Ringling Bros. Circus XTREME is coming to TOLEDO!! Win TICKETS!

Last year’s Ringling Brothers & Barnum Baily Show was literally Legendary! It was absolutely exhilarating watching all the talented performers; they amazed us, took our breath away, & left us longing for more! This year Ringling Bros. is back and they are taking things to XTREME! Tickets are currently on sale for Circus XTREME at Huntington Center for October 29th-Nov.1st 2015.

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Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Circus XTREME! It’s time for your family to be amazed by all the X-TRAORDINARY things you know and love about America’s favorite live family entertainment experience. Be astonished by UN-XPECTED circus spectacles you’ve never seen before and that can’t be seen anywhere else but at The Greatest Show on Earth! Get ready for an X-HILARATING adventure with X-TRAORDINARY circus artists and magnificent X-OTIC animals! It’s time to awaken the spirit of Children of all ages and stir the imagination of your family! It’s time to have XTREME fun with your family! Get your tickets today!

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ALL ACCESS PRE-SHOW!

The All Access Pre-Show is your chance to feel what it’s like to be part of The Greatest Show On Earth ®! You and your family are specially invited to an amazing circus experience and FREE ADMISSION comes with your ticket! Step Right Up and be part of the All Access Pre-Show where Children Of All Ages are invited down to the show floor to try on costumes, learn circus skills, meet the performers and get their picture taken with the clowns!

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Then, enter for a chance to win an original pachyderm painting, which is painted right in front of you by one of the world famous Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey ® elephants! All this and more when you arrive an hour early, and remember, FREE ADMISSION with your ticket!

SHOW DATES & TIMES:

Thursday, Oct. 29 7:00 PM

Friday, Oct. 30 7:00 PM

Saturday, Oct. 31 11:00 AM & 3:00 PM    

Sunday, Nov. 1 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM, & 7:00 PM

TICKET INFO:

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents Circus XTREME at Huntington Center Thursday October 29th– November 4th 2015. Tickets start at just $15! CLICK HERE to order or order over the phone by calling 1-800-745-3000

OPENING NIGHT DISCOUNT OFFER:

Opening Night tickets are just $12-No code needed! Kid’s tickets start at just $12! (Additional fees apply. Excludes Rinkside, Front Row, and VIP seats) – No code needed CLICK HERE to purchase now!

CONTEST!

Mom on the go in Holy Toledo is giving away a family 4 pack of tickets redeemable for any of the circus dates/times.

To be entered complete the following steps:

ONE- must complete 3 of the following, you can decide which 3:

  1. Share this post on Facebook. (simply click on button at the bottom of page)
  2. Share this post on Twitter #CircusXtreme (button at bottom of page)
  3. Show Ringling Bro Facebook page some love
  4. Follow Ringling Bro. on Twitter
  5. Share this post on Pinterest (button at bottom of page)

TWO- Comment below expressing what your favorite Circus act/favorite performers are in the Circus.

Winner will be randomly selected October 20th @ 11:59pm. Winners name will be announced the 21st on this blog post thread and on Mom on the go in Holy Toledo’s Facebook page.

 

I Have Finally Found THE ONE!

Adios Shutterfly, see ya later Snapfish, there is officially a new photo book creator in our lives, AdoramaPix! And let me tell you they have me doing just that, adoring my pics!!! The quality is amazing! The binding is like none other, the paper is so smooth, I can’t stop petting it (I know it’s weird, but it is so soft!), and the images are superior to any other company I have tried…and I have tried a lot! What can I say I get around when it comes to shopping photo books!? But I am happy to say that I have finally found “the one”! It should be noted that the process of finding “the one” was not taken lightly; I had a rigorous list of must haves that needed to be met before a commitment could be made. What was on my list?

1. EASY- User-friendly is a must! Everything about my experience needed to be easy. I am so sick of complicated formatting! Once I had to alter an entire book halfway through because I couldn’t change a format on one page! Grrr!! That experience with a past photo book company actually lead me to swear words…..it was a very dark moment in my life. One thankfully I did not experience with AdoramaPix.

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AdoramaPix formatting is so simple my preschooler could do it. And the variety of themes, layouts, backgrounds, etc. was incomparable. They even offer round formatting options, so cool! They think outside the box, literally! I love it!

2. CHEAP- Economical pricing points! The only thing I can’t stand more than wasting my time with irritating, frustrating, formatting issues is wasting my money! With some of those photo book companies you practically have to take out a loan to cover the cost. Not with AdoramaPix, their products are priced accordingly and there aren’t any weird add-on costs at the end.

3. PROFESSIONAL- The end result left me speechless!

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The quality of the photo book is like none other, the colors are so rich & vibrant color. I simply adore the fact that the thick, durable, professional grade photo paper resists fading & ensures that my photos will be just as colorful for future generations. I also like the fact that the binding lays-flat, so even my panoramic images are splash across two pages without any separation.

So, the next time you need to create a photo book do yourself a favor, get the best, go with “the one” and save yourself time, money,& your sanity and go to AdoramaPix.

Added bonus… I am totally sharing this sweet promo with y’all!! 25% off their square photo books (6×6,8×8,10×10,12×12). Use code: pxusfam25 ends 09/30/2015 11:59 pm EST

Anyone else out there obsessed with photo books? What kind of books do you favor…Birthday, Seasonal, Vacation, Christmas, etc. ?

 

 

Chick-Fil-A Moms Panel

I am super excited to share with y’all that I have been chosen to join a special group of Mom Bloggers to partner with Chick-fil-A & bring y’all exclusive Chick-fil-A news and special promotions; along with sharing my own experience with you.

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Speaking of experiences, Chick-fil-A holds such a special place in my heart, it has really been there for me while I was going through a tough transition in life.

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Last year I found myself dealing with a major dilemma. Between the kids’ homework & afterschool activities and my husband traveling for work I had to bid my social life farewell. It was simply impossible to try and go out in the evenings, to get everything done for the next day, find a sister, and not to mention, I was exhausted! So what’s a girl to do? I needed a location during the day that wasn’t too crowded, that was entertaining for my preschooler, that accommodated my SAHM budget, and coffee would be nice! Perhaps I was asking for too much? Chick-fil-A to the rescue!

I started meeting up with other moms for breakfast. That’s correct, you heard right, breakfast! I guess when God closes a door on dinners with the girls he opens a window for breakfasts? (And yes, drive-thru is open too for breakfast! See what I did there? Ha-ha!) And it is perfect! It isn’t too crowded, my daughter loves their breakfasts, I get my coffee (iced coffee is yummy!), and best of all, I get to chat with other mommas! Chick-fil-A rescued my social life!! Woot! Woot! I mean Moo! Moo!! Any other Moooovelous Mommas out there have their social like saved by Chick-fil-A? Then you will be able to relate to the parody below….

I am so looking forward to this magnificent opportunity! (and so is my preschooler)

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Cheers!!

Catholic Variety Show for Kids & Catholic VBS

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I am overwhelmed with joy & gratitude. We had such a remarkable day yesterday meeting the Cat Chat family, breaking bread with them, and enjoying their concert. You are probably thinking, what is Cat Chat, I know I was a few months ago when a close friend excitedly expressed that they were bringing Cat Chat to Toledo, more specifically our parish!

Cat Chat is a Catholic variety show for kids (and totally fun for kids at heart too!) composed of one very talented family of 7 & their cat Moses. Gerald & Denise Montpetit and their 5 awesome, adorable, kind, sweet, and did I mention talented children make up the Cat Chat show. They sing songs that have such strong messages but with an awesome get up and dance kind of beat. Songs about Jesus, the Sacraments, doing what’s right, not easy, etc. Catholic religious education has never been this much fun!

Let’s be honest, there are quite a few Christian based programs, shows, DVDs, CDs, etc. out there for children but hardly any Catholic based engaging, fun, programs for kids. There was definitely a need and I am so thankful that the Montpetit family saw the need, made the necessary sacrifices, followed their faith, and is sharing their talents while spreading the Catholic teachings. And boy do they put on a show!

As children entered the concert they received a paw stamp…look who received that special job of stamping hands! (fyi-that’s my son 😉 )

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Let the show begin!

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There were tricks, jokes, singing, dancing, unicycling, juggling, etc.

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Hope for the future, our children’s future was restored within me when I witnessed the children’s faces beaming with excitement when singing and dancing to songs about our faith. The Holy Spirit was definitely present!

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We were sad to see it end.

We reflected on the concert on the way home and the conversations that evolved were outstanding! We all agreed that the Montpetit children make great role models. We really admired their musical talents and a discussion about perseverance followed, and having to practice an instrument even when tempted by other pastimes, specifically screen time. And thanks to Cat Chat unicycling has now been put on my son’s radar, unicycleing! Who knew!?!

I am officially hooked! I am a FAN of the Cat Chat! Why? Well, from a parents perspective I like the fact that I can pop in the Cat Chat CD, the kiddos inevitably get the lyrics stuck in their heads, and a continuous loop of positive, encouraging, life affirming lessons can replay over & over again….it’s nourishment for the soul! Likewise, the DVDs can offer me a moment of reprieve and I don’t have to worry about the impact it will have on the kiddos because I now it will be filled with positive lessons. I am also quite excited for their VBS program. There are tons of Christian based VBS programs but there is such a NEED for a Catholic VBS.

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In conclusion, I would like to send our a HUGE thank you to the Shanks family for bringing Cat Chat not only to our parish but also into our lives! Thank you Shanks Family and Cat Chat for a fun filled family & faith based afternoon!

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Low-Carb Cookouts & Tailgating!

When you think cookouts, grilling, or tailgating what comes to mind, the classics…hotdog, hamburger, chips & salsa, potato chips, etc.? Well this Labor Day we kissed tradition goodbye. We threw caution to the wind. We went where no man wants to go. We went bun free!!! That’s right; we opted for a low-carb adventure!! I planned ahead, I had my low-carb trip-tik in hand, all hotdog and hamburger buns were officially sent packing, and chips were given the cold shoulder. And I am so glad we did, it was such a glorious adventure, the crispness, the textures, the layers of utter deliciousness, where so apparent without the measly buns to distract the taste buds!

So what was on the menu?

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Appetizers:

Savor the Dates; Date infused with a Walnut & Wrapped in Bacon (makes 24)

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Ingredients:

24 pitted dates

24 walnuts

12 slices of Bacon halved

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Directions:

  1. Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  3. Place walnut inside each date
  4. Then wrap each with a ½ slice of the bacon & place on parchment paper
  5. Bake for 15 minutes
  6. Let cook for at least 5 minutes then enjoy! Savor every bite. Close your eyes and take note of the texture, the crispy edges of the bacon, the softness of the date, the beautiful combination of savory & sweet…really Savor the Date!

 

Mini Peppers slathered with Wholly Guacamole & Salsa (makes 40)

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Ingredients:

20 mini-peppers

I used Wholly Guacamole (I purchased the individual serving sized containers & used 4…Costco, baby!)

Salsa (again I purchase from Costco) but you can find some great recipes for salsa HERE

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Directions:

  1. Cut off top stem and half the mini peppers the long way, clean out all seeds
  2. Slather Guacamole on each
  3. Take a spoon full of salsa and pour on top of the guacamole
  4. Chill in fridge till guest arrive. Or, if you are having a more casual gathering simply slice mini-peppers ahead of time and allow guest to use them like chips and dip in salsa and/or guacamole. Honestly, these taste a million times better than chips…if you are still missing the saltiness of a chip feel free to sprinkle mini peppers with salt before you dip/prepare them for guest. Enjoy the crunch, crispy texture of the pepper, and the best part, they fill you up much faster than chips!!

The Main Event:

Stuffed Roasted Red Peppers (makes 6 halves)

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½ vidalia onion diced

½ container of mushrooms diced

2 Tablespoons butter

1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 can Dei Fratelli chili ready diced tomatoes

½ cup water

1 pound of ground meat

3 red peppers

1 container of goat cheese (sliced or crumbled)

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Directions:

  1. Heat frying pan on stovetop at medium/high heat, add butter, Worcestershire sauce, can of chili ready diced tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, and meat. Cook till onions & mushrooms are tender and meat is fully cooked.
  2. While everything is cooking on the range slice peppers in half and remove all seeds.
  3. Place meat, mushrooms, onions, etc. in each pepper half.
  4. Place a little goat cheese on top of each pepper.
  5. Place stuffed peppers on the grill for roughly 4-5 minutes or until the pepper is tender and cheese starts to melt, but doesn’t burn.
  6. Grab a fork and dig in….but I must warn you, the flavors will have you thinking you are at a 5 star restaurant, not tailgating the big game or in your backyard, remember you’ve been warned!

Accompaniment:

Slawsome Deviled Eggs

Click HERE for recipe

This wasn’t a strict NO CARB event, just low carb & we allowed the carbs where they mattered most, in the beverages!! Because what’s a cookout, BBQ, or tailgating without some brew? And I was secretly stoked to show off our new beverage tub & stand!!

The pièce de résistance…..

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I am obsessed with this beverage tin!! It is great for gatherings with the girls, family cookouts, tailgating (just through the tin in the back of the truck!), etc. Thinking this might become my new go-to Wedding Shower gift….personalize with the couples name, anniversary date, etc. and done! Personalized creations are the best!

 

So, what are you waiting for? Are you up a glorious & delicious low-carb cookout or tailgating party? Know of any awesome recipes that are low-carb that I should try? Please feel free to share.

 

 

Transitioning Mom: Where is my Epidural Now?

They warn you about the pain of childbirth. They even express all the different means for managing said pain and in such depth that there are literally tons of books written on the topic! Ways to manage the pain often include Lamaze, water therapy, epidural, hypnosis, etc. I opted for hypnosis when this little lady graced us with her presence.

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She was overdue. I was eventually induced. Thanks to Pitocin (the drug they give you to start labor) the contractions were intense but the hypnosis worked like a charm. I literally went to my “Happy Place” in my brain and managed to take up residence there for 5 hours. Then I was distracted & the door abruptly shut on my “Happy Place”. The pain hit me like a title wave, so excruciating, intense, take your breath away, and utterly unbearable, I would come to find out in a few short minutes that I was transitioning. But at the time the nurse assumed I was just beginning “real” active labor so she offered an epidural. When you feel like you are drowning in pain you welcome any floatation device! Then the pain entirely consumed my body as the epidural was placed I suddenly felt the urge to push. Once the epidural was in I pushed and on the second push we had a beautiful baby girl! (It was a huge surprise to me because I could have sworn I was carrying a boy…we didn’t find out the sex, it is one of the last & most magnificent surprise this world has left to offer). I didn’t realize it or know it at that time, but I had just given birth to our last child. I must admit, I would have probably commemorated the occasion even more so if I would have known…I might have slowed down, really savored & soaked up all the experience of delivery, possibly even had someone in the room to capture my expression when they told me it was a girl, that would have been such a treasure. I am however thankful for the epidural, while it did absolutely nothing but add to the actual pain of labor after delivery I felt renewed, I felt nothing, at least not like I just delivered a baby. I was ready for visitors an hour after she was born. I was on cloud nine. No pain!

 

Fast-forward a few years later and I have experienced so many magnificent and emotional moments throughout her life, a lot of firsts, first steps, first solid food, first word, so many firsts for her and yet lasts for me, as a mom. All of her firsts would be my lasts. It is heartbreaking. (I detest the expression ‘kills my soul’ but if ever I was to use it now would be that time…this is the closest I have ever gotten to an experience that kills my soul). It is in those moments that I channel what I learned through hypnosis for birthing and I go to my “Happy Place” in my mind. It helps mend the immediate pain, just as it did for labor, except for today, today the door abruptly shut!! Suddenly I was in transition and no one was offering me an epidural, no floatation device among this sea of heartache & pain.

Today was the last first day of preschool for both of us. Today was the last day I would accompany my child for the first day of preschool. The last time I would play at the water table, with the play dough, play in the kitchen, and get excited for the preschool school year ahead. The last time I would paint hands with one of my babies on their first day of preschool (something I secretly look so forward to).

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As I sat their painting her sweet little hand I recalled six years ago when I was painting her older sister’s hand and then her brother’s and how quickly the time has passed and how big their hands are now, practically the same size as mine. The time flies so quickly, I barely have time to catch my breath. It seems like just yesterday I was nursing my baby and singing her a sweet lullaby, her tiny little fingers wrapped around mine. And today she had her last first day of preschool.

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Today I had my last first day of preschool. They never warned me about the pain. The pain is real! The pain hit me like a title wave, so excruciating, intense, take your breath away, and utterly unbearable kind of pain, I would come to find out that I was transitioning.

I am transitioning from a mom with babies & toddlers (which I am so familiar with, comfortable with, and truth be told, totally love! And given the opportunity would gladly do the whole baby and toddler thing a million times over) to a mom with children PreK and up. The pain is real! I want my epidural! Where is my epidural now?

 

 

Fulton County Fair: Best Fieldtrip EVER!

Staples on our grocery list include, eggs, cream, goat cheese (I am totally obsessed!), butter, ground beef, bacon or pork sirloin, spinach, carrots, etc. We simply go to Costco and buy those said products. Then to my chagrin, the kids come home from school open the fridge & act like those food items just magically appeared there all on their own. Thus, what better way to teach kiddos to appreciate all the hands, hard work, effort, and energy that go into raising, growing, and preparing their food then visiting the Fulton County Fair! (The rides, games, food, entertainment, etc. would all just be bonuses on our educational fieldtrip ;)).

The day of our “fieldtrip” to the Fulton County Fair started of wet. We awoke to rain. Kiddos had assumed we wouldn’t go. Do farmers call off work on account of rain? Nope! They still need to tend the farm, feed animals, clean stalls, etc. So I told the kiddos to grab their hats. The older ones understood the concept of the baseball cap but the youngest came downstairs wearing this hat, lol!

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After we all had rain friendly hats we were off come rain or shine, to the Fulton County Fair!!!

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First stop when we arrived, restrooms, second, a huge dose of reality!! We stopped in all the barns, steer, swine, baby animals (took everything in me not to take one of those adorable puppies!!), sheep, goat, etc.

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The children not only got to soak in all the cutest of the animals but also the gravity of the responsibility. There were a lot of children their ages competing and washing, brushing, and caring for the various animals. We talked about the fact that when they are often chilling on Saturday mornings playing on their screens these children are getting up early to tend to the animals….they aren’t building pretend farms on Minecraft they are helping to maintain REAL farms!

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They are feeding the animals, cleaning the animals, removing their waste, and eventually they often have to say goodbye to the animals when they are sent away to become food for us. (I try my best to be as honest as possible with my kiddos…age appropriate in my descriptions, but honest none the less). And just when I thought the reality was sinking in and my city folk kids were beginning to understand were our foods come from and all the amazing families/people who make it possible my son made the following comment “Look mom, this is a REAL pig!”

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Because all the other ones weren’t real? Lol! Apparently in his mind and mostly because all the books we have read show “real” pigs as being pink. Thanks to a visit to the Fulton County Fair we have debunk that myth! Haha!

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Well, it is a work in progress. But I can tell you this much, there was no food waste at breakfast this morning, everyone’s eggs & bacon were eaten. And there was no arguing over whom had to clean up the dog poop (funny how dog poop doesn’t seem like an imposition when compared to cow & horse poop!) Perhaps more sunk in than I had thought?

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After seeing all those animals we were hungry (I realize the timing of that comment sounds gruesome but it was like 1:30 in the afternoon and we hadn’t had lunch yet). So we ate! Best part about the Fair, everyone can eat what they want! Cheeseburger, BBQ chicken, etc.

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Then we played! Kiddos played games and rode rides.

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Then we were on the hunt for the BEST milkshakes! This is when it would have been nice if we printed off the map. Stopped for a photo op in front of the Tractors…so many tractors…I had no idea there we so many different sizes, colors, years, types, etc. 

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We did eventually locate the milkshakes…turns out we walked past it like 4 times! LOL! And then after our major accomplishment of locating and purchasing the shakes I had to take a pic to commemorate…..they were not amused! Haha!

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And then they rode a few more rides and played a few more games. We all had an absolute BLAST!! We highly recommend y’all visit the Fair!! Fulton County Fair Sept 4-10th Click here for more info

 

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Here are a few tips to make your Fair visit much more enjoyable:

1-Print off the Map-once you are physically in the Fair it is overwhelming and you could miss out on something and/or find it difficult to locate something, thus have a map!

2-Budget beforehand….how much will you be spending at the Fair and where will that money be allocated.

3-Talk to your kiddos ahead of time about how many rides/games they can enjoy (kiddos could even potentially be earning said rides & games weeks before the Fair via extra work around the house or selling old toys/clothes to second hand stores…any excuse to de-clutter!!).

4-Have a meeting place in case anyone gets lost!!

5- Do checkout the itinerary and jot down some times to keep in mind and then most importantly, Have fun!