Pardon My French

Sep 2, 2015

nordstrom rack opening in anchorage!!

Big things poppin here in the Alaskan tundra! Nordstrom Rack is opening TOMORROW!! Say whaaatttt!!! I know there are a bunch of ladies (and possibly men) out there that such squealed in delight. I know I did when I saw that big sign hanging on the building saying "opening soon". My love affair, which should probably just be upgraded to a full on relationship with Nordstrom has been very well documented on this blog. It was actually one of the reasons that I felt like I could survive up here in Alaska. Ha! But really, I am just a fan and to have The Rack up here now? Cra-to-the-zay!
Last night I was lucky enough to be invited to the private shopping party at the store. Kind of like a soft opening if you will, where I ate three too many of those little caramel popcorn boxes (shopping is a workout). And it is what retail dreams are made of. Alaskans are in for a treat with this store. Laid out beautifully with all your retail needs right before your eyes. As I was leaving, Chris gave me some words of advice "please remember that we have four children to put through school". I kind of took that you're saying I should buy them clothes too? 

That's what he meant right?

Great! Because that's what I did. And I can't wait to show you guys what else I picked up. 

But there is more, so much more. If you live in the Anchorage area you must get down there tomorrow morning bright and early!! Starting at 8 am there will be coffee, yes coffee, you need fuel to shop people. There will be breakfast along with some tunes being played. And then....drum roll please....those glorious doors will fly open at 9 am and you can let all your coffee induced inhibitions fly! 

Not only will there be food but there will be giveaways! 30 people that's 3-0 will have a chance to will a $100 gift card. And that's not all! One very very lucky individual will win a $1000 shopping spree through the Rule The Rack sweepstakes. This winner will be chosen at 8:25 am! So moral of the story is.....the early shoppers get the gift cards!!
blazer: nordstrom // tee: topshop // jeans: blank denim // shoes: nordstrom (sold out, similar)

There are seriously so many things I love about Nordstrom Rack. It maybe the hunt that I find the most exciting!! And based on what I saw last night, I am not the only one. People were finding some amazing pieces!! Burberry blazers, Tory Burch suede boots, BCBG heels that were to die for.....that lady was lucky I can't squeeze into a 7 1/2 or there might have been a showdown in the shoe aisle.

Not to mention mamas out there, the kids sections is insane! The amount of shoes is slightly overwhelming, especially for me when I am trying to buy four different pairs. But I will never accept defeat when it comes to shopping. I persevered with caramel popcorn and water in hand.

The store will be completely restocked with new things today for the grand opening tomorrow! I know the turn out will be crazier than Target on black friday, but I am thinking I need to go back and get my scavenger hunt on!

Who's with me??

Thank you to Nordstrom Rack for partnering on this post. 

Sep 1, 2015

to hiking infinity...and beyond!

Well, summer is over people. I don't mean that in a depressing way....but when I wake up and the outside temp is 43 degrees, I'm saying hasta la vista summer. But just because summer is ending doesn't mean the hiking ends. If anything it gets amped up a bit in this house because winter activities using include a little bit of hiking to get there. Over the weekend we were all just itching for a hike. It has been about a couple weeks since our last one which is honestly far too long for this crazy bunch. We need a hike every weekend to unwind. 
This time we decided to head to the Turnagain Arm area. We drive down here so many times, and speed right past this rest stop, not ever thinking there is an amazing hike just waiting beyond the parking lot. We set our sights on that. As we were driving I could not believe how the colors were already changing all around us! It happens so fast here in Alaska, one minute everything is lush and green, then you blink and you have autumn colors popping up all over the place. It is really a sight to see and so beautiful! The fireweed blossoms were in fact winter will be here before we know it! Maybe sooner rather than later as I spotted snow capped mountains Sunday morning!!
The Turnagain Arm Pass is a trail right off the highway at mile marker 68.5 for my Alaska folks. If you get to mile marker passed the parking lot. It is right there on the left hand side. I read about a trail that forks off from the main trail, kind of an unmarked path if you will. I heard the views are amazing, and the hike was fairly easy. 
We set out! This was such a great hike for the kids to be able to run around while still staying on the narrow trail. There weren't any really big cliffs for Pierce to dart to the edge of. You could hear running water all throughout the trail. The kids had so much energy and were making really good time for the first mile, then Chris spotted some blueberry bushes. Then more...and more...and more. They went all the way up the side of the mountain, and I am pretty sure my gang was determined to pick every last one. We spent a good hour and a half scaling the side of this mountain eating blueberry after blueberry until our hands were purple and our teeth were stained the same color. There is just something so cool about eating wild it!
Once everyone was nice and full, we continued on. We made it about another half a mile before Pierce cried out "OH NO I LOST BUZZ!!!!!!" buzz lightyear that is. He carries around this little two inch buzz lightyear everywhere he goes. Chris specifically asked him to leave it in the car so it doesn't get lost. Pierce said he left him in his car seat, but in fact put him in his pocket and at some point pulled him out for a little view of his surroundings. Pierce was devastated as one can imagine. Chris being the hardened soul that he is said "well...he's gone now....". But I was determined to find him. I mean, Pierce was beside himself. Waterfall of tears that broke my mama heart. I was annoyed and frustrated, but we had to give it a try and retrace our steps. 

I stupidly asked "where did you have him last?" I if I was going to give exact coordinates or something. Haha! 

So we walked in circles looking in bushes, kicking over rocks, stepping in mud. Round and round we went, back to the blueberries, over the bridge, and then back on the trail. Nothing...
An hour of searching went by and we decided to just keep walking on the trail. As we were getting close to our original stopping point I saw a little white spot on the ground and what do you know...BUZZ!!!!! Pierce started laughing and said " oh buzz you are so funny...."

At that point we decided just to head back down the trail. We didn't make it to the open field that boasted amazing views, but we did have fun. The kids really enjoyed this hike as well. Just walking and talking. It really makes me appreciate every hike from here on out because they will be our last up here. We have made some of the best memories here in Alaska I must say. 

And as crazy and tiring as it can be to take four kids five and under on a four mile hike....the drama is always worth it. Well maybe it wouldn't have been worth it if we didn't come home with buzz. 

Aug 31, 2015

backpack wishes and diaper bag dreams

Well hello Monday! You came around all too fast I must say....but there is a four day weekend in our future, so I guess you can stay.

A couple weeks ago I wrote a post about a backpack, a diaper bag backpack to be exact. I really truly, and logistically needed one. A couple of you lovely readers left comments about how much you loved your Lily Jade diaper bags, and the fact that they were able to convert to a backpack! I was intrigued. I have seen these bags on instagram and on other blogs, and I liked the idea of it. But then I looked at the website and read the details of these bags. They are down to the science, amazing! Why? Because they were designed by a mom! A mom that knew what she needed out of a diaper bag in order for it to work. To function at mass capacity in a cluster of kid chaos. 
lily jade diaper bag backpack

I have said it on here before, I never really liked the "look" of many diaper bags. They just their only purpose was to hold diapers. But I want a little more out of a bag. Not only to "look" nice, but actually be nice. To stand the test of time. To be tossed in the car in a hurry, or rummaged through by sticky little fingers. To have something spilled inside and still come out looking good! 
lily jade diaper bag
lily jade diaper bags

This bag is just that, and a bag of chips people. The feel of the leather is top notch. The construction of the bag is genius. The removable pouch with all of its 14 pockets is ridiculous! Ridiculously good. And, I love that the inside of the bag is a different color. The black bag with the red liner is stunning. Chris even threw in a "nice bag". 
The kids know my parenting tactics all too well, and immediately asked where the lollipops were hiding! This time I was able to really put them to work, as I hid them in all the different pockets! Ha! Is that mom humor or what? Because I found it hilarious....

The taste of victory is all too sweet for them. 
lily jade diaper bag backpack

Even though I could only get my oldest child to stay put for 2.8 seconds before he just haaaaad to scale a little hill near by, I can tell you he likes the bag as well. 

But who am I kidding? It looks good, so I love it!

lily jade diaper bags

I highly highly recommend you new mama's out there to stick these bags on your registry list. And to you seasoned moms, add this to your Christmas list, and then send me a thank you! 

Made by a mama....for a mama! 

The biggest thank you to Lily Jade for sponsoring this post! You made my diaper bag dreams come true!

Aug 28, 2015

emotions were running high

If I were a betting woman I would tell you that I probably cried more this week than I have in my 28 years on earth. Like ball on the floor, Chris pointing and laughing kind of crying. You seriously would have thought that someone died. No, no, just school started. Which for kindergarten is kind of like one door closing. My child will now be away from me for six hours a day, five days a week. I don't even think I have ever been away from Ace for six straight hours. And if you want the truth....I hate it!!! Like I absolutely effing hate it. I know that all moms need a break, and trust me, when Pierce and Ace are both gone I am actually sitting in my house like, I'm bored. Not that two kids don't still keep me busy. But it is not my normal busy. I like my normal busy. I love my normal chaos. The house is SO much more quiet. If I actually put my mind to it I could probably get a lot done, but I don't. At least this week I didn't. I watched the clock. Contemplated just picking up Ace early everyday. Pierce is only gone a couple hours and if it were up to him he would prefer to be gone much longer. Ace on the other hand just wants to be home, and I want him home.

I feel robbed. Like, it went by way too fast. Five years is just not enough, can't we start kindergarten at like eight? I hate watching him walk in the school doors with his huge over-sized backpack that almost touches the back of his knees. I cringe when I see him begin to turn around and look at me to wave goodbye. The first day I stood there for a minute like.....okay....good can come back now. Chris was laughing and said "okay seriously I have to go to work, are you just going to stand here till school is over?" and I would have if we didn't go in one car. Chris is used to being away from them for hours, days, weeks, even months at a time. Not that he ever likes it, he hates it. But he knows how to deal with it. 


Me on the other hand, I'm like a lost little puppy. 

Pierce has reassured me that he will come home everyday to play with me. Thank you Pierce. And if we are really honest, I could easily pull Pierce from preschool and keep him home with me this year. We really only entertained the idea of him going for the social aspect. And the fact that he wanted to be like Ace with the back pack and the new school shoes. I would have no problem keeping him home. 

But Ace is on this whole new adventure! His first year of many many more in school. I know I am being sooooo dramatic! And for moms that have had to drop their kids off at kindergarten, you know what emotions I am talking about. And for moms that have babies or toddlers, you have heard it a million goes by fast. There is not a truer statement. Like lightening speed, and they are off.

And just to add insult to injury, Ace hates it! The first couple days I could tell he was holding in tears as I walked towards him to pick him up. He broke down and said "I missed you so much, and they won't let me leave! I don't like being told what to do, and I don't like being away from you so long." As if I weren't experiencing a whole range of emotions, now he acts like I am torturing him. Begging me to not take him. I mean break my heart and then back over it with a tractor trailer!

How can I go on?

I'll tell you how, because there are little glimmers of hope....I think. 

He did want to tell me about his day. He told me so many times that he missed me, and even looked for me out the window. He said thank you for the little note I left them in his lunch box, and the extra cookies I stuck in there. 

It's scary and emotional, and exciting and worth it. It's one more step in this thing we call parenting. And as much as I hate it (and I really really do), it makes me crave time with them. Quality time with each and every one of them. 

ps: can you tell I'm raising the ultimate mama's boys? Because I am. Italian mothers know no bounds!