Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Our Weekend - the last one of February

Seriously how is tomorrow already March? I can't believe how quickly this year is flying by.  We have been living life to the fullest here lately and I have been so busy living life that I have not done the greatest job at documenting...such is a life worth living.

On Friday, I grabbed one of Ellie's hair bows and clipped it into Finnley's hair...her first ponytail ;) not quite but I am totally smitten.  She was pretty excited too.

Then the girls started playing around and they did it wrong...why does my almost 4 year old like the exersaucer more than my 10 month old???? haha they enjoyed themselves nonetheless.  But they were playing together, having fun and no one was crying or fighting so lets just call that a win!

Saturday morning Thomas was in Ellie's room playing with the girls.  He came out and told me to go take a peek at Finnley...how cute!  She crawled around with that green monkey on her back for over an hour.  I think we can call them best buddies.

I purchased a rug a few weeks ago, it's currently on sale and I purchased through Ebates) and when I brought it home it had a giant stain on it (must have been the reason it was returned) so I had to return it and order a new one.  It finally arrived so we made plans to go pick it up.  I spent the morning deep cleaning the living room and moving all of the furniture out so we could be ready to go when we got home to set out the rug. We stopped at The Spaghetti Factory for lunch and we all had a great time.  Our server was spectacular and we got to sit in the Trolley which made Ellie's day.  The girls got complimentary applesauce and ice cream so all our tummy's were happy.

please notice Finnley just chewing on the trolley (insert eye roll emoji)

When we got home we were able to get the girls down for their naps (#praisehands) and I had to do a final mopping before we could bring the rug in and it seemed like it took forever for the floors to dry...so I grabbed a towel and dried the floors myself!  Since all of our furniture was moved we decided to do a bit of rearranging and I am loving this new layout!

Shortly after we got it all set up the girls woke up and we got ready for Nanny and cousin to come over.  We had a delicious dinner of Pork Loin (which was surprisingly good since I am a self professed non Pork eater) potatoes, kale, and artisan bread.  Plus I made these for dessert and oh my word I can never get enough of them! We were so busy visiting, cooking and playing that we didn't get any pictures.

Sunday morning the girls were up bright and early (despite their late night) and can we all just take in this cuteness?!! I love my family so very much.

Our plans for the day were to head out to Dim Sum and check out the Museum of Flight.  We got ready and someone was really into taking the selfies!

My girls are picky eaters but I guess they are adventurous too.  While Ellie may not like chocolate, cheeseburgers, or mac'n'cheese; she sure does like Indian curry, Thai rice, and chow mein.  Hopefully Finnley will follow suit but she seemed less than impressed with our meal - so she ate goldfish.

You know when Ellie really enjoys something because she eats it with her eyes closed so she can fully focus on all the flavor...I don't know where she gets it from!!

We then made it to the Museum of Flight and girlfriend insisted on pushing her sis around in the stroller - which lasted about 3 minutes!!  We saw so many cool airplanes, I met a nice gentleman who worked there and we had a lovely conversation, and Ellie got tired of walking so she joined her sister on the stroller...

We then made our way over to the Space area and we couldn't pass up the photo op with the space man...one girl was more cooperative than the other.  *Actually Finnley was pretty much done by this point and Thomas had taken Ellie to one of the exhibits so I tried to get Finnley's picture, she was crying and just not happy.  Then some guy walked by and told her to smile for mommy and I captured the best photo ever!! Thanks stranger!!*

The girls fell asleep on the way home and then promptly woke up when we pulled into the drive way.  They had lunch, Ellie asked for her nap, and we tried to put Finnley down again.  Ellie's nap was a wash but Finnley slept for a couple of hours...we actually had to wake her up!!  But while they were sleeping I made this dessert and wanted to redeem myself for the Beef Wellington I made for Christmas Eve.  This time I used individual fillet's and omitted the mushroom portion.  Y'all this was so freaking good, I want it once a month for sure!! All it is: Puff Pastry, Prosciutto, Beef Tenderloin.  Wrap the beef with the prosciutto and then wrap with the puff pastry.  Brush with an egg wash and put in a 400ยบ oven for about 20 min.

The perfect end to February!!

♥ Ashley

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Wednesday Weekly - Week 45

Ok these weeks are going by so fast!! How are we at 45 weeks already?!! It's bittersweet because we are coming to a close on sweet Finnley's first year but some of the more challenging times are behind us.  She is growing and changing every day and her personality and goofy faces are my favorites.

Week 45

Eats: not much new here but she is definitely not a vegetable girl, she will take all the fruits though.  Oh and unlike her sister she likes chocolate...so there are brownies, fudge and hot chocolates in our future!!! Girlfriend gets super excited when she sees her bottles and I am pretty sure she is signing "milk" now, we are still working on "more" but I'll take what I can get ;)  I finally got the babe a sippy cup, these are the same ones we used with Ellie and had success with them so I figured we use them again.  I haven't been too intentional with getting her to use them this week so hopefully I will get better this week.

Sleeps: well, we had quite the adventure this week with Finnley and her sleeping.  She somehow managed to get out of her crib at naptime...we had to retire her sleep sacks because she is too long for them, she is wanting to pull up on all the things, and I think both of those contributed to her escape.  So we had to lower her mattress and I am on the lookout for a new sleep sack for her that will fit her long body.  I have one of these that is super thin but does the trick for now.

Goes: we had quite the week this week since Thomas was on mid-winter break from school.  We went to Ellie's ballet, Ellie's swimming, and to Ellie's school for a play day...Finnley had so much fun watching all the kids and playing with the toys, I loved her being a "big girl" and sitting on the step outside.  We went over the mountains to Thomas' parents new house and the girls had a great time exploring and playing with all the toys that have been in storage. We headed down to Olympia to check out the Hands On Childrens Museum and Ellie had a total blast...there were a few things for Finnley to do as well and I can't wait to go back.

Does: she is pulling up on all the things, getting into the pantry, dumping out all the crayons and cruising on the furniture.  She is also walking with her walker and I think she might be starting to wave!!  We had some great weather this last week so I was able to go out and get some farm chores done during naps and when Thomas got home I drove to get hay.  When I got back the girls were awake and they helped us unload the hay and park the truck! 

Mama: I have had a couple of headaches but overall am feeling really good.  I know I have some planning and work to do for both of my girls birthdays and am hoping I can make this one special for Finnley.  I am wanting to go with an Alice in Wonderland theme and have all sorts of ideas...I just need to put them into action - or I might be late!! haha  Finnley is making some great strides to becoming a toddler and I know that I am supposed to enjoy them while they're little but I seriously cannot wait for Finnley to start walking on her own!! I am hoping and praying it happens here pretty soon because I can't handle the crawling, as much as I love it it's just not that sanitary!!

Sister: these two love each other something fierce.  I love the sister baths and all the hugs they give each other.  Ellie is constantly wanting to squeeze her sister's head, give her all the kisses, while also wanting to knock her over and not share the toys...it's a balance I tell ya!  They are both total stinkers and my most favorites ever!!!

♥ Ashley

previous weeks

Ellie at 45 weeks

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Valentine's Decor 2017

I know we are a week past Valentine's Day already but I just wanted to share the little touches I decorated our house with this year.  I love going all out for Christmas and then that decor bug hits me for the other holiday's as well.  Of course it is much more toned down and as the years go on my decor style has changed.  I actually only put up about half of my Valentine's Decor this year because I don't love all of it.

Chalkboards are one of my favorite ways to decorate.  They're so easy and you can switch them up on the daily (if you have the time...which I don't). A few years ago I turned our pantry doors into a chalkboard.  I love how it turned out and it has gotten so much more use than I even imagined it would.  Ellie loves drawing on it too!

I went super simple this year and I couldn't love it more.

I have another chalkboard near Finnley's room that I scored for like $10 at a junk show.  I love the frame on it and this one is so easy to switch up!

Last year I went over to my best friends house and we made Valentine's wreaths out of hangers and a bunch of scrap ribbon.  I love how this one turned out and it's a great festive touch to the girls bathroom (newly painted).

Then a couple of years ago I got the idea to have Ellie paint on a canvas and I painted a Holiday theme over it.  The one with the hearts was our very first one and I am loving adding to the collection each year (this year is extra special because we got to add TWO!!! love you Finnley)

Some simple decor on the mantle.  I made the L O V E blocks many years ago and I just couldn't pass up the adorable garland this year from Target!!

Valentine flowers from my Valentine must be included in our Valentines Day decor round up!!

Finally decorating my "every season" tree in the entryway with all the pinks and reds!!  I love the jingle bell heart above, it was my mom's and I hold just about everything that was her's near and dear to my heart.

Our last little bit of decor that can be found in the kitchen are these sweet Valentine's magnets we picked up at the Dollar Tree last year.  They have been a total hit with both girls and have come in handy since someone has some serious separation anxiety while I'm cooking in the kitchen ;)

Do you like to decorate for the Holidays?  Which is your favorite?

♥ Ashley

Thursday, February 16, 2017

[Travel Diaries] Disneyland Winter 2016 - Day 4

I know I said this for the other 3 days but I take a look back at the pictures for the day and I can't believe all that we got to experience each day!! I can't believe that I am here recapping day 4 already?!!  This trip seriously was our best one to date and I am having some serious Disney withdrawals looking back at these pictures...take me back!!! See Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3

The morning started out chilly as we made our way to Fantasyland.  We ran into Peter Pan, while he is usually one of my favorite characters to meet with this particular Peter left things a little flat.  He was super old in his little getup so I can't quite blame him...but he wasn't super engaging either.  Thankfully Ellie and Finnley didn't even notice and they thoroughly enjoyed seeing the guy in green! And once again I surprised myself with just plopping Finnley on the ground for the photo op...

Thomas took Ellie on a couple rides while I took Finnley on Snow White's Scary Adventures (since it kept breaking down when we got in line the previous days) and we actually got to ride this time.  When we got out of the ride Thomas and Ellie were next in line for Casey Jr. Circus Train so Finnley and I jumped the line to ride with them...Ellie wanted to ride in the caboose facing backwards and a group had already taken the seats in the front of the caboose so Finnley and I joined another family in a caged car.  They were kind to take my picture so I took a few for them as well.

Then onto the carousel because we like to go on rides with short lines.  And Finnley got to ride on Jingles the "lead" horse of the group.

Then it was off to Toontown to meet up with Mickey and Minnie in their respective houses (and another ride or two on the roller coaster ;) )

We checked our app and it looked like the line to meet Santa was fairly short so we made our way to Critter Country and hopped in line.  Turns out the line was much longer of a wait than indicated so I took advantage of the wait and went on Splash Mountain since it was practically a walk on.  When I came back to the Santa line Thomas and the girls had moved maybe five people so Thomas took a ride on Splash Mountain as well.  I was getting a bit nervous because the Santa line started moving...but then Santa went on a break.  By the time he came back, Thomas was almost done with the ride and he got back in line with one group in front of us!  I knew that Ellie would be just fine with the Man in Red because they are old besties but wasn't sure how Finnley would do since she is a bit hesitant of newcomers.  I was pleasantly surprised with her acceptance of the whole thing and think we got some decent pictures out of the experience...what is it about Disneyland that makes children forget their fears???

And seeing how we were in Critter Country and right next to The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh we took a ride.

Off to Tomorrowland to meet Darth Vader and I spotted some stormtroopers.  I jumped next to one and took a selfie...it wasn't until I walked away that I realized that there was a line of people waiting to meet them and I was a total jerk and cut in front of all of them...oops!!

learning to use the dark side of the force

and Finnley missed out because she was sleeping in the stroller. Once Finnley woke up we took the Monorail to Downtown Disney and had lunch at our favorite spot: Naples.  They have balloon guys/girls there and Ellie loves getting a balloon. This time she got "2" of them because we got one for Finnley.  Ellie chose Anna and Elsa, they were adorable and lasted about 5 minutes before the girls got a bit too wild and they started popping...

After lunch we made our way to DCA to do some more character meet and greets.  We really wanted to focus on that this trip and it totally delivered.  We got to see Princess Sophia who was so cute and sweet and was very polite when Ellie tried to steal her amulet!!

We were walking around and I spotted Olaf so we got in line for him.  This was a fantastic meeting and he was so funny!!

Thomas read that we could meet Nick and Judy Hops so we got in line where we thought they were supposed to be and waited quite a while before they showed up.  It was so precious and I love it when they have multiple characters together.  Ellie couldn't get enough hugs from Judy!!

After leaving the Zootopia crew we spotted Doc McStuffins so we hopped in her line as well.  Once again she was so kind as Ellie tried to snatch her stethoscope...

We made our way over to "a bugs land" and Ellie and I got in line for "Tuck and Roll's Drive 'Em Buggies" because Ellie was finally tall enough for this ride as well...except that even though she is just shy of 37" she didn't meet the 36" height requirement...I argued with the cast member for a little bit and they let me through...I mean how ridiculous.   The wait was much longer than I anticipated and the ride itself wasn't worth all the "hype" we've given it, however Ellie loved it and that is all that matters.

We went over to Cars Land to take advantage of the shorter single rider line for Radiator Springs Racers. I went first and Thomas took the girls for Ice Cream at the Cozy Cone and watched DJ's Dance 'n Drive.  Ellie watched and danced while hanging off some tires at Luigi's.  When I was done with the Racer's it was Thomas turn, as we were walking out of Cars Land I spotted Red the Firetruck so we hopped in line and Ellie loved how he was honking his horn to the tune of Jingle Bells...but then when it was our turn for the photo she got all nervous that he was going to make his siren go off.  Silly Girl!

We then made our way over to the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail to hopefully get in line to meet Santa (because why not) and they had just closed the line off just mere minutes before we arrived...cue the tears (from both me and Ellie).  The cast member tried to make up for our disappointment by giving Ellie a single sticker.  We walked around the trail for a little bit and Ellie wanted to try the ropes course...which let me tell you is a bit challenging to video/photograph, assist as feet get stuck, and holding an infant, all while walking the course yourself and trying not to fall!!  It was during this experience that Ellie had her one and only accident of the entire trip...so we had to beeline it for a bathroom and get her changed into some clean clothes.  While it wasn't her fault (I should have stopped at the bathroom even though she told me adamantly that she didn't have to go) I was upset that the accident happened.  We made our way to the bathrooms by Ariel's Undersea Adventure and were able to get a shopping bag for her soiled clothes.

We went on a few rides on the Pier then decided to ride on Mickey's Fun Wheel...we grabbed both of the Ergo's because we had to wait in line for a bit and it was so fun having both our girls in an Ergo!! haha.  Finnley fell asleep while we were waiting in line and missed the whole ride, which was freezing and extremely windy but fun nonetheless.

Finnley was still sleeping after the Fun Wheel but we wanted to ride on King Triton's Carousel so Thomas and Ellie got on some sea creatures while I kept Finnley in the ergo and sat on the bench.

Our evening and visit to Disneyland ended there and we walked out of the park...but first Ellie was insistent that I get a picture of the snowman car! lol

The girls woke up and were all smiles in the morning and we had a leisurely morning getting everything packed up and ready to go before our shuttle came to pick us up.  Ellie was a great help bringing her suitcase to the lobby.

Then once we made our way to the airport she found out the best form of transportation with her suitcase...good thing she's so tiny.

Starbucks is always a must when traveling and this girl was serious about her doughnut.

Then the girls did what they do best (and my favorite thing) while flying and napped!!

We had such a fun time on this trip to Disneyland and I am so sad that it's over...I want to go back NOW!!!!

♥ Ashley

previous visits:

February 2015 days 1/2 day 3 day 4
September 2015 day 1 day 2 day 3 day 4
February 2016 day 1 day 2 day 3 day 4
 Winter 2016 day 1  day 2 day 3