Thursday, January 28, 2016

Currently// January

I'm changing up how I do my monthly recaps; Where I'm at Wednesday is now Currently and this is my first installment. I probably could have just skipped that whole blurb but I like transitions (blame the preschool teacher in me) and also like explanations ;) And this is a bonus 2-for-1 because The Man Behind the Blog series is doing this format for it's January questions!

Watching// Anything Kinsey wants to watch, right moms? I have been watching Supergirl and Heroes Reborn and I'm not sure how much I actually like them? I'm still deciding.
Brian: Expedition Unknown
Reading// Barbara Kingsolver's The Lacuna
Brian: Nothing really
Listening to// My sweet babies little voices. Brielana's been saying "No" all the time now and it's hilarious! It's deep and long and always accompanied by exclamation marks, "Noooooo!!!"
Brian: James White's The Dividing Line podcast 
Dreaming of// Sleeping the night through. Teething, I loathe you.
Brian: My days off
Brian: Hot Cheetos, that's why I bought bagels and cream cheese so I can make a sandwich. ***Has anyone else ever had this?! At our high school that was the way to eat them. It's surprisingly good while lacking any nutrition value at all*** 
Brian: Nothing really
Wishing// My car will be fixed and not cost a zillion dollars.
Brian: What's the difference between wishing and dreaming?
***Touche, touche.***
Obsessed with// I got nothing
Brian: My Play Station 4.
Loving// The colder weather; because I'm inside more I get around to projects I usually ignore, like dusting and organizing.
Brian: My Play Station 4.
Planning// Kinsey's 5th Birthday Party. She requested a Mermaid Theme!
Brian: Rearranging furniture on the weekend.
Yeah, it's a pretty busy weekend over at our house, haha.
Wearing// All the layers. And thinking I may actually need rain boots.

Linking up with Betsy.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Kinsey's Mermaid Party Inspiration

Kinsey requested a Mermaid Party this year and a little visual inspiration never hurt anyone! (Last year we had a Wonderland Tea Party.)

I want to keep the color palette in the aqua/green/purples but add some gold (because I like sparkle.) Thank goodness for Pinterest and all these lovely ideas! Never mind I'm whipping this up in a little over a week because denial and procrastination is a fantastic combination; but Kinsey gets what she wants!

{Happy Wednesday!}

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Collaboreads: January {Inspiring Read}

I first learned about #Collaboreads from Kristin's blog and the bookworm in me rejoiced.
Finding new books to read is a never-ending quest for me so this link up is pure gold.  Here is the criteria:

A theme for the month is chosen
Pick your book
Read.  You get a whole month!
Review your book and link up with Amber and Rachel

January's theme was to read whatever inspires you so I chose my favorite author, Alice Hoffman and read The Probable Future.

Goodreads Synopsis:
"Women of the Sparrow family have unusual gifts. Elinor can detect falsehood. Her daughter, Jenny, can see people's dreams when they sleep. Granddaughter Stella has a mental window to the future - a future that she might not want to see.

In Alice Hoffman's latest tour de force, this vivid and intriguing cast of characters confronts a haunting past - and a very current murder - against the evocative backdrop of small-town New England. By turns chilling and enchanting, The Probable Future chronicles the Sparrows' legacy as young Stella struggles to cope with her disturbing clairvoyance. Her potential to ruin or redeem becomes unbearable when one of her premonitions puts her father in jail, wrongly accused of homicide. Yet this ordeal also leads Stella to the grandmother she was forbidden to meet, and to an historic family home full of talismans from her ancestors."

I love the generations of women who made up the Sparrow family and how Hoffman gave each woman a special gift on their 13th birthday. Hoffman can w-r-i-t-e about relationships but I wish some of the characters were more present throughout the story or maybe a story line or two were just dropped altogether. It was almost as if a string was dropped to be picked up too late to be of any importance (but in my opinion was very important.) 
The three main Sparrow women were Elinor (grandmother), Jenny (mother) and Stella (daughter) and the story would bounce around from each women's perspective. It was awesome to relate to and feel for each one but I wanted more resolution at the end because that's just what I like.

Sarah Addison Allen's Garden Spells. Family of strong women, check. A magical background, check. A fast read, check. I have a suspicion Allen was strongly inspired by Hoffman.

The cover I had was of an angel. This is the second angel I have seen on one of Hoffman's novels (the other being on the inside covers of The Museum of Extraordinary Things) so I wonder if there's a deeper meaning or personal connection there. I'll pretty much read any of her books regardless of cover design.

3 our of 5.
This wasn't my favorite Hoffman novel, but her writing is so poetic and magical I can't quit her. The very last sentence alone made me savor the experience I had reading it. I won't spoil it by revealing it here but trust me, that last line is beautiful.

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase an item I may earn a small commission. Thank you so much for supporting me and my blog!

Linking up with Amber and Rachel.

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Monday, January 25, 2016

Amanda of Tickled Pink {The Mommylogues Series}

My very first guest blogger for The Mommylogues Series is Amanda from Tickled Pink and one of the bloggers I have yet to meet in person but consider a great friend. Is it a surprise that Beth introduced us? ;)  ***Fun fact: it was during one of many email convos that Amanda and I have had that inspired me to bring into life this very series!***

Hello there!! I'm Amanda & I blog at Tickled Pink where I share my daily adventures in parenting one spunky, very sassy, & determined 3.5 year old girl and also a super sweet, cuddly, hamhock of a 9 month old boy! I mostly blog about my kiddos and how they keep me on my toes, but my other escapades include cooking, gardening and fun kid's crafts & activities! I'm so excited Whitney is letting me take over for the day, I adore her and her blog! Isn't she the sweetest? I hope you'll stop by and say hi so we can be friends too!


Now, I must first say, I had this post drafted way before snow storm Jonas blizzard was even thing! I'm just ahead of the times that way. ;) I wanted to share some indoor winter activities to do with your kiddos because I think we can all agree that being cooped up with toddlers is no joke and definitely trying at times. Especially when you are out numbered!

Although we don't live in the coldest area, we do have some cold snaps starting in January that run for a few days at a time, basically shutting down the outdoor fun. Keeping the kiddos entertained inside, all day, is no easy feat. There is just so much energy that needs an outlet. I often wish we had one of those mini-indoor trampolines because honestly, I don't know where my daughter finds her plethora of energy. It's like superhero status. For real. 


//At Home// 
Lily loves {LOVES} crafting. We usually craft a bit each day. Even if it is just painting. Anything to get the creative juices flowing. I shared a couple winter crafts a few weeks back. We also love reading books and doing a related craft to help bring the illustration to life. Even if you aren't crafty yourself, Hobby Lobby and even the Dollar Tree both have lots of pre-made craft kits. Not to mention, there is always the Target Dollar Bins. 

We like to have fun over here, so of course we take the usual "outdoor" activities and bring them inside. We often play hide-n-seek and race indoors. Benny even gets in on the fun too! Except he always gives away our hiding place. ;) One of our absolute favorite outdoor activities to bring inside is hopscotch! Yes! Hopscotch! We use painter's tape to mark off our squares and a stuffed animal as our item to toss.

An oldie but a goodie is when we build forts with sheets hanging them from love seat to couch. We also like to take all of the pillows off of the couches and build "castles". Not to mention having dance parties where we turn on Pandora, put on costumes and dance around to some tunes is definitely one of both Ben & Lily's favorite activities. 

Over Halloween, we even set up an indoor bowling game with mini-pumpkins. You could easily sub toilet paper rolls for the pins!

//Out and About//
One of our favorite ways to keep busy when we need to get out of the house is our local story time. Actually, it's not that local. We drive to the library across town because their story time involves singing, dancing, stories, and finger puppets. By far, this activity is one of Lily's favorites and it keeps Ben engaged. On non-story time days, we go to our local bookstore to read a new book together and play with the train table. This occupies both kids while mama sits back a bit more hands off.

Indoor bounce houses & Chik-Fil-A playgrounds are always a great way to spend a morning out of the house too. 

We also love attending play dates through our local MOMs Club chapter which has been our main source of support since we moved into our area. (If you are looking for a support system for you and your little one(s), I highly recommend finding a local chapter in your area.)

We are very lucky that we have an amazing (and inexpensive) children's museum nearby that even has section for younger siblings as well. We can go in the morning, exhaust ourselves, eat a packed lunch and be home by nap time.

When all else fails, we just go get a popcorn and sparkling water for two bucks at Target and buy stuff we don't need walk around for a bit. ;)

How do you keep your sanity kids entertained during the Winter months?
Thanks for having me Whitney!! 


Thursday, January 21, 2016

17 and 18 Month Favorites

The Wonderful Things You Will Be//LeapFrog Shapes And Sharing Picnic Basket//Re-Play Divided Plates, Purple/Pink/Green//Freshly Picked moccasins//Fisher Price Ferris Wheel

Brielana's great gramma gave her this book for Christmas. I absolutely adore the illustrations and empowering sentiment behind this story. I will definitely be checking out the Author's other books!

We have finally upgraded Brielana to eating from plates instead of straight from the highchair tray. Actually, interesting little side note, she refuses to use the tray and just likes to be scooted right up to the table (we have a bar-height dining set.) Guess she wants to be a big girl now, sob.

This picnic set was a Christmas gift from her paternal grandparents. SO stinkin cute! We have picnics all the time. And the catchy songs get stuck in my head.

I've lost my mind over FP moccs. Just thee best.

Another home run gift from Brielana's great-Aunt. I love all the classic toys Fisher-Price is re-releasing for new generations to enjoy. They're classics for a reason- children love them! And it brings back fond memories for parents :)

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase an item I may earn a small commission. Thank you so much for supporting me and my blog!

Linking up with Annie and Natalie and Vanessa.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Announcing the Foodie For A Year link up

So, we all know how much I like food, yes? And that ever since Beth shared the recipe wiz I've been going crazy over writing recipes. Well now you'll really be seeing a lot more yumminess on here! 

Introducing Foodie For A Year: an every other month themed recipe link up! On the first Tuesday of the specified month link up your recipe and be prepared to drool all over your phone/computer ;) Foodie For A Year is hosted by Courtney, Jamie, Jamie, Liz, Sarah and I.

The first link up will be on February 2nd and we are sharing a Valentine's recipe! Hope to see you then!

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