Monday, September 26, 2016

Our Washington State Trip Recap Part 1

Wow! This past week has been a whirlwind coming home from vacation. We were gone a total of nine days, coming home past midnight Monday and heading straight to work on Tuesday. Never again I tell ya! I’ll be sure to plan some time before returning home and work next time. Work has not slowed down for either of us and we had to get right back into the swing of things right away which was pretty tough! The girls adjusted really well, but I have been struggling all week long.

Have you ever been to Washington? It is one of the most beautiful states I’ve ever seen! Everywhere is so green, the sky is extra blue, and the clouds look painted on. We’ve been planning this trip for years, and finally had the chance and opportunity to go. Matt and I both have family up there and when we first planned on heading up there we bought our house and when I transferred positions I wasn’t able to get the same vacation week I had before so we put it off for the next year. When the next year came about I was pregnant and Emma would be born right around the time we would want to visit so we put it off again. Then, Matt’s cousin got engaged and planned her wedding for this September and boom, we were going!

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With her wedding on a Saturday, we decided to fly in the week before and spend the first half of our vacation with my side over by Seattle and then rent a van and drive to Spokane to spend the second half with Matt's side, meeting up with his parents and sisters for the wedding. It was a perfect plan and so, so much fun. It was honestly one of the best vacations of my life and a trip I’ll always hold dear to my heart. It was so fantastic seeing our families and each of us getting to know the other side’s family better. There were lots of cousins, babies, family BBQs, and late nights after long days filled with activities.

As soon as we flew in, some of my family greeted us at the airport, where I almost immediately burst into tears and cried like a baby. We started the trip off right away and headed downtown to check out the Space Needle, have lunch, and visit the Children’s Science Museum. There were so many great features of the museum and the perfect place for all the kids, Ellie literally ran from one place to the next with excitement. We didn’t get to see the entire museum, the kids couldn’t last, and I would love to go back again on our next trip.

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Sunday morning we headed to the Sun Break Café and my life will never be the same. I had hot chocolate with a mountain size of whip cream and their strawberry cream cheese French toast and it was absolutely incredible. It’s funny because I almost didn’t order it in favor of traditional French toast, but on a whim I asked the waitress which was her favorite item and she told me the strawberry jam and cream cheese dish so I figured, I’m on vacation why not? Boy am I glad I listened to her! You only live once people, go get yourself a plate. At the café, they also have the best banana bread any of us have ever had. My aunt and cousins all said we had to try and often come by just to get a loaf themselves. The café steams the bread and it is incredibly moist, my mouth is watering just thinking about it now.

After breakfast we headed to Point Defiance Zoo which is placed in the middle of the forest and the drive around to find the parking lot, we saw three deer and I kept repeating to anyone who was listening about how gorgeous all the evergreens are. We have a zoo pass to San Diego and try and go as often as we can, but it was a lot of fun to visit a zoo in another state. The girls loved it, they have a monkey there that put on a big show when he saw us, swinging all around and playing. Ellie just cracked up! We ended the day with a big family BBQ, Italian sodas, and lots of cookies.

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Late Monday morning, we headed out to visit Port Orchard to see one of Matt’s aunts. She has a home right on the lake and we spent the entire time outside on her patio eating and talking. Tuesday we were back at it again and headed out to Pike Place’s for some shopping and lunch. It was so much fun and I have been here before when I was little, but I barely remembered it. Ellie had a blast looking at everything, trying samples (including chocolate pasta!), watching the shops toss fish, and sitting on their golden piggy bank. We enjoyed fish and chips outside and watched the ferries, the weather was absolutely beautiful! We couldn’t leave without a few goodies, including matching hoodies, ornaments, my very first apron! The day ended with another big family BBQ, a dip in the pool, and s’mores around a fire pit.

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We loved Seattle, it's a gorgeous city and so full of life! Pike Place Market was one of my favorite stops, all the flowers and shops were beautiful! We loved all the time we spent there, the skyline is stunning and all of their hanging plants are so vibrant and lovely. I'll have part 2 up tomorrow so come back to see the rest of our trip!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Baby Food Recipes with Gerber Lil' Bits

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When we started Emma on solids, I did the same thing for her as I did for Eleanor and made all of her food myself. It’s important to me to know what I’m feeding them, the ingredients that went into making it, and ensuring that they’re getting the best to help their bodies develop. I also wanted to make sure that as I was introducing them to a wide variety of food with different flavors and textures.

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Every Sunday I would steam, boil, or bake different foods and then puree them for the week. Emma devoured all of our purees and loved anything with apples, sweet potato, and pears. When it came time to eat solid food and not just pureed foods, it was so hit and miss! We had a terrible time trying to get her to eat the same foods she loved before pureed. I talked to my friends and her daycare teachers and one of her teachers suggested that we try Gerber Lil’ Bits. She had seen other babies through the years eat it and figured it could help get some food into her belly for us. I went out that night and picked up a few different varieties and we haven’t looked back!

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When shopping for Gerber Lil’ Bits, I stock up on all her favorite flavors for the week and she eats two different ones each day while at school. It’s the perfect mix of puree and bits and now at dinner and on the weekends she is happy to eat whatever we’re eating at the table. I’m so glad her teacher suggested these, I was really getting worried about how I could teach her to chew bits of food without gagging and to eat enough of them to be full. Eleanor loved all foods instantly and it was never a struggle to feed her so I was at a total loss when it came to Emma. I’m so glad we found Gerber Lil’ Bits, it’s taught her to be a master chewer and help her sleep through the night now that she has a full belly! Gerber Lil’ Bits offer a variety of foods so Emma has had the chance to have a wide range of flavors and textures, much more than what I was making and mixing for her myself.

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For her favorite fruit mixtures, I’ve started making her some yummy popsicles using Gerber Lil’ Bits and yogurt. They’re really tasty and Emma loves having them on a hot day, when her teething is bothersome, and for dessert (Ellie loves these as well!). It’s so easy to make and nearly mess free! It's super simple to make really quickly and put away for later.

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-mix 1 Gerber Lil’Bits Apple Banana with 1 single serve yogurt (there’s so many mixes and new flavors you can create!)
-I store ours in our silicone food maker since together, they make a large serving

It's been such a welcome snack, especially on our hot CA days! Emma just goes to town on them and Ellie enjoys them too! I'm so glad her teacher suggested them for us, I'm not sure what I would have done if I couldn't get her to chew thoroughly! Emma loves a lot of the Gerber Lil' Bits, her favorite fruits include their Apple Blueberry, Banana Apple Mango, Orchard Fruit Medley, and these go great with the yogurt mixes! I always use a yogurt flavoring that isn't included in the Gerber Lil' Bits. Her favorites meals also include their Butternut Squash & Potato, Sweet Potato Apple Carrot & Cinnamon, and Garden Vegetable & Beef Dinner.

How did you start your babies on solid foods? What are your favorite Gerber Lil’ Bits mixes?

Thursday, September 8, 2016

OOTD for the Kids: What I'm Packing!

I've started packing for our upcoming family trip and put together a few outfits for the girls using my Labor Day Sales  and some recent purchases and I'm so excited! The girls have the cutest clothes and I'm so looking forward to cooler temps so they can wear these sweet looks! I also wish I had a few of them in my size too!

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Sandals // Dress // Bow

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Bow // Tank // Bloomers

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Moccs // Jeans // Cardi (similar) // Bow

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Bow // Kitten Top // Skinnies // Shoes

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This is our first family vacation for the four of us and we'll be gone for just less than two weeks and I'm going back and forth on overpacking for them or under packing but doing wash while I'm there. Right now, Emma is overpacked currently and I'm still packing for Ellie. Packing for a family trip is no joke! I don't know how so many people do it all the time!! I still need to pack for myself!

What are some of your packing tips? I usually make a list and double, triple check it, but that's my only tip!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

OOTD: Date night

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Top // Necklace // Clutch (Old, similar here and here)
Jeans // Shoes (Old, similar here and here)

Matt and I had a nice little sushi date last week and I couldn't wait to get dressed up! Matt loves a girl in jeans so I make sure to always wear them when we go out together. I bought these jeans last autumn and they're my favorite jeans ever! I've had other Rockstar jeans from Old Navy, and I'm not sure how these are different, but they're so much fit than my other ones! They fit like a glove and are so comfy! They're my go-to jeans any time we're going out.

We had so much fun spending time just us two, it rarely happens and was so needed!! When we get to go out, we're usually with other couples or it's for an event, but this night was just us. It was so fun just enjoying ourselves and talking (about the kids of course!). It was really nice and we definitely need to do it more!

What are your favorite date night activities? How do you and your spouse stay connected?

Monday, September 5, 2016

Labor Day Sales for the Kids!

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I've been loving Old Navy for the girls lately, they've had the cutest designs and prints! I'm obsessed with this romper for Emma, I want to get it in the pink too. Just about everything is on sale over there right now, with the savings taken at check out, no coupon code needed!

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Carter's is my go-to for the girls, they always fit true to size for them both, wash well, and have such cute designs. Plus, it's hard to beat their sales prices! Everything is 50% with and extra 25% off with "LABORDAY" at check out!

It's the perfect time to stock up for fall clothes for your kids, I usually will buy just about everything to get the girls through the fall and into the winter season at this time. Pictured here is just the things that I bought for the girls and I love that they can easily mix and match with each other and will be cute to layer.

What did you score with the Labor Day sales?

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

OOTD: Dusty Rose

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Happy Wednesday everyone!! I love my white moto leggings from Journey Five so much, I had to have them in their dusty rose too! They are seriously so comfortable, I know I'm gonna be wearing them all the time. How cute will this color be with a deep plum sweater? Or a grey crewneck and scarf? Oh the possibilities!!

It's finally cooling off a tad bit, but I can't wait till we head up north to Washington! I know it will still be warm there, but it has to be cooler than here right? We'll be there just less than two weeks and have some fun stuff planned, we are so excited!! What are some of your favorite places in Washington? Any recs for shopping and eating?

Be sure to check out "My Journey" feature on Journey Five's site, thank you Journey Five for sharing my story!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Our Weekend

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This past weekend was a whirlwind! We had so much fun and it didn't seem like it was gone in a blink of an eye. There was lots of laughs, lots of food, and most importantly some quality time with the girls. We played, cuddled, napped, and ate. I wish all weekends could be like this!

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Saturday morning was Ellie's last swim class and Matt's parents came to watch. Ellie has been amazing at swim, but this last month she's hit a wall and is just over it. She's a total fish in family pools, but doesn't care about class. Matt and I went back and forth about switching it up or pushing through and thought it would be best to switch her into another activity for now. We'll enroll her again in swim next Spring. I was kinda sad about her last class, it's been so fun watching her achieve new skills and I really enjoyed watching her, plus her classmate and her parents are so fun and nice!! We're still gonna keep in touch with them, and the mother and I went out for a girls night and had a total blast. Making parent friends can be hard so I try really hard to stay connected to the ones we've met since we moved.

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After swim we hustled over to dance class, which is a total hoot. Ellie has so much fun and it's hilarious watching her. She loves to spin and all the different walks they do, she always watches herself in the mirror and gets distracted. She is really enjoying the class and I can't wait for her Christmas program!

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When her classes were all said and done we worked up an appetite and we all headed to In and Out for some burgers. The girls were so cute in their hats and Emma was loving the little pieces of burger we were feeding her. She has so much personality and we are just eating it up! She's so silly and loves to smile a big "cheese" face and laughs so hard with her sister. It's so great watching them together!

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Saturday night Matt's parents watched the girls for us while we went out for a date. I swear it's been forever since we went out alone. I seriously can't even remember the last time we had dinner just the two of us! We headed out to do some scouting for family pics and found this gorgeous tree and roots my girlfriend told us about, we were obsessed with it. We chose a different place for our pics, but we'll have to go back for some pics another time with this amazing scene!

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Sunday morning, I was determined to make it to church! I got up and immediately started getting ready. I wore my hair and makeup from the night before (bad monkey to sleep in it!!), fed and dressed Emma and we made it on time with a few minutes to spare! She was such a delight during all three hours, just laughing and playing. Ellie had a low temp the night before and was still sleeping when we left, so I'm glad she got some extra Zzzz's. She has some molars coming in that are just killer. Poor thing has been loving the extra popsicles though!

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We took our family pics and I think they must be the best ones ever! I say that every time though. It was our fifth session with Lovers of Love Photography and they are so incredibly talented. I'm so excited to see them, we got some amazing shots of the girls. They were total hams almost the entire time and definitely feed off of each other. Enchanted Bow Shop made the sweetest floral bows for the girls, they're just gorgeous! When Matt and I were first married I told him that no matter what we are going to take family pictures every single year until we die. Every year! No skipping, no waiting, whatever we have to do to make it happen. I want pics of us and the girls to look back on and cherish and remember their ages and see how much they've grown. It makes me so happy that we've been able to do it so far each year. These pictures mean so much to me!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!! What did you do? What are you looking forward to this week? Thanks for stopping by!!