Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The One Item That Will Completely Change Your Tooth Care Routine + Giveaway

The One Item That Will Completely Change Your Tooth Care Routine + Giveaway


This post is sponsored by Smile Brilliant. I received product in exchange for my honest review.

After nine very long months of morning sickness, my teeth needed some maintenance. I'm breastfeeding, so it isn't safe for me to whiten my teeth just yet, and it's going to be a while before I'm able to use my whitening kit. I needed to do something to brighten my smile, so I turned to Smile Brilliant for some help!


The cariPRO Ultrasonic Electric Toothbrush by Smile Brilliant quickly became one of my new favorite things! It's SO good, that I immediately tossed out my manual toothbrush, and never looked back. I had never used a real electric toothbrush before, and wasn't sure they were worth the price. I had only used disposable, battery-operated toothbrushes in the past, and I really didn't see a difference. I soon discovered that I had been missing out on an amazing product. The cariPRO Ultrasonic completely changed my tooth care routine!

After a few weeks of use, I find myself asking one question: Where has this been all my life?!? Here are the reasons why I love my electric toothbrush, and how you could win one of your own...

Thursday, May 9, 2019

8 Easy Ways To Deal With Pet Messes

8 Easy Ways To Deal With Pet Messes


This post is sponsored by The Libman Company but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Like many pet owners, we believe our pets are valuable family members. Our already large family of 7 also includes a gentle giant - an English Mastiff named Ella - and 3 indoor rabbits. Our home is loud, chaotic, and crowded, but full of so much love! And even though our beloved pets bring so much joy to our lives, they also make messes!


With five young children, a 150+ pound dog, and three 12 pound rabbits, there is pretty much ALWAYS a mess to clean up! (Remember that time our rabbits had babies? See the picture above!) If I don't stay on top of it, cleaning can quickly become very overwhelming. I'm not one of those people who can spot a mess and ignore it - instead, it will bother me until it's cleaned up.

Now that it's Spring AND shedding season, the mess has doubled! If I'm not sweeping up chihuahua-sized hairballs from my giant dog, I'm sweeping up freshly mowed grass and mopping muddy footprints/pawprints that are tracked through my house. What does a (fur) mama gotta do to keep things clean around here?!?

I'm teaching my children to clean up their own messes (or at least help), but that doesn't quite work with our pets! Here's how I tackle those pet messes...

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Bloom - An Event for New or Expectant Moms in Pittsburgh

Bloom 2019 - An Event for New & Expectant Mothers in the Greater Pittsburgh area

As many of you know, my family lives in the Greater Pittsburgh area. Yes, I would love to live near the beach, because it's my happy place, but we stay in Pittsburgh because of how family-friendly it is! It truly is a wonderful place to raise a family. This weekend, Bloom is returning to Pittsburgh. If you are trying to conceive (or planning on trying soon), expecting, adopting, or have a new baby, this wonderful event is for you!


My fellow Pittsburgh Moms Blog contributors have been working tirelessly to bring Bloom to life for the third year in a row. I was involved during the first year, but missed it last year due to family weddings. I missed my PMB family during my looooong pregnancy, and I'm happy to be back!

Now that I have a new baby, I'm excited to both volunteer at the event and check out what's going on!

Sunday, May 5, 2019

I'm BACK!!! / Easter 2019 / Baby's First Easter

Easter Photography


Hello, friends! I'm (hopefully) back for good! I had no idea adjusting to life with five kids was going to be so difficult and time-consuming. Adjusting to life with 1, 2, 3, and 4 kids (even with a surprise Down syndrome diagnosis) was a breeze, but 5 is the number that did us in! Liam is approximately 10 kids in 1, and Coen has acid reflux and is such a mama's boy that my husband lovingly refers to him as my little parasite. My hands are never free, but I think I'm getting the hang of things, and I'm kicking off my return to blogging with a quick recap of Easter 2019!


This year, we kept Easter simple. We had no idea that Coen had acid reflux yet, so he was really fussy. We decided to spend most of Easter at home, focusing on family activities. Although it didn't feel quite the same, we had a nice holiday!

This year, we took the focus off of the Easter Bunny. We haven't visited the Easter Bunny in years, and this year we didn't do any egg hunts, either. We briefly mentioned the Easter Bunny bringing baskets, but that was it. Instead, we dyed Easter Eggs together. We had a small family dinner. We talked about the reason we were celebrating. We baked and decorated cookies. We sat down to watch The Ten Commandments together. Perhaps next year we'll actually make it to church, but this year, I decided to let go of the guilt, realize that we can't possibly do it all, and focus on WHY we were celebrating in the first place! And you know what? Once the pressure was off, it was GOOD!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Travel Trays for Kids + 10 Mess-Free On The Go Items

Travel Trays for Kids + 10 Mess-Free On The Go Items

*I received the Nuby cups for an honest review.

With five kids, we log in a lot of travel time in the car! Although we only go on a few road trips each year, we spend hours in the car each week driving our kids to school and activities. Like most older kids, Dylan and Lexie are glued to their phone and iPod, but our little ones get bored. Keeping a well stocked travel tray in our SUV helps us avoid hearing the dreaded "I'm bored!!!" while we're driving or waiting during sports and activities!


I've always kept my car stocked with road trip activities and snacks, but I had to pack a separate bag that we could take out of the car when we arrived at our destination. We ended up with so much stuff in our car. Then I won a travel tray from Kenley Kids in a giveaway, and it was truly a game changer! I honestly wish I had taken the plunge, and bought one sooner!

Not only does a travel tray hold all of our on the go essentials, but it also stores easily in the car, opens up into a convenient lap desk for on the go play, and can be carried like a bag to and from the car! It also has elastic pockets and zipper pouches to store cups, snacks, and toys, a convenient protective holder for a tablet, and a removable storage wall. It is the best car seat accessory for kids of all ages, and my young crew loves it!

Travel Trays for Kids


Hopefully I convinced you to make your life as a parent a bit easier, and buy one (or two or three) for your kids. But what should you put IN the travel tray? Here are 10 Mess-Free On The Go Items for kids...

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Our Five Ring Circus

Our Five Ring Circus

Welcome to Our Five Ring Circus! After 10+ years of some form of Lexie Loo & Dylan Too, it was time to bring some changes to my blog. It took a lot of thought (literally months), and it's a work in progress, but I feel like this new name fits this season of our lives so perfectly!


Back in 2008, I started this blog simply because I wanted to keep family members and friends updated on what we were up to, and to journal life with our two kids, Dylan and Lexie. Lexie Loo & Dylan Too was the perfect name at the time. When Lily was born, I changed the name to Lexie Loo, Lily Boo & Dylan Too. By the time Liam came around, my blog was already well established, and I didn't want to "re-brand" so it became Lexie Loo, Lily, Liam & Dylan Too.

When we found out that baby #5 was on the way, I did start to contemplate what I was going to do with my blog. Pregnancy is very tough on me, and I knew my time was going to be limited with a newborn and juggling five kids, but I didn't want to give up blogging completely. It was tough to realize that I was only able to post a few times a month, but I decided to give myself grace, and do what I could, when I could.

During the time that I wasn't able to blog, I started thinking about how I needed to re-brand, and began to brainstorm ideas for a new blog name...

Monday, April 8, 2019

Liam and the Very Special Arts Exhibit

Liam and The Very Special Arts Exhibit

Liam is 4th in the lineup of five kids. With three older siblings, he is always coming along to support them during their many activities, sports, and school events. Now that Liam is in Kindergarten, he has his OWN activities and school events, and it's our turn to support him!

This year, Liam's art teacher submitted his Kindergarten artwork to the Very Special Arts Exhibit. It  is currently on exhibit at Grove City College's Pew Fine Arts Center until April 17th, with artwork from other K-12 students in three counties. Very Special Arts is an international organization on arts and disability, and provides arts and educational opportunities for people with disabilities, while helping increase the access to art for everyone.

On Saturday, they hosted a reception for all the young artists who had artwork on display. It was a fun event, and such a special day for our sweet Liam!

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Spring Cleaning 101: A Master Checklist & Must Have Supplies

Spring Cleaning 101: A Master Checklist & Must Have Supplies


This post is sponsored by The Libman Company but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Warm weather is just around the corner, and we are getting ready to start Spring Cleaning! There's just something so refreshing about opening up all the windows after a long, cold winter, and starting the season off with an extra clean home. And now that baby #5 is here, we want to disinfect everything and make sure we have a healthy home!


Spring Cleaning can seem so overwhelming, especially when you have a family. I totally get it! There's so much to do already, and deep cleaning is probably not high on the list of priorities. Stocking up on new cleaning supplies can help build motivation, and breaking up the list into manageable blocks of time definitely helps. Plus there's definitely a great feeling of satisfaction as the tasks are checked off one by one!

Here's how this new mom of five is tackling the Spring Cleaning this year...

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Baby #5 Is Here!

Birth Announcement

Hello, blog world! I've been MIA...but for a good reason. Baby #5 is finally here! I'm going to ease back into blogging by introducing you to our newest little love!


Technically, he has been here for 2 1/2 weeks. But as you can imagine, life with 5 kids is not the easiest, and I had a really tough delivery, so I'm still recovering. I've been working on this post for a week...that should give you an indication on what life is like with a 14 year old, 12 year old, 7 year old, 5 year old who has special needs, and a newborn who just wants to nurse ALL THE TIME! 

My hands are full, and I'm exhausted, but my heart is even fuller. Our sweet, surprise son fits in perfectly with our family. We are so in love with our newest family member! (On that note, WHAT should I change my blog name to? Adding his name to the mix is a bit excessive, so I've been brainstorming. I'm trying to incorporate our family and Down syndrome into the new blog name, but my brain isn't functioning at full capacity just yet - thank goodness for caffeine! If you have any ideas, please let me know!)

Now, onto the introduction...

Sunday, March 17, 2019

10 Awesome Household Cleaning Hacks Using Bleach

10 Awesome Household Cleaning Hacks Using Bleach


This post is sponsored by The Clorox Company but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

As my due date for baby #5 approaches, I am nesting constantly, and in full cleaning mode! I wish I could bottle up this unstoppable motivation, and keep it for the rest of my life. I just want to organize all the things and make sure everything in our home is sparkly clean!


I grew up with a mom who loved to clean, and she swore by the power of Clorox bleach. It’s no big surprise that it became one of my household staples once I owned my own home! And with four children constantly making messes, Clorox gets used every single day! I absolutely love being a mom, but I’m not going to sugar coat it - Kids are GROSS!

A lot of people assume bleach is just for the laundry room, but that’s far from the truth! It actually has so many convenient and creative uses within the home. Now Clorox has two innovative bleach products that make my life as a mom SO much easier!

Cleaning Hacks


Here are the ten awesome ways I use bleach within my home...