Juliet's Sarah & Duck 3rd Birthday

9:05 PM
We celebrated our sweet girl last month with a little party at home with her cousins, donuts at school with her friends, and going to see Elsa and Anna in the Disney on Ice's Frozen production. 

We invited family over the Saturday before her birthday for a laid-back dinner, just to relax and enjoy being together. We bought lasagnas from an italian market in our neighborhood and some garlic bread and called it done.  If you're in the Charlotte area and do not know about this little gem, here is the website and address!  Juliet had mini cupcakes, her favorite popcorn chex mix, and I made her birthday cake again this year... Nutella Dream Cake.  When I asked her what kind of birthday she wanted she said, bah-wooons.  So we did our dead level best to make that happen.  Besides bah-wooons, she loves the epi-show on Netflix, Sarah & Duck.  She will find someway to incorporate every little jingle into her daily life and we'll hear her pretending to be Sarah when she's in her room playing.  Plus, if you're trying to make her laugh, she'll probably cut those baby blues at you and with the cutest little side grin say, "Silly Duck".  So making the decision of the theme was an easy one.  She LOVED it!

I found the shallots at Anthropologie.  They're actually salt and pepper shakers and I bought two sets, added some eyes and they were an instant hit.  The kids were seriously disappointed when they found out that they weren't chocolates wrapped in gold foil, though.  Wap. Wap.  If you're familiar with the show you will understand her cake having a face.  He's actually Sarah's birthday cake in the show and Jules started singing the birthday song when she saw it. A-dorable.

She's recently discovered a love for dress-up clothes and I'd rather catch my pinky toe on a bedframe than to tell her she has to change into regular clothes, especially on her birthday.  So... she was Elsa at her Sarah and Duck birthday party.  Ehhh... if she's happy, I'm happy. 

We're definitely realizing that she's growing up so fast.  She's developing her own little personality and loosing that baby look with each passing day.  She has the sweetest disposition and loves being silly. We love you Julie baby and hope you made some sweet birthday memories.    

Hello, November

8:53 AM
We are so glad slow November is finally here!  Our lives have been a blur the past couple of months and I've done a horrible job of keeping up with the blog in the meanwhile.  We've had birthdays, vacations, first days of school, house projects, and lots of fun weekends since I last posted.   In light of the new year just around the corner, I decided to give the blog a much-needed makeover and hope that maybe that would inspire me to start posting regularly again.

In the meantime, here are the highlights of August and September in an attempt to get caught up, starting with a few snapshots from our vacation to the mountains back in August.  We limited our time with our phones and cameras so there weren't too many pictures to chose from... just a couple to help us remember the fun little moments.  There's also pictures of little Juliet's first day of school as well as photos from our town's annual Labor Day festival. 



It's good to be back in the swing of things.  Thanks to all our readers that have checked in with us and asked questions about life lately.  Things were unsettled for a while with Joey working out of town two days a week and with the prospects of us selling our home and moving away from Charlotte, but in the end, things have worked out so perfectly and we couldn't be more shocked and blessed. Thanks again for your support and for reading along.  

Now for some Friendsgiving and lots of Christmas movies.   


The Lishias

Easy Weeknight Dinners

5:03 PM
School starts next week for Juliet and myself and it's the first time in 2 years that I've worked so this is all going to be a balancing act at first... God be with us.  Time management has never been my strong suit so this will all be very interesting.  Either way we are back to the routine of getting home late and going to bed early so dinners need to be quick and easy.

Here are a couple easy crockpot dinners that we have been loving lately and keep on hand in our recipe box.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup //  One that we love to make during cold months is this loaded baked potato recipe.  It's sooo good and extremely simple.  It's best with cornbread muffins and garnished with green onions and ALL THE BACON!  It's a bag of frozen hash-brown potatoes, 2 cans of chicken broth (14 oz cans), 1 can of cream of chicken soup, 1/2 cup of chopped onion, 1/3 tsp of ground black pepper, 1 package of cream cheese, softened.  Combine potatoes, broth, soup, onion, and pepper; cover and cook on low for 5 hours.  Stir in cream cheese and cook for additional 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Garnish with green onions, shredded cheddar and bacon.

Crockpot BBQ Pork Sandwiches //  Season a 3-5 lb. boneless pork shoulder with salt, pepper, and a tsp. of paprika.  Combine 1 cup of Mississippi BBQ sauce, 1 cup chicken broth, and 2 tbsp. brown sugar, pour it over meat in the crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Shred and serve on hamburger buns or hawaiian rolls.

Southwestern Pot Roast //  This one might be the simpliest of all.  All you do is buy a rump roast and a jar of Pace Thick & Chunky Salsa.  Pour over roast and cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Serve on tortillas with sour cream and cheese.  This is the perfect recipe to have up your sleeve if your husband is like mine and loves to spontaneously invite people over!

Turkey BLT Sandwiches //  This one has become a staple for us when we don't know what else to cook/eat.  Open faced crescent rolls, turkey & provolone cheese on a baking sheet, pop in the oven for 2 minutes on broil. Add bacon, mayo, lettuce, and tomato; turn on Elf and call it a night.

If you have any quick and easy recipes share them below!
Hope everyone is having a wonderful week.


The Lishias

Summer Movie Bucket List

1:22 PM
July and August usually brings a lot of evening thunderstorms to the East coast and it's one of my favorite things about Summer around here.  We've usually spent the day out and about or outside playing, so the rain starting in the evening gives us the best excuse to ignore the dinner dishes and turn on a movie!  We sat down the other night and added a few Summery movies to the queue that we want to re-watch before the season is over.

Popcorn on the stove, a drink in hand, window cracked to hear the rain... "Hey, Google... play movie".  
photo via pinterest

What movies are on your Summer bucket list?


The Lishias


The Fourth Week(end)

5:01 PM
We just got back late last night from our four seven day stay in Ohio with Joey's sister and her family.  We left Saturday afternoon after a friend's baby shower and had only planned to stay until Wednesday but with all the fun we decided to stay a few extra days!  We absolutely love taking road trips and always embrace summer with open arms knowing that the season is full of weekend getaways, vacations, and day beach trips!  However, with a 2 year old it can be hectic with the frequent potty stops... and even though we made 1,625 stops on the way there, she still had an accident in her carseat.  We had to unbuckle it, strip it down, wash it, put it back together, then buckle it back in after an eight hour trip.  Toddler 1.  Mom 0.

Nevertheless, the week was so fun; full of delicious food, late night board games, wet grassy feet, sticky hands, and cozy movie days.  Juliet had so much fun seeing her cousins and Joey had fun trying to eat all the Cincinnati chili possible.  We did sparklers, sprinklers, snow cones, sidewalk chalk, and left the kids with Pappy while we snuck out for a late night showing of Wonder Woman.  There were yummy pancake breakfasts and early morning donut runs.  We always wish that all of our families would live closer together because we always have so much fun!  We love them to pieces!

We tagged along to their local Fourth of July festival on Tuesday, and it was legit Sandlot style.  It was on a baseball field, kids running everywhere by themselves, (including Juliet at times), food trucks, balloons, live music and of coarse fireworks.  It was Jules' first time to see fireworks and luckily we didn't have to use any ear plugs... and it's a good thing because I didn't have any.  And the Prepared Mom Award goes to.... drumroll.....

Wednesday, Joey's sister and I took the kids to the Cincinnati Zoo and ended up getting to see the 6 month old baby hippo, Fiona.  The zoo is also their botanical gardens which made it gorgeous and especially shady!  Juliet welcomed a spiny-tailed lizard with open arms and didn't really understand why she could only pet it and not hold it or better yet bring it home.  We were a tired, sweaty mess when we left but it was such a beautiful day!

It was such a nice break from Juliet's therapy, social media, and everything adult.  We will get back to reality very soon, but for now.... Harry Potter movies in bed and all the caffeine in the world.


The Lishias

Potty Training {During & After}

9:16 AM
I honestly had no intentions of sharing all this because 1. I'm no pro and 2. ewww... a whole post of pee and poop.  However, I had so many questions DM'ed to me on Instagram after posting that our girl was, for the most part, potty trained in basically 3-4 days, I thought I would do a post on how it all went down and hopefully give you some realistic expectations on what can REALLY happen and how we handled it.  I plan on keeping you guys updated if there are any regressions or changes as well!  But so far this is our story.  {I wrote this right after the 5 day mark.}

photo via pinterest

If you don't have time to read this whole thing, here's a short "what we did" version:  

Start taking them to the potty way before you plan on potty training them. 

Get them familiar with the toilet and the idea of using it.
When you decide to go for it, start by clearing your schedule for 3 days.  
Make a trip to the store the day before you start and buy all the things you'll need. 
      (You can find my shopping list at the end of this post.)
Set a timer on your phone for every 30 mins.  30 mins should be good for a 2.5 year old.     
Keep them naked from the waist down for the first 2 days.  Don't break out the panties until day 3.  
Have the potty seat close by for the first 2 days then move it into the bathroom on day 3.  
Pump them with lots of fluids!  More practice = More success!  
And finally, rewards!!  Even when you think they are potty trained... Keep the rewards coming! 

We also used a potty chart with dot markers.  Here's the link to both:  chart // dot markers

Ok... now for the looong version!

Back in March, (Juliet was 2 years and 5 months), I decided that I would start getting Jules familiar with the idea of potty training.  I bought a potty insert for the toilet and I would take her first thing in the mornings after waking up.  I usually kept her preoccupied by letting her brush her teeth, sing songs, or read a book while sitting on the potty.  (Make it a fun thing.)  After a couple mornings of doing the same routine, one morning she actually peed in the potty!  I cheered and basically freaked out, so she knew it was something that made me very happy and would give her accolades!  (That is a huge incentive for her.)  I started setting the alarm on my phone for every 30 mins and letting her wear panties around the house but she had soooo many accidents!  Even with taking her periodically throughout the day, she still had accidents.  I realized that the training pants that I had bought her were actually the problem... she was using the training pants as a diaper.  They were the really-thick-in-the-middle Gerber training pants They are sooo absorbent that it doesn't allow ANY liquid to escape... just like a diaper.  She wasn't understanding that they weren't a diaper.

Now, keep in mind, (for those of you that do not know), Juliet is delayed in speech and has CAS (childhood apraxia of speech), which made communicating with her about the accidents extremely difficult.  Back then she was only saying/understanding a hand full of words.  The speech delay made me apprehensive about starting and continuing to potty train, but I knew she was capable so we kept going forward.

Then came March 12th.  The Reader's Digest version goes something like this, Juliet was admitted into the hospital for a procedure on her small and large intestine.  We were there 4 days.  It was a very scary and traumatic time for her, (and us), so obviously potty training was not our main focus.  After it was all over and she was better, I continued what I was doing before... I still let her go when she wanted but I didn't push it.  I wanted to make sure that her body and mind was healed from all the trauma she had experienced before we started consistently using the potty.

Now fast forward 2 months, to the day actually, of when she was dismissed from the hospital.  I did exactly what I stated earlier, I picked 3 days, cleared my schedule and bought everything we needed to get this done!  Even with her not speaking clearly, I knew she was completely capable and I figured she could handle a big change and a challenge now.  So here's what our days of potty training kind of looked like... You'll see moments that were both, discouraging and encouraging.  It's all a part of it.  Just don't give up!  And remember to clap and go insane with even the smallest of successes!  Also, don't let them see you banging your head against the wall over and over, whatever you do!   


8:30- Wake up.  Pull-up off!  Naked from waist down.  Sat on the potty for 5 mins.  Didn't go.  

9:00- Sat on potty for 5 mins.  Didn't go.

9:30- Sat on potty for 5 mins.  Didn't go.

9:55- Peed in the our bedroom floor.  She cried and wouldn't move... was completely frozen by the weird feeling of pee on her legs.  LOL!  I led her to her potty and sat her down.  I didn't realize that she had stopped herself from going when she realized she was wet and she actually finished going in her potty.  We cheered and clapped!  I gave her a piece of a KitKat, (which was the candy of her choice), and told her over and over again that it was because she peed in the potty!  She was SOOO excited!

10:30- Didn't go.

11:00- Peed in the kitchen floor.  Sat her on the potty.  She didn't have to go anymore.  "Oh well.  Next time."  Cleaned up the mess, changed her shirt, and didn't mention anything else to her.

11:30- Didn't go.

12:00- Didn't go.

12:30- Nap time.  I put a pull-up on her for nap time.

2:30- Wake up.  Her pull-up was SO heavy!  Didn't go.

3:00- Snack time.  I sat her on the potty right after this and she Didn't go.  

3:30- Peed in the living room.  Sat her on the potty and she started to poop.  We all lost our minds with excitement.  She got to pick a princess, (which was of coarse, Belle), but still wanted her KitKat.  LOL!

4:15- Didn't go.

4:45- Didn't go. Decided to space out the time more to give myself a rest and also because I could tell that taking her so often was starting to get on her nerves.  She was starting to cry when I would take her so I backed off 15 mins.

5:30- Peed for days!  Got a KitKat and lots of hugs, kisses, and "I'm proud of you's".

6:15- Didn't go.

7:30- Bath and Bedtime Routine.  I sat her on the potty before putting her in the tub.  She did go!! And I put a pull-up on her for bed.


8:30- Wake up.  Pull-up off.  Sat on potty for 5 mins. Didn't go.

9:15- Started to pee in the laundry room but she finished on the potty.  Still a successful thing, in my opinion!  Cheers and a KitKat!  

10:00- Peed in the kitchen.  I'm guessing she didn't finish??  Who knows?

10:45- Didn't go.

11:30- Didn't go.

12:10- Was starting to act funny so I sat her on the potty while she watched Moana.  (Thinking that would relax her enough to go.)  She finally peed around 12:20.

12:30- Nap time.  I put a pull up on her for nap time.

2:30- Wake up.  Pull up soaked.  Didn't go.

3:15-  I showed her a KitKat and she walked to her little potty and sat down with her hand outstretched.  Hilarious!  I told her, "No, you have to go tee-tee if you want a KitKat".  She peed the smallest amount that she could and shouted, "yay!"

4:00- Had a small accident but wouldn't finish in the potty.  Acted aggravated and scared.  Took her off and didn't make her sit there for the 5 mins.

4:50- Didn't go.

5:30- Didn't go.

6:15- Didn't go.

7:30- Bath and Bedtime Routine.  I sat her on the potty before putting her in the tub.  She did go!!  We cheered and clapped and ate a KitKat in the tub!  I put a pull-up on her for bed.  Since she held it for 3.5 hours at the end of the day I decided to put her in underwear the next day.


8:30- Wake up.  Pull-up off.  Sat on the potty for 5 mins.  Peed on the potty!! Yay!  KitKats for breakfast!  Put panties on her.  We made a big deal out of the panties!  We got dressed together and talked about how she was like Mommy now.  :)

*** Side-note: I started to notice that she was starting to play with her little potty.  She would sit her dolls on it and put toys in the bowl.  I didn't want her to start thinking it was a toy so I moved it from our living room to the bathroom right beside the big potty.

9:15- Didn't go.

10:00- Didn't go.

10:45- Didn't go.  Decided to start waiting an hour between takes instead of 45 mins.

11:50- Didn't go.

12:30- Nap time.  I sat her on the potty before putting a pull up on her for nap time and she went!!  

2:30- Wake up.  Didn't go.

3:30- Didn't go.

4:30- Didn't go.

5:30- Went to the corner of the room and I could tell she needed to go POOP.  She had already started to go, but she DID finish in the potty!  Poop is always harder for them to do, they say.

6:30- Didn't go.

7:30- Bath and Bedtime Routine.  Didn't go.  I put a pull-up on her for bed.


The Saturday night after starting potty training on Wednesday, we took her bowling with her cousins and even though I was nervous about how she would do, I still put panties on her and just made sure that I took extra clothes for her, me and lots of KitKats.  LOL!  She did perfectly!  No accidents.  I took her to the bathroom twice and she used it once.  We also took the little potty with us and let her use it before we left, in the back of our car.  She didn't go, but it was a peace of mind knowing that she tried.  I made sure that she sat on a hand towel in her carseat, just in case.  Sunday she went to Sunday School in panties and didn't have an accident.  I took her to the bathroom after church and she peed, as pretty as you please!  She was also dry after her nap on Sunday and has been ever since.  I buy her the Nighttime pull-ups for sleeping.  She still needs something at night and these are more absorbent than regular pull-ups.


We have taken one road trip to the beach since we began and to eliminate accidents and using gas station restrooms, we took the portable potty along with us.  We kept a small space vacant of luggage in the trunk and put a towel down with the potty on top.  Make sure to take along the clorox wipes to wipe out the bowl after each use.  We found somewhere secluded to park and it made things so much easier and quicker!


We recently had a couple days when Jules' stomach was a little upset and to save ourselves and our upholstery, I put a pull-up on her.  I know people say to not do this and that it will make them regress but we didn't experience anything like that afterwards.  One reason I think she didn't regress is because I still took her to the potty and helped her stay dry, but kept the pull-up on her to manage any clean-up.

1.  Potty seat- We chose the Summer Infant My Size Potty because it looks real and I thought that      would help her understand what it's used for and make the transition to the big potty easier.  We also use this potty in the back of the car when we have to go places.  You can put your clorox wipes in the back compartment of the potty plus any reward/treats, books, or anything else you might need.  Great buy!

2.  Juice Boxes-  Set them up for success!  I bought the Honest Kids Fruit Punch pouches.  I knew it was something that she was would drink a lot of and therefore, be more successful.  More practice = more success!

3.  Candy- I took Jules to the candy aisle and let her show me which ones she wanted to take home.  She handed me a bag of KitKat bars and Starbursts even though she had never had either of them before, it's what she picked and I rolled with it.

4.  Prize- I found this My Busy Book at Barnes and Noble and it came with eleven Princesses.  I sat each Princess on our mantle (out of her reach) and told her that each time she went p**p in the potty that she could pick a Princess.

5.  Clorox Wipes- To wipe the potty out after each use.

6.  Panties/Underwear-  I let Jules pick, but I didn't pull these out for her to wear until day 3, though.

I hope this helped in someway... I know it's a lot of information but I tried to include every detail!  Mainly because, every potty training article I seemed to come across (like the Pull ups website) had good ideas but didn't really prep you for how much failure there would be and how to handle the failure.  So just know that there WILL BE ACCIDENTS!   Lots of accidents and the accidents do not mean that they aren't getting it or that you're doing a bad job.  Just keep rolling with it and don't give up!  Also, the bribes really helped... a ton!  It was pretty adorable once Jules learned what the candy and prizes were for and how to get them, she would start clapping and cheering for herself as soon as she sat on her potty to make us think she went.  Well played, Jules.  Well played.

Ocean Isle 2017

8:38 PM
Every year we take to the beach come Memorial Day weekend.  We go with the same friends each year and it's become a summer tradition that we absolutely love.  However, this year was extra special.  It was the first year that we all have babies.  We're all Mamas and Daddies now but that didn't keep us from staying up late and partying like real thirty year olds.  Like watching lightening storms on the balcony in rocking chairs while our babies slept.  Such good times!

While we're there we usually go to the beach first thing in the morning, come back for the kids to nap and then head out for dinner that evening.  Ocean Isle is a small, quiet beach town that has everything you would want for a fun but slow time with family and/or friends including ice cream shops, putt putt golf, great restaurants, and the cutest coffee shop.  It's getting harder to go out and eat each night we're there with bedtimes and all, but we try to hit as many of our favorite spots as possible.  Most places have live music, outdoor seating, and the seafood is some of the best!  We always come back on Monday but if you're there on Tuesday nights during the summer they show outdoor movies right beside the museum. The place is idyllic.  

Come March or April every year, depending on the weather, we start counting down the days until we see those surf shops and t-shirt huts come into view.  Juliet was absolutely in love with the ocean this time around.  We could. not. keep her out of the water.  Her favorite thing to do was to run from the shore into the water as fast as she could while colliding with the waves.  However, my favorite was when she started acting out scenes from Moana.  I started playing the soundtrack for her while she splashed in the water and the excitement was almost more than she could handle.

It was so hard saying goodbye, but we know it's just the beginning of summer and hopefully our toes will be in the sand again soon!  

beach pants:  Nordstrom- sold out (find similar ones here)

What are some of your favorite North Carolina beaches?  


The Lishias