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Leanne
Wife. Mother. Obsessive Compulsive Shopper.
Recent Activity
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I'm a chronic over-cooker. I know this about myself and still I find that at least a few times a year I over cook to the point of being inedible because I get distracted with kids and life and leave food in too long. My husband is a chronic under-cooker. Which is understandable because he doesn't want to risk burning our food like I do. Add in the fact that our stove and oven have temperature maintaining problems and it's really quite amazing any of our food turns out. But, Anova is here to fix our food issues once and for all with their Precision Cooker that introduced sous vide to our life. So now we can get perfect cooking... Continue reading
Posted 14 hours ago at Rave & Review
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Are you in the Seattle area? If so, you are definitely going to want to head to Northgate Mall, part of the Simon family of shopping centers, before the holiday season is over. While you're there, find your way to their holiday display by Kay Jewelers to get your pictures taken with Santa. This year was our fifth year seeing the Northgate Mall Santa and we absolutely adore him. The Northgate Mall Santa is incredibly popular, but we've been so lucky in the past and we continued to be lucky again this year. Even before we got in line for pictures, Santa was waving the kiddos over and talking with them while we were shopping and waiting for my sister... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Rave & Review
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Rare is the present you can truly get for the *whole* family. Besides trips that cost crazy amounts of money or expensive game systems or electronics that encourage only passive play, there's not much else that's out there that the whole family can enjoy as a whole. On that short list is the Gym1 doorway gym that allows just about any doorway to become the coolest spot in your house. Yes, you read that right. It's a doorway GYM. It really is the coolest thing we've ever done for any doorway, ever. The Gym1 installs in seconds with no drilling or damage to your doorway, supports over 300lbs, and it can attach to a whole range of products that can... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Rave & Review
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We end up in Bellevue at least a few times a year and every single time we have a blast. Recently, Bellevue has welcomed quite a few new stores, restaurants, and family-friendly features that we were dying to check out, so we made a weekend of it and headed out for a Bellevue staycation to celebrate the start of the holiday season. There's a reason why Bellevue is one of our top family getaways. It's beautiful and fun in every season, but holidays in Bellevue are extra magical. With holiday cheer each night and tons of events throughout the winter season, there's a reason why Bellevue is beloved for the holidays. We're talking nightly "snow", parades, holiday lights, ice skating,... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Rave & Review
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Have you heard of Juice Press before? Chances are that if you're from the East coast, you've probably heard of them many times. But, here on the West coast, there has been a void that was just waiting to be filled. Thanks to Russell Wilson, the Seahawks' beloved quarterback, we finally filled that void. During the media day last month we got to tour the Seattle store before its grand opening, and sample some drinks and food. Russell Wilson was also at that opening mingling and checking out the store with us. He talked about his favorite Juice Press products, why it was so important to him to bring Juice Press to Seattle, and he even made a smoothie to... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Rave & Review
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I love toys that inspire my kids to use their imaginations. So many toys these days have scripted storylines and built in backstories. I personally love it when my kids create the story, define the characters, and it's an added bonus when they also have to build or construct something while they play. Viking Toys is basically everything I hope for when shopping for toys. They have the ambiguous storyline and characters, and they even nail the construction aspect. Maybe this is because Viking Toys has been designing and manufacturing toys for over 30 years with the goal to make the highest quality toys possible. Viking Toys is a Swedish company founded in 1974. They are the makers of those... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2017 at Rave & Review
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As a parent, I'm always looking for toys that aren't *just* toys for my kids. I want toys that inspire learning, ones that will resonate with the kids, and mostly I want toys that won't get abandoned as soon as the shiny luster wears off. Well parents, I found the holy grail of presents for kids: the Piper computer. Wait, wait before you close the page - this isn't just any old computer. We all don't want our kids sitting passively in front of screens, which is what most computers offer. But, the Piper Computer Kit is different. The Piper is a DIY STEM computer kit that your kids can build themselves. Yes, they build it all themselves with the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2017 at Rave & Review
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It's hard for me to picture Christmas time without American Girl. I vividly remember circling items in the American Girl catalog each year in my youth, then I remember shopping their online store with my nieces years later, and now I'm taking my own kids to the Seattle American Girl store for them to make their own AG wishlist. While this year's AG wishlist was admittedly long and lofty, there is one item on there that is non-negotiable: the Felicity Merriman doll that was just re-released this year. The Felicity Merriman doll was originally released in 1991, the fourth Historical Character of the American Girl Dolls. Felicity, a tomboy who loved horses and had a deep love of nature, represented... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2017 at Rave & Review
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It's now been four years since we surprised our oldest daughter with a heart shaped locket from PicturesOnGold.com for Christmas. Since the day she opened the locket four years ago, it quickly become one of her most cherished possessions. She wears it all the time, and it is her special comfort piece she turns to when she’s having a hard time being away. Want to know how many other things she's had for four years that are still beloved and special still? Let's just say that I can count them on one hand. That isn't a big surprise to anyone with kids because parents know there is a lot of growing and changing kids do in a matter of a... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2017 at Rave & Review
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Wild Waves and Enchanted Village was such a huge part of my childhood, and I'm embarrassed to admit my kids have never been to either. We drive past it plenty and we've talked for years about making it happen, but we always ended up getting booked with travel and never made it happen. When I heard about the Wild Waves Holiday With Lights throughout the month of December, I knew we needed to make it happen. So, I was thrilled to be invited to the Holiday With Lights Opening Night VIP Event this weekend so we could check out all the happenings and finally introduce the kiddos to the parks. What is Wild Waves Holiday with Lights? On select dates... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2017 at Rave & Review
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Have kids, tweens or teens you're buying for this holiday season? Here's a pro tip: go with the art supplies. Unless you are *absolutely positive* of what games they are wanting, what movies they don't have, what brand is still "in", or what clothing is and isn't popular this week, just do yourself a favor and go with something safe that they won't have to return. Crafts are one of the few things that's a guaranteed win. Since one of our absolute favorite ways of bonding with the kids is through arts and crafts, we tend to turn to crafts as go-to presents because it allows us to do something fun together that has almost no "rules". Thankfully, Faber-Castell doesn't... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2017 at Rave & Review
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Back in the summer, my kiddos fell in love with DreamWorks Spirit Riding Free. They love a good series that they can really get into and follow along with the characters, and horses are a huge deal around here, so Spirit Riding Free was basically made for them. Since we limit our kids' screentime, I love that the episodes are fairly short and can be watched independently, but they are still a special treat they all look forward to. DreamWorks has just introduced Spirit Riding Free season 3 just in time for winter when we're all looking forward to cuddling up by the fire for family TV nights. The kids just finished the first two seasons earlier this month, so... Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2017 at Rave & Review
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My kids love LEGOs. They could play LEGO for hours and hours each day, building their own custom homes, businesses, cars, and even mini figures. I love how creative they are and how they can occupy themselves quietly for long periods of time designing, building, and then playing. Basically, it saves my sanity a few times a week at least. But, the thing that drives me crazy? Their LEGO worlds spread out from one room to the next in a thin layer across the entire floor. They will have built a sprawling playable LEGO house with multiple rooms, and instead of it being organized like a traditional house that is built up for space saving reasons, their creation will look... Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2017 at Rave & Review
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Every year when the holidays roll around, it’s basically a guarantee that at least some of the presents I give will be picture gifts. I'm the photographer in my group and I have file after file full of pictures I've taken throughout the year of all of our many events. So, it's expected that I would gift some of those pictures as surprises for loved ones, but there's only so many framed prints you can possibly make. So, I’m always looking for fun, personalized photo gifts and that's when I turn to Collage.com. A few years ago, I posted all about how I love Collage.com for sending picture presents to loved ones all over the world, and it's still my... Continue reading
Posted Nov 22, 2017 at Rave & Review
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Are you as excited about Disney-Pixar's Coco as we are? This was a movie the kids and I have been waiting for, and I have to admit I was apprehensive that it was going to disappoint. We've been going to Seattle's Day of the Dead festival for years so this was a subject we've talked a lot about as a family, but I was worried the movie would make light of the meaning of the day since it's for children. Well, I had no reason to worry. Disney yet again did not disappoint and Coco was one of the best films we've seen this year. Not only was it funny and sweet, it was also meaningful and deep all at... Continue reading
Posted Nov 22, 2017 at Rave & Review
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Alexa, where have you been my whole life? Seriously, where.have.you.been? As I discussed in my Techlicious post, I've basically been sitting out the newest tech upgrades for far too long now. But, when your phone doesn’t support 99.9% of apps, you end up with a smartphone that isn't very smart. So, I've learned to tune out the newest tech releases on the assumption that they would basically be in brick mode unless hubby was there to make them work. It hasn’t been fun. Having an Alexa enabled speaker was one of those newfangled tech upgrades that I would wistfully think “maybe someday”… But finally I decided it was time to let the kiddos and hubby have the fun of Alexa... Continue reading
Posted Nov 22, 2017 at Rave & Review
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I was sent some samples to facilitate this review, but then I went out and bought even more products because I love bareMinerals so much. As always, all opinions are 100% ours. I'm so incredibly excited. I finally got out of my makeup rut I had been in all of my adult life where I thought I was choosing convenience but instead made everything extra hard on myself. But, that's all in the past now that I have a whole new makeup toolbox thanks to a Seattle event that ironically never happened. But, even though the event was cancelled, it still introduced me to bareMinerals, a brand I had heard of but never had a chance to try before now.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2017 at Rave & Review
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My daughter asked for a microscope for years and years, and we finally relented last year for her 8th birthday when we threw her a science birthday party. Ever since that day, she has been "sciencing" everything she can get her hands on, and we love it. Before we got it for her, we did our research. We looked at a ton of kid microscopes and finally came to the conclusion that the Duo-Scope microscope from My First Lab was perfect for us. My First Lab is part of C&A Scientific, a scientific supply company with over 20 years of expertise. Their goal was to build a microscope that is inexpensive enough for a child, but still possessed the image... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2017 at Rave & Review
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This post is written by me on behalf of Tyson Foods, Inc. All opinions are entirely my own. This is my most favorite time of the year. Not just because of holiday decor, the festivities, or all the traditions, which I of course love. No, it's my favorite because I love all the many weekly gatherings and spending time as a family baking, cooking, and enjoying great, hearty meals for no reason at all. When I was young, the cooking and baking for our many family gatherings was almost exclusively done by my aunts, uncles, and grandparents. But, throughout the years, all of us cousins and siblings have taken on various roles to bring together our massive family meals, and... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2017 at Rave & Review
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Sometimes buying something from a store for the holidays just doesn't make sense. Whether your recipient doesn't need anything at all or something from a store just doesn't seem special enough, we all have people on our list who just need something different. Helix is that "something different", and it's quite possibly the coolest thing you can surprise someone with. So, what is Helix? Helix is a marketplace of DNA-powered products. Products that can help you and your loved ones live healthier, happier, and fuller lives. Yes, I know, you've heard of this company or that company that runs your DNA and tells you where your ancestors came from. This isn't that DNA company. Helix is more like a DNA... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2017 at Rave & Review
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I was a guest at the Techlicious event with Consumer Technology Association in Seattle this month. We were shown some really awesome tech gifts, given some Aftershokz earphones and treated to an amazing lunch. As always, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. I love knowing all I can about the newest technological advances. At one point I had all the new tech items. I had a Palm Pilot {with fold up keyboard, of course}, then a flip phone, and then a Blackberry, and then I was thrilled when I got a smartphone... but then somewhere along the way I just stopped buying myself all the newest tech. Maybe it was the fact that my Windows phone basically didn't... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2017 at Rave & Review
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#advertisement I received compensation from Dr. Scholl’s® to write this post. All opinions are entirely my own. #CustomFitRelief #DrScholls A few years ago when I was pregnant with my daughter, my doctor was horrified when I walked into her office wearing shoes that are notorious for their lack of arch support. But, what she didn't know was that inside those cute and stylish shoes was a pair of Dr. Scholl's® Custom Fit® Orthotics. Back in 2011 I met the Dr. Scholl's® team at BlogHer and I stood in line to try their Custom Fit® Orthotics machine. In that convention center I had a great time talking with other bloggers in line, meeting the Dr. Scholl's® team, and then I ended... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2017 at Rave & Review
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I've been thinking a lot about traditions these days. With my kids we've had 8 Corolle Christmases now, and I had at least a half dozen Corolle Christmases growing up. That's 14+ years of Corolle dolls and accessories under the tree as the present that wows, and I can't help but feel incredibly grateful. You hear the stories about the parents who drop hundreds of dollars on the trendy "top presents of the season" and then their kids play with them for a day or two and move on. I've never had to worry about that because in our family we shop local, we go for classics, and we put more emphasis on games and toys that require imaginations. I... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2017 at Rave & Review
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Hey, Seattle! The Seattle International Auto Show opens its doors tomorrow, Thursday, Nov. 9. Like previous years, it will be packed with all the auto industry has to offer including electric and alternative fuel vehicles, ultra-high-end exotics, luxury rides, test drives and so much more. Thinking about taking the kids this year? I highly recommend it! And, going to the show is extremely affordable for families as children 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult, compliments of BECU. There’s also discounted parking ($8) available on Saturday and Sunday, at the Union Garage with the purchase of an e-ticket. An added bonus, E-ticket holders can avoid waiting in box office ticket lines by using the E-ticket entrance... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2017 at Rave & Review
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I really, really resisted the whole "smart home" movement. I always thought home automation seemed nice in theory, but I never really saw much of a benefit in my life. So, for years I have held out and ignored all smart home pitches that landed in my inbox, happily flipping light switches on and off *with my own hands*, setting a program on my thermostat and literally *leaving it set for a decade* {true story}, and piling on the blankets when I discovered I was up later than the thermostat was set for. I was basically living like a cave man. Then Hive approached me and explained about the Hive Home Automation system and I finally saw the benefit. It... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2017 at Rave & Review