Monday, June 30, 2014

Traveling with a Toddler and Lots of Pics from the NY trip

excited for her trip (at the airport)
As I mentioned in last week's Thursday Thoughts, EM and I went to NY for the weekend (2 weekends ago). This was EM's first plane ride and boy was it an experience. You know when you get on a flight and see someone with a baby/toddler and cringe, and they end up being "that person" on the plane with the screaming kid... yea, well that was me and I wanted to cry by the time we deplaned.

I purposely chose evening flights thinking since EM normally goes to bed around 7-7:30, she'd just sleep on the plane and then I could doze off and it'd be perfect. Well, our flight was supposed to leave at 8:10, was delayed to around 8:40, so I figured, even better. While we waited for the flight to board, EM was perfect, playing, walking around saying hi to everyone, pushing her stroller around, in a great mood. Luckily, we flew Southwest and were in boarding group A! When we got on the plane, I spotted an empty row and sat EM in a seat (even though she was supposed to be on my lap, I had asked any knew there were about 45 empty seats), sat next to her and put my diaper bag on the third seat and luckily no one tried to sit with us. We had the whole row of seats, perfect! So we take off, not so bad, but throughout the flight, I kept trying to get EM to calm down/lay down and fall asleep. This is where I went wrong. When she'd just play with her toys/books or be snacking (how was she hungry considering she normally is asleep at this hour is beyond me)  she'd be fine but as soon as i tried to get her to go night night, she'd get super fussy and cry/scream. Trying to console her only made it worse. It wasn't the WHOLE flight, but it was enough of it that someone even offered me a banana to try to quiet her (it worked BTW).  EM finally tired herself enough and crashed at 10:40pm (3 hours past her normal bed time) and we landed at 11:15pm. I tried so carefully to pick her up without waking her, but I was unsuccessful, and she woke up screaming and of course it took people FOREVER to get off the plane even though we were only in row 7. Our stroller wasn't immediately ready and EM was just crying the whole time. As soon as I put her in her stroller, she was fine. I was mortified and dreading our flight home on Sunday night.  I got several "I feel so bad for you" looks, several "We've all been there" comments, and a few nasty stares (which I was surprised, were only a few).
watching the luggage carts

all smiles ready for take off

how she FINALLY passed out

Our actual visit in NY itself was a great time! EM got to meet some new family members including my cousin (who is actually younger than her). It was so cute watching them play together (they are about 4 months apart). And we got to spend a good amount of quality time with the people we visited. Somehow on Saturday, EM made it through the day until around 6pm before crashing. Was surprised she hadn’t fallen asleep in the car in between visits around 1:30 (already past her nap time) and was surprisingly chipper. She crashed at 6pm, slept for about 45 mins, ate a little and then was out for the night around 7:30On Sunday, the day of the baby shower, which started right at her normal nap time, she was really happy and chipper as well and didn’t crash until 4pm, where she literally fell asleep in my arms at the shower and my sister in law (who also flew up for the shower with one of my nieces) and I rotated holding her while she slept. She slept only about 45 mins again and then we got packed up and went to the airport for the dreaded flight home. Once again, we got really lucky with a non-fully booked flight and had the whole row of seats to ourselves. This time, rather than trying to get EM to sleep on the plane, I just let her play, eat snacks, “read” and play between me and the empty seat. She didn’t cry once. It was SOOO much better! Even if I was sooo exhausted from the trip and wanted to doze, I would prefer entertaining her to trying to console her screaming and crying. She didn’t crash until we were on the shuttle to the parking lot where my car was. Monday she was a little cranky in the morning going to day care, but she just went to bed early and she’s been back on her schedule and is doing great.
Playing in the pool with Cousin Allison

Enjoying Great Aunt Dawn time while watching Cousin Danny play football

all smiles at bedtime 

Playing at Gramps house

playing at the park with Gramps

and EM had her first ice-cream cone

giving kisses to Cousin Thomas

and playing with Cousin Hailey

passed out at the baby shower

playing so nice on the plane ride home

reading her Spirit Magazine

My cousin’s baby shower was absolutely gorgeous! I felt like I was at a wedding. She found out she was having a boy, and his name is going to be Jaime Jr and he’s going to be one well-loved little man! He should be arriving any time in the next few weeks and I can’t wait for his arrival!
the beautiful parents to be 

Overall, traveling with a toddler is exhausting, but the key is to kind of let them go off schedule and just have fun rather than try to get them to sleep when they clearly don’t want to. It makes for a happy mommy and happy baby!

Dateless in Dallas

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Ipsy "Pretty in Paradise" June 2014 Glam Bag Review

I received my ipsy Glam Bag more than a week ago but finally getting a chance to get it up on the blog. For those of you that don't know, ipsy is a monthly subscription service where or only $10/month (cancel at anytime!) you get a Glam Bag (make up bag) filled with 4-5 beauty products curated by Michelle Phan! You get ipsyPoints for reviewing your items (and for doing other things within the site) that can be used toward purchases of additional items. 

First things first, ipsy comes in a pretty envelope and inside is of course the Glam Bag stuffed with goodies.  The theme this month was "Pretty in Paradise". Their Glam Room for this month says "
Warm white sandy beaches or a cafe under a star filled night sky, being pretty in YOUR paradise is only a Glam Bag away. We picked products that are excellent for an extravagant getaway or a quintessential kit for a quick trip for some peace and quiet. What paradise is on your bucket list?" 

the Glam Bag was super cute this month!
ipsy doesn't send out information cards (Birchbox does, which I definitely prefer). however, an information card isn't really necessary since all items can be found on their website and all have coupon codes for additional purchases if you want to buy some more. It looks like there were a possibility of 16 items this month (although multiple variations/shades of some items) and each subscriber got some combination of 5 of them depending on their preferences from their ipsy beauty quiz match. Now on to my goodies!

Be a Bombshell Lash Out Mascara (Intense Black) - all the reviews I read on other ipsy glam bags for this month said this smelled really bad. Well mine doesn't. Or at least I don't think it does. It definitely has a scent but not the "strong chemical smell" that others have claimed. This was a full sized sample as well so I'm excited to receive it. ($15.00)

Marc Anthony Dream Waves Beach Spray I don't really "do" beach sprays. Supposed to add soft beach curls to even the straightest hair. This will be saved for a future giveaway. (~$2.40 for 1.52 oz sample)

Nicka K New York Shimmer Eyeliner (Green) - well, this isn't exactly a color I would ever use. This will go in my future giveaway box. I'm pretty sure this is a full sized sample too! Had it been black or a deep purple, I would have been more excited though! ($4.99)

NYX Butter Gloss (Creme Brulee) - wow the 3rd full size sample in the bag, that's pretty impressive! this gloss smells yummy and goes on smooth and not sticky at all like some cheaper glosses. ($5.00)

Laneige BB Cushion - this is described as "5-in-1 under the sun" skincare in a compact. They provided 3 samples (light, medium, dark) and a puff to apply it. It's supposed to go on 15 minutes prior to sun exposure and reapplied every 2 hours. Seems excessive, I think I'd rather just wear tinted sunscreen. Apparently this product is sold at Target, never knew Target sold $34 compacts! (~$14.28 for .21 oz sample or ~$4.76 for each of the three samples since you'd really only be able to use one due to the variations of colors)

Total Estimated Value: $41.67 (not including the bag itself or any shipping) 
Total Price Paid: $10 (free shipping)

Overall Impression:3 full size samples is pretty sweet but overall not that impressed with this bag (compared to others), will really only use the Mascara and Butter Gloss, but still worth more than I paid so still a WIN!

If you are interested in signing up for ipsy, use my referral link (and I thank you in advance for some ipsyPoints to use for future add on items!)

Did you get ipsy this month? Did you like it? What'd you get?

Disclosure: This post contains referral links!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Citrus Lane June 2014 Review

We got our Citrus Lane box last week but I've been super busy/lazy so just not getting a chance to review it. The box itself was on the smaller size, which usually tend to not be as well. (but not always). a

For those of you that don't know, Citrus Lane  is a monthly subscription service where you get a box of goodies for your child that are geared towards their current age (and sometimes Mommy) each month delivered to your door. You never know what you are going to get, but overall I have not been disappointed. Plans start at $29/month but if you buy longer subscriptions you can get them as low as $19/month or even cheaper when they run specials).

Citrus Lane always includes a very nice information card with their boxes that lists the items and descriptions and some coupon codes! 

This is what I got in my 19 Month Old, Baby Girl, June 2014 Box and the approximate retail value I found for each item from their specific website (or Amazon, since if you know me, I'm an Amazon Junkie and would most likely buy from there). Sometimes I have to do some math because the sizes aren’t quite the same, hence why they are approximate values.
Wet Bag from Bumkins (Minnie Spring print)  - I actually don't have a wet bag and have made it 19 months without one HOWEVER I am excited about this since I often do have soiled clothes or bibs that should be kept separate from other items in the diaper bag. ($10.95 on Amazon)

Little Vehicle from Hape (Red Mini Van) - EM really isn't into "pull toys" - so I'll probably gift this to someone. I also think since the toy itself is listed as 10+ months, it's a little "young" to be in a 19 month old box, however I know some toddlers who are around this age who love pull toys.($10.98 on Amazon

Taro Gomi Book from Chronicle Books (Hide and Seek) - Any board books are great in my opinion, as EM loves all books and the board books hold up way better. This particular book is good for teaching children to "seek" things on pages. EM probably will catch on in a few months or so, but until then, she'll love flipping through the colorful pages. ($6.29 on Amazon)

Playful Wash from Episenscial - we've received this a few times before (last time was in October though, so it's been a while. You can never have too much body wash and it's nice to change up the type used (get a new scent) every once in a while. Plus it's organic, so thats a plus for some people.  (~$3.60 for 3.4 oz on Amazon)

Stage 2 Hearty Veggie Meals from Plum Organics - EM has been off baby food for a LONG time (since before 12 months) and I know some kids (even older) LOVE these pouch foods, but EM does not. She'll eat them if needed but she isn't a fan (and this particular flavor she didn't like at all and refused). So needless to say, I don't care to receive them since we don't really "use" them. And another item I felt was "young" for 19 month old box. (~$1.72 per pouch on Plum Organics)
Total Estimated Value of Box: ~$33.54 (not including shipping)
Total Cost of Box: $29.00 (free shipping) -- I only paid $10 though because of an awesome deal I found on Plum District

Overall Impression: Eh, it wasn't a bad box, but I wasn't overly impressed with it either. Never seems to fail, the smaller boxes just aren't as good (to me anyways). 

If you are interested in signing up for CLICK HERECitrus Lane, use code “SAVEHALF” and you  will get 50% off your first box (new customers only). Remember, you can cancel at any time, so your first box would only be $14.50, not too shabby!

Did you get Citrus Lane this month? What'd you get and for how old of a child?

Disclosure: This post contains referral links!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Thursday Thoughts - First Plane Ride and Pool Parties

this picture just cracks me up!
Linking up with Jen over at Ramblings of a Suburban Mom for  today's Thursday Thoughts!

Tonight EM and I are heading to Long Island! The main purpose of the trip is to attend my Cousin's baby shower, but since almost ALL of my mom and dad's family still live up there, I'd feel bad not trying to see as many people as possible during my 3 days there. This results in us driving all around Long Island, which means it will not be relaxing at all but it'll be nice to see a lot of people and introduce Emily to them since many have not met her yet. My cousin is having a very unique baby shower, unique in the sense that it is also going to be her gender reveal.. to herself and her boyfriend! I don't know how she has waited this long nor how everyone who knows kept it a secret (the invites told us all what the baby was but to keep it hush hush). I think it's a really unique way to find out, although I just can't believe no one slipped. (or she's really good at keeping it a secret if someone did slip!) Can't wait to see her reaction on Sunday when she walks in and finds out if it's a boy or a girl based on the decor of the shower! 

This will be EM's first time on a plane. Since the flight leaves a good hour after she normally goes to bed, I'm hoping she'll sleep on it. Otherwise, I'm nervous how she'll be, espeically since she's a "lap child" and doesn't have a seat. Since we are flying Southwest and we pick our own seats, I'm hoping it's not a full flight and no one wants to sit next to us so we can have more space. A lap child on a 5 month pregnant belly doesn't sound enjoyable (sometimes I wonder what I was thinking booking this flight without G coming along). EM also has very little interest in movies or technology so if she doesn't sleep, keeping her entertained for 2.5 hours will be interesting. I've brought snacks, her favorite books, and her favorite stacking cups. Wish us luck!

Let's see, what else have we been up to? Other than feeling like crap the last few weeks on and off (preggo related I believe) we haven't done too much. Our 2nd shot of EM's 18 month shoot went much better - well once G showed up -  and other than the fact that it was 90+ degrees outside and I learned EM does NOT like sand or the grass, this makes me very sad, I need her to like the sand, how else can we go to the beach?? The photographer gave us all of the pictures - over 100 - (even the not so good ones) and overall we are happy with how many good ones we got between the two shoots.  Here are a few collages of my favorites:

Last weekend, G's parents had a pool opening party. When we built our new house and then had EM, they decided 40 minutes was too far away and built a house down the street. We love having them so close and they put in an awesome pool and had a big party to celebrate the grand opening of the pool, complete with ribbon cutting!. My parents (they get along awesomely with G's family) came up for the party as well and we all had a great time at the party! G's sister was in town as well which was nice to spend some time with her since EM and I haven't seen her (besides facetime) since EM was a few months old. I wish I took pictures of all the cute pool party themed things my mother-in-law made like nutter butter flip flop cookies, center pieces that were sand pails filled with "life savers" and "pool noodles" (candy!) The pool has a swim up pool bar complete with 4 barstools and an awesome "beach" area where the water is only a few inches deep which is perfect for lounging (and for young ones to play!) There are also fun "extras" like lights, bubblers and water spouts which you can't really see in the pictures since they weren't on. They have a few fun mosaics including one that say "It's 5 o'clock somewhere' on the wall, fishes and turtles (you can see the turtles in the pictures).

EM had a blast in the pool!
kind of blurry but EM enjoyed her first lollipop!

the ribbon cutting, complete with jumbo scissors
EM and her Aunt Christie - FaceTime does help with being far away, EM ran straight to her!

Since I last posted, we've continued swim lesson, didn't see a Triple Crown win, celebrated Father's Day (just hung out at my in-laws, playing in the pool and having dinner) and the US won their first game in the World Cup! 
Playing while we watched the Belmont Stakes

Ready to cheer on the USA!!

Birchbox June 2014

My June Birchbox came a few days ago but I've been slacking on doing anything at all at night besides eating and sleeping (#PreggoProblems) so only getting a chance to post about it now. For those of you that don't now, Birchbox is a monthly subscription (cancel/pause any time) where you get a monthly box, delivered to your front door, of 4-6 high-end beauty and lifestyle samples from top brands. The best part, it's only $10/month! (and free shipping!)

Birchbox is always delivered in a nice (usually pink) box and within the packaging; there is always a nice little box with all the goodies. The theme this month was "Away We Go" and talked about being ready for road trips, stay cations, and destination hopping and always having travel-ready samples ready to go! Birchbox always includes a great information card which explains each item and the value for the full size (I post the value for the sample size received - which is sometimes a full size item). Here is what I got this month:

Caudalie Polyphenol C15 Anti-Wrinkle Defense Serum (~$4.13 for 2 mL / 0.06 fl oz sample) - This item is described: "This oil-free, antioxidant-rich concentrate is loaded with vitamin C to shield your face from wrinkle-causing free radicals (UV rays, smog, and the like), while reversing previous damage and improving overall skin quality. The result: a brighter, smoother, more hydrated appearance." I don't do much in regards to anti-wrinkle/aging, but since I received two items this month regarding it maybe I should start :) 

Davines Love Smoothing Shampoo (~$7.50 for 75 mL / 2.5 fl oz sample), Love Smoothing Conditioner (~$1.41 for 12 mL / .41 fl oz sample), and OI All in One Milk (~ $0.83 for 4mL / 0.13 fl oz sample) – I was excited to see the sample size of the shampoo, but seriously why is the conditioner sample so small? I hate foil packets and I would want to use equal parts of both shampoo and conditioner. I have never heard of hair milk and as far the description states, seems like it is just a leave in conditioner. I’ll be interested to try it, although once again a VERY small sample.

Egyptian Magic All-Purpose Skin Cream (~$2.38 for 7.5 mL / .25 fl oz sample) – I was totally expecting a cream, but this is more like a balm. Doesn’t have a scent that I can tell and doesn’t go on greasy either. I’ll probably used this as a facial moisturizer since I suck at using moisturizers/cream anywhere else.

ElevenSkin Perfection Eye Creme + Concealer ($30 for 14.8 mL / .5 oz FULL-SIZE sample) – With the bags I’ve had under my eyes and the ones that will come after the lack of the sleep I’ll be getting once baby is born, this is so going to be needed! This is probably the most expensive full-sized item (don’t get full-sized items too often either) I have ever received from Birchbox.

Harvey Prince Hello (~$1.65 for 1.5 mL sample) – definitely like the fragrance but wouldn’t say LOVE it. I love getting new fragrance samples in my Birchbox because I don’t regularly seek out new scents.

Total Estimated Value of Box: ~$47.90 (not including shipping)
Total Cost of Box: $10.00 (Free Shipping)

Overall Impression: This was definitely the highest “value” I have ever received in a Birchbox. I think overall I would have rather received larger samples of the conditioner/IO milk and had them hold off on some of the other items until a future month but nonetheless it’s a great box, even if it does make me worry about my lack-of anti-aging skin care routine.

If you are interested in signing up for Birchbox, use my referral link. If you review each product monthly you also get credit money in the Birchbox shop. If you review each product each month (assuming there are 5 - this month there were 7) that equals $5 so the box itself pretty much costs $5 which is a great deal!

My box was "Birchbox 41" - if you click here and then change the last number you can see the different variations of boxes that were sent out, looks like there were 56 different variations this month.

Which box did you get this month? Did you like it?

Disclosure: This post contains referral links!