Quick and Easy Mickey and the Roadster Racers Birthday Party

My son just turned six and he’s slightly obsessed with Mickey Mouse. He has dressed like Mickey for three of five Halloween costumes. And we’ve had several birthday parties in a Mickey theme (including a Sorcerer’s Apprentice party). So of course this year he was set on a Mickey and the Roadster Racers birthday party. I was ready to make that happen – on a budget, of course! And with four kids, I just don’t have it in me for anything over-the-top, so these are very quick and easy ideas. I’ve even included my FREE PRINTABLES so you can host your own Mickey and the Roadster Racers party!

Please note that I include affiliate links in my posts. Clicking through and making a purchase helps me in a small financial way, thank you!

Mickey and the Roadster Racers birthday party ideas that are quick, easy and inexpensive!

Roadster Racers Birthday Party on a Budget

The Roadster Racers has a simple color scheme of red, black, yellow. You could add in black and white checked accents too! I went with plain red tablecloths with black plates and napkins. No expensive character-laden designs needed. Consider using the color scheme on balloons or crepe paper streamers. Or use black and white checked scrapbook paper to create pennant flags.

I had a “Kitchen Sink” bowl from Disneyland that made a perfect snack container! See what you have in the color schemes to use before making purchases.


Roadster Racers Outfit

My birthday boy wore the Mickey Mouse costume I’d made him for Halloween during his play date party. Here is my costume tutorial if you’d like to make one for your racer! If you don’t have a costume, consider having your child dress in an outfit or t-shirt that fits the theme.

Mickey and the Roadster Racers birthday party ideas that are quick, easy and inexpensive!

My Roadster Racer and his Zebra sister on Halloween. The costume doubled as his birthday party outfit.


Roadster Racers Themed Food

This was a fun and quirky way to incorporate the theme of the party, with snacks inspired by the show. We had a play date at the park after lunch so we just served simple goodies like mini doughnuts (“spare tires”) and cupcakes (“traffic light treats”). I’ve included the FREE PRINTABLE for each of these so you can print at home and use for your own party!

Mickey and the Roadster Racers birthday party ideas that are quick, easy and inexpensive!

Traffic Light Treats

I made easy cupcakes at home. On the chocolate frosted cupcakes, I split mini Oreo cookies in half and placed them in the frosting to resemble Mouse ears. On the vanilla frosted cupcakes we used plain M&M candies in yellow, red and green to look like a street light (you might see an orange M&M…we ran out of yellow – Guess what, nobody cared!)

Mickey and the Roadster Racers birthday party ideas that are quick, easy and inexpensive!

Nuts & Bolts and Dip Sticks

Store-bought Trail mix is a quick Nuts & Bolts treat. My friend Leslie of Trips with Tykes has a great Mickey Mouse Trail Mix so make it your own!

Pretzel sticks or rods are perfect Dip Sticks. You could also use baby carrots and Ranch dressing!

Mickey and the Roadster Racers birthday party ideas that are quick, easy and inexpensive!

Spare Tires

Mini chocolate doughnuts make tasty Spare Tires. We didn’t have any extras of these laying around after the party!

Mickey and the Roadster Racers birthday party ideas that are quick, easy and inexpensive!

Coolants

Our drink section was labeled Coolants, to chill down our active party guests! You could also put this label on an actual cooler.

Mickey and the Roadster Racers birthday party ideas that are quick, easy and inexpensive!

Links to Free Roadster Racers Party Printables

Roadster Racers Gifts

I purchased this small Mickey race car toy to use as a “cupcake topper” to set the theme for our party. It doubled as decoration and a toy to play with later as a memento for my son’s birthday.

Mickey and the Roadster Racers birthday party ideas that are quick, easy and inexpensive!

What to get your Roadster Racer fan for their birthday? Check out these appropriate gifts and videos!


More Printable Party Decorations

I found all these great, free printables on the Disney Junior website that are perfect for your Roadster Racers party.

Birthday Party on a Budget

Looking for more birthday party ideas? Check out my post Birthday Party On a Budget!

Mickey and the Roadster Racers birthday party ideas that are quick, easy and inexpensive!

Personal Trainer Food Review- Weight Loss Program Comparison

Maybe you’ve tried other weight loss programs. Maybe you’ve tried several other weight loss programs. You might have lost weight. But in many cases you’re left feeling frustrated by the high expenses of the program and unappetizing food. I’ve been following the Personal Trainer Food program and want to share my thoughts about the taste, convenience and cost compared to NutriSystem.

If you’re following along with my Personal Trainer Food Review posts, here are the previous posts in the series.

I received a complimentary box from Personal Trainer Food that included 28-days worth of meals and three butter sauces. All thoughts and opinions about this product are my own. Your results on the program may vary. No additional compensation has been provided. Please note that my post contains affiliate links. Clicking through and making a purchase helps me in a small financial way, thank you!

To be fair, Nutrisystem has a small selection of frozen choices on another menu. I did not test or compare their frozen menu items, the items tested were part of their largest selling food division of non-refrigerated items. Personal Trainer Food did send me the day’s worth of Nutrisystem for an honest comparison between the 2 meal plans.

8 lbs down after nearly 4 weeks on Personal Trainer Food program!

What Stalls Weight Loss?

Besides the obvious, like desserts, potatoes, breads, juice and pasta, what does Personal Trainer Food recommend that you avoid while in weight loss mode? These items may stall your results and are best avoided –

  • Milk, including yogurt, cottage cheese and sour cream.
  • Milk alternatives, like soy, rice and almond milk.
  • Peanuts, cashews and pecans (this includes nut butters of any type).
  • All fruit, except for one apple a day.
  • Protein bars and shakes (plus you’ll be getting enough protein in the foods you’re eating anyway).
  • Alcohol (even low-carb varieties).
  • Flour, oats and rice.

Nutritional Comparison to NutriSystem

I received a sample of a NutriSystem meal to compare with Personal Trainer Food. The NutriSystem food I received is shelf-stable and doesn’t require refrigeration. Those on the NutriSystem program are expected to supply their own fruits and veggies. When looking at the ingredient list of the NutriSystem foods, they are loaded with ingredients that actually could stall your weight loss!

NutriSystem shelf-stable foods

The NutriSystem breakfast is a very small (1.4 oz) Harvest Nut Bar with 7g of sugar, 22g carbs and 7g protein. Personal Trainer Food breakfasts include eggs and sausage or bacon. My favorite, the frittata omelette with breakfast sausage contains 1g of sugar, 2g carbs and 19g of protein. I have always felt full on my Personal Trainer Food breakfast for at least 3 hours before needing a snack. I can imagine how hungry I’d be eating only the tiny NutriSystem bar for breakfast.

NutriSystem Breakfast Bar

The NutriSystem Chicken Pasta Parmesan contained many unpronounceable ingredients as well as agave syrup and sugar! I’m not sure why a chicken and pasta dish would need 6 grams of sugar. It also contained 24g of carbohydrates and 15g of protein. There weren’t any vegetables included with this dish.

In comparison, the Personal Trainer Food Rotisserie Chicken Breast contained no sugar, 1g of carbs and 23g of protein. I was also able to choose my own vegetable packet that was shipped to me. Personal Trainer Food frozen vegetables contain a well-balanced amount of carb-loaded veggies like lima beans, corn and peas.

Personal Trainer Food Teriyaki chicken with green beans

The NutriSystem meal also came with a package of walnut chocolate chip cookies. At 7g of fat, 17g carbs and 7g sugar for about 5 small cookies. Also the ingredients contained wheat gluten, oats and sugar – all ingredients that may slow weight loss. As a side note, I did find it humorous that the cookies contained 8g of protein, which was more than the tiny breakfast bar!

Food and Flavor Comparison

The meals I’ve received from Personal Trainer Food are really great tasting food. Each dish is high in protein, contains good carbs and healthy fats with no heavily-processed food products. The food is cooked and flash-frozen to preserve freshness and flavor. Their products require no fillers, hidden sugars nor bad carbs. Meals are also low or no gluten.

My husband is really particular about what we eat at home and even he is totally sold on the Personal Trainer Food. He’s snuck them on occasion to eat for himself! Not only are they wholesome, good-for-you meals but they are also really delicious.

Personal Trainer Food Gluten-free breaded chicken breast with veggies

In comparison, the NutriSystem food that I received simply does not look appetizing. I refuse to eat the NutriSystem Chicken Pasta Parmesan because it just looks bad. I asked my mom, who has been on the NutriSystem program, and she said the shelf-stable foods do not taste good. She’s now on the Personal Trainer Food program and very happy with the food choices and flavor. It definitely makes it easier to stay on your weight loss program when the food tastes good, is filling and keeps you satisfied!

Cost Comparison

Many weight loss meal delivery plans can cost $600+ a month for food. Add in contracts, support costs and often hidden fees. With Personal Trainer Food, everyone receives healthy meals for weight loss, free support and free shipping with no hidden fees.

My mom went through the NutriSystem program on her own over the course of one month. At a cost of around $350 for the month, she lost no weight. She also had to purchase her own fruits and vegetables on NutriSystem. $350 for food that she didn’t like and no weight lost!

In contrast, my mom recently started on Personal Trainer Food and lost two pounds in the first week. I personally lost 8 lbs after four weeks on the program. The cost of three full meals a day on PTF is under $11 per day. They also frequently offer specials so sign up for their newsletter and receive email notifications.

Looking for Convenient and Fast

I’ve loved having the Personal Trainer Foods handy in my freezer. So quick to grab and heat – in just a few minutes I have a complete and healthy meal. I’m very happy that there is a program like this that is convenient but doesn’t sacrifice flavor and health! Check out the next post in my series- Personal Trainer Food – How Important is Convenience to Weight Loss?

Want to Learn More About Personal Trainer Food?

See their website for the latest sign up specials!

Considering the Personal Trainer Food diet program? Check out my honest review with details on the food, cost & how much you can lose #PersonalTrainerFood AD

Best Games and Toys for Unplugged Kids

I was at the toy store recently, perusing the aisles and looking for something my toddler daughter would enjoy. I walked out of the store empty-handed. First off, I didn’t want to buy her anything that made noise, was electronic or needed batteries. Second, so many of the toys were waaaaay too pricey for what they were! Third, I didn’t want to purchase anything that she’d outgrow in a month or two. I was looking for toys she’d be able to play with for several years and games that weren’t one-and-done.

Toys That Don’t Need Batteries

I went home and looked at the toys that I’ve purchased for my kids over the years, the favorites and the classics. These are items that have proven their worth in gold. These are the toys and games that get frequently pulled out, played with and foster imagination. Some I bought when my teens were babies and my littlest one plays with them today!

This post contains affiliate links. Clicking through and making a purchase helps me in a small financial way, thank you!

Outdoor Toys

Ultimate Frisbee by Wham-O

My big kids are SO into playing frisbee with friends lately! They even play Ultimate Frisbee during P.E. at school. If the frisbee craze hasn’t started in your area, take one to the park and see how many kids ask to join in!


Things that Go

Brio Classic Deluxe Train Set

I bought a Brio train set for my eldest over 15 years ago and it’s still in perfect condition and played with weekly! These classic wooden toys are an investment but quite possibly, your grandchildren will play with them someday too.


Family Games

Apples to Apples Disney Version

Already own and love the original Apples to Apples Game? Try one of the other varieties, including Junior, Disney, Bible or Big Picture. This is a family favorite.


Fostering Imagination

Hearth & Hand™ with Magnolia Wooden Dollhouse with Furniture

My dad made me a dollhouse for Christmas the year I turned 8. We would make furniture together with tiny picture frames from magazine pages and food from clay. Those are special memories! This dollhouse is beautiful and simple, the perfect heirloom.


Crafts and Creativity

Crayola Rock Painting Kit

Our community loves to paint and hide rocks for others to find (see this post). And my kids would love this kit that gives them all the tools they need to paint their own designs.


Toys for Builders

Magformers Magnets

Think outside the LEGO box for other creative toys that your builder will love! These magnet sets combine building with movement for maximum creativity.


Water Play

B. Toys Fish & Splish

End the day on a wet note by encouraging water play in the tub. This set is particularly fun because it’s also functional – the toys are also a comb and nail brush.

No batteries needed! These are the best toys for kids that don't need batteries.

Global Winter Wonderland Review – Holiday Show in San Diego

Have you heard of the Global Winter Wonderland? This limited-time holiday event is new to San Diego this year. The slick website shows all the activities that occur during a night at Global Winter Wonderland – Incredible, colorful and enormous lanterns representing landmarks from around the world. Performances by the talented Circus of Light. A full carnival with rides for a variety of ages. International cuisine. And don’t forget about visiting with Santa in his village! Just looking at the photographs of the event that has taken place in other cities is enough to give me goosebumps! Did the event live up to the hype? Find out in my honest review.

My family and I were hosted for a special media night event. No other compensation has been offered and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Lanterns Celebrating Holidays Around the World

Almost 100 artisans are in San Diego to design and sew by hand the lantern displays. This event features the largest display of traditional Chinese lanterns outside of China. And they are really quite beautiful. Many of the large lanterns have walkways to allow guests passage right through.

Global Winter Wonderland Review on this new Holiday Show in San Diego

I have no idea when they started constructing the lanterns for this event but the process seems painstakingly slow. Everything from the handcrafted frames, application of the silk to the hand-painting is a long process. On the night of our visit (2 nights before the grand opening), they weren’t finished. About 60% of the displays were lit for media to see. Some lanterns were completed like the luminescent Taj Mahal and the Great Wall of China.

Global Winter Wonderland Review on this new Holiday Show in San Diego

The Eiffel Tower structure was built but didn’t have the fabric yet. And some of the displays were still laying on the ground, awaiting assembly. During the two hours of the event, workers stayed busy (even roto-hammering into the concrete just feet from us). I’m sure that with the opening on Nov 19th they were frantic to complete but it was still odd to have them seemingly so far from completion.

Circus of Light

Showing several times during each night, this group of talented performers includes acrobats, contortionists and fire dancers from Africa, China and Europe. The show is touted as hosting Cirque du Soleil-level performances. We were treated to a brief show on a smaller stage (the large scale stage that will host the show wasn’t completed yet). The acrobats were fun and enthusiastic and we enjoyed the part of the show that we saw. I’m not sure I’d go as far as to say Cirque du Soleil-level (at least on what we witnessed) but it was enjoyable.

Global Winter Wonderland Review on this new Holiday Show in San Diego

International Foods

On the night of our visit we were able to sample a few of the foods that will be available during the event, including teriyaki chicken skewers, corn with all the fixings and cheeseburger sliders. There were also food trucks offering more well-rounded platters with veggies and sides. I wouldn’t necessarily call the foods “international cuisine”, but more like the usual fair food offerings. You’ll find the standards too (cotton candy, kettle corn, hot dogs). I’d suggest eating dinner ahead of time and then possibly indulge with dessert or a snack during the event.

Global Winter Wonderland Review on this new Holiday Show in San Diego

Rides & Games

For most kids, the brightly lit carnival rides are the highlight of this event. These are the typical attractions you’d find at any fair or carnival (The Zipper, Ferris wheel, Super Slide, carousel). There are 35 carnival rides, ranging from 3-5 tickets. At $1.25 per ticket, this is guaranteed to be a spendy part of the visit. With thrill rides costing $6.25 per person to ride, this is certainly something to budget for when planning your evening.

Visiting Global Winter Wonderland

SDCCU Stadium (formerly Qualcomm)

Open select nights from November 19th, 2017 to January 7th, 2018

  • Admission $22
  • Children & Seniors $19
  • There is also a season pass available for Adults at $49 and children/seniors at $44
  • Carnival Ride tickets $1.25 (each ride takes 3-5 tickets)  The website mentions an unlimited ride wristband but there is no place to purchase on the site so I’m not sure of the cost.
  • Parking fee is $10 per car, cash only
  • Discount tickets can be purchase ahead of time at Walgreens & through Groupon
  • You may bring in a stroller (there are no stroller rentals)
  • No outside food

Global Winter Wonderland Review on this new Holiday Show in San Diego

Global Winter Wonderland Review

This event is guaranteed to draw lots of crowds. The event is bright and colorful and looks fantastic in photographs and on the website. For my family, we found the event to be a bit of a let-down. Perhaps it’s because we attended the media event and many of the attractions were not yet completed. The construction around us was definitely a distraction (my electrician husband was particularly upset at seeing open and unattended electrical panels where there were children walking around). I’m hoping that all those issues get squared away before the event opens to the general public.

Go in knowing that while the lanterns are unique and creative, the cost of admission alone for viewing the lanterns and the Circus of Light show is quite high. Everything else from food to rides will cost you a considerable amount on top of the admission.

The Day I Gave Up Caring What My Kids Looked Like

Since day one with my eldest boy, I’ve cared about appearance. If he spit up on his onesie, it didn’t matter if there was nobody else home – I’d change his clothes. I didn’t spend a fortune on outfits or anything, but I always wanted him to look cute. Fortunately he’d wear whatever I bought for him and enjoyed being stylish. He rocked newsboy caps and coordinating Chuck Taylors. He had style and I loved showing him off.

Then my second son came and it was more of the same. Precious coordinating outfits down to the matching underwear and socks. Such a cutie-pie and a personality to match. I loved getting compliments on my boys, especially when they wore matching outfits. Weren’t they adorable?!

Ahhh, coordinating outfits! This makes my Type-A heart sing 🙂

I also have a stepdaughter. Up until about 2 years ago, I chose her outfits for her, buying the cutest things with coordinating accessories. Each morning without fail I’d do up her hair in elaborate styles with braids and bows. I loved seeing her dolled up and hearing the compliments on how pretty she looked.

Enter my baby daughter. She’s currently 19 months old and I’ve been so fortunate to receive a plethora of cuter-then-cute hand-me-downs. She loves to dress up too. After I’ve gotten her dressed in the morning and fixed her hair up into a bow, she checks herself out in the mirror and squeals with delight! She never pulls her bows out, not since she was a tiny baby. Naturally I absolutely adore dressing her up in sweet outfits and hearing all the buzz from passersby about how adorable she is.

I mean, come on…this outfit and that pose!! She’s a natural!

Letting Them Pick

Okay, so my eldest is now almost 14. My stepdaughter is 13. And my middle son is about to turn 6. Of course, though I’m still in charge of purchasing their clothes I’m beyond the point of being able to pick and choose their daily outfits (maybe Christmas outfits, being the exception!) These three big kids choose what they’re going to wear. And that’s both a good and bad thing. And I had the HARDEST time letting it go.

I started getting push back from my eldest, wanting to wear only basketball shorts and everything in black. He’s since added in more color to his wardrobe, but it’s still all pretty much basketball clothes. And the shirt that he wore on his kindergarten t-ball team? He only stopped wearing it last year – people, he was 12!! He has finally passed it down to his little brother (despite that it has older brother’s name silk screened on the back)..

Stepdaughter started asking if she could choose her own outfits and I obliged. At first it was cringe-worthy, the patterns and styles that came out of the bedroom in the morning. I sent her back to her room a lot to swap out either the top or the pants, because I just couldn’t let her walk out of the house wearing an orange striped shirt with red jeans, could I? I still did up her hair for a while though, until she took that over too, not wanting braids or bows any longer. Hair is usually pulled back sloppily into a regular ponytail.

Second son is probably the most eclectic of all. He’s incredibly creative and at 4, started resisting to the outfits I’d chosen. He now regularly walks out for the day wearing sweatpants, a tank top and knee socks pulled over the hem of the pants.

The Day I Gave Up Caring

I was going through a drawer filled with pictures at my mom’s house. The kids and I were giggling over the old photos, in particular the ones with the 1980s version of mommy. I was rockin’ copious amounts of blue eye shadow behind my enormous pink glasses. Permed hair with wild bangs that I never could get ratted up quite right. And the outfits. What’s funny is I know that I dressed even more wildly, there is just no photographic evidence. My wise mother didn’t capture those over-the-top moments when I was wearing four ponytails, layered socks and two skirts (yes, I remember layering a short skirt over a long one!) I certainly did dress funky, even though my excuse is that it was the 80s. Each outfit was my own personal style.

Not terrible but I am wearing a white sailor hat (why?!)

And then it hit me – I was stifling my kids from having their own personal style.

In not letting my kids wear what was their personal style, I was really putting a damper on letting them grow and develop into the unique person that God wants them to be.

I’d asked my mom about those wild outfits years ago, cringing at a particular photo of me with both blue eye shadow AND blue mascara. She told me that she’d always admired my fashion gusto as a child. She wanted to foster my creativity. And that if I wanted to wear three ponytails on my head or a half dozen hair clips, she’d let me. She said her only suggestion was that I not mix plaids, even if my kindergarten reasoning was that they had the same colors.

Letting Them Grow By Letting It Go

And so I stopped making suggestions on what my kids should or shouldn’t wear. I started turning a blind eye (literally) to what I was seeing them wear at the breakfast table. I changed my commentary to say things like, “That’s a cute top on you” or “What a colorful outfit today!” The self-confidence is rising.

If I don’t want my kids to wear a particular item anymore, I unceremoniously remove it from their closet and put it in the donation bin. If it’s not in the closet, they can’t wear it anymore.

People aren’t complimenting my eldest three on their clothes anymore. People just don’t say anything about their appearance. Nobody really cares that the oldest boy is wearing basketball shorts again. Or that stepdaughter has her hair in a sloppy ponytail. Or that little son is wearing neon green socks with orange sandals. I no longer think that it reflects poorly on me if my kids aren’t dressed to the nines.

But what I do hear goes deeper than that. I’m hearing how well behaved they are. How generous and how kind. What good friends they are. That’s what’s really important, right? Not that they’re wearing something mismatched.

You may see me out and about with the kids, or maybe you see a photo of them online. One of the kids is wearing a clip-on tie with their t-shirt, one is wearing a Christmas themed shirt in July and the other has spiked his hair with too much gel. Just smile and nod. And know that I’m dying inside to correct them. But that I’m choosing to let them grow by letting it go.

Relieving My Tired, Achy “Mom Body” From the Ground Up

#advertisement I received compensation from Dr. Scholl’s® to write this post. All opinions are entirely my own. #CustomFitRelief #DrScholls

Exercise and moving more is something I’m working on in my rejuvenated quest for little changes that make a big difference. I recently celebrated my 44th birthday and with four kids (ages 19 months to 13 years old), I need all the energy I can to keep up with them. Unfortunately, I have chronic lower back pain that often hinders me from getting active. Years of not listening to my body has taken its toll. I’ve been doing physical therapy and exercising more to strengthen my core. I know that too much sitting can cause my pain to increase and that stretching, exercise and frequent walking helps. However being on my feet more means tired, achy feet in addition to lower back pain. Simply walking my baby in her stroller around the block can cause foot and lower back pain, which is not encouraging me to move more!

See how I'm using custom orthodics to relieve my tired, achy "mom body" so I can keep up with my kids! #CustomFitRelief #ad

I’ve heard about using orthotic inserts in my everyday shoes but hadn’t tried them yet. Pain in the lower back and knees can originate from your feet. Orthotics can disperse foot pressure to reduce the stress on your knees or lower back that cause pain. I was excited to see that my local Walmart has a Dr. Scholl’s® Custom Fit® Kiosk (CLICK to find a Custom Fit® Kiosk near you). The kiosk uses Footmapping® technology to help me choose the right orthotic insert for my needs. Dr. Scholl’s® Custom Fit® Orthotics can provide immediate, all day relief for foot, knee, or lower back pain while on my feet…sign me up!

See how I'm using custom orthodics to relieve my tired, achy "mom body" so I can keep up with my kids! #CustomFitRelief #ad

Dr. Scholl’s® developed the advanced FootMapping® technology used in the Custom Fit® kiosk. Simply stand barefooted at the kiosk and the machine uses over 2,000 pressure sensors to create your Custom Footmap.

See how I'm using custom orthodics to relieve my tired, achy "mom body" so I can keep up with my kids! #CustomFitRelief #ad
At one point in the process you’ll grab a hold of the bars in front of you and lift up each foot at a time for the FootMapping® technology to “read” each foot.

In just seconds, you’ll receive information identifying your arch type, foot length and unique pressure points. It’s a very quick process – in under 2 minutes, the kiosk evaluated my feet and recommended the Custom Fit® Orthotic Inserts that were ideal for me. I’m a CF310!

See how I'm using custom orthodics to relieve my tired, achy "mom body" so I can keep up with my kids! #CustomFitRelief #ad

At the end of the process, I plugged in my email address to have rebate and all the information about the recommended orthotics sent to me. You can also click through to get $10 savings after purchase via this link at the Custom Fit® Online Rebate Center.

See how I'm using custom orthodics to relieve my tired, achy "mom body" so I can keep up with my kids! #CustomFitRelief #ad

Dr. Scholl’s® Custom Fit® Orthotics are comprised of 4 layers that provide support and cushioning that relieve foot and lower body pain for all-day on-your-feet comfort.

See how I'm using custom orthodics to relieve my tired, achy "mom body" so I can keep up with my kids! #CustomFitRelief #ad

Let’s just say when I slipped them into my new boots, I didn’t experience any of the usual discomfort when I started walking. The orthotic raised my foot slightly, so my walking shoes with the elastic bands across the top were a little tighter than usual.

See how I'm using custom orthodics to relieve my tired, achy "mom body" so I can keep up with my kids! #CustomFitRelief #ad

I like that I can move the orthotics into whatever shoe I’m wearing that day (my boots, walking shoes, heel or flats). Everyone can try Custom Fit® Orthotics risk-free, with the Dr. Scholl’s® Money Back Guarantee.

See how I'm using custom orthodics to relieve my tired, achy "mom body" so I can keep up with my kids! #CustomFitRelief #ad

Daily use of my Dr. Scholl’s® Custom Fit® Orthotic Inserts has truly helped me to get through my days comfortably. I’m using Dr. Scholl’s® Custom Fit® Orthotic Inserts in my everyday shoes to help me relieve lower back pain. Now I can keep up with my kids…they just need to keep up with me!

See how I'm using custom orthodics to relieve my tired, achy "mom body" so I can keep up with my kids! #CustomFitRelief #ad

Photo Credit: Melendy Britt

Personal Trainer Food Review- Resisting Temptations (Week 3)

At the beginning of week three, I was really starting to notice a change in my figure. And by the middle of week three, other people were starting to notice as well. I had a few friends comment that whatever I was doing, was working! And my husband said he could really tell a difference in my back and stomach. On the 17th day following the Personal Trainer Food program, my jeans were so loose I could slide them off without unbuttoning! Exciting changes and I’m THRILLED! I’ve felt so stuck in my weight loss for years, that I feel so happy to have finally found something that is working for me.

If you’re following along with my Personal Trainer Food Review posts, here are the previous posts in the series.

I received a complimentary box from Personal Trainer Food that included 28-days worth of meals and three butter sauces. All thoughts and opinions about this product are my own. Your results on the program may vary. No additional compensation has been provided. Please note that I use affiliate links in my posts. Clicking through and making a purchase helps me in a small financial way, thank you!

Eating Out on the Plan

My husband and I don’t eat out very often but I was glad to read that the Personal Trainer Food program does allow you to eat out and still stay within the weight loss guidelines. By subbing pasta, bread, potatoes, chips and rice for a salad and approved veggies, I can still enjoy a meal out without cheating!

On Saturday I went to a party and I didn’t know ahead of time what food would be served. I already knew that I would be avoiding alcohol (a no-no on the program). And that I would modify whatever meal was offered to stay on program. Fortunately street tacos were served, which was great! I requested no tortillas, so I ate my meat, salsa and guacamole right off the plate. I skipped the chips, avoided the cookies and drank diet soda instead of wine. Best part: I wore a long-abandoned pair of jeans that night – a pair of jeans I thought I’d never fit into again!

21 days on Personal Trainer Food program. Find out the food, plan and how much I lost after week 3! #spon #PersonalTrainerFood

An Apple a Day

The only fruit on the weight loss guidelines chart is apple. I am “allowed” one apple per day while in weight loss mode. Some days I save my apple for after dinner. Other days I need the sweet snack on the afternoon. I usually eat my apple with some cheddar cheese and a few nuts. One day I chopped it up, sprinkled with zero calorie sweetener and cinnamon and microwaved it so it was soft and warm.

In the first week, I LIVED for that apple. I looked forward to it, since it was the only sweet thing I was eating. I can honestly say that in week three, there are some days I forget to eat the apple! Maybe my taste buds are changing a little? Or I’m just not hungry!

Sprinkle and Drizzle Flavor

Personal Trainer Food sent me bottles of their butter sauces. I’ve gotten accustomed over the years to eating my steamed veggies without butter or salt, so drizzling these yummy butter sauces is GREAT! Salad dressings, hot sauce and salsa are okay to add, so long as they have less than 2g of sugar per serving. Just don’t pick “low-fat” or “reduced calorie”.

21 days on Personal Trainer Food program. Find out the food, plan and how much I lost after week 3! #spon #PersonalTrainerFood

Bacon on everything!! Yes, really. I added cheese and bacon to my Personal Trainer Food veggie burger as well as on my green beans.

Tempted to Cheat

Have I been tempted to cheat while on the program? Oh yes! But after reading that even a bite of a non-recommended food can set me back 2-4 days in my weight loss, I have NOT indulged on anything off program! If I’m going to do the program, I want to be 100% committed to making it work so I can see the true results.

Here is my thought on this – there are going to be “special days”. Days when I’m going to want to eat off-program and indulge in bread or dessert. There’s going to be a day when I want pizza! But those “special days” cannot be everyday. And it’s just way too easy to make that pattern become a habit.

Every day doesn’t require doughnuts for breakfast, nachos for lunch and burgers with fries for dinner. Every day doesn’t require that I eat simple carbs. I’ve proven I can do without them while sticking to this program. And sorry, but every day doesn’t deserve dessert! As someone who has always had a crazy sweet tooth, I can’t believe I’m admitting that. But it’s true. I don’t need dessert. I’ve gotten by fine without it. And I’m finally losing the weight.

21 days on Personal Trainer Food program. Find out the food, plan and how much I lost after week 3! #spon #PersonalTrainerFood

Orange chicken and veggies

Planning a “Cheat Day”

I started on the Personal Trainer Food program on October 23rd, exactly one month prior to Thanksgiving Day. I knew going in that I would want to relax on the program a bit for that one single day. I’d like to enjoy the meal, maybe have a roll, a glass of wine and a piece of pie. I reached out via email to a Personal Trainer Food coach to ask how a cheat day would affect me.

The coaches highly encourage you NOT to cheat (not even a bite) while in the weight loss mode. It’s a slippery slope! And once you indulge one day, it’s going to be that much harder to get back on the wagon.

With that said, she said that if I do indulge for one day, that they recommend a 24-48 hour liquid fast before starting back on the program again. This will cleanse you of carbs and sugar and get your body back on track for weight loss.

21 days on Personal Trainer Food program. Find out the food, plan and how much I lost after week 3! #spon #PersonalTrainerFood

Fajita steak and veggies – I added the extra cheese!

Personal Trainer Food Review – WEEK THREE

Cravings & Habits

Cravings have definitely subsided this week. I went to my mom’s group this week and there were doughnuts, croissants, bagels and berries. I spied apple slices, broccoli, raw carrots and almonds and helped myself generously!

Feelings & Mood

I’ve been really energetic and feeling great. Each day I wake up without grogginess, despite the fact that my 19-month old daughter still wakes up several times a night!

I do still get a little grumpy when I choose to forgo some of my favorite foods that are not on the program. This weekend my family ate cornbread at dinner and I really did want to try a piece. But I have my goal in mind so I’m sticking to my promise (even though it does make me a little moody).

Body Changes

I swear, I’m shrinking overnight. I wake in the morning and put my hands on my hips, feeling so much smaller each day. Pants are looser. Shirts are bigger. I pulled out my winter wardrobe and several pairs of pants that I hadn’t been able to wear for years finally fit again!

I also noticed that the dark circles under my eyes are gone. The chronic pain I’ve been having in my back for the last 2 years is amazingly so much better. Are those the result in the lack of carbs and sugar in my diet or the actual weight loss? Not sure but I like the results!

Final Results for WEEK THREE:

Weight lost – 1.5 lb this week / TOTAL weight lost – 7.5 lbs in three weeks

Inches lost – after three weeks on the Personal Trainer Food program I have lost 1/4″ total off my arms, 2.25″ off my thighs, 1″ off my chest, 1.5″ off my waist, and 1.5″ off my hips. A total of 6.5″ total lost in three weeks.

Considering the Personal Trainer Food program?

Personal Trainer Food website – Be sure to check out their site and sign up for the newsletter to receive special discount codes!

Follow along with my Personal Trainer Food Review posts – here is the next post in the series.

Considering the Personal Trainer Food diet program? Check out my honest review with details on the food, cost & how much you can lose #PersonalTrainerFood AD

Holiday Shopping Guide: Disney Gifts for Toddlers

That first holiday when your child is old enough to enjoy the season is just the best! They can enjoy the holiday meal. They love looking at lights in the neighborhood. And of course, they’re old enough to open gifts now too! I can’t wait for my toddler daughter to see the Christmas tree this year. But I have a feeling we won’t be setting any presents out under the tree, for fear she’ll open them all before the actual holiday! Holiday shopping for toddlers is already so much fun. And of course adding a pixie dust sprinkling of Disney in with the presents is so magical. Here is the shopping guide with my suggestions of Disney gifts for toddlers!

Please note that I use affiliate links in my posts. Clicking through and making a purchase helps me in a small financial way, thank you!

Disney gifts for toddlers including stocking stuffers, toys, bath and meal time fun and favorite books and movies!

Disney Toys for Toddlers

Number one on the lists of all little boys and girls – TOYS! These adorable Disney-themed toys for toddlers include Little People and LEGO Duplo blocks.

Fisher-Price Little People

LEGO Duplo Disney blocks are adorable and really feed a toddler’s imagination!


Adorable Outfits and Clothes

Toddlers love to wear comfy clothes that also feature their favorite characters! These machine-washable outfits are great for a day at Disney…or any day!

 

Disney Books, Music and Movies

What’s better on a chilly day than snuggling up to read, watch favorite movies or listen to songs together with your toddler? These are all perfect for little ones and make great Disney gifts for toddlers. These DVDs are family favorites!


Disney Dollies

Toddlers love to emulate mama and that means having a baby to care for of their very own. Each of my kids had their own special Disney-themed stuffy or doll (even me – my lovie was Winnie the Pooh!)

 

Outdoor Play

Toddlers love to explore the great outdoors. These outdoor play items with a Disney twist will keep them active outside.

           

 

Disney Dining

A favorite character featured at meal time makes lima beans look more appealing! Okay, maybe not, but toddlers love to see Disney characters on their cups, plates, bibs and placemats.



Toddler Games

These games are fine for little ones to play on their own, but everything is more fun with family! Include these fun games on your next family game night to include your toddler as well.

  


Dressing Up Disney

Kids of all ages love to play dress-up! Toddlers too, so keep their dress-up box full and fill their imaginations!

 


Disney Travel Gear

Hitting the road? Even if you’re not headed to the Disney Parks, you can pack your toddler’s favorite characters on everything from pint-sized backpacks, lunch boxes and sunglasses.


Bath Time

I have a hard time dragging my toddler out of the tub, she loves it! But if your toddler has a bath time aversion, perhaps these fun toys and products would help encourage some clean up?

“it’s a small world” Bathtub Boat


Bed Time

What better place to read a bed time story than from your very own toddler sized Cars chair? And how sweet to cuddle up in your toddler-sized blanket set with a favorite Disney character!

Stocking Stuffers

My toddler loves seeing her favorite characters in unexpected places like on her toothbrush! Stuff their stockings with these Disney gifts for toddlers, like toothpaste, Band-Aids, slippers and undies (perfect for those toddlers who are gearing up for potty training!)



For more Holiday gift ideas,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


 

Personal Trainer Food Review- You Won’t Go Hungry (Week 2)

After a successful week one on the Personal Trainer Food program, I was confident going into week two. Week two definitely had a few bumps in the road, but nothing I couldn’t navigate. There were some mighty temptations in the way of Halloween candy and treats! There were times this week when I found myself wanting to eat something, anything. I really checked in with my body to fill that need in a healthy way. I love that on this program, I do not have to count calories. If I’m hungry, I can eat as much salad, meat or as many veggies as I want! That in itself, feels indulgent and not “diet deprived” at all.

If you’re following along with my Personal Trainer Food Review posts, here are the previous posts in the series.

Personal Trainer Food Review – I’m Ready to Make Healthy Changes!

Personal Trainer Food Review – Starting a Healthy Meal Plan (Week 1)

I received a complimentary box from Personal Trainer Food that included 28-days worth of meals and three butter sauces. All thoughts and opinions about this product are my own. Your results on the program may vary. No additional compensation has been provided. Please note that I do have affiliate links in my posts. Clicking through and making a purchase helps me in a small financial way, thank you!

No Calorie Counting!

Certain foods are unlimited on the Personal Trainer Food program. That means if you’re hungry, you don’t have to count any calories – You can just eat! Any kind of meat (including beef, chicken, pork or seafood) are unlimited. Eggs are unlimited. And you can eat as many leafy greens as you want. Non-starchy veggies like tomatoes, broccoli, cabbage and avocados are unlimited too. And because everything tastes better with butter, this is unlimited as well.

I have loved that in addition to the frozen Personal Trainer Food I was provided, I’m still able to add from these unlimited foods to satisfy my hunger. I’ve been adding salsa to my eggs in the morning, a salad at lunch and extra veggies for dinner when I’m extra hungry.

14 days on Personal Trainer Food program. Find out the food, plan and how much I lost after week 2! #spon #PersonalTrainerFood

I dipped my chicken strips in blue cheese dressing, yum!

Add Your Own Toppings

While you can certainly just heat the Personal Trainer Food and eat it as is, the “fun” is in adding things that add to the flavor. So long as the food meets the guidelines and doesn’t contain more than 2g of sugar, you can add salad dressing, salsa, tomato sauce and cheese to your foods. Sprinkle sunflower seeds on a salad and top with extra approved veggies like bell peppers or tomatoes. Chop up your chicken and add it to a bed of greens with crumbled parmesan crisps for crunch. Herbs and spices are also great way to season foods to your liking.

20 Minutes of Walking Each Day

I took the first week off from exercise so I could see how the change in my diet would treat me. I was totally fine, no side effects or headache at all. So on Monday morning of last week, I got back to the gym. Personal Trainer Food recommends 20+ minutes of brisk walking each day. I already do a walk each night with my daughter in her stroller so I’m adding yoga and weight lifting two other days during the week.

14 days on Personal Trainer Food program. Find out the food, plan and how much I lost after week 2! #spon #PersonalTrainerFood

Boneless beef ribs with green beans (and a healthy sprinkling of Pecorino Romano cheese!)

Personal Trainer Food Review – WEEK TWO

Cravings & Habits

Halloween day was HARD, I won’t lie. Walking around while my kids collected candy and I couldn’t eat any, was HARD. Normally I would have eaten about 20 pieces during trick-or-treat time. And I would have eaten about 20 pieces the next day. And the day after that.

But I didn’t eat ANY! I was tempted for sure (and by the chocolate cake that my kids won at the Halloween carnival cake walk!) But I kept reminding myself that indulging would set me back several days on my weight loss. So I didn’t cheat. However I did set aside a few of my favorite pieces for a day I have planned a diet break!

Feelings & Mood

I was a little grumpy the day after Halloween, knowing that some of my favorite chocolates were in the garage and I couldn’t eat any of them! But then I told myself that I could eat them, if I really wanted to. However I was choosing for my good health NOT to eat them, that I was making the choice. This made a big difference in my mood.

Body Changes

On Sunday (14 days into the Personal Trainer Program) I pulled out a pair of jeans that I haven’t worn in 3 years. And they fit. I’d could definitely tell that my stomach is flatter and my thighs and hips are trimmer. These jeans are the smallest pair of pants I own and are a full size smaller than what I have been wearing.

So, in two weeks on the program, I’ve lost one size!

14 days on Personal Trainer Food program. Find out the food, plan and how much I lost after week 2! #spon #PersonalTrainerFood

Photo taken on Sun Nov 5th, 14 days on Personal Trainer Food program.

Final Results for WEEK TWO:

Weight lost – 2 lbs lost in week two – TOTAL weight lost: 6 lbs

Inches lost – after two weeks on the Personal Trainer Food program I have lost 1/4″ total off my arms, 1.5″ off my thighs, 1″ off my chest, 1″ off my waist, and 1″ off my hips. A total of 4.75″ total lost in two weeks.

Considering the Personal Trainer Food program?

Sign up on the Personal Trainer Food website and receive discount codes sent via email.

Follow along with my Personal Trainer Food Review posts – here is the next post in the series.

14 days without sugar, bread and limited carbs. Find out the food, plan and how much I lost after week 2! #spon #PersonalTrainerFood

Sounds Like Fun at the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad, San Diego

Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad

The Museum of Making Music is exactly what it sounds like! It’s a place to learn about instruments. To listen to music. It’s a place to learn about the history of music. And while learning about and hearing music is great, playing it yourself is even better! Fortunately everyone has a chance to get their hands on musical instruments inside the Museum of Making Music, as well.

Hands-on family learning at the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad, San Diego

Museum Galleries

Guests at the Museum of Making Music are encouraged to move at their own pace through the galleries. There are interactive buttons where you can hear music played. A good amount of history and background is included in each exhibit area. And of course lots of instruments to look at.

I enjoyed the music store gallery. There were so many instruments I’d never seen before inside the Museum of Making Music, including a harmonica that had scrolls similar to a player piano.

Hands-on family learning at the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad, San Diego

Actress Joan Crawford promoted the “player harmonica” (which was a flop!)

Hands On Learning

My five year old was so excited to play the tester instruments that are located throughout the museum. He had the opportunity to play a mandolin, electric guitar, gong, slide guitar and a harp guitar. I’d never heard or even seen a harp guitar in my life, but there is an entire special exhibition at the Museum called, “Floating Strings”, dedicated to the harp guitar.

Hands-on family learning at the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad, San Diego

A beautiful collection of harp guitars (you can play one too!)

Leave plenty of time at the end of your visit. There is a large area with dozens of available instruments for free play. You can see a few of the instruments my son was able to play on this video. My son REALLY wants his own drum set now!

Visiting the Museum of Making Music

The Museum of Making Music

5790 Armada Drive, Carlsbad, CA

Admission $10

Students $7

Under three are free

  • Located just a block away from the theme park LEGOLAND California, in Carlsbad (about 35 miles north of downtown San Diego).
  • Be aware the mid-day visits may include children from school field trips. Our tour guide recommended visiting the Museum in late August or September, when many schools do not visit.
  • There are concerts held at the Museum, check the event tab on their website.
  • The museum opens each day from 10 am to 5 pm (except Monday, when it’s closed).
  • Plan to spend at least one hour exploring this unique museum.
  • There is a gift shop to purchase your own music makers.
  • Strollers are allowed (thank goodness, because my baby napped through the entire visit!)
  • I’d recommend the Museum of Making Music for school-aged children and up.

Hands-on family learning at the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad, San Diego