Weekend Wear: Mixed

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Jacket: Francesca's
Turtleneck: H&M
Scarf: Custom made by my Momma
Jeans: William Rast
Boots: Born
I have mixed feelings about mixing patterns... But I decided to give it a shot, in a simple, safe kinda way - stripes + leopard. My high school self would probably sh*t her pants if she saw what I was wearing. Either way, I think this kinda works. However, I can assure my matchy-young self, there won't be anything like floral + plaid going on here.. Not that brave. Yet.
Hope you're having a good week so far!!
What's your vote - mix or match?

Thursday things...

Thursday, February 20, 2014

A few random things for this Thursday..

I finally got myself a new pair of boots, as I've WORN OUT my old brown boots that I've had for probably 3+ years. I got these from Piperlime on a great sale. They are comfortable but still a little stiff, I'm sure I'll have them broke-in in no time. 

Tomorrow is Friday, thank goodness.

I've been in need of some retail therapy lately...
Excited for these TOMS to come (from Zulily) - HURRY UP SPRING.
There are also FULL shopping carts at Forever 21, JCPenney and Old Navy.. I think today will be productive. ;)

These pictures are so cute to me. Hard to think someday that adorable little boy will be probably be as big, or bigger, than his dad and sprinting across fields and courts seriously playing sports. All these Olympic commercials have me preparing with pictures and videos for this little guy's own commercial/ESPN special someday.. :)

You won't believe it, I bought an app - the 'Waterlogue' app. I've seen it all over Instagram and a lot of bloggers were talking about it.. Well now this 'blogger' is too...a few weeks later. How fun are these?! I plan on getting a few printed, they'll be a great addition to a gallery wall or in the Little's room.. I love the abstract-ish, understated look. Plus these pictures are some of my favorites (with a 4 month old little Tyson).
Hope you are having a good week.

I wanted to tell you - you look so pretty today!! Keep that smile on!!

It's the little things... [Sisters]

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Happy Wednesday!! Linking up with Sadie Sky Boutique and Words About Waverly, appreciating a few 'little things' this week..
My sisters, aka my blog readers. Hi!! ((wave wave))

I am the middle of three sisters in my family (I know, my father is a saint).
As you can imagine growing up with two sisters, we had our fair share of kicking/screaming matches; since then, I'd say we've grown to be pretty dang good friends. We are so different from each other, yet we're so the same - THANK THE LORD for our amazing parents and upbringing. We're now spread out over the country, and everyday I am plotting the convincement (is that a word..?) of their return.
Little things like our ongoing sister-group text... We share silly moments, thoughts, pictures and anything else you can think of.. I felt as though I had breakfast with my sisters this last weekend (via group text). Which is a special treat, when it would otherwise take a few plane tickets to do so.. Thanks technology. Otherwise, countdown til Easter, we'll be together and bickering again, like we never were apart. :) 

I have one sister-in-law (my sista-from-anotha-mista).
My SIL and I live in the same town, for now. Again I am plotting her to remain.. She has two boys, my Little's cousins (between the three of them is a year and a half age difference). Can you say trouble + heart breakers?
Little things like our virtual (and real-life) shopping dates, dinners together while our Mr's travel for work and sharing parenting little boy experiences/advice - well she shares, I wander in circles hoping I'm doing it right. :) 

They are the ones I selfishly am thankful to have and wish were closer during those happy, sad, exciting and rough times. I've accidentally been given three of the best girlfriends and I am so grateful.
 Ok, sappy pants. Enough.

Anyway, love you all and thanks for being supportive and reading my little blog. xoxo

What little things do you appreciate that you're taking for granted?
Do you have sisters or sister-like girlfriends?
You should tell them how much you love and appreciate them.

Valentine's Day 2014

Saturday, February 15, 2014

I was always sooooo that girl that did NOT celebrate this holiday... I finally came around a little and enjoy the chance to show my guys, and my family, how much we love them.

I mean it is celebrating a Saint on his feast day. St. Valentine was a priest in Rome, he would marry Christian couples and give aid to those being persecuted. At that time, this was considered a crime; he was arrested and imprisoned. After trying to convert the Emporer, he was beaten, stoned and then beheaded. Now you know.. :)

On a more lovey-dovey note..
Here are my Valentines last year; seriously, how can he change so much in one year?! (The little one I'm talking about...)
Here's a recap of this year's holiday, Valentine's Day 2014, documented with real and iphone pictures; come on this is our reality show blog.
For daycare Valentines, I printed these cute little tags from Michelle at Ten June, attached to 'buddy fruit' squeezes with some red bakers twine and they were good to go.
Daycare was actually closed this Friday so I got to stay home and enjoy the day with my littlest love. We ate heart-shaped errrything..!!
Breakfast: GF heart pancakes (bananas+eggs+almond butter+cinnamon) and sausage
Lunch: Leftover zucchini goulash with pretzel roll hearts, cottage cheese and fruit
Dinner: Mini heart biscuit pizzas, roasted broccoli and fruit
I think he likes being festive.. 
After naptime and the Mr. got home, we shared some special little treats with each other.
Tyson and I got the Mr. a fancy-schmancy beer and the Beer Drinker's Guide to Colorado - Ultimate Map & Travel Guide, includes a booklet with coupons for free beer, etc. at breweries/places featured. **Great gift for any beer-lovers in your life!!**
I was spoiled with some delicious vodka, including a new favorite following our vodka tasting.. That's right we drink, if you hadn't yet noticed.. #cheers
We got the Little these crayons and this coloring notebook.
They've been a hit so far..
The day was topped off with an amazing surprise from the Mr. No pictures to prove it, but we thouroughly enjoyed ourselves. :) Hope you enjoyed yourself and/or your loved ones.
Did you do anything special or do you dread the holiday?

Either way, I wanted to tell you - you look absolutely beautiful, so celebrate that!!

It's the little things... [Super Homemade]

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Linking up with Sadie Sky Boutique and Words About Waverly again, to be reminded of the little things...
Is anyone else's week draggggggggging on..? We're majorly looking forward to the weekend over here - so this is a great mid-week reminder to find joy and appreciate some little things..

All things 'homemade this week, I guess - first the granola bars I made, and now these.. homemade Valentines!! I enjoy being festive, so I thought it'd be a good little project to do together but most importantly a fun surprise in the mail to those we love!!

(Pardon the iPhone pictures, that's as good as it gets with a one hand on the kid and the other encouraging correct use of crayons, etc..)

I used painters tape and pieced together some cardstock to make one big 'page', flipped it over and had the Little color away.
 Don't forget to have snacks nearby at all times...
I've found this method (of coloring all at once) to be more efficient due to size/coverage and attention span. His coloring adds a fun personal touch and really gets him involved. The Valentine's are from HIM, after all.. ;)

Carefully remove the tape from the back and each card is beautifully colored and ready to decorate.  
We used pictures (from our quick, little Valentine photo shoot), felt heart stickers and washi tape.
Each card was unique in it's own way. Super homemade, super cheesy, super perfect. :) 
Tyson has really enjoyed coloring and stickers lately, so I love to incorporate that and include him in our projects. Doing these little things together is a special time to me and I love the finished product almost as much as the process. (We usually make an extra to keep on our fridge and then it goes in the baby/scrapbook.) 
What little things are you appreciating?
Did you send Valentine's this year? Did you make your own or buy them?

[Gluten-free] Homemade Granola Bars

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

One of my friends posted a recipe on Facebook the other day for these granola bars and said they were pretty good, so I thought I'd give them a shot. Placed in a cute little bag, they'd be a perfect Valentine's gift for the Little's daycare provider (that sounds so cold, she is so much more than that and we love her!!).

The recipe is originally from Little House Living. I followed the recipe, except used a gluten-free flour mix, rather than all purpose flour, and didn't use quite as much sugar.

Healthy Homemade Granola Bars
from Little House Living

1 2/3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup dried fruit, chopped if needed
(I used a mix of raisins and cranberries, would be great with apricots)
1 cup nuts, chopped if needed
(I used slivered almonds, would be great with walnuts)
1 cup unsweetened coconut (flakes or shredded)
1/3 cup golden flax meal (optional)
1 1 /2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 tablespoons melted coconut oil or butter
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper (very sticky and can be difficult to get out of the pan).

In a large bowl, mix together the first nine ingredients (dry). In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients (wet). Pour the wet mixture onto the dry ingredients and stir until thoroughly combined.

Spread into the pan, packing it in by pressing firmly on the top with an oiled hand, the back of a silicone spatula or with a piece of plastic wrap.

Place in the oven and back for 30 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned.

Let the bars cool completely in the pan, and then lift them out with the parchment paper. Cut into desired sizes.

**Few notes:
My friend mentioned she was peeling the parchment paper off the bars for a while, so I just greased the pan instead and they came out fine.
I forgot the + 2 tablespoons of honey so mine may not have been as sticky as they could be..?
They also crumbled easily, so maybe I did need more honey..?
Next time I might do even less sugar, dice up the dried fruit, add sunflower seeds.

These granola bars are delicious!! It's a great, flexible recipe that can be customized with whatever you like - different dried fruit, nuts, coconut, etc.
Have you made any new recipes lately? Do you have a go-to recipe or item you make for gifts?

Vodka Tasting

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Remember in Runaway Bride when he makes her all the different types of eggs so she can decide what kind she actually likes?

Well the Mr. did something similar for me...but with vodka.
(This has been my drink as of late, mixed with a squeeze of lime + water, so we thought it'd be fun to blindly taste a few out.)
We decided to have a little date night in, do a tasting and watch the opening ceremonies of the winter Olympics. As in, Sochi, Russia, vodka.. You get it.

We had 6 different types of vodka:
  • Tito's
  • Absolut
  • Grey Goose
  • Skyy
  • Russian Standard
  • Smirnoff (included last minute, not pictured)
I love all things festive/themed, so I made up a score sheet and printed Olympic rings to help keep track of our samples. 
We got set with some water and snacks, comfies (soft clothes), our score sheets and the opening ceremonies..
Each vodka identified by ring color, of course.
Initially, we went through and smelled/sipped each vodka and scored on (1) aroma, (2) smoothness and (3) flavor. Then we sipped one right after the other and scored on overall taste.
It was hard for me to score them, but there were definitely unique smells/tastes to each. For example, I'd have high scores for a vodka in the inital taste but give that same vodka a low overall score..? I know, I don't know, 1-5 - too many choices for me.. :)
Overall, the Mr. and I only had one placing the same - last place. 
1. Smirnoff
2. Absolut
3. Tito's
4. Russian Standard
5. Skyy
6. Grey Goose
1. Tito's
2. Skyy
3. Russian Standard
4. Absolut
5. Smirnoff/Grey Goose (tie)
I wasn't surprised to see Tito's did well, as everything I had seen online, etc. showed it to be a crowd favorite. Russian Standard is what I claim to be my favorite so I wish it did a little better; but prior to drinking Russian Standard, my go-to was Smirnoff - now there's proof, I'm a cheap date. Very interesting Grey Goose scored so poorly with us as that seems to be the 'fancy', popular choice. The Mr. had a good point, as it's similiar with beer, sometimes only 'fancy', experienced professionals can tell and appreciate those flavors that make the drink what it's supposed to be. (Either way, I was happy it wasn't my favorite.) 
Oh, as for the opening ceremonies - not really impressed, was a little weird, too story-tell-y for me? I do always enjoy seeing the different countries and their 'uniforms', hearing particular stories about athletes/countries, and just appreciating the true talent and experience of the Olympic games.
It was a fun little experiment and made for a good night. Go Team USA!!
Did you watch? What did you think? What's your favorite vodka?