Friday, August 30, 2013

Stitch fix!

Can I just say I am in love/obsessed/addicted to these monthly box businesses? The only blogs I've read this past week have been ones reviewing monthly boxes. Right now Whit gets two (but that was an accident and I need to cull that to one per month) and it was high time mama got one for herself. And Stitch Fix is perfect for me. I love fashion, though you would never know it from looking at me. I was a jeans and tee kind of girl who grew into a yoga pants and tank kind of woman. But I own fun pieces, I just never wear them. So in an attempt to make my closet a little cooler I thought I would try out the box and see what I get.

Basically you sign up for $20 and fill out a questionnaire (and you can link a Pinterest board to your profile) about your personal style. Then a personal stylist will send you five pieces for you to try. You get 3 days to try them on, see what you like, and you buy only the pieces you want. And that $20 you spent earlier is like a credit towards your purchase.

And mine came today!!! It was like big girl Christmas!

I'm liking it so far...

What's funny is the piece I was most sure about has left me scratching my head the most about buying it. And the piece that was my least favorite, became a must have after trying it on. So, here's the pieces I got. Heads up, we're still unpacking from vacation and there are clothes EVERYWHERE in these pictures. #keepinitreal

1. Originally my "no way in hell" piece. Black Swan's Olive Fit & Flare ponte dress

I still think it's a ton of red on me, but damn it just fit so well! And I LOVE the flare of the skirt. Right now I'm thinking it with my nude wedges, but in winter fun tights and flats (maybe booties?) Oh I've been wanting a ponte dress forever. Yay!

2. Colletive Concepts Esten Sleeveless Blouse

I like it and it fits great. But navy? Ack, what do you wear with a navy top? The suggestion card had a plum pencil skirt on one of the outfits, which looks cool. But now I would have to find a plum pencil skirt! My other hang up is it's $58! The cheapskate in me is trying to remember if I've seen something similar at Target.

3. Kut from the Kloth Veronica Knit Top

Dolman sleeves: NEVER!

4. Collective Concepts Belted Kaleidoscope dress

It's cute and it's comfortable. But it's $78! And navy again! Aaaannd, I just bought a super cute black and white tribal-print dress. But dang it, I really liked that shirt hem in the back.

5. Bella Dahl Denim Tank.

Omg, this shirt feels amazing. And I knew I would love it because I'm way too into chambray this year. I was shocked at how versatile the stuff is! And it's made out of tencel, which I didn't even knew existed until two months ago. Ugggghhh, but it's $70. Do I really need another chambray top? And how long before it gets cold? And am I really going to wear denim on denim? I just don't think I'm cool enough to pull it off. 

So what have I decided? I'm definitely getting the red dress and I'm going to sleep on the chambray tank and navy sleeveless blouse. And I'm patting myself on the back for my excellent collection of shoes and jackets. Go me! Definitely doing this again!

If you would like to give Stitch fix a try (for a vacation, for a special event, for everyday), you can check it out here.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

How we played: ball pit

Pack n' Play + bag of balls = best. thing. evar!

I love how the best toys are the easiest. I wish I could save all this money and time by making toys and games for Whitman, but I don't. I still spend way too much money on him, but he's our first born and we're allowed that, dagnabit! I try to console myself by saying it's an investment for his future siblings, but let's get real: the only thing more fun than buying clothes, is buying toys. 

I got this idea from a lady at work who said her daughter-in-law did it with her son. They would put a lot of balls in a laundry basket and the kid loves it. Well overzealous me had to do it bigger and I still want to add even more balls. Because honestly, what's better than a pit full of stuff?! One of my favorite memories as a kid was the foam cube pit at Pat Gray's, a gymnastics studio where you could have birthday parties. You'd do cake and presents downstairs and then let the kids loose on the equipment upstairs. One set of uneven bars was over a huge pit of foam cubes and we were constantly swimming in it a la Scrooge McDuck.


Whit loved it! And still does <--- that's the shocker. The ball pit has been going strong for almost three weeks now and it's still as fun as day one. The first day we had it, Whit would try to throw the balls out and we were hitting them back in while quoting Dikembe Mutombo from the Geico commercials.  

"Nuh uh uh! Not today!"
As the newness wears off, we've found different ways to make it fun. We've tried the muffin tin game, which Whit is only slightly interested in. Throwing the balls out and into specific things: gift bags, baskets, his car seat. Hiding other toys in the balls and asking him to find them. Sometimes he will just lay flat on them and move his arms around enjoying the feeling. 

But Dikembe Mutombo is still his favorite.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Whitman is One!

Well it's official our baby boy is a toddler now and is well on his way to being a spoiled one. It's a joke in our family that the older you are the longer your birthday is. At one, Whit's birthday was a week long event, so I'm a little nervous for the years to come. It technically started on the 3rd with a visit from Ben's dad and step mom. We had linner (or dunch?) then they came over to the house, Whitman showed off all his latest achievements, and Norm taught Whit how to throw. (yeah, didn't see that one becoming a problem at the time :-/) 

Then on his real birthday Ben, Whit and I all went to the Nashville Zoo. Unfortunately Whit was worn out all day, so he seemed zoned out most of the trip, but he definitely had some highlights. 

Watching the gibsons. Ben really didn't want to keep Whit in his stroller, I think he was having too much fun :-)

Petting the tiniest goats.

Watching the elephants eat lunch.
Note the zombie look I mentioned?
That evening we went over to Ben's mom's and step dad's house for dinner and cake. And balloons! Whit really enjoyed my birthday balloon last month so I knew no matter what, we were going to have a ton of balloons.

Whit's smash cake
By the way, if you didn't already know (or aren't a member of Publix's baby club. Seriously, join already!) When you buy a cake for the adults, Publix will give you a free, matching smash cake for your baby's first birthday. I was in love with how cute it was!

One of our friends' daughters, who is in love with Whitman. I think she would take him if we'd let her!

Our friends' eldest daughter. Hilarious.

When it came to the smash cake, Whit was very deliberate at first...

And then managed to smear it all over his face (and into his eyes - which made an unhappy camper). But he likes icing! I don't think he even got to the cake before Ben took it away. But really that cake was HUGE.

Hanging with the big boys
Gingerly opening presents.
Whit and the big kids band. I couldn't believe how much fun the big kids were having with it!
Then the following weekend we went to Meridian to visit with my family. And we were lucky enough that one of my grandma's former exchange students was visiting from Brazil with her family. It was awesome to catch up with her, hear more about Brazil, and meet her husband and kids. It was even awesome-r to hear the guys bond over the international language of beer! We started out with a few presents at my parents' house, then went out to dinner, and the next night had the cousins over for pool time and cake.

Hanging with Great Grandma Patsy

Most of the crew. Those poor, poor servers.

Ben and Whitman with his new dinosaur. My sister, Jolie with her dinosaur when she was about Whit's age.
Uncle Scott and Cousin Logan
After we sang "Happy Birthday" we clapped and Whit started joining in with a huge smile on his face.
And this past Saturday we went to Huntsville to visit our friends Amanda and Jared for their son, Pierce's birthday party. I was a little nervous since there would be other kids there, lots of food, and Whit is thoroughly pissed every time he's in a car seat these days. But we had a great time! Whit loved following the bigger boys around and the balloons (!) and going around from person to person batting his eyes begging for food. You would think I starve that kid, except for the rolls you can see on him! 

And because my friends are better than I am, Amanda had all her party guests sing Happy Birthday to Whit too. And I bawled. Of course. It was so sweet and I feel so blessed to have her family in our lives. Speaking of blessed, I feel incredibly blessed that this past week went so well with all the travelling and relatives spread out everywhere. Whit had a great time and there were no dramatic scenes and I just thank God it went swimmingly! Of course now that it's calmed down a bit I'm having to cope with having a toddler and that my baby is growing up. I get so excited for the new milestones to come and so sad when I think our days of cuddling are numbered. Here's hoping toddlerhood will be gentle with this newbie.

Sunday, August 4, 2013


i need to just use this darn blog. be real and update. that's my resolution for this bad boy now. and really, i hate typing with correct punctuation and capitalization. i know better, i'm just too lazy to hit shift. so there, no more! rest easy, left pinkie.

so july happened: i turned 30 and didn't mind it. ben won the weight loss competition, but i'm close behind him having lost 8 of the 10 pounds i was hoping for. whit is almost running now, he took to walking so well. he's also starting to have tantrums. and pick up words. so far he says: itty (kitty), oey (zoey), dg (dog), mama, dada (or daddee), that, ight (light), baby, and something that means "get". amanda and pierce came to visit to celebrate our birthdays. my mother in law had a cancer scare and surgery, but turns out everything is fine. august: ben's mystery illness popped up. ben's dad and stepmom visited yesterday. and tuesday will be whit's one year birthday!

oh man, just realized i haven't posted whit's 11 month old pic and stats or a weekly collage in... um... weeks. i really am insanely busy. working full time, whit's been very clingy and teething, and the past few weekends have been planned out for me. and the next few continue to be. so, ashley, take it small!

today: the inlaws, whit and i all went to church. about halfway through the sermon i was paged back to the nursery to a red-faced, bright blue-eyed whit. tear-stained face and he had been crying so hard he was starting to hiccup. i just rocked him for a bit and gave him some tylenol. he had a molar break through last weekend and the other side's tooth has been trying to come through the past couple of days. my poor little guy!

so we walked next door to a coffeehouse called the frothy monkey (so good!) and had brunch. today was the first time i've ever ordered something specifically for whit and he really liked it. didn't come close to eating most of it, since it was way too much, but it was yummy.

cheesy farm eggs and local bacon....mmmmmm!
mama, more bacon, please!
then we walked over to the toy store on main street and i just let him loose. i'm sure we got some looks due to his bare feet, but eh, he was having a grand time walking around looking at stuff, poking the stuffed animals and "claiming" two dinosaurs. thankfully those were the only things he put in his mouth!

ooooh, dinosaurs!
i'm glad he's started to like particular things a little. it makes it easier to answer relatives' questions about presents. all i can say now is he really likes anything with wheels, water, and dinosaurs. it's tough, people ask what shows is he into, and he's not. i've kinda tried to keep him from tv, but even when he gets the chance to watch he doesn't care about it. when he was little he would watch baseball and football a little. last night he and i watched the new episode of too cute together. i would make noises to go along with the animals and he would giggle. it's a super fun show for everyone, if you've never seen it. the viewing advisory at the beginning is hilarious.

but past that, he's not a tv kid right now. i think he's going to take after me and like being outside a lot. he finally got over his aversion to grass and the three of us hung out on the lawn the other night. watching lightning bugs, pulling weeds, and getting eaten alive by the mosquitoes. i swear all three of us have the sweetest blood there is!

okay, now on to wrapping a few presents for whit's birthday. i should not have bought anything for him, but i can't help it! i have way more fun buying him things than buying myself anything. uuuugghhh, never thought i'd hear myself say that, lol.