Meet the Sullivans: June 2013

June 28, 2013

Five on Friday

There isn't much of anything new going on around here this week. I've been sick with a cold for most of the week, the neighbors are jack hammering in their backyard and Owen has been up a few times each night. In short, things are not going so well around here! But it could be worse, right? These little inconveniences are nothing in comparison to what some people have to suffer through, so really, things are pretty great in the grand scheme of things.

Moving on!
I'm linking up again this week with Darci of [the good life], April of A. Liz Adventures, Christina of Carolina Charm, and Natasha of Hello! Happiness for 5 on Friday! Here are some things on my mind this Friday:


ONE
Do you have plans for the 4th of July? We're going to be hanging around town, going to a festival and watching fireworks from the driveway. If you didn't see my Patriotic Ruffle Wreath tutorial yesterday please check it out! And here are some other fun red, white and blue delights in honor of the 4th of July!


 
TWO 
Keith's mom likes to show Owen cute nursery rhyme videos on her computer and last week she showed him this one on You Tube. It's a really cute version of Hickory Dickory Dock. Owen loves it all the way up to when the clock strikes six and the elephant comes out. This kid is so smart, because when he saw the elephant for the first time he shouted "Noooooo!" and then did a boo boo lip. He knew the elephant would crush the clock and he became completely upset about it. Poor baby, right? I read the comments and found out that other toddlers did the same thing. It's not scary by any means, but for some reason that part is very upsetting to them. Needless to say Owen won't be watching it again. 

THREE
Yesterday I signed Owen up for a Citrus Lane subscription. I've seen some people share their boxes on Instagram and it seemed like so much fun. I love trying new products, especially for my little guy and who doesn't love getting fun stuff in the mail? Have you tried Citrus Lane? I used the code TAKEHALF and got 50% my first box, so it was only $12.50!
 

FOUR
I adore Gymboree for clothes for my little man. How adorable are these outfits for toddler and baby boys and girls? Can you tell I'm in love with the girls clothes? Ha! Gymboree always has some great sales and the clothes are great quality, in my opinion.


Last year we had him in a little outfit from there, but this year he'll be wearing a applique top made by the lovely Leah at Simply Made with Love. I think I'm going to have to pick up those glasses and maybe the shorts too though!


FIVE
And THIS! This momma can't get over those eyes, those cheeks, the pink lips...

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June 27, 2013

Patriotic Wreath Tutorial

I'm so glad I finally stopped putting off making this wreath, my friends! It turned out better than I expected, it was easier than I anticipated and took less time than I thought it would. If you want to make one yourself for your front door for the Fourth it is not too late!

To see the original tutorial I used to make my wreath click here

If you've never ventured into the world of wreath making before, this wreath is a good place to start! There aren't many supplies, no hot glue or fancy techniques are involved. It's easy, and mindless crafting--and pretty foolproof.

I could see this technique of using felt squares be a great way to make a wreath for any holiday. I want to put one together for Mardi Gras next year using green, purple and yellow felt, with a mask a fixed to the middle. Doesn't that sound perfect? 

Now, onto the main event!

Supplies:
  • 200 ball pins
  • rounded foam form wreath
  • 6 red, 6 white and 4 blue felt sheets
  • scissors
  • white card stock
  • craft wire

Cut your red, white and blue felt sheets into 2 inch by 2 inch squares. You're going to end up with some leftover, but it's nice to have them all cut out ahead of time. Make sure to use a sharp pair of scissors meant for cutting fabric, or this could be a long tedious process. Also, I didn't measure the pieces and just eyeballed the size and straightness. Some ended up being more like rectangles than squares and it really didn't make a difference in the final product.


To start attaching your felt squares, fold in half, corner to corner.


It will look a little like a flower at this point, which is what you want. 


Attach it to the wreath using the pin. Secure the pin through the felt at the point you've created with the folding, and then stick it right into your foam form.  As you go you'll stick the point of each new piece of felt almost underneath the pieces that came before it to give it an overlapping, full look. This also helps hide the pins.

**You could probably just use one box of straight pins if you double up squares on each pin.**

I started off with the red section going straight down the top of the wreath until I felt like that section was as long as I wanted it to be. Once I felt like the red section was "big" enough I added more pieces curving outward to give the red section the fullness I desired.

My wreath form was pretty small, so I just did two red sections and two white, and I made the blue section take up almost one quarter of the whole wreath.

To make the stars I used craft wire that I wrapped around a highlighter to give it a twirly, spring like look. I drew the stars free hand on white card stock, cut them out and taped them onto the end of he springs. Since the wreath is foam and the wire is sharp I was able to just poke one end through the felt pieces already in place and into the foam.

Tie on a pretty bow to hang it with, and voila!


June 25, 2013

Weekend Wrap Up


You know, the funny thing about being a planner  and a mom is that as much as I like to plan our days, they rarely ever workout the way I think they will. My plan for Friday was to  take Owen to the child watch at the gym so I could workout before bringing him to swimming, but he was so tired that I let him nap before going to the gym and he slept all the way through swim class!

When he woke up we headed to the pool anyway and met my sister there. Owen loves to swim in the kiddie pool. He had so much fun trying to run around chasing the other little kids in the pool. He knows exactly when he wants to get out of the pool too, because he climbs out and right onto the lounge chair.

After swimming we headed for a haircut. Owen's hair had gotten so long, especially in the back. I think it wasn't cut short enough at his last visit. This time I remembered to tell the hair dresser that I like a pretty short cut on my boy. He was so good sitting in the chair that even some other parents noticed and commented. He is such a sweet boy and makes his mama so proud. Doesn't he look handsome?


Would you believe he slept for over two hours after his haircut? I'm so thankful for that great nap, because I was exhausted too!


In the evening after dinner we took a trip to Costco.Costco is even worse than Target for us. We can never leave with just the essentials we planned to get--we always find other things we "need". We didn't end up buying the giants dog--it's too big for us and after this picture was taken Owen completely lost interest in it!


On Saturday Keith was done at the hospital by 11am, so we got to spend the afternoon at a little splash park nearby. Owen was in toddler heaven! We were the only people there (much to our surprise!) and we had a great time playing together.


Saturday night Keith and I had a date night!! We went to see World War Z (a must see if you like zombie movies, but don't like gore) and then to sushi afterward. We used to go out to sushi all the time before I was pregnant with Owen, but can you believe this was the first time we've been since March 2011 (the month before I was pregnant with O)? Crazy!


On Sunday we met our friends for the Downtown San Mateo SummerFest street festival. The weather was muggy and a little rainy but we still had so much fun walking around. We stopped for lunch at Curry Up Now, and Indian street food restaurant. I'd never had Indian-Mexican food before and it was really good! The place was pretty busy, but everything was still great. Owen slept from when we got there and then all through lunch--perfect timing! When he woke up we headed up to where Radio Disney had a little booth and let the kids dance to the music and play around. And I finally found another hat to wear out in the sun!

Sunday night after Owen went to bed we got frozen yogurt and watched the season finale of Mad Men. Do you watch the show? What did you think?

Monday was really pretty uneventful. We worked out, went to the grocery store and just hung around home. After dinner my friend Jackie and I went to see The Great Gatsby (finally!!), but I'll tell you all about that later!

June 21, 2013

Five on Friday

I'm linking up again this week with Darci of [the good life], April of A. Liz Adventures, Christina of Carolina Charm, and Natasha of Hello! Happiness for 5 on Friday! Here are some things on my mind this Friday:


I don't know about you, but I think Friday is the perfect time to share 5 things you're excited about! The humdrum of the week is almost over and the fun times of the weekend are visible on the horizon!



ONE - Can you fold a t-shirt in two seconds flat? I can't! I worked retail in high school for a little while and pride myself on my excellent t-shirt folding skills, but I've got nothing on this guy! Between undershirts, shirts to sleep in, and shirts to workout in, Keith goes through SO many t-shirts every week. If I could fold each of them in 2 seconds flat my chores would be done in a snap!


TWO - I just bought this necklace from And Ruby earlier in the week for $19 and now I see it's on Very Jane for $14. I hate when that happens. But, I'm still excited for it to come in the mail. I can already think of a few things I own that it would go with. It's pretty busy but I think it can go with so much.


THREE- I am summery dress obsessed! It definitely took me a while to jump on the maxi dress bandwagon, but now that I'm on here I can't get off! I've seen so many pretty ones lately, and I wish I could add them all to my closet. At least one of them will be mine very soon! Which one is your favorite?



FOUR - Date Night Movie Night! We're going to a movie Saturday night and Ican'tflippingwait! The movie theater is my happy place and I haven't been there since we saw Iron Man 3. We're going to see World War Z and I love a good zombie movie, so this should be a good one. I still haven't gotten out to see Gatsby yet, just in case anyone is wondering about that.


FIVE -No list of mine is complete without something about my sweet baby boy! We've got swimming this morning and plans for a hair cut this afternoon. Everything's been "Mama" lately, like "Mamma, up!", "Mama, choo choo!" and "Mama, baba!" and this Mama loves it! I can't get enough of my little one :)

Now I'm off to practice my two second t-shirt folding skills! Happy Friday, friends!

June 20, 2013

Thirsty #throwbackthursday

Following Erinn's (you've got to check out the cute dress in her post today!) lead this morning for a combo of #throwbackthursday and Thirsty Thursday to bring you Thirsty Throw Back Thursday!

Probably not my best photography work, but this sangria is one of my favorite drinks to make for a crowd! Enjoy!
Originally posted on Wednesday, June 13th 2012
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I made this sangria Friday night for our BBQ celebration on Saturday night. It was the very best sangria I've ever made. It reminded me of a lighter version of a Mai Tai. It was refreshing and went down so smoothly! 


The really great thing about sangria is that it is so versatile. You can add whatever fruit you like and mix it with your favorite wine to create your ideal concoction. I quadrupled the recipe to accommodate our large group. I was able to find a mix of frozen peach, mango and pineapple chunks at Costco. I also substituted the pineapple juice for R.J. Knudsen Coconut Pineapple juice.

Peach, Mango, Pineapple Sangria
For a printer-friendly version click here.

Double, triple, or quadruple the recipe if making for a larger group.
  • 1 bottle chardonnay (or another white wine)
  • 1/3 cup triple sec
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup mango chunks, frozen 
  • 3/4 cup pineapple chunks, frozen
  • 3/4 cup peach chunks, frozen
  • 1/3 cup pineapple juice (or another similar juice)
Combine first three ingredients in a large pitcher and stir until sugar dissolves. Add the remaining ingredients, stir, and refrigerate until chilled.

Note: Sangria is best when made in advance so the flavors can marinate together to create an excellent flavor!

Recipe adapted from Averie Cooks.

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When Owen wakes up from his morning nap we're off to run some morning errands before lunch! I can already tell it's going to be a hot one today, so we'll be spending the afternoon playing with the water table, the lawn sprinkler and the kiddie pool! 

Owen is 17 Months!

Dear Owen,

This week you turn 17 months-old! Our days are filled with fun and giggles. Each one goes by in the blink of an eye. There is never a dull moment when you're around!


-STATS-
I don't have the official stats, since we won't see the doctor until next month, but I'm guessing you're still close to 24lbs and 32 inches tall.


-SLEEPS-
Through the night a few times a week, but wakes once on most nights. Wake up time is usually around 5:30-6:30am, sometimes we get to sleep until 7am if we're lucky. Naps are all over the place... sometimes there are two, other days it's just one. Sometimes they're as long as two hours, and on other days they're just an hour. Sometimes they're in the morning, and....you get the idea! 


-LOVES-
When we sing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" together. You always try to do the hand motions for the spider when I do and it always gets a big smile from you! You love swimming in the pool and are all smiles during swim class. You're still a big fan of playing outside, especially when you get to help do some yard work or feed the birds.



-HATES-
Being put in your car seat. You'll tolerate it once or twice during each outing or if you get to have a snack or bottle, but otherwise you arch your back and do your best to avoid being strapped in. Diaper changes still aren't your fave either, but you'll tolerate them. 


-SAYS-
You are mimicking and saying so many words. If you're in the backyard with me picking up after the dog you'll say "poopoo" and go "ick!", because that's what I say! Ha! You like to say "whoa!". We were taking some pictures while we took the photos for this post and you insisted that I color with you (which I am always more than happy to do), and whenever I would put the chalk down for a second to take a picture you'd point to it and say "MAMA! MAMA!" and hand it back to me. You're the cutest, my little boy!


-EATS-
You have been eating really well lately. We are SO proud of you! You've been asking for bananas and apples. You'll even try some of the vegetables and fruits we offer you. I'm glad we've kept offering you new things and fruits/vegetables at every meal, even if it means we prep it and then have to toss it.



-DOES-
You love to workout with us! You like to swing from the TRX cables when we're using them, do crunches and push ups on the floor, do squats really low you've even been trying some yoga. You're the cutest most determined little mimic.


-HEALTH- 
Your health is great! You've had three molars come in in the last month. You are growing like a weed--you seem heavier and taller all the time.
 
 
And because I love to compare photos, here you were a year ago at just 5 months-old! This photo only further convinces me that you're no longer a baby, but a full-blown toddler. I wish I could bottle up your smell, your smile, your laugh and keep it for when you're all grown up. I hope you'll never doubt what a blessing you are to your dad and I, now and forever. 

xoxox, Mommy

June 19, 2013

Dot Dollars | It Pays to Shop!

 

In June, it pays to shop with Stella & Dot! For every $50 you spend you will earn $25 in Dot Dollars to redeem for yourself in July. You can apply the $25 Dot Dollars for every $50 you spend between July 3rd-11th, 2013. Don't worry about forgetting your Dot Dollars because on July 3rd you'll receive an e-mail with your promo codes and each code will represent a $25 Dot Dollars award. Below are a few of my favorite pieces . . .

 

Possibly the next Stella & Dot piece I add to my collection? Navy and Kelly green are two of my favorite colors to wear! 

This is my most recent Stella & Dot purchase and I am, again, so happy with the look and quality of the piece. It reminds me of a similarly styled J. Crew bracelet, but this one is much more wearable in my opinion.


I own these earrings in the emerald green color, and they are my favorite pair of "big" earrings. They were my first Stella & Dot purchase and I'm still in love with them! 

Be sure to check out Stella & Dot today and start earning your Dot Dollars! Happy Shopping!

Decisions, Decisions

Our trip to Disneyland is well over two months away, but I've already begun to make plans for all the details, big and small. I'm making little notes here and there in a special file in my Home Management Notebook so I don't forget things like the stroller fan or our iPod dock we use for white noise. Taking a toddler on his very first overnight (more than just one night, mind you) trip an eight hour drive from home has this momma stressing and over planning.

Stroller parking outside It's a Small World.

One of the biggest issues for me is the decision of which stroller we should take. We own two strollers that we currently use for Owen (the third is the Snap n' Go that we obviously only used when he was still in the infant seat), and I'm having trouble settling on which one I want to bring. (PS. I've heard the ones you can rent are really uncomfortable)

For daily errands and such we have the Maclaren Triumph, which is a lightweight, easy to get in and out of the car, and takes up a minimal amount of space in the trunk. The downsides: if we have anything hanging over the handlebars when we take Owen out the whole thing tips backward, there is almost no space in the undercarriage basket, we have to attach an additional sun canopy to keep Owen shielded from the sun and there are no built in cup holders. Not the perfect stroller to depend on all day, right?

O napping in the Maclaren. Check out those pink cheeks!

We also have the BOB Revolution SE Single Stroller, which, in my opinion and experience, is like the Cadillac of jogging strollers. It rides so smoothly and turns on a dime. If it weren't so heavy to lift in and out of the trunk of the Jeep I would take it everywhere with me. It has a generously sized basket under the seat, a rear pocket, a great cup holder thing we bought, the list of pros goes on and on. Owen and I take it around the block daily, we go on runs with it and we take it on most family outings. We love this stroller! 

As you can see above and below, Owen is quite happy in the BOB! He also really enjoys having his snacks and drink within arms reach-- so happy we finally ordered the snack tray.


The BOB is the obvious choice for so many reasons, but I still have some reservations about bringing it. Well, just one BIG worry is that it will get stolen. It was close to twice the price of the Maclaren and I would die if we lost it.

I Googled "stroller theft in Disneyland" and there are some really mixed reviews / silly suggestions about how to protect your stroller and what to do. Suggestions range from smart things like putting a bike lock on your stroller when you park it to go on a ride (our Plan A) to really dumb things like hanging a bag over the handle bars with a diaper filled with refried beans in side (really?!) giving the appearance of a dirty diaper.

So, my question for you is; What would you do? Would you take the BOB?

June 18, 2013

Blog Lovin'

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My Summer Reading List

Now that I'm all done with The Great Gatsby...

One of the most thrilling things for me about finishing a new book is the excitement of getting to chose what to read next. I've been collecting new book ideas in my Good Reads list of To-Read books for a few months now and I'm so excited to read all of these soon. I know I would be lucky if I finished even three on these this summer, much less all eight of them, and I don't have a plan for what order I'm going to read them in. I like to pick my next books based on what I'm in the mood for, and I'll never know what that'll be. 


The Happiness Project - I have heard great things about this book from so many people and I actually won a copy of it on another blog. I usually read on my Kindle, so it will be kind of fun to read the old fashioned way with a real book in my hands.

Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey - I really enjoy the show Downton Abbey, so I think this would be a really fun read for me. I like period pieces, and hearing about how things were way back when. And I first spotted it at Costco, which usually means it's good or popular.

Sparkly Green Earrings - Written by blogger Melanie Shankle aka Big Mama. The book is coined a "quirky memoir of motherhood", and I actually read a few pages before some friends and I decided to start The Great Gatsby, and it is really good! I can't wait to read more.

Bringing Up Bébé - Again, I have heard about this book from a lot of people. It seems like I might be the last person to read it. A complete stranger at Barnes & Noble saw me holding it in my stack of books while we both watched out kids play with the train table and she gave it a very very high recommendation. 


The Kitchen House - You know what I love about Good Reads? I can see what books other people have read / are reading / want to read and let it influence my "what's next" dilemma. Like this book I saw on my mom's cousin Wendy's profile (if you're reading this: Hi, Wendy!). I would have never picked it up in a book store because it doesn't look like a book I would usually pick, and there is really nothing interesting about the title, but because it was on her profile I clicked through to read the description.  

Relish: An Adventure in Food, Style, and Everyday Fun - Do you watch The Chew on ABC? I watched it daily when Owen was first born and nursing kept me confined to one seat for at least 30 minutes at a time. Now if it's on when I turn on the television I'll listen while I get other things done. I enjoy a good cooking show and came to really like Daphne Oz. I've flipped through some of the recipes and I can't wait to give them a try and read the rest of the book. 

The Storyteller - I've read a few of Jodi Picoult's other books and they never disappoint. They always keep me wanting to read, read, read until I'm done.

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald - I started this book after reading The Paris Wife, but then moved on to Gatsby instead. (You can tell I was indecisive about what to read, huh?) I know that I definitely want to know more about this Zelda-- she is so eccentric! 

So I'm not even going to say that I'll stick to this list. I might even read something else that's not on the list. What are you reading right now? What have you been reading lately? Any recommendations?