Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Christmas Spirit

I am already in the Christmas spirit and looking forward to Christmas music 24/7 and all the decorations. I'm thinking of starting to decorate our house this weekend instead of waiting until after Thanksgiving. I've been browsing all of the catalogs coming to our house from toys to Pottery Barn. I am loving these festive items and thinking about adding some of them to our collection:





Outdoor use (window) or Indoor Use (Mantel)

A little extra love in our home :)

I would like these for either our two front trees outside or on our mantel

As mentioned in my previous post, I've already bought a few things. I have the "Believe" sign up and love it. It was only $5 at Home Goods. Ellie was rewarded with hot chocolate in her new mug by taking a nap yesterday. It was a good reward- she was shrieking in delight.

Just looking at this post makes me more excited for all the festivities this Holiday season. Have you bought anything Holiday related yet? Anything I should add?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Recent Purchases

I love this new long sleeve tee I bought from Gap. I think it's my new favorite top. I bought in black and white.


I bought a couple sweaters from Gap during one of their recent sales. The fair isle sweater didn't get good reviews online, but I love it. I bought the "endive," which is more like a mint green. 



I wanted a new concealer for fall and I found this Dior one to be creamy and light, as well as brightening. It's amazing and I don't often find concealers I love. Plus, it got rave reviews. I also bought this new lip gloss, and I love it.



I bought a trial size of this Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer. I really wanted something for a base for my make-up and something easy to apply. So far I love it. 


This is one of my favorite new items I got for Ellie from Old Navy. It reminds me of her because she calls sprinkles "sparkles." She will ask for ice cream with sparkles or a cupcake with sparkles. I couldn't resist it.


We are ready for the snow now that Ellie has boots. I bought these today from Carter's, as well as the hat and waterproof gloves. The boots and mittens are not sold online.
 

Mommy daughter hats from Gap. Love the Pom Poms!
 Red / Purple (sold out, but similar)

Ellie is wearing a puffer jacket from Gap. I can't say enough great things about Gap's winter jackets. My parents buy her one every year (Summer gets the hand me downs) plus snow pants. I love the navy and it's very warm!

Christmas purchases: wrapping paper, "Believe" sign, and labels (Home Goods) and cards ($3!), mug and rolling pin (Target). The reindeer mug is the perfect size for Ellie's hot chocolate and the mini rolling pin will be great baking cookies together. All of these items below cost less than $15 total. I love good deals!


** Please note: affiliate links are used.







Monday, November 10, 2014

Weekend Recap

Saturday was my niece's 7th Birthday. She is the sweetest girl and is such a great older cousin and friend to my girls. They always play so nicely together. She was the first baby in our family and the first grandchild for my parents. She is also my goddaughter so I have a special place in my heart for her. Here are some of my favorite photos from when she was a baby (and I was blonde!). 

My flower girl at my wedding, July 2009
 At the beach, Summer 2009
 Her 2nd birthday

She had a cooking party (such a great party idea) on Saturday afternoon and I took Ellie while Summer stayed home and napped. She had a great time. What could be better than cooking and eating pizza, cookies, and cupcakes. Sugar rush!! 

 She was excited about her gift- a Sophia coloring book!

Ellie wore her new (second owners) of this Matilda Jane dress that we both love. She loves because it twirls, of course. 


That morning she and I went to the store to get a few things. It was all her idea to get pink flowers and she picked these out by herself. She gave them to her cousin- so sweet! She also picked out her jewelry today. The pink necklace and her "Ellie" bracelet. We also gave her a Hatley umbrella (purple with hearts). That's what she told me she wanted. I also got her a pretty sketchpad and glitter colored pencils since she loves to draw.


Saturday night my friend had a Friendsgiving Party. It was so much fun and so nice to go out with my husband. Everyone brought a dish and there weren't any duplicates making it a very delicious meal. We made and brought mashed sweet potatoes. I think these are one of my favorite Thanksgiving sides and are so easy to make. We had to get a babysitter- our first time leaving the girls with someone other than family. We put the girls to bed early and I didn't even tell them we were going out because I was afraid that Ellie subconsciously would wake up. They both slept the whole time and didn't even know we ever went out that night. 

I am wearing a new blouse from Old Navy that I bought for $9 at the store. It fits really well and is really comfortable. I also bought it in blue. 

The next morning we took the girls to Smith Playground, which is only open on weekends now till December when it closes for the winter. The wooden slide is a hit in which you slide down on potato sacks. We had a blast. They have a ton of stuff to do for kids there. I grew up going there with my family, but this was Nick's first time. As we were walking in I asked Ellie if she was excited to be here with all of us (Daddy included) and this was her excited face. She squealed and jumped up and down. She loves family days. Side note- last night Nick and I had finished reading to her in bed and we layed down with her. She said, "you guys are the best" and gave us a group hug. She is the sweetest!


We got home and Summer napped and I dropped Ellie off at my parents. They were taking her and her two cousins to the movies. This was a special day because it was Ellie's first time at the movie theatre. She was so excited! I did a few errands while Summer napped and bought this banner at Target for only $3. I don't do much decorating for Thanksgiving- this is about it.


Summer and I also painted and she painted her first abstract art. It was nice to be able to paint with just her! If you notice she is painting with her left hand. We can't tell if she will be left handed because she will throw with her right hand, but eat and paint/draw primarily with her left.


It was a fun fall weekend! This morning we are headed to the zoo this morning. Have a great day!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Luscious List

I told Ellie I would take her ice skating for the first time this winter. I really want to go here:


I'm thinking about trying this beauty balm. I love items that are multi-purpose. They also sell a smaller size for $39.

I love finding cute items at kids consignment shops. I recently bought these yellow polka dot corduroys (Gap) for Summer for $5 and these glitter Toms for Ellie for $6. Perfect play shoes for school.

I love this new lipstick. I usually wear Clinique, but decided to try this Revlon color I recently read about. It's the perfect nude color and at $9 I love it.


Nordstrom is having a sale right now. Ellie is wearing one of her Tea Collection dresses for picture day at school today. I love this brand for toddlers, but will only buy on sale. I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out. I'm hoping for a genuine smile, but it will be cute no matter what. I love this layered dress below for fall.


Banana Republic is having a 50% sale on up to 5 items this weekend starting today. There is so much I love right now. I just bought this plaid shirt last weekend, but I haven't taken the tags off yet so I'm hoping they have another one I can buy today. This is a great time to start holiday shopping!


Have a great day!

Plated Review

I have made two of the three Plated meals this week. The first was the pork chops and the second was the beef. The meals were delivered on Tuesday in a big insulated box with ice packs to keep everything fresh. Everything was labeled making it easy to navigate through the meals. 


Pork Chops with Cider Gravy:
I omitted the roasted apples and fennel, which skipped a step making it a very easy dish to prepare. I added sliced apples onto my husband's dish. I loved the flavors of this dish.


Last night I made the second dish after the girls went to sleep. I hadn't eaten yet even though it was close to 9pm. I was motivated to cook since I already had the recipe and all of the ingredients and I was hungry for a good meal. This one took a little longer to prepare and cook. It said it would take 25-30 minutes, but it took me about 45. I used ginger and scallions both of which I never cook with, but now plan to because they add such great flavor. I didn't love this dish only because it was a little too salty. I followed the recipe, but next time I will not add any additional salt. Plus, I'm sure the soy sauce was not low sodium! I also substituted the vegetable oil in this dish for olive oil.


I don't think I will continue with the Plated subscription for now. I think it's a great idea for people who don't have time to grocery shop or interest in planning meals for the week. I feel that it's given me the motivation I need to start planning and cooking good meals again. Plus, it's getting cold here so I know I will be using my crock pot often. I also have used ingredients I don't use, but plan to in the future. I also think a gift card would a perfect gift!

Second Annual Pumpkin Painting Party

The girls and I hosted a few friends for a pumpkin painting play date a week before Halloween. It was a fun afternoon! It was similar to last year's party, which you can read about here. I bought mini pumpkins from Produce Junction and used Crayola washable paint and paintbrushes. I saw an idea on Pinterest to use muffin pans to hold the paint, which worked out great (no spilling of paint although it was still everywhere). I put together a festive snack table. Ellie helped make the marshmallow pops again this year. It's such an easy baking activity for toddlers.

 I let her eat one before the party started:
 Summer's first time painting a pumpkin. I love her little curls!

The snack table included clementine pumpkins, a vegetable "candy corn" tray, cheese, crackers, and dips, pirates booty cups for kids, Honest juice, cookies, and the marshmallow pops. The skeleton tablecloth (Summer found it hilarious), snack cups, plates and napkins all are from Target. I also love the pink skull cups that held the paintbrushes. I found those at CVS last year.

I love having this party because it's something fun to look forward to in the fall. It helps me love Halloween more. It's a holiday that I was never into until I had the girls and it's definitely much more fun now that Ellie is getting older. It was much more fun decorating the house this year, too. I'm slowly adding more decorations to my collection each year.

Ellie and I made these ghosts with tissues and string- easiest activity ever!

 I love the way Ellie made this pumpkin at school:
 Both of the banners below were Target finds:

Halloween, 2014