Posts Tagged ‘friends’

Game Night Get Together with Ellio’s Pizza

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

Thank you Ellio’s Pizza for sponsoring this post. Visit your local retailer to pick up your own Ellio’s Pizza for a pizza night in!

Once a month – or more often, if we can manage – we share a game night with one of E’s coworkers and his family. We taught them a card game called Hand and Foot, which I was forced to learn before I was allowed to marry into the Davis family and which we now force other people to learn as a requirement for friendship. I mean, we don’t make ALL our friends learn, but if you hang out in our general vicinity for more than 6 hours at some point E will volunteer to teach you because he probably has the card box waiting right over here just in case there is a card-playing emergency. He’s prepared! He made a special box to keep the cards in! Don’t worry if you have never played, there is a cheat sheet right in the box to help you!

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I’m teasing a little bit, but I absolutely love our game nights. With 5 (now 6!) children between us, babysitters are expensive and hard to come by so hanging out as a family is much easier. Plus Amanda is an amaaaazing cook and baker and always feeds us super well when she hosts.

Since I was 84.5 months pregnant at our last game night, my desire to spend two days in front of the oven making a gourmet dessert for game night was missing. My desire to eat lots of delicious food was still more than available though, so I was thrilled with this chance partner with Ellio’s Pizza for a fun family dinner option.

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The husbands – who are not from New England – were puzzled why Amanda and I were super excited about frozen pizza. Amanda, who is from here, said “This tastes just like my childhood!” And it’s totally true. Ellio’s Pizza is a Northeast tradition, founded on Long Island in 1963 and one of the things parents have been feeding their kids as a quick dinner or after-school snack for the last 5 decades. Available in six different flavors and made with 100% real cheese and zero artificial flavoring, it’s super fast, super delicious, and super kid- (and parent) approved.

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Along with a plate of veggies, it was a balanced meal everyone enjoyed and I didn’t waste any precious card-playing energy to make. That’s probably why Amanda and I TROUNCED the guys in the first round (we won’t talk about the second round). I’m stocking my freezer with more Ellio’s Pepperoni Pizza (our favorite) for the back-to-school craziness combined with the end-of-summer laziness and the having-a-fourth-baby insanity that is all about to hit us at once. Frozen pizza is exactly what those situations call for. Get in on the goodness yourself and check out the store locator at the top of the Ellio’s homepage to see where Ellio’s Pizza is sold near you.

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You can follow Ellio’s on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram.

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Dr. Oetker USA LLC. I received compensation for this post, however all opinions stated are my own.

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My Week(300) in iPhone Photos

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

300 is a lot of weeks. When I started doing this, mostly as a joke, I was pregnant with Caroline. Now I’m only a couple weeks away from having a FOURTH child, which means I have documented every day of our lives through almost 6 years. Sometimes I wish I focused more on taking beautiful iPhone photos that made our lives look happier, cleaner, more photogenic than they really are. But then I look back at previous weeks and all I can think about is how nice it is to have these dumb, blurry, boring phone photos that would otherwise be deleted saved somewhere for me (and the kids) to look at. I mean, Week 3 was nothing special but looking at tiny Baby Evan is not a thing I will get tired of. I would regret it forever if I let this weekly post die now, even though doing it in a timely manner seems to be beyond me. We’ll give Baby 4 a chance to be overly photographed and documented for at least a few weeks before I think about giving it up again.

Sunday:

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It’s too hot for pajamas OR covers, but Big Kids sleep in Big Kids beds

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Brotherly tv watching

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Or maybe he’s not a big kid, just a sweet lap nap baby

 

Monday:

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We meet some really interesting people while hunting Pokemon

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Important research

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Too hot for real life so we hang out in the only room with a/c

Tuesday:

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3 kids, 3 check ups, 0 cavities!

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More hiding in the a/c

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This only lasted 5 minutes

Wednesday:

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Chair stealer

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Lake life

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AMAZING light for my photo session

Thursday:

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Which Pokemon is that?

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More air conditioned fun

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There’s a rat on my daughter!

Friday:

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Safety first when eating bread

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Card night

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Helping organize the cards

 

Saturday:

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Good old-fashioned slip and slide fun

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Watermelon stealer

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SO DELICIOUS

It’s raining today, which means it’s cool enough in the house to actually BE in the house. I have big plans to Get Stuff Done – so far, some laundry, some dishes and this post are all checked off, let’s see if toy organization, finishing three photo sessions and napping happen. I feel like napping has a pretty good shot.

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S’More Fun at a Camping Birthday Party – Linc Turns Two

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

On Saturday we celebrated Linc turning TWO with a camping birthday party! I debated doing a camping theme last year, because it just seemed so fun for a summer birthday, but decided he would have more fun at his own party with another year under his belt. I’m glad I waited, he had a BLAST.

Here’s the truth about throwing a lot of “fancy” birthday parties: After a few, you start to realize that being fancy really is less important than making sure everyone has food they like to eat and fun stuff for the kids. So although I still have strong commitment to a theme, I’m more flexible when it comes to including stuff that might have a cute, camping themed label. For example, hot dogs are camping-themed on their own without a clever name. But adding a bunch of Goldfish and Swedish Fish and calling it “The Fishing Hole” is on theme because of the name. See how reasonable and flexible I have become??

I am SO relieved we didn’t have rain and could be outside because I didn’t have an indoor backup plan. I am NOT thrilled that it was 90 degrees and I couldn’t offer anyone a cool place to relax. But I did plan ahead on the beer and water and juice boxes and lemonade so everyone stayed hydrated, the kids had the sprinkler (and eventually the toddlers ended up in the kiddie pool) so besides letting my own child get a sunburn (SO SORRY EVAN) everyone survived. Even me, which was the person I think everyone was most convinced would pass out at any moment.

All my supplies this time came from either Amazon or Oriental Trading (unsponsored and un-comped, because I wasn’t smart enough to ask ahead of time). I didn’t do a super great job of taking detailed photos, but hopefully these give you some ideas if you want to throw your own camping birthday party. Poor third child’s life isn’t nearly as well documented as the first or second.

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It is a shame I never got a good photo of all the kids in their adorable Happy Camper shirts, but they barely wore them at the party. Luckily I got photos before to use as decoration, so please accept this as proof they exist even though the photo isn’t really OF the shirts. I got them from a shop on Etsy.

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My sister made a chalkboard sign for the door.

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The photos I took on our camping photo shoot made good dining room decoration.

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I made the banner with craft paper, a free font and a free plaid paper download.

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These VERY realistic State Park Camping Signs came from Oriental Trading. I had one young guest worried I might have stolen them from an actual park.

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Two balloon from the grocery store, because I forgot to order a more on-theme red one.

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Extremely half-assed banner I made with leftover camping tent fabric.

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Bucket of sunscreen and bug spray for the guests.

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Chalk, tic-tac-toe rocks and card games for the big kids.

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I was going to do the food outside but it was too hot, so thank goodness we have a huge dining room table.

Our menu was:
Trail Mix Buffet
Walking Tacos
Watermelon
Cheese Puffs
Fruit
Veggies
Dirt Pudding Cups
Candy
Corn Muffins
Cupcakes
And, in theory, a s’mores buffet – but it was REALLY HOT and no one wanted to start a fire. So no actual s’mores were made.

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WHO KNEW individual bags of Fritos with meat, cheese, lettuce, salsa, sour cream and taco sauce would be SUCH a hit?! I ordered a huge box of Frito bags from Amazon and was sure I would have most of them left over. But nope, everyone ate multiple bags. They were a great lunch.

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Trail mix buffet – I had paper bags to fill with nuts, dried fruit, candy, pretzels. cereal and marshmallows. The kids loooooved this.

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Bait = gummy worms and chocolate dirt pudding cups (pudding, crushed oreos, more worms)

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Berry Patch sounds more like camping than just “fruit”

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Cheese puffs look sort of like a campfire, right?

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Cupcake toppers, invitations, food signs and thank you labels all designed by the VERY talented and my most favorite Becca of Jumping Jax Designs.

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My poor, unused s’mores buffet. Oh well, we’ll make good use of all that chocolate and marshmallows at the lake.

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Our party guests might have actually been more kids than adults, so I worked hard to make the party as fun for children as possible. I’m pretty sure the combination of bounce house and sprinkler helped me achieve extreme success.

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Fishing was very popular. $12 kiddie pool and 3 plastic fishing pole sets from Oriental Trading.

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E made tents out of scrap wood and I sewed (actually sewed! with a sewing machine!) the covers. They were less popular than the bounce house. Shocking.

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Giant fishing bobber balls from Oriental Trading

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This was a Pinterest idea that worked out even better than expected. E found a branch and cut it into slices, then drilled holes so I could make them necklaces. I provided markers to decorating the medallions (we kept it supervised with the toddlers, since they’re permanent markers) and every single one of these was used. Total cost: $9 worth of colored string, because I already had the markers.

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Linc had an amazing time. I barely even saw him and definitely didn’t take as many pictures as he deserves for his second birthday (because, you know, I NEVER take pictures of him…) but he slept for almost 18 hours that night. Thank you to everyone who took the time to come be hot and sweaty and slightly miserable in my back yard to make is day special.

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I made Linc his own tiny smash cake with “flame” frosting. He ate none of it, but did eat 4 cupcakes.

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We had funfetti cupcakes, vanilla cupcakes and chocolate cupcakes. They were all equally delicious (and from a box).

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Monday, July 11th, 2016

This summer is going by really fast. I’m mostly ok with that (because at the end I get a baby!) but I’m starting to feel the pressure of doing-all-the-fun-things-quick-before-we-run-out-of-time.

Sunday:

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Man, I hate when the beach is crowded

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WHAT CHA EATIN MOM??

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Spying on my children who are playing nicely

Monday:

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Patriotic New England Children

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Counting frogs

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Shut down the lake at 8 pm

 

Tuesday:

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Really excited about Seaport Camp

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You baby judges you

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Evening swim

Wednesday:

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More playing nicely. Have they been body snatched?!

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Private Seaport

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The lake is the only thing keeping us all from dying of heatstroke

Thursday:

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Trying to sit in my lap

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Naps

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Reading time

Friday:

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Less hot, still at the lake

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Caroline telling us about her favorite boat, which is a party boat because she likes parties

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One month until her recital!

Saturday:

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Went for a walk to look for Pokemon

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Linc likes to give hugs

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Game night!

 

All my photos this week are going to be of Pokemon, because the kids are always carrying my phone around and it’s hard to take iPhone photos when I don’t have control of my iPhone. But I’m not really mad, Evan is super good at catching them. Priorities.

 

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Monday, June 27th, 2016

The most half-assed attempt I’ve made in over 5 straight years of this nonsense!

Sunday:

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She’s questioning my life choices because these aren’t from Dunkin

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Pretend those are ORGANIC Doritos

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E built us a table so we could play cribbage in our beach chairs

Monday:

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Filthy children

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Clean children!

Tuesday:

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I started a toy purge and organization. It was a huge mistake.

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Monkey see, monkey do

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Very serious about his monkey duties

Wednesday:

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We have the best floaties

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OMG check out the dollar spot!!!

Thursday:

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All these children are with me (and one other mom)

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The potter at Old Sturbridge Village gave everyone clay

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Linc LOVES selfies

Friday:

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4 hours at the lake and I barely saw my kids

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Sure, whatever, just be quite while Caroline is in piano lessons

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Picking up America stuff for our America photoshoot

Saturday:

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Berry picking

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We still have the best floaties

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I bought 30 minutes of peace for $3.50 worth of ice cream

I am recovering from an attack of something that made me absolutely useless on Sunday. I suspect it was a kidney infection but did not have the time or energy to go to the ER for it, so I’m forcing it out of my body with sheer willpower and cranberry juice. Now I am suffering from a condition called “why the hell don’t we have air conditioning???” It’s terrible and reoccurring and should definitely be illegal for 8 months-pregnant women. I’d like to speak to the person in charge around here.

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