Thursday, July 2, 2015

San Francisco 10th Anniversary Trip

Travis and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary last week! We decided to take a trip to San Francisco to celebrate. The crazy thing is, we had not gone on a trip just the two of us since our honeymoon. We were past due for a getaway!

Below are a few pictures from our little trip. We spent more time enjoying the trip than taking pictures.

I can't even tell you how many of these vanilla shakes with caramel sauce I ate at Ghiradelli Square.

We love Blondie's Pizza!
 AT&T Park is so pretty!

And it just so happened that we were there during the annual Gay Pride Parade. I will spare you the pictures. Too many naked people.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Reading List

Here a few of the books I have read recently.

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory
The White Queen is the story of Elizabeth Woodville, a woman of extraordinary beauty and ambition, who secretly marries the newly crowned Edward IV. Elizabeth rises to the demands of her exalted position and fights for her family’s dominance, but despite her best efforts, her two sons become pawns in a famous unsolved mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the lost princes in the Tower of London. In this dazzling account of the deadly Wars of the Roses, brother turns on brother to win the ultimate prize, the throne of England.

I really loved this book and am now on the the second book in the series.  I really didn't know much about the cousins war and found it really interesting.

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break.

PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape.

Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present.

This was a pretty good book. It is worth reading. 

The Matheny Manifesto by Mike Matheny, Jerry B Jenkins
Mike Matheny was just forty-one, without professional managerial experience and looking for a next step after a successful career as a Major League catcher, when he succeeded the legendary Tony La Russa as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2012. While Matheny has enjoyed immediate success, leading the Cards to the postseason three times in his first three years, people have noticed something else about his life, something not measured in day-to-day results. Instead, it’s based on a frankly worded letter he wrote to the parents of a Little League team he coached, a cry for change that became an Internet sensation and eventually a “manifesto.”
The tough-love philosophy Matheny expressed in the letter contained his throwback beliefs that authority should be respected, discipline and hard work rewarded, spiritual faith cultivated, family made a priority, and humility considered a virtue. In The Matheny Manifesto, he builds on his original letter by first diagnosing the problem at the heart of youth sports−hint: it starts with parents and coaches−and then by offering a hopeful path forward. Along the way, he uses stories from his small-town childhood as well as his career as a player, coach, and manager to explore eight keys to success: leadership, confidence, teamwork, faith, class, character, toughness, and humility.

I would recommend this book to anyone with young children. It is so much more than a youth sports book. Matheny offers a great perspective on raising children to have a strong character and good values. I really like his direct approach and old school views on life.

What have you been reading?

Monday, June 22, 2015

Fresh Fruit Pizza with Nutella

Recently we made these Fresh Fruit Pizzas with Nutella. the kids loved making them! We even made a fun little make your own fruit pizza bar with mini pizzas. It was a hit with the kids!

I am over at the Rhodes Blog showing you how to make them. I hope you will check it out.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Our Sad Excuse For Dinner

Am I the only one out there that dreads dinner time? I am so unprepared by the time dinner rolls around that I am scrambling to throw a dinner together and I end up looking like a short order cook and can't even sit down to eat with my family. I am not sure how it got that way. I will just blame it on life with twin toddlers, although that's really only a small portion of it.

I use to try and plan out our family's dinner menus ahead of time and then plan the grocery list around that but I have just been swept away in life and landed in this mess at dinner time. I am usually a pretty organized person but when it comes to dinner I fail miserably. My poor family!

As a mom it's my job to make sure my kids eat good healthy meals, not like the picture below. Ha!

Trying to make dinner is frustrating too because Sammy and Sadie end up clinging on to my legs while I try and cook making cooking difficult so there are many nights when we grab fast food. I don't even know what our monthly food budget is because of our expensive fast food  dinners and total lack of planning. Fast food for 5 people can add up fast! Plus I am teaching my kids poor meal time habits.

Does any of this sound familiar to anyone?

Growing up I remember dinner being a time when we sat together as a family and talked and enjoyed our time together while we ate. I want my kids to experience that. I don't want them thinking our current dinner situation is a good one.

I am going to turn our sad family dinner time around though! I am going to be part of the Dream Dinner Experiment! I am actually really excited about this! Utah Dream Dinners is about taking the stress and madness of dinner away. You look at the menus online and choose which ones would be best for your family then you show up to the store to assemble them. No grocery lists, no shopping, they have taken that hassle away from you. You take your meals home and all that's left is to cook the pre-assembled meals.

I am going to even let my little ones help me cook some of the meals. They love to try and help cook and with Dream Dinners taking all the hard work away it will make it easy and enjoyable. While I am at it I can even teach them how to set the table and clean up after dinner right? I can't forget about teaching them table manors too. How am I supposed to teach them these things when I can't even sit down to eat with them? Dream dinners is going to help me in so many ways!

Right now Dream Dinners has a great offer for Whatever DeeDee Wants readers. Purchase 3 meals for only $25. They will also teach you how to make all your dinners for 1 month in only 1 hour! Click here for more details.
I tried this out and am happy to say I am a fan! I wouldn't be telling you about this if I didn't like it.

I will be telling you more about my experiences with Utah Dream Dinners soon. 

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Insanely Fun (and Educational) Backyard Games to Play with Your Kids

By Zoe Clark

It’s essential  for any parent to teach their child the importance of both work and play. There’s no reason, however, why the two can’t be combined. What better way to teach a lesson than through a fun game?
Let’s say your child gets a list of words he has to learn how to spell. If you combine this with a jump-rope game, it becomes a very fun activity. After you read the word aloud, your child spells it out while jumping the rope after each letter. Once the task is completed successfully, the child writes down the word in chalk. If you have two or more children, they can take turns.

Photo by: Monika Elena

Another popular word game is Scrabble and maybe you didn’t know you can take it out to your backyard for added fun. What you need is a few comfortable seats, wooden stakes, several pieces of rope and a set of big letter tiles to string on the ropes. (Have your child assist you in making these, it’s fun for both of you.) Each player is seated in front of a rope tied between two short stakes and the game can begin. Your child will be expanding her vocabulary and getting some fresh air at the same time, all the while having a lot of fun. If you have a concrete pool in the backyard, a game of Scrabble can be even more fun. Click here to learn how.

It’s also possible to take a classroom staple like blackboard and re-imagine it as an educational toy for your kids. If you mount one to your fence, the kids will go wild with it, enjoying themselves in the open air instead of a cramped, closed space one usually finds blackboards in.

Photo by: Ellyn Perreault

What about math? Well, believe it or not, you can create a really fun math game using some water balloons, something your child will appreciate after the drudgery of the (admittedly necessary) homework. What you want to do is write the numbers on the balloons filled with water, put them in several baskets and then have your child pull the balloons out so that they add up to the previously chosen sum. For added fun, make a wooden target your child can throw the balloons at after each successfully completed task.

Finally, the games that emphasize physical activity should not be forgotten. A simple tug-of-war game can be made even more exciting if the children are standing on wooden or plastic crates. Just make sure they’re safe. The backyard is also a great area for a fun sack race, guaranteed to bring plenty of laughs to everyone. If there are lots of fallen leaves in the backyard, your child can help you arrange it into a kind of maze, and excellent way to combine work and play. All these games will help children develop their motor skills. Again, for those who have pools in their backyards, the number of fun games for children is limitless. 

Just remember, learning is twice as fun if there’s a game involved.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Rhodes Microwave Cinnamon Rolls...I am in Love

I am so excited to tell you about the newest thing from Rhodes Bake N Serv. Microwave Cinnamon Rolls! Yes, you heard that right!
Seriously, these things are a game changer. They only take 60 seconds to make and taste fantastic! Head over to the Rhodes Blog to see just how easy they are to make.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Birds and the Bees: Talking to Your Kids

Have you had "the talk" with your kids? I believe that talking to your kids about the birds and the bees is really important. It is important that kids learn about this from parents and not from media, friends or other sources. The world is so very different today than it was when I was growing up. Kids have access to so much information, both good and bad information. I want to be the one that teaches my kids, don't you?

Knowing where to start and what exactly to start talking about can be tricky, that's where 30 Days of Sex talks comes in. It is a three part series that helps guide parents into conversations with their kids about their bodies, sex, pornography, self image, predators, healthy relationships, pregnancy and more. The books are split up by age 3-7 years old, 8-11 years old and 12+ years old. I love that they promote on going conversations with your children so they can learn at the appropriate level. 30 Days of Sex Talks is also available on Kindle.

Here is a peak at a sample page in the book.

I was so glad that Educate Empower Kids sent me a copy of these books! The books are full of great information and their website has more tips, articles and information to help educate children and help prevent pornography addictions.

Today I am giving away a 3 book set of 30 Days of Sex Talk!

To enter the giveaway fill out the form below
This giveaway is closed. The winner is Terri S.
Giveaway ends at midnight on June 9, 2015
Winner will be chosen by

Bonus entries
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