A Look Back at 2014…

As 2014 comes to a close I want to first thank YOU for reading, following, commenting on, and (hopefully) enjoying styledbyjess.com. I love putting posts together and appreciate that people actually take the time to read them. I always think it’s fun to check out my stats at the end of the year and pull together the most popular posts of the year, so….drum-roll please!

Here are the top 10 posts from 2014:

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10. Lemon Coconut White Chocolate Chip Cookies

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9. What to Wear – Postpartum

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8. Thank You Note

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7. Change (my decision from going from working mom to stay-at-home mom)

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6. Zoodles!

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5. One Thing (my little moment of fame in Martha Stewart LIVING Magazine)

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4. I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You… (pregnancy announcement)

st-patricks-day-shirt-123. DIY St. Patrick’s Day T-shirt

i-23BvL7H-X32. Our Family Photos

And the number 1 post from 2014:

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1. Veggie Cream Cheese!! (I was surprised by this too, it’s a Pinterest fave, you never know what’s going to be a hit…)

Happy New Year!

‘Tis the Season (Major Photo Share of “Us Lately”)

I’ve always loved the Christmas season but it’s been especially awesome this year having a super overexcited toddler around. Z got Christmas last year but more as things were happening, there wasn’t the anticipation and excitement that there seems to be this year. Now, I’m writing this post when the excitement has hit such a crescendo that she is wearing her “Kissmas” dress at all times, she can hardly sleep with excitement, and has eaten so many cookies that she forgets what vegetables taste like (we are READY for Christmas, if you know what I mean…) but I had to share some of the fun things we did to make this month just fly by, I can’t believe it’s Christmas Eve already!

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Buying and decorating the Christmas tree and then hanging Z’s first homemade ornament, it smells like cinnamon, too!

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Christmas cookies, round I with Hershey’s kisses courtesy of Influenster (thank you!).

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Christmas sangria at a mom’s night out party.

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We made our favorite gingerbread house kit (actually it’s a ski chalet).

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Christmas manicures (chubby toddler hands are my favorite).

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Christmas crafting to make out marshmallow snowmen.

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Meeting one of Santa’s reindeer at Zoolights.

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Christmas cookies, round II.

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The coat and muff that my sister wore, I wore, my niece wore, and now Z can wear – she has named it the Christmas coat!

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And – the big highlight of the season – SANTA! Z loved him, M wasn’t so sure…yet!

 

Thank you for reading, supporting, and (hopefully) enjoying this little blog of mine this year. I’m working on a big “best of 2014” post to end the year. Merry Christmas everyone!

Dunwello Review Site

Right before I married my husband 6 1/2 years ago I got some troubling news. My beloved hair stylist was moving back to his native Brazil! I was happy for him but I was so annoyed – finding a new hair stylist that you trust is so HARD (I know, first world problems, but stay with me). So, I started my search and got some interesting cuts along the way. Then I found the Dellaria salon in Lexington, MA – I’ve always found Dellaria salons to be reasonably priced, conveniently located, and have pretty good stylists. I made an appointment, crossed my fingers, and got a haircut…. that I hated. Uch. 3 months later I needed another cut in a desperate way so I called the same salon and asked for someone else and luckily Lauren Nealon had an appointment at the time I was looking to come in. And well, that was like 5 or 6 years ago and I’ve been going back to her ever since!

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But now, anyone searching for a service provider has it so. much. easier! Enter Dunwello – the new review site for almost any service professional you can think of. From your masseuse, to your trusted cobbler, to the web developer who designed your site. It’s really hard to start from scratch when looking for a service professional and as I did with my hair stylist search, you can waste so much money and time until you find “the one.” Check out my reviews of my hair stylist Lauren as well as my favorite barre teacher and our fabulous financial advisor! If you’re looking for services check out Dunwello first to get the real scoop on who’s great. And do your fellow humans a favor and review your own hair stylist, manicurist, and all those people who you’d love to recommend to others.

Thanks Dunwello for putting this all in one place!

*This post was done in partnership with Dunwello but all thoughts and opinions are my very own. This site really is so convenient when looking for a new service profesh.

Toddler Craft Project – Marshmallow Snowman

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This month’s toddler craft project for our local Baby Bootcamp Stroller Friends play date (you can see last month’s here) is a really cute, really simple snowman made with marshmallows. If your toddler is anything like mine, holiday decorations are where it’s at right now. This little snowman can be strung and hung on your Christmas tree or simply sat on a shelf to add to your decor.

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To make this snowman you will need” 2 marshmallows (I used extra-large ones, because why not?), pipe cleaners, poms poms, a marker/sharpie, and glue.

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Glue your marshmallows together end to end. I suggest using your glue gun for this part and do it before your toddler starts the project (toddlers and glue guns don’t seem to mix well). Then add pompoms for the nose and the buttons down the front. Using elmer’s or glue stick is fine for this part. Then draw your eyes on your snowman (I used marker, you could use googly eyes or whatever you want).

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Use a black pipe cleaner and take a few strands off the end so you can stick it into the marshmallow to make your snowman’s pipe.

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Now add accessories! For this snowman we used a pipe cleaner for a scarf and then twisted a second pompom around my finger and added a pompom on top for a little winter hat.

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Voila – marshmallow snowman!

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Ps. The snowmen Z made for her and baby M – adorable.

 

*Let me know if you’re interested in trying Baby Boot Camp – your first class is always free!

Christmas Pajamas

One my favorite Christmas traditions is finding a pair of adorable pajamas for the kids to wear all month long. And what is cuter on Christmas morning than kids running downstairs to see what Santa has left them in their on-theme jammies – love it! I posted a picture on Instagram last week of my kids in their Christmas jammies this year and got some questions about where they are from. Also, for the first time ever I got myself a pair of Christmas jammies so with all of that I thought I’d put it all together and do a little post on our favorite Christmas pajamas for the entire family.

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1. Santa jammies from Hanna Andersson. They make my favorite kids jammies of all time so we splurge for Christmas and get them from here almost every year.

2. Although Baby M is wearing the baby version of the Hanna Andersson Santa jammies this year, wouldn’t it be cute to have an Elf with your toddler Santa?

3. I had been toying with the idea of getting myself Christmas pajamas and then I saw that J. Crew makes their PJs in petite(!) and also they were 30% off so…decision made. I am partial to polka dots so the polka dot flannel pants in poppy were the winners.

4. Believe it or not my husband already has a few pairs of Christmas PJs (perhaps because I’ve gifted them to him over the years). I always like a dad in plaid (rhyme!) PJs for Christmas, don’t you think? I like this green and blue tartan PJ bottoms from GAP. (similar)

 

What Christmas jammies are you and your kids wearing this year?

Homemade Christmas Cards

I love to make our Christmas cards every year but this year it just wasn’t feasible! Plus, I had so many beautiful photos from our shoot with Heater Maloney that I knew this year was a year for a traditional (EASY) photo card. Luckily, I got my homemade Christmas card fix in because we had a few people to give gifts to that required a little card to accompany the gift. I went with 2 different styles this year. One classic look and one a little more whimsical. I thought I’d share the finished products today in case you’re looking for a little homemade Christmas card inspiration.

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I made the classic card extra simple by using just red and silver throughout the card, the message is even written in silver sharpie inside the card! These snowflake stamps are just fabulous.

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For the more whimsical card I used a few different color ink pads to make a tree with ornaments. To fill the white space, I made a border from a red/white striped washi tape and I think it came out adorable.

 

Merry Merry!

PS. I inadvertently took last week off from blogging, – just too busy and too much going on. But I’m baaaack!

Make Your Own Madewell Heartbeat Oversized Button-down Shirt

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I was poking around the internet for some wardrobe inspiration when I came across this adorable button down from Madewell. Just cute, right? An over-sized button down I could wear with leggings (I love these) or my new faux leather leggings (I bought these).

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But $80, really? I decided to take matters into my own hands and simply make my own. It was pretty simple and once the design of the heart was done it was like 20 minutes ladies. I’ll save you the trouble of designing the striped heart in Photoshop like I did and you can save the image below if you want to make your own shirt, too. It’s sized to print on an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of iron-on paper, trim the excess paper before you iron on for best results.

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Just print on iron-on paper, iron onto an over-sized button down shirt (I used this one from Target), and voila! You have your own Madewell Heartbeat Oversized Button-down for a fraction of the price.

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A few notes:
– Be careful of your buttons, it’s not easy to iron-on an image over buttons. I got a shirt with fabric covering the buttons and pockets on the front so I knew I’d have a ton of breaks in the black of the heart so it would be a more rustic look, if you will. If you’re looking for a cleaner look, I suggest removing the buttons before ironing on the image and then re-sweing them back on.
– I used Sharpie (see above image) to fill in a few “too-white” areas, just remember to put a cloth or thick paper in between the front and back of the shirt!
– Don’t do this while distracted! I was distracted by  baby M being cute and therefore burned my shirt a little, bummer! Only hold your iron on your shirt for 20 seconds max.

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And because my husband hates taking this sort of photo as much as I hate posing for them – I have a mirror selfie for you showing how I’d style up this shirt. Let me know if you make one!