Archives for 2016

Emma Kate Does Disney: Part 3

I left off part 2 with us going to bed Thursday night. Friday morning, my dad and I drove to Tampa to look at homes with the realtor while my mom stayed behind with Emma Kate. They went to Disney Springs for the morning while we were gone, and then the playground after nap.

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Dad and I also looked at a couple daycares and found one I loved. I found a house that we ended up putting in an offer on that evening, and after stopping at the grocery store in Celebration and then picking up pizza, we headed to the pool and met up with my mom and EK.. Eating pizza at the splash pad area while EK played was a nice relaxing time, especially after a crazy day house hunting. (there may have been wine involved, too. Ssshhh)

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On Saturday we got up early and headed to Animal Kingdom. EK loves animals, so I was excited to take her on the safari ride in particular. We had fastpasses and headed there first thing. It was a cool morning so the animals were all out and about and active. We even got to hear the male lion roar which I had never heard before.

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After that we walked through some of the zoo like areas, and then headed to the boneyard playground where we stayed for over an hour. I loved that it was closed in so I didn’t have to worry about Emma Kate running off.

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Girlfriend must have gone down the slides 100 times.

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We waited for lunch at Flame Tree BBQ and ate down by the water. We also rode triceratop spin and I really can’t remember what else.

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Emma Kate was getting super tired and so we decided to head back to the resort after lunch so she could get in a good nap.

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During nap my dad and I walked around the resort and even went to the hot tub for a little while.

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We had chef Mickey’s brunch reservations at 2:30, so we loaded up and headed to the contemporary for a late lunch/early dinner. I was so curious to see how Emma Kate would do with the fab five after doing just so-so with the Winnie the Pooh characters.

Stay tuned for next time to see how brunch went with Mickey and the gang!

QOTD: Favorite thing to do at Animal Kingdom?

Christmas Recap 2016

Christmas is over, my family has gone home, and it’s now officially the most depressing day of the year. Every year after Christmas I always want to instantly take down the decorations, because they just remind me of how far away next Christmas is. Anyway, I thought writing my recap would make me smile because we had a great Christmas.

We have to go back to Friday for the full recap. My dad, sister and I went to Clearwater beach while my mom stayed home and hung out with Emma Kate. I had never been before, and it was a beautiful public beach.

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We walked out on the pier, saw some huge pelicans, and just enjoyed the view.2016-12-23_10-15-18_911

We then went to lunch at Frenchy’s, and the weather was so gorgeous we were able to sit outside and look at the water while we ate.

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We had pizza for dinner, and sat outside on the back porch and enjoyed some Christmas music and wine.

The next day, Christmas eve, my dad, Bobby, me and Emma Kate went to the playground to get out of the house.

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We came back and the cooking and baking marathon began! I tried a couple new things this year that were a hit, as well as some old favorites.

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That afternoon, we got ready for the Christmas eve service at church.

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I loved how awesome it looked when we lit all the candles and sang silent night. This blurry photo doesn’t do it justice. 2016-12-24_16-40-04_445

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We got home, and ate in front of the TV because the Saints were playing Tampa Bay. We wore our new Saints PJ’s and just relaxed which was awesome.

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The Saints won, which made the night even better. Emma Kate went to bed, and the elves got to work!2016-12-24_19-50-03_588 (2016-12-26T00_48_49.502)

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Bobby read the Christmas story from the Bible, and I read ‘Twas the Night before Christmas.

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The next morning, sweet EK slept until almost 8:00! It was nice having some quiet time with coffee and family before she got up to open gifts. She was SO excited to see her Thomas train roller coaster!

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She has been such a good girl not touching the gifts under the tree for weeks, and couldn’t contain her excitement when I told her it was finally time. 2016-12-25_08-04-38_337 (2016-12-26T00_47_18.301)2016-12-25_08-15-33_6672016-12-25_08-28-41_5142016-12-25_08-38-33_747

Santa was good to Emma Kate, and she got tons of toys (thanks grammy and papa.) After gifts were opened, we had our traditional Christmas mimosas and ate a breakfast casserole that I made. 2016-12-25_08-59-18_6302016-12-25_09-27-06_102

My poor dad had foot surgery a couple weeks ago and we confined to his scooter.2016-12-25_11-30-29_028

We had a late lunch since Emma Kate slept so late, but enjoyed some delicious food. 2016-12-25_13-05-25_816

I will say it was SO NICE not having to hurry off and get dressed and go anywhere on Christmas. I stayed in my PJ’s all day with no makeup on and it was so nice and relaxing. 2016-12-25_16-23-48_423

That evening, we sat on the back porch and ate dinner, and then celebrated mom’s birthday! She is a Christmas baby and her real name is Mary. (Fun fact, her parents wanted to spell it “Merry”, but the nurses wrote it wrong on the birth certificate THANK GOODNESS.)

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After EK went to bed, we played Apples to Apples. It had been a few years so it was a fun time.

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The next day, I got up and went to Orange Theory, and then we all headed to the pool. It was a gorgeous 80 degree day, and Emma Kate was so excited we were all there.

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She went down the slide with daddy and aunt Christy, and made us all go over and over again.2016-12-26_11-01-04_963

We just relaxed that afternoon and sat on the back porch drinking wine. I haven’t put on real clothes or makeup since church on Christmas eve, and it’s been awesome. It was the most laid back Christmas we have ever had. Sadly, yesterday morning my parents went home (my sister went home the night before) and now I am trying to get the house back in order and get back to work. Sad smile I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas with friends and family and have lots of great memories to last forever!

QOTD: What was your favorite part of Christmas?

Merry Christmas 2016

Merry Christmas from the Montgomery family!

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Luke 2:9-11

9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.

May the love of Christ be in your heart today and all year through. I love yall!

Support Your Health in the New Year

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It’s that wonderful time of year again! No, I’m not talking about the holidays…I’m talking about cold and flu season! Every year we get the dreaded time that strikes fear into the hearts of well, everyone. No one wants to get sick, but sometimes it seems unavoidable. Well, there may be some things you can do to support your immunity.

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1.) Drink water: Drinking water allows your kidneys to remove toxins from your body. So if you don’t drink enough water, toxins can build up and weaken your immune system. Drink up!

2.) Exercise regularly: Exercise is a great way to boost your immune system. Good news? You don’t have to do anything crazy to reap the benefits. Moderate activity levels will do just fine. Some research shows that physical activity may help flush bacteria out of your lungs and airways, which could potentially help reduce your risk of catching an illness.

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3.) Eat healthy foods: Some research has shown a link between immune function and certain foods. Bananas for example contain vitamins and minerals that can impact immune response. Cheese and other dairy products contain a natural component that has boosted immune response.

4.) Wash your hands: We all know that not everyone follows this practice, and we also know this can be one of your best lines of defense against getting sick. Especially after being in public or touching door handles, shaking hands, and being at the gym. Scrub scrub scrub!

5.) Cough or sneeze etiquette: I try to keep tissues in my purse and my car for those unexpected sneezes and coughs, but sometimes I forget and try to use etiquette by sneezing or coughing into my elbow, and not just out in the open air. Be mindful, especially when around others!

6.) Take Renew Life Ultimate Flora Probiotics: The “gut” is  the center of your body’s overall health. This can affect things like immunity and digestion. Did you know that 70% of the immune system is located in the digestive tract? I think that makes it important! Renew Life Ultimate Flora Probiotics deliver potent formulas with tens of billions of cultures, and multiple probiotic strains to help your immune health.probiotic

Probiotics are important for everyone’s health and Renew Life’s Ultimate Flora Probiotics offer different formulas for all of your family members. Renew Life Probiotics are available at health food stores and major retailers, including Target and Walmart. Visit RenewLife.com for more information.

 

QOTD: What am I forgetting? What do you to to support immune health during cold and flu season?

Tampa Tuesdays

Hello friends! Now that I am living in Tampa, I am slowly learning my way around (with and without Google maps) and trying to immerse myself in all things Florida and Tampa. Because Tampa is a MUCH bigger city than the one I came from in Mississippi, there is so much more to explore and to share with you all, so I decided to start a new series called “Tampa Tuesdays”. I probably won’t do this every Tuesday, but whenever I have something fun and new to share with you about Tampa, I will try to do it on a Tuesday. It’s actually a little deceiving because I will also share things from surrounding cities as well, but mostly focus on Tampa restaurants, stores, and experiences. I hope you will follow along as I explore my new area!

Today I wanted to share with you about an amazing restaurant called Pelagia. This restaurant can be found at the Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel.

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Bobby and I were invited for a special tasting of their Christmas and New Year’s Prix Fixe menus , which were created by Chef Brett Gardiner.You aren’t going to want to miss this if you are local! How it works is you get to create your own menu by selecting one starter, entrée, and dessert from the prix fixe menu. We didn’t experience all of both menus (that would have been way too much food!) but we got to sample items from each.

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We started with an appetizer plate which had smaller portions of four appetizers you can find on the special holiday menus.

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What I loved about the menu is that it paired ingredients together that I would never have thought to put in the same recipe, but they came out amazing! Bobby’s favorite was the duck confit with sunchokes, frisee, pomegranate, and port vinaigrette. (top of the photo). My favorite (which totally surprised me!) was the grilled pear, watercress, maple bacon, and walnut dressing. (Far right in the photo). The pear wasn’t mushy, and the bacon paired with it had the most amazing flavor. I must try tor recreate!

Next we were given four samples of the main course to try as you can see from the above menu. Bobby and I both agreed that the rack of lamb with the blackberry sage demi was our favorite. So tender and juicy.

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Lastly, we were treated with samples of four of the sweet desserts on the prixe fixe menus. Anyone who knows me knows I have a sweet tooth, so I was most excited about this part, and it did not disappoint.

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My two favorites were the apple crumble dessert at the top left, and the eggnog panna cotta at the bottom right. It’s always fun to have festive holiday desserts, and these hit it out of the park. (The other two were wonderful too with great rich flavoring, but if I had to pick…) As a chocolate lover, I was surprised my two favorites were non chocolate, but that just goes to show how amazing they were.

The restaurant was beautiful and easy to get to from the front of the hotel, and the staff was warm and friendly. Even the private dining room had a unique flair, and a fun and funky chandelier.

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Reservations are available for seatings from noon to 8 p.m. on Christmas day, and throughout the day for New Year’s eve. The cost for Christmas day is $45 for adults and $18 for children 13 and under. For the New Year’s meal, the cost is $70 for adults and includes a glass of Prosecco (which I can attest, is delicious as well!). Prices exclude tax and gratuity. Please call 913-313-3235 for reservations, or you can make them online here.

*Bobby and I were provided a free meal from Pelagia, however all our thoughts and opinions are our own as we explore our new city! 

7 Year Blogiversary

Well, with all the moving madness I am a little late, but did you know that I have now been blogging for SEVEN years?!? Looking back, my blog has evolved so much over the years, and it is truly my baby. I have put so much time, love, and many tears into my little corner of the world, and I thank you for taking this journey with me!

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Our first big race expo. Training for the runDisney half is what inspired me to start blogging.

For those of you who may have been here since the beginning, you will remember that this blog started out as Running With Sass, a running/training journal to hold me accountable. I had never blogged before and had zero idea what I was doing. (Heck, there are still days I have no idea what I am doing!) The blogging world has changed so much and some days it’s hard to keep up with all of the “new things” going on with blogs and social media, but I do love it and hope to do it for many more years to come.

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First half marathon

I realized as the years went on that I loved this community, the other bloggers, the readers, and the support. I love encouraging others and helping people, and am so thankful for all of the doors that blogging has opened for me. Heck, Bobby’s new job all came from a connection I never would have made if not for blogging! I owe my little blog so much, and I owe YOU my readers so much! Thank you for hanging in there with me through thick and thin, good times and bad.

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I can’t wait to share our new Tampa adventures with you in 2017 and beyond! Cheers to another year. XOXO.

2016 Christmas Gift List

It’s time again for some Christmas gift ideas! This is in no way an exhaustive list, but just meant to give you some ideas for the fitness lover or hard to shop for family member on your list. All of these products are things personally used by me, and some of them may contain affiliate links, while others are things I just love and wanted to tell you about! Let me know if you have any questions and I can try to help you out or find answers. Happy shopping!

1.) Running skirts from RunningSkirts.com. I know I talk about these a lot, but they are seriously my favorite running skirt brand. Pockets on each side to hold keys, tissue etc, sweat wicking, and they have styles with shorts, capris, and briefs. Super comfy and adorable too! They also have shorts (run buns) and capris now, too. The tops are really lightweight, and they are always coming out with new stuff. Right now they are having sales on different days for different items, so go check out their site!

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2.) Resistance bands. Since we just moved and haven’t joined a gym yet, I knew I would need to get a couple of things to get me by for now, and resistance bands were at the top of my list. They are great for stretching, PT, or minor running injuries. For instance, I have hip and IT band issues and strengthening my hips and legs with resistance bands has helped me So much! I use them while I watch TV at night. Super easy.

 

3.) Photo gifts from Shutterfly. These are always a big hit, especially with family members wanting pictures of Emma Kate. We personally order our Christmas cards and photo calendars from here and the quality is great! Also, this time of year they are always having sales.

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4.) goodr sunglasses: This is a start up company I came across, and I am in love with their super affordable and adorable running sunglasses. They don’t slip (really!) and I have worn mine every day. They did a kickstarter campaign in the fall, and I believe in these sunglasses so much that I joined in and pledged. More colors are coming soon! You can get them in orange with free shipping for prime members now, or check out their website for pre orders of other colors.

5.) My ebook or in paperback: I of course had to throw this one in there. Smile If you or a friend are looking for some motivation, encouragement, and a fresh start for the new year, then my ebook may be for you. If you aren’t sure, you can read a sample chapter here for free.

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6.) ZEROWATER water filters: I have used the ZEROWATER pitcher before and was super impressed, but this was my first time using the portable tumbler. It’s pretty awesome because I can now fill up my water bottle anywhere and know that I will have great filtered water! I took it to the gym this morning and it worked like a charm. It combines the top-performing filtration technology with a sleek, convenient design. The ZeroWater filtration system combines FIVE sophisticated technologies that work together to remove virtually all dissolved solids from your tap water, so you taste nothing but the water.

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QOTD: What is on your Christmas gift list?

Imaginative Play with LEGO® DUPLO ®

I am really loving the age that Emma Kate is at right now. Just in the past month, her language has exploded, her motor skills have gotten a lot better, and she has gotten way more imaginative with playtime, which is also really fun for me! One of her new favorite things to do is to play with LEGO® DUPLO® bricks.

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These preschool building toys are specially designed for little hands (ages 1½ – 5 years old). They are much larger than regular LEGO® bricks (twice the size!) Making them safer for toddlers and preschoolers and easier for them to handle.

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I have to admit, playing with these toys brought back so many childhood memories for me, I love how LEGO® bricks have stood the test of time, and more than 25 years after I played with them in my living room, now my daughter is playing with them in our living room!

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As soon as Emma Kate opened the box, I was down on the floor next to her, helping her set up the “choo choo train” and building tall towers that are “so high” (her favorite). I think it’s so important to not only let a child’s imagination grow, but as parents, we should be partnering with our kids in playtime, showing them the ropes and encouraging them to learn new things. Kids learn by playing, touching, and experiencing new things. It is my job to guide Emma Kate on this learning journey, and LEGO® DUPLO® just makes it a lot of FUN! The nice of the legos is that you can build anything you want, there are few toys like that, for example a spinning toy that you can learn how to build your own.

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LEGO® DUPLO® offers so much flexibility and open-ended play for each stage of your young one’s development. You can do things from build towers, to trains, to buildings and more. There are even figurines like cute dogs and little people to put in the structures.

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Ready to be inspired for playtime with your little ones? Head over to LEGO.com/Family and see what you can do to help nurture your child’s imagination.

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QOTD: What is your family way to play with your kids and help their imaginations grow?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

December Goals 2016

It’s the last month of the year! (Insert happy and sad face all at the same time.)  Did you make any big goals for the year? How are you doing with them? What about your November goals? Am I asking enough questions? I’m going to be honest, with the move last month, I didn’t have much time for anything else, and my goals kind of got forgotten about.

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As a refresher, here were my November goals:

1.) Get the house ready for moving: A- Ready or not, it got moved! I didn’t get to comb through everything I wanted to and purge/donate/sell, but I did get most of it done and have only had to get rid of a few things while unpacking boxes. Pretty happy with this one, but also wondering how we have accumulated so much stuff over the past ten years?!

2.) Workout consistently without boot camp: B- Meh. My last week in Mississippi, I did HEAT class and went for a run, but it wasn’t my usual intense 5-6 days of workouts. While I was on the road, I did two hotel gym workouts, and I worked out yesterday in our new neighborhood gym…but I need to get on a schedule and get more consistent. I’m considering starting Orange Theory. Thoughts?

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3.) Get Bella groomed before we move: A+ Bella got a haircut and looks so pretty! One less thing to worry about for awhile. Check!

4.) Change our address on all the things: C- I got our mail forwarded and have changed some of the things, but there are still SO many more things to change address on. I think this will be one of those things I will be constantly doing for months, and doesn’t really get changed at one time (at least that’s what I keep telling myself to feel better mmkk?)

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Moving on, here are my December goals:

1.) Get unpacked: Y’all, we have a lot of boxes to still unpack and go through. A LOT. I think they may be growing at night while I sleep. I am trying to not get overwhelmed and take it one box at a time, but it’s hard to not want everything in it’s place right away.

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2.) Be intentional and present this Christmas season: We have a lot going on this month especially with being new and trying to get settled in, but I don’t want to “miss” Christmas. Emma Kate is starting to understand things about Santa, the tree, etc. and I don’t want to fly through this special time. I mean, we still have so many Christmas movies to watch.

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3.) Get into a workout routine: We haven’t decided what we are going to do yet as far as joining a gym (again, maybe Orange Theory?), so for now I will be running and working out in our neighborhood gym. However, I need to get into a routine and be consistent. I have worked too hard to go backwards.

Are you having a hard time keeping track of your goals or reaching them each month? I have found that printing them out and keeping them in front of me either on my refrigerator or mirror helps! Check out my free fitness and other goal tracking printables here so you can download and print for yourself!

QOTD: Did you meet your November goals? What are your December goals?

Unpacking in Tampa

Hello from Tampa! We finally have internet and my laptop is up and running. I may be surrounded by boxes, but I have a Christmas candle burning, music playing, and my tree is up. However, it has been quite the experience to get to this point. Let me backtrack.

Me, Bobby and Emma Kate left my parent’s house in Louisiana on Sunday and drove to Tallahassee. Then Monday we drove to Tampa and it was warm enough to swim at the hotel pool!

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We battled several issues back and forth with our lender and the title company all day Monday, and weren’t sure we were going to be able to close on Tuesday. Tuesday morning came and after more back and forth, we FINALLY got the final numbers literally fifteen minutes before closing. We were able to do the walk through and get to closing, but we had to hurry because the movers were set to come at 1:00 (closing was 11:30).hO8QiqcuZBC3zm3EWY5562phR9lOZRrSEcbQ2hOpEr0pX92IBO6s2USUwoHpCAxxuZIAzaQBtnhdUkEcHBkrSoXvbrkUpX92IB

We get to the closing and the lenders had sent over the wrong packet for signing!!! So they had to send over the right one and reprint everything. If you have ever bought a home you know how much paperwork this is. Finally after 12:30 we started signing. As we are signing, the electricity goes out. Yall, I can’t make this stuff up! We finally got into the house and the poor movers were here until after 7:00.

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I have never seen so much packing paper in all my life. They pack stuff up super tight and well, but I felt it was a bit excessive and did feel guilty/wasteful.P_3IkSM_TnE4rMP1RDMeup3ptk2pLy2GQ62WowzoJWEpX92IB

Things are slowly coming together, but there are still boxes everywhere. We haven’t even touched the stacks in the garage and I have been wearing the same three outfits and and over for days. TWWIEejvrU4y-v1T2U_joQUqrEiFR2-PfPW09X6zN1opX92IB4pJ80TMBUvsZ-jG1w5L-gps5id0npgBY91p6D76k4CMpX92IB

However, Emma Kate LOVES the packing paper. I’m thinking I should just save some to give to her for Christmas instead of spending money on toys!IHb7dKfaWDG2vYYpew1j5Aclz-H0AsILu89f2njxzuMpX92IB

This girl is already loving her new daycare, too! She goes three days a week and did awesome on her first day.VHj93u5FE3m2UO80SFPYP25_fgKKHWVjWGy8V3s_sWgpX92IB

I was sure to get our patio set up first thing, and we love our view!xP3NS9by3RTQ7rMmXs_wH9wU61-9_wNse5NBxxldjckpX92IB

More to come, I still have to do a gift guide and recap the rest of our Disney trip. It’s all coming up I promise!

QOTD: When you have moved, did you pack yourself or have movers pack you? What was your best strategy for unpacking?