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Thursday, September 18, 2014

10 year milestones

This week we celebrated a couple of milestones.

First off, my oldest, Ayden, turned 10. 

Ten years old. How did that happen? My days of being a mom of 1 and chasing around a little boy don't seem that far back in my memory. I can clearly remember being a very young mom with my skinny little blonde haired baby boy. I remember my first few nights up with him wondering what I had gotten myself into with the whole "motherhood" thing. I didn't know what I was doing! I mean, I knew the basics. Feed, change, hopefully sleep, play, repeat. I had no idea what affect this sweet boy would have on my heart and on myself as a person. For 3 1/2 years this was my only baby...what would turn out to be my only boy, and too quickly he grew up into a little man who's now too big for toys for his birthday and only wants video games and cash for his birthday. He also opted for a plain chocolate fudge cake without any cartoon characters or "Happy Birthday" message on it.

Ayden on his 1st birthday.

On the other end of the spectrum, my youngest turned 8 weeks on Ayden's birthday. Harper is getting so big so quickly! She's 11 pounds now and is getting chubbier by the day. She's already growing up on me too, and she's not the teeny little 6 1/2 pound thing I brought home from the hospital 8 weeks ago. I thought she was going to be my tiny little girl, but it turns out she's going to be just as pudgy and have just as many sweet little rolls on her as my other two did.

Then there's Lily, my middle one. She's exactly 6 1/2 now, and she still thinks she's the only princess in the house. She's used to being the baby and getting a fair share of the attention, so when Ayden opened his birthday presents (along with a fancy new Nintendo 3DS) she couldn't handle it. Oh the tears! I heard a lot of  "It's not FAIR!" and there was a lot of arm crossing and huffing and puffing. I consoled her a few times and explained that it was in fact fair- that it was Ayden's birthday, but after a while I told her to get over it. Well...daddy always makes everything all better, so he cheered her up by taking her to the grocery store with him to get stuff for dinner (and pick up the cake) and low and behold, she came back with 2 new Monster High dolls. Daddy is a pushover. Lily has always been a mommy's girl, but as she's getting older her and I are starting to butt heads a little more. We are both extremely strong willed. 

That's 10 years of me being a mom! It's kind of like a little anniversary, right?

Go me.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Easy and authentic frozen lunches w/ Herdez Cocina Mexicana

Many thanks to the makers of the HERDEZ® brand for sponsoring today's post and encouraging me to try the Cocina Mexicana Frozen Bowls.

Lunchtime has a way of slipping by me. I forget it. I'm distracted. I'm busy. I have a million other things I'm thinking of. The hunger usually hits me right before I have to pick up the kids from school and I realize I haven't eaten since my coffee & half eaten toast this morning, and by then I don't have much time to eat. It happens to all of us sometimes, doesn't it?

Sometimes I'll quickly snack on some goldfish crackers or a string cheese, or whatever easy stuff my kids like to snack on I have laying around. Or sometimes I end up hitting a drive thru or running to the store in the middle of the day because none of the "kid food" sounds good. I'm always looking for easy and yummy lunch ideas on those crazy busy days- something I can whip up quickly before the baby starts crying or before I get distracted returning emails and phone calls.

I found these HERDEZ® Cocina Mexicana Frozen Bowls on my last grocery run.
http://ooh.li/adf8845

HERDEZ® Cocina Mexicana brings the Mexican restaurant experience home with authentic ready-to-eat meals that give you the bold Mexican taste you love in seconds. They are available in 10 varieties, and Cocina Mexicana meals have plenty of authentic flavor for the whole family. The top 3 bowls are Beef Barbacoa, Carnitas with Charro Beans, and Pork Chili Verde. With the same quality and freshness you expect from the HERDEZ® Brand, you’re savoring the best of traditional Mexican cuisine in every bite.

http://ooh.li/adf8845

I stocked my freezer full of these yummy little Mexican bowls. They are really quick- I pop them in the microwave for about 5 minutes and it's an easy lunch option that almost always sounds good. Mexican food is one of my favorites! I love that I can get authentic Mexican flavors without having to leave the house, and they are so fast- perfect for any busy day. If you work outside the house you could bring one of these frozen bowls to work and heat it up for an inexpensive lunch option. Or if you need an easy dinner idea for the whole family, grab a bunch of different flavors of these bowls, heat them up, and serve them with some chips, salsa, and guacamole and you've got a tasty Mexican dinner that the whole family can enjoy together.

http://ooh.li/adf8845

Grab this $1.00 off coupon and go stock up!

Which flavor are you most excited to try?

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Monday, September 8, 2014

DIY Hard Nails- Review & Giveaway!

I am so excited for today's blog post!


I was recently given the chance to try out a new line of at-home gel nail polish called DIY Hard Nails (pronounced "die-hard nails" for all of the die-hard nail lovers out there). I'm always on the lookout for what's new and hot in nails, and I was especially excited to try a new brand, so I jumped at the chance to try it and do a review. The gel colors I saw were really beautiful and were full of chunky glitter- so fun. Oh, and guess what? They change colors depending on the temperature! Intrigued? So was I.

DIY Hard Nails are just like any other at home gel polishes and they require an LED or UV lamp, along with a gel base and top coat. Now, which type/brand of lamp is up to you, just know that they take 45 seconds to cure under an LED and anywhere from 2-3 minutes per coat under a UV lamp. I used the DIY Hard Nails base and top coat, but you can use your own if you have a different brand (Gelish, CND, Sally Hansen, Red Carpet Nails, etc). DIY Hard Nails are salon quality and are 5-free, meaning no harmful chemicals.

Here are the colors I tried out

Pink Frost from cold to hot.

Pink Galaxy from cold to hot.

Coca Cola Float from cold to hot.

I also did a quick 15 second video demonstration showing the color change, which you can check out here on my Instagram (and make sure to follow!)

I decided to try out Pink Frost and Pink Galaxy for my first DIY Hard Nails manicure. The consistency of the gel was exactly like all of the others I've used, so it was really easy to apply. The only issue I had was with the Pink Frost- the bottle comes as a bright, hot fuchsia pink color, but as soon as it hit my nail it turned the white glittery color, which made it a bit hard to see when applying around the cuticle area. I kind of wish the color-changing effect was reverse for that color- white while cold and dark pink for hot. But I still love it. My nails started off pretty short, so they were mostly the warm colors at first, but as they grew out they would change more and have more of that ombre effect.


I'm really, really impressed with how well these gels have held up! I'm going on 13 days with not a single chip, break, or peeled up corner. My nails feel very strong and protected and even with the extra length on them after almost 2 weeks worth of growing I haven't broken a single nail. Impressive!


Overall, I'm really happy with DIY Hard Nails and I'm excited to try out everything else they have. You can go here to purchase their products. All customers recieve a free bonus Ebook "Nail Salon Secrets to the Perfect At-Home Gel Manicure" with every order. You can try everything for 30 days risk free, 100% money back guarantee if you're not happy with it (but you will be). Order any 3 and they ship free!

If you need some help with your at home gel manicure, check out my tutorials!

Now, on to the giveaway!
Who wants to win some DIY Hard Nails gel polish?

Enter on the Rafflecopter widget below! 

This giveaway is open to US residents only.
(Sorry guys- they are working on shipping internationally in the near future!)
Please refer to the terms and conditions for complete giveaway rules.
Void where prohibited.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

What color are you most excited to try?
Good luck!

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Monday, September 1, 2014

Bye bye summer, hello Cookie

Goodbye summer break. The kids will miss you.
Just kidding...they are so ready to go back to school!
(Same here)

We had some fun in the beginning of summer, but the last month with Harper being here has been pretty boring. It's kind of hard to take a newborn to the beach or water park, especially when it's around 100 degrees outside. I've been afraid of taking her out because its been so hot and sunny out every day. I was worried she'd be too hot or get too much sun or something. Maybe I'm paranoid, but we've been cooped up inside for most of her life so far. My two older kids, Ayden & Lily, have been great sports about it, but they've been getting pretty bored lately- so much so that they are excited to go back to school. Poor kids!

The first day of school is Wednesday so we decided to get out and enjoy these last few days of summer break. It's finally cooled off a little and you can actually go outside without completely melting! We walked to the school to see the class lists and find out who the kids have for teachers this year. The walk was so nice- it's about a mile round trip, and it's slightly uphill on the way home. I was breathing pretty heavily and even broke a sweat! Harper hated the stroller and screamed the entire way. That should be so fun when I walk to pick up the kids every day (weather permitting). I can't believe I have a 1st and 4th grader now!


Ayden earned a free ticket to an amusement park for meeting his reading goal last school year and he finally got to use it. My good friend Anna offered to take him with her daughter, Violet (who also earned a free ticket). They went last week and he rode his first roller coaster...and hated it. They looked pretty excited beforehand, but afterwards they decided not to ride any other roller coasters and stuck to the less-crazy rides for the rest of the day. I'm so glad he got to go and use his ticket before summer's end! He had a ton of fun and I was jealous that I couldn't go too.

Last week my best friend Breann was in town visiting family, and I was lucky enough to get to spend a couple of hours with her before she had to leave. Our other friend Jodi met at a park with her 2 kids (she was pregnant with me & we had our babies 1 day apart!) Normally we'd meet up for lunch and shopping whenever Breann comes to visit, but with 5 children between us (2 of them newborns) we figured the park/splash pad was probably a safer choice this time. The kids had fun and were good for the most part, and I got to carry on an adult conversation with someone besides my husband for a change. It was nice! Wish I did it more often.

Baby date! Max and Harper snoozing next to each other.

Sundays are daddy's day off, so we usually get out of the house and do something has a family. We decided to hit up this fun thing our city does every summer called Pig Out in the Park. It's pretty self explanatory- it's a food festival in the park and you go there to eat. It's pretty cool if you can handle the crowds. I'm not a huge fan of public events like that because I cannot deal with the amount of people, but I'm a pig and I love food, so we went. I ate some yummy Thai food, part of Lily's corn dog, and a snow cone. I was hoping to get these really good looking chocolate covered strawberries on a skewer, but the line was moving way too slow for me and Harper was getting fussy so we decided to call it a day and go home. Man, I really wish I would have gotten some of those strawberries now!

Speaking of pigging out, look at this little chunk. She had her one month check up about a week ago and she weighed 9 pounds 6 ounces- up from 6 pounds 9 ounces at birth. She's not even quite 6 weeks yet and she's already maxing out that 0-3 month onesie! I guess Harper and I will have to go on a shopping date when the kids go back to school.

And it looks like there might be a new member of our family. I found this adorable kitten meowing in my front yard a few days ago. She was really scared, filthy, and starving and I didn't see anyone outside looking for her, so I brought her inside and fed her. I couldn't leave her outside and I knew we had to take care of her until we figured out who she belonged to. I immediately placed a few ads online in the lost & found section and hoped someone would identify her, but so far no one has responded. Judging by how hungry and dirty she was I'm thinking she was probably abandoned. Isn't she adorable? My little cat-lady, Lily, is calling her Cookie (to go with our cat Muffin). I'm really not a cat person, but I kind of wouldn't mind if no one claimed Cookie and she got to stay.
 
So pretty soon I'm going to be home all day every day with just a newborn and 2 cats.
What a glamorous life I lead!

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