Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Catching up from Illinois, Wisconsin, and birthdays!

A few weeks ago, I was driving home and noticed that I was still really cold. I turned my seat heater on, and kept driving. After yawning, I noticed I could see my breath. My heat had gone out in the Equinox. I tried to turn it off, turn it on. Turn off the car, and try again, but it wasn't working. With it being so cold, and having 2 small kids, I knew I had to get it fixed. 

I dropped it off at the dealer, and because I had bought my car there, they hooked me up with a brand new Traverse to use. It was awesome. Captains seats for the kids, working heat, and very spacious. Thankfully we got it in time to go on our road trip to Illinois and Wisconsin for a family wedding.




After 5 hours in the car, Gavin had had enough, and wanted out. We found a Burger King with a play place and grabbed a snack while we let the kids burn some energy. 


Another hour later, we made it to my Aunt Midge's house. This place is pretty special to me, as we are very close to this Aunt, and we would come here all the time as kids to stay and play. Seeing my kids play here was pretty cool. 


We also got a nice tour of the local bakery in Harvard IL. It is a family owned operation, and John, our cousin's husband, showed us around the place his parents started.


Avery was pretty excited about the giant mixer. She knew right away what it did because she helps use our KitchenAid mixer at home. 


The place was pretty cool, and had lots of goodies. We picked up a Gingerbread House kit to bring home, and we will be putting that together this weekend!



After our tour, we headed back to Midge's to get ready for the wedding. The kids were hanging back with some other cousins to play while us adults went to play. 

The wedding was gorgeous, as was the bride, Debbie. She is my mom's cousin, but is only a few years older than I am. It was such a nice ceremony and reception. Unfortunately I had to miss some of it because I had a splitting headache and felt ill. Something was going around, as my cousin's wife left the ceremony and was ill, and another cousin had to leave the dinner because she started to feel ill. 

After crashing in my Aunt Carol's hotel room to take a nap, I started to feel better, so while I missed cocktails, I made dinner. It was too bad that I wasn't feeling better, but I still had a very nice time, and Tony really enjoyed spending time with that side of the family. I also failed to get a picture of Tony and I, we were looking pretty snazzy. I did get this one of his place card magnet that turned into lapel decor. All the guys at Table 6 were sporting these. Table 6 was the place to be.



They had a really fun reception at a hotel in Lake Geneva WI. Since my cousin was a graduate of Wisconsin {vet school} and her new husband was a graduate of Notre Dame, they had dueling ice sculptures with drink luges.



And the Father of the Bride, Uncle Bill, getting ready to take a shot that goes in the top and comes out the side.



Had I been feeling better, I would have tried this...and probably borrowed the tambourine and joined the live band. However since I was not, I drove us back to Aunt Midge's in the fresh 4" of snow that had fallen!


Avery told Aunt Midge that her birthday was the next day, so she was the recipient of some chocolate chip pancakes with candles. Avery loved it!



After a very successful ride back home, and dinner out with the in-laws, we retired and got ready to celebrate someone turning 4!


A special bubble bath in the big tub with the jets for the birthday girl


A trip to The Playground. A bounce house place in Ankeny that is well loved by our family



Gavin in particular loved this place. He could climb the ladder and slide down all day if we let him



Avery and her friend Claire.


And I just love this photo. I am pretty sure Claire's mom Kim and I have posed like this for photo's. I think it was Vegas...



We have been busy. Tony had some serious work deadlines that kept him at the office quite a bit and the kids keep us going. We are looking forward to a long weekend with family and friends.





Thursday, November 13, 2014

Shopping at Target with Toddlers...


This is what happens when I ask them to smile, so I can send a picture to Daddy who is working late again.


We stopped by Target last night to get some booties I had tried on at a different Target over lunch. I had looked online and they were out of stock  in all sizes, and very limited availability in sizing for the Des Moines Metro stores. 



Luckily Ankeny had my size, and after searching high and low, we couldn't find them. I thought that maybe someone had bought them, but the shoe section was a bit of a mess, so I went to the price scanner, and paged someone. I asked them to scan in the code and see if someone had returned them, or if they were in back, since the website showed stock available earlier that day. 

They checked the dressing room, the return section, and the back with no luck. As I was getting ready to head over to the diaper aisle, one of the gals that helped me, flagged me down and had found them wrongly put away in the clearance section! 

Success!

I plan to wear them to a family wedding this weekend with a navy dress and tights. I had to text my 20 year old cousin, who is much more fashion savy than I to sign off on the outfit.





Monday, November 10, 2014

Birchbox - November '14 Buzzfeed Life


For my November Birchbox, I was given the choice between a limited edition curated box, or to choose some specific samples. After weighing my options, I chose to go with the BuzzFeed Life option.
Also: BuzzFeed has hilarious quizzes, and yes that did factor into my decision.




I did try the Dr. Jart+ mask last night during my bath. It is a charcoal mask, and it is a black fabric with serum coated on it. I applied it to my face as I relaxed in the tub for 20 min. It left my face feeling refreshed, and moisturized. Since this retails at $35 for 5 masks, and $7.50 for 1, I feel like I got a good deal getting 1 in my $10 monthly subscription.


I had received the Dr. Lip balm previously in Birchbox, and was excited to see it again. I love the stuff, especially during the fall and winter months. 



All of the rest of the products were new to me. 



This mini candle smells like Christmas time to me. I am loving it. 


I haven't tried this yet, but will likely do so tomorrow. 


I tried this during my morning make up routine. It is ok, and good for a back up mascara. Not something I am going to make a point of purchasing. 

Overall, I am very pleased with my Birchbox this month. This has been something that I am really glad I signed up for. 

If you want to give it a try, here is a referral link {Click Join Danielle...} to get yourself started:







Thursday, November 6, 2014

Throwback Thursday!


to the time our littlest Iowa State Cyclone fan was born. 
Gavin looked like a little old man!


ps - basketball season starts tomorrow, we are excited!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Home Inspiration





Speaking of Better Homes and Gardens, Wal-Mart carries their line of home goods, and decor. I have popped in every so often to check it out and have been impressed. And in that vein, what is happening at Wal-Mart?! They are starting to carry some seriously cute stuff. 
Check out this website for a cheeky look at the current line of goods: 







Monday, November 3, 2014

Halloween and our weekend recap


Cinderella and Prince Charming


We bought Avery's Cinderella dress with Halloween and an upcoming Disney World trip in mind. She loves to play dress up, and Cinderella is her favorite princess lately. 

Since Gavin has little interest in dressing up, but is now old enough to tag along on Trick or Treating, Avery selected his costume. She wanted him to be Prince Charming. After the sticker shock of the cost on toddler Prince Charming costumes, I decided to make it. I am glad I did, because I had so much fun making it and it turned out great!



White Button down shirt from Target.
Gold, white, and red cording and fringe from Jo-Ann Fabric. 
Fabric Glue.
Red pants from Target, 
and a red ribbon sash from Jo-Ann.




Each year, Tony gets to take them around the neighborhood, and I stay home to eat hand out candy. 


On Friday, our daycare took the kids around to parents workplaces so they could trick-or-treat on Halloween. My places of employment since I have been a mom have really been great about this. 


Gavin was in full on CRAZY MODE!


He got here, gave me a hug, and once I put him down, he was off! He ran around my office, down the hall, into each open office, and interrupted a meeting. He was nuts! He giggled and ran. We corralled them enough to get a picture, and then they were off to visit more parents. Avery and Gavin both cried when they had to leave, but I was assured it was short lived. 


Friday night was pizza night. This is a Bower Family Favorite, as the kids love to help me make it.


Gavin hopped right up there and grabbed my rolling pin, so I gave him a little dough to work with. He found the Gatorade bottle worked better for him. 


I got to take Avery to Gymnastics this week. Tony and I alternate, so one of us can stay home with Gavin {see previous description of him at my office...}. Each of her Grandma's has taken her the last 2 weeks, and Tony did the week before, so it has been a while since I have gotten to watch my girl in action.





She did so well!