Monday, November 30, 2015

Clemens Family Photos

A couple of weekends ago, my family decided to have our pictures done. We haven't had family photos taken since forever ago. Like before kids, before marriage. So it was time. I searched and searched for a photographer who A) had the availability and B) was reasonably priced. And boy, did I luck out. A girl I go to church with takes photos and was available the day we needed. I had no idea how awesome she would turn out to be. I had seen her work and loved it but her patience and the fact that she will take as long as you need and take as many photos as you want was remarkable. And her ability to work with children was incredible. Her name is Kim Burns and {here} is her facebook page if you want any more information. 

My sister wanted to take the photos outside in a woodsy area. Right behind my house is a running trail I go on that has bridges and a forest vibe. So that's where we took them. James McKnight Park in Mansfield if you are interested. 

I really do have a beautiful family. I, myself, am NOT a fan of myself in these photos. I am way to pale to be wearing that color and I am not back to my pre-baby body to wear a dress like this. I wish people would tell me. Like seriously, if you see me in something I have no purpose in being in, TELL ME! 

Here are some of my favorites! 

Thank you Kim for capturing these sweet moments of my family. You truly have an amazing gift and I can't wait to use you for years to come! 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from my little turkey to you! 
I hope you enjoy your time with your family and remember all the things you are thankful for. I do my best to thank God for my little nugget everyday. All the joy he brings me. And I thank my God for his daddy, because without him I would lose my sanity. He keeps me grounded and loves me to no end. In this world full of hate, knowing I have these 2 boys on my side makes it so easy to live in. God is good.....he is very very good! 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

16 weeks

How old? 16 weeks

Likes? Cereal 

Hates? His bed. not the bed itself. It's the waking up in there alone and not knowing where he is. The struggle to get him to sleep in there is real. 

Milestones this week? Eating cereal. The kid loves it! 

Sleeping? Everyday is different for naps. Nighttime, we have him really good on a routine. But day time sleeping, varies. And he sleeps on the couch when he naps. It's the only place he's comfy. It works for now but we are trying to move him to his bed. He is not a cry for a little bit and then give up kind of kid. He is a cry and cry and cry some more kind of kid. He isn't good at self soothing and HATES feeling alone. We are talking about getting a small tv for his room and turning it on with music when he sleeps and seeing if that helps. He falls asleep to tv on the couch (I know it's a bad habit, you don't have to tell me) so we think if there is the same kind of format in his room, his bed sleeping will be easier for him. #TheStruggleIsRealY'all 

Eating? 3 ounces bottles every 2 hours. 4 ounce bottle at bedtime and during the middle of the night. 1 tablespoon of rice cereal (mixed with some formula) in the morning and then another tablespoon at night time. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Wine guide for Thanksgiving 2015

Thanksgiving is in 4 days! I just love Thanksgiving. Time to be with family and time to eat! I have 3 Thanksgivings. Yes, 3! My dad's side Thanksgiving for lunch, Bobby's side for Thanksgiving dinner and then my mom's side Thanksgiving on Saturday. So by the time Sunday get's here, I'm over stuffed and extremely tired. And this year will be no different. 

One thing that gets me through the holiday is wine. I know that sounds bad but it is what it is. It calms me, relaxes me and taste amazing! And I love enjoying it with my family. But there is a lot of wine out there and if you are not familiar with what everything is, it can be overwhelming. 

Here is my wine guide to Thanksgiving:

Wine to go with the main dish: TURKEY!

For you white drinkers, stick to something on the drier side. That doesn't mean the taste will be dry or it's dry on the palate. That means drink something that is not sweet or overly sweet. 
Here are my top 4 varieties: 
When you think of Riesling, you automatically think sweet. But if you grab a dry Riesling, you will actually have a white wine that is not sweet. It is more refreshing. It has more of an apple, apricot taste to it. Finding one from the Alsace region is the best. But Washington and Germany make great ones as well. Trimbach Riesling is one of my favorites. It ranges from $19-$22 a bottle. 

Another good white to drink is a Sauvignon Blanc. They hold up well to turkey and mashed potatoes because of their citrus based flavors. New Zealand SB's are going to have more grassy, grapefruit notes where California SB's are more on the fruity side. I recommend New Zealand over Cali for Thanksgiving. One that I love is called Momo. It ranges from $13-$16 a bottle. 

An Italian Pinot Grigio is one of my favorites. They are bolder than California and tend to not be as sweet. If you are having a garlic flavored turkey, or something that has a lot of fat to it, PG's are the best. Santa Cristina is a really good one. Ranges from $14-$18 a bottle. 

Here is a wine you may have never had or even heard of.....An Albarino! They come from Spain and have an apple, pear, citrus profile. It is an extremely light white wine and goes great with spicy foods. Martin Codax Albarino is one of my favorites and ranges from $10-$15 a bottle. 

For you red wine drinkers, you want something that is going to be on the softer side with less tannins. You don't want anything to overpower your food. 
Here are my top 4 varieties:
You can never go wrong with bringing a Pinot Noir to the table. It is the softest of the red wines and the healthiest to drink. California Pinot Noirs are softer and more fruity. Oregon Pinot Noirs are more earthy and have more of a mushroom taste to them. I love both. One of my favorites is Meiomi. It ranges from $14-$18 a bottle. 

A Zinfandel is a fuller bodied red wine that ups the intensity of a Pinot Noir. So if you know you have red wine drinkers that love a full bodied wine, bring a Zin. They are bold enough and full bodied enough but won't take anything away from the food. One of my favorites is Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel. It ranges from $19-$22 a bottle. 

So you have heard of these but aren't sure what the difference is. Syrah and Shiraz. So a Syrah is from the U.S. and France and a Shiraz is from Australia and South Africa. The flavor profile for them is medium to full body and have flavors of black cherry, plum, chocolate and black pepper. I prefer Syrah over Shiraz but that is because I am more familiar with US and France grapes. One of my favorites is made by Calcareous called Twisted Sisters Syrah. It ranges from $19-$21 a bottle. 

The next wine is considered part of the red wine family, even though it is pink in color. A Rose. And no....not white zinfandel. And actual Rose wine. Surprising enough, a Rose wine is the most versatile, food friendly wine you will ever drink. You can literally drink it with anything. It's light enough, fruity enough, bold enough and is extremely pleasing to the palate. You can find Rose from all over the map. From Cali to France to South Africa. You can find one in almost any price range. I have a lot of favorites but the one that sticks out in my mind is called La Flor Malbec Rose from Argentina. It ranges from $14-$16. you don't eat Turkey but love the ham! So what do you drink with the ham instead? Stick to Rose, Riesling and Zinfandel. All 3 of those will pair nicely with the sweet, salty flavor of the ham. 
All of the wines above will go with some part of your dish. Rather it be a plate full of Turkey or a plate full of Pumpkin Pie (don't forget the Cool Whip), the wines above will get you through your meal. You can find all of those wines in most grocery stores but you can for sure find them at Spec's

Side note: If you are looking for something in a certain price range but aren't sure if it's good or not, ASK ME! I will be completely honest with you. The wine's above are more expensive then I purchase normally but for the holidays, I tend to buy nicer. So if you are looking for an $8 bottle because your family drinks it like water and doesn't give a flying fart about taste, I have recommendations for you! 

Friday, November 20, 2015


My son has an obsession.

It's called Hayden Timothy Smith.

Everyday my sister watches Brody, she will send me photos during the day (another reason why I love him being with her).

And almost every time there is at least one photo that involves Hayden and Brody.

Hayden is the best helper. I was a little worried about Brody going over there. I didn't want to upset Hayden or make Hayden feel less important to his mom. But Hayden has taken over the big brother role. It comes naturally to him. And Hayden is a fantastic child. He's well behaved. He's laid back. He rarely has a fit and if he does, it doesn't last long. So Brody looking up to him is something I love. They already have a great friendship, even at 3 months and 2 years old. Kara says that Brody just watches Hayden and follows him around with his eyes. 

Hayden can't quite say Brody. He calls him Brobee. And we all love it. It's the cutest thing. 

 Feeding Brobee

Rocking Brobee to sleep

 This photo was sent to me Monday. Kara said she went to put the burp cloth in the laundry room and came out to this! Hayden had put these on Brody. I laughed all day and still laugh when I see this. 

Thank you for taking such great care of Brobee! You are such a cool, fun, beautiful child that I just love and adore. Everyone that meets you just automatically falls in love with you. I am so glad Brobee has you to look up to. You will always be his protector. We always say you will be on the offensive line, protecting your baby cousin playing quarterback. And lord help you both with me, your mom and your Mimi in the audience! 
I love you buddy! 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Fall Fashion

Dear Diary, 

I love fashion and I love talking about fashion. I always look forward to seeing what is the newest thing for the season and what colors are in and what colors are out. I don't change my wardrobe that often. I will go buy a few pieces each season to spice it up or change it up but that's it. I am a neutral girl. Half of my closet is black and white. 

So what is in right now? 

Fringe! Everywhere I look there is fringe. Clothes, purses, shoes, decor! And I love it. 

H&M: Backpack with Fringe: $49.99: black

Gap: Minnetonka Moccasin braid bootie: for kiddos: $21.95: comes in tan and in brown

Express: Fringe Tunic Tank: $49.90: black

Kohls: Jennifer Lopez Women Fringe Booties: on sale for $49.99: comes in cognac and in black

So you're thinking to yourself: what is the one color I need this season? And that color would be Wine (think purple meets red)(some stores will call it Bordeaux/Burgundy/Merlot or Oxblood)! My suggestion since the color doesn't always look good on everyone is to find it in a purse! Make it an accessory for you. That way you can take it out when the color changes or add it back in when you need that pop. 

Charming Charlie: Lockbox Square Satchel: $39.00: dark wine

Michael Kors: Izzy Large Reversible Leather Tote: $268: Merlot

Ponchos are back. But not like they use to be. The ones this season are more fitted and in different materials and are worn more like a shirt, then an open cardigan. And some even have fringe on them. The thing with them is, you must pair them with a skinny jean and some sort of wedge boot. If you pair it with any other pants, it will make you appear larger than you are. Or if you pair it with a tennis shoe, it will look frumpy. Here are a couple of my favorites: 

H&M: Fine-Knit Poncho: $34.99: comes in white, grey patterned, dark grey melange and black

Target: Women's Poncho Sweater- Merona: $29.99: comes in gray, black, berry and brown (I have it in brown and plan on going back for more colors)

Love, Me