Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Our two tiny visitors

My two little nieces came and stayed at our house over the weekend. Just the girls - no parents! I've been begging my sister to give me her kids for a weekend but I didn't really think she actually would. I could not have been more excited for the weekend! I bought toys, snacks, more toys, more snacks, and told everyone I encountered that my nieces were coming to visit and LOOK at them... aren't they cute?? Then I showed everyone (like the cashier at World Market) this picture:


We picked the girls up at Nordstrom Rack (#heaven) and, after some shoe shopping which resulted in these cute red shoes for Kynlee, we began the drive back to our house!



We had babyproofed our house as much as we could, and it worked out well. The only hard thing was that we have SO MANY stairs and Kynlee (19 months) isn't SUPER great with stairs, so I was kind of concerned about that the whole weekend. But you guys, check out her perfect blogger foot stance!


I had gone a little overboard buying toys, but it turns out the only toy I really needed to buy was a Sofia the First doll with magnetized outfits. I got it at Kohl's for like $8 and Katelynne was OBSESSED with Sofia aaaaallllll weekend. She even put Sofia and all her accessories in a plastic bag and carried her with us everywhere!


We took lots of selfies...




...and had lots of bubble baths!! Kynlee does this thing where if you say, "Kyn, show me The Look!" she looks at you like this:


...it kills me every time. She found my shower cap and really enjoyed that.


Bedtime was a little hard... I put them down a little before 10 and there were loooooots of tears. Once Katelynne fell asleep she was out for the night, but Kynlee was another story! She usually nurses during the night so she was very upset that I wasn't able to satisfy her need... it resulted in a LOT of screaming. And I mean SCREAMING, not just crying. I had to get up with her a couple of times and it took 20-30 minutes of just holding her while she screamed until she tired herself out before she fell asleep for a couple of hours... needless to say, we were both exhausted in the morning. Katelynne woke up at 6:30 on Saturday morning and I was able to let her watch Secret Life of Pets before Kyn woke up around 7:15 and we had to actually get out of bed... nobody was super happy.


Keith was able to hang out with us for a little bit (he wasn't too thrilled with the nighttime screaming) before he left for the USC vs Utah football game. The girls and I went to a pinecone festival with my mother-in-law later that morning! Kynlee got a little happier as the day went on...


Katelynne got to sit in a fire truck! Pink bag story: Katelynne found this pink diaper bag that my sister had bought and claimed it as her own, calling it her "purse packback." She carries it EVERYWHERE. And really didn't ever want to put it down! It's gigantic!


I was able to get a pretty good picture of me and Kynlee.


Katelynne insisted on picking out her own outfit. I tried to get her to wear something different but she was set on wearing her pony dress and wouldn't be bribed out of it! She wore this outfit for like, 3 days straight.


She got to decorate her own pinecone at the festival! My sweet mother-in-law helped her.



I tried to get a picture of all three of us but this was the best I got.


We got back around 1pm and I was desperate for a nap, but my sister had said that if they didn't nap any more during the day (they had both slept in the car) they would sleep better that night. So, I tried to keep us busy allllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll afternoon! 


We played with playdough, played with Sofia, played with the animals, jumped on the bed, ran around, ate snacks, and then fiiiiinally it was time to eat dinner and take a bath! Both girls were exhausted by bath time (at 6pm).


I put Kate's hair up in a towel and she decided she looked like "an ice cream cone." She wasn't wrong!


Kyn fell asleep by 6:50. And oh my goodness... she is too cute! I just can't.


That night was MUCH better. Some screaming, but not nearly as much as the first night! Hallelujah! The next morning we went to Lake Arrowhead and I took the girls to ride some of the fun rides. They (mostly Kate) LOVED it!


There was a carousel...



...and a train. Katelynne held up 4 fingers (she just turned 4 AND got to ride 4 rides) and looked very somber as she rode around the track.


When we got home, I had to hurry to pack all their things so I could take them back to their parents. I only got ONE picture of all 4 of us together, and Kynlee was not cooperating! But, I guess that's how it is with kids?


Having the girls over was SO much fun and I already miss them. I mean, I REALLY miss them! They're so much fun and so excited over little things and they just made me laugh all weekend. I am so lucky to have such wonderful little nieces! Come back soon, kids! I'll have more blue Jell-O for you!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

We have news...


Well, we have news. We've been planning this for quite some time and it's getting harder and harder to keep it a secret...


We're taking a huge trip in November!
 After a lot of planning and figuring out dates and what countries/continents we'd most like to see, we finally narrowed it down and have a list of two continents and 5 countries... maybe a 6th if things get too wild.

Commonly asked questions:
Where are you going? Well, we're not telling you that yet. I've dropped hints on Instagram and Twitter, but we're not sharing our whole itinerary until we're actually on the trip. This means you get get to follow along and be surprised! I will tell you that two countries will probably be very wet and rainy, so I need good shoes. Please tell me what shoes to buy. I'm a sheep. I'll buy whatever you sell me.

How long will you be gone? Three and a half weeks. We'll be gone over Thanksgiving which means that immediately after we return I'll be able to decorate for Christmas!

What suitcases are you taking? We are each taking a carry-on bag and a personal bag. The carry-on can't weigh over 22 lbs, and that includes the suitcase. SO I'm mildly freaking out about that, bu. t I think I have a plan which includes me entering LAX looking like I weigh 500 lbs more than I actually do, if you know what I mean.

Are you nervous to travel when so many terrifying things are happening all around? I'm scared, yes. But you know what? I'm nervous going to the grocery store. Or down the hill to go to Target. I don't feel safe anywhere right now, and that is what Terrorists want. We are going to travel and have a wonderful time with wonderful memories, just like we did on our dangerous honeymoon two years ago.

What about your animals? Keith's parents will watch the dogs, and my friend Kristin will catsit Satan, I mean Patton. She's a gem.

But really I have questions:

Can you take aerosol on an airplane?
What are the best walking shoes that are also water resistant? I'm thinking white Adidas but having then be white just makes me nervous.

What packing cubes are actually the best?

If it's cold and rainy and in the 30s, should I have gloves?

Will people automatically know we're from America and hate us? Is there a way to avoid that?

IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE WE SHOULD KNOW AS WE PREPARE FOR THIS INCREDIBLY VAGUE POST I'VE GIVEN TO YOU? OK THANK.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Pack Your Fridge With Protein



This post is sponsored by Dannon  but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
I get to work by 7:40am. This doesn't leave me a lot of time to make sure I have a balanced and convenient breakfast. It's also a challenge to find a breakfast that's affordable! Enter: Dannon Oikos Nonfat Yogurt Drinks! These drinks are a portable source of protein, 0% fat, and great taste and it's all so very convenient! With the 4 pack available at Wal Mart stores, I have the perfect amount for a work week's worth of portable breakfast. All I have to do when I'm rushing out the door for work is open up my fridge, reach in, and grab a Dannon Oikos Nonfat Yogurt Drink and I'm set with my delicious protein for the morning!
I know what you're thinking: How could this get better? Well, my friends, IT CAN. The app iBotta is offering my readers $1.00 off this product! You'll be able to stock up on nutritionally packed drinks for breakfast, after school snacks, dessert... the options are basically endless, and delicious.

So the next time you need a healthy and portable snack, look to Dannon and their yogurt smoothies!

Monday, September 4, 2017

We won't be going back to the Hollywood Bowl

Last year Keith and I went to see John Williams conduct the LA Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. It was one of the worst experiences ever, and we were really excited to go again this year actually be able to hear some of the music. We both vowed to really enjoy the show and to try to ignore anything that could possibly be annoying. We weren't going to let anything ruin our evening! We were going to have fun no matter what!

We won't be going back.

On Saturday evening we packed up our car and began the hour and a half drive down to one of the coolest outdoor concern locations ever - The Hollywood Bowl. It was hot. It was over 100 and there was lots of humidity and I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I tend to sweat really really easily. I used to buy this antiperspirant stuff that you rolled on in the evening and then it dried and clogged your pores and you didn't sweat the next day. It didn't work and I haven't seen it in any stores in a few years so I'm assuming it got recalled because it doesn't sound that safe. Anyway, so we got there and walked to our seats and it was super hot and sticky but it was so pretty! And we had a lot of food! And my hair stayed curled!


Last year I dropped my bottle of wine before I even had a chance to drink it, so this year I brought stacked wine. It was genius! I also packed a cheese ball, some Brie, Gouda, colby jack, triscuits, pita chips, hummus, other crackers, grapes, strawberries, chocolate covered carmel corn, beer, two kinds of salami, and chicken salad. For two people. We hardly made a dent in any of it! But that just means we have snacks for the whole week so I'm counting it as a win.
The weather wouldn't have been so bad if there had been any kind of wind. But the air was just still and sticky. There was a family two rows in front of us who had brought hand held fans (lots of people did that and if you ever go, you should take one) and the two older women in front of us actually asked them to borrow it! Even more surprising - they said yes! So this older lady in front of me was fanning herself and her friend and I was able to position myself so I could feel some of it. That was fun.


Just after the lights dimmed and the first conductor (David Newman) was walking onto the stage to begin the show, the women in front of us asked us to take their picture. Because you know, the past hour when it had been light outside and nothing had been happening wasn't a good time. It was a better plan to wait until the show was starting. After Keith took the picture (with the flash) she proceeded to sit there and look at the picture - as the show was starting. I just don't understand that?

David Newman led songs from A Star is Born, 1969, and some other movies that I didn't recognize. It was all so beautiful! I love symphonies so much.

Then, what we'd all been waiting for - John Williams!

This guy is crazy. He came out onto the stage wearing a long sleeved black sweater. IN 100 DEGREE HEAT. Hehehe, that John Williams is a genius and a total psycho.

After playing a few songs from Sabrina and Star Wars, Mr. Williams began talking about how a few years ago he met Kobe Bryant and then Kobe wrote a poem and then he wrote music to go along with it. Then he brought out Kobe Bryant and had him read his poem while there was some animation on the screen and music playing in the background. I don't care about Kobe, the Lakers, or basketball in general but this made me tear up. Just thinking about a 6 year old boy having a dream and then achieving that dream despite all the odds and hold on, let me get a tissue.

My favorite part of the show is when the Star Wars songs are playing and you can see all the light sabers waving in the air. As long as the light sabers don't have any sound effects, they're amazing! It gives me the chills to watch this video.

We took another sweaty selfie.

There were two encores. After the regular show ended, John Williams walked off stage and stayed in the wings for about 10 seconds and then walked back out, but when he left the second time I don't even think he stopped in the wings at all before walking right back out!

We waited about 20 minutes to head to the car to see if the crowd would dissipate and we could get out of the stacked parking sooner, but that didn't work. We still had to wait in the car for about 40 minutes before we could even move! But we were in air conditioning and had snacks, so we weren't complaining.


The reason we won't be going back to this venue has nothing to do with the actual venue or with John Williams or with the LA Phil. It's the people. It's a pretty casual venue so I think most people have no problem whispering to each other and having whole conversations during the music. The ladies in front of us even got up and left during one of the songs! We decided that if we're going to spend a significant amount of money to watch something that is really important to us, we need to do it in a setting that doesn't really allow for talking and eating. While to us it doesn't seem like it's asking too much for people to basically sit down and be quiet, this probably just isn't the venue to expect that.

So, we won't be going back. At least not for a symphony. This year was worlds better than last year, though! And we really did enjoy our time and are so thankful we got to go! We will treasure this memory forever. And if you hear of any John Williams shows in the greater LA or Inland Empire area that are indoors, holla atcha girl.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Things I've said that make me feel old

The following are actual phrases I've said that have made me feel like I'm maybe getting kiiiiiiind of old:

That's not the kind of cottage cheese I like.

I wonder if I'm getting enough fiber?

That chair doesn't have very good lumbar support.

These pants don't have a high enough rise.

I think the grey hair makes me look distinguished?

These kids are driving too fast!

I think I need another cat.

These shoes just aren't supporting my arch.

This shirt just shows too much cleavage.

Ugh, the beach, there's so much sand!

That looks like a varicose vein.

I think I'm getting a hot flash!

My retirement account is looking a little haggard.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

PushAuto



Recently, my husband and I decided it was time to buy a new vehicle. We needed something that would work well in the snow and that we could fit animals and possible future children in. We needed something spacious and affordable. There are so many different kinds of cars out there, and we were dreading the thought of going from dealership to dealership to figure out what kind of vehicle we wanted and that would fit within our budget.
Wouldn't it be great if we could search for the best deals right from our sofa or bed? The great news is that with PushAuto, that is possible! PushAuto is an information and technology platform that allows its users to communicate with California's top auto dealers for a great online car buying experience. The easy to navigate website allows you to search for your desired vehicles and get the best possible price!
The best part? There's no additional cost to you for using PushAuto! So, if you're thinking about purchasing or leasing a new vehicle for your family, make sure you utilize PushAuto to maximize your car-buying experience.

Monday, August 7, 2017

What's the haps?

Do people still say that when they're asking, "What's been happening in your life lately?"? Probably, I think. I am very hip and with the cool lingo that kids these days are using. Cash me ousside, how bow dah? See? Told you.

Let's see... in the last several weeks a few things have happened. Things like...

...my little sister got MARRIED! It was a stressful day filled with mishaps such as the absence of dinner plates at dinner, a car show which resulted in streets near the venue being shut down, which resulted in the wedding starting a half hour late because nobody could get to the venue or find a place to park, the veil being almost lost, my feet almost falling off because my shoes hurt so bad, and Katelynne (one of the 4 flower girls) refusing to sit with her dad and wanting to stand by her mom the matron of honor because "Mommy is my buddy!" Actually, that last one was pretty adorable.

Even with those mishaps, the wedding was beautiful and I cried when my sister walked down the aisle. She cried too. So did her husband, Joey. And here are some pictures.

Me and my stunningly beautiful sister!!

Me and Keith. My friend told me we look like a pastor and pastor's wife and that I should caption this, "Would you like to buy a Bible???"

My Grandma. I've talked about her before.

Two of the flower girls. Aria on the left, and my niece Katelynne on the right. Katelynne was very protective over her "treasure box" and Aria kept asking to play with it, thus the apprehensive look on Kate's face.

The four flower girls. Wrangling them was so fun.

Katelynne and me being very normal and supportive of the wedding.

My long time friend, Mallory.

Another long time friend, Christine. We were neighbors growing up and used to fight over who got to babysit the neighborhood children.

Me snuggling sweet baby Kyn.

My brother Robert and my Grandma.

Me and my Aunt Janet.

The beautiful newlyweds! Everyone threw lavender on them as they left. It looked beautiful but they said they inhaled a lot of it. Whoops. The two of them are currently honeymooning in the UK.

....trying to figure out why Patton is mad at me. He recently peed in my underwear box and he won't stop meowing in the middle of the night. Is he mad? Sick? Just a giant douche? We may never know.

...I sort of had a dinner party! Over the weekend my parents stayed at our house and on Saturday I cooked dinner for them, my brother John and his wife Amy, and Keith's parents. I made a roast in the crock pot and it was, apparently, "the best roast those 8 people had ever eaten." And it was SO EASY. Like, dump stuff in a crock pot and leave it there for 8 hours, easy. I'll tell you more about that another day.

...dreaming of our vacation! Keith and I are planning a European vacation this November. We are going to go to several places including Italy, London, Paris, and a few others that haven't been nailed down yet, but at least one of them is not a typical destination. So be prepared for lots of posts where I ask what kind of shoes I should wear in rainy London and how do I pack in a carryon for 3 weeks and how do I change my phone plan so I can still use Snapchat? All that and more, coming to a blog near you!

And that's it for now. Things have been very busy these last few months and I don't expect that to ease up any time soon. I am struggling to catch up on Game of Thrones - I'm still on season 4!!! Save me from the spoilers! JK I already read most (but not all!) of them.


Also, don't forget to check out this post!