Monday, June 15, 2015

Favorite Things

It's been a long time since I've done one of these, so I thought it'd be fun to include my summer essentials!  Here are some of my very favorite things right now....

1. J. Crew 3" Chino Shorts (Currently 30% off)
I've been living in these shorts all summer.   Perfect cut, perfect length (they also make 4" if you prefer a little longer!), and look great with a tank or a chambray button-up with the sleeves rolled up.  Cannot get enough of them.

2.  Toms Youth Classics
That's right, I said YOUTH!  When Michael and I visited Rosemary Beach, I saw these cute shoes... and then realized I was in the kids section.  The salesperson told me as long as my feet were 8.5 or smaller, a youth size should fit.  Sure enough, I tried on a pair and they fit perfectly.  Bonus: They cost $20 less than adult sizes.  What makes it even better? ("Meredith, how is that even possible?")  They make the same design for toddlers so Sloane and I could match!! Haven't bought them for her yet but I plan to do so when Michael isn't looking.  ;)  (FYI - I normally wear a 7.5 and these are a youth size 4.5.)

3. Urban Decay Naked Basics Eyeshadow Palette
My friends and I had a Christmas Favorites Exchange and Ashley brought this for the group.  I was a little hesitant at first (the colors are, well... a little naked looking), but I absolutely love it.  Goes on nicely and stays on all day.  I use the four colors on the left and leave the two on the right alone. :)

4. Saving Grace Hair Powder - Blonde
I was recently introduced to this and wish I would've found it 2.5 years ago!  It's a natural mineral powder that works to absorb oil and cover roots.  So far (knock on wood), I don't have any grey hairs yet, but now that I'm blonde again I do have roots.  This powder is also perfect for those of us who like to wash our hair twice a week.  :)  I use the mini kabuki brush to apply -  the whole process is so easy and works so well!

5. About Time
If we've talked in the last week, I've told you to watch this movie.  It's incredible.  Sweet, funny, and the message sticks with you.  I haven't cried that hard in months.  And it's the best kind of cry - all of the good emotions.  Rent it.  Buy it.  Watch it with the lights off so no one has to see your ugly cry face when the credits roll.

6.  Nanette Lepore Maharaja Goddess Swimsuit
Carrying 14 lbs of babies did a number on the ol' stomach (and I would do it again in a heartbeat - we all know this).  Thanks to a lovely umbilical hernia, I tend to veer toward one pieces these days.  However!  When they look like this, I don't mind it so much because I don't feel like Frumps McGee.  Thanks to Lord & Taylor and several discounts, I got this suit for almost half of its original price.  Woohoo!

Your turn - what are your favorite things right now?

Thursday, June 11, 2015

My Tiny Dancer

Today was Sloane's very first dance class.  It's a summer class (six weeks) for 2.5 - 3-year-olds and I signed up as soon as my friend Ann Marie told me about it.  I honestly don't know why I was so excited to sign her up for a dance class - I took one year of ballet/tap when I was seven and didn't love it.  Maybe it's because her legs are almost as long as mine and she enjoys the spotlight so much - I just knew she'd be a perfect fit.

Well.  We showed up early and she gleefully danced around the room as other families arrived.  When it was time for the class to begin, she eagerly took her place on one of the circles and I went to the waiting room (we were in a temporary space as they're putting final touches on the new studio).  I put my bag down and reached for my camera.  As I looked up, I saw a horrified Sloane.  Her face was so sad and her little lip stuck out as far as it would go.  I smiled and waved as she looked at me with desperate eyes.

I wish I could say this stopped after a few minutes, but the first half of the class was pretty similar.  The teacher learned her name rather quickly and was so kind to Sloane.  Thankfully, things turned around about halfway in and she really started to enjoy herself.  

She got to twirl, practice walking on her toes, pretend to be different zoo animals, ribbon dance (that seemed to be her favorite), and play with new friends.  By the end of class, she was all smiles.  She hugged her friends and her teacher and couldn't stop talking about it on the drive home.  Next week she taps!

This is the first thing we've done that is for Sloane only.  Even though I'm not right next to her in the class, it's neat to have a little mother/daughter bonding time.  Meanwhile, Jude will be spending that hour with Michael each week so they'll have some father/son bonding time as well.  

Here are way too many pictures of our tiny dancer.  So proud of her for being brave and sticking with it (when it was quite obvious she wanted to quit)!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015


Before Jude & Sloane's arrival, I had subscriptions to several fashion magazines, scoured Pinterest for cute outfits, and used my spending money on... me.  Now?  Now I see a magazine and tear out a page for Jude to draw on, use Pinterest to pin the latest Twin Talk articles, and spend my monthly allowance on the kids.  It doesn't mean I don't care about fashion, I just don't have the time to run by the mall during my lunch hour or leisurely walk around my favorite store.  

And then I discovered Rocksbox.  (Stay with me...)

The idea is genius.  My friends and I even discussed how sad we were that we didn't come up with it ourselves.  

Rocksbox sends designer jewelry to your front door!  For $19 a month you receive three pieces of jewelry at a time.  You get to wear them as often as you'd like and then send them back (free shipping both ways) for three new pieces.  If you love one of the pieces, keep it for a discounted price!

See what I mean?  Brilliant.  It's perfect for moms like me who love great, trendy jewelry at a very affordable price.  It's also fun because it allows me to take an outfit I've had for years and give it an entirely different look! 

Just to give you an idea... In my first shipment I received a bracelet, necklace, and stud earrings.  The necklace and earrings were perfect for a date night with Michael.  The bracelet I wear every time I leave the house.  Target, CVS, you name it.  I'm pretty sure that bracelet is staying with me.  

Wanderlust + Co  XL Screw-Split Gold Bangle
Perry Street Taylor Necklace
Sophie Harper Pavé Circle Studs

More good news... with the code mrandmrshaynesxoxo you get one month of Rocksbox FREE. Free.  I really want you to give a shot and I promise you won't be disappointed.  It was so fun getting something in the mail that was specifically for me.  To look at these fun pieces and realize that just because I'm a mom doesn't mean I have to give up what I loved before.  

The code doesn't expire so if you decide not to try it today, you can use it anytime!  If you DO try Rocksbox, please let me know because I want to see what pieces you receive!!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Jude & Sloane | 2.5 Years

2.5 is incredible.  It's terrifying and exhausting and amazing and surprising.  A lot has happened the last few months and I hope I can recall even a tiny bit of it.  Michael and I stand in awe at these little people who have huge personalities and their very own, very different opinions.

If you're around Jude & Sloane for five minutes, it's pretty clear how different they are.  Jude is very friendly but a little reserved.  Sloane is in your face and desires (and usually gets) the attention of everyone in the room.  They are proof you can raise two children the exact same way and they are still complete opposites.  God created their unique personalities long before I was their mom, and I'm just here to make sure each personality has a chance to shine.

So let's do that, shall we?

Jude Sullivan
Jude continues to be all boy.  He cannot keep his hands to himself - he must touch, push, carry, or pull everything in site.  If the object is immobile, he will jump off of it, crawl under it, or flip over it.  He has zero fear and terrifies me at least 15 times a day.  Fortunately, he is strong and not clumsy, so he almost always lands on his feet and rarely gets hurt.

When he is not wreaking havoc, he is sitting in your lap with his arms and legs wrapped tightly around you, kissing your face constantly.  He loves to cuddle ("cuckle") and murmurs, "Love you, mama" with his face buried in my neck.

Jude is the most polite 2.5-year-old I know.  He says "Thank you," "No thank you," "You're welcome," and "Excuse me" (when he burps).  What makes this so bizarre is he's still behind in speech but his manners are impeccable.

Jude can count to 10, knows all of his colors and shapes (struggles saying triangle and rectangle but recognizes them), and several letters.  I have never really pushed any of this on them but am trying to be a little more intentional with "learning time" each day.  I am a HUGE believer in letting them be little, but I also don't want them to be behind (whatever that means) due to too much time playing with their toys.

Speaking of, he loves the choo choo, blocks, babies (real ones - not dolls), and books.  He still loves to crawl in our laps with a book and knows the last word of every page of every book we own.  Though he doesn't talk nearly as much as his sister, I know he's got a lot going on in that sweet head of his.

Jude does not love to listen.  He has zero ability to multi-task so if he's busy doing something, getting his attention can be quite difficult.  And if it's something he doesn't want to do, he will throw quite the tantrum.

Some of his favorite things to do are play/pester his sister (he absolutely adores her and asks "Where's Schloane?" the second she leaves the room), eat green peppers & blueberries, watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, do absolutely anything outside, and sing/dance.

He's about 34 lbs, 37.5" tall, wears a size 8.5 shoe and 3T clothes.  He has definitely slimmed down but is still a big boy.  We attempted potty training last week and he picked it up quickly but never tells us when he needs to go.  As long as we're constantly taking him he's great, but it's pretty exhausting staying on top of it.  We're not quite sure if we'll continue with the training or switch him back to diapers for a bit.

Sloane Elisabeth
Just typing her name makes me smile - Sloane is such a hoot.  She is still such a charismatic little girl and is always in search of something fun to do.  She is outgoing and energetic - I pray she uses these traits in the best possible way.

Sloane wants to be a part of the action and will do whatever it takes to keep up.  She has full blown conversations with me, even if they're still half words/half jabber.  I think she just wants to sound like her mama, who can talk for days.  She's expressive and uses big hand gestures to convey her thoughts.

She has become very independent and likes to do things for herself.  She puts on her own shoes and hair bows.  We potty trained her in one (ONE!) day and a week later she doesn't even tell us when she needs to go.  She quietly excuses herself, walks to the bathroom to do her business, and then walks out with a big smile on her face.  She's amazing.

Sloane is very opinionated so she will let you (and the world) know if she doesn't want to do something.  She furrows her brow, crosses her arms, and loudly says "Nooooo!"  Neither Jude nor Sloane hold a grudge for long, but they both have tempers.  She's also quite the actress, which is a nice way of saying she can lie with the best of them.  She ended up in the ER last week due to some breathing issues and was laughing/chatting with Michael.  I walked in the hospital room and she immediately gave me the most pathetic face while saying, "Mama, I siiiiiick."

In the last few days, she refers to herself as "Me, Sloane" instead of simply "Me."  I'll be honest, when she no longer calls herself "Me" I will hide in my closet and cry.  I just think it's the cutest.

Sloane can count to 12, knows her colors and shapes, and quite a few letters.  She likes to sing several songs, though it's still the right words mixed with random Sloaney speak.

She thinks the world of her brother and her grandparents.  She loves pink and purple and twirling, as well as blocks, choo choos, and playing outside.  She is the girliest of girls but can also be quite the tomboy.

Sloane is about 31 lbs, 37.5" tall, and wears a size 8 shoe and 3T clothes (though 2T still fits).  Her arms and legs are so long and she still has quite the belly.  Her hair continues to grow at a snail's pace, but I've gotten so used to my pixie girl that it's impossible to imagine her with a bob (my second favorite little girl haircut).  ;)

It's hard to write about these precious kiddos because I can never think of the right words to describe how special they are.  I just reread the above and I only captured a tiny speck of what makes them so incredible.  Don't get me wrong - we have disaster days and moments that make me wonder how I'll ever get through the afternoon, but the joy they bring us is immeasurable.

I've also made a real effort to live life a little more like them.  To wake up each day thinking it's the best day ever.   As I'm teaching them their ABCs, they're teaching me to forgive quickly, hug tightly, and love unconditionally.  For only being two, they seem to have a handle on what really matters.  Grateful I get to spend my days learning from the best.

 I love you, I love you, I love you.  :)


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