Thursday, March 10, 2016

And Then She Turned 5

Every time I look at her baby pictures I am reminded that those moments were the last of her being so tiny. I wish I had taken more videos so I could hear her coo and talk to us. Now the talking she does isn't always so sweet. As a matter of fact, at times she can be downright sassy. I wonder, who is this child with a hand on her hip and a roll of her eyes. And then I realize she is me. And even though she is me, she is she and I love that about her. She loves to sing, she loves to make up silly words, she loves to grab me so tight that I wonder if I didn't move, would she let go? She loves girly things, but really? Gross things...farts especially, are her favorite. (Did I just go there? Yep, I did indeed.) She admires her big brother and many times wonders why she can't be just like him. And he of course, wonders why she can't leave him alone. Ah, siblings.  As she and I navigate the roles we play in each others lives, I only wish that she is happy and confident and always marches to the beat of her own drum.

Trying on my wedding dress
She is five now, almost headed to Kindergarten. In her pre-k class, she is a friend to all and happy to help when asked. After school, she is excited to tell us all about her day and the things she learned and the books they read. I hope school is always this exciting for her as the years go on.

She is tall and skinny and we joke about her being a model...I think she would love it. The camera loves her and her beautiful smile.

Her Daddy loves her to pieces and I hope she realizes how good he is and never settles for anything less when it comes time to date and then eventually marry. For him, no one will ever be good enough. I have to agree, only the strongest among her future boyfriends will survive. She is a firecracker and a force to be reckoned with.

Happy 5th Birthday, my sweet TT. I love you times infinity.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

What Blog?

Life, while not extremely busy has kept me from blogging...mostly because by the time I can blog? I don't want to sit in front of the computer and do it. And I've put apps on my phone and swear that each week will be different. And yet here I am with 7 months passing since my last post.  A lot has happened in 7 months...let's catch up:

Spencer finished Kindergarten and we were so excited for him and I will use any excuse for balloons and candy:

We finally finished our back patio, which was a lesson in patience with both the contractor and Pier One. 

We took a trip to Boston and got our history on.

And then it was time for Spencer to start first grade!

Summer's seem to go fast when you are in year round school and most of my days were spent with Miss T and Vader. She did attend bible school camp for a week and that was a nice break for both her and myself. And then she started her last year of preschool.

We took another trip to Walt Disney World and even though we had one sick child, we still managed to have a great time. Does anyone else come back from Disney needing another vacation? We do a lot but we also rest a lot and yet when we get home I feel like I need a week of sleep.

After our fall vacation, the end of the year comes fast. My birthday is a blur (41 this year!) and then suddenly we are pushed right past Halloween and Thanksgiving and straight on to Christmas. It's a mad dash to celebrate everything and make everything so meaningful and spend all the dollars. I read more than one article talking about saying no during the holiday rush and truly slowing down. I have to agree with that sentiment. You don't have to do ALL. THE. THINGS. 

This all brings us into the new year where the husband and I celebrated our 12th year of leaving the country. First class to London! Of course I had to stop at Platform 9 3/4. Next time I want to take the Warner Brothers Movie Tour. I also managed to hit all the floors of Harrod's. They were having a big sale and so the place was a madhouse...but if you like having all of your designers in one place, this is it. You could buy a car in the store...or Uggs.

January was not complete without a family trip as actually was a week before our anniversary and we did a Disney cruise. It was awesome and we are looking forward to possibly booking another one! 

We now have a 7 year old...and he is just such a great damn kid. Funny, smart and sensitive. He cares so much about people being happy and all I want is for him to be happy and do what makes him happy. Miss T will be 5 shortly and when I think about this I miss all the time that has already passed. I don't take nearly as many pictures as I can and that's because I really want to be in each moment with them. I find that to be a hard balance and yet I don't want to forget the things we do or places we've been.

So that is what has been happening in Mommy This and That land...hope all y'all that read here are well.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Pur Bliss

I was recently selected by Influenster to try the Pūr Ultimate 11 cup pitcher.

I am one that has two children that thankfully love water and drink it all thing they do not like? Water that gets warm, so I spend a lot of my putting ice in their cups. This pitcher alleviated me having to do that, so that was a nice plus. The kids didn't complain about the taste, so another plus for Pūr.

The filter removes 95% of mercury and reduces chlorine. All this improves tap water taste, because like my children? I also can not stand to drink tap water that taste funky.

Getting the filter in the pitcher set up was pretty easy and I didn't have any issues. Once the filter is in, the pitcher does gain a bit of weight and then adding the water makes it even more heavy. I found that after filling it twice I had to use two hands to pour, which wasn't ideal. I suppose I could just fill it once to make it easier but I like having a substantial amount so I don't have to stop and refill. It comes with a light to let you know when it is time to replace the filter.

This pitcher is similar in size and shape to others on the market and while I like the convenience of cold water in the fridge I did not like how much room it actually took up.

We have our refrigerator set up at certain heights for the thing we normally buy and store and the pitcher presented problems. I would have had to reorganize things in order for its placement to not be obtrusive.

All in all the Pur pitcher was a great convenience for good tasting water but the size is a big con for our family. Also the thought of buying and keeping up filters more than once a year can be daunting.

**I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.**

Want to receive products like these and help influence consumers and companies? Join me on Influenster!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Bloggers in the Wild

I recently had the opportunity to try a newly opened treetop adventure course that happened to be a few miles from our home. I had read about the opening and was dismayed to find that it was for kids 10 and up and adults and so I put it out of my mind. But when the call when out for an opportunity to partake in some fun...I said why not?
Go Ape

Blue Jay Point County Park in North Raleigh is already a pretty awesome recreation area on it's own but now the addition of Go Ape Zip Line & Treetop Adventure makes it even better! It's a chance to partake in nature but at the same time test your true sense of adventure. I was happy to attend the event and meet up with an old friend and in the process make two new friends.

Taking a break before the next course

I was a bit hesitant when I arrived at the Go Ape office to check in, mostly because I have a slight fear of heights. I wondered if I would be able to let myself zip once at the top of the tree structures. Thankfully our group was supportive and quick to make sure each one of us was okay. There were some doozies on the course and it was nice knowing an encouraging word was only a yelp away. 

Always Stay Attached.

Even with a few questionable obstacles, we all made it to the end. There was only a time or two that the fear of heights made me waver but I was able to move past it and keep going. And I even tempted to try the difficult course towards the end but saved it for next time. I will say it was because I was weary...

Whee....there I go!
Our instructor (Cameron) was thorough and added a bit of humor to things without being over the top. Things were presented in a way that helped you remember what the rules were and that while fun, you still needed to be careful.


 We made it to the end and were better for it. Some of us stepped way out of our comfort zone, others just needed a break from the day to day and still others just wanted to have fun, I'd say Go Ape served all of us just what we needed.

Myself, Sarah, Reese and Essense.

Want to read what the other gals had say? Head over and check them out:

Disclaimer: I was given free admittance into Go Ape for the purposes of this review, but all words, thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Ebook Review

A few months ago I was contacted by ebook author, Louie Lawent and asked if I would be interested in giving his book at look and review on my blog. So I obliged, because I thought it was a tremendous thing to write a book, for kids no less and publish it. The days of books being strictly in hard or paperback or long gone. I may not have the biggest, most popular blog but if I could help a fellow author out, why not?

Momma Don't You Worry is the story of a child who thinks he is too big for help from his momma and that she need not worry about his, as he is nearly 6. As a mother of a 6 year old the story spoke to me. We all want our babies to stay small and be able to always help them and yet they crave a certain amount of independence.

Mr. Lawent's story is a quick read with a lot of rhyming which will appeal to kids under the age of 8. It was a quick read and I was even able to get my six year old to read it to his little sister. The both got the lesson at the end of the book and it gave me a chance to open a discussion about age and help and independence. We also were able to talk about the emotions both characters might have been feeling at different parts of the story.

All in all a good quick read with an opportunity to expand on family discussions about feelings, rules and independence.

I was given a free copy of this ebook to review but all opinions are mine.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Three-nager to Four

In March out little girl turned 4 and like her brother, she could not wait to be another year older. I believe we began keeping track of the countdown to her and her brother's birthday back in December. But I get it, birthdays are special and all about you. I'm a big fan of being pampered and celebrated.

As she looks up to her big brother, she wanted to celebrate her day at the same place...Skyzone. And so we did...they jumped and laughed and we even had some tears. But that is life with a newly minted 4 year old. All drama. All. The. Time. I am not looking forward to the preteen or teen angst or drama. But hopefully I will be better prepared to deal and function during that time in her life.

After Skyzone the birthday girl requested we eat at Cowfish...a sushi burger joint that is pretty awesome. I mean, it has to be awesome if the kids are asking to go, right? We have yet to have a bad meal there and I have to admit when they ask to go, I giddy too.

This is how our favorite girl has grown from the side eye giving newborn to the sassy princess. Everyone says they grow up in a blink of an eye but I don't feel it. Not yet. I hope time always moves at the pace it is going and that my little girl is always my little girl.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Influenster, YSL and Moi

I am a member of Influenster and had the honor of receiving a much coveted VoxBox containing a YSL mascara! The mascara is their Yves Saint Laurent MASCARA VOLUME EFFET FAUX CILS.

I am a minimal makeup user but as I have started getting older and fine lines have begun to crop up I have decided I needed to step up my routine. As in actually wearing makeup daily. But with this comes a bit of trial and error and because of have sensitive eyes, not all mascara's are created equal.

I usually curl my lashes and put on a clear coat of mascara and call it a day. I even messed around with faux lashes but could never do it quite right. A friend suggested the Younique 3-d mascara and I hated it after a few weeks. Too clumpy, too messy and not the look I needed.

I had the opportunity to get some Latisse and that has done wonder for my lashes. But there a days you still want that va-va-voom. And I believe YSL has done it. Here is some photo proof:

Eye without mascara.

This is one coat of YSL

Most days one coat is all I will need. But the best part? My eyes did not get hurt or red, even when I accidentally rubbed my eye. But the YSL didn't bother me at all. Of course with an iconic brand like YSL, you know they do things right. The formula has B5 vitamin to strengthen the lash. I truly like how I did not end up with a racoon eye at the end of the night. The price of the mascara is about 32$, which is pricey, especially if you are coming from buying at the drugstore but I feel for such a brand and the job it did, it is worth it.

**I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.**

Want to receive products like these and help influence consumers and companies? Join me on Influenster!