Friday, August 30, 2013

Water Park Fun

This last weekend we brought A and E to a water park. We went with some friends. Sadly, I forgot my camera so we don't have any pictures, but I still wanted to document our adventure.

A is 2.5 years old, and E is 6 months old. We took them to a place called AquaSplash because it is smaller and a little more old fashioned. It is very much toddler friendly than the other water parks. It is about 1.5 hours from the house, so we got up and headed out that way. We ended up meeting some friends out there. A absolutely loved it. It was so much for her. She was able to run around and play and do her own thing. She wasn't afraid at all, and I was so surprised. In fact, she willingly climbed up to the top of a larger slide and slid down with me without complaining. Going down, she was scared, but once we got down and she realized she was ok, she wanted to do it again and again and again. She absolutely loved it.

Then the parents did a whole Daddy Day Care and Mommy Day Care Rotation. The men would go and ride a slide while the women watched the kids and vice versa. We had so much fun, and I didn't realize how much times have changed for me. 1 - I am older and 2 - I have had children. Both have changed my level of fear and anxiety, to say the least. I didn't realize how scared of heights I was and how scared of water slides I am. Again, to say the least. In the end, we all had a great time. Since it was the last weekend before school starts here, it was a great one. Spent with great friends and awesome company.

We were there for 7 hours with 8 children under the age of 7 and 7 adults. Pretty nice day for all of us!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

E has a tooth... and A needs to potty train!

This week I actually have an update on the girls. Something new, and something exciting has happened.

Baby E got her first tooth. She is 6 months old, and we discovered Saturday morning as we pulled into the waterpark for our daily adventure. We have no idea how long she had it. She didn't run any fever. She didn't seem aggravated or tense or anything. No signs of a tooth wanting to pop through. But here we are with a tooth. I hope all her teeth are this easy. A killed us with teething!

Next is potty training. Now that we have gotten our summer travels out of the way, we feel it is time to really buckle down and start potty training A seriously. So here I am asking for your tips and tricks? Please? :)

** If you haven't realized, we are back from vacation. I will be blogging about it over the next few weeks!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Morning Skin Care Routine:

My morning facial routine has to be quick and easy, but refreshing for my skin. When I was pregnant with A, I had gotten very bad pregnancy acne and it caused a lot of scarring. I thought I would never get rid of it, but over time, after trying a variety of products, I feel like I have finally found my solution. I thought I would share my morning and evening skin care routine, as well as my staple makeup products for my face that either cover or help my scarring.

When I wake up, the first thing I do is wash my face with the Clean & Clear Morning Burst Skin Brightening Facial Cleanser.



 This cleanser "is formulated with a unique blend of caffeine, lemon and papaya and cleanses to help brighten the appearance of your skin while releasing an invigorating fruit fragrance that awakens your senses. Skin appears instantly refreshed and leaves you ready to face the day."

I really, really like this facial cleanser. I was originally using the orange version of this, and I like it. A friend of mine uses this one, but hadn't tried the orange one. She recommended this one, so I decided to give it a try to compare the two.  It only makes sense that this one would be even better  because of the lemon in it. It definitely stood up to my expectations! I have seen amazing results, and I have been using it for just over a month.

Next, I put on a toner. Right now, I am using the Avalon Organics Vitamin C Renewal Balancing Toner.


This toner is used "to rebalance skin tone and moisture levels. Our pore perfecting combination of Aloe, Cucumuber and Papaya Extracts purifies and hydrates while targeting areas of hyperpigmentation. Plant-derived Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant and cell energizer, helps eliminate free radical damage caused by daily sun exposure to help fight visible signs of photo-aging."

I use this toner during the summer because it has an SPF in it. Not only that, it helps with hyperpigmentation. Also has lemon extracts, which is a great source for skin discoloration and scarring. I love the way it makes my skin feel ( and smell ). It was one of those products that I really didn't set high expectations for because I had not heard of it before, but it actually is a great product for me. 

After I apply the toner, I put on my moisturizer. I have had a hard time finding a moisturizer for me because I have oily and sensitive skin. I have to have something that is oil free and not too thick. When I lived in Louisiana and Texas, I really enjoyed the Mary Kay moisturizer for oily/combination skin. Once I got to England, it always broke me out. Then I started using the Proactive Oil Free Moisturizer, and I still use it occasionally, but it definitely wasn't my favorite. About 2 months ago, I discovered the Simple Skin Experts products. I really enjoy their facial cleanser wipes, so I thought I would give their moisturizer a try. It is the perfect consistency for me. It is the Simple Skincare Replenishing Rich Moisturizer


Lastly, I use a firming eye cream. I'm not 100% sold on this one, so I will be trying more.


This ends my morning skincare routine. I am on the hunt for a pore minimizer. Any suggestions or recommendations?




Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Girls Model

Did you know the girls model for small boutiques?

My girls have been modeling for a couple of years now. A has been in it since she was 8 months old. E started at 2 months.

For this Mommy Wednesday, I thought I would share some recent modeling photos of the girls.

A few of E




And here's a few for A




Remember, all posts during our vacation are scheduled. We hope you enjoy them!


Monday, August 19, 2013

First Impression: Neutrogena Wave

So recently while I was shopping at the commissary, I noticed that they had this gadget like thing that was for cleaning your face. It is the Neutrogena Wave. I didn't buy it immediately because I assumed it was one of those things that look cool and interesting but are actually a complete waste of money. I have only tried it once, so I have no idea yet. But I thought it would be fun to do a fist impressions of it. These types are popular among beauty gurus, and I didn't find any legit reviews of the product. So I thought I would write my first impressions and after a month or so I could come back for a full review of the product.

Here's the product:

When I first saw this product, I immediately wondered if it was a cheaper version to the Clarisonic Mia. I know many people rave over that, but I can't help but wonder if they only do it for the incentives that come with promoting the product and using their discount codes to buy it. After some research, I learned that they are two totally different products. They can't be compared to at all. The Clarisonic offers way, way, way more than this $8 product, which should not be surprising when you see the price of the Clarisonic. 

I bought the Neutrogena Wave (NW) the other day. I have been on a buying new products when I see them in fear of me not being able to get my hands on them later. This should not be a surprise as the military always sells stuff then stops and you are left without it. If you really want to give it a try, then you get it while you can without second guessing the next opportunity. Bottom Line... I bought it. For $8. 

It comes with a $2.00 off refill coupon as well as 2 weeks supply of the foaming pads that attach to its head. It takes a AA battery, which is also included. 

I finally decided to give it a go last night. I figured the best time to use it was at night. Maybe I am wrong? I used it. The vibrating was something new to me, and honestly it was a bit weird. But I got use to it quickly. I began massaging my face in a circular motion that it suggests doing. I did my whole face. After doing my first cheek, I felt a tingle and burning sensation. At first it worried me. I wondered if my face was turning red. But it didn't. My face definitely felt clean and soft like it claims. I could actually see clearly where my oily areas are, which I think is a good thing because that means it is cleaning pretty deep. I just don't know if it is pulling too much oil. After all, we do need some oils to keep a healthy glow in our skin. I made sure to moisturize afterwards. 

I woke up feeling great. I felt like my skin actually felt really good. I was impressed. I definitely admit that I enjoyed it. I; however, am scared to use it every night because I do have sensitive skin. I worry that it may pull too much from my skin and cause me to get dry, to break out, and damage my skin. 

I have known too many people in my life who cleaned their face so much to try and get rid of acne that they actually caused more problems. I do not want to be that person. With that said, I will probably use it every other night for now. Then I will do a full review on the product and see how things change over time. 

Have you tried it? Have you heard of it? I saw that it won some award back in 2007 or 2009. This is the first I have heard of it or seen it. 

Remember, I am on vacation until August 25, so all post are scheduled until then. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Fun Facts about Spain

I thought since we are visiting Spain I would schedule some posts. Here is the first of a few scheduled posts. This one is going to be some fun facts about Spain.

As a teacher, these would be the things I would teach the students about Spain for a country project.

The Spanish name for Spain is EspaƱa.
The Spanish language is spoken in many areas of the world due to the early influence of the Spanish Empire.
Spain is located in Europe.
It is a developed country with a high quality of life.
The largest city and capital of Spain is Madrid.
The second largest city is Barcelona, which is located in Catalonia.
The population of Spain in 2012 was around 47 million.
The currency used in Spain is the Euro.
In Spain they drive on the right-hand side of the road.
 It is believed that modern humans first arrived in Spain around 32000 years ago.
Mount Teide is the highest mountain in Spain (3718 m, 12198 ft) and an active volcano.
The Pyrenees is a mountain range that divides Spain and France.
Spain includes a number of islands including Mallorca, Tenerife, Ibiza and Gran Canaria. Many can be found in the Canary Islands, an archipelago off the northwest coast of Africa.
The Spanish tourism industry is one of the largest in the world, bringing in billions of Euros into the Spanish economy.
Spain produces a large amount of renewable energy, including wind power and solar power.
Spain has a variety of foods and unique dishes such as paella (a type of rice dish) and tapas (a range of small snacks or appetizers).
Football (soccer) is the most popular sport in Spain.
The 1992 Summer Olympic Games were held in Barcelona.
For more information, check out maps of Spain or take a closer look at the Spainish flag.

If you could visit Spain yourself, what would you want to see? What would be your must-see thing(s)?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Vacation

We are leaving for vacation tomorrow, so I am going to try and schedule some amazing posts while I am going to go up while I am away. I will be returning August 25, so that Monday may be off schedule as well. I hope to have the blog up and running again by the following Wednesday to keep it on track.

On another thought, I had planned on doing a back to school giveaway. I had started gathering items, but then my husband left and the internet went down for weeks. I do have a few items, but I haven't had time to post anything about it. Would there still be interest?

If I could get... ehhh... maybe 5 people to comment and show their interest, then when I return it will be one of the first things I get up!!

For the vacation, I leave tomorrow. We are going to Spain. Barcelona and Madrid. We may sneak some day trips and beach days in there. Then we return on the 23rd, and on the following Saturday we are bringing the girls to a water park as the last big "woo hoo" before school starts.

Be ready for some.... scheduled posts! :)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Polka Dot Alligator - Customized Children's Boutique Wear

I always want to tell you guys about things I buy for the girls when I am extremely happy with them. Well, this time this boutique passed all expectations plus some.

The Polka Dot Alligator is a boutique on Facebook (and Etsy) that sells children's clothing at great prices. She constantly has sells, and she is willing to work with you on what you want. She has made the girls' summer clothing, fall outfits, Christmas outfits, and pre-football season outfits. I am beyond impressed at the quality of the items and her turn around time for shipping. She is based in Louisiana.

If you like this kind of thing, you should check her out. No need to tell her I sent you because she doesn't even know I am writing about her. I seriously just love her work and amazing deals that I just needed to share the love. She does boxes for $100 shipped. She shipped me a flat rate box stuffed full for $100 and it fit 15 outfits. If you do the math, then that is just over $6. You can't beat that. And it is all so adorable. She just recently did the same deal for back to school clothing. Since my girls don't go to school, I didn't take her up on the offer. I'm not sure if it is still available, but if it is, you guys should snatch it up. I promise you will love it!!

 http://www.facebook.com/thepolkadotalligator 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Lazy Weekend

With us going to Spain in about a week, we have been enjoying our lazy weekends around the house. We have been focusing on cleaning up and tending to the garden so we can enjoy our Spain trip. Our weekends have involved so much outside time that it is unreal. Mowing, weeding, planting, swimming, sports, sprinkler fun, picking tomatoes and other fruits and veggies. This weekend I think we will be picking our radish pods and pickling them. We have several zucchini's that are ready as well. I think we will pick those as well and share some with our friends and neighbors. There are too many for us to eat alone. But then again, we do put zucchini in a lot of dishes.

I would love to put some pictures of the girls, so I will do that here. I know I haven't updated much on them or even posted many pictures lately. Here are a few:

Lets back track to April. This first picture of the girls shows how A always wants to entertain and be right there with E. They seriously can not get enough of each other.



These next several pictures show an afternoon of the girls playing outside. Between playing with water toys and buying them a new outdoor playhouse and slide, we spend a lot of time outside. 


I have a hard time with these pictures of A. 1 - she was/is going through a stage where she doesn't want a bow or ponytail. It drives me nuts and 2 - she refuses to wear a whole piece bathing suit. She hates the way it feels. But I really don't like her being in a two piece. Anyway, she's young... yes I know. 


And the new playhouse! 





She insisted E have a turn on the slide. Excuse the way I look! 


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A's favorite snacks {2 years}

When a baby becomes a toddler, a fairly high percentage of their diet is on snacking. I always try to plan what I will have for snack foods in the house and what I will also have for lunch. I plan to do a post on A's favorite lunches at this age, so I can be prepared with E. This post is going to be A's favorite snacks at this point and time. 

A is 2.5 years old. She is our eater. She loves to eat, and she is definitely not picky. If she sees you eating, she wants what you have. This girl will eat anything you give her. And she will even go to the fruit trees and pick stuff to eat, and go in the garden and attempt to pick stuff. She isn't allowed in the garden, so normally I catch her before she attempts but she has succeed before with the tomatoes. 

Anyway, I thought I would list A's top 5 favorite snacks right now. They are in no particular order. Just like with any other child, she changes fairly often. As time goes on, I may update. 

1. Yogurt. A loves yogurt. She has for a while, too. But now she can eat it by herself. She likes flavored yogurt, as well as plain yogurt. And sometimes I even give her fruit to go with it. 

2. Fig Newtons. She has been enjoying herself some Fig Newtons lately. She also likes the strawberry, blueberry, and apple ones. But her favorite are by far the fig ones. 

3. Apple Sauce... or any kind of fruit sauce. We have several fruit trees. We couldn't eat the fruit fast enough, so I decided to make and freeze some apple, pear, and cherry sauce for Baby E could have some when we started her on solids. Well, A decided she was in love. She has eaten the whole stash in the freezer. Now I am having to buy from the grocery store, which is fine. I decided to try her again on the pouches because I thought it would be a great way for her to be on the go and still enjoy her apple sauce. Surprisingly, she loves them. So we buy both, the cup and the pouches. 

4. Cheese Sticks. I have a hard time with this one. A is just like me. She loves, loves, loves cheese. I know it is a good source of calcium, and I know it is healthy when eating properly. But this girl loves cheese beyond no end. If I let her, she would eat a whole bag of string cheese in one sitting. 

5. The last one that I am going to post is one that is generally a given with children this age. It is important for them to have it, and generally each child likes some variety of it. Fruit. A loves fruit. She goes through stages where she will be really into berries, then back to apples, pears, and bananas. Right now, she is loving nectarines. She went through a Clementine phase as well. The only fruit that she hasn't really taken too is watermelon. She loves pineapple and cantaloupe. We give her fruit a lot. Especially during these hot months.One of my favorite ways to eat it is through a salad with a packet of instant vanilla or cheesecake pudding over it! Yum!

That wraps up A's favorite snacks at this time. She loves to eat and her taste buds are always changing. I hope to do more of these just to watch as her taste buds and desires change. I hope you enjoyed this. And I hope it gives you some inspiration to what to give your children as snacks! 







Monday, August 5, 2013

What's on my nails? August 4, 2013

To start off Makeup Monday, I thought I would do a basic post. This one is what is on my nails. I may do a few of these throughout the year just to talk about my favorite colors for the different seasons and so on.

While Mr. Man was gone, I allowed A to paint my nails. Most of the time I let her paint my nails and I can generally fix them to help them look a bit more presentable.

For the summer, my favorite colors for my nails are mint and pink. I am loving the Wet N Wild Wild Shine in Tickled Pink and Sally Hansen Hair as Nails XtremeWear in Mint Sorbet.


(Not my picture - picture credit on photo)


(Not my picture - picture credit on photo)

For my toes, I have really been enjoying Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Blue Me Away. 


(Not my picture - picture credit on photo)

What has been your favorite colors for this summer?


Sunday, August 4, 2013

New Line Up

Mr. Man went to Poland for a few weeks. While he was gone, our internet went down. This is why I haven't been blogging. When the internet did kick in, I had to do things that needed to get done instead of doing the fun stuff. The kids definitely kept me on my toes as well. A was all over the place, and now E is crawling. They both seem to go opposite directions. A is such a big help, though. She loves to tickle E, sleep with her, read to her, and play with her. A shares very well and loves E so much.

During my time off, I really sat back to think about what my blog is about and what I find myself wanting to write about. The most seems to be Beauty, Health/Fitness, our life to-do's, Travel, and food. Menu Plan Monday hasn't been working out like I plan because we are on a different schedule then before. With that said, this is what I have worked in.

Make-up Monday - This will consist of health and beauty. Either things I want to try, things I have bought, reviews, what I am wearing, etc.

Wednesday will be Mommy things. Preschool prep with A, what the girls are doing and learning, clothing hauls for them, etc. Basically parenting and all about them. No clever name for this yet. Any ideas?

Friday will be Family Fun Friday. This will include our travels, adventures, weekend fun, etc. Things we do as a family.

All other days will be my randoms if I have randoms. For example, if there is a request for a recipe or instructions for something I posted about, then that will be on Tuesday or Thursday. Saturday's we are never home and if we are, we live outside so it will be my blog free day for sure. Some posts may be scheduled. That will happen if I know I won't be around to post, but there is something I want to post about and I have time to do it in advance.

I am thinking about having a day of advertising for my favorite custom boutiques with reviews and pictures because I catch myself wanting to share our adorable purchases and my girls' modeling pictures. This will be done on Sundays, but right now I am not sure they will be done on every Sunday unless some of you out there have businesses that you would like to share with me or do a guest post for me to put up. Yes, I love to shop, but I'm not sure I could post something new every Sunday. I could post repeats during different seasons based on what they are offering, but that is about it.

So what do you guys think? I know this is definite change from where it was. I know many of my followers are no children, military wives who started to follow me pre-parenting, pre-Italy, and so forth. I hope you will stick around, and I hope to gain new followers and friends!