Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Wet n' Wild Ones

My baby boys turned one and it was time to celebrate!  Thank goodness for our new pool because the weekend of their party was HOT! While I had wanted to do an "Under the Sea" theme (of course so I could dress up as Ariel, duh) my TH suggested Wet n' Wild Ones and I thought it was brilliant!  With beach balls, a slip n' slide, water guns, a photo booth and beautiful hand made crafts by my amazing MIL it was a magical day of family fun!

The sign from their nursery welcomed guests into the backyard
Our family had come days before to help us prepare for the big day. With the invite list topping 70 I needed all the help I could get!

With so many gorgeous handmade crafts to add to the backyard, my SIL, TM and I took to the backyard. I got nutty with sidewalk chalk while paper pinwheels went up everywhere. My TH blew up nearly 100 beach balls and they were scattered throughout the yard (perfectly I might add), great work Nat!

Picnic time!

With so many families having small children invited, we not only set up tables but also picnic areas around the backyard so babies could crawl and wiggle safely. Umbrellas sprinkled throughout in an effort to capture some much needed shade.

The pool offered a cool sanctuary and the perfect battlefield for water gun wars. 

Knowing I was not only going to be greeting guests and being a hostess but also keeping track of two babies (thank goodness for all the family that held them the entire time), I needed the food and drinks to be easy breezy. I kicked up that Sangar-ita (Sangria/Margarita combo) maker, we chilled a keg and made water and Capri Suns available for everyone.  Five Costco pizzas and 100 hot dogs were prepped and ready to go just as guests arrived. 

Buckets of goldfish and animal crackers were scattered around the yard making snacking easy for little and big ones alike.

The cutest centerpieces were whipped up by my crafty MIL and made me squeal with delight. I love me some pinwheels!

But hands down, the best craft my MIL EVER made was a variety of sassy birthday hats on adorable black and white faces of the boys! She took it one step further and even made photo booth supplies so we decided to make a banner for picture perfect background! I added the monthly pictures I took of them so everyone could see how big my little ones had gotten.

J.R. invited guests to take a picture with him and his brother.
With everyone swimming, eating and having fun the afternoon flew by.  Soon it was time to get those babies smashing their personal cupcakes!

This birthday boy is ready for some cake!
Not quite sure what to do with their treat...

They figured it out!

The Peanut decided to share some with his mommy
After cake the babies were visibly exhausted and ready to rest. A day by the pool with tons of people fawning over them, not to mention some extreme heat...they were more than thrilled to retreat to their cool bedroom for a much needed afternoon nap!

As the afternoon wore on, guests slowly trickled out and grabbed gorgeous favors prepared by my MIL. I whipped some out too, but they were not nearly as cute as her handiwork!

My sweet treat of a favor for guests to take home...Swedish Fish and a bath toy!

The day was perfect and I know everyone (including the boys) had a lovely time!

Thank you to our wonderful families for all the help, we wouldn't have pulled it off without you. From the beyond beautiful decorations to the hot dog making assembly line. THANK YOU! We love you all so much and are incredibly lucky to have such a magnificent family. 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Make Your Monday - August 31st

The mind is powerful.  Our thoughts have the ability to control what our bodies do and how others perceive us to be. When we create a positive mind that only focuses on what makes us feel good our energy shifts. Have you ever noticed how when you think of something good you tend to smile? That smile is seen by someone else which then causes a chain reaction of feel good-ness? Well, if you haven't experienced it, give it a try. Think positive, feel positive, live positive.


Em spent her usual three day weekend hanging out with the boys in their new playroom while also serving as the newest socialite to hit the scene. With friends coming from near and far to splash in the pool, Em's days were jammed packed.  After an in home beauty treatment of long awaited lash extensions, she even got out of her comfort zone a bit and went on a semi-blind lady date with some lovely local hot mommies!

Nic's nesting instinct is starting to kick in so her and TH got down to business organizing the garage, some cluttered bathroom drawers, and even BK's hand me down clothes for BK2. She can't wait to get started on BK2's room next!!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Quick & Effective Ways to Workout

Being a working mommy means time is of the essence. If you are like me, the minute you walk in the door, you race to change and wash your hands so you can kiss those babies. After a power snuggle, I get them started on a safe, independent activity so I can unload my work bag, tidy up a bit before getting dinner going. By the time everyone is fed and bathed, not to mention the house picked up, dishes done and laundry started, the last thing I want to do is kick off a workout...didn't I just do that for the last three hours racing around the house?!

Despite the evenings being non-stop, I have to make time for exercise. Even if it is just 20 minutes, banging out some high intensity intervals are a must for me...or I am not very nice... Power Hour is a go to for me for sure, but what exercises are really going to get the most bang for my no extra time buck?  Well, according to, Derek Degrazio of Barry's Bootcamp, all you need is 8 minutes and a set of dumbbells....I AM IN!

This workout calls for the dumbbell exercise to be performed for 60 seconds completing as many reps as possible (using correct form of course). Once the minute has passed, lose the weights and do 30 seconds of the "burnout" exercise.

Check out the workout below courtesy of and enjoy the burning benefits you are going to feel for less than 10 minutes!

The workout requires only a 5-10 pound set of dumbbells and a fired up, kill that workout attitude!

Set 1

60: Squat and Press
Stand with feet hip-width apart and holding a weight in each hand directly above shoulders. Hinge hips back and lower into a squat keeping weight in heels. Stand and press both weights overhead. Return weights to above shoulders and immediately lower into next rep.
30: Squat Jump
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Hinge hips back and lower into a squat. Push through heels to stand and explode off the ground. Land and immediately begin next rep.

Set 2

60: Lunge and Curl
Stand with feet together and a weight in each hand. Step right foot forward and bend both knees to create two 90 degree angles with legs. Turn palms to face away from body and curl weights to shoulders. Lower weights back to sides, stand, and step right foot back to meet left. That's 1 rep; alternate sides with each rep.
30: Flunge (flying lunge)
Start in a lunge position with right foot forward. Jump off the ground and switch legs in mid-air, landing in a lunge position with left foot forward. Continue alternating sides with each rep.

Set 3

60: Deadlift and Pull
Stand with feet hip-width apart with arms in front of body, palms facing in and a weight in each hand. Keeping a soft bend in knees and back flat, reach weights toward floor, stopping near ankles or shins. Return to standing, pressing hips forward slightly. Now raise weights to chest-height, keeping elbows higher than hands. Return arms to start to complete 1 rep.
30: Squat Thrust
Stand with feet hip-distance apart. Place palms on ground and jump legs back into a high plank position. Jump feet back towards hands and jump straight up, immediately lowering into the next rep.

Set 4

60: Tricep Extension and Leg Raise
Lie face up, arms raised in the air directly above shoulders with a weight in each hand, palms facing each other, and legs extended on floor. Keeping elbows still, lower each weight toward floor until hands are next to ears with elbows pointing to the sky. Press weights back up and lift legs to sky until feet are above hips. Lower legs back to ground to complete 1 rep.
30: Flutter Kicks
Lie face up with arms by side and legs extended away from body. Raise arms, legs, and torso six inches off floor and begin to "flutter" legs, alternating up and down a few inches with opposite feet.

Set 5

60: Push-Up With Row
Start in a push-up position with each hand holding on to a weight that is resting on the ground. Do one push-up, then row right arm to torso keeping elbow close to torso. Repeat with left arm to complete 1 rep.
30: Plank Jacks
Start in a high plank position with wrists under shoulders, abs tight, and spine long. Quickly jump feet in and out while maintaining a plank position.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

What your nursery REALLY needs

As Thriving Mommies we learn a lot as we go. There have been so many things we have thought we wanted/needed as parents only to have them go untouched. For example, have you ever noticed that your kids want to play with the tissue paper their gifts are wrapped in more than the gift itself? Welcome to parenthood. Had we known all the things we know now before our first we would have saved TONS of time and money.  When our fellow TW Mrs. A asked us to whip up a nursery post, we were happy to share what we have found along the way. First up...Nic's Mint & Grey Neutral Nursery. 

  1. Comfy rocker or glider
    • Should have high arms to help support you during feeds
    • High back
    • Recliner is a plus
    • Back "wings" are a plus (not pictured) in case you need a quick snooze
  2. Little side table or surface near chair
    • For your phone, ipad, drinks/snacks - you won't want to get up!
  3. Dresser/changing table
    • I like things that do double duty, so I just stuck a changing pad right on top of the cute vintage dresser I had custom painted to match my marvelous mint nursery. No need for an expensive "changing table", you can get a second hand dresser instead! 
  4. Changing pad
    • Some people simply change their babies on the floor or any nearby surface, so I'd say this one is optional. 
  5. Curtains/blinds
    • As you can see here, this room gets pretty bright, but that's not so good when trying to regulate a newborns backward sleep cycles, or when the time changes and it's still light out at 8pm. Any dark curtains or blinds will do, "blackout" is optional. 
  6. Something to hold your supplies
    • Totally up for interpretation based on your nursery design. I put clothes in this dresser but the supplies could've gone in one of those top drawers as well. If you are faced with a blowout, you want those things easily accessible! 

Granted, Em had a bit of a different story with her twins, but agrees with all of Nic's picks above. Heck, you could even wait on the crib for a few months if you plan to co-sleep like she did!

1. Crib
       ~Even though your baby(ies) won't be sleeping in here right away, I used mine all the time to put down a baby (or in my case two) so I could do things around their room. They loved relaxing in       there and looking up at their mobiles or just watching me while I bustled around while singing to them. I had three requirements when crib shopping: safe, plain and cheap. These were a steal at only $89!

2. Organic sheets
     ~There is something about my babies rubbing their faces on fabric that made me hard core organic only...that of course is a personal call...

3. Changing table with storage for cloth diapers/covers
     ~This changing table met my requirements of safe, cheap and plain as well and matched perfectly with the cribs. It came with a pad (and belt for wiggly babies) and was perfect for holding all my cloth diapers and covers. I used baskets in the shelves underneath so I never had to go far to change a diaper.

4. Changing supplies that can move from room to room
     ~I filled a basket with wipes, sanitizer (for poop parties) and tushy cream. I could grab it with some diapers and change the boys in any room.  You want to be mobile if needed.

5. Cozy blankets
     ~I loved cuddling with the boys when they were teeny tiny and nothing was better than cocoonin us both in a soft cozy blanket, we had them in every room!

6. Crib dust ruffle (to hide under crib clutter)
     ~Babies come with a lot of stuff. Stuff can easily transform into clutter. I love these dust ruffles I was given (thanks Mrs. A) because they did a wonderful job of hiding the storage bins full of extra clothes, socks, blankets...(the list continues). They were close enough for me to grab at a moments notice but out of sight keeping the nursery tidy at all times.

7. Comfy chair
     ~I knew having two babies (and a rather large TH) meant needing a more than average chair. Enter the Costco recliner.  LOVE this and was easily the best thing we bought for the nursery. Super comfortable, had a rocking feature, reclines and allows you to kick up those aching feet!

8. Side table/bookcase
     ~There is no doubt wherever your chair is located  you need a place to set down your "stuff".  Nursing requires constant water and often times, snacks. If you are super data collectors like we are, then the iPad should be handy too so record information from the feedings. The bookcase was a plus since we did (and continue to do) a lot of reading.

Still have more questions on where to start shopping for your nursery? We would LOVE to help.  Baby shower essentials are coming soon, so start brainstorming your lists future mommies!

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