• Travel

    Color Outside the Lines with Crayola Experience

    crayola experience orlando

    Where do crayons go on vacation? Color-ado!

    Or actually, to Orlando, Florida, we go. Cheesy mom jokes aside, our recent family trip down South included an all-day outing at Crayola Experience Orlando. Six colorful hours of melts downs (talking crayon-making, not my kids), too many hands-on activities to count, and lots and lots of coloring outside the lines – can’t think of anything more kid-friendly than that! It was Winter Break from schools, so you can imagine how packed Crayola Experience was with families all trying to entertain the kids.

    Our favorite attraction at Crayola Experience was the Melt & Mold – here the kids can create a ring, shark, car or seahorse souvenir out of crayon wax. Roman and Rhys each picked out a shark mold – no surprise because they love all things aquatic! The Drip Art station is a new spin on a timeless classic. We had fun loading freshly made crayons into the Drip Art machine and watching it melt and drip wax into a swirly-whirly work of art. And of course, we enjoyed the Crayon making station where you can customize the label with your name.

    As if all the creative activity stations weren’t enough, Crayola Experience also has playrooms and interactive floors that get the kids jumping and dancing. Pro tip: Plan out the top 5 attractions you want to hit up in advance. You could easily spend six hours at Crayola Experience (like we did), but if you don’t have that much time, make sure to plan out your visit in advance. All in all, we had a blast and Crayola Experience was a welcome break from the usual Orlando theme park hopping.

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  • holiday,  lifestyle,  personal

    Spreading 100 Days of Sunshine with Cuties

    This post has been sponsored by Cuties in conjunction with Collectively; all opinions are entirely my own.

    mom and son cooking in kitchen

    What is it about this tiny, seedless citrus fruit that makes kids go wild for it? Is it the cheerful, bright orange color? Is it that it’s perfectly sized for tiny hands?

    My children live for Cuties, especially my oldest son who insists it to be different than all the mandarins and other perfectly fine substitutes out there, and so I may or may not have called and/or driven around to at least 4 stores to get my hands on them. As lifelong fans of these darling clementines, and to celebrate the return of this delicious little citrus fruit this Cuties season, my kids and I are excited to partner with Cuties to share with you the #100DaysOfSunshine campaign, which its mission is to spread sweetness and sunshine to those we love!

    As a mother of three, it is so important to me to teach my kids core values like kindness and positivity, all year round. Cuties reminds us all that no matter how big our differences, they are no match for the power of love. Here are three things you can do right now with your kids to brighten someone’s day:

    1. Make a homemade wreath made with Cuties and share with your friends. Perfect as a festive holiday gift or decorating accent, or simply just because you love your friends, you can check out this Pinterest tutorial for how to make one of your own!
    2. Extend kindness beyond your family and friends, and say hello to someone you don’t know. One morning the kids and I went into a local mall to escape the rain. We decided to eat in the food court and my youngest son, Cole, was very drawn to an elderly gentleman eating by himself. Cole even gave him a high-five as we walked past him. After we ordered our breakfast, I decided to introduce ourselves to him. I asked if we could join him for breakfast. We learned that Christopher came to the United States from Ireland in 1953 when he was about 20 years old. He has two kids who he doesn’t get to see very often, and one of his sons even attended my old high school and eventually became the principal for some time. He said it made his day that we stopped to say hello!
    3. Give free hugs. Smiles and kindness don’t cost a thing. A couple years ago, I joined up with a group of friends to give free hugs in downtown Chicago. Armed with our handmade signs and smiles, we must have given out at least a hundred hugs to strangers and it was one of the best feelings in my life! I love to talk about this experience with my kids, and more importantly, what it meant to me to inject positive energy and kindness into the world!

    What are some things you and your family do to spread cheer to loved ones? I’d love to hear in the comments here, and don’t forget to join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #100DaysOfSunshine!

    mom and son cooking in kitchen

    kid biting an orange orange wreath wreath made out of oranges

    kids sharing cuties mandarin orangeskids sharing cuties mandarin orangeskids sharing cuties mandarin orangeskids sharing cuties mandarin orangeskids sharing cuties mandarin oranges

    kids sharing cuties mandarin oranges

     

  • fashion,  outfits,  personal

    Parenting Can Be Hard The First Year

    green jumper in the streets of chicago walk up

    Today, on one of the Facebook mom groups, I was reading about how some of the moms that has given birth just basically hated their partner for the first year. Was it like that for the Giant and I, yes and no. Yes because I was VERY hormonal and mourning the loss of zero sleep. There were times where i resented him and just wanted to punt him across the room. But for those times I wanted to strangle him, I also fell more deeply in love with him. More than I ever thought I ever could. He surprised me. Majorly. He surprised me with how great of a dad he’s become. How attentive, how passionate and sensitive, how hands on. Prior to us having our first child, I’ve seen the way he interacted with kids and it was awful. Lol. So a part of me was scared. By child #3, we had everything down packed so there was definitely less fighting. Parenting is so hard. Especially for first-time parents when you don’t know what the hell you’re doing and when you add lack of sleep on top of that, it’s just a disaster. It may not feel like it now but it definitely will pass and you’ll soon be lifted out of this funk, this fog. The first year is definitely the hardest for most parents. For us, I felt like the first six months was the toughest. So if you have a newborn and you’re in the thick of everything right now, just know it’ll pass and that you’re NOT alone. Trust me!

    green jumper in the streets of chicago walk upgreen jumper in the streets of chicago walk upgreen jumper in the streets of chicago walk upgreen jumper in the streets of chicago walk up

    walk ups in chicago

     

  • fashion,  giveaway,  outfits

    Show Me Some Shoulder

    free people show me some shoulder top

    Hope you all had a great weekend! Mother Nature blessed us again with great weather over the weekend so of course I have to whip out of my spring trends. It’s rare to say this but this weekend was pretty chill. Meaning we weren’t running around like crazy and got to just wing it. I was even able to meet my girlfriend in the city, sans kids, and spent FIVE glorious hours by myself. More on that another day.

    Btw, if you entered the Krusteaz giveaway last week, the winner has been chosen. Go here to find out if you’d won!

    free people show me some shoulder topfree people show me some shoulder top