12.30.2011

Thankful Thursdays | 12/29/11

Because it's okay to do a Thankful Thursdays on Fridays.

Today, I'm thankful for my blogging inspirations. Mostly mamas who make me laugh, cry, dream, relate with, and help on a daily basis. They push me to be better, challenge me into trying new things, encourage me after a rough day, give me a pat on the back for doing my best, and humble me by their thank yous. This blog, is in part, dedicated to you women. I toast to you in 2012.

BUMBLEBUTTON

Meghann
This.


Megan
My favorite people are those whom I can laugh with, laugh at, laugh at me, and can make me laugh. She's 1 of them.

Photobucket

Casey
You know the feel of anticipation you get when you open a new book? Or the nostalgia of a movie's end credits? That's the feeling I get whenever I see she's written a post AND when I finish reading it.



Ashley
She's the sole reason I'm using my Michaels coupon to buy a glue gun.


Kandee
Even on your darkest day, she'll know how to make you smile. The layout of her blog alone will brighten up your day.


Jeni
She's all about cooking & organization. My kind of girl.


Jennifer
4 sons with 1 on the way. Enough said.

Please check out their blogs & YouTube channels. And I hope they empower you too.

Thankful Thursdays Button

All photos courtesy of their individual websites. This is not a sponsor post.


~Kristina

12.28.2011

Resolutions Reflection

Loser.

Last night I bought a lottery ticket. More like 5. And again, we didn't win. "God's telling me that we don't need this money", I kept trying to convince myself. But I'm not going to lie, I was a little disappointed.

Just before my husband informed me of our Mega Millions losing streak continuing, I daydreamed about what I wanted to do with the money. I was surprised that despite watching E! News at the same time, I didn't want Kourtney Kardashian's wardrobe, a trainer/dietician to get Brooke Burke's body, or even a dream home like Angelina & Brad. Although they're also all amazing parents in their own rite, there's only one "celebrity" I could think of whose life I would essentially want to buy with the winnings.

Have you heard of Ree Drummond? Well, get to know her.


She's a city girl turned Pioneer Woman. She lives a simple yet amazing life revolving around her family, food, photography, & blogging, all on their Oklahoma ranch.

That's when it hit me like a ton of bricks. My very own "A-HA" moment. Why I liked her so much, was because I can most relate to her. The life I was already living paralleled hers. I would've never predicted that my life would take a turn, readjust itself, and refocus from me to them (my family.) I would've never known what an awesome cook I'd become. I would've never realize how I much I would embrace life's mishaps, grammatical errors on the blog, and all. I couldn't tell you how I'd master using the built-in iPhone camera (with the help of Instagram filters of course).

And what's the best part? I didn't need the lotto money to keep living the life I already am.

But it would be nice.

So my resolution for 2012? Keep living. Keep going. Keep doing. Keep being.

Because the Mayan calendar does end a 5,126-year cycle on Dec. 21, 2012. :)

I'm linking up today with Absolute Mommy & J&M's Eye Candy.



~Kristina

12.27.2011

Christmas Reflection

Just a few things we learned about Christmas this year:

1. If Michael ever asks us why he must learn geometry in school, it's because he must use it when trying to fit presents (1 including a couch) into an itty bitty Prius.

2. Going back to gifts, Kohl's has an amazing return with a "no receipt" policy. Big Lots, not so much.

3. Michael experienced his first holiday peach cobbler. We experienced his first full blown tantrum. (When we took away the peach cobbler.)

4. Michael I caught a rebagger. You may know them- they reuse gift bags. C'mon, I'm even smart enough to remove the previous gift label and who it was from.

5. Babies are the only ones who can make a red vest look good. Especially a knitted one at that.

Power nap before 1 last Christmas party

6. Christmas pictures will never be quite perfect. There will either be a husband with his eyes closed, a toddler trying to wiggle out of their parents' arms (resembling some intricate Cirque de Soleil pose), or a mommy with a defeated look after trying all day to get that perfect picture. Candids will have to do now. This is our best one, which we're not even facing the camera. And Michael's trying to pick my nose.


Quite the improvement from Thanksgiving:


7. The Lakers will never win on Christmas. Ever. If they do, it's not a true Christmas.

8. The Grinch didn't steal our Christmas but there were quite a few Scrooges on both sides of our family.

9. We experienced our first Christmas without our grandmas this year. It made us realize not only how significant their presence was during the holidays, but we learned that we must continue with their legacy in making the holidays joyful.

10. Michael's favorite holiday is Christmas, hands down.


~Kristina

12.23.2011

Sponsor Yo Michael Michael!

Writing has been a dream of mine & having this blog has been such a God send. I feel so blessed to have met so many amazing people via blogging, who have helped me through the first year of parenting. I want to return the favor, in the best way this blog knows how. This blog first started out as a creative outlet, however, I feel called to expand the experience. Please help Yo Michael Michael! continue this journey. A portion of the sponsorship will also benefit the Children's Cancer Research Fund, a non-profit organization that I hold near and dear.



January Sponsor Info:

Large Ad (200x200)- $10

Medium Ad (150x150)- $5

Small Ad (100x100)- $2

All sponsorship includes a (1) paragraph write-up plus picture in a sponsorship post to be written at the beginning of every month, as well as a spot on the right hand menu. These prices will reflect (1) month's sponsorship, but my Christmas gift to you will be to extend that to (3) months.

Also, if you decide to sponsor me for the entire 2012 year, I'll offer you the large ad rate for $25!

Deadline for sponsors is Dec 31. Contact kristinaandraf@gmail.com to reserve your spot or for more info. No errors in pricing have been made. ;)


~Kristina

12.22.2011

How To: Sports Game with Baby


We usually get the jaw drop reaction whenever we tell anyone we took Michael with us to a sports game. Our most recent outting was no different. As I had mentioned in an earlier post this week, we ventured out to San Diego to watch a Sunday Night Football game between our beloved Baltimore Ravens & the San Diego Chargers (Boo!) Here's a few tips we found helpful through our experience:

1. Do your research: When purchasing our tickets, we thoroughly researched Ticketmaster. We even called a rep, who was able to locate us the most perfect seats (see photo above). Aisle seats are the best option for anyone with a baby. They provide an easy in & out. Getting the last row of a section is also great, as you only have to worry about the people in front of you. (Side note- Getting the first row is good too, but you would usually have to walk up in order to get to concessions, restrooms, etc.) You can even get your choice of covered seating beforehand.

Research the stadium's website too. It provides all information for you- where the nearest family changing rooms are, all concession stands, the closest parking, what you can or cannot bring into the stadium, and so much more. It's such a timesaver and a lifesaver knowing exactly where to go.

2. Layer: It's winter folks. Although we were lucky to watch a game in California weather, we still layered Michael. Layer with the thinest layer of clothing first, adding thicker outerwear as need be. Under-shrits, thermals, hoodies and jackets are perfect.

3. Prepare for the worst, but expect the best: We barely made it to watch the kick-off. We left the game before it ended. We were well equipped with 2 baby bags, one for me, one for husband. Diapers, toys and water were all prepared for any situation we would face. We still had a great time because we knew our sports experience would be different with a baby in tow.

4. Have fun!: Self-explanatory. Enjoy your time with your spouse/significant-other and your little one. Before you know it, the game is over and you guys will be talking about it for years to come.

We don't plan on stopping our sports outings as the NBA finally starts their season this Christmas. If you have any other helpful tips, please do share with us.

And vote :)

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~Kristina

12.21.2011

Obsessed - Dinosaur Train



So this isn't my typical Obsessed post because I myself am not obsessed with the show, but boy is Michael. Now when we first saw this show on our trip to Oregon, I immediately thought to myself, Barney. Please don't like a show about Barney. Not that I had anything against Barney. But okay, well maybe I do have something against that purple dinosaur. Barney brings back bad memories of my cousin who was obsessed with him, as in watched it all morning long during summer vacation or you would witness the most horrendous tantrum, type of obsession.

And a train? Really? Why would a dinosaur need a train?

So back to Dinosaur Train. Like most baby things, I was pleasantly surprised by Buddy's usage of the word "hypothesis" and how the show actually taught many lessons about history, math, and science. I guess the experts missed shows like this when they say, "no TV for kids". Whatsoever. The fact that this show is usually sandwiched in between Cat in the Hat & Super Why! makes for a fun, relaxing, and educational morning for baby and Mama.


~Kristina

12.20.2011

Movie Mondays | 12/19/11

Sharing with you all today some of the funniest moments from my favorite Christmas movie, Elf-


~Kristina

Reflection

To say I have neglected this blog in the last 2 weeks would be a lie. I don't have writer's block, I have plenty of time to write (Christmas to-dos have been done for weeks), & I'm feeling better. The house has been clean, laundry done for the most part, and all errands have been ran/run? Anything I could possibly say would only be an excuse.

So what's the deal?

To be truly honest, I have so much to say on here. I could share our Christmas traditions, explain our Christmas recipes, or write done the basic milestones that Michael has been achieving at an unbelievable rate. I mean, just the other day I asked him to hand me over the remote. Which he did. Such a smart little guy.

Or I could talk about our current struggles- the screaming, the beginnings of a picky eater, the falls, bruises, cuts, gashes, and cries.

I could brag about our recent trip to San Diego. Where we took Michael to a Ravens/Chargers game. It was a first for all of us. And Hash House A Go Go. (Yelp it, you wont be sorry.) And how we all loved it.

But I'm having a hard time. Because I'm so overwhelmed. I have so much to say, but so little is coming out.

I started to think. And came to the revelation that this is EXACTLY like parenting. We have so many dreams, aspirations, and plans for our little ones. Yet, the follow through sometimes, actually mostly, is nonexistent for a good majority of us. I can't even tell you how many times I have started a sentence with "I would like to take Michael to", "I would like Michael to experience" or "This month I want Michael to" but didn't do it at all. Then we make up some excuse, usually something needing to be done or even questioning ourselves, why we didn't do it. "Where did the time go?" Which time happily replies, "I didn't go anywhere. You just used me for something else."

Life also follows this the same way. We want to do so much, but for whatever which reason, we don't follow through. Same ish, different day.

And before I knew it, time had done what it did best- taken its course. And I realized a few weeks have passed since a legit blog post was written.

So here's to slowing down. To take one blog post at a time. To overcome overwhelmingness. (Because it's okay to speak like this). To not just wish but to do. To take one moment at a time. To plan with intention. To stop and smell the roses. To be.

"Kids don't grow up fast. We as parents are the ones rushing through time."


~Kristina

12.15.2011

Lately... Reflection

...there's been a lot of this-

and some of this.

Hardly any of this-

but lots of this.

In Michael's case, this.

Life definitely didn't this-

But it doesn't mean it can't get this.

Please vote for this.

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Photo credits:
mystrongmedicine.com
underconsideration.com
chris.teamsuperhero.com
lonewolflibrarian.wordpress.com


~Kristina

12.11.2011

Steppin' Out Saturday | 12/10/11 & Review

saturday | 12.10.11

Back home from lunch @ Philippe The Original Restaurant

Michael:
long sleeve- Old Navy
shorts- Target
shoes- Nike Air Jordan IV

Me:
cardigan- Nordstrom
shirt- Gildan (Review below)
pants- Wet Seal
shoes- Converse

saturday | 12.10.11

Daddy:
button up- Uniqlo
pants- Levi's
shoes- Converse

As I mentioned here, the Gildan crew were gracious enough to send me a care package for their Touchdowns for Tuition Sweepstakes. When I opened the package and saw I had received a medium one instead of the size small as requested, I was a little wary that everything would not fit. I was happily surprised that although the clothing was a bit loose, it was so comfortable. And they were nice enough to explain in a letter why I received the size medium package.


This is not to take away from the quality of their products, but I knew that I probably would not use their clothing for a night out on the town. I immediately was drawn to their crew neck sweat shirt that I actually wore that same day to our impromptu In & Out lunch...in the rain. Not only did it keep me warm, but it was so soft. That night I ended up wearing the socks inside our house and too was surprised on its softness, despite being just out of the bag.

As you saw in my picture above, I am wearing the teal Gildan tee. It made for a nice layering piece.

The best part of the package? A $10 off coupon of my next $25 Gildan purchase. I'll definitely be placing that order soon. Two thumbs up for Gildan.

(I was not asked or paid to review their products.)



~Kristina

12.10.2011

November & December Baby Favorites: Disposable placemats and Pack It!

I'm sharing with you my November baby favorite, Sesame Street Disposable placemats & December favorite, the PackIt!. I hope you find these as helpful as I have. Also, please share with me your favorite items for the on-the-go baby. Don't forget to subscribe to my channel.



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~Kristina

12.08.2011

Christmas Reflection


a sorta fairytale DIY baby's 1st Christmas ornament

What does Christmas mean to me?

It's crazy to think about how life works & how our views on Christmas changes throughout the years.

As a child, Christmas meant begging my parents for the perfect present, only to find more joy in playing with the wrapping.

As a teenager, it meant getting tons of money, only to find more joy in seeing my friends light up with happiness when they opened the gift I gave them.

As a young adult, it meant stressing over Rafael's (my husband, then boyfriend) gift, only to secretly hope he would propose to me one day on an occasion like this.

A few years ago, Christmas meant the hardest time of the year. My Dad just passed away and my parents' anniversary all fell around the same time as Christmas. My Mom was a wreck, therefore I was as well. We dreaded this time of year, only to prove ourselves wrong by seeing how strong we still were as a family.

Now Christmas means teaching Michael that it's Jesus' birthday (the reason for the season,) spending quality time indoors, playing Santa, putting up decorations in our own home, learning the perfect gift wrap (because moms all seem to do this well, naturally,) traveling up & down California to two simultaneous family parties, a Laker win, and celebrating the end of an amazing year.

Only to do it all over again next year.

What does Christmas mean to you?

Please vote for us today-

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~Kristina

12.07.2011

12.05.2011

Movie Mondays | 12/05/11

This past week we watched 3, yes three, movies. All movies revolved around some family/relationship type synopsis and LOTS (I'm not even exaggerating) of eye candy. Ryan Reynolds. Ryan Gosling. Olivia Wilde. My girl Emma Stone is in 2/3 movies, if you're into her too. I'm going to keep this post simple & tell you which I recommend and which I didn't.

Recommend:


Don't recommend:


We're also in the market for some good holiday programming. Please let me know your holiday related suggestions to any movies, tv shows, made for tv movies, anything. I'm ready for a good cry fest. Happy tears of course.


~Kristina

12.03.2011

Steppin' Out Saturdays | 12/03/11

Sometimes I dread the thought of "getting ready" for our Saturday outtings. My hair is naturally course & wavy therefore really difficult to style. From shampoo to finish, getting that perfect yet "I didn't spend too much time on this hair" look, can take up to an hour. An hour. A whole hour. That's a lifetime to a Mommy. This, not including makeup, which I am an amateur at AND getting dressed can take the entire morning. Of course, that's because I usually don't have time to get ready straight through with a 1 year old who finds pleasure in continuously emptying the bathroom drawers.

Thank God I have a husband who prefers my natural look above all others. But sometimes, I just want to feel pretty. For me. (Ugh the Kardashians with their traveling hair stylist and makeup artist. And these Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders! Please stop looking beautiful after a whole night of rehearsal)

Here's to not getting my hair did, being makeup less, & an all black everything look Saturday. Of course, I had on my best accessories: my hot husband & cutie baby. That's all I'll ever need.

saturday | 12.03.11

Back home after an evening of church & Filipino cuisine

Michael:
sweater- Carter's
beanie- H&M (Not pictured)
long sleeve- Target
pants- Target
socks- Korea gift from auntie
shoes- Baby Mall

Me:
sunglasses- Michael Kors (Not pictured)
headband: Nike
jacket- Forever 21
scarf- Burberry
top- H&M
tights- American Apparel
sandals- Old Navy



~Kristina

12.02.2011

Random Videos

I find it funny when someone asks me what I do as a stay at home mom. Hah! What don't we do?

So today, I want to share with you some random videos of what we do through the eyes of my iPhone. These are just some of the more enjoyable weekly activities.

Story time @ the library



Gymboree Class



~Kristina