Monday, April 24, 2017

Park People // Our Favorite Local Playgrounds {California Moms blog hop}

I don't want to brag but we've got some awesome parks at our disposal. Living in Central California affords us plenty of outside play time since we usually have mild weather most of the year. Basically our house is centrally located to all these park locations so if it was a map it would look like a circle with radiating lines (a sun or a bike spoke are my favorite analogies.) This was my most anticipated prompt for California Moms so without further ado, our favorite playgrounds!

Our Park//
Park People // Our Favorite Local Playgrounds {California Moms blog hop}
I grew up playing at this park so it holds a very special place in my heart. It has gone through a few changes since I was a kid (like having no swings, wahhh!) but it's still my favorite park. It has two separate play areas; the bottom and bigger kid play area has sand and the top smaller kid play area has fibar. This is also the site of like 40% of my Instagram feed ;)
Park People // Our Favorite Local Playgrounds {California Moms blog hop}
Two Red Parks//
Park People // Our Favorite Local Playgrounds {California Moms blog hop}
This playground is about 15 minutes away from our house and nestled in a military housing tract. Its almost always empty so we get the run to ourselves.
This has two play structures the smaller one for younger patrons, a climbing wall, swings,  a variety of slides and a fireman pole.
Park People // Our Favorite Local Playgrounds {California Moms blog hop}
Little Blue Park//
Park People // Our Favorite Local Playgrounds {California Moms blog hop}
This is the cousin to Two Red Parks and just down the street in the same military housing neighborhood. Its tucked between two houses and enclosed so it feels safer and more intimate. 
Park People // Our Favorite Local Playgrounds {California Moms blog hop}
Pickle Park//
Park People // Our Favorite Local Playgrounds {California Moms blog hop}
This is right by Kinsey's school and another old haunt of mine and Brian (who grew up just down the street!) It's also where we all got puppy fever (Floyd is the park mascot and the sweetest Corgi ever) circa 2014. These are old school pictures from Kinsey's little days and a little Brielana.
Park People // Our Favorite Local Playgrounds {California Moms blog hop}
Deer Flats Park//
Park People // Our Favorite Local Playgrounds {California Moms blog hop}
This is up the street from Pickle Park. It has a huge green space for t-ball, a small basketball court, monkey bars and swings. Apparently I don't have any recent pictures of this park (and of course, we have plans to meet friends here on Friday, haha- isn't that always the way?!)
Park People // Our Favorite Local Playgrounds {California Moms blog hop}
And that's a tour of our favorite local parks! Happy playing!

Park People // Our Favorite Local Playgrounds {California Moms blog hop}
And check out these other California Mom Bloggers to see their favorite local parks! 
Justine at Little Dove Blog

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Friday, April 21, 2017

Easter things // Pastels {A Year of Color #4}

Easter things // Pastels {A Year of Color #4}

I may very well be the very last blogger to share about Easter but I couldn't think of a better representation of pastels! So it'll be short and sweet.
Easter things // Pastels {A Year of Color #4}
We dyed eggs on Saturday. Somebunny (I'm not saying any names but we all know which little lady it was haha) spilled the green dye and wouldn't you know, PAZ dye is washable! All the praise hands.

Bless Target for always coming through for basket fillers. Everything minus the girls books, Pjs and jellies were from the Motherstore.

It rained on Sunday so that was only a little depressing. I didn't get to wear my planned outfit (a floral maxi) but the girls sure did look adorable. Dresses were sent from Great Grandma Mary from Arkansas.

And I got my Family picture! I couldn't rain on our parade ;)

Now it's your turn! Add your link below. Thank you for joining DesireeJustineStefanie and me for A Year of Color! Next month's
color is yellow and the link up will be on Friday, May 19th!


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Two girls in a field // Pink {A Year of Color #2}

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Advice for a first time BOY mom

I still have "pinch me" moments about having a baby boy, it makes me plain giddy! But what do I know about baby boys? Not a whole lot! So I turned to my favorite boy moms and asked what to expect:
Advice for a first time BOY mom

Stephanie of WifeMommyMe "Be prepared for chaos the moment he gains the full use of his legs. I've never seen someone destroy a room as quickly as a toddling 12 month old."

Laureen of Chateau Deveau "Pee, everywhere!! We kept some of the small/cheap baby washcloths close by and would cover him up when changing and that would at least soak some up. Also definitely use one of those washable changing pad liners for the first few weeks. There's lots of rough and toughness, as well as sweet and gentleness. Boys are so fun!!" 

Crystal of Hall Around Texas "Oh goodness! How long of a post are you wanting?! Lol! Boys are so much fun. Also, so unpredictable. He will steal your heart the moment you lock eyes. Boys and their mamas have such an amazing and explainable bond. Be ready for lots of potty talk and also about their boy bits! And they do not get complete control of their boy bits when peeing for years! Mason pee'd up the wall once. Oh I could go on for days."

Elizabeth from Chasin' Mason "Ok, ok. I'll tell you ;) Honestly most people have said it already but you will fall in love instantly. I'm sure this is the same for your daughters but since I only have one kid, I can only speak to a son. The mother/son bond is so special and so wonderful. Also, boy things are so fun! I'm obsessed with all things trains, cars, baseball, you name it. Being a girl myself (lol), it's so fun to experience all the boy things! Also, shopping for boys is just as fun as girls."
Desiree from Macke Monologues "Never, in my life did I think the words, "Buddy, your penis is NOT a periscope!" Would pass through my lips. But, I've totally said that."

Amy from keepin' Up with the Smith's "Also, just the bond between a mother & son is so special. You are truly their first love. You will be the guide (along with their daddy) as to how to treat girls / women. Our job & role in raising sons, who will eventually become men, is so important. 

But the potty talk...my word. Why oh why?" 


Ashley of I Love You More Than Carrots "Always point it down before you close the diaper  haha (I don't know any differently but boys are the bomb. They love their mamas something fierce). 

I'm so glad Amy touched on this because I actually went to bed thinking about this thread and how we're all so quick to say something about pee and penises as if that's what defines our boys, I even had an eye-roll moment at my own previous answer. 


Boys are as sweet as they are strong. They will watch you and want to mirror you every day. They'll ask to have their nails painted, they'll wear your shoes around the house. Little boys want to be just like their mamas when they grow up. It's both beautiful and bittersweet. Knowing it's your job to raise them to love someone else more than you one day."

Tawnya from All of Life's Little Adventures " I don't have any advice because I didn't notice much of a difference between my girl and boy but boys are so special! Congratulations!! I'm so excited for you!!"

Courtney from Sweet Turtle Soup "I'm with Tawnya. So far baby Lincoln and baby Aria have been the same except Lincoln figured out how to grab his little bit before his feet."

Sarah from Seeing All Sides "My biggest surprise: shopping for boys (and dressing them) is way more fun than I ever expected it to be! And there are plenty of boy clothes that don't involve planes, trains, and dinosaurs, thank goodness! I wanted a girl more than anything in this world, yet three boys later and I am content beyond words.  

But yes, the potty talk. Poop and butt cracks and toots and nuts...yes nuts!! A few months ago, Brantley told Craig he was going to "crush his nuts" while playing a game with him. Seriously where do they learn this stuff and how is it naturally instilled in them?!"

Jess from Secrets of a Stay at Home Mom "The amount of times I've said "buddy your penis isn't a toy" is higher than I ever expected. The serious love between mom and boy is amazing! Cam loves his daddy but if he's sad or hurt he only wants mommy and I'm okay with that. Be ready for superheroes, trucks, and lots noise."

Thanks friends for the love and support! Apparently we're in for a whole lotta potty talk ;) Here's to being that much closer to meeting our little guy!

Advice for a first time BOY mom


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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

What We're Reading #4

After last month's sorry turn out I am pleased to report that I read three (THREE!) books in March! Not going to lie, it felt g-o-o-d. 

Fiction Reads for March

Goodreads Synopsis:
A mission to Mars.
A freak accident.
One man's struggle to survive.
Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.
Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there.
After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate the planet while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded on Mars' surface, completely alone, with no way to signal Earth that he’s alive. And even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone years before a rescue could arrive.
Chances are, though, Mark won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.
But Mark's not ready to quit. Armed with nothing but his ingenuity and his engineering skills—and a gallows sense of humor that proves to be his greatest source of strength–he embarks on a dogged quest to stay alive, using his botany expertise to grow food and even hatching a mad plan to contact NASA back on Earth.
As he overcomes one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next, Mark begins to let himself believe he might make it off the planet alive.
But Mars has plenty of surprises in store for him yet.
My thoughts:
Characters:
Stars: 5 out of 5! So G-O-O-D!!
 
Goodreads Synopsis:
A lush, raw, thrilling novel of the senses about a year in the life of a uniquely beguiling young woman, set in the wild, alluring world of a famous downtown New York restaurant.

"Let's say I was born when I came over the George Washington Bridge..." 

This is how we meet unforgettable Tess, the twenty-two-year-old at the heart of this stunning first novel. Shot from a mundane, provincial past, she's come to New York to look for a life she can't define, except as a burning drive to become someone, to belong somewhere. After she stumbles into a coveted job at a renowned Union Square restaurant, we spend the year with her as she learns the chaotic, punishing, privileged life of a "backwaiter," on duty and off. Her appetites—for food, wine, knowledge, and every kind of experience—are awakened. And she's pulled into the magnetic thrall of two other servers—a handsome bartender she falls hard for, and an older woman she latches onto with an orphan's ardor. 

These two and their enigmatic connection to each other will prove to be Tess's hardest lesson of all. Sweetbitter is a story of discovery, enchantment, and the power of what remains after disillusionment.

My thoughts: This was a random Free Little Library book and I was drawn to it because I have a deep appreciation for food. This did not satisfy my appetite. Maybe if I was still in my "wandering twenties" it would have resonated more but really, all of Tess's decisions were horrible ones and I had no sympathy for her whatsoever. And it didn't help that I didn't even know her name until the end of the book, that was unsettling.

Characters: I don't think I truly liked anyone in this book. Even the main character was a bore. From self-destructing, drug and alcohol addicts to creepy co-dependent relationships, I would probably say this is a "don't do this" example more than being entertaining. But maybe I don't "get it" because I never waited in a restaurant before?

Stars: 1 out of 2


Goodreads Synopsis:
When Elizabeth Bennet first met Mr. Darcy, she found him proud, distant, and rude—despite the other ladies' admiration of his estate in Derbyshire and ten thousand pounds a year. But what was Mr. Darcy thinking?
Jane Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice has long stood among the most beloved novels of all time. The story of Elizabeth Bennet's blossoming romance with "haughty, reserved, and fastidious" Fitzwilliam Darcy has enchanted readers for nearly two centuries.
Now author Janet Aylmer loving retells Pride and Prejudice from a bold new perspective: seeing events as they transpire through the eyes of Darcy himself. One of world's great love stories takes on breathtaking new life, and one of fiction's greatest romantic heroes becomes even more sympathetic, compelling, attractive, and accessible, all through the imagination and artistry of a truly gifted storyteller.

This edition includes many prints by the Victorian artist Hugh Thomson, which were used in an edition of Pride and Prejudice in 1894.
My thoughts: I wanted to love this retelling of Austen's (because she is one of my ultimate favorites, naturally) Pride and Prejudice as it was written in the point of view of Mr. Darcy but it was so boring. It was one of those books I just finished because I started it but really didn't enjoy it.
Characters: All the beloved and not so adored characters from Pride and Prejudice.
Stars: 2 out of 5

Now it's your turn! Add your book-related link below. Thanks for joining StephanieKeriWhitneyJustineCrystalJohannahHeather and me for What We're Reading Wednesday on the first Wednesday of every month!




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