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Possibly my best under $75 purchase, ever.

You guys. Best find ever.

I have been wanting to get a second diamond band for my wedding ring for oh I guess about 6 years now since we have been married for 6 years next month ☺.

We have talked about getting me a second band and every time we discuss it or look at it, it just seems CRAZY to me how much it would cost.  I always think of a way I would rather spend that money ☺

I found the perfect solution. Actually, I copied the perfect solution from a friend! Ha.

Swarovski crystal. I got a band from them that is EXACTLY the same size diamond as my band. FOR $59.  I literally can’t even tell the difference between my “real” band and the crystal band.

You can link to the one that I bought, here:

“Diamond” wedding band

If your diamonds are larger than mine, they have larger sizes as well!   They also have some beautiful gold stackable bands that I love the look of mixed in with an engagement ring & band.

Here is an up close picture of my bands.  One real and one not!

ring

Kate

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Atlanta with the babes.

I am home two or three days each week with the babes.  My children are just about to be 2 and 4 years old.  They are both wild and crazy and have a LOT of energy to get out.  It is literally not OK for us to “stay home” because all three of us would go insane and my house would look like robbers came in and tossed it.  Except its really my kids fighting over toys and searching for snacks. ☺  the joys.

That being said, I am always looking for something fun to do with them during the week days.  I am not much of a “mom group” person (no offense meant..) and not one for “play dates”.. unless the mom is my friend and we forced our children to be friends… and usually wine or coffee is involved.  ☺

So, here are a few things that I do with my children in and around Atlanta that we all enjoy. I have linked all of them that have a website below!

Free! A playgound, walking trails, a teepee, a piano in the woods, a creek for the kids to play in, and a boardwalk around the wetland to walk through.  VERY cool spot and never too crowded!  A hidden Gem in my opinion!

The membership is a great deal! I think I paid $120.  It lasts for a year, and you can always get another friend in with you and up to 4 kids over 3 I believe!  Under 3 is free ☺  The zoo has a splash pad, playground, petting zoo, train, and so many other kid activities in addition to the animals.  I love it more when it’s NOT summer so there are less people.

A walking / running loop that is about 2 miles paved and very serene, multiple playgrounds for different ages, a skate park for the older kids, green space, a and creek to play in.  We also go to the Dunwoody Food Truck Thursday nights here a lot!  They have live music which is always fun.

Again, I got the membership and I got it at the time that it was on sale. I paid about $100 and I can always take a friend and their children with my membership! This place is incredible.  The dinosaurs are always a hit with the kids, but even better is the massive treehouse / underwater world play area for the kids to run free, safely.   They always have a new exhibit to check out and their new outdoor space is huge too.  Playgounds outside, a little ropes course type area for older kids and lots of walking trails.

Free! huge green space, shopping for mommy, and an indoor / outdoor playground.

living hell on a weekend.  Great at 10 am (on the dot) on a weekday.  Clean, and empty. Mom admission –  I actually have fun playing in the tunnels and bouncy houses and on the slides with the kids, too.   $18 gets both kids and me in to play for as long as we last!

Chattahoochee river – there is a spot on the river that has SUCH a long trail that you can run and walk and be along the river most of the way.  They have stop points for the kids to feed the ducks, too.

  • Ashford Park – Brookhaven

A new frequent playground of ours is Ashford Park!  It’s like the land for lost toys.  There are bikes and push toys and play houses all around the playground for the kids to use.  Also, a huge sandbox with a shade cover for the win.

Another great site to consider for kid friendly events in your area is Red Tricycle!  

I’ll write another post soon about some creative ways I have come up with to entertain them when we ARE stuck at home for the day ☺

Kate

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Shopping, the inexpensive way!

Who doesn’t love shopping and new outfits?  If you don’t.. call me, and I will shop for you. (for real.. I just did this for a friend the other day).  Also – I would love to occasionally be able to tell my husband that I am actually NOT shopping for myself when I am scrolling on my phone!

Really though, I am definitely a bargain shopper.  My dad has been with TJX companies since its beginning, so a good price /good deal has been instilled in my brain since I was a child.  I do admit that I will splurge on shoes and bags, or a jacket… but that’s generally it.  I would much rather have 4 trendy cute outfits than 1 expensive outfit. But maybe that is just me!

A lot of people often ask for the places that I have found a lot of my daily outfits and bathing suits.  I am a huge online shopper because shopping with my children… not good and not fun.  Also, shopping in sweats on the couch with wine is pretty fantastic.

I hope these sites below provide some cute looks for you guys!  These are my Go-To’s! The prices are great, but the shipping can take a while.  I love trying off the wall and different looking stuff from these sites too because its so inexpensive!  I may or may not have a pair of wild ruffle pants to debut soon.

Zaful

Shein

Cupshe

Choies

Lulus

Please let me know if there is anything specific you guys want me to post about!!

Kate

 

 

 

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33.

How did that happen?  I feel like once college is over (and that was somehow 11 years ago) you lose track of time.  There is no longer the measurement of what year in school you are, or which semester you are in.  All of a sudden life just continues day in and day out, until you have kids.  They make me realize time again.  I feel like in the last four years I haven’t changed or aged much…(ok I am getting wrinkles thanks to two children). Sometimes I don’t even feel like I should be old enough to HAVE kids. and then I look at my children and see how they have transformed from newborns into full blown children and time catches up with me and practically knocks the wind out of me.

33.

Everyone told me that I would love the thirties.  That you “feel like you know” yourself. That sounded like such a crock  (and a weird thing to say) until I am living it, and it really is true.  I love these years.  The stability of marriage and the amazement of raising people.  Its all incredible.

We just got back from a trip to the Bahamas to celebrate my birthday.  You may have seen my post ON my birthday of our family dinner date.  Happily dressed up and off to celebrate. If only the night actually continued that way.  We went out for Hibachi and ended up having to LEAVE the restaurant after ordering.  I put my wine in a kids to go cup and left with my tail between my legs.  Our kids were a NIGHTMARE.  After that night didn’t go as planned, the Bahamas was a much needed and appreciated weekend were I simply got to play with hubs. We went swimming with the pigs and sharks, jumped off a (man made) cliff at the resort, gambled a bit, and just relaxed… All. Weekend. Long. It was paradise.

A few of the things I wore this weekend that people were asking about are linked below!

crocheted bikini:

http://us.shein.com/Crochet-Trim-Triangle-Bikini-Set-p-357784-cat-1866.html  

polka dot mesh frill one piece:

http://us.shein.com/Black-Polka-Dot-Mesh-Design-Ruffle-One-Piece-Swimwear-p-344229-cat-1866.html

blue and white bell sleeve mini dress:

http://www.zaful.com/smocked-stripes-off-shoulder-mini-dress-p_283821.html 

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If Only We Could Live Life By The Sea

…One day, hopefully!

The beach makes our entire family feel better.  Its like the air gets a little lighter and the responsibilities and chores and difficulties in daily life fade to back burner. I’m not even talking about having to be ON the beach.  Just being in the vicinity makes all the difference.  Just KNOWING its 10 minutes down the road.  That’s (part of) the reason we are constantly in Hilton Head, visiting my parents.  I joked with my husband the other day that I feel like I split time between houses because I or we have been there so much with the kids this year.

I was lucky enough to start working a job share when I was newly pregnant with my second child.  I am in the corporate world every Monday, Tuesday, and every other Friday.  With this schedule, I am able to get away on little trips a lot, and we take as much advantage of that as we can before the little’s start “real” school.  (I’m guessing it would be frowned upon to pull your kids out of school every other week for a trip? ha.)

We spent out 4th of July getaway in Bluffton, SC (for those of you that just saw the Bachelorette, its a pretty awesome little town!) Hilton Head, and Palmetto Bluff.

Palmetto Bluff is SO good for your soul.  This place is considered the essence of the low country. Problem is how EXPENSIVE it would be to stay there.  Its about 30 minutes from Bluffton so we always sneak over there for a day trip.  Beautiful Ruins, a church on the water that I wish I could have been married in, treehouses, ziplines, bike rentals, and the May River.  So much to do followed by champagne with lunch on the water.

Aside from that, we spent time at the beach, a lot of time at the pool, took the kids to sea pines and climbed the harbour town light house, went on dates, and just flat out relaxed.

My kind of week!

The kids are at an age now where they are SO fun to play with, and they love to play with each other.  Its a lot easier this year with two running playing toddlers than it was last summer.. crazy to think that Jax wasn’t even walking yet last summer!

Pictures from our getaway below.

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All. Things. Hubby.

I truly never was the girl that grew up thinking “I need to be married by the time I am ______” or “I need to have kids by the time I am ______”.  That being said though, we all imagine who we are going to marry when we are little.  Me growing up in New England, I never would have imagined it to be an AirForce baby that lived all over the place, including Germany, and settled in Georgia.  Georgia?  How would my life in a small town in New Hampshire lead me to Georgia?  Oh but it did.

One of my favorite things about my marriage to my husband is that I do believe that it was in the plans for me far before I met him.  For the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, a family friend dedicated a brick at Olympic Park to my brother.  Back then I thought it was a great thing, but Atlanta meant ABSOLUTELY nothing to my 11-year-old self.  (I may not have even been able to find Atlanta on a map…) After I moved here, I remembered the brick and loved having a piece of my brother here with me.  Years later I realized that maybe it was always meant to be that I would end up here, and I had a little help along the way without even realizing it.

Anyhow, back to the childhood dream of who you will marry… that dream includes a lot of rainbows and butterflies. It does NOT include all the reality of what you ultimately learn that marriage actually MEANS.  The daydreams don’t include bills and mortgages, responsibility and chores, children, and sleepless nights when they are infants, who will get the next dirty diaper or clean the bottles, who cleans up the disastrous house from two toddlers, who cooks and cleans and does the laundry.  Marriage is a LOT.  It’s a team, and a partnership, and a friendship and a safe place and everything else.  This man is my world.  In my 11 years with him and almost 6 married to him, he has never let me down.  I most certainly wouldn’t be who I am today without him.

LASTLY (I promise), being an adult with a husband and children also makes me look at my parents in such a different light.  I now understand that they weren’t just “my parents” but they had their own marriage, their own things to deal with and I respect them so much more now that I understand that

I hate myself for this.. but the old mantra plays true… “If only I knew then what I know now”.  (inset eye roll).

OK! Now that I have gotten all the mushy stuff about my babes and my hubs out of the way – onto the fun!

Next up – our travel adventures later this week.

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Lovingly,

Kate

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And suddenly, you were my everything.

This is the post excerpt.

DSC_0040DSC_0021 (1)DSC_0015 (2)DSC_0069 (1)DSC_0076 (3)DSC_0082 (2)DSC_0013These two.  My babies. They make make me whole.  I thought about starting my blog with a post about me, but really – I am not me without them.  They are the biggest part of my heart, and its amazing how you can live so much of your life without them and not know you weren’t complete until they are here.

Continue reading “And suddenly, you were my everything.”