Friday, August 23, 2013

Back to School Party Ideas

Back to School Party Time! 

With a party like these who wouldn't be excited to start a new school year!?!


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What a Child Should Know: Wednesday Words

A good friend shared this article on FB via A Magical Childhood and it's so good I had to share.

What should a 4 year old know?
I was on a parenting bulletin board recently and read a post by a mother who was worried that her 4 1/2 year old did not know enough. “What should a 4 year old know?” she asked.
Most of the answers left me not only saddened but pretty soundly annoyed. One mom posted a laundry list of all of the things her son knew. Counting to 100, planets, how to write his first and last name, and on and on. Others chimed in with how much more their children already knew, some who were only three. A few posted URL’s to lists of what each age should know. The fewest yet said that each child develops at his own pace and not to worry.
It bothered me greatly to see these mothers responding to a worried mom by adding to her concern, with lists of all the things their children could do that hers couldn’t. We are such a competitive culture that even our preschoolers have become trophies and bragging rights. Childhood shouldn’t be a race.
So here, I offer my list of what a 4 year old should know.
    1. She should know that she is loved wholly and unconditionally, all of the time.
    2. He should know that he is safe and he should know how to keep himself safe in public, with others, and in varied situations. He should know that he can trust his instincts about people and that he never has to do something that doesn’t feel right, no matter who is asking. He should know his personal rights and that his family will back them up.
    3. She should know how to laugh, act silly, be goofy and use her imagination. She should know that it is always okay to paint the sky orange and give cats 6 legs.
    4. He should know his own interests and be encouraged to follow them. If he could care less about learning his numbers, his parents should realize he’ll learn them accidentally soon enough and let him immerse himself instead in rocket ships, drawing, dinosaurs or playing in the mud.
    5. She should know that the world is magical and that so is she. She should know that she’s wonderful, brilliant, creative, compassionate and marvelous. She should know that it’s just as worthy to spend the day outside making daisy chains, mud pies and fairy houses as it is to practice phonics. Scratch that– way more worthy.
But more important, here’s what parents need to know.
    1. That every child learns to walk, talk, read and do algebra at his own pace and that it will have no bearing on how well he walks, talks, reads or does algebra.
    2. That the single biggest predictor of high academic achievement and high ACT scores is reading to children. Not flash cards, not workbooks, not fancy preschools, not blinking toys or computers, but mom or dad taking the time every day or night (or both!) to sit and read them wonderful books.
    3. That being the smartest or most accomplished kid in class has never had any bearing on being the happiest. We are so caught up in trying to give our children “advantages” that we’re giving them lives as multi-tasked and stressful as ours. One of the biggest advantages we can give our children is a simple, carefree childhood.
    4. That our children deserve to be surrounded by books, nature, art supplies and the freedom to explore them. Most of us could get rid of 90% of our children’s toys and they wouldn’t be missed, but some things are important– building toys like legos and blocks, creative toys like all types of art materials (good stuff), musical instruments (real ones and multicultural ones), dress up clothes and books, books, books. (Incidentally, much of this can be picked up quite cheaply at thrift shops.) They need to have the freedom to explore with these things too– to play with scoops of dried beans in the high chair (supervised, of course), to knead bread and make messes, to use paint and play dough and glitter at the kitchen table while we make supper even though it gets everywhere, to have a spot in the yard where it’s absolutely fine to dig up all the grass and make a mud pit.
    5. That our children need more of us. We have become so good at saying that we need to take care of ourselves that some of us have used it as an excuse to have the rest of the world take care of our kids. Yes, we all need undisturbed baths, time with friends, sanity breaks and an occasional life outside of parenthood. But we live in a time when parenting magazines recommend trying to commit to 10 minutes a day with each child and scheduling one Saturday a month as family day. That’s not okay! Our children don’t need Nintendos, computers, after school activities, ballet lessons, play groups and soccer practice nearly as much as they need US. They need fathers who sit and listen to their days, mothers who join in and make crafts with them, parents who take the time to read them stories and act like idiots with them. They need us to take walks with them and not mind the .1 MPH pace of a toddler on a spring night. They deserve to help us make supper even though it takes twice as long and makes it twice as much work. They deserve to know that they’re a priority for us and that we truly love to be with them.
And now back to those 4 year old skills lists…..
I know it’s human nature to want to know how our children compare to others and to want to make sure we’re doing all we can for them. Here is a list of what children are typically taught or should know by the end of each year of school, starting with preschool.
Since we homeschool, I occasionally print out the lists and check to see if there’s anything glaringly absent in what my kids know. So far there hasn’t been, but I get ideas sometimes for subjects to think up games about or books to check out from the library. Whether you homeschool or not, the lists can be useful to see what kids typically learn each year and can be reassuring that they really are doing fine.
If there are areas where it seems your child is lacking, realize that it’s not an indication of failure for either you or your child. You just haven’t happened to cover that. Kids will learn whatever they’re exposed to, and the idea that they all need to know these 15 things at this precise age is rather silly. Still, if you want him to have those subjects covered then just work it into life and play with the subject and he’ll naturally pick it up. Count to 60 when you’re mixing a cake and he’ll pick up his numbers. Get fun books from the library about space or the alphabet. Experiment with everything from backyard snow to celery stalks in food coloring. It’ll all happen naturally, with much more fun and much less pressure.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

North Carolina Girls Weekend

This past weekend I went to Charlotte, to visit one of my dearest friends/sorority sister from college for a  super fun girls weekend! 
I have never been to North Carolina so I was really excited to not only have a girls weekend but to also explore a new area of the our country. It is so beautiful and I will definitely be returning.

Our weekend started out with some delicious fish tacos at Cabo Fish Taco. Cabo Fish Taco is one of the cities best places to enjoy fish tacos as they were featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. I loved the blackened mahimahi taco along with a pomegranate margarita. Afterwards, we made a quick stop at Trader Joes so I could buy some of my must have items. 
(Sept 20th Austin's first of four Trader Joes is opening!)

Friday we spent the day in Asheville, NC. It is a 2hr drive from Charlotte with beautiful scenery. We
went and toured the Biltmore, which I highly recommend doing. I can only image how beautiful it must look during the holidays. 

The grounds were breathtaking and you could literally spend all day here walking the grounds.

Afterwards we went to Grove Park Inn, which is a stunning hotel that has some of the most amazing views of Asheville.  The weather was beautiful and made for a great time to relax and enjoy a glass of wine before we ventured into downtown Asheville.
beautiful view at Grove Park Inn, Asheville NC

We headed into downtown Asheville for dinner where we ate at Tupelo Honey Cafe. The wait was definitely worth it as I enjoyed a true southern meal of fried chicken, sweet potatoes (some of the best), fried green tomatoes (amazing and also my first time having fried green tomatoes), sweet tea, and a wonderful biscuit with honey. Thank goodness we walked a bunch. 
The downtown area was full of cute boutiques, live music on various street corners including a group of drummers who perform on Friday evenings. 

After dinner we made our way to French Broad, which is a chocolate lounge serving up wonderful coffee drinks and fine chocolates. The line was out the door and I can see why. Besides, Paris I had some of the best hot chocolate and they make their own marshmallows. Very cool.

Saturday it was a rainy day in Charlotte which I did not mind at all. It made for a great day to enjoy manicures and spend the afternoon shopping. I loved the mall in Charlotte! 

Sunday we enjoyed brunch at Crispy Crepe, where I enjoyed a four cheese crepe and we split a s'more crepe. It was so good and filling that is the only thing I ended up eating all day. 
morning lattes at Crispy Crepe

All in all it was a great weekend to get away to spend quality time with a good friend. I hope to return soon and if you and your girlfriends are searching for a fun, relaxing getaway I highly recommend Charlotte and the surrounding area!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Girls Weekend: Off to Charlotte

I'm so excited to go visit one of my dearest friends this weekend. 
My friend recently moved to Charlotte North Carolina so I am excited to check out this area of the country. I'm in need of some girls time that is filled with a relaxing weekend of shopping, eating,  taking in the beautiful NC sites, and making friendship memories!

Cheers to a fun filled girls weekend!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Infant and Toddler Girl Clothing Sale

Here are a few pieces that Miss Elle wore that are still in great condition (no stains, holes or faded). 
All of her clothing comes form a pet and smoke free home.

Carters Pink lined 100% cotton dress with floral decal
Wore 1x
$5 plus $3 Shipping
 Carters Sweater 
Size 3 months runs big
$4 plus $2 Shipping

 Gap Ruffled Gray Cardi
Size 12-18 Months
Cute for layering over tanktops and great fall/spring piece
$3 plus $2 Shipping

 Girls Baby Gap lace pink and ruffled/smock long sleeve shirts
Great to wear alone or under sweaters
18-24 Months
$3 a piece w $2 shipping
 or both shirts for $5 + $3 Shipping

Girls Polo dress w/matching diaper cover
Size 6 Months
$6 plus $3 Shipping

Girls Polo T-shirt and Polo skort
Size 12 Month for both pieces
$10 for outfit + $3 Shipping

 Tsukihoshi Girls Gold and Baby Pink Sneaker
Amazing tennis shoes for the beginning walker
Size 5.5 
Retails $55 at Nordstrom
$8+$5 shipping
Great Condition

Gap White Mini Denim Jean Skirt
18-24 Months w/adjustable waist
$7 +$3 Shipping

Girls Gap Denim Skirt
Size 12-18 Months w adjustable waist
We loved this skirt so much we now have it in a bigger size
$7 +3 Shipping
Raspberry Red ruffled Gap knit dress 
Size 6-12 Months
Super cute with leggings and ballet flats.
Makes a great fall piece
$5 + $3 Shipping

Maternity Udder Cover- the originally nursing cover
Used 1x in the hospital
$5+3 shipping

If you are interested in more than one item we can work out a shipping rate.
Thank You!

Designer Maternity Jeans for Sale

I am selling some maternity pieces.  All of these pieces were worn for one pregnancy and come from a pet and smoke free home. All of the pieces are practically brand new. 
If you have any questions or interested in any of the pieces please contact me at

Citizens of Humanity Petite Size Maternity Jeans
Size 29 fits as a 27/4
$75 +$5 shipping
(They run small)
Petite length and I am 5'3 and I could still wear these with wedges and heels during my pregnancy

I paid $190+tax at Pea in a Pod

 Belly band waist can be worn folded over or rolled all the way out. Belly band grows with you making these jeans a great piece during and postpartum .
 slightly frayed 

 (These were hands down the best investment I made as far as maternity clothing went)

Gap Maternity Jeans
$8 + $5 shipping
Size 27/4

White Gap Maternity Cropped Jeans
$10 +$5 Shipping
Size 27/4

Thank you so much for taking the time to look. If you have any questions please let me know!
I will be posting some infant girls clothing (mainly baby Gap) soon!

Friday, August 9, 2013

First Day of School Photo Ideas

Today over at The Little Style File I am sharing my favorite photo ideas for Back to School! 

via pinterest via Nicole Carpenter Photography

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Name Brand Girls Toddler Shoes for Sale

My daughter has outgrown these black ballet shoes and I thought I would see if any readers are interested. The brand is me too and they are a size 6
This brand is sold at Nordstrom, finer children's shoe stores, and online. My daughter maybe wore these shoes 5x. They are in perfect condition and wear great with casual and dressier outfits.
I paid $49.99 and am selling them for $20 plus $5 for shipping

I also have a baby bjorn traveling crib I am looking at selling, girls pink and white boon dishware/spoons, and more higher end shoes. I thought I would see how trying to sell these first works before selling other items.

If you have any questions or interested please email me at

Thank you!

Wednesday Words

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Celebrating One Year in Texas

This past weekend we celebrated our one year of living in Austin at the beautiful Barton Creek Resort and Spa. How time flies! This is where our adventure all started one year ago when we made the move from Arizona. We needed a place to stay for a few nights until we closed on our home so Barton Creek became our "home" for several days. Such wonderful memories of our first days of living in Texas were held here that we thought it would be fun to come back each year for a weekend, as we start making this a family tradition .

1.5 years old
Aug 2, 2012
Summer 2012 

 2.5 years old
Aug 3, 2013
Summer 2013

Miss Elle could not get enough of the pool and we of course enjoyed their yummy chocolate chip cookies. Swimming and jumping sure works up an appetite. 
 Milk happy hour time at the pool

and what goes with milk? 
Only the best chocolate chip cookies do!

Looking back and seeing how much our baby girl has grown and changed from last summer to this summer is just crazy and it also makes me a little sad.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Summer Vacation

We are back from our week long vacation to ND and MN and it was filled with lots of fun. From boat rides, sand castles, watching movies and having slumber parties with E's cousins. Our visit was also filled with being able to catch up with some of my best friends from college, take my niece on a tour of UND and of my sorority house, getting in girl time with my sister and cousin, and of course eating and drinking too much.

Here are a few highlights of photos I snapped on my phone (hence the quality of them)

On the pontoon heading to dinner

 sandcastle time with our cousin Callie

 catching up with one of my dearest friends who will be welcoming her second little guy this fall.

 Elle and her buddy Owen. 

 This pretty girl is my oldest niece who will be starting her senior year in a short few weeks!

 and on our early flight home

This weekend we are off to stay at the Barton Creek Resort and Spa in Austin, Texas. This is where we spent our first days in Texas until we could move into our new home. We figured this would be a fun way to celebrate our 1st year in Texas and we hope to make it a family tradition each August.