My Week in Review -Photography, Mom Crush, DIY Gel Nails and Something Found

This week I attended a friend’s first photography exhibit, won my friend Effie free donuts, did my own gel nails and finally found what I was looking for.

Week in Review August 13 – 19

Lions, Tigers and Cosplay! – Ok maybe not so much cosplay is on display, but definitely a good sampling of the animal kingdom is currently adorning the walls of the Adele Grage Cultural Center during my friend John Rennie’s photography exhibit. I stopped by on opening night during Art Walk artist’s reception. John may be displaying pretty animals and landscapes, but he’s also shot some of my favorite cosplay photos too!

Mom Crush Monday – When I saw the Jacksonville Mom Blog post about nominating a mom friend for “Mom Crush Monday” I knew exactly who to nominate! Effie was this Monday’s winner! She gets coffee and donuts from the Mini Bar, so you know that means we are going there to have wine and donuts! lol

If you are local, you can nominate your own Mom Crush:

MomCrushMonday jax mom blog

DIY Gel Nails – I love having gel nails but it’s hard to get to the salon so I decided to give it a try myself. After a glass of wine, very little research and seized with an intense desire to do something about my terrible nails, I bought the Sensational Gel Starter Kit off Amazon and loved the results! (that’s an affiliate link, so Amazon will give me a few cents if you get one too) They look and feel just like the salon gels. The only issue I had was getting it too close to my cuticles. Next time I’ll keep it a little higher, but overall I was really happy!

They have that same high-shine finish that reminds me of a bowling ball. And they dry right away so no messing them up when you do then right before bed! The only thing I didn’t like was the LOUD beep from the curing light. It beeps at 30 sec. and I kept worrying it would wake up my sleeping son in the other room. Other than that, I’m loving it and will definitely be getting more colors soon!

Finding lost things – Some may think it’s silly but I do believe in the power of attraction. And when I lose things, I find if I picture finding them again, they will show up. And my necklace did! This was my favorite souvenir from our trip to Ireland and I lost it on our last day there. It was different than most of the touristy celtic knot type jewelry in every shop, and it reminded me of a mermaid tail. I was sad I lost it, but I just felt it would show up again. So a week later, while catching up on laundry, there it was in the washing machine!


That’s it for this week! Anyone else try the gel nails at home? I’d love to hear about other brands. I really didn’t look into it too much. I was in a hurry and just bought the first decently priced one that popped up and came with the light and everything! And how about the Law of Attraction aka The Secret? Anyone else practice a little of that?



Please like and share:

Easy Oatmeal Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies sent me a box from Lindsay showcasing their delicious flavours of almond butter. While browsing the website for recipes, my son spotted these Oatmeal Chocolate Cookies and said “I want to make those!” So that’s what we did! I tweaked the original recipe a tiny bit – adding a little more oats and extra chocolate chips because the batter was a little too gooey. The result is a chewy oatmeal cookie that you can feel a little better about feeding your kids, because it’s made with good stuff. Good stuff plus chocolate chips of course.

lindsay almond butter


  • 1 1/2 cups Lindsay Honey Cinnamon Almond Butter
  • 1 1/3 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs – lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cup old fashioned oats– not instant
  • 1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


Cooking Directions

  1. Preaheat oven to 350 F
  2. In a large bowl mix almond butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. You can use a fork to do this, no need for a mixer.
  3. Stir in baking soda
  4. Add oats and chocolate chips and mix thoroughly
  5. I used an ungreased baking sheet and scooped little blobs of dough (about 1 1/2″ size) onto the pan with a spoon. They were too sticky to make much of a shape.
  6. Bake 8 to 9 minutes (I did exactly 9)
  7. Let cool then remove from the sheet pan. They will firm up a little when they cool.
  8. Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

If you’d like to see more recipes made with almond butter, check out Lindsay’s recipe section and scroll to the Almond Butters: Lindsay’s Healthy Cooking Recipes

Please like and share:

Our First Big Kid’s Show: PAW Patrol Live

paw patrol liveMy son is obsessed with all things PAW Patrol, so when I saw the live version was rolling into town this month, I briefly considered taking him before deciding I wasn’t sure if we were ready to go see a big live show. Then VStar Entertainment contacted me about free tickets, with four tickets to give away and I was like, “Heck yeah, let’s go!” And just like that, PAW Patrol was on roll.

PAW Patrol Live! The Great Pirate Adventure is a live action show, where people in big pup costumes dance around on stage with lights, music and a big screen behind them that makes it look like the TV show. They do a pretty neat job- the costumes looked perfect and the actors’ voices were pretty close to the ones in the show. After watching a million PAW Patrol episodes, I feel like I’m a pretty good judge of show quality.

My husband was out of town, so I brought my friend Effie and her two-year-old son Alex with us. It felt like we were going into “The Great Mom Adventure” just getting the kids ready and going there. We put both car seats in my car (a first for both of us!) and actually rode together downtown. We had no idea what to expect or how the kids would be, or if they would even stay in the seats. We ended up being pleasantly surprised and the kids had a great time!

The fun started in the parking lot and walking in, where we got to see lots of little kids dressed up as their favorite pup. It was SO CUTE! Keelan would point them out and yell their names. Then as soon as you walk in, you see the lights. Little kids everywhere with light-up toys. Light up toys that cost $20-$25 freakin dollars a piece. Seriously? Since we got the tickets free, I got a little splurgy and went for the spinning light up thing he just HAD to have. Possibly just so he could spend the rest of the show whacking me in the face with it. But it kept him happy, so it was a good investment.

We spent the 30 minutes leading up to the show running laps around the Times Union Moran Theater, upstairs, downstairs and around the pillars. We even spent a little time outside on the riverfront, just trying to get some of that toddler energy out before trying to get them to stay still. I noticed the longest lines weren’t for the souvenirs, but for the full bar. They had a full liquor bar open with drink specials, plus beer and wine at at least two other spots. They were ready to keep the parents happy as well!

When we did get to our seats, the kids sat in their own seats for a few minutes before gravitating toward our laps. They could see better that way anyway and spent most of the show on laps or crawling on the seats and back down again. I’m happy to say the show really kept their attention! It really was like watching a live version of one of the episodes. Our kids LOVED it! They were clapping and singing and having a great time. And the length of it wasn’t bad either. It didn’t seem too long before they announced a 15 minute intermission, where we went back out to run around some more.

It was during intermission that my son decided he absolutely had to have a shirt, and not just any shirt, but his favorite pup of the week – Skye. And of course the only shirt with Skye on it was a hot pink girl’s shirt, with “Girl Pups Unite!” on it. But my son knows what he likes, picked it out and put it on right away, and I think he looked pretty darn good in hot pink.


Overall, we had a great time! I would totally do a live action show again. You can put your zip code in on the PAW Patrol Live website and find out when the show is coming to a city near you and get tickets!

One thing I was hoping to discover at the show never did get answered- why is PAW always capitalized? It wasn’t even covered on the website or Wikipedia page, so after some searching I found this was a question several other blogs had pondered and sought answers to. The best answer I found was on Blooming Brilliant and their post 7 Things I Think About While Watching PAW Patrol. I think a lot of us can relate to this one. The answer is either “Pups at Work” (which was my guess) or “Protect and Wag.”

So what kid shows have you been to? Any ones you recommend? I’ve heard the ones “on ice” are pretty cool! (pretty cool…ha!)

Please like and share:

Slowing Down with Rituals TryaBox from Tryazon

We do little things every day, automatically, without thinking about them. As a mom with very little time to stop and think about anything, I sometimes exist in a constant mom brain buzz just “getting things done” and moving on to my next task. So when applying for this Rituals TryaBox from Tryazon, I wrote that my idea for reviewing this product would be take a moment every day for a week and enjoy using the product and just enjoying the moment of a simple ritual like taking a shower or putting on lotion.

All the moms reading this are probably now laughing at me since you can probably figure how this went. I also gave this a try during the summer, while my husband was out of town, so I had no relief from the constant kid-induced state of chaos that comes with parenting. But you know what? I still enjoyed trying.

On the first day, I invited my friend Effie and her son over to help with the unboxing. It’s always more fun to do with a friend! And we took an everyday playdate and made it an event. We unboxed, ooohed and ahhhed over the nice smells and products, tried a destressing ritual on the kids and just embraced the general chaos that is our daily lives. Click here to watch our unboxing video on YouTube.

The two products I got to sample were the Foaming Shower Gel and the Natural Dry Oil for skin and hair. Both smelled wonderful – light and slightly herbal/floral but not overpowering for a sensitive nose like mine. The Indian rose and himalaya honey used in the collection are supposed to help create a balancing effect.

I tried to take photos of Effie spraying on the dry oil. According to the website, the dry oil is to be used to “discover the magical world of abhyanga (self-massage) … Enriched with nourishing herbs and specially designed to balance the Vata dosha, this 100% natural dry oil nourishes the skin according to Ayurvedic tradition.

This is how that went:

After our initial hectic product testing, it was up to me to try and make the time to stop and enjoy the little rituals. I’ll be honest and say it took me three days before I got to try the shower gel. I kept forgetting to put it in the shower. Also that was the only time in three days I managed to fit in a shower.


img_2623-1I got my son to watch an episode of PAW Patrol so I knew I had a good 20 minutes to enjoy my shower. The gel comes out pretty fast, so you just want to do a little squirt at a time. It comes out clear and then foams up into a nice lather. It also doubles nicely as a shaving gel. I was all sudsed up when I heard squealing from the other room and the thump thump thump of little feet running by. I quickly rinsed off and jumped out of the shower soaking wet, to discover the dog had stolen my son’s entire lunch plate off the couch and he was quite upset about it. So I made another hot dog, put on a new episode and got back in the shower to finish “relaxing.” Five minutes later there was a knock at the bathroom door. It was my son, letting me know I got the floor all wet. Thanks kid!

img_2624-1While the shower gel was a bit of a challenge, I did manage to fit the dry oil in every day. Sometimes more than once, just because I really enjoyed the smell and the way it soaks right in so you don’t feel oily. I have dry skin on my arms and legs and can always use a little more moisture. I kept the bottle out where I could see it so I wouldn’t forget to stop, spray, smell and take a moment. On one evening I decided to sit down and follow the massage instructions on the little tag that came with the bottle. I put my son to bed, put on a movie, sat down on the couch and took a moment to relax. About halfway through the experience, a little head popped up from behind the couch. My son decided he couldn’t sleep and then proceeded to scream, cry and flop around on the couch for the next hour. He was also not cool with me trying to spray him and massage away his obvious toddler stress.

On Sunday my husband finally returned home and I got a little break. That evening I took a nice long hot shower and enjoyed the luxurious shower gel with my scrubby sponge from head to toe with no interruption. After toweling off I sprayed the oil all over and was able to appreciate the lovely smell and the way it soaked in, leaving me moisturized and with a slight sheen, but not like an oil slick. I was finally able to really slow down, just for that moment.

And then the banging on the door began and I snapped right back into mom mode…


Slow down and enjoy the chaos of motherhood



Please like and share:

My Week in Review- Ice Cream Treats, Dental Anxiety, the Perfect Burrito, an Unboxing and a Movie Matinee

This week the ice cream man stopped a meltdown, I survived a morning of torture at the dentist, my Instagram post about the perfect microwave burrito attracted silly bot comments, Keelan and I unboxed a Moms Meet box from Lindsay Almond Butter and we attended a movie matinee as a family for the very first time.

Week in Review August 6 – 12

Saved by the Ice Cream Man – Maybe it’s a parenting weakness, but I have been known to turn to bribery in moments of pure desperation when I can’t get my son to break out of a full tantrum meltdown. Like the screaming possessed child kind where they don’t even seem to see or hear you no matter what soothing loving words you keep trying. But you know what they can hear? The far away tinkling sounds of ice cream truck music. So moments before my soothing words became manic parent yelling, we heard the music. I whisked my son off the ground and shouted like a crazy person (because at that point I did feel a bit crazy) “Do you hear that? Do you hear THAT?? It’s THE ICE CREAM MAN!!” And magically the screaming and tears stopped. I could have kissed the ice cream man, but that would have made things really awkward so I just paid him the $3 and thanked him for his perfect timing.

saved by the ice cream man
Sometimes, all you need is ice cream

The Secret to the Perfect Burrito – Sometimes you feel the need to share your life lessons, even the simple ones. In college I perfected the microwave burrito so I shared a pic on Instagram of my fabulous burrito and my favorite hot sauce, along with the instructions on getting it done all the way through instead of the usual hard on the ends and cold in the middle results. There’s so many bots on Instagram now leaving silly comments based on hashtags that my burrito on a paper plate was deemed “amazing” and also got a few “inspiring content” posts, along with a compliment on the photo composition. I deleted a few of the obvious fake comments before deciding to just start answering them back. That was way more fun.

the perfect microwave burrito
Are you inspired yet?

We Unboxed Some Yummy Almond Butter – My trusty completely unreliable and destructive assistant and I unboxed a surprise from Moms Meet and Lindsay Almond Butter. I’m working on a review/recipe post for next week!

I Survived the Dentist – This could probably be a stand-alone blog, and I probably will write about it at some point, but I am terrified of the dentist. I turn into a big 40-year-old baby. I needed a filling replaced and a crown. They gave me Valium, gas, a neck pillow and a blankie. (I totally asked for the blankie) My anxiety is usually so high that the gas doesn’t affect me, but I keep trying because I’m optimistic like that (and my insurance covers it.) I got through it without crying so I’ll call this one a success. I was monitoring my heart rate on my watch and it topped out at 150 bpm but I managed to keep it around 100 for most of it. The bad part is I have to go back to get the permanent crown on and am trying not to think about it.

at the dentist
Are we done yet?

Our First Family Movie Matinee – I was SO excited to take Keelan to the movies! It’s funny the little things that are milestones as a new parent. I used to go see movies all the time, but not so much anymore. There’s a lot of normal life things you really take for granted before you have kids. (like showering, sleeping, pooping alone, etc.) and every time you get one of these little life luxuries back, it’s a huge deal.

Well that’s it for this week. One our biggest events was actually on Sunday – we saw PAW Patrol Live! I’ll be doing a full post on that one. It was a first for both of us since I’d never been to a big kid’s event before and had no idea what to expect. We don’t have anything too exciting on the calendar this week, but you never know what can happen between now and next Sunday! It’s a whole week just waiting for an adventure to be planned.

Please like and share: