Mama Mondays

Leslyn's Lovely Life

I’m linking up with Leslyn at Leslyn’s Lovely Life for her Mama Mondays link up.

On Saturday, Ella turned five (I’m not sure how that happened so fast!)  We had her birthday party at the Paragon Carousel in Hull, MA and she loved it!  She got to announce the start of the Birthday Ride on the Carousel:

Announcing the start of the ride – Paragon Carousel

Then everyone sang Happy Birthday! (The carousel is still open during the party and there was another party going on at the same time so there were LOTS of people singing!)

Listening to everyone sing Happy Birthday!

My husband made a beautiful carousel pony cake (even with a hurt back).

Cake

Birthday Cake

Behind Ella is the awesome banner I got from etsy.

Face Painting at Paragon Carousel

And of course the best way to end the party is with face painting.

The whole day exhausted both Ella and Ava which made for two cranky girls yesterday and this morning (which made for a cranky Mom too).  I’m hoping that now that we are back to our regular routine, they will settle down a bit.

We continued working on the laundry room, putting in two storage cabinets:

ESTATE by RSI 70.375-in H x 15-in W x 16.625-in D Wood Composite Multipurpose Cabinet

Laundry Room Cabinets – Estate by RSI at Lowe’s

and while we didn’t have time for a full “clean out” we did get rid of 6-8 bags of trash.  Which makes me wonder why I couldn’t just throw those items away to begin with.  I’ll share pictures later this week as we get the cabinets and other storage set up better (we were rushing because of Ella’s birthday).  I can’t wait to have a functioning space again!

Thanks for reading.

~Elizabeth

Sunday Social

Sunday Social

 I’m linking up with Ashley and Neely for their Sunday Social link up

1. What is your favorite magazine to read?

US Weekly but I never seem to read it.  I actually got a free subscription for a year from a product review site, but I’ve only read about a half dozen of them.  The rest either go to my Mom or I let the girls cut them up and make “art”.

US Weekly

 2. What is the best thing you’ve seen online lately?

I’ve posted this before but I love it.  I remember being in high school and college and thinking I was SO overweight.  If only I could lose 10 more pounds.  Now I’m about 20 pounds heavier than that.

I cannot stop laughing.

Maybe not fat, but still funny

3. Who is your favorite celebrity to follow on Instagram or Twitter?

I just realized that I don’t follow any celebrities on Twitter.  Guess I’ll be reading everyone else’s posts in the link up to find some good celebs to follow.
4. Is there one article of clothing no matter what the season you can’t help but love?

Yoga pants?  I think they are the one thing that I wear year round.  Always so comfy, especially for the “fat days” (see answer #2). :)

5. Do you prefer email or snail mail?

I prefer snail mail, but email is usually just easier.

Thanks for reading!

~Elizabeth

Stitch Fix September 2014

I just received my third Stitch Fix and was so excited!  If you aren’t familiar with Stitch Fix , you pay a $20 styling fee.  For that $20, you will receive five items chosen specifically for you based on your (pretty extensive) style profile.  You pay for the items you keep (and the $20 fee is deducted from your total).  It includes a postage paid envelope to return what you don’t want and if you keep everything, you save 25%.

I had received a Stitch Fix in June and was thrilled to get another earlier this month (you don’t need to subscribe, you can do a Stitch Fix as a one time event for the same price).  I had requested a jacket this time and clothes that I could wear to work (in an office) or on the weekend.

You need to check out on the Stitch Fix website within three days.

 

Stitch Fix First Look

Stitch Fix First Look

Stitch Fix Price List, Style Cards

Stitch Fix Price List, Style Cards

I love that my stylist referenced items on my Pinterest board and the notes I left when I checked out earlier this month.

Every Stitch Fix comes with a letter from your stylist, style cards showing you two ways to style the outfits and a prepaid bag to return your clothes.

The Clothes:

Coffeeshop Kennedi Knit Sleeve Cargo Jacket

Coffeeshop Kennedi Knit Sleeve Cargo Jacket

Coffeeshop Kennedi Knit Sleeve Cargo Jacket: $88.00

When I first saw this jacket, I thought it was completely not my style.  The more I look at this picture, the more I am liking it.  But I honestly don’t think it’s something I’d reach for often.  At $88.00, a jacket needs to be one I’ll wear each weekend.  MAYBE

Market and Spruce Bretnwood Jersey Stripe Tiered Top

Market and Spruce Brentwood Jersey Stripe Tiered Top

Market and Spruce Brentwood Jersey Stripe Tiered Top: $ 68.00

This is a shirt that I thought I would absolutely keep.  But, I don’t think it’s flattering enough for $68.00.  the shirt is extremely soft and a great length.  Maybe

41 Hawthorn Wrenn V-Neck Jersey Top

41 Hawthorn Wrenn V-Neck Jersey Top

41 Hawthorn Wrenn V-Neck Jersey Top: $48.00

On paper, this would be a great top for me.  I love the color, I love V-Necks and it can be dressed up or down.  But, it’s clearly too small and the cowl neck sits awkwardly.  RETURNED

Marekt and Spruce Alan Cowl Neck Asymmetrical Cardigan - Zipped

Marekt and Spruce Alan Cowl Neck Asymmetrical Cardigan – Zipped

Market and Spruce Alan Cowl Neck Asymmetrical Cardigan - Unzipped

Market and Spruce Alan Cowl Neck Asymmetrical Cardigan – Unzipped

Market and Spruce Alan Cowl Neck Asymmetrical Cardigan: $58.00

This was a jacket I had on my Pinterest board, but I really would have preferred a different color.  But, it’s so soft and cozy and I love the way it looks open.  The olive green is great for fall.  MAYBE

Margaret M Emer High Waisted Cropped Trouser

Margaret M Emer High Waisted Cropped Trouser

Margaret M Emer High Waisted Cropped Trouser: $98.00

When I first filled out my notes, I really needed more dress pants, but since then I took advantage of a 60% off sale at the Limited.  These pants have no buttons or zippers and really remind me of maternity pants.  Even though they are labeled cropped, the are full length on me (I did ask for pants I wouldn’t have to alter), but they really aren’t long enough for heels.  As much as I loved the fit (they were like the yoga pants of dress pants), I can’t spend $98.00 on an item I don’t really need or love.  RETURNED

Final Thoughts:

Even though it costs $20 to have the items chosen for me, I think it was well worth it.  I really like the Market and Spruce Cardigan and I have a couple other maybes on my list.  The cargo jacket is something I would have never tried on in a store, but it’s really growing on me.  Even if I don’t keep it, I’ve been introduced to some new styles I wouldn’t have considered on my own.

I received $360.00 of merchandise

They deduct the stylist fee ($20.00) from any item you purchase and a 25% discount (-$85.00) if you choose to keep it all.  The total to keep it all would be $255.00 for all five pieces.

Interested in trying Stitch Fix or just want to learn more?  Please use my referral link.  And if you get Stitch Fix I’d love to hear what you got.

~Elizabeth

This post contains referral links.

Friday Fave Five

Friday Fave Five

Friday Fave Five

I’m again linking up with Jennifer at Mom’s Got Mail for her Friday Fave Five blog hop.  Here are my five favorite things this week:

Favorite for Fashion:

Fitbit Bracelet for Fitbit Flex - EMILY Gold and Green Stone Fitbit Bracelet - FREE SHIPPING

FUNKtional Wearables Emily Bracelet

My bracelet from FUNKtional Wearables (available on etsy) arrived on Wednesday and I love it.  The fitbit flex fits inside a pouch in the bracelet, but my pouch had a little adhesive on the bottom and my fitbit wouldn’t slide all the way in.  I contacted the company and they were super responsive.  I love that it looks like a regular bracelet and not like you are wearing a cover over the plastic wristband.

Favorite Food:

Ben and Jerry’s

Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter World: I was trying to be good and eat light ice cream, but I found I was just eating more :) This is chocolatey, rich and has a good amount of peanut butter.  Much easier to portion control when the portion is satisfying.

Favorite for Kids:

The World of Eric Carle™Butterfly Top

Eric Carle at Gymboree

Gymboree has a line of Eric Carle inspired items.  The pajamas are adorable, but I couldn’t resist this tee for Ava.  The peplum bottom and little bow are so cute.  She’s very into this book right now and is loving her butterfly tee.

Favorite for Beauty:

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer: I got this from the PopSugar Sample Squad and it’s AMAZING!  Usually tinted moisturizer gives a little coverage, but this gives me great coverage and it feels so lightweight.  I’m not sure it would give great coverage for the winter, but it’s great for summer and weekends.  I just wish it wasn’t so expensive.

Favorite for Hair:

Davines Oi Conditioner

Davines OI Conditioner: I got this in my September Birchbox and love it.  My hair is light and soft but it controls the frizzies.

Thanks for checking out my favorites this week!

~Elizabeth

This post contains referral links. 

Citrus Lane September 2014 Review

Citrus Lane is a monthly box of goodies delivered to your door for your little one birth – age 5 and start at $29 (and decrease if you prepay).  We purchase our box for our youngest daughter who is 25 months.  Box contents are not themed but are different depending on age and gender.

Lately the Citrus Lane boxes have been a great value and we’ve used all the products that come in the box which makes the value even greater to me.

Our Citrus Lane  box came a week and a half ago.  I’ve been saying I was going to write the review but didn’t seem to get time to do it.  I had been feeling that Ava was recently getting stuff that was too young for her.  I’d rather put things away for Christmas or give them to Ella than have items we use for a couple months and then neither girl wants.   So this month, I increased her age from 2 years to 3 years to get items that are more appropriate for both girls.

First Look

First Look

The first look is always the same with the yellow tissue paper and the Citrus Lane  logo.

First Look (Again)

First Look (Again)

This box was really full, which I loved.

The Little Red Hen

The Little Red Hen

The Little Red Hen: $16.99

This is a book I remember from when I was little but we don’t own it.  It’s a little old for Ava, but she likes to point out the animals.  Ella was more into the actual story.  It has a great lesson and we’ve loved every book we’ve received from Barefoot Books.  (This book also came with a CD)

Somersaults Snack Pack

Somersaults Snack Pack

Somersaults Snack Pack: $.50

I’ll either eat this (I love these things) or give to Ella in her lunch.  They are a nut free product, so they are great for sending in lunch boxes to school.  They are also pretty filling and they taste good.

Boon Pieces

Boon Pieces

Boon Pieces Bath Puzzle: $9.99

I love Boon bath toys and I never would have tried them if it weren’t for subscription boxes.  We have similar foam bath “stickers” that are flowers and dress up, but this is a puzzle the girls can do together.  They have used it in and out of the tub every night since it arrived.  It’s great for Ava out of the tub because it’s foam so it has some “give” – she tends to try to slam pieces into the puzzles.

Melissa and Doug Shape Sorting Clock

Melissa and Doug Shape Sorting Clock

Melissa and Doug Shape Sorting Clock: $14.99

There are two colors of this on Amazon (one old and one new – I used the cheaper price since if I were buying one of these I’d buy the whichever color is cheaper.)  This looks great.  I will be saving this for Christmas – maybe for both girls.  The clock will be good for teaching Ella to tell time and Ava loves the shape puzzles and it will be good for learning her shapes, colors and numbers.  This item was a total win and the exact reason I increased the age of the box we are getting.

Final Thoughts: Subscriptions start at $29 a month, I paid about $15 for this box and received $42.47 worth of products.  Even though there were only four items,  I thought they were all great items and was very pleased with what we received.

To learn more about Citrus Lane or to sign up (don’t forget to use code SAVEHALF to get your first box for 50% off), click  here.

~Elizabeth

This post contains referral links.

Kiwi Crate Wonders of Water Review and Coupon Code

Ella is always thrilled Kiwi Crate sitting on our side steps and now that they are offering Koala Crate, Ava will be thrilled to see these boxes too! There are times when everyone receives the same box (except new subscribers) and times when different subscribers receive different themes for the month.  Kiwi Crate won’t send you a duplicate of a crate that you received in the past.

In July we received Wonders of Water.  I wasn’t going to post a review of this box since I never took pictures of the completed projects, but since some people could still receive this box, I decided to post the pictures I do have and review the projects anyway:

Every box includes an information card showing the projects that are included in the crate.

 

Wonders of Water

Wonders of Water

And new themes include a copy of Explore! magazine.  There’s usually a comic, some puzzles/mazes and something to draw plus instructions for additional activities you can do with supplies around your house.  Since this was an older theme there was no magazine.

My watercolor animals

My watercolor animals

My watercolor animals was a lot of fun.  They had tissue paper cut into the shape of different sea creatures that you colored with markers and then sprayed with water.  The girls had a lot of fun coloring (the messier the better), then we took them outside and sprayed them in the grass.  I love that not only did Kiwi Crate include a spray bottle (not everyone has one laying around), they also included a “Mess Mat” because this was a messy project.

My Floating Sailboat

My Floating Sailboat

My floating sailboat allowed you to make three sails for your boat and see how well they floated.  The girls got a little over enthusiastic with the paint so it took a couple days to dry.  There was one boat bottom, but a few sails so Ella made two and Ava made one.  They took them outside one afternoon and used  them in the water table in our backyard with my husband (no pictures).  Even with the extra paint, our boats still floated.

Both projects in this box needed adult supervision for a 5 year old and 2 year old, but they weren’t too complicated that the girls got frustrated.  No one enjoys a  project where Mom and Dad have to do all the work because they it’s too complicated for little hands.

I love that Kiwi Crate divides out the project materials so that you don’t have to go digging through.  It’s easy to pick up one project.   Also, the directions are written really well for kids.  Sometimes I find that directions are written for adults to help, but all the directions have pictures.  It’s great for Ella learning to follow directions and work independently.

For $19.95 we got two great crafts.  I love that they make things they can play with again and again.  It’s nice to make a picture and hang it up on the fridge, but I love that they are making their own toys and I love seeing how their imaginations further their play with the crafts.

Did you get the Kiwi Crate?  To learn more or sign up, click here.

~Elizabeth

This post contains referral links.

Kiwi Crate Glowing Animals Review and Coupon Code

Ella is always thrilled Kiwi Crate sitting on our side steps and now that they are offering Koala Crate, Ava will be thrilled to see these boxes too! There are times when everyone receives the same box (except new subscribers) and times when different subscribers receive different themes for the month.  Kiwi Crate won’t send you a duplicate of a crate that you received in the past.

In August we received Glowing Animals:

Glowing Animals Information Card

Glowing Animals Information Card

Every box includes an information card showing the projects that are included in the crate.

Explore! Magazine Glowing Animals

Explore! Magazine Glowing Animals

And they also include a copy of Explore! magazine.  There’s usually a comic, some puzzles/mazes and something to draw plus instructions for additional activities you can do with supplies around your house.

My Racing Jellyfish - The Supplies

My Racing Jellyfish – The Supplies

The first project we tackled was Racing Jellyfish.  Ella (5) was able to do this on her own, but Ava (2) needed help.  Since this was mostly stickers and tying, it was a good project to share with a younger sibling.

My Glowworm Friend - The Supplies

My Glowworm Friend – The Supplies

Ella made her glowworm friend herself.  I never got a picture of the completed project – she ran off with it to see how well it glowed and now it “lives” in her room.  Basically, the project included a glow in the dark sock, filling, elastics for making the worm and fabric markers for decorating.  Definitely one of the simpler projects.

Racing their jellyfish

Racing their jellyfish

I love that Kiwi Crate divides out the project materials so that you don’t have to go digging through.  It’s easy to pick up one project.   Also, the directions are written really well for kids.  Sometimes I find that directions are written for adults to help, but all the directions have pictures.  It’s great for Ella learning to follow directions and work independently.

For $19.95 we got two great crafts.  I love that they make things they can play with again and again.  It’s nice to make a picture and hang it up on the fridge, but I love that they are making their own toys and I love seeing how their imaginations further their play with the crafts.

Did you get the Kiwi Crate?  To learn more or sign up, click here.

~Elizabeth

This post contains referral links.

Thursday Thoughts

TTGood-copyI’m again linking up with Jennifer at Ramblings of a Suburban Mom for her Thursday Thoughts link-up.

~ We are in major organizing mode around here.  The laundry room update is in full swing.  The floor is finished.  Some of the beadboard is up and the storage cabinets are going in.  It will be really nice to get the “stuff” out of the family room and have a space for everything.

The laundry room - before

The laundry room – floor

Full post to come when we are done.

~Ella’s birthday is Saturday, which has turned into birthday week/cupcake week around here.  We made her “All About Me” birthday poster for school, she has cupcakes to bring to daycare tomorrow, she will bring cupcakes to school on Friday and then her party is Saturday.  I’m sick of cake just thinking about it.

All About Ella

All About Ella

~ Fall TV season is starting and I’m so excited!  Some shows have already started but my Tivo was pretty empty.

~ I am still on my etsy kick!  If you’ve never made a purchase there and you use my link, you’ll save $5 off your first purchase (full disclosure: I’ll also earn a $5 credit).  I got this bracelet for my fitbit:

FUNKtional Fitness Emily

I had a couple of questions/concerns and the owners were super responsive.  I know with small businesses there are sometimes more kinks, but as long as the owners are responsive and address questions/issues it doesn’t bother me.

And for Ella’s birthday party, I ordered this instant download for her favors:

Carousel Party - Thank you/Favor Tags - Instantly Downloadable File

Carousel Party – Thank you tags

Instant downloads on etsy have gotten so much better over the years.  It used to be that you had to wait for the shop owner to email the files to you.  Now, as soon as you buy the file is available in your etsy account for download.  Talk about instant gratification :)  Great for last minute people like me.

And before I forget, I got this beautiful banner for Ella’s party:

Lime Green & Pink Birthday Banner with Flowers

Birthday Banner

It’s just as beautiful and sparkly in person as it was in her photos!  I like to have a banner for each girl’s birthday (I’ve kept them all).  I used to make them, but I either spent WAY more than buying them because I didn’t have the needed supplies or my banner didn’t look as nice as I wanted it to.

~ This was a slow box week (which is great because I don’t have a lot of time) but I put up my September Birchbox review and I have two Kiwi Crate reviews and a Citrus Lane review coming this weekend.

What’s on your mind this week?

~Elizabeth

This post contains referral links.

Finish This…

finishthis-linkupbutton

I’m linking up today for the Finish This… hosted by  LISA (COASTLINED), JEN (The Arizona Russums), BECKY (The Java Mama) and NICOLE (Three 31).  Basically, they provide the prompts and I have to finish the sentences.

My relationships thrive because

I put everything I have into them.  I won’t give up on a relationship until long after I should have.  I’m one of those people who has a few very close friends instead of a lot of friendships that aren’t very deep.

My favorite piece of advice

I’ve said it before, but always wear a dark bra under a dark shirt :)  I know I’ve forgotten a few times and arrived at work only to realize that under the fluorescent lights you can see more than intended.

My worst habit

 

is stress eating.  I had a horribly stressful week last week and definitely ate too much.  When I stress eat I don’t reach for anything nutritious, so it ends up effecting my mood and my sleep.  And, I counteract everything I’ve done at the gym.  Suggestions?

Yum! (In moderation)

Thanks for reading!

~Elizabeth