Our Visit to Reid Park Zoo

Last night my husband and I took our girls to Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, AZ. TEP (Tucson Electric Power) was celebrating 125 years of service, so they offered admission at $1.25 a person and the zoo was open after their usual Summer hours, from 6-8pm.

We decided to take our girls out for the evening, dinner and the zoo, since it was our last Saturday before school starts tomorrow! Plus, $5 to get all four of us into the zoo, was too good to be beat!

Baby girl and a peacock

This was our youngest daughter’s first visit and I made sure we were prepared for pretty much anything! IMG_20170805_182344076

  • Stroller (the big one)
  • Book for her entertainment (aka chewing)
  • Sippy Cup
  • Bottles, water & formula
  • Snacks
  • Light blanket
  • Change of clothes
  • diapers & wipes
  • Pacifier
  • Bottle of water
  • Bib

My oldest is a bit easier to take anywhere (thank goodness)! I just have to make sure she has “comfy” walking shoes, deodorant, her phone and a hair tie!

My loves at the zoo

We gained easy access into the zoo, since we purchased our tickets online. As soon as we walked in, we were greeted with a pop up bar. The great thing about this, even though we didn’t participate, was that they informed the patrons who did that their money used to purchase their alcoholic drinks went right back into the zoo for the animals.

My girl's and I

The zoo gift shop and cafe were open as well for the evening. We also located a few ice cream stations, to cool us off if needed.

One of the highlights of attending this “special summer event” was that the zoo keepers were out talking about the animals and interacting with kids. The kids could participate in an enrichment program around each animal exhibit and earn a stamp, for that animal. It was rather cute to watch some of the toddlers/preschool age children participate. Our girls did not, one is way too young and one was “too cool” for this. We did listen in at a few exhibits though and learned a few things!

We walked around the entire zoo, stopped a few times to observe everything going on and even enjoyed the live music that was playing. All in all it was a wonderful evening at the zoo!

Tucson, AZ is hot! I mean it’s AZ, aren’t we right next to the sun?! With that being said, I love how the zoo offers evening events like this, so that we can attend during the summer months. There is no way in HELL I would go in the middle of the day, so this makes it a great opportunity for the zoo to earn money, after their typical hours, since I can almost guarantee the attendance levels double. I know our family is looking forward to attending the zoo again in the future, mostly when it cools down!

Do any of the animal education centers near you offer evening specials during their “off peak” season?

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New Appliances From Lowe’s

I’ve been updating y’all on our move to our new house. It’s so exciting to be homeowners again, I truly feel blessed. With the joys of buying a new home, we’ve faced some ups and downs.

For one, it wasn’t move in ready like we thought we were getting with such a newer home. See previous blog.

Second, it’s been a damn headache to get moved in to the house with two kids and unpack. One of which is an infant and wants nothing more than to be held….all the time. So thankful for my baby-wearing wraps! If I didn’t have this, I would get nothing done!

Well on top of all this chaos, we ordered new appliances. Sure, why not add to the debt and stress we have already with moving.

Like I explained in previous blog, we needed a brand new stove & oven. It was disgusting and literally NOTHING was taking the gunk off the stove. The microwave had a broken handle and chips on the door. We also needed a refrigerator, since we were renting our previous home, we used what was in the home and sold our former refrigerator with our former house, since we didn’t know how long we would be renting before we found a new home.

So I took dimensions and went to work comparing appliances online and then ordered them! I told my husband he had no say whatsoever, since I love to cook and the kitchen is my little oasis. He obliged and has since bitched that I cannot order anything else, while he was installing them, since I ordered them to fit without wiggle room!

I love and hate stainless steal!

I love the look of stainless steal, it is clean looking, industrial looking and it looks like we have a fancy kitchen. I HATE stainless steal too. In order to get that clean look, I literally have to wipe everything down, constantly. Fine, no problem, except this is daily. I’m turning into a fingerprint natzi over here. “Smudge proof” it says. LIES! It’s all sorts of smudgy. I invested in some Stainless Steal cleaner, not sure I need this. According to my mom I should use pledge on my stainless steal products….um no thanks.

We went with GE appliances. I wanted to make sure our investment would last. I’ve never had issues with GE, like I have with other appliance brands. We purchased a GE Profile Counter Depth French Door Refrigerator and I love it! The freezer is on the bottom, which looks nice and really is a great feature for our family. I don’t go into my freezer alot, so having just the items I use from the refrigerator above my waist is awesome, especially when baby wearing and needing a snack or to prep for dinner. We also ordered a new microwave and stove/oven combo. The stove is probably one of the sexiest stoves I have seen. It looks like a smaller version of a commercial stove, which is every cooks desire. Well, at least mine. Here are some pics:

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I’m glad our kitchen looks a bit more sleek and inviting now, it has increased the amount of time I spend in the kitchen and has inspired me to cook more. I do want to change out our dishwasher to match soon, but the fact it is out of my sight lines, I’m okay waiting. We have some other projects to do in our kitchen, including a back splash and painting the walls. I even have a plan to change out the pantry door to something a bit cuter. For now, I am very happy we have new appliances in our kitchen, that not only look nice and clean, they work well!

Not so Ready Move in Home

When I hear “New home” I automatically think of a move in ready home. My husband and I were blinded by the pretty granite and large stone tiles on the kitchen floor. The year the house was built was alluring as well. The size of the home seemed perfect, a bit bigger than our rental and bigger than the last house we owned. The house was 4 years old, one owner. An owner who was very creative with their furniture placement…..to hide stains.

Maybe the stains on the carpet where visible, hell I don’t remember. We viewed so many houses, this was the best lay out, newest house and we don’t have neighbors behind us, which was a nice drawl. The house is in a newer subdivision and we have a park and pool about 7 houses down. Really, it all seemed perfect and being within our budget, we felt this was perfect.

The inspection period came, they were still living here with their strategically placed furniture. In fact they were still here during the inspection (awkward). Nothing came back alarming, few things needed to be fixed or at least addressed. No problem.

Our final walk through came, my husband was ill and I came alone with the baby. Guess what, they were still here, but had moved some of their bulkier furniture. Well, that opened up ground space and wall space….oh my. Sure, we could have backed out at that point, if I wanted to be picky, but see above. Perfect location.

Let me just say, this house was NOT move in ready. They didn’t clean it prior to us getting our keys a month ago. The walls were so dirty. So, so dirty. My husband and I used at LEAST 3 dozen magic erasers on the walls. We have patched and sealed at least 200 nail holes. (Seriously not exaggerating here) We paid someone to clean the carpets professionally and the tile as well. We cleaned as much as we could, in a matter of a week before we started moving our stuff in.

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We attempted to clean the appliances, mainly the stove and oven. OMG! I can’t even explain what was on it. It was like covered in GUNK. We ended up ordering a new stove, matching microwave and a fridge.  The dishwasher has been cleaned and functions well, we will replace that to match the rest of the appliances eventually.

The house needs some paint thrown on the walls and we want to replace the carpet and probably tile work within the next year. The carpet is so worn out on our stairs, it looks bad even after being cleaned professionally.

We’ve been in our new to us house for almost a month. I love this house and the community we live in. I’m glad we chose to move here and purchase a home, even though it needs some love.

Do you Prime?

Yesterday was July 11th, 2017. For some, it was just a Tuesday. For others, it was PRIME DAY!

What is Prime day?

Prime day is for Amazon Prime members who LOVE great deals. The deals started at midnight and were quickly swooped up. (Like way too quick for me to take part on!)

I personally didn’t score any great deals, I did however get put on a waiting list for a few things I had on my “shopping list”.

Other websites took notice and created competition!

I shop with Ebates and they were offering major deals for cashback for several of my favorite stores.

If you don’t shop with Ebates , you need to. They give you cashback while you shop at several stores! I scored 7.5% back on my Carter’s order last night!

I love my Amazon Prime, I use it for Free two day shipping on several items we use/need monthly. I also love our Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote | Streaming Media Player which we can watch movies, play music and shop from our home TV. It is also super portable, which makes it easy to travel with!

Did you score any amazing deals on Amazon Prime Day? Let me know in the comments!

What a Doozy!

Last night was a complete doozy!

Four nights ago, we put our 6 month old to bed in her crib, in her room. She had been co-sleeping with us since we brought her home.

Well, living in the Southern Arizona sure has surprises once in awhile, scorpions, rattlesnakes, tarantulas and the weather. Yes, it’s hot in the Summer months, but we get a cool down with the monsoons. That also brings a wicked amount of humidity and thunderstorms.

We had our first experience in our new home of a thunderstorm last night. The monsoon rolled in about 5pm, lasted until 4 am this morning roughly. The rain was pouring and the thunder was loud. We also saw the sky light up with lightening strikes that were WAY too close for comfort.

I thought to myself, do I carry on as usual and put the kids to bed in their own rooms or make a bed on the floor for my oldest and let the baby sleep with us?

I carried on, as usual. We need to stick to a routine. It’s only been a few days. The baby will learn about bed time if only we stick to routine.

Our routine consists of nursing, dinner time, bath time and PJS followed by a night time nursing all by 7pm. My husband threw us off a little, over the PJ thing. “I don’t want her too hot” he said. “I don’t want her cold” I replied. So we compromised with PJ pants over a onesie.

I put the little one down, she squirmed and cried for a bit. My husband went in to console her and put her back down. We watched a bit of TV, enjoyed a glass of wine and then went to bed. Man o man was it storming good. I checked on both girls, the little one was asleep and the oldest was playing video games.

A little before 1 am came, the little one woke up and I nursed her and put her back down. I checked on the oldest, since it was still storming and she said she couldn’t fall asleep. Her little dog was keeping her company during the storm and it was a-okay with me.

By 3 am, getting up with the little one again, I took her back to bed with me and we snuggled. She nursed, I listened to the wind whip around some more and finally dozed off myself.

My husband left for work this morning around 6, our little one woke up soon after and we have been going ever since. She isn’t a napper, we haven’t gotten our nap time routine down just now. We will get there, right?!

As I finish typing this, she is in bed for this beautiful Tuesday night. I have been working on this all day, but I haven’t had more than a few minutes here and there.

(Raising my wine glass) Here is to a better night……..

 

Happy 4th of July!

We are celebrating our 4th of July in our new community this year! It is a blessing to be apart of such a wonderful community, that offers so many events for families. We are headed out to watch fireworks by the lake this evening, enjoy food truck food and spend time with our girls.

Last year, my oldest was with her dad for the 4th of July. My husband and I celebrated together, watching fireworks from a parking lot in our old town. I was on bed rest, so we kept it simple and hung out in our car for most of the night, eating candy. It was fun, regardless of just sitting in m!

I’m super excited to have the opportunity to celebrate the 4th of July with my oldest and my youngest this year, along with my husband. It is going to be fabulous!

What are your plans to celebrate Independence day?