DIY Painting Parties

Over the last couple years, I’ve fallen in love with painting.  It’s a fabulous form of therapy for me.  Recently a friend shared a website that you can subscribe to for videos of the same sort of step by step instruction you get at a paint party but that you can do at home, alone or with friends.  With the right room you could easily do your very one at home paint party.

So I signed up and tried a few of the paintings myself this weekend.  I did them on smaller then suggested canvases (cuz I had them on hand) so there is less detail then there could be but overall I really like the end result and think the instruction was perfect. There are lots of paintings to choose from but I picked these because they were customizable to represent our family, their themes sort of went together AND everyone knows me as the chick who only wears flip flops.

What do you think?

 

Check out PaintingParties.com for more info.  (I paid for the subscription myself and am not affiliated with the site in any way)

Mom’s Night Out: Craft the Night Away

A mom’s night out for a good cause, does it get any better?  When my friend asked if we wanted to do a craft night at her church that was a fundraiser for their MOPS program, I couldn’t resist.  Having been part of MOPS briefly while I was able to stay home when my two oldest were tiny, I think it’s a great organization. And I’ll take just about any excuse to hang out with my girls and craft!!

I wasn’t initially sure what I was going to work on…I always have a million ideas but my stuff isn’t super organized to travel well. I settled on a project for some decorations I want to make for a party but it was a little messier that I anticipated so I pretty quickly let that sit and simply the company and colors and some projects that were available as part of the event.

Included in the evening was a painting. It looked a little more challenging then I felt capable of but we gave it a shot.
Here was the instructors version…

 

Here’s how ours turned out…

I’m not really sure if purple poppies even exist but I apparently like to be different. Of course about 5 woman went with purple in the session following mine after they saw my ‘rebel’ painting so it didn’t end up being too different!

 

 

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Mom’s Night Out: Escape Chamber

You know how to tell that you have the world’s best friends? When you comment on wanting to try the latest thing you heard about….escape rooms and 20 minutes later they’ve found a Groupon and you’ve got a time slot booked!

Because we weren’t really familiar with the apparently wide spread phenomenon we didn’t realize there were so many, including one much closer but the groupon was for Escape Chambers in Milwaukee so we made an evening out of it and stopped for dinner before our time.  We planned to hit Rock Bottom Brewery but when we got there the wait was way too long. So we wandered across the street to Mo’s Irish Pub where we were seated right away and had the most amazing food. Oh and of course a cocktail…

Seriously the best grilled cheese and delicious tomato soup that was almost too cute too eat…almost!

We may have eaten a bit too much and were ready for naps after dinner, but we walked it off a bit by walking to the mall where Escape Chambers is located.  Once there we met the rest of our group (if you don’t meet the minimum group size for a specific room you’ll be combined with another party for your time) and learned the details of the room we selected.  Most escape room places have multiple different themed rooms to choice from Escape Chambers Milwaukee has four.  I won’t ruin any of the details for you but we chose the Stalk Photo room. Here’s the preview from their site:

So we had an hour to find the clues etc to escape…and we made it to the very last obstacle/lock but didn’t make it out before the time ran out.

“Almost” Escaped

It was fun but if I did it again I’d definitely make sure to go with enough people to make up the full group as we found the rest of our group fairly pushy and honestly didn’t listen to us or even let us see some of the elements (we never even made it into the last room to see the last lock, maybe we could have figured it out).

Although we didn’t QUITE escape, we figured we still deserved a treat and we’d seen Mo’s had a yummy looking cookie for dessert so we stopped back in for dessert before hitting the road.

And then as it usually is with this crew, a stop at Starbucks was a must…

 

 

 

 

:::Insert Cheesy Cliche Here:::

“They grow up so fast”…”Cherish every moment”…”They’re only little once”

All these are things that parents of young kids can easily tire of hearing. I know as a mom of two just over a year apart, I drew many comments from well intentioned strangers.  Thankfully, only once after becoming a mother for a third time did the urge to punch one of said strangers come to me, just for a moment, while at the pharmacy with two children dancing around my feet while a third cried to be held while I needed all the arms I had to handle what I was doing.  But I quickly reminded myself that this presumably very kind lady had not seen my morning and had no idea how much I’d “cherished” them that day and how little her ‘advice’ was helping me at that exact moment.

Now I don’t presume myself to be a wise old mom, ready to pass down all the answers to parenting, but I am far enough removed from the diapers and carseat, etc to know…they were right…it does go so quick!  I know I make empty-nesters giggle as I share my struggle to accept the growing up of my boys, the first of which will graduate 8th grade this year, but high school feels like such a huge milestone to me.  Being able to look eye to eye with my “baby” leaves me unable to deny that while in fact the days STILL are long, the years have flown by so insanely quickly.

I swear this feels like just yesterday and a thousand years ago all at the same time!

Mom’s Night Out: Paint Party

I love all things artsy or crafty so when a friend wanted to do a paint night, I was all for it. I was a total bonus that it was being held at a new-ish local restaurant we’ve been wanting to check out called the Chocolate Sanctuary. I mean does it really sound like you could go wrong there.

If you’ve never attended a paint night, there are lots of different companies that offer them now all over the country. This was the company doing the instructing for this one. They had two instructors and provide all the materials you need.
Of course, mom’s night out has to include a beverage and being held at the Chocolate Sanctuary it HAD to be a chocolate one!

Yes it was totally as yummy as it looks.

This was the end goal for the evening…

I must admit I struggled some along the way but eventually we all got something that looks at least some what as planned!!

If I could I’d do the bow over again…but over all it was a super fun night with great friends!

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We LOVE the 90s

There’s just something about the music from when you were a teenager that takes you back. So when I saw an ad on Facebook for a show practically in my backyard at a beautiful venue featuring Vanilla Ice, Coolio and Tone Loc, I HAD to go!!!!
So I rounded up the crew, made up some matching “Ice Ice Baby” t-shirts and we hit the town 90s style!!!

First we hit the bar, where I was so excited to see some themed specialty drinks…
I couldn’t resist having a Funky Cold Medina at a Tone Loc show, but the Ice Ice Baby had to be tried too…

If you’re familiar with any of these acts you’d probably wonder how they’d fill three hours (yes it was slated for a three house show). Of course they each did their big hits, they did some covers and they did some free stylin’. Mostly it was just a party. We sang along and danced the whole time. It was a total blast! SO glad we went!!

And I’m surprised this needs to be said but if you plan to see any of these guys (or similar) know that it won’t be completely kid friendly. We did see some pretty young kids and even some grown ups were slightly shocked by some of the content. That’s just your common sense PSA for the day!

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Drama Queen

I’ve probably been called a drama queen once or twice in my life. But never did I expect to called ‘assistant director,’ but I currently am. I offered to help with the drama club play this year at the middle school because last year it seemed like the teacher advisor didn’t have much help…and apparently I was right. I showed up to the first rehearsal and was declared the assistant director.
We’re running on a super short timeline with just 2 weeks of practice before they put on Death to the Drama Club. They’ve been working hard and I’m impressed with how far they’ve come, especially the lead parts, so quickly. And I’m enjoying getting to know a group of kids I mostly hadn’t met before. Hopefully I’ll have some fun photos to share of a successful show next week!!

Unlock and Save with @BestBuy #bbyunlocked #ad

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free

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I don’t know about you but my phone has become an extension of my body. While I do have some safety and etiquette rules for phones in our house, for the most part my phone is always at my side.  It is my keeper of lists, appointments and memories.  With no fewer than 3 alarms set at any given time it helps get us where we need to be on time, and it OFTEN helps me know how to get there too.  And of course the photos…oh the priceless photos I am able to capture because it’s always handy.  But what ISN’T handy is contracts, rules and restrictions from cell carriers.  But thanks to Best Buy, you know longer have to worry about restrictions when it comes to purchasing your perfect new phone.  You can now purchase unlocked mobile phones from Best Buy.  If you’re not familiar with unlocked phones, they’re the same great quality phones from the brands you already love, they just aren’t tied to a specific carrier or contract.  And right now, Best Buy has an Unlocked Smartphone savings event going on with sales on Samsung, Huawei, Moto, Sony, BLU, Alcatel and ZTE smartphones.

Moto: Save $50 on Select Moto Mods with purchase of Moto Z Play, valid 10/30/16-11/5/16

Huawei: Save $50 on the Honor 8 by Huawei plus get a free case, selfie stick and extra charging cable, valid 10/30/16-11/12/16

Samsung: Save $100 on the Unlocked Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, valid 10/30/16-11/12/16

BLU: Save $40 on the BLU Life XL, valid 11/6/16-11/12/16

Sony: Save $50 on the Sony XPERIA X Compact, valid 10/30/16-11/12/16

Disclaimer for all offers listed: Offer valid 10/30/16-11/12/16. Phones, service and coverage not available in all markets. Available in New Jersey. No dealers. See a Blue Shirt for details. 4G/4G LTE not available in all markets. Products must be purchased on same receipt to receive bundle/package savings.​​​​ 

Kid President and ConAgra Making Sure #ChildHungerEndsHere ad

This post is brought to you by Child Hunger Ends Here and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.

 

If you’ve never watched a Kid President video you really need to check him out. He’s funny andinspirational. And he and ConAgra teamed up this month to help raise awareness for child hunger.

It comes as no surprise that Kid President helped ConAgra meet it’s goal of donating the monetary equivalent of 100,000 meals to Feeding America, thumbtack-bigbut that doesn’t mean that you can’t still get involved and make a difference. To learn ways to fight hunger in your community visit www.childhungerendshere.com and click on the “How You Can Help” tab. The need is HUGE. The need is widespread. Kids from every state in our country face the reality of child hunger. In face, more than ONE in FIVE children may not know where their next meal is coming from. That’s over 15 million kids. That is NOT ok.

As a single mom, I’ve had to learn to pinch pennies. Some weeks we have been known to get creative with what is in the cabinets because unexpected expenses make things tighter then planned. And often the boys don’t get to toss everything they’d like into the shopping cart. But regardless of how they can occasionally feel, they’ve never truly gone without. That means they are better off then 20% of the kids in our country. If you can say the same for your family, please take the time today to do something to help those who are not as fortunate.

 

Because after all….

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Check out ConAgra online here:
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Enjoy #McCafeAtHome This Holiday Season #IC #AD

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for McCafé packaged coffee. I received product samples as well as a monetary promotional incentive to thank me for my participation.

 

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I LOVE the Christmas season.  I love the sights and sounds and the time spent with friends and family.  I love ALMOST everything about it.  There are actually TWO things that cause me stress this time of year. One is the cold white fluffy stuff that falls from the sky.  I know, it’s beautiful and I don’t mind it if I don’t have to get out and drive in it…or shovel it.  Thankfully it’s only snowed once so far this season.  It was a big heavy snow that actually wrecked some havoc but it WAS gorgeous….

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The second thing that stresses me out over the holidays is simply a lack of time.  With so many things I want to do and so many people we want to see there simply aren’t enough hours in the day.  For this reason, I spend this season more fueled by caffeine then any other.  My kids have learned that most of the time when we’re out running around and our car makes that turn in to McDonald’s, more often than not it’s for a little delicious pick me up.  This is why I was super excited when I hear that I can now brew delicious McCafé packaged coffee at home in both ground and K-Cup® pods forms.

20151213_140149You can now find McCafé packaged coffee in seven varieties including different roasts and blends, such as Premium Roast, French Roast, Breakfast Blend and Colombian, and different flavors, such as French Vanilla and Hazelnut where ever you buy groceries.  But don’t worry, your favorite McCafé beverages are will still be available in local McDonald’s this is just another way to enjoy them.

So far my favorite variety is also the first I tried, the McCafé Hazelnut K-CUPS.  I am in love with the fact that I can enjoy the flavor of McCafé with the simplicity of the K-CUPS, especially in this hectic season.  And while I typically grab my coffee on the go to be able to keep moving.  I made a point to take a breather, and enjoy one cup while curled up next to our Christmas tree, focusing on the joys of this season and why any lack of sleep is completely worth it for the memories we make with those we love this time of year!

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For more info about all the varieties and flavors of McCafé packaged coffee visit www.mcdonalds.com/mccafeathome or on Twitter: @McCafe