Vegas

Being a stay at home mom I don’t get a lot of time to myself. So for the past few years, I’ve gone away for a day or two during the summer.

The first year my sister and I went on a sisters only trip to Palm Springs.

The following year a few of my mama friends and I went on a girls trip to Manhattan Beach.

This year I met up with my mom and aunt for a girls trip to Vegas!!
IMG_0818Even though it was a different Vegas experience for me, I had lots of fun! I had all these fantasizes before we left that I would lay poolside with a drink, wake up late and even go to sleep late. None of that happened, but that’s ok. Instead I got to spend time with two amazing women who I love and adore.

I also took a 45 minute flight to Vegas. In the past we’ve driven to Vegas or flown to Vegas from Florida. That was quick and easy!

I was kid free for 3 days! It was nice to be responsible for only me. I ate when I was hungry, went to the bathroom uninterrupted and focused when speaking to adults. It was great! Although I missed my Sarah and hubby when I got back. However I didn’t miss all the home responsibilities!! PS Thanks to my hubby and MIL for watching Sarah while I was gone.

I also got to sit in the airport while we waited to board (something I don’t do when flying with Sarah).

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Although it was sweltering hot most of the time we still did everything we had planned to do.

The first day was spent traveling to Vegas and walking around our hotel, Luxor. I checked out the Bodies exhibit while my aunt went to the Titanic exhibit.

Since I probably wont be able to visit the birth place of all FOUR of my grandparents any time in the near future I was really excited to check out this Egyptian themed hotel.

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The second day started out really early. Our alarm was set for 5:30 am so we could take the 6am shuttle for our day of adventures. Both my mom and aunt organized a trip for us to visit the Hoover Dam and The Grand Canyon. I’ve always wanted to see both, but I had no idea how far each destination would be. It took us an hour to get to the Hoover Dam and then another 4 hours to reach the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

The Hoover Dam was really cool! We drove over the bridge where we went from Nevada to Arizona.

picstitchIt wasn’t like you see in the movies, but it was cool to be in two states at the same time.

After a few pictures, our shuttle parked on the Arizona side so that we could see this beautiful structure.

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We stopped many times through out the trip to eat, use the bathroom and to get fuel. One of our rest stops was Route 66. Some of you might know it as the most famous road in America, originally ran from Chicago, Illinois, through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona before ending at Santa Monica, California. As a mom of a 3 year old toddler, all I could think about was the scene in one of Sarah’s favorite movies, Cars! I imagined her jumping up and down with excitement as she saw where Mater and Lighting were from. After visiting the gift shop I bought her a few souvenirs.

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The final stop for the day was the Grand Canyon. I’ve seen the pictures and I’ve watched the educational movies in school, but walking towards the rail to view the enormous mountain was absolutely breathtaking! The colors, the size and the stillness was all so beautiful. To think g-d and water created this was super crazy! After we took a few pictures we walked around some more.

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I kept finding myself just starring. I silently stood there and took it all in. I was so happy to be there. Just standing there, taking it all in.

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A few minutes later it started to rain. We headed for shelter and put on our ponchos (given by the tour guide) and continued to walk around some more.

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It rained on and off for a few more minutes. After it stopped raining the canyon looked even more picturesque! We enjoyed our view for a little longer and then headed back to our shuttle.

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The drive back was long. Less stops, more rain and a super crazy wind storm.

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We finally got dropped off at our hotel around 9pm. We headed to our room changed and made our way to view the strip at night.

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After a few minutes on the strip and some cranky moments we headed back to our room for some much needed sleep.

The third and final day started with a delicious breakfast at our hotel cafe. I had this delicious Strawberry Shortcake French Toast with strawberry purée. Yum!!

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After breakfast we headed to the strip again. We walked through the hotels, saw some interesting characters including Sarah’s favorite Minions, met Johnny Depp, bought some loose tea and ate lunch.

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To give my aunt the full strip experience, we walked from the Luxor hotel ALL THE WAY to the Wynn hotel. If you know anything about Vegas you know how far that is.  Not only did we walk 4 miles in 109 degree heat, we walked back another 4 miles to get back to our hotel!! Needless to say our legs and backs were in a lot of pain when we arrived at the hotel. Therefore we just sat for a full hour and enjoyed our last drink together.

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Thank you Aline and mama for such a great trip! I might have been cranky at times, but know that I really enjoyed spending 3 uninterrupted days with you. Thank you for the adventures! Love you!!

Sweet and Sour Chicken

As someone who loves to eat and cook food I wanted to share this yummy recipe I recently found on Pinterest. Not only is this recipe easy to make it’s also great to serve as an appetizer at a party. 

Mama Chit Chat: Sweet & Sour Chicken

-Instructions-

1. In a large Ziploc bag add corn starch, pepper, salt, garlic cloves and chicken. Toss to coat.

2. Preheat oil to a medium heat. Whisk eggs in a bowl, dip each chicken piece into the eggs.

3. Fry chicken on each side until golden brown. Place fried chicken on a baking dish in one layer.

Mama Chit Chat: Sweet & Sour Chicken4. Combine sugar, soy sauce, ketchup and vinegar together. Pour sauce over the chicken, bake at 350F for 30 minutes.

Mama Chit Chat: Sweet & Sour Chicken

5. Turn chicken pieces half way through for a nice and crispy coating.

Mama Chit Chat: Sweet & Sour Chicken

Enjoy!

Mama Chit Chat: Sweet & Sour Chicken

Sweet and Sour Chicken
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 1 lb chicken breast
  2. 1 cup corn starch
  3. 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
  4. 1/2 tablespoons salt
  5. 3 garlic cloves (pressed)
  6. 1/2 cups oil
  7. 1 cup sugar
  8. 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  9. 1/3 cups ketchup
  10. 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
Instructions
  1. In a large Ziploc bag add corn starch, pepper, salt, garlic cloves and chicken. Toss to coat.
  2. Preheat oil to a medium heat. Whisk eggs in a bowl, dip each chicken piece into the eggs.
  3. Fry chicken on each side until golden brown. Place fried chicken on a baking dish in one layer.
  4. Combine sugar, soy sauce, ketchup and vinegar together. Pour sauce over the chicken, bake at 350F for 30 minutes.
  5. Turn chicken pieces half way through for a nice and crispy coating.
Notes
  1. Tip: Cut chicken into bite sized pieces to serve as an appetizer at a party.
Adapted from Moms Dish
Adapted from Moms Dish
Mama Chit Chat http://www.mamachitchat.com/

10 on 10 July 2014

10 pictures on the 10th day of the month. Finding life and beauty in the ordinary things of our day to day!

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Check out last month’s post here.

Here is a sneak peek of our day!

The day started with Sarah telling me that her ear has “googkies” aka puss. After looking at it I quickly called our doctor’s office who had an opening later that morning. Thanks to whoever called and canceled!

For breakfast we had our favorite, corn cakes and cream cheese.

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After we got ready and headed out, I noticed a cool breeze. My car thermometer read 66 degrees outside!! It’s been super hot every morning so this was a nice change

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I love my doctor’s office! Not only do they know us by name (which is very unusual with our medical plan), but they also have free coffee! Total mom save!

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A few minutes later we entered our room and waited for Sarah’s Doctor to come in.

She confirmed what we already knew, Sarah had an ear infection. However this time it was draining! Not only is that gross, but it means the tubes that were placed in her ears when she was 17 months old are working!! Finally some good news to her ever painful ear problems.

After leaving our room, Sarah wanted to continue playing with ABC chart for “2 more minutes” as she holds up 3 fingers.

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We hurried to our Camp Mommy event for the day where all the kids got to make their own pizzas.

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After lunch a few moms and I headed to Barnes N Noble for some fun. I bought Sarah a new book.

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Before heading home for nap we picked up Sarah’s ear drops.

During nap time I found out my blog post for Homemade Sidewalk Chalk was published!

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After nap we snacked on one of our favorite snacks, spinach chips. Recipe can be found here.

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The rest of the afternoon was spent in and out of the house. Unfortunately my phone died and I didn’t get to take any additional pictures.

Hope you had a nice 10th!

{Sorry for the late post. We had a brutal week due to Hand Foot Mouth Disease}

Hand Foot Mouth Disease

Two years ago, Sarah suffered a week long illness called, Hand Foot Mouth Disease (HFMD).

This past week Sarah got it again!!

It’s a horrible disease dubbed the “toddler illness”. From mouth sores to blisters on the hands and feet it is VERY painful. Sarah did not eat, drink or sleep for 5 DAYS due to the excruciating pain. Between constant bursts of screams to her eyes drowning with tears, all she could do was cry from all the pain.

How it all started…

Wednesday night Sarah woke up multiple times and cried sporadically all through the night. We initially thought she was having ear pain, but next morning hubby found blood in her ear. A little scared I called the doctor first thing.  Thanks to a last minute cancellation we were able to see the doctor that morning. After seeing the doctor we discovered that her ear tube has slid out of place and has started to rub against her ear making it bleed. We scheduled an ENT appointment for next Tuesday for corrective ear tube surgery and possible removal of her adenoids.

We ran some errands that morning and headed back for an early nap. With only a 45 minute nap, Sarah woke up cranky. Understandably so I comforted her. We spent the rest of the afternoon being lazy on the couch. She wasn’t acting herself, she was very uncomfortable. I was sad.

Putting her to bed that night was difficult. She was exhausted and in a lot of ear pain. The extremely difficult night was spent with 30 minute sleep cycles and a lot of tears. My poor baby was in a lot of pain and now she was complaining of mouth pain. As I lay there awake most of the night, I couldn’t help but count the hours until our next ENT appointment.

We decided to finally bring Sarah to our bed and comfort her as much as possible. When Sarah is sick or has ear pain we normally tag team from the couch to our bed so at least one of can get longer bursts of sleep. We finally woke up around 7 am to a messy home. Pillows, blankets, lovies, and tissues were spread through out the house.

With no energy (and no milk!!) I threw Sarah in her car seat and off we drove thru Starbucks for a much needed shot of espresso. I thought with lots of caffeine and a chocolate milk treat for Sarah we would just have another lazy day. Unfortunately it was not the case. The very short 5 minute car ride was a mixture of screaming episodes and tear filled eyes.

During this 5 minute adventure, I missed a call from Sarah’s pediatrician checking in on us regarding the bloody ear. After reaching the pediatrician we came to the conclusion that Sarah’s mouth sores were probably the start of HFMD.

The remainder of the day was spent with a series of mini-naps with crying and screaming episodes intermingled. IT WAS BRUTAL. I was exhausted. Luckily hubby came home early to help out. We then made a list so hubby could pick up a couple bottles of Gatorade and some basic foods to keep us fueled for the next few days.

I had planned to visit our friends, Cait and Nolan that afternoon so I already had my crock pot ingredients prepared. So thankful I menu planned this week as I had no energy to stand and cook a hot meal.

Day 4 might have been the MOST BRUTAL DAY! After a really hard day we put her to bed as we normally did. This time she was inconsolable during one of her crying and screaming episodes. For the past few days she had been complaining of tummy pain, but with no food it was understood. However between all the Amoxicillin, Motrin and Tylenol meds she was taking we thought her tummy complaints might be doing some real damage to her stomach. Therefore, at 1 am hubby thought it was getting really serious and that we needed to see a doctor. A few minutes later we packed up a few things and headed to the ER in our pajamas. The car ride was long. Sarah continued to cry and scream. I started feeling really nervous. Were we harming our daughter? Was her tummy complaints really legit? Were we being neglectful to her complaints?

After checking her vitals we were given a room. I sat in our bed holding my baby girl. She was relatively calm so I became calm. Hubby made her some hand glove balloons and we waited for the doctor.

photo 2The ER doctor did not think she had HFMD. He instead thought she had some other viral infection called, Herpangina. Basically a super horrible mouth illness. He also checked her tummy and just thought it was due to not pooping for 4 days and a combination of emotions she was having. Thank g-d! I was happy to hear is wasn’t something more serious, but I kind of wished he did some x-rays. I wasn’t feeling 100%, but hubby was content so we left a short while after.

It took us 5 days until Sarah was able to eat some food! By the time we finished with this brutal virus we were beat.

Throughout this horrible time, my sweet friends were super thoughtful. They called, texted and even brought me treats. One friend sent me a surprise Starbucks gift card email while another friend brought me scones and a large coffee with 4 SHOTS of espresso.

Screen Shot 2014-07-20 at 7.34.53 PMThank you Stacee and Erin for being so thoughtful! It means so much to me to have friends like you. Love you girls!

Unfortunately there is no way to know how she got HFMD. It’s a virus and there’s not a damn thing you can do to help your crying toddler. It’s a matter of waiting it out. Try telling that to a very weak three year old and an exhausted family. Brutal. Just brutal.

The really important thing for you to do for your toddler is make sure they are keeping hydrated. Do everything you can to prevent them from becoming dehydrated. If that happens you might end up with a very pricey Emergency bill. Both the Dr. Google and my pediatrician told me “Give her ice cream, ice pops and anything cold, as long as she eats SOMETHING!”

I thought we had it bad last time, but this one took the cake. I have never seen my poor daughter suffer so much and so for so long. It was truly brutal!

4th of July {2014}

I love everything that involves family, friends, food and sun so it’s no surprise that I love celebrating 4th of July!

Just like last year, our 4th of July celebrations started on the 3rd. To prepare for the festivities I made a healthy treat this year.

Mama Chit Chat: 4th of July

I also made a bow for both Sarah (which she lost before we even got to the field) and I.

Mama Chit Chat: 4th of July

We met up with 9 mommy friends and their families! We played, ate and just hung out together. It was so relaxing and carefree. Most of all it was lot’s of fun!

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For dinner, hubby and I checked out the food trucks (loving this trend). We both ate delicious food at Scratch. Highly recommended!

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As it got darker Amy handed out glow sticks so that we can spot our kids (great idea Amy!). Then we all snuggled up with our family as we watched the firework show.

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We had such a great time! I love hanging out with my mommy group. I like it even better when we can bring our families together.

Mama Chit Chat: 4th of JulyThe 4th of July was on Friday (Shabbat) so we just hung out at home.

The 5th was spent attending Shabbat services and lot’s of pool time. My best friend’s son was also born that day.

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Welcome to world, Samuel!

The 6th was spent with our friends at the park for the city’s bi-monthly Summer Concerts at the Park.

This time I made watermelon cupcakes. To me there it nothing more American then watermelon!

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Sarah loves cupcakes so I knew she’d really enjoyed these!

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Sarah playing with her friends.

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We had such a fun filled weekend until early Monday morning when I got a call from my friend Nicole telling me about my friends son, Nolan who was in a really bad car accident.

Even if you are not the praying type, please send positive thoughts to my friend’s son, Nolan. Should we all be safe and healthy!

#PrayersForNolan

Father’s Day {2014}

Hubby is not a big celebrator, so when I asked him what he wanted to do for Father’s Day he simply said, “Swim with Sarah”.

Sarah and I started the morning off with heart shaped muffins and a gift for daddy.

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Every year since Sarah has been born, She gives him a daddy themed book on Father’s Day. Since he reads her a book at bed time, this special book makes book time even more special.

To make the day even more fun, we invited our friends to join us for some fun at the pool!

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It was a great morning!

After naps we headed out to watch a Beatles tribute band as part of our neighborhoods Summer Concert program.

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Hubby said he had a great day filled with love and yummy food.

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Happy Father’s Day!

Homemade Sidewalk Chalk

During the long summer days, my three old and I typically do some type of craft after nap. This week we made homemade sidewalk chalk. 

-Ingredients-

Mama Chit Chat: Sidewalk Chalk

Cornstarch, food coloring, water, paint brush and egg container*/muffin tin.

*I like to keep our used egg containers for projects like these. Plus it’s an easy way to clean up!

-Directions-

1. Place 2 tbsp of cornstarch in a few sections.

2. Place 2 tbsp of water on the same sections.

3. Drop 3-5 drops of food coloring (depends on how vibrant you want each color).

Mama Chit Chat: Sidewalk Chalk

5. Paint on sidewalk.

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Happy Summer!

UPDATE: My Homemade Sidewalk Chalk was recently published! Check it out on Mom It Forward.

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