Pinterest Christmas Week 2


After spending most of the week in bed or on the couch with a nasty sinus infection, I chose a very simple project that would keep my six year old busy.  This week we decided to make some candy cane ornaments.

The ornaments required very few items:

  • Pipe Cleaners (I already had a variety pack, so I set out red, white, and green and let Aiden choose)
  • Scissors
  • Red & White craft beads


After choosing the length of our candy cane, I made a knot at the end of the pipe cleaner, let Aiden put on the beads, and then put a knot on the other end once he was finished.  Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.


Aiden enjoyed it and it was nice to do something that didn’t require a whole of work on my end.  This will definitely be something we will do more of next week to keep busy while on break.

For more projects and inspiration, check out the other blogs in the A Pinterest Christmas series Emerald City Diaries | Greg & MaggiThe Gilbertson Family |The Pena Family | This Grey House | Without A Doubt. Share your Pinterest Christmas projects with us! Comment on one of our blogs, link back to a post, or use #PinterestChristmas2014 on Instagram!


Weekend Wrap Up

I’ll be honest, I sucked at taking pictures this weekend, so you’ll have to just use your imagination for this wrap up.

I knew we would have a busy weekend, so I was prepared to be on the go for majority of our Saturday…1st stop: Lowe’s Build & Grow Workshop.  This was only our second time attending, but I have to say I really love doing these with Aiden and look forward to many more.  It is a nice way for us to get some quality time together and for the kid to use his hands for something other than playing a video game.

wpid-img_20141213_100559124_hdr.jpgwpid-img_20141213_102830206_hdr.jpgThe special project for this event was The Holiday Train Engine. 

Afterwards, I had a few errands to run and boy did I forget how easy it is to get stuff done with just one kid.  That ride on the easy train didn’t last very long though as Aiden started getting reeealllly whiny, and I mean like ready to yank my kid out of the store and leave immediately kind of whiny.  I knew something wasn’t right though because as much as he can push my buttons, he typically isn’t that bad.

My instincts were confirmed when after a 45 minute battle to eat lunch, he went up to his bed and passed out.  He never takes naps anymore.  Of course all this happened 20 minutes before we were supposed to be at our neighbor’s birthday party.  Knowing that he probably needed that rest, I walked the gift over and let him sleep for as long as he needed.  I didn’t want him to feel bad for missing the party though, so after an hour I nudged him and asked if he wanted to go.  In typical kid fashion, not wanting to miss out on any fun no matter how bad he felt, he wanted to go.  So we walked over and enjoyed the party for a little bit.

After the party he seemed fine, so we carried on with the rest of our plans.  Isaac and I had plans to go to our friends’ house for a game night, so I got started on the appetizer & dessert for the get-together and dinner for the kids.  As it got later, Aiden’s fever spiked back up, but thankfully “nurse” Nana was our sitter.

It was nice to get out of the house and enjoy some laughs with my hubby and our friends, something we definitely don’t do enough of.  We ended up playing Cards Against Humanity for the first time…that was interesting to say the least and a fun game called Heads Up on our friend’s phone.

This pretty much sums up how it went for the guys’ team 😉

Sunday morning I had plans of meeting up with Kendra to get in our planned weekend miles, but that was derailed when Aiden came into my room at 5am (30 minutes before my alarm was set to go off mind you) asking for water and burning up with fever.  I obliged, gave him some medicine, and walked my poor baby back to his bed where he then asked me to lay down with him.  There was no way I was denying that little boy some quality snuggle time to go for a run.

Two hours into our day, while I’m upstairs rocking Ethan to sleep, I hear my husband yell “Oh no!?! Let’s get to the bathroom!”.  This kid has only thrown up twice before in his six years of life, so it wasn’t far fetched to think this was a fluke and he would be back to normal now that he had gotten it out of his system.  I was wrong.  An hour later, after trying to get the kid to drink some Gatorade and eat some toast, it all came back up.  It was then that I knew I would have to cancel my plans to attend the East Orlando Moms Run This Town Annual Holiday party.  Good thing I did, because shortly after that, it was time for Round 3.  I have to say that while I am pretty calm when it comes to bad situations and can wipe poop, snot, pee, and blood all day, I do NOT have the stomach for throw up.  I can’t even hear the sound of gagging without starting to gag.  I’m gagging now just thinking about it all….

wpid-img_20141214_114959297.jpgMeanwhile, this little goob was trying to decorate the tree with some of his Mega Bloks.

Thankfully by 2pm he was able to eat some homemade chicken soup and keep it down!  After spending the first half of the day constantly cleaning up throw-up/cleaning a bucket, we just wanted to relax and spent the rest of the day pretty much bumming downstairs and watching more movies.

While this weekend didn’t go exactly how we had planned, sometimes it is nice to take a step back to just relax and focus on family.

Hope everyone else had a great weekend!

Pinterest Christmas Week 1


I really should title this post Pinterest{Fail} Christmas because this project did not turn out like the Pinterest version.  At all.

After looking at last year’s art project, I realized that I am artistically challenged when it comes to canvas art.  This year I had high hopes that it would be better and had planned to do this with my boys:

When choosing this one, I didn’t take into consideration how large my six year old’s hands were and how small the canvas was in comparison.  I also thought that I would be clever and save money, even if it was only $.99 – yes I am cheap, by only purchasing the green acrylic paint and not any other colors since I had “Washable Paint” at home.  Yeah, that “Washable Paint” is not very good when it comes to canvas art.



Getting ready for the fun!

Without further ado, here is our Pinterest fail masterpiece:


Oh those little brown smudges are from my curious six year old because wiping his fingers onto a napkin would’ve made too much sense.

In case you’re wondering what last year’s project was, take a gander:

Pinterest Version:

Our Version:


I obviously wasn’t 100% focused because I made my “mistletoe” brown and the polka dots green….On a different note, look how tiny Ethan’s foot was!!!

Although neither of them are Pinterest Perfect,  we did have fun creating them and I think we just might’ve started a new Christmas tradition…

For more projects and inspiration, check out the other blogs in the A Pinterest Christmas series Emerald City Diaries | Greg & MaggiThe Gilbertson Family | The Pena Family | This Grey House | Without A Doubt. Share your Pinterest Christmas projects with us! Comment on one of our blogs, link back to a post, or use #PinterestChristmas2014 on Instagram!

Weekend Wrap Up

Hope everyone had a great weekend! This weekend flew by for us, but I’m sure all of our activities played a part in that.

Knowing that I had my second half marathon on Saturday morning, we took it pretty easy on Friday.  I found out my neighbor recently had neck surgery, so I decided to whip up my grandma’s “Italian Wedding Ball” cookies (that we make every Christmas) and bring them over.

wpid-img_20141205_170037903.jpg wpid-img_20141205_170100175.jpgHow cute is that Snowman tin?? Only $2 at Joann’s! The cookies are super easy to make and my neighbor loved them! Turns out, these are his favorite cookies, especially with the pecans *brushes dirt off shoulder*.

Saturday morning the alarm went off nice and early at 4:20am and three hours later, we were off.  I’ll do a separate post about my experience running this one, but I will say it was not a great one for me personally.

wpid-img_20141206_102940236.jpgIt was a long, humid, and brutal 13.1 miles, but I finished and was so happy to see my favorite cheerleaders!

After finally getting some energy back into my system, I decided to do some Christmas/Winter crafts with the boys.

wpid-img_20141206_164346543.jpg wpid-img_20141206_172416685.jpgLast year, I also did a footprint Christmas craft, so it was a little bittersweet to see how much my babies’ feet had grown in a year.  I loved this idea and it was super easy, yet kept Aiden busy at the same time. Win-Win. Oh and those pom poms are white, just bad lighting.

We ended our night by finally decorating our tree.  We’ve had it for over a week, but just hadn’t found a good opportunity to really get everything up.  Now on to the outside lights….


It has become our little Christmas tradition for Isaac and Aiden to put the star on.  These little traditions make my heart happy. 

Ever since I had heard that Marvel Universe Live was coming to Orlando, I knew we had to go.  Being a typical six year old boy, Aiden is very into all the super hero stuff.  I won’t lie, I am too.  I was totally meant to have boys. For the past week, we had been telling Aiden we had a surprise for him on Sunday, so all morning he was trying to guess what it was.  When we pulled into the Amway garage, he started believing we were going to a Magic game (he calls it the arena “The Magic House”) and thus entered his own pity party.  We tried to make it a real surprise as much as possible, but to avoid a Code Red Meltdown, we decided to tell him while we ate lunch just before the show.

wpid-img_20141207_164948647.jpg wpid-img_20141207_164901947.jpgAlthough a piece of me died when I had to walk down the stairs to our seats and my 13 month old fussed and slapped me the first half of the show, hearing Aiden scream “AWESOME!” and seeing the look on his face throughout the show totally made it all worth it. 

Overall it was a pretty fun and productive weekend and I know the next couple of weekends will be just as fun and busy, just hope my body won’t be as sore.

Pinterest Christmas

Pinterest_Christmas_LogoSo I’ve been procrastinating with this post because honestly, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do for my projects.  For the past couple of years, Kendra and her band of blog friends have been participating in “Pinterest Christmas” where they each post different projects (inspired from Pinterest of course) throughout the month of December.  These projects can be a variety of things: artwork, crafts, recipes, etc.

This year, Kendra invited me to join along and since I am still workin on my crafting skills, I was a bit hesitant at first.  A few hours of nonstop little bit of Pinterest scrolling and one trip to Joann’s (so far) and I have come up with a few different projects.  I’ll share the first one next week, but I am excited for this challenge and to get my boys involved as well!

To check out what the other gals are up to, click on one of the links below:

 Emerald City Diaries | Greg & MaggiThe Gilbertson Family | The Pena Family | This Grey HouseWithout A Doubt

Feel free to share your Pinterest Christmas projects with us! Comment on one of our blogs, link back to a post, or use #PinterestChristmas2014 on Instagram!


Thanksgiving Week Wrap Up

So, my goal is to post a weekend wrap up at the end of each weekend and with my son’s holiday break and then traveling down to the in-laws, I figured I would just save it all for after the holiday. After all, it was a holiday break right? 🙂

Our “break” – because let’s just face it, we moms don’t get breaks – started early (as my 6 year old got out early on Friday thanks to a newly added Field Day)  so I decided to keep the fun going and took the boys to a new indoor activity center that just opened down the road.


The boys had a lot of fun bouncing and sliding around at Rebound Kids!

Unfortunately the fun didn’t last very long as my littlest love ended up getting a fever on Saturday that lasted till Monday. He had a couple of hours throughout the weekend where the fever would break and he was in good spirits so we took advantage of that time by taking the boys to get a hair cut and some fresh air at the playground.

wpid-img_20141122_134310328.jpg wpid-img_20141123_112859348.jpg wpid-img_20141123_112948679.jpg

As usual, I woke up at 4:30am on Saturday morning to get eight miles in with my sole sistas. I’ve run in Lake Nona three times now and have loved it each time. What made it even more awesome this time was that I got to use the Sweet Mamas gift card I won at our last Meet ‘N Greet. Nothing like ending a long cold run with some hot grits, pancakes, eggs, and bacon.


After finding out he only had a bad head cold (thankfully it wasn’t anything worse), the girls and I decided to cancel Babies, Brunch, & Bubbly so we didn’t risk any other babes getting sick.  It ended up working out though because the weather was horrendous on Tuesday!


My husband sent me this pic while he was out with his boss on some calls


Meanwhile, I got to cuddle up on the couch with this cutie while baby boy napped

After Baby Boot Camp on Wednesday (oh yeah, I won a free month of unlimited classes and was determined to not let any Thanksgiving indulgences stay with me past Thursday) we packed up and made the three and a half hour trek to little ol’ Lehigh Acres to see the in-laws.

That determination stayed with me through Thursday morning as I forced myself out of bed (after a very long night with my little homebody baby boy) to get in four miles. Those four miles were my fastest to date I might add. Booya!

Many mimosas, one plate of many options, a few glasses of wine, and a slice of apple pie later, we all gladly sat our bottoms on the couch and relaxed. It’s always nice to catch up with family and even better when I don’t have to cook or chase the babes around because every one else wants to catch up with them too.

wpid-img_20141127_105651044_hdr.jpg wpid-img_20141127_150522334.jpg

Our trip didn’t last long, though, as we made the trip back home on Friday so that we could spend the rest of the weekend decorating for Christmas. While I can say we did get our tree and have put a few things up around the house, we still haven’t decorated the tree. Eh, we’ll get around to it…

After a quick four miles with Kendra (never thought I’d refer to four miles as quick), we relaxed at home before heading over to the mall to see Santa.  Two hours later, we finally emerged from what my husband refers to as the “death spiral”. Ethan still hasn’t warmed up to the big guy.



Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! Let the Christmas count down begin!

A Runner is Born

I had always used running as a tool to lose weight and relieve stress, but it wasn’t until two years ago, after running my first 5k (The Color Run – soooo much fun!), that I decided I wanted to run a half marathon.  I wasn’t sure when or which one,  I just knew that one day I would do it.

A couple of months before my second son was born, I received a Facebook notification saying that I had been added to the East Orlando Chapter of Moms Run This Town and was immediately confused.  What? Me? I’m not a runner?!? Turns out, the chapter leader, Kristen, was an old coworker of mine and was trying to build the group.  Of course, in true woman fashion, I immediately starting drifting into my own fantasy world… “Omg, I’m gonna be a stay at home mom and I’m going to do mommy meet ups and I’m going to get in shape, and OMG we’re going to meet each other for coffee and have lunch dates and go for runs together and I’m going to be soooo skinny!”

Fast forward a few months and I’m sitting at home –  three month old baby boy napping in his bassinet – scrolling through Facebook, seeing all these posts on the East Orlando MRTT page, and wishing I was running with them… and that’s when I decided I needed to just get out there and start.  A month after joining my first “group run” I decided I was going to sign up for a half marathon…and I would complete it this year.  I didn’t just need to run to make myself feel better physically, I needed to run to make myself feel better mentally. Running is my therapy.  The transition to being a stay at home mom was a really rough one on me. I felt like I had lost my identity and didn’t know what to do.  By signing up for my first half marathon, I knew I had something to work towards and I would accomplish it.

Thanks to the support of East Orlando MRTT, my running partner, Kendra, and of course my hubby, I am so proud to say that I not only accomplished that goal, but I exceeded my own expectations. On October 26, I ran my 1st half marathon at the Inaugural Lake Nona 13.1.


Not only has running given me another sense of purpose and new friends, it truly has made me feel better in every aspect of my life. I am already signed up for two more half marathons and now plan to complete a full at the end of 2015. I still don’t know why Kristen decided to add me to the group in 2013, but I am so unbelievably grateful she did.

Marriage Is…

Something I am still learning about and will happily continue to do every day for the rest of my life with my husband.

On this day four years ago, I said “I do” to my baby daddy, my Puerto Rican Papi, and my companion. He wasn’t my best friend, he was my partner.  When I got married, I had this idea of what married life should be like.  Sure we had been living together for three years and already had a two year old child, so how much can things change? “Well, we’re married now, there are different expectations”, I would say.  I believed that because he was now my husband and we were legally bound to each other that meant we would automatically be each other’s best friends and there was a new level of respect for one another.

Why did I feel this way? Probably a lot because I am a hopeless romantic, have watched too many RomComs and dramatic love movies, and read way to many Nicholas Sparks books.  I believed a man should love a woman as intensely as Edward Cullen loved Bella (yeah I went there).  I was young and naive.

I eventually let stupid bickering get to me and errors in communication build up to the point of believing that maybe we weren’t meant to be together, because marriage shouldn’t be that hard, right? Wrong.  After a couple of roller coaster years that led to one horrendous, life-changing year (the year my dad died, everything spiraled out of control), we realized just how tough marriage can be.  But we also learned what it means to honor those vows and how much we really loved each other.  We persevered because our love for each other was stronger than any obstacle life would throw our way. One of my favorite sayings about marriage that I now know to be true is this:

“More marriages might survive if the partners realized that sometimes the better comes after the worse” – Doug Larson

To say the past four years have been marital bliss would be a total lie.  I can, however say, that they have been extremely educational and given me a whole new respect for marriage and for my husband.  Through all the ups and downs, I wouldn’t take back anything because it has led us to this point.  Here we are in our second home with two beautiful and healthy children and we’re happy.  We are still learning about each other, we still have our ups and downs, but every day our love for each other does grow stronger, we continue to build our relationship, and I still get butterflies when I see his smile.  We’re not perfect, no couple or marriage is, but I’m perfectly happy to call him my husband and my best friend.

Happy Anniversary My Love!!!


Weekend Wrap Up

This weekend wasn’t too eventful for us as a family, but I sure felt like I had something going on every moment.  It didn’t help that I could barely move due to Friday’s Baby Boot Camp class (holy soreness, please no more squats).

We started our weekend off with Aiden’s basketball game as usual, except this was his last game.  Being that it is only his second season playing basketball, I’d say the kid has done pretty well. While he isn’t future NBA material – just yet – he had a lot of fun and that is what matters.


The rest of the day was pretty chill and consisted of foam rolling, cleaning, playing, foam rolling.  I had an early morning Sunday morning, so after the kids were asleep, I got everything ready for my 10 miler.

4:30am came wayyyy to soon, but I got out of bed, had my oatmeal and coffee, and headed out the door.  Kendra and I met up around 6:00am and started off for our 10 mile loop. OHHHH EMMMM GEEEE…never again will I do a boot camp session on a Friday before a long run.  The first two miles, my legs felt OK, but mile three and on, my legs felt like concrete blocks.  That was by far the hardest run I’ve had in a lonnnnng time. I’ve never been happier to get back to my car.  On a positive note though, one of Kendra’s friends joined us at the halfway mark and I got to meet a new runner mom 🙂


After a rough and very sore run, I decided to try out an ice bath.  I had never done one before and I’ve read a lot about how they help/how they don’t help and decided I just needed something!  Isaac was kind enough to help me out by pouring the ice in (I still think he enjoyed that part).  It was definitely an interesting experience.  I guess it helped a little…I mean I went from having to crawl up the stairs to actually being able to pull myself up using the banister, I’d say that’s an improvement.


Sunday was also my running group’s (East Orlando MRTT, WOOP WOOP!) Meet and Greet for a painting party.  It’s always a good time when you put a bunch of moms desperately needing girl time and a drink or two in a room with some paint.  I even won a lil sumpin sumpin!


The night ended perfectly with a homemade meal by my hunny and early bedtimes for both boys.  Hope you all had a great weekend!

Ethan’s 1st Birthday Fall Festival

On Saturday, November 1, we celebrated the 1st birthday of our not-so-baby boy, Ethan.  I tell ya, this day had been on my mind for quite some time.  Not only was this my first time actually getting to plan a birthday party and take my time making and baking things, but it would be our last time celebrating a first birthday.  Yep, shop is CLOSED. Holla!

The weeks leading up to the party were pretty hectic.  Not only is our oldest involved in basketball on weekends, but I was also at the tail end of my half-marathon training, which was the weekend before his party.  More on that later.  As if time wasn’t already against us, we had to worry about the weather.  Living in Central Florida, you never know what you’re going to get.  First we were worried it would be too hot, then worried about rain, finally a couple of days before the big day, the all-knowing weatherman proclaimed it would be one of the nicest days in Central Florida with a high of 73 and lots of sunshine.  We woke up to a high of 60 and wind gusts of up to 25 mph.  Awesome…

While my in laws and the hubby were at Aiden’s basketball game and the birthday boy was napping, I was able to finish some of the appetizers and get some things set up.  My friend, Kerri, came over a little earlier to help set up and she brought along a few masterpieces of her own.

I don’t know how or why, but no matter how hard I try, how long I plan, how late I stay up baking, I always end up with guests arriving as I am STILL setting up.  Although I was stressed in the beginning, it all came together fabulously thanks to the help of family and friends and we had a great time, especially the birthday boy.


Ahhh this face!!! I can’t believe my baby is a year old already!!! This pic is a little blurry, but it was just too damn cute to not post.  His adorable onesie was made by The Bird & Bee.


This chalkboard “design” took me 4 hours to finally get it right and it’s still not as “Pinterest-Worthy” as I would have liked it to be.


Part of the “Happy Birthday Ethan” sign my sweet friend, Kerri, made.  I wasn’t able to get the whole banner in a picture you could see clearly, but it was sooo stinkin’ cute!


So…I borrowed this popcorn machine from my mom last minute and had no idea how to operate it. She explains “Plug this in here, that there, connect the blue wire to the red wire, then twist the white wire around” JK, but that’s what I heard. I plug it in, pour in the oil and corn kernels, and switch the power button on. The popcorn thingamajig starts spinning. Yay! I did it! 10 minutes later…nothing. I finally see the other cord hanging in the back, get it plugged in, and boom, we have popcorn.

DSC_0423 DSC_0422

Yummy toppings for the popcorn! I got the salt and pepper shakers at IKEA – 4 in a pack for less than $3!!!


I’m a little embarrassed to even post this picture for a few reasons. (1) No, I did not have any before writing the name, my chalk writing skills are just terrible in small spaces (2) I’ve never owned a drink dispenser like this (still working on my hosting skills and capabilities) and didn’t realize I could turn it over and not have it wobbly (3) After taping what seemed like every inch of the table only to have the table cloth smack us back in the face due to “up to 25 mph wind gusts”, we gave up and left them off. Naked tables FTW! However, all that aside, the Spiked Apple Cider was pretty awesome. 

DSC_0436 DSC_0431

Once the sun was out a little more, it actually felt nice enough to play some games outside. Side Note: I will NEVER again load hay into my car. Bad idea. Baaaaaadddd idea.


Loved this picture board Kerri made with highlights from Ethan’s 1st 12 months!


At least the Dollar Store tablecloths were put to use inside.


In addition to the Pigs in a Blanket, Mac ‘N Cheese Bites,  & Mini Cornbread Muffins pictured, we also had Zucchini Tots and some Homemade Chili that Kerri made.

DSC_0414 DSC_0415

Instead of serving cake to the guests, I opted for these delicious Vanilla Cupcakes with a vanilla buttercream frosting that my friend, Heather, made (she made the same ones for her daughter’s 1st birthday – same theme, same day, made the party planning easier for both of us),  Kerri made some yummy Mini Pecan Pies, and I made my Brownies and Mini Pumpkin Pies.


I had never made a smash cake before, but with the help of Heather and this recipe, it turned out pretty good.


This is the reaction we got when we took his clothes off and put him in his highchair. (Oh b-t-dubs, Kerri made the highchair banner too. She’s so good)


“Ooohhh this is for Moi?!?”

DSC_0554 DSC_0572 DSC_0573

OmNomNomNom…I think it’s safe to say he enjoyed his cake.  *Let me just go ahead and brush dat dirt off muh shulda*


Once the birthday boy was all cleaned up, he had a blast opening presents. My house officially looks like a daycare.


Of course the day would not have been completed without a family pic whilst sitting on the hay bales I just HAD to have.