Get Pants That Fit + Help Grace Centers of Hope at Clothing Cove Pant Clinic March 27-28 {Milford}

The Clothing Cove - Milford, MichiganI was compensated for this post with a Clothing Cove gift card. All opinions expressed are my own — especially when I say this store rocks. Because it does!

Ladies…I can’t be alone. I have been every size from 6 up to 14 in the past 10 years and have worn every style of pants possible, and I still don’t have a single pair of pants that fit correctly. Being 8 months postpartum hasn’t helped at all. Suffice to say, this event sounds like something I need to attend!

Pant Clinic at Clothing Cove for Grace Centers of Hope

The Clothing Cove, in charming downtown Milford, Michigan, is hosting a pant clinic this weekend, March 27-28 to put a positive spin on the elusive search for a great fitting pair of pants. For every customer who tries on a perfect fit pant, $2 will be donated to Pontiac-based Grace Centers of Hope to fight against homelessness and human trafficking.

“We have helped thousands of women across the nation in their search for great fitting pants,” said Clothing Cove owner Genise Horsley. “This is just a fun way to find the perfect complement to the body God gave you.”

Grace Centers Of Hope LogoIf you aren’t familiar, Grace Centers of Hope is an amazing rehabilitation center that has been helping men and women in Pontiac since 1942. They shelter anywhere from 150-200 people a night and serve about 100,000 meals a year. Grace Centers also partners with the non-profit All Worthy of Love to fight against human trafficking in Detroit. Fantastic cause, amiright?

For the Clothing Cove pant clinic, sales associates will be ready to help fit the skinny, straight, curvy and every customer in between with a wide selection of missy pants. The collection includes sizes 0 to 24W and features brands selected for their slimming nature, comfort, and durability. Such notable names as Renuar, Krazy Larry, Tribal, Raffinalla, and SlimSation will be shown. [Read more…]

Wall Decal Fun with Katie’s Vinyl Decor {+ Giveaway for $30 Credit! Ends 4/3}

I received my own wall decals exchange for my post. All opinions expressed are my own.

One of my favorite parts of blogging is learning about the amazing businesses out there…and meeting new people! I don’t want to brag, but I think I have the greatest readers ever ;) I was thrilled when a local gal named Katie reached out to me, and I’m excited to share about her great business today — Katie’s Vinyl Decor, which is based in Roseville, Michigan.

What started out as a hobby last spring has become a real business for Katie and her husband, Carl.  A piece of my heart smiles because Carl is a financial analyst and she is an accountant. {My husband is a CPA and I am truly impressed that both Katie and Carl have the creative side of their brain since I often tease my husband about missing that gene!}

Katie's Vinyl Decor Team

How cute are they?

As Katie told me, “We work with numbers all day and then during the evenings and weekends we get to do the fun creative work.” Love it! Somehow they also raise 3 boys, too. I’m impressed!

Katie’s Vinyl Decor offers wall decals, car decals, etched bakeware and custom clothing. I had a hard time choosing what I wanted to order — there were so many fun things. I love how decals can replace traditional artwork, which can get very expensive. These are a great alternative for filling up some wall space in a beautiful, personalized way. Here are a few of my favorite designs they have, but they have more than 100+ items available:

Katie's Vinyl Decor Examples

The decals are SO simple to install, too. Believe me, if I can do it while taking photos and caring for 3 needy little kids, you can too!

The process was super simple. Let me just say this is one more reason why a library card is the best card in your wallet! I used mine to get the decal to adhere to the wall. I should also note that while the backing is sticky, it’s super easy to move around until you get it in the perfect spot. I loved that I could see what it would look like before I made it stick for good.

Katie's Vinyl Wall Decor Image

Ta-Da! The final product. I love the look of it!

Wall Decal

[Read more…]

My Childhood Country Home {Personal Post}

I drove by my childhood home yesterday. With content kids and a rarely sleeping baby packed in the back, it just seemed like the logical thing to do…To let the old country roads where I spent 11 years of my life, take me home.

When I arrived, all I kept thinking about was how crazy something that seems so small and rundown could house so many big moments — from my first steps to my first sleepover. I couldn’t help but reflect on all the happiness I experienced living there.

Country Roads

The woods in the back made me a nature seeker. I made many mud pies on the beach of our man-made pond and swam in the cool water until my toes couldn’t touch and the fish nibbled them.

I climbed the giant maples and oaks lining the road, playing for hours in our homemade tree fort. I named the stones lining the hill of our rock garden adjacent to our house.

I listened to bullfrogs bellow through a cracked window during hot summer nights and learned how to whistle just like the Northern Bobwhites. I climbed out my bedroom window onto our covered deck and looked at the stars, making a wish with every falling one I could spot.

I shrieked at the sight of snakes and mice, but tried my best not to step on a Daddy-Longlegs or caterpillar. We often took in stray cats, dropped off by city dwellers.

My feet were hard and calloused from being barefoot all the time. I walked on rocks and hot pavement like a champ during summer.

I crouched low to pick strawberries from our tilled garden and wild blackberries from our secret spot, carefully peeling away the vines from the fruit so my fingers wouldn’t get pricked by thorns. I cut lilacs from our bush, and craved the sweet scent filling our kitchen each May. [Read more…]

LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Coming to Great Lakes Crossing Outlets in Summer 2016

Rumors have been confirmed for LEGO coming to Auburn Hills and I have the official scoop from Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, ya’ll! Who is SO excited for this?!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Information from press materials:

Construction will begin this summer on LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Michigan at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets. The attraction will join SEA LIFE as a premier destination for adults and children when it opens at the center in Spring 2016.

LEGOLAND Discovery Centers are unique indoor attractions based on the popular LEGO brick.

LEGO coming to Auburn Hills

Specifically designed for families with children 3-10 years old, LEGOLAND Discovery Center Michigan will offer a fun, highly interactive and educational two- to three-hour experience with a range of exciting LEGO play areas including a brick pool, master classes from the LEGO Master Model Builder, a fun LEGO ride, special party rooms for birthdays and other celebrations, a 4D cinema and, of course, the popular MINILAND area found in every LEGOLAND Park and attraction. Unique to every Center MINILAND reflects the iconic buildings of each individual attraction’s location, and the local community will have a chance to nominate Detroit-area landmarks in a contest to be announced at a later date.

Operated by global leisure giant Merlin Entertainments plc (Merlin), LEGOLAND Discovery Center Michigan will be Merlin’s eighth Discovery Center to open in the United States. The LEGOLAND Discovery Center Michigan will be the state’s only location, and will represent Merlin’s eighth Discovery Center in the United States.

Once completed, LEGOLAND Discovery Center Michigan will be located in District 6 which is adjacent to the Great Lakes Crossing Outlets food court.

Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, Michigan’s largest indoor regional outlet center and entertainment venue, is located at I-75 and Baldwin Road in Auburn Hills.

For more information, visit www.greatlakescrossingoutlets.com.

Are your kids LEGO obsessed like mine?! Next summer can’t come fast enough!

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Our #PureMichigan Getaway to Stafford’s Crooked River Lodge {+ 2 Night Stay Giveaway! ENDS 3/28}

CRL logo outlined

Last weekend, I had the awesome privilege as a blogger to travel to my happy place — Northern Michigan, specifically to stay and review Stafford’s Crooked River Lodge, located in Alanson. While people looked at me like I had three eyes when I said I was heading to the Petoskey area during winter, I brushed it off knowing the awesomeness in store.

As we drove north, I literally got emotional taking in all the beauty of the snow, the beautiful white birch trees and millions of pines we passed along the way. I just felt a sigh of relief to getaway from all of life’s distraction — even for two nights.

After 3.5 hours in the car, we arrived at our destination. My 4-year-old asked if we were at the North Pole. I couldn’t blame her thinking, it felt like it!

Stafford's Crooked River Lodge

Walking into the lodge was everything we envisioned our Northern Michigan getaway to be: friendly faces, a chandelier made of antlers and a blazing fire inside and out, surrounded by welcoming adirondack chairs. I mean, couldn’t you relax and spend some time here?

Crooked River Lodge 2

Lucky for us, a cancellation meant we were upgraded to the River View Suite. Talk about the SUITE life. It was the most amazing place we’ve ever stayed. A full kitchen, a massive shower to fit our entire family, plenty of beds {sleeps 12!} and even a gorgeous balcony overlooking the river. I told my husband I could easily live here.

River View Suites - Stafford's Crooked River Lodge

I love that all the suites include a kitchen. This is crucial with small children!

[Read more…]

Cinderella 2015: Courage, Kindness and A Whole Lotta Sparkle

Cinderella

I attended a sneak peek of Cinderella. All opinions expressed are my own.

“So this is love, mhm mhmm mhm mhm” rang through my head while I watched the newest Disney film debuting in theaters today: Cinderella. While the song never actually appeared in the film {or much vocal music for that matter}, the classic story was brought to life in a stunning manner, from the England landscape to every detailed costume.

The film followed the Disney animated classic pretty tightly, but did have a few little surprises sprinkled throughout. The mice did not talk {I was SO relieved over this}, but they were pretty adorable and their personalities shown through — even fan favorite chubby Gus Gus.

Lily James was excellent in the role of Cinderella. She was so sugary sweet with her perfect teeth and cool hair, I couldn’t help but fall in love with her myself! The evil stepmother – Cate Blanchett – also rocked the role and her cold hard stares had me shaking in my boots. I was hoping for a tad more depth to Helena Bonham Carter’s role as the Fairy Godmother and narrator, but the brilliant costuming and CGI during her scene made up for it.

The film was visually beautiful and brought some new sparkle to this classic love story. Like literal sparkle…The glass slippers were amazing in Swarovski crystal. Swarovski also provided more than 7 million crystals that were used in costumes and 100 tiaras for the ball scene. “Sparkly” is pretty much the perfect word to describe this film. The film’s scenery also made me want to travel to the countryside of England. Simply gorgeous. [Read more…]

Stair Barrier Review: Attractive and Functional Baby Gate

The Stair Barrier

I received a Stair Barrier in exchange for my thoughts on the product. Affiliate links are included below.

When my friend Metro Detroit Mommy posted information about Stair Barrier awhile back, I fell in love and knew I had to check this product out for myself with a growing infant and stairs with banisters. I had never seen such a cool barrier to help keep babies {or toddlers! or doggies!} off the stairs. Attractive and functionality together? Sign me up!

First, some background: For the past month or so, I’ve been trying my best to get Miles, my 7-month-old, on a schedule…I *need* to count on at least an hour of work during the day as a work-at-home-mom. Unfortunately, he only holds up his end of the nap bargain once every few days. When he does have a decent nap, he often gets woken up by his big sisters running by his room {despite a noise machine and fan} or so I can take the big kid to preschool in the afternoon. Suffice to say, on the days he actually goes down and we are home, I need him to sleep as long as possible, which means my girls need to stay downstairs and far away from his room.

Stair Barrier - Close Up

Stair Barrier to the rescue!

We have used different gates in the past, but two things bothered me: Making holes in the wall and the way they look. Seriously — Eye.Sore. Yes, I have toys scattered throughout the house, but something about a bulky wooden gate right when you walked in my front door really irks me. I want people to feel welcome when they enter, not put off by our crazy {yet kid-friendly} home.

Girls Opening the Stair Barrier

Can you tell my girls like mail?! They were so excited to check it out! [Read more…]

CHUGGINGTON LIVE In Detroit April 12 {+ Giveaway ENDS 3/24}

Chuggington Live in Detroit April 12, 2015

The North American premiere tour of CHUGGINGTON LIVE! The Great Rescue Adventure, produced by Life Like Touring and Ludorum, rolls into the Fox Theatre in Detroit on April 12 with performances at 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.; locally presented by AT&T. The live-action, musical children’s show, based on the popular TV series, gives young fans and their families the opportunity to experience the train-tastic adventures of the Chuggington trainees, Wilson, Brewster and Koko. How cute does this show look?!

TICKETS

Tickets {$20.50, $29.50, $38.50 and $58.50 for VIP}  are on sale now and can be purchased at OlympiaEntertainment.com, The Fox Theatre and Joe Louis Arena box offices, Hockeytown Authentics in Troy {without service charge} at all Ticketmaster locations and Ticketmaster.com. To charge tickets by phone, call (800) 745-3000. Discounts are available on select seats for groups of 10 or more by calling 313-471-3099. The VIP ticket offers the best seats in the house and a Chuggington Live! goody bag. The goody bag includes: a postergram, 2’x3’ imprinted play mat, cardboard sheet of die-cut trains, sheet of temporary tattoos, paint-with-water coloring page and stickers all contained in a poly bag. These contents are subject to change.

VISIT HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS –> www.olympiaentertainment.com/events/detail/chuggington-live-the-great-rescue-adventure [Read more…]

Breakfast on the Farm 2015 – FREE Family Fun Events in Michigan

Breakfast on the Farm - Michigan

It’s getting to be that season…Baby animals are being born and it has me thinking about all the amazing farm events on the horizon. Three things I love: Michigan, agriculture and FREE family fun.

It’s my belief that each and every child deserves the opportunity to visit a farm and see where their food comes from. That’s why I love the Breakfast on the Farm events {a Michigan State University Extension Program}. These FREE events take place every year across the state.

Breakfast on the Farm 2015 events include:

July 11: Mason County Breakfast on the Farm hosted by Stakenas Farms, Free Soil, Mich.

July 25:  Sanilac County Breakfast on the Farm hosted by Roto-Z Dairy Farm, Snover, Mich.

August 8: Van Buren County Breakfast on the Farm hosted by Hood Farms Family Dairy, Paw Paw, Mich.

August 15: Gratiot County Breakfast on the Farm hosted by Wheeler Dairy, Breckenridge, Mich.

{Not affiliated with this program, but another event I love is Family Fun at the Farm, which will be in Ionia on June 6. Learn more here.}

Cow Milking at Breakfast on the Farm

Milking a pretend cow at BOTF in Machester last year [Read more…]

Easy Recipe: Thin Crust Spinach, Blue Cheese and Pecan Pizza {399 Calories!}

Thin Crust Spinach, Blue Cheese and Pecan Pizza

You know when you’re a kid and people ask what your favorite food is? Well, mine is pizza – hands down. Always has been, always will be. So when fellow Michigan blogger Being Cheap Easy did a shout for creative pizza ideas for #PizzaFriday, I knew I had to share my recent favorite.

Recent studies show how families need to re-think our pizza addiction. Because of this, I’ve tried to be better about making pizza at home, and with better, less processed ingredients.

Instead of the high calorie traditional pepperoni and cheese pizzas, I’ve been experimenting with adding more veggies and getting creative. I can’t always get my kids to eat it my way, which is why I love Flatout’s Artisan Thin Pizza Crust — I can make my own little pizza to accompany whatever I make for them. {Bonus points: Flatout is based in Saline, Michigan!}

My combo includes blue cheese, pecan pieces and spinach. I love that spinach’s mild flavor is perfect for getting a boost of vitamin A, K and calcium and iron. Woot!

I also love that this pizza is only 399 calories. I eat the entire thing, feel full, and squash my daily salt craving with it. It’s so good it feels indulgent.

Thin Crust Spinach, Blue Cheese and Pecan Pizza Ingredients [Read more…]

5 Easy Steps To Spring Clean Your Bathroom

The post below is sponsored by Meijer Beauty. All opinions expressed are my own.

I admit it: I’m a bit of an organization nut. I mean, I function in chaos 99% of the time corralling three little ones, so when things are actually in my control? I kind of love it. I recently read an article showing how clutter can be linked to depression, especially among women. It went as far as to say:

Women associate a tidy home with a happy and successful family. The more dishes that pile up in the sink, the more anxious women feel.

I can absolutely vouch. My entire life just runs smoother when my house is clean and organized. My house isn’t remotely perfect, but I strive to have a picked up house {after the kids go to bed} – it truly helps me to relax and be able to focus as a work-from-home mom. I always joke that I wish we had visitors between the hours of 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. because that’s the only time our house doesn’t have toys everywhere!

So, I basically love spring cleaning, and having an excuse to purge. To make it manageable, I break it up between each room and do a little each day once a quarter.

5 Easy Steps To Spring Clean Your Bathroom

One area I need to keep up with for my sanity is our bathroom, which always seems to accumulate things. I finally broke down and created a system that has worked very well for us during the past few years. So here’s my quick 5 easy steps to spring clean your bathroom:

1. Sort small items that seem to collect quickly in clear, plastic bins. Sure, wicker looks nice, but being spill proof and clear so items are easy to spot is crucial.

Spring Cleaning Bathroom Tips - Clear Bins
The bins I have: All things dental, surplus lotions/mini shampoos for traveling, adult medicines, kid medicines and first aid. I always make sure to look at expiration dates and toss what has gone bad. And the kid medicine one is crucial when you’re stumbling around in the middle of the night looking for a way to heal a crying baby. [Read more…]

Family Fun in March 2015 in Southeast Michigan {Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint and Lansing}

Family Fun in March 2015 in Southeast Michigan

Who is excited that March brings the first day of SPRING and Daylight Saving Time? We have never felt so ready in our lives. I love snow, but at this point, I’m just starting to feel over winter.

With that said, it means things are starting to heat up with family fun in March 2015 in Southeast Michigan. Check out the events I found around Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint and Lansing and be sure to chime in if I’ve missed any great ones. I’ll also keep adding them as I find them, so check back often :D

Throughout March — Flick’s Family Festival at Celebration Cinemas {Lansing and other various Michigan cities} – Features FREE movies for kids 12 and under and just $4 for adults. Showtimes are available on the Tuesday evenings the week the movie starts. Upcoming movies include: Dolphin Tale 2, Annie, The Box Trolls, The Book of Life and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

Throughout March — Goodrich Quality Theaters Free Spring Movies — {Ann Arbor, Canton, Oxford and other Michigan cities} — See nine weeks of previously released, kid-friendly films for FREE every Saturday and Sunday at 9 and 10 a.m. March films include: The Box Trolls, Dolphin Tale 2, Earth to Echo, The Book of Life and RIO 2.

Throughout March — Children’s Spring Festival at MJR Digital Cinemas {Various locations throughout SE Michigan} — FREE movies for children, ages 12 and under, and just $1 for adults! Keep an eye on Facebook for the exact showtimes, to be announced throughout the month.

MJR Children's Spring Festival

March 1 — Belle’s Enchanted Tea Party {Flint} — The Young People’s Ballet Theatre are presenting the timeless story of Beauty and the Beast at the University of Michigan-Flint Theatre. For a special day at the ballet, join the characters from Beauty and the Beast at Blackstone’s Grill for Belle’s Enchanted Tea Party. This event includes tea sandwiches and refreshments, photo opportunities with characters from the ballet, premium seating for the Sunday 2 p.m. show, and a special gift from Belle. Seating is limited, $40 per person.

March 2 — READ ACROSS AMERICA DAY {Nationwide} — Check your local library for great events!

March 3 — IHOP National Pancake Day {Nationwide} — Stop into IHOP for FREE pancakes! Guests are encouraged to make a contribution to their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital and if you make a $5 donation, you will receive a coupon good for $5 off your next visit. {This is an annual tradition for us! I think it’s like 40 cents to add chocolate chips, too — so worth it!}

March 7 — Leslie Science & Nature Center Parent’s Night Out {Ann Arbor} — Parent’s Night Out: Creatures of the Night is designed for kids ages 6-12, and will give parents an evening to enjoy themselves while their children have fun learning about the animals that are awake all night long. Kids will enjoy a night hike, meet an owl up close, and explore how human and animal senses work in the dark. Attendees will also have a pizza dinner and snack provided by LSNC. 5-9 p.m. $25/child.

Home Depot Kids Workshop - Book EndsMarch 7 — Home Depot Kids Workshop {Nationwide} — Visit Home Depot to build bookends! Workshops teach children do-it-yourself skills, tool safety and instill a sense of pride and accomplishment. Kids get to keep their craft, receive a certificate of achievement, a workshop apron, and a pin. 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. FREE. Register here.

March 7-8 — Wild Winter Safari Social at the Detroit Zoo {Royal Oak} — Escape the winter “blahs” with hot drinks and cool treats at Wild Winter Safari Social. Animal arts and crafts, face painting, animal enrichment activities, talks by the Zoo’s expert keepers and a winter safari scavenger hunt add to the fun. All activities are free with Zoo admission and take place 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Ford Education Center. Admission range: Free for 2 and under; $10-$14 for others.

March 7 & 9 — Family-Friendly Film at the Michigan Theater – The LEGO Movie in 3D {Ann Arbor} — Part of the Toyota Family-Friendly Film Series. 1:30 p.m. Adults – $10, seniors/children 13+ – $8. Free for kids 12 and under. [Read more…]

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