December 2015, Latest & Greatest News

How to Host a {Stress-Free} Gingerbread Decorating Party

Hi Friends!

I’m sharing some holiday fun over on Orlando Moms Blog. I hope you will check it out πŸ™‚

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You can link to the full article HERE

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I am all about having fun with my kiddo at the holidays and making memories to last a lifetime. What I am not about, however, is stressing myself out in the process. One tradition we enjoy each holiday is getting together to decorate gingerbread houses. Over the years, we’ve perfected the process to make it as simple as possible, so today, I’m sharing my tips with you!

Happy Reading!

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December 2015, Latest & Greatest News

It’s Christmas Time!

I just love this time of the year — the decorations, the music, the smells, the traditions ❀ ….now, if we could only talk mother nature into giving us just a tad bit cooler weather here in the sunshine state, that would be swell πŸ˜‰

As soon as we got back into town from my dad’s after Thanksgiving, we broke out the decorations & got busy making the house look festive. I have to say that having an excited 4 year old as a helper this year definitely made it extra fun πŸ˜‰ — I think I said his name Β & Β ‘careful‘ Β & ‘just a minute‘ at least 100 times as he helped me take things out of our storage bins. He is SO excited for Christmas this year! We had to explain what “Christmas time” meant and that we didn’t jump from Thanksgiving Day to Christmas Eve in one shot. Ha!

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Placing the star on top is his favorite πŸ™‚

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Our tradition is to welcome back the Elf on the Shelf once our tree is up & decorated. So, Mr Elf did fly back from the North Pole last Saturday night, but more on that next time!

He also was thrilled to have his Little Peoples Nativity Scene back. He happily played with that for a majority of the afternoon. Made my mama heart happy ❀

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Early last week,Β Liam was over the moon to find a letter in the mail from Santa, himself! He danced all the way down the walk way & into the house!

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We headed out to Light Up UCF for an impromptu meet up with Mimi & Aunt Heather & cousin Sierra after school last week. Unfortunately, it was raining, so the lights were off…BUT, they had reindeer there that night!!! SO COOL!! — Did you know their coats are water proof??

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He also got to ride the ice slide. He thought it was the greatest thing ever. Not to shabby for our Florida boy πŸ˜‰

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Saturday, we were all excited for our 5th Annual Gingerbread Decorating Party! This has become such a fun tradition for us both as a family & for all of us as friends. LOVE IT ❀

For a look back at last year’s party, click HERE

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I asked him what his favorite part of the party was afterwards. He said “the candy” …..as in, eating it! Can’t tell, right?!?! Hahaha!!!

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All done!

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And, of course, let’s not forget what happened to poor last year’s masterpiece — lol!!

After the kids wrapped things up….the “big kids” (aka, Lisa & Stephen) went to town on their house. This has become these two crazies little tradition & let me tell you they take it pretty serious πŸ™‚

At one point, when Stephen was helping Liam, I suggested a few things to add & I was told, “no, we’re saving that for later” — wow!!!

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I am in LOVE with this!! ❀ ….We haven’t always been fans of Santa pics (it is kinda intimidating, right?!?!) but he did it this year! When he was done, he was so proud of himself & so were we for conquering something that he was kinda scared of. He even said, “that wasn’t bad at all!” Love that little dude so very much! We celebrated with hot chocolate!

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Until next time!

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Latest & Greatest News, November 2015

Thanksgiving Wrap-Up

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you & your family had an awesome day with your loved ones and were able to reflect on the many blessings that we all have ❀

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We kicked our holiday weekend off with a super cute lunch at Liam’s school. Little man was thrilled to also see his daddy pop in to join us, as we thought he wasn’t going to be able to make it. It was a great time!

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We headed up to my dad & stepmom’s house in Jacksonville for a few days, so that meant a road-trip. Timber is not as great a traveler as he was in his younger days. So, below is how he rode for the majority of the trip….in Daddy’s arms. Not to mention the fact that our normal 2 hour drive literally took us FOUR hours….SO not fun with our whining fur baby & one impatient/excited 4 year old….but, we eventually made it up there & had a great time πŸ˜‰

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Had to start our Thanksgiving morning with Macy’s Parade, right?!?! πŸ™‚ ….I think I was more excited to watch this than Liam. LOL!

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I honestly didn’t snap many pictures throughout the day, but this was a cute one. Timber was unsuccessfully begging for a hand-out πŸ˜‰

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So thankful that this guy calls me mommy ❀

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Turkey time!!!

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Always the helper in the kitchen….potatoes may or may not have been dropped on the floor a few times πŸ™‚

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We took a trip to St. Augustine to see their “Night of Lights” …the city was all decked out in beautiful white lights. Β Liam was in awe & walked up & down the sidewalk singing Christmas songs to himself & us….cutest.thing.ever ❀

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We asked him to stand in front of the Ponce de Leon monument to snap his pic….instead, he thought it was the perfect place to make shadow puppets…hilarious & imaginative!!!

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Loved the tree in the town square, so we took a quick family pic ❀

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Here’s a look back on previous posts from Thanksgiving:

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It was a fun & relaxing weekend. So nice to spend time with family and also talk to those that we weren’t able to be with. Life may be busy & hectic, but when we take time to pause & reflect, we really do have much to be thankful & grateful for. Each day is a gift ❀

Until next time, friends!

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July 2015, Latest & Greatest News

Happy 4th Birthday, Liam!

Happy 4th Brithday, our sweet little man, Liam Michael!

Honestly, I cannot believe how fast this last year has flown by. My mom jokes that we will be sending him off to college before we know it….I’m afraid to blink because she’s probably right.

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Here’s the latest teddy bear pic ❀

If you follow our adventures, you know this teddy bear pic is a fun regular measure of growth for us. Check out all our past pics here.

Last year, we also started a new tradition of a BIRTHDAY INTERVIEW. Let me tell you, this was hilarious to do with him again πŸ™‚ …definitely recommend to do with your kiddos! I found this free printable here via Pinterest that we’ve been using.

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Other notable things these days…

He frequently refers to me & Stephen as “guys” …as in “hey guys….” πŸ˜‰

He is a master at the iPad — absolutely LOVES to watch amateur videos on YouTube of product demos of toys & role play….there is an enormous amount of videos of Imaginext, which he has grown quite the collection.

Super heroes are everything — most days you catch him in a superhero shirt. I am hard-pressed to dress him in anything else, actually. He won’t have it. His room is superhero. His birthday party theme was requested to be that, as well.

While he didn’t mention it in his birthday interview, he is also quite fond of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.

He loves going to “school” and next month he is starting Pre-K!! He knows this and he already says he is in VPK πŸ˜‰ …he also will tell you that next year he is going to “hildegard” (kindergarten …lol!!)

Dancing and music are also his favs! This little dude has some awesome moves of his own AND he knows most Top 40 songs by heart ❀

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Always smiling & always happy — BEST disposition ever!!

*However, I will add a side note & keep things real that I am predicting the asserting of independence, attempts of attitude, & pushing the boundaries to see what he can possibly get away with to be quite the test for us this next year…..all normal but we have definitely seen our fair share. He is a GREAT kid but he is kid and is learning….also, we are 1st time parents, and we, too, are learning along with him.Β 

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Words cannot express how much love fills our hearts for this little man. It is such a blessing to have him in our lives. He is truly a gift.

So happy to celebrate him today & everyday ❀

Until next time, friends….

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July 2015, Latest & Greatest News

Star Spangled Fun

We had so much fun for our holiday weekend! For a look back on the last few year’s be sure to check out here and here.

On Friday, Stephen had to work so it was just little man & me hanging out. We are huge fans of the PBS series, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, so we caught a few episodes on Netflix while playing & cleaning up. I walked by Liam’s marker board at one point in the afternoon & he told me he drew O the Owl from the show…so cute!

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I couldn’t help snapping a pic of this one practicing brushing his teeth solo…we do it for him but we’re also trying to teach him how to do it by himself after we do it. This was cuteness overload for me.

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After we got ready for bed on Friday, we went out front to do a few small fireworks. Someone LOVES him some sparklers! If you didn’t see my latest post last week for OMB, be sure to check it out — HERE.

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All decked out in their RED, WHITE & BLUE ❀

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Before fireworks & fun-time on Saturday, we grilled up some deliciousness πŸ™‚

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Little dude had to grill up something of his own too….just.like.Daddy πŸ˜‰

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only one word for this —> YUM ….all about balance, right?!?!

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After dinner, we headed over to Lake Eola to hang out & catch some fireworks.

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This one gave us an awesome dance show while we waited for it to get dark…..note the shoes πŸ˜‰ ….I had taken mine off while we lounged on our blanket. He also took his off but then put mine on & paraded around. Hilarious!

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For a while, it looked like it might storm, but we got this awesome sunset just before nightfall.

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Fantastic show, as always, City of Orlando!!

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We had a great holiday weekend celebrating our great nation’s birthday! Hope you did as well!

Until next time, friends!

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July 2015, Latest & Greatest News

10 TIPS FOR A SAFE JULY 4th

Happy July 4th EVE πŸ˜‰

Today, I’m over at Orlando Mom’s Blog sharing my tips for keeping your Independence Day safe & fun! Be sure to check it out before you head out for your holiday weekend festivities.

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You can link directly to the blog post HERE.

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Until next time, friends!

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June 2015, Latest & Greatest News

New Look & Celebrations!

Happy Friday, friends!

I am super excited to share that we have made some changes to our appearance around here πŸ™‚ ….hope ya like it! The pages are even updated to reflect more current info & happenings.

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It’s also been 2 years since I started this little blogging journey, and I have to say it’s really turning out to be a fun experience that’s evolving & growing all on it’s own. Last year’s anniversary post can be found here, and my very 1st post can be found here πŸ™‚

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With that, it was AWESOME to see that I had celebrated my 100th blog post with last week’s post! WOW!! — that’s a lot of sharing πŸ™‚

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I’ve got a lot more to share with you, so I hope you….

stay_tuned

Until next time!!

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Latest & Greatest News, May 2015

Just Keep Swimming {A Refresher}: Our Little Fish

Little man recently wrapped up his spring swim refresher lessons with SwimSprout. Last spring, and into early summer, we spent about 9 weeks going through his initial lessons, & it was an awesome experience. You can catch up on that here.

With the refresher lessons, we just wanted to ensure he remembered everything that was taught to him last year. We plan to be in the water a lot this summer & the temps are already climbing, so it was definitely a good idea to get back into the pool now. We honestly hadn’t been in the water since September.

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We had lessons with Ms. Katie, again, and that made all of us happy. Consistently is key, especially at this age. She remembered his learning style & we pretty much picked up where we left off last summer. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised at Liam’s performance in the water on the 1st day. Given the amount of time spent out of the water, I was expecting him to have forgotten a lot, but I was SO wrong. He got right in & started swimming like we had been in the pool yesterday. It was awesome!

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Swimsprout teaches the basics of ISR, and little man did much better in his 1st week of refresher lessons with his rollback. He has definitely proven to be a strong swimmer and can hold his breath for a significant period of time. That can be both good and bad with learning the ISR technique. We have to remember to make him follow through and roll onto his back to take a breath and flip back over to swim to us and/or the steps or edge of the pool. Sometimes, he tries to power swim…and, that may not always be the safest route.

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At the end of the 1st week, I got in the pool with him & Ms. Katie so we could go over his skills & things to watch out for over the summer.

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Refresher lessons usually last 3 to 4 weeks, according to the info we received at registration. However, little man did so great that we only had to go for 2 weeks! Nice for the wallet, but we were a tad bit sad to not spend as much time with Ms. Katie this time around. She really is the best πŸ™‚ …..Liam still asks at pick up from school if we’re going to swim lessons to see her {so cute!}.

We ended our last lesson with asking him to jump off the pool deck. He knew he had to land in the water by himself without having anyone catch him. He had never done this before, but we knew he was ready! He was a little leery, but went for it — he was terrific and we were SO PROUD!!

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Way to go, Liam!! You are such an awesome little fish! It’s gonna be a great summer of swimming….can’t wait!

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Before I end this post, let me just say that having ANY type of swim lessons does not make a child 100% safe in the water. NOTHING replaces parental supervision (that’s my PSA πŸ™‚ ). Also, everyone remember toΒ use pool gates, locks or alarms on doors / windows, and know CPR. Everywhere you look there are bodies of water….it doesn’t take you personally having a pool for your child needing these life saving skills or supervision. PLEASE be safe ❀

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Until next time, friends!

~H

April 2015, Latest & Greatest News

Our Easter Egg-Stravaganza! {2015}

As usual, I am a bit behind with my post but luckily, not as late as I was at this time last year πŸ™‚

April just ends up being a busy month for us. Lots happening — Liam got a new room, we just finished up his swim refresher lessons, me & Stephen’s anniversary, and all the other fun day-to-day business that keeps this family afloat. I will definitely be sharing some of this with you soon!

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We knew Liam would be doing a few Easter Egg hunts throughout the Easter week, so on Easter weekend, we decided to do something a little different & headed out to the City of Oviedo’s Annual Marshmallow Drop.

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It was pretty cool. Liam got to see a helicopter drop an enormous amount of marshmallows on the field & we ran out to gather them up in his basket. He just made the 3 & under age group, so that was fun. The event separated the kids by age, so there were several “drops”. The kids then got to exchange their marshmallows for candy. Cute!

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The Easter Bunny came while little dude was asleep….I’ve mentioned before that Liam does NOT like characters in costume (e.g, the Easter Bunny). We had told him he was coming while he would be sleeping to leave him a basket of goodies. Well, normally, he would come out of his room as soon as he woke up…not Easter morning. We had to go in & get him — he wasn’t scared but he definitely asked us to make sure the bunny was gone πŸ˜‰

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Most of his basket came from the Target dollar spot (so dangerous but I LOVE it!!) …he was super excited to see Baymax in the mix and the new Tinkerbell movie!

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After he had some time to explore the findings in his basket, we headed out front in our pj’s to discover that EB had left many eggs hidden all over the yard πŸ™‚

Later that morning, we enjoyed lunchΒ with several of our friends. Yes, I took a pic of the dessert — it was only fitting….haha!

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There was an egg hunt for the kiddos after we ate. Serious business, peeps! Some of those eggs were really hidden. So funny! The girls did a great job putting it together for them.

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Liam was thrilled to have his buddies, Allie & James, to play with. Here they are after the hunt exchanging their finding from the hunt πŸ˜‰

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There was even a pinata! Look at the swing on this kid! I think T-ball is in his future πŸ™‚

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We really enjoyed our Easter weekend and had aΒ great time with great people!

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Until next time, friends!

~H