Saturday, November 10, 2018

Share Your Ears: A Cute & Simple "Mickey Mouse Ears" Hairstyle

Share Your Ears! A Cute & Simple Mickey (or Minnie) Mouse Ears Hairstyle #hairstyles #mickeymouse #ShareYourEars

This post is sponsored by Make-A-Wish Foundation but the content and opinions expressed here are my own. 

During the month of November, many families like mine focus on volunteering and giving back. This month, there's a fun and easy way to do so! In celebration of 90 years of Mickey Mouse, and to honor the 100,000th wish granted from Make-A-Wish, Disney is asking fans to "Share Your Ears" to help make wishes come true for children with critical illnesses!

It's so easy to join in on the fun, and help make a difference! From now until November 27th, 2018, all you have to do is publicly share a photo of you or your family showing off your Mickey Mouse ears or any creative "ears" on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter using #ShareYourEars and Disney will donate US $5 to Make-A-Wish. Disney will be donating as part of the Disney Team of Heroes commitment to give comfort and inspiration to families around the world!

Maybe you are already a Disney fan and have your own Mickey Mouse ears. If not, you can still easily participate by making your own! ANY ears will do! At 22 weeks pregnant, I'm not really feeling overly creative right now, but if you have long hair, it is super easy to create "ears" using your own hair! Not only is it simple to do, but it's super cute, too!

Friday, November 9, 2018

A Few Of My Favorite Things

Happy Friday! It has been a few weeks since I shared a few of my favorite things, and my love list just keeps getting longer. I have so many new favorites that I would be typing forever if I included them all, so I'll just share some today, and some more next Friday!

If I'm going to be perfectly honest, much of my focus these days is on my kids and the new baby that we were not the least bit prepared for! (And if you missed the news, here you go!) It has been 5+ years since our last baby was born, and so many things have changed since then. Plus, we have to purchase almost everything again, because we were DONE. When I'm feeling so sick all the time, I don't really love much for myself, so most of my favoites are for kids!

Here are a few of the awesome things that made my love list...

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Living the Beach Life

Living the Beach Life in Myrtle Beach

I made it my goal to complete our Myrtle Beach Family Vacation Recap within 3 months of our trip ending. I had to be reasonable, considering I'm currently growing a tiny human who is incredibly worth it, but making me so sick every single day! I wasn't able to mention it before breaking the news, but we actually figured out we were expecting shortly after we arrived in Myrtle Beach. I'll save THAT story for another day!

We're quickly moving toward that 3 month mark, but I'm so close to finishing! Only three more days to go after this one. I just need to make my way through 1,000 more pictures. For now, I'm keeping this throwback thursday post short and sweet today...

Monday, November 5, 2018

Life Lately:The Pregnancy Edition

Life Lately: The Pregnancy Edition

Happy November! Life Lately has been very busy and very exciting. If we're friends on Facebook or Instagram, you probably already heard the news...if not, all you have to do is read my previous post!

Although the busyness of life isn't going to slow down, I'm finally able to function better. I'm hoping to get back to a regular blogging schedule in this month. I missed writing and reading blogs so much while I was sick!

Here's a peek at life lately...

Friday, November 2, 2018

The Perfect Toys for Holiday Travel

Perfect Toys for Holiday Travel from Mouse Loves Pig

This post is sponsored by Mouse Loves Pig. 

Halloween seems to be the official start of the Holiday season! We go straight from Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas to the New Year, and the time we spend traveling increases so much. Keeping our younger kids happily occupied while traveling is so important!

On our last road trip, we took along screen-free travel toys from Mouse Loves Pig, and they were an instant hit! With four (soon to be five!!!) kids in the car, space is limited. But the sweet, handmade playsets that we received folded up so small that I could easily fit two of them in my purse!

Not only are are these playsets perfect for travel, but the small shop is impressive, too! Ruth, the owner, put so much thought into these toys, and has such a big heart. Toys from Mouse Loves Pig are designed for quiet, open-ended play, made from organic materials, and beautifully handmade by ladies in a workhome based in Nicaragua. These toys quickly made my list of must haves, for so many reasons...

Monday, October 29, 2018

Announcing Our Plot Twist

Pregnancy Announcement Ideas

Last night, we finally made our huge announcement! We had been keeping it a secret since August, so it was a relief to finally tell everyone. I know many people expected a new house, a big move, or a career change, but there were a few who expected a pregnancy announcement. And those few people were right!

I know many of you follow me on social media, but I had to make the news blog official, too. This was definitely the funniest addition sentence we've ever written! We weren't sure how we were finally going to announce our 5th and final pregnancy, but we decided a little bit of humor and a whole lot of love was the way to go!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Kids & Music: The Many Benefits of Music Education

Kids & Music: The Many Benefits of Music Education featuring Guitar Center

This post is brought to you by Guitar Center and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.

My husband and I have musical backgrounds. When we were kids, we played instruments in band, sang in the choir, and performed in musicals. We actually met when we were cast as the leads in a musical, as Adam and Eve! As parents of 4, there isn't much time for our musical interests these days, but he still plays guitar, and I sing loudly to show tunes during my Mom Taxi duties. We are trying so hard to make music a big part of our kids' lives!

Music Lessons for Kids

Raising children is tough. There are many battles to overcome, and sometimes, as parents, we have to seek alternative methods. Music education can benefit ALL kids, and the benefits are endless! Encouraging children to sing or play an instrument can potentially improve many aspects of their lives. Music education builds social skills, creates discipline, leads to higher self-confidence, builds hand-eye coordination skills, leads to academic improvement, improves retention and cognitive reasoning, and allows kids to express themselves. Music can also lower anxiety and improve physical well-being! Just think about it...doesn't music make you feel happy?

My husband and I encourage our kids to make music a daily part of their lives in some form. They might express themselves by creating tunes with a program on the computer, by singing, by dancing, or by banging VERY loudly on instruments, but all four of our kids embrace music. And if they need a little help along the way, Guitar Center is there to help with all forms of music education!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Destination Moon: Family Fun at the Heinz History Center + GIVEAWAY

Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission at the Heinz History Center

This post is brought to you by the Senator John Heinz History Center and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own. 

Over the weekend, my family headed into Pittsburgh to visit the Heinz History Center. We couldn't wait to explore Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission! The Heinz History Center is one of four museums to host the Smithsonian's breathtaking traveling exhibit, which will be on display until February 18, 2019. This exhibit is a must see!

This was our first visit to the Heinz History Center, and I'm so glad we finally got the chance to go! I didn't realize how family-friendly it is. There were plenty of fun, interactive exhibits for my four kids, including the Destination Moon exhibit. We had a lot of fun, and we learned so much along the way!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

How My Family Stays Active With Fitbit

Mom & Me Yoga

This post is sponsored by Kohl’s. I was paid for this post and received the included Fitbit as compensation.

Life with a big family is busy! After work, school, activities, and responsibilities in the home, there isn’t much time for anything else. Living a healthy, active lifestyle, however, is one of my family’s priorities!

It’s so important to teach children to make healthy choices and stay fit while they’re young, so healthy living becomes a lifelong habit. Just like everything else, it begins in the home. Kids learn by example! If we want to raise healthy, active kids, we have to be healthy, active parents!

Fitbit Versa

Recently, we became a Fitbit Family! Prior to receiving the Fitbit Versa Ruby, I didn’t even wear a watch. I wasn’t completely convinced that I would use it frequently, but I was wrong. I absolutely love it! I feel lost without it on my wrist, and I use it all the time. My family and I quickly learned that it’s easy and fun to stay in shape with Fitbit. It truly is such a great motivator!

Down syndrome blog

Monday, October 15, 2018

Myrtle Beach Family Vacation

Myrtle Beach Family Vacation

It happens every year. Summer lasts well into October, and I find myself wishing for Fall to arrive. Once it does, it hits with full force. We don't have transitional weather in Pittsburgh anymore. We go straight from 80+ degree weather to 50 degree weather overnight! Now I find myself wishing we were back in Myrtle Beach, enjoying family time and gorgeous beach weather!

If you've been following along, I already posted a recap of our road trip to the beach on Liam's 5th Birthday, and our second day in Myrtle Beach, along with our favorite tips for vacationing at the beach with kids! If not, I included those links at the bottom of the post. I'm determined to finish the complete recap by Thanksgiving, unlike last year's vacation, which took an entire year to finish. Going through thousands of vacation photos is a daunting task!

Here's what we did on day 3 and day 4 of our Myrtle Beach Family Vacation...