Favorites on Friday

Happy Friday friends!  It was so fun hearing from so many of you yesterday!  Your “boy” stories cracked me up.  I’m so glad I’m not alone!  That thought brought me comfort today while I cleaned up destroyed spaces and chased my wild 2 year old up and down our street (he has learned how to escape out the front door so if I forget to lock it I can plan on a good workout at some point).  The good news is that I don’t have to go to the gym to stay in shape.  Kole has taken my workouts to a whole new level!  :)  
Sharing a few more favorites today!  
I have had zero time for cooking dinner lately (not that I would even if I had the time – ha!) so here are a few of my favorite quick and easy go-to’s for dinner.  
 A lot of mornings I toss some chicken in the crock pot.  Then I shred it around dinner time.  

Then I toss some of this Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce over it.  I love BBQ sauce and this is by far my favorite store bought sauce.  Toss the BBQ chicken in a roll, boil some corn on the cob and dinner. is. served.  DONE.

Another one of my favorite go-to’s for quick dinners is “boil-in-bag” rice.  LOVE this stuff.  You pull out the bag and plop it in some boiling water.  It’s done in 10 minutes.  Cut the bag open and let the rice sit for a bit to cool and wa-la!  Easy, tasty rice that was no mess to cook.  (The “no mess” is my favorite part.)

I did make one new recipe last week.  Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas and they were SO good.  You can find the recipe here.  A total Erin recipe.  Easy and fool proof.  Great for leftovers.  They reminded me a little of my Mexican Chalupa’s.  Have you tried those yet?  They are SO good and easy and fool proof too.  
Other favorites include:

Better Homes and Gardens Kitchen and Bath magazines.  I can’t get enough of them!  I am always drawn to the same things in kitchen/bath photographs which makes me feel a lot more confident in the way I am designing our new house.

Cetaphil lotion and daily facial miosturizer/sunscreen.  This stuff is THE BEST.  I mentioned in my make-up post that I wear sunscreen every single day under my make-up and Cetaphil is my favorite.  I have to wear sunscreen daily because my skin is so fair and I live in such a sunny climate.  Best secret to looking young – wear your sunscreen.  Or so I’m told.  :)  My dermatologist recommended Cetaphil for daily sunscreen (and lotion) use.  A little bit goes a long way so one bottle lasts a long time.  It has a little shine to it which I like because I have dry skin.  It gives my skin a bit of a glow!  I always order it through Amazon (I included the link above) because I can’t ever find the facial moisturizer in stores.

Another favorite product of mine is regular old Pond’s cold cream.  Several of you tried my favorite mascara out and loved it (YEA!  Makes me so happy!) but wondered how I remove it.  Pond’s is the best for removing make-up.  I’ve tried several other products for removing make-up but always come back to Pond’s.  I use this every night to remove my make-up before I wash my face.

These are my favorite newish pajamas that I have LIVED IN this summer when I’m home.  I bought them at the Gap Outlet and the material is so soft and comfy and stretchy.  I never want to take them off!  Another favorite are my Ugg house shoes.  A fun Christmas gift last year.  I know.  You’re thinking who wears Ugg house shoes in August?  Um that would be me.  Weather doesn’t change that much around here and my kitchen tile is so hard and cold.  I always like house shoes on when I’m home.  I’m excited to put less tile and more wood in my new house.  But I bet I still wear the house shoes.  :)

 Close-up of the print on the pajama pants.  Grey with coral flowers.  Cute, right!?  They make me want to join Ellie in her crusade to pass a law declaring that every day be pajama day.

I know I mentioned my favorite cereal Bran Chex in my last favorites post but I have to also say how much I love the containers that hold them.  I found these at the Container Store and this one container holds three boxes of Bran Chex!  Talk about a space saver.

 Really ALL of my pantry containers and baskets are favorites of mine.  This is by far my favorite organized space.  I love that it looks good but is also so practical and easy to keep organized.  The OXO containers have been perfect for keeping food fresh and visible.  I doubled my pantry space when I got rid of the boxes and started using these containers.  WOOT WOOT!  Love them all.  (You can see where I bought all of my pantry containers in this post).

We bought these necklaces for the girls on our back to school shopping spree.  They are from Justice and my girls begged me to buy them.  It wasn’t a hard sale because I love the necklaces too.

The relationship these two have is one of my favorite things.  
My favorite of all the favorites.  :)  
 Addison likes to wear them both.  

 We always tell her how special and lucky she is because she gets to be a little sister and a big sister.  
My last favorite I don’t have a photo for.  The girls and I have been doing a lot of dancing in the kitchen lately and I have to say that our daily jam sessions have become a favorite part of my day.  Some of our dancing is choreographed.  Some of it is on the fly.  We even sing a bit too.  Oh yes.  We do it all.  Our recent favorite song to dance to is Run the World (Girls) by Beyonce.  (Who runs the world?  GIRLS. GIRLS!  Who runs the world? GIRLS. GIRLS!)  I’ve thought about filming our jam sessions to share with you, but frankly I just don’t think you all could handle it.  
We’ve got moves that would blow your mind.  
Happy weekend everyone!

And the toddler strikes again

Ok.  I distinctly remember that when my girls turned around age 2 1/2 life with little ones started easing up a bit.  Yes, they were 2 and very much had minds of their own, but still, I remember them starting to entertain themselves for longer periods of time.  They would sit and look at a book.  Or play with their dolls.  Or color a picture.  Or watch a short show on TV.  So as Kole nears the 2 1/2 mark I find myself often wondering WHEN IN THE WORLD IS THIS KID GOING TO SLOW DOWN!!??  

Yes.  He’s cute.  I’ll give him that.  But FOR THE LOVE!  This kid doesn’t stop!  He has two speeds – fast and faster.  He ran away from me in the grocery store today and I swear I wished I would have had on my Nikes.  If only you all could have witnessed the chase scene that ensued.  Up and down the isles, around grocery carts, through the check out counter.  
Then we get home and he operates under two settings: mom needs to constantly entertain me OR I’ll entertain myself.  
And here’s how my little buddy entertains himself… 

He is obsessed with moving all of the couch pillows and stacking them together on one couch.  

You might think this is lousy photography, but no.  This is just my boy stacking at lightning speed.  (And ok – slightly lousy photography.)  He does this with all of the upstairs pillows on the beds too.  Moves them all to my bed in a big heap.  As soon as he sees I’ve put them back, he gets to work stacking them all in one place again.

So I’ve given up and if you drop by to see me, this is what you will be greeted with.  
Once the pillows are on their designated couch he moves on to the shoes in the garage.  
Above is the “before” and below is the “after.”  
Clearly he doesn’t get the whole “before and after” concept since he is taking my organized spaces and DESTROYING THEM.
I clean up this mess at least three times a day.  
If I didn’t need the shoes out of the way to drive I wouldn’t bother.  
And now today.  His latest trick.  
Remember how I cleaned out my girls’ book shelf?  
 And I categorized everything so neatly and gave all of the books a happy home?  
Kole decided the books needed a new happy home.  On the floor.  I knew there was going to be trouble when I found myself cooking dinner tonight without Kole under my feet.  He did this in a matter of minutes and then moved on to “entertain himself” in the next room.  

A couple of weeks ago while we were at a picnic for one of the girls’ summer camps Kole kept himself busy with the sidewalk chalk.

He was such a mess that Kenny took off his clothes before we got to the car.  

 Then Kole decided it was his turn to do the chasing.  

He was thrilled to have his clothes off.  They clearly do nothing but weigh him down.  

Yup.  Doesn’t look like things are slowing down any time soon.  

Organized outfits for school

First day of school was a success! 

My little divas had a fabulous day.  Loved their teachers.  Loved seeing all of their friends again.  Loved their new sparkly shoes that light up with each step signaling to the world that they are coming a mile away.  I loved seeing them so happy.  And I loved having an hour and a half of peace during Kole’s nap (bliss!).  And I loved that I didn’t get nearly as emotional as I usually do.  A few tears, but nothing I couldn’t hide under my sunglasses.  Like I said – the day was a success!

I got lots of questions yesterday about where I shop for my girls.  Nothing special.  I just head to the mall.  All of the malls in San Diego are outdoor malls.  They are very sunny, happy places to be.  :)  Here is a breakdown of where I bought the outfits in the picture I shared:

My go to stores for my girls are Gap Kids (has always been my favorite), Children’s Place (hit and miss), Gymboree, and lately Justice (Addison’s favorite – she loves anything that sparkles!).  Once in a while I check out Old Navy.  I had coupons to all of these stores so we got the girls some fun stuff for the school year.  
I mentioned in my “Back to School Checklist” post that I was trying to find a way to organize my girls school clothes for the week.  I really needed to come up with something to reduce the drama each morning that usually takes place when it’s time to figure out what to wear.  I had seen so many fun ideas on Pinterest and was going to come up with  something really beautiful and spectacular.  Then I remembered that I have no time right now for beautiful and spectacular so instead I did what I do have time for: easy and practical.  I had the girls pick out their outfits for the week including socks and accessories.  

Then I grabbed some scissors, a black marker and some gallon sized Ziploc bags that I had on hand.

 I wrote each day of the week on the bags (twice so El and Ad each have their own) and then cut a small hole in them to slip the hanger through.  LOVE IT!  The bags hold their socks and accessories and remind my girls what they are wearing each day.

 El’s first day outfit ready to go!  

 Addison’s too!

A few more examples:

The bags are big and strong enough to also hold things like leggings and skirts.  
 Whatever doesn’t go on the hanger fits in the bag!  

El’s outfits for the first week.  They are all Ellie approved: extremely comfortable.  
 Ad’s outfits for the first week.  They are all Addison approved: extremely fashionable.  

My girls never change.  :)

 A lot of the ideas I’d seen on Pinterest were great, but took up too much closet space.  I love that the outfits/bags fit nicely in the girls’ closets and everything we need is all in one place ready to go!  I also love that this didn’t cost a cent and took me about two minutes to put together.  I’m so excited about my new system for organizing outfits!  One more way to minimize stress in the morning.  Which we desperately need.  Because a certain two year old is so good at maximizing it.

I guess easy and practical isn’t so bad after all. 

Prepped for the first day

First day of school tomorrow!  
The backpacks are ready and lunches are packed.  
 Outfits for the week have been carefully selected by two excited and slightly nervous little girls.
(I’ll share my new system for organizing them soon!)

The freezer is organized!  Yes.  I realize this has nothing to do with back to school, but it made me feel good to announce it nonetheless.

School supplies are loaded in the car (along with a box of tissues for me), kids are getting a good night’s sleep and I’m off bed myself.  Waking up extra early tomorrow so I can see my babies start 1st and 3rd grade.  What!?  Maybe I should snag a few of those tissues now.

Goodbye summer!  Goodbye to carefree mornings in pajamas.  
You will be missed most of all.

More house decisions made

Hello friends!  Another slooow week on the blog.  Kenny and I have been consumed with new house stuff (what’s new, right!?).  We have been finalizing so many things.  I’m such a mix of excited and exhausted which pretty much sums up the way I’ve felt ever since we started this building roller coaster.  I still have some sketches I have to go through tonight before another meeting tomorrow so this will be quick, but I wanted to pop in and say hello and share a few of the decisions we’ve been making this week.  
Some good news is that we are almost done picking out kitchen and bathroom fixtures.  Hooray!  I went through and changed half of what I had picked out earlier and now I feel better about fixtures.    The bad news is that my “hey let’s remake decisions we’ve already made and change things up again” attitude is happening more and more and Kenny is seriously about to kill me.   My poor husband.  I know I’m driving him crazy but I can’t help it.  I just feel like this is my one chance to do this and I have to do it right!  I keep reminding him that after this house is built he will remember why he loves me.   Ok… after the house is decorated.  Then he will remember.  :)
More good news – we’ve ordered my farmhouse sinks!  Let’s all just hold our breath and have a moment of silence for the beauty that is the farmhouse sink.
Ahhhhhh.  Breathe out.  K.  Now we can continue.  My love for them is indescribable.  Whenever I see pictures of farmhouse sinks  my heart starts to race much like it does when I see pictures of dutch doors.  Do any of you share my passion?  I know I’m not alone.  :)  I ordered the sink in the picture above for my food-prep island and a double farmhouse sink for in front of my kitchen window.  I gave Kenny my sweetest smile and managed to talk him into getting one more for my downstairs laundry room.  Quite a surprise since he was already about to kill me at that point.  Good to know that after 15 years my “sugary sweet please can I have something” smile still does the job.  I tried to pull off one more for the upstairs laundry room and that is where Kenny drew the line and my smile lost all its magic.  That’s ok.  I really would have been over the moon with just one so to say I am flying high about my sinks right now is a serious understatement.   
I have been ironing out lots of kitchen cabinet details this week and I’m so excited about the organization that will be taking place in my kitchen everyday!  I’ll share more of those details at some point.  Right now we need to order our kitchen appliances and I am so torn.  We have decided to go with Thermador  and we were going to just get the cook top and do cabinets below like the picture above (with ovens on another wall).  Now I’m debating the full oven again…  
This is what we would get if we decide to go with the full oven.  It might make more sense to do this because of some issues with the way I want my cabinets.  I love the look of this oven, but also love the cooktop because then I can use the drawers below for pot/pan storage.  Any opinions on a cook top vs. a full oven?  Would love to hear your thoughts!
Want to see something really beautiful?  

This is Thermador’s top of the line 48 inch Professional series oven.  When we very first started looking at appliances I walked into the store, marched right over to it and said “I want this one!”  Then the sales man said “that’s the most expensive oven made” and then Kenny said “of course it is” and then I said “ok – never mind.”  :) The sales man said “this has an exclusive built-in steamer, a titanium griddle and grill, a large capacity convection oven, and a top of the line warming drawer.  Then I smiled and said “I just wanted it for that cool white vintage looking dial on the front.”  Then  Kenny rolled his eyes (in that oh so familiar way) and said to the salesman “this is what I’m dealing with.” 
And that pretty much sums up the way most of our house discussions have gone thus far.  :)
Ok –  I’m off to look at my sketches.  Lots to post next week when more of these decisions and meetings are behind us.  We are finishing up windows Friday (I swear – windows are going to be the death of me!) and then I think house meetings will slow down for a few weeks.  
Enjoy your day everyone!  
P.S.  I found this picture on Pinterest last week (couldn’t find the correct source) — 

and it made me SO excited to decorate my new house for the holidays!   Is anyone else getting excited for Christmas!?  It’s a bit early, but I can’t help it.  I’m counting down to November when I can start celebrating.  It will be here before we know it!