Thursday, March 31, 2016

Thirty Favorites...On My 30th Birthday

Today is my Birthday. Hello, 30s! 

Today is pretty much business as usual with the addition of Mexican for dinner followed by ice cream cake. Yum. I am being treated to my first Stitch Fix box, which should be arriving in the next few days. Yay! And, we are doing a short last minute trip to Disney World (where else) for both my Birthday and our Anniversary. Double yay!

Sweet Turtle Soup: Thirty Favorites...On My 30th Birthday

Another of my favorite things to do on my Birthday is write up a little getting to know me post. You can find 2014's Happy Birthday A to Z here, and 2015's A Few Randoms For My Birthday here!

So, this year I give you 30 Favorites on my 30th Birthday...

1. What was your favorite subject in school?
In high school - ecology. In college - Maya hieroglyphics.

2. What was your favorite grade of school?
Kindergarten. Ah the simple days.

3.What was your favorite extra curricular?
Yearbook. Unless going to Latin Forum counts!

4. Who is your favorite author?
Jane Austen.

5. What is your favorite book?
Pride and Prejudice.

6. What is your favorite sport?
Football.

7. What is your favorite drink?
Ice water.

8. What is your favorite food?
Paprikash.

9. What is your favorite flavor of tea?
I don't like hot tea, but raspberry iced tea is delicious.

10. What is your favorite vegetable?
Green beans, does that count.

11. Where is your favorite place to eat?
Meg O'Malley's, an Irish pub/restaurant.

12. What is your favorite color?
Blue.

13. What is your favorite smell?
Cinnamon, especially when baking in the oven.

14. What is your favorite song?
One is too hard...Michelle by The Beatles or Piano Man by Billy Joel or Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy by Queen or Sweet Dreams by Eurythmics...and on and on.

15. What is your favorite quote?
"The cure for anything is saltwater: sweat, tears, or the sea."

16. What is your favorite thing to touch?
A cleanly laundered bed.

17. What is your favorite holiday?
Halloween!

18.What is your favorite beauty product?
ChapStick.

19. What is your favorite type of shoe?
Flip flops.

20. What is your favorite style of clothing?
Yoga pants?

21. What is your favorite nail polish color?
Red. I ran out of my favorite but the name peeled off ages ago. I haven't been able to figure out which one it is, so I can't replace it. Sad.

22. Where is your favorite place to shop?
Target.

23. What is your favorite game?
Rummy-o.

24. What is your favorite vacation spot?
Disney World. Not very relaxing, but sure is fun. I'm still trying to convince Chris we need to rent a cabin in the middle of nowhere where Aria can roll around in the snow sometime in the winter.

25. What is your favorite outdoor activity?
Lounging with a frosty beverage in hand.

26. What is your favorite indoor activity?
Reading.

27. What is your favorite movie?
Jurassic Park.

28. What is your favorite TV show?
Gilmore Girls.

29. Who is your favorite actor/actress?
Johnny Depp.

30. What is your favorite blog?
Little Baby Garvin.


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Mommylogues Series - 15 'Disney World Mom' Tips & Tricks

Hey, guys! Did you see that I was guest posting for Whitney over at Work it Mommy earlier this week? I'd love if you went and checked it out. I wrote up 15 of my favorite Disney World Mom tips & tricks.

Here is a little preview...
Sweet Turtle Soup guest posting Mommylogues - 15 Tips from a Disney World Mom

I thought I would share with you my favorite Disney World Mom tips. Going to Disney World with young children is pretty daunting. But, with a little planning before hand and a very flexible attitude during your trip it can be one magical vacation!

Aria took her first trip when she was 1 year and 4 months old, and now she is a seasoned pro with 22 trips under her belt. So, we've had a good bit of practice when it comes to spending a day at Disney World.
Sweet Turtle Soup guest posting Mommylogues - 15 Tips from a Disney World Mom

Here is what I've learned in my role as a Disney World Mom:

#1. Go early in the day. 

Beat the heat, beat the crowds. Arrive 30 minutes prior to park opening. That way you are going on rides with little to no wait while everybody else is still trickling in. Do the rides with the longest waits that are on your must do list first (Peter Pan, Safari, Test Track, etc).

Sweet Turtle Soup guest posting Mommylogues - 15 Tips from a Disney World Mom

#2. Have a game plan. 

Before you arrive do your homework. Check out the rides, see what the height restrictions are, and get a feel for which ones you and your family would probably enjoy the most. Pick out a few things each day that you want to do. As a general rule we plan on doing 3 things each day of a visit (one for each family member), everything else is bonus. There is nothing worse than stressing yourself out because you have to do every single thing in Fantasyland see all the parades and make 2 different dining reservations. Educate yourself beforehand, make a wish list of only a few things per day, and then remind yourself to...

Sweet Turtle Soup guest posting Mommylogues - 15 Tips from a Disney World Mom

#3. Be flexible. 

Being rigid is a sure fire strategy to wasting time and making your family miserable. The line you thought was going to be short is now 45 minutes, skip it. You can always try again later or make a fastpass+ for it. The most we will wait in a line with Aria is 20 minutes, and we will only wait 20 minutes if it is an absolute favorite. 15 minutes and lower is preferable. Any longer and Aria starts to turn into a gremlin. Or, you are on your way to Dumbo and you spot a street performance, stop and watch even if just for a minute. Aria loves the trolley show on Main Street USA. Or, you spot a short and sweet line for something you don't have on your plan but you just bet your kids will love, go do it. You can make some wonderful memories in those spontaneous moments.

Sweet Turtle Soup guest posting Mommylogues - 15 Tips from a Disney World Mom

If you want to read the remaining 12 tips click right over to my post on Work it Mommy!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The 2nd Annual Mother's Day Mom Exchange Announcement

Calling all moms! This post is for you!

Elizabeth and I are happy to announce that we will be hosting the Mother's Day Mom Exchange again this year.


With Mother's Day a few weeks away, it is time to celebrate moms.

The working moms. The stay at home moms. The work at home moms. The moms of one kid. The moms of eight kids. The stepmoms. The new moms. The experienced moms. The moms of fur babies. etc. All moms get to be celebrated on Mother's day.

Some important dates and details:
March 29th - Mother's Day Mom Exchange announced.
April 2nd at 11:59pm pacific time - FINAL day to sign up if you wish to participate!
April 3rd - partners will be matched and emailed.
April 8th - contact your partner and exchange addresses by this date.
April 23rd - please mail your package by this date.
May 6th - link up on either of our blogs to share what you received.

The limit for this exchange is twenty dollars, not including shipping. 

This exchange is open to US residents only.

If you are interested in participating, email Elizabeth at chasinmasonblog@gmail.com and please put 'Mother's Day Mom Exchange 2016' in the subject line. Also, be sure to include your first and last name, your blog url if applicable (you don't need a blog to participate), and any other social media links you'd like your partner to have. And, don't forget to sign up by April 2nd by 11:59 pm pst.

Elizabeth will be handling all the submitted names and matching partners. Please note that partners may not be coupled. So, the person you are sending a gift to might not be the person sending you a gift.

Once partners are matched, Elizabeth will be emailing you to let you know who your partner is. She will also be sending you a few questions to ask and answer with your partner to get to know them a little more. At this point you will also exchange addresses so no need to include that in your sign up email.

Feel free to share on instagram/twitter using #mothersdaymomexchange as well.

Sweet Turtle Soup

Elizabeth and I are very excited about this exchange and we hope you will join us to celebrate MOM!

If you have any questions, concerns, or need clarification don't hesitate to ask either of us.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Happy Easter

I hope everybody had a lovely Easter Sunday and weekend. Chris had Good Friday off and it was just so nice to have him around after weeks and weeks of overtime.

We started off the holiday weekend with a visit to the bunny. After a few trips up and down the escalator as a reward for smiling so wonderfully and a stop at Starbucks we headed over to Animal Kingdom for a bit before the rain chased us back home.
mall at millenia Easter bunny

On Saturday we dyed eggs. Aria adored everything about it.
Easter egg dying
...pst. 2013!
Sweet Turtle Soup - Happy Easter 2016
 
On Sunday Aria found her Easter basket, all of the dyed eggs, and a basket full of plastic eggs outside too.
p.s. she loves her new shoes and the baby. and, yes she is wearing half Halloween half Christmas pajamas.
Easter Basket
Egg Hunts
Egg Hunts

Then we had a family dinner of baked honey ham, funeral potatoes, mac and cheese, carrots, deviled eggs, fruit salad, rolls, and chocolate cheesecake. 
family picture
We didn't hate it, but I might be stuffed for days.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Five Easy & Fun Easter Treat Recipes To Try This Weekend

I don't know about you, but when Easter comes around I've got my mind on fabulous brunch recipes, ham and deviled eggs, and chocolate bunnies. Making complicated or time consuming desserts isn't high on my fun list. I'll save those recipes for Thanksgiving or Christmas. But simple or fun spring treats? That's definitely the way to go in my book.

So, I'm sharing 5 super quick, tasty, and fun (one should always have fun with desserts, right?) Eastery recipes just perfect for a last minute treat this weekend.

Colorful Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries
colorful cheesecake stuffed strawberries for easter brunch
I followed this recipe, but divided the filling into four bowls and added a drop or two of food coloring to each. Aria and I polished these beauties off in no time...so much for saving these for Easter morning!

Chocolate Dipped Bunnies
chocolate dipped bunny peeps for easter
ingredients:
- bunny shaped peeps
- paper straws
- MnMs
- chocolate candy melts
- a block of styrofoam or other similar material

directions:
- shove a straw up the middle of each bunny peep
- melt your candy melts in the microwave according to the package
- hold a bunny peep above your bowl or cup of melted chocolate and using a spoon drizzle all of the sides. tap tap tap excess chocolate off.
- quickly, while the chocolate is still soft, press an MnM on each bunny butt for a tail
- stick your straws upright in styrofoam or something similar so the bunny peeps can dry. with candy melts it takes no time at all, but you can speed up the process by sticking them in the refrigerator.
- enjoy!

Easter Color Rice Krispie Pops
easter rice krispie pops
Use your favorite krispie treat recipe, but divide the recipe by 3 for the 3 different colors. Melt your butter and marshmallows as usual, but after your marshmallow mixture is melted mix in a drop or two of food coloring. Stir in your rice cereal and then gently press into a well greased bread dish. Continue for each color, gently patting the next layer on top of the previous. Let set for a few minutes and then turn your dish over onto a cutting board. Slice the loaf of krispie treats lengthwise down the middle and then slice each half into 1-inch wide pieces. Slide a lollipop stick into the middle of each and push each stick into styrofoam for a fun display.

Bunny Pie
bunny pie tutorial via our pretty little girls
Beth over at Our Pretty Little Girls posted this super adorable bunny pie tutorial the other day. It is definitely easy and festive. Check out her post to read all about it.

Bunny & Easter Shaped Pancakes
bunny pancake breakfast for easter via Leah with Love
Leah over at Leah With Love posted this extra cute bunny breakfast she made for her family. I just love this idea and if I can remember to get my hands on some festive cookie cutters we will definitely be doing the same this weekend. Check out her post to read all about it.


Have a wonderful Easter weekend!

linking up with - one / two / three / four

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Easter Basket Hunt - free printable

I made a St. Patrick's Day treasure hunt printable a few weeks ago. Aria had so much fun hunting for her treasure that I decided to make a set of clues for her to use to find her Easter basket this weekend. I know some people hide their kids baskets, and I thought this was a fun way to give them clues so they can find it on Easter morning. We've never actually hidden Aria's basket before, so this will be a first for us. I think we will also hide an egg at each clue too. I really can't believe Easter is in a matter of days - it always just sneaks up on me when it is in March.

There are a few different sets of printables this time. Knowing places that work for hiding baskets in other peoples' homes is a bit tricky. So, there is a printable with the 6 clues, a printable with alternative final clues (aka hiding places), and a blank set of clues if you want to fill them in yourself.
Sweet Turtle Soup: Easter Basket Hunt - free printable
You can download clues 1 through 6 here, alternative hiding places here, or blank clues here

The directions:
1. Download the free printable of your choice.
2. Print the clues on either regular paper or white cardstock.
3. Cut each clue out. 

4. While your kids are asleep tape clue #1 to their bedroom door, on either the inside or the outside. Just somewhere where they will find it right away. Then tape the rest of the clues in their correct hiding places (clue #2 would go by a pair of shoes at the front door or closet etc, clue #3 would go underneath their seat, clue #4 would go on a jug of milk or a cup of water in the refrigerator, and so on). 
5. Hide their Easter basket behind a piece of furniture in the living room, or use any of the alternative hiding places or even write your own. 

Happy Hunting!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Aria's Easter Basket

little girl Easter basket ideas
baby / baby supplies / bows / flip flops / movie / net & cup - Target dollar spot / candies ]

Putting Aria's Easter basket together is one of my favorite things to do in the spring.  I am good with any excuse that lets me spoil my little girl a bit. That and Easter candy is my most favorite of all the holiday candies. 

Aria is always stealing my flip flops so I think she will just love having a pair of her very own. They are even the same style as mine just in a different color. I am looking forward to seeing her find those on Easter morning the most.

She recently started pretending all things mommy, so I think she will just love this soft baby doll. Even better that there are also extra diapers and changing supplies, which is one of her favorite mommy roles to pretend play.

Great Grandma picked up Rio for Aria the other week and she is obsessed. I find myself singing the songs all day long. I've had to make a rule where she can't watch the same movie every day, only every other day. It's for my own sanity. But, I'm hoping she likes the second one as much as the first!

Everything else is just a hodgepodge of things I think she will enjoy. And, tucking everything into her basket has me extra excited for Easter morning!

Sweet Turtle Soup - Aria's Easter Basket

Happy almost Easter!

*amazon affiliate links, thank you for supporting this blog


linking up with these fabulous ladies:
http://work-it-mommy.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Easter Egg Paint Bomb Art

Sweet Turtle Soup - Easter Egg Paint Bomb Art
I've been saving up our egg shells so that we could have a little paint fun with them. It seemed like the right thing to do around Easter. The whole family had a blast hurling eggs full of color at our canvas and the end result was even more delightful than I had anticipated.

Here is what you need to do.

Step 1:
Sweet Turtle Soup - Easter Egg Paint Bomb Art
Start saving up empty egg shells. Use a knife to crack open the top of your eggs. Peel back the shell bits. Shake your egg out into a bowl, make sure none of the shell bits got in the bowl. Use your eggs for their intended purpose - fried eggs with the yolks still intact are a bit trickier than scrambled eggs but it can be done. Give your empty egg shell a wash with a little squirt of soap and some warm water. Put your shells back into the egg carton and keep in the refrigerator until you've collected enough, the more the merrier.

Step 2:
Sweet Turtle Soup - Easter Egg Paint Bomb Art
Fill your empty egg shells with paint. (You could also cover the holes with a square of tissue paper coated with stick glue, but I did not)

Step 3:
Set up a large canvas outside in the grass, or some place you don't mind getting paint everywhere. You'll want it preferably propped up at an angle. I placed ours against one of the patio chairs. And, since it was windy I clipped it to the leg so it wouldn't knock over. You might want to grab a pack of baby wipes to easily clean up messy fingers too.

Step 4:
Sweet Turtle Soup - Easter Egg Paint Bomb ArtSweet Turtle Soup - Easter Egg Paint Bomb Art
Sweet Turtle Soup - Easter Egg Paint Bomb Art
Start tossing your paint filled eggs at the canvas and watch them explode!

Step 5:
Sweet Turtle Soup - Easter Egg Paint Bomb Art
Let your beautiful art piece dry and then proudly display it.


It is definitely one of the most fun art projects we've ever done. And, probably the only fun one in Chris's mind.

Sweet Turtle Soup - Easter Egg Paint Bomb Art
Sweet Turtle Soup - Easter Egg Paint Bomb Art
Sweet Turtle Soup - Easter Egg Paint Bomb Art

Aria managed to toss her egg and have it bounce right back in her face. So, probably a good reason to actually cover the holes with a little tissue paper. Although it did only happen the once. We cleaned her up and then she said it was her new style...apparently she didn't mind much.
Sweet Turtle Soup - Easter Egg Paint Bomb Art

You can find the inspiration for this art project here!

Monday, March 21, 2016

$10 at Target - March

Welcome to this month's $10 at Target challenge! It's simple enough to join in - take yourself to Target with 10 bucks of fun money and see what you can find. Then take a picture of your haul and let us know if you came in on budget by linking up below.
Sweet Turtle Soup: $10 at Target - March link up
Becky at bybmg // Instagram // Facebook // Pinterest
Elizabeth at Chasin' Mason // Instagram // Facebook // Pinterest
Stephanie at Wife Mommy Me // Instagram // Facebook // Pinterest

For this month's challenge I wanted to find a few things for Aria's Easter basket. Unfortunately I didn't have much luck. My usual plan of attack is to just grab everything that catches my eye, put it all into my cart, and then go through it after wandering throughout the entire store. I did that this time and ended up with 6 bucks worth of items - the bows, and the net. I went back through the dollar spot and the holiday section, still nothing. So I kept the bows and the net, and then went looking for anything else random. I wanted the straws for an Easter project so I tossed those in. Then Aria spotted the Paw Patrol bubbles and got so excited, so I sneaked that in when she wasn't looking too. Done and done.
Sweet Turtle Soup: $10 at Target - March link up
So, the big moment. Did I make it under 10 for the first time?
Sweet Turtle Soup: $10 at Target - March link up
Of course not. But, only 2 cents over this time. A personal best!

Sweet Turtle Soup

If you joined in with us for this month's $10 at Target challenge please link up below. And, mark your calendars for the next challenge link up on April 18th.


Friday, March 18, 2016

Happy St. Patrick's Day 2016 - 3 Days of Shenanigans!

Sweet Turtle Soup: Happy St. Patrick's Day 2016 - 3 Days of Shenanigans!
It is no secret that we enjoy holidays in our family. Any chance for a little extra fun we jump at. St. Patrick's Day is no different. This is our third year celebrating with a three day countdown where two leprechauns visit each night leading up to the big day. We have this book, The Naughty Leprechaun Story, which comes with a coin that lets you invite one of two leprechaun brothers to visit while you are sleeping. The one likes to play tricks and leave treats, the other likes to share his treasure.

The idea with the coin is that if you have behaved and tried your best to make good choices then the coin's magic will work and the twin of your choice will visits. But, if you have been a pain in your mom's butt all day then the magic doesn't work properly and either twin can show up. This is the first year where the coin's magic didn't work because somebody threw an epic fit when they weren't given fruit snacks immediately after lunch. Other than that it was all mischievous fun.

Now that we've gotten a little background information covered, let's dive into our three days of shenangians...

DAY ONE:
Aria wanted nothing to do with the naughty leprechaun, so she placed her coin with the nice leprechaun facing up the first night. He visited and brought her a new green dress, some coins from his treasure collection (the chocolate type), and chocolate lucky charms. He also left a note suggesting we go on a rainbow photography scavenger hunt, and ever so kindly put her rainbow rice in a storage bin.
Sweet Turtle Soup: Happy St. Patrick's Day 2016 - 3 Days of Shenanigans!
Sweet Turtle Soup: Happy St. Patrick's Day 2016 - 3 Days of Shenanigans!
Sweet Turtle Soup: Happy St. Patrick's Day 2016 - 3 Days of Shenanigans!
After a breakfast of lucky charm marshmallow bits (because the chocolate cereal tasted kind of terrible - we ended up making trifle with it instead), we gathered up some fun supplies to use while playing with rainbow rice. It was just as fun as I was hoping, and Aria played with it for a nice long chunk of the morning.
Sweet Turtle Soup: Happy St. Patrick's Day 2016 - 3 Days of Shenanigans!
Sweet Turtle Soup: Happy St. Patrick's Day 2016 - 3 Days of Shenanigans!
Sweet Turtle Soup: Happy St. Patrick's Day 2016 - 3 Days of Shenanigans!
Then after dad got home from work we all went to find the colors of the rainbow, which Aria knows thanks to that Micky Mouse Clubhouse song.
Sweet Turtle Soup: Happy St. Patrick's Day 2016 - 3 Days of Shenanigans!
Sweet Turtle Soup: Happy St. Patrick's Day 2016 - 3 Days of Shenanigans!
Sweet Turtle Soup: Happy St. Patrick's Day 2016 - 3 Days of Shenanigans! Sweet Turtle Soup: Happy St. Patrick's Day 2016 - 3 Days of Shenanigans!
Sweet Turtle Soup: Happy St. Patrick's Day 2016 - 3 Days of Shenanigans!
...and don't forget there's purple too. We actually ran out of time before we found the purple so we did that on day two.
Sweet Turtle Soup: Happy St. Patrick's Day 2016 - 3 Days of Shenanigans!

DAY TWO:
The fruit snack meltdown occurred on day one so her coin magic did not work when she selected the nice leprechaun. The naughty leprechaun therefore showed up and balloon bombed the living room. We are talking over 200 green balloons all over the house.
Sweet Turtle Soup: Happy St. Patrick's Day 2016 - 3 Days of Shenanigans!
That leprechaun also put the remaining lucky charm marshmallows in a snack cup for a sugary start to the morning.
Sweet Turtle Soup: Happy St. Patrick's Day 2016 - 3 Days of Shenanigans!
Later in the afternoon Aria and I tossed almost all of the balloons into her room so she could jump and roll and play in them like a giant ball pit. When Chris came home he put the remaining balloons in there as well and it was even crazier. We kicked them all back out before bedtime though.
Sweet Turtle Soup: Happy St. Patrick's Day 2016 - 3 Days of Shenanigans!
Sweet Turtle Soup: Happy St. Patrick's Day 2016 - 3 Days of Shenanigans!
I found some lime green jello in the pantry so Aria and I made it in the morning, then added some whipped cream with it for a snack later. It was gross. Aria just ate the whipped cream and then ate some leftover green pudding instead. Does jello come in any other green flavors? I'm definitely crossing lime off of our list.
Sweet Turtle Soup: Happy St. Patrick's Day 2016 - 3 Days of Shenanigans!

DAY THREE - ST. PATRICK'S DAY:
On the final night both leprechauns visit. The naughty leprechaun toilet papered our living room, peed in our toilets, and turned Aria's milk green. He also left us a box of regular Lucky Charms to make up for the unappealing chocolate box.
Sweet Turtle Soup: Happy St. Patrick's Day 2016 - 3 Days of Shenanigans!
Sweet Turtle Soup: Happy St. Patrick's Day 2016 - 3 Days of Shenanigans!
Sweet Turtle Soup: Happy St. Patrick's Day 2016 - 3 Days of Shenanigans!
Sweet Turtle Soup: Happy St. Patrick's Day 2016 - 3 Days of Shenanigans!
The nice leprechaun shared more coins from his treasure collection, left rainbow fruit and green pancake batter in the refrigerator, and even sent Aria on a treasure hunt!
Sweet Turtle Soup: Happy St. Patrick's Day 2016 - 3 Days of Shenanigans!
Sweet Turtle Soup: Happy St. Patrick's Day 2016 - 3 Days of Shenanigans!
Sweet Turtle Soup: Happy St. Patrick's Day 2016 - 3 Days of Shenanigans!
The treasure at the end of the hunt was tickets to see Zootopia, which we did when Chris got off of work later in the day. It was super cute but scared the daylights out of Aria at certain parts - definitely a little intense for a 3 year old if you are thinking of taking your kids. She did say she loved it on the way home though, but she also screamed (very loudly) and death gripped my hand the rest of the movie.

We ended the day with a round of balloon popping followed by a thorough sweeping. I hate when balloons pop so that is a tradition I leave to Chris and Aria - although I did take a little video on snapchat. The dogs, who also hate balloons (esp Lizzy who had to be escorted around the house for the past two days), and I sat out on the back deck instead.

Not leprechaun specific, but I saw momfessionals rainbow water experiment and thought we'd try it. So, I helped Aria set up our cups and we've been observing it. It's still sitting on our table ever so slowly crossing paper towel bridges. Don't mind the table of chaos either. Life.
Sweet Turtle Soup: Happy St. Patrick's Day 2016 - 3 Days of Shenanigans!

And, that concludes this year's shenanigans! My favorite bit was when Aria would come into my room in the morning after her light changed colors and she would tell me what the leprechauns did. "Mama mama mama, wake up, the leprechauns came, mama wake up, there are balloons EVERYWHERE, you are not going to believe it, come on wake up."

I certainly hope your St. Patrick's Day was festive this year! I loved seeing a few of you using the treasure hunt printable I made on instagram too - definitely tag me if you do.