I let you all know last week I'll be closing my Etsy shop for the month of April (and maybe a little bit of May) due to our move and honestly...I just would like a little break! BUT that means you have until 11:59 PM on Saturday night to get an order in before I close shop. 

And the discount code MATD15 is still available for a 15% discount on your purchase. 

Also, this will probably be your last chance to get them at the current $10 rate. Prices of items will be going up after the re-opening mainly because dangit! I put a lot of work into these ties. Anywho. If you've made an order up until today, everything is going out either tomorrow or Saturday. Everyone should have their ties by Easter. 

a good brother.

They really are best friends. They do everything together. Follow each other around, always doing the same things. They really compliment each other well, both having different personalities that seem to work really well with each other. 

Julian (left) is a protector of sorts of his brother. He brings him toys, helps him with things, laughs at his jokes, humors him. You can tell he's concerned when Isaiah cries. He's very in tune with feelings. He's a good brother.

Isaiah is a goer. He goes. He does. He wants. He knows what he can get from his brother and when he needs to back off and let Julian take the lead. But he's always showing love to his brother, eager to give kisses. He's a good brother. 

big news!!

Things around here have been weird lately, huh? With the boys birthday, my back issues, my trip to Iowa...life has been slightly crazy. And there's been a little something else going on behind the scenes that  has been absolutely SO hard for me to keep quiet about. 

No, I'm not pregnant. I know that's the only secret people think we're left to keep anymore after we've had kids.

We're moving!! To Portland! 

Holy cows that felt good to get out! It's been weeks, maybe months in progress. Interviews, traveling, uncertainty, added on top of all of the other craziness of March. I've been practicing my living-life-one-day-at-a-time skills to the max. And as stressful as a 1,000 mile move could be, I'm happy to say I'm handling this all in stride.

Yes, I'm basing about 98% of my expectations of Portland solely on this show. Fred better be there.

So far I've got a PODS box scheduled to be delivered to our apt. late next month. We're working on a plan to get Chikezie to Portland in a couple of weeks to find us a place. I've ordered a whole bunch of packing supplies that should be here in a couple of days so I can start packing slowly. I've made lists out of my ass on anything you can make lists of. It's helping me keep a little bit of sanity.

And I keep the happy thought in the back of my mind, that we're going to be able to afford to rent a house with a YARD! I feel like jumping up and down every time I think of it. A YARD. It doesn't seem like much but when you've been living in an apartment for almost 10 years and now you have little people who need to run; it's a huge deal. With my back problems, a place without stairs is coming at exactly the right time. 

I'm so thankful to have a husband with such an adventurous spirit, like me. And with some kind of insane talent, and drive. I'm SO proud of him. And thankful. We knew we needed to leave Iowa for him to have the best opportunities. It was hard to leave everyone and everything we'd ever known at one of the most eventful (engagement, babies, marriage) times in our lives. Two years ago we moved 1500 miles to a place we'd never really been because we were ready for an adventure. The last two years here have been the best 2 of our lives, but it still hasn't felt like home. We've been restless. We knew this wasn't going to be the place. 

Now we're set to take on yet another adventure. We'll work at making more friends in a new city. We'll explore this new place together. And who knows, Portland may be it. From what our friends have told us, we'll fit right in. 

To read about the move from my husband's point of view (and a sweet new page to go with it) go HERE.

Are you from the PNW? Leave a comment here and introduce yourself! We need friends lol. And we need advice! Good places to eat/ visit? Good neighborhoods close-ish to downtown to live in?


Have you moved long distance before? Any advice or tips for us?

shop hiatus and discount

I'm going to be closing shop for the month of April because it's going to be a really busy month for me and I'd like to try to re-stock a lot of my inventory and take a little breather.

That being said, if you guys have any orders you'd like to get in before the end of the month, now is the time to do it. Any orders made by the 31st are guaranteed to be to you by Easter. So, if you're looking for a bow tie for your little man for Easter...order now!

Here are some of the most popular bow ties lately:

There's also a 2 bow tie deal:

So, for the rest of the week I'll be offering a 15% discount to all of you wonderful MATD (Mama and the Dudes...clever, right?) readers. Just use the code at check out:


THANK YOU to everyone who has been supporting my shop in the past few months! This year I've already surpassed my entire 2011 (in under 3 months) and have worked harder and longer at this than I ever have. I truly love this little niche I've found and really just want to thank you all for encouraging and supporting my little business!


It's killing me I can't see the movie until SUNDAY!!! I'm currently working through the 3rd book. I feel like Hunger Games are the cool, less guilty pleasure version of Twilight. Because I think guys are cool with reading them, and they're also way less cheesy and teenage girlish. And written WAY better.

Also, I'm not sure what I think about the guy they cast for Peeta. I've envisioned him as a bigger guy. Kind of weird seeing him in trailers as smaller than Katniss. I also have a not-so-secret crush on Lenny Kravitz so I'm excited to drool over him as Cinna. 

"Insert cheesy hunger games line here."

random cell phone pics from the wedding weekend

Nails done the day before the wedding. We may or may not have been discussing inappropriate things and embarrassing the ladies doing our nails lol.

Des Moines looking oh so pretty. It will always be one of my favorite cities.

I climbed the stairs to the top of that building!

Yes, this is part of the presidential suite. It was SO freaking awesome. We felt rich.

Christy and Bob wore matching shirts with corgis on them for the rehearsal. She bought them on etsy, I'll have to get the link if any of you are interested! (They have a corgi named Jack)

Before the rehearsal and dinner.

Feeling pretty. 
Dress: Target // Jeans: Levis // Belt: Francesca's // Shoes: Target

At the rehearsal. They were crying already lol.

Wedding day story telling and filmage. 

And alcohol.

Big hair!

It's hard to tell but I had a couple of pin curls in there. And about a can of hair spray.

I found a ton of random pictures on my cellphone that never made it to Instagram of my weekend in Des Moines. I really did have the best time and am so happy for Christy and Bob. And it was nice having an excuse to get my nails and hair done and be all fancy. And drink.

Bob and Christy's wedding (a few photos)

As we walked through the lobby to head outside for pictures, all of the drunk St. Patrick's partiers started cheering and clapping for Christy and Bob-it was awesome.
A table at the reception full of old family wedding photos. Such a thoughtful touch.
The most awesome wedding cake toppers ever.
Me, mid end of toast cry face. (Don't be jealous of all of those chins.)
My toast made both Christy AND Bob cry. BOO YAH. 
The Sisterhood of the Irish Matrimony :) No, really. That was our title on the program!

All of these photos were taken by Crystal Liepa of Crystal Leipa Photography, and omg she is the cutest/nicest person and such a talented photographer. These are only a small preview of the photos, you can head to her blog to see her wedding post and more amazing photos of such a wonderful day. 

a lesson in self confidence

I really didn't want to wear these glasses with my dress. I've always associated glasses with being tired, as I'm usually putting them on at night when my eyes are tired. For the past few months I've worn only glasses and gotten quite comfortable with them, but haven't really wanted to wear contacts. 

I bought this dress thinking I would wear contacts to the wedding. Be fancy. I ordered a trial pair of contacts 3 weeks ago, being assured they'd be here in time for my wedding. They weren't. I suddenly found myself worrying about these stupid glasses. I thought I'd look so dumb wearing these thick quirky glasses with such a pretty formal dress. Something so seemingly trivial just kept bothering me, pulling at my brain and esteem, telling me I wasn't going to be pretty.

When you stay at home every day, dressing up suddenly becomes a big deal. It's a way to prove to yourself that you've still got it. That even though you wear yoga pants and baggy shirts every day, and that even though your body might not look like it once did, that you've still got it. That you can still be fancy. 

The wedding day came and as I put on my dress, I looked in the mirror and told myself to rock these effing glasses. That I was thankful for the glasses for helping me see all these months. That sometimes there's nothing you can do with yourself but push the confidence out, even if it's dragging it's heels in you, content to stay in hiding. 

Sometimes the biggest thing standing in your way to feeling good about yourself is you. Actually, it's always the biggest thing in the way. This weekend was such a great lesson in self-esteem for me. It was such a lesson in confidence...and it's not just about the glasses. It's about everything.

The most beautiful thing you can wear is your confidence. And with it, no glasses will ever make you feel out of place. 

St. Patrick's Day Wedding Weekend!

4 hour layover in Chicago //  Z'Marick's Mac and Cheese in Des Moines, a food I craved through my pregnancy but couldn't eat because they're only in Iowa // Traveling is so much more enjoyable when you're not doing it with children.

Christy and Bob, last day as fiancees // Shellaced nails // Last minute wedding prep 

801 Grand at night // my KING BED FOR TWO NIGHTS // View from my room, adjoining to the Presidential Suite, a room bigger than my apartment.

Bridal gear // The beautiful bride // the night of the rehearsal with all the girls!

Sorry I've been absent around here the past few days! I traveled back to Des Moines for one of my bff's wedding. I enjoyed traveling by myself so much. The last time I had a non-stressful flying experience was before the boys were born. I arrived a couple of days early to help with all of the last minute wedding details that needed to be finished and spend some quality time with my friends that I miss so much!

The wedding was absolutely gorgeous, and unique and completely Bob and Christy. I can't wait to share pictures of this with you because there were so many awesome personal details they incorporated; it has to be shared! 

I made some great new friends, danced my face off, and thoroughly missed my boys. Chikezie is super husband and took care of the boys for 4 days straight. I'm so glad to be home and will treasure the memores of the whole weekend!

boys who show love

Sometimes as a parent you're constantly wondering if you're doing the right things. If what your trying to teach and instill in your kids is actually sinking in. This morning I came down the stairs to quiet boys. Usually they're standing at the gate of their room, yelling at me to wake up and let them out. Not today. This morning I watched them as they sat side by side, playing with shoes on their bedroom floor. 

They'd look at each other and babble something and seem to have a conversation of sorts. Many facial expressions, gestures and smiles are exchanged. They share an inside joke and both start laughing like old friends. And then Isaiah looks over to Julian, puckers out his lips, leans in with a "mmmm" and kisses his brother on the cheek. 

And they both start giggling again.

It was probably one of the sweetest little conversations I've ever spied on, and probably the best. My heart swelled to 20x its size and I got the reassurance I needed to know we're doing the right things. We're raising two little boys, who at the age of two, already know how to love. And to show it. Without being prompted by us or by anyone, but because they know that's what you do. Even boys.

I'm going to put this one in the win column. And the "my heart just exploded from the cuteness" column.

snapshots from the zoo