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.

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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. 🙂 )

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!

Shane’s Self Defense Tips for Staying Safe This Holiday. Or Yes, I Married A Ninja.

So, for those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of meeting my hubby – he is quite an interesting fella.  And I say that with lots of love.

 In fact his background is so diverse, it is pretty hard to believe.  But hey, I live with the dude.  Let me tell you people, it is all true.

Yes, that is my husband. Don't ask.

 So his reputation in martial arts and weapon training caught the interest of the producer at Fox.  He was asked to come on my Marnie’s Mommy Moment segment on Fox23 to talk about self-defense.

 What qualifies my hubby to teach you how to defend yourself from a mugger in a parking lot?  (or a zombie apocalypse, terrorist attack or nuclear holocaust, but we’ll save those for another day).

Our boys in training...

 Here is just a little bit of his background. 

 Shane was nationally ranked in Tae Kwon Do by the time he was 7.  He then went on to study Muay Thai, Amis and Escrima internationally (don’t ask me what the heck those last two are…).  He has also competed internationally in tactical pistol, shotgun and long range rifle.

In other words – you want him around if you ever get attacked. 🙂 

(and for those of you all that know ME, and know my daily struggle to find my car, find my keys, and my attempt just to make it through a day without some major catastrophe – you can imagine how crazy I drive my husband.  In fact, he tells me on a daily basis that all his combat training was to prepare him for being married to me.).

But I digress…

So without further ado – here are Shane’s tips for keeping yourself safe.

Self Defense 101

By Shane Fernandez

  1.  Long range:  (Awareness)
    1. Be aware of your surroundings.  Before you leave a store, make sure you know where you parked your car, you have your cell phone and keys.  Park in a well lit area and look for security guards.
  2. Mid range:  (Avoidance)
    1. As you walk to your car, look at the reflections in car windows as you walk by to see if anyone is following you.  Have your phone ready to dial 911, and have your keys in your hands so you can use as a weapon if need be. 
  3. Close range:  (Application)
    1. This is assuming you are getting ready to be or being attacked.  Scream, call 911, use your elbow or your knee as they are the hardest part of your body.  Don’t use your fist.  Aim for soft tissue areas such as the throat, nose or eyes. 

Or better yet – you can check out his tv segment here. 🙂

Stay Safe and Stay Aware!  🙂  That’s coming from Shane.  We all know I have issues with that….

 

Holiday Activities for the Kids. No Cabin Fever Here.

So between now and the end of the year – the kids are out of school for the better part of THREE WEEKS.  Wow.  That could make even Mother Teresa go a little nuts.

 However, there are so many options of activities to do with the lil’ darlins (and even a camp where you can drop them off!).  And if you have family in town – (or worse – IN LAWS…just kidding – I know I love mine), never fear – this list is family friendly and sure to entertain even Aunt Edna. 

And as always – you can catch Baby J and me on Fox23Daybreak on Monday mornings

 Free Activities:

  Red Bud Valley – for you lovers of the great outdoors – this is a hidden treasure in the Tulsa area.  Red Bud Valley is a nature preserve east of Tulsa that has kid-friendly hiking trails, caves to explore and much more.  Open daily. And it’s free!  Let those kids burn off all that sugar…

holiday activities for families

The fam at Red Bud Valley. Tristan looks like he is about to have a seizure. But he's having fun. Promise.0

  Turkey Mountain is another outdoor treasure for Tulsans.  This urban wilderness area has several trails from half a mile to a four mile loop that overlooks the Arkansas River.  It is especially pretty this time of year.  Trust me – I know. Just don’t ask me to be your guide.  (you can read why here…)

 Christmas Lights Extravaganza at Rhema Bible Church – This amazing city of lights is a favorite of ours – and it is one of the biggest light displays in the country! You can either drive through or park and walk through the dazzling displays throughout Rhema’s campus.  It’s free – but donations are accepted. November 23 – January 1, 2012. 

Holiday actvities for kids

My little elves at Rhema...

  Lights on the Hill at Chandler Park – Another free light display – and it’s a drive through (yay to those of us with wayward toddlers!).  West of the River, Chandler Park winds up a hill filled with light displays.  They’ve made a lot of improvements over the years – it is definitely worth the trip.  Again, it is free to the public, but they accept donations.  November 25-December 25 (Friday, Saturday and Sundays only). 

   Deco District Holiday Pop Up Shops (downtown) – I think I am the most excited about this new addition to the holidays!  Opening the Monday after Thanksgiving – over 10 retailers will open up “Pop Up” shops in downtown Tulsa on Boston Avenue.  Images of old fashioned Christmas window shopping, carolers, hot chocolate run through my head –  this is how Christmas Shopping should be! Avoid the mall and head downtown.  Grand opening is Nov. 30 with Santa, the lighting of a  200 foot light tunnel over Boston Avenue, food, drink carolers, and of course – shopping!  Nov. 30- Dec. 30.  Shops open daily except Sundays and open late Wednesday evenings. 

One of the retailers setting up her window display...YAY!!

 Other Activities:

Arvest Winterfest presented with the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation returns to Downtown Tulsa from November 25, 2011-January 2, 2012. The month-long celebration will include outdoor ice skating, photographs with “Segway Santa,” a towering Christmas Tree, horse and carriage rides, delicious concessions, and free holiday entertainment on the ONEOK Stage. New enhancements for 2011 include the expansion of the holiday market, a new climate-controlled seating and hospitality tent, and additional charity skating promotions.  *Tip.  Don’t try and take three small children to skate when you are pregnant.  Not a good idea

 Woolaroc Wonderland of Lights – A wonderful holiday tradition returns again this year at Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve with their Wonderland of Lights spectacular.   The grounds and buildings of Woolaroc will be covered with over 650,000 lights as the historic ranch transforms itself into a magical winter wonderland!   The lights will be turned on Friday, November 25th and will be on every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through December 24th.   Admission to Wonderland of Lights is $4 for adults and $1 for children 11 and under. The hours for Wonderland of Lights is 5-9 pm.

Woolaroc Wonderland of Lights

Just a short little drive from Tulsa - I love this place!

 Shopping for Angels – What a better way to spend time with family than by helping those less fortunate.  Our family adopts a family every year.  We let each child shop for their “angel”.  They love to pick out the gifts and help wrap them.  It is a great way to teach your children about giving back.  And there are so many programs that can use help.  Salvation Army angel tree, Youth Services of Tulsa, Family and Children Services just to name a few. 

 Camps:

 Loughridge Winter Camp – This place is amazing in the summer – so I can only imagine what it is like in winter!  For those parents who have to work during the two week break (or just need a break from the kiddos)– no worries – Camp Loughridge can keep them entertained!  Dec. 19th -23rd and only $50 a day!  Seriously – that is cheaper than a baby-sitter and they will have so much more fun (and you can do one day at a time, or the entire week.).  Activities include snow forts, snowfamily building, archery, arts & crafts, canoeing, challenge and ropes events, chapel, court sports and games, dance, and nature hikes. Just like summer camp, your fee covers a hot lunch and regular snacks.

So there you have it.  That’s enough stuff to keep the kids from driving you crazy.  Well, maybe not…but it will help.  Happy Holidays!

Want to be scared this Halloween? Nine Kids. Live TV. Enough Said.

I know.  What part of that sounds like a good idea? 

Kids Halloween Costumes

Mayhem in the Green Room.

One of those delusional mommy moments I often have.

Carey is a great stage mom! 🙂

So Fox23’s brand new show – Great Day Green Country asked me to do a segment on last minute costume ideas for kids.  Sure thing… let me just whip up bunch of toddlers and pre-schoolers, dress them up in costume, ask them to behave and be quiet for 30 minutes and smile for the camera?  Ha – I can do that in my sleep. (insert sarcasm here).

Trick or treat, costume ideas

Trying to line up before airtime. It's as easy as herding cats.

Thanks to all my brave mom friends and my darling models….John Martin Willmann, Katie Baker, Allie and Colin Ihloff, Ryan Glasgow, Max and Mallory Gipson, Landen Tetley and of course, my Baby J. 

Baby J disguised as an angel...

Well people – here you go.  Click here and Enjoy.

The Gipson cutiesHappy Halloween!Cousins...the Angel and the Ninja.

And Visions of Pumpkin Patches Danced in Their Heads….

It’s my favorite time of year…cooler weather, clothes that hide my body parts, fall colors and visiting the pumpkin patch.  For our family it has become a rite of passage into fall (and a test of mommy’s patience chasing four kids up and down piles of pumpkins).

In fact, you can read about my last pumpkin patch misadventure here.

The photo says it all.

Yet, I am still polly-anna enough to keep visiting pumpkin patches year after  year.

Baby J loves the pumpkins.

Here are some of my faves pumpkin haunts in the great state of Oklahoma.

kids fall pumpkin patches

One year later. Much better photo. We are getting the hang of this thing.

Pleasant Valley Farms – Sand Springs Oklahoma. 

This is a great family owned place west of Tulsa – (we also get our Christmas trees here too!).  They have over 95 varieties of pumpkins and squash.  Got hay?  No worries, they sell that too.  And they have a darling gift shop with awesome candles.  Kids will love to pet the goats and ride the tractor pulled hayride.  Located at 2235 W. 71st St. South, Sand Springs.  Open daily.

Carmichaels Pumpkin Patch – Bixby Oklahoma.

This pumpkin patch rocks!  We’ve been coming here since Nicholas was a baby.  Not only do they have pumpkins out the wazoo – they have a huge petting zoo, pony and camel rides (nothing says Fall like riding a camel), corn maze and a spooky cave.  Baby J does not like the spooky cave.  But she liked throwing her food at the animals.  They also have an indoor concession area that serves everything from homemade fudge (YUM) to jams, jellies and hot peanuts.  Located at 171st and Mingo in Bixby.  Open daily 9-6 p.m.

First United Methodist Church of Owasso Pumpkin Patch.

Whew!  That is a mouthful.  But hey, Tulsa Kids Magazine thinks this is the best place for kids in the fall.  This award- winning pumpkin patch not only has lots of activities for the kiddos – the proceeds go back to the church for mission work.  YOu can even host birthday parties there.  Located at 169 and 106th E. Avenue in Owasso.  Open daily through Oct. 31st.

Mikles Family Farm (aka the Shawnee Corn Maze) in Shawnee.

Hey, I had to include my hometown on this list…plus it also makes the rank of one of our family favorites!  This family run farm’s corn maze will give you a run for your money.  Even my little Indiana Jones adventure loving boy had a tough time finding our way out of this one.  For the older kids – they stay open after dark – for a spookier time.  You can also reserve a campfire – complete with Smores and the whole bit!  That’s right – how cool is that?  And you can even get pumpkins still on the vine!  Located at HWY 18 at 42610 Wolverine Road in Shawnee, OK.  Open daily through November.

This list should keep your family busy for the rest of the season! You can also check out Baby J and Michelle Linn’s darling kiddos playing at the pumpkin patch  on this tv segment from Fox23!

pumpkin patches fall fun

Happy Fall Ya'll!

And remember – stay tuned for my guest blogger – Jillian Ilhoff of Ilhoff Salon and Day Spas…we are going to be giving away a makeover to some lucky duck reader next week!  And the winner will get to be in their annual fashion show…  Whee!  I can’t wait.  Too bad I can’t win.  I could use a makeover.

"Before" shots of Jillian and Marnie. Too bad there won't be "after" shots. But one of you readers will get one!