Thursday, December 13, 2012

American Girl Doll Extravaganza 2012

The day the girls had been waiting 8 months for had FINALLY arrived! Our trip to Chicago to visit the American Girl Doll Store. 
Earlier this year the girls decided that instead of birthday parties they wanted American Girl Dolls. The deal we all agreed on was that Mommy and Daddy would buy the dolls and the girls would have to save their allowance to buy any accessories they wanted (we also asked the grandparents for AG gift cards this year instead of presents). Both girls saved $60 each. I'm so proud of them. Any money they got this year went straight into their jars, they were determined to get what they wanted!!! They would sit with the catalog and a calculator and figure out what they could get with their money. It was a great lesson in saving and making choices. Each time this year they wanted something they had to decided whether is was worth taking money from the American Girl Doll jar to get it. 

We decided to make it a two day event. Thanks to Daddy's traveling and hotel points we were able to get a hotel room within walking distance of the store and most importantly, it had a pool! As soon as we made it to Chicago we headed straight to the store. If you haven't been there there place is AMAZING! Rows and rows of dolls and fun accessories and the staff is so helpful and knowledgable about the dolls. The hubby said it reminded him of Disney and he was so right. It's not just a store, it's an experience!

This year Noa has asked Santa for a "flute tiny" (not to be confused with a tiny flute)...she was so excited to find it at the store!!!
Both girls knew EXACTLY which doll they wanted. Noa was set on Molly and Logan picked Ivy. 
I love the HUGE smiles on their faces!

 Welcome to the family Molly and Ivy!!!
For dinner the girls wanted spaghetti. Mommy and Daddy really didn't plan or think that it may be hard to find a place to eat on a Saturday night in the city. We found a great Italian only had a 90 minute wait! Luckily the girls found this great little nook where they could sit and play with their dolls. It was the only place to sit and it was a lifesaver. 
This what a 5 year looks like after waiting an hour and a half for dinner...

Happy Birthday cheers!
I love how the girls get all shy when the birthday celebration begins.

Someone certainly perks up when the dessert arrives...

The night ended with a few presents...matching PJs for the girls and their dolls, little trays of "food" and of course everyone, even AG Dolls, needs their own iPhone!

Day 2 included more shopping and a birthday celebration in the American Girl Doll Cafe.
Grandma was so generous and treated the family to the Deluxe Birthday celebration. Each girl and doll got a birthday hat and a goodie bag filled with treats. The food was really good and the dolls got to sit in special "treat seats" that attached to the table. It was the perfect way to end the weekend extravaganza!

Again more "shyness" when the birthday cake arrives...

It was a quick, but fun and memorable weekend. Something that we will all remember!
 Thanks for checking in!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Magic Puppets- Super Awesome Guest Blogger

Today I am happy to have a very, very special guest blogger!!! My daughter Logan. She is the queen of recycled crafts in our house. She has the amazing ability to take something someone has thrown away and see beyond the trash and turn it into something wonderful. She is always asking for empty boxes, milk cartons and plastic bottles.

Here are few of her most recent and amazing transformations:

Minute the Bird (Minute because "it took me 'bout a minute to make)
Hour the Penguin (not because it took her an hour but "because it's a bigger bird and an hour's longer than a minute"...we're still waiting on a small bottle so she can make Second.)
Slickady The Snail

A few days ago she came downstairs and asked for what seemed like completely random supplies. I couldn't wait to see what she was making. The final project was so clever that I asked her if she would share it and be a guest blogger. I think it's a great kids craft because you probably already have everything you need and if you don't, just use your creativity! She was super excited and we had a lot of fun working on the post together. I have a feeling she'll be a reoccurring guest blogger!

So without further ado....I give you Logan...


My name is Logan. I like to do crafts and to read and eat a lot. I like my family. I am six years old. 

Magic Puppets
I found this in a book and I thought that I wouldn't be able to do it, but when I saw that my family had the materials we needed I got to work. Instead of using two of the same shape and gluing them onto the paper clip, I cut one shape and taped it to the paperclip. I think this is good for kids older than six because you need to use scissors.

  • an empty, THIN box 
  • scissors
  • crayons or markers
  • paper
  • paperclips-you will need one for every puppet you want to make, it must be made out of metal.
  • magnet
  • tongue depressor or popsicle stick
  • tape or glue
  • paint (optional)
Step 1
Cut off the top of your box. It's important that your box is thin!

Step 2
Cover your box with paper or colored paper or paint with dark paint. Decorate however you want if you want to.

Step 3-Making your puppets
Take your paperclip and bend into an "L" shape. Now you draw your puppet, any character you want. Even a person. Mine is a fish. Now cut out your puppet. Then tape the paperclip on the back of your puppet. 

Step 4
Now do the background of your stage. Mine is fish and water. Bend the bottom of the paper and glue or tape it to the inside of the box.

Step 5
Take the magnet and tape or glue it to the tongue depressor or popsicle stick. This is to move the puppets on the stage. 
To use your Magic Puppets you have to put one puppet or two on the top of the stage. Now put your magnet stick inside the box under your puppet. Now move it CAREFULLY and if your box is thin enough the puppet will move. 

I really hope you like this project and it's fun for you! BYE!


Monday, November 5, 2012

Monumental Half-Full Circle

This past weekend I ran my first post-pregnancy race, The Indy Monumental Half. It was cold, damp and started to rain at towards then end, but I was really pleased with my performance. Three years ago my running partner Traci ran the Monumental for her very first half marathon. I ran it with her, keeping her mind off how far we had to go and encouraging her along the way. This year it was Traci's turn to be the cheerleader! She did a great job and really kept me motivated. Around mile 5 I was feeling tired and drained, my back was hurting and I really didn't think I could run the rest of the way. I asked her to distract me by helping me plan my meals for the week. We started discussing our favorite recipes and before I knew it we were at mile 8! The last 5 miles actually flew by. Around mile 12 we were passed by the leading three men of the FULL MARATHON! It happened to us the first year we ran it too. It is so amazing that someone ran twice as far was we did, twice as fast! I also partook in my favorite post-race ritual, a huge double cheeseburger from Five Guys, a cold beer and a long nap! This race took a lot out of me and I was so lucky that the hubby took charge of the little ones so I could recover! 

I had two goals, run the entire race and finish under 2:30. Happily I achieved both goals-whoo hoo!

My stats:
Overall time-2:21:19 (time includes one potty break)
Overall Place-3440/4985
Age Group-312/468

Certainly not by best race from a time perspective, but I felt strong, ran the whole way and had a great time. I'm so lucky to have my Bestie/Running Partner Traci! We make a great team!!!
Normally I end my running season in November, but since I got a late start this year the hubby and I added a half in December. It's called The Santa Hustle and I'm so excited! You get a Santa hat, beard and your shirt looks just like Santa's (you know how much I love my swag!!!), they even play Christmas music along the race route. It sounds like the perfect way to end my (short) running season!