05 Mar

Anniversary Family Floral Photo Shoot

We have an absolutely gorgeous family session to share with you today!  This sweet couple wanted to celebrate their 4 year anniversary by highlighting the best part of those 4 years, their sweet daughter.  How cute is that idea, we love it!  The ever so talented Suzy with Simply Suzy Photography did a beautiful job of capturing them.  These photos exude the love and true happiness this family posses for one another.  So when your next anniversary comes up you may want to think about documenting the best part of it!

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04 Mar

Strawberry + Blueberry Pasta Salad {Quick + Easy}

Going into spring makes us crave the freshest of ingredients.  Today we have a yummy recipe that not only makes the perfect lunch for you, but also one that your littles will love!  It is super quick and easy to make, which is perfect so that you can have the extra time to enjoy the fresh weather and play with your littles.

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Strawberry + Blueberry Pasta Salad  {quick + easy}

INGREDIENTS
– 1 3/4 cups  dried bow-tie pasta
– 3/4 cup sliced strawberries
– 3/4 cup blueberries
– 3 ounces small fresh mozzarella cheese balls, halved
– Handful fresh julienne basil leaves
– 1/4 – 1/3 cup balsamic vinaigrette dressing

DIRECTIONS
1. Cook pasta according to the package directions. Drain the pasta and rinse well with cold water and drain again.
2. In a large bowl toss together pasta, strawberries, blueberries, cheese, and basil. Add the dressing; toss again.

  
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02 Mar

Real Mom Miracle Story | Sandra Howell

Good morning and happy Monday! We’ve been waiting a long time to share Sandra Howell’s beautiful story of the miracles that took place before + after delivering premature twin girls. There are so many inspiring women around us who have gone through so much heartache but have also been the recipient of some unbelievable miracles. We loved being able to spend the day with Sandra and her two little peanuts, hearing her story, and watching the talented Tracy Layne capture this sweet family. We will warn you now… this feature is filled with loads of seriously cute photos and Sandra’s incredible story. So sit back and take it all in!

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 19, 2014, 4:30 in the morning. I’m 28 weeks along with twin baby girls. I am barely taking in the fact that at almost 40 years old I’m going to start all over again with not one but two baby girls. My husband and I thought we were through having children so this spontaneous excitement came with a little shock and much surprise! Feeling somewhat uncomfortable I got up to use the bathroom on this morning and after doing so, went to lay back down in bed and while lying there, turned over and felt a large gush. I thought to myself that my water had broken and knew that it was way to early for this to have happen. I got up and realized that my water hadn’t broken but I was bleeding tremendously. A calmness took over me at that moment and I know it was very bad and that probably someone was not going to make it out of this alive.

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As the hours unfolded and a storm began to rage I wondered if the waters would calm and if my story would end in happiness or tragedy. The bleeding would not stop and in order to be able to get on the Life Flight I would have to be stabilized. I live in a small rural town, Vernal, Utah and the hospital did not have enough blood to give me or the Platelets that I needed so desperately. I would not live with out them. At this point I had already lost 3 liters of blood and keep in mind that the human body only holds between 5 1/2 to 6 liters of blood and a little more than that if you are pregnant. With the help of many prayers and positioning, I was able to get on the helicopter to get to the University of Utah to try to save me. I was told my babies probably would not make it.

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The flight nurse was one of my many Angels that day. I happened to know her and she had been called in that day. I truly needed her. She kept me calm. As the helicopter took off I looked down and saw my 9 and 6 year old daughters waving at me. I cried to God and prayed that would not be the last time they saw me. The flight nurse stayed with me because I was on my own. My family was trying their hardest to get to Salt Lake City, Utah which was 3 hours away. She held my hand and continued to make me focus on her and the look in her eyes told me it was going to be alright.  She kept me still and despite how bad I needed the platelets, she knew if she turned me off my side where it turned out I had a placenta abruption in one of the placentas, I would have likely bled out during that fight and we would not have made it. 

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Going through the doors of the University was somewhat of a relief until I got in the doors. My arterial line started to gush and the flight nurse still telling me it would be ok, wanted my husbands phone number and called an told him to get there as fast as possible. I was so calm during all of this and was okay with whatever the outcome. At that moment I felt myself bleeding again and lying there waiting for the flight nurse to tell me it would be okay. I looked at her and saw tears in her eyes and she would not tell me it was going to be okay anymore. I knew then that I was probably going to die. I heard the doctor call a code and into the OR they rushed me. I remember certain things, I remember feeling the emergency C-section as there was not time to fully sedate me. The babies were taken in 6 minutes flat. I remember not much after that. I ended up losing more than 6 liters of blood and had 32 transfusions between all of the different blood products. The next think I remember is coming to and hearing monitors go off and upon hearing the beeps I realized I was alive. I thought I would die.

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The next thing I knew a nurse came up to me and said can I take your phone so I can go take pictures of your babies. I said, “They Lived!” and she said “yes, and they are doing well.” My little 2 pound miracles were alive and surprising everyone. My little Amanda and Kadee were alive. I cried in excitement and thankfulness to God for this miracle. Many more would follow. The babies both had their ups and downs throughout their almost 2 1/2 month stay. There were days that they were doing great and then suddenly went down hill. They were on and off vents and different ways to administer oxygen. They had many procedures, IV’s, Spinal taps, infections such as Sepsis and NEC, antibiotics, heart tests, eye exams, the fear of brain bleeds and heart murmurs etc. etc., the list goes on and on. Anyone having Preemies understands the fear of the unknown of all of these things.

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Through all of this I witnessed my preemies along with many others fight so hard to live. The waves of my storm were big and small depending on the day. The emotions were a roller coaster of highs and lows. I was diligent in being with them as often as I could. At times I felt I lived at the U and the rest of the time I was at the Ronald McDonald House trying to care for my older daughters. I had lots of help and the service of that house will affect generations to come. Thanks to the RMH, I was able to stay close by my babies. It would have been impossible without them. One of the hardest parts about this was not being able to bond with these sweet babies. I could not touch them or hold them for a couple of weeks. I was pretty ill myself so it took a great deal of time to adjust. These babies did not seem like my own. Many other people were taking care of them and they didn’t seem like mine yet.  I felt as though I was a visitor and so afraid I would loose one or both of them at any time, made it hard to let myself feel close to them.  I was scared to love them but loved them more than I could imagine.  These little beautiful creatures were my hero’s. They fought so hard to live that It made me fight for me and them.

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In the NICU world breast milk is considered miracle milk.  It truly is. My doctor let me know that because of all the trauma my body had been through I probably would not be able to produce much.  Well I did and was so thrilled.  Any time I had the chance to provide Kangaroo care which is holding the babies skin to skin and attempt to let them nurse I would do it.  I did produce but not nearly enough to sustain the babies.  I did use donor milk while in the hospital and through many miracles had other breast milk that I received from 3 different women during my stay. I could never repay them for this.  Without this milk my babies would not have left the hospital as soon as they did.  The formulas they would give my babies were not working, and in fact some of it was making them sick.

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One of the main problems with preemies is that they have trouble eating and latching on and getting the nutrition they need so breast milk is vital to their fight and survival.  These women and the donors do so much.  You will never know what it means to do that for someone.  It is a big deal, a very big deal. One of those special women brought breast milk from the other side of the city for me and has made a huge difference in my life.  It was there at the times I needed it. I’m grateful to know this wonderful women and thank her for her sacrifice. And the other two women have turned into great friends. They were able to send me home with about 300 bottles of frozen breast milk which got me through about 3 months after I returned home.  I met these ladies for a reason.  They were producing more breast milk than ever and I know it was so they could help me and my babies.  This made it possible for my little Kadee to be discharged just shy of a week after my little Amanda.

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I certainly tried my best to continue to nurse and pump but my body stopped way too soon.  That was my favorite part with my other daughters was to breast feed and get that closeness.  There were many tears shed because I could not do it alone but my gratitude for these three women will never be forgotten.

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Miracles have continued to happen.  My little ones are now 9 months old and are thriving and perfect.  I still look for things I’m scared will happen and can’t believe these two little babies are now 15 and 16 pounds and look totally normal.  They just needed to be here and shake my ship a bit and cause some waves.  The waters have calmed now and that doesn’t mean they won’t pick back up but for now we are content and happy.  I now have four beautiful daughters and a husband that loves us all.  We are blessed to have had this experienced and looking back I would not change a thing because through this I have become strong and that is because my preemies showed me how to be strong.  God is good and miracles are real.

  
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27 Feb

Purl Lamb | Fashion Friday

Today we are talking about our love {ok obsession} with the children’s clothing line, Purl Lamb! You know those brands who just get it all right? Well that for sure is the case with Purl Lamb and we are here to tell you why! Home of the deluxe ear hoodie these pieces are made of 100% cotton goodness + are super comfy! We of course were instantly drawn to the fun and playful colors paired with our favorite pattern… stripes + more stripes! All of these pieces are perfect to mix + match and wear together or as basics with other clothing items. It’s easy to see what’s not to love right? For spring and summer we are loving the comfy sweat pants and of course the little shorts! You will be even more surprised when you see the pieces in person how amazing the quality is! Check out the darling images featuring Purl Lamb by Becky Kimball below!

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26 Feb

Sun Drenched Maternity Session

We have the most dreamy maternity session to share with you, sure the brighten anyone’s day!  We absolutely adore Alex with Peppermint Plum Photography and the way she is able to capture special moments in time.  We love maternity sessions and the way you can seize such a beautiful time in one’s life.  This session couldn’t be more ideal with the natural suns light shining into focus, casting the most gorgeous glow.  You can really feel the love and excitement that this sweet couple has for their growing little one.

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25 Feb

Mini Chicken Pot Pies

Oh comfort food how much do we love thee!  Especially during these cold winter months what could be better than chicken pot pie?  Mini chicken pot pies, that’s what’s better!  These are super easy to make and are sure to become a family favorite.  Your little ones will love that they get their very own pie and you’ll love all the yummy goodness they’ll be getting.

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Mini Chicken Pot Pies

INGREDIENTS

– 16 oz. boneless skinless chicken
– 1 (14.5 oz) can low-sodium chicken broth
– 1 tsp + 1 Tbsp olive oil
– 1 cup peeled and diced carrots (about 2 large carrots)
– 3/4 cup diced celery (about 2 large stalks)
– 3/4 cup finely diced yellow onion (about 1/2 medium onion)
– 2/3 cup frozen peas
– 3 Tbsp butter
– 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
– 2/3 cup milk
– 1 1/2 tsp dried parsley + a little extra for tops
– 1/4 tsp dried thyme
– 1/4 tsp rosemary
– salt + pepper to taste
– 2 sheets frozen puff pastry dough (thawed)
– 1 egg

 

DIRECTIONS

– Heat 1 tsp. olive oil over medium high heat. Once hot, grill chicken, remove from pan and pull apart into bite sized pieces and set to the side.

– In same pan add 1 Tbsp. olive oil, diced carrots, onion and celery. Saute vegetables, stirring occasionally until lightly golden and tender, about 5 – 6 minutes. Pour vegetables into a bowl and set aside.

– Reduce heat to medium, melt butter in saucepan (I like to brown it a bit for and extra layer of flavor), then add in flour and cook, stirring constantly for about 20 seconds (it will be very thick).

– While stirring, slowly add in milk followed by chicken broth, parsley, thyme, rosemary and season with salt and pepper to taste. – Bring mixture just to a boil, then slightly reduce heat and allow to cook about 1 minute longer until thickened, stirring constantly.

– Remove sauce from heat and add sautéed vegetables, frozen peas and diced chicken to sauce, then toss to evenly coat.

– Pour mixture into individual ramekins.

– Roll out puff pastry to 1/8″ thickness and cut into squares big enough to have a slight overhang over each ramekin (size will depend on the size of your ramekin).

– Create an egg wash and brush over all the puff pastry. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, salt and parsley.

– Bake in 400 degree oven until nicely golden about 12 – 14 minutes. Serve warm.

  
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24 Feb

Poppy’s Neon Nursery

Poppy’s nursery is anything but boring. We are obsessed with this “glam-rock un-nursery” that mixes sophisticated prints and cheerful children’s prints with unique accessories that are still relatable to children. Shannon Wollack and her team spiced up traditional pieces with decorative hardware to create a great vibe of bold sophistication. The hot pink is still feminine, but sets a different tone than pastel or baby pink. The chairs are comfy enough for a nursery but can grow along with Poppy. The light fixture is a vintage Murano chandelier and the neon “Poppy” sign was a unique way to add a different type of artwork.

We love that this nursery has so much personality and uniqueness. Some of our favorite details from this room is the personalized library made by Juniper Books and that dresser is what dreams are made of! We only wish we could be half that organized with our own clothes and accessories! If you are looking for a bold + fun inspiration for your little peanuts nursery this is it right here!

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23 Feb

Currently Obsessed | Products for Mom

It’s Mommy Monday here on LP Mag and we’ve got a good one in store for you! Today we are sharing a few of our favorite mommy products we are currently obsessed with and use + we are GIVING AWAY one of each to a lucky reader! Check out why we love these products so much and make sure to enter the giveaway valued at over $775 below!

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1. YOSI SAMRA | It’s no secret that we have a major love for anything and everything Yosi Samra! From their fashionable boots – to their iconic foldable ballet flats – to their stylish + comfortable sandals, we haven’t met a pair of YS shoes that we aren’t currently obsessed with! We know you will instantly be obsessed as well with a box full of shoes in your size! Valued at over $150.00.

2. BUDU CROSSBODY BAG | We fell in love with Budu Baby a few years ago when we were introduced to their stylish + luxurious baby carrier that is still one of our all time favorites. The quality of their products is just amazing and we knew we would love their new leather crossbody bag just as much… also doubles as a clutch! Valued at $155.90.

3. MAYA BRENNER GOLD EARRINGS | What’s not to love about a great piece of jewelry that you can wear everyday?! And even more what’s not to love about Maya Brenner’s delicate + timeless designer pieces?! We wear our initial ring every sing day and couldn’t love it more! Next on our list is the 14K gold initial earrings and one of you lucky winners will score you a pair! Valued at $196.00.

4. ONE LOVE ORGANICS | We talk about One Love Organics all the time on LP Mag and we really can’t say enough about their amazing skin care products! One of their products we are currently obsessed with is their Vitamin C Facial Serum. It’s a brightening face oil that helps to restore moisture and minimize the appearance of fine lines one drop at a time! A must for any mama! Valued at $68.00.

5. L’OCCITANE | One item that you will always find in our purse and diaper bag is the L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream. Enriched with 20% Shea Butter, this super-creamy balm penetrates quickly to protect, nourish and moisturize hands. The Honey, almond extracts and coconut oil smell like a dream. We especially love this cream because it leaves hands soft and smooth with no oily traces. Valued at $28.00.

6. PLUM PRETTY SUGAR ROBE | This kimono style robe by Plum Pretty Sugar is a silk cotton blend fabric and perfect for the sweet unwind or the bloom of getting ready. It’s important for us moms to feel beautiful and comfortable and this stunning robe is just the ticket! Valued at $92.00.

7. MOMMY MAILBOX | A monthly gift that uplifts + rewards mothers… yes please! We all know when Mom’s happy everyone is happy and it doesn’t get better then a curated package each month just for you! Mommy Mailbox is offering a 3 month free subscription to their happy mail! Valued at $92.85.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  
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20 Feb

Ace & Jig | Spring Fashion

Happy Fashion Friday! Today we are taking a look at another one of the fashion features in our current magazine issue. We have a love for all lots of different styles of fashion and especially love unique pieces that you don’t see around that often. We want to introduce you to a current favorite of ours, ace & jig, created in 2009, this brand set out to create a seasonless women & kid’s collection from one fabrication: a yarn-dye, woven fabric. They wanted to create timeless garments from their own textile designs, as interesting in texture as in color and pattern. Effortless clothing that could be worn in many ways, for many years.

We instantly fell in love with their bright and cheerful colors and their woven fabric is even more amazing in person! Check out how we styled two looks from ace & jig below!

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19 Feb

Butterfly Soup {by Baked Bree}

During the cold winter months what better way to warm up than with a bowl full of yummy soup!  We absolutely love Baked Bree and all of her heavenly recipes she has to offer.  Today we are so very lucky to not only have her sharing a delicious recipe but one your little ones will love to eat.  This healthy and delectable variation on chicken noodle soup will be one that I am sure you will make time and time again.  We can’t wait to make it ourselves tonight!  Here is what Bree has for us …

Winter in New England means lots of cold nights cuddling by the fire.  Nothing warms my little family more than a steaming bowl of chicken soup.  In fact, chicken soup is my littlest baby’s favorite food.  He requests that I make it at least once a week, and I have come up with many different versions of the classic.  This version we call “Butterfly Soup” because of the shape of the pasta floating in the broth.  This soup has hints of spring throughout it, making us remember that spring is actually coming and this snow won’t las forever.

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Butterfly Soup {Lemony Chicken Soup}
Serves 6 to 8

–  2 tablespoons olive oil
–  3 stalks celery, sliced
–  1 small onion, diced
–  salt + pepper
–  2 cloves of garlic, minced
–  8 cups low sodium chicken broth
–  3 cups cooked + shredded chicken (homemade or rotisserie)
–  1 cup green beans, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
–  1 cup frozen peas
–  3 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
–  3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
–  1 tablespoon lemon zest
–  2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
–  1 pound farfalle pasta, cooked + drained

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a dutch oven.  Add celery, carrots, and onions, cook until soft, about 5 minutes.  Season with salt + pepper, add garlic and cook for an additional minute.  Add broth and chicken.  Bring to a bubble, and reduce heat to low , simmer for 15 minutes.

5 minutes before serving ,add green beans, peas, parsley, dill, zest and juice.  Check for seasoning, add more salt + pepper as needed.

Lastly, add pasta to the bottom of your serving bowl and ladle hot soup over the pasta and enjoy!

  
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