How To Balance It All..

Career, Family, and Motherhood... Creating balance and memories

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Vegas Baby!

 One of our favorite family traditions is to take a family vacation for Spring Break. This year, we decided to go to Las Vegas. I usually prefer to make my reservations directly with the hotel or in this case the resort. However, this year I decided to try Kayak and absolutely loved it! We got a great deal and I loved how I was able to compare prices with various sites because as you know I love to save money and shop for deals (it's a mommy thing).
  We stayed at the Tahiti Village Resort and had a blast. In my opinion, (as well as my boys and husband) the best part of the resort was the "Lazy River." Needless to say we spent a lot of time there. In the summertime, they have a Hawaiian Luau that I heard is awesome.
  A great memory for my sons was the M&M Factory (of course). The factory has 4 levels of everything M&M you can think of. Along the strip we found some terrific shops and places to eat where we could view the beauty of the strip (especially at night) along with all the interesting people. Many people say that Vegas isn't for children. I believe this to be a personal opinion. In my opinion, there are many things for families with small children to do in Vegas. It may take some research, but anything worth while takes some work, right? I also found many free activities for us to partake in. One of those activities was watching the "Volcano" erupt in front of the Mirage which was amazing! And who can forget the beautiful Bellagio Water Show in front of the hotel. Oh, and did I mention that downtown Las Vegas also has some great entertainment, shops, and food (Fremont Street). We really enjoyed eating at Fatburger (across form the Monte Carlo). And this particular Fatburger had a full bar right outside the restaurant, I'm just saying. The Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay was not only engaging for my boys, but also educational.
 The main motto we go by on family vacations is, "Relax, Laugh, Enjoy." It's so important to create these special memories with my family and hope they carry on special traditions just as I continue to carry on traditions pasted down to me from my parents.
  Until next time, Be Blessed.....

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Stay Organized

As a busy, working mommy, I find it not only essential but necessary to keep my family and household organized. Having organization skills helps things to run smoothly and more effectively. It is also a wonderful habit to teach my kids (thankfully they love "clean up time").
I wanted to share one of my favorite organizational tools that has been very effective for me. Hopefully I can provide some helpful tips for other busy moms.
Our playroom is one of the most used areas of our house. With that being so, I have organized it to be safe, clean, and fun place for the kids. Playtime is a very special time for us to spend time as a family. I cleaned our the closet area and placed some multi color bins on a shelf (which was given to us by grandma and grandpa). These bins are used to organize the toys that the kids play with. The color coding really helps! Above the bins on a higher shelf, I have storage boxes (from the dollar store) to store magnetic alphabet letters, numbers, Flashcards, and educational DVD's. This way we can keep track of everything at all times.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

My Guilty Pleasure Is.....

I have a confession to make. My guilty pleasure is..... wait for it..... Reality TV! I love watching my "shows" (that is on days when I get some time to myself). I remember when I was a kid and my grandma would tell me how much she loved her "shows". The only difference is that she was referring to her soap operas. Do those still even exist? Well back to reality television, there is such a variety of shows that are oddly entertaining. Am I the only one who feels this way? I mean of course I enjoy educational shows and I have to keep up with the news, but I find it relaxing and "fun" to watch my "shows".
   Let me just tell you which shows I love (oh, where should I begin):
    1. Real Housewives Series (my favorites are Atlanta, New Jersey, and OC)
    2. X Factor
    3. The Voice
    4. American Idol (I am especially excited for the upcoming season because I love Mariah Carey)
    5. Catfish (a new show on MTV, if you haven't seen it, you should check it out)
    6. Love and Hip Hop Atlanta

 There is a new show coming soon called, "The Real Husbands of Hollywood."

Monday, November 19, 2012

Toddlers and Technology...

 Is it just me or does it seem like young children today understand and use technology better than many adults? For some children it seems like they are experts, but how can this be when they are only 4! This concept always seems to fascinate me even though I am quite aware that we live in a "technology rich" environment. Many technology devices are very appealing to young children and this appeal captivates the desire to learn how and why something works. Not to mention the fabulous graphics, sounds, and functions. My 3 year old twins love our tablet, ipad, and smartphones just like I loved my etch-o-sketch and cabbage patch dolls (that's right.. I said it).
  From my "mommy perspective" I always think about pros and cons in relation to many things. I feel that when it comes to toddlers and technology, a balance is key. Yes, kids these days do need to be quite familiar with various aspects of technology. Yes, there are many great educational apps and games where young children can also learn cause and effect concepts along with many others. However, it is essential for young children to participate in more physically active activities to learn healthy habits. Language and social development is also significant as to which talking and interacting with others is best.
  Having a balance when it comes to toddlers and technology is, in my opinion, a sensible approach.

  Until next time, Be Blessed....

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Mommy Knows Best

 Being a mommy of two very active boys always keeps me on my toes. I find myself always trying to stay one step ahead of them (which by the way is not as easy as it may seem). One of the main issues that is constantly running through my mind is the issue of safety. It is a top priority to keep them safe and healthy. Since I cannot tell the future, I rely on my "mommy intuition" as well as my common sense. However, I still feel that there must be more I can do to be proactive in keeping them safe. Here are a few tips I have learned that I hope will be valuable for other parents that worry as much as I do: 
         1. Post all emergency phone numbers on the refrigerator, cabinet, or anywhere you feel is the perfect spot in your house. It is also a good idea to review them from time to time.
         2. Child ID bracelets are a good idea for toddlers (especially those that like to run everywhere)
         3. Always make sure toddlers (or young kids for that matter) are always sitting while they are eating. This will help to prevent choking.
         4. Always supervise children while they are in the bathtub (or anywhere for that matter). This is a good time to talk with your child about safety tips.
         5. Don't be afraid to ask for help when you are feeling tired. Constant monitoring of your toddler is essential in keeping them safe.
         6. Take a CPR and First Aid class. This will give you very useful and valuable information as well as hands on practice. 

   Remember to keep safety a priority. Until next time... Be Blessed


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Drive In Movie Night!

 One of our favorite things to do as a family is our "Drive In Movie Night." About six months ago, I located a really cool drive in movie theater on the way to the mall. I never knew it was there given the fact that it is somewhat hidden behind several large trees. Well ever since I realized that is was a drive in movie theater, we haven't been back to a regular indoor movie theater in quite a while. 

  One of my favorite aspects that I enjoy about this theater is that it reminds me of when my parents would take me to the drive in when I was a little girl. The memories are priceless and I am excited that I can share this experience with my boys and my husband. Another great quality is that the admission is very reasonable (when I say reasonable I mean much cheaper that the regular movie theater). I know you are probably thinking that a drive in theater only shows older movies that have been out for a while. Well, guess what my other favorite thing about this theater is? The movies are current and they show movies the same day that they are released in a regular movie theater. Not bad, huh?

  This is at the top of my list of favorite family outings that is affordable without compromising the "fun factor." Below I have listed a few tips/suggestions that may be helpful if you and your family plan on visiting a drive in movie theater. Till next time.... be blessed!

1. Bring along snacks from home if you want to save a little money. We usually bring juice boxes, bottled waters, fruit snacks, chips and cookies that I bake just for this occasion.
2. It's always a good idea to bring a change of clothes for the little ones. What we like to do is change the boys into their pajamas right before the movie starts, that way when we get home they can go straight to bed.. works like a charm.
3. It's also a good idea to bring a few toys to entertain the little ones until the movie starts. We usually get there a little early so we can get our favorite parking spot.
4. I learned that since we will be eating in the car, it is so much easier to bring a bag for trash that way I can walk over to the trash can and throw it away immediately rather than leave it sitting in the car (I like to keep things as neat as possible so if you're like me then you'll like this tip).

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Adventures In Mommyhood...

Although Summertime is usually a time to take the family on long, adventurous road trips and so forth, as a mommy of young twins, going to the market with my boys can be an adventure all in itself. Keeping this in mind, my husband and I decided to try to search for a theme park to take the boys to that they would enjoy. We knew Disneyland would be a bit overwhelming (for all of us!) even though we have taken the boys there several times and we love it, we were determined to find a place that was on a smaller scale. Less crowds, short lines, few height requirements and so forth. In my mommy brain I thought, "Wow, does a place like this even exist?" I knew I would be a wild goose chase for the next few days trying to locate a place like this that was local (or at least continue to dream about it in my mind).

Well on the second day of searching I found it! A mini amusement park for toddlers and young kids. Too good to be true? I did my research of course and realized that this was a really great place for us to take the boys! I was so excited to share this with my husband that I nearly tripped over some monster truck toy cars just to inform him (or brag) about my latest discovery and next family outing.

 When we arrived to the amusement park, we were greeted with a huge sign that said FREE PARKING. Now if you have read my previous blog you understand how much this means to me. It's like finding a twenty dollar bill when you're doing the laundry. The admission was also reasonable especially for a family of 4. As we entered the gates, I noticed how clean, safe and organized it was (I never use to worry too much about these things until I became a mom).  There were a variety of rides for the boys to get on. My absolute most favorite thing was that they could ride on all of the rides! Also the lines were very, very short. My husband and I rode with them of course and we all had a blast. I also love seeing other families out with their little ones as well. There was a great family atmosphere which is also important to me as a mommy. The food was a bit pricey but I always come prepared with snacks, mini lunchables and juice boxes so we didn't spend too much on food. Over all it was a great day and we plan on going back before the summer ends!

 So even though some family trips may seem like an adventure to plan, its worth a try because you never know what you will discover. Till next time... be blessed!

 P.S.  For those of you that wanted to know where this place is located, it is in the city of Buena Park, California and it is called Adventure City. It is not to far from Knott's Berry Farm..Enjoy