Sep 22, 2014

Be Very Afraid If Your Child Says This To You...

Last Friday, while Ollie was having lunch in front of Sesame Street, I decided to mop the kitchen floor. After mopping, I ran to the basement to switch the laundry. When I came back upstairs, I found Ollie dragging a mop through the house. A very wet mop...

Ollie: Look, Mommy, I'm Helping!

Me: How did you get that mop so wet?

Ollie: In there! 

He runs over to the bathroom door and points. I follow him to where he is standing over the toilet and pointing in the bowl.

Me: You put the mop in the toilet?

Ollie: YES! I'm helping mommy mop the floors.

Even though I wanted to lose my shit, I couldn't. He genuinely thought he was helping.

ME: In the calmest tone possible, I said something to my child no parent ever should... Honey, we don't mop the floors with toilet water. 



I looked behind me at the trail of toilet water leading from the bathroom, through the breakfast room, down the hall and into the living room. I didn't know if I was going to cry or throw up, or both. I may have done both. I'm not sure since I've nearly blacked out the horrifying scene...

OK Belle: Super Fun Party Favors and Gifts! #Review ($200 PAYPAL #Giveaway!)

*I was compensated for this post. All opinions are my own. 

Today's post is so exciting for me!!! I get to share some super cute bridal shower, wedding and baby shower ideas, AND one of my readers is going to be $200 richer just in time for the holidays!  

WHOO HOO!



Are you looking for ideas for an upcoming bridal or baby shower, wedding or christening? Need some trinkets, gifts or ideas?  Look no further. OKBelle is an online store with EVERYTHING YOU NEED! I wish I knew about it when I was getting married and planning my baby shower. The gifts and favors are SO adorable, and some are so different, I want them NOW!!! Check these out...



I love parties, weddings, showers, christenings... anything that ends in fun, food and beverages really!  So every time I visit the OkBelle online store I smile... find something new I HAVE to have. Like a heart shaped bottle opener that I can engrave my name into.  If I knew about these before my wedding, there would be a slew of people opening beers with a bottle opener with my name on it. HOW AWESOME!!!




Or, a pizza cutter favor!  Yes, Please!!


LOVE IT!

DO you see why I love this online store?  Yes, of course they have all of the sweet stuff for weddings, showers and christening, but they also have AWESOME off the wall, not-your-average stuff. Which, you know me and FTD we are certainly not your average people. All I have to say is do not buy one thing until you check out OkBelle for all of your shower and christening needs.  With competitive prices, a HUGE selection and great gift and favor ideas... you will come back and thank me! 


Oh... the GIVEAWAY!!! 

OkBelle wants to give one lucky reader a little boost for their upcoming shower, wedding, christening or even holiday budget, so they are giving away $200 CASH  payable through Paypal!! While they certainly would like you to spend it at OkBelle, you don't have to! Feeling lucky? Sign up below!

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Sep 21, 2014

The Two Wheeling Toddler With A Turbo Muffler...

For those of you who follow me on social media, you know FTD put his life in danger when he bought my little baby a bike. Who buys a two-year-old a bike?  My husband that's who!

The bike came with the license tag, "Jesus Loves Me."
 I told FTD he better hope Jesus Loves him too.
Every Saturday morning, FTD takes Ollie out to garage sales while I sleep-in. (SCORE!) Even though they usually buy the most ridiculous stuff, including but not limited to, dirty toys, old electronics, clothes and other assorted yard sale nonsense, there are the rare occasions where FTD slinks sheepishly into the house and says, Come see what Ollie picked out.

You see, he ALWAYS blames the toddler for the poor decisions.  This was the case last weekend when he insisted he had to buy Ollie the bike when he climbed on it and said, I want this daddy. I have to admit, a bike and helmet for under $20 is not such a bad thing, but... it's still something I didn't think he was ready for.

Oh. How. Wrong. I. Was...

He jumped right on the bike and took off. 
I couldn't believe my eyes.  

FTD and I were so proud of him. Of course, FTD was also beaming about the fact that he was right about Ollie being ready for a bike. I honestly didn't think kids started ridding a bike until they were AT LEAST four.  I was wrong.

My friends, I'm here to tell you, a two-year-old can ride a bike. I'm also here to tell you they make turbo mufflers for them too...




Is your toddler a two wheeling rock star too?  When are you planning on buying the first bike?
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Sep 20, 2014

Hampton Creek: Food Tech At It's Finest Hour. MUST SEE! #Review



I am so excited to tell you about today's featured company, Hampton Creek! They are changing the way we feed our kids, and most of all, making food that is safe, natural and healthy for those littles with egg allergies! Even though I received a free product to facilitate my review, by no means was I swayed to tell anything but the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth...

I  LOVE LOVE LOVE HAMPTON CREEK!!

I didn't eat mayo until I was in my twenties. No real reason why, I was just never a condiment girl.  Then, I found out my beloved "Aioli" on sandwiches was just fancy mayo. MY WORLD CHANGED! I couldn't get enough of the yummy stuff. Only, now that I knew the slain ingredient, I made my own Aioli. My favorite is Just Mayo and pesto. YUM! YUM! YUM!

So, when Hampton Creek contacted me about trying their line of EGG FREE Just Mayo including the plain and flavored Mayos: Chipotle, Sriracha & Garlic. I said, BRING IT!  

And I am so glad they did! I am already on my second jars of plain and chipotle!

Watch this segment from Katie Couric, for the lowdown...


They went through 2000 plants in 40 countries to find just the right substitute for the egg! HOLY CRAP! That's determination. And for the people out there with egg allergies, this is an amazing breakthrough!

So what's in Hampton Creek Just Mayo then?  See for yourself...



Think of all of the recipes that can sub Just Mayo for Eggs! 


FTD and I had a party where I put the Just Mayo out, and didn't say a word to the guests about it. I  wanted to see if they said anything on their own, however, with flavors like Garlic, Sriracha and Chipotle, I knew it was only a matter of time...

ALL of them were a HIT! The garlic flavored Just Mayo on brats was the big recommendation, followed by the Sriracha Just Mayo on potato chips. FTD mixed it with the potato salad too! I put the Chipotle on my raw veggies!  YUUUUUUUUMMMMMMMM!!!

Are you ready for the really good news? It's REALLY affordable!!! Just Mayo is so awesome you can find it at a store near you, including Whole Foods and Target.

For more information on Hampton Creek and to find a retailer near you, CLICK HERE!


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Sep 19, 2014

The Renderings Are In From The Interior Designer! What Do You Think?

Remember how I started working with the interior design firm, Havenly, to overhaul my big strange front room? I am so excited to report, the final design rendering is in! 

For those of you just joining me, Havenly interior design, is an eDesign firm that offers incredibly affordable interior design services! All you do is sign up, answer a few questions, send over photos of the room(s) you want designed, and then within 48 hours, your personal interior designer is calling you to make a game plan! 

It's a three step process:

1. Consultation.
2. Concepts
3. Rendering




Now, for the final renderings...

Stage one: The room I wanted designed was really two; a dining room and living room.The room is 40 feet long and 11 feet wide. It's like a ship! A ship I had no idea what to do with.  


I told the designer that FTD and I like light and airy rooms, with clean lines and minimal things. FTD and I love art and colors and accents. Rather than a red wall, we like red accent pieces. To make blending our things easier, and adding new things, I like to start with a simple, clean base. I learned this tip when I interviewed Genevieve Gorder (HGTV/TLC Trading Spaces Star) for the Parenting.com article on Simple-but-stylish Budget Friendly Nursery Ideas.

Think: Classy, clean and elegant.  

Yes, I know I have a toddler and that's crazy talk, but...well... whatever.

For a little recap, here are two concept boards I was originally sent...



Concept 1

Concept 2
I liked pieces from both concepts, and asked for a few other design elements.  What I got back was exactly what I wanted. 


Final Renderings: 



Entry Way: 
The first thing you see when you walk into my house...



I love everything about this.  I can already imagine Ollie filling the drawers with Hot Wheels.FYI: I read that you should have a mirror in the entry, so the evil spirits will go away. Or something like that.


Living Room



I want this to be my living room SO BAD!! It's so clean and pretty. The white poofy table in the middle is fabulous, though I think to be on the safe side, I need to find one in black, brown or RED!


Dining Room



Again, clean and pretty. I love the white curtains with the blue stripe. 

So, what's next?  FTD and I get dirty!  Over the next two weeks we are going to do our best to bring these designs to life.  I already have the paint, and started collecting pieces of art and furniture!  

SO EXCITING!

I will be posting on social media every step of the way, and hopefully will have the final 'before and after' post up by the first week in October!

So, what do you think? 
Have you ever done anything like this?  
Are you in the middle of a redesign?  
Tips tricks?  

To see how the process unfolded, check out these posts...


To have Havenly design your room(s) too, Click Here!




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Sep 18, 2014

The Ark Toys: Great Toys Are Just The Beginning! #Love #Review

*Even though I did work with The Ark Toys and received the amazing HABA pegging game free to facilitate my review, I was in no way swayed to tell anything but the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth in this fine post.  All opinions are my own!




I want one of everything at The Ark, and here's why... 

The Ark toy store opened it's doors in the 80's with the mission to provide high-quality wooden, educational and imaginative toys and games that met Waldorf School standards. Throughout the last thirty years, The Ark has stuck to that mission by offering its customers the absolute highest-quality toys, games and services available, while not forgetting the old-fashioned, all around fun toys that challenge our imaginations and expand our capacity to think and grow.

 I LOVE THAT!! 

We were sent a HABA Pegging Game that Ollie LOVED right out of the box. He sat on the floor playing with it the rest of the night. 



HABA Pegging Game:
Made in Germany from all-natural beech wood. This high-quality toy comes complete with 36 wooden pieces and one pegging board. Spanning a wide age range from 2-6, this versatile wooden toy can be used as a tool to improve color recognition, sequencing, creative thinking, logic, color matching, building, dexterity, size sorting, and even mathematics.
This pegging game is not the only toy we own that can be found at the Ark.  Seriously, I LOVE THE ARK! 

Ollie got this wooden sorting game for Christmas last year, and he still plays with it.  



Over the last year, it has been wonderful watching him go from sorting the shapes, to learning the height progression. The best part is that after a year, he is still learning and growing with this toy. LOVE IT! 

With so many apps and easy to hand over tech gadgets, it's so important that as parents we still provide the good old-fashioned learning games we grew up with. It's also important to look outside of the big brand stores for those toys. I walk through the aisles at those stores and see all of the main stream and  overly commercialized plastic toys, and think, is this it? Where are the fun puzzles, learning and sorting games? 

I'll tell you where they are... They are at a toy store that still believes in real toys. At The Ark.  


Here are a few of my favorites available at The Ark...
































When The Ark says "Great Toys Are Just The Beginning" they mean it. The store has EVERYTHING! Even bikes, scooters and skate boards. 

To check out The Ark, and see if there is a store near you, CLICK HERE!
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Sep 17, 2014

What It Really Means When A Toddler Says, I Wanna Do It MYSELF!

Well, my friends, it's official... Ollie has reached the,"I wanna do it MYSELF!" stage. He is insisting on doing EVERYTHING! For those of you who have not experienced this toddler phenomenon yet, let me just enlighten you to pretty much the outcome every time...

Nine times out of ten, one of us has a complete meltdown.
At first, being the clueless first-time mother that I am, I was stoked. It's about time the kid did some stuff for himself. Please, my darling son, feed, clothe and bathe yourself.

I should have known it was too good to be true...

I always talk about two things when it comes to parenting, how incredibly hard it can be, and how it takes patience. LOTS of patience. This stage is a perfect example of that. I quickly learned, even though it's hard as hell to sit back and watch him take four hours to do something that should take four minutes, it's important that I have patience with him so he can learn. Even if that means I have to sit idly by and watch the shit show slowly unfold. And when I say slow, I mean slooooooow.




I do love that he wants to do more for himself, and become a "big boy," but OMG it takes him forever and most times, I have to correct what he has done. It never fails he puts his shoes on the wrong feet, even though the whole time he is doing it, I am try to explain the difference between 'left and right feet'and to line up the big toes... but it's not until he takes the first steps and realizes that something is wrong, does he stop and try again. How I have hair left on my head I don't know.

I suppose there is no good fix for this stage, other than to accept it, and yes, encourage it. HOWEVER, I have found self-medicating nightly with a fabulous wine or Manhattan, is very helpful.

What about you? How are you dealing with this stage?



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