Holidays with Minted

This post is a collaboration between Minted x Happily Ever Parker.
All thoughts and opinions shown here, as always, are my own.
Thank you for supporting brands that support Happily Ever Parker.

It seems this holiday season I am checking everything off my holiday to do list a little late.

1. Go see Santa - status: not completed
2. Wrap presents - status: not completed
3. Drive around the neighborhood looking at lights - status: not completed
4. Build a gingerbread house - status: not completed
5. Mail out holiday cards - status: completed

Luckily there is one thing I have checked off my mile long holiday to do list and that's send out our Christmas cards. Which for me to send them out this late into December had me stressing (but hello I also didn't have a tree until the 10th!) The main reason being we didn't take any holiday photos this year (which as a photographer has me seriously bumming but that's what happens when you're busy taking everyone else's photos!)

However I had a vision in my head of what I was hoping to capture. And as can be the curses with visions - haha mine wasn't really met. However we made do with what we had and called it a day. So in case these haven't arrived in your mailbox yet. Just avert your eyes.

Year after year we buy our holiday cards from Minted. Namely because they never are lacking on adorable cards and I like having a wide array to choose from. Plus address assistant is like a godsend when it comes to addressing 90+ cards (don't even ask me why I hand wrote our address on the back this year for every.single.card!) I was torn between a couple of cute ones (here, here and here) but ultimately decided on the one below - mainly because it looks like my handwriting!

So from our family to yours we virtually wish you the happiest of holidays!!


Life Lately in photos


Stocking Stuffer Gift Ideas: For the whole family!

I think one of the most exciting parts about Christmas morning as a child was getting to see our bulging stockings and finding all tiny trinkets wrapped inside of them. It was almost as good as all the big Santa presents mainly because the amount of things you can fit inside a stocking can be quite a lot! So in honor of one of my favorite traditions here are some great stocking stuffer ideas for everyone in the family!

Tell me - is there something you always put in your stockings each year?

Cyber Monday (Kids Version)

I am not big on Black Friday and for good reason - Cyber Monday. Why on earth wait in long lines when you can shop from the comfort of your own home in pajamas? I've rounded up some items that are worth snagging tomorrow in case Santa needs some assistance in the gifting department for the little ones.

We got the kitty ones for P when they were 40% off but now they are an even better deal! I am loving all the different animal faces too! I always opt for ship to store because I find Hanna shipping can be higher than most stores. These PJ's hold up really well and also hold their resell value.

When it comes to clothing I am often reaching for more neutral items and with the thought that this baby has a 50% chance of being a boy I find myself looking at the boy clothes with a harsher eye. These would def make it into my shopping cart if we knew the gender!

These are great versatile tops especially for preschool. Cute but functional always wins in my book.
Umm can I get this in my size? So freaking cute!

Velvet is having its moment and I definitely swooped these up for little P! I immediately pictured them with these leggings and this sweatshirt!
This is one of our big gifts from Santa and I wish I saw they were carrying it at Costco! I paid $70 for just the doll! Oye!

Tell me - did you snag anything good?!

Life Lately

It seems like every time I come on here as of late I have an excuse to why I haven't been on here. And while it's true I can rattle off a million excuses. Half of the truth is that I just don't have much going on these days. While of course I am growing a baby (20 weeks along!) the documenting process for this child is nowhere near what it was with P. #secondchild Rest assured that once he/she arrives that will end and I will get all snap happy again.

Other than that (major) thing my life is pretty status quo right now and honestly sometimes I don't quite know how to feel about that. I am not making any big changes or stepping too far out of my comfort zone. I find at times that it can be really hard to be content with what is - and not focus on what isn't. But I am doing my best.

I am optimistically hopeful that 2018 brings about new and exciting things for me and my family. New adventures, new challenges, and of course a beautiful new baby that I cannot wait to meet.


Loving Lately: Maternity Style

Next week marks halfway through this pregnancy and while I have barely talked about it here or even photographed it (so unlike my first pregnancy with P!) there have been some things this go around that I have loved that I didn't necessarily have three years ago. Very luckily, pregnancy for the most part is very kind to me.. While this one at first seemed a little rougher in the beginning I think that was just due to having a three year old who hates sleep to manage as well.

I've been feeling great and I am so excited for the big 20 week ultrasound next week because we haven't seen or heard the baby in so long. I'm still anxiously awaiting those big swift kicks - hopefully any day now! As you may recall we are not finding out the gender and it's actually a lot of fun! Let's just hope the tech doesn't let it slip next week!

1. Designer Maternity Jeans
I am the first to admit that when it comes to denim I want the pricey pairs. That's because I am a jeans wearing girl about 99% of the time, you will hardly ever find me in leggings/athletic wear. I feel most comfortable in frayed denim and the same goes for when I am rocking a bump. This time around I invested in a couple pairs of nice denim and I can't even tell you what a difference it makes. I'm seriously already sad to have to let these go when my pregnancy is over. Two of my favorites are here and here. I've found Paige with side paneling to be my hands down favorite and have been able to purchase them 40% off with coupons or promos from Destination Maternity.

2. Oversized Sweatshirts
Because it's my first time being pregnant in the fall/winter. I am embracing everything that goes along with it. Give me all the chunky/cozy/oversized everything!

GAP Lace-up Tunnel Neck (not maternity but works either way so cozy and I sized down to a M)
Kimmie & Kai French Hoodie

Ingrid & Isabel Cowl Neck Sweatshirt

3. Tanks - I wore tank tops all the time the first go around but back then it was Liz Lange for Target (and yes I still have them) but the new maternity line at Target, Ingrid & Isabel is so good and their tanks are no exception! Since I ride public transportation to work I am often wearing a tank and cardigan combo. That's mostly because it's the only way I currently look noticeably pregnant - give up your seats people!! This hunter green one is my current fav.

And while I did totally declare I am not a leggings girl, that doesn't mean I don't ever wear them. I just ordered the very raved about BLANQI maternity leggings (they also make a postpartum version) during their 50% off sale. I haven't received them yet but hoping they will live up to the hype! After all I am going to need some good pie pants come Thanksgiving!

Halloween 2017

Turns out this little witch is full of tricks and treats! We had so much fun with our friends celebrating P's third Halloween. She loved running to the houses with her friends and collecting candy. Looks like she is taking after mama because she doesn't want anything to do with the chocolate treats in her bag! Until next year!


Team Surprise!

Fall weather is finally gracing us in Northern California and I am so ready to embrace everything that is being pregnant during the fall/winter/spring months. With P we found out we were expecting the day before New Years Eve of 2014 and I can't tell you enough how happy I am to not be having a baby during the summer months again.

This past summer the thermometer reached highs I have never seen in my life, as high as 112! So while I do appreciate everything that comes along with a summer baby (better birthday parties, summer break) I can't wait to welcome a new bundle in the springtime. Where it's still plenty cool enough to be cozy and the flowers are beginning to freshly bloom.

We have decided to keep this little babe's gender a surprise! Which if you know me - is so not like me! But I have a variety of reasons for doing so which I will post separately but the more I convince myself of being team green. The more excited I get! This is 99.8% certain to be our last baby and since I've already got my girl (yes, I am one of those people who desperately wanted a girl). I really would be happy with either gender.

Part of me hopes for another girl because I was raised with nothing but sisters, and our bond is one of the most special things in my life. So to imagine P without a sister does make me sad. However to imagine life without a boy is also one I have a hard time imagining. Even harder to imagine David without a little boy. Plus David was just about the cutest child I've ever seen so cloning him would be a dream <3

All that being said not finding out the gender does also present it's (#firstworld) challenges. We have to come up with two names (sheesh! One is hard enough). Two coming home outfits from the hospital (or one gender neutral) and also do everything we can to not find out. Our last ultrasound is mid November and once you have your 20 week scan you don't have any afterwards (at least that is how it is for me!) So I just keep telling myself make it to 20 weeks and then it's really out of my hands. I am holding strong!

So in case your team green like us - which I really prefer to call team neutral! Here are some things I am eyeing or have already purchased for when we meet the newest Parker baby <3


Five Years

This past weekend the hubs and I celebrated five years of marriage. Can't hardly believe its been five years as time has flown - especially when adding a wild haired toddler into the mix. We cruised to Half Moon Bay for the day and checked many things off the bucket list. Which included Shark Fin Cove in Davenport - which I will say was pretty cool. But slightly treacherous with a three year old (and those damn no dog signs) so we viewed it from the top and called it complete.

From there we ventured to a beach with a secret access point we remembered from a time we went before becoming parents. The route was a little errr sketchy at some points but we made it out there. It's a great beach for kids since the ocean breaks nicely on the shore. P had an absolute BLAST. That is until Finn knocked her over and mama had left all her spare clothes in the car. Whoops!

After we left the beach with our small human wrapped in a towel in a hiking pack. We headed back to the car in search of a pumpkin patch. Half Moon Bay is pretty well known for their pumpkin patches so we knew we were bound to stumble upon some gems. We decided to pull into Arata Pumpkin Farms when we saw it off the side of the road. It was giant, filled to the brim with activities and almost a little too overwhelming. That and the fact the sun was still too high in the sky for my liking - but we hopped on in and had some fun.

We were preparing to head back home after a very full day and then there it was.  A "pick them where they grow" pumpkin patch. And I was like HOLD UP - there is no way we are driving past this place. We have zero places like this where I live and I am always so jealous when I see photos in fields like this. Bonus - you could see the ocean. So I really couldn't have picked a better way to end the day. Plus it was an hour before sunset - only the best time to take photos. Me = winning.

It was the perfect way to celebrate five years of marriage together and has now given us a new yearly tradition. I can hardly believe there will be another mini Parker in tow this time next year!