Friday, May 31, 2013

Exercise: It's a Family Affair

My boot camp instructor recently asked for us to take pictures of us working out for her to potentially use on her website. Now as we know, I am a big fan of pictures so of course I was all over it. My friend (who also does the class) and I met at a playground and took all kind of pictures of each other doing random different things/exercises. Yes, we were totally THOSE cool people at the playground.

Once we started snapping pictures, the kids wanted to get in on the action (I've trained them well!). I'm not going to lie the pictures with them are pretty awesome. So without further ado I give you the coolest pictures of kids exercising ever (in my biased humbled opinion)....

Isabelle pumping some iron

How did I get stuck doing all the work here?

Cutest toddler workout picture EVER

Friday, May 24, 2013

My Morning Confession

I have a confession to make - I drink Diet Pepsi EARLY each morning. I used to have a self imposed rule that I wouldn't allow myself to have one before 9am. However, now that I'm up at 4:45am each day, 9am feels like noon. Literally from the minute I get home from boot camp (6:20am) I can hear the soda cans calling my name. "Come to us, Diane. Drink us, Diane." So now I have a new rule that I am not "allowed" to have a soda before 7am. I think this means I might be an addict. Although, it's just the morning time that I drink it. I might have another can later in the day but often I don't. There's just something about that sip going down in the morning that I need love. My mother actually used to drink soda first thing in the morning so I'm sure I got it from her. I can remember being in my bed and hearing the ice cubes clink in her nice, tall glass of Pepsi. I guess this soda can didn't fall far from the tree.

So I'm coming out loud and proud to the closet soda drinkers of the world saying I am with you. You are not alone.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

A New Swimsuit from Free Country

With swimsuit season fast approaching (groan), I couldn't pass up the opportunity to receive a new swimsuit from Free Country. Like most average women, swimsuit shopping is NOT something I look forward to. So I was a little nervous since I've never ordered a bathing suit online before. Usually, I drag myself to the store every few years and commit to a few hours of pain where I try on every suit in the store before I settle on one that is "good enough."

I hesitantly started perusing their online selection and was excited to see that they have lots of interchangeable options. You can mix and match the bottoms so as best to fit your shape/style. If you are in really good shape (and brave) they do have bikini tops but most are tankinis. I don't know about you but I wonder how people lived without tankinis for so long. Going to the bathroom in a one piece - um, no thank you. I also like that the tankinis actually cover your stomach. I hate bathing suits that pretend to be tankinis but stop so high up that they are nothing more than muffin top accentuate-rs.

So I decided to go with the Beach Bonfire Flyaway Tankini in Citrus-Cloud Grey with the Swim Brief in Cloud Grey-Aqua. I'm happy to report that I like them! The suit covers my belly, comes with removal pads (I'm a girl who needs pads!), and has adjustable straps. And here I am freshly back from the beach in my new suit...

Okay, okay maybe I was freshly out of the shower. But I left my hair damp to give you all the illusion that I could have just come from the beach. You totally thought I had, right? And maybe, my five year old daughter was asleep in her bed when I took these pictures but hey - this is the only full length mirror we have! Oh, and clearly I've lost my mind if I'm posting pictures of myself in a bathing suit online!

So if you're thinking of starting the dreaded task of swimsuit shopping, you should consider heading on over to Free Country. Purchasing a swimsuit online went much smoother than I thought it would. Free Country has different styles, shapes, and designs and all orders over $40 have free shipping. They also have a 30 day return policy if for any reason the suit you pick doesn't work for you.

*I received a complimentary swimsuit. As always, all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Mantra: I Will NOT Eat My Kids' Leftovers

I will not eat my kids' leftovers. It's my new mantra. I need to repeat it 25,000 times a day. 

As we know, I started boot camp classes in April. I say "as we know" because I'm pretty sure everyone has heard me complain about it at least once! Truth be told though I do actually enjoy it. I never in a million years thought that I would but I do. I am feeling stronger and definitely in much better shape than arguably I have ever been. The problem is I have not lost as much weight/inches in my stomach/thighs/butt area. I was hoping exercise alone would do the trick (considering I was not doing any exercise before) but that doesn't seem to be the case. 

So now I'm thinking about food. I don't have the most healthy diet in the world but I definitely don't have the worst either. I know that I don't eat as much fruits and vegetables as I should. I also know that I don't regularly eat fast food or junk food in general. I don't buy junk because if I did I know I would eat it all. I choose not to keep it in the house. Of course, I sometimes eat an entire bowl of buffalo chicken dip at a party (I did that Friday night). 

Overall though, my diet is not that bad. The problem is that I've realized I have become a human compost for the kids' food. Oh, Henry didn't eat those 5 goldfish - I'll eat them. Oh, Isabelle doesn't like crusts on her sandwich - I'll eat them. Oh, the kids want Pirate's Booty - a bowl for each of them and 3 handfuls for me. I'm not even hungry. It's just habit. So over the past week I've made a conscience decision to stop doing this. I can't even tell you how many times I caught myself about to throw scraps of food in my mouth. I knew I had been doing it but just never realized quite how much. So that's my new thing - I will not eat kid leftovers. I will put them in the compost and not think twice about it. Note: This is easier said than done!

This morning's boot camp was muggy and buggy - ick.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Trip to the Mystic Aquarium

This past Saturday we had planned on taking a family trip to the Mystic Aquarium but our plan was foiled when Isabelle woke up early complaining of a stomach ache. Within a couple of hours she seemed fine but I didn't want to chance taking the car sick child on a 1+ hour trip each way. I assumed that if I left her home that she would be totally fine (which was the case) but that if I brought her she would spend the day vomiting on whales. Isn't that always how it works? Since we already had the tickets for the aquarium (which the kids didn't know about anyway), we decided that I would take Henry and my husband would stay home with Isabelle and Daniel. There was nothing wrong with Daniel but there was no way I was taking the terrible twos child if I didn't have to!

So Henry and I set off and we had....the best day ever!

I had never been to the Mystic Aquarium and let me tell you it is awesome! They have beluga wales, seal lions, seals, penguins and all kinds of super cool animals like that. All of those larger animals are located outside so if you go make sure you dress for the weather. It was raining when we went and I had no idea there was so much outside but luckily I had brought an umbrella. 

Amazing, right?

Penguins - Yes!
It was so fun to go with just one child where we could focus on what he wanted to do. After we finished the outside part (where I couldn't get over how amazing it was) Henry said to me, "We haven't seen any fish yet!" Leave it to a four year old to not be in awe of the WHALE that was in front of him and just want to see some fish! Luckily, the inside part had plenty of fish for him.

FINALLY, some fish!
They have a really cool jelly fish section and Henry also liked the sharks and eels. They have touch tanks too so you can get up close and personal with some of the animals.

Since it was just the two of us, we also took in their Sponge Bob 4D show. Henry has never been to the movies and also never seen anything 3D (or 4D!) so I wasn't sure if he would be freaked out but he loved it.

We then headed to the Titanic exhibit where Henry had tons of fun playing in the mock submarine.
After all that fun, we headed to the Penguin Cafe for a late lunch and before heading out I even let Henry pick out a toy from the gift shop. That is something that I NEVER would do with the three of them! Here he is on the ride home with his new friend "Beary"...

I seriously think that we both had smiles on our faces all day long. It was such a special day to share with my little guy!

*My family received complimentary tickets to the Mystic Aquarium which included passes to the 4D show and the Penguin Cafe. As always, all opinions are my own.*

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Truth Behind Bedtime Stories

As everyone knows you're supposed to read to your children. It sounds so easy. It sounds like it will be such a nice bonding experience. It sounds like it will be a relaxing thing to do before bed. 

I'm here to tell you that it's not - well not in our house anyway. If we want to get in some quality reading time it's definitely better to do it long before bedtime and preferably with just one child at a time. 

This is how reading at bedtime to three children goes at our house:

1.      Someone is always asking questions (What's that? Why did they do that? What does this say?)
2.      Someone is always invading personal space (That's where I'm sitting! I want my foot there!)
3.      Someone is always trying to turn the page too early (Stop it!!)
4.      No one can ever see (Look out! But I can't seeeeeeeee!)
5.      Someone is always fighting (See numbers 1 through 4 above)
6.      Someone is always crying (See numbers 1 through 5 above)
7.      Someone always wants to send the kids to the orphanage (Oh, that's me.)
Please tell me this is happening in other houses besides just my own. Oh, and if this rings home for you, make sure you read my post Top Five Reasons I Hate the Library!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Customizable Labels from Kiddo Tags: Giveaway and Discount Code!

Spring always seems to fly by for me. I feel like you spend the first part of it complaining that the warmer temps haven’t arrived yet and then the second part thinking how you can’t believe summer is basically here. I already can’t believe that the kids only have a month(ish) of school left. I’m looking forward to lots of friend filled days in the sun. I’m also thinking about more structured things for the kids to do for a few weeks. Isabelle and Henry will be attending a week long camp at the church that their preschool is at and I’m contemplating if Isabelle “needs” more than that. I feel like that girl is going to run me ragged this summer with her constant need to plan things (I know, I know, I only have myself to blame).

While I figure out what to do with my constantly needing to do something five year old, let me remind you about Kiddo Tags. I’ve told you before how we received some great clothing labels and everyday labels from Kiddo Tags. Now with summer activities and camps coming up I wanted to let you know about another really useful products that they offer - allergy/medical tags and wristbands.

I feel so very lucky that this is a product that I don’t need to use but I know that’s not the case for so many other moms. I can only imagine that it must be so stressful to drop off a child at a new camp/facility and worry that not everyone is aware of their specific situation. Kiddo Tags are completely customizable so you can have it say whatever you need. With a wrist band or properly labeled bag/container you can help make sure everyone knows how to keep your child safe. After all awareness, is key.

Thinking you could use some labels, clothing tags, or wristbands? Well, one lucky Dollops reader will receive a $40 gift card to Kiddo Tags to purchase whatever they need.  To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below!

Don't want to take a chance that you'll miss out on this great product? Well, all Dollops fans will receive a 20% discount on all orders using the following code:

Coupon Code: awareness
Expires: June 30, 2013

So go ahead - enter and/or order. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
*This post is part of a compensated campaign with Kiddo Tags. As always, all opinions are my own.*  

Monday, May 6, 2013

Rosie's Bakery - Yum!

Friday afternoon, I was super excited when I saw the Fed Ex delivery man stop out front. I knew that today was no ordinary day where he would be unloading diapers and wipes. Nope, not today - today he was bringing...

Treats from Rosie's Bakery! The wonderful people at Rosie's were nice enough to send me some of their delicious menu items to sample. My package contained fudge swirl brownies, walnut dream bars, raspberry crumb bars, butter cookies, apricot rugulah, a Soho Glob cookie, an oatmeal raisin cookie, and a chocolate chip cookie. On top of that we got to try a Snow Queen cupcake and received a little pink pocketbook filled with glazed sugar cookies. I'll give you a minute to wipe the drool off your mouth.

Everything (yes, I sampled everything!) was delicious. If I had to pick favorites I would say the raspberry crumb bar and the walnut dream bar were on the top of my list.

The kids also loved the glazed sugar cookies. And how cute are they?

Rosie's is offering up all kinds of special treats for Mother's Day so if you're not sure what to get a special mom in your life you might want to check them out. Oh, and while you're at one of their locations, be sure to grab a bar (or ten) for yourself!
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