What I Wore {eight}

While going through my room and purging things yesterday, I found an old nose ring and stuck it in. I have been thinking about putting a hoop back in my nose for a while now, so it was great that I found one lying around...hence the change was free! So here I am with my nose hoop.


What do you think?


I think I have mentioned before my distain for my legs. They are by far the hardest part of my body for me to be positive about. For years I have refused to wear any shorts that are shorter than my knees. I kid you not. I am that obsessed disturbed by my legs. I just hate how when I sit down they spread out like pancakes. Gross, right? Back to my point, here is me with one of the two pairs of shorts I own (thank God for dresses in the summer!)


Shirt: Banana Republic
Shorts: Juicy Couture 
Bracelet: Found in my bedroom while purging
Shoes: Rainbow

This is pretty much my summer look, t-shirt, jean shorts and flip flops. Come to think of it, it is pretty close to my winter look as well. Anyway, I am considering branching out this year and getting me some fancy new shorts. Maybe something with a bit shorter inseam. Who knows though. We all know how brutal the lighting is in dressing rooms, so I would probably never be able to talk myself into it! 

P.S. I just realized my whole outfit is at least five years old. I am thinking it is time to spring for some new summer clothing! 

My First Fruits


Yesterday I harvested my first two zucchini from my plants. I was pretty dang excited about the whole ordeal. I actually managed to grow something! Crazy! Last year I couldn't even keep my tomato plant alive, so this is definitely an improvement. Do you think it has something to do with me talking to and petting my plant? I kid. Kind of.

Tonight I made dinner with my zucchini. So exciting actually eating something you grew yourself!


I hear that zucchini plants produce like crazy...I can only hope. It would be so fun to eat fresh zucchini from the garden and even have some to give away. And my tomato plant has tomatoes growing all over it. Fresh roma tomatoes from my own backyard. I can hardly contain my excitement. I can't wait to taste one of those babies!

With the taste of success fresh zucchini in my mouth, I am thinking I will have to expand the garden next year.


Blueberry Picking

Today my friend and I took our kids blueberry picking at Jessop Farms in Ripon.There are some adorable pictures to show of my son stuffing his face with blueberries, but I also need to be honest. My sweet and normally content Isla, was not so content, making our fun and relaxing outing not so fun and relaxing. Poor girl. She really seems to be struggling today.


Connor ate so many blueberries that I actually offered to pay for an additional half pound, but the farm said no. I am thinking they don't realize how many blueberries one little 2 year old can consume. Between Connor eating so many blueberries and Isla being fussy, we ended with practically no blueberries in our bucket. Thankfully my friend and her kids were willing to help out and gave us some of their spoils.

We also tried to do a little strawberry picking. Isla was pretty much in full on meltdown mode at this point, so I didn't get to experience much of it. But apparently Connor was picking strawberries and eating them stem and all. What can I say? This kid likes him some fruit!


Thankfully my MOPS group has a couple outings planned to the farm this summer. Hopefully Isla will be in a better mood next time because I like me some berry picking and want her to as well. 


You can read about our strawberry picking when Connor was a wee little fellow here. I am hoping to get some adorable pictures of Isla in a strawberry patch as a youngin as well. Hopefully she will cooperate next time!

Sibling Brutality


Last week while camping, Isla got her first visible wound from Connor. I was in the shower when it happened and Ian wasn't directly looking, but Connor pushed Isla over in the dirt. It seems the worst trauma was really Isla's face being covered in dirt, though her poor little nose did get scraped up. Still we weren't quite sure what happened. Then, hours later, the confession came. Connor said "I hurt sissy". So I asked him how he hurt sissy and he said "I push sissy over". There you have it folks. The confession.

Connor constantly tries getting away with hurting Isla in little ways...pulling her hair, pinching her cheeks, stuff like that. And he always gets a certain look on his face when he is going to do it. When I catch him with that look or about ready to attack her, I tell him to be nice. He in turn changes his actions and kisses or hugs her. It is pretty funny. I think he thinks he is pulling a fast one on me. But I am an older sister. I know what he is up to.

And here's Isla showing she is not actually scarred for life, but still a happy baby...her poor little nose though.




Letting Go

One thing I have tried hard to do in the past few years is pry away from the grip consumerism has on my life. A few years ago, I was out of control. I was a compulsive shopper and had to have everything NOW. And I seemed to have it all too. Then we moved to Scotland and our lives drastically changed. At first it was really hard, but eventually much of the grip that consumerism had on my life vanished. And it felt so refreshing. I've learned to not compare myself and my life to others but to enjoy what we have and the activities we do with our money...though I will still admit this is a struggle that still rears its ugly head from time to time. But still, there has always been a little part of me that holds on.

My father in law has always been so gracious and generous to allow so many people to borrow possessions of his, even very nice possessions of his. And when I have questioned him theoretically about say his brand new car getting ruined by one of us, he always stresses that we are much more valuable than his possessions. And I know he means it. Why? Because when I have seen possessions of his take a beating, he always keeps his cool. It is amazing and a quality I really admire in him...and a quality I aspire to have. 

Recently this quality I aspire to have has been tested a couple times. The first time was when someone accidentally burned a ring into my beautiful new dining room table. I realized I had two choices. I could choose to get pissed off, yell and be angry. Or I could choose to let it go and realize how blessed I am to not only have a beautiful dining room table, but I also have access to really hot water. In that instance, I also went one step further and stated that it showed how blessed we were to have a lived in house and not a museum of a house. 

As I mentioned in my camping post, my ipad suffered a boo-boo. And really, this mishap was no one person's fault. I guess I can blame the whole family in the mishap, except for maybe Isla. Either way, my ipad now has three cracks across the screen and a beat up corner. When that happened it really took will power and a conscious effort on my part to let it go. My family and my relationship with them is worth so much more than an ipad getting hurt and me freaking out over it. Though I will say, about half an hour after it happened, I told Ian I was still mourning the loss of a friend. I'm lame, I know. Later that evening, I was happy to learn that my pPad still functions fine. And laying in bed watching netflix on it, I can't even see the cracks...I'm trying to find the silver lining here people! 

All this to say, I still work hard at staying out of the grasp of consumerism and possessions over my life. It is no easy struggle. But it is a struggle that I think is worth the fight. 

Camping in Big Sur


The Good:
Isla enjoying sand for the first time
Free tickets to the Monterey Bay Aquarium
Smores
Beautiful waterfalls on the beach
Nice little hikes
A beautiful drive on the coast
coffee...four times in one day!
Isla got a second tooth
Both kids slept the entire car ride home



The Bad:
Connor hating the beach...and going hysterical until we left
Connor staying up until 4am the first night, just talking away
The bratty school kids at the aquarium and their inattentive chaperones 
My iPad now has 3 cracks on the screen :(
At least it still works


The Funny:
Connor refusing to eat a smore
I guess they are just too gooey
My kids didn't get baths the four days we were camping
Most of our family photos capture the back of Connor's head
Me trying on dresses at Anthropologie while smelling like campfire
Our car was jam packed


In case you thought your eyes were playing tricks on you, yes Connor did stay up until 4am the first night! I don't know what his deal was. He was just so excited about sleeping in a tent and his sleeping bag that I guess he went crazy. He was so hyper and talkative. And if it weren't for the fact that it was the middle of the night, it was pretty darn cute. And that same night, Isla slept the best she had in weeks. Go figure! On the same note, I have decided the hardest part about camping with kids is trying to get them to sleep at night. The rest of it isn't bad. But bedtime seems extra challenging. There are just so many distractions for little kids that it is challenging to calm down and go to sleep. And after a long day, all this mama wanted was a break! Oh well, I guess that is just part of camping with kids. 


And, in case you care, you can read about some of our other camping adventures with kids (well, Connor) here and here

A Quick Hello

We just got back from camping in Big Sur for four days. Once I am all caught up on the laundry (well, at least doing it...I hate putting it away) and give my kids a bath (they didn't get one the whole time we were camping), I will tell more about our little trip. In the mean time, this will have to do.


Softees Soft Silicone Teether {Nuby Product Review}



What Nuby has to say:


The new Softees Soft Silicone Teether's unique textured design provides comfort to baby's delicate gums. It provides stimulus to the lips and tongue with promote the transition from nursing to chewing. Includes hygienic carrying case.




What I have to say:

Pros: Most importantly, it's BPA free. Also, it's small and round, thus easy for Isla to grasp. It's thinner than some of the other teethers we have, making it easier for Isla to both hold and chew on. Isla certainly enjoys gumming at the little nubbies on it. And I like that it comes with a carrying case, thus keeping it clean for little baby mouths! Also, given the material it is made out of (silicone), I found it very easy to clean. 

Cons: It's a teether that my kid likes, what can I really pick on?! The only thing I found was that the carrying case is hard to open. But I remedied that by squeezing both sides at the same time, then it pops right open. 

You can purchase the Softees Soft Silicome Teether online at www.BuyBabyDirect.com.


And here's a couple pictures of the teether in action. 



I did not receive any compensation for this post, although as part of this program I may receive items to sample or review. 

Lately {in photos}


1. My shiny new computer
2. Connor enjoying a fudgesicle
3. Connor checking out our new chairs
4. Isla sitting in a big kid chair
5. Me and my little man
6. Isla playing
7. Shake thief! 
8. Connor's loving life...playing in the dirt with tractors
9. My first trenta 
10. My first Five Guys burger
11. Isla chilling in her new bike helmet
12. Connor chose to wear a beanie in 90 degree weather

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

This past week, I decided to copy Rachael and make some cauliflower crust pizza. After all, she made it look so easy! Before I get into my story, I should probably remind you, I generally don't follow recipes. And before I digress too much into my drama story, let me also share Rachael's recipe:


Ingredients:
3 cups riced cauliflower (cooked)
1/4 cup shredded skim mozzarella cheese
1 egg

Instructions:
1) Rice the cauliflower (with a food processor or, if you're like me and don't have one, just chop it up real fine).
2) Cook the cauliflower (3.5 minutes in the microwave per cup... No need to add water, it's already got enough in it).
3) Mix cauliflower, egg and cheese.
4) Spread mixture onto a pan.

5) Bake 15 minutes.
6) Add toppings and broil until cheese is melted.
7) Enjoy! 


Anyway, I headed to the store and bought what I thought I needed. Turns out, I bought shredded parmesan and not mozzarella. Oops! To make matters even worse make this recipe my own I also added shredded cheddar into the mix. And when trying to cut up the cauliflower, I quickly discovered that a blender (or at least my blender) wasn't going to do the trick. So I cut it all by hand. I lost interest in doing this after about 10 seconds, so my cauliflower rice was more cauliflower chunks. 




To make sure you are following me, besides using the wrong ingredients and not pulverizing my cauliflower, I followed the directions to a tee. The only problem was, my cauliflower crust pizza wasn't exactly what you would call crispy, even when giving it some extra time to cook. I am thinking it had something to do with the cheese...or maybe the ginormious pieces of cauliflower! Either way, Ian and I ate it with a fork and still thoroughly enjoyed it. 


Maybe next time I will actually follow the recipe. Or, Ian and I also talked about trying a mix of normal pizza dough and cauliflower crust. Hmmm...I'm not sure how that would turn out. 



Nuby in the Community {One}


I have been given the opportunity to partner with Nuby as a mommy blogger. Besides being gifted product to sample and review, I also get to give out product in the community. Fun, right?! Yesterday was my first opportunity of doing so. I gave out various teethers, sippy cups and diaper rash cream to the ladies at my MOPS group 





It was a fun experience giving stuff away for free. Everyone loved it and many of the ladies already had Nuby sippy cups for their kids, so were happy to take another one to add to the collection. Our group seems to have way more boys than girls in it, so there were a few boys that ended up with pink sippy cups, but as one mom said, "It's all good. I'll just teach him his colors with it!"






All in all, it was a great experience and I look forward to doing it again in the future.


And here's a little video with me sharing my thoughts on giving out the product. And since I've never done a video on here before, my faithful blog followers can also now here what I sound like! 

video



Her First Tooth

Tonight we were sitting around the table with some friends when Ian exclaimed "Isla has a tooth!"


My baby girl is growing up! Those pearly whites make babies look so much older. She has been fussy the last couple days, but teething never even crossed my mind. So, way to go Isla...pushing through that tooth drug free!

And in case you are wondering, yes that is my finger in her mouth. I had to get a picture of her tooth somehow!

Happy Mothers Day...

...to me!

I actually got my present on Saturday. And given that Ian was having trouble finding what he was looking for, halfway through his shopping excursion he let me come along for the ride. And we found me the perfect present. A pot and plants for our front porch...to go right in between my birthday present from the inlaws, some chairs.


Anyway, I am not a huge celebrator of holidays. I am more into the calm and laid-back approach to celebrating. I also don't like to be the center of attention. So my mother's day celebration was perfect for me. We packed a picnic lunch and headed out of town up to Railtown 1897 (which is one of the California state parks thats slated to close July 1) with my parents.

It was the perfect weather and the perfect place to take Connor. He thoroughly enjoyed himself and I think the rest of us enjoyed watching the excitement in his eyes. Though, when he gets really excited about something, he becomes very quiet and calm (remember him meeting the train conductor?) so you wouldn't know he was excited. And given that I am the "life documenter" of the family (aka: photographer), there are no pictures of me with my kids on mothers day. Epic fail. Oh well. There's always next year for that!





We ended our afternoon of fun by picking up ice cream on our way home. Yummy! It was the perfect un-celebratory day of celebration for me.


**You can read about our first trip to Railtown 1897 here

Connor {2 Years, 6 Months}


 Weight: 30lbs (my measurement)
Length: 37.5 inches (my measurement)

Accomplishments:
Repeats anything and everything you say
Can count to 10
Knows his body parts
Knows his colors
Can recognize a few letters


My little boy has become just that, a little boy. He has his own likes and dislikes, asks for things when he needs or wants them and has become quite the talking machine as of late. 

Some of Connor's current likes include all things train, all things cheese, and if I let him, he would play with my iPad all day long. A couple times now, Connor has expressed his opinions about what he wants to wear...I knew this would happen eventually, but I don't want it to happen yet!!! He likes his Thomas the Train shirts and his sandals (not his oh-so-cute rainbow flip flips though). And in general, he is not down with me putting him in overalls, though sometimes he doesn't seem to mind. Also, last year he hated wearing hats, this year he doesn't seem to mind. 

Connor now hates having his picture taken. Did I ruin him by constantly taking his picture for the past 2.5 years?! He will either refuse to look at the camera or cover his face. Sometimes I can bribe him, but that only works for a moment. Today, in the middle of our photo shoot (that's right, this mama does mini photo shoots with her kids!) he went inside and tried to lock me outside (hence the last picture). Notice how he was willing to look at the camera as he was shutting me out!

Bedwise, Connor is doing great in his big boy bed. He sleeps all night and generally sleeps until 8am. Naps still aren't happening as often as I'd like. Usually that means Connor is rather irritable and ornery in the late afternoon. I am considering taking all the toys out of his room so he has no choice but to sleep during his naps. Any mama's out there had problems like this before?

After a great interest in the potty a couple months ago, Connor has been pretty against it as of late. My mom bought him a little kid potty last week and he seems to like it, though still isn't super interested in it. The last couple days though, I have been letting him run around in big boy underwear in the morning...every day has resulted in an accident. But today, the accident happened in the bathroom, so I am going to take that as progress! 

My boy is growing up. Rarely does he give me cuddles anymore, but I take them any chance I get. At least he is still willing to kiss me goodnight!






P.S. Isn't it ironic that my kids were born one date apart (the 13th and the 14th) so their little updates are always one right after the other! 

Isla {7 Months}



Weight: 19lbs (my measurement)
Length: 27 inches (my measurement)

Accomplishments:
Eating food!
brown rice cereal, pears, carrots, sweet potato,
banana, rice, celery, butternut squash,
Finally rolls from her back to her stomach
Scoots around on the floor...like a worm
Sits up unaided


My adorable little Isla. She is still cool, calm and collected during the day, as long as she is fed and all up to date on her sleep. Now the nighttime, that is still another story. She still gets up about 3 times a night to eat. On the plus side, she does go to sleep at night without crying and when she does get up to eat, usually goes right back to sleep. 

Isla loves her brother so much. She loves pulling his hair. And he in turn, finds it funny so puts his head right in her face to give her the ultimate in pulling opportunities. She loves watching him play and is entertained by just watching him be his crazy self. And should he actually come over and play with her for a minute, she is all smiles and giggles. 

As soon as Isla turned 6 months old, she started solids in full force. She doesn't seem to like rice cereal at all, so I decided to skip it. She also doesn't seem to like pears. I tried a few times, so I figure I will try again in a few weeks time. But she does love her some carrots, sweet potato and butternut squash. Also, she goes through numerous frozen celery sticks a day. She sucks the life out of them...until they are limp, nasty and a choking hazard so I take them away! Last night she got her first taste of rice and really seemed to enjoy it. Ian set it in front of her and let her feed herself. Sure there was rice everywhere, but she really did enjoy herself. 

Isla is a total mama's girl. I don't mind, in fact I secretly kind of like it! Who wouldn't like that their baby calms down the minute they are in your arms?! Isla is my beautiful little girl. I love having her in our lives and home. She brightens up every day with her big blue eyes and her smile. And those little giggles? They could make even the hardest of hearts smile.







Front Yard Blueberries

Blueberry bushes in our front yard?! It was only the best idea ever! So fun to be able to grab a blueberry or two when we are headed out the door. 






If only I could keep Connor from picking them before they are fully ripe! And speaking of blueberry picking...only a few short weeks until our local blueberry patch opens for picking. Yea! Here's a picture of us picking blueberries last year. 




Ok, me picking blueberries and Connor stuffing his face! Still, it was fun times had by all. I can't wait to do it again...this time with Isla outside of my belly. 
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