Author: tubie36(page 2 of 9)

Arizona Activities

Arizona- the Grand Canyon State.

We just came back from a trip and these are some of the crafts/ activities we did and are still playing with!

I always do my research on where we are going and try to theme our activities around that.

For Arizona, I knew my kids would like the Disney Cars, since Radiator Springs is a fictional town in Arizona.

can you buy amoxicillin at walgreens Desert themed Sensory Bin
Kinetic sand (I used it here for our beach bin)
Toob of desert animals
rocks
mulch

 

buy doxycycline free shipping Cactus watercolor
Found here, I did a set myself before we left and now my kids are asking to do them!  Instead of black glue (which I tried to make and failed miserably), I used black puffy paint.

go here Felt 

I had some extra green felt from making a felt Christmas tree and felt story board for the girls, so I cut out two cactus shapes, put some velcro on some buttons and BAM!

Playmats 

I found some Radiator Springs maps online and laminated them, then bought Lightning McQueen and the gang from Walmart.

The other playmat was a desert scene, also played with the Toob animals, which I found at Michaels. They are also available on Amazon.

Play-Doh 

I used two different color greens and a pink (for the flowers), plus toothpicks to make cacti with!

Coloring Books

Ordered here and here from good ol’ Amazon!

Shapes

Used to make suns, cacti and flowers

 

Ipsy Bag 101

I’ve been getting Ipsy bags for 3 months now and it is BY FAR the best $10 I spend per month.

I’ve never been very into makeup, but let’s be honest, with 2 kids, when’s the next time I can make it into a Sephora?

This is the perfect solution for moms!

You get 5 items per month in a Glam Bag.

Here’s what I’ve gotten over the last 3 months:

February Glam Bag:


-417 Hand Moisturizer

I love this! I’ve never used a hand moisturizer before, but I use this before bed and it feels more luxurious than just a regular lotion. 

Clinique Lip Color + Primer in Love Pop

This is one of my new go-to lipsticks! And seriously, I would’ve paid $10 just for this at a store! 

Marsk Loose Eyeshadow in Foiled Again

I really like this shadow for special occasions.


Luxie Beauty Blending and Shading Eye Brush 249
M.A.D. Skincare Spot On Targeted Skin Brightening Serum

I had no idea WTF brightening serum was. “WTF am I supposed to be brightening, exactly?!” With some help from some younger gals, I applied it and have noticed a nice difference in my skin. 

P.S. Here’s how it was explained to me: “You know how you have black shirts that fade? Brightening cream brings out the color again…but for faces”

March Glam Bag:
This bag came with markers to color the bag!

Dirty Little Secret Cosmetics Baked Highlighter in Soda Pop
Glossier Balm Dotcom in Rose

Before I knew this was a GLOSS I was totes using this as a blush *facepalm* 

Tarte Cosmetics Sex Kitten Eyeliner


Rodial Glamobrow in Dark Ash Brown


Trufora Triple Action Exfoliator

Here’s me with the exfoliator!

April Glam Bag:


Wander Beauty Baggage Claim Gold Eye Masks


Vasanti Cosmetics Concealer Buffer Brush

This has really helped my concealer stay in place under my eyes! 

Ofra Cosmetics Blush in Chameleon
Perfect by Symphony Beauty Micellar Cleansing Water in Coconut
Aurora 24H Lip Stain in Salmon

LOVED this lip stain! It didn’t stay on for 24H but it did outlast a Starbucks and chocolate croissant so I call that a win! 

Stay tuned as I will start reviewing my bags monthly!

If you want to order your own ipsy bag, use my referral link here.

Beautifully Yours,

XOXO

Jenn

Our Trip Out West

How cool is it that we have relatives that live in such a cool state that we can go visit?!

We recently took our first trip out west – to Arizona! This is the farthest west I or either of my girls have been.

We flew direct from TPA to PHX which was a 4 hour and 20 minute flight.

Here’s what we did on our whirlwind 4 days in Arizona!

Once we landed, we headed straight to In-N-Out! We don’t have these in Florida so I had to try it!

From Phoenix, we drove 2.5 hours to Flagstaff, which is known as the gateway to the Grand Canyon.

Our plan was to eat dinner and head to the Lowell Observatory, but our kids were so tired, they fell asleep in the car before we could get there (insert sad face). Next time!

We did head Downtown and had dinner at Mother Road Brewing Company, which served pizza from next door at Pizzicletta. We had an amazing fennel and shaved Brussels sprouts pizza while the kids had a normal marinara.

We stayed at the Fairfield Inn & Suites, which had an amazing staff who helped us plan our visit. And included free breakfast, which we loaded up on before our big trip!

From there, we headed out to the Grand Canyon!! We drove up 89 through Navajo country and entered the Grand Canyon National Park. We drove to the East Rim, which is less busy than the South Rim, the rim the most people visit. It is often referred to as the Desert View.

The Desert View has a watch tower, which we climbed also. From there, we drove 22 miles alongside the canyon, stopping at various lookouts and viewpoints. Our favorite stop was probably Grandview Point, where we did a little hiking and got closer to the edge of the canyon.

From here, we drove through the Visitor Center and Village and parked and went to lunch in the Maswik Lodge where we ate lunch in the cafeteria and Eric finally got his Navajo taco!

We were pretty beat at this point (having stayed at the canyon for 5 hours) so we stopped at the gift shop, said hi to the mules at the mule barn and headed back to the car.

On the way, I saw a small pine sapling next to a pinecone and stopped to take a picture. What happened next was probably my favorite part of our trip. My girls decided to “protect” this little tree by surrounding it with pinecones, sticks and rocks. Emma even accidentally touched poop and we all had a good laugh and now we own the book Who Pooped in the Park? Good Times.

Once we left the Grand Canyon, we headed to Williams. This is where we finally got a Route 66 picture!! Even though we had driven on it in Flagstaff, there were no signs.

*Side note, this is how my daughter sings Route 66: “Get your kids on the road 66”

ADORBS!

Here in Williams, we went to Bearizona, which is a drive-thru wildlife park. We saw Rocky Mountain goats, wolves, bears, bison and more! You have to roll up your windows for the wolves and bears! After the drive-thru part, you can go in the walk-thru area as well, which has a barnyard, foxes, bobcats and a jaguar! This was a nice break for us as we then continued on our way to Prescott.

Once again, by the time we got to our hotel, it was time for dinner and bed for our kiddos, so we didn’t get to explore Prescott too much, but I heard Whiskey Road is the place to be in Downtown! Once again, next time!

The next day was wedding day! But not before I ate cactus for breakfast!

The morning after the wedding, we headed back to Phoenix for the long ride home, but stopped on the side of the road so I could take a picture with a saguaro cactus!

While there is certainly a lot more to do, I think we packed quite a lot in 4 days! But we also have a lot of things we want to do next time!

Have you ever been to Arizona?

What would you add to the list?

How running helps me be a better mom

It’s my alone time. My me time.

My sanctuary. My therapy.

When I can think without being interrupted. Or not think at all.

It’s when I feel most myself.

I’ve laughed on runs. I’ve cried.

I’ve picked up leaves or acorns for my kids.

I’ve thought about my grandfather who passed when I was 15. I felt like he was running with me. Like he would be proud of me.

It’s when I get to take care of me. So I can be healthier. And live longer.

It’s when I get to be in nature. See the animals.

Peace.

It’s when I get to listen to what I want.

And the endorphins. Runners high is no joke.

I’m calmer after a run, especially with my kids.

Running makes me a better mom.

A better person.

A better me.

Disney Cruise

I’ve been getting lots of messages about our Disney cruise so I decided to make a post.

This was our first Disney cruise and it was a 3-night Bahamian cruise that left out of Port Canaveral. It was about a 2 hour drive from our house in Plant City and about an hour from Walt Disney World.

We booked our cruise back in April or May of 2017 and had until August to pay it off. This particular cruise was approximately $3,000 for 3 nights. We were not on a Halloween on the High Seas or a Very Merrytime cruise.

We also had just applied for a Disney credit card and got $200 back for booking the cruise on it.

Some of the things that are included with the cost of the cruise that are different than other cruise lines:

  • SODA – you can get a Coke at dinner fo’ free
  • A bandana for Pirates Night
  • Childcare
  • lunch on Castaway Cay

Speaking of childcare, the Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab are the “kids clubs” available on the ship. This was one of our biggest selling points for the cruise. We wanted some alone grow up time.

I’m not going to sugar coat it. We didn’t get that much. We’ve come to the realization that we are never going to have those kids who go to the kids club all day.

But we did get 20 minutes after dinner the first night. In between the Princess Meet and Greet and the Frozen Meet and Greet and Emma went once by herself for 2 hours while Addie was napping.

It was definitely better than the last cruise we went on when Emma cried until she threw up and Addie never went. And I think it will get better each time we go and the older they get.

Seasickness
I usually get sea sick and know it so I always pack a prescription of Mecalizine for myself and Children’s Dramamine for the kids (these are just chewable tablets that taste like grape) so we don’t have an issue.

We all take our meds about an hour before the ship starts moving and seem to be OK.

One of the things I did notice was that we never saw a Casino on the ship, but that was OK with me because I hate the smell of cigarette smoke and we don’t gamble.

There is still alcohol!!!! Just because it’s a Disney cruise doesn’t mean there’s no liquor. We had rum punches, wine, martinis and, of course, the guys drank their weight in beer.

Pirates Night 

This was probably our favorite part of the cruise. Everyone gets a bandana delivered to their room with pirate Mickey on it and Pirates of the Caribbean on it. We had packed our own costumes and wore our bandanas and eye patches. There was a Pirate deck show before our dinner (at 5:45 p.m.), then we went to dinner dressed as pirates, then after dinner, there was a Pirate IN the Caribbean show on deck at around 10:30, followed by fireworks at sea! DCL is the ONLY cruise line with fireworks at sea.

Fish Extenders 

The Fish Extender is basically a gift exchange with other families on the ship. We participated and I basically packed one whole suitcase for our stuff. I used a diaper organizer I bought on Amazon here. Then I bought fabric from Joann’s and covered each of our pockets.

My gifts included:

Cabin Gift: a Mickey picture Frame I painted with a picture of Mickey & the gang on Castaway Cay, a magnet with all the ports of call from our cruise on it and a coaster

For the Moms: a bath bomb (I purchased them here),

For the Dads: Pirates Booty, a pirate shot glass and gold chocolate coins

For the kids:

0-3: Sand toys

4-6: Glow sticks, Lego sets, Pez Dispensers, pirate accessories, lanyards and pins (for pin trading)

11-13: lip balm, nail polish

Teens: Pop sockets, ear buds and candy

Door Magnets

This is another thing that I’ve only seen on a Disney cruise- people decorate their doors! The doors on the ship are magnetic so I printed, laminated and hot glued magnets to the back of ours. I also made some for some of our friends who went.

Castaway Cay 

First of all, it’s pronounced Castaway KEY and I have no idea why lol

The island is Disney’s private island, but is Disney actually rents is from the Bahamas. It was IMMACULATE. My husband even said the mens restroom was clean and we all know that NEVER happens.

I ran a 5K on Castaway in the morning and joined the rest of my family on the beach afterwards. The island drink is the Konk Kooler- GET ONE. There is a family beach, an adult beach, Scuttle’s Cove, which is the kids club ON the island. It has a splash pad and they serve lunch and they did a whale dig (I think- my kids did not go).

Lunch on the island is FREE! Because it’s technically part of the ship.

Rentals are available for snorkeling, jet skis, etc.

We did the family beach, which has Pelican Plunge (waterslides) in the ocean.

Speaking of waterslides, ride the AquaDuck! I only got to do it once, but it was SO FUN! I went with my 5-year-old and screamed the whole way while she told me, “OK, mom this is going up, watch this.” LOL

Your children have to be 42″ to ride, however, if they are not tall enough (they will make them take off their shoes), there is also a Mickey slide that my 3-year-old loved.

There is also a Finding Nemo splash pad on our ship.

Dining

One of the cool things I liked about this ship was that we dined in a different room every night. But your wait staff travels with you!

The first night we went to Animator’s Palate, which is similar to Art of Animation in my opinion. With sketches on the walls, etc. The table centerpieces were paintbrushes, pencils, etc. and Crush from Finding Nemo was on the TVs around the restaurant for an interactive show. The wait staff even gave my kids ketchup in the shape of a Mickey head!

 

The second night we dined in Enchanted Garden for Pirates Night and our waiter even brought the kids Mickey ice cream bars with sprinkles for dessert!

The third night was our “optional formal” night and we dined in the Royal Palace. The bread baskets looked like Cinderella’s Carriage! My husband got a cappuccino (extra) that night with a Mickey on it!

We also liked eating lunch at Flo’s Cafe (from Cars), which was hamburgers, hot dogs, etc.

We took the girls to Vanellope’s Sweet & Treats on the last night (this is a candy and ice cream shop on the ship and costs extra)

Shows!!!

So, we got an extra special treat on got a SOFT OPENING of Beauty and the Beast!!!!!!

And it was Ah-mazing

We also saw Believe and The Golden Mickeys, both of which encouraged singing along, so double bonus points for me!

 

Letters to Emma: Year 5

I’ve been writing letters to my daughter for 5 years and haven’t saved them anywhere. So, I figured I’d post them here to save them for her.

Here we go again. Another year, another letter.

Happy birthday, Emma Jayne. 5. FIVE.

I can not believe I’ve been a mommy for five years. So much has happened and so much has changed. Yet so much is still the same.

You’ve blossomed and matured so much this past year. You’re learning how to read and write. Maybe next year, you’ll be able to read this letter.

You’re making friends. You’re still the best big sister. You’re excelling at school and learning so much! You love to learn.

You still love dance. You are developing a little sense of humor and it cracks me up when you say, “I’m just joking you!”

You are still so kind and sweet- my little lover. You love to hold hands and cuddle.

You’ve discovered your own fashion- complete with accessories!

You love animals- which is why it’s no surprise that you want to be a veterinarian when you grow up.

I still love you. More than ever.

I have a feeling 5 is going to be the best year ever!

Letters to Emma: Year 4

A day late (and a dollar short) but here goes my yearly letter to Emma:

You are already so much of what I wish I was.

You are brave and courageous.

I love that we have so much in common. It makes it easy to parent you. You love the things that I love, like crafting and baking. But I also can’t wait to see what makes you YOU. Unique. The things you like. What interests YOU.

I love that we are giving you things I never had or did. Like dance, karate, soccer- even Disney.

I want to give you everything. But I also want you to be grateful, thankful and humble.

You are so sweet and kind and compassionate.

You are confident and beautiful and I love that about you and I am trying to relish it because I know that one day you will doubt it. The world will make you think you aren’t.

But just remember, to me, you are and will always be.

Everything I do, I do it for you.

You are my whole world. Every decision I make, I think of you. How it will affect you. If this is the right choice.

You have my whole heart for my whole life.

Four years ago, I became a mom for the first time. I was terrified. I cried – a lot. I questioned if everything I was doing was going to screw you up for life.

Four years later, I am a little more confident in my abilities as a mom. I still cry- a lot. I still question everything.

But I laugh a lot more. We talk. We have adventures. I get to experience the world all over again through your eyes. Experience magic.

And sometimes I look at you and get weepy. Because I can’t believe you’re mine. I made you. You were once so tiny- not even 6 pounds.

And how your dad and I ooh and ahh at how “big” you are now- all 30 pounds of you! But next to all the other 4-year-olds, you’re still tiny.

Four years ago, your dad and I were carving pumpkins when my water broke.

You’re still my little pumpkin. My little peanut.

For now and forever.

I love you, Emma Jayne.

Letters to Emma: Year 3

Three years ago, at 4:23 a.m. A little girl named Emma came into this world screaming her lungs out. Lol. I guess she was making her grand entrance. The nurses called her “angry baby” and everyone always told us what a set of lungs she had.

She was tiny at 5 pounds, 15 ounces. The smallest baby I’d ever seen. She’s still tiny at 26 pounds at 3 years old. She embodies the Shakespeare quote, “Though she be but little, she is fierce.” to a tee.

She lights up a room when she walks into and commands attention in a way I never could, with her saying things like, “I’m a princess” and fully believing it.

She is so very sweet and loves to hug and hold hands with friends and her baby sister.

This morning, we cuddled in bed for almost an hour and I laid there trying to take it all in. Her little profile. The moment. The way she told me she loved me. I wanted to freeze time. But I know I can’t. It breaks my heart.

I know one day she will grow up but I already have the confidence that she will be a wonderful human being because of who she is now. So caring. So loving. She loves being outside. Playing. She has a full heart. She’s kind and generous.

I love her so much it’s probably not normal.

Happy 3rd birthday to the princess who made me a mommy.

Letters to Emma: Year 2

Happy birthday to the most beautiful thing I have ever done with my life. You are so smart, funny and full of life. You make me smile every day.

I can say now, looking back, that your first year was hard on all of us. But this 2nd year, you learned how to walk, got 12 teeth in 12 months, learned how to swim, became a big sister, took dance class. You have truly blossomed over the last 12 months into this amazing little person and I couldn’t be more proud of what you’ve already overcome.

I can’t believe it’s been two years since I first met you. It feels like you’ve been a part of my life since the very beginning. Looking at you is like looking in a mirror 27 years ago.

You are still my little peanut at 22 pounds and 33 3/4 inches (you’re sister is catching up quick!) but every inch of you is perfect.

I love you more now than I did yesterday, the day before, last year and the day I met you. You are my favorite person in the whole world and I can’t wait for the next year together (forget what they say about the terrible twos- ours are going to be the terrific twos 😉)

Letters to Emma: Year 1

I cannot believe that year ago today, my life changed forever and in ways I never even imagined when a tiny baby girl was placed into my arms for the first time.

Your first year of your life has been the best year of my life.

Parenting has by far been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I told a friend this year that parenting has felt like being a fish out of water desperately gasping for air and all the other fish are all like, it’s cool, you’ll figure out how to breathe again.

This year has most certainly had its ups and downs. But watching you learn to roll over, sit up, crawl and seeing the world all over through your eyes- your excitement at the ducks in the lake or the fish at the aquarium or even a tree as it sways in the wind- have been the most exciting and rewarding experiences of my life.

I love you so entirely and so completely that I can’t even imagine loving another baby as much as I love you, but I know in January when your little sister arrives, my heart will simply grow like the Grinch’s and there will be enough room for two.

At each new milestone you reach, I get this mix of feelings of both pride and sadness. Pride in the fact that you have now accomplished something and sadness in the fact that it’s one more thing you do not need me for anymore. I suppose it will always be this way. When you start kindergarten, when you ride a bike for the first time, when you graduate high school and when you get married, I will be there smiling for you, but teary eyed for me.

The day you were born was the day I first became a mother. Your Mama. It will be a day I always remember because you changed my life that day. You are my greatest accomplishment and I can’t wait to see what life holds for you in the future.

I love you with everything that I am, with every fiber of my being.

Happy birthday, baby girl.

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