Friday, July 21, 2017

Friday!

Happy Friday! 


-ONE-
How are we already into late July? I seriously feel like it was just Memorial Day; that the days were so slow and I was desperately trying to find things to do with the boys...and now here we are with school supplies in the aisles at Target and Walker's going to be starting school in just a little more than a month. Man, that saying is so true, "The days are long, but the years are short." 

I mean, hello? Wasn't this just yesterday?! Here we are at Memorial Day: 


And Independence Day: 


And I guess I need a picture of us in red, white and blue on Labor Day to round out the equation. ;) 

-TWO-
I was getting a bit tired of my former eye cream and just felt like I needed a change, so I recently ordered this one and y'all, this one is doing a great job disguising my under-eye circles {because hello, #momlife} and any puffiness, as well as hiding those fabulous wrinkles at the creases of my eyes {#thisis30}. A little goes a long way, so trust me when I say that this stuff is worth every penny of its $20 price tag. 



-THREE-
Did you catch my post yesterday about beach essentials for toddlers and babies? Bloglovin' was acting up big time yesterday and many posts didn't show up in the blog roll. So, go check it out here



-FOUR-
Thank you all for your sweet comments on Knox's one-year portraits earlier this week! We are just so in love with these pictures {and our precious little guy, of course!} and can't wait to get them framed and hung in our house soon. If you missed that post, you can see it here



And a fun fact, my friend Liz took these pictures for me. {She's amazing!} She and I used to work together before I started staying at home with the boys. She and I were pregnant together {she with her daughter, Peyton, and me with Walker}. We had the same OB, worked together, delivered in the same hospital and our kids went to the same day cares together. So Walker and Peyton just adore each other and loved getting to be a "part" of Knox's portrait session. If these two don't end up married someday, then I will just be shocked! ;) 

-FIVE-
Y'all know I'm pretty obsessed with the Duchess of Cambridge and her style, and I often scour What Kate Wore to see her latest fashion choices. The Cambridges have been on a Royal Tour of Poland and Germany, and while I haven't been completely in love with everything she's worn this tour, I did absolutely adore the Alexander McQueen gown she wore on Monday at a birthday party for the Queen at the British Ambassador's home in Berlin. Red is totally her color and of course, I'm loving her off-the-shoulder look -- and her new haircut! 



Linking up with: AprilAmanda, Andrea and Katie
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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Thoughts for Thursday: Beach Essentials for Toddlers + Babies

Y'all know by now that we recently went to the beach for the very first time with Walker and Knox. It was by no means easy packing and hauling all the stuff they needed to be at the beach for a few hours each day, but it was so worth it! Our suitcases were pretty packed, but our hearts are full of sweet memories. 

I did a lot of research before we left of things we would need at the beach -- and I will say that I definitely overpacked and we didn't use 1/4 of the stuff I brought (and actually liked some stuff that one of my sisters-in-law brought better than my own stuff!). So here are the things that we used daily and I will continue to pack with us year after year when we travel to the beach with the boys: 



1. Wet Bag: This is key to putting wet swimsuits in when you're leaving the beach {or pool} to take back up to your room or condo with you. Many times, we would go down to the beach in the evenings and Walker would take off his rash guard when the sun was setting and hand it to me, and it was just nice to have a place to put something that was soaking wet. 

2. Kids Croakies: I mentioned before how I purchased cheep sunglasses for the boys at the Target Dollar Aisle because I didn't want to worry about them losing or breaking anything more than $1-3. But the best way I kept them from actually losing the sunglasses while they were out on the beach {and ensuring I wasn't constantly looking for said lost sunglasses} was to put these kids Croakies on them. In total frat boy style, they would keep them around their neck if they were off their face and made it easy for Walker to put them on himself. 

3. Stainless Steel Sippy Cup: I love the Contigo Kids water bottles for every day use, but the stainless steel ones help keep the water extra cold when we're down on the beach. {Basically like a kid's Yeti Tumbler!} We would bring water bottles down to the beach to constantly refill their cups to ensure they were well hydrated on those hot beach days. 

4. Babyganics Mineral Sunscreen: This sunscreen works best for our two little boys with fair, sensitive skin, and I love the SPF 50. We did have to reapply a couple of times a day {of course} but neither boy got burned on our trip! 

5. Blow-Up Pool: You may remember that I purchased this pool...and we ended up hating it so much that I threw it away. We had a hard time keeping it upright and it collapsed easily, and because of that, no one ended up using it. #epicfail 

My sister-in-law purchased this pool and it worked perfectly and had enough room for their twin 15-month-old girls and 13-month-old Knox. I'll just go the cheap route from here on out! 

6. Annie's Cheddar Bunnies: My boys love Cheddar Bunnies anyway, but I love them for the beach because they're not a snack that melts easily {think fruit snacks or Lära Bars -- both of which I love, but get yucky in the hot sun}. Since we were on the beach a good chunk of the day -- and because the boys were running around and working up an appetite -- these pre-packaged snacks were perfect to tide them over until lunch or dinnertime each day. 

7. Yeti Portable Cooler: A pricey purchase, yes, but we loved this cooler and plan to get many years of use out of it! Since we stayed in a hotel, Brandon would fill it up daily with our snacks, water, adult bevies, etc. in our room and then take it down to the hotel's ice machine and fill it up. It is heavy when you get all of that stuff in there -- and Brandon hated lugging it 100 yards across the beach each day -- but I think that's pretty par for the course being a dad at the beach. ;) 

8. Long-Sleeved Rash Guards: My boys have fair skin just like their mama, bless their hearts, so I cover them up practically from head to toe when we're at the beach, pool or lake. I try to buy long-sleeved rash guard sets, if possible, but if I see a swimsuit trunk I like, I'll buy one of these to coordinate with the colors. We love them so much for our boys that Brandon and I are planning to buy an adult version for the beach next summer. 

9. Swim Diapers and Travel Wipes: Walker is fully potty trained, so these are only for Knox, but I like the Huggies brand of swim diapers a lot more than the Pampers brand. {Knox wears Pampers diapers during the day and Huggies Overnites at nighttime.} When I purchased these swim diapers, they threw in a travel pack of wipes in a protective case and I LOVED that thing! It was so helpful to find in the beach bag because it was bright, but it also kept the wipes from getting nasty and wet. 

10. Babyganics Bug Spray: My favorite brand of bug spray, this helped keep any of the sand fleas and mosquitoes off our boys. It's DEET-free, which our pediatrician recommends for little ones. 

11. Crocs Kids Sandals: I love these sandals for Walker, but especially for the beach. Since they're Crocs, they dry easily when wet...and I love that they're simple enough for Walker to put on and take off himself. They're light, too, so they weren't heavy and clunky in the beach bag or on his feet.

12. SPF Sun Hat: I have raved and raved about these sun hats before; we love them so much! As I mentioned, my boys are fair skinned, so we always have hats on them at the pool, beach or lake. I like that these are big enough to not only cover their heads and faces, but their necks, too. And they have built-in SPF! Can't beat that. 

Honorable Mentions: 
+ Goggles: Walker is really into goggles right now, so I scooped up this pair on Amazon before we left. He loved using them in the pool! 

+ Puddle Jumper: Since Walker was doing so well swimming after his swimming lessons, he didn't use the Puddle Jumper at all during the trip. {Of course, we watched him like a hawk in the pool and at the beach.} We took it with us, but didn't end up using it. 

+ Life Jacket: I put this as an "Honorable Mention" because while we used it, Knox hated it. He hates all life jackets, so I wasn't surprised. He's too small for the Puddle Jumper, but too big to go without anything, so I did a ton of research and this life jacket got consistently positive ratings from parents.

+ Sand Toys: Before we left, Brandon and I went to both the Dollar Tree and scoured Target's Dollar Aisle for cheap sand toys to take with us to the beach. I'm glad we didn't spend big money on these, because we lost about 3/4 of what we came with and then just left the majority of it on the beach for someone else to enjoy on our last day. Walker loved building sand castles and taking buckets of water from the beach all the way back up to our tent, so these were money well spent. 

+ Wet Ones: Wet Ones, wipes...anything to get food and sand off of little hands. I brought these plus our wipes {mentioned above} in our beach bag. I also brought a travel thing of baby powder, but didn't end up using it. It would have been great to use if we were at a condo where we had to sweep up any rogue sand, but since we were at a hotel, they had a ton of foot-washing stations around where we could get all the sand off before dragging it through the hotel. 

+ Fan{s}: Again, not a necessity, but we did like the option of having this fan and this fan down on the beach {under the tent} to circulate the air. Neither of my boys slept down on the beach, but one of my nieces did and my sister-in-law used them to cool her off during her nap. 

+ Cooling Towels: Again, not a necessity, but very nice to have. It got hot out on the beach, and these were nice to have to cool our boys down quickly. My sister-in-law had one of my nieces lay down on this for her nap to keep her cool while she slept. 

+ SPF Lip Balm: You may have kiddos who are too small to use lip balm, but we used this on Walker {and ourselves}. I'm so paranoid about the sun that I cover every inch of ourselves and our kids in SPF. I liked this brand since it tasted good and didn't have a tingle -- something Walker can't stand. 


Linking up with Annie, Natalie and Julie
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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

What's Hap-pinning Wednesday: Knox's One-Year Portraits

My sweet and talented friend Liz took Knox's one-year portraits right before we left for Destin, and I'm just in love with them. She perfectly captured his silly, sweet, goofy little personality and as you can see, he is quite the ham! Here are some of my favorites: 















Linking up with Jessi and Jenn 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Weekending

We had such a low-key weekend and it was so nice to just rest and recharge -- and I didn't cook one time all weekend, which was awesome! Here's a bit of what we were up to: 

+ FRIDAY:

The only picture I have from this day was me putting Knox's hair in a ponytail, much to Brandon's chagrin. ;) I told him if he's going to get called a girl so much, I'll show them a girl! Haha! 

But seriously, we had a pretty easy day: Knox's developmental exam, which he passed with flying colors and the pediatrician is so happy with his speech/language and fine motor development that she said physical therapy isn't necessary and he'll walk when he's good and ready -- such a praise! We celebrated with a delicious lunch at a new Mexican restaurant  afterward, followed by naps for the boys and more "Bloodline" binge-ing for us. My aunt came over and I popped a ready-to-bake pizza in the oven and we visited for a bit before calling it an early night. 


+ SATURDAY:

This is so embarrassing to admit, but I was in my PJ's until nearly 2 p.m. Saturday! It was a rainy, icky morning {which started out with Brandon and Walker making us chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast} and then went to us redoing our bathroom and kitchen grout, Brandon fixing our two toilets that have been constantly running for about a month, and me doing about four loads of laundry. It was the perfect day to cross those "honey do" items off his list and for me to get caught up with laundry and cleaning.  And we spent lots of time playing with two sweet boys! 


That evening, we went to Chuck E. Cheese's to celebrate Walker's best friend, Smith's, birthday! His party is next weekend, but his sweet mama wanted us all to get together to celebrate his actual birthday. Before Saturday, I hadn't stepped foot in a Chuck E. Cheese since I was probably Walker's age, but we went and it was so fun to see it through the boys' eyes. Walker wanted to do ALL THE THINGS and touch ALL THE THINGS {and I used practically an entire bottle of hand sanitizer and about 13 Wet Wipes on the car ride home} and Knox was just staring at everything like, "What is this place, guys?" 







Once the boys were in bed, we binge-watched more "Bloodline," as per our recent tradition. 

+ SUNDAY: 

Brandon started his new assignment as a greeter at our church, and I just love seeing that handsome guy as we walk into church on Sunday mornings. ;) Since he has to be at church a little bit earlier than us -- and I haven't yet figured out how much time it takes me to get them and me ready on time in the mornings -- we had a little photoshoot before we left for church. I just can't resist little boys in Jon Jons and Sun Sans! 


My grandparents were driving through Dallas on their way home from their house in Angel Fire, New Mexico, so they stopped and had lunch with us at P.F. Chang's. It was so good to see them and the boys loved seeing their sweet Nana and Pah! 

When we got home, the boys and I both took some much-needed two-hour naps, and then I took Walker to Marble Slab for his reward for getting five stickers on his bedtime sticker chart last week -- and to celebrate National Ice Cream Day, of course! ;) On our way back home, I heard his little voice say from the back seat, "Mama [which sounds like, "Mom-uhhh"], Thank you for making me happy. You will always be in my heart, you know? I will always remember you forever." I'm glad I had sunglasses on because I was practically bawling as I was driving us back home. I'm so thankful for the privilege of being his Mommy! 


And I don't ever want to forget those sweet, sticky little three-year-old boy hands, complete with stickers from Sunday School and that little summer "tan" he's got going on...and the camo shirt that's reserved specifically for nap time on Sunday afternoons. Oh, I just love him so much. 


We ended our evening with leftovers, an early bedtime for the boys, more "Bloodline" for us {because of course} and lights out for Brandon and me by 9:30 p.m. #oldpeoplestatus 

Linking up with Biana

Friday, July 14, 2017

Friday

Happy Friday! 


-ONE-
I recapped our fabulous beach vacation earlier this week! If you missed them, you can catch them here and here. We are already planning a trip back to the beautiful 30A next year and are counting down the days!






-TWO-
We have become so obsessed with "Bloodline!" We both can't believe we didn't watch it when it first came out, but we've already gotten through one season in true binge-watching form. Brandon and I both love us some Kyle Chandler and he definitely doesn't disappoint in this series. Has anyone else watched? 


-THREE-
I'm all abut saving money, even in little ways. Whether utilizing Walmart Online Grocery for our groceries {lower prices and not having to haul two kids into a store...best thing ever}; buying my boys' smocked outfits from online resale shops {my favorite for boys is the Snips & Snails Facebook group}; or even doing price comparisons before I purchase something online -- and using sites like Ebates and RetailMeNot -- all help us, because let's face it: we all pay too much for what we have to have and don't need added expenses where we don't have to have them! 

I say all of this to say that I took a few minutes earlier this week to call our cell phone, Internet and cable companies to ask if they would lower our rates...and guess what? They did! It wasn't much ($5 off our monthly cell phone bill and $9 off of our Internet bill while adding faster service) but still, $14/month savings will definitely add up. Hey, it's a Chick-fil-A date with my boys once a month, right?! ;) So don't be afraid to call them and just ask. Yes, it takes time {mine was about a 50-minute time commitment}, but I'll take it for some money in my pocket! 




-FOUR-
Did anyone get anything good on Prime Day? I posted about my random Prime Day list earlier this week...and trust me when I say it's random! Ha! But these were all priced so well and I'm glad Amazon does a little "Christmas in July" so I can grab a few needed items and actual Christmas gifts at great prices. 



-FIVE-
I'm probably pretty boring this Friday, and I apologize for that! We've honestly had quite a low-key week getting back into the swing of things...and I'm honestly loving the slower days. 

This week we did a lot of playing at home, went to a little children's museum, had a Chick-fil-A date for Cow Appreciation Day and a Slurpee date for 7/11 Day, took Walker to his karate practice, had our babysitter take the boys to a fun little indoor play place for a couple of hours, Walker started summer camp at school, we met my sister-in-law and nephew at the library for story time, and we are anxiously awaiting Brandon's summer Friday hours today! I'm hoping we can squeeze in some pool time today and just enjoy a weekend of no commitments! 








Linking up with: April, Amanda, Andrea and Katie 
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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Thoughts for Thursday: Destin Recap {Days 4-6}

I'm back today to recap the rest of our Destin vacation! You can read the first part here. :)

\\ TUESDAY:
It was so much fun to spend July 4th at the beach, and we're definitely thinking this may be an annual thing. Our hotel had it decorated so festively and Walker loved seeing all the red, white and blue décor everywhere. 

We had breakfast at the hotel again, then, since the boys had gone to bed so late the night before and were up so early, we all took a morning nap, then hit the pool. {The beach was crazy!} It was such a fun morning at the pool and the boys swam and swam and swam some more...and completely wore themselves out! We bathed the boys, had a little picnic lunch in our hotel room and laid them down for a nap while we enjoyed a drink on the balcony. 



Knox's sun hat is here; Walker lost his sun hat and we bought this one from the hotel gift shop

Their sunglasses are from Target's Dollar Aisle and I kept them on with these, which was so helpful!

Knox's swimsuit is from Old Navy {sold out} and Walker's is from the Snips & Snails Facebook page 

The boys' matching red, white and blue shirts are from Old Navy {sold out} 

That night, we got cleaned up and went over to my in-laws' condo for dinner and then took more pictures on the beach. 

Knox and Walker's Jon Jons are from the Snips & Snails Facebook page

I'm wearing my top from Modest Modern Mama, white shorts and Laura Cox Designs earrings

Brandon's shirt is here, swimsuit is here and hat is from a store in Waco


We let the kids play on the beach for a little bit before high-tailing it back to our hotel for baths and to get Knox down for bed. Our room had a front-row seat to the fireworks, so we let Walker stay up to watch those with us for his first time ever seeing them. Knox slept right through the entire 18-minute {loud} show, which totally shocked us! Walker was a bit wary at first, but then really loved it all. It was a beautiful show and just reminded me how blessed we truly are to live in this country. We truly are the land of the free because of the brave. 




\\ WEDNESDAY:
Both boys were up by 5 a.m. {yawn}, so we had an early breakfast at the hotel and Knox was back asleep on Brandon by 6:30 a.m. 



I don't have too many pictures from this morning/afternoon because it was truly a lazy, slow, relaxing day. We all took a nap when Knox did in the morning, then spent the majority of the late morning/early afternoon at the hotel pool. We had another picnic lunch in our room and Brandon and the boys took an afternoon nap while I got a few things organized and packed and just relaxed myself. 

Thanks to Annie's recommendation, we had an early dinner at Acme Oyster House, which was delicious! It was in this precious, quaint little village called Baytowne Wharf, which totally reminded us of a mix between downtown Charleston and old Florida. It was so cute! After dinner, we let Walker pick out some candy at a little candy store, Brandon and I grabbed Bushwacker's to go from a bar {we loved that you could walk outside of restaurants here with drinks!}, let the boys feed the fish, and Brandon rode the carousel with Walker. 


Brandon's shirt is here, shorts are here and shoes are here

My dress is here, earrings are here and sunglasses are here

Knox's shirt is from the Snips & Snails Facebook group, shorts are here and shoes are here

Knox's Jon Jon is from the Snips & Snails Facebook group and shoes are here 


Walker's shirt is from the Snips & Snails Facebook group and shorts are here 






That evening, we went to the beach for one last time and were greeted with the most gorgeous sunset. It was just beautiful and a wonderful way to close out our visit. 



\\ THURSDAY: 
This was our go-home day. I stayed in the room with Knox so he could have a morning nap while Brandon took Walker down to the beach for one last hoo-rah. We don't live anywhere close to an ocean, and I can tell you for a fact that the four of us already miss it immensely. 

We had kind of a rough travel day with a flight delay leaving Destin, then had to be re-routed on arrival into Dallas due to weather, then had to wait 1.5 hours for our bags because the ramps closed due to lightning at the airport. And neither boy slept on the plane {missing their afternoon naps} and were just a bit cranky. Whew! We grabbed some Mexican food to go, unpacked, did three loads of laundry, got the boys down for an early bedtime and went to bed pretty early ourselves. 

Destin, we miss you! 


Linking up with Annie, Natalie and Julie
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