Back To School …Back To School..

Back To School …Back To School..

The dog days of summer have come to an end…. well, sort of. It will still be hot as Hades, but two out of 3 kids are back at school, and I will am down to one handsome little monster to entertain for the remainder of hot summer days.

Don’t get me wrong, I am sad that summer break is over. However, the age difference between the girls, and Kace, really kicked my booty this summer! The girls wanted to get out and have things planned all day, everyday, of summer. I normally love to have fun activities/adventures planned, but throwing my little pool monster into the mix is not easy. I’ve had to work around nap-time, and the very beginning of him expressing himself through fits (giving me nightmares of the terrible two’s that are on the horizon). It has been a balancing act of entertaining all 3 kiddos, while also figuring out how much pain and stress I’m willing to endure, while doing so ;-).

I digress! The girls are BOTH at elementary school as of last Thursday. Yes, I said BOTH! My little Violet baby is off to Kindergarten. I was a mess last Thursday, and absolutely fed into my emotions by playing Abba’s “Slipping Through My Fingers” while sobbing in my car. In order to distract myself from the inevitable realization of time flying by WAY too fast… I shopped! 😉

I decided I’m not buying a whole “back-to-school” wardrobe because they have too many clothes as is, and we wont feel fall-ish weather until at least December! However, I let each girl pick out a new outfit for the first day of school that had them feeling confident, and excited, for a great year ahead! I linked some great back to school essentials below

BACKPACKS:

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my big girls <3

For backpacks, I usually turn to Amazon! You can always find unique styles for good prices! Nordstrom also had some great backpacks! I also love the idea of getting some patches for the girls to pick out in order to have their own individual flare!

SHOES:

Going for comfortable, cute sneakers and lightweight natives!

LUNCHBOX:

I let the girls pick these…. ( they will maybe use them 5 times… I am alllllll about cafeteria lunches 0:-) ).

CLOTHES:

These are a few cute items I couldn’t resist 🙂

I hope y’all were able to hold it together a little better than I was!!

xx,

Stephi

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Bye!

Holy Guacamole!

Holy Guacamole!

What is the one food you cannot resist? Some people love desserts, some people are chocolate fanatics… For me, the food that I absolutely cannot resist is guacamole!! Who’s with me??

With today being National Avocado Day, I thought the best way to honor that magical fruit (yes, fruit), would be to share my favorite guacamole recipe. I have toiled for years, with hundreds of different recipes for this heavenly treat. It’s taken countless hours, lots of burns from hot jalapenos, and LOTS of taste testing, to finally come up with the perfect combination of fresh ingredients for my WORLD FAMOUS guacamole.  Okay, maybe not world-famous *yet*, but it will definitely leave your guests (or yourself) shouting “Holy Guacamole!!!!!”

Ingredients:

3 avocados
juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3 tbsp. chopped cilantro

Directions:

In a large bowl, add the peeled avocado and lime juice. Toss to coat, then mash. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix it up with a little tender love and care ;-).  Build up the will power to let it sit for at least 30 minutes to give the flavors time to blend together, and Voila!!! You now have a crowd pleasing, amazingly delish, homemade guacamole to make all your dreams come true! (At least that’s how I feel about it).

 

** for those that like it extra spicy, add more cayenne!

xoxo,

Stephanie

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Nordstrom Anniversary Sale FAVORITES

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale FAVORITES

My favorite sale of the year is here…. The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!!!! Time to scoop up some fall staples at a great price.. what’s not to love? I will just go ahead and cut right to the chase. Here are my fav clothing picks from the #nsale. Scroll all the way to the bottom for my top 5 favorite pieces 😉 Absolute must-haves (IMO).

TOPS: 

JACKETS:

BOTTOMS:

SHOES:

ATHLETIC:

DRESSES:

TOP 5 PICKS:

Reasoning behind my top fav?

Striped duster–  Such a statement piece! Wear it with a black tee and jeans with cool mules for an everyday cool vibe. Pair it with jean shorts and a plain tee for a super casual boho feel. Put it over a black mini dress for a sexy date night option… so many ways to mix it up.

Black heeled mules– I paired with almost every outfit. They have a fun 90’s vibe, plus they are the most comfortable heels I have ever put on my feet!!!

Spanx leggings with a fun stripe detail-  ENOUGH SAID!!!!! Okay, okay, I’ll say more…. Spanx leggings are life! They suck everything in.. pick my mommy booty up a little higher and they are the perfect basic to have in your wardrobe! Pair them with a cool band tee and sneaks. Put them on with a dressy black bouse and heels. Put them with a basic white v-neck and tie a jean jacket around your waist for the perfect, effortlessly cool and casual outfit. Trust me and just buy them!!! Size up!

White heeled booties- All I can say I saw them and died. Then I tried them on and died again! OBSESSED!!!!

Veronica Beard cropped jeans– They are pricy, but way pricier after the sale. Plus, they are just too cool and the fit is amazing! They fit TTS!

Stay tuned for my fav picks for accessories, kiddos, and the men in your life 😉

Happy Shopping!!!

XOXO,
Stephi

 

BEHIND THE SCENES:

ROAD TRIP!!!!!

ROAD TRIP!!!!!

Once you have made the decision to do a 12 hour drive with 3 monsters, I mean children, there some things you must take into consideration:

  1. Convenience
  2. Comfort
  3. How to keep the monsters happy … happy monsters = happy mommy

CONVENIENCE:

I kept snacks, and a small cooler full of drinks, in the passenger seat for easy grabbing and passing purposes. Also, I have learned from previous road trips to always keep plastic bags in seat back pockets in case of motion sickness.

COMFORT:

I let the kids stay in jammies and also had them bring pillows into the car. My mom was horrified that I paraded my littles through gas stations and restaurants all day in their pj’s, but hey… if they are comfy and happy, who cares what strangers think about my kids being in pajamas in a gas station at 3 PM?!

HAPPY MONSTERS HAPPY MOM:

I packed each kiddo a backpack with a drawing pad, and coloring utensils, but I’m also a realist.. so I charged up the iPad and kindles for desperate measures. My car doesn’t have built-in tv’s so I bought these little screens that clip onto the back of your car headrests and have a portable dvd player attached so the kids could watch movies. I had them all set up with headphones and everything, so I wouldn’t have to hear “Alvin and the Chipmunks” all day while driving.

Y’all… I was really feeling on top of my mom game with the pre-road trip prep…

… I mean… I had everything to ensure a smooth ride, right?

TIME FOR THE TRIP:

Fantasy—> We’ll get going, Kids will watch movies and color, Kace will probably sleep for a few hours. While they are all completely content, I will listen to the audio book I downloaded (“Crushing it”), and then when Kace is up, we will listen to some amazing road trip music. We can stop at fun landmarks, or funny signs, and take pictures to add to some amazing scrapbook. Everyone will be totally content and we’ll have the best time ever…

Reality—->

I got the kids out of bed at 6:30 AM and put them straight into the car. Now, that is super early for them compared to our usual “9:30-ish rolling out of bed lazy summer routine”, so naturally there was some whining.

Livi: “I don’t feel good…”

Me: “It’s early honey, once you eat you’ll be fine”.

Violet: “I’m huuuuuungry” …

Me: “There are pop-tarts in the backpack next to your seat” -I said with a smug grin because I was feeling so prepared.

Livi: “I can’t eat anything.. I don’t feel good”.

I immediately had a bad feeling… she gets car sick frequently on road trips, but refuses to take dramamine because she hates the flavor. Trying to give that child dramamine is a sincere form of torture for everyone involved. You would think demons were being exorcised from her body with the amount of screaming and thrashing, and gagging that’s involved. I tried to say…. “Livia, how about you just chew up this dramamine really quickly and I’ll give you a juice to immediately drink!” Before I even finished my sentence, she was moaning and crying ” I would rather barf all day than chew that DISGUSTING pill!!!!!!!!!!!”.

We were about 8 minutes into the drive, and the real moaning started.

Livi: “uggggh, urrrrrggggghhh, ahhhhhh, oh no…. MOMMY!!!!!!”

Me: “grab a bag!!! It’s right in front of you!”

Livi: “There’s a hole in it!!!! I’m not gonna make it!!!”

I reached behind my seat, snatched another bag out of the pocket, and handed it to her just in the knick of time. Here I thought I would be passing cookies back, instead Livia tossed her cookies up.

We pulled off, threw out the barf bag, and got back on the road. About 15 minutes later.. the same exact thing happened. Another hole in the bag, another frantic reach for a new bag. Only this time, my map was jumping around on this huge connection of highways and I exited the wrong highway. The little mistake added an hour to my ETA …all 3 kids were screaming… I was trying to figure out how to exit, and with all the chaos I couldn’t help but yell out my favorite choice word. Unfortunately, my little 21month old mimic decided to yell out the same choice word. Not my finest moment…

When everything started to calm down, I decided to get a movie going for everyone. To my loving surprise, only one dvd screen would work. However, the working screen wouldn’t play sound. The screen that was totally black was the only screen making sound. The headphone jacks wouldn’t work for either screen (of course). After the hysterical crying stopped over only one person’s screen working, both girls watched one screen and I enjoyed the lovely, soothing sounds of Alvin and the Chipmunks for an hour and a half.

Basically, the road trip that I thought would be a fun little adventure, rapidly turned into a total circus. Whether it was the car sickness, malfunctioning dvd players, gas stations with no changing tables, no naps for 12.5 straight hours; it was very clear to me that no amount of preparation could have mentally prepared me for the pure chaotic cluster express that was our road trip!

When we finally got to my parents house I wanted to kiss the ground. We made it!!!!! One of us lost the contents of their stomach, one of us lost their sanity… but we made it! Goal for the trip home: embrace the crazy 😉

xx

Stephi

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