Sunday, April 20, 2014

Kiki Turns 1

This year has been challenging- one filled with too many work trips, the loss of a beautiful little girl, and not enough time feeding my soul.  There also has been many blessings, one of which is seeing my Kiki thrive and grow into a distinct little person.  She loves yogurt, Daddy hugs, blowing kisses and stealing her big sisters toys.  We had a small brunch celebration for her which P. and I pulled together in about two weeks, thanks to the help of some great friends and family.

Cupcakes by Fairycakes
Frames and vases all vintage
Glitter banners and cakepops by M.W.
Pictures and crown by S.K.
Kiki's outfit by Carters

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Google Shopping Express Review!

Google Shopping Express is a fairly new shopping service from Google Inc.  Because they are offering 6 months free delivery I decided to pull the trigger and order a gaggle of stuff that frankly, I'm too lazy to go and buy in person.  Google Express only delivers non perishable items at this time so think of canned, jarred and boxed items.  They also deliver clothing, toys and home items.

Google Express seems to have some of the most popular grocery stores on their list of products to chose from.  On my first order I ordered several items from Costco (let's be real, I HATE dealing with that crazy parking lot) some items from Whole Foods and Babies r Us.  I ordered a range of items from laundry detergent to organic juice and Earth's Best baby food.  Since I purchase mostly organic brands I was happy with the selection that was provided from the various stores. 

I ordered all items at around 10:30am and then  I got one email confirming my order and a approximate delivery time of 7:00pm.  At around 7:06pm my items arrived at my door.    I saw a delivery person pull up in a Google Prius, jump out and unload the items on my front step.  He didn't wait for a signature or even knock on the door before before driving away.  A little odd, but I can deal with it.

Several of the loose items were in large Google Express bags and everything was neatly stacked by the front door. The large Costco items had handles taped on for easy handling.  Tucked into the bag was a sheet listing the items that I had purchased.  I have absolutely no complaints and plan to use Google Shopping Express A LOT before my trial membership is up!  I'm hoping that the service gains popularity and sticks around.

A few other tips...If you order from a store requiring a membership, you will have to submit your customer number in order to check out.  Delivery is regularly $4.99 per store.  

Have you tried this service? What did you think??

*This review was NOT compensated.  Google Express has no clue who I am!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Valentine's Day Target Haul!

Retail therapy is not to be joked about everyone! There is always interest in my Target tips around clearance time so I wanted to do a post with all my clearance hauls for Valentines Day.  In my personal experience clearance doesn't get good until the second or third day after a major holiday.  For example, the day after Valentines Day was only 50% at most stores but the second and third days jumped to 70% and then 90%!  I'm lucky to have about 5 Targets in my radius between home and work so I'm able to run in and out to check if certain items have reached a particular percentage off!

Home decor- Yarn wreath, wood heart hanger plus erasers and tattoos for next year's Valentines!  The rest were just miscellaneous items like spatulas books, bubbles and washi tape.  I'm going to use a few of these items to stuff the girls easter baskets with.  The most expensive thing was the wreath which was about $2.00

Spritz wrapping paper.  The gold chevron paper and bags were part of the sale in addition to plain white tissue paper and red bows.  The rolls, tissue paper and bows were .19-.30 each! These things are great for use during the year to wrap birthday gifts!

The rug was a cute addition to A's room and the wreaths are for next years decor.

What do I so with all this stuff?  Well, most of it is gifted to friends and family!  I usually keep on top of what my sister and mom need plus I also shop for my friends who can't find the stuff in their stores. I also plan to put a few of the toys in their Easter baskets this year.  If you found some good stuff this year, please share in the comments!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Not Goodbye...

The lovely little JLK passed away almost two weeks ago.  She is always in my thoughts, always dressed in a princess dress, always dashing around her house....

Explaining this to my daughter has been tough.  She wasn't super emotional about it but had a ton of questions, some that just stopped me in my tracks.  She is very curious about cancer and the tumor, but also she was very worried if other people had it specifically JLK's family.  She was also was concerned about JLK's younger brother.  She asked me several times about him, if he would still have a sister and I reassured her that he would be ok, that he would have his family and be loved and protected.  I think it was her first instinct to ask about him because of their brother-sister bond.  Even my 5 year old can recognize that JLK and her brother were inseparable.  Even still, the questions come at times that I least expect them.  How does someone get to Heaven? Will Jennifer be able to dance in Heaven?  There are no owies in Heaven, right mom?

The celebration was an amazing experience and one that I will never forget.  To see the pictures and to see JLK's mother up there so strong- it seemed very fitting.  The celebration ended with a dance session to the song Brave.  It was just perfect.  I didn't feel like it was a goodbye.  It was more "we love and miss you" something that Libby admitted is always in her thoughts.   

I was able to touch base with so many people at the reception even if it was just a quick hug, smile or arm squeeze.  The village that has been forged in honor of JLK has been so amazing.  Thank you for holding up the Kranz family.  Thank you for wishing them strength and love.  Thank you. 

You can continue to follow the families journey in their fight for more pediatric cancer research and loving memories of JLK here.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Book Reviews

I'm back in the reading game with a goal of 40 books this year!  My first read was Random Family by Andrian Nicole LeBlanc.  Random Family follows two Puerto Rican families over the course of 12 years, while they live in the Bronx and upstate New York.   What started out as a news article on Boy George Rivera, one of the biggest heroin dealers in the 1980's, turned into an epic story of two families trying to survive poverty.  The women of the family are the center of the story and the book details their struggle of drug use, violence and the prison system.  Originally written in 2003, the author completely entrenched herself with two sets of families and wrote frankly about their struggles including bad decisions and the loyalty they had for each other.  It's such a intense read and I was left wondering what happened to that family in the last 10 years.  The author talks about the 12 years she spent writing the book and gives a small update here.

 The second book I picked up was Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris.  These are the books about Sookie Stackhouse, the television show True Blood is based on these stories. I know I know, these books are a bit of a guilty pleasure that actually stopped being pleasurable years ago.  But, I read all previous 12 novels and there was no way I wasn't going to read how the story actually turned.  For those wondering, someone or something yet again is after Sookie Stackhouse so she enlists most of her ex boyfriends to help her.  Usual antics ensue, Eric Northman is still licking his wounds from their last argument, Bill is still brooding from across the cemetery and Alcide Herveaux and Quinn the Tiger make an appearance.  This book concludes the Sookie Stackhouse series and I found it to be a subpar ending to the story.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Rain and my Ikea Haul

A winter rain storm barreled through the Bay Area today and I'm so thankful for the rain watering my plants and my lemon and lime trees.  I kept the tea pot going all day and got some work done while streaming the Olympic opening ceromonies on BBC this morning.  I plotted out our weekend which will include birthdays and picking out paint samples for the big sisters room.  But most importantly I unpacked the rest of my IKEA haul which I'm sharing below!

1. The Raskog cart.  Finally they are mine!! I bought two, one for the kitchen and one for A's room.  The kitchen one will hold a few things that I no longer have room for on our kitchen counters while the one in A's room will hold various books and stuff.

2. (4) Ekby Hensvik Brackets.  These will be paired with the large Hemnes shelves for A's room.

3. 2 Ursula Euro pillows!  I've loved these ever since I saw my friend Holly from In the Fun Lane pair them with white ruffles on her cozy bed.

4.  Omvaxlande Tray.  I didn't need this at all but got it away.  It's the turqouise, it gets me every time!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Eat in Month....

Still trying to go strong in the Eat In Month challenge!  Here are a few snapshots of some dishes that are helping me stick to not eating out.  My favorites dish was the jalapeno burger, my husband used this recipe.