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Best of Lovely Life Styling 2017!

This is my instagram best nine from 2017?! I guess you guys DO like my outfit photos! Should I post more of these on IG? Let me know in the comments below!

Hey guys! Can you believe that it is going to be 2018 in just a few days? This year was definitely a whirlwind year for our family. It started out a little stressful with the move back to Ohio, but by the summer time we started settling into our new digs. And the end of this year was the best part, with house updates, halloween, holidays, birthdays and best of all, Christmas! As much as I am sad to see this year end, I am so looking forward to 2018. I have so many goals and aspirations for the upcoming year, but for now I will simply share what I am proud from the past year from this little blog of mine. 

First up, it's no secret that I use affiliate links on my blog in order to make a tiny little commission off of items that I've linked to in my posts that readers purchase. This is pretty common knowledge these days and has become a very popular way for bloggers to make some, if not all, their income in order to help support their blog. Keep in mind, I have a full time job and the money I make from this little blog of mine barely pays my phone bill monthly. My main focus is not to generate an income from my blog. It is truly my creative outlet and something I enjoy doing on the side. BUT, if I can make a few extra bucks on the side simply by sharing products and items that I like and possibly own myself... Why not?!

So, if you follow me on instagram, you've probably noticed that I post some #ootd photos with the Liketoknowit links. If you have no idea what I'm talking about or how it works, you can go here and scroll down to the 'see how it work' button for a quick tutorial! Below are the top 10 most clicked on liketoknowit links that I've published in 2017. 

Most popular liketoknowit links (most clicked on links, all of these links generated sales!):

1. AEO Tomgirl shorts
2. Sam Edelman 'Penny Boot'
3. BP. V-Neck Long Sleeve Sweater
4. 2" Monogram Necklace from Etsy
5. Chelsea28 Ruffle Sleeve Tee
6. Merona Women's Scoop Neck tee (Target, no longer available. Similar here)
7. Mossimo Chunky Cocoon Cardigan (Target)
8. Articles of Society White Distressed Denim (sold out, similar here)
9. Lush Ruffle One-Shoulder Dress
10. BP. Moto Leggings (currently on sale!)

Below are the most popular blog posts from 2017 by page views:

Most popular posts:

1. Bennett Caught the Big One! (June)

2. 8 Ways to Help Organize Your Life in 2017 (Jan)

3. Our Big Announcement (Feb)

4. Life Lately + Current Wishlist (Feb)

5. True #Momlife Confessions (Feb)

6. 8 Favorite Comfort Food Crockpot Meals (Jan)

7. Family Strolls (Feb)

8. January Favorites (Feb)

9. Life Lately, Random Momlife ramblings (Feb)

10. Weekend Highlights (Jan)

Looking forward to 2018, I am hoping to make a few changes on the blog front. Since I'm going to be working more hours for my daytime job, I may have less time to focus on the blog. But, I am hoping to keep a schedule of posting at least twice a week. I really want to be able to publish quality content on my blog, so I don't want to feel pressured to just post random/non-quality content. This seems to be the new norm when it comes to blogging, doesn't it? I actually don't know of very many bloggers that still post Monday-Friday!

So please, do not forget about me over here! Of course, I will be posting regularly on instagram and instastories! So, you can follow along with me there on the daily.

PS - Have you seen all the great post Christmas sales going on right now? I've been hooked on Nordstrom's half yearly sale! I added a tab at the top of the blog with all my Nordstrom sale picks listed. Check it out! SO many great pieces on major sale!

Happy New Year you!! And thank you from the bottom of my heart for your continued support, comments, likes, and readership of this little creative corner of mine! Cheers to 2018!

Our Christmas Recap

I hope everyone is recovering from their Christmas hangover. We have been in our jammies and eating left overs all day (writing this on Tuesday). This year's Christmas was one for the memory books for sure. I was honored to host my first Christmas Eve AND Christmas day dinners at our house. It was stressful for sure, but I was so excited to have our family over for Christmas. So, between the cleaning, cooking, baking, wrapping and preparing I was able to snap a few photos. Having a 1 year old and a 3 year old at Christmas is so much fun! Camden is just now 'getting' the idea of Santa (after a month of him asking for his birthday back 😂). And since my brain is still on co-pilot mode from all the hustle and bustle, I'm just going to go ahead and share the photos now so they can tell the story for me...

Christmas Eve started with church service at 10am (both boys went to the nursery and it was the first week I didn't get a text saying Bennett was crying! It was a Christmas miracle!). After church, we donated some toys to the local fire station (they host a toy drive every year) which was on our to do list for the past month! Then, we headed home for lunch and naps for the boys. Once the boys were down, it was time for me to hustle to get the house ready for my family to come over for dinner. It was just my immediate family on Christmas eve which consists of my parents, my brother and his girlfriend and my grandma. Christmas Eve has also been a more casual night for our family. Growing up, we would dress up and go to an early church service, then as soon as we got home we would change into jammies and my Mom always served heavy hors d'oeuvres like cocktail weenies, cheese and crackers, veggie tray, shrimp cocktail, etc. I love these types of dinners and I think it is partly the reason why I've grown to love Christmas Eve more than Christmas Day!

The boys got in their matching jammies after nap time and I gave them a few little toys to play with while I finished getting ready. 

A newer tradition we started with my family a few years ago, was adding baked potato soup to the Christmas Eve menu. My mom would make a big batch in the crockpot and would set out a toppings bar with scallions, bacon pieces, and shredded cheese. This is my love language people! So, you bet I made the richest, creamiest crockpot baked potato soup recipe I could find on Pinterest because #yolo and Christmas comes once a year. I also had all the fixin's as they say. I also made my famous home made chex mix (which I pretty much just make so I can eat it all...).

After dinner, we headed into the family room to open a few gifts. My grandmother always gifted us with a new pair of PJs Christmas Eve and she still does! She got me this set this year and you bet I've already worn them! 

I let the boys open one gift (these magnet blocks) Christmas eve to keep them happy. This was supposed to be one of the 'share' presents I got for the boys. So far, so good with the sharing of this one since there are so many pieces. 

By the time we were done opening a few gifts, it was time for the boys to go to bed. I was so excited for the boys to go to sleep on Christmas eve so I could start playing Santa that I forgot to leave out cookies for said Santa... oops! Camden didn't even mention it, so hopefully we can do it next year when both the boys will be more into it! After the boys went to bed, I brought all the gifts out to put under the tree and filled their stockings! We ended the night watching Elf, drinking egg nog and eating cookies. The perfect way to end Christmas Eve!

I was so excited for the boys to wake up and see the tree Christmas morning! As soon as Camden saw the presents he turned to me and said "Santa was here!" in the sweetest voice! My heart melted!

(matching PJs via Old Navy, slippers via Target!)

We are continuing the theme of cars, trucks and things that go over here at the Rumple house of boys. So. many. cars!!! Camden asked Santa for 'Lightning McQueen' this year so we got home some 'Cars' characters and a 'Mack' truck to carry them in. We also got him the first Cars movie (since he actually hasn't seen the whole movie yet!). Some other fun toys that were hits were these cardboard blocks, this emergency vehicle play mat and a new scooter for Camden! 

How quickly the pretty scene of the presents all wrapped under the tree turns into a mess!

After we opened gifts, my parents came over for a little mid morning brunch and to give the boys the rest of their gifts. Bill's brother's family also stopped by with their little one for a bit. After everyone headed home and the boys had their lunch, it was time for nap time which meant I was again cleaning, cooking and setting up for Christmas dinner! We were expecting around 15 adults, so not too big of a crowd, but enough to fill our house with tables and chairs. I set up the dining room with a fancy table scape and used my mom's Christmas dinner plates that she always uses. I also set up an extra table off of our kitchen table which was the family friendly area for the kids. 

I was very pleased the way my Target table runner looked with my Trader Joe's last minute center piece (taper candles and candle holders from At Home). 

Everything went according to plan and I was so happy to host our first Christmas dinner in our home. Bill and I were talking Christmas night about how many of our prayers have been answered over the last year and what a different place we are now than we were a year ago. It makes me really want to focus on giving thanks and giving back. We have so many blessings in our lives and I don't want to take any of them for granted. I have so many goals for 2018 and one of them is to become more grateful for this life that we have built together. 

(plaid top via Old Navy)

These boys are growing like weeds and I really want to make sure we are enjoying these fleeting moments to the fullest! I mean, just look at those faces!

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas! 
And cheers to the New Year ahead! 

Christmas Traditions

I can not believe it's already Christmas weekend?! This month literally flew by for me. I always feel like I have so much time in the beginning of December, and then POOF! It's Christmas Eve! I just wanted to share what we've been up to this month as well as a few fun Christmas traditions we are starting with the kids. 

Baking cookies is obviously one of the best Christmas traditions. My grandma used to make cookie press cookies every year when I was growing up. It's one of my favorite memories from my childhood Christmases. She would dye the batter green with food coloring and make little Christmas trees and wreathes. She gifted me my own cookie press for Christmas the year Bill and I got married and I love making them every year! 

Of course, the sugar cookie cut outs are another favorite and are so fun to decorate with the kids! The ones above were decorated by yours truly (while the boys were napping). Camden helped me decorate a few of them, but ultimately ended up trying to just eat all the icing and toppings! I used this cookie and icing recipe which was so easy!

We also found the time to visit Santa this year! Camden was excited to tell Santa that he wanted 'Lightening McQueen' for Christmas. Bennett on the other hand, was not a fan (clearly). Poor Bennett started crying as soon as he saw Santa, like he knew what was coming! We were able to get a quick photo of them and then I consoled crying Bennett and kept trying to convince him that Santa was a nice guy! Oh well... Maybe next year will be better? (See how they reacted to Santa last year here. I can't believe how much they've grown in a year!)

We also made it to the Christmas lights at the zoo! Which was one of the items on our Christmas Bucket list. It was a busy night to go last Saturday and took us about 40 minutes to get in (we live 10 mins away from the zoo!), but once we got in it was totally worth the wait! Camden and Bennett loved seeing all the lights! Camden also loved seeing the reindeer and even the polar bears were out playing! We saw a glimpse of Santa too but, the line to sit on his lap was a mile long so we just waived 'hi' from a distance. 

I haven't been doing much shopping for myself recently, but I did want to share this cozy cowl neck sweater. Of course, this particular one is sold out online, but I've linked a very similar one that's a little longer from the same brand here. These riding boots have been a staple in my wardrobe this winter as well as these leggings

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas with your loved ones! I plan to be back with a post or 2 next week with a little recap of our Christmas and a 'best of 2017' post before the new year!

Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas For Everyone On Your List

Ok folks... It is T minus 6 days to Christmas... Before you officially hit the PANIC button in your head, I have a list of last minute gift ideas for everyone on your list. Of course, I hope you are smart lucky enough to have an Amazon prime account at this point? 

So here is my list of gift ideas for everyone on your list:

For the hostess: This cheese board with cutlery, this set of copper Moscow mule mugs, this Fraiser fur candle

For the wine conosuir and/or foodie: This wine travel bag/picnic set, this electric wine aerator & decanter, this electric cordless wine bottle opener, this foodie essentials kit, this truffle oil set, Foodie dice (such a fun idea!),

For the fitness fanatic: this 'goal getter' fitness journal, this resistance band, this fitbit, this s'well water bottle, this digital food scale

For the homebody/cozy girl: this bathtub caddy, these slippers, this cozy throw blanket

For the coffee lover: this Starbucks gift basket, these coffee flavorings

For the dudes: this 11 in 1 survival card with beer opener (great stocking stuffer!), this stainless steal YETI rambler 30 oz tumbler, this Stanley Classic Vacuum Insulated Growler,

For the dads: this BBQ grill set, these whiskey stones, these winter weather gloves, these remote car starters

For the grandparents: letters to my grandchild, you can have grandchildren make these handprint/footprint ornaments if you have little ones or have them make handmade ornaments, I also recommend getting them gift cards to their favorite restaurant (did you know you can buy gift cards through amazon prime?!)

For the preschooler (3 - 4 yrs): these magnetic blocks, Melissa & Doug Water Wow activity pads or Color Wonder books

For the toddler (1.5 - 3 yrs): mega blocks, this little tykes first slide,

For the babies: this music activity table, VTech activity cube, M & D geometric wooden stacker toy

For the older kids: fun games like jenga, uno and connect four, mermaid blanket for her or shark blanket/sleeping bag for him.

For the college student: this variety snack pack gift package, this 5 ingredient college cookbook

There you have it! Hopefully this has helped you with some last minute Christmas shopping! 

*I've also added a tab at the top of my blog with links to all of these items listed if you need to reference!

Our Christmas Bucket List

Every year I have a list of things/activities Christmas related that I want to accomplish. It seems this month always flies by before I can complete half of my list! This year, we are on a roll with the Christmas themed activities and I'm hoping to cross a few more off our list this weekend including a Santa visit and baking/decorating cookies!

So, I put together this little bucket list for myself and for those of you that want to save some of these ideas (pin the image above to Pinterest!). 

Some activities we've done so far are decorating the tree (always a good one to start with), wear matching Christmas PJs (although, Bennett was not in the mood to participate in the photo below), made ornaments (from these kits), played in the SNOW, read Christmas books and we have watched several Christmas specials. We've also listened to the children's choir at church, which was so heart warming!

Can you believe we only have 2 more weekends before Christmas?!
What is on your Christmas Bucket List?

Our Holiday Family Photos

We are really getting into the spirit of Christmas over here at the Rumple home! This weekend we wore Christmas jammies, made ornaments for the tree (and for gifts!), drank hot cocoa, played in the SNOW, and listened to the children's choir sing Christmas songs at church yesterday. Bill and I also watched Christmas Vacation Saturday night which is always a favorite holiday classic! On the list for this week is a trip to the zoo lights and possibly visiting Santa? I'm a little nervous to see how the boys do this year with their Santa visit! I'm definitely going armed with bribes (aka suckers and fruit snacks). 

Another Christmas bucket list item I was able to check off this weekend was sending out our Christmas cards. I've been having so much fun shooting and editing family photos (see more of my work on my photography facebook page), I knew that I wanted to attempt to take our family photos for our holiday cards. So, I called in for back up... aka my parents. I was able to adjust the settings of my camera and handed it over to my mom to take the photos and my dad was in charge of trying his best to get a smile out of the boys (or at least to just get them to look towards the camera). 

I am definitely pleased with how they turned out, even though Bennett was in somewhat of a 'mood' during the session. I'm so glad we were able to get some good family photos and some of just the boys as well! Of course, I had to attempt the 'mini tree on top of the cozy coupe' photo! The boys are at the perfect age for it!

I mean... they are just too good, right?!

I also wanted to get some good ones of Bennett before we unfortunately have to cut those curly, golden locks 😭

We even managed to get one good photo of just the two of us...

...right before this happened...

And because everyone loves a good blooper... here ya go!

Merry Christmas!!

Love, the Rumples!
(Bill, Lindsay, Camden and Bennett)

Gift Guide for Busy Moms

Let's face it. This #MomLife ain't easy... so we need a lot of things that help make it slightly easier on an everyday basis. Time, convenience, comfort... these are all things we wish we had more of! Well, these gadgets and gifts should help you with all 3! 

Also, feel free to forward this list on to the Santa's in your life so they stop bothering you with questions about what to get you for Christmas!

Here's a quick rundown of the list (shop these items at the bottom of the post by clicking on the image):

1. Fitbit: This is one thing that has been on my wish list for a while. For those moms that still like to squeeze in a work out a few times per week or just for those that like tracking steps, heart rate, sleep patterns, etc. There is so much this little wrist band can do. Also, might as well get a fancy pair of wireless headphones to go with it!

2. Day Designer 2018 Daily and Monthly Planner: I live and die by this planner on the daily (I actually have this same planner in the 2017/18 academic year)! I love that the daily sections have your day mapped out by the hour!! It has plenty of space for notes and even helps you plan meals! It is hands down the best planner I've ever used!

3. What to Eat Pad & All Out Of Pad: These 2 pads hang on the side of our fridge (yes, they come with magnets!) and have been so handy! I write out our meals for the week every Sunday and the 'All out of pad' is great to quickly check off items that we run out of. I also give it to Bill to mark off anything he wants from the grocery store before I make a run so there's no complaining that we don't have anything to eat!

4. Batiste Dry Shampoo: This would be a great little stocking stuffer! I like the travel sized option so you can throw one in your car, in your purse or in your gym bag! 

5. Temperature Control Travel Mug: Never worry about reheating your cold coffee again! Take it on the go and keep that cup of joe piping hot all the live long day!  

6. Instapot & Instapot Cookbook: Basically the new crockpot, but better! This is the new 'it' item when it comes to convenient cooking. There are so many ways to use this little pot! And don't forget to add the cookbook to your list as well! 

7. Black & Decker cordless hand vacuum: I've had so many friends recommend this thing for quick clean ups after toddler meals or just to quickly clean up little dust bunnies, crumbs, spills, etc that no doubt happen on the daily in our house. This one is actually on the top of my list!

8. Cell Phone Stand: This little gadget is the thing you never knew you needed. If I'm home with the boys, it always feels like I need an extra hand to hold my phone while talking, watching a video, etc. I would also use it while cooking if I'm looking up a recipe, it would be so easy just to have my phone on a stand to look at with out having to pick it up!

9. Comfy and Cute Zella Zip Pullover: This thing would probably be worn everyday if I had it. Cute zip detail neckline, flattering cut and hemline, thumb holes... check, check, check. Please come to my closet asap!

10. Zella High Waisted Leggings: I know... I probably have talked about these leggings on my blog about 1000000 times now. You get it! But seriously... you need them! They are thick and perfect for winter temps!!

11. Northface Water-Resistant Jacket with Fur trim: You guys... winter is coming... You know, that time of year when you have to cover every inch of your body except your face from the bitter cold? Yep. You're going to need this jacket for those carpools, playdates, school drop offs, grocery trips, etc etc.

12. Sorel Waterproof Snow Boot: You see... I live in the midwest where it snows... Sometimes a lot! And you need good boots to get through the winter! I have been using my Hunter boots with these sock inserts for a good 3 years now, but would love a pair of these cute fur trim snow boots as an upgrade!

13. Ugg Dakota Sunshine Slipper: Last, but not least, all moms want to do at the end of the day is change into our jammies, put on a good pair of comfy slippers and sip on a glass of wine... is that too much to ask? I'm loving the cute design of these Ugg slippers!

Other gift ideas not mentioned: Amazon Prime Membership (honestly, if you're a mom without this membership... I don't know how you survive?), gift certificate to their favorite nail salon or for a massage, Starbucks gift cards, and wine... lots of wine...

There you have it! I'm sure you can find something on this list for any mom on your shopping list! Or forward it on to the 'Santas' in your life so they know what to get you this year!

Shop the post:

Stocking Stuffers for Her & Him!

Happy December 1st! Can you believe it's here?! I'm continuing my gift guide series today with some stocking stuffer ideas for the ladies and gents. Bill and I usually don't exchange large gifts for Christmas, mostly because we like to focus on the boys, but also because my birthday is in November and his is in January.  So, we typically just exchange larger gifts for our birthdays (like a trip to Charleston!). We also decided to get a few family gifts that we all can enjoy, like a community rec/gym membership and a nice video camera.  But, we do like to give each other little gifts in our stockings for fun. I've rounded up some stocking stuffers for Her and for Him below! Most of these are very affordable as well!

Shop stocking stuffers for her:

Shop stocking stuffers for him:

Happy Friday and Happy Shopping!

PS - Head over to my instagram to get a sneak peek of our holiday family photos! I will post more on the blog next week!