The Betty Rocker Make Fat Cry Challenge - Day Seven

I'm a week in and I have to say -- I haven't lost a thing. BUT I feel amazing. And I haven't been eating clean. In fact, it's likely the polar opposite. I MAY have discovered dark chocolate covered sea salt caramels at ALDI and well....

But the point is I feel great. It's so easy to fit this workout in my schedule.

Start Your Own FREE Challenge! 

I hope you out there will join me! It's FREE. Just based off of the first week I've had a better workout each day in 15 minutes than in 45 minutes with Turbo Jam or Zumba videos I've used in the past.

There is no money back guarantee, because there is no money exchanged! This is a legitimately free workout program! I LOVE IT. I'm not working with The Betty Rocker. She really doesn't know I exist, I'm sure. But, I think you'll love it because I do!

Here's Bree's site. Who is joining me? I'd love to have some accountability buddies or just folks to talk about the workouts with!

Go kick butt!

I'm hoping this week I'll eat better, maybe see the scale move a bit, and feel better in my day-to-day life.

The Betty Rocker 30 Day Make Fat Cry Challenge - Day One

Wow. So did Day One of The Betty Rocker 30 Day Challenge -- WHOA. I'm so out of shape. 15 minutes with Bree kicked my BUTT. It felt super good to be DONE with a crazy cardio (for me) workout without using anything but my special Ryka studio shoes (to save my feet on the carpet) and my computer. I guess technically I used my Roku TV to listen to a workout station on Pandora too.

Start Your Own FREE Challenge! 

I hope you out there will join me! It's FREE. Just based off of DAY ONE I've had a better workout in 15 minutes than in 45 minutes with Turbo Jam or Zumba videos I've used in the past.

There is no money back guarantee, because there is no money exchanged! This is a legitimately free workout program! I LOVE IT.

Here's Bree's site. Who is joining me? I think this might be what helps me kick the baby weight and get healthy. No resolutions. No New Years failures. Just motivation to use the body I have TODAY and make it better for TOMORROW! :)

Go kick butt!

PS -- I'm going to admit something horrific and I hope it will be different in 30 days----

I'm starting Day One at 191.7 lbs! Ack!

The Beginner's Bible - A Great Place to Start for Kids

I recently received the opportunity to check out a copy of The Beginner's Bible and I have to say -- I'm loving it even as an adult.

You see.....

We put our children in a private Christian preschool. If you were a germaphobe helicopter parent with control issues like I am, you'd know this was one of about three options for my family. If I could afford private education, I think I would given our locale and options. Alas, that's another post for another day. So, we had our first child in a Christian three year old room and then on to the four year old room. I had TWO gripes with the school, both were addressed in mediocre ways BUT it was a trade-off for being a text message away from my son at all times AND all the time and energy and love which the teacher devoted to the kids.

1) Not enough outdoors time. I reminded the teacher God's beauty can best be captured in the simple moments outdoors and the kids were outside the next afternoon.

2) Inappropriate (IMHO) Bible for the Kids Bible Stories and Verses. This will likely be met by much controversy and near-blaspheming by many out there. I *think* the kids Bible the teacher used followed the Awanas themes and verses -- though I cannot be sure, as we've never gone to Awanas. However, the Easter story was really disturbing for our child (lots of gore and blood and graphic thorny crown/cross pictures, etc.)

Seeing The Beginner's Bible made me cry out with joy. I wanted to reinforce LOVE as the main theme when teaching our kids about God, but it was hard for their little minds to break away from the graphic pictures to hear the message that was unlikely to hit home from the illustrations. This time around, each night we read together from The Beginner's Bible and the more difficult concepts are met head on much more appropriately for early learners and very eloquently explained.

The pictures are perfect for the preschool set and put things into simple terms which even reinforce the "meat and potatoes" of each lesson for adults too!

I couldn't be happier with this book. It's EXACTLY what we were looking for after our experiences the first time around! We're prepared now as our second child becomes aware of God's message.

To learn  more:

Official website:
Trailer / book trailer:
Link to Amazon (non-affiliate!) Simply for your purchasing ease! Currently $12.88 on Prime!

Disclosure: This post was made possible in partnership with FlyBy Promotions. Consideration was provided but all thoughts and stories are my own. 

The Best Last-Minute Gift Guide You'll Ever Need

Here is a fast and furious run-down of tried and true winners for everyone on your holiday shopping list this year. If you've still got folks that have you stumped, take a look at this list and good luck fighting those crowds!

For Him

Frabil Tip Up  (Around $15-35; $20 at your local big box)

Smartwool Socks (sometimes you can find them on Zulily for a great price!)

The Northwest Company

For Her

Mountain Hardwear Women's Trekkin™ Insulated Knee Skirt $90.00

For the Kids

We recommend:

B. Rrroll Models Fire Flyer Electronic Toy Fire Truck
Bouncy Boing™ Hankypants
B. Woofer, Hound Dog Guitar
Build-a-ma-jigs Aeroplane

The Northwest Company

How to Train Your Dragon woven tapestry blanket

Stocking Stuffers

The New Primal Jerky

For Bookworms

We recommend:

Tales from the Arabian Nights
Ultimate Oceanpedia
2017 Almanac
How Things Work

For Anyone

Door County Coffee and Tea Co.

Disclosure: The trust of my audience is of the utmost importance to me. That’s why I only recommend equipment I love from companies I trust. I have not been paid to review any of the products listed above. A couple items were provided to me for on a complimentary basis to review, but I purchased much of this myself. Also, I am under no obligation to give positive reviews to any of the products listed above.

Little Blue Trucks Adventures - Gift Idea for Toddlers

Have you all seen the post around Facebook about Iceland's tradition of giving books on Christmas and then retreating to read for the night? I LOVE that way to celebrate!

Little Blue Truck books are the perfect gift for your little readers OR for encouraging those not so excited about reading to start getting more interested. The rhyme scheme is really catchy and the story line is simple enough for little kids to understand. The lift-a-flap book keeps toddlers excited for the next page. The Beep-Along book is a fun and interactive way to read together -- but, be warned, it is a difficult beeper. This is great for those that do not want to hear beeping all around the house, all day, BUT during story time the beeper can be difficult to operate.

We had to carry this book around Target for an hour leading up to check-out time and since that kind of enthusiasm was just from seeing the cover and the plush pickup, I decided we better make it part of our collection. Since I didn't want to ruin the surprise, I slipped it back on the shelf in a ninja move, pointing to a Storm Trooper nearby, and we went on our merry way. This book has been the #1 requested book for bedtime since we were finally able to take a break from the months-long addiction to "A Day with Chickens." I'm glad to be beeping along (instead of cheeping along) this holiday season! The Halloween story featuring little blue truck and his farm friends dressed up with lift-a-flap fun was also a real popular read for a while! The books retail for around $7.99 - $17.99 from the publisher and can be found on Amazon as well. 

Little Blue Truck has a holiday edition too! Perfect for gifting to those younger kids in the family -- or a subtle way to get family members reading to their kids! We are going to be getting these books for my nephew to encourage his dad to read more with him!

Happy Holidays and happy family together time reading!

Disclosure: Consideration was provided by brands mentioned. All opinions are my own. 

Last Hurrah for the Holidays - An American Doll GOTY Event

What?!?! A last hurrah for Lea Clark, American Girl's 2016 Girl of the Year? Yep! Right here. You might remember that post when I introduced our GOTY and gave one away at the beginning of this year. Well, I'm doing it again, just in time for Christmas and just in time to say farewell to Lea.

You might also remember that you had the opportunity to ask your burning American Girl questions. I didn't take that lightly. I tracked down some answers to the most asked questions and here they are!!! Enjoy! Share this giveaway, like Facebook pages, leave fun comments and be a good entrant! The more fun YOU make it, the more fun events like this I can provide! Thank you and have a fantastic rest of 2016!!

Was Lea modeled after a real girl the author met?
No. Like our past Girl of the Year characters, Lea’s story is purely fictional and is not based on any one girl.

Who started it all with American Girl?
American Girl was founded in 1986 by Pleasant Rowland, who used her skills as an educator and children’s publisher to create the flagship historical line of 18-inch dolls and books that teach girls American history. Pleasant retired from American Girl in 2000, but here is a link to her speech from the company’s 25thanniversary celebration in 2011 where she talks about her vision for the company. 

Who comes up with the ideas and stories for the American Girl dolls and books?
The actual development of our characters is a very iterative process. The brand teams work closely with our editorial, design, and research teams to determine what story we want to tell and what’s the right character to tell that story. For our character-based lines, we always have a working list of story ideas, time periods, and issues and interests to consider. We have an extensive knowledge of girls and what they are interested in, passionate about, or want to do or learn. We balance this extensive knowledge with past characters we’ve introduced, as well as with those things that might be trending at the moment.

Thanks everyone! Good luck! Please enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: Consideration was provided by brands mentioned. All opinions are my own and do not reflect any particular views of American Girl.

#Howlidays at the Great Wolf Lodge - This is #Snowland in December

Great Wolf Lodge is already a popular request among children that have television and have seen the (very accurate) promotional commercial featuring families having a howlin' good time at the various resort properties around the country. If you've never experienced a Great Wolf Lodge -- consider a trip instead of all the "stuff" under the tree. If you're planning a trip, consider doing it during December -- when the whole resort is sparkling with Snowland celebrations and decorations!

Adventures of Mommyhood ©2016 All Rights Reserved
Great Wolf Lodge Classics

You will get waterpark access (exclusive to overnight guests at Great Wolf Lodge, so crowding is limited!) when you check in. You'll also get wolf ears (for adults and kids if you wish!) Be sure to tell the front desk staff if anyone in your party is a birthday kid (within a few days or so) and they'll get special birthday party hat wolf ears. You'll be able to see the traditional Great Clock Tower Show and even meet a few of the pack of friendly characters known to frequent the lodge.  Did I mention they would be around for Story Time too? They provide ample time for mom and dad to snap photos and are full of high-paws for the youngsters. This is all complimentary with your stay and most activities can be found in or near the lobby. Watch the schedules -- if the evening show is too late for your crew, catch a morning viewing (complete with snow shower if you go during December!) Other fun and mostly free activities (some have a small fee for supplies) can be found on the handy events itinerary you will get with your ears at check in. If you find you need a little intro to Great Wolf Lodge OR MagiQuest, both have their own resort channel on the in-room televisions. There's also a Great Wolf Lodge cartoon that plays on a loop, if you need something kid-safe for a bit! There is a ton of action related to the holiday season from Polar expeditions in the morning (after yoga usually) to visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus -- there is no shortage of fun. 

Adventures of Mommyhood ©2016 All Rights Reserved
Tip: You can check in early and receive a text when your room is ready! That means a few extra hours in the waterpark on the day you arrive! Put that suit on before you leave the driveway so you're ready to go when you get to Great Wolf Lodge!

Snowland Suites

A Snowland suite is the perfect way to add a little magic to your stay! The $50 upgrade is well worth the money -- you get a keepsake Great Wolf Lodge Snowland throw blanket and storybook featuring the familiar furry faces of the Great Wolf Lodge characters. The room is beautifully decorated with snowflakes hanging from the ceiling and a full-size decorated tree and lighted garland along the headboards of the beds. Perhaps the most fun is the night of check-in you're able to select a time that works well for your family for a special character to come visit -- and they bring milk and cookies! We had an abundance of sugar during our fun weekend getaway, so the kids were in heaven! The special touches are very much worth the little up charge since you'll get those priceless moments of surprise and snuggles for story time in the comfort of your room! 

Adventures of Mommyhood ©2016 All Rights Reserved
Tip: Reserve a spot in the Gingerbread House -- yes! IN! You can make a reservation to dine in and believe me, it's great food and a fun time! The best part? A $10 donation from every reservation goes to Ronald McDonald House charity. I've had family see the real good that the organization does so I was more than happy to add this little bit of fun to our trip! (It smells of sugar and keeps the kids interested long enough for you to drink a cup or two of hot coffee while enjoying breakfast (or lunch/dinner!) Another tip, since you're here -- order the Family Style platter. It's a mound of food and it's a fun way to make dining out more like dining at home! 

Wisconsin Dells 

An ever popular vacation getaway for folks in Milwaukee, Green Bay, Chicago and Minneapolis-St. Paul, the Wisconsin Dells do not disappoint. This is the location of the flagship Great Wolf Lodge and the 100,000 square foot waterpark does not disappoint, even today. We saw families of all sizes and ages having a blast during our three-day stay and though it might be better geared for the younger set (say maybe under 10 years) -- even teens can be seen smiling wide as they patter and splash barefoot from one waterpark attraction to the next. This Great Wolf Lodge features fun northwoods themes and a Howlin' Tornado funnel slide -- plus plenty of rides and slides
for tykes too! The location is IDEAL -- everything you need is within walking distance -- or a VERY short drive across the road. Outlet shopping, dining, and gasoline are all within a two block radius. The Great Wolf Lodge is located off of I-94/90 so it makes navigating a breeze. [You see the iconic font from the freeway!]

Give your family at least two nights to really have enough time to enjoy the lodge activities AND the waterpark -- that's probably a minimum if you're going to also take in MagiQuest and do things like sleep and eat. It's a really fun place and even with an entire weekend, we were all wishing we'd had just one more night to really howl at the moon!

Consideration was provided by the Great Wolf Lodge. All opinions are my own. Please check the Great Wolf Lodge website for specifics in your area and for deals, as things change and this post will not be updated with dates or deals regularly. Thanks Great Wolf Lodge for a wonderful time!

Blog Designed By Chocolate Covered Designs/All Rights Reserved Copyright 2012