Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Favorites: Fall

I know, I know!  It's still only August, but I can’t help it.  Around this time every year I start yearning for cozy sweaters, tall boots, and that delicious pumpkin scent!  Without a doubt, Fall is my favorite season! Here are the five things I am most excited about for Fall...

Candles:  The change of seasons also means the change of scents around my house.  The transition from the sweet smelling citrus scents of summer to the warm delicious smell of pumpkin is totally happening at my house this weekend after I go a purchase a few of these babies...

Pumpkin Spice Lattes:   These bad boys roll out Spetember 2nd and believe me I will be first in line!  Nothing says Fall like sipping a piping hot Pumpkin Spice Latte while strolling through the Des Moines Farmers market to check out the plethora of pumpkins, gourds, sunflowers and giant mums  – EEEEK, so excited!  

Decorating:  There are really only two times a year I go all out to decorate my house.  One of those times is Christmas and the other....yup, Fall!  There are so many cute pieces of fall decor floating around on Pinterest right now --- is September 1st too early to get started?!  

Trick-or-treating:  We took Rowen last year, but she was still pretty young and didn't quite grasp the whole, "knock on your neighbors door, look cute and beg for candy" concept.  This year however will be different!  I cannot wait to parade her around our neighborhood dressed as something adorable! 

Boots:  I love me some fall boots!  Enough said!

Meet At The Barre

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The swticheroo...

For the last couple of weeks, Ryan and I have been going back and forth trying to decide when is the right time for Rowen to make the transition from a crib to a “big girl” bed.  Lately, when we put her to bed at night, she almost seems “too big” for her crib.  Even though she has yet to climb out, we think it might be time.  In the next month or so we plan to crack down hard on potty training, but before we do, we want to be sure Rowen is out of her crib and can easily access the potty at night when needed.

So, for the past couple of days I have been pondering ideas for her room, and last night I spent a good two hours on Pinterest "oooh-ing and awww-ing" over adorable bedroom designs.  Here are a few of my favorites:

I am so so so IN LOVE with the Jenny Lind spindle bed from Land of Nod.  In fact, this is the bed I am leaning toward going with for her room, but I hate the price.  

I also love the idea of hanging a bunting banner on the wall above her bed and scattering adorable frames and paintings.  So cute!

Check out this bed and all of its storage space, which I think would work well as Rowen gets older, too!

Right now Rowen’s room is pink and blue, but I am about 10 seconds away from changing it after seeing the color scheme in this photo!  Gorgeous!

I am also considering doing something a bit out of my comfort zone with one of the walls in her room.  I love this chevron pattern, but can’t imagine the eye rolls I will get when I tell Ryan that he’ll have to be the one to figure out how to make it happen, haha.

Even though I am excited to have her make the switch, the Nervous Nelly in me still has a lot of questions..
  1. What age is the right age to transition?
  2. Do we just take the rails off her crib and convert to a toddler bed or should we just bite the bullet and move her straight to a regular bed?
  3. What size bed would we get her?  Twin or Full?
  4. How will the transition affect her sleeping habits?
Eeeek, I guess only time will tell!  

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Time for Mom


Monday, August 25, 2014

Meal Plan Monday's HOT outside!  This past weekend's temps had us jonesin' for the pool almost everyday!  Friday night we headed to a friend's birthday {pool} party, followed by some time with the water table on Saturday and ending with a trip to the wading pool on Sunday!  Such a fun weekend, I didn't want it to end.

Between time in the water, I did manage to do a little grocery shopping, too.  Another week of groceries for under $100 - success!

I only wish I would have known it'd be hot as Hades outside when I planned our meals for the week. Maybe it's just me, but anyone else ever not want to eat a big, heavy meal when it's warm outside?  Oh well, luckily it's supposed to cool off the rest of the week just in time for some dinner deliciousness...

Monday:  Taco Chicken Bowls

Thursday:  Softball night - we'll most likely be eating leftovers from the above.  :)

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Monday, August 18, 2014

It's baaaack...Meal Plan Monday!

With summer comes weird schedules, vacations, trips to the pool, long nights spent outside, etc, etc, etc.  Because we had a lot going on, I took a break from writing Meal Plan Monday posts and kept our meal planning simple.  3-4 nights a week, our dinner menu went something like this...

Grilled brats
Grilled chicken
Grilled hamburgers
Grilled turkey burgers

...not exactly blog worthy.

So, as summer draws to a close (wahhhhh), I will once again be ramping up my meal planning - except this time with a new goal for ALL of our grocery shopping for under $100 each week!  

So far I am three weeks in and going strong!  This week's grocery total was (no joke) $99.98. Yeeeah!

With that being said, here's what we're dishing up this week...enjoy!

Monday:  Tater Tot Enchilada Bake -

Tuesday:  Easy Low Calorie Chicken

Thursday:  Ryan and I play Softball on Thursday nights so we'll do something easy like BLTs...yum!

Have a good night!  

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Bath Time Fun!

Bath time is an every night event in our house.  Rowen is a sweaty, sunscreen covered mess when she gets home from daycare, but that’s ok because luckily she loves being in the tub!  If Rowen had her way, she’d spend her entire day there and would only get out due to the "weird wrinkles" on her hands and feet!  

Below are our favorite products at bath time, check it out...

1// Munchkin Spout Guard – Rowen loves elephants, so this is a big hit in the tub.  My favorite part is filling the trunk to make bubbles! 

2// Bath Crayons – These are awesome!   They come in vibrant colors, and are easy to clean up!

3// Pottery Barn Kids’ Bath Wraps – Soft towel with hood, cute designs, great quality

4// Munchkin Letters – Letters that stick to the sides of the tub when wet!  Lots of fun!
5// Safety 1st Bath Toy Bag – Great for toy storage, suctions to the corner of the tub

6// Munchkin Shampoo Rinser – Been using this since Rowen was an infant!  Soft plastic and holds a lot of water.

7// Disney Princess Bubble Bath – Smells great, good price, makes a ton of bubbles!

8// Johnson's BabyI want to stop here a minute and talk about the hair products we've been using for the past few weeks.  Earlier in the month, I was sent (complementary) the following Johnson's Baby "No More Tangles" line of baby products to try!    

Leave in Conditioner: Since Rowen's hair has grown quite a bit in length over the past few months, she's often seen sporting little ponytails!  They're super cute, but at the same time, I'm reluctant to put her hair up due to the pain those those tiny, pesky ponytail bands cause when trying the take them out.  Not anymore though!  The other night I discovered that if I apply a tiny squirt of the leave-in conditioner around the ponytail holder (while still in her hair), I can just slip it right pain whatsoever!  This product is great for dry or wet hair and smells awesome!  Hooray for ponytails all day long!

Shampoo & Conditioner: We've also been using the Johnson's Baby shampoo and conditioner combo, which leaves Rowen's hair feeling super soft after bath! A little bit goes a very long way as it lathers well and smells wonderful, too!  

Detangling Spray: Out of the three products I was given to try, the detangling spray was the one I was most excited for, and that's probably because my mom used it on me as a kid!  Over the past few months, Rowen's hair has really started to curl in the back, and we've noticed that brushing it out after her bath is not as easy as it used to be. Now that we have the detangling spray though, we simply just spray a couple squirts onto her hair and comb though...easy as pie!  No tears, no complaining - just clean smelling, neatly brushed hair!  Happy kid = happy mom!

That being said, if you have a little one at home I would definitely recommended these three products!  Two thumbs up from me!

Disclaimer: "I received these products complimentary from Influenster for review purposes.  Although the products were free, my opinions are all my own."

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Fun at the Iowa State Fair

August in Iowa means one thing and one thing only...the Iowa State Fair!

The Iowa State Fair is an annual fair held in Des Moines over an 11 day period and just so happens to be one of the largest state fairs in the country and is on the list of 1000 places to see before you die...pretty cool!

I've been going to the fair every year since I was a kid and I knew that I wanted Rowen to have the same experience, so this past Saturday morning we grabbed the diaper bag, loaded the stroller in the car and headed out!

The first thing we did upon arrival was hightail it to the first corn dog stand we could find! You see, the Iowa State fair is famous for its plethora of deep fried goodness on a stick and I was not about to miss out...

Thank goodness I ran six miles earlier that morning because I downed two of these puppies in just a matter of good!

Rowen even got in on the action.  At first, she wasn't quite sure what to think, but once had it figured out, she went straight to town... mother like daughter, I guess!

After our bellies were full we headed to see everything the Iowa State Fair has to offer including...

A visit to see the animals...

A quick peek at the biggest bull you'll ever see...

A stroll through the Midway....

A trip through the Agriculture Building to see some award winning produce...

and a ride on the Sky Glider...

Two hours and a lot of walking later, we made a pit stop for THESE bad boys...Fried Oreos!  Enough said, right?

And finally, no trip to the Iowa Sate Fair would be complete without a visit to the Butter Cow!  Yes, I said butter cow - a life-size cow carved out of butter, you'd be a fool to miss it!

Five and a half hours later my legs had had enough walking, but it was totally worth it!  If you're one of those people who have never been to Iowa and think that all the state has to offer is corn, you're dead wrong! The Iowa State Fair brings in people from all over the country and is a great way to spend time with family!  I highly recommend you add it to you're bucket list, you'll be glad you did!