Northern California Trip // Day 3

Monday, October 24, 2016

I'm back today to continue sharing some more of our trip to Northern California. 
If you missed Days 1 and 2, you can find them here.

Day 3 was our last full day in San Francisco before we headed to my dad and step mom's house the next day. I had originally had our whole time in San Francisco laid out (I wanted to do A LOT - I was a bit over zealous), but the weather made it a little tricky, so we moved some things around and decided to go to Golden Gate Park on Day 3. Golden Gate Park was one of the places I was most looking forward to, mainly because of all my childhood memories there. I remember going there with my dad when my brother was just about to be born/right after he was born to give my mom a little peace and quiet (or however much of that you can have with a newborn around). We would ride the carousel and eat hot dogs in the park (I'm sure this is when my love/obsession with hot dogs came about - there were YEARS when I was little where I'd refuse to eat anything at a restaurant if it wasn't a hot dog). Such fond memories. And I wanted to share those with Mason! So, off we went.

Since it's been almost two months since we went, I can't remember exact details but I know at one point we took a couple buses to get us to Golden Gate Park and I just remember Mason LOVING it. I, personally, think they are kind of gross and smelly and the people on the buses are kind of sketchy, but when you're four and you don't notice these things, buses are the coolest things EVER. I think he was most excited when we told him that he could pull the cord to let the driver know that we needed off.

We arrived in Golden Gate Park and headed straight for the California Academy of Sciences Museum. I was pretty excited about going there because I had heard that it was a really cool place and let me tell you, it did not disappoint. We didn't get to stay nearly as long as I would have liked because a preschoolers attention span in a museum is approximately 1.3 minutes, but what I did get to see, I loved. I'd definitely go back.

After we spent maybe an hour or so in the museum, we decided to head over to the carousel area to ride the carousel and have some lunch. It was pretty quiet around there and on one of our rides, we were the only ones on the carousel. It was pretty much perfection. And as we ate our hot dogs together, I couldn't help but take in the beauty of the park.

Mason and his hot dog [2016]

Me and my hot dog [1987]

After we finished our lunch, we decided to walk over to the park that they have in Golden Gate Park. It seems a bit repetitive to say we went to a park while we were in a park, but this was just a small park in the middle of the huge park.

My very favorite part was the huge cement slide. I had really hoped that Mason would want to try it as you get to sit on a piece of cardboard and slide down but he hasn't really been very in to slides lately and when I suggested it, he said no. So we let him play for a while on the play structure and then eventually he saw the other kids doing it and he wanted to also. I was a bit scared at first when he wanted to go down because it was all cement and pretty steep and he'd never done anything like that alone, but he was a champ and had the BEST time. He kept climbing up the stairs and down the slide and up the stairs and down the slide until after maybe 20 or so minutes, we had to pry him away so we could go somewhere else. He would have stayed there all day if we would have let him!

Once we were finally able to pry him away from the slide, we decided to head over to where the cable cars were. We had planned to take the cable car to the cable car museum but you had to get off and walk a little and in between getting off the cable car and getting to the museum, Mason fell asleep (he was in a stroller) so Seth and I hit up Starbucks and Old Navy and did a little shopping at the huge mall that they have there. Mason woke up a short while later and we made our way over to the cable car museum.

Cable car museum

After that, we took a little walk and headed back down to the Pier where we took a tour of the bay and saw the Golden Gate Bridge. It was insanely windy and super cold and overcast at the water so my pictures didn't turn out the best, but the bridge is nothing short of amazing when you are so up close to it.

Houses on our way down to the water. 
I love all the colors and the charm each house has!

One stoop leads to six different houses!

I loved the details of all the different entry ways.

We saw the sun set, had dinner at Bubba Gump's, and grabbed some ice cream and took the long walk back to our hotel.

And that concludes day 3 of our vacation!

Fivin' on Friday!

Friday, October 21, 2016

HAPPY FRIDAY!!! I'm so happy that today is Friday! We have a relatively low key weekend planned and I'm pretty excited about it. After working all weekend last weekend, I'm excited to sleep in (you know, until 7am -- hopefully) and to just run errands and have a play date.

But first... a little Five on Friday!

Sneak Peeks.

I got a sneak peek from the photographer of our family photos (Erika from Freebird Photography)  that we took a couple weeks ago and all I can say is... ALL THE HEART EYES. Seriously, Mason's hand around Seth's head/neck. I die. If the others are even half as good... here's my wallet. Take my money.

White Claw Hard Seltzer.

I talked about these White Claw drinks on my $10 at Target post on Monday and said I hadn't tried them yet and a lot of you wanted to know what I thought of them when I did try them. Well, I tried them earlier this week and I like them! They have a different taste than what I'm used to (I mostly drink wine), but I've been really into seltzer water lately and these are a fun, alcoholic take on those with minimal calories. I'm definitely going to be drinking the other 5 in the pack and would love to try more flavors!

Playing in the Rain.

Earlier this week, it actually felt like Fall. REAL FALL WEATHER. AND it even rained! RAIN. I don't even know when the last time it rained was. Now, don't get me wrong. It was for like a couple hours, and most of it was during the night. I normally HATE when it rains when I have to go to work/take Mason to school but he was having so much fun playing with the umbrella that it almost makes me wish this would happen more often!

When we got home, there were still some tiny puddles in our parking lot area so I let Mason have at it. I'm always so bummed that it rains in the morning and in the afternoon, when we get home, it's all dry, so I was so stoked when we got home and there was one last puddle! Mason had the best time jumping around for a few minutes.

Milkshake Addict.

Last week, Seth was gone for a night and I was in charge of making dinner. I should really say making loosely since I'm terrible at cooking and usually opt for take out. Well I "made" dinner by going to Chick-fil-a. Of course I never say no to Chick-fil-a milkshakes and when Mason said he wanted one too, I knew we had to get one to share. Lucky him and unlucky me but he pretty much stole the whole thing and refused to share (except when I stole it back). He wouldn't even put it down to play with his toys!

Premier Glow Light Up Toys.

We recently got to try out some glow in the dark toys from Premier Glow. To say Mason loved them would be an understatement. The second I opened the box, he was in there pulling everything out to see what he had gotten. I had originally thought that they were just sending us one bubble gun, but when I opened the box and saw all the goodies they sent us, I was blown away. To say they spoiled us would also be an understatement!

Mason immediately went for the bubble gun. He's recently been on a bubble kick so I knew he would be all about it. I helped him unwrap the bubble gun and I added the bubbles, and then we were off to go outside to use it.

Sorry for the bad quality photos. It's terribly hard to photograph the glowing light at night with a kid who moves at lightning speed. But I guess it just goes to show, he was having a great time!

They were also nice enough to send us some light up swords. Mason and Seth instantly lit them up and started playing. For such a little kid, Mason sure has a good swing of the sword. I mean, just watch this video, he totally kicks Seth's butt :)

giraffe sword // snowflake sword // ninja sword

Overall, we were extremely grateful to be able to try out all these light up products. I would say that I don't think that they are different or special over similar ones that we've tried before, but looking at the prices online, I would definitely say that you'd get a great deal for the price if you bought some!

These are super fun and would make great party favors at a birthday party or would be super fun to use while trick or treating on Halloween!

Disclaimer : I received these glow in the dark products free in exchange for my honest review. The opinions stated above are 100% mine and the love for the toys are 100% Mason's.

Have a great weekend!

[Countdown to Halloween] Baking with Pumpkin!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

With it finally being Fall and Halloween rapidly approaching, I knew I wanted to make some sort of pumpkin recipe before Halloween came (and went). I've been pinning pumpkin recipes like crazy and I had hoped to try a new recipe this year. So, I hopped on Pinterest to see what my choices were and tried to pick just one to try.

I first wanted to make these pumpkin donuts, but I don't have a donut pan, so those were out.

Then I wanted to make these pumpkin spice banana chocolate chip blondies, but I didn't have pumpkin spice peanut butter (nor did I even know they made that!), so those were out.

Then I thought maybe I'd try some pumpkin chocolate chip cookies but I didn't have molasses, so those were out. And I went to Target to buy some cloves for these cookies, but it was literally like $4+ for a SMALL jar for me to use 1/8 of a teaspoon and there was no way I was doing that, so those were out too.

BUT I wasn't going to give up! So while I was at Target, I literally grabbed a box mix of pumpkin muffin mix and called it a day. It might be simple and out of a box, but they turned out amazing, so I'm not complaining.

Turns out, I was so excited about eating them that I... completely forgot to take any pictures of them. #bloggerfail. You'll just have to take my word for the fact that these box mix pumpkin chocolate chip muffins were amazing. So amazing in fact, that Mason practically grabbed mine out of my hand and scarfed it down himself.

On the plus side, I did take some super cute pictures of my little helper helping me mix the ingredients and put the batter into the muffin liners!

We had some leftover Paw Patrol muffin liners from his birthday (yep, three months ago) and Mason was so excited to use them for our muffins. I let him help with almost everything (he LOVES to help me bake) until things got a little too messy (read: right after this last picture). I really had to rein in my OCD because I felt like the second he got that scooper in his hand, I was doomed. I let him do a few scoops and then I (nicely) took it away from him and let him go back to playing.

Regardless of how fancy (or non-fancy) my muffins were, they were delicious and I got to have some one on one time with my little helper. And to me, that's all that matters!

What kind of Fall/Halloween fun have you been up to? Link up below and let us know!

$10 at Target [October].

Monday, October 17, 2016

I'm excited to be back again today co-hosting this link up with Becky and some other fabulous ladies!  If you posted today as well, don't forget to link up with us below and then hop around and check out how the rest of my co-hosts (and everyone else!) spent their $10!

If you remember what happened last month, you remember that I broke the rules and spent $32 since the link up occurred on my birthday. This month, no birthday, no special budget, so I'm back with my finds for $10!

In one of the groups that I'm in on Facebook, someone recommended this drink. I had no idea what it was, but upon asking some questions, I learned that this is actually spiked seltzer water with a hint of flavor. . Hmm. Sounds interesting. I knew immediately that I wanted to save this and try it out for my $10 at Target. I try not to buy any necessities with my $10 budget and strictly stick to something fun and this totally fit the bill. I hate to say that I still haven't tried one (I only bought them a few days ago and then had to work all weekend), but that's the truth. I plan to have one tonight so I can definitely report back, but I'm assuming it's going to be pretty tasty!

And now for the Twix... well... I had a little extra money left over and Twix is my favorite Halloween candy! And it was only $1.00 AND in the shape of ghosts!

So, how'd I do on my budget?
Since I bought these along with some other items, I don't have a receipt to show, but here's the breakdown.

Drink: $8.49
CRV: $0.30
Twix: $1.00
Tax (8%) : $0.00 ("to go" food)
Minus RED Card discount : ($0.49)
Total : $9.79

Under budget!

Becky at bybmg // Instagram // Facebook // Pinterest
Elizabeth at Chasin' Mason // Instagram // Facebook // Pinterest
Stephanie at Wife Mommy Me // Instagram // Facebook // Pinterest

Next month, we'll be sharing our hauls on Monday, November 21st. Mark your calendars, get your shopping on, and link up with us on the 21st and show us what you got!

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