Pumpkin Patch Round 2

At the end of last week, Landon left to go hunting and instead of sitting at home alone, I decided to spend some time with my family in Prescott. Even though it was a last minute plan, my whole family ended up getting together and we all had so much fun!

Saturday morning we got an early start and went to Mortimer Farm’s Pumpkin Festival. Brynlee had a lot of fun and we only had one meltdown at lunch time (darn those long food lines!). The big difference between Mortimer Farms and Schnepf Farms was that everything was a lot closer together at Mortimer Farm. We had to walk so far in between activities and Schnepf Farm and that is why I think Brynlee had such a tough time. While we were at Mortimer’s she might get fussy when we left one attraction, but I could immediately show her the next one and she would get excited again. Also, Mortimer’s had a lot more things available for Brynlee’s age, which was wonderful! They actually did a really great job of having multiple things to do for all ages so that was nice with our large party of varying ages.

Of course, Brynlee loved the petting zoo! Oddly enough, her favorite pet there was the 8 week old black kitten. She could not get enough of it and anytime I tried to show her something else, the goats or the bunnies or the chicken, she went straight back to that kitten. I foresee a new pet sometime in the future.

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Her cousin Karen took her on this tunnel slide and she loved it!! Now anytime she sees a slide she runs for it!

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Of course we had to visit the pumpkin patch where Brynlee proceeded to try to pick up or sit on every pumpkin we saw. She definitely has a thing for pumpkins, I think she gets that one from me!

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cat tee / striped leggings / tutu- gift found at end of last Halloween

And then there was the corn pit, oh the corn pit! So much fun for the little ones! Brynlee and Malorie had a blast playing in the all the corn.

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They even had little plastic animals hidden within the corn and Brynlee found herself a horse, which made it all that much better!

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Once we were able to pull the kiddos from the corn pit (it only took 30-45 minutes or so) we came across the mother of all slides. Brynlee was so excited she didn’t want to wait in line and kept trying to climb on it. The second I put her on it she started climbing up the ladder on the left before I could even get on. My child has no fear, absolutely no fear! Of course we had to do this a couple of times.

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The only way I was able to tear her away from that slide was to show her this barrel train. She was a little too small to ride it by herself, but luckily Karen offered to go with her. Brynlee was such a riot! She was holding on to the steering wheel and turning it left and right the whole time like she was driving herself!

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And of course she found a few bales of hay to climb on.

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She even went on her first hay ride, which she fell asleep on promptly 30 seconds after it started moving (which was fine by me, she really needed a nap!).

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That evening, once we got back to my mom’s house, we spent some time outside feeding the horses. Don’t mind Brynlee’s mohawk, she tore her bow out and would not let me put it back it.

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Then we took a little walk up back behind my mom’s house, Brynlee had to pick all the flowers, and we enjoyed the sunset.

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*Brynlee, Karen, Jon and Malorie*
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*Brynlee and Malorie with Grandma and Auntie

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I hope you had a great weekend too!

An Impromptu Visit

      Earlier this week, my mom had a random day off of work and decided to come for a fun, but all too quick visit. We only live a couple of hours apart, unfortunately busy lives get in the way of frequent visits. She spent the night Monday and Tuesday morning we headed out early to do some shopping. Somehow I managed to not take any pictures of me, her and Brynlee together, so in lieu of those I thought I would share some of the great deals we found while shopping around.

Our first stop was Old Navy and they were having a great “buy 2 get 1 free” sale on their clearance. I was on the hunt for a few things for Brynlee, she is currently growing out of 12 and 12-18 month sizes and while she has a few 18 or 18-24 month clothes, she does not have very many. I also wanted to try to find some warmer clothes, the majority of her wardrobe is shorts, tank tops and sundresses and it is finally starting to cool down a little bit here.

I was lucky enough to find this super cute vest on the clearance rack for $11! This will be the perfect addition to Brynlee’s wardrobe as we transition to cooler temps.

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I also found these two tops, they were only $5 each and since we got 3 items one of them was free.

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How cute will the vest be paired with this top! I can’t wait for Brynlee to wear it!

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Another awesome deal we found there were these cute summer sandals. I got them a few sizes too big so Brynlee will be able to wear them next spring/summer and for less the $2, I just couldn’t pass them up!

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Next door to our Old Navy is Marshall’s, we were waiting for another store to open nearby so we decided to swing in to see what deals they had to offer. I am so glad we did, we found these Bobs by Sketchers for only $14.99! Brynlee is just growing out of her current shoe size so I’ve been on the hunt for some hard soled shoes for her for a few weeks and luckily they had one pair in her size!

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After Marshall’s we walked through a few more shops nearby before heading over to San Tan Mall. It was the perfect day to spend shopping at an outdoor mall, absolutely beautiful weather!

We weren’t really having any luck at the shops there, but I did want to stop in the Disney store to look at some Minnie Mouse ears and matching shoes for Brynlee’s Halloween costume. I’ve gone back and forth on making my own, but they were having a 40% off all Halloween items sale so these ears were only $4.77 and I just couldn’t pass them up. I found some Aurora shoes, for $7.77, that matched her costume a lot better than the ones they had for Minnie (plus, I didn’t think that the small heel on the Minnie shoes would work very well for Brynlee). Unfortunately they didn’t have them in Brynlee’s size, but they offered to order them for me and ship them to my house within 7 days for free, so once again I was sold!

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Once we were done at the Disney store, we decided to head back home for some lunch. After that we ran a few more errands before my mom had to leave in hopes of beating rush hour traffic. I am so glad that she was able to come and spend some quality time with us. Brynlee had so much fun having Grandma here and cried when she left and I know she misses her.

This doesn’t really fall under our wonderful Grandma visit shopping time, but the next day I went to Target for a few things and had to pick up this cute waffle knit top for Brynlee. It was only $6 and I think it will look so cute with the vest I had gotten from Old Navy the day before.

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I also picked up this cute outfit on the clearance rack for only $8.40. I fell in love with the little foxes and just couldn’t pass it up.

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I think it is safe to say that Brynlee had some good shopping karma these past few days. I can’t believe how many great deals we found! I wish that would work for me when I’m looking for something for myself! What great deals have you been finding lately? Oh and Old Navy is now running a “buy 1 get 1 50% off anything in the store” sale on top of their “buy 2 get 1 free” clearance sale right now.  Happy shopping!

The Pumpkin Patch

          This past weekend we headed out to Schnepf Farm with Landon’s sister and her family. Aside from a few meltdowns from Brynlee, we had a lot of fun! Brynlee loved seeing all of the animals and playing in the pumpkin patch, most of her meltdowns were caused by her not wanting to leave a certain area yet. And she did not want to ride in her stroller, she much preferred to walk on her own.

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 We were trying to get everything in before it got too hot out. I’m not going to lie, when I was scrolling through my Facebook and Instagram feed over the weekend and saw everyone in sweaters and scarves at their pumpkin festivals I was a little bit jealous. By noon it had gotten so hot we were ready to leave and we were in shorts and tank tops! Needless to say, I am so ready for that fall weather to get here!!

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Brynlee kept trying to pick up the pumpkins.

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She loved playing on all of the hay bales and would have been content if we left her to do that all day!

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She went on her first carousal ride and loved it!!! She was smiling and squealing the whole time! She didn’t want to get off when it was time.

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We also went to the petting zoo and got to know some goats! She may or may not have kept trying to grab them by the horns…

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They had a few other rides there too, so we took a turn on some flying bees.

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Before we left we stopped by the playground and Brynlee had a lot of fun trying to climb up the slide. She actually got a lot farther than I expected she would.

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We had such a fun day and even though Brynlee had her fair share of bad moments, I know she had a blast too and that made it all worth it!

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My (and Brynlee’s) Favorite Green Smoothie

I love green smoothies! There is no shortage of green smoothie recipes out there, but I was having a hard time finding one that what quick and easy to make for busy mornings and that didn’t have a lot of ingredients. Brynlee is not a big fan of eating fruit, she will eat veggies all day long, but bananas and watermelon are basically the only fruit I can get her to eat on a regular basis. I think that she doesn’t really like sweet things, every time I try to give her another fruit she puckers her face and immediately spits it out. So, I also needed a green smoothie that tasted good, but not too sweet so I could still get Brynlee to drink it and add some fruit to her diet. This smoothie fits the bill on all accounts and is a great way to start your morning.

You will need:

2 c. Spinach or Kale, packed tightly

1 c. Coconut Water

1 c. Water

1 Banana

1 c. Strawberries

First add the two cups of packed spinach or kale to your blender along with one cup of coconut water and one cup of water. Blend these together.

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*We have this blender and it is amazing!

Next add your fruit and blend. This works best if you freeze your fruit ahead of time. On Sundays, I like to prepare my strawberries and bananas and measure them out into containers, then I stick them in the freezer and in the morning I don’t have to worry about measuring or cutting. It really streamlines the smoothie making process which is perfect for those busy mornings.

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*I know we are coming to the end of strawberry season, so I might need to find a replacement fruit soon, but Costco sells a big bag of frozen organic strawberries for around $8.00! So you can always go that route too!

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Brynlee loves this smoothie and will guzzle it down! She will start whining for her smoothie as soon as she sees me making it (hence the need for it to be quick!). This recipe makes enough for one large one for me and a small one for Brynlee, or enough for two mediums if I need to share with Landon on the weekends.

I hope you all enjoy these smoothies and much and Brynlee and I do! It really is a great and healthy way to start your morning!

 

 

 

Favorite Things Friday- All Things Pumpkin

Tis the season for pumpkin, right? I look forward to this time every year. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin muffins, I love it all! Today I thought I would share one of my favorite pumpkin recipes, pumpkin whoopie pies!

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Now, these little bit size treats are dangerous, so make them at your own risk. Their small size can be deceptive into making you think that you should have more than one, trust me, I know!

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The first time I made them was for Thanksgiving a few years ago and ever since it is a constant request from my family. In fact, I made a batch for my mom for her birthday a few months ago and it might have been the best present I’ve ever given her!

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You can find the recipe here and the girls at Our Best Bites definitely did a wonderful job on this recipe, the only change I make is doubling up on the cinnamon and nixing the maple from the filling recipe. The first time I made them I did add the maple and it was far too rich for me.

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As you head into your weekends, I would seriously consider making a batch of these. I have a whoopie pie pan, that I love, but you can easily make them on a regular cookie sheet, I’ve done the too. I found the easiest way to make sure each pie was a uniform size was to put the batter in a ziplock bag and cut the tip of one of the corners. This gives you a lot of control on how much batter comes out and keeps messes to a minimum. In between batches, just sit your bag down with the open end facing up. This makes plenty so they are perfect for any holiday party you might attend.

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I hope you love this recipe as much as I do and please share if you have any fabulous pumpkin recipes, I’m always looking for new ones to add to my collection. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! We are heading to the pumpkin patch, what are some of your plans?

DIY Bumblebee Pull String Piñata

I was going through pictures on my computer the other day and realized that even though I promise this DIY in this post a while back, I still hadn’t posted the tutorial. This is why I need to become a day planner person, or maybe a least a list maker, to help keep me organized and keep track of my plans. Once upon a time, before mamahood, I could remember things, but now, as I’m sure many parents can relate to, things are constantly slipping from my mind as if they were never there.

Anyway, let’s get down to business! First we are going to go back to our 1st grade paper mache skills, cut up a bunch of newspaper strips and make up a flour/water mixture. I used a 1:2 flour to water ratio and it seemed to work well for me, but adjust as necessary to get the consistency you want. We need to make the bee’s body and head. For this I used a large bopper balloon that I got in a pack from target and a smaller regular balloon.

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Take you newspaper strips, dip them in your paper mache mixture and start applying them to your balloons. I found that placing a small bowl under my balloon helped to keep it stable. Make sure you leave enough room at one end to be able to remove your balloons once they are dry.

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You will wanted to do a couple layers to make sure your piñata is sturdy enough.

Next, you will need to hang them somewhere to dry, I hung mine in the garage with cardboard underneath to protect the floor from drips.

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While they were drying, about 48 hours, I grabbed some yellow and black paper streamers and started making cuts ¾ of the width of the streamer and about ¼ inch apart.

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To make it go faster, I folded the streamers over each other so I would cut through 4-5 layers at a time.

Once they were dry, I popped and removed the balloons and I painted them with one coat of black paint to hide any newspaper print that might show through the streamer. As you can see, you could still see the print through the paint, but it was enough combined with the streamers that you couldn’t see anything once it was finished. Now grab your hot glue gun and start applying your streamers. Make sure you have a lot of glue sticks on hand, I couldn’t believe how many glue sticks I went through! I worked in  4 inch sections, apply glue, press paper and repeat. This worked well to keep things from getting tangled and messy.

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I alternated 2 layers of black then 2 layers of yellow. For the head I just used all black.

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Once I was done gluing the paper streamers on, I needed to create an opening for the treats to fall out. I folded a piece of paper into the size of hole I wanted and traced around it with a  marker.

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Using an X-acto knife I cut out the rectangle shaped hole. With the rectangle cutout I glued on enough ribbons for each of the kids attending the party to have one and glued it to a bigger piece of cardstock so that once I put it back into the pinata it would hold in the treats.

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Once I had my hole cutout I was able to attach the bee’s stinger. I used some glitter scrapbook paper, created a cone shape and cut strips on the bottom of the cone so I would be able to attached it on the inside of the bee body. This took a lot of hot glue!!!

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Now it is time to attach your head. I cut a large hole on the side of the head that I wanted to attach to the bee body. I hot glued the head to the body then added another layer of streamers to hide the glue. From the inside, I poked skewers through the bee body and into the head for added support. I was a little worried about the head falling off, but this actually held up really well.

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I attached the large wiggle eyes to the head with hot glue. For the antennas, I used pipe cleaners and just poked them through the bee’s head and glued them into place.

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For some reason I don’t have any pictures of this next part even though I swear I remember taking them. But for the wings I cut out wing shapes from silver glitter scrapbook paper. Then I cut 2 slits about 3 inches apart on the top middle of the bee body and strung large 2 inch ribbon through for the bee to hang. I glued the bottom half of the wings to the ribbon so that when it was hanging the looked like they were raised and then I was done!

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The piñata was a huge hit!! The kids loved it and the pull string worked really well for having little kids participate.

Let’s Talk Health and Fitness

I used to work out and run all the time before I had Brynlee, since I’ve had her I can honestly say that I haven’t worked out once, not once!!! She’s 15 months old people!!! I don’t know why, but I always felt guilty about taking time away from her to go to the gym even though I know how important it is for both my physical and mental well-being. So now, here I sit, 15 months later, so out of shape that I don’t even know where to start because you better believe that I couldn’t run that ½ mile loop around our block and still so frustrated that I’ve let it go this long.

Max-Out-Challenge

Enter my good friend and Team Beach Body Coach Ashley. She is currently hosting a free, yes FREE, fitness challenge on Instagram. Each day she posts a video to Instagram with the workout move of the day. Then you take a picture of yourself doing the move for 60 seconds, post it to Instagram, tag @ash0118  and hashtag #maxoutwithashley and #teamsoulmaxesout and you will be entered to win prizes. I think we can all find 60 seconds in our day to focus on bettering ourselves, don’t you.

You can also follow Ashley on Facebook to find out more information about Team Beach Body and all of the great benefits they offer. Ashley is such a great source of health and fitness information and motivation. If you are interested in learning more about Team Beach Body, Shakeology or any other challenges Ashley offers you can contact her through her Facebook page.

So, if you are like me and just need a little motivation combined with an attainable challenge (only 60 seconds), then please join me and Ashley on Instagram for this free challenge to jump start your fitness routine. Or if you are already in great shape, then you should still participate in the challenge for the great prizes that are involved! Oh, and please don’t laugh when you see my Instagram feed littered with pics of me trying to do some of these moves.

And as always, please share if you have a fitness routine that works for you. I would love to hear any tips on balancing mamahood with staying fit.