[Christmas in July] The goodies!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Merry Christmas in July! Can you believe that just FIVE months from today is Christmas? Blows my mind! The real Christmas Day will be here before we know it but, for now, we celebrate a little early with some gifts in July!

I especially love this exchange because it falls during Mason's birthday month and makes it extra special for him. I literally felt like presents were arriving daily (due to this exchange, the blogger birthday exchange, and his actual birthday!) and he was SO excited to open them! Seriously though, the kid was so spoiled in July, he's going to be a little disappointed come August!

As for buying gifts, Mason and I were lucky enough to be paired up with Stephanie and Connor. They were not new to us - I happen to love Stephanie and I was so excited that Mason and I would get to spoil Connor. I cheated a little and used Amazon to help us ship our presents to Connor so since I didn't pay for shipping, I added the amount that I would have spent on shipping in to what I spent on his gift, and Connor got an extra special present! From what I hear, he loved it, but you'll have to pop on over to Stephanie's blog to find out what we got him!

And as for us, we were paired with Meghan and Noah from The Adventure Starts Here. Meghan and Noah sent gifts to Mason. Mason was so excited when the package arrived and wanted to open it immediately. While I did give Meghan a couple suggestions on what Mason would like, I don't think she even needed them because she and Noah NAILED Mason's gift!

How cute are they? 
I LOVE the Cars wrapping paper and Meghan even had a Christmas card that she included!

When Mason opened the first present, I was so excited! I knew that Meghan and Noah had been playing some of the other Educational Insights games (the maker of Sneaky Snacky Squirrel) so I was super excited to see Frankie's Food Truck Fiasco. I had been wanting to get another one of these games for Mason but was waiting to see what he got for his birthday. It's good I waited! Since this present arrived right in the thick of birthday celebrating, we haven't actually played it yet, but I know it's next on the list to open!

And then there was the next gift. Mason has been ALL ABOUT the Hot Wheels lately (it's so cute when he says "ha whee-s!") and this next gift was PERFECT. A boy can never have too many cars right? Right. And these were great because these were super hero themed!

Mason immediately handed me the package and said "help me!" and so I opened them for him and he set them all out on the floor and studied his new cars. He was in heaven!

Meghan and Noah, THANK YOU SO MUCH! Mason, of course, LOVED his gifts! Seriously you hit the nail on the head with the game, the Hot Wheels, and of course, the goldfish!

Did you participate in the Christmas in July exchange with us? If so, link up below and show us the goodies that you got! I can't wait to get some ideas to add to Mason's Christmas list.

Merry Christmas!


Friday, July 22, 2016

Happy Friday! I've been waiting for this day all week... like I normally do, but for a different reason this week... I want it to be Sunday! Normally I dread Sunday because it means that it's almost the start of another work week, but this Sunday we have something exciting planned. If you follow me on Instagram, you might already know what I'm talking about. If not, you'll just have to wait until next week to find out!

Anyway, this week went by entirely too fast. Normally this is a good thing, but I felt so behind all week due to being thrown off my regular schedule and I literally just replied to emails from Sunday, yesterday.

Enough small talk... let's get to it!

Wine in a Can.

I saw Natasha from Schue Love share this Underwood wine a couple weeks ago and I was intrigued. I mean, I have a new love with rose, so I figured, why not. So one day when I was at Trader Joe's, I decided to pick up a can. It was a little more pricey than what I've been buying, but again, I thought, why not? It was $4.99 for a can (one can = 1/2 bottle) which is roughly $10 a bottle. Not very much, but hey, I'm cheap lol. The rose I love at TJ's is only $4.99 a BOTTLE so this was double the amount! I broke into it last night because someone decided to dump out all the Lego's we own. Twice. That called for wine. Also, after his birthday last weekend, we now have WAY more toys than I know what to do with so I plan to (1) go to IKEA this weekend to find a better storage system and (2) go through the toys we have and get rid of some. The shopping sounds way more fun than the cleaning.

Rainbow Chip Frosting.

Has anyone ever had this frosting? Rainbow chip frosting is my ABSOLUTE favorite frosting. Ever. I used to only buy this kind and then they discontinued it and turned it into funfetti. Say what? Vanilla frosting with sprinkles on top is not nearly as good those amazing rainbow chips. Thankfully it's back and I was able to make Mason some funfetti cupcakes with rainbow chip frosting for his birthday!

Hanna Jams.

I got a new Hanna Andersson catalogue in the mail last week and to my surprise, it had a $20 off coupon! I swear I've NEVER seen that from HA before so of course, I had to take advantage! It was only good for in store purchases which is perfect because I was going shopping with my sister in law and friend at the Nordstrom sale on Thursday and there is a HA at that mall. Perfect timing! I had wanted to get Mason some more shorts pajamas since he's still rocking some from last year and they are entirely too short, but I couldn't find any in his size, so I got some for the Fall/Winter instead... if it ever gets cold. But I mean, I couldn't let the $20 coupon go to waste AND look at how cute these Star Wars pajamas are!

Nordstrom Sale.

Speaking of the Nordstrom sale, I am SO over all the Nordstrom posts lately and here I am doing my own. BUT in my defense, I am really just sharing one thing I got because I LOVE it. This cowl neck dress. I'm a sucker for cowl necks and to be able to wear a real bra with this dress is pure perfection. And not to mention, IT HAS POCKETS. I got it in black but am thinking about getting another one in the black/taupe stripe. Nordstrom, here's my money.

Cute Pool Floats.

Ever since I saw those cute pool floats at Target, I wanted one. Unfortunately our community pool is colder than cold and we never go so I thought it was unnecessary for me to get a pool float. So I passed. And then my niece got these CUTE ones : a watermelon and a donut. And I immediately had FOMO. They no longer have them at Target anymore, but I'm eyeing them on Amazon just hoping they go on sale! I want to snag myself one so bad!

Back to School Supply Shopping.

I went to Target yesterday with every intention of sticking to my list. Well, that didn't happen. And then I walked past this section : the back to school section. I have to admit, I LOVE the back to school section! It was always my favorite part of going back to school as a kid because I LOVED getting new binders and notebooks and pens and pencils. And I have to admit, not much has changed since then. I still love planners and notebooks and pens!

Happy Weekend, friends!

[4th Birthday] Birthday Weekending.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

July is birthday month for our family. This week alone is three birthdays, but the whole month has at least six birthdays that we all celebrate. It's a bit crazy and hectic, but super fun!

This past weekend, I made it a point to start celebrating Mason's birthday. With his actual birthday being yesterday, on a Monday, a weekday, I knew I wouldn't be able to adequately celebrate it the way I wanted to, so we started early and made it a weekend affair!

Friday Night

On Friday night, we decided to cash in our Chick-fil-a "buy a meal in June and get whatever was on your receipt from that June day free in July" so we headed there for dinner. After dinner, we went to the grocery store to get some cupcakes for Mason to bring to school on Monday to share with his friends. I asked him what he wanted to bring to school to celebrate and he said "cuh-cakes!" so cupcakes is what we got! After the grocery store, we came home for a bit and then I met my sister in law at Party City to do some party shopping. We had originally just planned on getting some balloons for the party on Sunday as well as some festive plates and such, and then we walked up to the counter to pay for the balloons and I saw Chase from Paw Patrol. It was expensive, but I knew Mason would love it. So, I got it! I shoved Chase in the back of my car and I was off to decorate the hallway outside of Mason's room to surprise him in the morning.


Saturday morning, Mason woke up to a huge (literally) surprise - a huge Chase balloon (54" tall!) and a bunch of small balloons all over the floor! To say he was surprised and excited would be an understatement!

Mason was supposed to have his Saturday ABA school from 9am-2pm so I wanted to sneak in a little birthday breakfast before we had to drop him off. Last year, Mason wasn't a big donut person so we made a huge stack of pancakes for him. He loved it so much that I wanted to continue the tradition this year. So a big stack of blueberry pancakes it was!

Plans changed and his ABA therapist was sick, so we cancelled his therapy. We unexpectedly had some extra time, so I snapped a few pictures of Mason and his balloon and we ran to Whole Foods to get some stuff. Seth had had afternoon plans to take his Grandma to lunch while I went to LA to go to the American Girl store to celebrate my niece's birthday, so he brought Mason with him as a surprise for Bubbie. Of course she was over the moon to see her Great Grandson!

It was my first time at the American Girl store and let me tell you... WHOA was it overwhelming! I also must admit, I am pretty glad I have a boy! Ha! I think I spent the least out of everyone there!

My sister in law had set up a lunch for us at the American Girl Cafe and to be honest, I didn't have high expectations. I mean, I knew it would be good, but I didn't expect it to be THIS GOOD. Seriously, the food was AMAZING. We were greeted with some cinnamon buns, then served a platter of veggies and hummus, cheese, and pretzel bread and honey mustard. Then we got to choose our meal (I had the salmon - it was DELICIOUS) and then we finished off our meal with some birthday cake and ice cream in a little flower pot. We left stuffed but happy!

We did a little shopping, sat in 2 hours worth of traffic on the way home, and then my other niece and I baked lots of goodies for the birthday party on Sunday.


Sunday was party day! We all woke up early-ish, had some breakfast, got ready, and then looked at a couple houses (that we didn't like - boo!). We had a quick lunch and then headed over to my sister in law's house for party time! We swam for a couple hours and then had some dinner and cake with our family and friends. We got home super late on Sunday night, but since Monday was Mason's actual birthday, I still wanted to make it special, so I decorated his door with some streamers. Nothing fancy, but a little festive.


Monday was business as usual. I went to work and Mason went to school. I picked him up slightly early to run to Costco to get some batteries for his new toys (that he BEGGED me to build in the morning before we left). We came home and built as much as we could (why do boys toys always come unassembled!) before Seth got home. Once he got home, we got ready, and headed out to dinner, just the three of us, for Mason's birthday. We had a great dinner at Lazy Dog Cafe followed up by the BEST white chocolate chip brownie.

It was seriously the BEST weekend celebrating all the birthdays!


F O U R.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Dear Mason,

Today is your fourth birthday.

F O U R.

I cannot even believe that I am using the number four in a sentence to describe you. I seriously feel like you were born just yesterday (I think I say that on every birthday). It's true what they say though... the days are long, but the years are short.

These past four years have FLOWN by entirely too quickly and the fact that you are now four seems like such a huge milestone. When you were only three, I think I could still get away with calling you a toddler, but now I feel like you are a full on big kid and I'm just not sure I'm ready for it!

Being your mom is the best thing that's ever happened to me. It's been hard. It's been stressful. But there's never been a hard or stressful thing that we've moved past that wasn't worth it. I'd do it all over again for you. In a heartbeat.

I've procrastinated writing this for days and DAYS. I'm afraid that I won't be able to find the perfect words to say to you. But then I realized, this doesn't need to be perfect. You teach me that there is so much beauty in imperfection and if this isn't "perfect", so be it.

But this... this I know. I am SO blessed to be your mama. You bring so much joy to my life every.single.day. ....even the days that you are being a pain in my tush :) I would not trade one single day or change one single thing about anything. As I sit here, typing this letter to you, in denial that when I wake up in the morning, you will be my FOUR year old, this I know. I love you fiercely and would do anything for you. As would your dad. We love you SO, SO much. And even though I'm sad that another year has gone by, I am so excited to see you grow and thrive and succeed in the coming year like you did last year. You've come SO far and I could not be more proud of you.

I love you so much and cannot wait to continue to celebrate you all the way in to next weekend! Watching you open your presents yesterday and seeing the excitement on your face when we sang happy birthday to you just makes me so excited for your big birthday present/trip next weekend. I'm sure I am far more excited than you are!

Happy fourth birthday baby boy!

All my love, always and forever,

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