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Have you heard the crickets around here lately?
 
Yeah, sorry about that.
 
Because the 9-month-old baby who doesn't sleep... the crazy, demanding, seemingly bipolar 4-year-old... and the overly-sensitive 8-year-old... plus the housework that never gets done (currently ignoring the 4 loads of clean laundry that need to be folded, and the pasta from lunch still sitting in the strainer) wasn't enough to keep me busy...
 
I started a business... (Jamberry)
 
And got a job... (just did training yesterday)
 
And we're looking for a place to live...
 
*deep breath*
 
But I miss writing. I keep writing blog posts in my head, but never have time to sit down and pound them out without feeling guilty over NOT doing something else. Something else that would either benefit my kids, my house, my husband, or my wallet. But today, during this 20-minute nap that my daughter is currently taking right next to me, I decided to blog.
 
Life seems so crazy these days. I don't really know which way is up, or what to do first. This morning I was playing cards with S while nursing R and looking for apartments online and waiting for an email from C to send to my new employer... and it was a pretty good morning... so you can imagine the bad mornings. Beautiful mess.
 
Plus... holidays. Holidays are bittersweet when you can't be with those you love. There are family members who are not here anymore, and family members who are just far away... but it's hard to be without them all.
 
I'm sure there aren't many people 'round these parts any more. But I started this blog for myself, so I guess it wouldn't be too bad if it was only me left in the end.
 
XO,
Steph

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I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Influence-Central for American Express. I received thank you item for my participation.
 
 
The girls and I were invited to attend an exclusive event at the American Express Centurion Lounge at the SFO (San Francisco) airport last week! They offered to pick us up with a car service, and we were so excited to live on the luxurious side for a little while. S thought it was so fun, and I loved not having to fight traffic on the way to the airport during rush hour! American Express just opened the Lounge, which is the first on the West Coast, and the fourth location in a network that's expanding in major airports across the United States, on November 6th!
Entry to The Centurion Lounges is complimentary for consumer, Business and Corporate Platinum
Card and Centurion® Members, and their immediate family or up to two travel companions.
Other American Express Credit and Charge Card Members may purchase a one-day pass at The
Centurion Lounge for $50.

  
 
Keep reading to hear all about our experience at The Lounge! Lots of pictures to follow :)



 

This campaign couldn't have come at a better time! B just turned 8, and finally got the Nintendo 3DSxl that he has been begging us for. It was perfect timing when I was selected to try out the new Petz Beach game that was just released on 10/14!
 
 
 
My kids love animals, but there is no way we could handle having one in our house right now, so the Petz games are a great virtual compromise! In the new Petz Beach, there are more than 50 different types of animals, from dogs and cats, to dolphins and whales - there is something for everyone. Because the environment in game changes with the seasons, the adventure lasts all year long!
 

 
 
The best part about this game is that, through its partnership with Encyclopedia Britannica, Petz Beach incorporates learning along the way. As kids care for their pets and complete missions, they’ll learn facts about animals, plants and insects. B loves to say, "MOM! Guess what? Did you know..." and share his new knowledge with me. I explained to him that these facts were popping up from the Encyclopedia, and he thought that was really cool. He loves to "collect" facts!
 
 
 
This game is made by the same Petz company that we've known and loved for years. They also released another new Petz game on the same day as this one called Petz Countryside. The games are rated "E" for everyone, but recommended for ages 7+. My four-year-old daughter loves to play along with her brother, but needs some help reading and following the instructions. These games would be a great gift for the holidays (which will be here before we know it!).
 
 
You can purchase Petz Beach on Amazon.com here (affiliate link):


Do your kids enjoy any of the Petz games?
XO Steph



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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.



Have you heard about the latest and greatest thing to hit the nail world? Jamberry nail wraps are heat-activated vinyl wraps that last up to two weeks on your nails (YES! SERIOUSLY!), and up to 6 weeks on your toes.
 
 
If you know me, or have been a follower of this blog for any amount of time, you know that I love all things nails. I may or may not have a ridiculously large collection of nail polish that is currently gathering dust underneath my bed. Why? Because I have a 7 month old baby who makes it impossible to paint my nails and let them dry without messing them up... and IF I do manage to get them painted and dried, they only stay on for a day or two maximum. Ain't nobody got time for that!

SO... when my friend Joanie of Joanie's Jams asked me (the one who loves polish but can't get it to last more than a day) to give these Jamberry wraps a try, I was happy to do so! She knew that I was a skeptic, and that I would give an honest review either way. Keep reading to find out how much I loved them, and my exciting announcement!!!
 

October has been a pretty busy month so far. My mom was visiting us for a few weeks, and her timing couldn't have come at a better time. We had a few stressors come up right when she got here, and I'm so thankful she was here to help me get through those tough weeks. 

Rebecca has been busy learning to sit up, stand up, and crawl. Of this, I am not a fan. She's getting way too big for her britches! 



She also turned 7 months old!

The big kids both started new dance classes. B is doing hip hop and loving it. S is continuing in the ballet/tap genre, and still loving every minute. This has made our Saturdays busy, but so fun! We get to spend the mornings at the park while they take turns dancing :)


We also got pedicures before my mom left, and S enjoyed her first pampering session!


Last, but definitely not least, my big boy turned 8! He is a great kid, brother and son, and we are very proud of the young man he is turning into. We've been through a lot with him, but looking back on it just reminds us how much we have all grown together. I look forward to growing and learning with him for the rest of our lives!

Happy Fall! 
XO Steph

P.S. - Thanks for helping me hit the awesome milestone of over 100,000 page views on the blog! I appreciate those of you who take the time to read through my ramblings, recommendations, and reviews :) I recently changed the comment settings so that anyone can leave a comment now, so it's not limited to certain accounts (the reason I had it limited before was because of the amount of spam that anonymous commenting allows, but i'd rather sift through spam than limit those who actually want to leave a comment!). Please, please feel free to drop me a line anytime!

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