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.

4th grade/Pre-K

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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

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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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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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Halloween decorations.

Happy Halloween Eve! In honor of this awesome holiday, I thought I’d put together a quick post of our Halloween decorations.

Here’s a look at our front porch area. I wish I’d done more here but it’s been a really busy month. We carved and painted pumpkins tonight (I took these pictures earlier today) so I’ll have to post a picture of the finished products later.

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I love this candle guy. He is sitting on the side table in our front room. He used to light up (he no longer does) but he has the most funny face and I still love him.

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Our small entry way table has some old Halloween pictures in fun frames, a small glittery haunted house and some really cute LED glitter candles I found at Target in the dollar section – score!

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My favorite area of the house, by far, to decorate is the area behind the sink. I found another great free printable online and filled the area with skulls, eyeballs and black and orange pumpkins – s0 fun!

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This little guy sits on the stove and he matches my Halloween kitchen towel perfectly. I spared you the picture of the towel because, well, it’s a towel.

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Lyla made this spider at Michael’s one Saturday. I found out online (I had no idea before this) that Michael’s does crafts on Saturday mornings for only $2. And you can go and shop around while your child does their craft. She really enjoyed it and I can’t wait to see what they have planned for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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Here is our mantel. The banner is actually made of wood. I found it at HomeGoods for only $8. I was going back and forth on buying it and I’m so glad I decided to get it. The colors go perfectly with the pumpkins I already had out for my Fall decorations and I feel it just completed the  mantel perfectly.

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I had to get a close-up of the candle holder. My mom got it for me from Bath & Body Works and it is so beautiful. I’m not sure this picture does it justice because the detail on it is really, really pretty. And I believe it was really affordable. Looking at it I thought it would cost way a lot more than it actually did. I think it was just around or under $10.

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Lyla picked out this candy corn candle because she absolutely loves candy corn. Next to it is my little candy corn dish. It’s really cute. You can’t see the colors but it looks just like a candy corn and I filled it with, you guessed it, candy corn!

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There you have it, our Halloween decor. I forgot to take pictures of the decorations in the girls rooms and they are both asleep now so unfortunately I won’t be able to show those. They both have a few things up in their rooms which they love and make them happy, which makes me happy 🙂 I think that may be the best part of all this decorating. I love to walk around my house and see all the fun decor but the girls, well only Lyla because Sophie is too little to realize, but Lyla really loves it and these are the types of special memories I love to create for her.

DIY: Rustic Autumn wreath.

In my dreams, I am a DIY master crafter. In reality, I never really had the time to do any crafting so I usually relied on the amazingly talented people over at Etsy for my DIY masterpieces. Now that I’m no longer working a typical 9-5 job, I’m hoping to be able to devote more time to flexing my creative muscle and making my own decorations.

I like to have a wreath of some sort on the front door year round. Fall is my favorite season to decorate for, I adore pumpkins so much so that I had a pumpkin-themed baby shower for my second daughter, I will definitely do an entire post on that shower. It was so much fun to shop for and decorate. Back to the wreath… I knew I wanted to make some sort of Fall themed wreath and it had to have pumpkins. I had pinned a few ideas to Pinterest and had some ideas of my own but I went into Michaels open-minded to see if I would be inspired by what I saw that day.

It took me awhile of walking around, going back and forth, picking up and putting down but I ended up walking out with a pre-made twine wreath, two small flower arrangements with fall colors, feathers and pumpkins and one large sunflower. This wreath was super simple to put together and the best part is that the entire thing cost under $10. The wreath was $4.99, the sunflower under $1 and the two other small flower arrangements were under $2. I really love how it turned out. My front door is ready for Fall!

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#tbt 4th of July

I love holidays, I just love them, each and every single one. And the 4th is no exception. I love to decorate with stars and stripes and of course, dress up in cute 4th of July outfits. I love to hang out with family, drink wine and eat good food and that is exactly what you do on the 4th. AND my stepsister’s birthday is on the 4th, how cool is that?

This year we got to celebrate in our new hometown. That week, someone in the neighborhood left a flyer on our door for a street party. It said to bring your grills and chairs out front, and of course your fireworks! After living in San Jose for so long where fireworks are banned (except for those used in the big fireworks shows), this was a big deal. Growing up, we always celebrated the 4th on the street in front of our house, setting off fireworks. I was so excited for my girls to experience a bit of a small town 4th of July celebration and I myself absolutely adore little neighborhood celebrations. I love a sense of community. We invited my parents to come up and join us for some good, old fashioned family fun.

One of the best parts of being a girl mom is dressing up my two little angels. Each holiday, I get so excited to find great outfits for them wear. Both girls took a nap this day (its a pretty amazing feat when both girls sleep at the same time) and Sophie woke up first. I couldn’t wait to get her in her star spangled dress. She is such a doll! 

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Lyla woke up not much later and I quickly got her ready. I just loved this outfit on her. It’s one of my favorite 4th of July outfits by far. Typically, I forgo matching outfits for coordinating ones. And these two outfits looked great together. And you’d think I would have gotten a picture of the two of them together, right?? Well I was too busy running around trying to get everything ready for the day and forgot #momfail.

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In the past, when we were still a family of three, I would have one of us wear red, one white and one blue on the 4th (my hubby is usually a very good sport and will whatever I pick for him). This makes for such cute pictures. Since we are now a family of four the whole, red, white and blue idea doesn’t really work so this year I got to play with prints and patterns for the girls. I was too tired and overwhelmed from moving to try and get my hubby to play along so I flew solo on the 4th of July coordination. I wanted something simple yet cute and comfortable for myself. I got the best pair of Joe’s jean shorts earlier this Summer and knew that is what I wanted to wear on the 4th. I picked up the blue tank that week at the mall and paired it with my red star headband. This headband was a complete impulse purchase but it has worked perfectly for other 4th of July outfits years past. I completed the look with a sock bun, my white Kate Spade knock-off studs (thank you Nordstrom Rack!) and my Lyla & Sophie nameplate necklace. Simple, cute, comfortable.

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Since we just moved in the last weekend and had a BIG issue getting all of our stuff (I’ll have to dedicate a post to our move, it was the hardest by far), our house was pretty sparse in terms of furniture, etc. But that didn’t stop us from having fun. We bought a blow-up pool at Walmart that week and Lyla was just dying to use it. We had a blast hanging out, watching her play in the water. Sophie enjoyed it as well.

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I’m bummed we didn’t take more pictures of family this day (I’m usually snapping away all day – I love to take pics!) but again, I was so tired from moving just a week earlier that I let it go. I enjoyed the day with my girls, my parents and my hubby. We met our lovely neighbors from across the street and you’ll never believe where they used to live, Orlando! What a small world. That is right near where I grew up and went to college, crazy!! It was a great, great 4th complete with FIREWORKS! Although, Lyla Rae is scared of loud noises and hates fireworks so when they really started to go off, she couldn’t deal and had to stay inside, #storyofmylife.

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Life lately.

If I could describe our life lately in one word it would be chaotic. But in all of the chaos, there has been so much good. We are finally getting settled into our new home and we are loving our new town. We celebrated many family members birthdays including our own Lyla Pies. She turned five the day before she started Kindergarten (I’ll be doing a birthday post here soon). I must admit, I had a little meltdown the day before. It’s got to be the most bittersweet feeling in the world. Although I am happy to report she is doing amazing and thriving, and we love her teacher. I’ve even turned in an application to volunteer in her classroom. Before I had kids, these are the kinds of things I always dreamed of being able to do and now I can do it, its just so surreal to me at times. 

I hope to be able to get on a regular blogging schedule here soon. I’d love to delve more into meal planning (something I love and do every week), my exercise routine (this is a huge part of my life, I LOVE to workout!), my diet and what we eat on a regular basis (it’s pretty healthy during the week but we tend to relax more on the weekends, I have a major sweet tooth!), my girls clothing – I am majorly into clothes and fashion and let me tell you, buying clothes for little girls is ten times better than buying them for myself. These are just a few of the areas I hope to highlight very soon. We are slowing starting to get a schedule down (something I thrive on) and figuring out life now that we have a Kindergartner. 

The first post.

Starting this blog has been a dream of mine for a few years now. And of course I decide to start it when we are about to move to a new city an hour away from San Jose and our lives are beyond hectic. But I just couldn’t wait any longer. I hope to share my life has a mother and a wife and all the fun that comes in between those two big roles. There are so many changes going on right now, I had our second daughter in December, moved in with my parents in March, resigned from my corporate 9-5 in May, I mean the list goes on and on. Like anything in life though, nothing is easy and I hope this blog gives me the creative outlet I so desire. I also hope to share my insights as a mom and a new housewife. I’m no Martha Stewart but I LOVE to decorate, bake (I’m new to this!), and try all those lovely DIY projects I peruse on Pinterest when I’m up with my littlest late at night. Okay, this was just a quick post to get  me started. I need to get back to focusing on our move into this beauty on Friday. Adios!

Tracy house