S is SIX!

Hello Everyone!  Well this past week S turned SIX!  I can not believe that we have a six year old.  Then again most days I’m shaking my head as it seems more like I have a twelve year old.  There are honestly days it seems she’s driving the bus around here!  This past year she has grown so much.  Having her reading words everywhere we go.  Reading step one books on her own.  Last night she wrote her note to Joe and I on our valentines wall by herself!  Her math skills have the potential to surpass me if she keeps at the pace she’s at. She can be super thoughtful & encouraging over the smallest things; K why don’t you have a few chips of mine?  K your heart is getting better by the end of the month you are going to be doing them perfect! Ok so I know your probably now thinking I get it your kids pretty great let’s get to the party!  I just had to go off on that little tangent as I rarely do and I’m really proud of her.  This year S got Lea Clark for Christmas from Grandma and Papa, if not familiar she was the American Girls Girl of the Year in 2016.  In the book about Lea she and her family go to Brazil.  So S decided she wanted her party around this and she wanted live animals!  Always up for the challenge I got to planning and researching!

First I went to Etsy I always find great party invites, etc. here and at an affordable price.  I typically print my own or have them printed at the local print shop.  One Love Designs, LLC. is who I used for this party.  She had the cutest sloth watercolor amazon looking invites and thank you cards among other items.  I have a secret obsession with sloth’s don’t ask questions because I don’t have an answer! LOL! But S really liked them so we ran with it as I do know one thing she is a direct take charge girl but she unfortunately has the indecisive gene from me.  When she does decide on something we run with it!  Next we had to figure out entertainment!  She wanted live animals so I went to a site that I have grown to LOVE!  Gigsalad where you can find anything in regards to party entertainment needs.  We used this site for Santa this past Christmas as well.  We used the company The Animal Express out of Illinois.  They were so great and easy to work with.  They brought seven different animals including a red fox as well as a hedgehog, a skunk, a albino snake, a tortoise, tarantula, and a ferret which we joked was google mapping its location trying to find an escape route!  The owner did a great job telling the kids about each animal and letting them hold, feel and touch them.

On to decorations for the party!  With Lea heading to Brazil in her story we tried to create the feel of amazon/jungle/rainforest for the girls to enjoy.  I think we did a pretty good job I had a vision of animals swinging from trees by vines as well as a waterfall.  Nothing a bit of tulle, a sound machine, craft and construction paper can’t recreate; right?!  S was awesome at helping cut out all the leaves.  Joe was great at hanging in high places.  K was great at testing the swinging capability of the vines!  Our friends are HUGE Jimmy Buffet fans and they borrowed us a parrot the size of our front door for guests to arrive to!  The library rocks in our town and they allowed us to borrow as many of their large stuffed animals for our decor as well!  Point being use your resources!

Now we had to add in a bit of the American Girl side of things as we seemed to have covered the amazon side.  So the girls moved to our kitchen where we did pictures of them as American Girls in a cut out from tri-fold foam board and painted dollar store stars with each girls name printed on them.  At the table we had the girls set up to make bead bracelets for their dolls which they brought!

Last was dessert!  S wanted a jungle theme for her cake and Lea Clark for her cupcakes.  What my girl wants is what my girl gets!  I’m again not nor do I claim to be the cake boss but I do try my best when requests are made.  As far as the Lea Clark side of things I again went to Etsy to Edible Party Images and ordered edible cupcake toppers with Lea’s picture on them and they said Happy Birthday Sidnee.  They were perfect!  I unfortunately did not take a picture of them😥  For party favors I found cute little bags in S’s favorite color Aqua at Target.  We put fun colored clip in hair, adventure note pads and pens as well as S made each girl a bracelet from beads with their name on them!

Well there you have it another successful party at the Lisenby Mad House!  Remember birthdays are the one day a year that usually is only about you (unless a twin, triplet, etc.)!  So make the day as memorable as you can no matter what your budget the smallest thing can make the day the best one!  Cheers🍻

Lisenby Week In Review!


Hello Everyone,

I hope your week has been great!  The weather has been beautiful here over the past few days which has helped with the mood of life these days!  Getting outside for a great run, start of some painting projects and the kids enjoying the fresh air and their playhouse again.  Signs of spring can put anyone in a better mood!

Unfortunately, S has come down with THE FLU!  I was just discussing with my mom how I’m pretty sure my family has been sick the ENTIRE year so far.  S has been hit pretty hard as she hasn’t gotten off the couch since Friday morning.  Today is the first day fingers crossed we have been vomit free.  I know TMI but there really isn’t an easy way to share the joys of the flu.  I’m hoping we can get back up and running by this evening as I hate to see her miss school but I also hate to have her bring the bug to the classroom.  Let’s talk about more exciting news!  What do you think?

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Let’s talk food first as we haven’t shared any history making recipes recently!  I think today is the perfect day to talk about two delicious dinners I made so far this week!  I am loving when I try a new recipe and it is a hit by everyone in the house.  I know I have said this before but I am a firm believer that if you have your kids help you in the kitchen they will eat what they have made until their tummies are full.  The other thing I’m finding especially with K is that he loves to smell and try each item as we are adding them.  Then trying the final product tasting how it all came together makes him sooo happy!  So up first we made Grilled Cilantro-Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa.  Earlier in the day S had wanted mashed potatoes so we whipped (no pun intended) these up to go with it.  This dinner was light before we added the potatoes 😂.  The kids absolutely loved this chicken they had the salsa on the side so it played the role of their vegetable.  Imagine this S didn’t touch the mashed potatoes.  She said they were disgusting…Joe ate four servings and K had two so I guess as it goes different strokes for different folks!  Any who, I absolutely would recommend this as a weeknight dinner.  It is also a great getting the kids involved as we are only teaching them skills that will benefit them now and later!  The next dinner I’m excited to share was that of Skinny Lasagna Rolls.  I was hesitant on this one more so of how it would go over for my meat and potatoes husband then anyone else.  This is a vegetarian dinner at least I made it that way as the sauce I used was also a vegetable pasta sauce.  The kids well S was iffy on this one but ended up eating enough to get her dessert and lately I’ll take it.  I must have said it a few times as she is completely under the impression that you don’t know if you like something until you have tried it at least eight times.  So this gives me seven more times to prove to her she likes spinach! LOL!  This would be so easy for a busy mom to whip up while the kids are eating breakfast cover and put in the fridge so it’s ready to pop in the oven when you get home!  The longest part was making the noodles so 12 minutes but within that time I mixed up the filling.  You could even make the filling the night before and make noodles when you get home.  So here you have it two pretty healthy and quick dinner recipes!

http://www.cookingclassy.com/2015/07/grilled-cilantro-lime-chicken-with-avocado-salsa/

http://www.tablerpartyoftwo.com/skinny-lasagna-rolls/

Now after we have filled our bellies with delicious food we have to mention that great thing called exercise!  A year ago I wouldn’t catch myself typing the word let alone doing the actual act.  Well I started my new me journey on the 2nd of January of this year.  I completed Jillian Michaels “Ripped in 30” about a week ago.  I did do a few of the weeks for two weeks as it felt right.  After completing her workout I researched other programs to do at home.  I have been still running but typically I can only get out twice a week:( I wanted something that would continue to challenge me but I also didn’t want to spend a ton on a program.  The program that I have started is Fitness Blender.  I’m doing it via youtube which is great as I actually set myself up in my office as you can do with no equipment but since I’m on marble I use my yoga mat and I add my weights so items that cost little $7 to be exact as my mat I got at Five Below and my weights I bought at the Goodwill!  Fitness Blender is free with PLENTY of workouts and challenges to do.  So for all of you still sticking to your new year new you commitment I strongly suggest checking out Fitness Blender! (I was not paid for promoting any of this either)  Here are a few shots as I am still doing my daily pics and sharing them to be held accountable.

WE ALMOST FORGOT!  Valentines celebrations and MY BIRTHDAY also happened this past week!  With the passing of my grandma last week honestly was kind of a blur. S & K were also fighting the flu so celebrating wasn’t a priority but when you have toddlers you have to put your focus on them and making it special.  So here are a few pictures of how we celebrated.  The kids made banana bread just before the weekend to enjoy for the holiday! On Sunday we made cookie cutter bird seed hangings as we are soooo ready for spring! Sid and I created her Valentines day box and last I did a variety of things from lax and mimosa’s for the morning of my birthday to oysters and Rum Chata for a birthday dinner celebration!  There were a few fun things in between too including phone and text messages throughout the day and fun gifts of flowers, running gear and of course Starbucks!  The best gift I received had to be that from S & K!  They went and picked out cards for me and filled them out themselves.  They were super sweet and were honestly all I needed to make my day great!

I have so much more to share but think I will stop where I am!  I’m looking forward to sharing some of Joe’s recent work accomplishments in my next post and a few fun crafts I have been working on!  Have a wonderful day!  Cheers🍻

 

Lisenby Week In Review

Hello Friends!

I hope you are all having a great week!  It’s like once the kids got healthy it’s been a game of catch up on EVERYTHING!  Guess what I am still not caught up!  My house for starters needs a permanent housekeeper.  Joe called Monday letting me know a client would be coming to see the house at 2pm…this gave me two hours to have the main floor spotless or show ready as he says!  My dishwasher always seems to be blinking saying please empty me!  My office is a war zone; if you know me this is a struggle.  I have a slight 😉 case of OCD.  So this is a struggle but sometimes you just have to close the door and say filing, bills, and all other paperwork we will talk VERY soon!  Then there is the “L” word no I’m not talking about the warm and cozy word LOVE!  I have no love for the chore of doing laundry!  The first of the year I committed myself to doing a load a day to avoid the Sunday 15 load day.  Well I make my own detergent and last Wednesday I ran out!!!! So it sat and sat some more than I was able to make more on Sunday so today I’m ALMOST caught up!  Did I mention I’m trying to squeeze working out in to my daily routine?  Yes, I have been sticking to it; I’m shocked too!  Oh yeah and there are two little crazy children running around demanding just about anything and everything from me!  You know feed me, let’s make valentines, help me in the bathroom, MOM, MOM, MOM!  Where did they come from!LOL Then there are the crafts that need to be finished so I can get them to the shop mom and I have stuff at to make some moola!  So guess what this is bumped to the top!  Don’t worry the kids were fed and bathed!  And here I am blabbing to you about this. You are probably laughing but thinking isn’t this every mothers life!  It is I just needed to share!!

So our adorable bunny projects have been brought to the shop in time for Spring/Easter sales!  I love the fact that the shop Simply Marvelous here in Wisconsin has allowed us to expand what we bring in as we started with our furniture and now the owner has our seasonal items.  These particular seasonal items are really the only ones she will have for guests to choose from!  Which is great for us plus if you ask me they turned out so cute they are all any home needs.  Ok maybe a great wreath on your door too!

Last week I didn’t share details about our little princesses birthday!  Yes, the one of two above that is constantly needing things:) Ms. S turned 5 and as I shared we ended up having her birthday at an indoor amusement center.  We had 17 kids of varying ages so this location did seem to be very appropriate even though I was hesitant.  I will also say having no mess to clean up was FABULOUS!  The one thing I did do for her day was make her cake.  Since we were at a location we really did away with a theme except for this and her goodie bags.  She loves Littlest Pet Shop so she wanted that as her cake theme.  I ended up doing red velvet cake for one level, chocolate/white for the second and third with buttercream frosting and marshmallow frosting!  For goodies bags I struggled as I hate to just say here is a bag of sugar go drive your parents up the wall!  Again, not being able to do too much else as we were not at home I wanted to make them special.  So we for the girls we did puzzles, the surprise package with a pet shop pet, 3 pieces of candy.  For the boys we ended up doing teenage mutant ninja turtles as LPS doesn’t really offer a boy per-say surprise package.  We did TMNT puzzles, TMNT mini lego’s and 3 pieces of candy.  The older boys we gave them WWE playing cards and also gave them tickets to do bumper cars!  Overall, I think everyone had a great time!

Ok so as promised we need to discuss some good eats over this past week!  There have been a few but the best and HIGHLY recommended one is going to be a pulled pork recipe! I did get this via Pinterest and I am so glad I did because it was amazing.  A few little side notes!  This is a plan ahead dinner as it is a slow roasting one which means prepping dry rubs and brining for at least 24 hours.  It is so worth it!  Also, she recommends using a disposable roasting pan.  I used mine and if you remember from above my dishwasher issues and catching up…well yeah this soaked for two days after as it was caked!  So do yourself the favor and grab a roasting pan they sell them at the dollar tree!  Or foil line your roasting pan.  Lastly, this recipe does not need any sauce but I know that some people have to have a sauce for EVERYTHING!  This was good with a honey bbq but again no sauce is needed.  There is a little kick to it!  The kids did not enjoy this but I’m sure if less spice they would have.  With these I also made baked french fries which yes the kids ate and asked for seconds!  Again, not planning well I had to juggle cooking these at a high temp while the pork was at very low temp but it all worked out.  So next time I will start my pork first thing in the morning as it takes all day this way I can take it out to rest while I make the fries!  So here you are, enjoy!!  Thank you to those that posted for us to enjoy as well.

http://www.kevinandamanda.com/recipes/dinner/perfect-pulled-pork-slow-roasted-seasoned-savory.html

http://www.layersofhappiness.com/extra-crispy-oven-baked-french-fries/

Well, I’m off to empty the dishwasher and fold my 368th load of laundry for the week! Lol!  Have a great rest of your evening.  Cheers!

Lisenby Week In Review

Hello Everyone!
Holy Cannoli its been a week here at the Lisenby Residence!  A viral infection has taken over our house.  I know wasn’t I just saying that we had the flu and we were not going to be sick the rest of 2016!  Darn I spoke too soon! It started with K at the beginning of last week and Friday we were at the doctors with both as S woke up Friday morning with the same crazy cough/bark!  Only to be told it’s viral and our doctors cough lasted eight weeks!  YES, you read that right eight weeks!  WHAT THE!?!? Sunday K seemed over it with a cough here and there but Sunday night it hit S like a ton of bricks! She started with a temperature of 100 and all night fluctuated between that and 104.  Many rounds of cool clothes and cold bath but I was not able to get below 100.  We were back at the doctors as her cough was still bad at we were back to 102.  We discovered she needed a breathing treatment and if that didn’t work we would go do a chest x-ray for pneumonia.  This wasn’t what I expected I actually thought we might have escalated from viral to strep.  Well here we are three days later and she is still home from school.  We have been doing albuterol treatments every four hours.  She still has a terrible cough but doesn’t seem as much.  Tomorrow we will likely be back in just to confirm her chest is 100% clear.  As Saturday is her 5th birthday!  Sunday is her party!  So we need to get her back and running!  Amongst the zarbee’s cough syrup, Motrin and breathing treatments I have actually been doing other things!

Last week a good friend of ours who owns a excavation company had his birthday!  I’m sure you can guess I challenged myself to a special cake for him!  Last time I did a construction cake was for K on his 2nd birthday.  That was also the first time I did a 3D cake so it was…to say the least STRESSFUL!  Well here we are two years later and I have done a couple cakes since but not a construction cake and let me tell you…it was just as STRESSFUL!  The bucket, arm and boom which I waited to do until the rest of the cake was done and I was quite pleased with it.  Now I had a small window of time to complete the cake and we had these main components to complete!  WHAT WAS I THINKING?  Let’s just say I did it three different times even bringing Joe in for assistance on the second go at it!  We started using Twix bars…WAY too heavy.  Next we tried bananas; better but still pulled!  Last I decided not all cakes can be 100% edible and this was going to have to be my first cake that was not.  So I went and watched videos and went to the CAT website to review details.  Then I grabbed a cardboard box and got cutting.  I covered it in fondant which I will say adhered great with just water.  Lastly I added a few details to show the screws/nuts that held each section together.  The cake itself was chocolate and one was white.  The fondant was marshmallow.  The frosting was buttercream; side note I am not a buttercream fan so I almost always do cream cheese frosting but this was the third cake in three months I had done for this family it was time to change it up!  I actually really like the buttercream recipe I used.  See below for the link!

My siblings and my mom made our way to a painting class on Friday night.  Yes after completing the first time the excavator cake!  Just what I needed to do is go from one stressful art project to another!! LOL!  We went in celebration of my little sisters birthday she is finally OLD!  She’s 31…She loves elephants so there happen to be event doing an elephant at The Studio by my parents so we all went and enjoyed drinks and paint!  It’s always fun to do even if you think your painting good be done better by a toddler:)  These events are great for just about any occasion and with one friend or twenty!  Check your local listing for a location near you!

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I have also been working on a few other projects with Mom of course as we are a team when it comes to products we are selling at a local shop!  Our holiday ornaments, snowmen out of birch and stuffed snowmen were a hit so we have decided besides having furniture pieces at the shop we are going to provide seasonal items for the home here too! As long of course as she will accept!  So for spring we are going to go with a bunny theme which I think is perfect for spring! If your yard is like mine those cute little ones are going to be all over our yards very soon!  I will mention they don’t step foot in to my back yard since Nala has arrived…we had a devastating experience last summer and word must have gotten out on the street.  But, they do love our property as I just saw one in the front yard a few days ago!  Anyway, back to it…We are doing some floppy eared bunnies out of two shades of burlap and garden flags!  One side note on the flags which I’m super excited to share is sealing the edges of the burlap.  I was super annoyed with how quickly mine started to fray after cutting.  So of course I started google searching for how to and of course it was like 9pm and I didn’t have fabric stiffener on the shelf of magic that they were suggesting but I did have modge podge!  Heck I have about 20 bottles of modge podge laying around as every time they are in the dollar section at Target or I see them at the Dollar Tree I grab a bottle or two!  So I simply used my small tip brush and painted it along the edge.  It dries quick as by the time I was back where I started that area was dry!  The more you use the stiffer it gets just an FYI!  A note on the floppy bunnies is to use beans over rice to weigh their bottoms down!  We used a bit of muslin fabric so our pinto beans didn’t show through on the lighter burlap.  So here are a few pictures of the cute stuff!  I think we may do a few other items but haven’t decided 100% yet!  Happy Spring decorating!

Well I have another cake to get finished up for a special little girls 5th birthday party tomorrow!  Look forward to sharing all the fun we have next week!  Until then enjoy your evening.  Cheers

 

It’s a Deere Party!

We recently celebrated K turning the treacherous three! With a little boy in love with anything that does work but at the top of his list is always DOZERS! We had to branch out a little this birthday as we had a construction party last year which was a blast. So in keeping with trucks per say I suggested we have a John Deere Party! He was all about it…All I need is the go ahead and its off to the races or in this case off to the local tractor supply store!
Invites were my first task and I am a huge fan of Etsy for all my party printing needs! Well and gifts, and well pretty much its a great site for just about anything! Anyway, I love to include a picture of the year prior in my invites so I went with the following!

Kole's 3rd Birthday

Now it’s on to decorations, clothes, favors, food, entertainment! Last year I made a hard hat piñata and the kids loved it! Being March and still chilly I asked K if he wanted to have another. I couldn’t just do a piñata but again due to theme and weather its a bit hard to do something fun as last year it was colder for his birthday so we had a digger brought over for the kids to get rides and dig up all the snow around and do pictures. This year my same great friend who is a collector of CAT and John Deere anything suggested I used some of his kids riding Deere’s! I loved it as K could participate and the kids were all going to be in the range of eleven and under! So we borrowed three riders! For food I did fried chicken (free range chicken), deviled eggs (fresh laid eggs), chex mix (chicken feed), chips (farm fresh potatoes), vegetable tray (farm fresh veggies), I attempted to make a John Deere cake (2nd fondant cake) and I surrounded the cake with mini chocolate cupcakes as mud! For our favors I reached out to the internet; what did we do before?! I ordered plastic John Deere cups, John Deere popcorn, John Deere gum, John Deere suckers, I put all of the goodies in a John Deere bag! I loved how these came together! John Deere has seriously so much cute stuff out there for parties! Since we didn’t splurge on entertainment I thought everyone in John Deere gear was a must! The site I found them on had a huge clearance event going on-SCORE!!  For decorations I’m kind of believe less is more I mean why spend a fortune on decorations?  Kids come to the party for the fun and parents and family come for the food and company; right?!  So I always keep it pretty simple.  My friend again who is a collector borrowed me three large signs to place around the house, he also borrowed me a collectors little trailer which I used for the favors.  I purchased John Deere balloons, plates, napkins.  I simple made my place cards by saving images off the net and typing up my own.  I love burlap and we have a ton of it around the house in all forms sacks, large pieces from fabric store, on a reel…you name I probable have it!  This is the perfect table covering for this theme I thought!  So again nothing crazy heck barely anything now that I am saying it! LOL!  Yes, I do count my tableware as decorations as it had John Deere all over it!  You should too!

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It’s time to say “Thank you!”  For this I too went to the internet and found a great site with free printable!  They had a blank John Deere invite but being blank it worked perfect for my thank you cards!

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Since we were in Disney for S’s fourth birthday we wanted to something of a WOW factor for K!  So with help from friends and family we were able to get a CAT dozer for him!  A friend drove two hours to pick it up then my dad picked it up from them and charged it overnight so it was all set for the big day!  I truly appreciate those that help me on these days or to make these days happen as they are so important!  I can honestly say this party was the one I didn’t find myself feeling like crazy town the day of.  I think I could have done a bit more but you know what my three-year old had a great day with friends and family and that is all that mattered!


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I hope your next little ones party is a blast and remember it’s not about how much you spend its about how much fun your kids have!  Have a great day!

http://www.etsy.com/shop/JennasPhotoCreations  (invites)

http://www.familyshoppingbag.com ( FREE thank you cards)

http://www.wegotgreen.com (favors, tableware, clothing)

https://www.greenfunstore.com (favors, tableware, clothing, candle)

Mickey, Minnie, Princesses & Prince’s OH MY!

Ok so we have returned from our long-awaited trip to Walt Disney World.  So bummed to return to a blizzard!  Literally, three hours after we arrived home my phone was providing blizzard warning alerts!  It came down for twenty-four hours straight!  Here is a picture I took to share with family in the south; I’m sure they were jealous…NOT!

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Ok now to the topic at hand!  Our trip was originally to take place in October but due to Joe’s hectic work schedule we had to post-pone it to January.  I strongly recommend flying southwest airlines as they charged no cancellation fee we had one year to re-book which for us wasn’t an issue.  They also don’t charge for up to two bags weighing under fifty pounds per guest.  Lastly, they had great flight options for us a direct flight was a must and nothing too early or too late…I know I’m asking a lot but traveling with a two and three-year old can be trying enough so taking steps to make it smooth is definitely necessary.  Last year we went to San Diego and had a stop both ways and the time was earlier in the day.  K was a mess both there and home!  I felt terrible for the business travelers around us but there wasn’t anything I could do but learn from it.  We are the type of people who when we travel we again know the flying or driving is going to be stressful enough so renting everything to be there when we arrive is and has been the best decision we have made now two years in a row!  So literally all we bring to the airport is our luggage and carry on bags.  Each kid had their own suitcase they were responsible for which they did great and loved having something to be in charge of!  Joe and I carried their carry on bag which I included the necessary items!  DVD player, iPad, Leap Pad Ultra, crayons, coloring book.  I also remember when I was a kid and how bad my ears would be during flight so I try to bring items to help out with this.  I usually stash the safe-t-pops that we get at the bank, juice boxes, water bottle and various fun snacks.  The suckers and drinks are great to give when a melt down is occurring as it’s usually when their ears are starting to bother them but of course don’t know what’s wrong.  The fun snacks are when the entertainment/excitement of the trip is boring them.  What kid doesn’t love those snacks that they only get on special occasions!  The other big part of flying is when your little ones are required to be in a child seat or if you have a lap age child but as we did last year felt K having his own seat was necessary.  This is the second year I have worked with a lady on eBay and rented CARES Harnesses for the kids.  These harnesses are a five point FAA approved harness.  They come in a small carrying bag with instructions.  They rent for $25 each and she sends them to you with enough time to be ready for your flight and then asks that you send them back one week upon returning.  This year I rented the harnesses as everything I read said they were required to be in a child safety seat but upon getting on the plane noticed many kids around the same age and not in a seat or harness.  I asked the attendant and found out once they are two they are not required they can use the lap belt.  So yes I was bummed that I spent the money but I would rather be safe than sorry.  One item I can check off my needed rentals for next years trip!  But if you do have a little one I completely recommend this product!

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Upon arrival we worked with a local company in Orlando that met us at the rental car pick up and put our car seats in for us.  Last year we rented car seats from the rental company.  Honestly I was frightened to put my kids in them without wiping them down and covering they were disgusting!  This company was so great to work with and their price was very reasonable.  Again, next year S and K will be in booster seats so we won’t need to rent.  But for the past two years not lugging large awkward car seats through the airport then to the rental car location and getting them in with two toddlers that are over the vacation before it has even started has been fantastic.  Lastly we rented a double jogging stroller and a set of bed rails from a third company.  The jogging stroller was the same one we had at home and the bed rails were your standard ones which K has one on his bed at home so I was trying to make sleeping as similar to home as possible.  I highly recommend renting a stroller.  The parks do rent strollers which I am not sure of the price but I believe we paid $70 for the week.  The ones at the park look like the kids are sitting on small rocks.  So uncomfortable and K still takes naps and every day he took a snooze at some point in the stroller.  Which I couldn’t imagine him even being able to do in the park option stroller.  I would likely pass on the bed rails in the future as they were fine in the beds without as we put our luggage on the sides of the beds by the wall which worked.  One thing I always pack is our sound machine as S has used since she was a baby.  K isn’t a fan but it helps tune out the living space sounds to help them go to sleep after a long, busy day!

I know you are probably thinking are we ever going to talk about the trip!  Well thanks for sticking with me as now its time to talk about the place that as you enter the arch that reads “Walt Disney World” “Where Dreams Come True”.  S as we entered saw the metal characters that lined the drive and the bright colors and said to us “I guess dreams come true here!”  The whole car laughed as I’m not sure where or whose conversation she eves dropped on and heard this but it was so sweet and appropriate!  We decided to go to Magic Kingdom on day one!  This park is just as fantastic as I remember it from growing up and visiting!  Of course there are a ton of added attractions but also the old ones that when I got on brought me back to being a kid.  From it’s a small world to driving the race cars.  Magic Kingdom is 100% the best property for toddlers!

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One side of Disney that is drastically different then when I was a kid is the fast pass.  As a planner I felt a bit frustrated that I didn’t research better or wasn’t advised by any of the reservationist I had spoken to about this.  We unfortunately didn’t get to meet Ana and Elsa from Frozen which truly was all S was about prior to arrival.  But the benefit of her not being able to read allowed us to not deal with too much dramatics at the fact that we would not wait ninety minutes to meet them.  They met so many other characters it worked out.  The fast pass would have allowed us to meet these and other characters that had long waits and go on certain rides with a wait time of half of this if not less.  You can set up your fast passes when you get in town but by this time those planners that knew about it took advantage of the month out booking of these activities and they were not even available upon arriving in Florida.  Overall, this didn’t ruin our trip or make us feel like we missed out on anything it just would have been nice to know and set up before we arrived.

Day two we took S to the Bippity Boppity Boutique at Downtown Disney for her princess makeover!  S loved this experience but as I have mentioned before she loves to go to the salon for hair and nails to be done so this didn’t surprise me!  The fairy godmothers were wonderful making the little girls feel so special as they pick out their dress, wand, hairstyle, and nail polish color!  As in Disney fashion you definitely pay for this experience.  We had S do the entire experience as it was her birthday week and we were not doing a party for her once we arrived home.  She also got a cute backpack with additional make up, nail polish and glitter face art to take home!  Can hardly wait to re-live these details!  They did have the option for little boys to get made up like pirates but we opted for Joe, K and my dad to go play at the dinosaur dig and Lego build locations which I think was a better option.  After the boutique we headed back to the Magic Kingdom.  On day two we saw more characters as I put reminders in to my app where they would be so we were at these locations early.  K was in LOVE with Jasmine I mean she was beautiful!  I told her he loved her and just wanted to hug her.  It was very sweet…S reminded them both they needed to get pictures taken!

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Day three we spent at the resorts and shopping at the local markets!

Day four we went to MGM which was a great visit.  S and K did great as this property has a lot of shows and less rides.  We started the day with the Frozen sing along show so we took care of our Ana and Elsa fix and it truly was a great show!  Muppet 3D was just as funny as I remember when I was a kid!  The Ariel show was another hit with S singing along with Ariel!  They had a Disney Junior show that K loved as he was able to sing and dance with the characters!  One area that was a good break for this property was the Bug’s Life play area.  We let the kids play here for a bit before we had our character lunch!  The lunch was great but way over priced.  I would have hoped for a few more characters and not sure I will do this again.  But S & K loved it but ate maybe a bite of food.  But this seemed to be the trend and became the ongoing joke.  We took to go boxes home every day it seemed at the off property locations.  Really just to appease ourselves as we all knew they would end up in the garbage!  Oh well what can you do!

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Day five was a hang out day.  Mom, Joe and I got massages and did some shopping.  Dad and the kids spent some time being silly! The kids were also able to play with their new stuff and just relax before our last day of parks before returning home.  Being in a unit with washers and dryers is always a plus for me as I hate to bring a ton of dirty laundry home.  So yes that was what I worked on as I had to figure out how we were going to pack the new toys the kids had been purchasing up!  I don’t think I mentioned but we also packed a smaller suitcase full of snacks so we would have a bag for the flight home for souvenirs!

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Day six we changed our plans a bit as it was S’s 4th birthday and due to renovations at the Magic Kingdom castle we could only get lunch reservations in Norway at Epcot but other than that Epcot didn’t seem like it would be the best place with two toddlers from what I could remember.  S and K love animals so we ended up going to the Animal Kingdom which I’m so glad we did.  Having her birthday lunch at the Rainforest Cafe and meeting my second favorite character of the trip…Pocahontas.  The shows and rides were great!  S was picked to help at the beginning of the Lion King show which was very exciting for her and in my opinion made her day that much more special!  When S met Pocahontas she shared some really sweet things with S and after I asked what she said to S and she was telling me and the last thing she said was to follow her heart.  So in typically S fashion what does she say to me “mom, you know what my heart is telling me? I’M HUNGRY!” Lol this girl cracks me up!  The last ride was the Dinosaur ride and I’m so glad we made it before the park closed as K was too small and sleeping so he and I stayed back.  She absolutely loved this ride it was scary, fast and exciting!  If there can’t be glitter, sparkle and shine than scary, fast and exciting will do for S!  The only bummer for me is that even being a Friday this park closed at 5 p.m. so we didn’t get to take advantage of their play area as we did at MGM which having two toddlers would have been great but overall it was a great decision to do Animal Kingdom over Epcot in my opinion!

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Now we are back and the weather is terrible it has been -30 with wind chill making it difficult to do anything fun!  But we always seem to figure something out!  Plus now I have to get going on K’s 3rd birthday celebration for next month!  Can’t wait to share we are doing a John Deere theme!  Have a great day and check back soon!

 

Lisenby’s Happenings

Ok so I have been MIA!  This summer has been bananas as I’m sure yours has been too!  The great part of summer is there is always something to do…Fairs, sporting events, parties, simply enjoying the sunshine with those that mean the most to us!  Well I am back!  Friday was Joe’s thirty-fifth birthday so of course I had to have a theme!  Beer tasting was what seemed perfect.  So off and running I went…chalkboard tablecloth, aged vinegar bottles with cotton tails and grass inside.  Mason jars for pretty much anything I could find its use appropriate so that meant water glasses, soup, jar tops I covered in chalkboard paint and used for place cards.  For food we did cheese displays, Brie on toasted baguette, large soft pretzels with two cheese dipping sauces,  potato and beer cheese soup, seven different brats, and I made individual beer mugs filled with chocolate cake and bailey’s ganache!  Oh yeah and the beer we planned to taste four but I ended up doing five!  The night was a success, everyone left happy and full just what I hoped for.  Most important Joe had a great birthday!

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Morning of Joe’s birthday the kids gave him the gift they made and then it was off to the beach!

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Other than getting myself all stressed over a party that in my opinion was a success.  As they say if guests come happy and leave happy you have accomplished this which they did!  The kids and I have just been up to other summer shenanigans!   Which have included our summer hunt for amazing treasures at local rummage sales, we added a few peeps to our crew including my two nephews who of course when it was time to do a quick snap had to show their love for mom and dad via diet coke!  My mom showed her love for no one other than yours truly! Lol!  Backyard swimming has been great when weather has permitted.  This Midwest weather has been bananas!  Resulting as three of the four having colds! Ugh! We had to do another visit to our friends at The Bear Den Zoo.  This time bringing Papa who is recently retired and cousin Phoenix!  The kids completed their rookie sports season which after Aunt Connie left Papa joined us, which was fantastic…Papa still thinks they are just too little to understand as he of course expected them to be soccer, football and t-ball players after this program was done but they were more like pro climbers at a new playground with a new group of kids! We babysat my Aunt and Uncle’s little girl who is going to be two which shockingly super easy.  Joe on the other hand decided he is very happy with just two kids as keeping your eyes on three takes some skill!  We set up the camping tent but due to rain in the forecast we were only able to watch a movie but none the less S and K loved it!

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Well we are off to get some eggs from a friends chicken farm!  I am working on creating a unique high heel dessert for a friends baby shower next month.  I am also planning our Halloween party too!  But with the madness of summer wrapping up I will be checking back very soon!  Until then have a wonderful Wednesday!

Lisenby Week In Review

Hello Everyone!
Well here we are Monday and we have finally found summer…it’s only mid July! We are pushing over 85 today! The kids have finally been able to do what I loved as I kid hanging out in their swimsuits playing in the yard all day ( I mean minus nap:)) anyway, it was a very busy weekend and last week even sick we snuck in a few crafts! Joe’s thirty-fifth birthday is at the beginning of August so we made/started a gift for him. I have been busy working on the details of the party. We are doing a beer tasting themed party! I’m super excited to plan and have!
Since play dates were at a low last week we did a lot of walks and runs as well as park visits! This weekend I worked so Joe was super dad! Graduation party Saturday and a 2nd birthday party Sunday! I’m pretty sure S said “this is the best day ever!” multiple times!

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As we explored around the yard last week finding all different textures and smells I decided to pick some of these out and do a painting craft!  Here’s how S and K did!  They loved the fun of picking different flowers, grasses, and tree branches.  The great thing was we didn’t have to leave the house for supplies!

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Then the kids wanted to continue picking the following day…what mom doesn’t love fresh wild flowers from their kids?

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Last we did a little present for Joe as mentioned his birthday is approaching.  Spray bottles, paint, painters tape, skewers and voila!

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Well off to swim and pull weeds!  Have a great day friends!