Wednesday, September 17, 2014

When Words Fail, Pictures Win

Happy hump day, friends! I'm a little lost for words these days so I'm taking a little downtime to recharge myself, my ideas, and my writing but I didn't want to leave you completely in the dark so I thought I'd share a little picture recap of life 'round these parts lately.

Getting pictures of little miss diva these days can be hit or miss. Most days, I get crotchety 'ol grump face but every so often, I get the silly, goofy, and completely adorable Chickie face that I love. And that smile? Oh that smile. It lights the world.

If you follow baseball at all, then you know the Yankees aren't doing so hot but they are hanging in there. Our littlest Yankees fan loves to show her support by 
sporting daddy's ski cap. 

My alarm goes off at 5:30 a.m. every morning during the week. This site is pretty much the only thing that makes that atrocity better and tolerable. 

We've enjoyed some outside time with the sidewalk chalk and while Chickie likes drawing...well...whatever a 3 year old draws, daddy and I duke it out cheering on our fave college football teams. Yes, folks. We are a house divided. 

We've also been enjoying a lot of snuggle and nap time with the fur babies. I post so many pictures of us that I often forget about our super sweet four-legged children. And really, our house wouldn't be nearly the home it is without their unconditional love and companionship. Thank you, Henry the dog, Henry the cat, and Kitten Butt for your love. 

Kitten Butt

Henry the dog

Henry the cat

Yes, we have two Henrys. Michael had Henry the dog before we met and I had Henry the cat. Needless to say, it can get kind of confusing at times.

We've been eating pretty well lately courtesy of my Pinterest dinner finds. This Alfredo artichoke chicken was the bomb. I'll be sharing the recipe soon.

One of Chickie's favorite games to play lately is hide and go seek. She really sucks at it, truth be told. We will say, "Where's Maddy?" while looking for her and she'll respond, "Right here!!" It's one of the most hysterical things ever. 

She's not so hot on the hiding either. Please check the little pigs hanging out from underneath this pillow case that she crammed herself under. So stinking cute. 

So that's life for us lately in a few little snippets. Nothing special, but special to us. 

Over the next week, you can look for a few posts from me talking about:
  • My thoughts on Adrian Peterson and disciplining as a parent
  • A home tour
  • Chickie's 10 Commandments to parents
  • A few good recipes
  • Thoughts on the mommy wars and judgey judgey moms
  • And last but certainly not least, look for an announcement for a really great September give-a-way! 
What have you been up to lately?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Oh, Hey Friday! {A Guest Post, Some Funny Videos, A Great Recipe, & MORE!}


First up, I'm happy and honored to say that I'm guest posting today on one of my favorite blogs, Sweet Turtle Soup. Courtney's blog is so incredibly fun, perfect, and I absolutely adore her creative talents with graphics and her sense of humor. Not to mention that her daughter is an absolute CUTIE so all around, she's pretty freaking awesome. No really - check out her IG and you will see - CUTIE! 

So head on over to Sweet Turtle Soup and check out Courtney's blog and my guest post today. It's a fun 'Getting To Know..." series so you can find out about all the inappropriate music I love listening to in the car - with and without my child. #parenttruth 

Thank you Courtney for the opportunity to share! XO!

Once again, the Pinterest Gods have smiled down upon our dinner table. I found this recipe for Caprese Lasagna Roll Ups a while back and finally decided to try it out this week. One word - AMAZEBALLS. 


This recipe was so easy and friendly on the budget too and for once, it actually ended up looking like the pin from Pinterest. Y'all know what I'm talking about. You find an amazing picture of food, you check the link to make sure it works, you pin it, and then you decide to cook it only to find that it looks NOTHING like what you saw and worse, it's an awful meal. The Pinterst curse. 

If you're looking for something new to put on the table, I highly recommend this meal. It will definitely become a part of our meal rotation, and if you need some other meal inspirations, check out my Pinterest page for more ideas!

Serena Williams watch out! 

For her Birthday this year, daddy got Chickie  her first tennis racket and balls. For those who are new to these parts, Michael loves tennis. He used to play in high school and also coached for a while at The Potomac School in D.C. and as a private instructor. When he found out I was pregnant, one of the first things he said was, "Our baby will start playing tennis when she's three." I thought he was joking.

He was not. 

Check out this super sweet video I captured this week of my two lovies playing tennis. And yes, it was in the house 'cause that's how we roll.

Speaking of videos, my other video find for the week is this insanely funny clip from BuzzFeed entitled 'Weird Things All Couples Fight About.' It's funny because it's so so so true. I nearly fell out laughing about the dishes being put on the counter instead of in the sink because that happens a lot around here {I won't name any names. AHEM. Michael.} and it drives me INSANE. Having said that, Michael is so super great about cleaning and helping out around the house, so I can overlook it. Almost. ;-)

Check this video and get a good chuckle for your Friday!

If you're looking for a fun new link-up to join, I found one this week by way of Stephanie at Wife Mommy Me called 'Mama Mondays' that's hosted by Leslyn Jacks of Leslyn's Lovely Life.  

This is a great link-up that encourages us mommies to pour out whatever is on our hearts as women and mothers in a completely safe, judge-free zone. I contributed this past week by writing My Best Parenting Advice and in the process, met some really thoughtful and amazing moms. Check it out! 

How was your week?

Have a fabulous weekend, friends!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Mommy Reflections: How We've Raised Our Daughter to Not Only Be Good but to Do Good

If there's one thing I've learned over the last three years of being a parent it's that I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing. I’m just being honest. I read all the books, took all the classes, listened to all the unwanted wanted advice, and watched all the parenting videos but let's be real - there is nothing that can prepare you for having your first child. It's a crazy roller coaster ride of emotions. Between the lack of sleep, adjusting to a new life and new normal, and learning about your child, it's easy to get caught up in the day to day hum-drum of life and forget our focus as parents. 

So while I admit that I’m still learning how to do this parenting gig right, there was one concept that I was certain of from the day that Chickie was born that I wanted her to understand: How to not only be good but to do good in this world. 

I believe this is a characteristic that starts early in childhood development and is either fostered to its full potential or thrown to the wayside by the parents as a child grows up to be an adult. I would say that from her sixth month on, Michael and I made it a point to begin instilling the ‘Not only be good but do good’ mentality to Chickie. It’s not a method that comes easy because it requires constant attention to our own actions, but it’s something that we work towards on a daily basis in getting her to understand good works.

Fast forward three years later, and I’d say our hard work is paying off. I see how attentive and caring she is with her friends at school. Just the other day I saw her rubbing the back of a classmate that was having a hard morning and asking, “Logan, you OK?” {Heart. Melt} I see how she does nice things around the house for us without asking and how she uses her manners to express herself and her needs. I see the kindness she expresses to strangers and the acute awareness she’s developed in recognizing that she’s not alone in the universe and that other people’s feelings and needs matter.

Now, don’t get me wrong. She can totally test my patience and my will. We have plenty of bad days, and there are times that I feel like the majority of my time is spent being the behavior police but overall, I think we’re on the right track. We expect a lot from Chickie which most parents would poo-poo for a three year old but I don’t understand why to be perfectly honest. I’ve always felt that our kids, even the babies and toddlers while they are still young, are people just like adults so why do we set such low expectations for them? I think that sometimes we shortchange our toddlers and pigeonhole them into a category of, “Well, she/he is only three. What can a three year old possibly learn about doing good??” 

My response? A lot.

I've come up with four ideas I think that fit the mold of teaching our children to not only be good but to do good as well. These are things that we’ve worked on each day since Chickie was a baby to make habit and routine in her life. They have proven to be beneficial in shaping the person that she’s becoming so I hope you find them helpful for your little one as well.

Catch my child being good and make sure she knows how proud I am of her.

When the days are long and crazy, it's easy to see the disruptive or negative behavior. I need to do a better job at seeing the positive behavior while letting Chickie know that I see and approve of her choices and decisions to do good throughout the day. Our children relish and crave our attention, adoration, and applause. They learn through our reactions to their behavior what doing good looks and feels like and they want to continue doing those things which feel good. It's a win-win for everyone, really.

Be the model for doing good.

Through a child's eye, everyone counts. Everyone is important - the sales person who is rude to me, the person who cuts me off in traffic, the neighbor who never picks up after their dog - each of these situations are opportunities to show our children how to treat others with kindness even when we feel it's hard to do. How I handle these types of situations sends a message that our children hold onto for a long time and remember. I can only hope that Maddy sees me as being kind?

Make sure that my words and actions are aligned with my values.

It's one thing to constantly say, "Share your toys with so and so. Share the slide. Be nice to Sally." But what do your actions say? Force your child to give up their seat on the swings if you see other children waiting - this is a perfect opportunity to show your child what it means to give and share. When another child falls down on the playground, have your child offer a helping hand. Our children may be too young at this point to truly understand the value of what they are doing but they will soon learn to associate kindness with helping others. 

Teach them to do good and big things in their small world.

In our busy lives, I think it's easy to get caught up in the larger community service projects because they're highly publicized and well-defined. Sometimes it's harder to notice the smaller acts of good that can be, or are done, by our little ones. 

While our children are young, I think it's important to make doing good meaningful to them on a level that they can understand easily through small acts of kindness; sending thank you cards to family and friends for gifts, sharing their special or favorite toys with friends, being mommy or daddy's helper, saying "Please" and "Thank you", giving small gifts of appreciation to day care and school teachers. All of these small acts of kindness make big impressions on the hearts and minds of our little ones.

These are my thoughts on ways to raise a generous and kind child. What are your thoughts? What advice do you have to share with other parents looking to raise kind, thoughtful, and generous children?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

6 Tips For Getting Your New Home Organized {Guest Post at Being Mrs. Beer!}

Today, I’m honored and thrilled to be guest posting on one of my favorite daily reads, Being Mrs. Beer. Jess and her family have just bought their first home {EEEK & CONGRATS!} and she reached out to me {along with some other lovely blog divas} to help keep her blog active while she and her family take time to unpack and adjust to living in their new home. I quickly and happily accepted! 

We each picked our own topic and I decided to write: 6 Tips For Getting Your New Home Organized.

After moving three times since November of 2011, TWO of those moves being cross-country, I figured I’ve racked up some great tips on making the move into your new home as smooth as possible. Here’s a sneak peek of my post today:

{ONE} Determine Your Priorities
“For some, it’s the kitchen. For others, it’s the bedrooms. Regardless of what your must-do-firsts are, you have to go in with a plan. Make a list of the rooms that are the most important to you and your family to unpack first and do them in that order. Do not start another room until the current one you’re working on is complete. I’ve always found that completing one room always gave me a sense of accomplishment and motivation to keep going instead of randomly opening boxes all over the house. This will keep order and a flow to things.”

For more on this tip plus five more points, head on over to Being Mrs. Beer to read more! I’ve also included an extra ‘Additional Tips & Suggestions’ section with pertinent info to help make your next move-in a smooth and successful transition. 

Huge shout out to Jess for this opportunity to share on her blog. If you haven’t taken the time to check out Being Mrs. Beer, do it! You will quickly see why I love Jess and enjoy spending time on her amazing space in the Internet world.

Have a great Tuesday!