Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Beach Trip 2014

Every year I make a point to head to Rehoboth Beach, DE. This year was no different. We went down earlier this month and spent a Friday hanging on the beach. We did all my favorites. Grotto Pizza, the boardwalk and Funland
If you're looking for a family friendly vacation spot on the east coast I strongly recommend Rehoboth Beach. It has a boardwalk like no other beach and the friendly atmosphere to make you feel relaxed and peaceful.

We even met up with some friends at Funland and rode all our favorite rides.   
Plus what's a trip to the beach without a family photo or some ice cream to finish out the day. Overall it was the perfect day. Thanks for meeting up with us P-Unit!

Have you ever been to Rehoboth Beach? What beach do you head to in the summer?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Boogie Board eWriter Review & Giveaway

I am constantly writing a to-do list for around the house, leaving little notes for Mike and the kids as I run out the door, or looking for something to keep score for a game, so when I learned about Boogie Board at #SweetSuite14 I knew I had to have one.  
So what exactly is a Boogie Board? My first thought was it's something you take to the beach to have fun, but this Boogie Board is better. Here's the official description: 

“The Boogie Board Jot 8.5 eWriter is a sleek, stylish replacement to paper notebooks and sketch pads everywhere. Ergonomic and tactile elements such as built-in magnets, erase lock functionality, and a stylus kickstand are optimized for writing and drawing. The Jot 8.5 will be great anywhere – on a refrigerator, a desk, or on-the-go.”

Pretty cool and super green. So I thought I would share with you some of the things I love about the Boogie Board Jot:
  • It has a good size screen for me to make a long list, draw a picture or keep score of who's winning the game, plus it's scratch resistant.  A big bonus for us because we let the kids play with it.
  • There's a lock button on the side so I don't have to worry about accidentally hitting clear.
  • It's lightweight and has a magnet on the back so I can put it on the fridge easily.
  • The stylus is easy to get in and out and is heavy enough that I like writing with it.
Since we got the Jot 8.5 we use it all the time and all over the house and car! I'm surprised with how much we all love using it, and best of all it's helping us keep to our #Green2014 challenge. We're using less paper and taking more time to leave little notes, draw and play games together. It's been the perfect thing to help document our road trip as well!

My favorite thing it letting Eleanor leave us a note. It may not say much to you, but she tells us what's she writing and it's the sweetest thoughts. I have a feeling Santa may be bringing her the Original one for Christmas this year in blue! 

You can pick the Jot 8.5 model up at Costco, Walgreens, Office Max or Amazon. Parents, add this to your back to school list because as adults we need supplies too!  

It gets better though because Boogie Board has given me a Jot 8.5 for a giveaway. This is something any one can use, so enter today! This giveaway is open to US residents only.   

I was not compensated for this post, but did receive the product complimentary in exchange for my review.  As always all opinions are 100% my own.  This post does contain affiliate links.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 22, 2014

What to expect as a Studio Audience Member

I recently pulled together a list of shows that give FREE Audience Member Tickets.  I thought I would add on some tips for What to Expect as a Studio Audience Member.

If you've never attend a taping there are a few things I would like to share.

1.  Be prepared to wait
You'll be waiting in lines outside, then sitting and waiting to enter the studio, then waiting for everyone to get seated.  It's a time consuming process.  I would plan at least 4 hours for an hour show. (this is just an estimate it could be shorter, it could be longer)

2.  Don't expect to walk away with a car
Some shows do give something to the audience, but I've also walked away with nothing.  By not expecting anything except an awesome time you'll have even more fun and if you do get a book or gift card it's just icing on the cake.

3.  Look good
You're going to be on National TV so wear something that makes you feel good.  Stay away from crazy prints and keep with jewel tones and you'll do fine.  Don't forget to wear comfy shoes, you'll be standing in lines!

4.  Turn your cell phone off
If they say no phones or pictures please comply.  They hate asking as much as you hate hearing it so be respectful. 

5.  Bring a snack
You do a lot of waiting and you never know when you're going to be done.  Some places will provide you with a snack and drink but some don't pack a granola bar or something small so you're not starving.

6. Only bring what you need
Try not to bring more than you need to.  You will go through security and dealing with a ton of bags is no fun.  You also have to fit bags and coats under your seat, which usually doesn't have a lot of space so think simple when choosing what to bring.

These tips are based on my experiences, and the shows I've attended.  If you want to learn how to get tickets to be an Audience Member check out my list HERE.

Have I missed anything?  Have you attended a taping before?  



Thursday, August 21, 2014

Early Intervention update Month 1

We moved forward with Camden's Early Intervention therapy about a month ago.  He's been meeting with an occupational therapist 2 times a week and a DI once a week.  That's 3 hours of therapy each week for my little one.  While I'm super excited about this, I'm also really bummed because I'm not going to be a part of these sessions.

I have always had the ability to manipulate my work schedule to attend doctor appointments, special school events, field trips and anything I felt I should be there for.  With this being a long term thing and us living in the suburbs I can't come into work late 3 days a week for 6 months.  So I'm working through my guilt, that I can't be there for my baby for this big change.  I do feel lucky that Mike will be there and they will be in our home so there's a major advantage to that, but this is one of those hard things that a Mom working outside of the home has to live/work through.

I was able to attend a session the other day and watching him interact with the therapist and almost say his name was a beautiful moment for me.  I've been working on getting him to say it for so long and he's never done that for me.  This process has been eyeopening to me in so many ways.

This month has been amazing in his development and speech and I know it's only going to get better.  I must take advantage of the time I do get to watch him learn and grow and educate myself on ways I can help him.  So many of the things they are doing are playing with him that it doesn't even seem like he's working at making his stomach muscles strong, or taking turns and having him repeat back who's turn it is.  All of these things I can incorporate in how I play and interact with him to feel like I'm also a part of the process.

It's hard to not be present in the moment when the sessions are happening, but I have to move on and communicate with Mike and the therapists on what I can do with my short and precious moments with him.  Being in the intervention program isn't just about someone working with your child, but taking the time to learn about what does work for them and how you can be progressive in helping with the goals you've set.  


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

DIY- Watery Spin Art #BMGFamily

I'm always looking for ways to put a different spin on things and bring in the educational aspect as well.  Earlier this summer I did a bunch of Blue Man Group inspired projects with the kids, and I tried to do things that both represented the show, but also brought in some learning and personality.

We've already done a Blue Man Group Inspired Spin Art and loved how it turned out, so I decided to take it a step further.  Why not add some water to the paint and see what happens?

Here's what you need:
Paper or Canvas
Paint (Bright Yellow, Bright Blue & Bright Pink)
Plastic Baggies
Lazy Susan or some type of item that will spin (turntable of some sort)
Blue Stamp Ink
Note:  This project is messy and wet so I recommend doing it outside or over a tarp
with lots of paper towels handy and in old clothes!

Step 1: Squirt a little paint into the corner of a plastic bag
Step 2:  Add water and allow the kids to squish the water and paint together (super fun texture)
Step 3: Tape down the canvas to the lazy susan
Step 4:  Snip the corner of the baggie
Step 5:  Pour the pink paint on the canvas
Step 6: Pour the yellow paint on the canvas
Step 7: Give the lazy susan a spin and watch the paint fly off.  
Step 8: Pour the blue paint on and watch it swirl and spray off the canvas
Step 9: Use the blue stamp ink to add your thumbprint to the finished masterpiece

The kids loved seeing how the water changed the texture of the painting and watching it fly off the canvas.  Eleanor was dancing around so proud of what she made.  We took it the next step and compared the 2 pieces of art and talked about why they were different.  Giving Eleanor a chance to think for herself and express her ideas.

It's one thing to have an experience at the show, but to bring it home and turn it into a lesson makes it even better.  Plus these pieces look great in the playroom!

Have you seen Blue Man Group?  Did the show inspire you to make a craft or do an activity with the kids?  I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas in the comments!

Disclosure:  I was not compensated for this post.  I do work for the company but all ideas and photos are my own as a parent.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

B.O.B Revolution Pro Review #BOBsays

I've had friends with the "infamous" BOB stroller and I used to think:  "What's the big Deal?" About 2 months ago I was able to attend a special BOB event in the city with the kids and I immediately realized this stroller is a big deal.

I've taken my time to review the BOB Revolution Pro because I really wanted to give it a solid and truthful review letting people know what the big deal is about this stroller, and why we fell in love with it. 

When I attended the event I learned that it's important to make time for me to exercise, and bringing the kids with me can be fun. Run Gia Run was on hand to give some great running tips and I was instantly inspired to take up running.  Don't get me wrong I feel like I'm always running to catch the bus and train, but to get out and have time to let the days stress fly away was intriguing.

Since I've had the BOB I've taken more nights to get out of the house and run with my little guy than I would have thought.  It's fun to listen to him say "wee" or "bumpy" as I jog over the sidewalks and let him direct my path.  It's bonding time for us and a chance for me to feel good about myself physically.  This time is special and even if it's only 15 minutes it's still important and valued.  I think the quote from the event says it all. "Don't sweat parenthood.  Just sweat"

Some of my favorite features:  
  • It's got an adjustable handle bar, which is nice for anyone using it to feel like they have the ability to make it a comfortable fit for them. 
  • The handbrake makes it easy in a quick stop.  We have a lot of hills in our area and it pushes so easily that it could get away from you.  I like having the control to slow it down with a simple pull on the break. 
  • The wheel can swivel or be locked straight (which I feel is necessary when running).  It's a simple switch on the front wheel and takes a second to do. 
  • I love that there are pockets on each side to store snacks or a drink for the passenger.  I don't have to worry about something falling out.  It's got a spot and it's secure which puts me at ease a little. 
  • It's a quick fold up; it's just 2 simple quick steps.  
  • The best part is how easy this is to push.  I can do it one handed and it goes over the very bumpy sidewalks easily. 
Some of my Not so favorite things:
  • This is a heavy stroller.  I understand that in order to be able to do all it does and provide the protection to both the child and user it needs to have some weight, but I would not want to carry this up 3 flights of stairs. 
  • The price.  While this is a higher priced stroller you do get what you pay for and looking back I do regret not getting the Bob sooner, especially when we moved to the burbs.

Overall this stroller is great for our family right now.  We use it way more than I thought we would, and I think we'll use it longer than we expected because it's a great convenience to us.  This is an all-terrain stroller.  We've taken it to the beach where it was easy to push through the sand. It worked great for storing things; sadly we didn't leave space for the child!  It's gone on nature hikes and we have no problem navigating the woods or bumpy trails and it looks great decorated for holidays! 

If you're debating adding this to your registry or buying one I personally think the investment is worth it.  It's a solid and useful stroller with a lot of great features.  This isn't the only one in the BOB collection though so there may be one that fits your needs and price point better.  If you're still hesitant than find an REI or another store with displays and you'll realize instantly how easy this stroller is to maneuver and that it really is a big deal.

I was not compensated for this post, but did receive a stroller complimentary for review purposes.  As always all opinions and thoughts are my own. 


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Breakfast Date with Dad

I'm all grown up with my own family, but there's something special about having a date with my Dad.
My Dad asked me if I wanted to go to breakfast with him on Friday morning, and told me he would fly me to Cambridge, MD where he goes with his friends.  I immediately said yes, despite having to wake up at 6:30am.

Something you have to understand is my Dad has always flown planes.  Growing up this is where he would spend evenings.  Working on building his own Ultralights in the garage or flying in the cool summer nights.  I can remember watching him fly as kid and thinking it was the most amazing thing ever.  He was the coolest dad.  The only downside was he never had a 2 seater plane.

As we headed to the airport I was so excited.  I watched him prep his plane, meet some friends and the next thing I knew we were on the runway ready to go.
Within seconds were up in the air and I was watching the world below me at 3,500 feet.  I was on the headset listening to them talk and communicate and then my Dad asked if I wanted to fly.  Of course I said yes and for 5 minutes I was the pilot keeping it straight and having a blast.

The flight each way was only 15 minutes, but the experience and time with my Dad was worth more than he'll ever know.

Thanks for letting me be your inaugural co-pilot Dad, and next time I call dibs on the Bose headset!