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» Cherry Pie Hospitality and the Mazda CX-5
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» Personality
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» Start of the school year and a string of thoughts on being “different” in public school
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» REVIEW: IMVIO Kit (iPhone Lenses)
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» Love is Blind Part II
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» Our favorite back to school essentials
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» REVIEW: Girls of American History
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Flavor Your Life
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» A Day with Show Hope
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» REVIEW: Holiday World (Santa Claus, IN) 70th Birthday Season

» Cherry Pie Hospitality and the Mazda CX-5

Special thanks to Mazda USA for allowing us to test drive the 2016 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD. As always, these opinions are my own. (this post is from Calvin who visited Houston in July) Let’s face it, summers in Houston are morbidly hot! When we found out that Cherry Pie Hospitality had ventured into the ice cream business, we were super excited to say the least. So the kids and I decided to buckle up and visit Cherry Pie’s restaurants for ourselves. The company owns and manages some of our old but mostly new favorite Houston restaurants. It was appropriate that Mazda USA sent us out in a Soul Red Metallic CX-5 Grand Touring, like a cherry. Here are some of our favorite things about[…]

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» Personality

Have you ever looked at one of your kids and realized they are you? I have. And it’s quite helpful because for the most part I can predict how he will react or not react to certain things. I can predict whether a consequence will have an impact and I can always tell whether or not he’s actually listening. Because I know is personality. This week Calvin and I took personality tests (I’m ENFJ-A, the protagonist and He’s ISFJ-A the defender) Yes. We are quite the combo. But what we focused on during these tests, besides my overwhelming extrovertedness and his overwhelming introvertedness, was how these particular personalities affect our parenting. Four kids close in age has had us spinning for a couple years and[…]

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» Start of the school year and a string of thoughts on being “different” in public school

I threw all my clever 3-4 word post title ambitions out the window on this one. Because there is nothing neat, clean or tidy about starting the school year when your child is a bit different. When you walk in to meet the teacher night, heart-racing, and hope that there is no pause on the other side after you introduce your child. When you’ve had 900 meetings and emails just to get to this point. When you aren’t sure that the woman you’re handing your child off to really understands how she works and doesn’t work sometimes. When you’ve worked all Summer to prepare said child educationally and socially and hope that one week doesn’t undo months of progress. When you are scarred from past[…]

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» REVIEW: IMVIO Kit (iPhone Lenses)

Disclaimer: The folks at IMVIO kindly allowed us a unit for this review. As always, the opinions are my own. Fish-Eye and Wide-Angle lens for your iPhone With four kids, it’s difficult to carry anything more than what I absolutely need. That includes my DSLR camera. After searching for a happy medium, the IMVIO lens kit sounded like a great addition with minimum impact. After a few weeks of use and going around town, I love this little accessory. The two lenses come in a case that attaches nicely to your keychain and you can easily screw/unscrew the lens as needed. You are required to use the case that the kit comes with. Conclusion There’s not much more to say about this product other than[…]

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» Love is Blind Part II

Hopefully you caught part I of Love is Blind, if not, you can read about the LaGorga family and their adoption story here. I’m happy to report that their sweet Lili is now home and learning all about life in a forever family. Part 2 of this story is all about the Carl family and their precious son. It’s been a joy to watch them adjust to life as a family of 4 with all the triumphs and heartbreak and stress that it brings. It’s hard. But all worth it things are hard. So without further introduction, it’s time to hear from Jenifer Carl as she shares just a bit of her big ol’ heart. I’ve always known that I’ve wanted to adopt children. I[…]

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» Our favorite back to school essentials

It’s that time of year. And I secretly love it. I have always enjoyed the anticipation of the new school year and all the fresh pencils and clean sneakers it brings. So back to school shopping is something I tend to hop on early, looking for the most useful items at the best price. Today I want to share some of our favorite tried and true items with you! These are all items we have used for an extended amount of time and highly recommend. Lunch Boxes We only buy lunch boxes from L.L.Bean. And I ALWAYS wait for a sale or purchase the marked down colors. They have so many great choices, even in the clearance area (check out current sales here). We like[…]

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» REVIEW: Girls of American History

Many of you may be preparing your curriculum for the upcoming school year. It’s often quite a challenge to select curriculum that is both interesting and challenging at the same time. We do not homeschool but we do add quite a bit into our Summer enrichment. This Summer we added the Girls of American History lessons into our Summer learning and exploration. And don’t be fooled by the name, this curriculum works for both genders, in some units more than others. Girls of American History was written by a long-time homeschooling mom of five, and she nails it! “Girls of American History was created to be used with the popular American Girl historical, fictional series. Each unit in Girls of American History is meant to[…]

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Flavor Your Life

As a Moms Meet Ambassador I was recently asked to sample a delicious high-quality olive oil provided by the Flavor Your Life campaign, a movement to educate consumers on the benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Europe, including: Taste, Health, Functionality, Heritage, and Quality. The timing was interesting because I had just read a few articles about finding quality extra-virgin olive oil and discovered that much of what adorns the grocery store shelves is nothing but colored canola oil. As I read through the various articles like this one from Real food for life I picked up a few quick tips to help you discover the health benefits of quality extra-virgin olive oil without being ripped off by an imposter oil. Make sure you look for the[…]

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» A Day with Show Hope

Our friends at Show Hope invited us over for a few hours last week. Mostly because our kids are cute… but we are also adoption grant recipients and live nearby. After we crashed their offices and our kids talked to EVERYONE and touched EVERYTHING we’re pretty certain we’ve taken that friendship to the next level. The kids had such a good time just being themselves, trying on the cute t-shirts and playing a game of red light green light with some of the staff. We are honored to help show off these fun t-shirts that benefit families in the adoption process, and ultimately the children that become part of those families. We know without a doubt that our family would not be the big, bustling beautiful[…]

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» REVIEW: Holiday World (Santa Claus, IN) 70th Birthday Season

Disclaimer: The folks at Holiday World kindly provided our family admission for this review. As always, the opinions are my own. We were excited to visit Holiday World for a second year in a row! The kids were a little taller so they were ready to experience some new rides that they weren’t able to ride last year. In addition, Holiday World is celebrating its 70th season this summer (2016). The pictures of our fun trip speak for themselves. Here is a list of “what’s new” for this special season: Continuing the park’s birthday theme, new menu items: Birthday Cake Fudge, Birthday Sundae, Birthday Confetti Cake Flurry, and Birthday Cake Ice Cream Dip The Legend “reborn,” with more than $2 million in track improvements to[…]

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