Friday Favorites (aka Recent & Random)

Happy Friday!

My only wish for this weekend is that the weather is much nicer than last weekend! Last Saturday, we had a tornado warning beep through on our phones and I was like “What do I do?!” We found out later that there indeed was a tornado and it touched down not far from us and traveled 4 miles. The news shared this photo of a tree branch that had fallen directly on a car while driving. Luckily, the person was just fine.

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Needless to say, that was enough to convince me never to live in the Midwest. At least with hurricanes, we have days to prepare…with a tornado, I was picking babies up asking Brett what I was supposed to do with them lol.

On a happier note, we have booked a little weekend trip to Disney World in May. We knew we would want to go to the Flower & Garden Festival before it ends and finally decided on a weekend the other day. I’ve already begun using these Mickey Countdown stickers (from Pretty Sheepy – my shop on Etsy) to countdown to our mini-trip in my planner!

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…and of course I had to start planning what I want to eat at the festival!

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We are attempting to have a tomato plant! Brett found it at Costco for a really good price and it even came with the marigolds already (to keep away bugs). I’ve been really impatient, constantly asking Brett when the tomatoes are going to be ready to eat…but I’m glad it’s still alive since I do not possess a green thumb.

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Aubrey is 8 months old and moving around the house like a crazy baby. I’ll have a 7-8 month update post once her 8 month photos are ready, but in the meantime I will say she literally crawls everywhere. Everywhere.

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It was extremely nice the other day, so Trent & Aubrey played in their new kiddie pool out back while Brett mowed the lawn. Cute little baby girl swimsuits? I die.

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T25 has been intermittent, but not because I’m not working out, I’m just mixing T25 with running on the treadmill, since not only do I want to lose weight, but I have a half-marathon to prepare for and need to work on slowly increasing my pace and distance. A big motivator for me this week was that Brett has joined me and has been running too. He restarted the C25K app (I decided to do my own thing) and said it has worked great on the treadmill so far. I was amazed and proud at how I fit in a session on the treadmill at 10:45pm yesterday with a to-do list left to accomplish afterward. Now, I just need to find a good solution to music. I’ve tried Amazon Music, Pandora, and Milk and I feel like I spend half my workout flipping through channels or skipping songs and then some have ads. I think I may need to just buy songs I know I like and add them to the iPod or phone. What service/method do you guys like doing to listen to music?

 

Here are some links to things I found interesting this past week:

-This makes my OCD happy – and apparently a lot of other people’s too

 

-Pet Peeves at Disney Parks

He forgot the part about camera flashes on dark rides, but yes-yes-yes to all of these

 

-This Groupon employee wins the internet

 

Did you see we started a series from our Seattle trip adventures? Check out our first installment here!

 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

 

Seattle Adventures: Ballard Locks & Fish Ladder and Woodland Park Zoo

The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks is a complex of locks that sits at the west end of Salmon Bay, part of Seattle, Washington’s Lake Washington Ship Canal. They are known locally as the Ballard Locks after the neighborhood to the north.

The locks and associated facilities serve three purposes:

  • To maintain the water level of the fresh water Lake Washington and Lake Union at 20–22 feet above sea level.
  • To prevent the mixing of sea water from Puget Sound with the fresh water of the lakes.
  • To move boats from the water level of the lakes to the water level of Puget Sound, and vice versa.

The complex includes two locks and a fish ladder is integrated into the locks for migration of fish, mostly salmon.

Thank you to Wikipedia for that science lesson! :)

After arriving in Seattle, our first stop in our touristy Seattle adventures was the Ballard Locks. It was something that didn’t require pre-planning and we knew wouldn’t take a whole lot of time. We didn’t want to plan too much on our first afternoon, since you never know how timing could work out when you have a long flight with layovers.

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It was really interesting to see how the water levels changed to get each boat up and down to continue on it’s journey.

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We crossed over to see the fish ladder, which was probably the bigger reason we came here.

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There wasn’t a large amount of fish that day, but you could still see the salmon swimming up the ladder.

There are some glass windows to see directly into the water…

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…and you are also able to look down into the ladder. Brett’s sister said that during the busy season, you can see them jumping out of the water like crazy…that would have been a fun sight!

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As with anywhere you go around Seattle, there was some unique art structures throughout the complex, too. This was a neat little area that I would recommend if you don’t have a lot of time and just want to add something in for fun.

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Somewhere in that area, there was also some gardens we toured around…sorry for the lack of specificity, but all I remember were these giant flowers!

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As big as my head!

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A lot of times, when people think of Seattle, they think cold/rain/snow/etc., but we went in August and it was absolutely gorgeous! I think it only slightly drizzled once the entire time we were there. August was a wonderful time to go and we only wish we could have gone other times around this season to see the Tulip Festival and Sea Fair.

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We did so many random little pitstops that I don’t remember half of what we did, but it was nice to see some off-the-beaten-path areas courtesy of our “tour guides” ;)

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Woodland Park Zoo

On another day of our trip, we visited the Woodland Park Zoo, where Brett’s sister worked at the time.

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Woodland Park Zoo is a zoological garden around the Phinney Ridge neighborhood of Seattle, occupying the western half of Woodland Park. The “zoo” we have in Tallahassee is laughable compared to what most consider an actual zoo, so it was nice to see more than what we’re used to.

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My favorite part was the bird exhibit, an enclosed area with various birds flying all around.

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You can get sticks of birdseed to feed them in the hopes that they will land on the stick to eat it…providing fun photo opportunities!

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We also enjoyed going “behind-the-scenes” to the nocturnal area that Dana worked in. It was dark and we had to be relatively quiet, but we got to see some interesting animals up close.

This would have been a fun stop with kids :)

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I hope you enjoyed this first segment of our Seattle Adventures! The main page with links to all of the segments as they are shared can be found here.

To see more travel posts, check out our travel section of the blog!

 

Seattle Adventures Trip Report

While looking through photos to find something, I came across our photos from our trip to Seattle in 2009 and wanted to share them here for you all to see. Our trip was in August 2009 and while we would have loved to stay longer, I was between semesters at two different schools, so I had less than a week to cram as much in as possible. Luckily, Brett’s sister and her then boyfriend (now husband!), who live out there, were game for our adventure-filled goals.

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Because this trip was prior to my blogging days, I didn’t make any notes or even take any food photos – sorry! – the food was so good! So instead of doing a chronological trip report, I will instead post about each of our adventures separately. We ventured downtown, took a sea plane to go whale watching, climbed through the lava tubes at Mount St. Helen and, of course, went to the top of the Space Needle…among other things. It was a good mix of touristy, adventurous fun.

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We would love to go back out there again, especially Brett with his current arsenal of camera gear…perhaps when the kids are a little bit older. :)

This was the first time Brett and I took a flight together and looking back, I can’t believe we got such a good deal on flights! Oh, those were the days…

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I also realized I get thrown off during time changes. I thought it was time for breakfast when it was time for dinner at the airport on the way back…whatever, just give me food!

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Bookmark this page as it will be where I organize each installment of our Seattle Adventures in one convenient location. Click the links below to go to each installment (links will be updated as each installment is posted).

I hope you enjoy reading about our Seattle Adventures!

 

Ballard Locks and Fish Ladder & Woodland Park Zoo
 
Downtown Touristy Stuff (Space Needle, Ride the Ducks & Pike Place Market)
 
Seattle Underground Tour
 
Sea Plane and Whale Watching
 
Mountain Adventures (Mount St. Helen Lava Tubes & Snoqualmie Falls)
 
Boeing, Bruce Lee & Some Other Random Stuff
 
Hotel 1000
 
 

 

Potty Training Tips and a Pampers Easy Ups Giveaway

We have been kind of relaxed with any sort of potty training with Trent….as in we are just waiting instead of rushing. We tried for about a half a day during the end of my maternity leave just to take advantage of me being home all day, but all it did was made me come to the conclusion that I don’t want to sit on the floor all day waiting for him to go. So now, we are just waiting for it to click – several of our friends and family say that’s how it happened with their kids and that when they tried to rush and force it, it didn’t go as well as when they just waited a bit longer for them to be ready. We think he is almost ready and I am looking forward to having one less kid in diapers!

Potty training is an exciting and eagerly anticipated milestone for toddlers and their parents. If your child is showing signs of readiness, spring and summer can be the ideal time to kick off potty training especially if your child is heading to preschool in the fall. If you think you and your child are ready to take that next step in the potty training journey, here are some tips from Dr. Laura Jana, pediatrician, award-winning parenting book author and potty training expert. After you read these great tips, be sure to enter the giveaway at the bottom of the post for a Pampers Easy Ups Prize Pack!

  1. Promote potty learning. Instead of referring to your child’s transition from wearing diapers to using the potty as “potty training,” consider calling it “potty learning.” After all, mastering this eagerly anticipated milestone of childhood takes time, teaching, and plenty of practice and patience!
  1. Take a teamwork approach. From the outset, I find it helps to keep in mind that potty training is a team sport. If you simply remind yourself that you are (and always will be) on the same team as your child, it can really help you stay calm in the face of potty accidents and be a much more positive and effective potty training coach.
  1. Stock your deck. Part of the secret to your child’s potty success will involve being well equipped and removing any obstacles that stand between your child and potty success. Sure, this typically includes a fun trip out to purchase a brand new first set of coveted “big-boy” or “big-girl” underwear. But it also means having on hand other practical supplies that can help foster your child’s interest and independence – from a step stool (to improve access to the toilet) or potty seat to training pants. That’s why I’m happy to partner with Pampers, whose Easy Ups training pants are designed to help the diaper-to-underwear transition by allowing potty-training toddlers to set aside their diapers and wear something with more of an underwear-like look and feel that still helps contain accidental messes no matter whether they happen at home, on-the-go or overnight.
  1. Embrace success. As with any learning experience, young children can learn a lot from both their potty successes and their failures. While potty accidents are an inevitable (and admittedly inconvenient) aspect of potty learning, they shouldn’t dominate your day-to-day discussions. Instead, simply help your child learn to cope with (and clean up) any messes and focus your attention on celebrating your child’s successes with plenty of hugs and words of encouragement.
  1. Watch for the signs. There are several characteristic signs and developmental abilities you can watch for that suggest children are ready to potty train. These signs of potty training readiness typically include the ability to use their words to express themselves, toddle their own way to the bathroom, pull down their own pants, and to be aware of the sensation of peeing or pooping (characteristically noticeable when young children suddenly stop what they’re doing as they feel themselves start to pee. Or when they start hiding behind the sofa or standing in a corner to poop. It is also helpful (and increases the likelihood of potty training interest) when children start to be bothered by their poopy and/or wet diapers, as that can serve as a good motivation for using the potty instead!
  1. Start making connections. There’s a lot that you can do to help your child be well-prepared to use the potty successfully long before he actually starts to. Reading fun and engaging children’s books about potty training, such as You and Me Against the Pee! (which I co-authored) can go a long way towards making the idea of potty training a family and eagerly anticipated one. You can take this familiarity a step further by letting your toddler accompany you in to the bathroom when you need to go so that he both becomes familiar with the routine and comfortable with the idea of using the toilet, rather than being afraid of or intimidated by it!

Even when the timing is right for child and parents, potty training can still be stressful. Parents want potty training to be a positive journey for their toddlers, but leaks, accidents and switching from training pants to diapers overnight can feel like setbacks.

Training pants such as Pampers Easy Ups can help the diaper-to-underwear transition by allowing potty-training toddlers to set aside their diapers and wear something with more of an underwear-like design that still helps keep accidental messes off clothing, bedding and other surfaces no matter whether they happen at home, on-the-go or overnight.

Pampers Easy Ups have fewer leaks than the other leading training pant to help simplify and improve the overall potty training experience. Pampers Easy Ups have an absorbent core that holds 25% more than the other leading training pant to help ensure little ones remain dry. Plus, with up to 12 hours of protection, it works during the day AND night, enabling toddlers and moms to confidently and completely transition from diapers towards underwear.

 

Twitter party! Please join @Pampers on April 21st from 9-10pmEST as they host a Twitter Party with Dr. Laura Jana, pediatrician, award-winning parenting book author and potty training expert who co-authored to Its You and Me Against the Pee…and the Poop, Too! RSVP here:http://vite.io/doubledutydivas

 

**GIVEAWAY!**

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Prize: Pampers Prize Pack that includes:

  • $50 AMEX gift card
  • Pack of Pampers Easy Ups
  • Little Looster Step Stool
  • Potty Ring
  • “It’s You and Me against the Pee… and Poop too!” book

Open to: US Only

Ends: 4/29/15 at 11:59pm EST

Enter using the Rafflecopter Widget below. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This review and giveaway was made possible by Double Duty Divas and Pampers. I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine.

 

MIA

Hey guys, sorry I’ve been a little MIA here and there lately. busy, busy, busy, as usual. I’ve been learning a few new positions at work so I can be a cross-trained ninja accountant, and while that hasn’t led to me being at work any later than usual, I have opted to work through lunch to get some extra stuff done, which is usually some of my blogging time.

I’ve been trying to finally get into a good eating/working out habit. I get so pumped at the beginning of the week, tired after a few days, and then guilty over the weekend. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Then, my alarm on my cell phone has been acting weird and not going off some days – it’s happened 4 days in the past 2 weeks and at first, I just couldn’t figure it out. Then last night I found out it was how the alarm sound and phone sound interact with each other. Ugh. Anyway, it really messed up my “plan” for starting the T25 program last week…I did 2 days, then got thrown off when I didn’t wake up in the morning to do the 3rd day and didn’t have time after work…so I didn’t do the rest of the week. I did, however, run both days this weekend, since Aubrey granted me with 2 super long naps instead of her usual < 30 minutes. Then on Monday I restarted T25. I had the alarm issue on Tuesday, but I was determined, so I did it after work instead. Aubrey wasn’t too thrilled about it, but Trent thought it was the best thing ever! He did the entire thing with me. His form wasn’t perfect (haha) but he did burpees, punches, kicks, and lots of jumping. He even kept giving Aubrey snacks so she would be happy. He didn’t even break a sweat…nothing like an unlimited-energy toddler to make you feel old.

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Another thing that has kept me busy in the best way is we were planning our 10th wedding anniversary cruise! We have been thinking about a family cruise for some time (our family and friends came with us on our honeymoon cruise) and when we found out that Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas (the gigantic boat with a million things to do) was moving closer to us from Fort Lauderdale to Port Canaveral in Fall 2016 (just a month after our anniversary), we just HAD to book it. So once we knew the family was onboard with our plans (<—see what I did there), we had to made the decision of what room to pick. We are so indecisive with this stuff. Be frugal or splurge on your anniversary? Hmmm…we decided to slightly splurge ;) We’ve never worked with a travel agent before, just always did it ourselves, but since I’ve been working with Pirate n Princess Vacations over at my Disney site, The Best of Disney, I figured I’d try it. So far, it has been a great experience and some nice perks too, so I’ll keep y’all updated on our trip plans! This is going to be the longest wait E-V-E-R! In the meantime, I assign myself the task of reading a bunch of other people’s trip reports and looking at all the FOOD available for my consumption on the ship ;)

Aerial Oasis of the Seas

I’ve also been plagued by the perfectionism bug – my whole life really – I have this mindset that each post has to be so perfect and encompass anything and everything related to that topic. I really want to get over that because in many of the blogs I read, some of my favorite posts are the ones where they just talk about their recent happenings and stuff. I guess I just don’t feel like every day is so blog-worthy in the life of Lynn – but honestly, the other posts I read don’t always have a whole lot going on either, lol, so I’m going to try to take more photos and videos of the daily stuff to share with you. I also have a mile-long list of more in-depth posts I want to write/have drafts of that I want to work on actually hitting the publish button on. My post on getting empty Disney park photos was sitting in my draft box for almost a year when I finally finished it up and hit publish…and you guys loved it! I am so thankful and motivated to share more posts like that.

One of those posts that’s in the works is a series of posts from when we went to Seattle a few years ago. It was such a fun trip and we did so many adventures that I want to share them instead of letting those photos sit in a folder. So stay tuned for that, as well as the rest of our December WDW trip report, and a 7 and 8 month Aubrey update – she’s getting so big!

It’s almost Friday – yay! :)