Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Cruz Says: What Parents Should Not Say

It's no surprise that I let out the occasional swear word.

It's also no surprise that Nick does as well.

When Cruz got to the point of comprehending, Nick & I had a serious conversation about watching our potty mouths and being more cognizant of what we say.

I thought we were doing okay.

'Thought' being the key word.

Until we came home from out little Chicago getaway and Cruzer & I were running some errands on Sunday night. We swung by the storage unit because Nick was finally grabbing our faux Christmas tree, so we could put it up for approximately one week before our holiday travel starts on Saturday.

Cruz & I were driving home after seeing daddy and he just blurts out, "mama, I just don't know what the f*cken is wrong with my daddy."

I literally had to stifle a laugh. It was so clear that I didn't even have to ask him what he said.

I told him not to say that word and he replied, "but my daddy says it."

I said, "what do you mean, what does daddy say?"

Cruz responds, "f*cken. Daddy says f*cken all the time."

Houston. We have a problem.

I chose to ignore it. That's what we parents do, right? Ignore things we don't want our kids to do/say in hopes it won't be repeated?

Well, that's what I did.

And he used it two more times that night. In full context. Completely accurate.

I'm still choosing to ignore it.

In hopes that it will go away...far, far away.

And on that note...some holiday snaps from a trip to the local nursery and our Angels Among Us Angels Flix/Day w/ Santa a couple weeks ago.

Because these are cute. And saying the word "f*cken" is not.

Jacket  // Jeans // Chucks
(This jacket is my fave of all time - we get TONS of compliments on it!)

Linking up with "It's the Little Things" with Ashley & Jess.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Weekending in Chicago

This past weekend was a much needed relaxing one. 

After finding out I would need to be in Chicago for work meetings, Nick and I decided to book a trip - just the two of us - on the tail of end it. It was such a great decision...if I do say so myself.

The weekend officially started on Thursday around 4:30pm when I finished the second of two presentations I had been working on the past few months. It was such a great relief and I was happy to have this little getaway as a way to celebrate finally being done. I'm sure Nick was celebrating finally getting his wife - and some help with Cruzer - back since I'd been relatively MIA. 

Immediately after checking in at the Warwick Allerton Hotel downtown, we grabbed a couple of glasses of champagne and headed to the room to get ready for dinner and a night out on the town. I booked the hotel using Jetsetter. It was in a gorgeous old building, right off Michigan Avenue and had a great lobby bar but I have to say if we were to do it again, we probably wouldn't have picked this hotel. We upgraded to a suite - of course we didn't realize it was the handicap suite - and the room was nice, just would've preferred a little nicer. And one of our favorite thing about staying in a hotel is the plush, comfortable bed. This one was not and that was a big let down...don't worry it didn't stop us from sleeping in most mornings.

We headed out to our reservations at Epic - a restaurant Nick's trainer recommended - and it had potential by the looks of the lively bar downstairs, until they led us upstairs and it was super quiet and not quite our scene, so we politely said thanks but no thanks and headed down Hubbard to find somewhere more our speed. We settled on Hub 51 and it was perfect. Great food, great scene and great cocktails. After dinner we basically stopped in every single bar on Hubbard trying them out before calling it a night. We had been up since 3:30am to catch our flight earlier that morning and were both exhausted.

On Friday, we woke up - to no alarm, might I add - around 9am. Yes, we slept in until 9am and it was so amazing. I don't think I've slept that late since our Mexico vacation earlier this year (read all about that trip here & here). Then we got ready and headed in search of a delicious place for brunch and landed at an aptly named spot called Brunch.  The Brunch nachos and chicken & waffle bites were delish.

We then headed to Up Comedy Club for a 1:30pm show - Second City's Holidazed & Confused - and we were so glad we did. Nick and I both love comedy and when it's rated R, it's even better in our book. And this was hilarious.

The best part? Nick got called up on stage during their improv about a sweater problem...they brought him in as chief of sweaters and asked him what material he thought they should make sweaters out of to make them safer...and Nick? He said "yoga pant material." Yep. Only my husband. =)

The day didn't end there, after the show we headed to the United Center for the Bulls / Trailblazers game. Initially we were stoked because one of our fave player's (Doug McDermott) from one of our fave teams (Creighton Bluejays in Omaha) plays for the Bulls. Unfortunately, he wasn't suiting up, but it was still a fun game.

The only reason I took this pic of the cheerleader was so I didn't look like a stalker trying to get a pic of Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant - to her left. Any old Bulls fans out there? I know I sure was. Now I'm just a weirdo taking pictures of cheerleaders. Great plan, Kate.

On Saturday, we slept in again - sensing a theme here? - and then decided on a morning movie. We haven't been to a movie in forever and used to love going. When I was prego, we literally went to a movie every Monday. And let me tell you, it wasn't because there were so many great movies and maybe had more to do with the nachos and buttery popcorn.

We saw Gone Girl. I had read the book and overall thought the movie was good. Slow at parts and to be honest I preferred the book, but I also love seeing how movies play out and putting faces to the characters.

After the movie it was all about the shopping.

We were deciding between heading to dinner at Mastro's - one of my favorite restaurants & because Nick has never been OR heading back to the room for a deep dish pizza and an in-room movie. I'm sure you can guess the latter won us over. We hit up Trader Joe's for some wine, ordered in Gino's East and watched the Equalizer while eating pizza and drinking red wine in bed. Perfection.

And that was it - as quickly as it came, it was gone. But it was such a wonderful little trip away...

And now back to reality and trying to bust my butt to get our Christmas shopping done before next week. How is it possible that Christmas is already NEXT WEEK??

{Shop This Post}
Bulls Game: Takara Jacket (not available - similar here) // Athleta Gleam tights
Saturday Shopping: Lucy Jacket // Athleta Chaturanga tight

Happy Monday and hope you all have a great week!

Linking up with my gal Biana

Friday, December 5, 2014

I'm Back...And a Really Awesome Blog Tour!

So, it looks like today I'm hitting a couple of firsts.

The first night Cruz's elf, Buddy, is back to visit us...well, technically he will be back tomorrow morning, but you know what I mean.

My first workout of the month...granted it's only the 5th, but still. (And let it be said, Kelli kicked my a**.)

My first blog post of December...#slacker.

And my first ever blog tour.

When two of my fave bloggers (and Instagrammers...and Facebookers...and Twitterers - is that a thing?) Lindsay and Leslie asked me to be a part of their blog tour, I said of course! Followed quickly by, what the heck is a blog tour?

And I quickly realized it's awesome. A couple of amazing bloggers feature other amazing bloggers to their readers and then you repeat it...and they repeat it...and their faves repeat it. You get the point.

Basically you get to learn about a lot of other really great blogs, or if they feature a blog you already read, then it simply justifies that you have great taste. Right? Right.

1. What am I working on?
I wish I could say I had a ton of posts at-the-ready, be prepared to be blown away and all that jazz, buuuut that's not the case. I do have tons of ideas, though. And once I get some more time - it's coming soon, I promise you - I'm going to deliver on these great ideas, but until then? I will try to get my blogging on as often as possible. If nothing else, to humor myself.

2. How does my work differ from others in its genre? 
Why do I write/create what I do?
My content is really nothing different than every other blogger out there. I just love to share.  I love to share what interests me, what's on my mind, what I love most in the world. Generally, it's Cruz. Because, well, look at this handsome little fella. Don't tell me you wouldn't blog all about him either.

Flannel (similar) // Tee// Jeans // Hunter Boots
3. How does my writing/creating process work.
If Cruz does something interesting? I write about it. If he says something funny? I write about it. If I like an outfit, product, restaurant, person, book, shop...I write about it. If I'm really feeling something, whatever that something might be? I write about it. I want to chronicle this amazing little life we have going on right now.

So, that's it. Those are the reasons I blog. I just love it. And I don't care if you think it's lame..because I also love all the ladies I've met through blogging. (And, yes, that's a thing. You "meet" a ton of people blogging, right? Do I still have to justify this?) It's a pretty great community. 

Speaking of those ladies I've met through blogging that I are three of 'em. I promise you won't be disappointed if you check them out.

Check out Laurie/andiamo here

 Say hi to Pamela on Sequins & Seabreezes here

 Get your farm on with Karli here

Thank you, thank you, thank you to Pink & Fab and Martin Manifesto...your gorgeous gals rock. And to the three lovely ladies I mentioned above, you've gotta check them out.

And while you're at it? Have an amazing weekend!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Cruz is Three: A Firefighter Birthday Party

As you all know, we celebrated Cruz's 3rd birthday party last weekend. I love all things party planning, so I couldn't wait to get started and immediately hit up Pinterest for ideas. As usual, it didn't disappoint. {Check out this board for more firefighter-themed party ideas.}

Since we planned to have people over all day, we made quite the spread. I mean, what's a good party without loads of food to munch on? For the main dishes, we had a chili bar (with Fritos, shredded cheese, oyster crackers & sour cream), sub sandwiches and then brought out take & bake pizzas later in the day. It was all pretty easy and as you know, easy is my middle name. I got a bunch of compliments on the chili (probably because nobody is used to me making anything myself) and even my mom has adopted the recipe after trying it a while back. It's a knock off of Wendy's chili - check out the recipe here.

The dessert table was my favorite part, for obvious reasons. I decided not to do a big cake and instead put together a bunch of different dessert options. We had bundtinis & bundlets, cake pops, fire truck cookies and an ice cream cake.  Yum.

As far as the decor goes, the pictures speak for themselves.  Basically it's a mish-mash of others' great ideas and me tweaking them to make them our own. Most of the below came directly from pins on this board. And I love how it all came together.

For the buildings, I got the inspiration from this party, but basically just wrapped different sized boxes in silver tissue paper, cut a small hole in the top and then added a sheet each of red, yellow & orange tissue paper to create the "fire" coming out of the top.

The "matches" definitely took the longest, but I suppose that is why they are my favorite part of the party. If you follow me on Instagram, you've already seen these, but they were just pretzel sticks, white almond bark and red sprinkles. And they were delicious.

The flaming Jello is layers of cherry, orange and lemon jello. As soon as the kiddos realized they could eat them, they didn't stand a chance. I'm not sure what it is with kids and Jello, but it's always a hit and so easy.

I made the name cards myself. Just pulled an image of a firetruck from google and printed them on cardstock. (I just tried to find the image to give credit, but cannot locate it anywhere. Oops.)

I love the fire backdrop behind the wet bar - it's made from yellow, red & orange tissue paper and the tutorial is here.

And what is a firefighter party, without a fire hydrant and some buckets of "water" to put out the fires? 

The only thing missing was the firetruck pulling up in the driveway. It was scheduled, but of course it snowed all day, so we called it off. Maybe next year. =)

We had a great time and best of all we celebrated the best little three year old. Although, I may be a tad bit biased. Thanks to all of you for the sweet words about both the party and our little guy. It means the world.

Fire Hydrant: Hobby Lobby
Small Metal Buckets: Amazon
Large Metal Buckets: Amazon
Blue Sixlet Candies: Amazon
Metal Fire Truck: Hobby Lobby
Metal Cupcake Holder: Amazon
Chalkboard Banner: Amazon
Bundlet & Bundtinis: Nothing Bundt Cakes
Fred & Friends Plate: Amazon
Firetruck Cookies & Cake Pops: Kristen's Cookies
Invitations: Etsy
Pinterest Board: here

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Weekending: It Was All About the Birthday Party

Tee (here)  //  Gap Jeans (here)
Yep, I still have my tin skull banner up... =)

Another great weekend in the books and this one was extra special because it was ALL about our Cruz man. Just like it should be.

We celebrated his actual birthday with a little Jason's Deli - we are big JD fans around here - and a trip to the toy store where we let C pick out a few gifts. It was one of the most amazing things watching him run through the store from toy to toy. Everything was, "mama, I just gotta have that!"

We settled on a Home Depot drill he had wanted (that or we continue to let him play with our real one and that doesn't seem smart), a Melissa & Doug fishing pole set (turns out it's kind of lame), a racetrack that looked awesome, but was waaaay too advanced (it was age 8+...and basically took up half of our living room so it will be going in the Toys for Tots bin) and this shark boat. We're talking about the boy who is deathly afraid of alligators and sharks...and he picks this out. And hasn't stopped playing with it since. 

I will never understand kids.

Thankfully grandma came to town to hang with little man while I put some of the finishing touches on the party. We had Cruz's room painted this week (more to come on that) and finally put up his Vintage Marquee Lights "C" (via Zulily and the sale on these ends tonight!). I am loving it.

I also took an old shirt he is about to grow out of and ironed on some letters so he had a "firefighter" shirt to wear to the party. I had been eyeing one on Etsy, but to have it personalized it would've cost me $30. This was $5. Even if it was close to being a midriff shirt because it was like a size 24 months. =)

Then I finished some decor in the basement, set up tables & chairs and started on the food. 

And there were these. 

Yep. We made matches with pretzels, almond bark and red sprinkles. It was a lot of time (hence, the mason jar with vino) but I love how they turned out.

We had loads of family and friends over for his firefighter birthday party. We have taken to making Cruz's birthday a great chance to celebrate not only little man, but also spend the day eating, drinking, watching football and just hanging out with all of the people we love most in the world. It's a win-win in my book. And this boy was in absolute heaven with everyone doting on him. He barely sat down once all day. There was just too much to do and too many people to play with.  And getting him to eat anything other than sweets? That wasn't happening.

Of course he was spoiled with all of the gifts..and now I'm certain we need to buy a bigger house to store them all. He got SO.MUCH.STUFF.  Tractors, cars, a bike, camera, trucks, racetracks, more tractors, Hunter boots (yep - he has a pair & I don't), legos, tools, sports stuff. You name it, I'm sure he got it. 

But good kids get good stuff, right? And he is such a good kid.

A little weird, but a good kid. =)

Him: Gap Jeans (here)  // Me: Shirt (here), Jeans (here), Yellow Fitbit band (here)
More about the party later. There are just too many fun details to share!

I swear I could've slept in until Tuesday. 

What is it about planning parties and playing hostess that is just so tiring?

My parents and bro/SIL & their kiddos stayed over, helped clean up and got breakfast for us in the morning. Now who's spoiled? And I got to snuggle with this this guy. Hudson is just the best little baby. Nick & I were asked to be his godparents and we couldn't be happier! I mean, seriously those cheeks and that little bald baby head. Love.

After everyone left, Cruz passed out for the majority of the afternoon which allowed me time to get groceries, clean up my closet (the little girls had too much fun trying on all of my shoes), made more chili and meatballs & marinara for my two guys to eat this week while I'm out of town and then it was all about catching up on some work, while Nick & Cruz watched football.

Now we are back to reality.. and the new week. Hoping it's just as good as the weekend!

Of course, linking up with my gal Biana.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Cruz is THREE!

Our little Mango is three, you guys!

Today we are celebrating every amazing thing about our guy, Cruzer. These last three years have just flown by, but I also can hardly remember life before he came into it. Well, except when I remember all the sleep...and all the happy hours, that is. =)

Since I just talked about ALL the things that make this kiddo great a few weeks ago, I won't repeat myself, you can just go read about it here.

But....let me just say this.

He really is something special, you know that? 

He makes me smile every single day. More times than should be allowed. He blows me away with every word that comes out of his mouth. He brings out the silly that all too often we adults forget can be so much fun. He makes me giggle. I mean, really giggle. He melts my heart when he grabs my hand to hold it while he sleeps. He makes me so proud. He makes me the happiest me I've ever been. And he makes my life better just by being in it. I can't wait to wake up every single morning because I know I get to see his sweet little face.

What I feel for him is enough to make my heart explode. It's that good.

I am so lucky to be the one he calls mama.

And we have been so blessed to have him in our life.

Happy birthday to my best little buddy!!  You are loved more than you will ever know.