Tuesday, July 28


Welcome to #posituesday! The "rules" are simple. Every Tuesday in July I am pushing myself to be positive. Everything happy, nothing stressful.

What do I love today?  Lots actually.

That these one day WILL be in my jewelry box.
via Brown's of London
That this perfectly describes my relationship with my husband.
Wedding Shoppe via Pinterest
And that I've received unconditional love, support and friendship from these girls for the last decade and some change.
 What do you love today?

Friday, July 24

Flashback Friday

One of my closest, and sweetest, friends posted this graphic on Facebook last week and it got me thinking about just how true the words were. Like disturbingly, uncannily, reach into your soul, true.
 After E posted it, we started g-chatting about just how weird life ends up happening—a year ago she didn't know her now husband; three years ago I didn't know mine. It is funny how things work out. And, even more importantly, it's funny how they don't.

After our conversation, I went rooting through the archives of this little ole blog of mine. My, how things have changed around here. I found myself reading the post I wrote the week I turned 21. How proud of my accomplishments I was, yet completely aware of the fact that I really had done nothing with my first year of being a twenty-something. I feel like that's how I could sum up the middle of my twenty-something life too. I'm so proud of my accomplishments over the last year, yet I am acutely aware that, compared to others, I've done nothing and I have nothing to complain about and everything to be grateful for.

Not that it is easy to remember that day in and day out. 

Plus, I just love this picture of me from a trip to Disney World with an old boyfriend.
Note: I still have both those shorts and the bag. Classic white never goes out of style right?

Wednesday, July 22

Surviving The First Year: Infant Toys We Love

Infant Toys We Love

Full disclosure: I'm not a perfect mother—far from it in fact. Hard to believe, right? Someone on the internet admitting their faults? HA! Sometimes I really am on the ball and we are a well-oiled machine of love and grace and baby laughs. Sometimes we are just decidedly not. Like last week when I forgot to send food in the babies' bag for daycare and they had to eat back up baby food. Thank God in Heaven for their daycare director, she is my personal angel.

But, as we are about to enter into the 10th month of doing this life with twins thing, I think I have a pretty fair handle on what's worked for us and what hasn't, product-wise. After their first few months I posted the newborn products we couldn't live without, and if I am being totally honest, we still can't live without most of them. Long live the MamaRoos!! & the Baby Keurig, for realsies.

As Fitz and Alex have grown, changed and matured, I've noticed that a great deal of the "active infant" entertainment stuff hasn't really worked for us. What has? The old fashioned methods: Rubber balls, a few other baby toys and the middle of their room. They will entertain themselves for hours just broing out.

I wish I was kidding.
And then there's the Pat & Play Water Mat. It was one of the only toys I registered for and I ended up buying it for myself, months before the twins arrived. I absolutely love it and so do they. I swear, I've seen them almost fight over who gets to whack at it play with it, during tummy time. It makes me so happy to see a toy I loved in store bring them so much joy. 

We've got a set of door jumpers we love, the boys especially love jumping in them in the front door; as well as a set of activity centers, which if I'm being honest I don't totally love, but the boys seem to like them fine. Otherwise, we're not fancy.

I'm sure other folks like their high chairs with bells and whistles, but these IKEA chairs work great and are extremely easy to clean. When you're talking about dried baby food and mashed puffs and spilled juice and baby funk, hard plastic that can be hosed down with 409 really is the ticket.

The boys aren't crawling yet, though they certainly haven't let that stop themselves from being mobile, so I'm sure I'll have to invest in some walkers in the future. I honestly haven't even looked into them. What else do I need to keep my eye out for on Babies R Us?

Tuesday, July 21


Welcome to #posituesday! The "rules" are simple. Every Tuesday in July I am pushing myself to be positive. Everything happy, nothing stressful. Which should be super *easy* today as I navigate the Atlanta and Pittsburgh airports with Alex in tow. #prayforme #woodsbarbieandbabydopa

What do I love today? 

Solo time with this little dude and some much needed time with his Aunt Kimmie.

Monday, July 20


*Linking up with Becky*
Life is all about the little victories these days, and apparently, and I'm celebrating them all. Including this little roll I've been on, blogwise. 

Currently around the Johnson Anderson house we are...

Eating this incredibly easy, incredibly flavorful Mexican Stuffed Pepper CROCK POT recipe like once a week. No, not kidding on any of those things: yes, it's delicious. Yes, it's super easy. Yes, it's done in a crock pot. Add it to your menu rotation, you won't be disappointed.

Wishing there were more hours in the day and more days to the weekend. I feel like if I just "live in the moment" each weekend, I'm stressed come Monday morning. But I also feel like if I spend all weekend getting stuff done, come Monday morning I'm down in the dumps. I need to be better about finding a balance I know but these days the only real balancing I do is every day at Pure Barre—everything else is full tilt.

Getting really excited to take Alex on his first plane ride and visit Kimber and Saylor, and Gentry too, in Pennsylvania this week. I hate that I can only bring one of the babies, stupid FAA regulations, but I know Alex and I are going to have the bestest time. As a side bonus, I get to cross of one of my 15 in 2015 items. Our week in Pennsylvania isn't all fun and games, I'm going for work, mainly, so if you're on instagram make sure you follow along with my hashtag: #woodsbarbieandbabydopa 

I love this graphic I found on Pinterest. Seems fitting for Alex and I's adventure this week.
Dandee via Pinterest

Tuesday, July 14


Welcome to #posituesday! The "rules" are simple. Every Tuesday in July I am pushing myself to be positive. Everything happy, nothing stressful.

What do I love today? 

The idea that one day I will be enjoying a coffee and sandwich here.
Outdoor cafe, tumblr via Pinterest

Monday, July 13


*Linking up with Becky*
Life is all about the little victories these days, and apparently I'm celebrating them all. Including this little roll I've been on, blogwise. Big thank you to Becky for this link up that keeps me partially accountable.

Currently around the Johnson Anderson house we are...

Enjoying this super simple, super delicious White Pepper Cheeseburger Pie. Mark announced about a month ago he was going "low carb" whatever that means to this fueled by cupcakes person, and I've been struggling on what to make for supper most nights. This is in heavy rotation.
Obsessed with theSkimm. If you don't get these emails, sign up immediately. Basically, they break down all the major news stories of the day in easy to understand and snark filled chunks. For example, a few weeks ago during the height of the first round of Greek Bailout Talks, they said, "European leaders are saying 'you can't sit with us' if Greece votes "no" to the new bailout terms." How can you not love current world news and Mean Girls references?

Sad that I finally finished White Collar. I now have to find something else to get completely addicted to on Netflix. Any recommendations? Don't worry Neal Caffrey, I'll always think you're super hot. #NealandSarahForever
via tumblr

I'm heading to Mississippi tomorrow for my first of three back to back weeks worth of work trips to round out July. #blessed
Etsy via Pinterest

Wednesday, July 8

Fourth of July 2015

How has July 4th already come and gone? I have no idea what happened to my summer. Last summer was a blackout blur because I was just so pregnant and so hot. And so pregnant. 

I really wanted to have a great summer. I had grand designs of reading a ton of books and enjoying the weather and grilling out constantly and you get the picture. Instead, it's been a slower, yet still faster somehow, summer. The babies are getting into everything and life is starting to change so much.

I was thrilled when Mark said he wanted to go to Atlanta for the Fourth and hang out with my family. Okay, wanted is a stretch. He said he would go to Atlanta…anyway; we all loaded into the car on Friday morning and headed to my mom's. 
We hung out with my momma and stepdad for a day and a half and then headed to my dad and stepmom's for a day and a half.

We went to the huge annual blowout bbq at St. Ives on the evening of the Fourth (both my parents and Kristen & Charles are members there) and enjoyed a delicious buffet, carnival games and the fireworks show.
I was really apprehensive about taking Fitz & Alex to fireworks at three days shy of 9 months, but like they been doing since birth, they surprised me.

Fitz absolutely LOVED the bright colors in the sky and staying up late. He didn't mind anything a bit and sacked out almost immediately once we got home. I don’t think his big cousin Anna Carolina sharing her hot dog bun with him hurt his mood either!
Alex was a different story. He really liked the fireworks at first, snuggling with his Aunt Kristen, but then the booms starting getting louder and he definitely got scared. He didn't appreciate staying up past his bedtime either and had a helluva time falling asleep when we got back and proceeded to wake up at 3am needing a little more momma lovin'.
 After a long night, we hit the pool on Sunday before heading home. The little plastic pool I got for our front yard wasn't a huge success, so I didn't know how the babies would do in an actual pool.
No, that rash guard isn't a baby crop top... who knew Squeaks would get a big ole belly?!
At first they both hated it. Then the sun started to shine aggressively and suddenly the pool water wasn't quite so cold.

By the time we left, they were two happy little clams, loving when their big cousins swam up to them and when they got to kick their little legs and pretend like they were swimming.
 I, of course, was the only one to get sunburned.

Tuesday, July 7


A few years ago, a very dear friend of mine started a social media campaign called #posituesday.

The "rules" are simple; you share something positive on Tuesday. Lately, as life has twisted and turned and been really, really, Fing hard, I've noticed that it's hard to be positive. Sure, I have moments, like this morning, where I'm in the moment and laughing at my covered-in-prunes babies. The majority of the time, though, I yell more than I don't. I'm stressed more often than I'm not about our family's finances, Mark's new business, Alex's recent stomachaches, where we're going to live, ya'know big stuff.

So today I am mindfully making the decision to bring back #posituesday. I know I can count on my dear friend Farren to post a #posituesday thread on Facebook each week, but I'm going to shake it up a little for myself.

I'm going to try, for the four Tuesdays of July, to post my own #posituesday here, so I can remember the positive things, the adorable baby animal pictures and adorable pictures of my own kids.

What do I love today?

Baby penguins.
Buzzfeed via Pinterest

Monday, July 6


*Linking up with Becky*

Currently around the Johnson Anderson house we are...

Detoxing from the Fourth of July. I'm tired exhausted. I'm slightly sunburnt. My house is a complete mess and my 78 lb. dog has the runs. I'm behind at work and one of my favorite co-workers had a stroke over the weekend. That's really what Fourth of July looked like, but it's not exactly photo worthy is it? No, but it's #realtalk.
When I look back at this online diary, I don't want to see that. I want to see moments like these...
 And remember that before the Great Sleep Boycott, my beautiful niece Anna Caroline decided I was the coolest thing since sliced bread and was my little shadow all weekend; that my Mom and I spent an entire afternoon doing nothing but crafting for my newly engaged friend Jamie and playing with my kids.

This is my last full week in July without some sort of travel, so cheers to more desk-oriented work than I can imagine. This month, in addition to two weeks of traveling for stories, Woods Barbie's to do list includes three full length features, a newsletter and a column. Plus e-mails, of course, because what's a work day without 20 e-mails? No wonder I'm tired.
v-igorous tumblr via Pinterest

Friday, July 3

15 for 2015 Update: June

Well, well, well, look who got some free time this week and wrote some blog spots? I literally feel like $1 million dollars. I even caught up on laundry. #winningatlife 

Progress on 15 for 2015 during the month of June, which I was just as much of a blur as the last like five before it, but eh, I guess that's my life now?

15 for 2015 
Hit the Pure Barre Montgomery 250 Tuck Club (Accomplished in January) 
Spend another long weekend in Curacao 
 Show Fitz and Alex the beach 
Read 15 books 1: Mending Fences 2: Tonight and Always 3: A Matter of Choice 4: Endings and Beginnings
Take an entire month and not buy a single piece of clothing (or accessory) for myself (Accomplished in May) 
Finally re-decorate our living room (Accomplished in April) 
Update my phone software (Not that it helped anything) 
Visit Kimber, Gentry and Saylor at the farm in Pennsylvania We’ve got plane tickets for the middle of July! 
Go home for Alabama Homecoming 
Write my Nanny once a month January: yes, sort of. February: yes! March: yes! April: No. May: No. June: YES! I mailed it the last week of June, but I still mailed it. It didn't do anything to dissuade my guilt though. 
Try 15 new recipes 1: Creamy Italian Chicken Crockpot Bake 2: Cajun Cake recipe from Southern Living Annual Recipes 1987 edition 3: Basil Chicken Pizza 4: Fiesta Chicken Rice Bowls 5: Carla Hall’s Confetti Blondies 6: Cheeseburger Pie 7: Sun-Dried Tomato and Herb Crusted Salmon 8: Bursting Blueberry-Chocolate Bundt Cake
Completely clean out my closet I reached a breaking point in June but never seemed to find the time to tackle this one. 
Take about a zillion more pictures Most weekends look like this. Maybe with a little bit of screaming though... 
Clean out the storage unit and sell the furniture we are never going to use (Accomplished in March) 
Show Mark Philadelphia and the Porecca family

I'm not quite giving up on myself yet. But this is still a pertinent question: At what point do I ring the bell and call it mediocrity?

Wednesday, July 1

Bursting Blueberry-Chocolate Bundt Cake

Usually, I can't stop making cupcakes and their breakfast counterpart, muffins. But lately I just haven't been in the mood to. I really have no idea why. Maybe it's the thought of adding more heat when it's already 7000° outside and about 1000° inside.

Then I went to the Montgomery Curb Market and got more blueberries than I knew what to do with. After about four days of just snacking on them out of the fridge, Mark and I were bored. And I was craving chocolate.

So I took a tried and true Southern Living blueberry muffin recipe, added mini chocolate chips, dumped it in a bundt pan and went back to watching White Collar.

OMG, the result was out of this world. It's incredible as a dessert, served warm with vanilla ice cream. But, it's also a very acceptable coffee cake for an on the go breakfast filled with bursting blueberries and a hint of chocolate. #winning

Bursting Blueberry-Chocolate Bundt Cake
3 ½ cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons salt
3 large eggs
1 ½ cups milk
½ cup softened butter
2 cups blueberries
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together eggs, milk and butter. Pour wet mixture into dry, stirring well. Fold blueberries and chocolate chips into the batter softly. Pour into greased bundt pan. Bake at 450° for about 15 to 20 minutes. Toothpick should come out clean of vanilla batter when inserted.

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