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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Loves & Hates

I've seen these posts going around recently, and have been nominated by a couple of sweet blogger friends (hi Amy and Jenn!) to participate, so today I thought it would be fun to do so. 

As a side note, I think everyone knows that I love my sweet kids, husband, and family, so I am going to avoid including them in this list so that it can be as random and fun as possible:) Just thought I should mention that in advance.

Dozen Donuts Watercolor Painting Print - Doughnuts Art Food Illustration Watercolor Art Print, 8x10
Loves

Fall and back to school. The sound of crunching leaves and the sight of fresh pens and pencils get me giddy with excitement.

Mexican food + frosty margaritas. A match made in food and beverage heaven.

Dinner by candlelight. Bonus points if it's outside. I can't remember the last time I've enjoyed a candlelit dinner, as the thought of anything involving a rambunctious toddler and open flames is positively cringe-worthy at this point.

Coca Cola classic. I'd rather have an icy glass of coke than almost anything else in the world.

The holidays. I know (almost) everyone claims to love Christmas, but I genuinely big, red, puffy heart love everything about the Christmas holidays. If I could, I'd have a Christmas tree and twinkle lights in every room of my house for at least 2 months of the year, garland on every mantel, Christmas cookies in decorative tins stocking my refrigerator...all of it. I think the anticipation of the holidays may be even sweeter than the holidays themselves. December 24th is my absolute favorite day of the year.

Navy blue and white stripes. On anything.

London. Total Anglophile right here. There was a big picture of a grey London scene with the iconic red phone booths at Ikea over the weekend...And I'm honestly embarrassed to admit how much I wanted that thing. Bad, y'all. Bad.

Chick-fil-A. The waffle fries. The nuggets. The milkshakes. Let's just say I'm a fan.

Shopping. My heart literally skips a beat in joy when I find good deals. I really wish I could shop for a living. I'd be so good at it;)

Nineties sitcoms like Everybody Loves Raymond, King of Queens, Full House, etc. They just make me feel good. I put them on at bedtime and always fall asleep feeling happy.

Hates

Mosquitoes. 'Nuff said. Why must the south be so full of them?

Backstabbing. If you can't say it to someone's face, just don't say it all. That's been a motto I've tried to hold true to since my high school days. Fortunately, this is not something I have to deal with much (if at all) anymore, but talking behind someone's back is definitely a pet peeve of mine.

Cream and jelly filled donuts. Yuck. 

Dog and cat hair in my home. Both of which I contend with daily. If anyone has foolproof hair management solutions for pets, I am all ears.

Self tanner. Do it. Hate it. But it's better than skin cancer.

Gyno visits. I mean, do I really need to go into why I dislike these yearly appointments?

Political divisiveness. I really just wish we could all get along. Have our differences, but respect them and find a way to work together regardless of those differences. It doesn't seem so hard. And yet...

Cancer.

Balsamic vinegar. Weird, I know. But true. There is a backstory to this, but that's for another day.

The nighttime bedtime routine - ie the face washing, teeth brushing, lotion applying, retainer fixing routine. Call me lazy, but sometimes I wish I could just roll into bed without worrying about any of that stuff. Sigh. Being a woman is a lot of work sometimes.


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Don't forget to stop by tomorrow for a fun intro to a favorite new store and a giveaway! This was originally scheduled for last week, but was rescheduled for tomorrow, so don't miss it!


Monday, August 3, 2015

Birthdays & Blowouts {Weekend Review}

Its monday but its ok ! | #Coffee

Hi, gals! Happy Monday! This weekend flew by, as they always seem to do when we're having fun.

On Friday afternoon, I utilized a simultaneous naptime to my advantage, and actually got to apply makeup and curl my hair in anticipation of the night's events! There are times that I literally feel like I don't even know how to "get ready" like I used to because I do it so infrequently these days. Needless to say, it was nice to have an excuse to get somewhat dolled up. 


When the kids woke up, I loaded them up, and we headed to Atlanta to meet B and my family for dinner to celebrate my Momma's birthday at one of her favorite Mexican restaurants in the Buckhead area. Since B was coming straight from work, it made more sense for him to just meet us rather than try to come home and then turn around and go back. We ended up arriving at the restaurant before the rest of my family, so B got to spend some time with Vivi and Caleb, which was nice. His long hours and the fact that he's now worked two weekends in a row - and has two more to go - have made for very little time with daddy. Soon after that, my sister and her husband, followed shortly thereafter by my dad and the birthday girl. She was so excited to see her grandbabies! And they were super excited to see Mimi and Poppy - especially Caleb, who loves his Poppy so much. It's so funny to see them together. I mean, just look at his little face in the picture below, nestled up against my dad:) Oh, and don't you love B's sexy seafoam scrubs? Fancy.


 My sister and I wore coordinating pink tops, completely unintended. #sisters

Mimi and her little gal. My kids are not lacking in love, that's for sure:)

*As a side note, I would never give away my mother's age, but let me just tell you - the woman looks AMAZING for her age. I just hope that I got whatever magic genes she did. Don't fail me, Mom. Pass them on.

After dinner, we all headed to my sister's house for dessert. She'd made one of our family favorites - an Heath Bar and Oreo ice cream cake (with homemade chocolate fudge inside!) Because I am not doing dairy, she'd also made a chocolate chip pie to suit my (well, Vivi's) dietary restrictions. I did sneak a few bites of the cake, and it was amazing. The pie was good too, but so rich, I couldn't eat my whole plate. Well done, sis! Chris better watch that waistline with all the yummy cooking and baking going on in your house:)

Not long after dessert, the bedtime crabbies started showing up in both kids, so we made our exit and headed to my parent's house for the night. I ended up staying up for a bit, chatting with my Mama, while B went to bed with the kids. Love the late nights I get to spend just catching up on life with my mom. In this season of life, we don't get many nights like that, so I cherish them when we do. Around midnight or so, we finally turned in. I didn't sleep too well, and was awoken by B when his alarm went off on Saturday morning. He was out the door for work around 6 am, and I tried to lay back down. But around 6:45, Caleb decided to wake up for the day. Ughhh. I turned a movie on Netflix on my phone on in hopes that it would keep him quiet and distracted for a bit, but about 15 minutes later, my mom popped her head in and decided to grab him. Another wonderful thing about grandparents - the help they provide. After she took him, I was able to cuddle up with Vivi, nurse her, and sleep for another 2 hours or so. Heaven. And when I woke up, there were homemade strawberry waffles, eggs and sausage waiting on me. Um, excuse me - remind me why I ever moved out of my parents house? 

Around 11 am, my sister met us to head to Ikea. She had a few things she was looking for, and I am never one to turn down an Ikea trip. We got the kids ready, and grabbed a few pictures on my parents' pretty front porch before we left.

 Vivi's chambray bloomers | My tennis shoes


We ended up spending about 2 hours meandering around in Ikea. We started off with both kids in the double stroller, and at first, Caleb was wide-eyed watching the crowds milling around him. But eventually, his little eyes grew heavy, and even the crowds weren't enough to keep him awake. He fell asleep in the stroller, and was out for over an hour. It was tax free weekend here in Georgia, so there were gobs of people there buying up stuff for college dorm rooms, etc. Not the best weekend for browsing, that's for sure. But we still had fun! And we each ended up with a few things that we need - I grabbed a new cutting board, some fun utensils for the kids, a book for Vivian, and an outdoor lantern for out patio. I also got some fun ideas for Christmas gifts, so another trip is in my near future. 

We made it through the bedding section, when suddenly we started to catch a bit of a funky smell...and Vivian started squirming in her carrier. Oh. My. Lord. I knew immediately that a diaper change was in order. And with her, I knew it needed to be quick, as for some reason, her diaper situations go from zero to holy hell in about 7 seconds flat. We were in the flow of traffic in the main aisle of the store, so my mom suggested we push the stroller to a quiet corner and check out the "situation." Bless Mimi's heart - she thought we'd be able to quickly whip a new diaper onto this child with no mess, no fuss. Until we peeked into that diaper and got a firsthand view of the sitch. And we realized we need to find a bathroom immediately before we had a very messy problem on our hands. 

Just imagine three crazy little blonde women, a massive double stroller, several big yellow Ikea bags, and two kids (one of whom stunk!) hightailing it through a massive store full of people. Ha. To the ha. To the ha. 

But we didn't care. We were on a mission. We wiped down the changing table in the (surprisingly clean) bathroom, lined that thing with diapers (because no, I didn't have a changing pad with me - mom fail), and laid Vivi on the diapers. In two years and three months of parenting, this was the first time I've ever had to put one of my children on one of those pull out changing tables in a bathroom and I never want to do it again. But desperate times call for desperate measures. One entire package of wipes later, and we had a clean and shiny infant, and the disaster was narrowly avoided. Nothing had escaped the diaper this time, which I was eternally grateful for. We Purel'ed Vivian's feet, hands, and our hands, and then headed back into the melee. This time, I tucked her into her Solly wrap to finish the browsing, and little gal loved it:) You'd never know she almost single-handedly ruined our shopping trip, would you?


Bow details to come later this week:)

After our shopping adventure, we were famished, so we headed to Fellini's to meet my dad for some pizza (light on the cheese, heavy on the veggies for moi - Vivian can handle pizza with a bit of cheese as long as there are other ingredients...meaning, as long as I don't eat straight dairy, a la a bowl of ice cream, we're usually good to go - updates on our dairy free journey and how we're transitioning to come). After that, we dropped my sister off so she could head home and get ready for a dinner party she was hosting with a few friends. 

The kids and I hung out at my parents house for a bit, and then I began packing us up to head home. B was on call from Saturday morning to Sunday morning, so I wanted to get the kids home so we could spend the day together on Sunday. Before we left, we stopped at a Target in Atlanta for me to check out the planner options there. I'd checked the Target near me earlier in the week, and never got to see any of the Day Designers that many of you mentioned in my last post. Apparently, they'd all sold out and were not available online. However, at the Target in Atlanta, I struck gold! They had almost every available design in stock, but I immediately narrowed it down to the classic black and white stripe and this one. As you can see, I went with the mint and gold option, as I loved the soft binding and lack of rings. It's slim and flexible, and will be easy to toss in my tote or diaper bag. Best part? The price. Just $13.99. Done!


Now I just have to get some time to sit down and start using it. I'll give you one hint as to why it's hard for me to find time to get anything done these days...And that hint can be seen in the far left side of this picture. Headed directly for the glass - aka very breakable - lantern on the table. Ha.


Sunday morning, B arrived home from his call shift around 8:30 am. He came bearing donuts, and made Caleb's day. 

 

We spent the rest of the morning watching a movie in our bed, and then indulging in a family nap. It always feels weird when we are not in church on Sunday mornings, but on weekends in which B is on call, it's just not feasible for us to make it. One day, I may just have to start braving church with the kids on my own when B is on call, but that won't be until Caleb is old enough to help get himself ready a bit more. If we can't be in church together though, I sure do love watching my babies cuddling with their Daddy. Vivi looks so small next to him. And yet, he is completely wrapped around her itty fingers. And she has no idea. Yet.


We spent the rest of our day enjoying lunch together, running a couple of errands, cleaning the house (me), mowing the yard (B and Caleb), and getting ready for another week. School is back in session down here in Georgia, and Caleb's preschool Open House is this week, so we are quickly barreling right into fall around here. Hard to believe!!!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Baby Giggles & Birthday Girls {Friday Link Ups}

Albus Dumbledore Quote Poster
Happy Friday, ladies. This week has been tough, but I am very much looking forward to a fun weekend with family. B is on call, but the kids and I are heading to my parents house for a day or two to celebrate a very special woman. More about that in a sec. Here's a few things for this week...

1| Recent Orders
It's a very good thing that the Nordstrom sale is ending. A very good thing, indeed. I just keep finding good deals, and my willpower has been severely tested. And failed. I placed one final order yesterday, with an item I'd been waiting for since the sale began, and was so excited to see it restocked. Y'all would have died laughing if you could have seen how fast I ran to the bedroom to grab my credit card when my size popped up as available last night. I was panting by the time I grabbed it and ran back to my computer to pay. But, the running paid off. This adorable number is headed my way, and I can't wait. As of last night, it has been re-stocked in all sizes, so pop over and snap one up quick before they sell out again and the sale ends. Hurry! (People be cray buying this sale!)

2| Vivian Laughs!
Our sweet girl giggled a husky little chuckle not too long ago, and it was the cutest thing - almost like a little growl giggle. But she hadn't done it again until this week. And this week, I caught her on video. And it makes me so stinkin' happy hearing her little high-pitched laugh. Love. Love. And love some more.


video

3| My Momma's Birthday
Happy Birthday to a very special woman in my life: my dear Momma! Her birthday is today, and the kids and I are headed into Atlanta this afternoon to help celebrate. We can't wait to see Mimi and indulge in some celebratory birthday sweets:)


4| Photo Dump for the Week

Girlfriends? Check. Pool? Check. Sunshine? Check. Juice? Check...

It's a good day to be Caleb Monroe

B's little sunflower...

My little sunflower (Blooming Bath found here)

Christmas in July


Caleb teaching Vivi the art of the selfie...

She's going to need a few more lessons.



Sprinkler (and rainbow) fun

The trick to enjoying Mexican with no cheese? Load it up with other toppings

Her fancy outfit change after yet another blow-out at Chick-fil-A (t-shirt c/o her brother)



She prefers her face completely covered when she sleeps. Which terrifies me

"Buzz, where are you?" (after losing mini Buzz Lightyear down his shirt)


Hooked

Think Solly would like a no makeup/crazy braided hair model for their wraps? uhhhhh....no

Yummy new chardonnay courtesy of the hubs. Dry, but with a hint of crisp sweetness

5| And That's All I've Got...

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend. If you'd like to link up, visit any of the blogs listed below to join!




Thursday, July 30, 2015

Confessions & Hashtags {Thoughts for Thursday}

*Before we get started today, I just wanted to note that I am guest posting on my sweet friend, Sara's blog today, so be sure to pop over and visit me there!

I used to have functioning brain cells, but I traded them in for children

Mom brain. I have it. Bad. #thestruggleisreal. Which leads me to...

A paper planner. I need. My Google calendar isn't cutting it for me anymore - I need places to write down "to do's", reminders, etc. As much as I love the style and clean lines of this one, I am not willing to pay that kind of money for a planner. Suggestions? Preferably $20 or less? #whyareplannersoexpensive

If online shopping was a sport, I would win. #onlineallthethings

Case in point: I'm still finding stuff at the Nordstrom sale. These are on their way to my house this week and I can't wait to try them. #skinniesforever #butmamaneedssomevariety #thereturnoftheflare

That show "The Whispers" on NBC? The one involving children and their scary imaginary friends? Yeah, I'm terrified of that. #whydochildrenscareme

I successfully ate 5 donuts in two days this week. #fattydontcare

But back to shopping. Has anyone ordered this? It sold out in the grey and white combo before I could get my hands on one. If you managed to snag one, I'd like your thoughts on it. Cute? Not? True to size? Do tell! Still hoping that it gets restocked soon! #shopperwontstop

I'm over residency. And we still have 3 years and 11 months to go. Patience, grasshopper. #patienceaintmyvirtue

That said, we are now 1/12 of the way through second year. #onedayatatime #itsthelittlethings

I did a little happy dance this week when the number on the scale popped up less than my pre-pregnancy weight. A couple of weeks ago, I still had a stubborn pound or two to lose, so I am excited to finally be back where I need to be. #butnowihavetotoneup #sigh

We have watched Toy Story 2 (Caleb's current fave) approximately 11 times this week. #numberonemomhere #moveovercars

This week has been tough. Because of several things that have happened, I've made a conscious effort to be very grateful for even the smallest of blessings. Like this messy living room. Because this messy living room means we are living in it. #illtakeit #toyscrumbsandall #gratefulforthemess



And that's all I've got for today! Linking up with Annie of Home of Malones for Thoughts on Thursday. Grab the button and link up if you'd like to join in:)

Thoughts for Thursday

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

In Memoriam {Leslie Sisti}

My heart hurts today. I don't want to be writing this post. I never dreamed I would have to write something like this. Especially not about someone so lovely and so full of life and love. It just seems wrong. Every cell in my body screams in defiance. 


Leslie Sisti, the author of A Blonde Ambition passed away on Monday, July 27 at just 30 years old. She was the beauty behind the blog. Adoring wife to the love of her life, Stephen. Mama to her two precious girls, Caroline Rose and Ainsley Catherine. And beloved friend to many of us here in blogland.

Back in 2011, as a fledgling blog author myself, I was so excited to find Leslie's blog. She was what I aspired to be as a blogger. Her quit wit, fabulous fashion sense, sweet demeanor, and fun makeup and hair tips and tricks drew me in and kept me coming back for more. She was real and honest, and I loved that about her. Through the years, I watched her get swept off her feet by her handsome knight in shining armor, get engaged, plan a wedding, get married, become a wife, build a home, and then give birth to two of the most adorable human beings you will ever see.

Leslie was such a sweet person. A true beauty on both the outside and the inside. Though I never got to meet her in person, she and I exchanged emails frequently. We were so excited to take on our roles as wives - trading recipes and newlywed notes just a few months into our forays into wedded bliss. A little over a year after celebrating our first wedding anniversaries - B and I in April, and Stephen and Leslie in September - we began the journey toward motherhood together when we found out we were pregnant with our first babies just a few months apart. And our second little bundles of joy ended up being less than 4 months apart, so we braved our second pregnancies together once again. I knew that I could always email Leslie about anything from a lipstick tip to mothering advice. I will miss having that connection with such a sweet soul.



My prayer is that Leslie will be remembered for her absolute zest for life. On the morning of her 30th, and what was to be her last, birthday, Leslie wrote this post. She was excited about a new year, a new baby, and all of the wonderful things that life was sure to bring. No one could have known that that life would be cut so short. Why she was taken so early in this life, we'll never know. I cry for the milestones that will be missed in both of her daughters' lives. I cry for the toddler tears that will fall with no mama to mop them up. I cry for the teenage heartbreaks that won't be soothed by the caring comfort only a mom can provide. I cry for the brides who will one day don wedding dresses without their mother there to zip them up. Any time a mother is stolen from her children, it just seems wrong. So very, very wrong. Sweet Caroline and Ainsley won't grow up with their lovely mother, and that is a shame of epic proportions. A pain that I can't even begin to understand. Something for which I have no answer. But I do know this about Leslie: She loved the Lord and was a faithful follower of Jesus Christ. I have no doubt that Leslie's faith sustained her over these last couple of tough months. I also know that she is restored and made new in Heaven today, with a perfect heart, and in the arms of her Savior.

I pray that her daughters inherit Leslie's love of life. I pray that they will find their mother in the small things on this Earth, but will also be inspired to draw close to Jesus and have a faith like hers, which tells them that this Earth alone is not our home. Our promise lies in Heaven where one day, sweet Leslie will be waiting to meet her daughters again. I pray that Stephen will be strengthened and lifted up during this time, and that he will have the courage to continue on the challenging road of single parenthood. I pray that his heart will heal, and the pain won't be too great to handle day to day. I pray that Leslie's entire family will be comforted in this time of sorrow, and that God will bring them peace in the midst of this storm. Will you pray these things with me today?

If you'd like to join us in sharing some memories or kind words about Leslie today, we'd love for you to use the hashtags #rememberingleslie and #beblessedlovelies. We'd love nothing more than for her family to know just how loved Leslie was, how many lives she touched, and how much she will be missed by us all.



In honor of Leslie, a memorial fund has been set up for her precious daughters, Caroline and Ainsley. If you'd like to help the Sisti family by donating today, you can find that fund here.

See you in Heaven one day, sweet friend. As Leslie used to say, "Be blessed, lovelies."