[It's the Little Things] A family photo.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

So that family picture that I said that we took on Christmas, were you wondering why I didn't include it in yesterday's Christmas recap?

I didn't forget it. I purposely left it out because I wanted to share it today.


It's blurry.
And Mason isn't smiling.

But I don't care.

I wanted to take a family picture and Mason wasn't cooperating. He wanted down. He wanted to run. We took about 10 pictures before we got this one. And then this happened. Mason put his arms around Seth and I (you can't see his arm around me but you can see it around Seth's neck) and squeezed us in tight and our photographer snapped the perfect picture. This is Mason's new thing. A family hug. He pulls us in tight and has the BIGGEST smile on his face (usually) and then pushes us away. And then pulls us in tight and pushes us away. And it goes on for 5 or so times. It makes me so happy!

The picture might not look perfect but it is perfect to me and it is a perfect representation of our Christmas and our love for each other. I don't care that it's blurry and that Mason isn't smiling. I'm just so happy we were able to capture our "family hug" on Christmas.



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Linking up with Jess.



Sadie Sky Boutique

Christmas 2014.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Wow-wie! I can't believe Christmas has already come and gone already. It's seems like once the day after Thanksgiving hits, it's a whirlwind until Christmas and then it's over quicker than it started.

This Christmas was definitely one for the memory books. I feel like Mason finally "got it". Probably not fully and not as much as next year, but he totally understood the concept of opening presents this year. What he didn't understand was the concept of waiting until Christmas to open them and the second Seth or I wold turn our heads away for a second, he would sneak over and tear a corner off. Case in point, a text I got from Seth on Christmas Eve while I was at work :



But before I get too far ahead of myself, let me back up a few days to the 23rd.

In our family, we celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas. So, on Tuesday, December 23rd, we celebrated Hanukkah with Seth's family. We all got together at my sister-in-law and brother-in-law's new house and had appetizers, dinner, and dessert as well as played the white elephant gift exchange game and exchanged presents. Mason, of course, made out and totally scored tons of awesome things and Seth and I didn't do too bad either. Seth's Grandma (Bubbie) usually just gives the adult kids money or a gift card somewhere and when everyone but me got presents, I was a little confused. Not to sound greedy, but I started wondering what I did this year to get left out! I figured she just forgot and was going to leave it alone when my niece handed me a box. I opened it and Bubbie had given me this GORGEOUS scarf. These people know I am scarf obsessed and this was the perfect present. I loved it so much that I wore it on top of the scarf I was already wearing and kept it on all night.



Wednesday, December 24th I had to work (boo). Seth was home with Mason and I was at work until 2:30pm when my boss let us all go home early (woohoo!). I quickly drove home (or as quickly as horrible holiday traffic would let me lol), got us all packed up, and we headed to my brother-in-law's mom and dad's house for Christmas Eve dinner. We ate way too much and opened too many presents, and Santa even made a stop on his way to deliver all the toys to the kids around the world!



And we FINALLY got a good Santa picture after all the Santa fails we had!
Hallelujah!

Then we headed home, put Mason to bed, and Santa's elves went to work putting the finishing touches on the gifts under the tree.


Thursday (Christmas) morning, a Christmas miracle happened. Mason slept in until 7:30am! It was a miracle indeed because that meant that Seth and I slept in until 7:30am too! I'm not quite sure how because we were both so excited for Mason to open his presents, but I guess going to bed at 11:30pm will do that to you. However, that being said, Seth and I woke up on the right side of the bed and were super excited that Mason was finally awake. Mason, on the other hand, did not. Mr. Cranky needed some time to wake up still and did not have quite the reaction I expected.


He soon turned his frown upside down and finally made his way down the stairs. And once we started him on opening presents, he was unstoppable.


From Seth and I, Mason got a Go Go Smart Wheels dump truck, a wooden Brewster (Chuggington) train, some fruit snacks, a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse t-shirt, some wooden play food, a hot wheels car, some replay recycled forks and spoons, and of course, some Christmas colored goldfish in his stocking and some Cars books, some Sandra Boynton books, some Tiny Toms, a Melissa and Doug puzzle, some Melissa and Doug food, and a new bike under the tree.

It was so much fun to see Mason unwrap all his gifts and get such a big smile on his face.

After Mason opened his presents, it was time to head over to Seth's mom's house for more presents. (This kid is so spoiled, let me tell you). We arrived around 9am and had so much fun opening presents, eating breakfast, and playing with presents that we didn't leave until around 1pm when we determined that Mason needed to take a nap before we headed back over for dinner.

(The absolute hit of the morning : the Go Go Smart Wheels Train Set from Nanny. It's huge and moves on it's own and Mason was in HEAVEN for almost an hour, just sitting there watching it go around the tracks. A MAJOR win in my book!)


However, little man had another idea. We put him down at 1:30pm for his nap and he screamed, yelled, banged on his blinds, open and shut his dresser drawers, and knocked every book off his book shelf until 3:45pm when I guess he tired himself out enough to need to sleep. He finally fell asleep for his nap just in time for us to need to wake him up at 5pm to head back over for dinner. Needless to say, he wasn't the happiest camper during dinner but we all survived :)

We ate dinner and too much dessert and I actually remembered to take a family picture as well!

All in all, it was a great Christmas and holiday season and while I think it came and went too fast, I was more than ready to take down the Christmas decorations on the 26th and call it a day.

Merry (belated) Christmas!







[BOY MOMS] Elizabeth from Chasin' Mason

Monday, December 29, 2014


I can't believe it's here... the last Monday of 2014. I never imagined that when I started this #BOYMOMS series almost a year ago, that I would be able to fill every Monday of the year with a story about a mom and her love for her son(s). The overwhelming desire to share the love stories has been amazing. A huge THANK YOU to all of you who have participated!

To wrap up the year, this week I wanted to share the reasons that I love being a toddler boy mom!

ONE.
Trucks, Cars, Trains, Planes, and anything with wheels!

...have taken over our house and our lives!



TWO.
Destruction and Shenanigans.

Sure my house looks like a tornado hit it e.v.e.r.y.d.a.y. but I wouldn't have it any other way! Mason is a constant whirlwind of energy and is constantly getting into something or doing something he shouldn't be. I am always finding things where they shouldn't be found -- cars in the dryer, sippy cups in the trash can, and airplanes in the dishwasher.



THREE.
Twinning.

I thought I was going to be missing out on dressing like my child when I had a boy instead of a girl. Turns out that shopping for a boy is just as fun as shopping for a girl as is dressing my boy similar to his daddy! Sure he and I might not be twinning but to see Mason and my husband dress the same just melts my heart.


And while we're at it... just seeing my husband and Mason together melts my heart too.


FOUR.
The toys.

Mason got SO many wonderful toys for his birthday back in July that I didn't want to open them all at once. I wanted to save some for a (hypothetical - it barely rains in California) "rainy" day. Well that day just happened to be a couple weeks after his birthday since Mason found where my hiding place was (which wasn't actually very hidden under his Cars table). Well he pulled out his Jake Legos and was SO excited to see them! He brought them over to me, handed them to me, and signed "please" so naturally, I did what any mom would do. I opened them. I started building them (while Mason threw all the pieces that I needed all around the house). I finished building them. Mason lost Jake (and I couldn't find him for hours). Mason took apart my creation. And then Mason took a nap. And then what did I do? I cleaned up the house and... re-built the set we had opened. And I opened the other two sets and built them myself (and totally re-lived my childhood when all I wanted to do was build the Lego sets and then have my brother play with them LOL. Sadly this did not always work out because he enjoyed building as much as I did). And of course then Mason woke up from his nap and promptly destroyed them again.


FIVE.
Love for his mama.

When I first found out I was having a boy, I thought I was going to be missing out on so much. I'm a girl... I only know about girl things! But to hear my boy say "mama!" just melts my heart and makes me come running. I couldn't imagine my life any other way. Can't wait for what the rest of the toddler years have in store for us (except the tantrums... I could do without those for sure!). I have big plans of being a soccer/baseball mom in the near future!



SIX.
The Little Things.

There are so many little things that he does (that little girls probably do too, but I have nothing to compare it to) that I just love.

The way he sits so politely and crosses his legs...


...the way he wants whatever I have...



 ...the way he runs up to me when I get home from work, has a huge smile on his face, and gives me the biggest hug.


Just to name a few.


SEVEN.
His love of sports.

...or so we think. We've taken him to quite a few Angels games so far and he always seems to enjoy himself. Sure he doesn't sit still the whole time and we often have to leave early and I'm sure his favorite part is actually the ice cream and not the baseball, but I have high hopes for the future!


EIGHT.
No fear.

This is both a love and a hate for me. I'm sure this will be getting him into much more trouble than he's already gotten himself into as his grows up, but I love how adventurous he is right now. His dad throws him in the air (and I have a heart attack) but Mason LOVES it. He has no fear at Gymboree, at the park, or at home and loves to climb on everything.


Needless to say, I love being a boy mom. It's not how I envisioned my life when I imagined having kids since I always thought I would be a girl mom, but now I wouldn't change a thing in the world.






[Five on Friday] Christmas Favorites Edition

Friday, December 26, 2014

Happy day after Christmas!

Hope your Christmas hangover (literally or figuratively) is not too bad!

I plan to share all about our wonderful day(s) next week, but today I wanted to share five of my favorite moments from the holiday season.


ONE.


TWO.
Gift Exchanges.






THREE.



FOUR.
Santa Fails (and a good one!)

Santa Sighting : one // two // three // four (more to be shared next week!)


FIVE.


Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday season!



We wish you a Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 25, 2014


From my family to yours... Merry Christmas!!!
We hope that you have an amazing day with friends and family today and truly enjoy the day together!

xoxo,
Liz, Seth, and Mason

[Link Up] Christmas Desserts and Tacky Sweaters : The recipes.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

I've been like a kid on Christmas morning waiting for today to come. Every since we announced this link up last week, I have been so excited to see what recipes you all would share. I love seeing what people's go-to recipes are for holidays or what new recipes they have come across that they wanted to try.


The recipe that I want to share with you today is super simple, festive, and super yummy (if you like mint and you like chocolate)! I'm pretty sure I pinned this recipe on Pinterest many years ago but last Christmas I decided to try it out and it has since become requested as a staple in our dessert menu : Grasshopper Mint Chocolate Bark.

Please don't be scared by the words "double boiler". I think I tried it that way last year (with Seth's help) but this year I opted for the microwave version and it turned out just as good!


INGREDIENTS:

16 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
1 teaspoon mint extract (NOT peppermint), optional
Green food coloring
16 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 box (4.67-ounces) Andes Crème de Menthe Thins, unwrapped and coarsely chopped


DIRECTIONS:

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2. Melt the white chocolate over a double boiler (or in 30-second intervals in the microwave on 50% power, stirring after each). 


Once the chocolate is melted, remove from the heat and let sit for a few minutes to cool slightly, stirring occasionally. Add the mint extract, if using (I didn't use any because I didn't have any and didn't want to buy some just for this recipe and I still think it tastes plenty minty without it), and stir to combine. Add a few drops of green food coloring and stir until desired color is reached.

3. Spread the white chocolate mixture onto the prepared pan in an even layer (depending on the size of the pan and how thick you’d like your bark, you may not need the entire surface of the pan). Refrigerate for 15 minutes, until just about set.


4. Meanwhile, melt the semisweet chocolate over a double boiler (or in 30-second intervals in the microwave on 50% power, stirring after each). 


Once the chocolate is melted, remove from the heat and let sit for a few minutes to cool slightly, stirring occasionally. Pour over the white chocolate layer and spread evenly over top. Sprinkle with the chopped Andes mints and press down lightly to push the mints into the top chocolate layer. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until completely set.


5. Cut the bark or break into uneven pieces. Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator. When stored in the refrigerator, it will keep for at least 2 weeks.



As you can see, the bark can be pretty thick depending upon how thin you spread it. Remember that you are adding two layers of chocolate and then the mint pieces on top. I probably could have spread it a little more thinly because it ended up being kind of hard to break apart after it all set.

I just used a butter knife to cut the bark apart by sticking it in random places and pressing down to break it apart. If it broke into too large of a piece, I just cut it again until it was at the desired size that I wanted.



This bark was a HUGE hit last Christmas and I know my family will be so excited to have it again this year!

(original recipe found here)

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Now it's your turn!

Link up with us and show us what your favorite holiday desserts are. I'm dying to try a new recipe!


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