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Oh Christmas Tree

11.30.2014
I had to prove I could still pull it on my own :)

For as long as I can remember I have woken up on Thanksgiving morning to go chop down our Christmas tree with my dad and siblings, while my mom cooked in the kitchen for hours filling our house with the most amazing aroma's. My dad would never dream of picking out a tree someone had pre-cut for him nor is there such thing as artificial anything around these parts. Besides it's not often you find 12ft trees lying around. Yeah, you heard me right. He cuts down, puts up and we decorate a 12ft tree each year.

So needless to say chopping down my own Christmas tree is special to me and Jon was warned this would always be a must once we got married and he happily obliged.

This was the first year that things were different. My parents divorced earlier this year and it's caused traditions to change. Plus as I mentioned here traditions are changing anyway with Maddox coming along because we will be starting traditions of our own. So this year I was so excited to start a new tradition of going with Jon's entire family to choose and cut our tree. We went on Friday morning after a big breakfast together and hiked up a mountain to choose our perfect Christmas tree. We took the opportunity to have a nice little photo op because the weather was perfect and the snow was gorgeous!

Do you chop down your own tree? Buy locally? Put up an artificial one?


Flowers In My Hair

The Creative Closet || Just Add A Belt

11.25.2014
Last week I posted this outfit and then I saw the theme for today and I was like.... drats. I could have totally used those photos for today's post. Instead I had to create a whole new outfit and I'm so glad I did because I've found a new ensemble that I love and it's something I've never tried before.

I'm wearing a basic t-shirt dress that I actually haven't worn in over a year, but refused to throw out because I'm a hoarder with my clothing. It lost two buttons in the front just over my chest and because I never sew, it hasn't been fixed - hence why I haven't worn it in over a year. I got to thinking, "how could I fashionably cover those missing buttons up?". Instantly a scarf was my go-to option, the only problem is it kept sliding away, revealing my chest. And then a light-bulb clicked when I saw today's theme. Add a belt! Viola! I love the creativity this link-up can pull out of us.


You can see Jana's and our co-host, Jaelan's, full looks by clicking on their names. Aren't they both so beautiful? We all chose such different styles, I love it!


T-shirt dress || Forever21
Fleece leggings || Tjmaxx
Cardigan || Target
Scarf || Gifted
Boots || Target
Bag || Target

We have some great themes coming up in December and I just love planning outfits for the holidays! Let's see your sparkled on Tuesday, even if it's just a twinkle in your eye from turkey overload :)


As always we ask that you help make this link-up fun by taking the time to visit one or two or ALL of the other ladies who've linked up. And please share that you have linked up with us in your post or use this fancy-schmancy button below.

The Creative Closet

Flowers In My Hair

New Traditions & A World Market Giveaway To Treat Yo'self!

11.24.2014
 via

You may have seen and read my heart on my Instagram feed last night. Quiet moments like I had yesterday give me time to reflect on my life and where I am right now and I absolutely love that. I never expected to be married and expecting my first child at 23 years old. Needless to say my heart couldn't be more full with where I am and what God has blessed me with. I finally have the full time job(s) I always wanted, to be a wife and mother.

Going into the holidays this year is a little... bittersweet. This is the last year all of our traditions will be exactly the same. Next year we will be experiencing a whole new world with our son who will be 9 months old. After years of getting a Christmas tree back home in NC on Thanksgiving morning with my dad and siblings, Jon and I will be starting or own tradition of picking out a tree locally with Maddox. Instead of waking up in my families home on Christmas morning with my siblings we will be waking up in our own home watching Maddox experience his first Christmas! Of course we will still visit with our families on the holidays, but it's odd to think about starting our own traditions with our own family that we will carry on for years and Maddox will remember fondly like I do mine and Jon does his. It's so exciting!

Now enough of that mushy, gushy stuff ;-) How about some free money?

One tradition that doesn't change is buying gifts. This time of year it's easy to get distracted with the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping, meal prepping and community serving. It's such a wonderful time of year to outwardly focus on others! Myself and 12 other lovely ladies wanted to give YOU a gift. Treat yo'self to a $155 World Market Gift Card! We will let you decide whether you use it on yourself or Christmas gifts for others.

Merry Christmas (early) from all of us to you!


 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway will be live from 12:00am EST on November 24th through 12:00am on December 1st. Open to US residents only. All entries are verified. Winner will be contacted via email and has 48 hours to respond and claim prize or a new winner will be randomly chosen by the Rafflecopter.
Flowers In My Hair

Francesca's Holiday Gift Guide

11.22.2014
It's not normal that I post on a Saturday, but I wanted to take the chance and share a gift guide to one of my absolute favorite stores you are probably already familiar with, francesca's.

I've been keeping a close eye on their website to prepare for Black Friday and Cyber Monday specials! I've already picked out these adorable pieces for my Christmas wishlist! Oh hubby...

 1 || 2 || 3 || 4 || 5 || 6 || 7 || 8 || 9 || 10

1. I'm completely in love with francesca's statement necklaces and other jewelry. The colors on this necklace just make my heart go "pitter-pat".

2. These earrings would be perfect for the holidays coming up! Just a little touch of gold and shimmer to elevate any outfit!

3. I gasped out loud when I saw these booties. The color is exactly what I've been looking for and the detail on the front is just enough to keep it from being plain jane, but not going overboard.

4. Okay, the color. That just sums it up doesn't it? It's so swoonworthy! The deep blue is perfect for Winter!

5. Is there any explanation needed? Y'all know gold and sparkly are too things I can't live without.

6. I've been looking for a great poncho to add to my wardrobe and I think this know this might just be the one! The aztec detail is right up my alley and I'm actually fond of the fringe too!

7. A blanket scarf is all the rage right now and I'm guilty, I love them! This beige caught my eye and I fell in love immediately. 

8. I just want to wrap up in this blanket for days with a hot cup of cocoa and Christmas movies.

9. Although I'm in love with the bangle inside this box, I'm head over heels for the box itself. Sold!

10. I love my faux fur vest, but I need a black one now too! I love the length and style of this one. She has to come with momma.

Oh and did I mention these items are coming home with me Black Friday or Cyber Monday as a present to myself? Because they are. Merry Christmas to me :)



That tote would make for a totally adorable diaper bag right? Eeek I can't wait!
 
If you have your eye on any of these items, be sure to check out francesca's Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday deals! A little birdy told me there are going to be some super great deals! Don't miss out!
Flowers In My Hair

Diary Of A Pregnant Gal || Week 25

11.21.2014

Cardigan || Forever21
Top || Old Navy
Jeans || Motherhood Maternity
Boots || Target
Scarf || Target

I went for my glucose test yesterday and it was nowhere near what I was expecting. I actually refrained from asking other mothers what it was like so I wouldn't get nervous. I have a serious fear of needles (like passing out fear) so I found it better to walk in blind than with a perception of what was about to happen. Turns out it's not that bad. I had to drink that well known sugar juice first thing in the morning. They only had orange left and to me it tasted like Orange Crush. I poured it over ice and downed it in my short 5 minutes. An hour later I was having my blood drawn and listening to that gorgeous sound of my son's heart beat, which I proudly have to add, was right on track! I will find out in a day or two the results so prayers are appreciated :)

Due Date | March 12th, 2015

Gender | BOY!

Name | Maddox Brian Mills

Size | Maddox is the size of two juice boxes stacked on top of each other and the weight of about four of them all together. Little squirt!

Feeling | Surrounded by love. Y'all made my day with your sweet comments on this post. I'm sending you all huge hugs :)

Hormones | Again, a tear-free week! Woohoo!

Workouts | Elliptical and light weights. No regime or strict schedule though.

Weight | +16lbs

Body | I'm starting to notice Maddox is hanging out a little higher than before, pressing hit feet into my ribcage on a regular basis. Not so comfortable, but totally cool to see him so high up.

Clothing | The norm. But I did buy some super cute clothes for my little man this week :) I couldn't resist!
 
Sleep | Maddox is still waking me up at 4:45am on the dot, but I'm sleeping really well and deep. I am starting to have constant dreams which I've heard is totally normal. I just don't remember any of them...

Appetite | It's super weird, but all of a sudden I've craved sweet potatoes and OJ? I don't question my cravings I just succumb to them.

Nursery | Ah I just love it. Even though the room is nowhere near finished, I just love spending time up there. I don't know how Jon is going to get me out of there once the glider is purchased. The changing table is put together and finished and I've been purchasing odds and ends for decorating.

Missing | Occasionally I'm craving a 3pm cup of steaming hot coffee. I think because the weather is so bitterly cold perhaps? So I'm trading that out for a cup of tea instead.

Fun Fact | Maddox's nostrils are open and he is practicing taking breaths now of amniotic fluid. Isn't that amazing?

Best Moment of The Week | Jon's hand gravitating to my tummy and rubbing it while watching tv on the couch. It's like a natural instinct and I find it so sweet watching him become a daddy.


Next Apt. | December 18th for a basic check-up.

Earlier weeks:
Week 10          Week 15          Week 22
Week 11          Week 16          Week 23
Week 12          Week 17          Week 24
Week 13          Week 18 
Week 14          Week 20 & 21

Flowers In My Hair

That Girl With Flowers In Her Hair

11.20.2014
I love Blogland for the fact that I've made some amazing friends along the way. Some whom I keep in touch with on an almost daily basis, many of whom I've exchanged phone numbers with and text frequently and others I may loose touch with occasionally, but we always pick up right where we left off.

Isn't it amazing we can find new life long friends among this ginormous interweb? Blows my mind. It's why I'll never stop blogging or reading blogs for that matter.

Today I have one of my gal pals, Nina. She's one of those I mentioned above. A life long friend I met through blogging. I'm going to let Nina do most of the talking today, but I must say, if you are looking for a new and thoughtful, creative, adorable friend on the internet you must go say hello to the gal with flowers in her hair. I'll bet you love her as much as I do!


1. Okay, I know you've probably received this question time and time again, but your blog name... how did it come about?

I've always been a writer but this blog started because I moved across the country from Chicago and my entire Italian family to San Francisco without knowing anyone and with only the promise of an interview. I interviewed on Wednesday, subleased on Sunday, and started on Monday. For courage, my best friend (who moved to another part of CA in a similar situation) sent me this old song that goes, "If You're Going to San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair)."




At the very beginning, this blog chronicled my adventures in SF, and the name Flowers in my Hair made sense. Over time, the idea of wearing flowers in one’s hair came to symbolize a way of living adventurously and authentically wherever one resides or what stage of life one finds herself. Later, I also found other songs that mention wearing flowers in hair–The Lumineers “Flowers in Your Hair” & Mumford and Sons’ “After the Storm.” I happen to love both bands so it continued to feel right. There is a freedom that comes with wearing flowers in your hair, a loveliness, a willingness to forget what other’s may think, an inward and unplanned beauty. So now, though I recently moved back to Chicago, I still wear flowers in my hair, literally and figuratively.


I want flowers in my hair all day errrrr day. You make them look so good!
 
2. You semi-recently moved to Chicago (I'm so jealous). Tell us the top 5 places to visit or see next time we're in town. Obviously stopping by your apartment for tea and macarons is a must, le-duh!  

I grew up just outside of Chicago so I am still learning. I would take you to see a show at Second City because Chicago has the greatest improv in the country. Your favorite comedian probably came from Second City (Tina Fey, Steve Carrel, Amy Poelher, etc.). This time of year I would take you ice skating at Millennium Park since I've ice skated my whole life. I can hold your hands and skate backwards if necessary. Once there, we'd stop at the Bean because if you come to Chicago, you have to take photos that make you look like an alien at the Bean. I would take you to a hole in the wall Italian restaurant that will blow your mind with their home made papperdelle noodles. In the Summertime, we'd catch a Cubs game because when you roll with me, it's Cubs (not the Sox) all the way.


That all sounds just magical minus the ice skating. Never could, never will. But I will totally drink hot cocoa on the sidelines and cheer you on!

3. So I have to talk about your baby sister because... just look at that face! What is it like having a sister so much younger than you? You seem to be quite the awesome big sis! 

There was a time in my life, after my dad's remarriage, that the though of another sibling so much younger terrified me. I wrestled with God over it. And then one day, God completely changed my heart. His timing was perfect and I realized I was very much okay with another sibling hours before I found out about my sister and so I will always be able to say: from the moment I knew about you, I couldn't wait to meet you. That's something very important to me. At four years old, she is one of the best things in my entire life. We don't use the word half. I don't believe in it. I love how sassy and independent she is becuase I am too. She makes me laugh so hard. So many things that sisters closer in age do, we do too. We tell each other secrets. We have inside jokes. She is just the greatest joy




To me this is just so endearing. I have two younger siblings of my own (10 and 11 years younger) so I completely understand where you are coming from. And they are "half" siblings, but that word has meant nothing to me since their birth. They were mine when I saw them!

4. You are a writer, it's quite evident in your blog posts, but what are your aspirations with writing? Where do you want it to take you? Back to San Fran?

One of the clearest directives, or maybe even the clearest directive, God has given me is that I was meant to be writer. I struggle with what that looks like. Does it mean I am suppose to risk it all and leap and make a go of it? Does it mean waiting where I am now and He will provide the opportunity and I'll know it when I see it? It's something I think about all the time because writing really is what makes my soul sing. When I am writing, it's like I am a machine, a really happy machine, where all the gears are working in harmony. When I am writing, the world quiets and makes sense for a bit.


I struggle with knowing that here on one hand is this passion that I know is suppose to be more than a passion and paying rent and health insurance. I am in marketing so it isn't as if I am not learning in my job. But writing... that's my dream. I would love to publish novels. Now I need to write on I am willing to actually show someone. In the meantime, coming up in January, I really want to amp up the freelancing. And blogging is writing I do every single day, out of the obedience and love, but it has it's own category.

Will it take me back to SF? First, Maegen, I want you to be cool if you ever visit one of my favorite cities. Locals will make a face if you say San Fran or worse Frisco. :) I don't know where my writing will take me. I know there are cities that I love with all my heart, that I know I am supposed to spend time living in. I loved my time in SF. I am just on a grand adventure, trying to trust The Lord as I fumble along.

Who wouldn't be inspired with that adorable workspace? I think if you love writing as much as you express, that cancels out all your questions. Especially if you feel from God you are meant to be a writer. What is there to question? Plus you are incredibly good at it!

5. You are quite the fabulous DIYer and I'm oh so jealous. I mean what you did with these bookshelves? Genius. What's your favorite project to date?

My favorite project is always the next one. I knit and my mom requested a specifc scarf so I will be working on that. There are some odds and ends I need to DIY in my apartment. But to give you an example of one of my projects, I really love my deer.


Put that in my house now. Or come to my house and complete all my DIY projects I never take the time to do. Mmmmkay, thanks!

6. What is one experience or "take away" from blogging you've had that you never expected?

I have been awed, inspired, and loved by this community. Whether it is through emails, comments on each other's blogs, social media, or even meeting in real life, there are amazing women here and I have been so blessed by them!

One day, a post flowed out of me that had to do with an abusive relationship I was in at one point in my life. Women reached out to me from every corner of the world, telling me what he did was not okay and sharing their stories. I felt so burdened for them, for us, but the good kind of burden because this is a reality. Do you know six women? One of them will be abused. And keep in mind, these stats are low because it is under-reported crime.


But yes, the community and the strength of these women has surpassed any expectations I had.

Gosh I am right there with you. This community has a way of bringing people out of the woodworks everywhere just when you need them. The support system is incredible!

7. If my readers want to find you how can they go about doing so?


Find me taking pretty pictures at ninab16.
I also cram things into 140 characters here.
Like my Facebook page out of the goodness of your heart.
Not to brag but I have a skill and it is pinteresting.
Come visit me at my blog and if you like it bloglovin' is always there for you (like the theme song to Friends).


And because we are among friends here, use the code MADDOX for 20% off any sponsorship spot.
Flowers In My Hair

My Fears As A Mommy-To-Be

11.19.2014

So many people asked me once I got pregnant if I was scared. I looked at them like they were absolutely crazy! Scared of what? I'm pregnant after trying for over a year. Umm.. super grateful and overjoyed, YES. Scared? Absolutely not. 

I realized something recently. That has changed.

Although the excitement of pregnancy exists in my heart everyday I find myself starting to realize in a few short months Maddox will be in my arms. He will be mine to comfort, feed, clean, occupy, and entertain. That makes me so giddy with excitement I can't even explain it! But it also brings a sense of nervousness and so many "what if's" to my mind.

What if I don't know what he wants?

What if I don't wake up to him crying in the middle of the night?

What if I draw his bath water and it's too hot and I hurt him?

What if I fall asleep with him on my chest and drop him?

What if I have 50 different false alarms for labor? How will I know what's real?

What if I expose him to germs too early and he gets sick?

What if I fall asleep breastfeeding him in the middle of the night?

What if I don't shower for days?

What if I have no energy to give to my husband because it's all being given to Maddox?

What if I forget to feed my dogs because of my lack of sleep?

The reality is that all of these "what if's" are completely justified, but totally silly. God has entrusted me with one of His beautiful creations and He will provide me with everything I need as a new mother. Strength, grace and abounding love.

I still can't help but worry just a tad that I won't live up to my own expectations as a momma.  I'll have to learn to give myself some of that grace.

Did you have worries and fears as a new expecting mother?

Flowers In My Hair

The Creative Closet || Cute & Cozy

11.18.2014
So I may or may not have taken the "cozy" part of this theme to the complete extreme. Judge me not please. I do my best to stay "well dressed" as a pregnant lady. I swore to myself before I got pregnant that when the time did come I wouldn't bury myself deep in yoga pants and leggings. Although once a week I do succumb to comfort, I do well with dressing up daily. But if I'm told to dress "cute and cozy" you best believe I'm going to take that and run!

This is my usual weekend attire if we aren't going anywhere or on a Sunday once I come home from church. I kick those heels off as quick as I put them on and trade them for fuzzy socks! Jon always laughs because when I get home from work and/or Sundays after church I come inside and go straight to the closet. In less than 5 minutes I'm in something similar to this outfit. He always jokes if I could get dressed as quick and I dress down we'd never be late again. And to that I say, "Ha Ha Mr. Mills. You try being a female."


Look at these two above. Are they not adorable? Jana always knocks it out of the park, she is my hip momma inspiration. And our co-host this week, Elizabeth from Oaks & Oats, is adorable. I'm jealous it looks so warm in Colorado surprisingly. 

PS. I'm totally obsessed with my bed. Over the last year I have worked hard to make it my sanctuary by adding a fabulous gel and memory foam pad, getting rid of the ugly comforter and sheets from before, adding a headboard and throwing on a bunch of girly pillows that drive Jon nuts. It's a give and take relationship ;-)

Scarf || Provision Shop
Sweater || Forever21
Leggings || Target
Socks || Christmas gift last year.
Book || Target, "The Next Always" by Nora Roberts. So far it's a great read!
Mug || Target
Bedspread || JcPenny
Pillows || TjMaxx
Headboard || DIY project of my own. I'll post about it one day, I swear!

How are we already on the last theme for November? Seriously, where is time going so quickly? Add a belt to one of your outfits this week, snap some photos and join us next Tuesday! You know you wanna :)


As always we ask that you help make this link-up fun by taking the time to visit one or two or ALL of the other ladies who've linked up. And please share that you have linked up with us in your post or use this fancy-schmancy button below.

The Creative Closet


Flowers In My Hair