Craving Chocolate and Lazy Days
                                                           

Walking Alone::Tmart.com Review::

20140314_195943Beckham is at the age where he wants to do everything on his own.  He wants to put things in the grocery cart, read books alone, put DVDs in the player, walk through stores, and go to the car.  Well some of these things are okay to do by himself.  I am good with letting him go down the slide alone.  I am great with letting him try to put on his own clothes.  I am perfectly fine with handing him things to put in the grocery cart.  I am NOT okay with him opening and closing and opening and closing the DVD disc drawer.  I am NOT good with allowing him to drink Diet Coke out of the can in front of my computer.  I am CERTAINLY NOT okay with letting him enter a parking lot without a hand.

We are getting to the point where he is starting to drop to his knees and refusing to walk.  He is beginning to cry when he doesn’t get his way.  He is yanking his hand away when I try to hold it.  I understand the need to allow him to be independent but there are just some things he is too small to do on his own.  Walking alone through a store, the zoo, or in the parking lot are among those things.

tmart logo

Tmart.com sent me the Child Keeper Safety Harness Strap Bat Backpack.  To get Beckham used to wearing it I took the strap off and let him wear it around the house like a backpack.  He thought it was pretty cool to have it on and see the bat wings in the mirror, but after a while he wanted it off.  I just put it on him for a little bit at a time until he didn’t seem bothered by it.  Then we ventured out for a walk.  He didn’t like it at first…I tell you this kid is getting too independent…but he would rather walk than be in the stroller so he kept it on.  After a little bit he was okay hopping in the stroller and taking it off.  We will get there.

backpack
I do have a few issues with it though.  The product information online and on the tag of the product itself says it has padded shoulder straps.  As you can see from the picture below those straps are not padded.  Also it has a little zippered pocket but that is in the side facing the childs back.  This means in order to get anything out of the pocket you have to take the harness off.  Not very smart if you are hoping to carry tissues, gloves, etc. in it.  This product retails for $7.99 so I guess you get what you pay for?

Check out Tmart.com for tons of other gadgets, accessories, and other needs.  They have tons of lower priced items!

Spring Is Coming!

I can’t wait for spring.  I mean I have spring fever bad!!  I want to see flowers, hear birds tweeting, and break out my spring clothes.

Speaking of clothes, over at Real Moms Real Views, you can read all about the spring trends for 2014.  I was just given the opportunity to go to Kohl’s to pick up some of these new trends.  What choices!  (Seriously!  Ask my mom…I was there for…well let’s just say she had enough time to go get her teeth cleaned and come back :) )  I wanted to share a few of the trends over here so you could see them too.

apt 9 Lauren Conrad 1 Lauren Conrad 2

Head over to Real Moms Real Views to learn more about these trends.  While you are there enter to win one of the many giveaways that are open.  (Especially check out the Highlights Magazine giveaway.  It has low entries!!)

Big Brother Beckham! PLUS Giveaway!

In the last few weeks I have been trying to teach Beckham that he is going to be a big brother.  I have been showing him the ultrasound and saying “baby!”  Then pointing to my belly and telling him there is a baby inside.  When we see babies at the store I point them out and tell him, “That is a baby.  Mommy is going to have a baby too.  You are going to be a big brother!”  We talk about baby brothers and baby sisters all the time…I don’t think he gets that but I am trying.

twigtale

TwigTale is helping me teach Beckham about what a baby is, where the baby is, and what will happen when the baby is born.  It is a great company that helps you create personalized stories to teach your child about new adventures and situations that will happen in their life.  They can help you teach your child about becoming a big brother or sister, potty training, how they were adopted, sickness in the family, losing a pet, moving, parents going on vacation, and more!  You can even just document their memories.  Being able to preview the entire book before getting started on your project makes finding the right book for your situation very easy.

books

We received the Soon-To-Be New Sibling book that we titled, “Big Brother Beckham”.  It was so easy to make and really quick.  It only took me about 20 minutes to complete it.  They provide you with a list of pictures they suggest to use of your child.  If you refer to this list, find your pictures, and save them to your desktop it makes the process really quick.  I just found the pictures on my memory card as I went and still got it done in no time.  As you go along you are given the opportunity to edit the books wording to make it more personalized for your child and allows you to word the book to fit your talking style.

bigbrotherbeckham

Beckham LOVES books so when this arrived he couldn’t wait to read it.  We pulled it out right away and read it….three times in a row.  Then when Daddy got home he wanted him to read it to him.  Beckham loves seeing the pictures of him, his family, and his mommy and daddy.  He also likes hearing a story about him and the new baby.  We have read this book over and over and over again.  I know he is learning, which makes me happy.

bookThese books retail for $20 and are totally worth it.  (Shipping is just $5.50)  I can’t wait for the next little milestone of Beckham’s so we can get him another one.  Not only do these books help your child grow and learn at the specific time in their life, they serve as a little scrapbook too.  These will be fun for Beckham to look at later in life.

Check out TwigTales:

Website // Facebook // Twitter // Google+

TwigTale is giving one of you a $20 credit so you can make a book of your choice!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kid Free Cruising

In January my parents took my sisters and brothers-in-law on the most amazing cruise to celebrate their 40th anniversary year.  It was so much fun!  I had been a little anxious before leaving.  I hadn’t been away from Beckham for more than a few hours on a date night so I got a little nervous leaving him for 12 days.  I was also a little anxious about what if we didn’t return.  I didn’t want Beckham to grow up without a mom, dad, or even both.  I know…silly thoughts…but thoughts that still made me nervous.

After preparing, packing, and writing our will (yes, we really did that!) we took Beckham over to my mother-in-laws house.  She and my sister-in-law were taking on the big task of watching him the entire time we were gone.  We set up his bedroom…complete with pack and play with a mattress, music box (Check it out here…it is one of the most used things Beckham has), diapers galore, and a photo album so he doesn’t forget who we are.  We kissed and kissed and kissed Beckham and Max before hitting the road.  We may or may not have cried as we drove away.   Soon enough we were at the airport and on our way to Ft. Lauderdale.

2014-01-18 12.31.35

The next morning we made the short trip down to the port and embarked the Coral Princess.  We were all so excited to get going and see our digs for the next 11 days.  The boat was absolutely beautiful!  After grabbing some lunch and a pina colada (virgin of course) we waved goodbye to the US and set sail.

Day1

Next, mustering!  Can’t forget to muster!  Then on to dinner and a little welcome show that night.

DSCN4308
Day 1  on the boat was sailing toward Jamaica.  We kept busy by playing wooden pony races.  Erin won $6 and I won a baseball hat. :)    Bring on the luck!  Next we tried our hand at bingo but didn’t have any luck.  BOO!  That evening was a formal night.  I think it is so much fun getting all fancied up to eat and enjoy a show.  This is something we never really get a chance to do.  I guess I was the only one who really like it because after dinner everyone wanted to change into something more comfortable.  ha ha

Day1ADay 2–JAMAICA!  Ya mon!  Jamaica is beautiful!  We loved the slogan “There are no problems, just situations.”  Such a laid back culture.  Why can’t we be more like them?

First we headed up a chair lift in the middle of the rain forest.  Talk about gorgeous.  When we got to the top we made fools of ourselves with the dancers before headed on the bobsled coaster.  Then Erin, Josh, and I hit up the water slide that dumped us into an infinity pool overlooking the island.  Look!  You can even see our boat in the distance!

Day2Then we headed to the Dunns River Falls and climbed up….along with 2000 middle schoolers.  It was a busy place but we sure had fun.  Nothing gives you more inspiration and motivation to lose weight than to see your bloated and pregnant body in a bathing suit.  YIKES!  Good thing I will never see all those people again.

day2B
After a nice relaxing day at sea we woke up in Costa Rica!  Another beautiful and tropical location.  We left the boat and headed for the rain forest so we could get our zip line on!  Talk about a cool experience.  They hooked us all up in the most flattering safety gear known to man before showing us how to zip line from tree to tree.  We were hundreds of feet off the ground in the middle of the rain forest!!  SOOOO COOOOL!

Costa Rica

The next morning we woke up bright and early to see our boat enter the Panama Canal locks.  This was such a cool site to see.  It was neat to watch the water lift the boat up to the next level, see the boat creep through to the next lock, and then watch the water pour in to the previous lock before starting the rotation all over again.  3 locks later we were in Gatun Lake.

panama

Then we jumped onto the tenders and headed to shore.  After a little drive we boarded boats and hit the canal to find wildlife.  This was so fun.  The canal water was splashing on our faces as we felt itty bitty next to the large ships transporting all kinds of cargo.  We stopped by some trees just off the water and saw monkeys!  Real life monkeys in the wild!  It was really amazing.  After another ride down the canal we pulled up to some more trees and saw even more!  Our driver put some apple pieces on the front of our boat and the monkey jumped right out of the tree on to the boat, grabbed the apple, and hopped back up into the tree.  WHAT!  AWESOME!!  In all we saw about 4 different species of monkeys.  We also saw a sloth (sleeping of course), an alligator, and a bunch of different birds.

panama2

After cruising throughout the night we woke up almost to our Columbia port.  First we celebrated Erin’s birthday before disembarking in Cartegena.  On our way to find a driver to give us a tour of the city we walked through this really cool visitor’s center.  It was like a mini rain forest with all kinds of birds and animals there.  We saw toucans, parrots, monkeys, lizards, bunnies, miniature pigs or something, and other funky rain forest creatures.

columbia

After Ryan used his Spanish to hook us up with a taxi driver and a good deal, we all piled in a van and took off to see the city of Cartegena.  At first I was a little nervous because when I think of Columbia I think of the drug cartel and all the scary things that go along with that.  After a while I just felt like I was in another Spanish speaking city.  We stopped first at the fort to see some of the history.  Then we headed to the “old town” to see what the city within the old walls looked like.  It was beautiful.  You could definitely see the influence of the founders.  While we were there we stopped in a Hard Rock and celebrated Erin’s birthday again.  Can’t celebrate too much.  Then we headed to the “new town” to get a quick glance and stop at the beach.  Can’t go all the way to Columbia and not step on the beach!!

columbia2

After three days of sight seeing we enjoyed a day at sea soaking up the sun.  It was nice to have a relaxation day, sipping pina coladas, eating fruit, and watching movies by the pool.

The next morning we woke up at the beautiful island of Aruba!  I have been to Aruba before but not this port so it was like I was in a different place.  We  hopped on a bus that took us to a waiting catamaran.  After boarding we set sail and got hooked up with snorkel gear.  After a short sail time we stopped, jumped off the boat, and got our snorkel on.  It was fantastic!  The water was great and the fish were beautiful!

aruba

The last two days of the cruise we spent on the sea, soaking up the lasts rays of sunshine that we could, eating as much food as we could, playing Bingo again (I never won but Erin and my mom won TWICE!), and eating even more food!  What a great way to end 11 days of awesomeness!!

food and fun

After we got kicked off the boat we headed to the airport.  We hung out for a little bit only to find out that our flight was canceled because of weather in Atlanta.  Normally getting stuck in Florida and being forced to have another day on vacation would rock but it was raining, we didn’t have our luggage, and I missed Beckham and Max like a crazy person.  But after a night in a cool modern hotel, we made it!  I grabbed my little boy, swung his around, and kissed him like crazy.  Actually I think Max was more excited to see Adam and I but I talked myself into thinking Beckham missed me as much as I missed him.

This cruise was a dream!  I loved spending time with my parents, sisters, and brothers-in-law.  I especially loved being able to spend time with them without having to worry about what the kids are doing, cooking, and cleaning up.  It was just a nice relaxing time in the sun, laughing, and eating way too much food.  Thank you Mom and Dad for giving us such a wonderful present, memories that we wouldn’t trade for anything, and some killer couple time.  Happy 40th Anniversary!  We love you guys like crazy!!!

 

MARCO!  POLO!

Ah ha!  Here I am.  Man!  I have been one busy mamacita.  I better catch you all up on what the heck has been going on.

I will start with the most exciting.  Adam, Beckham, my mother and I all went to Disneyland in November.  We had to take Gram with us!   (Boy, does that make Disneyland with a 1 year old much more enjoyable!)  Our first day there we just walked around Downtown Disney and ate dinner.  Before heading back to our hotel I had my mother take a picture of the three of us.  (Another great reason why Grandma’s are good to take.)  I told my mom to take 2 pictures.  On the second one count 1, 2, 3.  Adam could tell I pulled a funny face.  I grabbed the camera and went to the picture to show him.  “Cute!”  WHAT!  I showed it to my mom.  “Yeah! Cute!”  WHAT!  They aren’t getting it.  I zoomed in on me and showed them again.  “WHAT!  Are you serious!?”

DSCN3343

They finally got it!  I am pregnant!  I had kept it a secret for 4 days waiting for just the right moment to spill the beans to my hubby.  I got him and I got him good.  We were all teary!

At Thanksgiving we announced to our families that we are expecting baby #2.  We have a tablecloth that we all trace our hands on and write what we are thankful for.  We traced Beckham’s hand and I secretively wrote what he was thankful for.

baby#2

A few minutes went by and my sister said, “Shut up!”  Huh?!  OH! She saw!  “Are you serious?”  I just smiled.  “Mom, Dad.  Come see what Beckham is thankful for!”  Hooray!  It was a wonderful little announcement.

We are due July 20th.  I started getting sick at 6 weeks.  With Beckham, I didn’t start getting sick until 10 weeks.  Thankfully I haven’t been sick for the last 4 weeks!  Last time I was sick the entire time.  Perhaps that means I am having a girl.  Perhaps it just means I am healthier…I am!  I have only gained 4 lbs and I am currently 18 weeks.  I am eating WAY better than last time and actually working out this time.  I am still doing cardio and weights.  Last time I worked out twice.  OOPS!  I am feeling great and my normal pants still button up…for one more week at least. LOL

baby2

Beckham LOVED Disneyland.  He loved the rides…especially the tea cups.  He loved the parades and made sure to say hi to everyone walking by.  He loved the fireworks and the sugar.  He especially loved seeing all the characters.  He may not have even been familiar with them but he loved hugging them and getting his picture taken with them.  It was such a sweet moment to see.  For tips and tricks on How to Survive Disneyland with a 1 Year Old, read the article I wrote on Real Moms Real Views.

charactersChristmas was another fun moment with Beckham.  He enjoyed opening the presents to see what was inside.  In fact, he loved it so much he wanted to open everyone’s presents.  The tricky part was to keep him focused.  Once he opened the present he wanted to play with the toy right away.  Then, after about 5 presents he was done and wanted to play.  Keep this in mind if you  have a 1 year old.  Give them 5 great gifts and spread them out throughout the day.

DSCN4171
After a year of hard work I showed off my before and after pictures of my 50 lb weight loss.  I am so proud of my hard work and dedication to living a healthier life.  I often get, “How did you do it?” Diet and exercise folks.  I know that stinks to hear but I swear to you, I have tried everything and it is the only thing that works.

before and after

Lastly, my parents took my sisters, their spouses, Adam, and I on a cruise to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary.  (Sept 2014)  We went to Jamaica, Costa Rica, Panama Canal, Panama, Columbia, and Aruba.  It was an 11 day cruise.  Adam and I hadn’t left Beckham for more than just a date night so leaving him behind was a little hard but we survived just fine.  In fact we loved having time for just the two of us.  We loved spending time with my family and not having to worry about cooking, cleaning, or kids.  It was so fun to spend time as couples upon the beautiful Coral Princess.  (No, we were not one of the ships that came home early with the Norvirus.  WHEW!)  There is just too much to show and tell about the cruise so here is a teaser picture and I will write a post about the whole thing later.

DSCN4396

Time Flies

Boy!  Time flies when you are having fun!  Seriously I haven’t blogged here in over 2 months!?  How did that happen?  Thanksgiving hit.  Then Christmas, New Years, and a cruise.  It has been a whirlwind of crazy fun around here.  Sorry I have been MIA.  I will, however, get to blogging and update you will fun news and pictures.  PROMISE!

Stay tuned for a great two month update this week!  Until then, follow me on Instagram @crissarobertson

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles with White Chocolate Chips Cookies

The other day I made cookies to take to a church activity.  I had a bunch of people ask me for the recipe so I will pass it along.  I found it on Pinterest….duh!  Think this girl can just come up with something delicious on her own…nope!  This recipe is from I Heart Nap Time.  They store really well because the pumpkin keeps them nice and moist.

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles with White Chocolate Chips Cookies

 Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (remove extra moisture with paper towel)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cream of tarter
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips

Sugar mix for rolling dough in:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl combine all the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cream of tarter, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, nutmeg, and ginger. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl cream butter and sugar with a mixer. Add in vanilla and egg and mix until combined.
  3. Place pumpkin on several paper towels and let water drain from pumpkin. Then place pumpkin in the bowl with the sugar and stir until combined. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix together. Fold in white chocolate chips and then cover bowl with seran wrap. Place in refrigerator for one hour to chill.
  4. Pre-heat oven to 350°.
  5. Prepare cookie sheets with non-stick spray or parchment paper. Roll dough into one inch balls and then roll into the sugar mixture. Place cookies on your pan one inch apart.
  6. Bake for 12-13 minutes. Allow cookies to cool 1-2 minutes on the pan and then place them on a cooling rack

 

Thanks I Heart Nap Time for sharing with me and making me look good for the ladies :)

Operation Smile

I love shopping at places that do good.  Take Target for example.  Target is always look for ways to give back to your local community.  Being the wife of a non-profit CEO my hubby is always working with companies who support local businesses.  Because they support those local businesses we are more inclined to shop at their store.  We like feeling like we are a part of doing good for someone else.

If you are a college student I bet you are  getting ready to buy books for the next semester.  When you start your textbook shopping start with CampusBookRentals.com

logoNot only can CampusBookRentals.com save your 40%-90% on your textbooks verses when you buy them at the bookstore and they offer shipping, but they donate to Operation Smile when each textbook is rented.

cleftOperation Smile is an international charity for children that heals their smiles and forever changes their lives.  Operation Smile is a “force of medical professionals and caring hearts who provide safe, effective reconstructive surgery and related medical care for children born with facial deformities such as cleft lip and cleft palate.”  Everyone deserves to be able to smile and Operation Smile helps with that.  Working ”in over 60 countries” they are bringing hope for a better future.

Don’t you want to be apart of that?!

CampusBookRentals.com and their new program RentBack (rentback.com) are two great companies to work with.  At RentBack you can rent the books you already own to
other students.  Renting to others is cool because you can make 2-4x more money compared to what you would make through buyback options!  Here are two videos for you so you can learn more on both companies.

Faire Collection Flash Sale

I love the Christmas season for a number of reasons.  One of my favorite things about this season is how kind everyone is.  People are willing to let someone go in front of them at the grocery store, cut in front of them to get out of a parking lot, and even buy gifts for people they don’t know.  People are looking for ways to serve their neighbor…stranger or not.  I love that.

Here is one way you can help people who are looking for a better life.

logoFaire Collection travels the world to find artisans.  They “collaborate with more than 225 artisans” around the world and ”create trend-setting designs that reflect both the culture heritage of the country of origin, as well as the style influences of New York City.”  ”Faire Collection substantially reduces poverty in the disadvantaged communities” where they work.  They also offer social programs such as educational scholarships and no interest loans.  By purchasing products through Faire Collection you are helping support artisans around the world.

faire

Today and tomorrow (Friday and Saturday) Faire Collection is having a FLASH SALE!  This is a great way  to kick off your holiday shopping and give to someone who is working hard to support their family.  During this sale they are offering 35% off the entire site!  Go check them out and do some good!

FlashSale_GiveFaire_FB_updated

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from my little Pooh Bear!  OOOOO! I just love this kid!

pooh bear