Beach Vacation: Third and Final Post

posted on: Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I really think I could post beach pictures every day and be perfectly happy reminiscing :). This is the last round of pictures that I wanted to document before I forgot!

What was so funny while we were on vacation, is that my brother and his family were there at the same time. I may have already written that in another post.  So if so... just pretend like it's new news ;)
They joined us on the beach one day and it was so fun to see the cousins play together.

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Emma and her Uncle Justin (my brother).
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Cade "fished" almost the entire time he was on the beach.  Travis set up a little rod and fishing lure (without a hook) and he cast and cast and cast the whole vacation.
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Colt and his cousin Jake.
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Travis caught a fish one day and gave it to Cade.  He carried that smelly fish around all day and was SO PROUD of it :) photo 46087ebe-32c2-45cf-b044-39d4d7e65d68_zpsaf8187a9.jpg  photo ef2b8a41-c371-4718-8f1f-62d1b77799c0_zpsae517a04.jpg
If there's one thing you should know about our Eloise, it's that she LOVES men. Big manly men. And she wants nothing to do with women. Of any kind (except for me). No Grandmas, Nanas, Aunts, Nursery Ladies. She wants nothing to do with them.
But put her around some of her favorite men and she thrives;) The proof is in these pictures of her and her Uncle Justin at the beach haha! 

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Just like Cade spent the majority of his vacation "fishing", Emma spent the majority of her vacation building sand castles!
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Family Beach Pictures

posted on: Sunday, July 27, 2014

While we were at the beach one of our friends who was with us took a few beach pictures for us.  He's a photographer on the side and did a FANTASTIC job!!! We had just finished up a long day at the beach, had a big lasagna dinner and were all fresh out of the shower.
The picture of all six of us... sometimes I forget HOW many of us there are until we're all clustered together for a picture.  I just have to pinch myself...we are SO abundantly blessed with our sweet babies! I am so thankful that the Lord chose me to be their mama!

Favorite Jewelry: Chloe+Isabel PLUS Giveaway!

If you know me, you know I'm not a huge jewelry wearer.  My go-to's are stud earrings (sometimes hoops) and gold bangles of some variety.  When my friend Mandy introduced me to Chloe+Isabel Jewelry I instantly fell in LOVE!  She gave me a pair of stud earrings and let me tell you... they have been my GO. TO! I have really sensitive ears and can only wear most earrings for a little while every day before I need to take them out.  The Chloe+Isabel jewelry is hypo-allergenic which means I have been able to wear my earrings all day without ANY problems!  
Mandy is generously giving one of you readers the exact pair of earrings she gave me!  Keep reading to find out how to enter! 

Hey there! My name is Mandy Avery and I am an army wife and a stay-at-home momma to 3 crazy boys, ages 6, 2 and 7 months. In my free time I am a Chloe + Isabel merchandiser.

I absolutely love being at home with my boys but I was also desiring a way to contribute to my family financially. Shortly after my youngest son was born I came across Chloe + Isabel jewelry. Let me tell you, I love to accessorize! It’s so fun to dress up my every day outfit with a little bit of fun jewelry so Chloe + Isabel was the perfect match for me! It has been an absolutely blessing to my family and has me an opportunity to dress up a little bit every day while running a business from the comfort of my own home. What’s not to love?           

The jewelry is truly unique, gorgeous and great quality. It is hypo-allergenic (which is awesome for someone with sensitive skin like me) and comes with a lifetime guarantee!  The Chloe + Isabel brand is based on the “friendship philosophy”.  Chloe and Isabel are two friends with distinct style profiles.  Chloe is the daring fashonista, ready to try new trends and styles. While Isabel’s style is classic and timeless. This philosophy is what shapes Chloe + Isabel as a company.  Chloe + Isabel offers something for every style preference, whether you are a “Chloe” or an “Isabel” or a “Chlo-bel” (a little bit of both – that’s me!).

I’m so excited to offer a free $25 item with any purchase of $50 or more now through August 3rd just for Vanilla Tulip readers!  You can shop my C+I boutique here. To redeem this offer contact me at
*This offer is only valid with Chloe and Isabel by Mandy Avery


Mandy is offering ONE lucky reader a pair of the Round Crystal Stud Earrings that I have!
Y'all will LOVE THEM!

To enter (ONE entry per person)
Head over to her site and comment here with here favorite piece of jewelry!
In your comment you must also let me know you liked her Facebook Page.
Please leave your email address as well so we can notify you if you win!

Comment Example:
"I liked Mandy's Chloe+Isabel Facebook Page. And my favorite piece of jewelry is the Round Crystal Stud Earring! My email is thevanillatulip (At) yahoo (dot) com"

Giveaway ends on Friday!

One Year

posted on: Tuesday, July 22, 2014

These four... there's no place I'd rather be than home with them. I always wanted to be a stay at home mom... even before I was married.  I worked up until my oldest was born and have been home with them since. My husband has always worked so hard to provide for our family. Up until last year he was a teacher/coach...which as we all know brings in pretty tiny paycheck for a family of six to live on.  I always did random jobs on the side...sewing, piano lessons, child care, church pianist...all at once.  But I did it and was so thankful to have some extra income to make ends meet.  

Last week I celebrated my one year anniversary with Rodan and Fields Dermatologists.  In a years time I have been able to quit all of my extra small side jobs.  I "work" when my kids are napping (like now!) and when they're tucked into bed for the night.  That's it.  It doesn't take away from the job I love most... being their mom and being a wife to my best friend.  It's not a party company, which means you can grow your business directly from home.  Thus making it possible to work in the evenings after everyone is snoozing away!

What started as the hopes to bring in a small income has turned into bringing in a full time career salary.  I get excited about this business because I have seen time and time again how it has blessed families like ours.  And I  also get excited because I see it changing skin.  I struggled with acne since I was 12.  Rodan and Fields products have been the ONLY thing that cleared it up and kept it that way.  

To celebrate my one year anniversary with Rodan and Fields AND my 30th Birthday last week I am offering the biggest incentive I have ever done for anyone who joins my team before the end of July.  I know what this business has done for my family and so many others. And that makes me so excited to share it with y'all!  If you're looking to make some extra income shoot me an email thevanillatulip(at) yahoo (dot) com.
Or if you're interested in products email me as well! We have something for every skin type (wrinkles, sun spots, acne, sensitive skin, enlarged pores, redness, etc).  We can get you set up with products specifically for you!

And one of my favorite parts about our business AND our products... everything has a 60 day return policy. So if you decide the business isn't for you, then return your kit for 100% of your money back.  And the same goes for the products.  If you're not pleased with them, send them back for 100% of your money back (even empty bottles!)

Look forward to hearing from you! Email me thevanillatulip (at) yahoo (dot) com

Vacation: Part Two of Three

posted on: Sunday, July 20, 2014

We're back from our week long vacation to Gulf Shores, Alabama! It was hands down one of the best family vacations that I have ever been on.  We rented a large house with four other families.  There were twelve kids total...all under the age of 10.  Each family had their own bedroom and bathroom.  We ended the week wishing it was longer...which is always a good sign that it was a great vacation!

Some of the highlights of our trip.....

+beautiful weather every day but one. We had a rainy day mid-week which was actually nice.  It gave everybody a chance to rest from the sun and regroup!

+my youngest sister who is in college went with us for the week to help with the kids. Talk about AWESOME!!!  I always joke that she's better at being a mom and a housewife than I am (even though she is none of those things).  She was such a huge help to me!

+spending time with our dear friends.  I am so thankful for the families that we went with.  They're the kind of friends that you feel comfortable being around, that love your kids like your own and that feel like family.  I celebrated my 30th birthday while we were there and they all made me feel so loved! Also, it should be noted that the guys had a tacky Hawaiian shirt contest on the night of my birthday party.  They were definitely festive looking:)

+seeing MULTIPLE sharks on multiple days.  Not even kidding.  The first time we spotted one it swam right behind one of our friends who was fishing in waist deep water.  In the exact same place that we had been boogie boarding earlier in the day.  *shudder*

+during the afternoons Travis would take the kids inside for afternoon naps.  While the kids rested all of the moms and my sister would head out to the beach to lay out AND to boogie board ;)  We couldn't get enough haha!

+my brother and I share the same birthday.  Just a year apart (he's older).  His family was down in Gulf Shores the same week we were...just vacationing with my sister-in-laws side of the family.  It was SO much fun getting to spend our birthday together!  We went out to dinner to celebrate and had some of the best seafood I have ever eaten!

+on the way to vacay we stopped half way and spent the night at a hotel.  On the way back we made a last minute decision to drive the whole way.  We left at 5am and pulled into our driveway a little before 7.  SUCH a long drive but the kids were troopers! We stopped half way in West Monroe, Louisiana at the Duck Dynasty shop and then ate a nice long lunch at Cracker Barrel.  It was the perfect mid-drive break!

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Vacation: Part One

posted on: Monday, July 14, 2014

Our vacation is under way and we are having the time of our lives!  Thought I'd do little updates here for the grandparents ;)  We've been doing nothing but play on the and repeat. Be back in a few days with more pics!

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Guest Post: Haley from The Hobson Homestead

posted on: Thursday, July 10, 2014

At the beginning of this year I decided that I was going to start a blog mentorship program.

I remember being a brand new blogger five plus years ago and trying to figure out how to navigate everything was overwhelming and took a lot of time.  I've learned a lot since then.  Lots of trial and error.  I thought it would be fun to start up a mentorship program for that very reason.  For bloggers who are just getting started and are looking to grow their readership.  Each mentorship runs a week long. If you would like to apply shoot me an email- thevanillatulip (at) yahoo (dot) com.  

This week's Guest Post is from Haley from The Hobson Homestead

 You can find her at the following places below:


Hi there. I'm Haley from The Hobson Homestead, a little blog I started 4 years ago that began as a place to post Paleo recipes but has transitioned into a place where I detail my pregnancies and this season of life with little ones. I'm mom to the rowdy boys, ages 2.5 years and nearly 1 year, and will find out the gender of the little one growing in my belly in just a couple weeks.
We weren't expecting Baby #3 quite so soon, but God has a way of perfecting things, and we couldn't be more excited to welcome this new little one into our family in December.
I'm not going to lie; I don't think it will be easy breezy having a brood so close in age. Most days, my house is a mess and my boys are even messier. It seems like bathtime ends with at least one of them crying, and managing it all by myself at night while my husband runs his Crossfit gym has me praying for patience.
But I'm learning that while I can't always change my circumstances, I can change my attitude. I've grown so much over the past year, discovering just how freeing it is to relinquish control.
God humbles me daily when it comes to this mothering gig. Just when I feel like I've got my act together, I mess up or things happen out of my control. By no means am I perfect, but my heart is in the right place and I'm willing to learn.
Blogging has become a journey for me. Sure, I often use it as a digital family scrapbook, but blogging also helps me to look more introspectively and work through my own feelings, something I often tend to ignore.
When I'm not taking care of babies (which is rare), you'll find me WODing in the gym, blogging, cooking healthy meals or satisfying my sweet tooth by baking.