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Party Circuit 2011

21 Oct

It is official.  Birthday party circuit 2011 has come to an end.  As with previous years, my son’s and daughter’s birthdays wrapped up the tail end of the September/October birthday party circuit.  (Missed last year’s post? See here) I still love the birthday madness that fills the months of September and October.  This year did not disappoint.  Party highlights from 2011 include a reptile man, a fire station, a scavenger hunt and endless amounts of squeals and delight.

I made the executive decision to do a joint birthday party for my arm candies.  Having two children born in the month of October, it only made sense that they should have a joint costume party on a farm,  no!? It made perfect sense to yours truly, so to the farm we went.

In addition to the adorable children in their fabulous costumes, I have a few other faves that I want to share!

First, the venue.  We held the party at the most adorable family run farm ever!! Don’t believe me, check out their site here. I am all about having a fenced, safe, fabulous area to let the kids run and play! Fox Hollow Family Farm provided the perfect venue and exceptional service.

Second, the favors. I fell in love with these adorable popcorn holders I found on Etsy at 6 Elm Designs.  I had them personalized for my son and daughter and included a popcorn mix, chocolate covered pretzel (that my son and I made) and a couple other little treats! Andrea Miller of 6 Elm Designs was so wonderful to work with and the product turned out exactly as I had hoped!

Second, I decided to try a recipe for DIY White Pumpkin Marshmallows posted by Paper & Pigtails.  It was an extremely easy and fun project for my 4 year-old and I.  (I put my father to work too) I added a little bling by throwing on some orange sprinkles and had my dad paint on a few faces. All in all, it was a fun project and a very sweet treat.

Lastly, I have been on a pin wheel kick lately.  I decided that these little twirly wonders, created by Earth Cookie Creations, would make for the perfect gender-neutral cupcake topper.

  Threw in some drinks for the party goers…..

And there you have it!

 Cheers to another year of blessings and bliss to all my favorite Fall Arm Candy!

Whatever life holds in store for me, I will never forget these words: “With great power comes great responsibility.” This is my gift, my curse. Who am I? I’m Spiderman.

CURRENT GIVEAWAY: TACO TIME $25 GIFT CARD! ENTER HERE.

Peanut….Peanut Butter

23 Sep

Confession:  I can’t take credit for the fabulous find that I am about to share.  On a recent playdate, a good friend and guest arm candy confession-ista shared (see her post here) one of the most fabulous snacks with my little arm candy. She shared the Original Peanut Butter by Justins Nut Butter.  OMG! These little packets of nut butters are AMAZING!

Immediately following our playdate, I came home and ordered an enormous amount of nut butters from Amazon.  I am now fully stocked and obsessed with these modern day wonders.  My daughter absolutely loves the original and my favorite is the Maple Almond. Heavenly.

I also love the company’s Sustainability efforts, which you can learn more about here.

Teacher First Day Survival Kit

7 Sep

Confession:  You might feel a twinge of guilt after reading this post.  However, that is not the intention.  If you are anything like myself, your child started school this week.  I was feeling especially proud that my son made it out the door on time.  His school supplies were nicely labeled in his new dinosaur backpack.  His teeth were freshly brushed.   His clothes were neatly ironed  and he had a healthy breakfast in his tiny little tummy.  Day One= SUCCESS!!!

By most motherly accounts, I may have even exceeded expectations.  However, I can’t help but feel a bit guilty after scrolling my Facebook newsfeed and coming across a friend’s out of this world “1st Day Teacher’s Survival Kit”.  Talk about starting the school year off on the right foot!  These amazing teacher baskets are personalized for each teacher and include some of the following items:  hand sanitizer, cute office supplies, bath and body soaps, coffee cards, chocolate, gum and personalized clever little notes indicating what each item is for.  Amazing, no!?

The creator and thoughtful gal behind these adorable creations happens to have dedicated quite a bit of time in the classroom as a teacher and knows first hand how valuable teachers can be to our little arm candies.  It is going uncontested that the Arm Candy Confessions First Day of School MVP (most valuable parent) goes to Mrs. Amy Taylor of Portland, Oregon.

If you are like me and didn’t think of getting anything for your child’s teacher, (not even an apple…doh)  fret not.  Teacher’s appreciation week will be here before you know it and the holidays are right around the corner.  Amy shared a couple of her other crafty creations to help get our creative teacher lovin’ juices flowing.  She just happened to whip together these baskets in her “free time”.  Oh, I forgot to mention, Amy is the mother to three beautiful girls (see below), my P90X inspiration and pretty much out of his world fabulous and I can’t imagine she has a lot of free time!  No joke. Thank you to Amy for the inspiration and the reminder that teachers need love too!

GIVEAWAY: Brazil Butt Lift DVD’s Valued at $59.85 

How to win: Visit Beachbody and sign up for a *FREE membership.  Enter “CoachChayna” as your coach and enjoy the awesome  free benefits!  Extra entries for each friend you refer!  Leave me a message indicating you did so and which friends you referred. Winner will be selected by Random.org

Contest ends September 16th at noon.  Eligibility: Must be 18 years or older and a US resident.

Girlfriends Tea For The Mother-To-Be

22 Aug

Confession: I love hosting baby showers.  I love the planning, the excitement and the pampering of the expectant mother-to-be, which typically happens to be a dear friend. There always seems to be debate surrounding whether or not to shower or sprinkle a mother when she is pregnant with her second, third, fourth….child.

When I was pregnant with my second, I really did not want a shower and two of my closest friends insisted.  I, of course caved. I am so glad I did.  The afternoon was one I will never forget.

Fast forward to present.  One of my closest girlfriends is pregnant with her third child, which happens to be a girl.  She has two beautiful boys and is thrilled to be adding a little pink to the family dynamic. She of course did not want a shower or anything fancy, but every princess needs a tea party and that is exactly what we gave her! I promised her it wouldn’t be big in numbers, but it was a grand affair.  The afternoon was filled with hats, tea, games, finger-sandwiches and a whole lotta love.  It was low in stress and high in fun.  Hats were strongly encouraged and all the guests kindly obliged. It was such a fun, fancy affair and left me longing for another afternoon filled with girlfriends, tea and reasons to celebrate.   Here are a few pictures of our Sunday afternoon!

**Disclaimer.  All pictures were taken by yours truly and are unprofessional in nature.

The beautiful guest of honor.

The favors: tea bag holder, personalized tea bag and a silver spoon.

The Georgian. Fairmont Olympic Hotel, Seattle.

The girls

The Hostesses

INSANE in Seattle

5 Aug

Confession:  I am OBSESSED with Shakeology and Insanity.  Shake-what you ask? Shakeology.  Those near and dear to me know that I have been raving about both Insanity and Shakeology for months.

Since having two children, I have been on a mission to create the best version of me possible.  I have tried a number of different methods and while many have failed, Beachbody has definitely succeeded.  I have completed one round of Insanity and am currently on my second round.  Yes, that makes me freaking INSANE.  However, I love it! Actually, let me clarify…I love the results.  I often roll my eyes and swear my way through the workouts.  They are the hardest workouts I have ever done.  I went so far as to cancel my gym membership because the program works so much better for my crazy schedule of motherhood and I achieved better results in 60 days with Insanity and Shakeology than I did with two years in the gym.  I complete the workouts in my living room and there are no excuses for me. If I have to run and let the dog out, I do it.  If I need to get milk for one of my kids, I do it.  I just keep pushing play and pulling myself up off the floor.

I made the decision early on that not only do I need to work out, which I have always done fairly consistently, but  I also need to eat cleaner and set a better example for my children.  Don’t get me wrong, I am nowhere near perfect and enjoy pizza and wine as much as the next.  However, I try.  I ordered Shakeology after reading online raves and it has become my multi-vitamin.  I have a shake every day for breakfast and love how it makes me feel.  I have even done the 3 day Cleanse with Shakeology and lost 7 lbs the last time around.  The stuff is simply fabulous.  The only downfall to Shakeology is the price.  It is expensive.  However, I view it as a lifestyle modification and have given up my afternoon coffee from Starbucks to balance the budget per se.  In addition, I signed up as a “Coach” to receive the product at a discount and to hold myself accountable to my goals.  I truly feel the Beachbody programs are absolutely amazing. I am so inspired by many of my friends that have made incredible changes on p90x and Insanity.  I just happen to be one of the masses that has had success with the program.

Ok, I am off to push play and sweat myself to a healthier me! If you are seriously interested in trying Shakeology, send me a message and I am happy to send you a sample.  I am also planning on starting TurboFire once I finish my second round of Insanity.  (Approx. 3 weeks) If you are interested in joining me, let me know! Happy Friday!

Serving up a Giveaway!

15 Jul

Image credit: Andrew McLeod, Landov US Weekly

Confession: I love handbags.  However, if I were ever selected for a “What’s In Your Bag” spot in US Weekly or a similar type publication, I would be mortified. I would be forced to confess that the bottom of my purse is filled with crushed Cheerios and looks something like the floor of a movie theater  following a midnight viewing of Harry Potter. My favorite purses have been hung for special occasions and kid-free outings.

Yet, motherhood has not stopped my love for handbags, it has merely shifted  my selection process.  Recently, while ordering a lunch sack for my son, I stumbled across Sachi lunch sacks.  I couldn’t resist.  I picked up the following insulated, functional and Kate Spade-esque little number for myself:

Lunch just got a whole lot cuter! Not to mention, there is a little pocket to stash your keys, cash and cards so no need for double bagging. My every day purse no longer has to double for a lunch sack. Now if  Sachi could make an insulated interior for my car I would be set!

GIVEAWAY: Our friends at Sachi are giving away a Sachi “hobo” bag to one lucky Arm Candy Confessions reader! The winner can select the color of their choice!

Giveaway Details:

How to enter: Visit Arm Candy Confessions on facebook and leave a wall comment on why you want a Sachi bag and which color you would choose! 

Contest Ends: Monday, July 18th at noon PST. 

Choose from Pink, Lime Green, Blue or Brown.

Royal Mama’s Boys

22 Nov

Confession:  I adored Princess Diana.  I wept when she died and completely bought into the conspiracy theories surrounding her death.  I will leave it at that.

With the announcement of Prince William’s engagement, I find myself immediately thinking about Princess Diana again.  I acknowledge that she had her faults, as we all do.  However, I love her nonetheless.

Prince William’s engagement is so exciting on so many levels.  The fact that he gave Miss Middleton, his soon to be bride, his mother’s ring melts my heart.  I love my mama’s boy and I love the Royal mama’s boys too. Cheers to the People’s Prince and his adorable bride to be!

Sweet Land of Liberty

11 Nov

Confession:  I have an overwhelming sense of guilt for having the Swiss flag on my blog for as long as I have today.  Even though it has absolutely nothing to do with anything other than my refusal to take part in any type of holiday festivities until after this weekend.  Moving on……..

In the State of Washington, we are constantly updated on military personnel.  Most of which, happen to be their homecomings.  This is, of course, the news I prefer.  It is absolutely one of favorite things to witness. (Ok…I can’t help it, that I also love reality television, I realize it’s a serious personality flaw). I just wish I had an alert that would notify me to grab the closest box of Kleenex when stories regarding military families appear in the news.  Unfortunately, I can no longer blame the tears on pregnancy hormones.  I have already confessed, I cry a lot.  (see here) The selflessness displayed by service men, women and their families moves me to tears on a regular basis.  Today, I am prepared for the waterworks.

In honor of the many sacrifices military families make on behalf of our country, I am featuring a few Arm Candy favorites. Happy Veteran’s Day!

Switzerland

10 Nov

Confession:  Life got a little crazy.  I apologize for being MIA.  The good news is that Party Circuit 2010 has officially come to a close and dozens of tots have successfully celebrated another year of life.  My daughter’s first birthday marked the official end of the two month-long birthday celebrations.  Throw in a baptism, a concert, a wedding, a mid-term and this mom is absolutely spent.  Oh wait…am I already hearing Christmas music?   I refuse.

This weekend I will be flying the Swiss flag and refusing alliance with the early Christmas festivities.  In addition, I will hole up in my own private sanctuary, while wearing my fuzzy pink robe.  I know it is not quite as glamorous as the robes at The Golden Door, but it will work.  I have a 3 foot arm candy that I might be able to talk into giving me a massage and my bathtub makes for a wonderful whirlpool. There you have it, my own semi-private spa retreat.  Let’s not forget the meditating sound of an overweight, epileptic bulldog snoring on the bathroom floor.  Sounds dreamy doesn’t it?!  Oh…I almost forgot the champagne.  Cheers to life and those that make it so uniquely ours.

 

Victoria's Secret Long Love Fleece Robe $59.50

 

 

Veuve Clicquot. Prices vary.

 

 

Read All About It

6 Oct

During my first pregnancy, I purchased pretty much every maternity magazine and book known to woman.  I had books on nutrition, exercise and types of childbirth.  You name it–I had it.  Unfortunately, It wasn’t long before I was a complete basket case, filled with guilt and anxiety about absolutely everything baby related.

Shortly after my son was born, I read a statistic in one of my maternity magazines that mothers who experience stress during pregnancy are more likely to have children with Reactive Airway Disease.  My father was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer during my seventh month of pregnancy.  Needless to say, I was stressed.  (That’s probably putting it a little mildly) Unfortunately, my son also happens to have Reactive Airway Disease.   I have never been able to forget the “statistic” in the magazine.  I’m not convinced that there is a correlation between my son’s RAD and my stress level during pregnancy and I find it completely misleading for magazines to print one line “statistics” without sharing the entire article.

One of the perks of my previous place of employment was learning how to read and interpret studies.  Based on my self-proclaimed expert opinion, the study in this magazine sucked.  I’m sure there are a handful of additional correlations that the magazine decided to leave out.  (Including family history)  For the life of me, I don’t understand why a magazine would print such a thing.  I don’t think any expectant mother wants to be stressed, I know I definitely wish my father hadn’t been diagnosed with cancer.  Life is stressful and I tend to read magazines to relax and unwind.  It probably goes without saying, that I did not renew my subscription to this particular magazine.

Lately, I have started picking up magazines that inspire me, both to be a better mother and a better version of me.  (In addition to my gossips mags of course)  One recent fabulous find includes: Real Simple Family.  I have always enjoyed the magazine Real Simple, and was pleasantly surprised to learn they have a family edition.

The magazine is really wonderful.  I have had it on my kitchen counter for over a month and haven’t been able to get rid of it.  The magazine is creative.  It’s sweet.  It’s inspiring. Don’t believe me?  Check out this link for a month’s worth of delicious recipes, including suggested wine pairings AND a shopping list.  How is that for simple?  Now if they could just send someone over to cook.

Here are a couple of other new magazines that I have my eye on.

la petite magazine

la petite magazine has only two issues under its belt, however, the issues are adorable! I absolutely love the photography and the clothing featured in the fall issue.   I’m very much looking forward to issue number three.

Rue Magazine

Confession:  I don’t follow a lot of blogs.  However, one blog that I do follow is Anne Sage’s blog, The City Sage. Her blog serves up a daily dose of inspiring creations that a mother of two can only fantasize about.  Her looks are beyond gorgeous and one day, when I get the crayon off the walls, I’m hunting down the City Sage to style my house (and maybe me too).  Until then, color on kiddos.  The world is a canvas and apparently so is my house. 

Image credits: 1 & 2 Real Simple Family.  3 la petite magazine. 4. rue magazine.