Friday, April 28, 2017

Friday!

Happy Friday, y'all! Brandon has been traveling on a business trip since Sunday, so this gal is positively thrilled that he'll be back home this afternoon. #allthepraisehands 

Let's get to my Friday Favorites, shall we?


-ONE-
Did you catch yesterday's post about my favorite toddler products to make your life easier? If not, hop on over and check it out! :)


-TWO-
Some days, it's just hard being a parent. Don't get me wrong: there are far more fun, sweet days than there are hard, difficult days, but let's be real: being a parent is tough sometimes. 

This week, as I was solo parenting, there were moments I just wanted to cry, scream and throw my hands in the air. Thankfully -- only by the grace of God -- I didn't and was able to appropriately parent my children and try my best to lead by example {and pour a glass of wine once they were tucked into bed}, but my goodness, this week was just trying. If you're a mom, you know the feeling: you spend all day counting down the minutes until bedtime, and the second they're in bed, you just want to go in and lay in bed with them and kiss their sweet faces all over. 

But as tough as some days are, I'll never cease to be thankful for my precious boys and the joy {and yes, sometimes craziness!} they bring to our lives. I love them to pieces! 

Just keeping it real over here, folks. 

My dress can be found here

-THREE-
I was at my mother-in-law's house on Monday and went to wash my hands at her kitchen sink and noticed she had a new soap. I started washing my hands and y'all, oh my word, this soap smelled amazing! I kept telling her, "Okay, I know this is ridiculous that I keep saying it, but this soap smells SO GOOD!" So much so that I had to immediately Amazon Prime it to my house. No shame. Ha! I know it's silly to get that excited about a soap, but I am officially obsessed! 



-FOUR-
I recently ordered this top to {hopefully} wear at Knox's first birthday party in two weeks. I said "hopefully" because it's Texas and who knows what the weather will do, but if it cooperates, I'm hoping to pair this with my hot pink J. Crew shorts and some cute gold sandals and my fun new earrings

Since the theme is "Snips, Snails and Puppy Dog Tails," I bought Knox the cutest smocked John John to wear with a little puppy on it; I can't wait for y'all to see pictures of him in it after his party! :) 



-FIVE-
Knox had his first taste of spaghetti earlier this week and I'm thinking he was a fan, no? Seriously, he was shoveling those noodles in his mouth faster than I could cut them up and place them on his tray, and he even licked the tray itself at the end. I was crying I was laughing so hard! He was due for a good bath {and the poor highchair was wiped down with more Clorox wipes than I cared to count}, but he loved it and I loved seeing all of that red pasta sauce all over his cute face. 


Linking up with: April, Amanda, Amy, Andrea and Katie
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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Thoughts for Thursday: Toddler Products to Make Your Life Easier

When you're pregnant, you typically only think about the itty-bitty baby stuff. You know, swaddles, baby wraps, infant car seats, hooded towels...all that sweet, sweet baby stuff. Your mind -- especially before you have your first baby -- can't even fathom that the tiny human currently rolling around in your belly will soon be walking, talking {and sometimes talking back at you}, sleeping through the night and feeding themselves. And yes, I'll admit, those latter two are pretty glorious. ;) 

But, as quickly as you blink, they'll be doing all of those things above and before you know it, you'll be donating those sweet swaddle blankets and those days of getting up every two hours or so in the middle of the night will only be a distant memory. And as quickly as you donate, you'll also need to scoop up some things for your ever-growing baby who is quickly growing into a toddler. 

Since we have a 3-year-old {who's almost more "kid" than "toddler" at this point, sob!}, we have accumulated a good amount of trusted toddler products. Some things we've tried and immediately returned, gave away or simply trashed. But the things on this list are those that we've tried, loved and are definitely keeping for when Knox is a toddler himself. 

So here are our favorites: 




one || two || three 

four || five || six 


-ONE-
My mother-in-law gifted us with this booster seat for Walker right before Knox was born and it's great. There's no fabric -- let me repeat: THERE IS NO FABRIC!!! -- so you simply wipe down with a wet cloth after your toddler's messy and/or sticky meal. 

-TWO-
I've talked about this cutlery set before, but it's definitely worth mentioning here again. They're made out of recycled milk jugs and are the perfect size for little hands. They don't bed easily and can be thrown into the dishwasher, so that's a win in our book. And also? No metal marks on your table from child banging a "grown up fork" on it. Not that I know anything about that or anything. ;) 

-THREE-
Made from the same company, these deep, divided plates are also made out of recycled milk jugs. I like these because, as I mentioned, they're deep, meaning it takes a lot for your toddler to dig the food out of it for playing purposes. Like the cutlery, these plates can be easily thrown into the bottom rack of the dishwasher, which is always a win in this household. 

-FOUR-
We previously had another brand of a bath mat and had to toss it because it got that nasty, yucky red mold pretty quickly. (Disgusting!) I did a lot of research and finally ordered this one from Amazon; it has a special hanger on it that allows you to hang it dry at night {#allthepraisehands} while still being comfortable and actually work as an anti-skid agent. 

-FIVE-
We recently discovered these cups and I'm in love! Walker's in that weird age where he really should be drinking out of a normal-sized cup, but he's clumsy and milk sloshes across my hardwoods {and I'm tired of cleaning up spills by about 10 a.m.}...so I normally throw him a sippy cup with a straw and call it a day. But these trainer-type cups are great practice for him! He drinks from anywhere around the rim {like a normal cup} and it's clean, no spills and he feels so much more confident. I'd recommend this to any mom. 

-SIX-
Ahhh, potty seats. Here's the deal: those little potties that sit alone on the floor are disgusting. Without getting too detailed, there's nothing worse than throwing a tiny human's excrement from a tiny potty down a big toilet, flushing it and then having to clean said little potty. {Sorry, but it's true.} It's just much easier and cleaner to get a potty seat, stick it on the big potty and flush. Just being real here, folks. We like this one because it's cheap, it works and it travels well. Nothing fancy needed! ;) 

-SEVEN-
We love this car seat! Yes, it's big and bulky, but its safety ratings are second to none. I love that it has a recline option so that, when we're on long road trips, I can recline Walker to sleep so he's not sleeping with a weird crick in his neck. 

-EIGHT-
After going through a ton of leaky water bottles, these were a welcome sight. They literally do not leak! I send these with Walker to school and we also use them when we're out and about...especially in the car. 

-NINE-
When I was pregnant with Knox, we knew we'd need a double stroller. We were stuck between a rock and a hard place because we had a Britax infant car seat and not many non-Britax double strollers are compatible with that brand. So, we found this one after many reviews and we love it. It was great for Knox when he was in the infant seat and could sit in the back and Walker could be buckled up in the front. Now that Knox is out of the infant seat, he's buckled up in the front and Walker sits on the little "perch" in the back...which is great for him because he doesn't like being buckled in and restrained during our outings and loves the ability to get in and out {e.g. at the zoo to get in and out to see the animals as he wants/needs, but can't walk all around the entire zoo}. I also love that it's not a side-to-side stroller; those suckers get wide and while this stroller feels like a Suburban, it at least doesn't feel like something huge and wide! And a bonus, it's only $110 on Amazon right now!! 

Linking up with Annie, Natalie and Julie 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

What's Up Wednesday: April 2017

Happy Wednesday, y'all! Today I'm linking up with Mel, Sheaffer and Shay for "What's Up Wednesday." 



To answer the following questions: 



{1} What We're Eating This Week 
Funny, as I was looking back on my March edition of "What's Up Wednesday," I noticed we ate this oven-fried chicken that week, too. It's definitely one of our go-to meals! Also on the menu over the last week have been these salsa verde chicken tostadas {which I topped with Shay's slaw from her fish taco recipe}; this Penne Pasta Pie; and my family's meatloaf recipe



{2} What I'm Reminiscing About 
We took the boys to the zoo on Saturday {Knox's very first trip!} and it had me reminiscing about Walker's very first trip there two years ago. I seriously feel like this was yesterday and I just blinked. It's so true what they say: babies don't keep! 

2017:



2015: 



{3} What I'm Loving 
Oh, I could just go on and on about things I'm loving lately! Spring and summer clothes, shoes and d├ęcor are just my favorite thing ever. A few favorites: 

This precious bow-shoulder dress



This candle, which I just bought this weekend and it smells just like I remember. My favorite! 



This overnight cream, which I got as a sample from Sephora and immediately went out and got the full-size: 




And this linen and room spray, which I love spraying on our sheets and around our house from time to time to keep things smelling fresh: 



{4} What We've Been Up To 
We are enjoying these last few weeks of spring before Walker is out of school for the summer, our Bible Study finishes up, and summer is here! It has been just gorgeous here in North Texas lately and we've been trying to spend as much time as we can outside, in addition to having fun little play dates with friends. We've visited the zoo, a local trampoline park, a local indoor play place, and of course Walker's had so much fun at his little school's "Clifford the Big Red Dog" theme day. 













{5} What I'm Dreading 
Usually I don't dread anything too much, but May is a busy, busy time for us and I'm always just overwhelmed and anxious when our calendar gets too full. So, I'm just trying to plan out our month as best as possible and just take one thing at a time. It's harder than it sounds! ;) 

{6} What I'm Excited About 
I'm so excited to celebrate Knox's first birthday in a little more than two weeks. Can't wait for his sweet little "Snips, Snails and Puppy Dog Tails" party! That same weekend, on Mother's Day, we're dedicating Knox at church. It's just so many fun things coming up and even though May will be busy, it's going to be fun! 

I had Olive and Star on Etsy make these baby shower invitations into a birthday party invitation, and I can't wait to see his party come to life. 



{7} What I'm Watching/Reading 
I'm loving "Designated Survivor," "The Arrangement," "The Real Housewives of New York City," and of course, our old people shows of "Dateline" and "48 Hours!" "House of Cards" returns next month and of course we can't wait for that! 

I just finished this book and am starting to re-read this one now that we're back from Charleston and the book is set there. It's fun to read about places we saw in person! 



{8} What I'm Listening To 
Other than Knox's new "trick" of doing a high-pitched shrill/scream at the top of his lungs, I've been listening to the Margaritaville station on Sirius XM in my car to prepare us to see Jimmy Buffett in June! You may not know this about me, but I love me some Jimmy Buffett! Ha! 



{9} What I'm Wearing 
Let's be honest, four out of seven days of the week, I can be found in my "Mom Uniform" of yoga pants and a variation of this tank and tennis shoes. But when I'm not, I've been really wearing these shorts on repeat with these tanks; this dress; and these sandals









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{10} What I'm Doing This Weekend 
Absolutely nothing and I'm thrilled! Walker has soccer and if the weather is still pretty, we'll have a margarita on a patio somewhere, but that's it! #allthepraisehands 

{11} What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month
Celebrating this sweetie's first birthday! How on earth is he going to be one next month? Y'all, I swear he was just born and time really does need to slow down. No one told me how much faster the time goes by with the second baby. Cue all the tears!








All photos (c) Liz Haas Photography 

{12} What Else is New
Not much is new around here! We only have four weeks left of Walker's school and three weeks left of our weekly Bible Study until summer break, so we're definitely excited about that! Brandon and I are toying with the idea of a long weekend in Cabo this fall to celebrate our seventh wedding anniversary, so if you've ever been, let us know of places to stay and where to eat please! :) 

*Also linking up with Jessi and Jenn 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Weekending

Happy Monday, friends! We had a much-needed, low-key family weekend and loved every minute of it. 



Here's what we were up to: 

\\ FRIDAY: 

+ We met some friends at a local trampoline park to let our four boys get as much energy out as humanly possible {ha!} and then followed it up with lunch on a patio. It was the perfect way to kick off the weekend. 





+ Brandon came home from work with this mineral soak and this bubble bath and gave me strict instructions to take a long, hot bath that evening {which I totally did}. It had been a really long week and I had just felt yucky for about four days straight, so this tired mama appreciated that sweet gesture! 



+ We ate leftovers for supper, poured a glass of our favorite Texas red wine in my most favorite wine glasses ever and caught up on some DVR'd shows from the week. 



\\ SATURDAY

+ We were up and at 'em for Walker's early-morning soccer practice. A strong cold front blew through on Friday night making it downright chilly {for us Texans anyway} on Saturday! I had to go pull the jackets out of the closet that I'd just packed away two days prior...you know, when it was in the mid-80's. ;) 



+ After soccer, I met Brandon and Knox at home with Walker and we loaded up and headed to the Dallas Zoo! My grandparents gifted the boys with a zoo membership for Christmas and it's seriously one of the best presents. 

The boys had the best time looking at the animals {the penguins, elephants and giraffes were our favorites this trip}, riding the carousel and of course, the Monorail. 









+ We were all worn out after a busy morning, so it was a really lazy afternoon around our house. I ran a few errands while Brandon and the boys took naps, and then I made our favorite meatloaf recipe for supper. Brandon and I crawled into bed and watched an episode of "Dateline" and then fell asleep as soon as it was over. We're old and we know it!

\\ SUNDAY

+ We just needed a day at home. It was completely gorgeous outside: cool, sunny and not a cloud in the crystal-clear sky, so we stayed in our jammies until lunchtime and were home together as a family. And we loved every. single. second. of our Sunday!

Brandon fixed us chocolate chip pancakes and eggs for breakfast, and the boys just played on the living room floor while we sipped our coffee. Knox was trying to play with Brandon and pretend bite him in this picture, but he got a mouthful of leg hair and, well, you can see how that turned out: 


+ During Knox's morning nap, Walker, Brandon and I went outside to clean up the backyard a bit. Walker played with sidewalk chalk and his big trucks while I pulled weeds and Brandon mowed the lawn. 


+ As Brandon was turning on the sprinklers, he noticed we had a leak in one over in our side yard, so that turned into a few-hours-long project to fix that, which he and Walker happily did, while I deep-cleaned the house, did laundry and put things away. Sometimes it's so nice to just have a day to get things done!

Walker, of course, was thrilled to emulate his Daddy and loved being outside in the sunshine, donning his rain boots and swimsuit, and playing in the mud and water!



+ We ended our Sunday with naps all around, leftovers for supper and more DVR'd shows on TV. It was the perfect, slow weekend and has us ready to tackle this week head-on! 

I hope you have a fabulous Monday! 


Linking up with Biana 
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