Tuesday, July 29

Nine Years a Bride

Nine years ago today I went from a Miss to a Mrs.

I pledged my life and love to Skip.

I promised for better and worse

in sickness and health

in good times and bad.

In those nine years we have had better and worse

sickness and health

good times and bad.

And there's no one else I'd rather live and love with than Skip.

Every day I chose Skip.

Happy anniversary baby!

Thursday, July 24

Owning It

So I saw this post on a friend of a friend's blog, and decided to jump in too! {click on the picture to head to her blog}

The whole point is to own all the little, and big things that make us who we are.  I love this idea of us {mostly} women coming together and being proud of exactly who we are.  No more apologizing for it!!

So here's my list:
~ I don't care if it damages my hair and it never grows again, I much prefer being a blond and don't plan on changing back again.

- I am one of those people who really does love exercising.  I always feel worse physically on days I don't.  I've pretty much been this way since high school.

~ I am scared every day that something will happen to Skip at work.

~ I can't stand reality shows.

~ I love cooking but I hate coming up with ideas of what to make.

~ Laundry sits in my room waiting to be put away for days.

~ I am Catholic but struggle to get to church every week.  It's not that I don't want to, it's just nearly impossible with the two girls and Skip never being home on the weekends.

~ I have struggled with being a stay-at-home mom more than I thought I would, and yet the thought of going back to work in a few years fills me with absolute dread.

~ I throw really good parties.  They may not be the fanciest, but everyone always has a good time.

~ My dream is to write a book.  I've started and stopped quite a few over the years but really need to just sit down and commit to it.

~ I used to put up with a lot of crap from people over the years because I just wanted to make things easier.  I have now grown a backbone and refused to be treated that way.

~ I do still avoid confrontation like the plague though.

~ I am constantly worried that someone is mad at me, or doesn't like me anymore.

~ I've never been a purse or shoe hoarder, but I'm pretty sure I have all the tank tops in the world.

~ I make really good desserts, and my home is almost always filled with some sort of homemade treat.

~ The fact that I have a temper and am competitive are two things I didn't realize until after I got married.

~ Laying out on the beach with a Diet Coke in hand is my absolute favorite place to be in the world.

~ I am anxious and scared most of the time that something will happen to someone I love.

~ I love that I can still rock a bikini in my 30's after having two kids.

~ I'm no where near perfect, but I am a really good mom and wife.

~ I'm terrible at keeping secrets {my own, I can keep others pretty well}

~ I used to hate being so short, but now I like it {I'm 5'4..but everyone else in both our families is much taller than me}

~ I am terrible at responding to emails, for no good reason.

~ I don't really know how to end this list, haha

It was fun to write up this list, and think about a few of the things that make me, me.  And I'm not ashamed of boasting or admitting any of this.  What would you like to own about yourself?

Make sure to check out the new app that has finally stopped me from burning popcorn!

Wednesday, July 23

I Kind of Live in Stars Hollow

I live in this tiny, adorable little town in NJ.  It's about 2 square miles and about 10,000 people.  Most towns around me are not much larger than that in square mileage, but mine is one of the only ones with a really cute downtown area.  There is one long lamp-lined street filled with restaurants, stores, and salons.  It ends right at the railroad station, and just beyond that there is the Veteran's Park.  The park is just a big grassy area with gazebo in the middle.  The whole thing has a very Gilmore Girls-esque feel to it sometimes.

What adds to that effect, are the town functions we put on.  Christmas parades, sidewalk sales, concerts in the park, etc. It really is fantastic to have so many cute things to do in town.  What's even better is our house is only about a 10 minute walk from town, so it's super easy to just pop in and see what's going on.

Back in May, there was a craft fair going on in the park area.  There were tons of tables set up with people selling all sorts of things.  Statues, clothing, jewelry, etc.  Some was hand-made, some not.  Skip was actually off that day, so we popped the girls in the double stroller and headed it.

Emmy had brought some of her piggy bank money and was eager to pick out something for herself.  She and Charlie loved just wandering around, looking in all the little booths.  Emmy finally decided on a little cat statue for herself, and matching yellow bracelets for her and Charlie.  Pretty sure my heart melted when she said she wanted to get one for her little sis as well.

After we were done shopping we headed over to get some squeeze-cup Italian ice...a must for sure!  We relaxed in the shade for a bit while we had our treat.

I absolutely love that our little town has so many fun activities for us to head in and go to.  In fact my mom and I just headed in there recently to the big sidewalk sale every year.  The whole main street shuts down and all the stores open up onto the sidewalk.  There were bouncy-houses, face-painting, and of course, more Italian ice!

I'm so happy we bought a house here and have such a great place to raise our girls.  Our area of NJ is super crowded, but this definitely brings a small-town feel to the place.  Now if only I could find my own Luke or Taylor we'd be set!

Tuesday, July 22

The Good that Followed the Bad

Last week was a hard weekend for so many people.  A passenger plane was shot out of the sky...not one, but two NJ cops near me were killed in the line of duty....a friend of mine passed away suddenly and unexpectedly, rocking us all to our core, and leaving behind a young thirties widower.  Last week was a bad week.  There were plenty of tears, consoling, and lots and lots of cleaning to keep busy.  

We were lucky that after such a tough week, one of our best friends was coming to stay with us for the weekend.  In those four days, I laughed more than I have in a long time.  We ate good food, worked out hard, shared stories, and adults and kids alike played hard.  

There were BBQ's, playground visits, trips to the zoo, hide-and-seek, and the most epic water fight you've ever seen.  We went to bed way too late and got up much earlier than needed.  And we enjoyed every second.

Setting up cover for the water fight, obviously 

I felt guilty a lot, about all the fun I was having.  So many people were in the middle of dealing with the worst tragedies ever, and here I was sitting outside with my friends, tears running down my face as Skip does his drill instructor impression.  I was so happy to have such a great emotional break after the week we had, but I knew a lot of people couldn't have that choice.

But I guess that's what we're supposed to take away from all the tragedies in our personal lives and around the world.  Life is so so short.  Everything you think you know, have planned for, dreamed of, can all change in an instant.  Nothing in this life is a guarantee. 

So it's important to have weekends like this...gathering friends and family close, playing, loving, and just enjoying these special moments together.  There will be more hard times to come for all of us, but weekends like this will be treasured forever.  

Friday, July 18

Pop Secret Perfect Pop App

This post is sponsored by Pop Secret, but my opinions are all my own.

Family movie nights have been a regular occurrence around here since Emmy was little.  Though the day changes with Skip's schedule, we have them almost weekly.  As parents, we know that our time with our kids is fleeting and so precious.  Because of this there are few things I love more than snuggling up on the couch with them and watching a movie!

We always make sure to have a kid-friendly movie queued up to go.  Charlie has her milk, Emmy her juice, and the best part?  Snacks a plenty!  Chocolate, gummy candy, and Pop Secret Popcorn are a must.  But nothing ruins movie night more than burned popcorn...am I right?

The downside to trying to achieve the perfect bag of popcorn is that someone {usually me} has to stand in front of the microwave while it's popping, attempting to count the pops or something to make sure it doesn't burn.  And I don't know about you, but that is never fun...nor am I really that good about it.  I remember being so excited years ago when the POPCORN button was being introduced on microwaves {wow I'm old} However, it still never really worked the way I'd always hoped and I was still ending up with burned popcorn.

But now, thanks to Pop Secret and the Pop Secret App, I no longer have to stand there counting kernels or suffer through another bag of burned popcorn!  Not only that, it is so easy to use!

 All you have to do is download the Pop Secret App {which is free to download!}, grab your favorite Pop Secret Popcorn and you're ready to go!

For our movie night I bought Pop Secret Movie Theater Butter, cause in my world, the more butter the better!!

Put the bag into your microwave.

Either press the popcorn button on your microwave, or set it to the time listed on the bag.

Open the Pop Secret App, make sure the volume is all the way up on your phone, and point it towards the microwave.

As your popcorn pops, the app listens to each kernel to give you the perfect time to stop the timer.  I just loved watching the little bag grow higher and higher on the screen!

As soon as your bag has reached popcorn perfection, the app tells you when to stop.

Perfectly popped popcorn!

See, none of those burned spots in the bag I am usually so used to seeing.

Nothing better than a perfect bag of Pop Secret Popcorn to add to our family movie night!

I am hooked!  We will never make another bag of Pop Secret Movie Theater Butter without the Pop Secret App again!

If you're not a huge butter fan, you can also try out all these other delicious Pop Secret Popcorn flavors:
Light Butter
94% Fat Free Butter
Extra Butter

The Pop Secret App can be used with an IPhone 5+ on iOS 7+

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Pop Secret.  All experiences and opinions are my own. 


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