Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Retail Therapy is a Hoax

I have a problem. A really big shopping problem. I blame Target, mostly. I have absolutely no self control and the store is jam packed of so many things that I need want. How can you resist pink paper straws? Turquoise cake stands? Navy striped pillows? Chalkboard gift tags? And you can't beat a Target clearance item. Last year I was challenged to give up my beloved Tarjay for 100 days (read that post here). It was easier than I thought, however, I saved zero dollars. Instead, I shopped til I dropped at stores like HomeGoods, Crate & Barrel, and Ikea

So, this summer I'm kicking it up a notch and swearing off all shopping. For 100 days (give or take) I cannot buy a n y t h i n g. Groceries don't count. Essentials and neccessities don't count. I mean, if my kids have holes in their socks or run out of sidewalk chalk I can splurge. Grocery stores don't count. Gas doesn't count. Sadly, buying things for the house, my wardrobe, or just for the heck of it does count. 

Call me crazy, but I love a good self-challenge every now and then. So why no shopping? Mostly, because we have so much crap in our house! Time to simplify, minimize and get rid of all the stuff we don't need. I need to clear the place out before I bring more stuff home. Partly, because I know that I've started to really spoil my kids and I need to reel it in before they turn into entitled brats. And lastly, because the shirt I had to have is still hanging up in my closet with the tags on. Retail therapy is a hoax. 

Misery loves company. My work bestie is taking the challenge with me (Thanks, Melissa!!). The two of us can suffer through the summer together, letting sale after beautiful sale pass us by! Anyone else in? Cue the crickets. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Freedom Street

We traded in big BBQs and parties this weekend for two parades and a picnic on the waterfront instead. It just made more sense for us to choose quality family time this weekend. May has been a very busy month (as I'm sure you can tell by my more infrequent posts the last 4 weeks) and it isn't slowing down anytime soon.

Today we waved our flags, chased bubbles, stuffed our faces with Dipsy Doodles and walked along the Atlantic soaking in the sun and warm breeze. Not a moment of today passed without us remembering the men and women who have sacrificed their lives so that we may enjoy these everyday freedoms. We told our children about our parents and grandparents, all of whom have served this great nation. We talked a lot today about our hero, Robert, and the ultimate sacrifice he made leading his Marines three years ago. We talked about Uncle Jake and how brave he was and continues to be every day now that he is home. In the words of my soon to be four year old, "Uncle Jake is so brave he only needs one leg." Yes baby girl, that he is. As as are hundreds of other brave men and women who have left their limbs somewhere in the sands of Afghanistan.

As we walked back to our car this afternoon, we looked up at the street we had parked on. Freedom Street. It doesn't get much more perfect than that. 

P.S. Look at how much the kiddos have grown since last year! This post is from Memorial Day, same place, one year earlier. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Sometimes you just need to cry it out

We've all experienced it. That random moment when all of a sudden a rush of emotions hits us and the flood gates open. We cry. You know, that ugly cry? We cry uncontrollably and without any particular reason. We cry until our eyes burn, our cheeks are flushed, and snot is pouring out of our nostrils. Come on ladies, you know exactly what I'm talking about!

My poor husband has been subject to my insane emotional outbursts from time to time. He's gotten pretty good at learning how to deal react respond to situations like this. A hug, a glass of wine, a pint of Ben & Jerry's, a date night or a movie in...he's gotten pretty darn good at consoling his crazy sobbing wife (when for the life of him he cannot figure out what the heck is wrong!). 

So, when Addie started to mirror her crazy mama and burst into tears over something that we as her parents couldn't see or understand you can imagine how my heart hurt! 

My sweet, silly, loving baby girl has emotions just like the rest of us that are sometimes too hard to process. To the outsider it might look like she is throwing a tantrum over something ridiculous, but for her there is an internal struggle that in that very moment she cannot handle.

So, what do I do? I take my lead from Sean...I give hugs. We talk it out. We dance it out. We cry together. We laugh together. But most importantly I make sure to acknowledge her feelings. She needs to know that it is okay to feel frustrated or sad or angry or confused. Sometimes she wants to talk. Sometimes she just wants to sit and have a little quiet time. Sometimes, we just need to make some hot chocolate...with marshmallows, of course!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Weekend Activities with Kids: Planting a Garden

A few weekends ago we spent a good chunk of time outside giving our yard a little TLC. We are loving all this space we have but it is a big change from our tiny condo in the city...and by big change I mean we now have to keep up with the yard work and landscaping! Gone are the days where all I had to do was sweep a patio! Addison is big into flowers and fairies and all things girly-girl right now. So we took a little time (and spent just a little bit of money) to help her make her own garden!

For less than $40 she picked out some gardening gloves, a watering can, fencing, and flowers in all of her favorite colors. It was fun letting her loose at our local nursery! She was very careful and took her time deciding which ones she wanted to plant.

She was given free reign to decide where each one went. She was a big helper when it came to digging holes and watering. She did a great job laying out her choices and even left a corner free for the fairy house she wants to make! L o v e h e r.

The fence had a stake on each side making it easy enough for me to just stick right into the ground. I debated whether or not to even get the fence but I am glad I did. It makes the garden that much more special and intimate for Addie Mae. She loves that it is hers. So far, she has done a great job of keeping up with the watering. Hopefully, she'll have a greener thumb than her mama!

This is such a fun and easy activity to do with your little loves. It would have cost us more to go to the zoo or a movie. Instead, we spent time together outside and Addie is learning some responsibility as she works to keep her garden growing. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tissue Paper Garland Tutorial

Hi friends! I am so excited to share this easy, peasy, super cheap trick that adds such a fun pop of color your home or party decor!

My friend Britta introduced me to this: tissue paper garland. Genius. Addie and I made one together for Easter and we love it so much that it is still hanging up in our garage entryway. To make one like this all you need is:

tissue paper
washi tape
baker's twine

Start by folding the tissue paper in half and cutting strips up towards the fold. Be sure to leave some space. Don't cut all the way to the top. Next, unfold the tissue paper and start rolling it up from one end to the next.

Once you have it rolled twist it and bring the two sides together. Use Washi tape to hold together but leave enough space to pass the bakers twine through. Repeat until you've used all of your colors or reach your desired length. String together using the twine (quick tip: to keep them evenly spaced, tie a knot around each tassel in order to prevent them from slipping). Tie a loop at each end of the string and hang!

Addie's birthday is coming up and I am thinking that I might be making another one to coordinate with her party theme (Frozen, of course). I also want to make a red, white and blue one for Fourth of July. You can't beat the price (tissue paper + washsi tape = cheap) and it doesn't take long at all to make. Where you might you hang a tissue paper garland?  

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Happy Mother's Day To You!

While it is certainly nice to be spoiled by your little ones on Mother's Day, sometimes it is nice to just take a little time to treat yourself to something nice. Something that you don't need, but want. Something that won't break the bank, but will put a smile on your face. Here are a few things I have been eyeballing lately, and all for under $20! 

1. Family Rules print from Emily Ley. It is the perfect (and cutest) reminder for all family members. 

2. On average, Essie nail polish is just around $8. So, go ahead and splurge on a few of your favorite colors for spring and summer! 

3. Give yourself a pop of color! Add a new pillow to your living room, bedroom, patio or back deck. Why not use an outdoor pillow inside? Clean up is a breeze when your little ones spill their drinks on it. 

4. Set out your clothes the night before work or a big event on a fancy sequin hangar. Or, just hang it up in your closet for decoration. Every girl needs a little gold sequin in her life. 

5. It is a little more than $20, but all of the bags at Target right now are buy one get one 50% I think a trip to Tar-jay should be on your Mother's Day agenda. 

Need a last minute gift for the mama in your life? Check out my recommendations from last year. Of course, the best Mother's Day gifts are the ones my little loves make with their teeny hands. Nothing can take the place of a gift made from the heart. I don't need breakfast in bed, flowers, or a day at the spa. But I will take a day to sleep in and a chance to pee with the bathroom door closed. It's the little things!

What are you doing to celebrate this year? Happy Mother's Day to all of you amazing mamas out there! Enjoy your day and remember to keep calm...and mommy on!

Monday, May 5, 2014

This Guy

Hi Friends! I'm back tonight with some of my most favorite recent pictures of my little man. This guy. He melts my heart (takes after his daddy). His red hair. His smile. His chubby little fingers. The way he snuggles up to me and gives me kisses. That devilish grin. His big blue eyes. His obsession with cars (did I mention he takes after his daddy?). 

I cannot imagine life without this guy. 

These are just a few of the thousands of pictures we took while on our vacation down in Nashville. More pictures and posts coming soon, I promise! I've gotten a few emails from readers asking where I've been. I needed a little time to focus on family and work these last two weeks! After an amazing week away and a productive week at work, though, I am feeling refreshed and re-energized and full of so many topics and ideas and things to share with y'all! Thank you all for being such faithful readers and following my little bloggity-blog.