Thursday, June 30, 2016

Star Spangled

red white and blue fourth of july patriotic children's clothing
red white and blue fourth of july patriotic children's clothing
red white and blue fourth of july patriotic children's clothing
I am a big fan of holidays. Big or small or adopted from other countries...I love them all. That is with the exception of the Fourth of July. Maybe it is because it is so hot and sticky outside. Or, because fireworks aren't my jam. But, I do not get into it at all. Aria even had to wear green and purple last year because I forgot to pick her up anything red, white, and blue.

This year though, this year I remembered! If I really had my act together I would have gotten a red bow to complete the look. The good news is I still have a few more days. I guess we shall see come July 4th if I managed to pull off even the most basic of requirements for this upcoming summer holiday.

Something tells me Aria doesn't care either way...especially when ice cream cones are involved.

http://www.ellieandaddie.com/
Thanks for the reminder to get my ducks in a row this year, ladies!


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

18 Weeks (Baby #2)

hump day bump day, pregnancy

How far along - 18 weeks, due November 30th

Gender - We find out next month. Aria has switched from a baby brother to a baby sister prediction.

Cravings - Fruit, sweets, and baked potatoes.

Aversions - Fish. Turkey burgers, they are on the outs again.

Best moment - Winning a gift card to Pink Blush. I promptly ordered a dress and top, after much deliberation because there were too many pretty choices.

Looking forward to - Finding out the sex. Putting together a Baby #2 wish list. Feeling more movement.

Miss anything - Alcohol, energy, and being able to sleep comfortably.

Movement - I'm fairly certain the pops and wiggles are Baby #2, but I still haven't had that "absolutely certain" moment.

Other pregnancy symptoms - Exhaustion. Lower back pain. I had a day of hip pain as well, which was a reminder of how pleasant that is. But, I'm feeling pretty good and mostly normal.

Aria's thoughts -We have many talks about all the things that go along with Baby #2 - sharing toys, sharing mommy & daddy, being gentle, etc. And, she is still on board with the whole big sister thing. I asked her if she was excited for her baby brother or baby sister? She said "I'm always excited about that, and it's a girl baby you know."

Friday, June 24, 2016

Summer Bucket List!

Summer Bucket List for families and kids

Now that Summer is officially here it is time to start chipping away at this year's Summer Bucket List! 

I'm pretty excited about heading up to St. Augustine. It is one of my favorite places - full of history and charm. Do you want to guess what Aria is most excited for on this ol' list? ... Did you guess 'make lemonade'? That would not have been my guess, but she is just plumb thrilled about it.

Happy Summer!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

17 Weeks (Baby #2)

#sweetbabytwo, pregnancy

How far along - 17 weeks, due November 30th

Gender - We don't know yet. Aria insists it's a baby brother. I don't have a feeling either way, but if I had to pick I'd go with Aria's guess. Kids know these things!

Cravings - Before I knew I was pregnant I had a craving for twizzlers and cream soda, which is what I craved with Aria. I just thought it was funny and moved on. More recently I've craved cereal and fruit, anything cold really.

Aversions - I stopped drinking coffee back in April because it lost its appeal, I didn't know I was pregnant at the time. I thought I just drank too much for my birthday and coffee-ed myself out. Also raisins, I blame Liz. Just typing fish makes me gag. Turkey burgers in the beginning, but I had one the other day and it was all good.

Best moment - Having our first appointment and getting to see 15 week baby #2. With Aria we had our first ultrasound probably at 8 weeks and then again at 20. So it was pretty neat seeing a 15 week baby. He or she was curled up and you could see legs arms head and spine, but not as detailed as the 20 week. I was so relieved to see that the baby was looking on track because I've been having a very light symptom pregnancy so far. Most of the time I just don't feel pregnant at all even with my little bump getting bigger. Always something to worry about I suppose. Also telling Aria was so fun. We waited until the morning of my first appointment because she would definitely not keep it to herself. She got such a big smile and has been asking the most random questions ever since.

Looking forward to - Finding out the sex next month! And, yes we will absolutely be finding out =)

Miss anything - Alcohol and energy.

Movement - I've felt a few suspicious flutters and pops and wiggles, but I'm still not 100% sure it was the baby. With Aria the first time I felt something I absolutely knew it was the baby, but not this time. Not yet anyway.

Other pregnancy symptoms - Like I said this has been a very symptom free pregnancy so far. I had a whole two rough nausea experiences. Then a few I need a snack queasy feelings in the 1st trimester, but that has tapered off. The biggest symptom has been exhaustion though, and I feel like I'm getting more and more tired as time goes on. Zzz. I'm also getting some lower back pain, which was one of my least favorite things while pregnant with Aria. And, headaches almost daily but light ones. With Aria I had awful headaches, my number one least favorite symptom with her. So I am hoping I skip that this time, I'd much rather have the daily light ones. I am thankful that it has been pretty easy, and I knock on wood all the time that it keeps it up!

Aria's thoughts - She is totally excited about having a new baby. When I first told her I pulled her in for a hug and she was very concerned about squishing the baby. She bumped her head a few days ago and was crying then all of a sudden asked if she was scaring the baby. And, she was moving all the magnets up further on the refrigerator the other day. When I asked her what she was doing she said she didn't want the baby to get them and choke. She cracks me up. She also suggests names constantly. We've got Dirt, Hearts, Flowers, Janice, and a few others that I already can't remember - I really should jot notes down more often. She gets a big smile when we talk about when the baby gets here (she promises to let me know when the baby cries), and she loves hearing about when she was in mommy's tummy.

A few of you mentioned that we waited a while to share our news, which is true. That is because we just didn't know. Maybe a little tmi, but I have long wonky cycles. I was later than my average cycle and we had plans for having a drink on Mother's Day. So, I decided to take a test just to be sure it was okay. I was 99% sure it was going to come back negative and any thought about the maybes would be put to rest. However, those two lines popped up almost immediately. I was completely shocked, and Chris was even more so. We had just started talking about maybe trying for another after we buy a house. We've been chipping away at student loans and only recently started to save aggressively for a down payment on a home. So it was an idea floating around, but an idea on the back burner for right now. But, clearly waiting was just not in the plan.

After a day of shock and disbelief I started to think about how amazing having another baby will be. Aria will be turning 4 right after my due date, and I think 4 is a great age difference. I was never one to want babies close together. But, I think more than 4 years might be too great a difference for them to play together. So I am thankful that this is how things played out. I'm excited to do the baby thing all over again (apart from waking up all night), and I'm excited to see how Aria deals with becoming a big sister.

So, I found out I was pregnant right around 10 weeks. I called my ob the next day to make an appointment, but it wasn't scheduled for another 5 weeks. Longest 5 weeks ever. I didn't want to tell family until after we had that confirmation ultrasound and visit. I couldn't tell Aria until the appointment was closer because she wouldn't understand to keep it to herself. I did tell a few close friends because I was also fine telling them if something went wrong. So finally having our appointment and seeing a healthy baby with the ultrasound was such a relief. And, then getting to tell our family followed closely by the 'public' increased my excitement ten-fold. Thank you so much for all your congratulations and well wishes. I was tearing up throughout the day reading message after message, and feeling completely blessed at your excitement for our family. It really means so much to me.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Announcing the 3rd Annual Christmas in July Gift Exchange

Elizabeth, Jamie, and I would like to invite you to this year's Christmas in July Gift Exchange!

It is an exchange between the kids all about summer fun. The idea is to fill a box with anything you think your partner's kid(s) would love - water toys, things to do in the backyard, craft supplies, books, etc, and the limit is $20 before shipping.

If you would like to participate this year please sign up by emailing Elizabeth at chasinmasonblog@gmail.com with "Christmas in July Gift Exchange" in the subject. You can sign up between now and Friday, June 24th. You don't have to be a blogger to participate, but we ask that you share what you receive on social media with #xmasinjulygiftexchange. The matches will be emailed on or around Monday, June 27th.

Please include the following in your sign up email:
- Name
- Address
- Blog URL
- Instagram name
- The names & ages of your children
- Share their favorite summer activities
- Share a short wish list to give your partner a few ideas. Please note that you may or may not actually receive the things on the wish list. It is just to aid your partner in picking things to include.
- Any additional notes you think are relevant

Send out your packages no later than July 8th, please keep your tracking number in case something goes astray. Don't forget the wrapping paper! Then come back on Monday, July 25th to link up and share what you received.

We are limiting this exchange to US residents only.

Sweet Turtle Soup


We would love to see you sign up! I'm pretty sure receiving something special in the mail is universally adored especially by children.

Merry Christmas in July!

Monday, June 20, 2016

$10 at Target - June

Welcome to this month's $10 at Target challenge! It's simple enough to join in - take yourself to Target with 10 bucks of fun money and see what you can find. Then take a picture of your haul and let us know if you came in on budget by linking up below.

Sweet Turtle Soup: $10 at Target - June
Becky at bybmg // Instagram // Facebook // Pinterest
Elizabeth at Chasin' Mason // Instagram // Facebook // Pinterest
Stephanie at Wife Mommy Me // Instagram // Facebook // Pinterest

This $10 at Target trip was definitely more boring than usual. The dollar spot was a snooze this week. While I was meandering the beauty section I grabbed a pack of hair ties because I'm down to my last one, which reminded me that I should pick up another bottle of heat protection spray. And, with those two things I was at $10 already. I kept looking around. I checked the clearance clothing and found nada. I went to look for rain boots for Aria and they didn't have any, which what? I looked in the shoe section, so maybe they keep them elsewhere. I would have thought it would be a Target staple. I also looked around for children's umbrellas because Aria's beloved one broke. No luck there either. So, I decided to call it a boring $10 and kept my two hair items this month. When do they put out the fall stuff?? I'm already looking forward to it.
Sweet Turtle Soup: $10 at Target - June
So, did it come in under $10?
Sweet Turtle Soup: $10 at Target - June
It sure did! I'm getting good at this =)

Sweet Turtle Soup

If you joined in with us for this month's $10 at Target challenge please link up below. And, mark your calendars for the next challenge link up on July 18th.



Sunday, June 19, 2016

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to Aria's superhero of a dad!

Aria couldn't wait to give him the DIY Wooden Puzzle Blocks that she wrapped specially for daddy, so he opened those yesterday. But, she also answered a few questions for a little daddy questionaire to surprise him with this morning.
Sweet Turtle Soup - Happy Father's Day!

Aria is lucky to have such a great daddy in her life. He works hard for our family and spoils us around every corner with his time and occasionally cupcakes too! He has never been afraid to jump into fatherhood feet first, and I really can't wait to see him take on the role of daddy of two. I know he wonders if he is up to the task, but I think he will be just as amazing this time as he was when Aria was born. He is the best daddy I know, and we just love him to pieces!
Sweet Turtle Soup - Happy Father's Day!
Sweet Turtle Soup - Happy Father's Day!
Sweet Turtle Soup - Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 17, 2016

DIY Wooden Puzzle Blocks

Sweet Turtle Soup - Father's Day Gift Idea, DIY Wooden Puzzle Blocks
A great Father's Day gift idea would be to make these fun and easy DIY wooden puzzle blocks with pictures of daddy with his kid(s). I wanted to make this last year but procrastinated until it was too late. So I put the idea on the back burner until this year. I think it is a sweet gift that both dad and kid can enjoy together.

What you will need:
- natural unfinished wooden craft blocks, 1.5 inches
- mod podge, matte
- a sponge brush
- sand paper
- 6 pictures printed on regular paper at 4.5 x 4.5 inches

*note: if you use different size blocks then you will need to measure the dimensions of your puzzle so you can print your pictures to that size. For example, I used a 3 by 3 puzzle with 1.5 inch blocks so the width is 4.5 inches. You want your picture to match your puzzle size. The directions below are for a 3 by 3 puzzle, so adjust accordingly if you use different sized blocks.

How to do it:
Gather your supplies. Take your first picture and cut it into nine 1.5 inch squares. You'll want accurate squares as well as nice and straight lines. If you have a paper cutter this is an excellent use for it.
Sweet Turtle Soup - Father's Day Gift Idea, DIY Wooden Puzzle Blocks
Sweet Turtle Soup - Father's Day Gift Idea, DIY Wooden Puzzle Blocks

Take your 9 blocks and lay them in a 3 by 3 pattern. Organize your picture squares so they form a full picture.
Sweet Turtle Soup - Father's Day Gift Idea, DIY Wooden Puzzle Blocks

Take the block that corresponds with the correct picture square and paint on a thin layer of mod podge with your sponge brush.
Sweet Turtle Soup - Father's Day Gift Idea, DIY Wooden Puzzle Blocks

Place the picture square on the mod podge block and then press down all over very well, double checking that all the edge are nicely secure. Continue with the rest of the 8 blocks and picture squares until you have one side of your blocks covered with your picture. Let dry 15+ minutes or until completely dry.
Sweet Turtle Soup - Father's Day Gift Idea, DIY Wooden Puzzle Blocks
Sweet Turtle Soup - Father's Day Gift Idea, DIY Wooden Puzzle Blocks

Now take your sand paper and using a side to side motion sand off each edge of the block. This will clean off any excess paper from the edges. Blow off the dust from your block. Continue until all 9 blocks are sanded.
Sweet Turtle Soup - Father's Day Gift Idea, DIY Wooden Puzzle Blocks
Sweet Turtle Soup - Father's Day Gift Idea, DIY Wooden Puzzle Blocks

Take your mod podge and sponge brush and paint on a thin layer of the mod podge on top of each picture square. Let dry for 15+ minutes or until completely dry.
Sweet Turtle Soup - Father's Day Gift Idea, DIY Wooden Puzzle Blocks

Now you can repeat the same process with each of the sides of the blocks. Mod podge, picture, dry, sand, modge podge, dry. When you are finished you will have six picture puzzles to solve.
Sweet Turtle Soup - Father's Day Gift Idea, DIY Wooden Puzzle Blocks

Alternatively you can paint a few of the sides with acrylic paint and only use 1, 2, 3, 4, or, 5 pictures. If you decide to paint a side or two, paint first and let dry before mod podge-ing your pictures on.


Once you are finished and all the mod podge is completely dry, they are ready for gifting and playing! Shhh...don't tell Chris, he doesn't get to play with these until Sunday =)
Sweet Turtle Soup - Father's Day Gift Idea, DIY Wooden Puzzle Blocks
Sweet Turtle Soup - Father's Day Gift Idea, DIY Wooden Puzzle Blocks
Sweet Turtle Soup - Father's Day Gift Idea, DIY Wooden Puzzle Blocks
Sweet Turtle Soup - Father's Day Gift Idea, DIY Wooden Puzzle Blocks

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Surprise!

Aria is SO THRILLED to announce that her baby brother or sister is due in late November!

Sweet Turtle Soup, pregnancy announcement baby #2


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Spring Bucket List: go bowling

Sweet Turtle Soup - Spring Bucket List: go bowling
The very last item on our Spring Bucket List this year was "go bowling". And, we checked it off over the weekend! This was Aria's first time bowling, so to make it a little extra special we went to the bowling alley at Disney Springs. None of us had been before, but anything is more magical when you are on Disney property. Unless of course you forget to bring socks, and wear a maxi dress that is not at all helpful while trying to bowl. But, apart from having to take out a loan to purchase pink socks it was a lot of fun. Aria wearing pink socks and ugly bowling shoes was pretty adorable, and watching her heft around a green bowling ball was hilarious. By the end of our time slot she was pretty over the whole thing though, especially the shoes. I think her limit is 1 game still, and the french fries may have been her favorite part even though she says she wants to do it again next weekend.
Disney Springs, Walt Disney World, Splitsville, Disney bowling
Disney Springs, Walt Disney World, Splitsville, Disney bowling
Disney Springs, Walt Disney World, Splitsville, Disney bowling
Disney Springs, Walt Disney World, Splitsville, Disney bowling
Disney Springs, Walt Disney World, Splitsville, Disney bowling
Disney Springs, Walt Disney World, Splitsville, Disney bowling
Disney Springs, Walt Disney World, Splitsville, Disney bowling

Sweet Turtle Soup - Spring Bucket List: go bowling

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Eating Around the Magic Kingdom

One of my favorite things to do at Disney World is...eat!

Today I'm sharing our favorite eats at Magic Kingdom. It's not quite the dining spot that Epcot is, but you can still find some rather tasty treats and meals between rides. A few of our favorites didn't make it on the list because of recent menu changes - specifically the fancy waffle fries (BLT fries, gravy fries, pulled pork fries...) at Golden Oak Outpost. It was one of our favorite things to eat at Magic Kingdom, but now they only offer boring naked waffle fries. Break my heart, Disney. However, while we mourn the fancy fries we can still look to these other eats to fill our tummies during a day at the Magic Kingdom.

Walt Disney World dining, Magic Kingdom, Favorite Food at Magic Kingdom

-snacking-

ONE: Caramel Apples from Main Street Confectionery or Big Top Treats at Storybook Circus - there are so many over the top and fun caramel apples to find on Disney property, I especially love the holiday themed ones.

TWO: Chocolate Covered Pineapple from Main Street Confectionery - there are so many delicious things to pick from at Main Street Confectionery as well as Big Top Treats. It is hard to choose. I loved the chocolate covered pineapple I tried on Aria's third birthday.

THREE: Mickey Ears Ice Cream Bar from various carts around the kingdom - a quintessential Disney World treat. Not just at the Magic Kingdom either, you can find them at any of the parks and several resorts. I cheated and used an Epcot picture, but it's the only mickey ears ice cream bar picture I could find. Clearly I need to take more pictures of food.
Walt Disney World dining, epcot, Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar

FOUR: Mickey Head Pretzel from various carts around the kingdom - I usually go for the sweet treat while at Disney, but when I need a salty snack I turn to the mickey head pretzel.

FIVE: Strawberry Sunday from Storybook Treats - this menu has also been downsized recently, but my favorite still remains...the strawberry sundae. Aria and I always split this, and we almost always get it when we go to Magic Kingdom. What is a day at Disney without ice cream?

SIX: Cinnamon Roll from Gaston's Tavern - this may be my favorite cinnamon roll I've tasted on Disney property. It is gigantic and amazing. I love getting to Magic Kingdom early, hitting up all the heavy hitters in Fantasyland, and then ending up at Gaston's for a huge cinnamon roll.
Walt Disney World dining, Magic Kingdom, Cinnamon Roll at Gaston's Tavern

-quick eats-

ONE: Fruit Waffle with Chocolate Hazelnut Spread from Sleepy Hollow - out of everything I've eaten at Magic Kingdom this is probably my favorite of all, especially with my beloved pulled pork waffle fries eliminated from the menu at Golden Oak Outpost. Yum-my.
Walt Disney World dining, Magic Kingdom, Sleepy Hollow Fruit Waffle with Nutella Spread

TWO: Pot Roast Macaroni & Cheese from The Friar's Nook - if you aren't overly hungry this is the perfect quick lunch. I found it rather filling myself, not to mention delicious. They also offer a bbq chicken macaroni & cheese that I'd like to try.

THREE: French Fries from various counter service spots - Aria has never been much of an eater when we aren't home. Things she loves at home, she won't eat when we are out of the home. The one thing she will eat anywhere are french fries...and fruit too. She'll even eat a plain waffle from Sleepy Hollow. But, for the most part her Magic Kingdom menu looks like fruit, fries, and any treats we splurge on for that particular trip. Our favorite counter service spots for fries are Columbia Harbour House, sit upstairs and by a window to watch Liberty Square/Fantasyland traffic. Pinocchio Village Haus, sit by the windows overlooking Small World. And, Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe, we like the windows that look out to Cinderella's Castle.

-restaurants-

ONE: Tony's Town Square Restaurant - I just adore this restaurant. I love the Lady & The Tramp theme, even though I don't particularly care for the movie. We haven't been in a long time, and I don't think we've ever brought Aria so we will have to add it to the to do list. The zucchini fries are a must.

TWO: Be Our Guest, dinner - just walking inside is a real treat, it is stunning. My favorite is the ballroom, especially the windows, but you absolutely need to take a tour of each section. The food was also very good. Trying it out for lunch has been on my to do list for a long time as well, one day we will make it.
Walt Disney World dining, Magic Kingdom, Be Our Guest

THREE: Cinderella's Royal Table - the perfect birthday experience for any princess. It's definitely a splurge, but totally magical to dine in the castle and meet several princesses. We booked it for the experience, but the food was wonderful as well.
Walt Disney World dining, Magic Kingdom, Cinderella's Royal Table

You may also like this post, Tips For Planning Your Next Disney World Vacation with Young Children:
http://sweet-turtle-soup.blogspot.com/2016/02/tips-for-planning-your-next-disney.html