Thursday, October 19, 2017

Halloween Wreath

A friend posted a Halloween wreath online that was soooo cute! She mentioned she paid $60 for someone to make it for her. I sent the picture to some of my friends and asked them if they thought we could make the wreaths! Everyone was game. I think all the supplies to make the wreaths were about $20 each. We had a fun afternoon chatting, eating some yummy food and crafting! 

All our supplies came from Hobby Lobby and Michael's. We made big bows, tied on little chalkboards, wrapped some lights around the wreath and added different little touches. I stuck some tiny little colorful spiders and some whispy black feather type things. G is REALLY into ghosts, so I added a ghost bulb. 

I really love how it turned out! 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Toddler Soccer

Week 4 of soccer was much better than the previous weeks! G likes to play the different games the coach sets up. This past week they had to pick up this cones, kick their ball to the matching flag, drop the cone on the flag and kick the ball back to get another cone. G really loved this! 

When he first started he couldn't really dribble the ball. Week 4 he was able to dribble the ball across the field. It was really cute to watch! 

I think after soccer ends we will be waiting a year or two before we sign him up for another activity other than swimming. He likes to play for about 10 minutes then he is ready to go. Last week he told me he wants to play baseball. I think we will set up a tball stand and let him play baseball in the backyard. I think this is much more realistic than signing him up for these activities he has a 10 minute time span for. lol

Monday, October 9, 2017

Monday Thrive October 9

1) G and I went to see my cousin in Dallas a couple weeks ago for a long weekend. We had the best time and I LOVE Texas! There are so many reasons why I love Texas. We drove down to Waco for a few hours. 

A blogger I follow went to Waco earlier this year. One thing she said was do not plan an entire vacation to see Magnolia in Waco. I have to totally agree. Waco is a day trip. My cousin and I had 2 toddlers with us, so we rushed more than we would have if we had been alone. We went through the store. There was sooooo much cute stuff! I only bought a Shiplap tshirt. I wasn't sure how to bring back the huge adorable signs they have at Magnolia. 

G and I traveled 1,741 miles! 

Front of the Magnolia store. They also have a bakery that had a ridiculous line of about 50-75 people waiting to get in. I didn't think there would be anything inside I would be able to eat, so I didn't even wait in line to get inside the bakery. 

Inside one portion of the store. 

I loved the outside area where they had food trucks, area for the kids to run around and swings. It really is a fun place to go hang out for a little while. I don't see how you could spend more than 4 hours max at the silos. That is going through the store, bakery, getting food at the food trucks and enjoying the outdoor area. 

After we were at the silos then we went to Harp Design Co. They have a teeny tiny store with some cute things. I bought a key chain there. We went through the store in about 10 minutes. 

2) Liz and I ate so much delicious food! Mostly tacos! We had tacos at least once a day and sometimes twice a day. I felt like I had gained 5 pounds by the time I got home. lol

We enjoyed some Jimmy John sandwiches! They do have a lettuce wrap sandwich that was AMAZING!!!! 

Let me tell you about these nachos. TO DIE FOR!!!! Liz made this cauliflower nutritional yeast turmeric vegan cheese sauce. It was amazing!!!! Then she chopped up all this product and made an AMAZING mango salsa. We ate this for dinner one night and the next morning for breakfast. lol I came home and made it again for myself!  

3) G had the BEST time playing with Liz's kids! One morning he came down the stairs saying "kids don't worry I am coming down". lol He is hilarious! He just loved all of them. He has been talking about the kids since we got home. He had to tell Chris all about them. 

I brought in diaper boxes for them all one day to make cars. One of the boxes ripped. I cup all the boxes, so they were the same. I told them they now had a mini van with a sliding door. All of them thought that was the greatest thing! 

4) I love Texas! I love how polite and friendly people are. Men hold the door for you and offer to help you. Texas has mega churches all over the place. And they have tacos EVERY WHERE!!!! Mmmm I could eat tacos allllll the time! 

5) Traveling with G was good. We seem to have a great traveling routine down. He usually naps on the plane for a portion of the flight. I load up the tablet with plenty of shows for him to watch, bring lots of snacks, and bring a few new toys. Direct flights are the best! I hate having to change planes. Thankfully we can fly to Dallas direct! On the way home we flew Virgin which was fabulous because they have tv's for everyone!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Nordstrom Trunk Club Review

I recently received a Nordstrom Trunk in the mail. I haven't gotten one for over a year. If you aren't familiar with the Trunk Club it is a really great service through Nordstrom. It's a personal styling service where you work with a stylist. My stylists name is Hannah and I really like her! I am going to say this right away. The first 1-2 boxes were a little rough. It took my stylist a little bit to understand my price points and my style. Now that she gets those things she sends some amazing stuff. She also sends stuff out of my comfort level too. I like this because I am not sure I would ever try certain things if she didn't help me think outside the box. 

You are able to preview the box of items prior to them being sent. Sometimes I will decline things. I send links to other clothing or shoes and ask for them to be sent to me. I have told Hannah that I do not need anymore scarves, so she doesn't add them to my box. Seriously I have enough scarves for like 10 people. Now that I am a stay at home mom I don't want fancy things. I need kid friend clothes. I do like to invest in a pair of designer jeans. They last and are very comfortable! I bought a pair of Joe boyfriend jeans I wear a lot. They are the most comfortable pair of jeans. In my last box Hannah sent a pair of Hudson jeans. I still kind of wish I had kept them! They fit amazing, but also were sooooo soft. When you pay for denim they are so much softer than the cheap pairs. 

You can try the Trunk Club HERE

Here are the items I received in my box. I will try to link everything back. I am sorry most of these pictures are dark. I am struggling with lighting in my bedroom. 

I really like this top, but I felt part of it hit me in a weird place. If it had been a little longer on me I would have kept it. It was super soft!  These are the jeans I talked about above. Amazing jeans!!!! 

Twist Front Cozy Fleece Pullover

Colette Step Hem Skinny Jeans

I am actually getting this tee in a different size with my next box. I loved it, but it was a little too long for me. If I folded it under it worked great, but I would like to be able to wear it out. I will let you know how the next size works for me. 

This was a cute sweater. I just can't do short sleeve sweaters. In the winter I need long sleeves. I felt this defeated buying a sweater if I have to lay another item over it. 

This was the item that was out of my comfort level, but I decided to try it anyhow. I keep seeing these big sleeve sweaters, sweatshirts and various other types of tops all over blog land. I decided to give it a try. I just couldn't do it! I felt like I had wings. I could have flapped my wings chasing a toddler around. lol

I have tried peplum tops so many times. I think they are darling on other people, but I just can't pull it off for me. I feel like it makes my hips and midsection look weird. I have a peplum just like this that I still haven't worn, so I sent this one back.

This top was sooo comfortable!!! It was soft! It was short on me though. I didn't feel it was mom friendly. If I bent over it didn't cover anything. I tried this on numerous times trying to make it work. 

'Hanna' Split Neck Knit Top

When I saw these shoes I was like yuck! These are just gross! I tried them on anyhow. They were soooooo comfortable!!!! I feel I could have walked 50 miles in them and my feet wouldn't have been sore. I considered keeping them. I just didn't feel they were for fall. If they make these without the frayed-jute espadrille trim I would buy them in a second!!! 

Here are a few other items I received that I did not photograph.

The knit tee I didn't take a picture of was white and VERY sheer. I have asked Hannah to send it to me in some other colors. It is coming in my next trunk! 

The item I kept was the sneakers! They are blush pink! I just love them. They are super comfy. I think they will be great for fall! I need some comfortable shoes for the cooler temperatures that are suppose to come our way at some point. 

If you are interested in trying out the Trunk Club click HERE

Let me know if you try a Trunk Club and your thoughts! 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

How To Balance Working Out and Motherhood!

Each week my goal is to workout 3-5 days a week. I would really like every week to have 5 workouts. I feel a lot better physically and mentally when I am able to get 5 workouts in. In the past weekends were my time to get in extra long workouts. I should say that was how it was pre-kid. I could go to the gym and possibly run. Now weekends are family time. 

I had an exciting opportunity to collaborate with Ethona and try out a piece of their workout gear! I decided to go outside of the box and get an item that I wouldn't normally wear. I picked a piece from their Studio collection the Gleaming Bralette in Snow Grey. I have really been wanting to try a strappy sports bra. When you are wearing a tank top I think it's really cute to wear a strappy sports bra. 

The bralette is so very soft and comfortable. This bralette works better for small chested women. I however am not small chested, so I wore it under a low cut top doing a low intensity workout. It also was great to just wear around the house in some comfy clothes. This bralette is also great for when I go on walks with G. We go on a 3 mile walk around a neighborhood next to our house where we stop half way through at a playground. A lot of times when we stop at the playground I will do push ups, jumping backs, bring a kettle bell or other various exercises while G plays. 

It can be hard to get in a workout in with kids! I find that a brisk walk with G in the jogging stroller is great for both of us. We get out of the house, get some exercise and G will get to play at the playground. He is able to burn some of his energy from riding in the stroller. There are other days he wants to just stay at home all day. On those days I like to do a Chris Freytag workout. You can find her workouts on YouTube or on her website. I paid $20 yearly fee for a subscription to her website where I am able to access tons of workouts. 

If you are interested in checking out Ethona apparel Casey Kniffin has been amazing to work with!  You can contact Casey at You can also click HERE to go to Ethona website.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

This won't be a popular post by some!

I grew up in an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church environment. I've been to more church in my first 20 years of life than most people go to in their entire lifetime. I've been to A LOT of churches over the years. I've heard 100's of preachers. 

The past 10-15 years I've really struggled with the IFB church. Some of the most judgmental people I've ever met attend an IFB church. Pastors, deacons and staff members and their spouses are the most hateful, judgmental, and deceptive people out there. There are VERY few that aren't that way. 

Now that I'm a mom I've REALLY questioned if I want to raise my child in this environment. I've hated the shame I've been made to feel over the years. I was NEVER good enough and NEVER felt like I belonged. I was always made to feel like an outcast. Even when I "followed" all the "rules" I was still the bad Christian. I don't want my child to ever feel that way. I want him to have a healthy relationship with church and God. I don't want him to worry God will kill him if he doesn't become a missionary or a pastor. He can actually be a good Christian man one day AND be a garbage man or a fireman if that's what he chooses. If he misses a church service he isn't a bad person. 

I just REALLY am sick of this shame driven church environment. Pastors make up rules that people must live by. When those rules aren't followed then they have no time for you.  I'm EXTREMELY sick of sexual things being covered up in the church. People are shipped out from one place to a new place. That is total bullshit!  

Jesus loved all people. He hung out with all people. He did not stay away from people who didn't believe like him or attend his church. If you are in an IFB environment and you don't live, do or think like them then IFB people have NO time for you. I have 30+ years of experience with this.  It's not a mad up thing. It's real and terrible! 

If a church has a band, people come in shorts, they have screens, or whatever the case if they are taught to get saved, feel loved and treat people well that is going to be the place for us. 

I heard one of the best messages of my entire life over the weekend. It was by Robert Morris at Gateway Church in Texas about The Priority of People. HERE is the link. Take the 30 minutes and listen to this amazing message! 

I've thought about writing a post like this for a long time. I feel I have a lot more to say about it the cultish environment of the IFB church. I just can't do the made up rules, judging and shaming people anymore just because they don't believe and think just like me. I know this isn't going to be a popular post by a lot of people I know. I might actually have some people who will no longer talk to me, unfriend me on social media and who knows what else. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Monday Thrive September 25

Happy Monday!!!

1) We had G birthday party a week after his birthday. We wanted to have it at a specific park. The weekend after his birthday was booked immediately. We went in to reserve the park one day after it opened up to book things. Oh well! I actually like that we did it 10 days after his birthday. We were able to really enjoy him on his birthday, prepare for a party and just enjoyed the party so much! 

We did a firetruck/man theme with a jumpy house. I actually called the local fire department to see if they could stop by the party. They asked for a time frame and said they would do their best to show up.  I told them I totally understood if they couldn't show up. I didn't even mention the fire truck to G. All the kids were jumping in the bounce house and here rolls in the fire truck. I had totally forgotten about it. I grabbed G out of the bounce house, threw his shoes on and off we ran to the fire truck. I think the parents like the fire truck almost more than the kids. Other people at the park came over to the fire truck. It was a HUGE hit!!! The best part was that was free. They just do it as a favor. They were so nice! All the kids got to sit in the truck, they handed out hats and stickers. 

After the party when we were driving home G asked can we do this again? I said sure we can have another party sometime. He just loved every minute of it! 

2) I signed G up for soccer. What a ruckus! He has been asking to play soccer, so I thought why not sign him up. It's a class for 30 minutes one night a week with kids his age. It's really cute, but also just chaotic. Trying to get 5-10 three year olds to participate is comical and chaotic. I don't think we will sign up for a second round. When he is older we will try it again if he wants too. 

3) I recently started reading Braving the Wilderness by Brene` Brown. It is such an amazing book! You should add this to your reading list. Anytime I hear Brene` speak or read anything by her she is just so inspiring to just be yourself. To let yourself feel how you feel, express your feelings and it's ok to be vulnerable. One of my favorite things I learned from her is to only share your story with people who have earned the right to hear it. This was kind of life changing for me. I always felt I needed to be honest with people and share things. This has really helped me realize I don't need to share every single detail of my life with everyone. I don't blog about everything anymore. I share bits and pieces now. 

4) September is National Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month and Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. Both of these awareness's are very dear to me. Thyroid Cancer of course because I battle it every single day. Pediatric Cancer because a friend lost her daughter a 6 years old. I honestly thought pediatric cancer was pretty much all cured before my friend lost her daughter. I just didn't know how low the funding was and how often times there is no cure. It's heartbreaking! Now that I am a mother it breaks my heart in a whole new way. 

If you are able to donate any amount of money Unravel Pediatric Cancer was started by my friend. They donate a lot of money each year to help find a cure to beat pediatric cancer. 

Right now there is no cure for Medullary Thyroid Cancer. Once you are diagnosis with it the best they can do is remove as much of MTC by surgery. There are some drugs that you can take, but they are honestly a last resort. Thyca is a great organization that helps all us people with thyroid cancer. 

5) I was out of town this past weekend visiting my cousin in Texas. I will be writing a blog post about that later on. Today G and I are recovering from traveling, getting our laundry done, grocery shopping and getting back into our routine! I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend! 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Monday Thrive September 18

1) I am thinking I should just change the name of this weekly post to Monday Tantrums! Why is it Monday is just full of tantrums? They start as soon as he wakes up until bedtime. I know the weekends are different than during the week. Art is home, our schedule isn't the same, but good lord it can get bonkers on Monday. It usually starts with G waking up upset his da da went to work. He will be bawling saying oh no my da da gone to work noooo noooo. It is very sad! He loves having Art home. 

2) I am still raising money towards the birthday boxes for foster children. I would love your help if you can help me reach my goal!

I wrote a whole blog post about it here. Thank you to those of you who have donated. You can make a donation HERE

Adriana use to talk to me about becoming a foster parent. Foster children were always so special to her. Her goal was to become a foster parent once she was 40. Help me honor her memory by raising money to provide these children with a birthday memory they can cherish during a difficult time.

3) It's been a year ago since my dad had open heart surgery.  I remember where I was driving when I answered my sisters call telling me my dad would have open heart surgery.  We were all so upset. On the one year anniversary of that day those feelings came flooding back. It was so scary and so out of the blue! He seemed so healthy until a couple days before. Thankfully it's a year later and he is doing well! 

That same day Adriana had come over to the house for the afternoon. I can remember what we talk about, sitting out back with her, drinking coffee like normal, and her being sad we were going to be gone so long. The past few days have been a lot of emotion. I am so thankful my dad is doing well. I was able to spend 2 months with him last summer and a month with him this summer. I miss my friend so much! Sometimes I can't believe she is actually gone. We won't ever sit out back at my house and laugh about nonsense. 

4) Over the past few weeks I have put a lot of thought into my future with selling BeautyCounter. I have decided at the end of September I will no longer be selling BeautyCounter. I LOVE their products, believe in the company and will continue to use the products.

If you would like to order products October 1 forward Christi-An Bowler is fabulous! She posts on FB and IG often about sales, product tips, new items etc.  If you are a Band of Beauty Member your membership will be moved to Christi-An automatically.  Thank you again for your support over the past year.

5) Happy Birthday to my dad! Today is his birthday! I wish I was in ND to celebrate with him. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Let's Have Fun!

I hope G doesn't ever stop trying to have fun anywhere! As adults we have to "grow up" and stop having fun the majority of the time. Stress from daily life consumes us and we forget to have fun.

A trip to the dollar store is usually 30+ minutes. When we enter the store G grabs a basket. He has to carry a shopping basket with him every.single.time. He knows he gets 1 thing. He will grab something he "needs" and puts it in the basket. When he finds a different item he "needs" he takes the old one out of the basket and puts it back. This just cracks me up! At 2 years old he learned he only got 1 thing, so he couldn't have 2-3 things. 

In the picture above he grabbed 2 swords. He took one to Chris. He told him FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT. They had a sword fight right there in the aisle. Yep, I am that crazy mom who lets the kids play with the toys. I don't allow them to break things. I don't see any harm in them testing things out. Let kids be kids! They can touch things that aren't breakable! 

Have some fun this week! Stop stressing and soak in the enjoyable moments! 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


A couple weeks ago I took G and Chris bowling. This was G first time bowling. I wasn't sure what he would think of it. We had 3 longer days of Chris in the afternoon, so I tried to do something fun with them. I like to take them places on long days, so we can get rid of energy. 

The little bowling shoes were ADORABLE for G. I wanted to steal them. 

I put bumpers up and got a ramp. G grabbed a ball all on his own. He had a blast for about 5 rounds, then he was done. Chris got to bowl the rest of the time for both of them. I think we will wait a year or so before we take G again. It was a little slow for him. lol

He actually got a strike! I am sure I would bowl much better with bumpers and a ramp too. It was just adorable to watch him! 

Chris did good! He had a lot of fun. Watching him fling the ball down the alley was hilarious! I gave him pointers once and then I just let him do his thing. I wanted him to have fun and not worry about getting every pin down. 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Monday Thrive September 11

Today Monday Thrive is going to be short. I just don't feel I can talk about 9-11 and then go into 4 other points. 

It is hard to believe it has been 16 years since that awful day. Every year I reflect on that day and how all our lives changed. Airports haven't ever been the same since and for a good reason. People will always remember where they were on that day. That day changed how I thought of military, police, firemen and others in public service. I am so thankful for all the men and women who have given their lives for our freedom. 

Often times we talk about the people who have lost their lives fighting for our freedom. We need to also remember the people who have lived after they have fought for our freedom. The majority of these people suffer from PTSD, they carry grief with them they don't speak about and they tried to find a new normal after witnessing unthinkable things. When you are reflecting back on 9-11 think of those who have lived after the fact and what they have faced. 

You have your freedom because someone gave up their life to give you that freedom!!!!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Happy 3rd Birthday!

I can hardly believe G is turning 3 years old today! I feel like we were just in the hospital waiting 3 long days for him to make his appearance. Now we have a spunky, talkative, mind of his own 3 year old. 

This little boy was my answer to prayer, my miracle and my rainbow baby. I had years of heartbreak trying to have him. So many miscarriages, cancer and then MS. No matter what I didn't give up hope that I would be a mom one day. I don't ever think back wishing I had soaked up any portion of his life. I feel I have soaked in every moment of his life! I have love being his mommy! 

Just born

6 weeks



Almost THREE! 

I love being G mom! There isn't anything else in the world I would rather be doing. I was talking with a friend recently. She said she missed working now that she stays home. I told her the only part I miss about working is wearing cute outfits. The rest of it forget it. I don't miss getting yelled at, fixing other peoples mistakes, dealing with 40-50 year old people who act like a bunch of 3 year olds, planning meetings, open enrollment, traveling, oh goodness the list just goes on and on of the things I don't miss. I would much rather clean up poop off my floor then deal with working again. 

I love watching for garbage trucks, fire engines, dump trucks and other heavy equipment as I drive down the road to point out to G. I love that he can talk to us and understand things we tell him. I just love this boy so much! 

Happy Birthday to the worlds greatest little boy! Thank you for choosing me to be your mommy! Thank you for making my dreams come true! 

Friday, September 1, 2017

1st Day of Preschool!

Our little man started preschool this week! He helped decorate the chalkboard. He was so excited to go to school. The whole way to school he kept asking where is my school? 

I am glad we put him in the summer session for both of us to get use to going to school. He was excited to go play with his new friends. I wasn't sad to leave him. He is going to really love school! They learn so much. 

Parent orientation really helped ease my concern with leaving him if he was crying. There were a few times he would cry during the summer session that he didn't want me to leave him. I felt bad handing him to a teacher. During orientation they reminded us they deal with this all the time and we don't need to feel bad leaving them crying. It was a good reminder. They are use to screaming kids. My kid screaming isn't going to ruin their day. Hopefully we won't have any screaming drop offs. When we got close to the school G said momma don't leave me ok? I said G you know I always come to pick you up. You will stay at school without mommy. You will have lots of fun playing and painting. He said ok and was totally fine at drop off. He did love getting his special name tag, putting his name on the board that he had arrive and seeing his cubby. 

I didn't have any days where I was concerned about leaving him at school. From the moment I toured the place I just felt this was the right fit, I have liked all the teachers I have met and my mommy gut said this place is good. Maybe that helped him too. If I felt hesitant about things I think it would have made G more nervous too. 

We are ready for a fun and exciting year at preschool!!!! 

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Old Car Family!

Our family just bought a 1972 Nova. A couple days later Art's dad bought an old 70's truck. G and I went over to the inlaws to check out the new truck. G loved climbing into the bed of the truck using the step on the side. He thinks the back window is great because he can push it open and pop his head inside. 

The car we bought needs to be redone. The engine and transmission are about the only things that are functional. Under the hood works pretty well. It needs a little tune up. The rest of the car pretty much needs an overhaul. We knew that when we bought it. It is going to be a project that is going to take awhile to complete. I told Art he needs to plan on it taking at a minimum 5 years to get it done. 

Art is looking forward to redoing the car. I have mixed emotions on it. I see money bags flying away when I think about it. lol It will be fun to drive once it is redone. The moment G saw it he told me to get his car seat out of my car and put it in the orange car. lol I told him I didn't think the orange car had seat belts that would even hold his car seat right now. 

I will post pictures of the car eventually. Once we have some before and after to post I will put them on the blog. Right now it's like what in the world did you buy and why did you think you wanted this thing? Someone asked Art if he bought it from a junk yard. LOL! He actually got a good deal on it. I did some wheeling and dealing to get him a good price. 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Monday Thrive August 28

1) I have always loved back to school stuff in the stores. I love school supplies. It's been a long time since I have been in school or needed to buy school supplies. When I see school supplies on sale for $.25 for a box of crayons I think I need to buy like 10 of them. lol I do try to avoid that area of the store because honestly how many pens or boxes of crayons does one person need? 

G is now going to preschool, but we don't have to take any supplies. He will be going 2 days for 3 hours a day. All supplies are provided and snacks, so we just send him in play clothes. They do lots of art and play outside a lot. He comes home usually with paint and dirt all over himself. I learned very quickly do not send him in cute good clothes. They won't make it! One of his sweatshirts still has red paint on the sleeve. That will be his school jacket from now on. lol

2) During Nordstroms Anniversary Sale I bought the Barefoot Dreams circle cardigan. I wasn't sure about it, but I had heard so many great reviews about Barefoot Dreams items. I decided to order one. If I hated it I would just return it. OMG! This thing is the softest thing in the world! I wish I had ordered another color. I wear it all the time! I really want the mink one next! 

I also discovered for the first time probably in my entire life I actually need a black cardigan. The black and mink cardigans are going on my wish list! I will be ordering another one of these next year during the sale. 

3) I started listening to Jen Hatmaker podcasts when I was flying back from ND. I LOVE this podcast!!!!!! Her recently one with Brene' Brown is a must listen too! Sometimes I need something uplifting. This podcast is exactly that! I always feel so much better about what is going on in my life after listening to Jen. She makes you feel like you are doing your best and your best is good enough!

4) The hurricane/flooding in Texas is so very sad! Last year Art and I went to the Houston area to look at possibly moving there. Maybe one day we will, but right now we aren't. The area that is flooding is right where we looked at moving. I saw pictures of MD Anderson the medical facility I want to go to. It is terrible! The place that helps thousands of people is flooded. It's really heart breaking to see MD Anderson flooded! I know so many people that go there. They are one of the few places that understand Medullary Thyroid Cancer and actually help people fight this ugly cancer. Lots of thoughts and prayers for everyone dealing with this catastrophe. 

5) I am not sure if I shared these paleo chocolate chip cookies on the blog in the past. Sometimes you just need chocolate chip cookies even when you are eating as healthy as possible. These cookies are amazing! My dad even liked them which says a lot. He thinks I eat the craziest stuff. If you want something healthy, non-dairy and paleo these are your go to cookies! I actually haven't bought the ingredients for them because I can't avoid them. 

I hope everyone has a great week!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Monday Thrive - August 21

I am trying to get us back into our routine after a couple months of craziness. G went to school every day for a month, then we were gone for a month and now we are trying to find our new groove. I thought I would share some of my traveling tips with a toddler and eating paleo in today's post. 

1) Last year in September I wrote a post about Traveling with a Toddler. I didn't want to be a traveling Gypsy this year, so I wanted to come up with a different way to bring a car seat. Two days before we left I ordered a luggage cart you can find HERE. I wasn't sure if I was going to use it or if I would use my Bob Stroller. I figured if I decided to use my Bob I would return the luggage cart. It was moments before our shuttle picked us up that I decided to leave the Bob at home and use the cart. Best decision!!!! 

I was traveling alone with G. I needed to have my hands free as much as possible. When we got to San Francisco Airport I told G the cart was too heavy and I needed help pulling it. He was really nervous about riding in it. I threw our carry on bags in there, pulled the luggage cart with car seat and my suitcase. I had him right beside me, so I could grab him if necessary. I had looked at the car seat carts which ran $50-$100. I looked at them numerous times online. I just thought they looked like a luggage cart and the they were marking them up because parents buy all this crap we think we need for kids. I am glad I went with a cheaper version. This will work great for us while we travel. We have 2 more trips coming up this year. I also like to bring our car seat on the plane. 

On our flight home G wasn't scared to ride in the car seat. We had an episode of a tantrum in the Denver Airport. I strapped him in there while he was whaling and got to our gate. 

2) Just buy your kid their own tablet! It's a life saver for traveling. We ended up buying him an Amazon Fire Tablet. I am still not sure I am happy with this purchase. I kind of wish we would have just spent the extra money and bought him an Ipad mini. You can download YouTube Kids on the Fire. G loves YouTube kids. If you are only going to let them use it for traveling this is no big deal then. 

I was able to download shows from Amazon Prime and Netflix. Just a helpful tip download the shows the day before you leave. I downloaded some of them and they expired before he could even watch them. Thankfully we realized this on the 1 hour flight. I had some new toy firemen I was able to pull out and save the day. Rookie mistake for downloading shows. :::eyeroll:::

I downloaded a bunch of podcasts for myself. These saved my sanity for the 3 hour flight. You go through a magazine way too fast! I downloaded a bunch of different ones. Jen Hatmaker has a new podcast I just love! I listened to some Dave Ramsey to help me stay on budget and My Favorite Murder. Those girls on My Favorite Murder are crazy. I can only listen to that podcast a little or become paranoid about being murdered. It's very unlikely I will be murdered on a plane, so I felt it was safe to listen on there. I had to then listen to Jen Hatmaker before I got off the plane. lol

3) Pack lots of snacks for everyone!!!! On the way to ND I packed some paleo pizza. Thankfully I packed 3 pieces. G ate one, I dropped one and I got to eat one. I packed the Kids RX bars. I love these! They are the perfect size! I packed G some of his favorite snacks - crackers, pouches, fruit leather, nuts. I usually pack a big bag of nuts. Both of really like them. 

I always pack a reusable water bottle for both G & me in our carry on bags. Once we are through security I find a place to fill them up. This saves you about $5-10 bucks. It's ridiculous what they charge for water in the airport. I did end up buying us a soda water on the plane to share. G was very excited about the juice. He thinks soda water is juice and I am just going to let him continue thinking that. =)  

You can usually find a salad in the airport. I have gotten a side salad from McDonald's skipping the dressing. Quizno's had a salad that I just had them skip the dressing that seemed to be paleo approved. I do the best I can when I am traveling. If I end up with a little sugar in a dressing I let it go. I can't eat dairy at all, so I always skip anything that might have dairy. 

4) Dress in comfortable clothes and layers! Why is take off so hot and when you are in the sky it is so cold? I am usually sitting in the airplane sweating like crazy before we take off. Then we get in the sky and I am shivering because it is so cold.  I wore some looser fitting boyfriend jeans, tshirt, jacket and converse. I need something that I don't need to be adjusting and tugging on. 

I dress G in usually one of his favorite shirts. It helps getting dressed early in the AM. It also can be a conversation we can have while waiting. What is on your shirt, what color is that, etc? I also put on easy shoes for him. As soon as he is strapped in his seat I take his shoes off and put them in one of the bags. He is known for kicking his shoes off right away. I just take them off, so they don't get lost. 

5) I packed a rollerball with lavender this year! This was a great thing. I would roll some on the bottom of G's feet and the back of my neck. It really helped us stay relaxed. Early mornings, cramped space, and long travel days do not mix well with a toddler. Thankfully he slept for 3 hours on the first flight. Then we had a FOUR hour layover. It was either a four hour layover or an over night layover. I picked the 4 hour one! While I love Frontier's prices I do not like their flying times 90% of the time. We also don't have many options that fly into ND. 

When we would get on the plane I would roll some lavender on us. When we got to Denver I had him run as much as possible. We went up and down the moving walk ways. Up and down the escalators. He walked around looking at different planes. Whatever we could do to get out some energy. Using the tablet is not an option once we have landed. I will give him toys to play with while we watch planes. 

G really did well! He has been on planes often, so he knows the drill. It is getting easier now that is older too. A lot less to pack. No diapers or bottles. Smaller toys. 

I hope everyone has a fabulous Monday!