LIFE LATELY | OCT 18′

Hello My Beautiful Friends!

October has been such a fun & busy month! So today I’m taking some time to share a little bit of Life Lately!

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Lots of basketball has still been going on with our boy! Skill camps, Open Gyms, Training Sessions, Practices. Really whenever there is an opp for him and the Rock to get together, He is there!

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Mackenzie turned 9 and this year she wanted to have a party with a few of her closest friends. She knew a year out that she wanted an Emoji Glow in the Dark Skating Party so that’s what we did and it was so much fun!!!

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I see Will Jr. photo-bombing in the back of all the little ladies! haha! 😉

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Here are the Ortiz boys from oldest to youngest, Will Jr. Rob Jr. & Carlos Jr.

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GoPackGo has been off to a bit of a rough start this season!! 😐 But Tis the Season for lots & lots of Football! Hoping we pick it up after our bye this week and just play super amazing the rest of the season! #GoPackGo

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Sofia Reign is famous for some how scoring one of my pillows to take naps! Here is a pic I grabbed of her during one of her many power naps!

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This was so sweet, I was laying by the fireplace and over comes Sweet Sofia to lay with me! She really is just the sweetest Golden Labradoodle! Love her!

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Okay, People for some reason my hubs was determined to not turn the heat on here in the brisk North of Wisconsin until November 1st!!! 😐 Say What!!! So cozy slippers, socks & lounge-wear layers has been our jam around here!!

I took the kids to Helium last month when dad had to work a long weekend! I believe he worked 12 days straight which is a little crazy but what is required. We missed him but had so much fun!!! They have it all set up like the Ninja Warrior Courses. Such a fun time!

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The boys have been trying to squeeze in time on the course as much as they still can this fall! IMG_6585

While the boys hit the course that day, Mackenzie & I had a ‘Girls Day’ first stop was Starbucks! I ordered a PSL of course 😉 and she ordered her fave, which is a White Mocha Hot Chocolate!

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A stop at Charming Charlies & Justice were a must!

She is totally obsessed with Justice these days! All the extra’s not so much the clothes but all the accessories and a few of the trendier clothing items is what she seems to go for!

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On my Birthday My Husband took me to iFly Chicago for a little adventure and it was such a fun moment in time! Love this shot of him and love making memories big and small even more!

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The night of my birthday, this little man right here got sworn in by the judge as a Peer Mediator! What an honor, I’m so proud of this young man. I mean he is always chasing excellence and pushing himself to goodness. #LoveHimSoMuch

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Thursday Night the kids school hosted a Family Fun Night where they brought in The Mousetrap Machine Show. It was cute & paired with a Book Fair so it was a really nice night! I caught this snap of Will Jr. & I as the Mouse Trap Conductor was presenting one of his many fun little tricks! 😉 Will was in Awe.

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Will and I had dinner at one of our favorite places the other night. I chose the Pear Walnut Salad for Course One and as Will was ordering I mentioned how he may 😉 want the Lemon Chicken Noodle Soup as I just wanted a taste. He opted for the Bacon Wedge Salad rather instead but our waiter (who was hilarious by the way! 😉 ) brought me a little taste of the soup after all and I just thought that was the cutest little thing!

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All set & ready for a Family Fall Day! Little Mackenzie found a few of the most vibrant leaves outside and came in quick so I could snap a pic! IMG_6649

We had lunch at Cracker-Barrel and then stopped at the Apple Orchard and one of the local Pumpkin Farms! It was a cold yet good-good day filled with a little crazy and a lot of laughs!! I mean I laughed so hard I was crying and my face hurt! 🙂

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Will Jr. has been totally into Reading – Reading & More Reading these days. Books before bed, Books in the car, Books at the Breakfast Table, which makes this Momma, SO HAPPY! He also has been loving the Apple Cider K-Cups!! 😉 Isn’t he the cutest!

Well, that’s a little of our Life Lately!

Have a great Sunday-Funday!

srae

SHE IS NINE

Our Gracie Bella is Nine years old!

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I honestly don’t know where time has gone but, I do know I have embraced and cherished every single moment more now than I ever did before the birth of my two precious babes!

Well this precious girl is just the sweetest, juiciest hearted girl and she is such a big part of the heart of our home! She is and always has been so incredibly thoughtful and motherly to each and every one of us. I mean yes – even to momma and daddy! She is truly a precious gift. She has loved to sing, dance, color, draw, create, craft, shop, cartwheel and, cuddle, since her forever. When she was younger she used to say “I hold you” and we’d tease her and say “Yeah sure, You can hold Me” and she’d say back “Nooo, I hold you” it was the cutest thing! Will & I would always get the biggest kick out of this!

 

She has loved the Lord with such a special love since well, since she could share her love for Him. She would always share her love and respect for The Father, The Son & The Holy Spirit. She would say she loves them all and they all love us! See what I mean about her precious little heart. Her heart is full of love and we love her sweet little self!

 

Growing up when I would consider my future, I always prayed to God and asked him to bless me with the desires of my heart and that was to marry a tall, dark & handsome man and to have a son first and daughter second. I always only wanted two children and the Lord truly blessed me with the desire of my heart and My Sweet Gracie Bella, she sealed the deal with our family, made us complete!

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Celebrating Mackenzie Grace today was such a special day! My husband took half days this year for each of the kids birthdays and they went to have some fun before I got out of work and, we celebrated as a family. So she headed off to school with her classroom birthday favors to celebrate with her classmates. Then Will picked up Will & Mackenzie for lunch and they went to check out a movie.

We then took this little lady on shopping spree at Justice, LUSH and, Riley Rose. She really wanted to do this. For dinner she requested Dad’s Hard Shell Taco’s and his Puerto-Rican Rice with Cheesecake for Dessert.

We have an Emoji Glow in the Dark Skating Party planned for her, a few friends and, family members this weekend to close in the celebration of the big NINE!

 

When I asked her what are 9 things about her that are fun, interesting or unique she shared the following fun facts.

1. My favorite color is Yellow. I love yellow because of the Sun and I shine like the Sun.

2. I love Dance and this year I’m really focusing on my skills and techniques in dance and like I’m going to like fly like a butterfly in my growth this year, ya know! 😉

3. I’m still obsessed with Emoji’s, like I am going to probably love them forever!

4. I love hanging out with my family members and I love them just the way they are.

5. I love a celebration, It’s just so fun celebrating the things in life.

6. I love reading fiction chapter books. I just loves books!

7. I love all things about art & being creative. I just like making things, it’s fun.

8. I enjoy learning about history, family history and, world history. It really interests me.

9. I just appreciate God in my life and I believe He makes my life a better place.

 

And I couldn’t wait to share this, Will Jr’s letter to his sister was the sweetest kindest most loving letter I’ve ever read perhaps to this date. I asked him if I could share it on my blog and I got the approval to share this sweetness with you all! 😉 #preciousmoments

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So grateful for our little pumpkin love. She is such a Caring, Generous, Bold, Confident, Courageous, Strong, Beautiful, Angel Baby who arrived with a Pow and that is still how she is now. Life has honestly been so blessed with Grace!

srae

GETTING ORGANIZED & EC GIVEAWAY!

Hello My Beautiful Friends,

Today I am going to share my love for organizing via Erin Condren! I honestly believe these planners are great for keeping all of life organized! I am your typical Type-A gal, like I pride myself in staying on top of all my phone notifications, texts – voicemails &, emails! I guess I can be a little obsessed with staying organized and having things neat and orderly – heaven help me! I just love all that comes with planning staying & organized like super cute pens, trendy organizational totes, adorable & inspiring notebooks, cute stickers and color poppin’ post-it’s!

 

EC planners truly have a perfect personalized match for everyone! I guess I have a knee-jerk reaction to anything personalized and each EC planner is created and designed specifically for you, by you on-line so that adds a little something extra as well. Besides it’s nice to have that added dose of fashion & fun within your organizational set-up.  

 

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As a Wife, Momma Bear, Working full-time as an Analyst and, part-time Lifestyle Blogger, my day’s just fly by – literally! With so much on my plate, my to-do list demands are ever-changing so to stay on top of that I heavily rely on my paper planner. It’s been proven that staying organized is key at staying successfully productive!  

So I believe, having our priorities on the schedule only attributes to us living our best lives. Sometimes if I don’t write it down, it’s out of sight, out of mind and totally forgotten. I’m so old school when it comes to this, just something about writing it down is also so nostalgic to me.

 

I just received my 2019 calendar (shown above) which is perfect as we already have appointments and plans to be put on the schedule for 2019. This year I purchased the Deluxe Monthly Planner as in years past, a Snap-In Wellness Dashboard as well as a Monthly Bill Tracker Dashboard for my 2019 edition of EC.

The Deluxe Monthly Planner is the perfect combination of the EC Life Planner & Notebook combined.  I love the functionality of these planners as they make long term planning so manageable. You can choose to have colorful or neutral themed sheets within and I’ve gone back and forth over the years. I find that I truly prefer neutral as I am sure to add my own pop of color throughout the year. As mentioned previously I just love how you can select the planner that best suits your personal style! Another positive thing is you can choose to start your 12 month calendar when it works best for you!

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I have used multiple brands of planners in my years of paper planning and I have to say that this brand is by far the best investment yet. The quality is superb! It gives me all the space I need to write e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g down! This year I added extra pages to the note section because the last two years I found that I could have used just a few more.

Family Planning Tip: Once I have the Blueprint – Master Plan established in my Erin Condren Planner I then upload our family scheduled bits into our Joint Google Calendar. This helps Will as it generates alerts directly to his phone. I also like to sit down with him about once a quarter and make sure I’m still in sync with his calendar demands as well so we assure that we both are on the same page.

Every third week of the month I carve out some time to plan our next month and I list our priorities for that coming month on the side bar of my planner. I love how simple this brand has made my life. Truly, a life saver, makes me feel more centered & less stressed when all of life is piling up!  I now only carry my EC Planner & My laptop in my work bag Monday – Friday and it’s just that simple.

This week they are having a 25% off friends & family sale event on every single thing – no code necessary so now is the perfect time to head over to ErinCondren.com – as soon as possible ladies! You don’t want to miss out on this serious sale as the 25% off applies to everything!

Well that’s how I plan our schedules and keep track of life day to day via Erin Condren. I’d love to hear how you all stay organized and plan throughout the year so leave your comments below & I’ll be sure to check them out.

XOXO

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P.S. I am hosting a giveaway! I will be giving away a $25 Erin Condren E-Gift Card. Simply Click on the image below or here to complete the giveaway entry requirements. Going on from September 20 through September 30! 🙂 Good Luck, Dolls!!

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HE IS TEN!

 

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WILFRED EMMANUEL ORTIZ JR. 

Will turns the BIG TEN Today! What a cross-road we are at, he is officially in double digits. I just have to say it one – more – time, Today Our Boy turns 10! So it’s All About, Him! 

When I was 🤰🏻 pregnant with Will there was this peace that honestly surpassed my understanding. It was a new kind of peace and calm for me. There was such a solid confidence as well I could sense when I was carrying him and honestly he is every bit of that. I love him so much ya’ll! He is such a precious person truly, Golden. 

Will is a Smart, God-Fearing, Jesus Loving, Calm, Peaceable, Talented, a Humble Hustler, Kind, Shy, Loyal, Mellow, Tender Hearted, Eager, Athletic, Funny, Respectful, Deep Thinker, so well thought out about life, Super Sweet, an Amazing Big Brother, a Faithful Friend, Lover of Basketball, Player of Baseball, Peer Mediator, Artistic, Creative, Determined and just a Chill Will. I love him so much!  

Here are 10 Unique Facts about Will 

  1. He creates these amazing architectural designs. I can only imagine what his house is going to look like when He is older. I know it will be crazy amazing and totally genius! 
  2. His dad bought him a Sports Illustrated magazine subscription and He enjoys reading them. Recently he’s been on the hunt for A Basketball Player from the Gatorade ads they have been listing in there. They’ve had baseball and football, so he is eagerly waiting for a basketball one! haha, so funny. 
  3. He loves bike riding these days. Just yesterday he showed me how he can ride with no hands. I remember those days, to be young and free! Love it.
  4. He loves time with his sister, they truly are the best of friends. He told me the other day how he knows of a few friends that say they don’t like their brothers & sisters but he can’t imagine that because he just loves his sister so much. Such a sweetheart.
  5. In past he was extremely afraid of dogs. Last year in October 2017 we got Sofia Reign, a fun loving Australian Golden Labradoodle and he was in love from day one! So precious. Ever since – he has been ‘her’ person for sure!!! 
  6. Will loves to learn and is always up for adventure or a good challenge. This past year at the end of third grade, he was selected to be a Peer Mediator and was so excited to be apart of making peace and helping others!
  7. He has the funniest, heartiest laugh. There is a chuckle he has and it’s light. But his laugh is hilarious and you can not help but to smile ear to ear or join him laughing when you hear him heartily laughing! Love his joy, love his heart. 
  8. He is insanely good at the worm dance! I mean he does it really, really well! He loves to dance. He’s pretty shy in front of some people but dancing is something that is just in his soul. This past year, I spotted him in his room he didn’t know I was there watching and he was jamming out while dancing in front of the mirror! It was so funny when I said OK! Get it little man! 😉
  9. Will is naturally athletic, He has played Soccer, Football, Basketball, Baseball and was honestly great at them all. Soccer and Basketball is where he has most blown me away. I love watching this kid play! He loves Basketball the most and is very passion driven so if he isn’t that in to it, He would rather enjoy other things in life. Some kids love to play anything just to play. Well when it comes to friends, neighbors and, just playing at school, Will is all in for the fun. However when it comes to after-school activities and commitments he prefers only to commit to what he is passionate about. 
  10. He loves to cuddle still, He is 10 years old now and still loves to jump in bed with us and watch a movie. He gets a kick out of getting in between his dad and I and snuggling with the both of us, reminds us of when he was a baby! His heart for his family is genuine and pure gold. He loves us loving him and he loves loving us. 

He is an amazing person & I am privileged and honored to be his Momma! 

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Happy Golden Birthday Emmanuel!

 

 

 

xoxosteph

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL 2018

Hello Friends!

Today was our first day of 3rd & 4th Grade! I am so blessed to be surrounded with two of the world’s most amazing people and I am honored to be there Momma! They truly are remarkable little people.

They both had the best first day. Will Jr. says his first day they got right to work. It was fun and he loved seeing all of his friends, he’s sitting right next to one of the best. Mackenzie says her first day was the best as well! She mentioned how it’s important to always be nice to friends you may not have always been so close to because she really loved spending time with a friend from K5 and they were buddies for everything today. They both are excited for all the goodness that awaits them this year and the energy they brought home was amazing! Here are a few snaps of their first day back as well as a capture of the sit-down interviews I held with each of them this past weekend. Hope you all enjoy 😉

IMG_5959(We took the kids shopping especially for their first day outfits and I have to say they did a great job! Both of them have a great sense of style. #SoFun)

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SIT-DOWN INTERVIEW WITH WILL

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SIT-DOWN INTERVIEW WITH MACKENZIE

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Will & I got the kids off to school and then enjoyed our annual 1st day of school breakfast together. I love our breakfast on this day especially as we just re-cap all of the goodness of God’s provision on our lives. And it’s always a great time to talk about what some of our laser focuses are going to be for the kids year academically. This year we enjoyed breakfast at The Blue Bear (love that place). I then headed to work for the remainder of the day and this guy hit the golf course.

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After work, I had a dental appointment. Then we enjoyed dinner & the kids helped me make Peanut Butter Rice-Krispies, a First Day of School Tradition here in Casa de Ortiz. All and all, it was a beautiful day! I hope you all enjoyed your day as well!

 srae

BACK TO SCHOOL SEASON KICK-OFF

Hey Babes!

Tis’ the Season My Friends for Everything Back To School.

For some school has already started. We have been soaking up every single moment of summer and although we will be sad to see the freedom of our summer schedule go, we welcome the 2018-2019 school year with open arms and lots of anticipation of awesomeness! It’s been such a beautiful summer. All of the family time we have enjoyed together has really filled our hearts with such joy and is truly cherished! This summer seemed to have such a closeness of heart and for that I’m forever grateful.

 

BACK TO SCHOOL CHECKLIST

So in today’s post I’m sharing how we are kicking of back to school season. First up is my personal checklist that I created to keep me on task between the school years that have passed. I am kind of a lover of all things organization and this list I drafted a couple of years ago fosters organization during the Back to School season and helps keep me sane!

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KID STYLE INSIGHT 2018

This year is the first year that the kids had more of a firm say in their Back To School Clothing Hauls. I purchased a lot of their quality basics but we ventured into some new stores this year to explore more of their personal senses of fashion and it was fun! We all know Mackenzie loves to shop but it was nice to see Will express his vision for his own fashion sense.

Stores Shopped This Year: Gymboree, Gap, Nordstrom, J. Crew, Justice, Crazy 8, Abercrombie, H&M, Target, TJMaxx, & The North Face.

I am all about looking for ways to improve my strategies and I already found that packing both of them into one day will more than likely not happen next year. I think it will be best to focus on one of them at a time. We tagged teamed this year and knocked out the majority of it within one day. It took the entire day! Never thought I could really shop ’til I dropped but I totally did the day we were out and about shopping with the babes.

I have not found ‘short sleeve hoodies’ for my son yet, so if any of you have tips on how you shop for back to school clothes, I’m all ears!

 

LITTLE LUXURIES FOR MOM & DAD

After a full day of school & work we owe it to ourselves to have our Home Sweet Home full of life’s little luxuries. Here are a few of our favorite things. 

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Motivation in a MugHello Gorgeous Mug | Daniel Green Rave Ii Slipper in Leopard | Barefoot Dreams Cozychic Socks |Jack Black All-Over Wash | Voluspa Mandarino Cannela Candle |Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Wash | Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Sunset Black Tea | Men’s Ugg Scuff Slipper

 

SCHOOL SUPPLIES SHOPPING

This year I actually did 100% of our school supply shopping at Target.com with such a busy summer I planned to just sit one night and knock it all out. The cost was actually less than in years passed with the Back To School ‘Sale’ Prices and my additional 5% off with my Red Card and the Tax Free day here in Wisconsin, I scored quite a deal!

Some of my favorite Brands are Mead, FiveStar, PaperMate, Elmer’s, Expo, Sharpie, Post-It and, Yoobi. Anything vibrant and of good quality will totally get my investment. My kids have been so into pushing their water. This year we went with the SIP by Swell for Kids. They are the perfect size for my babes.

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Shop It: Unicorn Swell for Her  | True Blue Swell for Him | Ticonderoga Erasers | Yoobi Mini Highlighters | #2 Mechanical Pencil Set for Kids | Monogram Decal Stickers

 

This year Mackenzie was due for a new backpack as she has had the same one since K5. We picked this one out from Pottery Barn Teen. I love the Pottery Barn Backpacks as they are personalized and not everyone will have the same one as the babes not to mention how well made they are and how well they wash! We’ve only ever had backpacks from Pottery Barn as they really are so worth every penny.

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I’m logging off now to get ready to enjoy a special breakfast date with my little handsome. Promised him a breakfast date if he woke up early with his momma! Wishing you all a Wonderful Wednesday!

I hope you all enjoyed this little Back to School Season Post, seen first here at http://www.stephanieraeortiz.com. Want to share any of your Back To School finds this year? I’d love to hear what you all found so comment down below!

XOXO,

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