Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Us, Lately!

We've been busy the past few weeks during my unintended blog silence. Here's a little peek at what we've been up to!


Way, way back a month ago, we spent spring break at my parents' house. If you had told me when I was 16 that I would actually plan and enjoy a spring break in my hometown, I would've called you crazy. Yet that's exactly what we did. We played at the great community park (with a real retired fire truck that's been retrofitted for kids to crawl all over!), hung out with Sugar and Granddaddy, and ate snow cones. It was great!


Speaking of my parents, last weekend they treated us to Disney on ice last weekend. It was so much fun!

Side note: I often find myself telling Jack to stop making the exact same face I'm making in that family pic. I have been baffled until now on where he picked it up. Poor kid.


The first nice day with nothing on our calendar, we high-tailed it to the Fort Worth Zoo. They have an exhibit on right now called GIGANTABUGS which is quite like it sounds: gigantic replicas of bugs. Especially creepy ones are the scorpion and tarantula. The tarantula is hairy and probably as big as two mid-size SUVs. And they all move. {Shudder}

Not everyone appreciates a good selfie on the train.


I've still been going to Pure Barre religiously. Back during the Olympics, they were having a contest regarding social media check ins and attendance, so I was checking in on Facebook everyday. My friends were like "did you stop going?!?" Nope! I'm still there almost every day, but I only post sometimes. Right now I'm dying (exaggeration) over these blue Splits59 crops and waiting for my studio to get them in.


I cooked my first whole chicken using this recipe from Fort Worth Moms Blog. It reminded me of cooking a pot roast, once I got past the mental block of sticking my hand inside the chicken. Maybe I should stick to pot roast. The chicken was delicious though!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Bunny Banner: An Easy Easter Craft

It's been quite a few weeks since I posted anything, and I've been missing my blog! That's weird to say. Almost as weird as that time my husband told someone that blogging is one of my hobbies. I guess it is, and I guess that's not too much worse than shopping being a hobby (which it is). Anyway, hi and happy spring!

Last week I was fluffing my house for the season and realized I didn't have much in the way of Easter decor. We need some chicks and bunnies up in this place. Preferably not the chocolate ones because I will just eat them. And preferably not live ones either, family!

I whipped up this easy little bunny banner. It's sweet and precious and easy. All supplies (except for the bunny stencil) were bought at my Super Walmart, which carries fabric again. What were they thinking ever taking out the craft section in Walmart? Glad they fixed it.

I cut my own pennant banner pattern out of poster board a few years ago and have used it several times. It was a very technical process (except it wasn't) that yielded a big triangle. I used my Silhouette to cut the bunny out of card stock, but you could google "bunny silhouette," print your favorite result on thick paper, and cut it out.

My pennants are burlap which makes a big ol' dusty mess when cut, but I love the look of it, so what do you do? And the quilt binding is found near the thread. This was a 7/8" width which was 3 yards long (and obviously I used light pink instead of red shown here for example). I used the entire length for my mantle and have a little over a foot hanging on each end.

After painting the bunnies, I tucked the pennants into the binding and sewed the whole thing, but you could easily hot glue. Then I just hot glued the cotton tails on. Definitely my favorite part!

We're excited about Easter! Every day, the kids pull the baskets down off of the hearth, throw the eggs around the living room and then...I make them pick them up. It's great practice for the church egg hunt!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Party Recipes

Today I wanted to share a couple of recipes I used for Annabelle's party.

Chicken Salad
I used this recipe for chicken salad and really liked it. The onions in it made it different from others I've made before. It had almost a French onion taste, while still being chicken salad. I used grapes and left out the walnuts.

Using a rotisserie chicken was genius. After de-boning it, I shredded it in my stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Both of these items combined to make the chicken salad a snap.

Party Sandwiches
For the party sandwiches, I made these that I've mentioned before. They're always a hit, so I keep on making them. I assemble them the night before, cover and refrigerate, then make the glaze and bake about 30 minutes before the party. They come out at the perfect time to be warm but not finger-burning at the start time.

Fruit Dip
And then there was the fruit dip. I ran out of time to make the fruit dip because I forgot to set out my cream cheese, so I made it the day after. Otherwise, it takes approximately five minutes to make. So easy, and so incredibly delicious. Only three ingredients. We ate it with a spoon when we weren't dipping strawberries in it.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Smocked Auctions Spring Warehouse Sale

The week of my kids' birthdays, Smocked Auctions had a warehouse sale over in Dallas. If you're not familiar with Smocked Auctions, it started as a children's clothing company that primarily held an "auction" on Facebook each Thursday night starting at 8:30 PM. They expanded into Instagram selling, and during their warehouse sale, they announced the launch of their website, which now offers cute kids' clothes 24/7. So you can get your smocking fix anytime, of course.

Back to the warehouse sale. Smocking? On sale? Local?

What time should I be there?!?

My sweetie girl and I headed over to Big D on the second day of the sale because that's when we were free. They didn't allow strollers in so she sat on my hip in her sling, leaving me mostly hands-free to shop. There were quite a few kids running around, so kids were definitely not prohibited, just the strollers.

Even though it was the second day, I found plenty of cute things. Smocked items were $29.99 and non-smocked were $19.99. They also had a few fine children's brands such as Florence Eiseman and Feltman Brothers priced separately (i.e. more than $29.99). I didn't come across any of these in our size.

But we did manage to score some cute spring and summer dresses for my girl! I was actually looking at the Petit Ami sailor suit on another site, so I was pleasantly surprised to find it here for around twenty bucks. We grabbed a couple of bubbles, one of them for Easter (please warm up, Texas), and one other very sweet dress that she wore on her actual birthday. She felt very sassy and cute in it, and she showed it throughout the day (in a good way, I promise!)

The actual birthday day dress. Perfect for spring and summer.

I didn't shop far out of our current sizes (18 or 24 months, depending on the brand) since it was primarily spring and summer items, but I noticed they had quite a bit for older girls too (like through kinder-sized).

I think they have a fall sale as well. It was definitely worth the drive to find cute boutique outfits for a deal. I would go again.

A successful shopping mission for my girl and me!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Mama Monday: Imaginary Mom's Day Off in Ft. Worth

It's Spring Break here in Texas, and as such, we won't be going anywhere around Fort Worth. There are record breaking crowds in all of our favorite spots like the Fort Worth Zoo and the FW Museum of Science and History. We'll stay far from there.

Spring fever is a real thing. Today it's got me dreaming of what I would do in our fair city if I had a mom's day out (and no spring break crowds)! Here's what I came up with--my incredibly self-indulgent dream day in Fort Worth.

I would start my day with a later class at Pure Barre Fort Worth. Later, like 8:30 am instead of 6. If I don't get up early, I feel like I won't do anything but stay at the house in my pajamas.

After barre, I would swing through Blue Bonnet Bakery for one of their delicious donuts and a diet coke. I love their cakes, but their donuts fresh out of the fryer are SO GOOD. It's located in a renovated church, and they've kept a lot of the stained glass windows and neat features. I half expect someone to hand me a church bulletin every time I walk through the doors.

Since I'm staying close to Camp Bowie apparently, I would make my way back west to the Lemongrass Aveda Salon for a facial, massage, and pedicure. I've never checked them out, but today would be a good day to try it.

Next I would head down to University Park Village and pick out a new sundress from Anthro and accessories, before stopping by McKinley's for half a chicken salad sandwich, chips, and a Dr. Pepper (because they don't serve diet coke, rude, but it's my excuse to get Dr. Pepper). After dining alone with a book (likely Pride and Prejudice), I would make my way back to my house for a nap. And of course my house would be totally picked up when I got there because this is my own imaginary day off.

Let's be real. I'd miss these faces.

At the end of the day, I'd grab my little family of four and head to Joe T's, where did I mention it's a perfect 85 degrees outside, and there's no line to get in the patio? We'll need two orders of fajitas because our kids eat so much these days, but it would be a fabulous evening under the Texas sky. I'm splurging on cheese and sour cream.

Ahh, so fabulous. What's your favorite escape if you're stay-cationing in your town?

Next Mama Monday will be my kids' dream day in Fort Worth.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Five on Friday: In Search of Mom Shorts

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I would use personally! Happy shopping!

I'm linking up with April, Christina, and Natasha, again today for another Five on Friday.

Somewhere around the time I turned 30 and had children, the shorts I wore in my 20s all of sudden became gauche for the stage of life I'm in. One day they were totally respectable and modest, and the next day they were too short. Somewhere in there, I had two kids and just bought some simple basics to get me through that time period. I was either working or a few months post-partum and didn't give it much thought.

Last summer's shorts don't fit, all for good reasons. Now here I am, figuring this out: in search of mom shorts.

And actually, all of these shorts I picked out today are just great modest length shorts. If you're not a mom, don't run away.

Lightweight Bermuda Short

These seem incredibly long on the model, however, I do have a pair of them from pre-children. They were perfect for work events where a casual dress was too dressy, capris too granny, and a shorter in-seam was out of the question. They are truly light weight, and that's a bonus for the Texas heat that I'm praying comes SOON. This is such a happy color.

Boyfriend Roll Up

I lived in these the last two summers, but my pairs are all too big. (Yay!) The nice thing about these is that they are loose to begin with, so you most likely can size down. Who doesn't love some good vanity sizing? They come in a bunch of colors, plus they go through the washer and dryer well.

Boyfriend Roll Up Stripe

This is the same short, with stripes drawn across it and $5 more. Definitely cute if I decide I can handle stripes across the backside. That's where I will have to consult my mom. She'll give it to me straight.

Floral Knit Shorts

These are a little shorter, but I thought they were so cute, and KNIT! They sound so comfy. Very lightweight. I can imagine these would be good on days where we play outside a lot.

5" Chino Short
(25% off with code: WARM)

I bought two pairs of these last summer before going to church camp with our students because I thought they were a good length. And they were, but they shrink a bit, so buyer beware. Lightweight, great price point, many color options.

Nike Tempo Track Short

A little bonus to my five, for my mommy friends who like to spend their summer days in these Nike Tempos. Who wouldn't? They dry quickly when someone spills bubbles all over you (again). This site has great prices on them!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

New Hormel REV Meat Snack Mix (Product Review)

Recently I partnered with the Hormel REV Meat Snack Mix Blogger program. They provided complimentary product in exchange for my review. All opinions, as usual, are my own!

Let's talk about Hormel's Meat Snack Mix. If there's any meal of the day that I can get behind it's SNACK time. We're on the go so much between between our commitments, our fun, and our fun commitments that having a conveniently packaged snack that isn't all carbs caught my attention.

The snack mixes are made with real meat and totally portable--meaning no refrigeration is necessary. Each contains 12 grams of protein or more.

The day I received the package in the mail, we were headed out of town with a bunch of teenagers, one who had just come from a tennis tournament. I passed out a couple of them, and they were devoured in minutes. I told them I would be blogging about this and asked, "Would you recommend it?" They gave the thumbs up.

In my current life stage though, obviously my little people are my main concern. I handed this over to my son and let him go at it. He loved it! Between the container it came in being personal sized, and the treats inside, it was a winner.

We tried 3 flavors: Pepperoni Pizza, Spicy BBQ and Bacon, and Turkey Ranch. My fave was Pepperoni Pizza.

Currently they're only available in Kroger stores in DFW and select Smith's stores in the Salt Lake City Area.

Locally, you can find them at these Kroger locations:

6650 N. Beach St. 76137
5330 S. Cooper St. 76017
3001 Matlock Rd. 76063
12600 N Beach St. 76244
3300 Broad St. 76063

Happy snacking!
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