Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Boho Floral Baby Shower


This past weekend I had the pleasure of teaming up with another wonderful woman, Logan, to throw a gorgeous baby shower for my dear friend Chandra and her twin baby girls! Chandra had a sort of floral theme in mind to go along with her girls' bedroom. Logan took charge with the decorations while I followed up with all the food! It was the easiest shower to throw and so much fun.

I thought it would be fun to go through the different parts of the shower and share with y'all!

The Mom-to-be



Chandra is our mom-to-be in the middle. You would NEVER guess that she was in her third trimester with TWINS! Chandra and I met through our running club in in 2012 when we were training for the 2013 Chevron Houston Marathon. On the day of our first group run, we were told to find someone and introduce ourselves. I found Chandra walked up to her and told her that we were going to be best friends. I'm lucky she didn't think that I was a psycho. Unfortunately injury kept Chandra from running the marathon that year, but we ran together in January 2014 and then I was a bridesmaid in her wedding in May 2014. {Logan was too!} And the rest is history. She's an amazing friend and person. I'm so blessed to have her in my life. Logan and I would do anything for this girl! Okay, enough sap, let's get to the details!

The Desserts


Every good shower needs an awesome dessert table. Since Chandra and I share a deep love of sweets, we knew that this party needed a little sugar!


Cookies: Logan ordered cookies from her "cookie lady" and they were pretty much gorgeous. Yes, that first picture in this post is of beautiful cookies. And to top it off, they taste great too! If you need a cookie person and live in the Houston area, let me know!

Cupcakes: I ordered cupcakes from my go to cupcake bakery in Houston...Crave Cupcakes! I have them at pretty much every party I throw. This time I did 3 dozen mini cupcakes in strawberry, cookie 'n cream and red velvet! You can customize the toppers with different colors and designs to match your party.


It's a Girl Muddy Buddies: Thank you Pinterest! This was a super easy muddy buddy recipe with white chocolate instead of milk chocolate, and I added pink pearlized Sixlets to make it girly!


Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups: Trader Joe's for the win! When your mom-to-be loves peanut butter more than anything, you NEED these at your party.

Pink Swirly Lollipops: These are from a local party store and I bought them simply because they were fun and pretty. Apparently toddlers think they're delicious because Chloe may have stolen one and she's obsessed.

 The Drinks


Water: Baby showers tend to have other pregnant mommas-to-be plus let's be honest, we all need to hydrate! We bought mini water bottles and Logan had labels made!

Red Wine Sangria: This is my go-to sangria recipe. My boss' girlfriend made it at a company Christmas a few years ago, and now it's what I make whenever I host a party.

Caramel Apple Sangria: This one is so easy...1 bottle pino gregio, 1/2 cup carmel apple vodka, 3 cups of apple cider. Add a bunch of apples, let it sit over night and serve! Feel free to up the vodka if you're feeling a little crazy.


The Food


Chips & Guacamole

Veggie Tray & Ranch Dip: baby carrots, celery, cucumber, grape tomatoes, green bell pepper. Ranch dip is light sour cream and a ranch dip packet poured into a green bell pepper

Summer Sausage, Cheese & Cracker Tray

Fruit Tray & Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip: apples, grapes, blueberries, strawberries.
PB Dip was another win for Pinterest. This one is easy and you can even just make it for a regular day lunch or snack at home.

Meatballs: The classic crockpot combo, meatballs + grape jelly + chili sauce = awesomeness.

Babies in a Blanket: A fun twist on the common brunch favorite pigs in a blanket, but with a twist. Instead of the wrapping the cresent roll around the smokie sausage, swaddle it! You can even add little eyes with food coloring if you're up to it!


Popcorn: As a little to-go treat, we had bags of "ready to pop" popcorn! 


The Decor



Logan was on point with the decor for this shower! She found a great lady on Etsy that did all the paper products for the shower. She sent Logan the files for the invites, signs, banners, labels, etc. All Logan had to do was take the files to Kinkos and have them printed. HA. All she had to do. That takes so much time and effort. I know because I've done it before. She had so many adorable touches that she went out of her way for...popcorn bags, water bottle labels, signs and everything!


I made these special onesies with my Cricut! Avery and Ellyson were prayed for for a long time. I can't wait to see their little faces in March.



We chose not to do any games and just have a mix & mingle type couples shower. We did want to set up a fun diaper station to write some funny saying for mom & dad during those midnight changes. No one likes waking up at 3am to change a poopy diaper, so reading something silly or encouraging from a loved one is always a pick me up!


Beautiful banners celebrating the twins. Another one of Logan's projects!


If you look back at the food pictures and the onesie pictures, you'll notice lots of flowers on all of the tables! We wanted to make sure there were tons of flowers everywhere. We used fake flowers instead of real ones and I think it was a great idea. They were set up the night before and didn't get the least bit wilted. We were also able to handle them a lot while trying to get them to stay in balloon bouquets and other odd places. Plus they can be used again!


Logan thought of everything for the decorations! While I did help with the actual decorating, all of the ideas were Logan's. It has definitely given me some ideas for future showers and parties though!


The Presents


No party is complete without presents! Michael, Chandra, Avery and Ellyson were showered with so many gifts. It's hard to believe that they'll be using everything in just 2 months.



Leave it to little Chloe to make her way into the pictures! She had a blast running around and playing with all the kiddos. She can't wait until her new friends arrive. I mean she does love her baby dolls after all!

Michael and Chandra,
I'm beyond excited for this journey you're embarking on. I know that you'll both be wonderful parents. The road to parenthood wasn't exactly what you planned, but your journey is your own and brought you these two precious gifts. Always know that I am here for you whenever you need me! I know having an infant isn't easy, so I can only imagine how crazy it will be with two! I love you both so much and can't wait to watch you grow together as a family over the next few months and all the years to follow!

xoxo,
Amy

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Monday, January 16, 2017

Man Crush Monday


Happy Monday y'all! Yesterday I made a proposition. A pretty awesome one and I think y'all may agree. I think we should all take a vote and have Monday become second Sunday. Then we can all stay home with our families for another day. Good idea? Okay great, let's do it! Weekends are my favorite because we have that handsome guy up there with us most of the time! It's so nice to have our whole family together. It's been a long time since I've bragged on JP, so I figured Man Crush Monday was the perfect opportunity for me to just say how awesome he is and how much we appreciate everything he does for us!


For starters JP is the greatest Daddy! Chloe is absolutely in love with him and she has him wrapped all around her finger. He's so great about working hard all day, coming home (or out of his office) and going into dad mode for the next few hours until Chloe's bedtime. I love the way she looks at him, the way he sings to her as he puts her to bed every night, the way he reads her the same book for the 5th time in a row and the way they interact. I'm so lucky that he's her daddy.


I'm so thankful for this hard working man. It's because of him that 3 1/2 years ago I was able to quit my corporate job and pursue a career following my passion for fitness. It's because of him that I am able to only work 1-2 days a week and take care of our girl the rest of the time.  He's such a hard worker and overachiever. His persistence on perfection is what got him where he is today. He's a young leader at his company, and people are impressed at his ability to "climb the corporate ladder." I'm super biased of course, but I think he's just the greatest.


I love the way he puts up with my crazy antics. I'm constantly asking him to take pictures of me "for the blog" or "for Instagram." He's become a pretty good photographer I must say! So often he's the man behind the camera for me. Every once in a while I can get him in the picture! Of course we can rarely make it too serious. He knows that I'm a little weird and kind of cooky. More importantly, he like it. I'd go as far as to say that he loves it. And I love him for loving it and loving me completely for who I am.


It's hard to believe that he's been my main squeeze for over 10 years. Last October it's been 10 years since my last first kiss. In April we'll celebrate 7 years of marriage. It hasn't always been easy. We haven't always gotten along perfectly, but we love each other and we're willing to work to make it through everything. That's what makes our relationship so special. We've grown, changed and accomplished so much over the last 10 years. I can't wait to see what the future brings us.

So here's to my Man Crush. The man who is usually behind the camera. The man who works hard so that I can be at home with our daughter. The man who is the most present daddy. Thanks for being mine.


And before I go, a shout out to some of my other man crushes THE GREEN BAY PACKERS!!! Anyone who's been following me or knows me, knows my love of the Packers. I'm a born and raised, brainwashed Packers fan thanks to my Daddy. It was such an awesome game and the Cowboys put up a great fight! Here's to hoping we can beat the Falcons next weekend!

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Friday, January 13, 2017

Happy Houston Marathon Weekend!


I can't believe it's marathon weekend in Houston! Every year for the past 6 years I have been 1 of thousands standing outside George R. Brown Convention Center in the dark waiting for the start gun to go off. This Sunday, for the first time in 6 years, I'm not running the half marathon or the marathon.

2011 Half Marathon
I made the executive decision not to run in the spring. It was a tough one, but a good decision nonetheless. I spent a good part of my pregnancy injured, and of course, it was because of running. Then once I was able to work on healing my ankle injury, other injuries sprouted up because of the original one. The main problem was that my sacroiliac joint {it feels like your low, low, low back to the point it's practically your butt} was twisted out of alignment and would slip back out of alignment every time it was fixed. My loose ligaments from pregnancy hadn't quite healed back to normal postpartum. It took several months to heal.

2016 Half Marathon Expo
In true Amy fashion, I couldn't let my already registered races just go. I had to run them. I was dealing with pain and injuries for the majority of fall/winter 2015/2016. I was registered for back to back half marathon weekends at Disney and Houston in January 2016. Well, I did it. And I did pretty awesome I must say. I haven't run a race since.

2013 Marathon Finisher!
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not done running! I just knew I needed to listen to my body. I needed a break! Listening to your body can be one of the hardest things to do for an athlete. Over this past year, I took a break from running. I would run 3-4 miles every now and again, but nothing crazy. I started truly running again in October to start training for the Disney Princess Glass Slipper Challenge which is coming up next month!

2014 Houston Marathon
I think I'm just being long winded about all of this. What I'm really trying to say is that I'm bummed that my 6 year Houston marathon weekend race streak is coming to an end. I know it was all for the best, but I still wish that I was going to be out there.

Enough about me! Now to all my running friends out there getting amped for the race this Sunday...let me know! I'll be out on Allen Parkway and Montrose. It's mile 11 for the half marathon and mile 24 for the full marathon! I'm really loud and I promise to cheer you on if I know you'll be there! I can't wait to give back to the running community after all it's given me over the past 6 years! Go runners and happy marathon weekend!

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

#momlife

Over the years, we've all seen the hilarity behind the hashtag momlife. Social media has helped to show us what is going on in other moms' lives to show that we really aren't alone. The best thing about #momlife is that everyone's story is similar but different in so many ways. We can relate to one another. Pick each other up. Empathize. Share similar incidents. But when it comes down to it, we're all different moms, living different lives with different needs and parenting styles. And that's OKAY! That's the beauty of #momlife. We can band together through our crazy stories because let's be honest, some of this we can't make up!

I thought it may be fun to share some of my stories. Here's a quick look into my #momlife...

When you wake up early thinking that you will be able to just sit in silence and drink your coffee in peace. Then as soon as your coffee is made and your bootie hits the couch, the crying commences. So long coffee, I guess I'll just have to reheat you about 3-4 times to get through this cup like usual!


When you finally make the half mile walk to your neighborhood's park and realize after 5 minutes of being there that someone smells like poop. It's only you and your toddler there, and you're pretty darn sure you don't smell like poop...and of course you brought nothing but a stroller, your toddler and her baby. Looks like it's going to be a quick park day and a loud (screaming) walk home.


When you get to go to the new grocery store all by yourself, and you're so excited that you snap a selfie in the wine aisle. Enough said.


When the day you say you're going to shower actually gets here and you find another reason to just wait until tomorrow. I mean, I did take a bath with the baby yesterday after all. Give me some dry shampoo and my hair will make it another day! {That may or may not have happened this morning. I'll leave you to ponder that.}


When your toddler grabs the pooper scooper while playing in the backyard, and instead of taking it away and saying "yucky," you show her how it works in hopes that she'll figure it out on her own one day soon.


When you have some food that you REALLY want to eat and don't want to share, you hide and eat it. Because we all know that mom's food is the best food in the house.


When you're trying to get a workout in with the dogs and toddler around and you feel so judged. Everyone is staring at you probably thinking that you're sweating and breathing too hard based on what you're doing. Then the toddler tries to mock you. Not cool baby, not cool. Just kidding, I love when she tries to do what I'm doing, but I really do feel super judged when they're all staring at me! Just look at Maggie's judging eyes!


When you're attempting to unpack your new house and you get excited about emptying a box just to realize that the contents of that box are either on the counter top without a home or being carried all over the house by your toddler. She's the best little helper after all! If only she knew a bit about interior design. Then her playroom would be flawless!


When you just let your toddler run around outside in shoes and a diaper. Let's be honest, fall is hot and winter has only poked its head out for about a week around here. If she doesn't want to wear clothes, then why make her. I'm learning to pick my battles. No need to cover up that toddler belly...it's perfect. Plus she's working on her abs with mom! I mean she's pretty much mastered plank.


There you have it. Just a little glimpse into my #momlife. I hope you enjoyed and didn't take me TOO seriously. This is all real life. Full of coffee, dry shampoo, snot, poop, hugs and smiles. I wouldn't trade a single day for anything in the world. I'm beyond lucky to live this #momlife and to be momma to this crazy, little girl.

Now for the fun part...I want to her YOUR #momlife stories. Leave me a comment here or on Facebook or Instagram. And GO!

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Monday, January 9, 2017

New Year, Same Me!

We're already 9 days into the new year and here I am finally showing up after almost a month away! Life has been pretty crazy around here. The last few months were amazing, but crazy nonetheless. It all started in September when I went to visit my bestie Julie and go to Disney World for my birthday. Then I went to Cancun followed by London and then Green Bay! In between my travels JP and I were busy looking for a new home!


I told you it was awesome, but crazy! While we were traveling, I was constantly online searching for houses, favoriting and sending them to my rockstar realtor. {Shout out to Mary Lewis! If you're looking for a home in the Houston area, let me know and I can send you Mary's way. She did such an amazing job helping us. She took me out looking for homes countless times and didn't stop until we know I found "the one."} When we were in Houston, I was constantly out looking at homes. We went out at least once a week, sometimes more, and saw 6-9 houses each time. We looked at several different neighborhoods trying to find our perfect fit. After a few months of searching, we found it! The perfect house, in the perfect neighborhood, on the coolest street! We were able to close on the house on December 19th in just 30 days, and officially moved in 2 days after Christmas.


So what did we do between closing and moving in you ask? A TON!

We celebrated Christmas in College Station with JP's parent's, Kate and Nathan. We visiting JP's Mimi & Papa, saw the lights at Central Park and just hung out with family!


We had Baby Christmas with Chloe's girlfriends! Brunch, presents and playtime for the win.


We went to Zoo Lights at the Houston Zoo with my friend Dominic! They never fail to disappoint.



We went on a final Whole Foods coffee stop and long walk on the Bayou before moving! We had planned to do our usual 2.5 mile loop, but were enjoying our time so much that we did 4 miles. The pups were exhausted.


 We sent out our beautiful Christmas cards designed by Meeker Pictures. They shot the pictures for Emily's wedding and we HAD to do their Christmas mini shoot. They're so detailed and amazing.


We celebrated Christmas on Christmas Day! Unfortunately I have very few pictures because I was sick, sick, sick! I caught some sort of stomach bug and was up all night the night before and all of Christmas morning running to the bathroom. Luckily we were at my parents' house and I was well taken care of. That evening I had to skip out on Christmas with JP's extended family, so I laid in bed and watched Elf instead.


On December 27th, we moved in! Chloe and the dogs have a backyard to run around in and we've spent SOOOOO much time outside. It's been pretty amazing.


While I'm at it, let's just finish out the year...

I went to see The Nutcracker put on by the Houston Ballet. Our cousin Claire dances with the Houston Ballet Academy and was one of Clara's friends and a Sugar Plum Fairy this year! She was elegant, graceful and nothing short of amazing to watch.


We celebrated Best Friend Christmas with the Waites and Crowsons! Two years ago, it was just the 6 of us and I told the girls that I was pregnant. This year there were 10 of us!!! We all have babies and it was the best Christmas yet!


 We rung in the New Year with a pajama party at Rachel's house! We ate lots of food, shot off tons of fireworks and drank a little (or maybe more than a little) champagne.


Whew! There you have it, the rest of the year is as condensed of a version as I could possible manage. For the record, things have finally calmed down a bit around these parts and I plan to be back to blogging as usual! Stay tuned for more life, Chloe, dogs, workouts, recipes, new home decorating, travel and so much more!

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