Currently // 7.28.17

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1 // So excited to share some official branding for ETG! I fell off the face of the blogging planet for most of 2016 (new job, small children, unhealthy amounts of Netflix) and I’m realizing how much I need this space. And even if it’s just for me, investing in it feels like a kind of self-care that is so necessary when everything else is for everyone else.

Jamie Sebby is nothing short of a rockstar when it comes to hand lettering and custom design! This is the third time I’ve asked for her help with a project, and I am in love with the banner she created. Definitely check out her shop on Etsy!

2 // Living that commuter life for the next couple of weeks! I can’t say it’s something I would want to do every day, but I’ve figured out how to manage it with lots of iced coffee and low expectations. Yes, I’m talking about you, Friday Rush Hour.

The Coffee + Crumbs podcast is my go-to in the mornings, brought to you by the writers of The Magic of Motherhood, which I’ve already raved about all over social media. So good. Each episode is roughly the length of my drive, and it feels like I’m sitting in on a conversation with my best friends.

This recipe for breakfast-on-the-go gets all the thumbs up! I made a batch on Sunday night (with sausage instead of spinach) and they were good for four days. I have a solid hour of planning before the kids arrive, and having a real, non-donut breakfast after the drive in was a great way to get the day started.

Speaking of…

3 // Teaching a course called “Be a Scientist!” with the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth! So far this week, we’ve explored chemistry, biology, forensics, genetics, and physiology. PHEW. It sounds very Ms. Frizzle but feels more like my brain is going to explode. The last time I had to know/care about the difference between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells was ninth grade but ask me now! Forensics has been my favorite to teach so far overall, but the gross-factor of the digestive system model we made today might make it a close second 🙂

4 // Taking Landon shopping for school supplies and back-to-school clothes this weekend and I can’t even. Kindergarten? KINDERGARTEN. It’s happening. Pre-K graduation wasn’t all that long ago, and even in this short amount of time it’s crazy how he’s grown up. We’ve started reading chapter books at bedtime, he’s newly obsessed with playing video games, and he’s figuring out sarcasm and trying it on for size (and it’s hilarious). Who is this big kid???

Oshkosh is having a huge sale on all of the back-to-school essentials, so that’s where we’re heading! I’ll be the one crying over the baby clothes that are conveniently positioned right outside the dressing room while my five-year-old tries on jeans by himself 😦

5 // Leaving you with these words from Grace, Not Perfection in case you need to hear them, too.

We’re all looking for someone to give us permission to slow down- to be perfectly imperfect and uniquely different. So here it is. You have permission.

If we take care of ourselves the way we take care of everyone else, we’ll find all sorts of joy and be better for everyone we love.

PRAISE. HANDS. Right now that self-care looks like podcasts and breakfast-on-the-go and investing in this corner of the internet, but even those small things matter when we have to be so many things to so many people.

Happy weekend, everyone!

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Currently // 3.12.17

1 // Considering having this print framed.

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[print available in this Etsy shop]

Mike has been in Hawaii for a week, closing out a very full couple of months of traveling, and we are WAY ready for him to come home! Landon has been more emotional than a thirteen-year-old girl, and Alex demands that we play “Life’s a Happy Song” by “the BUPPETS!” on a loop. I may very well, in fact, lose my mind up in here, up in here. Hurry home, babe!

2 // Binge-watching The Mindy Project and considering re-bingeing Mad Men for the third time, because why not? Counting down until The Handmaid’s Tale and the new season of House of Cards premiere later this spring!

3 // Planning my spring break reading list! Here are a few of the books on my radar:

Modern Lovers // The Hopefuls // Forever, Interrupted

Jennifer Close and Taylor Jenkins Reid are two of my favorite authors, and the preview I read of Modern Lovers hooked me from the beginning. If you haven’t read Close or Reid’s other books, do it! You won’t want to put them down.

4 // In love with The Mom Capsule!

I could live in all of these clothes, probably because they’re #sobasic. Love the idea of a capsule wardrobe around a few essentials! Might save me from staring into my closet forever every morning so I can pack a lunch for work like a real grown-up. Thinking I could probably build one with the clothes I already have, but I’m definitely crazy-enamored these three shirts, accessories, and with these pants!

5 // So proud of our little preschool nugget!

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He started a sight word challenge last week, and has already learned twenty-eight sight words. Seriously, who is this smart cookie?

He’s been with mostly the same crew since they were two years old, and his preschool recently created a separate class for ten of the kiddos who were ready for more of a challenge. How awesome is that?! Landon loves to learn, and we couldn’t imagine a more perfect place with more amazing teachers to help him grow 🙂

6 // Drinking all of the Iced Cinnamon Almondmilk Macchiatos. It’s becoming a problem.

7 // Sharing one of our favorite prints from the gallery wall in our master:

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[custom from this shop on Etsy]

Today’s sermon– and the whole Love Songs series- has really made me appreciate the guy I get to share this life with! Definitely worth watching or re-watching (and how gorgeous is that print from JS Lettering?!).

7 // Looking forward to lots of fun this spring and summer! Mike and I are heading to relive our pre-kid glory days at a John Mayer concert in DC in April, and we are traveling to Florida in June for our first family vacation since, oh, 2012. We have big plans for the beach and a day trip to Disney, but Landon is mostly just excited about being on an airplane.

Also looking forward to the impending blizzard, because who doesn’t love a couple of snow days?? Here’s hoping the meteorologists got it right and we’ll be snuggled up in our PJs for a few days this week 🙂

Currently // 5.22.15

Loving the sweet pictures Mike captured of the day we had Alex!

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We wanted to make sure that we did something special to celebrate our second little guy, and I fell in love with birth story pictures like these and these on Pinterest. We didn’t do pictures of the big day for Landon, which I’m grateful for in retrospect, because that was the longest labor ever and those pictures probably would not have seen the light of day, let alone be posted to the internet.

Only sharing a couple for now– Mike wants to do some editing before they’re “done.” So glad to have this special keepsake!

Trying not to be The Mom of a Thousand Bags, so I have been on the hunt for a bag that is a) durable, b) has several compartments and the room to organize all of my/Landon’s/Alex’s things without being the size of a duffle bag, and c) is not atrocious-looking. Let’s call it Mission: Impossible.

Enter, Target and this awesome yoga bag by Orla Kiely.

The outside is canvas, and the inside features a water-resistant lining. There are two outer compartments, a large open inside, and two open interior pockets backed by a zippered compartment. As you can see from my pictures, it has enough supplies packed inside that the three of us could easily survive The Hunger Games. Surprisingly, though, it doesn’t feel like I’m carrying all of our earthly possessions.

A big key to making this work is simplicity when it comes to the things I need on the go. I found a $5 wallet at Target last summer (similar here), and I can’t rave about it enough! It functions as a wallet primarily, but has a zippered pocket that is just big enough for chapstick, hair ties, and a few bobby pins. This, my phone, and my keys (and an ounce or two of sanity) is all I take with me these days, and it’s working pretty well!

Planning Landon’s third (THIRD!) birthday. He has requested a strawberry cake with three candles, and he reminds us all the time that we get to sing happy birthday to him. All of this makes my heart absolutely melt because it’s the first birthday he’s been excited about/aware of. So cool! Mommy and Daddy are planning a backyard BBQ bash with family and lots of outdoor toys because it’s our first home with a yard and three-year-olds belong outside 🙂

Looking forward to newborn/family pictures on Tuesday! Melanie did an absolutely gorgeous job capturing pictures of us as a new family of three, and I can’t wait to see how they turn out this time!

So thankful for a sweet group of friends and family who have been feeding us this week (and next!).

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When Alex joined the party, one of our friends setup a page via Take Them a Meal where people could sign up to bring us dinner while we settle in as a family of four. It has been such a great help!

Binge-watching The Hills and Gilmore Girls (and clearly pretending it’s still 2007) while I snuggle my sweet babe. This is Landon’s last week of full-time daycare until August, so we’re enjoying being lazy in our PJs as much as possible around here. Once big brother is home with us, we’ll be on the move for sure! On that note–

Brainstorming outings and activities to keep an almost-three-year-old busy this summer! He’ll be home with Momma and Alex three days a week, so any recommendation for toddler-friendly adventures (with a tag-a-long baby) would be appreciated! Definitely planning on heading to the park and the library quite a bit since they’re just a short walk away from us, and hoping to take on the Catoctin Zoo once Momma is feeling brave enough 🙂 Can’t wait to see what we can get into!

Sharing a simple but sweet thank-you gift for teachers/daycare providers/superheroes as the school year comes to a close! We totally missed celebrating Landon’s amazing team of teachers during teacher appreciation week as we prepared for Alex’s arrival, so I put together these little gifts for them today 🙂  Better late than never?

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seasonal tumblers  // crazy straws (kids party section) // strawberry and melon scented hand soaps in each cup (dollar spot) // gum // thank you cards

Everything is from Target, and it ended up costing under $20 for all four. All of the parts of each gift are included in an incredibly cheesy note about exSIPtional teachers and all of the little “extra” things they do each day (original, I know). But in all seriousness, they do so much to make sure Landon is loved on and learning that I wish I could send them on an all-inclusive vacation to a remote tropical island but alas, we have to pay our mortgage and maybe buy groceries.

This post brought to you by a sleepy little nugget napping the afternoon away. Couldn’t you just eat him up?!

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Leaving you with a quote that I stumbled across on Pinterest and has really resonated lately as we adjust to life as a family of four, amidst the craziness of being a couple of kids in our twenties. Is anyone actually “ready” for this? For solidarity’s sake, I kind of hope not 🙂

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Have a great weekend, everyone!

Currently // 4.6.15

Soaking up the last few hours of spring break! I’ve gotten so much work done for school and around the house, which probably doesn’t sound very relaxing BUT productivity is all that’s keeping me from losing my mind these days. Slow mornings with coffee, the Today Show, my MacBook and a quiet house have become my love language.

Trying REALLY HARD to focus on anything but Baby. Blame third trimester hormones or the fact that I’ve been off of anxiety meds for the better part of a year, whatever. In all likelihood, I have another six weeks to get through, but I’ve read enough blogger stories like this one and know enough people who have gone early recently that I’m going a little crazy over here. On top of that, this next month at school is going to be so, so busy! I know it’s going to take a lot of work on my part to be present for it, instead of existing as a walking bundle of nerves.

Fending off post-apocalyptic nightmares, thanks to binge-reading Station Eleven in one day. Definitely a must-read!

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Quick summary– a flu pandemic wipes out 99% of the world’s population in a matter of weeks, and the story kind of jumps between the before and the after via five-ish intertwining storylines that all go back to a celebrity. Could not put it down.

Following the hashtag #whoawaitwalmart on Instagram, and you should, too! Lots of cool finds that I don’t have time to search for with a toddler in tow (whose patience is only bought with fruit snacks).

Sharing links to my favorite bloggers. I borderline stalk all of these amazing women, because a) they have incredible stories to tell and b) the moral of their stories? You are not alone.

The Life and Writings of Kate Baer

Where My Heart Resides

Coffee + Crumbs

Girl’s Gone Child

Little Baby Garvin

Navigating a time of big changes at the Kozlowski house, and meditating on these words:

(and eating a lot of Easter candy, obviously)

Happy Monday, everyone!

Currently // 3.2.15

Meditating on these words:

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[Source: Awesome Blogger]

Recommending this recipe for peanut butter fudge that I found on Facebook (can’t remember the exact source), and probably gaining about 85 pounds:

1lb confectioners sugar // 2T butter // 1/3C milk // 1C peanut butter

Microwave sugar, butter, and milk on high for two minutes. Beat with a hand mixer and microwave for another thirty seconds before adding peanut butter. Mix by hand or mixer until combined, and spread into a foil-lined 8×8 pan. Cool, cut, and eat copious amounts with an enormous glass of milk.

Sharing some favorite posts under my updated Favorites tab 🙂

Slathering on Nivea Raspberry Rose Kiss Lip Butter. How am I just discovering this? It tastes so good I kind of want to eat it.

Saving for these awesome new-baby products.

The first is a nursing cover from a company I found on Instagram, Covered Goods. Nursing in public can be uncomfortable for a million different reasons, so I’m loving how functional and cute these are.

The second is a baby blanket from an Etsy shop called Lippy Brand. I came across it on a favorite blogger’s page, and love how lightweight but cozy it looks for my springtime nugget. It’s also pretty affordable when it comes to baby blankets, and something that can grow with him without being too cutesy.

Eating entire sleeves of Thin Mints in single sittings.

Braxton-Hicks-ing like there’s no tomorrow. Drinking 7,294,392 gallons of water, STAT (and tracking it with the HydrationGenius app).

Counting down the hours until a last-minute trip to see the Maroon 5 concert tonight with my momma! I mean, when your mom says YOLO, you just say yes 🙂 #groupiesforlife

Currently // 2.6.15

Decorating Landon’s room (finally).

It’s crazy how putting up curtains and nailing a few things into the wall can make such a big difference! Looking forward to making some large canvas art together for over his bed, and keeping an eye out for a fun green area rug. Not that Landon cares (he doesn’t) but it feels good to take one more step toward making our house feel like a home.

Recommending ThredUP! As I close in on the third trimester, it’s getting more and more difficult to work around the fact that a BEACH BALL has attached itself to my body. I’m not in a position to spend a lot of money on maternity clothes that I’ll only wear for a few more months anyway, but a girl’s gotta wear something. Enter, ThredUP. Brands you love, gently used, for a fraction of what you’d pay otherwise. I just placed my first order, spending a little under $60 for two pairs of pants, a dress, and three shirts, all from brands including Gap and Ann Taylor Loft.

Click on this link to get $10 off your first order!

Obsessed with Fixer Upper (and considering relocating to Waco, Texas).

Eating all of the snacks.

Rereading The Help. If you happened to miss it in all of its hype a few years ago, please know it is a must read and a billion times better than the movie, as most books usually are.

Looking forward to our February Date! Mike and I are doing a year of dates, alternating who plans each month. He surprised me with dinner and glow-in-the-dark mini-golf in January, so now it’s my turn! Very excited to share what I have up my sleeve afterward, but mum’s the word for now 🙂

Sharing these links:

How to Talk to Your Grocer About Sex // Labor Pains (or, True Life: Working Moms) // On Time. #thestruggleisreal

and these funnies for your Friday 🙂