[Christmas in July] The Match Ups

Tuesday, June 30, 2015



It's here! The day you've all been waiting for. Does it feel like Christmas yet? No? Why? Because it's 95 degrees outside? Yeah, I feel your pain :)

First of all, I just wanted to thank everyone who signed up for this exchange. I had so much fun participating last year and I'm even more excited to be co-hosting this year! I hope you all have as much fun as I did last time.

Second, and most important, here are the match ups :

Meghan from The Adventure Starts Here --> Chelsea from The Williams' Journey
Courtney from Sweet Turtle Soup --> Liz from Ellie and Addie
Stephanie from Wife Mommy Me --> Elisabeth
Ally from Even Miracles Take a Little Time --> Nina from The Joni Journey
Jamie from Cocktails and Carseats --> Elizabeth from Chasin' Mason
Amanda from A Greathouse Wife --> Jamie from Cocktails and Carseats
Brooke --> Ally from Even Miracles Take a Little Time
Nina from The Joni Journey --> Brooke
Tia --> Stephanie from Wife Mommy Me
Elisabeth --> Ashley from Everything's Hunky Dorey
Elizabeth from Chasin' Mason --> Tia
Liz from Ellie and Addie --> Meghan from The Adventure Starts Here
Chelsea from The Williams' Journey --> Amanda from A Greathouse Wife
Ashley from Everything's Hunky Dorey -->  Courtney from Sweet Turtle Soup

Ladies, look out for an email from me either tonight or tomorrow with the information that your partner provided for you. If you don't get anything from me by Thursday, please send me an email at chasinmasonblog@gmail.com and I will see what happened.

Some things to remember...

- please ship your packages by July 13th
- box contents should be $20 before shipping
- link up with a blog post of the goodies that you got on Monday, July 27th. No blog? No problem! Share on social media with #xmasinjulygiftexchange

Merry Christmas and Happy Shopping!


Weekending + [A Year of Dates] June.

Monday, June 29, 2015

I'll be honest... I've kinda dropped the ball on the Year of Dates present that I gave Seth for Christmas. May came and almost went and we were able to get in a family date. Then June came and almost went, and we improvised with something we already had planned for the weekend as our June date. Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do when life gets busy. But don't worry. We actually have July's date planned (and a babysitter lined up!) so we're good to go there :)

But, getting back to the weekend plans...

Saturday started off with our bi-weekly date to the Lowe's Build and Grow. We're on vehicle #2 in the series of 6 for Marvel's Avengers and this weekend's vehicle was Captain America's Motorcycle. Mason wasn't quite as excited as he was last time for the AvenJet but he still had fun helping daddy put it together.




We followed up Lowe's with a trip to Costco and were disappointed that we were too early for samples. Noon seems to be the prime time there but it's also a complete zoo. I'd gladly bring snacks for Mason and go around 10:30am than try to brave the hungry crowds at lunch time.

After Costco, we came home to unload, have some lunch, and hang out until we headed over to our friend's co-ed baby shower. Mason and their son had a BLAST in the bounce house that they got for the party!


Sunday we had plans to go out to brunch for our friend's birthday. I hadn't originally thought of it as our June date because there were other people there, but since we had a babysitter and were kid free and I miiiiiiiight have had bottomless mimosas with brunch, I'd consider that a date!


We got home around 2:30pm and found out that no nap ninja had struck again. He had fallen asleep for like 5 minutes max on the way to Nanny's house in the morning and then 5 minutes max on the way back home for nap time and so nap time was shot. Luckily he was in a good mood so we took advantage and went swimming. I had high hopes of finally going in (I usually just send Seth in with Mason because I don't feel like getting in) and then when we got to the pool, it was sooooooo cold that I didn't want to get in. #partypooper But the temperature of the water didn't stop the boys and Mason jumped in about 10,000 times in a row until we called it a night.

This picture isn't the best as both of their eyes are closed, but I think it's so sweet they are smiling so big!


We came home from swimming and I had these high hopes of making pizzas on the grill. You know, Pinterest made it look easy.... or that's what I told Seth. Ha!


Keep in mind, these both started off as normal looking rectangles. And this is how they ended. They might look crazy but they tasted darn delicious! We plan to try again because it actually was super good and if we figure out how to make it better, I'll be sure to share.

And there you have it. Our weekend in a nutshell.


***


(while we didn't end up going here, I'd still like to try it out sometime so we'll add it to the list)


You can find our May date here
You can find our April date here
You can find our March date here
You can find our February date here
You can find our January date here
Introduction to "A Year of Dates" here



Fri-YAY!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Happy Friday! This week went by relatively fast, but I'm still super happy it's already Friday again! We're off to a baby shower on Saturday and then celebrating my friend's birthday on Sunday so this weekend is sure to be a good one.

But before that... my weekly fives.

ONE.
Vans and Disney collaboration.


My sister-in-law sent me the picture of those Mickey slip ons last week and I instantly fell in love. If Mason's feet weren't so fat, I would totally buy him some of these! How stinkin' cute!
To see everything in the collection, click here.


TWO.
This article.

My friend sent me the link to this article -- To The Person Who Said My Son Doesn't Look Like He Has Autism -- on Autism Speaks' blog last week and I instantly could relate. To be honest, before she sent me the link to the blog article, I didn't even know Autism Speaks had a blog! I've been searching around the past week-ish and have found some great articles. Since she introduced me to the fact that they have a blog, I inquired about submitted a post to them since I thought I would like to share my letter to Mason. I submitted over the weekend and on Wednesday I got an email saying I was featured! You can see my featured blog post here. It is such an honor to be featured and an even more incredible honor that over 2,500 people have shared my post on Facebook!


THREE.
Dove chocolate.



I've been wanting to get some chocolates to have around the house just in case that chocolate craving strikes (which is often for this chocolate loving girl). I love Dove but it's usually so expensive. I happened to be walking past the candy aisle (it's right across from the cereal!) and I saw this incredible sale going on that I just couldn't pass up. These Dove sea salt/caramel/dark chocolate and mint/dark chocolate swirl chocolate are AH-MAZING and the perfect size treat for dessert.


FOUR.
Oreos.


Speaking of chocolate... when I was at Walmart yesterday picking up a couple things, I happened to walk down the aisle with the Oreos (to get something else... I swear!) and I found these. I thought about adding them to my cart when I thought "Seth would make fun of me for buying those if I brought them home and would mention how much other candy we have. Don't do it". So instead I texted him a picture of them, just to show him, and he said "YES". Well there's a surprise. So in the cart they went! And to say Mason loved them would be an understatement. For a kid that notoriously hates all dessert except for ice cream, he sure looks like he enjoyed these!



FIVE.
Christmas in July.



Don't forget that TODAY is the last day to enter our Christmas in July gift exchange! We would love for you to participate! To sign up, click HERE.


Happy Friday!


The Guys Behind the Blog // June Edition

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A couple months ago, I found out through Crystal that Betsy from Heavens to Betsy has this super cool series called The Guys Behind the Blog. Unfortunately it was a little too late to join for March but  I joined in April and have been ever since! While I do talk about Seth often, I don't really know if you all know him very well. Enter : this series. Every month Betsy has different prompts that the guys behind the blog answer.




Here are June's questions.


1 // What’s the best vacation you’ve ever been on?

Seth : It's between our honeymoon to Hawaii or our trip to Cabo right before we got engaged. Thinking... Definitely the honeymoon.

I start typing...

Or maybe backpacking through Germany {this was before me - he went with his friend Kenneth}.
Me : shaking my head
Seth : What? I got to have a lot of beer!
Me : shakes my head again...


2 // If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go?

Bora Bora.


3 // Are there any summer traditions that you have or would like to start? 

A tradition I'd like to start would be as Mason grows up, showing him everything there is to do outside. From baseball games to Disneyland to Balboa bars on Balboa Island to parks to playing sports and more. There's so many fun things to do in Orange County and I'd like to expose him to all of those things as he gets older.


4 // The 4th of July is coming up…what’s a must-have picnic or BBQ food for you?

Me : Beer.
Seth : laughs
Seth : Red meat on the grill and a good, cold craft beer!

See, I know him well!


5 // Think about your ideal vacation…are you in a cozy cabin, camping in a tent, or hanging in a hotel?

Hotel.

There was no hesitation there! He must what me to go with him and he knows I wouldn't go otherwise! Ha!




And there you have it!

You can find April's post here
You can find May's post here

Thanks for playing along again, Seth!



Father's Day Weekend 2015

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

This weekend was one for the record books. We didn't do anything crazy exciting, but just had the very best time enjoying each other's company.

Friday night we hung out at home, had dinner, and rediscovered our love for puzzles. Seriously, this boy has a new found obsession with puzzles. He's not super good at them by himself (though he tries hard!) but LOVES when Seth or I do them with him. Mason and I literally did this Jake puzzle like 5 times in a row and played with it for almost a half hour while Seth made dinner. After dinner, Mason discovered his love for a new app -- Instagram. Much to my dismay. So if you get random likes, unlikes, likes, unlikes, and possible comments that make no sense... just know that my kid is loving your photo :)



Saturday morning we woke up late (for us) at 6:20am and took our time waking up, hanging out, and eating breakfast. Our landlords were in town and planned to come over to help us finish installing a screen door that we had wanted for our front door, so we hung out until they got here. It took about 2 hours to finish that, we went to Costco, Mason napped, and then we went over to my sister-in-law and brother-in-law's house to play with my nieces and hang out with Papa while the adults were out for the night. Swimming, pizza and ice cream drumsticks for the win!







Sunday we had plans for a family dinner to celebrate the Dads but I wanted to do something special for Seth before. I kept asking him what he wanted to do (since I got to choose my massage on Mother's Day) but he didn't know. I kept throwing out ideas and we eventually settled on going out to breakfast at a place that we had been wanting to try for a while. It was delicious, I even got to have a mimosa (!!!), and Mason behaved the whole time so it was a total win-win. We stopped by Starbucks on the way home and everyone was happy. After we got home, Seth and Mason watched the Angels game and I ran to the grocery store. When I got home, Seth ran to bring ice to my sister-in-law's so the drinks could start cooling for the party and I attempted to get Mason to nap. Attempted being the operative word. No Nap Ninja decided that he wasn't tired (after waking up at 5:45am that morning) and kept opening his door, pushing open the baby gate, and coming downstairs. FOUR TIMES. Each time I brought him back upstairs and explained that it was nap time and each time, he made his way back downstairs with a HUGE smile on his face. Little stinker. I eventually gave up and let him come downstairs because I had some laundry to finish and dishes to do. Seth came home, I explained the problem, and then super dad some how got Mason to fall asleep on his chest...where he slept for the next 1.5+ hours until Seth needed to get up and he rolled Mason on to the couch... where he slept for another 1.5+ hours. Apparently someone did need a nap :) We woke him up around 4:30pm and headed over to dinner where we ate some yummy tacos and had some delicious pie for dessert. Someone was lucky enough to have a WHOLE drumstick to himself and he could not have been more happy.







Re-looking at these pictures makes me wish it was the weekend again! Only a few more days. The countdown is already on!

Happy Wednesday!


Summer Lovin'

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

I've been wanting to share our summer bucket list for a while now, but for some reason, I was hesitant to use the phrase "bucket list". It's like "new years resolutions" for me. It's all in the wording. Though, I didn't do so great with my goals (well actually I haven't check in in a while), but for some reason when I call them goals over resolutions, they feel more attainable to me.

So, today, I'm linking up with Stephanie and bringing you my summer 2015 bucket wish list.


Some of these things we already have plans to do and some of them will require planning as the summer goes on. BUT regardless of if they are planned or not, I do hope to accomplish most, if not all, of them.

Here's to a fun summer!



Announcing... Christmas in July!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Courtney, Jamie, Amanda, and I would like to invite you to... a Christmas in July Party!

Last year Mason and I had so much fun participating in Jenny and Courtney's exchange and I am so honored to be co-hosting this year! We just loved sending and receiving our boxes full of amazing things for the kids that we wanted to do it again this year. Not to mention many of the participants said they'd love to do it again, and who are we to disappoint all our blog friends?

The idea is simple : fill a box with anything you think your partner's kid(s) would love - water toys, craft supplies, books, etc, with a limit  $20 before shipping.

Sound like fun? You can sign up HERE to participate! It's a couple question survey just gathering some information about you and your kid(s) that will help your partner come up with ideas on what to send you. The link is open from now until Friday, June 26th. You don't have to be a blogger to participate, but we ask that you share what you receive on social media with #xmasinjulygiftexchange. The matches will be announced on the blog and emailed by June 30th so check back!

Some important information : please send out your packages no later than July 13th and please keep your tracking number just in case something goes astray. Don't forget the wrapping paper! Then come back on Monday, July 27th to link up and share what you received.

This gift exchange is limited to US residents only (sorry!)



We certainly hope you will sign up. It is always a treat to receive something special in the mail!


***




PS -- today you can also find me over at Beauty and the Binky sharing my story for her "Motherhood from Every Angle" series!



Five [Father's Day Gift Ideas] on Friday + a Giveaway!

Friday, June 19, 2015

I know, I know, I'm a little late to the Father's Day Gift Guide game, but hear me out for a second. If your husband is as easy to shop for as mine is then 1) you probably don't even need this gift guide or 2) you can easily run out today or tomorrow and get him something he'll love.

You're welcome.

To be honest, I always think that Seth is super hard to shop for. I mean, he NEVER gives me any ideas of what he wants, so I always have to guess. Luckily for me, I am a good guesser, but when it comes to holidays like Christmas, where I need to get more than one thing, it can sometimes get difficult. We'll save that gift guide for later, and today I'd like to focus on some gift ideas for Father's Day.



Baseball tickets // Angels tickets. Need I say more? If your husband loves baseball as much as mine does, ticket to a live game are always a good choice! (baseball image source here)

Beer // Build Your Own 6 Pack. Our local store (Total Wine and More) has this option where you can build your own 6 pack. I think a lot of places are starting to do things like this but this was the first place I saw it. When all else fails, this is my go-to. I usually have no idea what I'm doing when I choose the beers, but always manage to pick something good and Seth is super happy. When I build my own 6 pack, I always choose the small (regular sized) beers, but they have an awesome selection of the larger beer bottles at Costco now that Seth always drools over every time we go that would make great gifts too (in fact we got my brother-in-law a few different bottles for his birthday one year). (beer image source here)

Cell Phone Cover // Otter Box. Toddlers don't treat things quite as nicely as adults do (understatement of the year - at least in my house). That being said, Seth's phone often time takes a beating. A new cell phone cover would be a nice way to keep his phone looking nice while still protecting it. His favorite covers are Otter Box covers. In black. Only. (phone case image source here)

Coffee // Gift card. If you know Seth, it's not secret that he LOVES coffee. Seriously, he cannot function without his morning cup. More often than not, he will take a travel mug full of coffee to work with him, and then while he is out working and doing inspections, if he passes a Starbucks, he will get another cup. I'm pretty sure that man could drink coffee morning, noon, and night and still fall asleep at night. That being said, a Starbucks gift card (or in our case, a refill to our joint Starbucks account) would be perfect. (gift card image source here)

Clothes // Charles River Apparel Men's Pack-n-Go Pullover. If your husband/father is anything like my husband, he is almost never cold. I swear it can be like 40 degrees outside and Seth wouldn't wear a sweatshirt (ok, maybe that's a slight exaggeration). But in all seriousness, Seth loves to wear t-shirts and shorts. And would year round if he could get away with wearing them to work. The kind people at Charles River Apparel were nice enough to send me a jacket for Mother's Day to review and then were even nicer to reach out to me for Father's Day and offer to send one of three items to Seth to review as well. To say he was excited was an understatement (I think he felt a little left out at Mother's Day since I caught him browsing their website after I got mine in the mail, looking at the options for men). Seth chose the Men's Pack-n-Go Windbreaker Pullover since it was more his style. He was super excited when it got here which made taking some pictures of him in the jacket a lot easier :)


And now for a giveaway!

Giveaway runs from June 19, 2015 at midnight Pacific time to June 26, 2015 at midnight Pacific Time. The winner will receive a free jacket of their choice in style and color and size. Open to US residents only. Winner will be notified by email by me.

Jacket choices are as follows :



a Rafflecopter giveaway

[Summer Reading Challenge] Link Up #1

Thursday, June 18, 2015

A couple weeks ago when Stephanie, Courtney, and I announced our summer reading challenge, I was really excited to start reading more with Mason! Summer seemed so far away and I thought I had forever to figure out what books we could read together and then BOOM, we're already at our first link up! This summer is going by WAY too fast. In fact, ONE month from today, my baby turns THREE. THREE! I can hardly believe it. Seriously, time, please slow down!

Anyway, let me wipe away the tears, and back to the task at hand. Reading. Mason's started to really love reading recently so I thought this challenge would be pretty easy. We have tons of books and I wanted to hit up the library so I thought I would try to follow the suggestions of book topics that we shared in our announcement post. Little did I know that it would be kind of hard to find books to fit all the topics! However, I think we did a pretty good job, and I'm excited to share our first three stories with you today.


(source) Planes : Fire and Rescue // Fire Crew
(a Disney book)

Mason has been LOVING his Step into Reading books recently and this one was a newer purchase for us. Before I quit my old job, I knew I would never get as good a discount anywhere else, so I bought a few new books for Mason (and one for me in hopes that I would actually have more time to read) and this one was included. He's really loving picking up his other Step into Reading : Planes book so I was hopeful that this one would become a quick favorite and luckily I was right. He loves playing with his planes in the bath tub and then reading about them before he goes to bed at night.


***

(a book with an animal on the cover)

This book has been a huge hit in our house for a while now. And although we've read it way more than 50 times, it still continues to be a favorite. I think my personal favorite reason to read this book is because it's fun and catchy and I like to give the story a country twang as I read it. (You can laugh, but if you've read it, then you know how easy that can be!) This book was a no brainer when it came to a book with an animal on the cover.

***

(child's choice - freebie)

Now I can't take the credit for the idea for reading this book and making these Buttery Blueberry Streusel MuffinsCourtney first posted about it a month or so ago. She and her daughter, Aria, read the book and made these muffins. The muffins sounded SO good that I bookmarked them and when we announced the summer reading challenge, I may have made sure that we picked out this book to read. Just so we could make the muffins after. #sadbuttrue


But seriously. They are DELICIOUS. A little time consuming to make, but delicious once they're done. I really should have taken a picture of Seth eating one instead of Mason because he truly loves them. So much so that he rationed them out for the week so he could have breakfast everyday.

I thought Mason would love them just as much since we went to Mimi's Cafe a couple weeks ago with Seth's grandma and Mason literally ate her WHOLE blueberry muffin, but...


Mason, on the other hand, I had to hand feed the bottom half of the muffin to (#highmaintenance) and then refused to eat the top half (the best part!!), so I did what any good mom would do. I took one for the team and ate it for him. #winning. Toddlers. So hard to figure out!




Now, tell us! What books are you reading this summer with your children? What books do I need to add to our summer list? Link up with us below!

PS remember you need to have participated in the challenge as well as linked up at least once to be eligible for the giveaway on August 20th, the final check in!




[Featured On] Jessica from The Newly

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Jessica and her sweet family are on a much deserved first vacation as a family of four and I'm over at her blog, The Newly, sharing some of Mason's favorite iPad apps! Head on over to see which ones he's currently loving.

Spoiler alert : this LEGO Duplo Trains one is one of his FAVORITES!




Happy Wednesday! 



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