M & J Monday

The two little cupids have completely stolen my heart.
Monkey see, monkey do.
Happy Monday!


Friday Stitch Fix Five.... HUNDRED!!

This is a bit different than the typical Friday post...
I'm skipping my normal highlights this week and getting right down one great. big. freaking amazing. highlight.

For Valentine's Day I've teamed up with a host of other bloggers and Stitch Fix lovers to give away a $500 gift card to Stitch Fix!! Pretty sweet, right? Entering to win is super simple. Just follow the Rafflecopter prompts below.

If you've been a Stitch Fixer for a some time this will surely come in handy for your upcoming boxes!

If you aren't part of the Stitch Fix family (why not?!) a $500 gift card would be THE best way to get started! If you haven't signed up for Stitch Fix yet, no worries. Head HERE to create your style profile. Making your profile is free, and you can decide when you want your first fix shipped. If the $20 styling fee is what is holding you back just think of it this way: that $20 is the gas used to and from the mall, along with the Starbucks you'd grab while shopping. Plus, you can schedule your fixes for as frequent, or infrequent, as you'd like. It all evens out, see!

Happy (early) Valentine's Day, and good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


These Are My Confessions

Anyone else now have that Usher song stuck in their head?
Nope? Just me? Umm, 'kay.

Moving along.

It's been a second since I've done a little confessing, so I thought now would be as good a time as any to get a few things off my chest.

Here goes...

1. Marcus is in the phase of asking, "Why?" All. The. Time. I love his curiosity. But, holy hell, it's exhausting. I quickly learned that if I give really long, detailed, over-his-head explanations of things he'll just say, "Oh, ok." And he will forget to ask another, "Why?" for at least five minutes.
2. We're slowly introducing Julia to 'solid' foods. Rice cereal is on the menu, and I just kind of feed it to her when ever I remember to make it. I've waited much longer with Julia than I did with Marcus to begin this process. Feeding two kids real meals means more work, and right now just getting a plate in front of Marcus can be a chore. Julia might be two before she has any other real food. I'm kidding. Sort of.
3. Grocery carts. Can people just put those back in the cart returns? It drives me BONKERS when carts are all over a parking lot.

4. I'll be the first to admit I'm no grammar guru, but my eyes basically bleed when people don't know how to properly use 'to,' 'too,' and 'two.' This is basic stuff, people. BASIC. (If you're unsure how to use the correct form of each word head here for a quick grammar lesson.) I also have a hard time reading the incorrect forms of 'their,' 'there,' and 'they're,' and 'your,' and 'you're.' Don't even get me started on when people mispronounce supposedly (there's no "V" in that word!), or wash (there's no "R" in that word!).

5. Twitter. It's not my favorite social media outlet, and I don't really understand why so many people love it so much. I'll take the 'Gram (desireemacke) or Snapchat (desireemacke) over Twitter any day.
6. Scott's been gone for a few days due to work obligations. To keep my sanity in tact I've been putting the kids to bed 30-45 minutes earlier than normal. Good thing they don't know how to tell time.
7. Though Scott is gone, and I miss him terribly, I love that I have free reign over the remote at night. We have differing opinions on 'good' television shows. Give me all the Bachelor (guiltiest pleasure of them all!), give me all the Making a Murderer (I just couldn't get Scott into the show), give me all the Chicago Fire.

8. I love Disneyland so much more than my kids (at least more than Marcus, Julia really has no idea what's going on), and I'm ok with that. I still squeal with delight when we see Mickey. Marcus is pretty much over it all, and basically just goes to Disney for the Mickey Mouse ice cream bars.

Phew. There you have it, my confessions.

What are your confessions?


Red Velvet Cookie Cake

As Valentine's Day nears - a holiday Scott and I don't really celebrate, mind you - I've been searching high and low for all the crafts, all the goodies, and all the clothes. While I fully believe it's a Hallmark holiday and don't do a whole lot in the way of celebrating with Scott, I do want to make the day, and days leading up to it, a little more special for Marcus and Julia.

So, this weekend while Scott was away working Marcus and I found all sorts of things to do to pass the time (Julia hung out - literally - during all our shananagains).  When I landed on this cookie cake recipe I knew I had a winner. What's not to love about the marriage of a cookie and a cake in the form of red velvet goodness? And, Marcus was very keen on helping me with each step of the baking process.

The cookie cake is a breeze to make. It is positively rich and the the frosting is superb. It's basically perfection for the red and pink holiday just around the corner.

After it was all said and done Marcus got first dibs on the first slice. Too bad he's not as enthusiastic about eating other foods, like, say, his dinner. Nevertheless, it was a fun, tasty, and Valentine-appropriate way to pass our afternoon.
If you're headed to any Valentine parties I'd highly recommend bringing this along. It's super easy and quick to whip up. And, did I mention it's delicious?

Joining some of my favorite ladies for the Foodie for a Year linkup.

Recipe inspiration


M & J Monday

You are my sunshine. 
My only sunshine.
You make me happy when skies are gray.
You'll never know dear, how much I love you.
Please don't take my sunshine away.
Happy Monday!


The Near and Far Edition

This week was uneventful. Until last night. Marcus quickly came down with a nasty case of croup that just wreaked havoc on the poor kid. His cough is that of a sick seal (though it's improving already), and last night the little man just couldn't keep food down (today I've promised all the popsicles). A trip to the hospital was made to confirm croup, administer some breathing treatments as well as a steriod, and inform us that Julia is likely to get this too. So, yay... Seeing your babies sick is the worst.

But, it's Friday, so that's something to celebrate. Let's move on to the highlights of the week, shall we?

1. Blogger Meet Up in San Diego!
If you're in San Diego and looking for a spot with great food and killer view of the city I'd highly recommend Coast Terra.

Drinks and the sunset at Hotel Del.
Four bloggers from near and far met up in one of the greatest Southern California cities, and we had views that were top notch. It was basically a dream come true. Sara, Erin, Liz, thanks for such a stellar Sunday. I hope we have more meet ups in our future!
Isn't the blogging world the best?!

2. Mail from all over!
The kids and I are participating in a blogger mail exchange that I can't wait to share more about soon. Going to the mail box has become an afternoon highlight for Marcus. He's absolutely tickled when something is in our box just for him (and Julia, too, but we won't spoil his fun). We've had mail from all over the country, and Canada(!!) come just for the kiddos, and seeing Marcus' excitement over each piece is pretty fabulous.

3. These cute little label stickers and return address stamp!
While everyone is over there with their washi tape closing up envelopes and whatnot we're over here sealing ours with these cute little labels from Label Daddy. (Don't worry, I fully have a supply of washi tape that I use on the reg.) I'm now looking for all the things to put our family picture on. The labels are water resistant and great for a multitude of other things besides envelopes. But for now, envelopes it is!
We've also joined the ranks of cute mail with our return address stamp. We are making our mail look good one sticker and stamp at a time. Who knew mailing stuff could be so fun and cute?!

4. Grandma!
Grandma Dudding is headed our way very soon. Scott is going away for a few days for work, so Grandma kindly agreed to leave the frozen tundra of Iowa to come hang out with us here in sunny SoCal. We are all looking forward to some quality time with my mom (and I've got my fingers crossed I can make a solo Target run while she's here).

5. Stitch Fix update
This has absolutely nothing to do with things near or far, but I had to share that I was able to exchange sizes for the red and white striped shirt with elbow patches. YAY!
And, while the shirt below fits a little big in the bust I was worried if I went down a size it wouldn't be long enough (which I tend to have a problem with as I have a pretty long torso). SO! I decided to keep it, and I'm already loving the decision to hang on to this piece.
Chalk that up to two new pieces in this gals wardrobe. Holler!!

Happy Weekend!


Fix #3

For Christmas my mom was so generous to give me a credit to Stitch Fix (thanks, Mom!). Naturally that meant one thing, I needed to schedule a fix sooner rather than later.

In this particular fix I asked for light weight sweaters and tops. It never really gets cold enough in Southern California to warrant big, bulky sweaters. But, that's not to say it doesn't get chilly, and my wardrobe has been dying for a little cool weather revamp for the. longest. time. 

My stylist, Alex (hi!!!) , whom I adore, seemed to really gather a lot of inspiration from my Pinterest board and paid attention to my notes.

When I opened the box I wanted to love everything immediately. There looked to be SO. MUCH. POTENTIAL. However, I dropped the ball in failing to update my profile... More to come on that in the photos below. 

On to the goods...

Item 1: Pixley Greenich Striped Knit Top
Item 2: Liverpool Rizzo Skinny Pant
The Pixley Greenich Top! I LOVED it, for the most part. Elbow patches! The back was a bit longer than the front! The slits on the sides! I'm pretty sure I pinned that top, or a variation of that color top no less than five times to my Pinterest board. HOWEVER, because I failed to update my profile to a smaller top size, this top was too big. Though the photo doesn't really show it, and I'm not one to wear tight tops (at all), this top is just too large, particularly around my bust and under my arms. I've got an email out to customer service to see if I can exchange the size. Fingers crossed. I could see myself living in this top.

Verdict: Waiting to see if I can exchange

The Rizzo Skinnies. I loved how they fit. The length was  just right, the fit was great. And, I asked for leggings in my last fix. Sadly, I have a pair very similar to this that I bought a while back. I just don't see the need for two pair of pants that are pretty much the same.

Verdict: Returned

Item 3: Market & Spruce Bernadette Lace Overlay Raglan Top
This top. I fell in love with it before I even pulled it totally out of the box. The material is SO soft, and and raglan spruced up with lace? Yes, please. BUT.... Because my sizing was off this was too big (again, the photo doesn't really show it, but under the arms and around the bust was just too large). Damn it!

Verdict: Waiting to hear back from customer service to see if I can exchange for a smaller size

Item 4: 41Hawthorn Filber Arrow Print Henley Blouse
This top is cute. And it fit well. In fact, this was the only top that was actually the correct size. And, I think it's really quite flattering on. But, I feel like chevron's ship has sailed, and to be totally honest, I'm kind of tired of this particular pattern. Let's also point out this top was ONE HUNDRED PERCENT polyester. I'm constantly chasing kids around, there is no way I could wear this and be comfortable, given polyester isn't exactly known for it's breathability.

Verdict: Returned 

Item 5: Renee C Andrea Airy Knit Scoop Neck Sweater
When I pulled this out of the box I was initially excited. Then I put it on and I was left a little underwhelmed. It fit pretty well, but the hole detailing kind of threw me for a loop. No matter what I'm wearing underneath (i.e. a bra) I feel I'd constantly be worried if everything was lined up just so, and that my bra wasn't showing - like it is in the picture. I need my tops maintenance free. This one just wasn't going to fit that bill.

Verdict: Returned

So, this fix has the potential to be a 2/5, pending I can exchange sizes for the Greenich Striped top and the Bernadette Lace Overylay. Did I make the right selections? Am I sending the right pieces back? Let me know your thoughts! I have a few more days before I have to send the goodies back to Stitch Fix.

If you're not signed up for Stitch Fix why are you waiting? The $20 styling fee is basically the equivalent of gas to and from the mall along with the Starbucks you'd buy while out and about shopping. If you want to get started on your first Fix click here! There's seriously nothing more fun than coming home to a SF box waiting at your front door! 


M & J Monday

It's no secret we've been looking ahead to Valentine's Day - cookies, crafts, and now clothes! I'm sure we'll be sharing more of all three as we near the pink and red holiday. 
They're teaching me to embrace the blur.
Maybe some day I'll get them both to sit still...
My little loves.
Happy Monday!


3 Easy Handprint Valentine Crafts

I've come to terms with the fact that Marcus isn't real big into crafting. It's just not his thing, and that's ok. But, that's not to say I don't want some of those cute crafts I see floating all over social media to happen in our home, too.

So, for Valentine's Day I decided Marcus, Julia and I would whip up three handprint/footprint crafts that would require very little time from either child, but would still fulfill my desire to have said items don our home and make for some cute Valentine's to send to the grandparents.

May it also be noted I did these pretty much all at the same time. We were able to knock out hand and foot prints rather quickly, and the kiddos were able to move on to their next desired activity.

Hand & Footprint Valentine Bouquet
What You'll Need
Paper or cardstock
Paint colors of your choice - I'd recommend three different colors for the flower
Paint brush
Two little hands and two little feet

How It Comes Together
This is pretty self-explanatory.
I first painted did Marcus' hands and made the flowers, and let those dry. Pro tip - I have zero patience for paint drying, so I threw the paper in the microwave for about a minute. Bam! Dried paint.
After the flowers were dry I quickly painted Julia's feet and pressed them down onto the paper to create leaves. Again, threw the paper in the microwave for speedy dry time.
After the leaves and flowers were properly dry I added a few stems to finish off the bouquet.
I then added a the little saying about "hand" picked bouquet with a marker.
This one will be dropped in the mail and sent off to the grandmas and grandpas.
Total craft time: approximately 10 minutes

Little Love Bug
What You'll Need
Paper or card stock for background as well as wings
Paint Brush
One little hand

How It Comes Together
This one was a Marcus-only effort.
We started with painting Marcus hand and adding the print to the card stock. Then I threw the paper in the microwave to dry.
Meanwhile, I quickly cut out two hearts that would eventually form the bug wings.
After the paint was dry Marcus helped me apply glue to the hearts, and then he helped place the hearts onto the bug's body.
With a marker I added the bug's eyes, nose, and mouth.
At the bottom I wrote the little "Love Bug" phrase.
Again, we'll be sending these to the grandmas and grandpas for a little Valentine's Day love.
Total craft time: approximately 10 minutes

LOVE Canvas
Please note the little smudge spot between the "V" and "E". That's courtesy of Julia's drool. I wanted to fix it, but thought better, this perfectly reflects what stage the kids are in their little lives.
What You'll Need
Canvas large enough for your child(ren)s hand and foot prints - this one is an 11x11
Paint color for canvas background and paint color for letters
One little hand and one little foot

How It Comes Together
Lightly apply a base color all over the canvas.
Allow canvas to dry. This I allowed to happen organically, as I was a little worried what might happen if I threw the canvas into the microwave.
After canvas is totally dry apply paint to one hand and place where you would like the "O" to be. Do the same for the feet, and where you would like the "V" to be.
After the "O" and "V" have dried complete the canvas with the "L" and "E".
This one is going to be Scott's Valentine's gift from the kids - even though Scott did help me get Julia's wiggly little feet onto the canvas. So, not so much of a surprise for him. But, it will be fun for Marcus to give his dad a gift, so all isn't lost.

And there you have it, three crafts that took about 15 minutes of participation from my kids - just enough time! - and little keepsakes that have met all my mom-crafting dreams.
Total craft time: approximately 4 hours (including dry time for paint)

There you have it. Three quick and easy Valentine crafts that even the most unenthused crafter can do to appease the momma desire to have a little hand or footprint creation.


M & J Monday

Taking pictures of these two giggly wiggly worms together has become increasingly more challenging.
Happy Monday!