2.28.2017

Tutus & Foo Foos - The Purrrrfect Party

Happy Tuesday everyone! We are one day closer to the weekend!

Before we jump into today's post, I have a confession to make....

I have never blogged about my child's birthday parties. 

Like ever. 

I am aware that this may make me the absolute worst Pinterest mom in the history of motherhood and I can live with that. But to make myself feel better, I am sharing one of my favorite parties with you today!



Here's a fun fact for you new (or loyal) followers: I could be considered a crazy cat lady. Wait! Don't stop reading! I promise, it's not as bad as it sounds.

We have two fur babies, Miss Friski & Fendi Foo, who are the best kitten mittens known to man - at least one of them is. 

Fendi Foo, J, & Miss Friski
Miss Friski is the most obedient pet, EVER. If you don't like cats, I promise that she will change your mind - it has happened on several occasions. She's just that magical. 

Fendi Foo on the other hand can be cranky, howl throughout the night, and has her own dermatologist at Auburn University. She's definitely our more expensive child. 

E was born into this furry household so naturally her obsession with the four legged creatures doesn't fall far from the tree. It was only fitting that for her second birthday party we would have a theme to capture two of her favorite things: tutus and foo foos! P.S. We call call all cats foo foos if you didn't pick up on that. 

For this party, we only invited our families over to our house for a couple of hours of food and family time. However, the small crowd did not stop me from keeping with the theme. 

The most delicious spinach dip serviced with veggies.

Veggie Straws



A nugget tray from Chick-Fil-A

Strawberry-Lemonade

Sweet Tea

As much as I would have loved to make decor for the party, the food labels were about all I could handle. For mommas like me, there's a little store on the internet that I frequent quite often. Have you met my favorite party planner named Etsy? She assisted with the decor for this event. 


A custom banner from Fitch Craft Creations

Custom high chair skirting from Timelessly Enchanted



Custom cupcake toppers also from Fitch Craft Creations

Teal and purple were chosen for the color scheme and I am so glad everything I ordered arrived on time and as described. Sometimes it can be tricky ordering a custom product. A local bakery matched the decor purrrfectly. See what I did there?! 

And, of course we added a candle for the birthday girl. 




Although it was a tiny gathering, I couldn't have been more pleased to see my ideas come to life. A certain little birthday munchkin was equally thrilled with the cats and her sparkly, tutu birthday dress. Receiving presents wasn't so bad either. 

If you have a link for any of your favorite parties to share, please comment with it below! I love seeing how creative and original birthdays have become over the years. What would we ever do without Pinterest? 

Probably stress less. 



*Linking up with Lindsay's Sweet World and Momfessionals

Lindsay's Sweet World


2.27.2017

Weekending

Sometimes it kills me when I write a post recapping the weekend.

Why?

Because that means the weekend is over and it's Monday. Boo hiss.

Anyone read the Favorites On A Friday from last week? I failed to mention all the unfavorite things that began before the weekend. Lucky for you, it provides great content for a bahumbug Monday post, haha.

Last Thursday I left for my lunch break to head home and pack for our weekend getaway. After a couple of minutes into my drive, my car went crazy. It started vibrating, sputtering, and had trouble accelerating up a small hill. All I could think about was the time we had transmission issues with my old car thus, panic filled my entire body. I headed to Advanced Auto Parts and asked for a test to be ran on my car. The employee printed the report (apparently cylinder three was having an issue - sounds like German to me) and I headed to a local body shop with the hope of a cheap and quick fix. Expedited service was my concern as I was leaving work early on Friday to go out of town. The body shop was very busy, but I left my car and focused on that night's activities - the Dierks Bentley concert! 


Friday morning rolled around and I did some quick packing before heading off to work. J dropped me off at the office and headed to the doctor to take E for a quick strep throat test. About an hour later he called and informed me that it was positive. <insert bad word here> This is the fourth time in four months that this sickness has reared it's ugly head. At this rate, we will be back at the ENT's office soon.

About an hour later, J called me with good and bad news. The good news? The problem that put my car in the shop was fixed. The bad news? The staff came into work that morning and noticed one of my front tires was flat. Of course it was! We were going out of town that afternoon.... The body shop told J they would see if it could be plugged and give him a call back.

A few hours later, J called back with even better news - I not only needed to replace the flat tire, but also the OTHER front tire.

Say what?! Side Note: my car is lowered and I ride on 19'' rims - tires this size usually need to be ordered and take a few days to come in. 

The shop said their contact didn't have any in stock, which didn't surprise me because #thisismylife. Thankfully, J called around and one store had two tires arriving from their warehouse that afternoon. All we needed to do was pick up the tires and take them to the body shop.


When we dropped off the goods, the mechanic working on the car stated that I would not have made it to Atlanta with my previous wheels. As annoying as the ordeal was, I  am so thankful that God caused a little issue (seriously, it was only around $100) to bring attention to a potential serious situation.  Furthermore, only E and I were heading out of town. I cannot imagine what would have happened if I had been stranded with her on the highway or worse, if we had been involved in an accident. He's always on the lookout, even if it cost me two new tires - another glorious perk of adulting.

With our new shoes on, we were off to hang out with my sister and BIL. E and I met them for dinner and headed back to see their new house. Once E calmed down from the excitement of the day, bedtime began. This was her first time sleeping in a big girl bed! And moms, here's a tip: instead of purchasing bed rails just buy some pool noodles, put them under the mattress pad on either side and voila! You have barriers to keep the munchkin from rolling out! I had never heard of this, but my sister's SIL told her about it.

On Saturday we met up with my mother and all of us headed downtown to the Georgia Aquarium. It was only appropriate to wear fishtail braids on our adventure.


One of the best things about being a parent is watching things through your child's eyes. It was incredible seeing E experience everything for the first time. I even learned a little bit as well. Did you know an otter must consume 25% of their weight on a daily basis? I need that kind of metabolism!





By the time we finished, we were all starving and headed to a nearby BBQ restaurant. The food was delicious and the decor even better. I felt like such a hipster.




We finished lunch and were greeted by a parade. Man, I miss Atlanta!


The rest of the day was spent hanging out with my family and ordering bedding for E's big girl room. #bestillmyheart

We headed back home on Sunday and it was uneventful, thank goodness!

Here's to hoping for a much calmer week than last. I had a neighbor ask if I would be interested in a marketing consultant opportunity for her small business, which sounds really intriguing. I hope to connect with her in a couple of days. Other than that, not much else should be happening these next few days.

I hope you all have a wonderful week and zero car issues!

*Linking up with B Loved Boston


2.24.2017

Favorites On A Friday (Including An IG Announcement)

Cheers for a short week (thank you work for being closed on Monday in honor of Presidents' Day) and that it is F-R-I-D-A-Y!

Friday is truly the perfect day to share a list of favorites because you can't help but be in a great mood that the weekend is upon us.

Last Friday my post shared all of my favorites things that focused on Valentine's Day. While I typically like to go with more of a themed post, this week was pretty eventful so I'll just focus on that for now.

Whole 30 Completion

Did you catch my last Whole 30 related post?


Yes, this graphic means that I FINALLY completed my fourth round of Whole 30. While it wasn't my best round (more on that later), it was still deemed successful and gave my husband more than enough dishes to wash. I plan on going compliant again, following this weekend. Curious about Whole 30? Here is a list of all things Whole 30 for your perusal:


I must warn you that more Whole 30 posts are on their way. I plan on sharing my results (let's face it, that's what everyone wants to know about anyway) and a resource that will be beneficial for you if you ever decide to embark on this journey or if you want some clean recipes to add to your arsenal. 


Strep Throat Appointment

Wait, say what?!

I haven't discussed our ongoing battle with E and strep throat, but plan to at some point. It's not that it's too personal to share, it's just semi-boring (IMO), but could be beneficial to others who are facing the same war.

The abbreviated version of this LONG story is that when E gets sick, it's strep throat 99% of the time. Her behavior has been dreadful at home and at school these last few days, plus she started complaining that her mouth hurt. Being a toddler, she's not great at giving details as to what hurts. We are now at the point where I can call the pediatrician and get scheduled for a simple strep test usually that day or the next. We don't have to see the doctor and if it's positive, a prescription is called in.

Since we have a big weekend planned, we decided to be good parents and take her in for a quick test this morning. The simplicity and flexibility of our doctor's office in handling the situation is why it's one of my favorite things this week.

Fingers crossed we get the all clear!


National Margarita Day

Hopefully you stay up to date with all of the important holidays: Christmas, Easter, National Margarita Day...


That's right. Wednesday was National Margarita Day.

I haven't celebrated this day in quite some time and was really excited when my friend, Lindsay, invited me to a girls dinner with all of her besties. I was a little bit anxious because well, I'm ALWAYS anxious (even going to something like spin class), but also because joining a group of ladies who have been BFF is intimidating and can sometimes end poorly. Thankfully, this was not the case...at all. I had a great time, heard some crazy stories, tried to guess which patron of the restaurant sent a drink over, and most importantly, laughed. It reminded me of hanging out with my friends from high school and college. Thanks for the invite, twin!

Date Night

Lately, our town has been pulling in some decent names for entertainment. Around this time last year we saw Elton John in concert.


He was absolutely fantastic.

I was thrilled to discover that Dierks Bentley was headed our way!


When I have a crappy day at work, I may listen to a few of his jams on repeat. It puts me in a much better mood!

To kick off the evening, we met our friends at a fun, craft beer bar downtown. Perfect for the beer lovers and foodies alike.

We headed over to the concert and wound up sitting around some really random people. The couple in front of us was very much into each other (PDA to the extreme) while some guys a few seats ahead provided the most entertaining dancing, ever.

Of course, we sat almost directly behind Lindsay and Brian.



We missed Jon, but were in our seats for Cole. He was great and excited to be back so close to home.



Dierks came out and I may have melted.


Dierks shotgunning beers with a concert attendee. 

Dierks & Jon

Dierks & Cole

My favorite song...
I thoroughly enjoyed myself and was thrilled when Dierks decided to do a Tiger Walk during his concert. I may have petted his shoulder. #creepyfan

video

All in all it was a great concert and not too late of a night. On Fridays I get to sleep in a little later, which is definitely appreciated after an eventful evening.


Instagram Chat Loop

Instagram has quickly become one of my favorite social platforms. Facebook has my heart, but Twitter and I continue to grow apart. #sorrynotsorry

Growing your audience organically is challenging, but worth it. It amazes me how many people do the follow/unfollow game. I swear I gain thirty followers and lose twenty. Frustrating.

Through one of my Facebook groups, I stumbled across Abby's blog and immediately liked her content. She and I (mostly her) have been working on putting a bi-weekly Q&A chat loop together on Instagram. The graphic is ready to go, but we are finalizing our core group. If this is something you may be interested in, send me an email. We only have a few spots left (if she hasn't filled them by the time this post goes live), but would love to connect with other blogger boss ladies!

Even if you're not a blogger, I'd still love to connect with you on your preferred social sites. Click on the links above or the icons on the left side of the page to follow.


Like I said, it's been a pretty good week so this week's favorites weren't hard to determine. I hope you have a fabulous weekend and can't wait to share our adventures (hopefully) next week!






*Linking up for Friday Favorites with MomprofessionalsSmidge of This, and Meet @ the Barre

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2.20.2017

Whole 30 Meal Plan: Week Four

Whew! I'm finally finished with my final week of Whole 30!

In all honesty, the more rounds I accomplish, the easier it is to cook and eat out while participating in a Whole 30 round. Stay turned as I will be sharing some tips for eating out, places to eat, and a resource to make your Whole 30 experience as easy and organized as possible.

Since I finished my round a few days ago, I did try a few things off plan this weekend. On Friday, I was finally able to get my hair done. This appointment was so overdue that it wasn't even funny. My roots were screaming for some bleach!  I decided to stop by Starbucks on the way to the hair salon for a Caramel Macchiato. It was very sugary - typically I ask for half the amount of syrup/flavor, but forgot as I was in a hurry. Oh well. My hair drank more bleach than normal in anticipation of the warmer weather ahead and I came home a happy girl!

video

On Saturday morning I woke up and met a friend for some target practice at the gun range. I have learned that I have a weak (or weird) grip that causes my gun to sometimes jam so it looks like private classes are in my near future.


Following the shooting range we talked ourselves into a much needed trip to the gym and I came home to give J a break and hang out with E for a while. The night ended with a dinner at one of the delicious eateries downtown with a few of my lady friends from the neighborhood.


Appetizers were ordered, cocktails consumed, dinners devoured and two desserts may have popped up on our table. All of which inspired this Boomerang.

video

My mommy friend G and I were laughing since we apparently dressed alike for dinner. In case you would also like to dress as a mom on your night out, grab a pair of skinny jeans, a black shirt, and a fun long necklace. #momming



Sunday involved church, visiting family, chores and a volunteer dinner at church. Low key as always.

Enough about the weekend, let's talk about what you came here for - a meal plan. For the final week of Whole 30, I kept it simple with a few of my favorite recipes.

Whole 30
Week Two
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
Monday
BBQ Salmon
Nuts
Green Beans/Mushrooms
Salad w/Balsamic Vinaigrette
Grilled Steak
Baked BBQ Salmon
Dijon Mustard Green Beans
Tuesday
Cracklin Chicken
Peaches
Roasted Broccoli
Wednesday
Thursday
Grilled Pork Chops
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Peaches
Friday
Chipotle
Leftover Cracklin Chicken
Side Salad w/Peaches, Peppers, Celery & Carrots
Saturday
Eggs
Veggies
Bacon
Coffee with NutPods Creamer
Large Salad with Leftover Cracklin Chicken
Sunday
Leftover Sausage
Veggies
Coffee with NutPods Creamer
Leftover Sheet Pan Fajitas w/Salsa
 Grilled Chicken
Baked Potato
Side Salad

Keep in mind that I make modifications to each recipe to ensure it is 100% compliant with Whole 30. For a list of all things Whole 30, feel free to browse some of these posts:


Finally, happy Presidents' Day! For the first time since I've been with my company, we have today off. I'm taking advantage of having a day to myself by working out, folding laundry, grocery shopping, meal planning, making some decisions for the HOA and catching up on my beloved TV shows.

I hope you have an equally productive and entertaining Monday!



*This post may contain affiliate links. 
**Linking up with B Loved BostonA Little Bit of Everything & Lindsay's Sweet World
2.17.2017

Favorites on a Friday: Valentine's Day

On the way to work this morning I realized that the weekend was almost here! For whatever reason, this week FLEW by for me and I am so glad it did. Bring on the weekend!

But first, let me share my favorites from this last week, which are all centered around February 14th (a.k.a. Valentine's Day, Single Awareness Day, a Hallmark holiday, Valentine's Schmalentines - did I forget anything?).

Toddler Valentines

If you follow me on Instagram you may have caught my moment of triumph when I assembled E's valentines for her party at school.
Y'all, I was (still am) SO proud of her Where the Wild Things Are themed valentines. I designed the card after one of her favorite books and paired it with a fun, "wild" mask. I was contemplating how to attached the card and mask when I stumbled upon bright, colored clips from Dollar Tree. Total win.


For school parties, I try and take a different route for favors as opposed to giving out candy (no judgement here - we love all the candy she receives). What I am most proud about though is that fact that this was not inspired by Pinterest! Ha. Like what you see? I've created a blank printable for you to use! My only request is that if you use it and share it, please link back to this post.

And how cute is the mailbox E made at school?!



Teacher Gifts

Last week I linked up with Lindsay for some Girl Talk. It was at this very moment I realized I did not get the teachers anything for this Hallmark holiday. I cannot fathom how these ladies handle a classroom full of three year olds on a daily basis so giving them something (no matter how small) is important to me.

I stopped by Dollar Tree and picked up the glittery boxes, chap-stick, a glam compact mirror and added M&Ms and breath mints to the gift. To my shock, E had no trouble giving the gifts to her teachers. It's important to teach our babies to share - especially when they are an only child and may have cried the night before in anticipation of the school party that was for all her school buddies and not just her.

Work Out Clothes

The other day I recalled the time I told J to forgo a present this year as my newly purchased workout clothes from Old Navy would be just fine with me. There were a few shirts on sale that I added to my collection, but my favorite item was this graphic tank:


Biscuits

For whatever reason, E loves biscuits. In fact, any type of bread item is known as a biscuit in her mind whether it is an actual biscuit, hamburger bun, cornbread, etc. Being the fabulous daddy that J is, he got her a can of biscuits for Valentine's Day. She didn't quite understand, but will appreciate it more when Saturday rolls around and she gets to help make them.

The Missing Valentine

On Tuesday morning my husband called me at work to check in and to proclaim his undying love for me say, "Happy Valentine's Day!" He then proceeded to ask about why I didn't mention my presents. I told him that I didn't see anything for me, just the card and can of biscuits for E. J was amazed that I somehow missed the flowers and card he left for me on the dining room table. He assumed I would see them since I walk through the dining room on the way to the kitchen. I told him that no, I never saw anything, when it clicked....I don't turn on the lights UNTIL I get to the kitchen. Because we get up so early, it's quite dark in the morning. My coworkers who were in earshot of this conversation were cracking up, but it lead to a few questions about why I walk around the house in the dark.

Beware, I am about to air out some of my crazy.

While I don't get ready in the dark, I use the light on my phone when going room to room. Why? Because I am paranoid that strangers could be watching me from the street and know my routine.

Yes, I am serious.

And yes, I realize that if someone REALLY wanted to they could determine where I am in the house. However, you better believe I am going to make it as hard as I can for them to guess.

Back to my story - when I arrived home that afternoon I found the flowers exactly as pictured below.


Can you see that large puddle of water that dripped onto the chair and down to the floor? In my defense, they could have been like that in the morning and I REALLY wouldn't have noticed them then. E and I cleaned up, refilled the vase, and I opened my card to find a surprise. This man knows me so well.



Starbucks is my love language, as is doing the dishes.

Last night during the chaos known as bedtime I heard a loud crash. J was with E so I ran downstairs and discovered two guilty cats and shattered glass all over our kitchen floor. Can you guess what the glass was from? Yup, the vase (or what was left of it), water and roses were all on the floor. Sigh.

There you have it. Those are my favorites on this Friday - it was a good week!

I would love to hear other humorous stories or if you want to share your crazy, please feel free to do so! No judgement here.

*This post contains affiliate links. 
**Linking up for Friday Favorites with Momprofessionals, Smidge of This, and Meet @ the Barre