Thursday, January 28, 2016

Thoughts for Thursday // This Week

All the ice and snow made this a super short week. The boys just went back to school yesterday. Poor KC didn't know what to do without them. They attended her music class yesterday and KC would have nothing to do with my lap, and kept walking over to N's (who was trying to sit quietly off to the side). I ended up asking him to participate with her and he loved it. Five days off full of sledding, movies, friends, music, and the library has me itching for summer (and signing up for boot camp so I'll have the energy to keep up).

The lack of school and schedules had the boys in crazy good moods. It probably also helped that I fed them nothing but sugar Monday. I didn't realize till putting them to bed that their day consisted of cinnamon rolls, chick-fil-a, Icees, and cheetos. I redeemed myself with dinner (veggie burritos with homemade tortillas), but I couldn't help but think the food choices had something to do with their crazy fun attitudes.

I just finished reading Water for Elephants (like a decade too late). I think I missed something because it just didn't make me love it like I thought it would. I was rather horrified by a lot of the goings-on in the circus and had a hard time really liking the characters. The story was interesting though. (and how did I not know this was a movie?!)

Tomorrow is Friday! Thank goodness.  Chris has been pulling late nights and the kids miss him like crazy (me too - and I can't binge on The Office when he's not home at night... that said, our house is a lot cleaner). Linking up with Annie and Natalie for Thoughts for Thursday!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Weekend Review // Snow & Ice

One thing I love about living here is that snow is special. It comes rarely, lasts a few days, and then it's gone. Friday we had a lot of ice and a little snow. It was enough though. We stayed in Friday except for walking to our favorite Peruvian restaurant that has a location behind our neighborhood. KC was so excited to be out in the snow she walked almost the entire way. 

Saturday we started the day with pancakes and sledding. We have awesome neighbors and we had a blast going down the street. 

By Sunday things were thawing out. We headed to breakfast, dropped T at a birthday party (with crazy real life looking dinosaurs), and N and Chris saw the new Star Wars. When we received the message school would be closed today the boys cheered because they knew it meant they could watch most of the Panther game. Ending the day with a super fun win capped off the weekend. 

Chris headed off to work this morning after cinnamon rolls and one fall on the refrozen driveway. The kids and I are taking one more day to enjoy time together and meet up with friends. Snow days are the best!
I hope if you were hit harder than us you are safe and warm! 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Weekend Review

We ended last week with two sick kids and 11 loads of laundry in under 36 hours (and 5 baths). It also happened to be a week were my husband worked 15 hour days. 

Needless to say we were ready for the weekend. And it was one of those weekends. The ones that you never want to end. Where everything feels magical. 

It started fairly normal, breakfast out and a quick run to Target. At breakfast we devised a plan to surprise one of N's friends for his birthday. We had a gift to drop off at his house and decided to be super sneaky. I videoed the boys sprinting through their yard, hiding behind trees, dropping the present on the porch and running back. They almost made it! Our friend opened the door, later telling us she thought her son was outside running around and was ready to tell him to come back inside. It was fun either way. We'd planned on sending the video to them after a shout of "Happy Birthday" at the end, but our plans were cut short.

N had a birthday party with laser tag so it left us with two kids for the afternoon. It was 60 degrees and beautiful so we headed to the swing set up the hill. A perfect end to our evening before bedtime.

I woke up Sunday to a text from my parents with a picture of snow on their deck. They are two hours north and we only had rain. Except while we were looking outside it turned into big snowflakes falling! The boys were thrilled. We all ran outside to enjoy it. T grabbed his snow boots, which gave us a laugh. It last maybe fifteen minutes but it felt special. Maybe we will get a good snow this year. 

Chris was offered Panther playoff tickets and headed to the game with a friend. The boys and I watched at home while KC napped and we ended the day dinner in front of the tv (which is probably one of the boys favorite things).

Since Monday was Martin Luther King Jr Day, the kids were out of school. We had a playdate with friends while Chris worked from home. It's so much harder to arrange play time with friends now that the boys are in school and we really soaked up the time (and unfortunately destroyed our friend's house - not that we didn't help clean up). Chris stayed home with KC during her nap and I took the boys for some yogurt (and by some I mean $18 worth - note to self, do not let the kids serve themselves). 
This is a short week for us. Tomorrow the boys have a half day and next Monday they have a teacher workday. January doesn't seem quite so drab.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Five on Friday // Shows We Love

I just finished reading Mindy Kaling's new book, Why Not Me? and it has me a little outraged (kidding, that is a total exaggeration) that Fox dropped her show. She appears as such a regular person (who works like crazy and is also incredibly witty). Luckily Hulu picked it up and now that's where you find Chris and I Tuesday nights, watching The Mindy Project on Hulu. 
This led me to think other shows that aren't quite so mainstream that we've loved. Maybe it's because Mindy often talks about Colin Firth playing Mr. Darcy that led me to once again watch the BBC miniseries of Pride and Prejudice after finishing her book. There is no other comparison for Jane Austen's Mr. Darcy than Colin Firth. And I refuse to watch any other version of the book. It's also interesting to note the actress who plays Elizabeth Bennett is from Winston Salem.

Thinking of the BBC, makes me think of PBS and one of my favorite shows is on PBS, A Chef's Life. It follows a chef from Kingston, NC, who moved to NYC, but then moved back to open a restaurant in Kingston. Each week she talks about a different food topic (potatoes, beets, shrimp, you get it), but there's also tidbits about her life (she has twins), and running a restaurant. She has a cookbook coming out soon and I cannot wait to get one!

When we first started streaming Hulu and Netflix, Chris went a little crazy on show bingeing. But he found this awesome Hulu original that we now recommend to everyone. I think Chris has watched it 3 times (it's just one season). It follows a senatorial campaign in Wisconsin (fictionally, of course) and the lead is the campaign manager. I was totally against a political show, but this one is really clever and funny. I wish they'd make another season.

Chris also discovered Master of None. Although this one may be a bigger deal than I'm aware of since Aziz Ansari is so popular. We flew through this series (one season). It's kind of funny but also kind of awkward in that real kind of way. Chris loved it. I think Aziz Ansari is really funny.

That wraps up my list. Right now we are bingeing on Parenthood and The Office. Parenthood is a little too intense for me so The Office is a nice compliment. What shows are on your list? We are always looking for something new to watch! So far we've gone through Lost, 30 Rock, Revenge, and I tend to have Gilmore Girls on a continuous loop. 

Linking up with the Five on Friday crew!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Books of 2015

Reading a book a month was one of my goals for 2015 and it's one I actually accomplished! I maybe didn't exactly read one a month, but it averaged out to more than one a month, so I'm counting it (I also reread The Hunger Games series but at this point pretty much anyone who meets me immediately knows my obsession with it, so I left it off the list). When I read I become absolutely obsessed and have to finish. This means I book usually takes me a couple days to finish and the kids eat cereal for dinner. I should probably work on that whole issue (or just watch more movies).

I love hearing what books others are reading and what they recommend. Looking at my choices this past year, here's what I would recommend and what I wouldn't:

2015 Books

For the books I loved, both What Alice Forgot and The Royal We are completely fun reads. I loved the characters, adored the story, and thought 'I can't wait till this is a movie.' Luckily the Harry Potter series is already a movie, so after a finished them all, we watched them all. I cannot wait to reread these with the kids! I am in completely awe of J.K. Rowling's ability to create another world and the intricacies of the story she created (I'm guessing I'm not the only one ;) ). 

The books I weren't so impressed varied for different reasons. The One and Only I'd heard really mixed reviews on and it was my first Emily Griffith book. I hated it. I thought it was terrible. I enjoyed the writing and the writing style but was really disappointed in the story. I felt two of the main themes of the story were never really resolved. The Selection Series I read while sick in bed. It was a cute series but the writing wasn't impressive and themes that could have really be explored where skimmed over for more superficial topics. If you like The Bachelor it's basically a written version of the show with a prince as the big catch. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up was a complete waste of time and money. I wasn't impressed by anything I read. It may have worked for other people but her strategies would never work for our home.

Did you read any of these? What's on your list for 2016? I just started reading Mindy Kaling's new book, Why Not Me? and love it (my cousin who has the best taste in books - she recommended The Royal We - sent it to me). I need something to read when I'm done!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Friday Favorites // Five on Friday

Getting back into the groove of things wasn't quite as bad as I was expecting. Don't get me wrong, we were all exhausted by the end of the day, but we were on time all week and prepared. I almost didn't recognize us. I hope your first week of 2016 went smoothly! 

Sharing 5 favorite things from this week:

1. I love receiving gift cards because come January when I don't want to spend money - gift cards are the gift that keeps giving. I received a Sephora gift card and ordered a few things. The winners so far are these three items:
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner - There was a learning curve to putting this on, but it's awesome. It does smudge right when it's applied but then it stays put the rest of the day (and night... eek). LOVE it.

Naked Flushed - Love this 3 in 1! It's the perfect set for glowing cheeks.

Tarte Lights, Camera Lashes - I went through a sample of this and liked it enough to purchase! I just noticed they have a waterproof version too! 
  The other items I need to try a little longer before recommending them. I'm addicted to Sephora. 

2. We tried pomegranate seeds for the first time this week! They were a hit with 3/5 of us. Now I need some recipes. And a YouTube video on how to get the seeds out without my kitchen looking like a crime scene (such a mess)! 

3. One of my Christmas gifts from my parents was a Minted Art piece. I hung it above our bed and I love the look! Here's a little before/after action:

The wedding pictures used to be over a dresser, but we rearranged the furniture a few months ago and it just didn't work as well. 

4. After the holidays I've decided that quilted vests are my best friend. Nothing hides the pudge like a vest (muffin top, what muffin top?). I have a navy one and a white one and they are on full rotation these days. Maybe I should start gifting these to new moms, I bet they work great as nursing covers too - ha! 

5. I may be slightly addicted to snapchat. Are you on it? I love seeing snippets of other people's days. I am no expert but still learning! My username is imkristenm (same as instagram). Let me know if you're on it too!

I hope you have a great Friday and an even better weekend. This first week went fast but felt long (if that makes any sense). Linking up with my favorite Five on Friday ladies! 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Love it or List It

Help! We need to make a decision! We are highly sentimental people. Chris is probably worse than I am. He cannot part with any baby toys or clothes. I'm a little better, but still easily attached to things, people, and places (we always go to the same beach, same restaurants, etc). For the past year we've been planning a move. The problem is we're starting to get cold feet. 
This has been our house for over ten years. We bought it two months before we were married. Our sweet dog and all our babies joined our family here. It is a place so attached to our memories that the thought of leaving brings tears to our eyes.
It's a pretty good house too. We love our kitchen layout, have a great sized yard, a big playroom, live about 3 minutes from 5 Harris Teeters (grocery stores), and 5 minutes from 2 Targets. Our schools are amazing and we love our neighbors (last Sunday one of them sent us a pizza and cake!). The boys can run outside and find multiple buddies to play with almost any afternoon.
Then there are the drawbacks. Our guest bath/kids' bath is tiny. The kids' rooms are also tiny. Our back yard has a huge hill (which is good for sledding and slip n slides, not so good for baseball games). Our area is growing rapidly and traffic is a nightmare. And the biggest drawback is the commute time for Chris. 

It's really time for us to make a decision. We would list our house in the spring hoping to move over the summer (so the boys don't switch schools in the middle of the year). Slowly we've been updating our house to make it more marketable. In looking for a new home, it will most likely be a major fixer upper with a good sized yard (fingers crossed) and closer to Chris' office. But decisions and change are scary. Maybe it's easier to stay. Maybe the greener grass is an illusion. Or maybe we make amazing new memories at a new place. I have no clue how we will ever decide!  

Linking up with Natalie and Annie for Thoughts for Thursday