posted by on activities, holiday

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This week the kids will be out of school for 2weeks (or forever) depending on how you plan.
This is a random list of suggestions of free fun/inexpensive activities you can do to keep them entertained. Some of them are KC specific, but I’m sure there are comparable places in your city.
Tops on my list is the enchanted forest at Sar-Ko Park in Lenexa, Kansas. It is beautiful. You can walk the trail around the lake to see the trees up close. There is also a playground, so take a couple of flashlights, because will want to play (even in the dark).

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Crown Center is a must do for the holiday season. Because it is, there are lots of people! Several free things to do: giant play structures in front, Santa pics, kalidescope, concerts in the food court and more. Visit Crown Center site for schedule of events.

Hit the library. Kansas City has really great libraries and each of them have children/teen activities on a weekly basis. You can get new books or check out DVDs. If your child is bored with your neighborhood library, try the plaza branch. They have weekly story time and crafts for all ages (even baby bounce story time). Full schedule of activities for the Plaza Library

Stay in and make salt dough. There are a ton of recipes online for home made play dough that I have failed at making (also see, I don’t have time for that). The easiest: equal parts flour/salt and half that amount in warm water. Easy, non-toxic and you probably have it in the kitchen already. You can treat it like clay and use cookie cutters to make ornaments. Pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds to dry and you can paint or use markers to color your ornaments.

Union Station is a beautiful place this time of year to take photos and walk around to see the decorations. Also coming for free is Thomas the Train! Click on the pic for details.

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I just discovered this fun tiny tot skating class offered by Skate City. It’s $5 for skates and an hour and a half of instruction and skating fun. They even get a snack! The instructor was great and in under an hour my little guy was skating without holding on the me. In Kansas, it’s offered at the Overland Park location at 9:30 Wednesday mornings.

Oak Park Mall has an indoor soft playground and carousel (that got a makeover and is reopening on 12/20/2014). You may spend some time finding a parking space with all the holiday shoppers, but let me tell you a secret- go early in the morning before the mall opens at 10. I have early risers and by 8:30 we are looking for something to do. Panera is open, so grab some coffee and let the kids play before the shopping rush. The only people around are the golden sneaker walkers! Same goes for any fast food play areas. Go for breakfast and connect to wifi while the kids play. You will usually have the place to yourself.

Our visit to Santa is usually at Bass Pro Shop. They have a fun winter wonderland full of free activities: letter wiring to Santa, remote control cars, dart games and trains. You can also see the giant fish tanks and stuffed animals.

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Did I miss one of your favorites? Comment below with your ideas!

posted by on holiday

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I like the idea of giving small(inexpensive) thoughtful gifts for 12 days. It’s a tradition that I do with the kids. They either get a small gift or we do an activity. I love this tradition and will continue it, but as they are growing, it’s important to teach how 1 random act of kindness could change a whole day. In addition to our 12 days of Christmas tradition, we will also do acts of kindness for the 12 days leading to Christmas.
Here’s a short list of things we plan to do:

1. Wrap Christmas gifts at an assisted living community. If you would like to do the same, call the Activity Director to schedule a time. Most are so excited that you are coming, they will supply the paper.

2. Buy and donated new hats, gloves and coats to the school clothing drive.

3. Donate to Harvesters.

4. Bake cookies for the teacher cookie exchange.

5. But walky-talkies to donate to Children’s Mercy Hospital. For the children who are not able to leave their rooms, they are given a walky-talky; which allows them to still play bingo and other games.

6. Write a letter to someone serving our Country.

7. Buy coffee for the person in line behind us. We have done this one several times and it is always fun! Sometimes it even starts a chain of giving.

8. Walk the dogs at the animal shelter.

9. Make bird feeders for the birds that are still around.

10. Make Christmas cards for the neighbors.

11. Shovel (if it snows) or clean off the driveway of our neighbors.

12. Make a build a bear and donate it to a child that has to spend Christmas in the hospital.

What acts of kindness could you do for 12 days?

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posted by on activities, event, holiday, Mommy Blogger, review

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Lego Land Discovery Center is all set for your visit during the holiday season. Including a photo opp with Lego Santa and his elf.

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When you arrive, the host will snap a few group photos and then send you up the elevator to see how Legos are made. You can see how much you weigh in Legos and grab your keepsake holiday lego. Head in and hop on the ride. It’s a slow moving adventure that gives you plenty of time to complete the obstacles and help save the princess.

Noah saving the Princess

Noah saving the Princess

In addition to all of the amazing Kansas City landmark models, there currently a Star Wars display and a winter items scavenger hunt.
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Spend as much time as you like in every area and go back to each as much as want. Be sure to catch the 4D movie (Legends of Chima).
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The newest feature is a Wizard of Oz wind machine that blows 78MPH!

Wind Blown!

Wind Blown!

So many fun things to do and a great way to spend the day over Christmas break. Lego Land is currently having it’s annual $35 pass sale. For more information on the sale or to reserve tickets, visit: Lego Land Discovery Center KC

posted by on event, review, Uncategorized

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I celebrated my birthday this past weekend with an amazing night out at Harrah’s Casino. It was a jammed packed night full of food, music and fun!

We started at 37 Steak. The food was amazing. We started with crab cakes and CANDY.BACON. I’m sure nothing else needs to be said.
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Before dinner was served, I watched the bar tender make a drink with a fire! It didn’t even have a name, she asked if I like orange and whipped up a yummy concoction.
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Dinner was served and by dinner, I mean a giant steak that Fred Flintstone would appreciate. It was delicious! I’ve been dreaming of it ever since. image

No birthday dinner is complete with cake and this was a layered chocolate cake with icing between the layers and then covered in chocolate fudge! It was chocolate heaven!
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As if the amazing dinner wasn’t enough of a celebration, we headed to ‘Stretch Out’ with Bootsy Collins in the Voodo Lounge. Great seats, but there isn’t a bad seat in the house. It’s an awesome venue to hear a live band. Bootsy put on an awesome show and after a few costume changes, he ended in an Alex Smith Chiefs jersey!
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After the most fun night of food and music, we retired to a junior suite and wow! Huge bed (four people could’ve fit), seating area with a pull out couch, swivel TV and a tub deep enough to take a swim. I really could’ve spent a week there and never left the grounds.
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It’s been 20 years since Harrah’s has been in the community and since 1994 and has donated more than $4.1 million to local charitable organizations.

It’s is an amazing place to have a weekend get away. Everything you could possibly want or need in one place. Girl’s weekend would be fun chance to hit the spa and the amazing buffet.

The other cool thing is that Harrah’s is a major supporter of Harvesters – The Community Food Network – and over the past 14 years has provided the equivalent of 206,358 meals for the area’s hungry via gifts of food, money and volunteer hours.

The next time you are thinking of a staycation, you could book a romm or just drop in for an amazing steak dinner at ’37 Steak.

*Disclosure: my dinner,room and concert were comped. All thoughts opinions and photos are mine. No one tells me what to say.*

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November is my birthday month! Yes, I celebrate all month (don’t judge me). The voice in my head says, that’s ridiculous and maybe it is, but then, great companies like a Simply Bridal send me gifts and I go back to my month long celebration!

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This Mesh Zippered Pouch is the perfect gift. $7.95 with free personalization, its black with polka dot trim and turquoise lettering. There are so many color\font options, that you can personalize it for that special person.  The pouch is see through, so makes a great travel bag for toiletries or make up.
Since you may not be celebrating your birthday month, it will be a great stocking stuffer!

Order at website
Connect with them on Facebook , Twitter or Pinterest

posted by on activities, Mommy Blogger, teens

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We have all seen them, coming to the door (usually not in costume) with pillow cases or paper bags. If you are anything like me, you are little annoyed. You say under your breath, they are too old and begrudgingly give them candy anyway.

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What you should know, is that he’s only 15 (even though he’s 6’2 with a size 15 shoe). You should know, that I probably bribed him to take his younger siblings. You should know, that he and his friends are good kids.  You should know, that they do know they’re too old.  Most importantly, you should know, that for 1 night, he decided to be a kid again.

Let Him.

Soon enough the teens will face all the stuff that comes with being an adult and we all know there is no reason in the world to rush to that. Give them a big candy bar, smile and tell them to have fun!

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I am so excited, I mean, seriously, I feel like I’m having another baby! I have my hands full with the 3 I have, so thank the heavens you are having one. I can’t wait to smell him and kiss his neck and all that yummy stuff you get to do with new babies.

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Me, niece Andrea and niece Jenene

Here is my random unsolicited advice:
1. You are awesome and all the qualities that make you that way, will make you an awesome Mom. There will be plenty of days you question why on earth you thought you could be a parent, we all do. You can do it and you will be great.

2. Don’t worry about “body after baby”. Do not read which celeb got their prebaby body back in 2 weeks. Its bull shit and doesn’t matter. Yes, eat well and go for walks when you are able. Your body completely changes (even if you lose all the weight) and it is fine. The miracle your body performs is an act of God and you may have some stretch marks to remind you of that.

3. Feed your kid however you see fit. Yep, thousands of reasons to breast feed, but if you can’t it is not the end of the world. Don’t let anyone judge you for your choice (coming from a Mom who breastfeed her daughter until until she was 3 and was judged anyway, so do what you want)!

4. Some days will be better than others, the bad days will pass.

5. You are going to be tired. There should really be another word because tired does not do the sleep deprivation justice. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but it never ends. Yes eventually they will sleep through the night,but you will have nights you are up because they are sick or they are teens and you are waiting for them to get home. Tired is forever, learn to function on tired.

6. You are the Mama! No one can tell you what is best or working for you and your baby. Not the husband, not the pediatrician, not the grand ma or the know it all Aunt! Listen to your gut. You will never be wrong going with what is best for your baby.

7. Make an email address for baby A. Anytime you want to remember something or he reaches a milestone, send him an email. Much easier than a baby book.

8. Don’t forget about your husband, hard to do. There will be times the baby will have to come first, but try to keep him in the loop!

Now, go to sleep and sleep as much as you can until your water breaks! I love your face.
Aunt Miki

Yes, I am.

Sep
2014
24

posted by on Uncategorized

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Some of you know, some of you have wondered and the answer is yes. Yes, I am getting divorced. It is hands down the most awful thing I’ve ever gone through.  I would not wish this on my worst enemy.

To say that it is devastating would be an understatement, but that’s the only word I can think to use.  It has devastated everything. Me, my children, my finances, the list goes on and on.  There is not one part of my life divorce hasn’t touched and completely destroyed.

There are a number of reasons my marriage didn’t work are too many to list, too personal to share, too embarrassing to say out loud.  Did not WORK is the exact word to use.  Marriage is work and for so many reasons, we could not fix it. This blog in no way is to place blame or to throw my dirty laundry in the streets, but I do own everything I did, that could not be worked through and ultimately ended our marriage.

I am grateful for the husband he was for 11 years.  I am grateful for the lessons learned.  I am grateful for the growth I’ve experienced through this process.  I am grateful for the things I learned about myself.  I am most grateful for our beautiful children.

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Because it’s a blog, I probably need to wrap it up in a bow.  This is not to say things are perfect and wonderful.  There are awful, difficult days that end in tears.  The best I can do is get out of bed and try again.  That’s what I am doing.  Getting out of bed every morning and trying.

Thank you to all of you who have been supportive of myself and my children, your kind words and offers to bring me wine and chocolate have been much appreciated!

Run? Maybe?

Sep
2014
10

posted by on fitness, Uncategorized, weightloss

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Most of you who follow my blog, know that I’ve been on this fitness journey and for the past year or so, I’ve managed to lose 60 lbs and discover a serious love for boxing and veggies. All the while, I’ve been trying to find my inner runner (I’m pretty sure she doesn’t exist) – but I  keep looking for her.

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I envy those runners I see at 6am, hitting the pavement to get their day started. I envy those ladies in the matching running gear and reflectors that I see as I head home for the night. I envy all of my Facebook friends who post numerous pictures of their running bibs and racing medals. It seems so great and they look so fit.  From the outside looking in it seems as if running is the perfect exercise/sport.
With all of my envy of the way it looks, I hate it. No, really – I complain to my boxing trainer about the running we have to do to warm up (which is less than a 1/2 mile)! I don’t understand why people run for miles on purpose, with no one chasing them.

In my quest to find my inner runner and understand a little more about the sport, I’ve found some people who love it! People who run all the time (for enjoyment) and I asked them questions.
My first interview was with, well, for now, we will call him Marathon Man. I asked him a ton of questions, I may have called him a crazy person, when I found out that he was running the Chicago Marathon and the Kansas City Marathon just days apart; but he answered every question.  I recently watched him complete the Broadway Bridge half marathon and the run envy started all over again.

Interview:

Me: Why race in a different city?     I put my name is the lottery for Chicago and it got picked.   I signed up for the KC one as well, so it was a happy accident.  The fact that they are a week a part will be a challenge or maybe insane.   Me: My vote is for insane

Me: Is not seeing the course ahead of time scary?   No, the distance is familiar and the course is flatter than K.C.  I’m also famously cocky, so….

Me: Which mile sucks the most?   On race day, for me, it’s all the same.  My 1st marathon, I came unglued at mile 22.

Me: What number marathon is this for you?     2

Me: Are you doing anything different this time around?    I’m training alone, so I’m taking it more seriously.  Me: Is alone better?   Yes, I’m becoming a more complete runner because of it.

Me: What do you eat before a race?     Peanuts & Banana 

Me: What do you eat the night before?     Pasta & Steak

Me: Do you think everyone should run a marathon?      Not a marathon, a half would be a reachable goal.    Me: Um, Ok…If you say so!

Me: Do you ever run 26 miles when training?       No, 20 is the most.

Me: What do you fear this 2nd time around?     Being under trained.   Me: Can you fix being under trained before your race?        I will be ready.

Me: Are you superstitious?        If strict adherence to race day routine, counts, then yes.  My routine: Bed by 9, same food the night before.  Up at 4am.

Me: What is a must on your playlist?      Rocky sound track on the way to the race. No music during.  Me: Really?? Why not?   It distracts me, I can’t hear my breathing.

Me: What do you want to do right after a race? Eat? Sleep? Cry?    Eat, shower and sleep.  It’s the best nap I’ll take all year!

Me: What’s your time goal? Or does it not matter? Just finishing?     Anything under 4

Me: Sex before a race?    Probably not the day of… Me: Just being nosy, you didn’t really have to answer that.

Me: Do you hear/see people on the course?      Yes, I like the signs too.  What do the signs say? “25 miles to go” “toenails are for wimps”

Me: Is there an end goal?     I’m interested in places. I want New York, maybe overseas.

Me: Is it painful to run that far without stopping?       Uncomfortable is more accurate.

Me: Why a full instead of a half or 3?  I have a personal record in mind for a marathon, so I’ll keep going.

Me: Why do you run?       I like to run, I’ll never stop. 

 

It’s fascinating, right?! I don’t understand, but the passion is something to strive for in my personal fitness goals. Thank you Marathon Man for being so nice and answering all my questions.

Do you run? I’m looking for more people to interview and find out why you run and maybe you will inspire me to run! Maybe!!

DIY Spirit Wear!

Sep
2014
02

posted by on activities, Crafts

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Who knew making your own spirit wear could be so easy!

Here’s what you need:

1. Plain T-shirt in any color

2. Stencil or you can use cardboard to cut out the design of your choice (which is what I did)

3. Spray bottle with 70% bleach 30% water

4. Piece of cardboard (I used a folder) to place in the shirt to prevent bleed through

That’s it!!! After you cut out your design, place it on your shirt (press down so the edges are really flat).  Spray (lightly) around the design.  Let it dry and then peel off.  You are done!! You have your own custom spirit wear and you won’t have to worry about looking like anyone else at the ballpark.

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Some ideas for designs: college logo letters, any type of sports ball, simple words (cheer, go, fight, win), cause ribbons…the list goes on and on! Let me know if you do it, I’d love to see your t-shirts.

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