Friday, April 25, 2014

Five on Friday: Things I'm Loving Today

It's a gorgeous Friday afternoon here in Cowtown, and I'm sitting across from my little guy making play-doh snakes and worms while waiting on the little lady to awaken from her afternoon nap. It just occurred to me to put some Five on Friday on the blog. Here we go!

This week has been Navy Week in DFW, which is designed to bring awareness of the services the Navy provides as protectors of our freedoms here in the US. A large event alongside it is the Air Power Expo, featuring the Blue Angels is going on this weekend in Fort Worth at the Naval Air Station. Admission is free, and besides the Blue Angels, they have the Navy Parachute Team the Leap Frogs as well as other trick performers. It looks awesome!

I took this pic. They've been practicing over on our side of town.

I bought this maxi dress in navy from GAP a few weeks ago. I'd been looking for a maxi dress this season that looks mom-appropriate. I just need it to be cute and provide adequate coverage for chasing preschoolers. This one does the trick. The material is a good weight.

The good: it doesn't need to be hemmed because you can adjust where the drawstring hits on your waist. The meh: even though I followed the care instructions, it shrunk in length, which was fine for my height, but it changed where I place the waistband.

GAP Maxi Dress

One of my favorite fluff blogs is Day Old News. The author lives in LA and writes about movie premieres, Hollywood parties, but mostly, she catalogs what they wore to these things. Just beautiful clothes, with interesting tidbits of information thrown in. I especially like her award show recaps.

These sunglasses were in Annabelle's Easter basket, and I can't get enough. Crazy 8 has reasonably priced cute children's play clothes. She got a swimsuit from there too!

I have three more classes to go in my Pure Barre studio's 20 in 30 challenge. That's twenty classes in thirty days. I usually get at least that many in each month, but this one's been hard with the holiday plus I got the sniffles from the kids that I've just powered through. I'm ready to kick this sickness!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Our Day on the Texas State Railroad

One of the most fun things about having children is the ability to revisit parts of your childhood that you loved without anyone questioning your maturity. If you lived anywhere in east-central Texas growing up, you've probably ridden the Texas State Railroad at least once. When I called to purchase our tickets, the customer service agent asked how I had heard of it. I can't remember how old I was the first time my family rode it, or there was that time we went on our 3rd grade field trip, or when my brother was old enough to be into trains.

We caught the train out of Palestine, but there are also departures from Rusk. As I mentioned in our Easter recap, this was Jack's 3rd birthday gift from us, and we took a crew along. It was so fun!

They are in the process of restoring the old steam engines, so for now, they're running diesel engines instead. And of course, this gives us a reason to go again!

It's an hour and a half one-way to Rusk from Palestine, leaving at 11:20 and arriving back around 4 PM. We rode in the enclosed car with windows we could adjust to keep the wind at our liking. The weather has been so unpredictable lately, but the day was nice enough that we kept the windows all the way open both ways.

Right behind the engine as we were going out, the open air car had an open air deck/porch area where you could go and see what was going on. The engineer turned around and waved at us, and of course that made the trip.

On the deck watching the action

Once we pulled into the Rusk Depot, we picnicked under the tall East Texas trees. It was such a perfect day to be outside. We couldn't have asked for better weather! Jack was flipping out with excitement as they turned the engine around and attached it to the other end of the train to take us back to Palestine.

We're so proud of this big little guy, and it's a blast to be his mom.

This is a great day trip from the DFW area. They offer box lunches for $10, but we packed our own lunch which was just as fun. I think the non-climate controlled cars are where it's at. Not only are they significantly cheaper than the climate controlled car, the seats are not assigned, and you feel a little more at ease roaming around if you need to stretch your legs.

Also--there were quite a few "adults only" parties checking out the scenery that day. As they say, "All aboard!"

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Chop Chop!

I made a hair appointment for Good Friday afternoon back in January. My hair stylist works part-time, and it takes a miracle to get a last minute appointment with her, so it's easier to just plan ahead. And I love her so no one else will do! Between January and now, I've been considering a change for my hair. With the Texas summer on the way, I thought it would be nice to have it shorter. Less dryer time, less pony tail, and hopefully less fuss? We'll see.

I had fallen into a bad habit of twisting it up into a bun instead of actually doing something to it, so I'm hoping this will cure me. I just feel better when I do my hair. Also, hopefully this will let all those little baby hairs--the product of post-pregnancy hair loss--grow back out together.

Dress: Anthropologie | Belt: Anthropologie | Earrings: Kendra Scott

When I climbed into the chair, we discovered that I had enough to donate and still keep it to the length I wanted! So, awesome, I sent a little over 10 inches to Locks of Love!

In an inconvenient turn of events, my curling iron died in spectacular sparking fashion yesterday so now I'm fixing it with my backup curling iron. Hopefully a new one will ship soon so I can figure out how to fix my "new" hair!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter 2014

For the first time in a really long time, we were able to spend the entire weekend in my hometown for Easter. We normally have responsibilities with Sunday school at our church, but a schedule change resulted in no Sunday school (or Sunday Morning Bible Study--I can't get used to that!) on Easter Sunday morning.

We drove in on Friday evening (after a hair chop for me on Friday afternoon--whoa) and had fajitas at my parents with the rest of the family that was in town. The next morning we were up and at 'em early because Jack was finally getting to cash in on his birthday gift from us--riding the Texas State Railroad. That deserves a post of its own, so it will get one. Here's the whole crew that went with us--my parents and my cousin Josh with his wife Andie and baby Luke.

We spent most of Saturday riding the train, and by Saturday night, we were fairly worn out. My Grannie and Pop hosted us all for pizza that evening when we got back, before heading off to our pajamas.


Sunday morning we slept in a little, then met my parents for church. Jack went into the service with us while Annabelle hung out in the nursery. They have a neat Easter tradition at their church (and many of you may do the same, from the looks of Instagram!) where each person brings a flower to decorate the cross with. It was really beautiful, and today Jack was recounting for me that he got to do that yesterday. He also detailed that he got to hunt for Easter eggs at Grannie and Pop's after lunch. My aunt, uncle, and other cousin came in for the day, so we got to visit with them too!

Both of the children got to hunt for Easter eggs. The little lady's were Cheerio and marshmallow filled, some of her faves!

It was a great weekend celebrating the Risen Savior, surrounded by family!

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!
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