Top Ten Things I have said to My Son While Potty Training

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Potty training is a journey into the unknown, for you and your child. While potty training, you will find yourself trying to be a good teacher by: motivating, encouraging, and making this natural experience fun.  Don’t get me wrong, potty training isn’t fun, but you have to pretend it is, for your child’s sake. Even though potty training isn’t as fun as eating ice cream or jumping into a pit of foam, it can be quite hilarious. There have been many of times where I have had to hold back my laughter while I (gently) correct my son on where his pee and poop goes. He has taken a liking to going into the closet, closing the door, and peeing…on the floor. I have had more pee on me while potty training than I ever did when he was a newborn. And nothing I mean, NOTHING is funnier than a naked baby running around the house laughing their little butts off.

Here are the top ten things I have found myself saying to my son, over and over again, since we started our potty exploration.

  1. Pee goes in the potty, not on mommy’s leg. But seriously, we have been reading books (on many occasions) RIGHT NEXT TO THE POTTY and all of a sudden I feel pee sliding down my leg.
  2. You can’t flush until you get off the potty. He also tries to flush the toilet while I am still sitting on the toilet.
  3. Stop touching your pee while you are going potty. I can only assume this is normal, but really kid, stop touching your pee.
  4. Get your hands out of your butt. I know, it is really exciting to have open access to down there, but that doesn’t mean you have to sit around scratching it whenever you feel like it.
  5. Do not throw the dog’s carrot treat into your potty. I have already had to tell the dog that the potty wasn’t a new water bowl.
  6. Stop playing with yourself on the potty. It is impossible to pee and play with yourself at the same time. Or at least, I think it is, I am not a boy.
  7. Dogs pee outside, big boys pee in their potty. I just feel like referring to the dog as our son’s brother has confused him during this whole potty training adventure.
  8. You have to stop sitting on your potty to read and go to bed. I love that my son loves to read. And I love the fact that telling him I will read him a specific book will get him to at least go into the bathroom. With that being said, we are not going to read five books on the potty, then five more in the bedroom before bed, you sneaky little child.
  9. It is okay to make noises while you poop. We have only had two poops on the potty so far. One of which I grunted (with him) while reading Are You My Mother? I seriously can’t make this stuff up. The things we do for our children. FYI that poop was huge and I was one proud mom.
  10. You can’t get completely naked every time you have to go to the bathroom. I think I have one of those kids that believe the only way you can go to the bathroom is to be naked. Oh, public restrooms, you are the new devil.

And the fun has only just begun!

Book Review: Daughters of the Bride by Susan Mallery

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After losing their father at a very young age, Rachel, Sienna, and Courtney are more than happy to see their mother remarry. Courtney, the youngest of the three sisters, is practically planning the entire wedding while her family thinks she is just a hotel maid. Sienna, the middle sister, is stuck in another questionable relationship. Rachael, the oldest sister, has been divorced for two years after her husband cheated on her. Set in Los Lobos, California, four women find love in more than one way.

Susan Mallery has done it again. She has made me fall in love with fictional characters that I wish were my sisters. Daughters of the Bride, Susan Mallery’s newest , stand-alone novel is a hit. I can only hope that it goes from a stand-alone novel to a series because I need to find out what happens next for these wonderful women. Susan Mallery has a unique way of writing each and every character in her novels, even the non-human characters. She makes you feel a connection with each of them,which isn’t always easy when it comes to writing about multiple people in such detail.

Courtney, the youngest, is  a motivation. After dropping out of high school, moving away from her family, and working at a burger joint, she decides to turn her life around and surprise her family with the outcome. I just love a good underdog story. Her love interest, Quinn, made me swoon. The romance scenes were hot. Let’s just leave it at that. I think it is pretty cool that she lives and works at a hotel.

Sienna’s story is really interesting. Shortly after the novel begins, she accepts her third engagement; the first two fell apart for various reasons and she isn’t sure about this one, either.  Sienna is a hard worker and loves her job. Her most recent fiance is a bit of a jerk with a crazy mother. A reoccurring theme in Daughters of the Bride focuses on how Sienna is the middle sister and feels left out more often than not. Middle Sister Wines are mentioned several times throughout the book. I kept hoping they were real because their names are so quirky and fun. After doing a quick Google search, I found out they are not just fictional wines but a real winery in California. I am now kind of obsessed with them and plan on going buy some.  Wouldn’t it be great if the book came with a wine coupon?

Rachael is a single mother to an 11 year old boy. Her story broke my heart; I just felt so bad for her over and over again. Rachael is a stubborn character. She is a lot like me actually. She hates to ask for help because she thinks she can do everything by herself instead of trusting other people to do something the “right” way.  I really never understood her back issue, though. It was kind of thrown in there and never completely explained. I guess it has to do with the fact that she is on her feet all of the time because she is a hairdresser. I was most satisfied with her ending.

Maggie, the girl’s mother, is planning a fabulous pink wedding to her second husband, Neil. Her ideas are outrageous and hilarious. It made me want to plan my wedding all over again. I mean, every wedding needs kazoos and pink swans in a chlorinated pool, right?

Here’s to wishing for another installment of Daughters of the Bride. Until then, I’ll just buy a few bottles of Middle Sister Wines and think of all of the fond memories I made by reading Susan Mallery’s enchanting story of finding true love.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Friday Five

How long has it been since I have done one of these? FOREVER. Seriously, having a kid this age (26 months) is no joke! He is currently watching Little Bear (throw back to the Nick Kids 90’s era) while I write this.

  1. Have you watched the new season Orange is the New Black yet? We have 15 minutes left of episode 13. We are dragging it out because we just don’t want it to end. I read a spoiler in Entertainment Weekly about episode 12 by mistake. They really should have put SPOILER ALERT on the top. I know most people binge watch the show, but us parents do not have the time (or the stamina) to binge watch anything anymore. Needless to say, I still cried when it happened.
  2. Have I mentioned that we are potty training around these parts? We were doing it hardcore for about a week and a half, but decided Jimmie’s bladder just wasn’t big enough yet, and took a step back. Two days ago, he brought me his potty to go pee in it. Hilarious. He really needs to learn how  to say pee and poo and pull his own pants down ASAP so we can carry on. Although, with the taste of full on potty training, I am in no rush to clean up more pee off my carpets.
  3. Summer officially arrived last week. We have had a few days in the 90’s and I am not a fan. I was loving the low 80’s days. I’m ready for fall and pumpkin season.
  4. Speaking of fall, Jimmie is starting preschool in the fall. He will be  going two days a week for 2 1/2 hours. What will I do with all of this free time? Hopefully blog and clean the house! (Oh, and maybe eat a meal in peace.) I’m so excited for him to meet little friends and do all the Pinterest activities that I want to do but don’t really feel like doing. His teacher is awesome.
  5. I am thrilled to announce that Huffington Post published my essay, An Open Letter to New Moms Who Want to Make Friends. This is my second piece that has been published. Not only did they publish, but it is the headliner on Huffington Parents today, which is a huge honor. If my words can help just one other mom, then I will be happy. Being a new parent is exhausting, emotionally and physically,  we should support each other and encourage each other, every single day.
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Nature Centers are the BEST. Hello, Mr. Toad.

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Book Review: The Bourbon Thief by Tiffany Reisz

thiefThe Bourbon Thief by Tiffany Reisz is pure perfection. This jaw-dropping, juicy novel will keep surprising you from start to finish. I didn’t know what to expect from The Bourbon Thief. To be honest, I probably wouldn’t have read it if it weren’t for the fact that I was just in Kentucky a few weeks ago. I’m so glad the Maker’s Mark tour sparked an interest in bourbon for me (not the taste, just the history and process). If it weren’t for that tour, I wouldn’t have given this book a second thought. With all that aside, I’m so glad I gave this book a chance. Bourbon lovers (and haters) will enjoy this piece of literary fiction.

Tamara Maddox is a spoiled, rich girl who is set to inherit Red Thread, a multi- million dollar bourbon distillery, once her grandfather dies. Since her own father, and uncle, have died, she is next in line to continue on the Maddox tradition of making and selling top notch bourbon in Lexington, Kentucky, and all around the world. Tamara likes to ride her horse Kermit, and flirt with Levi, the hired help that tends to the horses. Levi happens to be quite a bit older than Tamara and is off limits, but  that doesn’t stop her from trying to get a Birthday kiss from him.

It is said that the Maddox family is cursed. Paris, who just “happens” to stumble into Cooper McQueen’s bar, was born and raised in Kentucky. After seducing him and going home to his large estate, Paris finds herself in the presence of the last bottle of Red Thread. Paris tells Cooper a tale that not many people know. All the lies, secrets, and love between the Maddox family pulls Cooper into a story that he will never forget.

The tale of Tamara Maddox is so shocking that you won’t be able to put it down. Just when I thought there couldn’t possibly be any more surprises, Tiffany Reisz threw another insane twist into the mix. I can’t describe my feelings of horror throughout this entire book. I just can’t imagine one family having so many deep, dark secrets, it is unbelievable.  I kept telling my husband, “This book is really starting to get good!” I probably said that to him ten times because it just kept getting better and better. I’ll warn you, there are some steamy parts in the novel. At first, I thought it was going to be a dirty romance novel, but there are only a few portions that get hot and heavy.

You really will learn a lot about Bourbon from this novel. After reading it, I wish I could enjoy the taste, but alas, I’m still not a fan. I’m am, however, a fan on Tiffany Reisz. Check out her newest novel, The Bourbon Thief, it is a summer must-read. Right off the bat, you will be consumed by a narrative that will hopefully makes your own family history seem a little less crazy.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: One Paris Summer by Denise Grover Swank

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Sophie Peterson and her brother Eric are spending the summer in Paris, France, with their father and their new stepmother. Their father left them back in America almost a year ago with barely any advanced notice or too much communication since. Not only are they meeting their dad’s fiance for the first time in Paris, the day before their wedding, but they are also meeting their soon-to-be stepsister, Camille. Camille is set on making the summer miserable for her new “little sister.” Sophie has no desire to be in Paris, she needs to focus on the piano since she is applying for a scholarship in the fall. The only reason she is going to Paris is because her father promised there would be a piano for her to play. When he falls through on his promise, she learns that a cute French boy, one of Camille’s friends, happens to own a Steinway. Maybe Paris won’t be so bad after all

I am a sucker for any book set in Paris, especially if it is a young adult book. One Paris Summer started off really slow. Towards the middle, it picked up speed and started to keep my interest. I really enjoyed learning a little bit of French and reading about all the amazing sites to see in Paris; all the places I will one day visit. I also enjoyed reading about all of the French pastries, I am going to go on a diet before Paris, just so I can fatten up on sweets.

The growing relationship between Mathieu, Camille’s friend, and Sophie was drawn out nicely. I always like it when it is a bit of a challenge for characters to form friendships; it makes a book more intriguing. As for other relationships, like Camille and Sophie’s, I found it to be a bit over the top. I can’t imagine all of that stuff happening right before parent’s eyes and them not doing much about it, although they were unaware of many of the incidents. I also didn’t understand Eric’s obsessive behavior towards his sister and dating, also a bit dramatic.

Overall, if you’re looking for a beach read, plane read, a book that doesn’t require much deep thought, this one if for you. Plus, it’s about Paris, so it can’t be too bad, right? Now I need to go buy myself a crepe.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Fit Snack Subscription Box Review June 2016

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We ate all of out June 2016 Fit Snack snacks way too fast. My husband was asking me the other day if we had anymore, unfortunately, I had to tell him no.

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Grayson Natural Beef Jerky: Jim ate this and said it was pretty good. They are made with 100% grass fed beef. They are mountain raised, hormone free, and antibiotic free.

Nature’s Path Qi’a Bar: This bar is made with nuts so it went to Jim right away. He said it was really, really good. It is made with roasted peanuts, dark chocolate, chia, and hemp seeds.

Kiwa Chips: I love me some healthy chips. These were awesome!

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Burkart Organic Died Fruit: My husband has been enjoying this big bag of dried fruit. Watch out for the seeds! The dried fruit is all organic, preservative free, sulfur free, and there isn’t any added sugar.

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High Brew Coffee: I received a can of this naturally caffeinated coffee before and I was excited to see a can in this box. So yummy!

Krackin’ Kamut Ancient Grain: We haven’t tried this yet. You can either snack on it or put it on a salad.

Tranzend Detox Stix: We probably won’t use these. They say that after using them you will stress less, sleep better, and feel amazing. Sounds like a miracle.

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Smartypant Vitamins: These were the best gummy vitamins I have ever had, and Jim agrees. We received a men’s packet and a woman’s packet. Too bad the serving size is 6 and we only received 2 of each, which I found odd.

If you have never heard about Fit Snack, please check out another one of my posts about the amazing subscription box company based out of Colorado. I love how each box comes with new exercises, workout tips (this month was a four week fit challenge), and coupon codes for some of the snacks in the box.

For your chance to WIN a free Fit Snack box, head on over to their contest page here. There is a chance to win every month. Enter today so that you can start snacking healthy tomorrow!

I was sent a Fit Snack box in exchange for an honest review. All of the options are my own. Thanks Fit Snack!

June 2016 Road Trip Day 4 and 5

We woke up in Kentucky on Day 4 and went to sleep in Ohio that night. Traveling in our country is wonderful; there is so much to see and so much to do. You can go through so many states in one day. We are lucky to live in such a fascinating place.

We actually didn’t have a ton of stops planned for this day because I wanted to get to our hotel in Cincinnati for check-in so that we could get ready for the wedding. Our first stop was Starbucks, on the way to our second stop. I bought my one, and only, mug from the trip in Kentucky. I also purchased an iced coffee.

Our second stop was a Japanese Friendship Garden in Georgetown, Kentucky: Yuko-En. Since we spent two years in Asia, I go to places likes this with high expectations, and I’m usually underwhelmed. This garden was extremely disappointing because it is right next to a main road; not very peaceful, my friends. At the very least, it was free. We were only there for about 30 minutes and then we were back on the road towards Ohio.

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Welcome to Ohio, it’s been waiting for you.

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Turn in here to park.

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Our first stop in Ohio was the American Sign Museum in Cincinnati. I can’t even begin to tell you how cool this place is. The military discount brought each ticket to only $10. There isn’t a word to describe this museum’s awesomeness. We did the 11 AM tour and learned more than we could have ever dreamed of about signs and their history, our guide was very passionate about signs. The tour is a must do! There is free parking at the museum, as well. In what other city can you find free parking? They also do weddings. I told Jim if we ever get married again (to each other, of course) we are having it at the American Sign Museum.

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We have never had Big Boy burgers

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We really got into selfies this trip

I never wanted to leave the museum, but all good things must come to an end. After the museum we drove right down the street to Camp Washington Chili. We were told by our tour guide at the museum that it is the best chili in town. I had no idea what Ohio chili was until I asked our tour guide. He informed me that it is is chili and cheese on top of spaghetti…say what? Apparently, it’s Greek.  You have to try it. It is interesting, to say the least. There is also free limited parking in a lot behind the restaurant.

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Small 3 way, with beans (yes, they call it that), and a Coney.

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After lunch, even though we were stuffed, we went to Aglamesis Brothers for ice cream, in Oakley Square. This place is a quaint, old fashioned soda shop built in 1913 and is currently run by third generation family members. We sat at the bar and had sundaes. It was a fun experience, and the ice cream was pretty good, too. I was bummed that the banana chocolate chip ice cream wasn’t ready to be served yet. Before out trip, we were told by a friend that Graeter’s ice cream is really good, too. We would have went there if it weren’t for the fact that the candy shop owner, from the day before, suggested Aglamesis.

After ice cream, we headed over the hotel. Nothing special, just a hotel. We kind of hate hotels now that we have been doing AirBnB (except Disney hotels, of course). We only stayed here because of the wedding shuttle. Let’s just say the hotel was full of kids on sports teams (and their parents) who kept us up well past midnight and the staff didn’t do anything about it. Someone also filled their cooler with ice at midnight, which was right down the hall. Who does that?

The wedding we attended was beautiful. It could not have been a more picturesque golf club with big open windows where the ceremony was held, as well as, the reception. I wish I would have stopped to soak in the sunset, and actually take pictures. The food was great (especially the dessert bar) and we had a lovely time catching up with people we don’t get to see very often.

Day 5 was blah. We woke up at 6:30 and hit the road by 7. It was a rough trip home. We stopped just outside of Pittsburgh to eat lunch at Hoss’s (because I’m obsessed) and made it home by 4 PM to a sick little boy. He was so happy to see us, which made me feel happy and horrible at the same time.  He basically just wanted to cuddle the rest of the night, and the rest of the week. He finally started feeling better around Wednesday and was completely recovered by Friday. (I’m blaming it on his teeth, as always.)

Where will we be heading next? Only time will tell!