This past weekend, my girlfriends and I continued a 5+ year tradition of getting away together for the (long) weekend. We’ve done Napa, Fredericksburg (which I missed due to Celine being born), Nashville, and New Orleans, and this year we decided on Charleston! We were hoping for a charming Southern town with great food, and we weren’t disappointed.

After flying in on Friday afternoon, we headed out for dinner at our first stop: Poogan’s Porch. Our experience was slightly marred by sub-par service that resulted in a 3+ hour dinner, but we made the best of it (where were we going to go?). It was a charming, cute restaurant.IMG_0004IMG_0002IMG_0007IMG_0006IMG_0012IMG_0009

Towards the end of dinner, we glanced over and saw that Nat was circling places of interest on a map. Where did she get a printed map? No idea.IMG_0011

The next day, Michele and I decided to take a little run to check out the town while Nat and Lindsey walked around and Susanne and Lauren relaxed at the hotel.IMG_0013

After getting ready, we headed out to lunch at SNOB. It was delicious and the atmosphere was perfect!IMG_0017

We spent the afternoon wandering around, and then decided to grab a drink at a rooftop bar before heading in to change for our evening.IMG_0019IMG_0019 2IMG_0032IMG_0025IMG_0096

Our first stop of the evening was a haunted carriage ride. We learned a little history of the town and some fun ghost stories!IMG_0036IMG_0058

We headed over to Husk for a delicious dinner…I didn’t take any pictures because we were too busy eating, drinking, and getting shushed by the tables around us!

The next morning we peeled ourselves out of bed and had brunch at High Cotton, followed by a walking tour with Oyster Point Walking Tours. Our guide was absolutely amazing and not only did we learn so much, we were entertained as well!IMG_0078IMG_0084

With the rest of the day ahead of us with no plans (SO unlike us), we decided to head over to Sullivan’s Island and check out the beach. We had a good lunch at Poe’s Tavern and then walked down the boardwalk to the glittery sand. If I had stopped to think about our day’s activities, I probably wouldn’t have worn black jeans, but…it was fun anyway!IMG_0089IMG_0083IMG_0090IMG_0092

After we made our way back to Charleston and changed, we walked down the street to dinner at Fleet Landing. We were anticipating a fried-catfish kind of place, but it ended up being one of the best dinners.IMG_0105IMG_0108IMG_0110IMG_0109

Monday morning, Lindsey, Lauren, and Susanne headed to Boone Plantation while Nat, Michele, and I slept in and enjoyed our kidless morning.IMG_0138IMG_0140

We all met for lunch at 5 Church before heading to the airport. The restaurant was absolutely beautiful…the service was not so great.IMG_0118

All in all, it was such a wonderful trip, and I’m happy I can get away once a year to a fun location with these lovely ladies!


Celine: 3 years

Happy birthday, big girl!DSC_0495

A lot has happened in the past few months. Celine:

  • Is now potty-trained (except at night)
  • Doesn’t put her two fingers in her mouth anymore
  • Sleeps in a big-girl bed
  • Speaks clearly and in complete sentences
  • Is out of the high chair for good, even at restaurants
  • Picks out her own clothes, including panties. She can usually get the panties on but sometimes gets both legs stuck in one hole.
  • Can open doorsDSC_0481

She can throw one epic temper tantrum. She had one last week when she woke up and we couldn’t get out the door for school until 8:50am. I spent about 30 minutes trying to placate, and then ended up forcing her clothes on. We called Mike while he was driving to work which was the only thing that finally calmed her down (he told her a story of a princess who woke up grouchy but put her school clothes on and got in the car). She really works herself into a frenzy! She’s also into throwing to show her anger. Fun fun.DSC_0483

She is shockingly articulate, particularly when detailing why she doesn’t want to do something. She’s also great at summarizing her activities and emotions following an event. “We went to school and I cried. But then I stopped crying and Ms. Cindy read me a story.”DSC_0485

I am only allowed to put a braid in her hair. If I try to give her a pony or pigtails she complains until I take it out. Her hair is still growing and it’s thin and frizzy, so I wish she’d let me do more with it!DSC_0480

Some days she will eat everything put in front of her and more, and some days she won’t touch anything. It’s kind of a feast-or-famine lifestyle. Her #1 favorite food is rice – she would eat two cups of rice for every meal if we let her. She also likes spaghetti, sausage, Goldfish, applesauce, jambalaya, hot dogs, quesadillas, meat loaf, bread, and anything she can dunk in ketchup. We’ve been using M&Ms for bribery purposes and she’s a big fan. She also loves fruit snacks but turns into a monster after eating them so we’ve totally removed them from rotation.DSC_0490

She is seriously committed to dancing and lip-synching. She really puts her heart, soul, and limbs into it. She even mouths the words to her favorite movies and makes exaggerated faces depending on the tone of the scene. My parents gave the girls a karaoke machine for Christmas and it came with a CD with two songs on it, one of them being One Republic’s “Counting Stars.” This is “Celine’s song” and she will put it on and march around in a circle during the entire thing. It’s permanently stuck in Mike and my heads.

We love our headstrong, independent, loving, funny daughter, and we’re excited to see where three takes us!

Celine’s birthday crafts: mini unicorn pinatas

This is a project I probably should not have decided to do. I did rough calculations and I ended up spending nearly two hours per pinata in construction time…and I made 15! It’s funny because I took a personality test at work and one of the things it said was “Her enthusiasm for a current project can be so compelling that she may be oblivious to any time and energy limitations.” Yuuuup. However, there’s no denying that they’re really cute.

I followed the same process to create the shell of the pinatas as I did for Louise’s first birthday – cut the shapes and sides from leftover cardboard and taped them together with masking tape. I put a fun-sized bag of M&M’s in there. [Time: approx. 25 minutes each]3-1-17-unicorns-1

This time I painted each unicorn white, since the cellophane wasn’t opaque. They took about 3 coats each depending on the cardboard used – the grapefruit-flavored La Croix cardboard was the most vibrant and needed the most coats. [Time: approx. 5 minutes each]3-1-17-unicorns-2

Again, following the process from Louise’s 1st birthday party pinatas, I cut the iridescent cellophane into strips and fringed them. I bought a craft razor and self-healing mat which made this process go much more quickly than using scissors. [Time: approx. 10 minutes each]3-1-17-unicorns-3

Unlike tissue paper, I had to use hot glue instead of tacky glue to affix the fringe to the unicorn because the cellophane was slipperier. It’s more of a stop-and-go process with hot glue, but I got into a rhythm. I made 1-2 per night for a couple of weeks. I totally completed the first one to give me motivation. [Time: approx. 34 minutes each]3-1-17-unicorn-4

After this stage was finally, finally done, I had to make the horns, eyes, and mane/tail fringe. The horns were really easy. [Time: approx. 2 minutes each]3-1-17-horns

The eyes were not as easy. Part of the problem was my razor was dull from all the cellophane cutting, so I got a new blade and tried again. They’re so small!!! [Time: approx. 5 minutes each]3.7.17 Unicorn eyes

Finally I could do the mane and tail. I just fringed some pastel tissue paper and hot glued them to the neck and butt.

Taa-daa!3.7.17 Unicorn

14 miniature unicorn pinatas, ready for deployment.

Celine’s birthday crafts: unicorn horns

Once I settled on a unicorn party for Celine, I knew I wanted to make unicorn horns for the kids. After checking Pinterest, it seemed like an easy enough craft, and it ended up costing less than $30 total for all of them. I bought a bunch of felt at Jo-Ann and headbands off of Amazon and got to work!

First, I had to construct the horns. I had leftover poly stuffing from Michael’s Halloween costume in 2015 so I used that to fill them. I cut out the shape, rolled it up, hot glued the end, stuffed the horn, and hot glued the felt circle to the bottom to seal it all up. I made mostly white horns but made some black ones as well for the boys. Luckily Michael was binge-watching all five seasons of Homeland to catch up before the current season so I could half pay attention to catch up while making these.3-1-17-horn-1

I then wrapped gold cord around the horn and hot glued it to the headband. After cutting out the ear shapes, I hot glued those to the headband as well.3-1-17-horn-2

Then it was time to make the felt flowers. I found a few different styles on Pinterest and got to cutting. I ended up using 2-3 sheets of felt per color, which made for a lot of flowers.3-1-17-felt-13-1-17-felt-23-1-17-felt-3

I arranged the felt flowers in groupings I thought would work on the headbands and started gluing.3-1-17-felt-4

I didn’t really think about it, but the flowers ideally needed to sit completely above the headband so they wouldn’t hit your head and prevent the headband from lying flat. Oh well…I think they look great!3-1-17-final-horn

For the boys I just cut out star shapes in blues and hot glued them on. Also very cute!

Celine’s 3rd birthday party

Celine had her third birthday party this weekend at Little Lakewood Salon and Playhouse. All of her classmates came out along with a few additional friends. She had such a good time!

One of the great things about the venue was that they do all of the setup for you and handle table covers, plates/napkins/etc, balloons, and hanging decor. It was so nice to stroll in ten minutes before the party started and see everything already put together. I added a few things I had – unicorn pinatas and headbands, party favors, banner, cake, and balloon runner – and we were ready to go!IMG_6299IMG_6301IMG_6303IMG_6302IMG_6304

Let’s have a close-up on that cake. My mom and Grandma made it and it turned out so amazing!! I bought the horn and ears on Etsy and it finished the whole thing out.

I only took one (terrible) photo of the play area, but it had an indoor tube/gym type thing, dress-up, lots of pretend play, a train table, rockers, etc. It seemed like the kids were pretty excited about their options.IMG_6305

After about an hour, the kids went to the room for snacks and cupcakes!IMG_6306IMG_6337IMG_6333IMG_6334

After snacks, it was time to sing happy birthday! Celine is pretty comfortable being the center of attention. 🙂IMG_6315IMG_6331IMG_6330

Our pretty unicorn princess!IMG_6317

Part of the party included decorating cupcakes, so instead of cutting the cake open, each child got a cupcake, some frosting, and some sprinkles. A few kids (not naming names CELINE) started eating the cupcake before they received the frosting and sprinkles, but there were a few extra so she could start over. The kids had fun decorating the cupcakes!IMG_6319IMG_6323IMG_6325

The kids started gathering up their pinata, balloon, headband, and stuffed unicorn and heading out. The venue owner started cleaning everything up. I looked back in the room and there were two kids left, still decorating their cupcakes…Celine and Louise. Lol.IMG_6329

Usually I feel exhausted after their birthday parties as the adrenaline wears off. This one was so low maintenance that the exhausted feeling didn’t happen. So I guess it was a wildly successful party!

Louise: 4.10

New things she’s saying:
“On it.” For example: “Louise, can you wash your hands before dinner?” “On it.”
“Nailed it.”

She has started wanting to go overnight without a pull-up, which we’re excited about. She still has accidents but she’s gone one night without any, so I’m hoping we’ll be fully potty-trained by her 5th birthday!DSC_0465

She was sick over the weekend and really milked it. She was complaining that her stomach was hurting, and when she finally threw up, she had a smug, satisfied face, like “see? I told you!.” It was pretty funny (although not super funny considering she vomited for eight hours).

February/March goals

Monthly checkup on how I did for February, and what my goals are for March!

  1. Exercise 3+ times per week
    1. Achieved. My “thing” happening to my leg in January finally turned into full-blown IT Band Syndrome, so I took two weeks off of running but still lifted weights. We didn’t do our monthly 5K because we both caught a 4-day stomach bug…not fun!
  2. Finish Celine birthday crafts
    1. All 15 pinatas are done (mostly…but I’ve earned this). Remind me never to do THAT again!
  3. Finalize 2016 photo book
    1. Ummmmm…
  4. Girl room updates
    1. Closets have been cleaned out and organized! I donated a bunch of baby clothes and things to a friend of a friend, which helped streamline Celine’s closet. Louise’s closet was a mishmash of clothes and shoes she’s outgrown along with linens. The clothes just needed organizing into the appropriate bins and I threw the shoe boxes away.2-22-17-closetimg_6138
    2. Louise’s room is good to go! The box springs really helped stabilize her mattress and she LOVES how it made her bed higher. She feels like an official big girl. Michael re-hung the canopy on a stud so I don’t think it’s going anywhere anytime soon. I did get rugs for either side of Louise’s bed – they’re not as “sheepskin”-style as I was hoping (kind of more of a bath-mat type feel), but they’re soft and get the job done. Also added is the amazing Christmas present from the Fausak-Perrys, hung on the wall.
    3. Celine’s room has been updated! Celine really likes it and so do I. We took down the quilt and put it on her bed, adding the Degas print and Fausak-Perry Christmas present to the wall.img_6130img_6129

March goals:

  1. Exercise 3+ times per week – really want to keep this going even after physical and illness setbacks.
  2. Back up my computer. I am going to need a new computer soon because my Mac is crapping out, which is a good reminder to back up my photos and files! I think I might try Amazon Cloud Drive for my cloud photo backup.
  3. Freaking 2016 photo book! I have to get this done before April because I have to start on 2017 as well!
  4. Order the shutters for our living room windows and French doors.
  5. Try to find nightstands for our master bedroom (moving ours to Louise’s room)