Cape Elizabeth, Maine...

 
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My family and I decided to spend our vacation in the place we love so much...MAINE. Chris and I have vacationed in Maine the past 7 years (could be more? Too lazy to do the math) ...but the moral of the story is, we just can't get enough of it. We typically go to Kennebunkport and stay at a hotel or bed & breakfast, but we decided to rent a house this year!

We have never used Airbnb but have always heard great things about it from friends and family who have! I started sifting through properties throughout Southern Maine everywhere from Kennebunkport to Ogunquit to York, Wells, etc. I happened upon a Cape Elizabeth beach house and immediately fell in love. The reviews showed that guests absolutely loved the home (which has been recently renovated) and that it was a perfect location in reference to the beach. It was also 3-bedrooms which was the perfect size for our little family! We were so excited it was available to book! 

When we arrived there were fresh flowers on the table, a bottle of wine chilling in the fridge and ground coffee from C Salt ready to be brewed. Such a warm welcome! The decor was very "beachy" and modern, with a big farmhouse-style sink, floating shelves, and the prettiest shade of green cabinets in the kitchen that caught my eye! We simply loved every little touch! Of course, London immediately wanted to check out the beach - which was just a short walk. Thankfully, the home owners provided us with the cutest wagon to cart everything down! It was really such a perfect set-up. I had never been to Crescent Beach so I was excited to check it out! It's pretty perfect for little ones because it's so calm, being that it's a cove. There are tons of rocks, which could have kept Lo busy for hours - she loved to throw them and also collect them in her bucket. Kettle Cove is another small beach area where we took Lo to search the seaweed for crabs! 

Not only was the location of the home so close to the beach, but it was also close to Portland, where we had planned to take the 15-minute ferry ride to Peaks Island. We rented a golf cart and were able to get around the whole island in just an hour - even making a few stops to see where my husband attended elementary school and the home that he grew up in! It was so much fun to share it with London, and she absolutely loved bombing around on the golf cart! 

We were able to have a few friends and family members over to check out our little beach home and spend quality time with us which was really special. It's definitely a place we can't wait to return to and build more memories together! I wanted to share some photos with you - and if you're interested in checking out the home further, you can click here!

Thanks for stopping by!

The home...


The beach...


Peaks Island...

xx, Ashley 

This Is Two...

 

I've been meaning to give you guys an update on Lolo - but LIFE happened, or better yet the Nordstrom Sale happened...and that threw me for a loop! After doing lots of monthly updates on London - I cannot believe I'm finally typing her 2-year update! Eeek! Exciting and SURREAL that we have entered the "terrific two's" :) 

I'll just start by saying that two is FUN. Challenging of course, but isn't every stage in its own way? I have days when I'm exhausted, mentally because it's so NON-STOP but I will say, the number of amazing days totally outnumber the days when I feel drained. We have so much fun exploring and discovering together and I'm cherishing this time when it's just the two of us because I know one day it will come to an end (no, I'm not pregnant...just thinking ahead!)

So, let's talk about London currently, two years and (almost) 2 months old... 

Favorite Food: SNACKS. Kidding (kind of). Let me explain...Lo has always been a great eater, and she still is; loves salmon, haddock, salad (what 2 year old likes salad?), asparagus, brussel sprouts, broccoli, all fruit, etc. She just requests snacks from the moment she wakes up (literally, when I go in to get her in the morning she says "I need a snack") to the time she goes to bed. This kid will ask for a snack AS I'm putting her in her crib for the night. I swear, I feed her ;) But man, it's exhausting. I don't want to give her food ALL the time and also don't want it to effect how she's eating at meal times so I have to distract and re-direct many times throughout the day. When we do have snacks - our favorites are: grapes, graham crackers, apple sauce, gold fish, raisins, yogurt, and pretzel thins. Any other snack ideas I can add to the mix? 

Favorite Things To Do: Being outside is totally her jam! She loves to push her baby doll down the sidewalk in the play stroller and take her bucket to collect leaves or sticks. Lolo also loves to EAT and get a "treat." Ice cream, popsicles, and frozen yogurt sticks are some of our "go-to's" :) ...It is summer after all! Lately she's been into her basketball hoop - which obviously makes us very excited! 

Favorite Toys: She loves to play with her kitchen and "cook dinner" for us. She also got crafts like colored popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, pom-poms, and finger paints for her birthday so she loves all of that too! The pom-poms are a great way to learn colors - we do a game where we separate them by colors and she's super into it. Another toy she really enjoys is her shopping cart! She likes to pretend that she's doing groceries like mommy...also goes really well with the kitchen :) 

Most Exciting Thing She's Doing: I've been showing her the letter "L" for a week now, and she finally identified it two days ago! I am super excited. I also tried an "A" to which she replied "house" and a "T" which she confidently said was a "cross" ... I mean, she's not wrong! :) She has mastered her colors so I'm moving on to letters ... just a few at a time! 

Biggest Challenges: There are a lot of things to navigate when you enter the two's. The tantrums get a bit more intense, their emotions are so erratic, and they have LOTS of opinions. Thank goodness, I am able to reason with London (to an extent) and her tantrums don't last longer than a minute or so, but they're still exhausting. I'm trying my best to remain patient.

What I've Learned / What I'm Learning: I think consistency has been something that I've always tried to maintain - which is super difficult at times, especially when you ARE tired and just want to let something go - don't. I think the reason why Lo can be talked off a ledge (a.k.a. we avoid a tantrum) is because I'm consistent with my expectations of her. I also try to think a few steps ahead. If she's tired or hungry, I won't put her in situations that may set her off. 

Really, it's different from day to day so I'm learning as I go! I don't know if it will get even more intense the older she gets...it might -but I KNOW it will keep getting better because watching her learn and discover is the best thing ever! 

I hope you enjoyed! Thanks for stopping by!

xx, Ashley 

 

 

10 Mom Truths...

 

Who knows "Cat and Nat?" They're an amazing mommy duo - and if you don't know them, you need too, STAT! They do a little special called "Mom Truth Fridays" so it inspired me to write out my own list of truths because it's always more fun to laugh at yourself than cry - which I'm sure a lot of us could do on some occasions, #amiright? Needless to say, I hope you chuckle at a few of these and maybe even relate to some of them too! Let me know your faves below! :) 

 

1. When another mom, say at the playground, tries to "mom date" me ... I feel like just saying "I'm taken." I'm already balancing three mom-friend relationships and that's enough for me! (P.S. They're my actual friends now, not just my "mom friends" ...but you get what I'm saying!)

2. When London throws herself on the ground because I put peanut butter on her toast instead of butter I have to try REALLY hard not to laugh out loud. I cannot handle the absurdity of these meltdowns. Here's another one: I wouldn't let her stick her hands in the toilet bowl and swirl the water around. I know, I'm such a bad mom. 

3. I LOVE SCREEN TIME. There, I said it! Can't we both just sit in one spot and zone out for 20(ish) minutes? What is so wrong with that? I even got the 'ok' from my pediatrician so THERE to any of you judge-y moms reading this and thinking badly of me! ;)  

4. Coffee is LIFE. There were many times in my life when I spoke the words "I will never drink coffee regularly" ... BLASPHEMY! WHAT in the WORLD was I thinking? Oh - that's right...I was making crazy statements like that pre-baby, as you do! What I MEANT to say was "I will definitely drink coffee every day, sometimes two and three times a day, when I have a kid." Boom!

5. You wanna know another thing I said pre-Lolo? "I will never have a schedule. I'm gonna take my baby everywhere with me - they'll just sleep when they're tired!" Fast Forward to present day....I'm a schedule F-R-E-A-K. My life revolves around my 2-year old's nap time and bed time and I'm not even upset about it. This may not work for some people (which is totally cool), but knowing that I get 2+ solid hours of "me" time every day is enough to make me want to stick to this schedule like flies on .... you catch my drift. 

6. Nope. No way. I've never farted in front of my husband and blamed it on my daughter! (I have) Did he call me on it? He sure did. Sad to say I was only a little bit embarrassed. And here lies my dignity. 

7. I would rather pick London's nose for her and wipe it on my own shirtsleeve, then let her walk around being THAT kid with the booger hanging out and visible to the public. 

8. No matter how much time I spend with Lo (which is all day every day because, STAY AT HOME MOM) I never ACTUALLY feel like it's enough. Translation: Mom guilt always, forever, and no matter what. 

9. I'm not above a good bribe. Target almost always = a scone from Starbucks, grocery shopping = a cookie from the bakery and potty training will = M&M's. (Sorry, not sorry)

10. Here's a final "mom truth" for you...When I say "I'm tired" to a mom that has multiple kids and she looks at me like I have three heads and says "wait until you have two" I want to give major eye roll. I GET IT...I have one kid. Yes, my kid sleeps through the night but does that mean that I am not allowed to be tired? I am dealing with 2-year-old tantrums, nights when my baby is up sick all night, a husband who travels a lot and works long hours, etc. I'm sure when I have another I'll be a whole new level of tired than I am now - but THIS is my reality today...so let me just be + say I'm tired too, ok? Phew. I'm glad that's out :) 

Ok ... what are some of your "truths?!" I need to laugh some more today ... leave them below!

xx, Ashley 

Monthly Mommy Update: 18 Months...

 

 

Favorite Food: CHEESE. Goldfish. Yogurt bites. She basically asks for these three things full time ... and she mixes in the occasional ketchup request. A new one to add to the list is olives ... GREEK olives that is. She absolutely LOVES them so we make a weekly trip to Sophia's Greek Pantry in Watertown to stock up :)  

Favorite Thing To Do: Sing! She sings ALL the time. She loves the songs from her Music Together class (I wrote all about it here) and a few of her other favorites are: "Twinkle Twinkle," "You are my sunshine," and "Jesus Loves Me." Too cute! She's also really into imaginative play right now - she pretends to change her doll on the changing pad...gets a diaper out and asks me for a wipe :) Then I'll hear her say "have a good day" while she carries an empty shopping bag and pushes her shopping cart. 

Most Aww-Worthy Moment: She loves to fold her hands and pray, which she randomly does throughout the day. I'll hear her saying "Thank you for an amazing day, for Grammy, for Lolo, for Daddy...Amen!" It's pretty adorable and it makes me happy that she's absorbing what we're teaching her :) 

Most Exciting Thing She Did: She can count to 15! One day she counted to 10 and I was SO excited then she randomly kept going! I had no idea she could count that high, but I'll take it! 

Fun Things We Did This Month: At the beginning of this month we celebrated a belated Christmas with my husband's side of the family. It was really fun to have everyone here and especially his brother, who flew in from Wisconsin! Chris has been traveling a lot for work, so London and I have taken a few trips to Maine this month as well. Last week, we all went to a "baby farm animals" event at the Little Lovage Club in the South End. London got to meet and pet baby goats, bunnies, and pigs. We had so much fun and even went to a fancy Italian dinner after, where Lo was an absolute dream. 

Biggest Thing I've Learned: I'm trying to stop putting so much pressure on myself to be the perfect mom. I've just come to the realization (only took me 18 months) that there are going to be days when I'm not feeling well and it's OK to put Mickey Mouse on in order to get 20-30 minutes of relaxation. Also, London will be ok if one-two times a month she has to eat mac n'cheese. I think sometimes as women, we put SO much pressure on ourselves to be perfect. It's so much easier to just stop pretending that we've got it all together and realize that we're all just doing the best we can! So, go pour yourself a glass of red, park it on the couch, and watch some trashy TV - you deserve it! 

Also, when do we stop counting in months?! I don't wanna be THAT mom that gets asked how old her kid is and says "33 months" ...I'm thinking after two? Help me out! ;)

xx,  Ashley 

Toddler Girl Fashion Must Haves...

It's been awhile since I shared our favorite pieces for your mini fashionista! We absolutely LOVE Cat and Jack from Target because it's so affordable - and since these babes grow so ridiculously fast, there's no need to break the bank trying to keep them stylish :) Of course, Baby Gap is another favorite place of ours and they have the cutest holiday outfits right now! I need to get London some warm weather gear, and I found this North Face hooded romper which would be perfect for walks during the colder, winter months! Here's another North Face option with thicker material. Below I've linked our favorite finds from Target, Baby Gap, and Nordstrom Baby! Click each photo to shop the item directly! Enjoy!

xx,

Ashley

Fall Booties...

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is here, and for those lucky little cardholders, you can have early access to all of the amazing deals! The sale opens to ALL on July 22nd, but if you have your Nordstrom card, feel free to shop the boots/booties for fall that I'm linked above! Some of them are marked down more than 50%! Totally worth taking a peek, lovelies! Enjoy!

xx,

Ashley

Independence Day treats...