Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Man behind the Beard: November

So, we're a little tardy for this link up, but it's fast become one of my favorite posts (because, hubby- bonding time) and why deprive the world of Brian's wit and sarcasm? Let's get on it...

1a. What sports did you participate in as a child? 1b. What sports did you watch growing up?

Brian: Baseball, basketball, roller blading, riding my bike (to which I inject, those aren't sports. But maybe I'm wrong?). 
Basketball, football, hockey.

2. If you could line up your ideal Super Bowl, who would be facing off, where would they play and who would you pick to win?

Brian: I can't think right now...

3. Do you prefer the summer or winter Olympics? If you could participate in one Olympic sport, what would it be?
Brian: Summer-
Me: What?! I thought you'd say Winter because of curling.

Brian: You can say that but Summer has better sports. I'd play soccer.

4. What is your favorite food to eat at a sports party (ex: World Series, Super Bowl, Stanley Cup, etc.)?

Brian: I don't know, junk food.

5. Who is your all time favorite athlete and why?
Brian: Micheal Jordan, I mean, I don't know, you're asking me weird questions.

Linking up with Betsy.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Collaboreads: November

I first learned about #Collaboreads from Kristin's blog and the bookworm in me rejoiced.
Finding new books to read is a never-ending quest for me so this link up is pure gold.  Here is the criteria:

A theme for the month is chosen
Pick your book
Read.  You get a whole month!
Review your book and link up with Amber and Rachel

Non fiction November had me reading Frances Mayes' Every Day in Tuscany: Seasons of an Italian Life. 

Goodreads Synopsis:
"In this sequel to her New York Times bestsellers Under the Tuscan Sunand Bella Tuscany, the celebrated "bard of Tuscany" (New York Times) lyrically chronicles her continuing, two decades-long love affair with Tuscany's people, art, cuisine, and lifestyle.
Frances Mayes offers her readers a deeply personal memoir of her present-day life in Tuscany, encompassing both the changes she has experienced since Under the Tuscan Sun and Bella Tuscany appeared, and sensuous, evocative reflections on the timeless beauty and vivid pleasures of Italian life. Among the themes Mayes explores are how her experience of Tuscany dramatically expanded when she renovated and became a part-time resident of a 13th century house with a stone roof in the mountains above Cortona, how life in the mountains introduced her to a "wilder" side of Tuscany--and with it a lively  engagement with Tuscany's mountain people. Throughout, she reveals the concrete joys of life in her adopted hill town, with particular attention to life in the piazza, the art of Luca Signorelli (Renaissance painter from Cortona), and the pastoral pleasures of feasting from her garden.  Moving always toward a deeper engagement, Mayes writes of Tuscan icons that have become for her storehouses of memory, of crucible moments from which bigger ideas emerged, and of the writing life she has enjoyed in the room where Under the Tuscan Sun began.
With more on the pleasures of life at Bramasole, the delights and challenges of living in Italy day-to-day and favorite recipes, Every Day in Tuscany is a passionate and inviting account of the richness and complexity of Italian life."

I am a quarter Italian and being so, am enamored by all things Italy; the food, the culture and the countryside. A trip to Italy is on my bucket list. After seeing the movie Under the Tuscan Sun with Diane Lane (whom I adore) years ago (and not realizing it was a book, silly me) I was instantly attracted to this sequel when it turned up in our Little Free Library box. Mayes is living the life and writes about it beautifully.

Mayes writes about her days spent living in Italy and visiting the surrounding countryside; I got some serious envy over her beautiful descriptions. And the food! We are given a peek inside her family relationships and friendships and learn more about her beloved home, Bramasole and the vacation mountain house she and her husband renovated.
Mayes loves the Italian culture and really praises it and does some compare/contrast to life in California (which I totally get, since she lived in San Francisco about 2.5 hours North of us.)

Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love. But maybe it's because that's the only other nonfiction self- discovery novel I've ever read.

The cover I liked. The chapter captions we're in a font that was kind of hard to read. But I am dying to make the recipes she included at the end of each chapter!

3.5 out of 5.
I loved the country life she portrayed in this book but sometimes I couldn't follow what she was "saying" because it was too poetically written and my mind started to wander, but that's more my problem than hers. Which I find a little amusing because she started her career writing poetry!

Linking up with Amber and Rachel.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Thanksgiving books for Preschoolers

Thanksgiving books for Preschoolers

Thanksgiving books for Preschoolers by work-it-mommy 

I'm sure by now you are all s-i-c-k of hearing how Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, so I'll leave this short and sweet ;)

Here is a collection of a few of our all time favorite books about Thanksgiving. These are all preschooler (and toddler) approved. There's a good mix of sentimental and silly, with a big does of thankfulness and a pinch of the historical. Am I missing any? Do you have a favorite I should know about? Thanks for sharing!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Announcing the Christmas Desserts and Tacky Sweaters link up

Christmas desserts and Tacky Sweaters

Last year introduced me to Jamie, Courtney, and Elizabeth's Christmas Desserts & Tacky Sweaters Link Up and this year I have the pleasure of being able to co-host with them! I love this so much, how can you not be happy seeing friends in ugly Christmas sweaters making treats?! If that doesn't put you in the Christmas spirit then I don't know what will!

The link up details:

Get in the kitchen and whip up one of your favorite Christmas desserts! Don't have one? Don't worry! Find something that looks fabulous and give it a try or even go the semi homemade route and decorate some store bought sugar cookies. Anything goes!

Take lots of pictures to share and if you are up for it, snap a picture of you in a delightfully tacky Christmas sweater while showing off your dessert. Write up a recipe post so we can all try it for ourselves, and then come link it up with either Jamie, Courtney, Elizabeth, or myself on December 3rd. The link up will open at 6am EST on Dec. 3rd and close just in time for Santa to make his rounds at 11:59pm EST on Christmas Eve. 

Don't forget to make a little extra so you have some to leave out for Santa to try too!

Not sure if you feel like shopping for a tacky sweater?  Not a problem! Spruce up a sweater you already have! It doesn't have to be anything complicated, the point is to have a little Christmas fun. But, not to worry about if you'd rather not, you can absolutely just link up a Christmas dessert recipe - no silly sweater required! 

Need some baking inspiration? Check these out: Peppermint Bark Blossoms (I made these last year!), Gingerbread Bars with cream cheese frosting, Spiced Eggnog Bundt cake and Foolproof Holiday Fudge.

And don't forget to use #sweetsandsweaters15 on IG and twitter! So grab a button and see you back here on Thursday, December 3rd!

Work it Mommy

Linking up with Annie and Natalie and Vanessa.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

15 and 16 month favorites

15 and 16 month favorites

Crayola Color Wonder Animals Coloring Pad / VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels / Clangers Plush Toy / Clangers ShowCrayola Color Wonder 10 Mini Markers / Toothbrush

Brielana has been growing right along these past two months and her choice of leisure activities reflects this fact: 

She has discovered the joy of coloring and I have discovered the miracle that is Color Wonder. These things are great, they really do only show up on Color Wonder paper! No marks on the walls or clothing. Though there is the small matter of her chewing off the tips...

Brielana has finally found a show to call her favorite. We only watch it sporadically and she only can watch 5 minutes at a time, but when she is paying attention, she is enthralled. Clangers are these mice that talk in whistles and it's narrated by William Shatner. I know, sounds amazing, haha.
With her crazy teething, toothbrushes have really been great in easing gum pain. She likes chewing on the bristles which cleans at the same time so I call it a win. Parent-supervised, of course.
These smart cars are her toy of choice at the moment. They sing catchy songs (though I could probably come up with cleverer lines), light up and make beeping/car sounds. I have my eye on the track for Christmas :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


Not only does Thanksgiving have the best food but it also lends its self to teaching littles the importance of being thankful for all of life's blessings. Last year I started our thankful banner, a simple decoration with a big message; I would write down what Kinsey and I were thankful for during the week and add it to our banner by way of tiny clothespins.

This year I wanted to keep that same tradition but redo the banner. I had high hopes of making a tree with branches to hang our thanks from but couldn't find the right "look" and got a little caught up in the search, making it a nuisance. So, maybe next year? 

I do like the updated banner, I reused the gold glitter card stock letters by gluing them onto index cards that I cut triangles from and hole punched. I used these craft leaves to write our thankful messages on and will use them as table scatter on Turkey Day. My favorite so far is "I love Daddy, he cleans up my stuff" or maybe this gem stolen from Despicable Me 2, "You kiss my boo boos and braid my hair" even though it is true, haha!

Linking up with Beth.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Versatile Blogger Award

The sweet Leslie at This is for Keeps nominated me for the Versatile Blogger award and I am humbled. Making friends through blogging has been the single most amazing thing to come of sharing about my family on the internet. Community is real, folks!
The Versatile Blogger Award

So the rules of accepting this award are as follows:
 Thank the person who nominated you
 Link back to their blog
 Share 7 facts about yourself
 Nominate up to 15 other bloggers

Seven Facts about Me:

1// I love to plan and organize but my method of organization is to make piles, so it doesn't look the neatest. But let me tell you, I know where everything is in those piles!

2// I hang my clothes in color-coordinated groups (black, gray, beige/yellow, brown/tan, white, blue, purple, burgundy, red) in descending sleeve length, from tank tops to long sleeves. Coats are separate and so are jeans and skirts. I've had my closet organized this way since high school and was inspired by Cher Horowitz's closet from Clueless.

3// I've had a love for baking since I was 7 when I received My First Cookbook from my Gramma, which I still own and can't wait to pass down to Kinsey and Brielana.

4// Since having my purse stolen I have not carried one around and it is liberating! I never thought about NOT having one but since switching it is very freeing. Though I would have liked to learned that through choice not experience.

5// I have only ever had one speeding ticket and one parking violation (my meter ran out). This can probably be contributed to the fact that I drive like a granny.

6// I have never been ice skating. And have a slight fear of it actually. I am not the most coordinated person and could totally see myself falling on my face and cracking my teeth. With that being said, I used to roller blade and did fine. On a side note, I haven't rode a bike in years and the first time back on one, scared me to death! Anyone else?
7// I'm a stickler for rules. I like order and knowing what I can do before doing it. I may have control- issues. Hi, I'm Whitney and I'm Type A.

In the wake of me sharing 30 on 30, this was a lot harder than it seems ;)

I nominate:
Amanda @ Tickled Pink
Courtney @ Sweet Turtle Soup
Elizabeth @ Chasin Mason
Evelina @ Fortunate House
Stephanie @ Wife Mommy Me

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