Let’s get to know each other, shall we?
I’m not one of those relaxed coffehouse latte sippers. I’m an on-the-go Diet Coke lady.
I can pass up a donut or cake anyday. But if you’re dangling cheese in front of me, or putting out any kind of chips with a creamy dip, I will wrestle you to the ground for it.
Baking is not my forte.
As the daughter and granddaughter of cookbook collectors, I’m a recipe fiend. I can’t stand to eat the same things over and over, so I’m always searching out new ideas. But, frankly, my husband cooks better than I do.
Work self: patient, diligent, overresponsible.
Home self: compulsive cleaner, taskmaster, way less than patient.
I don’t believe in putting the kids before my husband, or my husband before the kids, for that matter. Everyone is on an equal playing field.
A lot of my job involves reading, so I don’t always do it outside of work. But when I get a chance to read for fun, I turn toward biographies or murder mysteries. And magazines!
I love beaches and pools. But lakes make me squirm inside. (Mosquitos love me.)
I’m a textbook Libra — I tend to see everyone’s side of the story and remain diplomatic.
And friends are very important to me. I always do my best to make a little time for them, even when the minutes are hard to come by.
I’d love to hear a little more about you, too — especially those of you who read our blogs but don’t ever comment. So consider this an official invitation to introduce yourself!
“Look at the new me!” Kendall called out this morning, proudly showing off an outfit featuring her older sister’s slightly too big pink cowgirl boots.
Kayla, meanwhile, had dressed herself for school in a fancy purple holiday frock, complete with pink sweater and jeweled buttons, twirling around to showcase her skirt.
These identical twins couldn’t be more different, inside and out, at age 4.
I’ve always envied the moms whose children are always neatly dressed, with not one hair out of place and always a bow or barrette fashioned just right. But clearly, that’s not me. And it’s certainly not my kids. They’ve got too much twin individuality they want to express all on their own — too much yin and yang, if you will.
I never planned to dress the twins alike, partly because it was too hard to tell them apart when they were tiny. Kayla was the pink baby, Kendall the purple baby. Through my accidental social engineering or perhaps just sheer preference, they still lean toward those colors first most of the time.
Only every once in awhile do we buy two of the same outfit. Left to their own devices, Kendall will choose something mismatched, wild and spunky every time; Kayla will choose something soft, glittery and delicate.
Those differences don’t end at clothes, either. Kendall would much rather run around loudly in a superhero costume with a herd of company, while Kayla quietly draws by herself in some princess outfit she’s dug out.
Amid all this personal expression, there’s big transition on the horizon. I can feel it coming.
They’ve been fighting, cackling, annoying and screeching at night for weeks now. So much energy built up. Alternating between best friends and mortal enemies.
And they’re about to become the leaders of the pack. Every single one of their daycare buddies is heading off to kindergarten this fall, leaving them and their September birthday behind.
Perhaps with a new crew of friends on the way, it’s time for them to break apart a little bit and do their thing.
They’re almost not *little* girls anymore. They’re growing into their own.
Summer days are waning, although you sure wouldn’t know it from the heat. And this weekend is Arkansas’ sales tax holiday for clothes and classroom supplies, so it’s time to get out and get that back-to-school shopping done.
Not sure if what you have in mind will be tax free? Check out the list of exempt items HERE, then mark down the Promenade at Chenal on your list of places to hit.
On Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., there’s a school supply scavenger hunt scheduled, where you can score a few free items and get entered to win a bike, and iPad or other prizes.
There will also be healthy snacks provided by Whole Foods, free vision screenings with James Eyecare and Optics Gallery, and a few tips on wellness from the folks at CHI St. Vincent West.
I’m personally rather excited to get some tax-free shopping done, so I’ve been plotting out some ideas this week.
Justice has a few ideas about what’s on trend for older girls HERE. There’s lots of accessories to top off an outfit or dress up a locker there, too.
The Children’s Place, HERE, is always a reliable place for basic T-shirts, pants and dresses. And shoes! I’ve been putting off the cries for new shoes for quite some time now, waiting for this weekend.
You may also want to think about hitting up the Nike store and lululemon athletica for those gym class and extracurricular activities needs.
See you out there at The Promenade — feel free to say hello! (I’ll be the one dragging around three girls who will very likely have Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt all over their faces and clothes.)
NOTE: This is a sponsored post, but all opinions and statements are my own, of course.
I was excited for Ava when she was asked to join the gymnastics team this spring after a few years of doing classes for fun. She always enjoyed it — especially the bars — and all that twisting around was an excellent use of her tiny frame’s abundant strength.
But after a few weeks passed of twice a week, multi-hour practices, she was more than over the whole thing all of a sudden.
Complaints about her body hurting grew. Complaints about being tired grew even louder. And more than a few times she burst into tears, desperately wanting to quit.
At first, I tried to help her push forward. Afterall, starting anything new is tough for anyone. Even adults. And I didn’t want to let her give up so easily on something she had really liked doing.
I urged her to give it some time.
Shortly thereafter, her coach sent me a text about her complaining in practice about her legs hurting and happily heading back to summer camp instead of finishing the session. Coming exactly one day before we’d have to financially commit for the whole year, it was clear that was The End.
The next day, she quit.
Weeks have passed, and she’s shown no regret.
I still feel a slight nagging of mom guilt for not finding a way to convince her to give it a shot for just a bit longer.
But I have also come to realize that Ava never had Olympic dreams. And this is one thing I can let go.
She’s just 7 years old, and she’s still feeling out who she is as a person. She loves art and Legos. She loves swimming, except for when I make her wash her hair afterward. And overall, she’s a pretty darn good kid.
Maybe she’ll get re-interested in gymnastics at some point. Maybe not.
For now, she’s busy enjoying a happy childhood summer. And for that, I am grateful.
For quite some time, Ava’s been talking about doing “the Whip Nae Nae.” I had no clue what she was talking about.
But now that she’s learned to more proficiently read, type and Google, she can find more things on her own. And we’ve been blessed nonstop with this:
It’s actually pretty cute. And highly addictive. You’re welcome for that.
xoxo, Happy Wednesday!
My newest nephew has arrived, and I’m completely enamored.
Little Julian and his big brother, Avery, live far far away — in Alaska. So I haven’t gotten to assault him with auntie kisses and coo over his tiny newborn feet in person yet. (The feet are always my favorite baby part. Because they’re not stinky yet. And they’re just so dang cute.)
But every time I see this picture of my brother’s happy family, I’ve got to swoon a little bit. Purely adorable new baby bliss.
Isn’t this so sweet it hurts your insides? Tugs at your ovaries? I love it.
I’m so glad to have these precious little boys in our family. Our all-girl branch will need these cousins to help remind them about the joys of transportation toys and spur them to toss around a football now and then. And teach them about moose and reindeer, of course.
Even though it’s hard to pull away from the daily grind of work responsibilities, getting dinner on the table and getting kids ready to start it all over again the next day, a night out once in awhile can be purely restorative.
The Promenade at Chenal’s Ladies Night Out gave me a chance to spend some quality time with my good friend Candy, who I don’t get to see nearly enough. And we had an absolute blast, catching up on gossip, shopping and playing around.A scavenger hunt kicked off the night, and we zipped from store to store, getting our cards punched and window shopping all the cool things we saw along the way. We strategized our stops for efficiency, and many of the stores had drinks or a little something to eat to help keep everyone going. After wrapping up the scavenger hunt, we were ready for dinner and headed to the fairly new Boneheads Grill restaurant to check it out.
I got the tilapia tacos, topped with a pineapple salsa that packed plenty of heat, and tasty grilled zucchini on the side. A dash of their medium piri piri sauce put it over the top for me. Spicy but absolutely delicious! Candy got the sweet honey Hawaiian chicken skewers and was kind enough to let me mooch a bite. That chicken and pineapple combo was amazing.While we were there, we combed through the swag bag that the Promenade handed out to the first 100 shoppers on the scene. Candy was lucky enough to get one that had a $20 gift card inside! And I was impressed with the tokens for free cheese dip at Local Lime and a free shake at Big Orange, a sample from Saggio and some excellent coupons — all really good stuff. After clearing our plates, we headed back to Belle & Blush to experiment with the lipstick for awhile. At some point we set out on a mission to go wild — not something I’m generally known for — and I ended up with a tube of Lipstick Queen’s Hot Rose Sinner. Whaddya think? We wrapped up the night at Charming Charlie, where it’s hard not to fall in love with everything. The color-coordinated bliss just speaks to me. And it’s all so … so pretty. But shortly thereafter, it was getting close to closing time — and my bedtime — so we had to head home. I’m sure I’ll be back there pretty soon, as there’s always more to look at. But next time, I’ll likely have three little princesses in tow with shoppings agendas of their own.
NOTE: This is a sponsored post. However, all opinions/statements/ideas included here are my own, of course.
Life lessons my kids are teaching me:
Princesses don’t eat on the cheap.
If you try to buy the store-brand bagels, they will know the difference.
Get the guacamole. And the cheese dip. It’s not worth the fight.
More than half will be wasted. Just accept it. Or learn creativity with chicken nugget leftovers.
Because you’re the adult, that’s why.
Forget the floaties and have to turn the van around when you’re halfway to the pool? That’s on you. Even 4-year-olds know that’s mom’s job.
If you don’t teach/force them to put away their socks, or their dishes or their trash, they won’t. They just won’t. And then they won’t anyway. But they’ve heard you.
Sometimes, you just have to let loose and get the job done, whatever it takes. If that means cereal in the car on the way to school, so be it.
There are worse things than a kid heading out the door as mismatched as if she’s dressed for hobo clown school. Like, say, maybe that day she wants to wear a cheetah dress with cheetah leggings.
Even when you want to tear your hair out, dang they’re cute.
Kids do weird things with your phone/iPad that no one knows how to do on purpose.
Sleep is key to all things.
Crabby? Won’t eat your dinner? Crying through bathtime? Not feeling very well, mostly because you’ve gotten in some kind of trouble?
The only thing that will help is getting to bed. As fast as humanly possible.
It was hard to tell who was more excited about the opening night of Disney on Ice: Worlds of Fantasy at Verizon Arena — the kids or the parents.
Plenty of moms and dads at the show seemed just as jazzed to be there for the two-hour show, presented by Stonyfield YoKids Organic Yogurt.
Minnie, Mickey and Goofy kicked off the fun and served as hosts throughout the show, which my littlest girls, Kayla and Kendall, were super happy about. Seeing them was their favorite part!
The vehicles from Cars exploded onto the scene to start the first story, complete with familiar voices for Mater, Lightning McQueen and other friends from the movie.
This was our third Disney on Ice show, and I’ve found the costumes and props to be spectacular each time. Ava was curious about if the cars out on the ice were “real.” They were pretty impressive.
Next up came Sebastian from The Little Mermaid, rallying the crowd to clap. But everyone really came alive when Ariel skated onto the scene. Ava was a big fan of the bubbles that dropped from the ceiling during “Under the Sea,” and the seahorses’ costumes really caught her eye. She loved watching their tails sway with the music.
The fairy segment showcased a dangling and glittery Queen Clarion, the motherly figure of Pixie Hollow who was a beautiful spectacle. Tinker Bell and the whole cast of nature fairies skated around quickly and things got crazy, especially with a little interference from Vidia, who’s not a fan of Tink.
After an intermission just long enough to make the necessary bathroom runs and treat refueling stops, the Toy Story gang took the ice for the final performance, from Toy Story 3. My favorite group of the night, the green Army men, got everyone grooving, as did a clever presentation of Ken’s fashion show for Barbie.
All in all, it was a wonderful family fun night, even if we were out fairly late for a school night. And I want you to know that if you go, it will be chilly because of the ice. (Especially so if you’re a small child eating a giant sno cone.) So bring sweaters and/or wear pants.
The shows at Verizon Arena run through Mother’s Day, Sunday May 10. Visit HERE for more information or to buy tickets in advance.
Note: The Angela Rogers Group provided us with tickets and parking in exchange for this review. However, all opinions are my own, of course!
Katelyn is the winner! Check your email for a message.
And congrats!! We hope you enjoy the show.