Aug 19, 2015

Happy Humanitarian Day!

Happy World Humanitarian Day!  Oh, you weren't aware of this holiday?  Me either, but according to my Kid President calendar, that's what today is....and who am I to argue with Kid President?

A humanitarian, by definition, is a person who is concerned with or seeking to promote human welfare.  When you put it in such simple terms, shouldn't we all strive to add "humanitarian" to our resume???  I truly believe the foundation of everything that is wrong in our world right now boils down to people not caring enough about other people.  Let's change that!

I'm not talking about going on mission trips (although, if you're being led to do that, DO IT!).  I'm not talking about adopting needy children into your home (although, if you feel like that's the path that's calling you, DO IT!).  I'm talking about very simple things that we can do to help our brothers and sisters...without even leaving our computers or smart phones.

Last year, I had the incredible opportunity to attend an IF: Gathering event at a local church in my town.  I was completely turned on to the idea of buying from philanthropic companies that are doing more than just producing a good for purchase.  Do I need shoes?  Why yes.  I happen to wear shoes every day.  So why not buy shoes that also do something for someone else?  Do I need jewelry?  Probably not.  But I love to buy jewelry.  I can rock a pair of flashy earrings.  So why not buy jewelry that's helping to raise an individual out of poverty and helping to rewrite their life story and that of future generations?  Ladies and gentlemen, we're blessed people.  We live in a privileged country where we have the opportunity to earn a living wage to support ourselves and our families.  Not only that, but most of us are able to buy "fun" purchases for ourselves here and there.

Today, on World Humanitarian Day, I thought it might be fun to highlight some of my very favorite companies that are giving back to others.


This isn't a new business to you.  I know you've heard about TOMS for basically ever now.  You've seen the shoes.  Heck, you probably own a pair.  But since really diving into the world of businesses giving back, I've been amazed at how much more the TOMS company does beyond their "get a pair, give a pair" motto.

The shoes, of course, are fabulous.  For every pair you buy, TOMS donates a pair to a child in need.  I'm currently obsessed, obsessed, obsessed with these wedge boots.

TOMS Desert Wedges

Am I cool enough to pull these off?  Absolutely not.  But I want 'em real bad, guys.

Beyond the TOMS shoes, they also sell eyewear.  For every pair you buy, TOMS gives a set of glasses to a person in need.  Can you imagine not being able to see well, but never having the funds available to change that?

But in addition to the shoes and the eyewear and the coffee they sell that sends a week's supply of clean drinking water to a person in need, TOMS makes and sells bags.  And with the purchase of each bag, TOMS delivers materials and training that is needed to create safer birthing practices in other countries.  Did you know that infection is the leading killer of new moms and newborns across the nation?

I don't know about you, but when it came time to birth my babies, I had access to a clean hospital with skilled doctors and nurses that knew how to care for me and my babies.  The majority of expectant moms across the globe don't have this opportunity.  As a result, many of their babies don't make it through childbirth.  Can you imagine?  All you have to do is buy a cute bag from TOMS, and you can help change that.

The Root Collective

The Root Collective is a shoe company that works with artisans, primarily in Guatemala.  TRC is adamant that your address shouldn't determine your employment.  Many of these people are able-bodied, intelligent individuals that WANT to work, but because of being born into slum conditions, cannot find employment.  They can't get a living wage and can't afford education to help better themselves to raise themselves out of poverty.  It's a vicious cycle.  The Root Collective came in and recognized that people in these conditions are skilled workers that want to work.  So they got to work on making shoes.  Beautiful shoes, y'all.  I follow them on Instagram and drool over their flats on the daily.  I haven't bought myself a pair yet, but it's going to happen.  Even if it means collecting pennies for a year until I can afford them.  Currently, the pair that I wish would magically manifest itself in my closet:

Gaby Flats in Mustard

Not only that, but today is their founder Bethany's birthday and they're offering 10% off with a referral code!  Here's the coupon code:  <--click and="" here="" nbsp="" p="" shopping="" start="">

Better Life Bags

Better Life Bags was started when a woman named Rebecca started making diaper bags to combat her boredom during her final few months of her pregnancy.  The bags were popular, so she opened an Etsy account and donated 10% of her profits to help low income entrepreneurs start businesses through microloans.  Pretty soon, her business grew and she turned to her community, a low income area of Detroit, for help.  She noticed that the women working for her were experiencing drastic changes in their lives, thanks to the income they were making through the company.  The company has grown and Rebecca continues to support her Detroit community.

These bags are a custom made product.  You pick the bag you want and then the fabric and leather colors you want.  You can add pockets, tassels...completely customized.  I had been eyeing one for awhile, following the company on Instagram (do you see a trend here with me?  I love me some IG.), when they offered up a coupon code.  I went on the site, started designing my bag, sent my sister pictures of all the bags I was trying to decide from....and then I closed out of the site.  We were about to have a new baby and I didn't actually need a new bag.  I was wanting something smaller to carry around instead of transferring my stuff back and forth from the diaper bag and my own giant purse, but buying one was not a necessity.  My sister knew I didn't buy the bag I wanted and she, very sneakily (is that a word?), went on the site, designed the bag like I showed her and then gave it to me as a baby shower gift.  Isn't she sweet?  I have the Finley laptop bag.  It's EXTREMELY well-made.  I seriously can't say enough about the construction of this bag.  The leather is sturdy, the fabric is thick.  It's just a very, very well constructed bag.  I can't say the same about the $10 bag I found in the Walmart clearance section.  The bad part about owning this bag?  I want another one. 

Noonday Jewelry

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, I know you've heard me talk about Noonday.  I adore this company.  They're working with artisans from all around the globe that make jewelry to help earn a fair wage in their community.  There's SO many stories of success and beating poverty and raising spirits...I can't even begin to share them all here.  If you want to read about how Noonday was started, click here.  If you want to read about some of the artisans and how Noonday is changing their life story, click here.  If you want to see how your jewelry is made lovingly by hand, click here.  If you want to see the countries that Noonday artisans are located and how you can help make an impact across the globe, click here.  I could talk on and on about this company and why I feel passionate about it. I know jewelry and handbags are not a necessity and that they're not for everyone.  But if you're going to wear jewelry anyway, why not make it jewelry that has a story and helps another individual??  It doesn't hurt that the jewelry and bags are GORGEOUS, guys.  Seriously.  Gorgeous.  I've not been disappointed with a single item I've ever ordered and I have multiple returning that has to tell you something.

Today, I'm sporting the Metric Cuff bracelet that I quite literally wear every single day and a pair of the Sea Stone Earrings, now a retired item, that I borrowed from my sister---a very happy returning customer.  

If you read about Noonday (devangaddie and check out the jewelry and fall in love (because, duh, it's soooo pretty), contact me! I'm looking for someone to host a trunk show in September!

I hear you all.  I hear the same things every time when it comes to buying items like these or donating money.  "It's too expensive."  Tell me something.  Would you rather buy a $30 purse from Target, that was probably made in a factory....or would you rather spend a little more and buy a purse that was made by hand by a woman in another country that is working for a company so she can put food on her family's table?  A purse that has an honest to goodness story?  Would you rather buy a pair of shoes from Shoe Carnival for $50, that was slapped together on an assembly line.....or would you rather pay a $30 more and buy a pair that was made by a skilled artisan that wouldn't have the opportunity to make a fair wage if it weren't for customers like you buying his shoes?

"What about people here at home?" I can't argue with you there.  There are needy people everywhere.  So go out in your community, find those people and DO SOMETHING about it.  I'm not about to tell you that you should buy a pair of shoes from TOMS instead of going into your community and helping the needy there. 

The companies I talked about are just options for you to be able to help your fellow man by doing something you probably do often anyway---online shopping.  Give them as gifts.  Treat yourself.  I promise you'll feel better buying something that's going to give back and make a real difference in someone's life than you ever did about buying that bag from the Big Box Store.

It's just like the Sherman Brothers said in the song "It's a Small World:"

"It's a world of laughter, a world of tears.
 It's a world of hopes, it's a world of fears.
 There's so much that we share
that its time we're aware
 it's a small world after all."
It's a big planet, but a small world.  What are you doing to make a difference?  Happy Humanitarian Day, friends.

Jul 28, 2015

To my Avery, on your 4th birthday

Dear Avery,

Four. You're four. When did this happen? They laid you on my chest in the delivery room and I blinked...and now you're four. Can I still call you my baby? You're not a baby anymore, not a toddler. You're my little girl. And with every passing day, I realize how much you're growing up and maturing. From your ever-growing vocabulary to your ridiculously sharp logic and reasoning skills when you're trying to get your way, you're growing up right in front of me. And there's nothing I can do to stop it. I want to hold on to you and beg you to stay this age forever. You're so much fun. I say that every stage is my favorite, but this one is certainly a front runner. You're at the age where I can have a conversation with you. It's no longer one-sided talking dominated by me. You tell me about your day, your school, your friends, your favorite things. You're getting an imagination and are FINALLY starting to play by yourself. I'm sure having a new brother in the house has helped with that. I'm sorry I haven't been able to give you as much attention since your baby brother arrived, but that's all part of having a new baby! You don't act the least bit jealous over are the absolute best big sister. I'm so proud of you and how much you love on your brother. Please remember that I'll never be too busy to snuggle or hug you. I don't care how old you are. I worried that, at this age, you'd be at the phase where you were "too cool" for Mommy. But you're more affectionate and snuggly than ever. You tell me, "I love you, Mama" often. I love that you call me Mama. 

You're still the spitting image of your Daddy--looks and personality. Although you do finally say that you "like the Go Cards and the Go Cats." I can live with that....for now. I'll still continue to try to get that blood bleeding blue. 

You are the girliest girl I've ever met. There's no such thing as "too much pink" in Avery's world. Pink, glitter and princesses dominate your bedroom, wardrobe and list of favorite things. I don't know where you get it, but I adore your independence and how you like what you matter what anyone else thinks. If you want to walk out in a glittery unicorn shirt with pink ruffled pants and pink cowgirl boots, there is no convincing you that it isn't a proper outfit. I think you're going to be a leader, like your Daddy. I certainly hope so, at least. 

I'm so proud of you, my Avery. People comment on how well-behaved you are. We're still working on using our manners often, but any time we're in public, I'm thrilled with how good you are. That makes me so proud...and you LOVE to hear that Daddy and I are proud of you. 

Today is your fourth birthday, my Avery. We may not be spending it the way you planned (you're currently asleep on the couch after being awake since the early morning hours, throwing up), but this is still one of my very favorite days. It's the day you were born and made me a mother. Happy birthday, Avery Leigh. I don't have enough words to tell you how very loved you are. 

Jun 17, 2015

Hudson's Birth-June 11, 2015

Basically. I fell off the face of the blogging earth. Would you like to see why? 

Introducing Mr. Hudson Wayne Gaddie! Born 11 days before his due date, weighing 6 lbs, 6 oz and measuring 19 inches long. 

Pregnancy with Hudson was not so easy. Let me start by saying that I know it could have been worse. I could have suffered from gestational diabetes or preeclampsia or have been put on bed rest. None of those things happened. But this pregnancy was still not easy. Because of that, my blog suffered. I never had anything to talk about, other than how crappy and exhausted I felt...and who wants to read about that??

Hudson's BIRTH, on the other hand? The absolute easiest thing in the world. 

Labor is such a surreal experience. Your adrenaline is going, things are happening so fast. I wanted to take the time, while it's still fresh in my mind, to write it all down. If you don't like birth stories, I suggest you skip this post. I, on the other hand, love to hear about the different experiences that women have in the delivery room. If that's you too, then enjoy!

Wednesday, June 10th 

I woke up that morning, like most other mornings, feeling exhausted. I had extremely painful Braxton Hicks contractions the night before and didn't get much sleep. As a result? I was grumpy. There's no other way to describe it. I was continuing to have contractions the entire time I was at work. At one point, I thought they might be regular, so I started tracking them. As soon as I did, they started getting irregular...and that's when I had my breakdown. Text to my husband that morning:

I was just a very pregnant, very emotional wreck. I think every pregnant woman who gets to full term has that moment where she truly feels like she's going to be pregnant for the rest of her life. I'd reached that point. My contractions were never turning regular, my doctor was talking like she wanted to do an induction the next week--which I really didn't want. I was just struggling. After work, I decided to treat myself to a pool evening. I laid out and then floated around the pool to soak up the sun. I was still having contractions, but I was relaxed about it. He'd come whenever he was ready. 

On Wednesday night I started having contractions, I just knew they were more of the Braxton Hicks, and I ignored them because I didn't want to get myself worked up again. I told Marty they felt close, but that I was going to chug some water and lay on my side because I knew they were bound to go away. After about twenty minutes, they weren't going anywhere and they were getting more intense. So I started tracking them with an app that I had downloaded to my phone. Six minutes apart was the going rate for about 40 minutes. What was I doing while this was going on? Folding and putting away laundry because I didn't want people coming into a messy house if I truly was in labor. After 40 minutes, my contractions were 3-4 minutes apart, I was having horrible back labor and I kind of had the panicked thought that we needed to get to the hospital ASAP. So I tell Marty that we need to leave...he had been putting the car seat in the car, packing his bag, odds and ends things that needed to be done. So we called my sister to come stay with Avery and we headed to the hospital. 

Since I had been having contractions for weeks, I was still not letting myself believe that I was actually in labor. When we got into a room in Labor and Delivery, the nurse checked me and I was dilated to 4 cm....we were staying! That was the point that I started to get really excited about meeting our little guy. It was also 1:30 am and I knew we were in for a long night. 

I was taken into a delivery room, where I continued to have contractions, but still wasn't in an awful lot of pain. With Avery, the nurses suggested that I get up and walk around or sit up to progress labor. Not sure why, but I chose to lay in bed and continue contractions with her....and her labor took 18 hours. This time, I was determined to have a different experience. When we got into the room, I decided to try the glider chair they had, and then later I would try one of the birthing/exercise balls. Fortunately, I didn't even make it that far. Sitting up in the chair and walking around quickly progressed me to 6 cm. My contractions were getting more painful, but still nothing that I felt I couldn't manage. About that time, around 4 am, my doctor came in to break my water. 

Holy. Moley. 

That was also something I didn't get to experience in my labor with Avery--when my water was broken with her, I had almost none. This time? Not so much. Lots of water, lots of feeling like I was peeling all over myself. To you ladies whose water breaks in public: God bless you. After my water was broken, contractions were whoa. I suddenly thanked God for epidurals and realized, once again, what a rock star my mom was for delivering me without one. I'm too much of chicken when it comes to pain, so in came the anesthesiologist. The epidural was done and in effect around 5 am. When my nurse Jessica, who was absolutely fantastic (seriously, I feel like I should send her a card and an Edible Arrangement or something), came back in, she rolled me to my left side and let the contractions do their thing. I very, very quickly went from 5-6 cm to 9 in no time flat. At that point, I was moved to sitting straight up and dilated to 10. By 7 am, I was ready to start pushing. My doctor came in, got herself prepared and at 7:15 exactly, I started pushing. 4 rounds of contractions and 14 minutes later, Hudson was born at 7:29 am. 

Easiest. Labor. Ever. 

The delivery room was the most peaceful experience, my doctor and nurses were fabulous. Avery's birth was wonderful, but exhausting. It was a flurry of people and talking and activity. Hudson's birth was so quick and while I was pushing, the nurses and my doctor were so soothing and quiet, it allowed me to gather my thoughts to prepare for the next contraction and pushing. 

After labor? With Avery, I was in a great deal of pain. I couldn't wait until my pain medicines would be delivered. Barely moved from my hospital bed, needed help going to the bathroom and taking a shower. Going home, Marty had to lower our bed to the floor because I couldn't manage to get into it normally. I was in a lot of pain. 

With Hudson, I feel like a rock star. In the hospital, my pain was almost non existent. I didn't really need the pain medicines, I showered without any assistance every day. I sat in the rocker and cleaned up our hospital room. 

Night and day difference. 

I told Marty that if every labor, delivery and after delivery could be this easy, I would have 5 more kids. He didn't find that funny. 

Hudson has absolutely been the most perfect newborn. He eats well, sleeps in 3 hour increments and only wakes for feedings and then goes right back to sleep. I think I've heard him cry a grand total of 4 times since he's been born. I'm honestly waiting for the shoe to drop and something to just become unbearably hard. My mom told me she heard that preemie/early babies basically sleep until their due date. Hudson was 11 days early. So I'm nervous we're about to see a different side of him in a few days. For now though, I'll enjoy his perfect self and hopefully be back to regular blogging soon! 

Apr 18, 2015

Oaks Day Decisions

To my readers that hail from the Bluegrass State, you get how big of a deal the Derby festivities are.  If you're not lucky enough to be a Kentuckian, let me explain.  Derby is basically a huge party 'round these parts.  A lot of Kentuckians are like me and have actually never been to the Derby.  It's on my bucket list.  But I have attended many a Derby party, bet on my fair share of horses and cheered on the ponies.  Instead of going to the Derby, the last couple of years my mom, her sisters, my Meemaw and my sister have all gone to the Kentucky Oaks--the race day right before the Derby.  It's a special day, where Churchill Downs honors breast cancer survivors with a survivor parade and most people will be sporting pink in some form or fashion.

For me, it's an issue.  I love the meaning behind the pink....but I loathe the actual color.  Always have.  While Miss Avery wouldn't have a single problem in this world wearing pink head to toe for the day, I struggle.

My girl loves her pink.  I'm not sure where she came from.
Every year, I'm scrambling to find a pink-ish dress or a pink hat last minute because I don't own a single stitch of pink clothing.  And it seems like I struggle every single year.  The first year we went, I was on a pretty strict budget, so I went to Roses and bought a floppy hat.

Being my first Oaks experience, I wasn't sure what to expect.  I immediately decided that the next year, I'd spend a little more money and buy an actual Derby-like hat.  The floppy hat belonged at the beach, not at the racetrack (I'm telling you guys.  There's rules to this whole "Derby week at the races" thing.).

So last year, I bought myself a sufficient Derby hat from a friend.....but then weather was basically dismal the day of Oaks.  I worried for weeks about what to do about the forecast.  I didn't want to freeze, but IT'S OAKS DAY, Y'ALL, and I didn't want to look out of place if I didn't wear a dress.  In the end, I went for comfort, so I opted for pants and shirt so I didn't freeze my rear end off and a giant pink hat.  It wasn't great for selfies...

....but it worked.

Now this year, I have a different issue alllllllllllllltogether.  I'm pregnant.  Comfort is #1 right now, but I also want to look cute.  If you've been pregnant before, you feel me, right?  You're already feeling uncomfortable and gigantic and swollen, but you still want to be just as cute as everyone else around you.  It makes dressing for any kind of special occasion a big deal.  My cousin's wedding is a week and a half for my due date and I'm already worried about looking like a giant whale and not looking cute at all but that's an entirely different issue all together and not the point of this blog post.  *deep breath*

When I first started looking at dresses for Oaks, I immediately went to, my favorite go-to website for clothes this pregnancy.  Probably 80% of my maternity wardrobe right now is from this website, and I plan on buying some more shirts and dresses for the last couple of months of my pregnancy when we're reaching summertime temps.  

My anti-pink choices automatically led me to this dress: 

It's Kentucky blue and it looks ridiculously comfortable, right??  I would actually wear this again after the races.  But I wasn't sure how I was going to make this work with pink.  I'm not exactly a bold color choice person.  I put it up on Facebook and, through suggestions from all you lovely friends, I had decided that it would look great with pink accessories.  I went as far as to make a collage of the pieces I would wear with it. 

(Earrings: Compass Earrings;  Necklace:  Acai Rope Necklace;
Bracelets:  Everlast Bangles and Raja Bangle

It was all set.  And it seemed like a win-win situation.  I would find a fuchsia fascinator and call it a day and feel pretty darn good about myself.  But here's the thing about being indecisive:  it takes you a ridiculously long amount of time when you can't make decisions quickly.  So buy the time I decided that this was the route I was going, I went to the website to order the dress.....and they were out of my size.  FIGURES.  

So, back to square one!  Fortunately, Pink Blush carried the same dress in a fuchsia color.  Not my first choice, but one of the biggest things that attracted me to the dress in the first place was how comfortable it looked.  I went ahead and ordered it, because I wasn't going to run into the same situation again of the dress being out of stock. 

Now, to find jewelry and a fascinator.  I've decided on a fascinator because I already have extra weight all over my body and I don't think I'd feel all that great in a giant hat.  A fascinator is still Derby-ish, but lightweight.  Ideal, I think.

(Side note: please type in "fascinator" into the search bar in Etsy and then filter from high price to low price.  Then go ahead and pass out that there are 1. People selling hair accessories for that much and 2. There's the potential that there are people out there spending that much on hair accessories.  Oy.)

I haven't decided yet, but these are a few of my top choices: 

Fascinators all from EyeHeartMe on Etsy

Well, at least this gets me started.  I won't even begin to think about jewelry right now.  One decision is all my indecisive little head can take for the moment.....

Mar 29, 2015

Hair Care Products and a Hairspray Revelation

One thing you should know about me?

I have hair issues.

My hair is terrible, with a capital T.  Flat, thin, doesn't hold curl.  I don't think I can express to you how really awfully bad my hair is.  I've tried soooo many different hair care products to try to give my hair more volume, to give it texture, to hold curl.  Hardly anything works.  I have had success for a short amount of time with two different volumizing products:

Aquage Uplifting Foam, $16+

This foam is meant to be applied while hair is still damp.  You then dry your hair, upside down for best effect, and it gives it volume.  The first couple of times I used this product, IT. WAS. AWESOME.  When I flipped right-side up after drying, my hair honest to goodness looked like a lion's mane.  It was crazy.  I've never in my life had volume like that.  My only complaint about it at first was that it made my hair crunchy wherever I had applied it.  But after awhile, it was almost like my hair became resistant to the product.  It no longer gave me crazy awesome volume, it just made my hair sticky.  It was a terribly sad day around the Gaddie household.  And so I began my hunt for a volumizing product that would work......again.

L'Oreal Boost It High Lift Creation Spray, ~$4, Target, Walmart

After searching for a good while for another volumizing product, I was out at a bachelorette party when my cousin fixed my hair and used this glorious stuff.  It's amazing.  Spray it on your roots, tease it up, hello volume!  Best part?  It's FOUR DOLLARS.  I'm a firm believer that you should not have to pay out the wazoo to get good stuff.  

While I've found a volumizing product that works, for now, I've basically been on the hunt for a hairspray that will hold my hair for-ev-ver.  Seriously, it's like the hunt that absolutely never ends.  I've gone through so many brands and types and price points it's ridiculous.  I've tried Garnier, White Rain, Suave, Big Sexy Spray and Play, Herbal Essences, John Frieda...the list goes on and on.  

Most recently, I had the thought that since the L'Oreal volumizing spray was working so well, I would try their brand of hairspray too. 

L'Oreal Lock It Weather Control Hairspray, ~$4, Target

This stuff is.....used ..okay.  It's better than any other ones I've used.  It holds my hair for a small amount of time, which is impressive considering most of the other hairsprays I've used don't even hold my hair until I get to work.  But.....this stuff smells horrrrrrrrrrrrible.  I can't even convey into words the smell this spray puts off.  It's bad enough in the bathroom when I'm fixing my hair, but I can smell it in my hair the rest of the day.  But I paid $4 and it does an okay job, so I thought I would use the rest of the can before I bought something else to try.

Yesterday, I was cleaning and reorganizing my bathroom closet and I found a trial sized bottle of a hairspray I'd honestly never seen before.  I have no idea when it was purchased, I have no idea where it came from, I've never even heard of this brand before.

Salon Grafix Freezing Hair Spray

This morning, while I was getting ready for church, I thought I would attempt an experiment.  Spiral curl my hair like I occasionally do and then spray my hair....half of it with the L'Oreal hairspray I had been using and the other half on this newly discovered brand-I'd-never-heard-of spray.  

Holy cow, guys. 

I curled my hair at 10:15ish this morning.  I took this picture at 7:15 tonight.
This is a picture of the side of hair that I sprayed with the L'Oreal spray. 

It's okay.  Like I said before, it's worked better than anything else I've ever used before.  I still see curl in my hair, which for 9 hours after I curled it, is extremely impressive.  That's seriously never happened before.  But you can see the areas that have fallen out, which is super typical of my hair.  

Now, this is the side that I sprayed with the Salon Grafix freezing spray.

I seriously can't even believe it.  NINE HOURS have passed, y'all...and my hair is still curled.  Do you even know what a huge, monumental feat this is??  This has never happened.  Ever.  I feel like I need to shout it from the rooftops:  "I'VE ACTUALLY FOUND A HAIRSPRAY THAT WORKS!!  AND DOESN'T SMELL GARBAGE!!  IT'S LIKE THE APOCALYPSE!"

Now, I just have to find this stuff for a reasonable price.  Baby steps, guys.  

Mar 12, 2015

May Designs Discount!!

Guys.  One of my most favorite sites EVER is having a massive sale today!  May Designs was featured on Good Morning America this morning and they're offering 50% off all day!!

Here's why I'm excited:

1.  I have my own May Designs book right now for taking notes in my Bible.  The book is small enough that I can keep it wedged in between the Bible pages that I'm studying and it doesn't make it too bulky.

In the past, I've used their agenda and their budget planner and I've been happy with every single one of my purchases.

2.  THEY HAVE A NOONDAY INSPIRED COLLECTION!!!   Noonday and May Designs collaborated and picked 4 of their favorite designs.  Since I love you, I've posted the patterns here, along with their coordinating Noonday piece AND where you can buy one of your own.  I'm a giver.

Naturally, I want them all.  Especially the zebra print.  What is my fascination with safari animals??

3.  Avery LOVES these books.  And let me tell you, they have been a lifesaver on more than one occasion.  We've purchased two of these books for Avery and she fills them up so quickly.  I've bought her the kid's coloring book and a blank book that she lovingly calls her "sketchbook."  MOM TIP:  I throw this book and a pencil pouch full of colored pencils and crayons into my purse when I know that we're going somewhere that will require Avery to sit and be quiet for a long period of time.  It's come in handy in doctor's offices, restaurants and church.  HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend these for kids.  I think I'm going to order Avery the kid's handwriting book (we've been working on our letters A LOT around here) and another blank "sketchbook" since hers is almost filled.

4.  These suckers make awesome gifts.  Two years ago, for Christmas, I bought one of these for every single one of the girls in Avery's playgroup.  A personalized book, a clear pencil box (like this one) that was vinyl monogrammed (by my super talented friend over at Sincerely, Sunshine) and filled the box with art supplies and I think the girls were happy as larks.  And when these books are $7.50 (without personalization) or $10 (with personalization), you cannot get a cheaper gift.  My friend brought up a good point this morning....Easter basket gifts!! 

5.  FIFTY PERCENT OFF.  These books are normally $15 plain or $20 with your monogram or customized phrase.  Take half off that.  You can stock up on gifts for the whole year.  Or buy as many as you want for yourself.  At that price, you don't even have to feel guilty. 

Now, run over to  Right now.   You'll thank me.  

Feb 18, 2015

Noonday Obsession

So, two weekends ago, my sister Dayna and I went to this incredible women's Christian conference called IF: Gathering that I recommend everyone attend next year.  It rocked my faith, it made me cry, it's made me dive deeper into my Bible and into the stories hidden there.  If you want to learn more about them, check out their website.  I also highly recommend the IF: Equip Bible study app for your phone.

While we were there, the Gathering spotlighted a company called Noonday.  A Noonday Ambassador came on stage and talked about this wonderful company and these gor-geous pieces of jewelry.  Okay, another excuse to spend money, I was thinking.  But Noonday is a little different than that.  These jewelry pieces are actually made by 28 different artisan groups all over the country.  We're talking women in villages, hand making these pieces and bags and scarves and what have you.  So?  This is allowing these women to earn a fair wage in their country.  Which, in turn, brings money to their families.  It breaks the cycle of poverty, which I just think is amazing (read more about Noonday, their mission and their impact here).  Now listen, I know people get up in arms because there's so much we need to do here in our country to help our poor people.  And I agree.  But didn't Jesus say "Whenever you did one of these things to someone was overlooked or ignored, that was me--you did it to me." (Matt 25:40 MSG)?  He didn't say "Whatever you do to the people in your own country..."  And it's jewelry people.  And darn cute jewelry too.  It's handbags and clutches and scarves and just really stupid cute stuff.  Stuff that we'd be buying anyway, right?   So why not buy that cute pair of earrings and help people while you're doing it?  Yes, it's a little more expensive than what you would buy at a chain store like Target, but it's handmade and it's going to a worthwhile cause.  No, I'm not a Noonday Ambassador.  I don't work for the company and I'm not getting paid for an endorsement.  I'm just a girl who heard about their mission, checked out their website and thinks what they're doing is pretty darn awesome.  And since I believe in sharing, I'm telling you about the website too.  You're welcome.

Now I just have to decide on the pieces I want.  Because decisions are hard, guys.

Top Left, clockwise:  Jewel Drop Earrings, $28; Sea Stone Earrings, $40; Diamond Drop Earrings, $32; Cow Horn Hoops, $28; Metallic Pearls Earrings, $34

Top Left, clockwise:  Clustered Bracelet, Berry, $12; Meridian Clutch, $98; Entwined Bracelet, $28; Underground Cuff, $28; Linked Horn Bracelet, $58

It is not an exaggeration when I say: I WANT IT ALL.

Jan 28, 2015

Hudson's Kentucky Themed Nursery Plans

Besides naming and meeting your newborn child, is there anything more fun than planning a nursery?  It's like a blank slate where you get to create whatever you want in the room.  I get it, some of you aren't in to interior decorating.  But this is so far up my alley, I'm completely geeking out over the possibilities.

When Avery was born, I didn't have much of a plan for her nursery, other than the strict no-pink rule I'd laid down.  I was into black and white at the time, so I thought it only natural to just go with the black and white theme that was laid throughout the rest of our house, adding in purple for some femininity.   Look back on pictures, I wish I had done a little more planning on her room to decorate and plan for a future room.  Right now, Avery's poor room is devoid of any and all decorations.  I just can't get a feel for what I'm wanting to do.  I think if I had decorated her room early on, I wouldn't  be having this issue.  Moving on....

I wanted to have a different approach when it came to Mr. Hudson's room.  Before we found out we were having a boy, I was heavily leaning towards a woodland creatures theme.  I know you've seen some of these ideas on Pinterest.

I still love it.  The foxes, the natural woods, still all adorable.  But then I started talking to my sister about nursery themes........

.....and she suggested a Kentucky theme........

......and I died. 

Not really, but I got wayyyyy too excited and immediately started Pinterest-ing ideas.  (We're talking the STATE of Kentucky, not the University.  My husband would have a coronary if I tried decorating his little boy's room in UK stuff).  The more stuff I started finding on Pinterest and Etsy and the more excited I became.  

Reason #1: 

1.  Kentucky is home to bluegrass, basketball, horses, rolling hills, tobacco barns.  Doesn't this just SCREAM a sophisticated nursery??

2.  I love my state.  Kentuckians are notoriously proud of the Bluegrass State and we don't care to tell you.  In my days at UK, there were an abundance of Ohio residents in attendance.  One Ohioian (is that what someone from Ohio is called?  I don't even know.) girl told a class that she had never met people who were prouder of their state than people from Kentucky.  Hell yes.  Also, this survey is important to note.  Kentucky people love Kentucky.  Now imagine a Kentucky person who loves Kentucky decorating a Kentucky themed room.  It gives you the warm fuzzies, doesn't it?


3.  When Hudson gets older and decides he's over the theme of his room, all of the decor in there can be incorporated in other areas of my house.  Winner.  

I got so excited pinning and looking on Etsy that I couldn't figure out what direction I was going in with this room, so I decided to make a mood board, which is basically a blank "page" where you put all your ideas together to make sure you're having a cohesive thought. 

Presenting......Hudson's Kentucky Themed Nursery Board!


Crib, Westwood Park, Target ($499).  I am OBSESSED with this crib.  It's very barn looking to me and just screams Kentucky farm.  If I have to sell all my personal belongings, I must have it.

Fabric, Charley Harper Organic, The Quilted Castle ($11.55/yard).  I am a Kentucky fan.  My husband is a Louisville fan, home of the Cardinals.  I wanted to figure out a classy way to bring in both UK and UofL into this nursery without posting something actual UK or UofL.  I think this fabric is perfect for doing just that.  Plus, the cardinal is Kentucky's state bird, so I can always claim that was my motivation behind it.

Pendant, Allen + Roth, Lowes ($179).  Absolutely no purpose for this light, other than I think it is such an awesome country look to it.  Hudson's room has a ceiling fan in it, which has never been used, but I can't justify spending that much on a light that isn't a necessity.  But I like the feel of it and it goes along with the look I'm trying to create.

Glider, Dorel Living, Wayfair ($306.99).  Neutral, cheap.  I'm in love.

Kentucky Pennant Flag Pillow, Thistlewood Farms Blog.  This is going to happen.  My sister says she has extra pennants in her office from UK themed events.  Now to find someone that can sew......*cough MOM cough*

Kentucky ABCs Print, Kentucky for Kentucky ($30).  Just fun, right?

Horse Watercolor Print, Etsy ($25).  I love this.  It's more than likely happening.

Louisville Map, Etsy ($19 for 8"x10").  There are so many cool map and city skyline options on Etsy.  Whatever style I decide, I'm going with the city of Frankfort, Kentucky's Capitol.

Jute Wrapped Knob, Hobby Lobby ($2.49/ea).  Not my favorite yet.  I've seen some on Anthropologie's website that I am obsessed with, but they're $15 apiece.  That can't happen.  This is a good compromise.

TARVA dresser, IKEA ($149).  Before baby gets here, I'm planning a massive IKEA trip.  This is the TARVA dresser painted navy.  It's absolutely happening.

And there you have it!  My ideas for sweet little Hudson's Kentucky themed room.  Does this mean this is exactly what it's going to look like?  Absolutely not.  I want the gallery wall to contain more non-photo items hanging up, like license plates and horseshoes and whatever else catches my eye.  Plus, I have a crap ton of bookshelf space to decorate, so knicknacks will be important.  I'd like to find other specific Kentucky items, but I think this is an excellent jumping off point....don't you think???

Jan 26, 2015

Pondering Birthdays. Yes, Already.

Is it too early to start thinking about Avery's 4th birthday party?  Yes, it's not until July, but here's how I'm justifying it:

1.  If I start talking about it now, Avery will go with whatever theme we pick now instead of changing her mind a month before the party day.

2.  I'm having a baby (God willing) 4-ish weeks before Avery's party.  When I had Avery, at 4 weeks after her birth, I was just barely up and walking around.  I figure if I plan it now, I can slowly pick up the pieces to make her party happen and then hopefully, I can bribe beg my sister Dayna and my mom to help me pull it all together for Avery's birthday.

Whatever the reasons, I have started to glance at ideas for Avery's 4th birthday.  Darn you, Pinterest on my phone when I'm laying in bed at night wide awake from heartburn.

I'm kind of loving these ideas:

Sleeping Beauty Party

Right now, Avery is realllllly into Sleeping Beauty.  Which I kind of dig, because she's a fairly under appreciated and under requested Princess option in my opinion.  It makes it hard to find Sleeping Beauty stuff when my kid asks for it (read: try to find JUST Sleeping Beauty panties (as in, no other Princesses in the mix) when your three year old wants them for Christmas.  Good luck), but it makes it unique when we're talking a Sleeping Beauty birthday party.  These are just a few of my favorite ideas for an Aurora Party:

Sleeping Beauty Photo Booth Props (link here)
Personalized Sleep Masks (link here)
SB Replica Cake (link here)
Meriweather Favors (link here)
Tiara Shaped Pizzas (link here)
THAT CAKE, YOU GUYS.  I want it for my 30th birthday.  Is that acceptable??  Say yes.

Frozen Birthday Party

*sigh*  My child, just like every other red-blooded child on this planet right now, is so ridiculously in to Frozen.  I don't get it.  What made this one movie so special?  Why didn't people go insane over Tangled the way they're doing Frozen?  I digress.  Point is, my kid loves this movie and these characters.  Reluctantly, I looked at ideas....even more reluctantly, I'm admitting that some of them are cute.
DIY Frozen Tshirts (link here)
Melted Olaf (link here)
Kristoff Kisses Favors (link here)
Snowflake Decor (link here)
Anna Themed party (link here)

Considering Avery's birthday is in July, a lot of the winter themed activities I found are obviously out. You know, since we're going to be "IN SUMMER" and all.  See what I did there?  If not, you haven't watched Frozen on repeat yet.  I'll let you borrow Avery sometime so you can have an excuse.

Painting Party

This has been a personal favorite of mine since I saw it on Pinterest a bazillion years ago.  A painting party!  Avery loves to paint like her momma and, even though she'd probably pick the Sleeping Beauty party, I may try to lobby hard for this one.

Canvases & Aprons (link here)
Paint Swatch Silverware Holders (link here)
Cookie Canvases (link here)
Rice Krispie Paintbrushes (link here)
Marshmallow Paint Sticks (link here)
I. Am. Dying.  Is this not the cutest party idea you've ever seen??!  Thankfully, this isn't an age-specific idea, so if Avery turns it down at 4, I can try again at 5.  And 6.  And 7. And 16.  Whatever it takes.

What about you?  Any fabulous party planning on the horizon?  Any party theme you want to brag about?  Share!!

Jan 17, 2015

Awkward TV Wall

This blog used to be a place where I talked about my house.  And things I had done to my house.

I haven't done anything to my house in for-ev-ver.  It doesn't feel right.  I love decorating.  And I can't stand for anything to stay the same for too terribly long.  It's a flaw and it drives Marty crazy, but I can't help myself.

The decor in our house, however, has stayed the same for a long, long time.  I haven't done anything new since we finished the kitchen remodel.  Too long, friends.

So I'm going to focus on this one tiny little area:  the TV wall.

You're snoozing, right?  It's SO boring.  But it's such an awkward layout that I have absolutely no idea what to do with it.

Things that won't stay:  the chairs are temporary, moved only so the drywallers that are working on our basement could get in and out of the basement door while carrying heavy items easier.  They won't stay there.   The clock could stay or go to another wall, I'm not married to the idea of it being there.

Things that will stay:  the TV, obviously.  The cabinet below.  It's one of my favorite things.  You know, besides my husband and child.

It's just such an awkward space.  Three walls, two small walls and you can see part of the hallway when you're in the living room.

So, it's not like I could do a gallery wall around the TV, because I'm planning on doing a gallery wall down the hallway. I just don't know how to even go about attacking this.  Do I ONLY put things on the wall where the TV is and ignore the others?  Do I leave the clock and put things on the TV wall and leave the wall in the middle blank?  This is an area where I'm completely lost and Pinterest isn't helping (what do I type in? "Awkward zig zag wall decor?")

Now taking donations for an interior designer.  Or applications, whichever you feel led to do.

Jan 6, 2015


I am afraid to get excited about this baby.

Given our past history and our miscarriage, I am terrified to plan anything long-term related to this pregnancy.

We've picked out names and that's as far as baby planning has gone.

I'm dying to look at nurseries and get some ideas and start making a mood board for the vision I have for Baby Gaddie's room, boy or girl.  Every time I start to look, there's a little voice in the back of my head that says "Should you be thinking this far in advance?"

At this point in my pregnancy with Avery, I had already bought a few things.  Cute blankets, some bibs, gender neutral things.  I've found several things that could pass for either a baby boy or a girl this time, but something always holds me back from actually buying it.

We've been talking to Avery about this baby.  Her potential baby brother or sister.  And every time we do, I think "Should we be talking this much about the baby with her? What if something happens?"

And there it is.  I'm living in a constant state of anxiety and what if.  What if the same thing happens?  What if we lose this baby?  What if, since it's been over a month since our last appointment and I haven't been able to see the baby or hear the heartbeat, something has happened?  What if I get attached, only to be heartbroken?

I even find myself feeling guilty when I say or write things like "we'll be having a baby this summer." Or "I'm due in June."  I almost always feel like I need to follow that statement up with something like "we'll be having a baby this summer, God willing."  I can't say this time without a doubt that we WILL be having a baby this summer.  What if, what if, what if.  

I know this isn't a healthy way of thinking.  I know that no matter what happens, I will be forever tied to this baby and will love it just like I love Avery and I loved my last pregnancy, however brief it was.  I know that if the worst happens, I will be heartbroken--whether I convinced myself that I was attached to the baby or not.

I don't know if this is normal.  I would like to think that it is.  Given how terrible I've been feeling with all the pregnancy symptoms, I want to still be in that euphoria-induced haze I was in when I first found out we were expecting.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm still beyond thrilled about this baby.  He or she is very much loved and was prayed for unwaveringly, unceasingly during many a tear-filled nighttime conversation between God and I.  I'm so thankful that He has given us this chance to give Avery a sibling.  But with the excitement is the ever-present fear.  I would love to replace it with hope.  I just don't know that my brain is letting me get to that point yet.  Right now, it's a daily struggle not to give in to the fear.  I'm sad that I don't feel more celebratory and excited.

I've actually joined an online forum full of moms either trying for or expecting their rainbow babies.  Although I haven't interacted with any of them yet, I hope they get it too. I hope they understand how I feel.  Articles like this one are helpful too.  It makes me feel a little more normal in my fear.

Until baby gets here, I'm doing my best to stay excited.  Talking to Avery is the best remedy for that.  She's such a good big sister already.  I can only hope that she'll get to put those good sibling tendencies to use.  Until then, I'm going to continue to look at things like these and these and just pray we get to bring our rainbow baby home in them soon.

Dec 31, 2014

New Year, New Tradition

Note:  inspired by my good friend Sarah, I'm making some changes on the blog.  If every time you visit my blog and you see a new background or fonts or designs, just "let it go."  I'm playing around with some different ideas until I find something I'm completely happy with.  Read on. :)

Happy last day of 2014, friends!  This was a heck of a year for the Gaddie Family.  Disney trip, a three year old, kitchen remodeling, basement remodeling, news of a fourth member being added to the Gaddie household.  What a great year!  Leaps and bounds above how I felt about 2012 and 2013.  I was thankful for a year full of (mostly) good news, finally.

So, here I sit.  I can hear the bells of a New Year ringing in the very near future.  My mind, naturally, is on resolutions.  Just for fun, I decided to go back to my post this time last year to see if I actually accomplished anything I set out to do in 2014.  I resolved to be a better Christian, save money, organize my 28th and Hudson business, organize the basement, feel better about myself, to single-handledly bring back snail mail, finish my furniture redos, keep my house picked up, and to keep up with my blogging.  Whew.  I'm exhausted just reading that list.  In an ideal world, this would be the part where I tell you that I did all of these things and more to fulfill my resolutions.  But this is real life and I accomplished some of these things.  I wish I could tell you that I was a better Christian this year.  But a tragedy happened in our community, to a family I barely know, and my faith hasn't really been the same since.  Hopefully I'll get brave in 2015 and talk more about my struggles, but I definitely failed this year.  Marty and I did do better with budgeting our money and saving.  I didn't organize my 28th and Hudson business, because I ended up shutting the business down....for right now.  Talk to me again when I have my own super organized craft room and am able to go to my very own space to craft again.  Our basement is getting organized because we're finishing it, and I'm getting my own craft room, Avery is getting a playroom and Marty is getting a space for all his junk.  Almost as good as the craft room?  We're getting an area for storage.  I'm envisioning walls of shelves for all our stuff.  It's going to be glorious.  I don't feel any better about myself.  Same story, different day.  I did send more snail mail in 2014.  I didn't finish any of the furniture pieces I wanted to.  Keep my house more picked up?  I just laugh at that one.  My house is always a wreck.  Right now, I'm blaming it on being pregnant and miserably sick.  After that?  I don't know what my excuse will be.  Keeping up with blogging.  I started out really great, and ended up taking a two month break from blogging.  That's the way it goes I guess!  Accomplish some things, fail at others, don't beat yourself up for the ones you don't do.

So, in 2015, I resolve to not make any resolutions. 

Of course, I have goals I would like to accomplish in 2015.  But this new year is bringing us a new baby.  There's absolutely no telling what I'm going to have time or energy to get done in the new year.  I can't say that I'm going to start crafting more or be a better housekeeper or read more.  In 2015, with a 3 year old and a newborn, I may be lucky to just keep my head above water. 

Instead of resolutions, the Gaddie family is going to do a "Blessings Jar."

When we make resolutions, they have a way of making us feel bad about ourselves when we look back at our past year and think about all the things that we didn't accomplish.  I'll be honest.  When I looked back at my January 1, 2014 post, I was disappointed at myself for the things I didn't get done.  Ergo, no resolutions.  Instead, we're going to make a "Blessings Jar."  Idea from this awesome post my sister shared on Facebook.  Every time a good thing happens to one of the Gaddie Three (soon to be four, God willing), we will write it on a piece of paper (reality: Mommy will end up writing it on a piece of paper) and stick it in our blessings year. 

When December 31, 2015 rolls around, we'll open up the jar, revist our blessings and marvel at what a wonderful year 2015 was, filled with blessings. 

I smell a new tradition in the making.  Happy New Year, y'all!

Dec 17, 2014

Princesses and First Post in Forever

I know I haven't been posting.  I could give you a hundred reasons why: I'm pregnant, sick, we're redoing our basement, my house is a disaster....but I'll just say this.

I'm sorry.

Sorry I haven't given you any updates, crafts, Avery stories, home tours.  I've just been so overwhelmed and exhausted to even think about blogging.  But I am still here, I do still love blogging very much, and I promise to update you more (plus, for Christmas, I'm getting my very own laptop!! No more having to borrow Marty's work laptop to hurriedly hash out a blog post!).

I thought as an apology, I'd dive back into the blogging world with a craft post!

It's no secret that Avery and I are Disney fanatics.  Marty, I think, is starting to come around.  He mentioned to me about a month ago about when we'd visit Disney World again. Convert?  I hope so!

So, with Christmas coming, I thought that it was a no-brainer for us to have some Disney-inspired Christmas decor in our house!  I had to reach wayyyyy back in my memory and dig up these amazing Disney Princess Dolls from Taija's Drawing Board--a Tumblr account where one woman posts her AH-MAZE-ZING works of Disney art.  I'm obsessed.  I currently have one of her drawings of Ariel as my phone background.  That's beside the point.

These are the beauties I'm talking about today:

I know they're not overly Christmas-y, but if you look close (and my apologies for the terrible picture and all the ones to's going to be a goal for 2015 to learn how to take better iPhone pictures) Tiana is holding a gift, Pocahontas is holding a snowball.  In our house, however, these aren't going to be used for Christmas decor.  We're hanging these from Avery's bedroom ceiling.  She's close to exploding with excitement.  Want to learn how to make your own?  Well, then I'm so glad you're here!

Materials Needed:

  • string
  • scissors
  • glue or tape
  • cardstock
  • crayons/colored pencils/markers
  • tissue paper
  • string
How to assemble:

1.  Go to Taija's Drawing Board Tumbler page and print off the Princesses.  For me, it was little complicated to do.  When I just right clicked the picture to print it, it was attempting to print the entire Tumblr page.  So, I had to save the JPG image to my computer and then print the picture off.  
You should have 5 pages when you're done, 10 Princesses total. 

2.  Once you have your Princesses printed out, color 'em! 

I printed off 3 copies of each page, two for me to color and one for Avery.  Yes, I'm OCD when it comes to crafts and wanted some of them to look good.  So sue me. 

3.  Once they're colored, cut each Princess out.  You also need to cut a thin rectangle shape out in the middle of the body for the tissue paper to go.  Taija's already made that easy for you and has the lines where you need to cut.

4.  Choose whatever color tissue paper you want for each specific Princess and fold a long piece of tissue paper into an accordion-style.  Make sure you don't have the folds too wide to fit into the rectangle that you cut out of the middle of the Princess. 

5.  Insert the folded tissue paper into the cutout you made in the Princess.

6.  Open each side of the folded paper and tape or glue the ends together.  Add string to the top and you're done! 

The beauty of these little beauties is how versatile they can be.  Hang them from a present for a unique addition to your wrapped box: 

Or make a loop at the top with your string and turn them into ornaments.  Or, do as the Gaddies are doing, and use them as decor in your Princess obsessed child's room.  So many options! 

You can do two colors of tissue paper, cut one in a design and create a layered dress.  Make the dress longer.  Or shorter.....

Add texture to mimic the Princesses real dresses from their actual Disney movie,,,

The possibilities are endless! And the cool thing about the artist that made these is that she has included little tips to the side of each Princess for you to personalize them any way you'd like.  She even teaches you how to make a real paper flower or how to jazz a Princess up with some glitter.  

So, these Princesses are pretty cute, right?  Am I forgiven for not blogging in forever??

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