Monday, June 30, 2014


This past Saturday morning we had nothing on our agenda for the day. We talked about going to the pool, but it was really cloudy and overcast, so we decided it wasn't a great pool day. After tossing around a few other ideas, we decided to go to the Charlotte Douglas Airport Overlook and watch the planes (or "panes" as M calls them) take off and land. 

What fun (and free) entertainment!

J brought his new GoPro camera and M thought she could use it to take "cheese." 

Speaking of the GoPro, here are two videos he took....

This is M flying like a plane: 

Here she is watching one take off..."bye bye!"

We were probably here for an hour and half just watching the planes, picking flowers, and running around. Such a fun way to spend a Saturday morning!

Monday, June 23, 2014

I put my hands up in the air sometimes...

Last week J bought a Go Pro camera and we've been having fun with it all weekend. J attached it to his bike on Friday night and recorded his bike ride with M around the neighborhood. This is his  58 second highlight reel he put's my favorite video ever!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Five on Friday: Trader Joe's Finds Part 2

Happy Friday!

I'm doing another Trader Joe's style Five on Friday! See my first installment here!

1. BBQ Rub & Seasoning with Coffee and Garlic

We actually haven't tried this one yet, but I can't wait to use it on a brisket on our smoker! It came highly recommended to me from several TJ employees!

2. Mesquite Smoked Seasoned Almonds

I kinda picked these up on a whim, but if you like food with a smoky flavor, GET THESE. They're a great snack and also go nicely with a beer!

3.Mac & Cheese

I think I'm the last person in the world to try this, but I am now here to say that this frozen mac & cheese is about as good as you can get without making the real thing. It's pretty darn incredible. Definitely not "light," but some days when I have 2 glorious hours of nap time to myself and I don't have to share my food, I don't care at all. Bring on the calories.

3. Pinachios

Pistachio and white chocolate buttery cookies. Need I say more?

5. Cilantro and Chive Yogurt Dip

Kinda cheating with this one, because it's an old favorite and not a new find for me, but if you haven't tried this dip, pick it up. It goes so well with beef kabobs or even bbq. Odd sounding I know, but try it! I sampled it with bbq in the store the first time I ever had it and was hooked!

What have been your most recent Trader Joe's discoveries?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Father's Day 2014

After a very sick Mother's Day this year, we made up for it with lots of fun family time on Father's Day! Our weekend was so much fun celebrating J! 

On Saturday, we went helmet shopping in the morning for M since our gift to J was a bike seat so M could go on bike rides with him. She had more fun than I expected trying on helmets at Dick's, and she ended up choosing a "PEEEEEEENK" one. We came home and they went on their inaugural ride!

She LOVES the bike now! It's all she has talked about since their first ride.

(We bought this seat and this helmet!)

On Sunday, my darling daughter woke up at 6am (this early morning daylight is killing me, anyone else?), and she and I got up and went to get breakfast for Daddy. We got him a bagel sandwich and we may have gone through the Krispy Kreme drive thru too! Let's be honest. The donuts were totally for me. If I had to get up at 6am on a Sunday, I was having a donut with it!

So on to our fun day! We took M for her first train ride! train I mean we took her on the Charlotte light rail. But my child totally thought it was a CHOO CHOO and had a BALL! Best $12 we've spent on her in weeks!

She thought she was so cool sitting in the big seats next to mom and Dad!

We took the light rail up into Uptown, and decided to not bring our stroller. M did a lot of walking, but also did a little Ergo riding. I still stand by my statement from months ago that the Ergo is my all time favorite baby item!! If you're a mom to be, get an Ergo or another great carrier (there are other great ones out there too!). It's well worth it. 19 months and we're still happily using it! 

We went and played at Romare-Bearden Park, and M did a great job getting soaked!

We left the park and hopped back on the light rail (more CHOO CHOOS!) and went to lunch at Queen City Q. M was a big fan of the water cup and hush puppies and J had brisket, ribs, and pulled pork. He didn't hold back with his Father's Day meal!

After a train ride home and naps for Daddy and M, we packed a dinner and rode bikes to the pool and played till dusk. 

It was the perfect summer day. We love you J! Thank you for being the best Daddy possible to our little girl. She is not only your mini me, but she is also your biggest fan!

Oh, and just for fun...



Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Maymont Park in Richmond

While in Richmond last week, my mom and I took M to one of my very favorite places, Maymont
Maymont is a historic estate and public park in the city of Richmond that I grew up visiting on field trips, with girl scouts, and weekend trips with my family, and then with friends for picnics in high school and college. I was so excited to get to take M since I knew it was going to be a pretty summer week while we were back in Virginia visiting!

We started with the petting zoo. She was a little hesitant about feeding the animals herself, but she loved when we'd feed them! 

This was one of the 2 seconds that she actually sat in her stroller. This girl walked and walked and walked and walked while we were here. 

With her Gigi. This girl LOVES her Gigi.

I won't go into the history, but Maymont now has a sweet bear statue by the bear exhibit (didn't see any while we were there, boo!), that M thought was pretty awesome until she touched it and then all she could talk about was "HOT HOT HOT." Turns out a metal statue in the sun heats up pretty quickly on a warm day in June.

She would have jumped right into any of the running water if we would have let her.

Yes, I was only a little sure that I could hold her safely in my arms here. Just a little scary!

If you know Maymont, you know that there's about a thousand steps between the Japanese gardens and the Italian gardens. Don't worry, M walked up every single one with no help. Big girl doesn't need her mom or gigi to help!

I can't get enough of this face. My mom snapped this one right as I tickled her shoulders.

In the words of M, "ALL DONE! BYE BYE!"

Monday, June 9, 2014

My favorite teacher...

This past week M and I went to Richmond to stay with my parents for the week, and while we had a ball, the main reason I was up there was to honor a former teacher of mine who is retiring next week. She was my music teacher from K-5th grade, and when I say she was a spectacular teacher, what I mean is that she is a model of what every teacher should be. She was fun, she was engaging, she was challenging, she went above and beyond, she loved her job with a passion that was evident to everyone around her....I am so lucky to have been her student. Not only because she instilled a love of music and performing in me at a young age, but she also helped to show me what a great teacher looks like.

I attended the staff meeting at my former elementary school last Thursday (to her surprise) and presented her with a book of letters from some of her former students from the 90's. I, naturally, cried my way through my little speech I had prepared, but it was so neat to get to see her and share these heartfelt letters with her.

I may not be in the classroom right now, as I'm busy staying home with M, but after reading the letters to her, I was so so inspired by the teacher that she was and is. I can only hope that my students will think as fondly of me as we have of Mrs. C! 

What a special afternoon being able to recognize such a special person from my life!