Budget-Friendly Racecar Birthday Party

My munchkin turned two last week. I am really not okay with that!  Kids are so much fun when they reach this age, but I’m really struggling with the fact that my baby is two!  He’s growing up too quickly!  It seems like just yesterday I was planning his Mickey Mouse first birthday party, and here we are celebrating his second!

2nd bday collage


The Secret Pain of Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is coming up. Most of us will spend the day with our moms, celebrating the sacrifices they’ve made in raising us, giving them flowers and candy and jewelry, and eating dinner as a family.

Those are all good things. There is, however, a secret pain lurking behind the celebration of Mother’s Day. It may not be present in every family, but chances are, it is. For some, Mother’s Day brings more pain than joy.

Ten Tips for Visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (and some extras for the rest of Islands of Adventure)

Update: This post only covers the area of Hogsmeade and Hogwarts, NOT the new Diagon Alley or Hogwarts Express. Obviously some tips in this post are now outdated. However, many still apply. If you have purchased the 2-park ticket so you can access the entire Harry Potter experience, then I would suggest the following:
1. Enter Universal Studios first. With Diagon Alley being new, it will fill up very quickly.
2. Hit Ollivander’s (now located in Diagon Alley, it appears) and the new ride, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, first. Again, it’s new, so it will attract riders quickly. Don’t forget that Ollivander’s also quickly gets a long line.
3. When you are finished in Diagon Alley, take the Hogwarts Express over to Hogsmeade and enjoy your time there. I’m guessing that the new area will be more crowded than the old, but remember – if it gets more crowded than you like, return late in the day.

I’ll be honest: I don’t for a second think that I have the most wisdom to offer when it comes to visiting theme parks. I have only been to Islands of Adventure and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter one time. However, here’s the caveat: I did my research. I read numerous blogs featuring dozens of tips, and I still had issues and obstacles when I got there. So, I am posting purely for the benefit of those people who plan vacations like I do, who will read every blog post on Pinterest hoping to find the best way to seamlessly enjoy their vacation.


Pumpkin Sensory Play

This year, I tried my first attempt at carving a pumpkin. I know, I know… you’re thinking how I haven’t lived if I haven’t ever carved a pumpkin. Well, my family didn’t celebrate Halloween. And while I do NOT want this to get into a debate on whether or not Christians should participate in Halloween (I could point you to many other blogs for that argument), my husband and I feel that there is an element of innocent fun that we enjoy participating in with our son.

Let Them Get Dirty, Momma.

I’ve realized something recently: I have a hard time letting my munchkin get dirty.

I don’t understand why, but I’ve always hated the idea of letting Munchkin play in the dirt. I’ve always been a little unhappy when he gets food on his clothes or in his hair. I just want him clean.


Pinterest-Inspired Mickey Mouse 1st Birthday Party on a Budget

Our little miracle boy turned one this summer! And yes, I’m very late in posting his birthday party… but that’s about how things go around here! I want to share with you everything I did for his party, because we were certainly planning on a budget!

We’ve won the battle, but we’re still losing the war: 5 things to remember as you fight infertility.

I’ve realized something this week: infertility is not a single battle to be won, but a war we constantly fight. Succeeding in becoming pregnant one time does not mean that a person is no longer infertile.

Toddler Muffin Recipe Tweaked

I usually stick to recipes when I’m cooking. There are few recipes I make that don’t include measurements. However, I do a lot of tweaking with recipes! I previously posted a list of finger foods I give my munchkin (although that list has grown as he’s gotten older and gained more teeth!), but I want to share several tweaks I made to one recipe: his toddler muffins.

Competition vs. Contentment in Motherhood

Since becoming a mom, I’ve noticed that I struggle with being content in two areas. I am naturally a competitive person, which is not a bad thing. It means I enjoy watching sports (I’m sure my husband liked having me get into last year’s NBA playoffs when we were cheering on our team!). It means I can get together with friends for board games and card games. It means I work hard to be the best I can be. However… it can also be a curse.

Awesome Baby-proofing Life Hack!

So I now feel thoroughly stupid! 🙂 How did I not think of this on my own? Munchkin is getting a lot more time to roam around the house (supervised, of course). He’s still a little young to understand the discipline associated with the word “no,” so we have some areas that we go round and round with, including the kitchen and entertainment center cabinets. Well, a family member told me today to use… Wait for it….

A rubber band! Here I was, getting ready to add cabinet locks to my grocery list! It’s not that I totally baby-proofed everything in our house, but I don’t want Munchkin to get into it if it’s dangerous. I already had cabinet locks on the cabinets with chemicals, but I hadn’t thought to buy one for my small appliances (i.e., food processor blades, blender blades, mandolin blades) cabinet. Now I don’t have to! I’m sure Munchkin will learn how to remove them, but not before he’s old enough to understand what areas are safe and what areas aren’t. I’m just shocked that I haven’t seen this in the life hacks pins I have on Pinterest…


UPDATE: Please keep in mind that this is not a permanent fix. It will likely only work long enough for your child to learn what is off-limits (which you have to be consistent about). Also, a tip: buy brand new, thick rubber bands. Old bands and thin bands break easily, and your child’s increasing strength might cause a weaker band to break.

We ended up using this tactic for even our accordian-style linen closet doors (I keep all the extra bathroom products in there). I just looped a few rubber bands together to make a chain.

Also, please remember that when it comes to cabinets with poisonous cleaning products or medicines, ALWAYS buy a cabinet lock. Saving a couple dollars isn’t worth the risk to your child’s life.

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