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Birthday in Dayton

I have officially been on this planet for 35 years. My birthday fell on a Friday that I had off but since it wasn’t a holiday, both girls were at daycare for the day. I decided to spend most of my day checking out some spots around Dayton, Ohio. Thankfully it was also a gorgeous weather day.

After my frugal start to the day utilizing a free breakfast at a restaurant then yard sale shopping – snow boots for a $1? Yes, please!

My husband decided to take the day off, too, to get some things done so we were able to meet for lunch at Olive, An Urban Dive. Typically, you need a reservation to get a table since it’s a small place, so since I wasn’t at work, I knew I’d be able to keep it. It doesn’t look like much from the outside since the exterior is off the original restaurant, Wympee Diner but the inside has been completely redone.

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They serve fresh meals with local ingredients as much as possible (they have their farm just to assist in the fresh produce) and since their kitchen is so small, they say they don’t even own a freezer or microwave since their ingredients are brought in almost daily. The have every “friendly” kind of option possible to fit anyone’s needs and everything tasted delicious. I had the “Over the Top” Tuna Melt, salad and sweet potato soup and my husband had the day’s special, the Atomic Sloppy Joe with sweet potato fries. We were definitely full but I didn’t feel heavy nor was I starving an hour later – those things count in my book!

I stopped by Sew Dayton to peek at what fabrics they had in and decided to grab this unicorn print to make some skirts for the girls. Then, I grabbed a cup of cold brew coffee from Press Coffee Bar.

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My last stop was for a little hair therapy at Salon J Ladner. It is a little sad to admit how long it has been since I’ve been to an actual salon to have some attention on my hair. Along with a cut I ended up getting PM Shine, a semi-permanent gloss to give my hair back a little shine. It definitely beats trying to dye it at home while trying not to get liquid all over the place. Plus, it’s s great chance to support a military spouses’ business.

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The salon just happened to be right down from Twist Cupcakery, which seemed like a sign from above that I should get myself a happy-birthday-to-me cupcake. I’ll have to remember them next time we need some birthday treats around the office.

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After a little down time back at home – because I could – my husband and I picked up the girls and went to the annual Dayton Celtic Festival in downtown Dayton for dinner and a show. More about that here.

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Pretty laid back, fun day in and around Dayton. We kept the festivities going by checking out Fifth Street Brewpub Monday night while the guest bartenders for the evening were raising money for the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance Alumni Society, Wright State University. It was nice to check out a new place and give back to an alumni group on date night. Talk about multitasking!

Many beer options, most brewed right there the rest are local, and a short but tasty food menu. I was surprised to find out they have a kids menu and even changing tables in the bathroom. We ended up splitting the Cheesy Baja Roll, my husband got The Fifth Street Steakhouse Sandwich, I got the Asian Lettuce Wraps with chicken as my meal, and we got Blonde Brownies a la Mode drizzled with chocolate and caramel sauces. Every thing was really good. In the beer selections, we each got a flight so we could sample a few different beers. The FSB Dandelion Saison was an interesting favorite – a Belgian style Saison brewed with organic dandelion greens.

This year is off to a good start, let’s see what the rest of it brings!

Enjoying Festival Season with Little Ones


This past weekend we went as a family to the annual Dayton Celtic Festival. It is just one of the many festivals around Dayton that happens from Spring until Fall every year.  We enjoy going to them as an opportunity to get a glimpse of other cultures and try new foods. Even though my husband and I aren’t crazy about large crowds, we have learned a few tricks to make attending festivals and other large events a little more bearable with small kids.

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Pick the best times. I always try to get there a little before the actual start time to get a decent parking spot and be ahead of any food lines. If something is happening all weekend long, we opt for the first weeknight or Sunday for the lightest crowds.

Snacks and drinks. If you are able to, always pack some water or drinks and small snacks. You never know for sure how long the lines will be or if your child will actually find something they like to eat, plus bringing some “sides” will help you save a few bucks, too.

We got there at about 5:30p on a Friday afternoon with a quick snack of Cheerios available for the girls to munch on while we walked around a little bit looking at the vendors and picked up dinner. As soon as the event officially started, my husband got drink tickets while I snagged a table by a show tent that was about to have Irish dancers performing. By the time everyone was back together, the girls food had cooled enough for them to actually eat it, we had drinks, and the first performing group was up on stage – dinner and a show!

Plan your time there. Look up schedules on line before you go so you can decide if there is a presentation or act you want to see and plan accordingly.

Pick the right gear. As much as I love the baby carrier, for this festival, the right choice for us was the double, side-by-side stroller. I like being able to give each girl a seat to eat in or watch performers from (just in case we couldn’t find one) and be able to get them through the crowds without running the risk of one or more of them stopping to check out what is on a vendors table. In this case, I knew most of the areas would be paved and ramps available, plus we could put items in the storage area underneath.

While I have gotten a lot of use of the side-by-side, a draw back is that there isn’t much in the way of cup holders or a tray for the driver. I like being to have things like my phone, cash, something to drink, and maps easily accessible when we are out and about and I was always having to dig around for items in the little pockets of the stroller or in my bag underneath. That’s why I was happy to get the chance to review the SavvyBaby Stroller Organizer. #savvybaby

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The SavvyBaby Stroller Organizer attaches to the handle bar with strong hook and loop strips and has multifunctional pockets. Two main part has two cup holder compartments, plus a divider running the middle to keep items from getting lost. It’s made from a neoprene fabric that helps hold items and stretches to fit there shape while be easy to clean. The front pocket was the perfect size for my phone, cash, and ID and has a little port to pass your headphones through. Need to step away from the stroller for a minute? Just unzip the whole front piece and take it with you.

It comes in black or a great chevron print and they toss in a free snack or toy leash that attached in a couple different ways so it will be perfect for any container or item and any stroller. It has been the perfect addition to the stroller for us plus, since it’s fabric, we can just leave it attached and the stroller folds right up when we are done. It would make a great baby shower gift, too.

Dayton has tons of festivals, from sweet corn to ribs, from Greek to German, and everything in between and we are looking forward to the rest of the season. What kind of festivals are in your neck of the woods?

*I was provided with a product in exchange for my honest review. Post contains affiliate links.*

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Garden Fresh

Tis the season for fresh fruits and vegetables everywhere you look. Farmer’s markets, u-pick, farm stands – we are trying to make the most of what is seasonally available. We are still working on the first batch of ice cream I made in my new ice cream maker, Blueberry Ice Cream, and I just put another batch of popsicles in the freezer, Watermelon Mint.

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I have two recent posts on Dayton Moms Blog that I wanted to share with you. While there is some information local to Dayton, Ohio in them, but the ideas translate to where ever you happen to live.

Farmer’s Market Fun for Kids

That’s My Jam: Making Homemade Freezer Jam

I recommend exploring your area’s farmer’s markets. If you are near Shelbyville or Bedford County in Tennessee, check out Bedford County Locally Grown Farmers Market. My sister-in-law is one of the masterminds behind it and it is unique in that it lets you pick exactly what you want from the participating growers. They offer everything from produce, to eggs, to bread, to handmade soaps and you make one stop to pick them all up once a week.

In the Garden

This year we scaled back what we are growing in the garden. We wanted to keep the girls interested in the growing and caring for plants but honestly didn’t know how dedicated we would be able to be to it this year. With all the rain, we haven’t had to water the garden and the flowers too often, but it is a chore the girls enjoy in addition to pulling weeds and just digging in the dirt, just because. Besides, it turns out we are awesome at growing leaves.

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We had a good run of spinach at the beginning of the season and the kale is about ready to start getting picked regularly. We tried broccoli but it didn’t really seem to take. It’s still in the garden in the hopes it attracts butterflies and the girls still pick the little buds and eat them right off the plant.

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The herbs are doing well, as usual. The mint is huge and I am happy we decided to put it in its own container last year because it was the first thing to take off running this year. We got new basil and rosemary plants and they are doing great. The surprise of the season has been the dill Kelsey grew from a seed at a program at our local parks system last year. It came back on its own this year and has been an interesting addition. Although, we still haven’t really figured out anything to do with it.

What’s in your garden this year?

MommyCon 2015 Ticket Giveaway!

MommyCon 2015 Ticket Giveaway!

I told you guys a little about MommyCon when I became a MommyCon blogger. I have been counting down the months until it comes to Columbus, Ohio on September 19, 2015. It has been fun connecting with other moms in the Facebook groups and learning from the veterans about how to make the most of the day.

Here are a few tips I have picked up:

  • Get ready to geek out. MommyCon is very kid-friendly but don’t be afraid to leave the little ones at home and enjoy your Mom time.
  • Look for deals for the area now. People have been able to get great deals on everything from hotels to parking to things to do with the kids before and after the event by keeping an eye out over the past few months.
  • Bring snacks. Even though there is food for sale, the lines tend to be long. If you have little ones with you, have dietary restrictions, or are just impatient, it’s a good idea to pack your lunch, or at least snacks and drinks. Also, leave it in the car if you can.
  • Standing room only. If you are taking kids with you, your best bet for the day is to plan on using a baby carrier and wearing a backpack. It sounds like they try to have a stroller check if you need to use one to get to the event but it will be pretty full of people so plan to carry babies and leave space in the backpack for fun finds and session materials.

For information about the Washington D.C., Columbus, Newport Beach and Seattle events, visit MommyCon. If there is a location you are interested in, scroll to the bottom to find the link to the Facebook group for the event and get in touch with other attendees. Of course, you can also follow them on social media to keep up to date with what is going on (and there are giveaways every now and then). Then, get ready for VIP tickets to go on sale closer to the actual date.

The ladies at MommyCon have been so great to work with. I am thrilled to be able to offer you a chance to win two general admission tickets to any MommyCon city in 2015! Follow the link below to enter by August 3, 2015, 11:59pm. Winner will be notified by email and have 24 hours to claim their prize. Good luck!

Click here: Rafflecopter giveaway

If you don’t want to wait and take your chances, use the promo code DOMESTIC15 for $5 off your general admission ticket today (only good on general admission, not pre-sale or VIP). Military moms, check out the Military Ticketing Program.

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Peach Recipe Round Up

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Oh, The Peach Truck. It was like going to pick peaches in Georgia without having to go pick peaches in Georgia. A half a bushel driven right to our fair city of Dayton (and maybe to a city near you). A knew a lot of peaches were coming my way, but I did not realize how many peaches it would be until I saw the box.

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Cue Pinterest search to figure out what to do with all of them. Apparently, a lot of other people were wondering the same about their The Peach Truck haul because I just had to laugh at all the references to it a came across in my search.

For starters, I knew we would be freezing a fair amount so here is how to peel a lot of peaches and how to freeze them as just plain peach slices, great for future recipes and tossed into smoothies.

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The Peach Truck does have a selection of recipes, but here are the ones we decided to try. Check out my Pinterest board for more ideas.

Peach German Pancake

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Baked Cinnamon Peaches

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Peach Mint Popsicles

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Dutch Oven Peach Dump Cake

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Peach Freezer Jam

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And, here’s one form the last time we a lot of peaches around: Spiked Peaches and Cream

Of course, between two little ones and a weekend camping trip, a fair amount were eaten straight from the box. Have a peachy day!

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Baby Gear Giveaway & Summer Sweeping Giveaway Hop

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I hope your summer and July 4th weekend is off to a great start. As part of this giveaway hop, I’m happy to offer up some wonderful products that I had the chance to review. Each of these will make great additions to your next baby shower or to your supplies today!

The Prize Items:

The Mattress Protector Pad from Universal Comfy Co. is a breathable yet great choice for protecting baby’s mattress from dust, allergens, or accidents. It fits our standard mattress perfectly. It’s made from bamboo so that means lead-free, PVC-free, and contains ZERO phthalates or PBDE.

Chu Berries BPA Free Universal Pacifier Clip With Silicone Beads is a great twist on a useful item when it comes to babies. This product combines the classic pacifier clip with silicone teething beads to 2 products in one. See my review here.

Enter to win them by following the link below then keep scrolling for the giveaway hop. Contest ends at 11:59p on July 17, 2015. Good luck!

Enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Welcome to the Summer Sweeping Giveaway Hop, hosted by Viva Veltoro and Lindsey Blogs.

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Summer is just getting started because it is definitely HOT, HOT, HOT outside. Each blogger in this Event has a giveaway worth at least $25 to help you stay cool and keep Summer Sweeping with this fun Giveaway Hop – so be sure to hop around to them all below including our hosts – Viva Veltoro has an amazing collection of baby prizes and Lindsey Blogs is sharing a few of her favorite brands with you!

Click here to enter and view this Linky Tools list…

So Easy Being Green, Viva Veltoro, and the Summer Sweeping participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.

*This giveaway is self-sponsored. I was previously provided free products in exchange for my honest reviews. Post contains affiliate links.*

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Shut the Front Door, Shutterfly!

I had to take a minute to let you guys know about some offers from Shutterfly. Now is the time to get that vacation photo book made (or baby book that is a year overdue). Stock up on freebies now and hold them for birthdays, holidays, whatever. You still have to pay shipping on most of these offers, but you are still getting a great deal. Just click on the red text below for the product you want to check out.

All customers enjoy one free 20-standard finish page 8×8 hard photo cover photo book with promo code SUNNYBOOK at checkout! Offer valid 6/24-30/2015.

Offer expires June 30, 2015 (11:59 P.M. PT). Offer is good for one free 20-standard finish page 8×8 hard photo cover photo book through shutterfly.com, our mobile-friendly site or Shutterfly apps. Offer cannot be redeemed more than once per account and/or billing address. Taxes, shipping, and handling will apply. Customer may add options to their 8×8 book (additional pages, StorytellingTM styles and elements, photo book accessories, other cover types, etc.) at additional cost. Alternatively, customer may apply the current price of a 20-standard finish page 8×8 hard photo cover photo book (after taking into account any current discounts on shutterfly.com) toward the purchase of a larger photo book. Not valid on 5×7, 7×9, or 8×8 soft cover photo books, TripPix, prepaid plans, other products and prior purchases. Cannot be redeemed for cash or combined with other offers or credits. Not valid for resale.

All customers enjoy your choice of one free reusable shopping bag or one set of playing cards with promo code PICKAGIFT at checkout! Offer valid 6/24-26/15.

Offer expires June 26, 2015 (11:59 P.M. PT). Offer is good for one free reusable shopping bag or one set of playing cards through shutterfly.com or our mobile-friendly site. Must select one of the two products listed. Offer cannot be redeemed more than once per account and/or billing address. Taxes, shipping and handling will apply. Not valid on other products, prepaid plans, prior purchases, orders placed for in-store pick up and purchases made on the Shutterfly apps. Cannot be redeemed for cash or combined with other offers or credits. Not valid for resale.

All customers enjoy your choice of one free kids placemat or one notepad with promo code CHOOSEONE at checkout! Offer valid 6/27-30/15.

Offer expires June 30, 2015 (11:59 P.M. PT). Offer is good for one free kids placemat or one notepad through shutterfly.com or our mobile-friendly site. Must select one of the two products listed. Offer cannot be redeemed more than once per account and/or billing address. Taxes, shipping and handling will apply. Not valid on pet placemat, other products, prepaid plans, prior purchases, orders placed for in-store pick up and purchases made on the Shutterfly apps. Cannot be redeemed for cash or combined with other offers or credits. Not valid for resale.

While you are ordering these fun gifts, pick up on a card to go with it by using promo code CARD4U and some prints for yourself.

All customers enjoy 100 free 4×6 prints with promo code 100FREEPRINTS at checkout! Offer valid now until 6/30/15.

Offer expires 6/30/2015 (11:59 P.M. PT). Offer is good for 100 free 4×6 prints through shutterfly.com or our mobile-friendly site. Offer cannot be redeemed more than once per account and/or billing address. Taxes, shipping and handling will apply. Not valid on other sizes, other products, prepaid plans, prior purchases, orders placed for in-store pick up and purchases made on the Shutterfly apps. Cannot be redeemed for cash or combined with other offers or credits. Not valid for resale.

Don’t forget, you can get free shipping with orders over $39 by using promo code SHIP39. Go to your account page now and put all of these promo codes in then happy creating!
Shutterfly Free Stuff

*Post contains affiliate links.*