Friday, February 5, 2016

Five on Friday: PANTHERS

Never before in my life have I been this excited for Super Bowl weekend! The Queen City has had an electric feeling all season due to our Panthers, but these last few weeks, it has just been over the top exciting! Last Friday, we went to a pep rally hosted uptown to send the team off to CA. It was total chaos and crazy, but so fun getting to celebrate this awesome team with the rest of the fans. When we moved here in 2011, I didn't anticipate becoming a Panthers fan. I grew up around a lot of Washington fans, but I was never a fan myself. But in the course of four years, as we've grown to call Charlotte home, it has been hard to not care about this team and the amazing group of players they have!




So for this week's Five on Friday, it's all about the Panthers. If you're undecided who to cheer for on Sunday, maybe this will help sway your decision! (Although, I won't lie...I do love those Peyton Manning Nationwide ads...but that doesn't mean I'm cheering for him!)



1. How cute are these little fans from a local elementary school here? The teacher in me loves how creative this school got to put this together!


2. When I moved here four and half years ago, I had no idea what #keeppounding meant....if you're wondering the same, read up here.

3. Have you watched the Panthers play on Sunday and seen how they give a ball to a child in the end zone after they get a touchdown? This little video about the "Sunday Giveaway" is a great follow up with some of those lucky recipients



4. There's a daily newsletter here in Charlotte that I subscribe to called the Charlotte Agenda, and they wrote this piece back in October on Cam Newton and what makes him Cam. It's great and does a good job talking about who he is and what he's done for this city! Also...love #7. His style might be what I love most about him!


5. Braylon Beam. This little boy is battling cancer and is a big Panthers fan. Ellen arranged for him to meet the team at the beginning of the season, and I think he must be their lucky charm. 


Happy Super Bowl weekend! 
Go Panthers! Dab on Em! And Keep Pounding!


Oh, and LUUUUUUUKE!



Friday, January 29, 2016

Five Favorites for 5 on Friday


Happy Friday! I have a random list of "favorites" I've been wanting to share, so thought I'd save them for a Friday and link up with April!

1. Saranac S'more Porter. Because what is better than a dark beer that tastes a tad like chocolate, graham crackers, and marshmallows? I realize this beer has potential to be terrible and the flavors could be just way too much, but I really loved it!


2. Moms of babies...if you don't have these, GET THEM. When M was little I was constantly losing socks because she'd kick them off while we'd be out, and I'd get into the grocery store and she'd have one (or no) socks on. It would make me crazy and I felt like her feet were always cold. Not this time! I found these Zutano booties thanks to a friend, and they really don't come off when baby kicks his feet. I love them!! Santa actually brought these to T, because what else was Santa going to bring a two month old? They were worth every bit of the $20 Santa spent on them!


 3. Let's talk boots. After I had M, I got a nice pair of Frye boots that I wear the crap out of all fall and winter. They're great boots that I hope to last me a long time, but I noticed this fall that the leather was looking a little rough. I found this Frye Waterproof Dressing on Amazon, and for $9 I felt like it got me a new pair of boots (except this time I didn't have to break them in!). It was so easy to apply. I wish I had taken a before and after because it really did make a big difference!


4. All fall I have sort of been on the hunt for an olive colored utility jacket that wouldn't break the bank. Every place I found online that had them was either a) crazy expensive or b) out of stock. I randomly decided to search for one on Amazon and found this one for $32 (I think the price is $35 now?), and thought I'd give it a try. I ordered up after reading the reviews (I got a large), and it is one of my new favorite things in my wardrobe. It's perfect for cold days, but not freezing days, which is what I feel like most of winter in Charlotte is like. Two thumbs up for this jacket!

 5. And finally, let's talk about my new favorite app. A Color Story is a new photo editing app from Emma and Elsie at A Beautiful Mess. Up until now, I edited most of my iphone pictures in Pic Tap Go, but decided to give this a try, and it's quickly becoming my new go to! It's a free app, but you pay for extra filters and editing tools. I went ahead and paid the $7.99 for the whole bundle and it was well worth it. Definitely would recommend this if you're looking to spice up your iphone pictures!



Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Hoopla*Baby

The spring after M was born, I posted a picture on instagram of a bunch of pretty summer dresses for her that I had bought on clearance for her the summer before when I was pregnant. Someone left a comment along the lines of, "Good luck getting any use out of those, dresses and crawlers are a bad combo!" At the time I was annoyed that someone would suggest that all those cute dresses would only get in the way of my active girl, but by about June or July when she was 9 months old, I totally understood what they meant. Baby girls in sweet dresses are sure cute, but they really are a bad combo until she can learn to walk. And even once she is walking, if it was a long dress, she'd get tangled up in it when standing up.

Fast forward a year later, and my sweet neighbor and friend was pregnant with her second, but her first daughter. She was asking me about "girl" advice and the topic of dresses vs crawling came up. Her little girl was born in September of 2014, and as she approached last summer and spring with a crawler, she totally understood what we had talked about months before, and an idea was born! 

 

"Hoopla*Baby is the first ever dress clip and teether. 
Hold up babies dress or skirt so she can crawl or let her chew and soothe those aching gums."

Is this brilliant or what? I would have loved to have had this with M when she was a baby! Not only does it help keep your baby girl active in her dresses, but it also can be used as a teether when baby is ready to chomp away to soothe her gums since it's made from silicone, the same material as bottle nipples. It's big enough that it won't get lost down in a diaper bag, but also small enough to easily toss in your bag on the go! Also, it's only $14.95. A small price for a great product!

 I am so proud of my friend for starting this business and bringing this great tool to life for moms everywhere.


Even if you're not a mom to a baby girl, Hoopla*Baby would be a wonderful addition to a baby shower gift for a mom to be! Be on the look out on my instagram for a giveaway sometime next week! 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

2015 Reads

As promised, here are my 2015 reads with a little blurb about each one. I am posting them in the order I read them...
Let's begin...


1. The Secret Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, 3/5 Goodreads stars. This book came highly recommended to me by a few people and I just didn't like it. It had a few redeeming story lines, but overall, the plot and characters were just meh to me. 

2. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, 4/5 Goodreads stars. Loved it. It was a fun, quick read but it wasn't just fluff. It was suspenseful, and the teacher in me loved reading about the over the top parents at an elementary school, as I have definitely seen that in real life. 

3. Whistling Past The Graveyard by Susan Crandall, 2/5 Goodreads stars. I struggled with this book BIG time. It took me a long time to finish because I just never got into it. I kept thinking that moment where you get hooked was going to happen and it just never did. Some parts just dragged and dragged, and to get to the good stuff, you have to read through a lot of boring chapters (at least that's how I felt...).


4. Yes Please by Amy Poehler, 4/5 Goodreads stars. After book #3, this was a great choice. It was written in small little essays, which made it easy to read little pieces at a time, and it also helps that I love Amy. I loved her chapter on Parks and Rec, and I love the part written by Seth Myers. Only regret would be not listening to this book so I could have heard it in her voice.

5. Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, 5/5 Goodreads stars. Like everyone else, I devoured this book last spring. It was entertaining and suspenseful, and I truly didn't see the ending coming until the last minute. Loved it.

6. One Plus One by JoJo Moyes, 4/5 Goodreads stars. Moyes' book Me Before You was my favorite read of 2014, so I was excited to read another piece by her. One Plus One was not as good as MBY, but I still really enjoyed it. I think she's a great writer, and although the story wasn't that exciting, I loved the characters and was a little sad to put it down when it was over.


7. All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner, 3/5 Goodreads stars. Here's my annual Jennifer Weiner book. Whenever I find that I have nothing new to read, I can always count on the library having a Jennifer Weiner book that I haven't read. I always like her books. Never love, but always like, so they seem to be a good filler when I don't have anything else to read. This wasn't one of my favorites by her, mostly because of the way it ended, but I did enjoy it. The subject matter is about a suburban mom and prescription drug addiction, and I found it rather terrifying. After T was born and I was on some crazy pain meds due to my surgery, I kept thinking back to this book.

8. The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty, 4/5 Goodreads stars. Moriarty just writes good stories. This was the third book I have read by her, and once again, I really liked it. I think if I had not just read Big Little Lies a few months before this, I probably would have given it 5/5 stars.

9. From Scratch by Rachel Goodman, 4/5 Goodreads stars. Rachel is a "blog" friend of mine from back in the day when everyone blogged regularly, and I was so excited to read her debut novel. This was a fun, light read. I read it while we were at the lake and thought it was the perfect vacation read. If you like Emily Giffin's books, you would enjoy this!


10. The Well-Behaved Child; Discipline That Really Works by John Rosemond, 3/5 Goodreads stars. I sort of took a big break from reading from August - December. Once M hit 3, it's like a switch flipped and suddenly her behavior shifted drastically into the "threenager" territory that everyone warned me of. A friend suggested this book and lent me her copy. When I first began the book, I hated it. I thought Rosemond was kind of a judgemental jerk, and I wanted nothing to do with his ideas. But I stuck with it and by the end I actually pulled out some really helpful pieces of advice. I plan to implement some of his ideas into our home, while other ideas of his I'll never use. If you have a young kid and you're looking for some help with discipline, I think it's worth a read if you go into it with the mindset that not everything will be for you and how you parent.

So there you have it! My goal for 2016 is 12 books; one book per month. I'm hopeful that I can keep up! Any must reads for this year? Leave a comment and let me know!

Add me on Goodreads here!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Hello there, 2016

Happy new year! I didn't really intend to go a month (and then some) without blogging, but between all of the holiday festivities, a needy baby who doesn't like napping anywhere but on me, and a "challenging" three year old, well...blogging just has been on the back burner. I can manage instagram and snapchat (I still can't believe I'm enjoying Snapchat as much as I am...I feel like I'm 13...also, let's be friends, I'm erchla on there!), but sitting down at my laptop and putting together a post, there just don't seem to be enough hours in the day.

So...in an effort to play catch up, I'm going to try to do a few recap posts over the next few weeks about our holiday and some other fun stuff we've had going on. Keyword being try.

Let's start today with a very basic recap posts from the last month. Here's ten pictures from ten (random) fun things we've been doing since I last checked in...

1. The weekend before Christmas we traveled to VA and celebrated my Nana's 80th birthday with family. I'm so glad we were able to be there for her big day, and that my grandparents were able to meet T!

2. This is kind of a big one...my little sister got engaged to her long time boyfriend on Christmas Eve! We are so happy for them and to be gaining a brother in law!


3. We met Santa. and got one really cute picture. M was PUMPED to meet the big guy in red, and T was just, "whatever guys..."


4. In early December, J went to NYC for work for 3 nights, and it really put my sanity to the test parenting two on my own, but we all survived. I don't know how my friends with husbands who travel regularly do it. The whole day was tough, but bedtime about did me in each night doing it all alone. One night two good friends of mine came and got M for a dinner date at Chick-Fil-A and then took her to look at Christmas lights. I'm so thankful for people who love my kids like this!


5. We started using our cloth diapers!! I gave myself some time to adjust to our new life, but somewhere around 8-9 weeks, I felt ready to add in the cloth diapers to the mix and so far so good! Here's my post from 2013 about cloth diapering if anyone is interested.


6. When we were in Virginia the week before Christmas, I got to meet my best friend's new baby girl! It was so special getting to meet her and see them!


7. T moved from his bassinet to his crib at night! He's swaddled in this picture, but I also moved him to his sleepsack too and he's doing great! Well...great at night! Doing about 11-12 hours each night, but still only wants to catnap for 20-30 minutes during the day. Either way, hooray for sleeping in his own bed!


8. We had our first Bunco of 2016 at my friend beth's house last week! I love these girls and the fun we have each month! It was also my first night out alone since T was born. It felt great having a night off!


10. And last, but not least....games! M got a few new games for Christmas and she's SUPER into playing a game most nights after dinner. It's sort of fun being able to play a game together, even though following rules can be a challenge sometimes if things aren't going her way. Here she is playing Candy Land. Her other new favorite is Avalanche Fruit Stand.



And that's a wrap for now! 
Hoping to do a 2015 Books post this week; don't get too excited though. It was a slow year of reading for me.