Happy Birthday Baby Girl

@THEECOCHIC

She's been featured on my blog since she was just a baby and Sunday she turned SIX! I'm still not sure how time has gone by so quickly.  I'm now a mom of a six year old and an eleven year old.  My life is full and there is never a dull moment.  I know that sounds SOOOO cliche but it's true! She's in Kindergarten and reading like a pro. She still likes to sleep in our bed. She is independent...but really likes it when mommy helps her. She hasn't learned to tie her shoes yet. She's very artistic and loves to color, paint, and draw. She wants to be a vet when she grows up. She loves animals and always wants to pet any dog that walks by. She loves candy. She looks up to her big brother. She is the most beautiful, smart, and sassy little girl I've ever met.  Yes, I'm a little partial but it's true! She had a wonderful birthday with just our immediate family and asked for Outback for dinner.  She didn't have cake, but devoured the entire bowl of ice cream! Happy ... [ Read More ]

Cool Kids Gift Ideas

Cool Kids Gifts

  Affiliate links present in this post.  My kids are on different extremes when it comes to Christmas gifts this year.  My daughter is 5 (almost 6) and wants EVERYTHING she sees on TV or in the sales flyers. I seriously think if they came out with a LaLaLoopsy lump of coal she'd want it.  My son is 11 and a little more difficult to shop for this year.  There really isn't much that he's asked for.  Here are just a few gift ideas for kids of all ages... Lottie & Friends Lottie is a relatively new set of dolls for children ages 3-9.  Unlike traditional "Barbie" style dolls, Lottie is an actual child herself.  She doesn't have boobs, doesn't wear make-up, no high healed shoes! She's just a kid.  Lottie has some fun outfits that you can change and pets you can get.  My daughter has been playing with Lottie for a few weeks now and really likes it. She looks at Lottie like a friend, tells her secrets, and tries to sneak her to school in her backpack.  I happened to be ... [ Read More ]

How to Bake the PERFECT Christmas Cookie

Christmas Cookies

I'm FINALLY in the Christmas spirit and in the mood to bake a few batches of our favorite cookies.  We don't bake much the rest of the year, but I always find time to bake cookies with the kids in December.  You probably won't stumble upon my recipes pinned on Pinterest or on the pages of a magazine, but I make the PERFECT Christmas Cookies!!  Do you want to know my secret? First, go to the baking aisle of your favorite store and pick up a few packs of morsels that look good to you.  I couldn't find our favorite mint chocolate chips from last year, but I did find some red & green morsels and a pack of toffee chips.  At least that will make up some good chocolate chip cookies, right!? Next, think really hard about what other key ingredients may be missing from your kitchen.  I know I needed eggs and I thought I was out of stick butter so I chunked those in our cart.  I can't possible think of anything else that I'm out of so we head to the checkout. After dinner is over and ... [ Read More ]

Easy {Healthy} Pre-Packed Lunch & Snack Ideas – Fun With Lunch Series

Annies Snack Kits

Have a little fun with your kids lunches this year.  You don’t have to spend hours creating beautiful Bento Boxes that look like Hello Kitty to make them fun.  Your kids will love the little touches and I promise, you can do this in less than 5 minutes! In todays post I'm sharing some easy (and healthy) pre-packed lunch and snack ideas for busy moms. Note: Some of the products featured in this post have been sent to me free for review.  Others I have purchased myself. I’m sharing them with you because I reach for these first before anything else in my fridge or pantry. I'm going to let you in on a little secret, my kids have been eating school lunch all year! I have tried to get them some fun, healthy lunches like the ones you see above, but they insist on buying lunch.  For my daughter, it's a novelty for her to order lunch.  This is her first year in school and she really likes feeling like a big girl. With that secret out in the open, I still have to pack snacks for my ... [ Read More ]

Sleepover Survival Tips For Parents

Sleepover Survival Tips For Parents

...and when I say parents, I really mean you - mom! At 11 years old my son has only had about 3-4 sleepovers and they've all been at our house.  I'm starting to wonder if sleepovers are still a "thing" that kids do.  Regardless, this past weekend my son convinced me that he should invite 2 of his good friends over for a sleepover. It gets better... ...he also invited the 5 year old sister of one of the boys to have a sleepover with my 5 year old daughter (they go to school together also). That's right, my son convinced me that having 5 kids in my house this weekend was a good idea!  Did I mention that I decided to go buy a car on the same day as the sleepover?  With 2 kids? By myself?  Um, yeah.... After visiting 3 car dealerships with 2 bored kids and signing the papers to my brand new Jeep Cherokee, I rushed home to a messy house to welcome 3 additional kids over for the night.  I must have still been on my "new car" high because I welcomed these kids with a huge smile ... [ Read More ]

5 Reasons Skating Rinks Need Open Bars for Parents

Source: http://www.seskate.com/news/older-news/items/60-skate-mate-trainer.html

We are nearing the end of the second week of school and I just survived the first school skate night of the year....barely!  I am convinced that every skating rink needs to have an open bar for the parents and taxi's waiting outside to take them home afterwards. 5 Reasons Skating Rinks Should Have Open Bars for the Parents 1. Your kid doesn't know how to skate!  It's only been 2 months since she last practiced with her friend but she was terrified because of all the big kids on the rink.  She decided to cry instead. 2. Your child's friends skate better and faster than they do!  Her little BFF just wanted to skate and had no fear.  They both had their little PVC trainers (see here if you don't know what I'm talking about), but her friend was faster than her.  She decided to stop and cry instead of catch up with her friend. 3. Big brother is skating with his friends and not little sister!  Big brother is (finally) confident with his mediocre skating abilities and is off ... [ Read More ]

Best Summer Ever!

We started this summer with a plan, I even made an official Summer Bucket List with a few things each of us wanted to do this summer.  I was looking back over my Instagram account this afternoon with my youngest and I'm so excited about how much fun we had this summer.  I'm not writing this to brag or gloat over all the cool things we've done, but rather for me to look back over the best summer ever! It's really hard for me to believe that our 10 week summer is already coming to an end.  I've been a little emotional all day thinking about it.  This was the first summer that I didn't stick my kids in summer camp most of the summer while I worked.  I decided that, as much fun as they have at camp, I really wanted to be part of their summer too.  I have an amazing boss and a flexible job that allows me to sneak away from time-to-time to make memories with my family.  I've paid for that fun by staying up past midnight many nights completing projects, but it's been so worth ... [ Read More ]

Lavender Vanilla DIY Foot Spa Treatment with #EarthMama

Lavender Vanilla DIY Foot Spa Treatment #EarthMama

Summer is in full force around our house AND I'm squeezing in work while both kids are home with me.  Some evenings I'm so exhausted that all I want to do is take a nice relaxing bath before bed; but our tub is out of commission at the moment.  I'm so glad my youngest saw a commercial for a kids play foot spa because it reminded me that I had one stored away in my closet.  Earlier this week after a very stressful day we dusted it off and I decided to introduce my 5 yr old to the world of at home foot spa treatments!  I mean, who doesn't love a bubbling hot water soak on their tired achy feet? I wasn't sure how relaxing this was going to actually be with my 5 yr old but we gave it a try.  I anticipated that she wouldn't sit still long and for the water to be all over the floor, so I prepped our area with a few towels to protect the floors.  I filled the tub up with hot water and a few pumps of Earth Mama Angel Baby Calming Lavender shampoo and body wash.  That's all you need!  There ... [ Read More ]

Bedtime Battles Continue

"I'm scared of the dark." "There are monsters in my closet." "I don't want to sleep alone." EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT we go through this same routine with my 5 yr old daughter.  We have a pretty solid bedtime routine but some nights there are so many tears that I just want to run out of the house and down to the nearest bar! We start bedtime a good 10-15 minutes before her actual bedtime because I know it's going to take FOREVER!  Just changing into her pajama's some nights can take 20 minutes with her silly antics.  Then brushing her teeth and going to the bathroom, followed by bedtime stories. Just this week we've added one Bob Book (affiliate link) for her to read to me now that she's gaining confidence in her reading.  This is adding about 20 more minutes to bedtime but it's SO worth it to see her smile with pride when she finishes a book all by herself.  Of course, then she wants ME to read a story to her. ...and we can't forget snuggle time.  As if reading her ... [ Read More ]

The Perfect Mother’s Day

mothersday2

What would the perfect Mother's Day look like to you? Would it be a vase full of flowers?  Breakfast in bed?  A handmade gift from your child?  An hour to yourself without your kids clawing at your legs?  A day out with friends at the spa? Things have changed a lot over the past 11 years of being a mom and so has my "perfect Mother's Day!"  For me, a perfect Mother's Day would be one where I am unplugged from the online world and soaking up every moment I can with my family.  I don't care about the gifts or going out to eat, those aren't the things you remember very long.  I care about the memories that I can make with my kids. I started Mother's Day weekend a little early with a night out to the movies with some friends.  Tonight was the opening of the new movie, Mom's Night Out.  It's a movie about a young mom of three small kids who is "stress paralyzed!"  Yes, that's really a word...at least in the movie!  While I may not have the same life as the main character, Allyson ... [ Read More ]