'Tis the Season!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas is always my favorite time of year but now that Beckett is really starting to participate, it's that much better!

I know it sounds silly, but picking out our Christmas cards really sets the tone of our holiday decor! I know, seems so silly, but it really does! We had our photos taken by our fav, Kristen Hafner Photography early, so when it was time to pick out our card suite, it was so easy!

You know how I adore Tiny Prints and how easy they make everything for parents- from the holiday cards, ornaments, stockings, and decor. I love working with them every year and this year was no exception!
I chose the Beaming Branches suite this year- it's classic, and a little playful! I love a classic card, and this was perfect along with our gorgeous photos! I, of course, ordered the matching address labels, too! 

Addressing each card is my favorite part- and this year was super fun, and time consuming. Yes, I hand addressed each card with a drawn on ribbon. I'm nuts, I know. But aren't they cute!?

I also love the tradition of getting Beckett a custom ornament documenting each holiday season! This year I got him the Tiny Prints Arctic Snow Bracket Metal ornament in Siren, and it's perfection!
Did you know Tiny Prints also has home decor? I'm obsessed with their pillows (seriously, they're amazing!) and they have the cutest holiday pillows that were the perfect addition to our new home! I love that you can dress up your couch with the simple addition of a custom pillow! I went with the Wonderful Swirls and Snowflake Frond pillows and they're such a fun, comfy holiday item! They have tons of great custom pillows- and they're currently on sale- getcha some! Be sure to check out Tiny Prints for all your holiday needs!
The season always starts off with a visit with Santa and a visit from Saint Nicholas. Beckett wasn't too sure about Santa this year and is still a little confused about Saint Nicolas Day, but he's happy about getting a surprise!
We went to Elves Farm this year to cut down our tree. While it wasn't as idyllic as this tree farm a few years ago, it was perfect for us and Beckett loved it!
He even helped cut and carry it!

We are all decked out and ready for Santa.. are you?

Oh, hey.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Well, if you're wondering if I've died since I haven't posted in like, forever, I haven't. I've just been crazy busy with life, moving, unpacking, and getting ready for Christmas with a toddler in tow. 

Now, I know you're probably like, what? That took THIS long? Yes. Doing anything with an active toddler is like running in water. Or jello. You're doing a lot of work and you don't get very far, very fast. 

We absolutely LOVE our new house. 
The neighborhood, (minus one set of ridiculous neighbors), the house and the area are all fab and we are so happy we chose to move out here! The house is one bedroom one bath and a mortgage shy of being perfect for us, but have no fear, we are here for a few years! 

There are kids everywhere, we are a 5 minute walk from a huge playground, and there is a great (safe) running lap for me. I just wish part of it was paved! My new white running shoes definitely would have appreciated that during a muddy run the other day. Sigh.

We moved Thanksgiving weekend in the pouring rain and got settled as quickly as possible so we could change gears and get ready for Christmas! It's been a whirlwind but it's been so worth it!

Thankful for Life Lately.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

These last two months have been nothing short of a whirlwind! 

Between Beckett's Mother's Day Out,  root canals, traveling to San Francisco, Waco & Round Top, Petting Zoos & Halloween, work, and now a move (UGH, yes, again) I've been swamped from sun rise to bed time!

'School' is going great and Beckett has completely adjusted- he walks right on it, puts his lunchbox in his basket (I have to carry the backpack because it's heavy!) and he goes right on into his classroom without even saying goodbye. It's so great that he enjoys it, but come on kid! Kiss your Momma goodbye at least! 
Halloween was seriously fun this year. Beckett went as Captain Jake from Jake and the Neverland Pirates and i'm 100% sure if I never took off his costume, he wouldn't have minded! We were able to go to a trunk-or-treat at his school which was a great dress rehearsal! He also had a costume parade at school plus Halloween, so at least I feel like he got great use out of his costume!
yo ho let's go!

I'm trying to remain positive about this move, but what a pain! The house we are leasing currently has really, really bad foundation issues and the owner is going to A) have to spend a LOT of money on repairs- like ripping up all the flooring and master bathroom and kitchen kind of repairs, or B) going to sell the house because it's basically a wash. So needless to say when we asked to renew under the condition that the foundation was checked and fixed and got the results, we knew that we had to get out of here. We can't wait to share our new home but until then, i'm trying to stay on top of packing so that it's as seamless as possible! 

I finished my 2nd half marathon in San Francisco. i finished. That's about all i'm going to say about that! I'm about to start training for a 3rd in March that I plan on being way more prepared for! It was great to get away for a weekend by myself, but I did miss my guys when I neared the finish line!
As we gear up for the holidays, (hey Thanksgiving! You're my fav!) Im constantly reminded how lucky I am even if I am going a mile a minute! This is the busiest season of the year, and with a toddler in tow it's even busier, but I wouldn't trade it for the world! What are you thankful for during this busy season?!

The Stay-at-Home Working Mom Balance

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

It's been 2-ish months since I started working part time from home and I think i've finally found a great balance between working and being a stay-at-home Mom. 

I'm so happy that I was able to stay home with Beckett, and now am able to work (and make $$!) from home. He will be starting Mother's Day Out in September, which will allow me to have a few hours of free time 2 days a week! This is definitely the way to go if your life allows it. I can't imagine heading to work 3 months after giving birth, then staying home when your child is older. The US needs to get with longer maternity leaves. Seriously. Anyways...

Some days are easy peasy and some days i'm up past 11pm trying to get my work done.

Most days look like this:
And some days, when I'm lucky, they look like this. 
But no work would EVER get done if I wasn't super organized. You have to find the balance between Mom life, work life, cleaning & laundry, playdates, Gymboree classes.. the list goes on and on. Some days I feel like I get nothing accomplished, and some days I get to take a shower and blow dry my hair, go out to lunch AND get my work done. 

Here are a few tips on how I stay balanced.

Write It Down.
You are more likely to remember things when you physically write something down, so I write it alllll down. I swear by this planner and keep it with me at all times. Yes. I'm old school, whatever. I get a new one in a new color every year for Christmas (Thanks Mom!) and I keep them in our library. It's fun to pull them out every now and then and see what I was up to in years past. It's like Time Hop, but better! ;)
Keep to a Schedule
With a baby/toddler/kid schedule is key. Up between 7 and 8ish. Breakfast. Coloring/playing/Bubble Guppies. Nap time around 11:30. Shower get dressed. Lunch. FREE TIME. Nap again around 4, snack time, play with Daddy til Dinner, bath time, brush hair/brush teeth, lights out. We try to keep him on this schedule every day the best we can. Obviously we aren't super sticklers and we are flexible, but you know. Now, some days there are play dates, movies, and Gym, but we strive on keeping him scheduled. He knows it, we know it, and it works. This allows me time to get most of my work done by noon, then the rest during his afternoon nap and after CL gets home. 

Stay Accountable
I'm lucky to have a wonderful partner who keeps me accountable and helps me when I fall behind. CL helps me out when he gets home if I've had a bad day. He makes sure that Beckett is taken care of so I can catch up, clean up, and make it to bed before midnight. He knows that I have two jobs, one of which is 24/7 and the other takes up 5 hours of my day. He knows that I can veer off course (I totally get sucked into Disney daytime programming-- no shame!) and some days Beckett just doesn't want me to get anything done. And that's ok. He's learning, and I am too! 

Make Room for Fun!
Yes, fun. All work and no fun makes Jack (or Angelica, or you, or anyone really) a dull boy. I try to schedule a play date, movie, fun day along with a day of Gymboree to keep us active, and well, out of the house! Some times even taking a trip to the mall for lunch is all it takes. Alamo Drafthouse has baby days (Check your local Alamo for what day!) where you can go and your kids can be loud, obnoxious whatever they want, while you watch movies! Obviously it's better to see kid movies, but they have adult ones too (which is great if you have an infant or baby!) You'd be surprised how well the kids do in the movie! Every time i've taken Beckett, he's been great! 
Beckett + Popcorn + Movies = Pure Baby Bliss!
Make Time for You and your Partner
This is probably the one thing we are the worst at. We are terrible at balancing being new parents and a couple... although we have been getting better at dating again since Beckett is older and we can trust him with a babysitter! I'm the worst at carving out time for myself. I can't help it if i'd rather spend my time with my family, but sometimes you need to take a yoga class, go for a run, or get a mani/pedi! (it helps if there's wine at the nail salon...) Make it a priority to spoil yourself every now and then- you deserve it!

Obviously, this is what works for us, but I hope it's helpful to someone else! How do you keep balanced?

Custom Jewelry with Anjolee

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

It's no lie that I like sparkly things... (um hello, even my blog's name is Gelie Beans & Sparkly Things!). So when there is a chance to custom design something that sparkles, I'm so in. And who doesn't love something custom? That no one else has? 

This is where Anjolee comes in!

Anjolee is a fabulous site where all their pieces can be customized according to metal type, diamond size, diamond or gemstone quality, and size! They offer a great selection of gemstone jewelry with choices of birthstones too! 

Since I just celebrated my 30th birthday, it was the perfect time to design a new pair of diamond studs!

The website is so easy to play around on and create just about anything- including dream engagement rings! Navigate to your piece of choice (wedding & anniversary, earrings, bracelets, necklaces & pendants) and you're ready to customize once you choose a piece! For me it was the Romanced by Diamonds Stud Earrings. They are a similar shape to my engagement ring and the perfect size for every day or dress wear. They have screw backs so there's no worry about losing them, which for a Mom with a toddler is pretty awesome. 
Once you've made your selection you can play with and change the metal type, view the piece in 3D, visualize the piece on a 3D model and you have the option to download a HD image of what you're looking at. In my case it was the earrings. This was so helpful seeing the earrings on the 3D model- you get a really great visual of what they would look like on you!
On this page is where you have all your custom options. Every time you make a selection, it populates on the right side of the screen so you know exactly what you are choosing! You have options to choose your metal (10, 14 18 Yellow or White Gold or Platinum!), the size (total carat weight), then you get to choose your center stones!
You have the opportunity to choose the color, clarity, cut, polish, symmetry, fluorescence, and of course price! They offer certified (GIA and IGI) or Anjolee Diamond™. An Anjolee Diamond™is a signature diamond that is handpicked by their expert gemologists to ensure the highest quality. The Anjolee Diamond™ Standard offers excellent cut, and very good – excellent polish and symmetry and five color/clarity combinations to choose from. Anjolee issues its own Certificate of Authenticity which guarantees the quality of the diamonds and that they are natural, authentic and genuine. Anjolee never sells treated, enhanced, or lab-created diamonds!

Once you choose your diamonds, you're all set! Pay (they have tons of options!) and sit back while Anjolee makes & packages your jewelry and sends you a beautiful box full of sparkling diamonds and/or gemstones! Easy peasy! 
Anjolee offers free shipping and 30 day returns in case you aren't totally in love with your creation! You will have to sign for your jewelry, so make sure you send it somewhere will you will be able to get it! Or guys, keep it a secret by having your jewels send to the office so your significant other doesn't accidentally open up a surprise!

The process is so easy and simple you'll want to order 2nds and 3rds! I mean, I'm already ready to pick out something fun! Our 5th wedding anniversary is only a couple years away.. I can't help but check out and look at all their gorgeous diamond eternity bands! I mean, can we celebrate early? Or a future (NOT pregnant, or planning on it any time soon, FYI) push present? Valentines? Christmas? I can come up with just about any excuse for a beautiful diamond ring!

And did I mention there's an app? It's free on iTunes and gives you all the same capabilities you have on a computer! And I know if you're about to get engaged, or just like looking at pretty things, this is a great way to pass your time!

Be sure to check out their website, like and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube

I love my earrings, and know you'll love whatever you design too! Have fun!

Thank you to Anjolee for Sponsoring this post. 

Cato Fashions.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Let's preface this post with a little disclaimer.. I'm not a fashion blogger, I don't claim to be, and it was painfully awkward to walk around the resort in Mexico taking 'fashion blogger' photos, but I think CL and I pulled it off!

I had never shopped at Cato Fashions. I'd seen the stores, and never walked in.. and now I literally don't know why I waited so long! With a brand spankin' new store location in Dallas and one right by my house, Cato will definitely be on my list now! Now, I know you probably had some preconceived notions about this brand, as did I, but seriously, don't judge a book by it's cover. They tend to be in shopping centers near a Wal-Mart, but seriously. This experience made me a believer! I always thought this was a store for older ladies and it was a cheesey place to shop, and I'm so happy that this idea I had made up in my head was completely untrue! I'm always looking for a new place to shop and i've definitely added Cato to the list. I'm even still thinking about this chic green dress that I seriously need to go back and get!

Cato Fashions is a leading retailer of women's fashions and accessories. At Cato you’ll find the latest fashion styles for any occasion, work or play, dressy or casual in junior/misses and plus sizes at exceptional prices.

The new store is beautiful and has great light and the women that work there want you to have a great experience. I tend to like to shop without anyone bothering me, and they let me run around and pull 90,000 different pieces with no question. They even let me take all my selections into the dressing room! It was a blissful experience!

Cato has junior and misses and plus sizes, so it's really a great place for everyone to shop. The clothes are a great quality (think Forever 21 prices with department store quality!) I was shocked at how cute and on trend all the clothing was-- maxi dresses, kimonos, rompers, statement necklaces, shoes, accessories, jeans and tops galore. 

And the best thing? THE PRICES. Y'all. I can't talk enough about how budget friendly these clothes are! I usually start in the clearance or sale section because i'm cheap frugal smart on a budget, and I didn't even have to. I didn't see many regular priced items over $30 (excluding denim and some dresses) I'm talking $8 shorts, $12 kimonos, and a $13 romper in the clearance section.. $13!! 

I was looking for some fun items to take with me on my trip to Mexico and Cato didn't disappoint. 

This romper has quickly become my favorite summer piece. Not only was it super cute, but it fit nicely and had the cutest button detailing on the back. It was the perfect find! 
 Romper: C/O Cato Shop Rompers here! // Sandals: Tory Burch // Bag: Louis Vuitton Similar Here // Sunglasses: Ray-Ban // Earrings: Kate Spade Similar Here

This skirt is seriously one of my favorite new items in my closet. The color is great for the summer and fall, and the crochet is so on trend for the summer. The best part? It fit, it was on clearance, and it made me feel chic and beautiful. I can't wait to wear it again.. maybe with a denim jacket? The possibilities are endless!
 Skirt: C/O Cato Shop Skirts Here! // Tank: Halogen at Nordstrom // Wedges: Steve Madden Similar Here Here and Here // Necklace: Kate Spade // Earrings: C/O Cato Shop Earrings Here! // Bracelets: C/O Cato Shop Bracelets Here!

I also picked up this stack of bracelets and earrings- all for under $10! The bangles are a larger size too so you don't have to squish your hands to get them on! I love how versatile they are too- I pulled the blue ones out and wore just the gold one night and they were perfect!
Bracelets: C/O Cato Shop Bracelets Here! // Earrings: C/O Cato Shop Earrings Here! // Necklace: Kate Spade

Also, out of no where i'm a super fan of any type of casual, cotton pajama bottoms shorts for summer.. I  have no less than 4 pairs, and I was so happy to add these to the mix! Perfect for running errands, hanging out with Beckett or out on the lake. Plus they have pockets! Holla! All you need is a tank and your set!
Shorts: C/O Cato Shop Shorts Here! // Tank: Halogen at Nordstrom // Flip Flops: Havaianas at Kohl's // Watch: Michele Similar Here // Earrings: C/O Cato Shop Earrings Here!

Be sure to pop in next time you walk by a Cato Fashions- I promise you won't be disappointed! Hell, go now!! Also check them out and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest for updated info, sales and more! Happy Shopping!

A huge THANK YOU to Cato Fashions for sponsoring this post! And for my husband for taking these totally awkward pics! Thanks CL!

My 30th Birthday Cabo Getaway!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Well, it's official.
I'm 30.
standing on Divorce Beach on the Pacific coast.
...and I lived to tell about it and it's not that bad. 

CL took me on our first baby free getaway to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for my birthday weekend and y'all it was fabulous. 
While it was the hardest thing leaving Beckett for a few days, we knew he was in excellent hands, and that we really needed some time away to recharge.

We stayed at the Secrets Puerto Los Cabos Golf and Spa Resort and it was ah.ma.zing. We had a Junior Suite Swim Out Garden room, but had an Ocean view too! I highly recommend the swim out. It was so worth it! I mean, this is what we woke up to every morning!

view from the main lobby
The resort is beautiful, clean and fairly quiet.. it's adult only, but that doesn't mean the older crowds don't get rowdy!
our favorite pool overlooking the golf course and beach! 
We did a lot of drinking and eating, and CL may or may not have gotten a little stomach bug, but that didn't keep him down for the count. We napped on the beach, soaked up the warm sun, and enjoyed long lunches, and quiet dinners. 
On the 4th, my actual birthday!, we got up nice and early and headed into Cabo San Lucas for a snorkeling and beach trip. It was nice to get away from the resort for a little bit and see the sights! 

Cabo is really beautiful and has amazing sea life. If you scuba i'd recommend diving here- it was amazing just snorkeling, but you get so much more out of diving- plus it isn't as crowded! (we would have dove, but CLs stomach...)
yes. that's a real, live blowfish!
We spent an hour on a boat, followed by an hour snorkeling at Pelican Beach, then spent an hour on Lover's Beach having a picnic lunch and relaxing on the beach before heading back. If you are ever in Cabo, we highly recommend Esperanza's Tours!
Lover's Beach
Scooby Rock
The Arch
on Divorce Beach on the Pacific Coast
I got an aromatherapy massage before dinner back at the resort, and it was so worth it! I'm definitely a fan of late afternoon massages, but one on your birthday after being at the beach all day? Pure bliss!
The resort had a big 4th of July party on the lawn so we checked it out before heading to dinner. It was so fun getting a real Independence Day experience in Mexico! We ate at the Japanese (hibachi) restaurant (my fav!) and sat with a really fun bunch of South American girls. They totally made my night by taking birthday shots, sake bombs, being loud and fun, and singing 'Happy Birthday!' to me in both English and Spanish! They also sang some other fun song and did a lot of cheering. It was awesome.
We finished the night off with a beautiful firework display. Fireworks on the beach never get old, ever! 
It was a fabulous trip and we had so much fun! Thanks CL!

(PS a HUGE thanks to my Mom, brother/Uncle Nic, Momadear & Granddaddy, Nadia and Jad for watching and visiting Beckett in Austin! I know he had a blast because he never wanted to FaceTime with us when we checked in! He was always too busy having fun! He sure loves y'all! xoxo)

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