Saturday, February 28, 2015

Baby Trends: XO BR mini collection

For the sophisticated baby

Mini top / White hoodie / Mini top / Banana Republic coat / BR Mini Collection Ribbed Pull-On Pant / BR Mini Collection Ribbed Bodysuit

You all know I love bright colors and mixing patterns, but one look at the new XO BR mini collection and I was smitten.  The muted palette and soft fabrics has me craving these pieces for Brielana.  They only have baby sizes (0-12 months) and though some are a bit pricey (I'm talking to you, cashmere) I really wouldn't mind splurging on that sweet layered sweater (in size 12 months so it will last longer, being real here.)

Any pieces in the collection catching your eye?

Friday, February 27, 2015

Cutting play dough

Kinsey is starting to hold her pens with a pincer grip, forming shaky letters, drawing stick figures and coloring inside the lines of coloring books. But her scissor use needs improvement. Here is a fun activity to help strengthen those fine motor skills and hand muscles: cutting play dough!

Easy peasy, fun and engaging! And pretty much guaranteed you already have the necessary implements at home. 

If you don't have play dough, here is my favorite recipe to make your own!

And if you want another fine motor activity, try cutting drinking straws.

Have fun!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Where I'm at Wednesday

How is it the end of February already?!  Here is what has kept me busy this month:

Having a four year old is mind-boggling, where did the years go?!  Celebrating Kinsey's birthday has definitely been the highlight of the month!

Brielana has cut her first tooth!  Needless to say she's a tad sensitive at the moment and nap/sleep schedule is a little wacky-doodle, but for the most part, she's been a trooper.  A little nervous about nursing though, not gonna lie.

I have read 3 books this month, about to start my fourth.  When I made my Goodreads pledge I was leaning towards doable, but now that I've read 6/24, I'll be a little more generous next year ;)  House Girl by Tara Conklin, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (I find his name is intriguing) were all wonderful.  Hotel hit close to home, my grandmother was actually in a Japanese relocation camp when she was 3 years old.

My car is still resisting being fixed; 3 parts replaced, manual labor hours (so thankful we know car mechanics) and $$, but still not starting.  The code reader was a bust, no code was found :(   I'm almost to the point of towing it to the dealership... dum dum dum.

Looking forward to next month and the arrival of Spring (not that California hasn't been having wonderful weather this winter, but the new Season brings hope.)  And if you really want to get into the Spring state-of-mind, join me in this Spring Cheer box Exchange hosted by Astleigh and Rachel, they're taking sign ups until Friday, February 27th!

How did February treat you?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Target Favorites

Target is my favorite store to get in lost in; I always have the best time wandering the aisles and looking at everything (poor Brian can attest to this haha).  I've been a Target enthusiast since high school and I'm sure I will always be loyal!

My first stop is always the Dollar Spot, the location is up front and in your face for a reason.  I don't always find gems, but when I do they are brilliant. 

Like these paper straws, don't mind if I do!

Or these tin pails I use for gathering art supplies (purchased a couple of years ago.)

And these awesome flash cards.  Kinsey had more fun with these than I ever thought possible.

I also get seasonal stickers/ note cards/ school supplies here for my classroom.  Just be consistent in looking and you'll find keepers.

My favorite hair product EVER.  It's only $2.99, smells lovely (I always get compliments about my hair smelling great) and it keeps my curls defined without being crunchy.  Its the only product I use outside of the shower and I've used it for years, praise it!
This zit cream is my hero.  Highest benzyl peroxide percentage (10%) for OTC acne medication and cheap to boot!


The best slippers.  I've gone through so many pairs I've lost count.  I try to stock up around the holidays because they are not available year round (for shame) and for $9.99 you really can't go wrong. Online right now they are discounted to $6.98 and I'm seriously contemplating buying a couple more pairs to last me through summer.  


The Long and Lean tanks are great layering pieces.  My only caveat is through the years the cut has changed and isn't nearly as long as they used to be.  Also the price has gone up and they don't seem to go on discount as often (gripe, gripe, gripe) so in other words, I purchase these only when they are discounted and size up to a large or XL to get the length I desire.
These carafes add a sweet touch to any breakfast table.  I bought them for my baby shower's Momosa Bar, can't beat $5.99!

I fell in love with this Xhilaration rug when decorating the Girl's shared room (more on that to come!).  It's super soft and cozy and it ties the room together (10 extra points if you know what movie that's from- Big Lebowski.)  It's also made a cameo in Brielana's monthly update photos:

And those are my favorite Target goodies!  But in all honesty, I love everything there!

Linking up with Andrea and Erika

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Enjoying Life Lately

Brian took time off of work at the beginning of February to celebrate a special Birthday and we enjoyed a little Stay-cation.  The weather was unseasonably warm, like Summer-temps-warm, and we fully took advantage of it and went to our favorite beach and played at the Old Park.  We spent more money eating out and indulged too frequently, but it was well worth it.  Getting to spend quality Family time together trumps having a full bank account and a slim waist any day (said no one ever, but you get the idea :)

Our low-key Valentine's Day consisted of  BBQing, sipping Root Beer floats, eating chocolate covered strawberries and playing outside.

It has been a very good month!  Now, if only my car would start running again it would be a Gold Star month...


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Story of Us: How we met

When I take a look back at my life thus far, I definitely have a highlight reel; my first pet (an all black kitten named Midnight) the birth of my brother (we're 10 years apart.  Bless him, I practiced my mothering skills on him, ha) meeting my husband, getting married, carrying and giving birth to our daughters, Kinsey and Brielana, to name a few.  This is the story of how we met. 
High school.  

I get the willies just thinking about it.  It wasn't great and it wasn't bad, but there's just something repulsive and uncomfortable about those years, am I right?!  Too many hormones and self doubt.  But I was fortunate enough to meet my other half in Spanish class my Junior year, his Sophomore year, in 2001 (I'm older than him by 5 months.)

Now this is where things get a little fuzzy, because we had never talked before being seated next to each other, but we instantly became friends.  Like there was no awkward small talk just BOOM! friends.  And Linkin Park is the reason why.  

Say what???  Linkin Park was my favorite band, their debut album Hybrid Theory was my jam and our first conversation was about them.  Best ice breaker ever.  I also want to take a moment and apologize to the first year Spanish teacher that we tormented by 1) always talking 2) never bringing our books to class 3) never doing the assignments correctly.  I'm pretty sure if he only knew we wound up married with children, he would let the abuses slide.

When we exchanged phone numbers we we're shocked that we shared the same last 4 digits.  We also both lived with our grandparents and had younger brothers.  The similarities we shared we're numerous.

A few times, we cut class and walked down town.  One time we met at the mall on a Saturday and walked to the movie theater I worked at one city over. We ate at KFC's and he told me about the tagging pictures on the side of an old building.  This guy made me watch the debut of Michael Jackson's music video for You Rock My World, I am not a MJ fan. He danced in class for me and brightened my day.

Well, the fun and games came to an end mid year when Brian was transferred out of Spanish and his girlfriend was transferred in.  Girlfriend???  Yup.  We both we're dating others.  And she did NOT like me at all.  [Insert drama here]  Which really wasn't necessary because we really we're just friends.  And still are, friends first.

So to recap:

Spanish + Linkin Park = The Family Smith

Actually, it took us 4 years, 3 ex's between us, both moving away (San Diego for me, Chico for him) and then back home until we finally got together as a dating couple.  And the rest, as they say, is history ;)  But first, I leave you with these cringe- inducing Yearbook photos:

Funny, when I told Brian about this post with the yearbook open to his picture, I asked if it was OK to use it and he laughed so hard, "What was up with my hair?!"  We deemed it the 'faux dreads'.  Kinsey took one look at it and said, "Eww, disgusting."

The next installment of The Story of Us: the dating years.

Linking up with Andrea

How did you meet your Significant Other?