Choo-choo’ing away to Western PA! Next stop, Miles Waltman!
Monthly Archives: July 2015
catch ya later!
Painted Cork Board
Inspiration struck me when I noticed round cork trivets on sale at Michaels for $.79. I picked up 6 large cork trivets, 3 medium trivets, and several small bottles of acrylic paint and headed home to start my project.
At home I searched through my craft supplies and found two round foam stamp brushes and a roll of FrogTape. Let the fun begin!
I didn’t take the time to think through how I wanted to paint or layout the trivets… I just wanted to craft with free rein and no direction in mind. I find a ridiculous amount of joy in the mindlessness of a good craft project and the freedom from the thought of making a mistake. To me, projects like this bring a sense of calm and relaxation.
I started by adding polka dots to 3 of the trivets. I mixed and matched the sizes and colors of the dots by using the round foam brushes. (tip: use the back of the paint brush for two different size circles.)
Next I moved on to the striped trivets. I used FrogTape to create straight, clean lines and again varied the colors and size of each line.
All done!! Once I hang them in the nursery, I plan to display family pictures and other kid-friendly keepsakes.
The Ultimate Stay-All-Day Lip Color
I have talked in the past about how grateful I am for my Birchbox subscription. It has taught me so much about what beauty products do or do not work for me and my routine (and all with in comfort level). My favorite benefit of the monthly subscription is that I get to try bold and bright colors that I could never afford to try otherwise. I have transformed from “clear gloss girl” – to confidently styling bold purples, pinks, and reds! I’ve- in fact – become so interested in new colors that this is my third lip product review!
With a wedding on the books and less than one year away – a “Stay All Day” product is the most important feature to me right now. I want to know that photos at 2pm and photos at 10pm will have the same impact when it comes to my make up on my special day.
This months birchbox brought me THE one! The one I might even use on my big day! Its staying power is so strong- I think it will make it through 100 kisses, a few cocktails, and hours of smiles!
Stila Cosmetics is a brand worth knowing if you do not already. And if you’re looking for a gem of a lipstick I suggest : Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick. My shade – “Bella.” There are several other stunning colors:
I thought a gender reveal party was the best way to see what this stuff really had to offer.
I applied my first coat at 12:00 pm and snapped a photo 30 minutes later:
*NOTE; painting inside the lines is Crucial with this serious stuff! Its going to STAY where ever you put it.
4 hours later, 2 beverages, a bottled water, and lots of talking and snacking later:
Although you can certainly see the wear in this comparison – you wouldn’t know a difference with out the side by side!
This stuff has a matte look. I would not advise adding a gloss over top, because I think it would carry your stain to outside your lip line or on to your teeth. After about five hours it did begin to dry slightly on the inner circle of my lips, but still no changes, cracking, or bleeding on my lip line!
The only reason it finally came off is after several beers, crabs, and old bay I had to clean my forearms, face, and everywhere else!
I believe the stila stay all day liquid lipstick would have kept its promise otherwise!
I highly recommend this gorgeous shade and true stay all day product.
Ps. Our attire was appropriate- Its a boy! Congrats to the Drake family on their new addition!
My disconnected Sunday
Lately, I have been feeling badly about missing moments with Miles because I am only focused 50% of the time on him, and the other 50% on my cell phone. My frequented apps are Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Baby Center, and Gmail. I made Lance do it with me, for fun.
Yesterday, while I was talking with my friends on Facebook, i looked down and saw this cute little guy and decided that it was time to take a little break. Look how cute!
So, on Sunday I shut my phone off and spent the day without it. This was my experience.
I found that my singing is so terrible that it actually keeps Miles awake while I am breastfeeding! No, but seriously….the breastfeeding experience while paying attention only to Miles was much more intimate. I felt like I had time to truly focus on him. It was nice.
On the flip side, I also thought of a few things I needed to do, or wanted to research and didn’t have the knowledge at my fingertips. I tried to sit down and nurse while looking at recipe books, but it proved to be hazardous with The Better Home and Gardens Recipes near Miles’ head! I also couldn’t text Lance whenever I needed something while I was breastfeeding, which proved to be pretty inconvenient.
I realized that we have no clocks around the house except for in the kitchen. We are so used to having our cell phones on us. I pity the people who visit and don’t have their phones on them when they go to bed at night. We definitely need to get some clocks!
Lance and I spent brunch laughing hysterically about my baby hairs and their versatility, and reciting lines from Mr. Holland’s Opus. We even had a second cup of coffee together. Something which wouldn’t have happened if we were looking at our phones.
All in all, I truly enjoyed today and realized that I need to put my phone away more often. Try spending even a few hours without your phone and comment on your experience. I bet you some great things will come out of it!
Summer in the Lehigh Valley
Summer time is the best time for adventure, every week or so I have tried (emphasis on “tried”) to do something fun and new with the girls. At the beginning of the summer I made a list of all the places in the Lehigh Valley that offer great activities for kids, so far we have hit two places on my list: The DaVinci Center in Allentown, and the Lehigh Valley Zoo at the Trexler Nature Preserve.
The Da Vinci Center is filled with fun exhibits and hands on activities for kids of all ages. This summer the big exhibit is National Geographic Presents: Earth Explorers. The exhibit features all sorts of hands on activities and information on places that most people will never visit. Kids and parents alike get to experience everything from the African savannas to the Himalayas in Asia and everything in between. My girls loved starring into the eyes of a Great White Shark and discovering bugs that live in the Amazon.
The Da Vinci Center also offers hands-on activities geared toward younger children (ages 2-6) every Monday from 10:30am-1:30pm. On the particular day we went they had huge blocks to crawl on and a car that the kids could add gears and car parts to. The girls love playing in the car and stacking and climbing on the blocks! Our favorite part of the day was the touch tank! There is something so exciting about touching a star fish and being face-to-face with a little crab. The girls loved learning about all the different types of fish and creatures that were swimming by them.
The Da Vinci Center has a ton to offer and it is reasonably priced. I strongly suggest making a visit if you have kids; there is something for everyone!
The Lehigh Valley Zoo is on my top favorite days spent with my family. The girls LOVED every second we spent wandering around and it’s the perfect size for younger kids. They offer a petting zoo and they also have a little playground set up. The girls loved watching the otter swim around and our youngest loved the goats. My personal favorite were the Mexican Gray Wolves! We can’t wait to go back again!
Here is a list of a few of the other attractions we hope to visit this summer:
–Philadelphia Zoo/Adventure Aquarium-Philadelphia, PA/Camden, NJ
–Please Touch Muesum-Philadelphia, PA
PIT to SAT to PHX to SD
Well I’m slowly returning to Earth following our epic #sotysouthwestadventure. Trying to catch up on work and home is always a hard adjustment after being gone for a week and a half. We were all over the place exploring new places and visiting family and friends we haven’t seen in ages. It was so much to escape from reality and have total rest and relaxation. Here are my favorite places that we visited that we visited throughout our trip!
First Stop: San Antonio, Texas
My husbands work conference was perfectly located atop one of the sprawling hills in San Antonio, TX. I was fortunate to be able to relax and enjoy this view for two days. The La Cantera Resort was amazing, everything was there or a short shuttle ride away so there was easy access to all that San Antonio, TX has to over. I would definitely stay here again or within their hotel group Destination Hotels. The conference also offered a chance to see an authentic Texas rodeo at Tejas Rodeo.
Second Stop: Phoenix, AZ
This was just a day and half pit stop for us to pick up my brother-in-law and head on over to San Diego, which was about a 5 hour car ride from PHX. It was a cool 110 degrees so we were at the pool the full day we were there.
Third Stop/Final Stop: San Diego, CA
The part of the trip I was most looking forward too was CA. I got to hang out with my girlfriends, E got to hang with his old best friend and we got to beach it! We rolled into our place which was situated in the Hillcrest neighborhood of San Diego. We have always stayed downtown but it was nice to be in the suburbs and we rented a duplex (Dwain was so accommodating and the place was a great value) so it made us easy to prep breakfast and sandwiches for on the run. The highlights for me were seeing our friends and reminiscing about our time living in CA. San Diego is an amazing place with so many things for do for people of all ages. The weather was incredible while we were there and I wouldn’t have changed anything about our trip except I wish we could have stayed longer!
Faux Succulent Wreath
I’ve been dying to make a succulent wreath for some time now, but then I came back to reality and remembered I don’t have a green thumb. Plants beware, I’m a killer.
Fast forward to this past week, when I was walking around the Dollar Tree and spotted the cuttest little selection of fake succulents. Jackpot. I filled my box with 14 succulents and headed for the register.
My next stop was Michaels where I picked up the remaining supplies and a few other items for a little project I’m working on in the nursery ( stay tuned for that baby…see what i did there !?) I bought a 12″ wreath form and one bunch of Spanish moss.
After laying out all of my materials, my first step was to remove the succulents from the pots. They were simply hot glued into the styrofoam base so with one twist, the succulent was free. I didn’t take the time to clean off the small pieces of styrofoam because I knew it would be hidden once the wreath was formed. But, if you feel more comfortable cleaning each succulent, go for it!
With the succulents ready, I started to organize them on the wreath. I didn’t have any particular layout in mind…just went with what I thought looked the best. I then attached them to the wreath with my hot glue gun and before nap time was over, my wreath was completed. Woot!!! #mommywin
Wreath: $2.99 (originally $4.99 but I used a 40% off coupon)
Succulents: $14.00 (14 succulents at $1.00 each)
Spanish moss: $2.99
Hot glue: free 🙂
Time: 20 minutes
I’m so happy with the finished project! I love the simple design and succulents can rest assure that these will be well cared for!
Last week I made mention to how I have recently been allowing this fast paced fun filled life get the best of me. This week is a new approach. Generally I’m stressing to get as much as I possibly can done during the week because our weekends are so booked. Cooking, cleaning, errands, projects, extra curriculars… The list of course goes on. We all know the tune to this song.
This past weekend was no exception and by 7:30pm I was out and nearly slept an entire 12 hours! I’m out of the office for training this week- and decided on this well-rested-low-stress Monday to make it a theme for my week. If things don’t get done, it’s okay!
I spent the evening with my loves. We worked out (which I have completely quit the past 6 months) and followed with a nice family walk for Ella.
Were ended the evening watching our new fav series “Treme”.
How refreshing to allow myself to not have a to do list!
XoXo – R and baby El
“the most well behaved dog is a sleeping dog”
Week 6 of Mommyhood
It’s week six, and Miles and Lance and I are doing great! So far we have overcome sleepless nights, the stomach flu, and have recovered from a c-section. Lance and I really feel like we are getting the hang of things.
One barrier we faced so far as parents was Lance and I weren’t communicating with one another about how we were feeling. Whether we were frustrated with Miles, or tired, or just in a bad mood, we were taking things out on one another. We talked about it last weekend and came up with a resolution that seems to be working right now. It’s very basic, but it seems to be helping.
Before we go to bed when I am feeding Miles, we each say the following:
1. One special moment we had with Miles today
2. One frustrating moment we had with Miles today
3. One thing we truly appreciated about eachother
This week we are planning for our summer vacation in Ocean City, Maryland. I have my 6 week check up with my gynecologist, a dinner date with my girls and a few visitors so we will also be tidying up a bit.