What's Up Wednesday



Joining in today for What's Up Wednesday...

1. What we're eating this week:


I'm on a hiatus from Smoothie Bowls (gasp, right?) and I've been doing breakfast bowls using greek yogurt and tons of toppings. They're actually smoothie bowls in disguise, basically the same ingredients, just not blended and frozen. The one above has greek yogurt, granola, strawberries, banana, almond butter, chia seeds, honey and cacao nibs (I stopped short of the kitchen sink). The breakfast bowl below I call my Caramel Apple Breakfast Bowl (I need the heart eyes emoji here). It's a base of greek yogurt topped with chopped green apple, granola, and (wait for it) homemade caramel (I use this recipe from The Pioneer Woman and it tastes like heaven). Seriously, if you haven't tried making your own caramel sauce, it's so easy and a must-do. 


2. What I'm reminiscing about:


Parker just had a visit from his Gigi, in from Dallas - all the smiles!

3. What I'm loving:


Spring tulips! I can't get enough of them! If we don't already have a bundle on the kitchen table, I just can't help but popping a bunch into my cart when I see them for sale (and sometimes, even if we already do, ha!). 

4. What we've been up to:


With Max's mom in town, he and I were able to sneak away for a day date! We hit up our neighborhood 1892 East for Sunday brunch. Enjoying my husband's company and not having to cut up all the food on the plate next to me? Delightful! As were the sweet potato donuts with Mexican chocolate sauce... yum. It was our first time dining here for a meal other than dinner; we found the Sunday Brunch atmosphere lively and fun, the service excellent, and the food spot-on.


5. What I'm dreading:


Tornado season. This California Girl just cannot take it! 

6. What I'm working on:


Oh, you know, just working on my fitness ;) Pure Barre is still a favorite - especially the Platform class! This is a breakdown of a one-hour Pure Barre Platform class on my Apple Watch - I've been having so much fun tracking my activity on it :)



7. What I'm excited about:


We have a spring beach trip planned! We'll be headed to the Gulf Coast this year once again with our sweet Nashville family friends. Being a West Coast gal, the Gulf of Mexico is so new and novel to me. It's awesome that these white sand beaches are the ones within driving distance of Northern Alabama!

8. What I'm watching/reading: 


I've said it before - if Parker is napping and I'm by myself doing laundry or cooking, I love to have something streaming while I work around the house. I'm a few episodes into Big Little Lies, the HBO miniseries based on the book (read me book review here). One of my mom friends watched an episode or two before I started it, and she shared that she had trouble matching the actors to the characters after reading the book. At first this made no sense to me, as movies will most always show someone different compared to what a reader was imagining while reading the story. After watching it, however, I totally concur. Shailine Woodley (though I love her) is completely unbelievable as a mother. Like, not convincing at all. And the incredible Nicole Kidman and amazing Reese Witherspoon just do not (in my mind) fit their characters. They are so fantastic as actresses that it doesn't really matter, I just thought the casting was a little zany. Some of the episodes have been a bit graphic and disturbing - it's odd how you can read something and not be nearly as affected as watching a depiction of it. Overall, I adored the book so I know I'm going to enjoy every bit of the series :)

My sit-down-and watch right now? Homeland. Husby and I have been watching this together since the beginning. Way back then, we both had full time jobs and would binge watch the show in our Scottsdale theatre room into the wee hours of a weekend morning ("Just one more episode" we would say over and over). Now, we're lucky to get one episode in on random weekday after we get Parker down for the night, cozied up in bed watching on a laptop, trying as we might to stay awake until 10pm. 


If you haven't seen Homeland, stop what you're doing and download the first five seasons now. It's currently in Season Six, and each season has followed CIA operative Carrie (Claire Danes) in different locations. The spy stuff is accurate enough to satisfy Max, and the shows are always action-filled and clever. It's one of our very favorites. 


9. What I'm listening to:


Y'all, I just discovered podcasts. I know, I'm slow. I kept thinking there would be something tricky to getting them - turns out, nope. There's a built-in app on iPhones so it couldn't have been easier. My first order of business - listening to the YHL podcasts from the last year. This was the first blog I ever read, and I just about cried when they ended. The couple is quirky and funny - plus they have tons of amazing ideas. I have a bit of car time to myself every day after I drop P off at preschool and on the way to pick him up, and it's been so much fun doing the podcast thing while I'm in the car by myself! 

10. What I'm wearing:

Layers, because spring.



11. What I'm doing this weekend:


We have our last Huntsville Havoc (our minor league hockey team) game of the season. Parker is all about hockey these days, insisting on being called "goalie" and hitting around a ping pong ball in the house with his hockey stick any chance he can get #boymom #momlife

12. What I'm looking forward to next month:


This will be my third year attending our botanical garden's Spring Plant Sale (the largest in North Alabama - it's a bit crazy) . The first year, I had no idea what I was in for, but luckily I had my mom in from California to help. 


How tiny was little man in that photo? I cannot believe that was two whole years ago, and that we're in our third year living in Alabama! This year, I think I finally have the whole Spring Plant Sale thing down, which is good because husby expanded my garden area and I have a ton of room to plant! 


13. What else is new:


We had our final cold front come in this month - this was us at the St. Patrick's Day Parade downtown! But our "last frost" date is April 3rd, and we are expecting temperatures nearing eighty this week, so I think it's safe to pack up the cold-weather gear! 

Happy Wednesday!

15

PCK's Construction Party


Our little man is obsessed with anything construction. Obsessed. If we pass any sort of construction around town (which happens all the time), Parker insists on coming home and "doing some construction." This consists of donning his hard hat and safety vest, and then building something out of blocks. So a few months back when I asked what he wanted his birthday party theme to be, construction was his automatic response. He also wanted a "jumping party", which made things all sorts of easy for this Mama. March is notorious for weird weather in these parts - there was no way to tell if it would be twenty degrees on party day, or seventy (true to form it was both in the week preceding). An indoor (jumping) party was the perfect answer. We chose Pump It Up for the location, and I'm so happy we did! Each Pump It Up is franchised, so they're all slightly different, but the Huntsville location really has these weekend parties down. Party guests have the jump area for one hour, then move to the party room for another forty-five minutes. We had three young gals working the party, taking photos during the jumping, setting up the party room, and basically running everything (doing the cake and candles, announcing present time, even recording the gifts received from each guest). They all went above and beyond, and we were so pleased! At the end of the party, the gals helped pack all our things and then took care of all the clean-up. I mean, really this is the way to do a birthday party! Don't worry, I totally tipped them ;)


Party day was Parker's actual birthday! We brought in our party supplies and then really the gals did the rest and we were free to greet our guests and get our bounce on :) Parker was downright giddy and led the charge into the bounce area, squealing with delight. 


After our hour in the jump area, the Pump It Up gals gathered all the kids for a group photo, and then corralled them into the party room (sanitizing the hands of each little one as he or she passed - I'm telling you, they thought of everything!). 


They did a fantastic job setting everything up!

The kids all chose seats and started munching on their pizza while the gals handed out popcorn and veggie straws. 

It really was the sweetest bunch of kids!

Then it was time for cake! I made vanilla/vanilla cupcakes (Parker's request) with orange sugar cookie number fours on top (the birthday boy's very favorite color).

One of the fantastic Pump It Up gals snapped this picture of Parker blowing out his candles- it was awesome having them do photos because I was just enjoying the moment!

Immediately after singing, my awesome friend Laura grabbed Max's camera and insisted he and I go stand by Parker for a picture - she said parents always forget to do this picture, and she was totally right! Had she not jumped in, we would have totally missed this moment with our little guy, so thank you, Laura!

Then it was present time...

And we ended with Parker handing out his thank you favors!

I made both the invitations and the favor tags using our amazing new color laser printer (honestly, I'm obsessed with it) and my trusty Silhouette Cameo


I had way too much fun making them :) Happy 4th Birthday to our Parker Campbell!


4

Five on Friday

1.
This week, Parker and I finally ventured the 2.3 miles from our house over to Lowe Mill, the former textile mill that now houses tons of local artists (including culinary ones!). I had doubted whether I was trendy or hipster enough to go in, but everyone was actually super friendly and welcoming. First stop, chocolate:


Cardamom, chicory, earl grey tea... these were no ordinary truffle flavors. Now I'm obsessed, and determined to sample each and every flavor. 

And the Alabama truffle? All. the. heart. eyes.

Next up - the most adorable coffee shop: Alchemy Lounge. Come summer I'm going to be all over the cold brew coffee on tap! But since it was March, I ordered my go-to coffee shop drink (a cappuccino).

 I loved their system of using playing cards to identify your drink at the counter :) 

And my cappuccino? Straight up amazing. 

 #caffeineplease


Parker was stoked to find a "play for free" Pac-Man arcade game right outside the coffee shop.

He would have played all day long. 

I was able to entice him away with the promise of the popsicle shop down the hall.


Rainbow was the flavor of choice :)

Lowe Mill, we'll be back!


 2.
St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner! I couldn't help but order just one more St. Patty's day book this week...

 

Also, how cute would this sweatshirt be for the holiday?


And finally, these pancakes are the perfect St. Patrick's Day breakfast!

3.
I love having fun shows streaming on my computer during the day while I'm doing housework and Parker is napping (I mostly just listen to them). I played an episode of the new Netflix series The Santa Clarita Diet while doing laundry a few weeks ago, and it was the perfect silly entertainment to have on! I adore Drew Barrymore - she always seems to play quirky, endearing characters, and this show was no exception (I'm almost done with the first season!). Technically, it's a zombie show (um... never thought I'd watch one of those), but trust me, watch the first one and you'll be hooked.


4.
It's been a couple weeks now since I began using the probiotic Columbia skincare products I was sent to try out. I was provided with both the cream and the serum, but the serum is hands-down my favorite. I love the medicine dropper top, and that I can quickly and easily apply it.


The cream is super, super thick, so I like applying it at night and letting it do its thing :) Husby of course makes fun of me for putting probiotics on my face, but I'll be doing the laughing when I look twenty-five again ;) 


According to the literature, you should be able to see a difference in just four days, so I took (makeup free, eeks!) pictures on Day 1 and Day 4 to see for myself. I tried to take the photos in the same room with the same lighting (and no filters). For just four days of use here, I totally think I can see a positive difference :)


5.

I had a Junior League event this week and picked up this mini bouquet from Whole Foods for the hostess - but I was this close to just keeping it for myself! The decorative cabbage just put it over the top for me, and with a price tag of just nine dollars it was a steal. I popped the arrangement into a mason jar and tied on a bow of twine, and it was twelve kinds of adorable. I think Whole Foods is officially moving into my number one spot for flowers over Costco!



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