Meet the Sullivans: January 2015

January 30, 2015

Five on Friday

Here there! I hope everyone had a great week! We sure did! I had a hair appointment, O had a great week at school complete with a special party, we played at the park and made it to the gym 3 days this week, and the best news of all is the it is the WEEKEND!

Here's my five...
| 1 | Yesterday O's class had a Teddy Bear Picnic celebration and it was the sweetest thing I've ever seen! He brought his little stuffed dog Bugsy and held him close the whole time. He took really great care of him, although he mentioned later that he "lost" him at one point and had to ask Teacher Kim to help locate him. I stuck around the school to be there for the special snack time since the class sang O Happy Birthday too. 

| 2 | Thanks so much for your input on my recent Stitch Fix box! I've decided to keep the jeans and send everything else back. I've already scheduled my next fix for late next month! I can't wait for it to arrive. If you're considering signing up for a box, please use my referral code -- I'll be so grateful!

| 3 | I've made a few things that week that will definitely be added to our regular dinner menu rotation. The Chicken Tortilla Soup from Skinny Fork was so easy to throw in the slow cooker and made great leftovers! Ina Garten's Pesto Roasted Tomatoes I heard about from Annie were a great side. I used just a pinch of Parmesan cheese on each slice. These could be a great lunch as well.

| 4 | I had my hair done earlier this week, which is always wonderful, but I found one of the things I was looking forward to most about going (besides getting to sit for 2-3 hrs with my book / ipad / magazines) is grabbing a juice next door before checking in. My favorite is called Morning Glory and it's carrot, beet, orange, apple and lemon. What is your favorite juice?

| 5 | It might be January, but the weather here in CA has been pretty sunny, which has me eying Spring and Summer dresses. How pretty is this dress I pinned last week? It is from Anthropologie, but sadly, it is no longer available.

Have a great weekend!

Today I'm linking up with...

Darci, April, Christina and Natasha
Friday Favorites with A Little Bit of EverythingMomfessionals, and Grace and Love
Oh Hey Friday with September Farm and The Farmer's Wife
Jennie for Friday Favorites
Amanda for Friday Favorites

January 29, 2015

January Stitch Fix Review (Box #5)

I received my January Stitch Fix box yesterday and couldn't wait to open it! I waited for O to go down for his nap and then tried everything on, and took pictures too of course so I could get your opinion!

If you're wondering what Stitch Fix is, or how it works... It's a personal shopping service, and all you have to do to get started is fill out the Stitch Fix Style Profile and our personal stylists will handpick a selection of five clothing items and accessories unique to your taste, budget and lifestyle. You can buy what you like and return the rest! The styling fee is $20, and if you pick something from your fix that fee is applied to whatever you decided to buy!

If you've never tried Stitch Fix before I highly recommend giving it at least one try. It is so much fun! And if you do decide to sign up please use my referral link --- thank you thank you!
My stylist, Robyn, wrote a nice little message telling me that she checked out my blog and Pinterest boards to get an idea for what I like.

Love seeing how they style each piece, and in looking back, I can see how some of the pieces I didn't like may have seemed cute from the picture. Not everything looks as cute on though, unfortunately! 

Item #1: Tucker Mixed Print 3/4 Sleeve Blouse by Renee C ($54.00) - At first I didn't think I liked this blouse, but then later I tried it on with jeans instead of burgundy cords and I changed my mind. It's kind of wild and loud, which I don't ever go for. The backside has a little slit in it, which is fun too. I'm almost positive I want to keep this.

Item #2: Jonas Mixed Material Top by Skies are Blue ($58.00) - I liked this top in the photo on the card, but didn't see anything special about it when I tried it on. I think I could find something like this at Old Navy, and my goal is to find things I wouldn't regularly buy.

Item #3: Burgdorf Diamond Printed Henley Blouse by Fun2Fun ($38.00) - While I liked the shape, fit and cut of this top, I really disliked the print. The color is not one I usually buy for myself because I don't think it looks good with my coloring. Also, something about it reminds me of The Brady Bunch?

Item #4: Harriet Chevron Print Detail Dress by 41Hawthorn ($64.00) - I absolutely hate this dress. I'm way over chevron print things and the waist hit at a weird spot that made me look wider than I do. The neckline was too high too for a dress like this. 

Item #5: Baxley Zipper Detail Skinny Jean by Kut From the Kloth ($88) - Robyn earned major points from me for picking a perfect pair of skinny jeans! Seriously, I have the hardest time finding pants that fit right and these are totally awesome. They are comfortable and cute and different from my go-to Ann Taylor LOFT pair. I have a really hard time finding pants. I usually hate how jeans look on me, they're uncomfortable and almost always have a huge hap in the back. I'm pretty sure I'll keep these!

SO, what do you think I should keep? I usually only let myself keep one thing from each box.

You can see my other Stitch Fix reviews here: March '14 and June '14. I skipped blogging about the ones I received in July and August, but I promise to share the rest from here on out.

January 28, 2015

Day in the Life - Winter '15

With this being O's first year in school I wanted to document what a typical day looks like on a day when I take him to school. This day just so happened to also be a day when I wasn't working in the class with him, so I ended up having some time to myself to get a few things done without my little helper in tow. It's been about 6 months since my last day in the life post, so it is definitely time for an update!

This day was Thursday, January 22nd 2015. Keith is 35 1/2, O just turned 3 and I'm 33.

4:00am - I hear O on the monitor calling for me sleepily. He sounds pretty groggy, so I decide to wait it out for a bit and he falls back asleep.

4:30am - He's calling for me, so I get out of bed and put on my rode (it's cold in the house at night) and head down stairs to grab him some milk in hopes it will help him go back to sleep. He's wet, so I change his clothes, wrap him in a blanket and we sit in the rocking chair together where he falls asleep drinking some milk.

I move him back to his bed and he wakes up as I put him down and asks me to tell him a story while holding onto my hand. I oblige and makes something up about Peter Pan and Captain Hook. He settles in and falls asleep, and I wait for a few minutes to make sure he's really out before slipping away.

5:20am - I cancel my original alarm on my FitBit that was set for 5:45am and go back to sleep.

6:00am - Keith's alarm goes off and wake us both up. I am determined to get more sleep, so I roll over.
6:50am - Owen is awake stirring around again, which is surprising since he has been sleeping later recently. I go get my coffee and come back up to bed to find him quiet. I give up on sleep and decide to check email, blog and watch the news.

7:20am - He finally seems awake enough, so I go into his room to get him. His hair is looking pretty wild, and although I love it, it make me think we should probably go get a haircut after school. I change him and we head into our room so he can have his milk. Keith gets home right about the same time from running and jumps in the shower. I tell him I'll need to shower when he is done.

7:45am - My turn to shower! And I actually make some time to put on make-up and wear real clothes that don't involve sweats.

8:15am - I get O dressed, pack his snack for school and pick up around the house while Keith and O play. We say goodbye to Keith and play for a few minutes and put on shoes before it's time to leave for school.

8:30am - We head out to the car and O is happy to get right in his seat. Usually there is some kind of tantrum, but today he's in a good mood.

8:50am - Arrive at school and find parking on the street. There is a small lot for the preschool, but it is always full. I have never managed to score a spot in there all year. I'm considering giving up trying. I change O's shirt real quick on the sidewalk because he dripped chocolate milk all down the front of it. We go inside and hang out and catch up with other kids and parents while we wait for Teacher Kim to open the door to the classroom.

9:00am - I check O in, he puts his snack in his cubby and I wipe his nose and say goodbye. He asks me to stay for two minutes, but I promise him I will be back to get him after "story time". He says "awright" and I go, and head to Target.

9:20am - My plan is to get milk, thank you notes and lettuce, but decide to browse a little too. I end up buying quite a few "extras" (bubbles, a toothbrush for O, thank you notes, frozen breakfast burritos for K, etc.), and one thing for me, a long sleeve t-shirt.

10:28 am - Load up all my stuff and finally have breakfast on my way to pick up O. I get to school a little early, so I park and walk around to earn myself some more steps on my FitBit for the day. I love my FitBit and it really encourages me to keep moving all day.

11:15am - I pick O up from school and he seems pretty tired. I love having freedom in these days (for 2 hours!), but I really miss knowing how the time went for him. I don't want to bother the other moms too much asking them how he did, and being 3 he can't tell me too much. 

11:40am - We go to get O's haircut. We wait for a few minutes in the playroom -- he loves it in there and rarely wants to leave that little room when it's time. He is always so good for the hair dressers. The woman, Carmen, asks him if he likes having his haircut and he tells her "Uh huh! I do, I love getting my haircut!".  Then afterward we head home!

12:10 pm - Come home and put lunch together for O. He has salami, tortilla, strawberries and cashews. I bring his food down to the carpet in the living room on a tray so he can eat while we play.

1:00 pm - Put O down for his nap. I start preping dinner. Tonight we're having Greek salads, so I chop all the veggies and make the dressing / marinade.

This dressing is a Greek Vinaigrette:

1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1 cup olive oil, 2-3 cloves pressed or minced garlic, 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano, pinch of dried thyme, big pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper and a few tablespoons of crumbled feta. I put it in a mason jar shake it until it is all mixed and then keep it in the refrigerator until I'm ready to use it.
2:40 pm - Eat lunch and do a quick flip through EveryDay with Rachel Ray and O is up! Shorter nap today, for sure.

2:45 pm - I go get him from his crib and he's a little warm. I've been noticing him rubbing his chest and wincing a bit when he coughs. He's happy and doesn't seem too sick, but I call his doctor's office anyway to be sure. They tell us to come in in an hour to see one of the doctors. We kill some time playing pirates and then watch Miles from Tomorrowland on the ipad together.

3:45 pm - As much as O never wants to go to the doctor he sure seems to love it once we're there. He acts coy with the nurse as she takes his temperature and enjoys when the doctor shows him the stethoscope. Turns out he is 100% okay, which is a relief!

4:30 pm - We head home and O plays while I cook the chicken for our salad and prepare some of his dinner. This is usually when I let him watch a 20 minute show so I can cook dinner. He plays instead, but then I turn on a show after I'm done so I can get some other things done around the house.

5:33 pm - O and I color while he eats dinner.

6:00 pm - Keith arrives home from work and all O wants to do it play. He's not happy when Keith and I try to sit down for dinner, so Keith plays with him a little more, telling him he has five minutes. Time limits are working really well for us these days, especially when we can set a timer.

6:30 - Dinner for us. We're done with dinner early tonight and I've already cleaned up most of the mess in the kitchen, so we decide to go out for ice cream! 

7:15 pm - Dessert is a once a week thing these days, so I go big with a hot fudge sundae. Keith gets a cone and O decides to just have a little cup of gummy worms. He's not so into ice cream these days.

8:00 pm - We're home and changing O into pajamas. We read two stories, and then O requests to climb into his bed. We turn out the lights, turn on his stars and his iPod with stories on it -- he asks for Keith to stay with him for the first Curious George story. I'm usually the one he wants, but tonight he wanted Daddy! While they listen to the story I load and run the dishwasher.

8:40 pm - O is asleep and Keith and I hang out for a bit watching TV, on the computer, reading etc.

9:15 pm - I head up to bed and Keith stays up for a little while. I read until I can no longer keep my eyes open and then it's lights out for me!

January 26, 2015

Scenes from the Weekend

We had a great weekend, and of course it went by too quickly for us all -- good thing we still have today to get more of our errands and to-do's done!

Friday night we met friends out for pizza night! These kids are too cute together and O finally took to entertaining L a bit. He's been pretty anti-baby for a while and I think he finally realized that L is now a big boy like him.

Saturday O and I attended our friend A's 3rd birthday party! There were lots of friends, cake and a jump house, so it was lots of fun!

Anyone watching Girlfriend's Guide to Divorce on Bravo? I watched a few episodes over the weekend during nap time and I just love the show. Keith was wondering what kind of junk I was watching when he saw it on the dvr, but I really like it! Anyone else watching?

Saturday afternoon Keith came home from working in the hospital and he just felt really tired. He hung out with O while I did some grocery shopping and then we sent him up to bed early because he was beat. I'm glad he's in outpatient 90% of the time now, because inpatient therapy seems to drain him. O and I ate a "picnic" dinner in the living room while playing toys. 

This also, of course, ended up being the night that O refused to go to sleep until 11pm. He wasn't upset, just chatty and full of thoughts.
Sunday morning we got ourselves out of the house before 8:30am to catch the 8:55am train up to The City. This was O's first train ride and he really enjoyed looking out the window and seeing all the "sights" (really just backyards).
Once we got up to San Francisco we went to AT&T park to play in the Kid Zone for a bit. They open it up on the weekends from September-May (and everyday for the rest of the year) on non-game days for kids to play. O's favorite spot was the mini-baseball field where he practiced his batting and base running skills. He also had some fun going down the slides, but it was pretty cold out there so we ended our playtime after the slides. 

After playing we stopped in the Giants Dugout to do a little browsing and O got a new baseball and a foam finger, which he of course began calling a "blaster". We had lunch at the Pub House at the stadium and then took the train home.

We all ended up taking naps when we came home, and then I made carne asada lettuce wrap tacos for dinner -- my new favorite! It was a lovely weekend!

I finished reading Lena Dunham's Not That Kind of Girl Saturday night while I waited for O to fall asleep. I liked to download some samples on my Kindle before I commit to a book, so I read the samples for What Alice Forgot and Wild, and ended up going with the later -- it is really great so far!

Today we're off to the gym and then I have a much needed hair appointment! Happy Monday!

January 23, 2015

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, my friends! We've got a full weekend ahead of us. A toddler friend's birthday, a trip up to San Francisco on the train and a much, much needed hair appointment for me.

A few Friday Favorites this week!

WANTING: More workout clothes! A great motivator, right?

LISTENING to: "Sugar" Maroon 5 is my absolute favorite right now! And the video is so much fun too. I love the look on the bride's and groom's faces every time they surprise someone at their wedding!

WATCHING: Downton Abbey I could curl up on the couch and marathon watch this show with a hot cup of vanilla tea all afternoon. The Dowager Countess (played by Maggie Smith) is probably one of my favorite characters. I love her reactions and honesty!

READING: Okay, not my favorite, but currently the main thing I'm reading are RICA test prep materials. I'm getting things in order to go back to teaching ... someday sooner or later!

MAKING: I made a few great things this week and one of the most fun was these hear shaped strawberry handpies! Recipe coming soon! 

This morning we're off to the gym and then to the park to meet some friends! Have a great weekend!

Today I'm linking up with...

Darci, April, Christina and Natasha
Friday Favorites with A Little Bit of EverythingMomfessionals, and Grace and Love
Oh Hey Friday with September Farm and The Farmer's Wife
Jennie for Friday Favorites
Rebecca for That Friday Blog Hop
Leslie for Confessional Friday
Amanda for Friday Favorites

January 22, 2015

Owen at 3!

Our sweet little boy turned 3 on Sunday, and I thought it would be about time to share a little update on him! My last official update on O was a year ago, so it is definitely time!

SLEEP - He was doing so well before we transitioned him to his toddler bed last week. Before the transition he was taking long naps (2-3 hours) and falling asleep on his own, staying asleep all night and sometimes sleeping until after 7am. Since the transition we've be working on getting him to fall asleep in it on his own without having me stay with him, he's been up once a night, but he's sleeping in later overall. Some of the change can also be blamed on him being sick last week too. More on that toddler bed business next week.

SOCIAL: Incredibly stubborn with mommy and daddy, but gets along well with other kids and is getting better and better at sharing and taking turns. Loves to tagalong with the "big" kids at the park or anywhere we go. Knows all of his friends by name and knows most of their parents names too.

SCHOOL - We've seen some positive changes in him since he started school (twice a week for 2 hours). He is playing and interacting better with other children and uses his words more. He is a little more independent in that he will take off his shoes and jacket when we come inside and put them in the hall closet. He is enjoying singing songs more too, which is great. I love working in his classroom and getting to see him in action with the other children, parents and the teacher. He sits patiently and attentively (most of the time!) during story time. Finally got into the painting and craft tables (at first he only wanted to play with toys and go down the slide) and is getting better at washing his hands on his own.

that concentration!
VERBAL SKILLS - I'm always amazed at how much O can communicate to us. He tells us stories (real and pretend) and speaks in complete sentences, mostly. He has no trouble expressing when he wants something or doesn't like something, and is very good at giving specific details. For example: I buy a variety of organic chocolate milks. I usually pick up one or two at the store or buy a package from Costco. So, when he requests chocolate milk he will tell you the exact one he wants by telling you what color the package is and if there is a cow standing or jumping, etc. It's actually a little ridiculous sometimes. I can't get anything by this child!

SAYS - The "Why?" questions have begun. Usually it's when I'm explaining something to him or he's seeing something for the first time (or just taking note of it). The questioning can go on forever, and sometimes I don't quite know how to explain certain things to him in an age-appropriate way. I can't complain though, because it means he's interested in the world around him. 

Among many things he also often says: 
"Mommy, I'm wondering something about the ____" When he has something on his mind he wants to chat about.

"What's the plan?" When he sees me getting us ready for the day.

"Whoa, that's is awesome." When something surprises him.

After a good hearty laugh "I'm LAUGHING mommy! Hahaha!"

"I love this ____, so so much!" Usually when admiring one of his toys.

Favorite BOOKS - all sorts, but really loving 5-Minute Marvel Stories, How Do Dinosaurs..., The Very Hungry Caterpillar and National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Animals.

Favorite FOODS - Lots! But he really loves cucumbers, popcorn, carrots, green apples, peanut butter, cheddar cheese, cashews and peanuts, salami, bananas, persimmons and anything he can serve himself from the refrigerator or pantry. One of our favorite activities to do together is popping popcorn using the air popper. He loves watching the kernels turn into popcorn and fly out of the machine and into the bowl.

Favorite  things TO DO - play with friends, play toys, watch Wall-E, go to La Petite Playhouse or Curioddessey, hang-out with his cousins. Play Star Wars, catch bugs, pretend to be pirates hiding from an alligator (aka Rocky), being told stories, building homes for his dinosaurs, running and jumping on to the couch, Super Heroes, Wall-e, and cars.

Favorite TOYS -  See below!

v-tech race & learn / transformer hero mashers

So, that's our boy! He's grown so much and I'm often amazed that he was born only 3 years ago. I'm trying to soak him in and remember as much about these days home with him as I can because I know all too soon they'll only be a memory for us. There's nothing we love more than seeing him smile and laugh!

January 21, 2015

The Perfect Pretty Picture

Camera phones have come a long way since the days when I first had one. I think it was probably within the last ten years, but honestly, the quality of those photos didn't truly matter until Instagram came along about six years later.

My first Instgram photo was full of filters -- that was part of the fun originally -- and left a whole lot to be desired, at least from my perspective these days. I've become a bit of a photo snob -- that's not to say my pictures are always perfectly focused or have the best lighting (sometimes it's more important to capture that moment or that sweet smile), but I do try my best to make them as clear and light and comparable to the pictures I would be taking with my dSLR.

Believe me when I say I wish I could tote my dSLR around everywhere with me, but often times I find myself juggling between taking my pictures with my phone, which allows me to share instantly with Keith, family, friends or on social media -- but I've always wished I could have the same high quality photos on there too. I can't juggle both regularly because that leaves zero time to actually be IN the precious moments I want to capture so badly.

I was SO excited to hear about the Eyefi Mobi memory card because it lets you do both! With a simple little Eyefi Mobi memory card inserted into my camera I can instantly upload the beautiful high-quality, bright, clear photos complete with depth of field to my phone and then send them every which way! No more waiting to get home -- which I never do... takes too much time.

The Eyefi Mobi comes with easy to follow directions for set up, and directions to help you get started. You pretty much just put the memory card in your camera, download the app and start playing! Eyefi Mobi sends pictures from your DSLR or point and shoot camera to your phone, tablet or desktop as soon as you take them so you can kiss the cords goodbye!

Eyefi Mobi works with Eyefi Cloud to sync every picture you take to every device you own. Reminisce about your holiday on your smart TV or critique your last photo shoot on your desktop display. 

I keep the Eye-Fi app right there in the same folder as Instagram app. Like my cracked screen? Luckily it still works like this. Ha!

Once you open the app it will run you through some directions on how to use it.

It loads the photos right from your camera to your phone in minutes with its own Eyefi Cloud -- I was able to take photos in Disneyland and then load them and post them while we were in line for rides. It was amazing!

You can see such a difference between the photos uploaded from my dSLR using the Eyefi Mobi and the ones taken right from my iPhone! If you want to see some examples for yourself check out this, this and this!

Honestly, the only downside I've found is that as it loads the photos to your phone from your camera you have to wait for it to load alllll of them. I usually take quite a few takes of each shot I try to get, so it can take a while for the camera to transfer them all wirelessly and for me to get the one I want. I've found the best thing is to extend the "awake" time on your camera while loading the pictures, which will help them load even faster and then once it's done switch it back because it will drain your battery.

What apps or tricks do you use to get the perfect pretty picture?

All opinion expressed here are my own, as is my love of the pretty pictures the Eyefi Mobi helps me share! I was given the Eyefi Mobi to try, review and share with you here. Affiliate links were used in this post.