Daily Archives: January 20, 2015

Our Secret Hideout: Building the Perfect Fort

Guess what we did? We made DREAMS COME TRUE. That’s right.

We are EXPERT Fort-Makers… we come from a long, long line of professional Fort-Makers-those who delight in making memories with the most simplest of gestures- The Fort. As parents we take our job seriously when it comes to giving our kid’s the best that we can give them. To us, in many ways, that means living out their dreams-their imaginative dreams with the help of a “night in” in our very own pillow forts.


For the past three years our forts full of pillows, lovies, and blankets could be found under our dining room table.  We would snuggle in close, bring in the flashlights and “talk” like they do in The Sandlot(if you don’t know that movie Google it NOW)…. F.O.R.E.V.E.R. They truly don’t know how cool that is yet… but someday they might just come to that realization.

A parent can dream, right?

Now I don’t throw the word EXPERT around without giving a word or two of advice for all you novice Fort-Builders.  ANCHOR. ANCHOR. ANCHOR. The chairs around the table should be pushed out and pillows should be crammed in every nook and cranny-it’s best when no outside light can be noted-and then when you top the table with blankets make sure you ANCHOR those babies down.  A toddler doesn’t know where the “correct” exit is… because really it’s a fort and there is no right or wrong-SO they will exit wherever and whenever they feel like it.



Nothing can ruin a ‘night in’ the fort than the fort coming down the first time an errant toddler runs amok.  One surefire way to make my little one’s day? POPCORN. Seriously, they yell-laugh-shimmy in the kitchen to that sweet, sweet sound of popping.  I wish I remembered to take video… because popcorn dancing is a real thing.  It’s contagious.  And a ton of fun.

Our family favorite has always been Pop Secret Homestyle– made with a sprinkle of salt and a taste of butter. Delicious in a bowl.  Check out this coupon for $1 OFF!

 The famous… well should be famous popcorn shimmy-victory dance.

 Taste Test: Toddler Approved

Here is a look at one of our causal dining room forts. Clad with pillows, lovies, and candles(battery-operated -holy fire hazard batman). Of course a favorite show was added in with the help of technology… but you can bet that they love Mickey just as much as when Dad read’s them their favorite bedtime story.

Remember: Anchor the blankets. Use the weight of the chairs.

Emma Marie ran right out that back wall-thankfully she also ducked-but the fort remained in tact.

 Now this is where I tell you about FULFILLING CHILDHOOD DREAMS.

My husband and I always wanted to give our kids a place of their own.  A fort, secret hideout, something they could claim as their space- an untouchable parent zone-clad with the secret pass-code.

After the holidays we took the time to empty out the space under our stairs.  It took nearly five hours and our garage is not as pretty as it once was(who really needs a pretty garage anyway?) and we were left with this glorious amount of space.

Space where Raymond’s old crib fit perfectly back in the corner.  The daybed version of the crib was installed and pillows added.  Next we added in some LED(crucial-less fire hazard potential) icicle lights that we got on a major sale 90% off.

Seating? Yes.

Light source? Yes.

Now for the name…

Raymond immediately shouted, “The Secret Hideout!” and lectured us on using the proper password to gain entry.

If anyone was wondering… it’s “YOHOHO”.


So after a half hour surrounded by blankets we all headed to The Secret Hideout.  Shouted, “YOHOHO”. Yes, even Miss Emma Marie at just one year’s old knows you have to say that… I can hear her clearly every day pipe those words Each.And.Every.Time she goes in.

Please tell me the cuteness won’t wear off?



So each week we pick a night.  A special night.  Where we all sit together, eat a big bowl of popcorn, and get lost in the wonders that are two toddler’s imaginations.

Please. Never Grow Up.

NOW- if you would like a chance to win MYSTERY prizes please read carefully below.  I am entering Pop Secret’s Contest– You should too!

And don’t forget about the $1 OFF coupon!

Pop Secret is your perfect snack companion on trips into the uncharted reaches of your imagination.

Pop Secret knows that fun, like popcorn, is better when it’s shared. Send Pop Secret your pillow fort stories and pictures on Facebook. You can upload them right to the Pop Secret timeline and tag them #PopSecretForts. They might just share a little something back!

People who submit photos of their pillow forts to the Pop Secret Facebook page will also be eligible to receive a host of mystery prizes and rewards while supplies last. #BOOMSHAKALAKA


Are you an Expert Fort-Maker?  Do you remember building them as kids?

Some of my favorite memories from when I was little came from our mom letting us build forts.


This post was sponsored by Pop Secret. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Our Long Weekend


Sharing a glimpse into our life recently… we are going to the farm and zoo quite often!  Why not when the weather is in the 40s-70s on our visits.  Start out bundled up then just peel off the layers- love our outside time.


Train Ride at Schnepf Farm


Reveling in the fact that some trees do lose their leaves here in Arizona…


Stocking up on lemon and grapefruit goodies- our freezer is now packed with rind and five- 1 gallon bags of lemons sliced, and three- 1 gallon bags of grapefruit sliced.  All the leftover pieces are being used to help clean our garbage disposal.

This past week we were able to witness a gender reveal for our sweet friends!  We took home two of the pink balloons seeing as they are going to be having a boy this June!


We took out ALL of the boxes AND storage(crap) from under our stairs to create a “Secret Hideout” for our two kids.  Sure our garage is storing more items-but it is well worth it.  A dream come true and one that we have wanted to create for the past three years.  Definitely will be showing you some updates to the BEST FORT EVER.

Miss Emma Marie loves all animals dearly.



I immediately break out in the Indiana Jones Theme Song each and every time we go past this “abandoned” jeep.  Even if it’s just kids and I.

I am that person.


Well, hope you all had a wonderful weekend with your loved ones!

We took time yesterday to talk to our little ones about kindness.  It is something we strive for every day in our family but we can all be reminded about how important it is to just be kind.  Kindness matters.

The time is always right to do what is right.  MLK Jr.