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...

1.
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.



2.
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??



3.

 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. 

4.

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

5.
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??

Friday, September 9, 2016

Fri-YAY

Hoping you are all as stoked as this little guy that it's almost the weekend...

This was pre-school pick-up yesterday, and I had come straight from a dental cleaning (can you tell?). I love our dentist here in Alabama - all he does is say that I have amazing healthy teeth, and who doesn't want to hear that? Parker had just picked from the classroom treasure bin, his Thursday routine since that's his last day for the week (and as you can see, he's way excited about the little book he scored). Here's a look back at the week!

1.
Our week started off saying good-bye to Nana and Papa who came in from Dallas to visit/spoil our littlest man...

Parker is one lucky and loved little guy! (This was in our upstairs playroom.) Then we said good-bye to Dada who headed out on a business trip, so it was just me and Sweet P for the week. 

2.

I just can't get over how old and big he looks. He's collecting extra produce from the CSA freebie boxes here - his very favorite part about CSA pick-up. We were both especially taken with the most adorable baby eggplants - but I have no clue what to do with them. Any ideas?


3.
And while the weather is still screaming summer, the calendar is inching closer to fall so I decided it was time to order this year's Halloween pajams for Sweet P!


I can't resist a little one in Halloween PJs. Especially after a bath. The pajamas just signal the start of the holiday season to me, and all the magic of that time of year! We also picked up a pair for Cousin Luke (you can't beat the price). Now, where can I find these in my size? 

4.

Parker had his very first piano lesson this week! This was months and months in the making, dating back to last year when he would take rulers and pretend to "play the violin" and his obsession with all things orchestra and symphony. As per the music school's advice, he is starting off with piano. His lessons are through the Hawthorne Conservatory and we have just a short four minute drive to one of the historical houses each week where his lessons will take place.


Sweet P rocked his first lesson. He learned proper form (to sit up and to "keep a bubble" under his hand), practiced using one finger at a time, identified C, and shouted forte and whispered piano. Looking at him during his lesson my heart was totally bursting - I'm so proud of him, yet I just don't know where the time went and how it's possible that this is my sweet baby!?


5.
I've shied away from making any Momofuku Milk Bar recipes because, while the reviews say they are out of this world ah-mazing, they are also notoriously impossible to pull off. Still, someday I'd like to try my hand at the famous birthday cake, or at least the crack pie (both of which require about a million different steps). Anyway, in the meantime I discovered the next best thing while roaming the aisles at Target:


 The boxed version! Has anyone tried it? Sweet P and I are tackling it today. It seems more involved than a typical box mix, but doable. I love to have a little home-baked something waiting when Max returns from business travel (he arrives late tonight, woohoo!), so here's hoping it turns out :)




Friday, September 2, 2016

Five on Friday - September!

Happy first Friday of September!
Who else rang in the new month with a Pumpkin Spice Latte yesterday?? So #basic. So good. 


Now, onto more favorites!

1. 
My Pure Barre Platform tips were featured here this week as a guest blogger post :) Platform is definitely the best cardio class I've ever taken! Love it. 


2.
I posted Diary of a Smoothie Bowl earlier this week with my favorite smoothie bowl recipes. I loved hearing how so many of you are smoothie bowl obsessed, too!


3. 
This was Parker's third week of preschool! My, how the time flies. His school is on social media and also does a newsletter, and I just adore getting glimpses into his days of learning.


4.
Speaking of school, Parker brought his teachers these little Happy September gifts yesterday. I know Apple Month is technically in October, but September seems apple-y as well, right? As a former teacher, I often get asked for teacher gift ideas. I always answer the same way - just give things you would appreciate getting. Bath and Body Works hand soap? Yep, I'd take one of these all day every day :)



 5.
This week marked seven years of marriage for Max and me! Due to fevers (both mine and Sweet P's) our fancy dinner out was postponed and replaced with pajamas and soup, but we still did cards and gifts. Year seven is copper, so Max gave me copper frames with family photos (and the gorgeous red roses below) and I gifted him copper Moscow Mule Mugs that I had engraved.


Does anyone else out there do "traditional" gifts for wedding anniversaries? I love it so much - it both helps me pick something for husby (who's notoriously difficult to shop for) and forces me to be creative at the same time. So much fun! 



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