Saturday, October 8, 2016

Laying Low

Fall arrived, and it was glorious. Crisp mornings, falling leaves, all the pumpkins...

I mean, autumn is just pure joy, am I right?

And then, the colds and fevers followed. Y'all, preschool germs are no joke. We have (all three of us) caught more bugs in the the past few months since P started school than we have in all his other years combined. I was hoping my almost ten years of teaching would have provided me a buffer, but alas, I am only immune to California and Arizona germs.

Did anyone else have this experience when their little one first started school? Is it just round after round of being sick for the whole family?? In the meantime, we've been taking it easy. This little guy's been in good spirits despite the fevers...

Partly because when he's sick he's allowed to watch videos, which is a big deal (we are normally screen-free with Parker). I propped my laptop on the ottoman in the playroom one of the mornings and Parker watched Room on the Broom (Netflix's animated adaptation of the book) for the first time! He insisted on bringing out the book so he could follow along :)

I think the book is a must for all Halloween collections. Parker liked it last year (age 2.5) but he loves it this year (so much so that he insisted on dressing as one of the characters for Halloween!). Click here to purchase it for just five dollars with free shipping via Amazon - we have both the board book and the large copy and enjoy each.

We also read Llama Llama Home with Mama, a perfect story since Parker was missing school and staying home with Mama, just like in the book. He actually asked if we had "a book about being sick" - and it was then that I remembered we were gifted this book when Parker was a baby! I tucked it away since he was too young for it then, but it was absolutely perfect to bring out this week. It was given to us with a collection of other situation-specific books that we've pulled out over the years, and looking back it was so thoughtful of the gift givers!

Since I was feverish too, I rested while P rested and read Truly Madly Guilty, the new release by Liane Moriarty (I snatched it last week from the Recent Releases table at the library - a lucky score because the new books of the more well-known authors usually have the crazy holds). I had only read one other Liane Moriarty book, Big Little Lies which I reviewed here, and I was game for another (on a side note, does anyone else think Dean Moriarty from Jack Kerouac's On the Road whenever they see Liane Moriarty?? I just can't help making the jump every single time). So back to Truly Madly Guilty - I think it was well written, it had (what I'm guessing is her signature style after reading a second book in this format from her) the interesting element of going back in forth in time via multiple accounts, leaving the reader trying to figure out a crime that isn't spelled out until the end of the book. It was entertaining, but it was sad. I don't mind dark and twisty (surprising, since, in husby's words,  I "live on a pink cloud"), but the circumstances and happenings in Truly Madly Guilty were heart wrenching at times. I just couldn't take it. I should probably note here that I also sobbed uncontrollably after seeing Disney's Wall-e. In my defense, the plot was a parallel for the devastating effects of Alzheimer's, but really I shouldn't be exposed to anything the least bit sad. It melts my pink cloud. 

 Here's hoping for more pumpkins, and fewer fevers! 
Wishing you pumpkin spice and all things nice!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Happy Fall Y'all

Happy first Friday of fall!!

I took the above photo on our trip to the pumpkin patch last year. I'm counting the days until we can go back to load up on pumpkins and mums - last autumn was our first time going to a pumpkin patch in the South, and my goodness they go all out. As do the front porches this time of year - it's so much fun. Now for more favorites...

Piano + Pajams... be still my heart. This sweet guy seriously came out of me eighty years old.

The photo below is of Parker at preschool (I love that the teachers take pictures), picking some basil for me from the garden and sniffing it of course. You can see from the attire that the weather has not gotten the memo that it's fall.

Husby and I enjoyed a date night this week! The Junior League was hosting Barbecue Blues & Brews - my first big JL event of my provisional year :) It's such a luxury to eat a meal without also cutting up a little person's food and prompting that little one to take bites every other minute - I got to just relax and talk with my sweet, handsome oh-so intelligent husband. Not that we didn't miss the Sweet P terribly - and in fact, even though Parker was in bed when we got home, he hadn't fallen asleep so he heard us come in and tiptoed to the top of the stairs calling out: Whooooo's home from their daaaaaate??


 I finished my latest library score, The Nest. I originally put it on hold back in March, and finally got my hands on it last week (having a library card will teach you patience, y'all). Anyway, since March I've read some just so-so reviews on the book so my expectations had dropped significantly. I think because of that, I was pleasantly surprised. The book centered on a group of dysfunctional siblings set to come into their trust fund inheritance. It was somehow slow without much action, yet I always wanted to know more and had to keep reading - which I feel is one of the markers of a good book. Overall I really enjoyed it, despite the fact it kind of felt like a bowl of molasses. 


My mom sent the above text to me and my sisters - too cute, no? Anyone else out there about to watch Hocus Pocus??

The first day of fall had me reminiscing about Parker's first fall ever! This was Halloween in Scottsdale, 2013... I just can't believe all that's changed since then!

Wishing you all things autumn :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

It's Just Halloween Fun

Our family room is officially spooked out! A bit early? Perhaps. But I have grown to love Halloween decorations, and I want to enjoy them as long as possible. We haven't made it to the pumpkin patch this year, so I was working with only faux pumpkins - these velvet ones are so much fun, and I love the ceramic ones, too!

Parker's Halloween pajamas arrived in the mail last week - and they are currently on sale for just twelve dollars. I feel I should pick them up in a bigger size for next year, too!

Of course, you could also splurge on these ones that come in sizes for the whole family - so much fun!

Also just twelve dollars right now? This adorable PBK chair backer

When it was time to think about costumes, Parker chose a character from one of his favorite Halloween books, Room on the Broom

His choice? A red dragon!

After the costume arrived in the mail, he fished out Dragons Love Tacos from his book basket (it's currently a daily read for us).

It's a darling book - definitely pick it up if you don't already have it in your collection. Also...

Monday, September 19, 2016

Miscellany Monday

Countdown to fall: three days! In my head, I'm imagining I'll wake up and it will be sixty degrees and boot weather. I can dream, right? 

This past weekend I was invited to do a Pilates-for-charity event - as in Pilates on a reformer. I had never, ever used a reformer before and I was a bit intimidated given my clumsy, uncoordinated tendencies. And while I definitely had the thought Oh my Lord I'm going to injure myself! several times during the class, I totally loved it. It was actually a group class, choreographed and set to music so it had an upbeat feel, and (since I actually didn't injure myself) the reformed was super fun and exciting (I especially liked pushing off the jump boards and feeling like I was flying :). The studio was darling, and I even walked away with major swag - both the goodie bag and the raffle prize.

We got plenty of family time in, hitting up our favorite restaurants and (my favorite) walking while all holding hands. 

And our new (to us) piano was delivered!

Parker started lessons this year, so he was in need of something on which to practice at home. Little Man was stoked when he realized the "pinano" was staying!

Since it needed to be tuned, husby read up on piano tuning, purchased a kit via Ebay, downloaded the computer software and tuned our piano himself. 

The funny thing is, I'm not at all surprised. It is 100% him to just pick up some difficult new task, that most of the population would never attempt. He can seriously do. anything.

And the best thing is, this sweet guy sees it all. He was totally interested in the inside and inner workings of the piano, a mini engineer in the making just like Daddy :)

Wishing you happy thoughts and lots of caffeine today :)

Thursday, September 15, 2016

5 Tips for Juice Cleansing

I have never been so excited to usher in a new season than right now. We are in some sort of heat wave/alternate universe here in Alabama - today's weather forecast is 97 degrees with 85% humidity, which is fine for July, but by golly it's September. My poor California girl self cannot take it. I'm done with the hot and humid and so ready for the boots and scarves.

Since the weather is a tad behind here though, I'm using the days leading up to fall to prepare my fresh start. I know spring cleaning is a thing, but fall seems an appropriate time as well, right? I've gone through all of Parker's toys and donated/stored the ones that aren't developmentally appropriate anymore (the rest we store in tupperware and switch out so he's not ever overwhelmed with too many things from which to choose). The fridge and pantry were tended to next - the expired goods are gone and everything is sparkly clean and once again in order. Doctors and dentists appointments and check-ups are being made and completed for the whole fam, and finally - I did my second juice cleanse!

Remember way back when, when I posted my review of Kate Hudson's new book

I loved her bright and cheery take on being happy and healthy, and in the book she outlines the importance of juice fasting at the start of each new season. It does seem like the perfect time to do a cleanse since everything is starting again new and fresh, and really, who am I to disagree with Kate Hudson? So I decided to do a one-day cleanse, because I can do anything for just one day. (Back in Scottsdale a couple years ago, I did a two-day cleanse which you can read about here and here).

If you've never juice cleansed, this is how it works: You drink around six different juices throughout the day to give yourself nutrients, calories and energy while giving your digestive system a break. Supposedly this helps flush out toxins, improves your digestion, reduces inflammation, brightens skin, and increases energy (and who wouldn't want all these things?). So I set about my cleanse, picking up my juices at one of our local juice bars. After my second-ever cleanse, here's what I can share...

Tips for Juice Cleansing

1. Pick the right day/days.
Look at your calendar for a day/days that are free of events and obligations. Both last cleanse and this cleanse, I selected days that husby was on travel. It's nice to not have a spouse downing lasagna right in front of you when all you have is a green juice. Last time I ate clean the couple days leading into the cleanse which I did not do this time, but wish I had just to help the adjustment. 

2. Plan it out.
For this past cleanse, I had six drinks. Your juice bar will most likely advise you on the order in which to consume. I mapped out my day the night before and decided when I would be drinking each one - the first in place of breakfast, the next in the car driving Sweet P to school, the third at home after barre class, etc. The juice must be kept cold, so there's that to figure in - if you're taking them to work, pack the ones you'll need during that part of the day and store them in the refrigerator there. 

3. Use a tumbler.
This is especially helpful if you are taking your juice on the go! Sipping while in the car made cleansing so easy - it's a lot of liquid to take in, so this helped me quite a bit. I'm eying this Kate Spade tumbler right now for my collection (and yay for free shipping!).

For the juices I had at home, I just added a straw to the jar and that helped the sipping process as well!

4. Find your restrooms.
My goodness, with the amount of juice you are downing, you will most likely be using the facilities each hour, so make sure you have access! Costco, Hobby Lobby, Pure Barre - all bathrooms I visited, eek!

5. Drink water - lots and lots of water.
This was my biggest mistake with my first cleanse - I failed to drink extra water. I figured I was already drinking so. much. liquid. that I didn't need water on top of it. Wrong. I got a wicked headache last time from basically being dehydrated and not having properly "flushed the toxins" from my system. So this time around I was vigilant about having the advised 64 oz. of water. My program also advised to drink a glass of water with lemon upon waking, which helped get me started on incorporating water for the day. This round I was headache-free, even with skipping my usual morning coffee.

The overall verdict? Thumbs up. I'm happy I did it and even picked up some extra juices to extend my cleanse into the next day. I feel some of the benefits are similar to what a Whole30 would do but in just a day or two (much easier to pencil in than a whole month). I felt light and energized, and just like my last juice cleanse, I gained a new appreciation for foods I was taking for granted. When you can't pull out a snack whenever you please for a day or two, you really think about the foods you are missing, and remain cognizant once the cleanse is over. It really is like a "reset" button for one's diet.

Who else is on the Kate Hudson bandwagon and juice cleansing this fall??

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