Little Wonders + July Updates



Since I last posted, Lyla turned four, Fourth of July passed (obviously), my parents celebrated 33 years of marriage (holy cow) and we ourselves are about to celebrate five. We didn't do anything extravagant for The Fourth this year, but we did get to have Alan around, which is something we haven't had the last couple of years.We've been incredibly busy with life lately, so a quiet holiday was exactly what we needed. We managed to venture out to my hometown where they hosted a little shindig in the park. While browsing the booths of local creatives, we were drawn to a colorful stand of children books and purchased this cute activity set  for our little bookworm to have alongside her during all of our near travels this summer.

I love the fact that Lyla gets so excited about books, especially when tablets seem to be all the rage these days. We recently purchased ABC Mouse for Lyla, so I am not totally against the technology curve, I just personally believe that being hands-on with littles is the best way to approach learning -- we're all about moderation here. Upon buying Lyla's activity set, I also signed up for a raffle prize that Usborne Books was offering. I never really sign up for those things, because let's face it, I have terrible luck, but I figured we thought the books were super cute and even if we didn't win at least I'd know where to purchase more. Long and behold, I won! --or rather Lyla won.
The prize was this book ^above , the illustration as you can tell is absolutely gorgeous. Another really cool thing about this book is you can use a flash light to reveal hidden illustration--Lyla thought that part was "Super really awesome!" We had no idea which book we were going to receive, but it just so happened we were coincidentally gifted the perfect book. I love so much that Lyla's favorite page is the Florida one, seeing as that is where she was born and where her first memories were made. It's funny, she still talks about Florida and our old place, friends, things we did, places we went -- makes me miss it just a tad. 

As most of you know, I am a stay-at-home Mommy, which also means I have been doing pre-school activities at home with Lyla since an early age. Now we only have a year left before sending Lyla off to kindergarten (insert ugly crying face) and I've been on the hunt for more educational/activity books, I definitely feel that I've found what I have been looking for with Usborne Books & More, their products are beautifully made and yet, still affordable. Their site is definitely worth checking out, especially if you have littles or you know someone who has littles. 

On another note, I wanted to talk a little about why I haven't been posting as frequently or as often as I'd like to, and the reason... life. Life is full of curve balls and without going into too much detail, I've just been trying to figure out how to handle everything. Stress is a huge factor as to why I haven't put much of my energy where it should be, but since refocusing, I am ready to go full force. I have a lot panned for the rest of the summer and I look forward to sharing my crazy life with all of you. Thanks for sticking with me through my scattered posts. Happy Weekend friends! 





Lyla's Fourth Birthday


This weekend our little Lyla Beans turned FOUR YEARS OLD. Time out! I cannot believe I have a four year old, where did the time go? I know that's so cliche to say, but seriously, it feels like it was just yesterday that I was holding a tiny human against my chest for the first time and now, I'm chasing after a super fast, outgoing, beautiful little girl-- and by chase, I mean trying to keep up, girl goes non-stop and she's fast too. This year was an extra special birthday for a few reasons: her daddy was able to be here (no deployment), it's her last year before starting kindergarten, and could possibly be one of the last times she celebrates her birthday with close family (our big move). Mix celebrating milestones with flipping through baby pictures and you get a recipe for tears, it never fails. Oh man, I am already dreading her first day of kindergarten. I cannot believe how much she has grown this last year, her personality is shining and brightening every space she enters. I am so grateful to be this little girl's Mommy. 
Lyla has been obsessing over all things magical, as well as any and everything to do with princesses, so when we asked her what she wanted to do for her birthday, she told us she wanted a magical princess party. Since she didn't have a party for the last two years in a row, I felt the  absolute need to fulfill her wish--to the best of my ability during 100+ weather at least.
These Princess wands were berry-licious and a hit at the party, they were gone just as fast as I brought them out. Most of our part supplies came from Target but since stock varies from store to store, I was curious if I could find the party supplies elsewhere for you guys and I did-- All hail Amazon!
The gift bags were a last minute DIY project, took maybe 20 minutes for me to do twelve bags, I didn't spend much time on calligraphy this time around because...I'm gunna be real here, I was pooped from back to back store/out of town trips. If I were to have planned this DIY I probably would've gone with aesthetically appealing craft taped opposed to the typical Scotch tape.
The original plan was for Lyla and her guests to be dressed up in Princess dresses, but I quickly realized what a horrible idea that would've been, especially in this heat, plus all the kids were going swimming and it would've just been a hassle. However, if you don't have a pool and the weather isn't as hot at as it is here, having all the girls run around in their dresses would be darling. I was happy we  went with summer clothing instead-- how cute is this dress? 
Ever since we watched Beauty And The Beast with Lyla she has been asking for a dress just like Belle's yellow one. I decided against a plastic tiara for her Belle dress, simply because they always end up getting stepped on the same week. You can see the one I opted for, here.
Here we have a family favorite, homemade triple chocolate cake. Store bought cakes aren't something we fancy around here. Lyla doesn't care for them and if she's anything like me, its because store bought cakes always seem to come with a headache-- anyone know why? Apart from cake, watching Lyla play with her Daddy on her birthday had to be my favorite part.