Monday, May 22, 2017

Beau's First Birthday Cake Smash

I really wasn't ever set on wanting to do a cake smash for Beau, a lot of the ones you find on Pinterest just aren't really my style. But a few friends of ours had done it and kind of overnight without thinking about it I decided I wanted to go for it. I'm SO glad we did. Because of Beau's sweet little, God ordained thumbs (if you're new here, the tips of our boy's thumbs look like they've been broken off towards the side, and he'll have surgery to correct it within the next year) he doesn't do super well with finger foods or get a ton of practice. He can make maybe 2 out of 10 attempts into his mouth with foods. He grabs them in his palm and then has a hard time getting food into his mouth. All of that being said, I didn't think he would even reach for the cake. I had every expectation that Meredith would take a few photos of him sitting there in front of it, and then I would feed him some or pretend smear some on his face, and call it a day. BOY was I wrong, haha! We barely got one photo without him starting to grab right at the cake. He then leaned right into it for a bite, and just went to town. The consistency of the icing and cake made it really easy for him to eat. My precious boy just makes me want to cry! This may seem like a silly thing, but for us it felt huge. It was so FUN to see him enjoy a meal that he fed himself. Using the word "meal" might be a stretch... But he loved it and cake smash is now a Strader family tradition! If you're wondering, he did just as well if not better at his birthday party a week later. :) 


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Disney World: Day Two

I had dreamed of our first day at Magic Kingdom so much.. I knew I would cry when we walked up to the castle and I did. It was so sweet and Disney World just plain feels magical. We had planned to only stay in the park until nap time, and that worked perfectly. 

A side note, we brought our own umbrella stroller but rented for the parks from Kingdom Strollers so I could insure it and not have to worry about it being stolen. Maybe that's silly but I loved the peace of mind. :) 

We got to the park before our 8:30 breakfast reservation and took a bunch of photos and just soaked in the atmosphere.. it was a blast! 

Then we wandered over to Crystal Palace.. THE BEST EVER. It was Winnie the Pooh character dining which was sweet and felt so indulgent and Disney. The food was amazing too. The gravy will remain in my heart forever. 

Beau's favorite by far was Eeyore! He loved him. (Him, right? Haha!) But I thought this last photo was funny because he cried for like two seconds and clearly it surprised me and Eeyore didn't skip a beat with responding. I love it! 

The whole place was adorable. 

Beau's first ride was the teacups. From a friend's recommendation, we chose a "family ride" which is tradition for us to ride first every time we get to Disney. The teacups are that for us now! 

Beau LOVED it and it was so fun! 

Beau loving it and Mama is like "what are we doing?!" 

Then we started trucking our way around and loved so many things! 

This photo resulted when Beau woke up right after sleeping through Peter Pan, which he would have LOVED because that style of ride literally bewitched him. He was sweaty, tired, and a little loopy :) So sweet! 

We had lunch at Be Our Guest and it was really sweet for me because Beauty and the Beast was my favorite movie as a little girl! 

A few times Ben and I snuck off for "big kid" rides while his parents kept Beau. I feel like this photo should be a Disney advertisement! 

Early afternoon we headed to the room, all took naps, swam, and then ate dinner at our hotel restaurant, which was delicious! Some of the best calamari ever! Then Ben and I headed back out to enjoy the evening and fireworks. We actually saw them the night before from our table at Ohana and I enjoyed watching them from the hotel much more! Crowds like that aren't our jam. We should have ridden rides during it. :)

We were exhausted after a long day but already excited and ready for the next at Animal Kingdom and Epcot. I don't know if it was because it felt so low pressure, but it was one of my favorite days! More on that soon! XO 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Bits of Victoria: My Planner

Have y'all seen people on Facebook asking for "recommendations" for things recently? It's fun right? Lots of people helping. A questions I've seen pop up on there is about what planner to choose. Thought I'd throw my hat in the ring and share about the planner + brand I've used for years, and why I choose to use an Academic year planner vs a Calendar year planner. First, a little history. 

In Spring of 2013 I attended Making Things Happen. It was a wonderful experience for so many reasons. I made lifelong friends there and grew a ton. I would LOVE to go back, but that's a different story for a different day. I loved hearing from Emily and meeting her. I've always loved the brand and heart behind Emily Ley. Everything about the brand showed me the woman and mama I dreamed of being. For a new wife who dreamed of her family growing, a brand about normal women felt really aspirational to me because of my hopes for the future. 

So over the years, I've become incredibly brand loyal to Emily Ley. I've had a Simplified Planner for  years, and a few times I've tried other brands with a similar layout, but always ended up buying an SP a few months into the year. Little details about the Simplified Planner make it so much better than any other on the market, in my humble opinion. :) It's one of those products that I'm constantly getting asked about and constantly trying to get my friends switched over to. 

Today is the launch of the Academic year planners, which is why I'm sharing about this today.. y'all need to get you one! I thought that as an adult I'd like calendar year planners better, but I always come back to liking academic year. Fall seems like more of a natural fresh start for me than January, and one year that I used a calendar year planner I found that I wanted to be able to write things down for the next year before I had my new planner, something that for some reason didn't happen for academic. 

 The four cover choices for this year are complete perfection! Over the years I've had a dot print, several happy stripe, and a pineapple one. This year I think I'm going to go for the floral (daily + weekly). The white background is calling my name. Cutest ever!

 There's also the option between daily and weekly planner. When I was in college or if I was working, I'd 1000% go with daily. The layout is amazing. But for a young mama, weekly has been a much better fit for me. However, when we have multiple littles (hopefully!) and are balancing everyone's activities, I'll go back to daily. The daily planner is the ring bound one. :) 

Any who, that's just my PSA that you should buy yourself a Simplified Planner before they sell out! I can't wait to hop on and order! XO Also, while you're shopping & ordering.. we LOVE our EL Baby Book too. I've seriously considered buying multiple to have on hand for all future babies just in case they ever stop being made! It's that good. :) 

And one more photo because I'm kind of obsessed with their promo images this year. I'd kind of like to be Emily in all of these pics. Should I cut my hair? Just kidding. :)