Our Five Ring Circus: October 2018

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...

Thursday, October 11, 2018

10 Easy Tips for Contact Lens Wearers

10 Easy Tips for Contact Lens Wearers

I received complimentary products from discountcontactlenses.com in exchange of an honest review.

Like many people, I have to wear corrective lenses. I started wearing glasses when I was in 5th Grade, and switched to contact lenses the following year because I hated them so much. Although I should probably get a pair of glasses to use as backup, I prefer contacts, and have been relying on them for 20+ years.

mom blogger

Wearing contacts is so routine now that I don't even think about it much. But just like with anything else in life, it's easy to start skipping important steps to save time. After all, contacts are disposable these days! What does it matter?

The truth is, it does matter! Thankfully, there are easy ways to save time, make your contacts last longer, keep your eyes healthy, and save money!

Monday, October 8, 2018

Down For Adventure in Myrtle Beach (+ TIPS)

Down for Adventure in Myrtle Beach

Every Summer, we go on a family vacation to the beach. We always go to Virginia Beach, but this year, we decided to switch things up a bit and try a different place! So on Liam's birthday in late August, we packed our SUV to capacity, piled in, and headed to Myrtle Beach for a week of family fun!

I already recapped Liam's birthday, and our road trip to the beach. We decided after just a few hours of being there that we loved Myrtle Beach just as much, if not more than, Virginia Beach. Our first full day was so lovely, that I can't help but wish we were back in paradise right now!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Goodbye September, Hello October!


September went by in the blink of an eye, and October is in full swing! Although the leaves are starting to change, it still doesn't feel much like Fall. Other than a few cooler days, the weather has remained warm. We actually have a couple days of 80+ degree weather coming up! 

It's hard to get in the Fall spirit when it's still so warm outside. We're still wearing Summer clothes, and spending a lot of time outdoors. I would love to toss on some cozier clothes, but I do prefer warm weather!

September was a busy month, filled with back to school events. I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I typically do. But just like I do every month, it's time for a photo recap!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

The Perfect Game App For Busy Moms

The Perfect Game App for Busy Moms

This post is sponsored by Jigsaw Puzzle but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

As a mom of four, my life is chaotic! If I’m not chasing kids around, I’m driving them around. So much of my day is filled with waiting, and sometimes I just need something to occupy my mind while I wait, other than mindlessly scrolling through social media. Now I have Jigsaw Puzzle in my life! This app keeps my mind sharp, and helps to pass the time while I wait. It’s the perfect game app for busy moms who just need to relax or keep busy during all those hours of waiting!

Jigsaw Puzzle App

Other than helping my kids with their puzzles, I haven’t put together a puzzle of my own in MANY years. Growing up, my beloved Grandma lived next door, and we used to spend hours working on puzzles together. Unfortunately, those days are long gone.

The Best Apps for Moms
I was fairly young when I became a mother, and because we spaced our children out, we always had curious little hands in our home. I simply couldn’t leave a puzzle out, because it definitely wouldn’t go undisturbed. As soon as I downloaded the Jigsaw Puzzle app, I instantly remembered just how calming it can be to work on a puzzle!

Jigsaw Puzzle