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!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Where Does the Time Go?

This month our little man turned 6. There were moments where the time seemed to slow down and then it seems in the last year or so, it has sped right up. How can he be six? I remember bringing him home and just spending moments looking at him in wonderment. I was going through photos and video on the laptop and found some him at about 18 months. He still had that baby talk and baby face...and was so happy to stomp in a puddle of mud. He would stomp then squeal "again, again," and watching that video made my heart hurt. He will never be that little again, that innocent, that full of awe over the most simple of things.

As he gets bigger and older, I see a lot of myself in him. We both like to laugh, we both are stubborn and we both strive for perfection. It is quite awesome to see him do something and know I would do it the same way, with the same train of thought about it all. This may or may not be a good thing down the road.

He is still obsessed with all things Angry Birds. I thought it would get old but thankfully they keep pairing Angry Birds with things like Star Wars, race cars and now Transformers. These have all kept his attention focused with no time to like any super heroes. He may never get into super heroes and that's okay, there are so many other things for him to fanboy and geek out over...once we get past the Angry Bird stage.

Besides Angry Birds, he is quite a talented artist. He can sit all day and color, draw, cut and create. Both the husband and I are amazed at how he will remember something he has seen and then create it with accuracy. Art camp may be in his future!

He may be 6 but he is still my little man and will let us snuggle with him. He is sensitive and empathetic about his friends and their feelings. It is sweet to be 6 and I'm proud of our little man.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Memories of Our Starter Home

Now that another year has started and it is the month of our wedding anniversary, I tend to think about the years that have passed and how when we first got married we really had no clue. We just knew we were in love and happy and ready to say I do and go from there.

Going from there involved our first home together, starter home if you will. I don't think I realized the magnitude of what purchasing a first home really is. Case and point...I looked at pictures online and sent Hubby to look at them and determine if the outside matched what we saw inside and was in a decent neighborhood. I didn't step foot into our first home until after we were married and heading to Hawaii for our honeymoon.

It had everything I wanted: a fenced yard for the dog, a room for guest and room to grow. It was a bit dated but nothing we could not just throw a little elbow grease to and fix, paint, or change.

Our Starter Home

The above picture was the actual picture I found online and sent to my husband to tell him to drive by and checkout the neighborhood!

Green no.

The green wall was one of the first things that had to go. It made the room seem so tiny and because the room flowed on into another it was also rather shocking. I did not miss it when we painted it. Two primer coats and then a Valspar paint called Bungalow White made a huge difference.

All three bathrooms had 90's wallpaper in it and when we easily pulled wallpaper from the first bathroom without any issues, we were optimistic about the other two. We should not have been...they were awful to get off. We had to spray and score them and spray some more. It was a nightmare. But the wallpaper had to go and it did. I don't have pictures of all the bathrooms but we did the guest bathroom in a beautiful teal color.

New wall color, slate floor, fixtures and sink and suddenly our starter home was beginning to truly feel like ours. That's the thing about moving on from an apartment and into a house...there is always work that needs to be done. Even if you move into something that is brand new, you will always be looking to decorate or change things.

Ready for a closeup

We changed the color of the home a few years into living in the house. One thing you can't change easily is where you move. I knew the general area we were moving to but I didn't really know. Besides looking at crime stats, there wasn't a cool website to give me insight about where I was moving. (After we wed, I moved from Florida to Georgia where my husband works.) We weren't moving into Atlanta proper and I quickly learned that where we moved was considered "country". The truth was, it wasn't. While it might not have been the perfect place for two young-ish newly weds it worked.

What might have worked even better? Something like this cool site: Compass Searching for an apartment in the Big Apple (NYC for those that don't know) Compass breaks down things by neighborhood so you can match your personality with the area you might want to live. Commute times, nearest subways, the neighborhood lifestyle. Gives you ideas for places to go eat, workout, indulge. Find your perfect hood? Set your parameters and search away for the perfect home. I was impressed and had a few Sex in the City Dreams... Go ahead, check it out. If you are like me searching for real estate, even if you are in your forever home is fun.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thanks for the Memories

 The Christmas season is almost upon us. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't ready...because the truth is I have my Christmas cards ready to be addressed and put in the mail. This year I had another opportunity to try out the folks at Cardstore. While they aren't the only kids on the block with a lot of selection they really impressed me with what they had and how easy it was to get a card personalized. Here are some of my favorites:

Chalkboard Flair

Because Deer are so IN!

Who doesn't love these?


All of these cards can be changed up so they truly represent you and your wishes for the season to the recipients. Cardstore will also mail your cards out for you. I was really happy with the design I chose and how fast the turn around time was on them. And if you aren't happy, they stand behind their product 100%.This week they are even offering 30% off and shipping is free if you spend at least 30$.

Real life can sometimes make the picture. And this year Cardstore is giving away a $1,500 Visa gift card along with a Nikon CoolPix camera for your best real life candid Christmas photos. The top three photos with the most votes are the winners. That's right, you can get your family and friends in on the fun. I know when I look back at the pictures from the season I am more impressed with the candid shots. The looks of joy or exasperation that you just happened to snap. The cat in the Christmas tree...for the 10th time. The kids passed out in their matching jammies waiting on good ole Saint Nick to arrive. Life is all about these moments, the real moments.

**I was compensated by Cardstore for this post. All opinions are mine**

Monday, October 27, 2014

This Is Kindergarten

That's right, the time is here for our little man to enter the world of big kid school and start Kindergarten. I can not believe we are already at this milestone and am happy to report the first 9 weeks flew by and we didn't have any issues. It took him about a month to settle into the routine but once he got it, he got it.

His first day wasn't a full day and wasn't his full class but an assessment. But the second week they went full steam ahead. This kid is smart, curious and talkative. I really hope that he ends up loving school, like I did.

I wish I could say that him being gone from 9 to 4 means I get a ton of housework done...but the truth is I haven't. I've gone to the gym and thankfully the Husband was home to pick up my major slack in all things household. I need to make sure I get a routine going and plan the week out. There were several nights when we had no clue about dinner, throwing things together haphazardly and eating way to late. All. My. Fault.

And while big brother is at Kindergarten we are left with the bossy princess. She thinks with S gone, we are to entertain her and be at her every beck and call. The best is when she has to come along for she walks through the store of the day and laments about only wanting to return home. No joke. The only time she sings a different tune is if she is getting something. I've taken to trying to run errands when she is also in school. I look to the future and wonder what my days will be like when they are both in the same place together ALL DAY. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Viva Las Vegas!

Last week I had the pleasure of hopping on three planes and flying west to Las Vegas. It was the first time in 5 years that I had several days and nights to be responsible for only myself. On the plane rides I was able to read a WHOLE book, a WHOLE magazine and take a nap. Ah-maz-ing, right?

Initially I was nervous. Nervous how the kids would do because the truth is, I probably coddle them quite a lot. And Daddy? He doesn't. I worried they wouldn't be able to sleep or would whine incessantly. Guess what? They had no problems sleeping and they kept the whining to a minimum. Daddy is fun! Daddy does things that Mommy doesn't! Daddy will always be way cooler than Mommy! That isn't to say they didn't miss me, because they did. As a matter of fact, when I got up the day after I returned to hit the gym my dearest little boy says "You just got back, why do you have to leave again?" I didn't think he would notice or care...but he does. And it warms my heart to know that the day to day I do with them, gets noticed. I know the Husband gets it but with the kids it is harder to tell.

I know many of you might be thinking I went to Vegas and a bunch of debauchery ensued but you would be sadly mistaken. Not one cent made it into a slot machine or onto a casino table. I like my money to either get me something (shopping) or to stay in my wallet for a rainy day. Instead I had the pleasure of meeting with a nearest and dearest friend and reliving our youth by attending a NKOTB concert. New Kids on the Block for those of you not in the know. Yes...they are still making music and doing concerts. The last time I had seen them was 7 months pregnant in 2008. This show was even better! It is quite fun to be in a arena and see grown women either dressed like they are 12 again or dressed like they are going to dance on a pole after the show...

Here I am with my favorite member...and this is about as close as I got to him all weekend.

Michelle and I.
Blue light=weird picture, but that's my friend and I waiting for the show to start!

Whatchu know about Mr. Donnie Wahlberg?

The concerts were great and in between I had time to just be me without also being mommy. I slept, I shopped, I ate a hot meal. I played on the iPad. I had lots of adult conversation. It was fantastic and yet tiring all at the same time. I came back exhausted and so not ready to jump back into mom life. Thank goodness my family allowed me to pass out and get 12+ hours of sleep.

Would I do it again? Yes! Even without an actually event, I am ready to take time off and go away. I know the kids will always be in good hands with their Daddy. My issue was never that...the issue was me and the anxiety that lives in me. But now that I've seen I can do it, you can bet that I will. Anyone want to join me?