August 2014Back Home Again: August 2014

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

My Kid is Totally THAT Kid

The biter, the hitter, the pincher, the scratcher. That's Cecily. And she's on the verge of getting kicked out of daycare.

How is it that my little girl is THAT kid? It breaks my heart because she is such a loving little girl and we can't figure out why she's doing this. Our daycare provider has recommended that a early childhood specialist come in to observe her to see if they can figure it out and come up with ways to help our daycare handle her. 

Now, when I heard the word specialist, I totally (and still am) freaked out. Apparently they're just there to try to help our provider, but now I'm terrified they're going to recommend all sorts of tests to try to diagnose her with something. She's not even two, this is probably a horrible phase she's going through. 

We love our provider and she's really good with the kids. Only time will tell what happens, but if we do lose our provider, I don't know what we're gonna do.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Kentucky State Fair 2014

Remember that time we tried to go to the county 4H fair? Well this past weekend we went to the Kentucky State Fair in Louisville and it was a bajillion times better. 

The kids saw all sorts of animals, cows, pigs, sheep, horses, ducks, chickens, a llama...and of course Ewan was the most excited about seeing a cow poop! He is such a boy, I swear... 

I was most excited about seeing all the veggies and the crafts. The Christmas trees are always my favorite. Oh! And the bagpipes! I got to torture Alan and my in-laws with listening to a local bagpipe corps. Makes me proud of my Scottish heritage   :-)

The kids walked through the exhibits and got all sorts of goodies. Cecily was cracking me up because she insisted on carrying all of hers, at the same time. 

Silly girl!

After seeing everything inside, we went out into the heat and let the kids play a few games. We didn't stay long outside though because it was HOT and everyone was tired. 

Ewan wanted to ride rides so badly though, next year kid!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Hyperbiotics PRO-15 Review

Have you ever taken probiotics? If not, you really should. A healthy immune system begins in your gut and so many issues can be resolved by having a healthy gut flora. Gas, bloating, constipation and a weakened immune system (not to mention systemic yeast - something I suffer from) can all be tied to an overgrowth of bad bacteria in your gut. Probiotics contain healthy bacteria to restore the balance in your gut.

I take probiotics on a regular basis and recently was able to try Hyperbiotics PRO-15 probiotics. 

Let me just say how much I love these. First of all, they're tiny, which means it's so easy for me, the girl who doesn't take pills, to swallow. Unlike other brands I have tried which are like swallowing a horse pill. They're also shelf stable, which I prefer over probiotics that must be refrigerated, and they have an 18 month shelf life. They contain 15 strains of good bacteria, such as lactobacillus, and contain 5 billion colony forming units per pill. They're 15 times more effective than other brands of probiotics*, which allows them to reach deep into your gut whereas others don't. 

Within days of starting to take them, I noticed that I wasn't as bloated as I usually am - I knew they were working! I have made them a part of my morning routine, just like brushing my teeth. 

They're non-GMO, dairy-free, gluten free, vegetarian, an contain no artificial colors, preservatives or flavors - definitely a plus in our house. Even if you don't try Hyperbiotics PRO-15, you really need to start taking a probiotic, especially if you have ever taken antibiotics, which most of us have. Antibiotics kill not just the bad bacteria that's causing an infection, but also the good gut bacteria, which opens the door to awful things like candida, aka yeast, that can then cause all sorts of problems. 

If you do decide to start taking probiotics, I highly recommend Hyperbiotics. They're available on Amazon for $25.95 currently on sale. 

*Patented BIO-tract® delivery technology consistently delivers as many as 15 times, or more, the number of live, viable probiotic organisms past simulated stomach acids than (plain/standard) capsules as repeatedly demonstrated through in vitro lab testing

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Travel Thursday: Indianapolis Zoo

A couple weekends ago we went to Indy and met up with a college friend of mine and her family. Before we came back on Sunday, we made a quick stop at the Indianapolis Zoo.

Now before I tell you about our trip, let me just give you a heads up if you ever decide to visit. We looked up the price online and it showed $12.50 for adults for just the basic admission and $26.50 for all the extras. Imagine our surprise when we go to pay when we get there and our total is $72! Um no. Apparently the price of admission is based on projected attendance for the day and not what is listed on their site. So, it was $26.50 for the basic adult admission. Let's just say I wasn't happy with that and showed them what their website said and we wound up getting Ewan's admission and wrist bands for the extras free. I'm really glad they didn't try to make us pay full admission because I really didn't want to deal with two screaming children who were promised the zoo and then didn't get to go because of this. 

But anyways...we really just had the morning to be there because we had to make the three hour drive back in time to go to Ewan's preschool registration that evening. 

Ewan is singing "Stomp, stomp, stomp that swamp!" from Jake and the Neverland Pirates

We went through pretty much all of the zoo, except we decided to ride the train around the African section instead of walking through. If you're short on time, don't. You don't really get to see many animals and see more of the buildings used to care for them instead.

We also rode the carousel, of course. 

We saw penguins, polar bears, snakes, giraffes, gorillas, flamingos, tigers and all sorts of stuff. We had to skip the dolphin show as well as the roller coaster, splash pad and playground due to time constraints. 

Next time!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Buildings That Come in Pairs

It's time for another historic architecture lesson! 

I see all sorts of house types in my job when I'm out surveying, but some of the more interesting ones are houses with paired doors i.e. the double-pen log house, saddlebag house and double-door house.

I know, I know...the what house?!

Akinson Griffin Log House - Confederate Hospital

The double-pen log house is a log cabin that is basically two cabins (or in architectural terms pens) joined together. The double-pen evolved from the single-pen. The single-pen was constructed first, and quickly so that settlers could have shelter. It was usually constructed with a later addition in mind - creating the double-pen (it could also be frame). Double-pen log houses usually have a chimney on both ends and a lot of the time have been framed out and are now covered with siding.

There are several variations of the double-pen log house, including the dogtrot (two pens connected via the roof with an open space between them) and the saddlebag.

The saddlebag house evolved from the double-pen log house. It is a double-door house with a central chimney, hence the name saddlebag. 

Early saddlebag houses are usually of log construction, but those dating from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries are almost always frame. This is actually one of my favorite houses to survey, mainly because I like the name :-)

The double-door house is also known as the tenant house or the Cumberland house. It's commonly found in the South, around the Cumberland River Valley, but can be seen in the East and Midwest as well. It is a double-door frame house with a central flue with stoves in each room instead of a central chimney. It's called the tenant house because newly married couples would live with their parents and each would have their own private room with a separate entry and shared common spaces such as the kitchen. The simplest version of this house is side-gabled, but Bungalows and other architectural styles also exhibited double doors. 

Aaaannd if you're still with me congrats! You've learned something about historic architecture and what I do everyday :-)

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Life Lately and a Giveaway!

I honestly can't believe it's Friday already. This week has just flown by in our neck of the woods. Cecily and Alan have been sick and it's trying to creep up on me too. No thanks!

We've got a lot going on this weekend and unfortunately have to get up early both days - we're going to my local La Leche League's Breastfeeding Awareness Month event, doing lots of yard work and then having one of our not-so-monthly dinners with several friends on Saturday then going to a wedding Sunday, so no sleeping in for us. I can't believe it's already mid-August - this month is flying by and is super busy along with the rest of the summer. I was out of town all of last week, and then we went to Indy for the weekend. Other than that I have just been trying to enjoy our cool summer and the long days with the family. 

I've been taking walks at lunch to get some physical activity in, but I'm honestly scared to start running or go to the gym again because while my foot is a lot better than it was, it's still hurting some and hurts more when I do physical activity. I have another doctor's appointment at the end of the month and I'm hoping that it's a lot better by then. While I haven't lost any weight, at least I'm not still gaining!

I don't really have anything else to say really, but I wanted to give you a little glimpse into my life lately. 

Oh, and because I love you all, here's a little giveaway for you. Happy Friday!

               Bekah           -          Aleshea          -      Katie       -         Heather      -             Holly

We felt there was no better way to enjoy summer than by sharing cash in a super easy fashion, so, one last time, here's an insanely easy giveaway for some moolah wired straight to your PayPal Account for whatever your little heart desires. Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Prize Candle Review

I received this product for free from Tastemaker Mom. However, all opinions are my own. 

A few weeks ago, I received my very first Prize Candle. There's a ring hiding in every natural soy wax candle ($24.99). The ring is highly secured in small plastic bag within a plastic pod and can be valued anywhere from $10 to $5,000!

I received my candle in Adriatic Fig and immediately set it up on the mantle to work on getting my prize. The scent I received, but I would've preferred something like Tahitian Vanilla, Moroccan Amber or Pumpkin Spice. The scent permeated throughout the downstairs and didn't overwhelm like some can, which was nice.

By the end of the first night, I could see the plastic pod that held my ring and by the end of the second night, I was able to retrieve it, although I sprayed wax all over my kitchen trying to get it out. Oops!

It's hard to tell the color, but I received this pink ring that I really like. I was really hoping that I had received a ring valued at at least $50, but when I went to appraise it  using the code that came in the plastic pod, I saw that it's only worth $10. Figures!

I have seen candles like this in the blogosphere before and it's a cool one time thing to do, but I probably wouldn't buy another. While I love candles, I also really love my tart burner and I'm really loyal to my Yankee Candle wax tarts. I can get 12 for the price of one Prize Candle!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

First Day of Preschool

My baby boy started preschool today.

When did he become so big? 

He was so excited and was bouncing off the walls from the moment he woke up. He couldn't wait to help me pack his lunch and get in the car and go. When we got there, he went right in, started playing puzzles and didn't even have time to say goodbye to us. 

I'm so glad that he didn't cry and that he was excited, but it also broke my heart. I cried the entire way to take Cecily to daycare.

I realize that it's only preschool and not as big of a deal as kindergarten or college, but still, it's the beginning of his school journey and it won't stop from here until the day he graduates. 

I'm so not ready for this.

Indy Weekend

This past weekend we traveled to Indianapolis to meet up with a college friend of mine, Steph, her husband Chris and their son Theo, who came down from Chicago. We went to the Indianapolis Children's Museum, mainly to see the Terra Cotta Soldiers exhibit, but also to let the kids run around :-) 

The only time I have been to the children's museum was when I was in first grade, so it's been awhile. It's huge! We were there four hours and only made it through half of the museum. 

We spent the majority of our time in the Playscape, which is an area specifically for kids five and under but we also spent some time in the video game exhibit and Ewan rode the carousel. My favorite was definitely the video games. Let's just say that I got to show up some 12 year olds who couldn't figure out the original Mario :-) 

Oh! I can't forget! Ewan was so excited to beat Daddy down the slide. Silly kid!

We went to dinner at Steak n Shake afterwards before parting ways. We haven't seen them since Ewan was three months old so it was really nice to catch up. One of these days we'll get up to Chicago to visit them!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Life & Food Pure Raw Yacon Syrup Review

I was recently given the opportunity to try V3 Life & Food Pure Organic Yacon Syrup. If you haven't already heard about Yacon Syrup, it's supposed to: 
  • aid weight loss 
  • lower blood sugar
  • is a power antioxidant
  • is high in prebiotics
  • contains up tp 50% of fructooligosacharides (FOS), which doesn't increase blood glucose and boosts metabolism
I was originally interested in it because of its supposed weight loss properties and even though I haven't lost any weight taking it every day for the last month, I have started using it as an alternative sweetener. I have used it in coffee, baked goods and on pancakes. It has the consistency of molasses, but tastes like carob chips to me. Since I use carob chips all the time, this was a win. Life & Food's certified organic Yacon Syrup is sourced from Peru and as an added bonus, it's also non-GMO and gluten free. It's a good sugar alternative.

If you haven't already checked it out, you really should. It's available on Amazon and on Life & Food's website.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Travel Thursday: Niagara Falls

I meant to get this post out last Thursday when I found out about Alan's surprise five year anniversary trip, but it didn't this week's #TravelThursday is in honor of our trip to Montreal in September for our five year wedding anniversary! 

Right after we graduated Ball State, we took a trip to Ontario for the week. One of the places we wanted to go was Niagara Falls. 


We visited in May on the Ontario side and I have to agree with those that say the Ontario side is so much better. You get a great view of the American side of the falls and you're literally right next to Horseshoe Falls on the sidewalk.

While the city is VERY touristy - think Branson - we just enjoyed walking along the gorge. We took a ride on Maid of the Mists, which is the boat that gets you super close to the falls. The ponchos they give you to wear? Haha, you still get soaked!



There wasn't a whole lot on the American side open yet since we went in May, but we did go over there, which is in a state park so you get a more "natural" feeling.


Another thing we did while there was ride the cable car across the whirlpool and back. If you know me even a little, then you know how much of a fear of heights I have. I literally spent the hour before it opened going back and forth as to whether or not I was going to do it. I knew Alan really wanted to, but I was terrified.


I must say that I'm really glad I decided to go for it because it was really cool. We were the only ones on the car except for the operator so we got a 360 degree view of the gorge. I will admit that I was a little disappointed by the whirlpool - it wasn't the giant ship sucking spiral that I envisioned - but it was still neat to see something that I otherwise probably wouldn't have. 


While I wouldn't necessarily want to spend my honeymoon at Niagara Falls, there's definitely a reason it used to be the Honeymoon Capital of the World. It's an incredible and humbling experience!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Sally Weans from Night Nursing: A Book Review

I received this book in exchange for a review. However, all opinions are my own.

Yes, I am still breastfeeding my almost 22 month old. To be honest, I've been ready to be done for a while now, but I don't really know how to actively go about it. It wouldn't really be so bad because she only nurses twice a day except for the fact that one of those times is in the middle of the night, anywhere from 2AM to 4AM. Even though I woke up numerous times throughout the night when she was an infant, I'm over being exhausted all the time.

Sally Weans from Night Nursing is written and co-illustrated by Lesli Mitchell, who read this book to her daughter in preparation for night weaning. The book takes you from a baby girl to a big girl who is sad and angry her mommy said no to nursing at night. I so empathize with the mom in this book because it's incredibly hard for me to hear Cecily scream when Alan gets her because she wants to nurse...which is why we're still night nursing at almost two.

Probably my favorite part about the book is that Lesli tells you her own story of why she decided to wean and how she did it. I am definitely going to try to implement some of her ideas!

You can purchase Sally Weans from Night Nursing on Amazon and for Kindle. The book is also on Facebook and Goodreads.

Lesli Mitchell, MSW, LCSW (in-active, stay at home mom) lives in Southern California with her husband Ernie and daughter Ava. She wrote and primarily illustrated Sally Weans From Night Nursing to help gently night wean her daughter at 18 months. Lesli wrote the book to help her daughter feel validated emotionally about night weaning and have some understanding about why the process needed to happen.  As a prior mental health therapist, Lesli wanted to make sure that her daughter had a generally positive experience and belief system about the whole event.

Monday, August 4, 2014

My Favorite Films

A couple weeks ago, when Alan was out of town, I got to explore Netflix. Now, I used to do this all the time back in the days before I had a husband and kids. While I don't necessarily mind that the only things that seem to be on in my house are cartoons and Law&Order (ok, really I do - I'm just being nice :-) ), I would like to watch things I like every now and then. So when Alan was gone, I was just a little excited to be able to watch what I wanted without complaint from the peanut gallery.

Here are just a few of my favorites, in no particular order:

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