Weekend Recap

This past weekend was amazing. As I've mentioned before I love snow. And I really love one good snow storm a year. I wish we had gotten a little more fluffy snow and less ice. I was so excited to show the twins snow! Of course they totally didn't get it, but I enjoyed taking them out in it. Next year will really be fun! 


Friday Dave only left briefly for a meeting, the rest of the day we had family time! So nice to hang out at home. Saturday we were home again, I left briefly for the store. Another great night in. We watched the movie Trainwreck and I laughed so hard. Sunday we were supposed to have a christening, but it was cancelled because of the weather. We had planned to take the twins to my in-laws for the day so we could enjoy it and possibly the night so we could watch the game. We decided to take them anyways and I am so glad we did! At 11am I got tickets to the game, my dad's old seats, from the family friend and a great price. I am SO thankful for them. 

our dads were best friends their whole lives!

We hadn't planned on going to the game so we needed to get out our heavy winter clothes and get ready to tailgate! I ended up getting a new coat at The North Face store after brunch at Reid's. (BTW- brunch was amazing there!) Around 3pm we headed to tailgate with some friends. I can't remember the last time I had that much fun! The energy everywhere was crazy. 

we won! NFC Champs!

We went to Selwyn Pub afterwards and needless to say Monday morning was rough. Thank goodness the twins were with their sweet grandparents for a bit :)

I wish we could go to the Superbowl! But will have to just have a really fun party here for it!


five on friday: january 22

Happy Friday! So glad the weekend is here- as always. 

one. We have snow!!! And ice. I'm as excited as a little kid with school cancelled. 

two. I finally took care of my eye problem. I now have glasses for reading, extended time on my phone, the computer, etc! 

ignore the messy hair and sweaty disaster that I am. 

three. I worked out twice this week and am soooo sore. First time working out in years! I'm going to 9round and love it so far.

four. Dave and I are both working on losing weight so I've been preparing healthy meals. We loved this simple kale salad recipe by my sister. Rotisserie chicken has also been a favorite!

five. The twins are still cute as ever! We're loving this age. I swear James is going to crawl before I know it. 


I can't wait to see them in the snow later today! I'm sure I'll share on instagram, so follow along- @madelinehughes or @elleandj_!

Have a great weekend y'all!

linking up for 5 on Friday:  DarciAprilChristina + Natasha


13week declutter update + a new closet!

I mentioned in my New Years post that I was following along with Mary Organizes for a declutter challenge. So far, so good!

91 Day Declutter - Join us

Week 1 was the laundry room, which was super easy because ours isn't big and I don't use it for anything except laundry. Week 2 was the kitchen. Again, this wasn't too bad for me. We updated our kitchen in fall 2014, so I got rid of a ton of stuff then and got to reorganize everything. Then while I nested I cleaned out the pantry. To make room for baby items we had to clean out some drawers. So I did do the declutter challenge and got rid of a ton of stuff again. But it wasn't as overwhelming as I thought it would be or as it could have been.

Week 3 is the dining room. Again ours isn't too bad. We have one closet that I use to store vases and misc decor in. I just reorganized it in the fall, but it definitely needs to be done again. We have one chest I use to store paper plates, plastic silverware, cups, placemats, napkin rings, etc. That desperately needs work! But it still shouldn't be too overwhelming.

It is the following weeks that intimidate me. I mean, holy cow. My guest bedroom, my closet, the twins' closets...they are all scary, dark holes. I am a small time hoarder. Seeing other people in the Facebook group makes me feel better (is that wrong?!). But I'm still pretty bad! 

Our guest room has been a dumping ground for anything and everything that I don't want to deal with. But now is the time! Time to sort old office supplies, clothes, baby items and more. 

I am actually very excited about decluttering my closet. I went to the Container Store and had them build me a closet! My closet is an awkward shape and didn't have a good layout. Since we moved in I've been wanting to re-do it. So finally we are! They were so nice and helpful. After answering some questions, they started planning the design. I picked the first layout design they did. 

It will be installed in a week or so. Can't wait to reorganize it! I'll be taking everything out so they can install the closet. Then I can sort all of my clothes and items carefully before I put things back in. 

My bathroom drawers/cabinets and linen closet are also going to be rough. I love to save samples or make up that I MIGHT need or use again one day, even though its probably gone bad. 

I am very excited about these 91 days. It has already been making me feel better. I want a simple house in 2016. I want everything to have a home and don't want to have 1,000 wooden spoons or paper plates I don't use. 

Any tips- send them my way!


5 on friday: charlotte restaurants

Happy Friday y'all! I love trying new restaurants. We haven't gotten to try as many lately do to limited date nights since the twins were born. Hopefully making a list to check off will remind me to look at these before our next date night!

Here are 5 Charlotte restaurants I want to try:

one. Passion8
two. Customshop
three.The Cellar
four. The Asbury
five. Corkbuzz

And here are 5 suggestions to try in Charlotte if you haven't yet:

one. Rocksalt

three. Co
four. Soul 
Any recommendations or spots in missing??

linking up for 5 on Friday:  DarciAprilChristina + Natasha


a day in the life: friday january 8, 2016

I loved reading April's "day in the life" post last week and decided to do the same! I have already forgotten what I did each day when they were really little, so I hope doing this a few times will help me remember the days! I should also say this isn't the most typical day, it isn't out of the ordinary, but Dave and I obviously don't have a date each night and I don't have a sitter every day. Monday was probably more typical. It was full on survival mode here- just me and twins all day and Dave working late. I plan to totally write about one of those days soon! 

5:30am little cries coming from the nursery. Normally the twins sleep until 7, but recently have decided to wake up much earlier. Dave goes and gets them, changes their diapers and makes bottles. He typically feeds them in the morning, but I agreed to feed them today so he could get to work early. I feed them in bed in this pillow which is my favorite. Eloise is almost asleep again at the end of her bottles. James and I cuddle and play a little in bed then he is tired too. We all three doze back off. Dave leaves at some point and I sleep until a little before 8.

8am In to the office I go. I check emails, website orders, read blogs, make my daily to do list, etc. I also debate what to have for breakfast. I am planning to make these, but am too tired to now so I eat a granola bar from Whole Foods.

9am Poppy starts barking at the front door. I go and see it is just the landscapers, but on my way notice she threw up on the carpet in the living room. I clean it up and find another spot. Hoping both will come out. I pick up the twins' dirty clothes and bibs, put them in the laundry basket, pull out their outfits for the day.

9:20am Back in the office and put order together to ship out.

9:40am Got distracted and started reading blogs...Also debating how bad my eye sight is and realizing I am still having a hard time reading the computer screen. Wonder if I can see an eye doctor soon.

9:50am Realize the twins will be up soon and I have to get something done. Grab a diet dr pepper for a caffeine boost. On Tuesdays/Thursdays we have a nanny that comes at 10am. Today I actually have Amy coming at 10:30am since I have some big orders to fill.

10:10am James awake-laughing not crying luckily, doorbell ringing. Sign for packages at the door and then get James up, change his diaper, get him dressed. I put him in his seat with a toy while I go get Eloise up. 

New diaper, outfit and she is ready for the day. I make their bottles. Baby Formula Pro is my lifesaver. BEST gift ever! 

10:25am I start giving them their bottles

10:35am Amy arrives and takes over. So I head back into the office.

I start making jewelry. Today I am working on new spring pieces, but also some current pieces to send to stores next week.

11:45am Decide my eye sight is driving me crazy, so I get dressed, brush teeth and plan to leave the house.

12pm Go to buy computer reading glasses, make eye doctor appointment and then pick up Chick-fil-A for me and Amy.

12:50pm Back home, kiss the babies who are fussy and not wanting to take their midday nap and take my lunch to my office.

1pm: Eat lunch at my desk, then keep working. Make jewelry, take a few photos for Instagram, respond to Instagram comments

2pm Wish that I had gotten stronger computer reading glasses...Go let Amy leave since the twins went down for their afternoon nap early, but she'll be back later for our date night!

2:10pm Fill my S'Well bottle because I realize I haven't even had half the amount of water I normally do and grab the monitor, head back to the office and hope the twins nap for awhile!

2:30pm Decide maybe I will work better if I clean off my desk and do a tiny bit of organizing.

2:40pm ready to focus

3pm Eloise is awake. I go in to see if I can get her back to sleep, realize I probably can't so I pick her up before she can wake James up. We go sit in the office for a few minutes.

3:10pm: James is up. Ugh! I change Eloise's diaper and outfit, check on James. He seems happy and like he could go back to sleep so I leave him in his crib. Eloise and I sit on the couch and I try to get her back to sleep. Can hear James laughing and cooing in his crib while I watch a show. 

hoping she will doze off!

3:45pm James is really up, he's over crib time. I get him up and change his diaper. Time for some twin time! I'm wishing I had showered earlier and knew what I was wearing later. 

4pm after a few snuggles on the couch they're ready to play. Normally they have a bottle at 4:30, but I'm planning to do it early today so we'll aim for 4:15pm

4:15pm bottles

4:30pm done with bottles, burps and letting their food settle

4:40pm They are ready to play, so I put them in exersaucers and wash my face. 


4:50pm Dave is home! Whoop whoop!

5pm I pour a glass of champs, head to go get ready and Dave plays with twins. 

5:15pm Hair/make up done, now time to pick out outfit. Will most likely wear an outfit I've worn before. Almost went with a white sweater and realized we're cooking and I'm messy- bad combo. 

5:30pm I'm dressed with jewelry on, which always takes me the longest amount of time, not loving my hair but no time to worry about it. I'll do lipstick/gloss in the car. 

my outfit- both from Anthro

5:35pm Time to get everything all ready for sitter, Dave changes and I supervise the babies.

5:45pm Linda arrives (Amy's mom, Amy texted she had to cover a dance class for someone. We've had Linda before and she is just as great!). I go over last minute stuff with her. 

5:50pm Dave calls Uber and I get my purse ready.

6pm We kiss babies bye and get into Uber--favorite way to travel these days :)

6:15pm We arrive for cooking class at Atherton Mills- Chef Alyssa's Kitchen. Her fiance and business partner, Andrew, and I went to Elon together! I gave Dave this for his birthday in December.


10:15pm Home! Linda recaps the evening, we pay her, say goodnight, check on babies, get in PJs, etc. We chat about the night and go to bed! 

Things I did not specifically mentioned: I talked to my sister on the phone, talked to a plumber about an issue at the condo that I own and rent out, g-chatted with a girlfriend, checked Instagram many times. I also wish I had been more productive at work, but oh well. Typically I would have done a load of their laundry and washed many bottles, but thankfully our nanny was here the day before and took care of that for me. Truly a blessing. I'll be recapping another day soon!


happy 2016!

I hope everyone had a great new year celebration! We were in Richmond for a wedding over the holiday. It was our first time away from the twins, but it couldn't have been for a better reason! I loved getting to ring in the new year with friends that are like family and spend New Years Day watching my friend marry her dream man!



I never make resolutions, it is much too difficult for me to keep them. But I like making goals or a to do list. So I won't say something like go to the gym 3 times a week, but I may say go to the gym more often. Hahaha! 

Here are a few goals and plans for 2016:

-keep up to date on the twins month to month updates, photos and baby books
-cook more and eat less take out and processed food
-take a trip with friends
-clean out and organize EVERY room in the house (see this here!)
-blog more often and change my blog name/update the look
-consign clothes- mine and the twins' 
-keep growing my business (elle + j)
-keep working on myself as a person: be the best wife, mom, friend, family member that I can be
-go to church more and take the twins 

I could go on and on, but I don't want to push it! Gotta make it all reachable... :) 

I hope I can keep up with these and make 2016 an amazing year! I can't wait to see the twins grow!


6 months

onesies from REACH

On December 30 the twins turned 6 months!

James loves...
standing up tall
laughing at himself

Eloise loves...
being held
having her legs in the air
rolling into a ball

They both love...
bath time
long car rides
stroller rides
when Daddy gets home from work and plays with them

They both hate...
when the car stops or goes too slow
being hungry
the slightest dirty diaper

This has been one of the most fun months! They've grown and really developed their personalities. In December we also celebrated Dave's birthday, my birthday, Christmas and took a quick 24 hour road trip to Atlanta to see family. It was also the first time we ever left them!

James is rolling over and starting to move himself around. Eloise finally rolled over last week too. We've been practicing with baby food- James gets it, Eloise doesn't. She lets the food sit on her tongue and then pushes it out. They've had sweet potatoes, green beans, carrots, bananas, squash, pears and peas. They love the sweet potatoes! 

As much as I want them to stay my little babies forever, it is fun to see how they grow and develop. I know this next month will be just as much fun!