Two Working Moms

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Par-TEA Tips for Busy Parents

My little girl turned 3 a few months ago when it was still warm out. It feels like forever ago but finally getting around to posting about it. I wanted to share some birthday tips for a busy parent who wants to do it all.

My little girl wanted to have a tea party for her 3rd birthday. At first, I thought it would be fun to do an Alice in Wonderland type of party but ultimately wanted to try and do something a little more unique,  so I thought perhaps a spinoff would be fun and a little different and we, instead aimed to do a dragon and fairy tea party in the backyard.

Here is the birthday girl with her fabulous nanny and these cute plastic tea cups with straws I got from Amazon. A blessing since the party ending up being inside and a bunch of little kids ran around with drinks in their hands.

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I really wanted to go all out and be crazy because I love parties, but I have been so busy at work, (starting work at 7am,  working evenings and weekends) and there just wasn’t a lot of time to do everything myself in my typical DIY kind of way.

As moms, we have to learn what is too much and not drive ourselves crazy with unrealistic goals. This is a great lesson we can teach our kids by example. 

I was an 80’s kid and I had my birthday parties in the garage with store-bought cake, and you know what, I loved it.

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Outsource Anything You Can

Instead of making a cake, I bought one. I wanted to get a really nice cake from one of the amazing local ladies but they both couldn’t do it that weekend. It kind of killed me not making my own cake since I love baking but it was a hot August day here in Seattle and that week of the party we had the worst air quality due to wildfires. I just didn’t want to cook in a hot house with the windows closed (we don’t have AC). So I got one at the store and it was fine enough. They got her name right and you know what… the kids loved it.

Get a Helper

My mom made a bunch of paper flowers we used pink tule to bunch them and decorate our home. Originally the party was going to be outside with a big white cabana for the sun, but the bad air quality kept us inside. Again, let it go and go with the flow!!!!

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It is always great to have a helping hand, and I was thankful my Mom was in town to help decorate and get the birthday girl ready. Especially if you have to pivot and go from an outside to an inside party. Trust me, get help. If you don’t have a close friend or family member then I would suggest hiring a local teen in the area to play with the kids while you set up.

Give Big Kids a Job

We did things a little different for this birthday party and didn’t do party favor bags to give at the end of the party. Instead, we did gift bags right when they got there. My son who is 5 got to have the job of passing them out and being a host for the event. He really liked having a job for the party and felt included at the tea party. The kids could either get a bag with dragon wings and a mask or fairy wings and necklace, in their gift bag along with some other sparkly and fun treats to take home with them.

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Activity or Game

I am a big fan of having a game or some kind of activity for the kids to do at a party. For the tea party, we had gold crowns, markers, stickers, and jewels for the kids to decorate and personalize them. We also had a bubble game for the backyard since it was summer and wanted to get the wiggles out after cake but of course, due to weather, we had to stay inside. Who would have thought?!

Keep it Simple

This was my lesson learned. We went a little overboard with food options. We love food and wanted to have healthy options as well as fun tea time treats. Everyone loved the options and ate, but we had a lot of food leftover. In the end, I think pizza, some fruit and maybe a veggie plate is fine enough. Keep the food simple and the kids won’t care either way. That said, I do appreciate coffee at birthday parties before noon.

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In the spirit of keeping things simple check out my friend’s blog on The Easiest Kid Birthday Party Formula for some other great suggestions. Right now I am planning my son’s 6th birthday and I am not making some of the same mistakes I have made in the past. * L


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Juice Cleanse Made Me Feel Dirty

If you have been following me then you know I like to do new challenges for myself. I would consider myself a healthy person who has been a vegetarian for 28 years, runs regularly and tries to live a healthy lifestyle. I have never done a juice cleanse and thinking about the new year and my goals I thought this might be a great time to try it out. Everyone’s experience is unique, and this is mine and why I don’t think the juice cleanse thing is for me.

Everything came by mail and I got it in a few days at my doorstep. 18 juice bottles arrived mostly frozen and I put a few in the fridge to start later that day. Since I didn’t give it enough time to defrost the first few, what I had was more of a slushy, but, as it turns out, I really enjoyed the crunch. The directions did say to give it 24 hours to defrost. Screen Shot 2018-12-12 at 11.06.47 AM

The directions said there wasn’t any order to juices and to drink them when I was hungry. It was a 3 day cleanse and on top of the juice you should drink lots of water. Raw veggies and some nuts (very little) can be added if you must have something. The directions also said you didn’t have to drink all 6 juices in one day.

I loved 4 of the first flavors I had and to my surprise, things I don’t normally enjoy, like carrot juice,  were super yummy with a touch of ginger and lemon.  The 5th one I had was not that good and reminded me of grass. I was so hungry I drank it and was looking forward to the 6th one. Sadly it was the same flavor. Just my luck that the one I didn’t like was the only one doubled up each day. So out of 16 juices, it was 4 of them.  It was so gross that I just opted to not drink it and went to bed early, hungry and a little worried about how I was going to manage the next day on 4 juices.

I have never gone to bed hungry and as I laid there in my bed I felt dirty. Here I am a white privileged 40-year-old starving myself in the name of cleansing. My tummy growled as if it agreed with me and in the dark I found comfort knowing my daughter at age 3 didn’t see this disaster. I’m her role model and what I am saying by starving myself? I do agree drinking all that water and having to go to the bathroom every hour did something. I do feel lighter and my clothes fit better, but when I went running I was weak and my body just wasn’t at its best.

For me the juice cleanse isn’t the lifestyle I want to represent. I want to celebrate food, people, community, and treat my body with respect and fuel it with love. * L


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Enchant Christmas in Seattle

I was so excited to take my family to Seattle’s new Christmas event, Enchant Christmas. Wanted to share my experience so you can judge if this is the right event for you and your family. Also shared some tips if you do go to make the most of it.

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Getting In

We went on Saturday night for the 4:30 opening. Got there early and parked in the parking garage across the street for $25. When we drove by the front the line was so long getting in so we took our time getting out of the car and had snacks ready for my 3 and 5-year-old to be patient in line. When we got there at 4:30 the line was mostly gone and everything went really fast including security check. Do not show up early as you will just be waiting in line, but do show up early if you do not have your pre-sale tickets. When we got there tickets are sold out till the 9pm opening. Thankfully we got in… long story.

Snow and Ice and Everything Nice

I wasn’t really sure how the maze and ice skating worked. The maze was more of an open area so having a running 3-year-old wasn’t any fun. Should have brought the stroller, but dang that elevator line must have been a long one, so happy we didn’t. The maze or walk about was super pretty and there were so many photo ops. I loved it when I wasn’t chasing my little one. Would have loved a kid-friendly area that was fenced off and stuff they are allowed to touch and climb on. For this reason, I really didn’t think this event was little kid appropriate.

Tip: if you do go with little one, make sure to take them someplace beforehand to get the wiggles out. Really my advice would be not to bring them till they are 8 and up. (After I took the photo below we came back to this area and noticed they put up signs saying not to touch or walk on this.)

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My kids got really excited to see snow. There were a few special spots with snowfall but it was so tiny you almost missed it. Nothing like what you saw on the site. The worrier in me wasn’t sure what the snow was made of and once my kids tried to eat it and catch the snowflakes on their tongue we moved on.

They had a fun game to find clues to catch the raindeers but my 3 and 5-year-old didn’t really care much for it and just wanted to run around. I thought it was a very nice touch and kids 8 or up might enjoy something like this to make the maze more interactive.

Other than the maze there is a lazy river ice skating area. For $10 and maybe an hour wait in line, you can take part. My kids don’t know how to ice skate as most 5 and under might not so we didn’t take part in this. My kids really wanted to play with ice and snow so even showing them the area made them a little sad they couldn’t take part.

Tip: If you aren’t skating just avoid this area with your little ones.

Shopping & Food

I’ve been to the German Christmas Markets and got chestnuts, pastries, and hot mulled wine. Here the only food you are going to get is the normal Safeco food. They did add mulled wine and spiked hot cocoa. I brought a lot of snacks, so for our family, we got 3 slices of pizza, and a bottle of water, hot cocoa for the kids for $50. I also got spiked hot cocoa and a cup of mulled wine for $20 ($10 each). The wine was disgusting we couldn’t drink it and just tossed it in the trash. Kind of tasted like everything in it got burned and was really not drinkable. Another person who attended said the same thing so whatever you do do not order this.

Tip: Do order the spiked hot cocoa and make sure to bring your own marshmallows.

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Stores at these Christmas Markets sell cookies and treats but also ornaments, scarfs, things to keep warm and seasonal stuff. The stores at this event are lipstick, Seahawk gear, and stuff people like but not traditional to what I was expecting. Also after spending $165 for a family of 4 ($70 family pack, $25 for parking, $70 on food) for a few hours, I wasn’t in the mood to shop and my kids didn’t have the patience with the crowd. Perhaps if it was just hubby and me, it might have been more fun to look around the little booths and shop a little.

Tip: Not sure what the policy is but I brought a lot of food and snacks for my kids. I’d bring a sandwich if you don’t want to pay $6 for a slice of pizza.

It’s Christmas

I just love Christmas and this place is super magical and beautifully decorated. Would make for a fun date night with a loved one. They also have Santa and some great spots for photos. The line for Santa was really long and there wasn’t much for the kids to do while they wait. There is also not a lot of sitting areas so after eating dinner standing and drinking some hot cocoa we opted to leave after being there for 90 min.

Tip: Don’t forget to bring a coat. The event is covered but it is very cold and drafty. We had jackets but I wish I had brought the kids gloves.

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In the end, I was happy we went and I loved how pretty everything was and so magical. But when friends ask it was a lot of money and I don’t think it is a great place for little kids. Save the money and go to candy cane lane and get hot cocoa as you walk.

I can’t wait to go Enchant next year without my kids. * L