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2016 reading challenge

13 Jul

2016 reading challenge

I set my goal at 50 books – kinda pushing myself this year. It’s not easy with two little humans fighting for my time and working full time, planning school, dinners, working out, etc. But, I’m happy to say I’m not that far behind, maybe 2 books and I’ll be caught up. 🙂 Yay to small victories.

How is everyone doing this year with their reading challenge?

Any particularly great books that I should add to my ‘to read’ list?

Yoga – meditation – shrink session – therapy – whatever you call it, that’s reading for me.

According to Dr. Seuss: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.

Read on…

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Tree Stump Fairy House – little girls, big dreamers :)

13 Jul

My five year old is a huge Tinker Bell fan. What better way to bring her play world outdoors? I love this idea by A Farm Girl’s Life. Thank you for the post 🙂
We have an old stump in the backyard that we can transform into something similar. Can’t wait to share this and explore that great imagination of hers. Dream big, little princess. The sky is no longer the limit…

At A Farm Girl’s Life, Allison shows how you can make an adorable little fairy house out of a hollow tree stump.

via Tree Stump Fairy House — Discover

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Nautical Baby Shower Cake

31 Jul

nautical baby shower cakeNew creation by the team @ Happy Endings. This was a special order for the baby shower of a close friend of one of the girls from Happy Endings.

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ING Miami 1/2 marathon

14 Jun

ING Miami 1/2 marathon

My 1st 1/2 marathon. I was standing there waiting for the gun to go off, signaling the start of the run. I kept thinking: This is it.
What a rush! Crossing the finish line was a moment that changed me. Even more memorable was that I ran/completed the marathon with my husband. I hope to do a full before I’m 30. The clock is ticking…..

 

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HAPPY

10 Apr

HAPPY

How I feel when I get these every Friday.

I love this flower and I look forward to seeing them after work everyday. I do not get the same flowers all the time. Every week I get different ones. My hubby gets them for me. He knows how much they make me smile and I let him know, throughout the week, how much I appreciate that small detail from him.  ❤

 

 

Parenting in Public

19 Feb

ahhh

Picture disclosure: this was taken at home, on another night, were we had a tantrum over who-knows-what.

Here’s what happened:

We are sitting down at a restaurant trying to have a nice family meal when my toddler starts screaming her head off because she can’t stand to sit in the high chair another minute.

Here’s what she does:

We try soothing her for about 30 seconds, no success. And it’s embarrassing because half the restaurant is looking our way. We don’t want to take her out of the chair because we’re barely on our appetizer and that means one of us we’ll eat our meal with her in our lap. She’s halfway up already, moving her arms from one of us to the other, hoping we’ll believe her crocodile tears. She knows we’re about to cave, so she turns up her volume, arches her back, and stiffens her legs.

Here’s what we did (my husband is the biggest softy of the two):

We stare at each other, both thinking we’re that annoying family that is disturbing all the couples having quiet date nights. I smile the “I told you so” smile because I had warned him before we left the house that maybe it was too late and we should order in. But really, that’s unnecessary and I know it, so I laugh and wait for his move. At this point we’ve already tried bribing her with our phones (that entertained her for a few minutes) and her toys (those are now littered around the table, ignored). He smiles back and with a sigh reaches for the little noisemaker who is now standing on the seat of the high chair screaming her head off and reaching for him like the seat is about to go up in flames. The minute she’s in his arms the screaming stops, the tears dry up, and she smiles at us both with a look that clearly shows she won this round. If you’re wondering why she’s not tied down, we always tie her but she learned how to untie herself and after trying for 20 minutes, managed it.

We eat with her taking turn on our laps. No more crying at dinner that night.

Happy baby = quiet dinner. But at what expense? Are we encouraging her disruptive behavior by allowing her to manipulate us that way? I tell myself she’s still too little to really understand…but she’s almost two. What’s the right age to start explaining things to her?  How do I tell her things in public without embarrassing her or myself but still getting my point across? It seems it would be easy, but it’s not, at least not for me. Am I that permissive parent that other moms avoid because I can’t control my kid? Jeez, who ever said it was easy and things like these would come naturally was not raising a toddler when that was said. At a place like Disney world, where every other toddler/baby is screaming/crying/fuzzing, it’s no big but what about at regular places like Cheesecake Factory or Olive Garden? Easy. Yea. Right. Sure.

I found an article that I’m sharing below but it seems their suggestion is we dine early. I can appreciate that but we’re not early diners. It’s on normal nights, either at home or out, that I can’t seem to find a way to keep her in that high chair, regardless of the time. The older she gets the better she is at slithering her way out of that seat. We can certainly get a sitter for special nights or go out to dinner early. I’m really hoping those are not my only options. I’m wishing someone has the miracle answer (or something that worked for them) so that we can dine when we want, with our toddler in-tow, and in relative peace – or as much peace as any toddler allows 🙂 Are there any parents out there that can please share thoughts on what I (we) can try? Until what age did you toddler tolerate the high chair? Should we switch to a booster seat, maybe?

Final disclosure: I absolutely love my toddler and want her with me 24/7. But I work. So after work, I want her with me all the time. I don’t care that she wants to sit in my lap and most nights she does – even if I have to eat one handed. But I want her to be respectful, too. I wanted/needed to vent a little….other moms are welcome to vent on here if they want/need 🙂

How to Parent in Public.

Photo credit: my camera, my picture 🙂

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LOVE DAY <3

14 Feb

VDay

LOVE DAY

Love day is everyday, but today those lovey feelings are so very nice. Add chocolate covered strawberries and it is pure bliss.
I love my puffin-bear!

Edible Gifts?

5 Dec

Since I started baking I find that I gravitate towards everything edible, even for gift giving. I don’t mind because I get to use my creativity to make masterpieces that I know my friends and family will love to unwrap…and then eat! Yum.

I’m debating whether it’s a good idea though simply because everyone has different taste and then I get into the dilemma of how to please everyone, or how to please the most people. I don’t want to slave away baking for days either, that takes the fun out of it for me.

To bake (for gifts) or not to bake?

10 Festive, Edible Gifts for the Holidays.

Hello Kitty

Hello Kitty

Picture from my own camera. ❤

Since I started baking I find that I gravitate towards everything edible, even for gift giving. I don’t mind because I get to use my creativity to make masterpieces that I now my friends and family will love to unwrap…and then eat! Yum.

Pumpkin Time

8 Nov

‘Firsts times’ are so much fun with my little one. This was her first trip to the pumpkin patch where she got to walk around and pick her own pumpkin with her older cousin.

This is the ONE!

After finding the perfect pumpkin, my little gordies sat next to it and was all smiles.

Success!

How was your pumpkin pickin’ experience?

Traveling with baby: Disney World

17 Sep

 

 

At 10 months, traveling with our baby was more fun for us than it probably was for her. But really, it was exhausting for us all. The first family trip to Disney World was fun but our baby was out of her usual routine and cried on more than one character encounter. I had this idea that she was going to point and smile at all her favorite TV characters from Disney Jr. That did not happen. Instead she cried for the photos and preferred to sleep while we walked without much else to do. I signed us up for the family 5k run, the stroller division. We walk/run often and she absolutely loves her stroller runs. I figured the princess weekend was the perfect first Disney run for her. Tons of little girls and women in princess gear running around Disney. Perfect! For my little princess, however, it was the perfect opportunity to sleep the morning as we had woken her up at 6am to make it the park early for the run.

This past weekend we had Disney on Ice – Worlds of Fantasy, here in our hometown. The fist half of the show featured Minnie & Mickey, which my baby loved. Then it was Cars and they were big, pretty close to full size, so her attention was definitely on the ice. The third bit was Little Mermaid and of course that she loved, too. After the intermission, it was Toy Story 3. Our little Minnie lover started losing interested and was getting sleepy with all the dialogue. She was awake until about 10 minutes till the end. Overall, I’d say she did pretty good. I loved the show, of course, and was very happy to share that experience with my little princess.

Our second Disney trip, this coming November, will be for the Epcot Food & Wine festival. We are participating in Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5k through Animal Kingdom. We’re taking our little princess with her running stroller. This time she will be a little bigger and, we hope, will probably enjoy the characters a bit more. I also signed her up for the Disney Kids’ races, the 100m diaper dash. Just the idea makes me chuckle. She is not a shy kid but I just know that seeing all those little diaper peers might have her running, but back into my arms or daddy’s arms, instead of towards the finish line. It’ll be fun to watch her reaction to so many little kids. I’m guilty of being more excited about planning all these adventures for her than she could be at her age. But when we talk to her about it years from now, I want her to know and have pictures to look back on, how much fun her daddy and I have with her.

How was your first (or baby’s first) Disney trip? Was the park visit enjoyable with baby/toddler? At what age did you or will you, take your little ones to Disney World? I read a great article on what to expect when traveling to Disney World with a baby or toddler. A lot of the suggestions and tips are very helpful. I had to pass it along and included the link below.

 

Disney World With Babies And Toddlers.

 

*Pictures taken on my iphone4/personal camera.

 

 

Cassia Leo

NY Times Bestselling Author

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