Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Wheely Bug - Best Gift Ever


*This post is not endorsed, simply sharing the love*

As a parent, it seems like there is always an endless supply of toys coming through the house. Birthdays, Christmas, Just Because...I mean it really never stops. Last Christmas, the gift from my MIL, their Grandma G was truly a standout. The amazing Wheely Bug.


Wheely Bugs were designed in Australia to be safe and user friendly for pre-walkers and sprinters alike. They come in all sorts of cute animal/bug designs and are a hit with every kid who has one. They go in all directions and help to promote gross motor skills and balance...which I of course love. 
Easy to clean, easy to ride and safe for my little ones while also getting them moving was an answer to this toddler mom's prayers. As usual, HUGE thanks to Grandma G!

Clarkey-Puss and his beloved Piggy
Peanut taming Tigers one ride at a time.
As soon as my (not yet) 18 month old monsters saw their newest pals, they were obsessed. They pushed them, pulled them and scooted around the house at top speed. Thankfully our hardwood floors were the perfect "racetrack" for them as they went round and round showcasing their skills.


As we enter a year into our Wheely Bug lives, the boys have not stopped their love affairs. Granted, the scooting has gone from slow and steady to frighteningly fast, riding backwards, stunts and "tandem" rides. I think they will soon be ready for the Toddler X Games for Wheely Bug-ness.


Needless to say, when it comes to gift giving, this is my pick for the active one year old. I love that they are simple, classic and not plastic. You can find these cuties on Amazon or go their website to find a distributor near you. United States for us it is PrinceLionheart.com. Either way, this product is sure to be the one toy you want to keep forever!

Strive to thrive, 
Em

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Thursdays Thriving Thought


It should be no surprise that our obsession with mermaids runs deep....real deep. Aside from having great hair, getting to wear bikini tops on the regular and having a glittery green tail, they make waves. 

Shouldn't we as Thriving Wives also make waves? Spreading waves of joy to those around us, creating positive waves through each experience we encounter and not being afraid to make waves if something is happening we disagree with.  

As the end of summer draws nearer, let us throw our fins up one last time and give out a big Mer-AAAYYYY for all we have to be grateful for. Take on the weekend not being afraid of making waves, but owning that we do.

Strive to thrive, 
Em

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Add That Pop Of Color


Over the years my decorating style has become more and more reserved. I like to keep my backgrounds neutral (I have been reaaalllyy into the grey palate) and add POPS of color throughout the rest of the house. Since most (if not all) of my furniture is second hand/vintage it tends to also be pretty plain. Which to me, is an even more exciting way to use my house as a "canvas" of sorts.
  • Fresh Flowers. I tend to get bright, vibrant colors to draw the eyes to that POP of color!

  • Potted Plant. If you aren't into buying fresh flowers each week, either snip some from your garden or invest in a potted plant. My purple orchid added quite a POP to my dining room.

  • Books. I love me some books on display. I decided to showcase a "His & Hers" collection which also had a bright POP of color to add some fiery red to the room. 

  • Frugal Fab Finds. Strawberry Shortcake anyone? When I found this worn little tid-bit at a garage sale I knew it would be just the right POP to add to my dining room's ivory vintage hutch. 


  • Aprons. My kitchen's "whisper of mint" cabinets are only brought to life through my assortment of vintage knobs.  Well, I knew just what POP would add a bit more to the room to make it stand out...my apron collection!


  • Color Contrast. Another surefire way to add that POP of color to a room...color contrast! I love to use fresh fruit against a bright colander. I find great pleasure in picking which of my colored colanders to will play best against my weekly fruit purchases.

How do you add that POP of color?!

Strive to thrive, 
Em

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Just Can't Weight


I have never denied being a cardio junkie.  I love cardio, I can't help it.  I love the way it makes me feel, I love being covered in sweat and I love the power that takes over me after killing an intense workout.  What I don't love is weights.....boooooooo. They bore me to death.  It takes far too long and I never get the same endorphins flowing like after a good ride, run or boxing session.

But lifting weights to increase strength is one of the best things you can do for your body.  Building muscle mass not only will make you stronger, but it will also leave your body burning calories for hours following your workout.  So, as much as I detest doing it, by golly, I need to take those free weights by storm and get it together.


I have been working hard to incorporate at least three lifting sessions in my routine per week. It is getting harder to do the bigger I get, but at least I can sit down and do arms..which really helps...a lot.

I am not trying to bulk up by any means so I keep the weight low (ten pounds max) and reps high. If you are brand new to lifting, maybe start with three or five pounds and increase from there.

Now, when  you are creating your own weight plan you want to ensure you use weights that are going to challenge your muscles throughout the exercise and fatigue.  But when your form starts to go... STOP, do not do the exercise incorrectly, you do not want to risk an injury.    


I decided to keep the exercises basic and target specific muscle groups get me started.  Once I feel I have mastered these and can feel myself getting stronger I will start to add new muscle groups into the mix and create some variety to my lifting routine.  But in an effort to stick with it, I wanted simplicity. I have been committed to my new strengthening plan and want to keep it up until this next baby comes. Then I can start adding in that hard core cardio I miss so much!

What are your favorite lifting routines?

Strive to thrive, 
Em

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Twins Turn Two


It really does feel like yesterday I was welcoming my two boys into the world. Hard to really comprehend and accept that they are two years old. TWO years old?! It is too much for this mommy's heart to bear.


The past two years have been filled with lots of laughter, endless amounts of love and exciting learning experiences. Figuring out how to do everything in double time has been eye opening...to say the least. Each day seems to get crazier than the last and I am more thankful every day for the constant support I have from my Thriving Husband and Mommy. The boys and I are so lucky!

As they have grown, their personalities have developed and couldn't be more different.

Brother kisses!
J.R. (Peanut) is very by the book. He follows rules and make sure his brother does too. We know Clarkey-Puss is up to no good when we hear Peanut's strong, "No, no no" throughout the house. He loves to help out with daily chores, clean up and make sure that everything is in order...sound like someone you know?! He is a bit more cautious and often waits to see what his crazy brother does before he follows suit. My sweet Peanut loves to snuggle, eat, dance and drive...he is behind the wheel any chance he gets! Let's not forget his obsession with his beloved "Trrruuuuccckkkkkk".

Clarke (-y Puss) is our resident wild child. He pushes boundaries and shares his mischievous giggle all.day.long. He sprints to get around, climbs on everything and loves to make a mess. Reading on any lap he can find is one of the many highlights of his day. He has no fear and never hesitates to try new things. My Puss is definitely a mama's boy (which I love) and can often be found clinging to my side. My darling boy loves to snuggle, chat, dance and crash cars. He too loves a good truck, car or airplane and never fails to point out every one.


This past year they boys learned how to walk, run and ride.

Ridin' Dirty on their favorite Wheely Bugs!
They eat like they are about to enter high school and don't show signs of slowing down. I thank G every day for my Costco membership...I go at least once a week to stock up.



Both endured their first big boy haircut with pretty stellar attitudes despite their mommy stifling her tears the entire time. Bonus? Their first lollipop!



We prepared and took on potty training in full force...but pulled back some of the pressure to where they have the control...for now.


They spent time learning to swim and hitting every splash pad we can find. We are so serious about water features we even got our very own water shoes!


They've been tapping into their creative sides with lots of outdoor art sessions.



We prepared for their second birthday by slowly moving them into their new "big boy" room and reading as many big brother books as we can find.


While they don't know their little worlds are soon to be turned upside down when their little brother arrives, I unfortunately do. I try to remind myself each day that we only have limited time to savor it being "just us". These boys have already grown so fast I am terrified to think ahead at how quickly it will fly by when I am consumed with caring for a newborn. So for now, I will relish in each moment with my delicious two year olds and pray that time slows down for us.

Happy Birthday to my biggest boys...you are now officially TWO!

How did you handle your babies growing so fast into toddlerhood?

Strive to thrive, 
Em

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Recipe - Oh So Easy Ice Cream Sammies


Summer is a time to eat ice cream. Well, who am I kidding...any season is a time to eat ice cream. 


Since I... A) Love summer B) Love ice cream and C) Love cookies...I decided to whip up some of my very own ice cream cookie sandwiches to keep on hand when that sweet tooth kicked in (which it does daily).


I will admit, I was VERY lazy when it came to the baking. The mere thought of turning on the oven in 100+ degree heat was not going to happen. So, I decided to silence my inner Thriving Wife with the whole cookie thing and just buy them from the store (insert horrified gasp).

I am hoping I can make it up to you all by assuring you I did, in fact use one of my favorite appliances and made homemade ice cream. It is so easy and doesn't make me sweat...so please, accept my honesty.
 

With my store bought cookies (I have a weird obsession with Von's M&M cookies...no clue how that started), homemade vanilla ice cream and sprinkle selection I was ready to assemble. 

I laid down some wax paper under the cookies as I planned to use it to wrap my gaggles of sammies to store in the freezer. 


I scooped out some fresh ice cream, placed on the top cookie and squished it down to perfection. My goal was to have a slight ice cream ooze...all the better to sprinkle with!


Next up, I choose a sprinkle and just rolled my ice cream ooze to make sure each part was evenly blasted with a pop of sugary color!



I wrapped the wax paper around the cookie, secured with a colorful sticker and stored away in the freezer.


Once I had one down I was a machine! Cookie, ice cream, sprinkle, WRAP!



While I of course enjoyed the sweet treat while "slaving away in the kitchen" (duh), you can bet I was even more excited to have a freezer stash to share. These are so easy and great for any party!


Looking forward to making these again, like all the time, especially when my kids are older and I let them eat processed sugar in mass quantities! I swear I will make the cookies from scratch on my next go round and get more daring with my ice cream choices.  I am thinking a chocolate, chocolate chip cookie with Mexican chocolate ice cream? Who's with me?!

What suggestions do you have? Any sammies you wish you could eat..like now?

Strive to Thrive, 
Em

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Karma is a B...eautiful Thing!


I know the word "Karma" can be touchy for some as it does have a religious connotation.  However, the term itself seems to have evolved and taken on a meaning of its own...apart from its Buddhist origin.

I myself am a big believer in Karma no matter where it came from.  I truly believe that good things come to good people and that kindness is contagious. The more you help others and spread positive energy, the better you will feel, look and live.

Have you ever done something only to see it come back to you later?  I know I myself practice the art of paying it forward trusting that the Karma I put out only comes back to me stronger. I don't act kindly and expect something in return, I act kindly because it makes me feel good and  hopefully inspires others to do the same.   


Things as simple as holding open the door with a smile, letting someone with one item go in front of you at the store when your cart is filled to the brim, allowing a car to merge in front of you at a light, overhearing someone is in need of a few more cents to pay a bill and offering up your coin purse. So easy, often free and make others feel good. Why wouldn't everyone want to do that?

I notice even when I am feeling low and having a bad day myself, by being kind to another person I immediately feel better myself. As we continue on with a new month and a new outlook, let us be kind to others and find ways to brighten each day we encounter!

So, do  you believe in Karma?  Does what goes around really come around?  Let us know and share some of your Karmic Krusades!

Strive to thrive, 
Em