Friday, February 28, 2014

Love in Liberty

Ford, Mimi and I just got home from a wonderful trip to Liberty, MO! My mom's parents live there and we spent a few days showing off our sweet little boy, visiting with family, eating, thrifting, and relaxing. To say Ford is loved is an understatement. He sure does know how to put on a show and was such a happy boy, despite a little stranger danger when he first saw my gramma and cried for 20 minutes :). We were thinking Ford was going to see his first snow but besides the dirty snow piled up in parking lots, there was nothing. It was such a nice week and a great visit, I loved having extra hands to help with Ford for 4 whole days! 















Videos
Reading Charlie Brown with Gramma Great
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His sleepy noise (this is how he puts himself to sleep for naps)
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My sweet happy boy
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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Valentine's Day with Panera Bread


Let me just tell you that THE place to be on Valentine's night was Panera Bread. Jon and I rarely indulge in fancy dinners and there was no reason for us to spend an arm and a leg on dinner just because it was Valentine's Day. We shared a nice, quiet, and intimate dinner at Panera Bread while others waited in lines to be squished like sardines into tiny tables at the hottest new restaurants. Normally Panera is packed so this was extra special! My parents watched Ford and we started our date night with a workout. Yes you know you're a parent when you do mundane things like the gym or errands on date night, just because you can be alone!
 
When I worked prior to having a baby, I was in charge of ordering food for the company which happened on a weekly basis. We always found an excuse to bring in food: training, lunch and learns, or just for fun, and Panera Bread was my go to. The restaurant was right around the corner from the office and I could easily order trays of food for breakfast or lunch online and it was delivered to our door. Talk about easy. I especially loved being the one to order food when I was pregnant because whatever I was craving, I ordered! Now that I stay home, lunches and meals out come few and far between. Ford is getting easier and easier to take out and about so we try to set up lunch dates with friends on a weekly basis and Panera is always the hot spot! There are a few located around Austin and it's a major plus that they are both by a Target so I can get my errands done. 
 
So back to date night. The workers probably thought we were crazy because we were post workout and starving. I love being able to order from the "You Pick Two" menu and enjoy a half a sandwich, half a salad, and a side. It makes choosing from the extensive menu a lot easier! 
 


 
I had my all-time favorite salad, the Fuji Apple Chicken Salad, with  the tried and true Bacon Turkey Bravo sandwich. Jon had the Cobb with Avocado Salad with the Italian combo sandwich and we shared a side of the Mac & Cheese (you're not living if you haven't tried the mac before!!). So like I said, I think the guy taking our order assumed we had about 4 people in our party. Hey it was Valentine's Day, live a little! Somehow we refrained from grabbing a cookie or delicious bakery pastry because we had fresh chocolate covered strawberries waiting for us at home. 
 
 
 
The apple chips and gorgonzola in the Fuji Apple Chicken Salad....yes please! I am a huge fan of mixing savory items (chicken, onions, lettuce) with sweet toppings for the perfect mix of a salad. 
 



In case you're wondering, I'm a girl who eats!
Funny story. Until about a year ago I despised bacon...now I can't get enough of it!
 
Not a crumb left behind, I call that a successful meal
 
Find Panera Bread...
Facebook//Twitter//Instagram

Be sure to vote for your favorite Panera Bread Menu Item at Panerabread.com and celebrate yumminess – MyPanera members could with their favorite free for a year! And check out the weekly challenges on Panera's Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts!

Giveaway
Leave a comment telling me your favorite Panera Bread menu item for a chance to win a $100 Panera Bread Gift card!
Sweepstakes Rules: 
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 2/26/2014-3/30/2014.
Be sure to visit the Panera Bread brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!
 
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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Affordable Fashion

I'm always excited to find new online boutiques where I can shop for trendy and fashionable clothes that are well made and affordable. No one can deny that shopping at Forever 21 or H&M is incredibly overwhelming so I love shopping in the comfort of my own home (most likely on my phone in the middle of the night with a crabby baby... hey you gotta treat yourself sometimes!). Dana-Leigh Apparel is a new online boutique that offers women's and children's clothing, accessories, and shoes. I could not believe how inexpensive and CUTE their items were! I was instantly sold. I often get weary buying lower priced items because that often goes hand in hand with low quality but their clothing is well made, durable, and fabulous quality! I had a hard time choosing a few things but here is what I came up with (and remind you, I am not fashion blogger!)

Striped Chiffon Shirt

Paired with skinny jeans and simple jewelry, this was the perfect outfit for a mommies brunch I hosted last weekend. The weather isn't quite hot but definitely not cold so this top was the perfect material. As a nursing mama I have to have easy access throughout the day which this was great for. And the colors!! I love stepping out of my gray/black/neutral wardrobe and spicing it up with bold colors. 


Chambray Top with Gray Leggings



Other great buys...

Dana-Leigh Apparel Dress Collection
Dana-Leigh Apparel Long Sleeved Tops 

Dana-Leigh Apparel Kids Shirts 
Find Dana-Leigh Apparel...
Shop//Facebook//Instagram

Giveaway
Today you have the chance to win 1 of 2 $25 gift cards towards any purchase at Dana-Leigh Apparel!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Monday, February 24, 2014

Short Hair Don't Care

Prior to last week, the last time I got my haircut was in June. Yes you can take a second to gasp and you'll gasp again when you learn that that isn't the longest I've ever gone without a hair cut. I've said it time and time again that I am not a hair person. When I say that I mean that I give myself about 3 seconds to style my hair which is only fair because I can do 2 styles...stick straight down or a simple pony tail. Do I wish I was able to tease my hair, curl it with a wand, and make it as big as Texas? Heck yes! But my thin, straighter than uncooked spaghetti noodles, body-less hair is quite stubborn. So now that you've had the back story on my lack of hair care (that sounds off... I do take care of my hair! Just not cut it)... you can see it in all of it's stringy glory. 


Not sure how long it's looked like this in the back but hey, I can't see it!


I had the incredible opportunity to visit Ethan Wade Salon in Cedar Park for a haircut and am so pleased with my hair, it makes me want to become a "hair person"! Now that's saying a lot! It is an Aveda Salon tucked right in next to a yoga studio and a mere 20 minutes from my home. I was greeted by their friendly staff upon my arrival and offered a beverage multiple times.




I let them know I was a new mom so this was a relaxing afternoon away and it was just that. My haircut started with what felt like an hour long (not really) scalp and shoulder massage and a tea tree treatment. I was in heaven. Sometimes as a mom, or really just a busy person in general, you forget to take some time to step away and pamper yourself. If I get a shower with out my bright eyed boy in the jumper peering through the glass, it's a miracle! Layla, whom I can't recommend and thank enough, made me feel comfortable, relaxed, and I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation. What an absolute treat it was, heck I could have just chatted at the salon for an hour and enjoyed myself. 

Layla picked my brain on what I wanted in a haircut and never have I thought so much about adding layers in different places to add weight to my thin hair. It was great to get her opinion on how to add volume to my volume-less hair. I've never had such an in depth consult before a haircut which I think is key, especially if you are doing something drastic. I took the plunge and told her I wanted short. Since haircuts come few and far between for me, I wanted something semi-drastic and fun! I was getting tired of Ford yanking on my hair and ready for some change. 

Bye bye split ends!

Y'all. I wish I would have counted the times I said, "Are you sure this is my hair? It doesn't even look like my hair!".  To say I love the cut is an understatement. 



Don't be fooled into thinking there's a bump-it under there. That, folks, is my real hair!

Now I know my hair will never ever ever look this good post haircut/style but it feels awesome. It feels fresh and healthy and after a couple hours to myself I am re-energized and feeling confident about my hair. 
(oh and it can still fit into a pony tail which is my go-to mom hair uniform!)

So if you're reading this as an Austinite or surrounding areas, take it from me and make an appointment with Ethan Wade Salon. Their mission is to provide the ultimate experience to their clients and guests and they definitely delivered. I told my stylist Layla that she will be hearing from me sooner than my normal 9 months between haircuts. This salon holds true talent, I am lucky to have visited! 

Find Ethan Wade Salon...
Website//Facebook


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