Dahlia Festival

I love gardening, even though I don't know very much about it. One thing I love planting and growing are flowers. I dream of one day having a "secret" garden. Little paths leading through different varieties of flowers and shrubs, with a bench here and there for curling up with a book. Doesn't that just sounds dreamy?
 But until that time comes, I enjoy visiting flower farms. Recently, my sister and I visited a dahlia farm. It was my first time ever going there and I was amazed at all the beauty. They have 360 varieties of dahlias on 40 acres. I never would have imagined that there would be so many different types of dahlias. 

We made a "play date" out of it, we had one day before school started and decided to do something a little different. We strolled the grounds, took some pictures and then went out to lunch. 
One of the things the kids enjoyed doing is reading the names of the dahlias, because alot of them have silly names like: tootles, hockey pokey, blah blah blah, bedhead and cabana banana. 

This is something I will be looking forward to coming to every year now, I can't pass the opportunity to see so much beauty, and if you are ever in Portland in August, you should definitely take a trip to the Swan Island Dahlias farm. 

Visiting Multnomah Falls

Last week was the last full week of summer break, I had plans. Big plans, however all the plans got canceled once the kids got the stomach flu, The most dreaded form of sickness in our house.
 So instead of going on our last few summer adventures, we stayed home and recovered from our flu. 

Once the kids were better, we decided we needed to get out of the house. Somewhere outside for some much needed fresh air. Visiting Multnomah Falls sounded like a great idea, and we weren't disappointed. The lush greenery, beautiful falls, the views we saw. It was all worth the drive.  

I am always in awe when I look up at the water crashing down. It is all so beautiful. 

-Nico cracks me up in this picture :)-

-William wasn't keen on being strapped to a stroller, he much rather be jumping into the waterfall-

Homemade Healthy Fruit Snacks

My kids love snacks. An hour after they eat a full meal, they will ask for a snack, and I don't mind, as long as it is a healthy snack. I don't even know why I cook for them... they can just eat snacks all day long. 

Even though I am not a "crunchy mama", I still try to make the right decisions for my kids, and tend to stick to the "healthier" versions of things. BUT,  I have to admit that sometimes "TASTE" wins over "good for you" things. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I bake atleast twice a week. We have muffins, cookies, cakes almost every week. When my mom was visiting, she told me that she no longer uses white flour, and avoids sugar, and I should try it to. How do I bake a cake without white flour and sugar?! Nope, sorry, won't do it. I have a major sweet tooth. But as I say, everything in moderation :)

So when Nadia from My Fruit Shack contacted me about trying out their fruit snack molds, I jumped at the opportunity. The idea of making a healthy version of my kids favorite snack appealed to me.

Since receiving the kit, we have already made fruit snacks on two different occasions, and my daughter is already thinking of different flavors she wants to try out next. 

The kit comes with 4 different molds, 4 trays, 2 droppers and a recipe card.  

There are two different ways to make fruit snacks, you can use juice or jello mix. I wanted to make a more healthier version, so I decided to use Naked juice. 

You also need gelatin. I bought my beef gelatin here
You can sweeten your fruit snacks with honey or sugar. 

Summer is fleeting by...

Summer is my most anticipated season of the year. Everything revolves around summer. We count down the days until school ends, we count down the days until 4th of July, until we have friends over for barbecues, play dates, swimming, trips to the beach.  We assume that we will have more time in the summer. Because we are on "summer break". But the harsh truth is we don't. We still have 24 hours in a day just like we do in October or January. The same amount of days in a month and the time flies by just as fast.

Its hard to believe that summer is almost over. School is starting next week and I am not ready. I am not ready to say goodbye to summer, I am not ready for the busy mornings and to be away from my two older kids for 6 hours during the day.

We have been trying to cram in as much summer activities as we can. Last night we camped in our back yard, roasted marshmallows over a campfire and stayed up way to late. This morning after a big breakfast of pancakes piled high with fresh berries, we decided to go on a bike ride. We tried out a new trial, and it was breath taking. It is all paved, which is great for the kidos. There are little brooks and streams running besides it, which made great resting points. The kids learned to skip rocks, and cooled off in the shade of the trees.

Now I am going to try and not think about school starting next week, I am planning to enjoy this last week on Summer break.

Thanks for visiting, 

Hawaii Getaway..

I am turning the big THREE OH this month and to celebrate, hubby and I decided to take a extended weekend getaway to Maui.  Without the kids. Now understand this, I have NEVER  even left them overnight before, let alone for a few days, so this was BIG. I felt all kinds of emotions, I felt excited, I felt guilty, I felt worried, I felt anxious.... Basically I was a basket case the entire week leading up to our trip. 

We left the kids with my sister (so off course I knew that they were in good hands). The kids were thrilled, they love having sleepovers with their cousins. They were even counting  down the days until they could go to their cousins house.

I will admit that it was very difficult to leave my babies for 4 nights. They were constantly on my mind, I face timed them, kept calling and texting my sister to check up on them and talked about them to anyone who would listen. I would open my photos on my phone and look at the pictures of them, you would think that I was away for a month.  On the 4th day, I was already counting the hours until I could see them and even told my husband that I am never leaving them again.

This trip was ALOT different then any of our other trips we have taken. 

1. For starters, we had 1 suitcase. One! it fit both of my husbands, and my things, a camera, laptop, and had room to take gifts home in. After always having to pack so much with the kids, I kept thinking that this cant be it. I must have forgotten something. But we didn't, in fact, I packed to much as always and didn't even wear everything I packed. 

2. I got to read on the plane. We live on the west coast, so although we have a short 5 hour direct flight to Hawaii, its still 5 hours of sitting in one seat. So having to be able to nap and read on the plane was amazing. If you have ever flown with little kids, you know how hard it is. The entire time, you are trying to keep the kidos comfortable and happy, pulling out little toys, snacks, ipads, anything. I even let William play with my makeup and brushes on our last trip just to buy another 10 minutes of him sitting still. Oh, and changing diapers in the tiny little bathroom? Come on! who's baby actually fits on that changing table? 

2. We rented a convertible mustang, which was a huge change from the usual bulky SUV we rent. This thing was tiny, and I fulfilled my dream of driving in a convertible in Hawaii. Oh, we didn't have to haul car seats with us! Thats a first. As we were waiting for the Avis bus to pick us up from the airport, there was a couple in front of us. They had two kids an airport cart full of suitcases, carseats and a stroller. It reminded me of every other vacation we have ever been on. I kept looking at our one suitcase and kept thinking, this is probably just a dream, I cant believe this is real. 

3. You know the “lounge” chairs by the pool? Well, we actually got to “lounge” on them. On a few occasions, we even fell asleep on them. It really  felt like we were on vacation. 
If you have any kids, then you know that going to the pool or the beach is a hectic and a exhausting event. By the time I get everyone in their swim suits, slather sunblock on them, get all the gear packed I am already tired. And when we finally make it to the pool, there aren’t any “lounge” chairs left, and if we do happen to find one near the kiddie pool, I end up dumping all the gear on it and spend the rest of the time watching the kids like a hawk. 

County Fair 2016

The county fair is one of our most anticipated summer activities. The kids start counting down the days until it gets here, talking about all the rides they are going to go on this year, and all the prizes they are going to win. I love how we have started this yearly tradition with them.
I just went back and looked at my last two posts to the fair in 2015 and 2014
Oh how fast time does fly. We can't stop it or slow it down, we can only live in the moment and enjoy every minute we have with our loved ones. 

This year was particularly fun. I don't know why, but I assume it is because the kids are a bit older and they actually wanted to go on alot of the rides. Well everyone but William. William gets a little nervous around loud noises: lawn mowers, leaf blowers, hair dryers, and in todays case: ALL ROLLER COASTER RIDES. Today is the only time he would ASK to go into his stroller, where he would sit back and pull the sun canopy all the way down. Guys, this was to funny to watch. I would try to pull it up so he could wave to his brother and sister as they went by on the roller coaster, and he wouldn't have any of it. Off course once we walked away from the rollers coasters, he would shimmy out of his 5 point harness, stand up and ask to be lifted out of the stroller so he could run off and explore all the colorful attractions around him, but he didn't want to go on ANY of the rides, and even fell asleep with all the noise around him (2nd nap of the day!) 

It also helped that we went on a less crowded day, the lines were actually short compared to last year when we went on the day of the Monster truck show.