Friday, May 29, 2015

Happy 2nd Birthday Olive!!

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!!
The last two years have flown by 
and we've loved every moment of being your parents.
We think you're pretty great and everything you do is special to us.
We are so proud of you
and think you're the smartest, sweetest, spunkiest little girl.
You are so much fun!
You are our favorite topic of conversation.
You are the perfect addition to our family and 
we are lucky to be your parents.

Ugga Mugga
Love, Mama & Dada

The Highlights

Memorial Day weekend and this week have flown by.  We've been busy and had a lot of fun.  
The best parts of my week were...

1. I hit the KIMONO JACKPOT at JC Penney this week!!  They had TONS to pick from and so many different patterns/styles.  Most I saw are not on-line so head to your local JCP and try some on.  The sizing is always strange.  I ended up buying S, M and XL so ignore the tags and try them on.  I've worn the tribal print one the most, but I love them all.  Each one was around between $15-$22 on sale.

2. We've done fun birthday things all week long for Olive.  Her real birthday is TODAY and I cannot believe she's already TWO.  How did that happen?  She's had a busy little life so far - lived in three different states, traveled many places, kept us on our toes and been such a sweet little girl.  We are doing a low key Some Bunny is Turning Two party tonight for her after her family parties last weekend.

3. I had so much fun planning all the bunny things for Olive's 2nd birthday.  
I'm going to do a recap of everything next week but here's a sneak peek.

4. My favorite lunch of the week has been avocado toast.
I fry an egg, toast the bread, top with 1/2 an avocado
and sprinkle S&P and bacon bits on top.
How do you eat avocado toast??

5. I've been talking a lot about our upcoming move to Indiana.  We've got our house on the market, are working on making some plans to move and reserving all the necessary things.  It's a lot to process, but we've moved every year for the last three years so I think we're getting pretty good at it.  Do you have any moving or garage sale tips for me??

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Highs and Lows

Here are the highs and lows of things at our house right now:

HIGH: We just got to go home to Indiana for the first time since Christmas to celebrate Olive's birthday a little early with family and friends.  We got to see TONS of family and friends.  We came back exhausted which is the sign of a great trip in my mind :)

LOW: We took our cats up to Indiana to stay at my parent's house until we move to Indiana in a few months.  We knew it would be hard on them to have to leave the house for showings, we didn't have anywhere to take them when we were out of town and their lives would just be calmer and quieter this way.  I cried like a baby when I said goodbye and I may or not be crying as I type this.  They've been my babies for 7ish years and we've never left them for more than 2 weeks at a time.  They are my shadows and stay up late working with me every night.  I'm slightly afraid that they'll feel abandoned and attempt a Milo and Otis style run away this summer.  Let's hope not and pray they forgive me for sending them off to kitty summer camp at the lake house.  My husband keeps reminded me that they have each other, but I still miss them.

HIGH: Our yard is looking beautiful.  I've kept everything alive and thriving for nearly two months all by myself.  I've Miracle Growed things, watered regularly and might just might be developing a green thumb.  I've weeded flower beds and am really proud of how well everything is doing.

LOW: We are doing research and looking at places to rent in our new city.  We visited for one day and tried to see as much as possible.  We looked at apartments, condos and houses and are starting to narrow down favorites.  It's a little too early to reserve anything since we don't want to pay rent too long before moving in.  We are trying to time it all perfectly so that we end up in a place we'll be really happy with.  Oh and it's 10 hours away from Mississippi so we can't just drive up for a visit to scope a place out very easily.

HIGH: Olive is turning TWO on Friday and I'm loving planning fun things for her to do.  We are going to have a little water party for her at home.  She's getting a water table, pool and she got some other fun water toys that we'll set up for her to play in as long as she wants.  I think we'll grill out or pick up pizza and have cake.  She's going to love it!!

LOW: My bills/house paperwork needs some major overhauling.  I have everything in one spot, but it needs several hours devoted to it so that I can make sense of everything.  I can't do this project when Olive is awake so I need to get busy on it one evening.  I'm hoping to throw away tons of outdated paperwork and keep just the necessities.

HIGH: I've been cleaning out everything we own and getting ready to get rid of things.  My garage sale pile is growing and we are hoping to have a giant moving sale in July.  It's so freeing to purge and I love seeing empty spaces in my cabinets and closets.  Leave no closet unturned!!  Do you have any tips for me for the best types of price tags to use?  I was hoping to price each box as I go so I'm not left pricing everything the night before.

LOW: I still have not switched my closet from winter to spring/summer.  I keep pulling shirts/shorts out of storage boxes to wear but need to spend an evening working on this project since it's HOT already in Mississippi.

HIGH: Several of you recommended keeping a clear coat of polish on my nails to help them grow.  I started doing it and definitely noticed an improvement!  Thanks for the tip for my slow growing nails.

LOW: I have a stack of about 10 things that need to be returned.  They are all organized, receipts taped to them and in my car ready to be returned.  I have been putting it off, but I know it'll feel good to get some gift cards and other money back.  I am hoping to plan one morning of running errands to get all of this stuff returned.

HIGH: Our meals this week involve lots of grilling!  I always enjoy summer grilling.  It's delicious and it means that my dinner prep is a little less than usual.  My hubby does all the grilling and I marinate the meat and take care of the sides.  It works out well for both of us.

LOW: Did I already mention that I miss my cats terribly??  :(

HIGH: Olive is talking SO MUCH!  We have conversations and she says the cutest things.  I walked into her room yesterday after her nap.  She wrapped her arms around my neck and said "I miss you".  She also is starting to talk more when we are out and about.  I almost collided with a lady's cart in the grocery store and before I got a chance to say sorry Olive shouted SORRY to her.  We both giggled :)

LOW: I signed up for an ebates account, but haven't had any luck with it.  I log onto ebates, search for the store I want to shop at, click on the link to pull on the store and then make a purchase.  No record of said purchase on my ebates account.  What am I doing wrong?  Everyone talks about how wonderful it is, but I haven't had any luck.  Help!

HIGH: I have been making more time to read during the day.  I am making myself open a book instead of scrolling through my phone.  I'm almost done with The Fringe Hours and have loved it.

Go snuggle your pets for me :)
Any HIGHS or LOWS to share with me?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

For Sale

The last two weeks have been a whirlwind of epic proportions at my house.  

Kevin got offered his new job at ISU on the 13th, accepted on the 14th and spent a few days negotiating with his current & new job, met with a realtor on 14th and we worked our tails off to get our house on the market on the 18th.  It was a TON of work, but we are glad to have everything up and running.  We worked hard on our house over the last year.  There are several projects we were hoping to still tackle, but we are just going to enjoy our remaining months living here.

Enjoy a little tour of our place that I'm working hard to keep show ready at all times.

 Now we are just praying hard that someone will find our house as charming as we do ASAP.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tuesday Talk: 14 Tips for Taking Toddlers to the Beach

Summer is quickly approaching and I know many of you will be heading to the beach with or with out kids.  If you are going sans kids, please read lots of magazines, enjoy a good book or two and nap on the beach for me.  If you are taking kiddos, I have a few toddler tips for you...

We are making plans to head to the beach again this summer and it'll be our third time taking Olive.  We've learned a few tricks and things that make beach going easier on all of us over the years.

Enjoying the Beach with Your Littles

1. Sunscreen yourself and your kiddo before you take them out to the water.  If not, you'll have a very unhappy little person trying to run towards the water before they've been properly sunscreened.

2. Bring snacks and drinks for you and your toddler.  Try to find things that aren't sticky so they don't end up sand covered.  We do goldfish, pretzel sticks, grapes, etc.  Eat breakfast before you head to the water and pack a picnic lunch if you think your kids would be up to it.

3. Bring sand and water toys.

4. Rent an umbrella or bring your own for shade.  Your kids will play longer at the beach if they have a shady/cool spot to play. 

5. Stick to your usual nap routine.  We usually try to go back to the room to shower off and nap in the afternoon.  When Olive was a baby she'd nap on a beach chair, but there's too much to see and do for her to want to nap now.

6. Bring a tiny container of baby powder.  If you sprinkle it on your sandy baby the sand will just brush off.

7.  Put a sun hat on your child.  I love the ones with chin straps.  The ones without tend to blow off in the ocean breeze.  If your toddler will wear sunglasses wear those, too.

8. Bring wet wipes/swim diapers just in case you have to change a diaper.

9. Bring one beach towel per person and a few wash cloths to wipe eyes.

10. Head down to the water early in the morning or late in the afternoon.  Try to avoid the hottest time of day to avoid too much sun exposure and over heating.

11. Bring an extra adult with you.  This is totally a bonus thing, but it's really nice if there are more adults than kids.

12.  The sand gets HOT so be prepared to carry your kiddo to the boardwalk.  Also keep this in mind when you are packing things.  Don't over pack because your bags get heavy!

13. Buy one of those baby floats with a canopy if you're going to be in the pool.  I'm excited for Olive to try hers out this year.

14. Bring a cup or ziploc bag to collect shells in.  Kids have tons of fun looking for shells so it's nice to have a container for them.

Linking up with Homemaking, Magnolia Mamas
Linking up with my favorite ladies today
(Clockwise, from upper left:)
Becky - BYBMG  ~  Beth - Our Pretty Little Girls
Whitney (me!) - Polka-Dotty Place  ~  Elizabeth - All Kinds Of Things
Keri - Living In This Season  ~  Lauren - Simply Free
Teressa - Teressa Jane  ~  Mandy - Almond Place
Jess and Katie - Sweet Little Ones  ~  Emily - Morning Motivated Mom
Sarah - Abiding In Grace - Sarah Frazer  ~  Tara - Mrs. Coach Sims
Polka-Dotty Place

Monday, May 25, 2015

Cafe Rio Pulled Pork

Have you ever eaten at Cafe Rio?
They were everywhere in Utah and I miss them!
Since they're nowhere to be found in Mississippi,
I had to make my own.

I started with this recipe for CopyCat Cafe Rio Pork

I put the following ingredients on low in the crock pot overnight and woke up to a delicious smelling dinner.  Crockpots get a lot of attention in the fall/winter months, but I love using them in the summer so you don't have to heat your house up by having your oven on so much.

3lb pork loin
2 c brown sugar
1 c root beer
1 Old El Paso sauce packet - roasted garlic flavor

Shred the meat and then let it simmer for 1-2 hours in the same sauce it cooked in.

We started out eating 
Burrito Bowls
with TONS of sides
black beans,
lime rice,
sharp cheddar cheese,
yellow/purple onions.
sweet peppers, 
& corn
 The toddler version:
 The adult version:

 My favorite way to eat the pulled pork was in quesadillas!!
The meat reheats really well so we had it for dinner several nights last week.  I just used small tortilla shells, sharp cheddar cheese and a generous scoop of pulled pork.  I served lettuce and a homemade--ish salsa on the side.  I used a jar of salsa and added in fresh ingredients to liven it up a bit - cherry tomatoes, onions and corn.

Hope you enjoy this as much as we did!!

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Best Parts

The best parts of our week were...

1. I've been working hard on bunny party prep for Olive's 2nd birthday this weekend.  We are having her family birthday parties and they're going to be so much fun!  Here are her party invitations and the envelopes :)

2. I think I've discovered my favorite treat of the summer.
Kroger yogurt (vanilla or chocolate/vanilla swirl)
topped with mini m&ms.
You've got to give it a try!!

3. This is my first year to plant a small herb/vegetable garden and my plants are doing so well!  I am proud that I've kept them alive and they all show signs of being ready to produce some tasty veggies.

4. I tried a new recipe for Cafe Rio sweet pork and it was delicious!  We had burrito bowls and quesadillas all week long.  Check back in on Monday for the easy, crock pot recipe.

5.  I found a new nail polish that I love - it's $1.99 at Walmart!  The brand is called Sinful Colors, wears really well and comes in lots of pretty colors.  It also dries quickly.