Thursday, June 30, 2011

Resolution Recap: June

Can it be possible that it is the end of yet another month?! Wow - hard to believe that tomorrow marks the beginning of July! I do enjoy taking time to reflect on the resolutions that I made earlier this year. If I am falling behind, writing about it gives me a swift kick in the rear! And being able to give myself a pat on the back for the ones I am keeping up with is a good thing as well. Anyway, here we go with the recap!

1) Read 14 books: I have finished another one! Yippee! Now if I can get down to it, I can hopefully meet my goal - or at least come very close!
2) Learn to sew: I am getting closer and closer. I actually have some really neat fabric. And I bought this book to give me some ideas. When I find fabric I like, I usually buy one yard so I can make something somewhat substantial. And I think I am going take that class at JoAnn's on July 11 (I think that's right). And then I will do the class on how to make a pillowcase dress either later in the month or sometime in August. I also have some cute fabric that I am going to make some beanbags for Katie with. You can do so many things with beanbags!
3) Cook more frequently: I am doing a little bit better! It really all boils down to my weekly menu plan. I actually cooked tonight! And I remembered to take a picture! Also, my neighbor and I have decided to do a meal-share deal...we are starting for each cooking once a week and making sure it is enough to share with the other household. I can't wait to do a separate post about our plans for that. And maybe feature some recipes that I try!

4) Read the Bible everyday and read it the whole way through: I am still playing catch up. I am not sure I will finish it by the end of the year, but as long as I finish it in early 2012, I will consider that a victory.

5) Use the treadmill/work out 4 times a week: I am doing better! I try to do the treadmill or run at the park when Katie is at mother's day out on Tuesdays and Thursdays. And then we walk through the neighborhood after dinner. We actually just got back from a walk! And our neighborhood is SO hilly - definitely a good workout!

6) Use coupons when I shop: I have decided July is my month to really get back into couponing. I remember when I did the coupon shopping diligently, I spent less time shopping for me and Katie. And that definitely needs to happen :)

7) De-clutter & simplify: Doing better. I have organized some things. And I have made a big pile of things to donate to Goodwill. And I have gone through all of my clothes and purged everything out that I don't need/want anymore. And MAN it feels nice!

8) Find a Sunday school class at church: Why, oh why, have we not done this yet?! Ugh. Still need to. And want to. And know what class we will visit first. We just need to get our hineys out of bed a little earlier on Sunday.

9) Buy fresh flowers once/month: Brad gave me beautiful flowers for our anniversary (see previous post). I cleaned them up and re-vased them this morning...these yellow flowers are so happy in this green vase!

10) Have a date night with Brad at least once a month: Again, thanks to our anniversary, we had a date day, date night, and another date day. And it was definitely a welcome break to have some couple time!
11) Send 2 hand-written cards/notes each month: I had a few more thank you notes to write, so again, that will count this month! And I sent some baby goodies to some friends. So I definitely achieved that this year!

12) Have another baby: Nope. No news.

13) Use more eco-friendly cleaners: I'm still working on using up all the cleaners I have. We are definitely making progress! On a somewhat related note, I am also trying to buy healthier, locally grown produce, meats, milk, etc. I have decided that I love the farmer's market...and Whole Foods too!

14) Have structured learning time each day: I have marked some pages in books of fun things to do. And we have gone swimming. And we've gone to the zoo. And there are few other places I hope to take her soon (children's museum type places)!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

It's that time again! Happy Wednesday, y'all!! If you want to link up to WILW, please visit the link {HERE}.

I'm loving this outfit that is part of the Fall preview for Little Honeybee Designs. You can find them on etsy {here} or Facebook {here}. And be thinking what you like - I am lucky enough to host a trunk show in August! And you can place orders online too!
I'm loving the innocence in this picture! And just ignore the fading bruise :)

I'm loving this headband! I loved the combo of the dress, earrings, and I think the headband just topped off the outfit :) It is from Birdie Baby Boutique on Facebook!

I'm loving this nursery design! Isn't that wall of books amazing?! And I love the tissue pom-poms hanging in the room. I have some of those that may make it into Katie's room when we transition into a big girl room! For more pics of the nursery, visit {here}.

I'm loving this alphabet art for a child's room or playroom. The tutorial can be found {here}.

I'm loving that we are going to the Zoo this morning with friends! And with that, time to jump in the car!

What are you loving today??

*Don't forget to become a follower of my blog on the left side! I have an awesome prize awaiting the time I hit 50 followers!*

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Playing with Pals

Last night, Katie and I headed out for a birthday party for one of her best buds at school (they were in the same class of mother's day out last year - the only 3 girls in the class!). I think it is so neat that Katie has 2 girlfriends she talks about all the time. I know I have a friend that I've known since we were about 18 months old - how neat would it be for Katie to have those kind of friends too! Anyways, it was at a local indoor playplace for kids that has a giant ship with slides coming off of it, the different themed rooms (kitchen, dress up, grocery, etc), a ball pit, a doll house, lego table, block table, etc. We had been once before - Katie loved it even more this time! Maybe it had something to do with the fact that her pals were there. I wanted to get a picture of the three crazy girls - WHEW! It is hard work to try for a picture of 3 2-year olds! But I got one with all of them looking. They look like a deer in headlights, but they are looking at the camera - I'll take it! And here is the gem of a photo. I do believe it will be put in a frame in Katie's room.

I tried several other times for a cute pic of the three girls with no luck. I thought it would be fun to post some of the "outtakes"...
{chowing down on cupcakes - they loved it!}

{A was sad because she wanted H's balloons. Katie was concerned because she was sad!}

{I think this pic may sum up these ladies - happy and busy!}

Monday, June 27, 2011

Pure Bliss

As mentioned in a previous post, we celebrated our 5 year anniversary on Friday. And man was it a treat! Katie went to Camp Grandma from about 10:00 Friday morning until about 5:00 Saturday afternoon! We missed her, but we definitely enjoyed a break. And I bet Grandma slept well after Katie left! :) We had a fun-filled and relaxing time for sure. It was just perfect.

Brad got me flowers! They were beautiful and bright and cheery. Just perfect. After we dropped Katie off, we got a couple's massage. It was just amazing - and definitely needed! We then headed to lunch before going to see Hangover 2. After that, we headed home to get ready for dinner! We ate at one of our fave places - and they even gave us a complimentary dessert because it was our anniversary!
Saturday morning we slept in some and headed to the local Farmer's Market. It was great to see friends and pick up some local, fresh produce as well. We took Sadie with us and she had a blast - everyone wanted to stop and pet her!

After that adventure, we came home to get ready and head to a reception for one of my friends from high school. He got married the weekend before in California and was having a reception with all of his family and friends here in town. It was great to see friends from high school and catch up!

It was such a perfect time together. And we were definitely ready to get our little lady back - the house is so quiet when she's not here!! :)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Happy 5 Years!! seems like I was just blogging about our fourth anniversary! Can it be possible that Brad and I have been married for 5 years already!? I guess it is true - time really does fly when you're having fun. We have accomplished so much and done so much as a couple in these last 5 years. I can't wait to see what the future holds for us. We have had a great day of celebrating - childfree, too! I really am the luckiest girl in the world. More about our day of celebration later...I have to go shower and get ready for dinner!! :)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer Play Days Picture

Isn't this picture just the cutest?! They had school pictures done for the summer session and I love this picture so much! I did order some real copies so they don't have "Proof" written all over it :) I was just looking at Katie's school picture from her Mother's Day Out program - it was taken in September. Man has she changed! She looks like a little girl now! If anyone has a recipe for something that keeps these kids from growing up so fast, please let me know! :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

It's that time again! Yep, it is time for What I'm Loving Wednesday! What are you loving? If you want to link up, just click {here}.

I'm loving lightning bugs! With the first official day of summer yesterday, I think that is appropriate. When I see lightning bugs, it means it is officially summer (at least in my little mind)!

I'm loving all the magazines I get in the mail. It might be rather excessive. And, in fact, I do feel somewhat overwhelmed by them at times. But I have started doing better about getting on the treadmill - and I try to do at least 25 minutes....the perfect amount of time to read a magazine! And, I hate to admit it, but I don't think this is all the ones I get. I also get Parents and Thriving Family. And no, I didn't pay for all of these. Most of these I found for free one way or another. And if I did pay for a subscription, it was very minimal!
I'm loving Viva Beads! I bought this necklace and just love it. They make a bracelet type thing with a keyring on it so that you can attach it to your keys - that way you don't lose them! It would be great to "wear" my keys while getting Katie in and out of the car so I don't lose them. There are a few stores I plan to go to so I can try to find it! But for now, this necklace will DEFINITELY do!

I'm loving Piggy Paint! It is natural and non-toxic and hypoallergenic - just what I want for Katie's little toes! And I went ahead and bought the polish remover as well...can't wait to paint her toenails for the first time!

I'm loving this nail polish I bought last night! I can't wait to put this color on my toes. This summer, I have been putting fun colors in the blue and green family on my toenails! And this will be a welcome change!

I'm loving this Geranium Spray from Thistle Farms! Did you know geranium is a natural bug repellent? This spray smells divine and can be used as bug spray! Thistle Farms is a great cause, too - it is a nonprofit business run by women at Magdalene. Magdalene is a residential community founded for women who are on the streets, into drugs, prostitutes, etc. The community takes them in, helps them get on their feet, helps them get clean, etc. All sales of their products (which are DIVINE) go back into the program! For more information, you can visit this link! You can also find them on Facebook {here}.

I'm loving my sweet, wild, and crazy girl! Here she is last night - running in circles around the island in the kitchen sporting her shades. Such a fun-loving little lady!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!!

I hope all of you daddies (are there any men other than my Dad who actually read this??) have had a very special day! We definitely had a good one - and I hope Brad would agree. Our day started off by me getting out of bed early and fixing Brad breakfast in bed! I made French Toast Casserole and it was {amazing} if I do say so myself! I took the breakfast to Brad and woke him up and then went to get Katie up. Probably my most favorite part of the day was after getting Katie up, all the family was piled in our bed while Brad opened his Father's Day goodies. That was one of the main reasons we got a King size bed - I had visions of the whole family piled in. And I have to say it was perfect! After we all ate and got ready, we headed to church. Then we went to lunch at Brad's fave place and then went to Lowe's for a few odds and ends. What is Father's Day if a home improvement store isn't involved, after all? While Katie was napping, Brad and I watched baseball together (and it was his favorite team playing)! Then after Katie woke up, both of our moms and my brother came over to visit and wish Brad a special day. We then headed out to dinner with Brad's mom and came home and took a walk. Pretty great family day if you ask me! Here are some fun images for the day :) Isn't this funny? One of the blogs I follow had this on it and I loved it! And it couldn't be any more true!

Here is Daddy and Katie before church this morning! Such a sweet picture!

Last night we went to dinner with my Dad and brother! It was a fun time together to visit - and get a sweet treat afterwards! Here is a picture of Katie with her Papa! She talked about the visit the whole way home!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Happy!...Sad! Game

As I have mentioned previously, we have a game that we play with Katie - the "Happy, Sad Game". I was trying to show her the difference in facial expressions between happy and sad, and she loved it! So we play that game - a lot. And when I first showed her, I didn't realize that I turned my head to different sides with the two emotions, but now she does that too! Last night we were playing outside in the backyard and I had my camera for a game of Happy, Sad! Her expressions are priceless...


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Can't Forget!!

There are a few things I have thought about putting into a blog post so I don't forget about them. Of course, they are focused around Katie and things she does/says/likes/doesn't like these days :) So, here we go!

  • When we say the alphabet, she will sing along saying random letters. If we sing with her and pause, she will say the right letter! Her all-time favorites these days are W, X, Y, Z though - and it is adorable! She says "dub-a-dooo" for "W" and she is pretty good at "X" and then she says "Y and Z!!!!". When she says the "Z", she shakes her head like she is singing it loud and proud. Adorable.

  • I wondered at what age kids start becoming a little more afraid of things. Well, now I know. Katie is not a fan of bugs! (such a girly girl) When we go to the pool, she won't walk into the kiddy pool if there is a floating bug (it is a zero entry pool). I wonder if it has something to do with those nasty cicadas we had early this summer?? She is very interested in the bugs, but doesn't want them close to her!

  • Another thing she has payed closer attention to recently is when it storms! Yesterday we had some nasty storms blow through and one of the huge claps of thunder actually woke her up. She did doze off and on, and she she finally got up she whimpered when it thundered again. I told her what it was, and from then on, anytime it thundered, she said "UNDER" (her version of thunder)! I did eventually get her to say "tund-er" so it was a little closer to the real word.

  • Today at her Summer Play Days, a program came and brought animals and reptiles with them! And Katie touched all but one of them! WOW!! So I guess curiosity got the best of her - or peer pressure :) I know for sure that she touched the snake. Amazing!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What I'm Loving Wedesday

It's that time again! And I feel like I was just doing this last week! If you'd like to participate and link up, visit {here}.

I'm loving the sound of this book. I saw someone posted about it on Facebook, so of course I had to see what it was about on Amazon! Sounds like something I definitely want to order and flip through since I love taking pictures!
I'm loving that we FINALLY went to the vineyard that is only about 15 minutes from our house. It is co-owned by Kix Brooks (of the country duo Brooks & Dunn) and is just so fun! You can take picnics and tents and blankets and chairs and just set up camp. We went with several family friends and just had a great time! Even Katie went and loved running around!

I'm loving this headband holder I made for Katie's room! I actually have it hanging on the wall in her room, but this is the picture I took right after it was finished. And it was super easy! Just wrap a paper towel roll (with the paper towels, obviously) with fabric like a piece of candy. Before that, I put ribbons through the roll part so I could hang it with that. But anyways, SUPER easy! And pretty cute, I think!

I'm loving that I am getting closer to learning to sew. Over the last week, I have purchased several different fabrics so that I get inspired. I think I have decided to sign up for a class at the end of the month to learn Sewing 101, and then next month I plan to do a class on making pillowcase dresses! After that, hopefully I will find that I love it and want to buy a sewing machine. More to come on that adventure!

I'm loving these fabrics for a fun double-sided pillow in a little reading nook!

I'm loving these fabrics, too! The one on the right will be fun for a pillowcase dress for next spring. The one on the left is for a pillowcase dress for this fall. And the one in the middle looks like a fun apron print! I just need to remember to take things one step at a time!

I'm loving this bag that I bought last week! Isn't it so fun!? I am trying to decide whether or not to get my monogram embroidered on it - what do you think??

I'm loving Katie's newest purse that she got while we were out of town. Isn't it so cute?! I wonder if she has the same love for dots that I do...and even the same love for pink and green!!

I'm loving participating in WILW - it is a great time to remember my many blessings! It also helps me relish in the little things in life!

I would love it if you became a follower of my blog! A fun prize is up for grabs once I hit 50 followers!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Cutie Pie

I know this picture is kinda blurry, but I just love it. I love her outfit. And I love the matching bow. And I, of course, love that sweet girl more than anything in the world.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Our Tour of the Carolinas

Last week we took a very last minute trip to both North and South Carolina! And it was so fun. And it was nearly free, which makes it that much better. How did we manage that, you ask? Well, Brad had a meeting in North Carolina, so that covered a lot of our mileage, one night at the hotel at the beach, and a couple of portions of dinner (to cover Brad). So we left last Tuesday and went to stay with some of our good friends in Greensboro. It was so great to see them and visit, even though it was a short visit! In this picture, Jodi and I were headed out CHILD-FREE!!! That's right, the boys did the kid thing and we went out and shopped and got our nails done. I love that!

When we got home, the kids (and Brad) were playing ball outside and Aaron was inside finishing dinner. Even better - shopping, nails, and dinner almost on the table! Here are their boys - growing up way too fast!
Katie loved playing with the boys. She threw the ball and played on their swing and ran around a ton!

I think she looks like a little ducky here following her friends. Love this!

Katie loved swinging on their porch swing. They also had a swing hanging from a branch of a big tree near their house. That was so fun!

After the kids went to bed, we all watched a movie and visited. Here are Brad and Aaron - best buds! We love hanging out with them!
And here is a picture of Jodi and Aaron - so cute!

And my nails! I love the crazy color on my toes - perfect for the beach! I seem to be enjoying fun blues and greens on my toes this summer :)

After spending 2 nights with our friends, we headed to Wilmington for Brad's meeting. Katie loved it when Brad was silly and let Ruff Ruff drive the car ;)While Brad was in his meeting, Katie and I acted like tourists in the little downtown/riverside area. It was so quaint and fun! I took this picture of a beautiful hibiscus flower - I love them!

And Katie wanted to go see the "wa wa" first, so we went and strolled along the riverfront. It was hot and humid and silly me wore jeans. Whew!

And then we went to get ice cream! This summer I have been on a big ice cream kick - that could be problematic! But it was yummy - and clearly Katie loved it since she drank every last melted bit of her scoop of vanilla! After that treat, we did some shopping! I bough a shirt and earrings at an island-inspired shop, and then we found a cute little store all for little girls. Katie got a cute purse and little mouse - adorable! And she clearly loves shopping - we are in trouble!

When Brad finished with his meeting, we then drove down to Myrtle Beach! We checked into our hotel (awesome) and found a fun place for dinner. It was at this great boardwalk/entertainment area. After dinner, Katie loved looking at the fish you could feed and the ducks swimming around.

She was a wild woman after being in the car a lot that day! She had fun running and acting silly. She did let me get a picture of us though!

And she was still wild when we got back to our hotel! Look at that grin!

She did calm down long enough to snuggle with daddy though!

But then she got some more energy and found the mirror in the bathroom - she loved it!

And then she started zoning out and was way tired. It was definitely time for bed!

The next morning, she was still zonked when I woke up. Brad had one last meeting that he had to go to, so Katie and I were on our own that morning! I wanted to make sure we were up in enough time to make it to breakfast down in the lobby.

Katie loved the beach and the kiddie pool at our hotel! We had so much fun. And she loved going on our balcony to look at the ocean and sand. I love that she is a beach girl :)
After spending the day at the beach and pool, we got cleaned up and went to dinner! Katie loved playing with her new purse while we all got ready.

And she even cooperated for a picture with Mommy before we left!

On our way to dinner, she held on tightly to that purse. I wonder if she knew it matched her outfit?? :)

We had wait a little while for dinner, but they had a great outdoor, grassy area for the kids to play and run. Someone offered to take our picture, so of course I agreed. Sure wish Katie had cooperated! Katie loved it when Brad chased her around. And she did great at dinner even though it was a little later than she's used to! We ate at the Sea Captain and it was so delicious!

This is how I found her the next morning - I think she was exhausted! And maybe she could tell it was getting lighter outside, so she covered her head to keep it dark. Too funny.

I could wake up to this every morning. And it would never get old.

Such the diva on the beach. Silly Mommy forgot to take all of our fun beach toys, so she was stuck with the little toys that happened to be in the beach bag. Oops!

I love this picture of Daddy and Girly studying the waves!

And I actually caught this gem of a picture at JUST the right time. There was a bigger wave that crashed against them when they were looking at me. Awesome.

Mommy and Katie at the kiddie pool - it was perfect!

After playing that morning, we headed to the room for lunch. Daddy & Katie watched some Elmo on the iPad we borrowed from a friend before naptime. She ended up snoozing on Brad while he relaxed. What did Momma do? Go back to the beach, of course!

The beach was beautiful! And so fun!

We did do some relaxing on the balcony, too. Stretched out and listening to the waves. Perfection.

Katie was ready for more beach time after she woke up from her nap!

He looks so masculine carrying a pink watering can, doesn't he?? :)

Katie loved pouring the water onto the sand and then scooping it and dumping it out!

I had gotten this outfit at a consignment sale a while back knowing how cute it would be at the beach. We decided, since we were all clean and going to dinner, that we didn't need to go all the way into the sand, but the walkway there worked perfectly! I wish I had used a different setting on my camera to prevent the grainy look, but they will do! I love these :)

We ate dinner at Cheeseburger In Paradise - so yummy! Afterwards, we went back to the Boardwalk at the Beach area. I was feeling pretty cute, so I wanted my picture taken! {Ladies, do you ever have times where you feel like you look good and need a picture to document the moment? Back me up here!}

This is an attempte at taking a picture of the South Carolina palmetto and moon symbol - I know the moon should be on the other side, but this angle's picture turned out better. :)

They had rides for the little kids - Katie LOVED the carousel!

What a way to ride - so cute. She's got it made!

Our little sweet pea :)

Another picture with momma - love!!

The next morning, we got up and loaded the car for the 9-10 hour drive home. AH!!! We were definitely ready to be home. We made it only having to stop twice - not too bad for 2 adults and a 2 year old! I saved a birthday present for Katie to play with in the car. She loved it! And it is that special paper and markers where the markers only work on the special paper. No mess! :)

And the sunset during the last hour of our drive. Thanks, God! How beautiful.