Thanksgiving 2018 with Chinet

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!

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Thanksgiving with Chinet Cut Crystal Collection

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!

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Chinet Cut Crystal cups, cutlery, dessert plates and stemless wine glasses

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.

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Let the pie baking begin!

I made a classic pumpkin pie and a pecan pie. I must say that my pumpkin pie was the most perfect that I have ever been able to bake! It was so neat (as in tidy).

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Pumpkin pie is ready!
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Pecan pie going in the oven

On Thursday, I put together a little appetizer tray with some inspiration from Google images! Lol…it’s a turkey! I also made a green bean casserole, which is one of my must-have Thanksgiving dinner sides.

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Turkey-shaped appetizer platter

We headed over to my brother’s house once the boys woke up from their afternoon nap and helped put the rest of dinner on the table, played with the boys and enjoyed the company of family.

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Our Thanksgiving table was full of delicious food! The menu included a whole turkey, ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, Cope’s corn pudding (a Pennsylvania tradition), candied yams (a Texas tradition), gravy and cranberry sauce!

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The dinner spread
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My plate was full!

Unfortunately, the boys were not too impressed with Thanksgiving dinner. They barely ate anything, although they did eat a bunch of the appetizer platter!

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For dessert, along with my pumpkin and pecan pies, we also got a cheesecake from the HoneyBaked Ham store.

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Pumpkin pie on Chinet Cut Crystal plate

Before calling it a night, we were able to take some photos by the Christmas tree. Our apartment is too small to accommodate a tree so I am glad that we got to borrow my brother’s for some family pictures!

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Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

7th Annual Celebrity Red Carpet Safety Event

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On Saturday, we attended the 7th annual Celebrity Red Carpet Safety Event, held on the Sony Pictures Studio Lot in Culver City, California. This fun, educational event is hosted by Ali Landry and Saarah Samadani (aka Beauty Momme) and aims to spread awareness on keeping our children safe, especially in the area of car seat safety.

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So much to do at the Red Carpet Safety Event

There was so much to do! There were car seat safety checks, an art and coloring station, flower crowns, car seat safety demonstrations from Diono, UPPAbaby, Nuna, Cybex and DOONA, a ton of high-end brands to learn more about, including Munchkin, OXOTot, Babyganics, ergobaby, Happy Family and so many more.

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Checking out products from Munchkin

Honestly, we spent the majority of the time playing! Step2 had a huge set up at the event with coasters, play houses, kitchens, workshops, a ball pit and push cars.

The boys loved the play kitchens and coasters. They could have stayed there all day long and had so much fun! There was also a bunch of water tables set up for play time, but we didn’t want to drive home with soaking wet twins!

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Having fun in the ball pit!

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Exploring one of Step2’s Kitchens

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Little brother getting his workshop in order

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Coaster!!!

As I mentioned before, this event occurs annually. Ticket prices depending on what level of ticket you purchase. We paid around $85 for our ticket, which included admission for the entire family, a gift bag and the Step2 Metro Modern Kitchen. Amazon is currently selling the same kitchen for $152, so the fact that our ticket price included the kitchen makes the ticket ridiculously worth the price.

Now, for the gift bag. It is seriously loaded with stuff! There is too much to list it all, but a few of my favorites are the Munchkin stainless steel 360 cup and the OXOTot roll up bib.

To be honest, this event was one of my favorite family events so far and we are definitley going to make every attempt to attend again next year!

 

 

July 4th Recap – 2018

Hope you all had a Happy Fourth of July! We had a relaxing day of fun with the kiddos and enjoyed the gorgeous San Diego weather. It was actually one of the more relaxing days I can remember since becoming a mom. This was our second 4th of July as a family of four.

We started off the day by visiting a local splash pad. We met up with my brother, sister-in-law and nephew, and we let the boys run around and play.

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They were having a lot of fun running around freely, but I don’t think they appreciated getting water in their faces. They also looked ridiculously cute in their swimming outfits.

After they seemed to have their fill of water play, we headed over to Breakfast Republic for brunch. They were so busy but were able to accommodate our party of seven quicker than we excepted. I had a feeling that service would be slow and I was correct.

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I don’t drink much anymore and haven’t for years, but I thought that I deserved a drink this holiday. I ordered the michelada, which is basically a bloody mary with beer instead of vodka. It was actually quite tasty.

For my meal, I got the chilaquiles and I was pretty disappointed with them. They came out barely warm and weren’t great.

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After brunch, we headed back home to rest and let the kids nap. I also wound up taking a nap. We decided at the last minute to invite my brother and his family over to barbecue, so hubby had to run to the grocery store to get supplies. The pool in our community opened back up after renovations that day, so we were going to hit the pool and grill up some burgers.

We headed over to the pool at around 5:30 pm. It was still busy, but we were able to grab some lounge chairs all together and share one of the grills with another party.

One of our neighbors brought their pet bird with her and it was very interested in the babies.

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This was the boys’ first time in the pool and they were a little frightened to say the least. Hopefully, they start to feel more comfortable in the water once we start going to the pool more often.

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The guys grilled up some delicious homemade patties. They were half regular beef and half wagyu beef. So juicy and tasty.

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I also baked some boxed Funfetti cupcakes! That was all I could manage with the two guys on my hands but they actually weren’t bad.

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Once we finished dinner, it was already past the boys’ bedtime and we still had to give them baths and get them ready for bed.

I was hoping to watch some fireworks on tv, but our tv decided to have issues this week and we basically had to reset the whole system and have not had time to reprogram it yet. We also could not see any of the fireworks from our place, so none for us this year. One of the things I am thankful for about not living in New Mexico anymore is that fireworks are illegal here for regular folks to buy. Woohoo! So no more weekend after weekend of fireworks in our neighborhood.

Hope you all had a fun, safe and relaxing July 4th!

Visiting the San Diego County Fair with Twins

This week, the boys and I visited the San Diego County Fair for the first time. This annual event is held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds and is the largest county fair in the nation!

The fair has a different theme each year, and this year’s theme was “How Sweet It Is!” Such a fun, happy and colorful theme, which gave us plenty of opportunities for photos.

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I honestly think this has been our most ambitious outing to date, and I was quite nervous about how our day would turn out! Along with our double stroller, I made sure to pack hats, shoes, lunches (for them), sunscreen and water for the whole family. The boys wound up spending the majority of the time in the stroller, just taking things in. They did not really complain at all throughout the time we were at the fair.

We arrived just after the gates opened at 11 AM, and by the time we parked, walked over, got through the gate and lathered up with sunscreen, the first Pig Race of the day was about to go down!

Pig Races

I managed to get the boys out of the stroller and find us seats in the bleachers on my own. A twin momma’s gotta do what a twin momma’s gotta do! The race was hilarious because only one pig ran to the finish line!

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Livestock Viewing

My boys absolutely love animals and so do I, so we made a stop to some of the livestock viewing areas and saw goats, sheep, cows, chicken, turkeys, bunnies and more!

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Theme Exhibit

Because of the “How Sweet It is” theme, this year’s fair featured a candy-themed exhibition with the history of candy-making, a candy-themed performance, shopping opportunities and photo opps! It was so cute!

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I’m actually not a huge candy person (chocolate for me!) but I thought the whole set-up was ridiculously fun!

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Fair Food

After walking around for about an hour, it was time to settle in and find some food. I have visited the Texas State Fair a number of times, and the fair food is a big deal at that event every year. I was slightly disappointed with the lack of information on the fair food at the San Diego County Fair. I had no idea where to go, what was new this year or what was available except for what I could see from walking around.

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I really wanted a corn dog, so I stopped at the first stand that I saw that had them. Big mistake. I wound up with a corn dog the size of my forearm that cost $12. I was only able to finish about 1/3 of it and it wasn’t even tasty! Ugh!

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I was pretty annoyed by my fair food fail for the rest of the day because I did not have room to sample anything else. Boohoo!

Besides this unicorn leg, I did not see anything else that seemed “special,” in that all of the food was standard fair food. I did hear that there was a ramen burrito somewhere but I did not see it. I was hoping to see more interesting and strange food. Maybe I just missed it. Oh well.

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CA Grown Exhibit

The California Grown exhibit focuses on the important place agriculture has in California and San Diego. We found the exhibit to be informative and interesting for both the kids and I.

There were more animals to see, including chickens, cows and llamas.

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The boys got to play in a corn sandbox too! Only problem was that they kept trying to put the corn in their mouths!

Flower and Garden Show

The Flower and Garden Show was the last place we visited. They boys loved the model train set, which was also candy-themed.

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They also did not seem to mind that I wanted to check out the ribbon-winning flowers and displays.

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In total, we spent about three hours at the fair and did not come close to seeing everything, but that was okay. Rides and games are not the top priority for me when going to the fair, and since the boys are so young, those are things that we can save for when they get bigger.

As we were leaving, I had a difficult time finding our car, so we wound up wandering the parking lot for about 10 minutes before we were able to leave. Despite the couple of hiccups that we experienced, I had a really good time at the fair! Hopefully, we can make it back again next year.

Tips:

  • Prioritize what you want to see and do. The fair website has of good information on how to plan your visit.
  • There is a lot to see, so don’t expect to see everything in one visit, if you are like us and only plan to spend a few hours versus the entire day and night at the fair.
  • Remember what gate you entered through and where you parked. The parking lots don’t have section markers, so I suggest counting the number of rows back you are in and finding a landmark to remember where you parked.
  • Bring lots of sun protection! Sunscreen, hats and sunglasses. Also, unopened water bottles are permitted, and empty reusable bottles and sippy cups are permitted. I bought bottled water before we got to the fair and filled my bottle and sippy cups once we got through the security gate.
  • Bring wipes and hand sanitizer. You will come into contact with lots of germs, especially if you visit the livestock viewing areas. While there are hand washing stations around the fairgrounds, having wipes and hand sanitizer on me made me feel better, especially since the boys are still putting their hands in their mouths a lot!

A Week in the Life of a SAHM with Twins

Rather than doing the usual “Day in the Life of” post, I thought I would share with you a typical week in my life, as a stay-at-home mom of twin boys. Every single week is different, so a typical week is just like this in that every day and every week changes. Hope you enjoy a glimpse of our week!

Monday

Get the kids up, dressed, fed and settled in for playtime. I eat breakfast and get dressed. I have an appointment with my primary doctor this morning and will have to take the kids with me since we don’t have childcare this day.

Get out the door and make it on time for my appointment! Win!

I decided to play things by ear today, since you never know how long an appointment will last or how long you’ll have to wait. The appointment was surprisingly fast and we had some time before the boys’ second nap. Luckily, I packed their lunch so I decide to head over to the library for storytime. I get us parked and load up the kids, and they have their lunch outside of the library. Lucky for us, we live in a place where we can eat outside all year round!

This was our first time attending this storytime, and the twins loved it! I also loved it because it combined stories with singing and baby sign language.

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We head home and the boys have their snack. Then it is time for their nap! I finally get to eat my lunch and take care of a few things while they are sleeping. After their nap, they get a snack and play until their nanny comes.

While the nanny is here, I take the doggie for a walk and prepare dinner. She oversees their playtime, dinner, gets them ready for bed and down for the night. After dinner, I have a few hours to prepare for tomorrow and the rest of the week, as well as work on tweets and planning posts.

Tuesday

In the morning, we headed to the park for a playgroup and started Easter footprint crafts with the twins. The playgroup organizer took them home to finish for us to pick up later in the week.

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We headed home for naptime and lunch. Both of our nannies came over today, so I was able to head to the gym, make a Target run and do grocery shopping for the week.

Wednesday

We had a bit of a whirlwind morning. First, we met up with daddy to tour a preschool. San Diego preschools are pretty competitive as far as enrollment goes, so we are trying to nail down a preschool in the next couple of months. This is the third preschool I have looked at so far.

After the tour, we said bye to daddy and went to pick up our completed Easter crafts. They turned out so cute!

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Next, we headed to Del Mar Plaza to see a Hullabaloo concert. The boys had a lot of fun! They stayed in their stroller the whole time but were listening to the music, playing with the scarves and shakers.

 

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Our evening nanny is on vacation for the next two weeks, so hubby came home early to help get the little guys into bed. I still managed to cook dinner and do a few things around the house before the day was done.

Thursday

I was planning to attend a coffee meet up this morning, but the twins were napping so well that I did not want to wake them. Instead, we stayed home for the day. The weather has been slightly icky for the last few days and I had to bring out the rain cover for the stroller so that we could go on a walk with Gus.

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The other nanny came over for the afternoon and the twins met with their new physical therapist for the first time. While the nanny was here, I packed for our trip to Los Angeles to visit my parents! Traveling with twins is like moving! So much stuff!

I did not feel like cooking so we ordered burgers from Monster Crafts Food Truck.

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After the kiddos went to bed, I spent some time loving on Gus because he wasn’t going to be joining us on our excursion.

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Friday

The nanny came over for a few hours. She took care of the littlest one, while I took big brother to the doctor. When I got home, I rushed around to pack up the car and get everything ready to leave for LA.

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Despite my best efforts, I managed to forget to bring the Pack N Play! Ugh! So little brother did not have a place to sleep, but we managed to make it work.

It took half an hour longer to get to my parents’ house, but we made it. Darn you, Friday afternoon traffic! Then it was time to unpack! We stayed in that evening and enjoyed some of my mom’s homecooking.

Saturday

My parents volunteered to watch the twins most of the day, so I had some time for myself. In the morning, I headed to Shine Studio in Redondo Beach for a POUND Fitness class.

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The class was so fun! It is a high energy cardio class, but you do all of the moves using drumstick-like instruments called RIPSTIX. So fun, and stress-releasing because you get to literally pound on the floor!

After class, I went home to shower and then headed out again. I drove to La Brea to meet two friends for brunch and Odys + Penelope.

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We ordered a selection of items to share, and everything was delicious!

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We got the prawns and cauliflower grits, doughnut holes, ricotta corn pancakes, chicken adobo fried rice and sweet potato galette. My favs were the fried rice and pancakes! YUM!

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We were having such fun talking that before we knew it, it had been two hours. I had to bounce because I had to drive all the way to Santa Monica. I’m not kidding. I spent about 2.5 hours driving that day.

I had my first experience with cryotherapy at CryoZone in Santa Monica, which I booked through classpass. I also booked the POUND class this morning through classpass.

I wound up being 10 minutes late to my appointment, but they still let me keep it. Whoops and thank goodness!

I have been having a lot of soreness and pain in my back, so I thought I would give cryotherapy a try. I first heard about cryotherapy from the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. LOL!

The whole experience was interesting. Basically, I got undressed and put on two layers of mittens, socks and warm boots and climbed into the machine. Once I was inside, I rang a doorbell and the therapist came back in the room and started my treatment. The whole thing lasts for 3 minutes and she talked to me the whole time, which helped it go by faster. It was actually hard to focus on what she was saying because I was busy focusing on how I felt – COLD and uncomfortable!

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Cryotherapy claims to reduce inflammation, boost metabolism and ease pain. I don’t know about the first two, but my back did feel better afterwards, but that only lasted until I had to care for my boys again!

After my treatment, it was back on the rode. It took me an hour to get home! Ugh!

I spent the rest of the day hanging out with my boys and nephew. My mom was watching him while my brother and sister-in-law attending a wedding.

Sunday

We headed to Del Amo Fashion Center for lunch at Din Tai Fung before the crowds arrived. I love DTF but never feels 100% satisfied after eating there.

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After lunch, we did some shopping and stalked the Easter bunny before heading home for the boys’ naptime.

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Well, that’s a quick glimpse at a week in our lives! Every day is different and hectic and fun, and I would not have it any other way. I’ll post a “Day in the Life” breakdown at some point in the future.

 

 

 

Easter 2018

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter! My what a difference a year makes. Last Easter, the twins were soooo tiny. In fact, they had not even reached their actual due date yet, even though they were almost 2 months old!

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My little guys are so big now compared to a year ago! Despite the fact that our family is not religious, I love celebrating Easter! I think it is the combination of fluffy animals, springtime and chocolate that makes me happy! My parents did not make a big deal out of Easter when we were growing up. There were no Easter egg hunts, Easter baskets, Easter dinners, photos with the Easter bunny or new Easter outfits. We pretty much got a few pieces of candy and went to church and that was it.

I feel like I am one of those parents that wants to give my kids experiences that I missed out on. Easter is no exception. This year, we headed to our neighborhood recreation center for the twins’ first Easter egg hunt. We were joined by my parents, brother, sister-in-law and nephew.

The field was set up for bigger kids and the little ones got the playground and a grassy knoll for their own egg hunt!

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There were plenty of eggs for everyone! My little guys got about five eggs each, which is just the right amount for these little dudes .
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After the egg hunt, we headed home to spend some more time with the family and ordered brunch at yummy Mendocino Farms. Mmmmm…What a great Easter weekend!

Museum Month: California Center for the Arts, Escondido

Did you take advantage of Macy’s Museum Month in February? Our month was so ridiculously busy that we were only able to make use of the pass one time. The combination of having lots of family visiting and being sick kept us from using it more.

Not to worry though. There is always next year and the next to visit some more of San Diego’s many fantastic museums!

We had a Saturday free, so we drove over to Escondido to visit the California Center of the Arts’ Museum. 

The museum is currently featuring two exhibits. The first one is Niki de Saint Phalle: Mythical California. After learning more about this artist, I really want to make a trip to see her Queen Califia’s Magical Circle sculpture garden also in Escondido! The exhibit featured the piece in miniature.

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The second exhibit is called Inspired: A Mosaic Invitational, which features contemporary mosaic pieces. I loved how whimsical and kid-friendly most of the pieces were. They ranged from a junk food tree to a mosaic carousel horse, bear and turtle sculptures!

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The museum is small, but it was definitely worth the trek out to Escondido, especially since we combined it with lunch at Stone Brewing Co. I loved sitting outside on the patio in the middle of February! It was gorgeous!

Did you get to use the Macy’s Museum Month pass this year?

San Diego Beer Moms – February Meetup

San Diego Beer Moms held its first event of 2018 last week, and now, that my schedule is finally back to normal, I was able to attend with the twins in tow. San Diego Beer Moms, part of the San Diego Moms Blog community, is a group of moms who love craft beer (duh!). They meet on a monthly basis at different breweries around San Diego County, to explore the beer scene and meet other moms. This was my first time attending an event, and I was a bit nervous to be honest!

The meetup was held at Ballast Point Brewing Company‘s Miramar location, which is a quick 15 minute drive from us.

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San Diego Beer Moms had a nice section of the tasting room reserved for the group and it included a number of four-seater high tops and a long high top communal table. There was also room for strollers!

The event included a drink ticket for one complimentary pint. I chose the Wahoo White, since I love citrus-y, light beers and it contains only 4.5% ABV for this light weight.

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I also ordered a house made hot pretzel with Sculpin beer cheese and California Amber beer mustard ($8) to soak up some of the beer so I could drive the kids and I to some errands afterwards!

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Aside from the booze and eats, the event was a fantastic way for me to get out and meet some moms! I am a total introvert and super reserved, but I feel like it is important for me to get out of the house every day and interact with grown adults at least of few times a week. I was lucky because everyone was super friendly!

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I am looking forward to attending another meet up soon!

The March meetup has been set, and it will be on March 29th from 5 to 7 pm at Savagewood Brewing Co.

For more information on San Diego Beer Moms, find them on:

Facebook – San Diego Beer Moms

Instagram – SD Beer Moms

 

Happy First Birthday!

How are these two sweet boys already one year old? It feels so strange that I have been a mom for one year now. Time flies and it really makes me appreciate all of the time I get to spend with my babies as a stay-at-home mom. It truly goes by so quickly!

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We celebrated the boys’ birthday a week early, since it was President’s Day and family members were able to fly out and spend more time over the long weekend than during their actual birthday weekend.

Folks flew in from Pennsylvania, Oregon, Texas and San Francisco to be with us. The theme I chose for the party was “Where the Wild Things Are” and I included a photo display of the boys’ monthly pictures from their first 11 months! It is so crazy to see how much they have changed!

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For food, I ordered Hawaiian food, just because. We had kalbi (Korean-style beef short ribs), baked fish, rice, macaroni salad, another salad and spam musubi. Yum!

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Of course, we had to have cake too, so I got a strawberries and cream custom cake and a two flavors of cupcakes!

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I love how the cake turned out. It is Max’s king of the wild things crown from the book! So adorable.

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We gave the boys their first taste of sugar for their birthday, and that was not a good idea. The boys had allergic reactions to something in the cakes and got sick. Hubby had to take little brother to the ER to get checked out after calling the pediatrician’s nurse line! The party quickly dispersed after that. Big brother’s reaction was a bit slower and he wound up getting sick too.

It’s all fun and games until someone winds up in the hospital. They just needed a bit of Benadryl and were okay. Thank goodness!

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After the kids had some time to recover, we were finally able to open presents later that night. They got so much cute stuff!

Things did not exactly go as planned, but it will be a birthday party to remember.

Decorations: Declan & Smith and Stripes to Sparkle

T-shirts: The Shindiggity Shoppe

Catering: Dakines Hawaiian Catering

Cake: Sweet Cheeks Bakery

Balloons: Dollar Tree

Hello from sunny San Diego

The last two weeks have been super overwhelming. Moving twice before your twins’ first birthday? Not recommended!

But we can finally get settled in. Downsizing from a three bedroom house with a garage to a two bedroom apartment has been rough. Plus, the moving company broke a ton of our furniture! So we have been having a hard time finding a place for everything we own, and unfortunately, that means purging!

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We have had a little bit of time to explore our neighborhood and hang out with my brother’s family.

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I’m trying not to get too stressed out about having everything in place. There is just so much to do: unpack, clean and take care of my whole family. It is going to be weeks still before I think we can say we are done unpacking and settled.

In the meantime, I am loving San Diego and feel so lucky to live here.

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On top of all of this, I am planning the twins’ first birthday party, which is only three weeks away! ARGH, so much to do!!!