Growing Up On Glendale

If you’ve been following along at all, you guys know that we recently moved. Like last weekend – recent. It was a much need and long anticipated move. We needed more space and to be in an area of town where we could plant roots and prepare to see the kiddos grow for years to come. Also, we just needed more space. Our house was TINY!

I’m so happy to have this new chapter of our lives laying out before us, but I am feeling a little nostalgic for all the memories that we left behind on Glendale Road.

Cooper was just six months old when we moved in there in August of 2013. Sophie came home from the hospital to our little house on Glendale. And even though Cooper is now just five and Sophie is only almost three, these two will have solid memories of our time spent on Glendale. I wanted to celebrate all those memories and make a little milestone post showing how they’ve grown up over the years that we lived there.

I tried to find a picture from the beginning of each year and one from the end. All these pictures were taken in or outside our house. I will always look back on them and treasure our time there.

6 Month old Coop!
First Birthday and Second Christmas at this house!
The year my bubs became a BIG BROTHER! Look how much he changed that year!
I mean, can you even handle how he puts his little protective hand on her??
Little Ms Sass Pants! 2017 was also the year that Coop started giving me a hard time taking pictures.
See? Coop still wasn’t feeling the whole group picture vibe. You can read his feelings all over his face. However, by this summer he was starting to get better. Sophie has always been up for a photo opportunity!

I can’t with these babies and the way they insist on growing older. Please excuse me while I cry over here. And thank you so much for going down memory lane with me.

We had a blast living on Glendale….but I can’t wait to see and experience life in our new home!

Life Lately

Hey hey!  Welcome back to our little corner of the web.  We are so grateful that some of you return time and time again.  If you’re new here, welcome!  Go back and read older posts to see what we are all about.

Twice a month, we like to tell you what’s been going on in our worlds.  Now, let’s take a look at life lately.

Rhonda-

The last couple of weeks have been such a blur, but have been pretty good to me!  Really, I have been spending a lot of my time building my businesses and organizing the house….with a little shadow all up under me.

For once, we got an opportunity for a date night.  It’s getting easier now that Claudia has a couple friends on our street that she spends a lot of time with and the boys are old enough to fly solo for a couple of hours.  We went to Capital Grille in downtown Fort Worth.  I highly recommend eating there if you have one near you!.

Because Claudia has been super clingy lately, most of my activities involve her.  I have been making the most of it and enjoying my time with her.  We have spent time in the sun and have done our makeup together.  I wanted a girl for so long and boy, did I get it.  She is the girly girl I always wanted.

She has done all my work with me, helping me make videos on social media, packing orders, and “organizing” (that means she plays with her toys all up under me while I organize…and that I later am tripping on Barbies).

This past weekend, I took a super rare girls night out to the Stockyards with my friend Natalia.  We have never spent any time one-on-one and it was so much fun.  We went to a Terri Clark show, but I was really just there for the drinks.  Turns out Terri is pretty good, so that was a nice bonus.

Let’s see what Ashley has been up to!

Ashley-

Heeey you guys.  🙂 What’s been going on in my world? Well, we have for sure been enjoying the sun, sand, and water from wherever we can get it. We haven’t had a chance to go to the beach in a couple weeks, but we’ve been taking advantage of the park and my parents back yard!

Per usual, there has been lots and lots of shopping happening. We have been getting ready for our new house PLUS back to school shopping AND regular day to day shopping. Let’s just say Sophie and I have been in heaven. 😉

Speaking of back to school stuff, I took both kids to go get their hair cut. Cooper has been getting regular hair cuts since shortly after his first birthday, but this was little Soso’s FIRST hair cut ever. At the ripe ole age of 2 and three quarters I decided it was time to trim those scraggly ends. 😉 She was over joyed at finally getting a chance to sit in the chair. And she did really well with keeping still and not fussing. I mean, no one can compete with the perfection that is Cooper Grice in a hair cut chair BUT Sophie did really well. LOL Seriously though, Coop has always behaved so well during haircuts. Anyway, I almost teared up watching Soso get her hair cut – but we all escaped tear free and with two little babes who now have much more manageable hair!

This weekend we packed up and loaded up our house to move everything to our new forever home! It was sooo much work, but sooo worth it!

To say that we are exhausted from all the moving is a YUGE understatement, but we’re thoroughly enjoying our new bigger and better surroundings. Even if I had to yell no less than a million times,  ” STOP RUNNING ON THE STAIRS. GO SLOOOW.”

 

What about you guys? How has your summer been going?

Date Your Partner

Dating is tricky and hard and fun and exciting and anxiety-inducing.  The last time I brought you dating tips, they were geared toward first dates.  If the first date goes well and things continue to progress, eventually you find yourself in a long-term relationship.  Honey, that is not where the work and the dating ends.  That is where it changes, but becomes even more important.

We hear it said all the time that relationships are hard work.  Sure, in a way…. but that work should be fun most of the time.  Dating your partner is part of the “work” we need to put into relationships.  This becomes more complicated when you have children, limited budgets, or heavy work schedules.  That’s why I’m here, friends… to give you some inspiration on dating the person with whom you share life.

Concerts. Going to see live music may not be the best choice for a first date, because you can’t get to know each other over booming speakers with drunk people bumping into you.  In an established relationship though, it can be so freeing to just let the music flow through you, to have a few drinks and just…vibe.  Thinking about the venue and seat choices can really make or break the experience.  Locally, we have a large venue that has cheaper lawn tickets.  Those allow for you to spread out a blanket and really relax or stand up and dance in your spot.  We also like to take advantage of a venue that has (pricey) suite seats, where the seats are in pairs and have plenty of space around them.  This fits every budget, because you can do anything from a hole in the wall bar with a jazz trio to a suite at an arena.  Choose a music act you both love, find seats that allow you to breathe, grab your partner’s hand, and let the music fill your heart.

Staycations.  When life has been busy and you haven’t had quality time with your partner in awhile, you can find yourself itching for a getaway.  There isn’t always time or money to hop on a plane and take a week (or even a weekend) trip.  Staycations are a great way to have a mini-getaway to reconnect. Drinks by the pool, dinner in the hotel restaurant, breakfast in bed….and let’s face it, hotel sex is just hot.  Choosing a walkable downtown area can provide lots of entertainment and dining options.  Going with a more resort-like location can mean the ultimate in relaxation.  Again, there’s something for every budget and also something for every timeframe.  Whether you can get away for one night or three, booking a nearby hotel is a great way to get the ultimate date night.

Brewery or winery visits.  If tasting and enjoying adult beverages is a part of your relationship like ours is, it is a natural choice to make a date of a brewery visit.  There are so many options these days for places where adult beverages are made.  Local craft breweries often have lawn games, trivia nights, live music, and more.  Some of them even partner with local restaurants and food trucks to bring culinary experiences to the brewery.  Wineries and even distilleries do similar things.  For a great date experience, you’ll want to first choose a place that has your favorite beverages, then look online for reviews so that you ensure you’re choosing a place with a fun vibe.  This is absolutely a low-cost date and if you are short on time, an hour or two is enough time to drink a beer flight and play a gigantic game of Jenga.

Getting out of the house is great, but sometimes, budget and child care concerns just don’t allow for it.  No worries, because some of our best date nights are right here in the house… sometimes with the kids home and sometimes without.

Romantic Night In.  Grill a nice steak, roast some asparagus, and pour a glass of wine.  Settling in for the evening can be done on any night of the week and if you have children, after they go to bed.  After dinner, flip off the lights and flip on the TV for some Netflix and chill (any definition of it you choose) with a bottle of wine.  Wrap up the night with a nice massage and some sexy time.  It really makes for the perfect night, even if it seems a bit cliché.

Backyard paradise.  Sure, it would be amazing to head off to a tropical paradise and sip cocktails in your private infinity pool.  That may not be an option for you on any given Friday evening, but there is another option.  Fill your inflatable kiddie pool with air and water early in the afternoon.  Turn on some string lights and bluetooth speakers.  By night, any kids are in bed and the water is warm.  With or without swimwear, you can now take a cocktail to the kiddie pool and enjoy the evening in your personal oasis.

No matter what you choose to do, having some time alone with your person is essential to maintaining and deepening your relationship.  Make it a priority and it will pay off.

Are any of these date ideas things you have done?  Did you get inspired to date your partner?

 

A Rage Against The MOMachine MS Coast Weekend

Hello hello there! It’s Wednesday, but to be honest we didn’t have anything worthy of showing you guys in our typical What We Wore Wednesday post. I mean. We both totally got dressed and got dressed UP cause Rhonda was in town this weekend! Yet, we both failed at photographing all those fly outfits. I guess we were just living in the moment and enjoying each other which is way more important than remembering to capture outfit pictures!

SO, in light of all that … we thought we’d give you a little glimpse into our weekend together! 🙂

Rhonda drove down from Texas on Wednesday morning. She spent that afternoon and evening at her brother and sister in law’s house so that she could love up on her new little nephew, Nolan. I mean. What a stinking cutie!

On Thursday she made the trek down the the coast to do some shopping and spend that evening at my house! My kids were crazy excited to see her. As was I. 😉 We hung out at home while she played offense as my kids tried to consume her every moment. I think it’s pretty dang cute and sweet how she’s a part of our lives even though she doesn’t get to be here on the daily.

After the kids went to bed, we had some classic girl time filled with a couple of cocktails, doing our nails, catching up on gossip, and then falling asleep next to each other while we talked way to long into the night. It definitely took me back to high school sleep overs with my best friend.

Friday, I had to work but Rhonda shopped some more and got her hair touched up. As soon as Five hit I was out the door and we were ready to begin our favorite time of getting ready together while listening to music and chit chatting.

We hit up the Chill Bar and Lounge (our fave spot) at the IP Casino to see our friends, Dumm – play. It was really a blast. I wrote here about how much we enjoy doing this together.

Despite rolling in super late, we managed to wake up early (ish) Saturday morning and make our way to grab some day passes and enjoy time by the pool at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. It was really nice, despite some not so stellar food and beverage service. Even though we got there around 10:40 am there were NO lounge chairs left vacant! We made the best of it and lounged in the shallow end of the pool until a couple became available.

After a long morning/afternoon at the pool indulging in some yummy tacos and margaritas, we packed up and ran by Target – cause duh – for some things we both needed before we started to get ready for another night at the Chill.

It was really a great weekend filled with so much quality time together – and we got to hang out with some of our friends that we don’t see too often. We even got to meet a new friend we made through our Wine Wednesday Facebook Live Broadcasts {{shout out JVW!}} which was really nice.

Long distance friendships are hard, but we try to make the best of it by getting together whenever possible – and living it up while we ARE together. 🙂

Also, don’t forget we are doing Wine Wednesday Live over on the Facebook Page so make sure you click over and like and turn on notifications so you don’t miss us at 9pm tonight!

10 Favorite Bloggers to follow on Instagram

Hey y’all! I’m back again with another installment in showing you guys some of my favorite Instagram accounts to follow.  I love Instagram, and I really love how it has evolved into a place where you can basically ‘mini blog’ things. I still spend time everyday traipsing around the internet and checking out my favorite blog sites to see their latest posts, but I also thoroughly enjoy seeing my favorite bloggers on Instagram. I love listening to/watching their Instagram stories – and seeing the things they share on their feed! The internet is just such a beautiful place, and it’s so funny and delightful how you can get to know people through what they share on their blog and social media platforms. There a few bloggers on here that I’ve been following for YEARS – and there are some that are brand new to me, but all of them are a part of my daily life as a peruse social media. 🙂

So let’s get to it shall we? These are my 10 Favorite Blogger Instagram Accounts to Follow:

underthesycamore

I’ve been reading Under The Sycamore for a really long time. Her blog was one of the first blogs I ever started reading regularly. She is so down to earth and insanely creative and an amazing photographer. 

keikolynn

Keiko Lynn is another blog that I’ve been following for years. She writes a lot about makeup and fashion. She’s originally from Florida, but lives (has been living) in New York. 

mommyshorts

I first discovered Mommy In Shorts through Instagram and moved over to actually reading her blog as well. She also runs the Instagram account Average Parent Problems which is hilarious in and of itself. Her personal account and blog are super entertaining. 

thepleatedpoppy

The Pleated Poppy is yet another blog I’ve been following for years. She used to have a store where she handmade goods like purses and pins, but she’s moved away from that now. She writes about her personal life, real mom fashion, and home design ideas.

lovemaegan

Again, I’ve been reading Love Maegan for forever as well. LOL Her blog is mainly centered around fashion and she’s based in California. 

onelittlemomma

One Little Momma is a new(ish) follow for me. She’s the creator of our beloved Nickel and Suede earrings that you see showing up in all of our What We wore Wednesday Posts. She writes about all the things mommy lifestyle. 

mommyinheels

Another newer follow for me! Mommy In Heels was another blog that I first discovered through Instagram then migrated over to also following her blog. She not only writes a blog and is active on IG, but she is also the owner of Elizabeth West House – a physical and online women’s clothing boutique. Her blog is mainly fashion with a little bit of family life mixed in. 

authemmie

I discovered Authemmie through Pinterest….i think… lol . I’ve only been following her blog for a bout a year now. I really enjoy the authenticity from which she writes. She blogs a lot about fashion as well. 

livinginyellow

Who doesn’t already know about Living In Yellow? I started following her about a year ago as well. She’s a fashion blogger extraordinaire.  

whimsicalseptember

And last but not least, Whimsical September. I first discovered her blog through one of her StitchFix posts on Pinterest. I was totally hooked after that first post. She’s a military wife who blogs about all things mommy lifestyle. Her children are close to the same ages as mine and she’s from Alabama which makes me feel like I can relate to so much that she shares!


If you want to see my other two posts about more of my favorite IG Accounts, it is your lucky day – cause I’ve got them linked all nice and neat below for ya!

10 Inspiring and/or Pretty IG Accounts You Need to Follow

10 Funny & Entertaining IG Accounts You Need to Follow

What We Wore Wednesday

Welcome back to our weekly installment where we show you what we’ve been wearing lately.  Sometimes it’s fabulous, sometimes it’s basic, but this is us… real mom life.

*some links may get us paid when you purchase*

Rhonda-

Tee: Mixtape. Shorts: Target, not available. Shoes: Target. Bracelet: KEEP. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.

Dress: Old Joe Fresh. Necklace: BaubleBar, not available. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.

Tee: Target. Shorts: Mixtape. Shoes: Target. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.

Dress: Mixtape. Shoes: Jessica Simpson. Earrings: Nickel & Suede.

Ashley-

I’m over here riding the not so fabulous train. 😉

Shirt: Mixtape Boutique Pants: Standard Black leggings Earrings: N&S  Black

Top: Old Chambray from Target Pants: Pleather black leggings..old Target Earrings: N&S Gray Mosaic

An Unsolicited Review of Women’s Foldover Faux Leather Backpack – Mossimo Supply Co.™

I recently bought this Foldover Backpack/Purse from Target and I’m pretty much in love with it. So much so that I thought I’d do a whole little blog post about it. 😉

The truth is I’ve had it on my mind for a while now that I wanted to find a purse/backpack contraption to use so that I could ditch the diaper bag and to also relieve some of the strain that using a crossbody style purse was putting on my shoulder.

I really love having a large purse that I can just throw whatever I think I might need into it without it becoming unmanageably overstuffed. However, when I’m moming with two littles it’s so not effective to try to keep track of them plus a huge shoulder bag. So, in general since both my kids have been walking and running away from me in parking lots or kicking and screaming as I try to lift them into the buggy so that I can strap them down, I’ve been wearing a crossbody purse so that my hands are free to wrangle the wildlings. 😉

And until recently, using a crossbody purse has worked out really great – until like I said, I noticed I had lingering pain in my right shoulder from wearing it.

A couple weekends ago, Sophie and I were about to head to Hattiesburg for a morning to visit their zoo when I realized that I really needed to nail down that choice for a purse/backpack because I was for sure not going to be able to handle walking around for hours with my crossbody purse tugging at my shoulder. So, obviously I pointed my car straight toward my local Target to pick up a certain backpack/purse I’d been eyeing there during earlier Target runs.

So far, this bag has worked wonderfully to fulfill my needs. My only regret is that it doesn’t have the option to move the straps and make it become a crossbody or full on shoulder strap purse if the occasion would arise that I’d want that kind of purse. Besides that minor and totally overlookable detail since the purse is only $29.99 (!!) – I am one hundred percent pleased with my purchase.

It’s got one large section that zips up and is perfect for storing extra clothes, pull-ups, wipes, sunscreen, toys, or whatever other random items I need for the kids. In front of the large zip up portion is a huge pocket that I use to put my actual purse items in which include things like my wallet, keys, sunglass, etc. There are also two little smaller zip up sections on the front of the backpack that are perfect for my lipsense color and gloss tubes. 🙂

It’s just an incredibly functional bag PLUS its pretty cute if I do say so myself. I still will grab my crossbody for going to work, because the kids aren’t with me and so I don’t need all their things with me. 

So, what say you gals and/or guys – what kind of purse/bag do you prefer?

Inadvertently Dad

When Stuart and I made the bold decision to move in together with moving day being the day the kids met him, we didn’t know what would happen. Would they warm up to him in time?  Would it be a grand disaster?  We definitely didn’t expect to quickly fall into a place where we were all a family.

Not only did we all mesh together beautifully, but some circumstances changed and forced Stuart into the role of the primary father figure, one he effortlessly rolled into.

I am beyond thankful for the way he stepped up and the way that he and the kids love each other fiercely.

This Father’s Day weekend, I am crazy thankful.

Thank you Stuart for…

Helping the kids through projects I don’t want to do with them.

Being a source of reason when I just can’t Mom.

Giving our friends’ kids love and and patience when they need it most.

Demonstrating to my daughter what unconditional love looks like from a romantic perspective.

Respectfully and appropriately allowing my daughter to love on you.

Loving my daughter through sleepless nights, potty issues, and bratty behavior.

Ensuring that we all get out of the house from time to time.

Instituting Mandatory Fun.

Never making my kids feel dumb or out of place for calling you Dad sometimes.

Recognizing that I need a break – a LOT.

Keeping us fed and full of freshly grilled foods.

Understanding and accepting that the house will never again be spotless as you’re accustomed to.

Modeling Good Man Behavior to my boys, ensuring that they will someday make upstanding members of society.

Recognizing – and reminding me – that all the annoying “flaws” in my children are just part of them growing up.

Working your ass off so that my children can have a parent at home at all times in this difficult season of change.

Providing us with a beautiful home in a safe neighborhood, where we can grow and thrive together.

For being the absolute backbone of this family.

You are loved….deeply and earnestly.

Fatherhood in the Foreground

This Sunday is Father’s day and as much as we try to include dads in the narrative around here, things usually end up sounding like ‘mom this and mom that’ . 😉 We try – but look we’re moms and that’s the perspective we write from. 😉 The truth is, Rhonda and I both have some great guys in our lives that father our own children and that have fathered us.

What makes someone a Father though? This past Saturday I took the kids to the Biloxi National Cemetery to visit the grave site of my Pawpaw and Mawmaw. If you are a regular reader or social media follower, you know that I lost both my maternal and paternal grandfathers this Spring.

My Pawpaw (my Dad’s father) served and retired from the United States Air Force, and it was his grave that we visited. It was emotional to me. Sophie is still too young to really grasp what we were doing, but I had to take the time to really explain to Cooper what was going on. He knew Pawpaw, but not intimately so it took some memory jogging. Thankfully, Coop remembers EVERYTHING so it wasn’t too hard. 😉

We talked about who Pawpaw was and what happened to him. We talked about death. We talked about soldiers and why they were all buried there together. We talked a lot about Pawpaw’s relationship to my Dad and to me…who he was to us.

That visit coupled with this year’s upcoming Father’s Day on Sunday, really made me start thinking about what is Fatherhood to me. About how the expected role of a father has changed from my Pawpaw’s generation. Fathers are being held more accountable for the actions and everyday involvement in their children’s lives.

We are seeing the days of ‘baby-sitter dads’ coming to an end. A guy who takes his kids places solo is slowly becoming something commonly seen and not such of an anomaly.

Being someone’s father should mean that you are giving just as much as their mother when it comes to taking care of your children – and not just financially. You shouldn’t get to just deposit money in your baby momma’s account and walk away until the time suits you to take care of your kids like you deposited your sperm inside her while she carried those babies for nine months. It’s a we thing. It’s a thing that took two people to make and should be a two person job for the rest of your life.

For me there is so much wrapped up in putting forth effort to break the stereotypes that my generation grew up under when it comes to so many things, but especially for gender roles. You can divide up household chores equally and so that each person is doing something best suited to their own personal skill-set and tolerance level: not their gender. However, you can’t and shouldn’t divide up parental duties.

I love to see dads making an effort and fighting to be a part of their children’s lives. Mainly, I just love seeing a dad do the things he is supposed to be doing without expecting extra praise because he changed someone’s diaper or handled getting their dinner on the table.

If life takes you physically away from your children, you can still put in that effort. If life has you working tons of hours so that you can financially provide for your children, you can still put in that effort. Find a way. Make a way – to be a father to your children.

I know so many men that are doing it right. They are standing up and just simply being a father. They aren’t just some background figure while mom shuffles the kids’ from place to place and wipes the kids’ noses and folds the kids’ laundry and makes the kids’ dinner and is giving the kids’ all their childhood memories.

You can’t make someone change. If your partner is not exhibiting the fatherhood behaviors that you’d like your child to see and emulate, it’s likely that you can’t change that – especially if they don’t want to change or see no need to change. However, you can speak your truth about what a father is. You can do your best to expose your children to other men who are doing the whole father thing right. You CAN refuse to excuse his behavior when he isn’t involved.

Don’t belittle him. Don’t be negative. Just don’t accept his unacceptable behavior, and turn it into a positive learning experience.

I want my son to know that a girl can do anything a boy can do, and I want him to know that he, as a boy, can do anything a girl can do. He can’t ever physically carry a baby while it develops in the womb, but there’s a whole heck of a lot he could do to ease that burden. Or you know, who knows? Maybe he’ll just have to emotionally support his partner because they’ve got a surrogate carrying their future child. Either way. I just want him to be involved from the beginning. I want him to know and see and demonstrate Fatherhood in the Foreground.

 

My Healthy Kitchen: Top 5 Essentials

Happy Friday!  As it has been mentioned before, I eat in a way that is low carb.  To perfectly define it, it’s No Sugar No Grains (NSNG as coined by celebrity trainer and fitness guru Vinnie Tortorich).  There are so many tools and foods that I keep on hand at all times.  Today I am sharing with you my top 5 essentials.

Bacon

You either love bacon or you’re wrong.  We eat a ton in our household.  Here’s the thing – bacon makes everything better so it’s the ultimate source for fat and protein, which are extremely important in my lifestyle.  Wrap anything in bacon, eat it solo, or use it as a dipper.  It’s a must.  We buy these gigantic packages at Sam’s Club.

Heavy Whipping Cream

Another way to get in some fat and calories is adding a splash of this to my coffee in the morning.  If I am on the go and unable to eat all day, another cup of coffee with this helps me make it through.  Not only that, but it makes a great thickener for sauces and is an essential for a cheese dip.  A little goes a long way and I’m a fan!

Cold Brew

I like to start my day with a cup of hot coffee, but afternoons if I have coffee, I love a good cold brew.  It’s SO easy to make at home that I highly recommend you grabbing a cold brewer.  I have this one.  It’s super hipster looking, but it’s easy to use.

Salt

My preference is Himalayan Pink Salt, freshly ground over my food.  however, I also take a few whole salt crystals sometimes, washed down like pills.  When you are a low carb eater, you need to supplement with salt.  It’s honestly like a vitamin or medication for me.  Without it, I’m miserable.

Unsweetened Sparkling Waters

Whether the brand is LaCroix, Ozarka, Bubly, Polar, Aquafina, Dasani, or any other…. I drink several a day and always have an assortment of flavors.  A few go into the fridge for drinking straight and the others go into the pantry for mixing with distilled liquors.  I love that they pair well with any liquor.  They are also amazing for settling my stomach when I am hungover or when I had a stomach virus.

There you have it, the five things that I absolutely can NOT live without in my kitchen.  What are yours?