Mama Needs A Makeover (and a Martini). And Enter to Win A Makeover Package from Ihloff Salon and Day Spa!

So my 7 year-old Nicholas drew a picture of us the other day.  I commented on how I liked the brown hat he drew on my head.

 “That’s not a hat mommy,that’s your hair!   The top half  is brown, and the bottom part is yellow!”

 Wow.  Nothing like a little reality check from a first grader.

 I don’t know about the rest of ya’ll, but if I can get at least one body part clean in a day (hair washing and leg shaving is a bonus) – it’s a red banner day in my book. 

 Needless to say – keeping up with hair, makeup and other luxuries such as a razor or nail polish – isn’t on my radar.

 Until now. 

 So I enlisted the help of my dear friends at the amazing Ihloff Salon and Day Spa in Tulsa.  They were only too excited to help a sister out.  (Until Randi saw my roots.  I don’t think she really believed I was in dire straits until then).

Randi is amazing. She's lightening my hair and adding some vertical layers to give my hair volume and make it easier to style.

 Randi says the trend in hair this spring is longer layers and a more “bohemian” look than the polished looks of last year.  The look is super easy – she just used a large barrel curling iron and slightly curled my hair in big chunks.  It took five minutes. 

I now have a fresh updated look for spring – YAY! And it’s dummy proof for moms like me.   So I want to share my good fortune.

Brandi's teaching me some easy tips for makeup. I love the new spring colors!

 According to Brandi from Ihloff, makeup trends are keeping your look natural, with using a pop of color either on lips or eyes.  For daytime, she’s giving me a day smoky eye, using nuetral colors, but a teal eyeshadow as an eyeliner which makes eyes pop.  For nighttime, she suggests a bright lip – coral is the big color this spring. 

Ihloff is donating a haircut/style AND a make-up application (plus the spring line of Aveda makeup!) .  This is valued at over $300 – and it includes their newest product – Aveda Lash Abundance Boosting Serum which gives you thicker, fuller, longer-looking lashes in just 8 weeks-and is gentle enough for everyday use.

 You can watch these awesome ladies in action right here on my Mommy Moment on Fox23 this morning. 

 All you have to do to enter is comment on my blog and we’ll pick a winner on Monday, March 5th!

I had to celebrate my look with a Girls Night Out of course....

 And next time my son draws my hair like that…he’s grounded.

Won’t You Be Mine? Easy and Fun Ideas for The Day of Love.

Don’t worry.  I haven’t gone all Martha Stewart on ya’ll.  Seriously!  You should know better.

 However, I am pretty darn impressed with myself.

 For the first time in my life – I made homemade Valentines.

 (waiting for applause….)

valentine crafts for kids

Baby J eating our Valentine supplies before we even get home...

 Anyway – when you have four kids and they each have parties and they each have 20 something kids in their class…let me see…I’m no math whiz – but that is darn near 100 valentines.  And that can get pretty expensive.

 So I found this awesome website and found cute, cheap and EASY valentines to make for the kids. 

 Actually, truth be told, my oldest did most of the work.  I supervised. 

 And Baby J tried to eat them all as we went along.  Hey, we all have our jobs…

home made Valentines

Seriously, how cute is this? And if I can make it - then ANYONE can.

 
 
home made valentines

I freaking love the people who think these things up!

So my friend and fellow- mom- of- four- anchor on Fox23 – the lovely Michelle Linn was so impressed that I made homemade valentines – she asked me to come on the show yesterday to show off the goods. 

And as usual – Baby J charms the pants off my friends at Fox23 – here is our latest segment on kid ideas for Valentines Day

I’ve got more ideas too!  What has gotten into me? (considering I used to HATE Valentine’s Day after my 6th grade BF broke up with me on the day of love…YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE…)  But I digress…

To check out some other creative ideas for your family for Valentine’s Day – check out my latest article in Greater Tulsa Reporter. 

To see more cards like the ones above – check out Disney’s Family Fun website .  They have dummy-proof crafts made for people like me. 

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone!  (Except for my sixth grade boyfriend…he can just stick it. :) )

“You’re Fired!” Or How I Almost Poisoned My Family.

It is a sad state of affairs when your husband fires you from being a Stay at Home Mom.  Seriously folks, you have to screw up pretty darn badly for that to happen.

Although my husband is much better looking - it was still just as humiliating...

I mean, it was just some undercooked pork…(and dogs urinating in the house because I forgot to let them out, spoiled milk because I forgot to put it away, flat tire on my car because I forgot to get it checked, and screaming toddler because she fell off the trampoline – and this is just in one afternoon),

  - I have a very long HR list of past offenses – honestly, I would never get hired anywhere that required any sort of domestic skill whatsoever.  My family just happened to  draw the short straw. 

So let’s just hope my family makes it through the night without a trip to the ER…

So, today started like any other – the mad dash to get four kids dressed in clean clothes and out the door for my trek across NorthEastern Oklahoma without getting pulled over by the cops or my kids getting detention for being tardy yet again. 

However, in the midst of my daily chaos, I was so proud of myself for actually thinking ahead and putting a pork roast in the Crock-Pot.  (Yeah me!).  Except I forgot to turn it on. 

So Shane comes home from work to a screaming baby, spoilt milk, a floor covered in dog urine and two boys streaking in our backyard (yes, I know it’s January.  I can only watch so many kids at one time). 

BUT – saving grace – I cooked dinner! 

Just not all the way.  When I was getting ready to serve it – it looked pretty darn pink.  I asked Shane if this was okay.  He thought I was cooking beef and said sure…

Well…when he realized it was pork and began to freak out (this is the man who ate a freeze-dried tarantula and dared the kids to eat bugs  mind you…)

under cooked pork

Seriously? And undercooked pork is worse than this?

 …he caused a chain reaction with the kids who were for sure they had been poisoned.  Jade immediately began googling “Pork Disease” and “tapeworms” and totally lost it and the boys were sure they were going to die.  (Not before they asked if they could stay home from school the next day since they were going to be sick and all…). 

Nicholas is milking this for all it's worth. Can't wait until he tells his dad I tried to poison them.

 I’m not the only one in my household with a flair for the dramatic…

So, I am now looking for a new job that involves zero domestic abilities.  Anyone need a wine taster?  I’m pretty good at that.

No Couch Potatoes Allowed! Easy Ways to Stay Active with the Kids this Winter.

Exercise with your kids!  This doesn’t have to be stressful – or work – make it fun!  Or, I’ll just let ya’ll borrow Baby J for a day.  That should take care of your exercise for a week.  How do you think I lost my baby-weight?  Chasing around my whirling dervish who leaves a horrific path of destruction in her wake…

Don't let the angel costume fool you...

But I digress…

The weather has been unusally warm in Oklahoma – but we all know that it won’t last.  So here are some handy dandy ideas for keeping active with your kids this Winter! 

 Baby J and I chat with our dear friend Michelle Linn on Fox23Daybreak this morning about how to do just that…

  1.  Lead by example – if you don’t ever exercise or if you complain about exercising – chances are your kids aren’t going to want to do it either…(so Marnie, quit your bellyaching…)

Studies show there are just as many benefits for kids as adults –

                   i.     Healthy weight

                  ii.     Less likely to get sick

                 iii.     Increased sleep quality

                  iv.    Improved mood (umm – YES please.)

                  v.     Helps develop fine motor skills

                   vi.     Decreases risk of ADD

  1. Start with something familiar: It is good to start with activities that both you and your child know how to do. Participating in activities your child is comfortable with will build their love for being active and give them confidence so they will want to continue.
  2. Keep it competitive: This challenges everyone to give the activity their all. If you are swimming – for example – see who can do the most laps in a certain amount of time. Be sure to keep the competitions friendly and positive. Negative words and actions can turn a child off very quickly. Winning isn’t the goal - having fun as a family and getting exercise is our goal.
  3. Variety: Kids also get bored easily, so doing a variety of activities throughout the summer will alleviate that and keep the kids (and you) interested in staying active.
  4. Try something new: Trying a new activity as a family strengthens the bond because everyone is experiencing something together as a family. Everyone is in the same boat.

 Ideas for Indoor Activities:

  1. Designate a place where kids can roll,  jump, move around  - I would not suggest the formal dining room with Grandma’s antique china….
  2. Twister
  3. It's all fun and games until you fall on your private parts....

  4. Dance contests
  5. "Drop it like it's hot"....

  6.  Build an indoor obstacle course
  7. Scavenger hunts – (tip:  Just don’t hide something like raw eggs and then forget about them…it doesn’t really smell very good after a few weeks.  Trust.)
  8. Old fashioned games such as Ring around the Rosie/London Bridges/ Simon Says/Follow the Leader (Baby J’s fav – Ring Around the Rosie.  It can really get your heart rate up when you have to do it like 500 times in a row…)
  9. Video games like Wii Fitness
  10. Baby J loves to help with our workouts....

  11. “Circus Acts” – put on a family circus with jump roping, hula hoops, juggling (Shane could do a one-man circus show with all his stupid-human-tricks…)
  12. Charades
  13. Family Talent Show
  14. keeping active with kids

    Or you could just do a family Luchador Wrestling night....

  15. Make a game of cleaning house – yes people – it can be done.  As long as you aren’t too picky about the term “cleanliness”…
  16. Go to Rock Climbing Gym.

So there you go.  No excuses to sit on your hiney when the weather is cold and frightful.   Because being active with your family can be delightful….(yes, I know, that was bad).   Happy exercising!

Eating Out with the Kids. Or I’d Rather Get a Root Canal. (And a giveaway for Mi Cocina!)

And I’m sure anyone else with a toddler would agree with me.  Dining out with Baby J and company – it’s not as fun as it looks, folks.

eating out,
Now, wouldn’t ya’ll like to have dinner with this face?
HOwever, there are some places in town that actually welcome a face like this…
 
One of our newest restaurants on the Tulsa Dining Scene – is one of them.  Mi Cocina.  (And guess what?  I’ve got a $50 gift card for one of you lucky ducks.  So keep reading :) ). 
 
I was SO excited when I heard they were coming to T-town.  Having lived in Fort Worth for eight years – Mi Cocina and their Mambo Taxi’s were a staple of my pre-kids diet.  (For those of you who have not had the privilege of having this delicious frozen concoction of homemade sangria and margarita goodness swirled together – well, people, you are just missing out). 
 
Anyway – I digress.
 
They opened late last year on Cherry Street – and they’ve been packed ever since. 
Mi Cocina started 21 years ago as a tiny restaurant in Dallas.  Their focus was simple Tex-Mex with high quality ingredients.  And it obviously worked.  They now have several restaurants in Texas – and Tulsa is their first restaurant outside of the Lone Star State (yeah us!). 
 
So I decided to brave the Baby J factor and take the family there for dinner.  It had been way too long since Mama had a Mambo Taxi. 
 
eating out with kids

The Holy Grail of all drinks...may I present the Mambo Taxi.

 
First of all – the restaurant itself is totally hip.  My architect husband is not impressed by much – and he loved what they had done to the build out.  It exudes coziness and warmth, while at the same time being modern and chic.  And I was also shocked to see how family friendly it was (thank goodness).  It is nice to see family friendly restaurants that don’t involve a play-yard or involve the words “Chucky” in their title. 
 
 
Eating out with kids
The Tulsa location. Love it!
 
Completely uncharacteristic of her dining out manners, Baby J was very well-behaved (must have been the Mambo Taxi I slipped in her sippy cup….).  The service was amazing – and they were super friendly – especially to the kiddos, even though we left a mess.  Sorry guys. 
 
The food is very simple – and quite tasty.  I had the Rico Salad – which is one of their best sellers.  Fresh veggies, juicy fajita chicken all chopped up and served with your choice of any of their yummy homemade dressings.  My hubby had the fish tacos that were also pretty darn good.  Nachos for the kids (I may have eaten a few too…) and homemade pecan prailines (SINFUL) for dessert.  Our tummies were full – and the prices were very reasonable for families. 
 

The Beef Rico Salad. Hungry yet?

 
 
 
(Confession:  I did have to go back WITHOUT the kiddos and introduce my girlfriends to this wonderful place.  Several Mambo Taxis later….well, that’s a whole other blog post. :).
 
So back to my giveaway.  Just leave a comment on my blog – and I’ll draw a winner on Friday, Jan 20 for a $50 gift card to Mi Cocina!  Perfect for a family (or girls) night out! 
 
 

Not Cut Out For Coupons. (Tulsa Kids Magazine)

Happy New Year!  I’ve finally emerged from my hiding place at Camp Tough Love.  I must be part bear – because I have basically hibernated for the past two weeks.  So – Nancy and friends – I still haven’t written about our epic ice -skating disaster. (As Cam on Modern Family would say – :”Let it scab, Nancy, let it scab…”) But don’t you worry – it’s coming.  Along with video and photos to boot.

In the meantime – I thought I would share with you my latest article for the January issue of Tulsa Kids Magazine about saving moolah at the grocery store.  Without cutting coupons.  Thanks to all my readers that helped contribute to the article!  Now if I could just get ya’ll to do my shopping for me…

Image

I do NOT recommend taking four kids to the grocery store.  No matter how darn cute they are. 

Read and enjoy! 

 

Christmas Gifts from Hell. Or what NOT to get the ones you love this year…

Okay – so it just seems WRONG to put Hell in the same sentence as Christmas.  I know.  My apologies.

So my friend, morning show anchor and fellow mom of four, Michelle Linn of Fox23 and I had a great time brainstorming this segment. (Actually, Michelle  had the most fun.  After her nightmare Elmo experiences, I think this was cathartic for her).   WIth eight kids between us – we have seen it all.  The good, the bad and the VERY ANNOYING of Christmas gifts.

Not really sure what the heck these are - but they looking annoying. And a little demented.

We decided to combine our knowledge and help our viewers out a little…on what NOT to give the lil’ darlings this year.  (or, if you just want to piss someone off – this is the list for you.).

Or you can just watch the segment right here…

The What- Not -To- Get -Kids Christmas Gift List

compiled by Michelle and Marnie (well, mostly Michelle)

No batteries

There’s nothing worse than giving your child some fantastic  toy, and they can’t play with it on Christmas Day because no one has batteries  to run it.

Teeny tiny pieces

Our other pet peeve are  toys with teeny tiny parts, or  beads.  Our issue is that people may  give our older children  that crap, but they have younger siblings who like to put that stuff  in her mouth, and it’s impossible to police, and we find those little beads and  crap (can you tell how we feel about this?) all over the house and we HATE all of  that.  Polly Pocket dolls and art kits with BEADS are the biggest  offenders.  Legos are a close second.

These are perfect for fitting into the nose, eyes and ears of curious toddlers…and a guaranteed visit to the ER

Non-washable  markers

Total rookie mistake… any mom would NEVER commit this faux  pas, but it’s a common error made by grandparents.  Mostly our in-laws, and  they have young kids.  Go figure.  Senility?  It’s a  guaranteed way to make this mom mad on Christmas - ruin a festive holiday  outfit with permanent marker.

Loud toys that can’t be turned  off

We once had a personalized Elmo doll.  I gave it to  my daughter on her first birthday.  It plugged into the computer and you  answered a bunch of questions about her.  That way Elmo knew her  birthday, her favorite color, her favorite food, what time she took naps, and  went to bed.  Big problem.  Somehow Elmo was possessed, and would  SHOUT from the toy box, at 3AM “GOOD MORNING!  IT’S TIME TO GET  UP!  ELMO WANTS TO PLAY!  LET’S HAVE BREAKFAST!”  Needless to  say, we don’t still have him.

He looks so innocent and all that...

Electronics that require monthly service plans

iPhones, DVRs - whatever is your fancy.  Don’t buy it for your niece, nephew or grandkids unless you are prepared to pay the monthly plan.  My brother bought me a toll – tag for my birthday.  And bless his little heart – three years later, he is still paying my bill.  (I honestly don’t think that was his plan).  Same goes with  subscriptions…don’t buy a subscription to a magazine or a membership to the zoo unless you plan to renew it.

Best gift?  Sure to please  parents?

Books!!!  You just can’t go wrong!!!  They aren’t  messy.  They don’t take up a ton of space.  They won’t rot my kid’s  brain.

There you have it, folks.

I posed the question to my Facebook friends as well.  Moon sand, train whistles (no-brainer) and possessed Elmos also made the list.

So if my children receive any of said gifts from friends or family this year – I will know that they must not like me.  Or just don’t read my blog.