All Posts By

Leslie

a visit to Dutch Winter Wonderland + Special Holiday Offer {tickets under $10!}

Yesterday the whole family packed up and headed out to spend the day in Lancaster, PA!

We were invited by our friends at Dutch Wonderland to check out and enjoy their Winter Wonderland that is set up for the holiday season. We had been to Dutch Wonderland this past summer and had an absolute BLAST so I was excited to see their festivities for Winter! As usual, the boys were PUMPED.

The schedule is mostly on weekends during the month of December and yesterday they were open 3-8pm which was perfect  for us. We had a morning at home and then put the kids in the car to hopefully catch a nap on the way – about 1 hour + 15 minutes. Both kids took a little snooze so it was perfect. When we got there we had the place to ourselves, which was amazing. It was a little cold, but the kids didn’t care – they were all about the rides! Most everything was pretty open – they rode all of their favorites, and a few new ones too. When it got dark we got to enjoy all the holiday lights around the entire park – which was simply beautiful, followed by a holiday train ride to see the sights, a light show and even a visit with Santa. It was all beautifully done and we had a great time – as you can see in the video!

Check it out and let me know what you think!

If you are planning a visit to Dutch Wonderland, be sure to use this link to get tickets for UNDER $10! It’s a pretty sweet deal and a great holiday treat!

And here are a few snaps from our day at Dutch Winter Wonderland – if you are thinking of going, let me know if you have any questions at all! Our family had a blast and would totally recommend it – Dutch Wonderland was a great way to have some holiday fun and get in the spirit with the kids! We hope to be able to come back again soon!

 

Cheese Board Goals – Holiday Entertaining

This post was sponsored by Heluva Good!® Cheese as part of an Influence Central campaign and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

I love a good cheese board.

It’s the perfect addition to any celebrating this holiday season. Cheese goes perfectly with delicious meats, yummy fruit, crackers and do I even need to mention wine?

Because cheese with wine is the best.

#justsayin

The classic cheese and cracker combination is a comfort food of sorts – at least to me – that brings people together to enjoy a treat. It’s always fun to get creative with cheese flavors and different pairings. And whenever I am entertaining, especially during the holidays – I love to have a fun cheese board out with all the fixins’ – because I know it’s something the kids AND the adults will enjoy.

My kids LOVE a good cheese board. And it’s a snack I’m totally on board with them enjoying {since they tend to be a little picky} when they reach for anything on this plate, I’m good with it! I usually like to have equal parts cheese, meat, crackers and fruit on the platter – with some dips if I am feeling fancy – but today the cheese was the star of the show.

And honestly, my kids ate the majority of the cheese on this plate, so it was good we had extra!

We celebrated a neighbors birthday party over the weekend and I whipped up this platter to bring over for everyone to enjoy – needless to say it was a huge hit and I didn’t bring one piece of cheese or any other part of it home with me!

Heluva Good!® Cheese blocks are my current favorite cheese to grab and go at the moment. There are so many different flavor options that I LOVE – and they are all so delicious! It’s creamy and mouth-watering at the same time – definitely leaves you wanting more with each bite. My favorite is the classic cheddar – I love how it has a sharp little kick too it, I love that in my cheese!

A few little fun facts about the cheese in this cheese board – Heluva Good! Cheese is gluten free, made with milk, has 0 grams trans fat per serving, and great source of protein + calcium! Just a few of the reasons why I love that my kids love it so much!

And going on right now,  be sure to check out the  Heluva Good! Cheese offer on Ibotta  – and get up to $1.75 cash back when you shop in-store at Walmart – there are limited quantities are available, so take advantage while you can! Especially when you can get some delicious cheese at an amazing price!

Do you have a go-to cheese board creation?

What are your favorite things to pair together on a cheese platter?

Please share!

Friday Favorites: Gift Ideas

Hello and Happy Friday!

Today I wanted to put together a little round up of some of my favorite items at the moment that are perfect for gift giving! I am lucky enough to be able to work with a variety of brands + companies over the year so I thought it would be nice to share with you a few of our favorites for gifts of all kinds this holiday season!

Check out my picks and let me know what you think!

First up, for your wine loving friend!

How cool are these Bliss Home Swarovski Crystal Magnetic Wine Charms ?! They come in this sweet little gift box and feature Swarovski crystals of all colors. You just attach the magnet to the side of your wine glass and you are done! It’s super easy and simple to do and looks super cute for a ladies night in!

Also, currently on sale – would make a great gift for sure!

Next up – a good stocking stuffer option for the kid-o’s!

A favorite toy in our house at the moment: the HABA Wooden Rainbow Rocket – My two year old love to stack and whack this thing down. And my almost 4 year old loves to figure out the puzzle and stand the rocket up. It’s super cute and a nice little challenging puzzle for the kids!

 

For the coffee lover in your life – STOKED STIX™ Coffee.

These are 100% Certified Organic, and come in medium or dark roast.  Each box contains 8 single-serving ready-to-go packets. Simply empty the contents into an 8 oz cup of hot water and Voilà! Instant stoke! I have been LOVING this stuff – bring some hot water in my Corkcicle Tumbler {which will keep hot for HOURS} and then add the coffee packet when I want! It’s amazing for busy moms who are always on the go!

Another little something for the kids, but also for the adults too – because you want your kids to have cute dinner ware!

How sweet is this Bamboo 5 piece dinner dining set {not pictured, the cup that also comes with it, but was currently being used when I took the photo} This stuff feels incredible – sturdy and safe – you don’t have to worry about it shattering if it falls.  The bamboo is amazing, not to mention its BPA-free, PVC-free & phthalate-free. My kids love the animals too! Another awesome gift idea – if you are trying to steer away from too many toys! 

Fun Fact: Aside from mommin’ + blogging + life as a Stella & Dot stylist, LipSense Distributor + magic whitening toothpaste seller…I also run the social media accounts for two stores where we live in the Fairmount area of Philadelphia!

{I like to keep busy! Ha!}

So if you are a Fairmount resident or live in the area, you MUST check out Ali’s Wagon + Division IV. They have amazing mama + babe + home decor pieces that are so unique and cool. Like this tote. I’m obsessed. It’s real leather handles, holds up to 150 lbs. and is handcrafted in Bangladesh!

And if you are less of a coffee and more of a tea fan – I’ve been loving this Coffee Chai Good Earth Tea. It is PERFECT for this time of year when its cold outside and you just want a mug of warm and cozy by the fire inside {even though we don’t have a fireplace} An afternoon cup of tea is my new favorite thing – and this stuff is DELICIOUS!

What are your favorite go-to gifts at the moment? I’d love to hear! 

What I’ve Learned from Raising Two Boys – #MoreToLuv

When I was younger, unmarried and thinking about my future, I always knew I wanted to be a mom. It was just one of those things that you feel and you know.

My mom stayed home with my brother and I, so I knew I wanted to do the same for my kids as well.

And when I imagined my future family, I couldn’t help but recreate in my mind what I grew up with myself:

mom, dad, brother, sister.

Obviously, Graham came along shortly after Brooks {19 months to be exact} and here we are – two sweet little boys later.

I wouldn’t change a thing, I obviously love both my boys and whether we decide to add another tiny human into the mix in the future or not, I wanted to pop on today and share with you a few things I’ve learned from raising two boys.

First – Mine may look alike, but they are completely different. Brooks is more calm, cool, collected {most of the time} – and Graham is more fiery, passionate and a tad stubborn.

Brooks follows the rules and Graham thinks the rules don’t apply to him.

Graham is a lover + cuddler and a Mama’s Boy. Brooks likes his space, want to learn, know + understand exactly how the world works and wants to be exactly like Dad.

I thought with Brooks being such an easy first child, and with everyone telling me the second child is way easier than the first – that I would have two calm little babes – not the case. Graham is his own little person with his own intense spirit and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Some of these differences have a lot to do with their difference in age.

Obviously, Brooks wants to learn, read, spell, count because he’s older and doing these things in school. And while Graham is just starting to really speak in sentences, Brooks is learning to spell and write his name! A lot changes in these two years that separate my boys.

The one thing thats interesting to me, watching Graham now is that I feel like I missed a lot of this age with Brooks – because Graham was a newborn at this point! Things were a little crazy with two under two!

While they are very different in most every way, the share one common love – PLAY!

{specifically wrestling – <insert eye roll here>}

Since Graham can now talk, the way they play together is amazing and so much fun to watch. {when its not wrestling} It’s amazing to watch them build together, use their imaginations together or just run around and chase each other at the playground.

Or while Christmas tree shopping, as seen in these photos!

I am very blessed to call these two beautiful boys mine.

They are both smart, sweet, creative, caring, curious and strong. They teach me something every single day and it’s amazing to watch them learn, grown and explore the world around them.

Aside from the personalities, appetites and sleep schedules being so different with raising my two boys – there is one more thing that I have to share.  When you’re a parent for the second time, you don’t trust something just because it costs more, you trust that it works – at least that’s how it was for us!

With Brooks we tried out every diaper under the sun, but after years of use {and lots of money spent} it was clear that the best for us is Luvs – and it’s now even more affordable – which was amazing for us, especially back in the day when I had two in diapers at once!

So if you are a new mama, first or second time mom or a mom-to-be, be sure to head out to retailers near you and check out the new Luvs lower prices.  Trust me, it took a year of trying out all.the.diapers. with Brooks – with Graham, the second time around was much easier to make the Luvs choice!

This review was made possible by iConnect Influencer Management, Luvs was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine.

Lighted Winter Candle Holiday Centerpiece + Table Decor DIY #ACMooreInspired

So last week, I was invited to a fun Philadelphia Blogger event at the gorgeous new AC Moore in town. We were asked to come along to test out some of the new favorite holiday crafting ideas – I was BEYOND excited to have a few hours solo to get my craft on.

It’s the little things, right?!

We each created our own holiday, lighted centerpiece for the season. And I am super proud with how mine turned out that I had to share this little DIY with you on the blog! I was totally intimidated by it when I first saw what we were going to make, but it was SO EASY!

Seriously, how pretty did mine turn out? I’m currently blogging next to it as its the centerpiece of my table and I couldn’t be more pleased. I love thats its more seasonal that a holiday piece – so I can leave it out through the winter if I like.

But here’s a look at how it was made: Seriously, so easy – you can totally do this!

First up we took out the styrofoam piece inside the lantern and covered it with this green sticky moss. I had no idea it was a thing, but we cut it, took off the table and it stuck together.

Easy peasy.

We then picked out little greenery pieces that would be molded around where the candle would eventually sit. A little glue gun action and you are good to go.

I then added a bit of berries to my design as a little pop of red for the holiday season.

Again, I kept on popping in the candle back and forth to make sure there was enough room for it and that it would sit well. It’s a battery operated candle, with the switch on the bottom, so we didn’t glue that in place – but I wanted to make sure it would fit right when the time came to close it up!

Next we wrapped a ribbon around the top of the lantern and glued that in place. Didn’t need any ventilation for the candle since it wouldn’t be lit, so no worries there! Then I took a bunch of the extra greenery + berries I still hadn’t used to make a little extra pop of color and texture up top by the bow.

I cheated this bow with a few extra strips of ribbon and lots of hot glue. It was way easier and turned out much better faking the bow that trying to create a real one.

I’m definitely a fan of the bow cheat!

And the little crinkles at the end, thanks to the wire in this bow!

So there you have it! Super proud with how this turned out, it makes me happy every time I look at it on my table. And for me it totally made me feel like I could definitely get my craft on a bit more this holiday season {and in general!}

This day totally inspired me to buy a glue gun! Ha!

But that’s not the only thing we crafted, I will be sharing another thing or two in another post next week, so be on the lookout for that!

And I’d love to hear how you get your craft on during the holiday season! What’s something special you love to make or create – with or without the kids! 

Thanks to my friends at AC Moore for a fun morning out!

Mom Truth: On Lack of Sleep + Finding Time to Workout

A new month calls for new kicks!

Helloooo December!

{yes, I know its technically tomorrow}

New Wave Rider 21‘s to be exact!

I am super excited to share with you my new kicks, but I have to admit, that I took a bit of a break from getting my sweat on after all my work with the Tone It Up program {seriously, check out those RESULTS!}. I was working out all the time, eating right, and in some seriously GREAT shape.

It felt awesome.

BUT then my almost 4 year old stopped sleeping through the night and working out has been on the back burner as I’ve been running on empty most days. It’s hard to find the energy to work out when you’ve been woken up multiple times a night. It’s like having a newborn, only you have a toddler + preschooler and its not about hunger or needed to be changed, it’s tiny human fears and emotions.

And it’s been going on TOO LONG!

#ishjustgotreal

While I would like to report that after a few months of sleep messiness, things are back to normal, it’s just not the case and we are still working through a lot of nighttime drama – which seriously does have an affect on my motivation to workout. We are more used to the lack of sleep at this point, which is forcing me to get back to my routine {even if it is with significantly less sleep – wah!} But it still isn’t great.

More on my lack of sleep and preschooler sleep regression another day! If you want me to do a blog post on it, let me know! Today, it’s all about the kicks, and the fact that even if you are tired, #momlife , you still got to put in the work.

End of story.

While I’m getting back into my workout groove, I’m super excited that I have these beauties {in the most gorgeous Baja/Dazzling Blue} to motivate me along the way. I’ve been working out in them for a few weeks, every time I have a spare minute and they are crazy comfortable. They are a neutral shoe, which means they are perfect for someone new to running or who is getting back into the sport after a break {like me!}

My nugget of wisdom for any fellow mama trying to get back in the swing of things with a side of exhaustion: It’s all about the ROUTINE! Just make a few {one or two to start!} commitments each week, and just do it!

Seriously – commit and follow through.

Don’t flake out.

Flakers are the worst.

While you will likely still be tired after working out, you will have a bit of an energy boost, which feels awesome. And at the end of the day, even if you just get to sneak away for 45 minutes for a class or a 3 mile run – it feels good to have some time to yourself and enjoy a moment alone with your thoughts.

Priceless mamas!

Priceless!

But hey, sometimes it’s just as therapeutic to aim to go for a workout class, dress up all cute and then hit up the coffee shop for 45 minutes to yourself, in peace, with hot coffee.

Not that I would ever do that…

Back to the shoes!

The Mizuno Wave Rider 21‘s aren’t  just for marathoners, even though they totally look like it! This shoe can be for the beginner runner as well {BUT if you are a beginner on my blog, be sure to check out my RUN page – as I’ve run 3 marathons in my day!} If you are in the market for some new kicks this holiday season, be sure to check these out and add them to your list. Whether you are running, taking class at the gym, running around town or chasing after your kids at the park – these do the trick! They feel fabulous and look cute – what’s not to love?

Thanks to my friends at Mizuno + Fitfluential for sending me this pair!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Mizuno. The opinions and text are all mine.

A Night Out with One Funny Mother to Play Chardonnay GO – Board Game Review

A few weeks ago I was invited to the Philly PR Girl headquarters for a little girls night out to play the brand new board game – Chardonnay Go, The Board Game for Wine Lovers, Moms and Other Shameless People

Before I get into all the fun we had, here’s a look at what I wore:

//  top  / bag {50% off when you use this link}/

 / denim / shoes {similar} /  earrings  

Now about this game…

I like to consider myself a “board gamer” – we usually have a Game Night with our neighbors in the city a few times a month. It’s such a nice time when we don’t have a busy weekend and can just relax + unwind with a few drinks and some fun with an organized activity – like a game!

I love to play different games with friends – and let’s be honest – a board game for wine lovers?!

I’m in. 

This game is seriously HILARIOUS! It’s a combination of a classic board game and dirty charades – in the most fun way possible! Especially if you are playing with a bunch of your close girlfriends.

It’s basically the perfect ladies night. An excuse to get together with your friends, have a little fun, drink a little wine and get a little wild and crazy.

Did I mention there’s a Wine B*tch?

Because there totally is.

I went to this ladies game night with a friend and we met a bunch of other local blogger + influencers – let’s just say that by the end of the night, we were all very good friends.

Mainly due to laughing all night long because of cards like this:

And THAT was one of the more tame challenges!

Basically we spent the whole night laughing and having an absolute blast.

And if you missed my Instagram Stories that night, you definitely missed out on some laughs!

Another cool thing about the evening, was I got to meet Dena of One Funny Mother! She is the one behind the viral YouTube video “Chardonnay Go” {which is hilarious + makes fun of Pokemon Go} – If you haven’t watched it, stop what you are doing and check that out now. Dena is a Former Miss Jersey and lives across the way from Philly in NJ – so it was nice of her to come by and play with us! She is the sweetest, but also HILARIOUS!

Like I said, we had too much fun!

If you are looking for a unique and fun gift this holiday season, be sure to check out this super fun game – It comes in a wine bottle box which is so perfect for gift giving and it’s so much fun!

Check it out here:

Chardonnay Go, The Board Game for Wine Lovers, Moms and Other Shameless People

{its on Amazon! Woohoo!}

And a special thanks to my friends at Philly PR Girl for an awesome evening!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
error: Content is protected !!