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!

FRIDAY LOVE pink-watercolor-heart-art-by-linda-woods-linda-woods

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.

 

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WHAT’S UP WEDNESDAY: AUGUST 2018

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I’ve been reading Mix Match Mama, The Larson Lingo and Sheaffer Told Me To for quite a few years now. These are blogs I’ve really grown to love and I especially love the What’s Up Wednesday posts. I have always wanted to link up to one but have never done it. Right now, I’m trying very hard to be more mindful of my goals and blogging more is one of them so today, I’m finally going link up! Enjoy!

What We’re Eating this week…

Monday – Pigs-in-a-Blanket, baked beans, corn (a comfort food meal I grew up on!)

Tuesday – Homemade meatballs (my hubby’s recipe) and spinach salad

Wednesday – Breakfast for Dinner – now I am not the biggest fan but we have a lot of breakfast stuff in the fridge right now and the kids got so excited when I mentioned the idea so breakfast for dinner it is!

Thursday – Teriyaki Salmon, white rice, broccolini

Friday – Homemade pizza night! Friday night pizza night is our family tradition although, and I hate to say this but, my hubby and I are actually getting a little tired of pizza every single Friday. Now don’t get me wrong, he makes the most delicious homemade pizza but the consistency gets a little old and we find ourselves craving something different. He will still make a small cheese for the girls because they love tradition but we’ve found ourselves ordering in a lot of Thai or Salvadorian food on a Friday. It’s nice because I still don’t have to cook and we get to eat something we love but the girls won’t touch.

Saturday – No clue! My hubby takes over the cooking on the weekend and we tend to go a little more gourmet since it’s not the usual weeknight rush.

What I’m Reminiscing about…

My girls! Watching them grow up as been pretty tough lately. Lyla turned nine on August 10th and Sophie will be five December 23rd. I feel like their baby years just flew by and I find myself thinking about those days all.the.time. They are turning into amazing young ladies, smart, kind, funny, beautiful but man do I miss the baby days!!

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What I’m loving…

New skincare products. When we were in FL in July, my mom gave me two Neutrogena products and I’ve been loving them. I use their day time facial moisturizer but these two were new to me. I really love the rapid tone repair moisturizer. It almost feels like a serum.

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What We’ve been up to…

August is a always a busy month for our family. The first day of school and my older daughter Lyla’s birthday are usually within a couple days of each other so that makes August CRAZY for me. Lyla’s birthday this year was a Unicorn pool party and her first big sleepover with nine kids! It was so much fun. My hubby and I really enjoyed listening and watching her and her friends, so sweet and so funny.

 

What I’m dreading…

Some very personal stuff but other than that, I’m focused on being positive and being grateful for the good things I do have in my life.

What I’m working on…

Everything and nothing all at once… kidding! Between my part-time job with Orangetheory and all that comes with having two kids and being a stay-at-home mom, I feel like I’m constantly working on something, cleaning something or rushing to something BUT I love this stage of life! I really do 🙂

What I’m excited about…

Many things! Lyla tried out for the school play and got three roles. She was in the play last year and it was such a fun experience. I’m looking forward to all that comes with this production. Lyla starts acting classes next week at our local theatre. She’s wanted to take acting classes for a long time now but you  had to be nine years old to do so. I’m also excited for Fall, Halloween and Christmas! We’ve been discussing Halloween costumes, thinking about decorating for Fall and talking about all our fun traditions and outings we like to do during the holiday season, lots to look forward to.

What I’m watching…

House Hunters. To say I have an obsession with this show is an understatement! I literally can’t get enough. Both my girls now ask to watch it with me. We love nothing more than House Hunters!!

What I’m reading…

Over the summer my mom gave me her Kindle Paperwhite! I was so pumped because my Kindle just stopped working a couple of years ago and I never replaced it. My hubby has a major issue with lights being on when we go to sleep and I love reading before bed so the Kindle was our middle ground. I felt I stopped reading as much as I used to because I didn’t have a Kindle so I’m very excited to start reading more.

I just downloaded Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup. I started it last night and so far, so good. I went to college in Silicon Valley (San Jose State) and worked for three different tech companies, one a start-up, right after college so the title immediately peaked my interest.

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What I’m wearing…

Workout clothes! I live in yoga pants, leggings, workout tops, sweatshirts, etc during the school year. I try to run/do a home workout about three times a week and love to do it first thing in the morning. Getting in the right clothes is half the battle!

I did wear regular clothes for the Lyla’s 9th birthday. Her party was a unicorn theme and I wanted to fit the theme as the Mamacorn 🙂 My girls just love this shirt. I also got an adorable C&C California top from Marshalls recently for only $8! I felt that deserved a share because it was such a great deal. It’s a simple top but so comfy and made me feel put together yet still casual.

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What I’m doing this weekend…

I don’t know! We’ve been pretty busy so we may just take it easy and do our favorite thing – spend the day by the pool! We love nothing more than pool days in our own backyard, lounging on our floats, grilling out and going in the hot tub. We have to enjoy it now before it gets too cold!

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What I’m looking forward to next month…

Lots of fun stuff! We are helping paint sets for Lyla’s school play, our city is having another downtown Artwalk (my girls love this), acting classes start, and we are attending our (well my) first quinceanera!

What else is new…

My younger daughter Sophie starts Kindergarten next year and I have started to homeschool her. We had to take her out of her Pre-K program (I’m hoping she can go back in January). I really didn’t want her to fall behind so I’ve been using every internet resource I can to keep her on track. This is very new for me but she loves being home with mom (she has since birth) and has been the best little student.

Bonus question this month:  WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE BACK TO SCHOOL TRADITION?

The first day of school picture! We make a big deal out of it and get one of the girls by themselves, together, one with mom, and one with dad. I love looking back at these pictures every year to see how much the girls have changed and to look at their outfits – haha! Girl mom! We love fashion around here.

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3rd grade/Preschool 3’s

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2nd grade

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1st grade

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Kindergarten

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Wow, so that’s my first What’s Up Wednesday! I’m really excited to link up and share this post. Now I have to sign-off and get back into mom mode, its time for school!

xo JRS

Lyla Rae’s birthday interview – nine years old

My big girl hit her last year of single digits on Friday, August 10, 2018. How is this even possible? At times, I truly feel like she was born yesterday. It’s hard to put into words just how much I love her and just how proud I am of her. She is growing into such a poised, curious, passionate, talented and smart young lady. As much as I wish she was still my chubby little baby, being her friend and watching her grow is pretty darn amazing. Happy 9 Lyla Rae!!

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Lyla Rae, Age 9

Nickname: Pies

How old are you? 9 years old

What is your favorite color? Mint green

What is your favorite animal? Unicorn

What is your favorite book? Sideways Stories from Wayside School

What is your favorite TV show? Mia and Me

What is your favorite movie? The Greatest Showman

What is your favorite song? Come Alive from The Greatest Showman

What is your favorite food? In-N-Out Cheeseburger

What is your favorite drink? Root beer

What is your favorite breakfast food? Pancakes

What is your favorite snack? Fruit snacks

What is your favorite outfit? Workout pants and top

What is your favorite game? Mario Cart

What is your favorite toy? LOL doll

Who is your best friend? Chloe & Stefanie

What is your favorite thing to do? Talk to Chloe on FaceTime

What is your favorite thing to do outside? Swim in the pool

What is your favorite holiday? Christmas

What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Polar Bear and Unicorn

Where is your favorite place to go? The Villages in Florida

What is your favorite restaurant? Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville in Hollywood, FL

Where do you want to go on vacation? New York

What do you want to be when you grow up? A pastry chef

What did you do on your birthday? We had a unicorn birthday bash with seven of her friends. It was a pool party and her first big sleepover. It was such a fun night!

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Sophie Gray’s birthday interview – four years old

Per usual, I’m running about six months behind on birthday interviews AND also per usual, I live the mantra, its better late than never!! Sophie had her first party with friends this year and she was so incredibly excited. She has watched her sister have many friend parties and this was the year she really understood it. She and I planned the entire party together and I let her take the reins where as in the past, I may have tried to take over. She chose a very merry theme and really embraced her very close to Christmas birthday with Christmas sweaters, headbands, themed food, cupcakes and favors. All of her little friends had so much fun despite the cold temps.

Here is my sweet little four year old!!

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Sophie Gray, Age 4

Nickname: Soph

How old are you? 4

What is your favorite color? Orange

What is your favorite animal? Unicorn

What is your favorite book? Muddle and Match

What is your favorite TV show? Shimmer & Shine

What is your favorite movie? The Greatest Showman

What is your favorite song? When You Wish Upon a Star

What is your favorite food? Sausage

What is your favorite drink? Lemonade

What is your favorite breakfast food? Eggs & sausage

What is your favorite snack? Mini-muffins

What is your favorite outfit? Polka dot jean shorts, tank top and flip flops

What is your favorite game? Mii Fashion Plaza

What is your favorite toy? LOL dolls

Who is your best friend? Annabelle & Stella

What is your favorite thing to do? Play with LOL dolls

What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play in the pool

What is your favorite holiday? Halloween

What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Violet

Where is your favorite place to go? Florida

What is your favorite restaurant? Grimaldi’s Pizzeria in Palm Beach

Where do you want to go on vacation? Hawaii

What do you want to be when you grow up? Cupcake baker and rock climber

What did you do on your birthday? On Sophie’s actual birthday, we went to Dell’Osso farms and went snow tubing. She had her friend party at her favorite park a few days before her birthday.25552091_10155714775992254_7516327833362055567_n25659746_10155714776822254_5812866398599680826_n

New playroom

One requirement I had when looking at houses was a big space for the girls playroom. Our previous home had a great fourth bedroom that we used for their playroom and I knew, based on the amount of stuff they have and how often they used the room, that our new house must have a big space for the girls to play.

When I saw the fourth bedroom in our new home, I immediately marked it the playroom. It was a big, open space with lots of light, wood flooring and a bench seat that ran along almost the entire back wall. It has a fireplace, which I love but may be an accident waiting to happen (so far we’ve had no injuries), BUT with a fireplace comes a mantle and so much design potential. I can’t wait to hang Christmas garland there!

My husband really, really wanted to use this space as a media room but I had to remind him, we hardly ever watch movies and where would all the girls toys go? In the end, it became the new playroom and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. I still plan to order a castle shaped mirror to go under the princess gallery wall but other than that, the room is done. It’s such a beautiful, bright, happy space!

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Sophie Gray’s birthday interview – three years old

My sweet second baby turned three on December 23, 2013. She truly is the sweetest thing. Because of how close her birthday is to Christmas, my husband really wanted to do something special and we took her to Disneyland on her birthday. It was a whirlwind trip but she had the best time and is already asking to go back.

Happy 3 Sophie!

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Sophie Gray, Age 3

Nickname Soph

How old are you? 3 years old

What is your favorite color? Orange

What is your favorite animal? Giraffe

What is your favorite book? Muddle & Match Mermaid

What is your favorite TV show? Bubble Guppies

What is your favorite movie? Shrek

What is your favorite song? Chillin like a Villian from Descendants 2

What is your favorite food? French toast sticks

What is your favorite drink? Lemonade

What is your favorite breakfast food? Pancakes

What is your favorite snack? PB&J

What is your favorite outfit? Flower dress

What is your favorite game? Mario Party 8

What is your favorite toy? Corn Monkey and Corn Lion

Who is your best friend? Annabelle & Stella

What is your favorite thing to do? Play at the park

What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play with toys

What is your favorite holiday? Halloween

What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Corn Monkey and Corn Lion

Where is your favorite place to go? Disneyland

What is your favorite restaurant? Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville in Hollywood, FL

Where do you want to go on vacation? Mexico

What do you want to be when you grow up? Grown-up girl

What did you do on your birthday? We went to Disneyland!

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Lyla Rae’s birthday interview – eight years old

How can it be that my last post was a birthday interview a year ago? I really need to get better about blogging more than once a year, lol. But here we are again, conducting Lyla’s annual birthday interview. At least I’m doing it sooner two months after her birthday.

Lyla turned eight on August 10, 2017. It was a busy day because both girls had back-to-school night so our family party was a little rushed. We had a pool party for Lyla and her friends the next day. It was emoji-themed and so much fun.

Happy 8!

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Lyla Rae, Age 8

Nicknames Pies

How old are you? 8 years old

What is your favorite color? Mint green

What is your favorite animal? Unicorn

What is your favorite book? Rainbow Fairy chapter books

What is your favorite TV show? Cake Wars

What is your favorite movie? Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children

What is your favorite song? Despacito by Daddy Yankee & Justin Beiber

What is your favorite food? Cheeseburgers

What is your favorite drink? Root beer

What is your favorite breakfast food? French toast sticks

What is your favorite snack? Fruit snacks

What is your favorite outfit? Dresses & Jojo bows

What is your favorite game? The Game of Life

What is your favorite toy? Nintendo 3DS

Who is your best friend? Stefanie Valle

What is your favorite thing to do? Play my DS and look at my iPad

What is your favorite thing to do outside? Swim in the pool

What is your favorite holiday? Christmas

What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Polar Bear

Where is your favorite place to go? Jupiter, FL (Grandma and Grandpa’s house)

What is your favorite restaurant? Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville in Hollywood, FL

Where do you want to go on vacation? China

What do you want to be when you grow up? Pastry chef

What did you do on your birthday? Opened small gifts, went to Dunkin Donuts for breakfast, gave out cookies to my class as a treat, had a small party at home with Mom, Dad and Sophie then had a emoji-themed pool party with friends the next day.

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Fall fashion

The temps have finally cooled down and we are more than ready to break out our scarves, sweaters, booties and beanies over here. Here’s a taste of our style this season.

Flowy tops, patterned leggings and suede booties.

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Rainy boots and Patagonia vests for dance.

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Swooning over these Sam Edelman booties.

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Cozy headbands and Ugg boots.

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Christmas 2014

I’m going to try and keep this as brief as possible and mostly share our holiday through pictures. I believe pictures tell the greatest story so here are a few from our Christmas last year…

Our Elf on the Shelf Terrance arrived for the season with presents and a donut breakfast. He was also sporting a new jersey. He knew we were nuts about football in this house.

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Here are the girls on our annual trip to pick out our Christmas tree. We are super fancy and get our tree from Home Depot every year. What can I say? It’s become our tradition 🙂

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Terrance brought Sophie a plush Elf and she just loved her.

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Lyla walked in our town’s holiday parade with her Girl Scout troupe. The parade ended with the tree lighting ceremony. This was Lyla’s first time walking in a parade (I walked along with her). It was a fun night and a great experience.

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Lyla performed a routine with her gymnastics class in their annual holiday show. Our girl did so great!

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Lyla and I went to see the Nutcracker with my mom. This is one of my favorite holiday traditions.

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On Christmas Eve, we went to a local farm where they had snow tubing. We had so much fun!

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On Christmas Eve night, we baked cookies for Santa.

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And Sophie woke up with a major case of bed head.

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We had a very low-key night at home, it was perfect.

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Here the girls are opening their one gift on Christmas Eve.

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Someone was loving Christmas.

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Santa came!

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Lyla had been begging for a pajanimal. She reminds me of Ralphie from A Christmas Story.

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We went to my in-laws house for a quick drink and appetizers. Here are the ladies of the family.

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We ended the night at my parents house. That was our Christmas in a nutshell!! It was a lovely time.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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Today is one of my favorite holidays. It used to be my favorite but since I’ve had kids, Christmas has definitely taken its place BUT in my heart, Thanksgiving still reigns supreme. I love being with my family, just hanging out, eating good food, drinking good wine, laughing, and spending quality time together. Plus all the yummy food, I mean how can you not love Thanksgiving!

So from my family to yours, happy Thanksgiving!