Michael’s Birthday Surprise: A Paris Recap

Life has been so so crazy. I am just now getting to write about our amazing 48 hours in Paris!! This trip was a total surprise for Michael’s birthday. He had zero idea that we were going.  I had “accidentally spilled the beans” about a restaurant in London that was supposedly his birthday surprise. So when I woke him up on his birthday at 5am he had no idea we were off to the train station! We loaded up on the Eurostar around 7am and arrived around 9am! (The train was surprisingly comfortable. It was such an easy way to travel and security took almost no time).

Once we got out of the station we grabbed a cab and headed to a hotel I had booked using (almost all) of our hotel points! It was the Intercontinental Paris.  Honestly, for such an expensive hotel, I was very disappointed.  However, the location was absolutely prime! It took us less than five minutes to walk over to the Arch de Triumph. We walked around the outside and then paid the fee to go to the top. First of all, I was not expecting to be so winded from those stairs! However, I was gasping for breath.  That walk is steep!! Secondly, the view was absolutely gorgeous.  You could see everything! It was a relatively clear day and we could see what felt like all of Paris. I could barely believe it was real!

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//Scarf: Target // Sweater: Lucky

Next we walked a few minutes over to the Av. des Champs Elysees. This is where some serious shopping was located. It was fun to see all the glamorous, giant stores. We stopped at a gorgeous Laduree tea room. It was so beautiful inside and the pastries were to die for! Of course, I ordered vanilla macarons. They were beyond fabulous, obviously the best I have ever had! (Also, they had the option to get a GIANT macaron, pictured below… seriously like triple the size I usually buy). Then we headed to the store I was the most excited to see- Tiffany & Co! The Champs Elysees location is the Flagship of Europe. It is so beautiful. As per tradition, we added another country to my collection of Tiffany & Co jewelry. Since Paris is so classic I went with an iconic Return To Tiffany charm bracelet.

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As we were leaving the sales woman recommended this fabulous Italian place round the corner. I wish I could remember the name of it, but the day is such a blur! After that we went back to our hotel, I was so tired. I took a quick nap and then we headed off to Michael’s surprise dinner… I had made reservations to eat dinner inside the Eiffel Tower!

Michael absolutely loved his dinner. I have the taste buds of a three year old, so I can admit I was a little overwhelmed. However, the dinner was fabulous.  I’m going to have to do a blog post exclusively on dinner to give it justice!!

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After eating we climbed halfway up the Eiffel Tower! Then I gave up and we bought lift tickets to get to the very very top! (There were A TON of stairs and it was FREEZING cold). The top was breathtaking. In more than one way too! The view was spectacular. You could see everything and by this point it was dark so everything was lit up. Also, breathtaking in the fact that it was slightly terrifying! From the top you could feel the entire structure swaying! It definitely was thrilling, if not nauseating. It was a windy night, but that high up it felt like a storm! After we got our fill we rode the lift down and grabbed a taxi back to the hotel.

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//Dress: Kate Spade // Necklace: Kate Spade // Shoes: Steve Maden

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The entire night was magical, but possibly the best part of all was once we got back to the hotel. We got a FaceTime call from Sophie… She had just found out that she was also pregnant!! What!?!? It took me hours to fall asleep I was so excited.

We slept in super late because I didn’t go to sleep until the early hours of the morning.  We packed up our duffle and headed over to Notre Dame. It was absolutely gorgeous!! From there we actually decided to split up. This was my first official day of morning sickness and I was definitely feeling it. I actually went to a nice restaurant for breakfast and then walked around for maybe fifteen minutes before settling into a cafe. Meanwhile I told Michael to go explore! He couldn’t waste a whole day in Paris just because I felt awful. He explored what he said felt like the whole city. He got to see the Louvre, eat street food, the works. Later that afternoon we met back up and walked round a different shopping district.  The stores were numerous and huge! This one department store was five stories tall and endless.  That night we took the last train back to London and then took the line back to Joey & Amy’s house.  Even though Paris was fun, it felt great to be back somewhere familiar. Overall, I feel comfortable saying I am the queen of birthday surprises this year!

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Kate Spade Christmas Cards

There are a few things in life that I truly believe. One of those things is the irreplaceable magic of a handwritten letter. No text message or email will ever be as rewarding as opening the mailbox and seeing a letter addressed to you!

No text message saying “thanks” will ever feel as heartfelt as a letter. In the same, Christmas ecards can’t compare to an envelope in your mail box! Which is why I absolutely LOVE sending out my Christmas cards every year. This year  bought my cards in October! I admit that’s early, but I found the most perfect cards and I knew nothing would ever be able to compare.

The cards are the “jingle all the way” holiday card set by Kate Spade! They are so beyond cute. There is a little sketch of a dog with a string of candy canes. The message inside says “jingle all the way.” The envelopes are so darling! I also had one box of one of last year’s Kate Spade holiday card sets. I found them after I had already mailed out our cards. So I bought a box and packed them up with the Christmas ornaments for this year! They are really clever. On the front of the card there are three French hens, complete with cigars, baguettes, and barrettes. On the inside it reads “and a partridge in a pear tree.”

I am so excited to mail these out! I bought my Christmas stamps last week and have just finished addressing the envelopes. I honestly wish I had picked up more, I was a few short. (No worries, I improvised and made a few hand made cards as well!) Anyways, I hope you take the time to write a Christmas note or two and mail it out this season! Here is a picture or two of my favorite holiday cards yet!

 

Breakfast Quiche for my Hubby 

This week I promised Michael I would bake him a quiche that he could eat over the next few mornings for breakfast. (I absolutely can not eat eggs, and being pregnant has only made them smell worse and worse). I asked what he wanted in the quiche and he gave me quite a specific list of what he wanted the quiche composed of. Mainly, cheddar cheese, peppers, mushrooms, bacon, potatoes, and spinach. So that’s what he is going to get! I have a way I usually make quiche, but this was a little guess work with quantity amounts.  

Even though I found a fabulous recipe for a crust, I cheated and bought a pre made pie shell at the grocery store. From there the guess work began! Here is what I ended up using: 

  • Five strips bacon (cut into smaller pieces) 
  • 1/2 red potatoes diced) 
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms 
  • 1/2 a green bell pepper (diced) 
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese 
  • “Dash” of salt and pepper 
  • 1/2 cup milk 
  • 6 eggs 
  • 1 pie crust 

I started by letting the pie crust thaw. From there I grated my block of cheddar cheese until I had about half a cup. I spread that along the bottom of my quiche! Next I chopped up all of the fixings. I wasn’t sure if it would work, but I decided to just throw the potatoes in as is. I was really hoping the time in the oven would be enough to cook them up. I also threw the bacon in raw so it would cook along with the quiche. 
I mixed all of the ingredients up and poured it into the cheese filled pie crust. Then I cooked it for 35 minutes on 350 degrees.  
I do not like quiche, but I have to admit it turned out looking pretty darn good! Better yet, Michael reports he loves it! It’s a total win. I didn’t spend more than $17 to make it and Michael will have a fulfilling breakfast for at least three or four days. 

Things to Toss to Make Room for Life

 Okay I can admit it, I can sometimes be a bit of a collector (nice word for hoarder). Every now and then I have a desire to clean some of it out, but I never know where to start! So I have compiled a list of items you can toss to start uncluttering you life! These are all things I have been guilty in the last of holding on to for too long. 

  • Expired makeup
  • Old perfume samples
  • Old and forgotten makeup bags
  • The hotel soaps you kept
  • Scratched DVDs
  • Scratched CDs (or all CDs if you’ve gone to the cloud)
  • Old mementos from your past significant other
  • Scraps of wrapping/tissue paper
  • Stained/chipped coffee cups
  • Tacky picture frames
  • Old letters with no huge sentimental value
  • Old receipts
  • Old shopping bags
  • Expired coupons
  • Used and gross sponges 
  • Stained clothing & under garments
  • Accidentally ripped clothing
  • Tacky T shirts you decorated in high school
  • Vitamins you bought to be “healthy” that expired unused
  • Unmatched socks
  • Shoes that haven’t been worn in over two years
  • Worn out belts with obvious tears
  • Old school spiral notebooks with irrelevant notes
  • Failed Pinterest crafts
  • Expired batteries 
  • Unneeded business cards
  • Unmatched earrings
  • Broken jewelry (that isn’t worth more than the cost to repair it)
  • Used gift cards
  • Expired canned goods
  • The 50 leftover wedding/graduation/baby announcements 
  • Charging chords with no device
  • Old TV remotes 
  • Pet toys that have seen better days
  • Junky plastic hangers from Target
  • Chipped dishes 
  • Lame promotional mugs and cups 
  • Stained or “lid less ” Tupperware 
  • Scratched glasses and sun glasses 
  • Fast food condiment packets 
  • Dried flowers you thought you needed, but you never did anything with 

 

So get started! Declutter a little and breathe easier. Let me know if you stumble upon something that I should add to the list.

Target Registry Complimentary Gift Review

A few days ago Michael and I decided to make a registry at Target.  Even though we don’t know the gender and it is still early, there are a few things that every baby needs! Also, we were still in shock and I thought it might make it feel more real. On top of that, I have decided to blog about all the new mother promotions I can find! I know so many pregnant ladies, I don’t want anyone to miss out on any opportunities! 
It was so fun to walk around and day dream together.   Plus, looking at all of the baby stuff made me feel all happy and maternal. The scanner they give you to make the registry was super simple.  It took us less than two minutes to create our account and then we just pointed and scanned! Some things I like about this registry include being able to edit your list online at anytime, the wide variety, and that when someone buys something it gets marked in the list. (No repeats!)
My favorite thing though was the cute little goody bag they give you when you sign up! It comes in a plastic tote bag. (Ours was a little beat up, but the inside was fine.) The samples and coupons were actually really great! Even if you don’t want your main registry to be Target, I would make one just for this cute little bag. Here is what is included:

COUPONS: 

Target paint coupon 

Pampers diaper coupon 

Happy Mama Prenatal coupon 

Starbucks coupon 

Target nursing bra coupon 

Liz Lange for target maternity clothes coupon 

Enfamil coupon 

Kinsa (thermometer) coupon 

Munchkin Step Coupon

SAMPLES: 

Honest Company: 2 size two diapers and a travel size wipes package 

Avent: natural Bottle 

Avent: travel baby lotion 

Mustela: sample skin care & coupon 

Up&Up (Target): 20 pack unscented wipes 

Boogie Wipes:,1wipe & coupon

Aquaphor: baby healing ointment & coupon 

Latch: 2 miracle nursing pads 

Lansinoh: 2 disposable nursing pads & 2 breastmilk storage pads 

Nuk: orthopedic pacifier 

Babyganics by Target: plant based, x3 concentrated laundry detergent sample size & coupon 

Boudreaux’s Butt Paste: diaper rash ointment & coupon

Overall, the Target experience was really fun.  The sales associate that helped us get set up was very kind. It made it feel a tiny bit more real. (But I still can’t 100% comprehend this is happening!!!)

Keep an eye out for more reviews and suggestions and don’t forget to share! 

Walmart Pregnancy Baby Box

Sophie recently suggested I order the Walmart Baby Freebie Box! You just pay a $5 shipping cost and they send you this pregnancy box. I had heard about it beforehand, but hadn’t decided if I should try it. On her recommendation I signed up!

They send you three separate packages based on the due date you I’ve them. The first box is the Expecting box. Next is the Newborn/Infant box, and it will finally conclude with your Toddler box. (Each time there is a five dollar fee). We ordered our box Oct 23 and it was delivered October 29th, less than a week total! I was very excited about that.

It arrived all packaged in a cute little box. There was a decent amount of product inside, though nowhere near as many awesome samples and coupons as the Target goodie bag I talked about earlier. Here is what was included:

  • Pampers travel case (includes mini wipe pack and one newborn diaper)
  • All sensitive skin dryer sheets (5 count)
  • Baby Bee Nourishing Lotion (1 oz)
  • Cetaphil Baby Wash and Shampoo (1.7 fl oz)
  • Bio-Oil: PurCellin Oil (.5 fl oz)
  • Vera Ve: Healing Ointment
  • Dapple Naturally Clean Bottles Sample (one use) & $1.00 off full size product coupon
  • Aquaphore Healing Ointment Baby ( .03 oz)

Overall, it was fun to order and I’m excited to try the Bio-Oil (supposedly helps prevent stretch marks). I don’t know if it actually saves you money because I wouldn’t really have bought any of those products besides the Burts Bees lotion. Since I paid five dollars in shipping… but either way it was fun to get some baby related fun in the mail! And it gave me a few new products to try. Let me know if you decide to try it too!

What to do with Eight Hours in Toronto

On our trip last month to London we had an eight hour layover in Toronto on the way out. I had never been, so we really wanted to get out and walk around. Here is how we got downtown with relative ease! 

After we landed in Toronto we took a little train over to terminal 1. From there we bought tickets to ride the UP Express. It’s a train that takes you right into downtown Toronto. It was $24 for two adults, round trip. (They also offer different rates for children and seniors). The train itself was clean and it only took us 25 minutes one way. They run a train every fifteen minutes so there is hardly any delay. We lucked out and walked up right as the train was loading both times. It was so easy to maneuver and to get there. Once we got out at Union Station (there are literally only like 4 stops total) we just walked straight out the main front doors and turned left. We stayed on that street for majority of our exploration! There were several restaurants and pubs along the way.  

One thing I loved was the sidewalks. It was relatively clean and I felt safe! We walked along one path until we decided to head back to one of T he first sports bars we saw, the Loose Moose. At first I was definitely intimidated by the noise. There was a Blue Jays game on, and they were winning. The whole room was a constant stream of screams, chants, and intricate clapping celebrations. It was actually pretty cool, once you got past the bleeding eardrums. 

We ordered Michael a dish of the Fully Loaded Poutine. It was composed of French fries, Cheddar cheese curds, and gravy. Then they topped it with sour cream, green onions, and bacon. He LOVED it. I order a Grilled Mac and Cheese Sandwich. The caramelized sourdough bread it came on was AMAZING. (After tip, drinking only lemon water, our total was $33.27. So not too bad!)

When we were done we slowly made our way back to the station. Then we just showed the attendant our ticket and got back on. The train dropped us back at the airport, we took an escalator, turned a corner, then just went back through security with our already printed tickets. It took us about thirty minutes to get through security and to the waiting area for our plane. It was totally simple. I am so glad we decided to try and explore a little! 

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