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 ]

Ringling Bros. Circus XTREME Tampa

IMG_9309

  The Circus... Acrobatics... Clowns... Human Cannonball... BMX... Contortionists... Tightrope Walkers... Elephants... Tigers... Popcorn... Cotton Candy... Smiles... Laughs... That pretty much sums up our day at the Circus! The performers were XTREME and put on a fabulous show for us today in Tampa.  This was the first time in at least 25 years that I've seen a Ringling Bros. Circus and it was pretty close to what I remembered as a child.  The acrobatics were stunning.  The clowns were silly.  The ariel performances were amazing.  The energy from the performers was over the top! As I watched the circus through the eyes of my own children I'm reminded that sometimes we just need to laugh and be silly.  I'm hoping that 2015 is full of laughter and fun with my family.  Today was a good start to laughing more.   We'd like to thank Ringling Bros. and the Amalie Arena for inviting us to be part of the circus today. ... [ 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 ]

Sea World’s Christmas Celebration 2015

Sea World Christmas Celebration

This past weekend we were invited to Sea World's Christmas Celebration to get a glimpse behind the scenes and to learn more about the special Christmas performances going on around the park.  Unlike some of the other area theme parks, Sea World includes their Christmas performances with your regular park admission.  Plus, kids get in FREE through the end of December with a paying adult. Sea World will always hold a special place in my heart and the Christmas spirit just enhances that love of the park and the work they do to help preserve our natural world. I found myself a little teary eyed during some of the performances.  Even if you only go for a few hours, here is my list of 5 things you don't want to miss at Sea World in December. 1. Polar Express - Sea World has once again transformed the polar exhibit into a train ride on the Polar Express that takes you to the North Pole to meet Santa Clause.  The experience is based off the popular Christmas movie, the Polar Express. ... [ Read More ]

Fun Things To Do at TradeWinds Island Resort With Kids

Fun Things To Do at TradeWinds Island Resort With Kids

If you're looking for a fun place to take your kids for a fun filled day (or week) on the beach, consider visiting St. Pete Beach and the TradeWinds Island Resort.  The weather is still warm in Florida this Fall and the water is still warm enough to swim.  My daughter and I were invited to spend a day at TradeWinds earlier this summer and I'm ready to go back! I hold a special place in my heart for St. Pete Beach. When I was growing up, my Grandmother lived one block from TradeWinds and I spent a lot of time as a child playing in the Gulf of Mexico. I remember vividly walking down to the beach with our arms full of sand toys.  I remember vividly how she used to sit on the beach for hours reading her books.  I remember vividly walking down the street to Larry's Ice Cream.  I used to love picking out a new souvenir at the little shop in front of her complex.  I still get a little teary eyed when I drive past the complex where she used to live (she died when I was in high ... [ Read More ]

Merry Christmas

The Christmas Story

This year for Christmas I wanted to share something very special to me.  Every year as a child my dad would read us The Christmas Story that his father read to them as children.  On Christmas morning my brother and I would first go and wake up my parents and my dad would read us the story before we were allowed to go open presents.  It was a good way for us to remember why we celebrate Christmas - to celebrate the birth of Jesus. While re-writing The Christmas Story this year (my version is pretty beat up) I was asking my family if they remembered when Grandpa wrote the story.  He was a preacher and my dad and his brothers all remember him telling the story as a child.  My uncle remembers hearing the story as far back as 1951.  My dad told me that they all urged my Grandfather to write down the story so they could share it with their own children (us).  My Grandfather passed away the year I was born and we're guessing that the story was officially written down in the early 70's ... [ Read More ]

Easter 2012

Calley The Eco Chic

Did your Easter look anything like this? Despite what this picture may show we actually had a very blessed Easter Sunday.  We spent the first few hours with our church family followed by an afternoon with family and friends.  Yes, there were tears shed at the egg hunt but she's three and cries over everything!  Today we cried because "they are taking all the eggs!"  I hope that you and your family enjoyed your day. ... [ Read More ]

5 Family Friendly Activities for Earth Hour

5 Family Friendly Activities for Earth Hour

Yesterday I talked about how Earth Hour is a global event on March 31st and how it can be used to help teach your children how to be good environmental stewards.  It's also a great time to build stronger family bonds.  Here are some activities you can do with or without the kids. 5 Family Friendly Activities for Earth Hour Make a statement in your neighborhood by lighting luminaries in your driveway or year.  Have fun with the layout and spell out Earth Hour or the 60+ logo with candles or luminaries.  How many of your neighbors will ask what you are doing? Have a fondue party by candlelight.  Invite your friends and your child's friends over for a fun party in the dark.  Serve fresh (local if possible) fruits and vegetables with a cheese fondue or create a fun fondue dessert with marshmallows, strawberries, sprinkles, and graham crackers. Family game night!  Pick a few of your favorite board games and play them by candlelight.  Candy Land is a great beginners game for ... [ Read More ]

Earth Hour 2012 – A Global Event

Looking back over my blog I just realized that my family has participated in Earth Hour since 2008 when I first heard about the event.  Every March organizers around the globe turn off their lights for one hour to unite people to protect the planet.  With the help of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) this annual event now reaches more than 5 million supports around the world. When is Earth Hour?  March 31st at 8:30pm - 9:30pm local time. What is Earth Hour?  For one hour on one day can you commit to turning off the lights and electronics in your home (or wherever you happen to be at the time)?  Around the world momuments like the Statue of Liberty, the Sydney Opera House, the Eiffel Tower, and London Bridge turn off the lights for an entire hour.  These are lights that are typically on for 24 hrs a day, 365 days a year.  Combine that with the efforts of cities, companies, and families and the impact of that one hour is massive!  It's the ultimate representation that if everyone made ... [ Read More ]

Happy Thanksgiving

cranberry

Happy Thanksgiving friends!  I hope and pray that you all have a fabulous day with family and friends. Me?  I'll have a quiet day with my kids while my husband works in the morning.  Then we'll have a quiet Thanksgiving dinner with just the 4 of us.  No huge meal plans, no fancy table settings, no friends or extended family - just the 4 of us!  I may not even clean my house for dinner and try to enjoy the day playing with my kids.  The weather is so gorgeous still in Florida that I'm sure we'll be outside most of the day. Tonight I made the first part of our little Thanksgiving meal, my dads Frozen Cranberry Salad (a yummy dessert). Ingredients: Container of sour cream (Small or large depends on how many you are feeding) Whole cranberry sauce - 1 can Crushed pineapples, drained - 1 can Mini-marshmallows - about 1-2 cups (again depending on how many you are feeding) Handful of chopped pecans Directions: In a freezer safe dish or pan mix all of the ... [ Read More ]