Friday, August 29, 2014

[Guest Post] Getting to Know Shelly from Windy City Baby

Hello, hello, hello! It's Friday! It's a long weekend, and we're going to Disney World! I'm probably driving Aria nuts by mentioning it all week, since I'm sure she doesn't understand 'We're going to Disney in 4 days!!'. She just knows that Disney is awesome, and why aren't we there right now. You know who else loves Disney? Shelly from Windy City Baby, who is today's Q&A star! It's funny, I just realized while I was putting this post together that the majority of my blog buddies share a love for Disney with me. Disney just brings people together!

Shelly and I got to know each other when we talked Disney prior to her Florida trip this summer. She asked me for some toddler friendly non-park activities and tips. I started to respond to her email thinking I didn't really have many, and then ended up typing paragraph after paragraph. Next thing we know I talked her right into visiting Magic Kingdom, and best of all her (completely adorable) daughter Josephine ended up having a blast. Apart from her fondness for Disney, she is a full time English teacher, lives in Chicago, enjoys holidays, baking, and yoga. All good things! You definitely need to go check her blog out, but of course first take a peek at her answers below.

Thanks so much for answering my questions today, Shelly!

Make sure to stop by her blog today, and tell her Courtney sent you!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Gift Ideas: Want, Need, Wear, Read

Sweet Turtle Soup - Gift Ideas: Want, Need, Wear, Read
#1. [ want / need / wear / read ]
#2. [ want / need / wear / read ]
#3. [ want / need / wear / read ]
#4. [ want / need / wear / read ]

I love the idea of the want, need, wear, read gift giving philosophy. It helps you narrow your focus, it helps you limit your desire to buy all the things, and you end up giving a well rounded gift. For Aria's Birthday/Christmas last year she got a ton of toys, a lovely selection of books (my fave), a sprinkling of clothes, and a few essentials. The essentials may be boring, but I appreciated the ones Aria received. We've gotten a lot of use of them, while some of the toys are collecting dust months later. So, I find the four different categories to be a fantastic guide for both the receiver and giver. And, since gift giving season is right around the corner I thought I'd put together a few ideas! I'm helpful like that. Now if only I was actually that on top of gift buying...

Have a great Wednesday!

Linking up with:
OurJoyHisGlory

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Blogmopolitan Quiz - take three

I was so excited to see that Two Thirds Hazel whipped up another Blogmopolitan quiz. I love filling it in and I love reading what other people put. It is win win! So, today for your reading pleasure...a little about me post.
Sweet Turtle Soup: The Blogmopolitan Quiz - take three
 Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sweet Sunday

Sweet Sunday
August 17th - 23rd

Sweet Turtle Soup: Sweet Sunday
She asked me for days to paint her toenails and I finally remembered when she was confined in her high chair to oblige. Don't mind me, I'm just blowing on my kids toenails.

Sweet Turtle Soup: Sweet Sunday
"Z, sit still you need a tea cozy hat!"

Sweet Turtle Soup: Sweet Sunday
Baxter is ready for the fall too with his disgusting chewed on pumpkin toy from last year. It's super cute (unsanitary) when Aria picks it up with her teeth while playing with the pups. She also tries to lap water from the water bowls like the dogs do. And, yesterday she spilled a bit of water and promptly got down on hands and knees to lick it up. These dogs are giving her the worst habits!

Sweet Turtle Soup: Sweet Sunday
Sweet Turtle Soup: Sweet Sunday
Is there anything better than having your kid bring you a book and snuggling into your side for a nice read?

Sweet Turtle Soup: Sweet Sunday
Aria finally lets Chris build his contraptions before knocking them down. Mom is the boring one always talking about the colours and making patterns.

Sweet Turtle Soup: Sweet Sunday
She is super concerned about how this one is going to turn out!

Have a sweet Sunday!
 
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http://www.simpleasthatblog.com/

Friday, August 22, 2014

Oh Hey, Friday: My Favourite Memories


Happy Friday!

I have Doc McStuffins stuck in my head...time for a check up, time for a check up. Peachy.

Moving on.

Aria's bestie is turning 1, well already did, but her birthday party is this weekend. So I was thinking back on all the warm fuzzy memories of Aria's first year of life. I thought that first year was fast, but this second year is flying. I'm also working on our 2013 'yearbook' so I'm chocked full of yesteryear and days gone by. So here's to being sentimental! Enjoy five of my favourite memories from Aria's hazy baby days.
Right off the bat, Aria's entrance into this world. It's the only thing that is crystal clear from the whole labor and delivery, and really the pregnancy too. Relief, sweet relief. Then a flood of all the emotions. I was just in awe, watching her scream. She was so tiny and purple and had the littlest tongue. It's just such a shame that she had to be whisked off to the NICU. I think that it is a wonderful experience meeting your baby, and to miss out on that is such sadness.
Sweet Turtle Soup: My Favourite Memories
Then there are all the memories of having Aria nap on my chest. I never wanted to put her down, and we enjoyed countless hours snuggling while she napped and I read. And, she was just so tiny and fit perfectly. It is hard to believe she was so little at one time when it is like being tackled by a full sized man when she hops on my lap now.
Sweet Turtle Soup: My Favourite Memories
October is my favourite month, along with just about everybody else. And, last October was a blast with all the countdown to Halloween bits we had going on, and the weather was on occasion really quite lovely, and the best was that Aria was at such a great age.  My favourite memory from the fall though was hanging out with her on the back porch when the weather was cooperating. We'd go out in the morning while the dogs stretched their legs and emptied their bladders. Aria would explore, and I kept her from eating plants. I've got my fingers triple crossed that we have so many nice days again this fall and winter.
Sweet Turtle Soup: My Favourite Memories
Sweet Turtle Soup: My Favourite Memories
October may be my fave month, but I just plum love the whole holiday season from October through December. And, one of my top holiday festive bits is watching the Macy's Parade on Thanksgiving. You get up and flip on the TV and have breakfast in your pjs before starting on your to do list for the Thanksgiving feast. I love it! And, last year I got to do that with Aria. We rolled her high chair into the living room and had a Thanksgiving morning breakfast feast while dancing along to the Parade music. I'm hoping she turns into a Parade fanatic just like me!
Sweet Turtle Soup: My Favourite Memories
And, of course you can't forget the memory of Christmas. I loved all the present opening that went on last December. She had her first lesson in ripping the wrapping on her birthday, so she was a pro by Christmas and definitely wanted to do it all herself, which also meant that it literally took all day. We had to break for food and naps, but we just kept unwrapping until it was time to start dinner. It would have been perfect if I wasn't sick. It felt like her first Christmas, which works because her actual first Christmas was pretty miserable being a few days postpartum and completely zombiefied.
Sweet Turtle Soup: My Favourite Memories
Now it is your turn! Go ahead, think of your favourite memory from anytime. I'll wait. Ok, got it? Doesn't it just put a smile on your face? Smiles make for a great start to the weekend! I hope yours is full of making memories. Feel free to share your fave memory in the comments too! I'd love to hear it.


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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Historical-ness: Honeymoon Day #3 & The Reception

I've made my way now from how Chris and I met up through our wedding day in this historical-ness series. After we got married and reception-ed at Epcot, we honeymooned for the next three days at Disney's The Boardwalk. Today's post is from April 15th, 2011 - honeymoon day 3.

This is the last day of our honeymoon and we spent it at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Sweet Turtle Soup: Historical-ness
We started off in Dinoland USA so that Chris could ride on Dinosaur, which for some reason or another (maintenance etc.) he hadn't been able to ride yet. It is one of his favourite rides so he was pretty excited about it.
Sweet Turtle Soup: Historical-ness
It was also the first time we rode Everest.
Sweet Turtle Soup: Historical-ness
We had lunch and excellent daiquiris at the Yak &Yeti.
Sweet Turtle Soup: Historical-ness
We did the treks, we did the safari, we got soaked on Kali River Rapids, we caught some of the Jammin' Jungle Parade, and we ended with the Festival of the Lion King.
Sweet Turtle Soup: Historical-ness
We ended the evening at Downtown Disney with Ghirardelli's sundaes, a few hours at DisneyQuest, and dinner at Paradiso 37. Somehow I forgot to take a single picture the entire evening, I wasn't as photo happy as I am now. And, then we made our way home from an incredibly fun, magical, and much too quick Disney honeymoon.

We also had our reception get together the following day. It was super casual. We invited all of our friends and family. We made a pot-luck style feast of just about all of our favourite dishes - crab dip, paprikash, stew, mac and cheese, broccoli cheese casserole, enchiladas, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, lasagna, garlic bread, and corn on the cob. One of our friend's made us a cake and cupcakes, which was delicious along with the rest of the gigantic spread. We ate, we spent time together, there was some bocce ball, and a sprinkling of presents (that I hadn't even considered people would bring -  one was a Disney collage frame that hangs in Aria's room now). It was the perfect ending to our wedding week.
Sweet Turtle Soup: Historical-ness
And that brings my 'wedding' section of the historical-ness series to a close. I'm not even sure what is up next precisely. We spent the next year running around Disney with our shiny new annual passes, and Aria was a 1st anniversary present. So something along those lines will be up next!

If you want to catch up with the rest of the historical-ness series check out these past posts: 1: How We Met, 2: The First Three Years, 3: Baxter, 4: Lizzy, 5: Life in Colorado, 6: First Summer Back in Florida, 7: Our Last Months Before We Got Married, 8: Our Wedding Day - part one, 9: Our Wedding Day - part two, 10: Honeymoon Day #1, and 11: Honeymoon Day #2.