Date Night Every Night with HQ 

I am huge believer in always dating your partner. It can get hard with kids & life, but for me it is a must for maintaining a healthy relationship with my husband.

Thankfully there is a new trivia app that brings us together every night. At 8pm we stop what we are doing around the house (The little one is usually already in bed) & come together for some good old fashion fun.

We are not the only ones doing this, millions of people around the world log in to compete for the cash prize. A host (last week Jimmy Kimmel hosted) reads you 12 questions. You have 10 seconds to chose from the 3 mutliple choices. When you get a question wrong you’re out. 

Can you get through all 12 questions

Now we still haven’t won any money, but we sure are having fun together. 

So start playing HQ, you don’t want to miss out. Use my code ‘seashellmccall‘ to sign up

Instant Pot 

Life is crazy, it never stops, things constantly keep popping up. You would think with 2 weeks off from work (Amen, for school jobs) I would of got more done around the house over winter break. I wanted to go through all of our closets, organize the basement, deep clean … “start” 2018 off right. 

Well needless to say 2018 still started even if I wasn’t ready. Thankfully though this Christmas I got every Moms new best friend, the holy grail of kitchen gadgets, the Instant Pot.  

Dinner is done in a fraction of the time, in 1 pot. No more scrambling around to pull together a meal. (Okay, I will always be scrambling, but at least it is way less often) 

Not to mention you can cook frozen meat. That’s right. For the mom who always forgets to pull something out of the freezer before work, the Instant Pot is your sercet weapon to doing it all. 

There are a ton of recipes out there. Check out pinterest for inspiration or 1 of the 100’s of Facebook groups for Instant Pots. 

My latest meal was Tuscan Chicken, check out the recipe here

Hangovers & Toddlers … How to Survive 

With Holiday season here that means tons of parties & more drinking. Wether your drinking to make it through Christmas dinner or just celebrating being reunited with family, one thing is the same … we are not 21 anymore & hangovers suck. Exspecially with a little human dependent on you, a.k.a. your toddler.

Glasses: Zenni Optical, Sweater: A.New.Day, from Target Clearance for $16, Shirt: Express, from 10 years ago, Jeans: Frame, from Opitz for $60, Shoes: Mossimo, from Target for $40, Necklace: Thrift Store for $5

Here are my go to’s for suriving the dreeded hangover with tots …

  1. Water – tons of it & that electrolyte water like Smart or Fuji, but honestly the best stuff is your kids Pedialyte … chug that stuff!!! 
  2. New Toys – I am not saying you need to go out & buy a new toy (that works though) but if you rotate toys (which is awesome BTW) take out a toy they haven’t had in a while that they love. Obviously not any of those loud-crazy-noise-making toys that everyone hates.
  3. T.V. – let them watch what they want, this also goes for personal electronic 
  4. Ibproufen – self explantory 
  5. Dilevery – because we all know I am not cooking, also make sure you have tons of snacks for those hungry little monsters 
  6. Bribery – literally this is all motherhood is. “You can have candy as long as you …” No shame here.

So go out, make the best of this holiday season, because you deserve it. Cheers! 🥂🍻🥂🍻🥂

Winter Bachelorette Party

Last weekend I got the oppurtunity to help plan a Winter Bachelorette Party for my dear friend Tanya.

Tanya & I met at work. She was the new 1st grade teacher & I was lucky enough to work with a student in her class. We became quick friends. Sharing many laughs through out the day & the occassional drink at happy hour.

 Tanya & I spent a ton of time at school together, but not a ton outside of school. (We live in different areas & lets be honest, it can be hard making time for friends with kids.) We made it work though, we became such good friends that she asked me to be apart of her wedding as her personal assistant. 

I was honored to say the least & so excitied that she had met her Prince Charming. (+ maybe she would start pushing out babies too, I could hope at least.)

One of my jobs as being personal assistant was helping plan the bachelorette party. This part made me a bit nervous. For one, we didn’t hang out much outside of school. Would she like what I planned? Thankfully it wasn’t just me planning.

I took on a couple of rolls, helping find the hotel, booking the restaurant, keeping track of who is & isn’t coming, & lastely the appiterziers. 

This I knew I would rock & on a budget too. Since the party was themed Winter Wonderland in downtown St. Paul, I wanted to do a charcuterie board. (My new go to for everything.) 

So I headed to my favorite grocery store ever … Aldi. I spent $210 on food, I know that may sound like a lot, but we had 24 girls coming & I did go a bit overboard, we had plenty of leftovers. (Okay alot, but I loved how it turned out)

The night was great, the drinks were flowing, & I was pretending I was 21 again. (I am definetlty NOT 21 … toddlers & hangovers don’t mix) But I couldn’t have asked for a better night. I met some great people, got to get all dolled up, & most of all the bride LOVED IT. 

My New Favorite Party

Life is always crazy, but the second Thanksgiving comes around it becomes a whole new ball game. The holidays are literally just insane. We have the Christmas shopping, wrapping, parties, decorating, baking, parties …. oh so many parties.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good classic party, sipping drinks, catching up with family & friends, laughing, dancing the night away. I live for getting all dressed up, wearing heels. BUT …

My new favorite party is … a party with good old Saint Nick. I am talking about breakfast with Santa. Thankfully for us our local Boys & Girls club throws the best Santa Breakfast.

For just $25 or a gift valued at $25 per family (& all proceeds go to the Boys & Girls Club, bonus!) you get to eat an amazing breakfast, decorate cookies, make ornaments, leather bracelets, & meet holiday unicorns & Santa, plus take in breath taking views at the Voyageur Environmental Center. It seriously everything you could ask for!

The kids got to run around, it wasn’t over crowded, the staff was friendly & all dressed up for the occasion. They were super helpful with the crafts, but really allowed people to do it on their own. My favorite was the leather bracelet.

A real treat was meeting the Holiday unicorn & horse. The kids loved running around outside & feeding the animals. Unicorns are real!

But truly the best part about it all was being with friends & family. Making new traditions & experience the magic of Christmas all over again. This is definitely my kind of party.

Upstairs Circus 

When my friend suggested checking out Upstairs Circus all she had to say was bottomless mimosas & I was in, the awesome craft I created was just an added bonus. 

Glasses: Zenni Optical, Sweater: Bow & Drape, from Opitz for $20, Jeans: Mossimo, from Target for $14, Shoes: Timberlands, from DSW for $60, Jacket: Columbia, husbands hand-me-down from his grandpa

This place is seriously the best for a day out with the girls, bachelorette party, or any crafter who loves to sip on drinks while creating. 

We entered Upstairs Circus & were greeted by the nicest staff. We checked in, showed them our IDs & handed them a credit card for any drinks we may have wanted above the mimosas that were included. They handed as tiny little plastic animals & showed us to our table. 

We brought in our own treats, some cupcakes. It turned out we were indeed celebrating something. It was one of my friends first time ever hanging with the girls without her son who was born 2 & half years ago. That’s right first time! We were going to need all of the momsas we could get our hands on.

After we got settled we headed to the back where all of the crafts were on display. There were so many options from house decor, signs, jewelry, & much more. I chose a marble serving tray, I turned my little plastic tiger in & received all the materials I would need along with the directions.

We headed back to our table & got started on our projects. The directions were easy to follow & the staff was great with any questions we may have had.

Not only was the staff nice, but the decor & style of the place was on point. Most DIY studios I feel can be a bit messy & lacking in decor, not Upstairs Circus

The floors were black & white tiles, from the ceiling hung upside down umbrellas, our chairs were modern & clear, & everything was clean. The bar was so cute with fun coloring books on it & an adorable popcorn machine in the corner.

I really couldn’t have asked for a better Sunday-funday. It took about 3 hours for as all to finish. I would say it was an hour of work & 2 hours of laughing with friends & getting a bit tipsy. All of this was just $40. A steal of a deal I thought!

I was so happy with my final product. It is actually something I like & would use. Those DIY painting classes are fun, but usually it is never a painting I enjoy or would hang in my house. 

I really just can’t say enough good things about Upstairs Circus. I highly recommend it. They have many locations around the country. So get the girls together or the hubby & head to your nearest Upstairs Circus. You won’t be disappointed! 

Living in Construction 

I live in construction & have lived in construction since we moved into our home 4 years ago. Not just a little bathroom makeover, but whole house makeover. We moved the stairs, took out walls, new roof, new windows, redid all of the electrical & plumbing, striped vinyl off of original hard wood floors, the list goes on & on. The best part is we are doing it ourselves.

This is me 8 months pregnant with Rowan, helping Tyler pour concrete for our new stairs. Glasses: Zenni Optical, Shirt: Husbands work shirt, Leggings: Some pregnancy leggings I found at a consignment shop, Shoes: DKNY, from Opitz for $5

If you know me, I like things a certain way. I hate clutter & messes. You would think & I thought that there would be no way I could survive a house remodel, a long-on-going house remodel, that still isn’t done 4 years later. But I am & I am not going crazy, thanks to Tyler.

My husband is an electrician, but before that he worked for his dad building houses, he started at just 4 years old with little tasks & I can tell already that’s going to be Rowan. I am so lucky, I married the ultimate handy man. But the real best part about Tyler is he has his priorities right, which helps me with this whole living in construction thing so much easier.

Family really does come first to Ty. The other night at a family event one of Tyler’s uncles asked us how many kids we want. We replied with our usual answer, 3 or 4. He replyed joking that we must not like money, to which Tyler replied

“You can’t hug or hangout with money, it’s way more fun to have a kid”

So the house might not be done, & it might never be done. I may not like that the trim isn’t up & my walk-in closet is not started, the basement isn’t even close, the garage is falling apart … but we are fine & healthy. Tyler is working his non-existent butt off everyday, but he is also at the park with us every night, eating dinner, spending quality time together. The house really can wait. 

Parenting … Preschool at 2

Lets be honest we really don’t know what we are doing when it comes to parenting or at least I don’t. I struggle with this on the daily, “am I handling this right,” “am I overreacting,” “did I say the wrong thing,” the list goes on & on.

Glasses: Zenni Optical, Shirt: H by Borefaux from Opitz for $6, Pants: Mossimo, from Goodwill for $4, Shoes: Birkenstocks, from Opitz for $35

My biggest fear is messing my kid up. I’ve heard so many stories about how just about anything can affect your child later in life, in good ways & bad. Not giving them enough attention, giving them to much attention, over praising, pushing/encouraging them into things, the list goes on & on.

At the end of the day I really just want my child to be happy. I want to give my child every opportunity in life. I want to give him a step-up & set him up for success.

That is why we chose to send Rowan to preschool at the early age of 2. My husband, Tyler, really struggled in school. He claims to have had the longest IEP in the history of his school. I don’t know if I believe that, but Tyler couldn’t sit still, got frustrated easily, & didn’t do great in a classroom setting. Tyler’s parents THANKFULLY ended up getting him help through special education around 2nd grade.

If Tyler had got help in preschool, maybe those first few years of school wouldn’t have been so hard. Maybe he would have already learned tools to help him be more successful in the classroom.

Rowan is a lot like Tyler already. So this is why we chose preschool early, I want to give Rowan a leg up. I want him to flourish in school & have all the tools needed for him to be as successful as he can be.

A Day at the Farm

When my good SAHM & fellow blogger friend Hilary suggested going to Gale Woods Farm over MEA I couldn’t say no.

Glasses: Zenni Optical, Sweater: Loft for $4.98, Jeans: Old Navy for $18, Shoes: Vans, from DSW for $45, Purse: Vintage Coach, from Goodwill for $12

Rowan loves, loves, LOVES all animals so I knew it was a must. We have been to Gale Woods Farm a few times before, but only in the spring to see the baby animals, & actually our wedding reception was here. So we familiar with this place.

Gale Woods is amazing. I really believe that you need to go out & explore the world with your children. They need that hands on experience to learn & grow. That exactly what Gale Woods Farm does.

We started the day with making bracelets from the wool of the sheep. We then got to help make carrot fritters & apple cider. Rowan is quite a picky eater, but gobbled up these carrot fritters. It’s going to be my new way to get veggies in his diet. (Recipe at bottom of page)  The kids got to practice milking a fake cow. Rowan practically lives off milk so he was quite excited to try it out.

We then ventured outside to visit all the animals. This is was what makes parenting the best. Seeing their little faces gleam with excitement. Life has always been good, but seeing it through their eyes is a whole new level.

After smothering the sheep with love we headed to the garden. There they got to shovel, pick weeds, eat raspberries & carrots. They got to be little gardeners. This made me realize that we NEED a real garden next year, & that can be one of Rowans jobs around the house. (Yes, Rowan is 2 & has chores)

We ended our trip at the farm learning about bees & other insects. I highly recommend Gale Woods Farm for your next family outing. It was $7 a person (2 & older) with a 20% discount for 4 or more.

After the farm we headed to Dakota Junction for lunch. This place is my favorite it town, but it was perfect for today. They get produce & meat from Gale Woods Farm. It really was a farm to table experience.

Change of Plans …

This Saturday I had plans to go the Sever’s Corn Maze with my dearest college friend, but of course it rained & we had to change plans. Melissa suggested going to Mall of America, I shot that down right away.

Glasses: Zenni Optical, Sweater: Bishop + Young, from Hope Chest for $12, Tank Top: H by Borefaux, from Opitz for $6, Jeans: Mossimo, from Goodwill for $4, Shoes: Jessica Simpson, from Opitz for $30, Hat: Target, from Goodwill for $5

“Hell NO! I don’t go to the MOA.” I stated. I hated it, the amount of people there literally scares me. I get super anxious just thinking about the MOA, but after trying to think up other places to go, I knew Melissa was right. This way we could eat & hang out for awhile.

We jumped right in the car & I could feel my stress level raising & it got to an all time high when it took FOREVER to find a parking spot. I expressed my fear to Tyler, & he reassured me that we got this. He told me he would be in charge of Rowan & he wouldn’t keep his eyes off of him so I could relax.

We found Melissa, Brady, & their adorable son Camden & headed to Cowboy Jacks for dinner. Going out to dinner in its self can be a disaster. We have found that we have turned into the parents we would never be. The parents that give their child an electronic so they can enjoy their dinner. Yep I do it! Thankfully this is the only time he uses it, this or long road trips.

So I knew dinner would be okay, but Cowboy Jacks went above & beyond. They sat us in our own private room with a couch/lounge area, a TV, it was perfect. We really got to enjoy each others company & a few drinks!

We then headed to Lego Land since it’s free. Rowan was having a great time until he noticed all the rides. He was no longer willing to sit & play with legos, he had to be on those rides.

Thankfully as we entered the park a man gave us his unused tickets, 57 tickets. That was the nicest thing ever, it really just made our night. We took turn going on rides with the boys. Camden even experienced his 1st rollercoaster. It was the perfect way to end the evening!

I couldn’t of asked for a better night. It was so great see my friend, relax, & have fun. I am so glad that I over came my fear, & didn’t allow my anxiety to hold me back. I am even more thankful for my husband, who reassured me. I need to do this more often, be spontaneous.