High Heels and Hot Deals

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


So...guess what?

Yes.  Baby Baumgartner #3 will be gracing us with their presence come October - about a year earlier than anticipated.
While Lola and this baby will be about two years apart (23 months give or take a few days) this was definitely a surprise.  I may have spent the last few weeks in denial but I am slowly coming to terms that I will be a mom to three wild ones come Fall.  I have been the sickest with this pregnancy and am super thankful for Zofran.  This teacher doesn't have the option of puking whenever I need to -- I have 25 little children to teach all day.  I totally asked my doctor to write me a note to put me on bedrest the first trimester, but he told me a note that read, "Kait feels like shit," would not be enough for short term disability. 

I'm quite certain this picture is the perfect explanation of what is to come in my future.

Well, there's no turning back now. 
Ready or not here we go! So be prepared for baby spam overload times three....when I'm not about ready to pass out from exhaustion.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Surviving the First Day Back: A Teacher's Story

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

Returning to work after a week long vacation is rough.  As one of my parents told me last week, "Returning to school after Spring Break is hard.  Returning to school after Spring Break and Easter is just wrong."  Preach it, sister.  Especially after leaving beautiful sunshine and warmth for dreary and rainy cold makes it twenty times harder.  But sadly, vacation ends and we must all come back to reality.  I hope that a glimpse into my first day back after vacation gives you a boost of confidence as well as the realization that you are not alone.

My First Day Back After Spring Break:

5:30 A.M.
My alarm goes off.  I wake up in a panic only to realize that it's not my flight into paradise I need to catch but rather that the struggle bus has saved me a front row seat.  I roll out of bed and into the shower to rinse off any last remnants of sand that may be hidden away somewhere on my body.  Maybe a cup of coffee will help brighten my mood....not.

7:00 A.M.
Hey, remember when they closed the main road I take to school every day?  Oh yeah, they decided to install another round-about road so now everyone and their brother is being detoured to the only other road that travels north and south.  Thank God for some good tunes on the radio this morning.  

8:00 A.M.
After working for almost an hour I have minimized my pile of grading to be somewhat manageable.   

Oh that's nothing, friends.  You should have seen it before...

11:30 A.M.
Lunch - it's lunch!  I have survived the first half of my day!  This deserves a quick Circle K run.  If you are a teacher than you know that being able to feel the fresh air before 3:20 P.M. dismissal is an amazing feeling.  I quickly make a break for it and decide to find something that will make me happy and keep me going after lunch.   Of course I browse the candy aisle because on the day back after a week long break, I deserve it!  Oh, hello SNICKERS®!  I've always been a fan of the SNICKERS® Peanut Butter Squares but decided to stock up on a few extras for now, later and then later again.  

I may have grabbed a few extra with my husband in mind...or not. 

12:45 P.M.
My class is at Art and I need to plan.  But once again I find my mind wandering back to the beach and thinking of how at this time we would be heading back to the sand and ocean after lunch at the condo.  Cohen would be playing in the waves while Lola and I would be making sand piles just to build and crash down together.  I shake my head in realization that I seriously need to plan.  And then I remember my SNICKERS® Almond that is calling my name from the bag.  Planning and SNICKERS® - seriously, the perfect combination to get me moving!

3:45 P.M.
The kids are on the bus and this teacher is out of here!  After picking up both of my own kiddos, I am crossing my fingers for happy children and not little grumpers who didn't nap.  Unfortunately I am 0/2 on this one and am thankful for the frozen pizza I had stowed in the freezer for nights like these.

7:00 P.M.
One kid down and the other is almost there.  Seriously, the pile of vacation laundry is out of control.  Any takers for the job?  Bueller? Bueller?  Fine....my goal is two loads before I crash myself.  But not before I remember the SNICKERS® Peanut Butter Squares I bought earlier that day.  Originally I bought them for the hubster, but he will understand that I will need another pick me up tomorrow.  I can already taste them now...

And yes.  My night did end at 7:30 that evening.

Don't judge me by the bags under my eyes.

Share with me!  
What is your "pick me up" when you hit that plateau, especially on that first day back from a glorious vacation?


See more great SNICKERS® recipes and fun stories on the SNICKERS® social hub.

Enter the SNICKERS® "Who are you when you're hungry?" contest by uploading a personal photo or video from your Computer, Facebook, Instagram or use the SNICKERS® Meme Generator to create something new! Voting begins at Noon on 5/11/15 and ends at 11:59:59AM ET on 7/15/15.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Project 52 - Week 14

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

On our last night out to eat on the beach, this kid had enough.  He played his days hard - swimming in the ocean, jumping waves, and running up and down the sandy beach.  Rarely did he nap, but that's nothing new these days.  However, we trekked in the opposite direction this particular evening to try something new.  It was the cutest restaurant with an amazing deck that was literally on the beach.  This kid made it long enough to order his dinner and then crashed - hard.  He finally woke up as we were leaving and enjoyed his grilled cheese on-the-go.  

On Easter Sunday, we decided to spend the early afternoon mini golfing because Cohen had been asking about it the entire trip.  On the long walk, both kids fell asleep.  However, this one decided to stay asleep which was fine by us...until we noticed this course was NOT stroller friendly.  I'm talking the Pike's Peak of putt putt golf.  So obviously she was not happy about it.  Let's just say I don't think I actually golfed past the fourth hole since this little turkey was persistent about holding my ball the entire time.  This picture was taken exactly one hole before she fell into the random pond of water.  I saved her, moccs and all.


Four Tips for Traveling with Tots and Family

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

We recently endured an amazing family vacation to Clearwater Beach.  The weather was gorgeous - sunny and 80 degrees all week, which made it super depressing to fly back into Indiana's rainy and 50 degrees.  However, this was our first major trip as a family of four so I had to be super prepared prior to leaving.  From the airport, to the zoo, to restaurants and of course the beach, I knew we would constantly be on the go.  In order for this trip to be successful with two little ones, I knew I had to be prepared for anything that would come our way.
Here are my four tricks that helped us survive traveling with our little tots!

1.  New and Never Seen Before Toys
You don't have to go all out on this one.  I hit the dollar bins at various stores and stocked up on little trinkets and toys a few weeks before leaving.  I then threw them into a plastic bag and kept them in my diaper bag throughout the trip.  Whenever the kids started getting restless on the airplane or at restaurants, I was able to get out a "new" toy for them to play with and it totally kept them occupied for the time being.  For some reason a little wind up clapping monkey was the hit of the trip with Miss Lola.  Let's be honest, a wind up monkey can make anyone laugh.

2.  Snacky Snacks
Since you are on vacation, it is totally okay to splurge.  I always made sure I was prepared with Cohen and Lola's favorite snacks in my bag for any adventure during the trip.  I have to say, the bag of cheese puffs were a life saver during the last twenty minutes of our flight into Florida.  Miss Lola realized it was an hour past her nap time yet hung on tight to those puffs until we landed...and then passed out.  The bag came in handy once again when our food was taking forever to come out later that night and Cohen was close to meltdown mode about going to the beach right that minute.  A little boost for the blood sugar is good for the soul - and the parents' mental health.  

3.  Wipe Those Germs Away
Okay, so I'm a complete germaphobe.  And with both kids in and out of the doctor the two weeks before this trip, I was determined to remain healthy and germ free this vacation.  As I shopped at Walmart for our last minute trip necessities and made my way through the the Household Cleaning aisle, I noticed two different canisters of PURELL® Hand Sanitizing Wipes that came in a larger 70 count and a smaller 35 count - you seriously can't miss it!  I grabbed one of each of the PURELL® Hand Sanitizing Wipes - one for the suitcase and one for the diaper bag.  (And lucked out because I had printed $1.00 on any PURELL® Wipes canister or Save $1.00 on any two PURELL® Products beforehand!)  Boy, it was a good thing I did!  PURELL® Hand Sanitizing Wipes came in handy for our all of our vacation adventures!  We spent an entire day at the zoo and rather than taking two kids into the public restroom to wash up before lunch, I grabbed my PURELL® Hand Sanitizing Wipes, which kill 99.99% of illness-causing germs, and wiped down hands and faces.  This was so convenient, especially since we were out in a public place and definitely needed a good cleaning and sanitizing of those hands before eating. 

 PURELL® Hand Sanitizing Wipes were especially handy during our daily beach trips.  Let's just say sand is not fun to taste while eating snacks, but I was able to clean our hands right up!

Even after our vacation I have our canister of PURELL® Hand Sanitizing Wipes on the kitchen counter to use before dinner.  Cohen and Lola love to each get their own and sanitize themselves like big kids.  I've totally hit Spring Cleaning mode so getting the kids in on keeping themselves germ-free helps me relax just a little bit more when it comes to sanitizing our household.  As you can see, Brady also tries to get in on the cleaning and sanitizing fun!
(PURELL® has a loyalty program on their site, so be sure to check it out!)

4.  Extra! Extra! Clothes All About It!
This one may be common sense, but sometimes you don't even think about it.  I always made sure to have an extra set of clothes for both of the kids, and seriously was I glad that I did!  One night at dinner, Cohen tipped his cup too far and soaked his shirt in juice.  This was also the one night we had planned on using to explore the evening pier and beach activities.  If I hadn't packed that extra shirt we would have had to head back to the condo, change our clothes and then go out again.  The extra set of clothes totally saved us a ton of extra family time.

We have been home for over a week now and I still long for the beach.  I can't wait for our next family vacation and definitely won't forget these tips to make sure we are prepared!

Okay, let's hear it!  
1.  How do you survive vacations with your little ones?
2.  What on-the-go occasion would you use your PURELL® Hand Sanitizing Wipes?  Visit PURELL® online for more coupons and promotions!


Friday, April 10, 2015

Project 52 - Week 13

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

My little fish named Cohen Lee!  This was our very first evening in Florida.  By the time we had landed, retrieved our luggage, stopped the car rental guy from trying to sell us unnecessary upgrades and drove to Clearwater, it was dinner time and we were pooped.  But this sweet boy made sure we stopped by the beach so he could scope out the scene for our beach adventure the next day.  The sand didn't bother him and he would have swam right then and there if we let him.  This kid is meant to live at the beach.


This girl was a trooper for her first plane ride - even through her nap time.  She decided to make friends, eat her Cheetos and enjoy her surroundings the majority of the flight.  Then the last 15 minutes she realized it was an hour past her nap time so she had a mini meltdown and passed out...as we were landing of course.  But after a quick nap, another round of Cheetos (Can't you tell by her face and dress? Don't judge.) and a whole hot dog and plate of fries for dinner, she was ready to explore this beach life.  Lola was amazed by it all!  The ocean and sand tickled her pink, it was just the cutest.  This was the beginning of a beautiful relationship with the beach.

I promise to play catch up this weekend.  Don't worry - more exciting posts to come!:)


Saturday, April 4, 2015

Project 52 - Week 12

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

Boy, I'm a bit behind!  Last week was rough.  If you are a teacher than you understand how the week before Spring Break is not puppies and roses.  Plus we are enjoying our own vacation so on top of maintaining my sanity at school, I had to prepare for our own trip!  Update coming soon, don't worry.

Here are pictures from last week!

This is Cohen in his pure element.  We are all a bit stir crazy waiting for the arrival of Spring and the warmer temps.  He loves to build forts and gets quite territorial if you decide to put your feet up or cuddle under the blanket he's using, even if he's not in the fort.  I'm excited to get outside and play in our swing set fort.  The kid has an amazing imagination!

Oh Lola, how she loves to get into EVERYTHING.  I had this box of Cheeze-Its in my school bag (hey, teachers need snacks too) and while I was cooking during I peeked out into the hallway only to see her letting the crackers rain all over the floor.  While Brady was enjoying his fair share of treats, I made her clean them up  which she happily obliged.  Teaching them young, my friend.

More pics and updates coming soon!


Sunday, March 29, 2015

A New Year's Resolution to Cross Off My List...Finally

 I am writing this post in exchange for a discounted conference ticket; however, all opinions are mine and mine alone. #SoFABUOTR #cbias

So it's almost April and I'm not sure I have been quite faithful to my New Year's resolutions.  However, I do have to say that I am officially crossing one off my list -- I am attending my first blogging conference, SoFabU On the Road - Cincinnati!  I'm going with my friend Kat from A Mom's Impression and we are totally making a Mom's Weekend out of it.  

Let me break down the deets for you:

What:  SoFabU on the Road
SoFabU on the Road is a unique event that allows influencers to take advantage of educational opportunities that will help set them a part from the rest.  SoFabU on the Road features hands-on, interactive sessions for influencers to implement what they're learning on the spot. The sessions are paired with fun city-specific adventures where attendees get to practice their newly learned skills.
Events are open to all bloggers and influencers!

When and Where:  April 25 at Ahalogy, Cinncinnati
But you can also catch the conference in a city near you!
April – Seattle
May – Dallas
June – NYC
July – Chicago
Aug. – Minneapolis
Sept. – Atlanta
Oct. – Bentonville

Why Should You Attend?
Learn from great speakers!
Joe Robb is a thoughtful communicator with a diverse background in marketing strategy, pedagogy, digital media, SEO, editing and writing. He is the Digital Marketing Director at SparkPeople.com, a multi-platform media and technology company with leading health, fitness and food websites and mobile apps.  Attendees will walk away with a solid understanding of how to pair analytics data (Google, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook) with common, free publishing tools to grow their audience with data-driven processes. With the tactics provided, you will increase your site traffic without dramatically increasing the amount of time you currently dedicate to social media.

Improve your blogging with up-close and personal demonstrations from the best!
Nate Engels will walk through creating a custom recipe around a brand's product and how he tells a story around the recipe that will draw the reader into the emotional tie to the brand and blog post. From styling the plate, to the props, lighting and background, we'll learn how to create a visual gourmet image. He'll show how he takes beautiful photos (even without natural light) and manipulates the images to spotlight the food. We'll form groups where we will use props and creativity to produce photos on the spot. Then Nate will share how to make so-so photos into WOW! Shareable images through simple techniques and tools like Picmonkey.

Meet other bloggers and brands!
We’ll also have networking, brands and other learning opportunities (check out the agenda on the SoFabUOTR website!)  This year's national sponsors include Johnny RocketsMüllerKraft and iBlog . 

Collective Bias® has been an amazing shopper social media company to work for, so I am super excited to be able to attend a conference!  Collective Bias® is the only shopper social media company that solves shopper marketing problems by weaving together organic social content with engaging, real-life stories to generate millions of impressions, increased share of voice, SEO and retail sales for brands and retailers. Top brands such as Tyson, Nestlé and Duane Reade rely on Collective Bias to sell their stories socially. Based in Bentonville, Arkansas, with satellite offices in New York City, Chicago, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Cincinnati and London, Collective Bias was named one of America's 25 Most Promising Companies by Forbes and a part of the Inc. 5000.  Social Fabric® is Collective Bias’ proprietary community of nearly 3,000 shopping-focused influencers with an aggregate multi-channel reach in excess of 130 million.  For more information, please visit Collectivebias.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

I hope I have convinced some of you to attend!  I'm excited to be able to put faces to some of the blogs I have started following and see if the voices I use when reading your blog as the same or similar to the real life ones.  Plus I'm pretty sure that it is your turn for a Mom's Weekend too.  
See you soon!


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Project 52 - Week 11

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

We had Cohen's Spring Parent-Teacher conference this week and it was everything a parent could ask for -- especially through the eyes of a teacher!  She said academically he is exactly where he should be and seems to be quite bright for his age.  She also told us he's the most athletic boy in his class and is very respectful of his teachers and other students.  As you can assume we were both extremely thrilled to hear this information.  While he misses the cut off for Kindergarten by a month for next year, I have to say I'm completely alright with him being a older for his grade.  But I'm just so confused as to when he started growing up?

As of lately, Lola has turned into a chatter box!  While it's not all coherent language, some of her favorite words are Coco, No, Mama, Tada and Go when she is referring to the dog (I think its because are constantly telling him to GO! when someone is eating of he will snatch it right up).  In this picture she is saying "Cheeeeese!"  Even though she has been fighting a nasty double ear infection, she was nothing but sweet last week.


Friday, March 20, 2015

A Straight Up Mommy Mayhem Week and How to Survive It

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

You know those weeks where you just can't catch your breath?  Well, that was my story last week.  As a mom, you know you dread these moments.  The ones where your sweet children are sick and helpless, you feel terrible and want to help them and no one gets a wink of sleep.  Now add meetings, assessments, and long work days on top of it all and you've got a recipe for a mommy meltdown.  It happens to all of us, right?  Great.  Now, let me share with you a peek into my week straight up...

Lola slept a total of five seconds.  Okay, maybe ten seconds but that means I got about seven seconds of sleep that night.  My sweet girl went to bed with a low grade fever and woke up about fifty times that night just sobbing.  My husband swooped in and saved the day by staying home with her.  The little stinker took a 3 hour nap for him and I stayed awake at school by inserting toothpicks into my eyelids.

Cohen's cough started coming back with a vengeance.  We were at the end of our antibiotic and steroid round so I knew we were in for it when the cough started coming back deeper and chestier.  Lola also decided that sleep was for the birds and slept about thirty seconds this particular night.  My sleep deprivation started catching up with me and I'm pretty sure I was seeing things and talking to invisible friends.

In a last ditch effort to save my family's sanity and ensure some sleep, I took Lola to the doctor because the poor kid was now coughing and had a nose that was running like a faucet.  While her chest sounded fine, her pediatrician informed me she had a raring double ear infection.  
After one round of antibiotics and some ibuprofen, the kid slept for 13 hours straight.  I slept for 9 hours.  I know I slept well because I woke up with serious sleep lines on the left side of my face.
Mama was back!

After my rejuvenating sleep, I felt ready to conquer it all!  I even ventured out to Walmart to pick up some things for dinner since Kurtis was working late that night.  I decided that I deserved a little treat for myself so I grabbed a few bottles of the new Snapple® Straight Up Tea, some cheese and apple slices.  A good sleep warrants a healthy snack, right?  Plus the real brewed taste of this tea is super refreshing - it totally hit the spot after my long week.  Luckily I had three levels of sweetness I could pick from - Sweet, Unsweetened and Sorta Sweet.  I also loved the convenience of the 18.5 oz plastic bottle which made it easy to transport from the store, to the car and into the house.  Snapple® Straight Up Tea combines refreshing real brewed tea taste with the perfect level of sweetness which makes it exactly what you are looking for during those moments when you feel like you need help over that slump...or when you are running on zero hours of sleep.  It definitely hit the spot.

So remember that amazing sleep I got the night before?  Well, this time I made it about two hours until poor Cohen awoke hacking up a lung.  After a long night of breathing treatments, numerous glasses of water, back scratches and stories, I was barely motivated (nor alive) to get out of bed.  The only way I did was because it was Friday and I could wear my IU sweatshirt to work.  And it ended up being dirty, but I wore it anyway  (Shhh. Don't tell.).  I survived the work day but left early to take Cohen to the pediatrician.  The result ended up being the onset of his allergy induced asthma.  We eventually made it home with more meds, but not before Cohen had a coughing attack at the pharmacy and threw up red slushy all over the aisle.
Yes.  I was THAT mom.

Well Moms, you're not alone.  As you can see, we all have those moments.  The ones where you wish them away as fast as possible.  Those times that you won't ever welcome back with open arms.  That week of torture you are more than glad to see be gone.

But with every horrible, no good, very bad week, there comes a silver lining.  It's that fabulous feeling of kicking up your feet, taking a deep breath and realizing, "Oh my word.  I seriously made it."
And you did.

Need a break from your Mommy Mayhem?
See more reasons to love Snapple® Straight Up Tea on the Snapple® Straight Up™ Tea social hub where you can also confirm the product is available at your local Walmart and download a coupon to save on your Snapple® Straight Up Tea purchase.

Moms - tell me about that horrible, no good, very bad moment!  How did you get over that mommy mayhem slump?  Share your tips with us!


Monday, March 16, 2015

Weekend Shenanigans - Spring has Sprung

I think we can officially say that Spring has sprung here in Central Indiana.  While the weather last week warmed up to a gorgeous weekend (and even more gorgeous Monday) it is supposed to get cooler, but I'm okay with that as long as there is no snow.  Sadly we spent three out of the four days at the doctor last weekend.  Cohen's allergy induced asthma flared up pretty quick and Lola sprouted a double ear infection.  Hence the fact I was pretty quiet on the blog last week.  We pretty much hung low all weekend long, but not without enjoying some of the fresh air!  

One of the worst parts of the melting snow is the poop minefield that is left in the backyard.  After picking up enough dog poop to fertilize a cornfield, we spent a lot of time swinging on the swing set, blowing bubbles, drawing with chalk and going on numerous wagon rides.  This wagon was the best gift ever.  Cohen got it for his first birthday and both him and Lola have loved it so much.  I'll ask Lola if she wants to go for a wagon ride and she grabs her coat and heads to the door.  Cohen likes to start off walking during our journeys, but ends up with Lola in the wagon by the end.  While he can be meaner than dirt to her and she can be just as rotten, the two truly love each other beyond belief.  On this particular ride they both thought it was hilarious to hug each other.  Cohen would hug Lola, she would lean over and hug him and then together they would bust out laughing.  I wish Lola was just a little bit older to keep Cohen busy or at least be able to keep up with him better.  However, in a few years I'm sure she will have no problem catching up to his races.

I love that this Monday is almost over.  I stayed home with the kids because Cohen was up all night crying about his ear.  Poor kid is so congested he's ears are clogged up.  But now I need to clean up the children's chaos before my husband gets home...

How was your weekend?


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Project 52 - Week 10

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

Oh this sweet boy has had a rough few weeks.  We are battling end of the winter colds and coughs. I am thankful that he had a pretty healthy flu season considering his respiratory issues.  It's always hard this time of year as we transition into Spring and the weather gets warmer.  His lungs need a little extra support against that pollen and spores flying through the air.  But he sure loves to snuggle when he doesn't feel well.

As of this week, Lola has discovered her instruments that Santa brought her.  This could be a good thing or eventually a bad thing.  But she loves to shake, move and make tons of noise.  She also has been sleeping horribly the last two weeks.   I took her to the doctor yesterday for her cough only to find out she had a double ear infection.


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Weekend Shenanigans - Cough, Cough, Sniffle

Spring, you have arrived.
Thank you sweet baby Jesus.

It was a glorious 50 degrees today with the sunshine peeking through sporadically.  This week is supposed to get even warmer and bring much more sunshine.  There's something about the sun, warmer weather and the spring smells and sounds that can totally turn one's mood and attitude around.

We started off our weekend with a trip to Dr. Harper's office.  Poor Cohen had been fighting off a cough and cold that I knew was to the point where he wouldn't be able to kick it on his own.  I love how our doctor knows my son's symptoms and is extremely proactive when it comes to his respiratory issues.  Luckily over the past two years, he has gotten a lot better.  I know this is just the start of Spring allergies,but I'm hoping it's one of the last antibiotic runs until Summer!

Saturday we had dinner with some friends.  It was fun to see them since we all have had kids now.  It's also funny how your Saturday plans change to accommodate those little ones.  We were home and in bed by 8:30.  #dontjudge

I forgot to mention that my husband is crafting an amazing dining room table.  I also neglected the fact that he decided to stain it inside.  I think the smell is permasealed into my nostrils.  For real.  So on Sunday I made him open the windows again and air the stank out.  We did our usual cleaning and attempt to finish the laundry.  I was able to take Cohen and Lola out in the wagon.  Unfortunately I was alone so I couldn't get any cute pictures.  But it was also Daylight Savings weekend and I want to thank my not-so-man Mitch for this change several years ago in Indiana.  He obviously didn't have children because this time change thing blows.  I spent the evening trying to entertain crabby and overly tired children who were both coughing, sniffling and so over the fact that there schedule was completely screwed for the day.

My Brady ruff ruff also had his yearly teeth cleaning.  This is a big deal because they put him under to get those pearly whites clean.  He also was prescribed an OCD medicine for his obsessive paw licking.  People, I can't make that up.

Here's to a new week and just 15 school days until Spring Break.
Can I get an AMEN??