Friday, June 19, 2015

First birthday ideas

My sweet baby boy is fast approaching one! He will be 8 months soon and I have just started thinking about his first birthday party. When Abby turned 1 we had a pretty big party at our house, nothing extravagant but we invited a lot of people. I have a pretty big family and events like birthday parties always have a large guest list because you just don't want to leave anyone out. Most of my friends have a kid or 2 now also and we definitely don't want to leave any friends out. 

I'm thinking we'll do Jax's party at our home just like Abby's but of course his will not be a Minnie Mouse theme. There are so many cute boy themes out there on Pinterest. Here are my top 5 choices so far.....

1. Mickey Mouse- Drew is a Disney fan. I mean so am I, but he really loves it. He wants our kids to grow up as Disney fans too. There is a lot of stuff to choose from if you go with a theme like Mickey. 
Project Nursery - Mickey Mouse First Birthday Party Gift Table and BannerMickey Mouse Birthday Tie and Suspender Onesie with Shorts for Baby Boy First Birthday Disney Clothing Birthday Party Little Man Tie OutfitAidan's Mickey Mouse Clubhouse First Birthday  |

Such cute ideas. That outfit though... so adorable! 

2. Little Man Party- I love love love this idea. The sweet boy colors of blues, greens, whites... so preppy and just so adorable! 
Little Man themed baby shower. Could also be a first birthday party. Lots of cute ideas at Clever Nest #aquagraylime #boysfirstbirthday #hip... BOYS FIRST BIRTHDAY Mustache Outfit-Boys Mustache Birthday Set-Cake Smash Outfit-Bow Tie Bodysuit Luke's First Birthday Party! Little Man Theme Birthday Party! Goodie treat bags made out of brown paper lunch bags from the dollar tree and decorated with bow ties and ties made from scrapbook paper!

Baby bow ties...oh my heavens!!! 

3. Monsters- Cookie Monster or Monsters Inc... I can't decide but I love the Monsters theme. And I have to admit Abby loves the movie Monsters University so this would be a theme she would love too. 
First Birthday Party Themes That Will Wow You: Monster Mash I planned on decorating my son’s high chair for his first birthday since that is where he would be performing the most exciting part of a one-year-old’s birthday – eating the cake!  I was going to make a pennant banner to hang from the high chair tray when I realized that I could make the pennant banner look like monster teeth by making each triangular flag white.  And then I figured I may as well dress the entire high chair up like a monster because, well, I’m crazy! Monster Birthday Shirt First Birthday Boys by PatchesandPuppies 
I feel like there would be a lot of cute crafts we could make for a Monster themed party using the stick on eyes and construction paper. 

4. Baseball- So far everything in Jax's life has been deemed baseball themed because of his Dad. His room is baseball and anything that has his name on it is baseball themed. It's only natural that I would look at baseball themed party stuff. Although I am completely on board with branching out from that theme. 
I AM ONE Birthday Banner Baseball themed first by HandmadeByVee, $13.00 Baseball themed shower cake - Baseball themed cake for my daughter's baby shower.  My first time covering a cake completely with fondant.  It was so much fun.  Fondant shoes and BB bat.   Thanks everyone for the inspiration especially to the original creator! Get the buckets and other accessories you need to make this Baseball party look at Old Time Pottery today!

Picture Jax in a cute little baseball outfit! Oh I love it! 

5. Cars or Construction - What's more boy than that? D loves cars, that's how he makes his living so that's why I thought of cars. I like to read Jax the book Goodnight Goodnight construction site and I think every little boy needs a Tonka truck. 

Getting ready for baby's first birthday!! Car's Birthday Party - Luigi's Tower of Tires - Chocolate Donuts Diner Style Race Car First Birthday Party #firstbirthdayparty #partiesforboys Everything Goes on Land Book Themed First Birthday

I still have a little bit to make a final decision but I just love all these ideas. I know Jax won't have any idea about all the work that I put into planning his first birthday party but it's more for me and the picture memories of it. He's my last baby so I want to go all out. 

*None of these pictures are mine, I took them all from pinterest for inspiration purposes only. I love pinterest. If you want to see where to find these at you can follow my pinterest board here. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

My one piece of parenting advice

Now now, I wouldn't consider myself a parenting expert per say, but I am a parent. Ha! So during a day I am sure I do a million things wrong as a parent but I do have 1 tip to share.

A TIMER!!!  

I recently shared this secret with a friend of mine and now she thinks I'm  that Super Nanny lady. With our updated technology we can use this parenting advice anywhere!! 

So this is how it works.....

Scenario 1. 
Your 3 year old, we'll call her Abby just for fun, wants to watch Elsa play doh videos on the iPad. Abby's mom has heard that screen time should be limited and also it is getting awfully close to Abby's bed time. What does Abby's mom do?? Why, she sets a timer of course. Abby knows that when the timer goes off that we have to put up the iPad. So her Mommy isn't the one telling her to get off the iPad, it is her friend the timer telling her. No fuss, no fight, puts the iPad down and goes good night!! 

Scenario 2:
Abby has a friend over and both little girls want to play with a certain toy or sit in a certain chair. Well well, what do you do? You don't want the girls to fight so you set a timer!!! Each girl gets a few minutes with a certain toy and when that timer goes off they switch. No fuss, no fight, the timer goes off and they switch!! 

The power of the timer can be used anywhere and for anything. Abby actually wants me to set the timer these days. She'll ask when she knows it is getting close to bed time if I've set the timer and most of the time it works like a charm!  

Let me know how it works for you!!! 

What's your favorite piece of parenting advice? 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Greek Chopped Salad

There is this restaurant that we have gone to a couple of times for lunch called Fadi's. It is THE BEST!!! It's Mediterranean food. Everything is so fresh and flavorful and I am just in love with it. I wish it was closer to my office, I'd eat there weekly. Unfortunately or fortunately depending on if you're talking to me or my wallet it is about a 25 minute drive from my office so I can't go too often. The food at the restaurant has inspired me to try to start making some homemade Mediterranean like food. I started with this super easy Greek Chopped Salad!

Easiest Greek Chopped Salad EVER!!! Here is what you'll need....

1 cucumber (seedless is best) 
4 roma tomatoes 
1 can of chick peas (drained and rinsed) 
1/2 purple onion 

1/4 c. olive oil
some Italian seasoning
3 tbs. red wine vinegar 

Topping: Feta Cheese

Dice up all the veggies, be sure to remove the seeds and goo from inside the tomatoes. Put all the veggies and chick peas into a large bowl. 

Mix up the dressing and pour over the veggies

Stir it all up really good 

You can top it with some feta and enjoy immediately or throw it in the fridge for a bit and let all those flavors combine and eat it later. Either way is great! 

I have been eating on this salad for 3 days now. Yesterday and today I brought some grilled chicken for lunch and mixed it in with the salad. It is super filling, I guess because of the chick peas. It hits the spot for my Mediterranean food cravings! 

I can't wait to try some more Mediterranean inspired recipes. I purchased some lentils. I'm going to stalk pinterest for some recipe ideas. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Jaxon- 7 month update

Yesterday was Jaxon's 7 month birthday. 7 MONTHS!!! Where the hell did the time go. I know everyone says that, but seriously it is going by way way way too fast! 

I did a terrible job documenting Abby's milestones and have done a pretty shotty job with Jaxon's so far too so I'm just going to make a list of the important stuff each month on here.  

Right now Jax is wearing 6-9 month clothes, size 3 diapers. I'm thinking we need to go to size 4 diapers soon though. Even though size 3 goes up to 28lbs, by the morning time his diapers are so full and he has been having quite a few blowouts. Maybe a larger diaper size would help that. 

Jax is eating baby food. He has mastered stage 1 foods and has loved and eaten everything that I have given him. He has had green beans, squash, peaches, peas, bananas, pears, apples, sweet potatoes and carrots. He also loves the mixed stage 2 foods. He is quite the good eater. Tuesday I tried to give him some stage 3 foods that had little chunks in it and he was not having it! He gagged on a little tiny noodle and it make him throw up. I felt terrible. I guess we'll stick with 1 & 2 foods for now. He also takes 5 or 6 bottles a day along with the food he is eating. 

He sleeps like a champ! At night he is so easy to put down. He has a bath and bottle and goes right now bed, no fuss! no fight!! Typically he sleeps from 7:30pm- anywhere from 5am-7am. If we move too slow in the evenings this happens....

His favorite toys right now are that cube toy in the top picture and his walker. That boy loves to zoom around the house. I think we may need to move the rug back some in the living room to give him more room to go. He also loves the Fisher Prices Laugh and Learn Puppy that claps. It will brighten his day immediately! His other favorite thing is our dog Bruno. 

Jaxon rolls over from his back to stomach but refuses to roll from his stomach to back. If I place him in a sitting position he can sit up on his own unassisted for a while and play with his toys. He also loves to sit up in the bathtub with out his bath seat now so he can splash the water like a crazy man. No teeth yet but I'm sure they're coming soon. I also think crawling will be coming soon. When he is on his belly he tries to get up on his knees. He hasn't been successful in holding himself in that position yet but boy does he try real hard! He babbles a little but no Ma-ma or Da-da yet. 

This is such a fun stage in his life. He gets so excited about everything and he is just the happiest baby. He just smiles at everyone. The daycare ladies always tell me how he is such a flirt and the happiest baby they've ever seen. 

Friday, May 29, 2015

Five on Friday!

This was an especially short week for me because Monday was a holiday and Tuesday our city was flooded so they closed our office. Do you ever feel like sometimes short weeks feel the longest? I have 5 random things to talk about today....

1. Through our health insurance at work we are able to do this online health assessment and get a $75 gift card to a series of places of your choice. If your spouse is covered under the insurance then they can do this assessment too. Guess what that means for me..... $150 worth of gift cards to TARGET!!!!! Shhhhh....don't tell Drew he doesn't know. They are burning a hole in my pocket but I haven't decided what I want to buy yet so I'm holding off going.

2. Someone shared this article on Facebook yesterday and it really struck my heart. I need a village. 

3. Jax has been on baby food for about a month now and has started eating stage 2 foods. Our pediatrician said if he does okay on stage 2 foods for a couple of weeks then we can start introducing him to table foods. I know I've gone through all this before with Abby, but it really is amazing how quickly you forget this kind of thing. I've been looking for what kind of table food I should introduce him to and I found this article to be helpful. These kind of things may still be a month or so out but it's good to know. 

4. I want this hair....

With the long bob, or “lob”, recently trending, I bet there are a ton of you out there wondering how to style it! 
I have very very straight hair so I guess I need to buy a curling iron and learn how to use it. 

This anaconda was in the bushes by my front door yesterday when I got home. Thankfully my neighbor came to my rescue with his pellet gun and a shovel! 

I'm ready for this weekend to get started! 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Slow down... kids at life

Happy Friday-eve!!! I'm linking up for Thoughts for Thursday today and this is what has been on my mind lately. 

At the beginning of May I did a post on my May goals. You can read it here.  One of the goals was to spend more time playing with the kids and making the most of the time we do have together by making sure it is quality. I'd have to say I've been doing much better at this and have been very intentional about it. The other day I read a post about Slow Parenting. It is very in line with what I am trying to implement in my own life. I read a blog post about it here and another post about it here

Before reading these articles I didn't have a name for what I was trying to accomplish and I definitely didn't know it was a parenting movement that was happening. It does however make total sense. When I am busy, when I am rushed, when I am stretched too thin I am not my best self. I imagine that it is the same with my children. 

Sometimes I find myself rushing even when we don't have to rush. Abby is walking to slow... hurry up honey, let's go. She stops to look at what she thinks is a bug on a tree.... Abby there is no bug let's go. We're out eating ice cream (which is supposed to be a nice little treat for her).... hurry baby eat your ice cream. 

On Monday the kids and I were at home hanging out and around 2:30pm I decided I wanted to take them to do something fun. We were going to go to the zoo but it was too packed. I mean so packed I couldn't even find a parking spot. So we went to the downtown aquarium instead. Abby had the best time. I enjoyed myself so much because I was very intentional in my thoughts that we weren't in a hurry. That octopus she is looking at in the picture above, we looked at it for probably about 20 minutes. She would walk away to look at something else and then want to go back to it and talk about it and compare it to the octopus in The Little Mermaid. She is actually still talking about it 3 days later. I am just so happy I didn't rush her through. I was able to listen to her sweet little opinions about that octopus and to hear her talk about it and relate it to things she knew already.  When I am too rushed I miss those opportunities. 

It is so easy to get wrapped up in being too busy, in being in a hurry, in getting the most you possibly can done all in one day. I plan on trying to not do that though. There will always be time to be busy, but there won't always be Abby at age 3 or Jaxon at age 6 months..OMG almost 7 months. 

I know the days are fleeting, I know I can't stop my kids from growing up but I can make sure that we are all able to look back on these times with fond memories. I'm not saying my kids won't do extra curricular activities. Of course I want them to have interests and hobbies and friendships outside of our home that will help shape them into the person they will grow up to be, but I want to make sure we connect as a family and get to know each other in our home as well. 

What are your thoughts on Slow Parenting?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Bring the Ark!

Y'all it is flooding in Houston! It is terrible. This is what I drove through to get to work today.

So, I really wanted to post a weekend update yesterday but my office closed because of all the flooding so I had to work from home with my 2 kids there since the day care closed too. It was hectic. I had another post planned for today but since I'm so backed up with work from being off Monday and working from home without my computer yesterday I don't really have time to post today. 

So I just wanted to pop in here to say please keep Texas in your prayers right now. There are a lot of people who are facing devastation of their homes, their cars, their communities and worst of all their families. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tiny Touches

Sheesh... life has been busy lately. 

My friend Jill came into town on Thursday. She lives in Canada. We met while we were both teaching overseas in Korea. It was so great to see her. The last time I saw her was in 2011. I am hoping the next time I see her will because D and I take a trip to Canada. On Friday we went to an Astro's game. That is the only picture I took all weekend. #bloggerfail

Yesterday I wanted to be able to eat lunch with her and take her to the airport so I took the day off from work. Plus, I mean a random day off any time is nice. She had to be at the airport by noon so that left me with the entire afternoon by myself. I utilized it by shopping! 

I cannot even remember the last time I could just mosey around a store shopping for anything or nothing. I have been wanting to put together a nice centerpiece for our dining room table but just haven't had the time to find exactly what I wanted. 

On my pinterest board I have this inspiration picture. I love the look of this and decided I would shop around until I could create something similar that I loved. I ended up going to Tuesday Morning where I didn't find anything for that project but found a jewelry organizer, which is a project for a whole other post and I found a cute little Gerber daisy flower arrangement that would go perfectly in the upstairs bathroom. 

maybe one day I will get this bathroom completed 

Then I went to Marshall's. There I found a bracelet organizer, again, for a different project. Marshall's was disappointing so  I walked to Kohls and found this candle. The best part of that was the Kohls cash I had in my purse so when I checked out my balance due was $0! 

After those stores I was still on the hunt for a tray so I decided to head to Hobby Lobby. There I was able to find the tray that I was looking for. 

Here is the final product: 

It isn't really anything like the inspiration picture but I love the way it looks on the table. I also love that I was actually able to utilize things that I already had in my kitchen. 

The blue vase and the bowl I have had for a while, i believe I got the vase from Hobby Lobby and the bowl came from Target. The bananas are from HEB. :) 

It's the tiny touches that make such a big difference and transform the house into a home! 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


My sister posted this picture on Facebook today.

This is Abby when she was about 14 months old. I look at this picture and I feel 2 things. 1. complete and overwhelming joy that she is my daughter and 2. complete and overwhelming sadness that the days pass so fast and she will never be this little and sweet again. 

Is all of motherhood so bittersweet. You relish the time your in and the stage of life that your are at but you look back and reminisce?

 Literally all day today I have been going through an internal battle about wanting to be a stay-at-home-mom but being to scared to take the leap and leave my career. This isn't something new. Drew and I talk about it all the time, but to me it is scary. I could list the long list of fears but when I really think about it do I want to let fear be my guide? Do I want to look back at all the pictures from my kid's childhood and think man, I really wish I had been there and experienced more with them?  

I think that I am a good mom. I balance our life well and I have a job that respects my need for a work/life balance, but lately I just feel myself longing for more time in my home, more time with my kids, more time to help my husband. 

Has anyone else battled these feelings? 

Monday, May 4, 2015

A weekend of turning into a big boy

It's Monday already?!?! This weekend went by way, way too fast! 

Today is the 2nd weigh in day for the 90 day spring challenge I'm part of. I forgot to weigh in this morning but I'm quite disappointed in myself because I am pretty sure positive that there will be no loss. I need to quit messing around and get this baby weight off. Jax turned 6 months yesterday and I'm still hanging on to about 15lbs. I know, I know, it's only been 6 months, but I know if I had been really working at it that I would have that weight off by now and be back into my clothes comfortably. 

Speaking of Jax turning 6 months old, here is a sneak peak of all the big boy stuff he did this weekend! 
hanging out playing with feet while his sister does gymnastics
His first taste of baby food. He had pears and really seemed to enjoy them

Look at this big boy, who needs a baby carrier when they can sit up in the cart! 
Saturday we went to a birthday party for my 2nd cousin who turned 1. We also got to take my grandpa and grandma out to dinner. My grandpa is 84 and his wife is turning 85 at the end of the month. I treasure the times we get to spend with them and that they get to spend with my children. 

Sunday was filled with grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry, food prep, and my husband getting sick. D started running a high fever last night, he thinks he has strep  is dying. Can any of y'all relate? Why is it always 100x worse when a man gets sick than when a woman gets sick? Does anyone else get as annoyed by it as I do? I really try to be sympathetic but really I think I was born without a sympathetic gene. It would be safe to say that it doesn't come naturally for me. 

Thankfully he went to bed early last night. I got to spend a few minutes of down time sitting on the back porch with some wine and my new solar lamp. The weather was so nice and there was a nice breeze. It was the most relaxing 15 minutes of my weekend.  

Now it is Monday and the start of a super busy week! I don't enjoy being one of the "busy" people. You know the type, that think they are busier than anyone else in the world. Although I don't think we are busier than anyone else, we are in fact busy for us this week. 

Monday night- swim lessons
Tuesday night- we have to drive to Beaumont (100 miles away) to watch my step-daughter's dance recital 
Wednesday- no plans! hooray!
Thursday- My mom's pinning ceremony for her graduating from nursing school
Friday- Breakfast for Mom at the daycare & that night my step-dad, sister, and I are hosting a celebration dinner for my mom
Saturday- gymnastics & mother's day gift shopping
Sunday- Mother's day

How's your week looking? 

Happy Monday! 

Linking up with B Loved Boston 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

My goals for May

HOLY MOLY!!!! Tomorrow starts the month of May. I can't even believe it, time is going by so fast. I saw something the other day, maybe it was on Instagram or pinterest, I'm really not sure where I saw it but it really struck true with me and where I'm at in my life. The days are long but the years are short. 

That being said, even though the days are long I still feel like there isn't much time to get done the things that I want to do. I figure if I set out 3 or 4 simple goals maybe, just maybe I'll be able to accomplish them in a months time. 

I am very lucky to have a flexible work environment that lets you be flexible with work hours. Typically I work 8:30-ish to 5-ish (okay, okay, 4:45ish). I think that if I could make myself get out of the house earlier and be at work by 8am and work until 4pm then I would improve my quality of life and give me some extra time with my babies in the evening. MWF are hard days since I do my morning boot camp, but I think that if I can do the 8-4 thing on Tues/Thursdays that things would be better. So, my goal #1 is to be at work by 8am at least 2 days a week. 

When we first moved into our house we purchased a desk from Ikea. Recently I purchased an add on piece and a filing cabinet to go with it in order to make the desk more functional. Well, a desk will never be functional if you don't set it up. So my second goal for the month is to get the desk set up into a nice work space. For mother's day I'm asking for a silhouette cameo and I would really like a nice organized place to make some creations at. Also I'd like to not have a stack of random papers, important documents, bills, etc on my kitchen counter anymore. So I guess this is more of a 2 part goal; set up desk & file your shit! 

I should note that these goals are not in a specific order of importance, if they were then this one would be number 1. I want to spend more time on the floor with the kids in the evening. Spend time doing puzzles with Abby or playing with her dolls, spend time with Jax working on sitting up or rolling over, or playing with his bright colored toys. As it stands now we usually get home and I have to get dinner started immediately and baths have to happen shortly after that because Jax has decided the only good bedtime is at 7pm. 

D & I have talked about trying to start up a small business. We have dreams that it could be come a larger business and eventually I would be able to work from home and have lots more time with our sweet babies. My 4th goal for the month is to get my butt in high gear. I'm letting the fear of failure stall me and I need to strap on some big girl panties and take a chance. For the month of May my goal is to do some research on certain costs that will be accrued throughout the start up of this and to write out a business plan. 

Alright May, bring it on!! I'll be happy if I can look back at the end of May and see that I have made some strides in accomplishing some of these. 

Do you set monthly goals? 

Linking up with Home of Malones & East Coast Chic today for Thoughts for Thursday. 
Thoughts for Thursday

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Kids say the darndest things

I have a quick funny story to share this morning. 

Abby is getting to the age now where she notices that our bodies are different and in the past she has made comments about my bra in passing. No big deal right, I'm sure in the future there will be more awkward things for us to talk about. The future was this morning. 

I'm giggling as I'm typing this because it was just too funny/awkward. So, I'm in my closet getting dressed. I'm about to put a dress on but I'm standing in my bra and panties. These certain pairs do not cover my fanny like Abby's do, if you get what I'm saying. She walks up behind me and starts pulling on them and says, "Mommy I have to fix your panties for you". 

I died. She wouldn't let the subject go. We had to talk about it for at least 4 minutes. I just laughed and laughed. 

Isn't she cute?

Have your kids ever done anything so awkward?? How did you handle it? 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Our weekend & a patio update

It's Monday! My day started all to early with a huge storm waking Abby up and therefore Abby waking me up . Lately we have had lots bad storms. On Saturday morning we woke up to a really bad storm. The rain was hitting the house so hard and there were 50mph winds blowing outside. D & I really thought a tornado was coming through. We went upstairs and got Abby and made her and Jax sit in the closet for a little while until the wind died down. 
No need to judge how messy my closet is! 
I thought I would have to fight Abby to get her to stay in there but she was more than happy to hang out on the pillows and watch weird toy videos on the iPad. When she finally decided to come out of the closet the only thing she wanted to do was make a snow cone. Why is my right bicep 2x bigger than the left? Oh that would be because my husband decided to be a sweet father and buy Abby an Olaf snow cone maker. 
You have to hand crank this baby for about 20 minutes to get about 1 ounce of ice. She wanted to make 3. Now I have super human strength in my right arm. Thanks Drew, thanks. 

This weekend Jax also slept his first full night in his crib, upstairs. I felt like he was so far away. We had never really used our monitor before so I was nervous I wouldn't hear him and ended up sleeping downstairs on the couch just in case the monitor didn't wake me up. He ended up sleeping from about 8pm-5am! It was a miracle.  Last night he slept in the crib again until about 3am. He woke up to eat and I was just too lazy to walk him back upstairs after he finished his bottle. 

On Friday night the patio furniture we ordered a couple of weeks ago arrived. We got most of it put together on Friday and then I finished the rest on Saturday. We had some friends coming over to hang out Sunday so it was the perfect time to debut our new deck! It was a gorgeous day out, the kids played so well together, the wine was going down smoothly, we ate too much food, it was the perfect Sunday! 

I just love the way it turned out! 

His first time in a swing! 

Now it's Monday so I'll spend the day dreaming of Friday!!