Tuesday, April 26, 2016

16 Disney Shirts You Need for Your Next Trip

Once upon a time, you traveled to Disney World for a fun vacation & purchased a park t-shirt as a souvenir that maybe you wore on your last day. That's no longer the case though. Thanks to Etsy (and the internet in general) you can find awesome shirts ahead of time, that are not only more affordable, but also fit your personality. Personally, I'm a huge fan of dressing the part on Disney vacations, but I'm not a huge fan of unisex t-shirts that have been the norm for so many years, so I love that I was able to find lots of tank top options & women's fit tees as well. Can't wait to show you all what I'm ordering for our trip! 




just an FYI - None of these links are affiliate links, rather they're all Etsy shops run by small business owners. I encourage you to click through & support small business! 


Monday, April 25, 2016

9 Things from This Weekend

1 - I was a single mom this weekend while Eric was away for a friend's wedding. Doing everything alone is exhausting. I don't know how single parents or even parents with spouses for travel regularly do it. I was so happy to see him walk through that door last night! 

2 - Since Daddy was gone, we had a movie night on Friday night with popcorn & ice cream. I wanted to watch Finding Nemo, because Ella has never seen it and I want her to understand the Nemo attractions at Epcot - but oh no, we had to watch Tinkerbell & the Great Fairy Rescue for the 100th time. 



3 - I did even more spring cleaning. We have taken so. much. stuff. out of our house this past month it's crazy! It's amazing how much room it feels like we have now that the baby swing & exersaucer are gone.

4 - I spent 20 minutes in Kohl's fighting with my threenager over which Disney Princess nightgown we should buy. I really miss the days when I just got her dressed & she didn't complain. For the record, the Elsa nightgown won. 


5 - I watched a whole lot of cheerleading coverage from the USASF World Championships in Disney! Two of my cheerleaders were there competing with their all-star teams & it was so much fun to watch their routines. It isn't aired live on TV, so I relied mainly on Instagram & Snapchat to keep up with it. The routines some of these teams put on the floor just amaze me! 



6 - Livy finally got another tooth! We've been waiting for her top two teeth to pop through for what seems like forever and yesterday, I caught a glimpse of it! She would not let me take a picture of it for you all, so we'll just have to wait for it to become a little more obvious (or for her to be in a more agreeable mood.) 

7 - We spent a lot of time coloring & playing with playdough at the kitchen table. 


8 - Olivia started pulling herself up to her knees! And once I caught her all the way up to standing on her Pooh Bear walker. The standing incident ended in a pretty traumatic tumble, but she's getting stronger & more independent every day. 


9 - Aunt Brittany & Uncle Matt invited us to go to dinner with them on Sunday night at Buffalo Wild Wings. After 24 hours with just the kids, I was ready for a little adult conversation! And fried food never hurts :) 

Here's hoping that your week flies by! I know that I have a busy one on the books, and an even busier weekend ahead. That's just the way spring is though & I wouldn't have it any other way. Happy Monday! 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Life Lately

It has been a gorgeous week here in Rochester! I've been enjoying my time outside with the girls and we've been grilling up a storm. I just love spring & summertime! 


On Friday, Olivia had her 9 month check up! I cannot believe she's already 9 months, but I just love how mobile & alert she is. That of course means that she's into EVERYTHING in sight! And everything includes all of Ella's stuff, which has already started the "Mom, she's touching my ______" tattletaling every day. #andsoitbegins 


After Livy's doctor's appointment, we went to get some ice cream at Sonic - because a) nice weather and b) Friday. My favorite blast is the Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Dream & it did not disappoint. 


Last weekend we were at the country house to celebrate my Aunt Babs' birthday! It was gorgeous weather & we all sat on my grandma's front porch all afternoon. Ella of course had to help blow out the candles. 

We tried to take a nice picture with Ella, but she wasn't having it. Too much nice sun + running around for hours + no nap = trouble! She was asleep by 7 that night. 


I thought Livy would struggle on the hardwoods at my parents house, slip & sliding around, but she got around just fine. Maybe a little too well actually. She was quite the explorer! I'm very grateful that my parents childproofed the country house for Ella & never looked back. 



As you can see, there's Livy right in the middle of things again! They were playing with the wooden blocks & she thought they looked fascinating. This picture was taken before she knocked her sister's tower down & the world ended. 


Ella went with my sister to a BBQ on Sunday afternoon, which meant that it was just Livy home with us while we worked on the lawn. It was mid-70's & sunny, so I put her in a romper and covered her in sunscreen (even though she spent most of her time in the shade.) The romper she loved. The sunscreen... well that's another story. 


The warm weather continued on Monday & even though it was Pajama Day at daycare, the real excitement was that Miss Jennie's trampoline is up! Jennie sent me this snap chat of Ella & Addy going to town :) 


Monday was also dance night, and since I dragged Ella along on some errands before class, I treated her to some frozen yogurt. She wanted us to take a picture together... 


Then she wanted me to take one of just her & her frozen yogurt. #whateveryousayella


And after dinner, Ella blew bubbles outside while Eric grilled up a storm! It's been the perfect kind of week around here & I can't wait for more just like it! 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Friday Favorites for Warmer Weather

Oh spring in New York, you're a fickle beast. One day it's in the high 50's & sunny. The next, it's a high of 36 & gloomy as ever. The extended forecast is finally looking up though & it has me craving all sorts of things for warmer weather! Today I thought I'd share those warmer weather favorites with you, and link up with Andrea while I'm at it! 



1 - Sunglasses 


Back in the day, you know before I had kids, I loved designer sunglasses. And while I still love them, there is absolutely no sense in purchasing them because my sunglasses go through the ringer these days! That's why I'm loving all of the B.P. sunglasses from Nordstrom. I picked up a pair in store over spring break & I'm going to order these for summer as well. At $12, you can't miss! 

2 - Swim Suits




So I had told myself I wasn't going to buy any swim suits this year. We aren't going to the beach & I have plenty of great swimsuits to wear all summer long. Then, Athleta debuted their swim collection for the season & I got all sorts of excited. I am loving this swim top, because of the detail in the back & the molded cups in the front. I just keep telling myself that buying just a top isn't the same as buying a whole new swim suit! (It's all in the justification people!) 

And while we're talking about Athleta, I should just give you a heads up that my favorite summer piece from last year is back again! The stretch-in skort is amazing & I wore mine all of the time. I'm already plotting to take it with my to Disney! 

3 - Bubbles & Sidewalk Chalk 


We've been stocking up on bubbles & sidewalk chalk like it's our job! Ella could play with these two items for hours, so I made sure to hit up Five Below over spring break. They had great non-spill bubble buckets that are refillable & also had whole buckets of chalk too. If I'm in the mood to splurge though, nothing beats Crayola Sidewalk Chalk, The colors are so much more vibrant than any other chalk we've ever bought! 

What are your favorites for warmer weather? 


Thursday, April 14, 2016

We're Going To...

So up until last week, we thought that our annual family vacation was going to be a long weekend at my parent's new house in Virginia, with an excursion to Williamsburg thrown in. With all of the craziness in my parents lives, along with the prospect of me teaching summer school, our trip to Myrtle at the end of August just wasn't going to be feasible. Then, a few things happened. First, my mom started texting me asking me if I didn't teach summer school, would I be able to go somewhere during the first week of August. Umm... well, yeah. She then asked if I could find out when the hiring for summer school would be complete, so we could make some plans. Well... ok. So I emailed the summer school principal & was basically told that I wouldn't be hired, but only because all of the special educaiton staff was returning from last summer - which I totally understand. I'd applied for summer school think that if I got it, I'd use the money to pay off some loans early & pad the bank account a bit, if I didn't, I'd spend the summer with my girls. 

So, after I shared the news with Eric, I texted my mom & sister to let them know that I could in fact go on vacation the first week of August and so could Eric. My mom then replied with the most magical text ever...


Now, let me tell you that I am a total Disney nut. I just love it. No matter what age, I've always thought of my trips to Disney as my absolute favorite vacations. Ella is at this absolutely magical age where she truly believes in Disney Princesses & I cannot wait to see her light up with excitement when we enter the Magic Kingdom. We're staying for an entire week & not only are my parents going, so are Uncle Matt & Aunt Britt. It's going to be an amazing family vacation! 

We have our rooms & flights booked, our tickets are purchased, and we're in the preliminary stages of planning. Expect to see more Disney updates in the coming months & brace yourselves for picture overload when we return! Only 108 days to go! 


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Three Things...


Today I'm linking up with Erika & Shay to talk about the three medicine cabinet items that I would HAVE to take with me on a deserted island. Believe it or not, I actually have pretty strong opinions about this! 

First thing - sunscreen. Like so many of us, I was a fool as a teenager. I fake baked, skipped sunscreen, and thought hats were dumb. Not anymore! If I'm on an island, I want sunscreen! My favorite kind to use is Sun Bum, but it's pretty pricey & I have to hide it from my kids & my husband. Most of the time, I just use Target SPF 30 spray on.

Second Thing - QTips. I'm a total freak about cleaning my ears. I just have to do it after I get out of the shower. Like I said, weird. 

Third Thing - dry shampoo. Nothing is worse than greasy hair, even in a pony tail or top knot. I'd definitely need my dry shampoo to get me through my stay on the island! I swear, I relate to this graphic way more than I should... 



Make sure you link up with Shay & Erika to share what you'd take with you! 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

In Honor of National Grilled Cheese Day

Of all the foods in the world, grilled cheese is the one that I've had the longest love affair with. There's just nothing better than a traditional grilled cheese on white bread slathered with butter & filled with American cheese. It takes me back to my childhood every time. So when I heard that today is National Grilled Cheese Day, I knew that I had to honor my favorite sandwich. So I compiled my 5 favorite grilled cheese recipes, for when you want something just a little more grown up than the traditional version...

1 - Pepperoni Pizza Grilled Cheese Sandwiches


source
Pizza + Grilled Cheese = The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of.

2 - Sloppy Grilled Cheese 


sloppy grilled cheese
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A cross between a Sloppy Joe & a traditional grilled cheese. So yummy. 

3 - BLT Grilled Cheese


This is the perfect way to step up your BLT game... a BLT grilled cheese. 🙌
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Because.... bacon. 

4 - Taco Grilled Cheese


Taco Grilled Cheese Sandwich
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Mix up Taco Tuesday tonight with this delicious option! 

5 - Funky Monkey Grilled Cheese


Funky Monkey Dessert Grilled Cheese | www.themessybakerblog.com
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This is grilled cheese for dessert! Chocolate, bananas, cream cheese. So much goodness! 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Weekend Recap - Bugs & Birthday Parties

So as I mentioned on Thursday's post, both of the girls were hit with a stomach bug last week. I thought it was over & everyone was back to daycare on Thursday, but then I got a text from Miss Jennie letting me know that Livy had just thrown up all over her. She was basically banned from daycare on Friday, so that forced me to take a three day weekend with her. 

The good news is that Livy essentially woke up completely fine on Friday. She never puked again, was eating her bottles & acting like her normal self. She was a little sleepier than normal, but nothing that necessitated non-stop attention. Thus, I took the opportunity to do some serious spring cleaning. I sorted through all of my maternity bins & all of Livy's outgrown clothes, and made a trip to the consignment shop. I came away with a pretty decent profit & everything they didn't take is going to our cheerleading garage sale at the end of this month! 

We came home from that errand, Livy took a nap, then we loaded the car to go pick up Ella. Unfortunately, I locked my car & house keys inside the house at this point in time, which resulted in Livy & I chilling in the car for half an hour while we waited for Eric to come rescue us. #whoops I don't really think he cared though because it gave him an excuse to leave the office early on a Friday afternoon & he had tickets to the hockey game that night. 

Once we finally had Ella, we headed out to meet Aunt Britt for some Mexican! My food was so delicious & I had a great time chatting with my sister. It'd been almost two weeks since I'd seen her & that's just too long! 


Once we got home from dinner, we snuggled up & watched a Tinker Bell movie together. Ella is so obsessed with Tink all of the sudden. I'm kind of confused by the whole fairy thing, but I'm trying to keep up. 

Saturday morning I woke up feeling off. Nothing I couldn't get through, just off. I had plans for a 1:1 day with Ella, so I decided to push through. We headed out to get my oil changed, shop for birthday presents at Five Below, grab lunch, and hit up Target. We had a blast together, but my huge mistake of the day was eating Panera. What was I thinking? Even on a good day, Panera can upset my stomach & by the time we got home, I was on the couch. 

lunch at Panera with my awkward smiler #keepingitreal

We ended up cancelling our plans for dinner with Eric's mom & I literally drank a Sprite as my dinner. Ugh. I hate being sick. Thankfully, I woke up feeling much better Sunday morning! We had a birthday party to attend that I definitely could not miss! 

Ella's boyfriend Keith had a Scooby Doo party & my friend Jackquelyn hit it out of the park with her Pinterest details. Ella had the best time & Livy enjoyed being passed around by all of my work friends. 



making a Scooby collar with fruit loops & gummies!
After the party, we stopped by my sister's house to tell Barkley happy birthday too! Ella was wound up from the party, but Britt managed to settle her down before she destroyed the house. Here they are snuggling together... 


When we got home, the girls went down for a nap & I went out for a run. Evidence of how much better I was feeling. I still didn't have much of an appetite, so I ate a very light dinner and went to bed early. 

Oh, one other little fun bit of our weekend. Our basement drain overflowed! And our basement drain drains EVERYTHING out of our house to the main sewer, which means I had poop on my basement floor. Ugh, it was disgusting. I called a plumber & I'm praying the line just needs to be snaked. Oh the joys of home ownership! 

I'm definitely praying this week goes better than last. I need a reprieve from the unexpected! 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Rest of Our Spring Break

So this post was supposed to go up on Monday, but between a funeral, two pukers, and state testing - it just hasn't happened! Sorry about that! So, today I bring you the last of my Spring Break posts. It always amazes me how much we can fit into one week! This week was particularly awesome because we had decent weather, despite it only being March, and we got to see all three sets of grandparents! 

So when we last left off, we had just arrived back from Virginia Tuesday afternoon. The girls spent the evening playing with their daddy, while I got right to work on the laundry. Despite car naps, they were both asleep by 7:30 & didn't wake up until 6 the next morning. It was amazing. Of course, I was up at 2:30 having a panic attack that I hadn't heard Olivia all night & had to go check that she was breathing. Other than that, best night's sleep in ages. 

Wednesday's forecast looked perfect for a trip to the zoo, so that's exactly what we did. It ended up taking awhile for it to warm up though, so you'll see me wearing gloves in some of the pics. I had the girls layered up & they were happy as can be, so it all worked out.


This trip was the most active I've ever seen all of the animals at once. Everything was out & moving around! 




Ella got up close & personal with the lion! It was so funny. She was not expecting it to get that close to her & I wish I had her reaction on tape. It was priceless! 


We came home after the zoo & played in the yard until nap time. Ella was so excited to have her chalk & bubbles out again. We ended our day with a family walk, during which both of our peanuts passed out cold. It was so peaceful - Eric & I actually had adult conversation! 

On Thursday, Eric's mom came to visit for the day! The girls were so excited when Grammy Nancy arrived & we packed in tons of adventures. We shopped all day, had lunch with Eric at MacAliter's and then grilled up some dinner before she headed back to Hornell. Her visits are never long enough for my kiddos! 

Sadly, the rest of our break was spent grieving the loss of Eric's Grandma Angie. We drove home & spent the weekend with that side of the family. The only silver lining was that Ella got to see all of her cousins & I got to snuggle with my niece Ophelia :) 


So all in all, it was a great break! With the chaos of this week, I'd gladly repeat it! 

Friday, April 1, 2016

Spring Break Road Trip - Part 2

We all agreed on Sunday night, thank goodness we aren't driving back tomorrow! We used to go to Albany for the weekend all the time, but Virginia is definitely going to have to be long weekend trips only! 

So Monday was a day I've been waiting for for quite some time. It was Nordstrom Day!

I love Nordstrom but usually only get to shop online because we have zero of them near us. So when mom said we could go to Tysons Corner to shop for the day, I was thrilled! 
We left mid-morning to let the rush hour traffic subside, and drove about an hour and a half to the mall. We had two main missions for the day - spend my $100 Nordstrom gift card & visit the Disney Store for Miss Ella. Both were easily accomplished! 



We started at Nordstrom, because my sister & I just couldn't wait. The blogs that we love are always featuring items from Nordstrom & getting to shop there & try things on was awesome. I ended up purchasing this dress from Leith that both Cassie & Shay have recommended. I also bought a new pair of $12 BP shades for the car, because mama can't seem to take care of designer shades & two kids at the same time. My sister got a new Kendra Scott necklace and a Lush top, while my mom bought Livy a new outfit from Baby Boden. I had planned to get Ella a new pair of Natives while we were there, but they didn't have her size & I also wanted a shirt from Lush that was sold out in store & is now sold out online. I would love to go to the store without kids some time, just so I have more time to wander & browse! 

After Nordstrom, we headed to find lunch! We decided on California Pizza Kitchen & got the kids fueled up before we sought out our next destination - The Disney Store! Now growing up, we had a Disney Store in Rochester and it was always a HUGE treat for me. I loved going in there to shop with my Grandma Ellen. So watching Ella shop with my mom was kind of special to me in an unexpected way. We've entered a full on Tinkerbell phase, so Ella picked out a stuffed Tinkerbell, a new Ariel tiara, a set of fairies, and a Sofia swimsuit. The girl isn't spoiled at all... 


The girls miraculously fell asleep shortly after this stop & we had some time to do some real shopping! Gap had 40% off, so we stocked up on tons of kids clothes for the summer, and Miss Olivia got this new hat that matched her shirt. She thought she was pretty cool :) 


I bought a few things at Banana Republic & Old Navy too, but by that point, everyone was starting to fade. So, we headed back to the parking garage & got on the road, hoping to beat rush hour traffic. 


That night, my dad made us all dinner & we hung out as a family, ate some ice cream. It was the perfect kind of low key to end our trip with. 

The next morning, the kids had us up bright & early, so we packed up our bags and hit the road. We made one final stop at Chick-fil-a for some homefries & tea, then headed back north. The drive wasn't too bad thanks to a combination of snacks & shows on the iPad. Livy got a little restless towards the end, but powered through. I think it helped that we stopped at Moe's for lunch to get out of the van for a bit & wiggle! 



We were definitely happy to pull into our driveway & see daddy by the time we made it home! It was a great trip, but we were ready for our own beds and some downtime for sure. I'll be back with the rest of our Spring Break next week. Happy Friday! 

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