Five Friday Favorites.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Hello Friday! It's been a fun week celebrating Mason's birthday and my niece's birthday, but I must admit, the birthday hangover is real and I am pretty excited that it's Friday and the weekend!

Today I wanted to share some of my favorite recent purchases with you. I currently own and love every single one of these items.

Swim suits.

I don't think it's necessarily because I'm a mom, more because I'm not 100% comfortable showing off my mom bod and I could use to eat a few less Oreos before my body is bikini ready, so I decided to get some one piece swim suits for the summer. I rarely opt to go in the pool with Mason, mainly because I am not really all that comfortable in a swim suit, but I found a couple black (go figure - my "color" of choice) one pieces at Target that I LOVE. I own both of the above options and LOVE them. They are super flattering on!

Thank you to Sarah and this post for giving me the idea to check our Target's swim selection!

Swim suit cover up.

Now that I've got a swim suit that I plan to wear, I need something to cover it up as we walk to the pool, right? Right. That and we're going to Hawaii in a few months and I'm of course going to need one there too, right? Right. I don't normally shop at Macy's, but I saw a couple people rave about this cover up so I ordered it and I LOVE it!

New sandals.

Speaking of Macy's, I found that cover up but it didn't get my cart to enough to get free shipping, so I kept searching in hopes that I could find some new sandals. I wear my black ones almost every day, but I've been looking for brown/cognac ones for forever and thought these looked cute online. That and the $14 price tag not only got me to free shipping for my whole purchase, but $14 for sandals was right up my alley. I'm kind of picky about how my sandals look so I didn't have high hopes for these, but upon trying them on, I loved them too! I ordered them a half size up per the reviews and they fit perfectly.

New iPad case.

We recently got a new iPad and I knew we were going to need a case for it -- a protective case to keep my five year old from breaking it when (not if) he drops it. Since the iPad is pretty new, there still aren't a lot of options, especially from the big names that normally make super protective cases, so I searched on Amazon and finally found this one. We got it in the mail the other day and I LOVE it! I love the color, I love the protection, I love that it comes with a screen protector, I love the stand. I mean, we've only been using it for a short while, but so far I'd totally recommend it!

Over-the-sink dish drying rack.

Our new place's kitchen is A LOT smaller than our old place. We were using a dish drying rack that sat to the side of the sink in our old place, but because there is a lot less counter space here, I knew that wouldn't work. So I searched on Pinterest for space saving ideas and then I searched on Amazon for options and I found this over-the-sink dryer rack. We've been using it since we moved in almost two months ago and we LOVE it. It's pretty big and holds a bunch of stuff. It's also pretty strong. We've had no problem with storing pots and pans on it to dry. If you have a small kitchen or limited counter space, I'd highly recommend this!

And these are just a few of my recent deliveries! #oops #onlineshoppingaddict
Maybe I'll round up more favorites next week 😉

Happy FIVE Mason!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Dear Mason,

Today is your fifth birthday. Five. I seriously can't believe I just wrote that. FIVE. That's one whole hand’s worth of fingers! I'm pretty sure I said that at four last year, but five just seems so much older. Like you are a legit big boy now. I mean, you are going to REAL SCHOOL -- elementary school! kindergarten! -- in just a few shorts weeks. Sometimes I feel like you were just born yesterday and other times I can’t even remember what life was like without you.

This past year especially, you have grown leaps and bounds. I feel like the days all blur together. I can't really tell you when you did this or that in the past year, but I guess a lot has happened! When we went for your developmental pediatrician check-up the other day and we talked about you using the potty like it was a normal, regular, every day occurrence (because it is now), the doctor stopped us and said “wait. what? last time you were here he was still in diapers!” Holy moly. The days are long but the years are short.

Where to start....

First and foremost, I absolutely adore you. I would go to the edge of the world and back for you. You drive me to the brink of craziness sometimes and then do the sweetest thing the next minute and I think my heart might explode. It’s a crazy ride, this parenthood gig, feeling like you are going to go insane one minute from asking your child to put on his shoes 3,000 times in 5 minutes to feeling like you can’t express your love enough. You have taught me so much in your five years of life, more than I've learned in the twenty-seven and a half years of life before you. You've taught me patience (that I'm still working on), you've taught me love, you've taught me to celebrate even the littlest accomplishments, and you've taught me how to be a mom.

You are so inquisitive. You ask “what’s that?” ALL. THE. TIME. Most often I answer with “what’s what?” because I have no clue what you’re talking about or if you’re even pointing to something and you just say “what’s that?” again. Most of the time you answer your own question and tell me “that’s a bus, mom!” You're also really interested to know what our schedule is going to be. You don't necessarily need it to be laid out so you know what's coming (like some kids with autism), but you're just more curious. I'll tell you "first we're going to school" "and then?" "then you'll play with your friends and have lunch and play some more and then Daddy will come pick you up." "and then?" "then you'll come home and we'll have dinner" "and then?" "then you'll take a bath and we'll watch some TV." "and then?" "then you'll go to bed" "and then?" Then I just say we'll start all over because I could narrate the whole week, month, and year for you if I kept going! 
(You haven’t so much gotten in to the “why” questions, but I’m sure those are coming too.)

In the past year, your language has EXPLODED. It makes my mama heart BEAM with pride everytime I hear you talk. I try my absolute hardest never to tell you to be quiet (unless we’re at the movies, then I “shush” you and tell you to use whisper voices or at a wedding or something), otherwise I just tell you to "hold on a second" so I can finish talking on the phone or talking to your Dad or whatever I was doing in that minute. But other than that? TALK AWAY.
Nothing makes me happier than to hear you bust out singing along to a song in the car on the way to school. You are SO off tune and don't know half the words, but I don't even care. I get an immediate GIANT smile on my face hearing you singing along.

You used to freak out when I would cut your finger nails or toe nails, then you got a little better about your finger nails, but would still pull away with the toe nails. Now? You are finally good about both. I usually have to give you the iPad or turn on the TV to distract you, but you no longer pull away for either and we get it done quickly, efficiently, and painlessly (for both of us! before I used to have to beg you to sit still.)

You've also come SO far in terms of things on your head. Let me explain. You used to HATE hats on your head. I would put it on, you would take it off. You used to hate sunglasses on your face. I would put them on, you would take them off. But now, you not only wear (regular) glasses with no problem and minimal playing with them, but you voluntarily wear hats too! In fact just the other day, I asked you which sunglasses you wanted to wear to the pool and you chose "America!" (the patriotic ones I bought for the 4th of July) over Paw Patrol and then when we went to run errands in the afternoon, you ASKED to wear your Angels hat!

I actually bought an Elf on the Shelf a year or so ago after Christmas on sale (the minor sale they had on it - those things never go on sale sale!) and I think we might use it this year. I feel like you've really started to "get things" more now than you have before and would actually remember that there is an elf and somewhat understand what the purpose is and actually look for it. I've wanted to do it in the past, but just thought it would be a fun thing for your dad and I, but now I feel like you would actually get something out of it.

You don't understand the concept of time yet, but you remember that when I say something is going to happen in a few days to keep asking about it. You have a strong love for your friends and tell me about them all the time. You especially LOVED your speech class and I WISH so hard that those boys were going to be in your kindergarten class. You haven't seen them in over a month but you talk about them by name daily as well as your speech teacher. In those six short months, they sure made an impression on you.

I could go on and on and I'm sure I'm forgetting TONS, but Mason, all I really need to say is that I love you with all my heart. You are teaching me to be a better person, a more patient person, a more understanding person. As NOT ready as I am for you to start kindergarten in a month, I am SO excited to see where school takes you and how you grow.

Somebody grab the box of tissues... here's a look back on some of my favorite pictures from the past year.

July 2016

August 2016

September 2016

October 2016

November 2016

December 2016

January 2017

February 2017

March 2017

April 2017

May 2017

June 2017

July 2017

Happy, HAPPY fifth birthday my sweet boy! I can't wait to celebrate YOU today!

All my love,

Little Letters || July.

Monday, July 17, 2017

I'm excited to link up again this month with Kristin from Taz and Belly for her Little Letters series and bring you a few little letters...

Dear apartment,
You are finally starting to feel more like home. I'm finally starting to feel like I live here and am not just visiting.

Speaking of that...
Dear neighbors,
I'm not sure which one of you I hate (the people above, the people to one side, or the people below - so many options!), but I hate you. I hope you don't read my blog, so you don't know I hate you (or maybe I do in a passive aggressive way?), but the fact that you blast your music and/or tv and/or play video games with the sound turned WAY up from 8:30pm-10:30pm EVERY night is getting a bit old. Day 1 and Day 2, I was annoyed. Now, I hate you. I would call the "anonymous Courtesy Patrol", but really how anonymous is it? You KNOW the neighbors would know who called. I'm too chicken to knock on the door and ask you to turn down whatever the heck you're doing in there (plus I don't even know whose door to knock on), but I'm also too chicken to call the Courtesy Patrol. So I live in annoyance from 8:30pm-10:30pm everyday.

Also, I'd like to add, how do NONE of your other neighbors hear anything or complain?

Dear couch,
YOU FINALLY SHOWED UP!!! I ordered you on May 29th. I was under the impression from that salesman that it would be 2-3 weeks until you were delivered. Apppppppparently what he meant to say was it would be 2-3 weeks until my order was delivered to the manufacturer and you were even started to be made and it would be more like SIX weeks until you were delivered to me. My bad. Clearly I misunderstood him saying "delivered to your house in 2-3 weeks".

I would have canceled my order, but apparently you can only do that by 8pm on the same day you ordered it. (What?!) I would "return" the couch that I don't even have yet, but I reaaaaaaally do not want to pay a 25% restocking fee to return something that I haven't even gotten yet (and possibly hasn't even been made yet?).

Dear Living Spaces (where said couch was ordered),
How nice of you to send me a survey to review my purchase with you. YES, I'll happily tell you how I feel about your customer service.

I also plan to leave a review on Yelp of you one of these days. It will be my very first one, unless I've done one that I can't think of now. I hate being rude, but people have to know. I am never, ever shopping with you again.

Dear Book of Mormon,
WOW. You are so politically incorrect, so full of bad words and shock value, and so, so insulting to so many, but I loved you. I feel like that makes me a bad person maybe, but I could. not. stop. laughing. So glad we went to see you!

Dear pictures,
Why do you take so long to edit? If only you could be perfect the first time (ha!), I wouldn't be so terrible at blogging. Writing the post isn't hard... editing the photos is the time consuming part!

Dear (Anaheim) Ducks (hockey) fans,
Where are you during the regular season and the off season? Only when the Ducks went in to the play offs did I know you existed. I'd never seen so many Ducks flags in my life. And then? They lose and don't make the Stanley Cup and where are you again? Clearly we have a lot of bandwagon fans here in Southern California. At least Angels fans are fans all year and fans whether they win or lose.

Dear Costco,
Why do you tease me with your samples? I had a sample of these amazing chocolate glazed old fashioned donuts a couple months ago. We didn't need donuts then, but now I want them for Mason's birthday, and now? They're gone! Whyyyyyyy? Why do you always discontinue everything I love? This happens all the time with your apple sauce pouches and pretzel thins. All. The. Time.

Dear Mason,
Tomorrow you turn five. Somebody hold me! 😭😭

Can you relate to any of my letters this month?

We Moved!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Disclosure: TinyPrints provided all of the below products to me for free. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.

Well... we moved!

I've been hinting around at it for a while, but now it's official official and we've been in our new place for about a month and a half now. We literally only moved up the street a few miles, still in the same city (so not very far). Still the packing and the act of actually moving was hassle enough. I don't know how people move across the country!

With the fun of moving comes the fun of telling people that you've moved... I mean, you gotta update the Christmas card address list, right? 😉

Even though we've never moved into a house or bought a house (or bought anything for that matter), I still like to send out fun little "moving announcements" to let people know that we have a new address. You could do it one of multiple ways, but I personally like to send a little something in the mail. Plus, who doesn't like getting fun mail and not a bill?

Choosing a moving announcement (similar) was HARD.... way harder that I thought it would be! There were so many cute options to choose from that I had to decide what I really wanted out of the announcement. There were some with pictures on the front, some that included updated phone numbers and emails, and some that just had a simple message that we had a new address. I opted for the simple route on the front, only stating we had a new address, and then added a picture of Mason on the back. Because, let's be real, nobody cares about what Seth and I look like. 😉 They want to see Mason!

I absolutely love that TinyPrints offers customizable stamps. It just adds so much and makes it so much more personalized to have a stamp with a picture on it than a regular 'ol flag stamp. I WISH I had known about these when I ordered my Christmas cards because I love the fact that it would have given me another opportunity to share a photo. I had such a hard time narrowing it down on the actual card that adding a little something on the outside makes it that much more fun.

Another awesome option that they offer that I took advantage of was a personalized "deliver to" and "from" address. I opted not to, but I could have, imported all of my friends and family's address on to the website and they would have printed the "to" addresses right underneath the "kindly deliver to". I think I might take advantage of that next time, but for this time I just used some regular 'ol labels printed from my computer address label file that I stuck on under the customization. Not pictured, but on the back flap, I had our return address pre-printed on all the envelopes. I also love the matching envelope inserts that coordinate with the cards I chose. It really ties the whole thing together vs just a blank inside envelope.

I opted to mail all of the announcements from our mail area at our apartment vs going to the post office to mail them, but regardless of where they were mailed from, I made sure to recruit my little helper to help me.

I also added a touch of fun washi tape on the back of the envelopes because really... I love any excuse to use washi tape and make things look pretty!

Some of you may have heard that Shutterfly and TinyPrints recently merged (if you haven't, you can find out more here in their press release). While TinyPrints' new home is officially linked to the Shutterfly website, TinyPrints and Shutterfly have always been affiliated as they have been sister brands since 2011. With this merger comes some stream lining in the sense that you can upload all your photos to one site, use them to make cards, announcements, etc with TinyPrints as well as easily making a photo book, keychains for the grandparents, or home decor through Shutterfly. TinyPrints will still have the same high quality, amazing products that you've always counted on.

Unfortunately as with any move (like mine), "unpacking" takes a while. Most items are live on the TinyPrints site, but not all, so unfortunately I can't link you to all the fabulous products that I was able to get from them. But! Check back later. As they continue to "unpack", more items will be available for purchase. In the meantime, you can find all of TinyPrints' birth announcements here, gorgeous stationery here, baby shower invites here, and you can even check out some of the upcoming holiday cards here!

A huge THANK YOU to TinyPrints for helping me announce my move with such gorgeous announcements!