Friday, October 30, 2015

Five things Friday

Tomorrow is Halloween!! I can't believe how fast October has gone by, I keep finding myself thinking about this time last year and looking back on pictures of my sweet Ellie and how much she has grown.  My heart and love for her continues to grow everyday and I am loving each new phase she is in so much more than the last!

Additionally I am SO ready for the weekend.  Thomas has to coach tennis all day on Saturday so it's just me and Ellie making cornbread, doing the finishing touches on our costumes (what am I going to be???) and then hopefully I will be able to get a little bit more organizing/cleaning up in Baby #2's room.


Halloween Past

I am loving this outfit so much that I might just have to put her in it tomorrow just for the photo-op because why not?  I just loved her in this little outfit and she seriously is the sweetest thing ever.  My little witch!

And just for fun here is what Thomas and I have dressed up as in the past (throwback to the College days)


I always get so excited to carve pumpkins and I want to do it at the beginning of the month.  Well that didn't happen this year (and it's a good thing) and I actually kind of like it.  Our pumpkins always rot and get moldy when we carve them too early and end up being totally gross when Halloween comes around... On Wednesday I had a magical thing happen (I got off work at 4 instead of 6!!) so we decided that that would be our pumpkin carving night!!

Ellie absolutely loved her pumpkin and she loved sticking her hands inside to get all the seeds! She kept exclaiming that her pumpkin was cold and was "counting" the seeds she got out "1, 8, 19, 18, 10, 3, 6..." at least she knows numbers, haha.  I have to say I wasn't too surprised with her enjoyment with pumpkin guts but actually I was because she has started to say "yuck!!" when she gets things on her hands (i.e. food and slobber) but I am so glad that she loved it!

Our pumpkins, they didn't turn out too bad considering we couldn't find our carving tools and had to resort to a pairing knife ;)

Ellie and her pumpkin last year:

Ellie and her pumpkin this year (she was much more wild and it was a challenge to get a photo of her not moving!!)


I attempted the scrap paper candy corn art project that is going around the internet the other day with Ellie and my nanny kids.  I thought it was going to be so easy...wrong!!! It was a disaster and I got so frustrated (not a good thing when trying to encourage your little one to be creative...) My nanny kids had no problem following directions and doing the craft all proper like. Ellie on the other hand, all she wanted to do was smear her hands around in the glue. So I ended up doing most of the work since she wasn't interested in picking up the colored paper and putting it on the glue.  

The good thing is that I learned what skills we need to work on and picking up scraps of paper is definitely a fine motor skill we need to work on.  That and following directions.  Overall I am glad that we attempted this project and think we need to do it at least 100,000 more times for her to get the concept ;)


Usually on Sunday's we try to have a soup of some sort, but since we're having Chili on Halloween we thought we'd mix it up a bit and have our favorite Pot Roast and it really is perfect. Funny story, I made it around this time last year as well and got my face a little too close to the pot when I dropped the meat in to sear and got a big oil burn on my forehead.  Thankfully it cleared up after a few weeks but it can be dangerous in the kitchen!! I think I'll serve it with some mashed potatoes and like I mentioned the other day I'll probably make some sautéed Brussels Sprouts as well.


This week on the blog

On Monday I talked about our new Halloween Tradition: The Sugar Goblin and y'all it is SOO cute!!

Wednesday I linked up for What's Up Wednesday and shared about all the things we have done in October including some of my favorite outfits.

Speaking of clothes, I have scheduled our family photos (weather permitting) and I need to come up with what to wear.  I shared some of the options I am thinking about on Thursday - what do you think?

♥ Ashley

linking up here

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Family Photos - What to Wear

So I forgot to mention yesterday that we are having photos taken in a couple of weeks.  We haven't had family photo's done since Ellie was 10 weeks old.  Thankfully we get to use the same photographer and I just adore her - we actually met at Summer Camp when we were in Jr. High, so we go way back!

The problem is when it comes to family photos you have to coordinate your outfits and make sure that they are true to your style and will look good in your home. So it can be quite a challenge to figure out what everyone is going to wear.

Green is a common color seen throughout my home...because it's my favorite color (which may or may not have anything to do with my birthday being on St. Patrick's Day).  So of course I gravitated to green in our last family photos (and for Ellie's 1st year of photos...) and I am tempted to do it again....please don't judge me.  

Given that these are going to be Holiday photos I kind of want to go with that theme of sorts.  I already have my outfit picked out and now I just have to figure out what Thomas and Ellie are going to don.  

Here is my first option:

Family Photos

When I think of the holidays (Christmas in particular) I think about plaid.  It is just the quintessential Christmas pattern.  I had to thread green in the whole thing, because it's my favorite.  The good news about this whole thing is we have almost everything already! So that makes this option super easy on the budget.

My outfit sports two items from my latest shipment from Stitch Fix, the Green Dolman Top and the Liverpool Skinny jeans (which just so happen to be on repeat all the time!) then I wanted to pair it with the awesome Blanket Scarf similar I picked up a couple weekends ago and then my faithful boots from good ol' Tar-jay similar!!

Keeping with the plaid theme, I'm thinking Thomas can wear his green shirt similar, jeans and then I haven't decided if he should wear a sweater over the shirt or one of his vests (he wears one almost daily to work).  I think that with the sweater you would only see peeks of the plaid but that might be nice so it's not too overbearing.  He has a cool pair of lace up grey/black shoes that would go nicely but I think I like the look of the brown shoes.  Either way he has everything in his closet already, unless we want to invest in a different plaid shirt.

Even though there are so many cute clothes out there for the little's, Ellie's outfit was probably the most challenging.  I want her to be in something that is similar to what I usually put her in but I also wanted her to look extra cute.  A few weeks ago I bought these pants and I think they are going to be the perfect blend for our pictures. Last year I picked up a faux fur vest for her similar, that I think will add the little bit of whimsy I'm looking for and it will look adorable over the denim dress (that I will have to get if we go with this option).  Then to get the touch of green I desire I can just use a bow that I picked up off of Zulily back in March for St. Patrick's Day. Finally since we will be taking the pictures outside in a park I'm thinking that Ellie should wear boots, similar.

And here is my second option:

Family Photos 2

Focusing on the theme of red.  Red really is the color of the Christmas season (thank you Santa) and why not jump on board with it.  We actually have a surprising amount of this color in our home so I am confident that these photos will look good on the walls as well.  Going this route means that we will all be wearing jeans and I kind of like that.

Same as option 1 because I am 100% smitten with it.

Pants and shoes will remain the same.  The difference will be with getting him a dark red dress shirt to wear under one of his vests.  I can see this look being very smart and totally holiday.

Again this was difficult as I was trying to figure out what items we already have and then it just all came together.  I am in love with this sweater (in the dark grey) and we actually already have it so that is good and paired up with some jeans, similar, we have on hand.  I can pull in the red with some boots, similar, that Nanny picked up while visiting family in Nebraska and then bring in some fun with a "darc" or scarf.  Ellie and I received a matching set from Etsy for Christmas last year and she is just obsessed with them right now, similar here.

Sometimes it's hard to get these outfits to look good together and flow well without being too matchy matchy, you know since we are no longer living in the 90' siblings and I actually have one of those pictures where we are all basically in the same thing...It was cool back then, right?

Are you getting family photos done this year?  What are you wearing?  Which option would you go with?

♥ Ashley

linking up here

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

What's UP Wednesday - October Edition

I'm It's last Wednesday of the month so let's see What's Up!!

What we're eating:

Life has been a little crazy lately and we haven't done too well with making a meal plan for the week.  Sometimes we do it and other times we just kind of play it by ear. Since we haven't been on top of it with our meal planning we pretty much have just been eating what we know, like Cream of Carrot Soup.  Although last night I tried out this recipe and we will be making it again.

What I'm reminiscing about:

Halloween the past two years.  Ellie wore the same costume (a homemade tulle tutu) a little witch.  

I mean seriously how cute is she?
I wanted to switch it up a little this year - by buying her costume but she will be rocking a similar theme this year.

What I'm loving:

I have been doing some online browsing lately and I'm loving all the things that are out right now.  Toddler fashion is a passion of mine - most likely because Ellie is just unbelievably adorable. Check out these tops here, here, and here, then these bottoms here and this dress, and please lets talk about this scarf!

What we've been up to:

Working a whole lot.  I'm working full time this year and even though I get to be with Ellie the whole time, not being at home with her has really let some things slide by the wayside: like laundry, holiday decor, and cleaning up. Our weekends have been incredibly busy and it's hard to just keep up.  But I did finally get my chalkboard done for Halloween (this morning at 6am) and then doing some painting with Ellie. She loves to "painting". 

What I'm dreading:

All the rain that I know is coming this way.  Don't get me wrong I know we need rain and it's so good for our plants and wildlife but all the puddles and just overall wetness that goes along with it gives me some cabin fever...especially since Ellie asks to "Go Park" or "I want go Playground" every. single. day. and I just can't when its all wet out.

What I'm working on:

Cleaning out and organizing our 3rd room for Baby #2.  Let me tell you it is a huge feat.  When we first moved in the room was pretty empty.  Then when I bought new chairs for our living room the huge leather love seat and chair with ottoman moved into here to create a "second sitting room" that lasted about a month until I sold the furniture.  After that I moved in my desk, sewing machine and a huge shelving unit.  Then when we were having parties or guests over and we needed to clean up the rest of our house we just threw all the crap into the spare room.  Years of doing this has created a mess that just gives me the biggest sense of overwhelming anxiety that I just can't.  A couple weekends ago Thomas and I finally began to tackle this room.  It still looks a mess but I feel a huge sense of relief and we have all the crap somewhat organized.  All we have to do is find a place for the boxes and then clean out the closet.... Once that is done we will get to figure out the furniture layout and we will be good to go!!  I think that once we get the crib in there and other furniture the feeling of having a second Babe in our life is going to feel more real!! eek!!

What I'm excited about:

The Holidays!! I can't wait to continue on some of our holiday traditions with Ellie and making lots of wonderful memories.  Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming up and I just cannot wait!!! Bring out the turkeys, trees, and lights!!

What I'm watching/reading:

The Sugar Goblin, y'all this is the cutest book for Halloween and I am just loving the potential for A New Tradition at Halloween time!!! Not much other reading because I love TV so much more!! The Walking Dead is numero uno followed by in no particular order: The Big Bang, Sleepy Hollow, Real Housewives of..., Ladies of London, Once Upon A Time and Disney Movies (we just scored about 12 DVDs off of OfferUp and I can't wait to watch them all with the babe)

What I'm listening to:

Not really anything except for the radio in the car on the way to work. I listen to Movin' 92.5 and I love their Second Date Update and Awkward Tuesday Phone Calls - always good for a laugh of some sort...oh and the Phone Taps are pretty funny but I think they need to do some new ones.

What I'm wearing:

Scarves.  Oh and basically everything from my last Stitch Fix is on repeat - I need my next one to come like yesterday (as long as its as good as the last one)  Leggings have also been a staple in my wardrobe and I am in desperate need of a couple new pairs any suggestions?

What I'm doing this weekend:

Halloween falls on a Saturday this year and that makes me so excited.  What makes me even happier is that we have NO plans for that day except to make corn bread and get ready in our costumes to head over to my In-Laws for a Halloween evening and Trick or Treating for the first time with Ellie!!!

What I'm looking forward to next month:

Thanksgiving and focusing on being Thankful for all the things in my life...we are all truly blessed.  Other things I am looking forward to is some more home improvements! We are finally getting a few things done in our home that have been on my TO DO list since we moved in back in March of 2008...a long time coming but also at the perfect time!  More to come on that later ;)

What else is new:

Oh gosh I can't really think of much new except I've started being a "fashion grammer" on IG  (you should follow along) by sharing what I'm wearing and why I love it so much.  It's such a quick way to share little bits of my life and it's fun too!

Question of the Month:
What is your favorite Thanksgiving Recipe?

Hmmm...well I love some Green Bean Casserole but it has to be made with fresh/frozen green beans not the canned kind. And then growing up my Aunt always made Creamed Brussels Sprouts that were good but I could really only handle eating like two of them...but last week I made some sauteed shaved Brussels Sprouts and OH MY WORD they were delicious - I will be making them on the regular and might bring a small side of them to Thanksgiving this year (and Christmas and Easter and any other gathering or just for a random dinner....)

What have you been up to this month?

♥ Ashley

linking up here

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Monday, October 26, 2015

The Sugar Goblin

Haven't you always wanted to come up with a great and easy way to help your kiddo dump their candy after Halloween?  Well The Sugar Goblin has you covered and it's the cutest little tradition too!

We haven't really been that big on Halloween stuff with Ellie.  I mean we've dressed her up in costumes but just stayed home the past couple of years.  I haven't gone trick or treating yet because really, what are we going to do with all the candy she will collect?  However, I don't want Ellie to miss out on these childhood memories so we are going to go out Trick or Treating this year and I have found the best thing to help all of us mom's out with all the candy - and no it's not Jimmy Fallon's Halloween Prank, although that is pretty funny. I have something even better.  I first learned about it on IG and was instantly hooked and just knew that Ellie and I needed to have it in our lives.  

Y'all I just have to share it with you! And you will thank me later when your kiddos come home from the dentist cavity free ;) Not only that but it's the best new Halloween Tradition out there.

Oh my word this is the cutest thing and perfect for Halloween.  The Sugar Goblin is a story about a sweet little goblin and his village running out of candy because of greedy children and how two kids save his village!! The story is really sweet and Ellie just loves her little "gobbin".

We got our Sugar Goblin book and plush in the mail and Ellie was so excited to open it up.  First up the incredible packaging and box it comes in.

The Tradition:

nce upon a time, the Sugar Goblins came to town every Halloween. The children loved to share their treats knowing that they were helping the Sugar Goblins. But as time passed, the children began to keep the candy and the goblins eventually stopped coming. Now the goblins’ candy pantry is empty. It’s time to bring back the tradition. Help the goblins, share your trick or treats, and invite a new friend to your home this, and every, Halloween.

I mean cute is he and the illustrations are so great in this story as well.  

The story is so cute and it has quickly become one of her favorite books to read.  Ellie has been asking "where my gobbin go?" when she wakes up and I think she is really going to enjoy this new tradition.

I love reading with my girl and this book keeps her attention the whole time.  She loves to look at the pictures and really enjoys getting to have the cute matching toy.

   The Sugar Goblin is the greatest way to help you limit the Halloween treats your littles collect on Halloween Night and a fun new tradition too!

♥ Ashley

linking up here

*I received The Sugar Goblin book and plush toy for review but all opinions are my own*

Friday, October 23, 2015

Friday Five

Friday already? Gosh this week went by so fast!

I have a confession to make.....I still have yet to get any of my Fall/Halloween decor out, except for the pumpkins we grew and picked up at the patch on our stoop.  I'm actually really bummed about it because Ellie is twelve kinds of obsessed with pumpkins (and candy corn).  Hopefully I can get my act together and get some things up...I am probably going to skip most of my Halloween decor because it's taken me this long to get anything out that I don't even want to think about how long its going to take me to put it all away....please don't judge me (or if you do send me some candy corn!)

Anywhoo....let's get onto this weeks five!


Starting with a Miley Cyrus reference....

She came in like a wrecking ball (and knowing Ellie her tongue is probably hanging out... ;) )

We met up with my girlfriend from college at our local Wiggle Works and our babes had a total blast.  Ellie loved the "wrecking ball" and kept going over to it.  Another favorite were the balloons, they had a bunch of them in a netted off area and fans blowing from all four corners so the balloons would continue to move and float around.  Once our girls got over the wind factor we couldn't get them out! haha

This may not be the best picture of my girl (sorry babe) but they had this hamster wheel that girlfriend was just flat our dangerous on.  It's mechanical so it was spinning around on it's own, she got stuck on a crossbar and couldn't figure out how to get off - had I not come to her rescue she might have gone upside down! Lucky for her I'm a helicopter parent and will barely let her 2 feet away from myself so there really is no worry about any of that...


The babe had her Monthday this week and I can't believe how close we are to being 2.5, just one more month to go.  I know lots of mom's get all emotional about these milestones and their babe's growing and getting older but I just love how she is growing and maturing and learning new things all the time.  I love how she is gaining independence and tries to do things "all by myself"! Though I'm not gonna lie - sometimes it drives me nuts!!

Girlfriend is just the sweetest little girl.  She is talking non-stop most of it I can make out but there are still some things that I just have NO IDEA what she is saying (or meaning) like "Bye Boop" absolutely no clue.  She has started to say "yes" instead of "ness" and I kind of love it.  She insists on saying night night to Pal at least 4 times every night (that is in addition to the one that I prompt her with). Currently Ellie loves to eat pancakes, but they are just the frozen mini ones...she won't touch my homemade ones and I think I might cry! She also loves top ramen noodles and still is a fan of broccoli, additionally she has gotten herself on an apple kick again and found a love for candy corn and will seriously wail if I say no! She is singing songs and loves to "painting" and has learned how to bite her nails...among other new things.
first major props to Thomas for this top notch photo!

Speaking of learning new things...holding a pencil the "right way".  One of the kids I nanny is a few months younger than Ellie and already has mastered the right finger grip on her crayons...which then made me slightly embarrassed because as a former teacher (granted it was PE) I should be focusing on this type of stuff a little we worked on it yesterday...she still prefers the fist grip but I'm sure with lots of coaching, reminding and manually repositioning she'll come around.


Also worth noting is this completely adorable get up that Ellie got from Nanny, who got it from Zulily and I love it so much.  Which is actually kind of funny because I really do not gravitate to this clothing style at all but the babes is rocking it so hard today that I might be converting.  I tend to be a jeans and top kind of gal and so that is how I dress Ellie.  She has a few skirts and dresses but I don't usually put her in them.  Seeing her play around in this top with cute flowing waist (almost skirt like) and the super fun detail on the pants is making me think she needs more of this in her life!!  Not to mention she is loving the fun aspect of this outfit and I have a soft spot for any and all animal print...Have you ever shopped Zulily?  I think I might start getting a few more things there (I have gotten lots of moccs from there because they're like $14.99)


On the blog this week I shared about our crazy busy weekend and how it was the first one in about a month where we actually were home (kind of).  And I also shared about our super long first day in Disneyland (about 21 hours long).  Be on the lookout for Days 2, 3, and 4 coming up in the next couple of weeks!


I drive around 5 kiddos twice a week and am in major need of a new car since we are in the Waiting Pool for adding to our family and will need a car that seats at least 7.  I had the opportunity to drive a minivan around a few weeks ago (it was a loaner car since my 6 seater was in the shop) and it's safe to say that that particular minivan is officially OUT of the running.  The problem with it was that the back seat was so small that I could only fit two car seats in it, then the middle row was for two car seats.  I'm planning on doing a review on it, but am in search of something that will fit my lifestyle a little better.  I know I probably sound like a broken record but if I could get something that isn't a minivan that would be preferred.  Here are a few options that I'm considering this, this and this.  But I would love to know what y'all have and love and why.  I am mostly going to be driving around 3 to 4 kids and the other two I have are in boosters and able to maneuver and buckle themselves up.

♥ Ashley

linking up here