Christmas in July

Aren’t you already thinking about Christmas?  In my opinion, it’s never too early to think about Christmas.  When Jenny from The Chronicles of We emailed me about a gift exchange she was hosting with Courtney at Sweet Turtle Soup. I knew it would be a great way to meet some other bloggers.  I was paired with Julie at Davis Family and Shelly from Windy City Baby. I loved getting to know a new Julie and discovering her blog and getting to know more about Shelly since I already followed her blog.

Elin was so excited when we received out package from Julie and her daughter Maddy. She kept saying, “present” over and over again.  Let me tell you, I could not open this box fast enough.  She was literally shaking with excitement and the box of goodies did not disappoint.  Elin loved ripping the tissue paper off of each individually wrapped gift.


The very first thing she unwrapped was her first box of markers. These are perfect for kiddos her age because they have a special tip on them that aids in better strokes for little ones and helps from crushing the ends.  These will be great for her to start using on her little art projects.  The next thing she unwrapped was a pretty new pair of navy and white polka dot sunglasses.  She loved them and wore them the whole rest of the day. I think the next item was her absolute favorite which was and adorable trio of pink, orange and yellow bracelets. They are the perfect size for her and she adores them!  They are so cute and the colors are just perfect for summer!  She then opened up some butterfly stickers which are so pretty and she was dying to crack into those but I diverted her attention so we could see the rest of the box.  She then opened up some pretty notepads which are great because I use notepads like that all the time. It was so funny because when she opened them up she immediately handed them to me like she knew that they were for me.  She then also opened up some soft-lips in the cube which we are both loving!!!  I am so glad Soft-lips jumped on board like EOS with the new shape. Elin and I both use it everyday!  Then she opened up some bubbles, a cool glow wand that I am excited for her to try out, and an Under the Sea coloring book.  I love the pages because the pictures are big and perfect for her color and it even has re-positionable stickers.


Julie and Maddy were too good to us and send us the most thoughtful gifts. We loved everything!


Dog Days of Summer


Today I am so excited to be guest posting for Sara from Running From the Law. She is running a fantastic series on her blog about dogs and babies and I am thrilled to be participating. Sara writes a witty and fun blog about everything from her adorable son and family, to photography tips, to her exciting travels.   I am so excited to share my thoughts with her readers on dogs and babies.  I would love for you to check it out here.

Gymbo’s Birthday Party


Gymboree had another fun event last Friday and it was for Gymbo’s birthday party. Elin had been looking forward to the party all week. The teachers told us this was a good way to see how they host birthday parties since Gymboree is a place you can rent out for your child’s birthday.  All the games were birthday related and helped explain what birthdays are and why there are parties for them. Of course there was lots of free play which is great, as well as some organized activities.


Elin was excited to see Gymbo and she especially enjoyed dancing with him. She has come a long way because even though she has always loved Gymboree, she was never too sure about Gymbo the clown.


Elin was super excited for the party hats and cupcakes! She has also come a long way in her sweets aversion. She ate the icing off the cupcake!  She is still cagy about the cake.


I was glad I had thought to bring a bib because she was mess of icing and sprinkles!


Needless to say, she had so much fun that she didn’t really want to leave, but I was able to pull her out of there by promising to bring her back the next day for class.


Elin’s First Horse Ride

Elin loves the kids meals at Chik Fil a, especially right now since the toy is Peppa Pig board books. Have you seen the show? It’s so cute!  Anyways, in her last kids meal was a flyer about a kids day, so we went to check it out. I knew Elin would love it since it mentioned a petting zoo. So we made plans to attend with her Nanny and cousin Max.

When we got there, we decided to ride the horses first. Elin is very into horses right now since that is the topic in Gymboree class. She was not shy and was so excited to pet the horse and she was very eager to jump on. Even though I tried to get her to hold on, she wouldn’t. Thank goodness Max was there to hold on for the both of them. I see riding lessons in our future…




Next we decided to see the animals in the petting zoo. There were adorable bunnies, piggies, and these white and fluffy chickens called Silkies.  The next area had sheep and goats. The little baby pigs had little outfits on. Elin loved looking at them and really wanted to get in the pin with them. This ultimately started a major tantrum and as a result, we had to leave. But at least we were there about an hour before that happened.





There were also games and face painting. Max chose to get his face painted like a cow. The other very exciting part for Max was getting his picture with the big cow.  


After the event, Elin and Max had a blast playing kitchen together. There was also a big dance party where they danced like crazy for awhile. It was quite entertaining, but sadly no photos since they were just blurs in my photos.



Elin Lately….


Elin has become quite the chatterbox.  She talks and sings and squeals all the time.  She has been speaking in longer sentences and I have been loving being able to communicate more effectively each day.

She has also become more of  fish in water.  She loves swimming and her baths.


Her hair is growing longer each day.  However, not evenly, so pigtails are still not a good option.

She has become more of a mama’s girl.  She still loves her daddy but she loves cuddling and playing with me more.

She has become Fifi’s new favorite lap to sit on.  If she is sitting still and quiet, then Fifi loves to come and sit with her. It’s quite cute.

She has been considering potty training.  She is ready in the sense she now talks about it a lot and and is getting sick of being in a diaper and knows when she is wet but……..sitting on the potty is still scary and therefore there have been no strides yet.

She is getting sweeter and smarter all the time and more amazing everyday.



Kara’s Party Ideas Feature

I am so excited that Elin’s second birthday party was featured on Kara’s Party ideas! I would love for you to take a look at their post!

Here is a link to Elin’s first birthday party post.


Freedom Festival Parade


Elin had a busy and exciting weekend! She had the opportunity to march in our local freedom festival parade with her Gymboree group and she had a fun time. She was in great spirits and had a blast from the minute we got there until we left. We arrived before the parade to find the float and she loved people-watching and dancing to all the loud music. She definitely loves to dance and entertain everyone around her. Our float had some really cool bubble machines on them to continuously blow bubbles and she loved playing with those before the parade started.



I couldn’t get any great photos since I was walking in front of her to lure her to keep walking forward, but I got a few of her walking. Elin clutched a red water balloon throughout the whole parade! They were just meant for the kids to play with before the parade started but true to Elin form she carried it the whole time!ElinParadeShe had a whole cheering section of friends and family but luckily didn’t notice them because I’m pretty sure if she had noticed them she would have ran over to them and we definitely would have fallen behind.

I was so proud of her that she almost walked the entire route and was only picked up at the very end because she was really starting to slow down and I was afraid we were getting too far behind. We had brought her car just in case but we didn’t bring it out at the last minute because I knew she was going to want to walk like a big girl!

We all had a great time and I hope she can participate next year!



Elin at the Pool


On Sunday, Elin went to Nanny and Papa’s pool for the first time this summer. She hasn’t been in a pool since last summer, so I wasn’t sure if she would remember that she loved it last year. I didn’t need to worry because she certainly didn’t forget. She practically jumped in when she first got there.



She loved floating around on her little boat the best.


She didn’t go under water because she wanted to keep her sunglasses on the entire time.  She is a diva about her sunglasses!



She would have stayed there all day but we had to cut the pool fun short due to getting to another event later that evening. But, I think it’s safe to say she remembers her love of the pool from last year and she is ready to be a little fish and swim lots this summer.





Jungle Party

Elin, like a lot of childen, loves animals so at the last minute I decided to take her to a jungle-themed party at our local Gymboree class. She was in rare form and was extremely excited to be at Gymboree for a special event. My iPhone pictures are less than stellar, but I want to document this experience because of how much fun she had.

When we got to the party, the kids had time to run around and play for a little bit before it was time to sit in a circle to see the animals. Elin normally would have been running around like crazy but she immediately knew something was up when she saw the Rubbermaid containers with holes poked in them and she danced around the containers asking me to open them. After some coaxing, I got her to sit a second in the circle but she popped up and remained standing for the rest of the circle time. She was so excited that she ran up next to the animal presenter and basically was his shadow for the evening. It was hard to get her to leave his side. He was obviously the coolest person in the room with all this boxes of animals.

The animal viewing started off tame with a turtle.


Then a really cute bunny. He was by far the cutest animal there and I wouldn’t have minded taking him home.


Next there was a Hedgehog.  His spikes were pretty cool and were not as prickly as expected. He hid his face because we were told he didn’t like getting held or petted, which is a shame since that is what the poor guy gets to do with this life.


Then there was an iguana. For some reason, this one made Elin giggle every time she petted him. I think she wasn’t expecting the texture of his skin and for some reason that made her laugh.


Then we meet a alligator named jaws. Elin liked checking out his eyes.


Then the big boa constrictor was brought out. I have to say I was not expecting to see an animal like this at a children’s event. A few people left the area because they were freaked out and some people were so amazed they took pictures of themselves holding him up around their necks. Think Britney Spears VMA performance circa 2001. Elin was not scared at all and petted him but she wasn’t as enthralled with him as the other animals.  She was also getting antsy though. I would have liked to hold him and check him out more, however I think holding him around my face and neck was a little out of my comfort zone.



She was dancing and hissing in this picture.


Then we petted a arctic fox but sadly I didn’t get any good photos. He was soft and seemed just like a dog.

Then we completed the evening with a painting craft.


Elin had such a great time and I’m so glad she is an animal lover like me.


Summer Gift Exchange

I was super excited when Emma from Harper and Will reached out to me about co-hosting a summer gift exchange. Neither one of us had done this before but we thought it sounded like the perfect way to celebrate the beginning of summer. I had such a great time collecting up some fun summer surprises for Taylor and her daughter Harper from A Princess Made Mommy. Check out what I got them here. I truly hope they enjoyed receiving their package.


Elin and I were so excited when our package arrived all the way from California from Erin and Lex from Hello Erin. I have been following Erin’s blog for quite some time and I love reading about what all they are up to. Erin and Lex completely spoiled us with some of the coolest gifts!!! To say there were squeals and confetti flying as we were unwrapping would be an understatement….and they weren’t all from Elin!

Elin was so excited to rip in the package that I couldn’t get her to look up for any photos.


The first thing Elin noticed was the ice princess wands. These things are so cool!  They are sparkly straws that that are in a special tray where you can make ice wands for your drink and additional star ice cubes! We are both so excited to try this out! Elin is loving stars right now so this is perfect! The next thing Elin grabbed was cool silicone molds for making push pops! How awesome is that? I am already dreaming of all the concoctions to make! As evidenced by the photo, Elin immediately starting ripping into the package!


Next Elin grabbed an adorable beaded necklace with sea creature beads. She loves it and definitely staked her claim on it by not allowing me to touch it.



I am obsessed with the insulated mason jar tumbler. I love my water to be ice cold, therefore I usually only use insulated cups at home and work and I am so excited by this one with the handle and and a thick straw which should be perfect for smoothies!!!

Also, check out the gorgeous hair ties!  Aren’t they the most gorgeous colors?!?!? They are so beautiful and I can’t wait to wear them.


Seriously, I can’t thank Erin and Lex enough for our lovely gifts! It was so thoughtful and exciting and will definitely brighten our summer! Also, a huge thank you to Emma for thinking of this brilliant idea and allowing me to co-host and to everyone who participated.