Thursday, December 18, 2014

Simple Vegetable Side Dish – Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts #Recipe

As a child I was never a fan of brussels sprouts. I don’t know very many children that are. That is not to say that these children who love brussels sprouts don’t exist. I am quite sure that they do. I just don’t happen to know them. Growing up, I was never a fan… in fact I cannot remember ever having brussels sprouts as a child. I remember eating a lot of broccoli and green beans and peas, but not really brussels sprouts. Needless to say, I am much more adventurous with food as an adult than I ever was as a child. In fact I really enjoy brussels sprouts now and have fun playing around and finding fun ways to eat them. As a result I have a new balsamic roasted brussels sprout recipe to share with you today!

balsamic roasted brussels sprout #recipe #tutorial
  

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A little bit at a time… decorating for the holidays with perfection in mind.

I love looking at great chic Christmas displays. I think about color schemes and styles that I would like to try. I go to family and friends homes and get inspiration for things I would like to see in my own home. I am completely addicted to pinning holiday décor on Pinterest (who isn't)… but my own home can be somewhat lacking in holiday decorations.

I used to attribute this to the fact that I didn't have the time or energy to decorate seasonally. I worked. And then when I no longer worked, I had a baby… and then I had a baby and a toddler, and then I had two toddlers and another baby.  We sold a house and we bought a new house and still my seasonal decorating was minimal. There was always an excuse. Always a reason why not.

I think that part of me never started to decorate because I had unrealistic expectations of what I wanted my home to look like. I would see pictures of homes with beautifully crafted centerpieces and picture perfect mantel displays and I would get intimidated. I would look at my mantel and see everything I needed to change in order to attain this image of perfection. I would get so flustered I would not know where to begin. And then once I would decide to begin – to do SOMETHING – I would get so caught up in all of my choices that I would just get completely overwhelmed all over again. Did I want to do gold theme Christmas décor? Did I want to do felt garland and modern pops of color all over? Did I want lots of garland or lots of ornaments? There were just so many choices.

… and then one day my husband asked me to get some holiday decorations for the house. There was no judgment on our current lack of décor, just a simple “hey, if you have some time can you pick up some more Christmas decorations for the house?” Apparently that was all I needed to get started, someone to ask.  I looked on Pinterest for two days and looked at what I could do with what I had and I made a decision. This was not rocket science. I would NOT get caught up with unrealistic perfectionism. I would take it slowly and do what I could.

Holiday Decor Christmas Chandelier Gold and Green

Friday, December 5, 2014

DIY Finger Paint Recipe #CraftsForKids

My children love to paint. It is one of their favorite activities to do when given a choice. They love all arts and crafts to be perfectly honest, but painting is one where they tend to think outside the lines and really let their creativity flow. I decided that we needed to give finger paint another chance – as the first time we tried it my children wanted nothing to do with it {they do not like to have sticky messy hands}. I was not going to waste my money on store bought finger paint if it wasn’t going to get used… so we made our own.

DIY Homemade Finger Paint #Recipe #DIY #Homemade #Tutorial #CraftsForKids

Monday, December 1, 2014

GB Child Zuzu Stroller – Travel made easy!

I go shopping with my children. I visit family and friends with my children. I take trips to the park, the zoo, and the museum – all with my children. In fact there is not much that I do without my children right by my side. The funny thing is – I love taking my kids everywhere. I enjoy experiencing life through their eyes. It is often entertaining and frequently enlightening. Despite the fact that I enjoy traveling with my family, I am getting to the stage where I no longer want to pack the entire house up for a weekend getaway. So when I come across baby gear that makes traveling with kids easier I tend to do a little happy dance… Okay, a big happy dance.

I was able to check out the gb Child Zuzu stroller while in Las Vegas at the ABC Kids Expo and I was impressed from the get go. But it was when I had the opportunity to play with the zuzu at home that I really came to appreciate its great features and specs {thank you gb Child for sending us a sample of the zuzu stroller for the purposes of review}. With a five, three, and one year old to use the Zuzu stroller with on various occasions – I was able to get a really good feel for this stroller and what it could do. And for me, it made traveling with children just a little bit easier.

GB Child Zuzu Stroller Review

Monday, November 24, 2014

2014 Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide Giveaway!

The holidays are just around the corner and it is the season to be giving! Baby Dickey and Mom Mart have teamed up this year to bring you the ULTIMATE Holiday Gift Guide! Have you seen it yet?! It's filled with great ideas for the entire family—gifts for babies and kids, gifts for mom and dad, items for the home, and tons more to gift to your friends and family!

2014 Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide Giveaway #Giveaway #Win #HGG #HolidayGiftGuide

Even better?! EVERYTHING you see on our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide is being given away to ONE super awesome amazing lucky winner! That's over $2700 in gifts! So let's check them out because we're excited about it... are you excited?!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Grilled Cheese Caprese Sandwich #Recipe

It got a little chilly outside recently and as a result I have been making a lot of warm comfort foods over the last week. The cold is working its way through my family right now and everyone has the sniffles but me. So I have been toiling away like crazy in my kitchen making soups, sandwiches, and every comfort dish I can think of to help my family feel better. One of my go-to comfort foods (especially for lunch time) is the grilled cheese sandwich. Only… I have been having a craving for caprese lately. So I decided to combine my love of grilled cheese with my need to eat caprese and BOOM – my grilled cheese caprese sandwich is the result (it is really yummy too).

Grilled Cheese Caprese Sandwich #Recipe #ComfortFood #YUM

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Keeping an eye on the little ones with the Motorola MBP36S Video Baby Monitor



My children are sneaky. And when I say my children – I mean all of them from the baby to the oldest, they are all sneaky little rascals. My boys goof around at night when they are supposed to be sleeping and my daughter has a new hobby of throwing everything out of her crib in the middle of the night and then crying relentlessly because she wants everything back in her crib. I have to keep an eye on these children to make sure they are being safe and to make sure that if I am opening the door to their rooms I know what I am walking into. 

I love having a video baby monitor, because it means that I can check on my children without worrying about waking them up. I can see them day or night {thanks to the infrared night vision} and I can even talk to them through the Motorola MBP36S Video Baby Monitor. And if they move around and get out of bed I can remotely pan, tilt, and zoom. This is especially helpful for my children that are out of the crib and think that hide and go seek at night is a good idea.

 
Motorola MBP36S video baby monitor #MotorolaBabyMonitor #CleverGirls

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies #Recipe

There is way too much Halloween candy in my house right now and I am in the mood to bake. As a result, I have spent my morning chopping up Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and mixing cookie dough. The result is a yummy Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookie that is super simple to make and really tasty… I will be sharing some of these cookies with a few friends, family, and neighbors close by so that I don’t eat them all! If you are looking for a way to use up some of your excess Halloween candy you should give these simple cookies a try!

Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies #Recipe #Dessert #Foodie

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

#DIY Faux Nail Head Trimmed Cork Board

We recently turned our old laundry room into a mudroom complete with lockers. It is essentially our command center. It is where we enter and leave our home and so it is where all important information needs to be seen before we head out for the day. My husband was over the reality of having magnets and papers stuck all over the oven - so he requested that I find a cork board for our mudroom. I did not want an ordinary cork board. I wanted a nail head trim cork board that not only worked well, but also looked good. So I went to the store, bought a cork board {with a 40% off coupon}, some fabric, and some thumb tacks and I got to work!

DIY fabric covered cork board with a faux nail head trim #DIY #HomeDecor

Monday, October 27, 2014

Contours Options Elite Tandem Double Stroller

I have been a fan of Contours Baby for a very long time. I love that they are a family-owned company who are passionate about what they create and it shows in the products that they make. Contours recently launched their brand new tandem double stroller, the Contours Options Elite. I received one to review and I was very impressed with this stroller. Since I own the Optima tandem stroller I was also able to compare the two strollers a bit .

Contours Options Elite Double Tandem Stroller Review

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Give back this fall with Champions For Kids #SIMPLEGiving

Disclaimer: I have participated in this program on behalf of Champions for Kids and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.

My family and I have participated in Champions For Kids Simple Service projects quite a few times over the last few years. The act of helping others that are in need is something I hope will be second nature to my children as they grow into adulthood. People in need can be found in every community and there are countless ways to reach out and help someone.

I was really excited to get the opportunity to work with The Motherhood on this campaign helping children in my own community. So of course I made sure that my own children were involved with picking out the items we would donate as well as well as participating in the actual donation itself. My children and I headed to our local Walmart to purchase some personal care items to donate. My kiddos really like being part of the Champions For Kids campaigns and I like their enthusiasm for helping others. We picked up some Unilever shampoo and deodorant for our donations… and a few pumpkins for home as well.

Champions For Kids Fall Kids’ Essentials Program - Give Back This Fall

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Addictive Cheesy Pesto Dip #Recipe

I am all about a good dip. A really tasty dip is great as an appetizer for get-togethers with family and friends or as a snack for football games. The easier the dip is to make the more I like it. Recently a friend of mine passed along this tasty Cheesy Pesto Dip that is too good not to share. This is a super quick and easy appetizer to whip up and it is really really yummy. So I hope you give it a try and enjoy it just as much as I did!
  
Cheesy Pesto Dip Recipe #Appetizer #Recipe #YUM #Foodie

Monday, October 20, 2014

Star Wars Wall Art Free Printables #FreePrintable

This year for Halloween my family will be dressing up as characters from Star Wars. We have done this in the past, but this year everyone wants to be something new. So I have been in my crafting room a lot working on costumes. I think that a large part of this Star Wars revitalization of enthusiasm stems from the new Star Wars Rebels show. We love it. At least that is why the kiddos are all about Star Wars. My husband and I are pretty thrilled with the fact that J.J. Abrams will be directing the new Star Wars: Episode VII. So this renewed interest in Star Wars got me thinking about all those blank walls in my basement. A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… I made an inspiration board. – Sorry I couldn’t help it. The Star Wars inspiration board got me thinking about how I wanted to decorate my basement. Decorating ideas then got me sitting at my computer creating Star Wars Wall Art Printables.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

5 tips for encouraging imaginative play {Begin Again Toys Balance Boat}

So much of our day is structured. We run from one activity to the next and there is not a whole lot of unaccounted for time throughout the day to simply sit back, relax, and enjoy our surroundings. With recess being a mere 10-15 minutes at school and homework piling up, free time for kids can become priceless. Imaginative play is a great way to develop social skills, language skills, and problem solving skills. I try to encourage imaginative play in our home as much as possible.  
  
5 tips for encouraging imaginative play

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Toys of the ABC Kids Expo #ABCKids14

I am a big kid at heart and I adore shopping for toys for my children. I also love it when I find the perfect gift to give to my family and friends – be it child or adult. Because lets be perfectly honest here, a lot of toys are just as much for the parent as they are for the kid. At least that seems to be the way it is in our house. At the ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas this year there were some really fun toys that I had the opportunity to check out and play with and there are definitely some that are making my the kids holiday wish list.

ABC Kids Expo 2014 The Toys of #ABCKids14

Thursday, October 9, 2014

DIY Super Hero Face Masks: Champions for Kids #Fiskars365

I participated in this program on behalf of Champions for Kids, Fiskars, and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.

My children are all about crafting and creating lately. They have been making costumes and playing dress up around the house for the quite some time now. We decided that since we have been enjoying arts and crafts so much, that it would be a good idea to invite some friends and family over to help us celebrate some creativity while being Champions for Kids with the Fiskars simple service project. We spent an afternoon crafting super hero face masks and were able to gather some art supplies to donate to my son’s elementary school as well. It was a great way to spend an afternoon.

DIY Super Hero Face Masks: Champions for Kids with Fiskars

Monday, October 6, 2014

Chipotle Carnitas and Homemade Pico de Gallo Recipe with La Morena #VivaLaMoreno #shop

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #VivaLaMorena #CollectiveBias

Time is a precious commodity in my house and I am all about a great slow cooker dinner that I can toss together in the morning and come home to after a long and busy day. I live for Crockpot meals in the fall and winter. This week I had a craving for some chipotle carnitas and homemade pico de gallo and it just so happens that I make my carnitas in the slow cooker. I love Latin food and authentic Mexican dishes. These meals make it on my weekly menu at least one night a week, if not more. I could eat a whole container of fresh homemade pico de gallo in one sitting.
  
Chipotle Carnitas and Homemade Pico de Gallo Recipe with La Morena #VivaLaMoreno #shop #Foodie


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September is Newborn Screening Awareness Month

September is almost over and October has one foot in the door, but before I say goodbye to September I wanted to give it one last shout-out. September is Newborn Screening Awareness Month and this is a very important topic for me as a mother of three little ones.

September Newborn Screening SaveBabies.org

Monday, September 29, 2014

Baby Carriers at ABC Kids Expo – Babywearing #ABCKids14

I love babywearing and have been doing it for quite some time now. I started when I had my first child and I am still sporting a baby carrier all around town today. I love seeing how much babywearing has grown in popularity over the years and as a result the carriers are becoming better and better by the day. At the ABC Kids Expo this year there were plenty of baby carriers to ogle over and I thought I would share some of my favorites with you. Here are the baby carriers of #ABCKids14 that stood out to me in Las Vegas!

ABCKids14 Expo Baby Carriers #Babywearing #ABCKids14

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

ABC Kids Expo – Strollers #ABCKids14

As many of you who follow me on Twitter and Instagram know – I recently attended the ABC Kids expo in Las Vegas. It was amazing. Since I am addicted to baby gear I was ridiculously excited to see what the baby industry had planned for new and amazing products. I was not disappointed. Since there was so much to see and play with I will be breaking up my fabulous finds into several posts. The first post is all about the strollers of #ABCKids14, and there were some pretty cool ones!
  
#ABCKids14 Expo Strollers

Saturday, September 6, 2014

#DIY Butterfly Color Matching Game

This is my simple no sew felt color matching game. It is super simple to make and a provides hours of fun, depending on how you play. My children helped me make the felt butterflies and even got in on the painting portion of this project. They love creating these DIY crafts just as much as they enjoy playing with the finished project. This DIY felt butterfly color matching game is tactile hands-on fun game for everyone.


Felt Butterfly Color Matching Game #DIY #Education #GamesForKids #TeachColor

Friday, September 5, 2014

Family Frittata Fun with the Philips Airfryer #recipe #review

I love eggs. It is one of the simplest and most satisfying things that I can whip together in no time at all. It is easy, tastes great, and is chock full of protein. I love all kinds of eggs; scrambled, hard boiled, omelets, and quiches are my go-to favorites. But watch out because there is a new favorite in town – the frittata has taken over my kitchen! Even my children have gotten in on the fun of making these frittatas.

Frittata Recipe: lots of vegetables and breakfast is served in 16 minutes.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Get ready to travel with Sam's Club #TrySamsClub #shop

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Sam’s Club. All opinions are mine alone.

I have been a member of Sam’s Club for quite some time now and I love it. Usually when I shop there I am on a mission for diapers, detergents, and dinner. It is my go-to destination for keeping my shelves stocked and my family fed. But there is a lot more to love about Sam’s Club including their great prices and fabulous membership services. Did you know that Sam’s Club can help you plan your next trip and supply you with travel essentials too? To help me get everything checked off of my list for an upcoming trip I took my friend/sister-in-law Wendy with me for a little girl’s only shopping trip. As an added bonus I got to introduce her to everything I love about having a Sam’sClub Membership. We had a lot of fun checking things off of my shopping list and checking out everything Sam’s had to offer.


Getting ready to travel with Sam’s Club & a friend #TrySamsClub #shop #CollectiveBias #CBias

Monday, September 1, 2014

How to make Elephant Toothpaste #CraftsForKids

My children love a good science experiment and the elephant toothpaste experiment that we got from a friend has been no exception. They love watching it bubble up and overflow and they delight in guessing which color it is going to be {as I keep the color of the eruption a surprise}. We performed this science experiment in our back yard as a last hoorah and a way to say goodbye to the lazy days of summer.
  
How to make elephant toothpaste: A science experiment to do at home! #tutorial

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What’s in my bag: Back to school with the TMobile 4G #TabletTrio #CollectiveBias #shop

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

Whats In My Bag TMobile Trio AXS Tablet #TabletTrio #CollectiveBias #shop #Tech

Everything I could possibly need throughout the day can be found in my bag. My bag is my back to school station that I take with me wherever I go. It carries necessities for each and every one of my children- as well as my own necessities. It has diapers and wipes, a stroller lock, a travel nail kit, a snack, and so much more. But the most important items in my bag are the ones that keep me organized and connected. Like my tmobile free data 4g Trio AXS tablet.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

More Dip Please – A Super Simple and Delicious Bean Dip #Recipe.

I have a couple dishes that I make when I get together with friends and family. I have my deviled eggs, my Bruschetta, and my bean dip that are frequently requested. The bean dip recipe is by far the easiest to make and is super quick to whip together. In fact I frequently make it as a side dish on nights that I cook tacos for dinner. The last time I made my bean dip and was asked for the recipe I came to the realization that I had not shared this recipe on the blog yet. So without further ado, here is my bean dip deliciousness.
  
Bean Dip Recipe- Super Simple and Delicious #Recipe #Potluck #Appetizer

Monday, August 18, 2014

Free Back to School Printables for Preschool - Eighth Grade

My mother-in-law made my husband a yearly scrapbook of his back to school photos and interviews growing up. She gave me this book when I married her son as well as a lot of other mementos. It is one of my favorite things to look through and I know that my children would love something like this as well. So I decided to do something similar to this for my children. I created a start of school year photo card prop as well as an end of school year photo card prop for Preschool through Eighth Grade. I also created a start of school year interview sheet as well as an end of school year interview sheet for Preschool through Eighth Grade. These back to school printables are completely free and I hope you enjoy them.
  
Free Printables Back to School Preschool through Eighth Grade Photo Cards and Interview Sheets

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Fun & Free in Illinois: Red Oak Nature Center

The Red Oak Nature Center is a great way to spend a Saturday with the family.  Earlier this summer my husband made the suggestion that we take the kids and hit the trail and have a picnic. In our constant rush to make practices, get to appointment, and go to sporting events - this time of unwinding and relaxing was the perfect way to spend a day. It was also nice to discover that the Red Oak Nature Center recently redid their discovery room.

Fun and Free in Illinois: Red Oak Nature Center

Thursday, July 31, 2014

JOHNSON’s Baby reformulates products and makes a #PromiseToBaby #partner

I’m happy to have partnered with JOHNSON’S Baby’s to help share their #PromiseToBaby.

The day my children were born my entire world changed. I felt unconditional love and knew that my heart would never be the same again. With each new child welcomed into my family my love has multiplied and my hopes, dreams, and promises to my children have grown. I am my children’s advocate. It is my job and pleasure to keep them safe, to teach them kindness, and to inspire them. I promise to support my children, to go to bat for them, and to protect them.

Johnson's Baby #PromiseToBaby newly reformulated products #JOHNSONSBaby #partner

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Family Favorite Toys

I have favorite toys. Yes, I still enjoy playing with toys and frequently encourage my children to unplug and use their imagination by playing with toys that do not light up, talk, or play an app. I like to get down on the floor and built, destroy, capture, and create empires with my children. My children’s toys are well loved and travel frequently. We take them everywhere with us. They go to the park, on car rides, and even on trips to visit family. These toys provide my family with endless hours of entertainment, so I thought I would share a few of them with you.

A few of our favorite toys #ToysForKids #PlayTime

Thursday, July 24, 2014

My Camera and Must Have Accessories – This is what I use.

I love my camera and I love taking photographs. My favorite photos of my family are ones that I have taken myself. My children’s smiles reach their eyes and I am able to coax their personalities out of them during our photo shoots. This is something that can be hard for a stranger to do. While I am not a professional photographer – I am a mother who loves photography and who enjoys taking pictures. I get asked all of the time about my camera and my camera accessories. Purchasing a DSLR camera was a great decision and looking back at past photos I only wish that I had bought it sooner.

For the longest time I had a simple point and shoot camera and that was fine, until it broke. When I went to replace my camera I knew that I wanted to upgrade and get a really good camera. I did a lot of research, read a lot of reviews, and played around with many different cameras. After a lot of time and consideration I made my purchase.

My Camera And Must Have Accessories: Which DSLR Camera, lens, & accessories I bought.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

On the go with the Britax B-Agile Double Review

I am constantly running errands, heading to play dates, and taking someone to one class or another. It is pretty typical for me to have all three of my children with me when I am on the go – even when I am on my own. I have found that my key to a successful trip anywhere is being able to monitor all of my children easily. For me this means either babywearing or using a stroller and sometimes it means both. The newest addition to my stroller addiction is the Britax B-Agile Double stroller {Thank you Britax for providing a sample of the B-Agile Double to facilitate this review}. I must admit that I am very impressed with this stroller. 

There are days when I will babywear my daughter and have my two older boys ride in the stroller and then there are days when my oldest will help my push the stroller while my younger two catch a ride. It all depends on my children and their temperament. I love that the B-Agile Double can accommodate any child combination I throw at it. Since this stroller can accommodate children from birth up to 50lbs, even my oldest child can sit back and relax on a stroll around town.

Britax BAgile Double Stroller Review #DoubleStroller #BritaxBAgile

Thursday, July 17, 2014

An Inexpensive Dining Room Makeover

We have been in our home for a while now. We have worked really hard to make our house a home by adding, changing, and updating each room of the house. Most of these changes have been accomplished with a simple coat of paint. Some have required a bit more elbow grease. My latest project I took on and completed all by myself and I am really proud of how it turned out. I gave my dining room an inexpensive makeover.

Inexpensive Dining Room Makeover #neutral #DIY #Makeover #Paint #ChairRail #Vignette

Monday, July 7, 2014

What to wear to Disney World

When my husband started talking about taking our family on a vacation to Disney World I knew that there would be a lot of planning involved. After all - we are a family full of planners. We planned everything. We planned where would we stay, what shows we would see, where we would eat, what we would need to pack, and what we would wear at Disney World. I spent quite a lot of time thinking about what exactly our family would wear to wear to Disney. After looking online at various stores and perusing Etsy retailers I did not find what I was looking for. I soon realized that I would be the one needing to make my family matching family tee shirts to wear to Disney World.

I loved having matching family tee shirts for our Walt Disney World vacation. They were great for keeping track of each other and they provided a great ice breaker for people while waiting in lines. Cast members interacted with us wherever we went thanks to our tee shirts and the characters we met got a kick out of them too. They were a hit!

What to wear to Disney World with kids #Disney #DisneyVacation #MatchingShirts Mom Mart

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Summer Travel Safety Tips and a Safety 1st Advance SE 65 Air + #Giveaway

The 4th of July usually means a vacation for my family on the beach. We usually hop in the car and drive up to Wisconsin for some family fun time, fireworks, and s'mores right on Lake Michigan. The drive heading to our vacation and home from our holiday vacation is always long and there is always a lot of traffic. Obviously we are not the only ones who travel for the 4th of July holiday weekend. To help you and your families travel safely this summer I have partnered with Safety 1st to bring you some travel safety tips by Safety 1st Consumer Safety Expert Julie Vallese as well as a fabulous Safety 1st Advance SE 65 Air + Convertible Car Seat Giveaway.

Safety 1st Advance SE 65 Air +  convertible car seat giveaway #MomMart #Win #Giveaway #CarSeat

How to replace the foam parent handles on the Joovy Groove stroller:

This last spring I took my Joovy Groove stroller with me to Disney as well as the Joovy TooFold stroller with second seat. Since there was no stroller bag on the market that I felt could accommodate both of these strollers I sewed my own stroller bag so that my strollers would be protected once they were gate checked at the airport {best decision ever by the way- my strollers were dry and clean and undamaged}. But somehow while being used around the parks the foam parent handle on my Joovy Groove got damaged. There were large tears in the foam handle and although I was still able to use the stroller theses tears drove me crazy and I knew that as soon as I got home I would need to replace them. And replace them I did. After searching online for a tutorial on how to replace the foam handles on my Joovy Groove stroller I finally gave up {as there were no YouTube videos that I could find or directions anywhere!} and decided to just jump right in and do it.
  
How to replace the foam parent handle on the Joovy Groove stroller #tutorial

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Teaching color with a felt color matching lollipop game #DIY

As a former Pre-K teacher I enjoy bringing education into my home. I am constantly looking for new ways to teach my children without it seeming like a chore. I want them to enjoy school and love learning as much as I did. I look for way of turning lessons into games and keeping the games we play fresh and fun. Right now I am working on teaching my younger son color identification. To help with this I have created a felt color matching game. He likes to be hands-on {as most children his age tend to enjoy} and being able to hold and manipulate his colors helps to solidify his understanding. These DIY felt color matching lollipops were a huge hit with my children, even my oldest wanted to play with them!

felt color matching game #DIY #Tutorial #Homemade #FeltLollipop #Education #TeachingColors

Friday, June 27, 2014

Cilantro Chicken Skewers #Recipe

My family eats a lot of chicken. We use it for a variety of meals throughout the week and rarely do I feel that I am stuck in a menu rut. Thanks to a good marinade or a handful of spices almost every meal feels fresh and new. When I am looking for a quick and easy dinner for my family, chicken skewers is one that I know everyone will enjoy and this Cilantro Chicken Skewer Recipe has been requested over and over again!

Cilantro Chicken Skewers Recipe #Dinner #Chicken #Recipe #Healthy

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Disney On-The-Road Chicago #DisneyOTR #DisneySMMoms

Last week I was lucky enough to have been a part of the Disney Social MediaMoms Disney On-The-Road {#DisneyOTR} event. The happiest place on Earth brought a little bit of their magic to Chicago for us to enjoy, and enjoy this event I did! Spending time with fellow bloggers that I rarely get to see and companies I like is always a treat. I was also introduced to some new faces and businesses that I was not familiar with, but am so glad I was given the opportunity to learn more about. This event was fun and informative and made me want to hop on a plane and head back to Disney.
  
Disney OTR Celebration in Chicago #DisneyOTR #DisneySMMedia

Disney OTR Celebration in Chicago #DisneyOTR #DisneySMMedia #MomMart

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier One in Silver Mesh #Giveaway

I am a babywearing addict. There… I admit it.  I love babywearing and I love the baby gear that goes with baby wearing. I enjoy trying out different types of baby carriers, but my favorite is the soft structured carrier. I love the support and security I feel when wearing a soft structured carrier and I love the variety of ways I am able to comfortably wear my child. Since most of the time I am on my own with all three of my little ones, I need a carrier I can put on, take off, and adjust without any help and the BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier One in Silver Mesh makes babywearing easy and comfortable for both baby and me {Thank you BABYBJÖRN for sending me a #BabyCarrierOne in Silver Mesh for the purposes of review}.

When BABYBJÖRN offered to send me the BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier One in silver mesh to test out I was thrilled. Illinois summers can be ridiculously hot and a breathable mesh carrier is something I have been wanting for quite some time. I like to babywear year round, but during the summer when I am constantly on the move I like to babywear so that I can get where I need to go faster and get what I need to get done more efficiently. It also makes spending time with all three of my children at the park or the flea market or the amusement park manageable.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Simple Summer Strawberry Salad #Recipe

I love salads. But the same old dinner salad of lettuce, tomato, and cucumber can get pretty boring. Since I eat salads pretty much every day for lunch I like to change things up and keep my salads fresh. One of my absolute favorite salads is this simple strawberry salad that my Aunt provided for me on a recent trip to Indy. It is totally delicious and since it is a healthy recipe it also helps to keep me moving me towards my fitness goal of losing those last few pounds. A total win-win situation!

Super Simple Strawberry Salad Recipe #Summer #Recipe #Healthy  #Salad Make it once, eat it four times #Organized #fitmom

Monday, June 9, 2014

DIY baby hair clips with a no-slip grip #Tutorial


My crafty sister-in-law Wendy has been at it again and I must give her full credit for this craft - as it was completely inspired by her hair clips with a no-slip grip that she made for her daughter. My daughter has had enough of headbands with big flowers on them and frequently pulls them off and discards them when I am not looking. She has fine hair that doesn’t hold clips well and when I have looked in the stores at clips none of them had an anti-slip feature… making them useless for my daughter. Then one day I noticed my niece and her adorable hair clips and I asked my sister-in-law about them. Viola, a new obsession was born. I have been quite busy making these baby hair clips with the no-slip grip and since they turned out so well I have decided to whip up a little tutorial for you. So without further ado, here is my tutorial on how to make no-slip baby hair bows.
  
DIY baby hair clips with a no-slip grip, #DIY #Tutorial #Homemade #HairBow

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Finding the perfect gift while shopping on Twitter? #AmazonCart #cbias #shop

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias.

#AmazonCart Add it now Buy it later #Shopping on Twitter

I am a bit of a tech junkie in that I love playing with all of the new apps and latest toys out there. I specifically like it when companies revamp and tweak their services and capabilities making programs and networks more user friendly. This is exactly what Twitter and Amazon have done with the new #AmazonCart feature. This feature is collaboration between Twitter and Amazon allowing twitter users to add items that they see on Twitter to their Amazon shopping cart without leaving their twitter feed. It is simple to use and super convenient!

I cannot tell you how many times I have seen something cool on twitter and forgotten to write it down to search for later. I love quirky gifts and innovative products and I especially love gifting them to friends and family. But if I don’t stop and search for something right when I see it I forget about it. So it should be no surprise to those that know me {and how scatterbrained I can be when chasing my three little ones around the house} that the #AmazonCart service is my new best friend.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A unique dining experience at ALINEA in Chicago

I have a really fabulous friend that gave me a night out at the top restaurant in the world, ALINEA {according to NBC Chicago}, to celebrate my birthday. I was told to dress up and make sure I was on time. I was told it was a set menu and that I would be impressed. I was told that this was a really big deal… needless to say I was very impressed. ALINEA in Chicago delivered on all of its promises and then some. It was a wonderful evening with ridiculously delicious food and fabulous service and I would love to go back and eat there again!

The food was like eating art. It was not only delicious, it was beautifully presented. The menu is seasonally driven and there are between 18-22 courses depending on the menu at the time and the availability {ours was 14}. The wine pairings are outstanding and compliment the food wonderfully. It was a night to remember and will definitely stand out as a top dining experience.

Alinea Restaurant of Chicago: EBI: Broccoli Stem, Yuzu, Sea Grape

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

My Mother’s Super Easy Dill Potato Salad #Recipe


I was not always a potato type of girl. In fact I strongly disliked potatoes for a good long time. But then I grew older and I had children {I require them to take no thank you bites of everything… so I guess I should do so too, huh?}. Needless to say my taste buds have changed and I have some to find that I like potatoes, most of them anyways. And since the weather is finally heating up I am looking forward to grilling out. One of my favorite summer dishes is BBQ and potato salad. So I pulled out some of my mother’s recipes and got to work. This is my mother’s Dill Potato Salad and it is delish!
  
Super Easy and Ridiculously Delicious Dill Potato Salad Recipe #Summer #Recipe Easy Potato Salad

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Strollers at Disney World

I just got back from my family vacation at Walt Disney World in Florida and I cannot wait to go back! While I am incredibly happy to be home I am not ashamed to admit that I am having a difficult time getting back into the swing of things. Disney World somehow produces a happy magical feeling inside me that is contagious. My entire family is ready to start planning our next trip! All of the ups and downs, ins and outs, tips and tricks of my Disney experience will be shared with you, just not all in this one post. This post is all about strollers at Disney World: Single strollers, Double Strollers, Stroller Parking, Stroller Locks, and Stroller Etiquette at Disney.

It seems really silly to write a whole post about the strollers at Disney, but if you are a parent of a little one planning a trip to Disney World and you plan on bringing your kids with you a stroller is simply a must. I originally did not plan on bringing a stroller with me to Disney, but after talking with my husband and my SIL we decided to bring strollers {yes that is plural, because we brought 2 strollers with us}. Those strollers were such an incredible blessing! I am so glad that we brought them. So here we go…
  
Strollers at Disney World #Disney #Strollers #TipsAndTricks

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Glazed Pork Tenderloin in the Crockpot #Recipe


I love a good pork tenderloin. Unfortunately cooking pork tenderloin always seems to take a lot longer than anticipated. I have been looking at ways of cutting back my time in the kitchen hovering over my oven. It just so happens to nicely coincide with the weather heating up – I am also looking at ways to get dinner on the table while keeping my oven use to a minimum. So a new Crockpot recipe it is! I love a good win-win situation.
  
Glazed Pork Tenderloin in the Crockpot! #Recipe #Foodie #YUM #Crockpot

Friday, May 2, 2014

Chewy Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies #Recipe


I have been in a baking mood lately. Cookies, sauces, marinades… they have all been whipped up from scratch in my kitchen with love and a little help from my boys {I think they only help because I let them lick the pot when we are done}. This week I raided my pantry and threw a whole heap of ingredients together to create some chewy chocolate pecan oatmeal cookies. I call them chocolate chunk oatmeal cookies because the pecans I used were pecan halves that I chopped up into chunks. So when you bite into these cookies you get the chewy oatmeal mixed with chunks of pecans and chocolate… delicious.

Chewy Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies #Recipe  #Foodie #YUM #Dessert #Tutorial

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