My little family!

My little family!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Layla turns 4.5!!!!

Turning 4 just a mere 6 months ago!!!

teenager. 

Turning 4 was FUN! (but so is 4 1/2)


3 Years Old

3 Years Old

Turning 3 years old!





2 years Old!

Meeting Ariel!

Oh my love. 

I literally want to eat your face. 


Hannukah 2 years ago!

Widdle Waywa. 


A complete joy. 


BABY LAYLA!

6 months. 

1 Year old Layla!

Holding your brother for the first time. 

19 months apart. hahahaha

Sweetness.

My Baby Girl. 

Another 6 months have come & gone -- you've reached a BIG milestone. You're 4 and a HALF!!! What a big deal in preschool world. You are a complete joy. A complete light in our world. You are kind, curious, sweet, loving and silly. You are everything I could ask for in a daughter. Totally loyal and goofy and GIRLY! 

How you look... You are so, so, so beautiful. Tall and thin and gorgeous. Your hair is LONG - a beautiful shade of brown. It's light, shiny, soft & straight. You are built so cute - LITTLE! Your eyes are still an insanely gorgeous shade of blue with specks of light that bounce around. Your skin is SO fair - it's just lovely. 

Your Schedule....You are awesome. You're at a great age where you listen well and don't need much in the way of direction. You wake up around 6:45 AM almost every morning (still using the green light -- when it turns on you shout I'M AWAKE, MY LIGHT IS GREEN! on repeat). During the week, we go to school - it takes us about 45 minutes to get there but you never complain. After school we play and take bathes and you go to bed between 7:30 PM - 8:00 PM. I love putting you to bed - no matter your mood, you curl right into me every night and whisper I love you Mama. It's perfect. On the weekends, you don't nap but rather have quiet time in your room - usually with an iPad and the cats. It's a nice time for you recharge your batteries. 

Your Likes....You love playing with your brother. You love making videos of yourself teaching others how to do make-up. You love getting your nails done. You love movies (ALL movies, but recently you like Home Alone, Bolt, Book of Life, Bambi, Toy Story, Little Mermaid). You love books. You love princesses (Ariel, Cinderella, Mulan, etc). You love My Little Pony & Peppa Pig. You love walks outside. You love Facetiming with your grandparents in Florida. You LOVE playing with your cousins (especially the girls). You love school (Pre-K is going great!! You're getting so good at writing your letters!). You love playing Mom & Sister. You love singing (including your own songs). You love watching random YouTube videos. You love your friends from school. You love Disney World, The Zoo and the Aquarium. You love feeding the cats. You LOVE dance on Fridays! (Ballet & Tap). You love cooking class at School! You love your grandparents. You love Dada. You love me. And we adore you. 

Your Dislikes: You don't like water too hot or too cold. You don't like the top sheet. You don't like tights. You don't like trying new foods (although the other night you ate an ENTIRE hamburger in exchange for a new My Little Pony watch!!!). You don't like when Benny takes your things or pushes you. You don't like the super cold temperatures. You don't like being separated from Benny. 

Your Food: Still quite the picky eater. Favorites include: Pork Roll (all day, everyday if I let you), Matzah Ball Soup from Ben & Irvs, Refried Beans from Las Margaritas, hot dogs from Costco, Kashi Cinnamon Crunch cereal, M&M Yogurt, Bananas, Cheese, Chicken Nuggets, French Fries, strawberries, apples & grapes. 

Your Thoughts: You are so inquisitive. You are SO smart. You look at each situation and figure out all the aspects. You question everything. You ponder life and love and friends. You are brilliant & wonderfully curious. 

OH my Layla Jules. I could write & write & write about you. You are 4 in every way - learning, dramatic, happy, sad, funny and fun. You are a great friend. You are so SOCIAL - I call you the mayor of school. You've learned everyone's names and make sure to acknowledge everyone you pass. You're always asking people for tours of their house when we go somewhere new. You are always saying the cutest, silliest things. You love making new friends and surrounding yourself with happiness. You are a joy, my girl. I love you. 
Forever&ever&ever. 
Mama

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Duh - a quick update.

I have grand blogging plans every.single day.
But they never come to fruition.
However... a few quick tips & fun before I forget.

1. 21 DAY FIX -- It's official. I'm now a coach. I'm not a salesgirl - in fact, I'm quite the opposite. I don't want to push this agenda on anyone. I became a coach because I've never felt SO good after 3 weeks. I lost just shy of 4 pounds but I lost MANY inches & felt GOOD. I'm starting my own first group on 12/1/15 - want to join?? Let me know - shoot me an email at CEngland921@gmail.com. Let's chat! The holidays can be a rough time for weight gain - I'm all for indulging but let's lose some weight in between Thanksgiving & New Years so we don't feel like big blobs come 2016 ;)

http://www.beachbodycoach.com/esuite/home/cengland921


2. SHOPPING -- Hannukah is FAST approaching with Christmas right on it's tail. I'm now done my shopping for my kiddos but I'm positive not everyone is as Type A as I am. SO... some hints!

A - USE EBATES. Click here to sign up for Ebates - SERIOUSLY!

-- do you use them yet? If not..it's insanity. I use Ebates on almost everything I buy on line. It's FREE & super easy to use. They work with a bunch of big name stores (Target, Nordstrom, Sephora, Amazon - the list goes on & on). Check it out. I've literally earned $343.91 back (IN CASH) just for shopping online.

B - Do you shop at Target as much as I do?? IF SO - you must, must, must download the CartWheel App. I use it every single Target trip - I'm up to saving $205.96 - again, it's FREE and needed.


3. RECIPE - I don't cook, like, ever. BUT - I made that BEST recipe yesterday thanks to http://www.mixandmatchmama.blogspot.com (she's the sister of Shawn from Bachelor - she's incredible & I'm mildly obsessed). I can't find the specific recipe on her site so I'll just post it here. I was BEYOND delicious. Perfect in the crockpot!

She made this on the stove top in one pot (hallelujah!) in minutes but you could also brown your ground beef and throw everything in the slow cooker too. I would cook it on low 6 to 8 hours or high about 3 hours.  Don't stir the frozen corn into your slow cooker until the last 20 or 30 minutes of cooking.

Shopping List

1 pound of ground beef (or ground turkey)
1 onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 (6 oz) can of tomato paste
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14 oz) can of creamed corn
1 (14 oz) can of diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
Salt and Pepper
Sour cream and/or shredded cheese to garnish, optional

In a large pot over medium-high heat, brown your ground beef in a drizzle of EVOO.  Add in a nice pinch of salt and pepper.  Once browned and crumbly, stir in your chopped onion and jalapeno.  Saute a few minutes and add another little pinch of S&P.  Stir in your chili powder and next four ingredients.  Reduce heat to low and simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in your frozen corn and simmer another minute or two.

OK - I promise I'll write in a few weeks when Layla turns 4 1/2 if not sooner. HAPPY FALL, YA'LL!
XOXOXOXO
c

MY LITTLE DANCING QUEEN!

obsessed with this face. 

PUMPKINS!

Layla Jules + Benjamin Sawyer

I love them & they love each other. 

BEST FRIENDS!

My favorite school picture, perhaps ever?

Pre-K style!

HALLOWEEN!

Queen Elsa

BATMAN!

Results of 21 day Fix -- you'll love it. I have a lot of work to do but this is a good start. Also, Benny was 10 Pounds, 1 Ounce when he was born - my belly was SO huge. I am proud.

Side View!


Friday, October 2, 2015

OCTOBER 2, 2015!

it's a new month. 
it's a new season. 
and there's about a gazillion new things going on in our life. 
I'm so mad I haven't keep keeping up with all the things. The good. The bad. The ugly. 
A teeny tiny snippet? 

1. WE BOUGHT OUR DREAM HOUSE! On July 31st, we sold & bought. We left behind out very happy, very loved home and move into this big, beautiful house. If I'm being completely honest, it doesn't quite feel like home yet. We have a lot of work to do -- decorating, unpacking, clowning, organizing, furnishing. It's going to take us a long time but I think we'll be really happy there. We love the neighborhood and everyone has been SO nice. I really miss our old friends/neighbors but I know this will be great for us. My favorite part is the backyard -- we have a POOL! And a HOT TUB! And a big fun SWING SET! It's so nice to spend time outside and I know next summer will be even better. 

2. I GOT A NEW CAR! My lease was almost up and with some help, I was able to get a brand new minivan - the same I had before (Chrysler Town & Country). With approximately 400 miles on it, the car wouldn't start and it spent a bunch of time in the shop -- annoying. But hopefully they fixed the problem and I can ride happily in my new mommy mobile. 

3. WE HAD A PARTY! On September 6th, we had our first big housewarming party. We had around 60-70 people and it was better then expected. Catered by Wegmans, tons of fun, lots of swimming. When we moved in at the end of July, we had people here practically every weekend. It was so so much fun. 

4. WE VACATIONED! At the end of August, we all went to OBX. We rented a house (the 20 of us -my parents, my siblings, their families & us). It was so so so much fun. Lots of beach & swimming & napping & playing. It's hard work but so much fun & I recommend it to anyone. We also just got back from 10 days in Florida. Unfortunately, we lost Josh's grandpa (whom the kids called Goo-Goo) - it is so very sad. He was a gentle, loving, soft-spoken man and I feel lucky to have had him all these years. We switched our flights and were there for the funeral & shabbat. From there, we drove straight to Orlando and spent a couple of days at Disney World! We had the very best time & we're already planning our next time back. We also visiting UCF - there's nothing crazier then seeing your alma mater look 100% different then when you attended. The campus is gorgeous and modern and awesome and I SO WISH I could do another 4 years!!!! 

5. I BINGED ON NETFLIX! I finally took the plunge and watched ALL OF GOSSIP GIRL. It was SO SO SO good. Like, insanely fun and exciting and addictive. I was so sad when it ended but thanks to some fabulous ladies on Facebook, I jumped right into the world of Pretty Little Liars and OMG. It's terrifying and fun and scary. I love it -- I'm in the middle of season 2 with no signs of stopping! 

6. WE CELEBRATED! Josh turned 33, I turned 32. Nothing too exciting but it's always fun to have a birthday - although I'm way more excited for Benny's 3rd birthday (in January - BATMAN PARTY!) and Layla's 5th birthday (in June - LAYLA'S LUAU!) but let's not get ahead of ourselves ;)

7. WE SWITCHED SEASONS! Summer was SO nice and warm and lovely but like a swift kick in the ass, it's now fall. It's been raining & chilly since we got back from Florida with no signs of stopping. I love me some fall but I'm missing the sun something fierce. 

8. CAMP & SCHOOL! The kids had a blast at camp & started a new year of school!! They both adjusted so well to their new rooms. Layla's officially in Pre-K (ahhhh!) and Benny's in the big boy room! (2 1/2 - 3 year olds!). We are still so happy at our school and feel so lucky to have made beautiful friends and have wonderful teachers. The 40 minute drive to school from the new house is slowly driving me insane but I'm working through it and seeing that as a time to listen to  my books on tape. ;)

And lastly...a snippet on all of us. 

Josh -- He's still rocking his job and working SO hard for all of us. I'm constantly proud of him. He now works from home all the time so it's been a big change for us - but the new house has a home office which is a huge improvement over the dining room table he used to work at. He's so handsome & I'm very lucky he's mine. 

Me -- I'm still working at my part-time job but my main position is MAMA! I'm forever learning and growing and trying to enjoy it all, even when it seems impossible. I'm starting a new 21 day fix to drop a bunch of weight and I hope to start the new year smaller and happier then ever :)

Layla -- She's SO smart and SO funny. She asks for everything Elsa & My Little Pony. She only eats pork roll and yogurt. She loves chocolate ice cream. She's easy going and LOVES to make new friends. She starts dance class today. She thinks she's the best singer in the world. She's a performer. She's silly and sassy and wonderfully ours. 

Benny -- He's SO silly and ALL boy. He's so Batman obsessed it scares me. He is impossible to get dressed and only wants to wear Superhero apparel. He loves school and his Uncle Adam and his friends. He's obsessed with fighting & Layla. He still sucks his thumb and can cuddle better then everyone. He's funny and goofy and our little love. 

....

The list can go & on but I have work to do & Project Runway to watch ;)

I hope I can start writing more - I love looking back at everything we've done... 
xo
C

My sister in law took pictures of us in OBX - -love this! 

Sillyheads

MELT

My boys are the cutest!!!

My favorite picture of me & with my little best friend <3

FAMILY! 

MASKS!!!!

SWIMMING IN FLORIDA! 

That time my best friend announced to all of us she was pregnant <3 This picture is so very special to me. 

Next month we will have been together for 13 years.. WHAT?!?!?

Disney Day at camp!! Prince Eric & Ariel :) 

Girls day at Sesame Place!

My babe.

Bathing beauty!

MY BOY IN ALL OF HIS GLORY! BATMAN!

DON'T MESS WITH HIM. 

This is us. 

Still rocking his glasses -- so proud of him!

Nutella face!!




MY EVERYTHING.