Monthly Archives: September 2015

Date Night- At Home

Date Night’s Out are RARE at our house.  In the first three years of parenthood I can count them on one hand. Literally.  Our Date Night’s might look a little different now that we are parents, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t necessary.  THEY ARE.

Keep dating your spouse. It is important.

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Today I am going to share our weekly Date Night at Home.  My husband picks up a Red Box Movie(frugal for the win) and we partake in homemade pizza night with the two munchkins.  They help put on all of the toppings, which makes for an interesting array of globbed on goodness.

After pizza it is imperative to run out the rest of our wiggles and giggles.

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These two are known for having a tremendous amount of energy and running out the rest of daylight is the perfect end to the workweek for us.  Even better if we get to make pizza at Nana’s and run around her giant yard.

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via Instagram

Our Date Night Out’s now happen once a month thanks to Nana moving down from Washington State.  We are beyond thankful that we get to dress up, have adult conversation and get out of the house.

BUT our tried and true Date Night at Home lets us unwind and reconnect.

Date Night at Home 

-Red Box Rental

-Homemade Pizza Night

-Iced Cold Pop

-Large Batch of BOOMCHICKAPOP

Rule: No smart phones or iPad use during movie.

Love catching up with each other.  Our standing Date Night at Home is so important as time feels like it’s moving faster and faster.  The kids are involved in more activities, work has picked up, and I’ve started going to Pure Barre. Taking care of our relationship is important.  Besides it won’t be long until the kids will be off at college… I kid.

BUT REALLY.

Date Your Spouse.

Do what works for you!  Babysitters are just not in the budget-so we do what works for us.

Now onto a FUN Contest thanks to BOOMCHICKAPOP!

I love how they are certified gluten-free and use non-GMO ingredients.

BOOMCHICKAPOP-date-night

CONTEST

Visit the BOOMCHICKAPOP Facebook page and share your own #BringTheBoom moment on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or Twitter for a chance to win Halloween kits (complete with Halloween goodies, a $50 Target gift card and free BOOMCHICKAPOP!) BOOMCHICKAPOP will pick the winners and mail prizes out a week before Halloween.

What are your favorite Date Night Ideas?

What movies are on your Watch List?

 

Would love to hear from you!

 

 

Fall Bucket List

Every year we try to get outside and participate in Fall events around the valley.  Our Fall Bucket List includes tried and true favorites of both the toddler and preschooler!  I can not wait for the cooler weather!

Flannel, Pumpkins, and Boots! OH MY!

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Fall Bucket List

Below you will find our most favorite Fall Activities! There is a Free Printable you can grab too-to hang up on the fridge and check off throughout the season with your family.

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Fall Bucket List- Corn Maze

The Corn Maze is a beloved tradition that both my husband and I cherish.  Honestly, who doesn’t love a good corn maze? Although, I will be the first to admit that those haunted corn mazes at night are a no-go.  I am the person that stands her ground when frightened(it is a gut reaction) and high-kicking pretend ghosts is frowned upon last time I checked.  Plus now that we have a two and three year old-haunted anything is really just a major parenting mistake.  Therapy for years, folks.  So we hit the corn mazes right when the sun starts to go down.  The ground is no longer muddy, everyone is usually off eating dinner, and the temperatures hit just right out here in the desert.

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Fall Bucket List-Carving Pumpkins

Pumpkin Carving is a family activity.  Both Emma Marie and Raymond participated at just one year old.  I don’t love cutting the pumpkins into adorable shapes-the husband brings out the power tools and creates epic masterpieces-but I do love letting the kids help and get covered in goo.  Both of them tend not to mind raw pumpkin seeds, but a gentle reminder about how delicious they are once baked(with a dash of sea salt) and that puts a stop to the premature snacking.

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Carving Pumpkins

Both Emma Marie and Raymond take their time and get every single pumpkin seed out of their pumpkin.  Emma Marie didn’t mind the messy texture as much as Raymond last year and she happily helped get the ick out of the pumpkins too.  We will see what they think this year.

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Fall Bucket List- Pumpkin Carving

Picking out pumpkins at the farm is a family tradition.  Raymond picked out a perfectly round one, Emma Marie picked a small one, and then the husband and I picked giant ones.  He goes for ones that have easy to carve surfaces(whatever that means), while I tend to try and pick which one has the most seeds.  Pumpkin seeds are truly one of my most favorite things about Fall.

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Pumpkin Carving with Toddlers & Preschoolers

One proud little toddler.  That is all of the pumpkin she got out while helping me.  Love making it a family night.  We get the pumpkins prepped, the husband carves them, and I bake up the seeds.

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Fall Bucket List-Schnepf Farm

The Schnepf Farm Pumpkin & Chili Festival is a fabulously fun, family affair.  The tickets are a tad expensive, but we have never felt like it ended up being not worth it.  Plus you can grab them at a discount at the local grocery store.  Love going on the rides, the haunted train, and enjoying a family fun night out.

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Fall Bucket List-Family Photos

Fall Family Photos -each year the kids get to wear a cute outfit(they are only little once) and I get a new photo to hang-up for the season.  I definitely choose to shoot photos outside when possible and love how these simple shots looks, nearly three years later.

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Fall Family Photos

The photos you aren’t seeing?  A certain someone picking their nose.  A pumpkin or two that are being dropped from an un-nerving height. Well, those end up being my most favorite and precious possessions.  Definitely more of a glimpse in time than those perfectly posed-everyone’s smiling shots.

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Halloween Family Photos

Obligatory Halloween Shot for the Halloween Wall.  What you don’t know what that is?  Well, my mother started a Halloween Wall of us dressing up every year as a family and we carry on the tradition.  Four Halloween’s in and it keeps getting better!

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Fall Bucket List- Family Photos

This year we parked next to a local farm’s corn fields and ran to grab a shot of these two.  They were telling secrets(or scheming) but we loved our five-minute photo shoot.  I cap all photo shoots at ten minutes.  Five is the lucky number.  Just make sure the camera is charged, card has enough memory, and the props are in reach.

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Fall Bucket List-Candy Corn Art

I LOVE a good hand-print or footprint art piece for the memories they hold.  This candy corn footprint was Emma Marie’s last year.  She detested the texture of paint on her hands so we chose to do feet for her.  Now at two she relishes her time painting so we are planning on two sets of Candy Corn Hand Prints for the wall.  Can’t wait to get those up!

Painted Pumpkins

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Baby & Toddler Painting Pumpkins

Painting Pumpkins -both kids delighted in picking out small pumpkins at the farm to paint last year.  Lovely way to decorate the table.  I use the painted pumpkins as centerpieces throughout October and November. They last much longer than our carved pumpkins who have a shelf-life of roughly 24 hours before they start to mold.
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Perfect craft for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers! Definitely loved seeing what they created and watching their little minds work.
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Fall Bucket List-Vertuccio Farms

Vertuccio Farms Fall Festival is hands-down the family favorite.  Affordable and completely walk-able fun!  We picked out all of our pumpkins from Vertuccio last year, rode the barrel train, went down the epic-ally large slides, fed the farm animals, bounced our hearts out, and were challenged by the deceivingly large corn maze.

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Vertuccio Farms Fall Festival is a local MUST for those in the Phoenix area.  We have attended the past three years and are counting down the weeks until we go again!

Free Printable

Fall Bucket List-Free-Printable

Grab your FREE download of this Free Printable HERE- Fall Bucket List-Free-Printable

 

Thanks for reading!  Would LOVE to hear from you.

What are your favorite Fall Bucket List Activities?

Definitely want to continue to add some fun and new activities each year.

 

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

Snuggle- Kindness Matters

Our role as parents is to teach our children what truly matters in life.  Kindness can be taught, but most importantly there need to be good people in their lives that model the traits that they hope their kids will someday encompass.  Kindness matters.  snuggle-the-bear-kindness-matters

Kindness Matters

I think as a parent it is hard to see when you, “Get it right,”.  We do the best we can each day.  Without the help of my husband I would definitely give into those feelings of self-doubt.  Doubting my parenting.  Doubting my decisions.  Letting that cruel comment sink in further than it should.  Being a parent is rough-throw in the Internet where everyone knows the RIGHT way to do something and you are bound to fall down flat.

Our goal was to raise our kids the best we could.

Kindness, compassion, and empathy are incredibly important to me as a person.  From a very early age we have worked with both of our kids at sharing, understanding why other’s are sad/angry, and what we can do to make them better.

I’ve discussed here that both kids stand up for each other.  Emma Marie has put herself in between a would-be attacker and her big brother to save him.  Raymond has literally saved Emma Marie from falls, trips, and watches over her wherever we go.  They keep each other safe because they love each other.  It is important to them.  They care about other people’s feelings and try to right wrongs they see done.  I’ve seen this time and again.

That doesn’t mean it was easy.  That just means that anytime one of them were outright mean(just once-no second chances) that we left wherever we were.  I packed us all up to go to the Zoo, drove thirty minutes, unpacked, and we were there for no less than ten minutes when Raymond hurt his sister(and meant to).  We left immediately.

That never happened again.

There were those trips to the park on a gorgeous day that just beckoned for us to play outside.  If one of the kids threw a tantrum(for any reason), we left.  That has happened three times.  Three awful times.

Consequences for actions matter.  It matters that you are unwavering.  It matters that they understand the consequences.  Frankly, it may be hard on you to deal with the consequences(I hate packing) but all good things in life come from hard work.  Doing the right thing, just isn’t always easy. 

I am grateful that I can count on Raymond to be a good role model for Emma Marie.  That he will choose to do what’s right.  That’s a lot to ask of a three year old.  But it’s never too early, especially now that he is in preschool.

 

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Teaching Kindness

Emma Marie LOVES Bears & Puppies.  She carries them around and calls them her babies.  She sleeps with them, feeds them, and even attempts to put clothes on them.  When Snuggle sent us three Snuggle Bears one to keep and two to give she just couldn’t contain her happiness.  She squealed with joy and said thank you a dozen times.

As soon as I told her we were going to give the other two away she started gushing over how her cousins would LOVE them.  I thought that perhaps she would want to keep all the bears… more is better to many(most) people, but she got all sorts of giggly and put the two girl’s bears up on the counter to wait for when we would see them.

Well this mom’s heart melted to pieces.

Sometimes it takes a gentle reminder that the kids understand.  That kindness, rather than another toy matters too.

 

Emma Marie receiving her Snuggle Bear.

Last Thursday a sweet mom pointed out that Raymond was the only boy in class that let the girl’s play pirates with him. Sometimes it takes hearing it from another parent that maybe you aren’t screwing this whole parenting thing up.  That maybe you are getting something right.

If you get a chance, pay a compliment to a fellow parent.  You might not know how much it truly means to them.

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Snuggle Bear

Check out what Snuggle is doing on National Teddy Bear Day- perhaps more companies can learn from their example and give to those that have nothing to give them in return.

Kindness, always matters.

Snuggle

September 9th is National Teddy Bear Day. In honor of all the joy, companionship and comfort Teddy Bears can bring, this SeptemBEAR we’re donating 5,000 teddy bears to children in need. Help us raise awareness by sharing your own memories, photos or videos with a special Teddy Bear in your life using the hashtag #ShareABear. Learn more and join the movement at Snuggle’s FB Page.

 

I would love to hear about a parenting win- a moment that made you proud.

Those moments need to be celebrated.

 

Mother Runner Helper

I love to be outdoors with my two little ones.  There was a time that I even CHOSE to run as a form of exercise that I saw fulfillment in.  After both pregnancies I’ve had a hard time getting back in “running shape”.  Not literally in shape, although that did take an interesting turn of events with my pregnancy and postpartum with Emma Marie.

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Prior to kids I played soccer competitively, ran for fun, and could Zumba with the best of them!  Now I just know that there may or may not be an unwanted little problem if I choose to participate in those activities.  Kegels be darned. No amount of working out has helped and I am just going to have to realize that the price of my two little darlings may be a little unwanted trip to the bathroom until I get my body(all of my body) back.

Right after I had Raymond- six weeks postpartum-I was trying to play Just Dance with my family at home for the holidays in Washington State.  My body was just not ready for that amount of action and quite literally nothing helped with the problem… My family knows the story well-heck they even joke about-so if maybe one or two of you are nodding your head in unison?

Well fist-bump it up ladies.

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There used to just be a way to disguise this problem… I’ve talked about it before-HERE– but now there is a way to prevent those problems from occurring!  It works-I’ve successfully chased my two kids around the soccer field and ended up covered in sweat but without any incidents!

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Poise Impressa Info

Stopping leaks starts with the Impressa Sizing Kit. Impressa comes in three different sizes, and the Sizing Kit helps you find your most effective and comfortable fit. Each kit includes six bladder supports (two of each size), along with a $4 coupon toward a 10-count Single-Size Pack of Impressa. After you’ve found your perfect fit with the Impressa Sizing Kit, it’s time to purchase a Single-Size Pack. AND THAT’S WHAT ONLINE SHOPPING IS FOR.  Grab this coupon- HERE-and get yourself back.

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I hope that this helps- I honestly didn’t think it was going to work, but I am thrilled to say that it does!  I can do just about anything without it’s help… save for running.  Hoping in the future that I will no longer need a Mother Runner Helper- but I am grateful that it is available!

What are has helped get your body back after babies?

You can check out my personal story about working on my body and how excited I am that Pure Barre is in my life now!

Would LOVE to hear from you!

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

Phoenix Thrill Seeker Stunt Run

Tired of telling the kids no? What about all those “DO NOT ATTEMPT” warnings? Want to try “As Seen on TV” stunts with all your friends? Here’s your chance!

Join me on October 31st at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Phoenix for a one-of-a-kind fun run designed by Hollywood stuntmen!

Phoenix Thrill Seeker Stunt Run

From a creator of popular stunt shows like MTV’s Nitro Circus and Fuel TV’s Thrillbillies, comes the run with over a dozen heart-pounding challenges everyone can safely enjoy with their friends and family. Visit www.stuntrun.com to get your tickets and to find more information!

With evermore-extreme stunts popularized on the internet and TV, the ThrillSeeker Stunt Run is designed to bridge the gap between safety and adrenaline. The Stunt Run showcases advanced stunt rigging, airbags, and inflatables granting broader access to a bolder form of obstacles not limited by mud, electric shock, cold, extreme fitness, or trending gimmicks found in other running events.
The Stunt Run also throws in world-renowned DJ Will Gill, local food trucks, and a family friendly Kid’s Stunt Run (ages 6-12), so there is something for everyone!

Phoenix Thrill Seeker Stunt Run

The Stunt Run is proud to partner with Be The Match, the nation’s largest and most diverse bone marrow registry, in an effort to provide life saving bone marrow matches to those suffering from blood cancers.

I just celebrated my second year as a member of Be The Match and am proud to show my support with my family and friends at the Phoenix Thrill Seeker Stunt Run!

COUPON

Save $10 on the World’s ONLY Stunt Run – Save $10 on registration for full race (ages 12+)! Kids Stunt Run participants, ages 6-12, are always at our lowest price of $35 (and they get a t-shirt, too!)

Use code USFAM10  and Click HERE

Team Costume

We are working on a team costume… don’t quite know what we are going as yet…

Scooby Doo Characters- Star Wars- Super Heroes

 

Any ideas for a team costume?  We are not allowed to wear spikes.

 

Thank you to USFG for Sponsoring this opportunity.  As always all opinions are 100% my own.

 

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