Fluffy Sparkles

I’m a girlie girl; which basically means I enjoy sparkly, fluffy stuff. I enjoy shopping for said fluffy sparkles and then getting all dolled up in them. This makes having to put together an outfit to wear for a winter wedding and then an outfit for a night out, fun and easy for me. 
However if this kind of thing is more difficult for you take a backseat and let me do the hard work by giving you some ideas!
#1- A Modern Take on a Winter Wedding

So I will be working at this wedding I’m attending in January and I wanted something flattering, partical and something I’ll wear more than once… That’s not too much to ask for it, is it? 

The below combination of classy and chic is totally Nanny Approved!
 Where Are You From “Glittery” Jumpsuit, Stoosh “Tiffany Blue” Jacket, Chunky Pearl Necklace
WAYF“Glittery” Jumpsuit, Stoosh “Tiffany Blue” Jacket, Chunky Pearl Necklace
(I absolutely adore this jumper! It’s hard to tell from the pics, but it’s got a gorgeous gold flip to the sparkles. The only negative thing I have to say about this jumper is the sparkles! They get everywhere. So if you’re not interested in dealing with that, here are two other options I also loved! HereAnd here!)
(The jacket tames the jumper just enough to make it appropriate for a wedding and the pearls add a classy feel.)
Report “Vera Booties”– Love these heels! So comfy!

#2- Night Out and All the Trimmings 

If the last outfit was classy and chic, this one is just royal dominance. This is definitely a statement look and should not be worn by the faint of heart!

(There will be even more pics on Pinterest for more inspiration.)
For those of you who think I look this put together all the time- HA! 

  This is me… 
A goofball!

Lots of loves,
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Twelve Movies of Christmas

Hello everyone! We’re officially four days away from Christmas!! I cannot believe it and I don’t know about you guys but I’m super excited for Christmas this year. For those of you over achievers who have all the gifts wrapped and tucked on the tree and have some extra time on your hands below is a list of my Twelve Favorite Christmas Movies (well 12-ish… There’s technically 15-Oops) both from Christmas Present and Past. 
(For those of you who aren’t so well prepared and still have things to wrap and/or buy. Here’s a list of movies to watch while you wrap away the last days till Christmas)
  1. It’s a Wonderful Life
That’s start the list off with a bang! Quiet probably one of the most recognizable Christmas movies, I love this black and white classic starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed. It’s sure to put a smile on your face and warm fuzzies in your tummy.
2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
So I haven’t seen the new Grinch movie starring Benedict Cumberbatch, mainly because I feel awkward going to children’s movies without any children (I’m not saying I never go to kids movies by myself… I’m just saying) and because I love the Jim Carrey version. Especially if I’m watching it with my Dad as he generally laughs all the way through it.
3. Christmas with the Cranks
Another movie my Dad is going to crack up through is this ridiculous tale of two people, who decided to skip Christmas. It’s not one I have to watch every year but I do enjoy it.
4. The Santa Claus (1,2&3)
Since we’re talking Tim Allen that’s talk about one of my all time favorite holiday movies. Okay yes the first is the best unquestionably, but I like the other two as well. They’re great family fun and also very funny.
5. Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas 
This one (and the one below) were definitely a Ragsdale family tradition. We watched both once a year until our VHS died (VHS is a DVD that took forever to rewind)
6. House of Mouse Christmas Special
If you want a collection of Mickey Mouse cartoons celebrating Christmas look no further! (Anyone else watch House of Mouse, or Aladdin on the Disney Channel?)
7. Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey
Okay who else knows this one? And who else cried over poor little Nestor losing his mom? This is a sweet story that I loved as a kid.
8. A Charlie Brown Christmas
Merry Christmas Charlie Brown!! (Enough said, right?)
9. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
Okay  you didn’t have a childhood if you missed watching this classic gem. Yukon, Hermey, the Misfits… So sweet, even if Rudolph’s voice made me want to hand him a tissue box.
10. Polar Express

This one took a bit to grow on me, but it’s a nice magical movie and with some catchy songs and amazing train engineers. (My favorite characters)
11. The Little Drummer Boy

Okay now this one definitely made me cry, from beginning to end. But when Baba gets hurt- (My heart!) Another really good one. (Of course if they weren’t any good they wouldn’t ‘ve made it on my list)
12. Jingle Bells (1999)/AnnaBelle’s Wish (1997)

Now these take me way back. I can still remember watching these with my siblings back-to-back. These and The Little Christmas Tree, but I liked Jingle Bells the best.
What are your favorite Christmas movies? Did I miss any? I’d love to know!!
Lots of loves,
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Nine Christmas Children’s Books

We had matching sweaters!
I had wanted to write this post and publish it yesterday, but alas I was busy getting some other stuff done and ran out of time. (Which is why I published today’s post yesterday) I’ve been feeling like I needed to add some Christmas themed content on top of my normal fare. (It is the Christmas season after all) I’ve got a couple of ideas turning around in my wee brain, but we’ll see if I have time to get to them done. (Ha! We’ll see)
One of my family’s traditions during the holiday season was to read one Christmas book a day until Christmas. My siblings and I all had our favorites that we picked once a year for my Papa to read. We would all curl up on his lap (Or next to him as we got older… I think we did this well up into our early teens) and listen to his strong voice as he wove the Christmas yarn. I can still smell the coffee on his breath as I leaned in as close as possible to see the colorful pictures.
My father is a fantastic story teller. I think that’s where we all (my siblings and I) got our love for telling stories ourselves. Both of my parents were avid readers and strongly encouraged us to read. (Some of the best winter days were spent after school, when my mom, younger sister and I spent the whole afternoon in the living room reading) This tradition is one I hope to carry on with my kids (if the Lord wills) someday.
Here are some of the books we enjoyed as children. They’d be great Christmas presents and a great way to start a new tradition!
#1. The Three Trees by Angela Elwell Hunt
This was my favorite! Every year this one was my first pick to read (when it was my turn to pick. We all took turns as to avoid sibling quarrels) Three trees all dream about what they want to be someday when they grow up and yet nothing goes according to their dreams. In the end each one plays an important role in Jesus’s life. 
#2. The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski 
If any of them can get you wrapped up into the very world of the story, it’s this one. My mom was always guaranteed to cry and my dad to become choked-up. A lonely and angry carpenter is hired by a young widow and her son to carve the Nativity scene. As he carves each piece you learn more about why he is alone and angry. There’s really nothing to say, but that this story is gorgeous. 
#3. The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado
Another one of my personal favorites and another one my mom was guaranteed to cry through, was this precious story about a forgotten lamb, who got to see the very reason we celebrate Christmas.
#4. The Christmas Lizard by Cory Edwards
I do not own this picture.
This was my younger sister’s favorite. I will admit it’s actually really good. (It’s hard to give my siblings credit- No not really) It tells the tale of a curious young lizard named Oscar, who explores the house on Christmas Eve night trying to discover the true meaning of Christmas. 

#5. An Angel’s Story by Max Lucado

This is geared more towards older children and even adults. The first time my dad read this to me (I had to be twelve or thirteen) I remember thinking how scary and yet enthralling it was. Definitely worth a read! (A good Christmas gift for yourself if no one else)

#6. The Last Straw by Paula McDonald
It’s a tradition wrapped in a tradition. The McDonald siblings are bickering with each other at Christmas time, when their mother remembers an old family tradition of filling Jesus’s manger with a one piece of straw at a time until it is full. Each straw represents a kind thing you secretly did for someone else. A truly heartwarming story.

#7. Jacob’s Gift by Max Lucado

Young Jacob is learning to become a carpenter and has entered a contest to show off his skill. His teacher, Rabbi Simeon has not only taught Jacob how to wood work, but that how in giving gifts to God’s children it’s like giving a gift to God. This proves true one quiet night in Bethlehem.

#8. All is Well by Frank Peretti
About a young girl and her mother during an especially difficult Christmas. This story shows that God is always there.
#9. An Amish Christmas by Richard Ammon
Follow a young Amish boy and his sister as they celebrate Christmas and all that entails is this Story.
What were some of your favorite family Christmas traditions? Did you have any favorite Christmas stories? Please share in the comments below, I’d love to know.

Lots of loves,
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Little Girls, Little Girls

Let’s talk little girls! (Is anyone else thinking Annie?) More specifically let’s talk little girl hair.

If any of you a have wee lass you know they’re soft, curly baby hair is simply gorgeous! But it’s also almost impossible to style. 

Of course you could leave it down to blow in the wind and get caked with whatever sticky, unknown substance she comes in contact with. (Snot, syrup, yogurt, her brother’s buggers and so on)

Working as a nanny has given me plenty of practice doing little girl hair and I’ve learned some helpful tips along the way. (Below are some of my go-to hairstyles and for the most part they’re fairly easy to replicate)

Our first look (and arguably the cutest) are the “pig tails”. They’re pretty easy to do, just slowly and evenly start dividing the hair into elastics. You can either just leave the ends to hang or gather them into a bun.

I normally reserve the below “half-up half-down” look for Sundays. It will last the morning but not the nap! These looks can be harder to do as they require the little one to sit still. That’s why I normally do her hair at breakfast when she’s eating, or at a snack time. Food is a powerful motivator.  

Probably the look I use the most are my whimsical “web designs”. Mainly because they’re actually really easy and because they can last for several days with only mild redos.

When making your pattern just make sure you’re even on both sides. Using the same color elastics is also a good idea as it gives the look a more orderly feel.

One of my fav looks however is the messy bun! Mainly because it’s okay if looks well… MESSY! I redo it once after her nap (just retying the middle bun) and then let her go. The best part is you can dress it up or down considering what clips you use.

To achieve this look I gather the hair at the very front of her face and tie it in an elastic. Then I do the same with the middle section of her hair and the back section (gathering all those stubborn baby hairs). I carefully take out the middle elastic and gather the other two ponytails into it before retying into a simple bun. Then put a few clips at the base of the other two elastic bans to hide them and to provide extra staying power!
Before nap… 
After nap! 
Lots of loves,
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How to Become a Nanny? Prt. One

I’m super excited for our first article (if I can call it that) into a Nanny’s Life.
(Side note: I’m currently sitting in Panera enjoying hot soup and coffee. I feel so chic writing at the table in the corner by the window, lol!)
I wanted to start us off by answering the question: how do you become a nanny??
My journey into “nanny-hood” actual started when I was fourteen or fifteen. I have always loved kids (of all ages) and have wanted to be a mom since… Well forever! (I still hope to be a mom someday) I’ve done church nursery work, Awana, VBS and babysitting since I was old enough and have always felt like kids were my calling. (I’m more comfortable around little minds- even middle school minds, than I am among my peers.) But at fourteen or fifteen I thought I needed to pick a career. After all, as soon as high school was over I’d be expected to “do something”. (And it seemed very unlikely I’d be married at eighteen- Reality had finally clicked in!) 
Going to college has never, ever appealed to me. Maybe because everyone (except my parents) was telling me I needed to go, or maybe because everyone goes to college and it seemed to me if I wanted to stand out I should think outside the box. Anyway college was never really an option for me. Of course this road only leaves so many career paths. (Engineering and brain surgery were definitely out) That’s when I started to look at unique careers and stumbled across an ad for a nanny. 

It was like a light clicked on inside my brain. A nanny… A live-in nanny! What could be better than that? It was babysitting on steroids! It was literally a dream job!
Well my eighteenth birthday rolled along and, to be completely honest, I was not mentally ready to leave the safety of my parent’s home. Maybe there are some people who are ready to be out on their own immediately after they turn the magic number of eighteen, but I was not one of them. My parents, because they’re totally awesome, said I could stay as long as I needed to.
And so I got a job at hospital… Two and 1/2 years pass and it was like a small voice was telling me to move; that it was time to do “the something”. On a fluke really, I decided to open an account on indeed.com (I had seen their commercials on TV. Especially the one about the girl who never went college) and give it a try. The very first ad I saw was for a family in Milwaukee,WI who were looking for a Christian nanny. 
How perfect was that? Milwaukee was only fours away from my family and they were looking for a Christian nanny! 

Obviously I applied… And was told they had already hired someone else… Maybe I wasn’t meant to be a nanny. 

I looked at other ads but none of them caught my eye. And yet I still had this urge to move. So I started filling out the paper work to take classes at the hospital I worked for to become a CNA. I was just about to turn in paperwork when the family in Wisconsin re-contacted me and asked if I was still interested. I had a phone interview, a live interview, was offered the job and accepted. By January 2018 I was a nanny!
To be continued. (This was turning into a longer post than anticipated. Next week I’ll give you guys some tips on applying to a nanny position, interviewing and what to look for in a nanny ad)
You didn’t believe me at first did you?
Lots of loves,
P.S. If you have any questions feel free to email me or to leave a comment down below and at any of my social media accounts.
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Turning Twenty-Two

A Merry Christmas to you all! I didn’t post anything on Thursday and have felt guilty about it ever since. But as you guys know it was my birthday (yippee!) and I decided to take the day off and decorate my apartment for the holidays. (Hence the pictures)
I got this pillow @ TJMaxx and freaking obsessed!
To be honest I don’t feel twenty-two. It doesn’t seem possible that almost a year has passed since I started this new adventure in Wisconsin. 
A friend of mine and I were talking about how quickly life can change; how new chapters can begin before we even have said good-bye to the old ones. And sometimes those passings hurt more than others. I know one day will come when my chapter here will close and it will be a bittersweet parting. (The family I work for are so loving and kind) But God reaffirms, almost daily, that for right now I am exactly where I need to be!
This leads me to a new topic I want to tackle in the coming months. I’ve wanted to tackle it since I started my blog- A nanny section! (It is called A Nanny’s Notebook after all) We’ll cover a day-in-the-life, what to expect when pursuing a career as a nanny, how to discipline kids who aren’t yours, and so on! Plus kid’s fashion/style, places to shop, crafts- Basically anything and everything a Modern-day Mary Poppins needs to know! (It’ll also be great for you grandmothers, aunts, babysitters, nursery workers and teachers!)
So you guys be thinking of any questions you might have about a modern-day nanny and I’ll try my best to answer them. (I’m also thinking about interviewing some moms I know for that extra wisdom only moms can know. Would you guys be interested in something like that? Let me know! And let me know if you’re excited for this new topic. Or if you have anything you’d like me to tackle next.) 
Until next time…
Lots of love,
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