Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Review: Citrus Lane / August

Okay. I'm bringing back my Citrus Lane reviews.
I know, everyone is so excited, right? :) 

So, lets start here for those of you who are not familiar with Citrus Lane
"At Citrus Lane, we’re passionate about finding the best products for kids and parents, and sharing them with you. With a subscription, you’ll receive a signature Citrus Lane box each month with four or more products selected especially for the age and stage of your child. You’ll discover new parenting solutions and trusted brands--all delivered right to your door!"

Jackson (and mommy) love our monthly boxes!
He gets some of the cutest, fun, and even practical items
from a lot of great companies I've never heard of.
(Which I usually end up loving- example Petit Collage this month!) 

So, here we go.
I bring you our box for August!

Cool It Buddy from Me4Kidz $3.00
Yum-a-roos from Nuturme $2.50

Okay- let's start with this adorable growth chart...

So, my only complaint about the growth chart is that my son is already 20 months.
it's not really a complaint because we've been keeping track of his height all along,

Seriously... it's so cute, right?!

was an exclusive to Citrus Lane members,
but they have about six other adorable designs to chose from here.

Not only did this growth chart come with leaf stickers
 to write your little one's stats on (not pictured, sorry!)- 
it is made with such great quality and I am 
confident it will hold up over the years, until Jackson outgrows it. 

Plus- do yourself a favor- and check out their website-
I am already working on Jackson's Christmas list which I'm pretty sure needs to include 
the Petit Collage beginner puzzle and memory game
and their Alphabet Art Cards as well!

Anyone that walks into our house will notice
that we are huge Melissa & Doug fans over here.

We have puzzles, toy cars, planes, car carriers, a music set,
and now blocks!

We love our ABC 123 Blocks
the are solid wood, hand painted, and come with a storage pouch.
(That they never stay in, thank you Jackson!) 
They measure just 1x1 inch so they are smaller than our other blocks,
but the size makes them perfect for small hands

And, as much as we loved the first two items above- 
these two did not score as highly.

We've gotten the Cool It Buddy ice packs before, which come in a set of two. 
These are supposed to be instant ice packs- 
great for emergencies or on the go. 

However- the couple times I've tried to use them-
neither worked and got cool, 
which makes me very happy I did not save them for emergencies. 
I would say I got a faulty pack- however my friend received the same item, 
and she had the same experience.

It was only a $3 item, so I didn't mind getting them again- 
if they do what they are supposed to.
We'll see if they work this time, but I'm not counting on them to come through. 
I'll have to try one out for an emergency that's not really an emergency. :)

The Nuturme Yum-A-Roo's are made from quick dried 
organic ingredients and each pack contains 1.5 servings of fruit and vegetables.
I was very excited to have a new healthy snack to try 
but when I saw it contained pees and sweet corn I was not hopeful.

I feel as though I can't give this product a honest review
since my son is SUPER picky. So I'll leave that one as is. 
Snacks will always be a hit or miss item.


Monthly Box Subscripton Cost: $25.00
(Approximate) August Box Value: $40.50

So I have to be honest, I've always LOVED Citrus Lane,
and we've gotten some of the BEST items that Jackson
is seriously obsessed with 
but the past couple months have been a little disappointing 
and I wasn't sure if I wanted to continue my subscription.

our August box had a couple great, high value items that restored my faith
just a little longer.

There were a few disappointing items- BUT they were minimal in value
and didn't really effect how I rated my box. 

I was very happy this month, and can't wait to see what next month will bring!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Simple Things Sunday #014

We have four kitties, 
but Lucky has loved Jackson since day one,
and the older he gets,
he grows more and more attached to her.

He always wants to be right next to her, 
and loves to give her big hugs. 

So this week for "Simple Things Sunday"
I'm gonna keep it short. 

A little boy, and his best friend. :)

Monday, August 18, 2014

20 Months

Dear Jackson,

This weekend you turned 20 months. 
I'm not sure why, but I've had a really hard time with this one.

I'm not sure if it's the "2" now instead of a "1"
but 20 months just sounds so big.

And it doesn't help that 
in just four short, short months you will be two years old.
I can't grasp just how fast time is going.

Multiple times this past week, as I was rocking you to sleep
tears fell from my eyes.

You truly amaze me each and every day.
You are growing so big, and so smart right before my eyes.

I wish I could freeze these moments
and always remember them with such strong detail
so that years from now when you are big and grown
I can look back and remember them
as if they were happening for the very first time. 

How sweet it sounds when you say "yeah", "no" and "more"
How my heart feels like it's going to burst when you 
wrap your little arms around me and squeeze so tight.
The way you always want to be right by daddy and me. 

Your sweet little kisses,
Your big bright eyes,
and the most contagious laugh I've ever heard.

The adorable way you say "done" and "hot"
and how cute you get when you know you are doing something
you are not supposed to. 

The heartmelting way you want to help with 
literally everything.
The heartbreaking way I look at you each day, 
just a little bigger and older than the last.

Your love for the kitties and the dishwasher.
The way you have to bring your "buddies" to your bedroom at night
(aka your cars)
and put them on the dresser so you see them first thing in the morning.

The way you pretend to hurt yourself, 
and then say "ut-oh"
while walking towards us, so we can give you a kiss.
And the way you pretend to fall,
then laugh so hard.

The way I still get to hold you tight,
and rock you to sleep each and every night. 
The way you feel laying on me, sleeping so sound.
How you will just lay next to us and snuggle up close,
especially when reading books. (Lots of books!)

The stories Daddy tells me after he's taken you 
for a boy's night to a baseball game.
The biggest smiles you get when Daddy comes home from work.
The way you don't want to leave his side
once he is home.

The way you mimic everything and every sound we make,
and all the new words you try to say that just come out
like your own foreign language.
You say them over and over again, 
like we are the silly ones for not understanding. 

How you can now walk with us places, 
while holding our hands so tight.
I always catch you looking up at me, 
with a big smile, 
and inside I know you are feeling like such a big boy.

The sound of "mama" no less than a hundred times a day.
The way you look at me, with a big smile and love in your eyes
a million times a day.

There are so many more moments I just never want to forget, 
and that is still one of the biggest fears I struggle with.

I take time to enjoy every moment, 
but they are just passing too quickly. 

I love you Bubba Bear. 

I pray you continue to enjoy each and every day,
and each and every little moment.

I love you with all I have,


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Motherhood & The News

This may be silly, but I'm sure I'm not the only one
who feels this way.
Becoming a parent makes watching the news hard.
Much harder than it used to be.
Especially when most of the news is negative news.

Now, whenever I hear news stories involving accidents or deaths, 
my mind, along with an ache in my heart
(naturally I assume) always goes directly to Jackson.

So with yesterday's news of Robin Williams death being a suicide 
I can't help but have a few thoughts on my mind. 

I just have to say
I've never lost anyone due to suicide, 
I don't know anyone battling depression, 
and I, myself, have never been depressed.
In the grand scheme of things,
I know this makes me very uneducated on the whole topic. 

I'm not here to talk about Robin Williams,
or to act like I know everything about depression.

I do understand depression is very real and very serious. 

However, I always have the same thoughts.
I  just can't wrap my head around someone feeling so down and alone, 
to where they think taking their own life is their only option. 
I just don't understand it, no matter how many stories I read,
and no matter how hard I try.
I've always thought of it as selfish, but that is not a fair judgment
because no one really knows what that person is going through.

I would like to think that most, if not all people battling depression, 
have at least one or two people that truly love them 
more than anything, 
And I would wish for them to know that they are not alone
and that with time things would get better. 

But I know it's not that easy for them.

I can't help but always wonder the same thing
every time I hear of a suicide.
When they feel like there is no other option, 
do they think about their husbands, wives, moms, dads,
brothers, sisters, children and / or babies. 
Do they think about how their actions will affect them. 
And if they do, how can they still think suicide is their only option.

My heart breaks for them, and their families.

Again, Robin Williams is an actor. 
It is sad, and tragic, but his death did not affect me personally.

What does affect me deep down is thinking about my family. 
My husband. My little man. 
I can't imagine a second without them, 
and I can't ever imagine them hurting so badly, 
and there not being one single thing I can do to help them. 

To know that there is nothing you can do or say to
to take their pain away and
 make them realize that their life is worth living for. 
That they are worth it, and that they are loved by so many people.

I pray and pray again that my little man never feels a pain so deep.

I think of Jackson, just a year and a half old, 
with his whole entire life ahead of him. 
My worries already start to take over, thinking of him growing up. 
Right now, he is safely at home with Ryan and I, 
and we can keep him safe and protect him from almost anything. 
But what about when the times comes, where we can't. 
No matter what life throws at him, I just pray and pray that he always knows 
how loved he is, how much his family cares for him, 
and that he knows that he is enough, and that he is worth it.

My heart aches for those battling depression, 
and I pray that deep down they can see that there are people out there
 that love them, and that are there for them.

If not during their lifetime, after they have passed
I hope they can look down upon their loved ones
and see just how many lives they touched,
and just how many people really did love them.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

The Most Important Work

Starting your own business is hard.

Especially when you started it less than 6 months ago, 
and you are trying to grow it into something great. 

So this quote is one to always keep close.

There are so many days I just want to sit at my laptop and create. 
All day.

But I'm a Mommy first.
And that will forever be my most important job. 

My little man needs me to be 100% present in his life.
And I want to give him 100% of myself. 

When he is awake I make the biggest effort
to put down my phone
and close up the laptop.

We read, sing, dance, and play with cars for hours.
I watch his personality and imagination grow day by day
and I wouldn't trade that for all the sales in the world. 

I know these moments will pass all too soon, 
and I will eventually have more time than I need. 
I will wish for these crazy, busy, stress filled days 
of early mornings and late nights
back more than anything.

But for right now, it's difficult to fit a business 
into being a full time mommy and wife.

Really difficult.

Sometimes I feel like I don't have the time I need
to focus on things other than my family
but when you are passionate and motivated
somehow you make it work.

I hope one day my little shop will be a big shop
but until then I'm okay with growing it slowly. 

I'm blessed to have the customers that I do,
and even more blessed to have the best full time job in the world,
being a mommy to my sweet little babe. 

Monday, August 04, 2014

Nursery Tour- Featuring Simply Sweet Prints

I absolutely LOVE seeing my work in 
customer's homes. 

It makes me love what I do even more! 

Siri from A Pretty Life Shop
is hosting the #mommyandmelovetheseagiveaway
and I was beyond excited to participate. 

One of the items this giveaway is featuring is
I Love You More Whale Print. 
Of course it's cute on paper, 
but it brings it to life when you see it incorporated into 
this super sweet and adorable nursery! 
Click on the link below to view this
nursery tour in full, 
and enter this amazing giveaway!
(Ends at midnight, tonight, don't miss out!)

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Simple Things Sunday #013

Jackson is becoming more and more aware
that Daddy is gone during the week for work.

So especially on the weekends, 
he does not want to leave his side. 

He does not want Mommy for much of anything, 
and I try not to let it hurt my feelings.

We have an agreement on the weekends. 
I sleep in on Saturdays while Ryan gets up with Jackson. 
Ryan sleeps in on Sundays while I get up with Jackson. 

(Seeing as Jackson gets up at 5:45 EVERYDAY
I do believe this is a pretty sweet deal.) 

This morning went like this:

Jackson do you want to get up with Mommy?
Do you want to get up with Daddy?
Come with Mommy, we'll go play with trucks.
Do you want Daddy to get up and play trucks with you?

I'm only half kidding about it hurting my feelings. :) 

It makes my heart burst with how much Jackson 
loves his Daddy
and just HOW much he wants to always be by his side.

I finally convinced Jackson to come hang with me this morning...
and this is how he spent part of it...

Waiting outside our bedroom door
for Daddy to get out of bed. :) 

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Simply Sweet Prints- Feature

I'm so excited to share that Simply Sweet Prints was featured on the blog, 
for their Mommy & Me Love The Sea Giveaway!

This amazing giveaway ends Monday, so if you haven't entered yet,
don't miss your chance.

I've had the best time participating with the 20 other shops
which all offer the cutest, and most amazing items! 

Siri's sweet words about Simply Sweet Prints!
You can also read up on all the other shops that are participating!