Sunday, December 18, 2011

Hand Print Tree Skirt

 Have you ever got an idea in your head and couldn't get it out? One night I had this vision of hand prints all around our tree skirt last Christmas. I was looking for the perfect tree skirt, and my mom actually bought it on clearance after Christmas! She is a great mom and gave it to me when I asked her for it because I knew just what to do with it!

 This is the first year that starts this tradition. I traced each kid's hand on felt and cut it out. I then hot glued it to the skirt. When I come back from vacation, Ill probably sew around the hands to make it look a little nicer. Trying to think of how I can write the kid's name on each hand without it looking tacky. Any ideas? I'm also going to have my aunt embroider our last name on it as well. Thinking I might do mine and my husbands hand print just this once. Then each year we will fill it with the kids and see how big they get!

 Not sure if I'm going to keep with green or some other Christmas colors. Your thoughts?  Another idea is to do painted hand prints. I think that's a little harder, because it has to be just perfect or you will have smears on it. Especially with babies hands. I always had a hard time doing those hand plasters, it would turn out like blobs.

 I'm just really excited to see my vision FINALLY come true! I look forward to pulling the tree skirt out every year and seeing my kid's hand prints on it. Years from now, my grandkids will get to put their hands on their parents hand prints. I love starting family traditions!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Salt Dough Ornaments

 Salt dough ornaments. They are all over blog land, but it's good. This is actually a new tradition for us. I remember painting plaster ornaments with my cousins when I was younger. As a mother, I look back on that memory and think, genius! I was a high schooler and my cousins were aged 1-7 years. My aunts just got a free babysitter for a couple of hours because I enjoyed painting!

 Salt dough is way cheaper then the plaster ornaments at the store. In fact, I bet you have the ingredients in your pantry right now. All you need is 1/2 cup of salt, 1 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of water. Mix it all together, roll out and cut! Don't forget to put holes through them before you bake them, to hang them up. Bake at 200 degrees for 2 hours.

 Then you can paint them! I've seen bloggers grab glue and sequins. Grab whatever you have in the house. We used Crayola Kids Paint and watercolors. I like the watercolors the best. The Crayola paint cracked when it dried. I liked the watercolor for Kora to use, lot less messy. She enjoyed painting, as you can see her concentrating with that tongue out. Then she tried to eat it.

 It's kind of an all day process. The kids helped out a lot and enjoyed every bit. The cutting out worked on motor development. It was actually hard for Brooke to push down on the cookie cutters due to the weakness in her muscles. It was nice to see Kaden cutting out the dough and transferring the cookies to the sheet. He really is growing up. (sigh)

Brooke sure did love the painting part of it. I love how she has it on her forehead. I actually didn't really get to paint. Making sure 3 kids have something in front of them to do is a juggling act. I guess my expectations were kind of high, I know better. I can barely sit down for lunch, just to get back up because someone wants more or is all done.
 I think they turned out great! We put ribbon through them and hung them on the tree. Kaden was really excited to hang up his ornaments. He wanted to hang them all up! We didn't have enough room on the tree. I would also like to see SOME of the ornaments we've collected through the years. The rest of the ornaments are sitting in a bowl, waiting for me to figure out what to do with them. I'm thinking of using them as gift tags?

 Our pink Christmas pterodactyl. He is my favorite. Holiday tradition, check.

 Here are some sites to visit for salt dough ideas. I think I'm going to do hand prints next, when things slow down.
-Hand prints
-Lots of DIY ornaments
-Gluten free salt dough ornaments!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Cards

  I really like being artsy farsty. You know crafty. I used to love making my own Christmas cards to send out. Taking the time to think about what I wanted and putting all the love into it. Then I had kids and all the love went to them. I just wasn't able to make Christmas cards a priority and it made me really sad, until this year!

 Kaden is at an age where he can help out, a lot. As you can see from this photo, he made our Christmas cards. Not only are we having fun, because he loves arts and crafts as well, BUT I get my cards done! Wahoo!! That's one of the reasons why we have kids, right? Help around the house? The older he gets, the more he is able to help around the house! I'm sure my husband will be thankful when Kaden will is old enough to start taking out the trash! They have to earn their keep, right?

 Now family and friends get to have a little bit of Kaden in their lives. Great handprint to hang on the fridge. It was pretty easy. Used kids craft paint, painted it on his hands and stamped! I'm sure I could of been a little more creative, but I'm just glad I have cards to send out this year. Now if only he could address and stamp them all.

 I really wanted to get Kora and Brooke in on the action. Then I reconsidered and knew I would be more stressed out trying to get a baby's perfect hand print. Besides, this was a great time to spend some one on one time with the boy while the girls were taking a nap.

 Making Christmas cards is a lot of work! So after he was done, I caught him playing with his super heroes in the Christmas tree. Man I love that boy.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Essential Esthetics Giveaway (Closed)

 When was the last time you did something for you? Cause you know when you go to the store to get yourself some new underwear due to holes, you end up getting your kids cute clothes and forget to get yourself new underwear. You can get a couple more wears out of them can't you? Or how about those brows? Are they starting to meet in the middle? I finally pluck mine because I start getting looks. Who has time to do that, I'm keeping 3 kids alive here people!

 As you can tell, I don't take a lot of time for me. If I do, I have guilt. I'm REALLY trying to work on this because when I feel good about myself, my whole family is happy. I can also deal much better with the craziness and full blown tantrums.

 Richelle over at Essential Esthetics knows how to take care of momma. She is a mom herself to 2 sweet boys, so she knows crazy town. Richelle is offering a Restorative Organic Facial to one lucky winner. A 60 minute intoxicating, aroma-sensory journey designed to detoxify and enliven the skin to a healthy glow. *All facials are customized to each individuals skin type.

 I'll be visiting Richelle in the new year for a facial, so excited! I've visited her before to get my lip and eyebrows waxed, she did a great job. She runs her business out of her home and her room is just like walking into a spa, so relaxing. I love that I can make an appointment in the evening when my husband is home so he can watch the kiddos. Let's learn a little more about Richelle and get to the giveaway! I know you are itching to win something for you!

Tell us about you and how you started your business. 
 I started my business as a way to find some time for myself. I was getting the itch to go back to work but couldn't stand the thought of having anyone else care for my children. I love being a full time mom but I also missed a career that I got so much fulfillment from. I decided to go ahead and open an in-home skin care studio and just see where it went. What a great decision it was!!

What services do you offer and how do I make an appointment.
 I offer facials, full body waxing and lash/brow tinting. Appointments are available in the evenings and on weekends, I will go out of my way to accommodate whatever works for my clients schedules. I can be reached by phone, text or email anytime!

What do you love about Alaska?
 I love that Alaska provides my family such an amazing life and the people here are second to none. I have the most friendly and caring clientele. I am truly fortunate to be able to have the best of both worlds and I appreciate the wonderful people who trust me with their skin.

 Richelle is offering buy one get one facial 50% off till the end of this year! So if you don't win be sure to take advantage of this great deal! Visit her facebook page to learn more!

 So how do you win? Have you ever gotten a facial? Leave a comment as the ansewr with a way to contact you. You can also be entered 3 other ways by using the Rafflecopter login. A winner will be randomly chosen on Thursday night.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Alaska Zoo

 When I was a kid, I LOVED animals. I always wanted to own lots of them. I remember watching National Geographic as a kid and crying when the antelopes would get eaten by the lions. I KNEW it was going to happen! Yet I would still watch hoping they would get away.

 The animal lover has been passed on to my son. He is animal crazy more then I was! He is our little Mogli. You can find him reading books on animals or running on all fours throughout the house. He is pretty quick! With him being the animal lover that he is, we have bought a family membership to the Alaska Zoo two years in a row. I wish we would of started it sooner!

 The family membership costs $85. It includes parents, kids and grandparents admission for up to a year! Check it out, they have a new friend pass that is $150! It's basically the same thing as the family BUT the admission includes two adults from different households! You and a friend can split it, then visit together with the kiddos! Visit the annual passes page to learn more!

 I thought we would just visit in the summer. I was wrong. We like to visit in the winter time as well to get out of the house. They are always having events that pass holders usually get discounts on. We visited the Zoo Lights last year and loved it! My favorite part was walking under the lights. Brooke loved watching the lights that danced to the music.

 Okay, so the Alaska Zoo is not crazy, big like all the other big city zoos. You know, the ones where it takes ALL DAY to see and you actually miss some of the animals! We can usually walk through the zoo under 2 hours. I actually think its like the perfect hometown zoo. The trails are clearly marked and coral little ones. It is very stroller friendly, even in the winter time. I've even seen parents bring a sled to pull their kiddos in. There is a little shop that you can grab some hot tea or hot chocolate to warm up.

 I really enjoy the fact that all of the animals have been taken in due to being injured or orphaned. You can read each animals story by their cages.

 There are a lot of education events going on. For little ones, you can visit the Sing-A-Long, which is on Mondays at 10:30a or the Storytime, on Wednesdays at 10:30a.  There are Adventure Camps, field trips, lectures and talks, Outreach Programs and more! You can even hold your kids birthday there! I might be doing this for Kaden's birthday coming up in January.

 I highly recommend the zoo for all ages. It's a great place to get some fresh air and see some local animals! Our favorite animal to visit are the tigers and snow leopards. Don't call the snow leopard the wrong name or my 4 year old animal lover will correct you. He has done this numerous times to strangers.

 Be sure to like Alaska Zoo on facebook to be in the know with upcoming events and photos! 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Taiga Teethers Hazelwood Necklace Giveaway (closed)

 My son has had really bad eczema since he was a toddler. We've tried several lotions and cremes and it still doesn't fully go away. Winter time is worse for him. Scratching and itching. Last year it was so bad the rashes were bleeding. I was really worried so we took him to the doctor and he recommended bleach baths. We added a small amount of bleach into his baths and it still didn't go away.

 I've heard about these hazelwood necklaces that are suppose to help calm eczema and more. I actually got an amber necklace for my baby, Kora, to help with her teething. She is able to sleep at night and not wake up in pain. So I knew that seemed to work so why not try it for Kaden? It couldn't hurt.

 I was excited to see there was a new local business making these necklaces. Anna, owner of Taiga Teethers, made Kaden a "Spiderman" necklace. I really wish I took a before photo of Kaden's skin. The poor guy has it all over his arms, wrists, legs, and was starting to get it on his cheeks. I was putting some hemp lotion on him a little over a month ago. But when we got the necklace we used that alone with some California Baby sensitive skin lotion.

 His eczema is clearing up! It's been a couple of weeks of wearing the necklace and its not as red and scratchy as it used to be. It's not completely gone, but I'm thankful for the relief that he is getting. I'm hoping that it will all be gone soon! If you look in the photo below you can see the white spots where the eczema is gone and you can see some red spots where it still is. BUT its not inflammed and bleeding!

 You might be wondering, how does the necklace work? I took this from Anna's page, "Hazelwood helps to create an alkaline environment in the body which may prevent or reduce the symptoms associated with acidosis or the body being too acidic. When worn close to the skin, hazelwood works by drawing acidity out of the body and absorbing it into the wood."

 What about safety? The day I put Kaden's necklace on, he decided to take it off by pulling it off. Luckily I stopped him before he broke it. But with his little pulling, it was already detaching from the clasp. Anna did a test on how much tension it takes to safely break away from the child's neck. If you visit here, you will find the photos to show how it works. Just the clasp breaks and all the beads stay on the necklace!

 Guess what! Anna is giving a lucky reader a necklace!! You get to pick your colors as well! But first a little about Anna, cause I always want to know a little about the people behind the scenes.

 Tell us about your business and how it started.
 Taiga Teethers was inspired by our twins, Magen & Caleb. I used hazelwood teething necklaces on them and had amazing results. We went from using ibuprofen almost nightly during bad teething episodes to using ibuprofen almost never. My daughter had terrible burning diaper rashes with teething, I couldn't even use wipes with just water because it hurt her so badly to clean her. I resorted to letting her run around naked and taking the occasional accident in stride. Since using hazelwood she has had two minor diaper rashes that went away in one application of medicine. She had them back to back before hazelwood. When I wanted to get more necklaces a few months after I bought my first ones I realized that it is near impossible to find them locally and decided to do some research to find my own hazelwood beads to make my own necklaces. I am so grateful to be living in a state that takes pride in buying local, many people have sought out Taiga Teethers in hopes of buying locally made natural teething remedies.

Where can I buy these products?
 Our Hazelwood necklaces are being sold at the following places
-Birch Tree Baby
-Providence Nursing Boutique
-Coming soon to Blueberry Baby in Fairbanks, AK

What do you love about Alaska?
 I am a born and raised Alaskan and proud of it! I love the mountains, of course everyone does right? But we love to hike and ski and well we would be lost without our beautiful Alaska mountains! And I am missing them these days, it's kind of hard to go downhill skiing with twins.

 So want one? Leave a comment and a way to get a hold of you. The winner will be chosen at random on Monday. Also, Anna is giving away an adult necklace when she reaches 100 fans so be sure to like her Facebook page and comment on her picture!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Painting With Kids

 How was your Thanksgiving? Ours went well. Ate too much. Gotta make sure I keep to working out now that Body Back session is over. A new one is starting in Jan. I'll let you know my stats tomorrow.

 It's been pretty cold around here lately wouldn't you agree? Yea, yea I know we are in Alaska. But I don't remember it being this cold almost every day in November last year! So we have been inside a lot. I'm trying to get outside more, but I dislike putting on the kids snow gear very much. Who is going to invent a suit that has built in boots, gloves, and a hat? That would make my life a whole lot easier!

 Okay, so yes we've been inside a lot. Arts and crafts going on over at this household. So I wanted to share an easy craft to do with the kiddos. Just FYI, prepare BEFORE you tell the kids that you are doing this. I 'bout threw my hands up and said forget it because it was taking me too long and kids were starting to get inpatient. Wait I guess that would mean that I was getting inpatient....anyways....

 Items needed:
-paint (acrylic, finger paint, etc)
-paintbrushes (hands)
-masking tape

 Grab masking tape and cut out your kids name. I was also thinking of just using words like "love" or "play." This part took the longest so I suggest preparing that before having the kids come to paint. The curves were hard so I was getting a little frustrated with Brookes name. If you got a kid that has "tim" as a name, you got it easy!

 Then let them choose the colors and paint! I got the idea off Pinterest and they used finger paints, but I didn't have any. I thought acrylic would be a little easier and not as messy.

 Kaden is all about spiderman, can you tell? This is also great for kids working on motor development skills. Brooke enjoyed painting and we were working on using those muscles!

 Let it dry and then peel off the masking tape. Viola! Great kid art to hang up in their room!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Anchorage Public Library

 I love books. I could get lost in a book all day, which is really hard when I have 3 little ones running around. I can get a chapter here or there. Sometimes it's mommy guilt saying "you can't read, you have dishes and laundry to do!" I'm still learning how to fight back with that huge voice.

 I LOVE peeking into the room to see my kids looking through books. The photo above was not staged. Kaden and Brooke were sitting back to back reading and Kora was looking as well. Books are usually scattered all over the floor daily. We have build a great collection from celebrations, just cause, and the Imagination Library.  (Great program for kids to get a FREE book monthly till they are 5!)

 It is always fun to get new books, so we head to the library to check out some "new" books. Do you have a library card? Going to the library is a LIFESAVER for winter months here in Alaska. They have great programs for little ones. Even in the summer, there is always something going on. They have programs for ALL ages! Be sure to visit their site to find out what event is coming up.

 We like to visit the Loussac library. They have a great kids section with a great resource area (as seen above.) Did you know that you can check out lap sit bags and storypackets?! It's these cool bags with several books and other goodies in them. The themes range from Alaskan tales to trucks to the zoo! I've been using this for Kaden's homeschool. I didn't have to go in and find a whole bunch of books on the theme we are covering. This is also great if you want to get in and get out with a bunch of books! Did you know you can put books on hold for you online? It's how I save time (and my sanity) when going in. The kids for some reason don't have fun when I'm trying to find a book for me, go figure.

 I think it is very inviting for families to sit and read. I haven't visited all of the libraries, but I'm pretty sure each of them have a cool little kid section. We like visiting the muldoon as well. Here is a list of the library locations in the larger cities of Alaska: Anchorage municipality, Fairbanks , Juneau, Kenai, Homer, Seward. Which one is your home library?

 At the Loussac library, there are also puzzles, felt boards and blocks for building. I think next time I'll have my books ready for pickup so I can get some reading in and then let them play. The day we went, I made a couple of rookie mistakes. Stayed to long, is that even possible? Oh wait, with kids, yes. Stayed too long and it was lunch and nap time. What was I thinking? Needless to say Brooke screamed/screeched, whatever you want to call it, it was loud and embarrassing. THEN I was paying attention to the man who was getting me a new card and Brooke was gone. Kaden asked, "where's Brooke?" At first I didn't think she could get that far away. When I walked around and couldn't find her, all these thoughts started racing through my head. Do I get them to lock the doors, what if someone took her, what if she got on the elevator, what do I do! Probably 2 minutes passed, seemed like 15, and then I started YELLING her name. A lady pointed me upstairs, and sure enough there she was, laughing. She made it up 2 flights of stairs very quickly and quiet.

 Has something like that ever happened to you? It is the scariest thing! Well just getting out of the library, the kids were going crazy as well as myself. I don't know how I left without tears. We will be back, just with a better plan of attack and we won't stay as long. What works for you at the library? Or any public place with small, walking kiddos.

 Just FYI, the mayor is proposing budget cuts for our libraries. The Samson-Dimond library was already closed, so sad. I would really hate to see more budget cuts to a great community resource. Visit the Anchorage Library Foundation to learn more and how to get involved. Have you liked the Anchorage Public Library facebook page yet? They let you know when all the fun events are going on. So if you haven't done it, go get a library card!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Body Back: Momma Wants Her Booty Back

 Okay, I just finished the "Momma Wants Her Booty Back" DVD....... I hate you Lisa Drumman. This video KICKED my BOOTY!!! And my little chicken legs! I probably should not of eaten those 3 handfuls of chocolate chips before doing the video.

 Can I just tell you that through the video I was saying "oh come on Lisa, are we done yet?" and "you've got to be kidding me, we are not done yet?" and "we are ONLY half way!"  Yes the workout is only 30 minutes. This is how out of shape I am.

 Out of all the videos, this was the hardest one for me. I consider myself athletic, but this shows me how out of it I truly am. On several of the exercises I had to rest because I couldn't even keep up with the lady who was doing the easy moderation exercise. Then several other times I had to stop because I was cramping.

 What helped me get through this workout was looking at those mommas on the video and how amazing their bodies looked. "I can get there right?" Well maybe I need to stop eating 3 handfuls of chocolate chips!

 I know I'm going to be sore tomorrow. I know it was a great workout, even though I was cursing Lisa and so wanted to just sit down. So I guess I do truly love you Lisa. Thanks for helping me get my booty back.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fact Friday

I still get excited when I see a moose, even after I've lived here for 7 years. Do you know how to read their body language? If you come a cross a moose and the long hairs on the hump are raised, ears are down and it starts licking its lips, you better back away. Do you know what to do if a moose charges you? Get behind something solid like a tree. They can be dangerous and can kick with their back and front feet.  

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fact Friday

 The heaviest snowfall in one day in Alaska happened on December 29, 1955 in Thompson Pass. They got 62 inches of snow which is a little over 5 feet!!  Talk about getting snowed in!


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Z to A Kreations Giveaway

 Isn't this cute! Guess, I'm giving one away!! You get to chose the colors! Even better, it's not for your little one but for YOU! This warm headband is made by Abbe over at Z to A Kreations. I asked Abbe a couple of questions to get to know her and her business more.

Tell us about yourself and how you started the business.
 I started crocheting with my mom when I was in elementary school.  Over the years I have crocheted many gifts for family and friends. Our son Zak was born 11 months ago, and I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom.  With encouragement from my husband, family, and friends, we started Z to A Kreations as a place to order affordable and adorable crochet photo props and head wear. Since starting up a few months ago the response has been great, I am excited about all the orders I have been receiving.

Where do we find your products?
  Z to A Kreations works with several local photographers with props for newborn sessions.  I can crochet many different types and sizes of head wear, including our very popular head warmers.  Z to A Kreations has a Facebook page with many items we can make for you.  I recently put items into my first craft fair and look forward to another coming up.

What do you love about Alaska?
 There are many things we love about Alaska.  In the summer, we enjoy the long daylight hours fishing from the Peninsula to the Interior.  We have taken advantage of the snow this season by taking Zak out on a sled.  We are almost always accompanied by our Husky, Angel.

 Visit Abbe's facebook page to see her color assortment! The winner will one of these great headbands in the color they want! In order to win, please write a comment with a way to contact you. You have to be an Alaska resident. =) A winner will be chosen Sunday night. Good luck!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

BodyBack- Momma Wants Her Body Back

  How are you at taking care of your body since you had kids? Um, not so good for me. I would look at pictures of moms with amazing bodies and wish I could look the same way. I've always grown up being active in sports and in pretty good health. After having kids, I had a hard time taking care of myself. I tried Curves and a membership at the Alaska Club. But I failed at those. Took to much time and effort. I also didn't have someone keeping me accountable. I'm lazy in this area. I did do Stroller Strides when Kaden was a baby and I lost weight. But I started having more kids and it got harder keeping them in strollers.

 My friend Chandra, owner of Stroller Strides in Anchorage, contacted me to see if I wanted to try BodyBack out. Here is what is involved in the 8 week session:

Two group workouts per week
Mama Wants her Body Back meal plan and food journal
Before and After fitness assessments and measurements
Online coaching and support
Workout DVDs
Resistance band

 I figured I needed to lose weight and this might be my best option! One of the great things about this program is that it is for moms only. My kids can stay at home with dad while I get my workout on because it's later in the evening.

 My first meeting was to get assessed with sit ups, push ups, run a mile and get numbers from my body. I'll share, I could not do a SINGLE sit up!! Those kids did a number on me! I think I did well on the push ups, carrying kids around keeps my arms in some sort of shape. I weighed in at 160lb. Oh and I volunteered to take a photo of me in a sports bra for a "before" photo. I'll save your eyes from that one though. =)

  I took home 3 booklets for my meal plan. I was doing the Belly Fat Cure before this meal plan so that kind of help jump start eating right. I believe eating clean doesn't happen over night. I've taken out a lot of processed foods as well as sugar. The meal plan from BodyBack gives me a lot of ideas for snacks and meals that are healthy. Takes the thinking out of "what's for dinner?" What I have learned is that I need to be more organized. If I don't have what I need in the house, I will be eating several pieces of buttered toast or those chocolate chips in the freezer. This is an area that I am working on, being prepared.

 Besides meeting twice a week with Chandra, who works my butt off, I have to do several videos a week. I get to choose when to do them and they are very short. BUT do the job. My husband actually does the videos with me sometimes and he is sweating. There are modifications in the videos for advanced and beginners. Very easy to do. I will be using these videos after I am done with the 8 week session.

 I highly recommend this program. The price is $250 for Stroller Strides moms, $275 for non-Stroller Strides moms, and $200 for active military moms. I know it seems like a lot up front, but it is well worth it! A lot cheaper then a gym membership and you kind of get your own trainer. You also get accountability and support, which has really helped me, even on the days that I feel like I failed.

 So what about results? I've lost 5 lbs so far. Going to Vegas and Washington for a week did not help. BUT I think I'm also gaining muscle, which weighs more then fat. I feel and look stronger. I feel better in my clothes and I can see a difference. Definitely not there yet. I would like to lose 15 lbs. But its not about the losing weight for me as much as it is to being healthy. My eating habits are changing for the better, and I think twice about chomping on the cookie. Sometimes I grab a yogurt instead but sometimes I still grab that cookie. Old habits are hard to die, that's why I know this is not happening over night. But I'm very happy with the outcome so far!

 Need more info? Visit here to learn more!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Where have you been!?

  It's been a month, did you miss me? This has been a busy month! We FINALLY moved back into our condo. Boxes are still left unpacked, probably will be for months. Then my aunt and mom took me to Vegas to celebrate my 30th birthday!

We were in Vegas for 4 days and boy were they glorious! We stayed at the Bellagio, which was grand! The photo above was taken from my mom and aunts room. We would just sit in front of the window and watch the fountains dancing to the music.

 Now this was MY room! That's right, MY room! I was very spoiled. I got that king size bed all to myself! And I slept like a ROCK! My bathroom had a shower and a soaking tub. One night I took a nice, hot bath and read a magazine. THEN I took a great, hot shower! THEN read magazines in bed! Are you jealous yet? ALL moms need a vacation like this!

 Of course, I gambled some. Which I really don't like doing, I'm cheap. I spent about $70 bucks on the slots. The most I won at one time was $50, but quickly lost that. My mom and aunt did very well. I spent the rest of my money on shopping for clothes. It was so nice to be able to walk around and try things on without 3 kids distracting me.

 We saw The Beatles Love and Blue Man Group. Very entertaining shows that I highly recommend! Everything was so relaxing. It was so nice to just take care of me. I got to go swimming and lay out by the pool. I basically did almost everything that a mom dreams of doing on a vacation. I didn't have to think of what to cook for dinner, nor did I have to clean up! I got to just focus on me. I hadn't done that in such a long time. I feel like I got so much clarity just relaxing. I did miss my family dearly. In that, I appreciated them all the more. If you can, get away! Even if it is just for one night.

 Oh, but the fun didn't stop in Vegas! I flew into Seattle to meet up with my husband and son. The girls stayed back with my mother in law. We visited family and friends. Got to stop in IKEA fro 20 minutes and bought dishes that we carried on the plane so we didn't have to pay for shipping. LOVE IKEA!! Oh, can I just say that going from taking care of 3 kids to 1 is so easy!!! Especially when that kid is 4 years old!

 Sorry this photo isn't all that clear, but it's the only one I got of me dressed up. Our friends hold a Murder Mystery every year for Halloween because that is one of their birthdays. We have been doing it for 6 years now!
 Here are our great hosts! She was a trapeze artist and... well you know what he was going for. The theme was "Murder Under The Big Top." My husband was the ring master and I was the person who is in charge of all the animals. We thought it would be funny if I wore lots of fur and animal skin. Hence the snake skin hat and fur collar.
 We had a muscle man, knife thrower, FBI agent, and more trapeze artists. It was a lot of fun, always is! Have you ever done a murder mystery? What did you dress up as? The clown ended up being the murderer and no one guessed it! I should of known, clowns are evil! Like the fru-its of the dev-il. (Name the movie!)

 I've also been busy working out, wahoo!!! I'm working hard with Chandra, owner of Stroller Strides. She is introducing a new program, BodyBack. Ill tell you more about it tomorrow so stay tuned!