High Heels and Hot Deals

Friday, July 3, 2015

Project 52 - Week 25

*A photograph of each of my children, once a week in 2015*

My mom's friend, who Cohen refers to as his Auntie Rah Rah, always has to spoil my children when we come to town.  She surprised him with some fun bug exploring tools including this precious little hat that is too cute to boot.  On the last night we were there, he went Lightning Bug catching with his Nana and they caught 10 "little buddies" as he referred to them.  After much convincing, he finally let them go as he shouted, "Fly away! Be Free!"

This photo pretty much speaks for itself.  My poor child's hair is a spitting image of Bill Murray's rug in Kingpin.  Baby Girl, I promise your hair will grow one day.  Until then, you rock that mullet thing!


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Back to School and Feeling Cool

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CycleSurvival #CollectiveBias

I blinked my eyes and it was already July -- how did that one happen?  As a teacher you are crying as you push the Back to School cart around, collecting supplies and such for the upcoming school year.  However, as a parent you are usually throwing a party and dancing behind that cart.  What can I say?  There's always two sides to every story!  But this year marks a new territory that we have yet to experience - a high school student.  Sure, Kurtis and I have both been to high school.  And those are probably four years my parents would rather NOT remember.  But this year my step daughter will be a freshman and that, my friends, is a whole new ball game.
I remember entering high school with mixed emotions.  I mean, it was so much bigger than middle school and the kids seemed SO much older.  Plus I had made the Varsity squad in Cheerleading as a freshman so I already had a bulls-eye on my back.  But nonetheless I wanted to impress, or at least not stand out completely.  One of the first items on our agenda was decorating our lockers.  Hello!  These things had to be cool.  We're talking mirrors, magnets, posters, pictures - the works!  Our lockers were basically our homes away from home equipped with everything that we needed.  As a teenage girl you know that means one thing (or should I say moment) in particular - your monthly friend.  Seriously, I remember hiding my tampons and other much needed supplies for the other period symptoms in the deep, dark crevices of my locker, like I was the only girl in the world to ever have a period.  My biggest fear was that my supplies would come flying out like a jack in the box just as my cute boy crush walks by my locker.  Please close your eyes and visualize that one.
It kind of came to me last week as I was filling one of the reusable snack packs with crackers.  What if I transformed this reusable pack into something cute that could be hung in a locker yet contains all of those personal items that are needed on a monthly basis?  You know, something you could just grab and go?
BINGO!  The Martha Stewart in me strikes again!
Seriously, I will be the first to say that I did not inherit the crafty side.  My sister is the McGyver of all things crafty actually.  But this Locker Pouch is so easy that if I can do it, anyone can do it.  And the best part is there is no actual sewing involved!

Easy No-Sew Locker Pouch

You Need:
-- 1/2 yard of fabric --- preferably cotton
-- No Sew adhesive glue
-- Ribbon
--Self-stick velcro squares

How To Make It:
1.  Cut a square of fabric -  I cut mine 18 inches x 12 inches.  Then turn inside out and fold in half.

2.  Glue the sides of your squares closed, holding them tight to seal adhesive.  I also glued the tops down to create a hem so there weren't any messy edges.  Set and let it dry.

3.  Cut your ribbon (about 12 inches) and glue into a loop with glue.  Allow this loop to dry.

4.  Once your pouch is dry, take velcro tabs and place inside pouch.  Use 2-3 tabs to create a secure closure at the top of the pouch.

5.  Glue your loop to the side of your pouch to be used as a handle to hold on to or to hang within the locker.  You could also staple this loop inside the pouch, easily hiding the staple but allowing the loop to stay put a bit easier and more securely.

Seriously, how cute is this pouch?  I have to say I'm pretty proud of myself considering I am not one who can usually make things so sweet and precious.  Well, besides my children of course...

I decided to make a few more of these Locker Pouches for our babysitters as well because in all honesty, I was on a crafting roll!  So on a recent trip to Walgreens, I was able to pick up a few goodies to fill these pouches for my girls.  I noticed the Balance Rewards promotional offer that if I spent $15 on U by Kotex, BIC, and EOS products, I could earn 3,000 extra points.  Done and done.  Of course I had to grab the EOS lip balm because every girl uses lip balm and this stuff is amazeballs.  I also decided to grab a few BIC disposable razors which may sound silly, but these are always a beauty regime necessity.  Finally, I knew I wanted to choose a Kotex product that could be kept in the pouch and used for those monthly moments.  U by Kotex CleanWear® by U Pad are slim fit, designed to move with your body and offer secure protection.  I knew my lady friends wouldn't have to worry about what they were wearing on their first day of school because U by Kotex CleanWear® would have them covered - literally.  Plus they fit perfectly in the Locker Pouches so my sweet girls are always prepared.

Entering high school can be a bit intimidating.  Trust me, been there, done that.  I'm excited to share my locker pouches with my ladies!  Cute and fashionable for the locker yet keeping them prepared, worry and stress free.  Plus feeling and looking confident attracts all the cute boys anyways.

Share with Me!
How do you survive your cycle, especially in unfamiliar places?
You can find some great cycle surviving inspiration here!


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Weekend Shenanigans - Family Fun in the G

Another weekend is in the books!  It amazes me how fast the weeks and weekends go by when you're on break.  I looked at the calendar and realized I only have about a month left until it's time to head back to school.
Seriously.  Don't make me throw up.
I guess a month is a long ass time but there is a ton of stuff that needs to get done in that month.  Like redecorating three bedrooms and preparing for a little bundle of joy.  
No big deal.


This weekend we headed up to northern Indiana to visit family and attend a wedding.  We decided to go up Friday afternoon and leave Monday afternoon.  I have to say it was the best idea ever.  There was hardly any rushing to see people and we actually enjoyed ourselves.  But can I just say, however, that weddings are much less stressful without children involved?  Yes, I love my children beyond words but Kurtis and I spent the majority of the wedding standing by the stairs, making trips to the bathroom and chasing little feet that continuously ran and ran and ran.  Cohen is also a danceaholic and I can't tell you how many times I told him he had to get off the dance floor because it wasn't our turn yet.  And of course it was during the most inappropriate times like when they did the Father-Daughter dance, their first dance, a slideshow -- it was Cohen's dance party wherever he was really.  I can only imagine how many pictures I accidentally photo bombed.  We were exhausted by the end of the night, but Lola's middle of the night wake up party from the previous night didn't help either.  Can I get an AMEN for parents though?  They had no problems getting up with the kids the next morning so we could sleep in.  Sometimes I wonder why they don't live with us full time.  
And then I remember - because that's not reality Kait.  

We ended the weekend with some quality time with my parents and Cohen's favorite Auntie Rah Rah as well as celebrating our sweet nephew's 2nd birthday.  I can't tell you how fun it was for Sophie, Cohen and Lola to be able to spend time with all of their cousins in one place.  Sadly we don't do it enough and we all agreed it needs to happen more than just during the holidays.

But now it's Monday evening and I'm ready to take on the week ahead of us.  First order of business?  Taking the plunge and ordering the big double stroller.  This is a big purchase my friends not only because it costs an arm and a leg but because it's starting to get real.
Oh. Snap.

Have a fabulous week!  Crossing my fingers for a gorgeous 4th of July!


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Project 52 - Week 24

*A photograph of each of my children, once a week in 2015*

This kid is all about sports, which melts his Daddy's heart.  This weekend the two of them and Sophie played a fierce game of soccer abiding by Cohen rules of course.  I have signed him up for Flag Football this fall, which I'm not quite sure who is more excited about it - Cohen or Kurtis.  What will be the most fun is to see if he has inherited the Baumgartner competitive gene.  If he has, then Lord help us all.

After a full week of June Gloom, Saturday evening gave us a glimpse of hope for semi-nice weather.  While it was a bit gloomy, there was no rain so we opted to make S'mores on the campfire.  Of course this kid loved them - would you really think she wouldn't?  I'm pretty sure she just enjoyed eating the marshmallows right out of the bag most of all.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Supporting Children's Miracle Network Hospitals + Giveaway

Being a mom is the absolute best job in the world.  While it may not be the easiest, it is the most rewarding and heart fulfilling job I have ever had in my life.  My love for my children continues to grow everyday - even on the most trying of days.  But when you become a mom your worry factor grows to about a million percent.  With each bump, scrape, fever or fall you are constantly wishing away the pain of your own child, even for the most minor things.  I am extremely blessed to have two healthy children.  Some families are not so lucky and endure far worse illnesses than I can ever imagine having to watch my children go through.

That's why I am a strong supporter of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.  One in ten kids in North America is treated by Children's Miracle Network Hospitals each year.  Every day member hospitals treat 16,000 children in emergency rooms and provide surgeries for 97 children every hour.  In 2012, U.S. members hospitals provided $3.4 billion in charity care -- that's amazing!  

I want to share the story of child from my area who was received care at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health.  Riley was was born three and half months before her due date.  She must have known she had important work to do in this world and was eager to get started.  

Weighing a mere 1 pound 10 ounces at birth, Riley's future was uncertain.  Today she's living a full and healthy life, but Riley hasn't forgot the hospital that made it all possible - and even inspired her name.  To show her appreciation, Riley has shared her story at 120 Dance Marathon events, inspiring students to raise donations for her hospital.

Children's Miracle Network Hospitals funds support research, medical equipment and charitable care efforts that benefit Riley and countless other kids.

Pampers has been the the brand of diapers that we love in this house!  First with Cohen, now Lola and next with Baby Girl.  But when I heard what their plan was to help Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, it just gave us another reason to love Pampers so much more!

This month,Walmart and Pampers will be donating $200,000 to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.  I encourage you to visit Walmart.com/cmnh for more information and to make your own donation!

Win It!
In honor of this amazing donation I am offering one winner a $25 gift card to Walmart.  Enter the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Share with Me:  What personal experiences have you had with Children's Miracle Network Hospitals?  I'd love to hear your story!

Disclosure: The Walmart gift cards and information have been provided by P&G.  I received a gift card in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Maintaining a Fit Pregnancy with the Help of My Family

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RewardHealthyChoices #CollectiveBias

I feel like I could literally do a happy dance now that summer is finally here.  My life can finally slow down and I can focus my time on my family without the hustle and bustle of the school year.  I love that I can spend the days with Cohen and Lola, enjoying things that I can't normally do with them while I work.  Even though I'm pregnant, I have continued with my active and healthy lifestyle.  I also think it's important to include the family too, so that's why I make my exercise regime a family activity!  Since going to the gym is a difficult option, every morning I round up the troops and we will take off on a two mile walk around the neighborhood.  I love this tradition - Cohen rides his bike, Lola points out the airplanes and ducks, and Brady gets his overweight puggle butt moving.  It's fun bonding time plus we all start our day off on the right foot - and let's be honest, tired kiddos means better nap time.  Better nap time means happy mama, so it's a win for everyone!

But the mom in me knows I need to always be prepared.  So I decided to put together a Summer Sack of resources that can help us with those inevitable bumps, bruises and nuisances that may occur along the way.  I wanted something I could just grab and go for any outdoor adventure we go on, but especially for our morning walks.  I made sure to stock up on these necessities on a recent trip to Walgreens.

 What might I include in this Summer Sack you are wondering? 
Well, thanks to Johnson & Johnson Healthy Essentials I was able to stock up on the following goodies:

--Children's Benadryl -- Poor Lola has been suffering from seasonal allergies and the sniffles and sneezies always seem to be worse in the morning.  I made sure that I put Children's Benadryl in the kit so she can run and get her stink out without feeling congested and start her day off right. 

--Band-Aid Flex Fabric strips and Neosporin Ointment -- Any moms with boys understand the importance of carrying these two things wherever you go!  Cohen is like a walking accident (and I may also be a clumsy mess these days as well), but especially as he pretends to be a motorcycle racer on his bike. A simple clean up with a Band-Aid and Neosporin can make the boo boo go away and get us back to moving in no time!

--Neutrogena Pure&Free Baby Sunscreen -- First thing in the morning, that summer sun is hot!  So I make sure to lather up the kids so we can walk, talk and ride without worrying about the horrid sunburn.  I love this sunscreen too because of the gentle ingredients. I know if it's safe for kids then it's safe for this pregnant mom too!

The Summer Sack fits perfectly in the basket of the stroller, diaper bag or even my glove compartment of my car.  I can rest assured knowing I'm prepared as we adventure into whatever activity will accompany our healthy lifestyle choices for the day.  Plus it saves me time since it's already put together and I don't have to rush around the house looking for the things every time we venture out and about.  Johnson & Johnson has been a name that we can trust and now we are prepared to mend those unexpected scrapes and burns and keep going along the way!

But another great incentive for staying fit and healthy during this pregnancy has been the rewards I have been earning with the Balance Rewards for healthy choices program at Walgreens.  I can earn points not only by purchasing Johnson & Johnson Healthy Essential products but also for activities like walking, running or even riding my bike.  It has been the perfect program to help me maintain my healthy lifestyle this pregnancy as well as great motivation to get up and moving on the days when I just don't quite feel like it.  Plus it's so easy to use because I downloaded the Balance Rewards for healthy choices app right to my phone.  This makes it super convenient to track my choices and activities right away so I don't forget about it because as you moms know, that pesky Pregnancy Brain is no joke!  I even earned 20 points by recording my first activity and another 250 points when I set my first goal and connected my mobile device to the app - I'm not kidding, it really is that easy!

Remaining active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle has always been important to me, but even more so when I'm pregnant.  But I choose to make it a fun activity for my family because I want to create a positive example for my kids.  I want them to choose to be active and enjoy the summer weather as much as they can and remain healthy about it.  It's about living well and enjoying the family as well as keeping up with one another!

Be sure to check out more ways to live an active and healthy lifestyle at Walgreens.com/healthychoices.

Share with Me:  What healthy activities keep your family moving and grooving?