1. Owen Grows.
So I think I've accidentally started an anniversary trend. On Wednesday (our third anniversary), I was making Pioneer Woman's Knock You Naked brownies when I remembered that I made the same dessert last year for our anniversary (a little tongue in cheek humor). And while I was taking pictures of Owen "helping" me mix the batter (more like flinging it across the room and licking the spoon), I also realized that I had taken pictures last year of Owen while I was making them. So I dug through our saved pictures and found the one I took last year of Owen and put it next to the picture from this year. Similar pictures taken on the same date one year apart. See how Owen has grown. I can't believe it. Last year at this time, he wasn't even sitting by himself. He couldn't speak. He had no teeth. Now he's walking, running, talking. Into everything. He's got a personality. He calls me "Momma." Sometimes I miss that little squishy baby. But then I look at the little man on the right and I'm happy right where we are.
2. Anniversary recap.
We had a really great anniversary this year. We had our trip to the Cincinnati Zoo, a date night on Saturday night without Owen, and a nice dinner and relaxing evening watching So You Think You Can Dance on our actual anniversary (so sad that Will was voted off!). We exchanged presents early because we couldn't stand keeping the surprises to ourselves much longer. Tim and I are going shopping tomorrow to pick out my anniversary gift. He wants to buy me a pearl ring since I've been talking about wanting one for a while and it's my birthstone. I bought Tim a Keurig coffeemaker because he has been talking about wanting one for a while and he's not the type of person to mention wanting something more than once, so I knew he really wanted it. I know it's not the most romantic anniversary gift, but Tim is super practical and he would probably just look at me funny if I got him something really sweet. So... I bought him something practical and then got him a few extras that were a little more romantic. To continue the coffee theme, I bought matching mugs on Etsy and had them personalized. I also got a print from Minted.com for free using my referral credits and framed it to put on the wall in the kitchen. Tim seems to like all of his gifts and has used his coffee mug and the Keurig the last few mornings.
3. Traveling with a toddler.Our vacation to Florida will be here before we know it and I am really anxious about traveling in the car with Owen for two days worth of driving. So I have been researching different ideas online for traveling with a toddler and I have been putting away toys and books for Owen so that he has a lot of new things to play with. I recently placed an order with Amazon to get a few more items for our trip. You can see them below. I'm really excited about the book because two of Owen's most recent words are "Truck" and "Honk!" I'm also looking forward to trying out the drink box holder. The car puzzle is one that our pediatrician's office has and Owen really enjoyed playing with it there. Plus, the cars are stuck in the tracks, so Owen can play with it in the car and I don't have to worry about him dropping pieces on the floor. I love Putumayo Kids and look forward to listening to another CD by them. They make kid music that doesn't make you want to rupture your own eardrums. And the Skip Hop toddler backpack will be great for storing all of Owen's new toys and books.
4. Civil war reenactment
Last weekend, we went to Battlefield Park to watch a Civil War reenactment of the Battle of Richmond. We were curious as to how Owen would react to all the gun- and cannon-fire and worried that he would be scared, but he had a blast. He sat on Tim's shoulders and kept saying, "Boom! Boom!" He is all boy. The reenactment was interesting, but shorter than it was supposed to be. I think this was because of the heat. We didn't stay very long, but it was definitely an interesting event to experience and a fun outing for our family.
5. Little artist.
Owen finished his canvas art project yesterday. It turned out really cute. I had him do another layer of paint over the first because it was a little thin and he had a really fun time painting again. I don't really like the consistency of the paint that we used so I definitely recommend creamier paint vs. the jelly-like finger paint that we used. I haven't decided what I will do with it, but it was a fun experience whether I display it in our house all the time or only bring it out for special occasions (like Valentine's Day).
6. The jelly sandwich.
Since I've been a member of the Julep Maven subscription box service, I have become more and more interested in nail art. I'm never going to be super great at it or do some of the crazy intricate and complex techniques that some people do, but I do want to try some of the more beginner techniques. The one that I'm hoping to try next is called the jelly sandwich. You apply a jelly polish (a sheer polish with a jelly-like consistency) and then a glitter polish and then jelly polish again so that you "sandwich" the glitter in the middle. It doesn't seem to hard. Just time consuming since you have to let all the layers dry really well before adding another layer. I found my tutorial on Nail Art 101. The photo below is from that website.
7. Address stamp.
My sister-in-law and brother-in-law sent us this address stamp as a housewarming gift this week. I really love it and am so excited to use it on all our outgoing mail. It even made paying our mortgage a little more pleasant! I am still trying to get the hang of using the stamp, but even when I don't do it perfectly it still looks great. It's just kind-of tough to get the right amount of ink on there and to press it down firmly without moving it accidentally.The stamp is from the Etsy shop Filigree Press. I think it makes a wonderful housewarming gift or wedding gift.
8. New favorite pizza.
Okay, to be honest, all pizza is my favorite pizza, but this recipe was so wonderful. Last night, I made Pioneer Woman's Steakhouse Pizza. Every little detail about this pizza is perfect. The crust is so delicious and I added a little brush of butter and a sprinkling of oregano and garlic salt on the edges to make it even better. The pizza sauce has such a great depth of flavor with the addition of balsamic vinegar and Worchestershire sauce. The sauteed onions are so flavorful and aren't overpowered by the sauce and meat. And the steak is delicious with a drizzling of steak sauce over the entire thing. Anyway, the next time you make pizza at home, give this recipe a try. You won't regret it!
9. Delicious Dinners Cravebox.
I received an e-mail from Cravebox the other day telling me about an exclusive box they had available for people in Kentucky - the Hunt's brand Delicious Dinners Cravebox. I entered to win a box and found out yesterday that I won. I'm not sure what will be in the box, but I have a feeling it will be some new Hunt's products and other cooking-related items. Cravebox offers limited edition subscription boxes with various themes and you enter a lottery for a chance to purchase them. If you are selected in the lottery, then you are charged for the box. They have limited numbers of boxes because they offer way more products for the price you pay than most other subscription boxes. To check out their upcoming limited edition boxes and sign up to be notified of when they open, go here. You can then decide after they contact you whether you want to enter the lottery to win that box or not. The upcoming limited edition boxes include ones for coffee lovers, parents of toddlers, new moms, and crafters.