Friday, September 30, 2016

M&M World

We are loving the free family fun that we've found here in Vegas. Here's a quick tip for families who might be visiting the strip: try to park in/near the hotel that you will be visiting. Walking the strip is not the funnest thing ever with kids (even without them in our opinion), but the actual venues are a lot of fun. So try to park real close. In some instances (like with our trips to Miracle Mile and to the Bellagio Botanical Gardens) you can avoid the strip entirely.

M&M World Las Vegas Free Family Fun

The M&M Shop is such a fun stop for families visiting Las Vegas! There is a lot to see, including a free 3D Movie, which is way cute and the kids will love!

With four floors of all things M&M, you won't be disappointed with a stop in to M&M World. You will see an amazing wall of M&Ms where you can sample some of their newest flavors, the M&M NASCAR, M&M Characters, memorabilia, and more. You can even personalize your own M&Ms!

M&M World Las Vegas

M&M World Las Vegas

M&M World Las Vegas

I appologize for such limited photos. Baby Girl loved the whole experience, until it was time to take pictures. Right when I pulled the camera out, she spotted an M&M Character (those guys in the costumes) and completely lost it. We're talking terrified. 

You can buy M&Ms by the pound from the amazing M&M wall. They have every color and flavor that you can imagine. When we visited, they were giving samples of Candy Corn and Smore's flavors. I was a big fan of the Smore flavor, but not so much the Candy Corn. A little too sweet for me.

In all, we had a blast. We took my younger cousins (8 and 10) and they really enjoyed the 3D Movie and the free samples. They filled up a bag of some of the more unique flavors to take home for their siblings.

If you are visiting Vegas with a family, make sure to add M&M World to your list of stops!

Monday, September 26, 2016

General Conference Prep

Since April, I have been looking forward to October. It is my favorite month of the year for many reasons, one of which is the General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It's the best two weekends of the year!

I was really intrigued with President Eyring's First Presidency Message in the April 2016 Ensign. He told about a General Authority who had fasted, prayed, worked, and labored over his conference talk, writing 22 drafts before asking President Eyring to read over it. President Eyring poured his heart into the assignment as well. Clearly, this was a labor of love for God's children. And then President Eyring taught this: 

"The servants of God fast and pray to receive the message He has for them to give to those who need revelation and inspiration. What I learned from that experience, and many others like it, is that to gain the great benefits available from hearing living prophets and apostles, we must pay the price ourselves of receiving revelation."

Wow. If the Prophets and Apostles are doing this type of preparation to give their messages, what are we doing to receive them? 

I don't consider myself a great scriptorian, or an expert on receiving revelation. But I do know for myself that revelation does come. That God speaks to His children. And that He loves us so much that He wants us to work a little for the answer. Because it is in the laboring that that truest answer comes. 

So I put together a little study for this week leading up to General Conference. And then I figured that someone else out there might want to join me in conference preparation, so I figured I might as well share it here on the blog! Some days are more detailed than others, but this is what I felt might help me prepare myself to receive the messages that have been prepared for me this weekend. I hope they will help you too!

Download a printable version of all 5 pages HERE.

How are you preparing for General Conference this weekend? I would love to hear your ideas!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

A Day In The Life: 18 Months

"Don't you get bored?" is a question I hear relatively frequently with my decision to stay home with my baby. Truth be told, if I am fully present, I don't even sort of get bored! There is so much to do and see as a stay at home mom, and I love it! Surprisingly, it's when I'm distracted or not "all there" that the days seem long. So I try my best to be present and immersed in the fun, and it is so.busy. My wonderful Mother In Law always says that no one is as busy as the mother of an only child. I'm her mom, teacher, playmate, etc. Seriously, never a dull moment!

I'm not saying that it's for everyone, and I do say "to each her own," but I thought it would be fun to share a little about my usual day with you all. I don't have pictures of everything, because sometimes it just isn't worth ruining the moment. And other times, it's just plain hard to snag a good picture of a super busy toddler! You'll also notice that baby girl's bow changes throughout the day. She loves to find and try new bows!

5:45 - Alarm goes off. Brad has been up already for about 45 min. I roll out of bed at 5:50. I shower and get dressed.

6:10- Scripture study/morning devotional. Today I studied about "mighty prayer." It was wonderful! And Kymri is sleeping great, so I get a decent study in before she's up.

6:50- Baby girl wakes up. She slept super well! She usually wakes up between 6:15 and 7:00. Today was a good day. If she wakes up before 6:30, Brad takes her so that I can at least read a little bit of scriptures. He's so amazing! Baby woke up super happy today, so I know she got enough sleep. We give hugs and kisses and change her diaper. She wanted to read a book this morning (you'll see that we drop what we're doing and read books a LOT. She loves them, and I couldn't be happier about it).

7:00- Breakfast. Little one eats toast, grapes, and milk today. She tells me about her dreams. She is uber talkative this morning and babbling away.

Daddy/daughter play time while I make Brad's lunch.

7:45- Brad leaves for work. Kymri had an extra hard time with him leaving today. She loves her daddy. After he leaves, we read a couple books to get happy again.

8:00- Baby girl plays on her own for awhile and I unload the dishwasher, sweep, and do the breakfast dishes. She plays really well on her own today, which is awesome. She's very into taking toys and moving them from one bucket to the next.

8:30- We head upstairs and I do my hair and makeup. Kymri loves this! She watches me and we talk about what we're going to do for the day. She likes to mimic me while I get ready.

9:00- Bath time for baby. She loves the bath! We splash and play with the bath toys for quite awhile even after she's clean.

9:30- Outing time. Since it's Thursday, we are going to the park. Each day, we do something different. Monday is grocery shopping/errands. Tuesday is the big park or a museum or something like that. Wednesday is story time at the library. Thursday is the little park. Friday is play group. Of course, this can and does change, but that's usually what we do. We have so much fun at the park today! Kymri is getting so big and loves to go down the slide all by herself! She's good about letting me help her to the top and then waiting to push off until I'm at the bottom to catch her. We have fun today chasing each other around. She loves to run around the pole and have me go the opposite way to "get" her. Nothing like those little squeals of joy!

10:30- Head for home, take a little extra walk since it's [finally] so nice outside!

10:45- Snack time. Baby girl wants a banana today. We don't have a very big morning snack, because she won't eat lunch if we do.

10:50- Play time. This play time is totally Kymri led. Whatever she asks for, we do. Today, she asks to play with Noah. She loves her ark and all the animals. (Shout out to my amazing mom for making such a fun toy)! We put them on the boat and practice making all the animal sounds. This reminds her of her favorite book, and we stop to read for awhile. We read the same book about 5 times. Then Kyrmi says "pa," and I know she wants to have a tea party. We clean up the animals and get out the little tea set. She loooves this. She chooses some of her favorite stuffed friends to invite to her party and asks me to get her some fishies. She puts the fishies in everyone's bowls and even tries to feed all of her friends. I'm feeling pretty adventurous today, so I let her put a little water in each of the cups. She thinks this is pretty great! Having a tea party with her is one of my favorite things. Then it's more books.

11:45- Time to clean up K's room. Brad and I do most of the cleaning while baby girl sleeps, but there are some things that are just unavoidable, like her room. So today, she "dusts" while I vacuum and then practices her somersaults while I finish dusting and tidying.

12:00- Lunch time. Baby eats some whole wheat pasta from last night, cooked carrots, and grapes. She insisted on the grapes, even though she's already had quite a few today. Choose your battles, I suppose. After she fishes eating, she goes off to play while I clean up the dishes. She comes back with a messy diaper. Good timing!

12:30- Diaper change, 2 books, 1 song.

12:45- Nap time. She falls asleep super fast. While she naps, I rotate the laundry, do a quick clean up job, and then blog or edit pictures, etc. Brad and I just started doing the deeper/more detailed cleaning together one evening a week, so that is super helpful (have I mentioned how great he is?? But seriously). So now, I just do 30-45 min of cleaning during nap time rather than using the full nap time for cleaning, which is great! Maybe that means I'll get back to more consistent blogging! Kymri's naps are super inconsistent, and range from 1 hr to 3 hours.

3:15 - Kymri is awake. Great, long nap! Diaper change and a book. Then it's downstairs for a little snack. Peas and crackers today.

3:25 - Afternoon playtime is a little more guided. I like to try to teach Kymri something new or practice something she's been working on and then have some creative/artistic time. Today we play with her felt board that I am slowly making. She still doesn't totally understand how it works, but she's having fun with it. Then it's music time! We love to play our instruments and sing songs. We play the drum and recorder. We march while singing "The Ants Go Marching." We sing Tootie Ta. We sing some other favorites. We also play the piano and sing "Heart and Soul," one of our very favorites. Baby girl has a bit of a breakdown and I can't figure out what is bothering her. After a mini tantrum, I realize that she wants to sit on my right side rather than my left on the piano bench. Yep... she's an opinionated little thing! Next we take a reading break. Then it's coloring time. Kymri loves to color, but gets pretty distracted.

4:30 - Walk to get the mail. I don't bring the stroller on this one. The mailbox is just at the end of our street, so it's a short little walk and Kymri is good about holding my hand. She likes to be in charge of the mailbox key on the way down. We go her speed and take our time to look at the trees, find the birds, etc. Kymri is super funny and if there are any rocks on the sidewalk from people's yards, she has to take the time to stop and put them back. When we make it back to the house, we usually stay outside for a bit. Today it is super windy, and Kymri is loving the wind on her face. So we go to the backyard and just enjoy, until a messy diaper calls us inside.

Did I mention it was super windy??

5:15 - Kymri plays on her own while I make dinner. Sometimes we have to turn on a little show for 10 minutes if I'm doing a lot of cutting type prep (for some reason, she doesn't like when I'm cutting things). But usually, like today, Kymri is happy to sit in the kitchen with me and "help" make dinner. She loves getting out a bunch of spoons and bowls and stirring up something delicious. Once it's in the oven, we play blocks for a bit.

6:00 - Brad is home!!! We all sit down and eat dinner together. It's fun to talk about our days and catch up on how things are going.

6:30 - Daddy Play Time. I think it's so important for Kymri to get some one-on-one play time with daddy, so they play while I start cleaning up the dinner plates.

6:50 - We clean up the toys, then it's Teeth brushing, hand washing, lotion, diaper change, pajamas, daddy reads a book, family scripture reading, a song, and family prayer.

7:15 - Brad and I take turns rocking Kymri. Tonight is Brad's turn. The other goes down and finishes the dishes. We rock Kymri while singing her songs and then lay her down to fall asleep on her own. We usually have to stay in the room in the rocking chair while she falls asleep (this is a new thing she's doing... doesn't like when we leave before she's asleep). She's usually asleep by 7:30 or so.

7:45 - I love getting to spend the evenings with Brad. We might play a game, watch a movie or show, or just talk. It's time to relax after a busy day and just be together.

9:30 - Couple scripture study and prayer.

10:00 - Bed. With such an early rise (5:00 for Brad and 5:45 for me), we try to get to bed relatively early. We don't always make it on time, and we don't always wake up with the alarms... but it's a work in progress.

So there you have it. A little glimpse into my daily routine as a stay-at-home mom of an 18 month old. It's busy, it's fun, and it's wonderful. I fully admit that there are times that it can also be tough, messy, and frustrating. But at the end of the day, I love it!

Tell me about your day. If you're a stay-at-home mom, what is your routine? I'm always looking for new ideas and thoughts.

Friday, September 9, 2016

POGO Pass Las Vegas

(This post contains affiliate links. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting Two Best Friends in Love)!

We are really loving Las Vegas! It has been a lot of fun, and surprisingly has a lot of family friendly activities! If you remember a few months back, I posted about the Phoenix Pogo Pass! For my AZ friends, you can still use my code 2BF60 to get 60% off your passes. With the cooler weather coming, it's the perfect time to get your passes and hit up the zoo! Plus, you can plan some great fall break activities. And since they are good for a year, you'll still get all the fun summer activities too. Go HERE to order!

I also have great news for my new Vegas friends! Pogo is now open and active in Las Vegas! For you new friends, I wanted to do a quick breakdown of just how amazing this deal is.

Using my code LVPOGO60, you can get your passes for 60% off! That takes them from $124.95 to only $49.98! If you're hesitant, let me just break it down for you:

Pogo Pass Las Vegas

Cowabunga Bay: One visit: $30-$40 value (fall vs. summer pricing)

Power Up Gaming: 1 visit per month: $6 per visit x 12 months = $72 value

Sprigs Preserve: 1 visit: $5-$18 value (resident child to non resident adult)

Discovery Children's Museum: 1 visit: $14.50 value

Las Vegas 51's: 2 games: approx $12 value

Nevada Climbing Center: 1 visit: $10-$14 value

Battle Blast Laser Tag: 1 visit: $8.50 value

Bouncy World: 1 visit: $10-$12 value

Rockin' Jump: 1 hour jump session: $14 value

Red Rock Resort, Santa Fe Station, Sunset Station, Texas Station Bowling Allies: 2 games per location per month: that makes 8 games per month at $3 per game: $24 per month x 12 months: $288 value!! (Pass does not cover shoe rental)

Holy Cow you guys!! That makes the total value of the Las Vegas Pogo Pass...

It might seem like a lot of money at the start, but when you think about it, you are getting an entire year of family outings for only $50 each. And not only that, you will be saving over $450!
This is how excited we are about this deal!

To order your own Las Vegas Pogo Pass, follow this link HERE and enter code LVPOGO60 to receive 60% off your order!

We're excited to try out all of these new places in Las Vegas! Have you been to any of them? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Pippi & Scout Hair Bows

This is not a sponsored post. I won a giveaway and loved the product so much that I just had to share!

Sometimes I enter Instagram giveaways. And I generally don't win. Read: I haven't ever won... until now! I actually won an Instagram giveaway and I loved the product so much that I just had to share with my readers. I seriously haven't ever put such a cute bow on my little girl!

"Bow" is one of Kymri's favorite words these days, and she is always wanting to put one on. Since getting these bows from Pippi & Scout, she is obsessed. I will put a certain bow on that goes with her outfit, only to have her insist on one of these. It's actually really adorable.

I was so impressed with Pippi & Scout. She contacted me right away after I won the giveaway and let me select which bow I wanted. I had such a hard time choosing, because they really have such an amazing selection! From sailor bows to school girl bows, pig tail bows to tailored bows, it was seriously such a hard decision! I finally settled on the Midnight Mirage Schoolgirl Bow and Pippi and Scout chose such a beautiful coordinating bow!

When we checked the mailbox, it was like Christmas had come early! There is something seriously great about happy mail!

I instantly went to baby girl's closet and started finding outfits that would coordinate with these adorable bows. And of course we had to have a photoshoot!

I can't even begin to tell you how happy we are with these bows from Pippi & Scout! They fit perfectly, are very well made, and use quality materials. Make sure to check them out! I know that I will be ordering from them in the future, and hope that you will be too!

Find them on their website HERE

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