Margarita Mama

Sisters in springtime

Posted by on Apr 18, 2014 in family, Featured, kid stuff, Margarita Mama, weather | 0 comments

Now that the sunlight is stretching farther into the evenings and the weather has been warm enough for outside adventures, a beautiful thing has happened — a little more sisterly love to spread around.

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Winter felt like it lasted FOREVER. And all that time cooped up inside led to more crabbiness, more bickering, more getting on each other’s nerves.

Now, there’s running around screaming in the yard, digging, sliding and swinging. And playing together, instead of fighting over who gets to pick the movie or who is going to get which Barbie.

Oh, could we be so blessed as to have this mild mannered life for a few months, before the 100+ degree temperatures of summer drown us all in sweat and rise up our crankiness yet again?

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Rocking the Promenade

Posted by on Apr 6, 2014 in Activities, Featured, Margarita Mama, The Promenade at Chenal | 2 comments

The kids loved The Promenade at Chenal’s Family Health and Wellness Fest on Saturday and had an absolute blast on the climbing wall. We ended up starting and finishing the trip there. Even Daddy joined in the fun!

Family climbing fun!

Family climbing fun!

The twins gave it a shot, too, but didn’t get very far.

Kayla, gingerly creeping up

Kayla, gingerly creeping up

 

Kendall, getting a little boost from big sis

Kendall, getting a little boost from big sis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cheese!

Cheese!

Right off, we caught up with Ronald McDonald, who was kind enough to hand out stickers with a smile.

Then we grabbed a super delicious and heathy mini-meal from the light menu at Bravo! Cucina Italiana. I must admit, it’s one of my favorite restaurants to take the kids because it’s so family friendly yet elegant enough that it feels like a little bit of an escape. Whole Foods had healthy eating handbooks nearby, and Arkansas Rice Depot offered grab-and-go snacks for a good cause.

The Bravo! booth

The Bravo! booth, serving up healthy free food

 

chopped salad, pasta Amatriciana and my fave, balsamic onion, portobello and gorgonzola flatbread

chopped salad, pasta Amatriciana and my fave, balsamic onion, portobello and gorgonzola flatbread

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This robot even talks!

This robot even talks, thanks to help from its handlers

Another cool feature of the festival was the Waste Management recycler robot. Kids were totally loving it!

There were a ton of booths with all kinds of health information — fitness, heart and prostate health , urgent care and even helmet safety. And on top of all that, there were a few fun ones too, including the Belle and Blush booth, one with weight-loss wraps and those trendy Plexus drinks. Most of the booths offered some kind of giveaway or contest to register for, which I greatly appreciate.

Wellness Revolution's Crossfit for kids

Wellness Revolution’s Crossfit for kids

 

St. Vincent, keeping us all aware of heart health

St. Vincent, keeping us all aware of heart health

 

 

 

 

 

 

Belle and Blush's booth

Belle and Blush’s booth

The kids dug these chompers from Dental Solutions

The kids dug these chompers from Dental Solutions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sorry, but I think the skink is creepy

Sorry, but I think the skink is creepy

I much prefer the chinchilla, even if it does bite.

I much prefer the chinchilla, even if it does bite.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Museum of Discovery brought out a few friends to examine, as well.

 

Wear your helmets, knee pads and be safe so you don't end up like this!

Wear your helmets, knee pads and be safe so you don’t end up like this!

I tried to get the kids to check out this guy at the injury prevention booth, but they wanted no part of it. I heard later that one of Ava’s friends was pretty interested in him, though.

And for us, no visit to The Promenade is complete without one stop in a kids store like the Children’s Place, even if it’s just to browse around for a little fun. See ya there soon!

These girls LOVE accessories

These girls LOVE accessories

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This is a compensated post. However, all opinions are my own, of course.

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Bedtime potty training

Posted by on Mar 31, 2014 in kid stuff, Margarita Mama, potty training | 3 comments

The twins have somehow, much to my surprise, managed to make it 3 mornings in a row with dry panties. This is most definitely cause for celebration!

Kayla, in chocolate cone heaven

Kayla, in chocolate cone heaven

Kendall the cone crusher

Kendall the cone crusher

Kayla had gone at least a full week, if not more than that, with dry Pull-ups in the morning. So she was really pretty ready.

Kendall, on the other hand, was still slightly wet — but not soaked — in the mornings nearly every day.

This left me at an impasse. Because Kendall absolutely would not have stood for Kayla going to bed in panties while she remained in Pull-ups. Nuh uh. No way. She would have none of that. And I knew it.

They were also both very excited about the idea of being “big girls” and getting to wear underwear to bed. For them, this is a really big motivator, as they desperately want to be big and do everything their big sister Ava does.

We started Friday night. (And took most of the stuffed animals out of the bed for good measure.) I thought, OK, if they pee in the middle of the night, I can just switch the sheets and wash the wet ones in the morning. But we didn’t have to! They were completely dry Saturday morning.

A fluke, I thought. Never thought they’d be able to repeat that.

Then Sunday morning, the bed remained dry. Amazing.

This morning, dry again. I may be way more excited about this than they are, even. They are very proud of themselves, though. And I love that!

Now that I’ve put this out there, I’m sure tonight will be Pee City USA. But I know there will be an accident at some point. And we’ll make it through.

Family Health and Wellness Fest

Posted by on Mar 25, 2014 in Activities, Health, Margarita Mama, The Promenade at Chenal, Uncategorized | Comments Off

A fun family event to mark on your calendar is The Promenade at Chenal’s Family Health and Wellness Fest, coming up on Saturday, April 5 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

My kids really dug last year’s event, and this year’s should be even bigger, with fitness classes and several kids activities in addition to various health and wellness booths. We’ve been enjoying going to the gym together as a family this year on the weekends and meeting up with many of Ava’s school buddies and their families for fitness, so further exposing our kids to healthy choices and activities is something I’m looking forward to.

Lululemon is hosting a yoga class demo from 11 a.m. to noon, and all you Zumba mamis out there — me included! — will want to check out the 10 Fitness Zumba class from noon to 1 p.m.  The little ones should also enjoy Wellness Revolution’s Family Fit class from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Nearby will be a grab-and-go healthy snack station and free samples from Bravo! Cucina Italiana’s super delicious light menu. (Yay!)

A couple of other things I know my kiddos are going to love — especially Kayla and Kendall — are the Museum of Discovery’s animal exhibit and climbing the rock wall that should be set up in the parking lot. Ava goes purely gaga for climbing walls.

I have a feeling that this robot is also going to be a huge hit. Who doesn’t love robots?

Waste Managment's recycler robot — so cool!

Waste Managment’s recycler robot — so cool!

There will be plenty for mom and dad to take in, too, because St. Vincent West will have booths set up for all kinds of things like car seat safety, bike and helmet safety, sleep and sports medicine with D1 Fitness. Plus, the Red Cross bloodmobile will be there if you can take a few minutes to stop in and donate.

I hope to see you there! Click below for the event map and further information:

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Note: This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own, of course.

The toothfairy awaits

Posted by on Mar 21, 2014 in Ava, developmental milestones, kid stuff, Margarita Mama | 2 comments

In happier dental news, Ava has lost her first tooth!

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I’m curious to see what the going rate is for teeth these days. The first suggestion I heard was $1 and a toothbrush, which I think is a pretty good idea.

Fear of the dentist

Posted by on Mar 20, 2014 in drama, Health, kid stuff, Margarita Mama, Uncategorized | 1 comment

Some people instinctually see a trip to the dentist as a personal descent into hellfire. A terrifying, soul-scraping experience filled with anxiety-triggering horror.

As I’ve mentioned before, Ava clearly walks among them.

Kayla and Kendall had a great visit last week. They dutifully let the technician take their X-rays and count and scrape their teeth. They quietly endured the unpleasant swiping of fluoride gel. Barely one little crocodile tear dropped from Kayla’s eye, while Kendall held steadfast. Bam, done, we’re outta there.

Big sister crumbled immediately, however. Sheer panic takes over her brain at the slightest move toward X-rays of her mouth, and her body revolts against cooperation in every way. We accomplished absolutely nothing — not even a standard flossing was finished.

No amount of coddling, reassurance or confidence bolstering helps her push through the fear. Neither bribery nor threats do the trick, either. I think I finally get that there’s really nothing we can do, other than find ways to force through what needs to be done. Like when one of the hard-fought crowns popped off her molar just a few days after her regular checkup, and there’s no choice but to go in again and get a new one.

Because she also fights ingesting sedatives, unfortunately, the only way to fix something like this for Ava is to have three or more people physically force her tiny but powerful body onto a table in which they strap her wrists down, then pin her torso and legs down so she can no longer kick. Even her head must be restrained as she sweats and screams, “Mama, mama, don’t let them hurt me,” and starts spitting at everyone until they pry her mouth open and jam in a tool to hold it that way.

It’s painful for us all to go through this, although she perplexingly tells me afterward that it’s equally scary to her with or without the straps. She doesn’t even seem to battle as hard once they actually get to work, numbing and gluing a new crown back on.

And somehow, magically, the second it’s all over and the straps come off, she snaps right back to normal. Like absolutely nothing happened. To her, this was a “good” visit. Yet a day later, the pit in my stomach remains.

Feeling lucky?

Posted by on Mar 17, 2014 in Giveaways, Margarita Mama, The Promenade at Chenal | 7 comments

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Our friends at the Promenade at Chenal are performing random acts of kindness in celebration of the luck o’ the  Irish today. One of those acts of kindness is to offer you a surprise!

For a chance to win a $25 gift card to the Promenade, leave me a comment below telling me your favorite store there. You have until midnight to enter.

Good luck!

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March movie madness giveaway

Posted by on Mar 10, 2014 in Giveaways, kid stuff, Margarita Mama | 11 comments

Looking for something to keep the kids busy while the grownups delve into March madness? Maybe you’re already thinking of what you can stash in those Easter baskets without going bankrupt. Or seeking spring break entertainment?

We’ve got just the thing: a March movie madness giveaway!

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Entering is SUPER easy. Just leave me a comment about one of the movies above before 8 a.m. Friday. I’ll pick winners at random after that time and then contact you about how to get you your prize.

Good luck!

We’re all Frozen

Posted by on Mar 5, 2014 in Margarita Mama, rant, weather | 1 comment

Ava can’t stop singing Let it Go, and it’s obviously a more appropriate way of dealing with the weather. So crank it up, sisters!

But this was how I was really feeling last night. (Thanks to Lucky Mama for finding this.)

 

 

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Here’s hoping winter is really over THIS time. Please please please!!

A sneak preview of The Main Cheese

Posted by on Feb 25, 2014 in eating/food, Food, lady stuff, Margarita Mama | Comments Off

Deep breath, friends. The Main Cheese is open!

Just about every woman I know has been talking about this restaurant for weeks now. It’s all about cheese! A cheese-centric restaurant! That serves wine!! And dessert!!

Lucky Mama Yavonda and I got a sneak peek last night at a soft-opening event, and whoo, this place is not going to disappoint.

We attempted to start our meal with the artichoke and cheese dip, but it had unfortunately been all gobbled up already. So we shifted gears and went for the caponata instead. It was pretty good, but it didn’t knock my socks off. Perhaps because there was no cheese in it.

caponata with garlic pita chips

caponata with garlic pita chips

The star of the night was clearly the Gulf Shores sandwich I picked out. It wasn’t listed on their sneak peek menu, so it threw off my game plan. (Seriously, I was way too excited about this. Spent hours thinking about what I was going to eat. Clearly, I don’t get out much.)

Gulf Shores sandwich, with fries (an upgrade)

Gulf Shores sandwich, with fries (a $1.50 upgrade)

Now, this may not be the prettiest looking thing I’ve ever had. But it’s surely one of the best — slightly chewy, slightly crusty bread with crab, shrimp, cheese and just a super slight touch of jalapeno. It’s a lot like the similar dish at Lulu’s in Gulf Shores, although I dare say this was significantly better. I spent the whole time saying “mmm mmmm mmmmmm” to myself. Embarrassing but true. It’s not cheap at $9.25, but that was money gone to a good cause.

They accidentally brought us out some slaw, as well, in a small mixup with Yavonda’s order. It’s standard with all meals —  chips or fries are an upgrade, and fruit, salad and soup is on the menu separately — so I’m glad I got to give it a try. I’m not a huge coleslaw fan, so I’m a bit on the picky side about it. This one was slightly sweet but a little bland. It probably would have been helped with a zing of citrus, which I noted on my comment card.

A veggie slaw to balance out your cheesy meal

A veggie slaw to balance out your cheesy meal

And last but not least, by far, was dessert. Yavonda had been drooling over the idea of a cheese donut, so I veered in another direction. (She shared a couple of bites, and that donut was FABULOUS. Sounds bizarre, but someone is a sheer genius to put those things together.) In keeping with my Gulf Shores selection, I picked the key lime pie.

key lime pie to round out the experience

key lime pie to round out the experience

I’m not generally a crust lady, but this one was pretty darn good. It was buttery thick and had a teensy bit of coconut in the crust. The filling was on the mild and creamy side. I’d appreciate a bit more limey zip, but Ava, who’s also a fan of key lime pie, is going to go gaga for this.

We left happy!

Happy and full Yavonda!

Happy and full Yavonda!