Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Easter Weekend Recap

Happy Hump Day!  Sorry for my lack of posts lately but I've been outside with my little guy soaking up all of this great warm weather we've been having!  We've also been spending time with my grandmother who has been staying at my parents house the past week. 

I'm back today to drown you all in tons of our Easter which was 100x more special now that Miller is part of our lives :)

 We started off the early Sunday morning with Miller and his Easter basket.  Poor kid was still half asleep but I was just so excited for him to open it :)

My family came over around 11am for brunch.  I had such a fun time getting set up for brunch this year and the menu was delicious. 

Honeybaked Ham
Egg and sausage casserole
Hashbrown Casserole
Butter Crossiants 
Crumb Cake
Cheese Danish 
Fresh Fruit

 I made all of the adults mini easter basket full of candy.  I had planned to add a little bottle of alcohol to them but ended up forgetting because we were so busy Friday and Saturday. Oh well there is always next year! 

 Miller with my grandmother and Kyle

Me and my little guy

My sister and brother in law 

My grandmother, My mom and Miller

The best family pic we could get!  

Easter Basket from Grammie and Grandpa Chuck

 Trying to read Miller a story but the kid rarely sits still

The End! 

It you made it to the bottom- thanks for sticking around!   The holidays have become so much more fun and meaningful now that we have a baby- it's amazing to see the holidays and times with your family through your child's eyes.  There really is no better feeling.   I hope you all had a great Easter!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Miller's 1st Easter Basket

I decided to link up with Darci's blog hop and share Miller's 1st Easter Basket. 

We really didn't want to go overboard and turn Easter into the next Christmas so we tried to purchase some fun practical gifts for Miller.  He's only 9 months old so there is only so much we can do. 

I opted for the small basket from Pottery Barn Kids and had the liner monogrammed (obviously).   The basket is a little smaller than I thought it would be but the large one is gigantic and he does not need one that size yet so this works well for now.  

Close up of the Basket

Another shot of the rest of the basket

So here is what we put inside starting from the back of the basket:

1. Rabbit Ears from Target- these are more for me for fun photo ops on Easter Day :)  Miller will probably hate them. 

2. Books-  Books are always important and we tried to get some Easter themed books to add to the collection as well as one we know he'll like.  
 - It's Not Easy Being a Bunny
 - Little Blue Truck Leads the Way
 - The Tale of Peter Rabbit

3. Sunscreen- This is a practical one.  After everyone's suggetions on Monday I opted to get the California baby to use on his face and the Coppertone Water Babies Pure and Simple to use on his body. 

4.  Stuffed Rabbit-  As of right now Miller could care less about stuffed animals but I decided that he had to have a bunny on Easter no matter what but I didn't want to spend a lot.  I found this adorable bunny at Target for about $5! It's cute and soft and I won't be upset if it sits on a shelf forever. 

5. Summer Sandals-  I picked these up at Old Navy this week and they will be perfect for summer.  My parents are getting him a pool/beach themed Easter basket so these go with that. 

6. Green Toys Airplane-  We have the Green Toys Dump Truck that he loves so we picked this one up last time we were out.  I'm hoping it will be a hit!  

I also plan to add some plastic Easter eggs filled with cherrios and puffs for fun!  They will probably get thrown all over the floor but I think he'll enjoy it ;)

 So how do you do Easter Baskets in your house?  Do you go all out or try to stick with practical gifts?  
Tomorrow I will be back with more about our upcoming Easter weekend brunch and adult Easter basket that I'm making for everyone. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Weekend Recap and Birthday Party and Sunscreen Questions

Happy Monday Y'all!!   My sister is on spring break this week so we have some fun things planned.  Like a trip to Ikea and lunch today.  Woohoo!!

The weather here was so beautiful that I cannot say one bad thing about the weekend.  It was 75 and sunny on Saturday and 80 and sunny on Sunday.  It was magnificent.

On Friday Miller met the Easter bunny and it was a total success.  I wasn't sure how he would react since he seemed a little pensive when we arrived but he absolutely loved him!  It was actually a woman in the costume so I think that helped.

I picked up this navy and white stripe tank top from Old Navy last week and I'm obsessed!  It only cost $15 and it's comfortable and flattering.   It's also long which is a plus for someone who is tall like me.

On Saturday we spent most of the day at the park.  Miller absolutely loves the swings and can't get enough of them.  Kyle and I had a night out with some friends which was so fun! As much as I love my little guy it's so nice to get out and have some adult time and real conversation.  

I've already starting working on Miller's birthday and since I only have 2.5 months left (AHHHH!!) I was looking for advice on the following:

-What's a good party time for little kids? Miller takes a set morning nap from 8-10am but his afternoon nap is all over the place- it could be 12-2 or 1-2 or 3-4.  I'm trying to find a good time to start the party that would work for most parents with small babies/kids.

-Activites for older kids- we will have ages ranging from 6 months to 5 years old so I want to make sure that I have some activities for the older kids.  We are planning for a late June weekend so we hope to be outside.  A lot of people suggest moonbounces but I'm not sure how I feel about those so I would love to hear some suggestions!

My next question is about Sunblock for Miller- as you can see he has very fair irish skin!
I have a tube of the Honest sunscreen and it did a great job keeping the sun off of him this weekend but it's so greasy.  I'm not sure if this is common for the more natural sunblock but I felt like this was greasier than many others I've used and I had a hard time getting it off of him in the bath.
I would love to hear your sunscreen suggestions!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Currently Craving

**First off I just want to say thank you for everyone's responses on Monday's posts, I loved hearing from each and everyone of you and I'm still working on emailing everyone back**

Now here are some things I'm craving this week...

{Food and Drink} 

A Strawberry Margarita and Nachos... preferably outside somewhere warm

This bag...

This rug for my family room...

{For the Mini}
Yes I actually want obnoxious toys in my backyard

Aruba... we went here on our honeymoon and I am dying to get back there

What are you craving this week? 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Real Talk: Deciding to Stay at Home

I've never really talked about my job on this blog because I always felt it was better to leave this blog and my work separate.  As my life has changed so much over the past 9 months I thought that I should share what I've been doing with work and what I ultimately decided to do. 

Long story short I was a real estate agent before I had Miller and I actually went back to work when Miller was just 4 weeks old. I had 3 deals that were closing in August 2013 and the guy who was supposed to be helping me completely bailed.   Thankfully I could do most of my work from home and I was lucky to have the help of my sister since she was off work for the summer.  After I closed all those deals in August I kept on working as much and as often as was fesible with a newborn and no outside help.  I continued to work as I still had a listing until October 2013. It was stressful and not fun at all.  I had the worst attitude about it and the guy that I was working with at the time, another agent who has children himself actually said to me numerous times that he thought I really should have been working harder.  Mind you I hadn't even planned to go back to work until the end of September and I was still running on 3-4 hours of sleep so I my head would just be fuming anytime he spoke to me.  At that point I decided to take the rest of the year off to be at home, enjoy my baby and not have any outside stresses.  I'm very lucky to have that flexibility in my career.    As you may or may not know real estate agents work strictly on comission so if you aren't working then you aren't making any money.  So all of my time off was unpaid.   

Miller- 4 weeks old

My husband was very adamant about me staying home once Miller was born.  At first I was excited because to be honest I never thought I would stay at home.  It was just assumed that I would be going back to work, I knew that it wouldn't maybe be in the same capacity as it was pre-baby but I never thought that I would strictly be a stay at home mom.  While Kyle felt this way I was really still on the fence about everything.   
Real estate is a hard career to get started up in so I didn't just want to cut the cord 3 months after Miller was born and be done- what if once he got a few months older I got bored?  What if I didn't really like being at home?  What if I wanted adult interaction? What if I wasn't good at being home alone with a baby all day?   All of these things went through my head often and I worried about how I would handle my role at home. 
Ultimately we decided that in January 2014, when Miller was 6 months old, I would start working part time again.  I would mostly work from home but try to pick up clients/work on weekends and evenings as often as I could. My manager was very open to this idea and was willing to work we me to help make the transition smooth which was so nice to hear.  Well fast forward to January and with the kitchen renovation and Kyle traveling pretty much every single week that month it just didn't end up being fesible.  I was doing my research and learning the market again but I just didn't have the time to really reach out to clients the way I wanted to and dedicate time to them.   I then said February would be it and then March. 

Eventually we realized that without putting Miller in daycare or getting a nanny I just wasn't going to be able to go back to work.  Kyle's schedule is just too busy and unpredictable and with no guarantee of income on my end we just couldn't justify paying someone to watch Miller if I was only maybe going to make money.   
 So while I have unofficially been staying home since October I am now officially staying home full time.  I put my license in referral which means I can refer clients to other agents and get a small fee off of it, plus it's an easy way for me to eventually get back into the business in a couple of years when Miller is going to school and has a more set schedule. 

I'm not going to lie, not having my own income for the first time since I was 16 years old is hard but so far I LOVE being at home with Miller so much more than I ever thought I would.  I really think I was made for this, it just feels more comfortable to me that any job ever did.   Not everyday is rainbows and sunshine but I would take this over cranky clients every day.    I know that staying at home is not an option for everyone and I feel so incredibly blessed that I am able to do this while Miller is young.  
I also want to give props to working moms.  My mom worked my entire life and still does and I just cannot imagine how she did it.  She always looked incredible, kept an impeccable home, had a thriving career and marriage, and managed to raise two kids and take us to all 100 of our sports and activities all with a smile on her face.  Now that I'm a mom I constantly ask her how she did it and managed to stay sane!  

So do you work or stay home?  Are you happy with your decision?  I'm not trying to start a debate on the subject just more interested in others opinions!   If you don't have kids yet do you think you'll work or stay at home once you do? 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Five on Friday: Randomness

TGIF!!  I'm so happy Friday is here again!  We thankfully have no obligations this weekend so I can just sit around and relax and catch up on laundry and my DVR.  I love lazy weekends. 

Linking up as usual with these lovely ladies...  April, Darci, Natasha, and Christina

1. Dunkin Donuts Coffee-  I know I've talked about this love before but when I used to commute 45 minutes to work in the mornings I would treat myself pretty much every friday with a dunkin donuts iced coffee and a reduced fat blueberry muffin.   While I do not miss that commute or the job, I do miss my weekly DD treat.   I drove Kyle to the train station this morning so I treated myself to some DD and boy do I miss it!!

2. The Stairs- Miller has officially mastered the stairs.  I obviously stand behind him and guard him because he's still a little wobbly but it looks like we're gonna need more baby gates.   
The first time he completed them he crawled right up and opened his bedroom door and was so proud!   (the pics are a little blurry but I was trying to photograph and keep him from falling)

 So proud of himself!! 

3.  Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs- do these even need an explanation?   I bought a big thing for Easter and I think we have 2 left.  Oops.   They're addicting and they taste about 10x better in the egg shape.  Am I right?! 

4. Kate Spade Friends and Family Sale- I pretty much love anything KS and they are currently having their Friends and Family sale.  Here are a few items I would love to get my hands on. You can currently get 25% off with the code S14FFUS

5. Tombstone Pizza-  I don't think I've ever told you all this but my favorite frozen pizza is Tombstone Extra Cheese.  Both my sister and my husband make fun of me and say it's gross but I'm sorry I would take this over a Freschetta anyday.   I like to treat myself to some when Kyle is out of town since he hates on it so much.  

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Favorite Things for April

I decided to link up with one of my blog favorites Ally and share my favorite things for April! 

1. Monogrammed Tote Bag from Social Manor 
 I'm a bit handbag obsessed but I've been finding with a messy little baby boy that carrying around my pricey designer totes just isn't working anymore.  I still haven't lost my desire to shop for bags but I've decided to scale back and be realistic.   Enter Social Manor.  My sister has their monogrammed bowler bag and absoutely loves it so I figured I would give the tote bag a try.  To make things even better it's only $36!!!   Such a steal and it looks like a Longchamp to me.   I'm going to give it a try for summer- I'm hoping the hot pink will be back in stock soon!

2. The Husband's Secret
Description from Goodreads: Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive. . . .
Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret.

Just started this book this week and cannot put it down!   At first I was afraid they were cramming too many characters into one story but now that the story is unfolding it all makes sense.  I have a 100 pages left that I'm hoping to finish tonight.  If you're looking for a good read- pick this one up. 

3. St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse 
I know I've blogged about this before but this the best self tanner out there!  My #1 suggestion is that you have to use the applicator mitt that comes with it because that makes the application pretty much flawless.  If you aren't as fair skinned as me they do offer a dark tan option which my SIL uses and it gives her an awesome broze glow!  I applied mine last Thursday night and it's still on!  I plan to re-apply tonight because it's supposed to be close to 70 tomorrow and we all know legs look better in shorts with a tan. 

4. Glitter Easter Eggs from Target

 I'm not a huge holiday decorator but I'm trying to get better at it now that I have a baby.  (I know he won't remember but hoping if I start now I'll be better by the time he can.)  I went to Target yesterday for diapers and of course found these glitter Easter eggs and just had to have them.  I haven't quite decided where I'm putting them yet but so far I'm obsessed with them.  

5. Kate Spade Stud Earrings
I've had my eye on these earrings forever and I think I might need to pick up a pair this month to get ready for spring.  The pink just looks so fun and bright and will help me get out of this winter funk I've been having lately. 

What are some of your favorite things these days?!


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