Thursday, July 26, 2012

Weekly Phone Pics

 1. Freshly bathed brothers
2. Lemon yogurt- I can't get enough lemon these days!
3.Baby bump
4. Sweet little nugget at the pool

 So turns out your fourth baby pretty much just makes your belly pop out instantly.
I'm 12 weeks... yet it looks like I'm 5 months.
And since we just now started telling people the news, I feel like most people don't know.
So every person I see around town I feel like I should preface our conversation with, 
"Oh this belly that's sticking out? 
That would be a baby and not too many trips to the drive-thru doughnut store."
I have been frequenting there more often than I used to.
Something about a cake doughnut with chocolate frosting... can't get enough.
And the fact that you don't have to get out of your car.

This weekend is going to be a big one for me.
Travis and I are going on a little get away and leaving the kids for a few nights.
Kind of makes my heart a little fluttery and nervous.
I've never spent the night away from Cade.
And only a few nights away from the big two.
Those three... I love em'.
And I love being around them constantly.
Which is part of the nervous, fluttery feeling.
Obviously they'll be just fine.
It's just me being a big baby:)

But I know it will be good.
To spend some quality time with my guy.
And when I really get to thinking about how much I'll miss my babies 
I remind myself about all the treats that are awaiting me...
like sleeping in...
drinking my coffee at a slow rate while I visit with Travis...
laying by a pool...
eating food slowly while visiting...
taking the time to plan our preschool year...
planning out our year as a whole...
making lists (oh man... my favorite thing ever)...
and just getting refreshed for the upcoming football season.

 I'm also excited to plan a few new things for the blog this month.
 I am so blessed by those of you who comment and send e-mails.
I am trying my best to reply to everything...your e-mails may be returned a week later...

but just know you have been a blessing and encouragement to me.

And one last reminder before the new month begins.
In case you missed it and are interested in sponsoring The Vanilla Tulip for August
make sure to check out this post.
I'm offering one last summer special... buy August get September for free.
Any size ad.
I currently have just one Feature Ad left... so if you want it..snag it!

Enjoy your weekend and I may be back once more before we head out on our getaway.
Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cultivating Friendships

Today has been good.
Our friendship tanks have been filled to the brim.
We spent the morning and lunchtime with a group of friends.
There is nothing sweeter than watching eight little people five and under 
play together happily while the moms sit back and drink coffee:)
 I think it may have been a dream.
We ended our day at another set of friends home for dinner.
We sat around and chatted until my three turned into pumpkins and it was time for bed.
I've been thinking lately about friendships.
On Sunday I drove back to the town we used to live for a baby shower.
All of my girlfriends from our old church were there.
We spent the afternoon laughing and visiting...and again... I left feeling happy and my friendship tank was full.
Would you believe I hadn't seen most of those girls in almost eight months 
and they only live a little more than an hour away?
It makes me cringe to even write it out.

Life just happened... 
a baby...
an hour drive seemed more like an eternity for some dumb reason..
I was too tired...
it was a "hassle" to load all the kids up for a morning play date...
I love being home...
And between the excuses and the "busyness", friendships were put on the back burner.
And not intentionally put happened because I was NOT intentional about cultivating them.

On the way home from the shower I was talking to my girlfriend who lives in the same town as me now.
We were talking about how silly it was that we hadn't seen our old friends in so long.
How it takes effort and initiative to maintain friendships.
And how it is WORTH it to take that effort and initiative.

Then this morning I happened to read this blog post written by Sally Clarkson (one of my favorite authors!).
And would you believe she wrote a post entitled "Cultivating Your Own Circle of Friends."
Seriously... go read it.

My favorite part of the post is this:

"Loneliness is epidemic and people feel invisible all over the world, wherever I travel.
And yet, for us to build those invisible threads from our hearts to the hearts of others, we must be intentional. It requires us to reach out, to invite, to make time for sharing life and all covered with love and grace."

"To make time for sharing life."
That's my favorite part.
Because I am guilty as it gets about not taking the time to share life.

It's ironic because earlier in the year I wrote about wanting to be more intentional in my life.
With the Lord, with my family, with finances.
But somewhere along the line I forgot to add friendships in there.
I had just assumed they would blossom and grow on their own.
I couldn't have been more wrong!

My prayer this fall is that I will be intentional with my friendships.
How are you with cultivating friendships?
It is obviously a struggle for me...
turns out being a stay-at-home mom has turned me into a bit of an introvert :)
I love being home with my babies and staying put.
I love not having anywhere to be.
 And sometimes talking on the phone is hard... especially with three little ones.
Mornings are loud over here...lots of excitement.
And afternoons are sacred :)
I dare not make a peep because I'm afraid it will wake up one of my nappers.
Is anyone else like this? 
I'd love to hear ways you "cultivate" your friendships!
And does it come easily to you?

Also, before I forget!
By now you should know I LOVE Essie nail polish...
and to get it for free is even better!
My friend Amanda is giving away FIVE of them to one lucky reader:)
One of the colors is my favorite... Turquoise and Caicos.
I'd say I wear it 90% of the time.
So head over and enter to win!
And while you're at it... buy one of her candles.
They're to die for.
I have her Creme Brulee and it is my absolute favorite!!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Sponsor End of Summer Special

I am so thankful for the women who Sponsor The Vanilla Tulip!
Each one is such a blessing to our family!

As a THANKYOU I am offering one last Summer Special for my ads.

Buy August and get September for FREE!
This applies to any size ad.
Feature, Medium or Small.

This does not apply to the Giveaway Only Option (details below).

I've changed up a few things on what each Ad offers as well as adding an additional option for those of you who might want to spend a little less.

If you'd like to snag a spot e-mail me at

thevanillatulip (at) yahoo (dot) com

I would love to help you grow and promote your blog or business!


*In the past year The Vanilla Tulip has grown from
 8,774 page views in July of 2011 to
 125,850+ page views last month.

 I am offering THREE different sizes.
And also a new Giveaway Option.
All the details are below.

Feature Spots

I am offering FOUR feature ads per month. 
First come first serve basis.
These ads will be 200x300 in size.
They are located at the top of all the advertisements.
The ads will be continuously rotated throughout the month.
They will be offered a Feature Post during the month.
Individual Giveaways are available to do within your Feature Post.
Feature Spots also have the option of being included in the Group Giveaway in addition to their own Individual Giveaway if they choose.
Medium Spots
*Will be included in the Group Feature/Giveaway
*Ads will be continuously rotated  
Small Spots
*Ad only 
*Ads will be continuously rotated



If you're wanting something a bit smaller I am going to be doing something new this month.
I will be doing a Giant Group Giveaway once a month.
For $10 you can purchase a spot in the Giveaway.
It's the perfect way to get the word out about your blog for a great price.
An Ad on the side of my blog is not included in this price.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Happy Third Birthday to my sweet sweet Colty!
I adore my sweet boy.
The beginning of his story will always be fresh on my memory.
If you haven't read it go here.

I can hardly believe he's already three.
Yet at the same time it seems like he's much older :)
I am in love with his vocabulary...
the biggest vocabulary of any three year old I know.
Big words and big sentences.
Lots of questions and lots of Colt answers:)
Such as...

Me: Colt, who's the President of the United States?
Colt: Santa Clause.

Or another conversation we had awhile back that I don't want to forget.
We were driving around by our house one morning.

Colt: "Mom, what lake is that?"
Me: "Lake Bob"
Colt: "Ahhh...that information is of assistance."

Seriously.. it's like that ALL day long :)

He's got the sweetest little angel face that I can't get enough of.
He adores his siblings, thinks his Dad is the coolest and will sugar on me all day if he could.
His favorite food is broccoli and his least favorite is fruit.
He hates anything scary and loves anything that has to do with fishing.

I am so proud to be his mom.
I can't imagine our family without him!

Happy Birthday my sweet boy!!!

Saturday, July 21, 2012


Goodmorning!  It's a quiet Saturday morning over here. 
Cade's already down for his morning nap and the big two are curled up watching a movie with Travis.
We had a late night out at a friend's house last night so everyone is a tad on the tired side this morning.

Thankyou all for the birthday wishes this week!
This was one of my favorite birthdays to date.
Travis had to work part of the morning so the kids and I drove into town for a drive-thru donut breakfast.
I thought I'd treat myself;)
The rest of the morning and afternoon was spent swimming at a friends' home.
And we ended the day with dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant.
I told Travis I didn't want to do anything big or elaborate for my birthday.
I just wanted to spend the day as a family... and that's just what we did :)

I'm off to finish packaging up headband orders.
Again, I am so thankful for all of you who purchased.
All headbands will be shipped Monday!
I'm closing up the shop for the next week to focus on Colt's birthday
 and to get us ready for a fun trip we're taking next weekend!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

District Nine Design

 I have been dying to share District Nine Design with you!
I'm working with Corin on re-doing a few things for the blog as well as personal items.
I can not stress enough how AMAZING she is!!!
Talented doesn't even begin to describe her.  

I wanted a new logo for The Vanilla Tulip and she hand sketched a logo
 as well as a Facebook banner for me.
Let me say it again... hand sketched.
Doesn't get any more custom than that:)

Her prices are ridiculously amazing.
She does anything from template sets to birth announcements.

I have her ad up on the left side of my blog for easy access to her shop.
Just click on District Nine Design and it'll send you right where you need to be!

Also, make sure you like District Nine Design on Facebook to receive 20% off your purchase!

Corin will be back more often than not showcasing her new products.
And I'll make sure to show you what she's been working on for me as well!

I've asked Corin to tell you a little about her shop and to show you some new pieces she's been working on.

Hi! I’m Corin from District Nine Design. I’m so excited to be here guest posting at The Vanilla Tulip!
I started District Nine Design in May of 2011 and have been loving every moment of getting to design custom and premade cards and templates for my clients! District Nine Design unites two of my favorite styles; organic and contemporary.
There are some really exciting new design ready to be released this month! One of my personal favorites is the new “Birchwood” marketing template set. This set is for professional and aspiring photographers who are ready to brand their business for success. One thing I love about this new template is it’s neutral color palette and sophisticated, earthy feel.

Not only does DistrictNineDesign create fun and beautiful product templates for photographers, but I also design for people like you and me, who just want their scrapbooks, blogs, and personal sites to look stunning!! Here is my newest and most exciting product for the inspired creative mind, the “Indian Summer” digital paper pack.

 I hope these little sneak peaks have given you a sweet taste of what District Nine Design has to offer! I’ll be releasing these products in their entirety by the end of this month, so make sure to stop by and like D9D’s facebook page so you can stay in the loop. When you like DistrictNineDesign onfacebook, you will also receive an instant download of three FREE facebook timeline banners! And, as a facebook friend, you will receive 20% off your District Nine Design purchase!


You can find District Nine Design here:

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The truth...

 Well... remember how I was kind of scarce on the blog the past month?
And I blamed vacation and being busy.

There's more to the story...
The truth was in between all the fun you could find me 
 laying on the couch dead tired and sick to my stomach :)

We are so excited to announce that Baby #4 will be joining our family the beginning of February! was not a surprise :)
We have always wanted a larger family and four seems like a nice round number!
I had my first dr.'s appointment this morning.
A little later than usual... I'll be 11 weeks in two days.
The fun part about being further along and having my first appointment is that 
the baby looked like a baby and not just a little blob on the sonogram. :)
We were able to see the sweet babe moving around and everything looks good and healthy!
Seeing your precious little one on the sonogram screen for the first time never gets old.
We are so incredibly thankful that everything looked great!
The Lord is good!

So there you have it.
The full truth of where I've been :)

Hope your Tuesday was great!!!

*My dress is from Shop DeJaVu*
The dress is incredibly quality...very well made!
And I've found their sizing is spot on and true to size.
If you're in need of a fun summer dress or outfit head over to their website!

 pleated poppy

Monday, July 16, 2012


We were up and at em' early this morning.
It's only 8 and I'm on my third load of laundry and the dishwasher is already running with breakfast dishes (and dinner and lunch from yesterday...Sunday's are for rest ;) ).

The weekend was filled to the brim with fun.
Friday we took advantage of free food at Chic Fill A if you dressed like a cow.

Friday evening we had an early birthday party at Trav's parents for Colt and me.
My 28th birthday is Wednesday and Colt's 3rd is the following Monday.
I feel so spoiled and blessed by all the presents our families have given us.
The thought that went into each one has really blessed my heart over the past few weeks.
Fun little things for my kitchen that I probably would never
purchase myself because they're out of my price range...
Beautiful jewelery...
Special mugs...
Fun stationary...
Thankyou  for making my birthday so special this year!!!

Saturday morning Emma, my mother-in-law and I went on the hunt for a bridesmaid dress for my sister-in-laws wedding.
I think we may have found a keeper!
The requirements were black and knee length.
We found one at H&M of all places!

Hope your weekend was a good one!
I'm excited to share something I've been working on with you guys tomorrow!
Have a great Monday!

I just had to show you this darling Measuring Cup Set my sister gave me.
Isn't it the cutest thing you've ever seen?!

<bits of splendor monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Insta Pics

It's officially the weekend at our house.
Travis has off work tomorrow and we're city bound first thing in the morning.
On the agenda... a trip to get my hair done at my sister's salon, Starbucks and bridesmaid dress shopping with my mother-in-law and Emma for my sister-in-laws wedding (did you catch all that? :) ).

The week has been a good one.
A leisurely one.
So leisurely that desperate times called for desperate measures
and I had to turn on Pandora's Christmas station to motivate me to clean.
Something about hearing Christmas music makes me feel productive and like
sprucing up my home.
Works like a charm every time.
In fact it motivated me to make the kids a play room in our spare bedroom.
Toys scattered around the living room constantly just wasn't cutting it.
So now they can be scattered in the playroom.
I don't know why I didn't do this sooner!

It's been a week of yummy food.
Drive-thru donut shops and Sonic to be exact.

And I could barely put the picture of the ugly little guy up...
but also a week of creepy little lizards who think my home is their home.
They're fast little turds.
Travis tried to catch him and he hid up and under my computer desk.
Trav thought we should just leave him.
I obviously did not agree with his thoughts on this.
I was already having visions of a lizard crawling across my face while I slept.
I had plans to watch the desk all night long until the dumb lizard reappeared.
But luckily he came out and was caught while I was taking my evening bath.
You'd better believe I was praying he would come out so I wouldn't have to stay up watching for him.
Answered prayers I tell ya.

And that was the extent of our rainy and gray week.
All of that with a bunch of cuddling on the couch, game playing and movie watching.

Hope your week has been good!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Feature Sponsor- Kate Elizabeth Design

I'm super excited to introduce one of my Feature Sponsors to you!

Kate Elizabeth Design

They sent Emma the sweetest dress and matching headband set.
It seriously is one of the cutest, well-made dresses I have ever seen!
And the headband is to die for :)
They're having a sale on their Spring and Summer Collection so make sure you stock up!
In a few months they'll be debuting their Fall line.
And let me tell you... I've seen a sneak peek and it is absolutely precious!
Once it's debuted I'll put a post up letting you know! 

You can find them here:


 Welcome to Kate Elizabeth Design! I strongly believe that children’s clothing should be fun, easy to wear and durable!! My main goal is to design ONE OF A KIND vintage inspired clothing and accessories that your kiddos will actually WANT TO WEAR! All of which are eye catching and easy to wear to a park, play date or party! Each collection consist of mix/match pieces that will keep your kiddos looking stylish all season long! All of my pieces are hand stitched by a private workroom right in the heart of Texas. Available in sizes newborn-7 for both boys and girls. Stay tuned for the upcoming launch of my Back to School/Fall Collection, RECESS ROYALTY. We are quickly expanding and now accepting applications for trunk keepers!!