Tuesday, November 25, 2014

My Favorite Things | Stocking Stuffers

Here are my picks for some fab stocking stuffers!!!
1. Starbucks gift card: Always appropriate and much appreciated.
2. Lilly Pulitzer tumbler: I feel like every year I am looking for a new Tervis tumbler and this one is too fun!
3. Blanket scarf: I actually already have this exact one and plan to wear it on Thanksgiving! 
4. Lint roller: Not only am I always using these on our clothes, I also use them to clean off my white couches (thank you, Rob Kardashian for that idea...true story)!
5. Godiva chocolates: the truffles are amazing!
6. Camera remote: For all those times I try to take mine and Ella's picture together...and I set the self-timer and then have to quick run around to get in the picture! This would save a lot of time and hassle!
7. Kate Spade wine tote: This was just too cute not to include!
8. Tide to-go pen: I might be even more obsessed with these than I am with the lint rollers! Ha! OCD much?!?

...and just because I can't help myself....
1. Owl clacker: Anything with an owl on it is an acceptable gift for Ella!
2. Mouseton Abbey book: Because Downton Abbey is starting in January and I must get Ella up to speed!
3. Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle: Ella actually saw this in a store, grabbed it and couldn't stop playing with it. So, she obviously needs it.
4. Legwarmers: I am a big fan of leg warmers and these are super cute and they're only $4! I think I'll order some in every color!
5. Trumpette socks: These are literally the only socks that stay on and Ella needs some more color options :)
6. Bath toys: Because you can never have too many...
7. Owl patch activity book: We have all the other Skip Hop Owl Patch stuff, so we might as well get this too!
8. Boogie Wipes: Going out on a glamorous, but extremely practical note here. We use these all. of. the. time. 

Linking up again with April and Elise!! So fun! :)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Life with Ella {week 42}

We are so excited for Turkey Day Thursday! :)

Our old washer had been acting ridiculous was staining our clothes (any one know how to get grease-like stains out?!) and not really, well, washing stuff. I swear my clothes were coming out dirtier than how they went in. Anyway, Trav finally agreed we needed to get a new washer. So with my parents still here Monday, we went to Lowe's and picked out a new one!

Ella was very excited about it!! 

After Lowe's, we ran some other errands and ended up at the mall, where we stopped in the American Girl store! They had a little photo-op set up where you could take your picture with this year's girl, Isabelle....Ella was not impressed. 

Tuesday, we made our Whole Foods run...

...and I put together some shelves for in our living room (which is slowly becoming Ella's playroom). Her toys were already starting to get out of control, and I wanted to have something that didn't look too babyish to hold them (this shelf and the bins are from...where else, Target!). 

Wednesday was FREEZING, so we bundled up to go to Target...

{coat / bow}

...and I also made a Thanksgiving banner! (It says "Give Thanks," if you can't read it!)

We also said "bye bye" to our old washer at lunch!

Thursday, we finally made it to story time at the library!

Due to swim lessons and just being busy in general, we hadn't gone in over 6 weeks. Now, Ella can clap to the music, and she was waving at everyone! She also crawled around when they put out the toys and was fascinated by the bubbles!

On Friday, we went to the SouthPark Christmas Tree Lighting!

There was definitely way more stuff for the older kids, but Ella still had a good time! Thankfully, it wasn't too cold!

Saturday morning, I was cleaning up breakfast and Travis turned his head for a quick second...and when he came back to his laptop, he discovered our child had googled Louis Vuitton. Yes. All by herself. Trav said he has never searched it or been on that website, and I think I believe him. She even pulled up the codes at the bottom of the screen! She is too much!!! 

Saturday afternoon, we attended Ella's first UNC basketball game!!!

They were playing Davidson right here in Charlotte, so we were able to get tickets!! The game was at 2 PM, which is right in the middle of Ella's nap time, so I wasn't sure how it was going to go, but Ella did really well! And she actually fell asleep for a hot second, too!

Yesterday, we had a lazy, rainy day...

...complete with chili for dinner...  
{spoiler alert: Ella did not like it}

...and addressing Christmas cards (which is my favorite thing ever!!! I'm not even kidding. If you want me to address yours for you, I would be glad to! For real!!)!!

We are going to have a busy week this week, with family coming into town for Ella's first Thanksgiving!! Have a great week! :) 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Five on Friday {Thankful}

In honor of Thanksgiving next week, I thought for today's 5 on Friday, I would share 5 things I am thankful for!!

Obviously, I am most thankful for my family, friends, and health...but I feel like that goes without saying!! Of course I am so blessed to have an amazing family, all of whom are in good health, supportive friends who don't judge my craziness, and a roof over my head! 

So here are a few more things I am thankful for...

1. I am thankful Ella is a girl! 

Obviously, a healthy baby is first and foremost, and there's nothing wrong with boys (and I still wouldn't mind having one!), but the girl clothes...oh. my. goodness. And the bows!! And all the accessories! Thank you Ella, for introducing me to all of this and making my wallet empty :)

2. I am thankful I survived the half marathon last weekend and that I took this whole week off running.

{Please excuse the screen shot of this, but at least the watermarks cover up some of my post-race sweat?!}

This week of rest was just what my body needed. I just ordered a new pair of shoes, and I'll be ready to run again on Monday! 

3. I'm thankful I am able to stay home with Ella for a whole year.

....and do those weekly updates! You know you love them ;)

Not a day goes by when I don't appreciate that my job allows me to take an entire year off and they will hold my position. Also super thankful that my husband's income allows us to do this as well!

4. I'm thankful for our new washer!

Our washer officially bit the dust this past week, and we got a new one Wednesday! I just washed clothes with it yesterday and confession: I'm pretty sure I haven't been wearing clean (like, really clean) clothes in months. It's so amazing to have super clean clothes that don't have mysterious stains (from the washer) or still smell a little funky when you pull them out of the wash!! I am currently searching my house for more things to wash! 

5. I am thankful for this link-up! For real!! It's such a good way to get my random (or not so random) thoughts out, and I've met some fabulous people through it, too!! 

I could keep going...I'm also thankful for Bravo shows, pedicures, our pediatrician, my car being paid off, my mom's brownies, Amazon Prime, the fact that UNC has "pretty colors," my extra large coffee mug, all 4 of Ella's grandparents living within driving distance of us, the Cartwheel app,  library story time, my job at the Y and tutoring....but unfortunately, it's FIVE on Friday, not 1947392 on Friday. 

{If you're bored, you can check out what I was thankful for in 2013 and 2012!}

What are you thankful for?

Have a great weekend!!! :) 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

My Favorite Things | Christmas Wish List

 I'm linking up with April and Elise today to share some things on my Christmas wish list (oh, hey MOM!!!)!

2. Alex and Ani bracelets...I really love this owl one and this Mom one (with a peony--one of my favorite flowers!)
8. The North Face Metrolina Jacket (because it's supposed to be a really cold winter!)
9. Any fun graphic print cardigan...this one is really cute! 
10. Cold weather running clothes! I need leggings and more of these jackets, please.

Not pictured is a trip to Paris next summer and a big wad of cash! 
(Hey, I can dream!!)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Life with Ella {week 41}

What a rainy Monday! We are staying dry and warm inside...hope you are too! 

Last Monday, I decided I needed to enter Ella in the Gerber contest, so we had a little photo shoot out on our front lawn. Here is the picture I submitted...

I'd love you SOOO much if you'd vote for Ella HERE! You can vote once a day, everyday, until December 14!

We also had to steam a little bit in the bathroom because Ella is having some sniffles due to allergies. She wasn't upset about it at all though!

Tuesday, we didn't do too much! Just took a nice walk around the neighborhood because the weather was so wonderful! 

On Wednesday we met up with some of our playgroup friends at the airport overlook! Ella loved watching the planes!!

At first, she wasn't sure what to make of it, but then she started waving and clapping as the planes took was the cutest thing!

{turkey dress...yes, we are starting to wear our Thanksgiving clothes!}

Thursday, we hit up a few consignment sales, but all Ella was interested in was her foot. 

Thursday also marked the day that Ella was 40 weeks and 3 days...which is exactly how long she was in my belly! So we had to make a chalkboard and take a picture to commemorate!

{that picture on the left....woof!}

Friday, we went to pick up my half marathon bib at the running expo!

We also stopped at HT to get stuff to make my lucky's what I always eat before a race!! 

Saturday was race day!!!! Here's a quick recap, since I don't feel like doing a separate post on it:

I am not sure why but my anxiety level was at an all-time high before this race. Like, I seriously was on the border of having a major panic attack on the way to the race. I was SO nervous!! It was soooo freaking cold (25*, felt like 18*) at the start. I lined up with the 1:35:00 pace group, thinking I could hang with them for a little bit. I went out FAST because I was so freezing (like holding 7:00 miles the first 3 miles)!! So I ended up being ahead of the pace group for a little while. Then came the hills and I about died. The hill up Morehead on mile 8 and then again at mile 10 was about the worst thing ever!! The pace group kept getting further and further ahead of me. I also felt like there weren't as many people out cheering as there normally are, prob bc no one wanted to stand in the cold...I don't blame them! I managed to finish at 1:36:25...about 30 seconds off my best. I was 7th in my age group (fun fact: if I was 30, I would have won my age group!! Only time I've ever wanted to be 30, haha)! Not too bad for just having a baby 9 months ago! 

My sweet girl came to greet me at the finish line...she was freezing, but thankfully Travis had her all bundled up!! 
{PS...shoutout to my awesome husband! I would have never been able to complete that half marathon without him!! Between watching Ella while I did my weekend long runs, and then greeting me at the finish (with my fav Chick Fil-A chicken minis, I might add!) when his little southern self was so freaking cold, I can't thank him enough!!!}

The rest of the day, we spent relaxing, and Ella played with her new "toys" finisher's medal, space blanket (oh man, she loved that thing!) and cowbells!

{the outfit is mine from 1985!}

Yesterday, my parents were in town, so they spent most of the day playing with Ella!

Ella did not like my mom's readers...let's hope she has 20/20 vision!

I am so excited to not run this week!!! You have no idea! Although I am researching turkey trots because I am crazy.... ;)

Friday, November 14, 2014

Five on Friday {Half Marathon Edition}

I'm linking up once again for 5 on Friday! Since I'm running a half marathon tomorrow, here are my 5 random thoughts about that!

1. It is going to be cold, FREEZING cold, tomorrow morning. I am not excited about it, but then I remind myself that it could also be raining (which there is 0% chance of rain tomorrow) or 90000 degrees (which is why I don't do summer races), so I guess I will have to deal with 30 degrees and sunny. 

2. Given that it's going to be so cold, I am not totally sure what I am going to wear. (Omg, is this the most ultimate #whitegirlproblem or what?!) I know I'll warm up once I start running, so I may just head to Goodwill today and get a crappy sweatshirt or something to wear at the starting line? I seem to have a race "uniform" that consists of running leggings (or shorts if it's warm enough) and a half-zip jacket... I guess that's what I'll be wearing?! Probably the coral colored jacket (in collage, top right) because it is a little thicker than the Nike ones! I hope I stay warm!!!

3. In case you were curious (and even if you're not!), here is the training plan I followed for the last 12 weeks!

I highly recommend Hal Higdon's plans if you are running a half or full marathon! I followed this same plan for my half in 2011 and this one for my full in 2012.  I usually tweak them just a little bit; this time I adjusted the long runs so I got up to 13 miles instead of his recommended 12 because I am crazy. 

4. I'm so excited to listen to my playlist I made on Spotify!!! 

Some of these should not surprise you!!! Lots of rap and really, really inappropriate lyrics. "Happy" is on there because it reminds me of Ella! :) 

5. If you are in Charlotte, come cheer!!! I know it's going to be so freaking cold, but I love, love, love to see everyone cheering on the runners!!! (Just try not to look too warm with your Starbucks red cup and huge blanket!!) The signs make my day!!

Good luck to everyone running the Thunder Road Half and Full Marathon this weekend!!! 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Life with Ella {40 weeks}

I can't believe my sweet girl is FORTY weeks old!!!

On Thursday, she will officially have been out in the world longer than she had been in the womb, at 40 weeks and 3 days. I might just have a mini-sob session, so please feel free to send kleenex my way!!

And also, if you've been reading these since the very beginning, congrats on reading forty weeks of our rather boring life! :)

{This is kind of a long one, so get comfortable!}

On Monday, after Ella broke into my nail polish....

{romper / bow}

...we went to get real pedicures with Auntie Kaffy!

What was Ella's favorite part? The remote for the chair.

{note: Ella did not get an actual pedi, she just sat on my lap the whole time!}

Tuesday was Ella's 9 month check up!

So much happier than the last time we were here!

We stopped at Whole Foods on our way home, since Ella's pediatrician gave us the green light to give her anything except cow's milk and raw honey!

We also stopped at Target. I had to get some things for Ella's Christmas card photo shoot (yes) and also to show her that Christmas is coming/Santa is watching so she needs to be on her best behavior and stop waking up in the middle of the night! Ha!

Wednesday, we had some exciting new foods:

...and a cheese quesadilla from Chipotle!!

She really, really, really liked that quesadilla! So glad she likes Chipotle as much as her mama!

Thursday was Ella's photo shoot for our Christmas card! I know everyone does family photos, but we are having some taken in January (for Ella's birthday party invitations/smash cake, etc.) so I didn't really want to force my picture-hating husband to go through that twice in 3 months. 
So here is a little sneak peek of what we came up with!

 It was quite the ordeal, and afterwards I was pretty exhausted! I did everything myself, and I'm pretty proud of how some of the pictures turned out! (Key word: some. I took 141 pictures, and there are about 10-15 that I really like!) I also got a new lens (this one!) which I highly definitely made the pictures look more "professional." 

After that, we played the rest of the day...I just can't get over Ella's little chambray shirt. I about died. 

Friday, we had our playgroup, where Ella was fascinated with a balloon...

...and then we went to Costco to meet Kathie Lee! Yes, that Kathie Lee (no Hoda, though, sadly)!

She was there promoting her new wine, and she signed a bottle for me (she even said, "Oh honey, I know you need this...its a long 9 months without it!")! She was SOOO amazingly nice! When we first got up to her, she said to Ella, "Come see Aunt Kathie," and was so sweet to her, even though Ella cried while she was holding her. Honestly, one of the most sincere and genuine celebs I've met! (And you know I've met a bunch....Bethenny, Kathy from RHONJ, Teresa from RHONJ and Adrienne from RHOBH!) 

But the exciting day didn't end there! That evening Ella had her first ride on the light rail (she liked it!)....

...and we met Travis at his office!

She was much happier this week than last!

Once Trav finished his work, we headed to the Hornets game!! 
(Side note: Ella went to a Bobcats game last season, but this was her first Hornets game!)

We only stayed for the first quarter, but the game ended up going into double overtime and the Hornets won! Pretty sure Ella contributed to that... ;)

On Saturday, Ella watched her dad do yard work...

...and then her boyfriend, Rhys, came over to play!

Check out Ella's hand on his leg! He tried to kiss her, but I didn't get a good picture of that!

Yesterday was ridiculously boring! We hung around in our pajamas until almost noon, and then watched football and played with Daddy's boot! (Trav stress fractured his ankle running and has to wear a boot for a few weeks....Ella enjoys the velcro on it!)

I'll leave you with an outtake from our mini photo shoot this morning:

Now she stands while I try to take her picture?!?! Ugh!

Have a great week!!! :)