Friday, May 22, 2015

Friday!

Oh, Friday, you are here! I'm so happy to see you and this long weekend.


-ONE-
After reading a small feature about this book in Glamour magazine at the nail place, I purchased it on Amazon when I got home. "The Residence" is a great book about the inside, behind-the-scenes world of the White House. {Think "Downton Abbey."} I only started reading it this week, but it's AWESOME! I even found a free audio version on YouTube that I listened to during my lunch break at work. :) 


-TWO-
I got a free sample of Bare Minerals Matte with a recent Sephora purchase, and I was so impressed that I went out and bought the full-size version yesterday. Typically, I'll use concealer under my eyes and on blemishes, then put on BB Cream, and then top with powder. But with this, I just put concealer under my eyes and put this over it, and voilà! 

My skin feels like it can breathe a little more, and I noticed I'm not as greasy at the end of the day as I was before. 


-THREE-
Thank you all for your NYC recommendations I posted about on Wednesday! I can't wait to sit down and figure out where we're going to eat...because clearly we love food! ;) 

If anyone else has any other recommendations, I'd love to hear them! 


-FOUR-
After Walker played with our neighbors' son's Bubble Lawn Mower, he became obsessed. {And he may or may not have thrown a fit in the middle of our street when it was time to go home and give said toy lawn mower back...} 

ANYWHO...it's such a fun little toy, especially for bubble-obsessed kiddos. Definitely worth all $26 we paid for this!


-FIVE-
We have had so much rain lately. Seriously, it has been raining off and on for about eight straight weeks. I feel like I live in Seattle...but with tornado sirens. I know I'll complain about the heat and drought in about two months, but for now, I'm just really about to build an ark and start gathering animals up two-by-two. 

I'm really hoping it doesn't rain out our Memorial Day plans, but if it does, I'll just be happy to have a much-needed long weekend. 

I hope y'all have a lovely Memorial Day! 

Linking up with:



Amy and Karli



Thursday, May 21, 2015

Thoughts for Thursday: Toddler Flash Cards

A lot of y'all commented and emailed about the toddler flash cards I posted about on Monday. We absolutely love them, so I thought I'd share a little insight on them for anyone else who is interested. 


The flash cards on the top left are from the "Teach My Baby" Learning Kit that Brandon's aunt gifted us with before Walker was born. She is a former educator {she even wrote the curriculum for public schools in the state of Georgia!} so I definitely trust her opinion when it comes to educational stuff for children. 

Walker really loves this kit, which includes different flash cards, books, puzzles and puppets to teach your baby first words, numbers and body parts {e.g. nose, eyes, ears}. We typically spend about 15 minutes a day just doing flash cards; he'll even go grab the yellow box and point to it, signing "more" to me. I take that as a good sign! {Pun intended.} 

This kit is for babies 6-18 months, but there is a "Teach My Toddler" Learning Kit that I plan to purchase later this summer for the little man. 


The other flash cards are from a site called Mr. Printables, which I found by searching "Free Printable Toddler Flashcards" on Pinterest. This site has a ton of flash cards you can download and print out, including the alphabet {even in other languages, including Spanish, German, Danish and French}; shapes; colors; numbers; and various vocabulary words. 

I just downloaded them and printed them out on cardstock. My plan is to laminate them soon, but we'll see if I ever get around to that! ;) 



These are really excellent tools for your little one! Truly, they are little sponges and soak everything up; you'll be surprised what they can remember and learn...and fast! Like I said, we try to spend 15-20 minutes a day going over these, whether with Walker sitting in my lap when we get home from school, or when he's sitting at the table having a snack, or even when he's playing in the bathtub! 

Linking up with Annie and Natalie 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I Need Help!

I need help! 

Brandon and I are going to New York City {sans Walker} in December to celebrate his 30th birthday. We've both been to the Big Apple multiple times, but never together. 

Could you help me out and give me some recommendations on where to go and what to eat? 


We want a mix of touristy and off-the-beaten-path activities, and definitely restaurants that are hidden gems. We aren't picky! 

So, if you've traveled there, lived there before or are currently a New York or New Jersey resident, help a sister out! {Please!} 



Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Father's Day Gift Ideas

I love celebrating little holidays, and Father's Day is no exception! Brandon is such a wonderful dad to Walker and provides for us daily, so of course I want to get him a little something from "Walker" to show how much he's loved and appreciated. And, even though we're long-gone from living at home, Brandon and I like to get our fathers a small gift as a token of our appreciation to them for all they have done and continue to do for us. 

You have just at a month to figure out what you're going to purchase or make for the special men in your lives, but I thought I'd share a few fun gift ideas in case you're at a loss as to what you're going to give this year: 



one || two 

three || four 

five || six 




*Some links are affiliate. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Weekending

Happy Monday! I hope y'all had a wonderful weekend. I can't believe we're more than halfway through May. Bring it on, summer! We have so many fun things going on in the next few months that I'm just thrilled about! 

But let's get to Weekending, shall we? As per usual, I'm linking up with Biana and Meghan


-FRIDAY-
Friday was my boss' last day with us before she left for another job. We "celebrated" with lunch at Babe's. My fellow DFW'ers will understand what Babe's is just by the name of the restaurant, but for my non-DFW residents, it's basically the best home cookin' place ever, with just a few things on the menu: fried chicken, chicken fried steak, chicken tenders, fried catfish and then a myriad of sides, including mashed potatoes and gravy, creamed corn, sugar salad, green beans and buttermilk biscuits. Basically, amazingness! 

I mean, hello giant plate of fried goodness! 


After work, I put together my indoor herb garden my friend Lindsey got me for my birthday. Brandon picked up basil, parsley, mint and sage at a little feed store next to his office, so I quickly planted them on Friday evening before our friends came over for drinks on our patio. 


-SATURDAY-
We've had so much rain in the Metroplex lately that I feel like I should just channel Noah and build an ark! It's so crazy! So, we spent a rainy morning indoors cleaning, doing laundry and working with Walker on his flash cards. He's doing awesome with them, and I'd highly recommend them to any moms with toddlers! 


My mother-in-law came over for a little bit in the afternoon to spend some time with us and get her Mother's Day gift since we were in my hometown for Mother's Day. We had a little reprieve from the rain and spent some time outside with Walker running around playing on his favorite little play gym and showing off for his Mimi! 

Later, we took Walker to a little kid-friendly aquarium near us. It was the perfect size and Walker loved it! 





We came home and Walker ran around for a bit, even though it was ridiculously humid. {Seriously, get it together Texas weather!}


And then someone had his first meal at the table like a big boy! We got rid of the high chair tray and he did great! {Thanks to these awesome disposable placemats - that he can't move!} 


Once the little man was in bed, I made Shay's Chipotle Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw. Y'all, they were so good, Brandon got thirds! Definitely try these soon; they're the perfect spring/summer supper!  


-SUNDAY-
We were up for a while because of the super loud rain, so we had a slow morning at home before church Sunday morning. Walker played in his Daddy's boots while I did some cleaning and picking up, and I couldn't help but imagine these boots fitting him in a few years {that I know will come all too quickly}. 


After church, we had lunch at a little Tex-Mex place near our house, then all came home and took about a 1.5-hour nap, which was so nice! 

I then left the boys at home to fend for themselves and got a pedicure - where I read {from start to finish} two magazines! I can't tell you the last time I did that, and it's funny that I actually enjoyed it about as equally as I enjoyed my pedicure. But in all seriousness, I used to feel so guilty leaving Walker for even a short amount of time, but now I realize the importance of mommy time. {Or "mommy time out," as I like to call it.} It's good for the soul, even if it's just for an hour. I come back refreshed, recharged and even a little relaxed. 


Walker grabbed his little vacuum and helped me clean up when I got home. {And why my child is pants-less, I don't know. Ha!} 


For supper, I made a copycat Panera Power Chicken Hummus Bowl {using this recipe}, and it was awesome! I'll definitely be making this again. 

My only changes were that I used lemon instead of lime, since that's what the restaurant does. I also added chopped cilantro, purchased my jalapeño-cilantro hummus pre-made from Kroger and bought two pre-grilled lemon chicken breasts from Kroger's deli. {Have I mentioned how much I love our giant Kroger?!} 


I hope y'all have a fantastic week! I'm looking forward to our long weekend this weekend for Memorial Day! 

xo

Friday, May 15, 2015

Friday!

Happy Friday, y'all! 

-ONE-
We had a doozy of a week, hence the lack of posting for two days! 

Brandon has been driving my 2003 Honda CR-V since Walker was born, just because our other SUV is safer and newer. We absolutely adore having both cars paid off {no car payments!}, so we've been trying to drive the Honda for as long as she will go. 

The Honda has truly been a great car. Yes, we've had to replace things, but for a 12-year-old car, she's doing great and is in awesome shape! However, Brandon has recently had a hard time getting the car to start. So, we replaced the battery and the alternator {cha-ching, cha-ching!}. But on Monday, he called me from his work's parking lot and told me a tow truck was on the way - the Honda wouldn't start manually, wouldn't start when jumped and had to be towed to the auto body shop and have a new starter put in. 

It's such a bummer because we were planning to trade the Honda in this summer for a new car for me, and Brandon would go back to driving our other SUV. Anyway, a ton of money later, the Honda purrs -- and for what we paid, she should! 

I just abhor spending money on cars. I literally should just drive down the road and throw $100 bills out the window and wave goodbye. 


-TWO-
That said, I'm wishing more than anything that I was back at my parents' house, enjoying doing nothing on their screened porch! 


-THREE-
Are any of y'all watching "Mad Men?" Brandon and I have watched it since Season One, so I can't not watch the final season. However, it's just freaking weird now. So weird, that I half scroll on social media on my phone while watching it, but can't not watch it. Do you know what I mean? 

I miss the days from Seasons One and Two in the early 1960s and Don just cheated on Betty and such. Now it's so weird I can't even keep up with the dreams, flashbacks and complete randomness in which episodes start with no explanation. 

Sigh. But I will miss it. 


-FOUR-
Loft does it again with this super cute halter top! I think it would be perfect for the beach or just running around in the summer. They also have it in an emerald green, which I also love.


-FIVE-
Can I just have four today? Ha! Either way, I'm so excited it's Friday that I feel like this: 


Linking up with:

April + the Five on Friday girls


Amy and Karli



Thursday, May 14, 2015

Thoughts for Thursday: Walker's Favorite Toys

It's so fun watching Walker play, learn and explore on his own these days. Of course, we play together often, but he's finally reached the stage where he will sit and do a puzzle on his own on the living room floor while I get supper ready, or go read books in his room while I clean the bathroom. 

It's so fun seeing what he's interested in - and what he's not - so I thought I would share a few of his favorites. 







{1} Walker received the dump truck from his cousin, Brayden, for his birthday. I recently pulled it out (to ensure he had some change in his toys), and he adores this little thing! It's so sweet hearing him say, "Vroom vroom!" as he pushes it around the house. Such a boy thing! 

{2} I received this classic book at one of my baby showers. Walker pulls it out of his book basket almost nightly for us to read to him. It's great for their hand-eye coordination to pat the bunny, feel the dad's beard, play peek-a-boo, etc. Plus, it's small and is easily thrown in a diaper bag or in the car. 

{3} Santa got this for Walker at Christmas, and while it's such a fun toy, Santa gets quickly annoyed with this toy after a long day. Santa should rethink loud toys this Christmas! ;) But in all seriousness, if Walker likes it, I'm happy. 

{4} Walker's teachers have these bubble wands at school, and he loves them. It melts my heart to hear him say, "buh-boos!" too. We often take these wands outside on a pretty day and I blow "buh-boos" while he runs around trying to chase them. 

{5} Again, the shape sorter was a gift from Santa, and the little guy adores it. This is one of those toys where he will sit for a good 10 minutes and try to figure out. More often than not, he will put them in one-by-one and then dump them all out, then repeat multiple times. But, if we sit down and do it together, he knows where a good majority of the shapes go. And I love that! 

{6} We are big on puzzles at our house! I especially love ones that teach Walker something, and the Melissa & Doug sound puzzles do just that. The vehicle sound puzzle is his absolute favorite, and he knows exactly where these puzzle pieces go. He can tell you what each of the vehicles sound like, too, which makes this mama's heart happy! 


Linking up with Annie and Natalie