Five on Friday

Happy Friday and last day of February! Hollaaaa! Here are five things I am lovin’ (or not lovin’, I’m talking about you #4) this week.

1) Uncle James is headed to State! My little brother and his basketball team took first place in their region last night and they are headed to the ND State Tournament. We are so proud of him!!

2) The return of Survivor (and the disaster that is The Bachelor). Yes, I still watch Survivor. No shame here!! It usually takes me awhile to get into each season, but the season’s first episode on Wednesday was sooo good. Best. Show. Ever. Trust me.

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3) These sunglasses in arista or these in gold/brown. I’ve had my eye on them for awhile now. With the return of the sun, I feel like it’s time to pull the trigger.

4) Leaving Lillian for a week. Eeeek! In a couple weeks Blake and I are heading to FL and Lillian is staying with family in ND. I am dreading it. I’m having lots of anxiety about leaving her. Will she be okay? Will she eat and sleep? Will she be scared? Will she think we left her forever? Will she forget us? Will I cry every single day while on vacation? Will Blake want to kill me when I cry every single day while on vacation? I canNOT stop thinking about these and one million other things. I have a problem.

5) The Alaska Zoo. Lillian and I visited the zoo yesterday and had a great time. I can’t wait to make this a regular outing with her.

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Cheers to the weekend! I hope everyone has a good one.

Much Love,
Briana

 

THE GOOD LIFE BLOGLinking up with DarciAprilChristina, and Natasha.
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Living Local | Modern Dwellers Chocolate Lounge

This is a pretty random post, but I’ve found a place I love and I feel the need to share.

I’ve been wanting to visit Modern Dwellers Chocolate Lounge ever since Blake brought home a little box of truffles he received as a gift at work. I tried one four and was hooked (pumpkin spice, turbo thai, margarita zing, blueberry patch). A few weeks ago I had some errands to run in Anchorage, so Lillian and I decided to stop in for a fun mommy-daughter date.

I loved the place as soon as we walked in the door. We were greeted and offered a sample of sipping chocolate. It was my first time tasting sipping chocolate. They have a regular flavor and a spicy one. I went with the spicy. Delicious.

After we got settled in, I put in my order for a latte and two truffles. I ordered the pistachio passion truffle and an espresso one that I can’t remember (or find on the website) the name of.

We did some exploring while we waited for my order. It’s such a neat place! Chocolate is displayed and for sale everywhere. I loved checking out the large display case containing the truffles, caramels, and bonBOMBS. Of course they sell a smoked salmon chocolate bar. I didn’t try it, but I’m definitely trying it next time. They also make a salmon truffle! Whoa. There’s more than just chocolate on the menu. Think coffee house + chocolate. Something for everyone.

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The coolest seat in the house is a little bar area where you can sit and watch all of the delicious chocolate goodness being made. Lillian loved watching the chocolatiers at work. I’m with her, it was pretty cool.

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When my order was ready, I dove into the chocolate and Lillian dove into a bottle (and a teething ring). She was the best little date. She’s at an age now where it’s actually fun to go places with her. Praise the Lord!

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We had such a great time at Modern Dwellers Chocolate Lounge. I dedicated an entire post to the place, so clearly I loved it. I can’t wait to go back and try more things on the menu!

It’s a gorgeous day here in Alaska. Lillian is taking a little nap and then we’re going to go outside for a walk. We might even head into Fur Rondy, a winter festival going on right now (read more about it here). I hope everyone is having a great weekend and a happy Sunday!

xo,
Briana

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Blaker’s Birthday

On Sunday was Blake’s birthday! I had been asking for weeks how he wanted to celebrate and he kept playing it off like it was no big deal. Still, I wanted to do something special to celebrate his day. Since we are a “more experiences, less stuff” type of family, I decided to round-up some of our closest friends and head to Alyeska Resort for the weekend.

Alyeska is located in the little town of Girdwood. It is just a short drive from Anchorage, along the scenic Seward Highway. The drive is beautiful year-round. This was our first time making the drive in the winter and it did not disappoint!

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When we arrived at Alyeska, a few of us went skiing and the others explored the resort hotel bar. My plan was to stay with Lillian so the birthday boy could hit the slopes. But Blake insisted that I ski and since it was his birthday, I complied.

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We all met up for a late lunch at the top of the mountain. Lillian hammered a huge bowl of seafood chowder and decided to spit out a cracker right as our family photo was taken. Stinker.

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After lunch we hit up the pool and hot tub to relax a bit. We went to the Double Musky Inn for Blake’s birthday dinner. It was delicious! I was sneaky and asked the waiter to bring Blake a birthday dessert, candle and all. Everyone in the restaurant joined in to sing Happy Birthday. Lillian was so funny during the singing. She froze and got really shy. Pretty sure she thought we were singing to her. Such a sweetie.

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We had a great weekend at Alyeska. I have been to my fair share of ski resorts and Alyeska is definitely my new favorite. Great location, reasonable prices, nice runs, no lines, and the views are breathtaking! You really can’t beat the mountain and ocean inlet views it has to offer. I also want to mention (for my fellow Alaskans) that the entire area was very family-friendly. We had no problem taking Lillian anywhere… and I mean anywhere. ;)

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Until next time,
Briana

Be Mine, Valentine

If you know me well, you probably know that I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day. Honestly, I think it’s kind of stupid. Gasp. Blake and I don’t make it a big deal and I have never really gotten into it. Until now. Since having Lillian, I have turned into someone I do not recognize. So here I am… getting into Valentine’s Day. Kind of.

I didn’t get crazy but I did do two things to celebrate the holiday. Who am I?

1. I made some festive Valentine’s Day cupcakes (two weeks ago).

2. I sent out Valentine’s from Lillian. We did an at home photo shoot and created a card to send out to immediate family and some of her boyfriends. Lilly is usually the perfect little model. All I have to do is put a camera in front of her and say ‘cheeeeeese’ and she gives me a big gummy grin. Well, not for this. It was a hot mess. I tried to get a picture of her sitting up and smiling. That didn’t work. She kept trying to crawl away. Damn you, newfound crawling skill!

Here’s basically how it went down.

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I did manage to get one or two good shots. This is what the front of the card looked like.

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I hope everyone has a lovely Valentine’s Day! Tonight Blake and I will be celebrating by doing nothing and not mentioning it to one another. ;)

Lot’s of love,
Briana

Back When We Had Snow

As I mentioned here, the month of January brought some unusually warm weather. It was great, but now all of our beautiful snow is gone. Almost everything melted. We used to have piles and piles of snow in our yard. What’s left is pretty ugly. We have a few gravel covered snow piles in the shady parts of the yard. Yuck. We did get a little dusting of snow last night but that doesn’t count.

Back when we had snow, Lillian enjoyed playing in it. Below are some pictures of her playing outside during a snowstorm in December. I took her out while Blake was snowblowing. I meant to sit her down on top of a snow pile to play. The snow was so soft and fluffy that her legs went straight down into the pile. She was stuck in the pile up to her waist in a standing position. She immediately started laughing and waving her hands around like crazy… so I left her. She played in the pile for a long time, taking a few breaks to check out what her dad was doing. Seriously, there’s not much cuter than a baby in a bomber hat.

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The next picture was taken a day or two later. This was the view coming down the road from our house. I took the picture with my crappy iPhone and did not edit it. Gorgeous, right?!

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On a completely unrelated note, Lillian crawled across her bedroom on Tuesday. Since she finally crawled from one end of a room to the other, we are marking it down as officially crawling. Let the games of cat and mouse begin!

xo,
Briana

Lillian | 8 Month Update

Today is Lilly’s 8 month birthday! I can hardly believe it. I get a lot little sad when I think about how fast these last 8 months have gone. Instead, I like to focus my attention on how fun she is getting as she grows older. She really is more and more fun every day. I love watching her grow, explore, and learn new things. It’s amazing!

Weight: 20 pounds
Height: 28.5 inches 
Favorite Pastime: Jumping! She loves to play and jump in her Exersaucer. Bath time. Eating. Watching Yo Gabba Gabba.
Least Favorite Pastime: Diaper changes. Getting her face wiped clean. Nap time. Learning to crawl.
Favorite Food: Sweet potatoes. Bananas. Plain old baby oatmeal cereal. Puffs snacks. Yogurt melts.
Least Favorite Food: Anything green. She really hates peas and green beans.
Sleep: She sleeps through the night 12+ hours. Boom!
Teeth: Her first TWO teeth came in over the weekend! The bottom left came in Friday night and the bottom right on Saturday morning. We had no idea this was even happening (no unusual fussing) until I stuck my finger in her mouth last week and felt teeth under her gums.
Crawling Status: She’s so close! She’s up on all fours, rocking, and moving her legs to crawl (this usually turns into some fancy yoga moves or impressive planking). She’s started to move her arms but she usually only gets one moved before falling flat. She gets so frustrated trying to figure it out. She’d rather be pulling herself up on things and standing. We’re convinced she might walk before she crawls. Stay tuned.

Lillian is developing quite the little personality. I’m pretty sure Blake is terrified of what’s to come. Screaming at the top of her lungs is her favorite form of communication. I’m not talking about a little yelling or crying really loud. She doesn’t cry. I’m taking about the loudest, high pitch, ear piercing scream you can imagine. That’s her thing. All the time. It doesn’t matter if she’s happy or sad, she’s screaming. She’s also really into blowing spit bubbles, so that’s fun.

Seriously though, Lilly is a great baby. She’s silly, sweet, and as feisty as ever! Love her.

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Until next time,
Briana

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