Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Lazy Morning

We are still in our pajamas.  No therapy.  No new house meetings.  No camps or scheduled summer activities.  Just the whole morning to be lazy and do what we want to do.  My favorite.  I made the kids waffles.  El reminded me that they don't taste as good as when daddy makes them, but I'm showing some improvement.  

Then Addison became a spooky ghost and scared us all.  

Now we are off to tackle the girls' rooms.  
 This pile was all on Ellie's bunk bed.  Seriously.  Have a toy El.  

And this is the contents of Addison's pajama drawer.  
Only one of the ten clothes drawers we are sorting through today.     
Most of their stuff is too little.  :(

Also found in Addison's pajama drawer.  Hmmm.  
Seems Ellie isn't the only toy hoarder.  

 Luckily the dolls are ready to pitch in and help.  

Now I just need to get off this computer and get started.
I'm totally stalling, can you tell?  

Maybe the mess can wait a bit.
I'm thinking we should head to the gym instead.
I need to work off the waffles I just ate.
Plus the shrieks coming from upstairs are telling me that Kole needs an outing.  
It's so cloudy on the coast right now.
But any minute that sun is going to pop right out.  
It always does.


Enjoy your day!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Fun weekend and fruit dip

FUN weekend.  Lots of play and little work.  I'll pay for it tomorrow (the laundry alone!), but it was worth it.  I got to spend Friday afternoon at the park with a friend I danced with in college and haven't seen since.  She was in town visiting and called and I'm SO glad she did!  I loved catching up with her and meeting her cute kids.  Two girls close in age and a two year old little boy.  We are living parallel lives.  :)  It was SO fun to see her again.  I didn't take a picture (I have been awful at taking pictures this summer!) but we had a great afternoon.  

The rest of the weekend included get togethers with two other families we love to hang out with.  First a little pool time!  I finally learned the secret to getting Kole to stay put in the pool instead of just running around it.  

Good old Thomas to the rescue.  This boy of mine loves his trains.  
I love his trains too.  They allow me at least five minutes of down time.  
I'll take it!

Best friends and their dads.  

Our other fun get-together was a BBQ at a friends house.  They made the most delicious meal I think I've ever had!  Seriously!  Great food.  Great company.  We didn't want to leave.  So we didn't!  We all hung out so late.  I think it was the latest my kids have ever stayed up!

My contribution to the amazing meal?  Not much.  My cute friend insisted on making everything aside from a fruit salad.  So I made my fruit salad and I also made some fruit dip.  I thought I'd share this SIMPLE fruit dip because it is seriously so good.  And so simple.  Did I mention that already?  That it's simple and good?  Because it is.  

Whip together:
8 oz cream cheese (softened)
7 oz jar of marshmallow creme
2 teaspoons of Maraschino cherry juice

You can see the dip in the purple bowl on the kids' table next to my fruit salad.  It's light pink and it's delicious!  Not the healthiest, but a summertime hit nonetheless.  

Table for the kids.    

 Table for the adults.  I loved the fresh sun flowers!  

A few more pics from the evening -- 

What kid doesn't love a slip-n-slide? 

Kole was in absolute heaven.  

I think his trains have met their match.
Makes me so excited to have a yard!  This boy and his mom are more than ready for one.  

p.s.  Is anyone else a nervous wreak watching the Olympics!?  I get so stressed during the events (especially girls gymnastics).  My hands start to sweat just watching them!  I can only imagine what their parents must feel like!

p.p.s.  Happy Monday.  :)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Old Gym and Quotes, New Kicks and Music

I've talked about my exercise routine a lot on this blog.  Mostly about how I try to prioritize one.  I've also mentioned how my "routine" is constantly changing depending on my current "kid" situation.  (I'm clearly in the mood to "quote" tonight.  Don't know why but it's "amusing" me.)  Well my "routine" has changed again.  (K - I'll stop now.) 

Last time we discussed exercise I was walking/jogging with Kole in his jogger, but once summer hit and the girls were home that plan flew out the window!  So two weeks ago I re-joined my old gym!  And I'm so excited about it!  I know.  Gyms usually aren't that exciting.  But this gym is a bit sentimental to me.  It's the same gym that I spent 45 minutes in  each day for years when my girls were little.  It's the same gym that saved me from having a mom meltdown each day while Kenny was working long new attorney hours and I was depressed living away from family.  It's the same gym that helped me lose my baby weight after I had each of my girls which also helped me feel good about myself again.  It's the same gym that I made a lot of new friends in (mostly with the people who work there).  It's the same gym that gave me sanity!  And lots of good blogging material.  Here are a few times my gym came up in past posts: 

I had such a great "mom moment" this week. One thing I love about my gym is that I can see into the windows of the kids club (where my kiddos play while I workout) from the treadmills. Every once in a while while I'm exercising I see the top of their heads running around. Last week I saw them run by and for the first time, Addison looked up and saw me through the window. She got so excited and she ran to find Ellie and they both stood there waving and blowing kisses to me with the biggest smiles on their faces. I started frantically waving back and blowing kisses to them and everyone on the treadmills lining both sides of me were looking at me like I was a total idiot. I didn't even care. For some reason it just hit me and I was so overwhelmed with love for my two girls. I got a little teary eyed and just thought about how much I love them and how much I really do love being a mom. It was the highlight of my week. (Now I just need to remember that moment the next time they paint all over my carpet)

So I love zoning out and letting my mind wander. Something about the random randomness of my thoughts always makes me happy. I tend to zone out at various times throughout the day. (Often happens whenever Kenny starts a discussion including words like taxes, finance, or bills) Some may call this being spacey, but I like to think my mind is extremely complex and always needs to be in motion. :) This happens whenever I'm on the treadmill, which is why I like treadmills so much. A few random thoughts during this morning's jog...
Is today only Tuesday? ....I have GOT to call and find out what I need to do to get Ellie registered for Kindergarten ....wait - today is Koni's b-day! Crap. Forgot to send a card. Why didn't I write that on my to-do list? Oh yeah, I did. I just didn't read my to-do list....I wish I looked like Natalie Portman....thank goodness for this song (So What by Pink) because it's the only thing keeping my feet moving right now....I need new gym shoes....is American Idol on tonight?....I should wash sheets today....my new camera is probably too big to carry around with me everywhere....wish I knew how to wink....why am I thinking about winking?....love it when my mind wanders....I should put this as a good thing on my blog.

I'm fond of the scales at the gym. They're like big, fun toys. I like to move the black thing back and forth trying to get it to balance. I'm not fond of the way my i pod always seems to add at least seven pounds when I weigh myself. (It's a mini, not a shuffle)

Today I went to the gym for the first time since I had Kole.  With Ellie, I didn't take her to the gym until she was over one year old. I didn't trust anyone but me to take care of my baby. When I did finally leave her, I gave specific instructions on everything about her from what she liked to play with to how she liked to be held. Then I found a treadmill with a direct view into the Kids Klub so I could watch her the whole time I worked out. I took Addison to the gym around six months. I knew and trusted the ladies I was leaving her with by this time, but still gave them specific instructions each time I dropped her off and still tried to workout at least part of the time close by so I could peek in on her. With Kole I was counting down for him to turn three months - old enough to go to the Kids Klub. I dropped all three of my kids off today, handed the ladies a diaper bag, muttered "bless you all!" and headed for the exercise equipment as far away from the Kids Klub as possible.

**Side note:  (I don't recommend you click on that last post "Life with Three" if you get queasy easily.  It's a very real look into what life can be like with little ones!  But one of my favorite posts just the same.)  :)

Anyway!  You can see how my gym used to be a big part of my life and why I'm so excited to be back in the routine of visiting again.  Kole is finally old enough to run and play with the other kids and doesn't cry when I leave like he used to (which was why I took such a long break).  It has been two years since I stopped going and it was like a family reunion when I re-joined.  So fun to see so many of the same people working there!  They couldn't believe how big the girls are now.  They were also so happy to see that Addison's hair is still super curly.  :)

Now that I've gabbed all about my old gym with old blog posts, it's time to share something new!  

In honor of my new gym membership (and in hopes to motivate me to exercise) I bought some new running shoes and downloaded some new workout music.  

I mentioned attempting to hit the Nordstroms sale with Kole a couple of weeks ago.  The trip only lasted about 45 minutes but it was just long enough to find these fun Nikes on sale for 50 bucks!  SCORE.  Such a great deal. Have you all seen the fun Nikes this season?  Mine aren't nearly as bright and colorful as most of this collection.  These shoes are so popular around here.  I was in desperate need of some new running shoes and these are so comfortable.  Perfect for treadmill running at my new-old gym!  

I also thought I'd share the new tunes I added to my workout play list on my ipod.  I mixed all of these songs in with my old running mix which you can see here.  Great music to get your feet moving!

Raise Your Glass - Pink
Rolling in the Deep - Adele
Rumor Has It - Adele
Party Rock Anthem - LMFAO
Pump It - Black Eyed Peas
Dum Diddly - Black Eyed Peas
Boom Boom Pow - Black Eyed Peas
Bad Romance - Lady Ga Ga
On the Floor - Jennifer Lopez
Call Me Maybe - Carly Rae Jepsen
Girlfriend - Avril Lavigne
Battlefield - Jordin Sparks
Party in the USA - Miley Cyrus (in honor of this post)  :)
Run the World (Girls) - Beyonce
Hello - Martin Solveig

Any fun, fast paced songs I've missed?  Do tell!  

Happy Friday everyone! 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

House decisions made!

My brain is officially fried.  Kenny and I spent 5 hours this afternoon with our builder and window guy.  To continue the 4 hour meeting we had yesterday.  Which was a continuation of the 6 hour meeting from a few days before.  And you know what?  We aren't even half way finished with exterior windows and doors!  We haven't even made it to the fun part yet where I get to pick out styles!  We have been going room by room and determining exact size, which way the windows/doors will open, and (for me) discovering all sorts of things about my floor plan that I didn't realize before... - Oh!  I'm going to need a 15 foot ladder to plant flowers in that flower box.  Maybe that's not the best location for one.  Come to think of it, maybe my architect already told me that and I chose to ignore him because all I could think about was how pretty some purple petunias would look in that window.  :)  

Anyway!  Despite the mummy like state I am constantly walking around in with so many house decisions still left to make, I feel really excited about the things I have decided on!  Here is a peek of a few things I am including in the new house...


I have been having a love affair with dutch doors for some time now.  I absolutely adore them and I  wanted one so badly!  Aside from the look and overall charm they add to a space, I love the idea of opening the top half of the door to let in the ocean breeze or watch my kids while they play outside.  When we were working on designing the mudroom with our architect, I sent him this picture:

I told him I loved this look and for sure wanted a dutch door in my mudroom coming in off of the front porch, but I also wanted lots of space for lockers/cubbies for the kids.  We initially had the dutch door in the plans, but then a few weeks later we took it out so that I would have more storage space.  Until three days ago when I put it back in.  :)  I couldn't stop thinking about it!  One of those things I really wanted and I finally decided it was more important to me than extra storage.  I still have plenty of room to do what I want to do for the kids in the mudroom so it worked out great.  And I'm so excited about this door!  I haven't decided what color it will be - white, black, grey, or maybe something really bright and fun?  Kenny is excited too.  Last week he said "are you still talking about that dutch door!?  Enough already! Put it back in!"  So I guess he's less excited about the door and more excited that I won't be discussing it anymore, but regardless, we both got what we wanted in the end.  :)


We have a fun outdoor entertaining area coming off of the french doors in the family room.  It's a covered patio with a fireplace similar to the picture above.  The last few days we have debated installing the lift and slide doors (we have doors that come off of our living room and into this outdoor patio).   The lift and slide doors are so cool.  They slide right into the wall so your indoor/outdoor area becomes one big room.  But tonight we finally decided to stick with the french doors because they are more compatible with the style of our home.  Plus they cost less.  Always a bonus!  


Speaking of style!  I love two styles of homes: Nantucket/Cape Cod and French Country.  When we first started designing the house I was trying to combine both styles, but as the house progressed, it turned into more and more of a Nantucket look.  Guess that style is my ultimate favorite!  I could never find an exact picture of what I wanted for the exterior, so I sent my architect individual pics of everything.  I sent him SO many pictures:  love this door, love these windows, love this siding, etc.  It has been so fun seeing everything I love come together to create a home!  This is one of the pictures I sent him for inspiration and our house has several similarities... 

Isn't this home beautiful!?  This is exactly how our garages will stick out from the house only ours are on the right side of the house where the garages in this picture are on the left (looking head on).  Just like this picture, we will pull into our garages on the inside.  This made the most sense with the shape of our lot. Another thing I love about this house is all of the white molding.  I LOVE white molding and the way it pops against any rock or siding.  I also love the triangle peaks in the roof line (over the front door and over the front garage).  Our house has a lot of peaks/gables in the roof line.  In fact sometimes I worry that I went a little too crazy with the gables!  I don't think I went too crazy with the white molding though.  In my opinion, one can never have too much white molding.  :)


These two pictures show the type of window style that is consistent throughout the house.  LOVE it!!  I haven't decided how thick I want the lines in the upper part of the windows to be and if there will be six squares (pic above) or three rectangles (pic below).  That will be decided in our next 5 hour window meeting.  (I'm about to ask our babysitter to just move in with us!).  


I haven't decided exactly what I'm doing for ceilings in the main rooms of the house (a lot of it depends on what we can afford after we see where we're at with everything else).  But I do know what I want for the family room.  We have a high pitched roof in our family room and this is the look that is penciled in the plans:  

SO pretty!  My mom saw these pictures on-line a few months ago and called me and said "I found a picture of what you've been talking about for your ceilings!"  Sure enough, there they were.  It was love at first sight.


I have gone back and forth so many times on whether or not I should do a stainless steel fridge or cover it so that it blends in with the kitchen cabinets.  After much debate, I'm leaning towards having it blend in with the cabinets like the picture above.  I love the look of stainless, but this will be much more practical so that I'm not cleaning fingerprints every other day like I do now.  But don't hold me to it, since I have been known to change my mind as often as Addison changes her clothes.  Which as you all know is pretty often.

So that is just a peek of some of the things that we are including in the new house!  There are still so many decisions to make, but like I said, I'm feeling good about the choices we've made so far.  Maybe I don't suffer from decision making disorder after all!

Or do I?  

I can't decide.  


Monday, July 23, 2012

The more torn up the better!

So fun to finally see our lot buzzing with activity!  

These pics are from over a week ago and things are even more torn up as of late!  The kids had their day in the sun running through the trenches, but now things are getting dangerous so no more exploring the lot with the littles.  

I love driving by to see what's been done each day.  
I look out at the lot and think to myself - "looks like more holes in the dirt!  Fabulous!"  

Who knew dirt, heavy duty machinery and a porta potty could be so exciting!?  :) 

We are knee deep in window and door decisions this week.  SO many options!  It has been a bit overwhelming and will take weeks to finalize.  Good thing I totally know what I'm doing.

  (I so totally don't.)

Good times around here.  :)

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Back to School Checklist

I always have mixed feelings about my kids going back to school.  By the end of summer I'm usually ready to regain some sort of schedule, but I dread getting back into the business school brings.  Plus I get so sappy every year knowing my girls are moving up a grade and are getting one year older.  I totally bawled last year when Addison started Kindergarten (and according to my friends I had no business doing so since she wasn't my first and I still have one more baby home - ha!).  We still have plenty of summer left around here (my girls don't start until the beginning of September) but I don't want to make the same mistake I made last summer.  Last summer I didn't start thinking about preparing for school until about a week before.  The backpacks I tried to order on-line were sold out.  School supplies were picked over.  Kole was so hard to shop with that I was only able to get the girls one or two new things to wear.  None of this was that big of a deal, but more than anything I didn't love that I spent our last week of summer running around feeling stressed instead of enjoying that time with my kids.  So to ensure that doesn't happen again, this weekend I made a back to school checklist.  Of course I did!  Because what's better than a good checklist, right!?  :)  My plan is to start slowly getting ready for the beginning of the new school year so that as summer winds down I can relax knowing that I'm on top of things.

1) Buy backpacks and lunch boxes.  Check!  

I was strolling by Pottery Barn Kids in June (my girls were still finishing up last school year) and noticed that all of their summer backpacks were on sale.  Score!  I knew I didn't want to make the same mistake I made last year...

Identical backpacks were a joke.  Even though I had their names on them we still got them mixed up a time or twenty.  Ellie's homework would end up in Addison's backpack, Addison would end up with two water bottles, etc.  I'm all about making my life easier this year!  Now let's just hope they don't both want the same one. 

2)  Buy containers for water.  Check!

These are my favorite water bottles for my girls' lunches.  I bought them at Target.  They have a lot of different styles and I've tried most of them.  These hold up the best and they keep the water ice cold all day long.  The button is easy to push and a straw pops up making them less likely to spill all over the place.  Again, I got them two different styles.

3)  Buy the girls each two pairs of shoes.  Our school has a closed toe shoe policy so no sandals or flip flops.  I need to find them each a good pair of running shoes and then something a little more feminine that will work with skirts.  This is always my most dreaded back to school purchase.  I hate shoe shopping with my kids!  I'd elaborate on the pains of it, but I don't think there is any need.  Those of you who have kids know exactly what I'm talking about.  If you don't, consider yourself very lucky.

4)  Sort through all of the clothes in the girls' closets and drawers.  I'm going to sort through every article of clothing they have and clear closets of anything that doesn't fit them and they aren't wearing anymore.  This will give me a good idea of what I need to buy for each of them.

5)  Shop for clothes they need.  Easier said than done with my little man in the picture.  Definitely getting a babysitter and just taking the girls this year!  I think we'll also get lunch and make a fun "girls date" out of it.  :)

6)  Get all medical forms signed by the doctor.  Take forms and medication to the school nurse.  We have a child with allergies so we always have a ton of forms that need to be signed by our pediatrician and our allergy doctor (almost as fun as the shoe shopping).

7)  Print supply lists and shop for school supplies.  YEA!  My FAVORITE part of back to school!

8)  Make appointments for all three kids to get hair trimmed.

9)  Create ways to simplify our morning routine as much as possible.  School mornings are crazy at our house.  Mostly because my two year old senses that it is a busy, rushed time and naturally does everything in his power to make life difficult.  It's what two year olds do best.  :)  I've been thinking a lot this summer about what I can do to make mornings run a little smoother and allow for more Kole hiccups.  Aside from getting lunches and backpacks ready the night before, I also want to start picking out outfits for the girls a week at a time.

I love this hanging outfit sorter (sorry I couldn't find the link!).  The only problem is that I don't have room for something like this in the girls' closets.  So here is another option I'm considering -

Making some sort of daily labels for a weeks' worth of outfits.  (You can buy these here.)  Every Sunday I'll pick out a few outfits and the girls can pick out a few outfits.  Then everyone is happy!  I'm planning to have them pick out every little thing right down to the headband they are going to wear in their hair that day.  Then we are sticking to our outfit plan!  No more clothes debates in the morning!  No more "this is too itchy... this skirt doesn't fit right..."  and then three outfit changes per girl later we are finally ready to walk out the door.  I never thought I'd be an advocate of school uniforms because I love clothes so much, but by the end of last year I would have welcomed the thought of my girls having to wear the same thing every day.  I'm over the outfit drama!  

10)  Be prepared with a variety of school lunch ideas.  Man.  This is a hard one for me.  My school lunches are so boring.  I've been pinning pictures of some fun, creative ways to serve my girls their lunch in hopes that they will start eating everything instead of coming home with their apple slices still sitting neatly in a zip lock bag untouched.  Here are a couple of fun ideas I'm going to try - 

Love the idea of putting cheese, fruits and veggies on a stick.  

  I'm also planning to use cookie cutters to cut some of the girls' food into fun little shapes.  

And of course I'll continue to leave napkin notes in their lunch every day.  
One of our favorite daily traditions.  :)

I don't have time for anything too crazy creative, but these ideas are an easy start to making school lunches a little more fun.

So that's it!  My back to school checklist.  Baby steps all the way to a smoother transition.  :)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Favorites on Friday

Happy Friday everyone!  Popping in to share some of my favorite things.  Some of these I've blogged about before.  Some of them are new loves.  Either way, they are some of the little things that make me happy each day.  

My favorite cleaning supplies.  Weiman Stainless Steel wipes are hands down my favorite tool for getting rid of the abundance of hand prints left on all things stainless in my kitchen.  I love stainless steel appliances when they look nice and clean.  These wipes make it so easy to keep them that way!   And another all time favorite of mine when it comes to keeping things clean is Resolve products.  I have used Resolve carpet cleaner for years.  Gets out any little spot or stain instantly.  I love it so much that a few months ago I tried Resolve Spray and Wash in the laundry.  LOVE it too!  Takes care of every one of Kole's dirt and grass stains (and he has plenty!).

I know I just blogged about my lovely little card/receipt organizer but I am loving it so much I had to include it in my favorites list.  I bought it at Staples - Martha Stewart's office supplies (along with the fun labels I used in my organized craft cupboard post).  I can't wait to go back and get more of her office supplies!

Bran Chex.  Been eating them for breakfast for years.  A quick, healthy breakfast that tastes good and keeps me full until lunch.  Kenny orders them from Amazon for me (I can't find them anywhere around here!) so they are delivered to our doorstep in this huge box.  You would think a box like this would last forever, but the kids love them too so we go through this baby pretty fast.  My dad loves them too so for his birthday one year we set up a monthly delivery from Amazon to his doorstep.  He loved it.  Calls it the gift that keeps on giving.  :)

Favorite snack.  I LOVE sugar snap peas.  I also love that they come already washed and ready to eat.  I take them with me in the car a lot when I'm hungry and running kids around.  

My all time favorite book for toddlers.  There are several versions of The Wheels on the Bus out there, but this one with movable parts is the best.  Hands down.

Every page has fun arrows to pull that move the characters all around.  A friends gave me this book when I was pregnant with Ellie.  Ellie LOVED it and we read it so much that by the time Addison came around I had to get a new one.  Same thing with Addison.  We read it so much (and she played with it so much) that we had to get a new one by the time Kole came around.  So this is our third copy!  And what do you know - it's Kole's all time favorite book.  We have been reading it every night for almost a year!  I throw in other books during our reading time, but Kole insists on this one every night.   If you have a toddler (or need a good gift for someone who does!) I'm telling you - this book is it.  
You can order it here and thank me later.  Unless reading it so much drives you crazy and you decide not to thank me after all.  :)  (**side note - if you do get this book I'd recommend keeping it up high away from toddler hands and only take it down when you are going to look at it together.  That way the book doesn't get destroyed and it's a special treat to read together.)

And a fun, new book my girls are enjoying called Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots?  Darling story and fun illustrations.

Neutrogena sunless tan lotion.  Love this stuff!  It's my go to in the summer time.  You all know I've been cursed blessed with incredibly fair skin.  I gave up my "try to tan and burn myself" days long ago and am now super careful about protecting my skin from the sun.  The only problem is that I live in an area where shorts work year round and sunscreen is always essential.  So I rub or spray a little of this on my legs every few days and wa-la!  My legs no longer blind people.  :)  (I prefer the lotion over the spray because the tan looks more even.  I buy it at Target or you can order it here).  

Natural Ice chap stick (cherry).  Love this stuff.  I always have an abundance of it because my cute mom buys it for me.  Every time I see her she slips a few packages in my purse.  :)  

Soon I'm going to do a post on all of my favorite make-up, but I had to include this one in my post today because I adore it.

 It's called "Painterly Paint Pot" by MAC.  It's like foundation for your eye lids and I LOVE it!  Basically you put it on before you put on your eye make-up and it makes it so that your eye shadow never creases.  My eye shadow looks as good at 5:00 in the evening as it did when I put it on in the morning.  Which is awesome, because time to touch up my make-up doesn't exist these days!  

I shared these favorite products on my last hair post.  The Enjoy hair straightener and Paul Mitchell hairspray have been favorites of mine for years.  I'm trying out some new products and I'll share those too if they become favorites!

Another thing that seriously makes me so happy every day is my navigation system in my car - and the cute pic of my kiddos on the screen.  (This picture was taken in the winter which is why it's dark at 5:15.)  :)  It seems like every other day I'm typing in one address or another and this amazing invention leads me right to my destination.  Genius for someone who is as directionally challenged as I am.  (Seriously - you can ask my friends - I take it to a whole new level.)

 I love my navigation system so much and would be lost without it!  Literally.  

And last but not least, a few recent favorite pics.  That I may or may not have taken while driving in my car.  (I don't recommend that by the way...)

 Love summer time in San Diego.  It's a favorite too.  :)

Have a great weekend everyone!