Friday Love 9.27.18

The last Friday of September! I am looking forward to saying good bye to this month and hello to October and hopefully some cooler temps. We hit 90 the past three days and I am just so over the heat.

I have to admit I don’t have much for today’s post. I actually just forgot to really document what I loved this week so I’ll be doing this on the fly… happy Friday!

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South Bay Travels

We spent the day in San Jose on Saturday and it was so fun. This is where we lived, and where my hubby was born and raised, before we moved to Tracy. We go pretty often since we have many friends and family that still live there but Lyla had specifically requested we go and visit our old favorite mall. She was four when we moved but still remembers going there with me, yes we went a lot. It’s a great mall! We had breakfast at Starbucks and perused the awesome Disney Store. We also hit up the area of town where we lived and played for many years, and where Lyla was brought home as a newborn. It was a great Saturday.

 

Bike Riding with Sophie

Sophie learned to ride her bike over the summer and now she really loves to ride. I jog along next to her and we have the best time. Simple pleasures!

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Halloween Jammies & Soap

This girl loves her some Bath & Body Works! Now where does she get that from ?? We were laughing for hours the other night when Sophie was putting on a Bath & Body Works commercial, selling their latest Halloween soap.

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Recused Pets Mural

During one of the ArtWalks over the summer, an artist was taking names of rescued pets for a mural she was painting. My first dog Crumpet was a rescue dog and I gave her name. It’s so fun to see the mural and my first dog’s name whenever we go downtown.

 

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WHAT’S UP WEDNESDAY: SEPTEMBER 2018

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How is it the last Wednesday of September already?? I started reading my favorite blogs this morning and couldn’t believe it was already time for another What’s Up Wednesday. I wasn’t prepared ahead of time at all for this post but enjoyed writing it last month and wanted to do it again so here we go…

What We’re Eating this week…

Monday – Ground turkey tacos, corn

Tuesday – Grilled pork chops, Annie’s organic mac-n-cheese, broccoli

Wednesday – Spaghetti (zoodle pasta for the hubby & I), caesar salad. This is our busy night. Both girls have activities pretty much back-to-back so whatever I cook has to be quick and easy and not require grilling help from my hubby.

Thursday – Teriyaki steak, white rice, asparagus

Friday – Homemade pizza night!

Saturday – We are going to our very first Quinceneara so we will eat whatever is served at the reception.

What I’m Reminiscing about…

Last Halloween. My girls love to look at old pictures and we always have so much fun looking at last year’s holiday photos.

What I’m loving…

My new makeup from Ulta! I talked about it in my Friday Love post last week and I can’t say enough good things about these products. I had been using the same type of makeup for years and was a tad bit nervous to try something new but I’m so glad I did.

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What We’ve been up to…

Normal life. School, activities, work, errands, rushing around and trying to get in bed by 8pm (that’s a challenge every night).

What I’m dreading…

The sick season! My kids are generally pretty healthy but we got hit hard last year and I’m dreading that happening again. It’s pretty hard to avoid when you have two young children. Prayers for health!

What I’m working on…

A “How to style your Fall family photos” post. We take family pictures in the Fall every year and choosing our outfits is one of my favorite things to do. I admit the post has gotten kind of long but I’m looking back at a few years at photos and going over how it was to select the outfits each year. I’ve really enjoyed working on this and can’t wait to share it.

What I’m excited about…

October! My girls excitement for Halloween is unparalleled and we have so many fun things planned for next month. Our annual pumpkin patch visit, Bass Pro Shop for pictures, downtown trick-or-treating, Dia de los Muertos day, this list is endless.

What I’m watching…

More House Hunters. Beach Hunters. Beachfront Bargain Hunt. Any and everyone home show on HGTV, lol. We’ve also started the new season of Kids Baking Championship, it’s so good! My girls love to bake and say they want to open a sister bakery when they grow up so this show is a family favorite.

What I’m reading…

Not much! I feel bad even saying that but it’s the truth. I really need to get back to reading before bed instead of looking at my phone.

What I’m wearing…

Pretty much the same things I wear most weeks except I’ve had to wear shorts, skirts  and dresses this week because its so hot. I’m really over wearing shorts.

What I’m doing this weekend…

Going to San Jose! We are all looking forward to getting out of town for the weekend and heading back to where we lived for many years before moving to Tracy and where my hubby was born and raised. We are going to a friend’s daughter’s Quinceneara on Saturday. I have never been to one and am excited to see what it’s all about. We are staying with my sister-in-law and I’m happy my girls will get some quality time with family. We are also thinking of going to a local Italian festival on Sunday before we head home. We used to go back when we lived there but haven’t been since Lyla was a baby.

What I’m looking forward to next month…

HALLOWEEN!! The pumpkin patch, the festivals, the cooler weather, Lyla’s school festivities, dressing up, just all of it. October is so much fun!

What else is new…

Not too much. Life is chugging along as usual.

Bonus question this month:   WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PUMPKIN THING TO EAT/DRINK?

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When I say give me all the pumpkin spice, I mean GIVE ME ALL the pumpkin SPICE!!! I love anything and everything pumpkin and will pick-up almost all of the pumpkin flavored treats I see, I literally can’t help it. Of course I love the PSL but pumpkin cookies, loafs, donuts, bars, cereal, oatmeal, popcorn, ice cream, bundt cakes, poke cakes, PIE!!! I really do love it all.

Friday Love 9.21.18

Here we are again! I feel like this week just flew by.  It was another busy one for us full of play rehearsals, acting classes, pottery classes, doctor appointments, and just life in general! I’m back again for another edition of …

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School Pictures

There is nothing I love more than a sweet school picture! My big girl Lyla is in 4th grade this year and I got her school pictures back this week. She is the so sweet, so smart and so loving and growing up way too fast for my liking! We are both very happy with how her picture turned out this year.

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Honey Garlic Shrimp

We’ve been in a dinner rut lately and after perusing Pinterest, I decided to make honey garlic shrimp on Tuesday. The marinade was super simple to put together, it cooked in about 5 minutes and it was so, so good. Both my girls loved it. I followed this recipe to a T except my hubby added some fish sauce. I served it with rice and broccolini. I will definitely be making this again.

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Groupon

It’s been a while since I bought anything from Groupon (like years) but this week, I made three purchases… in just a week! The deals were too good to pass up. I got an email at the beginning of the week with a 50% off code. I used it for a month of unlimited gymnastics classes for my younger daughter. I ended up paying only $14! Then, a day later they sent me a thank you email with a code for $10 off. I used that for four passes to a local museum and it was only $1.50!!! I also grabbed the Starbucks $5 for $10. I can never pass up a good deal and these were pretty good, thank you Groupon!!

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Edible Arrangements Smoothies

An Edible Arrangements store just opened up in our town. I’ve never thought of them as anything more than a delivery service of beautiful fresh fruit bouquets. Well I was wrong! We got a coupon for a buy one get on free smoothie, and again, because I can’t pass up a coupon or good deal, I took my girls there yesterday to get a smoothie. I totally forgot to take a picture of the smoothies but the they were good. You could choose off a small menu of flavors or create your own. My girls both opted to create their own and got strawberry banana and orange pineapple. Two smoothies for $5, score!

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Friday Love 9.14.18

We’ve had a pretty crazy week around here so I’m looking forward to some major relaxation this evening with the hubs and our girls. The temps didn’t get above 80 here the past couple of days and that has really put me in the mood for all things Fall! One of the things I love most about Northern California is the presence of actual seasons. I did not have that growing up in Florida, it was pretty much just hot all the time. Now, it won’t get really cold here until end of October/November but this little sneak peek of lower temps has me feelin’ pretty good, happy Friday!

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FALL DECOR

A couple of years ago, I decorated my house for Fall in September, took it down in October and put up Halloween, then took that down and put up Fall/Thanksgiving in November, and of course Christmas in December! It was quite a bit of work and so I didn’t do it last year but I found myself missing my decorations. Sophie and I got our Fall stuff out this week and it makes me so happy to see it, it’s Fall Y’all!

 

FALL COFFEE MUG

I’ve been on the search for a Fall mug. I have a Halloween mug and a Christmas mug but not one for Fall. Now my sensible husband couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t just get a regular mug that could last all year long… now what fun would that be? With a plethora of Fall mugs available at Target, Marshalls and Michaels, it took me a while to look around but I finally found it. This little cup makes me so, so happy. And the price (only $4 at Marshalls) made me even happier!

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CLASSES AT THE GRAND

We’ve been taking music classes at the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts since we moved to Tracy back in 2014. I cannot say enough good things about their art education program.  My girls just started two new classes there, well new to us. Lyla has wanted to take acting class for a few years now but was never old enough (age to start is 9). We gifted her with acting classes for her birthday this year and so far, she really loves it. Sophie started a pottery for preschoolers class and had her first session yesterday. I think it’s going be just like everything else they offer, great!

 

NEW MAKEUP FROM ULTA

I’ve used the Bare Minerals foundation powder for longer than I can remember. I really love that product but I’ve wanted to try something different for a while now. I feel like my skin has changed a lot and what I’m using now isn’t the right product for my face anymore. I worked for Clinique while I was in college and was pretty knowledgeable about makeup back then. Fast forward many years, and I feel like I know nothing at all! I headed into Ulta this week and after a great consultation, I left with three new products. I absolutely love them all! I decided to try a tinted moisturizer type of foundation and it’s working out wonderfully for me. I rely heavily on concealer and used to use a Bare Minerals one but the Ulta brand full coverage liquid concealer is awesome. I also picked up a hydrating face primer. This has been a game changer for me. It has helped my makeup and skin look so fresh. My budget for makeup is not what it used to be, nor would I want to spend a fortune on product these days anyways so the Ulta brand is perfect. They are high-quality products with an amazing price point. I’ve been loving putting on my makeup in the morning!

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HOMEMADE TUNA HELPER

I’ve always loved Tuna Helper. It’s a nostalgia thing – my stepdad would make it whenever my mom was out of town for work. I wanted to make a homemade version since we try not to eat many processed foods so I went searching online. This recipe was a hit with my family. I was worried how my kids would feel about it but my four year old even asked to eat it the next morning at 9am! I followed the recipe exactly but used whole milk instead of cream. It was so good.

 

 

 

 

Friday Love 9.7.18

Happy Friday!

We had such a great and relaxing Labor Day weekend, which made going back to school and our regular routine on Tuesday pretty rough. We are so happy it’s Friday again!

I thought it would be fun to start a series of sorts, or rather a recurring blog post. Every Friday, I’ll share a some “Friday Love” and talk about things I really loved over the past week and the weekend prior. This will help hold me accountable to my goal of publishing one to two blog posts each week, as well as sharing some fun stuff! So let’s dive right in, my first Friday Love!

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One of my favorite online brands, Little Choco Pink, held a search for new brand reps on Instagram and I entered both of my girls. I literally couldn’t believe it when they were chosen to represent the brand. We’ve never done anything like this before. My girls love fashion as much as I do and we are so excited to see what’s it’s like to be a brand rep. I will definitely share our experience here on the blog. Make sure the check out their site and follow them on Instagram. Their pieces are really unique and many have a vintage, boho-flair, while others are modern and edgy. Perfect for those who want something a little different than what’s offered at the mall. Use code JILL for 10% off your order!!

Grayson Threads is one of my favorite Target brands. We have been in the low 90s this entire week and these lightweight tanks are the perfect attire for an Indian Summer Friday. It’s hard to see in the photo but mine says weekend. And don’t we all feel that “It’s All Good” on a Friday??

  • ROCK PAINTING

A rock painting craze has taken our town by storm! We first discovered this fun hobby at the Downtown Artwalk. People paint and then hide rocks for others to find, posting pictures and clues on Facebook group. My girls just ate this up. They loved searching for and finding the rocks, competitively of course. We finally painted and hid our first rocks this past weekend and oh man, we are hooked! I don’t know what it is but we had the best time paining rocks all weekend long. We went to Michaels for new paint and brushes, and Home Depot for sealant (to keep the rocks weather-proof), and sat by the pool and painted. We listened to music, chatted and ate, it was such great quality time.

  • FAMILY BIKE RIDE

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We went on our first family bike ride on Monday and it was so much fun! We didn’t go very far but just being together was really special. I see many more of these in our future!

  • HALLOWEEN EXCITEMENT

I took down the bin of my girls Fall/Halloween clothes and pajamas on Friday. This prompted Sophie to wear some sort of Halloween attire all weekend long. She also requested to watch Nightmare Before Christmas, listen to a Halloween station on Pandora and visit the costume store. I have to say, her excitement for holidays is absolutely contagious! I love the holiday season and it looks like I have passed that on to my girls. Now Lyla was telling her all weekend long, it was too early but Sophie finally got her in the spirit on Monday night.

 

Halloween decor

With one of our favorite holidays quickly approaching, I’m naturally starting to think about Halloween decorations. Now I don’t go all out by any means – if I had a bigger budget to work with, I totally would BUT I do the best I can with what I can and love to decorate our home. My girls are pretty much obsessed with this holiday. They really enjoy the decorations, which makes me love them even more. These pictures are from last year and I added in a few things after I took these but they pretty much show how I decorate for Halloween minus the front door and yard.

Kitchen

One of my favorite areas to decorate is behind the kitchen sink. The ledge is the perfect place to display lots of fun stuff. I had completely forgot about this large Happy Halloween sign the year before but remembered to pull it out last year and was really happy with how it looked.

Jars of pumpkins, skulls and black and orange glitter balls, with a few sparkly silver spiders just hanging out.

A close-up of the cutest yet slightly spooky little scarecrow ready to trick-or-treat. I picture him walking in a forest of the black sparkly trees with fog pooling all around. The pom pom garland actually came with package of bat garland from the dollar spot at Target. I didn’t really like how the pom poms looked with the bats so I strung it around the tree and love how it looks. The RIP gravestone is a picture holder but I also never really liked it for that use. I saw some small gravestones at the dollar spot just this past weekend. I think they would look great in this little area.

To the right of the sink are these great little shelves. I put the girls Halloween pictures from the Bass Pro Shop up here last year. I love looking at them while doing the dishes, brings back happy memories.

Halloween subway art, a candy corn candy dish and a sweet pumpkin made by Sophie.

This jack-o-lantern windsock was passed down to me by mom. I remember this being out every year during Halloween when I was growing up,. We used to always hang it on our front porch. I love having it in my home now.

Fireplace

I bought the Happy Halloween sign from HomeGooods probably four years ago. It’s wooden and has held up wonderfully. I bought the small haunted house last year for Sophie. She loved it so much and the colors go with the sign perfectly. I switch out the flowers in my vase for black and orange sparkly leaves from Michaels, and also add a variety of pumpkins in a variety of colors and textures.

Living/dining room

Top of stairs – just one teeny, tiny jack-o-lantern!

Kids rooms

I keep it pretty simple with a door hanging and a small pumpkin in each room. Sophie has a small Halloween pillow too, I’m hoping to find a good one for Lyla this year.

Girls bathroom

Two small Halloween globes, new buckets to store their toothbrushes, etc. They always really love to put up the stickers from the Dollar Spot or other places on their mirror/shower. We also have the cutest little Haunted House wallflower, a family favorite.

Playroom

This is one of my favorite rooms in our house, especially during the holidays. This candy corn banner is just so cute and I love to add in their holiday artwork.

I hope you enjoyed our decorations as much as we do! Having this to reference each year helps me so much when I pull our decorations out and have no idea where to put them!

xo JRS