Friday, February 28, 2014

Five on Friday

Linking up with April and friends for Five on Friday!

1. I ran into Wal-Mart with M last week to pick up a few things and I fell in love with these cute dresses in the little girl's section. And they were only $4.97 each! Precious for summertime playing!

2. My sweet friend Nina is an amazing cook and has a blog full of great recipes (Peace, Love, and Good Food). Last week I got to try her Roasted Beet Hummus and oh my word, it was delicious! I don't even like beets, but I could have eaten the whole bowl. Visit her blog for the recipe!

3. If you're a french onion soup fan, run, don't walk, to Trader Joe's and get this! They're frozen cups of soup and they are GOOD! Almost as good as Panera! And they have croutons and cheese in them already. Seriously....delicious! And under 300 calories are in a bowl!

4. I couldn't tell you the last time I went to a JC Penny, but we were at a mall last weekend that had one in it, so I ventured in after hearing so many great things about them from a few friends recently and was really amazed at the cute clothes and prices. I am pretty much in love with this flowy tunic top I got in 2 colors. And it was only $19.99!

5. My church (New Charlotte Church) is doing such a great sermon series right now called, City Changers. 

And after just one week, it has had me thinking about my role in my city/neighborhood in a way I never have before. One thing I love about my church is how we partner alongside a Title I school here in Charlotte in a way I've never seen before. The teacher in me loves to see the students and staffs at this school get so much support and help from a group of caring community members, and the Christian in me is inspired and moved by the mentors and volunteers who give so selflessly. This is what Jesus is all about. This video from December does a good job at showing the relationship our church has with the school. 

Happy Weekend Friends!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Only 6 more weeks until...

In 2013, we celebrated five years of marriage and I turned 30. Both are big milestones, and while we celebrated small at home, we're now gearing up to celebrate a little bit more with a trip to NAPA! 

I just wasn't ready to leave M last year (plus she was still nursing multiple times a day then), but I think it's safe to say that we (J, M, and myself!) are all ready for this. Plus she'll be in great hands with grandparents while we're away and will probably never think twice about the fact that we'll be away for five and half days.

We have our plane tickets booked and a place to stay, and I've done a little bit of research on wineries and restaurants in the area, but I'd love to hear any suggestions you may if you've been to Napa! If you've written a blog post on Napa, please share the link! 

We're also going to spend about two days in San Francisco. Any great recommendations for good eats there? Breweries? Other must sees?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Valentine's Weekend

We had a very low key and mellow Valentine's weekend, and that was fine by me! When I was teaching I used to love Valentine's Day because really, there's nothing better than exchanging Valentine's with 25 little people. Nowadays, we don't do much to celebrate. I just want some chocolate (because is there ever a bad excuse for chocolate?) and we usually make a nice meal at home.

This year, J made us pancakes on Valentine's morning. I requested heart shaped...but that didn't quite work out! BUT, a certain someone had her first encounter with maple syrup on Friday, and I'm pretty sure she'll never eat plain pancakes ever again. She was a fan (and only got a little messy!).

For Valentine's Dinner I made us Short Rib Cobbler (recipe from Taste of Home) and oh my word, friends. Save yourself this recipe and go make it for someone you love (or just for yourself and don't share any!). It was a bit of work to assemble it all, but nothing hard. And it was SO good. Like a super tasty pot roast (but way better, I don't really like pot roast all that much) with a crusty biscuit top!

On Friday night we enjoyed some House of Cards on Netflix, like many other American couples, and a little bit of the Olympics. We're only on episode five of HoC now. I want to pace ourselves so it's not all over in a matter of days!

On Saturday morning, my alumni association here in Charlotte had arranged for a family day at the Charlotte Nature Museum. We had been wanting to visit here after hearing good things about it from other toddler moms, and I'm glad this gave us the kick to go, because we had a blast! It's a small little museum, but a great way to spend the morning with a little one.

I won't lie, we were a teensy bit afraid before we got there that M would be terrified of the museum after a not so great trip to Petsmart a few weeks ago (think, absolutely terrified toddler around guinea pigs and parakeets), but she loved all the animals they had at the museum. This made us happy because we've been talking about a zoo trip when the weather warms up, and I think she'll love it! 

After we left the museum we had to run by Target, and M was trying SO hard to fall asleep on us in the car. It was almost comical the songs we were singing and animal noises we were making to keep her up to avoid a car nap! Guess the museum trip wore her out.

Hope you and your loved ones had a great weekend celebrating Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Snow Week

I know, I know. It's Valentine's Day and you're probably tired of seeing and hearing about all the snow here in the south. And if you already follow me on instagram, You've already seen a bunch of our snow pics! But for posterity's take, here's our snow week (7.6 inches of snow and .18 inches of ice according to our local weatherman was the final count after 3 days of snow!).



Our "creative"sled

He later got a carrot nose and some bottle top buttons and eyes!

In addition to the actual snow, our snow week has also included: Lots of Netflix and Olympics, a spaghetti night, our camping tent in our living room, brownies, lots of book reading, and we've brushed our teeth a lot (a new favorite activity of a certain toddler).

Hope you stayed warm and had fun if the snow came your way this week!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Toddler Fun

This has been one cold winter here in the Carolinas! And if it's not freezing out, it seems like it's raining (or snowing, like today and yesterday) and we still can't go out to play. My child has a million and one toys, but after a few days inside, she's bored with them all and the whining (ooooooh the whining) begins. This is when I become thankful for Pinterest and all the wonderful ideas to keep young toddlers busy at home!


She kept saying "HOT!" since I think she thinks that means any sort of extreme temperature. This kept her busy for a long time. My kitchen floor was pretty wet when she was done, but still easy clean up!

Pom Poms!

In addition to putting them in the tube, we also have sorted them into different bowls and muffin tins. These are fun, but only for a day at a time. I have to put them away and bring them out again after a few days for them to become exciting again.

Pipe Cleaners and Strainer!

This one frustrated her at first, but once she got the hang of pulling them out, she had a grand ol' time!

Wine Corks! 

This one may not be entirely toddler appropriate, but she loves our collection of wine corks. She likes sorting them and carrying them from one container to another. I set up two tubs on different sides of the room and she'll transfer them back and forth. Also...they're a great deal of fun when you hide with them under the exersaucer! 

So...tell me, what do you do at home to keep your toddler busy?

Thursday, February 6, 2014


I have so many photos from the past few weeks. 
Here's a quick post sharing what we've been up to lately...

Celebrating at a friend's first birthday party

Playing in M's play tent from Ikea. This little tent is about 3x3x3 feet and there's nothing my child loves more than for me or her 6'4" father to get in here with her. This is a new favorite evening activity.

These two....thick as thieves

We got some snow last week!
Only an inch but M had fun exploring. 
Also, there's nothing cuter than a child bundled up in snow gear!

And then 3 days later, we didn't even need our coats outside. 
Crazy mother nature!
Notice M's necklace. She wears a necklace any chance she gets these days. 
She's obsessed and it's pretty funny.

And these two pictures. This girl makes us laugh so much!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

DIY Necklace Holder

This past weekend, I put together a relatively quick and easy project to help me reign in the mess that was my necklace collection. I had necklaces all over our bedroom, and it was becoming a big problem because a certain toddler kept pulling them off of dressers to wear herself. 
After perusing Etsy and Pinterest for some inspiration, I found a few ideas and came up with a plan. We already had most of the supplies, all I needed was some hooks.  

Piece of wood (we had a scrap in our shed I used)
Acrylic Paint and Foam Brush (had these)
Drill (Not necessary, but made it much easier to screw the hooks in)
(Also, I should mention I sanded the edges of my block of wood with our sander before painting)

As far as directions go, it didn't take many steps! 
Just paint, drill, and screw in your hooks, and then your done. 
J attached it to the wall for me with two screws.

The necklace collection has been wrangled!

This is my kind of project! 
Quick, cheap (it cost us less $3!), and easy!