Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Sara Turns One

This past Saturday was Sara's 1st birthday. Wow, did that year fly by! We had a small family party for her, with the theme, Pink Princess. And of course, I went all out with decorations and food! I made cupcakes with tiara toppers, and Sara's smash cake, also adorned with a little tiara and macarons, with pretty pink frosting! Totally fit for a little princess! Also on the menu were macarons, candy, and hor d'oeuvres.

Nice Spread!
I decorated our kitchen and breakfast area with pink streamers, pink candles, balloons, and an adorable pink frilly tutu for Sara's throne (high chair!) And the cutest little pink crown for the birthday girl! I've always been into decorating and design, and I was quite happy with the way everything turned out and looked!

Fit for a Princess!
We had my friend, Susan Fry from Heavenly Vision Photography over to shoot pictures for the event. I've seen a few of the previews, which are amazing, and I can't wait to see the rest! The rest of us took tons of pictures as well, and I'm sure you've already seen them on our facebook pages.
So Sweet!

Little Pink Princess!
First, we let Sara open her presents, which included a Little Tikes Trike, a pink palace playhouse, fit for a Princess, a Disney Frozen fold out chair, and some soft foam playmat blocks. Sara also got several cute new outfits, a pink teddy, and a Minnie Mouse grooming kit. She sure made out!
She likes her gifts!

I really like the way her playmat looks!
Next, we sang "Happy Birthday" to our Princess and let her dig into her little cake. At first she wasn't sure what to do with it. She looked at us like, "This is for me? I can have this?" She tasted the frosting, liked it, and then dug in! She made a big mess, but it was so cute and funny to watch!

For me?
What fun!
Sugar High!
After Mark and I got Sara all cleaned up, we put on Mary Poppins, and she played with her toys until she fell asleep. It was definitely a special day, and I'm already making plans for next year's big day!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A Whole Bottle of Goodness

Note: I was not paid or endorsed for this post in any way. The opinions are completely my own, but this post does contain affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make purchases after clicking on the links. Thanks for supporting GuG!

Recently, I was introduced to a new drink that my husband came across. Bai Antioxidant is somewhere between water and juice, but whatever it is, it's delicious!
The drinks come in a variety of flavors. So far, I've tried pomegranate, blueberry, peach and mango, all very yummy and refreshing! The best part about these drinks are that they are only 5 calories per serving, and only 1 gram of sugar! Important for me, as I've struggled for years with my weight and insulin resistance.
The drinks use natural flavors, and are sweetened with stevia, an all natural sweetener made from the stevia leaf, that has been gaining in popularity over the last few years. Because of this, and because they're such low calorie refreshing drinks, I can feel good about letting Sara try them. She has become much more aware and adventurous when it comes to trying new food and drinks. Whatever Mommy and Daddy has, she wants to try!
Bai Antioxidant comes in several different varieties of drink types. There's the still, which is the kind that I've tried, and comes in so many flavors, like the ones I mentioned above, and more exotic flavors like dragonfruit, apple pear, and watermelon.
There is a sparkling drink, that comes in flavors like guava, blood orange, and black cherry, among others. There is also a cola variety, called Bai Black, because they come in stylish black cans, with flavors like root beer and cream, and still are low calorie, just like all of their other drinks!
Right now, I'm enjoying Bai Cocofusion in Molokai Coconut, a flavor I was originally apprehensive about trying, because I'm not a huge fan of coconut. But, like all of their other flavors, it's absolutely delicious! It's not overwhelmingly coconut, and the flavor reminds me more of a great beach day!
I definitely love this drink! And look forward to trying all that they have to offer! And I'm sure my Little One will love them as much as I do!
They come in variety packs too!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Baby Didn't Like the BOOM

Wow, it's already been a week since Independence Day! I've been really busy, and haven't had a lot of time to devote to my blog.
Last Tuesday was the 4th of July, one of my favorite holidays! I love cooking out, going for a swim, and of course, fireworks! Our subdivision is located outside of city limits, so we are allowed to shoot them off, and boy can our neighborhood put on quite a show! I'd say we rival even the professional shows! With a reservation nearby, and countless road side pop ups, fireworks of all caliber are easy to come by.
This year, I was a little nervous about how Sara would take it all in. Earlier in the day, I took her swimming at Silver Lake, and some people in nearby houses were shooting off mortars, and she didn't seem to mind, so I had my fingers crossed.
Time for some holiday swimming!
She loves playing "Splish Splash!"
That evening, we had our cookout, and then got everything ready. Mark had also gotten her a set of baby sized noise cancelling headphones just in case. Many of our neighbors were already partying, and rockets were lighting up the sky for as far as you could see.
Our Patriotic Princess!
I decided to start off with some Roman candles before moving on to the bigger stuff. The first one, a small one, didn't phase her at all. She seemed really into it. The second one, however, was quite loud, and had an ear splitting pop whenever it went off. Sara had had enough. She started screaming, and wouldn't calm down. Mark had to take her inside to calm her.
When she settled, he put the headphones on her and brought her out onto the front porch. By this time, it was darker outside, and the neighborhood party was in full swing. As soon as she heard the constant booms from all directions, she went into a fit of hysterics. She was done! She ended up happily watching Mommy shoot off fireworks through the window in the safety of our living room!
I guess next year, since she will have a bit more communication skills, I'll explain everything to her leading up to the night, and show her videos of fireworks on YouTube. Maybe she'll be more into it then! 

Saturday, July 1, 2017

It's All About Summer

This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make purchases after clicking on the links. Thanks for supporting GuG!

Summer is a fleeting season here in the Pacific Northwest. Sometimes not showing up until late July, but other times, the weather turns warm as early as late May!
This year, we were still a bit chilly right up until the end of June, but finally, the skies have cleared, and it's sunshiny and warm enough to enjoy the season!
I love summers here. It's rarely hot, which is perfect for fun outdoor activities. Hiking, swimming in one of the many lakes, or taking a walk along countless miles of either sound or coastal shoreline are favorites for us.
Our yard is too small for a pool, so my favorite local swimming spot is Silver Lake, just about 2 miles from our home. It has a sandy beach, grassy area for playing, a large playground, an ice cream stand, and clear water perfect for cooling off on warm afternoons. I've already taken Sara, and she had a great time!
Sara discovering sand for the first time.
Heading out to the beach alone with an almost toddler can be daunting, but I made sure I had enough supplies packed for a few hours, and hoped for the best. And sure enough, everything worked out great! Sara loved discovering sand, throwing it everywhere, and then splashing in the lake water! We had so much fun, we'll be sure to go back several times this season!
Yum! She loves her cold food pack!
Easing into the still chilly water!
She's decided that this is fun!
My parents have a house on the Olympic Peninsula, which is great, and conveniently located next to tons of fun summer activities! The Olympic National Park is just a few minutes away, offering anything you can think of! Mountain hiking at Hurricane ridge, the Hoa Rain Forrest, Sol Duc hot springs, and my absolute favorite place on the peninsula, Lake Crescent!
A very large and deep mountain lake, Crescent has crystal clear turquoise water, as blue as the Caribbean, and perfect for boating, paddling, swimming, and everything in between! We took Sara a few weeks ago, but sadly, the weather hadn't turned yet, and it was still cold and rainy.
First time at Lake Crescent, she's quite amazed!
Taking it all in.
Discovering new sights on her first ferry ride!
Now that it's warmer, we'll have to make a trip, or several back to the peninsula! And this is the time of year that the lavender fields bloom, so we'll have to visit some of the many lavender farms in the area. I'm thinking a stay of several days will have to be on the itinerary with so much to see and do!
And of course, Summer is a time for vacations, and we have one coming up soon east of the mountains that we're so looking forward to!
Although our summers here can be short, there's so much fun that we can pack into these short, warm weeks, and I'm so looking forward to sharing Sara's first full summer with her! 
Chilling out in her baby pool. Fun times!
Late after work afternoons are fun for backyard shenanigans! 
Enjoying a warm weekend day at a Mill Creek park.
Sunnier days photographing the beauty of Lake Crescent
Lots of people out at Silver Lake for a very warm afternoon swim!

How To Book a Disney Cruise

Well, we did it again! Cruise life has been calling, and we listened! We've just booked another cruise on Disney Cruise Line for Summer ...