{me time} sparkle earrings!

A few months after Piper was born, Hubs and I took all 3 girls over to Fashion Island (a local outdoor mall for those not in OC).  I remember it was a Friday, and I just wanted out.of.the.house. The easiest place to go let the girls run around was the Koi fish pound and we could inhale dinner from the food court.  It doesn’t sound glamorous, but when you’ve changed a million diapers in a week, have not showered that day and just want a change of scenery, it sounds perfect.

I threw my hair back in a bun, grabbed a puffer vest, touched on a little lipgloss, and for some reason, grabbed a pair of sparkly fun earrings.  While the kids played around the fish pond, and I stood nearby feeding Piper a bottle, I noticed a few ladies glancing our way.  Finally, 2 of them walked over and asked how old all our girls were….and as most do, dropped their jaws and asked how we had it all together (which we of course laughed at!).

But the clincher was this, one of the ladies said, “And you even have cute earrings on! How do you do it all?!”

I will never forget that moment!  I FAR from had my act together that night, but to this day, when I wear the earrings I had on that night, I have a new found confidence in what I can do.

A silly little story I know, but I had to share in case there were any other moms out there needing a little pick me up. A new pair of sparkly earrings can sometimes do just the trick!  I think these Stella & Dot Soiree Earrings might just be my next pair! Go with everything, little bit of sparkle, not to low for the kids to grab…

Of course while I was searching Stella & Dot, I saw these cute girl pieces that I’m pretty sure little Hay might fall in love with in her current Pinkalicious love affair! The Allie Pearl & Ribbon Necklace and the Kristin Pearl Bracelet. We don’t own, but we just may soon….

Have a great day everyone, and grab yourself a little sparkle!  All moms deserve to feel pretty!

{Nothing to disclose. Just me out shopping. All images  from the Stella & Dot website.}

{me time} free tomkat studio calendar

{Image: The TomKat Studio}

Are you a freak attack in January?  Or maybe every month, regardless of the New Year?

OK, well maybe I’m the only one, but this is one of my coping mechanisms.

The TomKat Studio.

Do you know the site?  If you don’t, you should for sure! Especially after yesterday’s post!! They have great party inspiration, and the owner, Kim’s, Etsy shop has the most darling printable party collections.  I used them last year for the girls’ “Three Ring Circus Birthday”. The TomKat team was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G in getting me ready for that party. Seriously, the party would not have happened without them (and my tireless sister). I owe them both!

But aside from the over the top, darling party ideas and collections, Kim often offers free printables, my favorite being her free printable calendar.

I downloaded this last year and actually kept the file on my desktop. I can’t tell you how many times it came in handy when I wanted to print off a month.

A few ideas:

1. Print off the month you need to give your sitter or nanny with upcoming dates you need…

2. Print off a month to organize tasks you need to do each day to get ready for a birthday party you’re hosting….

3. Print off a month for each childs’ activities that month…

4. Print off a month for what posts (aaahhhhmmm) you need to write each day…

5. Print off a month and write a small goal or task you want to accomplish each day….

The possibilities are endless.  I just love that it’s a cute calendar, that I can print off as many clean pages as I need, and that I can save the file to my desktop to print off whenever it suits my fancy to print one!

Thanks Kim, Toni & Molly ~ The TomKat Studio team for not only making our parties pretty, but also our lives functional!!

{me time} dad ~ family is everything

Um…

Hi.

My name is Shanna. Remember me?

No?

I’m the crazy mom, no real grasp on life, but people think I do, 3 little toddlers who are 1, 2 and 3 (soon to be 2, 3, 4 in the coming months…).

Did that jog your memory at all??

I’m sorry to have been gone so long. Not a very nice friend and certainly not very professional of me.

I had a reason though.

It starts back the Monday after Thanksgiving…well actually it starts back last August.  My sweet dad had a minor accident while out riding horses and gathering cattle with friends.  It caused him to have some bleeding in his brain. After a short hospital stay, everything seemed to be healing, and while it would be painful, should resolve in a full recovery over the weeks to follow.

Good News!!

Yea, not so much.

You know when you get a scab on your knee, and it breaks open. Then the wound starts to bleed all over again? Yea. Something like that happened.

So the Monday after Thanksgiving our family waited anxiously to hear what Dad’s doctor had to say. Later that afternoon, he was admitted back to the hospital and scheduled for brain surgery the following day.

READ THIS NEXT PART ONLY IF YOU HAVE A GOOD STOMACH. Otherwise scroll down and re-join….

The surgery involved making an incision almost from ear to ear over the top of his head, peeling down the top half of his forehead/face, and inserting tubes to drain the blood and relieve the pressure that was causing his motor functions to slow and fail. (OK, that is just a little nerve racking!!)

OK, JUMP BACK IN.

My mom and I waited at the hospital the next evening, and were relieved to hear he had pulled through well and would be in ICU for a couple days, and home soon after.

YEA!!!

Not so much.

Unfortunately, the next few days brought on scary seizure moments, and more blood to drain than first anticipated.  9 days later my sweet Dad, was allowed to go home.  Being the super trooper he is, he jumped right back into life, and most wouldn’t even know he had had brain surgery!  Thankfully for the season, he walked around most days wearing a Santa hat :-) Gotta love him! We were all able to enjoy the holiday season together with barely a hiccup.

All that to say that a family event like that shakes you up a little.  Silly as it seems, it was like watching Grey’s Anatomy. Except the patient goes in for a routine procedure, and the next thing you know they’re dead on the operating table.  It’s the unknown and the “what if” that makes it so scary. (Well that and the whole face peeling thing…)

So December became about family for me. My own little family, my bigger family, and the holidays.  I had absolutely nothing to give on the blog, because my brain was fully engrossed in life and our family, and enjoying each day.  Life is short, WAAAY too short sometimes you just never know what might happen.  My family is far and beyond my MOST FAVORITE THING in the WHOLE WORLD! And I’m so thankful to have them ALL here and so close to me.

But I’m back, and ready to post again. Thank you so much for your patience, and for understanding that my family will always be first in my life. Let’s start enjoying the New Year and find some fun, new FAVORITES!

All the best!

{me time} merry christmas!

Holy Moly Macaroni! Has it been a roller coaster the past few weeks. The one thing I know for sure??? I am THANKFUL for friends and family!  To that end, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and a wonderful Holiday Season.  I’ll be enjoying the time with our family over the next week, but will be back to post again before the New Year.  Best wishes to you and yours….remember to hug all the Littles (and Bigs) in your life!!

(Image Source: Sandy Heit)

{me time} stolen minutes with house beautiful

Have any of you been having one of those months….you know the ones that still feel like you are at the first day of the next month, when in fact your a WHOLE WEEK IN? And to top it off you feel like you’re feet are walking through mud and getting heavier every time you try to take a new step?

Yeah, I don’t know what I’m talking about either. Never happens to me……I look at the 10 things on my To Do list and sometimes wonder how it will all happen…

**sigh**

Well, I did manage to throw my arms in the air yesterday as ALL OF MY CHILDREN took their naps TOGETHER. (And considering we’ve had way too many nights of interrupted sleep it was a welcome blessing!) So no, I did not wake my children up when they started to sleep past their regular time. I let em sleep. Chalked it up to a time change jet-lag, and convinced myself they all needed it.

And then I made a nice hot cup of coffee and opened my House Beautiful (that may have arrived weeks ago and I was just now sitting down to it…).

I had seen a hint of the cover on Habitually Chic. Do you all follow that blog? My Latte Fairy friend told me about it, and once again, how right she was! Seriously, Heather Lawson (the blog’s writer) is Chic beyond words. I’m loving this “Timeless” post on Paul Newman.

Even though it’s an ad, it still inspires me. While I do not love the Restoration Hardware current furniture lead times and overall in store customer service right now, I do love what their selling, and their customer service on a piece you’ve purchased? AMAZING! Would love a line up of bar stools just like this. Industrial, but functional.

Nothing over the top about this photo, except it looks like a welcoming front door. Love the black with the white painted brick. I picture a nice family living behind it.

Great mix of pieces in this room. From modern to traditional, to down right feels like a comfortable room.

Love the collection of different things that all unify in a welcoming way. Very warm, yet open and inviting.

Now see?? There’s that industrial bar stool look again, and this time in my current favorite color (gray) kitchen! Although I still like the bar stools with the backs from RH. My mommy back would kill me on these sadly.

I WISH my messy office would look this cute messy! Mine instead just looks…well…messy.

Love the single monogram for each person. The trouble with me and Hubs is the sides of the beds we sleep on + our initials, we would have an “S” and an “M”….don’t think so. I might be better off doing a 2 or 3 letter monogram.  But I like the idea!

How about you? What favorite magazines have you stolen a few moments with lately?  Even though it takes me days or weeks to get to it, I truly love my subscription to House Beautiful! It’s a welcome friend each time I see a new one in our mailbox :-)

{me time} to do list ~ november

Can you believe that Halloween was Monday night, and that we are going to blink and it will be Thanksgiving…and shortly after that CHRISTMAS?  What, huh!?!?  How does that happen? I feel like we roll through a lazy summer, and then all of a sudden the kids go back to school and the race of seasons and holidays begins…SO NUTS!

Piper and I (well mostly Piper) started trying on her sisters’ older winter clothes, which made me realize that it has been WAAAAAAAY to long since I’ve done a monthly “To Do List”

Would love to know what’s going on your “To Do List” for November. Here are a 10 things going on my (abbreviated) list (you know you all have one like me that is about 25 pages long…):

  1. Holiday Cards ~ Ours arrived from Tiny Prints (family) & Minted (work) a few weeks ago. Now I need to update the address list, stuff the cards, address or label, and stamp. (Oh is THAT all??)
  2. Order a return address stamp ~ I actually already have one, but YOU need to get one if you don’t. You will use this ALL YEAR LONG! Lots of great designs and so helpful for the Holidays, Birthdays, Thank You notes, etc.
  3. Order stamps for Holiday Cards from USPS. ~ Do you know for $1 you can have your stamps delivered to your house? You can also figure out the extra postage you may need for international cards. Love using USPS (and love things that come to my door).  You can also use Stamps.com to make a custom stamp.
  4. Finalize Thanksgiving plans with family ~ Who is hosting and who is in charge of bringing what. I usually print out whatever recipes I’m in charge of, and make a shopping list. Then to be totally type A, I schedule a time to shop and make it all on my calendar so I’m not panicked trying to fit it in last minute.
  5. Register for the Turkey Trot ~ Different cities offer this race (we’re doing Dana Point). A friend convinced me to do this with her this year (CRAZY! Did I mention I’m not a runner?). Her point was it’s a 10K, but you can run or run/walk. It’s more laid back since it’s on Turkey Day, a lot of people actually dress up. And because it’s early in the morning, you’re back in time for your family. But most of all, you’ve gotten a GREAT workout in and can feel good about eating that slice of pie. So grab a friend and go for it!
  6. Make a list for Holiday gift shopping. ~ I know this sounds crazy, but seriously, Thanksgiving is going to be here and then BOOM, the Holidays! I hate scrambling in December.  I start making my list now of who I need to buy for as well as ideas, then I can start to chip away at it each week and actually enjoy the holidays rather than completely hyperventilating (which I’ll probably do for other reasons).  Plus lots of companies and websites offer great early shopping promo codes and/or free shipping. Take advantage!!
  7. Check and update winter clothes ~ Do your kids grow like weeds like mine??  I’m going to guess YES. Dig out the winter ski clothes box. What can be passed down? What friends/family have kids that you can “buy consignment” from, or offer a trade? What things do you need to buy or replace? Do YOU still fit in YOUR clothes?
  8. Stock pile a few dinners in the freezer ~ Since this time of year becomes a little more hectic (I think we had 8 Halloween parties last week). It’s nice to know there are a few meals in the freezer waiting for you. For the past 3 weeks, I’ve started taking Mondays as my kid and cooking day. Each Monday I make something with the kids for dinner that night (or for that week), putting half in the freezer for later. We currently have Chicken Pot Pie, Chicken Spaghetti, and Chili happily waiting for us. There’s always something the kids can do and it’s such a nice feeling knowing the dinners are there!
  9. Book your hair next appointment ~ It’s highly likely you have a cut or color appointment coming up in the next few months. Now check your calendar for where you might have a holiday party or something that would be nice to have your hair done for…go ahead and book your appointment (now!) for that day.  It’s not going to cost you anymore, and you will feel totally put together at your event. Hair appointments always fill up closer to the holidays, schedule them now and your safe. Also check with your hair stylist for blowout costs. If it’s within your budget, go ahead and book 1 or 2 for other parties. Key is to do it NOW.
  10. Remember to ENJOY the month. Don’t stress out so much that you forget to have fun (I will be telling myself this all month long, trust me.)

So what things are on your list??

{me time} win-win for both of us!

Let me state for the record that I’m not really sure what sweet Addie is doing in this picture…hmmm.

But that’s not the point of this post. The point of this post is that it is HARD to find time both for YOU, and for you to SPEND TIME WITH YOUR FRIENDS. It is nearly impossible for me to return phone calls or emails, and to actually SEE a friend in real life, as in, LIVE and in person….well for get about it. Not happening.

Then I saw a flyer for a dance class in the mail. Not a mommy and me dance class that I had to participate in, but a dance class that only Addie could be in…the catch was I HAD TO WAIT there during the class, but OUTSIDE the class.

Ohhhh, I can work with this.

I quickly emailed 2 super close girlfriends. We NEVER get to see each other, and yet our girls are between 3-1/2 and 4-1/2. Oh look at that, that’s the age range for this dance class.

This is getting better.

As we looked at the schedule, we had about 16 chances to make this work….and would you believe only ONE actually worked for us all??

But one was all we needed.

And because it’s on a Saturday, the dads are at home to be able to take the other Littles. Now every weekend my 2 amazing friends and I get 45 minutes together, and our girls are having a blast dancing with each other!  That is just a win-win anyway you want to slice it. And I for one am so thankful!

My tip for you, if your kids are old enough to be in a class on their own, but one that requires you to stay, call up a friend and make it your coffee date. Your Littles will love the time with their friends…..and you will love the time with yours.

Friends can do your spirits a world of good!

{me time} favorite planner 50% off, yippee!

Ohhhhhh, now isn’t this fun!! I just received this little update that there is a 50% OFF Flash Sale at momAgenda.com until 10/16 ONLY!


Remember when I talked about momAgenda Here? Well what’s better than getting a few dollars off while Mom gets herself organized?  Ummm, NOTHING! (OK, maybe a few things, but it’s STILL a great perk!!) And it looks like they have the Mini Planner on the Sale for  $20.40 (from $41!!!).

Happy Weekend Everyone!

{Me Time} a holy hades moment

This weekend I had a little HOLY HADES moment.

I looked at Piper (who is 18 months) and then realized that next month is my baby sister’s 2nd wedding anniversary.  (Such a special and incredible weekend, and I’m sure gave our parents their own Holy Hades moment!)

(Photo Credit: Adam Latham)

How are the two things connected?? Let me tell you…

The weekend my sister got married was a turning point for Hubs and me.

We weren’t just a happy engaged couple planning our fun wedding in Hawaii….

We weren’t just a giddy newlywed couple, moving into our first home…

We weren’t just a newly pregnant couple, excited about our 1st child’s birth…

We weren’t just a tired/excited couple enjoying our brand new baby…

We weren’t just new home owners, remodeling our very first home in 11 weeks…

No.

We were in fact in fast forward mode, each time you blinked there was another wonderful, beautiful, and incredible thing happening every few months in those first 2-3/4 years…life was FLYING!!!

(Photo Credit: Adam Latham)

That weekend, we were in fact 1 month shy of our 3rd wedding anniversary…

Our first baby was 19 months….

Our second was 8 months….

(Both were so sick with Pneumonia that they only made an appearance for family photos and were quickly rushed back to the hotel with my in-laws. We were on the phone with their doctor almost every hour…pretty sure we’ve never experienced anything like that weekend. I had not showered in 2 days in the photo above…)

(Photo Credit: Adam Latham)

And I was 5 months pregnant with our third….

(Thank goodness my beautiful sister and her sweet friends kept us busy, or I might have cried at the reality of it all!)

(Photo Credit: Adam Latham)

I knew that life was a little tough as we were living in it, but to look back at the photos, even of just last year and see how young are kids really were….well, it kind of blows my mind.

Which brings me to why I’m writing this post. (Aside from sharing photos of my gorgeous sister and cute children!)

In case you have not noticed, posting has been a little lite lately.

There are a few reasons for this…

1. I worked my tail off this past July to prepare the daily posts for that month, but also one for each day in August that we would be away (and not near an internet connection). That work load + our kids, it wore.me.out.

2. Then we went away for 4 weeks in August. While we were away, I realized how split my brain was with trying to run this blog and also be there for our family. It’s tougher than you would think. Definitely more difficult that I thought it would be.  And I think as the Little Punks get older, and enter different stages that I’m in ever changing mom mode.  I feel as though I’m not really giving enough to any section of my life right now. And I don’t want either side to suffer.

3. Then I have an internal battle with myself thinking there are lots of moms out there doing a lot on a daily basis, how come I can’t pull all this together a bit more?

I can do better…

No, I’m pretty much tired beyond belief…

I can do better….

No, I’ve pretty much aged 10 years in the last 3….

I can do better….

You get where I’m going with this.  And it’s not like I don’t want to share with you all everyday. I think about blog posts all.day.long. So many things I do and read and see and hear that I want to share….but finding the time to sit and put the posts together, or balance the kids while I try to pull out the camera to get the photos to write the posts…doesn’t always happen. And then I feel like I’m falling short for you, and that I didn’t get to enjoy the moment with them.

4. I need to accept my current (amazing, blessed & AWESOME) reality. I have 3 children. They are 3-1/2, 2-1/2, and 1-1/2. They need A LOT from me every single day.  Addie has just started preschool 2 days a week this year which has been so fun for her, and definitley a help to me.  But the reality is, those little punks are lots of fun and lots of work all.at.the.same.time. And by the time they go to bed each night, my eyes can barely stay open.

(Photo Credit: Sandy Heit)

Soooooo all of this to say, I’m not hanging up my hat, at least not yet. But posting will stay a little lighter as I try to find a good balance for our family and for the blog.  I hope you’ll stick with me!  I love reading your comments and suggestions (and I’m so sorry that I lag  in return comments…).

Thank you for being incredible readers, for hanging in there with me, and for making this blog what it is!!