The Week This Blog Changed Edition

I won't sugar coat this past week. It was crap. Not a whole lot went right, even more went wrong. Thanks to not-so-nice people in the world I've taken this space and made it private. To see something I've worked diligently on for over five years come to a crashing halt was a bit of a blow to the gut.
This is the space where I shared with friends and family a little glimpse of our lives so far from home. This is where I've posted the birth of my babies, their growth, milestones, and day-to-day lives. This is the place where I met so many wonderful ladies, fostered friendships, and made online relationships turn real life. Going private was a painful decision,  but the smartest one for my family and me at this time, but that doesn't make the sting of it all any less...

To add icing to the proverbial cake, both my babes were riddled with a handful of sicknesses this week that left me doing more loads of laundry than I even care to count. I've also used more disinfectant and scrubbed more surfaces than I care to think about as well.

With all that said and done, there's still good to be found in this week.
So. Moving along to the highlights.

1. Blogger meet-ups turned family get togethers!
Photo courtesy Erin.
If you don't follow Erin on Instagram you're missing out on some gorgeous photos and beautiful walls.
This. Right here. This is all because of the blogging world. Two of my favorite ladies online have become two of my favorite ladies in real life. And, all of it thanks to blogging. This weekend Erin, Liz, their littles, and husbands all came over. Our kids played, food was grilled, the guys chatted and drank beers, while the ladies sipped on sangria and talked about everything under the sun. I'm going to miss meeting and making friends like this. It was honestly one of the greatest joys blogging brought to my life. 

2. At least they're cute!
After one doctor visit, two ear infections, an RSV relapse (but no breathing treatments needed this time!), and two cases of the stomach bug, I'd say our house went through the ringer this week. Good thing they're cute, because I've lost more sleep and cleaned my more than my fair share of gross stuff in the past five days.

3. A breath of fresh air!
After all the gunk in our house it was nice to spend some time outside. Julia is happy as a clam swinging away the day. Marcus continues to impress me with his strength and monkey bar skills.

4. Peace out pureed food!
PB&J anyone? The little lady loves to gum up the bread and scrape all the peanut butter and jelly off the slimy mess that was once a slice of bread. It's totally gross, but she loves it.
For the past couple of weeks I've simply been handing over food to Julia at meal times. Albeit most of the food has been steamed or cut to fit her little fingers. But, it's been SO nice to not have to chop, steam, and blend. The mess is something I'm still trying to embrace, but meals have gotten so much easier. Plus, Julia really digs feeding herself. So, we're all winning this one.

5. Crawling!!!

After the longest time army crawling Julia has finally put together the pieces to actual crawling. Game changer. Game. Changer.

That's a wrap.


M & J Monday

May God grant you always...
  A sunbeam to warm you,
A moon beam to charm you,
An angel to protect you,
Laughter to cheer you,
Faithful friends around you,
and whenever you pray,
That Heaven hears you.


The Extracurricular Edition

This week was a hodge podge of randomness that lent all sorts of fun to us. I suppose the summer-like temps played a part in that as well. And, to round out the week, this weekend I have a little blog date lined up with Liz and Erin, their kiddos, and husbands. It's sure to be a grand old time, and you'll likely see all sorts of goodness on Snapchat between the three of us (desireemacke if you want to follow along).

On to the weeks highlights, shall we?

1. Cameraman! 
Mad props to the Olympus - that thing is STURDY, and has held up quite nicely to the less than gentle ways of this four-year old. 
Marcus got hold of our old Olympus camera and has been a picture taking machine. I'm not in the least bit exaggerating when I say he's taken no less than 1,400 photos in the last five days. When I have the energy and patience I'll download them all - clear most, and hang on to a few of the things (every. single. thing.) that have inspired him.
Here's just one of the hundreds he's taken:
Not terrible, right?!

2. Bunco!
I was lucky to be invited to join a group of ladies to play Bunco this past weekend. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little nervous about it all - I'd never played the game before, and I only knew two ladies going into the evening. But! It was an absolute blast, I met some really great gals, the game was easy to learn, and I thoroughly enjoyed just being DesirĂ©e (and not Mom) for three hours. 

3. Pool time!
The weather has been warm borderline too hot this week. We've made sure to take advantage of our pool on more than one occasion. I have a feeling I have two water babies on my hands, and I'm not at all mad about it. Now to see which will become my butterflier... Is it too soon to get Julia started??

4. The Shopper!
I finally found these little carts at our grocery store! Marcus was probably the best he's been in the store (not that he's ever really difficult when we go shopping). He was beyond tickled to have his very own cart. The little man controlled the cart like a champ, collected all our necessary items, and placed them on the conveyor belt at the check out line. Next time I'm going to see if he can pick up the bill while he's at it.

5. Back in the Saddle!
I took an unexpected break from running for the past week. Last Tuesday I fell down our stairs, all while holding Julia. It was the scariest moment of my life, and mommy instinct and mommy strength subconsciously took over and Julia didn't have a bump or scratch on her - how that is even possible is totally beyond me. I've been sending up all sorts of praise and thanks for keeping Julia safe. My back, however, took the brunt of the fall. After a week of rest (and a lot of Tylenol) we're back to pounding pavement! I'm thrilled to be running and Julia doesn't seem to hate it. Right around mile two she passes out and stays that way for a solid 30-45 minutes after wards in the stroller. Win win!

Thanks to everyone who entered the Stitch Fix giveaway.
The lucky winner was Christine W. I hope her next fix is a 5/5!

And that's a wrap.
Have the best weekend!


Awards x4

Any time a little Q&A is involved consider me interested. So, when not one, not two, but four lovely ladies nominated me for the Liebster Award I couldn't wait to get started on answering (though it took me an unbelievably long time to actually get this post together). But, after realizing I'd be answering 44 questions between them all, I decided to do a little picking and choosing and answer 11 collectively.
So - here goes:

Amy - Keeping Up With the Smiths asks --
What was your favorite part about your wedding day :: such a tough one. There were so many parts of that day I will hold in my heart forever. But, the best was seeing Scott for the first time as I walked down the aisle.
What is your least favorite chore :: putting away folded laundry, hands down. I don't know what it is, but putting the mountain of clothes away is a task I hate.

What is your favorite Disney or Pixar movie :: growing up I watched The Lion King on repeat. My brother and I could recite that movie verbatim. I still love that movie and can't wait to watch it with Marcus.
Brittany - Just Another Day in Paradise asks --
What are you most looking forward to this summer :: the kids and I are headed to the midwest for two weeks (maybe longer??) for our annual vacation spent between both sets of grandparents.

Favorite vacation spot or upcoming vacation :: aside from going home for two weeks, we are making our (other) annual trip to Cabo. A week of nothing but pool time, relaxing, and Mexican food. It's glorious stuff.
What's your favorite room in your house and why :: I love our kitchen (when I'm the only one in it). For me, there is something incredibly therapeutic about chopping, measuring, baking and cooking.

Leslie - This is For Keeps asks --
How did you and your significant other meet :: I was brand new to Kansas City and didn't know a soul. I decided to join a slow pitch softball team that was put on by the city in which I was employed. Our first game I was playing first base and Scott was second baseman. We had some pretty lively banter during that game (of which I gave him a lot of crap for missing two ground balls, and he recovered by hitting a home run). Months later I learned Scott was talking about "that girl at first base" in the stands, only to have my mom turn around to inform him that was her daughter. BAHA! My parents had come down to visit me for the weekend, and my mom apparently caught a bit of an earful while spectating.
From there we cultivated a friendship that grew into something much more.
And, here we are today!
If you could live anywhere you wanted, where would it be :: Kansas City. Though I'm from Iowa, after college I made KC my home, and I miss it every day.

What was your dream job in high school/college :: I always thought I'd be a news reporter or anchor for a television network, hence the Journalism/Mass Communication major.

Whitney - Work it Mommy asks --
What is your favorite blog post you have written and why :: Lately I've been on the struggle bus with loving my body right now, as well as seeing myself in photos. My post, Baring it Allis a good reminder that while my body is no longer what it once was, *I* am no longer who I once was. My kids have made me a mom, and that's pretty amazing... Maybe even more amazing than killer abs...

Who is your best friend :: Amy D. I've literally known her my entire life. Though many, many miles have separated us most of our lives, she's the one friend who has been present in all the seasons of life. She's hilarious, smart, loves to do things fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants (totally opposite of me), and also happens to be a self published author, which bumps her up a notch in the cool department.

Phew! Good stuff. I love these. And now you know just a little more about me.

While I'd love to continue the nominations, I feel as if this award has really run its course. Feel free to answer any of the questions above in the comments section! 

A big thanks to the ladies above who nominated me and asked some great questions!!


M & J Monday

And as the years go by,
our friendship will never die.
You're gonna see,
it's our destiny.
You've got a friend in me.
~Toy Story
Happy Monday!


The Picture Perfect Project {{4}} - Edits

This month's Picture Perfect Project just kind of snuck up on me. I blame it on March being an absolute whirl wind of a month (St. Patty's Day, Easter, a 4th Birthday, teething, RSV... and on and on...). And my photo ideas for this month never came to fruition (and I still have yet to pull the trigger and actually shoot in manual - because, I'm terrified!).

After a conversation with some of my favorite blogging ladies about photos and editing I figured what better topic to discuss for this month is editing and programs/apps used.

So, instead of photos themselves, I thought I'd go through two apps I use on my phone for photos. One I've been using for quite a sometime (Afterlight), the other is relatively new to me (PhotoWonder).

Let me preface this entire post by saying I just tinker around with my photos until I like the way they look. I've never taken any classes, nor do I claim expertise. These are just a few tool I use, and thought I'd share them. I'd also like to point out that for the sake of demonstration, most of these edits are quite exaggerated, to the point of being over edited, so they are easily identifiable. Typically I don't like my edits to *look* like edits, if that makes sense...??

If I'm doing quick edits on my phone I use Afterlight. For 99 cents I think it's a packs a pretty good bang for the not-even-buck.

Here's the original photo I'd like to edit:
Taken with the trusty iPhone on a cloudy and rainy day. 
1. Open app and select photo
2. Use photo selected
3. The two tools I primarily use are the adjustments (arrow on the left), and the size and tilt tool (arrow on the right).
4. Opened the adjustments and meddle with exposure, saturation, brightness, shadows, and the like.
5. Open the size and tilt to straighten and crop the photo.
6. Save photo onto my camera roll.
The edited photo.
If I'm looking to enhance my photos by more than toying around with exposure and shadows and brightness, I really like PhotoWonder. This app can greatly alter an image (sometimes too much so), but I use this primarily for eye enhancement.

Before any adjustments to the eyes.
1. Hit Edit button, and then select photo to edit.
2. Click the Beautify button.
3. Scroll over to the Brighten Eyes option.
4. Select the size of brush to use on eye (this particular photo I used the smallest option), and fill in eyes. Once finished, click the check mark in the upper right corner to save the edit.
From there, simply save photo to camera roll.
The edited eyes.
Here are a few other programs I'm currently playing around with when editing on my phone:

Major thanks to Erin for introducing three new-to-me apps that will hopefully produce some pretty photos (because have you seen her stuff?? Swoon-worthy)!

What are some of your favorite editing tools to beautify your pics?

Be sure to link up with the Picture Perfect Project hosts and share your photos, tips, and tricks!


Fix #5 {+ $20 SF Giveaway}

When I scheduled this fix it was with the thought I'd be heading to Vegas for a weekend. Sadly, those plans kind of fell through, and by the time said trip was cancelled the fix was already in the works, and there was no stopping the fix from heading my way. Bummer... Said no Stitch Fix recipient, ever.

In my note I requested to have Alex as my stylist, because thus far she's done a knock out job on each of my fixes. I also requested warm weather tops - because, Vegas. Since SF has upped their game and added shoes to their mix, I asked for a pair of Yosi flats I'd seen floating around Pinterest. And, once I again I requested a purse/tote for this fix. The last fix there were no purses to be had, and I was majorly bummed, as I'm in dire need of something other than a diaper bag.

The glorious day came when my fix was delivered, and I anxiously awaited until the kids were in bed to open the box (do you have any idea what kind of restraint that takes?!). When I opened the box I may have squealed with delight. I saw polka dots, and patterns, and SHOES and a TOTE.
When I read the note from the stylist I was only slightly disappointed Alex wasn't the one who had styled my fix. I'm open to new things, so I wanted to give the new stylist a shot. Solid decision.
Raquel was incredibly attentive to my notes, she clearly looked at my Pinterest board, and she literally included every single thing I requested.

Onward with the fashion show!

Lila Ryan || Liara Straight Leg Jean 
Pixley || Curran Split Neck Blouse
Confession time. I fully hate my legs. I always have. And after two babies there is exactly zero love for them. When I saw the white jeans I was hesitant, but I desperately wanted to love the Liara Straight Leg Jeans. I feel like a good pair of white pants should be a wardrobe staple. But once they were on me? 100% pass.
The Curran Split Neck Blouse won my heart before I even pulled it out of the box. Navy? White polka dots? Just let me throw my money at you already, Stitch Fix.

Lila Ryan || Liara Straight Leg Jeans - Returned
Pixley || Curran Split Neck Blouse - Kept

Yosi Samra || Sandrine Ballet Flat
 I had several Yosi flats pinned on my Stitch Fix inspiration board, so when I pulled these little beauts out of the box I could barely contain my excitement.
 Typically, my shoes error on the side of conservative, and are neutral colors (lots of tans, blacks, whites). So, when I saw the mint green I was pumped. Something outside my comfort zone.
 Let's also talk about how fabulously these fold up. They could easily be thrown in to a bag for travel, or tossed into a purse if switching from heels to flats was necessary (like I wear heels anymore - Ha! Ha! Ha!).
But on me? I'm not sure I loved them. They're cute and crazy comfortable. But I'm not sure they're a pair of shoes I'd gravitate towards and pull from my closet often.


Aratta || Hollace Button Front Blouse
 Street Level || Liberty Braided Handle Tote
 When I pulled the Aratta top out of the box I wasn't too sure about it. When I put it on I still wasn't too sure about it. It's plenty comfortable, has a nice pop of color. But... But... Something is just off. Maybe it's the pattern? I'm not sure I'm wild about it. It feels kind of... Old? Whatever it is, I can't say I can't live without it.

But the tote? I love the neutral color, it's totally versatile, and could be used all year long. I love the buttery soft leather. I love the braided detail in the handles, it's subtle, but lends a nice amount of detail to an otherwise fairly plain tote. I love that the bag itself is deep and could store all the (un)necessary crap that I toss into any give bag/purse/tote. I also appreciate the fact that a longer strap can be added for an over the shoulder look.

Aratta || Hollice Button Front Blouse - Returned
Street Level || Liberty Braided Handle Tote - Kept

There you have it. While the fix itself was a 2/5 I thought it was astonishingly fun and a successful fix. Raquel was super attentive, sent items that I loved, items that pushed me out of my comfort zone, and items that will easily be in frequent rotation. From now on I'll be requesting Alex and Raquel!

What do you think?? Did I keep the right pieces? Did I send back items I should have kept?

Are you a Stitch Fixer? No? What are you waiting for?
For $20 a box, a personal stylist will hook you up with some fun, cute clothes. If you love what's sent your way, the $20 is then applied to your total. Don't love anything? The $20 is about what it would cost you in gas to head to the mall. Toss in the mandatory Starbucks, and you've easily spent $20+. Plus, you get to have a little fashion show in the comfort of your own home. Wins all around, if you ask me.

Give it a shot! It's honestly one of the most fun things I've done for myself in a very, very long time. It doesn't hurt that my wardrobe is seeing some major improvements from it as well.
Click here to get started on your profile (pssst, making a profile is free - you aren't charged a styling fee until you receive your fix).

If you've stuck around this long - woohoo! To reward that I'm giveaway a $20 credit to Stitch Fix (wouldn't you know it, that's just the right amount to cover a styling fee)! SO, if you've never tried Stitch Fix be sure to enter. You could have your styling fee for FREE!
Entering is easy, just follow the Rafflecopter prompts below.
Happy Stitch Fixing!

Winner must be 18 years or older.
Giveaway runs 12:00AM (Pacific)4/13- 12:00AM (Pacific)4/20.
Winner will be contacted by email.
If winner does not respond within 48 hours a second drawing will be held.


M & J Monday

Laughter is timeless,
Imagination has no age,
Dreams are forever.
~Walt Disney

Happy Monday!


The Outdoors-y Edition

This week was filled with Julia turning eight months, and some new (to us), fun, outdoor adventures. 

To this week's highlight reel!

1. Hiking!
Our neighbors invited us to join them hiking along the cliffs and coast this past week. The day was entirely too gorgeous to stay inside, so naturally we went along.
A live sea urchin.
Whenever I find these they're never alive and have lost their spikes.
The views were amazing, per the usual, and we spotted some sea creatures we hadn't seen before.

Sara posted a beginners guide to geocaching not too long ago, and I was instantly intrigued. While on our hike we decided to see if we could find any hidden cashes. 
It's on this trail...
See it?
No? Me either.
It took us awhile...
How about now?
There it is!
It was just a log - the bottom unscrewed with a little piece of paper to sign - and none of us had a pencil/pen. But it was still a fun hunt!
It took us a bit, but we spotted one! 

And, now I'm hooked and want to geocache during all our free time.
I'd totally recommend this to anyone looking to get outside to have fun and do something a little different.

3. The Biggest Bubbles!
My folks sent Marcus a late birthday gift - the ALEX toys Monster Bubbles. And, it couldn't have come at a better time. This week was pretty hot, and an afternoon of bubbles the size of Marcus' body were perfect entertainment for us all.

4. Swimming!
With temps steadily in the 80° range for most of the week I figured we'd check out our pool.
It wasn't too terribly warm - Julia and I were brave enough to get our feet wet. But, Marcus had no problem cannonballing for a majority of our time there.

5. My Monkey!
So. Grainy!
I totally stole this from my Snapchat story.
If you don't follow, you should - desireemacke
Marcus has been working very hard on his monkey bar skills the past few weeks. Within the last week or so he's really started to master the skill. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't totally impressed.

That's a wrap!
Have a great weekend!!