Friday, December 23, 2016

Loving Freshly Picked

I have been a customer and window shopper/lover of Freshly Picked since I became pregnant with Sophia last year. I was so excited when we purchased her first pair earlier this year (we chose the newborn ivory pair) as they were super easy to put on and stay on.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

What No One Tells You When Your Expecting + Freshly Picked GIVEAWAY

1. Car seat safety
No one tells you how to install the car seat, let alone how to put the baby in the car seat safely. Of course all car seats come with a manual, unless you buy it used but be VERY CAUTION when buying used. Make sure the car seat hasn't been recalled and only buy from someone you trust and will tell you truthfully if the car seat has been an accident. However, I highly recommend buying a brand new car seat, it is better to be safe than sorry. 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

9 Things I Have Learned as a Mom

Technically, Sophia has been out of my belly for almost 41 weeks and she was only in my tummy for 37 weeks but no need to be technical. Let's just say I was pregnant for about 9 months and Sophia is now 9 months old. She has been out in the world for almost as long as she was cooking in my belly, when she was being knitted together.

36 Weeks and 7 Days, the day before she was born.

To celebrate this, I wanted to share comparison photos of what Sophia looked like 9 months in the womb and 9 months out the womb, as well as share 9 things I have learned since becoming a mom.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Christmas Project Ideas

Hey guys! Today I will keep it short and sweet because one I am super late on posting today and two I am hoping to even be able to finish this before Sophia gets too fussy. Cheerios are keeping her busy for now, haha.

Anways, there I was on Instagram (click link to follow me) and I decided to spontaneously show a quick Christmas tour (see my 2014 Christmas tree tour here). Of course my house is far from being completed and at this point I don't even know if it will be as we lost our Christmas tree lights. There just is not enough time in the day to get everything done. 

Back to the point, I was giving this mini-tour on Instastory and I realized a lot of the pieces I am using to display our Christmas decor is a DIY and I actually have tutorials for them! So the whole point of this short and sweet post is to round up a few of my tutorials (click link for more not listed) that can help you display your Christmas decor that you can also use year round.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Gift Guide for Him | $40 & UNDER

So guys, I normally have all my Christmas shopping done and presents wrapped but not this year. I am so behind mostly due to budget but also to timing. And I suck at gifting Anthony because I always give it away. I gave him his Father's Day present early. I was suppose to surprise him with a date night for his birthday but told him at lunch that we were going out baby-free that evening. So, its kinda good that I haven't gone shopping for him yet so I don't ruin it, haha.

Without my gift ruining, I am at a lost of what to give him as we don't have much money to spend and whatever I do spend, I don't want it to be something that is just eh, you know? I have been peeping other's gift guides for him but why does every one else have gifts that are super expensive or that are so fancy like cuff links, like my guy likes video games, music and I need ideas along those lines.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Nine Month Update | Little Love

 Time obviously hasn't stood still or frozen and Sophia is growing more and more each day. She is exploring the world around her and constantly studying new things and what seems like she is wanting to figure out how things work. If she is anything like her daddy, she will get to the point in taking things apart but hopefully she'll know how to put it back together, haha.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Eight Month Update | Little Love

Time is moving way too fast, as I say every month. Babygirl is already eight months old and I have started the planning process of her first birthday party, just the details such as what I want to serve, decorations I want to make, pricing for cake, etc. I get overwhelmed thinking how in a few short months my baby will be a year old and it is certainly bittersweet.

Although, this month in particular has been very difficult (as you can tell from our photoshoot, haha). Since coming back home from our first family vacation to New York, Sophia has digressed tremendously. She has been back in the bed with us and waking up multiple times through out the night. It has been tough but I wouldn't change it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Fall Wardrobe 2016 | Little Love

When I was planning our trip to New York (I plan to post a trip review soon), I had so much fun picking out all of our outfits (to be honest, I started on my outfits months ago haha) but I never realized how much fun it was to play in Sophia's closet as well. When selecting her outfits for our trip, I wanted to make sure she was warm enough as Northerners have real fall compared to us Houstonians. Like it barely turned fall now, like two days ago. 

Anyways, once we returned home I was so excited for Sophia to wear the same outfits that she wore in New York down here in the South and I even created more fall looks. The problem is, it has been too hot until now which is why I am barely sharing Fall Outfits towards the end of Fall because Houston doesn't know what seasons are.

A lot of her clothes are great finds from resell shops, Instashops including my own. If I can't find the exact items, I will link similar items for each piece of clothing.

Bow | Onesie (similar) | Fur Vest (similar) | Leggings (similar) (similar) | Boots (similar)

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Blessing and Gianna Pumpkin Patch Mini Session

After doing my first mommy and me mini session (see here), it inspired me to do more mini sessions (see more here). Particularly ones that go with the changing seasons or holidays; I did a Back to School Mini Session (see here) back in August and again while on a play date at a Pumpkin Patch, I was able to capture some shots of Blessing and her beautiful daughter.

Friday, October 28, 2016

DIY Tassel Garland

Hey guys! Long time, no hear huh? Things have been crazy busy around here. Sophia is on the move and since being home from vacation, she picked up some not so nice habits of wanting to skip naps and sleep in our bed and wake up a million and one times throughout the night and not to mention the poor kid is still teething and not a single tooth has broke through yet! So this mama is tired and doesn't have the time to dedicate to blog as much as I wish I did. I have tons of ideas and I have photos for the posts, I just need to draft it but by time Anthony is home from work, it is straight school mode or we relax and enjoy each other's company. I mean you guys get it. Life happens and there are certain seasons you enter that are crazy hectic and exhausting but I wouldn't change this season we are in for the world. Being a mama is my dream and I am getting to live it and I love it with all it's challenges and rewards.

With all that said, I did manage to sneak some time for a Halloween tutorial, yay me! Honestly, this tutorial can be used for anytime or any occasion. The color of tissue papers you use is what makes it fit the occasion. For me, I created this purple and metallic silver garland for a Halloween movie night I hosted for my sister's 30th birthday. I wanted the decor to be simple yet fun so I decorated my TV dresser (we are using a dresser as our TV stand) as if it was a mantel because we don't have one and I provided a popcorn bar (I unfortunately did not get pictures of this because, let's be honest, I suck at this professional blogging thing. I did get inspiration from here so check Jessica's post if you are interested in how to set up a popcorn bar).

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Ericia and DJ Mommy and Me Session with a Mini Birthday Session

It's been while since I have shared some photography sessions as I have been trying to keep up with my almost 8 month old. Like holy cow, next week I will have an 8 month old baby; I plan on sharing her 8 month update soon but for the meantime check out her 7 month update.

Anyways, this Mommy and Me session (see my last one here) was quite the adventure. We were battling the humidity, mosquitoes, the setting sun, a fussy baby and an exploring toddler. It was a lot of fun but definitely an adventure, haha.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Seven Month Update | Little Love

My baby girl is getting so big and so fast, I need time to slow down like for real. Can someone enact the same curse that the Evil Queen did for Storybrooke?

Everyday Sophia is learning something new and once she learns something, its stuck in her head and she knows she can do it and there is no stopping her! She is one determined little baby and, boy, does she get frustrated when things don't go her way or if she can't get something done fast enough (I wonder where she learned that from?).

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Six Month Update | Little Love

I am super late in posting Sophia's 6 month update, she is actually 7 months today but with daddy starting school and mommy being his tutor and editor I haven't had the chance to finish her update although it has been drafted since she was 6 months.

It's been 6 months or 26 weeks or 184 days since I have had this beautiful little girl. That's half a year and if this half has speed by I can't even imagine how fast this next half will flash before our eyes. Before I know it you will be a walking and talking full functioning human. The days seem long but the weeks are speeding by. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Teaching Our Daugthers & Week 10 of A New Lifstyle

To help me stay accountable, I decided to share my newly vowed healthy lifestyle by documenting it here on a weekly basis. I hope you decide to follow along so we can cheer each other on and be an inspiration for one another! You can also follow along on Instagram with #howstormiegothergrooveback or on Snapchat (stormieariel). I also share the foods I am eating on both social media sites, for quicker reference on Instagram search #stormiearielkitchen

Sunday - Skipped
Monday - Rest Day
Tuesday - Interval Run
Wednesday - Skipped
Thursday - Skipped
Friday - Short Walk
Saturday - Skipped

I decided to change this series up a bit as I know it can get boring for some to just read what I am doing to get in shape, like yay for you but how does that benefit me type of thing. At least that's how I feel reading certain fitness posts on other blogs and it makes me feel worse about myself for not having the same dedication and I don't want that for my readers. I want ya'll to see real life and be inspired and to inspire me as well. I want this entire blog to be a two way street where we can benefit and learn from each other. With that being said, I had a little inspirational moment that happened to me and decided for now on I will share those with you all when I share my fitness progress to hopefully inspire you as well.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Fabian's Back to School Mini Session

I am back with another photo session. After completing the mommy and me mini session, I started thinking about the potential in hosting other mini sessions. With school back in session in our area, I decided to do back to school mini sessions and I am loving them! I am also planning on Fall Mini Sessions and Halloween Mini Sessions so email me ( if you are in the Katy, Texas area and are interested!

Anyways, here are my favorite shots from my most recent Back to School Session.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A New Lifestyle | Weeks 7-9

To help me stay accountable, I decided to share my newly vowed healthy lifestyle by documenting it here on a weekly basis. I hope you decide to follow along so we can cheer each other on and be an inspiration for one another! You can also follow along on Instagram with #howstormiegothergrooveback or on Snapchat (stormieariel).

I know I have been MIA with my workouts or running/walking schedule but that doesn't mean I am not keeping up with them. Anthony started school two weeks ago and we had a mini vacation before school started for him so things have been a little busy. I don't remember the exact dates for everything but we typically go walking every other day or so and run at least twice a week. I know what days our runs are on because I track everything with my Nike+ Run Club app (Feel free to add me as I am also looking for new running friends). I have been lacking in doing strength training as all my focus has been on building my stamina for long distance running. I need to start strength training again though as I know it will help me even more especially with leaning out.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Tesla and Evelynn Mommy and Me Mini Session

Hey guys! I feel like now that I have gone down part time on my blogging I have so much more to share whereas before I was having a hard creating enough content, haha. Anyways, I have mentioned my love for photography a few times here on the blog and even shared one of my family sessions I did, well today I am back sharing a Mommy and Me mini session. I gotta say black and white photos are getting all the heart eyes in this session, I just love how it focuses the attention on the love shared between mother and daughter. 

Enough chit chat and on to the photos..

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Back to School Looks with Gymboree | Tips & Tricks

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. I was compensated for this post but as always all story telling and opinions are my own.

As some of ya'll may remember Anthony started school yesterday. Although he is taking distance education courses compared to the traditional face-to-face courses, it made us take a trip down memory lane and remember what it was like starting a new school year.

I remember being so antsy and staying up all night (or only getting a few hours of sleep and waking up super early) wondering what the first day back would be like. I also always created the perfect outfits for the first day because you have to make a great first impression back at school. At the schools I attended, we were limited to uniforms but that doesn't mean I was limited in creating outfits. I used accessories and shoes to help make my outfit look different from everyone else. There was even a night I got dressed and fell asleep in my clothes, I was that excited, haha.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Five Month Update | Little Love

Lord have mercy on me! My baby is five months old which means she is almost 6 months old which is half a year so she is basically almost one years old! I want and need time to slow down because my baby is growing way too fast right before my eyes. I love seeing her take in this world around her with those sweet round eyes but I want her to remain my baby.

My best friend's daughter just turned 5 and it feels like she was just a baby yesterday so I am taking this month even more so harder because one day my baby will not be such a baby anymore so I am soaking up everything to another level which is gonna take me on a five second mommy rant so bear with me guys..

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A New Lifestyle | Week 6

To help me stay accountable, I decided to share my newly vowed healthy lifestyle by documenting it here on a weekly basis. I hope you decide to follow along so we can cheer each other on and be an inspiration for one another! You can also follow along on Instagram with #howstormiegothergrooveback

So again, I really haven't stuck to my new schedule but I'm super happy with what I accomplished this week. I gotta say I have felt great after by runs, now before each run is a totally different story! Haha. 

Sunday - Skipped
I was suppose to walk as Anthony played basketball but I decided to just chat with the ladies.

Monday - Interval Run
This was my first run since the ending of June, that run I was so disappointed that my body wasn't ready to go the distance I was wanting but this day's run went better than expected and I was so happy.. afterwards.

Tuesday - Skipped

Wednesday - Skipped
I knew I would miss this day's workout which is why I ran on Monday which was suppose to be a rest day.

Thursday - Interval Run
I dreaded the run before the run but felt amazing afterwards.

Friday - Rest Day
Saturday - Short Walk

Each time we went to our usual spot, I would moan and groan before each run but I gave myself a pep talk everytime, reminding myself why I am doing this. So I grudgingly started my run and continue to pep talk myself throughout my run, the marker is right there just make it to that marker and its walk time. I make it there (with a few short stops to catch my breath) and I feel amazing.. Tired but amazing like I'm ready for round two now. I walk to the next marker and start the process over of preparing myself and than coaching myself through each run.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Messy Mama Hair

I can't be the only one wondering how style bloggers always have perfect hair right? I mean even the mama style bloggers are always looking flawless and I'm over here rocking my Aunt Trunchbull messy bun 24/7. I wish I could say it's because I'm a mama, although that is part of it but mostly because my hair is a frizzy mess with this Houston humidity and if you do catch me on a good hair day, praise the Lord!

Other than the humidity, it is because Sophia grabs my hair and wants to eat it every time it's down or it just gets in my way when I'm trying to do something and it's easier throwing it in a bun but it can give me some major headaches since my hair is so heavy. It's no wonder some mamas cut their hair in cute little bobs but I love my long hair too much to try that again even if it's always in a bun.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

A New Lifestyle | Week 5 + Reevaluation

To help me stay accountable, I decided to share my newly vowed healthy lifestyle by documenting it here on a weekly basis. I hope you decide to follow along so we can cheer each other on and be an inspiration for one another! You can also follow along on Instagram with #howstormiegothergrooveback

I have been reevaluating my fitness and even though I stay moderately active by constantly walking pretty much every day, I feel like I am not pushing my body to its potential. If I'm being completely honest, it's a little upsetting when I don't see progress in the way my clothing fits or even on the scale. I want to be able to fit into majority of my pre-baby clothes by October which gives me two months to step my game up. 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Modern Flat Bow | Tutorial

Hey guys! I know it's been a good while since my last interesting post, haha. I have been doing weekly updates on how I am staying active weekly but I know that can be a bore for some of you so I'm back today with a tutorial but first a little background.

If you follow me on Instagram (@stormieariel) than you know I recently opened my own small shop on Insta (@shopstormieariel). Since Sophia was born, actually before she was born, I loved the way nylon headbands looked. They are so sweet and simple and chic, perfect for a little girl. BUT the price tag on most of them kept me from biting the bullet and even if they were a reasonable price, I couldn't pick just one. So I decided to teach myself how to make bows since I had fabric on hand that was left over from the fabric kites I made for Sophia's nursery plus I also had tons of ribbon on hand from my numerous other projects and from my schoolgirl days.

And I know there are mommas out there like me who are on a budget and need to know how to make simple bows to get them by until they can splurge so I decided to make a video tutorial of how I make one of the bows I sell in my shop. It is the simplest and easiest bow tutorial, so easy a caveman can do it (name that commercial). Also, please let me know how you like the video tutorial in the comments below. I would love the feedback as to which I should start including videos in all my tutorials or if step by step photos preferred or both!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A New Lifestyle | Week 4

To help me stay accountable, I decided to share my newly vowed healthy lifestyle by documenting it here on a weekly basis. I hope you decide to follow along so we can cheer each other on and be an inspiration for one another! You can also follow along on Instagram with #howstormiegothergrooveback

My husband and I have been determined to hatch our Pokemon Eggs on Pokemon Go, so we have been walking A LOT more than normal. I really think this mobile game has gotten a lot more people outdoors and moving and hope it stays that way! Hopefully more games will follow suit. I didn't do any strengthening exercises this week as it has been so hot and the humidity makes it feel like we went running even though we didn't. I do plan to add in strengthening stuff on rest days making it an active rest day because those are just as important as cardio.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A New Lifestyle | Week 3

To help me stay accountable, I decided to share my newly vowed healthy lifestyle by documenting it here on a weekly basis. I hope you decide to follow along so we can cheer each other on and be an inspiration for one another! You can also follow along on Instagram with #howstormiegothergrooveback

As I mentioned last week, I skipped a week of everything since I decided to binge watch Jane The Virgin. Bad I know, don't judge. This week I decided to get back out there and get moving. I thought it was gonna be hard to restart but it really wasn't but I think most of that has to do with Pokemon Go. I have lots of eggs to hatch and don't think I jumped on the bandwagon just because its "trending" right now. I have been a Pokemon fan since I was a kid between playing Pokemon Stadium on N64 and the Yellow Version, Silver Version, Crystal Version on my Gameboy Color. As an adult, I now own Pokemon Stadium once again and Silver Version for my Nintendo DS so when Pokemon Go came out, I had to try it and I'm loving it because I get to play on the go and it's motivating me to stay active. I just wish they would allow users to battle and trade like the original versions. Anywho, this is what I have been up to:

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Four Month Update | Little Love

Wow. Time is flying and it really is true. Motherhood gets better with each passing month. Sophia has grown so much this past month and her cute little personality comes through more and more. I get so much joy just watching her take in this world around us, it's amazing. Yes it is hard but it is so so worth it. Being in the childcare field I already know how amazing children are but it's a whole other level when you watch your own child grow and learn. I catch myself daydreaming of the day she'll crawl or take her first step to running around the house laughing. Ah I can and can't wait for those days. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

stormieariel style | ed. 3

Wow guys! It's been way too long..well like a week but felt like longer. Last week I decided to spend all my free time binge watching Jane The Virgin. I'm obsessed. I didn't even get any workouts in so this week there is no update on my progress but I will share my journey of this week next week. Also, I typically post Monday, Wednesday, and Friday but have decided it's best for me to only do twice a week so I will start posting on Tuesday and Thursday now. Enough chit chat, lets get to why you are really here unless you wanna chat I could chat all day so please feel free to leave comments!

As you know, last year, I began taking daily photos of my outfits as I was learning how to mix and match the clothing items I already had, to create new outfits. I was also learning to step out my comfort zone by breaking some old fashion rules that I stuck by (check out that series here) but now those rules are out the window. As I was venturing into my new fashion style I was constantly sharing my outfits on Instagram (#stormiearielstyle). 

Once I got pregnant, I continued sharing my daily outfits along with weekly Bumps Dates here on the blog and on Instagram. After sharing my everyday mom style during my first month and a half postpartum, I decided to continue to share my everyday looks in a monthly format here on the blog. I will also continue posting my everyday style on Instagram in real life time so be sure you are following me (@stormieariel).

This month I have been super busy and didn't have much chance to snap my outfit pictures however I was super glad about being able to get myself and Sophia dressed and fed and letting the dogs out AND fixing the bed all before 11:20am. It's the little things guys and I can guarantee that was the only morning that happened. 

Blouse (similar) (similar) | White Pants | Sandals (similar) | Necklace (similar)

Monday, July 4, 2016

A New Lifestyle | Week 1

To help me stay accountable, I decided to share my newly vowed healthy lifestyle by documenting it here on a weekly basis. I hope you decide to follow along so we can cheer each other on and be an inspiration for one another! You can also follow along on Instagram with #howstormiegothergrooveback and to see what I'm eating just follow #stormiearielkitchen

Sunday - Swim Day

I played a few rounds of a seeking game with my nephew and I swam 4 laps during adult swim (I use to do 20 or more during adult swim but I'm still slowly accepting my body isn't where it use to be).

Monday - Rest Day

Tuesday - Exercises

While I was watching Pretty Little Liars, I decided to do a few sets of exercises during the commercial breaks. There were about 5 commericials so you can easily add in a lot of sets but due to a crying hungry baby, I ended up only completing like 4 sets I think.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Fourth of July | Outfit Ideas

Besides looking for quick and easy craft projects to do, I also think about outfits I want to create for each holiday. However I try to stay away from holiday specific theme clothing like stars or american flags because I want to be able to wear my clothing year around. Instead of focusing on themes, I like to put outfits together around colors that coordinate with each holiday. 

Today, I put together two different looks for Fourth of July and I already know which one I'm learning towards!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Fourth of July | Craft Ideas for the Whole Family

With Fourth of July around the corner, I can't help but to search quick and easy craft ideas so I decided to share my favorites. Be inspired! And don't forget, you can always tweak crafts, like anything else, to fit with the supplies you already have on hand.

Monday, June 27, 2016

A New Lifestyle | Healthy Living

Two years ago I shared a bit of my fitness background story and my food and fitness routine. Back than my mindset was all about that number on the scale, I weighed myself everyday making sure that number didn't go up. Slowly I would skip some days and than eventually I would weigh myself every so often, I didn't do this on purpose it just happened with job changes and finishing my last semester in school.

Fast forward to the summer of 2015, I gained about 10 pounds back and a few weeks later we found out we were pregnant. I'm sure some of ya'll are all duh you gained weight, you were pregnant. Um no it's called eating junk food and having too much Dr. Pepper, I was only 6 weeks pregnant and you do not gain weight that quickly, you just don't. Obviously, I couldn't cut calories at this point but I could make healthier eating choices so I didn't blow up. I'd like to say I was perfectly healthy but we aren't perfect, if we were we would all have these amazing fit bodies but I did end up only gaining a total of 35 pounds during pregnancy and I am proud of that.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Review | Bradley Method Birth Classes

Back in January when we started our Bradley Method Birth Class I talked about doing a review once we finished our class but than decided to hold it off until after birth to give you a full review and if I thought it actually helped.

Bradley Header

If you are familiar with our birth story than you know it didn't go as I envisioned or planned but than again I think it rarely does. However I feel like my birth experience was a little extra traumatic (okay that word is a little over the top and dramatic but whatever). I felt like Sophia was literally forced out (dramatic again, I know) of me due to my doctor's decision of inducing me. And the way my body reacted to the inducing medicine made it harder on me than your typical birthing contractions. Typically you contract about every 3-5 minutes and they get closer together as you progress. This was NOT the case for me. I contracted about every 45 seconds for about 18 hours straight and I owe it to the Bradley Method for getting me that far without an epidural. In helping me learn to not fight my contractions and work with them however after 18 hours of labor and contracting without any down time I think it's safe to say that's asking a lot from anyone to just breath. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Baby Registry | Tips & Tricks

On Monday when I shared the latest of what's happening in Little Love's nursery, I mentioned spending the cash/check gifts to purchase her vintage French provincial dresser. And I thought I would share tips and tricks on what you should do with all those monetary gifts including gift cards.

One of the greatest pieces of advice I was given during my pregnancy was to hold on to all my gift cards until after the baby comes. I gotta say this one piece of advice benefited us greatly. Mostly as new parents you really don't know how to separate what babies actually need to what's nice to have. I remember asking my friend for advice on my registry and she pointed me to Babies R Us Registry Checklist and said it was pretty accurate for the most part and in some aspects it is and in another aspects is not.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Baby Girl Nursery | Dresser & Shelves

Back in January I shared a small update of Little Love's nursery showcasing her crib and bedding and a few weeks ago, I shared a tutorial for the fabric kites hanging above Sophia's crib. I decided it was time for another update so today I am sharing all about the craigslist dresser I've talked about a few times and the pros and cons of our corner shelves.

Most bloggers rave how they were able to find a French provincial dresser for such a low price in a thrift store or on craigslist. While I would love to say I was able to do the same and only spend $50 or so on such a great vintage piece, I can't. I've read all types of Craigslist tips and tricks and most of them come down to being patient and persistent and you'll eventually come across a great piece for a great price. 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Aguilar Family Photo Session

I have had my Nikon Coolpix P530 for over a year but for the longest I always used it on the preset modes or auto mode. However, the last few months I have been reading tons of articles trying to teach myself how to shoot in manual mode. I have always enjoyed taking pictures even as a kid but now I'm actually loving the art of photography and when my sister asked me to take her family pictures (I was a little hesitant at first), I decided why not. 

So, here I am today sharing my favorite shots from our session. Now again, I am a complete amateur and I do not have the whole professional setup. These photos were taken on my Nikon Coolpix P530 with no extra lens and barely edited on Picassa. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

DIY Frame Tutorial

We are halfway through the work week, hooray! I can't wait for this weekend mostly because I am excited for everyone to open their gifts. We bought Anthony's dad this shirt for Father's Day and I plan on making him this card to go along with it, we are gifting Anthony's mom a necklace similar to this one and earrings like these for her birthday and I made Anthony a gift based off this pin I found but I am unable to find the original source (please leave the link below if you know so I can give proper credit). I decided to show a tutorial in how I achieved the look for our frame.

As I mentioned in my Father's Day Craft roundup, Scrabble and Words with Friends is a favorite game for Anthony and I to play with each other and to play with his dad and brother so I knew immediately I wanted to try to recreate a scrabble word frame. This project is very cheap and easy to do and took less than 10 minutes to complete. My type of project with a very needy baby in tow!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Gift Guide | Father's Day Craft Ideas

Hi guys! How was ya'lls weekend? Ours was pretty relaxed, I went for my hour massage on Saturday and boy was it AMAZING!! Definitely what this mama needed. And on Sunday Anthony's parents came to visit. 

If you were around on Friday than you might have came across my Father's Day Gift Guide; well today I am sharing a roundup of Father's Day craft ideas. I only included two crafts involving hand/foot prints because while I worked in childcare some parents really didn't appreciate another hand/foot print craft. Although I personally think, they show a child's growth throughout a single year and all the years to come and I really believe these types of crafts will be treasured so dearly when that little babe or toddler is off to college or starting a family of their own. So keep that in mind if your hesitant to do crafts involving prints and maybe slip a note stating my above statement in your own way.

I unfortunately couldn't find the original source for this sweet photo but when I ran across it on Pinterest, I fell in love. First, because the photo is so adorable and made me get a lump in my throat. Secondly, Anthony and I use to play scrabble with his dad and brother when we would go visit his family and from day to day Anthony and I play Words with Friends so I think this type of picture craft would mean so much.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Gift Guide | Father's Day

Hey guys! Another week flew by before our eyes yet again but I'm not complaining!! We don't have much planned besides my birthday massage tomorrow; my sister gave me the certificate on my actual birthday back in April but can you believe the place was booked when I called and this was the soonest they could get me in but better late than never.

With Father's Day fastly approaching us (its next week guys!), I put together a little gift guide for those daddies in your life. I was originally gonna subtitle it "for the young daddy" but there are older men who still play video games and enjoy comfy sporty clothes so I added the "in heart" part. While putting this together, I sneakily asked Anthony to choose things he would want "just" for my blog you know.
Column One | 1 | 2
Column Two | 1 | 2 | 3

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

What to Pack for the Hospital during a Maternity Stay

A few weeks ago, I shared what I took from the hospital after giving birth to Little Love and before that I suggested some questions to consider asking while on a Maternity Tour so I figured it was time I talked about what I packed (and what we didn't think to pack so family members had to go scrambling through our house to find the items).

If you have read Little's Loves birth story than you know nothing went as planned (when does it ever really though?) and we were not prepared. Our hospital bag was half way packed sitting in the nursery while we were considering what we really needed to take with us.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Three Month Update | Little Love

How is it that I have a three month old?? I know I say this every single time but it was just yesterday Anthony and I wear daydreaming about children choosing names (and yes Sophia was on that list all those years ago).

Even then little one, you were constantly on our minds, before we knew you, before we knew your heartbeat was beating within me. We thought about you, we prayed for you, we dreamed about you, and here you are. If there was only one thing you could ever know, I want it to be how much you are loved and thought about. Everything we do is for you and I pray there is never a day in your life that you ever doubt how much you are loved.

Three Months Stats
Weight: approx. 13 pounds
Height: approx. 22.5 inches
 Head Circumference: approx. 15.5 inches

Being away from mommy
Grabs things behind her
Sad bottom lip
Fake cry
Aquarium Visit

Mommy singing Psalms 118:24 every morning
Hearing "HI!"
Being held

Bathtime (but getting better)
Waiting to eat
Not being apart of any activity
Dirty diapers

What I Want to Remember
The way she lights up and smiles when she
sees us first thing in the morning.
Her little giggles.
Her sweet smile when she sees daddy come home.
Her sleepy stretches.

Sharing at: Seven Graces

Friday, June 3, 2016

stormieariel style | ed. 2

Welcome back guys! I am kinda getting caught back up on my blog post schedule and I am excited for the weekend as always! Did this week fly by or what? Probably helped that it was only a 4 day work week for Anthony to seem so. What do you guys have planned for the weekend?

Before we get ready for a birthday party this weekend, it's time for the next roundup of my everyday style. Remember for real time feed follow me on Instagram (@stormieariel) and my outfits are always captioned with #stormiearielstyle and if you can't get enough of my Little Love she has her own hashtag #sophiamanuela

I think this month, I was definitely coming into my own and getting more comfortable with my style again. As some of you may know I was struggling with my style as a nursing momma but just pull up that shirt girl! You don't need fancy nursing tops to feed your child. You can still rock your normal wardrobe, look fashionable and feed the kid. Win, win, win for everyone.

Olive and black and white stripes are a no brainer and are always a go-to match in my book.

on me: Shirt | Crop Pants (similar) | Sandals (similar)
on Litte Love: Outfit | Moccasins | Headband (similar)

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Book Review | The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth

Hey guys! How was your Memorial Day weekend? I hope yall didn't miss me too much (or maybe I do) with my odd blog post schedule last week and taking the three day weekend off to enjoy with my little family. We were a little busy enjoying dinner Friday night with our besties, clothing/gaming thrifting on Saturday (but had no luck), surprise visit to the in-laws on Sunday since they couldn't make it to us due to back road flooding (they're country folk and don't do freeways) and lastly taking Little Love to the Downtown Houston Aquarium on Memorial Day. Although it was mostly for our enjoyment, there were a few moments where she just stared and followed the little fishies swim around in their tanks. And lets not talk about how the white tiger jumped on the glass wall and growled right in front of someone's face.

Now about today's post, after doing a book review last week on The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, I decided to do a more thorough book review on The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth. If you been around you will remember me briefly discussing this book as one of my pregnancy must haves.

Friday, May 27, 2016

DIY Vintage Fabric Kites

So I know I am going at a snails pace with Little Love's Nursery Design but I just haven't put enough effort to get it completed since she is still in the room with us. I know I do need to get the ball rolling though, the last you guys all saw I finally cleaned up the room and had the crib and bedding perfectly styled. Since then, we found a beautiful vintage dresser that needs a makeover, added a large (unusual) "art" to the wall and I finally hung the kites I made months and months ago. I'll eventually get to sharing the other stuff but today I wanted to share a tutorial on how I made these kites for her room.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Life Lately

Hey guys! So I know I'm veering a little off schedule by posting on a Thursday and missing Wednesday but it's been crazy busy over here the last few weeks. Last week Sophia and I spent a few mornings attending my pre-k classes graduations and end of year parties. Our water heater broke (yay for cold baths, not), however it did get me out the house to go for a run. I was hoping I would sweat so much that the cold water would feel good, kinda worked, kinda not but thank God we have hot water again and I was finally able to shave my legs. And Anthony will be starting school again come this fall so things are gonna get more crazy around here while we try to figure out this parenting gig. But you know, life happens so quickly or at least it seems so now that we have Little Love. I mean come on how is my little baby already almost three months?!? I just can't deal right now so moving on.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Book Review | The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding

Hey everybody! How was ya'lls weekend? Anything new or exciting? We decided to surprise Anthony's parents with a visit and I finally finished up one of the books I have been reading which brings us to today's post, a book to review. 

Now I don't know when I made the decision to breastfeed but whenever I did, I knew I wanted to give it all I had to be successful. I heard from multiple people about how hard and challenging and uncomfortable (even painful) it could be so I began researching and researching once I found out we were pregnant. I was so terrified of not being able to produce enough milk (which is a common misconception of breastfeeding as only 2% of women in the ENTIRE WORLD actually cannot produce enough milk, if you are struggling with breastfeeding, it is highly suggested you seek help from a LICENSED lactation consultant as they can troubleshoot what is really going on) or being uncomfortable. Honestly, it wasn't that hard or as bad as everyone kept making it seem. Yes, the first few days were a struggle waiting for my milk to come in and having to supplement because Little Love had low blood sugar those first few days but more so emotionally because of that fear of not being able to produce enough for her BUT once my milk came in, everything else just came naturally. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

What I Wore | May Houston Blogger Meetup

I was initially planning to do a Memorial Day Inspiration outfit for today but the weather did not cooperate with me last Saturday so since I loved the outfit I wore to the Houston Blogger Union Meetup so much I decided to share the details in it's own post instead of waiting for my next edition of stormieariel style (check out my first roundup here). However, it rained Sunday as well and we were only able to quickly snap these photos on our porch.

About a week before the Houston Blogger Meetup, I started wondering what I should wear as I have seen on Instagram from other blogger events, bloggers typically dress to impress and since I typically stick to my mom uniforms, I will take any excuse to dress up when I can. But what is a girl to do when all her clothes are last season and she is still sporting a baby pouch and doesn't have the money to buy new clothes? Well, I went to my spring pinterest board to see what styles I have been loving and how I could recreate some of those looks by remixing my closet.  I knew I only had two options for pants unless I wore my maternity pants since most of my pants still don't button. It was either my white crop pants or my olive crop pants but knowing my white crops have a small stain I opted for the olive crops. Than came pinterest inspiration:
1 | 2 | 3 

I was so worried about looking out of place but this outfit came together so perfectly (similar items linked at the bottom of this post) and now I am trying to figure out where I can wear it next!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Salvaged Garden Box

For as long as I could remember, I have always wanted a garden; filled with flowers, vegetables, fruit, you name it. I tried my first hand at gardening a few years ago when we were living in a tiny apartment. I bought lettuce seeds, jalapeno seeds and green bean seeds and I planted them in containers. My green bean plant was the only one to grow but I only harvested two green beans. TWO. That was it. To be fair, our porch of the apartment was very shaded with no sunlight at all so I gave up.

When we bought our first house, I was excited to carve out a place to garden and when my dog Olive died we made a remembrance garden with flowers but our other dog Bella decided to dig all that up so I gave up again.

Well now with this house, Bella hasn't been digging as much and Anthony decided he wanted to build something with some of the old fencing I have been hoarding. You can guess by the title of what he decided to build me, right?

So I'm gonna share the pictures and process he took to make me this little ol' box. There are no specific measurements involved as he made use of the pieces we had so you can customize this to whatever size you want.

Monday, May 16, 2016

What to Take From the Hospital After a Maternity Stay

I have been following Chelsea from Two Twenty One for a few years now. After she had her son Owen, she posted a lot more about baby products, tips and tricks and what to take from the hospital after popping out a kid. I'll be honest, I loved her blog for the home improvement and DIY tutorials and her famous peonies. So when she started sharing more baby talk, I was like "great this is turning into a mom blog. I just want to see pretty pictures of her house and crafts I can create for my house." Well lo and behold, I got pregnant I needed to know what the heck to pack in my hospital bag so I asked my friend and she sent me Chelsea's link. Well well well, here we are again and I needed her help so I'm glad she shared her advice. And here I am sharing what I took from the hospital. 

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