Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Date Night with Mom (and the Gilmore Girls) + Netflix Subscription Giveaway

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Netflix. I am a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam and I receive products and service in exchange for a monthly review. All ideas and opinions are 100% my own.

Like so many others in this world, I am a HUGE Gilmore Girls fan.  I own all the seasons on DVD and have watched the series the entire way through 5 times! When I found out that there would be a revival, I was ecstatic!


As soon as I found out the release date, I started a countdown. I didn't make any plans for that day because I knew I would want to watch it immediately. I was thrilled when I received the ultimate Gilmore Girls binge-watching Date Night with Mom kit from Netflix!

Netflix

Netflix sent us everything we would need for our binge watching session! Although it was a kit for me and Lexie, Grant shared in the fun, too. See, once upon a time my husband hated Gilmore Girls. He incessantly made fun of me for liking it. But a 5 day stay in the hospital, while recovering from a appendectomy, quickly changed his mind! He was secretly almost as excited as I was about the revival!

This past Friday, the world stood still as we watched all 6+ hours of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life on Netflix. We did not race to the stores to score great deals like everyone else. We just woke up early, stayed in our pajamas, curled up on the couch with coffee and junk food and immersed ourselves in Stars Hollow.

Image result for Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life 

We lit our binge watching candle before we started and it burned through Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. We snacked on Red Vines, popcorn and Pop Tart biscotti. We played trivia during bathroom breaks. We stayed warm under that soft, cozy blanket. And this sleep deprived mama enjoyed bowls of coffee in my now beloved Luke's Diner mug!

Netflix Stream Team

I won't give any spoilers!  I will just say that I absolutely loved it. I laughed and cried my way through the entire 6+ hours and found myself wanting more when it ended! From Friday Night Dinners to Kirk's antics to town meetings to the signature fast-paced banter, I lost myself in the world of Stars Hollow. It was so good that I'm going to have to watch it again and keep my fingers crossed that they choose to do more!!!  (Please, Netflix. PLEASE?!?) And just for the record, I will always be #TeamLogan!

Thanks to Netflix and Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, it was the best Black Friday EVER!

GIVEAWAY 

I have something fun for one of YOU! Head over to my Instagram account (click this link or the embedded photo) to enter to win a 3 month subscription to Netflix! 

 




Let's Chat! 

Did you watch it all yet? What did you think? Do you think it's the final ending or do you think they will revive it again? Leave a comment...I would love to hear your thoughts! 

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New on Netflix

Beat Bugs
Beat Bugs: Season 2 (11/18)
All Hail King Julien
All Hail King Julien: Season 4 (11/11)
Gilmore Girls
Gilmore girls: A Year in the Life (11/25)
Paddington
Paddington (11/16)
The-Jungle-Book
The Jungle Book (11/30)
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Monday, November 28, 2016

Tis' The Season

It's our last day of Thanksgiving Break and I'm just not ready for it to come to an end. My only consolation is the fact that it's the start of the holiday season and I love all things Christmas!


Family Photos

Thanksgiving came and went and I am more than ready to focus on Christmas now! Over the past few years, Thanksgiving has been lackluster. Don't get me wrong...I am incredibly thankful! It's just that Thanksgiving has changed so much over the years for my family. What used to be a huge family holiday has turned into all of my siblings going their own direction, and simply put, I miss how it used to be. It just fells "off" every year now.

This Thanksgiving, my little family woke up and watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade together. After it ended we had to rush (literally rush) to get ready and out the door on time for an early Thanksgiving Dinner at Grant's grandma's house. As soon as we arrived, with just 3 minutes to spare, we were greeted by Grant's Grandma's new pets. It was definitely appropriate for Thanksgiving Day!


Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving
Turkey

Dinner was really good but I spent most of my time getting food for Lily and Liam and picking up the food that Liam decided he didn't want. He's very three these days! As always, I was the last one at the table, and my food was cold by the time I ate. Some day very soon I'll be eating a hot meal and wishing it all back so I do try to be thankful for all of these moments, because it means my kids are young and living at home with us. Thinking about the alternative makes me sad!

Thanksgiving Dinner
Thankgiving

After dinner and a visit, we drove closer to home to visit Grant's dad's side of the family. 


Family
The Lucky Few
The Lucky Few 
The Lucky Few

After our visit, Grant headed home to watch the Steeler's game with his brother and Dylan and the rest of us drove to my sister's house to visit with her and my parents. My dad is pretty much Liam's favorite person, so he spent two hours in his arms and I was able to relax for the first time all day instead of constantly chasing after the toddler tornado!!!


The Lucky Few
Family

Black Friday was a big day for me! It was a day I had been counting down to for the past few months. No, I did NOT go out shopping. Instead, we all had a pajama day and curled up on the couch to watch Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. I laughed and cried my way through the entire 6+ hours and it was pretty much the best Black Friday EVER! 


Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

That evening, Grant's friend stopped by after work and we ended up playing cards for a few hours before I retreated to bed for an NCIS marathon. It was the ultimate lazy day and was much needed after months of constant chaos.  Of course, I couldn't possibly stay home all day without having to leave to do something. It turned out that I forgot to return our library books so I took a late night drive in my pajamas to return them before they were overdue. No kids and Christmas music along the way meant that I got to enjoy 10 peaceful, kid-free minutes, so it wasn't too much of a nuisance!

On Saturday afternoon, we discovered that the town parade/light up night was happening. It's always the first weekend of December, so I had no idea until the last minute. We rushed out the door and made it just in time for the 5 minute parade, then waited four times as long so Lily and Liam could sit on Santa's lap! 


 Christmas Parade
Santa Claus
Pictures with Santa
Pictures with Santa
Pictures with Santa

After the parade, we ran errands and went shopping, then rushed home to pick up Dylan and Grant so we could go to a combined birthday party for our dear friends. Andrew was turning 17 the next day, Lily turned 6 in July and Violet turned 3 in October. They conveniently shared one party!  


Birthdays

We had such a fun evening with some of our closest friends and didn't get home until 2 AM. Needless to say, everyone slept in yesterday!

Sunday was spent at home. We rearranged our living room so we could put up our Christmas Tree. Our original plan was to decorate the tree, but as soon as we set it up, we decided we wanted to buy a new one. So our decorating the Christmas Tree tradition got pushed back until later tonight. Instead, we made pizza and had a Christmas Family Movie Night! It wasn't a terrible alternative!


The Lucky Few
Nothing Down About It

My kids are off school today so we will enjoy one last day of freedom before returning to the daily grind. Shopping for a new tree and groceries and putting away laundry is on the agenda, along with decorating our tree.  Let the Christmas fun begin!


Thanksgiving

How was your Thanksgiving? What are you most looking forward to this Christmas season? 

Let's Be Friends!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy 12th Birthday, Dylan!

This morning, at 8:54 AM, my beautiful firstborn turned 12 years old!


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I swear I blinked and my tiny newborn turned into a young man. Time truly does fly.

Last night, as I prepared for his birthday, I questioned whether he would still care about all of our birthday traditions. I hoped so. I hoped that all the special things that we do for birthdays would be fondly remembered and carried over to his own children one day. But I was still doubtful. The answer, however, is yes. These birthday traditions matter very much, even at 12 years old.

Just how does a 12 year old celebrate his birthday?


Well...it begins with asking his parents if he could skip school on his birthday. And said parents just might have agreed considering he maintains good grades despite leaving class 4 times a week for band and orchestra AND playing basketball, and has has never asked for this before.

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So the newest 12 year old in town got to sleep in until 11, wake up to a bedroom filled with balloons and the "Happy Birthday" banner on the living room wall, and have birthday donuts and smoothies with his mom and baby brother!

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After that came a drive to the school to pick up his little sister from Kindergarten and a trip to the store to pick out his birthday outfit. Three shirts later, he was all set! After a quick stop at Target, which resulted in free popcorn, we headed to Storytime at the local library. He just might have colored a Thanksgiving picture to pass the time, then make his own fingerprint turkey craft with his little brother and sister!

After a quick lunch, Dylan's MawNaw and Nannie arrived for a visit and brought some gifts!

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Dylan spent the rest of the afternoon building a new Lego set, and enjoying the private Instagram account that his parents finally allowed him to have. (With rules. SO MANY RULES.)  He was so thankful that he even willingly posed for a quick birthday photoshoot in the 28 degree weather!

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When Grant finally arrived home from work, our entire family piled into the SUV and headed to Taco Bell for Dylan's birthday dinner. Birthday kid always gets to pick the restaurant!

Back at home, Dylan got to open his gifts from his siblings and a small gift from us.

12th Birthday
Dylan's 12th Birthday

He loved his light-up earbuds, wireless rechargeable speaker, cologne, hair gel and Pokemon cards and is really looking forward to his big gift, which is coming next month!

Dylan spent the evening watching TV episodes with his dad and brother while the girls went to dance. As soon as we were all together again, we ended Dylan's 12th birthday celebration with a homemade cake!

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Dylan said he had a great birthday and that it was definitely his best birthday ever!


Dylan's 12 Year Birthday Interview

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Age: 12
Grade: 6
Weight: 75 lbs
Height: 5'1"


1. FAVORITE COLOR? Blue!
2. FAVORITE TOY?
I really don't have a favorite toy. Video games? (Sadly, toys are nearly a thing of the past.)
3. FAVORITE CHARACTER?
The Joker.
4. FAVORITE SUPERHERO?
That's a hard one. Can it be a supervillain, too? Deadpool! (Which he has never watched...)
5. FAVORITE FRUIT?
Raspberries! Easy. The best. The best fruit EVER.
6. FAVORITE VEGETABLE? 
Sweet peppers. (Agreed.)
7. FAVORITE BREAKFAST? 
Donuts. All the way!
8. FAVORITE CEREAL?
Frosted Flakes.
9. FAVORITE LUNCH? 
Soup.
10. FAVORITE DINNER?
Steak and mashed potatoes. It's delish.
11. FAVORITE DRINK?
That's a hard one. Mountain Dew Kickstart. (Uhhhh...what?)
12. FAVORITE SNACK?
I'm going to have to say fruit snacks. I guess.
13. FAVORITE RESTAURANT?
Taco Bell. ALL THE WAY.
14. FAVORITE TV SHOW?
Bob's Burgers.
15. FAVORITE MOVIE?
Suicide Squad. Alllll the way. (All the way is the hot new phrase. Obviously.)
16. FAVORITE ACTOR/ACTRESS?
Heath Ledger.
17. FAVORITE SONG?
I'm going to have to say Heathens by Twenty One Pilots.
18. FAVORITE SINGER/BAND?
Twenty One Pilots.
19. FAVORITE BOOK?
Eggs by Jerry Spinelli.
20. FAVORITE BOOK SERIES?
Percy Jackson.
21. FAVORITE OUTFIT?
I'm going to have to say high tops with joggers, a short sleeve shirt and a hoodie. With a hat!
22. FAVORITE GAME?
Life.
23. FAVORITE SPORT?
Basketball.
24. FAVORITE ANIMAL?
Frogs.
25. FAVORITE PLACE TO GO?
The beach!
26. FAVORITE THINGS TO DO?
Skateboard, play basketball and play video games.
27. FAVORITE SUBJECT?
Science.
28. FAVORITE STUFFED ANIMAL? 
UGH! The Dylan bear I got when I was born. The one with the converse and leather jacket. (This was not a favorite question...)
29. FAVORITE DAY OF THE WEEK?
Friday!
30. FAVORITE MONTH?
November!
31. FAVORITE SEASON?
Summer.
32. FAVORITE HOLIDAY?
It's a tie between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
33. WHO IS YOUR BEST FRIEND?
Jack.
34. WHO DO YOU LIKE TO PLAY WITH?
Jack, Dom, Logan, Tyler, Braden, Bre, Sophie, Cole, Tristan, Shane, John and that's it. I think.
35. WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY?
Hanging out with friends and family.
36. WHAT SCARES YOU? 
Spiders. They're horrifying. I hate them!
37. WHAT MAKES YOU SAD?
Seeing other people upset and losing a loved one.
38. WHAT DO YOU WISH FOR?
To have a good life. (Amazing answer, buddy!)
39. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY?
When I climbed the tree and fell down and cut my leg open. (REALLY?!?)
40. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
NBA player or an engineer. (Engineer.)
41. DISLIKES?
Let's say...boot cut jeans. Freezing weather. And, ummm, hurting myself.

Any final thoughts? I like answering these questions. Well. Most of them.

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I can't believe my beautiful son is 12 years old! 


 
He entered this world a month early and I fell in love the moment I first laid eyes on him. Dylan truly is a special boy. Yes, we deal with tween moments now, but this kid is filled with love and kindness beyond compare. 
 
Last week, when we had to say an unexpected goodbye to our horse, he sat with me on the cold ground and held my hand the entire 2 hours. It was 30 degrees and horribly sad, but never once did he complain or leave my side. I told him to sit in the car but he said he wasn't going to let me deal with it alone. That's just the person he is. He loves fiercely and is kind to everyone he encounters. I have no doubt that he will be an amazing husband and father one day. 
 
But time needs to slow down just a bit. The teenage years are just 1 year away. He will be able to drive in 4 years. In 6 years, he will leave home for college. And every single time I look at him, I picture that tiny, beautiful newborn, and the fact that 12 years passed by in the blink of an eye takes my breath away. I just want to hold on to him as tightly as I possibly can and never let him go. 
 
Happy Birthday, my sweet boy. You are so loved!!!


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Let's Be Friends!


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Home Decor: A Modern Touch {Featuring Modern Ball Clock from Regency Shop}

 DISCLOSURE: I received product in exchange for a blog post. All opinions are my own.

When you walk into my home, there is no doubt that it's filled with kids. From the play kitchen in the middle of the real kitchen, to the lovingly created masterpieces hanging on the walls, to the photographs of my children in every single room, there are signs of my kids everywhere!


I sometimes dream of the impeccably styled homes that are all over Pinterest, but I know that's just not feasible with four children. Instead, I choose comfort with a touch of fun, modern and whimsical. Kid-friendly is also a must, because I currently live with a Toddler Tornado!

Home Decor - A Modern Touch (Featuring Modern Ball Clock from Regency Shop)

I love finding fun pieces that fit in easily with my home decor. I look for items that catch the eye and spark conversation. If I can find something that can stand out in the land of toys and kid gear, then it's a clear winner! The Modern Ball Clock from Regency Shop is a PERFECT fit for my home! 


Modern Ball Clock

The Modern Ball Clock is a modern timepiece inspired by the Nelson clock design. According to the description on Regency Shop, it "transforms any room into a work of art." Now that it's in my home, I completely agree!

I couldn't wait for my new clock to arrive! I checked the tracking number every night and I was relieved to find out that a signature is required upon delivery. I do worry about packages being stolen, especially around the holidays. I knew exactly when the clock was supposed to arrive and the delivery was right on time!

The Modern Ball Clock is a beautiful piece!  The brass arms and the colorful Beechwood balls are unlike anything I've ever found in stores. The Quartz movement is designed to last for years and assembly is a breeze! All I had to do was take the clock out of the box and hang it on the wall.

At first, I wasn't sure where I was going to hang the Modern Ball Clock, but the moment I spotted it, I knew it would be perfect for the modern play space/family area I will be creating for my kids after Christmas. When I hung it up on a white wall, I knew it would be perfect for the play space I have been envisioning!

Modern Ball Clock

My current plan is for a modern black and white play space with pops of color.  I plan on having white walls with colorful pops of art hanging on them (which is why the Modern Ball Clock is perfect), a black and white teepee with lights strung inside, a white faux fur rug, colorful modern chairs and a storage cube with colorful bins for the toys.

It will be a few months before the play space is complete. We already have several of the items but we need to purchase a few others.  Here is my inspiration:

Modern Playroom

Top Row L-R: Teepee / Pom Pom Garland / Canvas Toy Bin

Middle Row L-R:  Storage Bin / Modern Wall Clock / Barcelona (Ibiza) Chair

Bottom Row L-R: Egg Chair / Storage Cube / Scoop Rocker

My kids range in age from 3-12, but I have no doubt that this play space will be a favorite spot for all four of them. I wish I could do it now, but Christmas comes first!

Until the play space is finished, the Modern Ball Clock has a spot in the middle of the gallery wall of black and white photos that I captured. My husband always said it needed some color, and he was right!


 Gallery Wall

In addition to the beautiful Modern Ball Clock, Regency Shop offers many other modern pieces!


I'm in love with the Egg Chair! It comes in several bright colors, but red immediately captured my attention. It's bold, it's modern and it's kid-friendly!

the_egg_chair_arne_jacobsen


The Chesterfield Sofa would be gorgeous in a family room. It can be purchased in black, white, brown or a custom color. Leather is always a great choice with kids around!

chesterfield-sofa

The Barcelona (Ibiza) Chair would work well in any room. Thanks to the sturdy construction, I wouldn't worry about my kids ruining it!

mies-van-der-rohe-barcelona-chair

The Modern Ball Clock is a great addition to my home decor. I love seeing it hanging on my gallery wall and I know it will look amazing in our modern play space.  It truly is an eye-catching, functional work of art!


modern ball clock

Thank you to Regency Shop for sponsoring today's post! To see more of their beautiful pieces, visit their website.