Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A couple fun + unique father's day finds!

Love this picture!

So I don't know about all of you, but it sure is hard to figure out what to buy for the daddy for Father's Day...  This time is even more difficult, because not only do I have to find something for my daddy, but also it is Lee's very first Father's Day!  I need to make this one extra special...but gosh, what to do?  I have toying with the idea of a beer/whiskey type basket (which I know he'd love...), but that has been done before.  Then I thought of doing something typical- like Ledoux's handprint with a little note... but that's not quite enough (although I do plan on doing that!)  So I went on a search to find some unique father's day finds that he would not only like, but actually use!  I found some pretty nifty stuff, and felt like I should share some of these little gems with y'all! Here is what my Father's Day gift hunt turned up:


1.) Datevitation
OMG. Love this.  What is better then giving the gift of dates and special time to the daddy(s) in your life? This gift is so much fun, and totally customizable and unique!  Simply visit their website here, and choose whatever 'dates' you would like to include in your coupon book.  They can be stay-at-home dates, go-out dates, and everything in between.  You can make the coupon book come from you, from your sweet baby, or a combo of both.  They have over 350 different date coupons to choose from, and you can make your own coupon book with as many as you want!  I chose 12 different, unique ones that I am sure Lee will love.  Some are father-daughter dates, some are dates for he and I, and others are family dates (like a night with  NO technology...no phones, computers, etc.)  Annnnddd a bonus, use promo code FREESHIP to get free shipping.


2.) PopTags
Ok, so if you have a hubby or daddy who loves beer, this is a great and super unique gift!  It is a beer opener keychain, that is totally customized! I haven't yet decided what message I will put on it... and might even just go boring and say something like "Dada, happy 1st Father's Day"  I just love this gift, and know Lee will too!  Check out their Etsy Store here  I plan on pairing this with some of Lee's favorite beer.



3.) Personalized Grilling supplies
My husband loves to grill.  He grills everything. (Enter the Home Improvement/Tim Allen man grunt here).  What is better than a personalized spatula for his grill or branding iron for his steaks and burgers?  Nothing!  The spatula can be ordered and personalized here, and the branding irons here.  I am a bit obsessed with the idea of the branding irons...and can see Lee branding everything he grills going forward...a gift he will def love.  You could easily order one of these, and put together a grilling gift with seasonings, a 6 pack of beer, and a gift card to get some steaks...



4.) Customized Coffee Cup
If the daddy in your life is a coffee drinker, you must check this out!  Customized coffee mugs with a caricature of daddy and child!  All are done custom, so send this seller a message via his etsy store here.  Wouldn't this make an awesome gift, and a great keepsake for years to come? I die!  Pair it with dad's fave coffee, or better yet... put his coffee in it on Father's Day morning.  LOVE.

 
So there you have it, my top picks for Father's Day this year... what are you getting for the dad in your life?  I am always looking for more ideas!

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Happy Memorial Day + Promo Code for BOWS!



I hope you all had an amazing Memorial Day weekend, and took time out to reflect on the real reason we are able to have this Holiday...In thanks for the ultimate sacrifice the men and women of our Military have made in exchange for the freedom that is given to all Americans.  Without these brave men and women, we would have nothing like we do to today...so please remember that!  If there is one thing I am, it is Patriotic.  The sight of American flags, and red, white, and blue gets me teary eyed with happiness and so thankful to live in such an amazing country.  It also makes me want to jam out to Zac Brown and Toby Keith music all day, drink beer, BBQ, wear my stars and stripes, and sit on the patio reflecting on how lucky we are to be American.  Regardless of if it is Memorial Day, or just another day... always stop to thank the Military service members you see and say "thank you."  It is, after all, these people who work and dedicate their lives to protect your freedoms.


Of course, Memorial Day also holds a special place in my heart, because my honey has been deployed 4 times, and served almost 10 years in the Marine Corps and just recently got out to start his civilian career.  I tell him I am thankful for him each and everyday...

We spent our Memorial Day weekend doing home projects- Lee built a headboard for our bed that I found on Pinterest (I will show you in a future post), and I re-did Ledoux's room, also from Pinterest.  How often do you actually get around to doing even one Pinterest project?  Much less two!  Wahoo!  Chalk that up to a successful weekend!  We also spent time outside, in the pool, and taking in the gorgeous weather before it gets ridiculously hot outside. It only got to 95 degrees or so (Gesh, that seems so hot...but it didn't seem like it at all!) Now that Memorial Day has passed, my sights are set on my most favorite Holiday...the 4th of July! My Pinterest is busting at the seems with ideas on how to celebrate every day for the next month and a half... so excited! I also found some awesome ideas for the daddy's of the world for Father's Day that I am going to share in my next blog post, so stay tuned!

Don't forget to check out my Etsy store for special 4th of July deals- 20% using promo code "America".  Check back in the next few days for a special line of baby boy bow ties, and baby head wraps!

Have a great (short) work week, friends!


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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Fun Facts About Me + The Liebster Award!


Fact: I really love blogging.  I mean LOVE it!  People ask me all the time how in the heck do you find time to blog? (Which has been challenging this last week or so, I admit!)  For me, it is a creative outlet.  I have always enjoyed sitting down, and writing out my thoughts. I write in the early morning before Ledoux wakes up, or wait until she goes to bed at night and I have poured myself a glass of wine.  As a little girl, I kept diary after diary... some that I still have! As I got older, I lost sight of my writing, and recently picked it back up when I got pregnant with my little Ledoux to chronicle that time for my husband, who was serving over seas during my pregnancy.  It was a way for him to stay in touch, and feel like he was here.  I have been working really hard on expanding my blog, and developing more of a following for it- and I am so excited that I was nominated for the Liebster Award!  Meg over at Make Do Mama was so kind to nominate me!  So here we go, I will give 6 facts about myself, and answer 5 questions from Meg who nominated me.  Then, I will nominate other small blogs to do the same thing, and answer the same questions!  Yes, it is a bit chain-game-ish, but its also a fun way to learn more about other bloggers!

6 facts about me:
 
1.) Growing up, my nickname was Reba-cca (my real name is Rebecca) because I was obsessed with Reba McEntire. Seriously. Obsessed. So much so that in volleyball, everyone on the team had crazy nicknames that we would yell out to encourage each other. My nickname wasn't "spiker" or anything related to volleyball... it was Reba.  And she was my first concert.  True story.
 

2.) By the time I entered college, I rebelled against my country roots, and decided I wanted to be the total opposite. So I became OBSESSED with Lil' Wayne.  I mean, obsessed.  Almost as much as I was with Reba.  I went out and bought a Navigator on 24s, and memorized every lyric of every one of his songs on the Carter 2 CD.  (It took me months to memorize those, by the way!)  I became know as Lil' Beezy (Beezy=Becca, get it?)  I even made my friend Christi go to his concert with me. And I put a poster up in my cube at work of him, and wrote my name on his stomach, so it appeared he had my name tattooed on him.  Yup, crazy. Don't worry, I have since found my way back to country.

 
3.) I am from Wyoming- where we have more antelope per square foot then people.  Its true, google it.  More animals per square foot than people (yet we are something like the 10th or 11th largest state land-wise.)  Is your mind blown yet?  Another fact about Wyoming: you can drive for miles and never see a soul.  Or come to a town.  I LOVE that.

 
4.) I couldn't swallow pills until my 2nd year in college.  I learned then by swallowing Tic Tacs, and slowly graduated to actual pills.  Before then, I would crush them, and eat them in ice cream.  Still to this day, I would rather fight the pain than take a pill.  I guess you don't have to worry about me getting stuck on pain pills or anything.
 
5.) Ledoux, my sweet little baby, is named after Chris Ledoux, a famous country singer originally from Wyoming. If you don't know him, you should google him.  I secretly hope she becomes a famous country singer with a name like that (see picture below!) 
 
 
6.) I cook pretty much every meal, every night, in the crock pot.  Serious, ask my husband.  Almost every dinner is from that fabulous little invention.  And it really doesn't matter what you put in there, it always comes up tasting amazing.  The other night, I did frozen chicken, rotel, diced tomatoes (from the can, because I am lazy), and some green chiles and jalapenos (again, from the can, because I am lazy)... and we had the most ahh-mazing dinner.  I took it and put it on tortillas with some guac and black beans.. easy and delish. 
 
5 Questions:
Q: What musical artist are you listening to these days?
I am obsessed with Eric Church: Like Jesus Does.  Well, anything Eric Church actually!  There is something about him, and his voice, that makes me want to kick back and have a cold one (or two!)  I also love Lee Brice, Kip Moore, and of course... Reba and Chris Ledoux.  Mostly country music these days.
 
Q: What do you say when your (or someone else’s) kid asks you why the sky is blue?
Why do you think it is blue?  I love throwing the question back to the sweet children, and hear their reasoning. (Oh my the answers you get!)
 
Q: If money were no object, where would you travel on your next vacation?
The Mayan Ruins, Aztec Ruins, Incan Ruins... I am so intrigued.  Oh, and Roswell, New Mexico **creepy X Files music playing**
 
Q: What was your very first job?
Does baby sitting count?  No?  Ok, I worked at JC Penneys in the Men's department.  I actually really enjoyed it. 
 
Q: At what age is your earliest memory?
I am not sure how old I was, but I found a butterfly that had a broken wing, and wanted to sew it back together to help...so I put the butterfly in my little pretend plastic sewing machine.  Needless to say, I didn't help. :(  Poor butterfly.  However, my heart was in the right place!

So here is the blogs I want to nominate for this little award:

1.)  KelliAnn over at Kell The Capturer.  KelliAnn is an amazing budding photographer, and is a "picture blogger."  She posts pictures that she has captured from San Diego to Australia to Texas, and everywhere in between.
 
2.) Andi over at How I do Paleo:  If you are interested in the Paleo diet, or just some amazing and healthy recipes, this girl has TONS!  And she updates her blog with them all the time! LOVE!

My super talented bro took this picture of Doo and I, and I love it!

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

9 Month babydoll updates!

Wow!  Sorry for the lack in posting this week, we got rail roaded with a nasty stomach bug in this house!  I got really sick, and then Ledoux followed... but we are almost back in full force here... it really knocked us off our game this week!  Ledoux ended up at the doctor twice this week- once for being sick, and once for her 9 month well baby check!  I look forward to her well baby checks to see how much she has grown, so exciting! So, here we go...

Stats? Weight: 19 lbs, 12 oz (75%).  Height and Head: 92%.  Yep, she is growing!  When she went to her first baby well check, she was barely in the 50th % for all three categories! In the last month, Ledoux went from 6-9 month baby clothes to 12-18 month clothes.  We completely skipped the 9-12 month clothing all together.  She grew like a weed, and is hands down the tallest baby in her class- but not the oldest.  It is shocking to look at how big she has gotten in the last month...I was at Target last week (no shocker there!) and realized I no longer can shop in the little baby section.. because the sizes end at 9-12 months.  Tear.  Don't confuse my tear with baby fever though, because I am far away from wanting another (babies are no joke!)  My tear is more because I will miss buying adorable super small baby clothes. 
Sleeping like a...baby.  :)


Sleeping?  No changes here, she sleeps like a little rock.  So thankful that I have a baby that sleeps so well through the night.  Her bedtime routine is the same today as it was 6 months ago (holy crap! 6 months ago! Time really is flying by!) and it still works like a charm. She is always in bed by 7pm, and wakes up around 5:45 am-6:15 am.  In a perfect world, I wish she would stay up a tad longer and sleep a tad later... but it is what it is!  Lee and I look at each other daily, and question whether we ever want another baby, because Ledoux has been sooo good to us.  The next one is sure to be a little terror!


Eating? She is serious about her food.  She doesn't get hungry, she gets h-angry. Ledoux has very little interest in bottles these days, and we are down to only 3-6 oz bottles per day... which is a huge difference from just a month ago, when she was sucking down 4 or 5 8 oz. bottles (or tall boys, as her dad called them!) I'm fine with this, because formula is expensive, so the less she wants, the more we can shop at babygap! :) When Ledoux gets hungry, she bangs as hard as she can on her high chair and lets out a high pitched squeal... kind of like a warning noise to Lee and I that if she doesn't get her food SOON, she will loose her shizz!  Ledoux would much rather eat 'real' food.  She eats breakfast, lunch, and dinner everyday- usually a fruit/oatmeal mix in the morning, veggie for lunch, and a meat/veggie for dinner.  She also has snacks, everything from baby mum mums to rice puffs to yogurt.  When we go out to eat, we always order her a side of avocado, she loves it! 
More food mom!  I want more!

Health? So healthy!  No colds or illness here (knock on wood!) Clearly, my "knock on wood" statement didn't work, because after I originally typed this post, guess what?  Childcare called, and Ledoux was sick.  What timing! It is just a stomach bug, and I think she is almost over it (fingers crossed....) I hate when my baby doesn't feel good.  It just breaks a mama's heart.


Milestones? She now says mama and dada (dada was her first official word, darnit!)  She is also mobile... watch out world!  She crawls and pulls herself up onto everythingall. the. time.  I finally broke down and bought a baby corral for our downstairs living area/kitchen... I was so against them, because I hated the idea of restricting her to a small area, but after so many close calls of falling and putting random things in her mouth, I did it for her safety. (Not like it matters...she hates it and screams bloody murder when she is in it.)  So, since the baby corral didn't work out so well, she has free reign to crawl around the upstairs of our house, as it is all carpeted, and completely baby proof.  The only thing on that level is our master bedroom/loft, so it is open and totally safe.  We spend the majority of our time up there.  She has mastered the three toy crawl- one toy in each hand, and a third in her mouth, while she follows me around.  It is really funny, and reminds me of a little puppy dog.  Other milestones include picking up rice puffs and feeding herself, discovering her pointer finger (and pointing at everything!)and mimic-ing our every move.  LOVE!  Lastly, she took her first airplane ride (post here and here)

Here kitty, kitty, kitty...

Likes? She has these little toy maracas that she loves- she loves to shake them, bang them against everything, etc.  She also really likes her munchkin feeders (here).  I can put whatever I am eating in it, and give it to her, and she feels like a big girl eating food that mommy and daddy eat.  She also loves her new big girl car seat!  Being able to face forward and see the world is so exciting to her.  Other loves include splashing (and making the biggest messes!) in the tub, blowing raspberries with her baby food (again, making huge messes), playing in the pool with daddy, and chasing the cat around the house. 
Still figuring out this swimming pool thing



Dislikes? She lacks patience... when she wants something, she wants it now.  Who does that remind you of? :)  She also hates when someone eats around her, and she doesn't get any of it to taste.  She hates being restrained- this is nothing new, as she has hated that since she was born... and has developed stranger danger too, especially old men with glasses.  So odd! 
Us, at our fave place, the Whole Foods bar.


Mommy and Daddy updates!  All is good!  We are all moved in to our new casa, and loving it!  Every morning, Ledoux and I sit by the windows and watch the lizards sunbathe (they are about 4 inches long and are pretty fun to watch!) We haven't seen any wild pigs, bobcats,  or coyotes yet, but we see footprints of them passing our driveway every morning...so maybe soon!  It is pretty fun living in the middle of 'nature', you never know what you might see!  Lee was welcomed by this (below) the other morning when he left for work... a trail of yellow flowers from a colony of ants who had made this path across our driveway into the wash.  Most of our free time is spent doing projects around the house, which seem never ending...welcome to owning a home I suppose!  Other than that, I have started the party planning for Ledoux's first birthday party (EEEEK!) which is t-minus 2 months, 3 weeks... so crazy!  I don't have a theme chosen yet, but my pinterest in blowing up with ideas!
A couple of our "Tucson" views at our casa


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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mommy's Day!

 
 
Short and sweet for today... Happy Mother's Day!

I cannot believe how much can change in a year... just last year, I was here, almost 28 weeks preggo with a sweet little baby that would turn my world upside down! Being a mommy is by far the hardest, best, difficult, most wonderful thing there is!  As I sit here writing this short little post, I have already had to pause three times to keep Ledoux from putting carpet in her mouth, distract her from the computer cord so she didn't chew on it, and rescue our cat's tail from her strong grip (and prevent her from getting nipped by a not so happy kitty!) And that is all in the last ten minutes, and its not even 8:00 am!  (For the record,it is now 8:36 am, and I still haven't been able to finish a paragraph!)  Another thing to add to my  "I am definitely a mom now" list!

Happy Mommy's day to My Mommy, Lee's Mommy, and all the moms I know... and all of the soon to be moms! What a ride it is!  With that being said, I have a sweet babe tugging at my leg, ready to get her play on!  Have a most fabulous day moms of the world! :)

Mom, stop blogging and get down here and play with me! It wouldn't be Mother's Day if I wasn't here!





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Friday, May 10, 2013

Memorial Day baby style!

Ledoux's swimsuit here

There are few things in this world I love more than being an American... if you know me, you know that my love for our country and those who serve in our Military is unwavering.  Perhaps it is because my husband, brother, and countless extended family have served in our Military, or simply because I value everything that freedom and our country stand for.  Regardless, Memorial Day through the 4th of July is one of my favorite times of the year!  It is a time when people proudly display American flags (even though they should do this everyday...), wear their most patriotic of clothing, and celebrate the warmer weather with beers, barbecues, and friends.  What is not to love?


With the kick off of one of my favorite seasons, I have been scouring stores to find the best Americana gear for Ledoux.  I am no longer willing to pay full price for baby clothes (in most cases), because my baby has went from 6 month clothes to now wearing 12-18 month sizes in the last month (can we say growth spurt!?) All of the 9 month clothes are still in her drawers, tags attached, because they already don't fit... and have never been worn.  So, I am searching for good deals since she will grow out of them all so fast- and there are some great deals right now!  The closer we get to Memorial Day and 4th of July, the harder it will be to find cute stuff, so stock up now!  Here is what i found (and bonus: its all on sale!)

 
 
1.) American Floppy Beach Hat here
2.) Girls sunglasses here
3.) Denim ruffle bottoms here (and on sale for $7!)
4.) Navy stars shorts here
5.) Summer Dress here
6.) Red/White/Blue romper here
7.) Cowboy Hat here
8.) Flag Tee Shirt here
9.) Navy stars button down shirt here
10.) Hero shorts here
11.) Flag onesie here (only $3.50!)
12.) Sandals here (Only $2.75!)

So there you have it my friends!  Stock up this weekend on some great buys and show your American pride!  'Tis the season!  I will leave you with a quote from one of my FAVE songs of the season- Made in America by Toby Keith... "He loves his wife, shes that wife that decorates on the 4th of July, but says everyday is Independence Day..."  Totally me.  Totally.  Happy Friday!

Ledoux's top here      Headband here
 


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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Doo's first trip to Texas

In case you missed it, Ledoux took her very first airplane trip to visit family in Texas! (See the post about traveling with a baby here) She did so great, and it was fun to be able to introduce our crazy little baby to every on Lee's side of the family!  We promised that we would bring her back before her first birthday, and this weekend happened to be the baby shower for Lee's younger brother and his wifey!.  Here is a photo re-cap of our Texas visit!
So sweet!
 
First Layover in Denver (and yes, we are in the airport bar and grill having a bloody mary!) Don't judge me, I was traveling with an 8 month old which means I deserve one!
 
After her first experience with Crawfish and Catfish, she and her cousin Tucker were all...well... Tuckered out :)
 
Holy Beards! No, this wasn't a picture from a Zac Brown Band concert.  It is Lee and his brother Sam
 
Doo with her Mimi and Boots.  She had a little anxiety with all of the new people around her, wanting to love on her, but we were happy to get atleast one pic of her and her Mimi without tears!  Boots wasn't quite as lucky...Next time!
Family picture at the baby shower!
And here is the Abel clan! Well, almost everyone!
 
If you look close, Doo got her first two real 'ouchies' on our way home: a scratch and a bruise.  Being the mobile little thing she is, I have a feeling this is the first of many.  And once we made it home, Ledoux was so tired, she passed out sitting up.
 
We had so much fun introducing our little babydoll to everyone, and had a great trip! Our only regret was not taking more pictures... I totally failed on the pictures front!  Darnit!  We are looking forward to having the Texas family out for Doo's first birthday, only 3 months away!!!
 
 
 
 

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Monday, May 6, 2013

A very important day is right around the corner...

Nope, its not my birthday. (Thanks for thinking of me though!)  Gosh, its not even Mother's Day that I am referring to...(Although, a very important holiday as well!)  I am referring to:
 
(drum roll please)  
Provider Appreciation Day
 
This Friday, May 10th is Provider Appreciation Day.  It is a day to appreciate and celebrate the teachers in this world who are working their tails off to help us mommies (and daddies!) raise our sweet little babies.  I have said it before, and I will say it again... our teachers have THE MOST IMPORTANT JOB in the world.  Hands down.  These are the individuals we are entrusting to not only take care of our babies, but to teach them, nurture them...the list goes on and on.  To further prove my point on the importance of quality childcare for our sweet babies, take a look at a few facts (taken from http://www.readyazkids.com/)
 
From Birth to age 3, children grow and learn at the most intense rate.  By age 4, primary senses and basic motor skills are almost fully developed. (Hello! Who is teaching your child?)
 
90% of a child's brain development happens by age 5. (Again, hellooooo!  The people that you are trusting to interact and teach your child is a crucial choice!  They are influencing your babe's brain development! Does it get more important than this? NO!)
 
National Studies report that Children who are enrolled and exposed to HIGH QUALITY early childhood education are 40% less likely to be held back a grade or need special education, are 70% less likely to commit a violent crime by age 18, and have better cognitive and sensory skills and experience less anxiety. (Not to sound like a broken record here, but hellooooo! Why not set your child up for success?!)
 
So, if this still isn't eye opening, please. call me. or email me. Hopefully, these little facts helped open some eyes (if they weren't already) as to the important parts our teachers play in the development of young children.  And if you already knew all of this, I am so glad!  So my next question to all of you is this: what are you doing for your teachers this Friday?  If there is any day to show your appreciation and celebrate your child's teachers, it is this Friday! Need some ideas?  You are in luck, because I love a good excuse to shop for gifts (my love language is gift giving!)  Hopefully, Ledoux's teachers aren't reading this right now... spoiler alert girls!
 

 
1.) A cute, handwritten card and a starbucks card (or any coffee shop!) If you want to, put it in a nice coffee mug (probably one that can be used on the go, our teachers don't have alot of time to sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee!)
 
2.) Go buy a super cute flower pot, or one that is pre-planted, and attach a card that says "thank you for helping me grow" or "thank you for helping me bloom".  Feeling artsy?  Make it into an art project with your little one, and paint it for your teacher(s).
 
3.) On a budget, but still want to do something nice?  Try this!  For a fun twist, go buy the vintage coke bottles.  Another fun idea along these same lines would be to buy A&W rootbeer, and make a card to say "I think you are AWesome!" If you go the rootbeer route, think about including a glass and icecream scoop (and make it into a rootbeer float kit!)
 
4.) Get your little one involved and bake some yummy cookies together!  Then, put them in a cookie jar with a note "I am one smart cookie thanks to you!" Our local hobby lobby, michaels, and target all have clear jars with small chalkboard decals on them, which I just love!  These are also super easy to make too (just find a clear jar, and either a chalkboard sticker from your local hobby store, or get a small can of chalkboard paint and paint it right on the jar)
 
So there you have it, some easy ways to show appreciate to your teachers.  And if your child isn't at childcare, you can still celebrate whomever is taking care of your sweet one... it is Provider Appreciation Day, not just for teachers.  Please, please, please take the time to say "Thank you" this week. 



 
                                                 Ledoux says "thank you" to her teachers!


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