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Euro Trip - Part 2


Friday, September 30, 2016

We left off on my first night in London and how terribly sick I was.

Monday morning, I met my co-worker for a latte and almond croissant. We opted for this breakfast daily as England doesn't have the best breakfast. Think cured bacon (ie not cooked), overcooked sausage, blood sausage, beans on toast, cottage cheese style eggs or barely cooked eggs.

Breakfast settled ok, but my stomach still wasn't feeling all too great.

We worked all day (sorry, I can't go into what we did for work daily....privacy issues), went back to our hotel, changed and then went sightseeing. Both of us had been to London before, so we didn't NEED to go to all the sights. We did go to Hamley's (amazingly big toy store), Harrods (classic), Selfridges (another classic), all the shops in between and Buckingham Palace.
guard at buckingham palace
Buckingham Palace
 Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace

I was sad that we didn't get to see Prince William or his family. Didn't he know we would be there?

I got this drawing magnetic laptop at Hamley's since the girls are really into drawing. They love it and have been playing with it daily. Even fighting over it. Maybe I should have gotten two.

After dropping our stuff off at the hotel, we ventured out to Burger and Lobster for dinner. My co-worker got the burger and I got the lobster roll.
Burger and Lobster
Chips, lobster roll and a salad

The food tasted incredible, but my stomach was still off from the food poisoning on Saturday.

Tuesday, we headed up to Harrow, England for the day on the subway. England doesn't have air conditioning on their trains because it doesn't get too hot there. Except when the first time in about 50 years, the temperature is 88 degrees in September. So hot. Being in a suit is no fun on a hot subway.

We worked all day, took the hot sweaty train back to London where I worked out, got ready and headed back on the train out to High Barnet. It was the last stop on our subway train (about 30 minutes away). We were meeting a mutual friend who now lives in England. And bonus, she is a twin too! 

We had the best time hanging out with my friend Kettie. She was due with her second child a week after we got back. We met her husband, had drinks and then went to a local brasserie for drinks and dinner. I opted for the fish and chips since it was the first time since our trip started that my stomach felt ok. The food was really good, the beer was exceptional, but the company was what made this trip the BEST. We took the train back to the city and made it back to the hotel around 10:30.

Side note: Kettie had her baby girl on Friday September 23rd!

Wednesday, we got up bright and early to take the train (actual train) out to Birmingham for work. The train ride was beautiful and only took an hour and a half. We worked there, had the BEST indian food for lunch, did a bit of shopping in the train station (seriously the best shopping there. It was a mall inside the train station.) and headed back to London. This is where I got the girls their backpacks that they absolutely love and refuse to take off. We have had to bring them in the car on the ride to daycare because they don't want to leave them.

Wednesday night, we did our own thing since we had such a late lunch. I went walking around the city again, searched for some souvenirs that my co-worker back home requested and settled on an Italian tapas place (San Carlo Cicchetti) for dinner. I wasn't too hungry, but knew I needed something for dinner. I had the best pasta with lobster. This place was ran by Italians and it was so much fun listening to them yell at each other in Italian. But the bartender who served me was awesome and taught me how to make a couple drinks and let me try a bunch of different wines. I settled on a glass of the rose to compliment my meal.
lobster pasta

After dinner, I walked through Covent Garden again and had to make my stop at Laduree for macarons. I was just going to get two and have them that evening, but I knew I would regret it since I wasn't going to Paris for another set. So I opted for 6 and they were heavenly. Don't worry, I controlled myself and ate two per night for three days in a row. They were just as soft and amazing on the third night.
Laduree Covent Garden
Laduree macarons
Strawberry and vanilla

I was able to facetime the girls that evening and it totally made my day.

The next morning, we were flying to Edinburgh, Scotland, but not until 1 pm. That meant I was able to do more walking which was good because I found out that my husbands grandfather was going into hospice care. I needed to clear my head and a morning walk around London was perfect to do so.

Stayed tuned for Part 3 - Scotland.
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Confessional Thursday


Thursday, September 29, 2016

It's Thursday which means it is time to confess. Even though I wrote confessions the last two weeks, being gone made me feel like I missed out. I am still trying to catch up on reading all of your confessions.

Grab the button below, write your confessions and come back here to link up.

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I CONFESS...

/ that I missed the blogging community while I was gone. I was able to read a few blogs here and there, but not like I am used to. I am still so far behind on reading blogs, but I am getting to it. Who knew I would have so much work and emails to attend to after being gone two weeks?!

/ that I only bought myself one thing in Europe...a shirt and it was on sale for 8 pounds which is about $10.50. But now I want to buy all the Fall things now that I am back.

/ that ever since I had ginger ale on the plane to London (when I got super sick), I can't get enough of it. I am not a soda person, but ginger ale is my jam right now.

/ that I miss all the sleep I got in Europe. The first few days were a bit rough there, but then I settled into a nice routine of so much sleep. Now that I am back, sleep isn't coming as easy. Between jet lag and the girls, I could use a few extra hours.

/ that I tried to mail out my mug out for my blogger exchange yesterday and the post office window was closed for lunch for an hour and a half or more. At lunch time. That is the time everyone goes to the post office. So not cool. Now I have to try to go today so it doesn't go out late.

/ that I had to get gas at lunch yesterday as well and I had to go inside to pay since the card system was down and I subsequently purchased Airhead Bites and ate the entire bag yesterday. Oops.

/ Avery did not want anything to do with me on Tuesday evening. I dropped Rory and the girls off at home and came in to help them get into their highchairs and bring everything inside. But Avery refused to let me put her in her highchair and was pushing me away screaming daddy over and over again. Broke my mommy heart.

/ Avery also woke up at 4 am on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning and proceeded to cry for daddy over and over again.

/ that I miss the amazing Indian food overseas. I swear it was the best of my life. No joke. I overate the three days I had it. No shame.

/ that I finally bought the girls Halloween costumes after going back and forth with my husband. Donuts won!! I can't wait to see the girls all dressed up and Trick or Treating.

That's it for my weekly confessions. Don't forget to link up below.
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What's Hap-Pinning - Euro Trip Part 1


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

I can't believe I have been back from Europe for almost a week. I felt like I was away for a very long time, but in reality, it was only 12 days. Time to start my recaps.

I would like to believe that I made the most of my trip. Between work, sightseeing and the food, the time really did fly by.

It all started on Saturday September 10th. My flight wasn't until 4 pm, so I got to spend most of the day with my sweet family. We went to breakfast at one of my favorite places and came home to have a dance party. Avery was all about the music and dancing in my arms. So much fun. We also did a bit of bouncing on our yoga ball.
exercise with twins

They also helped me edit my guest posts.
twins helping with the blog

Not long later, it was time for their naps and time to finish my last minute packing. At 2:30 pm, we left to the airport where the girls had major meltdowns in the car. They were super upset that I was leaving them which only prompted more tears from me. So hard to say goodbye to my little turkeys.

I had a short flight to San Francisco, followed by a two hour layover before boarding our flight to London.
My view.

Before I turned my phone on airplane mode, I received two sweet photos that I looked at every chance I could on the long flight.
New pjs from Old Navy 

Side note: I seriously can't wait to start renovations on our kitchen (especially with that top photo of miss Sutton). I am counting down the days.

I had a 10 hour flight over to London. I had a glass of champagne upon take off, watched a movie, had dinner and fell asleep. About two hours later, I woke up and needed to throw up. I searched for a barf bag and no go. Luckily or not, the bathroom was open and I ran to it. Getting sick in a plane bathroom is the worst. You don't want to get too close to the toilet, but you don't want splatter. It's a lose lose situation. I chose to have a bit of splatter. 

After getting sick, I went back towards my seat and the flight attendant asked if I was ok. I told her I think the food upset my stomach and felt awful. She offered me ginger ale which I accepted and told me another passenger was sick, but she wasn't sure if it was from the food.

I tried to sleep the remaining part of the flight, but I felt soooo sick.

Finally, we landed, but I still felt awful. We went through customs, gathered our bags and set out for a cab. I knew it was going to be a 45 minute cab ride, so I settled in and hoped that I didn't smell too bad. My co-worker said he didn't think I got any throw up on myself because I didn't smell, but I still worried.

Our 45 minute car ride turned into an hour and a half car ride. Since it was 9/11, traffic was crazy and then there was a cyclist race going on as well. Once we got to our hotel, got checked in, texted back and forth with Rory and the girls, I had the best shower. I felt clean and ready to walk around. Or so I thought.

We walked around Covent Gardens and the shops for a bit before finding a place to eat. It was a typical Brasserie, but the menu looked good. I opted for soup and some risotto. I thought it would be gentle enough on my stomach. I ate most of the soup and about a few bites of the risotto before feeling really sick again. We left and walked around a bit more before my co-worker talked me into gelato. After gelato, we headed back to the hotel where I felt awful all night long. I definitely had food poisoning.

Stay tuned for Part 2 where we work and explore London and England.

I am linking up with Jenn and Jessi.


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Weekending


Monday, September 26, 2016

I am back in the States, back at home with my family and I think I am finally passed the jet lag. Let me tell you, jet lag this time around has been awful. I barely slept Wednesday night after being up for 24 hours and Friday night was even worse. Let's just hope the sleepless nights are done.

I had the best time in Europe, but I am definitely glad to be back to my family. I have some recaps planned for the sights, food, shopping and everything in between. I hope to get some of those out this week. So stay tuned. But let me just say that Scotland was beautiful. So much greenery and beauty.

But for now, I am going to recap my weekend.

Friday I went to work and I dragged butt big time. But luckily, I only worked a half day. After work, I got lunch by myself and then picked up the girls from daycare. They napped briefly on the way home and then full on meltdowns ensued, so they took a 2 1/2 hour nap once we got home. I was able to catch up on some shows, take a short nap myself and some chores around the house. Once the girls got up, we played around the house. Let me just say that in the two weeks that I was gone, my girls grew up so much. Or I seem to think so. They play so much more, they say so many more words and they are just at a great stage right now. So much fun!!!

Once Rory got home from golfing, we took the girls and Walter on a walk since the weather was perfect. After our walk, we headed to Mexican food. I hadn't had Mexican food in forever and I was craving it. It was a risk taking the girls since dinner time is hit or miss with them, but I am happy to report that they were extremely happy. They tried a bunch of new foods and were such sweet ladies at the dinner table. Plus I got to have a margarita.
Radio Flyer Wagaon

After dinner, we went home to play some more and then we put the girls to bed. We watched more shows, but I ended up falling asleep at 8:30 on the couch. Jet lag.

Saturday morning we had the Nevada Wolf Pack game on tv, so I grabbed us some coffee and pastries at the local coffee shop and we spent our morning watching the Pack lose. Such a disappointment. After the girls naps, we had an even bigger disappointment with appliance shopping. We are getting so close to starting our renovations, so we have to get our appliances. There was not a great selection on anything and we didn't get anything. Doesn't it suck when you have the money to spend but you can't find anything to buy? Our only success was a stop at Target. 
Cath Kids backpacks
 Cath Kids London backpacks
Cath Kids backpacks
These backpacks that I got the girls in England were a huge hit! They wore them everywhere all weekend.

That evening we took another walk with the girls and Walter after the girls ate dinner. Then it was time for baths and quiet time. Once the girls went to bed, we ordered some pizza and watched American Horror Story.

Sunday morning we went out to breakfast because European breakfast leaves much to be desired. The only breakfast I enjoyed was pastries and coffee. I had the best huevos rancheros and the best time with my family. After breakfast, we headed to the mall to get the girls new shoes, some more clothes (Old Navy is having up to 60% off children's clothing FYI) and look at more appliances.

We headed home around noon so we could get the girls their lunch and get them down for their naps. They took decent naps and while they were sleeping, I headed out to get some diaper rash cream (Walgreens is the only place that sells this stuff) and to the grocery store. 

Once I got back and the girls were up, we ate snacks and played while Rory did some yard work. After he finished, we took another long walk and then headed to my in-laws for dinner. My sister-in-law and nephew are in town until Thursday so we went over for dinner. The girls played in the water, had family time and we got to all catch up.

I forgot to mention that after I took my car into Subaru for the finishing of the oil consumption test, it failed and now my car is getting a new short block put into it. I have a brand new 2017 Subaru Legacy and it has me wanting a new car. 

Anyways, back to Sunday night. We headed home late and the girls were exhausted. We put them down and about an hour later Sutton started screaming and thrashing around in bed. By the time I got in there, Rory had picked her up and was trying to calm her down, but I told him to put her down because she was having a night terror and not to wake her or calm her. She needs to do it on her own because if she wakes up, she could be terrified or have the flight or fight response. It is the first time one of our girls has had night terrors, but I remember reading on them a couple months back. We just made sure she didn't hurt herself when she thrashed around. She was fine within a couple minutes and back to sleep. So crazy to see it happen. I hope it doesn't happen often or never again at that.

After Sutton's night terror, the girls never slept that well and were up off and on through the night. I am exhausted, but we did have a pretty great weekend. 

Today I am linking up with Biana from B Loved Boston.
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Confessional Thursday


Thursday, September 22, 2016

It's Thursday which means Confessional Thursday again!! Grab the button, write your confessions and link up below.

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I CONFESS...

/ that being away for almost two weeks is and was hard, but the good news is, I am back. We had to cut part of our trip out due to some privacy issues. So I was gone 12 days instead of 14. It feels good to be back.

/ that even though I am happy to be back, the jet lag is REAL. So you can find me sleeping in bed all day. Yes, the girls are at daycare and Rory is at work. But I will be making an appearance at work tomorrow.

/ that I was worried I would gain some extra pounds on this trip, but I don't think I did. We walked everywhere (on cobblestone) and I worked out a ton. Some of my hotels had killer gyms. Can't pass that up.

/ that I really want a huge hamburger, plate of pasta or sushi. European food is pretty good (oh gawd the pastries!), but I missed my staples.

/ that my next trip is less than a month away. But this time it is for fun and it is with my husband. We are going to Oklahoma to visit Nick and Nathalie (my maid of honor) and have a kids free weekend. I can't wait!!

/ that today is the official start of Autumn and I am looking forward to our Apple Hill trip, Halloween, the leaves changing and all the Fall festivals!

/ that I am busier than ever at work which is a nice change. I love being super busy and on deadlines. It makes the days go by faster and the time in between seeing my girls seems shorter.

Happy Fall All!!


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Guest Post - You Know You're a Mom When


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Today I have Mackensey from Stang&Co guest posting for me. I have absolutely loved following along in her journey through motherhood. From her fashion posts to her birth stories, I know she and I would be amazing friends if we ever get to meet in person. I "met" Mackensey through blogging and I have been following her ever since. Plus she writes some awesome confessions! She has two amazing little boys and I love seeing how different boymoms and girlmoms are. Enjoy!

While Danielle is off experiencing incredible Europe, I am stopping by today and am thrilled to be a guest on her blog! Can I just begin by saying how jealous I am of the travels she gets to do!? She is one awesome mom and lucky lady to experience the world through her job.

My name is Mackensey, and you can find my little corner of the internet over at Stang&Co. I blog about everything, from mommy mishaps, to fashion, to balancing out being a working mom with little ones at home. I live in the Midwest, have purchased more baby pajamas in the past two yeras than I care to admit, and am convinced that nothing is better for the soul than baking a batch of brownies. Stop on over to my page and say hi!

Lately, my life is consumed with motherhood. Having two under the age of two will do that to a person. Sometimes, I catch myself doing or saying something that cuases me to freeze and think, wow, when did I become a real mom? All of those other people are moms, but not me, right? Just because I have two little people attached to my hip doesn't warrant me the status of being an actual mom, does it? While protecting our sweet babies from the moment they are born is instinct, feeling comfortable in our mom skin is a bit more of a gradual process. if you have found yourself doing any number of the things on the list below though, you have most definitely earned yourself the title of MOM.

You know you're a mom when:

1. You look down at your shirt and are unsure whether it is spit up, boogers or food on your shoulder. And then you move on with what you were doing because you really don't care.
2. You have drawers full of burp cloths and towels, but are lazy and when boogers and spit up happen, you use your own sleeve or whatever piece of dirty clothing may be laying around and use that instead.
3. You tell your husband you have to "go to the bathroom" and lock the door for half an hour, using this time to check your phone, tweeze your eyebrows, or just shut your eyes for a few minutes.
4. A legitimate daily task is ensuring that one of your children does not kill the other one.
5. Bedtime is no longer something you look forward to, but rather dread as you know it is going to be a two-hour process, usually ending with someone in tears (and the person in tears is probably you!).
6. Nothing gives you a greater high than stacking coupons and scoring the deal of the year on diapers.
7. You go shopping for yourself, and walk out empty handed but with two new outfits for each of your children.
8. Chicken nuggets are a staple in your freezer, and life will cease to exist if you accidentally run out.
9. You have been pooped on in public, and it almost always happens that one time that you brave a run into Target without the diaper bag.
10. You know all of the words to the children's CD that is in your car. And you catch yourself listening and singing along, even when your children aren't with you.
11. The only vacation you have taken recently was to grab a Starbucks and roam the aisles of Target by yourself...at least until your husband texts you five minutes later asking when you will be home.
12. You find yourself regularly saying things such as "don't stick that in your nose", "get your hands out of your pants", and "No, don't eat that"!
13. Cute home decor is tucked away in your closet because your toddler decided your seasonal pumpkins made great bowling balls to throw down the stairs.
14. You look at stay at home mom's and think nothing but the absolute highest of them, because you know they have the hardest job on the planet.
15. Going to work in the morning often leaves you feeling giddy, because it is when you will finally be able to sip on a hot cup of coffee in peace.
16. You no longer share pictures of nights out or cute outfits, but rather have to refrain from sharing every adorable and precious thing your children do throughout the day.
17. Despite it all, your heart has never been more full, and you find yourself repeating what everyone always told you but you never really understood. That you love those little monsters more and with a deeper fierceness than you ever knew existed.

What are your "a-ha" moments in motherhood when you realized you were officially a member of the club!? I would love to hear about those little experiences that (looking back on) make you laugh!

Thank you so much Mackensey! When I first read this, I was nodding my head along to almost every single one of these. Being a mother is the most challenging and rewarding thing I have ever done in my life. I never knew if I had the mom gene, but now having children, they are what I live for. Through their crazy actions (like throwing mommy's candles and seasonal decor) to their hugs and kisses, I wouldn't change being a mom for anything.

I think we both have totally earned our mom badges!!

Please head over to Mackensey's blog and follow along.
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Guest Post - Top 5 Beauty Items at the Drugstore


Tuesday, September 20, 2016


Hello Everyone! I'm Claudia and I blog over at Justalittleblush.com. It is such a pleasure to be blogging here today! As soon as Danielle posted that she was looking for some guest posts, I jumped at the chance. Her weekly confessions link up is always the best part of my Thursday. Be warned, when I link up, most of my confessions involve something I ate or something I brought.

I am a self-declared beauty junkie and spend an embarrassingly large amount of my spare time researching & buying makeup. I consider it research and development costs for my blog ;)

So, to get something out of all those hours, I want to share with you all my top five beauty items at the drugstore.

This was tough to narrow down! I started with 18 items and slowly, but surely, narrowed it down to just 5. Although I have a TON of drugstore favorites, I really cut down to those favorites that I prefer over any of my high end products. I asked myself: if the drugstore were to disappear, what five products would I want to keep? These are all products I use regularly and many of them I've repurchased over and over.

One
Bottom to top: Mac Cosmo, Wet N Wild Bare it All, Too Faced Chihuahu & Charlotte Tilbury Nude Kate

Wet N Wild Megalast Lip Color in Bare It All - $2.29

The megalast lipsticks are actually the first lipsticks I bought when I was just starting to get into lipsticks. I didn't want to spend a lot of money when I was first experimenting with colors and I can find these for $1.99 at some drugstores. Who knew I started with the best. These lipsticks are pigmented, creamy and stay on forever. Although the actual lipstick itself may seem a little stiff, I don't have any issues gliding them over my lips. Plus, they are all matte but are not drying at all!

I recently purchased a $32 lipstick and honestly it doesn't even compare to the Wet N Wild ones.

Although I have over 10 shades of this formula, my absolute favorite is Bare it All. It's a nude shade with just a hint of peach & brown so it doesn't make me look like I'm sick (which can happen with nude lips). Think Jennifer Lopez at award shows. You can see a swatch above compared to some higher end products.

A coupe of other favorite shares are Just Peachy and Cherry Picking.

Two

Jordana Best Lash Mascara - $3.99

I recently raved about this mascara on my blog (readhere). the formula isn't too liquid or too dry. It lengthens, defines and volumizes with one coat. It doesn't flake or run and basically looks amazing. This mascara is better than any drugstore or high end mascara I have ever tried. It's the most comparable to the Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara that everyone loves, but for a fraction of the price. 

If you look at the brush, it doesn't seem like anything special, but somehow it always seems to pick up the perfect amount of product to prevent any clumping.

I will never be without it.

Three
Image Via

L'Oreal Lumi Foundation - $10.99

This is hands down one of the best foundations I have ever tried. The formula is pigmented, blendable and dries to a very natural looking luminous finish. Even though the coverage is medium, you can build it up to full coverage without looking cakey. It has a little SPF and there is a huge range of shades. As a plus, this comes in a plastic bottle with a pump.

I have combination to oily skin so usually I stay far, far away from anything labeled dewy or luminous. But by some miracle, this foundation works great and I do not end up looking like I rubbed baby oil on my face by the end of the day. I just set my T zone with a tiny bit of powder. The most comparable product to this is my Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation. And that is a $64 foundation!

Four

Milani Eyeshadow Primer - $5.99

Talk about underrated products at the drugstore. This little tube of goodness is just as good as the hyped up Urban Decay Primer Potion or Too Faced Insurance Primer for 1/4 of the cost. The formula is creamy/silicone-y consistence just like the UD Primer Potion. A tiny amount is enough as it spreads really easily.

If you don't use eye shadow primer you need to go out and get this asap. It makes such a difference in how eye shadow applies, looks and lasts. I'm talking about extending your eye shadow for hours! Trust me, take an extra 10 seconds of your life and apply this primer.

Five

Wet N Wild Color Icon Blush in Mellow Wine - $2.99

As soon as I started thinking about this post I knew this blush would make the list. I don't even understand how they can price this at $2.99 when it's just as good as my $38 blushes. The formula is ultra-pigmented and long lasting. This color in particular is my absolute favorite. It is like a wine/deep watermelon color that is prefect for the Fall.

There is quite a lot of fall out with this blush so make sure to very gently tap your brush into the pan and then tap out the excess. The tiniest amount goes a LONG WAY with this so be careful to avoid clown face.

Honorable Mention

Image Via

I know I said just five, but I felt so guilty for leaving this out that I wanted to give it an honorable mention. My second favorite drugstore lipsticks are the Milani Color Statement Lipsticks. unlike the Wet N Wild lipsticks, the creamy shades of these have a satin finish so they are a little more moisturizing. They also smell delicious. My favorite shade is Cabernet Blend, a deep burgundy color that I tend to wear on repeat in the fall and winter. 

Alight friends, there you have it! I hope you'll enjoy these products as much as I do. And let us all hope there is never a true life situation that would require I only pick five products from the drugstore ;) If you want more beauty favorites, reviews and general life posts, come say hi to me at Just a Little Blush.

Thanks to Danielle for letting me post on here today!

Have a great day!


Thank you for guest posting Claudia. I learned so much from your post. I am in desperate need of UD Primer and now I am going to opt and try the Milani Eye Shadow Primer. Especially if I can save so much money. And as soon as I need mascara, I am definitely buying the Jordana one. I feel like I can pick up most of this stuff and it would cost the same as one makeup item I purchase. I love a good drugstore find and you nailed it with this post. So thank you so much.

Be sure to pop over to Claudia's blog and follow her.
 
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