Oct 16, 2014

BOYS… HAPPY HALF BIRTHDAY LITTLE H








I met up with a super awesome mama andnew bloggy friend of mine today and she snapped these super cute pics. Little h (in the vest) and her sweet boy have become fast friends.  We invited them to come and hang with us at The Music Class and they had SO MUCH FUN. They are bananas!

I realized that tomorrow is his half birthday (next up the big 3!) He's communicating much more and we are going full steam ahead on this potty training thing and can I just say - He IS SUCH A LITTLE BOY!!

And I mean that in the very best way, sort of... Running, and jumping, and burping (and bursting into laughter), and climbing and TOTALLY testing his (and my) boundaries… and telling me NO at every given opportunity… Want to give mommy and kiss?! Noooo… Great, thanks.  Not that girls don't do those things.. but his sister was.. just different.. She would sit in my lap and just chill.

Its quite a different experience for me. And I'm starting to think that I had convinced myself that munchkin was so well mannered because of my excellent parenting skills.. but my old tricks don't seem to be working with this little one. The "strong talking to" doesn't seem to have quite the same affect on him.. He says.. Nooo mommy!! Scary eyes!! You know when I give him that mean momma (Samuel Jackson) eye? Sometimes he (and H and munchkin) just burst out laughing.. Am I losing my touch?!

I'm just saying, I'm not raising any rude and unruly little boys around here. - Okay, I just needed to vent a bit about that.

I love him SO VERY MUCH. And he really is a super sweet boy. And I'm looking forward to many years of jumping and climbing and running and falling and not wanting kisses from his mommy (I will continue to steal those while he is sleeping). I am hoping know that this is just a phase and we are both just learning about each other and about ourselves.

And in due time he will know to always be kind and respectful. Loving and generous. Confident and of good character.

And my prayer is that God gives me the wisdom to be a good example of those things.

On another totally unrelated note, currently:

Bingeing on Gilmore Girls -NETFLIX WOOT! and working on some projects - AND somehow found my way into the cookies and some CRAZY scene led me to the leftover pizza in the fridge. I was doing SO WELL this week after last weekends sugar bonanza. Welp. Back on the wagon I promise.. I was having a moment (in my feelings) tonight…

A couple of things  I'm realizing #WhileWatchingGilmoreGirls.. Can we make that trending? HAA!

I think my next move should be to Stars Hollow.
Every decent person has a piano (working or in use or not) in their home.. WHERE IS MY PIANO?
I totally want to be a cross between Lorelie and her mom Emily - If that's possible.
I totally forgot that I wanted to name my daughter Rory!!
And that Megan McCarthy was on Gilmore Girls. LOVE. HER. Suki YAY!!

Happy Half Birthday Little h.
xxB


Oct 15, 2014

ITS OFFICIAL | GIGGLE GIRLS BOOK CLUB YAY!


Toddlers love books, and my goal for Andie as she was learning to read on her own was and is to sustain that love for reading and books.  So I started a little book club for her and her pals  a while back which she LOOKS FORWARD TO EVERY MONTH and now…

ITS OFFICIAL!!

I'm SO excited, anxious, nervous, and over joyed to invite and encourage girls across the country to JOIN The Giggle Girls Book Club - a monthly book subscription for girls aged 4-8.

Picture this: Girls getting together for a story time, playdate, hang out - with their new books and activities… (and treats) and sharing what they liked most about the story and having so much fun together (sound familiar).

Visit The Giggle Girls Book Club to learn more about this awesome gift and - Join the new young bookish clique.

SUBSCRIBE NOW TO GET THE NOVEMBER MAILING! www.gigglegirlsbookclub.com

xxB

Oct 14, 2014

SCENES FROM THE WEEKEND | ST. AUGUSTINE FLORIDA

Just popping in to share some pics from the weekend. Munchkin had fall break and we took full advantage and headed down to visit my sister and brother in law in their new home in St. Augustine, Florida. The weather was AMAZING. Cobblestone streets, super cute shops and restaurants…  The oldest city in the United States has SO MUCH charm and OUTLET SHOPPING!! I'm from Jacksonville which is a stones throw away and have been down to St. Augustine before, but have never experienced it like this. We spent some time at the beach, visited the Castillo de San Marcos Fort, and grabbed lunch and treats down town with Grand mommy and Granddaddy  - we made some serious memories and I'm so glad we were able to head down. There is still so much to explore - can't wait for our next trip!


That (Kilwins) ice cream cone was the beginning of the unraveling of all my plans to avoid sugar and fit into those jeans I refuse to get rid of.  Vacation calories don't count right? Currently detoxing from all the fun.. BOOO! Protein and salads YAY!!

Oh before I forget a couple of things!

Launched the Giggle Girls Book Club website WOOT! Its been kind of a secret while I work through some of the bugs! Starting tomorrow opening up for November subscriptions. If you love me (or even like me a little) and know a budding young bookish (girl) munchkin - please consider GETTING A SUBSCRIPTION. Its the perfect gift!

Extending the Mint Julep Boutique Giveaway til the end of the month!! More chances to enter to win. Click here for details.

Did you do anything fun over the long weekend?

xxB
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Oct 13, 2014

SMARTS AND CRAFTS | A WELL STOCKED KIDS CRAFT SUPPLY BOX


I've been doing some fall organizing of late and a couple of areas have gotten a bit of an overhaul. Starting with shuffling some things around in the kitchen and my little work space and restockintg our work and craft areas.

Now I can get some work done and occupy the kiddos with all of the necessities needed to take advantage of those flowing creative juices. A well stocked crafting kit with everything in one place. Some items I already had and just needed corralling and the rest I scooped up at Target and IKEA. All set for weekend fun, after school crafts, impromptu playdates (or any other emergency scenario) tucked in a couple of upholstered bins I picked up at the TJMaxx.  

Perfectly Stocked Kids Craft Kit
I put together a little list with links to some of my favorite brands.




1. Pipe Cleaners  from Dollar Tree or pick some up at the dollar spot at the Target.
2.  Paint Brushes 
3.  Beads or these oh and alphabet beads too.
4. Glue: Glue Sticks  Liquid Glue
5. Assorted Paper: Water Color , Colored Construction, Kraft Paper Roll (my all time favorite).
6. Markers 
5. Assorted Paints: Water Color Paints  and Fabric Paint
7. Crayons
8. Drawing Paper Roll
9. Cotton cord or elastic stretch cord.
10. Tape Assortment: Double sided, Clear and  Washi Tape
11. Colored Pencils
12. Kid Scissors
13. Smocks 
14. Chalk

Some honorable mentions: Googly Eyes, Modge Podge (for the older set), Glitter!!

That's my list! Am I the only one who gets geeked about this stuff? Am I missing anything?

xxB




Oct 10, 2014

LAST MINUTE FALL PORCH DECOR IDEAS

Just in time for the weekend. Some inspiration before you head out to the local garden and decor stores (If you haven't finished up already)!

The last three months of the year are my absolute FAVORITE. Bring on the reasons to decorate and host a gathering (and eat and drink and be merry!)! Starting with a warm and  welcoming autumn inspired front porch. For the fall at least, it seems that there is somewhat of a formula - a pretty wreath for the door, some potted fall flowers, and lets not forget PUMPKINS (we do our best to make them last all October until after Thanksgiving) and don't forget to add some of your personal style and flair. Some inspiration to get us started:


Source: via Rosemary Lane

I love a cozy little bistro small enough for a nook or corner - its a perfect fit for a front porch. With its own autumn inspired centerpiece, it instantly transforms the area into a welcoming space. 


Photo via Stone Gable

I'm seriously considering adding a a porch swing. Add a blanket like this one (and some hot chocolate) and there will be no reason to go inside.

Source: BHG

Some mums in galvanized pots like these are definitely an autumn staple.





For a modern farmhouse flair add some multicolored leaves and tools from the garden. If you don't already have one, add this pitchfork and apple picker to your collection.


Some hanging lanterns or even some placed on the ground are a classic look that can be used year round. Fill them with candles, pumpkins, even pine cones for the fall and winter months. And in my opinion, no front door is complete with out a wreath.  I like to change it up with each season - A berry wreath in autumn colors   or gathered maple leaf wreath  are on my list to add to the collection this year.

happy decorating!

xxB








Oct 9, 2014

EASY FAMILY MEALS | SLOW COOKER CARIBBEAN JERK CHICKEN WINGS RECIPE

In an effort to replace our Friday Pizza Night with something new and equally easy, I've decided to  institute "Crock Pot" Fridays (or Slow Cooker Fridays?) for the Fall/Winter months (Even thought I made this on a Sunday).

Inspired by my bloggy pal Mimi, I tried my own version of a "Carribean Jerk" seasoned wings. They turned out SO YUMMY. And from the great feedback over on instagram, I just had to share. I dug out the best pics I could find, since this wasn't really a planned post, so bear with me. You'll be glad you did.

CROCKPOT CARIBBEAN JERK CHICKEN RECIPE
Ingredients:
2 teaspoons allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 onion
8 cloves garlic or 1 whole head
1 teaspoon minced ginger
3 scallions, sliced
3 limes, juiced
Splash low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional for kick)
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
13 organic free-range chicken wings



Directions:
In a small mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar and dry spices. Rub this spice and sugar mixture all over the wings, inside and out. Pour on the lime juice, soy sauce and olive oil and massage into the wings as well..

Cover, and cook on low for 5-6 hours, or on high for 4. Check doneness with a meat thermometer, or cut in to make sure the meat is no longer pink.

With tongs place wings on baking sheet and broil in oven on high for about 5-7 minutes to give a caramelized crispy (RIDICULOUSLY YUMMY) outside.

Serve with chopped chives and a squeeze of lime.

I served with basil steamed rice and roasted french green beans. Let me know if you try it!

xxB
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P.S. You could also just pour your favorite store bought Jerk marinade in and call it a day (if you are so inclined:-)

Oct 8, 2014

FINDING AND KEEPING ME. | 7 THINGS


I think I've posted this list somewhere before, but this week I feel like I need a reminder. I've been talking a little bit about how I'm approaching 40 and feeling like I need to refine and redefine me. These are the the things that make me happy and I hope will never change. 

1. Start my day with prayer and devotional reading. It just feels good to start the day with your mind in a good place.

2. Make my bed.  It's just a better start to the day, and if everything else goes to hell, coming upstairs to a made bed just makes it a good reset.

3. Read to the children.  Its good for them, we get to spend some focused time together, and it just makes me feel like a better parent honestly..

4. Read for enjoyment at the end of my day.Replace my nightly recap of The Young and the Restless with more purposeful reading.. at least for a little while (don't judge me).

5. Journal my thoughts and goals. Speaking (and writing) good things into existence...

6. Spend some time working and growing in my passions and pursuits.  Nothing like working on your goals and crossing things off your "to do" list to make you feel just a bit more fulfilled.

7. Snuggle with H.  I still like him A LOT. Most of the time.

What would you add to this list? Anything that helps keep you centered and feeling like yourself?

xxB
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