Adulting and Relationships

I’ve noticed something happening within myself over the last little while. In November, I turned 40 and it seems like since then there has been a shift in my mind. Things are different. I don’t see everything the way I always did. Let’s see if I can make sense of what I mean…

When I was young, I remember thinking that 40 was so old…and not in a really mean or negative way, more like a dang, they are so mature and have it all figured out sort of way. I always assumed that your late teens and early 20’s were the time to have fun and be crazy and impulsive. In your late 20’s and into your 30’s you get more settled and start to ‘adult’ as it’s put today. Once you hit your late 30’s and into your 40’s, you had hit that point where you were set…you were settled in your career and your family, your relationships were well established and you knew what was up.

You were well into the ‘adulting’ portion of your life. There wouldn’t be anymore drama filled friendships or cutting people out of your life because of a disagreement. I mean, after all, by your 40’s you have been working on building or maintaining relationships with lots of different people. I’m sure for some people, this is exactly how their lives have gone…unfortunately, that is not how my life seems to be.

I’ve been married for well over a decade, I have two kids, I’m a daughter, sister, friend, niece, cousin…however, more of the relationships in my life are broken than not. Is it me? Is it them? Is it just personalities clashing and causing these rifts in so many of my relationships? I’ve heard a lot of people talking about ‘oh just walk away from relationships or people who no longer serve a purpose in your life’. Really? I mean, yes, there are definitely some relationships I would totally agree you just should walk away and not look back. There are others though that I just can’t get on board with your first response being to completely cut that person out of your life because there was a disagreement or because you don’t agree with everything that person does or says.

Let’s be honest here, I do know that I can be distant and closed off at times in relationships. I can be selfish and not really even think about the other person in the relationship and what they may be going through…but I can’t be the only one who does this though…am I just a really horrible person?

When did relationships become so disposable? I realize that people change and grow closer or grow apart, but in my mind, relationships should be something that is valued and given the room to grow and evolve before it’s just tossed away. I am sure that over the years, I’ve done my fair share of tossing relationships…tossing people aside. Because let’s be real, that’s what it is…when you decide that relationship no longer serves you, you’ve decided that PERSON is no longer important or of any value to you.

Wow, this got deep, fast!

I would love to think that I’m a great friend, sister, daughter, wife, mom, niece, cousin; just a great person in general. I do know that I am not without my flaws though and I’m sure that there have been situations in my life that I handled WAY wrong that cost me people…relationships. I’m not perfect. I’ve made wrong choices, I’ve not let people grow and evolve and instead continued to see them as the person they used to be instead of who they had become, I’ve had bad attitudes that have come out of my mouth in hurtful words that can’t be taken back.

Something that not many people know about me is that I don’t come from a big family, but I wish I did. I wish that I had close relationships with cousins and aunts/uncles, I wish that we had big, loud, crazy family dinners. As I got older, I wished more than anything that since I didn’t have that kind of family, that I would have those kinds of things with friends…for whatever reason, that’s not the reality of what my life is like. I do have friends, some I’d consider best friends, but none so close that we make getting together with our families a priority, or even just us getting together a priority. It’s more like we are just friends online…you know, as long as we have that internet connection, we are friends. You take that away and there’s no real relationship. It makes me sad and I feel like it’s probably mostly my fault. I don’t really let people in…by the time I’m ready to let them in they are tired of trying I guess…

I never claimed to be all sunshine and rainbows, in fact, I’m probably more dark and twisty than I’d ever admit to most people in real life. It’s hard to come to grips with the fact that you don’t have the relationships with people that you so wish you had, mostly because of your own shortcomings and issues.

So, to kind of wrap this up… there are some things I’m realizing about myself and am working on. Maybe it comes down to the golden rule after all…treat others how you want to be treated. If you want a friend, be a friend. Interesting. Hmm, apparently you can teach an old dog (me) new tricks 😉

Travel Log - Goldfield Mine Arizona alittledashofdiva.com

Travel Log: Goldfield Mine Arizona

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Hello and welcome to another installment of the Travel Log! Today I’m sharing some pics and info about our road trip to Goldfield Ghost Town in Apache Junction, Arizona. Goldfield is an old mining, ghost town that is near the base of the Superstition Mountains, it was originally settled in 1892 when it was discovered to have rich, high grade gold ore. A town was established soon after in 1893.

Goldfield Ghost Town Chapel #goldfieldarizona #ghosts #sundayfunday #familyday #familyadventureday #arizona

A photo posted by Chrissy Thomas (@dashofdiva) on

The official find in addition to the legend of the Lost Dutchman led dozens of miners to the area which led to saloons, boarding houses, schools and other businesses.

Travel Log - Goldfield Mine Arizona alittledashofdiva.com

Goldfield Mine, Apache Junction, Arizona

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Goldfield Mine, Arizona

After a few years, when the mines veins of gold ore were played out, the miners started to desert the town in search of the next town with lots of gold to still be had…

Travel Log - Goldfield Mine Arizona alittledashofdiva.com

Goldfield Mine

Travel Log - Goldfield Mine Arizona Union Pacific Railroad Sign alittledashofdiva.com

Union Pacific Railroad Sign, Goldfield Mine, Arizona

After a long time, a local bought the land and decided to make the Goldfield Ghost Town what it is today, a tourist attraction with a restaurant, gift shops, zipline, train ride around the town with a guide who tells you the history and also about the Lost Dutchman. We really enjoyed spending a day out at Goldfield, learning a little about the history of mining in our state, being outside and spending the day as a family was the best part. I love spending days taking short road trips with my little family to learn about the little podunk towns across the state. One of my favorite ways to spend time as a family, actually.

Travel Log - Goldfield Mine Arizona Southern Pacific Lines alittledashofdiva.com

Southern Pacific Lines, Goldfield Mine, Arizona

Travel Log - Goldfield Mine Arizona alittledashofdiva.com

Travel Log - Goldfield Mine Arizona Superstition Mountains Lost Dutchman alittledashofdiva.com

Superstition Mountains, Lost Dutchman, Arizona

If you like finding little, out of the way places to have a great family day, I’d definitely add Goldfield to your list of places to check out in the valley.

Travel Log : Valley Center

Hello my lovelies! Today I have another edition of Travel Log for you. During our third day in California recently, we drove inland to Valley Center, where my in-laws live. My mother-in-law put out an amazing spread for us and hosted a lovely brunch with the family. We got to spend time with my brother in law and his family, all the cousins got to play, the bigger kids drove the younger kids around the farm on the tractor. Nanny chased and played with the kids and it was just a really great time spent with the family.

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Asa riding around Nanny and Papa’s farm in the tractor

Hannah and Asa feeding the horses with Papa

We left later that afternoon and headed home. It was an eventful trip, we took a wrong turn and ended up 2.5 hours in the wrong direction. A drive home that should have taken us around 5.5 hours ended up taking us around 8 and my kids were troopers, but I’ve never been more frustrated. Thankfully it all turned out well and we made it home just fine. All in all, it was a great vacation, though I would do a few things differently next time! ha

Travel Log: La Jolla

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Hello my loves! Today let’s talk about La Jolla, California! It’s gorgeous. The views are stunning, seriously. It is a must for all of my trips to Southern California. The view doesn’t really change, but it’s just breathtaking to stand on the cliffs and look out at the ocean.

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Admittedly, the La Jolla area is a little more ‘high end’ if you know what I mean. But I really don’t mind that, we just don’t do a lot of shopping when we visit the coves. I love to drive along the hilly streets and look at the cute little cottages and the big beautiful houses. I just find it peaceful. It’s not a big ‘surf’ location, there’s not a lot of actual beach access near the coves, so it’s mainly just people walking along the sidewalks, or having picnics on the grassy cliffs.

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For me, this place, it makes it easy to just stop and take it in. It makes me happy to hear my daughter talk about the ocean being her happy place, where she just feels at ease and doesn’t have a care in the world. That makes my mama heart burst with joy that she recognizes the awesomeness of this place. It is something that we have in common, and at this point in time, there is precious little that she will admit to having in common with her mom 😉

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While we were in La Jolla, we decided to make a trip to Birch Aquarium, part of UCSD. It’s not a super large aquarium, but it’s definitely a nice little place to take little ones who might not do well with really big crowds or a lot of activities or things to look at. There’s a nice outdoor tide pool where you can actually touch the stuff that lives in the ocean. Really cool if you have a kiddo who is interested in that kind of thing. There are smaller aquariums to view specific marine life, there’s a larger aquarium with a big old sea turtle (I think that was my favorite part and go figure, I don’t have a picture of it!). In another area, there’s a shark and sting-ray feeding tank where they bring you in and tell you about the different types of ray’s and sharks in that tank and what they eat and how they feed them. Outside, they have a cool little area for kids to play and learn about renewable energy at the same time.

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Of course, being that it’s right in La Jolla, it has a killer view from the patio of the tide pool area. I don’t think I could ever get tired of looking out at this, no matter how many times I’ve seen it I am still in amazement at the awesomeness of the ocean.

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Travel Log: Oceanside

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Hello my loves! If you know anything about me, you know that my happy place is being at the beach. I don’t even have to have my feet in the sand, but to just be sitting near the ocean and feeling the breeze coming off the water, hearing the waves crash on the shore, seeing the sun dance on the waves and the surfers sitting on their boards on the horizon…all of these things make up a huge part of why the ocean is my happy place.

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Last weekend, we decided to get out of Phoenix for a few days. Sean had worked 19 days in a row with no time off, which meant I too worked 19 days in a row with no time off (from the kids). To say we needed to escape for a few days is the understatement of the year. For us, we try to get to Southern California at least once a year. My Inlaws live over there so we go to visit them and of course to enjoy the ocean.

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Usually we stay with my inlaws, but this time we decided to stay in a hotel for the 2 nights. It was awesome and stressful! I forgot how hard it can be to travel with a toddler! Asa is a good sleeper…when he’s in his own space and room. He doesn’t sleep much if he is in a room with other people, let alone having to share a bed. Plus, we were on the 3rd floor with a gorgeous patio that overlooked the Oceanside Harbor. It made me nervous because of course Asa wanted to be on the patio at all times and can open all doors these days. Overall, he did really well, but anytime we were in the hotel it was a little more stressful dealing with him.

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All through the night, whenever I was awake I could hear the sea lions barking in the harbor. I couldn’t see them, but boy could I hear them! In the morning on our way out of the harbor we drove past the docks where the sea lions were chilling out and barking. They were the cutest things, seriously. Just sitting there on the docks barking at the other sea lions who were frolicking in the water! Both Hannah and Asa LOVED the sea lions and Asa has asked several times a day for the ‘seayions’ and we show him video we took of them.

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Oh em gee too cute! #oceansideharbor #oceanside #travel #boats #sealions

A video posted by Chrissy Thomas (@dashofdiva) on

Later in the afternoon, Nanny and Papa drove over to Oceanside to have lunch with us and then hang out at the beach for a while. We went to Souplantation and had a delicious and healthy lunch then made our way back to the beach a few miles away. When we got back to the ocean, this crazy intense fog had rolled in making everything nearly impossible to see! I’ve never seen a fog like that in the middle of the afternoon! It made for some cool pictures though.

Asa was walking down to the water with Nanny and I loved how this picture turned out…except that weird blue dot in Asa’s shadow. It’s in the next picture too and I don’t know what it is…how weird!

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The fog cleared up within an hour and it was beautiful again and we got to enjoy a gorgeous sunset before we headed back to the hotel.

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The next day we headed to the Oceanside Pier to watch the sunrise, since you know, Asa had us up at 430am both days we were there. We had plenty of time to get up and get all of us ready, get some breakfast, and get to the pier before the sunrise.

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There were so many surfers in the water! After we watched the sunrise and had our bagels on the pier, we headed out to do a little souvenir shopping before we headed inland. We spent the rest of the day with our inlaws, my mother in law made a delicious brunch and invited one of her sons and his family over. The kids all got to play at Nanny and Papa’s farm, taking turns driving the tractor around and going on the zipline and trampoline. A few hours later, we got on the road to head home. It was a really great little weekend away, I’m so thankful for my family and the opportunities we’ve had to spend time doing things that recharge our batteries to get back to real life.

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Soapsox

*Disclosure* I received these products in exchange for my honest thoughts. All opinions are 100% my own.

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Happy Saturday! I know, a random Saturday post…this is what you get when you run out of time during the week!

Today I want to tell you guys about Soapsox, these washcloths are so cute! So, here’s the lowdown – Soapsox® was created by a couple of dads! *you go guys!! The idea originated when one of the founders, who worked with children who’ve experienced trauma came up with the idea after realizing that many of the kids he worked with had issues surrounding bath time. One of the kids was very attached to a stuffed animal and so the idea came about to modify that stuffed animal by adding a pocket that you put soap in and then the child can have their stuffed toy while in the bath and getting clean.

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SoapSox® was launched in 2013 and has been featured on Shark Tank on ABC. #soapsox #sharktank

Ok, so now onto why I wanted to tell you guys about this product. We absolutely love our Soapsox up in this house. We have two, one for each of the kids. Yes, even my 10-year-old daughter loves to take a bath or shower with her Soapsox duck, Emma. While my son, Asa, loves to take his baths with both the dragon and the duck, Scorch and Emma.

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One of the things I love most about Soapsox is that they are machine washable and can go in the dryer as well. Let’s be real, Asa is 17 months old and one of his favorite past times lately is to poop in the tub. Ewwwwww!!! It seriously disgusts me every time, I’m not good with bodily stuff. haha But, with Soapsox I can just throw them directly in the wash, unlike other tub toys that need to be soaked in bleach and cleaned properly before they can go in the tub for the next bath. Genius!!

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As you can see, Asa loves the Emma the duck 😉 I really like that I don’t have to fight with Asa to get him washed when we use these fun washcloths as opposed to just regular, boring cloths. He thinks it’s a game now when I come after him in the tub with Scorch or Emma and tickle him to actually soap him up! Makes bath time much more fun for both of us.

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And I mean, just look how adorable he is with Emma the duck and he’s all clean to boot!

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What’s Up Wednesday

Hey friends! Can I get an AMEN because it’s Wednesday…Hump Day…we are almost to the weekend!! Today I’m linking up with Mix and Match Family, The Larson Lingo and Pinterest Told Me To for their new monthly linkup called….

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So the last Wednesday of every month, they will post up the What’s Up Wednesday linky so you can answer these questions and go link up with them! Sounds super fun and I have to admit, Shay is the only blog I will actually go searching for on a daily basis…love her! She is the sweetest mama and her family is just beautiful. Now, on to the questions!

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1) What’s for dinner?

Tonight I’m making these lasagna roll ups for dinner, they are so tasty and really quick and easy to make ahead and just pop in the oven an hour before dinner.

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2) What I’m reminiscing about?

Hannah’s time as a cheerleader. Her team went to regional competition last weekend and her squad took 1st place in their division (Jr All Stars) and we are headed to state in a couple of weeks. It got me thinking about her first semester in cheer, back in 1st grade and all the trophy’s and ribbons and poms and days spent at competitions and the tons and tons of glitter we’ve gone through in those few years!

A photo posted by Chrissy Thomas (@dashofdiva) on

Aaahhhhh!!!! We placed 2nd at state!!!! Proud mama right here!!

A photo posted by Chrissy Thomas (@dashofdiva) on

A photo posted by Chrissy Thomas (@dashofdiva) on

2nd place at state competition! #cheer #cheerbow #cheerleader #cheerleading #cheermom #ycoa #teamsunrise

A photo posted by Chrissy Thomas (@dashofdiva) on

2nd place and headed to state competition in a month 😆 #cheerleading #cheerisasport #cheer #cheermom #ycoa

A photo posted by Chrissy Thomas (@dashofdiva) on

1st place at regional cheer competition! !!! #ycoa #cheermom #cheerleading #cheerisasport #athletes

A photo posted by Chrissy Thomas (@dashofdiva) on

3) What I’m loving…

Of course I’m loving these two…

My two babies. 💜 💙 💕 💞 💗 #mybabies #kidsofinstagram #kids #hannahandasa

A photo posted by Chrissy Thomas (@dashofdiva) on

and, I am absolutely in love with these new products I got from Colourpop Cosmetics

My Kate Spade earrings. I am in love with these. And I may have just ordered another pair in a different color!
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This nail polish is giving me life right now. It’s so beautiful and applies nicely with no streaking.
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4) What we’ve been up to…

See above cheer pictures! That’s been taking up a lot of time lately.

5) What I’m dreading…

Summer break from school. This one is complicated because I am looking forward to no homework but I know how bored Hannah gets when school is on break.

6) What I’m working on…

Decluttering the house.

7) What I’m excited about…

Summer break from school 😉 and our family summer vacation

8) What I’m watching/reading…

Grey’s, Scandal….they are breaking my heart and I am still not over Derek. Just no.

9) What I’m listening to…

currently, the dishwasher lol

My favorite song of moment is Sugar by Maroon 5 though

10) What I’m wearing…

again, currently, jammies! haha It’s one of those days people. I just am being totally lazy this morning and haven’t showered or dressed, so I’m still in jammies.

11) What I’m doing this weekend…

We don’t have much planned for the weekend aside from the birthday party of my bff’s sons.

12) What I’m looking forward to next month…

Some time off of work for me 😉 The little girl I take care of will be home with her parents and her brand new baby brother, who is due in the next few weeks.

13) What else is new…

Not much else is new around here, just work and kids and cheer and school and the same things as every other mama

I’m really excited about this linky party so I hope you’ll join in the fun!

Do I Win The Bad Mom Award?

Do I win the bad mom award? That’s my question to you…

See, I have an 8 year old daughter and as much as I want to shield and protect her from all the evils in this world, there are certain things that I refuse to keep from her. 9.11, Newtown, and now Boston are all subjects that I let her watch reports about in addition to watching the reports of course her dad and I sit with her and have a conversation. I ask her if she has any questions or concerns about what she has seen or heard. I make sure that she knows that even though there are people who wish harm on strangers there are even more still who would rush to help those same strangers, and that those are the people who are heroes.

I have always believed that for the most part, keeping the tragedies that happen in life from our children does more harm than good. You lose out on teaching valuable lessons on humanity and the goodness of people, not to mention teaching them to be the kind of person who rushes to action in a tragic situation as opposed to standing around feeling helpless.

This extends to personal tragedies as well. When we brought my Mother In Law to live with us when she had been given only months to live after being diagnosed with a brain tumor, my daughter was 4 years old and she was included and involved in EVERY single step of the process from setting up Gramma Marilyn’s new room to the daily meetings with her Hospice nurses. Hannah was allowed to ask questions, talk about anything and everything she saw and felt about the whole situation. I truly believe that because we included her in everything, it was less scary for her when Gramma Marilyn progressively got worse. She was able to spend time with and help to care for her Gramma. She was also there (in another room with the hospice nurse) the moment Gramma took her very last breath. Hannah was there when we went to the funeral home to make all of the arrangements for Gramma Marilyn and helped us pick out the lovely wooden urn that Gramma Marilyn would be placed in. During that same time period we were also caregivers to my Grandmother who was battling Alzheimer’s and bi-polar disorder.

Pretty heavy subject matter for an adult let alone a child, I know. But again, Hannah was included in every aspect of taking care of Grandma, which helped her to feel more in control of the situation. Also I believe that those experiences have shaped her into the immensely caring, loving, understanding, accepting, empathetic individual that she is today. Believe me when I tell you though I have ‘mommy guilt’ every single day about how much she has experienced in her young life, but ultimately if given a ‘do-over’ I wouldn’t change it. I truly believe that she can handle the truth about life and death and tragedy. I believe that I have taught her to not judge people based on how they look or who they love, that if you have the ability to help someone in need it is your job to do so.

I’m sure that to some people I’m a horrible mother for not keeping these types of things from my daughter and that’s okay.  Everyone is entitled to their opinions.  However, I know that I made the right decisions for MY family and at the end of the day, that’s the only thing that matters.

I pray for peace for the victims of these horrific tragedies.  I pray that law enforcement will be able to determine quickly who was behind these attacks and to bring those people to justice.  Now, let’s all go hug our friends and family extra tight and maybe say a few more ‘I love you’s’ to the people who matter in our lives.

Recap from The Nutcracker Ballet

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to take my husband and daughter to see The Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker performance. What a special treat!!

I had been to see the Nutcracker when I was 18 with a group of my girlfriends. My husband and daughter had never been to the ballet so it really was a special thing for our family to experience together.

The day was cold and rainy, which is a rarity here in Phoenix. We spent all day lounging around snuggling until it was time to get ready to go. I thought it would be fun to take the train downtown if the rain let up by the time we needed to get downtown. Fortunately it did and there was just a slight drizzle when we got on the train. However, we forgot the umbrella in the car and when we got off the train the rain had picked up a bit and we had to walk 2 blocks to the theatre in the rain. #fail

Luckily, we got to the theatre and got to our seats with no trouble. As we sat waiting for the ballet to start we talked and joked with each other and tried to keep Hannah from asking 89736282 times when the show would start.

We did have a little issue with Hannah complaining that she couldn’t see once the people in front of us took their seats. The people were understanding though and moved a bit so that she could see. That was very nice of them. Once intermission started we struck up a conversation with them and discovered it was a daughter with her parents who had been bringing her to the ballet since she was 2 and she was now in her 30’s. Her name was also Hannah!

The ballet was beautiful and Hannah loved it so that made the walking in the rain and all that worth it. I am so grateful for the experiences I get to share with her and seeing things through her eyes.

Salon Day!

Saturday my daughter and I had the chance to go hang out with our friends Natalie and her daughter Monique and get our nails done. Natalie and I have known each other for over 10 years. We went to each others weddings, my daughter shares a birthday with her, I took her maternity pictures when she was pregnant with her daughter and now I watch lil’ Momo everyday while Nat has to work.

Natalie had decided to go get her nails done this weekend and she was taking Mo to get hers done too because Tuesday is Mo’s 5th birthday! I decided to take Hannah too and make a girls day out of it.  

The salon we went to is in downtown Phoenix, it’s called Exclusive Nails.  There are all these old houses that have been converted into businesses that are usually all remodeled and look super cute.  I was really surprised to see the inside was so girly and feminine after seeing the outside of the building, but it was  a good surprise!

When you walk in the door, you enter the lobby that is decorated with pinks and blues.  There are black and white Marilyn Monroe pictures on the walls and zebra print chairs.  I loved the hardwood floors throughout the salon and the little touches of frill everywhere you look.

The salon is broken up into 3 different rooms for services.  There is a room for Gelish, gel manicures.  This room has a long table that seats 2 manicurists and their clients plus two gorgeous crystal chandeliers and pink table lamps.  It has the above quote on one wall and a window on another wall.
The bathroom was gorgeous, too!  I love the dark cabinets and the granite countertop.
The pedicure room is decorated in more ‘manly’ tones if you will.  But it is really soothing and peaceful in that room with its long bench seat and comfy pillows.
The last room is setup for acrylics with 3 different stations.  The pink wall with the swirly accent is one of my favorite things in this room.
Now that I’ve given you a grand tour, let’s get to girly bidness!  Nat and I decided to let the girls go first so we didn’t have to hear ‘mom is it our turn yet’ over and over.  Sabrina is the owner and she ended up doing mine and Hannah’s nails.  Allie did Monique’s and Natalie’s.  Hannah and Mo picked out the color they wanted and they sat down and got started.  

I think Hannah’s favorite part of the manicure was the hand massage.  She was pretty relaxed, I think!

Once the girls were done, we sent them out to the lobby to watch some cartoons while us mama’s got our nails did 😉  Luckily the girls were really good and we got to relax and enjoy our girl time.
I love the gelish manicure.  It is not harsh on your nails like acrylics are and it lasts a lot longer than a traditional manicure.  Hannah and Monique have already picked out the colors they want for their next trip to the salon and of course, I’m looking forward to my next salon day too.  

This salon also offers manicures for men so I am taking Hubby next time for a little manly pampering.  The prices are super affordable and for the experience you have while there it makes it even more enjoyable.  
After our salon day, Hannah and I came home and picked up Sean so we could all go to lunch together.  We headed over to Jersey Mike’s, our new favorite place to get sandwiches.  Then we decided to head to Lowe’s for some chalkboard paint for a project in the kitchen 😉
More to come on this soon!
After that we did some stuff around the house and then grilled some burgers for dinner.  Once Hannah was in bed for the night, Hubby and I had a little date night at home.  We watched This Means War with Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pines and Tom Hardy.  Super cute movie!  
Hubby is working Sunday so it will just be a cleaning day for me, lots of laundry and bathroom and dusting and vacuuming and all that fun stuff.  Gotta get it done though, so might as well get on it!  I hope you all have had a great weekend so far and enjoy the rest of it before its back to the grind tomorrow morning!