Monday, February 23, 2015


Just in time to ring in the Chinese New
Year, The Magic House is celebrating the grand opening of the Museum's
newest exhibit Children's China: Celebrating Culture, Character and
Confucius. In partnership with the St. Louis Modern Chinese School and
Chinese Culture and Education Services, The Magic House is hosting a
Chinese New Year Weekend Celebration on Saturday, February 21 from 10:00
am to 2:00 pm and Sunday, February 22 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm where
families will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of
traditional Chinese New Year activities, enjoy Chinese ethnic folk dance
performances, be among the first to explore Children's China and more.

As part of the opening weekend festivities, visiting artist Jimmy Liu will
demonstrate the ancient art of Chinese calligraphy using traditional
brushstroke techniques. Chinese Calligraphy is part of the Museum's
Visiting Artist Series, a yearlong celebration of the arts at The Magic
House made possible with the support of the Regional Arts Commission of
St. Louis and Center Oil Company.

The Chinese New Year Weekend Celebration is sponsored by Moneta Group and
all activities are free with Museum admission. For a complete schedule of
events, visit

Children's China: Celebrating Culture, Character and Confucius, designed
for children 3 to 12 years, explores what life is like for children in
China today through six different immersive environments. In the school,
children will celebrate the annual holiday, National Teachers' Day, while
learning to write "thank you teacher" in Chinese characters on a
touchscreen notepad. Visitors will take on the role of a researcher at the
panda reserve and discover how the people of China are caring for this
endangered species. The entire family will find exercise fun at the park
by using playful equipment that encourages fitness for all ages. As food
is an important cultural experience in China, children will shop in a
traditional neighborhood market filled with a variety of fish, fruits and
vegetables and then prepare a healthy meal while working in the
restaurant. In the home, visitors will learn how families celebrate the
Chinese New Year and then will participate in a daily dragon parade led by
a traditional dragon headdress at the Great Achievement Hall.

Children's China: Celebrating Culture, Character and Confucius is part of
the Freeman Foundation Asian Culture Exhibit Series, funded by The Freeman
Foundation and administered by Association of Children's Museums. Created
by The Magic House in partnership with the Confucius Institute at Webster
University and Character Plus, Children's China is a nationally traveling
exhibit designed to increase understanding of the Chinese culture.
Children's China is free with Museum admission.

Admission Offer: Buy One, Get One Half Off! - Buy one admission at The Magic House,
get one admission half off! Limit one discount per coupon. Cannot be combined with any other offer.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

LU Gymnastics Fun!!!

...Today, AR, H, my sis, and I went to the LU gymnastics meet, just one of the perks of teaching there! I didn't know what AR would think but as soon as we walked in, she was super into all the gymnasts and awed by everything they did.

Then the lion made an appearance and she was constantly worried where he was. Obviously from this picture, you can tell she's not so sure about him. She liked him for the most part until he sat in the row in front of us then leaned back and she hid between my legs. Then when he turned around, he got within a few inches of her face and she screamed, "NO!!!"

One of my students was one of the gymnasts and got second overall! AR cheered for her all afternoon.

She loved the atmosphere and was mocking everything the girls did during their routines in her seat. Not to mention she was a dancing machine!!!

Here's a beam routine. Seriously, this girls are amazing athletes and those arm muscles-wow! Very impressive!

After every LU gymnast would finish, AR would hold up her sign that read TEN!

We all had a great time and LU brought home the win! Congrats ladies!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Little Girl Who Lost Her Name...

...I have to say I absolutely adore personalized books! When I saw The Little Girl Who Lost Her Name come across my Facebook feed, I knew I had to get one for AR and add it to her collection. The book is from LostMyName. As a family, the three of us sat down to read the book. It starts off with a little girl who lost her name and is on a journey to find it. This isn't your generic throw in your name here and there personalized book. No, the entire thing was geared around her! For example, on the first page, she met an Aardvark who tells him that he has an extra A so she can have one. Then the rest of the story goes out to meet characters that start with letters of her name, each of them giving her their letter and spelling out her name in the end.

AR loved the illustrations and continued to flip through the book even after we were done reading it. She wasn't familiar with some of the characters so I had to explain what a unicorn was which led to a whole discussion of horses vs unicorns. I would definitely recommend this for anyone looking to get a personalized book, perfect birthday present!

Seriously, this girl loved it!!!

I turned around and she was flipping pages on her own.

And I love that she recognizes her name!

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

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Valentine's Day Celebration!!!

...So Valentine's Day has come and gone. Honestly, I didn't expect much from it this year. Hubs went to the farm, we're tight on money, blah blah blah so I figured it would be a pretty low key day. Turns out it ended up being AWESOME! Maybe that's the key, don't put a lot into it and just let the day unfold???

AR and I started off our day at Angie's house who hosted another awesome playdate! AR was super pumped when she saw they had the clip-clop castle that she'd played with all summer at Nanny's.

This fishing game was a huge hit. It's one of those games that I always think will be too hard for her but it was actually great to work on their coordination and fine motor skills.

I even got in on the action! Apparently I was the animal whisperer because all the kids kept bringing me zoo animals and dinosaurs. I decided I'd serenade them which I'm sure they appreciated.

I worked so hard on these Valentines and bought the Play-Doh at the Dollar Store. Yeah, I learned my lesson, 4/6 were rock hard! No worries, I already placed an order on Amazon to get real Play-Doh. Ugh, how embarrassing! Oh well, good thing I brought grapes so that made up for my fumble.

After the toy room, the kids found Nick and Sophie's room and they all thought the bed was a trampoline!

Then it was time to say good-bye!

AR and I met my sister for lunch, shopped around Costco then made our way back to town where we picked up a heart-shaped pizza from Papa Murphy's. We all exchanged cards and then spent the rest of the night just chillin'.

Sunday morning I had to go to work for a couple hours so AR and Daddy got some time to play! When I got home, we all hung out and FaceTimed my sister who snapped this pic. Now, dinner tonight at the annual Sausage Supper with the G-Fam!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Busch Stadium Tour & Cardinals' Hall of Fame...

...My sweet niece H turned ELEVEN this past Thursday! Seriously, where has the time gone? Before I know it, AR will be eleven but let's NOT even go there. Today, we had her family celebration with a tour of Busch Stadium, brunch at Ballpark Village, and then a visit to Cardinals' Hall of Fame. Whew-it was a busy but fun day! And what a perfect day it was for all of this-I heart fifty-degree weather in February!

Great pic of the cousins!

Papa and H by the August Busch statue

Sha by home plate

Matt and AR in the visitors' dugout

H under the Arch

I seriously love our town! So many awesome things to do!

Daddy's shoulders are the best seat in the house

Papa was in heaven!

Fam pic by the Stan Musial statue

Coolest aunt EVER! You know, cause I take selfies and such.

Of course we had to see Papa's brick

Brunch at Ballpark Village, it was delicious and hilarious watching the drunk guy on the balcony eat his breakfast.

Cardinals' Hall of Fame-Of course, my kid finds this picture and says, "Oh, hi Emma! I missed you!" And this dog does actually look a little like Emma, too.

This was really cool. It was an announcers' booth where you picked plays throughout the years and recorded yourself broadcasting it. We had a great time in here!

Oh and we got to wear real World Series rings. These are the rings that the company designed and sent to the Cardinals for approval.

Papa got to hold Stan Musial's bat which was awesome. You actually have to wear gloves to hold any of the bats.

Grandma was really enjoying the bling too!

Happy birthday, H!

Daddy~Daughter Dance 2014!!!

...This past Saturday, Matt and AR attended their very first Daddy~Daughter Dance. I've ran this event for many years, actually until AR was born then I switched positions at work and am no longer in charge of this one. I couldn't wait for the two of them to go because it's such a sweet event!

Anyway, the two of them got dressed up and then I took pics like a real prom date.

AR's been talking about this for weeks-she was soooo excited! She kept asking me to go and I told her it was the Daddy~Daughter Dance, not Mommy-Daddy-Daughter Dance.

Kisses for Daddy! And check out that braid, did it myself!

This picture can be captioned as: "Bye, Mommy!" ~AR "Stop taking pictures." ~Matt

I did go up to the dance toward the end to take pictures and help clean up. My plan was to stay hidden except that the two of them were right by the front doors so she saw me right away. Of course then she wanted nothing to do with Matt so he took her home while I stayed and worked. Then this morning, AR told me she had a good time and that daddy said I ruined the party. :-/ So yeah, I was pretty crushed by that comment. Anyway, bottom line, AR had a great time! She loved the crown she made and insisted on wearing it for breakfast.

Happy Valentine's Day and here's to many more Daddy~Daughter dances...and Mommy not ruining them! 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Monster Cookie Balls Recipe!!!

...Okay blogland, once again, I've let my weight get out of control and I'm back needing to lose weight. My sister turns 40 in April so we've challenged each other to lose 40 pounds by her 40th birthday! I'll spare you all the details of how I plan on doing it because we all know I've been there and done that. BUT I did find an awesome new recipe that is super easy and super delicious so I wanted to share with you. Trust me, you won't want a sweet treat after this one!

Monster Cookie Balls
Mix 1 cup quick oats, 1/2 cup natural peanut butter, 1/4 cup honey, 1 scoop vanilla whey with mini M&Ms or dark chocolate chips.

I couldn't find mini M&M's or mini dark chocolate chips so I used the mini semi-sweet chocolate chips. These took about ten minutes to make and were sooo good! Seriously, it was like eating cookie dough. I'm not a fan of honey but you can't even taste it. The only bad thing about these is not eating them all at once!