Monday, July 21, 2014

A Weekend of Summer (Plus a Toddler Dentist Meltdown of Epic Proportions)

Have I mentioned before how much I appreciate/love/adore/cherish the summer? It is so nice to be able to get out of the house. I haven't done a "weekend" post lately because we are pretty much doing the same thing every. single. weekend. Walk? Everyday. Playing in the driveway? Done. Running around the back yard screaming and mimicking my toddler protesting going inside? Heck to the yes.

Bella had her first dentist appointment on Saturday morning. "It won't be bad" I said to myself. "She will do great!" I said to myself. Reality check: she screamed the moment she sat in the chair with me and screamed until we walked out of the office. SCREAMED I tell you!! The doctor said it was more of a "meet and greet" anyways. I guess we left an impression. The good thing about her screaming her lungs out was her mouth was wide open so they could take a look and confirm that she did not in fact have her two year old molars which I would beg to differ based on the tantrums that have been presenting themselves. Thanks for the punch to the gut, doc. I guess we haven't seen nothing yet...

Audriana and I did our usual errands after all of that fun and I stopped by Express to look at clothes because I haven't gone shopping for myself since Christmas. I found a lot of cute clothes but managed to talk myself out of getting anything. 

The rest of my Saturday did not go as I had planned. I had a slight headache by lunch, took some Tylenol and thought it was going away. I will spare you the details, but by the time I ate dinner I literally thought my head was going to explode and ended up getting sick (so much for eating dinner) from the pain. The hubs had planned on having the guys over to play poker and I wasn't about to let him cancel so I managed to get the girls to bed and then I was in bed by 9:00pm. Oh, such a glamorous life ;)
Her cheeks!! I could kiss them all day everyday.


Sunday I woke up feeling a little more normal and Mike talked me into going back to Express to get the clothes that I originally talked myself out of getting. It's all fun and games in the store until your toddler throws herself on the ground acting a fool crying. Quickest shopping trip ever. After that joyous fiasco we decided to go to my hubby's grandma's because she has a pool. The hard thing about having naps right smack in the middle of the day is you either have to do everything in the morning or everything in the afternoon. Bella takes a nap around 1:00pm so when she woke up at 2:00pm it was a mad rush to get everyone lubed in sunscreen so we could go swim for a couple hours before dinner. 




I just had to mention how amazing this shirt is that I got. Seriously, it may be the most comfortable shirt I own. It's so soft and lightweight. It comes in different color combos, but I'm a sucker for black and grey. Don't mind the shameless work selfie. It's easier than taking a picture with kiddos hanging off of your legs. 
Shirt

Hope you have a wonderful Monday!
The Bachelorette: Men Tell All is on tonight! Counting down the hours :)

Love Always,

Alyssa

Thursday, July 17, 2014

One Year and Beyond - Favorite Summer Toddler Activities

I am excited to be linking up for the series One Year and Beyond with some pretty fabulous ladies!

There is no denying how much we love the summer at our house. With long, brutal winters, the warm weather is more than welcome and we love spending as much time as possible outside.

Here is a roundup of the things we love to do:

Pop Its. (or whatever they are called- those little white things that you throw at the ground and they make a snap noise) Seriously, these things have a million different names - but regardless Bella absolutely loves them. We got a couple of boxes right before the 4th of July and she went through them all and wanted more. Thankfully my in-laws had some extras that they gave us and Bella requests them everyday. It's pretty entertaining to watch - she definitely has her technique down! Let's not pretend she doesn't enjoy tossing them at my feet to watch me jump either. 



Take a Walk. By far our favorite thing to do as a family. We usually go every night after the girls take a bath and are in their pajamas and the temps have cooled a little bit. There is something so relaxing about getting outside as the sun is going down. Bella loves running so it helps her burn some extra energy off (because toddlers don't have nearly enough, am I right?). It is also our go-to if somebody starts having a meltdown during the day. 


Sand Box. This is such a great way for toddlers to get creative. Bella got one for her birthday and she loves getting the sand wet and building castles and burying her feet (and we won't leave out the occasional lick of the shovel). Sand is crunchy, that's for sure. Nonetheless, she is entertained and it is a win in my book.


Swing Set? Ok. Let's talk about the swing set I just had to have so our summer did not consist of me having to load up the girls to some germ infested playground everyday which would be way too much for my germaphobia to handle. Remember that? Well, it appears that swing sets make for wonderful crapping targets for birds. It is full of bird crap and I am less than amused of their choice of spot to hang out. In the beginning you could find me out there everyday with 409 spraying and scrubbing the whole thing down (can you picture it?). But now there is so much that I feel like they are waiting in the distance for me to leave so they can go take a shit and mock me. If anybody has any tips how to keep these little crapping machines away - please let me know!


Water. We have a kiddie pool and water table and both are a hit. My most recent "genius" idea was getting this sprinkler so we could run around the yard acting like fools and have a good time. I get the thing set up and Bella lost her marbles. She was terrified of the sprinkler!!! WHAT THE?! She was less than amused of my crazy dance through it and so I packed it up and put it away. Back to the kiddle pool we go - spraying water is way too terrifying for us. 

So there you have it. Our go-to activities in the summer. Basically anything outside makes us happy. I'm hoping that next year we can venture out more and make more trips to the zoo, etc. when both of the girls are a little older. 

What are your favorite summer toddler activities?

Love Always,

Alyssa

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

S'mores Dip

First s'mores cookies and now dip?! I'm noticing a theme around here....

Have you ever had one of those moments where you really want a s'more and you look outside and it's raining (or you are like me and making a fire is wayyy too much work)? I was never a chocolate/s'mores fan until I had Audriana. Hormones are crazay I tell you. Now I can't get enough chocolate in my life and all I can think about is having a s'more. 

This past weekend my craving hit hard and of course it was down pouring outside. I have never been a fan of making them in the microwave - the whole point of a s'more is to have that golden brown crispiness when you bite into it. I did some digging and found this recipe. Seriously, why didn't I think of this?! I changed some things up and viola! I actually almost prefer this method now vs. a campfire. It's not nearly as messy and I can scoop up as much as I want.


Ingredients:
Hershey's bar
Marshamallows
Graham Crackers

Sounds like a s'more, right?! The recipe I found says to use chocolate chips, but in my opinion Hershey's bars are the only way to go. I also don't own a cast iron skillet, so I used a small casserole dish and it worked out perfect.

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place chocolate in the bottom of the dish of your choice. I broke the Hershey's bar pieces in half to help with the melting process. Place the marshmallows on top of the chocolate. Put it in the oven for about 6-8 minutes, or until the marshmallows are golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and let it cool for a minute. Scoop up with graham cracker and enjoy!


Love Always,

Alyssa

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Fourth of July Link Up - S'mores Cookies

I hope everybody had a wonderful 4th of July!! We ate way too much and had so much fun spending time together as a family. These are the days!

Anyways, on to the Fourth of July Link Up - Results! I can't wait to see how everybody's recipes turned out!

I was going to make this recipe regardless if I got paired with it or not, so I was excited when I actually got Christina @ This Woman Cooks! S'mores Cookies. She is one of my favorite mama bloggers and has the most amazing recipes!


Here's the recipe: 


1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups mini chocolate chips
1-1/2 cups mini marshmallows, or large ones cut up
2 Hershey bars, chopped

Preheat your oven to 375.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.Add the eggs and vanilla to the butter mixture, and mix until combined. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, graham crackers, salt, and baking soda. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Use 2 tablespoons or a medium-sized ice cream scoop to drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto cookie sheets. Bake for 7 minutes and remove from oven. Push a few marshmallows and pieces of chocolate into each cookie and return to the oven to bake an additional 3-4 minutes. Allow to cool on wire rack



For some reason, I questioned myself a lot during this recipe for the measurements of the ingredients. Once I got everything combined, I questioned if the dough needed more flour because it seemed like it wasn't thick enough. Then, once I added the chocolate chips I thought I misread and added way too much because it seemed like there were a ton of them. I was worried they were going to turn out extremely flat but I was pleasantly surprised by their thickness. I do think my oven is a little off and I probably should have waited a little longer to insert the marshmallows and Hershey' s pieces because my marshmallows were completely melted by the time I took them out.


The final verdict? Ah-amazing!! These are sooo good. I will definitely be making them again, especially since I know what to tweak. I'm actually trying to refrain having my third one today right now. Judge me, judge me good :)

Thank you to everyone who participated! I love seeing what everybody comes up with for recipes during the holidays!!

Love Always,

Alyssa

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Fourth of July Link Up Matches!


Thank you to everybody who linked up their Fourth of July recipes! I'm not going to lie, I kind of want to try and make each and every one. They all look soooo good!

I used a random list generator to come up with the matches. I can't wait to see how everybody adds their own touch to these! 

Don't forget to post your recipe by Wednesday, July 9!

And the matches are:


1. Cheers Y'all = 2. Carolina Charm's Very Berry Vodka Spritzer

2. Carolina Charm = 17. Butcher's Niche's Pie

3. Running from the Law = 1. Cheer's Y'all 4th of July Bark

4. Meet the Sullivan's = 7. Everyday Love's Patriotic Parfait

5. Strawberry Swing and Other Things = 15. Dette Cakes' Berry Watermelon Cocktail

6. This Woman Cooks! = 4. Meet the Sullivan's Red, White and Blueberry Rocket Pops

7. Everyday Love = 8. Love and Life Simplified's Stars and Stripes Chocolate Chip Cookies

8. Love and Life Simplified = 6. This Woman Cooks! Smores Cookies

9. Chantilly Lace and A Pretty Face = 19. Hello! Happiness' Mini Fruit Pizzas

10. Words About Waverly = 14. Miss Southern's Red, White and Blueberry Muffins

11. Palmetto Wife & Life = 10. Words About Waverly's Homemade Bomb Pops

12. Solis Plus One = 18. The Family That Laughs Together's Mini Lemon Meringue Pies

13. Life As A Coach's Wife = 9. Chantilly Lace and A Pretty Face's American Flag Cake

14. Miss Southern = 16. I Don't Share Popcorn's Mini Berry Pies

15. Dette Cakes = 11. Palmetto Wife & Life's American Flag Cookie Cake

16. I Don't Share Popcorn = 3. Running from the Law's Sour Cream Apple Pie

17. Butcher's Niche = 5. Strawberry Swing and Other Things' Strawberry Sprinkle Donuts

18. The Family That Laughs Together = 20. Nat Your Average Girl's Sprinkled Ice Cream Bars

19. Hello! Happiness = 12. Solis Plus One's Angel Food Cake Dessert

20. Nat Your Average Girl = 13. Life As A Coach's Wife's Trifle


Have fun!

Love Always,

Alyssa

Monday, June 30, 2014

Kicking Off The 4th Of July & Freshly Picked Giveaway Winner!

Happy Monday! 


We are happy in this household! Want to know why? Because this week is July 4 which means... short work week! {insert happy dance here} Who am I kidding - we have been celebrating for a couple of weeks now. But we are also celebrating this....


I appropriately call this one "Timmmbberr!!"




So much sisterly bonding I can barely see straight!! Bella is finally figuring out that Audriana is pretty awesome and I couldn't be more thrilled! Bella insists on sitting in the Boppy like Audriana does and then I have to put her in front and she pats her back and hugs her. I've been waiting for these moments for a really really long time. 

Since July 4th is technically only one particular day, I decided I was going to milk it all I could and stretch it out for a couple of weeks. 
For lunch one day we made "sparklers" with watermelon and blueberries and Bella insisted on eating the rest of her lunch on a stick. 


 And then we ate the flag for breakfast. 


This is just the beginning. I am just loving the creative recipes I am seeing for our Fourth of July Link Up! Don't forget to make a festive recipe and link up with us by tomorrow!


Bella has her "Fun Snaps" throwing stance perfected. We have already gone through two boxes. Bring on the sparklers!

And finally....
Congrats to our Freshly Picked Moccasin winner:

Laney S! 

Thank you to everybody who entered! 


Love Always,

Alyssa

Friday, June 27, 2014

Life Lately

We decided to step outside of the box last Friday night and instead of ordering pizza and sitting at home like we do every Friday, we packed everybody up and went to our city's "Summer Fair" if you would like to call it (and by that I mean a whopping 10 sketchy food stands and 7 germ infested rides). Bella is at an age where she is starting to be able to go on rides so we thought it would be a good time and being that she loves to be spun around 20 times, she would get a kick out of everything! We were so right about that!!!!

This girl had the biggest smile ever plastered on her face !!!!




.....that is until the ride stopped. Wow. She lost it. Screaming, kicking, you name it. Followed by me looking at the observers like, "Who's cray kid is that?!" Oh, wait, that's my pride and joy :) Did I mention she was the only kid screaming her head off? Ya, it was obvious. Good times!

This little lady was just checking out the carnies and the crowd....




She redeemed herself and tried to pluck every fish from the pond - and loved her prize for a whole 4.2 seconds before it was slammed to the ground.




I have been loving having my "mini" garden this year!! Thankfully, everything (besides the flowers - oops) is surviving. The other day we got one whole strawberry - you read that right - one entire strawberry!! The hubby and I split it and called it a day. Maybe we will have another one in a month? 

We have are growing mint too so I have been loving making my own refreshing drinks using freshly picked herbs (who am I?). This is half water, half soda water mixed with muddled raspberries and mint. Delish!


Saturday we had another grad party so we parked it on a blanket under the tree and had a good time ... until a tarantula fell from the tree on my leg... not cool. My screams scared the crap out of Audriana so she started screaming with me. I don't do spiders - just no. 


Sunday went out with a bang with egg sandwiches and fried potatoes. 


We decided to go crazy again and instead of spending Sunday sitting at home, we would venture out to a local ice cream shop that has amazing ice cream and the most ridiculous serving sizes ever. I always have a vision of how fun these things would be with kids - then a big ol dose of reality comes and smacks me in the forehead. It started raining (when sun was forecasted, go figure) on our way there and by the time we arrived it was pouring. We hurried inside and it was busy as usual. Bella started losing it by the time it was our turn so she was doing ninja kicks trying to escape. We ran to the car and lifted the trunk for shelter and somebody was throwing herself around like a cray cray so she was summoned to the holding cell  (aka her car seat) until she could cool her jets. That never happened so we inhaled our ice cream and left, leaving my dreams of laughing and enjoying our ice cream in a puddle in the parking lot. 

Oh summer memories, you never do disappoint!

Don't forget to enter the Freshly Picked Giveaway if you haven't yet!! 
Love Always,

Alyssa