Thanksgiving Weekending.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving has officially come and gone and now we're on to full on Christmas mode over here! I'm always so, so excited to put everything up, especially the tree, but come the first or second of January, I'm so ready to take everything down and de-clutter and then... I'm sad it looks so empty. Ha. But for now, we decorate!

Thanksgiving weekend started off early for me on Wednesday when I left work at noon to go pick up Mason. His school closes early on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and I was just so excited to have a job that was flexible enough to let me pick him up this year instead of making Seth take time off.

I thought I was golden... picking Mason up around 12:30pm, bringing him home, and putting him down to nap. I knew I was taking a chance since 12:30 is nap time but I just handed him some snacks and my phone and we were good to go. We got home quickly and I put him down and got to work. I figured I had a good 4+ hours until Seth would get home and I could work on the present I was making for him (more on that tomorrow!). I got out all of my materials and brought everything downstairs and spread out all over the table. I was doing my thing and everything was going well until the doorbell rang. I figured it was just the FedEx or UPS guy dropping off a package and then leaving so I walked over to the door and through the blinds I could see who it was... SETH. Noooooo! I mean, I'm usually happy he's home early, but not when I'm working on a special present for him! Ugh. So needless to say, he ruined the surprise, but I was planning to give it to him that night anyway since it was too heavy for me to carry back upstairs anyways. So it all worked out in the end.

Thanksgiving morning we spent at the turkey trot. My friend works for the chamber of commerce and is the one that puts on the turkey trot and we've gone every year that she's worked there (minus one when we were up north visiting my family) to support her.




Not too shabby of a view while we walked...


Livin' the life


And then... if our 3.1 miles wasn't enough... we spent too much time talking with our friend before heading back for the bus back to the car and we... missed the last bus!!! Literally as we were walking up to the bus stop, the bus drove away. I figured it wouldn't be SO horrible to walk back to the car, especially since we'd be eating a lot later, but then I realized it was 3 more miles UP HILL. And then I died a little inside. But nevertheless, we had no choice so we walked. And Mason? He was a rockstar!!! We pretty much refused to carry him since it was all up hill but he didn't care and totally didn't mind walking and walked about 95% of the way back to the car. Thank you Mason! A Thanksgiving miracle :)

We got back to the house, put Mason down for a nap, and then got ready for dinner. And when we got to Seth's mom's house, we were greeted with the cutest little veggie turkey tray made by my niece!


 We ate way, way too much dinner and then attempted some pictures before we ate way, way too much dessert.


The next morning we had planned to go to breakfast and get our Christmas tree. We had originally planned to do so as a family but we stopped by Seth's mom's house on our way to drop something off and our niece, Emma, was there and she wanted to come so we invited her to join us. First stop : The Original Pancake House where I got my very favorite thing, a bacon waffle.


After we stuffed ourselves some more, we were off to find our Christmas tree! I had originally wanted to go back to where we got it last year, Irvine Park, but my sister in law said that Home Depot was super cheap so I reluctantly agreed to check it out first. I don't know if it was just because it was the day after Thanksgiving, but they didn't really have a good selection and all of the trees were either too tall or too short for what we wanted, so, in the end, I ended up winning and we headed to Irvine Park. Emma was a big, big helper and helped to wrangle Mason while he tried to run all around the place looking for the perfect tree.



Love this picture where he's totally copying her and shielding his eyes from the sun.


 We purchased our tree and we were on our way home!


While Seth unloaded the tree and installed the base, Emma and Mason decorated the windows with the Christmas window clings that I had picked up already and then shortly after, Mason took a nap.


For lunch, Emma decided that she wanted to make us something, but we didn't have all the ingredients so I took her to the grocery store, we picked up the ingredients, and Seth helped her make lunch (though she probably did 90% of the work, he was there to supervise with the stove). After Mason woke up, we headed over to Nanny's house for leftovers and then came back to snuggle on the couch in our pj's.


Saturday was pretty low key. In the morning Mason went to his ABA class and I went to work for a few hours. I got back just in time to go with Seth to pick Mason up and when we got home, Mason took a nap. Nanny came over a couple hours later to watch Mason so Seth and I could go out to celebrate our friend Seth's birthday and it was nice to actually have an adult night out!

Sunday morning and afternoon were pretty low key and involved lots of laundry, a trip to Costco and the grocery store, and a little decorating of the tree. We had already put the lights on on Friday, but no decorations. I let Mason pick out the first ornament and of course he went straight to Mickey's Clubhouse.


After lunch, Mason took a nap, I attempted to do 286782362 things at once, including starting to address our Christmas cards! I'm pretty excited about them and can't wait to send them out hopefully in the next few days.


I ended up needing to wake Mason up around 4:40pm since we needed to leave at 4:45pm to meet Desiree, Scott, Marcus, and Julia for the LA Zoo lights. We had so much fun last year (despite it being like the ONLY day it rained in Southern California all season) that we wanted to do it again. Thankfully this time, there was no rain :)

And today we're back to the daily grind. Our holiday weekend high is wearing off and it's back to work for me. Happy Monday!



Five on Friday + The Guys Behind the Blog // November Edition.

Friday, November 27, 2015

This week was a crazy one and with Thanksgiving thrown in the mix yesterday, I thought I'd do a little something different this Friday and share my Guys Behind the Blog. Hey, there's five questions, it's fitting :)

A few 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 November's questions.

1 // What sports did you participate in as a child? What sports did you watch growing up?
As I child, I played soccer and baseball.  I liked watching baseball and football.

2 // If you could line up your ideal Super Bowl, who would be facing off, where would they play and who would you pick to win?
Blank stare... thinking... seeming like I just blew his mind with this question.
Well you know one of them. The Steelers obviously. They would play the Green Bay Packers. In Pittsburgh. Where we would kick their a$$ this time. All day, everyday. So obviously, the Steelers would win.

3 // Do you prefer the summer or winter Olympics? If you could participate in one Olympic sport, what would it be?
Seth : I'd pick baseball but they don't have baseball anymore.
Me : You can still pick it. Maybe they'll bring it back.
Seth : Thank you. Then, I'd definitely pick the summer Olympics and the sport I'd want to play is baseball.

4 // What is your favorite food to eat at a sports party (ex: World Series, Super Bowl, Stanley Cup, etc.)?
Seth : Chicken wings. Pizza. Nachos. French fries. Hamburgers. Hot dogs.
Me : Sounds like you won't go hungry.
Seth : Well, pretty much, most importantly, beer.


5 // Who is your all time favorite athlete and why?
Lou Gehrig. He's one of the best first baseman of all time. I did a report on him back in elementary school which made me really interested and want to learn more. I admire him so much for the fact that he basically taught himself how to play baseball while having his glove backwards because he was left handed and his parents bought him a right handed glove.




And there you have it! Thanks for playing along again Seth!



Thankful.

Thursday, November 26, 2015


Today and everyday, there is so much to be thankful for. I feel like more often than not, we as a society, are always complaining about things we want and don't have, me included, but today I wanted to take the time to reflect on how much I have to be thankful for this year.

The number one thing on my list is these two. I know technically they are two people so they should be one and two on the list, but they both rank number one for me. They are my whole world and I am constantly thankful that I get to do life with them.

Among many, many other things, I am thankful for a roof over my head, food in my fridge and in my stomach, and the fact that I have a job. I am thankful for family and for friends.

And speaking of friends and family, I hope you all have an amazing day with your friends and families today! Happy Thanksgiving!!!


C U R R E N T L Y // November.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Holy moly this month has gone by too fast! I seriously can't believe that it's THE END of November already... with Thanksgiving officially being tomorrow, the holiday season is now in full swing and I could not be more excited! I meant to post one of these last month but October snuck up on me then came our vacation and here we are... already in November (and November nearly passed me by too!)
Here are a few tidbits of what I've been up to recently...

C U R R E N T L Y ::

Buying // all the Christmas presents! For everyone. I actually started early and am happy to say that I am more than 50% done! Now to start wrapping...

Dreaming about // Owning a home... one day. I think this is an every month thing but every time we go over to our friend's houses who own their own homes, it makes me want one SO. MUCH. MORE.



Drinking // Copycat Starbucks Peach Green Tea Lemonade.

Eating // Broccoli Cheese Soup. I was on the hunt for a good broccoli cheese soup after my disappointment with my copycat Panera recipe and luckily for me, Courtney came through for me with a link to a recipe that she posted a couple years ago. Seth made it for us on Sunday and seriously, it was SO GOOD.


Excited about // Thanksgiving and Christmas! I can't believe they are both already upon us. Thanksgiving first, obviously (tomorrow!), but Christmas will be here before we know it! I have tons of fun things planned for us already, but I feel like there is so much more than we did last year that I'd love to do this year too, but I just don't think there are enough weekends to squeeze it all in. How did we do so much last year???

Feeling // bad. Not bad in the sense that I feel sick. But bad that I feel like I have too much going on and am constantly letting someone down. I literally just finished scrolling through blog posts from a WEEK ago and commenting on them because I just don't have enough time in the day. I want to read too much. I want to do too much. I want to be with too many people. There just aren't enough hours and I feel like I am constantly disappointing someone or letting someone down. And I know I shouldn't apologize for being busy and being behind on blogging, because when life gets busy, blogging definitely takes a back seat, but for some reason I feel like I need to apologize for neglecting my little space and all that goes along with that.

Hating // that all my favorite Fall TV shows are now on winter break until February! And that I had to take Mason to get a blood test to test for allergies yesterday. It's my own fault though because I initiated it, but if you've ever taken your small child to get a blood test, you'll know what I mean. Let's just say... I (well Mason) probably scarred and scared some people in the waiting room with all the screaming and crying going on. Oops. Although it was nothing a lollipop couldn't fix, at least on his end. I don't know about the whole waiting room :)

Listening To // Silence. And it's SO WEIRD! As I'm typing this, Mason is asleep. Seth is at softball. And I'm finishing up this post. And it's so, so quiet!

Loving // that Seth can always make me laugh. Seriously the guy always makes me laugh. In fact just the other night, I was on the computer and he's watching football (see below) and a commercial came on for Lincoln and how Santa bought these people a car for Christmas and then the commercial goes in to how much the car costs, blah blah blah and Seth, out of the blue, goes "Santa's a dick. He got those people car payments for Christmas." LOL! I mean, seriously. Then he continued to laugh, at his own joke, for a good five minutes. Amazing!

Making // Something special for Seth. Shh. It's a secret. Since he reads my blog (hi Seth!) I can't give away any details (and I almost spilled some of the beans the other night when he asked what I snap chatted that day (I told him to get snap chat to see what I post but he refuses and just steals my phone to look at it)), but let's just say, I think he's going to LOVE it. I plan to give it to him early, so check back or follow me on Instagram and I'll be sure to share the details!

Needing // Gas. Totally random to put here, but it's true. I let my tank get down to empty empty empty which is totally unlike me. I'm usually the planner who sees it's at 1/4 full and I head to the gas station. Seth is the one that likes to run on fumes. One of my favorite features of my car is that it tells me how many miles to empty but once it gets below a certain level (30 miles to empty), I guess it can't accurately tell anymore and it just says "low fuel", which is where I'm at. Whomp whomp. Guess you all know where I'll be this morning if you need me!



Obsessed With // Our family photos. Sorry for the over gramming! I'm trying to space them out so it's not a million photos all at once, but seriously, I LOVE them.


Planning // Ahead. Seriously, I like to be prepared. I already have some fun blog stuff planned for 2016 as well as another blogger meet up (or two or hopefully more!) that I am super excited about! Also excited about using my new 2016 Erin Condren planner in the horizontal format - game changer!

Reading // Blogs. Per the usual.

Trying To // Convince Seth that Mason and I need Disneyland passes! :)

Wanting // To buy all the things... for everyone else! Amazon is my best friend and worst enemy. I seriously have like 20+ things in my Amazon cart right now waiting to be purchased. I love adding things to the cart and then hitting "save for later" so it notifies me if prices go up or down. It's so easy so that when I see a good deal, I can snag it!


Watching // football on TV. This pretty much sums up our Sundays every weekend now that it is full on football season.

Wearing // SCARVES. And BOOTS. Hallelujah! California FINALLY thinks it's Fall (well occasionally, it was in the 50's and then the 80's and back in the 50's now) and I can FINALLY wear sweaters and scarves and boots! My favorite!

Wishing // there were more hours in the day. Pretty sure I say this EVERY month, but for real. There just aren't enough hours. I always think I'll get so much done on the weekend and then... it just doesn't happen.

And there you have it. That's what I've been up to! What have you been up to lately?



Holiday Wish List for the Toddler + a Giveaway

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

With Black Friday upon us this weekend, I thought it would be a good time to share a holiday wish list for the toddlers. As much as I'm not sure that I can still call Mason a toddler (he's more of a preschooler now I guess?), I'm going to go with it because it makes him still seems like my baby :)

As for gift giving, I'm big on the "something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read" so I'm going to share some ideas in each category.


Wear

Striped Half Zip Pullover and Jeans - Pretty self explanatory, but basically Mason's staple outfit over the winter. I freakin' love how cute these pullovers are and we have them in almost every color. And these jeans fit him perfectly. Being a preschooler and getting dirty everyday at school, one can never have enough sweaters and jeans in the rotation.

Toms - These and Natives are our hands down favorite shoes to wear during the summer. Well... and even the winter! Thankfully it never really gets THAT cold here so we can wear canvas shoes year round. When I tell Mason to go grab his shoes so we can go somewhere, these are always his first choice. He's outgrown his current pair and he will have the next size up under the tree waiting for him.

Read

The Day the Crayons Came Home - I know I've talked about this book before, but I still haven't actually bought it for Mason yet. This might need to make it's way under the tree as well.

Pete the Cat : Rockin' in my School Shoes - We have one Pete the Cat book currently and Mason LOVES it. I actually found a pack of the first readers ones at Costco a while back that we bought for Mason for Christmas, but I'd love some of the hard back books too. Hopefully Santa Auntie Erin delivers :)

Goodnight, Baseball - As the son of a baseball lover, this book would be perfect. It's to the tune of Goodnight, Moon and would be perfect for bed time!


Need
Need is a hard category to fill. I feel like the things that Mason really needs are books (read) and clothes (wear). So, for the need category, I went with things that are fun, yet still educational.

Hape Numbers 1 to 20 Puzzle - We have the upper case letters one and LOVE it. Mason can easily identify each letter and can put them back in the proper spot if I ask him to. We're working on numbers and he's getting pretty good and I think this would be perfect to continue working on numbers with him.

The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game - I worried about getting this game for Mason because I thought he was too young and just not up to the level of game playing yet. But, since the game comes so highly recommended from multiple people and since Laura reminded me that it could help Mason practice color matching, I decided to give it a shot!

Pop the Pig Game - Mason's ABA therapist said that he LOVES this game at his school on Saturdays. It's a kind of silly game in the fact that you feed the pig so many hamburgers that his stomach pops, but it still practices color matching and you could also practice counting as well.

Museum Membership (not pictured) - It's not pictured because I'm not sure which one we are going to get yet, but with my job being more flexible now, I think we might get a membership to one of the local kids museums for Mason for Christmas!

Want

Lightning McQueen Infrared Remote Control Car - I saw this at Target a couple weeks ago and thought Mason would LOVE this. His very first remote control car. It says it's for ages 4+ but I thought he could probably manipulate it on his own. The link is from Amazon because I couldn't find the exact one on Target's website, but the Target store had this for significantly cheaper.

Step 2 Roller Coaster - I really want this for Mason. He had a BLAST on it at our friends house and I know he would die if he saw it set up for him come Christmas morning; however, realistically, it probably isn't smart to get since we don't have a backyard and we really don't have room for it.

Magformers Racing Set (RC Car) - THIS. This is something we never knew we always wanted. I say we because seriously, all three of us have been having a blast with this. We were gifted this by MAGFORMERS® though before we were given it, it was definitely on my wish list for Mason. I've expressed our love for MAGFORMERS® before on the blog. When I asked for suggestions on what to get Mason for his 3rd birthday back in July, the basic set was at the top of the list. They came highly recommended to me from various people and I made sure to add one of the sets to Mason's birthday wish list. He ended up getting the basic 30 piece set for his birthday (thank you Papa!) and has been obsessed ever since. He's not so good at building things with the pieces yet, but he loves stacking them and matching the colors and the shapes. Seth also loves them and likes to build things with them once Mason has gone to bed. He's always ever so proud of his creations and then Mason wakes up in the morning and crushes his dreams and his creation in 10 seconds flat. So when MAGFORMERS® contacted me and asked me if we'd like to review one of these RC cars, we jumped at the opportunity. Seriously, this thing is THE BEST. It is pretty easy to make the different designs (I have to make them though, since Mason can't read the instructions yet), but they require very little time and then it's time to drive. I was a little worried that Mason wouldn't know how to work the remote but the kid is a natural. Just check out these pictures and videos.




And now for the fun part, I get to give away one of these awesome RC Car sets to one of you!

Giveaway runs from Tuesday, November 24, 2015 at midnight Pacific time to Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at midnight Pacific time. Giveaway is open to US residents only. Entries will be verified. Winner will be contacted by me. Good luck!

Disclaimer : I was given this product for free in exchange for this review. However, all opinions and statements are my own. And our love for Magformers? It started way before this :)






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$10 at Target [a Blog Hop]

Monday, November 23, 2015

From the very first time I saw Becky do a post on $10 at Target, I was intrigued. I mean, who only spends $10 at Target??? Then I read a little further and realized she gave herself the challenge to only spend $10 at Target on something fun for herself and I was intrigued again. I commented on her post that I loved the idea of her post and would have to try something similar (and a few other people must have too) and this blog hop was born!

I'm excited today to be co-hosting this blog hop with Becky and some other fabulous ladies! I'll be honest... I thought spending only $10 at Target would be hard. Like hard to stay within the $10 limit. However, my problem was spending the $10! I think I over thought the whole thing and worried about tax and my red card discount too much and I actually spent a whole dollar + less than I could have!



Like Becky said previously, she still gets her essentials, but she has them ring them up separately and that's exactly what I did too. I had the cashier ring up my essentials first and then my $10 items second. I used this as a splurge or as a gift to myself. Of course I had to get some holiday Oreos because #duh. I also needed some new warm, fuzzy socks because my feet have been getting super cold at my house when it's actually been cold outside. And then I splurged and got this peachy green tea. I read a comment on another blog that if you mix this with lemonade, it tastes exactly like Starbucks' peach green tea lemonade that I'm obsessed with and I have to say... it's pretty close! I used Countrytime lemonade that I made and they had said Simply Lemonade so maybe I'll have to splurge on the lemonade next time too! Overall, it was really good!


I had so much fun shopping for myself and am excited to continue this blog hop! Now, hop around and check out how the rest of my co-hosts spent their $10!


Rachel from Garay Treasures
Jill from Doused in Pink // Elizabeth from Chasin' Mason
Stephanie from Wife Mommy Me // Becky from bybmg

And if you're interested, we're having another blog hop on December 21st! Share your $10 at Target shopping trip on your blog on the 21st and then come back and leave me a comment with a link to your post so I can check it out! I'm always on the hunt for fun things to buy at Target!


Friday Fivin'

Friday, November 20, 2015

Happy Friday! As always, I've been looking forward to this Friday since Monday and am so happy that it's finally here! But before I go celebrating too soon, let's start the weekend off with my weekly five...

ONE.
Watch Me Whip, Whip.

I saw this picture on Instagram the other day and I thought it was so funny. And I actually laughed longer than I probably should have lol. I mean, what a funny play on words! 


TWO.
Copycat Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice.


Last week I figured out how to make my own caramel apple spice. Sorry Starbucks! My version is pretty darn good so I may not be needing to hit up Starbucks quite as often anymore. It's seriously so easy too - I just filled the cup with apple juice, heated it up in the microwave, dipped a spoon in my caramel sauce, stirred it around, and added some whip cream to the top and voila!


THREE.
200 Things to Throw Away Today.

Christina from Carolina Charm shared this article for 200 Things to Throw Away Today last week on her blog and I read it and love it. I'm totally guilty of hanging on to things too long "just in case" when in fact, I never end up using them again.

- old product boxes (I still have my laptop box from a couple years ago in my closet!)
- magazines
- extra mugs (but I NEED all those Starbucks mugs!?)
- stretched out hair ties (but I might need it?)
- Target bags I might use again (I actually do for trash bags... but I have an over abundance)
- old planners and old bills
- just any extra stuff I keep but never use

And so much more! Time for some Fall cleaning!


FOUR.
Soup in the Crock Pot.

One of my Fall Wish List items was to try making soup in the crock pot. I've actually been wanting to do this FOREVER but it was so hot that I never wanted to eat anything hot for dinner. But now that California has finally decided that it wants to be Fall, I decided to try it not once... but twice!


The first recipe we made was for this Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup. Honestly, I didn't love it. I mean, I haven't had Panera's version in a while, but for some reason, it just didn't seem quite right. We did have to add a little more salt and pepper after it was done cooking, but I just didn't love it.


The second recipe that we made was this Butternut Squash Soup from Gimme Some Oven. We made this last night and it was DELICIOUS. Like so, so good. We paired it with grilled cheese sandwiches and I'm happy to say... we will definitely be making it again! If you like butternut squash soup at all, I highly recommend this.


FIVE.
Visits with Santa.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas... I'm so excited to be co-hosting a Santa Photo link up with some of my favorite bloggers. Join us on December 10th and share your 2015 Santa photos! The link up will be open on all of our blogs - The Chronicles of WeChateau DeveauRunning from the LawWife Mommy MeSweet Turtle Soup, and myself - so feel free to link up on any of our blogs between December 10th and the end of the month.

Not a blogger, no problem! Share your photos with us on social media using #visitswithSanta15 ! 

And just for fun... here's a little flashback Friday for you of Mason's experiences with Santa last year. If this year is anything like last year, I should have some good photos to share!

Have a great weekend!





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