Sunday, May 20, 2018

Welcome to the Family!!

I really do believe that there are right and wrong dogs for different families. When Scarlett was 3, we bought a French Bulldog. Mostly because we wanted her to have a companion. She has been an animal lover since she could first talk.
I pretty much listened to what the breeder was telling me (mostly all lies) and didn't really do any of my own homework. Let's just say that it was a horrible fit. I am a clean freak. It drove me insane the amount of fur that would gather...EVERYWHERE. They told me she would be a very calm dog. HA! Then she decided she wanted to pee on every. single. bed that we bought her. I think I went through about 25 (no exaggeration) and finally I just stopped buying them. She also peed on every single piece of furniture we had. She was extremely challenging to housebreak and she just wasn't the kind of dog that wanted to please us...ever. She would jump up on the couch to pee in the middle of it!!! I had never heard of a dog who wanted to pee were she slept! We brought her to the vet to see if she had anything medically wrong with her. Nada.

When I got pregnant with Maxwell, I spent the whole pregnancy trying to train her and prepare for when I wouldn't have much time to focus on her after the baby was born. When Maxwell arrived, I just couldn't do it anymore. The new baby was going to take so much energy and time and I was still dealing with the dog who wouldn't pee or poop outside and was acting up non-stop. I decided it was the right thing to do to find a family for her that could spend the time that it took to train and take care of this diva frenchie. Luckily for us, a family member had been dreaming of owning a Frenchie and so Ula found her happy place with them. She is thriving there now without any of the issues she used to have and even has a Boston Terrier sister who keeps her company.

Looking back, I wish we had researched a lot more before we had executed. But you live, you learn. I actually vowed to never get a dog again after the experience I had. And if I did, I wanted it to be an older dog.
Scarlett is older now and an even bigger animal lover!  She tells me that she is going to be an Animal Rescuer when she gets older and live on a Rescue Farm. I can see it. She has been begging us for a pet for SO long. I keep saying, once we settle down, we will get one. In the meantime, I had been researching breeds just to see if there could possibly be a dog that would fit our family. For me, it had to be a family type of dog. One that wasn't too hyper and one that wouldn't shed. Also, it had to be smart. That was my criteria. I came across some silly quiz online that I took. It told me our perfect dog would be a Golden Doodle. I had never heard of this type of dog but as I started asking around and researching more, I started to think that maybe this really was the perfect breed for us! The poodle in them makes them smart as a whip! The Golden Retriever in them makes them great family dogs. They also don't shed because they have hair and not fur. This is MY kinda dog! So I decided that one day, we would look into getting a Golden Doodle.

Well, one day came a little sooner than I anticipated. For Scarlett's birthday, we decided to bring her to the pet store just to pet animals and possibly get a small caged animal like a hamster or a lizard. Of course they had 2 adorable and irresistible Mini Golden Doodles just looking out the window at us. We decided to go into one of the booths to play with them. I fell HARD for this little fluff ball of a pup. He was playful but had a calm sense about him. He looked up at me with his teddy bear face and I could tell this was just a smart, sweet dog. If you know me, you know that I am not a dog person really. (Mostly because of the maintenance) but I looked up at Ty and said, I want him.  10 minutes later we were putting a deposit on him. We didn't tell Scarlett. We figured we would let the kids be surprised when we picked him up a couple days later. We went shopping for puppy stuff and Scarlett thought that we were buying it all so that her and Maxwell could play "Bumper", a very exciting game where Scarlett is the human and Maxwell is Bumper the dog. She walks him and feeds him and sets up cages for him. It's the funniest thing ever! She had literally NO idea that we were going to bring home a dog in just a few hours. When we went to pick him up, we went back into the petting booth to play with him one last time. There we told her that we were bringing him home. At first she didn't quite grasp that we were saying she COULD TAKE HIM HOME. But once she asked a couple questions and figured it out, she was jumping up and down and hugging the dog. She was over the moon happy!!

Then it came time to pick a name. Scarlett wanted Cubbie and Maxwell wanted Benny. We all know he's a Benny Goodman fan;) But we have a dog name Cubbie now so you can see who won that battle. Ha. We took a family vote and when it was 50/50 (Team Maxwell/Mama and Team Scarlett Daddy) We flipped a coin and Cubbie it is! It is suiting since he looks like the most adorable bear cub I've ever seen! We've had Cubbie for a week now and I am thrilled with him. I anticipated a hard first few weeks with the puppy. I remembered what it was like with the Frenchie. But honestly, this is the smartest pup! At 11 weeks old he goes outside on cue and has only had a handful of mistakes! We just purchased one of those bells that go on the door so that when they have to go pee, they ring it!!

Even though the timing was a little off with us renting here, and moving again soon, we are thrilled with our new family member. He is such a cute little fur ball and I can honestly see him growing old with our family. The kids can't leave him be. This dog sure is loved! My advice for anyone thinking about getting a dog/puppy. DO YOUR RESEARCH. Don't get something that is not the right fit for your family. There is a family for every dog but I 100% believe everyone needs to find the perfect match before just buying.

I'm sharing the video here of the day we went back to pick him up below :D

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Where & How I Shop for the Kids.

Scarlett: Shirt sold out but another cute one HERE. Similar Jeans, Sandals, similar sunglasses  Maxwell: Similar Shirt, similar jeans, sandals, sunglasses 

When we took our trip to Disney, I had a lot of questions about where I shop for the kids and so I thought I would put a little post together. It's pretty basic actually. I don't spend boatloads of money on their clothes. I've learned that they outgrow things SO fast that it's not worth it to waste money (that could be spent on travel). I look for sales. I input my email to every place that I love to shop and when they send me deal alerts, I go for them. I have done this long enough to know which ones are the mega good sales.  I just bought a ton of clothes for the kids from Old Navy'/Gap because they have the best sale online right now! I got them about 10-15 items each and the total was about $160!!  And it was cute stuff! Not just the basics. When I shop Gap/Old Navy,  I always check for the codes. They drop the prices quite a bit and the codes aren't always obvious.

I also love Zara even though Scarlett's clothes can be a little more expensive on there. Still, you can find cute pieces that will last awhile so I think it's worth it. I will share what I just bought there as well. Some other places that I love to shop is of course, Target. Cat and Jack is the cutest line ever along with a few others. With those I just shop in store and make sure to use my Target Red Card for 5% off and Cart Wheel.  I love H&M as well. They don't ever usually have sales but the clothes are pretty inexpensive. Once in awhile I will splurge and buy them something from J Crew or Nordstrom but not very often. For shoes, I swear by Zappos because I can order anything and have them try things on, whatever doesn't fit, I send back with free shipping. Also you can become a VIP member after you spend so much and so shipping is free as well.  I also love Toms. The kids ask to wear their Toms more than any other shoe. Toms has a lot of sales and free shipping events and they always give to good causes.

Also, anything that I shop online for, I make sure to go through Ebates first. Why not? It's free money!!!! If you don't use Ebates, you should! I have gotten a lot of money back from just using it for everything I buy online. When we lived in Massachusetts, I shopped second hand stores all the time. I'm not quite as familiar with anything here in TX yet but if I found a cute vintage/second hand store, I would definitely shop there for the kids (and myself actually) too.

I do find it harder to find boy clothes than girl clothes. And it is true that they just seem to have more in the girls departments than the boys. But I find that when I shop online for boys, I seem to find more. I've linked a few of the kids outfits under the photos. If you guys like this type of post, I will do them periodically. Also, I'm going to try a few shops that I found recently and I will share them with you if I like them.

 Scarlett: Cullotes HERE, Top HERE and Similar sunglasses HERE. Maxwell: Top sold out but a cute one that I have been eyeing HERE Shorts HERE and sandals HERE.

Scarlett's shorts HERE, Emoji slip-ons HERE, Smoothie Purse from Zara sold out fast but another cute purse HERE, and a cute graphic tee that I want to get here HERE. (The Meowrica tee is from Target) Unicorn headbands HERE

 Maxwell and Scarlett's Plaid tops were from Gap/Old Navy. Maxwell's pants were from H&M and Scarlett's skirt was from Target. Her shiny high-tops similar HERE.

 Maxwell: Sweater was from OshKosh, shirt was hand me down from a friend, Sneakers HERE. Scarlett: Sweater similar HERE, skirt from H&M but sold out similar HERE,  leggings similar HERE and sparkle sneakers HERE.

Scarlett: Dress  Maxwell: Similar Shirt, similar fedora 

The shirts aren't available anymore but the sandals were both from Target HERE and HERE and shirts were from Old Navy in the boys section. Minnie hat from Target and Scarlett's Shorts similar HERE. 

 Maxwell's Tank HERE. His Shorts were Zara, similar HERE and sandals HERE. Scarlett's Top similar HERE, shorts HERE and sandals HERE

    Maxwell's V neck tees I always get from H&M HERE and Scarlett's dress was from Old Navy. 

 Maxwell and Scarlett's sweaters were from OshKosh. Her star jeans were from H&M but some fun ones HERE. Or try these cute star shorts HERE.

 Scarlett's dress was last year at Target but another cute one HERE. They are both wearing Birkenstocks. Maxwell's shorts and tee are both from Old Navy. 

Scarlett's dress was from Old Navy, sold out but another cute one HERE and she is actually wearing my fedora HERE. Maxwell's outfit was from H&M but similar HERE. And I love this cute Fedora HERE.

 Scarlett's dress was from Gap. There are some super cute ones HERE. Maxwell was wearing a hand me down sweater from a friend with pants from H&M and Freshly Picked Moccs. 

Scarlett's Minnie Dress was from H&M. If you are going to Disney, check these ones out HERE.  Minnie Sandals HERE and Maxwell's Shirt HERE. Mickey sandals HERE. 

 These are winter clothes but both puff vests and kitty hat were from Gap, Maxwell's boots were from Gap (they used to be Scarlett's) and Scarlett's boots were from Walmart for like $15!

Similar dresses HERE (I just bought this one as well) and HERE and HERE. Sandals were Old Navy. 

Scarlett's Dress HERE, wrap similar HERE  and fedora HERE. Maxwell: similar shorts HERE and fedora HERE. (His sweater was from OshKosh-sold out)

Horse backpack HERE, checkered pants HERE and horse shirt was from Target like 3 years ago and I could not find one similar. But I found this dress HERE that Scarlett would swoon over.

I was and still am obsessed with this Palm Tree Fedora hat that is sold out but here is another cute option HERE. Some shorts HERE and a cute tank HERE. And of course Toms HERE.

Did you guys like this post? If so leave me a comment or like the post on Instagram or FB so that I know I'm providing something helpful for you all! I'd love to do more if they are :) 

Monday, May 14, 2018

Which glasses fit me best with Warby Parker.

I don't wear glasses on a regular basis but I do use glasses for night time driving, drive-ins and any other things far away visuals. I actually like wearing glasses once in awhile and if I didn't have to use them periodically, I probably would just for fashion sake. So I am kind of picky when it comes to picking out glasses and for some reason the ones that I think are going to look good never do and vice versa. Larger glasses tend to look good on my face since I have large features.

I got to try Warby Parker's At Home Try On and it was super easy and a great way to try some glasses for free! I went online and did a short questionnaire on my face shape and what I like, etc. My results on what glasses would be best for me were pretty spot on. Out of my results, I picked 5 pairs that I wanted to try on and ordered them. These below were the ones I liked.

They shipped them for free right to my door and after trying them on, I just stuck them all back in the box, added the prepaid shipping label and sent them back. I asked on Instagram which glasses you all liked better and these above and below, were the winners!!! Laurel Oak Barrel was #1, Laurel Tea Rose Fade #2 and Louise Rose Water was #3.

If you wanted to check out the free At Home Try on, you can do that HERE.  They also have sunglasses!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Spring in Texas & My Mother's Day Plans.

There is nothing I love more than spending the day out exploring with my littles. Mother's Day is this Sunday and I'm hoping that is exactly what they have in store for me! I asked Scarlett what her and Daddy have planned for me and she said, "It's still in the works". Haha.
We took a day not long ago and went to see the BlueBonnets and all of the beautiful fields of flowers blooming here in Texas! We went to WildSeed Farms in Fredricksburg. They had all of the hill country basics: live music, wine, beautiful scenery and sun! The kids loved exploring around in the flowers and as you can see...I enjoyed capturing all the little moments on my iphone.

I've been sick for the last week and a half with some horrendous virus that just won't go away!! I think that I didn't rest enough when I should have been and that is what prolonged it even more. I am making it a point to not do anything this entire weekend but rest!! It's been killing me not to workout but the couple of times that I have attempted this week, after barely making it through due to the awful coughing and barely being able to catch my breath,  I've immediately felt worse afterwards. I can feel my body telling me to RELAX. It is very hard for me to do nothing. I am the girl in meditation at the end of Yoga making a grocery or to-do list in my head as everyone else is zoning out. Either that or I am wondering how long I have to sit in silence, wasting my time when I could be doing something. Ha. I know that mediation is super important and that a lot of good can come from it- I just haven't figured out how to conquer that yet. I also know, like I've said SO many times before, the key to happiness is balance. And so I know that I need to slow down or I am not going to get any better. What better time to do this then Mother's Day weekend! We all deserve a little R&R so I hope you take some of that on Mother's Day weekend! 

Friday, April 27, 2018

Intentions in Lajitas & Big Bend.

 Our trip to Lajitas and Big Bend was absolutely amazing in every way. Ty and I are celebrating 5 years of marriage this spring. Yeah. If you do that math I had kids before I got married. I've never been one to follow rules. ;)
We wanted to go to the desert. Originally we had planned to go to Sedona AZ but we had some sitter issues and weren't sure if the sitter was going to be able to come or not. Not wanting to make flight reservations without knowing if we could go, we decided to check out driving options. I am SO glad that we did. I discovered Big Bend National Park which is on the border of Mexico. My sister used to live not far from there and told us if we ever got the chance, to go. When I looked into it, I thought, "Why in the world are we traveling away from TX when there is so much beauty right here!" And so not fully knowing what to expect, we booked Lajitas Golf and Spa Resort. We met 3 different travelers along our trip that had also been to Sedona and said that it was pretty, but nothing compared to Big Bend and west Texas. And after a few days there, I understood exactly why they said this. My photos, video and words can't describe how beautiful it was there. If you ever get the chance, GO there. Everything from Terlingua to Presitos to Big Bend itself, it was just so inspiring.
While on our getaway, not only did I get some r&r, I also came to some realizations.

 There was very limited cell service there in the desert. Meaning, I couldn't use my phone unless we were in our hotel room where there was wifi. On arrival, I was rather bummed about this. How would I stay connected to the kids back home or what if there was an emergency?! How would I share all of the wonderfulness or post to Instagram for Heaven's sake! Ha ha. I'm laughing now because I find it so intriguing how quickly we become enraptured by technology. How dependent we become of it. I am guilty, guilty, guilty of this. For the first entire day, I was constantly picking up my phone to post something or check for messages. Only to disappoint myself when I realized I couldn't. I also found that it was almost unsettling how I had forgotten to just enjoy the moment or live in the now. I didn't know what to do with myself!  I am the kind of person who loves to be on the go most of the time. I love excitement happening all the time. It feeds my wild soul. But there were no kids to keep track of or chase after. There was no Facebook to check on or Instagram to reply to messages or post. There was just this magnificently beautiful place, Ty.....and me.

By the end of day one, I felt a sense of peace come over me that I had not felt in a very long time. I felt that Ty and I had connected more than we had in weeks. It just felt GOOD. 
Of course, being the "moment-collector" that I am, I took a thousand photos and videos. Ty helped. But it was different. I was disconnected from all of the noise.  I think that is a great word for it, noise. It is refreshing and so placid to be able to just sit and listen to the quietness of nothing after being caught up in noise for so long. I work at home everyday and it's as quiet as can be. I'm talking about that static noise of constant pressure to be connected to social media, or listening to crying kids, or dealing with work or cooking dinner, meal prepping, or stress from school or whatever it is that piles up on your plate week after week!....The things that bury your serenity. I am trying to structure my words so that people don't misunderstand this. I love working and being busy. I love raising my babies. God do I love them!  I love being inspired or connecting with amazing people on Instagram and staying in touch with on Facebook. I love being busy! But I must say how amazingly freeing it is to let all of that go for a period of time and push reset.

And that is exactly what we did in Lajitas and Big Bend and all the small towns in between. We pushed the mute button on all of that noise. In return, we gained something that I could never attain without letting go of the noise.

We laughed and talked about things that I didn't realize we hadn't talked about in a very long time. We sat and listened to silence on the top of a mountain, looking down on the Rio Grande. We trailed through winding roads with the music blasting and the top down. I hung out of the top of a convertible and let my hair go wild while I sang my favorite songs. We had a picnic in the middle of the desert and drank Topo Chico on the back of the convertible. We found teepees and explored trails. We had dinner overlooking Mexico and breakfast over the unexpectedly green golf course in the middle of the desert. We sat by campfires at night, chatting with locals. We walked the golf course to watch the sunrise, coffee in hand. We relaxed for some glorious couples massages. We zip-lined the Mexico border and yes, I even got my anti-roller-coaster husband to join me! We rode horses into the sunset and then drank wine at the top of the mountain. We splashed by the pool and laid in that wonderful southern sun. We stopped at tiny gas stations-Ty filled up on gas and I took photos of trains going by. We watched how the people there lived so much more quietly than we have ever seen. So slow and intentional. Inspiring. I laid in Ty's lap while the stars came out...just thinking and talking about our dreams, what we wish we had done differently, about the future.

If this sounds too good to be true, well...I thought the same. And it was in one of those moments-me laying there thinking about how lucky I am to be able to live these moments, that it just hit me. Bam. Like that. These moments happen all of the time. Maybe not in such astonishingly beautiful surroundings, but they do happen. We forget how fortunate we really are and all of the wonderfulness in our lives. We miss so much of it because of all the distraction. I decided right then and there that I wanted to be intentional. I would set intentions to live in the moments and let less of the noise interfere with the things that make me soar.

Does this mean I am quitting social media? No. I am merely being purposeful with my time. Setting boundaries and being intentional with my time. When I'm with the kids, I will be there, with them, giving my attention fully. When I am working, I will put my full focus on that. When I am with Ty, there will be nothing else in the world that could draw me away. And when I'm writing a blog post or posting an Instagram photo, it will be my time to enjoy creativity. When I was there with no service,  I had to video or photograph everything and post it later. I found that was a great way to be purposeful with moments. I can still document or take photos or video without taking 15 minutes to edit or message or scroll, therefore making me miss the good stuff. There will be time to edit, post or reply to messages later. These are my intentions and I have Lajitas to thank for this profound awakening. And if it all starts to creep back in, well, there's always another getaway waiting to remind us ;)

Also, a bunch of you asked about the music I was listening to on my stories while we were away. I will put together a playlist of the music I love and share that with you.