Birmingham, weekend shenanigans

Weekend Shenanigans

All the kids at daycare this morning were whining when I dropped Zoe off. I made a comment about how it will probably be the same thing when I get to work. Real life, right? Gotta love the Mondays. But enough about that.

Friday, Laura and I decided to kick off the weekend right with a trip to Back 40’s new location here in Birmingham!!! Their home is in Gadsden, about an hour north of the city. Chris and I had visited up there a few years ago and thought it was a fun spot. So glad to have them here in Birmingham! The best thing? They are opened for lunch a few days each week AND they have two special brews you can only get at the Birmingham location. I tried one of them, the “Hike Out” Heffe, and it was so good! The best one at our table if I do say so myself. I decided on the chicken sausage and fries for food. Some of the BEST fries in Birmingham if you ask me! Skinny, crispy and not too greasy. Just perfection! We decided that we  must try everything on the menu, and the place is both kid and dog friendly…so we will be back soon! Check out the space!

I had the floors cleaned and a magazine finished Saturday morning before Zoe got up. After we had breakfast, we headed up to Bargain Hunt in Pell City. We didn’t find anything, but we did stop at Sonic where I indulged in a pretzel twist and diet Cherry Limeade. We got back home and fed Zoe lunch. Chris left to go get a hair cut and run some errands and I tried to get Zoe down for a nap but failed miserably.

When Chris got home, we headed over to Laura’s to celebrate Sheffield’s 3rd Birthday party! I had my phone in my bag since it rained on and off and failed to take a single picture. Luckily Laura sent these to me.

Zoe had so much fun playing at the water table and stomping water on the slip and slide. Reminded Chris and I that we really need to move to a house with a better yard set up ASAP! While we own a decent hunk of land, it is all on an incline and it leaves no space for a pool or outdoor play sets. Zoe chowed down on three pieces of pizza while she was there and skipped over the cake. My kind of girl. Those two need to have another play date soon 🙂

On the way home, we stopped by Publix and Chris grabbed me some sushi. He dropped in on the floor when we got home and it spilled everywhere. He was all like, “I will go get a broom and clean this up. I am so sorry.” And I was all, “the hell you will I am eating this shit still.” And did. No shame. Then I followed it up with some rap snacks and apple sparkling sake.

Sunday morning, Zoe and I headed out to Target to do our grocery shopping and grabbed some Moe’s BBQ to bring home. She went down for her nap, and Chris and I caught up on Take Two and watched some more Blue Bloods. When Zoe woke up, we took her for a walk around the neighborhood and before we knew it, bath and bedtime rolled around. We had cheese tortellini for dinner and called it a night.

Can someone tell me why Zoe looks so big in her high chair now??? The other picture is Zoe chowing down in Target. They fed her ice cream and a slice of ham while we were walking around the store. She is a big fan of snacking while we shop. Obviously.

I have a lot on my to do list this week, and I hope to buckle down and get it all accomplished. Laura and I have a lunch date on the books today to try out a new restaurant in Homewood that opened last week. It is a healthy spot, so we can start the week out right! I told Amy I was going to do a mini reset and I cant mess up the first day! (Technically yesterday was the first day, but I cant seem to start anything new on a Sunday.) Though, I am actually using this mini-reset to make a change. More on that later this week! Linking up with Biana. I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Uncategorized

Friday Things – Random Thoughts

Hey there Friday! I am not sure if it was because I was on vacation last week or what the deal is….but I am not believing we are already mid month!!! Forth of July was just last week, no? Goodness. I am not sure what all we have planned for this weekend. I do know that tomorrow we will be heading over to Laura’s to celebrate that sweet sweet baby boy of hers!!! Who isn’t really a baby anymore since he is going to be three. Shut up! Zoe is so excited to see her boo. It has been awhile since we have gotten those two together. I know my sister wants to try to see Zoe at some point. She doesn’t like going too long in between visits. Which is great for us, because we love her too and her crew too <3

–I am working on the most honest and real post I have ever written for Lindsay’s new series. I have so much to say and I keep thinking about things while I am driving in my car. I just don’t know how I want to start it. You can go read about her new series here.

–I shopped the Nordstrom  sale yesterday, and got pissed off when all you bitches broke the site. The one thing I really wanted sold out before I could check out. SO RUDE!!!! I had about ten things in my cart and got it down to two. I call that winning! I decided on the purple Caslon Peplum top.

Image result for purple potent caslon peplum

And a pink Caslon knit blazer.

 

Knit Blazer, Main, color, Pink Cedar

I wanted to get pieces that I can wear now. It is too hard for me to shop for fall/winter clothing when it is going to be 80-100 degree here until November. Fingers crossed I ordered the right sizes and that it actually went through correctly. I had to sign in about five times and hit purchase a few extra to get the confirmation order number. Then the confirmation email didn’t even come until 10 hours later. So, my hope isn’t all that high lol. What did you order?? I still really want to get the Sara Happ Lip Expert set that they had, but forced myself to put it on my wish list instead. I want the lip slip, but I suppose I can continue to use my own homemade coconut lip scrub. Sigh. Me and my cheap self.

–I got to see some old co-workers yesterday at lunch, and that is always nice. I like seeing them so happy in the decisions that they have made.

–I need to cut Zoe cold turkey from her paci I think. Anyone have any advice?? She LOVES that thing and it brings her so much comfort. We try to limit  her to the car and bedtime, but she sneaks it every now and again other places. Her doctor wanted it gone already, and her teachers were shocked to hear that she still uses it when I didn’t realize she had it with her this morning at drop off. I feel like most of my friends that have older kids let them have it until they were 2 before cutting them off. Zoe is only 19 months. Any advice is greatly appreciated! I know it is going to be rough. Plus I am sad to see one of her last “baby traits” go away. You know?

Anyways, that is probably enough randomness out of me for today. I hope that you all have a wonderful weekend!

currently

Currently

Reading: Surprise Me – I am only about 10% in to this right now, but so far so good. I am not sure anything will stand up to My Not So Perfect Life for me from Kinsella.

Surprise Me

Listening: I am almost done with All the Summer Girls on audio book.

All the Summer Girls

Watching: When we were at the beach, we had to actually watch commercials. Ugh, I know right?!?! Well, it wasn’t all bad because I saw an advertisement for Take Two and I squealed in delight when I saw Rachel Bilson. You know our love for Hart of Dixie. We watched the first three episodes and it is really cute.

Image result for take two

Eating: I am trying so hard to get back on the healthy train. Once I fall, I fall hard. Amy is doing a mini Whole 30 reset starting on the 15th and I plan to join her. Let me know if you are going to follow too. I would love as many accountability partners as possible. I started taking workout selfies again this morning, and hope to add them to my monthly review post next month. We shall see how many I did. This weeks menu looks like this….

Monday: Salad

Tuesday: Turkey Burgers with Lima Beans for me and Zucchini for Chris

Wednesday: Egg Roll in a Bowl

Thursday: Korean Beef and stir fry veggies

Friday: Braised Pork Chops and Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Buying: I am probably pouring over the NSALE right now, but I did stop in Loft yesterday and found two things I couldn’t leave without. Right now, a lot of their pants are on sale for $35. I tried a pair on a whim and OMG!!!! They are so flatting and so comfortable! They are lightweight too, so you wont die in the heat of summer. I cant seem to find them on their site though. I also found this this adorable striped tank at Loft. This is an additional 40% off right now. I adored the flutter straps, it flows away from the body so comfortable for summer, and would be super cute under cardigans or jackets in the fall/winter. And um, have you met me? I tend to be drawn to black and white stripes. What can I say?

I also scooped up the Kiehls Avocado eye cream. Nothing I have used lately has worked, and my under eye area was in desperate need of some good hydration! I have had samples of this in the past, and remembered that I liked how hydrating it was. I bought the smaller container and will report back in a few weeks.

Laughing: 

book review, books

Books

Linking up with Jana and Steph for another month of  books! I had a month of enjoyable reads, so let’s just jump right in!

The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand

The Rumor

Madeline King and Grace Pancik are best friends and the envy of Nantucket for their perfect marriages, their beautiful kids, their Sunday night double dates with their devoted husbands. But this summer, something’s changed, and if there’s anything Nantucket likes better than cocktails on the beach at sunset, it’s a good rumor.

So this is my third Hilderbrand book, and I have to say that I liked Here’s to Us and Winter Street better. But that is not to say that this is a bad book. I enjoyed it, I just felt like the characters weren’t as likable. What I love about Hilderbrand is that she must have a map/family tree of fictional characters for Nantucket, because “Fast Eddie” was mentioned in Winter Street, and here he is one of the main male characters in this book. There was another character mentioned in another book, as well as a few of the places around town. So you really feel like you are part of that world while reading. I do love a good story about town drama, but since this book is called “The Rumor” you get an extra amount of gossip. I felt like most of the characters in this book are not all that identifiable. However, I still enjoyed it and finished it in less than a week. So that says something!

Bottom Line: This would make a great beach read.

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks

The Wife Between Us

A novel of suspense that explores the complexities of marriage and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love.

Man, this book!!! It was a really slow build up, but I never saw the twists coming! They were so clever! The tag line says that you will make assumptions about the book and to assume nothing…and it sure delivers! I didn’t super love all of the characters, but that didn’t take away from the book at all. I don’t always love a book with a unreliable narrator, but it works well in this one.

Bottom Line: If you like suspense type books, read it!

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

Long Way Down

Will’s brother Shawn was just murdered. Will is on an elevator with a gun in his waistband, revenge on his mind. As the elevator stops on each floor, someone connected to his brother gets on to give Will a piece to a bigger story than the one he thinks he knows. A story that might never know an END…if WILL gets off that elevator.

This is such a powerful read. It took less than two hours to get through, so I highly suggest reading it! I listened to it on audiobook because the author reads it himself and it was written in verse. I love knowing that it was delivered exactly as intended. The ending is really left up for interpretation though. I listened to it about four or five times trying to decide how I thought he meant it to go. If you have read it, I would love to know how you took it.

Bottom Line: Just read it!

The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson

The Almost Sisters

 One tequila-soaked night at a comics convention, the usually level-headed graphic novelist is swept off her barstool by a handsome and anonymous Batman. It turns out the caped crusader has left her with more than just a nice, fuzzy memory. She’s having a baby boy. But before Leia can break the news of her impending single-motherhood (including the fact that her baby is biracial) to her conventional, Southern family, her step-sister Rachel’s marriage implodes. Worse, she learns her beloved ninety-year-old grandmother, Birchie, is losing her mind, and she’s been hiding her dementia with the help of Wattie, her best friend since girlhood. Leia returns to Alabama to put her grandmother’s affairs in order, clean out the big Victorian that has been in the Birch family for generations, and tell her family that she’s pregnant. Yet just when Leia thinks she’s got it all under control, she learns that illness is not the only thing Birchie’s been hiding.  

I feel like I waited forever for this book at the library. I have really come to love Joshilyn Jackson. She is such an engaging writer and I feel like her books are deeper than just a beach read. She knows how to develop a character. Small town Alabama can feel like you walked right in to the 80’s, and that is how Jackson writes about Birchville in this book. I loved all the drama that was written in to the Birch family history. So many secrets. I also like that there is a story within a story with the graphic novel series that Leia wrote.

Bottom Line: This is a very enjoyable read! You get the good, bad and ugly of the deep south, some family drama, secrets, a super hero and a woman who just wants to solve all the problems and doing the best that she can. Read it!

All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin

All We Ever Wanted

Nina Browning is living the good life after marrying into Nashville’s elite. Tom Volpe is a single dad working multiple jobs while struggling to raise his headstrong daughter, Lyla. Amid so much wealth and privilege, Lyla doesn’t always fit in—and her overprotective father doesn’t help—but in most ways, she’s a typical teenage girl, happy and thriving. One photograph, snapped in a drunken moment at a party, changes everything. As the image spreads like wildfire, the Windsor community is instantly polarized, buzzing with controversy and assigning blame. At the heart of the lies and scandal, Tom, Nina, and Lyla are forced together—all questioning their closest relationships, asking themselves who they really are, and searching for the courage to live a life of true meaning.

I finished this book in just a couple of sittings at the beach. It was actually a heavier topic than most of Giffin’s books. I felt like it was very realistic and now in terms of the issue and what happened. I do feel though that Giffin just touched the surface, and it could have gone a little deeper. I liked the way the book switched between Nina, Tom and Lyla. You got to see the story from each of their points of views and know what they were feeling. I didn’t really get attached to any of the characters the way I like to, but they were likeable enough. The ending sort of wrapped up a little too quickly for me, leaving me wanting something more from the book.

Bottom Line: I think Giffin fans will appreciate this book for its heavier subject matter. This was a quick and enjoyable read.

**I received a copy of All We Ever Wanted from Netgalley in exchange for me honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

Currently Reading

All the Summer Girls by Meg Donohue

All the Summer Girls

Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella

Surprise Me

weekend shenanigans

Beach Shenanigans

You may or may not have noticed my absence the last week or so. I am not here to apologize, because I don’t feel one needs to apologize for living life…you know? I basically took a break from everything. I did not open my laptop one time at the beach. I stayed off Facebook, Twitter, and just randomly checked in on Instagram to share a few moments of our trip. I didn’t think one time about work or how miserable I am. I didn’t think about the things we still need to get done around the house. I didn’t think about the mental list I have of accomplishments and dreams that are just sitting out there without any action. All I did was sit around our condo, take long walks with Zoe, take in the views of the ocean, and lounge around in the pool. (In one hour increments the best you can with a toddler who is go go go.) I ate some spicy Doritos and golden Oreos. We stopped at Steak n Shake in Prattville on the way down, as we usually do. We took Zoe for ice cream and out to eat one night at Sassy Bass where I indulged in crab claws and crab cakes.

On Friday morning, Chris and I took a walk and decided that we had enough vacation. We consulted with Zoe, who nodded in agreement that she wanted to go home, and packed up our car and headed back to Birmingham and our much more comfortable bed. Just like that, vacation was over and reality slapped us in the face. I had about 10 loads of laundry, Chris had a jungle in the backyard to tame, and poor Mac had a long overdue grooming that he needed recovery from.

This weekend, we laid low. Chris had a little side work to tend to. Zoe and I took a trip to the outlets near our house since I didn’t get to hit up the ones at the beach. (Where I discovered we now have a Michael Kors outlet store!!!!!!!) A rain storm came through while we were there, so we took cover in the food court where I decided it was high time that Zoe tried Auntie Anne’s! She was obsessed and kept saying “mo pwease”. We knocked out our grocery shopping for the week. I indulged in some Publix sushi Saturday night, Chris grilled hot dogs for lunch, and last night (thanks to Amy!) we enjoyed some paleo chick fila nuggets with garlic and parsley smashed potatoes.

I hope you all had a wonderful 4th week! Linking up with Biana.