Friday, July 29, 2016

Summer Bucket List | swim lessons

Sweet Turtle Soup - Summer Bucket List | swim lessons
I asked Aria what kind of class she wanted to try this summer. She picked dance classes right away, but soon changed her mind to swim lessons. I was a tiny bit bummed about missing out on those dance moves, but swimming is a great choice with her love of being in water. Plus, she can still take dance classes another time!

We don't have a pool, but her godfather does and we pop over there frequently to go swimming. Aria enjoyed jumping in but not much past that. She was content to float around with mom and dad or her floatie. Nothing we said seemed to click with her. But, as soon as she had her first swim lesson she was an entirely different kid. She listened to her teacher and tried out all the things Chris and I had been trying to get her to do for years. She loved it. Loved it!

There was slight setback when her second class had a substitute teacher fill in. The teacher either taught older kids or just didn't provide enough enthusiasm but Aria almost didn't want to go back to the third lesson. Thank goodness her regular teacher returned and after coaxing Aria to get in the water she was back to being amazing. Kicking her legs, using her arms, dunking her head under the water, and figuring out how to float. The float was probably her most problematic. She was just not a fan, but when it clicked she was so proud. Mom and dad too. There was such a difference between her pre-lessons and that third lesson that I started to tear up watching her. Chris and I were just blown away at all the great progress she has made.

We've got four lessons under our belts now, and signed up for another four. And, every single day she asks if it is swim lessons day and when can she go see Miss Kaitlyn. She thinks the sun and moon of her teacher, which I'm so happy about. It was her first student teacher type situation, and I was pretty nervous about it on that first day. But, clearly listening to a stranger is much more fun than listening to mom and dad =)
Sweet Turtle Soup - Summer Bucket List | swim lessons

Sweet Turtle Soup - Summer Bucket List | swim lessons
Check out the rest of our Summer Bucket List:

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Thoughts on Giant Gold Pull-String Pinatas!

Thoughts on Giant Gold Pull-String Pinatas!

One of the first things that I had my little heart set on when we found out we were expecting baby #2 was a gender reveal party. We had one with Aria, and it was so fun to share that way that I couldn't resist doing it again. This time around though we wanted to find out as a family. But, because Aria would never have been able to hold her tongue for a few days let alone a few hours we decided to have our ultrasound technician write down if baby #2 was a little girl or a little boy. That way everybody would find out at the same time. Even us.

Then I started thinking about how we were going to do the reveal. Since I didn't know myself I couldn't order anything in a specific color. With Aria I made a double layer cookie cake and frosted pink between the layers with a few circles of white around the edge to hide the big reveal. It was definitely a whole new ballgame thinking of a reveal that I could DIY without needing to know if it was a boy or a girl.

Finally I came across this giant gold pinata filled with pink confetti. It was perfect! The blogger made it herself and cut out both blue and pink confetti. She wanted to capture the big moment with their photographer, so she brought it all along to her photo shoot.  Then she had her photographer stuff the correct color of confetti inside for them.

I originally thought I would take a bunch of pictures of the process, but I ended up doing all of it after Aria went to bed in my poorly lit bedroom. Since those would be the worst pictures in the world I didn't even bother. But, I thought I would share with you the DIY I followed along with a few pieces of advice I have now that I am on the other side of making it.

So, first things first. This is the how to I found and used to make our gold pull string pinata.

It all starts with a paper lantern. She didn't specify what size paper lantern she used, just that it was the largest she could find at Ikea. I ordered a 24" paper lantern and it was definitely gigantic. I'm pretty sure it was bigger than hers so it made some of the steps different between hers and mine. I wanted it large and in charge but I think going down a size would have been both large and easier. Hindsight.

To make the lantern gold you hot glue on gold fringe. She said she used long door fringe and just cut it shorter. I'm not sure how many packs of that stuff she needed to buy, but when I priced it out it would have been ridiculously expensive. Instead I found some gold metallic foil paper on amazon. I cut out long strips 3 inches tall and then just hand cut the fringe. I ended up not buying enough so I took a quick trip to Walmart to see if I could find some gold metallic wrapping paper, I didn't have enough time to wait for the amazon shipping at that point. (Life lesson: don't procrastinate DIY things, they always take 47 times longer than you think) I did end up finding some and it was cheaper. Yay! When I finished hot gluing all my hand fringed gold strips to my lantern I realized that cheaper is definitely not better. Boo. The difference in thickness meant that the more expensive paper stayed hanging down while the cheaper paper all curled upwards. I could have cried, but there was nothing I could do about it at that point.

By my calculations I would have needed 4 rolls of the foil paper from amazon for my 24" lantern. I didn't even think to attempt the math before I ordered 1 roll. But, hopefully you can learn from my errors if you are in going to make your own gold pinata!  And, probably double check my math because it is not my strongest attribute.

I'd also recommend getting the paper lantern with even ribbing because it provided a super convenient hot gluing guide for the fringe. I just followed it up and around the whole lantern. It probably took me 10 hours to glue that whole thing. Such a slow process. I'm sorry if you burn your knuckles off as well, I still have the scars. 

The internal structure with the oatmeal can worked the same. I used a really large oatmeal container and a ton of tape. When in doubt add some more tape. I accidentally poked a few holes in the paper lantern, but since it is all getting covered up anyway it didn't really matter.

In the end, I handed a friend a giant gold pinata, a bag of pink confetti and a bag of blue confetti (I cut my own so it was nice and big), and an envelope with our ultrasound results written down. She stuffed it with the correct color right before our BBQ, and as soon as everybody showed up we went outside to do the reveal. There's no waiting at a gender reveal party in my opinion! And, even though the curling up fringe made me scream internally it was still magical when Aria pulled the string and all this blue confetti came pouring out.

Thoughts on Giant Gold Pull-String Pinatas!

In summary...
- Start your project early.
- Go for an 18 to 20 inch paper lantern.
- Buy the more expensive gold metallic foil paper.
- Enjoy finding out if your confetti is blue or pink!


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

22 Weeks (Baby #2)


How far along - 22 weeks, due November 30th.

Gender - A little gentleman.

Cravings - Red grapes and apples still. Easy, cold, and refreshing.

Aversions - Fish.

Best moment - Not baby related, but Aria had a great swim lesson. Every time she finished a move she'd find me on the sidelines with a huge smile. I'd give her a thumbs up and she'd give me a pointer finger up, which is her version of a thumbs up.

Looking forward to - Finding a name. Eventually. Before he is born, hopefully. It took ages to land on Aria's name as well.

Miss anything - Nothing comes to mind this week!

Movement - Yes. I even saw one kick from the outside. Nobody else has had good timing with feeling him yet though. It's still pretty light.

Other pregnancy symptoms - It's been a pleasant week. Just some back pain and exhaustion.

Aria's thoughts - After celebrating Christmas in July Aria has been extra excited for Halloween. We were talking about costumes at breakfast the other morning and she asked what the baby was going to be. I told her he wouldn't be here yet by Halloween so we will have to wait until next year to get him a costume. Sweet that she is always thinking about him!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Photo Every Hour | Christmas in July

July 24th

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Sweet Turtle Soup - Photo Every Hour | Christmas in July

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Sweet Turtle Soup - Photo Every Hour | Christmas in July

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Sweet Turtle Soup - Photo Every Hour | Christmas in July

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Sweet Turtle Soup - Photo Every Hour | Christmas in July

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Sweet Turtle Soup - Photo Every Hour | Christmas in July

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Sweet Turtle Soup - Photo Every Hour | Christmas in July

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Sweet Turtle Soup - Photo Every Hour | Christmas in July

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Sweet Turtle Soup - Photo Every Hour | Christmas in July

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Sweet Turtle Soup - Photo Every Hour | Christmas in July

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Sweet Turtle Soup - Photo Every Hour | Christmas in July

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Sweet Turtle Soup - Photo Every Hour | Christmas in July

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Sweet Turtle Soup - Photo Every Hour | Christmas in July

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Sweet Turtle Soup - Photo Every Hour | Christmas in July

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Sweet Turtle Soup - Photo Every Hour | Christmas in July

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Sweet Turtle Soup - Photo Every Hour | Christmas in July


Monday, July 25, 2016

Third Annual Christmas in July Gift Exchange Reveal & Link Up!

Merry Christmas in July, guys!

Elizabeth, Jamie, and I got together to host this year's Christmas in July gift exchange. And, today is the big reveal day.

This year I was matched with Ashley from Perks of Ponder and her little guy Jack, who is right around Aria's age so that is always fun.

Here is what they sent.
Sweet Turtle Soup - Third Annual Christmas in July Gift Exchange Reveal & Link Up!
Sweet Turtle Soup - Third Annual Christmas in July Gift Exchange Reveal & Link Up!
Sweet Turtle Soup - Third Annual Christmas in July Gift Exchange Reveal & Link Up!
Sweet Turtle Soup - Third Annual Christmas in July Gift Exchange Reveal & Link Up!
Sweet Turtle Soup - Third Annual Christmas in July Gift Exchange Reveal & Link Up!
Aria has her shoes on because she was out the door with dad to play with the train at Barnes and Noble, but when she saw a box and realized it was for her there was no convincing her to wait until she got back home to open it. She plopped herself right down in the living room and ripped her way through everything.

Her favorite was probably the pineapple cup. She badgered me to wash it daily until my lazy self got around to it. She's been having her water in it since then. Although, she lost the green fluff on top almost immediately. The color foam was a big hit too. I'd never seen it before but for such a simple thing it totally entertained her for two days until she used it up. This arrived a few days before our BBQ Gender Reveal Party so we used the summery plates and napkins right away. How convenient.

Thanks, Ashley for sending all sorts of fun summery goodies for us!

Ashley and Jack also happened to be whom Aria and I sent our package off to, so head over to her blog to check what we sent out.

Sweet Turtle Soup


If you participated in the exchange this year please link up your Christmas in July boxes below! Feel free to use #xmasinjulygiftexchange to share on instagram as well.


Friday, July 22, 2016

Summer Bucket List | have a silly string fight

Sweet Turtle Soup - Summer Bucket List | have a silly string fight
Another one bites the dust! We've had the silly string just waiting for us to remember for weeks now. Finally we got around to using it the other evening after dinner, aka when it isn't so hot outside and there is at least some shade in the back yard. Aria was so excited. But then major oversight...she could not push the nozzle down on her own. I guess I was thinking it was more like a shaving cream bottle, and those she can manage on her own. That was not the case. Poor thing. Daddy helped her push it down though and we still ran around for a bit until we ran out of silly string. They sure don't have a lot in those bottles. I feel like we should have gotten a nice dozen to share instead of one each. Maybe when Aria can push down a nozzle we can give it another try!

She was also not a big fan of actually having the silly string on her. I had to convince her to come stand for a picture before I helped her pick all the string off. I mean look at that face in the 'after' picture, ha. She kills me. I also popped her in for a bath right after because the silly string left some residue. That may have been her favorite part. That and tossing the bottle with daddy while I worked on finding a camera setting that worked with the crazy amount of sun coming over that fence.
Sweet Turtle Soup - Summer Bucket List | have a silly string fight
Sweet Turtle Soup - Summer Bucket List | have a silly string fight

Check out the rest of our Summer Bucket List:

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Baby #2 Wish List

baby registry, baby must haves and wish list

Solly Baby Wrap - I'm so excited to baby wear this time around. I didn't do it much with Aria, but I'm thinking the need will be much higher with the new babe. And, I've heard nothing but amazing things about this wrap. It was one of the first items that made it onto the wish list.

The Ollie Swaddle - I had a heck of a time swaddling Aria. I was either terrible at it or she was a swaddle ninja. Either way I have high hopes that this swaddle will solve all things. I also love the muted colors.

Little Unicorn Cotton Muslin Swaddle Blankets - When people say you can never have enough baby blankets they mean cotton muslin swaddle blankets. We had a nice stack of tiny baby blankets/towels/whatever for Aria and we hardly ever used them for anything. Her swaddle blankets, however, are still going strong. And, I don't think she would be at all okay with sharing. So, little man needs his own! And, these little unicorn ones are so beautiful they literally make me cry. I have at least $100 worth of these on my amazon baby #2 wish list. Aria had Aden + Anais, and while those are amazing I never loved their patterns. The little unicorn designs on the other hand are what baby picture dreams are made of.

DockATot - I stumbled upon this baby sleeper while researching all sorts of baby sleep options. He will be in our room to start but I was at a loss as to where I would put a bassinet or anything of the sort. This, however, looks perfect. He gets his own spot without me having to start hanging things from the ceiling.

Candy Kirby Designs, Knotted Baby Gown - I love how simple and gorgeous it is. All the beautiful baby picture dreams swimming through my head again.

Nuna Leaf - Aria hated her bouncer, and pretty much anything else involving being put down. But, that is probably because she wasn't reposing on a wafting leaf! This one is definitely on the furthest end of the wish side of this wish list, the rest being more or less needs. I just love it so it made the cut.

Mortimer Moose - I think there may be a rule that you have to have some sort of lamaze baby toy. If I would have known about the moose when I had Aria she certainly would have had it too. If the Solly Wrap was the first item to be added to the wish list then Mortimer was the second.

Pretzel Rattles - I saw these over on Little Baby Garvin ages ago. They are so pretty I remembered them when I found out I was expecting another myself. I'm not one to hold on to many things as mementos but I have a few baby toys of Aria's that I plan on keeping forever and ever. I feel like the pretzel rattles would make that list as well.

Sleep Sheep - Anything to help drown out big sister's 'inside' voice. We have Aria's but she uses it still, so little brother is going to need his own.

Ubbi Diaper Pail - Aria had a regular plastic type trash can, which really didn't do much to contain diaper stink. I never wanted to get a genie and then need to purchase special bags as well. So we just suffered. The Ubbi doesn't require any special bags so I'm sold.

Blooming Bath - A baby bath tub is high on my list of must haves. Aria didn't have one and in hindsight it was a pain in the rear. And, actually a sweet friend is already handing down their blooming bath for us to use so this one is already crossed off the list!

Shea Moisture Baby Wash - I heard this was a nice wash to use for newborns and I'm just hoping it smells better than the California Baby tea tree wash we used on Aria.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

21 Weeks (Baby #2)

hump day bump day, pregnancy, baby bump

How far along - 21 weeks, due November 30th.

Gender - A little gentleman.

Cravings - Red grapes and apples. The grapes finally looked delicious at the grocery, but I've already eaten them all. Iced coffee is back on the tasty list, although I wouldn't turn down a hot white chocolate mocha either. And, peanut butter mnms.

Aversions - Fish. Never again apparently, ha. Blech.

Best moment - Feeling a lot of movement all day long, but I especially enjoy it at the end of the day when I'm in bed. I've felt a few from the outside but Chris and Aria haven't had good timing yet to feel it as well. Hopefully it will happen soon.

Looking forward to - Another ultrasound on Friday. Even if it is internal, I am hoping the tech will also take a look with the regular method too.

Miss anything - Sitting on the floor comfortably. Aria and I did a quick fish craft on the floor and I regretted it the rest of the day. #oldladystatus

Movement - Finally. Yes. All day long. I adore it. Although, the sharp jabs to the bladder aren't my fave - I don't remember so many with Aria, but perhaps I blocked that out.

Other pregnancy symptoms - I woke up with what feels like a third of a head cold the other day. A bit sniffly, a bit stuffy, watery eyes, and a little headache. It could be anything, but I'll go ahead and blame the pregnancy. Still exhausted. I could fall asleep sitting up randomly throughout the day. Add in the lower back pain and that's about it. I mostly feel just fine, which hallelujah, just a tired fine.

Aria's thoughts - Lots of little comments. I was drinking water and she asked if the baby was drinking all my water. And she will ask what the baby is doing from time to time. She also asked if he was holding on to anything the other day. I thought that one was interesting.
I asked her what she thought the baby would look like. Do you think he will have blue eyes like you? She said maybe green like you or maybe blue like me. Do you think he will have blonde hair like you? No. Maybe pink. Or no hair like daddy.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Stitch Fix Review - #2

Sweet Turtle Soup: Stitch Fix #2 (maternity)
I got my second Stitch Fix a couple of weeks back, but just now am finding the time to share what I received! It's too much fun getting a box full of clothes to try on, and this box was full of maternity choices. And since showing off the bump is one of my favorite things it was extra fun to have a maternity fix.

So, here is what I got in my fix.

MADIGAN LAREN LACE DETAIL KNIT TOP

Navy blues are one of my favorite colors to wear so I was excited about this top. And, when I saw the detail on the shoulders I was even more excited. Anything lace detail, sign me up.

Sweet Turtle Soup: Stitch Fix #2 (maternity) - Laren Lace Detail Knit Top by Madigan
Sweet Turtle Soup: Stitch Fix #2 (maternity) - Laren Lace Detail Knit Top by Madigan
Sweet Turtle Soup: Stitch Fix #2 (maternity) - Laren Lace Detail Knit Top by Madigan

So. much. material. This is probably the stretchiest maternity top I've ever had on, which is probably a blessing come 8/9 months along but it was a bit overwhelming on my then 18 week bump. I could pull it down all the way and have a dress.

The material was soft but clingy thin. You could see the outline of my bra, which I really dislike. I could probably have worn a thin tank underneath it, but in Florida...during the summer...layers just aren't that great.

The color also had a purple-y tone to it. Tone? Is that the right term... I wasn't a big fan of the purple.

It was almost a hit but those few little drawbacks were enough for me to send it back.

verdict: returned.


LOVEAPPELLA MATERNITY OASIS TWIST SLEEVE KNIT TOP

More blue! Hooray!

Sweet Turtle Soup: Stitch Fix #2 (maternity) - Oasis Twist Sleeve Maternity Knit Top by Loveappella Maternity
Sweet Turtle Soup: Stitch Fix #2 (maternity) - Oasis Twist Sleeve Maternity Knit Top by Loveappella Maternity
Sweet Turtle Soup: Stitch Fix #2 (maternity) - Oasis Twist Sleeve Maternity Knit Top by Loveappella Maternity

I loved everything about this top except the twisted sleeves. They were awkward to position, and I thought they just downright looked odd on me. It also had a lot of stretch like the lace detail top, but not as extreme. And, I really loved that color of blue but the twists were a no go.

verdict: returned.


EIGHTY SIXTY GABRE EYELET KNIT MATERNITY DRESS

When I picked this dress up it looked like it had a lot of material to it, but I was loving the eyelet.

Sweet Turtle Soup: Stitch Fix #2 (maternity) - Gabre Eyelet Knit Maternity Dress by Eight Sixty
Sweet Turtle Soup: Stitch Fix #2 (maternity) - Gabre Eyelet Knit Maternity Dress by Eight Sixty
Sweet Turtle Soup: Stitch Fix #2 (maternity) - Gabre Eyelet Knit Maternity Dress by Eight Sixty

I slipped this dress on and it was as soft as butter. Soft and stretchy and light. It was love at first feel. I just can't say enough lovely things about this dress. It's super comfortable while still looking put together. And the back neck scoop is lower than the front neck scoop, which I thought was a really fun detail.

verdict: kept!


RENEE C JORDIE ABSTRACT PRINT MAXI SKIRT

I wasn't so sure about the print when I pulled it out. It's certainly out there and a bit crazy.

Sweet Turtle Soup: Stitch Fix #2 (maternity) - Jordie Abstract Print Maxi Skirt by Renee C
Sweet Turtle Soup: Stitch Fix #2 (maternity) - Jordie Abstract Print Maxi Skirt by Renee C
Sweet Turtle Soup: Stitch Fix #2 (maternity) - Jordie Abstract Print Maxi Skirt by Renee C

I ended up liking the print better on than off, but it was still a bit more crazy than I prefer.

It wasn't a maternity skirt but stretchy enough to accommodate the bump. Plus, I could wear it after this pregnancy as well.

It was thick enough that I didn't have to worry about underwear lines too, which I appreciate.

I wavered back and forth on whether I wanted to keep it or not, but in the end I felt that the print was too much. I certainly liked it though, but no where near as much as I loved the eyelet dress.

verdict: returned.


LOVEAPPELLA GARNET KNIT MATERNITY MAXI DRESS

I was excited for both a pink item and a maxi. I love a good maxi dress.

Unfortunately as soon as I put it on I saw a quarter sized hole between the top and bottom sections. It was certainly soft but it also felt like it would fall apart especially since it already was. The pattern also reminded me of a rug. Even without a hole it wasn't a keeper.

I contacted costumer service to let them know about the defect, and just sent it back with the other items I didn't want.

verdict: returned.


THE RESULTS:

Laren Lace Detail Knit Top by Madigan ($) -- returned
Oasis Twist Sleeve Maternity Knit Top by Loveappella Maternity ($) -- returned
Gabre Eyelet Knit Maternity Dress by Eight Sixty ($88) -- kept
Jordie Abstract Print Maxi Skirt by Renee C ($) -- returned
Garnet Knit Maternity Maxi Dress by Loveappella ($) -- returned

1/5 this round

I had a blonde moment and threw away my piece of paper that detailed all the prices, so the only one I know is the one I actually purchased. Oops. I do think it was the most expensive of the bunch though. Naturally.

TELL ME A LITTLE MORE ABOUT STITCH FIX

If you haven't heard about Stitch Fix it is a really fun service where you are paired with a stylist that hand picks 5 pieces of clothing for you to try on in the convenience of your own home. Getting started is easy. You just answer a few questions to create your free style profile. And, when you are ready you can schedule when you want your fix to arrive. For a $20 styling fee, you will be paired with a stylist that will review your style profile and even check out a specific pinterest board where you can pin all of your favorite styles before selecting 5 items they think will be perfect for you. Your fix ships for free. When it arrives you have 3 business days to try everything on to see what you love and what you want to send back. After you've made your decisions simply return the items you don't want in the provided pre-paid shipping envelope, keep what you love, and check out online.

If you happen to love all 5 of your items, you even get 25% off the total. And, you can use your $20 styling fee towards your purchase so an instant $20 off anything you decide to keep.  You can also choose how often you want to receive fixes - every few weeks, every month, etc. Or, you can manually schedule your fixes to suit your needs.

If you haven't tried it yet, I'd recommend you sign up (with my referral link if you so desire) and get your first box. It is really exciting to find a box full of lovely clothes sitting on your door step.

AUGUST STITCH FIX LINK UP
Check out some other Stitch Fix posts shared by bloggers too. Head over to Crazy Together to find them!

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