Friday, July 31, 2015

Five on Friday: {July 31, 2015}

Happy last day of July Gals! Can you believe tomorrow kicks off the last month of summer?! The next couple weeks are completely jam packed for me, as summer tends to be, and I'm hoping to soak up as much sun as possible because before we know it we'll be breaking out our scarves and obsessing over pumpkin everything! Tonight we're headed to a wedding for one of GG's high school friends and then into the city on Sunday to celebrate a brand new little one from one of his dental school friends. So definitely a fun weekend ahead and to kick things off, I'm sharing my five favorites of the week!

Little M's First Haircut

This past weekend was a very hard mommy moment for me - Little M had his very first haircut! I've been fighting it for weeks now (I wasn't ready to say goodbye to his little baby curls in the back!), but he's nearing his 2nd birthday and his little flyaways were getting pretty unruly so I gave in and headed to the mall on Sunday.

He was so well behaved - I think the police car really helped since he LOVES cars

That is of course, after he refused the smock (and we of course gave in and let him take it off)

But he sat like a good boy and let the hairdresser snip snip off all of the strays, until he became a little man! I swear he looks like he's ready for college with this big boy haircut!

A couple tears may have been shed (more so by GG than me!), but none from Little M, so we treated him to a train ride

And some ice cream for being such a good little big boy! And just a side note - a HUGE thank you to Red Mango for offering non-dairy chocolate ice cream! Little M is allergic to dairy and to be able to still treat him with ice cream makes my mommy heart very happy!

Favorite new song on repeat

I'm beyond obsessed with this new song from A Great Big World! Have you heard it yet - if not, I suggest you give a listen immediately because it's so, so good!

Naked Smoky Palette

Kate recently posted about some blogger blame purchases which totally resonated with me, especially since I just purchased something that I blame on her influence - haha! We recently took part in a giveaway that Kate organized for a Naked Smoky Palette and after lusting after it just a little too much, I broke down and bought myself one! I'm so excited to play around with it properly, but I'm already completely in love with it!

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

So I know I'm SUPER late to the party on this one, but I finally checked out Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix and am totally obsessed! So obsessed that GG and I easily polished off the whole first season in a weekend! It's completely silly and nonsense, but with a terrific cast - if you're a fan of 30 Rock or Mindy Project, then you'll love this! I'm in love with Titus and apparently I'm not the only one since he nabbed an Emmy nod so definitely check out this series if you haven't yet!

My baby sister turned 21!

If you follow us on Instagram then you probably saw the party pic, but I just wanted to give one final shout out to my baby sister Kelsey who celebrated her 21st birthday this week! We celebrated on Saturday night with a big party, and besides the fact that I felt like a million years old compared to all of her friends, I had the best time and was so excited to help her celebrate with some many cocktails!

Even though we're 12 years apart (please do not do the math!) I consider her one of my closest friends and we truly have a special bond. So this last one goes out to you, Kelsey - Happy, Happy Birthday and I'm so happy I got to celebrate this fun milestone with you (and thank you for letting this old gal celebrate into the wee hours of the night with you and all of your friends!). Love you!

What are all of you gals up to this weekend?!

Cheers to April, AmandaJennieKarliClare, Rebecca, Katie, Heather, and Tif for hosting today's link-ups!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Party Planner: 2nd Annual Pop Star Palooza

It's Britney('s birthday), bitch.
One of my favorite things to do is dress up in costumes since it's so much fun to walk in someone else's shoes for the night (especially when they are very sparkly heels!). My good friend (and TSN guest blogger) J is a Britney Spears fanatic and a lover of all things pop culture, so it made perfect sense when he threw himself a pop star themed party for his birthday last year. Everyone had such a blast that it became an annual tradition, so we all recently suited up for the 2nd annual Pop Star Palooza!

My celeb costume: Ariana Grande
I previously shared some tips on how to throw your own pop star party, so here is an updated list of recommendations with some additions from this year.

Ginger Spice and Jason Mraz

* Have everyone sign up for a particular pop star. In order to ensure no duplicates, everyone emailed J (aka Britney) in advance with the pop star of his/her choice, and Britney sent periodic emails to the group (in character) letting us know which stars would be in attendance. Since we didn't know which guests would be portraying each star, it added a fun element of surprise to the party to see who was playing who. From classic divas like Dolly Parton to It Girl Jessie J, it was fantastic to have a wide variety of stars represented!

Britney and Beyonce
* Go all out on your costume...really. As the guest of honor, J had a lot to live up (especially after dazzling last year in Britney's iconic rhinestone-encrusted bodysuit), but he once again delivered a classic Britney look in the form of her shiny red catsuit. Even his highlighted wig is totally on-point! I had a difficult time narrowing down my look since Ariana Grande is frequently decked out in many different girly, glitzy outfits so I watched several of her videos before deciding to recreate her look from "Problem" - the white go-go boots were definitely the key piece in tying it all together.

Britney and Adam Lambert
* Set up a photo wall. The lime green wall mixed with the classic brick created a fun, unexpected backdrop that was totally Instagram-worthy.
Ariana and Ginger Spice
* Build a killer playlist of pop hits. This one is obviously a MUST. It was particularly fun when "our" songs came on the playlist, since it led to some impromptu performances!
* Hold a lip synch battle. This one will depend on how outgoing your group is (though if they're willing to dress up as pop stars, chances are that they're willing to play along with this, too!). We competed against each other in lip synch battles that got pretty intense - facial expressions, lyrics knowledge, and dance skills all count!
* Serve some special snacks that fit the theme. There is no way that Britney would ever throw a party without her beloved Cheetos, so of course we had to have a big bowl of those orange treats at her birthday party!
T and me...70s Elton John and Ariana Grande definitely make an unexpected celeb couple!
* Serenade the guest of honor with his/her most famous song. All celebrities like to be reminded of their greatest hits, right? "Happy birthday" is too pedestrian and played out for a star of Britney's caliber, so we honored Britney's glory days by singing "Hit Me Baby One More Time" as she blew out her candles.

Dolly Parton and Ginger Spice
If you were attending a pop star party, which celebrity would you be?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

DIY Skinny Hazelnut Frappuccino Recipe

Hey Gals! You know I love a good Starbucks hack, so today I have for you a delicious and skinny(!) frappuccino recipe you can make right in your own home! I've been seeing recipes pop up all over Pinterest so I could resist trying out my own version - especially since I recently got a great deal on a bunch of sugar-free Toroni syrups.

To start, I made 2 shots of espresso with my beloved Nespresso machine, though coffee would also work great.

Then, I filled my cup about half way with almond milk, and added in a swig of my sugar free hazelnut syrup.

Last, I just topped with ice, and then threw into my blender for a couple seconds and it was ready to go!
Nice and frothy just like the real thing, but way cheaper, and practically guilt free! And after seeing how easy this was to whip up, I know these are going to be on heavy rotation in my house for the rest of the summer! I'm thinking next time I need to come up with a hack for their s'mores frap!

Are you a frappuccino fan?! Any other combos I should try out?

Linking up today with EmilyJennifer JuniperKaryn, KristenEmilyMandyMaryJessicaMandySusanLisa, and Natasha!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Five on Friday {July 24, 2015}

Image source

TGIF! This has been a particularly fun-filled week, as T and I have been getting more and more settled into our new apartment and neighborhood. The week kicked off with the second annual Pop Star Palooza (post with full party details coming soon), and now it's closing with another costume party since I'll be attending a Roaring 20s birthday celebration tomorrow night. The coming week shows no signs of slowing down since T and I will be jetting off to Atlanta towards the end of the week - if anyone has any must-do Atlanta activities or restaurant recommendations, please send them my way! As we kick off the weekend, here's a look back at some of my favorite posts from the past week:

Favorite recipes
Image via Turquoise and Teale
I've been trying to focus on cooking more and sticking to a weekly meal plan, so I love all of the recipe inspiration that I've discovered through other blogs! Some favorites from the week include these ranch cheddar chicken thighs pictured above by Turquoise and Teale, a shaved brussel sprout salad with crispy prosciutto by Champagne & Suburbs, and Caprese garlic bread by The New Mrs.

Favorite party
Image via Reasons to Come Home

Few things make me happier than a theme party with lots of cute details, so this raindrop baby sprinkle featured at Reasons to Come Home definitely made me smile. I especially love the fabric banner and the cloud-shaped cupcake toppers!

Favorite purchase
Image via Peaches in a Pod
I've recently discovered that I have a pineapple print addiction (please, send help), so as much as I tried to resist the Nordstrom sale, I couldn't hold off any longer once I saw this pineapple shirt over at Peaches in a Pod!

Favorite cocktail

I'm loving this Blackberry Mint Ginger Fizz by Grey is the New Black - such a great flavor combo, and you just can't beat a refreshing, fizzy cocktail in this summer heat!

Favorite nail polish
Image source

This pineapple cup/confetti nails combo from Ricky's appeared on our Instagram earlier this week (if you're not following us yet, check out our feed!). The nail polish is called Coney's Sprinkle Cones, which is perfect since it definitely makes us want to stroll a boardwalk which licking some vanilla soft-serve, topped with a generous heaping of rainbow sprinkles!

Wishing a very happy weekend to y'all (see, this Yankee is practicing for Atlanta!).

Cheers to April, AmandaJennieKarliClare, Rebecca, Katie, Heather, Farrah, Leanne, and Tif for hosting today's link-ups!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Family Beach Day Essentials

Hitting up the beach is one of my very favorite summer activities, and I try to escape to the shore whenever possible. Now that I have a little one in tow, getting all packed up can be a pretty daunting task, and it’s often a fine line between over packing and forgetting some must haves. Today I wanted to share my favorite beach day essentials, which have kept our sanity during the last couple trips to the beach.

 I remember last summer I distinctly fell into the latter category of under packing. On our very first outing to the beach with Little M, we pretty much packed like it was just two adults going to the beach, plus our diaper bag filled with his normal necessities of bottles, diapers and a change of clothes. It was basically a disaster waiting to happen, so thank goodness the friends that we went with were waaaayyy more well versed than us and let us borrow all of their stuff throughout the day.
My little bathing beauty - super cute, but definitely doesn't travel light!
1. Stroller – Little M is our little champion sleeper, but god help us if he doesn’t get his daily nap! While I love nothing more than to doze off on the beach, he usually is too distracted by all of the fun surroundings to actually fall asleep and take his nap on the beach. So we usually end up taking him for a walk on the boardwalk in his stroller around nap time, and within 10-15 minutes, he’s out cold. We try to plan this around lunchtime, so we actually get to have a peaceful sit down meal while he snoozes away in his stroller! So while it may be a bit of a pain to lug the stroller out to the beach, we are so, so thankful we have it at our disposal for nap time!
Thank you stroller for letting Mommy and Daddy have a peaceful lunch!
2. Sunscreen - Another must have, and after Lindsay raved about the Babyganics line, I checked it out myself and it's been our summer go-to!

3. Blow-up pool – This is one of those items that seemed like total nonsense to me in my pre-child days, but now is probably my number 1 must have, especially if you have a toddler. The one we bought was perfect since it's just big enough to keep Little M amused and cool, but doesn't take forever to fill (see also #4!), plus you can't beat the 8.99 price!

4. Baby powder – Did you know that baby powder is basically sand’s kryptonite?! This was a recent discovery, and was amazed that a couple shakes of baby powder will completely clean sand off of you! So now we never head to the beach without it.  We’ll douse Little M in it when changing his diaper on the beach, and then again before getting into the car. Plus, is there anything better than a sweet smelling baby powdered baby?!

5. Assorted beach toys – This one is a bit of a no brainer, but I figured I’d share my favorite set of beach toys that we have. The plus to this set is the large bucket that fits all of the rest of the toys. Not only is it a handy way to keep everything all together, but it also helps get that baby pool I mentioned above filled up more quickly! You’d be surprised how long it takes to fill up that little baby pool with just a couple inches of water, so the bigger the bucket, the less the number of trips back and forth to the ocean are required.

6. Extra sippy cups – This is another one we learned the hard way after having to clean a sandy, salty sippy cup off one too many times. Always pack a couple of back-ups, so you can be sure your little one has a fresh and clean sippy cup to keep them hydrated in the hot sun. These Munchkin Click Lock Cups are some of my faves since the straw retracts inside when closed and is actually spill proof.

7. Crocs - Crocs are a summer staple in our house, but especially at the beach. They somehow always magically stay on his feet, and are so easy to rinse off after a messy day in the sand.

8. Beach Cart – And last but certainly not least is our favorite beach cart. This was another live and learn situation, after having GG nearly break his back trying to carry all of our bags and accessories, while trying to wrangle a baby! We load this baby up and wheel it onto the beach, then once it’s time to go home, it conveniently folds up taking up hardly any of the space in the car. I love this one, though there are tons of great options available on Amazon.

What are your family beach necessities?

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