Wednesday, May 31, 2017

What's Up Wednesday

Hey friends! It's been a while since I've participated in this link up! It's always a fun one so I'm back at it this month!

1. What we're eating this week: 
Monday- Memorial Day cookout...burgers and hot dogs
Tuesday- My dad's 70th birthday party 
Wednesday -take out
Thursday - Chicken broccoli rice casserole

2. What I'm reminiscing about:
The boys last day of school was last week and I'm thinking about how little Jack was just 9 months ago! His cheeks were so chubby and he looked so baby, now he's so tall and thinned out 

3. What I'm loving: The pool finally being open and Jack learning to swim! He is doing so good, and can swim without holding on to me, this is huge! 

4. What we've been up to: We've been in Charlotte since last Friday visiting my parents and celebrating my dad turning 70! 

5. What I'm dreading: the heat!! It's coming and will come quickly...I hate how hot and humid NC gets. By July it will be too hot to even go outside and the pool will feel like bath water. 

6. What I'm working on: In blog news..I'm working on growing my social media following. I want to gain genuine followers and not just follow for follow so it's proving to take awhile but ultimately that I'd rather have less followers who like my feed and I interact with than thousands that I could care less about. 

7. What I'm excited about: Our trip to Michigan! We just booked our tickets and head up there in July! (I am going to be looking for some guest posters, if you're interested leave me a message!!) 

8. What I'm watching: 
A lot of Trolls and Moana. And when I'm not watching that I'm watching Southern Charm and Southern Charm Savannah {still undecided on how I feel about this one} and PLL..I can't believe the final season is almost over, there are so many questions I still have! 

9. What I'm listening to: 
Moana soundtrack! It's really so good so I don't mind! 

10. What I'm wearing: These old navy rockstar Jeans and off the shoulder top. They are both so comfy and until it gets too hot I will be wearing these on repeat when not in my daily workout gear! Also still loving the ON swing dresses

11. What I'm doing this weekend:  Spending the weekend at the pool! 

12. What I'm looking forward to next month: The boys will start camp which is always a favorite of Jacks, and I know Graham will love it just as much! Followed but lots of pool days and play dates with friends! 

Bonus Question..What is your favorite trip 

I'd say my favorite summer trip is always our trip to Michigan! You can see my recap from last summer here

Linking up with Mix and Match Mama

Friday, May 26, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Fri-YAY! For some reason this has seemed like a really long week.

Lets hop right on in to my favorites from the week...

O N E | Last day of school...this picture makes me happy and sad. I can't believe how much my baby has grown over the last 9 months! He really has gone from a toddler to a little boy! I can't wait to see what he looks like at the end of next year.

T W O | Hydrangeas are my absolute favorite flower. I have wanted them all over our yard for years. We have several planted around different beds in our backyard. Each year we like to get a few pots to put on our porch and then will plant them at the end of the season. This year the blooms are huge! I love looking out on my porch and seeing them.

T H R E E | Graham had his 18 month check up this week and is 24 lbs and healthy as can be! I can't believe he will be 19 months old this weekend. He's growing so fast.

F O U R | My sister got a Peloton bike a few months ago and has been obsessed with it. Literally its all she thinks about! I have loved doing spin class for many years but due to the schedule and child care situation I haven't been able to do it much. We decided to take the plunge and buy a bike of our own and it was delivered this week. I am loving it! It has so many different options as far as classes. You can even take live classes and it feels as if you are actually there.

F I V E | Jack has taken tumble weekly all year and on Tuesday he had his parent observation. It was so cute to see what he has been learning! He's the only boy in the class but his two little best girlfriends are in there and he never seemed to mind.

We are headed to Charlotte this weekend. We will be celebrating my dads 70th birthday with a fun party! Speaking of this weekend, I know that it is also Memorial Weekend. Everyone is excited about the long weekend and official start to summer. My sweet friend Sarah who I've met through blogging wrote this on her Facebook page and I wanted to share it with you all. It really spoke to me and reminded me exactly why we celebrate Memorial Day. It is not about the red white and blue cakes, the pool parties, or the three day is about SO much more! Thank you for sharing Sarah and for being so open and honest with all of us. Your husband is among the true heroes of our country!!

This is Jane, one of my best friends. Jane is just one of thousands that lives with Memorial Day every single day. 
Just imagine, being in your 20s, sitting at your husband's funeral and being handed a folded flag that you are told is on behalf of a grateful nation, and then to realize that many people in that very grateful nation, don't even understand the one day a year we dedicate to our fallen heroes. 
I spoke to another friend this morning, she was hysterically crying because it's not even the weekend yet and she'd had her fill of "Happy Memorial Day" and all of the talks of beaches, sales, and BBQs. For her, the folded American flag that she now has in place of her husband is something that has gone unnoticed by the American people as we approach this sacred holiday. 
As for me, I've already read too many emails and blogs that reference "Happy Memorial Day!" and talk in detail about the red, white and blue desserts they'll make or clothes they will wear with not a single mention of the reason behind those most precious colors. 
I think the point is this: no one begrudges celebration, and I am confident that the Fallen would want those closest to them to live life - and to live it well. But what I think we owe them, and their families as a country who has benefitted greatly from their ULTIMATE SACRIFICE is to take a moment before the festivities and excitement of a 3 day weekend and really pause and consider the weight and significance of those who raised their hands and were killed preserving the American way of life (beaches, sales, and BBQ included).

* Linking up with Andrea, April, and Katie

Thursday, May 25, 2017

How To Host A Kid Friendly Party

I love having friends over! I think at least once a week we invite someone over for dinner or a play date. Whether its a casual Friday night pizza party with our friends and their kids or an Easter Brunch where I set out my fine china, hosting a party has always been fun for me!

Growing up I remember my parents hosting dinner parties all the time. They always seemed to have it all together...from the appetizers to the tablescape it was always done so nicely! So of course when my boys came around I knew that I would follow in their footsteps when it came to a party.  Since Jack was born I've hosted 2 baptism parties (Graham's) and 3 birthday parties (Graham's First, Jack's 3rd). The fourth one would have been Jacks 2nd birthday party, the invitations went out, the decor had been purchased but then our little Grahamy decided to come 3 weeks early and the party was canceled!

There are a few things that I like to do with each party I've hosted. I like to keep some aspects of it simple. I don't go overboard with food, usually a cake to match the theme and a few snacks for the kids. If it is during a meal time (both baptisms) we ordered BBQ from the local restaurant and had all the fixings with it.  This cut down significantly on how much time was spent in the kitchen! I set everything out (minus the food)  before we left for church and was able to pull the food out when we got home. This eliminated a bunch of standing around and waiting to eat. For the birthday parties we have had either just cake or cake and easy things like goldfish, cheese-its, some fruit. Nothing over the top because I have learned that most people do not even eat at a kids party! Except for the cake...I always take the adults into consideration when ordering the cake, it's my favorite part of a party and something I don't want to not enjoy!

As far as party favors, I don't like to send anyone home with "stuff". We all know that extra stuff just gets in the way and ends up being thrown out 99% of the time. I love to have sugar cookies made to match the theme of the party for my guests to take home and enjoy! And bonus, there is nothing for your kids to break 30 seconds after getting in the car!

When it comes to the decor for my parties, I try to keep it simple! For the baptisms some pretty floral arrangements, a framed invitation, and maybe a few pictures of the child being baptized. For the birthday parties I like to get a banner that coordinates with the theme and tells how old the child is. I also like to get balloons that coordinate. I usually try and decorate the cake table and that's about it! I did have picnic tables set out for Jacks 3rd birthday party and I topped them with a disposable table cloth and a big firetruck! I also had fire hats for each of the kids to take with them!

Lastly, one of my favorite parts of planning a party is choosing the invitation. As soon as I decide on a theme I will immediately start looking for the perfect invitation. In the past I have always mailed out my invitations. However, with the way technology is these days, sending one out via email seems so practical and helpful! I can RSVP right away and don't have to worry about losing the paper invite.
Paperless Post is a great website for finding and sending any kind of invitation. Paperless Post offers a variety of cards from wedding Invitations, birthday parties, baby showers and much more! They feature many awesome designers (Kate Spade, Oscar de la Renta, Jonathan Adler etc.) Along with the option to send electronically there are several cards that can be printed and sent via the mail! I just love that you have so many options!

I really love the variety of cards you can choose from. I've created 2 birthday invitations for the boys as well as a baptism invitation. These would be delivered to your email inbox and when you open them they even come in an envelope! There is also the paper option, like I mentioned above. The best of both worlds!

I hope that these tips were helpful and that you can put them to use in your party planning future!! 

This post was written in collaboration with Paperless Post. I only work with companies that I believe in and will use for myself and my family! 

*Linking up with Annie