Airplane Reading


I love a good book on a plane. Add in a cheese plate and I'm set for the rest of the flight 😉 Here's what I brought on our recent travel to and from California...

The Infertility Diaries



A couple weeks ago, I met a friend for coffee to go over my experience with the infertility drug Clomid. She was just about to start her first round, so I shared that all my rounds have been very different, but with each round she should be prepared to experience:

A Day in the Life - Preschool Edition


Out of all the topics I've written about over the years, our "Day in the Life" posts are my very favorite to look back on. They seem so normal and trivial when penning them - but years later, it's those tiny little details that you forget. There's a quote: How we spend our days is how we spend our lives, and having documentation of this is just priceless (if you don't have a blog, I totally recommend just documenting a random day for yourself or your kids).

California Here We Come, Right Back Where We Started From


The first week of May, Parker and I tagged along on Max's business trip to California. I'm not exaggerating when I say Max was on travel for all of April (poor guy doesn't even know what month it is right now), so we figured this was the only way to see him (#kiddingnotkidding).

Friday Faves


Happy Friday, y'all! We are back from a vacay to my home state of California last week. More to come on that in the following days (#spoileralert - I visited friends and family and ate my own weight in crab). Until then, here are some Friday Faves...

Classic Strawberry Shortcake


Freshly picked spring strawberries are heaven on earth! I feel we need just one more trip to the strawberry patch this season before it's over, because, seriously. Those strawberries. And, I'll be definitely making this recipe again...

4 Ways to Support Your Child Academically (from an M.Ed.)


I hesitate to say that I'm an expert at anything. I do, however, hold an M.Ed. And so (at least according to The University of California at Santa Barbara), I have "mastered" the topic of education. Education has always been something I loved, and even though I'm not in the classroom anymore (Parker likes to say I'm "retired"), I still put my degree to use every day raising him. Here are four ways I try to support future academic success...

Hello, Friday!


I can count on one hand the number of days Max has been home (and not away on business) this month. Thank goodness for FaceTime!

Double Decker Veggie Sandwiches with Pepperidge Farm



I've always loved a good veggie sandwich, and after nine years as a vegetarian, I got pretty good at making them. And, while I'm no longer a vegetarian, I still find myself choosing meatless options from time to time since they are usually lighter, but can be so tasty too! Enter the double decker veggie sandwich with Pepperidge Farm Farmhouse® Hearty White Bread

Friday Five


First, thank y'all so much for the many responses to my post on infertility earlier this week. This comment especially touched upon my whole reason for doing the post:

6 Things to Do After a Negative Pregnancy Test


There's an episode of Sex and the City where Miranda is diagnosed with a lazy ovary. Seemingly very offended, she protests that her ovaries went to an Ivy League schoolI'm a biological underachiever, and it's ironic because that ovary went to Harvard. Seeing the show as a young twenty-something, this didn't make any sense to me, but now that I've (twice) gone through my own fertility issues, I completely understand.

Recent Reads


I've been a diligent library goer for the past few years, ever since I discovered online holds. Last month, however, I found myself actually purchasing not just one but three different books. The Immoralists was on a whim after I read about it in O magazine (or maybe it was Real Simple?). Pretty Mess I figured my library would never offer, so I pre-ordered that one via Amazon. And, I had been waiting for my library hold to come up for The Wife Between Us for months, finally lost my patience and picked it up on a Costco run, then was promptly offered the book by the library the very next day, go figure.

Life Lately


Happy Spring! Spring weather in The South is nothing short of ridiculous. It was literally 83 degrees yesterday, followed by severe thunderstorms (plus fallen trees and power outages) in the middle of the night, then we woke up this morning to 40 degrees and a freeze warning. Go figure.

PCK 5-Year Interview


What is your name?
Parker but I want to be called hockey player.

What is your age?
Five.

Happy 5th Birthday, PCK!


Our little guy is five years old! I've been a Mama for half a decade - I really cannot wrap my head around that fact! While last year was all about construction and the color orange, Parker's favorites this year include hockey and the color red. He wanted his birthday celebration to be at a Huntsville Havoc hockey game, so we let Parker choose two buddies (and their families) and we celebrated the Friday night before his actual birthday in one of the ice suites.

Why I Didn't Use a Free Disney Planner for Our WDW Vacay


Being a California Girl, I grew up going to Disneyland, and I have such awesome memories of it. Now that we're official Southerners, Disney World is much closer. But y'all. Disney World is in its own league of ridiculousness. I feel like you can do Disneyland on the fly - no advanced warning or planning needed. Disney Word is like one of those elementary schools you sign up for when your baby is still in the womb. I'm not lying when I say you book breakfast reservations six months in advance. Part of the scenario lies in the fact that you'll probably be staying on property, but also that Disney World is just so darn big (the size of San Francisco if you're California literate like me 😉). It's always been very intimidating, but when we decided it was time to introduce our little guy (he was four years old at the time) to the Wonderful World of Disney, I decided to slowly start researching. I'm warning you - it will become an obsession. Everything you need to know can be found online (bless the internet). There are two big timelines of which you need to be aware:

WDW Day Four | Chef Mickey's & Goodbye


Day four was our travel day back home from Disney World. Ever the cheap frugal travelers, we opted not to get park tickets for this day since we'd only get a few hours in before we had to leave (and I prefer to get my money's worth, especially when park tickets for the three of us totaled over $300 for each day). Instead, we booked brunch at Chef Mickey's for our last morning - this gave us the opportunity to see all the characters one more time without actually having to purchase park tickets. It worked out perfectly for us, and I would highly recommend doing this if you're headed out mid-day like we were.

Friday Faves


Happy March! We've been getting in the Easter spirit with all things bunny - including our pancakes! These were a hit - and super easy to make!

Mint Chocolate Treasures

Happy March! I'm not sure about your neck of the woods, but here in Alabama, everything is starting to bloom. As my little guy points out every time we see a bud, "It's a sign that spring is near!" This was no-doubt learned in pre-school, but he's so right - spring is just around the corner! And now that we're in a climate that gives us freezing temperatures and even snow, I appreciate spring so much more.

Miscellany Monday


Happy Monday! We've had such a mix of weather over here lately - rainy one day, sunny the next, so we've been jumping at the chance every warm day to enjoy the moment and get outside.

WDW Day Three | Epcot



Our third straight Walt Disney World park day was our Epcot day. After hitting The Magic Kingdom hard for two days in a row, Epcot was a nice change of pace. Because we planned to get the most out of each day, we opted not to do a park hopper, and just did two dedicated days to The Magic Kingdom and one to Epcot. Had we stayed longer, I would have loved to have added Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom - but for us, The Magic Kingdom and Epcot (and a four night stay) was perfect (there's always next time!).

I had read to allow 40 minutes to travel from The Contemporary Hotel to Epcot via the Monorail (there is a train change involved). Even first thing in the morning, I'd say this was pretty accurate (figure in security checks, waiting for trains, standing in line to enter the park). We left our room around 8AM, and were under the geodesic dome waiting for rope drop by 8:50AM. 

The Veggie | Vegan Delivery Review


There are tons of benefits to plant based eating. All the recent studies seem to be pointing to the same conclusion - healthy eating is being redefined as more plants, less animal products. Belgium recently released an updated food pyramid which lists meat as a junk food, and we all probably have a connection to a friend (or friend of a friend) whose vegan lifestyle has cured some persistent illness or health issue. I'm not a novice to veggie-friendly eating, having spent nine whole years of my life as a vegetarian.

Life Lately - Valentine's Day Edition


Valentine's Day this year came right off a week plus of illness, right when we were getting back into the swing of things. I feel like we were still a bit slow-going, but so happy to be celebrating my very favorite holiday. I saved up all the valentines that Parker had received in the mail and put them out for him on Valentine's Day morning along with his pink pancake breakfast.

Coffee + Donuts




Cheers to Friday! I love a bright, happy donut to make a Friday (or any day) just a bit more special.

WDW Day Two | The Magic Kingdom


Below is how Parker felt after our first full day at Walt Disney World. We tried to let him sleep as long as we could on day two, then fed him a quick in-room breakfast of milk and yogurt before heading off around 8:30AM so we could experience rope drop at The Magic Kingdom just like the day before.

Five on Friday - Sick Week Edition


What a week! Parker has been out sick from school since last Friday (coughing, fever, the whole nine yards), and Max has been away on business travel. I literally sent Max this bitmoji on Wednesday:

Sausage & Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers | Gluten Free + Dairy Free


We recently joined a new CSA at a local, sustainable "permaculture" farm. It's a year-round program, so right now we're receiving lots of amazing meat! One of our items was pork sausage, and the farm suggested using it to make stuffed peppers. I searched around and adapted a few different recipes to make the dish below. The filling was so flavorful, I didn't even add the cheese that most of the recipes suggested, so these are completely gluten free and dairy free. While the sausage/mushroom combination makes them super rich and tasty, I feel that they're still a "light meal" since they don't have the heaviness of dairy. 

WDW Day One | The Magic Kingdom


When I was planning our Disney trip, I read every blog post I could find about visiting the park (both normal lifestyle/family blogs, and the dedicated Disney blogs as well). I wanted to know everything - How many rides could we get in before our Fast Passes started? How long would it take to travel from our hotel to Epcot? What were the best restaurants? So, while it's fun to recap our days at Walt Disney world for our own sake, I also want to share our experience and what we learned for anyone out there planning a trip of their own.

Walt Disney World | The Prep & The Travel


As a California girl, I grew up going to Disneyland. A trip there could be planned on a whim - the day before even. The prospect of Disney World was daunting. There were so many parks, and hotels, and restaurants, and rules - but when we decided last summer that we wanted to do a family trip to Disney World, I started researching like it was my job.

Five February Favorites

Welcome, February! Valentine's Day is by far my favorite holiday, so over here we're ready for everything pink, red, and heart-shaped - starting with almond butter and sprinkle sandwiches for lunch 😉

Easy Eats for Game Day

 



Although we're mostly television-free in our house, we totally make exceptions for big games, because what's more fun than cheering on a team going for a championship? Adding fun snacks makes the whole event even more special. Here are two easy eats for your next game day...

Miscellany Monday


We are back from four days at Walt Disney World! Since I grew up in California, I grew up going to Disneyland - so this was my first trip to Disney World, and it was Parker's first Disney experience ever! There is so much that goes into planning a Disney World vacay, and I'm twelve kinds of excited to share everything we learned. Our little family of three had the best time ever

Family Trip to London Day 6

It's my very last London post! I've had so much fun recapping each day of our trip. If you missed any of the posts, you can find:
Day One HERE, Day Two HERE, Day Three HERE, Day Four HEREand Day Five HERE


Day Six was a Saturday - our last full day in London and our only real weekend day in the city (we arrived on a Monday and would be flying out Sunday). We started off the day bright and early with a 9AM time slot at Natural History Museum's ice skating rink.

Friday Five - Snow Day Edition


Today's Friday Favorites are brought to you by #allthesnowdays...

Reintroductions



Happy Thursday! We're coming off of what seems like weeks of snow days here in Alabama (all for precisely one inch of actual snow... welcome to The South!). I'm happy to get back into our routine again. Yesterday I told Max I felt like I didn't have anything to tether myself, and I just felt lost and aimless - we were pretty much stuck at home with much (and at times, all) of the city closed.

Family Trip to London Day 5


On Day 5, we had tickets to see The Nutcracker at the English Coliseum! When Max and I went to London in 2010, we saw Wicked in London's West End, and as soon as we booked this trip I knew I wanted to do some sort of show again. The Nutcracker with the English National Ballet was the perfect option for us. We slept in a bit that morning since we had done so much the day before (and Max was exhausted after two full days of his conference plus keeping up with everything back at the office). Parker and I were stoked to have him all to ourselves for the rest of the trip!

Family Trip to London Day 4


After taking it easy on day three, we were ready to make the most of day four. This worked out perfectly because weather-wise, the rain had passed and it was a bright and sunny (though bitterly cold) London day. Parker and I aimed to tackle everything that was on our schedule for the day, while also adding in our Kensington Palace tour since we missed it the day before (and Max would be attending the second and final day of his conference in Chelsea). Looking back, I can't believe how much we packed into just that one day! 

Five on Friday


Happy Friday! It's a weather day over here in Alabama - schools are closed because of the threat of ice and freezing rain later in the afternoon, goodness gracious! So our plan is to head out this morning and get our errands done, then come back and get snuggly and warm for the rest of the day. Stay safe out there, y'all! Here's my first Friday Five of 2018...

Family Trip to London Day 3



Day three was the first day of Max's conference, and the first of two days Parker and I would be on our own in the city! Since we were going to be separated, I was super grateful to have a working phone in case Max needed to reach us or vice versa, and I was also very happy to have GPS for Google Maps so I could navigate around London.

Our original itinerary had Parker and me at Kensington palace for their 10AM opening. This is what Parker looked like at 10AM. 

Family Trip to London Day 2


We set our alarm for 8AM for our second day in London. This gave us more than twelve hours of sleep, but we were so tired from all the travel day before that we were very slow going. We also woke up hungry, so I popped across the street to Paul (a darling French cafe chain). I picked up milk, coffee and croissants and brought them back to my boys so we could eat while getting ready for the day.

Family Trip to London Day 1


Our first day in London started around 7AM GMT when the lights on the plane turned on and breakfast service began, an hour-an-a-half-ish before we'd be landing. We had a 100mph tailwind on the way over, so we arrived an entire hour ahead of schedule. 

Prepping for our Family Trip to London


So, Max goes on tons of business travel every single year. For as long as I've known him, he's been Platinum level on American Airlines (achieved with 60+ flights in the calendar year). Some of the places I have no desire to travel to (I'm looking at you, Yuma Arizona). But lots of the time I'm dropping hints that I'd love to tag along. Tokyo. New York City. Seattle. San Francisco. I fully realize that business travel is not at all glamorous, and most of the time Max sees zero of the city in which he's staying because he's working all day (and then doubly working at night doing whatever things he's missing in the office). Still, when I heard the word "London" being thrown around in the fall, my ears perked up and I started my rationalizations of why it would make an awesome family trip and introduction to international travel for Parker.

Flying Internationally With Kids!



Prior to our London Trip, our sweet four-and-a-half year-old was a pretty experienced flyer with almost sixty flights under his belt. All of these, however, were domestic flights and none of them overnight. So, leading up to our transatlantic flight, I read every blog and every article I could get my hands on about international flying with kids. Everyone has a different take on it as all kids are different, but here's what worked for us...

Christmas-ing

We spent the hight of this holiday season in London, and I just can't wait to write all about it! The energy, the sights... the accents! 😍 But we were back in Alabama just in time for Christmas at home.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year


December is just downright magical, am I right? And being a parent during the holiday season is just the best thing ever. Each year I say it's the year Parker finally understands everything - and once again, I'm going back and correcting myself and saying this is the year! He was just so into everything! Each morning he'd run downstairs to check our advent calendar to see what Christmas activity we were doing that day, and search around the house to see what our elf, Lady, was up to.

Life Lately - Holiday Edition


Merry December, y'all! Here's what we've been up to during this most wonderful time of the year...
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