Wednesday, September 17

Party at the Wildlife Museum!

Over the weekend, I piled up the Kia with Mema, a coupla presents, four excited kiddos, and my also-admittedly-excited self to head to Tucson's foothills to attend the coolest kid's party I've ever been to!  The party was hosted by the International Wildlife Museum, and the staff did such an incredible job of pulling everything together.

Every kiddo there was smiling and laughing and being entertained and interested for pretty much the whole 120 minutes--some of them longer, since they stayed as long as they could.  What did they say when I asked them how they liked it?  Well...

"My favorite part was learning about the animals and petting them. It was the best animal place I ever went to!


"It was the best place on earth!  Better than the zoo!"

 "I liked it!  It reminded me of Night at the Museum!"

That gator was fierce!

REALLY fierce!  ;)

As far as the birthday packages go, you can check out everything that entails here.  There are a couple of options that range from $150 (totally a deal considering I just spent $160 on a bowling party last week which wasn't nearly as fun, another museum in town starts at $175, and the zoo is about $300--yikes!).  As I was saying, it's a great deal considering what you get--admission for 25 guests, all paper goods and decorations, a scavenger hunt, the pleasure of everything being prepared and put away for you, and 2 hours in the dining area.  You can also add goody bags for all the kiddos and (the coolest part!) a live animal presentation.  We learned about and got a chance to pet a box turtle, a baby desert tortoise (so cute!), a bearded dragon, a python, and a bunny.  The live animal presentation was really cool.  Loved it!

"I liked it a lot.  It was such a fun birthday party!"

The photos tell the tale--all of these kids had a wonderful day.  And that's what it's all about: the kids having fun, right?  But the thing is, I'm pretty sure--no, I'm absolutely certain--that I had just as much or more fun than they had.  Last night during an adult bible study, the teacher asked what kinds of things make us happy.  I didn't say anything at that moment because a million things ran through my mind.  So many things make me happy.  Everything going better than planned--that makes me happy.  Learning.  Seeing my kids smile.  Watching them laugh with their friends.  Standing on a bridge overlooking the water.  Discovering dragon flies with my littles while the wind blows a gentle breeze.  Surrounding myself with God's amazing creation.  Being able to spend time with people I love.  Realizing that I'm living such an abundant life.   And I had the opportunity to do all of those things and reflect on them and more last weekend.  Pardon me if I get a little sappy, but you've got to really like a place that can inspire such joy.  So do I recommend that my Tucsonan readers venture over to the Wildlife Museum for a birthday party or just to spend the day?  I totally do!

You Can Find
The International Wildlife Museum On

Special thanks to the wonderful people at the International Wildlife Museum for providing my bestie with a party discount to facilitate this post!

Saturday, September 13

Djeco Glitter Art: Our Fave Art Kits

After using both the Djeco Nathalies Oil Pastel Workshop and Claire's Oil Pastel Workshop, my kiddos were so excited to try another.    This time we went for the Djeco Glitter AnimalsWe'd been studying India and the Far East so this went along perfectly.  This kit is recommended for children from 6 to 12.  My 3rd graders really enjoyed it and were able to do everything themselves.  The kit included 4 different animals on durable cardboard.  What's really cool is that no glue is involved.  You pull off paper to reveal stickiness underneath, pour on the color of glitter you want, dump off the extra, and repeat until you have a beautiful piece of glittery Eastern-style art. It provided my daughters with an hour of art.  If this set is only meant for one child, it would provide hours of art class.



The Djeco Glitter Art kit we reviewed sells for 19.99 on Timberdoodle.  Plus, you earn 20 doodle dollars with the purchase, which equals $1.00 off a future purchase. The Doodle Dollars incentive is pretty awesome, and makes everything you buy at Timberdoodle more affordable.

This year, we're using Djeco as our main art curriculum.  Djeco won Best Art Supplies of the Year and after using three of their kits so far, I recommend them over any other children's art set.  I especially love Djeco because they offer a wide variety of different mediums for different ages.  Each kit includes everything you need.  They're perfect for children who are naturally artistic and children who may not be or haven't had the chance to find out.  The Djeco kits offer a wonderful opportunity for homeschooling parents who aren't artistic to give their children a great art experience.  Each kit comes with a detailed, illustrated book that kids can use to learn the techniques quickly and easily with little to no help from mom.

The next Djeco art kit we'll be ordering from Timberdoodle is the Abstract Art Workshop.  I'm so excited to teach my children about another aspect of art appreciation!  They learn so much more by actually doing the art they're learning about.

As a member of Timberdoodle's Blogger Review Team I received Reward Points in exchange for a frank and unbiased review.


Thursday, September 11

Gorgeous New Tops from OASAP and Amazing Prices!

Every single time I receive an item from OASAP, I'm in love all over again!  Their clothing line always fits me perfectly (I'm a medium) and they have so many things in my style... in anyone's style!  They add new items all the time and I have such a blast updating my OASAP wish list.  Makes it so easy to order and to narrow down my little heart's desire... and to get a good deal! 

Lately, I've added some of their new tops to my closet.  I'm always looking for something to go with my leggings (I'd wear leggings every single day if I could pull it off!--they are so comfortable and cute!)  This blue top is chiffon and comfortable.  It also looks super cute with jeans.  I wear it both to church and out hiking--totally adaptable to anything!  I really like the irregular cut and the way it's longer in the back.  It costs  $9 with the coupon (below).  

I also went for this pretty lace kimono.  I put it on and instantly my daughter said, "Mama, why do you look so pretty!?"  I replied with "Why do you look so pretty?"  I was being silly because I knew that what she was really wondering was why mama looked so pretty around the house for no reason, doing dishes, vacuuming... etc. etc.  But it's nice to look pretty, isn't it, even if you're just stuck at home?   These tops are an easy way to do that.  Love them! 

Last but not least, I purchased this elegant white peplum top (shown at left) with a wrap that drapes either in front of or over your shoulder.  It's made of polyester and I'm wearing a US6 in the pic.  It is so pretty and it's only $10 with the coupon!  It can be worn with nice jeans or dress pants. 

Use the coupon code Q5IDAPYU for 18% off your order until October 12th!
What would you like to buy from OASAP? 
If you go shopping there, come back and let us all know what you bought!

Special thanks to the wonderful people at OASAP for this review opportunity!

Thursday, September 4

Birthday Party Season! #ConstructionCake

It's birthday party season for us!  It seems all of our children and our best friends kiddos were born in the months surrounding September.  Recently, we headed to the bowling alley to celebrate my little guy.  His Construction Cake was a huge success, and he had so much fun on his special day!  For the cake, I used a Bundt pan to make a 2-layer chocolate cake, used crushed graham crackers as rocks, and let the Matchbox cars dig up half the cake.  So fun and so easy.... and so hard to mess up!  ;)


Wednesday, September 3

Best Vacay Ever... so far! #BellingrathGardens

Once upon a time in a land far, far away from here... truly, our vacation came as close to a fairy tale as you could get in real life!  Not so long ago, my hubby, our four children, and I had the opportunity to tour the Gulf Coast.  A wonderful job opportunity, a generous amount of time off, and excitement for learning about new places all wove together to create an amazing vacation that lasted for weeks.  Visiting Alabama, we discovered why its nickname is "The Beautiful State."  We toured Bellingrath Gardens, 65 acres of beauty that totally captivated us.  If you're ever near Alabama, you must go there!


You Can Follow Bellingrath Gardens On