This post is sponsored by Otamot foods but as always all opinions are 100% our own.
Do you sometimes just want to
throw in the towel because your kiddos refuse to eat what’s good for them?
OMG, let me tell you, I know
all about it and that is why I want to tell you about Otamot.
The perfect sauce for your picky eater!
Sounds like a really good formula, doesn’t it? Well, that’s because it is! A father out of New York was found in the same dilemma as most parents…So, he partnered with a chef, and created a healthy alternative that in our opinion tastes a lot better! His daughter refused to eat tomato sauce much like two of my three daughters. All three of our girls love the taste of Otamot and yes this spells tomato backward, so clever!
Otamot is packed full of veggies like vine-ripened tomatoes, carrots, and red bell peppers. Also, vitamin-rich with vitamins B and D and doesn’t at all have an acidic taste like traditional tomato sauce! It is perfect for dipping too, my kids love to dip! I made these easy quesadillas out of spinach tortillas and mozzarella. Added sliced, fresh, veggies to make silly faces too!
Sometimes making food fun can
inspire a picky eater to try new things. Veggie quesadillas were a hit and they
loved every bit of dipping them into the yummy Otamot sauce!
We also tried it on pasta with chicken and it was delicious. The sauce is slightly thicker so a little can go a long way. Add a little or a lot of parmesan and enjoy!
Do you need some boredom busters or ideas for family time during your Spring break?
Honestly, I think this might
be the first Spring Break in years we had a good plan! We were super behind on
a few pediatric well checks and dental visits, so that was first on the list. After
that it was grandma time!
My mom is the best grandma I could ask for. She has an entire room dedicated for when the girls come over! I know it is her guest room but really it’s her grandkids room! She even decorates their Barbie dreamhouse, I mean it’s beyond! I love it and they love it!
Spring Break may be for kids but believe me Kevin and I also take full advantage of a lighter schedule. Waking up every morning at the same time gets really old so it’s nice having a lighter schedule for the week. Another thing I really enjoy is spending time together as a family.
We were invited to The Butterfly Wonderland in Scottsdale and it was so much fun. This was not our first time visiting but it was for Holland and she had a blast! They are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Eric Carle’s The Hungry Caterpillar and it was so fun finding the pages of our favorite book. The exhibit will be open until August and I highly recommend if you are in town.
Playdates. I’m not sure how you feel about them but I can tell you I really love them now that Clara and Luci are older. Whether the girls are playing outside with friends riding bikes or going to a friend’s house for the afternoon, it’s GOLDEN! I love family time but holy cow mama needs breaks too!
And last but not least what we love the most about Spring Break is the beginning of spring and sunshine. The girls broke in their new suits from Appaman. The pool was freezing believe me because I was in it to get most of these shots LOL! On the other hand, the baby pool and Jacuzzi were perfect.
Easter is a little less than month away can you believe it?
Seems like we were just putting away Christmas decorations, which reminds me I still have a box in the garage to organize. Most likely I will get around to it right after Easter, haha! I love most holidays especially ones surrounding our Savior, Jesus, and any reason to dress up!
The girls love to dress up too!
This year we were given the opportunity to collaborate with Pippa and Julie. Since Clara and Luci are growing up super fast, I am taking every opportunity to twin! Holland doesn’t have as much say quite yet. Everyone loves matching each other and with mommy, so hey, it’s my dream come true! Taking all the advantages over here and hoping it lasts a little while longer.
Pippa and Julie have such a fun and girlie Spring-line it was hard to choose but I do think we chose the perfect, matching, Easter dresses. My girls love to wear dresses but they also love to wear their kicks. Always their first choice next to a pair of flip-flops LOL!
Honestly, I think these old school Adidas pair so well with their high-low dresses, don’t you? Plus, we do so much running during our photo shoots as you can see so this worked out really well.
Since we do A LOT of running during our shoots, life with a two-year-old, I went with an urban location. This pink, sometimes peach wall is one of my favorite places because it is sandwiched between two buildings and limits ALL THE RUNNING, therefore making these adorable shots so much easier!
Besides dressing up for Easter, we enjoy going to church, reflecting on The Resurrection and spending time together as a family. Thinking about putting together a neighborhood Easter egg hunt this year too. The girls are already making lists for their Easter baskets, can you believe it?
Have you ever gone on vacation expecting rainbows and sunshine only to get lots of rain and muddy puddles?
If you answered yes, you know what I’m talking about. Two worn out parents who just wanted the beach with a little bit of sun for a weekend!
Honestly, I didn’t think I was asking for a whole lot, ahem, God? Yes, this was myself shaking my head at God waking up on a gloomy, rainy, Saturday morning. I literally sat up in bed with tears rolling down my cheeks. Similarly, alone time is getting harder and harder these days and this was not part of MY plan.
I could choose to stay disappointed and sad or to make the best of it. Sometimes making the best of things is really hard for me. And, coming off of a month of taking care of sick kiddos, it was a super mom to the max kinda month!
If you have been in this spot before like me, hopefully, this encourages you. I came to this realization, that what I was feeling was ok and chose to make the best of things and to enjoy the weekend. None of us can change the weather but we can change our attitude. I definitely didn’t do all of this by my own strength though. Both my mom and my hubby were very encouraging and I knew God understood my feelings too.
Guess what? Walking in the rain by the beach is just as amazing as enjoying lots of sunshine on the beach! Kevin and I totally suited up and enjoyed it anyway! We had so much fun and mostly had the Jacuzzi and the private beach to ourselves!
The sun did come out and it was the perfect time to explore, marvel in God’s amazing creation and to be thankful for so much. God really is good all the time and He is always in the details.
When life throws you a rainy day, play in the puddles! -Pooh Bear
Kevin and I recently spent a Saturday morning with the coolest photographer but we never expected it to turn into a hot date!
Steamy post alert!
Now, I know not everyone enjoys taking pictures let alone a couple’s photo shoot, but let me tell you we had so much fun!
Maybe it’s because I take a lot of pictures, you know it’s kind of a blogger thing or maybe it’s because I have a total willing hubby haha! I do take lots of pictures but even after a few years of blogging I still have plenty of awkward moments.
Brooke, our lovely photographer, loved my idea of a romantic shoot and she really made us feel comfortable from start to finish. We truly felt right at home with her, like we had known her for years. In reality, however, we just met! We both quickly bonded over photography and motherhood and oh did she make us both laugh!
All I can say is, she’s good!
Kevin and I have done a few
couple’s photo shoots like when I was pregnant with our first child and about
seventeen years ago on our wedding day. And, this time was reminding me a lot
of our wedding day except way better!
Seventeen years of marriage
has grown and bonded us and we were both feeling all the love vibes. I love my
husband so deeply and to have something like this photographed is something I
will always treasure.
After gazing into each
other’s eyes, sweet whispers and lots of laughs, we quickly realized we were on
a hot date!
Initially I thought this was just a great opportunity to work with another photographer and gain pictures for content. I never expected to have so much fun and to feel like we just when on a super romantic hot date!
Our visit to The OdySea aquarium was complimentary and as always all opinions are 100% honest.
If you are local or visiting Scottsdale, Arizona we highly recommend checking out The OdySea aquarium!
Recently, we all got to attend the Grand opening of Monster Fish, their newest attraction at the OdySea, it was so cool! Our eldest is a huge animal lover and she was beyond excited. Over this past summer, she watched and recorded every Monster Fish on Nat Geo.
I have been to several aquariums both as a kid and now with my own kids and this one is my favorite!
We had so much fun learning about different fish and watching the stingrays wiz by us. Did you know some swim as fast as 30 miles an hour! I was laughing trying to get good captures of them with my camera too! Honestly, they were too fast!
This aquarium is built so beautifully, really easy to navigate, something we always appreciate, especially with three small children and its hours of family fun!
A few other favorites… Meeting two penguins up close and personal. For a moment we felt like Mr. Popper’s Penguins and we were all mesmerized! Then, adjacent to the Penguin Encounter are hands-on activities like the giant light bright, water table, and of course an area to dance!
Beyond all this is a really nice place to eat because food and snacks are around the clock with kids. Am I, right? Highly recommend, by the way, the burgers and fries are delicious!
Then we slowly made our way to another touch pool and we saw otters swim and play right before their dinner.
Lastly, we went downstairs to the deep ocean exhibit where there are sharks, rescued sea turtles and so many amazing, different, fish! It is truly breathtaking and marvelous to sit inside the moving theater too.
OdySea in the desert has so much more to offer too like Dolphinaris, Butterfly Wonderland, Pangea Land of the Dinosaurs, Bodies revealed and even Laser Tag. A must see, a place to visit and a destination in Arizona!
Monster Fish exhibition will be open until May 5th. I really hope you get to visit soon!
Have you ever intentionally spent a few days alone?
Recently I checked into the Four Seasons in Scottsdale and spent an entire weekend by myself!
I was a little apprehensive at first but when the idea kept popping up I knew it was something I was being called to do. This year marks my 39th birthday and I knew I needed to get away for a variety of reasons.
At first I just wanted to escape from it all! My messy house, kids that seem to be really gifted at driving me bonkers! Oh, and a baby that has shown signs of toddlerhood way before I ever anticipated. Need I say more?
Mama needs some alone time!
Well, besides all the usual suspects, and countless other distractions clouding my mind I was just not looking forward to the last year of my thirties.
The first one is a doozy, yep, its vanity. It is definitely on the top of the list too, I’m not gonna lie. But besides the obvious, realizing you are starting to age and seeing those oh so wonderful, little, lines around your eyes and OMG, is that a grey hair?
All of these outward things amount to a deeper emotion and it feels like the end of my youth in a lot of ways. Gosh, that sounds so depressing doesn’t it? But its honest and I know it’s a temporary feeling. And maybe its because I am done bearing children and even though we feel complete, it feels like another “you’re old” reminder!
Ok, so besides vanity and the obvious scary thoughts of getting older, the second one is where I feel God met me during my weekend alone. This is the real core of all my issues and that is the feeling of acceptance. Growing up I never truly felt accepted and therefore I have spent my whole life searching for it. Searching, craving, for everyone I come in contact with to like me. Ugh, it’s even exhausting writing about it!
God has so much more for me.
So I relaxed and I prayed, and I ate alone, oh it was glorious, eating alone I mean and I prayed some more. Definitely not the most avid reader but I’m reading some really great books along with reading scripture and I’m starting to break the lies I have built up for 39 years! Hallelujah, I am starting to taste the sweetness of freedom in this area of my life! God is good! He is good even when I can’t see and have blinders on.
Sometimes I wonder why it has taken me so long to see this problem but I am choosing to believe that it is God’s perfect timing because it always is and He knows exactly how I feel. He knows I don’t want to enter into my forties with this heavy burden weighing me down. I may not always want to grow older but I never want to stop growing!
If you ever get the chance to take a weekend or even to have a day all to yourself I would highly recommend it. My soul feels cleansed and my heart is full again. For someone who almost chickened out, I am really glad I didn’t because it blessed me more than I expected.
Unglued, Lysa Terkeurst
Boundaries with kids, Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
This post is sponsored by Parabo Press and as always all opinions expressed are 100% my own.
I honestly can’t recall the last time we mailed out Christmas cards, can you?
Well, I have a really easy and affordable solution for you! Parabo Press offers several beautiful options to make personalized Christmas or holiday cards with just a few simple steps.
There are five different designs and I really love this one because it’s simple and compliments our photos so nicely. Also, you can choose a flat card like this or one with a fold. Some of my favorite holiday cards over the years were a simple flat card so it was an easy choice!
The print quality and weight of our card are really nice too. I’m giving this an A+ for all the above and for the price! 24 cards with envelopes cost $20, that’s .83 cents a card! I mean, right? You have no excuse to not send out Christmas cards haha!
This year we opted for a family photo shoot and yes it was stressful but that’s life with little’s, isn’t it? In the end, we had a lot of fun and Holland kept us on our toes and made us all laugh! Lot’s of fun memories were made! One of my most favorite things about photography is capturing special candid moments and how a picture can capture so much personality.
Please don’t think you have to do a family photo shoot because any collection of your favorite photos would be just as beautiful on a Christmas or holiday card. And, if sending out cards isn’t your jam Parabo Press has you covered with so many other great print and gift options. Another Favorite of mine is making a photo book. They are fun to put together and now we have something to always remember our family photo shoot by.
Definitely check them out this holiday season because they offer so many beautiful print options for such an affordable price! Remember to use this code, LIL30 for 30% OFF your entire order until December 13.
And if you are local my friend Maria always takes the best photo’s.
Then, be sure to check out Legoland with your littles! We just got back from a weekend of family fun!
When we asked Luci what she wanted for her 7th birthday she told us she wanted to go on another family trip. The girls have already been to Disneyland twice and to Great Wolf Lodge over the summer (I know, must be nice, right?) so we chose someplace new, Legoland!
All three girls love Lego’s and we knew it would be a lot more manageable with three, little, kids. And, I have to say it totally is more manageable over a larger park like Disney.
We also opted to go for two days. The first day, on Luci’s birthday, we spent the entire day enjoying all the rides. For a Friday, the park was not super busy and it was pretty easy to navigate around most of the day.
Day two was all about Brick-or-Treat and it starts after regular park hours from 5 pm to 9 pm. This is extra and an add-on to your regular ticket into the park but it was fun to do. Holland took a normal nap at the resort, everyone rested up and the girls had fun collecting candy, dancing and looking for all the people dressed up in costumes. The weather in October was and still is perfect too!
Legoland California is located in San Diego and we opted to stay at Welk Resorts, about a 30-minute drive to and from the park. I am so glad we did because it is so perfect for a family of five. The girls had their own room and bathroom and so did we. There was also a full kitchen too. We definitely plan on heading back to enjoy this place over the summer!
Our little Luci had so much fun on her birthday and it was a beautiful day at the park. She was so brave and got on every ride with her big sis! Her favorite rides were all the roller coasters! Mommy and daddy had fun taking turns on rides and chasing Holland around too! Thank you sunny San Diego for a perfect family fun weekend!