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Leanne
Wife. Mother. Obsessive Compulsive Shopper.
Recent Activity
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This post is brought to you by Kwilt and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own. I have a problem; I take far too many photos. It used to be vacation pictures, pictures of hubby and I on our many adventures, and snaps of my awesome nieces and nephews, but now I’m in deep as my collection has only become more massive since becoming a mom. To make things even worse, I have a hard time deleting these pictures I take off of anything for fear they will all be lost, so I fill up SD cards, full computer hard drives, stacks of CDs filled with pictures, free cloud services, as well as external hard drives. With well over 200,000... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Rave & Review
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By now you probably know how much I love HoneyBaked Ham and how it made me into a ham-lover after 3 decades of turning the stuff away. These days I'm always looking for another reason to visit the store near me and load up on their ham and turkey, and the fact that Thanksgiving is just a week away solidified that a trip to the new Lynnwood HoneyBaked Express was definitely in order. Not only do they have amazing ham, they also have turkey {both smoked and roasted}, as well as a ton of sides, entrees, and desserts that can make Thanksgiving dinner as easy as calling in an order and heating up your oven. We did the Make It... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Rave & Review
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I love a good curly hairstyle every once in a while, especially this time of year with holiday parties and birthdays galore, but I swear that every year I get worse and worse at styling a good curly ‘do. I’m fine for the first few curls and then out of nowhere I clip the iron and accidentally turn it the wrong way. Anyone who has ever done this knows that you then end up with that awful crimped piece at the bottom where the clip was holding that no amount of recurling can ever fix. That, my friends, is pretty much my signature “curly” look. Or, at least it was. I was recently introduced to the KISS InstaWave and it’s... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Rave & Review
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Oh, packing. Packing is usually my most dreaded part of traveling, especially now that I have young children I need to pack for and must anticipate all that they might possibly need in the length of time we will be away. But, this fall I was able to pack and make a difference when traveling to Beaches Turks & Caicos with Pack for a Purpose and that made packing fun and rewarding. The Sandals Foundation is the charitable arm of Sandals Resorts International, parent company of Sandals Resorts, Beaches Resorts and Grand Pineapple Beach Resorts. It proudly supports over 55 local Caribbean schools with a variety of programs and initiatives through a partnership with Pack for a Purpose. Pack for... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Rave & Review
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As someone who is on the go a lot with kiddos, one of the main things I get asked about from friends, family, and readers is about essential gear for family travel. And while my “essentials” list has changed based on the ages of my children, there are a few things that never change. One of those things is the prevalence of tech gadgets. It’s true that tech gadgets can change your life dramatically and make life easier, especially when traveling, but there are also some huge downfalls. One major concern is being weighed down with technology instead of making life easier. When we’re talking DSLRs, laptops, smartphones, tablets, action cams, and more as well as all the accessories and... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Rave & Review
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Were you one of the dozen people leaving messages and texting wondering where we were last week? Sorry about that, I must have forgotten to mention that we were IN THE CARIBBEAN. That’s right, while all our friends and family back home were braving high winds, record-breaking rainfall, and low temps, we were sitting in sundresses in the sand, swimming with fishes, partaking in exotic beverages and enjoying world class cuisine. Oh, did I also forget to mention that our resort in the Caribbean wasn’t a quaint hotel or bungalow – we were enjoying the all-inclusive luxury that only a Sandals Resort can offer? Now, I’ve been wined and dined throughout the years with lavish parties at Sundance and BlogHer,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2014 at Rave & Review
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How do you enjoy your pictures? For most of us, the answer is when they are framed and displayed in our homes or put into albums. Now think of the last picture you had framed, displayed, or organized in an album to enjoy. Was is two years ago? Three? Even more? I'll wait while you count back the weeks, months, and even years since you last printed your pictures. I’m fairly certain my last album was 5 years ago, and my last framed picture was over a year. See that baby in the pictures above? That "baby" is now 6. Friends, these photographs were roughly 100,000 pictures ago, a few dozen road trips, vacations, birthdays, and even two pregnancies ago.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2014 at Rave & Review
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It’s only the first week of November and I already feel like hibernating for the remaining winter months. It's getting rainy and cold here in Seattle and my living room is feeling awfully cozy with the fire going, so it's easy to just close my eyes and curl up on the couch. But, the one thing that's keeping me going and staying active? It's my Jawbone UP24 from AT&T that helps keep me in line if I'm not meeting my step goal or I'm going over my calorie goal. Did you know that AT&T carries a bunch of tech-savvy solutions for fighting off this season of eating more and exercising less? More than just phones these days, AT&T stores offer... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2014 at Rave & Review
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Have you ever had an eye exam? Have your kiddos? If the answer is no, you should schedule one right now for all of you. Not only are eye exams essential for diagnosing impaired eyesight, they can also help diagnose bigger problems that are best caught early and treated like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Ever since my daughter was little and she developed the hemangioma behind her eye on her optic nerve, we’ve seen more than our share of eye professionals. In that time we’ve discussed all the things that we need to be watching for and all the ways we can protect her eyesight well past childhood, most of which is true for every child, not... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2014 at Rave & Review
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They say that the best gift you can give your child is the gift of your time, and I wholeheartedly believe that is true. I give my children that gift in staying home with them so I can be with them all day long, in cooking for them, cleaning for them, packing their lunches, and trying to include them in many of the things that I do each day. But, the truth is that I could do better about stopping what I’m doing and taking a nature walk or two, swinging at the park, or starting projects with them that they are excited about, and my goal is to simply get better about playing with them at least a few... Continue reading
Posted Nov 7, 2014 at Rave & Review
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Do you have a baby in your life? There’s definitely something in the water because there are so many babies expected in the next few months. With my own babe’s arrival creeping closer and closer, I’m starting to think of everything that needs to be done to prepare for adding a baby to the family and I’ve already got quite a few things in the works. Just like when we went from one child to two, we’re planning on doing a gift from the baby to the older siblings, but with one main difference. This time, the baby will get a present, too. Last time, my daughter opened a Corolle Emma doll at the hospital with a baby bath, but... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2014 at Rave & Review
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“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Gerber Baby. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.” When I was first born, I was nicknamed the “Gerber Baby” by the nurses and doctors. I personally like to think that this was in reference to my expressive eyes and engaging personality, but in actuality it probably has more to do with the fact that I was the size of a 3 month old when I was born. But, whatever the case, the nickname stuck and my mom still says I’m her Gerber Baby. Sadly, I never had an official award to claim this title, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love the Gerber... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2014 at Rave & Review
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I never, ever thought I would utter the words “we’re a car family”. But, with a husband who hasn’t missed a car show since he was a tiny boy and a son who simply asks for “any cars I don’t have” for Christmas and birthdays, it was bound to happen sooner or later. Obviously, my daughter and I were the holdouts, content to let the boys play with their cars – some toys, some very real that take up my whole driveway – and smile. But, then we found the world of Modarri cars, and I think we all got a little giddy at all the possibilities for this amazing new take on the toy car. Part build-it-yourself custom car... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2014 at Rave & Review
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Are you as overwhelmed with toy shopping as I am? You’d think I would be good at it by this point considering I hear about toys even before they hit the market. But, sometimes even I have a child on my list that I have a really hard time buying for. Those times I’m very grateful for neighborhood toy stores with a diverse and eclectic mix of high quality toys that won’t be abandoned in just days for the next new fad. Stores like Brilliant Sky Toys & Books offer that and more at their 17 locations {and counting}. By offering amazing and personalized service, and more than 10,000 high-quality specialty products, it allows you to “discover, experience, explore, interact,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2014 at Rave & Review
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She's 8, right? I think she will do just fine with the movie. It's darker, but it's not really a scary film.
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Ever since my childhood, I have been obsessed with all things Sleeping Beauty. I have definitely passed this love down to my children and there is nothing they love more than exploring Sleeping Beauty's castle in Disney Land, dressing up like Princess Aurora, or admiring my miniature model of the Wood Cutter's Cottage I've had since my teens. How could you possibly resist the magic of the fairies, the beautiful scenery, and the amazing Sleeping Beauty castle? More importantly, how can you not love to hate Maleficent? I think we can all agree that she’s one of the best Disney villains of all time. Even though she made her debut decades ago, her role has proven to be timeless. So,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2014 at Rave & Review
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My kids are pretty awesome travelers for the most part. They can handle short flights like pros and are the best road trip buddies on long car rides. But, as it turns out, they are pretty awful redeye international travelers. Go figure. When I look back now, I can’t help but ask myself what I was thinking taking two small kids on packed overnight flights that included 4 airports, long layovers, no meals, and a trip through customs. Oh, and did I mention I am very pregnant and have a hard time getting comfortable in even the plushest digs? Seriously. What on earth was I thinking?! Having taken dozens of flights with them before, some of them international and some... Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2014 at Rave & Review
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I can’t even count how many people asked if our recent trip to Beaches Turks & Caicos was a “Babymoon”. Although I had heard of the idea of a Babymoon before, I honestly had no idea that they were such a well-known thing. As it turns out, Babymoons are a very big thing for the travel industry and many parents are using the opportunity score special packages and discounts to take one last big trip before baby. In our case, our Babymoon happened by accident as our Turks & Caicos trip was planned mere days before we saw the positive pregnancy test. But while the pregnancy didn’t play much into the planning of the trip other than getting the okay... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2014 at Rave & Review
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As a parent, I want to keep my kids as safe as humanly possible. That has meant extended rear facing, five point harnesses as long as they fit the weight/height maximums of their seats, and never allowing my children to just simply use adult belts because their peers are allowed to. For us, graduating to a booster seat is a very big deal, and we took our time coming to the decision of when we would do it, which vehicle we would switch first, and what brand would help us make the leap. When I met Kiddy USA at The Baby Ladies BlogHer Baby Shower, I knew that this was a company that valued safety as much as I do,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2014 at Rave & Review
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Fall is by far my favorite season. It’s still hot enough here in the Pacific Northwest to wear skirts and sandals some days, but then it’s boots and sweaters the next, all under the gorgeous backdrop of changing leaves and fall colors. Just look at my happy harvester, collecting vegetables for the week. The one thing that isn’t awesome? Meal planning. With unpredictable weather and high temperatures nearly every afternoon, it makes it hard to plan what kind of meals to make that won’t leave the house sweltering at the end of the day. When a friend suggested I try slow cooking instead of heating up the oven and making our house unbearably hot, I couldn’t believe how brilliant she... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2014 at Rave & Review
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Did you know that Halloween night is one of the most dangerous nights of the year? In fact, kids are twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween over any other day of the year. With little kids in costume sharing the road with vehicles of all types and lights turned down low, it's really a recipe for disaster. While those are certainly sobering statistics, that doesn't mean you can't keep your kids as safe as possible this Halloween by planning ahead and helping teach your child basic safety rules before they head out hunting candy. 1) Avoid masks and costumes that could cover the face and obstruct vision while walking. If needbe, wear a modified costume... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2014 at Rave & Review
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Anyone that has lived in the Pacific Northwest for any length of time understands the deliciousness that is TacoTime. With 350+ locations in the United States and Canada, and most of those restaurants located in the Pacific Northwest, it’s definitely a local favorite. All through my corporate days we had set Fridays which were lovingly referred to as “TacoTime Friday” and even to this day, my ex coworkers will often message me on Fridays and wish me a happy TTF, which was our version of TGIF. And now, even though my bosses are under the age of 7 and Fridays don’t really have the same allure as they did when we got the entire weekend off, we still make time... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2014 at Rave & Review
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Remember my beloved Nokia Lumia 920 Windows phone? It met its untimely demise after the screen was crushed at Disneyland last April, which is after it was revived after it took a swim in the kids’ bath, and after it had been dropped a bazillion times while juggling kids. I was so distraught about ruining my phone that I simply couldn’t retire it and kept on using it even with the cracked screen and the odd thumping noise it made when it would get shaken. But, then the Nokia Lumia 1520 with Windows Phone 8.1 arrived and I happily ditched the 920 in a pile of paperwork until it could be recycled properly. Friends, meet my upgrade, the Nokia Lumia... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2014 at Rave & Review
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Yesterday my daughter wakes up and comes into my room saying, "What should you do if you have a rock in your ear?" as if it was hypothetical. I was all "DO YOU HAVE A ROCK IN YOUR EAR?" She admitted that yes, she did have a rock in her ear that she had put there the morning before. Before recess at school, before gym class, before we played at the park and went to ballet lessons, before we went roller skating with her school, took a trip to Costco, had a birthday dinner for her brother, and then went to bed. All of that with a rock in her ear. That morning she thought she would mention it to... Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2014 at Rave & Review
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“I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Influence Central for Mustela. I received a promotional item to facilitate my review.” When I was pregnant with my oldest, I found Mustela prenatal products at a specialty store in the Seattle area and fell in love. I ended up using the line through both pregnancies and still use many of the products to this day because I love the scent of their creams and lotions so much. It wasn’t until my daughter was a few months old that I heard about the Mustela Bébé line from her pediatrician. It was then that I embarked on a multi-store hunt to find Mustela products that ended with me ordering online out... Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2014 at Rave & Review