Friday, May 27, 2016

Friday Favorites!

It's FRIDAY folks, and today I'm linking up with Erika to talk about some of my favorites!  

There is no theme, rhyme, or reason to my favorites this week! I'm worn out from our first official week of "summer." AKA-season of no childcare. Wink Wink.

1) My friend Lindsey and I attempted to have "big girl" brunch the other day (little ones included.)  A "big girl brunch" just means that you aren't going to Chic-Fil-A. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Chic-Fil-A, and honestly in would have been the wiser choice between a fidgety 6 month old and a bored toddler. We hit up a popular new joint in Plano called Hash House A Go Go. I have no idea where this name came from, and I don't care. Just look at this GLORIOUS PLATE of french toast. Dipped in banana cream. Topped with Maple Syrup Reduction. Let me tell you what didn't get a reduction. My waistline. One of those, "Oh My Gosh, I'm gonna have to unbutton my pants" moments. I'm still doing lunges to recover from this one meal. It was worth it though. Definitely one of my new favorite restaurants!

Please note the snack cup, coloring paper, and Fisher Price remote next to my award winning meal.
Greyson clearly hated it.
Lindsey got the Red Velvet pancake. I was skeptical, thinking it would be too sweet, but oh my sweet goodness. It was heavenly perfection.
2) Shorts season is here people, like it or not. Personally, I like me some Fall style...jeans...leggings, boots. I mean, what's better than to be TRENDY is to be wearing an over-sized sweater with stretchy leggings? Please and thank you. But I digress; it's about to be 105 degrees, so I've gotta prepare. 

I favorite shorts are the J Crew 4" chino shorts, they are the perfect fit for me. The pockets don't stick out (what's up with that by the way?), they don't ride up, and they're the perfect length. Not too long and not too short. Also, they wash and dry perfectly. Don't really even need ironing! (But I avoid ALL ironing unless absolutely necessary.) 

Anyway, everything on J Crew's website is 30% off right now, even sale styles! Several colors are on sale; I grabbed the navy ones for $26! I've got some hot pink one's and plan to keep adding to my collection.

3) Speaking of shorts season, I've gotten back in the gym and it feels so good! Actually, no, it literally feels like a coyote is gnawing on my quads, but beauty is pain, right? Group classes are my favorite because I am not self-motivated or creative enough to work out on my own. The time goes by so much faster! Plus I just feel a little silly next to Rocky whose dead lifting 295 pounds and I'm over here with 5's working on my triceps. My gym has great classes and great childcare! They even have a kid's "cinema" complete with little theater seats! Greyson didn't want to leave The Little Mermaid!


Maybe if I keep up my workouts, I'll be in the 3 INCH CHINO'S!!!!  ; ) 

4) Oh dear, I've got a new favorite show on Netflix called "Hart of Dixie". I just wanna bawl up with a bowl of ice cream and binge! It's SO silly and brainless, but that's exactly what Mama needs at the end of the day! It's set in the South, so you can't beat that!  


5) It's only been a week, but working on our bucket list for the "Summer O Fun" is already a favorite! We've checked off two more things this week, which I'll catch you up on next week! One was a FAIL and one was a WIN. ; ) You can read about our complete list here.

Hope ya'll have a great weekend! Happy Friday! 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Summer O Fun

So somehow we've found ourselves at the END OF MAY WHAT THE HECK. And everything is rounding up. Mother's Day Out is over. BSF is over. Even one of my favorite monthly ministries (with child care, wink wink), The Nest is on sabbatical until the Fall. 

All of G's teachers were like: "Are you so excited about summer? Any big plans"??? And I was over here like: "Well, let me tell you Mrs. Frances, I'm freaking out." Until Greyson turns the magical age of 3, we are not qualified for VBS or any of the plethora of summer camps that the area has to offer. So for the next 55 (ish) days, it's ALL on Mama. I'm his show monkey. All day, e'ry day.  Don't you judge me. I can hear you....."So you don't like spending time with your toddler?" My answer to that question is "Do you have a toddler?" Listen. I love my child with every ounce of my being. He is the best thing (aside from salvation and my hubby) that has ever happened to me and hanging out with him IS my absolute favorite thing to do! But, let's face it, child is rowdy and needy and on the developmental fast track, which means his mind (and body) is on the GO. I SO wish I were like a child and got MORE energy the more tired I get......can I get an amen?! By the end of the day my mind is like Jell-O and my biceps feel like they are on FIRE. Up down up down. 

But ya know what??? I kinda had a mental switch and realized there is a huge bright side of Summer, (aside from the smoldering ball of fire extra close to Texas) and that is the fact that there is NO schedule! No routine, no specific place to be on specific days, no boundaries! For me, this thought got me really excited! And with that...I came up with a theme, a title......because I'm more dedicated if I slap a cheesy name on something.

So I decided this summer would be....the "SUMMER O FUN".  And then I'm like...well, we NEED  banner, right??? at 10:30 last night, my hubby was helping me hang this...

Internally, he was probably rolling his eyes, but it made mama happy, and you all know the saying....
I think I felt extra excited for this summer because last summer was more like "The Summer Mama Went off the Deep End."  We were moving out of the apartment and into a hotel with a 7 month old because our house wasn't done but our lease was out, etc, can read about that here and here.

So I got ALL PINTERSTY and even found a free printable. (Jeremie had never heard the term "free printable", bless him.)

First I decided to make a summer bucket list and once a week, go somewhere in the DFW area that we've never been. Those are in the left column. On the right, I started jotting down just fun, off the cuff activities we could do anytime. For the in-between, we'll do our regular play dates with friends and hit up our favorite parks, arboretum, etc. 

On the flip side of doing lots of outings, I decided I wanted our home/backyard to just be a fun place to spend the afternoon. I tend to feel like we have to get out and about to entertain ourselves, but that is simply not the case, or necessary! So I started by cleaning up our back patio! It was a bit of a mess folks! Don't let this pick fool you!

Our Nona bought the slide when she came last week and I snatched the water table for SEVEN DOLLARS on a FB Swap Site!!!

I also threw all the outdoor stuff in an extra plastic hamper....a BASKET O FUN if you will. ; )  We've got a ball, sprinkler attachment, sidewalk chalk, and the EVER popular bubbles! That way, everything is in one place and ready to play!

Getting the patio straightened up instantly gave me the Summer O Fun spirit!

Since I started drafting this post, we've checked off TWO of our items! Yesterday, we played with sidewalk chalk, which lasted way longer than I anticipated! SCORE! 

Is it just me, or do ALL pictures of your children with their father make you want to cry? 
I'm SO tickled at the difference between me and Jeremie's art. I'm over here with BOLD and BIG colored flowers, professing my love for "her boys", and J's drawn a tree, a car, a boat, and a cloud with lightening coming down. I have no idea how we even stay married.
    Then today, we braved downtown Dallas and went to the Perot Museum!                                          

We spent most of our time in the Children's Museum area, which is a darling toddler/young kid friendly area. Greyson LOVED it, they had a huge water feature, a "produce market", campsite, art tables and jungle gym type areas. We briefly went to a couple of the other floors to see the bird and dinosaur exhibits, but they were really crowded due to field trippers and really just too old for G to be interested.

My official review: Logistically, the museum was SUPER easy to park, get in and out, and spacious. The toddler area is perfect for G, but he probably won't be ready for the rest of the museum until he's 6 or 7. It did cost $19 for my ticket (under 2 is free) and $10 to park, so definitely a more costly activity. 

I'm SO excited to tackle the rest of our list and make this summer super fun! If you're feeling a little reluctant about the summer, make your own list and feel free to steal my ideas! Activities don't have to be complicated or expensive! Everything in my outdoor basket came from the dollar store! And watch or join some kid's swap sites to find some great used treasures!

Also-I'd LOVE to hear any ideas that you have, big or small! 

I CAN'T WAIT to see how I'll feel about the "Summer O Fun" come August when all of our activities start back. I'll bet you twenty bucks I'm completely over it and tired of coming up with new activities! LOL!!!!

                                   HAPPY SUMMER!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Friday Favorites: Books!

Today, I'm linking up with one of my favs, Narci, (who I'm all sorts of jealous of because she just went to Destin!)

Today, I'm talking books! I was just gonna do Favorite Children's Books, but, fun is that? (Well, in this season actually, it's really fun.) Anyway, so I'll also share some of my "big girl" favs with you too!

We started reading to Greyson from like Day Three. Everybody's all like "is it too early to start doing bedtime routine"??? it EVER TOO EARLY? If I could let my next one start crying it out in the womb, I would people. But that's for another post. Anyway, my parents ALWAYS read to us before bedtime and I feel like it's just a great way for everyone (even me) to get still, quiet, and to mentally prep for bed. This routine has seemed to work for us. Greyson loves to "turn the pages" so the board books are best for us right now. And now that he's older, he's starting to remember the books and anticipate what's on the next page! So cute! We only have ONE requirement for books and that is they have to rhyme. I mean, isn't that the point of children's books? I'm sure as G gets older, he'll want more of a "story", but for now, we like the rhyming. Okay-so here's our favorites: 

This was the VERY FIRST book I read to G and OH MY LORD I almost cry as I even look at this cover picture. 
Oh my goodness, we have a complete obsession with Little Blue. There's this one, "Little Blue Leads the Way" and "Little Blue's Christmas". These are the most DARLING and clever books. They give you all kind of opportunity for some different voices! They even have some free downloadables for Little Blue parties and such here. Which I would totally do if I didn't already have G's b-day planned.
There are also several Chickie books: Bedtime, Bathtime, Dinnertime and Pottytime. All are equally adorable and these little chickies are usually misbehaving!!!
This is my personal favorite and sweet mercy, I'm gonna cry again
My sister in law gave us this book and we've also been using it since the beginning. These are the sweetest little rhyming prayers and I've got most of them memorized by now! Unfortunately, G has caught on that this book is usually last (right before he gets put in the bed), so now he completely rejects this book when we reach for it! : (

Okay-now let's chat about what Mama reads after the little cherub goes to bed. Here's my favorite  [fictional] books of all time: 
I wish I could tell you  (or not, actually) how many times I've read this book. Please do not let the "romantic suspense" comment raise your eyebrow. It is not a Harlequin romance. It's more mystery than anything. Amazing!

Can I get an Amen from the ladies in the house? I was obsessed with this book from 5th grade on. My friend Shelley and I were talking about our love for it the other day and how as little girls we wished we'd find an abandoned house in the woods made of seashells. Um. That still sounds pretty good to me. #wherenobodycanfindme

Again, please don't add me to the emergency prayer list because of the title. It's a fictional novel about a family in Africa who faces all kinds of ......stuff. So good.

This book is completely touching and hilarious at the same time. I was SO HOOKED that I remember Jeremie actually asking me to put the book down and pay attention to him. That was also in our early married life though. When he still that my non-stop chatter was so cute. SO. CUTE ; ) 

Judge away people. I love them all.

Okay-now I'm pretty sure you think I'm a fanatical, lost soul after that lineup of books! Especially since I listed my favs after the innocent RHYMING children's books. LOL!

Nevertheless, I'd love to hear your favorite children's AND "big girl" books...I'm always looking for a new good read!

Happy Friday! 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Friday Favorites-Beauty Product Favs

I'm linking up today with one of my favs, Narci, for Friday Favorites!

I was a little blank on what favorites to post about today.....perhaps because I just hosted 7 toddlers and their mamas at my house for our bi-monthly Square One playdate. Actually Square One was a first time mom's ministry I did, and it's a favorite of mine! But that deserves it's own post, so maybe I'll do that next week.  

But I just opened my bathroom drawer and just realized I've never post anything about beauty products, so I'll give you my top 5. I'm not a HUGE beauty product addict, I get nervous that I'm gonna spend a bunch of money on something and not like it. Plus, in this season of life, I just don't spend a lot of time on makeup, etc. I do what works and move on. But all these things are currently in my drawer! 

1)  I have used Bare Minerals makeup (especially the foundation) for years, and I am a LOYAL customer of their moisturizer. This is their new version of the Nourishing Cream, and I like it even more I think. It is not slimy or too thick OR too thin. It is a little pricy ($32-ish) but a little goes a long way. I moisturizer is one thing I think you get what you pay for. When I was pregnant, I tried a cheaper moisturizer (crazy-I know right-must have been the hormones) and my face literally turned RED and started peeling. Jeremie was like "Babe: RUN DON'T WALK to Ulta and get your stuff". 

2) I am also not a big hairspray user. This is not for any O-Zone layer reason (even though maybe it should be?) but my hairdresser used this Big Sexy Powder Play on my hair a few years ago and it worked even better than hairspray for me. It have me volume at the roots without weighing my hair down. Again, it'll cost you about $16, but seriously, I think a whole bottle lasted me like a year! 

Funny story-when I was pregnant, I was WAY too paranoid about chemicals during my pregnancy. (I think we just know too much these days people.) So I took this stuff to my OBGYN and asked him to look at the chemicals and see if I could still use it. Ya'll-my OB is the funniest man alive and he looked me straight in the eye and said "Yes, Mama, you can still have Big Sexy Hair." 

3) My father in law is an amazing gift giver and every year he gives me and my sister-in-law perfume. He ROCKS this. But my FAVORITE is this Jessica Simpson "Fancy Love", so he's got this one on repeat. Favorite perfume ever! 

4) In the past couple years I've become a huge Bath and Body Works fan again. Do ya'll remember when Bath and Body Works got popular? Oh dear, the smell of Country Apple takes me RIGHT BACK to 7th grade! Every girl had some in their locker and doused sprayed themselves with it between classes. I also loved the Fresia scent too. Now my favorites are the Aromatherapy line, specifically the Lavender Vanilla, Eucalyptus Spearmint and Eucalyptus Basil.  Right now, I'm really on a Eucalyptus Basil kick. All you mamas out there know how PRECIOUS a hot shower can be (it's essentially the ONLY PLACE that your child cannot follow you in to). So an extra nice smelling shower gel just makes me happy these days. 

5) For eyeshadow.....ya'll I have literally used the same colors since HIGH SCHOOL. That's Circa 1998. If Cover Girl ever discontinues the Shimmering Sands trio, I literally won't know what to do with my eyes. I have switched out lots of eyeliner and mascaras, but these particular colors just work for me. If I'm doing "full makeup", I use the lightest color all over (up to my eyebrow,) and then contour with the dark brown. Then I kind of blend it together with a small brush. If I'm just slapping on something, I simply use the middle color on my eyelid. Ladies, this is not a strategic or professional tip, I think I just got lucky when working with showchoir makeup in high school and found what works for me! I would offer a pic of myself....but I'm not. 

So there you go! Those are 5 products that I use almost daily......

Let me add something....and this is not an "Ad"....but I think a lot of beauty is mental.  I love to compliment people when I like their outfit/hair/makeup, etc. Because honestly, I don't think we compliment each other enough.  I also think we are SO critical of ourselves. To be honest, (and people, don't roll your eyes, there's always somebody younger AND older than you) as I hit my 30's I'm seeing it.....the tiny crows feet showing up, the dark spots...I feel more tired at the end of the day. BUT in the last two weeks, I've had two different people give me compliments about my appearance. And it made me feel SO GOOD! And the compliments they gave me sounded so RANDOM to me! Like I didn't even notice that on myself! If you've never heard of the Dove Beauty campaign, they have some neat videos about this; that others see you different than you see yourself!  
Check this one out; it's amazing. And, yep, I admit, I almost shed some tears!

Happy Friday folks!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Lucky Number Seven

Today is our 7 year anniversary. Seven years ago I was THE most excited person in the entire world. And even though everyone else was staring at the huge clouds that promised a storm, I had no idea. I was just ready to marry my guy. 

We met on April Fool's Day 2005 and at that moment, I wish someone had frozen time and the heavens would have declared "You're gonna marry that boy". Because I can tell you that thought did not cross my mind. But ya'll, over the next few months he straight up STOLE my heart. And by the end of the summer I was done. 

Despite that, it took us about 4 years to get our lives in order enough to get married. (Because of jobs, moving, etc.) At that time, it seemed like ETERNITY. But looking back, God apparently did impart some wisdom on us. It was the perfect timing. 

Jeremie and I share the same love.....Mississippi State. So DUH, everything had to take place there! 

It was a dream come true! 

Ringing our cowbells as Jack Cristal announced us husband and wife! My sister straight up went to his house and recorded his voice! It was a total surprise and we LOVED it! 

Such sweet memories! Happy Anniversary to my one and only! 

Friday, May 6, 2016

Friday Favorites

HAPPY FRIDAY YA'LL!!!!  I'm linking up with one of my favs, Narci for Friday Favorites! Join in and let us know what your favorites are! 

1) I just love Fridays ya'll. Like I'm just giddy. Not sure why, because for a stay-at-home mom, my "work week" looks just like my weekend, LOL. Except we do get Daddy here more, so that's awesome! I guess there's just not as much pressure to keep everything "all together" during the weekend, so Fridays still feel festive! Plus, growing up, Fridays were just so exciting. I was always over at a friend's or had friends over. And my mom always made sleepovers so fun.  She would make our family recipe of homemade dough the night before, so we'd have homemade pizza on Friday night and then she'd make "French donuts"/Beignets the next morning.  Me and Jeremie still do this, so I hope to carry on the tradition for Greyson when he brings friends over! 

I thought I'd pass along the recipe! You might have to zoom in, but don't complain, people, I'm passing on a famous family recipe here......

2) Let's talk teacher gifts. Right now, Greyson only goes to BSF and Mother's Day Out, so I don't have that many. But Bath and Body Works has great deals all the time whether it's candles, lotions, soaps, etc. So I loaded up on hand soaps in all types of fun, summery scents. (They were like 7 for $24 and then I had a $10 off coupon!) On the thank you note I wrote: "Happy Summer! You can now wash your hands of my child!" It was easy, fast, cute and most importantly, involved no baking. 

I think this culture is overthinking the teacher gifts, people. Some people have a love, passion, and talent for this gift giving thing. If that's you, you work it girl.  But I noticed about two seconds after I handed over my carefully wrapped gift with fluffed tissue paper- it was shoved under the arm of one of the teachers as she had two or so kids in the other arm. 

3) I've been trying some new recipes this week and here were 2 of our favorites:

Eggplant Lasagna: it was delicious, but a lot of steps.....a labor of love.

P.F. Chang's Lettuce Wraps: These were EASY AND DELICIOUS! Definitely a keeper!  You can find the recipe here.

4) Dad took off work Thursday morning and we took advantage of the gorgeous weather and hit up the arboretum.  We had SO much fun! Love my boys. G was WORN OUT and took a 2 hour nap when we got home.  SCORE!!!

5) Sunday is MOTHER'S DAY! I am fortunate enough to have an AMAZING Mother (if you know Carol, you know).  I still have two grandmothers who have blessed my life incredibly. I couldn't have dreamed up a better Mother in Law and HER mom is pretty special too.  Sadly, Jeremie's grandmother on his Dad's side is not with us anymore. I am so sad I never got to meet her, because I hear that we would have gotten along just fine. ; ) Thank you, Lord for blessing me with amazing mothers in my life!

Clearly, being a mom makes me appreciate ALL mothers more. Moms-I know (because I feel it) that sometimes the redundancy of our everyday duties get......well, redundant. Please do not think that your efforts are futile. God has given us this job. Ephesians 2:10 helps me fight this feeling: "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."  

Hope everyone has a great weekend!