Monday, September 15, 2014

First Day of "School"

Our kiddies started school last week which is why we've been a little MIA around here. With adjusting to a new routine, figuring out drop off/pick up with two in tow, making lunches, packing backpacks, filing artwork, back to school nights, teacher orientation days, etc... it's been a busy couple of weeks! And thats just for Preschool/Mother's Day Out! I shudder to think how topsy turvy our lives are going to get once they start real school five days a week!


I was worried about this transition for both kids for different reasons. Ky is a smart kid who thrives on routine and once that routine is established/set he gets very thrown off at change. I had been prepping him for weeks that he would be going to a new classroom with new teachers because I had this inkling that the might have a major freakout when he realizes that Ariana is now in the same class with the same teachers he had last year. Not to mention, the class he was in got split into two classes and the majority of the kids he was with were now in the other class. Well, the prepping definitely worked because a few days before school started he was telling Hubs about his teachers and said their "new" names. And when I told him which of his friends WERE in his new class and that he would be seeing all his friends on the playground, he got super excited. I was so relieved!

Ariana on the other hand had a bit of a rough start when she started MDO last year. I pulled her out after a month because simply put, she wasn't ready. She was SO young (15 months) and at the time I thought it would be good for socialization but she was very attached to me and with it only being one day a week, there wasn't a good adjustment period for her to get used to it. So, I pulled her out and we attended a semester of "Mommy and Me" Montessori which really helped her adapt to a school-type environment. She LOVED it, thrived, and really looked forward to it each week. So, I thought she would be ready to attend the "2's MDO" which is the same classroom and teachers Ky was in last year. 


She also was semi-familiar with the room and teachers since she went with me to drop Ky every time. I was concerned we might have the same issues, but she proved me SO wrong! Her teachers knew what had happened last year so they went out of their way to make her feel comfortable and acclimated and each day came to me with the highest praise. Even other teachers and the school secretary told me how great she was doing... I think they knew I was extra nervous ;)

So we packed all their bags the night before and told them how much fun they were going to have. Fed them a big breakfast and of course, took lots of pics.


I dropped them off and they both did SO well. Ky had a harder time on Day 3, but I think he was just generally cranky that day since he didn't sleep too well the night before. He was great the first two days and Ariana was, too. Huge relief for this Mama!

Meanwhile... I was able to go to a doctor's appointment solo, get my nails and eyebrows done and meet a friend for breakfast. Ky goes Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday and Ariana goes on Tuesday | Thursday which means I have two free mornings a week allllll to myself! Well, only for a short while since I start my work project at the end of the month (it got pushed back a month) but you better believe I'll savor every kid-free moment while I can! Next week's agenda? THE GROCERY STORE! Hip, Hip, Hooray... we all love school ;)



Friday, August 29, 2014

This Year's Fall Fashion Favorites... For Toddlers!

YAY! Now that it's Labor Day weekend, we can start talking all things FALL right?! :) :) 

It's no secret that fall is my absolute favorite and one of the main reasons for that (besides everything pumpkin pumpkin pumpkin) is the fashion. Fall fashion is just THE BEST - no other season has as cute pieces or accessories or accents and I myself would live in jeans and leggings all year 'round if I could so it gets me especially excited when I get to pull out my boots and my skinnies and dress for fall. 

With the kids going back to "school" in a couple weeks, I've also been outfitting their closets with some of my favorite fall looks. I know, I know - why am I getting my 2 and 3 year old a fall wardrobe for preschool which is only a few hours a week. Because dressing them up is just one of my favorite things to do. Ever since Ky was born, one of my favorite activities every morning was picking out his outfit for the day and putting him up in it. I love baby and toddler clothes like it's nobody's business. And today I'm going to share some of my favorite fall fashion favorites for little ones and a few tricks I use to save a lot of money when buying clothes for my kiddos. 


My favorite places to shop for the kids (as I may have mentioned before...about twelve thousand times) are Gap, Old Navy and Target. Baby Gap can definitely be pricey, but I have never, ever paid full price for anything from there. They have sales constantly (40% off everything happening this weekend!) which is a steal. Plus, I'm a card member so I always rack up rewards, and get GapCash, etc. If you plan properly and shop smartly, you can walk away from the Gap with hundreds of dollars worth of clothes for a fraction of the cost. Same with Old Navy. I also think it's important which pieces you invest in. I love Gap for staples (long-sleeved waffle shirts, well-made jeans and thick, cozy sweaters), but I buy leggings for Ariana or layering tees for Ky elsewhere since the quality is generally the same. 

Two other stores I love are H&M Kids and Ruum. A lot of the stuff isn't my taste but if you comb through enough you can find some adorable pieces and Ruum also has killer sales. I cleaned up there a couple weeks ago and got a ton of stuff for the kids for like $30. Some of their tops and tanks were just a few dollars each including this adorable tank on Ariana  which is totally versatile and will go with several different combo outfits all season long.


I would say I do about 80% of my shopping online. Gap and Old Navy offer free shipping when you spend $50 so I just keep stuff in my cart until it reaches that limit and coincides with a sale. Another thing I do CONSTANTLY is add items to "Sale Alert." There is an iPhone app I have called ShopStyle. You can search for almost any item from any store there (by keyword or description or category) and set it on a Sale Alert so that when the item goes on sale, it automatically sends you a notification on your phone. I know, criminal, right? This can go either two ways: 1. The item goes on sale, you rejoice, and buy it immediately or 2. The item goes on sale, you forgot about it or the price still isn't low enough and you ignore the alert and never look back. 

Truth be told, the latter happens to me more often than option 1. I couldn't even tell you how many items I have on on sale alert but I only actually purchase them maybe 20% of the time.  I usually forget about them or by the time the sale happens I'm over it. It's really great when you get a temporary shopping urge but don't want to spend any actual money... kind of like window shopping ;) But it really is great if there is one specific item you are DYING to have but don't want to pay top dollar for. Sale Alert to the rescue!

With that said, here are some of my favorite fall looks for little girls:



1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  |  11  |  12

A lot of this can be mixed and matched! Like that stripey V-neck with the mustard sweater or the white tank under the cargo vest. That fur vest from H&M is a total splurge but I loved it SO much I actually bought it. I know she will wear it into Winter and it'll be well worth the investment!


Little boys fashion is definitely harder to come by than little girls but that doesn't mean its not as fun. I LOVE dressing Ky up just as much and in fact, I am pretty sure his fall wardrobe is more intense than Ariana's since I always over compensate for him. I love buying him well-made basics like these waffle stitch tees and layering them under everything from sweaters to collared shirts to hoodies or even by themselves on a cooler day.


Here are some of my favorite fall-inspired trends for my little guy.



 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  |  11  |  12  |  13

That puffer vest was a MUST have. And now is the time to buy it when it's 40% off! I have a rule that I don't spend more than $10 on a piece of clothing for the kids unless it's outerwear or jeans. That vest certainly counts as outerwear and I can't wait to watch my little guy rocking it all season.


So there you have a few of my favorite stores, items and tips and tricks I use when shopping for my kids. You can totally outfit your kid to be the most stylish tot in preschool without breaking the bank. I usually invest in a few quality pieces that will last (jeans, the puffer vest, sweaters, etc...) and mix them with everyday basics so you can create several outfits with just a handful of items.


So now we just need the winds to change so my kids can actually wear their fall clothes without sweating in 90* heat ;)

Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Swiffer Effect!


When I first had my kids, one of the first things "to go" (so to speak) was regular house cleaning. I'm not even ashamed to admit it. I was no longer on my hands and knees weekly scrubbing toilets, mopping floors and vacuuming. Well, lets be honest - I never vacuumed to begin with.

Whenever people ask me what is a good gift to give brand new parents, I don't say toys or clothes... I say, either a hot meal or a gift certificate to a maid service. How much do you wish that the gift of cleaning your house was something you could get as soon as you got home from the hospital with baby?! I mean, they should really include it along with your discharge papers... 

Now, almost three and a half years later, I still can't say that cleaning my house is a priority. I'd much rather play with the kids, walk outside, make dinner or hang out with my husband... and the few hours a day I do get to myself? Well, the last thing I want to be doing is spend all of naptime cleaning! Thank goodness for Swiffer and their ability to make maintaining a home almost effortless. With two tiny toddlers who love nothing more than to drip smoothies or spill milk or leave cracker crumbs on the floor as if they were Hansel and Gretel, Swiffer's many tools have kept me from loosing my sanity on more than one occasion.

Thats why I was BEYOND excited to receive the Big Green Box from Swiffer full of pretty cleaning supplies and other things that will keep my home smelling and looking fresh. I'm not even kidding when I say that upon opening the box, I was immediately hit with the fresh, fragrant scent of all of Swiffer's cleaning products. Even Ariana was standing over the box sniffing it!

The Swiffer Sweeper is something I've never used before now and it's nothing short of incredible. Something that sweeps AND mops?! Sign me up.

I am also convinced that the Swiffer duster is especially magical. How it gets in and traps and collects every last bit of dust, I'll never know. Their  slogan should be, "it's so easy, even my HUSBAND can do it!" Because let's be honest, my husband has never scrubbed a toilet a day in his life... but dusting with the Swiffer duster? That's something he can manage. Swiffer actually makes it fun and easy for others to help out with cleaning and that is always a win-win in this mama's handbook!



I was also fortunate enough to surprise a friend with a fabulous Swiffer box of their own! And I couldn't think of anyone more deserving of it that the newest Mama in my life - my friend Melissa!

She had her first baby boy in the winter and I just know that little bug is going to be crawling around any day now. I was so excited to be able to give her something that will help keep her floors shiny clean once he takes off running.

Now, I know - you're thinking "You seriously gave your friend a box of cleaning products?!" And YES, yes I did. And I know she was just as excited about them as I would have been. As I mentioned above, being a new mom - there are hundreds of other things that should take precedence over dusting and sweeping - why not make your life easier and invest in great, QUALITY products that will help keep your house clean and fresh so you can spend more time with your family?

If you need more convincing as to how Swiffer can help keep your home spick and span, check out this adorable video of Eric Stonestreet from Modern Family and how him and his mom love Swiffer just as much as we do!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Back to School Favorites and a Giveaway You Won't Want to Miss!

I can't believe that some little kiddies I've seen via social media are ALREADY headed back to school! Seems so, so early this year for some reason. And then we got our preschool calendar and activities list in the mail and it hit me that their open house is in less than a month! As much as I want to think this summer flew by, I actually think it's been a pretty good, steady pace. Their birthday seems like it was years ago and I pretty much thought it was August already half-way through July so I think we've been really soaking up and enjoying our summer as best as we could.

With that said, SINCE everyone has Back to School on the brain, I thought I'd share some of our favorite Back to School favorites. I know its early, but you and I both know us Mamas like to plan ahead (hey.. I'm already boot shopping).. not to mention, last year I didn't plan ahead because I didn't realize Ky needed to pack a lunch for school and ended up spending more than I care to admit to rush ship a lunchbox and all the essentials to our doorstep in four days. But that is neither here nor there.

But don't worry, that isn't happening ever again. With two kiddies off to preschool this year (GAH!), I am well-prepared and armed for anything that could come our way.. and here are a few things that help with that! Also - I was not compensated in the least to review or mention ANY of these products, I just really truly love them!


1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7 

You probably knew this was going to be on here when you read the title of this blog post. They changed the design of the "Preschool Backpack" from when Ky got his for Christmas a few years ago. Now it has a double-zip and seems a tad bigger which I think is great. It's durable, made well, great fabric, and currently on sale! There are several designs or patterns to choose from, the adjustable straps are perfect for tiny kiddos and the personalization aspect is always a win. Sidenote: I actually got his initials personalized on there because I read a scary story once about how strangers see kid's names on their backpacks and then call their names out and the kid thinks they know them and gets in a car with them or something. I'm sure it would never happen, but still... creepy!

These are the only cups I will send to school with the kids because they are 100% LEAK PROOF. I mean, you have to screw the top on right (made that mistake before), but once its on, that drink is staying put. Which is perfect when it's being sloshed around in a lunchbox! 

3. Oliver's Labels
As someone who designs and prints labels on the reg, I was determined to create cute little labels for all the kid's things since labeling their possessions is required by the school. Well that lasted all of three minutes when I realized the quality of my labels were for paper products... NOT lunch box containers that go in the dishwasher. Enter Oliver's Labels. I finally sucked it up and ordered personalized labels for both kids, plus an additional set with just our last name on it for shared things and I am SO glad I did. They are a little pricier than what I would normally spend on something like this but the quality and durability makes it so worth it. I put them on everything - their sippies, utensils, tupperware containers, etc. since they are waterproof!! They make all sorts of sizes and styles and have so many cute designs to choose from! I highly recommend. AND - As an extra treat, the lovely people at Oliver's Labels are going to give away a whole Preschool Package of labels (a $34 value!) to one lucky reader! Simply enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
4. The Night Before Preschool
Not knowing how Ky would adjust to preschool last year, I got this book and a couple others to read to him in the coming weeks before. I can't wait to pull it out soon and read it to Ariana! I think it's great to prepare kids for what new endeavors they are about to take on so that they can understand what is going on and don't feel lost or confused by a new routine/schedule.

5. My First Lunchbox
Another PBK favorite is their preschool lunchbox. With personalization options, zippers, pockets, etc. it's the perfect size and shape for my little ones to carry around. It's also wipeable on the inside to clean up sticky toddler messes.

6. Lunch Containers with Ice Packs
These little containers are fantastic for kiddo lunches, especially since they come with built-in ice packs! I also love these and we also use these steels ones in the warmer months since the stainless steel keeps cut up fruit and stuff cooler.

7. Reusable Ice Packs
Not going to lie... I totally bought the Batman freezer packs from PBKids last year. Ridiculous, but I couldn't resist. These are a much more affordable (and sensible) option! I always throw an extra ice pack in their lunch box, especially when I have cheese or some other snack that I'm worried about getting warm.

Is your kiddo heading off to school this year? What are some of your favorite essentials?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Recipe: Cajun Alfredo Pasta

I first had "Cajun Pasta" at The Cheesecake Factory a few years ago and I fell in love with the spicy, creamy sauce. They served theirs with chicken cutlets over linguine and tri-colored peppers. I've made a similar version and it was good, but I wasn't a huge fan of the peppers in the pasta. They just didn't do it for me. So one time I omitted the peppers and added broccoli instead. And also mushrooms because I had them on hand and I put mushrooms in everything. And it was SO GOOD.

The next time I made the dish, I was super lazy and didn't feel like breading/frying chicken so I sauteed up some spicy sausage I had on hand and threw that in. WINNER. It's become a favorite in our house and the kids love it, too! I thought I'd share the recipe on how I make it because it's a great, yummy, easy (!) dish.



Ingredients:

• 2 tablespoons of olive oil
• one cup of fresh broccoli, cut up in bite sized pieces
• one pint of chopped cremini mushrooms
• one package of spicy (or mild, if you prefer) COOKED sausage (I use Wegman's brand chicken sausage)
• 3/4ths of a box of short pasta (ie: penne, rotini, etc. I prefer cavatappi)
• 3 tablespoons of butter
• one pint of heavy cream
• 3/4ths of a cup of chicken stock
• 2 - 3 tablespoons (depending on your preference) of Cajun Seasoning
• half a cup of shredded Parmesan cheese, more to taste

Let me preface by saying, I am using the term Alfredo pretty lightly here. My husband, much to my dismay, doesn't like heavy cream sauces on his pasta. And he calls himself Italian. I LOVE cream sauce. But when I make this dish, I do a compromise and go pretty light on the butter/cream/cheese and I add the chicken stock to thin it out a bit so it isn't overly creamy. It's a nice balance - I get a little bit of creamy flavor and he prefers the light sauce texture. Win-win. If you prefer heavy cream, by all means, make a regular alfredo sauce OR you could also take a super short cut and purchase jarred Alfredo sauce and fancy it up with the Cajun seasoning. I've done that before in a pinch!

So, I start by adding olive oil to a hot skillet and sauteeing the vegetables and the sausage. This is why I used cooked sausage in this recipe so you can just chop it up, throw it in, and let it brown and warm through. I also heat up a big pot of water for the pasta.


While the veggies and sausage is browning, I start the Alfredo sauce by melting the butter in another small pan, or you could also use a saucepan if you're making a lot. Once it starts melting, I pour in the cream. Throw in your pasta at this time, too because the sauce only takes about 8 minutes.


Then I bring it to a bubble and lower the heat a bit so it simmers, thickens and reduces.


After it thickens, whisk in the cheese, the chicken stock and the Cajun seasoning. 


Then, I drain the pasta, and put it back into the same pot, throw in the veggies/sausage mixture and pour that sweet sauce allllllllllll over errrryythang.

This is criminal and I love it.

Then, just toss everything together in the sauce and serve hot! I top my bowl with a leeeeettle extra Cajun seasoning and a few more grates of cheese. Because, obvi. 

Now I'm hungry.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Moms. Can We Really Have It All?

It's about to get real deep on the blog here. I've had a rough few weeks and a lot of time to think about a variety of different things going on in our life right now. My main focus on a day-to-day basis is, obviously, the kids. How they are feeling, what they are eating, what we are doing, their well-being, etc. But, as we all know, there's much more to that. There is a house to maintain, groceries to buy, laundry to wash/dry/fold/put away, rugs to be vacuumed, boo-boos to be kissed, songs to be sung and stories to be read. Being a mom is a selfless act, most of the time. Or is it? I think each day is a toss up. I love my kids immensely and would do anything and everything to the ends of the earth for them. But there are times when I find myself trying to desperately hold on to the small bits of ME that are left, so as not to get lost completely in what being a mom is. Does that make sense?

For instance. If my child draws all over our entertainment center in Sharpie, and I throw out all the markers/crayons, is that being selfless? If my child wants to stay at the park but I have to go to the store, does that make me a terrible mother? Or what about if I just cleaned the entire sitting area and I would like it to remain pristine, without a couch cushion askew, FOR JUST THREE MINUTES and I banish my children to the deck so they won't climb and jump all over it. Am I taking something wonderful away from them just because I'm trying to hold on to my sanity? Or am I just a control freak. Probably both.

And the guilt. The guilt that comes with making these everyday decisions. The guilt that comes the day I chose to stay at the park and we had hot dogs for dinner. Or the guilt that comes the day we left the park and my kid cried the whole drive to the store. Or the guilt that comes when my daughter comes up to me and asks for a crayon in her saddlest little voice. I work from home part time and have a mother's helper/nanny come two days a week to help watch the kids so I can be in my office without a disturbance. And even with that, there is guilt. Even when I am one floor below them and I can hear the pitter patter of their feet and I can hear their laughter and hear her making them lunch. Lunch that I should be feeding them.

And coming up in a few weeks, I was hired for a job I'd been pining for. It is temporary (3 months), and I will have the opportunity to work from home a couple days a week which will be great. However, I feel waves of guilt crashing down on me already because - get this - I AM SO DAMN EXCITED FOR IT. I cannot WAIT. Is that awful? Is it terrible that I am giddy over the thought of getting dressed in something that isn't covered in playground-dirt and going into an office to have adult conversations and finish an entire lunch in one sitting and do actual WORK that I LOVE and that makes me happy? I've longed for this. I've dreamt for it. Prayed for it. Wanted it. And now its here and I'm excited and beyond guilty. Because it means I'll have to leave my children under the care of someone else. Yes, I am taking this job partly for them because of the money aspect. But truthfully, I'm taking it mostly for me. Because I haven't really worked outside the home in 3 years, and frankly, I miss it. Not just the paycheck, but the interaction, the work itself, the dedication, the structure. I miss it, and that makes me feel like a terrible mother.

I keep telling myself that I want my kids to be happy AND I want to do what makes me happy so that I am the best, happiest mother to them. But honestly - it that just a load of bullshit? I mean, really, is that just what I'm telling myself to make myself feel better? And that I should really be telling myself "Do what makes the kids happy and you should be happy in return." Am I awful if I don't think it really, always, necessarily works like that?!

So this begs the question... Can moms really ever have it all? Can I have the life I want with my children and the life I want that creates the best version of me? I enjoy working - whether in an office or from home. I'm a creative person and I love what I do. I love my children. I love my husband. I love our home. But do you have it all if you always want more? More work or a better job, more from your children, more time with your husband, a bigger house, more money, etc. Can working moms work without the guilt? Can SAHMs stay home without the guilt of wanting to work? And if you're a SAHM and you don't want to work, at all, and you're happy - what do you want? If you have a great life, and you want more, are you a bad mom?

I know this blog post is really just my brain spewing questions that probably don't have answers. I just needed to vent all the thoughts that are all jumbled in my head right now. I feel very Carrie Bradshaw with all the "I can't help but wonder..." but it's true. Can we really have it all?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Trendy Tot Tuesday!

I am linking up with Megan and Kelly for Trendy Tot Tuesday this week because I just HAD to share these pictures of Ariana. In fact, after snapping these pics and seeing her all dolled up, I was sort of bitter because I would wear every piece of this outfit in my size and I kinda wish I could.


 I meaaaaaaaannnnnn.... 

 She has been obsessed with purses lately. She has a couple fluffy or plastic pink ones that are more like toys but I wanted to get her a cute "grown-up" looking ones so that she stops carrying mine around!

I ended up getting her a small, juniors cross body bag and taking it to my shoe guy to have the strap cut and shortened! It's still a little big/long but I figure within the next couple years she'll grow into it and hopefully it will last until she really wants to carry a purse around everyday... which I expect to be right around the corner ;)

{GET THE LOOK}


http://www.mycentsofstyle.com/collections/kid-s-t-shirts    http://www.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=623062002&vid=1&locale=en_US&kwid=1&sem=false&sdReferer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2Furl%3Fsa%3Dt%26rct%3Dj%26q%3D%26esrc%3Ds%26source%3Dweb%26cd%3D10%26ved%3D0CI8BEBYwCQ%26url%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.gap.com%252Fproducts%252Frip-and-repair-skinny-jeans-P623062.jsp%26ei%3Dr3PVU8mTIo-_sQSlv4CQCQ%26usg%3DAFQjCNHqt0iONMDyzumFztf0qYHwgo8Qcg%26sig2%3DtXQv_HyrJTdsRfaaSEw4aA%26bvm%3Dbv.71778758%2Cd.cWc    http://www.charmingcharlie.com/handbags/cross-body-handbags/crossbody-padlock-bag.html#color=brown    http://www.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=96129&vid=1&pid=951660002



Monday, July 28, 2014

A Sweet Summer Treat! And, Um... FREE SORBET!


This is one of those genius ideas where you look back and think "why didn't they think of this sooner?!" You know, like spray olive oil and pre-cut sheets of aluminum foil.


As a kid, my brother and I always loved STARBURST™. It was one of our favorite candies. And we would always, without fail, fight over the pink and the yellow ones - the best flavors, obviously. Specifically the pink. The sweet, tangy, juicy, strawberry flavor that we all know and love.

Well, the fine people at STARBURST™ decided to channel that unique flavor and come up with STARBURST™ Brand Frozen Sorbet Bars. Yup, that tangy strawberry flavor you knew as a child is now a refreshing summer treat!




Available in 2.6-ounce 4-Packs for $3.99 and 2.6-ounce singles for $1.49 each, STARBURST™ Brand Sorbet Bars are a crowd-pleasing favorite. At 70 calories each, it's a guilt-free snack that can be enjoyed poolside, post-BBQ or just as a way to cool down during these hot summer months! We are always having "picnics" in our front yard and what better way to end a picnic than with an ice cold version of your favorite childhood candy??


So if your mouth is already salivating, you should definitely pick up some STARBURST™ Frozen Sorbet Bars before your next BBQ or pool date! And don't forget to follow Starburst on Twitter and "like" them on Facebook to receive the latest updates on their candies, treats and other frozen concoctions like DOVEBAR®, TWIX® and SNICKERS® Ice Cream Bars! Multi-packs of the STARBURST™ Brand Sorbet Bars are available in the refrigerated ice cream case at Wal-Mart and select grocery stores nationwide. The singles are available in many convenience stores nationwide. And, thanks to STARBURST™, I am giving one lucky reader TWO free boxes of the Sorbet Bars! Just enter the giveaway via Rafflecopter below. It ends at the end of the week and I'll have your free coupons in the mail to you by the weekend! Yummm! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Trendy Tot Tuesday!

Happy Tuesday, Friends!

I thought I'd pop in and talk some toddler jammies today! I posted this picture of Ariana last week...


And someone asked me where I get her bedtime nighties. I have recently become obsessed with baby nighties and have been hoarding all the ones I can find. Two of my favorites are from GAP but unfortunately, they don't have any toddler ones in stock at the moment. However, here are some of my favorite summer-time jams - short sleeved and such - for the warmer months!


1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9

If I had to choose a favorite place to get pajamas, it would be Old Navy, hands down. I love their selection, they are really affordable (sometimes as low as $7 or $8 a pair!), they have cute designs and they wear/wash really well. You can't ask for more than that! Ariana is actually in need of some more pajamas with shorts and I think she will love those cute whale ones! The second one isn't even a nightgown at all, but a light summer dress that I think would be better served as a nightgown seeing as how it seems pretty light/short!

For boys, I also almost always turn to Old Navy. Ky owns both those dinosaur prints (shocker, I know), and I've never heard of that "Jumping Beans" brand, but I love that it comes with two different short options to mix and match! And, of course - every now and then, he just sleeps in an undershirt or tank and jersey shorts. Because they are comfortable and he's a boy, and well, that's what Daddy sleeps in and we are very much in an "I DRESS MYSELF!" phase ;)

Don't forget to link up with Megan and Kelly today!


Friday, July 18, 2014

Five on Friday..?

Its been a while since I've participated in this link up and I'm not sure if it's even still around but I figured, why not!

1. Game of Thrones


As usual, we are behind on the uptake and catching on a little too late to a great, great drama based TV series. After many, MANY late nights (some as late as 3AM... yea, we're stupid), we finished all four seasons in 2 weeks and I'm literally sitting on the edge of my seat awaiting season 5 which has barely begun filming and doesn't start until.... APRIL! Shoot me. We should have started watching it in February or at least spaced it out more but the end of each episode is a cliffhanger and you can't just stop at one. It's intense. More violence and sexuality than I've ever seen in one place but extremely compelling. If you can stomach watching 12 people's throats get slit open and full frontal nudity in every episode, then I highly recommend. Aside from the incredibly amazing character development and intricate story lines, I am obsessed with the costuming and the hairstyles! Also, I have a MAJAH crush on all the characters - good and bad. Most specifically Kit Harington. I normally don't quite go for dirty, smelly, hairy men... but something about Jon Snow makes me swoon. And look at how nice he cleans up. Damn.


 2. Best Maxi Dress Discovery!

Norstroms "Lush" line in their BP section has the best maxi dress I've ever worn. I have a few of them that I have basically just kept in a rotation all month and they've been all I wear. They come in a variety of patterns/colors, are SO comfy and soft, the straps are adjustable, and then have a faux empire waist which makes them super flattering. Scoop one up while they are on sale (25% off!)



3. Troubles in Toddlerhood

This week was a tough one. Probably one of the top 5 worst weeks in parenthood ever. Ky and I are butting heads more and more everyday and there were several times this week where I just collapsed with my head in my hands, tears burning my eyeballs, wondering if I'm doing anything right as a mother. I am still working on that whole patience thing, because I have none and I can't seem to gain any. If patience was something you could buy at the store, I swear it, I'd stock up for winter. Having a stubborn, fiesty 3-year old is definitely the worst form of punishment for such an impatient person like myself. And I say that because he's basically my mini-me. He lacks patience just as much as I do, he's as hard-headed as me, stubborn as me, etc. In other words (as my mother likes to remind me almost daily), this is karma.

4. All my idols in one place
Our 6-year (WHAT?!) wedding anniversary is coming up in a few months and it just so happens that it coincides with the New York City Wine & Food Festival which is hosted every year by The Food Network and Food&Wine Magazine. Since New York is a short drive from us, we decided to go up for the weekend, stay with some friends, and attend one of the festival events which is hosted by some of my all time favorite Food Network chefs. I might just pass out from excitement if I actually get to shake hands with Geoffrey Zakarian. Like, I seriously don't know what I would do besides stutter ridiculously. Can. Not. Wait! 
5. The Pioneer Woman
Speaking of Food Network Celebrity Chefs I Love... I have been making a lot more new recipes in the kitchen lately and several have been from The Pioneer Woman. I drool watching her show and I love how everything she cooks looks fresh, simple and effortless. I particularly love this pasta salad dish that my friend Sarah made for me a few weeks ago and I made it myself for a BBQ last weekend and have been eating the leftovers all week. It's SO fresh and yummy and has no mayo so it's perfect for a light summer lunch! Definitely try it soon. 


Happy Friday!