Sunday, September 21, 2014

Simple Sunday: Best Dinosaur Cake Ever!

I have an awesome friend who made this in just a few hours before Damien's birthday party started.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Simple Sunday: Party Planning for Damien's 5th Birthday!

Swamp Dip, Explorer Rocks & Brontosaurus Burger Bites (to name a few). Can you tell what the theme is for Damien's 5th Birthday Party? He's so excited, that he's even making decorations!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Snacktastic Saturday: Pumpkin Spice Latte

Fall is officially almost here! It's not the crunching of the leaves that tells you, but the arrival of Pumpkin Spice Lattes at coffee shops everywhere. Unfortunately for me, making a daily visit to a coffee shop is out of the question. But that's okay since I can enjoy a Pumpkin Spice Latte without even leaving my home, whenever I want. 

I keep it simple when it comes to making a Pumpkin Spice Latte & make it in the mug itself (hence why there's a bit of pumpkin along the edges of the cup). 

print recipe

Pumpkin Spice Latte
Forget seasonal, enjoy a Pumpkin Spice Latte at home whenever you're in the mood for one!
  • 3/4 C. milk
  • 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 3 Tbsp. pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 C. freshly brewed strong black coffee
  • optional: whipped cream, nutmeg, cinnamon &/or cinnamon stick
•In a large cafe mug, combine first 5 ingredients & heat in the microwave.  •Use an immersion blender to thoroughly blend & create some froth. (If you don't have an immersion blender, you can use a standard blender.) •Slowly pour freshly brewed strong black coffee into the side of the mug. •Top with whipped cream, nutmeg, cinnamon &/or a cinnamon stick if desired.
Cook time: Total time:

Friday, September 12, 2014

Fun Friday: Pom Pom Bookmark

Lately I've been on a huge reading kick. But of course, I have three very busy kids & it can take me a couple hours just to read a single chapter sometimes. But what's worse than taking forever to be able to read just a little bit, is when you go to where you left off, only you don't know where that is. Of course a bookmark is the most logical solution since I'm not a page folder. The only problem with that, is the fact that my kids are currently obsessed with bookmarks. They disappear constantly. So I decided to make myself a bookmark that would make it easy to tell when it got swiped. Bonus points for being "fun" so I usually catch the bookmark bandit playing with it moments later. 

Making this Pom Pom Bookmark was super easy! Just take some yarn & wrap it around your fingers a million times (This one is 120 & it is HUGE, but 50-90 would probably be more suitable). Then all you have to do is slide the yarn off your fingers, take a small piece of yarn,tie it securely in the middle & cut all of the looped pieces open. This is now the part where you tie on a tail, or tie it onto a paperclip. Once you start snipping away like Edward Scissorhands to give the pom pom it's round shape, it will be a huge pain to attach it to anything. Unless you make a monstrous one like me. Which is only necessary if you have a bookmark bandit at your house too. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Think It Thursday: Never Forget

• 8:46 a.m. - American Airlines Flight 11 with 81 passengers & 11 crew members on board, crashes into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

• 9:03 a.m. - United Airlines Flight 175 with 56 passengers & 9 crew members on board, crashes into the South Tower of the World Trade Center.

• 9:37 a.m. - American Airlines Flight 77 with 58 passengers & 6 crew members on board, crashes into the Pentagon. 125 personnel were lost.

• 10:03 a.m. - United Airlines Flight 93 with 37 passengers & 7 crew members on board, crashes in a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.  

Just like everyone else, I remember that day vividly. I was on my way to work from a meeting when news of the first plane hitting the North Tower came over the radio. 

I worked at a kiosk, located in the electronics department of Sears. There was a bunch of us, keeping close to the TV's, so we could find out what the reports were saying, while still looking like we were working. When the second plane came into sight, everyone stopped. We watched it crash into the South Tower on about 50 TV's at once. It made the moment more surreal. 

After the South Tower was struck, it's a bit of a haze as to what happened next. I'm not sure if we were sent home before or after the third plane struck the Pentagon. But since I worked for a cellular company at the time & towers everywhere were being jammed, there was no reason for me to be there. 

When I heard about the fourth plane, I was instantly worried. The reports were just all saying near Johnstown, Pennsylvania & I have family there. Luckily, they weren't harmed.

So many people lost their lives that day, both in the sky & on the ground. They are all strangers to me, but I can promise them this.... I will never forget you! 

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Potty Training with Pull-Ups Big Kid Academy

Thank you to Pull-Ups for sponsoring today's post & helping me Potty Train with the Big Kid Academy. 

Potty training your toddler. Every parent goes through it. Sometimes it's a piece of cake, others...not so much. But luckily for all of us, Pull-Ups Big Kid Academy is there with us every step of the way! 

Hayden, my adorable & feisty little toddler, is officially on her way to being a big girl. We've ditched the diapers, loaded up on Pull-Ups (Doc McStuffins of course) & made a big deal about it every step of the way. You see, every child is different & for her, it's like she's rehearsing for her Emmy win.

5 Key Steps for Potty Training Girls
Watch for cues - So how did I know that Hayden was finally ready to buckle down & hop on the potty train? Well, it was simple, she told me. No, she didn't exactly say that she was ready (at least not like that), but letting me know immediately after she soiled her diaper (or occasionally before), was a sure sign. 

   Go the extra mile -Here's a couple tricks that I have up my sleeve. Since everything must be a huge production for my little one, a standard pack of Pull-Ups just wouldn't do. We went big (go big or go home, right?) & purchased one of the Doc McStuffins Pull-Ups Starter Kit (a.k.a. - the treasure chest!). Not only can she use the chest for whatever her little heart desires, but it also comes with Big Kid flushable wipes, a progress chart, reward stickers, a free Disney digital book & a coupon booklet. 

Be persistent & develop a routine - Of course persistence & a routine are the building blocks of potty training. I have to keep track of when she drinks, so that we can go sit on the potty about 10 minutes later (& for at least 5 minutes). Every morning when she wakes up & every night before she goes to bed are important too. Not to mention much easier to get her in the swing of when she sees me doing the same thing. 

Use any resources available - Of course I'm no potty training expert. But I did sign up for Pull-Ups Big Kid Academy! (Hey, that's got to count for something, right?) There you'll find everything you need when it comes to potty training your toddler. Fun activities like learning the Potty Dance, tips & advice (from parenting experts, medical professionals & regular you!), a list of products & coupons. 

Reward accordingly - But the best part, will be Hayden's ultimate reward! Of course peeing in the potty earns a sticker on her chart. But pooping in the potty gets her a "pooping in the potty princess party with pink cupcakes"! (Shout out to our family doctor for his amazing idea!) 

What are some of your tips & tricks when it comes to potty training?