Cooper is Four

This past Sunday (April 2) my first born, my baby boy, turned four years old. It seems so ridiculous and obvious to say…but I can’t believe it. I look at him and am in awe at how much of a little boy and not a baby that he is now. 🙁 There’s something about your first born. That little tiny human who made you a mommy. Especially when you can still remember how badly you wanted to become a mom.

When I think back to before I had Cooper I think about how I really  didn’t know who I was. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted my life to look like. What I did know? I knew I wanted….I needed a child. I had to be a mom. That was one part of who I always thought I’d be that I knew I could not…and would not let go of. My life would not be complete or whole or a life that I wanted to live – unless I could become a mom. I know that there are so many women who have and who currently feel this same way. It’s so hard to put into words the desperation that you can feel over a desire to have a baby – to become someone’s mom. You would throw caution to the wind. You would do whatever you had to do. You would spend ridiculous amounts of money. You would do anything. And everything. To be called Mom. To be Mom. To have a child that is yours. Yours forever. For always. You don’t think about all the inconveniences, fears, bad days, crying, sleepless nights, tantrums, doubts….You don’t think about any of that when you need a child.

Making a baby. Finding a baby. That becomes the priority. You don’t even consider what you want or need beyond that. At least, I know I didn’t. I was blinded by my hunger for motherhood. And I was so fortunate to be able to fulfill that hunger. 

Cooper and I have been through it together. There are a lot of people in my life who I feel like have helped make me the mom that I am. I have had the opportunity to be around some fantastic women, especially my own mom, who I feel like I draw upon for inspiration when it comes to raising my children. However, Cooper has been the biggest influencer when it comes to making me the mommy that I am today. We’ve learned together.

When you are the first – things are a lot different for you and for your parents. I think part of me really relates to Cooper, because I can see my personality in him and I was also the first born. We set the tone and the pace for things. He, by default, is the standard by which my parenting choices are measured. When I talk about things Sophie is doing…I almost always compare it to the way Cooper behaved in similar situations.

Cooper is not a morning person. I can so relate. He’s not really himself until he gets that cup of milk and some chill time. I don’t drink milk…but I let me tell you I’m not myself without some coffee in the morning. And really…how about you just don’t talk to us until we’ve had a few moments to adjust to having to be awake? 😉

He is incredibly stubborn and ferociously curious about the world he lives in. He will ask you why, a million different ways, until he fully understands and grasps a concept. It’s really rare that he’ll take a response along the lines of “because that’s just how it is”. He honestly wants to know WHY it is that way…and HOW it is that way. He’s not just asking why to ask why…he really wants to know.

This kid. He has got an insane memory. Things that happened YEARS ago. He remembers. He’ll bring up an instance all on his own. And we just all look at each other in amazement that he even remembered.

Also, don’t rush the man. He will do things in his own time and in his own way. Most times, you have to wait for something to all of a sudden become “his idea” before he will agree to do it. 😉

Some of his favorite people to be around are his grandparents. I am so grateful and happy that he has such loving relationships with both sets of grandparents. He sees them all every single week, and he just really can’t get enough.

He also is one lucky little boy because all of his aunts and uncles love him probably just as much as his mommy and daddy. I love that most of his immediate family is close to us – and that he gets to see them on a regular basis. Sophie and Cooper are pretty much on their own when it comes to having cousins near their age BUT their older cousins and aunts and uncles never ever hesitate to play and entertain.

We celebrated Coop’s Birthday Sunday afternoon at The Little Chidren’s Park in Downtown Ocean Springs. Coop calls it the “yellow park”…and pretty much requested that party location since he turned three there last year. 😉 We had a great afternoon. The rain held off…and Coop had a blast running around playing. Power Rangers are his current obsession..so a Power Ranger Party we had.

And…now because this is my blog..I’m going to get a little cheesy and say something to my child that can’t read…but hey:

Buddy, maybe one day you’ll read this – and I just wanted to say that I love you so much and on April 2, 2013 at 3:30 am …when you made me a mommy…that was a day that I had waited for such a long time…and every time I look at you I am grateful to have you in my life – and that you call me mommy….even when it’s you whining about having to take a nap. 😉

 

Week In Review: Ashley

Hey y’all! Welcome back another glimpse into our past week. What DID we do? Let’s see … let’s see…

Wednesday was my off day this past week. It typically is..unless something special is going on that week for me or one of my co workers. We got up per usual that day, early early…whereas throughout the rest of the week I’m dragging those little butts out of bed. We did the usual: hung around the house relaxing and cleaning up a bit. Then we all got ready and headed to Target – to scope out some stuff for Cooper’s upcoming birthday party. He wanted a Power Ranger Party, and thankfully, there is a Power Ranger movie out right now. I was able to find all the decorations super easily.

After Target, we headed straight for the park. It was a beautiful day. We went to our favorite park on the beach in Ocean Springs. The kids played for a while on the equipment – then we decided to take a walk on the beach and dip our toes in the sand (well…and hands and legs and heads…apparently). I think this upcoming Wednesday we’ll wear swim suits and have a full on beach day. 🙂

Aunt Grace came over and hung out for a little bit at the house after the kids woke up from their nap. That was super fun. 🙂 Coop and Soso always love waking up to find Gracie at the house. I THINK we went back to the store after she left. Yeah. We definitely went to WalMart. I had to buy milk and other essentials. I feel like I’m always at some store or another…. lol That night I cooked dinner…and we did the usual shabang.

Friday night – the kids stayed at Grammy and Ppop’s, and mommy was able to run around doing last minute shopping for Cooper’s party which was that Sunday. I got all kinds of food. I also got Coop a Power Ranger shirt and Sophie got a CUTE Power Ranger (or PowPow…as she says) dress to match.

Saturday was my birthday spa day! I spent most of the day at the IP Casino enjoying their spa amenities and receiving a massage and facial. It was amazing. I was super anxious and nervous beforehand. Why? Eh just all the unknown. Where do I go? What do I say? I was all alone…so I also didn’t have the safety net of having someone I know and am comfortable with there. BUT like I said the whole experience was amazing. The staff was super friendly and really put my mind at ease as soon as I walked in the door. The massage was my favorite part. That was my first time to have one. I’m definitely wanting to make it a regular thing now. 😉 I did enjoy the facial. I wasn’t blown away by it though. I honestly have a pretty thorough skin care regimen that I follow on a daily and weekly basis. I didn’t feel like the facialist told me or did anything that I don’t already do….except for the face steaming part. AND there was a lot more talking involved than I expected there to be. It felt like getting a haircut. That obligatory small talk…that turns into a stranger telling you their whole life story. Small talk = this introvert’s nightmare Sooo yeah. I survived that part though. 😉 haha

Sunday was Cooper’s much awaited party. We really had a great time. HE had a blast, which is all that matters. If you were there – and you are reading this – thank you so much for coming and making his day special!

Alright guys! That’s what I got for this week. What were you all up to?

Week in Review: Rhonda

Well it’s been a rough week.  So rough, that I didn’t even think about writing this post until after noon.  I woke up really sick Monday.  A cold morphed into a sinus infection and I was lucky enough to PMS through the entire thing!

Monday and Tuesday were complete blurs…. post office runs, shots of medicine, and lots of time in the bed reading and watching TV.  Overnight, about 2 am on Tuesday morning, we were woken by the weather.  Tornado sirens forced us into our tiny half bath, but we were very fortunate and suffered no damage.

Wednesday, we made a meal plan and a trip to the grocery store.  I was so excited to cook some yummy stuff.

I honestly can’t tell you what happened Thursday, other than drinking lots of coffee and tea for my throat.  I think I had pretty much hit the worst of my sickness.  I legitimately wanted to sleep all day.

Friday was Claudia’s birthday and we took a trip to her favorite place, Target.  She was able to choose one thing out of the dollar spot and naturally, she chose bubbles.  I hate bubbles, but birthday girl gets what she wants. After Target, I made taco salad and packaged up orders.

Saturday, we celebrated Claudia’s birthday in the best way.  As soon as Dustin got here, we had brunch, then opened presents and had cupcakes.

After that, Claudia and Quentin helped Stuart clean his motorcycle before we grilled burgers for dinner.  I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday.

Sunday we woke to lots and lots of rain.  The patio began to flood, but luckily it stopped short.  We had brunch again as usual then after Dustin headed back home, had some tv time in bed.

Sunday night was the ACM Awards, just about my favorite thing to watch all year.  I completed my journal spread and enjoyed too much vodka.

What did you do this week?  Any celebrations?

 

Melodramatic Birthday Post – Ashley

You guys – it’s Spring. I always say this time of year (March to the beginning of May) is like another Christmas season. There are sooo many birthdays and then throw in Mother’s Day to end the whole shabang. So I’m here to finally talk about my little birthday that occurred last week…and do some rambling….hope you’re all in on this one.  😉

Ok, so… let’s talk about 32. My birthday was last week. Last Tuesday – at 10pm I officially turned thirty-two years old. Honestly, I haven’t even given the number much thought. Yeah, I definitely feel like I’ve reached the point where I wouldn’t mind being able to stop time for a little while. You know – stay young longer. I’ve noticed differences in my body and mindset due to aging. Generally though – I’m at peace with my age. So, why am I here blabbing on and one about it? Well I did want to take some time to reflect. Think about where I’ve been … and where I want to be. I’ve always been the type of person that lived more in the future. I always look forward to where I’m going, what type of person I’ll be in ‘x’ amount of months or years… And overall, I’m really happy with where I am now. In this 32 year old life of mine. 😉

I made the comment the other day that I really wish I knew as much about taking care of my body and had the confidence in myself that I do now when I was younger. I am and always have been a super quiet and shy person. I think I’ve mentioned before how I’m socially awkward…not just in person. Ask Rhonda. It even takes a lot for me to interact virtually…. BUT I’ve come such a long way. My highschool and twenty something self didn’t think much of herself much less take any extra time to take care of her mind and body.

Weight was always an issue that I struggled with. The size of my body was something that always made me feel inferior, not attractive, not worth getting to know. I think it is so great now that there are plus sized super models or just plus sized celebrities and public figures who are letting it be known that size does not determine beauty of self worth. I try to flood my social media timelines with women like this. Women who are larger than average, and who are so so confident in themselves. I try to make a conscious effort to compliment my children – not just on their physical appearance. I try to say things like “ Oh my god…you are sooooo cute… and such a sweet baby.” I encourage my son to interact with other children. When he approaches other kids at the park and they don’t want to play with him. Of course, he comes running back to me. I tell him, “That’s ok. Find someone else to play with.” I try to teach him and demonstrate to him that rejection stings but we can move on from that. I want my daughter to be confident in her body and not afraid to wear whatever she wants. I want my son to be confident in his body and to not be afraid to wear whatever the hell he wants. I don’t want them to doubt themselves. I don’t want them to be afraid to make new friends or approach new people – because they worry about the reaction they will receive.  Because I lived that way for so long. I still struggle with that. I’m working on it. And I’ll keep working on it. 😉

Over the past 3 years I’ve made major changes in the way I eat and think about food. I lost a ton of weight….gained some back during and after being pregnant with Sophie…and am now back – less those extra pounds. Rhonda introduced me to the NSNG (No Sugar No Grains) Lifestyle that was coined, preached, and demonstrated by Vinnie Tortorich. Eating clean. Cutting out the majority of the sugar and grains in my diet. Those things have made me a physically and mentally healthier person. I know that it has made me a better mom. When you cut the crap out from  your diet, you don’t have to worry so much about the amount that you eat. You don’t have to restrict yourself to teeny tiny meals in the hopes of losing a few pounds. AND you don’t just lose weight. You gain healthier hair, nails, skin, mental clarity, energy, and on and on and on. Something else really important that I gained? Confidence in myself. Confidence in my body. Confidence that does not hinge on someone else’s opinion of me. Confidence that is due to my new opinion of myself.

I can look back … ten … or even fifteen years ago – and where I am now? That’s not where I thought I’d be. But you know, I’m ok with that. I had this disillusioned idea of what I thought life should look like at 32. And for a long time – those aspirations and goals that I set when I was a teenager – the fact that I hadn’t gotten to or reached those goals used to really haunt me. It used to make me feel … like I hadn’t accomplished anything   at all. Which is complete crap. I’ve accomplished a lot. Because listen. It’s ok to change your path. It’s ok to quit something that no longer holds any meaning for you. It’s ok to change your mind. I am a better person now. I’m not perfect. I still have a lot of work to do. BUT I am thankful the place I am at. 🙂 For me, feeling accomplished is no longer about marking off big achievements or reaching momentous goals. It’s not about having a list of things that I can say “LOOK at all the things I’ve checked off!!”. For me I try to feel accomplished in my every day. I look to my future with anticipation and excitement for things to come; however, I relish the here and now. I focus on the people in my life. I think about what can I do in the next few minutes to make something happen. I want to “Be here, now.” I don’t want to look back and think…. I wish I would have enjoyed that moment more…while it was happening.

I think 32 is going to be great. I don’t wake up with any dread of what I may face that day. My family is healthy and happy…and so am I. I really like my daytime job, and I am so happy to have this little blog space that I get to share with my best friend. I am so grateful that each of you come by to check in on us…see what we have to say. 🙂 I’m excited for our future, but I’m loving this. This right here. This moment. :):)

Three Years

My entire life, I dreamed of having a daughter.  I always assumed I would.  It never crossed my mind that it may not happen.  It’s funny how we take those things for granted.

When I was pregnant with my first child, I was absolutely certain it was a girl.  So certain, in fact, that when the ultrasound revealed huge balls, I was in complete denial.  The ultrasound tech and doctor were 100% sure.  I was not.  I “accepted” it, but cried all the way home.  I didn’t even want to buy boy stuff.  I was that convinced it was wrong.  When he was born, I was delighted and decided it would be ok, because it would be good for my future daughter to have a big brother to watch out for her.

I didn’t have any strong feeling when pregnant with my second child.  I couldn’t decide if it would be a boy or a girl, but I certainly hoped for a girl.  One boy and one girl sounded perfect to me and would complete my family.  Ultrasound once again revealed a FOR SURE boy.  I burst into tears right there in the dark room.  Of course, I accepted it and got hyped up to bring a little brother into the world.

Third time’s the charm, right?  We had decided three was our limit for children and this was going to be the last time.  I hoped for a girl, but had to resign myself to the fact that it was unlikely.  Ultrasound showed a boy.  I accepted it quickly, didn’t cry, but was a little depressed until he was born.  I decided to fully embrace the Boy Mom title as part of my identity.

After Quentin was born, I was so happy for a little while.  I felt like our family was complete.  After some time, I started to get that ache again.  I didn’t necessarily want another child for the sake of having a fourth.  I just wanted a girl.  So desperately.  I felt like I was meant to have a daughter and I felt like my time had come.  I am not sure how, but I managed to talk my then-husband Dustin into JUST ONE MORE.  I had to promise him that it would be the last time and that we would get permanent birth control after.  I also had to convince him that I would be happy with a fourth boy, since there are no guarantees and odds weren’t in our favor.  I meant it.  I was happy to have a fourth boy if that’s what was meant for me.  Being loved on by a bunch of little boys is such an amazing experience.

From the moment I peed on a stick in my work bathroom and saw the positive, I JUST KNEW.  I had a gut instinct it was a girl.  I didn’t tell anybody.  I didn’t want to put it out there into the universe.  I wanted to hold that instinct close to my heart.  When we announced my pregnancy, everyone hoped for a girl.  I wanted to say, “it’s a girl! I just know it!”  Soon after announcing, I was on the phone with my mom.  I could feel it that we both thought it was a girl.  Neither of us said it, but would later admit we were both thinking it.  The days leading up to the big ultrasound, Dustin and I were discussing names.  We had long had our girl name picked out, waiting to be used.  We mulled over boy names and NOTHING worked.  Hell, we had used everything we loved already.  We decided on two “fine” names.  Inside, I knew we wouldn’t need them, so it wouldn’t matter anyway.

Nothing, no past experiences, no instincts, could have prepared me for how I would feel when the ultrasound tech very casually announced, “and it’s a girl.”

Heart. Stopped.  Shock.  I looked at Dustin and tears filled my eyes.

“Wait?  Are you sure?”  I asked.  She pointed out all the important markers of girl parts.  She was certain.

Even though I had felt it instinctually, I still was in shock that this was my reality.  I excitedly announced it on social media after telling my family and closest friends.  It felt like the entire world shared in our joy, and we were over the moon.  I didn’t fully believe it until the 32-week ultrasound, when I asked the tech, “is it still a girl?”  At that moment, my world truly started transforming into a pink paradise and I haven’t been the same since.

Since Claudia Love entered our world, everything is better.  I have a different and unique bond with each of my boys, but the relationship with Claudia is just special.  I see so much of myself in her.  She has changed the way I treat myself, the way I think of myself, the way I think of other women.  I avoid saying anything about skinny or fat.  I model behaviors I want her to learn.  She picks up on all my sass and repeats all my ugly words.  She wants to be just like her mommy, so I have to think about all my actions.

photo by Nicole Brack Photography

I can honestly say, we needed her.  We all did.  I am so thankful Dustin agreed to take this journey with me.  I know he can’t imagine life without her either.

photo by Nicole Brack Photography

I still sometimes can’t believe she’s here.  But she is – and she has been here for three years today.  It goes by so fast.  Cliche, but so damn true.

Tomorrow we will celebrate her with a small family party.  But for now, she wants to go to Target.  As you wish, Princess.

A Hair Journey

I have long been obsessed with hair.  I would say since I was born.  As a child, I had amazing 80s hair down to my ass and complete with huge bangs.  When my mom was in cosmetology school, I would sometimes visit her after school.  I loved the smell of the chemicals on the floor and when she decided to practice her perms on me, I was elated.  So I pranced into the third grade with huge ass hair and didn’t care what anyone thought.  I had no idea how ridiculous I looked.

As a teenager, I was like most awkward girls and tried to keep a low profile.  I wore my hair like everyone else.  I used to cry trying to blow-dry it straight (guess what kids – we didn’t have flat irons.  They had been invented, but nobody actually had them yet.).  I wanted straight, thin hair and mine was was part wavy, part curly, all coarse, and thick as fuck.  I could barely get a ponytail holder around twice and it hurt!

In college, I got my first flat iron and would spend hours frying (ahem, straightening) my hair before going to the club.  When I was feeling especially flirty, I would even flick the ends out!  I colored my hair at home auburn off and on for years.  Sometimes I got crazy and went really dark brown!

In my early twenties, I was starting to become more independent and was developing a sense of self.  Fresh out of an abusive relationship, I dated a new guy while I had longish hair.  After dating for a couple of months, we were sitting on the couch at his apartment, watching a movie (more accurately, we were DVD-and-chilling).  Suddenly, changing the subject to distract his wandering hands, I said, “I’m going to cut my hair short,” putting my hand up to my chin to illustrate my desired length.  He half laughed into my neck, still trying to make out. “No.”

I pulled back.  “No?”

“You are not cutting your hair.  I like long hair.”

I got up, faking a bathroom run.  I stood there looking at my mirror, hating my hair and being mad at him.  I went back to the living room and told him I needed to go home because I was tired.  When I woke up the next morning, his insistence that I was not to cut my hair was the first thing on my mind.  I rushed to get ready for work.  I pulled out kitchen shears to open a case of bottled water.  I cut open the water and stared at the scissors in my hand.  5 minutes later, I was standing in front of the mirror with a jagged bob.  That was the beginning of my “I do what the fuck I want” attitude.

The guy and I broke up once he saw my hair.  Good riddance.

I never meant to come in here and tell you all that backstory.  I simply came in to do a lighthearted piece to show you what I’ve been through with my hair the past few years.

Everything really took a fun turn when I tried a new stylist less than two years ago.  I went in with some weird random description of how I wanted to grow out my pixie but needed to have a different style every time I come because I get bored.  She took no issue with that.  She didn’t even ask a lot of questions.  She just understood what I needed.  She cut off minimal amounts and shaped it all up.

One day I went in and we decided to shake it up a little, I needed COLOR.  So purple it was (see bottom right of above collage).  We put just a few chunks into my brown hair and it gave me liiiiiiiiife.

I felt such a thrill, such an excitement.  It felt as if I was peeking into a different life that I had been meant to live.  I know, I know.  That sounds dramatic as fuck.  But unless you’ve experienced it, you just can’t know.

From that point on, I was constantly thinking of what I wanted to do next.  I started to think I wanted to be blonde, like REALLY blonde.  However, I had once ventured into blonde highlights territory (you can’t miss it in the above collage) and wasn’t in love with it.  I had total confidence in my stylist and knew she could make my vision come to live.  I didn’t want to be JUST blonde thought.  I wanted to stand out.  I saw a navy shadow root picture on Pinterest and that was my inspiration.

I went in brown and purple and left blonde and blue.  It was such a cool color and effect and it wasn’t really being done yet.  Everywhere I went, people would stop me to compliment me.  Children grinned at me and I felt SO ALIVE.  I loved catching my reflection in mirrors and storefronts.

My next salon visit, we changed it up yet again.  Blonde with purple! This was absolutely my jam.  I think it’s still my favorite.  The tan I was developing certainly helped, but I felt sexy and confident.

Then, I landed my dream job and hair had to be at a natural color.  I sure as hell wasn’t ready to get rid of the blonde and go back to brown, so I happily welcomed platinum into my life.  God, I GLOWED.  All these years I spent convinced I could never pull of platinum and my hair would be fried and falling out.  Nope.

The dress code was updated right after I was hired and I jumped on it as soon as I had the money and time off.  I got TWO colors – purple and blue – and people flipped out.  I never got tired of the compliments and I certainly never got tired of feeling like myself.

This past October, I moved to Texas.  Before moving and scared of trying a new hair stylist, I went to mine to have my hair redone in a way that would allow for roots to grow gracefully.  Back to blonde, but with a black shadow root (which I now notice the top of my head is cut off in the shots below).  This color made me feel really edgy and grungy and I totally dig that vibe.

After six long months, I managed to empty my bank account for a trip to Mississippi.  Just to get my hair done.  Yep, true story.  I don’t think I will be able to do that again, but I sure am happy for now!  We kept the shadow root for growing out purposes and kept some blonde.  Honestly, I miss having more blonde.  I’m not sure what I will do next, but I know I’ll never have brown hair again.

Which hair is your favorite?  Do you color yours fun colors?

I encourage you to step outside your comfort zone.  That’s where the magic happens.

*if you happen to live on the MS gulf coast, go see Savannah at 13th Street salon in Gulfport.  Chick makes shit happen.*

What We Wore

Hey heyyyyy.  Welcome back to our little corner of the internet.  Are you ready for some runway fashion?  Hope not, because we don’t have that here.  But we have t-shirts and chambray!

Shirt: from my shop, here.  Shorts, not shown:  White cutoffs from Walmart like 3 years ago.  (Y’all aren’t really getting mirror pics this week because I need to clean up my damn room.)

Dress: Old Navy. Cardigan: Super old CATO. Shoes: Old Navy. Necklace: made by me.

Tee: Target.  I paired with the same Lularoe leggings I wear every week.

Tank: Old Navy, unavailable. Kimono: Ross. Invisible cutoff shorts.  Sandals: Betseyville for Target. (Terrible lighting courtesy of a 1970s kitchen.)

Tank: Old Navy, unavailable but they have lots of cute graphic tanks and tees.  Skirt: Cynthia Rowley from TJMaxx. Shoes: Betseyville for Target.

Ashley –

Did someone say chambray???? Cool. I’ve totally got that handled for the week…just scroll on down. 😉

Jacket: CATO Dress: TJ Maxx Necklace: Hallmark (recent Bday gift) Earrings: N&S Black That glowing cheek??? : Highlight Baby. Colourpop Smoke N Whistles to be exact

Shirt:  Merona from Target  Tanks: Striped one is Target – Solid Black is Forever21 Pants: Black Jeggings [similar] Earrings: N&S Black

Sooo this was actually my second outfit for the day – I’d gotten caught in a sudden downpour of rain and ended up borrowing clothes from my mom. 🙂 🙂

Cardigan: Cocoon Merona from Target Tanks: Striped – Target Solid black Kohls Pants: Pleather Xhilaration leggings from Target Choker: Maurice’s Earrings: N&S Matte Gold

Cardigan: Forever21 Tank: Target (seriously people…go buy these tanks $8 and they fit sooo well) Pants:  Mossimo Black Jeggings Target Necklace: Gift Earrings: N&S Champagne Shimmer

Top: Merona Chambray from…..TARGET Choker: also Target Pants: Plum Jeggings [similar] Earrings: N&S Brown Cutouts 

 

And that is it folks! Hope you guys are having an amazing week…let us know what y’all were wearing! 🙂 Then head on over to The Pleated Poppy to check out what lots of other bloggers wore lately.

pleated poppy

Week in Review: Rhonda

I don’t even know where the week went.  We took Spring Break and I was sick for most of it.  I still am.  Quite an adventure.

Since we had spent the entire previous day on the road and Stuart had then gone to his lab until midnight, he took Monday off.  It was so nice to have a Sunday on a Monday.  I got to meal plan over brunch, then go to the store with my favorite people.  Nick even got back to helping me take out the garbage.  It had been his job for so long, but we kept losing track of time and it was always too dark for him to go to the dumpster alone.

Tuesday was hair wash day for the first time since having it colored again.  Luckily that went well.  The highlight of the day though was finally getting in this shirt from my shop.  Tee available here.

Wednesday consisted of a lot of blog and shop work.  It went by in such a blur.  On Thursday, we made a Target run and I was able to exercise restraint, which is rare but good.  I got a cute Easter decoration that looks so great on our mantel.

Friday, I started feeling a lot of symptoms of a cold, but chalked it up to being tired and and severe allergies.  It definitely got better when Stuart arrived home with a box of fun from the liquor store.  Carnitas for dinner fixed it all up.

Saturday is always my boo.  Time spent hanging out with my people is always a winner.  We took the littles to Stuart’s lab for a bit and fed the resident kitty.

Sunday somehow outdid Saturday for once.  After our brunch, it was naptime.  Claudia ended up invading ours and passed out on me.  We went to the playground when we got up and it was lovely.  Nice and breezy.  Unfortunately, I was too sick to thoroughly enjoy it.  We ended the weekend as usual – with some Dateline and Killing Fields episodes.

Do you have weekend routines like we do?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week In Review: Ashley

Heeeeey Guys! Happy Monday Morning. 🙂 Thanks for coming back to see what we’ve been up to the past week.

Let’s see. Wednesday I was off work. My dad (or more commonly known as Ppop…or PopPop ..these days) decided to come get Coop for the day. That left me and Sophie alone for a girl’s day with Aunt Grace. 🙂 🙂 Sophie took a morning nap, and Grace came over. So she and I got a little alone adult time to have a conversation that wasn’t continually interrupted by a toddler or baby. 😉 We just hung out and talked while I spent a long and leisurely amount of time applying my makeup. Around 12:30 I checked on SoSo – and she was already awake! So we headed to Newk’s for lunch and then to Maurice’s and Target. Coop came back later that afternoon, and we just had a typical night after that.

Friday night I had a kid free evening. I got to spend  some more time with my Seeester. We did Chili’s for dinner and drinks. She hosted a bridal shower this weekend – so, after dinner we went back to my house and foraged my decorative household goods hoard collection for some things that she could use to decorate the room with.

 

Saturday afternoon the kids and I lounged at my parents house. The weather was so eery and gloomy and SUPER windy most of the day. Despite that it was actually a nice day to be outside. Late that afternoon the bottom fell out. We’d gone to check out the house my brother is in the process of buying and ended up getting caught in the downpour as we were leaving to head back home. Cooper stayed the night with his Grammy and Ppop Saturday night while Sophie and I headed home.

Race Track contraption that Ppop helped Coop build.

She slept amazingly that night. Like…from 8:00 pm to 9:00 am. It was great. Because I’d had a couple of glasses of wine that night and didn’t go to sleep until 12 myself. Haha

AND thanks to the heads up from Grace, I found out Downton Abbey is on Amazon Video (for Prime Subscribers)!! I’ve never watched it, but I have been wanting to for forever – but I didn’t have access to it…you know besides downloading it..and I don’t have time for that. 😉 So anyway, I may or may not have watched it Saturday night…and Sunday morning. 

A little glimpse into Cooper’s life while he stays with Grammy and Ppop. 😉 Cracker Barrel breakfast….Walmart trips with powder donuts…and some relaxing coloring time.

Yes, I am about to include a picture of my child on the potty. Sophie is a year and a half old – and she’s showing interest in going potty. So, I’ve started to put her on it when she asks. Because – training Coop has been such a bitch…I figured why not get a head start. Especially while she’s interested and does it willingly.

Sunday, Sophie and I headed back to my parent’s house around noon. We picked up Grammy and decided to take a spontaneous shopping trip to Hattiesburg. Cooper’s birthday is next weekend, so I thought I would look for some things for him. Also, I just wanted a change in routine and scenery for the day. 🙂 We ended up at the mall – and spent a couple hours just browsing. I did find a cute new outfit for Coop, which I’m sure he will very much appreciate. 😉 I feel so uninspired to buy him toys. I feel like he has way too many.

We stayed later than usual at my parents. Sophie was over being in the car. She pretty much cried the entire hour back home while we drove from Hattiesburg to Gulfport. So that was fun. I decided to chill at my parents and let her get out and stretch her legs. We ate dinner there and headed home around 7. I have to say, here, how much I love longer days. I don’t feel like we have to rush to get the kids in, because it will be dark soon.

That night we got home – the kids played a little…and then it was bath and bedtime! Now, I’m in bed by 8:30 – ready to call it a night. 😉

Getting some baby love from my girl before bedtime. She gives the best kisses….when you catch her in the right mood. 😉
Hope you guys had a fantastic week! What were y’all up to?

Mimosa Me

Anyone who knows me knows I love a good mimosa.  What they may not realize is that I do not follow a simple bubbly + OJ combination.  Au Contraire.

Probably thirteen years ago, I didn’t have enough bubbly to make a mimosa, so I dug into my post-party freezer and pulled out some whipped cream flavored vodka.  I used it to substitute some of the bubbly.  I topped it off with OJ, and well, it was fucking magic.  On that Sunday hungover morning, I drank a fizzy creamsicle beverage like it was heaven’s clouds.

I never looked back and when I started visiting Stuart, we started our courtship with a proper hipster restaurant (Bolsa) brunch.  Then we we were going make mimosas at home the next time I came and so I told him my recipe.  He immediately loved it and we have had it every non-Bolsa weekend morning since.

One day, my friend Chrissy flew out to go to a concert with me.  Stuart made us brunch with mimosas her last morning here and after barely two she said, “Whew, I’ve never felt drunk off a couple of mimosas.”  We looked at each other and laughed.  “These aren’t regular mimosas. They have vodka.”

So, here is a guide to make the perfect SPECIAL mimosa.  Some of you will only be able to drink one.  Some of you will be able to drink 5 and I fucking salute you.  Come drink with us.

So, there’s not a recipe.  I mean, FFS, it’s a damn cocktail.  I don’t even measure out recipes that have specific measurements.  I’m never going to be that person.  So, my lovely fiance and bartender took pictures to show the approximate amounts he uses, and in what order.

First, you put in whipped vodka.  We use the Pinnacle brand.  I am sure there are other cream flavored ones.  Smirnoff vanilla works too. (Bae mistakenly bought cake vodka and HOLY FROSTING.  Don’t do that.  It’s too much.)

Second, add in some bubbly.   We use Cook’s or Andre most of the time.  It’s cheap and when mixed in with other stuff, you don’t know the difference.  Cook’s has the highest alcohol content.  So, you already know we get that most of the time.

At this point you should be 3/4 way to the rim.  Pour in your orange juice.  I don’t even bother with anything other than Simply Orange without pulp.

What? 3/4 of the glass is alcohol?? Yes. Yes, it is.

Get yo’ buzz on.

The next cocktail info I give you will be for how I make the perfect ZERO CARB vodka soda.

Drink up.