Friday, January 29, 2016

Five On Friday – Things to Remember About Right Now

Happy Friday!  This weekend is going to be especially great because Brian and I have a date night planned for Saturday.  We’ll be heading to a benefit ball that we attend every year, so it should be a fun night of dressing up, good food, delicious drinks, and good times with good people.  The food is always amazing, so I’m really looking forward to it.

With Olivia’s second birthday rapidly approaching, I’m reminded of what a thief time really is, stealing seconds, minutes, and hours away from us without notice.  And before you know it, your newborn baby girl whose feet barely dangled past your chest when you held her is turning into a toddler who has to curl her legs up when she lays across your lap.  And that tiny button nose on your baby boy’s face is replaced with one more refined, more prominent, and you realize sadly that he’s no longer a baby or even a toddler… he’s a boy.    

It happens to the best of us, and the older we get, the faster time goes.  Before we know it, our sweet babies will be grown and gone. 

There are so many little things that we experience in our day to day routine that we don’t give much thought to in the present, but eventually those things will be gone, and one day we will miss them. 

That is, if we even remember them in the first place. 

Today I wanted to capture a few of those routine moments and bottle them up so I never forget.

O N E – Jacob’s Bedtime Routine

Brian helps Jacob get ready for bed while I put Olivia down each night, and then I meet up with them.  Before I come in, Jacob puts on his own PJs after his bath, and then he and Brian always read a couple of books followed by teeth brushing.  After he brushes his teeth, he goes back in his room, turns on his star projector, turns off his lamp, and then he wants to lay in Brian’s lap in the dark and chat until I come in.  If I come in before he’s done with that part of the routine, all hell breaks loose.  Lol.  So Brian has started leaving the door cracked open an inch and once it’s dark in there, I know to wait a minute or two and then it’s safe to enter.

Once I get in the room, I kneel down beside the bed and he comes and loves on me a little, then Brian puts Chap Stick on his lips, and then Jacob crawls into bed.  He never wants his blanket at first, and he likes for me to ask, “Do you want Mommy or Daddy to stay with you for a few minutes?”  And then he always says yes, and depending on what “pattern” he’s using, he decides whose turn it is to stay with him.  The pattern we are currently using is, “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, Mommy” so clearly we know who his favorite is right now.  ;o)

Then whoever stays with him scratches his back (UNDER HIS SHIRT!!) for a few minutes and then we ask him if he wants water or his blanket and he always says that he wants water first.  He sips the tiniest sip of water, and then we cover him with the blanket, pat him for another minute, kiss him goodnight, and make our exit.  That is, if he doesn’t say, “Don’t leave yet.”  If that’s the case (which it usually isn’t anymore – because growing up) then we stay for a couple more minutes.

T W O – Olivia’s Bedtime Routine

While Brian is assisting Jacob, Olivia sits in my lap in her rocking chair while we read a couple of books, and then before we turn her lamp off she has to pick up the giant picture frame of monthly pictures from her first year and she has to “feed” her paci to each picture, wipe it off, and then tell it goodnight – “Goodnight, Wee-ya” (Olivia).  She does this thirteen times.  It is a hoot.  And some nights, it is a bit exhausting.

After she tells all thirteen of herselves goodnight, we turn off the light and she says, “Pray-yah, pray-yah” (prayer) like she’s from Boston or something.  We say the bedtime prayer first (Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep), and then we talk to God about what we are thankful for and we pray for any special intentions that we have.  My sister-in-law, Cheryl, is pregnant right now so we’ve been praying for her and the baby a lot lately, so now after we are done saying the bedtime prayer Olivia always says, “See-rawl, See-rawl!” (Cheryl) to indicate that she’s ready to pray for Cheryl and the baby.  It is the sweetest. 

After that I rock her and breathe in her yummy scent for a few minutes, and then I lay her down in her crib.  She sleeps with three lovies – Sheepie, Lambie, and Baby (we’re so original with the names) – and she likes for me to place Sheepie in her left arm, Lambie in her right arm, and Baby on her chest.  Then for some reason she lifts her legs up in the air until I say, “Put your legs down.”  Then she lifts them even higher, and I have to say, “Put your legs down” one more time.  Once I’ve said it for the second time, she gives me a big grin, slams her legs down, I put her blanket over her, and we blow kisses to each other before I leave the room. 

T H R E E – The Kids’ Favorite Toy

The kids’ very favorite thing to do each day when they get home from school is to run in our front sitting room, and play with the Hot Wheels Garage that Jacob got for Christmas.  That is the best gift that either of them has ever received, hands down!  They play with that thing for hours at a time!  A lot of the time they fight, but a lot of the time they get along, and it’s really sweet.

Olivia always says, “Gwaaaajsh, minute?”  (Can I play with the garage for a minute?) and it’s quite possibly one of the funniest things ever.

F O U R – Drying Olivia’s Hair

Since it’s winter now and Olivia’s hair has gotten really long, we have started using the hair dryer to dry her hair after her bath so she doesn’t have to go to bed with a wet head.  Lately Jacob has been running in and wanting me to dry his hair too.  Olivia was terrified of it at first, but now she requests to have it done.  This is a relatively new thing that we’ve started doing, but I have a feeling it’s going to last for a while.

F I V E – Jacob’s New Game

Just about a week ago, Jacob started asking Olivia, “Do you wanna play accidents with me?”  The first time Brian and I heard it, we looked at each other in horror wondering what in the world he was talking about.  We asked him if some of the kids in school play that, but he told us that he made it up himself. 

Apparently “Accidents” is where you stand up on the seat of Olivia’s ride along elephant and then you jump into the ball pit.  Lol.  We don’t let them do that, of course, but it’s hilarious every time we hear him ask her if she wants to play “accidents” with him.

Sometimes we’ll be going up the stairs before bath time and he’ll yell, “Yay!  Let’s go play accidents!” 

Little things like these are the things that I know I’ll forget about one day if I don’t document them, and who would want to forget about the game of accidents?!  #Classic

Enjoy your weekend!

*Linking up with A Liz Adventures for Five On Friday and A Little Bit of Everything for Friday Favorites.


Thursday, January 28, 2016

A Little Bit of Décor in the… Closet

OK y’all, please don’t think I’m a weirdo, but I decorated my closet. 

I probably should have been an interior designer or a wedding planner or something like that since I have the constant urge to decorate, but since I’m not, I decorate and redecorate our house wall is ever safe from my obsession.  In my opinion, a bare wall is a sad wall. 

When we first moved into our house, I pulled some pages with pictures of shoes out of Vogue and Style magazines, framed them, and hung them on the walls in my closet so I didn’t have to stare at empty walls while I decided what to put on there permanently.  


Well, six years later, I finally decided.  

If you follow me on Instagram, you have probably seen my Mommy and Olivia outfit posts.  Brian makes fun of me nonstop for these (and I’m sure he will continue to), but I just think that they are so sweet.  I love capturing these little moments with my girl while she still wants to hold my hand, and I love that she will have them to look back on one day when she’s older.  So the other day I had a great idea… what’s better to decorate your closet with than pictures of fashion!  And I knew just where to get the pictures... 

And yes, I know they’re all of Olivia, and no, that does not mean that I love Jacob less than her.  It just means that I have very few outfit pictures with him since he’s not exactly interested in fashion, and all of the outfit pictures that I do have with him consist of him in the same shirt (Superman) and he is always shielding his eyes from the sun and scowling.  Not exactly frame-worthy.  Lol.

I guess I could have put pictures of just myself all over the wall, but then y’all would think that I’m full of myself.  And Brian would never let me live that down.  Hehe.

Anyway, I found the frames at Michael’s.  They are 8x8 matted to a 5x5 picture opening, and they were 4 for $19.99.  In addition to that, I had a coupon for 30% off of my entire purchase so I got all 12 frames for just over $40.  Such a good deal! 

And my apologies in advance for the poor photo quality... it's hard to get decent pictures inside a closet with no natural light, and a professional photographer I am not!


I changed out the curtain for the window as well... that was the little project I was working on this past weekend that I promised to share with you.  And eventually I will post a tutorial on how I made it.

I received the books Vanity Fair 100 Years and Vogue: The Covers for Christmas, and I thought that this would be the perfect place to display them.  I added a few tulips to my Target dollar spot pitcher, and boom, a glam little nook in my closet that makes me smile every time I open the door.

Eventually I would love to paint that wall a different color, because I’m tired of the grey/brown, but that would be a pain, and there are more important things on the list of things to do than that!   

So ladies, tell me I’m not the only one… have you ever decorated an odd spot in your house? 

No, just me?

*Linking up with Home of Malones for Thoughts for Thursday.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

What's Up Wednesday

I haven’t participated in a What’s Up Wednesday post in a couple of months because I was flooding this little ol’ blog of mine with some serious amounts of fall and Christmas posts.  All of that has died down (along with a tiny part of my soul – I get so sad when Christmas is over!) so we are now back to our regular scheduled programming. 

What We’re Eating This Week

You guys, I have a slow cooker and I just haven’t been utilizing its magical time-saving capabilities enough lately, so I’ve been on the hunt for some new recipes for it.  I came across Mel's recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas last week, and I was sold.  Our kids both love Mexican food, so I’m trying them tomorrow.  I’ll let you know how they turn out.

What I’m Reminiscing About

When my sweet little baby girl was actually still a baby.  You guys, she’s going to be two next month and I can hardly believe it.  It really seems like just yesterday that I was nursing her for the first time in the hospital, and now she’s standing up in high chairs and talking back to me like she’s thirteen.  We are for sure going to be in trouble when she’s a teenager.

What I’m Loving

The fact that Jacob, our 4.5 year old is finally, finally, finally pooping on the toilet consistently.  FINALLY.  I seriously cannot even put enough finallys (finalies?) in this paragraph.  And after hearing the word finally that many times it reminded me of the Friends episode with Jon Lovitz where he kept saying “tartlets” over and over again and now I’m cracking myself up – “the word’s lost all meaning.”  Hehe. 

Anyhoo, yes.  I haven’t really been mentioning this too much on the blog simply because I know that people do not want to read about anyone’s kid’s bathroom habits (or lack thereof), but now that’s it’s finally happening I just want to shout it from the rooftops!  We have just been having a time getting this boy to poop on the toilet.  It’s been a disaster, a nightmare, a train wreck, whatever you want to call it.  Yes, really that bad.  And what we’ve been through cannot possibly get much worse.  Ok, maybe it could get worse.  He could be smearing it on the walls or something crazy like that, I suppose.  We did have a poop on the floor incident, but I’ll spare you those details. 

I’m probably jinxing us by even talking about this just yet because it’s only been a week since he’s been accident-free, but believe me, that is a big deal.  And if he keeps it up, then I will probably be sharing a Poo-Poo Party with you on the blog in the next couple of months.  I know it’s everything that you’ve ever wanted in a blog post.  Lol.

What We’ve Been Up To

Not really a lot since the holiday hullaballoo and baby shower hosting duties are over.  If you missed it, my Momma and I threw a Winter Themed Gender Neutral Baby Shower back in December for my brother and sister-in-law.  It was simply gorgeous and the surprise at the end was the icing on the cake.

We did take a trip to Atlanta last weekend for a change of scenery, and that was a blast!  You can see the recap here.  That ferris wheel is a humdinger.

What I’m Dreading

Hubs is going out of town for work for a few days in February, and then again in March.  It’s a little extreme to say that I “dread” it when it happens, but it is definitely taxing and it makes for incredibly long days with no room whatsoever for downtime.  I work full-time and I have to get the kids to two different schools on opposite ends of town before getting myself to work by 8 AM, then I have to get them picked up afterward, and do the whole dinner, bath, and bedtime thing all by 8 PM.  Whew.  I’m cringing even thinking about it.

Hats off to all of the single mommas out there!  You guys are rock stars!

What I’m Working On

I’m still in the process of making 2016 my year of “less.”  Less clutter, less junk, less shopping for things we don’t need, etc. to make for a lighter, more carefree 2017 (that's the dream, anyway).  I’ve already decided that the goal for 2017 is to use the word “live.”  And I feel like I can do that better once there is less in my life to worry about.  You can read more about it here. 

So far I’ve completely cleaned out my closet, my dresser, one of the storage shelves in my office, and our pantry.  And we’re talking about being completely ruthless, here.  Things that I’ve been holding onto for years for one reason or another are going, going, gone!  And there’s no looking back.  #ByeFelicia

What I’m Excited About

I’ve gained a lot of new followers here on the blog in the last couple of months, and that just makes me so happy.  I feel like the blogging community has welcomed me with open arms and it’s been such a blessing connecting with all of you sweet ladies. 

One of my goals is to “get the blog all caught up” (mostly for myself) to make up for all of those years that I didn’t blog (and I’m now kicking myself for).  This means some fun looks back on our wedding, my pregnancies, and lots and lots of travel posts await, and I’m excited to share each and every one with you.    

I also have some plans to make some changes to the overall appearance of the blog – a new head shot (since mine is currently a poor resolution photo from almost two years ago), and some tweaks (or overhaul) to the layout.  I’m still using the initial basic layout that I created myself when I first started (and had no clue what I was doing), and I’d like a more professional look. 

A new layout is still a ways off, but in the meantime, I wanted to take a poll.  I’ve had the black polka dot background almost since the beginning, but I’ve always toyed with idea of doing away with it and just having a plain white background since it gives a cleaner, more professional look.  A lot of bloggers seem to be doing this now, so I’m torn – should I change mine or leave it?  I honestly love the way that it looks both ways so I thought I would reach out to my favorite ladies for your opinions.  Here are the two shots – let me know what you think!  And be honest!

Option 1 - Current Layout with Polka Dots

Option 2 - No Background
What I’m Watching/Reading

Watching – Bachelor Ben!  So far I’m loving Lauren (the flight attendant), Becca (the previous contestant from Farmer Chris’s season), Amanda (the mom with two kids), and Caila (the girl who broke up with her boyfriend to go on the show – yikes.).  And I’m so disappointed in Olivia because she’s ruining the good name of Olivia.  ;o)

Reading – The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  I finally jumped on board with this book to help with my quest for less (see above) and I’m really liking it so far!  While it’s a little odd (socks have feelings?) it has also really helped me to let go of a bunch of crap that I’ve been hanging onto for a long time for absolutely no reason.  Hence, the six trash bags full of stuff that I was able to let go of from my closet alone.

What I’m Listening To

A little bit of this, a little bit of that.  It’s always hard to get back in the swing of things after aaaall the Christmas music, but some of my tried and true faves are my beloved Dave Matthews Band, Phillip Phillips, JT, and random favorites in my “Favorite Songs of All Time” genre on my phone.  I’ve actually been shuffling my entire library lately and boy, does some random stuff pop up!  I’m looking at you, Hamster Dance Song!  For the love of all that is holy, why is that in my iTunes library?!

What I’m Wearing

Lots of skinnies, boots, and scarves.  Oh, and sweater dresses.  In 2015 I was recapping my outfit posts weekly, but I’ve decided to do them on a monthly basis instead, so each What I Wore post will be up on the first Wednesday of each month.  January’s recap will be up February 3rd.

And not sure if I’ve mentioned this here or not, but for the entire year of 2016 I’m trying not to repeat any outfits.  No, I do not have 365 different shirts or anything crazy like that.  I’m just trying not to wear the same combination of clothes more than once in the year.  So I’ll be mixing and matching and changing up shoes and accessories to make each outfit different each time.  That challenges me to be a little more creative with what I wear and I’m trying to wear everything in my closet, including some of the stuff that usually collects dust.  So far I’m 27 days strong so we’ll see if it lasts.  It’s going to be quite a challenge!

NYC Sweatshirt // Skinny Jeans // Hunter Boots

What I’m Doing This Weekend

Date night!!  We attend a fundraiser ball every year and it is this Saturday night, so the babies will be off with Nana and Poppie while hubs and I get gussied up for a night out.  And this year the ball is at a different venue, and I’m excited to see it!  And just for fun, here are some pics from previous fundraiser balls.

Left to Right - 2013, 2014 and 8 months preggo with Olivia, 2015

What I’m Looking Forward To Next Month

Spending the whole day with Olivia on her birthday.  Brian and I always take off of work for each of the kids’ birthdays and we spend the day with just them, while the other sibling is at school.  That way they get our undivided attention for the entire day and we take them to do fun stuff!  You can see my recap of Jacob’s special day last year here.

What Else Is New

I finally started sharing our home in my new Home Tour Tuesday segments.  You can see what I’ve posted so far below..

That about wraps it up!  Don’t forget to let me know which background you think looks better for the blog!

*Linking up with Shay, Mel, and Sheaffer for What’s Up Wednesday and Jessi's Design for What's Hap-"Pinning" Wednesday.
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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Home Tour Tuesday - Living Room & Kitchen

This is where we spend the majority of our time – the living room and the kitchen.  We snuggle on the couch and watch movies here, we eat most of our meals in here, and we spend many hours sitting cross-legged on the floor playing with our babies in here.  Obviously these are the most important rooms in the house.

And obviously since we spent most of our time in here, they seldom look this clean.  Trust me.

These rooms may already look familiar since I already gave you a fall tour and a Christmas tour last year, but here is what they look like in their every day glory!

I hope you enjoyed!  I'll be back next week to share our guest bath.  And in case you missed the previous home tour posts, they are below.