Katie Loves This: Edition 7

Welcome to February, friends!

Is January always 99 percent busier than you expect it to be? It is for our family.

Here are some favorites that we’ve been stockpiling since our last edition of Katie Loves This. What have you been swooning over since we chatted last?

Katie Loves This- Edition 7

I seem to have an itch to buy a new pair of shoes and I’m loving these New Balance 420 Sneakers (Nordstrom, $70). I wear sneakers at least three days a week and I realized recently that all of mine are bright colors. A pair of black sneakers would be a nice addition. (However, I’ve vowed to not buy any more shoes until I Instagram-sell some of the ones I don’t wear. My shoe closets/baskets/under-the-bed storage containers are stuffed!)

Does anyone else already have summer on their mind? I certainly do. I’d love to build the kids somewhere to play in our backyard and have fallen in love with this design a million times over. I had pinned it three times, from three different websites, on my Outdoor Spaces Pinterest board and finally hunted down the original post on The Handmade Home. Which I’m now obsessed with via Instagram.

I’ve had the worst time finding a book to read since the new year. I’ve started and stopped reading a few books (including Lena Dunham’s, which I was just not that into, sadly), which I try very hard not to do. Last night, I started One Plus One by Jojo Moyes and it’s captured my attention. Have you read it?

Last, but certainly not least, I had to share this post from my lovely friend Nichole, who has also been my editor on-and-off for the past few years. This is her first post with mom.me, a site that I adore, and she nails it with her thoughts on keeping Valentine’s Day simple (SIMPLE!!!) and shares an easy way to do with her Failproof Valentine’s Day Treats.

Katie Loves This: Edition 1. October 2014.
Katie Loves This: Edition 2. October 2014.
Katie Loves This: Edition 3. November 2014.
Katie Loves This: Edition 4. November 2014.
Katie Loves This: Edition 5. November 2014.
Katie Loves This: Edition 6. January 2015.

What do you want to see on bellingFAM?

BellingFAM State Logo in Black

I’m not sure how it happened, but bellingFAM is coming up on its first birthday and lately, if you haven’t been able to tell, its been feeling some growing pains.

I can’t say that bellingFAM is exactly what I intended it to be. Such is the life of a blog, I suppose. What I’d hoped to be a locally-focused blog quickly became over-run with other content and I’d like it to be more of a combination of the two than it is today.

Thanks for sticking with us while I spend the next couple of months tightening up what our vision for bellingFAM will be and how I’d like to move forward… We’re not going anywhere in the meantime, but posts will be fewer and we’d very much appreciate that if you like a post, you let us know. Even just a quick and simple Facebook LIKE on a post goes a long way to letting us know what you like to read!

Tell me, what do you want to see on bellingFAM?

Mom Style: Stitch Fix No. 6 & No. 7

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about Stitch Fix and I’ve actually received two boxes since my last review in October. They were both filled with items that I loved… and that I didn’t. And, as usual, a piece or two that I’m really wishing I hadn’t sent back!

Here is my November Stitch Fix review:

Stitch Fix Mystree Chamberlin Cardigan

Mystree Chamberlin Striped Drape-Front Cardigan // $78

This cardigan was love at first sight. I had pinned it on my Stitch Fix Inspiration Pinterest board, but in another color, and knew it was a must-keep. It’s actually probably a size larger than necessary, but the oversized, super cozy feel is what I was going for, so I kept it.

There were a handful of other items in this box that I didn’t photograph. I did keep a pair of the Kut from the Kloth Denna Colored Skinny Jeans ($78). They are dark green and while I don’t regret keeping them, they stretch out a LOT when I wear them. They fit great for the first hour… and I spend the rest of the day pulling my pants up. If they were one size smaller, I would likely wear them every single day. They are so soft and the fit is awesome otherwise. Plus, the color is amazing.

Items I didn’t keep from this box included: 
Street Level Ace Studded Crossbody Tote ($58) // Great price for a bag, not my style.
Andrew Marc Manon Cable Knit Sweater Dress ($118) // Not my style & wrong fit.
Skies are Blue Maia Embroidered Cotton Knit Top ($58) // Frumpy and just no. NO.

Overall, November was a bit of a bust, the cardigan aside. But, that happens and like I’ve said before, I’m happy to get one piece I love in a box, rather than five things I kind of like, so I was pleased.

And, my December Stitch Fix review:

Stitch Fix Orion Zig Zag Wrap Scarf

Shiraleah Orion Zig-Zag Print Wrap Scarf // $38

I loved this scarf and had pinned it on my Stitch Fix Inspiration Pinterest board. It is huge and the pattern is so fun. In the end, I decided that the mustard-ish yellow wasn’t great with my skin, so I sent it back.

Stitch Fix Papermoon Tee

Papermoon Crissy Spacedye Cross-Back Knit Shirt // $44

I asked for a casual white tee in this box and this was just what I was hoping for. It’s really more of a summer shirt, but I will wear it during the cooler months layered with a sweater. The back has a cutout that dips a bit low, then has a crisscross to keep it together. I probably wouldn’t pick it up on a rack at the store, but ended up loving it.

Stitch Fix Moto Jacket

Stitch Fix December Review

Market and Spruce Elissa French Terry Moto Jacket // $74

This was another piece that I’d pinned, hoping to get it in my box at some point… and I did! The fit was great, except for the length. While it’s intended to be a cropped jacket, it really hit me in the wrong place. It’s very soft and can be worn in so many ways! I would highly recommend it.

Stitch Fix Sweater

Stitch Fix Elbow Patch Sweater

Evolution by Cyrus Abbot Crew Neck Elbow Patch Sweater // $108

Usually in every box, I have one item that I send back and regret it later. This was that piece for December. At first, I couldn’t believe that they sent me this weird, cowl neck sweater. But, when I put it on, I could see why it’s been a Stitch Fix favorite lately (according to my stylist). It was perfectly oversized and would look so cute with leggings and boots. And, those elbow patches? Swoon!

I requested a new pair of jeans in my box this time and said that I wanted some with a worn-in look. They sent me the Kut from the Kloth Denna Skinny Jeans ($58), which aren’t really what I had in mind and I just noticed that they are the same brand and fit of the jeans they sent me in November, but in denim, instead of a color. They were very nice and the fit was good, but I sent them back. I’ll be sure to give more specific guidelines in my note to my stylist for jeans in January!

You can find my previous Stitch Fix reviews on bellingFAM and Pinterest:
Stitch Fix No. 1 (May 2014)
Stitch Fix No. 2 (July 2014)
Stitch Fix No. 3 (August 2014)
Stitch Fix No. 4 (September 2014)
Stitch Fix No. 5 (October 2014)

Please note… I do list the prices here, but as I found out recently, prices for similar items at different times of the year, may vary in different Stitch Fix deliveries for different customers. In other words, you might get the same top, at a different time of year, in a different color, and pay a different price. The prices I list in my Stitch Fix delivery are only for reference.

Interested in trying Stitch Fix? Feel free to email me with any questions you have about how it works, how to fill out your profile or what I love about using Stitch Fix. You can reach me at bellingFAM@gmail.com.

Review is my own opinion and not sponsored by Stitch Fix. Please note that all links are referral links, as referenced above. I appreciate you using them if you sign up for Stitch Fix so that they know you came via bellingFAM… thank you!

55 Bachelor premiere thoughts you were probably already having

The Bachelor

Note to self: Never, EVER be one of the women at that “red carpet” event.
I need Chris to open his mouth more when he talks.
Maybe it’s a farmer thing. So the bugs don’t fly in. When he’s on the tractor.
Baby cows. Women love baby cows. More baby cow shots, please.
20-miles from civilization = awesome Pinterest-worthy photo backgrounds.
Wait, the entire FIRST HOUR is red carpet? Sigh.
I love that the ex-contestants are pretending like the fans do not exist. At all.
I spy prom hair.
On to the bachelorettes!
Drink every time you see ombre hair.
I mean, it’s a bad sign when she straight out admits that she’s crazy, right?
My early vote is for Kelsey, the school counselor.
Ohmy. She’s a widow, too? Top two. For sure.
Josh and Andi are never getting married. (told you so.)
This is too much Nikki time. Over it.
I now pronounce this the season of the henley shirt.
This bachelor house is nailing the trends of 2014.
Aztec towels. Reclaimed wood chevron walls. Outdoor showers.
Are girls suppose to say panty dropper? That didn’t sound right.
Well, that’s quite a first impression.
She’s not just a hugger, but an over-hugger-who-kind-of-cries-too.
Whitney. Too enthusiastic.
KELSEY. Adore her. She must win.
Is Ashley already a little drunk?
This is the best trick, ever. I love the outfit switch up. Super cute.
These ladies from Iowa are having the best day ever.
They’re selling Iowa, that’s for sure.
The over-hugger turned out to be a winner. Go, Britt!
That secret admirer stunt worked out well. He HAD to come find her. Smart.
The eyelash game is intense on this show.
Second limo arrival group is getting the shaft on coverage.
Loving Becca. Good outfit.
Motorcycle girl is an automatic in.
Don’t you wonder if anyone has ever fallen on their face walking in?
I think I stopped watching. There are so many girls. I can’t keep up.
I fully support his first impression rose.
And he kissed her! I wasn’t expecting that!
They have a bit of a love at first sight thing going on…
Please don’t be crazy. Please don’t be crazy. Please don’t be crazy.
Tara is going to fall right off the back of those mini-bleachers.
And smack her whiskey-drunk head on the floor.
He’s doing a great job ignoring her.
Also, there’s no way he learned everyone’s names so quickly. There must be a cheat sheet.
Or, maybe he only picks the ones whose names he knows.
Drunk girls are winning. Big time. Drunk girls and brunettes.
I loved the gal who did the cute pig nose. Sad to see her go.
The arrived when it was nighttime and now it’s MORNING?
No wonder everyone is drunk!
Is she going back in? Oh my. Don’t do it.
And, that’s where they end it. Such a teaser.
“I would rather chew glass and wash it down with a bag of hair.”
Let’s end things there.

photo via The Bachelor Facebook page.

Katie Loves This: Edition 6

And… we’re back!

Happy new year! I hope that your holidays were as lovely as ours. We took some true time-off to relax, enjoy the kids and spend time with family. It was much-needed and I feel rejuvenated after some major December burnout.

I’m excited to work on some new things on bellingFAM this year and even more excited to bring back some of the things that I started working on when bellingFAM launched, almost a year ago now.

First up, back to Monday morning favorites with the latest edition of Katie Loves This.

Katie Loves This

I don’t watch many YouTube channels, but this one, I love and I can’t help but recommend. Long Story Short with Megan and Wendy is kind of like having coffee with your best girlfriends. In fact, I’m pretty sure that I’ve had some of these same discussions with my mom friends. I have a subscription, so that it sends me an email when they post a new video. Super handy.

Every year, I have an idea of what I’m going to bring to Christmas Eve with our family and every year, I switch it up. As in, when I go to the grocery store that morning. I’m a hostess’s worst nightmare. I pulled up this Rosemary Cranberry Spread (via Pinterest for the pinners) which was easy and delicious and savory.

Mugs are hot right now. They’re the new graphic tees for 2015. You heard it here first. I received a mug from Ashley Brooke Designs for Christmas (thank you, AF!) and now I’m obsessed with her fun designs with witty sayings. I think her Hello Sunshine Mug is a cute gift, because if you’re like me, you have a million family and friend birthdays in January.

This was a Christmas favorite in our house, so I had to share it here. The kids received the L.L.Bean Kids’ Adventure Duffles and they’ve used them every single day. They’re not too big, making them the perfect size for the kids to carry on their own (even Everett!), but they hold quite a bit of stuff. Trust me, they’ve tested them out over winter break!

Katie Loves This: Edition 1. October 2014.
Katie Loves This: Edition 2. October 2014.
Katie Loves This: Edition 3. November 2014.
Katie Loves This: Edition 4. November 2014.
Katie Loves This: Edition 5. November 2014.

have something for me to love? send me an email! i’d love to hear about it! bellingFAM@gmail.com xxoo.

Locals Only Holiday Gift Guide: Launching Success {Giveaway}

Locals Only Holiday Gift Guide

Some of our favorite spots to shop in Bellingham let us come wander around their stores, picking gifts we love for our first ever LOCALS ONLY Holiday Gift Guide on bellingFAM!

We hope you enjoy these peeks into local stores and that you take the time to stop there over the holidays (and beyond!) to do some shopping. We all know how nice and easy it is to order your gifts from Amazon, but I’m encouraging you to pick at least one gift on your list this year and find it locally instead. It makes a difference!

Our first stop for our LOCALS ONLY Holiday Gift Guide is Launching Success Learning Store (133 Prince Avenue, Bellingham). Tucked just off of Meridian, behind the shopping mall that is home to the car wash, this is, without a doubt, one of our favorite places to shop in Bellingham. There is so much to love at Learning Success, for the holidays and beyond, including countless birthday gift ideas, educational tools, craft supplies, kid-friendly science kits and more. We could go on for days, truly.

Here are ten of our favorite gift ideas from Launching Success, although this is really just a tiny peek at what they have to offer!


 Make Your Own Comic Book Kit, $30

They actually had a few different versions of these kits available and I know that they’d be a hit with kiddos like mine who love gifts that combine creativity and imagination. You actually send their draft to the company and they send you a printed copy, which is extra cool!


Stamp Mino Sets, $12

Stamps can be tricky for kids of all ages, especially for little ones, but these looked cute and easy to hold. Launching Success said this is a new line they’re carrying and at just over $10 for a set, they make the perfect gift.


Floating Tug Boat & Tip Truck, $16 each

I have a little guy who loves vehicles, so I know a good one when I see it! Launching Success has a really nice selection of cars and trucks and boats and such and these looked like the perfect start to a new vehicle-lover’s collection. Plus, that tug boat is bath tub friendly!


Plus-Plus Building Set, $20
(Psst! Giveaway below!)

These Plus-Plus building pieces caught my eye right away. I had received a tiny little sample pack for work recently and I was thrilled to find them again. They take builders who love Legos to the next level and are a great gift if you still need to pop something in the mail to the kiddos you love! (Easy to ship!)


Teeter Popper, $38

For kiddos who can’t, won’t, shouldn’t sit still, I love the Teeter Popper. You can sit on it, stand on it, lay on it, rock it, or whatever helps channel the energy of those wiggle worms! I love that this is a gift that grows with your kids, from toddlers to tweens.


Water Dancing Speakers, $60

Jen of Launching Success gave me the heads up on this cool gift idea. You hook up these speakers to your music-playing device (iPad, iPod, iPhone, smart phone, computer, etc.) and the water dances and lights up to the beat of whatever tunes you play. I saw them in action and they are very impressive! They come in a set of two and would be a fantastic gift for the tween who has it all.


Miner Helmet, $15

This was the first gift I spotted when I got to Launching Success and it made me smile because I could just imagine how much fun these lighted helmets would spur. And, at under $20, they’re a great price point for a gift that has a lot of wow.


Sing-Along Star Microphone, $40

I added this microphone to the list of my favorites because we have had a handful of them over the years for the girls and they’ve all been pieces of junk… until now. These came with a stand and they actually seemed to be kid-friendly and like they would stand-up to some true kid rock star moments (AKA tantrums).


Individual Chalkboards, $4 each

Don’t forget to wander over to the section of Launching Success where they keep all of the teacher supplies. There are some great gift ideas over there… especially if you have kids who love to play school, like I do. These chalkboards will be an instant favorite at my house and at just $4 each, I can tuck some away for when friends come over to play, too.


Music Maker, $39

When I saw this on the shelf, I had to take a moment and step back to my own 5th grade music class (with Mrs. Wood at Silver Beach, in the old brick building!). I was just reminiscing about them with a friend and was thinking about how much the girls would love having one. They also carry the sheet music that you slip underneath the strings for $6 each.

Launching Success has kindly offered a giveaway for bellingFAM readers! One winner will receive a 300-Piece Mini PlusPlus Shape Set ($20 value). Winner may choose from pastel or basic color, pending availability. Winner MUST be a local reader, as prize pick-up is only available at the Bellingham Launching Success location! No exceptions. This is a ONE-DAY ONLY giveaway! Ends tonight at midnight, so enter before you go…

Don’t forget to enter our bellingFAM Holiday Gift Guide Favorites Giveaway while you’re here!

To enter to win a 300-Piece Mini PlusPlus Shape Set, please visit Rafflecopter:

Giveaway Button

You can find our other Holiday Gift Guides on bellingFAM:
Gifts for Girls
Gifts for Boys
Gifts for Moms
Gifts for Dads
Katie’s Favorite Gifts

This giveaway was provided by Launching Success.

Are you a local store or business that would like to be featured on bellingFAM?
Email us! bellingFAM at gmail dot com

Holiday Gift Guide Favorites {Giveaway}

If you’ve been anywhere near bellingFAM the past couple of weeks, you’ve been bombarded by our Holiday Gift Guides. Gifts for moms. Gifts for girls and gifts for boys. Gifts for hard-to-shop-for dads. And, some of my favorite gifts from my own holiday wish list.

As we were pulling together our gift guides and chatting with some of these brands and stores about being featured, a handful of them kindly offered to provide a giveaway for our dear bellingFAM readers… and, of course, we said yes!

We also have our LOCALS ONLY gift guides and giveaways happening this week, so if you are in Bellingham or Whatcom County, you won’t want to miss that… stay tuned!

Holiday Gift Guide Favorites Giveaway

One winner will win the following favorites from our Holiday Gift Guide series… (EEK!!!)

Gift Guide for Moms- TriBELLA

TRIbella Wine Aerator
($40 value)

We’re obsessed with our TRIbella Wine Aerator and think it’s the absolute perfect gift for the holidays… especially if you’re on the hunt for a hostess gift or a gift for your favorite girlfriends. Just add a bottle of wine and you’re set!

Gift Guide for Moms- Erin Condren Phone Holder

$50 Erin Condren Gift Card
($50 value)

We featured the new Erin Condren Phone Wallets in our Gift Guide for Moms, but there is so, so, so much to love from Erin Condren and you’ll have a hard time picking what to spend this generous gift card on… trust us! (I had the chance to interview Erin Condren once and I admire her, very much. Such a great model of a mom building a successful business! Read the interview on SheKnows Parenting.)

Gift Guide for Boys- Kate&James

kate&jAMES Kids’ Tee of Your Choice
($24 value)

You know our love for kate&jAMES, who we featured in our Gift Guide for Boys, runs deep and they’re always so kind to give us a cute tee for our giveaways. Choose one of their kids’ or infant tees for this giveaway from what they currently have available in-stock.

Gift Guide for Boys- Grom Squad Hat

Grom Squad Kids’ Hat of Your Choice
($23 value)

While we featured Grom Squad on our Gift Guide for Boys, they actually have very cute hats for girls, too! The winner will get to pick a kids’ hat from their current collection, which comes in sizes 6-months to 5-years.

Gift Guide for Girls- Jamberry Nails

$25 Jamberry Gift Certificate
($25 value)

I was thrilled when a local Jamberry Nails consultant, Sommer, contacted me about featuring these cool nail wraps, which we featured in our Gift Guide for Girls, because they’re such a great and affordable gift idea. She’s generously donating a $25 Jamberry gift certificate, so you can pick out your favorite Jamberry style to try! Please note that your order must be placed through Sommer… (and, if you’re a local, stay tuned because she’s donated a little something for that giveaway too!)

Cupcake Royale Kit

Cupcake Royale Cupcaking Mix & Frosting Bundle
($20 value)

Absolutely the most delicious gift in this giveaway, Seattle’s Cupcake Royale has included one of their Cupcaking Mix & Frosting Bundles in our giveaway. Yum, anyone? I’ve personally used this kit and the cupcakes are to die for. They truly taste like they’ve come straight from the bakery. And, don’t even get me started on that frosting, which you’ll want to eat with a spoon. Straight out of the container. Don’t miss their larger Cupcaking kit on our Gift Guide for Girls for a great gift idea.

A few giveaway details:
One winner will receive all six giveaway prizes, over $180 total value. US residents only, please. You must be 18 years old to enter and to win. All entries will be verified. Christmas delivery for these giveaway items is NOT guaranteed, or even likely, so don’t count on these to be under your tree!

To enter the bellingFAM Holiday Gift Guide Favorites Giveaway, please click below to enter via Rafflecopter:

Giveaway Button

(A HUGE thank you to these generous brands for providing these giveaway items! We are so grateful and love working with each of you. xxoo.)

Giveaway items provided by each brand.
Some items were received for review.
No additional compensation was provided.
All opinions are my own, as always.