Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Disney Fanatic in the Making

As promised, here's a little recap of Ella's first time experiencing the Disney magic. It was an incredibly fun day! Hubs and I went back and forth as to whether or not our now family of three was ready to start up again with season passes. We understand that she's so little that she won't really remember it, but WE will! I'll try my very best to document it all so she could look back at all the fun times. Basically, why wait?!

The thing about The Magic Kingdom is that by the time you actually get there, it's like you've already ridden two rides....the tram and the monorail or ferry. It' a whole production. This is the ONLY negative thing I could ever say about the MK. I'm working on learning to enjoy the journey but I'd rather just park my card and be there already! Baby Girl seemed to have a blast taking it all in...tram, ferry, whatever....she loved it all!

The beauty of living so close and being able to just come and go as you please is that you don't have to rush there first thing in the morning, and you don't feel pressured to stay all day just to get your money's worth. We got there at about 1:00 and stayed until about 6:00...just enough, especially for our little Disney rookie! We were able to do the carousel, The Little Mermaid ride, the Tea Cups, and the Dumbo ride. The new way they do the fastpass with the Disney app is just amazing! We've since gotten our magic bands....phenomenal! They are complimentary for passholders -you have to order them so we didn't have them for this first visit. As you can see, we all had the best day! Ella Rose was in her glory and of course so were Hubs and I. We can't wait for many more trips to come!
*This was from over a month ago. We've since been to Epcot (also a blast) and if all goes according to plan...we'll be hitting up Hollywood Studios tonight to see the lights before our blackout dates kick in on our passes!
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Monday, December 15, 2014

What's cooking this week?

Happy Monday, indeed! Today is Ella's 15 month checkup and I took the entire day off. Besides the fact that I'm 99% sure she is getting a shot of some sort today, I'm super excited about the day! For starters, it's amazing I just HAPPEN to be off considering my voice is hardly back yet. Somehow that worked out. It's as if I were meant to be home today. Weird, but I'll take it. Last night it started to come back, I felt human again! I'll never EVER take my voice for granted again! Anyway here's what's on the menu...
Tuesday: Crock-Pot Turkey Veggie Chili
Wednesday: Pomodoro Tilapia 
Thursday: Pulled Pork and Cauliflower Garlic Breadsticks

My little sweets and I are due for some Mamma/Ella time! Last week was ROUGH on so many levels. Baby and I just need a day for us. I may even turn my work e-mail off....at least until nap time. The plan is to spend all day on the floor playing with her and all of her new toys. She's been growing so fast and looking like such a big girl to me lately. I'm absolutely loving this printable for her room. Looking at it reminds me to slow down and enjoy every single second. They all keep telling me she won't be little forever. As soon as i find the perfect frame, this beauty will probably go on the same wall as her crib. Love it!
{printable via}
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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Santa's First Visit

There's an awesome holiday weekend in progress over here. It's almost perfect too....who knew that losing your voice would be so frustrating? It's not like I imagined it would be a walk in the park but this has been a whole level of annoying that I never thought possible. My family is up from South Florida for Christmas (Part 1) and not being able to communicate with everyone has definitely put a bit of damper on our celebration for me. On Friday night when they arrived my voice was ridiculously raspy. Saturday morning I woke up and it was completely gone. So far this morning it doesn't seem to be much better so who knows how long this will last. Thankfully I took the day off tomorrow to take Ella to her 15 month checkup. Isn't it funny how sometimes things like that work out. I can't even imagine how much work I would be able to get accomplished without a voice. Now let's hope it's back by Tuesday!

Yesterday morning we woke up to see what Santa brought our little lady. Boy, was he good to her!?! Look at her go!
It was a nice day of staying home and playing with all Ella's new toys. A dollhouse, shopping cart, rocker, mega blocks, baby crib and more..she's totally overwhelmed, in a good way of course! I'm pretty sure we were all into it more than or at least as much as she was. My cousin Kristen made fake breakfast for everyone (quite the spread) before we all had real breakfast. Obviously the kitchen set is a BIG hit! Hubs and I did extensive research on kitchen sets and play food before making final decisions. Worth it!
How adorable is this "Owl-ivia" rocker?! Hey Aunt Donna....I think she likes it! 

Stephen took a ride to Home Depot with Uncle John and picked up our new BBQ (house/X-mas gift from Uncle John and Aunt Laura, OMG). Expect some grilling to be in the upcoming meal plans! Tis' the season still down here! After nap time for both Ella and I, we went out to dinner at one of my favorite Italian restaurants. I communicated via text, but there was SO much I wanted to say and express...like how thankful I am for our family, and what a beautiful day it was. Love them all so much! In 10 days we will be doing it all over again in New York! In the meantime, let's hope my voice comes back soon because I can hardly wait to ask my baby girl how she likes her kitchen set!!! From the looks of it though, I'd say she is very grateful. 
Stephen and I are pretty adamant about establishing our own traditions here in our new home. This was a great way to start! We're so thankful that Aunt Laura, Uncle John, Kristen and Nikki were able to be a part of Santa's very first visit! There will also be a lot of thanking to do when we see everyone in NY soon! There were quite a few large boxes under the tree yesterday morning we obviously wouldn't be able to travel back with! You're all so good to our sweet girl! Now back to Christmas Part 1 and a big cup of tea! 
*Sunday meal planning fail....expect that tomorrow instead!
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Monday, December 8, 2014

Ella's Must-Have Toys

What child doesn't love their toys, am I right?! Ella is one lucky little lady to have such a huge collection of fun toys from so many special people in her life! I figured now would be a great time to share ten of her favorites. All of these make regular appearances, no matter how buried some get she is always uncovering them and I'm finding these scattered across the floor at the end of the day.
Ella's Must-Have Toys

1. Big Block Sing Song DVD - If you've ever tuned into Disney Junior, you've had these catchy tunes  stuck in your head. The videos are hilarious, we started watching marathons of them on YouTube when she was only a few months old. Now season one is on DVD! Our Ella's favorites are "Peek-a-Boo", "Big Feet" and "Eat". Hubs and I still can't get over the fact that she now sings and dances to them!
2. Melissa and Doug Take-Along Shape Sorter - My mom got this for Ella at a cute little toy shop while we were in Savannah, Georgia over the summer. She used to like hearing the sound of the shapes inside and enjoyed dumping them out. Now she can fit some of the shapes in herself!
3. Baby Einstein "Let's Look" Book - We somehow acquired a big and a little version of this same book. I like to bring the little one with us in the diaper bag when we're on the go. Between reading this book, and watching Baby Noah (Baby Einstein DVD, also on YouTube) she learned her animals and animal sounds. 
4. Little People Ariel's Castle - Ella had a mermaid theme for her first birthday, so of course this was the perfect gift. She especially loves Flounder and opening and closing the clam shell. 
5. Melissa and Doug Safari Chunky Puzzle - I love this chunky puzzle, we have the shape one as well. This also helped Ella learn her animals, she always favored the "po-po" (hippo).
6. Caterpillar Tunnel - My cousin Jen got this for Ella's first birthday. Let's just say I trip over it on a regular basis. 
7. Stack and Roll Cups - These are stacking bowls, nesting bowls, and they even fit together so you can roll them. Right now I'm using them to help work on colors. 
8. Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Magical Musical Mirror - My dad is so proud that he picked this out for her on a whim LAST Christmas. This thing has been such a hit at so many phases of her development. When she was a little lump I'd just plop her in front of it and she would stare in the mirror, then she started pulling herself up on it (made me nervous), now she carries it all over the place. The pieces are perfect for teething, and she uses the comb to pretend to comb not only her hair, but mine, it's the sweetest. This is a big hit, even still!
9. Little People Nativity - Grandma and Grandpa Sko outdid themselves on this one! They gave it to Ella when we saw them in September but we put it aside so we could open it special for the holidays. Well, it's open and it's the number one toy as far as Ella is concerned right now. It's absolutely adorable and I'm so excited to have this be one of our Christmas traditions. I could see us taking this out for many years to come!
10. LeapFrog Picnic Basket - This was a birthday gift from Aunt Sharyn, Uncle Kevin and Justin. Picnics are a daily occurrence in our living room. Now Ella taps the fork on the plate and says "mum, mum, mum"! 

As you could imagine, our living room is completely over-run (as it should be with a one year old)! It's crazy to think what it will look like over the next few weeks! Thank you so much to you all in advance! Someday I'll do a post on living room organization - if I ever figure out a system that works! 
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Sunday, December 7, 2014

What's cooking this week?

There's SO much to do today, I'm glad we're all up nice and early! After running out to a few stores yesterday, I decided that the rest of my Christmas shopping will be done online. One thing I'm not into is battling the crowds and traffic...ugh. No thank you! Hopefully I could complete the rest of my online shopping today, it's already the 7th!?! First, let's figure out what's for dinner!
Tonight: Sunday Sauce
Tuesday: Pasta Fagioli (Olive Garden Copycat)
Wednesday: Grilled Lime Chicken with Black Bean Sauce
Thursday: Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Last night was my work Christmas party which was a blast. How is it that I have no photos? That is seriously unlike me, oopsie! What happens at the work Christmas party stays at the work Christmas party I guess! Our friends Lindsey and Kevin came over to watch Ella. It was so nice for Stephen and I to get out for a few hours! It felt strange in the car when it was just us. Obviously we don't get out much. 

Today will just be a snuggly day at home. Christmas music and movies...all that fun stuff! There's nothing like a Sunday Sauce Sunday - especially one in December! Maybe I'll get that going around noon so I could smell it all day! First, coffee and then playtime with my little love! 
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