Holdays | life | shopping

Thanksgiving and BIG NEWS!!!

By on November 30, 2014

I hope everyone had a relaxing Thanksgiving break.
We spent the day at my Aunt Lillie and Uncle Dave’s which was so great. She and my Mom were super close and my Uncle Dave has a similar sense of humor as my Dad so it was really nice just being with them. The babies loved exploring their place, especially Ashlyn. She is so content just crawling around and investigating. Everly still wasn’t feeling great so she just wanted to be held. Ace had a blast playing with his cousins Kelvin and Alessandro since they are older than him and he loves being around the big kids. 
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Did anyone do Black Friday shopping? We aren’t into the big deals but we do go and try to get PJ’s and little things if we are up to it. Branden went while I stayed home with the kids. He just went to Target and Wal Mart, nothing too exciting.  photo parkpictures_zps3657cf72.jpg
The rest of the weekend consisted of us getting ready for our BIG NEWS!!
This upcoming week will be a  big event for my Boutique! Monday and Tuesday my friend Erin and I will be participating in Temple Beth Emet’s Holiday Shopping Boutique.   It will give people a chance to really see all our clothes and accessories in person. We also have some new Frozen items! I can not wait to set everything up. If you would like to come by, I would love to meet you! The address and times are listed in the photo below. 

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I am thinking of doing a raffle for everyone who makes a purchase, what do you think would be a fun giveaway?

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everly | life

Sick Babies=Tired Mommy

By on November 27, 2014

Sometimes being a Mom is rough. Like kick you in the face, slam you on the ground rough. This past week and a half each one of our kids has gotten sick, one right after the other. First Ace on the weekend then Ashlyn during the week and now Everly. Poor girl has has a stomach bug and can’t quite seem to kick it.
Sunday after a day of throwing up after every bottle I brought her to the ER just to make sure she didn’t have a blockage or obstruction. They gave her Zofran then pedialite and she didn’t throw up so they sent us home. If it had been a blockage she would have thrown up despite the Zofran. 
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She did good that night and slept all night. The next night I was up with her twice, once to clean her bedding since she threw up and had diarrhea. Next day she was a bit better with only one episode of throwing up. Last night she was fine. Today we thought she may have been turning over a new leaf. We were supposed to go to my aunts but I was so worried about how off and on she was and she seemed really hot to me. After her second nap we gave her a bottle and she just kept crying. Ashlyn was also whining and I just didn’t know what to do. Everly was miserable so I pick her up and she starts to projectile vomit all over me and the couch. Did I mention my couch now smells like throw up after the past few days? 
I went to take a shower and just felt like I needed a break. Dealing with sick kids is one of those parenting moments you just don’t want to think about. You hate seeing your children sick and miserable. It’s heart breaking. When they get up in the middle of the night crying from pain or feeling icky you just want to trade places with them (I mean if you are going to be up anyway might as well be the sick one not them, Am.I.Right?)

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So here I am feeling tired and just wanting to lay on the couch and watch garbage TV and not have to think about getting up early in the morning or in the middle of the night to a sick kid. Then I feel guilty. It’s not her fault she is sick so I need to suck it up and stop feeling sorry for myself. And tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I can think of 101 things I am truly thankful for and my kids are number 1 (next to my husband of course!).  

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gift ideas | Holdays | life | Review

LeapTV by LeapFrog Party!

By on November 25, 2014

A couple weeks ago we had a little party with a few of Ace’s playgroup friends.  These have been his friends since he was about 3 months old and he gets so excited to see them.
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We had the opportunity to show off the new LeapFrog LeapTV Educational Active Video Game System

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The LeapTV from LeapFrog “gets kids into the action while teaching core skills across a variety of subjects including: reading, mathematics, science and problem solving.”
I love that this game system was made for younger children and had age appropriate games.  Ace loved that he could see himself on the tv when he played the dancing games too! 
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We were able to try out LeapFrog LeapTV Sports and LeapFrog LeapTV Dance and Learn. Ace and his friends loved playing the race car, soccer and dance games. Check out Ace playing one of the games from the Dance & Learn one.
Ace is 3 and this gaming system is appropriate for children 3-8 years of age. I think Ace was a little young for some of the games but overall with a little help he was able to play them (the racing one was the most difficult). I think the nice thing about this is that he can grow into using the games that were a bit harder for him. The dancing one was by far the best for his age. They even had one where you paint the screen as you move your arms around. I even loved that one!
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This is a great new gaming system that would make the perfect Christmas or Hannukah (or any other holiday you celebrate) gift for your little ones! 
I was provided a LeapTV by LeapFrog and two games to try out for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

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Penguins of Madagascar $25 Visa Gift Card Giveaway!

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It’s Giveaway Time!!! 
One lucky follower of Perfectly Imperfect Mom will get a $25 Visa Gift Card and a Penguins Activity Set and Stickers.

Courtesy of DreamWorks Animation and 20th Century Fox.
Open to US mailing addresses only

Official websites – #PenguinsMovie
Visit the Official Website
Follow @DWAnimation on Twitter
Like ‘Penguins of Madagascar’ on Facebook
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About the film
Penguins of Madagascar are back in their very own feature film – coming to theaters this Thanksgiving!
Super spy teams aren’t born…they’re hatched. Discover the secrets of the greatest and most hilarious covert birds in the global espionage biz: Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private. These elitists of the elite are joining forces with a chic undercover organization, The North Wind. Led by handsome and husky Agent Classified (we could tell you his name, but then…you know), voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch. Together, they must stop the villainous Dr. Octavius Brine, voiced by John Malkovich, from destroying the world as we know it.
Starring: Tom McGrath, Chris Miller, Christopher Knights, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ken Jeong, Annet Mahendru, Peter Stormare and John Malkovich
Directed By: Eric Darnell, Simon J. Smith
Produced By: Executive Producers: Tom McGrath, Mireille Soria, Eric Darnell; Producers: Lara Breay, Mark Swift

This is no ordinary snack, vending machine! There are penguins stuck inside. Help them escape in our Cheezy Dibbles web game! Play now.

I was compensated for this giveaway.
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guest posting | Travel

Guest Post: Tips for Holiday Travel with Kids

By on November 24, 2014

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I’m no stranger to air travel with kids.  We took our first airplane ride when our oldest daughter was 4 months old and she’s now been on over 100 airplanes and visited 9 states and 27 countries.  We’re now a family of five and as our family has grown, our luggage space seems to have shrunk and I’ve had to get creative with packing in order to avoid extra baggage fees.

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Traveling in the summer months with kids is a big enough challenge, but traveling in the winter time AND during present giving season presents its own unique challenges!  Here are some tips for surviving holiday travel with kids:
  • Pack light because the clothes are heavy.  Pack clothes for the whole family that can be worn multiple times like jeans and things that can layer and mix and match.  I am always tempted to pack extra clothes for the kids in case of spills and messes but I also know that pajamas tops can be used as emergency undershirts and things that aren’t soiled can be reworn if necessary.
  • Pack all the hats, gloves and coats in a carry-on duffle bag.  This way you’ll have them all handy when you arrive at your destination and need them but you won’t have to manage multiple extra things at security and when boarding/deplaning.
  • Leave the big and heavy gifts for the kids at home. There is no need to lug unnecessary large or heavy items both ways.  Instead, take a picture of the gift for older kids or just a small part of the gift for younger kids to play with (this also helps prolong the holiday excitement when you get home!)
  • Shop when you get there or online and ship ahead.  Instead of buying gifts for people where you’re traveling to, wait to shop until you get there (if you’ll have time) or order the items online and have them shipped directly to your destination.
  • Leave room in your luggage for coming back.  If you’re visiting family for the holidays, you’ll most likely have gifts (or after-holiday shopping steals) to bring back and while you can ship them, I like to have extra room available in my suitcases.  I’ve used a few different strategies for having space including:
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    • Nesting suitcases.  Fill a small or mid-sized suitcase and pack it inside a larger suitcase or pack a soft sided duffle bag in your suitcase which gives you around twice the luggage space coming back and saves you from paying extra baggage fees.
    • Take disposable items you’ll need.  When traveling in the summer I usually have my family pick up diapers and wipes for us but in the winter I usually take enough for the trip (and I always take our favorite snacks and baby food).  Once we’ve used up the diapers and eaten the snacks we have extra room in our suitcase to bring back our new treasures.
    • Use expandable suitcases.  Most suitcases now have an expandable portion that zips out to give you more packing space.  I always leave it zipped up when we go so I’m guaranteed to have extra space coming back.
    • Pack gifts.  Take the gifts you have for your family in your suitcase instead of shipping ahead so you have room to bring back the gifts they give you in exchange.
  • Pack little travel surprises in the kids’ carry-ons.  I like to go to the dollar section of my favorite store and pick up little games, books and craft items to surprise the kids with on the plane.  During the holidays I try to get holiday themed items to help them get excited!
About Melissa Roy:
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I am a full time stay-at-home mommy to three, part time ballet teacher and dedicated author of Beyond Mommying.  I love traveling and sharing the world with my children which led to our decision to undertake homeschooling.  With a first grader, toddler and one in between, my mommying journey is never dull and constantly takes me new places and teaches me more than I ever thought I could know about love, patience and this big, confusing world we live in.  I have a B.A. in Dance Education and M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction focused in Early Childhood Education and use my skills and education to guide my mommy life.

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Holdays | sponsored

Top Five Favorite Holiday Card Ideas!

By on November 20, 2014

As the Holiday Season draws near I can’t wait to order Christmas cards for our family and friends this year. In previous years I have completely slacked and either didn’t get around to them or only gave them out to people I saw in person because it was just too crazy around here to get them mailed out.
This year though we had our first family photo shoot with my friend Lindsay. She got some great pictures and I can not wait to send them out in our Christmas cards. Minted has a large collection of Christmas Cards and that is just the place to look!
Here are my top card ideas from Minted
1. Simple. I love the idea of really showcasing your family’s photo. Having simple lettering across the bottom makes a statement without taking anything away from your family photo. 

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2. Mini Books. Minted has this clever idea of using your holiday card as a photo book. This is the perfect card for those who want to send out more than one photo.
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3. Silliness. Having three kids we are in a constant state of silliness. Our kids love to be goofy and laugh. Showing off their cute, fun side with this goofy Santa’s Little Helpers card is one of my favorite ideas. The hats just make the card!
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4. Doubles as an ornament. Whenever I get Christmas cards I never know what to do with them after the holidays are over. I end up putting the pictures away in a box and forget about them. This is such a cute way to save the photos of those special to you and have them out each year. It is great for Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and yourself.

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5. Year in Review. My absolute favorite is this card. I love that you can get your most precious and important moments as a family all in on this card. Such a fun way to share your memories!
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And don’t forget you can do some one stop shopping and get Christmas gifts for your loved ones here. My favorite ideas are their calendars. I am planning on making one for myself as well.
Disclaimer: This post is Sponsored by Minted. All ideas and thoughts are my own.

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Adoption | Ashlyn | life

Ashlyn’s Birth Story

By on November 17, 2014

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It is National Adoption Month and I am finally sharing Ashlyn’s birth story.
I never shared it before because of many reasons. One it was a very emotional and intense time when she was born. We were in California away from our son and getting to know our brand new baby. Two I felt like it was such a different experience compared to my births that I didn’t know how to explain it without giving too little or too much information. That probably doesn’t make sense but there is another person involved who must be respected. Ashlyn’s biological Mother is incredible and I always felt it was somewhat her story to tell in one way but obviously our side is also important. So here it is, over a year later…
When we were asked to adopt Ashlyn I didn’t know then how different and similar it would be compared to being pregnant and giving birth to my two biological children. First of all when we were asked about adopting her (before we knew she was even a girl) and we were all in it felt very much like finding out you are pregnant. It’s like you have this overwhelming excitement and can not wait to find out what you are having and who this little person will be. You become overly protective of this baby and pray they come into this world safe and healthy. The obvious differences were physical, we didn’t create her nor did we get to lay in bed each night next to one another with her in my belly. It was very strange being pregnant with Everly and expecting Ashlyn in another state. 
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Ok so back to the birth story. This birth story starts a week before she was even born.
Branden and I got on a plane on October 11th, super early and headed to California. We got there around 9:30am I believe and headed over to meet with Ashlyn’s bio Mom. We will call her L. 
When we met up with L we immediately hugged and touched each others bellies and told each other how good the other one looked pregnant. It was so surreal to finally get to be there and see her. We had lunch and talked about Ashlyn and our other kids. After that we headed over to her place and hung out for awhile. Not too much else happened until the following Tuesday and L and I went to her doctor appointment and talked about inducing the following Monday. He didn’t think she’d make it passed her due date which was Friday but had it scheduled just in case. 
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The next day our other friend came into town and we all went to lunch. Poor Branden had to deal with us and our obnoxious friendship and inside jokes (they have wraps here?!) but thankfully he survived. They went back to L’s house and Bran and I went back to our hotel and basically finished up some things with our home study and all that fun stuff. 
Thursday we all met for lunch and then Branden and I went to the hospital to meet with a social worker and toured the hospital. We wouldn’t get a hospital room (some adoptive parents do at other hospitals) but they had a nursery we could be in if we needed to be with the baby alone (some bio Moms don’t want to stay in the rooms with the infants, not the case for us). 
Later that night I was feeling super emotional. I was missing Ace like crazy, he had been sick and I was pregnant and hormonal. It was probably one of the most difficult nights I have had since my parents passed away. It was like I was having an emotional breakdown. Branden took me to a pier and we walked it and then went and picked up food and headed back to our hotel. I could not sleep that night of course.
At around 5:45 am L called me and said her water had broken but not to rush because she was going to get ready and then head to the hospital. I tried not to freak out but of course that wasn’t happening. Branden and I got ready and when we got in the elevator all I remember was saying “We are going to have a baby girl today!!!” It was the most insane feeling. 
We got to the hospital and L’s OB came in and broke her water since it was just kind of trickling out or something and after a bit she got an epidural. 
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We all hung out and watched Vanderpump rules because that’s how we roll. After a couple of hours Branden and I decided to go to the cafeteria to eat. Right before we finished I got a text from our friend about L being fully dilated and not to rush because they had to prep the room for her to push. All I saw was she was fully dilated and I immediately rushed to the elevators and text them I was coming. I then reread the text and had to chill out in the waiting room, ha! 
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They told us to come in the room and I immediately started getting emotional and tearing up. The amount of emotion that took over me was crazy. It was such an unexplainable feeling. I was feeling excited to see our daughter, absolutely devastated for my friend who was about to experience probably one of the hardest moments in her life and back and forth between those feelings. I grabbed our camera and asked if she cared if I took pictures and she said she was ok with it. Branden, myself, L and our friend were all ready for this little girl. This little girl who would bond us for life, was about to be born! 
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Her doctor and nurse were super casual about her pushing. They were having a conversation and would tell her to push and at one point L and I both were kind of like um should she push? Ashlyn was sunny side up so the doctor had to turn her and finally L was able to push her head out, the doctor turned her again (I swear I thought he was going to break her neck) so we could see her chubby little face and that moment I will never forget. I remember crying saying she is so cute. Those cheeks still kill me! After that I got to cut her umbilical cord. It’s not as easy as it looks! 

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After Ashlyn was out they placed her on L and cleaned her off. Another moment I truly don’t have words for. Seeing L and Ashlyn together was so bitter sweet. I will love that moment forever. I have it on video and when I watch it I cry. You can see how much love L has for her. This must be what Dad’s feel like when they see their wives with their babies for the first time. 
You can not appreciate this person enough, you can’t love that person enough, you can’t cherish that moment enough. 

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After cleaning her off and giving L her time they finally took her over to get weighed and cleaned off. I remember looking at her and just thinking she has the most perfect newborn face! She looked like she had teeth already because she had these big gums and her little gap already. I mean the cuteness of her was unreal. L’s nurse, who was seriously an angel, took Ashlyn’s feet prints and put them on her paper that monitored her heart beat and then put her prints on her side where Ashlyn would always kick L. 
After she was cleaned up Branden and I got to have alone time with her. 
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We all spent the day together in the room with our beautiful baby girl. Night time came and she got to stay with L and our friend while Branden and I went back to the hotel. Talk about guilt in leaving your baby but also feeling completely ok with it because she was with her first Mommy. I almost felt bad that I was so ok with leaving her there. I knew they needed that time though. The next day we all spent the day together again. Hanging out watching trash TV, hating on L’s social worker who was awful and of course snuggling with our perfect angel. Night time came again and Ashlyn spent the night with L and our friend again. The next day we would be bringing Ashlyn back with us and I was so nervous, excited, and sad. 

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We got to the hospital that morning and I couldn’t even take her from L. I didn’t want to separate them on their last moments together that day. I said hi to her and gave her a kiss then we all left L and Ashlyn to be together till the time came for us to leave with her. I don’t think I have ever hurt for anyone more in those moments. Watching L looking at Ashlyn broke my heart. 
We went down to the cafeteria and a few hours later got a call that our attorney and L’s social worker were there. We went up to the room and got L and Ashlyn ready to go. We headed down to a waiting room on the main floor and all sat together at a table as L signed her rights away. We also had to sign papers as well. Ashlyn was so peaceful and sweet in her carseat. 
Once it was done we all took pictures together. Branden and our friend got our cars and L and I sat with Ashlyn. It was such a weird moment. I didn’t want to take Ashlyn from her but then I wanted to just have her in my arms. 
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After we got her in the car and left I still couldn’t believe she was ours. This perfect little person, this person who is loved by so many was our baby girl. 
Later that night we got to FaceTime with Ace and Branden’s Mom so they could see Ashlyn. Ace was so excited to see his baby sister. It was so sweet.
We headed home after a few more days and Ace got to meet his baby sister! 

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My Stylish Girls!

By on November 7, 2014

Oh hey there! Have you missed me? I know I have been crazy MIA lately but I have been working my little booty off trying to get my boutique out there. Have you checked it out? No? WHAT?! 
Ok so if not and you have kids, know people with kids or love kids fashion than you probably should. My new favorites are our Baby Moccasins. I mean they are the cutest and I love how perfect they are as first walker shoes. 

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Everly wearing the pink Moccs
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Ashlyn in White

I took my girls to Target (shocker! haha) and had them decked out in Target and Anchor & Bows Boutique clothes. I seriously die over their cuteness every time I look at this picture. 

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Headbands // Moccs // Ashlyn’s Leggings // Everly’s Leggings // Shirts // Stroller

Make sure you head over and like our Facebook page and Instagram for chances to win free clothes and gift cards!!

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