Monday, February 1, 2016

Weekending...the last one in January

I can't believe that January is over! We had a great month but I am so glad to be on to February, I have actually been counting down to February because my contract with my nanny family was coming to an end and I seriously am so excited to just be home with Ellie everyday.  Especially now since we will be bringing #2 home in a couple of months I am so grateful to get to have this one on one time with her.  I am going to start working at my church again so I will still be working but now it's just going to be me and my girl!!


Friday:

It was my last day and I just had to wear my Hello sweatshirt to kick off my last day and say hello to the weekend!!  I also had to document how disgustingly dirty this mirror is...I blame Ellie since she loves to put her hands all over it ;)


We enjoyed our last morning with my nanny family and Ellie was a total rockstar for her last nap there: on the couch with no paci!!  She slept for nearly 3 hours and I couldn't love this little peanut any more!!

After I completed my work day I met Thomas out for Indian food for dinner (our favorite) and then we headed to our local YMCA and got Ellie signed up.  I had no idea that you can sign up just your kid at the Y and since she is under 18 there was no joining fee and is only $37 a month!!  We got her signed up for gymnastics and she is so excited.  

After dinner and the Y we went to my Inlaws to hang out for a bit.  We got to talking about texting and how people have "receipts" for texts, so you know when they have read your text and then never respond...to which my MIL said she got the best meme from a coworker and shared it with us:


I mean seriously!! What happened?????

Saturday:

We got up in the morning and Ellie wanted to go out on the farm to help feed all the animals.  While we were out there running around and playing Thomas went inside to take a shower and accidentally locked us out (due to habit) and instead of grabbing the spare key we waited until he got out so I could give him a hard time.  BUT while we were waiting I took advantage of going for a "Garden Walk" with Ellie, one of my favorite things!  We checked out all the pots I planted last weekend (I also planted all of the bulbs I got back in October last weekend...all 175 of them, I'm crossing my fingers that at least 50% of them grow!)
I have two of these pots and they are planted with some Tulip bulbs and then Cyclamen on top
and I have 6 of these with Tulips underneath and then some giant Primroses on top
I also decided to plant a Winter/Spring hanging basket - which I have never done before - with primroses and cyclamen, I have to say that I LOVE it!!


Just the right amount of flowers for me right now!! 

Once we finally got back inside the house and got cleaned up (being on the farm is always a dirty affair) we got to work in finally working on Ellie's closet.  We got all the supplies last week: two sets of hanging rod cups and cement blocks.  Ellie's closet used to have just one hanging bar across the top and we only were able to utilize half of it because I had a shelving unit in there, then over the summer we went to IKEA and picked up the KALLAX unit to use instead and my hope was to put it in the center so we could have a double hanging option on the left and a single on the right side.  SO for a good 7 months we had the KALLAX set up in there with the single hanging rod.  It created a bit more storage but was still not ideal, and the KALLAX was a good 7" too short.  I wasn't sure how we would be able to lift it because I didn't want it to hang so a couple weeks ago I thought we could get some cinder blocks to go underneath and they were the perfect height!!  SO we lifted the shelving unit on top of two cinder blocks and then measured, drilled, cut, and screwed all three hanging rods...thankfully the one rod we had was long enough to fit in all three spots with a 1/2" to spare! #winning  So Ellie's closet remodel only cost us about $15!!  

here's the left side
and then the right side...as you can see we are trying to brainwash her into attending our Alma Mater by keeping Thomas' graduation robes in there, lol!

After finishing up the closet Thomas and Ellie hung out for a while, as I moved her dresser/changing table into the nursery, vacuumed her room and brought in her vanity.  I got that all cleaned up and then it was time for Ellie's nap and for me to get my hairs done!!  I went to my friend at her new salon and she did such a great job!  I went from looking like I was 60 years old (I have a lot of grey hairs...she called it tinsel because my hair looked like it was glittering in the salon lights!) to 15 again.  Why 15 you ask?? because that was the last year of my life I had no grey hairs...yep I was 16 and had grey hair!

My question is...how can I learn to recreate this hair style at home??  All we did this time was cover up my roots and next time we will do bayalage to lighten up my ends a bit.  

After my hair was done I went over to my friend Marit's house and we made Valentines Day wreaths!   She had her mom come over and she brought a truck load of supplies.  I sat there for a while trying to figure out what I wanted to do and finally took a wire hanger and made it into a heart, like her "model" one.  Then wrapped it with a ribbon so that hot glue would attach things to it.   After looking at all the supplies I fell in love with this heart ribbon/fabric and took about 10 minutes trying to figure out how to get it on the wire, when her mom said to just edge the whole thing! Genius and I did that with three more fabric/ribbon options!!  I absolutely love it...and so does Ellie, she claimed it for her door when I got home!
  here is a more detailed shot!

Sunday:
 I spent the morning getting Ellie's vanity put together with filling in the drawers with her bow collection, jewelry, and unmentionables.  I am so in love with how her room is coming together and she is quite smitten with having a mirror in her room (at last!).  I am still trying to figure out a fabric to recover the stool and I might want to change out the knobs....I was throwing around the idea of using this for the bench, what do you think?



And after Ellie was finished playing around I moved all of her toys out of sight so I could take a good "styling" shot ;)  Her room is no where near complete because I still have some time consuming things to do: sand/prime/paint the baseboard, collect pictures and art for a gallery wall, and then also decide on a pattern for all the gold dots I found to go on her bed wall... But I am so in love with all of this.

When I finished working on Ellie's room we went to Half Price Books and girlfriend enjoyed moving the step stools all around the store...

Then it was back home for Ellie to take a nap and it was change the sheets day....So I decided to fully make the bed and take a picture.  

While I was working on the bedroom, Thomas was in the bathroom installing the drawer pulls we picked out last week!!

Our bathroom is getting closer to being done...we really just have 2 3 things left to do!! Pick out tile for the floor, purchase/install the vanity lights and get a new door knob for the linen closet!  It's so nice to get these home items checked off the list!!

When Ellie woke up from her nap, my dad came over to hang out for a little bit.  He wanted to learn about a tablet v. lap top, and I think he is going to go for a tablet.  Then he and Ellie played with her train set for a while and he got a kick out of how she likes her trains to skip the tracks!  

After my dad left we hopped in the car and I dropped Thomas and Ellie off at his parents house for dinner while I went to Supper Club!! We started back in November and it's been so much fun getting together each month.  We had Chicken Parmesan with Spaghetti Squash, Quinoa stuffed Pepper, Salad and Cheesecake for dessert!! It was delicious!!!



And here is our group!


Definitely a weekend for the books!!

Have you ever thought of a Supper Club?  Seriously it is so much fun, I love that not only do you get to have people over but you get to use your dining room table and your good china!!!

Happy Monday!

♥ Ashley

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

{Travel Diaries} Disneyland Fall 2015 - Day 3

Get yourself ready for some major picture overload!!



I am actually quite embarrassed how long it's taken me to recap our trip back in September!! If you want to check out our marathon Day 1 and Day 2 please go right ahead!  They were both fantastic days that were pretty hard to top...but somehow each day in Disney is better than the one before.

 On Day 3 we got to the park in time for the opening ceremony and then went straight to pick up our much needed coffee at the Starbucks inside the park (PSL for both and an iced whole milk for the babe).  *TIP: if you are traveling with a little who still only drinks milk, the most economic choice is to just buy milk at Starbucks*

With our beloved coffee in hand we utilized our Magic Morning to head straight to Peter Pan's Flight right at rope drop. It's like a flood to get there...pretty ridiculous, if I may say so myself.  Thomas got in line while Ellie and I parked the stroller.  Despite getting there just seconds after the rope drop we still had to wait in line for nearly 20 minutes because they hadn't officially opened the ride yet and were sending all the boats through one last time to make sure it would run smoothly.  Once they finally got the ride going it was pretty quick moving to get onto our boat!





IDK what it is but I just love Peter Pan (it might have something to do with that spunky Tinkerbell...)


And away we gooooooooo!!!!! (Thomas is on Periscope...)

When we were last in Disney (February 2015) the Peter Pan's Flight ride was closed due to refurbishing. It had been at least 15 years since I was last in the park and I remember just being able to walk on to this ride...I'm pretty sure it's just about a minute long.  I loved it then and I love it now, though I can't tell you what was different or why people are willing to wait in line for over 45 minutes....maybe it's because you get to ride in a flying ship?  Don't get me wrong its super fun but I think that 20 minutes is long enough.

Seeing as we were some of the first 65 people on Peter Pan when we got off Fantasyland was still pretty empty so we rushed over to try and get onto the Matterhorn and it was actually open this time!!! I jumped into line and when I got up to one of the cast members we asked for our Rider Switch Pass (best thing ever!!) and then I got on! (Back in February they had this ride closed for refurbishment as well...) I got on the left side track, which turns out to be the side they did not fix...so it was still a bit rough and bumpy - just the way I like it.  I learned from the last trip that you really can make the most of your trip if you just ask.  So when I was about to get assigned a seat I requested to sit in the front row, that meant that I had to wait a rotation but being in the front is totally worth it!


While I was taking my turn on the Matterhorn someone got to take a few spins around in the Tea Cups and ride the horsies on the Carousel with Dada...


Once I got off and met up with Thomas he got in line (right at the front) for his turn on the Matterhorn, thanks to that wonderful Rider Switch Pass, and he managed to get on the right side track which was the one they refurbished.  He said his ride was quite smooth....he missed out on the real experience ;)

Then we decided it was time to go and take our "Official" Disney Park photo with Walt himself and we love this photo so much better than our first one in February because the Castle is exposed (they were busy making it over for the Diamond Celebration).  I mean seriously how cute?!!! and all the pumpkins have me at hello!

We then headed back down Main Street USA to see if we could visit with some characters.  We saw Mickey but right as we walked up a Cast Member stepped in the back of the line indicating that Mickey would be going on a quick break...so we tried Goofy who also had a Cast Member at the end of his line...thankfully Pluto was still open so we hopped in his line and then there were two more people behind us when a Cast Member got in our line...just made it ;)



Once we were done visiting with Pluto we jumped into line for Chip and Dale! I now know how to tell them apart (Dale has the red nose).  We were in line behind a tourist who must have been obsessed with Donald because she had a duck tale on her behind, but she also had her giant camera and took no less than 150 photos of Chip and Dale then had the cast members take at least 65 of her with them.   She took a step back so we thought it was our turn and let Ellie run up to them and she got all pissed at us and had the Cast Members "remove" Ellie from her shot!! It was actually quite comical.  Finally Ellie got to go for round two with the twins and Dale was obsessed with Ellie.  Chip kept trying to give Ellie a high five and to wave at her but Dale kept shoving his hand in Chip's face and pushing him away.  It was so funny.  I really have no idea how Ellie get's so lucky with these characters but I love it so much!!

We tried to jump into Mickey's line again but that darn Cast Member was there again!!! I told him that he really needs to find a new job because he keeps denying us a visit with Mickey...So we just hung out so that Ellie could follow Mickey back to his break room...Minnie also went on a break at the same time.


And then we waited there for them to come back out so we could try to be the first ones in line...this is how memories are made!! I'm telling you it's the best.  Ellie actually went running up to Minnie this time and Minnie was so great as to take Ellie's hand and walk her around the square as she tried to find a spot to stand.  I have the "date" on video and so many people kept trying to get in my way so they could get in line after Ellie that I had to give the Evil Eye to a few of them so they could realize what I was doing.  Ellie was so smitten with Minnie...I was too because she was dressed up in her Halloween Costume...a witch!! y'all know how much I love witches!! but it was hard to get a picture of her smiling!  Still such wonderful memories were made and we love getting these special moments with our favorite characters!


After we met all the Characters we could we jumped on the Disneyland Railroad to take a trip around the park.  


We got off at Mickey's Toontown station so we could ride "it's a small world"...Ellie lasted almost the whole ride but near the end all she wanted to do was lean over the side of the boat to splash in the water... the sun was shining so bright and it was so hot!! I didn't blame her one bit, except she isn't allowed to do that!


After "it's a small world" we went into Toontown to see if we could have any Meet and Greets with characters...it's usually a pretty good spot for that.  But Ellie wanted to hang out in the jail for a little bit first!  After we walked around a bit and learned that there were no characters we got back on the Disneyland Railroad and rode back to Main Street to retrieve our stroller.  

Once we got our stroller we headed over to Frontierland to take a ride on the Sailing Ship Columbia, to my memory I have never been on the Columbia so I was pretty excited when we finally were able to take a ride! Each time we walked by it was just leaving and we didn't want to sit around and wait but we got there at just the right time.
Ellie had fun checking out all the stuff to do...
and just running around like a crazy girl.  I loved going below deck and seeing where all the shipmates stayed. Disney does a fabulous job at all their attention to detail.

When we got off the boat I was craving a Churro...hadn't had one all day...but someone insisted on sharing with me - and I just can't say NO to her!

After her sugar rush of a churro we decided to head back to our hotel for a nap and this happened on the way....how is that even comfortable to sleep like that??

After naps we went back to DCA and saw Goofy walking around.  I tried to see if he would stop for a picture but the cast member who was escorting him said he had to hurry to his spot for the parade...but we could take a walking selfie with him....it only took me about 10 tries to figure out how to take a selfie...I felt so rushed and was having a hard time pushing the right button...but I think once I figured it out we got a pretty good one!!

We heard a rumor that Mickey was coming out so we hung around where we believed he would be coming.  Then out came Mickey and Minnie together, we decided to go with Mickey since we had our grand tour with Witch Minnie earlier and this Mickey was just too adorable!!
Ellie was in love...of course - I am pretty sure that Mickey is her favorite and he is always so good with her - no matter who he is!!
of course they needed to kiss! and then we jumped in for a family photo!

Over to "a bug's land" and we rode on Fliks Flyers and then she spotted the splash pad: Princess Dot Puddle Park, so she got to run in there.  We forgot to bring her flip flops so I tried sending her in there barefoot (because I didn't want to get her moccs all wet) but the cast member said that all children needed to wear shoes...so on they went.  We didn't get any photos of Ellie in the splash pad because I was videoing her.  She started off just standing there watching the other kids run around and try to avoid the water squirts but then she got wet and got into it and started to put her hands down in the puddles and then run around like a crazy person.  Yelling and screaming and having so much fun.  There was a boy about 9 years old who was standing right smack in the middle waiting for the biggest water squirt to come down on him and kept counting down to when he thought he would get dumped on...Ellie just stood there and watched him for a while.  Then she started to lay down on the ground and lick the water...at that point her time was done and we needed to have an outfit change!!  

Once she had dry clothes on we walked over to Cars Land and we saw that Red the firetruck was available for pictures so we jumped in his line!



Then went over to the Cozy Cones for some soft serve!

We did some more walking around and went on a few more rides.  We checked our Park App and saw that Toy Story Midway Mania had a fairly short queue so we got in line and girlfriend was acting all sorts of whiney.  I told her she needed to knock it off and calm down or I was going to hold her...she asked to get up and then about a minute later she passed out!!  When your baby gets to a certain age and then they fall asleep on you...you treasure it because you know it's not going to happen very much anymore.  Ellie was so conked out that she slept through the entire ride, the transfer into the stroller, all around the park the rest of the time (even when I decided to hop onto Grizzly River Run...that broke down just seconds after I boarded my raft!!  We had to wait for a good 15 minutes before the ride started again and I got SOAKED!!! 

We walked back over to get this awesome photo of Mickey's Fun Wheel all lit up and then decided to call it a night.



What a busy and fun day! I am so grateful that we get to take Ellie out and do these fun adventures with her.  I also love that Thomas is just as into Disney (if not more so) as me and we get to enjoy these times together!!

Have you been to Disneyland? What is your favorite part??

♥ Ashley