Monthly Archives: May 2015

Life Lately

Goodness there has been a lot of things to update in our life lately. Lots of things are happening behind the scenes of this blog and it was good time that I do a little update.
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Summer is in FULL force here. We had the mildest May on record for us living in the Valley of the Sun so I am just counting us lucky ducks for being able to have the windows open until this past week. Probably won’t see fresh air until September in this house… thankgoodness for air filters.

This summer with TWO active kids we have been able to be outside a lot more. Emma Marie needs less “things” and just a little bit more watching. She has a knack for living on the dangerous side. And is fully bent on keeping my blood pressure nice and high. As she keeps me on my toes, Raymond is having full-conversations and wanting to REALLY know the reasons behind, everything. The teacher in me LOVES his creativity. And yet after the 2,987th why in the day I get just a tad stingy with the answers. Because I said so. Because.

Yep, I am winning at this mom thing.<<<Where is the sarcasm font when you need one?

 

Can I tell you how amazing Mom 2.0 Summit was??? It was a dream come true to attend– I found out the night before and well, let’s just say the epic-ness of meeting with, forming relationships with brands, and now seeing those relationships through has made it all worth it. SO much so that I already have my ticket for next year.

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With my newly found satchel-because Indiana Jones wears one– that could carry both my iPad and the biggest box of business cards(that I went completely through the first day-note to self to bring 250 each day) I put on my best- I know what I’m doing face and marched right up to people. My stomach was sick with worry, but I did my best to hide that with a cheesy smile… so much easier to talk to eighth and sixth graders than the Marketing Director of Brands I’ve LOVED and cherished for years. Thankful for the connections I’ve made and hopefully you will all benefit(BIG giveaway coming up).

And with that- NANA IS MOVING TO THE DESERT!

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She got a teaching position at the brand-new Middle School/High School that’s ten minutes from us AND THIS is the house we will be moving her into in June. Basically our dream house. Love that the kids will grow up knowing her! It has been over twelve years since I moved from the Pacific Northwest-so let’s just say I’m a tad bit excited to have family!

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Last summer I hid under clothes at the beach. This year I did my best at being present and wore my swimsuit every day we were at the beach. Sure I don’t look like I did when I was 21… but I have two of the BEST reasons why. Plus I am banking on the fact that the kids won’t remember what I looked like in my swimsuit(because who really cares) but will remember that we ran in and out of the waves for hours.

 

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Raymond had another cardiologist appointment on Wednesday. His heart is mending slowly, very slowly, so we will see how it looks in December and figure out where to go from there.  Love this little ray of sunshine.

 

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

What is your go-to swimsuit/outfit at the beach?

Do you have family close?

Would love to hear from you!

Odd Mom Out + Mom-Osa Recipe

When I get the chance to relax, one of my favorite things to do is snuggle up on the couch and watch a comedy.  Don’t get me wrong I can watch Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park all.day.every.day. BUT with two small munchkins running around the house it’s nice to settle in with some laughs after they’ve gone to bed.  Goodness knows I could use a chuckle after potty training, an epic meltdown, or this fabulous threenager phase.

The days are long, but the years are short.

Repeat mantra. Over and Over.

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Look at this FABULOUS Mom-osa! OH YES. You can bet I’m calling my drinks that from now on.  It’s catchy and I love it.

I like to class my drink up(sometimes) and add a little puree goodness on the bottom? What no fresh raspberries from the store? Just add a spoonful of goodness-organic pear and black cherries-YUM.

MOM-OSA RECIPE:

Champagne

Dash of Orange Juice-that’s right, I said dash.

Spoonful of Pureed Fruit

Repeat if necessary.

 

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Drinks all around! That’s right.  Comedy and a glass of bubbly??? That just about solves the roughest poop-fiasco.  Did I lose you at poop? Yes, ahh the glamorous life of a parent.

I was sent the first TWO episodes of Odd Mom Out and boy did I laugh out loud A LOT.  Most of the time I was shaking my head and cheers-ing the mom for her bravery to just DO HER. You know the saying DO YOU.  Doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. You DO YOU.  Well, that’s hard to do in the world of judgmental parenting and trying to keep up with the Jone’s.


The Story: Odd Mom Out

Jill has an interesting perspective into the crazy world of the Upper East Side—where money is no object to her peers and normal every day issues consist of how to get your child into the best private school, which elite cycling class you should attend, or when to add a “Von” to your name to move up a class. Jill hilariously navigates the social scene; one awkward moment at a time.

I’ve definitely felt like the Odd Mom Out in my four years as a parent.  Not having the financial means of having a baby-sitter every weekend means at-home date nights for my husband and I.  So going out with our friends that live lavishly has put us on the out-skirts of their social calendar.  I don’t believe we are missing out on anything.  But their comments can be quite blunt and off-putting.  Ignorance is bliss-in that they don’t understand because they don’t have to? That’s just go with that.

 

I am grateful that I’ve met pretty incredible moms this past year who are like-minded in the fact that they are REAL and down-to-earth.  It is nice to know in this crazy world that we are not alone in our battles and Bravo does a great job at showing that moms everywhere are just doing their best.

Hilarious even without the Mom-Osa. Or two.

Tune-in on June 8th @ 10/9c on Bravo!

Check out below for two more RECIPES, some AWESOME perks, and a SWEEPSTAKES!

 

VIM Perks Program

Fans who engage early on will be able to take advantage of all of the VIM Perks Program discounts and you will be entered into the Ultimate VIM Sweeps by sharing the sweeps with your friends using #OddMomOutSweeps and tagging @BravoTV.

Download the Bravo Daily Dish App or visit the VIM perks page!

Sweepstakes

It’s premier time! Chance to WIN $20,000 in each of the first 4 weeks of premier episodes!

Viewers have an opportunity to win $20,000 in each of the first 4 weeks of premiere episodes (starting 6/8 – 6/29) through the Tune-In to Win Sweepstakes. Tune in live at 10/9c on Mondays (6/8-6/29) for the secret hashtag and tweet it out to @BravoTV each week for your chance to win.

 

Have you ever felt like the Odd Mom Out?

Do you have another delicious drink recipe to share?

 

 

Spread the LOVE: Ultra Hug

Spread the Love and nominate a favorite local project that could use $2,000 from Huggies this summer!  I am crossing my fingers and toes that the Tumbleweed Recreation Center wins one of the grants! The Bike Helmet Program is calling my heart, BUT for those that have followed along the past two months they offered me a free mammogram that helped diagnose my lump and get me on the fast-track for medical care.  The lump was benign- we found out the day before Mother’s Day after they removed a chunk.  So grateful for this community center and the positive impact it continually has on our family’s lives.

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Tumbleweed Rec Center is an incredible source of free and cheap entertainment, kids activities, and health fairs.  Huggies has let us nominate a community project in our area with their #UltraHug Campaign on Social Media. Tumbleweed Rec Center could sure use the extra $2,000.

When Raymond was little we attended a fabulous Health Fair and were able to score a FREE bike helmet for our little tike.  That was two years ago and due to budget cuts they have not been able to Spread the Love recently.

I am ALL about Bike Safety and am a huge advocate for practicing what you preach.  Seeing as if you follow me onInstagram you will find that ALL of us wear Bike Helmets when we ride.  Helmet hair is much cooler than head trauma.  All day, every day.

Here is my Instagram Submission:

 

  Share-The-Love-Bike-Safety

NOMINATE

Nominate your community project by uploading a selfie of you and your baby to Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #UltraHug. Be sure to include details in your social posts about the project you are nominating. In your story make sure to share why the local community project you selected is important to you, and how it will impact those in your community. From April 20th until June 25th, Huggies will be accepting all selfies of you and your baby with the hashtag#UltraHug, and featuring them in a collage on the campaign landing page. On July 6th, voting will begin to narrow down the 20 finalists to 10 winners who will win a $2,000 grant from Huggies for their nominated community initiative.

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Helpful Hints

You can check out for yourself how these diapers are essential for our Top FIVE Bedtime Tips and Tricks with a Baby & Toddler.  Seriously, life-changing.  I treasure my sleep.  And SLEEP is essential for my sanity.  I think most parents would agree with that assessment.  We also are THOSE people that have a successful nighttime routine that we’ve had in place now for YEARS.  Goodness did my mom heart just skip a beat.  We’ve been parents for close to four years.

Huggies Snug & Dry Ultra Diapers at Walmart

Huggies Snug & Dry Ultra Diapers offer long-lasting leakage protection you can count on, so you can focus on all of your baby’s daily adventures. The range of sizes fit babies from newborn to 35 lbs. Only Huggies Snug & Dry Ultra Diapers have a new, unique quilted liner to lock away wetness better. They have a conforming, gap-free fit to keep your active baby dry throughout the day The trusted Leak Lock® System has quick-absorbing layers for up to 12 hours of protection.

How to Enter the #UltraHug Selfie Contest

• First, take a selfie of you and your baby and upload that selfie to Twitter or Instagram. Make sure to use the hashtag #UltraHug • In your same post, make sure to include a text nomination (approximately 100 – 120 characters) including a name and/or identifying description of a community project in the US, which you would like to nominate. Make sure the community project is something near and dear to your heart. My TWEET:

 

 

 

What project would you like to nominate in the Huggies #UltraHug Contest?  

Who in your community could put $2,000 to good use?

Are you a fan of the nightime  bedtime routines?

 

Memorial Day Weekend: Family Update

  Prepped and READY to go! Star Spangled Marshmallows for #MemorialDay – check out the blog for #recipe 😍   A photo posted by Holly Marie (@ascuteasabugsear) on

Thankful for all who gave everything today. #MemorialDay A photo posted by Holly Marie (@ascuteasabugsear) on

Loved our weekend full of family and fun. We explained what Memorial Day truly means to Raymond this year and he gets it. Thankful for those who made the ultimate sacrifice. They are the reason we can have weekends like these. We will never forget their sacrifice.

The greatest intentions to do a BIG barbecue led us to realizing we didn’t thaw any of our stash of meat-major fail. But the kids didn’t know the difference and we had some sweet treats to eat as we relished in our time together outside. I am crossing my fingers that the ten bushes I planted make it. The desert is quite cruel and I have a history of killing plants. So there’s that.

How was your Memorial Day Weekend?

Did you celebrate the holiday with a special tradition?

Would LOVE to hear from you!

Follow along with me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest!

Messes Make Memories

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Walmart Family Mobile. All opinions are mine alone. #MobileMemories #CollectiveBias

Memorial Day Savings-Walmart-Family-Mobile

Deep Thinking

I am a firm believer that Messes Make Memories.  Not one of my favorite memories from growing up involves being inside…well, there was that time we had laser guns, chest pads, and the best babysitter ever. BUT- my favorite memories revolve around water and being outside.  Kind of ironic seeing as we now reside in the Valley of the Sun. But I try my hardest to get the kids outside every day- splash pads, water park, zoo trips, riding bikes to the park.

Messes make memories.

We brought home half of the beach in our car and shoes.  Memories of chasing the waves for hours, shoo shooing the sea gulls, “popping” the kelp bulbs, and building the biggest kingdom of sand castles known to man.

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I try to live in the moment as much as possible.  Bringing out my big girl camera calls for a special occasion as then I do not get to be “present”.  I hide behind my big lens.  Capturing the moments I hold dear, yet escaping proof of my presence.

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Memories On the Go

I am especially grateful for being able to take clear pictures without busting out the BIG GUNS with the DSLR every day.  Aside from saving over $1,800 this year with Walmart Family Mobile and being able to afford a trip to California to see family and visit the Happiest Place on Earth… clear pictures are pivotal.

Grainy pictures? I ain’t got time for that.

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BIG Wave Alert

Raymond and Emma Marie spent FOUR days in the sand.  Bundled up in the morning as it was quite chilly-yet both of them CHOSE to run in the waves, chase the sea foam, and get soaked.  This made my heart so happy, as someone who grew up in the Pacific Northwest and swam in the freezing Sound(on purpose).

My kids love it just like I do.

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Of course it helped that I had a hot chai tea in my hands to help ease the burn that was that cold water. SO SO COLD.  Yet we ran into the waves, jumped on “three”(not after, on three-because I know you were wondering) and then ran away again.  Hours and Hours.

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Chasing Waves

I taught Raymond how to watch the swells.  He learned how to count the waves so that he could see if a Power Set was rolling in.  He would LOUDLY declare to the beach, ” BIG WAVE- run away, run away!!!” and proceed to shoo Emma Marie and I up toward the dry sand before the Big Set rolled in.

This pleased the life guard on duty as we were the only ones brave enough to get in the water most mornings.

You’re welcome big guy.

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Sand in Our Toes

My favorite memories as a child were of camping out by the river, swimming in the Sound, and playing on the lake. My heart feels full when I can watch my children cherish the water as much as I did.

Sandy lunches were eaten. Naps weren’t taken.  But I didn’t hear one complaint. Not one single complaint.  For a mother of a one(almost two year old) and threenager you can color me impressed.

Nature will always win over technology.

Always.

I am thankful that we were able to save up enough to make this trip.  To make these memories.  Two months ago thanks to the easiest switch we’ve ever done… we made this all possible.

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We switched to the Walmart Family Mobile service at $29.88/month (for the first line) Unlimited Talk, Text & Data service plan which includes up to 1G of 4G LTE data.   Our Alcatel Evolve 2 phone is perfect for all of my social media needs AND for capturing the precious family memories. I picked it up at my neighborhood Walmart two months ago and have been incredibly pleased with not worrying about dropped calls or grainy pictures.

Disclaimer: All prices for phones and plans included in this post are accurate as of the date of posting; however, these prices are subject to change. Please refer to THIS or your local Walmart for current pricing.

On our trip to California we also got to visit the Happiest Place on Earth. I decided to forgo the DSLR and just went with my Fanny Pack and Phone. I wanted to live in the moment and just BE with my family.  I also wanted to be IN the picture!

Moms & Dads we need to be IN the picture more.  

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Disneyland

Sweet Memories.

Messes make Memories.

I know how messy we got as I just finished the fifth load of laundry from our trip.  I know that my car is begging to be vacuumed out as piles of sand sit beneath both car seats and covers the back thoroughly.  I know as I glance back through the pictures that we had the time of our lives.  We relished in our time together and could just BE.

Our plans for this Memorial Day are to go to the lake and host a BBQ.  Lots of favorite treats like the Star Spangled Marshmallows and of course the Slip N Slide. Water AND Mud? Everyone wins.  Except for the washer.

If we were still out in California I would love to spend the day in the water, thoroughly dousing ourselves in salt water, and end the day with a bonfire while roasting s’mores.

I just shared how I capture our messy memories.

What are your favorite childhood memories? What are your plans for the upcoming holiday?

Leave a comment and let me know!

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