Thanksgiving is always such a hectic time of year! This year, it was especially so because we had visitors from out of town for over a week to entertain, and I somehow was given the responsibility of organizing Thanksgiving dinner for everyone!
To my surprise, I received a VoxBox from Influenster and Chinet earlier in the week, which made our Thanksgiving table a little prettier and clean up a little easier!
The VoxBox included plastic cups, cutlery, dessert plates and stemless wine glasses, all from the Cut Crystal collection. I love Chinet products because even though they are disposables, their plates, cups and other items are sturdy and classy!
Throughout the week, I did my Thanksgiving meal shopping and picked up a lot of pre-made items from the HoneyBaked Ham store. Additionally, I baked two pies on Wednesday night.
Earlier this month, I attended my first ever Moms Meet’s WOW Summit Blogger Day. I decided to attend the summit for a number of reasons, including the location. The Summit was being held at the Hyatt Regency Orange County in Garden Grove, California, which is about an hour away from us. I also found this event to be smaller than other mom blogger events, which I thought would be beneficial, and finally, I have been working with Moms Meet for about almost a year now, and I love working with them!
Moms Meet focuses on “better-for-you” products, which I am all about!
Arrival and Registration
I headed up to Orange County just as the event was starting, as I had to wait for my nanny’s shift to begin. Hubby would be in charge of the kiddos for the rest of the weekend while I spent the weekend away.
I got to the site just before 10 AM and headed straight to registration to pick up my badge.
Speakers and Workshops
Despite my late arrival, I was able to attend the majority of the sessions that I was interested in. So many women were there to share their knowledge and experience with other women. That is community over competition!
In addition to the speakers, there were four different workshop sessions to attend. I loved that the conference repeated the same workshops twice so that you could attend two different workshops!
There were several breaks during the day to eat and network. Table 5 Pizza hosted the Blogger Lunch and Alove yogurt and NestFresh eggs hosted the afternoon tea and coffee break.
The daytime activities were rounded out with time to visit the exhibit hall. This is one of my favorite parts of these types of conferences because I love learning about new products and brands.
Many of the brands that I had previously worked with for MomsMeet were represented, like PlusCBD Oil and Malaysian Palm Oil.
I also learned about many other brands such as Sambucol, Wild Planet, Good Catch and Hippo Sak. One of my favorite products that I learned about though is OCHO Candy. OMG their chocolate bars are addictive!
I got to sample products, talk to brands, network and take products home with me!
Goodies and Gift Bag
Now, let’s talk about goodies! This first picture is just the goodies I got from walking the exhibit hall. Before leaving the conference, I also picked up my WOW Summit gift bag which was loaded with products as well.
Seriously, these blogger conferences are the only places I go where I arrive with 3 bags and leave with 6 bags!
WOW Summit Blogger Day was so educational both in terms of learning the blogger business and learning about new-to-me brands and products!
Next year’s Moms Meet WOW Summit will be held on September 27 and 28, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. For more information, visit MomsMeet.com
Today, I am looking back at the twins’ second Halloween. Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays, and as you know, I love creating new traditions with my family, involving them in activities and making memories together. This year, I planned out, sourced and created our family Halloween costumes, we painted and decorated pumpkins together, we went trick-or-treating at a local shopping center and spent Halloween day playing at Kid Ventures.
Continue reading for all the details on our Halloween 2018. Since I did not start this blog until after last Halloween, I also wanted to share with you a look back on the twins’ first Halloween.
Pumpkin Painting with Toddlers
Pumpkin carving is one of my favorite fall activities. I have made it an annual tradition in our home since I was a young adult. I’m sure there were years, here and there, where we missed pumpkin carving, especially when we were in graduate school or traveling, but it has been a consistent activity for years.
This year, we tweaked our pumpkin carving tradition so that we could enjoy it with the twins without worrying about the mess or the safety of trying to carve pumpkins while getting our twin toddlers involved.
Earlier in the month, we purchased four pumpkins during our visit to Bates Nut Farm. Unfortunately, one of the pumpkins developed mold, so it had to go before we got the chance to paint it. When it was time for our painting activity, we were left with only three pumpkins to decorate.
I purchased some last minute supplies from Target, including kid safe paint, paint brushes and googly eyes. The pumpkin decorating supplies were pretty slim picking since it was the weekend before Halloween.
I also had some leftover tablecloth from a previous party that we used to cover the kitchen floor and smocks from Ikea that are perfect for arts and crafts with the twins.
We noticed that older brother was a little bit more adept and focused when it came to painting the pumpkins, but little brother had a lot of fun too!
Overall, I would say our pumpkin painting activity was a success and they even turned out pretty nice!
DIY Halloween Costumes
We decided to go as our own little zoo for Halloween this year. I purchased a lion and a giraffe costume from Carter’s for the boys and sourced my and hubby’s costumes from our closets and Goodwill.
I found the perfect khaki dress for myself and a khaki dress shirt for hubby from Goodwill. They were $4.99 each. To complete our zookeeper uniforms, I found the logo for the San Diego Zoo online and then re-sized and printed them onto iron-on t-shirt transfers. Finally, all I had to do was figure out the placement for the transfers and iron them on. Super simple!
Then, we were able to finish our looks with items already in our closet. I added a brown belt and black flats, and hubby wore brown khaki pants and a hat. I think our costumes come out so great, especially considering the cost!
Trick or Treating at the Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch
On the Sunday before Halloween, one of our local shopping centers held a trick-or-treating event for the kiddos and we decided to make that our Halloween activity for this year and skip trick-or-treating on Halloween night.
This year, the boys were able to walk to the stores by themselves and carry their Halloween buckets by themselves. We led them to each store that was participating, but they could find the person giving out candy, pick a piece and put it in their bucket.
They totally got the concept, but at 19 months old, they still don’t know what candy is.
We went to the majority of the stores that were participating before we got exhausted and took a break in Starbucks.
When we got home, the boys played with the candy for a little while before we took it away from them. Most of it wound up being shared with hubby’s co-workers the next day!
I had so much fun trick-or-treating with the boys because I could tell they were having fun and got the concept of it all. Plus, they were so freaking adorable in their costumes!
Halloween Day at Kid Ventures
On the day before Halloween, I got an email that Kid Ventures was offering 50% off admission for those dressed in costume on Halloween Day. Since we needed something to do anyway, I decided to take the boys there for a few hours. Kid Ventures is one of the local indoor play gyms for younger kids, and I had never been before and wanted to check it out.
The twins had a blast and could have stayed there much longer, but we had to attend a birthday lunch.
Kid Ventures was also doing some activities throughout the day, but the boys were more interested in playing and running around.
Trick-or-treating – Halloween 2017
Last year’s Halloween was very different from this year’s mostly because the boys and I were still living at my parents’ house in Los Angeles, while hubby was living and working in San Diego and would come to visit us on the weekends.
My parents and I took the boys trick-or-treating on Halloween night at Del Amo Fashion Center, near their house in Torrance. They were only 8 months old at the time, so they had no idea of what was going on. When I look back, I cannot believe how little they were! We stopped by only a handful of stores, ate dinner and headed home with our little astronauts!
Hope you enjoyed reading about our Halloween! I cannot wait to see how grown up they will be next year. Now on to planning for Halloween 2019!