family

Ready For Kindergarten

I have a hard time believing that Abby is already old enough to start school and ready for kindergarten! It seems like yesterday I was announcing that I was finally a mom and shared the good news about finally becoming a family of three! Now I am spending my afternoons in the car rider pickup line waiting on a head full of curls to come bouncing out the front door of the school!

Our school system does a stagger start for the kindergarteners to help them adjust to the new schedule and new environment which I think is great. Her teacher was able to focus on 7 kids at a time and show them where everything goes and how everything works. God bless kindergarten teachers (and all teachers for that matter) for being able to handle the moods and drama of five year olds. I have one and I want to pull my hair out sometimes so I cannot begin to imagine dealing with 20. Especially 20 over-stimulated, over-tired five year olds the first couple weeks. When I did my student teaching (K-5 music), I had two classes of kindergarteners at a time (meaning 40-50 kids at a time) and I have no idea how I survived. I was much younger then. And a lot more healthy. Makes a difference.

Even with the migraines that have been plaguing me the last 4-6 weeks, I was determined to make the first day of school a special day. I am not an overly crafty person (creative but not crafty) so I took to Pinterest for some fun but simple ideas.

Is it just me or do you think the Pinterest era has created unrealistic expectations? That is another post for another day.

One of the things that I loved about Abby’s school is that they sent home a special card that had a poem and a little bag of confetti. The poem was about the first day of school and said that if you placed the confetti under your pillow you would have sweet dreams and great sleep to kick off the new year.

I think it worked:

Getting Ready for Kindergarten

 

Her first day started nice and early but once we got her fully awake, she was really excited about the day to come (none of the Millers are morning people). I printed off a First Day of Kindergarten chalkboard print and probably took a bazillion pictures on the front porch. I loved having the First & Last Day pictures from PreK to see how much she had grown! She picked out her first day of school outfit and chose a sparkly Twilight Sparkle skirt. The girl loves her sparkles and her Ponies (her cousin got her hooked). I also snuck out balloons to put in the backseat for her ride to school (that may have been her favorite part of the morning). John’s family had the tradition of going out for breakfast the first day of school every year so we were excited to do the same. When we got to school, she walked in like she owned the place:

Ready for Kindergarten

 

After school I had a little surprise waiting at home. We had a little “you survived the first day of kindergarten” party (maybe more like your mom and dad survived the first day of kindergarten).  I used the same picture frame from the morning pictures as the centerpiece and put a note, flashcards, and glitter on the table and attached a few streamers to the world’s most ugly chandelier (one day we will get around to replacing that horrid thing!).

Ready for Kindergarten

 

It was an absolutely memorable day and while there are tears with watching my baby girl grow up, I am also excited to see her grow into her own little person and to see what God has in store for her! Her first full week is next week so hopefully the excitement continues!

Do you have any special traditions with your children for the start of the year or did you have any special traditions growing up? Would love to hear about them!

just for fun

Five Friday Favorites – July 25 2014

Five Friday Favorites - A New Kind of Normal

 

I have been trying to come up with some new ideas for A New Kind of Normal and as I’ve been combing through the blogosphere and the land of YouTube, I discovered how much I love Favorites posts or videos. I cannot begin to count how many products/recipes/ideas I have fallen in love with after checking out a favorites post or video by one of my favorite bloggers or YouTubers.

Out of this concept came Five Friday Favorites.

Every Friday I will be sharing my weekly favorites in the following categories: Beauty Product Love, Fashion Find, Gluten-Free Goodness, Pin I’ve Completed, and Most Awesome Blog Post. Of course there is an optional “bonus” favorite because who knows when there may be the need to share a sixth favorite?

Let’s kick off the inaugural Five Friday Favorites:

Beauty Product Love

I cannot begin to put into words my love of the Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer. I use the brightening shade under my eyes and the fair shade to help cover redness on my cheeks and the center of my forehead. This product is amazing. If I don’t want to wear a full face of makeup, I can pair this concealer up with a BB cream and a little powder and can have a nice, even skin tone without wearing a lot of product. I always thought I had to wear a full coverage foundation in order to cover the redness until now. Hands down this is my holy grail concealer and a must-have in my makeup bag!
Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer

source: Maybelline

Fashion Find

I am almost always wearing flats as the combination of fibromyalgia and being less than graceful doesn’t usually mix well with heels. The problem is that I love heels. I love the way heels look. I love the way I feel in heels. I feel more feminine and more spunky. I just love it so I hate that I can’t wear them on a regular basis. Abby and I were out shopping one afternoon at Kmart (yes, I live in the sticks and still shop at Kmart) and we happened to walk by the shoe section and I spotted these Jaclyn Smith Arial Wedges.

Jaclyn Smith Arial Wedge Sandals

source: Kmart

I loved the color options and the heel height looked somewhat manageable so I tried them on. The wedge was the perfect height and they were so comfortable! I was actually shocked by how great they felt. I scooped them up in red but I may have to check back to see if they have the green still available!

Gluten-Free Goodness

When I was visiting my parents in Virginia, their Food Lion had just put in a new and well-stocked gluten-free section so I got excited thinking that I may have similar luck at our Food Lion in town. Its kind of out of the way but I thought if I could find some great gluten-free products, it would be worth it. Nope. I couldn’t even get the store manager to understand what “gluten-free” meant. He kept referring to gluten-free as “diabetic food.” I can only assume that he was having a hard time distinguishing gluten-free from sugar-free but I would think at this day in age and as the store manager of a national grocery store chain, you would be a little more aware as Celiac disease is becoming more recognized and as following a gluten-free diet has become “trendy.” Don’t get me started on that one but hey, if it means more product options, I’ll take it. Anyways, I walked out of Food Lion empty-handed but went straight to my regular grocery store and was excited to find that they had actually expanded their gluten-free products! I think I’ll be sticking with them! Sorry about the side story but onto the good stuff.

My awesome find of the week: Immaculate Double Chocolate Cookie Dough. I had previously tried the Chocolate Chunk cookies by the same company (also amazing!) so I was excited to try this out! All in the name of gluten-free research of course 🙂 These cookies turned out as good as they sounded and will most definitely be repurchased in the future. Abby & I had a special mommy-daughter day yesterday that included a trip to the pool, tie-dying t-shirts, and baking cookies and all three were a success! Immaculate Baking Company offers gluten-free break apart cookies in Chocolate Chunk, Peanut Butter, and Fudge Brownie. Convenience, gluten-free, and delicious? Count me in!
Immaculate Baking Co Fudge Brownie Cookies

source: Immaculate Baking Co

Pin I’ve Completed

This may sound dumb for this week but my success on Pinterest this week has actually been going back to Pinterest and focusing on utilizing the wealth of information available to breathe some new life into A New Kind of Normal and my life in general. I’ve been floating adrift for . . . well . . . too long. I’m finally beginning to feel anchored again so I am excited to be able to share steps forward I’ll be able to make from this point on. I am feeling more energized and passionate and I feel like I have a refreshed spirit and purpose so I am really pumped about the future of A New Kind of Normal. New things are on the horizon!

Most Awesome Blog Post

One of first YouTube channels I have ever followed and one of most favorite is Vintageortacky. Cora is hilarious and amazingly talented so I recommend you check her channel out! One of the first things you may notice is her fabulous hair. I am a bit partial to lovely ladies with awesome hair color 🙂 I have been on a quest to find the perfect shade of purple (I am getting close! Blog post to come) so while I’ve been on the hunt, Cora’s tips and tutorials have been extremely helpful! Her post this week Dye Another Day: How to Dye Your Hair Vibrant Pink, Purple, and Black is a great resource if you are considering trying out a vibrant hair color or are already rockin’ it and just looking for some tips.

 

There are a few of my favorite things for this week! I would love to hear about your favorites so let me know in the comments if you guys would be interested in making this a weekly linkup!

Do you have any favorites this week that I need to check out? 

family

A Frozen Inspired Bedroom & Birthday

It is not a secret that we love Frozen in this house. My husband would probably say that I love it even more than Abby. I love music, what can I say?  So when Abby’s birthday drew closer, we not only started planning her party but started planning to create her “big girl” bedroom. Her request for both was Frozen.

Of course I scoured Pinterest for ideas and I am actually proud to say that I actually completed some of the projects I pinned! Crazy, right?  

After painting and redecorating, her Frozen inspired bedroom was complete:

Frozen Themed Bedroom

Instead of having a big birthday party, we spent the day at the local Merry Go Round Festival with friends and family and of course she had to have her face painted to match her Frozen dress (created by 5 Little Elephants). It comes around every year on her birthday so she thinks its pretty cool that they set up a fair just for her birthday 🙂

Custom Elsa Dress

If you have a little girl who loves Frozen, then you might have gone through the same insanity of trying to find an Elsa dress (or any Frozen merchandise for that matter). Dresses that were originally sold at the Disney Store for $50 were being marked up online for $200 or more which is INSANE so I took to Etsy and found an amazing seller, Merry Mary’s Creations, who created this gorgeous Elsa dress:

Custom Disney Elsa Dress

Abby was so excited to open her presents to find her Frozen dress which of course had to immediately be tried on! If you ask her, she looks exactly like Elsa. Dramatic performances of movie scenes and songs quickly followed.

I cannot leave out the amazing Frozen-inspired birthday cake created by Keystone Confections! It was gluten-free and absolutely delicious:

Frozen Birthday Cake

In this picture it looks like Olaf’s arm is on fire but as he said in the movie, some people are worth melting for!

While it is hard to believe that Abby is now 5 and will be starting kindergarten in the fall, it was definitely a birthday to remember!