Monday, January 27, 2014

Mama Monday: Toy Wrangling

One of the things about having children so close in age is that when one outgrows a toy, the other is not far behind in age range to play with said item. Due to the fact that they also get new toys for Christmas/birthday/good behavior/general cuteness, you can imagine that toys in our home multiply quite quickly. We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of our family and friends because my children have no shortage of things to keep them busy!

That being said, toys will march through the house and take over faster than I can say "preschool frat party." And if I'm not intentional with picking up and teaching our children to pick up too, that is exactly what this place begins to look like.

Originally we had intended that our study would be an office for me to work from home on occasion since I had always planned to be a working mother. However, now that I'm staying home with our children, it stands to reason that most of my "working from home" work would occur in a play room. Jack started calling it a toy room about a month before Christmas, so it was time to begin the transition.

It's taken me some time to get used to the idea of having a playroom, if I'm being really honest. Growing up, my toys were kept in my room, which seemed just fine to me. The idea of needing a separate room to keep toys in seems like a first world problem to the max, however, since we are home quite a bit, I see the need-slash-want for a place to corral everything.

Inspiration pic

I can't find a source for this picture. If you know where it originated, please let me know because I would love to give proper credit. I love this room.

While I realize this is a dining room, I think the colors work great for a play room, and we even have a play table in the center of ours. The overdyed turquoise rug is already in place, and I love it against our dark wood floors.

Up next we need to decide on a good storage solution, and then we'll be ready to hang some decor on the walls. Then comes the task of actually keeping the toys in the toy room. That'll probably be the hardest of all!

Where do you fall on the play room spectrum? A necessity? An indulgence?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Five on Friday: Valentine's Date Night

I'm linking up again today with more about Valentine's Day for a Five on Friday with The Good Life blog!

For the past several years, our Valentine dates have consisted of dinner at our favorite local Mexican restaurant, Joe T. Garcia's. It works out fairly nice now that we have children since it's casual, and they can join right along in our tradition. (We are Aggies, and Aggies love tradition.) My parents never celebrated a holiday like that without us (now, their anniversary? yes, we stayed home!), so it seems right that we would include our kids.

But if I were going out on a fancy date night for Valentine's Day, here's what I'd be deciding on:

C. Luce Poppy fit and flare dress.

This style is flattering on so many body types. Reviews say it runs small. Bonus, it's machine washable!

Geojacquard Dress

The two reviewers of this dress give it 5 stars. I keep thinking I'm totally over the high-low look, but this one is done really well. I like that it either looks lined, or the back of the fabric is black so you can't see a weird back fabric print in the "low" part of the high-low cut.

Am I making any sense? It's one of my pet peeves about high-low cut skirts.

Printed Fit and Flare dress

I noticed this one in store last week. A great heavy weight material that will be perfect with boots for a while until the weather warms up. V-Day and everyday! It comes in just a skirt too.

Pleated swing dress

This would be a departure for me, but I think it would look so cute with patterned black tights and black heels.

River Island Sleeveless Ruffle Shift

This one is on super sale, and I feel like someone should snap it up. That is a gorgeous pink and apart from V-day, this one could get a lot of miles at weddings, special dress up nights for vacation, even Easter. Very cute!

So tell me, on a scale of jeans and a t-shirt to LBD, where do your Valentine plans fall?

Some of the links in the post above 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! Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

New Ruffles at my House

This is kind of one more Christmas post, but I'm busy nesting over here. I'm decorating the house for Valentine's Day and moving things around to create a "toy room" (Jack's words, not mine) in what was formerly known as the study. In the process of all this, I snapped some shots of one of my favorite Christmas gifts.

On my mom's side of the family, the adults draw names at Christmastime. My cousin's wife got my name this year. She's a talented seamstress, and when I started brainstorming some suggestions for her for me, it was a no brainer. I have been wanting a neutral, ruffled table runner for a while, but I don't think my sewing skills are quite up to par for it. So I threw that out there to Andie as a possibility.

She took it and ran with it, and I love the results!

And yes, that Christmas greenery on my chandelier is the next thing on my list to take down and store. I forgot to do it before we put all the other Christmas decorations in the attic, so I'm dreading having to pull a box down from up there to put it away. I'm always scared I'll fall off the ladder.

She did such a beautiful job. I love the lace trim and box pleats, along with the grosgrain trim. It's perfect! Now to keep my crumb crushers' fingers off of it! She just recently listed it in her Etsy shop, if you've been on the hunt for something similar.

She also subscribed me to Southern Living for the year. Such a perfect combination!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


I had a really sweet weekend. We have quite a few exciting things coming up, so to spend it at home in anticipation of those was nice.

Saturday morning, praise the Lord and hallelujah, I had a hair appointment. My hairstylist books up fast, and about the time I decide to call for an appointment, she's solid for two months. I had an awesome, restful morning with a Pure Barre class and trip through Bluebonnet Bakery for a diet coke and a petit four before climbing into the chair for a trim, highlights, and blow out. Along with a copy of February InStyle. Yes and yes.

I wised up this visit and pre-booked my next appointment right before Easter. And then I wrote it in my planner. Such a novel concept, I know.

Saturday evening we loaded up to try a new pizza place in the shopping strip across from the TCU campus called Pizza Snob. It's a build-your-own pizza concept, and we all liked it a lot! Even Annabelle had her very first bites of pizza. The crust definitely made it.

And then we happened to be right next door to Cold Stone Creamery.

Sunday was a full day. We are prepping for D-Now, and I'm coordinating the 11th and 12th grade groups. Between rounding up drivers to move kids here and there throughout the weekend, getting t-shirt sizes for adults helping my groups, making sure food is covered, encouraging students to sign up, and various other tasks, I have a long to do list. This is right up my alley, so I'm glad to be able to serve the Lord in this way. We're excited about the weekend!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Mama Monday: Review of the BOB Revolution Duallie

Last week I sold my practically brand-spanking-new BOB Revolution Duallie. The reason? I straight up was not using it.

I bought it back in April, about a month before Pure Barre opened here in Fort Worth. With Pure Barre, I've found a workout I love, and all that running I envisioned to chase away the baby weight went by the wayside.

Here was my experience with it while I had it:

Pros: It is a fabulous, smooth ride. Great suspension and lots of mesh pockets to store stuff: toys, sippys, etc. It folds up easily, and unfolds fairly easily as well. It's incredibly sturdy and well made--like the Hummer of strollers. You could run over anyone on the trail in this thing. You can purchase a baby carrier adapter, separately, and still have a preschooler in the second seat.

Cons: It's heavy, weighing in at 34 lbs before you add two children to it. (Of course, if you're getting in shape after baby, this might be a pro for you!) By the time I got the kids ready and loaded into the car, plus the stroller loaded into the back of my SUV, I had already gotten a workout and was worn OUT. This really discouraged me from hitting the trail to run on a whim. Also, being a side-by-side double stroller, it's incredibly wide. I would like to take this opportunity to educate the mommies of America that this is not a stroller to take to the mall. Stores in the mall are not set up for side-by-side double strollers. Please and thank you!

(If you're looking for a great mall stroller, catch my review of the UppaBaby Vista here!)

Retailing around $500, it was too expensive of a stroller to continue to let lay in my garage, dejected and unused as I stepped over it on my way to Pure Barre. Thankfully, it resells quite nicely.

I love doing reviews of products because usually I take to the Internet to read everything about something before I purchase. I hope you find my personal experience helpful!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Housekeeping! Reverting from Google+ Comments

Pardon this interruption for a little blogging about blogging. Back in the summer I had enabled Google+ comments. While I liked the look and feel and the idea of Google+ comments, I found that anonymous users were not able to leave comments, and some Readers weren't able to see them at all. I also was never able to set up comment notification to my e-mail inbox, and I relied on that before to know when someone had left a note!

In addition, I never fixed the problem in the code that would link the true Google+ comment count to what was displayed on the main page. That's why every post said '0 comments' even though if you clicked it, there was usually more than 1 comment. My two children don't particularly care to give me much time for debugging, and I let it go as long as I could stand it.

What all this means is that since I reverted back to native Blogger comments, any comment you may have left using Google+ has now disappeared. I know. It's sad. I love the community of ladies that leave notes/advice/fun info on here, and I'm sad to see those months gone. (All of your old comments prior to my switch this summer are still there.)

But it's a new day and now even you, my anonymous readers, can weigh in on whatever it is that I keep posting about. Please do. I love hearing from you!

Thank you so much for reading Being Mrs. Gentry. See you in the comments!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Five on Friday: Valentine's Day Prep

I'm linking up with The Good Life today for another installment of Five on Friday!

I love Valentine's Day so much! I feel like I need to move on to it pretty quickly because I have even more important things going on in February--namely, celebrating the birthdays of BOTH of my children.

I've already started doing a little decorating around the house and am thinking of arts and crafts for the kids (ok, Jack) to do. I'm searching Pinterest for fun (easy) valentines, and I'm excited just over the prospect of all the happy pink cookies I plan on eating making. Easy recipes here and here.

But today I've been doing a little shopping to outfit the fam in Valentine colors!

I got an e-mail from Old Navy earlier this week, and this scarf kept me from deleting it immediately. It would wear well into spring and summer, as well as February 14th.

Striped infinity jersey scarf

This would be perfect for my sweetie girl. To Valentine it up, I'd have it monogrammed in red, and I'd pair it with Valentine tights that I bought her while she was still in the womb last year. Tights are so easy (for me) for her since she can't pull them off. That girl takes her socks off faster than I put them on. A regular sock Houdini.

Mix striped dress from GAP

OK, so maybe you can spot (or stripe) a trend here. I think this says "Happy Valentine's Day" well without being over the top. I feel like my little man is past the age of monogrammed clothes for holidays. Boohoo. This would coordinate with Sister, in a non-matchy sort of way.

Polo by Ralph Lauren Cotton Long-sleeve T

Bringing it back to Mama for a little bit, this option is so cute, and on sale! It reminds me a little bit of a J. Crew heart sweater I missed out on buying while I was pregnant.

Halogen Crew Neck Sweater

And just because 'tis the season. I would wear these in a heartbeat. (See what I did there?)

Heart Shaped Sunglasses

Some of the links in the post above 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! Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Meaningful Beauty VoxBox Post

I received another Influenster VoxBox way back before the holidays, and today's the day to talk about it!

This was a trial of Cindy Crawford's Meaningful Beauty Creme de Serum. I received the product complimentary for testing purposes. It was totally applicable to me because, hello, I do not hate anti-aging products in the stage of life I'm in now. And if you've been watching any TV lately, you'll recognize this as the stuff that Valerie Bertinelli's been pushing in those infomercials.

Here's what the card I received in my VoxBox had to say about Creme de Serum:
"Meaningful Beauty Creme de Serum is the ultimate youth-enhancing serum that addresses the past, present and future of your skin, helping to reveal a smoother, more evenly-toned and radiant complexion. Its unique triple blend of powerful anti-aging ingredients: super antioxidant melon complex, anti-aging peptides and halyuronic acid help hydrate, firm, and restore more youthful looking skin."
So it's supposed to hydrate, you say? This product really disappointed me where that is concerned. It dried out my face. I stopped using it after a week because I didn't like the way my skin felt. Also, the look of the container didn't impress me. I would take a plain white plastic pump over fake chrome any day of the week.

This is one that I would pass on, but I loved the opportunity to try it out!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Mama Monday: Organizing in the New Year

The one thing I haven't been able to shake since I became a stay at home mother is the feeling of disorganization. In the past, I would consider myself a Type A minus person. Organized, but flexible. I know what I plan to wear tomorrow, but I probably won't iron it tonight. You know what I mean?

But since May, I haven't been able to keep up with dates. For example, I know we have something going on this or that Saturday, but for the life of me I can't remember what it is. And of course my planner is blank on that day. Or I might go to the grocery store but forget the one main ingredient that is on my grocery list for tonight's dinner, thus creating a need for a subsequent trip.

For a while I blamed it on mom brain. But it doesn't appear that my mom brain is going away any time soon, so I've decided to compensate for it in other ways. Prevention, if you will. Since I no longer have time each day to sit down at a desk and review the needs of the day/week/month as I did when I worked, I need to find a way to compensate.

Here are some of the small habits I'm changing for myself for the good of my household this year.

  • Buy a 2014 planner. I invested in a planner that does more for me than some of the popular ones. I'm using the customizable Russell+Hazel mini smartdate system with weekly planner and monthly tabs. What I love about it is the ability to keep my long and verbose to-do list on the left, with the daily dates to remember on the right. I can keep my meal plan (oh yes, two weeks going strong) there together. I got the gold binder. It's pretty and clean looking.
  • Then actually use it. A planner is only good if write in it religiously and then keep it on me at all times. When I hear a new date, I write it down immediately. If we're home, my planner is open on the counter top.
  • Review the list. To remember my groceries, I'm pausing before the check out line to review my list. This may seem like common sense to most people, but I grocery shop on Monday morning with two children under 3. Usually by the end of our trip, it's time for lunch or otherwise a change of scenery. As my Grannie would say, "they've used up all their good," if you know what I mean. I need to take a deep breath, dig deep for more Cheerios in my bag, and review to make sure I've gotten everything. (I haven't been able to bring myself to be that mom who opens up the box of cookies before paying for it. I'm sure my day will come.)
  • Cut the clutter. I'm committed to ridding my house of the little piles that manage to make themselves at home. Some of that requires finding a new space for it. For example, I need a place for the non-junk mail to reside before it's dealt with. It's been banished from my kitchen counters. All of our bags need a home, and it's not the kitchen floor.
  • Create a master plan. Maybe it's just my background, but even as a housewife, I know I'll benefit from a project plan. I can barely pack a bag for a weekend away without a checklist. Why would I expect cleaning my house to be any different? This month I'm doing a deep cleaning of our major spaces and organizing clutter zones. My craft closet is an absolute disaster. It'll probably be the one I tackle last.

All of these things are obviously practical, common-sensical actions for me. I'm a practical, common-sensical kind of girl (with a few notable exceptions, such as handbags, pink, glitter, and baby girl clothes), and I'm committed to finding my organizational groove in 2014. As we know from all the New Year's motivational words floating around, small changes equal big results. I'm convinced these actions will help me continue to cultivate a wonderful sanctuary in our home--a haven from the busy-ness of the outside world.

For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.
1 Corinthians 14:33

Friday, January 3, 2014

Five on Friday: Spending Christmas Money

I'm linking up today for a Five on Friday post. It's been a while since I've done one!

You may have gotten a little jingle in your pocket as a Christmas gift, whether that's in the form of gift cards or that good old standard, cash. I've been trying to figure out how I will spend mine. These are my ideas from around the net!

Lululemon Open Your Heart Tank

Cute, on sale for $29, and just what we need to get us off of the couch and to the gym/studio/track.
I have this in pink and love it. Great for barre and perfect for any workout, in my opinion.

BaubleBar Tortoise Byzantine Pendant

Just because it's pretty, and I like pretty things.

Anthropologie Jewelscape Tee

I love the neckline detail on this tee. And it's on sale for $39.95, plus take another 25% off with code WARMUP during their winter tag sale. This is an Anthropologie bargain. Multiple colors available. All pretty.

Nine West Lavalu Leopard print flat

I saw these yesterday at Belk, and they were incredibly cute in person.
A great leopard print pony hair flat. Since leopard goes with everything, I would probably wear them every day.

Nordstrom Bobeau Asymmetrical Fleece Wrap Cardigan

I've had my eye on this wrap for a couple of months. I love the heathered pink rose, and it's on sale. This would be perfect over my leggings to and from Pure Barre as well as with jeans for any other time of day.

Do you have Christmas money? Are you spending it quickly, or saving it for a rainy day?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Christmas Finale 2013

One more post and I'll be done with Christmas 2013. Maybe!

The morning of Christmas Eve, we made cookies for Santa. We did this growing up on Christmas Eve each year, and it's a tradition that I'm loving to keep with my own family. I know many of you probably do the same.

After lunch, then naps, we headed on over to our church's candlelight service. There is no nursery--the children attend as well. They did great, and I love that we all were in worship together to celebrate.

We went home and had supper before opening our gifts from one another. Woody from Toy Story was a gift from Annabelle. This was my very first stealth Christmas purchase. I grabbed it the week before school let out for the holidays at the Disney Store while the kids and I were out shopping without Jack noticing, with the help of a great salesgirl. I felt like a super parent that day. That's also Annabelle's first baby doll, from Mom and Dad.

And now someone is ready for some spring golf!

After laying out cookies and Dr. Pepper for Santa, we tucked the under 3 crowd into bed and got busy. (At the time this pic was taken, Annabelle had already gone to sleep on me!)

The next morning, we were up before the children which never happens on a non-work day. I think it confused Jack, but as soon as he saw his "four-wheeler like Granddaddy's," he got over it! Santa even brought him an Aggie winter hat to keep his ears warm while he rode it.

Little Sister got a Pottery Barn Anywhere Chair, a Fisher-Price stroller/walker for her new baby, and that fabulous vanity I posted about earlier. She is so sweet!

It was a wonderful Christmas for all!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Celebrating 2013

As much as last night was a celebration of ringing in the New Year, I can't help but look back with nothing but gratitude for so much in 2013. Let's take a walk down memory lane.

In February, just two days after Jack turned two, we met baby sister.

And then, I quit my job of over a decade to stay home with my babies.

We spent some days at home in our pajamas while I adjusted to life with two children.

And then I got it together and we made many trips to the Fort Worth Zoo, the Science Museum, and the parks around Cowtown. And sometimes just to Chick-fil-a or HEB just to give us something to do.

We took our first vacation as a family of four.

Over the summer, I fell in love with Pure Barre. And thanks to it, better eating, and the safe delivery of an 8 lb 3 oz sweet baby girl, I'm starting the year a pound under my pre-baby weight (which was last seen in 2010.)

It's been a great year, focusing on serving the Lord, serving my family, and taking in this beautiful life. I'm in hopeful anticipation for more of the same in 2014. Happy New Year!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...