Monday, April 30, 2012

Blog Crashers 2012: It's Happening

Happy Monday!

Yes, I said happy. Very, very happy indeed.

This mama has had a ton of weight lifted from her shoulders. Confessions of a Magnolia Mom has officially been converted to The View From 510. Eeeeep!

I am so giddy for you to all see the new look of our blog. More than that, I'm excited to celebrate its one-year birthday with you! For months now I've been putting together an array of gifts for y'all in honor this week. I hope you'll love each one as much as I do!

Photobucket


Before we can get going with giveaways, I need to be sure you're all still out there. So while reports are coming in that the move has been successful, I want to give everything one more day to move to our new name.

Be sure to jump over to your Google Readers or whichever feed you use and confirm that The View From 510 is still showing up in your feed. Also? I've been told it may still be appearing as Confessions of a Magnolia Mom. Not sure where that snafu is coming from, but hopefully it'll switch any moment now.

via
This is such a sweet week for me. To see the way my blog has flourished, to feel the community that continues to lift me up and to look back and reflect on all I've learned through documenting our days is true bliss.

Some people are skeptical about blogging. Hell, one year ago I was skeptical about blogging.
But now I get it. 
And I'm so thankful.

Tomorrow, I'll be back with our first giveaway....want a hint as to what you might go home with?



Get excited!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Is This Thing On?

The domain has been changed and the design has been imported. Weeks and months of plotting and planning for this moment have finally been followed through.

This lil post is just a tester to see if our new domain is still showing up in your Blogger Dashboards, Google Readers or whatever feed you may use.

If you'd be so kind as to leave me a comment, email or tweet to confirm our new blog The View From 510, previously known as Confessions of a Magnolia Mom, is still working on your end I'd greatly appreciate it!

Happy Saturday loyal readers, I hope you like what you're {hopefully} seeing!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

NEW BLOG NAME REVEAL, A PREVIEW AND SPONSOR SWAP

Our new blog name is....drumroooooll please....

 The View From 510 {looking in}

Now you know!!! YAY!

If you've read Wednesday's post, you know I've been searching for a name more reflective of our family rather than just me, the mama. And what's more fitting to suit our family than a reference to our house? 

510, if you haven't figured it out already, is our street address. 

Since it seems we'll be here for the next 4-5 years, I figured what better way to make our home on the interwebs more comfy than to name it after our home here in the real world. 

Beginning tomorrow {possibly tonight} I'll be changing our domain over to www.theviewfromfiveten.com

I've been told that since I plan to switch our domain through Blogger everything will move just fine, but if you know anything about Blogger then you know anything is possible. Which is precisely why I'm beginning our transformation now. Rumor has it the new domain may switch instantly and it may take up to 72 hours to take full effect. 

Beginning Monday, I've got four fabulous giveaways to thank you wonderful ladies for sticking out the last year with me. That being said, I need to make sure you know where to find us and that things are running smoothly for the announcement of our big week of giveaways!

Squeeee!!!

And for a bit of a preview of the new look, here's the makings of our new button....

Photobucket


Other exciting news?!

The View From 510 {eeee, so fun to say!} will now begin accepting sponsors! For now? We'll just be doing swap sponsors, so if your interested shoot me an email {which for the time being will remain the same} magnoliamom365 [at] gmail [dot] com 

So, there ya have it. A new name, a slew of giveaways just waiting to be announced and sponsors swaps! 

What do you think? Like the name? I hope so! 

Now? I'm off to do more tweaking to the new design!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Lost in Redesign

If you happen to be a blog designer reading this post then I'm speaking to you when I say, you are amazing! Really truly, ah-mazing!

The husband and I have been working on the blog's redesign for several weeks now. Let me tell you something, blog design is not for the faint of heart.

Blood, sweat and tears have gone into the new design to be revealed later this week. Ok fine, no blood but sweat and tears for sure.

Despite the marital spats the redesign has created over the last couple weeks I'm so thankful B has helped me along the way. You see, a big reason I've decided to change not only the look but the name of this blog is because of a realization I've made over the last year ...

It will never be about ME again.

Sure some days are still about me, like Mother's day. But really? It's about us as a family unit. The more time I spent documenting my life on this blog, the more I realized its about us not about me. So the title "Confessions of a Magnolia Mom" just didn't seem to fit anymore.

For months I pondered over a new name that was fitting for our family and one day it came to me whilst jamming to some T-Swift. And yes you can "jam" to Taylor Swift.

But I digress....

Starting Thursday this blog will begin it's transformation and I ask that you please bear with me. The outcome, I believe, will be a breath of fresh air. A perfect renovation to our blog home just in time for Summer.

You see, I started this blog with the mindset that maybe it'd stick around, maybe it wouldn't. Now, almost a year since creating this site, I couldn't imagine a day without this blog. It has truly become my online home. My place of refuge and comfort. My place to document our family's life. The good, the bad and the completely miscellaneous. It's all here on our little slice of home in the world wide web.

The new name and design is reflective of the home we have here in real life. A little simple, a little pizazz and a whole lot of love.

Tomorrow I'll be back with a name reveal and perhaps a sneak peek at the new look. Until then, I'm off to photoshop my heart out and attempt to wade through the next few days of HTML flooding...err coding :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

13 Months

It's something I never expected. A feeling so strong that it brought me to tears. A milestone I'm not prepared for.

My baby's 13 month birthday.

The coming and going of Jackson's 12 month birthday hadn't moved me to this place. But now a mere month later it's all hitting me.

My baby isn't so much baby anymore.

He is a handsome, wannabe toddler with a heart of gold and a bloodcurdling scream which insists on middle-of-the-night mama snuggles.

This month has been a roller coaster in itself.

We've transitioned from the bottle to the sippy cup. From formula to whole milk and from bedtime bottles to bedtime books.

Waving, pointing and saying "bye-bye" are currently J's favorite activities. In fact, I'll even catch him mouthing the words and just barely waving his fingers as if practicing for perfection.

The phrases mama and dada are well known. Dada is not spoken as much by Jackson as me but he can pick his dada out of the crowd when asked. So the correlation is there.

Have I mentioned the snuggling? It is my favorite addition to our days. Now don't get me wrong these snuggles are gone in a flash but they happen! One moment he's jumping on the bed, the next he's laid his head on your should for a quick hug before once again jumping up to point at the dogs. These brief moments are all I need in the world.

Now that Jackson is showing love to us, he is making certain not to leave the pups out. Every morning as we each try to wake up Jack pets sweet Baxter on our bed with the gentlest of intentions. But every now and then that poor dog's beard and/or eyebrows get a quick tug. As for Millie, this kid is infatuated with her. She is slowly coming around and on most days happily accepts his quasi gentle pets. She, unlike Baxter, is still unsure of his many open mouth kisses. You read that correctly, J offers up more kisses for his puppy siblings than for mama and dada. And I'm ok with that because it's heartwarming.

The expression on his face each afternoon and morning when seeing me or B lifts my spirits each time. I walk into daycare and as soon as he hears me, sees me, smells me, he drops what he's doing and speed crawls my way. If I don't pick him up for a hug the screaming begins. Oh the toddler tantrums are already upon us.

13 months. I can't believe it.

As sad as it makes me to face the fact that Jackson is not a baby, that it's been a whopping 13 months since we came home from the hospital, I'm eating up every moment with him. Lately he's developing at such a rapid pace. Recognition of family members, words and objects are happening overnight.

I foresee even more blossoming throughout this month. More words, more actions, more love.

To my sweet baby boy, thank you for your hugs and open mouth kisses. You are truly my sunshine. Happy 13 months!

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Happy Train & a Guest Post

Hi, all! Did you know I've taken over Sonja's space of the interwebz today?

Well I have....head that way to hear about my current attempts to board the Happy Train!




p.s. when searching Pinterest for a photo for this post I thought, heck why not just type in Happy Train?

And this is was the photo that appeared....


...multiple times, HA!

Happy Friday, friends.

Six Years and Counting

A little before midnight my phone rang, it was B calling to check in.

I'd had a typical night, studying in my dorm room with a little bit of facebooking mixed in. B was in a band {rockstar status people} and had just gotten home from a gig.

At the time, we lived three hours apart. But no matter what our days brought, we always called each other before bed. We'd been "dating" since January. And if my memory recalls correctly we only missed a few nights phone calls in that time frame. Rather impressive for a boy three hours away who new nothing of me just months before.

Our call went as usual. We talked about any and everything. After hours of rambling I realized it was nearing 4 am and I needed to get some sleep.

But before he'd let me off the phone we managed to get to talking about "us."

And by the time I hung up the phone that night we were officially boyfriend and girlfriend. Ending the call with "I love you's."

We'd had a whirlwind of a romance since meeting January 16 that seemed to surprise everyone in our lives. It's something neither of us expected. In fact, those few months had thrown my entire life plan off kilter.


Looking back on those days, knowing what I know now, remembering complaining to B that he'd messed up my plans, I couldn't be more thankful.

Today we have officially been dating for six years. I can't say each year has been the greatest of my life. No, in fact one of them was the worst. But through it all, we've stuck by each other, learned from each other, fought with each other and loved more than we ever imagined.


For the man who loved me at first site all those years ago, I am eternally thankful God placed you in my life. Our story is truly one of destiny. Only a greater power could have brought two complete strangers together in the way which we were and I don't want to know a life any different.

I hope you know the love I have for you runs deep. I'm a tough woman to love, this I know. And my affection is not always projected the way I truly feel in my heart or can put into words. So, thank you for understanding that's just the way I am and loving me in spite of my many, many flaws. You are the greatest partner, friend, confidant.

Happy six years boo, here's to six {and many, many} more!


via

Thursday, April 19, 2012

It's Ok, Thursday.

Even though I have a guest post for today, which will hopefully be posting soon, I've decided to link up with Neely to share a few things...

It's ok...

That I continuously think of things that are "ok" on a daily basis but haven't linked up in months!

That I'm so slow at work today I've caught up on a billion blogs.

To be writing a blog while at work...on the clock.

That I've written a guest post for today that still hasn't been posted.

That I'm being impatient about the publishing of said guest post because I'm excited for y'all to read it. For whatever reason.

To lose your patience.

To doubt your ability as a mother every now and then because when your kiddo wakes up laughing something must still be going right.

To need two coffees a day.

That my best friend lives in Canada and that she won't be permanently living in our city anytime soon if ever again. Thank goodness for blogging and the Internet!

To be counting down the days for her visit home in July!!

To completely slack on all household chores.

To have writer's block.

To want it to be summer but not the 100+ degree kind of summer. (aka a dreamland kind of summer because that never happens here in my famously hot town)

That I'm going to ask my mom if she'll keep J tomorrow night so the hubs and I can get some sleep and see if our sanity is still somewhere in our house.

That the iPad I'm writing this post on wont let me grab the button for the linkup so this link will have to do for now....www.acompletewasteofmakeup.com

Yep, it's ok.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Swinging Into Spring...err..Summer

Amidst making our Sunday rounds of people-watching and errand-running, we somehow ended up with a little swing. It caught B's eye as we walked through Wal-Mart and well we just couldn't get that thing out of our heads. Many aisles and a trip to Lowe's later we caved to the swing.

Thoughts of baby giggles danced in my head as we raced home to hang the swing on one of the million trees in our yard only to find that every single tree was too tall. I cannot even begin emphasize the overload of trees we have, and not a single one had a swing branch. 

So, that swing sat on our floor for a good two weeks. 

One day I got a text from the hubs, the swing had been hung. He'd put a little brain power into it and made it work...and work it does. 


I was honestly unsure if he'd like the swing.

As new parents we went out and bought one of those swings known as necessities for newbs. And, well, that was a waste of a hundred bucks. He sat in that thing for a grand total of two minutes.

At least with this swing we'd only waste twenty bucks...


Our first moments in the swing were pure wonderment.



....a little hesitation....



And then things got swingin'....



..of course we had our usual distractions and discoveries...



Finally, Jack threw caution to the wind and gave into the awesomeness of his brand new swing!



Priceless.



There are no words for the joy it brings me to see this expression.



This little blue swing was worth it's twenty bucks plus the hundred on his infant swing plus so, so much more. Now a days, this swing is one of our favorite activities.

And to think we almost returned it to Wal-Mart because we didn't have a good tree.
That would've been a shame.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Early Onset Adult Exhaustion

Saturday night, as I sat barely breathing, I self-diagnosed lil' ole me with a newly discovered syndrome....

Early Onset Adult Exhaustion.

Plain and simple: I'm worn out!

Morning festivities had this mama grasping at straws in the grocery only to distract from teething pains with some people-watching.

Success. My child loves nothing more than a place full of things to point at and people to admire.

While he gandered, I meal planned. Hey, two birds, one stone.. Why not?

Finally I'd coaxed my little fussy man into a nap.

Hallelujahs were sent up after a successful car-to-crib transfer. And then many, many prayers that the morning was not a precursor for our entire day. Because our day? Had just gotten going!

Family from across the country had set up camp out at "The Land" in preparations for my cousins' wedding shower that afternoon. With oodles of family aching to see our bundle-of-toddler-mess, I knew we'd need to be in good spirits.

Hubs made it home from his way-too-early, out-of-town work meeting just in time for us to pack up our lives and J to finish his nap.

It's been a while since we've been further than 20 minutes from our house, and I was nervous. So I may have overpacked afternoon goodies. That's the Girl Scout in me I guess. Always be prepared.

We set out prepped for the one-hour drive. We got this, I so naively thought.

J used to nod off upon a car cranking up and hitting the road. However, those days are long gone. I knew he'd be up the whole time. But even with all my preparations, the kid about lost his shit 40 minutes into the drive.

Those last 20 minutes in the car were mind-numbing. B and I both dug deep for patience. Upon arrival that child of ours lit up like the fourth of July. Man, he loves a good party aka being center of attention. Oh and food. Feed him and he's happy. Deprive him and well, that's just not a good idea.

All week I'd assumed Jack would last an hour or two then we'd be out. But that kid surprised me and we were there for four hours! However, his heavy eyelids were napping before we were even out of the driveway! Ha! And dontcha know, he woke up the moment we pulled into ours. Of course.

And then, this mama was left alone for nightly routines so the hubs could go fishing. {wife of the year award....ahem..}

So, we swung, we walked, we ate and as much as he needed a bath I held off. J has had a weird and new hatred for baths lately and they typically ruin nighttime routines.

After a seriously wearing day I thought bedtime would be timely. But J wanted to see just how far he could push mommy and refused to sleep. So more story time it was.

By the time I finally got him down {a little after 8} I plopped onto the couch.

You know how your body feels after a day at Disney World? Yeah, that's what I was feeling Saturday night.
Two words: burned out.

It'd been a while since enduring this type of fatigue, but our long day of life, and the too-early wakeup times Jack's had lately proved to be too much.

Another long day Sunday led to a mama with a migraine.

At 10 pm I went to lay in our bed with all intentions of getting back up to do some chores. Next thing I know it's 4:30 am and I'm still wearing the previous days' clothing.

Oy ve.

Early Onset Adult Exhaustion, you are not my friend.

*no, this is not really a medical syndrome...thanks for stickin' around to read my ramblin'"

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Welcome UBP Visitors!

Over the next week, the wonderful ladies of 5 Minutes for Mom are hosting the ultimate blog party. Basically? It's the ideal way to meet new friends and reminisce with old.

To my loyal, weekly readers: hope your weekends have been lovely!

To new friends around here: Welcome! 


I'm Erin. 
Mom to J, an almost toddler.
Wife to B, a techy DIYer.


Life around here moves quickly as I attempt to soak in the wondrous moments of motherhood while combating those trivial parts of parenthood...like working to pay for diapers, pretending the laundry doesn't exist and attempting to raise my son to be a gentleman.

Just a few weeks ago our not-so-newborn baby turned one. One!

I may or may not have come to terms with this milestone. 


Other happenings?

This sweet lil' blog of mine will celebrate it's first birthday in just a couple weeks. And in honor of its birthday? We're having a blog crash! Details here.   With a new design and name just around the corner for Confessions of Magnolia Mom, I'm beyond excited to forge on with this blog.

Our lives have quickly turned a corner; stories have ended and new chapters are beginning. That being said, it's the perfect timing for a little facelift.

Grab some wine, coffee, whatever your heart desires. Stay a while. We're always finding some sort of {mis}adventure around here.


Learn more about me here. Want Jackson's party details? Plenty of them here. Wondering how B and I even came to be? Yep, shared that story here. Better yet, just looking to get to the heart of things with the greatest of random details? I spill some secrets here!


Leave a comment below, I'd love to hear from you!


Ultimate Blog Party 2012

Friday, April 13, 2012

Melodies Are a Funny Thing

Driving through town last week, windows down, spring in the air, an old favorite came on the radio...



Within seconds I could smell the salt in the air, feel the breeze through the car and the mommy-me had jumped back to 17-year-old-me driving home from the beach with my best friend. It was our last Summer trip before college. A crazy five days that we'd never forget, but some days wish we could. 

It was the day of burned CDs. You know what I'm talking about. Forget iTunes. We had a CD for every occasion. A CD for the drive to the beach. A CD for nights at the beach. A CD for days sitting on the beach. 

And this little tune? It was our driving song. 

I'll never forget the day we drove down the backroads from Garden City to our hometown belting the lyrics on repeat. I think we sang that song for a good hour. 

It's one of my favorite memories, ever. 

Funny how a melody sounds like a memory. -Eric Church


Today's post is dedicated to my most wonderful Canadian friend.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Little Locks

There are some moments in life that change you, moments that change your child. 

This was one of those moments.


One minute my semi-shaggy baby is innocently wondering what Grammie is up to and the next?


He's in for a rude awakening...


After the initial shock, Jackson's nerves settled.

One thing is for sure: there was no shortage of hilarious faces from this dude during his first hair cut.



Finally, a smile...


Just as J was getting fidgety, Aunt Beth caught his attention with pure giggles.


First haircut tantrum averted thanks to her.



If you can't tell, this kid loves laughing with his Aunt Beth. 


Jackson even made his current favorite "ohhh" face for mommy. Love it!


And just like that, my baby was a boy.


photos taken 3/25/12 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Blog Crashers 2012

Day in, day out we watch Bath Crashers, Kitchen Crashers, Yard Crashers. You got it, they'll crash it.

Do you watch the DIY Network?

We may as well just pay for that channel. That's it. Well, fine, that and E. That's all we need.

My husbands go-to shows are the Crasher series. Basically? They find you, take over your house for a few days and just like that they leave your space a better {prettier} place. At no charge to you, might I add. It's like they come into a space, sprinkle fairy dust and BAM! Amazingness. Every. Single. Time.

Well, in just a few short weeks I'll be having my very own Blog Crash.

In celebration of my one-year blog birthday, we'll have days full of fabulous ladies hosting giveaways! Squeee! 

Plans are in the making, giveaways are being prepped and this lil blog is getting a redesign! I figure, why not give a little back to those who saw us through the year.

A little gift for you, a little lift for us.

Please excuse me as I work on the redesign! 

Back to normal posting at some point this week...


Oh and have you seen the toddler around here lately?

Too big, too fast. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Life is Bliss

I sit here blogging while Chuck and Dan grope about not being invited to Blair's shower. Yes, that's right, I'm watching Gossip Girl reruns, blogging and enjoying absolute silence. Oh and a new fridge should arrive at my front door by 12:15!

It's shaping up to be a good day despite our early morning trip to the pediatrician.

Yep, we were back at the pediatrician today. Daycare sent Jackson home because he threw up yesterday. Kid can't catch a break! Dr. T says its a virus and we just have to ride it out. With no fever he got a green light for daycare.

Call me cruel, but I took that kid to daycare. Mama needs a break! Unfortunately, he's not the only one still trying to shake the sickies. I've been fighting a throat infection for almost ten days now and feel no better.

I've given myself two hours {while waiting for our new fridge} to relax.

New fridge, you ask?

Ours officially died last week and we've finally worked everything out with our home warranty group. Sooo, new fridge it is! Yay!

While we're catching up on life, I should mention my new job, don't ya think?

What's there to say about my new job? Hmm...it's ah-mazing! 

The new group of paralegals I'm with are such a sweet bunch, my new attorneys are beyond words and I've got a nice little space all for me. For now, before I jinx anything we'll just say my decision is paying off.

Rain clouds continue to roll in as I've forged on to a new episode of Gossip Girl. Still, no fridge guys knockin' on my door. We've got no big plans for Easter weekend around here. Low key, for sure. In fact, confession: I have nothing prepared for Easter. No outfit, no treats, no nothin'. That's what today is for, right? Right.

Happy Friday lovely friends. I hope your weekends are filled with bliss.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Not So Little Red Wagon


As a birthday gift, Jack's PaPa and MoMo got him his very first wagon. 


Brandon and I agree that some of our fondest childhood memories are riding around in the little red wagons pulled by our grandparents. I'll never forget the red wagon at Lady's {my grandmother} that somehow survived 9 grandchildren. Nine! It was a garnet red with aged wood plats, a seemingly frail thing that managed to make it's way around the driveway.

These new wagons are no flimsy toy. Oh no they aren't! This thing is an ATW wagon. Who knew that even existed?! By far three times as nice as the wagon we had back in the day.

As soon as that box made it into our house, the wagon was assembled and we were riding. And our kid? He loves it!



As you can see he does not love when I take photos of him...


We've been walking in our wagon for two weeks now. Just last weekend as we made our was around the cul-de-sac I looked back to see my little man waving. WAVING! I almost died right then and there. My heart was certainly in a puddle.

Our new nightly routine includes a wagon ride, where we point and wave to any and everything we pass.


Yes, red wagon, I think I like you.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Fishy Fishy

Lately, whole grain goldfish have been my go-to snack for J.








So far, there have been no objections.

Photos from March 10, 2012


*linking up with Jenni from the Blog, Naptime Momtog, Flip Flops and Pearls, Crazy About my Baybah**

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Cake Pop Stand Tutorial and A Recipe

I debated for a few weeks whether to do cupcakes or cake pops for J's birthday. We had some really adorable cupcake ideas, but I just couldn't get completely inspired. Days before J's birthday I finally decided we'd go with cake pops.

This has proven to be one of my best decisions thus far in life! Yes, life!


We began with custom cake pop stands. Because if I'm going to make these things, I needed to be sure I had somewhere to display them!

Here's how we did it:

Take a couple spare pieces of 2x4, measure and cut to your desired size. {yes, we have spare 2x4s sitting around our house}

On each 2x4 measure out and mark the distance between where your cake pops will stand.


Take a drill, with appropriate drill bit size, and make yourself some holes. We chose to drill all the way through to ensure a sturdy pop. But many tutorials recommend drilling 3/4 through the 2x4. Sand down the holes as needed.


Grab some scrapbook paper, fold and tape. I simply folded around the edges of the 2x4 as if it were a present. Then we took our cake pops and punched through for our holes.

This was such an easy DIY project and cost us just $1 for the scrapbook paper. We now have cake pop stands to use for all future events, just change the scrapbook paper as needed!


Now, onto the good stuff...actually making some cake pops!

Again, this is going to be pretty simple...

Ingredients:
1 box cake mix
1 container frosting
chocolate melts
cake pop sticks

Directions:
1. Cook the cake as directed on the box.
2. Once baked, crumble the cake. You can do this by hand or food processor.
3. Add 3/4 frosting container to cake crumbs until well mixed.
4. Form into 1 inch balls.
5. Take cake pop stick and dip into chocolate melts. Then place into cake pop.


6. Let cake balls set in freezer for 30 minutes. This will give a secure base for the cake pop.
7. Once the pops have set, take them out and get to dipping. Be sure to tap off the excess chocolate before placing to set.

Once your chocolate has set your pops are ready to go! We even wrapped the cake pops in cellophane, gave it a ribbon and a tag and gave them out as party favors.

This last minute idea paid off big time! Every guest was blown away by these scrumptious pops. And I am so impressed by these tasty treats that I've finally realized how they've managed to become the cool new thing! {yes, I realize I'm years behind on this trend}


If you still haven't dabbled in the world of cake pops, you really must!