Saturday, May 31, 2014

Cakeway to the West: Part 7.2...

...The last of the cakes we found on Sunday.

Cake #97-Regional Arts Commission
Since it'd rained that morning, all the cakes had water in them which AR loved playing in.


Cake #98-Tivoli Theater


Cake #99-Blueberry Hill

This is the Blueberry Hill cake...how appropriate it has Pacman on it!


Cake #100-Ruth Porter Mall Park


Cake #101-Children's Hospital
Both girls crashed at this point...

So I flipped the camera around so I could be in it!


Cake #102-St. Louis School of Pharmacy


Cake #103-Washington University School of Medicine
I was able to take this pic from the car but I wanted peeps in the pic so I yelled at these guys to smile!


Cake #104-Steinberg Ice Arena
We plan on getting Forest Park and all the cakes there on another day but we had to turn around in this parking lot so we snapped the pic. Oh and that's my speed skating pose!


Cake #105-Central Institute for the Deaf
This one is super hard to find and hidden so this is Sha's "Boo-yah, found it!" pose.


Cake #106-Science Center


Cake #107-St. Louis Arena


Cake #108-Turtle Park
Disappointed that the cake wasn't facing so that we could get the turtle sculptures in the background.


Cake #109-Dogtown
Another toughie, apparently this cake moves around Dogtown quite frequently!


Cake #110-St. Joseph's Academy
Hey, where'd you go to high school? #stlthing


Cake #111-Edward Jones South Campus
And the grand finale!

Cake #112-Jefferson Barracks Historic Site Visitor's Center
H and Sha grabbed two more this past Tuesday to bring us up to 113!

Cake #113-Harley Davidson

Apparently cake hunting is hard work, here's both girls passed out on the way home!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Cakeway to the West: Part 7.1...

...Last Sunday we were back out cake hunting but our heart just wasn't in it with the rain and excitement from the day before. We still did pretty well finding 28 cakes bringing our grand total to 111 cakes!

Cake #83-Centene Corporation
Slightly confusing since there's two Centene locations.


Cake #84-Historic Hanley House
Fellow hunters were hot on our tail and trying to follow us so we had to lose them after this location!


Cake #85-St. Louis Courthouse
Construction made this one difficult to find.


Cake #86-Shaw Park


Cake #87-Brown Shoe Company
Starting raining here! The shoe in the background is made from high heels itself.


Cake #88-Sweetology
Pouring rain here! We also sat in the parking lot for about 10 minutes so we could get a cupcake.


Cake #89-The Chesire


Cake #90-Concordia Seminary


Cake #91-Francis Field
H fell asleep and AR was watching "Froze" so the next few were up to us Mommas. The security guard here thought we were crazy to try to find all of them!


Cake #92-COCA


Cake #93-University City Lion Gates
I seriously had to jump out of the car in a roundabout and snap this pic. I was kind of bummed none of us were in the picture but hey, my name is!


Cake #94-Vintage Vinyl
Quick lunch at Cheese-o-logy then we strolled through the Loop to get pics. AR was still stuffing her mouth!


Cake #95-St. Louis Walk of Fame


Cake #96-Moonrise Hotel

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Cakeway to the West: Part 6...

...This is a family event so here are all the ones that Sha and H have found without AR and I.

Cake #75-Webster University


Cake #76-Repertory Theater


Cake #77-Kemp Auto Museum


Cake #78-Spirit of St. Louis Airport


Cake #79-Bonhomme Old Stone Church


Cake #80-United Hebrew Congregation


Cake #81-Lambert St. Louis Airport


Cake #82-Payne Gentry

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Cakeway to the West: Part 5.4...

...The last fourteen we found on Saturday, May 24. We found a total of 44 cakes in one day!!!

Cake #61-Christ Church Cathedral


Cake #62-Citygarden
We had to be very careful here because the spraypad was going but luckily AR didn't make a big deal out of it!


Cake #63-Kiener Plaza


Cake #64-Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark
H and I walked from here through Ballpark Village to the next cake...


Cake #65-Busch Stadium
See H in the background? She's standing on my dad's brick!


Cake #66-Old Courthouse
Dude, this family would not get off the steps behind the cake until I took the pic!


Cake #67-Eads Bridge
We thought this was Lacledes Landing even though we knew it was suspended in mid-air so we'll have to go back for that one.


Cake #68-St. Louis Arch
Okay, so H and I both wore flip flops not thinking we'd do much walking...um, yeah, we were wrong! Sha and AR dropped us off then we walked about a block down to the stairs up to the Arch. We walked to the wrong side so had to cross over. THEN I called Sha to figure out where she was and she was stuck in traffic...


Cake #69-Edward Jones Dome
And so we walked from the Arch to the Edward Jones Dome which is a mile driving but we had to weave in and out and did I mention we were in flip flops? So yeah, by the time we found them, H was pretty much done. She peed in the car and that was it for her.


Cake #70-National Blues Museum
We were going to head to Ted Drewes and call it a day then we stumble on this one so I jumped out of the car and asked some stranger to take my pic!


Cake #71-Old Post Office
Then we found this one! Sha took my pic from the car.


Cake #72-Broadway Oyster Bar
We found the Field House but the cake was locked inside...totally NOT cool! If a cake is inside, it should at least be visible from a window in my opinion! So we moved on and got the Broadway Oyster Bar.


Cake #73-Ameren
We told H we were done after the last one until Ted Drewes...then we found this one so we snuck it in!


Cake #74-Ted Drewes
Finally, our 44th cake of the day and some Ted Drewes to celebrate!!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Cakeway to the West: Part 5.3...

...On to the next ten...

Cake #51-Scott Joplin House


Cake #52-Jefferson Bank and Trust


Cake #53-Griot Museum of Black History


Cake #54-Crown Candy
The whole plan was to find cakes on our way to lunch at Crown Candy. However the line was out the door and we were starving so we snapped the pic and left. Now on another note, there's been debate about kids sitting on the cakes and such. In my opinion, to snap a pic it's no big deal, but here and at some other places there were kids and adults just lounging on it, climbing all over it...come on people!


Cake #55-Old North St. Louis
AR woke up from her nap here but refused to get in the pic. A quick diaper change and a drink of water and she was a happy camper!


Cake #56-Peabody Opera House


Cake #57-St. Louis City Hall
We parked here and put AR in the stroller so she could get out of the carseat for awhile. She loved it!


Cake #58-Scott Trade Center
Found some fellow cake hunters here so this is the only pic with all four of us!


Cake #59-Solider Memorial
Not sure this is the correct cake for this location because it said "Spirit of St. Louis" with an airplane on it. :-/


Cake #60-St. Louis Library
How ironic that cake #60 was at the library and my mom is sixty and a retired librarian! I also tried to get the wedding party getting pics on the stairs, you can barely see the bride to the far right.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Cakeway to the West: Part 5.2...

...The next ten, these were pretty uneventful...

Cake #41-Harris-Stowe University


Cake #42-St. Louis University


Cake #43-Big Brothers Big Sisters


Cake #44-The Fabulous Fox


Cake #45-Powell Hall


Cake #46-Urban League of St. Louis


Cake #47-Centene


Cake #48-Nine Network


Cake #49-The Sheldon


Cake #50-Heritage House

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Cakeway to the West: Part 5.1...

...Well, in case you missed it on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, my sister, niece, AR, and I were busy cake hunting all day yesterday! We started at 11:30AM, took about an hour lunch break, and stopped around sevenish. In total, we found 43 or 44 cakes, I thought it was 43 but then I counted 44 pictures so I'm not sure. Instead of doing an entire blog post with that many pictures, I'll break it up into groups of ten...especially since we're back at it again today! To summarize, we're all exhausted but everyone was pretty good sports. I'll tell stories as we go so here goes...

Cake #31-Kenrick-Glennon Seminary


Cake #32-Shrewsbury Metrolink Station
Dude, my calf is huge in this picture! #Butchiecalves


Cake #33-The College School
AR saw the first two and when we got here, she said, "Cake! I want out!" So she joined in the cake fun.


Cake #34-Serendipity
The lighting was awful in this location!


Cake #35-Schafly Bottleworks


Cake #36-Brightside
Pose shoutout to the Shekell Family!


Cake #37-Tower Grove Park


Cake #38-Missouri Botanical Garden
We almost had a throwdown here! Some kids were climbing all over it waiting for a birthday party. Then some family got on it to take a picture. As we're standing right by the mom waiting for them to take a picture, she ANSWERS HER PHONE! I waited a little bit then I asked, "Um...can we take a picture?" So she loudly told the person on the other end of the phone she'd call her back then turns to me and says, "Are you waiting?" Um...duh then she asks if the random kid climbing on the cake was mine.


Cake #39-The Original Imo's
I love the realism on this cake!


Cake #40-LGBT Center of St. Louis

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Petbrosia Dog Food AND Giveaway!!!

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

...Petbrosia is a website that you can special order your dog or cat's food. You can custom your own brand or you can just throw in their stats and it'll figure it out for you.

Petbrosia determines the right Petbrosia diet for your dog or cat based on their breed, age, weight, food allergies, activity level, and other needs you feel should be brought to our attention. We use only the highest quality, all-natural ingredients, grown and raised by farmers across America. No corn, No wheat, No soy, and No by-products. And it's all listed right on the package for you to read!

I was super pumped when it arrived on the front porch!

Shad was even MORE excited than me!

See the tag wag? He was super pumped!

You definitely have to check out the website to see all the variety that they have available for your dog. Shadow loved it and it made me feel good knowing I was feeding him good food.



I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Alphabet Jumbled App Review...

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

...At my house, it's letters all day long! If I wear a shirt with letters on it, AR will point out all the vowels and the rest of the letters are W (they're really not). I downloaded the app Alphabet Jumbled on my Galaxy Note hoping that we would be able to learn that not ALL consonants are W.

The app provides 5 fun steps in Alphabet Jumbled to learn your A B C!
▶ KNOW YOUR A B C - Recognize the 26 letters
▶ FLASH CARDS - Familiarize with the ABCs
▶ EASY JUMBLE - Start un-jumbling 5 letters jumbles
▶ JUMBLE A-Z - Arrange the alphabets in the correct order in the shortest time possible!
▶ JUMBLE CHALLENGE - Can you un-jumbled all the letters under a minute?
Our advice: Practice your jumbles before heading here!

We got to the page where it's all the letters and wouldn't you know the little stinker just kept hitting W over and over again! We've done the Easy Jumble game and she's getting better with it. Cross your fingers that soon enough, she'll stop saying W for every consonant!









I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Vega Sport Protein Bars...





...As a Sweat Pink Ambassador through Fit Approach, I was asked to do a review of #VegaSportProteinBar. Woohoo, I even got this cool badge to display!
Vega Bar Blogger photo Badge_Vega200_zps53a557dd.png
I received a box of Vega Chocolate Mint Protein Bars. I decided to share the #VegaSportProteinBar love with my co-workers. Good looking group of ladies, eh? They were all excited to try it out and here's what they had to say:

"I love the flavor! It was like eating a candy bar, but it's good for you."
 
"Do you have any more?"
 
"I could read and pronounce every ingredient listed which is two thumbs up from me!"
 
"Gluten-free? Yes, please!"
 
"No, seriously, do you have any more?"

#VegaSportProteinBar are gluten-free, non-GMO, and totally plant-based. I mean, you really can't get anything better for your body than Vega Sport products. They also have gels, energizers, hydrators, protein powders, and the list goes on!

"Nom, nom, nom!"

And hey, even the dudes like it too!

So if you're ready to #fuelyourbetter then check out #VegaSportProteinBar.
 
Thanks to Vega Sport and Fit Approach for this opportunity. Check them out on their social media channels: Instagram: @vega_team, Twitter: @VegaTeam and @FitApproach.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Label Daddy Zipper Tags: Small Tags=Big Hit!!!

...Remember when I told you all about Label Daddy here? After searching their website for a couple hours, seriously at least two hours because there was so many cute items to choose from, I decided to order these zipper tags. When I saw the envelope sitting on the table, I couldn't wait to tear into it!

How cute are they! I love that it represents the home team and it totally personalized and unique at the same time. Go Cards!

They are super easy to attach and I've already put one on the lunchbox we share, my camera bag, and her coat. Seriously, I was searching the house for items with zippers so I could add this cute d├ęcor!

Verdict? Small tag=big hit!!!
 
*I was provided the zipper tags at no charge in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

AR's Second Birthday: Ms. Pacman Style!!!

...My sweet baby girl is two! It's crazy how quickly time passes. Liz posted a quote on her blog a couple months ago that stated, "The days are long, but the years are short." Never have I felt this to be so true than being a mom to a two year old. Okay, I'm tearing up so I'll save the sentimental post for another day because today I'm about to tell you about our awesome party we had for our own Ms. Pacman!

As usual, I wanted a unique theme. I thought about doing Minnie Mouse or Elmo but I knew a few other friends who already had dibs on those themes. AR loves her baby dolls so I thought about doing a Cabbage Patch Doll theme but 1. she has friends that are boys so I'm not sure they'd enjoy that and 2. yeah, there's no way I could make a Cabbage Patch theme cake! As I was perusing Pinterest and Cabbage Patch Doll themes, I thought about maybe doing a simple '80s theme, but then I came across Ms. Pacman and I was sold!

To answer the questions out there, no, my child had not seen Ms. Pacman until I picked the theme. I did show it to her online which kept her attention for about all of two minutes. This only confirmed that she could careless about the theme so it was game-on to start party planning!

First things first, my sister made the invitations for me. She saved it as a JPEG and I had them printed 4x6 at Walgreens. Total I think it cost $12 for the invites plus stamps but I tried to hand deliver as many as I could.

Next was the favors. I'm not a fan of giving away candy or trinkety stuff that will break or find it's way to the trash can. I enlisted the help of Nanny. She made 25 of these ghost pillows for each kid to take home as their favor. I figured they could leave them in the car, on the couch, in bed, etc...I know, there are no green ghosts in Ms. Paman but hey, we were working on a budget. Oh, and Nanny is so awesome, she didn't even have a pattern when she made these. #nannyrocks

She made this special Ms. Pacman pillow that now resides in AR's bed and she loves it! Again, no pattern, just eyeballed it. We did end up making the eye a little bit bigger.

I contacted the lovely ladies of Hill Girls Designs and told them I had yet another unusual request for them. They had to do some searching but I absolutely love what they came up with. I think the bedazzled two makes it just the perfect amount of girly and I also am loving the 3-D bow. Thank you ladies for always pulling through and coming to the rescue for my hair brain ideas!

We had her party at one of her favorite parks. I made this ghost banner.

I made Ms. Pacman dividers and spelled Happy birthday and her name on the ghosts.

It was kind of a fiasco when my husband went to pick up the pizzas but I was able to improvise when he brought them back so we were able to have Ms. Pacman and Pacman pizzas.

We had a family party and a friend party. At the family party, I made two round cakes into Ms. Pacman and Pacman then put plain white Pac-Dots between them.

Matt and I made this bean bag toss board for the kids to play. We also had bean bags made out of Pacman fabric.

The second cake was from Costco. They don't do specialty cakes so I just had them do the writing on it then I drew the Mrs. Pacman on myself.

This didn't turn out as great as I wanted but basically I took chalk and made Pac-Dots and fruit to lead people to our pavilion.

My niece got into the theme and decorated her own Ms. Pacman shirt, too. 

Complete with ghosts on back!

Here are Pacman plates we made to serve the cake. Yellow dessert plates with a triangle of black plate.

My hubs and I got into the theme too. We both got Pacman shirts and wore our bright yellow tennis shoes!

It was a great day with friends and family. Honestly, it was such an easy theme too! Feel free to leave a comment with any questions. It was a fun-"pac"ked day!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Celebrating AR's 2nd Birthday with Friends and Family!!!

...Well, AR celebrated her second birthday in style, Ms. Pacman style that is. Yesterday, her actual birthday, our friends and family came out to one of AR's favorite parks to help us celebrate our girl turning two. A quick pic of the G-Pacman-Family, all of us in our Pacman gear.

We had so many people there! Both her great grandmas, both her grandmas and grandpas, her aunts and uncles, cousins, and tons of family. Here's AR with her babysitter, she was so excited to see her!

The sitter's kiddos who AR loves playing with. She's so excited they'll be home with her this summer.

She loved Baby Hattie and even told her "Come on" to go to the playground.

Her bestie Emma came and even pushed her on the swing!

This is Jax with AR. The last time they played together, AR wasn't even one!

Her and her friends loved this slide!

Hugs for Addie!

We opened gifts. This girl was totally spoiled by all the gifts she got!

She loves this Minnie scooter that Matt's parents got her. At the park, she constantly wants to play on the other kids' scooter. I thought she was too little for it but figured she'd grow into it. I was wrong, she had this thing figured out in no time flat.

Papa got her this Sofia the First car. She was more excited about Sophia on the box but once we open it then I'm sure she won't get out of the car.

We had our family party first and I served these homemade cakes and Pac-Dots.

Making her first wish!

Matt and I made this Ms. Pacman bean bag toss game.

We had a second Costco cake for our friend party. Here she is making her second wish of her second birthday!

Sha, AR, and H...the birthday girl wasn't feeling it with smiling today.

Check it out, Matt and I both in our Pacman shirts and bright yellow tennis shoes to get into the theme.

There was a volleyball pit that surprisingly everyone played in...even the kiddos!

The birthday girl woke up before six and had a full day. Around three, she was ready for a nap.

Her bestie decided to rest with her too.

Then she was up and ready to play in the sand with her cousins.

Driving home from the park, I saw a man walking down the sidewalk in a Pacman shirt!!! I totally honked at him and he was probably wondering, "What the heck?!" but it was an awesome sight to see on the way home after being surrounded by Pacman all day.
 
AR fell asleep on the way home and slept for about an hour. She woke up crying and crabby. I asked if she wanted to watch "Frozen" which is what her sitter got her for her birthday. She said yes so we spent the afternoon of her birthday cuddled up and watching her favorite movie. She was still pretty tired.

But once the movie got going, she hopped up and started dancing around the room!

Then she walked in the kitchen to get some milk and found her scooter again...which she rode around the entire house!

She wanted to go outside and ride again. We pulled out her helmet and rode it up and down our front sidewalk. She's loving it!

Then I snapped one more pic of me and the birthday girl before a yummy steak dinner and more birthday cake!

The odd thing is that when I put my girl to bed on Sunday night, she was still technically a one year since her time of birth is 10:20 p.m. Anyways, a big thank you to everyone who came to celebrate our girl with us! It was a beautiful day to celebrate our beautiful daughter. I know her special guardian angel was with her today as he is every day.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

My Sweet Baby Is Two!!!

...Today is AR's second birthday! Where did the time go? For over two years, we tried to get pregnant and now two years have flown by! Despite sleepless nights and countless tantrums, the past two years have been the best years of my life.

Looking back on her birthday party this time last year, it's amazing to see how much she's changed. She couldn't talk and could barely walk and today she's a jabberwocky that's running all over the place! Today we're celebrating Ms. Pacman style with our friends and family. While to most this date is a celebration of AR's birthday, but to me, it's a celebration of my miracle girl. Every birthday is so exciting, but also a little bittersweet as it means my baby is becoming more and more of a big girl!

So happy birthday, sweet AR! Your mommy loves her more than you'll ever know. I look forward to all the things you'll teach me in the years ahead. Enjoy your birthday and know what a special girl you are to so many people!

Helping Mommy prepare the cake for her party this year!

Celebrating her first birthday pink lemonade style!

My sweet baby girl on her actual birth day!
IMGP7887

Friday, May 16, 2014

Professor Life...


…I survived my first semester of teaching! Now that it’s over, I can admit that I was really nervous going into this class. I’d never taught a class to anyone over the age of 5 before and most of my classes included crafts and snacks…what a bummer there are no snacks in college classes. Unless, of course, I’m your professor, but I digress. Aside from feeling like I had no idea what I was doing, I was afraid that I would hate it and dread the next fifteen weeks.
 
From day one, I was so concerned with being able to fill an entire hour and 15 minutes of class time. And for the first two weeks, I really struggled. Then finally my students warmed up and started interacting! It was glorious because suddenly, I was running short of time, but my students were discussing and sharing and interacting!
 
While I hated to read a textbook in college, I actually found almost all of this reading enjoyable. Perhaps it’s because I’ve now worked in my field for fifteen years so everything was coming full circle and it all clicked and made sense to me now.  Of course, we’d discuss something and then a news article would flash across my homepage that related to what I’d just lectured about. I loved when that happened because then I could say, “See-real life!!!” What I loved even more was when my students would email me news articles THEY found. Those emails were definitely a few of my proud professor moments.
 
I am horrible at pronouncing words/names that I don't use on a regular basis. There were a few students names that I know I butchered. Finally, a couple weeks in, I told them to just correct me every time I got it wrong. Eventually, I think I finally got it right...or they just gave up on me. I had one student that I'd ask to pronounce philosophers name for me to which he'd reply, "I'm not Russian," or Italian...or wherever the philosopher was from, but he was a good sport and helped me out. From day 1, I told them they could call me Alyssa. I never was. I was only addressed as Professor and it took me a few weeks to realize, oh hey, they're talking to me!
 
I tried to make class fun. I brought candy on the first day and on a study day. I even brought in cookies for my birthday to share and a goodie bag for each of them during finals week. We played kickball, discussed #cakewaytothewest, and hailed Canada. We became good friends with Aristotle, in the words of one of my students, "Man, he has an opinion on everything!" We discussed not only "book" issues, but how leisure is applied in our every day lives, in ways we don't even realize. I think most of the students, including me, took away from the class that leisure is so vital to our every day well-being and it's more than just watching tv.  
 
This class made me feel old. I'd reference movies or songs and most of the students stared at me with a blank look on their face. I guess I need to study up on current musicians and movies before I teach again. There were also a few teachable moments that the students taught me something. For instance, I learned all about women's wrestling, places in Arkansas and Boston as well as what food locations to stay away from on campus. Did I mention that I got free lunch? I only discovered the amazing chocolate chip cookies three weeks before semester ended which is probably a good thing.  
 
Another take away I have from the whole experience was the last week of class when two of my students told me they were both taking recreation jobs for the summer and they were EXCITED about it! Neither of them are recreation majors so that's a major win!  
 
So I survived my first semester of teaching and I loved it! I only got mistaken for a student, oh you know, every day, but it was still fun. It helped that I had an awesome bunch of students so hopefully my future classes will be just as great. Oh and all of my students passed! That makes me one proud professor!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

California Kitchenware Silicone Cupcake Baking Molds...

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

The big Ms. Pacman party is just around the corner! I'll let you in on one of the things I'm doing. Surprise-I'm making cupcakes! More specifically, I'm making pac-dots! All I need is white cupcake wrappers, white frosting, and a cake mix.

First off, let me tell you how much I hate paper cupcake wrappers...sometimes the paper gets stuff on the cupcake or you lose valuable frosting on the wrapper. For this reason alone, I have eliminated using cupcake wrappers over the years. I came across California Kitchenware Silicone Cupcake Baking Molds so I decided to try them out. They're individual molds and you just put them on a cookie sheet.

Last night, I decided I'm better try out the silicone molds instead of waiting for the day of the party. The making of the batter was pretty disastrous as Daddy decided to boil eggs right where I was mixing and some little girl started cracking eggs like they were going out of style-whew, it was a pretty stressful few moments for Mommy! Alas, I digress...AR was a very patient little girl repeatedly requesting "A bite, Momney, a bite!" while I tried to tell her "No, baby, we can't eat raw eggs. Let's eat peas instead and we'll have them when they come out of the oven."

I feared I'd be smelling burnt rubber and kept flicking the light on in the oven to check on them. They actually turned out pretty awesome, even cooked and fluffy!

Once they'd cooled and I iced them. I set one, mold and all, on a bowl in front of AR. She easily plucked off the mold and the cupcake slid out easily, in one piece, and looked absolutely perfect! She admired the perfect cupcake then went to town on eating...just the top with the frosting then "All done" once the frosting was gone in her belly or all over her face.

Definitely two thumbs up for this product! I can't wait to bake more pac-dots for the party. You can find them on Amazon here. 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Ozeri Brezza III Dual Oscillating 10" High Velocity Desk Fan...

...Missouri weather, gotta love it, right? It's in the eighties one week and snowing in April the other. I never know what to wear to work due to this. Luckily, I found the Ozeri Brezza III Dual Oscillating 10" High Velocity Desk Fan so I can leave it at my desk and if I overdress (which I tend to do) then I'm covered with this fan.


Here are some of the highlights:

  • Powered by new ultra-quiet, 4-speed, dual oscillating motors with automatic vertical and horizontal motion for maximum cooling effectiveness.
  • Extended-range remote control and fan controls easily engage automatic dual oscillation (up/down & left/right), horizontal oscillation (left/right), the 4-hour timer and all air speed settings.
  • Aerodynamically designed for an even lower dB noise rating than the trend-setting Brezza II, while providing air circulation at 4 different speeds.
  • Push button access to non-oscillating mode for precisely directed airflow.
  • Boasts a sophisticated and stylish space-saving design that complements and enhances room decor. Ships fully assembled. Satisfaction Guaranteed.


  • First off, I was blown away by the size of this fan! AR loved hanging over it and letting the wind blow in her face. It's nice to know that she can't get her fingers caught in it.

    It has a timer, can move left/right, up/down, operate on quiet or high. Dude, it just kept blowing my mind away!

    It even came with a remote-legit!

    Wee!!! The G-Fam girls love our new fan!!!

    *I received this product for free in exchange for my honest opinion.
    

    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

    Whole Latte Love Book Review...

    Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

    ...Rachelle Ayala has published yet another book: Whole Latte Love. I seriously have no idea how she writes and publishes her books so quickly. She's a romance writing superhero!
    21488097
    Summary
    Investment banking intern Carina Chen doesn’t need any distractions—especially the sexy, guitar-playing barista she rooms with for the summer.

    Free spirit Dylan Jewell appreciates the delightful universe of women who vie for his attention. His goal in life is to do good, make happy coffee, and help the homeless.

    When Carina moves in, she insists on rules of conduct to quell her instant attraction to Dylan. But when her boss asks her to turn Dylan into a businessman, she can’t think of a reason not to take advantage of his hospitality.

    Their chemistry is white hot, but Dylan refuses to play Carina’s game, unable to understand how he can fall in love with a woman who puts profits in front of people. When Carina realizes Dylan isn’t budging, she risks all to gain a single night with him. Will her gambit backfire or will Dylan discover Carina’s true heart before she runs away with his?

    Review
    As always, Rachelle roped me in with her stellar writing skills. From the first intro of Dylan, I was a swooning fan like the rest of the women in his life. Dylan's love for everyone and everything around him made him even more of a heartthrob aside from his gorgeous looks.

    However, it took me awhile to warm-up to Carina. Her goody-two shoes attitude and constantly ruining the moment drove me mad! But hey, it's good when an author can get a character to make you feel real emotions.

    I feared for Carina when she was on the mean streets of Berkley, but knew that Dylan would come to her rescue. Rachelle did a great job of really describing the environment and even though I've never been to Berkley, I felt like I was right there! I wished Rebecca would get out of the picture, but alas, there's always got to be drama, right? Two thumbs up, go read it now!

    I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

    Sunday, May 11, 2014

    Mother's Day 2014...

    ...Today is Mother's Day. Two years ago Mother's Day (May 13) was my due date. Three years ago I didn't know if I'd ever celebrate a Mother's Day as a mother. Today I posted this on my Facebook page:

    "For this child I prayed" and God blessed us with the sweetest little girl that has been my greatest blessing. She came after lots of tears, prayers, and treatments, but I'd do it all again in a heartbeat.

    Happy Mother's Day to the moms out there, the mommas to be, the women that treat us like moms, and to the women praying for their greatest blessing. Never give up hope.

    "I can do all things through Christ who strengths me."

    Three years of Mother's Day

    A picture of me with all my kiddos (November 2012)

     
    I also found this post on my infertility blog that puts in numbers everything I went through for the first IVF (doesn't include anything with our FET when I was pregnant with AR). When asked if I would do anything differently in my journey to become a mother, I always answer the same way: absolutely not. And if I had to do everything again in triplicate, hands down I would.

    Happy Mother's Day to all women out there. Even if you don't have a "child" you've got furbabies, husbands, relatives, co-workers, etc...that you're taking care of and loving!

    Friday, May 9, 2014

    Marriage of a Toddler...

    ...Yesterday, I walked in to the sitter's house and AR promptly stole a toy from Beau, the little boy who is a month younger than her. I immediately told her we don't take toys from others and asked her to apologize. She started crying as she walked over to him signing and saying sorry. Beau immediately tried to kiss/bite her. This all went down in a matter of about thirty seconds and ended with them both crying and apologizing.

    This morning as we drove to the sitter's, she told me we were going to Beau's house. I told her it was Ms. P's house, but Beau would be there. As soon as I pulled in the driveway, she started looking around saying, "Beau? Beau? Beau?" and continued doing this as she walked into the house.

    I told the sitter about our conversation on the way over and said, "It's good to know that even though they don't always get along, at least she looks forward to seeing him." I paused as I thought about this and added, "It's kind of like marriage."

    #toddlerproblems #mommyisms #toddlermarriage #lovemyAR


    Wednesday, May 7, 2014

    "She Thinks We're Just Fishing..."

    ...Matt's been carrying around a fishing pole in the back of his car. All last week, AR and him talked about fishing so on Sunday, Daddy took her fishing. I tagged along and took a million pictures. Of course, once she saw the swings, she was over fishing, but still it was a good time. Daddy grilled us hot dogs, she rode in a wagon, played with the older girls...she had a blast and got totally dirty which is what you're supposed to do in gorgeous weather like we had on Sunday, right? I knew I wanted to put all the pictures together with Trace Adkins' song "She Thinks We're Just Fishing" and I love how it turned out. Enjoy our photo montage of our afternoon!


    Tuesday, May 6, 2014

    Hoppers® Peg Solitaire Jumping Game Review...

    Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

    ...Have you heard of Hoppers® Peg Solitaire Jumping Game? If not, you have to check it out. Hoppers® is a peg solitaire jumping game – set the frogs on the pond, then jump frogs until only one is left standing. Forty challenge cards range from easy to super hard. Start simple and grow your skills with each level. In no time at all you’ll be the smartest frog in the pond!

    AR was pretty excited when she saw this laying on the table. I didn't have the heart to tell her it wasn't for her and I figured H wouldn't mind if her baby cousin played a little bit with it.

    She was pretty intense and we worked on our math skills counting all the frogs...over and over and over. Hey, repetition is key, right?

    This game reminded me a lot of the peg game on the tables at Cracker Barrel which I've always loved! This is an excellent game for kids to work on counting, logic, and just looking for some good 'ole fashion fun. I'm not a huge fan of entertaining kids with technology so I think this would be an excellent way to keep a school-age child entertained at dinner, in the car, or to just turn the tv off and play at home! Some of the games are pretty tough so it'd make an excellent parent-child game, as well. I can't wait to try other ThinkFun games. 

    I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

    Monday, May 5, 2014

    #Kidpresident Advice...

    ...If we all bought each other a corndog every now and then, life would be good, would it not?


    Sunday, May 4, 2014

    Duckymeter by Ozeri...

    ...Too bad I didn't find this when AR was a newborn. I recently discovered the Duckymeter by Ozeri. It's a rubber ducky with a built-in thermometer. We have a rubber duck that just says hot when it's too hot...I don't think it works because I've never seen it change colors at all.

    But with the Duckymeter, it automatically activates when it touches the water. The screen is easy to read and it displays in blue for too cold, green for just right, and red for hot, hot, hot! Check it out-it's so easy to read and it registers almost automatically.

    I put it in the tub and AR immediately wanted to know, "What's that?"

    Then she was really concerned when the screen reset so we had to put it back in the water and try it again!

    I have to say this is probably one of the most awesome baby items I've seen. I love how quickly the temperature registers, the color changes, and it's just so fool-proof. The only downfall...my child wouldn't get out of the tub because she insisted on playing with it!

    You can get your own Duckymeter here!


    *I received this product at no charge in exchange for my honest opinion.

    Saturday, May 3, 2014

    OvenArt Bakeware Silicone Muffin Pan Review...

    Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

    ...Get ready for stress-free baking and scrub-free cleaning with this wonderful silicone muffin pan by OvenArt Bakeware. I received the OvenArt Bakeware Silicone Muffin Pan and couldn't wait to try it out.

    Neither could AR! And who could blame her when...

    OvenArt Solves The Problems of Metal Muffin Pans As you probably know, metal muffin pans have frustrating drawbacks. Metal rusts, wraps, and wears down with use. Stuck-on food is annoying and a nightmare to clean. And then there are the chemical nonstick coatings that eventually scrape off and only leave you wondering if it all went into your food.

    She was a fan of putting the liners in the cups.

    A Nonstick Muffin Pan That's Worth It We make our much loved silicone muffin pan with an expensive grade of pure 100%, high quality European silicone. Soon, you'll be confidently turning even the stickiest and messiest recipes into delightful muffins, cupcakes, cornbread, egg muffins and more. Food will slide out effortlessly and bake perfectly every time using your safe, BPA-free, filler-free, and worry-free silicone bakeware.

    We decided to try out the neon yellow cake mix I had purchased on a sale a couple weeks ago.

    Cleanup Is A Breeze Isn't it annoying to have to soak and scrub a pan? You'll really appreciate how easy this muffin pan cleans up. The magic nonstick baking cups clean with a little detergent and water or you can toss the pan in the dishwasher. With such an easy cleanup, why stop at making muffins and cupcakes? Enjoy delicious non-muffin recipes such as taco cups, crab cakes, mini lasagnas, and frozen desserts (it's safe for the oven, freezer, microwave, and dishwasher).

    Oh and I might add that we threw in some frozen cookie dough too!

    Perfect For First-Time Silicone Bakers New silicone users love the results batch after batch. They enjoy healthy homemade treats and save on store-bought packaged goods. This high quality muffin pan is protected by the OvenArt "Better Muffin" Guarantee for lifetime assurance against defects and performance issues.

    They turned out pretty delicious!

    Review
    I was excited to try this product out and I wasn't let down. It worked like a regular muffin pan except when it came time to clean up, all I had to do was wipe it out! The spills I made on the side were gone with a quick swipe. The only downfall is that it was a little difficult to get it out of the oven since it was so flexible, but nothing that two hands and potholders can't handle. This is going to be my go-to gift for a brides-to-be!

    I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.