Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Reading: One of my favorite parts of my week is when I take a few minutes to browse Amazon and see what looks good in my recommendations. I will always love real books, but the convenience of my Kindle, and the ease of sending samples right to my device is the very best. I usually go on a sample-binge and send 10 or so at a time, then spend that first night just trying all of them. It reminds me of being a kid and getting a ton of books from the library, then starting each one until I could finally decide on the first from the pile to actually read all the way through. Right now these are all looking good and I just sent samples to my Kindle: one, two, three and four (all with my Amazon affiliate link- click here to browse Amazon without it!)
Doing: so many holiday things! I think it's because the internet starts Christmas stuff the night of Thanksgiving (do you like how I'm referring to the internet as if it's a person or something?), but I've felt this weird rush to hurry and get the tree up, hurry and put the lights up, hurry hurry. It's actually really bizarre because I normally don't feel affected by things like this but I seriously had this overwhelming "there's only a week 'til Christmas!" feeling until I realized that it was just the 2nd. Ha. So now I'm taking it slow, and trying to fill this month with as much holiday fun as I can. Henry's been enjoying doing some fun activities everyday and we have quite a few more things planned, from a Christmas light drive tomorrow night to the train park next weekend. And on a side note, I am dying over all of the funny Elf of Shelf things I'm seeing all over Instagram (especially my friend Jess'- be sure to scroll down for the "Wrecking Elf" video). We don't do the Elf, but I've been loving seeing how everyone sets theirs up.
Thinking about: I read this article earlier today and it really resonated with me. Even when a parenting article or book isn't all about where I'm at, there is always something I can take away from it, and with this article, there was a lot. There's so much goodness in it, but I especially connected with her mantra of “Only love today. Only love today.” Some of it broke my heart because I really understood where she was coming from. I could say more, but read it and let me know what you think. It also got me thinking about how inspired I feel when I read a good parenting book. Being a Mom is my full-time job, and I love coming across things that make me look at it in a different light, or inspire me to do things in a better, new way. So this next year I plan to read 12 parenting books, one per month. I'm going to make the list next week, so if you have any suggestions, send them my way!
Watching: As usual anyone who doesn't like television talk look away now, because I'm about to go on for a minute about a couple of shows. One- The X Factor. Hank and I have been watching and loving this season but I am still in shock that they sent Josh Levi home. He is amazing! I really thought he could win the whole thing, and both Hank and I were super disappointed with his exit. Bummer, America. And then Ellona? Ugh! So now my favorite would have to be Alex and Sierra, and I'm excited to see what they do next. Secondly, have you been watching The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills? Such a mess this season. I don't even know where to begin! Are any of you watching it? I would say that whole franchise is my guiltiest pleasure for sure, so let me know what you think of it and we can discuss in the comments!
Feeling thankful: this past weekend I looked around and I had this overwhelming feeling of thankfulness. There I was, surrounded by my Mom, Dad, sister, brother-in-law, niece, and then of course my own little family...and I've never felt luckier. We all are so weird, but go together so well. There's no other group of people I'd rather spend my time with, that I'd rather love, get annoyed by, laugh with, and grow with. I feel beyond lucky that I can call my family my best friends too, and the older I get the more I realize what a true, true blessing that really is. So most of all, I am thankful for this crazy bunch I get to call my own.
Loving: so much. Cleaning out my closet, changing up our home- so happy we're finally making the changes we've been talking about forever, Charlie getting so big (this is both happy and sad), this sandwich kick I'm on, books and more books, playing Santa and picking out special things for the people I love, Seattle next month, Christmas parties, baby Carson who should be arriving soon (!!!!), and hanging out with my sister and Mom.
So, how about you? What are you up to today? Feel free to do your own "currently" post on your blog and link back in the comments for everyone to check out. And thanks again to my dear friend Megan for providing the original inspiration for these posts.
Monday, December 9, 2013
I have to hold back from using the term "magic" or "magical" more often than you would think lately, but I guess that's a good thing, right? It's definitely the kind of thing that happens when Christmas is coming, and you have your whole family in one place, and you drive up north through the mountains to go on a train ride and there's a blizzard and snow and holiday lights are everywhere and...you get the point. Magic. Henry has been in total Christmas heaven the past week or so, between decorating the tree to the Polar Express. Sometimes I wish I could be a kid again, just for a minute, and do all of this once more with the heart and the eyes of a child. There's truly nothing better.
This weekend (this magical weekend!) was chock full of family and festivities. My family came to stay with us and we made our way north to Williams on Saturday evening to board the Polar Express. If you're not familiar with the book (or movie), check it out here. And if you are familiar with the story, you'll probably find it neat to know that the train looks just like the train the book- in and out. We took the 7:30pm ride, and in a nutshell, you board the train, they pass out hot chocolate and cookies, read the book aloud, and sing carols on the way to the "North Pole." Once you arrive (it's all lit up and looks like it could actually be Santa's house), Santa boards the train and gives each child a silver bell. So many things follow the story- the chefs handing out the treats, the "hobos" hanging out in the train station, the conductor coming around the punch the tickets, even the seats inside the train cars. It's an AMAZING experience, and although we went last year and loved it, this year was even more special to see Henry get so incredibly excited. Add in a full-blown blizzard and you have a truly authentic experience.
The rest of the weekend was good too- on Friday I attended the Prescott Center for the Arts Charity Luncheon with some girlfriends, then Sunday we had a big family brunch at the Dinner Bell. In between was a couple good workouts fueled by Britney's new album, a lot of good food, and girl talking with my sister. This past weekend was definitely a good one.
Here are some photos from my handy iPhone:
Friday, December 6, 2013
Last year at the Polar Express.
It's the weekend! Yeah! This one will be a good one, chock full of family and festive fun. And alliteration too, apparently. Anyway, I'll be back Monday with photos from our adventures but until then, here are some links to click. I think this is my favorite round up in a long time. Enjoy!
My friend Jenny just started a charity jewelry organization. Check it out!
11 awkward things about email.
I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS! And you will be too, if you loved those "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark" books.
James Franco and Chris O'Dowd to make Broadway debuts in 'Of Mice and Men.'
Why You're So Sad About Paul Walker's Death.
That time NeNe responded and retweeted me. And called me boo.
Claire Danes likes being in her 30s, and so do I.
Wishlist: this bag, this dress, this clutch, and this beautiful glass pyramid. And also this print for Hank!
Love Emily and David's simple white stockings.
What to Expect featured a recent post of mine over on their blog, along with some other good reads you should check out.
An excerpt from a good read: "So here is the harsh truth y'all. Listen good. Our vanity is no longer enough of a reason to avoid the camera. Life doesn't wait until you "get thin" enough to capture it."
Etsy wishlist: these geometric sculptures, this pillow, this necklace, and this calendar.
"What do you do all day?"
I'm a 9, and this was very spot-on for me. Crazy! Is it accurate for you too?
A great (and true) post about blogging, over on The Daybook.
Currently posts around the web: Kaelah and Brandilyn.
Wise words about love.
Couple of 65 years dies 6 hours apart, unaware of each other's passing. Whoa.
Judy Blume and Lena Dunham.
I own this sweater and absolutely love it. So comfy and soft!
This made me laugh out loud numerous times- an article a Dad wrote about his kid's insane Christmas wishlist.
Portraits of children around the world and where they sleep. Fascinating.
And finally, The Secret Life of Grief. A great read.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Tonight I realized there's only a good handful of years that will ever be like this. The magic. The newness of it all. And it's like that with anything in life, you know? Relationships are only sparkly and new when they're sparkly and new. And the first time you read the best book of your life will only be that first time you read it. And Christmas as a child only lasts as long as you're a child, and before the world kind of creeps in and changes things up a bit. So this right now, the whole wide-eyed, magical experience of Christmas, will only be here for a short time. I know this. I thought about it as I watched Henry sort through our ornaments tonight, marveling over the shiny ones, the sparkly ones, the ones shaped like stars and sleds and snowflakes. He believes Santa will be coming down our chimney with a sack full of gifts. He believes we will be seeing him on the Polar Express this weekend, and going to the North Pole. He knows with every ounce of his little three-year old body that this is true, and that Christmas is a time for MAGIC. And to see him believe and see him feel all of the happy feelings that bubble up in every moment during this time of the year is enough to make me cry just typing it out. I feel SO lucky. And in a blog post it can be hard to convey these types of things but I just have to say it because that's all I can think about. I feel so lucky to have this little block of time when everything is new and fresh and sparkly, and Santa is real and his reindeer are real because I'm reliving it all over again too. I'm a child again, stars in my eyes as I hang ornaments and bake cookies and allow a little part of my heart to believe in the beauty and simplicity of everything this season brings. The spirit of Christmas is alive and well in this house, and for that I am so, so thankful.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
As someone who finds themselves wearing workout gear more often than not, it's important for me to have my active wear do double duty- be functional in the gym, but also look cute throughout the day. That's why I love Albion Fit. Their stuff is so cute (and so soft!), and after wearing a mix of their bottoms, top and jackets over the past couple of weeks, I'm hooked. And as a plus, not only are they a family-owned company that believes in green, sustainable practices, their mission is spot-on too: “to provide women with the most luxurious, flattering, and hassle-free fitness and leisure apparel on the market.” Perfect.
There are so many adorable options over at Albion, but my most favorites would have to be these: one, two and my current favorite thing in my closet- three. And speaking of fancy, when I first became a Mom I had an inside joke with some of my girlfriends about how yoga pants and workout tops/jackets were the "Mom uniform." And as much as I'd love to say that I escaped the cliche and dress up everyday, I really only do so when we have something outside of errands or regular playdates planned. And with Albion, at least my "Mom uniform" is a fancier version of itself, right? ;)
And today one lucky reader has the chance to win a $100 gift card to Albion Fit. You'll be able to choose from their wide selection of well-made, super soft and luxurious items just in time to jump start a fitness routine as 2014 begins.
Here's how to enter:
Simply visit albionfit.com then come back here and leave a comment below with your favorite item. Also be sure to include your name and email address.
For up to two bonus entries:
Pin favorite item onto a Pinterest board and paste the link to that pin in a second comment, along with your name and email again.
Follow Albion Fit on Instagram and tag 3 friends on my giveaway Instagram post, then come back here and leave a third and final comment letting me know you did so, with your name and email one last time.
That's three ways to win!
I'll randomly choose a winner one week from today, but until then feel free to use the Sometimes Sweet discount code: $20 off any albionfit.com purchase of $100 or more with code sometimes20 at checkout! (exp 12/6/13)
Post sponsored by Albion, but as always all opinions are my own.
Thank you for supporting the occasional sponsored content I share here.
Monday, December 2, 2013
Dear Little Girl Jumping on the Trampoline at Brinley's Gymnastics Birthday Party,
I'm sorry my son roared so loudly at you. He's just in a dinosaur phase right now and as he says, "RAWR is how you say hello in dinosaur."
Dear Sourdough Bread and Butter,
I just can't quit you.
I always knew you were a great Mom but I never realized just how great, until I became a Mom myself. It's pretty wild to be a parent myself now, and be able to look back at the way you parented me. I can't say thank you enough for all of it.
Dear 16 year-old self,
Did you ever imagine you'd be right here, right now? I bet you didn't. Life has a funny way of working out, and I'm really excited for all of the goodness you'll be experiencing.
Dear X-Factor/The United States of America,
How could you vote off Josh Levi? I'm still distraught over this.
Dear UPS Guy,
I'm sorry you had to see me without a bra on. Again.
Dear Trader Joe's,
Chocolate covered candy-cane Jo-Jos. Thank you.
Dear Current Self,
You're doing a good job and I'm proud of you. Try to go to sleep a little earlier than 11pm this week. There's no sense celebrating a baby who's getting the hang of sleeping through the night when you don't get any sleep yourself (I write this as the clock strikes 11pm, yet again).
and p.s. in the spirit of yesterday's post...if you clicked on the blog title in the hopes this post would be about one of the best albums of all time, then we could definitely be friends! ;)
Sunday, December 1, 2013
a photo to go with the video below!
The other day I was talking to Hank about some of the things that I absolutely love/random things that make me happy, and how funny it is when I meet someone else who loves those same things- there's always that instant connection. I thought I would kick off a new month with this fun post (and also add that after writing this how clear my love for the 90s is, jeez).
So...if you like these things, we'd probably be friends, or at least have a good conversation:
If you ever learned all the moves to this dance and practiced them until they were perfect-
If you can recite any of the lines from Welcome to the Dollhouse.
If you ever had a collection of these magazines. Bonus points if you still have them!
If you have a literary tattoo. I have two- a Kurt Vonnegut quote on my back and a portrait of Sylvia Plath on my left thigh, and I love meeting other people who love books enough to do the same.
If you were ever a Girl Scout! I was a Daisy, Brownie, and a Junior for one year, and some of my most favorite memories are from GS times. I could reminisce for days about all of it. I still remember when I got my first Brownie uniform- I felt so fancy.
If you too know the words to this entire album.
If you grew up going to Great Adventure, like I did (it was located in our small town). Or on the Jersey Shore. So many things to discuss! The second I meet someone from that area I want to talk their ear off about it.
If you were on a game show, and your category was "Lyrics to 90s Music," you'd win the whole thing.
If your favorite childhood books include any of the Ramona series.
If you think Seinfeld is the funniest show of all time.
If you have a love for reality television. I'm always tweeting about the silly shows I watch, and the second I meet someone who is into the ones I love, I always have to discuss. If you were a fly on the wall and could hear the discussions my Mom, sister and I have about the Real Housewives you'd either love it or be disgusted, like Hank and my Dad (even though their faux-disgust is in amusement). "Why are you guys talking about these people like you KNOW them?!"
I could go on but I'll stop here. And I have to ask- how about you? Are we similar at all? I would also LOVE to read your list, so if you decide to do one too, be sure to share a link to yours in the comments!