Thursday, July 30, 2015

Tropical Escape Cocktail

Today I'm welcoming my friend Stephanie from Raising a Family on a Budget. She is sharing her Tropical Escape Cocktail which definitely has me dreaming of palm trees. Make sure to catch up with Stephanie on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter

White sandy beaches.  Turquoise water.  Warm sunshine on your face.  The
smell of coconut in the air.  The cabana boy making the rounds with trays
of fruity tropical drinks spiked with rum and little umbrellas in them.
Sounds just about perfect.

The reality is I'm a homesteader in the middle of suburbia, and a tropical
vacation is no where on the horizon.  The closest I can get is a great
tropical cocktail, and the fresh air sitting in our backyard with the soft
grass under my toes instead of the white sand.  Luckily, this cocktail can
transport me back to the beaches of St Croix in just one sip.

Tropical escape cocktail

Tropical Escape

1 1/2 ozs Malibu Coconut Rum
1 1/2 ozs Hypnotiq
3 ozs orange juice
3 ozs cranberry juice

Place ingredients into a cocktail strainer and shake. Strain and pour into
a glass over ice. Little umbrella optional.

Stephanie is the "domestic goddess" in charge of the Huston home. She has
three children ages 2-7yrs, and has been married to her husband, Steve,
for 14 years.  While she's still a Jersey girl at heart, Morrisville, PA
is now home.  You can read about her adventures in frugal living &
homesteading on her blog Raising A Family On A Budget.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Spilled Lemonade

uninterrupted adult conversation

Today I yelled over spilled lemonade. It wasn't my finest moment. And in my head I could hear all the voices saying, "don't cry over spilled milk" and I had just yelled over spilled lemonade.

But it wasn't the lemonade that did me in. It was the day. It was that I had made more meals before noon than most people eat in a day. It was the half wasted granola bar and the cup of sour milk that sat on the table, while the four year old asked if it was lunch time yet.

It was the endless requests to make lemonade. And "can we make it now", "is it time to make lemonade yet?", "mom are you done your coffee yet". It was the relentlessness. And the fact that a 5 minute task had now taken me a half an hour and if I hadn't been interrupted so many times I would be done.

It was all the canceled plans and that desperate feeling that I could use just ten solid minutes of uninterrupted adult conversation. Or just ten minutes of uninterrupted anything.

It's the peach cobbler that overflowed and is burning the bottom of my oven because I was too distracted to use the right sized pan. It's the house filling with smoke and the dog barking because the mail lady insists on sitting in my driveway and texting. It's the noise, the chaos and the drama.

A 4 year old stomping his feet and saying, "I'm going to my room". And me saying, "no you're not who is going to clean this mess". Cause I'm certainly not.

It's the endless mess, that spills out of the playroom and into the living room and creeps it's way to the dining room and the kitchen. It's a sea of Lego's and Action Figures and stuffed animals that just keeps growing and growing until I feel like I might drown in the stuff.

It's the voice in the back of my head that keeps saying, "Enjoy these days", And it's the guilt I feel instantly for not enjoying every moment, even though I know that's impossible. It's the guilt I feel that we aren't doing something FUN today. It's the insane guilt I feel that every day isn't FUN. That some days are just days when laundry needs to be done and errands need to be run and Mom has some work to do.

It's all of this. All of this, over and over again, day in and day out, that has lead me to yelling over spilled lemonade. Because it's never really about the lemonade.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

6 Reasons Why Sweet Suite is my Favorite Blogging Event

On my birthday I attended Sweet Suite 15 at Pier 60 in New York City. Sweet Suite is "the biggest night of play" and it really lives up to that. This is my second year attending Sweet Suite and it exceeded all of my expectations, and solidified Sweet Suite as my favorite blogging event and here's why.

6 Reasons Why Sweet Suite is my Favorite Blogging Event. 

A chance to look at toys without kids. 

Have you ever suggested to your child that you look at the toy section in Target. If you haven't then you are smarter than me, but if you have then you know how painful of an experience it is. And how the "Mom can I haves..." never end. And I ask myself every time I do it why did I say those words. But the thing is I like to look at toys, I like to see what is new, I like to get ideas in my head for Birthdays and Christmas. And I love that I can do this at Sweet Suite without all the nagging.

Meeting with Brands in a Fun Atmosphere

I'm the first to admit that I'm not great at approaching someone I don't know and starting a conversation. But at Sweet Suite it's so easy to walk right up to a brand and chat about a toy and start a relationship. The atmosphere at Sweet Suite is fun, playful and interactive. You never feel like you are on the spot, every one is there to have a good time and talk toys. And sometimes the best relationships can be built when everyone is having fun. 

Getting to Play
At home when my son says "Mommy come play" it's usually followed by, "no you can't be that guy" or "that's not where that goes" or "Batman would not do that Mommy". I'm never playing the right way. At Sweet Suite I get to play and even ride on some of the hottest new toys. I may dread the words Mommy come play but, Mom still does love to play.

kick flipper
Trying out the Kick Flipper

Hanging with other Bloggers

Sweet Suite isn't just for networking with brands, it also gives you a chance to get to know other bloggers and have some fun with them. It's hard to be introverted and aloof when there is a giant Care Bear in the room. It's easy to let your guard down when someone is telling you, you must dress up as a cabbage patch kid. Friendships and blogging relationships have been forged at Sweet Suite.

Playing dress up with Shell

I'm Ahead of the Game

Sweet Suite gives bloggers a chance to see all the new toys that will be hot this holiday season. I feel like I've gotten a sneak peek inside Santa's workshop to know what will be on all the kids wishlists this year. And for a Mom this is crucial intel to have. I came home with so many great ideas about what will be under the tree this year. So now when all of the toy catalogs come out I will already have seen or played with the hottest toys and know what are the must haves.

Transformers by Hasbro

The Box of Awesome

About a week after Sweet Suite this giant box of awesome arrived at my door loaded with toys. I might have squealed in delight and tore that box open. Not only is the box full of toys it is full of opportunities the press packet alone was pure gold in my opinion. I love looking at all of these fun toys and thinking of different ways I can write about them. The brands do a fabulous job of giving bloggers a piece of the fun. Check out my video with highlights from the box of awesome.