Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Beauty Items I Want to Try

I am like a kid in a candy store when it comes to Sephora. Even if I don't necessarily need something, I always find myself putting something new to try in my basket {or virtual basket}! 

And, as an aside, I'm obsessed with Jessie James Decker {and her eyebrows}. Like, major girl crush. She posted a make-up tutorial the other day, and I want to try a lot of things she talked about. 

So, without any further aideu, here are a few beauty items I want to try. Have y'all tried any of these? 

one // two

three // four 

five // six

Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick {in Noble}

GHD Air Professional Performance Hair Dryer

MAKE UP FOR EVER Full Cover Concealer {in Light Beige 3} 

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick {in Bronze}

Stila Illuminating Powder Foundation {in 10 Watts}

Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation {in Porcelain}

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Pinterest Recipes We've Loved Lately

Brandon and I love to eat and enjoy trying new recipes. While I do keep a lot of recipes in constant rotation, we do like to switch it up a bit. 

When either one of us cooks, we ask the other when we're finished eating: "Make again?" Which, in our married language, means: "You better tell me the truth about liking it a lot. Because if you say, 'Make again,' I will truly make it again and you'll have to choke it down again." Ha! 

Here are a few of our recent Pinterest raves:

Poppy Seed Chicken via The Girl Who Ate Everything

Chicken Caesar Burgers via Iowa Girl Eats

Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas via Kevin & Amanda

Swiss Stuffing Chicken via Kelly's Korner

Have you tried any of these recipes before? If so, what did you think? {And seriously, what did we do before Pinterest?!}

Monday, July 21, 2014


It's Monday {again!}. That came so fast! I'm linking up with Biana at B Loved Boston & Meghan at Champagne and Suburbs today. 

I had off work and Brandon had a half day, so we spent the day hanging out around the house and getting a few things done for our upcoming bathroom remodel and kitchen update. 

Walker's new thing is to put both of his hands on your face when you're talking to him and he just "studies" you and laughs. It's adorable! He is such a clone of my husband {who is such a clone of his dad}, so he's probably looking at him and thinking, "Hmmm, you look really familiar!" 

Walker {and his double chins} made his first-ever trip to the grocery store with me on Friday afternoon. I've avoided taking him for this long because it's a pretty big hassle to go with him, load and unload the groceries, etc., but I thought I'd attempt it this weekend. He did so well! He was just wide-eyed looking and enjoying looking around at everything. 

And apparently the chip aisle was hilarious. ;) 

My parents and siblings were driving through Dallas/Fort Worth to go on a vacation, so they visited us for the evening, had supper with us and stayed the night! Everyone thoroughly enjoyed loving on the little man. 

Brandon made The Pioneer Woman's spaghetti with homemade meatballs and sauce, and it was so good! Love that Brandon knows how to - and loves to - cook. 

My mom fed Walker his sweet potatoes/quinoa mixture {which he loves!}...

…and his Aunt Maggie finished it up, along with his mangoes! 

This is his new "funny" face: squishing his eyes as tight as possible, scrunching his nose and puckering his lips. He knows we think it's funny, so he does it over and over {and over} again. My sister would do it back to him and we were all dying laughing at him mimicking her! 

We had a great time visiting with my family, and Walker loved all the attention he received {of course}! 

His Uncle Parker makes a pretty good snuggle buddy. 

After my family left, we just lounged around the house for a good while. Then, we decided to have lunch at Taco Diner, just the three of us, and it didn't disappoint! After lunch, Brandon said to me, "Hey, why don't you go get a pedicure while I watch Walker?" Of course I jumped at that chance! Hey, if you insist…! It was nice to enjoy a little relaxation and "me" time for an hour. 

And, here's the not-so-glamorous side of being a mom: spit up. As I was playing "airplane" with Walker, he decided to take that time to spit up on my head. Yeah, that was really interesting!!! {Gag.} Reflux is no joke! 

Of course when I yelled for Brandon to bring me a burp cloth so I could wipe it off {and go shower}, he was laughing so hard he was crying and said, "Wait wait wait. I have to take a picture of this first!" Of course! 

We went over to my in-law's to visit with my mother-in-law's best friend, who is still at my in-law's for her annual two-week vacation. Walker played and was definitely a show-off for Mrs. Joyce: rolling over from back to belly and belly to back; sitting up; and "talking" up a storm! 

I got a ton of things done around the house Sunday afternoon and evening, and I guess Walker was still in weekend mode, because when I turned on his monitor last night to check on him, he was just hanging out in his bed. {Sigh.} 

Side note: Aren't their eyes on baby monitors so creepy!? 

I hope y'all have a great week! I saw something on Instagram this morning that has really stuck with me: "It's a great day to have a great day." I'm trying to recite that to myself…especially because it's Monday!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Oh Hey Friday!

Happy Friday, y'all! I'm linking up with The Farmer's Wife and September Farm for their "Oh Hey Friday!" link-up. 

My parents are coming to Dallas today! We are all so excited to see them, especially since we haven't seen them since Easter - and that is far too long. Since Brandon has been on his cooking adventure these days, my mom requested he cook a meal tonight to show off his skills. My family is so big {oh, hi, six people plus us and Walker!}, Brandon decided to make The Pioneer Woman's Spaghetti with Homemade Meat Balls. I hope it tastes as good as Ree's, because y'all know I love me some food. :)

I love when blog friends become real-life friends. Gentel and I have followed each other's blogs for a good while now, and we have taken our blog friendship to the next level {ha!} and have started texting each other. I love it! Check out her blog and look at her sweet new little girl, Gracie. 

We are still in our bathroom and kitchen makeover process, and I can't wait to show y'all the final product. They're starting our bathroom in the next few weeks - and we'll be using our tiny guest bathroom for a good month or so - but I can't wait to see it all come together! We've found so much inspiration in these two photos below {both via Pinterest} and can't wait to see our vision become a reality. Bye, bye, early 90's bathroom: ugly brass shower, faux marble countertops and shell sinks! I won't miss you.

Please ignore my terrible, horrible voice, but I had to get on video how Walker always starts laughing {and kicking his feet} when I start singing. You know it's so bad when even my baby cracks up at me! His three favorite songs are "You Are My Sunshine," "Mister Sun," and "Hakuna Matata." {And yes, I realize I don't even know all the words to "Hakuna Matata." Ha!}

And speaking of Walker, I ventured out and made him some quinoa on Sunday {along with mangoes, pears and more sweet potatoes - his favorite}, but I haven't fed it to him yet, although he's six months old and has been eating solid food for a good month and a half now! I'm interested to see how he's going to take it this weekend, since our green bean adventure was a bust - but he likes them now. I'm excited for him to get some really good protein from quinoa. 

{PS: Have you read my post on homemade baby food yet?!} 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Baby Cough and Cold Essentials

Walker has had a pretty nasty cold this week {aren't summer colds the worst?!}, so I thought I'd share some of our essentials for combatting the dreaded baby cold. Baby colds are so different from adult colds in many reasons, but the biggest - to me - was that you can't just give a baby a decongestant {until they're two} and call it a day. There were many times this week I wished that I could give Walker a Claritin to dry his poor little nose up, but alas, that's not happening, of course! 

So, here's what has really helped us, as recommended by our pediatrician: 

one // two

five // six

The NoseFrida is by far the most disgusting -slash- coolest invention ever. I registered for it when I was pregnant, as every Mommy blog out there recommended it. Of course I had absolutely no idea how to use it, but on the registry it went. Now? I. am. obsessed. Brandon, however, can't stand the sight of me "Frida-ing" (as we say in our house) Walker. 

You have this little plastic syringe-looking tube with a soft tube attached. You put one end in the baby's nose and the other in your mouth and literally suck the snot out. But before you gag like my husband, I have to tell you that there's a little lid on the end of the syringe-looking part that has a filter to ensure you never get the snot in your mouth. Gross, yes. Effective? Absolutely. 

I like this a lot better than the blue nasal bulb syringes they give you in the hospital because of the size and the fact that you can clean it. Have you seen the inside of a nasal bulb syringe? Ew, no thanks. 

I will say that Walker hates when we do this to him, but immediately laughs afterward. I think he's just weirded out by the suctioning noise! The NoseFrida {or any suctioning device} helps because babies - obviously - don't know how to blow their nose and we have to do it for them. 

We love the Crane Drop Shape Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier! Unlike normal humidifiers, the steam comes out cool as opposed to hot, so it's safer for babies. The humidifiers increase the air moisture to help them with their colds, coughs, etc. 

Walker has very sensitive skin and isn't a fan of us trying to wipe his nose. Because of his sensitive skin, I hate using regular Kleenex on his nose. I found these Boogie Wipes at the grocery store and thought I'd try them out. They have saline in them, so it helps dissolve his boogers {sorry for using that word, yuck!} and get them out of his nose. 

Our pediatrician recommended rubbing Vicks Babyrub on the bottom of Walker's feet at night. I thought it was a little out there, but I've done it and can say it is helping! Of course, I Googled it and found this forum on Baby Center and apparently other people do it, too! {There are some mixed reviews on the method.} 

After his bath, I just rubbed a thin layer on the bottom of his feet, slipped him into some footie pajamas and put him to bed. He never seemed bothered by it at all. I also rubbed a little bit under his nose, as well. 

I am not on the full "oil train" yet, but I have heard wonders about using eucalyptus oil for coughs and colds. I put a couple drops in the humidifier I referenced above, and it really seemed to help open Walker's sinus up. So much so, that there was a lot of snot on his sheets the next morning. {Sorry I keep using words like "boogers" and "snot." It's gross, I know.} Brandon has been feeling pretty sick-y, too, so he actually poured a few drops in the bottom of a hot shower and let the smell open him up. (I used this brand of eucalyptus oil because that's what my local Kroger had on hand.) 

Again, Walker hates when you put anything up/in his nose, so he's not a fan of saline spray, but the Boogie Mist Sterile Saline Nasal Spray really works for us. Personally, I like the spraying mechanism {a spray nozzle} a lot better than the typical saline dropper bottle that you shove up their nose and squirt because it's quicker, easier and doesn't make a noise like the other bottles. The saline spray helps moisturize and clear baby's nasal passages, and we've noticed that it has helped Walker. 

*Something else we did that seemed to help was have one of us get in a hot shower {enough to produce steam, but not putting the water on either of us - the shower head was pointed in the opposite direction} and hold Walker. We would just stand there and sway him, sing to him, talk to him, etc. while the steam helped open him up. We would keep all doors to the bathroom shut and let the mirrors fog up with steam - it was pretty steamy in there! After a few minutes, the person who wasn't in the shower with him would take him out and give him his evening bath. 

Dealing with a sick baby is no fun, but I hope this helps you!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What I Took for Granted Before Having a Baby

I've covered some of this before, but I felt like I needed to do this post after this weekend. It was hilariously sad: I meant to go to the grocery store on Thursday night. That didn't happen, so then it turned into Friday. Then Saturday. And then finally Sunday. 

Brandon and I couldn't help but laugh when we realized how easily we could just pick up and do things before Walker was born. Not that he figuratively weighs us down in the least;  it was just so much easier before baby to run to the store whenever we wanted to. Now, we plan outings around feeding times and nap times. My, how life has changed! 

Anyway, Brandon {and my friend Liz} and I were talking and came up with a list of things we took for granted before we had a baby: 

When I was pregnant, people would say to me: "Sleep now! When the baby gets here, you won't sleep at all." I would roll my eyes at them after they walked away, but y'all. I just want to track those people down and say, "YOU ARE RIGHT! I'm sorry!" Walker sleeps through the night now {from about 7 p.m.-6 a.m.}, but man, 6 a.m. comes early - especially because I wake up at 5 a.m. during the weeks to get dressed before he wakes up. Brandon and I were laughing a couple of weeks ago that all we want for our anniversary is sleep. I said, "Babe, we don't even have to go anywhere. Maybe we can just have your mom watch him for two nights and we just stay here and sleep in?" I know this precious time is fleeting, but man, sleeping in until 9 a.m. sounds heavenly. {Although I do get a lot more done on the weekends waking up around 6 or 7 a.m.!} 

"Running" anywhere.
Before Walker was born, we would "run" places. As in, "Hey, I'm going to run to the grocery store. I forgot bread." Or, "I'm going to run to the pharmacy to pick up my prescription." Now, there is no more "running" anywhere: it's a process. Get Walker's diaper changed; make sure we have enough diapers in the diaper bag; load him and all of our stuff in the car seat and car; get where we're going; unload him and the stroller; put him in the stroller; do our shopping; unload groceries in the car; unload Walker out of stroller and into car; collapse stroller and fit in car; drive home; unload Walker…you get the picture. 

This also goes with spontaneity. We used to say things like, "Hey, you want to go to ______ this weekend?" It's not so easy now with the 5,000 things we have to pack, take, travel with, etc. Not that we're lazy in the least; it's just much easier to be in the place that has all of Walker's (and our) stuff. 

Eating a hot meal. Together. At a table. 
I completely took for granted being able to come home from work, change clothes and immediately begin cooking dinner. Now? Ummm, we're lucky if we eat dinner before Walker goes to bed. And if we don't? We are usually eating on the floor next to Walker while he plays on his playmat, or we take turns eating while the other holds him. One day we'll eat as a family together at our table. But until then, our cat, Oliver, is really enjoying the crumbs. 

Taking my time getting ready. 
I will admit that I miss the days of taking my time getting ready in the mornings. You know, those days where you could exfoliate your face, shave your legs, pluck any stray eyebrow hairs, perhaps even leisurely apply your mascara? Yeah, I don't have those days right now. 

Instead, I roll out of bed in the morning and quickly shower, apply make-up while sipping a lukewarm cup of coffee {that I never finish}, and fix my hair…all quickly so I can ensure I'm dressed by the time Walker wakes up. It's a challenge!

Buying things for myself. And only myself. 
I will just say to this: I went to Gap yesterday to check out their summer sale, and I came out $75 poorer and the only person who got anything was Walker. Yeah. 

But seriously, it's not that I don't want to buy things for myself. It's just so much more fun to buy things for Walker! My priorities have definitely shifted. 

Taking non-kid-friendly vacations. 
Liz and I were talking about how our vacations have very much changed since having children. We were having a long conversation about taking our kids to Great Wolf Lodge one day and how fun that would be. Four years ago, I was worried about how many drinks I'd be drinking at our all-inclusive resort. Again, priorities! 

Only worrying about myself. 
I used to only worry about myself. And then when I got married, I worried about Brandon and me. Now? I worry all the time about my sweet Walker. Will he be safe? What kind of world is this I'm bringing him up in? He has a cold; is he okay? Of course, I realize the old adage, "Worrying is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do, but doesn't get you anywhere," is quite true. But, it's hard to not worry and I definitely took only focusing on myself for granted before Walker came. 

…but all of this to say, having a baby completely shifts your life - for the better. You no longer worry about petty things, because you know they don't matter in the grand scheme of life. And yes, while I loved sleeping in, having more than a couple glasses of wine at times and eating a hot meal whilst having adult conversation, I wouldn't trade my life now for anything. 

Monday, July 14, 2014


Happy Monday! I'm linking up with Meghan at Champagne and Suburbs & Biana at BLoved Boston today. 

We had a slew of contractors, electricians, tile guys, granite guys {and more} come to our house, so of course I have absolutely no pictures of that. It was a complete mad house. I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that we're updating our bathroom, and that has now turned into our kitchen, as well. Our sellers did everything in our house halfway, so we're having to go behind them and do little updates here and there. 

Well, our bathroom is absolutely hideous and we still have our white oven/microwave combo in the kitchen. In our kitchen, we're removing the white, built-in oven and microwave and replacing them with energy efficient stainless steel ones {to match our other new appliances}. In our bathroom, we're removing the old, off-white, builder-grade marble {and nasty shell sinks} and replacing it with white carrara marble and under-mount sinks; painting our cabinetry white; and removing the ugly bronze stall shower and pushing it back a few inches and replacing it with a seamless shower. This bathroom was really my inspiration. 


I then cleaned out and organized Walker's closet and dresser drawers. {How do those things get so disorganized so quickly?!} Then of course cleaning out his closet really inspired me to do some other cleaning and organizing in our home this weekend. So, I put all of his 3-6 months clothes in a plastic, labeled Tupperware bin for Brandon to put in the attic. Then, I took all of the baby gear we no longer use {or shouldn't use because Walker is outgrowing them} and washed all the necessary parts; put them in giant trash bags; and labeled the bag with what's in them. 

My friend Liz told me about this trick because you don't have to take anything apart and put it back together for the next baby! Just remove the trash bag, clean any fabric, add new batteries and it's ready to use! 

{All of that organizing turned into a major overhaul of our attic later that evening. Which, if you live in Texas, know that having an attic over your garage and being up there in the middle of July probably wasn't the best idea. But I guess I lost a pound because of all the sweating! Ha!}

Anyway, Walker practiced his sitting on Friday...

…we made a trip to pick out our marble slab for our bathroom…

…and then stopped at 7/11 for their free Slurpee day! 

I did more cleaning around the house and Walker again practiced his sitting. Clearly he wasn't impressed with me at this point. 

This is my favorite way to get him to sit when he's acting like he's had enough of it: I just put our Boppy around his back and let it gently support him. He loves it, and I like that it's soft if he starts to topple. 

After his nap, we went over to my in-law's for my nephew's first birthday party! It was so sweet and I can't believe we're going to be there in T-6 months! 

Once my nephew had opened all of his presents and ate his smash cake {or really shared it with his daddy}, my mother-in-law's good friend came over to give the three grandkids their first swimming lesson! She is a certified swim instructor and has said to get babies in the water as early as possible, so that we did! Walker was the youngest and shhhh, did the best. ;) 

Teresa showed him how to blow bubbles in the water...


…and showed us how to dunk him underwater. I totally thought he would freak at that, but he didn't! He did so well, in fact, that she used Walker as the "example" when showing my brothers-in-law how to do it for their babies. I was so proud! 

After the lesson, my mother-in-law's best friend drove in from Mississippi for their yearly two-week-long visit. She got to meet Walker for the first time and of course he just loved all over her. It was precious! 

Walker has been fighting a cold for the past few days, so we stayed home from church. I would absolutely hate if I was the mom whose baby gave it to other babies in the nursery! {The poor thing has been so congested and absolutely hates the Nosefrida, so it's been a battle. Le sigh.} 

We had a fun little playtime in his room with his stuffed animals and barnyard shape sorter in the morning, and then all took a big nap in our bed around mid-morning. 

I went to the grocery store while Brandon watched him and did a couple of loads of laundry and picked up around the house. 

I found this pin on Pinterest and it really intrigued me. Our grout has been gross looking since the day we moved into our house, and I finally had had enough. So, I went for it. 

Here's our nasty kitchen grout before...

…during {when I had no idea what I had gotten myself into}...

{Oh hi! Don't mind my makeup-less self. Brandon snapped this and then proceeded to tweet it. Nice!} 

…and after. 

It's definitely not bright white or anything, but it does look cleaner to the naked eye. Plus, it makes this germophobe and OCD cleaner happy to know it's clean! 

I just followed the instructions on the pin to do it! I purchased Woolite Heavy Traffic Foam Carpet Cleaner, sprayed it on the grout lines in my kitchen, got down on my hands and knees to scrub the grout with a toothbrush, wiped it off with a million paper towels, and then mopped the kitchen floor. Wa-la! I think I would definitely use my baking soda/lemon juice/hydrogen peroxide trick for the next go-round. 

After I had cleaned our floors {and Brandon had called me OCD about 27 times}, I made another two-week batch of baby food for Walker: mangoes, pears, quinoa and sweet potatoes. It's definitely a process, but when I see the cost savings from it, I don't mind the labor as much. :) I'm just so thankful to have a great eater and love that Walker tries new things. And, it seems to have helped his reflux because he's getting more food as opposed to just milk in his tummy, so that makes me happy for him…and us…and our clothes…and our furniture… ;) 

I then made this for supper, sat down with a glass of wine, and we passed out super early. 

I hope y'all had a great weekend and have a wonderful week!