Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Our Weekend - the one before our Anniversary

Y'all this weekend totes rocked! We were chock full of all the things and got quite a bit accomplished as can never complain about crossing things off the list ;)

My weekend actually started early on Thursday.  I worked on Thursday and Thomas took the girls over to visit with his parents for the night...I had an extremely rare evening all to myself.  It's been a while since I've slept at home alone all by myself and I have to admit that I didn't hate it!

Thursday night I finished up my "naptime project" that I've been working on...shutters for the windows on the back side of the house.  I got them all put together and then just needed to wait for Thomas to get home to hang them up.

On Friday, I got to sleep in until about 7am and then I got lots of things was so easy without little toddlers at my feet the whole time.  I finished up the laundry, washed all the bedsheets (and made all the beds), vacuumed the house, mopped the house, cleaned/organized the kitchen, watered all the plants and even made a wreath to go on Finnley's door.  I got all the supplies at Michaels and it is my new favorite thing!  I also got to catch up on some TV and then Thomas and the girls finally got home around 1:30 in the afternoon.

We went out for an early dinner to pizza and it was so good.  Totally my kind of pizza: pesto sauce, goat cheese, chicken, sun dried tomatoes and cashews!! So freakin good.  Of course Ellie wasn't a fan because there was no pepperoni or red sauce but Finnley adored the crust, so we'll call it a win.

After dinner we made the rounds at Target and ToysRUs where we scored this adorable Shimmer and Shine (Finnley's favorite) mini backpack for Finnley on clearance for just $1.98!!! and Finnley has barely let it out of her sight since.

It was finally cool enough for us to attach the shutters when we got home and y'all I can't even remember what this part of the house even used to look like...all I know is that the difference these make in giving the house a "finishing" look is unbelievable.  I love it so much that I'm hoping to build two more sets for the front of the house before the end of the summer!

On Saturday we  made a trip up North to a new Zoo to celebrate my nephews birthday!  Ellie and Finnley had so much fun checking out all the new animals (Ostrich and Hippos), while I had fun catching up with my sister.  The kids got along great and watching Ellie walk around the zoo with her little cousin hand in hand was the sweetest thing ever!!

there was a boy who had his face painted like a Gorilla and this ape was not amused , he seemed to be very angry and not pleased with a Gorilla being so close!

obviously this girl gets overjoyed at the thought of going on the carousel!

After our trip to the Zoo we decided to try out a local burger joint that routinely has a line down the road...we somehow were able to time things just right: got one of the 8 parking spots in their free lot, got the last booth inside, and were only the 3rd group in line to order our food!  Y'all our food at Red Mill Burgers was so good!  We shared a bacon burger, fried mushrooms, and fries and then we each got our own milkshakes: chocolate for him, peanut butter for me.  Totally worth the wait and I would for sure go long as the stars align again for us ;)

After the Zoo and lunch we headed back home where both girls fell asleep in the car...we were able to transfer one but not the other.  So Ellie and I got ready to head to one of my former students' wedding (with Bitty in tow).  They're high school sweethearts and a solid couple in my book.  Their wedding was so much fun, totally them, and totally laid back...there were ping pong tables, a whole area for the kiddos, basketball, volleyball and a giant slip'n'slide down an incredibly steep hill.  We got to take a hay ride from the parking lot to the ceremony where another former student of mine joined us and it was so nice to catch up with her.  Ellie so enjoyed the ceremony asking me after each bridesmaid "is that the wedding girl??" finally the bride walked down the aisle and then Ellie was all wondering when it was going to be time for them to kiss.  Once the ceremony was over Ellie was interested in checking out all the games, she loved the ping pong, the kids toys and then there was the talk about the water slide and she could barely contain herself...thankfully I had some extra clothes in my car and we changed her out of her "wedding dress" and into something that could get grassy and dirty. She was super excited about the whole idea of the water slide, then it was her turn and she chickened out, then she fell to peer pressure and made her way down and I had to carry her kicking and screaming to the car when it was time for us to go home!!  So glad she loved the waterslide...maybe now she'll dunk her head in the pool?  Needless to say that all weddings from here on out are going to pale in comparison because I can pretty much guarantee that there won't be a giant water slide.

On Sunday we headed out to a playground that is right next to a golf course that they used for the PGA US Open.  The views are spectacular despite the smokey haze we've been experiencing here in the western PNW lately.  The girls loved the playground and so did we, it's definitely going on our return to list!

I have finally decided on my cruiser bike and picked it up in the afternoon then we hooked everything up and went on our very first ever Family Bike Ride!!  If you read my post a few weeks ago I didn't mention Thomas weight loss journey...he's lost around 60 pounds and a great deal is to tracking our calories but also to his dedication to running and cycling, so having all of us out enjoying one of his passions was a high point to his weekend and I loved it this might become like a family thing!!  The girls did fantastic, I loved having them hooked up to my bike for a majority of our ride because I loved listening to Ellie talk and then sneaking a look back every now and then and catching them holding hands!

We ended the night with books and songs and night night kisses...then Ellie joined us in our bed around 1:00am because she's going through a "phase" right now where apparently she doesn't know "how" to go to sleep nor can she sleep by herself because she "might" get scared at some point....this is four.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Nine Years

Happy 9th Anniversary!!!

It's been 9 years already!! 

We've been through a lot and there is no one I'd rather do life with than you!!  Through all the trials and tribulations I know that you are my rock and that we were meant to be.  I'm so thankful for how you provide for our family and what a great teammate and father you are...I seriously couldn't ask for a better partner.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

No Tech Tuesday

We did it! We have completed two whole months of No Tech Tuesdays.  It's been hard, it's been a challenge, and there have been a few slip ups here and there.  Ultimately it's been the best decision for our family and we are looking forward to making August another month of No Tech Tuesdays!

Today we are making the most of the beautiful weather with hitting up a local children's museum, going out for lunch, and then probably hitting up Target because...Target ;)

What are you doing on this fine Tuesday?

♥ Ashley

Friday, July 28, 2017

Friday Favorites - the last of July and recent buys

I really am not sure where the time has gone, I mean seriously how is July practically over?  We've been so busy just living life and enjoying Thomas having the Summer off that we just won't stop ;)  I've also recently picked up some fabulous things that I just have to share with y'all.

I've been on the search for a dish drainer that fits in our sink (to open up some counter space that has been occupied the past 4 years)  I finally found one similar and let me tell you that I've done more handwashing since it arrived than I have the last 3 months.

A few weeks ago Lowe's was giving 7% cash back on Ebates and I knew it was the perfect time to finally pull the trigger on some new vanity lights for both of our bathrooms.  I grabbed this one for the girls bathroom and it seriously couldn't be any more perfect.  Their bathroom is nearly complete...I just have to do some paint touch ups on the ceiling and I can finally cross it off my list.  I wavered back and forth about what finish to choose for our Master Bath since originally I was envisioning satin nickel but I've become so obsessed with oil rubbed bronze lately and Thomas prefers it too. The design has taken a slight turn towards more Farmhouse than originally planned but I'm so much happier with the choices we've made so far, it's really coming along. Once we got these lights (similar) up in our bathroom I knew I made the right decision (these ones are equally amazing).  I still have a few finishing touches to put into this room like spray painting the hardware, getting a new shower curtain oh and picking out new tile for the floor; because the yellowing linoleum from 1989 is leaving much to be desired.  I'm debating between a hexagon/penny tile (this or this) or a rectangular marble look ceramic (this) either option with a darker grey grout.

On Amazon Prime day we got an Echo Dot and she is just the cutest little thing.  I love just telling Alexa to play music and to have it outside, she also does other fun things like gives me news updates, the weather and will even set a timer for me.  She's just the best, so is free shipping!

We've been frequenting Old Navy and I have fallen in love with their boyfriend and relaxed t-shirts.  The fabric and colors are awesome. Not to mention I love the fit of them. This one was my first, I got it in grey and I love the pocket detail.  It fits a bit shorter on me than on the model which is strange because she's probably 6 feet tall and I only come up to her knee's...I just had to go back and get some more, I have this one in green, and then got this in a light blue and maroon.

Speaking of clothes, I shopped the Nordstrom sale and my items finally arrived.  I got the coveted Natori bra here, but I think their cup size runs a little small and I'm going to have to take it in store and exchange.  Same goes with this bra as well...I guess I don't know my bra size like I thought I did.  I picked up the Mac Look in a Box brush set and while the brushes are a little smaller than I thought I know that I will be using them and getting rid of my drugstore ones.  I got my very first cold shoulder top and I honestly wasn't sure if I liked the trend or not, but when I spotted this sweater in the sale it just had my name all over it.  It's much more sheer than anticipated and looking at the picture online again I see that the model is wearing a cami so I'm going to need to invest in one so I can wear this sweater every freakin day.  It's so light that I know I won't get overheated in it - I mean it is a "cold shoulder" after all ;)  All in all I am quite pleased with my purchases and I may try and pick up something else before the sale ends...we shall see.

I get these parent emails about different events happening in the area or fun attractions going on around the country as well as shopping deals, tricks to end summer boredom and quick and easy snacks your kid will love.  Last week I got an email with a coupon code to get $20 off a Kindle Fire 7 Kids Edition and we decided to get one in pink for Ellie.  I love that they've made it safe for kids, it comes with a 2 year replacement guarantee, and one year of FreeTime Unlimited.  I think its going to be great for the 10+ plane ride we're going on this summer for a cruise.  She's gotten to play with it for two days now and has acquired quite a few skills and is learning so quickly on it.  I love the pink case that it came with, I really feel like it super safe in there like safe enough that Finnley can use it too.

I hit up Michaels recently and got some cute decor pieces for our Master Bedroom and some faux flowers to make a new wreath for Finnley's door that better represents her.   Speaking of the Master Bedroom we've made some progress on it.  I finally finished painting the window and we got the curtains hung, we hung up my super heavy mirror (and managed to get one of the hooks in a stud) and then my cute little crate that I've had for 6 years finally got a home in our room!

What are some things that you've bought lately?

♥ Ashley

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

{Travel Diaries} Vancouver, BC - Butchart Gardens

I know that we are already well into July but I just have to share about our visit to Butchart Gardens back in April.  For years I have been attending the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle and Butchart Gardens always has a booth and I just die every time because I want to go so bad.  Well it finally happened over Spring Break and I am so happy to let y'all know that it did NOT disappoint.  Spring really is my favorite time of year so I'm so glad we got to visit during all the spring bulb blooms.  We booked our vacation through Clipper and added on a tour to the gardens.  We arrived to the bus a little early so we could snag the best seats and then were entertained the whole way by our driver telling stories and history about Victoria, Butchart Gardens, and his life growing up in Victoria.

The best thing about Butchart Gardens is that it really can be a great place to take the kids.  There are expanses of lawn for them to run around on, lots of wildlife to search for, flowers to smell, food to eat and there is even a carousel!

My favorite was Finnley falling asleep on the way there holding Dada's hand (swoon)

Upon arrival there was a feast of flowers for our eyes and I could barely contain my really are my happy place!

Since we were there in early Spring the rose garden was not blooming but you can just tell how beautiful it will be in July.

One of my favorite views: a fountain, a pond, manicured lawns and formal gardens.

I'm not sure what else can be better than all these Spring bulbs blooming at once.  This was the Italian Garden and I loved it so much. (I loved everything...)

These Magnolia's were just to die for.

A little secret garden entrance...for employees only

In the distance you can see three figures, they are moss deer statues and just so beautiful.

Here we are in the sunken garden, originally dug out as a rock quarry (what the land was purchased for) and then transformed into colorful beauty.

There was a "tower" that you could walk up stairs to and get the most gorgeous 360 view of the Sunken Garden.  It was simply spectacular and one day when I become a multi-millionaire (as a SAHM) I want to have a property like this.

just under the evergreen tree on the bench you can spot Thomas and the girls.

Here is another view of the Sunken Garden from up top, right in the center of this picture you can see the "tower" where you can get the 360 views from.

The "Private Garden" of Jennie Butchart, no admittance.

And finally we made it to the carousel.  Ellie's favorite part, I'm sure.  We got her two rides and her first ride was with me.  She picked out the Firefighter Horse because Firefighter and was one of the only riders.  She had a blast and she loved it so much.  For her second ride she was telling me which animal she wanted to ride next, so I was telling Thomas (who was in line) and the other kids ages 7+ heard what her choices were and beelined it for all three of her top choices since they were first in line.  Poor girl had to settle for the Pig (which would have been my mom's first choice #alwaysandforever) and was just so upset about it.  Once the ride was over we let her sit on her beloved Orca Whale but she was still just so sad about it.  In hindsight we probably could have asked to wait for the next ride - since there was hardly anyone there - but it was a good lesson for Ellie that you don't always get to ride on the animal you want, so you should have a thankful heart that you get to ride at all.

It was a long day for the girls and Ellie fell asleep almost instantly when we got back onto the bus.  Finnley was a happy camper just checking out all the sights out the window she missed on the way in because she was sleeping.  We had a new driver that was equally entertaining and I have decided that tours are so fascinating because you get to learn things you wouldn't otherwise hear if you rented a car and drove yourself.

We seriously had the BEST time and I was checking out pictures of the summer season and the flora is breathtaking so I'm pretty sure that we are going to have to go back in July 2018!! 

Have you been to Butchart Gardens?  What is your favorite flower?

♥ Ashley

other Victoria, BC posts:

Best Eats in Victoria, BC
Kid Friendly Victoria, BC