Friday, August 30, 2013

How to make a Felt Board Play Tray #DIY #CraftsForKids

I have recently come to the conclusion that we need more quiet activities for the kids to do. If I am going to stay sane, we need more quiet activities. After all a quiet house makes for a happy mommy… at least when it is quiet and I KNOW what the kids are doing. When it is quiet and I don’t know what the kids are up to I know I am in trouble. So I try to keep those little hands busy with educational and constructive activities.

I decided that we will be having a tray craft series over the next couple of weeks. Here is why: these craft trays are super inexpensive to make, really easy to store, and are a great way to entertain the kiddos. They make the dream of quiet play a reality. So over the next couple of weeks we will be working on creating different play trays. First up is the Felt Play Tray.

How to make a felt board play tray #DIY #CraftsForKids -Mom Mart

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Six Flags Shenanigans with the WHOLE family!

Last week my family took a little trip to our local Six Flags Great America Chicago. My husband and I brought along our three children {4 y/o, 2y/o, and 2m/o}. My sister-in-law, her husband, and her little girl {2 y/o} also came along for a fun filled day of roller coaster craziness! I did some babywearing and my husband did some hand holding and together we were able to manage all of the children quite well.

BATDAD with the boys in a little pink teacup ride at Six Flags

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tomato and Artichoke Salad #Recipe

I am crazy about tomatoes. I think they are delicious and there are so many different ways to eat them. One of my personal favorites is in a salad. But this is not just any old salad. Nope, this is my mother’s Tomato and Artichoke Salad. She makes it for big family get togethers and it is always a big hit. I would also recommend this for a pot luck, as it is something different and it is super easy to prepare.

Tomato and Artichoke Vegetable Side Dish Salad Recipe

Monday, August 26, 2013

The benefit of a good old fashioned board game: Risk!

When I was a little girl I remember loving family game night. There were five of us kids and we all liked to play games. The boys loved to play Risk, the girls loved to play Life, and my father loved to play Monopoly – if he could get anyone to play it with him {he liked to win}.

Game of World Domination: Risk. Family Game Night

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Peter Pan: Return to Never Land on Blu-Ray

I am always up for watching a Disney movie and the Peter Pan Return to Never Land on blu-ray was no exception. It did not take long for the DVD to make its way from my mailbox into the blu-ray player. Thank you to Click Communications for providing me with a sample to review. The boys and I really enjoyed watching this film.

Peter Pan Return to Never Land on Blue-Ray Combo Pack

Friday, August 23, 2013

The BEST Homemade Playdough: with Kool-Aid & sparkle #DIY #CraftsForKids

My friend Julie made this playdough at her house on a recent play-date and although it didn’t turn out perfectly the first time we tried it {due to a missing ingredient}, by the second attempt it was some of the best playdough my kids have ever played with. Our old moon dough was getting pretty bad, so this was perfect timing for a cooking project for the kiddos to do at home.

After a quick check in my cupboard I was not surprised to discover that a trip to the grocery store was in order, as I do not usually purchase Kool-Aid.  I also picked up more cream of tartar, since I knew I would need more of that as well. Once our shopping trip was through the kids and I were ready to get cooking!

The Best Homemade Playdough with Kool-Aid

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Running Ready with Reebok & Famous Footwear #ReebokMom

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Reebok. I received a Famous Footwear gift card to purchase a pair of Reebok shoes to facilitate my review and to thank me for participating.

I was recently given the okay from my doctor to start working out again. This means that I have no more excuses for missing a work out. I am more than ready to start back up my exercise routine and I have even added running with a friend to my list of exercise activities. But before I get too ahead of myself, I needed to pick out a new pair of running shoes… my old workout shoes were pretty sad looking. And who doesn’t like shopping for a new pair of shoes?

Reebok at Famous Footwear store vs online selection

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Day with Thomas the Train & 3 Kids…

My husband and I take the kids to see Thomas the Train every year when A Day Out With Thomas comes to our neck of the woods. Technically it is an hour away from where we live, but that is still not a bad jaunt for my family to make.

This year we did some stuff we do not normally do. The kiddos jumped in the bounce house, dug in the sand pile, and played on the miniature golf course. We also rode on Thomas in the very first passenger car {we normally go for the last one}. All in all it was a wonderful and exhausting day.

The boys with Thomas the Train at A Day Out With Thomas

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

It’s all about the bread {Grilled French Bread #Recipe}

My husband doctors up a French loaf of bread like no one else. It is highly addictive and there are NEVER leftovers of it. It is also on my naughty food list of items I should not be eating if I want to lose weight and be at my healthiest. But all good things should be done in moderation and so every once in a while I like to indulge in this delicious bread.

How to season and grill french bread for dinner.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Bamboo Belly Bandit #Review

Getting back into shape after having a baby can be incredibly difficult. Some people bounce back and look better than they did before having a baby. But if you are like me, you have to work really hard to get back into shape. I like to think that MOST people have to work hard to get back their pre-pregnancy bodies, that it’s not just me.

This pregnancy I did not gain a ton of weight. That probably had to do with the fact that I exercised more this pregnancy than I did with either of my other pregnancies… that and all my cravings this time around were for healthy things like fruit, veggies, and seafood. Even though I did not gain a ton of weight I still gained weight that will have to be worked off. My body also grew to accommodate the life growing inside me. My stomach muscles split and I suffered from an umbilical hernia. Needless to say, I was happy to be given the opportunity to review the Belly Bandit. 

Bamboo Belly Bandit

Thursday, August 15, 2013

My experience at the #IWasAHightlightsKid Breakfast

I attended the I was a Highlights Kid Breakfast in Chicago a couple weekends ago and had a wonderful time. I thought I would share with you my experience as well as some tid bits I picked up. It was a lovely event. 

At the breakfast there was coffee, pastires,  fruit, and singing. Yes… you read correctly, there was singing. The Highlights team had us singing an adorable song they created about Hidden Pictures to the tune of “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music. A room full of educational writers singing was something to behold. It was priceless and oh so fun.

#IWasAHighlightsKid Chicago Breakfast

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Big Boy Superhero Bedroom

Last week I showed you my older sons Pirate/Nautical themed room, this week I am sharing the progress of my younger son's superhero room. My husband and I decided that my youngest son’s big boy room needed to have a bunk bed. We wanted a bed that he could grow into. A bed that looked nice and was safe, and would help accommodate the overflow of people coming to visit. There was drama with the bunk bed and how long it took to arrive {a whole post in and of itself}, but it finally came. Secretly I think my husband always wanted a bunk bed of his own. 

Once the bed was set up we decided that it did not look right in the room it was in and so we switched the boy’s bedrooms. This went surprisingly well. The boys were happy to switch rooms. Now for the little man to get used to sleeping in his room in his new bunk beds…  The transition into the big boy bed was not a smooth transition, but we made it. My husband even spent some nights in the room to help with this transition.

Full over Full Bunk Bed Super Hero Bedroom

Monday, August 12, 2013

T3 Source Shower Filter Hand Held #T3Source

T3 Source Shower Filter Hand Held Shower Head

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for T3. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and as a thank you for participating.

As a mom on the go I do not have a lot of time to devote to a major skin care or hair care regime. My life is especially crazy now that I have had my third baby and am managing a household with three children four-years-old and under. Regardless of how insane my day to day life can be, I still like to look and feel good… I just like to be efficient as well.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Ice painting outdoors with the little ones #CraftsForKids

I decided this week to really embrace all things crafty. We have been very busy making chalkboards, homemade playdough, and painting. Don’t worry; I will be sharing all of these crafts with you over the next few weeks. The first craft I wanted to share with you is the Ice painting craft the kids did today.

While the weather is nice and before school starts back up {because here in Illinois we still have a couple more weeks of summer} we decided to take on an outdoor activity. This was incredibly simple and very educational for my little ones. They loved watching the colors bleed together.

Ice Painting Kid Craft Activity: Mom Mart

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Blogger Baby Shower in Chicago #TBLBabyShower

While in Chicago for a major blogging conference I was able to attend the 2nd annual Blogger Baby Shower Hosted by the Baby Ladies and the Save Babies through Screening Foundation. This was a private event that I was really looking forward to attending and I was not disappointed. I had an amazing time.

The Baby Ladies with Dr. Brown's

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The BIG Room Change

Recently we purchased a bunk bed set for my younger son so that he would have a big boy bed to move on to when it came time to transition out of his crib. Problems arose and the bed took A LOT longer to arrive than we originally anticipated… yada yada yada {I could write a whole post about my bed purchasing experience}, and then when the bed finally came we set it up and decided that we did not like it in my son’s room. They boys needed to switch rooms.

Before and after room change

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Spicy Arugula Pasta #Recipe

My husband says that he would be happy to eat pizza every day for the rest of his life. I think that if I had to choose which food I felt this way about it would be pasta. There are just so many different types of pasta out there and so many different ways to dress it.

Usually I like to smother my pasta in a rich Alfredo or marinara sauce. This is NOT that type of pasta. This pasta is light and spicy. It is a surprisingly healthy pasta dish that tastes magnificent. Yes I used the word magnificent to describe this pasta and here is why: I usually make enough pasta to eat as a meal one night and to feed my family leftovers on another night… but when I make this pasta I eat all the leftovers for lunches before anyone else can get to it. I know it is selfish of me, but in my defense it is really good pasta.

Spicy Arugula Pasta Recipe

Monday, August 5, 2013

My Big Toy Book #SweetSuite13 Experience

I shared with you earlier this week my experience with the Disney Infinity lunch I attended and what a great time I had learning all about – and playing – the new Disney Infinity game. Well… I was also able to attend another Big Toy Book party called Sweet Suite. The Sweet Suite is one big night of play where I had the opportunity to check out some really fantastic toys and talk to some really fun people. This is me with my bloggy friend Natasha from

Mom Mart and Houseful of Nicholes at SweetSuite13

Friday, August 2, 2013

#DIY Felt Flower Baby Headbands {Tutorial}

I am not girly in the slightest… okay that’s a lie. I am a little girly. I have become more and more girly over the years {it all started with a Kate Spade purse and has jumped off from there}. But once you have a little girl you tend to embrace girly things a little bit more, or at least I do.

Once I brought baby Julia home I could not stop myself from getting out my glue gun and getting crafty. And then before I knew it I was hanging out at Joann Fabrics and online buying crafting supplies. It is a slippery slope people. One of the first things I made were these baby headbands and I thought I would share them with you.

How to make felt flower baby headbands

Thursday, August 1, 2013

My Disney Infinity Experience #DisneyInfinity

This last week I attended a blogging conference in Chicago and was given the opportunity to be present at The Big Toy Book #DisneyInfinity Luncheon at the River East Arts Center. The focus of this event was to find out all about the new Disney Infinity video game, although I feel like it is more like a system in and of itself. Yes it is that awesome. And since it is that awesome, I thought I would share what I know with you.

Disney Infinity Experience #DisneyInfinity

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