Monday, September 29, 2014

Weekending {Two Boys, Pumpkins,& A Starbucks Virgin} + A Giveaway!

Can we just talk about these two boys?

Holy moly, are they not just the cutest cousins you ever did see? I'm certain they are.

Moving on...

We had another relaxing weekend around these parts, which was perfect by me being that I was away for work last weekend and I'm gone again this week and the week after. I need some time with my boys.

Which is why dinner out Friday night was in order. I love nothing more than heading out to dinner with my guys, having a glass of wine and catching up on our week. While we were waiting, a couple pics were necessary. 

As if Mexican food, including queso & fajitas, wasn't enough, we had to swing by the store and grab a couple of different ice cream flavors to try. Let me just tell you, they were ALL good.

It's obviously pumpkin patch season, but instead of heading to one of the big, fancy pants patches that are full of activities, fried foods and really expensive pumpkins, we decided to make it quick and head to what used to be a not-too-well-known farm full of really inexpensive pumpkins. Plus they have a playset and you would think we were at Disneyland as much fun as C had...not only that but Morgan and Cole joined us, so that helped make it even more fun. Cruz got to play the older cousin. He doesn't get to do that often. We, of course, took the opportunity for some pics.

The Husker game was a later one, so at the last minute we invited some friends over to our house.  Boys in the basement and gals with the kiddos, catching up on our gossip like all gals do. It ended up being a late night (I'm such a loser, I just can't hang anymore), but a fun impromptu one.

Since it was a later night, it meant a late morning on Sunday and Cruz & I missed the Zoo Run. We did it last year {here} and had a great time, so I'm pretty bummed we didn't get up and go. Speaking of, we haven't been to the zoo since it was ranked #1 zoo in the world by Trip Advisor. You guys, that is legit.

So instead of a five mile run? We hit up Target and Starbucks. Same diff, right? And not only that but this little man had his first Starbucks - well, besides the cake pops - and was a big fan. How cute are those little cups? And they make it "kid temp" so they can drink it right away. Pretty impressive.

After spending way more money in Target than necessary, on junk, all junk, we headed home to decorate our pumpkins. All Cruz wanted was to paint them green, so he got his wish and after about 3 1/2 minutes, he was done, so I was left to paint up the rest.

As you can tell, he wasn't impressed that I made him carry the pumpkins. God forbid.

So that's it...our weekend in a nutshell. And it was a great one.

Speaking of great? I'm partnering with these lovelies and we have a pretty kick ass giveaway going on...$205 in Paypal cash to be exact! And it's like less than three months from Christmas, don't tell me you couldn't use this cash...or if you don't need it, I would be happy to take it off your hands. =)

Just click the rafflecopter link below, it's that simple!

morganmegan | heather | karissa
terin | tawnya | mar | maegen
lauren | katie | kate | vanessa
amy | karli | libby | caroline

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck! And do me a favor, have a great week, would ya??

Linking up with B

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Fall Shopping

So even if I'm not into this fall thing like the rest of America, the one thing I can get into is shopping for my fall wardrobe...and little man's. But this post is about me, and my clothes - not Cruz's - for once. =)

I love shopping. Is this news to anyone?

Like, it's so bad I think I have a problem, although I don't consider it a problem, because it's awesome.

So does anyone else do this?

I go through my day and whenever I'm reading magazines and see something I want on IG, Facebook, etc, I always take a pic or screenshot it on my phone so my phone is FULL of inspiration, shopping wants, you name it.  The above is from US Weekly {the best mag in the world...according to moi} and I loved these booties so much that I had to get them...even better I got them 25%!

And Target had their BOGO clothing and shoe sale this week. Is this not the truth?

I needed some comfy, cute work stuff and found these dresses. 1 // 2 // 3 // 4   And these boots  1 // 2 Did a little damage for sure, but did you not see above...they were BOGO. It's almost like a sin not to buy them when they are that much of a deal. Plus, let's be honest, if they don't work out it's easy to return and it gives me an excuse to go into Target. Win-win, right?

Moving onto workout stuff, I recently discovered Athleta (yes, I know I'm late to the game) and there is just something about new workout clothes that just gets me pumped to up my game. I got these pants and absolutely love them. I think I've worn them like 87 times since I got them. They fit so it doesn't hurt that unlike Lulu, they are actually true to size. It makes a gal feel a bit better about herself, ya know?

I also got these black Chat tights, this tunic in charcoal, this racerback top in black and these Stride Capris, because they are yellow, of course.

Now I guess I have to go workout to get some use out of these finds....

Speaking of shopping, I do the majority of my shopping online, because let's be honest, if I can be sitting on my couch watching an episode of the Kardashians and drinking a glass of wine while clicking buttons which will end in packages galore on my doorstep? Well, then you best believe I'm gonna do that. And one thing I always make sure to do - use Ebates.

If you haven't used Ebates before and you shop online, I suggest you look into it, otherwise you are just leaving money on the table...or on the line {The Internship reference, anyone?}. You know what I mean. Seriously, everything

While I'm typing this, I'm listening to Nick in the background, who is currently laying in the teepee, watching the Ryder cup where he's been since 7:30am this morning and telling me "this is rich and compelling" TV....I love to golf, but seriously I can't get into watching it on TV at all. Even if it is America vs. Europe or whatever. And  let me tell you he has been watching it since last night when I went to bed, was still watching it when I woke up at 2:30am and again this morning when I left for the gym.  Please tell me I'm not alone here....and is my husband the only one out there this into a golf match?!?

And speaking of Nick, this is what I think every.single.time. I hit "confirm purchase"... =)

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Potty Training Saga Continues

As I mentioned - ok, excitedly proclaimed - in this post, Cruz is finally potty trained!


Even with this being said, potty training continues to dominate our lives around these parts.

We got really comfortable with him going to bed dry, waking up dry and having no accidents during the day...until he started having them, that is.

Evidently even after you think your kid is potty trained, there is a VERY good chance that he will have accidents. And sometimes a lot of them.

Enter Pull-Ups.

Did you all know about these things? Well, we knew of them but to be honest we didn't use them that much, not nearly like we should have during the entire potty training process.  However, since the post-potty training accidents started happening, Pull-Ups have become our friend.

The best part about Pull-Ups is that they aren't bulky like diapers, so when we slip one on him before bedtime (generally when he is just soooo tired which seems to equal a guaranteed accident) he doesn't complain about having to wear a diaper.

Because of course now "diapers are for babies."  Well, at least according to him.

Or when we know we have a long car trip ahead and I'm worried Cruz won't make it from small town to small town - or let's just say I forget to ask him if he has to go to the bathroom when we pass a gas station in said small town - it's nice to have the extra protection of a Pull-Up. Just in case.

I mean, no one wants a peed on car seat. #aintnotbodygottimeforthat

Or when you are out at the park and your little says he has to go numero two, so you bust it to the porta potty only to find that it is waaaay out of order. And then you have to run into the weeds, where he proceeds to do his business. Let's just say thankfully you had a lot of wipes.

Pull-Up would've been real nice in this situation.

Which is why I have started to keep one on me at all times. Just in case.

That, and because having a pair of little boy undies floating around in my bag and accidentally pulling them out when I'm paying for my groceries at the store...sans kid...well, that's just embarrassing.

There is part of me that thinks having started with Pull-Ups in our potty training journey would've helped push him along a bit more quickly. Plus they have all of his favorite characters. I mean this kid is really into Jake these days.

Another great thing about Pull-Ups?

The Big Kid Academy.

I was very impressed with the information housed in the Big Kid Academy. A vast library of tips, tricks and advice from real-life moms and real-life professionals. I found that there was something that fit essentially every potty training hurdle, question or thought that crossed my mind during this experience. And now it's been very beneficial for me to understand what he's going through now with his slips. But don't take it from me, check it out for yourself.
Click here to check it out

If you are learning to potty train kiddos yourself, the Big Kid Academy is a great tool to get you there sooner. Even if your little isn't quite ready to start potty training, it will sneak up on you quicker than you think, so better to be prepared early on and plan how you are going to handle potty training.

If you aren't a mama but have someone in your life who is, share it with them. Trust me, it's in your best interest not to have to hear all potty training, all the time when you're with them. And you won't, if they have a resource like this for them to use.

What are some of your best potty training stories, tips, advice or better yet funny stories? Because..."the more you know" and all, right?


A big thank you to Pull-Ups for sponsoring this post and for providing us potty training mamas a great tool to transition from diaper butts to undie-wearing booties. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Weekending In Austin {Austin Bachelorette Party}

This past weekend was spent in Austin for my girl Angie's bachelorette party...and it was a phenomenal one.

If you follow me on Instagram, you have seen some of these pics already, but now you just get more detail about what we did during our weekend of debauchery. Ok, not even close, but it was still a great one.

First things first, the bride-to-be picked me up at the airport and we were the first to arrive at our downtown penthouse apartment for the weekend - it was really the best way to stay in the city and perfect for our group of seven.  Not only that, but it was very contemporary and the decor was gorgeous. I highly recommend you checking out VRBO if you are going on a trip with a large group and want the convenience of being all together in the same space.

Afterwards, we headed to Whole Foods to pick up some necessities - vino, champagne, chips & guac, bottled water. To tell you this was the most amazing Whole Foods ever, wouldn't be doing it justice. It's the flagship store and had everything you could imagine. A couple bars, a coffee shop, made-to-order everything. Plus, they had this Mamamango champs. Pretty fitting, right?

After the rest of the girls arrived from Houston & Odessa, we got dolled up (no pics of us, bad blogger alert) and headed to dinner at Uchi, which was phenomenal. Described as a contemporary Japanese dining and sushi restaurant which I hear is one of the hottest in town. Kay was a pro orderer so we let her take over while we sampled many plates of delicious food and washed it down with bottle after bottle of wine. I have to say I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried many new foods and was surprised that I enjoyed it all.

There was a ton of girl talk, getting to know each other, more wine and before we knew it we had been there for about three hours before heading back to our place, opening more wine and continuing the conversation on the comfort of the couch.

The next morning some of the gals went for a run, some of us went for a Starbucks run and then we all piled into a tour bus chock full of champagne to head out to Texas Wine Country - who knew there was such a thing? I sure didn't!

We set up our tour with Discover Texas Wine Tours and let me tell you they were fab! Our driver Wayland was seriously the best - he was knowledgeable about the area as well as the one olive oil company and two wineries we visited.

Our first stop was the Texas Hill Country Olive Company...while this isn't a winery, the stop was a great one as they featured legit olive oil and vinegars for us to sample with endless bread, sangria and wine samples from other local wineries.  I had to bring a couple bottles home and opted for the Garlic Olive Oil and the Balsamic Vinegar, but I was close to picking up the Lemon Olive Oil and Peach Vinegar which we all decided would be a delicious salad dressing.

Then we headed to Hawk's Shadow Winery, which may have been my favorite. As you can see below, we found ourselves in a rainy day which actually turned out to be very cold, but still opted to sit outside for our tasting. Wayland was the best as he held an umbrella to help stop some of the rain drips on our backs and the owner Tom kept finding jackets and rain slickers for us to keep covered. The wine was phenom, the lunch we enjoyed there (which was part of the wine tour package) was delish and the family who owned this place were just the best. They were so sweet and accommodating, even allowing us to use their gorgeous log cabin for real restrooms.

We then traveled over to Duchman Family Winery which is where Angie will be getting married in five short weeks. And let me tell you it was just beautiful - very Tuscany-like and I can't wait to watch her walk down the aisle there.

After we got back to Austin, we all had a nice afternoon buzz and decided to hit up some shops nearby, pick up dinner from Whole Foods and then swung by Amy's Ice Creams (I wouldn't recommend the Bacon Jalapeno, but I do recommend trying it just to say you did) for an little treat because we had decided we were going to stay in for the night.

Say what? Stay in - meaning not go out - on a bachelorette party weekend?

Yep. That is just what we did and it was perfect.

After chowing down, opening some wine and putting on our fat pants - we sat around chatting, playing a bad ass round of Heads Up (if you haven't downloaded this app, you need to ASAP) and then more talking, wine/champagne drinking to round out the night. And it was absolutely perfect.

On Sunday, we all got packed up, two of the gals headed home and the rest of us hit up Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill for brunch and mimosas This place was just the cutest and the brunch (tables and tables of delicious food) was perfect to soak up some of the champagne hangover. I would absolutely recommend this place and I've heard their dinner is just as good.

I think the best way to describe our weekend is the ultimate "In Your 30s" Bachelorette Party. There was no pressure to get dolled up in our shortest, tightest dresses and prance around the bars and while my only regret (albeit a small one) is that I didn't get to see more of the city (6th Street, Rainey, Warehouse District), I really wouldn't have changed anything.

One thing I can say, Angie has found some amazing gals to be in her life and I'm so happy to see that she has this group of friends in Houston - her home away from home. I feel fortunate to have had the chance to meet them and look forward to seeing them all again in a few short weeks.

Now that is what I call a very grown up girl's weekend.

B Loved Boston

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Makings Of A Great Summer Concert

As you are reading this, I'm headed to Austin, Texas, for a weekend of debauchery, ready to live it up with a bunch of gals, cocktails, craziness...what happens in Austin, stays in Austin, I hear.

Ok. Lezz be honest.

I'm not really one for debauchery any more. I mean you reach a certain age where the hangovers hang around a bit longer and hitting up the clubs like you did back in your college hey day is just not as appealing.

I am excited to hang out with my bestie and her Texas group of gal pals, though.

You know what else gets me excited?

A really amazing country concert with a good meal, some drinks and the best group of friends. I mean, we really do have the greatest group of friends. And man, oh man, are they fun.

Let's get to it, shall we?

Earlier this summer we planned a little outing to Stir Cove for a good ole country these are my five things that make up what it takes to have a great time at an outdoor, country concert.

This guy...Dierks Bentley.  Honestly I haven't listened to him in quite some time, but it was Nick who introduced me to his music years ago and I have to say he was pretty amazing in person. Not Eric Church, Kenny Chesney or Justin Timberlake amazing, but still really good. =)

via Chip Duden Photography

Time with this guy. I mean, how great is it to get to go out and spend some time with your main man?

This place. One of my favorite venues in all the city...Stir Cove. And could we have asked for a more perfect night?

Cocktails. Well, duh. I mean, come on when is the last time you heard about a really great night out that didn't include cocktails? And when it starts with a dirty Chopin martini and ends with a Fireball doesn't get much better.

And these yahoos. Some of the best friends a gal could ask for. Some have been with us for many years, some are family and in-laws and some are new friends, but they all make an outing like this something pretty special. Mr. Mango and I are pretty lucky folks.

Maybe one of my fave pics of the night...capturing us snapping a group pic.
This pic to be exact...

There ya have it. If you want to have fun at a concert...follow these steps and I promise you, you will not be disappointed!

By the way - any Dierks fans out there? As good as he was in person, I think this boy nails it. What do you think?? =)

Linking up this lovely little Friday with my farm gals Karli & Amy and miss fitness, Amanda.