Saturday, July 30, 2016

Missing You...

It’s been one year since we heard your unmistakable, booming, radio-worthy voice. 

One year since we heard your infectious laugh.

One year since we lost one of my favorite people.

Not a day goes by that we don’t think of you, Big Daddy.  I hope you know that, and I hope you know that you are dearly missed.

Until we meet again…

Friday, July 29, 2016

Five on Friday - Randoms

Hello and happy Friday!  This week has felt long and I’m ready for the weekend.  B and I have a date night planned Saturday and I could not be more excited!  It’s been two months since our last one, so we’re long overdue. 

I tried to come up with a theme for today’s five, but everything that kept popping in my head to discuss was totally random, so be prepared for this to be all over the map today!

O N E – Back to School

Jacob starts Kindergarten in just a little over a week, so we have been busy making sure that we have everything we need for the big day.  Uniforms?  Check.  School supplies?  Check.  Backpack?  Check. 

One thing I didn’t have to buy for him this year was a backpack because he will be able to use the same one from last year.  I had never purchased a Pottery Barn backpack until last year right before he started K4.  Now I totally see why everyone loves them.  They are so durable.  He used this one for an entire year – and we’re talking slinging it around, dropping it on the ground, and stuffing so full I thought that I thought the zipper would burst, and it still looks brand new. 

Since they are so amazing, I decided to go ahead and get one for Olivia as well.  I was so torn between this one and this one but I ultimately went with the darker one because I think it will hide dirt better.  They have so many cute patterns that it was really hard to decide.  I almost got this one simply because it matched her first birthday party colors as well as her bedroom, and because - gold - but I decided that it was way too light as well… it would probably be filthy within weeks!  I’m hoping to get a good 3 or 4 years out of this one, so hopefully I made the right decision. 

But anyway, if you’re in the market for one, now is the time to buy!  PB is running a sale for 20% off your entire back to school order plus free shipping on backpacks.  They don’t run sales very often so get on over there if you need one.  #NotSponsored #JustLoveTheProduct

T W O – Christmas Shopping

I bought a few Christmas gifts this past week!  While I do think it’s ridiculous that stores like Hobby Lobby already have Christmas decorations out, I don’t think it’s ever too early to start shopping for gifts.  We always have a ton of people to buy for so it makes it easier on me (and our wallet) if I start early and spread out the time it takes and the spending over a few months.  That way I’m not scrambling around at the last minute and stressing out.  Aaaand we’re not paying a massive credit card bill all at once. 

In Olivia’s end of the year assessment, her teacher mentioned that she can play independently with Play-Doh and Play-Doh tools for hours.  Well, we had no idea how much she loved it because we haven’t had Play-Doh in the house since J was tiny.  Soooo, I snagged this set on Amazon along with this tool set, and I also got her a princess puzzle that I saw when I was at TJ Maxx.  Girl loves some princesses and she loves a good puzzle.  And Momma loves that some Christmas gifts have already been purchased.
T H R E E – New Signature

I finally got around to updating my signature for the ol’ blog the other day.  The one I’ve been using since the beginning was something that I threw together super quick and it wasn’t really even consistent with the brand, so I spiced it up just a little.  Remember that sweet new font I told you about last week?  I put it to good use.  A little over the top?  Maybe.  But that’s how I roll.  ;o)

F O U R – Favorite View

Jacob has been enamored with all of his new toys that he received for his birthday, so each evening this week he has been wanting to play with something new.  Wednesday evening when we got home from school, I poured a glass of wine, turned on Michael Buble, lit my favorite summer candle, and started cooking.  At one point I glanced over and Jacob was sitting at the table happily playing with his new kinetic sand set, and I thought, this is it.  Simple every day moments like this one are what life is all about.

F I V E – Jacob’s Big Boy Room

Oh, the struggle.  You may remember that I purchased some superhero letters for Jacob’s room to hang over his bed.  Well, I mounted them to a large board that I had painted white, and hubs and I hung it over his bed a couple of weeks ago.  Every day I have been walking in his room and thinking that a) something just didn’t look right about it… it looks kind of awkward, and b) that the board is really heavy and that it seems really irresponsible to hang something so heavy over Jacob’s precious head while he’s sleeping (even though we took extra precautions when securing it to the wall). 

So, what did I do?  Went to Hobby Lobby, of course!

I fell in love with a pair of red and blue wooden stars and I am going to hang them over the bed along with a smaller name board.  Now that I have finally figured out the game plan, I’m hoping to get it all done this upcoming week so I can share it with all of you soon.

Well friends, I’m out!  Enjoy the weekend! 

*Linking up with A Liz Adventures and Carolina Charm for Five on Friday, A Little Bit of Everything for Friday Favorites,  September Farm and The Farmer's Wife for Oh Hey, Friday, Meet @ the Barre for Friday Favorites, Cup of Tea for High Five for Friday, and Our Pretty Little Girls for Rewind Friday!

*This post may contain affiliate links.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Confessions {7.28.2016}

It's Thursday which means it's time for another round of confessions!  I haven't been doing this enough lately and it always feels good to get everything off my chest.

I confess...

… that I don’t like bath time.  There, I said it.  It hurts my back, my clothes get soaked, the kids get water everywhere, and I get tired of hearing, “stoooop spwashing me, JAY-COB” and, “Oliviaaaa just got water in my eeeeyes!”

… that I can’t stand Instagram now.  Ever since they changed to the new algorithm I barely even check it anymore.  One of my favorite things to do in the evenings used to be scrolling through my feed… I hardly ever missed any posts back then.  Now it’s all so jumbled that it has completely lost its appeal.  I still try to check the pages for the ladies who I’ve been closest with on a daily basis, but some days I even forget to do that.  I feel very disconnected with my blogger friends now and it makes me sad.

… that I totally found a knockoff of this shirt at – wait for it – Sears and it was only $15.  Good thing I didn’t buy the one from the NSale.  And good thing I went into Sears.  I don’t think I’ve been in there in two years!

… that I wish that I had bought this one.  I guess it’s not too late, but I just don’t wanna spend that much on one sweater.

… that I haven’t swept, mopped, or cleaned a toilet in our house in over a month, so I’m going to be spending the rest of my lunch breaks for the week and a few hours this weekend getting on that.  #Ew #SendWine #AndAHousekeeper

… that I cannot stand when people don’t RSVP to parties and events.  We invited all 17 kids in Jacob’s class to the trampoline park for his party this past weekend and do you know how many of those kids’ parents RSVPed?  Three.  THREE.  Out of 17!!  When the lady at the trampoline park called me last week to get the final tally for the party I had to tell her that I had no earthly idea how many people were coming.  And when I told her that, she told me that it happens to pretty much every party they book because nobody has the etiquette to RSVP anymore.  So please, people, if you get an invitation to an event, please RSVP.  It only takes a second.  And it’s totally OK if you’re not going to come… at least tell me you’re not going to come!

… that I am now back in my own SUV again and I’m not loving it.  If you remember, mine had been recalled due to the airbags not being safe, and I was in a rental for 73 days (literally) while they waited for the part to come in.  Well, after driving a massive Toyota Sequoia for 73 days, I now feel like I’m driving a clown car.  And it also feels like my car is going to fall apart when I go 70 on the highway.  And I miss the back-up camera.  And I miss the blue tooth for my phone.  I’m wishing for something fancier and slightly bigger now... but I can’t say that I didn’t see this coming!  

Happy almost weekend!

*Linking up with Sparkles and Lattes and Dispositive Motion for Confessional Thursday and Home of Malones for Thoughts for Thursday.

*This post may contain affiliate links.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

What's Up Wednesday

Well hello there, Wednesday!

There are a couple of posts that I only do once per month, and it never fails to shock me how quickly they seem to come around.  What’s Up Wednesday is one of those.  I mean, it seems like I just composed my post for June… how can I already be doing my post for July?!

What We’re Eating This Week

Nothing new this week… just some old favorites to keep it easy!

Monday – One Dish Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole with Broccolli.  So easy and it only dirties one dish!  I’ve had it on my list of things to share on the blog, but I just haven’t gotten around to it!

Tuesday – Sausage, Peppers, and Onions Tacos, Pinto Beans, Lime Chips… taco Tuesday!!

Wednesday – Ham and Cheese Sliders with fresh fruit

Thursday – One Dish Beef and Parmesan Pasta with Zucchini… recipe here!  Delish and only dirties one dish!

Friday – Take out or heading out somewhere to eat!  Momma doesn’t cook on Fridays. 

Saturday – Out!  Momma doesn’t cook on Saturdays either.  :o)

Sunday – Dinner at my Mom and Daddy’s house.  Apparently Momma doesn’t cook on Sundays either… I mean, Sunday traditions!  Can’t skip those!

What I’m Reminiscing About

This past Saturday was Jacob’s fifth birthday so I’ve been reminiscing about when he was a baby.  Going through all of his old pictures from his first year sure didn’t help with my serious baby fever!

What I’m Loving

Well, I snagged two things from the Nordstrom sale, and I’m patiently awaiting their arrival.  I had searched high and low for a black pea coat at the end of last winter and I couldn’t find one, so I’m hoping that this one will be perfect.  I still can’t get over the price either… I mean, $37.90 for a whole coat?!

I also went ahead and ordered these earrings since I have wanted them for so long.  I don’t often buy myself real jewelry, only cheap costume jewelry, and I figured that these would be something that I can wear for a long time to come.

What We’ve Been Up To

Celebrating Jacob’s fifth birthday with 658,341 cakes this past weekend.  You can see all 658,341 of the cakes here if you missed them.

What I’m Dreading

August.  It’s my second least favorite month of the whole year, along with February.  I always dislike the extreme weather months of the year.  By the beginning of February I’m completely over winter, and by the beginning of August I’m completely over summer.  Fall, I’ll be right here waiting for you.  Don’t hesitate to come early this year.  ;o)

What I’m Working On

We’ve been so busy lately that I still haven’t had the time to finish Jacob’s big boy bedroom.  It’s so close, you guys.  So close.  And I promise to do the big reveal really soon.  Until then, you can see the progress that we’ve made so far…

To Do:
·         Paint walls
·         Convert toddler bed to full size bed
·         Make personalized wall art to hang over bed
·         Hang shelves over dresser
·         Touch up wall paint – woops
·         Hang bulletin board
·         Paint hooks board and hang
·         Organize cubbies in desk and style desk top
·         Wash new pillow cover… the red dye appears to be rubbing off on everything it touches – sigh

To Buy:
·         Full size mattress
·         Lamp
·         Black-out curtains
·         Throw pillows
·         Desk chair

What I’m Excited About

Fall!  College football!  Fall!  College football!

What I’m Watching/Reading

Watching – The Bachelorette, of course, and we also just started binge watching Friday Night Lights.  It was a bit slow during the first few episodes, but I feel like I’m finally starting to get into it a bit more.

Reading – First Comes Love by Emily Giffin.  Liking it a lot and I’m almost done with it. 

What I’m Listening To

A lot of old standards – Michael Buble, Frank Sinatra, Steve Tyrell, and Rod Stewart, although those are always in my regular rotation so that’s nothing new.  I always tend to listen to them more in the fall, though, and since I’m longing for pumpkins and crisp weather, I’ve been playing them even more than usual! 

I’ve also been listening to Ray LaMontagne a lot… I could listen to him all day long, I swear!

What I’m Wearing

Well, I guess we have to wear clothes… sure would be nice if we didn’t have to since this summer has been pure misery weather-wise.  But since we do, I’ve been living in dresses, skirts, and shorts.  Too hot for anything else.  Here are a few looks from last month.  If you want to see more, you can see my recaps since January below.


What I’m Doing This Weekend

DATE NIGHT!!!!  Can I get an amen?!  B and I made a New Year’s resolution to go on one date per month this year, and we’re starting to fall behind.  We missed June and we haven’t gone yet in July either… guess we’ll have to make up for it in August!  We’re hopefully going to check out this new gastropub in town this weekend… one of our old friends owns it and we’ve been dying to try it.  I mean, who wouldn’t want to have a donut burger with some local craft beer for dinner?!

What I’m Looking Forward To Next Month

The end of it.  Does that count as an answer?  No?  Hehe.  But seriously, I really am just looking forward to the end of next month… because that means that we’ll be just days away from college football!  Amen and Go Dawgs.

What Else Is New

I finally wrapped up my home tour by sharing our outdoor living space a couple of weeks ago.  Now that the house tour is over and I have painted it in the best light, I also decided that it was only fair to share what it really looks like on a daily basis.  Folks, perfectly staged pictures with good lighting is just not reality, that’s for sure.  And you can see a whole lot of that non-reality here.  Please don’t judge.  ;o)

That’s a wrap!  Enjoy your day!

*Linking up with Shay, Mel, and Sheaffer for What’s Up Wednesday and Jessi's Design and Going the Distance for What's Hap-"Pinning" Wednesday.

*This post may contain affiliate links. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Home Tour Tuesday - What Our House REALLY Looks Like

These past few months I’ve been taking you on a tour of our lovely home.  The home that Brian and I built as a newly married couple.  The home that we brought our babies to when they were born.  The home that took us years to decorate to reflect our personal style.  I love this house.  And I’ve loved sharing it with you room by room during these last few months. 

However, the house that you’ve seen, those picture perfect spotless rooms, don’t adequately reflect the house that we live in on a daily basis.  Every picture in those posts was taken after each room had been methodically emptied of its clutter, tidied up, and cleaned until it sparkled.  You know, to put our best foot forward so that you could see what the house would look like in an idealistic world. 

The reality is that we don’t live in an idealistic world.  Brian and I both work full time, we have two small babies, and we do not have a housekeeper.  So today is the day to get real and to show you what our house really looks like on a daily basis.  The house of two full-time working parents with two small kids.  Everything may be beautifully decorated, but that certainly doesn’t stop the toys from spreading, the dust from collecting, and the laundry from piling up.

Last week, Brian was teasing me and asking if I was going to “stage” the clutter so it was messy, but “classy” messy.  The answer is no, friends.  This is literally what our house looked like on the random day that I decided to take the pictures.  When preparing for this portion of the tour, I literally walked in the door last Friday on my lunch break and started taking pictures on a whim.  I hadn’t even intended to take the pictures that day… my original plans for lunch had fallen through and I had 30 spare minutes, so I figured it was as good a time as any to get it done so that’s what I did!

Come on in!

On this particular day, I opened the front door and started cracking up.  Not only do you get to see our home in its typical state, you get to see some of the rooms in their worst state ever.  Lol.  The night before taking these pictures I had gone out with my girlfriends for dinner and apparently the kids made a royal mess right in the foyer while I was gone.  It’s like they knew I was going to be taking these pictures.  And fun fact, when I tried to open the door, it wouldn’t even open more than a few inches because there was a Hot Wheels car wedged under it.  #RealLife

The front sitting room now houses Jacob’s Hot Wheels Garage because we don’t have room for it anywhere else, so this room always looks like a Toys R Us exploded in it.  It’s just awful.

The formal dining room is a room that we don’t use very often and we also try to keep the kids out of there because of the breakable items on display, so it stays pretty clean.  There is, however, a thin layer of dust on the table’s surface because I haven’t dusted the house in over a month.  #Woops

The living room is where we spend most of our time and on any given day there are usually shoes and socks that the kids have removed, toys that haven’t been put away, and puzzle pieces strewn everywhere.

The kitchen is also an area that’s used a lot.  We’re usually pretty good about not having too many dirty dishes in the sink just because that’s one thing that really grosses me out, but as you can see, the island is our catch-all for junk and the magnets that should be on the refrigerator are always always on the floor.  #OliviaWuzHere

Our guest bathroom usually stays pretty clean as well, but only because there’s not much room in there for items that shouldn’t be in there.  Some things you didn’t see in the original tour…

1)    Maui’s crate – this is where she sleeps each night and where she spends most of her time during the day when we’re at work.  She has full run of the house, but she prefers to sleep in her cat bed.  And yes, you read that right.  She’s so tiny that she sleeps in a cat bed.
2)    The kids’ stepstool – gotta have some way to wash their hands!
3)    Tiny little potty – gotta have somewhere to potty when they can’t quite reach the big toilet!

Time to head upstairs! 

Oh look, another Toys R us explosion in the playroom!  

The master bedroom…

The kids' bathroom...

Olivia’s bedroom…

And only a sneak peek of Jacob’s bedroom… you didn’t think I was going to show you his big boy room when I haven’t even done the big reveal yet, did you?!

Finally, my office.  The one room that looks exactly the same as it did during the tour.  And why?  Because only I am allowed in there.  No hubs, no kids, no dogs.  Just me.  That way it’s always guaranteed to look the same.  When I clean it, it stays clean and everything stays in its place.  ;o)  And just kidding about Brian… he can go in there if he wants to, but he’s not a fan of scrapbooking or crafting or reading chick lit, so he probably has no reason to.  ;o)

So, this is it!  This is what life is usually like for us.  I do have to say that today’s tour might have been even dirtier than it usually is on a regular day.  Oops.

And if you prefer to see the house in all its clean glory, you can find my original home tour posts below.  But just remember, chances are, there are piles of toys, dirty clothes, and miscellaneous items that hadn’t quite yet made it to their homes just outside of the frames of the pictures.  ;o)  

P.S. The house is still decorated for 4th of July, so clearly I don’t have my act together right now.  ;o) 

*Linking up with Our Pretty Little Girls for Tuesday Talk, and Stang & Co. and Crown Me in Glitter for Talk About It Tuesday.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Jacob's Birthday Weekend

This weekend was a whirlwind of cake, presents, and family time.  While I’m exhausted today, I’m also really thankful, because it almost ended up being the birthday weekend that never was... 

Friday afternoon, Olivia’s school called me at work to say that she had thrown up and that we needed to come get her.  Never fails.  Every time we have a party planned or a vacation scheduled, somebody gets sick.  At that point we still had to pick up Jacob’s birthday cakes and pick up my car from the shop (hallelujah, after 73 days in a rental, I finally have mine back!) and she was fortunately able to hang in there until we got home, where she proceeded to throw up again.  Lawd.

I braced myself for the worst thinking that we would either a) have to find someone to keep her the next morning so we could both be there with Jacob for his party or b) reschedule the whole thing if one of us ended up getting sick as well.

Fortunately, once we put Olivia down for bed (promptly after her second sick spell) she slept through the night and was a good as new in the morning.  We still have no idea what’s causing this to happen… if you have been following along for a while you might remember that she’s had the same thing happen 3 or 4 times just in the last couple of months and we don’t know what’s causing it… maybe teething?  A food allergy?  Can’t pinpoint it.

Anyway, in addition to Olivia’s sick spell, Jacob awakened in the middle of the night because he had fallen out of his bed, and his voice was extremely hoarse and his breathing was a bit labored.  I was terrified that croup was looming, but we had Prednisolone on hand (thanks to our wonderful pediatrician) and we were able to give him a dose at 2 AM which cleared him right up.  He’s been totally fine ever since.  Whew.

Saturday morning arrived and we were all exhausted, but we had a house full of healthy people, so I deemed it a weekend miracle and then it was time to get moving.  B went out to pick up donuts for the birthday boy’s breakfast, and then we got ready and headed to the indoor trampoline park for his party.  The party was at 10 AM, because during that time slot they only allow kids under the age of five in the building, so we didn’t have to worry about big kids trampling our littles.

We had the best time!  The place is amazing – trampolines everywhere, basketball, dodgeball, and inflatables, and the parents were allowed to jump with the kids so we were able to join in on the fun.  They played Disney movie songs the entire time and you should have seen Olivia’s face light up when Do You Want to Build a Snowman and Let It Go came on… priceless!  A couple of kids from Jacob’s class came, and some of our friends brought their kids, and we jumped for an entire hour.  Once the hour was up, we had our own party room where they served pizza and cake, and Jacob opened presents.  They also sent in their mascot, a kangaroo, for the kids to take pictures with, and Jacob got to pull a special prize out of his pouch – a t-shirt! 

Olivia and her future husband, Mack.  Hehe.

Five of my girlfriends and I all had babies within a year of each other, so here's the group!  Look at all of those sweet faces!

It’s safe to say that it was everything that Jacob had dreamed of, and we will definitely be going back!

We spent Saturday afternoon putting together new toys, opening new gifts (a bike and a couple of Lego sets from Mommy and Daddy) and playing.  Jacob was excited about the bike, so we'll see how this goes... he's always been very timid about trying new things.

Saturday evening we met my father-in-law and the rest of B’s fam at Carrabba’s for dinner to celebrate Jacob again, as well as my sister-in-law, Jennifer, for her birthday that was one week prior.  We headed back to his house afterward where we had Key Lime Pie (Jacob’s request – LOL) and cookie cake (Jennifer’s request – a girl after my own heart) and they both opened their gifts. 

B and I ended the evening at home with a couple of episodes of Friday Night Lights, and I’m happy to say that it has started to pick up a bit!  I’m still not obsessed with it like I was Parenthood, but it’s definitely getting better.

Sunday we had lunch at my mother-in-law’s where we celebrated Jacob and Jennifer again.  Brian's mom and step-dad cooked all of our favorite things, and Jacob got his beloved "Batman House," the only thing he's been talking about for the last three weeks since he saw it at Barnes & Noble.  

Do you think he was excited?  Lol

Sunday evening we celebrated Jacob with my family at my momma and daddy’s house.  Momma made sausage and mashed potatoes per Jacob's request and then we had more cake and opened more presents.  This weekend was definitely not short of celebrations, that’s for sure!

OMG, he's going to kill me one day for this.

I’m so thankful that everything went off without a hitch, and I’m so thankful that we now have a five year old!  How did that happen?! 

And if you missed it, I wrote a letter to him on the blog on Saturday.  I don’t typically post on Saturdays, but I made an exception since it was my first born’s special day.  :o)

Have a great week, all!

*Linking up with B Loved Boston for Weekending.