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Little Man Style

I love dressing Liam. I hate when people say there's never anything cute for little boys. I especially love that he's at the age where he doesn't yet have a say in what he wears so I keep it one of two ways: Little Gentleman Preppy or Funky-Funny-Fresh. 

Just Ride sweats: Liam is wearing these sweats right now with the T-Rex skateboarding tee. I saw these at the store and had to immediately get them. I paid full price but it looks like if you get them online they're cheaper! 

Regulators Tee: I love this shop. I've actually purchased a lot of items from them including the 'sippy cup', mini van tee, and more. Check them out, but only if you like 90's rap and have a sense of humor. 

Jordan High Tops: My friend bought Liam these shoes for his birthday they're an instant favorite in our house. I want him to wear them everywhere but somehow keep them bright white at the same time... 

Sperry Shoes: I can't get enough of these for myself and Liam. I love mine and need more.  He outgrew his first pair I got him and even though he has MORE THAN ENOUGH shoes (see this post here for proof - he does indeed have all those shoes in the layout) I can't help but want to get him a new pair, maybe in navy. 

Muted Camo Pullover: Oh my what can I say about this company? I'm in love with every single thing they make for girls and boys. I just wish they'd make this sweater in my size because it's so soft. 

T-Rex Skateboarding Tee: I bought this at H&M and paid full price, just like the jogger pants, they're on sale online right now! Don't wait! 

Poplin Pants: I don't own these yet but will definitely purchase in all 3 colors because the price can't be beat. These can either be long or cuffed up then buttoned to become capris. Perfect if you size up and don't want your little dude tripping over his long pants. 

Sweater: Are you guys getting mini Scott Disick vibes with this sweater as well? 

And of course..... my favorite shirt of all: 

My shirt I made!  Shop here. Just $20



Life Lately

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Liam turned two last week so we had a Cars Birthday party on Saturday and went to Chuck E. Cheese on his actual birthday. The party didn't stop there because two days after his birthday we had a little stay-cation. We rented a hotel near town so we could swim, order room service, watch movies, and eat popcorn. 

Olivia: Hey look! They have candy! (When spotting the vending machine)
Me: Keep moving

We went to dinner at Pizzeria Pezzo which was honestly the best pizza I've had since New York City. I ate at Lombardi's in NYC years ago and have been picky about pizza ever since because Lombardi's was SO.DEL.IC.IOUS.  I've had pizza when I went to Italy and still couldn't top New York's. I'm very picky and Little Caesars and Pizza Hut just never do it for me. If you're in the area try the #10. I saw ricotta and goat cheese and was immediately sold. The kids were given little plates with pizza dough and flour so they could pretend to make their own dough. Very cute. 

There was a group of 8 year old girls in the pool when we were in there having a birthday party and Liam promptly crashed the party. They seemed to like him so it was all good. 

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Since my kids are so deprived and never get anything the fun still doesn't stop there. We booked our trip to California to go to Disney Land in 2.5 weeks. Very spontaneously. The kids have been to Disney World numerous times and we have to go to 'Land because they have this: 

Liam's going to shriek "Cars" over and over and over the entire time we're in Radiator Springs. I'm sure of it. 
We're going to pick Olivia up from school and head straight to the airport not telling them where we're going until we get there. Stay tuned because I'll blahhhhhhgggg alllllllll about it. 

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Olivia and I went shopping this weekend for our dresses for our friends' wedding. Matron of Honor gown and a flower girl dress. I'll leave it to you to figure out which is whom. 

Can you spot the overly proud, obnoxious, mama-razzi? 

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Our Super Bowl party is this weekend which is our biggest party ever. This will be 10 years (I think??) of Rich and I hosting it. We go big. Stay tuned. Plenty of Soup-Herb-Bowl recipes and decorations coming your way you lucky reader, you. 

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Saturday we're going to another annual celebration: the giant tree burning festival at my friends' uncle's house on the lake. Last year: 

Minnesotan-Red Neck Life: fires, party, snow mobiles, beers, all on the lake. 
There's a full bar in a heated tent, band, and more. Her uncle knows how to throw a party!

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In two months my gals and I will be taking a girls' weekend. We're renting a huge house in Duluth for my pal's bachelorette party! 
Do I ever sit still? Nope. 

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Is anyone else ready to quit Facebook? So ready. 

Linking up with Andrea and Karli 

Cars Birthday

A couple weeks ago we celebrated Liam's birthday with a Disney Cars themed fiesta. There were a total of 7 kids that all had a great time as evidenced by high pitched shrieking shrills.

7 kids ages 3 and under. Everybody needed naps after

I grabbed a cheap pack of stickers to add to the name tags. 
When I have things printed on heavier paper I always go with Staples and have it printed on 8 point glossy. 

If you need cookies for any event at all, go with PetesCustomCookies 
He packages the cookies individually with great care so they arrive intact. Not only do they look awesome, and he does custom orders(see how it says "Liam" instead of "Cars" in the logo) but they taste great and melt in your mouth. 
Seriously, check him out. 

Background is just a cheap plastic tablecloth taped to the wall. Happy Birthday sign from the free printable link above.
Yes, this photo is giving me serious vertigo too. 

Handmade cake.
I kid. I kid. Store bought all the way. 

Don't tell the kids but we're surprising them with a trip to DisneyLand next month!
We've done Disney World many times but Disney Land in Cali has the Disney Cars exhibit. 

Happy Birthday Bud! 

! TWO !

 Only 5 days late to this one but this big guy turned TWO on the 24th. As a baby he was the easiest. As a toddler morphing into a young child he's pretty darn good at testing our patience with his insane rowdiness. I feel terrible sometimes with how exhausted he makes me. 

He's a dare-devil who will test how many stairs he can jump down at one time. To be fair, I did that as a kid. However, I was probably 8 or 9 ---- NOT TWO! 
No jump is too big, no Liam is too small. 
You can find him on top of the table, crawling in and out of his crib, somehow on top of the counter tops red handed with his hand in the cookie jar, and tumbling down stairs without making a peep.
He falls so much that I swear (!) he never ever cries about it. 

He's almost always in need of a clean shirt within 15 minutes of getting him dressed. 
His hobbies include Cars, Paw Patrol, and making his older sister cry. 
Olivia loves lining up all her princesses and Liam waits for the perfect moment to run over and kick them all over sending her into a fit of screams while he runs away laughing. 
She'll tell you all about it, even up until 10th grade, I'm sure of it. 

Rich and I are frequently told by a blubbering Olivia that "he... he... he... he was MEAN to me" pointing to a toothy-grinned Liam. 

His word-stock isn't very large but (I kid you not) he can clear as day say "I want a cookie". That's his only sentence. No joke. He does say "tay-too" to thank you. His sister is "Wibby" and Biscuit is referred to as "boo-boos". 
"peas"   please
"suze-ya"   excuse you
shriek-screams-that-hurt-your-ears   = I want that and you told me no

When I get home from school or grocery shopping he's the first to come bolting to the door with his arms out shouting Mama! Mama! diving into me with a huge hug. 
He snuggles into my chest saying "cozy" and "much" which means I love you so much. 

Nearly every photo we have of this kid he's smiling with his big toothy grin so hard that his eyes squint which is exactly how Rich smiled as a kid. 

Happy Belated Dude. 

Hey Hey You You

If you can finish that song we can officially be friends. #ByTheWayWhereIsAvril ? 

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I'm dusting off the blog and coming out of my study-cave. I'm in school full time again so my days consist of studying, writing papers, looking up to yell "stop hitting your sister!", and hiding behind stacks and stacks of books. 

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Olivia and I went to the Princess Ball a few weeks ago and I *may* do a full post on that. Time-willing. How cute is she with Cinderella? All the princesses were there and a few of them sang the songs from their movies or shows and we were all blown away that not only did the princesses look just like the movie princesses, but they could sing just like them too! 

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This weekend is Liam's birthday party. If you ask him how old he's turning he enthusiastically throws up 5 fingers saying "two". Stay tuned for another birthday-party post. If you're new here I have a tab on the top of the page dedicated to my parties. 

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Last weekend was our organization's annual convention. My handsome husband was voted into the chairs meaning in 4 years he'll be President of the Midwest Showmen's Association. I know he'll do wonderful things for our club. He already organizes so much in order to raise money for charity and has big plans to fundraise even more. 

The kids have a blast convention weekend because we swim, there's dozens of kids to hang out with, there was a magician, a painting day, and balloon twisters. 

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I've had people email and Facebook me asking if I'm still taking Thrive. The answer is yes, yes, yes, oh yes. How else could I run the house, take care of kids, take 18 credits, organize the charity events we're doing, plan birthday parties, and just overall not-die
This stuff allows me to do it all. 
Lemme know if you want more information
and yes, I still drink my iced coffee everyday with it. 

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It's finally happening! I've wanted a sliding barn door four master bedroom leading into our master bath and Rich just picked up the materials to make it happen. This is his current home-project. Up next for me is to have the house painted a bright crisp white and get rid of the yellowish-alabaster. 

Not our door, but will be similar 

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Are we bored with my Bachelor recaps? Should I keep doing it??? 

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I finished reading The Girl On The Train and couldn't put it down. What's next? I have my eyes on this or this. 

Shoes for Picky Kids

My kids have more than enough pairs of shoes. It's a little absurd how large their caboodle is. Is it my first day ever parenting on Earth? Sometimes I act like it but honestly, most of their shoes, especially the pricy ones are gifts from family and friends. I think the most I ever spent on shoes were Liam's Sperry's that I got at Famous Footwear with a sturdy stock of coupons. 

Olivia is very picky about what goes on her feet. She's also very independent and insists on dressing herself. Needless to say we try to avoid anything with ties for her- for now. 

Liam is obsessed with "sues" and has more "sues" than he needs. He's growing like crazy so I really try not to spend much on his "sues". I was chatting with my friend the other day who is a pediatrician (so she knows kids) and she saw that Liam was wearing 4T-5T socks. She asked what size shoe he wears and when I said "9" her jaw hit the floor.
He's a big boy! He's obsessed with cars and for the most part wears his Uggs (that were a gift!) or his Cars crocs. 

I bought him those Cars slippers for Christmas for just $6! He can take them on and off himself and since they're slippers there is no "wrong" foot. For playgrounds or public spaces he usually wears his Nikes. I have my hungry eyes on those navy suede high tops for him especially because they're so cheap. 

I know I just said we avoid ties for Olivia but these New Balance tennis shoes just slip right on and off for her. Great for pre-school play.

She has a few pairs of simple black Mary Janes that go with nearly everything. I have to make her wear tennis shoes to school because she insists on wearing "pretty" shoes or anything glittery or "princess-y".

I found those unicorn slippers and ordered them ASAP, especially because they're under $15.

She loves her pink ugg boots. Again - a gift. I could never spend that much on shoes for my kids. When these lovelies showed up in the mail a few months ago I squealed with excitement.

What shoes do you swear by for your kids? I genuinely love hearing what works and doesn't from other parents. I love Crocs for Liam. Easy on, easy off and they come in tons of fun characters and patterns.


New Year, New Me. Right? I know. I know. Resolutions are great for about a month then you break them all. Me too. However, I usually always set them. I figure if I share them here I'll really stick to them. Last year I told myself to get better at cooking and baking and I actually accomplished that. I screwed up an ample amount of dishes along the way but just the other day I made home made lasagna and Rich commented on how great my cooking has become. Sure the smoke alarm still goes off here and there but hey, progress - not perfection. 

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Lose weight. Blah blah blah. I joke that I still need to get rid of my baby weight all the time. My baby is going to be two in two weeks. Oops. I just finished week one of Kayla Itsine's Beach Body Guide. Everything hurts but I'm glad it does. I forget what I paid for the entire workout plan ($60?) but you can find most of the workouts on Pinterest. Follow my board here where I pin workouts as I see them online.

Need inspiration? Some of my favorite real life BBG'ers on Instagram: @jaeatleta @mysweatlife @activelyrees

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Finish school. Why go back at 32? I was pursuing nursing when I was in my early 20s. I was working at a hotel front desk at the time. I'd been doing it for a few years and was promoted to sales coordinator. I was still doing school but my new position and new pay slowly began to take priority over classes. Eventually I was promoted a few more times over the years until I eventually was Director of Front Office of a 400+ room hotel. I was making bank while the rest of my friends still had "high school" jobs finishing college. I was working long long hours and stopped going to school at some point during all the promotions. Well the hotel was sold to a new company that laid off all the management and brought in their own. I was job-less and behind in schooling. Rich and I were dating and he told me to quit the hotel business and join him on the road as a carnie. The idea of having winters off to travel was enough to convince me to join him.

I even went back to hotels working as a sales manager a few years later because I hate being bored --- even though I wasn't fully in love with it. Olivia was born and I decided to be a stay at home mom. 3.5 years later and I'm still bored. I love studying and learning and want to pursue what I started over 10 years ago.
I'm doing the medical assisting program starting this coming Monday just while I finish the rest of my pre-reqs for the nursing program.

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Start saying NO more. I get it from my dad. I tell him all the time he needs to say no more but neither of us can help it. When someone needs something we do it. I fill my plate all too often and stress myself out. My family and school take #1 priority.

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Don't get pregnant

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Fill up the gas tank more and stop ignoring the dinging. 
Remember that scene in ghost when Whoopi's body was taken over by Swayze? I feel like as I typed that sentence above that my husband - who is very much alive - took over my typing hands and wrote that himself. 

It drives him nuts when every time he gets in our van the tank is nearly empty. But I'm usually late for something and I forget. 

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So let's add Stop being late to the list.
Even though I've already failed at this one a number of times a mere 7 days into 2017. 

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Grow this little ol' blog into something bigger. So comment, pin, share, etc. otherwise I'll give up blogging. Sharing is caring people. 
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Mondays Are Fun Again!

It's been long awaited. By me at least. Nick is the bachelor and I'm so happy we have an interesting bachelor/ette again. Sure Luke is hot but how boring would that season be? 

Let's watch together, shall we? 

Nick reminds us that he is indeed endearing and adorable with all his flaws like mumbling, covering his mouth when he talks, and not making eye contact. 

Reminds me of... well, me. Eye contact is terrifying. 

We saw how he was runner up with both Andi and Kaitlyn and had his heart broken on live tv-twice. Now he doesn't seem like a villain and seems more like one of those cold, sad, shaking dogs on those Sarah McLachlan commercials that you want to adopt and take home and cuddle. 

^^^ I didn't even edit that. If you google ASPCA commercials, that pops right up. Dying of a broken heart. I'll be right back. Gotta go adopt Blondie. 

No-brows, Farmer Giggles, and Peter Brady met with Nick to give him advice on his season. I think Sean may be the only one to give good advice. He's the only married-family-man of the bunch. Don't even get me started on how terrible and fake Ben and Lauren's spin off show was. Who do I need to send a strongly worded email to about getting Kaitlyn and Shawn their own show? 

First we got to know super normal girls, Michelle the lawyer, and then: 

HairGoals. If you're a new recapper here you should know I rename most contestants as we get to know them. 

Up next who I think will take it all is Vanessa. Or, Perfection. 

She speaks English, French, and Italian and is a special needs teacher. The winner this season? MeThinksSo

We then get the privilege to meet Josephine. Or as I like to call her, EyeRolls. Because I can't help but roll my eyes when she's on my screen. 

She's a nursing student 

She wears glasses when she's in her uniform because she's SUPER SMART GUYS. She then talks about freaking out over Nick and then talks to seals (not navy seals, actual seals that live in the sea) about whether he's the right guy. After meowing to her cat for a solid 10 seconds. 

Remember in my bachelor drinking game when I talked about a contestant who gave REALLY stupid answers, specifically the fruit question.... this is her. 

We then meet Corinne. She lives in Miami and "owns a business". Her parents actually own the business and she lives with them and I'm sure they just give her a task to do to feel important. She says Corinne's world is "glamorous" and she considers herself a "very serious business owner". 
Oh.... and she has a NANNY! No no no, she doesn't have children of her own. Her nanny is for her. 
This earns her the title:  SheChild. I'm calling it now, she's definitely the bitch. 

Up next is Alexis. Who I love. She's weird and those are my kind of people. I was watching the show with friends and almost immediately one of my friends said, "that's you, Teri"

Falling off a playground

Falling off a hammock wearing a sumo costume. 

When she meets Nick she shows up wearing a "dolphin" costume which is actually a shark costume but she's sure it's a dolphin. She gives no f*$^ and didn't care that the girls were making fun of her at the house. 

Danielle M is next who Rich picked to win it all. She's 5'10", beautiful, sweet, and has my dream job: she's a neonatal nurse. 

She's perfection. She's our new Becca. Sweet and southern. I think she may be too nice for Nick. I'm going start making my "Danielle M for Bachelorette" buttons now. 

Liz the Doula met Nick at Jade and Tanner's wedding. She was the maid of honor and oh-so-subtly (note the sarcasm) said they hooked up that night. 

Limo time

I'll skip the normals and just talk about the stand-outers. We don't watch this show for the normal level headed contestants. Give us the conductors of the crazy trains.

Quick recap of what 90% of the girls said:
- "I'm so glad it's you"
- "See you inside"
- "So nervous" 
- "4th times the charm" 

This one came out holding a fan in front of her mug and waved her arm twice before throwing the fan on the ground. "How crazy do you think I am right now?" she asked Nick. 
Watch out guys! We have a crazy one. 
I think she misread what I said above. I want drunk-crazy, mean-crazy, bitchy-crazy. Not waving-your-arm-with-a-fan "crazy".
Lame. Moving on.

Taylor told Nick that all her friends said "he's a complete piece of shit" 
Nick responded with ".....okay"
Then there was awkward silence and shrugging and she went inside.
Great first impression there, Taylor! 

Lauren and Nick have an unfortunate coincidence: they both have terrible last names. Nick Viall and her last name is Hussie. She said together they were a disgusting slut
Do I smell a wedding hashtag for them??? 

Rather than coming out of a limo, Sarah ran to Nick in sneakers because.... runner up. We get it. He lost twice. This was actually pretty clever because now she doesn't have to wear heels all night. If I was in shape like her I'd so do this but since I'm not I'd probably charge at him like a buffalo huffing and puffing pausing to breathe with my hands on my knees halfway through the driveway. 

One gal brought Neil Lane the diamond guy

I should say the Producers brought Neil Lane and she was the lucky (crazy?) one to present him to a stunned Nick. 

That awkward moment when someone you porked at a wedding comes out of one of the limos but you're not quite sure you remember her: 

God that was cringe-worthy. 

After she went inside Nick stood there dumbfounded looking around wondering just how he knew her. 

Adorable Danielle M came out later with a homemade gift, maple syrup. Can she get any cuter? 

She fed Nick and the poor thing was shaking like a leaf.

This one. Ugh.

She said Nick had balls and wanted to show him hers. She dug around her boogers to expose a nose ring. 

But not quite as awkward as EyeRolls meeting Nick and asking if he wanted to "Lady and the Tramp" a hot dog with her.

Dear Nick, please keep this hot dog eating, meowing, basket case around for a long time.
Love, Everyone who watches this show. 
When she's eventually booted from this show I know we'll see her on Bachelor In Paradise. 

Everyone in the house was whining that everyone was wearing a red dress and now they won't stand out. 

The shark/dolphin costume doesn't seem so bad now does it? 

Another lady in red showed up riding on a camel. 
Her to Nick: I heard you like a good hump. And so do I. 

Out came crazy town, and I say that in a loving way: 

She said she dolphinately can't wait to get to know him. I knew we'd be insta-friends because I knew right away that was a Kroll Show reference. 

She drank, danced, and eh eh eh eh eh eh-ed through the night. My people. 

She'll be joining EyeRolls for the next Bachelor In Paradise for sure.

You know the drill for the next half hour. The women talk about each other, the steal him from each other. They stare at the first impression rose. Same old. Corrine, or SheChild, gets more than enough time with him and steals him from Vanessa to make out with him. 

Like, middle school make out. Sloppy and obnoxious. Then her nanny came out of the bushes and made them sandwiches. 

The women kept fighting for Nick's time and joined packs to hunt him down

Not even an hour into the show and we got our first cryer: 

You've known him for 20 minutes girl, pull yourself together. 
While dolphin shark got drunk and cursed. 

and went swimming

Liz and Nick had a sit down together and he did indeed remember her. Or the producers reminded him to remember so he wouldn't look like a jackass.

It got awkward, fast. She said it wasn't until after watching BIP that she saw a new him. The problem is, BIP was AFTER they hooked up. Nick quickly responded with "what wait?...." before they were interrupted. 

The very coveted first impression rose went to Rachel, the lawyer from Texas. 

She seems normal so I approve. Good job Nick. (Because I just know deep down inside he reads this little ol' blog to check for my opinion)

Up next was the world's longest rose ceremony. Though I know I've said that before, about just about every rose ceremony. Dolphin Shark got a rose 

Nick said she made him laugh all night but her costume is actually a shark. 
She then slurred "I'm..... a dolphin..." 
Not making any of this up. 

The final rose went to OneNightStand. That means we lost 5-ish or so girls that we won't ever remember. They said goodbye to their 15 minutes of fame Nick and the girls never to be heard from again. 

Get ready Bachelor Nation! This looks like it'll be a good one!

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