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2017 WENDY CORREEN SMITH. Powered by Blogger.

Four Years


​Four years ago today we had the most beautiful outdoor wedding. It was 74 degrees and sunny with a light breeze. The pink & blue cotton candy sky at dinner was painted by the Heavens above. It was a fairytale. More than magical; difficult for me to even put into words.

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Our Annual Trip to the Pumpkin Patch


Hello friends! How exciting was this past weekend with a frosty chill in the air!?! We did all the fall stuff this weekend. We kicked it off with a trip to my sisters' homecoming parade & then football game on Friday night & on Sunday we took our annual trip to the pumpkin patch. It finally feels like fall now that we drank hot apple cider, danced to a Johnny Cash cover band, saw brand new baby pigs, and brought home a bunch of pum'kins.

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The Red House


A few weeks ago I dreamed I was standing in my grandparent's kitchen, by the window over their sink. I told my grandpa with all the excitement, joy & hope, that I wanted to buy their red house. I don't remember him saying anything to me, only a sense of acknowledgement & peace. Peace that he understood & was taking care of the details. The feeling of being inside the home I was raised felt euphoric. I went down to the basement & then my grandma came running down straight to me and gave me the tightest, warmest, longest hug. She said something to me about my heart & missing her. I woke in tears, strong emotional tears, not sad but overwhelmed because it felt so real. It felt as though I had been with them for only a fleeting moment, but enough time to fill me with an enormous amount of excitement. I had never dreamed of them together before.

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Bye-Bye Summer


Happy fall, friends!

Here we are on day #2 of fall & I realized I still have a bunch of summertime photos I have to share. My sisters are really good about printing their family photos & I am not. I always say my blog is my place to document and keep safe our memories. Thank you for following along. I promise it'll be everything pumpkin, mums, & fuzzy sweaters from here on out!

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The Missouri State Fair


A few weeks ago Ryan took a stay-cation & it just happened to be during the Missouri State Fair. I hadn't been since my college days & I was reluctant to go because of the heat. Ryan had his heart set on going & so we loaded up the car & drove about an hour to the fair one week day. As soon as we got there we watched the pig races & we had never seen anything quite like it before. The announcer had his two kids as part of the show & they were just as entertaining as the actual pigs! They played musical instruments, did backflips, & told jokes. All the crowd was involved & it was a really fun way to start the day!

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Yaya's Alpaca Farm


A few weeks ago Ryan took an entire week off of work & we had a little stay-cation in Kansas City. We have an ever growing list of places we want to visit & restaurants we want to try & having a week to devote to exploring our own town was exactly what we did. Even with a whole week we only got through about 1/4 of the list, so I guess that means he'll need to take another week off this fall! If you've never done a stay-cation before, I highly recommend it. We always tend to book trips away from home when he's off work, and we even tossed that idea around, but ultimately decided to stay home & enjoy all that KC has to offer.

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Mommy & Me Matching Outfits


Last week I asked for mommy + me clothing line suggestions on my Instastories & thank you, I got so many new suggestions. Matching with my little Magnolia is the sweetest thing & she gets just as excited about it as I do! Leopard print is everywhere this year & that will be a style that we wear on repeat. We just stocked up on some basics + leopard print over the weekend at H&M. We're also big lovers of Hunter boots & creating a matching outfit around our boots is always easy & fun.

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Happy Sweet Sixteen Mylene Olivia


Hot coffee + leftover birthday cake for breakfast, is there anything better? I don't think so!

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Part Two: Summer Adventures


Hello friends. I'm back for the second part of our Summer Adventures post. We didn't go on any trips this summer, but we still made our hometown of Kansas City a place to explore. And on the days that we stayed home, we had cupcake parties (kind of like a tea party, but with cupcakes instead), tutus & Alexa made for the most fun dance parties (Get Up Dance by Blanco Brown, we're getting pretty good at it), and Magnolia is the sweetest mommy to all her baby dolls (heart melting adorable).

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Part One: Summer Adventures


This summer, compared to last summer, WOW, it is just so incredibly different. Magnolia & I never stop going & doing & the blog has definitely taken a back seat. Before I'm posting our Autumn Bucket List I just have to share a little bit of what we've been up to this summer. It's crazy how much our baby girl has grown. We were all on the back deck under the twinkle lights last night, and I was showing Ryan videos from last summer of Magnolia & Valentine together. Night & day! Magnolia was stumbling around as she walked & Valentine was smaller than her. Now we have the car seat facing forward, she doesn't ride in the grocery cart, she picks out her own outfit each day, & the list goes on...

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Ten Ways We Make Music & Dance Part of Our Daily Rhythm


When I was pregnant with Magnolia I noticed very early on that she enjoyed music. I can vividly remember during my second trimester telling Ryan that she would wiggle around & dance to music! The in utero dance parties got even crazier by third trimester. It was wild. I was positive that she would come out with a strong appreciation for music, and she sure did.
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A Phone Full of Photos


It's the first part of June & Magnolia is watching the movie Grinch in her diaper with her sparkly purse on her shoulder & gold glitter jelly shoes on her feet. The glitter purse is full of random snacks from the pantry, jewelry that she's stolen from my room, a polaroid camera & some cute little drawings! Today's post is going to be a lot like her little purse full of sweetness & joy, and also so very random. We've had pool days & shopping days, birthday parties & lunch dates, afternoon bubble baths & long warm naps, dinner on the deck followed by long walks on the trails by our home, fruit + veggie smoothies in the warm sunshine, lots of adventures in the backyard with our Valentine Lollipop, sprinkle pancakes from Magnolia's Kitchen & pink peonies.

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The Most Flattering One Piece Swimsuits


It's a long weekend & most of the kids are on summer break now & that means beach vacations + pool time! I went shopping for swimsuits earlier in the week & decided to try on one pieces for the first time since literally middle school. Mom suit time! I tried on about twenty & liked a lot of them, but the Bleu by Rod Beattie ones were the most flattering ones of all. The material was like butter & the cut was perfect (meaning it covered by booty). The most adorable suit from Aerie was great until I turned around & noticed it was cut like the red one from Baywatch.

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How To Make a Balloon Arch + Shopping List


Hello, friends!

Today I'm finally sharing the details about our balloon arch from Magnolia's second birthday party. Since then we've made a few more & I have some tips for you, along with all the supplies you'll need to make this sweet confetti of colors part of your next celebration.

A few things to know about the balloon arches: 

1. There are several different ways to pull the balloons together. You can use a strip of plastic that we bought on Amazon or you can use a yarn needle & some twine to attach them. In my opinion the needle & twine is easier + faster, but the plastic strip creates a fluffier (is that right word?) look. The balloon arch below was created using the Ladybug Balloon Decorative Strip.

2. You'll need a variety of balloon sizes, some big, some small. We used ten & five inch balloons for her pastel arch, the exact ones are linked below.

3. The best $20 we've ever spent on a celebration, the Portable Balloon Inflatorbecause great news helium is not required. Trust me, you do not want to blow up every single balloon using your lungs. You'll get worn out way before you make two feet of the arch!

4. If you don't need to transport the arch then I'd highly suggest making it the day before, it'll hold up for weeks. We kept ours up for an entire week after the party. If transportation is an issue, it can be made on sight & you can expect it to take a few hours. It's best to have one person blow-up & tie the balloons while another person attaches them to the strip or pulls them together with the needle + twine.

5. Even if you use the balloon strip you should have some twine on hand so that you can tie it to something. We used the curtain rod in our kitchen to hold it up. Command strip hooks are another great option if you are installing against a wall.

6. I've got two YouTube videos for you, this one is for the decorative plastic strip, and this one is for the needle & twine (or wire as they used).





The balloon arches are very easy & even fun to make. The rainbow of colors creates a festive vibe that can take a celebration to that dreamy + magical level! Magnolia is obsessed with balloons & all things birthdays. We made one for my sister's birthday party this past weekend & we are going to make a mini one for our Valentine Lollipop's first birthday next month. Poodles need surprise parties too! Make sure to follow us on Instagram @wendycorreen to see all of fun!

All of the products you'll need from Amazon are linked below. I hope you feel inspired to make a balloon arch and please tag me on Instagram if you end up making one. I'd love to see your cheerful creations.

xo

Click the image below to be taken to the Amazon product page. 
p.s. all the other party supplies can be found here


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Rainbows + Mother's Day


Hello! It's finally a sunny Monday here in Kansas City! I hope you had the happiest Mother's Day weekend with your loves. Our weekend was an easy going one, filled with flowers, baby girl giggles, brunch, cupcakes, vanilla mojitos, & rainbows!

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April Magic


April has already come & gone. How did the magical month of bright green grass + blooming lilacs come & go so fast? We had our windows & back door wide open every single day that we could. After the never ending winter, this April felt even more joyful than usual. Walking around our backyard or the big city with this little girl holding my hand are days I'll treasure forever. I know we are living the best days of lives right now & all I can do is try to soak up every single bit of it.

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National Infertility Awareness Week


It's National Infertility Awareness Week & families, professionals, corporate partners & the media are coming together to talk about the way lives are forever changed with the struggle to build a family.

As I was thinking about what I wanted to say, I was brought back to a cold November day when I was sitting on an exam table. I was one week post-op from laparoscopy for severe endometriosis. My body ached, but my soul ached stronger. I remember hearing my doctor say, "you need to do IVF if you want to have a baby." I had no idea how much would happen in that exact same exam room over the next three years. The moment IVF was spoken panic came over me. At that time IVF was a very dreadful word. IVF was going to be expensive, risky, involve hundreds of needles, countless exams & procedures, & all of that without a guarantee of a baby.

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Hippity Hoppity Happy Easter Day


Hello! I hope you had the most magical Easter weekend.

We celebrated all weekend long & it was truly the best Easter ever. I wasn't sure we'd ever top our first Easter with our Magnolia --- our literal golden egg, but we did. And then last Easter was one of the worst days of my life. After losing our baby on Easter Sunday last year, I was determined to make up for it this year. I remember sitting on the sofa last year, body shaking from what I had gone through physically & emotionally, feeling an overwhelming sense of sadness. We watched an Easter service on TV & the message of hope in the midst of tragedy was carried in my heart all year long.

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My Ten Best Tips For Photographing Toddlers


A few weeks ago my sister asked me to photograph my nephew, Ollie, for his third birthday. He wants all things airplane for his party. My sister made arrangements with a family friend to have photographs taken with their airplane. She just knew Ollie would be thrilled, and he was, especially when he was able to get inside the cockpit & touch all the buttons with the pilot headset on. Now Magnolia is obsessed with airplanes & is fascinated with them flying in the huge sky above.

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My Birthday & Turning 38


On Sunday I woke up 38 years old. To be real, I must tell you I woke up with a sore throat & that made me one lovely birthday grouch! Ryan got up with Magnolia while I laid in bed a bit longer. When I got up, coffee was ready & pancakes were being made. And our sweet girl was walking around in her diaper, super excited, to tell me "HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!!" over & over again. She is obsessed with all things birthday related. If she sees a candle it's a cue to sing one of her favorite songs in the cutest little voice ever.

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Miscarriage - Our Baby in Heaven


It's crazy to think that Magnolia has a baby brother or sister in Heaven. Miscarriage is such a sad & hard thing to talk about. Last year, after we found out our baby's heart had stopped beating, I shared the news on a blog post. I never came back to talk about what happened after my body finally decided to let it go. It was just too hard to talk about & all I wanted was for life to carry on. It's still really hard to talk about, but it's been a year now so I'm sharing a little bit about it.

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Denim Overalls


My sister & I were picking up my niece from high school & we both saw a cute girl wearing overalls. And at the exact same moment we both decided & said out loud "getting some!" I still remember my favorite pair from my junior year & I'm quite happy to see they are making a come back! Now if we could just get the permed hairstyle to make a come back then I'd be set. Remember how easy it was to use some Paul Mitchell coconut scented mouse, use the diffuser & make your permed hair HUGE!?!?

Ok, so back to the overalls. I've had so many questions about mine & they are from H&M here. They have a fun little side zip detail that makes them feel modern & not so 1990s-ish. My sister already got the exact same pair & now we have to make sure we don't wear them on the same day because that would just be a little too weird for our liking. 


I've rounded up some other favorites, including a shorts & dress version, both would be perfect for spring/summer. 

So tell me what is something from the 1990s that you'd love to see make a come back?!?

xo 

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Last of Winter 2019


Happy first day of spring, friends! Finally it's here!!! I think we can all agree this has been the longest winter of all time. And I actually love winter, but I'm so ready for some sunshine, thunderstorms, sandals, fresh flowers, & windows wide open. I was going through all my photos & came to the realization that most of our days are about the same: pajamas until post-lunch (or a diaper in Mag's case), playtime in the magical playroom, Friday night tacos for dinner, numerous trips to Target, & lots of shopping with my sister & her babe aka Addy-girl (Magnolia's best friend!). Before we get into the fun of spring I have to do a last of winter 2019 post!

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Moms & Neck Pain


I've always been a "headache-person" --- stress, hunger, dehydration, hormones, lack of sleep, travel --- you name it, I'm going to get a headache. As I've gotten older I've noticed that my neck pain has become a big cause of my headaches. And within my circle of sisters & girlfriends, it doesn't seem to be an usual ailment. My sister & I both get neck pain so bad that we'll wake-up nauseous and sometimes even vomit from the pain. I have a feeling this is a common problem for many other women & teens too, my niece is already dealing with it. The way we position our neck to use the phone is a huge contributing factor, along with a bunch of other things, like the way we sleep/sit, our huge purses/diaper bags, poor posture while breastfeeding, crappy pillows + mattresses, carrying babies & toddlers, sitting at a computer all day, etc.


I know we aren't going to give up our cell phones, but paying attention to the amount of time we are on them & the way we position our neck when using them will certainly help. My sister & I talk about our neck pain all the time, fun conversations we have now that we've gotten older, ha! Today I'm sharing some of the things we do when we wake up in pain & a few things we do to try and prevent it from happening in the first place.

Tylenol + Advil // I hate taking pain relievers, but I take them. I usually try to wait it out & see if I can get rid of the pain before I pop a pill, but sometimes it's just not going away & I need help.

Ice Packs // I think everyone should have an ice pack in the freezer & don't forget to use them. My sister made one with flour & I have a drugstore gel version. Sometimes all I will need is some time on the ice pack before my nerves are numb & the pain is gone.

Heating Pads // I think the heating pad usage is debatable as it can cause more inflammation, but for me they feel good & I try to rotate the heat with the cold.

Chiropractor // My chiropractor has helped me in a big way & I really encourage anyone dealing with any type of musculoskeletal pain to see one.

Massager // My sister took hers to Florida this summer! That is how serious she is about using hers. It was in her carry-on bag & we teased her about it several times. And then I ended up using it too. She has one like this & mine is a cushion version.

Yoga & Stretching // I love to do Yoga stretches around the house every single day. Magnolia usually joins me on the floor & does them with me. YouTube has tons of great yoga videos & this photo display of six stretches will be a big help.

Hot Baths & Showers // Baths are my time to unwind + relax & they are an even more important part of my day if I'm hurting. Adding essential oils & epsom salts make it feel spa like & provide health benefits. A bath & hot shower before stretching will help loosen the muscles.

Pillow // Okay, this is a BIG deal. Having a pillow that properly supports your neck is a game changer. I was using a memory foam pillow that I thought was good & until I switched over to a contour gel pillow. The contour provides the best support for the cervical spine.

Purse // Try not to carry around a heavy purse or diaper bag for extended periods of time. I have a small cross body purse I keep in the car & I throw my wallet, phone & keys in it before shopping.

Posture // Pay attention to your posture, especially when using the phone or computer. A neckache can creep up fast if you're sitting poorly.

Sleep Position // I just recently learned this tip. I always knew sleeping on your back was best, but did you know your arms should be straight down your side? Almost like a mummy. My habit is to pull my arms & hands up to my face while sleeping on my back. Now I try to fall asleep with my arms straight down.

Peppermint Oil & Biofreeze // The cooling sensation of peppermint oil & Biofreeze helps with sore neck & muscle pain.

Water & Hydration // I always think water cures all things. Staying hydrated is important for overall health, but definitely for preventing head & neck aches.

Professional Massage // I'd like to do this every single month & it's been over a year since I had a real massage. They can help with recurring neck pain as they keep the muscles relaxed. And we all need a little pampering!

Night Guard // If you grind your teeth at night you may not realize how much strain it puts on your neck. A night guard will help! I'm on my fourth or fifth one because I literally chew them. Runs in my family!

I don't think I need to say this, but I will. This is just my experience & advice for other ladies dealing with the same thing. This is not intended as medical or professional advice, diagnosis or treatment.

If you have any other tips or experience I'd love to hear. All my favorite products are below.

xo

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Ten Grazing Platter Ideas For Your Next Party


For Magnolia's second birthday party I made a vanilla buttercream cake & a bunch of confetti rainbow colored sugar treats, along with a platter of snacks. The grazing boards are so easy & fun to make for any celebration. Sometimes I pull out everything from the fridge & put it on a cutting board for Ryan & I to snack on before dinner. It's a great way to use up all the fruits & veggies and any small portions of hummus, guacamole or dips that need to be eaten before they go bad. Whether you need ideas for your next party or just an excuse to clean out the fridge for some weeknight entertainment, I've got a fun round-up for you.

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Pastel Colors of the Rainbow Second Birthday Party


On Sunday our sweet Magnolia Caroline woke up as a two year old little lady! The day could not have been any more magical or beautiful. This winter has been the coldest ever & the popular word for the season is polar vortex. Sunday though, Sunday was like a warm sunny spring day mixed in between all of our coldness. The forecast had said it'd be 60 degrees & cloudy & I said a little prayer that the sun would come out. The celebration started at one o'clock & at 12:30 the sun surprised us by peeking out from behind the clouds. The hundreds of pastel rainbow colored balloons shined in the windows making the entire party feel dreamy & colorful, just like Magnolia does for our lives!

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12 Breastfeeding Essentials You'll Want to Purchase Before Bringing Home Baby


In just a few short weeks Magnolia & I are going to celebrate TWO years of breastfeeding! It feels like such a huge accomplishment & something I will forever be proud of doing. The health benefits of extended breastfeeding (for the both of us) are amazing. I love all the research & new information that comes out daily about the liquid gold.

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Toddler Tantrums & Three Encouraging Resources


I knew the day would come & it happened. My little shopping buddy had a meltdown in the bread aisle of Target. She screamed, she kicked, she pulled my hair, she yanked my t-shirt (almost off, I think a few men saw my bra), & she attempted to jump out of the cart. Of course this all happened before a winter storm & the store was unusually busy. It felt as though all eyes were on us & my inability to calm my baby girl. I came home frazzled with a pounding headache & I felt defeated. I replayed every step of the trip & tried to understand the cupcake trigger that set it all in motion. And YES, her first tantrum was over a cupcake sample from the bakery.

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Dining Room to Playroom Conversion


Today I'm really excited to share with you Magnolia's new playroom! Ryan & I started planning this space months before Christmas. We decided to convert the dining room into a playroom because we can only remember eating in the dining room one time since living in our home for over three years. And the only reason we did that was because our kitchen table had not yet arrived. It was an easy decision to give up the dining space, although I will admit it was something I swore I'd never do. With it being the first space guests will see when entering our home it was important for me to make it stylish & intentional!

For the first few years of her life we had a very minimalist view on toys & we still do in many ways. We saw her imagination growing before our eyes & wanted to give her an area that would help it grow even more. The pink play kitchen, lace teepee, chalkboard + dry erase easel, & the arts & crafts table are the main pieces of the room. The rest of the space is filled with all things magical & whimsical. Pastel colors of the rainbow are sprinkled throughout!

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