Hey! I hope everyone is doing well ❤ Took myself & my boys to a mini getaway before summer is over & we had a really good time minus the weather ,lol!😓 Let me tell you…it was I believe 109 degrees or more at some point. Its been a minute since I’ve been in that type of weather so I was struggling haha 😂but I always want to make it a point to make it fun for my kids. I like to make the best of any situation.
I ended up booking us at the Omni Rancho Las Palmas resort https://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/palm-springs-rancho-las-palmas?utm_campaign=omni_ohr_psprst_all_x_br_prop_palm+springs_en_exact_us&utm_content=58700005760068001&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=google&utm_term=43700052473369338&gclsrc=aw.ds&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI3fietO318QIVfBatBh3J_gM5EAAYASAAEgLRyvD_BwE all of us loved it! It was so much fun & the resort is actually very big. The family pool area is amazing , they have a lazy river , water splash zone, slides & a family pool which only goes up to 4 ft so it’s perfect for families & smaller kids. FYI the water is warm not cold at all. They also have an adult pool that goes up to 8ft just across from the family area which is pretty cool. Right now they try to keep capacity limited due to Covid, so they give out wrist bands for morning part of the day and for afternoon part. Since we went and it wasn’t overly busy the front desk person said we would be able to go all day the days we were there so it worked out. They also do cleaning of the pools twice a day so they close for an hour (everyone has to leave but can come back afterwards). There is a grill right next to the family area which is pretty good and you can order your food and they will bring it to you. Obviously it is a bit pricey but what resort wouldn’t be? Right ? They also have a Cafe which is sort of like a Starbucks and there drinks are very good & they have a restaurant as well. They definitely make it easy to not leave the resort!😉 From home I did bring breakfast muffins for us and snacks; healthy ones and not healthy lol. I also brought a lot of drinks; water , ice teas & some coke zeros for me. They also had an ice machine downstairs from our hotel area so that worked perfect so we had cold drinks the whole time. The room had a balcony , and the size was perfect for me and my boys. My oldest is 16 so he slept on the sofa bed and he said it was fine and comfortable. My youngest who is 9 slept on the king size bed with me and we had more than enough room👍🏽 Quick question … who else has issues with getting their teens to take pictures ? My oldest is usually ok with pics but on this trip he just wasn’t having it 😑 I think he just wasn’t good with the weather but while he was in the water he was smiling and laughing and having a good ol’ time. These teenage years are no joke, but phew at least I was able to sneak some videos and pics..
Overall we had so much fun😎 I am so grateful I was able to take this mini getaway & make memories with my boys .. the lazy river & slide was our favorite part! We definitely want to come back but not during the middle or end of summer. My kids already made that clear to me, lol!
We did end up going to downtown when we got there because I wanted to check out this brunch place that I saw on TikTok. I don’t know about anyone else but does TikTok make you want to check out food places or what ?! 😂 So we went to Wilma + Frieda’s Cafe and it was delicious! Definitely go check this place out if you can. The Blackberry French toast was the best thing we ordered, but my youngest loved the churro waffle. After we ate I heard about a Marilyn Monroe statue that they made that was near by, it was so hot but I wanted to check out & WOW it was huge and so beautiful! I am a big fan if Marilyn Monroe I love her movies & she was definitely a beauty icon. We took some amazing pictures and I was honestly glad we checked it out, I have a love for the old Hollywood era it just is so iconic to me.
The day we headed back home we ended up checking out another restaurant; El Patio. This one was a Mexican restaurant it is so cute the whole vibe was very cool, I loved the decor! I also thought the food was delicious and pretty close to authentic. I would 100% go back, my boys loved it also. 👌🏽
Thanks for stopping by and reading🤍 Feel free to comment below if you have checked this resort out or any of these restaurants or if you have any questions😊
Hi! I hope everyone is doing well & enjoying their summer so far.
We went on our first summer vacation last week & we had so much fun ! We stayed 4 nights in Santa Barbara, CA & we visited the cities around as well. We stayed at the Best Western Inn Santa Barbara, the room was very nice & staff was accommodating. The pool & jacuzzi were okay in size, when we arrived it looked very busy and crowded but overall it was fine. They even had washer and dryer to wash clothing if you needed too. Our suite had a fully stocked kitchen so you could cook and a fridge , coffee maker, microwave, & table to eat at. We did make breakfast every morning so we could save some money and we brought a lot of snacks which worked really well.
Traffic was a little heavy so we ended up going to downtown Santa Barbara the first day we arrived & just ate dinner and stayed local. We walked around , they have a lot of shops and food places to check out. We tried this gelato place that was so delicious😋 it was called Tondi Gelato and I highly recommend it!!
The next day we ended up driving to Solvang which was about 1 hour or so away , and this place is so cute! The small downside was it was extremely hot , lol it was 97 degrees! It did get a bit cooler through out the day but we made it and I loved it and my boys really liked it as well. It is much bigger than I thought… you can definitely spend the whole day there. They have these pancakes that we were told were so good but we ended up forgetting to go back and getting those so we bought their famous butter cookies which are 👌🏽 We also rented these Moke electric cars to drive around the town and they were so much fun! Its $49 an hour and seats 4 people and has blue tooth to play your music while your driving around town. If you go you definitely have to rent these😉
The following day we visited San Luis Obispo. I found they had so many shops , food and even bars. I think they have a lot of spots for college kids, but I still enjoyed it and my kids did as well. We checked out the bubblegum alley which was gross but also cool, lol. Its always nice to check out new places and have those memories. I always remind my kids that the memories and experience are so important and if you dont try or go new places you wont know if you like it. We shopped this super cute boutique and I found the cutest romper and the prices weren’t too bad. I love to go into these shops because they have items that you don’t find in the bigger more popular stores. We also ate at this Italian restaurant that was AMAZING it was called Giuseppe’s Cucina Rustica I definitely would recommend this place 100%! We were going to go to Pismo Beach but it was super foggy that day so we headed home.
The rest of the trip we hung out by the pool & jacuzzi & had so much fun. We also ended our last night going to dinner at this seafood place called The Drunken Crab ( similar to The Boiling Crab) in downtown Santa Barbara and it was so yummy! Another place I would recommend 😁👍🏽
I feel blessed and happy I was able to take my boys on this trip & that we were able to get a way for a bit and enjoy time together. We have more plans for this summer so hopefully I will be posting more on my blog.
Thanks for stopping by and supporting 🤍any questions or comments feel free to post below 👇🏼
So I would like to know .. do your kids read and like it ?! 🤔😂
I know some kids who love to read, some who struggle and some who honestly don’t like it. I believe that you have to really start reading to them at an early age & you have to stay consistent and keep them interested. Nowadays with social media and everything advancing a lot of us don’t pick up a book to read. It is so important and vital to our education, with reading comes comprehension and spelling… so the more you read the more you learn. I have always loved to read, but being so busy its hard for me to find the time, so I try to get audio books and listen on my downtime/me time.
My oldest ( now 16) I started reading to him when he was a baby and by 4 he memorized books and he was such a good reader! I think that really helped him as he didn’t really struggle with English, reading or comprehension. Now that he is in high school he reads if he has to for English class, but it isn’t his #1 thing to do, lol. I have to make him read and remind him of the benefits of reading. I bet I sound like a broken record! He was gifted a new book for Christmas, & I forgot the name of it, but I need to get him reading that book asap!
With my youngest son I also started reading to him young, but wasn’t as consistent as my older son so he has had some comprehension issues. I don’t think the COVID situation helped , I feel a lot of kids fell a bit behind with not being in school and the online learning was very difficult for the kids. He also is super active & has a lot of energy so he is more into other activities. He likes to read but at times he wants to read through everything so fast and when you ask him what he read he has no clue!! Lol, I am not sure if that is all kids, but I have to push him a bit and now we read together at nights. If I have things to get done around the house I have him read out loud to me and if he needs help with words he spells it or sounds it out to me.
I have a list of 5 books I wanted to share that my son loves ( I also enjoyed them too ) and has read over and over. I also provided the links all books are available on Amazon.com.
Salt in His Shoes – By: Deloris Jordan
E.T. – By: Melissa Mathison
God Gave Us Easter- By: Lisa Tawn Bergren
Who Is Michael Jordan? – By: Kristen Anderson
I Am George Washington- By: Brad Meltzer
I still want to purchase him a set of Who Is Books since he really likes those. I think they are very well written for kids & they give a lot of information on the topic. They have them on Amazon.com for purchase, if you haven’t heard of those or checked them out I suggest you do😉. If you have a son who loves basketball I highly recommend the Salt in His Shoes book he will really enjoy it !
Comment below with your kid’s book’s suggestions , I love to find new good reads for my boys.
Do you & your families make these every year ? I usually like to do them every year with the kids. I usually get the boxed packaged one from Target or Walmart every year, and to be honest the pieces are so heavy that you have to use so much icing just to get it to stick! You have to be so patient and hold it together ..one year I remember just throwing it away, lol!
This year I wanted to do something a bit different and this video popped up on my Facebook page and it was from this blog; https://gluesticksblog.com/make-a-pop-tart-gingerbread-house-video/ and it looked very easy and very cute. I also thought maybe it would be cheaper .. I don’t know about anyone else, but we don’t keep our gingerbread houses we end up throwing them away. The boxed ones are usually between $8-$15 plus so I wanted to see if I could spend less and end up with a cute affordable gingerbread house. I was going to go to the .99 cent store but wasn’t close to one so I went to the dollar tree instead. I found the pop tarts, candies (mini candy canes too), a cute little tree gummy, and a Santa gummy. I spent a total of $4 ! The icing I ended up making myself , below I will let you know how to do that😉 ( so easy!)
In the blog above she explained what the pro’s are to using pop tarts instead of graham crackers. I bought the strawberry ones and noticed that it did give it more a of textured look because they are frosted so I thought that was cool.
6 pop tarts
Variety of candies
Icing (you can do Store bought also ) – So if your making your own.. just mix powdered sugar and hot water, that is it! Just mix until you get a thick consistency.
When your cutting the pop tart be careful, you don’t need to press down so hard
Hold the pieces about 2 minutes or so together to make sure the icing hardens and it doesn’t fall apart
The roof is usually the hardest, so don’t press so hard be gentle and I would hold the two roof pieces together for about 3-4 minutes to make sure it is secure. The left side of our roof came down and we had to do the icing again .. it didn’t get too messed up so it worked out.
Have fun with your kids , its all about making memories!
My youngest son didn’t think this would work better than the boxed houses, he changed his mind quick! This took far less time and we didnt have to use tons and tons of icing. He ended up loving it and thought it was super cute.
My son had an idea he added some left over blue icing we had to give the house the “icicle look”. I told him to just have fun with it.
We added our tree and Santa gummies to the front of the house and I really loved how it came out. I recommend trying this with your kids and families, maybe do a contest ! For spending only $4 for the supplies this was an awesome little craft for the Christmas season. 🎄✨
Comment or share below if you will try this or if you have any other tips.
I’m sure you heard the phrase terrible twos many times, but they never tell you how difficult it can be to raise a teenager. The mood swings, the back talk & the attitude! 😑Oh geez I wish they would have told me before how this was gonna go, lol. I think as your kids get older it’s only a different phase but I don’t think parenting gets easier , who agrees? It’s all just different chapters and you have to find different ways to tackle each situation as it comes. There is no perfect child and there is no perfect parent but we owe them the very best of ourselves if we decided to bring them into the world. After my son was born all my friends were going out and partying and they had every right to we were young. I made a decision that I needed to be responsible for my son and make the right choices. I’ve been told I have somewhat of an old soul and I do believe that as I never was into drinking , smoking , partying. Don’t get me wrong I love to have fun, love to laugh I would say I am pretty funny.😉 I love listening to music and dancing is one of my favorite things to do but I think there is a healthy balance and limit to all that. I occasionally have a drink or two but life is so much more than that in my opinion. There is this quote that stuck out to me from a very long time ago “ Raise children that don’t have to recover from their childhood” which has been my goal. We have so many adults walking around today with unhealed trauma and they are projecting that onto their husbands/wives and even children and that leads to more trauma and more pain for generations to come.
I was 19 when I became pregnant with my older son and my parents were livid to say the least as they didn’t want that for me. At the time I didn’t think of the future , I was naive and I would say some if not most young people think only in the moment. I ended up getting married without knowing what a real marriage consisted of and back then it seemed like the right thing to do since we had a child together. The marriage only last about a year and my son never was able to experience a family ( me and his dad together) I know now that their are a lot of families like this, but it did hurt my heart for a very long time as all I wanted was my son to have a family. I would love to say that it never affected him but now that he is older we have spoken and he doesn’t remember us being together and he is fine because this is all he knows but deep down I’m sure it has hurt him at times. The positive part of things was that he has always had a good set of grandparents his dads, and my parents who have always been there as the greatest support system. All 4 of them love him so much and he is the first grand baby so he gets a lot of love. Co-parenting wasn’t always easy ( that probably should get its own blog post , lol) but now that I’m older and I have my faith and relationship with God I’ve dealt with all those feelings of “mom guilt “ and honestly things really turned out the way they were supposed to I wouldn’t change a thing. What I do want to say is anytime someone asks me for advice.. I say don’t rush to have kids with anyone and my opinion is to wait until your married and do things the right way. You definitely don’t want to bring kids into the world with the wrong person or someone you don’t really know that well and everyone suffer for your choices. This is happening every day and you want your kids to see there mother and father really LOVE, APPRECIATE and RESPECT each other with actions not just words. No home is perfect but; respect = love and that is evident in a healthy home. It will affect your kids and how they treat who they end up with in the future.
He is going to start driving soon and working god willing so I am a bit nervous 🤔but again it’s another stage of life and it’s important for him to start being responsible. He is a young man and needs to experience certain situations so that he can learn how to face them. As parents we can’t always save them even if we want to and they have to learn how to face life on their own.
My son will be 16 in a few weeks and I get more emotional as he gets older. He is an amazing kid, he has good grades, he is so kind hearted, he is great to his brother and I am so grateful and blessed because I know things haven’t always been easy for him. He obviously is not perfect! Lol he has his challenges.. I think this year is one of the hardest. It has been difficult with the pandemic as he has gone full online schooling and there is no interacting in person. Kids and teenagers really need to be interacting and socializing. It’s very unhealthy for the mind to be cooped up … so I do have him do work outs at home, take walks, and try to stay busy productively. He was into basketball when he was younger but not as much anymore. He likes to draw so finding hobbies is a good idea too. The video games tend to drive me a little crazy I don’t mind it for a bit but these kids want to play all day! It’s too much & I feel like the phones can be a problem too for anyone’s mental state. You have to unplug and regroup even us adults should be doing that.
Time goes by too fast I feel as though I blinked and he is 2 years away from being 18! I think back on all our memories together. Some other advice I would give is to spend as much time as you can with your kids even if your a working mom. I know it’s hard trust me I’ve worked since I was 16 and never stopped… I only have ever been off work when I was on maternity leave. I’m a hustler! Lol but anyway try to stay in the moment with them as much as you can. I know life is hard and It’s even harder as a single mom if your going through this your not alone and I am sending you lots of hugs and positive prayers and vibes💞. If your having a hard day or going through something emotional suppress those feelings while your with your kids if you can because they can feel your vibes and your energy they are more in tune than you think. Once they are in bed cry it out, talk with a family member/ friend, and have some self care time and then regroup.
Are you a parent of a teenager or a single mom? What is the hardest part for you ?
Doesn’t every mom want to save some money ? With Covid and everything shutting down I think us mom’s and a lot of families were in a tough place trying to find things to do and ways to keep everyone busy and entertained. Doing something other than being on screens and stuck in the house. My two boys have an age gap, one is 15 the other is 9 so they get along most of the time, lol. I really mean MOST! I think all siblings have their moments… my oldest sometimes would give me a hard time with certain activities but at the end of the day I am the boss, right ? Lol.
We really had fun and enjoyed doing sidewalk chalk , I would look up ideas on Pinterest or Google and we would just talk and draw and be outside in the backyard or front yard. The kids seemed to have a good time, I bought a bucket at Target and it really lasted us a long time and once that ran out I ordered some from Amazon. With these winter months you may not be able to go outside, but it all depends on where you live. I am in California so honestly we haven’t seen much of Fall or Winter yet. Its like come on we are waiting!
Another good idea would be to find a trail that is possibly a bit long with some good scenery, and maybe pack a lunch. This is a good work out for everyone and you can get out of the house and get some fresh air.
We enjoyed mostly going to the park a lot of times we would set up under the trees bring lunch or buy lunch , fruit , snacks, and drinks. The picnic blanket I bought from Target is washable, and very inexpensive. Ill be keeping it a while, I used it for the beach many times this summer so I love it. My boys love basketball so I would pick a park that has a court so they could play. I also bought little games from Target and or Walmart that were not expensive that we could use for months to come. The bean bag toss game I bought at Target is probably one of our favorites , it is a bit heavy but honestly it seems sturdy enough to last a while and it wasn’t expensive. It was from their summer line so it isn’t available anymore but Amazon has some like the one below.
Lastly I love to do arts & crafts ever since my kids were both small I enjoy doing them all together. Recently I found Michael’s sells different size canvas packs for painting’s and I thought this was very affordable and it seemed fun. They always have deals and coupons on their site that you can use in store. I bought the smaller size canvas so the kids don’t get overwhelmed doing a huge painting, it was $9.99 or $10.99 for 10 of them. The acrylic paints were about $.75 cents each I just get the regular colors but they have satin, matte , and even metallic so whichever you can chose the price does change a bit. The good thing is you wont use the whole bottle so store them and use them next time and each time you can get different color paints so it doesn’t feel like your spending so much. I decided for us to do Thanksgiving paintings since its right around the corner.. my 9 year old is into Among us the game , anyone else’s kids love that game? Honestly I’ve played and I do like it , lol. These paints do dry pretty fast so you can free hand it or use a pencil to sketch before you paint like I did for my son , he wanted to do an Among us pilgrim character. I just did a Turkey idea I found. 😁
Time spent is priceless to your kids & being present is so important. Being on a budget sometimes makes it hard to find fun interactive things to do especially in the times we are living…everything is so expensive! Comment & let me know what you do with your kids 😉
Is everyone ready for the holidays!? Lol, my youngest who is 9 has already started playing Christmas music in the car. I really have always enjoyed to cook & bake. I like to try new recipes & baking from scratch, I always like to get the kids involved. Now that my oldest is 15 I have to push him a little , lol but he isn’t too cool yet as he still participates. During the holidays I like to find fun, cute & festive desserts to we can try out. During my search I found these really cute apple hand pies which took me to this blog: https://www.livewellbakeoften.com/apple-hand-pies/
I decided to give these a try & they are very delish!
I would definitely make sure you knead the dough really well, and make sure you have enough room to roll the dough evenly. The egg mixture also needs to be placed on top evenly so you can get that flaky brown consistency just like on a pie. I used Granny smith apples since I use those whenever I am cooking apples, but I think you can use any other apples. I also used more cinnamon than listed since we love cinnamon.
2 pie crusts
2 cups chopped apples
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 -1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 egg , lightly beaten
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon butter ,cubed into small pieces (optional)
Combine the chopped apples, sugar, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg in a mixing bowl. Then cook on stove top, add 2 Tbs of butter in saucepan and add apples. Cook for about 10 minutes or so until apples are tender, add 2 Tbs of flour to thicken.
Flour your surface, roll the pie crusts to about 1/8-inch thick. Use a circle cookie cutter (or cup) cut out as many circles from the pie crusts as you can, reroll any scrap pieces of dough as needed. Move to the refrigerator to chill while you make the filling.
Preheat the oven to 400°F
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and milk until well combined. Set aside.
Remove the pie crust circles from the refrigerator and evenly add the apple pie filling between half of them, leave some room at the edges.
Place the other half of the pie crust circles on top then crimp the edges with a fork. You can add slits with a knife before you put the other half on top if you decide to do that.
Brush the top of each pie with the egg wash.
Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until the pies are golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
I wanted to add some pictures of our previous Thanksgiving dessert, Oreo cookie Turkeys from a few years ago. I love to look back at old pictures of my boys. Really great memories and I am so Thankful to God for both of them. I know 2020 has been so crazy.. what are you Thankful for? Any desserts your trying this year? Let me know if you try this one out😁