Thursday, January 28, 2016

DIY Non-Candy Puppy Valentines + Free Printable

I got a note from Grace's teacher about their Valentine's Day party and I thought to myself "I have plenty of time before that!" Total mom brain obviously. In fact, there are less than 3 week until the party and I hadn't even started thinking about her Valentines for her classmates. I thought about just giving candy, but she attends a peanut free school and I know I am not the only one with a candy stash from Halloween still in the cabinet. So I started searching for non-candy Valentine's alternatives and fell in love with all of the cute animal Valentines I found on Pinterest.

Non-Candy Valentines for Class

We love dogs in our house so puppies were an obvious choice for Valentines this year. I just so happened to have a bag of 2 inch plastic dogs I'd bought several years ago at the US Toy Sidewalk sale and they worked perfectly for this puppy Valentine for her classmates!

I attached the puppies using several glue dots on the paws.

I've included a free printable for you to use. Click on the image below to download the PDF. These designs are for personal use only. All designs are copyright of Moments That Take My Breath Away. Any use for commercial purposes is a copyright infringement.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Monster Jam Kansas City Ticket Giveaway

Disclosure: I will receive tickets for my family to this event from Feld Entertainment. I am not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are honest and 100% my own.


What little (or big) boy doesn't love trucks? I find Connor zooming his trucks around his road rug constantly and Grace has been getting in on the fun lately too. So when I heard about the Monster Jam tour coming to the Sprint Center February 5th-7th, I knew it would be a huge hit with both kids! 

To be honest, I have never been to a monster truck show (nor did I really ever plan to) but now that I'm fully immersing myself into the role of boy mom, it seems like an exciting idea! I know he will love it because when I showed him this preview, his eyes lit up and he started yelling "TRUCKS! TRUCKS! ME DRIVE!" I took that as a sign that we need to attend this awesome event.

Much to my surprise, Grace seems even more excited about going than Connor does. So I'm looking forward to experiencing our first monster truck show as a family!

Here is more about the show:
Welcome to the Monster Jam Tour, an incredible family-friendly experience starring the biggest performers on four wheels: Monster Jam monster trucks. These twelve-feet-tall, ten-thousand-pound machines will bring you to your feet, racing and ripping up a custom-designed track full of obstacles to soar over - OR smash through.  Monster Jam provides a massive night’s entertainment tailored perfectly for your family’s budget, and these colorful, larger-than-life beasts are sure to capture the hearts of both young and old. 

We've been learning about all of the trucks we are going to see on the Monster Jam website and the kids can't wait to see them in all in person!
Join us at Monster Jam at the Sprint Center in Kansas City! Here is everything you need to know:

Friday, February 5th @ 7:30 PM
Saturday, February 6th @ 2 PM & 7:30 PM
Sunday, February 7th @ 2 PM

Tickets are available at the Sprint Center Box Office or online at AXS.com. On Saturday and Sunday at 12 PM there will be a Party in the Pits and pit passes are available for $10 at the Sprint Center box office of online at www.axs.com. Both pit sessions require 2 PM event tickets along with the pit passes for entry. To learn more about the Monster Jam tour, visit their website, like their Facebook page, and follow them on Twitter

Giveaway


One lucky Moments That Take My Breath Away reader will win 4 tickets to attend the Friday, February 5th, 7:30 pm performance of Monster Jam in Kansas City at the Sprint Center.


How to Enter: This is a Rafflecopter giveaway. Follow the instructions on the widget to enter. All current likes/follows count! Please contact me if you run into any technical difficulties with Rafflecopter. The giveaway runs through Thursday, January 28th at 11:59 PM CST! Open to US residents only. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to the notification email or a new winner will be chosen. The first entry is mandatory- Like, comment, and share the giveaway announcement post on Facebook. Once you complete this entry, the widget will give you the option of completing the rest. Complete more steps for more chances to win. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Grace's 5 Year Interview

For the last two years I've posted an "interview with Grace" and this was the first year she really listened and answered every single one of my questions. It's funny to hear what she's thinking and I love reading her answers from past years. Note to self, keep this tradition up. So here are her answers with absolutely no editing. I've included a few clarifications in italics!

How old are you? Five


What makes you happy? Swimming, playing with toys, going somewhere fun, doing craft, making pictures, opening presents, and eating cake

What is your favorite toy? Horsie

What is your favorite stuffed animal? Baby dolls Her American Girl dolls

What is your favorite real animal? Horsie

What is your favorite thing to sleep with? Unicorn

What is your favorite color? Pink and purple and yellow

What is your favorite fruit? Apples. Oh and watermelon. So I like applesauce and babycakes too. Babycakes is what she calls pancakes. 

What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Chocolate chip pancakes and cinnamon rolls. Funny face. She loves the Funny Face pancakes at IHop


What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Watermelon

What do you want to eat for your birthday dinner? Chick-fil-a

What is your favorite drink? Chocolate milk and Sprite

What is your favorite dessert? Ice cream

What is a food that makes you want to puke? Pineapple I had no idea she didn't like pineapple!

What is your favorite thing to do? Crafts and preschool

What is your favorite TV show? Daniel Tiger and Super Why

What is your favorite movie? Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast 

What are you really good at? Swimming underwater and grabbing toys

What is your favorite song? Christmas songs, Jingle Bells

Who is the Coolest Person on Earth? Jesus This made my heart happy!

What do you and your mom do together? Play, snuggle, crafts, make cookies

What do you and your dad do together? Play fight and go eat

When you were little, what did you do? I don't know

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be? Grandma's house She specified both grandmas

What do you think your parents are too strict about? Whining Obviously we have a lot of talks about whining

Who is your best friend? Molly and Evelyn and Lincoln and Addie

What are some of your favorite words to say? I love you 

What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play on our swing set

What is your favorite book? Fancy Nancy and Pinkalicious

What do you want to be when you grow up? A ballerina and a fire fight and an astronaut. Oh and a ballerina teacher

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Grace: 5 Years Old

Dear Grace,

As you keep reminding me, you are officially five. This was your first birthday that you were extremely excited about and when you woke up in the morning you said if we wanted to talk to you we needed to call you "birthday girl Grace." After spending several years trying to catch up on your verbal skills, you are totally understandable now and aren't afraid to let people know what you are thinking. You like to say that you're shy but on your birthday every person you encountered heard that it was your special day and what we were planning on doing to celebrate this special occasion.

  • You are sweet and kind but you have a spirited stubborn side as well. You made it clear when you were born that you wanted things done your way and that hasn't changed a bit. You're giving us a preview of your teenage years with an attitude we hadn't seen before that includes rolling your eyes and crossing your arms when you don't agree with us. We have many discussions about who is actually the boss. 
  • You graduated from speech group at the end of last school year with flying colors. You actually talked the speech pathologist's ear off during your evaluation and she happily said you didn't need her anymore! You are making up for years of not being able to speak your mind and you love telling us stories. You are extremely creative and it's amazing to hear your imagination at work. You make your babies tell stories and act them out which is adorable. 

  • You have learned a ton during Pre-K and are always begging to go. Despite how much you love your current school, you have decided it's time for Kindergarten and you ask frequently if you can go now. It took us a while to figure out why but finally you announced that you want to go because you will get your own computer to bring home (true) and you want it now. I'm not as excited about you getting your own computer as you are!
  • I have no doubt that you ready for Kindergarten. You have learned most all of your letters and sounds and are now starting to put them together to learn to read. You have started learning some sight words and can spell and read mom, dad, Grace, zoo, and see. There are several more that we're working on but you have those totally down. You are super excited to learn to read so you can write down your stories and spend a lot of time sitting at the table with a pencil asking us how to spell words. 
  • Despite your previously mentioned assertion that you are shy, you have a ton of friends and beg to play with them frequently. Molly, Evelyn, and Lincoln are your best friends and you have two girls at preschool you talk about nonstop as well. 
  • Your brother is still one of your favorite people. I like to say that 98% time you two are best friends. The other 2%, well....let's just say those times are not so fun. You two frequently disappear into your rooms for long periods of time playing. You read books together, pretend to take naps together, and play games.
     
  • You are extremely active. You like to play rough with daddy and Connor and enjoy running around and around the house. You went from using your float in the pool to swimming and diving independently this summer. We are pretty sure if we gave you a snorkel that we wouldn't see you all summer because you love being underwater so much. We are planning on starting you in horseback riding lessons this spring after your insistence that you REALLY need a horse and you are still loving your ballet class! You have now decided that you want to be a ballet teacher when you grow up.
  • You still refuse to wear pants most days. If it isn't a dress or a tutu it obviously isn't worth wearing. Everyday you want your hair like a princess and the sparkier the outfit is the better. 
  • Your favorite things are your babies (American Girl dolls), any and all crafts, and stuffed animals. Every night it's a huge decision about what you are sleeping with.
Tomorrow I'll post your answers to some birthday questions. You are getting so big and I can't wait to see what the next year brings. We love you!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Marvel Universe Live Review: An Action Packed Adventure for the Entire Family

Disclosure: I received tickets for my family to attend this show from Feld Entertainment. I am not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are honest and 100% my own.


Marvel fans assemble! Marvel Universe Live is in Kansas City for the next 2 days and if you or anyone in your family is a superhero fan, this show is a MUST SEE!

All of your favorite Marvel heroes join together in this amazing show for 2 hours of non stop action. When we first heard about the show, I wasn't sure if Grace would be interested. Luckily she saw Black Widow (her favorite super hero) in the preview and happily agreed to go. This was important since the show actually fell on her birthday! So after a busy day of birthday activities, we dressed the kids up in their costumes, Captain America for Connor and a recently ordered Black Widow costume for Grace and headed to the Sprint Center.
I couldn't let her go to the show on her birthday without a fun costume!
We were lucky enough to be very close to the front but trust me there is no bad seat for this show. The show is staged wonderfully to use the whole arena floor and there is constant action from all angles.
Connor had fallen asleep in the car before we arrived so he was a little stoic through the first act but he assured me he was having fun.

The show started with a gathering of all of the famous superheroes and then broke each scene into smaller groups versus some of the more famous villains. Connor loves Captain America and Grace loves Black Widow so they both said their favorite parts were the motorcycle scenes featuring the two heroes. I wasn't expecting all of the daring motorcycle tricks throughout the show and they were extremely fun to watch.

My favorite part of the entire show was watching Spider Man hang upside down from a moving platform. The special effects in this show are non stop and truly amazing. The Statue of Liberty set was extremely impressive as it would become see through for parts to allow the audience to see fighting inside and then change back to the Statue of Liberty. It was very cool to see how they used projections against the back wall to set all of the scenes.

The scenes were a good length for my little ones' attention span and their eyes were glued to the constant action. After a short admission, the plot culminated with a final huge fight scene featuring Connor's very favorite superhero ever, the Hulk. His only complaint about the whole show was that Hulk was only in the show for a few minutes!

Spoiler alert, the Avengers win the day and Loki is defeated leaving the crowd cheering.

With motorcycle stunts, flying heroes, fire, pyrotechnics and more, this show is an adventure your family will not want to miss. I was a bit concerned that it might be a little scary for my 3 year old but he was smiling and had a great time. It's a very family friendly show and everyone around us seemed to enjoy it as much as we did. Grace was very happy that the show featured more than just one female hero and although none were as prominent as Black Widow, I appreciated the addition of Captain Marvel and Storm. Connor is looking over my shoulder as I'm writing this begging to go see the show again and Grace told me I should write "It's a super cool show because of Black Widow, everyone should go."

Marvel Universe Live is at the Sprint Center:
Thursday, January 14 at 7:00 PM 
Friday, January 15 at 7:00 PM 
Saturday, January 16 at 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM, and 7:00 PM
Sunday, January 17 at 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM

Purchase your tickets by clicking here now. To learn more about Marvel Universe Live, check out their websiteFacebook, and Twitter pages.

Thank you Feld Entertainment for having us at this great show! 





Thursday, January 7, 2016

American Girl childhood dreams

I'm living my childhood dreams friends. Seriously. My daughter is now old enough to enjoy the wonderfulness that is American Girl. 3 years ago I wrote a post about The American Girl Doll I Never Had (Samantha if you must know and don't want to read the original post) and it is a consistently popular post here on my blog. I mentioned at the end that I, on a whim, bought the Marie-Grace doll during one of their rare sales. I knew when I bought it that she would be put in a closet for a while until Grace was ready but I just couldn't resist getting one of the dolls for nearly half price. So my prize arrived and I fawned over her and Mike was confused. Boys just don't get the draw I guess. Then I put her back in the box awaiting the day when I could trust that Grace wouldn't eat her or pull her beautiful hair out. The day finally arrived this past Christmas! Not only was I able to give her Marie-Grace, I also won MaryEllen a few months ago in another blogger's giveaway and oh my word she is amazing. So yeah, childhood fantasies fulfilled:

I loved watching her play with them on Christmas morning and despite my general lack of an imagination, I happily played with her. She got some accessories and outfits from family for Christmas and we have had fun dressing the dolls up and doing their hair. It's fun when your kids finally get to the age to play with fun toys!

A friend recently invited Grace and I to attend the Doll of the Year release party at our local American Girl store and having never been to an AG store before, I didn't hesitate. I think we were all in heaven shopping and Grace now has a long shopping list of things she wants. It's been an opportunity for us to talk about saving her money and she has been doing chores around the house to start earning towards getting her next doll. She can't wait to go back to the store and neither can I! 

AG is being super smart about re releasing some of the original historical dolls because those of us who grew up loving the dolls now have daughters that we are introducing to the brand. Grace is wavering between buying Kit or Samantha next time, I'm of course rooting for Samantha but I'm letting it be her choice. I'll just enjoy watching her play and I can't wait to take her to one of the big American Girl stores in Chicago or Washington DC someday! 
Oh and this post wasn't sponsored or anything, I'm just truly that much of an AG fan. 

Are there any toys from your childhood that you are hoping your child loves too?

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