Archive for May, 2014

31 May 2014

Number 3 in the Spotlight

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Number 3 in the Spotlight

She is funny. She is smart. She is a joker. She is loud. She is sweet. She is considered to be the energy in the mix. She is a free spirit and has a zest for life. She is my Shelby. Our third child.

Today was her day. No one else. All eyes on her. She graduated from Pre-School today. She will be entering kindergarten next year. We attended a preschool graduation today, and this was a first for us.

It was Shelby’s day. We saw her perform and shine in her own light. With older and younger siblings, she often has to go with the flow. She’s dragged to games, practices, appointments and most of time attention is not always on her. But today I learned, a little more about my number 3.

She’s so much more than a number. She wants to be a teacher when she grows up. Her favorite thing to do at school was swing on the rope swing. Her favorite color is pink.

She’s off to Great Places. Oh the places she’ll go. Her mountain is waiting so, get on your way.

Much love to my little Shelbs.

xoxo- Mommy

PS…I had never been to a preschool graduation. It was such a milestone that I didn’t pay much attention to until now. But preschool graduation is so much more than just another ceremony. They really have grown so much and have such bright futures ahead of them. They are big kids now, off to kindergarten. Which is big time.

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21 May 2014

Review: The Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour by Cirque du Soleil

1 Comment Adventures, Opinion, Review, Sponsored

As the lights came up and the stage filled, the music started to take me back. Back to listening to Michael Jackson in my basement on a cassette tape. Back to buying CD’s and watching MTV videos. Good times. Great music. Now music that must live on by parents playing it for their kids, pulling up the videos and break out the record players. These new generations didn’t grow up listening to Michael. But listen to his music and you will open Pandora’s box of pop culture and a true legend. Now an immortal, but brought back through this show, so perfectly scripted, Michael might have just wrote it himself.


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15 May 2014

Disney on Ice: Through Abby’s Eyes

1 Comment Adventures, Kids, Tampa

We are headed to see the new Disney on Ice Let’s Celebrate, which is coming to Tampa Bay on May 15- 18, and we are the first stop on the 17 markets that they will be heading too!

Honestly, we are HUGE Disney fans anyways, but each year for the past 6 years, we have been fortunate to see the Disney on Ice show that comes to Tampa in May! But this year is a special year…It will be Abby’s first show and I cannot wait to see her face light up when the show starts!

All my kids love attending the show. From my 9-year old son to my 4-year old daughter everyone loves the Disney on Ice show. And with Abby being versed in Disney characters from reading Disney books and the occasional show, I’m thrilled to see her see them in real life!

Disney on Ice

Disney on Ice: Let’s Celebrate

The Disney on Ice: Let’s Celebrate show looks to have a wide range of characters for all my kids to get excited about! Everyone from the Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and Pluto will be there as well as a few friends too: Toy Story’s Buzz and Woody, Alice, the Mad Hatter, White Rabbit, Tweedledee and Tweedledum from Alice in Wonderland, Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen will celebrate a jazzy Mardi Gras jubilee, and Mickey will help celebrate Chinese New Year with Mulan and Shang! I am sure that this show will be spectacular! (Check back soon for my pics of Abby at her first show!)

And of course, we are headed to the Tampa Bay Times Forum, one of Tampa’s BEST places to see a live preformance with kids! They will be hosting us tonight, as they host many families throughout the year for a wide variety of shows as well as the Tampa Bay Lightning games and Tampa Bay Storm games, which are also super fun to attend with kids! We see so many shows here each year and we LOVE their staff and venue!

So for tonight, my family and I are going to celebrate kids being kids and enjoy the Disney on Ice: Let’s Celebrate show that is sure to bring a smile to everyone who is in the audience..especially my little ones! And I can’t wait to celebrate!

And if you want to keep up with us in real time, we will be on Twitter with #DisneyonIce and #LetsCelebrate

For more reviews of the show, visit a few blogger friends of mine at DadScribe and MommyGuru!

Tickets are still available as of May 15, 2014 for Tampa Bay.

Tampa Bay Times Forum Information
Ticket Information
Show Information
Tour Information

*I have been provided with tickets for my family to attend the Disney on Ice: Let’s Celebrate show as guests of the Tampa Bay Times Forum. All opinions are my own.

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14 May 2014

Yesterday Is But A Dream

3 Comments Everyday, Kids, Lifestyle, Personal, Raising Children

Yesterday seems like a dream. But that’s how phases go with kids. When your in it, you think you’ll never get out of that phase. And once your out, you begin to realize that it really wasn’t that long.

And for us, just like that, Abby is off and walking.

Everyone said it would come.

And it has.

She walks. She talks. She is on her way.

I am overwhelmed with emotions when I watch her walk across the room each time.

I want to cheer, “Go Abby GO!” as her biggest cheerleader. The big kids cheer her on and we clap and smile and make her feel like she just won an Olympic medal, and each time she walks further and further.

I want to cry because I’m so happy that after 9 months of the smallest steps, she’s finally figured it out on her own.

I want to freeze time as I know she’s my last and I know my raising babies days are numbered. Yes, they will always be my babies but we all know time is of the essence.

So today here we are. Walking. At one point I thought we were so far behind. Too far to catch up. We didn’t give up though. We’ve been to therapy, Mom and Me, parks upon parks plus have spent countless hours playing. And playing means working in baby years. And yes, there always was a purpose.

So to my children, I will always use the example of remember when Abby couldn’t walk? And we tried and tried everyday. And we we didn’t give up? You shouldn’t either. You can’t give up. You just try harder. Be patient. And when your ready, it will happen. And yesterday, when you couldn’t do it, will only be a dream.

14 May 2014

Raising Cirque du Soleil Future Performers

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If you read through the many biographies on the Cirque du Soleil website you will see a common theme: youth gymnastics and dance at an early age. Having two young aspiring gymnasts in my house, I understand the time and dedication that it takes for these performers to get to the stage that they are on today.

I truly enjoy taking my children to see Cirque du Soleil performances because I do want them to know that what they are doing now, could possibly be a career someday if they really wanted to continue something they love doing. My goal for exposing them to these non-traditional careers is to show them that should be ultimately doing something they love to do.

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Inspiring young gymnasts everywhere, Cirque du Soleil is an amazing show that will hopefully inspire children to to follow their dreams and keep this art alive. With over 100,000 million people attending a Cirque performance since 1984, this visual art show, blending gymnastics, dance and music along with special effects and more, there will be many openings for the right people when the time is right in the future for our children.

And as the King of Pop has had lasting musical impressions on us as children, it’s time our children were introduced to his iconic music as well. As Michael Jackson was know for his intense energy on stage and unforgettable concerts, you will be treated to a visual nirvana of music and acrobatic talent that will let you feel the energy as you watch and remember what an impact that this superstar has left on pop culture. (I’m personally hoping that my kids will enjoy his music as much as I did and still do!)

Musical Designer, Kevin Attunes, is taking Michael’s “music to a whole new level.” By combining more than 35 of Jackson’s songs, we will not only hear Michael Jackson’s music but feel him trough the visual recreations inspired by his iconic videos and enhanced by the Cirque du Soleil acrobatics and theatrical performers.

Coming only May 20 and 21 to Tampa at the Tampa Bay Times Forum is a new must-see Cirque du Soleil show: Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour. Only traveling to 14 cities, the energetic and electrifying music from the King of Pop will combine Curque du Soleil world renown performers and the Kings music to bring you a show unlike no other.

Created by Cirque du Soleil and directed by Jamie King, THE IMMORTAL World Tour is a departure from the company’s previous touring shows. Featuring 49 international dancers, musicians, and acrobats, it is presented in a rock concert format that combines the excitement and innovation of Michael Jackson’s music and choreography with Cirque du Soleil’s unparalleled creativity.

Inspire the little gymnast, dancer performer or musician in your life! If you have an opportunity to take your future cast member to this show, it will be a performance that they will never forget. Teach them to reach for the stars and enjoy the life that they are to lead!

Tickets available at www.cirquedusoleil.com/MichaelJackson and www.Ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets range from $50 to $125 each.

The Tampa dates are May 20 – 21 and the performances will be at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

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My family and I have been invited to attend the Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour. All opinions are my own.

12 May 2014

Best Almond Butterscotch Biscotti EVER

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I’ve never been a biscotti fan until recent. Not sure if it’s the convenient nature of them but I have been baking them non-stop since I learned how easy they are.

My favorite have been tweaked and perfected to bring you this delicious breakfast treat you’ll have to try at your next special occasion.

My Mom LOVES this recipe, so on this Mother’s Day, I thought I’d share her favorite recipe that I make especially for her.

I loved to cook with my Mom growing up. Baking was so much fun with her. I know my kids love cooking with me just as I did with her. Cooking with kids is such a great way to learn, bond and try new things. We hope you’ll try one of our recipes!

Best Almond Butterscotch Biscotti

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
2 tbls rum
1/2 cup almonds
1/3 cup butterscotch chips

Toast the almond at 350 degrees for 10 minutes and set aside.

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder & salt and set aside.

Mix eggs, vanilla, almond extract & rum and set aside.

Preheat oven at 300 degrees.

Mix dry and wet together adding in the toasted almonds and butterscotch.

The mix will be sticky.

Use non-stick cooking spray and spray a cooking sheet.

Mold your loaf into a flat loaf. It will not rise and will keep the shape you mold.

Bake at 300 degrees for 50 minutes.

Take out and cut into bars using a serrated knife.

Put the bars back on the sheet and bake for another 15 minutes at 300 degrees.

Let cool. Store or freeze.

Enjoy with a cup of your favorite coffee!

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11 May 2014

The REAL Mother’s Day Story

No Comments Everyday, Kids, Lifestyle, Personal

The REAL Mother’s Day Story

I wish I could tell you that I got to sleep in, was made breakfast in bed and then was treated to a brunch where all my kids looked gorgeous and then we went for a walk on the beach and my husband cooked dinner and everyone went to bed early so me and hubby could relax and reminisce of our wonderful day together on this 9th Mother’s Day we have shared.

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Ummmm…. WRONG! DO NOT PASS GO. DO NOT COLLECT $200. GO DURECTLT TO JAIL IF YOU THINK THATS HOW THIS STORY GOES.

I’m writing to you from the bathroom. Yup. The bathroom. Where I’m contemplating a.) taking a shower b.) just sitting and typing c.) hiding from the outside world or d.) reminiscing of my crazy (per usual Sunday morning or e.) all of the above.

Correct Answer: e- All of the above.

So let me shoot it to you straight, people. The REAL Mothers’s Day happens, well anytime I get a “get out if jail free” card and can escape the house to have alone time. And that includes work. Don’t get me wrong, I LOOOOOOVVE my crew, but 4 is/can be/ will always be a house of crazy with love on top. Just the way things are. Mother’s Day is a fun day to attempt to call it a holiday, but who are we kidding?! Unless, I’m 10,000 miles away, on a work trip or deathly ill in the hospital, I have had more relaxing days spent at the dentist than on Mother’s Day. Sorry…that’s the truth.

So today, on this glorious day that we honor Mothers, my husband gets sick. Sick like stay-away-and-don’t-come-near-me-because-if-you-get-me-or-a-kid-sick-I-will-kill-you-because-ain’t-nobody-got-time-for-that- sick.

So, I put on my big girl panties and did what any good Mother would do. Got shit done. Told Hubby to go back to bed and stay away from us, first. Then the real party got started. We were all … up at 7, breakfast by 7:30, work by 8, errands by 9, car wash by 10, lunch by 11, and naps at noon.

And here I am now. Now enjoying peace and quiet, albeit in the bathroom where I’d rather do my therapy (that’s really what this blogging thing is also known as) instead of out in the living room for just a few minutes….And hopefully I’ll get a shower, brush my teeth, and get to dry my hair to be human by this afternoon. But today will go on. It will end as quick as it started and just be another day in the books.

So it wasn’t the story book day everyone paints. It never is. But the day was great. Because it really was. I got to hang with my 4 little people. They had fun at the car wash and Target. They loved lunch at Sweet Tomatoes (not because I wanted to go there but because I knew everyone could agree on there.) We had a typical day, filled with the typical stuff and that’s a okay with me. Because somewhere out there, I’m sure my day sounds pretty perfect to someone else, just as theirs sounds pretty perfect to me.

One more thing…let’s face it- do you KNOW how much effort goes into those picture perfect kids at church or at the store? Do you understand how much timing is involved in getting everyone out the door looking all fancy? I’m exhausted just thinking about it. (The next time you are at church, congratulate the patents who have themselves put together and the kids.) Smoke and mirrors. Smoke and mirrors.

We are Mothers, everyday, to anyone and everyone who needs our help in anytime and any place. We jump at the chance to help others out, near and far, offer support, love, friendship, trust and faith to those that need to be picked up. We just do. Make it work. It’s what we all do best. P.S. We aren’t always perfect either (note the breakfast below I almost served my kid because I was exhausted and didn’t read the label!)

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So on today, this 100th Mother’s Day, I hope everyone realizes that it’s really no different that any other day. Yes, there’s some more freebies, and if you get pampered, consider yourself one of the lucky, but just remember to thank your Mother more than just one time a year. A small token (kiss, hug, call, night out, etc.) of appreciation goes VERY far and we always love it, just as we do on Mother’s Day.

So now, I’m going to take a nap. A nap sounds like a wonderful present to me. Nap wins over shower. Maybe tomorrow… Decisions, decisions…

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Smile and make the best of the day! It’s all you really have control of anyways!

01 May 2014

I Get It

2 Comments Adventures, Everyday, Kids, Opinion, Parenting, Raising Children

Dear Mom:

I could watch the video of Abby walking a thousand times. I think I already have. It will not be the last milestone we will reach together, but I think I get it, thanks to you. Walking, talking, reading, writing…they all require work. And time. And love. And time. And they won’t come quick, maybe easier to others, but not everything. And she will need help. And I will need help. And that’s ok. Because you taught me this:

“I will help you. I always will.” A lesson from my Mom, that I will never forget.
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