Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Bloggers in the Wild

I recently had the opportunity to try a newly opened treetop adventure course that happened to be a few miles from our home. I had read about the opening and was dismayed to find that it was for kids 10 and up and adults and so I put it out of my mind. But when the call when out for an opportunity to partake in some fun...I said why not?
Go Ape

Blue Jay Point County Park in North Raleigh is already a pretty awesome recreation area on it's own but now the addition of Go Ape Zip Line & Treetop Adventure makes it even better! It's a chance to partake in nature but at the same time test your true sense of adventure. I was happy to attend the event and meet up with an old friend and in the process make two new friends.

Taking a break before the next course


I was a bit hesitant when I arrived at the Go Ape office to check in, mostly because I have a slight fear of heights. I wondered if I would be able to let myself zip once at the top of the tree structures. Thankfully our group was supportive and quick to make sure each one of us was okay. There were some doozies on the course and it was nice knowing an encouraging word was only a yelp away. 

Always Stay Attached.

Even with a few questionable obstacles, we all made it to the end. There was only a time or two that the fear of heights made me waver but I was able to move past it and keep going. And I even tempted to try the difficult course towards the end but saved it for next time. I will say it was because I was weary...

Whee....there I go!
Our instructor (Cameron) was thorough and added a bit of humor to things without being over the top. Things were presented in a way that helped you remember what the rules were and that while fun, you still needed to be careful.

Awkward.

 We made it to the end and were better for it. Some of us stepped way out of our comfort zone, others just needed a break from the day to day and still others just wanted to have fun, I'd say Go Ape served all of us just what we needed.

Myself, Sarah, Reese and Essense.

Want to read what the other gals had say? Head over and check them out:

Disclaimer: I was given free admittance into Go Ape for the purposes of this review, but all words, thoughts and opinions are my own.








Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Ebook Review

A few months ago I was contacted by ebook author, Louie Lawent and asked if I would be interested in giving his book at look and review on my blog. So I obliged, because I thought it was a tremendous thing to write a book, for kids no less and publish it. The days of books being strictly in hard or paperback or long gone. I may not have the biggest, most popular blog but if I could help a fellow author out, why not?

Momma Don't You Worry is the story of a child who thinks he is too big for help from his momma and that she need not worry about his, as he is nearly 6. As a mother of a 6 year old the story spoke to me. We all want our babies to stay small and be able to always help them and yet they crave a certain amount of independence.

Mr. Lawent's story is a quick read with a lot of rhyming which will appeal to kids under the age of 8. It was a quick read and I was even able to get my six year old to read it to his little sister. The both got the lesson at the end of the book and it gave me a chance to open a discussion about age and help and independence. We also were able to talk about the emotions both characters might have been feeling at different parts of the story.

All in all a good quick read with an opportunity to expand on family discussions about feelings, rules and independence.


I was given a free copy of this ebook to review but all opinions are mine.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Three-nager to Four

In March out little girl turned 4 and like her brother, she could not wait to be another year older. I believe we began keeping track of the countdown to her and her brother's birthday back in December. But I get it, birthdays are special and all about you. I'm a big fan of being pampered and celebrated.

As she looks up to her big brother, she wanted to celebrate her day at the same place...Skyzone. And so we did...they jumped and laughed and we even had some tears. But that is life with a newly minted 4 year old. All drama. All. The. Time. I am not looking forward to the preteen or teen angst or drama. But hopefully I will be better prepared to deal and function during that time in her life.

After Skyzone the birthday girl requested we eat at Cowfish...a sushi burger joint that is pretty awesome. I mean, it has to be awesome if the kids are asking to go, right? We have yet to have a bad meal there and I have to admit when they ask to go, I giddy too.

This is how our favorite girl has grown from the side eye giving newborn to the sassy princess. Everyone says they grow up in a blink of an eye but I don't feel it. Not yet. I hope time always moves at the pace it is going and that my little girl is always my little girl.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Influenster, YSL and Moi

I am a member of Influenster and had the honor of receiving a much coveted VoxBox containing a YSL mascara! The mascara is their Yves Saint Laurent MASCARA VOLUME EFFET FAUX CILS.







I am a minimal makeup user but as I have started getting older and fine lines have begun to crop up I have decided I needed to step up my routine. As in actually wearing makeup daily. But with this comes a bit of trial and error and because of have sensitive eyes, not all mascara's are created equal.

I usually curl my lashes and put on a clear coat of mascara and call it a day. I even messed around with faux lashes but could never do it quite right. A friend suggested the Younique 3-d mascara and I hated it after a few weeks. Too clumpy, too messy and not the look I needed.

I had the opportunity to get some Latisse and that has done wonder for my lashes. But there a days you still want that va-va-voom. And I believe YSL has done it. Here is some photo proof:


Eye without mascara.

This is one coat of YSL

Most days one coat is all I will need. But the best part? My eyes did not get hurt or red, even when I accidentally rubbed my eye. But the YSL didn't bother me at all. Of course with an iconic brand like YSL, you know they do things right. The formula has B5 vitamin to strengthen the lash. I truly like how I did not end up with a racoon eye at the end of the night. The price of the mascara is about 32$, which is pricey, especially if you are coming from buying at the drugstore but I feel for such a brand and the job it did, it is worth it.


**I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.**

Want to receive products like these and help influence consumers and companies? Join me on Influenster!



Thursday, February 26, 2015

Where Does the Time Go?

This month our little man turned 6. There were moments where the time seemed to slow down and then it seems in the last year or so, it has sped right up. How can he be six? I remember bringing him home and just spending moments looking at him in wonderment. I was going through photos and video on the laptop and found some him at about 18 months. He still had that baby talk and baby face...and was so happy to stomp in a puddle of mud. He would stomp then squeal "again, again," and watching that video made my heart hurt. He will never be that little again, that innocent, that full of awe over the most simple of things.

As he gets bigger and older, I see a lot of myself in him. We both like to laugh, we both are stubborn and we both strive for perfection. It is quite awesome to see him do something and know I would do it the same way, with the same train of thought about it all. This may or may not be a good thing down the road.

He is still obsessed with all things Angry Birds. I thought it would get old but thankfully they keep pairing Angry Birds with things like Star Wars, race cars and now Transformers. These have all kept his attention focused with no time to like any super heroes. He may never get into super heroes and that's okay, there are so many other things for him to fanboy and geek out over...once we get past the Angry Bird stage.

Besides Angry Birds, he is quite a talented artist. He can sit all day and color, draw, cut and create. Both the husband and I are amazed at how he will remember something he has seen and then create it with accuracy. Art camp may be in his future!

He may be 6 but he is still my little man and will let us snuggle with him. He is sensitive and empathetic about his friends and their feelings. It is sweet to be 6 and I'm proud of our little man.





Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Memories of Our Starter Home

Now that another year has started and it is the month of our wedding anniversary, I tend to think about the years that have passed and how when we first got married we really had no clue. We just knew we were in love and happy and ready to say I do and go from there.

Going from there involved our first home together, starter home if you will. I don't think I realized the magnitude of what purchasing a first home really is. Case and point...I looked at pictures online and sent Hubby to look at them and determine if the outside matched what we saw inside and was in a decent neighborhood. I didn't step foot into our first home until after we were married and heading to Hawaii for our honeymoon.

It had everything I wanted: a fenced yard for the dog, a room for guest and room to grow. It was a bit dated but nothing we could not just throw a little elbow grease to and fix, paint, or change.

Our Starter Home

The above picture was the actual picture I found online and sent to my husband to tell him to drive by and checkout the neighborhood!

Green wall...um no.

The green wall was one of the first things that had to go. It made the room seem so tiny and because the room flowed on into another it was also rather shocking. I did not miss it when we painted it. Two primer coats and then a Valspar paint called Bungalow White made a huge difference.

All three bathrooms had 90's wallpaper in it and when we easily pulled wallpaper from the first bathroom without any issues, we were optimistic about the other two. We should not have been...they were awful to get off. We had to spray and score them and spray some more. It was a nightmare. But the wallpaper had to go and it did. I don't have pictures of all the bathrooms but we did the guest bathroom in a beautiful teal color.


New wall color, slate floor, fixtures and sink and suddenly our starter home was beginning to truly feel like ours. That's the thing about moving on from an apartment and into a house...there is always work that needs to be done. Even if you move into something that is brand new, you will always be looking to decorate or change things.

Ready for a closeup

We changed the color of the home a few years into living in the house. One thing you can't change easily is where you move. I knew the general area we were moving to but I didn't really know. Besides looking at crime stats, there wasn't a cool website to give me insight about where I was moving. (After we wed, I moved from Florida to Georgia where my husband works.) We weren't moving into Atlanta proper and I quickly learned that where we moved was considered "country". The truth was, it wasn't. While it might not have been the perfect place for two young-ish newly weds it worked.

What might have worked even better? Something like this cool site: Compass Searching for an apartment in the Big Apple (NYC for those that don't know) Compass breaks down things by neighborhood so you can match your personality with the area you might want to live. Commute times, nearest subways, the neighborhood lifestyle. Gives you ideas for places to go eat, workout, indulge. Find your perfect hood? Set your parameters and search away for the perfect home. I was impressed and had a few Sex in the City Dreams... Go ahead, check it out. If you are like me searching for real estate, even if you are in your forever home is fun.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thanks for the Memories

 The Christmas season is almost upon us. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't ready...because the truth is I have my Christmas cards ready to be addressed and put in the mail. This year I had another opportunity to try out the folks at Cardstore. While they aren't the only kids on the block with a lot of selection they really impressed me with what they had and how easy it was to get a card personalized. Here are some of my favorites:

Chalkboard Flair

Because Deer are so IN!



Who doesn't love these?

Cheers!

Perfection!
All of these cards can be changed up so they truly represent you and your wishes for the season to the recipients. Cardstore will also mail your cards out for you. I was really happy with the design I chose and how fast the turn around time was on them. And if you aren't happy, they stand behind their product 100%.This week they are even offering 30% off and shipping is free if you spend at least 30$.

Real life can sometimes make the picture. And this year Cardstore is giving away a $1,500 Visa gift card along with a Nikon CoolPix camera for your best real life candid Christmas photos. The top three photos with the most votes are the winners. That's right, you can get your family and friends in on the fun. I know when I look back at the pictures from the season I am more impressed with the candid shots. The looks of joy or exasperation that you just happened to snap. The cat in the Christmas tree...for the 10th time. The kids passed out in their matching jammies waiting on good ole Saint Nick to arrive. Life is all about these moments, the real moments.

**I was compensated by Cardstore for this post. All opinions are mine**