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Keeping Snacks at Hand

This is my view when I wake up every morning. My ‘bubble’ water bottle (twee heart with a secret snarky message, ha!), prenatal vitamins (because I’ll forget if they aren’t right there), a constantly changing stack of things to read, an alarm clock, and a snack.

Bedside Table

Bedroom

I’ve been keeping a snack by my bedside because while most of the queasiness of early pregnancy has passed by now, I feel better if I keep a little something in my stomach. For a while it was the Dark Cocoa Almonds from NatureBox, but lately I’ve been preferring their Blueberry Almond Bites. Of course the kids don’t understand why I get to break the ‘no food upstairs’ rule; they want to keep their favorites in their rooms, too.

Bedside Snack

And we do all have our favorites! NatureBox is a subscription service with free shipping that delivers healthy snacks monthly. We switch up our choices sometimes, but Eleanor also likes the Blueberry Almond Bites, Brandon is partial to the Santa Fe Corn Sticks, and August is happy to have some Cherry Berry Bonanza.

NatureBox Snacks

Giveaway

Everything from NatureBox is made from wholesome ingredients (no HFCS, partially hydrogenated oils, or trans fats, and no artificial sweeteners, flavors, or colors), and you can change what you receive each month to stick with your favorites or try new goodies. You can also choose the right-sized package for you (Deluxe, Happy, and Smart Snacker, with 5, 10, and 20 bags, respectively), and each bag has 3-5 servings in it. NatureBox is offering a 50% off discount to new customers for their first box (making the Deluxe Snacker package only $9.95) if you use the code LOVELY.

NatureBox Snacks

NatureBox is giving 2 winners each a free 6-month Deluxe Snacker subscription! The giveaway is open to US readers with a US shipping address only, and to enter, you can browse NatureBox’s snacks and leave a comment below by midnight CDT, June 4 with the variety you’d most like to try. Good luck!

Ten Years

We’ve done so much together. We met in 1999. We were dating two years later, and married a few years after that. We’ve shared personal and career highs and lows, two apartments and two homes, and have two kids with a third on the way. In a few more years, I’ll have known Brandon for half of my life.

Wedding

NY Hotel Shot

Happy tenth anniversary, love. We’ve done so much more together than we ever could have apart. Thank you for being there every step of the way.

Photo Booth

A Man and His Cat

August and Brandon

Snowy Day

Eleanor and Brandon

Love you.

Wedding

Eleanor’s Fifth Birthday Party

We had two birthday parties on Sunday. The first was for Eleanor’s friends, and the second, later in the day, was for our family and also celebrated Brandon’s birthday. We tried this last year, thinking that it was a good way to separate the events but still have everyone involved, and it went well. This year? It felt kind of bananas. But it went well too, so yay? (We were tired that night!)

Happy Birthday Sign on the Fireplace

We had a dozen five-year-olds in the house, and the party was fast and fun. I snapped most of these photos after they had left, but before our family came by.

Paper Lanterns and Horse Lights

Birthday Party, Dining Room

Hey look, a sneak preview of the books on the shelves! With a weird, giant horse balloon.

Horse Balloon

And more use of those giant balloons… There were three in all, and the kids loved carrying them around the house. (Brandon had them filled at the grocery store for $2/each with heart-shaped weights. The party store quoted $7/balloon with just string.)

Silly Baby Photo

That photo of E from when she was six months old still cracks me up!

The kids at the party spent most of their time up in the playroom, playing with Play Doh, using the toy kitchen, and trying on dress-up clothes. We didn’t want to interrupt them and steer them toward activities (like Pin the Tail on the Pony) that they might not really enjoy when they were already having fun, so we went with the play that was happening naturally. At one point, Eleanor and some of the other kids formed a marching band and they went through the house making a jolly racket, and my favorite getup was the girl who paired leopard-print kitty ears with black glasses and bongos. I like your style, young lady.

Pin the Tail on the Pony

(Eleanor was kind of bummed about not playing the pony tail game with her friends, but we did do it later when our family came over. The adults were all pretty sure the older kids cheated, because their tails were all right on top of each other in just the right spot.)

We put down a plastic tablecloth and rounded all the kids up when the pizzas we ordered had arrived. To keep them busy in their seats while we got the food ready, we had markers and pre-cut circles of paper that fit my button making machine. The kids ate while Brandon made their designs into magnets, which they took home at the end of the party along with their goody bags.

Kid-Made Magnets, and Goody Bags

After pizza came the birthday cake. I didn’t get a great shot of it because Brandon and I were both busy keeping up with all of the kids, but the cake looked similar to the one in my post on horse birthday party inspiration. Instead of bunting, I made some big paper hearts to go behind a toy horse.

But oh! The look on Eleanor’s face, and her friend’s hand on her arm. Love this shot.

Birthday Cake

And thus went our birthday celebration weekend. I don’t know if we’ll divide the parties up the same way next time though — we were all exhausted! I’m curious… do you combine the kids and the family into one party? Have them on separate days? Just do one or the other? We might need to rethink our approach.

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