Saturday, April 6, 2019

Easter Basket Ideas!!

Who else loves Easter?/?/? 

Easter has to be one of my favorite holidays of all time. Big dinners, time with family, kids scattering around to grab as many eggs as possible and warmer weather!!! 

This year we are going out for breakfast and then the egg hunt.  Of course, Mason starts the morning looking for his basket. I usually like to hide a basket and give him a bigger gift from Joe and I. My parents used to do that and I love the idea. 

This year we will be at Hershey Park the week before, so I thought I would get some items for his basket there. But I did also purchase a few things on Amazon. Amazon has everything and if you have prime, you get most items in 2 days without all the going from place to place looking for items. I like to fill Mason's basket with items for the pool and things he can use outdoors. Most of these items are from Amazon, a few from Etsy and Carters.

one// two// three// four// five// six// seven// eight// nine 

ten// eleven// twelve// thirteen// fourteen// 

fifteen// sixteen// seventeen// eighteen// nineteen// 
twenty// twenty-one// twenty-two// twenty-three

I purchased Mason's Easter basket, his first year, at Pottery Barn Kids. It is a bit to young for him now so I found a few cute ones on Etsy. I found a few on Etsy that I linked below. I also like the idea of using a wire basket with a personalized name tag. That way you can either use a basket you have laying around the house or one you can use in your child's room. I purchased one from Chalk Designs By Me, on Etsy. The shop has a bunch to choose from. I chose the traditional black chalk board tag so I can use it for different occasions.  

The Vinyl Things in Life 

Personalized Gifts By K 

Upcycled Threads Co. 

Name tag by Chalk Designs By Me 

 I love buying shirts for different occasions for Mason and personalized gifts from Etsy. Even though I think the end is near for "occasion shirts", I thought I would sneak one more for Easter. I got this cute bunny shirt that is more for an older kid from Line Liam and a popsicle sleeve from Southern Bayou Boutique 

Line Liam Boutique 

Popsicle Sleeve from Southern Bayou Boutique 

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Saturday, February 23, 2019

Winter Break

Hi everyone! Hope everyone is having a good Saturday. We are hanging out at home, doing nothing and resting from a busy week. Schools in our area had the entire week off, which means Joe had no school as well. We decided to take a day trip to Niagara Falls, New York (duh),  see what the falls look like frozen and do some shopping. We go to Niagara Falls and Canada about 3 times a year. We love it there. I joke with people and tell them we have dual citizenship. It's a nice little get away and not to far from home. My Mom came along with us for this trip. We had a good time but it was busy trying to pack everything into two days. 

We started off visiting Niagara Falls Canada. Mason loves the Hershey's Chocolate World store. He was determined to buy the biggest chocolate bar at the Hershey store. But it was $69.99, that was a BIG NO WAY! He did settle for the one in the pic which was still a whopping $19.99. He has yet to open it and eat any. He also has this crazy fascination with visiting all the little collective stores on Clifton Hill. He loves spending his money on all the expensive crap toys that make no sense. It brings him joy so of course we hit every open one. Most stores are closed until spring, but a handful were open. 

We then headed to the Outlet Collection at Niagara stores. It is so so nice!! But since the prices are in Canadian, it's hard to figure out what the price is in American. We didn't stay long. And not to mention is was 19 degree and not fun with a 6 year old. Also, if you pay in American money, you get back Canadian, which stinks when you head back to the states with a huge amount of Canadian money. TIP: We use our bank card or Discover card, because the bank will convert it in American on your bill. We ended up going to a couple of stores and leaving. But if you visit Niagara Falls, Ontario, it is definitely a must see. 

We headed back to our hotel on the American side, ate dinner at Hard Rock Cafe and then Mason and Joe went swimming in the hotel pool for a bit before bed. 

The next day we went to the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls USA for some shopping. I LOVE this outlet because all the stores are totally inside and the tax in Niagara County is 4%!!! WHAT!!! They have every store you can image. So I did some shopping for the little man for summer and I of course bought a new Kate Spade wallet! 

We had a great couple of days but I was glad to be home! 

One of the "random" collective stores on Clifton Hill, Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada

Guiness Book of World Records on Clifton Hill

Hershey's Chocolate World Niagara Falls 

Niagara Falls Ontario Canada 

Niagara Falls State Park, Niagara Falls, New York 

Mason and I took a couple of days to recoup and spent some time at home. Joe spent some days on the farm, cutting wood and doing the million different chores for the upkeep of it. We headed to the farm on Thursday to do some walking, riding the four wheeler and to cut my father in law's hair. We like to take a day during this break and look around the farm, explore the creek and take in all the sites during the winter. It was so cold this week in February. Usually we have a day in the 50's but not this year. So we took a short trip by the creek. Then Joe decided to teach Mason to drive the four wheeler, definitely still assisted!! He thought he was a big kid! 

All in all, we had a great week. Next week, Joe starts coaching track for the season so we won't see much of him. But with the beginning of the spring sports season comes a break in the weather and winter almost being over. We are OVER WINTER!!!! 

Hope you all had a great week as well!!! 

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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Bling Wash!

Let's be honest, cleaning my jewelry is the last thing that pops into my mind in a day. I rarely think about it until I'm in a store and I see that it desperately needs it.  I do like to get it cleaned once a year at the jewelers to make sure all the prongs are ok. I have had my engagement ring for 16 years, my wedding band for 15 and the other band for 6 years. At first, I would only wear my wedding band and never took it off until I decided to have them saudered together. I just never wanted anything to happen to it or have a stone fall out. But I do wear it when I leave the house so it does get dirty and collects particles in the prongs. The jewelers that Joe purchased it from moved their main location and hour away so it was always hard to take it there and get it cleaned. In the meantime, I bought a jewelry cleaning machine off from QVC, which didn't work and I would buy different spray cleaners, only to leave it dull and tacky. I pretty much would come back home and clean it with a tooth brush and just live with it. Until one day I was scrolling through Instagram and saw Living with Landyn's blog post on her BLING WASH and thought I would try it. It was AMAZING!!!!  She got the idea from a jeweler in Seattle after taking her ring to get it cleaned. The jeweler there told her to use this solution. SO I tried it and my ring has never been so shiny. The solution brought my ring back to that JUST ENGAGED look. You can immediately see particles floating around once you submerge it in the solution. It is super easy and you can do it in the comfort of your own home. I like to clean mine once a month on a Sunday when I do a face mask or any self care routine. 
                                                              Here is what she uses: 
* Windex or any glass cleaner
* a few drops of dish soap, like Dawn
*soft bristle "used" toothbrush
I keep the liquids in a small glass microwavable dish. I used a Pampered Chef one I had, but you can get one at any local store. Make sure it is glass. You will fill the container with 2 cups of Windex, a few drops of dish soap. Without the lid, place the container with solution in the microwave for about 1 minute, WITHOUT THE JEWELRY.  Remove the container and be careful, because it will be hot. Place the jewelry in the container and allow to soak. Again, I usually let them soak for about 20 minutes. If you leave them in for longer, it won't hurt the jewelry because the solution eventually cools. You will probably start to immediately see particles floating around. It is really mind blowing what will end up in the bowl once you take the jewelry out. Gently give the jewelry a brush with the tooth brush and rinse with lukewarm water. Dry with a paper towel and that's it! This works like a charm and my diamond has never been so bright! You can place the lid back on the glass with the solution and use it again. It doesn't have to be fresh solution each time. Head over to Living With Landyn's blog post to see the full story. 
I have only tried this on real diamonds. I'm not sure if it will work on anything other than that. 
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Sunday, February 10, 2019

Valentine's Day

Happy Sunday! 

Hope you are all enjoying the weekend. The sun is shining today but it's still really cold. We are spending the day at home, painting and doing some chores. 

Valentine's Day is next week and I thought I would give a run down of what we do on that day. We don't really go all out for Valentine's Day. No fancy dinners or gifts. We usually keep it low key. I will  give a few little gifts to Joe and have a Valentine's Day breakfast for Mason. For the past 20 years, Joe always gets me chocolate covered strawberries (MY FAVORITE) and a single rose. I loved roses back 20 years ago, so I guess he thinks I still love them and plays it safe. He's not so much for change! For Joe, I gather  some lottery tickets, gum, protein bars and we have a yummy dinner and a sweet treat following. For Mason, I will pick up a pair of sunglasses, a couple books and a some candy. I also like to find some Valentine's jammies for the night before and a sweet heart shirt from Target for Valentine's Day! Check out the ones I bought for Mason this year. I don't know what I will do when he won't wear themed jammies or shirts anymore. We will eat at home and then Joe and I will binge on a Netflix show. Right now we are watching Controversies with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes It's really good but so weird and creepy. 

I think Valentine's Day cards are my favorite part of Valentine's Day. I love how cute and sweet they are. Mason has done Valentine's every year for his grandparents, Aunt and cousins since he could understand. So this year I gave him a choice of what he wanted and this is what he picked out! These cute Pugs & Kisses are great for little ones. We added a Reeses candy heart or you can add any candy of your choice. I found this downloaded printable on Etsy from KudzuMonster
Printable on Etsy from KudzuMonster 
We also added this Tic Tac Toe Valentine printable this year. Mason is obsessed with Tic Tac Toe so this was only suitable for his Valentines. I added a few crayons with Washie tape on the back. This was a printable from the Etsy shop, Craftivity Designs
Craftivity Designs 
I love a good themed table scape and kids table. Mason looks forward to seeing what's on the table for every holiday. Granted, he wakes up the night before almost every hour asking to come out to see it. But it keeps holidays fun and I love to see the surprise on his face. I will probably keep it low key because we are in the process of painting our kitchen and living room. But I found so many pretty tablescapes on Instagram and narrowed down a few of my favorites for some inspiration!

Tablescape by Crispcollectiveig


Cute kid table by allisoncartercelebrates





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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Winter Must Haves

We all know winter can do a number on our hair and skin especially in the brutal cold. Every winter, I try the "new" must haves and most turn out to be busts, just turning me back to the same old remedies. But this winter, I have really been loving some new products that I think will carry on into spring and summer. 
Dr. Teals Pure Epsom Salt Soak ///  I really love this product. I started off with the lavender because it seemed to calm and help with sleep. Then my little one started to have allergy problems, so I had to turn to a different scent and I don't regret it. The coconut happens to nourish and moisturizes my dry skin while also exfoliating. The smell reminds me of the beach and sunny weather which is always a plus in the winter time. 
Caress Botanicals Shower Foam /// I bought this on a whim and I love it. The fragrance lingers on your skin even after you rinse it off. The scent is a light white orchid and coconut milk which is inviting. I thought it might be overpowering but it isn't. I have gravitated to the foam washes lately because they give more of a lather than regular gel washes. 
Neutrogena Rain Bath Shower Gel /// I saw a lot of influencers using the new Neutrogena head-to-toe hydration products and thought I would try them. This shower gel smells amazing and doesn't leave a heavy residue on our skin. The only negative about this product is that it is thick and doesn't lather much. You have to use a good amount to get it to lather on your skin. 
Neutrogena Boost Hydrating Body Gel Cream /// I am guilty of getting out of the shower and not using a body moisturizer because I am in a hurry. Most lotions I have found have a greasy residue and leave the skin tacky. This body cream is lightweight and contains hyaluronic acid that is found naturally in the skin. It is non greasy and suitable for all skin types which is a plus. I like that it has instantly improved my dry, scaly skin. 
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hand Gel Cream /// Anyone that knows me, knows I hate anything on my hands. I am constantly washing them and using hand sanitizer. They are always so dry, cracked and awful. It's a joke amongst my family, that I have rough hands. Using hand lotion has always been out of the question, until now. This lotion is amazing. It lasts even after washing over and over. The formula is clinically proved to last for 24 hours and I believe it! It is paraben free, fragrance free and absorbs once you put it on. This is a MUST TRY! 
Pureology Hydrate Superfood Treatment Mask  ///  My hair gets really dry in the winter with the harsh temperatures and all the coloring I do to it. I color my hair (roots) every 4 weeks. If I didn't I would probably be 60% all grey. It's not fun getting older, huh? I have to use a leave in treatment or mask about every two weeks. I usually do this on a Sunday with a face mask or peel. In the summer, I will take a shower and put the treatment in before I go to the pool. The natural sun heats up the mask and protects it from sun damage. The Pureology Superfood Treatment is pricey but so worth it. My hair has never felt so good. The hair treatment is formulated for dry hair and has nutrients such as avocado oil and coconut oil to moisturize hair. You only have to have a quarter size amount so it will last awhile. Leave on for 5 minutes and then rinse. I sometimes leave mine on for 20 minutes when I want a real deep conditioning or after coloring. 
It's a 10 Styling Creme ///  If you aren't using one of the It's a 10 products, you a missing out! I love It's a 10 Keratin Leave in Treatment and hairspray. But when I discovered this product, I was sold. You use the styling creme on wet or dry hair right before you blow dry or style. It holds my curl for days. If I don't use this product, my hair is freezy and the curl will fall out in a 24 hour period. It boosts shine, protects split ends which makes hair look dry, and gives it definition. You only need a dime size amount for long hair. Try it, you won't be disappointed! 
ChapStick Total Hydration Lip Balm ///  Keeping your lips hydrated in the winter is a struggle. I have tried every lip moisturizer from high end to a drug store lip balm and I keep going back to ChapStick brand. The total hydration lip balm keeps lips hydrated for 8 hours. The only compliant I have is that there is no sunscreen in it. I always try to keep sunscreen in my face moisturizers and lip balms. I have used this more when I wash my face at night and as a night time lip balm. When I wake, my lips are smooth and soft. 
Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask /// OMG.... this lip mask blew me away!!!! I can't live without this. We had spent a day outside in November shoveling snow from the first snow fall and my lips were so dry and cracked. So bad that regular lip balm wouldn't help. I went to Sephora and asked the sales associates what would they recommend and they said the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask. The mask is only used at night and can be wiped off in the morning. I immediately tried it and it was AMAZING. Instantly, the next morning my lips were healed and so soft. I also liked that it helped with fine lines on the lips. The best part was the smell. Infused with strawberry, raspberry, cranberry and blueberry extracts made it that much more appealing. No parabens and dermatology approved. If you buy any one product on this list, let it be this lip mask. You will not be disappointed!! 
Sambucol Black Ederberry Gummies /// This is not a "must have" but definitely worth talking about. I have to say, I bought into the hype of the "elderberry" trend. I am always leery about new medicines or vitamins. I don't take many of either nor do I let Mason. Joe on the other hand takes hand fulls of vitamins a day. I still take a prenatal vitamin for the extra foilic acid (only prescribed by my doctor). But, it seems like Mason has been sick every second week, I'm giving these babies a try. I consulted with our pediatrician and doctor in regards to trying these. His response was, they are ok to take but may not "prevent" anyone from getting sick. I'm gonna give them a try! Ill keep you updated. 

Let me know if you like this kind of post in the comments!! 

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Friday, February 1, 2019

Snow Day Survival Guide

The frozen tundra has hit us here in New York! It has been below zero for a few days with wind chills of -24. School has been closed and we have been inside for almost 3 straight days. These days can be very daunting and give anyone cabin fever. I looked online to find some new ideas and to help with the long cold days. After searching and finding, "make an inside snowman" and "make your own instruments" I thought I would PASS and figure out my own! 
Here are a few of our favorites! 
GAMES  //  Mason got some new games for Christmas that he loves. Soggy Doggy, is one of his favorites. Regardless of the cold weather, it's always fun to get sprayed by a wet dog, right? He also got Ker plunk, and Mario Monopoly which are oldie but goodies. My Mom always loved playing games with us and we still do when we are all together. We love Racko, Yatzee and any card game. It really can keep you entertained for hours and gets everyone off from screen time. 
READ A NEW BOOK //  I've been trying to relax, slow down and spend less time on social media. I have found a few good books that I thought I would try. I have a Kindle fire that I download some on and then sometimes, I want a good ol paper back book. 
My choices: 

Becoming, Michelle O'Bama
Girl, Wash Your Face, Rachel Hollis
What Alice Forgot, Liane Moriarty (actually any book by this author is great)
The Perfect Detox, Petra Kolber
Skinny Taste Fast and Slow, Gina Homolka 
Mason's choices: 

Pete the Cat and the Missing Cupcakes 
The Old Lady that Swallowed Some Snow 
Pig the Stinker
Dear Yeti 

GET OUTSIDE //  We love getting outside and playing in the snow. My greatest memories as a kid were sledding and snowmobiling with my family. I'm so glad Mason loves the cold and snow also. I swear he could stay outside all day and play. It has been a little hard the past couple of days since the wind chill has been in the minus. But when we do get out, we enjoy riding the four wheeler while pulling the sled or just throw snowballs. We have the traditional saucer sleds and the toboggan sleds that can fit more than one person. 

NETFLIX AND CHILL //  Isn't that the new trend? We hardly ever do this unless there is a new series on that Joe and I can watch together. We like watching the documentaries. Either sports related (yes, I enjoy sports) or murder mystery. We just got done watching the second season of QB1, which documents 3 high school, all star football players, their senior year and signing day. Some other shows we have watched Making a Murderer, The Staircase, and Amanda Knox. On a lighter note, I love Grace and Frankie and Schitts Creek. I just watched Fyre, The Greatest Party that Never Happened, it was BANANAS!!!! You  have to watch it. The scheme was so crazy. 
For Mason, he loves the Hotel Transylvania movies and the third one is now available on Netflix. I think he has watched that 10 times so far. Incredibles 2, Inspector Gadget and Spy Kids: Mission Critical are a few of his favorites. He enjoys the short series also that were made from movies such as: Boss Baby, Captain Underpants, Trolls and Home. 
TAKE A WALK // We also enjoy walking by the lake. Canandaigua Lake looks much different in the winter time. But still beautiful when the sun is shining. It is completely frozen but you can see down it for miles! 

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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Mason turns 6!!

It's hard to believe that my baby turned 6 on the 19th! Where does the time go? 
We had a weekend planned in the Poconos but had to cancel it because of snow. We didn't let a little snow stop us from celebrating. He has definitely matured this year and has come out of his shell. More of his progress later. We asked him what he wanted to do since we couldn't go on our trip and he said play outside and sled with his cousins, so that's what we did. 
I planned a baseball theme party in honor of his love for baseball. To be honest, who doesn't want baseball food during a snow storm, right? I got to work planning and borrowing ideas from Pinterest and Etsy. I love Etsy. You can find great homemade, local vendors for almost everything you need.  The baseball cake topper from, Strut Our Stuff, was engraved with his name and also comes with a stand for a keep sake.  The baseball Happy Birthday banner, is from Party Pop Banners and was perfect for the theme. I have always ordered him a birthday shirt from Etsy since his first birthday. I found the cutest baseball tee from the shop, Purple Elephant STL. The shirt was great quality and the screen printing held up to washing, which is a plus! I also ordered an instant download printable baseball tags from Digi Doodling, for the party gifts. Easy and editable to enter each child's name. Pinterest had some great examples of party gifts and were super easy to find in stores. 
Now the cake, I am NOT a baker. I don't find interest in baking and usually purchase from a local baker. But I found on Pinterest, a Pinata cake, that I knew he would love. If you don't know what a Pinata cake is, its a 3 layer cake with some sort of candy surprise in the middle. When you cut it open the candies fall out kinda like a pinata. Well, I attempted the Pinata cake and it was a complete fail. I bought box cake mixes because there was no way I was going to attempt to make them by scratch. I ordered white, blue and red M&M's from Amazon as the candy filler. It was a complete fail. For some  reason the cakes fell apart so it was hard to frost them. I did get the candy in the inside of the cake. Everyone said the cake was great. Looks can be deceiving I guess.  
We had the party around noon so we had lunch like you would have at the baseball field. Hamburgers, hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, chips, salad, salt potatoes and all the fixings. It really made it seem like a Saturday at the ball field!
Mason had asked for a hover board for Christmas and Santa didn't come through. We decided to get it for him for his birthday. After some apprehension and research, I found a hover board on Amazon that is for 5-10 year old kids.  I thought he could practice inside for the winter and then hopefully he will be a pro by the time the weather breaks. Or so I hope. I also ordered him a helmet, knee and elbow pads just for added security. 
Birthdays always require a lot of work planning and to make sure the day is super great for him. I want him to always remember the birthday parties that he had and that birthdays are a celebration!! 
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