Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Opening Night at the State Fair

For me, the fair signifies the official ending of summer & the start of Fall.  The evenings are just starting to become chilly.  Sunset is happening earlier & earlier.  And everyone is busting out the plaid (and overalls)!  I always enjoyed the fair as a child, and now love taking my own kids even more.  Conor though... he doesn't love the fair.  Not really at all.  But he loves how happy it makes the rest of us, so he always comes along.  And sometimes I even forget that he isn't a big fan of it because we're having nonstop endless fun!

This year we went on opening night since we were both traveling in the following days.  I was nervous it would be packed, but it was actually the contrary.  I don't really like big crowds, so this was perfect.  And it also made buying ride bracelets worth it since there were no lines!  We even bought one for Finn because he is a thrill seeker and must be doing everything that big brother does.  He joined whenever he could but was so so devastated when he did have to sit out due to being not tall enough.

So our night...  Full of farm animals!  Finn's favorite part; however, Liam was almost too old & too cool for the animals this year.   He only had rides on the mind.  Caramel apples (Liam & I shared).  Cotton Candy (all to myself).  A sunset ride on the Ferris Wheel.  This moment is always so nostalgic for me, and I'm certain that a Ferris wheel is not even remotely as cool at any other time.  We played carnival games, where we won four fish (who lived less than a week), and then Liam won a monkey, who is now "little monkey", and he goes everywhere with "monkey".  So yeah... two monkeys everywhere we go now.

And did I mention the rides?  Because we seriously rode rides nonstop for hours.  We logged a good 4 hours at the fair and at least 2-3 of them were straight rides.  One of the highlights was the bumper cars since Liam was finally tall enough for it this year!  Conor & I shared a bracelet (such sneaky rule breakers we are), so thanks to the trading off, neither of us were too dizzy come night's end.  Liam could have kept going, but we had to tear him away eventually.

Liam has since asked to go back at least a dozen times.  But that's what I love about the fair; it's this magical event that somehow just pops up in our city each year for only a short stay.  It's a once a year thing which makes it so special.  Memories were made & we're already looking forward to next year!  And on a somewhat unrelated note (but now I'm thinking about it)... If you've never read The Night Circus, pick it up!  Such a good read!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Stitch Fix #17

There's lots of vacationing happening in my life right now; but also, lots of solo parenting... So don't be too jealous.  But that has left little time for blogging.  Lately, it's been more life updates & family happenings around here, but I hope to get back to share more of my favorite things and typical randomness that you all have all come to expect from me.  Today though, I pop in to bring you my most recent fix.  I really feel like Stitch Fix has stepped up their game (inventory) lately, so now is the perfect time to try the service if you still haven't.  I also happen to think they do Fall better than any other season.  Let the fashion show begin:

Market & Spruce Evella Boatneck Top
Firstly, ignore the wrinkles.  I thought about ironing this top before I took pictures, but let's be honest...  This is 100% what this shirt will look when I'm wearing it, because... kids!  This was my favorite piece from my fix, and the item I kept!  It's super soft & comfortable, but completely makes me look put together.  I've been pairing it mostly with skinny jeans & boat shoes.  The boat neck is a nice subtle touch, but not so wide that bra straps are showing!  And I'm completely in love with this shade of purple (lavender?)!

Lila Ryan August Bootcut Jean
This jeans were heavenly!  So comfortable & a perfect fit!  But I really don't need any new jeans, so these were sent back.  I didn't recognize the brand, but I will keep an eye out for them in the future.  The price point was lower than I would typically spend on designer jeans, so that makes them even better!

En Crème Calia Open Cardigan
I really didn't like this sweater when I pulled it out of the box.  It grew on my only a tad when I put it on.  Sure it's comfy & cozy, but the knit is loose, so this sweater isn't going to offer much warmth.  Once our weather gets just a tad chillier, I will need much more than this.  And I will say, that I think it photographs better than it looks in person.  

Gills Anissa Jersey Dress
Liam seriously loved this dress!  Not sure why, but he kept insisting I keep it.  It's a fairly light weight almost silky material making it so comfortable.  I feel like I'm saying this about every single item, but I did specifically ask for "comfortable", so it should be noted.  My stylists delivered in this regard completely!  I loved this dress, the only reason I didn't keep it was because it's not nursing friendly.  Also, I think the picture doesn't do the dress justice; it's far prettier in person!

DV8 Cheyne Western Bootie
I specially asked for a pair of booties and was really hoping to fall in love, but these were just not for me.  I wasn't looking for a cowboy boot, and the cognac color was just a bit much.  I'm hoping to still snag a better pair of booties in my next fix, we'll see.  I've been wanting a pair for two years now, but just can't seem to find a pair that I love.

A pretty awesome fix in all!  Which is funny, since when I saw what was shipping, I was initially disappointed.  And that is why I love this service!  Many of my favorite pieces in my current wardrobe are from Stitch Fix.  If you haven't tried it, please do!  And if you use my link, I get a small little kick back towards my next fix, which I always appreciate!

So, did I keep the right item?!

*affiliate links used

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Pink Blush {Giveaway}

When we were in the mountains for Oktoberfest last weekend, Finn & I may have snuck up to a slope full of wildflowers for a quick little photo session.  Bless Conor for taking direction well & entertaining all my silly ideas.  But I have something super fun to share today... this dress!  

When Pink Blush reached out to me, I jumped at the opportunity to shop!  I completely love how this company is all about dressing woman during pregnancy & after.  And most important to me, nursing women!  It's hard to find nursing friendly clothing, especially dresses!  But Pink Blush has tons!  I had such a hard time choosing between all their styles, but ultimately decided on this wrap maternity/nursing dress that would perfectly transition into Fall.

Aside from obviously being easy to breastfeed in, this dress is the softest thing ever!  I want twenty more!  I find myself reaching for it almost daily right now.  As it continues to get cooler, I could easily throw tights or leggings underneath it.  But the softness... I was sold on the softness!

Their dresses even have me excited to be pregnant again, because I will be buying everything!  And knowing that I can wear it all after baby just makes it worth it.  And nothing screams maternity.  It really is such a perfectly transitional line of clothing.  I feel comfortable singing the praises of Pink Blush, because I honestly just love this dress.  I love everything about it.  If only I had known about them two pregnancies ago!

So pregnant mamas, nursing mamas, all the mamas....
you all need some Pink Blush in your life!  Lucky for you, I'm giving away a $75 gift card.  Enter in the rafflecopter below; be honest and all that good stuff!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I received this dress in return for an honest review.  The sweet boy & mountain frolicking is all my own!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

A Visit Back to Seattle

This post has been sitting in my drafts for a few weeks now.  Sometimes the words flow effortlessly, and other times they don't at all.  Often it's when I can't quite find my voice.  When I'm not even sure how to put my thoughts into some form of a coherent mess.  This is how I feel about our Seattle trip.  I have so much to say, or at least that I want to say.  And I feel like I will surely miss the mark.  There will be no possible way to capture the big feelings of heading back to Seattle for the first time since we moved 3.5 years ago.

The trip felt like we were going home.  Home.  Conor & I lived in Seattle for 5 years, and it has always been a city that we both loved.  We bought our first home there & had our first baby in the city.  It's where I pictured raising my family, at least in the early years.  Driving into the city our first day, I was instantly reminded of how much I loved being surrounded by water.  Seeing & breathing it every day.  It just becomes a part of you.  And the trees & the foliage!  The city is so green.  I am in awe of how such a large bustling city has grown in the middle of such a beautiful setting.  And while we were lucky to be treated with sunny, gorgeous weather, I actually believe the city is best seen under the gray haze of clouds & rain that cover the city much of the year.  It gives Seattle that moody feel that I love.  I know I'm different than most, but some places are just too sunny for my liking, and Utah is one of them!

We were only visiting for a long weekend, but we still tried to fit in as much as we could with the boys.  We stayed with Conor's best friend Paul who lives in Woodinville (hello wine country!), which is this perfect little community right outside the city.  He's pushing hard for us to make a move back, and he was quite convincing.   Paul had to work our first day there, so just our little family headed into the city.  Liam was in awe of all the bridges & tunnels.  Sail boats & container ships.  Seattle is every little boy's dream!  We started our day at Pike Place Market to hit a few of our old favorite spots.  I loved how comfortable we were being back in the city.  We got to play "tourist", without having to deal with all the tourist struggles.  We knew exactly where to park, when to go where, & what to do.  Boom!  It felt good to be back amongst the chaos that is the market on a Friday morning.  We made sure to watch them throw some fish as we walked to the best little donut stand.  A dozen tossed in cinnamon & sugar served straight out of a brown paper bag.  We snacked on a curb & enjoyed some of thee best people watching.  Before leaving, we popped into Rachael's Ginger Beer for some growlers to go as a little hostess gift, but more importantly for cocktails!  This is a must stop.  The ginger beer is phenomenal, the drinks necessary, & there is soft serve ice cream to keep the kiddos happy while you tip it back.  New favorite cocktail: ginger beer, gin, aperol.

Next, we popped across the water to West Seattle, our old neighborhood.  We lunched at Cactus, right there on Alki Beach.  Pounding margaritas as quickly as we could, because two little boys were far more excited about walking along the beach.  I ran this beach my entire pregnancy.  Once Liam arrived, I walked it nearly daily with him.  We had a routine which always involved a stop into Starbucks halfway through our walk.  I dreamed about the days that he would be toddling around.  Dipping his toes in the water, digging in the sand.  The beach is only 5 minutes from our first home, so I knew it would be a big part of our lives.  I was so sad to be leaving our little corner of Seattle when we moved.  So it really felt like we came full circle, when we walked the beach as a family of four.  And then we of course had to drive by our old house, just to check on things.  It holds such fond memories for us!  I was definitely feeling emotional as we drove away that afternoon.

That evening we wine tasted in Woodinville a bit (interesting with two kids in tow), and then settled in at Paul's for some barbecuing & a bonfire.  Everyone was happy & relaxed; it was actually the kind of vacation we had wanted.  The boys loved the wide open space to run around with Paul's two dogs.  Again, Paul was selling as on a move back real hard!!!

Day 2, we decided to take a ferry boat to Whidbey Island!  The ferry boat was likely Liam's most favorite part of the whole trip.  Cars can drive on boats people!!! It just doesn't get any cooler than that!  Unfortunately, the ride is only 15 minutes; much too short for our liking.   Once on the island, we drove some property owned by Paul's girlfriend's family.  It was Finn's first time dipping in his toes in the ocean!  Although technically we were in the sound, but ocean water... so it counts!  And while Liam has been to Hawaii & San Diego, he's never really been to the sea shore which is totally different than the beach.  Here we collected shells (sand dollars were his favorite), listened to muscles & clams spitting.  Touched a jellyfish & some crabs (that scared me to death when they would sneakily crawl past my toes!).  And having two extra adults on hand to help with the boys, always makes for more relaxing outings.  It was such a special afternoon together!

The shore was followed by lunch at a winery.  Followed by a long drive in which both boys slept.  Followed by more barbecuing & late nights with friends.  Our time flew by far too quickly, and I had barely even made a dent in the long list of things I wanted to do with the boys.  I remember visiting Seattle as a child with family, and my dad constantly pointing out places in the city where he lived, or ate, or whatever.  Random memories.  And there I was doing the exact same thing!  Conor & I really wanted to visit the UW campus, but it didn't rank high on our list.  That didn't stop us from telling Liam all about certain places & things in which he had no idea what we were talking about.  I suppose he should get used to it, because he has a lifetime of it ahead.  If Liam or Finn ever decide to go to UW for college, they will be the 6th generation (on my side of the family), which is a big deal!!!

So our final day, we packed our bags for the airport, but stopped at the Ballard Locks for a picnic lunch first.  I knew Liam would love seeing the boats going out to sea, as well as returning from some adventure.  The salmon were jumping like crazy as we watched the boats being lowered and raised.  Sunday morning is a busy time at the locks, so we saw plenty of action.  Liam was busy picking out his favorite fishing boat, while Finn spotted all the seagulls.  There were also seaplanes & police boats; again, a slice of heaven for all little boys.  This place holds many of my childhood memories, so it felt special to be back there with my favorite people.

There are so many things we didn't get to do & people we didn't get to see, but we will be back.  Oh we will be back as soon as I can get us back.  We would love to actually move back eventually, but for now, we'll settle for frequent visits!  And I know Liam is on board too.  Since we have returned home, his new favorite toy has become a ferry boat & he's been making his own version of the Space Needle with his blocks.  He's obsessed with the Space Needle, and we didn't even visit it, just looked from afar.  

This recap was lengthy (I apologize), and in no way accurately describes what a special trip this was.  But I'm hoping that when I look back at the photos and the words here, that I will be remembered of the emotions & the feelings.  Of what this city does for my soul.  
Because goodness.... I miss it! 

Monday, September 5, 2016

Weekend Recap (Labor Day Ed

Everyone loves long weekends, but I was especially excited for this one since Conor has had two separate work trips over the last two weeks.  And I'm a real baby about business travel.  But currently, I'm in a good groove with the boys, and I actually kept my whining to a minimum.  High fives all around.  So the weekend...

I had a big case of the grumps/blues and was having a hard time shaking it when we first kicked off our weekend.  Thank goodness for friends & a husband who somehow knows just what to do.  After some college football lounging, I was able to cheer up and still have a particularly wonderful weekend with my boys.  One of the highlights being a trip up the mountains to Oktoberfest at Snowbird with friends & neighbors.  We filled our mugs, listened to live music (Finn danced, Liam rolled down the hill), and had some uninterrupted adult conversation while the kids stayed in a bounce house for over an hour!  Funny thing is, that bounce house ticket we purchased...  It's for 5 minutes (ridiculous)!  But we've learned that often the workers don't care how long the kids stay in if there is no line.  So we waited 'til later in the afternoon and let our kids have at it.  Seriously for 1 hour and 15 minutes we did not seem them.  Sweet sweet victory.

Sunday brought a trip to the Farmer's Market which happens to be at an actual farm.  Finn baa'd for all the sheep and the goats (I'm certain he can't tell the difference between them), and we stocked up on fresh fruit.  My boys literally toss raspberries back like it's candy!

Monday the temperatures finally hit the 70s (which we haven't seen since April!) so we kissed summer goodbye with one last game at the ballpark!  The Salt Lake City Bees got absolutely slaughtered, and the boys were a particular kind of crazy, but the sunshine felt good.  There was a breeze, and I could practically feel Fall slowly creeping into the city.

Unfortunately, my crazy boys turned into grumpy boys quickly after the game.  So it was early to bed for them (both down before 7:30pm, boom!), and Old Fashioneds and The Night Of (our newest obsession) for Conor & I.  Cheers to the 4 day week ahead!

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