CH2T Covets: Holiday Mocktails x Sparkling ICE

This post is sponsored by Sparkling ICE but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Crazy to think the holidays are already upon us. I swear it was just Halloween, and now I feel like I’m gonna blink and Christmas is tomorrow. So before the panic of the holiday season takes over, I’m enjoying some down time with a couple mocktails I was inspired to create using my favorite Sparkling ICE flavors – Black Raspberry and Ginger Lime.

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Ghostbusters Halloween-Themed Birthday Party

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase using the links in this post.

Glow in the Dark Acrylic Paint for Slime

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man DIY | Slimer Cake DIY | Monster Crown Craft Kit

Striped Paper Straws | Popcorn Boxes & Paper Bowls | Decorative Ghost Plate

Playmobil Ghostbusters Ecto-1 | Playmobil Ghostbusters Firehouse | Playmobil Ghostbusters Stay Puft Marshmallow Man

Boys’ Ghostbusters T-Shirt | Ghostbusters Jumpsuit (thrifted by my mom – similar here)

To say I’ve had the Ghostbusters theme song stuck in my head for a solid month is not an exaggeration. I’ll also be so bold as to say that Garrett’s Ghostbusters bday party may not ever be topped. I can still remember the first time the hubs and I (total ’80s kids btw) showed Garrett the original Ghostbusters movie. We could literally see his mind being blown and ever since he’s been completely obsessed. So much so that we bought him the entire Playmobil Ghostbusters set with the firehouse, Ecto-1, and all the Ghostbusters. p.s. can I just tell you how stinkin’ adorable it is to hear a little boy voice pronounce “Eeegawn Spaaangler” and “Doctol Venkman” 😂 So when he asked for his party this year to be Ghostbusters themed, I knew we were gonna have some fun with it – and that’s what it’s all about right? 😁

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4 Ways to Pretend It’s Fall in the South

This post is sponsored by Celestial Seasonings but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

It’s no lie y’all – if fall were a joke, the South would be the butt of it. Especially here in Texas where you get one, maybe two, solid months of “fall-like weather.” Texas – where every person and their mom rushes to the pumpkin patch the minute the calendar hits October 1st. Where the first sound of a leaf dropping, is actually your cue to layer every fall piece of apparel you own for fear that you’ll have to wait 10 more months before you can wear your coveted Uggs again. I don’t know why (yes I do), but I get the feeling that all the other states are just laughing at us on social media 🤔 Well have no fear, if you or someone you love happens to reside in the unfortunate “fall-barren” territory of the South – here are some tried & true ways to at least pretend to enjoy the holiday everyone else actually gets to experience for more than 2 days. OH, and did I mention it involves tea? Lots and lots of tea 😬

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Mom Jean Confessions: Bye Bye Baby

This post is sponsored by Evivo but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

It’s been exactly one month since Charlotte decided to stop breastfeeding. And when I say she “decided”, I mean – one minute she’s happy nursing, and the next she’s like “meh, I’m over it.” 😕 Girl has a mind of her own that’s for sure, and I’m just thankful I got to nurse her for longer than I did her big bro. It’s never easy letting go of that “baby phase” though and watching them go from being so dependent on you, to all the sudden over night gaining this new found independence. I can’t tell you how many times I get asked at the Chick-Fil-A playground how old she is, followed by “Wow, she’s a climber.” Uh yah, tell me about it – you ain’t seen nothin’ dude. I love her curiosity, but sometimes I just want her to slow down just a tad – because before I know it she’ll be talking, and then going to school, and then graduating, and…ok, deep breaths.

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How to Throw a RAWRsome 5th Bday Party

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PlayWithPlaymobil #CollectiveBias

I don’t exactly know why, but I’d been secretly waiting for the day my little monkey Garrett finally decided dinosaurs are cool. In fact, I may have been even more excited than he was. One of my first loves as a kid were dinosaurs. My parents even had a personalized book made for me when I was about Garrett’s age called “Cammeo’s Dinosaur Adventure.” That’s how geeked out about dinos I was – and it didn’t stop there. Triceratops was my all time fave pretty much my whole life (aka present day). Probably because she (yes, it’s a she) was a herbivore so I knew she wouldn’t eat me – yet she had those killer horns which made her super cool, but not as scary as T-Rex 😉 Well, Garrett happens to be a big T-Rex fan and he also looooves PLAYMOBIL Toys! We themed his whole 4th bday party last year around the PLAYMOBIL Ghostbusters™ Firehouse, Ecto-1, Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, etc. He plays with them everyday and we love them too because of how well they’re made, and how it encourages creative play. Well this year for his birthday, we were so excited to surprise him with the PLAYMOBIL Hidden Temple with T-Rex!

Think your kiddos would love PLAYMOBIL toys? Just hover over the image above and click thru to Walmart to shop!

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Mom Jean Confessions: How to Tackle Bathtime with Two Kiddos

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GetJohnsonsBaby #ChooseGentle #CollectiveBias

Ask any mom, and she’ll tell you that the transition from one to two kids is like waiting for a hurricane to make landfall. Ironically, Charlotte was born just 1 month before Hurricane Harvey hit my hometown of Houston – crazy to think its anniversary is in just ten days. So not only was I trying to adjust to having a second child, I had to pack up and evacuate with a three year old and a newborn – not knowing if we’d have a home to even come back to. We were fortunate to have family close-by and ended up having very minimal damage to our house. Needless to say, the emotional stress though that it placed on me as a new mom of two was palpable. I remember breaking down in tears at the only gas station I’d miraculously found that hadn’t run out of gas yet. A sweet stranger walked up and told me “It was going to be ok,” after seeing me alone with two kids with a car packed to the brim and no husband around for help (as he was traveling for work and due home the night before Harvey hit). I guess my point in telling you all this, is that we often doubt ourselves as mothers. Thinking we can’t possibly handle another child, and worry about all the little things – like giving them a bath, and choosing the right products that meet our high standards as moms. Luckily, this time around I’ve realized so many ways to cut through the clutter and go with brands that I trust for my baby. JOHNSON’S® is one of those brands.

Now you can try my fave JOHNSON’S® products via this photo – just click through to shop them at Target!

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Mom Jean Confessions: Self-Aware

This post is sponsored by Evivo but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Our little Cha Cha just turned one, and for months leading up to her first birthday, I wasn’t thinking about what theme I wanted for her party (cuz cactus, duh, hehe). Nope. I was thinking about the dreaded “four-letter word” that every breast feeding mama loathes: wean. Thinking, how in the heck am I going to wean this “perfectly content to breastfeed her whole life” baby? This baby who touched a bottle for less than three seconds and decided I might as well be putting some foreign contaminate in her mouth. This baby who nurses with such ease that I honestly wonder if it’s cuz she’s my strong-willed child and there ain’t nothing she won’t tackle like a champ.

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Our Back to School Routine Trifecta

This post is sponsored by Pepperidge Farm, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

I can’t believe this is my little man’s last year of preschool. In fact, I really can’t think about it longer than two seconds without wanting to bawl my eyes out (phew, that was close). But instead of wallowing in my mom tears, I’m just gonna buck up, as the hubs says, and make the most out of our last year in pre-K. So to help kick our back to school routine into high-gear, I’ve teamed up with Pepperidge Farm® to come up with what I’m calling the “Trifecta” of all school routines. These three things are not only crucial to the survival of our sanity, but they also teach our kids independence, confidence, and ultimately sets them up for success in that dreaded first year of “big boy school” as we call it. So listen up mamas – cuz I’m only gonna say this once.

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Farmhouse Modern: Living Room Fireplace Revamp

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase using the links in this post. I received a complimentary product in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.

It’s crazy to think it’s been a year and half since we moved into our first home, a true fixer upper (you can read more about it here). The house was built in the ’70s and literally hadn’t been inhabited for 6 years, so to say we had our work cut out for us was an understatement. Since taking on a huge project like this can feel daunting, especially when you agree to take on the bulk of the work yourself (plus one incredibly handy father-in-law), my hubs decided early on that we would tackle each room one by one and work our way through the house. Since none of our eyes could stand looking at the varying shades of mustard-colored walls and lovely cream-colored trim much longer – we started with painting the living room first a neutral, natural tan and trim/built-ins white. It was also an excuse for me to go knob shopping, aka my happy place, aka the easiest way to completely transform any piece of furniture, kitchen/living room cabinets, etc. Truth be told, I’ve always had a healthy obsession with cabinet knobs, and back in the day (pre-kiddos) Anthropologie’s home section had me like a kid in a candy store (cue overly dramatized heavenly music) 😉. We ended up finding these Allen + Roth matte black cabinet pulls at Lowe’s, since my father-in-law had the genius idea to open up a business account (we’re officially 3M Residential) which saved us 5-10% off every time.

The last piece of the pie, and what we knew would be the main focal point of our living room, was the floor-to-ceiling brick fireplace. But you can see from the “before” photos below that it needed a lot of work and was missing a crucial design element – a mantel. In grand “Fixer Upper-style” tradition, I’ve always loved a rustic cedar, shelf/mantel. But when we considered how large the actual fireplace was, which took up a whole entire wall, we realized that a more traditional full-sized mantel was the way to go. We agreed that white would look best and complement the built-ins we’d just painted the same color. We also tossed around white-washing the brick or just painting it white since the previous owners hadn’t used the fireplace properly and all of the brick around the opening was stained black. Instead we found some brownish/black, rustic porcelain tile that we used to frame the opening and knew it would contrast nicely with the white mantel. You can see the final transformation in the photos below.

Once the structural renovations were complete – it was my turn to step in on the décor side. As you can imagine, after a cross-country move, me not working fulltime, and a baby on the way – my decorating budget was definitely on the frugal side. But much like how I approach fashion styling, you don’t have to spend a ton of money to look stylish. My first rule is to look at what you already have. Chances are you already have one or two key pieces – in this case it was a large black beveled mirror and candle holder/candle – that you can start styling around. That way, all you have to do is fill in the gaps by purchasing a few more trendy items that can easily be switched out from season to season, like pillows, blankets, baskets, etc. And finally, you just have to know where to shop. I spent months scouring the racks at HomeGoods, Hobby Lobby, and At Home to name a few, looking for the just right, perfect accents for our fireplace. Yet it was still missing something.

I love plants, but I am not the best with them – which used to keep me up at night in my early twenties, wondering how I would ever be able to keep a tiny human alive. Rest assured, I do and I am 😉. However, I knew an artificial plant would be the best choice and there are so many out there now that look just as good as the real thing. So I was super excited to partner with ThermaLeaf®, a company that specializes in fire retardant artificial foliage. They were kind enough to gift me the perfect snake plant I’d been searching for, that was the final touch our fireplace needed. My sweet neighbor, who works at a plant nursery and has quite the green thumb, even commented on how real it looked and how much she wanted one. I will say, I’ve since had to move it to higher ground after a certain very curious 11-month-old decided it was great fun to pull all the moss out of its pot 😉. Luckily it’s such a versatile mid-sized plant that it pretty much looks great anywhere.

You can shop all of the items I mentioned via the links below, and I’ve also included several of my top picks for similar products. Hope y’all like it as much as we do and stay tuned for more before/after fixer upper reveals in the coming months!

Living Room: Before

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Mother’s Day Becomes Father’s Night

This post is sponsored by Huggies, Pull-Ups, GoodNites but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

So much changes when you have another child, and not just in the conventional ways. Sure there’s always a period of adjustment, especially when you wait almost 4 years to have another. It’s like just the right amount of time to get used to having an only child, and then wham – everything changes with the birth of a new baby. I still remember my hubs having a little heart-to-heart with me before the baby came, after I expressed some insecurities and anxieties I’d been feeling in one of my more honest pregnancy posts. And like always, we tackled this new phase in life as a team and figured out ways he could start helping out more with Garrett. One way we knew we had to tackle was bedtime. I’d gotten into the habit of laying with Garrett in his bed every night until he fell asleep – and it doesn’t take a genius to realize that was not gonna fly once a baby was in the picture. So Grant started taking over with Garrett at night which at first I was sad about, because it was just another thing to remind me that he was growing up and didn’t need me as much anymore. But then a funny thing happened – I got to witness the most special bond developing between a father and his son right before my eyes.

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