Tuesday, March 31, 2015

One Year Older!

Happy Birthday, mom!
A few random things about myself on today, my 29th birthday! Here it is:

I wish...somebody felt like giving me 1 million dollars so I could pay off our student loans and buy a house! Shoes wouldn't hurt either.

I sing...loudly and terribly and spontaneously.

I dance...exactly like I sing =)

I think...all you need is love.

I really...dislike scooping cat litter.

I need...another bracelet. It is an addiction.

I should...stop eating all the cookie cake.

I have...a sensitivity to repetitive sounds. They drive me nuts.

I like...chick flicks - When Harry Met Sally, You've Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle, Leap Year, The Family Stone, etc etc etc. I could watch them over and over and over.

I make...really yummy spaghetti and meatballs, and now I want some.

I always...have my toe nails painted.

I love...my people! They've made my Birthday 'weekend' wonderful.

Thanks for all the Birthday wishes I've already received! You guys rock. Have a lovely Tuesday :)

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sweet Sunday

March 22nd - 28th
All of our simple and sweet moments from the past week.

Riding around on the dolly
Her new ride.

Easter stamps from Target
I found Easter stamps in the Target dollar section!

out of frame butterfly
There was a butterfly fluttering around very close to Aria. Naturally it fluttered out of frame by the time I grabbed the camera.

Easter eggs in an egg carton
I gave Aria the empty egg carton while I was making lunch and it entertained her the whole time.

egg carton, fridge sitting
Eggs go in the refrigerator, right?

Have a sweet Sunday!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Mother's Day Mom Exchange Announcement!

Calling all moms! This post is for you!

I've participated in a fair amount of blogger gift exchanges for the kiddos or mommy & mini, but with Mother's day coming up Liz, Jenny and I thought it was time for an exchange just to celebrate mom.

Mother's day is a day dedicated to the moms. The working moms. The stay at home moms. The moms of one kid. The moms of eight kids. The moms of fur babies. etc. All moms get to be celebrated each year on Mother's day.

Some important dates and details:
March 26th - Mother's Day Mom Exchange announced.
March 30th at 11:59pm pacific - FINAL day to sign up to participate!
Between March 31st and April 3rd - partners will be matched and emailed.
April 8th - contact your partner and exchange addresses by this date.
April 20th - please mail your package by this date.
May 7th - link up on any of our blogs to share what you received.

The limit for this exchange is twenty dollars, not including shipping.

So, if you are interested in participating, please email Liz at chasinmasonblog@gmail.com and please put 'Mother's Day Mom Exchange' in the subject line. Also be sure to include your first and last name, and blog url if applicable (you don't need a blog to participate). And, don't forget to sign up by March 30th.

Liz will be handling all the submitted names and matching partners. Please note that partners may not be coupled. For example, Jenny might send me a gift, I might send Liz a gift, and Liz might send Jenny a gift. That way you get the chance to 'meet' two moms.

Once partners are matched, Liz will be emailing you to let you know who your partner is. She will also be sending you a few questions to ask and/or answer with your partner to get to know them a little more. At this point you will also exchange addresses so no need to include that in your sign up email.

Liz, Jenny, and I are very excited about this exchange and we hope you will join us to celebrate MOM!

(open to US & Canadian mamas!)

If you have any questions, concerns, or need clarification don't hesitate to ask any of us.

Sweet Turtle Soup

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

[Guest Post] Getting to Know Ashley from Everything's Hunky Dorey

Most of the time I haven't a clue how I stumbled upon a blog, but I actually remember finding today's Q&A guest, Ashley from Everything's Hunky Dorey. I clicked over to her blog from a link up we both joined and saw that her son, Wyatt, had a convertible walker like the one Duke had on Giuliana & Bill. Since I loved that show, is it even still on - that tells you how often I have time for TV these days - I thought it was awesome that Wyatt had one too. Funny the things that will make you feel like you want to stick around on a blog. But, I'm glad I did stick around because she is now one of my favorite bloggers. So, you should definitely scroll down and check out our little Q&A session before hopping right over to her blog for a look see!

Thanks for answering my questions, Ashley! And, Wyatt and Stella are definitely ready for a big Disney adventure - Aria will show you around.
[Guest Post] Getting to Know Ashley from Everything's Hunky Dorey
[Guest Post] Getting to Know Ashley from Everything's Hunky Dorey
[Guest Post] Getting to Know Ashley from Everything's Hunky Dorey
Wyatt's Birth Story - part one / part two
Stella's Birth Story - part one / part two / part three

 Make sure to stop by her blog today, and tell her Courtney sent you! 
Or, visit her on facebook | instagram | twitter

Monday, March 23, 2015

Currently: March

Sweet Turtle Soup: Currently - March
What I'm thinking about, working on, and planning...
My Birthday is next week, Easter is the weekend after that, and then Chris' and my 4th Anniversary is the weekend after that. So I've been pondering Birthday activities - last year we did pretty much one of everything and it was a blast, but I'm feeling more like as long as I don't have to cook I'm good, and making a list of things for Aria's Easter basket along with not thinking about those crunchy chocolate cadbury eggs I adore because no candy until the bunny brings it. We already have anniversary plans for spending the day at Epcot's Flower & Garden festival so just excited to eat all the yummy food and hunt for Easter eggs.

Liz, Jenny and I have been working on a Mother's Day exchange that will be announced later this week, so stay tuned for that!

Sweet Turtle Soup: Currently - March
What I'm reading...
I was rocking the reading earlier this year. But, I slowed down to a snail's pace. I am still working my way through The Widow Waltz, which I started on February 7th. I blame Netflix and Aria cutting her nap out.

What I'm reading on the internet...
I've been falling short on my blog reading lately too. Again, I blame Aria and Netflix. Mostly Aria because I can multitask watching a show and reading a post, but the days have really been lacking in those 'free-time' hours.

A few faves that I did manage to read though....Jenny's home tour, Suggestions for books to read if you are a Jane Austen lover, Savannah Cemeteries, and this 40 by 40 to do list!

Sweet Turtle Soup: Currently - March
What I'm watching...
I just almost finished re-watching all of Gilmore Girls for the dozenth time or so. 

Chris and I had a date night to see the new Insurgent movie, which we thought was great.

Sweet Turtle Soup: Currently - March
What I'm loving...
The Air Show was just in town, and we live right next to the airport so we got to see all the practices and the shows from our backyard. The Blue Angels were here along with some F-22s, F-16s, and an Osprey. Plus, a few others I think. The only way I could tell the jets apart was that the Blue Angels were blue and the others were gray, but the whole thing was awesome to watch.

Sweet Turtle Soup: Currently - March
What I'm eating...
We had paprikash for dinner last night, which is a huge favorite in my family. Chris has been grilling a lot too - ribs, chicken, sausage. Stew on St. Patrick's Day. I tried out cottage pie twice baked potatoes, which were a flop. They tasted great, but the effort was way too much for me. Pot pie and sugar cream pie on pi day!

I didn't meal plan for this week so who knows what we will be eating.

Sweet Turtle Soup: Currently - March
What I'm thankful for...
A husband that will run to the store when I have a hankering to make a white wine spritzer and needed sprite, an orange, and pineapple juice. It was delicious by the way.

Aria's love of reading. I may hate reading Clifford 8 times a day, but I'm thankful that she has that love of stories. 

That Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is usually on at 3. The perfect time for a TV break so mom can sit down for a few minutes and then have dad walk in the door at 330. I miss nap time.

And, for my goofball of a family.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sweet Sunday

March 15th - 21st
All of our simple and sweet moments from the past week.

Jumping in a princess dress
Jump, jump, jump.

Target popcorn
Don't even think about it, mom. My popcorn.

red
green
Red. Green. This is as far as we got in our rainbow photo hunt. 

Painting Easter eggs
Painting Easter eggs to go on the windows.

Moose drawn carriage, toddler pretend
Giddy up, moose! Aria's been going all over the place via moose drawn carriage lately.

Watering can
She's already way better at taking care of plants than I am. Now if she'd just stop pulling them all up after she waters them.

Have a sweet Sunday!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Cake Batter Truffles

Sweet Turtle Soup: Cake Batter Truffles
Taste: If you are having a cake batter craving these will totally do the trick.
Amount: 28 truffles.
Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Source: The Girl Who Ate Everything.

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vanilla cake mix
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons sprinkles, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 16 oz almond bark or vanilla flavored candy melts
  • 4 tablespoons vanilla cake mix
Directions:
Beat together the butter and sugar with a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add cake mix, flour, salt, and vanilla. Mix until well combined. Add milk to make a dough consistency. Stir in sprinkles.

Scoop out dough in tablespoon amounts and form into balls. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Chill in the freezer or refrigerator for 30 minutes.

While the dough balls are chilling, melt the almond bark in a double boiler or microwave at 30 second intervals making sure to stir between intervals. Once melted, stir in 4 tablespoons cake mix.

Dip dough balls into the almond bark using a fork and tap off excess bark. Place truffle back on the parchment lined cookie sheet and immediately sprinkle with more sprinkles. Continue until all your dough balls are coated and sprinkled. Place back in the freezer or refrigerator until set. Once set you can store them in a container. Keep chilled until ready to serve.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Move Over St. Patrick's Day, Hello Easter!

Get ready for Easter with a few DIY ideas, toddler Easter basket suggestions, and all the egg-tastic fun we had last Easter!

DIY Bunny Butt Garland

Easter basket suggestions and ideas

The Easter Bunny

Easter ideas - egg hunts, bubbles, baskets, and more

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day - 3 Days of Shenanigans!

The leprechauns came, caused mischief, left treasure, and are now back in Ireland until next St. Paddy's day. We have a special coin that invites a pair of leprechaun brothers to visit us for the three nights leading up to the big day, the 17th. It is our Naughty Leprechaun tradition.

Basically there are three nights where twin leprechaun brothers, Liam and Leyland, visit leading up to St. Paddy's day. Liam leaves treasures, while Leyland causes mischief but leaves treats. There is a coin that kids leave out with the face of the twin they want to visit that night facing up. And, if they've tried their best that day/lately then they created their luck and the twin of their choice visits. But, if they could've done better than either twin can visit. On St. Patrick's day eve both twins visit. It reminds me of the elf on the shelf around Christmas, but in a smaller dose.

Sweet Turtle Soup - Happy St. Patrick's Day - 3 Days of Shenanigans!

Here is how our three days of shenanigans went down this year!

Aria picked Leyland as her leprechaun visitor for the first night. He caused a little chaos and left a sweet treat of Lucky Charms. He turned her milk green and left a few green outfits plus a shamrock necklace too.
The Naughty Leprechaun Story - green outfits, green milk, Lucky Charms
The chaos he left for Aria was a room full of balloons, a little over 100 of those green suckers.
green balloons for St. Patrick's Day
green balloons for St. Patrick's Day
green balloons for St. Patrick's Day
green balloons for St. Patrick's Day
She enjoyed the heck out of them.
leprechaun turned her milk green
shamrock necklace
leprechaun bobble headband
After her breakfast of Lucky Charms, daddy buried her in all the balloons. What's not to love about a ton of balloons to play with and in (and trip over)?
green balloons for St. Patrick's Day

Aria flipped the coin and picked Liam for the next night. He left some coins from his pot of gold, green nail polish, marshmallow lip balm, and a light up shamrock necklace. Plus, he put the Lucky Charms back on the table.
leprechaun treasure
He also left a note to go on a rainbow hunt, but we ended up running out of time. Maybe we'll finish it up sometime this week. We did the same thing last year, and it was a hit!
checking out the leprechaun treasure
shamrock necklace
pot of gold
Mommy and me green nails!
Green St. Paddy's Day Nails

And, on the final night both leprechauns visited! Liam left Aria a green fruit feast for breakfast, more coins from his pot of gold, and shamrock hair clips. Leyland turned her milk green again and left a pot of rainbow mnm's. 
green fruit for St. Patrick's Day, green milk, gold coins, shamrocks
Leyland also left a huge mess, and turned the dog water green along with the toilet water. He is a trouble maker that one.
toilet papered, leprechaun mischief
toilet papered, leprechaun mischief
toilet papered, leprechaun mischief
toilet papered, leprechaun mischief
toilet papered, leprechaun mischief
toilet papered, leprechaun mischief
Aria thought it was the neatest thing. She kept saying 'never seen that before'.
popping green balloons
We also keep all the chaos until St. Patrick's evening and then clean it all up together. I think Aria had more fun popping all the balloons than anything else. So many giggles.

We ended the day with a pot of stew and the addition of a glass of Bailey's for myself. I took down the few St. Patrick's Day decorations we have last night, and put up all the Easter banners and garlands I made last year. I think Aria will be pleased to see all the Easter eggs when she wakes up today. She's been excited for those Easter eggs since March started.

I hope you had a festive St. Patrick's day this year. And, a big thank you to those crazy twins for visiting us each night!