Aaaand we’re back!

We took a family trip to sunny southern California last week.  I have to admit it was CRAZY stressful for me as this was the largest trip and/or undertaking for us as a family of 4.  People do it all the time I told myself, and once we were there, we *all* had a really good time.

First thing I’d like to talk about is the weather.  OMG, the weather.

At the Science Center:

wpid-screenshot_2014-07-17-13-10-25_1.jpg

At the pool:wpid-screenshot_2014-07-18-14-50-31_1.jpg

Absolutely no humidity.  My hair has never been so tame.

Going to the Aquarium:

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Headed to a taping of The Late Late Show today!!!!:wpid-screenshot_2014-07-21-06-12-11_1.jpg

In line at CBS:wpid-screenshot_2014-07-21-12-00-17_1.jpg

A day at the San Diego Zoo:wpid-screenshot_2014-07-22-11-10-20_1.jpg

Headed home (ridiculous!):wpid-screenshot_2014-07-23-12-00-16_1.jpg

(It’s a dry heat.  All the better to spontaneously combust in, my dear.)

We landed in a thunderstorm, I did a good job keeping my sh!t together, the girls didn’t know how nervous I was (I’m not a good flyer).

Now we’re back in Connecticut, land of thunderstorms and 400% humidity.  Glad to be home, but with the A/C on.

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Keepin’ it up…

I’ve been on etsy for 7.5 years. Some of my products have come and gone, some things have evolved and I feel like I’m in a great groove item-wise (though things could always be better, of course). BUT lately I’ve been in touch w people who might be a little newer or fresher to this and it makes me wonder… How do I keep it up?

Like, with blogging… just how many times can I say “Hey, I made another new design of this thing?” How often do I re-introduce myself without it being like JEEZ, WE KNOW!

If you sell crafts, how long do you see yourself doing what you do? How do you get new people to follow, yet keep the old people interested?

I’m not sure I can ask just one question to express what I’m wondering, could it be the 7.5 year itch?

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Simple Summer Living

snackie

I’ve been busy, I’ve been a little stressed, and I’ve decided we don’t need a ton of fanfare and fireworks and excitement for a little bit.  Back to some basics.  Few ingredients, no accessories.  A simple little summer snackie and some good old fashioned reading.

reading

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Imagination Movers at Sesame Place AND A GIVEAWAY!

Imagination Movers are coming to Sesame Place July 16 – 17, 2014

imagination

Don’t miss the Imagination Movers at Sesame Place! Emmy winners Rich, Scott, Dave and Smitty of the hit Disney Junior show Imagination Movers will perform their most crowd-pleasing tunes. As always, the Movers will inspire lots of audience participation as they encourage the crowd to “jump up, get down, stand up and turn around!

Paid park admission is required in addition to concert reservations

Wednesday, July 16 – Thursday, July 17, 2014 in Monster Rock Theater

Show Times:  11:30AM, 4:30PM, 6:00PM

Pricing:  Adult (ages 10 & up) $10

Child (ages 2 – 9) $10

Children 23 months and younger are free but require a reservation. Infants will be required to sit on the lap of an adult.

Reservations are required and limited to five reservations per family for one of the six shows. Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable.

SO!  If you want to go, you need tickets to the park as well as tickets to the show.  All this info is available on the Sesame Place website.

OR:

Win everything you need RIGHT HERE!  4 passes to the park, and 4 passes to see Imagination Movers in concert!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
I’m almost mad that I’m me, since I can’t win. =)

Disclosure: I am a Sesame Place Blog Ambassador for the 2014 season. No monetary compensation was provided for this post. All opinions are my own.

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Cabaret on Broadway or: Why I Feel Like I’m 1,000 Years Old This Week

So this happened this weekend:

It seems like every time I go to NYC, it’s 20 degrees or raining, or there’s 60mph winds or all of the above.  The weather today was perfect.

;

 Lunch at Junior’s in Grand Central Station:

Dinner at John’s of Times Square

Lots of walking in between.  The Fitbit said nearly 10 miles.

And then:

The show was incredible.  Michelle William’s understudy was wonderful, I can’t stop gushing about any part of it all.  We figured while we were there, we might as well hang at the stage door afterwards.  We were not disappointed.

So you may notice up til now that the person standing with the actors are my husband and my sister, I was taking pictures.  Until Alan Cumming came out of the stage door.  MY TURN, BACK AWAY PEOPLE.

He’s been on my list of favorites since …  forever?  I can’t remember.

We didn’t get back to my parents’ place to spend the night until 4a.m.  And I heard Big Girl start to move around at 6a.m.  Holy showtunes, that was a quick night.  I’m certainly not as young as I used to be, but the sore muscles and and exhaustion were absolutely worth the trip.

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July 4th Fireworks at Sesame Place and a Giveaway! 2014

sesame-logo

We went to see the fireworks at Sesame Place over Memorial Day weekend.  They were FANTASTIC!

There wasn’t a bad seat in the house – We were near the main entrance, and they would’ve been great from the Sesame Place neighborhood (on the parade route), and I saw pictures of folks camped out in the new Monster’s Clubhouse to watch.  Awesome!

Set to Sesame Street music, with a little story told by Abby, Cookie Monster, The Count, etc., it was a great show!

Next opportunity to see them is July 4th, immediately following the 9:00PM evening performance of the Neighborhood Street Party Night Parade.

Fun for the whole family!

Other festivities that weekend include:

And Monsterland is up and running and ready for us!

Visit sesameplace.com for all the details!

You can win a 4 pack of day passes, let’s do it! a Rafflecopter giveaway
The passes do not have to be used on July 4th, come when you can during the season!

Disclosure:  I am a Sesame Place Blog Ambassador for the 2014 season.  No monetary compensation was provided for this post.  All opinions are my own.

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Day by Day, Is It Summer Yet?

This is the first year the girls have waited for the school bus in the morning.  Big Girl car pooled one year, last year I drove them every day.  It’s really more convenient to drive them, the bus comes early and never exactly at the same time, the weather is usually atrocious, blarg.  Because of their afternoon activities I have to pick them up in the afternoon so they rode in the morning this year.

When they started back after the holiday break, I started taking a picture every a.m. while we were waiting for the bus.  It was something for all of us to do.

(Right about here I’m about sick of the winter coats.)

Time is winding down (finally!) and I’ll have 8 more pictures to take (as long as I don’t forget).  I wanted to post these before I got distracted by vacation.  It’s been a great school year but bring on summer!

Maybe we’ll do this again over summer vacation, what do you think?  I’ll take any ideas you’ve got!

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New Mini Album Kits by QueenvannaCreations

I’ve been cutting and pasting my little heart out, making more chipboard mini album samples and their kits!

This one is made from different shaped banner pieces – Sunshine and Smiles!

Bliss – is a vintage summer theme – picnics, patriotism, jam, bicycles, buttons, etc…

Fairytales Do Come True – Woodland fairy themed for your little pixie.

And All Boy – Nature Gnome at his finest – woodland creatures and nature, oh my!

These kits are assembled and ready to ship – I send the physical product and email you the directions in PDF format – color, written and lots of pictures to make your own mini chipboard album.

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Cookie’s Monster Land, Grand Opening!

Cookie’s Monster Land at Sesame Place is OPEN!

We got a sneak preview last weekend and we tried out all the new rides - I’ve also tossed in a tip or two!

Captain Cookie’s High “C’s” Adventure

Oscar’s Rotten Rusty Rockets

(big smiles for this one!)

The Honker Dinger Derby – mom took a ride!  This one is strictly for the big kids, there is a height restriction (must be 42″+) It’ll be worth the wait short children, I promise!

For the tiniest kiddos, there’s Mini Monster Clubhouse.
The Mini Monster Clubhouse is a soft play area designed for kids 5 and under. While bigger kids play in the Monster Clubhouse, mini monsters can jump, climb, crawl and play their way through this colorful toddler play area.

We also loved the Flying Cookie Jars and the Monster Mix-Up.  I will not spoil the surprise other than to say the music at the Monster Mix-Up is my favorite genre.

For anyone who was disappointed that they took the old ropes down (not me, they were NOT my favorite thing), The Monster Clubhouse is a huuuge improvement.  Everyone is welcome at the Monster Clubhouse – no secret password necessary! Discover new levels of fun, climbing, and exploring on this 3-story colorful net climb. Kids and parents alike will have a monster of a good time playing together on this fun filled structure.

And note for the 4th of July - There were pictures of families camped out in the Clubhouse watching the Sesame Place Fireworks – looks like the perfect spot to enjoy the show!

Another cool thing, all the areas to wait in line are covered with a canopy so if you have a wait, you won’t be in the blaring sun.  So glad they thought of that.

Cookie’s Sometimes Anytime Food Market is in the giant blue cookie jar -
There are anytime snacks that are scrumptious and sometimes treats that are crunchy, sweet and yumptious! Cookie’s Sometimes Anytime Food Market offers a variety of grab-and-go sandwiches, salads, snacks and beverages to satisfy hungry little monsters.

We enjoyed a Monster Cookie – GINORMOUS and plenty for the 3 of us to share.  Next visit, mom has already decided that’s where she’s getting lunch – lots of different salads and wraps, everything looked so fresh and tasty!

We got a peek at the newly renovated“1-2-3 Smile with Me!” photo location – the perfect place to share a furry hug and a smile with Cookie Monster and his new monster friends, Honker & Dinger.  We will be visiting for SURE next time!  Even if our friends aren’t there we might poke in if we can, the backdrop is too cute.

Can’t wait for next time!

Disclosure: I am a Sesame Place Blog Ambassador for the 2014 season.  No monetary compensation was provided for this post.  All opinions are my own.

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Sisters

I don’t know what we were thinking having our children 18 months apart… Well, we didn’t plan it that way, but I do know how these things happen so…  they’re 18 months apart.  And with the little one not sleeping through the night for nearly 7 years, I’ve had some tough times.  But one thing that sticks out in my memory when we were expecting Little Girl (who we called “New Baby” til she was born) was some advice the pediatrician gave me.  I said I was nervous we’d have some sibling rivalry, or that Big Girl wouldn’t understand what all was happening and she said “they’ll never remember a time when they weren’t sisters, they’ll be just fine.”

I love that advice.  It hasn’t been easy, but they’ve always been together and they’ve always been the best of friends.  I’m relieved and so proud.

It made things easy this weekend when I took them to Sesame Place by myself.  They were a team – what to ride, when and where to eat…

They’ve said for at least a year now that they’re going to buy a house together and have a cat.  They’ve picked out a duplex in the center of town to buy already.

When they’re back together after school, they sit and play on their tablets and catch up on their days.  What fresh thing someone said at lunch, which teacher said something funny, what they learned…

They take care of each other, they assess most situations together before they decide if I should be involved or not.

Best of friends.

Sisters and friends forever.

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