2nd Annual Mini Vacay-Great Wolf Lodge

We’re heading back to Great Wolf Lodge this weekend! Check out my review from last year’s visit!!

One of our family Christmas gifts from my in-laws this year was a trip to Great Wolf Lodge. Located in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, Great Wolf Lodge is loaded with tons of activities for kids and families, but the biggest attraction is the huge in-door water park! The water park is over 79,000 square feet, with attractions including water-slides, a wave pool, and a “zero-depth entry” area for smaller children. The resort also includes a bowling alley, in-door mini golf, spa, nightly dance parties, story times and much much more!

We traveled with my husband’s sister, her husband and two children, and also my husband’s cousin and her two daughters. The kids ages ranged from 6 months to 15 years old and not one person was lacking in things to do.

Not only is there a lot to do but the rooms are pretty amazing! We stayed in a family suite and had more than enough room for the four of us. The two queen beds were super comfortable and the sectioned off sitting area was nice for the girls to hang out and play in. They also include a mini fridge and microwave which came in handy for bottle making and snacks.

Our girls had an amazing time playing n the “zero-depth entry” area. There was just enough water for them to feel comfortable and shallow enough that my husband and I weren’t paranoid that someone was going to drown. Our oldest daughter loved standing in the wave pool and our youngest liked hanging out in the warm springs.

In addition to all the fun things to do, the resort has many food options. From a Starbucks (which came in very handy for a momma with a 1 year old who didn’t sleep) to a buffet with everything you can dream of! The food can get a bit expensive so if you are on a budget I suggest taking a meal or two and some snacks to save a bit of money.

Over all we had a great time at Great Wolf Lodge; if it weren’t for a few meltdowns and the lack of sleep, I would say it was a perfect mini vacation; but where’s the fun in perfect?

For more information, click on the link: Great Wolf Lodge.

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Quick, Easy Valentines Day Treat

Ahhh, Valentines Day, one of my favorite holidays as a child! I loved decorating my “mailbox,” receiving Valentines and of course the treats! Chocolate is my favorite thing besides coffee, and you can’t have Valentines Day without cholocate.

This year I volunteered to bring cookies in for the girls’ parties but I didn’t want to send in something store bought but I also didn’t want to send a ton of time baking. That’s when I found the perfect treat!  Valentine Wafer Cookies.

What you’ll need:

-Microwave (I did mine on the stovetop)

-Wax paper

-Vanilla wafer cookies

-Dolci fruit dip

-Sprinkles

Directions:

-melt your Dolci fruit dip and remove from heat; be sure not to over heat. I find that I can control it better if I melt it on the stovetop.

-Dip the wafer cookie in the melted Dolci dip. Place on wax paper.

-Pour on the sprinkles! Allow to cool.

-ENJOY!

Yep, they’re that easy and the kids loved them!

 

 

Friday Favorites!

Winter has finally arrived in PA…we had our first snow fall this week and the temperatures finally feel like winter.  It’s time to bust out the cold weather gear!  I got a ton of great pieces of clothes for Christmas and the girls received some great toys that will occupy them when we can’t get outside.

Playdoh has always been one of my favorite toys for the girls to play with, it keeps them occupied for hours and it lets them be creative.  These sets are wonderful, we have about five of them and the girls love creating and pretending with them.  My personal favorite is the “My Little Pony” set!

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I have been on the search for a long puffer coat with a hood forever, so when I found this Michael Kors coat I fell in love!  It is so warm, and the perfect length.

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My girls LOVE any holiday, and they are loving anything Valentine’s Day!  The same day we took down our Christmas decorations we put up our Valentine’s Day decor.  Target has some pretty adorable things that I plan on picking up but in the meantime I found great LED lights and sequined ampersand signs.  Both are adorable and were only $3!

This hat…is…everything!  I found this at Target before the holidays and was unsure of it until I put it on last week, now I’m building outfits around it.  It works with everything and the brim is the perfect size!

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My girls love this Ginzick Super Fun Ice Cream Shop!  They play with it all the time.  There’s tons of play food pieces that go with it.  I love it because it keeps them busy and unlike most toys like it, this one is super sturdy, not to mention the price was perfect!

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What are some of your favorites this winter??

 

 

 

5 Ways to Make Mornings Run a Bit Smoother

Mornings are super hectic in our house, between two busy toddlers running around, me frantically trying to get everyone (including myself) out the door on time, and trying to make sure my husband gets more than just a quick “good morning” has become some sort of strange puzzle that I attempt to put together every morning.

Although most mornings end with me shuffling the girls out the door at the very last minute, I have perfected a few ways to save a little bit of time:

  1. Pick out everyone’s outfit the night before.  I usually know what everyone is going to wear the night before, I don’t lay it out but in my head I know exactly (down to the socks) what I need to grab first thing in the morning.
  2. Dresses save a ton of time.  I recently read that throwing on a dress in the morning saves at least four minutes of your time.  I tested this theory out and I definitely saved tons of time wearing a dress rather than pants and a top..
  3. Feed your kids in the car.  I know this sounds so detached and rushed but if your kids are anything like mine, they aren’t hungry until an hour to two hours after they wake up, which puts us exactly at the time we need to be out the door.
  4. Plan out your lunches before the week starts.  My girls lunches are pretty much the same every week.  I alternate fruit and chips/crackers everyday but as far as the main part of the meal goes, it’s pretty much the same thing everyday.  This helps me to grab what I need and quickly get lunches made and packed.
  5. Get a good dry shampoo and have a quick make-up routine.  I usually can go about four days without washing my hair, and dry shampoo can usually get me through the work week.  It gives a little extra body and gets rid of the oily/greasy look I get on day four/five.  If you don’t have a quick routine, check out my post from a few weeks ago, 5 Minute Mommy Makeup.

How do you save time in the morning?   What are some ways that help your mornings to run smoother?  Any suggestions would be appreciated 🙂

Currently lusting over…

The weather this week has been nothing short of perfect! Sunny and cool, with a nice fall breeze. The leaves are changing and it’s just cool enough that the heat needs to be turned on first thing in the morning. The cool weather has me lusting over some fall gear for me and the girls. Check out the fall items I am currently lusting over!

BeFunky CollageTop Left: Old Navy Fleece Ruffle Hem Top for Baby

Bottom Left: Charming Charlie Hematite Organic Druzy Pendent Necklace

Middle: Old Navy Colorblock Baseball Cap  

Top Right: Target Toddler Girls’ Cherokee Diem Sweater Cuff Boots

Bottom Right:H&M Padded Jacket

Packed School Lunches!

Next to grocery shopping, packing lunches is one thing I absolutely loathe! It’s not fun, and it makes me think too much, and there is nothing worse than putting a ton of work into your kid’s lunches and having them bring home a lunch bag with everything untouched!

The girls’ school is peanut free so I’ve had to be a bit creative with lunches, but for the most part I’ve been pretty successful in packing lunches that are tasty AND healthy.

If your children are anything like mine they love to dip things…anything. They especially love to dip veggies or pita chips in hummus. My girls go crazy for hummus, and the added bonus is, it helps them eat their veggies! If I’m really short on ideas, I’ll put hummus on a tortilla and make miniature pinwheels, which are generally a huge hit!

Our girls are fruit crazy, so I usually pack two fruits for them. Lately they have been getting a GoGo Squeeze applesauce, and whatever other fruit is our house. This generally helps me avoid putting a sweet snack in their lunch. Usually two times a week I’ll slip a cookie or fruit snacks in their bag but I like to save the good stuff for after dinner, so I can enjoy it with them.

Our oldest, LOVES bagels with cream cheese and a normal size bagel is way too much for her tiny belly. Recently I found Wegman’s Mini Bagels that are the perfect size for her. The mini bagels are always gone from her lunch! The youngest is more of meat and cheese gal, she usually get turkey and cheese roll-ups, but occasionally I’ll get a little crazy and put the turkey and cheese on bread and cookie cutter a star or heart!

What are your kid’s favorite packed lunches? I would love some new ideas!

A Few Little Surprises

I knew that going back to work meant we would have a handful of surprises along the way but I was pleasantly surprised when there were no major hiccups! The girls have adjusted great, and besides all of us needing a little extra sleep the transition has been great. There were a few things that surprised me though:

– Our house is actually tidier now than it was when I was home. Yes, it makes sense because we aren’t home during the day but I never thought I would be THAT on top of things. Most evenings I tidy up, make dinner, give the girls baths and try to make time for my husband. That’s more than I did when I was home.
– I don’t miss being home as much as I thought I would. Don’t get me wrong, I miss spending the days with my girls but I also am really loving getting dressed and showered every day, talking to my co-workers and drinking an entire cup of hot coffee! It’s little things like that, that make me feel a bit more like myself.
– It’s harder on me than it is on my girls. This could not be more true! I’m the one who still gets sad when I drive away each morning after dropping them off and I’m the one who gets half sad when I tell the girls that they have school the next day.
– Everyday gets easier and easier. I’m sure I’ll always miss the girls like crazy but it has become much much easier to drop them off at school. I look forward to seeing their happy faces and warm hugs when I pick them up every evening!

The past two weeks have solidified that my husband and I made the right decision for me to go back to work. The girls are happy, I’m happy and my husband is happy, and that is the best surprise of all!

One week down!

I’m beyond exhausted but more than that I’m bursting with pride for my girls and myself! We made it through our first week of preschool and working full-time! It has been quite an adjustment for all of us but I think we have all handled it very well. Yes, I may have cried for the majority of my first morning, but for the most part it went very smooth!

First Day of School!

First Day of School!

Check back next week for what surprised me most about going back to work!

Summer in the Lehigh Valley

Summer time is the best time for adventure, every week or so I have tried (emphasis on “tried”) to do something fun and new with the girls. At the beginning of the summer I made a list of all the places in the Lehigh Valley that offer great activities for kids, so far we have hit two places on my list: The DaVinci Center in Allentown, and the Lehigh Valley Zoo at the Trexler Nature Preserve.

The Da Vinci Center is filled with fun exhibits and hands on activities for kids of all ages. This summer the big exhibit is National Geographic Presents: Earth Explorers. The exhibit features all sorts of hands on activities and information on places that most people will never visit. Kids and parents alike get to experience everything from the African savannas to the Himalayas in Asia and everything in between.   My girls loved starring into the eyes of a Great White Shark and discovering bugs that live in the Amazon.

Driving a tractor @ The Da Vinci Center

Driving a tractor @ The Da Vinci Center

Just riding on a dog sled.

Just riding on a dog sled.

The Da Vinci Center also offers hands-on activities geared toward younger children (ages 2-6) every Monday from 10:30am-1:30pm. On the particular day we went they had huge blocks to crawl on and a car that the kids could add gears and car parts to. The girls love playing in the car and stacking and climbing on the blocks! Our favorite part of the day was the touch tank! There is something so exciting about touching a star fish and being face-to-face with a little crab.   The girls loved learning about all the different types of fish and creatures that were swimming by them.

The Da Vinci Center has a ton to offer and it is reasonably priced. I strongly suggest making a visit if you have kids; there is something for everyone!

The Lehigh Valley Zoo is on my top favorite days spent with my family.  The girls LOVED every second we spent wandering around and it’s the perfect size for younger kids. They offer a petting zoo and they also have a little playground set up. The girls loved watching the otter swim around and our youngest loved the goats. My personal favorite were the Mexican Gray Wolves! We can’t wait to go back again!

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Here is a list of a few of the other attractions we hope to visit this summer:

Crayola Factory-Easton, PA

Sesame Place-Langhorn, PA

Philadelphia Zoo/Adventure Aquarium-Philadelphia, PA/Camden, NJ

Please Touch Muesum-Philadelphia, PA