{5 on friday} 13th edition

Happy Friday!! To say I've been ready for this day to come would be an understatement!!! It's been a V.E.R.Y long week around these parts! I started back to work on Monday {which wasn't the tough part}, BUT had to leave my very sick baby girl at home. Ella started running fever last Saturday and it finally broke THIS morning! Yes....6 straight days of fever. Not a fun way to start out the school year! Crossing my fingers, toes and everything you can imagine that this baby girl is completely well!
I'm excited to be linking up again with my sweet friend Darci for Five on Friday! So here we go....

Football season has officially begun!!! This household is pretty excited! Tonight is our first game of the season.....Wreck' em Texas Tech! Ella has her cheerleading uniform and pom pom's ready to go! Here is a sneak peak of one of our "practice sessions"! ;)))
I'm in full Fall mode....which in my book means it's PUMPKIN time! Like I mentioned last week, I love ALL things pumpkin! I came across this recipe that I cannot wait to try! How yummy does this look?!? I'll be sure to give a report!
My hubby and I leave in 13 days for our San Francisco/Napa trip!!! The timing really could not be more perfect! I've been checking the weather and it's in the 60s in San Fran and the 70s and very low 80s in Napa! Say whaaaa?!?! We're still in the 90s {but feels like the 100s} here in Houston! I'm so excited to be able to pull out my Fall clothes! Here are a few Fall outfit insirations I'm loving {and will hopefully be adding to my wardrobe}!

I'm so excited about this lovely I got for my birthday! Crossbody bags are a must in my book! Especially carrying around my little mini and all her goods!
I heard this quote for the first time last year, and it has stuck with me! Love it!
Wishing you a happy {long} weekend, friends!!!

{weekend happenings}

Hello, Monday and Happy 1st Day of School to some of you {mama's, your mini's, and teachers}! Today was my first day back at work! To say I'm exhausted would be an understatement! It was even harder leaving this morning, because I have a sick lil' one at home. Ella started running fever on Saturday afternoon {not a birthday present I was hoping for}! Poor thing is still running fever....crossing my fingers it'll break during the night and she'll be a new little girl tomorrow! All that aside, we had a wonderful weekend! I'm blessed with the best friends and family a girl could ever ask for! Here is a recap in pictures.
1. Thursday night, Josh and I went on a double date with some friends! Such a fun night out on the River Walk in TW!
2. Friday morning, E and I met up with Darci and Emily and their mini's for a play date! Loved getting to meet these sweet mama's in person! Such genuine, beautiful {inside and out} gals! And those little boys....ahhh, such sweethearts!
3. Friday evening, we had a relaxing night at home....just the 3 of us! We ate pizza, watched football, and had a little camp out in the living room. Love nights like these!
4. Saturday was my birthday! My hubby made my very favorite bday breakfast...French Toast and Mimosa's {does it get better than that}?!?!
5. Loved getting to celebrate the day with my sweet family!
6. Ella wasn't too sure about the birthday hat {or so I thought at the time}....little did we know, baby girl was getting sick! I thought this pic was too cute not to post, but made me a little sad later on when I knew she wasn't feeling well.
7. Once again, my chef hubby didn't disappoint for my bday dinner! Pecan crusted trout and vegetables it was! Y-U-M!
8. On Sunday, I got to go to my very first ever Texans game! Such a blast! The only thing that would have made it better would have been #99 in the game. Love me some J.J. Watt! ;))
9. Loved getting to go to the game with these sweet friends! For those of you who don't know, this is Ria {I talk about her some on my blog}....she takes care of Ella three days a week at her in home day care. We could not be more blessed to have them in our lives! 
And there you have our weekend! Busy, but fun! Here's to another week!!!

{5 on Friday} 12th edition

Happy Friday, loves!!!! It's that time again...5 on Friday! Are you loving this blogging day as much as I am?!? Like I've mentioned before, I've "met" some some wonderful new ladies through this link-up and found some blogs I might have never found before. Such fun! Let's get started....

I have my eye on these beauties! They're not mine quite yet, but soon, very soon! Honestly, I would take a pair in every color, but the black pearl is so unique and even prettier in person! 
If you've followed me long enough, you know I love EVERYTHING, absolutely everything pumpkin! You name it...I'm all over it! My husband loves to make fun of me for my little obsession! Last week, a number of you shared about Bath & Body Works newest scents...so of course, I had to check them out! Oh my yummy goodness....this candle screams Fall! Get there quick...I might buy out the store! ;))
I was having a sentimental moment yesterday going through pictures of Ella! This was the moment I held my baby girl for the first time! I can't believe that moment was TWO years ago {next month}! Where oh where does the time go?
We are going to a Texans game with great friends on Sunday! So very excited! Let the season begin! Thank you Chip and Ria for this fun birthday present!!!
So excited to spend my birthday with my sweet family! I couldn't think of a better way to spend it! Ella has been ready since last Sunday! ;)) Gram sent Ella home with these hats, so Ella walks around asking for "party hats" and "bwoons"! First on the agenda....mimosas and french toast! Yeah, baby!
Happy Weekend, y'all!!!!

{tasty tuesday - birthday breakfast}

My mouth is already watering! Happy Tasty Tuesday, friends! Since this is my birthday week, I decided to share one of my favorite birthday traditions growing up and a recipe! Having a late August birthday, it usually fell either on the first day of school or very close to it. My sister and I also celebrate our birthdays 3 days apart! My parents always did a great job of letting us feel "extra" special on our actual birthay {even if it was the first day of school}. I'm pretty sure my sis {Jess} and I requested the same birthday breakfast for as long as I can remember {even better, we got to have it 2 times in the same week}! I remember waking up to the aroma of French Toast and walking up to the breakfast table to find the infamous red plate at "my spot"! We only got to use the "red plate" on our birthday, so it always made it even more fun to eat off of! You know what I'm talking about?!?!
Look familiar? Josh and I were thrilled to get one as a wedding gift {and have already continued the tradition in our little household}!
So by now, I've already told you my breakfast of choice....French Toast! Yes and yes! No one made French Toast like my mama {at least in my eyes}!! I've mentioned on my blog multiple times that I absolutely love traditions! It puts a smile on my face even getting to share my birthday breakfast tradition with y'all! ;) Okay, I'll stop now!
I came across a recipe that looked very similar to the one my mom would make. We weren't ever big on dipping ours in syrup, but rather loved getting to sprinkle tons of powder sugar all.over.the.place! Fun memories!
French Toast Sticks
4 slices thick-cut bread
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp melted butter, slightly cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a large baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

Cut bread slices into thirds and set aside.

In a large shallow dish, whisk together the eggs, milk, melted butter, vanilla and ground cinnamon. One at a time, dunk the bread sticks into the egg batter, letting the excess drip off. Place each bread stick onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until lightly golden in color. Halfway through the baking time, flip over the bread sticks and spray with the tops again with non-stick cooking spray.

Sprinkle warm french toast sticks with powdered sugar, if desired, and serve.
Hope you enjoy as much as the birthday girls always did {and continue to do}!!!
Recipe found at Spoonful of Flour blog

{weekend shenanigans}

Happy Monday!!!! This is going to be a very busy, but super fun week for me! For starters, it is my last week of summer break before I head back to work, but I'm excited for a new year...a new beginning with my kiddos! It is also my birthday week....yeah!!!

It's not "that" big of a birthday, but for me, it sure does feel like it! I'll officially be IN my 30's...not just 30! ;) Make sense?!?! I'm excited to celebrate with family and friends all week long! I'm linking up again with Sami for "Weekend Shenaigans".
1. Ella and I loaded up first thing Friday morning and headed down to the beach {our first trip driving just the two of us...daddy met us later on that day}! We met my sis-in-law and newphews at the beach for a weekend of fun!
2. E ran and errand with her Aunt Jo, so I enjoyed getting "my boy fix" with these two! Seriously, could they be any cuter?!?
3. Saturday morning cartoons with the cousins! E absolutely adores M and loves to copy every.single.thing he does/says! So cute!
4. Popsicles on the deck! This picture was after we stripped the kiddos down and gave them a bath in the swimming pool on the deck! Priceless memories!
5. Beach time with these little sun kissed sweeties!
6. Enjoying an evening stroll on the beach with my loves. I couldn't stop laughing at E's hands on her hips!!!!
7. Daddy and Ella needed a little break after eating burgers for dinner {we had to make room for some banana pudding}! This is one of my favs of the two of them! ;)
8. Loved getting to spend my Sunday afternoon with some of my favorite gals at Elaine Turner in The Woodlands! Who doesn't enjoy a little girl time, mimosa, trying on shoes, jewelry and purses?!?!
9. When I got home Sunday night, I had my first birthday surprise from my sweet in-laws!!! I've been DYING to add some plants to our backyard for quite sometime. They secretly snuck over 4 new azalea trees and two beautiful potted plants! Such a fun surprise!!!!
Here's to a new week!!!! Wishing you the best!    

{5 on friday} 11th edition

Happy Friday, y'all!!! As ready as I am for the Fall, I'm soaking up my last few weeks of summer break! We have lots on the agenda over the next week and a half {one last possible beach trip, blog event on Sunday, date night out with sweet friends, my birthday, and a Texans game}!! So much to be excited about! Excited to be linking up again with Darci and the gals for 5 on Friday!

Okay, I love everything about this garland and just know it would be a perfect touch for Ella's birthday party! BUT...I'm not thrilled to spend the money IF I think I can make it! So....I'm wondering from all you wonderful DIY ladies out there....have you made one like this before? If so, hard or easy? Worth the time or should I just go ahead and spend the extra $$?!? I was in the exact same predicament last year. Hmm....decisions, decisions!
I took full advantage of Carter's 50% off of PJs this week! My Little Miss is growing like a weed and honestly, has been wearing high waters a little too long now {oh well, it is summer after all and so stinkin' hot}, so it was definitely time! It was Ella's first time to independently pick out her own jammies...and my oh my, did she ever feel proud! She insisted on carrying them around the store the entire time!
I had to show you at least one pair of them! ;) $10...SCORE!
Why of course she picked out pink!! I thought they were pretty darn cute, but what's not to love about a little one in PJs?
We moved into our home two years ago and have loved everything about our home EXCEPT for our carpet! Well the time has come for change!! We went for the first time this week to look at hardwood floors and found the one we love. Can't wait to get the process started! Jumping with excitment!!! Sorry for the poor quality iphone pics, but you get the idea!

I added a "new man" in my life this week and think he adds the perfect touch to our entry table! ;) Thank you HomeGoods {once again}!

It's beginning to look a lot like Fall {in the wardrobe area}! I honestly don't buy too many pairs of jeans, but when I find a pair I like, I'm all over it! I came across these at Gap this past week and absolutely love both of them! They both fit great and are very different styles than I currently own! Bring on the cooler weather {HA....comes from the girl living in Houston, Texas}!

Wishing you all a very happy weekend!!!!  

{houston area bloggers + friends}

I'm so excited about our {my very first ever} Houston blogger event this Sunday! You do NOT have to be a blogger to attend this event...the more, the merrier! :-) Feel free to bring a friend along as we enjoy an afternoon with other ladies from the area, sips, sweets, and shopping {does it get better than than, my friends}?!? You can do a little browsing here before the event. Elaine Turner also carries one of my favorite jewelry lines...Kendra Scott! I hope you'll join Leslie and I this weekend!
See you Sunday!

{birthday countdown - old school style}

It's the simple things, right?!? Don't get me wrong, I LOVE crafting, creating, making, doing, and DIYing all day long {always have, always will}, but sometimes it's the simple things that are so much fun. If you follow me on Instagram, you saw some some of our pictures yesterday, but I still wanted to share with the rest of you! ;) This really is the easiest craft you can do with your little one, BUT this is one they can actually help with and learn at the same time! Such a great project for counting, learning colors and patterns, gluing, making choices and following simple directions {okay, maybe the last 2 are the speech path in me coming out}!!!! Ella is a week shy of turning 23 months and she absolutely loved this craft. Such a fun way to have a visual for a big event!

The only materials you need are construction paper, scissors and glue {and some tool to hang the chain up, but that depends on how you want to display it}.

I cut all of our strips out, then let Ella help with gluing and picking out the colors.
Yes, we were still in our PJs! As you can see, she was very hard at work! ;) Once we got a consierable amount on the chain, we began counting to see how many we had/needed. All of her numbers sound like "twee"! But that doesn't matter, just keep on keeping on! That's the fun of teaching and learning with the littles.
And there you have our completed chain! Only 37 more days until we have a BIG TWO year old!
Ella's birthday chain now hangs proudly over the play room door! A fun reminder each time we go into play!

{back to school favorites and ideas + discount}

Can you belive "back to school" is right around the corner? I know for some of you, school begins today! It has been a nice, relaxing, longer than normal {which I'm so thankful for} summer! The district I currently work in doesn't start until September 3rd....say whaaaa? I don't even think I remember school starting in September when I was growing up. The good: longer summer! The bad: school goes until the middle of June...blah! There's always something fun about celebrating "a first"...in this case, "the first day of school". I've found a lot of cute ideas lately and wanted to share my Top 10 with you today!
:::number one:::
Customizable "Back to School" 1st Day of...Printable via
:::number two:::
Hand Stamped "Just Because" Lunchbox Notecards via
:::number three:::
Teacher Giftcard Printable via
:::number four:::
Gift ideas for your children and/or classroom students
:::number five:::
Back to School Celebration {ideas galore} via
:::number six:::
Back to School Printables via
:::number seven:::
"This book belongs to ___" Stamp via
***Down with the Dearmore readers receive free shipping using coupone code: BACK2SCHOOL2013***
:::number eight:::
Chalkboard Backpack Station via
:::number nine:::
Back to School Books {mostly for younger children} via
:::number ten:::
Personalized Lunch Bags via
***Down with the Dearmore readers receive a 15% discount using coupone code: BLOG15***
Enter code at checkout {let me know if you have any questions}! Also, if you purchase anything, you will receive an e-mailed coupon code for $5 off your next purchase!

I hope this has given you some good ideas whether you are sending a young one to Mother's Day Out or a child to Elementary School! Happy Monday!!!

{5 on friday}

Annnddddd......We're back for another 5 on Friday! It really is my favorite blogging day of the week for many reasons {the opportunity to meet new bloggers, the fact that my post is already planned out besides my 5 things, and getting to see many new fabulous ideas, projects, pics, recipes and so much more}! Let's get started!

I was estactic to be contacted by Tiny Prints a few weeks back about the opportunity to work with them {using their products, posting about them, linking up with them, etc.}! Of course I jumped right on that as I've been using them for several years now and LOVE their products. I have never had anything but the best quality from them {no, they did not ask me to say all of this}!! ;) After a wonderful phone conversation, we decided our first little "project" together will be Ella's 2nd Birthday Party! Invitations were ordered yesterday...can't wait to show you them!! They are darling {and no, I didn't end up going with the Minnie Mickey theme}. They are very whimsical and fun and knew they were THE ones the second I ran across them! Many updates to follow!
I am absolutely in love with the Skip Hop Zoo Luggage! I first ran across them at Target and then got to looking online and found that there were so many more items of this particular line. I have {to date} ordered 3 pieces of luggage for Christmas gifts this year. I plan to monogram each of them and can't wait to see how they turn out!!! The first three pictured happen to be the ones I ordered! ;)
Ella and I enjoyed a play date and lunch yesterday with one of my bests and she served this amazing Greek Pasta Salad from HEB. If you're local {or have an HEB near you}, this is a must! So tasty!!!
My sister came into town this past weekend and we enjoyed a mini getaway to the beach! She hadn't been to the beach in forever {3 years to be exact}, so was ready to get away and relax before she begins a new school year teaching at a brand new school. I always enjoy getting to see my sis and getting to watch her play with Ella, but this time was even more fun as we got to spend three days together {which has been rare lately}! We enjoyed lots of play time on the beach, seafood 2 nights in a row, sunsets, and golf cart rides to look at all the new development since she had been down {our beach house is located exactly where IKE took place 5 years ago, so a lot has changed since her last time down}. I never take for granted time with my precious family!
Tonight I leave for an overnight MOPS leadership retreat to finish all of our planning for the upcoming year. We have 81 women in our MOPS group {can you believe} and 9 on the waiting list?!?! Our theme is year is "A Beautiful Mess"....perfect, huh?! I love this organization! I'm so excited to spend a night with these sweet gals!
Wishing you all a happy and healthy weekend!!

{thursday thoughts to ponder}

 Happy Day, my friends! I've come across some thoughts to ponder lately and wanted to share them with you!

 :::something funny:::
If your household is anything like ours, you will SO appreciate this quote! I just had to laugh when I read this! LOVE this ecard!
:::something inspiring:::

I don't know whether to consider this inspiring or scary! What an incredible responsibility we've been given as parents, but what an honor. Definitely something to always thing about {and most importantly, pray about}. 
:::something sweet:::
Finally....there is hope for my sweet tooth!!! :) I just couldn't help myself!
:::something truer than true:::
Dr. Seuss always has a way with words! I've talked about this before, but it's so easy to compare ourselves. This is just a fun quote to say BE YOU! :-)
Wishing you a Happy Thursday! We're off to a swim play date! Anything to keep cool is this 127 degree weather! ;)