03/15/2017

Sold!

Today’s the day we sign the papers and officially say goodbye to our first home.

First Home - Real Estate

We bought our home in December 2010, a month after we were engaged. Tim moved in at the time of the sale and I followed in October 2011 after our wedding. During this time we spent our newlywed years navigating the beginnings of our marriage and learning to cohabitate, we brought home our first baby to this home’s nursery, lived through constant renovations and updates, and shared more laughs, changes and memories within these walls than I can count.

First Home - Real Estate

It’s been bittersweet the past month as we packed up and planned our move. When you first put your house on the market, you know what the ultimate end goal is – to sell! However, when that moment to give the keys to the new owner arrives, it can still feel as if the timing snuck up on you. As soon as we accepted the offer, I immediately had memories of Jack and our time here together as a family of three (plus Tebow!) replaying over-and-over in my mind.

I was chatting with a girlfriend yesterday who recently went through a similar process of selling their first home, and she offered some good advice. She too has a son Jack’s age and was having a hard time leaving the place she brought her baby home from the hospital, and also began the early years of marriage. She told me to try and focus on all the new firsts we still have to experience, plus reliving all the firsts he has already had in a new space.  We will get to celebrate Jack’s first Christmas and first holidays all over again in the new house, plenty more birthdays, family and friend get-togethers, and so much more in the years to come. When I change my thought process to focus more on what’s to come and less on what we’re leaving behind, it’s a lot easier on my heart to say our goodbyes and move forward.

So where do we go from here? Currently we are in the process of looking for a builder. We have found land out in the country, and are looking to build a ranch with a basement. I plan on sharing a more on the blog throughout the process, but for now our next step is to choose a builder, confirm our design plan, and break ground! There is so much to look forward to and so much to be thankful for, and today is that first step in the next stage of our life.

To see more of our first home, follow these links:

03/10/2017

FriYAY Week 9

This winter has been a season of sickness at our house. It seems that Tim, Jack and I keep passing the same illness around to one another, and this has been going on for weeks-and-weeks! As soon as we think we’re in the clear, we’re right back in the thick of it! Here’s to hoping a little warmth and sunshine during our upcoming Florida trip will do the trick at healing us all!

Target Date with my Little

Target - Jack 17 Months Old

On Tuesday, Jack and I went to Target in search of a bin to hold all of his toys! I found a toy chest I really liked, but I decided to hold off on that purchase and just go with a large navy storage tub for now. I figure that for $7, this will work just fine and we can get something nicer down the road. Eventually I see us using the tub for outside toys and sports balls. On our shopping list was the toy tub and Amazing Grass – my go-to for weakened immune systems and sicknesses of any kind. (Read more about my love this brand here.) I was pumped because the supplement was on clearance for only $17 and so I happily walked away with two containers. Along with this trip included plenty of giggles and fun times with my little. He is just so fun right now and I’m trying to soak up these days as much as I can!

BOGO Piada

Piada Salad Bowl with a Piada Stick

Lunch Sunday Afternoon – A Piada bowl with chicken, sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms, feta, grilled peppers and onions and a Piada stick on the side!

I know Piada Italian Street Food is still more of an Ohio thing (although it’s slowly making it’s way into Indiana, Michigan and Texas), but I can’t say enough good things about one of my favorite quick-service restaurants. It’s basically set-up in the same model as Chipotle, but instead of burritos you make Piadas (wraps), Salads, or Pasta dishes. My favorite order is a salad or pasta bowl with as many veggie toppings as I can pack-in, including grilled chicken, artichokes, arugula, mushrooms, tomatoes, parmesan, and then top it with Pomodoro and Basil Pesto sauces. So, so good! Last month I signed up for their email list, and this week I was happy to see a Buy One Get One offer in my email. You can bet that we’ll be hitting up Piada for dinner soon! In other news, meals I’ve been obsessing over lately include chicken burrito bowls from Chipotle with guacamole and white rice (Sorry, but the brown just can’t compete!) and the tofu sushi roll in a seaweed wrap with all the veggies from Fusian. Sounds a little out there, but I promise it is delicious!

Beautycounter +

Beautycounter + - Skin Care

It’s here! It’s here! Last week I teased about Beautycounter’s new product launch, and on Tuesday the release went live. Beautycounter launched its new product collection called Beautycounter + , a collection of nine new products, three unique sets that cater to specific skincare needs.

Each set includes a mask, a mist and a face oil:

No. 1 – The Brightening Collection awakens dull skin and uses Vitamin C to boost radiance. It’s best for those who are looking to even out skin tone, decrease the look of sunspots and age spots, and overall want fresher and brighter skin!

No. 2 – The Plumping Collection restores and firms skin using peony. These products are great for hydrating dry skin, and I highly recommend for anyone who has mature skin or struggles with getting enough moisture into their skin care routine.

No. 3 – The Balancing Collection uses activated charcoal to even skin tone and prevent breakouts. This Collection is the best choice for those who have oily or combination skin, or are likely to suffer from breakouts.

I have been sharing more about each collection throughout the week on my Facebook page, but this is a quick overview on the new products’ purposes. Each collection is a great addition to our skin care regimens – the Essential Nourishing Collection and the Countertime Rejuvenating Collection. The products are available in full-size sets, travel spa sets (great for sampling and of course travel), and as individual products. If you have any questions on the products, or need help deciding what Collection would work best for you, let me know and I would be happy to help!

Block-Heel Sandals

Old Navy Block-Heeled Sandals

I ordered a few new things for spring from Old Navy last week, and I just so happen to run across these adorable Triple-Strap Block-Heel Sandals. I loved the look of these as they are dead ringers for similar block-heeled pairs that are sold at stores like Madewell, but for mere pennies compared to the pricier versions. I ordered a pair in New Cognac, and am debating on ordering them in black as well. I’m really looking forward to wearing them this spring with jeans and dresses! I bought a couple pairs of boots and flats from Old Navy this past fall, and was incredibly impressed with the comfort and quality they offered. Here’s to hoping these shoes are similar in wear!

Manicure Appointment

Woodhouse Day Spa

On Monday I have a manicure appointment at my favorite spa ever – Woodhouse Day Spa! I had a pedicure last month, but it’s been a while since I’ve had my hands done as well. I am excited to have them looking great for our trip. It’s been a long winter paired with a lot of sickness and hand washing, and my cuticles and hands could really use a little extra hydration and special treatment. PS – If you ever go to Woodhouse, order the Cinnamon Tea and the flavored water. Last time I went the water was flavored with fresh mango and strawberries! It was one of my favorite combinations ever, and I’ll have to remember it for the spring / summer!

03/07/2017

This Year’s Spring Getaway

Each spring, Tim and I try to plan a little getaway trip. Last April we took our first baby-free trip to California where we explored San Francisco, Napa Valley / Calistoga, the Pacific Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, and then flew home from Los Angeles. (See Part One and Part Two of our California Dreaming trip!) This was such a great trip – one of my favorites that we’ve ever taken. It was so nice to have those five days to ourselves, and to reconnect after becoming parents the year before.

In 2013, we took an April trip to Hilton Head, SC and Savannah, GA where we ate plenty of good food, explored the cities, and just relaxed. It was too cold to lay by the pool or the beach, so we found other ways to fill our time including putt-putt, shopping, and taking a day-trip to historic Savannah. In 2015, we skipped our spring travel in favor of a June trip for our babymoon to Jekyll Island, GA. The island was incredibly secluded and beautiful, and it was the perfect babymoon spot for doing nothing except relaxing, recharging, and exploring the island. We mostly spent our time at the hotel pool – we stayed at the Westin Jekyll Island – walked along Driftwood Beach, the marshlands and nature preserves, crossed the bridge to St. Simon’s Island for a night to have dinner and see the lighthouse, and went on plenty of beach walks. It was the perfect pre-baby getaway!

Later this month, we’re taking a spring trip that will be the first for just our family of three! Jack has already been on quite a few trips including Ft. Lauderdale last May and Myrtle Beach last August, but those have always been with extended family. This time we are doing a getaway to Orlando with just our little family of three.

Jack's First Trip to Disney - Mickey Mouse

We will be taking Jack to Disney so that he can see Mickey and all his friends! Jack is obsessed with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and we think it will be a big hit seeing Mickey everywhere and on everything. Whenever we are out and about and Jack sees the Disney store or Mickey on someone’s t-shirt or a book, he smiles and starts chatting away! While we’re there, our plan is to take him to Chef Mickey’s for brunch one day, and to spend a second full day at Magic Kingdom. After doing a little research, I decided we would get the most ‘bang for our buck’ at Magic Kingdom, so that’s the only park we are going to visit this time. We also plan on spending plenty of time swimming at our hotel’s pools, and also spend an afternoon / evening at Disney Springs.

I am looking forward to our trip and experiencing Disney through the eyes of my son. I’ve been to the Disney Parks quite a few times, but I’ve heard there’s nothing like experiencing the magic with our own children.

Conversation Time:

  • For those of you who’ve been to Disney / Orlando with small children, do you have any advice on what we must do, see, visit?