Saturday, January 25, 2014

Our #1 Spring Vacation Destination 2014

Mall of America in Bloomington, MN is already one of the best places you can visit. MOA has over 520 stores and no sales tax on clothes and shoes, 50 awesome restaurants, SEA LIFE Aquarium, Nick Universe theme park, a comedy club and did I mention the shopping possibilities. :)My personal list includes store like IKEA, the Container Store, Michael Kors, Guess...the list goes on and on. As if these weren't enough reasons to visit, again and again;
 MOA is gearing up to open a brand new kind of experience for young girls and the young at heart,
The Barbie Dream House Experience.

 
As a Barbie lover and collector, I was über excited to learn about this project.
 
The Barbie Dream House is a 6,500 square foot life size dream house where girls can dress up, play with the virtual elevators and appliances and be in a Barbie fashion show. 
 
 
  The Dream House Experience will offer the opportunity to host Birthday Parties and has a Barbie Café where snacks and beverages can be purchased.

OF course there's a Barbie Dream House Boutique where Barbie merchandise can be purchased.


 
The MOA Dream House Experience opens late February making it ideal for those upcoming Spring Break treats.
 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

MommyisCooCoo link up

I am excited to be a co-host in the Mommy is coo coo blog hop and social circle link up.
Being a member of this community is so important and special to me.
I feel like I have met hundreds of like minded women and men who share either parenting tips,
DIY tips, crafting ideas, makeup, style, you name it there are 
moms out there blogging about it.
If you are a blogger and want to join us then
follow the link below to the link and get started. 
 
 
http://www.mommyiscoocoo.com/2014/01/google-link-party-grow-your-circles_22.html#more

Thursday, January 16, 2014

How Hubby lost "A Pound A Day"

You all have heard my stance on dieting.
Well, I'm a woman and entitled to change my mind.
Because change it I have.
Now whether I agreed with it or not I cannot deny results.
When my husband first told me about his plans to diet,
I had my concerns. He reassured me he would loose weight
in a healthy way. No tobacco sauce concoctions.
So, here's how he lost a total of 16 pounds since January 1st, that's a pound per day.
Knowledge is key.
Know your weight, height and BMI.
Find out how many calories it would take for you to maintain your current weight, gain weight or in most cases...loose weight.
Then, Count those calories.
Eat smart and know what and how much you are putting into your body.
My husband has been following 'Michi's ladder' for his diet.
He is eating ONLY from tiers one and two of the ladder.
This is considered a "near perfect" diet.
Which is no eas feat by the way.
I mean I'm eating from tiers 1,2, and 3 and still feel deprived.
No sugar, no butter, ONLY whole grains, fruit, veggies, the LEANEST of meats.
Combine the tiered diet with calculating calories down to the ounce; we use the My Fitness Pal app(which is awesome by the way).
Exercise. It takes a healthy diet and exercise to see a significant change.
Hubby has been working out two hours a day four days a week and using a program called ActiveTrax to customize each of his workouts. 
I am so proud of him!
He is just a couple of weeks away from his goal and I couldn't
be happier for him.
He made a plan, researched, executed his plan and is looking
MIGHTY FINE if I must say so myself.
Now, the next challenge....Coaching me as I go in.
I want to loose ten pounds and tone, tone, tighten!
Wish me luck. ;)
href="http://www.mommyiscoocoo.com/p/mommy-is-coocoo.html/"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-sKGN5mlAw-4/UsDet0ptmhI/AAAAAAAAHaM/NBCNu_TZF6k/s320/g++party+150x150.jpg"/>

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Prepare to Travel

While in one of my Mommy forums it dawned on me that we will be taking our first road trip with ALL five kids this Spring. I'm not too nervous because we did fly to Florida last summer with the fab five...and well that's like a few road trips rolled in one because we had connecting flights and short layovers both ways.

Read a bit about our Disney Vacation here:
http://lotsofloveandlaughs.blogspot.com/2013/09/parades-princesses-and-palaces-oh-my.html

http://lotsofloveandlaughs.blogspot.com/2013/09/day-ii-monorail-to-magic-kingdom.html

http://lotsofloveandlaughs.blogspot.com/2013/10/back-to-trip-report.html

However, this trip is going to be a little different because obviously a car ride is not as exciting as being in a busy airport and flying on a plane which kind of captivates the kids and distracts them from the dreaded "are we there yets". We were sure to pack a snack carry on and the kids brought activities and electronics but there is still something different about flying with kids. I've gone on 40minute trips to the store and had more trouble than in those seven hours of Magical travel. 

So here are MY tips for traveling with kids:
  • food/fuel (everyone is calmer on a full tummy)
  • water or sports drinks (stay hydrated; a vacay is no fun when you are exhausted and dry)
  • activities (electronics are great but a variety is better)
  • crayolas, crafts, puzzles, things they won't bore with too quickly and things that are new or put on reserve for the trip
  • snacks (weather happens, layovers turn to stay overs)
  • first aid kit (toiletries, bandages, barf bags, Neosporin, nausea tablets, Tylenol)
  • changes of clothes for little ones and a clean top for the bigger ones
 Although most of us are über organized and know what we'll need for every hour of a vacation, it's always nice to be prepared in case someone in your travel party has an unexpected need.

Other things I like to consider when traveling with the kids are:
  • childcare (obviously what the hotel attractions are is an important factor but also find out what the options are for childcare (you'd be surprised how many couples take date nights on the road) or b.y.o.-babysitter)
  • kitchenette and grocery delivery in the area
  • stroller and carseat rentals available
  • area coupon savings booklets
Above all I think timing is everything when traveling with kiddos. All the snacks and games in the world won't save you from a cranky, tired restless toddler stuck on a plane...trust me! So be sure to travel after a day of rest or light activity and above all...Bring your Patience.

 
Put A Bird On It

Monday, January 13, 2014

A review: Carol's Daughter Monoi

Carol's Daughter - Monoi
I must first confess:
I'm a fan of Carol's Daughter skin and hair care products.
Over the years I've been an on again off again customer;
always searching for the quality without putting the dent in my pocket book.
I've always come back. Now, let me explain why.
I know the quality ingredients Lisa Price uses are worth the cost.
When I can see and feel a difference in mine and my
 daughters hair, I know it's worth it.
We have three daughters and they each have a slight texture or
 volume to thier hair that is uniquely theirs. With their hair being natural
 and mine being relaxed you can imagine the variety of needs we have for our hair.


When I purchase Carols Daughter for our hair I usually go for the same
 staple products each time, because I know what we like and what works for us.
  • tui shampoo
  • black vanilla leave in
  • hair milk and healthy hair butter
 
 
However, I've been wanting to try the Monoi products
for some time now. Let me tell you, I am
so glad I did. I love these poducts.
I'm currently using the Monoi cleanser and
repairing mask. When Lisa says '96%...less breakage', it's
the truth. I am not a newbie when it comes to healthy
hair care. I've used the Aphogee protein system (which I love)
as well as a few other anti breakage products;
 but this Monoi is really something special.
What I love most about the Monoi is that as it's
strengthening the hair it still manages to
leave the hair feeling soft and conditioned.
It has a nice light scent as do all of the products.
I'm looking forward to trying more from the Monoi line.


 


This is not a sponsored post. These are my honest opinions
and thoughts on the above mentioned products.

 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Christmas clearance sales

Remember when I said I wanted to find miniture trees for the kids for next Christmas?

 
Score!
I was so happy to find these little guys. A dollar 99. So that's two trees down, two more to go. I didn't want two of the same color and style.
AND.....we got new shatterproof ornaments. * Thank you Baby.*


 
My husband remembered me talking about not being able to find the ornaments so he brought these home for us. Also, a great deal. I almost want to redecorate the tree now.
So....what's up readers? Do you shop end of season sales? I do and I LOVE them.
Feels like I'm paying a reasonable price when I do. Til next time...

Monday, January 6, 2014

What we've been eating...

I'd like to start this post by saying stressing how against dieting I am or have been. This is mainly because I've seen people jump on every fad diet (especially this time of year) and next thing you know (February) they're right back at the deep fried pork n cheese place and the diet is down the drain.
Personally, I believe diets are overused and misunderstood. A diet should be used to help you obtain a healthier eating lifestyle and weight. A diet should not be used as an on again off again help me fit in my size too small pants quick fix. It's unhealthy. But enough of my personal beliefs, they are mine and I will not force them on you.
 
So, instead of a blog post about the best diet around this post is about what we've been eating, plain and simple. We are on a journey towards a healthier lifestyle that is not devoid of taste and goodness. If you read any of my previous food posts.
I'll link a couple here---> http://lotsofloveandlaughs.blogspot.com/2013/11/mommes-pot-pie.html
http://lotsofloveandlaughs.blogspot.com/2013/10/new-new-in-kitchen.html
http://lotsofloveandlaughs.blogspot.com/2013/11/mommes-whole-cranberry-sauce.html
 ...then you know we've been on this road to eating better for a little while now.
 
One of our family favorites are tacos, nachos and tostadas. We're making them healthier by choosing whole grain tortillas. We've tried a couple of different ones in the past but the softest and freshest we found are from Trader Joes, they're the Truly Handmade whole wheat flour ones.

 
Here is our version of the Chicken Wrap or Chicken Twister with boneless skinless chicken breast and Romaine lettuce.
Other ways to make them a bit healthier are to choose the leanest meat such as ground turkey. If you're like us and need to buy another meat or something in bulk try the leanest ground beef or venison you can find (93/7)  and drain it well. Add
the greenest lettuce you can find (we recommend green leaf or spinach), lots of tomato or organic salsa.
Here hubby enjoys ground turkey atop spinach as a healthy lunch alternative.


Even the kids are getting in on the good eating, I mean eating well. Here a whole wheat tortilla is used as pizza dough for this healthy dessert pizza. Sunflower seed butter, banana slices and organic honey are put in the oven for five minutes and mmmmmmm, it's so GOOD.
 
AS a self proclaimed Marshmellow Mom I never want to deny my children or put them on a strict diet(unless medically necessary). So when they ask for their favorite dinner of spaghetti and meatballs or cheese burgers, I make it. I use whole grain pasta and bread and add a side salad or carrots and broccoli instead of fries. The point is we are making steps. We started with the whole grains, then minimized our sugars and artificial snacks and substituted for fruit and fresh homemade treats and now...well now, I guess we try to get greener. We try to have more of this and less of that other stuff we eat. So,....what 'cha eating? 😊
 
 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Make it Tall

As I've been reflecting on the year that has past as well as praying and planning the year ahead. One of the reoccurring themes in my mind are all the cute ways our Baby Girl expresses herself. One of my favorite phrases of hers is "make it tall'. Baby Girl doesn't like her beverages short and she has no problem requesting that you..."make it tall". Well the phrase "make it tall" has taken on a life of it's own not only in our house but also in our hearts. Now that I think about it, I want 'make it tall' to be our 2014 theme. Making our love TALL, our dreams TALL, our Praises TALL, our Giving TALL, our sowing TALL, our Reaping and Prospering, all tall. No matter what your resolutions, goals or plans are for this year remember 1) Progress is a Process and 2) Make It Tall.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 Already


Happy New Year everyone!