Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Smith Stadium

On Saturday, we celebrated Smith's 5th birthday by having Smith Stadium...

Of course my bestie Andrea made these cute invites :)

Before Christmas, I knew we needed to get Smith's party completely under control because as soon as Christmas was over, we left for China and then we were bringing home a new child that would require special time and attention...so this party was planned two months ago.  When I asked Smith what kind of party he wanted and he said "baseball", I kissed him!  I don't believe there is an easier party to throw than a baseball party (and I need easy right now!).

Smith's actual birthday was January 18 (just two days after returning home from China), so we moved his party one week and celebrated on the 24th.  My kiddos always have family parties and then usually I let them have a friend over too.  Smith requested that Nixon spend the night after his baseball party, so that made everything nice and simple.

Nothing makes my family happier (and more argumentative) than baseball...so it was the perfect theme for a bunch of rival fans :).

If you've been around here awhile, you know I always do a birthday sign for my kiddos.  My friend Amy makes them for me and I'm always, always impressed with each and every one of them!  Welcome to Smith Stadium!

 I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love having such creative friends!  My friend Emily made Smith's cake and it wasn't just delicious, it was spectacular!  Look at her detail! 

 A house divided.

 Cracker Jack and peanuts...baseball musts.

Everyone grabbed a bag of chips with their hot dog.

And/or they had nacho cheese dip with their dogs.

We had coffee...

...and crazy straws too.

I just can't believe he's five.

And don't even get me started about the fact that she's six.

Hmmmm...can I have a piece now????

We are such happy Red Sox fans!  My dad and I started in on baseball (which we do every day on the phone) and were both giddy with excitement :).

 The three big kids.

 Oh wait!  Who climbed up there when Paisley got down? This girl enjoyed her first Shull family party!

Opening presents!

Blowing out his candle.


I love my sweet cousin Brandon.  He brought his two girls while his sweet wife Casey was working.  (And if you didn't know this, Casey is the one who makes all of my girls' bows.  She owns One Stop Bow Shop).

 My friend Whitney (who is also Erika's cousin) makes the most creative cookies!  She made us a batch of baseball cookies for our guests to take on their way home.

Our family of five at Smith Stadium :).  

For the party, Ashby wore a Yankee tee...but we're going to let her pick which team she loves when she's ready (she seems super smart so I'm not worried about her not being a Red Sox fan).  (Andrew is going to have to get his own blog if he disagrees.)

Whew!  What a fun time we had!  I think Smith loved his party and I loved that it was easy enough for me to pull together a week after returning home from China.  

To see Smith's parties from years past, here you go...

On my foodie blog today, I'm sharing one of my very favorite winter suppers...

Andrea makes the best Baked Potato Soup.  You gotta try this!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Books, books and more books!

Happy Monday!  Today is all about books, books and more books!

It's January, it's cold, it's the perfect time to stay in by the fire underneath a blanket and read a great book.  Thanks to Christmas break and a three week trip to China, I have read several books this month.  

Several of these books have come at your suggestions.  Thank you so much for always suggesting such great books!  Please continue to comment and let me know what I should be reading next.  I love to read and often the hardest part is deciding what to read...so thanks for making that easy.

Okay, first up...you have to read this guy's book.  He's so cute, he's so sweet, he's a great Christian man and if he were to ever need a kidney, he would call me...

Yeah, that's my little brother and he's releasing his first book on January 27.  You can pre-order it here.  I've already read it and I must say, he must have really good parents ;).  If you love Sean (and come on, who doesn't?), you'll love reading about his journey over the last 12ish years.  Andrew and I are extremely proud of him and this is my number one book for you to read this month :).

Speaking of people I love, another person I love has a new book out and I loved it too!!  

My sweet friend Sophie (a.k.a. Boo Mama) has her second book out later this month and it is so good.  Sophie has a great way of making you feel like you're a part of her family as you read.  She's funny, she's sincere, she's lighthearted while being deep at the same time...she's a phenomenal story teller and I loved every page of her new book.  You can pre-order Sophie's book here.  Heartwarming, this book is just heartwarming and will feed your soul.

Last month, several of you ladies suggested that I read What Alice Forgot and oh my goodness!  I love, love, loved it!  Such a great little read.  I've said this before but if you're into Emily Giffin, Jennifer Weiner or Sophie Kinsella, you'll love Liane Moriarty too.

I took this pic back in December of me reading in the car pool line...and I'm reading one of my new very favorite books of all time.

  My dad always instilled in me the love of travel but my mom instilled in me the love of the French.  As an interior designer, my mom taught me growing up to respect, appreciate and pay attention to how the French live...and this book Forever Chic was perfection in every page.  This is written by an American who has lived in France for almost 30 years and she shares the tips and tricks she has picked up by watching the French women live.  This book is full of tips for beauty, fashion, home entertainment, manners, shopping, preparing food...just about everything!  If you have an affection for the French too, you will LOVE this book!

I also read Courtney DeFeo's book In This House We Will Giggle this month and oh my goodness!  As a new mom to three kiddos, I needed it.  I really want my kids to remember the happy times...the laughter, the giggles, the fun.  I want them to remember the fun while also keeping the behavior in check and the house in order.  I thought this book had so many great ideas for accomplishing both.  Moms with young kiddos should really read this book.

So there you have it...the books I've read so far this month.  I love, love, love to read and there is probably no better season for reading than winter.  Right now, I'm already into the next batch of books you ladies recommended but if you have more suggestions, please leave them below!  

And don't forget, it's Monday, so that means I have Meal Planning Monday up on my blog!  Simple, easy and yummy weeknight meals for you to make your family.

I have five yummy (and simple!) suppers like my Chicken Parm Sloppy Joes for you to make this week.  Click here to see.


Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Favorites

Today, I'm linking up with my 3 favorites: ErikaNarci and Andrea and sharing my favorite things. 

 I really need a Friday this week.  Jet lag this time around has kicked our butts!  All five of us are still not over it...we think we are and then 6:30 PM hits and you'll find any combination of the five passed out in the family room.  The struggle is real!

I love sharing my Friday Favorites and here are mine for the week...

At Target this week, I saw that Essie polishes are Buy 2, Get 1 Free, so Kensington and I picked these three colors for spring.  I'm not sure how long this promo lasts but if you're stopping by Target this weekend, you might want to check it out.

We're obviously into pink for spring...let's face it, we're always into pink :).

Speaking of Kensington, she is over the moon that the American Girl Doll of the Year is Grace...an American who goes to Paris and becomes a baker.  It's like the people at American Girl created a doll just like my kid...they should have just named her Kensington!

In this pic, she is showing everyone her Grace book.  I'm doing my book review on Monday of the books I've been reading lately and I'll be sure to throw that one in too...after all, I did read it this month ;).

One of my guilty pleasures in life is binge watching shows.  Flying to and from China, I binged watched every season of Breaking Bad.  Friends, if you have not watched it, you need to!  I don't know why I didn't watch it when it was actually on???  Andrew watched it and kept saying how it was his favorite show and then my own mother binged watched it and said it was her favorite show...so, I knew then that I had to watch it!  This is the perfect series to binge watch this cold winter.  There are six seasons.  Watch it!  I promise you'll love it too!

So, I love my North Face jacket

I love it.  

I bought this coat to wear in China where I knew the temps would be anywhere from 10 to 65 degrees and it was the very best money I spent.  I have never owned a North Face jacket but after reading so many reviews and trying on a million, I went ahead and bought this one.  I will have it for life.  It's so light weight yet so warm!  

After wearing it for 18 straight days in a row, I came home and washed and dried it and it's still perfect (and I'm still wearing it!).  It's January and if you need a new really warm (yet so light!) jacket, this is my recommendation.  It also comes in these two colors too...

I posted these cute pj pants on Facebook yesterday because I saw that they were 40% off and have a 5 Star review...

...aren't they cute?!  During the winter, if I'm home, I'm wearing pj pants.  I just thought these were really fun winter ones :).

Speaking of Facebook, since it's the beginning of the year, I thought I'd remind everyone about what I post on my different social media channels...

On Pinterest, I'm all about the food, fashion, holidays and travel.  Pinterest is my favorite form of social media and I love, love, love to pin fun stuff.  To follow along, click here.

Instagram is where I post pics of life in action.  If you want to know what we're up to over at the Shull house, just follow me on Instagram.

On Facebook, I post recipes and a lot of fun deals and such from where I shop!  I'm always looking for stores to have sales (especially sales on things I wear and use all the time!) and FB is where I post that.  To like me on FB, click here.

And on Twitter, I share recipe links and make comments about a variety of things (okay...usually about things I'm watching on TV).  I also retweet some of my very favorite people.  I'm on Twitter here.

And today on my foodie blog, I'm sharing my favorite cobblers and crisps.  This weekend, you should cozy up by the fire with one of these!  Cobblers were made for chilly January days!

Have a great weekend!

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