Thursday, July 24, 2014

And then this happened.....

I have been swooning, no...make that obsessing....over Helen Ficalora lately.  I even entered 2 giveaways for one of her of which was where followers could post pictures of themselves wearing HF jewelry.  But since I had none, I used a guilt trip picture (mainly for my Hubs to see)...

And you might recall, I posted about this giveaway yesterday from a sweet store in CA that specializes in eco-friendly and organic products for families.

And then I woke up to this email this morning....

I've been laughing ever since...giddy...feeling ten feet tall.  See, I never win luck at raffles, no luck at lottery scratch offs...I don't think I ever won at bingo to be honest.  And in the past 3 months, I have won almost $400 worth of goodies.  And the awesome part about this win was that I REALLY wanted to win.  It's almost like I feel guilty, it's so unbelievable.  

I am really enjoying my new network of blog, social medias friends (I say "Friends" but I really mean people I stalk on the internet....)  I love reading people's stories, finding out about new brands, and sharing my life with my 10 readers (are there really 10 of you??)  I feel joy posting and I do it for me...not anyone else.  I know Emma will either die of excitement or embarrassment one day in the future that her whole life is recorded on here.

So, thank you, Mother's Organic and Helen Ficalora, for being so gracious with your talents and goodies!  I will wear my necklace with pride, and pass it down to my Emma when the time is right.  It will serve as a reminder that above all else in my life, my role of MOM is the most important - I have the unique opportunity to show my child (or children, God-willing) how to be a Godly wife, woman, friend, worker, and mother....and for that gift, I am grateful:)

Now....what other charms can Hubs buy me for our anniversary next month???!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I Won! I Won!

I never win when Kelly emailed me to tell me I won a new Monogrammed Otter Box Iphone cover, I was elated!  I love Kelly's blog, and find it refreshing that she also writes about her teaching and life (I love fashion, but it can only go so know?)

Proof that I actually won something!

Of course, it took me weeks to figure out what kind of cover I wanted.  For starters, my iphone was over 3 years I didn't want to invest in an awesome cover for such an old phone.  I knew it was only a matter of time before I would have to get a new one.  Problem was, the iphone 5's are different sizes, so I needed to wait to see which model I was going to get.

Last time we went to the beach, we headed to Shackleford banks on the boat.  I took my phone out of the cover so we could play it on the portable radio.  When we headed back to land, I put my phone and Brent's in a plastic bag (it can get wet on the ride in if it's windy) and we headed back.  I was sitting in the front with Emma, who had fallen asleep on my chest.  We were hitting some bumpy water and I could hear things moving around...but all of a sudden, I heard Brent say "well...looks like you're getting a new phone!"  I thought he was joking, but I turned around to see my beautiful, faithful phone screen shattered into a zillion pieces.  It was still functioning, thankfully.  But I knew I could not be THAT person with the crunked up phone.

Later that week, I headed to Verizon to assess my options.  I decided to go with the Iphone 5S, and did the EDGE program, which allows you pay monthly and not be locked into a contract.  I also upgraded to the 32GB storage because I was sick of trying to erase pictures and apps every time I didn't have enough storage to take a picture.  (stop judging...I know there are better ways to manage that, but I'm trying!)  Ironically, my Iphone 4 started shutting off without reason the day I was going to upgrade...and at the store refused to come back on.  I took it as a sign that it was time for a new one.

Boutique Me's site is super fun to play around with...and you get to see what your phone will look like (a huge plus!).  There were so many choices, and I actually was scared to finally pull the trigger.  Shipping was really fast, and I was so excited to use my new cover (and know that it was going to protect my phone too)

The people at Boutique Me were delightful, and I am very thankful for them and KellyintheCity for doing such great giveaways.  Next time someone on your social media feeds re-posts a giveaway pic, go ahead and just might win!!!

Currently, I am crossing my fingers on this win......(I know my chances are pretty slim - 2 wins in 2 months????)

I had not heard of this designer before, until a friend had some charms on this past weekend at the ski tournament (thanks Allison!).  I immediately wrote her name down and made sure to research her later.  I had been in search of some initial charms that wouldn't tarnish.  I was pretty disappointed with the ones I had that were only gold-plated (I promise, I am not a snob).  I want to wear it all the time and not worry about the quality.  I didn't want something that would change color or dent, and if I wanted to, I could pass it down to Emma....enter Helen Ficalora......

I had never heard of her, but I love how simple and elegant her jewelry is, and how she only sells at her boutiques.  Of course, I am not near any, so I will have to phone order (she also doesn't do online ordering!)  Either way, Brent is REALLY hoping I win this giveaway, so that he can stop hearing me talk about how great her stuff is:)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Catch up

I am LOVING my life as a part timer.....Emma and I have not nearly done everything on our "days off bucket list," but we are making the most of our time together.  One thing I knew going into this was that it would not only be more time together during the week, but also more time for me to do the things that make me happy.  By this I mean the daily cleaning and organizing that has to be done to make a house run.  When I was working full time, I had NO time to do any of this.  I only had weeknights and weekends (and even then, I wanted to spend that precious time with Brent and Emma).  It made me crazy, and I quickly began to sink into the hole of "pass the child" with Brent in order to get anything done.  Being able to quickly steal a few minutes here and there is such a blessing and makes our lives one million times better now.

Emma loves a smoothie, and I love that vegetable smoothies are trending now....I couldn't help but treat her as Emma was an angel all week.  First, she did awesome at my first PopUp workout.  I HATE sweating and working out...that's why I chose skiing as my hobby (I'm always wet and there's no long distance skiing!)  But I know I need to get in shape and be healthier.  My friend, Carrie, has been teaching classes and she is always posting on Facebook.  I finally decided to try one.....and I loved it.  I didn't feel stupid, I had fun, and I lived to tell about it:)

Last weekend, I had the State Championship Ski tournament.  I didn't take many pictures, and I didn't ski as well as I would have wanted.  But I had a great time with my friends and dad.  Brent had Emma to visit his family that weekend, so I was solo (which was liberating and sad at the same time!)  I am realizing as I age that I am not going to be a champion all the time, but that my actions and attitude surrounding when I ski are what truly matter.  It's very hard to be good at something, devoting such a large amount of time to it, and then to back off down the road.  It's actually a huge lesson in humility:)  I am slowly learning how to balance all the wonderful things in my life - from my past to present, and whatever the future holds.

My dad and Bill....2 of my favorite ski peeps!

The Beaver Lake clan!  I am honored to be a part of such a wonderful family:)

Emma came down with a slight fever one evening, and was super snuggly.  I knew she didn't feel well when she didn't run over to greet dad as he walked in.  We took her to the doctor where they noticed she had a bright red throat....thank goodness the strep tests came back negative.  She had a fever for one night, and then it went away just as quick as it came on.  She was back to bouncing off the walls in no time!

We ate dinner at my parents one night, and Emma insisted on playing with the bee-bee gun.

I am amazed at how grown up Emma is.  It really seems like everyday, she does something new that reminds me she is not a baby anymore at all.  We decided to try out the new bug spray I bought (Emma gets huge welts on her legs and arms from the I finally found some deet free spray).  She had a blast running down the street and all around the neighborhood.  This was also our test to see if she was ready for a zoo trip.  I wanted her to be able to walk around at the zoo some, and I think she passed:)

Here she is telling us to "come on!"

Feeble attempt at a family selfie...

Yesterday, we had big plans to head to the lake all morning.  But when we woke up, it was pouring.  We decided to head to the mall and walk around.  It was super steamy and yucky out...I felt like sweat was rolling down my face as soon as I walked outside.  I hate weather like that...I wouldn't survive in Florida.  We ended up in Barnes and Noble, because I knew Emma could get out of the stroller and play in the kid section.  (I have this thing against the kiddie playground inside the just creeps me out.  There's always zoned out parents who like zombies and kids everywhere...and I feel like I can see germs crawling around in there...sorry....I'll stop judging now!)
She sat right down on the floor (I know...probably lots of germs there too...) and started reading books to me.  She has this special little language when she reads books...she starts saying things (un-conprehendable, of course), and then picks up the book like she's showing it around.  

We managed to only buy 2 books...after a small metldown.  As soon as I paid at the checkout and started to head towards the door, I realized it was pouring outside.  And by pouring, I mean raining small animals.  So we turned around and headed to the cafe.  (Oh...and made a pit stop in the bathroom where I explained that "mommy had to potty," which she then yelled for 5 straight minutes while we were in there.  I am sure people in the store could hear her.  It was super fun.

We literally waited for an hour in the cafe.  We got drinks, and shared a quiche (this girl loved eggs....she asks for them once a day).  It was like the storms kept forming over us.  I think I read later that Durham got over 3 inches of rain in a 2 hour span.  There was flooding all over the place.  There was a small lull, so I decided to pack us up and make a run for it.  I got very wet, of course.  But it was already past nap time, and I was going crazy sitting in there.

After Emma napped, I pulled all her blankets from her crib to wash.  It normally doesn't bother her, but this time she had a super depicted in the pictures below.

 Thankfully, I bribed her with a cookie and tried to explain that blankie was getting a bath.  We ended our rainy day with snuggles on the couch, watching Frozen.  I couldn't wait for the moment when Emma was old enough to watch TV on the couch with us...and here it is.  I love it. I love to hear her ask "watch TV?" even if it is when she is supposed to be going to bed.

In other news...I took the plunge and decided to try this for the next year....and I'll post more on that later:)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Fourth!

We had a low key Fourth of July, since we were at the beach the weekend before.  Nonetheless, we managed to pack in some fun times.

We started our day with chores around the house and obligatory flag waving....

Future air traffic controller?????

That night, we joined the Winslow's at American Tobacco for some music, drinks, and dinner.

Emma gave the "staredown" to a specific party-goer who might have been served too much and was singing yelling to the songs.

"where ya goin', Emma????"

these two....super silly.

Saturday, we got up bright and early and headed to Ahoskie ('ve never been there??? Ha!)  We spent the day skiing, playing in the water, and grilling out with our Beaver Lake family.  We had an absolute blast, and I hardly took any pictures (boo.)  Emma would have stayed in the water all day long if we would have let her...she was being so brave and swimming without holding on to anyone or touching the bottom.  We are looking forward to more days there this summer. 

Sunday we had a relaxing day at church, and then visited some good friends in Haw River who just moved back from Rhode Island.  We felt very blessed to be together and spend time with family and friends whom we love.