A Mommy-Daughter(s) Valentine's Day Picnic

Thursday, February 16, 2017

So as planned, I decided to start a new tradition with my girls and make a special Valentine's Day picnic for them.  It ended up being out on our back patio (which is screened) because it looked like it was going to rain.  It didn't rain, but none the less we had a nice breeze and it was better than being out in the sun.

My girls are at the age now that I can get more creative with the activities that we do and how we celebrate holidays.  This is so exciting for me because I love to plan parties.  However, they are not at the age that they actually care and it was very apparent this week

Let me elaborate and share some real life moments for you and try to paint a picture of the disaster that really happened.  I mean, don't get me wrong, we had some fun, memories were made but pictures can be deceiving. 

We all woke up early and started our day off pretty good.  Charlotte was up at 6:30 and Emma by 7.  I got them dressed in their adorable new, matching skirts and hair bows from Clothed On Grace and took a little trip down the road to visit Gramma and Gramps. 

The weather was amazing, so they got to run around and chase each other.  I thought, great, they can have there mid-morning snack, burn off some energy and then take a really good nap before the picnic!

I needed to stop at Aldi before we headed back home and that's pretty much when all you know what broke loose.  We came across these adorable heart shaped marshmallows and I threw them in the cart thinking they would be a nice treat for our little Mommy Daughter Valentine picnic.   Wrong.  As soon as Charlotte saw them, she wanted the bag opened.  When I wouldn't open the bag, she began to throw a huge tantrum.  I quickly remembered why I do my grocery shopping Sundays after church without the girls.  Nap time couldn't come soon enough!

Take a second and look at this face.  Does this look like the face of a sweet girl who would throw a fit in the middle of the grocery store?  No?  Well, you'd be wrong.  Deceiving, right?

We get home and what do you know, Charlotte refused to take a nap.  That's right y'all.  You can pretty much admit me at this point.  I let her cry for about an hour before finally getting her out of bed (I can't be the only mom who does this, right?).  Normally she doesn't fight me for this long, but if she was going to do it, today would the day.  Emma on the other hand, immediately took off her V-Day clothes and insisted on wearing her PJ Masks pajamas for lunch.  This was one of those "pick your battle" moments and well, she won.

Can you tell she needs a nap too?  I need a nap just looking back on this!  I was determined to set a picnic up for them, so I made lunch and started to get it ready.  I tried to keep it simple with heart-shaped pb and j and fruit, but as requested by my toddler, I made mac and cheeeese too!  We couldn't forget to add our candy from Albanese either, but that was more for me.

This doesn't look like much and it wasn't, but if you only knew what I had to do to get a couple of photos.  Sheesh! Emma finally gets me.  She knows that I love to take pictures of them and is as patient as an almost three year old can be in a situation involving food.  Charlotte has no clue.  On top of trying to keep our dog out of the patio and away from the food, Charlotte decides to grab the marshmallows.  She grabs one and starts to take a bite...no big deal, she can have one while I snap some pictures.  Wrong again.  She takes a bite, puts it down, grabs another one, takes a bite, puts it down and well, you know.  Vicious cycle I tell ya.  After she grabs and takes a bite out of every single marshmallow, I decide to put her in the other room with our dog and she screamed the entire time. It was a mess!  Are you as exhausted as I am reading this?  I don't blame you and I actually commend you if you made it this far.

I bring Charlotte back out on the patio with us and the first thing she does back is grab a handful of macaroni and puts it on her plate, then puts in on the table and then the bowl of candy.  There was no winning with her.  I quickly decided I didn't want my sheet ruined, so I took it off and on the outdoor blanket we go.  As if this lunch couldn't get any more ridiculous, our dog had been on the blanket and there was dog hair everywhere.  Gross.  Now I had dog hair, smashed macaroni and sticky hands! 

At this point, all I could do was laugh.  It was what is was and I was hanging out with my girls.  This will definitely be something to look back on and smile.  It was our first Mommy Daughter Valentine's Day picnic and it can only get better with each year!  This moment was special, slightly chaotic, but so special.

-GIVEAWAY- I've teamed up with Clothed on Grace on Instagram to give one lucky reader a handmade skirt and bow set!  For an extra entry, leave a comment! 

Did you know that Clothed On Grace donates 10% of their sales to the local Children's Hospital ever 6 months AND donates outfits to 5 boys and 5 girls for the first day of school each year?!  This is why I love shopping small!

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Happy Valentine's Day

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day, y'all!  If you read my Mother Daughter Valentine's Date post, then you know we take pictures each year of the girls around Valentine's Day.  It's a lot of fun to see how they've grown in exactly one year (give or take a few days).  I couldn't wait to show you how the turned out!  I love that Off the Walls photography gets to capture these for us!

Last year, Charlotte was only a few months old and now she's running around like a big girl!  She has the sweetest, cheesiest grin but clearly wasn't having it for pictures.

And this girl...gah!  Threenager in the making, but gosh does she make my heart so happy!  It still doesn't seem real that she will be three in May.

 "Because I have a sister, I will always have a friend."  I love watching these two together!

"You and I are sisters; always remember that if you fall, I will pick you up....as soon as I finish laughing!" Poor thing fell face first in the dirt!

I know this is picture overload, but I just can't help it!   

There are so many more, but I guess I'll stop and end with this one :)  Happy Valentine's Day!

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Coffee is my Love Language | Our Coffee Bar

Sunday, February 12, 2017

If you know my husband and myself, then you know that we have a serious love for coffee.  Before kids, I would drink coffee all day long!  I would switch to water throughout the day, so you know, my kidneys wouldn't shut down, but for the most part it was coffee.  Now, I still love my coffee in the mornings and in the afternoon since having kids, but I learned to cut back while pregnant/nursing and haven't progressed back to 8 cups a day.  I know what you're thinking...#momlife #needcoffee, and I do, but if you're a stay at home mom, then you also know that I warm up my coffee 8 times a day, so it's basically the same thing. Right?!

This post contains affiliate links.
Anyhow, on to the good stuff; a DIY coffee bar!  My husband and I had a blank wall near our kitchen and for about a year after purchasing our home, couldn't decide what we wanted to do with it and my husband was itching to do yet another home project.  When we decided to start a budget, we quickly realized the ridiculous amount of money we were spending on coffee, and well, problem solved, we would build our own coffee bar!  Kind of defeats the purpose of starting a budget, but we are saving money in the long run.

 Now, don't get me wrong, I love a good sugary drink from Starbucks and a good cup of coffee from Dunkin, but it's been so much fun to create our own drinks using Torani Syrups.  My husband especially loves to entertain our guests and he's quite the barista :)

Our chalkboard wall is just a piece of ply-wood that we spray painted with chalkboard paint and then screwed into the wall.  The art work was done for us by a friend while we were on vacation.  It was a nice surprise to come home to!  It's so fun to have our own little logo!  We even had custom coffee sleeves made and believe it or not, it was pretty inexpensive!

For us, we decided if we are going to create our own coffee bar, we are going to go all out.  Of course, you can create a smaller version of this.  If so, I would definitely recommend The Ninja Coffee Bar.  This purchase has been one of my favorite additions to our coffee bar and I use it a lot.  I can make a full pot of coffee, half a pot, travel size or just a single cup.  I use it the most for iced coffee and it's so good!

My husband, on the other hand, loves his café americano and invested in an espresso maker.  There are so many different types out there that do different things and they can actually get expensive, so I wouldn't recommend getting one unless you know you'll get a lot of use out of it.  We chose this one and we really like it.

Ikea is amazing and has so many options, which is where our cabinets came from and the floating shelf came from Amazon. The  burlap bags (something my husband saw on Pinterest..haha), espresso cups, round wood slab and shakers were all from Home Goods.  We also added a coffee grinder and our single serve Cuisinart for when we are in a hurry.

This coffee bar sign from Love Made this Decor is probably my favorite part of our set-up. I love that I can switch out our mugs throughout the seasons and it's perfect for our little space.  This sign would also be perfect to hang above a smaller area for a coffee bar.  Right now, you can get %15 off your purchase from Love Made this Decor using code, 'LOVEFUNK'  It's an adorable shop filled with other handmade, creative wood signs!

 Sometimes I question things that my husband wants to do, but I LOVE the way this turned out and it was definitely worth the investment!  We use it every day, sometimes multiples times a day.  If you're considering creating your own, I would highly recommend it!  If you already have one, I'd love to see it!  Post it in the comments and let me know what your favorite part/decor is!

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Valentine's Day gifts for Toddlers

Thursday, February 9, 2017


With less than a week before Valentine's Day, there is still time to get some goodies for your little ones!  I love when I get to make holiday baskets for my girls.  Here's is what I've put in their Valentine's Day baskets this year.

1. Hydroflask - My girls love water bottles and this one is by far my favorite!  It is perfect for little hands and keeps our drinks very cold!

2. Heart stickers - The Target Dollar spot is always my go-to for fun stickers and little knick-knacks for the girls.  This is even where I got their glitter baskets this year. 

3. Z-dough - We love this play dough!  Emma has played with it every day since we got it and I don't think she'll be stopping anytime soon.  There are different natural scents to choose from and they smell amazing!  It keeps her busy and I love that!

4. Humble Elephant rolling pins - You can't play with your z-dough without these rolling pins! The minis are perfect for little hands and making fun prints!

5. Books - We love Sandra Boynton books in our house!  I get the girls a new one each holiday and they are so fun to read together.  Snuggle Puppy is our new favorite read for Valentine's.

6.  Albanese candy - If you've never had or heard of Albanese, you're missing out. I just discovered them a few years ago when my husband took me to their factory (he grew up in that area).  They sent us the yummiest heart-shaped candy and it's been hard not to eat it all by myself!

7. Snack Mates - Like most toddlers, mine love snacks!  Snack Mates were the perfect addition to their baskets. It's basically kid friendly jerky made without Artificial Preservatives, Gluten, Added Sugars, Soy, Antibiotics or Added Hormones!

What are you gifting for Valentine's Day? I'd love to know!

This post was sponsored by all brands listed and contains affiliate links. As always, all opinions are my own.
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A Mommy and Me Valentine's Day | #onebighappy

Monday, February 6, 2017

 This is a sponsored post by Gymboree.  As always, all opinions are my own.
Heart top c/o // Bow leggings c/o // Heart shoes c/o // Heart dress c/o // Metallic Silver shoes c/o
 Happy Monday!  I can't believe that Valentine's Day is in one week!  I've always enjoyed celebrating holidays, but now that I'm a mom, I really look forward to finding new and fun things to do with my girls.  Baking is definitely our go-to and we've already made heart shaped Valentine's sugar cookies for our neighbors...after we taste tested a few first ;)

This is the first Valentine's Day that Em is old enough to really do activities together.  She wasn't quite two yet last year and well, glue and not fully understanding how to follow instructions is a messy combo.

Last year, I drew a heart on canvas, put the canvas in a large ziploc baggie, filled it with pastel colored paint and let her "finger paint" as gifts for our family.  Not messy and it was a lot of fun and something she still really loves doing.

This year we are celebrating with Gymboree and joining in on their #onebighappy campaign.  I love that I get to create life-long memories with these two!  Em gets so excited about doing things together and loves to include little sis.  

Going on mommy and me dates with both of them is a favorite of mine and so special.  These girls are truly my #onebighappy moment every single day.

I have a fun mommy and me picnic/tea party planned out for us out on our patio!  We will have little tea sandwiches, dessert, drink out of our fancy tea cups and the girls will have the perfect Valentine's Day outfits from Gymboree to wear.  We can't forget our mani/pedi's that we will be giving each other and ending with snuggles and watching our favorite movie.  Emma is going to be so excited!

I love being a girl mom so much! Obviously dressing them up is a big favorite and I'm lucky that they love dressing up too.  Em is obsessed with her glittery heart shoes and they have been on repeat since we got them.  She even tried to wear them to bed!

Something else that we do each year is take Valentine's pictures with our favorite photographer and the girls' Gymboree outfits were so perfect for them this year.  This is something that I look forward to now and makes my momma heart happy!  I can't wait to show you how they turn out!

What's your #onebighappy this Valentine's Day? Head to my Instagram  to enter to win a $50 Gymboree giftcard! Leave a comment below with your #onebighappy for an additional entry!
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