Thursday, April 30, 2015

Can't Live Without It

I'm so excited for my first "can't live without it" post! 
I'm linking up with some fabulous bloggers, (Stephanie, Laura, and Caitlyn), to rave about one of my favorite items at the moment... the thing I feel that I simply cannot live without right now!
Once you're done reading here, hop on over and check out just what it is these lovely ladies can't live without!

For my first post, it's all about Old Navy denim, specifically their Boyfriend jeans (which I previously raved about here, and I am currently wearing as I type this post)... but honestly, I love all of their jeans!

Their inexpensive, comfortable, and they are available in a ton of color options and styles.
My go-to style of choice these days is definitely the Boyfriend style... Likely because they are a step up from my usual leggings/yoga pants, but they're equally as comfy.  Totally a staple "mom uniform" item.

Thanks to their low price point, and the fact that Old Navy is almost always having a sale of some sort, I never feel guilty about the fact that I keep adding to my collection.
A girl can never really have too many pairs of jeans!

Cheers to the weekend friends... And remember to check back tomorrow for this week's Swoon Worthy post, for more of what I'm loving at the moment!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Ella Rose's First Birthday

We celebrated Ella's first birthday last Saturday with a garden-themed party along with our local family and friends.

Since the weather felt anything but garden-like that morning, we decided to bring spring indoors, and decked our house out with lots of inexpensive blooms from Trader Joe's.

It was a laid-back affair, where we opted to serve take-out pizza along with home baked cupcakes and "dirt" for dessert (the Oreo and pudding stuff for those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about!).

{floral crown (diy) | tutu}
Much of the decor was DIY, from the tissue paper flowers, to Ella's floral crown, and the first birthday faux chalkboard, that I created using black foam board and metallic markers.

{one shirt (diy) | moccs}

By the end of the day we were completely worn out and full of joy from a day well spent.

Thank you to all of our family and friends who helped us celebrate our sweet Ella's big day!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Bath Time Rituals

Bath time around here has been anything but routine lately. 

As soon as Ella was capable of sitting up on her own, I nixed the separate tub times and opted for an everyone-in-the-pool at once approach.

It seemed like a brilliant idea, and all was fine and good until M&E started to really interact with each other and play together during bath time.

Now, not only do I have one little splash machine, but two, and more often than not, it looks like I've walked through a monsoon by the time everyone is clean and ready for their pajamas.

So... If you were hoping for a post about how to efficiently bathe both a one year old and a 2.5 year old simultaneously, this is probably not where you will find it.

I'm not bold enough to call our routine efficient, but it is fun and when it's all said and done, I do have 2 clean babes.

I have however, been meaning to write a post and share some of our bath time essentials... The toys these guys love, and the products that have won me over.

When your kids have hair like mine do (thick and long), getting all of the suds rinsed out can be a big challenge. Max loves having water poured over his head, but Ella, not so much. Enter the Nuby Tear-free Rinse Pail... You guys, I love this thing.  It features a soft comfort edge, that when pressed against your child's forehead, creates a seal and allows you to rinse the shampoo out of their hair without pouring water all over their face. Also worth noting, it's BPA free, a feature we prefer when it comes to choosing products for M&E.  This thing has been a total game changer for us.  Ella no longer cries while I attempt to get every last bit of soap out of her Rapunzel-like locks, and as an added bonus, Max has acquired a new toy, as he loves to repeatedly pour water over himself while in the bath.  This product can be purchased at the following retailers:

As far as toiletries go, we are huge fans of both The Honest Co and Babyganics.  I love the way The Honest Co shampoo and body wash smells, and their organic healing balm is so amazing that I use it myself.  In the summer months, we like to use their organic body oil after baths... it's a great light-weight moisturizer.

The Babyganics bubble bath is a fave of ours too.  I love the subtle chamomile verbena scent, and that it is super gentle and paraben free.  I'm not making any promises, but it may just calm and soothe those babes of yours right to sleep after their bath... giving you some much-needed down time.

What are some of your favorite go-to bath time products?  I love to hear what other parents are using and really love.

*** Some of the projects featured in this post were provided to our family courtesy of Nuby for review purposes. The opinions stated here, however, are entirely my own.
You can follow along with Nuby via the following social media accounts: | |

Monday, April 20, 2015

What's for Dinner

With Ella's upcoming first birthday party on the agenda, simple is the name of the game when it comes to dinner this week... Not that it isn't always, but my to-do list these next few days is quite a bit longer than normal, and I just won't have time to be preparing gourmet dinners.

My cousin, who is a talented chef, and writes an impressive food blog, turned me on to this one pot pasta, and it has become a staple recipe for us. It's super easy to prepare, and delicious. I'll serve it with some crusty bread and a light side salad.

I'm totally intrigued by these ranch chicken fajita bowls, and being the Mexican food fanatic that I am, I figured we ought to give them a whirl this week. Served with a side of warm corn tortillas, some sour cream and avocado... I can't imagine that they'll be anything but good.

Last fall, we attended a local Hatch Chile festival and tasted a ton of incredible foods that followed along with the festival's theme (obviously, Hatch chiles). One item in particular that stuck with us after the festival, were these sort of open-faced hatch chile sandwiches/flatbreads... I'm not really quite sure what to call them, but essentially, you take a piece of focaccia bread (we picked some up at Trader Joe's), and top it with freshly roasted hatch chiles (when hatche chiles aren't in season, we use poblanos or Anaheim peppers) and shavings of fresh asiago cheese. There so simple, but really tasty. We pair them with homemade baked sweet potato fries. (I promise to add a photo of these)

We're big Monterey chicken fans in this house, so as you can imagine, this is a recipe we repeat often around here. We'll have this with corn and probably some sort of rice on the side.

As always, this is our easy take-out or appetizer night. These caprese meatballs sound delightful, perhaps I will substitute ground chicken for the ground beef to lighten things up a bit. I think some bruschetta would pair well with this... and obviously, because it is Friday, some wine... but not too much, because we have a big birthday to celebrate the next day!

Hope you all have a great week ahead!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Swoon Worthy

Cheers to another weekend friends.  We kicked it off with yet another "happy hour" at home last night, because what's happier than hanging out at home with your toddler who outright refused your attempt at potty training this past week, and your other child who seems to be going through some sort of 11 month sleep regression (if that's even a thing)?
Really though, there's no place I'd rather be, and no better reason(s) to indulge in a little vino from time to time.

Speaking of cheers, let's jump right into this week's Swoon Worthy post, shall we?

1.  Spring/summer adult beverages make me happy... so does rose... so this concoction sounds particularly delightful!

2.  I'm just a little bit obsessed with these sandals.

3.  This Ikea Hack is totally on my must-do list.

4.  I can't remember if I linked this item before, but the Easter Bunny brought one of these for my kids this year, and they can't get enough of it!

5.  I'm a total sucker for pretty kitchen linens.

6.  Romper season is just about upon us... I'm loving this one that I recently picked up for Ella.

7.  I'm kind of having a love affair with these boyfriend jeans right now.  They are so comfy... and I suppose a step up from yoga pants!

8.  If your legs are glow-in-the-dark white right now like mine, this stuff is a game changer!

9.  Boy moms... and girl moms too, if your kids are into Dinosaurs, get them one of these.  We picked a similar one up for Max at a toy store in New York , and he had so much fun with it!

10. Last, but most definitely not least... set your alarms tomorrow morning, because the Lilly Pullitzer for Target collection hits stores tomorrow, and you better believe I plan on being there when the doors open!

Happiest of Saturdays to you all!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

DIY Tulip Wreath

This project was inspired by a pin I saw on Pinterest awhile back, that I just knew I had to attempt to recreate on my own.

It was super simple to make, I finished it in under a half hour, and the supplies were fairly inexpensive.

purchased everything I needed for this pretty spring wreath at Joann Fabrics, for about $21 and change. 

The faux tulips were $7.99 per bunch, but on sale for 60% off, and the wreath was $4.99, but I used a 50% off coupon. I'm fairly confident that you could find similar deals at Michael's, Hobby Lobby, or any other chain craft supply store.


6 bunches of faux tulips (I used 2 bunches of each color, orange, yellow, and white)
18" Grapevine wreath
Some wire cutters, sharp scissors, or garden shears (I borrowed my husband's wire cutters)


You'll want to use your wire cutters to snip each tulip from its bunch, keeping leaves intact on the stems that have them.

Then just start sticking each stem into the grapevine wreath. There's no real strategy to this, I simply  began by placing the stems all the way around the wreath, and I continued filling in spaces and alternating colors as I went.

I didn't use any glue for this project. You shouldn't need to, the stems stuck just fine into the wreath itself.

That was it! An incredibly easy DIY project, with big time wow factor!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Our Weekend + Monday

I had every intention of recapping our uneventful weekend yesterday, but it was almost 80 degrees out, and the sun was shining, so I opted to spend as much time as possible outside with M&E instead.

The weather was actually pretty fabulous all weekend, and it feels so good to be out enjoying the fresh air again. I always try to convince myself that winters aren't so bad, until spring arrives, and then I wonder how we survived indoors for so long.

These last few days were about as good as it gets...

Max picked me "flowers" from our yard...

We indulged in lots and lots of swinging...

We wore our first maxi dress...

Went for some leisurely strolls...

And indulged in expensive groceries.

We're finally on the homestretch of completing the bathroom renovation. The new shower is in, and so is the new toilet. Mike and his friend installed the tile floor, and I managed to get the walls painted. Now we just have to get the vanity in, and hang all of the fixtures, and then it's on to the fun part... Decorating!

Hope you're all having a great week so far!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

What's For Dinner

As promised, here is the first, of what will hopefully be many posts, where I share our dinner plans for the week.  If you didn't catch my most recent Swoon Worthy post, where I admitted that I am totally stuck in a dinner rut, and have been feeling in desperate need of some dinner inspiration, consider yourself caught you up to speed.

As I previously mentioned, many of these meal ideas will be linked to the sources where I found them, i.e. Pinterest, food blogs, magazines, and the occasional personal recipe. There likely won't be anything super fancy, we eat a lot of chicken, and tend to go for appetizers on Fridays... a little Happy Hour at home, if you will.

If nothing else, I'm hoping these weekly posts will keep me motivated to find new and different recipes to try, but I am hopeful that you will find some inspiration here as well.

So, without further ado, here's "What's for Dinner" this week:

Chicken Fajita Pasta  served with a side salad, and some garlic bread.  I will likely substitute fat free half and half for the heavy cream that this recipe calls for, and may use whole wheat pasta.

Pizza Chicken Roulades served with a side of broccoli and potatoes roasted in olive oil, s&p

Grilled pizza night! Sometimes I make my own dough, and sometimes I use store bought dough.  I roll it out, brush it with olive oil, and a little s&p, and then I grill it until it is not quite crispy or done.  Then we top them with sauce (store bought, or I sometimes buy a can of San Marzano tomatoes, and I throw them in the food processor with a clove of garlic, some s&p, a Tbs of Italian seasoning, and a tsp of red wine vinegar), and whatever toppings we have on hand, and throw them in the oven at 450 for a few minutes until the cheese is bubbling!


Quesadillas using leftover Salsa Chicken, homemade guacamole and chips. We usually fill large flour tortillas with chicken, shredded Mexican blend cheese, and canned green chiles, and we dip them in salsa and sour cream.

If dinner this week seems pretty simple, that's because it is.  I like things that are easy to prepare and don't require a million ingredients.  I do enjoy cooking, and like to try new things, so I promise not every week will be so boring.

Please feel free to send recipes and recommendations my way.  I'm always looking for fun new ideas to test out!  Hope you all have a great week!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Swoon Worthy

This past week was chalk-full of that typical April-showers-bring-May flowers kind of weather. We've had temps as high as the 70's and then as low as the 40's (whomp whomp).  We've had thunder storms and rain so heavy, that the other night we lost our power while I was right in the middle of preparing dinner, and Mike was just about to start working on the bathroom renovation (which, by the way, I am beyond over at this point).

We've gotten to spend a fair amount of time outside, swinging, drawing with sidewalk chalk, and chasing bubbles from the bubble machine that the Easter Bunny brought for Max and Ella.  

This warmer weather always makes me feel so much more motivated to be out and about, and it certainly makes things so much easier, when you crew includes 2 tiny humans who are pretty much helpless when it comes to getting dressed and out the door. Saying goodbye to the cold means saying goodbye to heavy coats, and hats, and to that, I say Amen.

Since last year at this time I was 9 months pregnant, I didn't get to indulge in a lot of fun spring shopping, but I'm certainly making up for it this year.

Here's what I'm loving as of late...

1.  I am obsessed with Tazo's iced passion tea, so when I found this concentrated version of it at Target, I was beyond thrilled. I love it combined with just water, but combining it with equal parts lemonade is life changing, trust me!

2.  This tank top... I'm in love!

3.  I'm pretty sure I've posted about these bowls before, but I can't get enough, and keep going back for more.

4.  So, my BFF turned me on to this salty caramel flavored peanut butter, and it is insanely good. I love it on granny smith apples.

5.  Head-over-heels, doesn't even come close to describing how in love I am with my new monogrammed Downing Tote.  I snagged it on sale, and even though it was a bit of a splurge for me, I don't even feel guilty about the purchase, because the style of it is so classic and timeless, that I know I will be using it for years to come.

6.  Yet another awesome item from Boom Chicka Pop... we stumbled upon these new "bites" the other day, and just had to try them! Yum.

7.  Is there anything better than the smell of fresh lilacs in the spring?  I think not.  This soap smells so, so good!

8.  You guys know how much I love handmade shops.  I'm always swooning over the items from this one.  They're offering a 20% discount through Sunday with the code:  MOTHERSDAY.

9.  If you need a healthy daily dose of reality, as well a good chuckle, you must follow @womenirl on Insta! Their posts are hilarious.

10.  I absolutely MUST find a place in our house for this pillow!

That about wraps it up in terms of what I'm swooning over this week, but before I go, I wanted to share a little about a new series that I'm excited to be bringing to the blog.

Lately I've been feeling a bit "stuck in a rut" when it comes to meal planning and ideas for what to make for dinner. It seems I've been using some of the same recipes on heavy rotation around here, and I'm totally bored.

So, despite the fact that I am in no way, shape, or form, a food blogger, I've decided that I'm going to begin writing a weekly post, entitled "What's for Dinner".  I generally sit down to write my grocery list and outline what we'll be having for dinner for the week on Sundays, so look for these posts on either Sunday evenings, or on Monday along with our "Weekend Recap".

These posts are meant to provide some inspiration for those of you looking to try something new.  They won't necessarily be original recipes (although some will be), but more or less, they'll be a list of 5 meal ideas (give or take), with links, from Pinterest, food blogs, magazines, and other sources.

I'm hopeful that these posts will inspire me to be a bit more creative and motivated to find new and fun recipes to try, and that sharing them here will be helpful to you as readers. By all means, if you have some of your own tasty go-to recipes, I'd love to hear about them, so feel free to comment, or send along a link! I'm really looking forward to getting started on this.

In the meantime, I hope you all have a great weekend!
Real Time Web Analytics