Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Terrible...Eighteen Months?

So, I'll be honest...I was caught a little off guard this past week or ten days when my usually, adorable, totally chill, go with the flow, happy 18 month old started throwing tantrums...OVER. EVERY. THING.

You hear about the dreaded "Terrible Twos" and I've heard that three can be tough as well, but nobody warns you that they. can. start. EARLY.

Let me go back a little and set the mood. Lincoln really has been the best little toddler. We had a rough start to life dealing with reflux and a myriad of other issues (I'm looking at you germy germs and sickie ickies), but ever since he was 10 months old or slow he has been such a good baby/toddler. He listens when we tell him no, he goes to bed relatively easy (and sleeps through the night more often than not). If he falls and gets a bump or we have to take something away from him, he usually gets over it within seconds (seriously!). We even had the daycare compliment us on how great of a listener Lincoln is and how they can "tell" that we enforce rules, etc. at home.

And just as I was patting myself on the back for that one (Go Me!) and high fiving my husband (I literally called him and told him the second I left the daycare), we did a complete about face.

Here's my adorable son laughing in my face because he had us duped with his easy going-ness.

I'd like to blame it on the fact that we're weaning him off the bottle completely and going full on sippy cup, but he's been without a daytime bottle for months (he only got one in the morning and one in the evening after dinner), and his tantrums strike through out the day and they are for a variety of reasons....he doesn't like his breakfast, snack, lunch or dinner. We aren't playing with the right toy. We're playing with the right toy but not in the right way. (He also just started throwing his toys.,..oh joy!) I put my shoes on. I put his shoes on. I went to the bathroom (without him...the horror!). Want me to keep going? Kidding. You get the idea.

I also think a huge element is that he has all these big emotions and thoughts and is starting to figure out this world of ours but he doesn't yet have the vocabulary to communicate with us. I was chatting with my friend Nicole (or texting but you know how it goes) and she was explaining that from 20-24 months it was also really hard for her because of the same reasons. (She has an adorable 2.5 year old!) Our little ones are starting to gain a sense of independence and they want to exert that independence, but they don't yet have the tools to fully express what it is they want/need and the usual ways of soothing them and solving their problems (feeding, diapering, cuddling, sleeping, etc.) aren't cutting it anymore, because those little stinkers are smarter than we think.

So...long story short. Any words of advice for a frustrated mama who so wants to have her lovable, huggable, easy going kid back? Other than the obvious...keep calm and drink lots of wine ;0p. Or this too shall pass ( I really hate that one!).

I'm all ears (and eyes!).

Monday, February 8, 2016

Weekend Recap # 5 + a Mimosa Bar

I am moving slow this monday morning. And i can't even blame it on drinking too much at a super bowl party! Unfortunately I think a busy past couple of weeks is catching up to me and I'm coming down with a little something something. I'm loading up on the emergen-c's in an attempt to ward off any of the sickie ickies.

Moving on though...here's our weekend recap!

We had a pretty busy weekend (again) and it started off with getting the oil changed in our car followed by a trip out to the mall. It's my little sister's birthday tomorrow, so I wanted to pick her up a gift before we have her birthday dinner at my parent's house this evening. While we were at the mall, we also managed to pick a few things up we've been needing/wanting and our little dude got his very own big kid chair to kick back in and watch some 'toons (cartoons that is). HomeGoods had the most adorable chair and foot stool on sale for $79.99 ( a steal compared to the Pottery Barn ones that go for about $140) and we snatched it up! He was loving it!

After we got back from the mall, we walked to our neighborhood park and then finished off our day with a trip to our favorite local brewery, Perry Street Brewing.

Sunday was Super Bowl and we made up a bunch of food and went over to my parents to watch the game with our family. We had a Nacho Bar, Hot Wings, Super Bowl Puppy Chow, White Trash (a not so politically correct but very delicious dip), chocolate covered pretzels and a Mimosa Bar I threw together! Everything was delicious and we all ate too much food! And the best part, the Broncos beat the Panthers! I'm not a huge fan of either team, but I didn't want the Panthers winning after they beat the Seahawks in the playoffs.

Other weekend highlights included little man being mesmerized by Grease: Live!,  the usual laundry (with a super helper), cleaning and some epic games of hiding and peek-a-boo!

Cheers to a new week!

Mimosa Bar

Orange Juice
Pomegranate Juice
Peach Mango Juice
Champagne of Choice (we used Brut)
3 Juice Carafes
Mixed Berries (for garnish)

Fill a champagne glass about a 1/3 of the way full with fruit juice of your choice. Top with champagne and garnish with a few berries.


Saturday, February 6, 2016

Super Bowl Puppy Chow

I've got the perfect last minute festive treat idea for tomorrow' Super Bowl! Most of you know Muddy Buddies or Puppy Chow or whatever other name it goes by, but if you don't just know that it's both delicious and easy to throw together. It's a mix of Chex cereal, chocolate, peanut butter and powdered sugar. I know you're drooling now. What takes it up a notch is to add your favorite team's colors to the mix by adding in m&m's!

I'll admit I'm not a fan of either team this year, but I refuse to cheer for those filthy Panther's after they beat my Seahawks so this year, I'm rooting for the Broncos. I grabbed two bags of m&m's at the grocery store and weeded out all of the blue and orange ones to toss in with my Puppy Chow and voila Super Bowl Festive Puppy Chow!

This literally took all of 10 minutes to throw together, so if you're still looking for something to bring to your Super Bowl Party, try this!

Super Bowl Puppy Chow

9 Cups (or 1 Box) Chex Cereal of your choice (we grabbed Rice Chex)
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2-2 cups powdered sugar
M&Ms (or other colored candy of your choice)

In a large bowl pour the cereal and set aside.

In a microwave safe bowl, combine butter, peanut butter and chocolate chips and melt for one minute. Remove from microwave and stir. Add in vanilla.

Pour the chocolate mixture over your cereal and stir till all the cereal has a generous coating of chocolate.

Pour mixture into a gallon size ziplock bag and pour in about 1 cup powdered sugar. Zip the bag close and shake to coat all of the cereal with powdered sugar. If it looks like you need more, add about 1/4 cup of powdered sugar until you reach the right consistency.

Pour into a large bowl and mix in your m&m's.


Friday, February 5, 2016

Friday Faves

I started this last week and to be honest almost forgot! Here are a few of my favorites from this week:

Ladies + Babies. Several of my girlfriends and I all had babies around the same time, so once a month (give or take a little) we try and get all the littles together so they can play and the mamas can catch up and drink wine. We had a little Ladies+ Babies action last night and I so enjoy those nights!

I know I mentioned these already in my Valentine's Gift Guide: For Her but I am in love with these New Balance tennis shoes. 

Another earlier mention, but also this pineapple pen holder is so cute and each time I look at it, I want it more and more!

I know I'm like a year late on this one, but I'm so very excited that they brought New York Seltzer back! I'm not a big soda drinker, but I enjoyed one of these bad boys for the first time in a good twenty years for lunch today and it brought back lots of memories of big flip bangs, leggings (which are still amazing today) and bad haircuts.

Again...about a million years late to this, but I had no idea there were free downloadable desktop backgrounds you can download for your computer. Discovered these little gems this week and I'm absolutely in love with my new desktop background at work! Makes my day that much brighter :)

I finally purchased a 2016 planner this week and I love it! It was only $7.99 at Target and my OCD loving heart is happy. I couldn't find the exact one online, but here's a similar one. 

Finally, all of the Superbowl Recipes floating around the blogosphere as we get ready for game day! You can see some of my own Superbowl recipes here and be sure to check in next week when I recap my wings recipe and a Game Day Mimosa Bar!

Happy Friday Friends.

Valentine's Gift Guide: For Him

Other titles for this post: Valentine's Gift Guide: For the Hardest Person on Earth to Shop For!

I don't know about you guys, but I think it is so hard to shop for guys. It's not that my husband is super picky, I just feel like there aren't as many options/variety for guys as girls. I feel like the gifts I get for my husband fall into three categories: electronics, alcohol (he's a beer and whiskey lover), or clothes. And none of those options provide endless opportunity for something new and unique. Most guys (husband included) are t-shirts and jeans or sweater and jeans kind of guys, and you can only have so many of those items in your closet, right? Beer and whiskey can be fun, but I feel bad getting the same thing over and over and over again. And electronics, well - let's just say we have a fancy TV, an Xbox, a Wii, new cell phones, etc. Plus they can be expensive so you tend to want to save those types of gifts for big events (i.e. Christmas and Birthdays).

Anyways, all that being said, here are a few ideas for you to show that special guy in your life how much you love him!

This watch! - My husband loves watches. I feel like he has a mini-collection going. While he definitely does not need another one at this point in time, a watch is always a great gift for your guy! I love this all grey suede watch and for only $70, that's a great price!

Adidas Tennis Shoes - Guys and shoes. SOmetimes I think guys are even more shoe-obsessed then women are. I can guarantee that my husband has more shoes in the closet than I do right now, but I love these adidas tennis shoes and I think husband would too!

Shaving Kit - I kind of like how there are becoming more and more products for guys to use these days. While most guys probably aren't very likely to go out and purchase some fancy schmanzy shaving kit on their own, I would bet, they sure would like receiving one! Another great option is Birch Box for Men. It lets them try out different products and see which ones they like the most! I acutally gifted this to my husband last year and he loved it!

Jammies!  - I mentioned in my gift guide for her post, that we don't usually make a big deal out of Valentine's Day and it's true. I think a simple movie night in at home with some snacks and maybe a new pair of comfy jammies or lounging pants would be perfect for Valentine's Day! If your guys a dog lover like Kevin is, these are the perfect men's jammies for him!

Cookies - Is there anything better than homemade goodies? I think not! And if your guy is as big a fan of cookies as my husband is. These cookies would be a great way to show how much  you love him!

Movie Date Night - I mentioned above about a night in with some comfy jams. Target has these Movie Night Kits that you could jazz up with your favorite bottle of wine or your guys favorite beer, a Netflix (or Redbox) flick and maybe some pizza and you've got the perfect Valentine's Date Night In.

Happy shopping!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Valentine's Gift Guide: For Her

valentine's day is just around the corner and i thought it would be fun to put together a little gift guide! husband and i don't typically get to crazy with the valentine's day gifts, but i know some people do, so i thought it'd be fun to put together a little gift guide. and if my husband happens to read this and gets an idea or two from it...even better! ha!

new balances  - i have been searching for a pair of tennis shoes that i can wear to work on my "not so great / i don't want to get dressed days." some days just call for a t-shirt (or hoody in this winter weather we have here in the 'kane) and tennis shoes and these are ADORABLE! and any shoe under $100 in my book is a steal.

pineapple pencil holder - if you're anything like me, you spend a lot of time day dreaming and searching pinterest for what your dream house will look like one day. well my dream house includes my dream office where i can sit and blog and drink coffee (or wine) and do so without being interrupted by my adorable toddler. this pineapple pencil holder needs to sit on my imaginary desk, in my imaginary office, in my imaginary dream home. ;0p

red j-crew vest  - love this. if i hadn't just bought a blue vest, i would definitely snatch this up!

paddywax french apothecary candle - speaking of uninterrupted alone time, these candles would be awesome, while i'm enjoying a glass of wine, in a bubble bath without said toddler popping in to see what mommy is doing. ladies we can dream, we can always dream!

melinda marie small feather necklace - when lincoln finally figured out that he could yank the necklaces off my neck, he did so. with every single piece of jewelry i own. needless to say, i have a pile of broken necklaces and would love to replenish them. now if i can only figure out how to keep them from being ripped off my neck, i might  actually get around to purchasing one. but just because i can't have one, doesn't mean you shouldn't buy that special someone in your life one!

last but not least....flowers! trader joes has beautiful bouquets for crazy cheap! ($3.99-$9.99). Who doesn't love getting flowers on valentine's day! pick some up with a card, bottle of wine and a bar of chocolate and you've got yourself a date!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Valentine's Day Ideas

happy love month! valentine's day is only two weeks away and my little holiday loving heart is already perusing pinterest and scheming of festive ideas to make husband and little man's valentine's day full of lots love!

i thought i'd share a few ideas i've found in case any of you are in need of a little pinspiration ;0)

to start us off, here are a few valentine's day posts i've share in the past including a valentine's dinner for two and dessert ideas! and more importantly, the valentine's day shoot i did with lincoln last year as a surprise for kevin.

1. Chocolate Dipped Pretzels - lincoln and i will be dipping all the pretzels we can find in chocolate and festive valentine's day sprinkles

Photo from Glorious Treats

2. Valentine's Snack Mix - i'm planning on making a toddler friendly version of this valentine's day snack mix. i'm thinking animal crackers, strawberry toddler yogurt melts, dried strawberries and cheerios!

3. Heart Shaped Sugar Cookies - i use this recipe for all my sugar cookies lately because the dough holds the cookie cutter shape perfectly. i've already purchased some valentine's day cookie cutters and we'll be decorating all of the cookies!

Photo from instructables

4. Egg in Heart Shaped Toast - while i'm still debating between some red velvet flavored pancakes and this, i think these little heart shaped egg in toasts are too cute for a valentine's day breakfast!

and there you have it! 4 fun and festive valentine's day ideas to make the people you love feel extra special this month!