fact that they are handcrafted in Maine, so these are a natural win.  Add a bottle of your favorite vino and it's possibly the easiest gift you can come up with, especially for a hostess.  The bag is $35.00 making it super affordable and being so cute you don't even need to wrap it, stuff a bottle in there and you will be the best looking thing to show up on a front porch this holiday season! I am obsessed with the back of these bags, you can recycle them by re-gifting the bag as you visit other people you sign the bag and date it as it makes its way through your tribe.  I can only imagine the memories a bag like this would hold after being passed around!

I can't think of anything cozier than coffee roasted in Maine.  I am a lover of strong coffee with bold flavors and Green Tree coffee does not disappoint me.  The Christmas cheer is a medium blend and sure to be a hit with all coffee lovers.  This company gives back with every pound of coffee.  They support charities for dogs and the great Maine outdoors.  If you aren't sold yet the $12.00 price point should do the trick!  

I hope you all find something from this great state to add to your holiday shopping list, for someone very special.  Weather you live here like me, or you just want something unique to put under the tree. I can't think of anywhere, other than the North Pole, more Christmas like than the Pine Tree State! Happy Shopping, friends!!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Test of Faith

This weekend my car was broken into in my own driveway.  I had been parked on the far side of our three car garage because we had cleaned out the garage all day Saturday, that night someone stole my money from my wallet.  They probably saw the tipped over ride on airplane toy my three year old rides too fast down the hill in our driveway, and may have noticed a swaying wooden Adirondack swing mounted to the end of my porch.  Did they notice the hall light on upstairs that I use to make my way in the middle of the night to make bottles? I'm not sure.  They had to of seen the two car seats in the back, and the stroller in the way back.  When they went through the center console they dug through book fair fliers, cartoon DVDs, spare clothes for tiny people, swim diapers, and my personal belongings.  They had to of seen the embarrassing number of Starbucks pastry bags the cookies my toddler loves come in.  His pumpkin bag with his name on it, still filled with Halloween candy, I save for bribes on the go.  They settled on my diaper bag, where they rifled through diapers, burp cloths, baby ugg boots, and a baby jacket before they found the wallet they wanted.  They took the wallet to the woods at the edge of my lawn looked at my license, took out my receipts, credit cards and gift cards, before they found the $47 in cash.  I wasn't even mad... actually happy to have my licence and credit cards... for a moment I felt lucky.  Then I realized you touched my children's things.  You disregarded them when you saw their belongings and stole their money anyway.  Yes, their money.  Because everything we do and have is for the betterment of our kids lives.

I have to stop there before I think beyond that and feel bitter.  I found my way back to church about a year ago and can't think of a better way to test my ability to forgive.  I don't like what they did to us.  I don't like that they saw my name, touched my kids things, and stole from us while I slept feet away inside my home with my toddler next to me and my infant on the other side in a bassinet.  I hate it actually.  I need to forgive them, because I don't have room for that hate in my heart, a heart so full of love for the precious boys you violated.  I am mad at myself for not hearing them in my driveway but I am thankful I serve a God who had our backs that night.  A God who let me soundly sleep, not forcing me to fear, or to decide weather to confront them.  My faith in the lord allows me to forgive you, to move on, to not be afraid.  Because when evil is on my doorstep, he will protect us.  What  a gift this person who violated us, has given me.  To give me the reassurance that no matter what is going on, on the outside, our safe place is protected.

So many people have lamented that these events have stolen my peace of mind or security.  Truthfully I allowed myself to go there at first.  Then I realized how much worse this could have been.  It could have been someone intruding into my home.  Wanting more than petty cash for what I have to assume is a bad habit they have.  I have to thank the lord for not just keeping us safe last night but also for being in a good place in our lives.  We aren't desperate.  We don't need to steal to make ends meet.  $47 dollars won't break us, or alter the course of our lives.  We aren't rich, but we are comfortable, happy, and forgiven.  Just as we have been forgiven, we will try to forgive.

I just hope they are caught before a good ol' boy from Maine shoots them in the act.  I hope they are young and this is a bad phase they are going through.  I know they have time to turn their life around and I want them to.  I hope they run into a God fearing person who can shed a little grace on them and point them in the right direction.  I'm not perfect.  I have walked a wild road to get where I am today.  But I serve a God who forgives, who calls us all to forgive others, and that's the message I hope my kids can take from an experience like this, but not until they are old enough obviously.  I also hope that if they find themselves making big mistakes someone finds a little forgiveness for them.