I am a stay-at-home wife and mother to three amazing kids. Our family is in constant battles with ADHD and tactile defensiveness. I think we're the perfectly imperfect family! I am an introvert, and I recently discovered that I am a highly sensitive person. I love to be at home, and my favorite hobbies are reading, cooking, watching movies, puzzles, and playing games with my family.

  • Holidays,  Rants & Musings

    Discover the Magic of a Girls’ Weekend

    I am fortunate to live close to all of my sisters. We all have a good relationship with one another. My mom, sisters, sister-in-laws, and I have a yearly tradition of going on a girls’ weekend. This is a chance to relax, unwind, goof off, and have fun! If you have never done a girls’ weekend, I would highly recommend you do!

    This is one of my favorite times of the year and something I always look forward to! We usually go from Friday to Monday, but we accommodate the schedule according to everyone’s availability! Two of my sisters are school teachers, so we typically go in the summer. We try to keep the costs under control, so we usually go to an aunt’s cabin up in Bear Lake, Utah, but sometimes we rent a condo or another place to stay.

    On the first day of our girls’ weekend, we go shopping. It is exhausting but very worth it. Once we finish shopping, we drive to the cabin or condo. Sometimes, we have a fashion show to model what we all bought for each other. It is so much fun!

    Over the next three days, we do whatever we want to do. We watch movies, play A LOT games, go for walks, and stay up too late. We talk, visit, listen to music, eat breakfast on the patio in the sun, and enjoy the quiet without the kids! I think that is one of the biggest benefits – no kids to care for!

    We also eat way too much! We will eat out sometimes, but we usually cook simple meals at the cabin. We bring snacks and treats to share with everyone.

    Sometimes we do a favorite things gift. We don’t spend much money on this, so it is small. A favorite things gift is an item you enjoy and want to share with others. It can be a treat, drink, lotion, or nail polish. You buy that item for everyone in your group. We usually wrap them, so it is a surprise. When it is time to give them out, we go around the circle, and everyone explains their favorite thing and why. Then you come home with some new fun items!

    Why should you need a girls’ weekend? For us, our lives are very demanding. We have jobs or kids to take care of or activities to do. On this weekend, we get to focus on ourselves. We get to relax and have conversations with other adults. It is the best four days to recharge as moms. Returning home, we feel ready to take on the world again.

    I would recommend this to everyone. Find some of your people, go on a girls’ weekend, and focus on yourself for a change! I’m also always looking for new ideas to do on our girls’ weekend. What things do you do on your girls’ weekend?

  • Family,  Holidays

    Things Our Kids Love Doing in St. George, Utah

    One of our frequent vacation destinations is St. George, Utah. We took the kids there for spring break this past year. The weather was amazing. We were only there for four days, so we didn’t get to everything you could or would want to do. We could only do a few things, a few of which I wanted to share. Our kids love doing these things whenever we visit St. George, Utah.

    Thunder Junction All Abilities Park

    We don’t go to St. George very often, but when we do, this park is the number one place the kids always request to go to. It is an all-abilities park themed around dinosaurs. Our daughter is really into dinosaurs right now, so she loved all the dinosaurs at the park.

    There are so many things to do at this park to entertain the little tikes and the little older kids. There are three major areas at this park. There are different playgrounds. They have a little section for toddlers and a section for the bigger kids. There are a few zip lines and some fun swings.

    There is a splash pad. It has a waterfall and a little stream the kids can play in. The kids love to play in it. We don’t usually take swimsuits for this. The kids go back and forth between the splash pad and the playground, so we don’t worry about swimsuits. To warn you, the water is very cold at the splash pad.

    My kid’s favorite part of the park is riding the train. It costs a dollar per person to ride, but I feel it is not too expensive. The kids love riding the train. It goes around the entire park. It takes you through rocks and a dinosaur bone tunnel.

    I would plan on spending a couple of hours at this park. Also, make sure that you put on sunscreen.

    Pioneer Park

    We took our kids to Pioneer Park while in St. Geroge. This is where the famous Dixie Rock is located. You can spend hours climbing on all the rocks and exploring different places to climb. There is even a little slot canyon called Little Narrows, after The Narrows in Zion’s National Park, that you can climb up.

    You can climb to the top of Dixie Rock. You have to climb up tiny makeshift stairs on the side of a rock to get to it, but it isn’t too bad. Our six-year-old was able to make it up and down. Pioneer Park is also connected to the Red Hills Desert Gardens. This is a fun place for the kids to explore and learn about all the plants that grow in the area. There is a parking lot for the gardens, or you can walk over from Pioneer Park. Once again, make sure that you wear sunscreen. You also want to make sure you take plenty of water.

    Zion National Park

    One of the days that we were in St. George, we decided to go to Zion National Park. It is about an hour’s drive, but it was worth it. We had to go online the night before and get shuttle reservations to travel within the park. Those were a dollar per person. They go very quickly, so you must ensure you get on and get your ticket right when it says. They sold out in about 4 minutes. If you don’t get a ticket, you can wait in line and get on a shuttle after 2:00. At least these were the rules, as far as I knew, because of COVID-19.

    We only did two hikes before we ran out of time. The first hike we took was the Riverside Walk. This one was very easy for our 6-year-old. Many people were on this hike, so we felt a little rushed on it. Once we got to the top, we could sit and rest. Walking back was a little bit slower. There weren’t as many people going back down. The second hike we went on was to the Lower Emerald Pool. This one, as well, was pretty easy for our 6-year-old. The kids enjoyed trying not to get wet from the waterfall that fell into the pool. You can hike to the Upper Emerald Pool, but at this point, the kids were too tired and wanted to head back.

    We also enjoyed getting ice cream at the lodge in between our hikes. We just sat on the lawn and enjoyed the beautiful view while we ate it. Another fun thing we did before entering the park was driving through the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel. It is 1.1 miles long. The kids thought this was cool. Just a side note: you do have to wait in line to go through the tunnel. Only one lane of traffic is allowed at one time.

    I know more hikes are kid-friendly. We just ran out of time. You want to ensure you have enough water and snacks in the park. Always wear sunscreen.

    Restaurants

    There are so many fun places to eat in St. George. I am only going to share two that we enjoyed. Our family enjoys Mexican food, so we must find a Mexican restaurant whenever we travel. The other type of restaurant we must find on vacation is Vietnamese. We love Pho. If you don’t know what that is, it is a Vietnamese bone broth rice noodle soup with thinly sliced meat, usually beef. Surprisingly, with my kids, it is the one meal that I never hear any complaints about!

    Angelica’s Mexican Grill

    This is a restaurant I enjoyed that I still am thinking about weeks and months later. It was that good! My husband and I ordered the street tacos, which were the best I have ever had. I only ordered one, and I wish I would have ordered more. You stand in line and order your taco or burrito, and then you go over to the salsa bar and get whatever toppings you want for your item. It was so yummy!!! There were only two downsides. The line to order was long. We probably stood in line for 20-25 minutes before placing our order. I am unsure if it was that busy because it was spring break or because of how they took orders because of COVID-19. I didn’t want to stand in line then, but I am glad we stuck it out. It was worth it. The other downside is that they didn’t have chips and salsa. I love chips and salsa. I could eat chips and salsa every day and never get sick. We picked to do a Mexican restaurant because I was craving chips and salsa. I was a little disappointed that they didn’t have any. It would have made the meal that much better if we could have had some. Even without the chips and salsa, this restaurant is worth going to.

    Ah’sya Vietnamese Restaurant

    We always like to find a place where we can get Pho. If you have never had Pho, it is something that you need to try. We like to get Beef Pho. It is a bone broth soup with rice noodles and thin slices of beef. It will also have onions in it too. When you order Pho, they will bring a plate with bean sprouts, basil, jalapenos, and limes. You add whatever you want to your Pho. You can add some Sriracha hot sauce and Hoisin sauce if you like. We also like to order a side of rice that we can eat with our broth. Our entire family, including our 6-year-old, loves this meal. This restaurant’s Pho is very delicious. The customer service isn’t the greatest, but the food makes up for that. If you want to try something outside the box, this restaurant is for you.

    There are so many fun things to do in St. George that we’ve done before that it would take too long to tell you about all of them. Hopefully, some of these suggestions can help while on your perfectly imperfect vacation. Happy Traveling!

    Let me know if you have any other recommendations on places you and your family love to visit in St. George! I’d love to add them to my list!

  • Family

    How Am I Supposed To Get My Son Ready For College?

    I went to a meeting last night that was a huge eye-opener! My son is a junior in high school. Maybe that can give you a hint. The meeting was about how to pay for college. I was screaming inside the whole time I was at this meeting.

    In my mind, I was like, there is no way I have a child old enough to start looking into going to college. Where do you start? The only nice thing for us is that my son knows exactly what he wants to do. That narrows down the college choices and the applications.

    I came home with two main concerns about starting the college process. First, I feel have nowhere near taught my son enough to be out there on his own. Second, how are we going to pay for this? These kept me up all night long.

    Sending my child out into the real world is such a scary thought. I feel like I still have so much to teach him and such little time. He hasn’t even had his first job yet, and I have to start thinking about college. This can’t be. I know it is impossible to teach your child everything, but they still need to learn to be successful before you send them out there.

    The list of things I want to teach him seems a mile long. On top of that, he is a teenager and doesn’t want to learn anything right now. So how do I teach him without him knowing I am teaching him?! I guess that is the million-dollar question. I want my children to be successful and be a good person in society. I might be more concerned about my son because he is an introvert and ikes to be at home. He doesn’t like to go out and be in the public. That issue is a whole other post. My top priority for the next two years is just teaching him life skills.

    My second concern is paying for college. I haven’t been out of college for that long, but I guess it has been longer than I thought. Back in the day, I thought my college was expensive. Compared to the expense of college now, it was so cheap. When I took financial classes in high school or college, they only discussed saving for retirement. There was never any mention of saving for your children’s college education.

    In this meeting, they talked a lot about scholarships. I know that is a good option, but that was so overwhelming. There are so many options out there that I don’t even know where to begin. Scholarships are great, but there is no guarantee. More likely than not, even if you get a scholarship, you will still have to pay a lot in tuition. The other question is, Do you help pay for your child’s college or make them pay for themselves?

    I am sure you can tell how overwhelmed and stressed I felt after this meeting. So until I can figure it out, I advise you to start teaching life skills as soon as they are age-appropriate and save for college as soon as possible!!!

  • Rants & Musings

    Why I Hate the Winter Months

    Okay, let me make this clear, it isn’t like I hate winter altogether. I can handle winter for a little while. There are many excellent and wonderful things about winter. I do love winter right after it has snowed a few inches and the sun comes out, making the snow look like glitter. That is a magnificent sight. I love to watch my kids playing in the snow, making snowmen. I love making hot chocolate for my kids and sitting in front of the fireplace. If I thought long and hard, I could come up with a few more great things about winter.

    But, here is the thing. Winter is seriously the longest season ever. It just drags on and on and on. January through March seems like it takes a year to finish. Sometimes, in March, we can have nice days, and then Mother Nature decides to make it snow again, almost like she is teasing us. We get just a little taste of spring, and then, just like that, it is snowing and cold again.

    Two Major Reasons I Hate the Winter Months

    The first reason is that I am constantly cold. It seems like no matter what I do, I can never get warm. I mean I am cold year round. I am that crazy lady in the middle of summer who must wear her coat to the grocery store because the air conditioning is too cold for me. I get made fun of quite a bit about how cold I am. At least in the summer, when I am cold, I can sit in the sun to warm up. In the winter, though, I can do very few things to get warm. I am very grateful for my rice bag. I can throw that in the microwave and get warm in a few minutes. I can’t exactly carry it around all day, though, so I can only use that when I have time to sit down, which isn’t very often. Therefore, I am freezing from about November until April, which is no fun.

    The second reason is that I always get the winter blues. I always get a little down in the winter. I usually don’t feel like doing much of anything. I don’t like to go out and do things; I typically like to stay home. Staying home, though, always makes me feel even worse. I try to get out, but it is tough to do. I also have a more challenging time in the winter doing things with my children. This always makes me feel guilty, and like I am such a bad mom. Anyone out there who feels the same way, please remember that you are not a bad mom and are doing the best you can. I always have to remind myself of this!

    I try to do things to help with the winter blues. I always open my blinds. The natural light makes it not so dark and dreary. As hard as it is, I try to get out of the house. Even if it is just running a small errand. We do family movie nights, and that helps as well. The winter blues never entirely go away by doing these things, but it seems to help. I start to feel better once the weather starts warming up and the sun comes out more.

    I would love to hear from anyone who hates the winter and deals with the winter blues. I would love to hear what you do to help you get through these dreadful months.

  • Rants & Musings

    The Greatest Gift Ever For Hot Cocoa!

    Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via these links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclaimers for more information.

    In the winter, my family absolutely loves to drink hot cocoa. We will drink a cup of hot cocoa almost every day once the weather turns cold. The kids will have a cup when they get home from school, or we will have a cup to warm us up before bed. As you can imagine, making hot cocoa for everyone takes time and effort.

    This year, we discovered the greatest gift ever to make hot cocoa, so we just had to get it. What is it, you might ask? Well, we discovered that a Keuring Coffee Maker can make hot cocoa!

    Our family doesn’t drink coffee, but when we saw that we could do hot cocoa with the coffee maker, we just had to get one! We purchased the Keurig K-Express Essentials Coffee Maker, but you can buy any coffee maker that uses K-Cup pods. Here are a few good options:

    Making hot cocoa with a Keurig Coffee Maker is so simple that even my 9-year-old can use it without problems. When the kids want hot cocoa, all they have to do now is go and grab a K-Cup pod, put it in the coffee maker, and push a button. Hot cocoa in less than a minute! That’s all, that’s it, it is so easy.

    The other great thing is you can get K-Cup pods in almost any hot cocoa flavor you can imagine. We bought several bundles with flavors like mint, caramel, marshmallow, strawberry blonde ice cream, Junior Mint, Charleston Chew, and many more. Trying all the different flavors has been so much fun for the whole family.

    Here are our family’s favorite hot cocoa K-Cup pods:

    My husband’s favorite flavor was, by far, the Crème De Menthe hot cocoa. It is so good! Throughout the family, there were a few flavors that we didn’t like! We didn’t enjoy any marshmallow-flavored hot cocoa or the Tootsie Roll hot cocoa (the worst flavor)! But we’ve had fun trying them all!

    The Keurig coffee maker (as a hot cocoa maker) was a trendy Christmas gift with my extended family this past year. It seems like everyone purchased one, and we all agree that this is the greatest gift for hot cocoa lovers! Especially if you drink hot cocoa like my family! I would highly recommend it.