Priddy Books Early Learning Collection

Colorado weather has been insane. Hottest summer I’ve ever seen with constant 90*F temperatures. Along with these we’ve had the worst fires Colorado has ever endured, creating dangerous air quality levels. These conditions are a perfect storm for more indoor time, as if the COVID lockdowns weren’t enough.

With all this time inside I’ve been desperate to find a way to have my twins engaged in sensory play and Priddy Books has been my answer! Their books are specifically designed to spark creativity and encourage development, essential for their little minds.

Not only has it been a hit for my 15 month old twins but my 4 year old has also been having fun playing alongside his brothers!

Their My First Play and Learn Farm is designed for ages 3-5. Love that not only are they focusing on the development of our babies/toddlers but also on our older kiddos! As you can see it was a major hit with my 4 year old!

Their amazing collections can be found on Amazon (2 day shipping, yeeeeah!) and is 100% worth it! Your kiddos will be carrying them around the house and plopping down for hours to play and read.

Fun Fact : This year is the Priddy Books’ 20 year anniversary!

(I was compensated for this post, all opinions are my own)

Get Duked!

Looking for a good watch this evening? Get Duked is an anarchic satire of generational politics, hip-hop loving farmers and hallucinogenic rabbit shites that puts the youth of tomorrow against the status quo of yesterday.

Having just joined Amazon Prime August 28th, this movie will keep you laughing and quoting for weeks! It’s a sharp fork..

Starring: Samuel Bottomley, Rian Gordon, Lewis Gribben, Viraj Juneja and Kate Dickie with James Cosmo and Eddie Izzard

Written and Directed By: Ninian Doff

**WINNER: AUDIENCE AWARD – MIDNIGHTS – SXSW 2019**

**WINNER: JUST FILM GRAND PRIX FOR BEST YOUTH FILM – TALLIN BLACK NIGHTS FILM FESTIVAL 2019** 

“An off-the-hook black comedy.”- Peter Debruge, Variety 

“A hilarious retort to the critics of youth and a rousing late night movie for a new generation.”- Joe Blessing, The Playlist 

“The hippest, wildest, most energetic genre blowout to come from the UK since Attack The Block.”- Matt Donato, Slash Film

Only available on Prime Video! Stream now!

(I was compensated for this post, all opinions are my own)

Westminster Little Monkey Bizness Birthday Parties

This pandemic has been really rough, not just on us but also for our children. They weren’t able to see friends, go to the park, go to sports, have normal birthday parties and so much more. Their sweet little brains can’t comprehend the complexity of COVID and the reasons we need them to be socially distanced.

But, when there is a business that understands children and the importance of cleanliness during this unprecedented time you can give them something special that can bring back a little bit of normalcy – A birthday party at the Westminster Little Monkey Bizness.

Not only are they cleaning around the clock but with an area for both babies and older children, all kids can get out that pent-up lockdown energy! Did I mention they also have a cafe? Normal birthday party… Clean facility… Energy release AND a chai tea latte? Yup.. All of this is possible at the Westminster Little Monkey Bizness!

We plan on having a party for Hudson’s 5th birthday in November and he’s CONSTANTLY asking if it’s November yet. It’s a memorable place that gives kids that bit of normalcy they need and deserve.

You can have Monkey Bizness all to yourself!! Just you and your guests playing together, no worrying about the other party the table over from your or kids running around you don’t know. Enjoy your time, worry-free, in our private and clean play space.

Private birthday parties are $239 – Amazing price for an amazing experience! Book your party today and give your kids a birthday they’ll never forget!

(I was compensated for this post – All opinions are my own)

South Dakota Tourism

It’s not just the proud American in me, but our favorite place to vacation as a family is South Dakota. The wide open ranges, the rolling black hills, the historical monuments and the people all make South Dakota a magical place.

I surprised my family with a last minute vacation to get them out of their cabin fever mindset and it did them wonders! We always stay in Keystone. 3 minutes to Mount Rushmore, 45 minutes to Rapid City and an adorable tourist-y town that provides unique food and fun shopping!

Our favorite hotel of all time is the Roosevelt Inn. It’s at the edge of town, close to Mount Rushmore and provides peace and quiet while also being walking distance from the bustling town!

Our view from the hotel.

They have an amazing pool, an arcade room, and the most beautiful views available in Keystone. They recently renovated it making it even more comfortable and eye-catching. Their breakfast is beyond delicious with many different options and selections to choose from.

Not only is this our favorite place to stay for the amazing amenities, rooms and people but across the street.. It boasts tubing hills, alpine slides, bungee jumping, zip-lining and more. That was the first thing we did when we got there because although it’s only a 5 hour drive from our house the kids were so excited to get exploring!

For dinner we decided to check out the Keystone board walk and tried a newly opened pizza place called Blazers Pizza. Incredible food, beautiful views of the strip and wonderful owners who were passionate about their food!

After dinner we went back to the hotel and enjoyed a dip in the pool. It’s always empty and we had the whole area to ourselves. The kids were stoked and exhausted afterwards 😉

After an amazing nights sleep we drove up to Rapid City and tried out the WaTiki Water Park. Let me tell y’all.. I am SO jealous this is an exclusive South Dakota thing because we had a BLAST. I wish we had something like this in Colorado!

There were slides, a lazy pool, a bar and a bistro – Something for everyone in the family! We booked a table and they had a basket full of everything we needed as soon as we got there. Complete with stuffies for the kids to keep, towels, waters, a bistro coupon and more!

The kids were BEAT after this so we went back to the hotel, took a nap then hit Rushmore. It never ceases to amaze me the grand scale of the sculptures and the feeling of being so close to such an important part of our history.

After walking around and reading we decided to head to dinner. We tried the Powder House for the first time and man I’m kicking myself that we hadn’t gone sooner. It was amazing. Beautiful full mountain views, delectable food, and wonderful service.

After an amazing dinner we went back to the hotel, got some rest and got ready for our last day of adventure. The kids were bummed but looking forward to another day of fun.

Wanting to make the most of our last day of vacation we got an early start with the Roosevelt Inn’s amazing breakfast stocked with a variety of goodies for even the pickiest of eaters!

A family tradition is to always hit the Bear Country Zoo on the last day. It’s fun, calming and so memorable we never want to rush through it so we ensure enough time to take our time!

The kids were so excited to see so many baby animals and they were all out and active – Especially early in the morning when they’re ready for food and play!

Down the road is an amazing dinosaur museum that we make sure to hit everytime for Hudson, because obviously he’s a dino-wiz.

Sadly it was time to leave, but we stopped at the Crazy Horse memorial before we made it out of South Dakota because it is such a powerful place to learn and discover the beauty and importance of preserving the Native American culture. The kids loved it and we were in awe at the progress they’ve made on the sculpture just one year later!

South Dakota will always hold a special place in our heart and our favorite family vacation spot as it’s wholesome, quaint and historical.

We cannot thank the Roosevelt Inn enough for allowing us the opportunity to stay there for another year of cherished family memories. It’ll always be the place we stay when we come into town and the kids constantly ask to go back. Interested in booking a stay there? They’re affordable, clean, and always friendly. They’re located at 206 Cemetery Rd, Keystone, SD 57751, call (605) 666-4599 to book a room for your family and let them plan your stay while you plan the fun!

(I was compensated for this post, all opinions are my own)

Gestational Diabetes

*This article is for a college paper I am writing for my nutrition essentials for nursing class.

What is diabetes? It is a disease that affects how your cells use sugar, or glucose. Gestational diabetes is found during pregnancy when a mother’s blood sugar is found to be abnormally high which is a risk for the mother and baby’s health.

As with any of form of diabetes, it may not initially show symptoms but they person may show signs of extreme thirst. It’s causes are still very much unknown but it is believed that the excess weight gain some mother’s experience may play a part in the causation. They’ve also found that women of non-white race have a higher risk of developing it as well.

Normally, hormones can keep blood sugar levels at a normal range but when pregnant, hormones throw you for a loop and make your body’s ability to process blood sugar efficiently a lot harder. Which is why Doctors regularly check you during pregnancy to ensure you don’t have or haven’t developed gestational diabetes.

When I was pregnant with my twins I was at a very high risk for developing gestational diabetes and was checked often. Yeah, those nasty sweet drinks and hours of waiting are SO fun. But after getting the green light every time it really interested me on what exactly gestational diabetes was and how it occurred.

As I stated in the beginning, gestational diabetes is when your cells are unable to process glucose properly and occur when pregnancy hormones are unable to regulate your blood sugar levels. And as a person without diabetes you would imagine the prevention requirements would be quite cut and dry.. But there is a lot that goes into not just diabetic remedies but gestational wise cures.

Eating more nutritious foods is the number one recommendation for mothers with gestational diabetes. Obviously your goal isn’t to lose weight because you’re growing a sweet little human who needs all of the nutrients they can get; Instead, ensure you’re eating foods that are low in fat and calories with a focus on lean proteins, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits!

The types of foods recommended to eat include lean, high protein meats such as chicken, fish, eggs and tofu. Along with the healthy fats found in avocados, olive oil, nuts, and seeds. Low GI fruits such as berries and fresh vegetables are all wonderful examples of foods to stick to.

It is pertinent to stay away from processed foods along with anything high in simple carbs such as white bread, pasta, rice and white potatoes. Fruit juices are high in sugar and pastries/dessert are high in carbs and sugars with low nutritional values. Resources are found all over the internet that include foods to eat and foods to avoid.

Watching portion sizes and staying active, (As much is possible because you never know what pregnancy can do to your physical abilities) regardless of the activity, can make a huge difference in prevention and treating gestational diabetes. Being more health conscious and mindful in your lifestyle choices is what will make the biggest impact.

Monitoring baby and blood sugar levels are very important parts of your gestational diabetes treatment plan. Doctors observe blood sugar levels in the hopes they’re maintaining healthy ranges (hopefully without the need of medication) and ensuring that baby is safe, developing properly and that there are no complications. However, medication intervention may be needed in the case of irregular blood sugar levels.

There are many resources for mothers who need support or information regarding gestational diabetes, such as the American Diabetes Association. They have support communities for fellow mothers to discuss and ask questions regarding their condition at https://community.diabetes.org/discuss/viewcategory/7. As well as information regarding their medical needs found at https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes/gestational-diabetes.

In order to better understand gestational diabetes through subjective information from an actual mother who had suffered from this condition I reached out to a mom in a local Mom group I’m in and interviewed her. For privacy’s sake we’ll call her Lelani.

Me: Lelani, can you describe to me how you felt when you were told you had gestational diabetes?

Lelani: Scared. I didn’t know much about it and was worried it had affected my baby somehow.

Me: I’m sure! Did you have a feeling you may have had it before you were diagnosed with it? Did you have any symptoms?

Lelani: No, actually. I was actually quite surprised! I was only pregnant with a singleton and hadn’t gained much weight so I was kind of blind sided by the diagnosis.

Me: Were you given much information about your health, what to do and steps moving forward with this diagnosis?

Lelani: I was! My Doctor was very informative on my treatment plan. I was instructed to eat whole foods in smaller but more frequent meals (5 times a day to be exact), was told to walk twice a day everyday and I had to come in more regularly for check ups to ensure my baby and myself were staying healthy.

Me: Your daughter is now 6 months old. How did everything work out at the end of your pregnancy up to now?

Lelani: It felt like a normal pregnancy. I followed the Doctor’s instructions and was able to have a normal delivery and after my daughter was born it was gone!

Me: Did your doctor check your blood sugar levels at all after delivery to ensure it went away and did they check your baby?

Lelani: Yep! And all was good. Baby was healthy and my blood sugar levels were completely normal, haven’t had a single issue since!

Me: Wonderful! Gestational diabetes is different for everyone but I’m glad yours wasn’t too rough on you and your sweet baby!

Like I stated above, of course gestational diabetes is different for everyone. In the case of Lelani it was scary but she didn’t suffer from any symptoms and it didn’t affect her baby or her health at all, especially because she followed the Doctor’s orders after receiving her diagnosis.

As an aspiring nurse who wishes to work as a Labor and Delivery nurse this information is very useful to me as I can better assist Mothers in need to ensure a healthy pregnancy!

Do you have experience with gestational diabetes? Comment below and tell me your story!

Chūze Fitness

When you feel so genuinely passionate about something you want to tell the world – And that’s exactly how I feel about Chūze Fitness. After I had Hudson (Over 4 years ago) I was in the best shape of my life.. I had more energy than I knew what to do with, I had a six pack and incredible confidence. But, I got all of that by living in a toxic mindset with food and exercise.

It was a chore. Eating insanely strictly, exercising everyday, and treating myself like a machine that I wouldn’t allow to rest. I’m sure what you would expect to happen, happened. I fell off the health train, HARD. I had one cheat meal and I spiraled. I felt like I was a failure, I felt disgusted with myself and I hated how I “felt”.

So I stopped eating healthy completely. I started drinking more alcohol, stopped working out, stopped everything that I considered “healthy” because I felt like it was a waste since I was “off the wagon”. Then I got pregnant with my twins. After I had them my body felt like it was shutting down. I had no energy, no desire to move, no desire to cook, no desire to do anything that wasn’t absolutely necessary.

I hated myself. And the worst part? I allowed myself to be like that until they were 8 months old – I felt like I was failing them as a Mother. I decided I needed to make a change – Not just for them but also for myself.

As a stay at home Mother of three I was super intimidated by the thought of working out at home like I always had because I knew I’d lose momentum the moment one of them needed something. So I did some searching and found a few gyms that had childcare. It seemed overwhelming but after hearing raving reviews about Chūze Fitness from some local Moms I decided to give it a try..

Their 7 day free trial included everything but tanning so I was able to take all my kiddos into the Kids Club to try it out. The ladies in there were immediately incredible. They were excited to take my twin babies (Something I absolutely feared) and told me to take my time and have a great workout..

After dropping them off I stood outside the Kid’s Club door, completely bewildered that I was kid-free.. I looked around at all of the amazing opportunities in front of me.. I could use their HydroMassage machines, get some cardio in at the Chūze Cinema, join in on a Zumba class, go for a swim, hop in the sauna or get rid of my nasty cold in the Eucalyptus steam room.. The possibilities literally seemed endless.

That was a month ago today. I can now honestly say that Chūze has already changed my life. This is my home away from home. My twins light up when they see the girls, Hudson constantly asks if we can go back to the “play place” and I know I can workout with complete assurance that my kids are in the best hands.

And because of them I’ve been able to gain my strength and energy back. I’ve been going multiple times a week – And sometimes, I literally just sit in the massage chairs, go for a tan then watch a movie while on a stationary bike because whether I am exercising or not it’s my time to focus on ME.

But, most of all, Chūze has changed my life completely because I am now able to be the Mother I need to be for my sweet boys. So thank you Chūze, for the opportunity to better myself and giving me the tools to do so.

Want to try it for yourself? Here is my referral code – I promise.. Your first day there you’ll know you want to sign up.. Did I mention they have a built in smoothie bar? 😉

FOX 31 News – Toy Fair 2020

Hey y’all! For my third year in a row I’ll be promoting the New York Toy Fair on FOX 31 Denver! This year we’ve got some amazing products to promote – Ones that enhance creativity, reinforce screen-free play, and STEM based toys that provide educational fun!

With the rise in awareness among parents and the same being taught at schools, it has been noticed that most children are shifting to sustainable choices and that includes toys! Green Toys™ is a line of eco-friendly toys and children’s products Made in the USA
from 100% recycled plastic milk jugs.

Green Toys™ Stacking Cups are colorful and fun, and teach basic counting and math concepts. Six graduated cups, dozens of possibilities for bath and play time. Scoop and pour water, build towers by turning upside down, or just sort sizes to nest. Fill cups 1 and 2, for example, and it will equal the volume of cup 3. Ages: 6 months + MSRP $9.99

Green Toys™ Tide Pool Set is a set includes a starfish, scallop, abalone, snail, squid, and jellyfish. Scoop up water with the abalone and create a cascading waterfall with the holes along the edge, or fill the jellyfish and watch the water run down and out each of the legs. The palm-sized shells are the perfect size for scooping and pouring water to wash little ones in infant tubs, while also great for the beach and backyard, too. Ages: 6 months + MSRP $9.99

Green Toys™ Tugboat allows kids to embark on a cruise across the bathtub. Navigate the
wading pool and even splash around in the occasional mud puddle. There’s
no end to the fun! Ages: 6 months + MSRP $9.99

Twinkling Twilight Turtle – New Calming Lights + Soothing Sounds! Now with 2 soothing MELODIES and 100’s of stars that TWINKLE on and off in a colorful, magical light show. Projects constellations in blue, green or amber. Fun, vibrant light effect on shell. Two soothing melodies built in, with adjustable volume control. Available for all ages. MSRP $34.99.

Lil’ Shuckies Large Shell Case from WeCool – Unboxing, blind bags and slime continues to captivate children nationwide. This colorful clam shell is also a carrying case complete with all the essentials one needs to shuck their Lil’ Shuckies and store their discoveries. Includes clam tool, two glitzy slimes, magic and 60 colorful pearl beads and
a necklace string. MSRP: $19.99, AGES: 4+, is available at Walmart!

What’s Wrong with Grown-Ups?, a new card game from Authentic Agility
Games
because adults like to have fun too.. How often have you wished that your teen would stop playing video games, sending friends videos you can only hope are appropriate, and going out, and instead, share what they’re thinking… with you?

A fun way to engage kids of all ages, the 500-question card games creates an
open two-way dialog that allows you to make new connections and deepen
your bond. It’s simple to play as each participant rolls the dice and then selects the category in which you are asked to answer a related question.

There’s plenty of research out there reminding parents how important screen free play has become. From toys that teach fine motor skills to STEM, screen free play is essential for the growth of our children.

That’s where smART Pixelator comes in. The smART Pixelator empowers kids to design and build 2D and 3D projects using Bluetooth connectivity, easy-to-follow lights, and smART Pixel Beads, Sequins or Pegs. Right out of the box, kids have a choice of creating 50 step-by-step designs using Pixel Beads. A smART Pixelator app and any mobile device also let them engineer their own projects, encouraging customization and experimentation. Additional beads, sequins, pegs, and projects are available to keep the fun flowing. Ideal for kids 7 to 107 years old. MSRP: $59.99

Construction toys can help kids develop cognitive and social skill as well as fuel creativity.

CREATTO™ Light-Up Crafting Kits is a simple yet versatile building system that consists of just two primary components that can be woven together into countless 3D creations. The flexible yet durable plastic tiles interlock quickly and easily for all skill levels; no additional materials or hardware required! Each Creatto kit includes assembly instructions for four different configurations, but the possibilities are limited only by your imagination. Add strings of colored LED lights to illuminate your works of art from the inside out. Five Creatto kits will be available Winter 2020. Creatto will be available in 3 fun sizes: mini, medi, and maxi.

Kids can choose to build the Moonlight Elephant Safari (MSRP $9.95; ages 6+), Magical
Moose & Forest Friends (MSRP $9.95; ages 6+), Starlight Kitty & Cutie Crew (MSRP
$19.95; ages 8+), Shimmer Shark & Ocean Pals (MSRP $29.95; ages 9+), or Sparkle
Unicorn & Friends (MSRP $29.95; ages 9+).

Celiac Test – LetsGetChecked

Disclosure: The links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Bear in mind that I link this company because of my genuine belief in their service and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases!

I’ve been sick for a little over a month now without any explanation and no remedies. It has unfortunately affected my ability to be as active with my children and it kills me.

So I am officially on the hunt to figure out the cause, with my biggest suspicion being celiac disease; Thanks to Let’s Get Checked I’ll be able to do my test from the comfort of my home.


Now.. What is celiac disease?

Celiac disease is a serious autoimmune disorder that occurs in genetically predisposed people.

In simpler terms, celiac disease is defined as moderate to severe discomfort following the consumption of gluten-containing foods. The only way to find out if you have celiac disease is to take a celiac disease blood test.

Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat, rye and barley. If you are living with celiac disease, your body’s immune system will reject the protein in the food you eat.

If you have celiac disease and eat gluten, the villi (hair like projections that line your intestines) will be damaged.

Villi are responsible for absorbing nutrients when you consume food. When the villi get damaged, nutrients cannot be absorbed properly into the body.

Damaged villi puts the small intestine under attack and leads a wide range of signs and symptoms associated with celiac disease.

healthy-villi-and-damaged-villi

This diagram shows the difference between those who suffer from celiac disease and those who do not.

On the left, you see what villi and epithelial cells look like in those who have a healthy small intestine. The structures are rounded and fit for purpose in enabling healthy digestion.

On the right, you see what damaged villi and epithelial cells look like. As the structures are flattened, they are less able to carry out their role in digestive function. This creates a negative domino effect for other physiological functions, including reproduction. (Read: Does celiac disease cause infertility?)

A wheat allergy differs from celiac disease. Those who are intolerant to gluten will experience similar symptoms to those with celiac disease, however, there is no autoimmune response and the lining of the intestine will not be damaged to the same degree.


Let’s Get Checked will hopefully allow me to pinpoint my illness one test at a time. With the gluten free craze right now, have you wondered if you’ve got celiac disease? Try the Coelic test and get 20% off with code SIMPLYKARALIZ

They’ve also got a TON of other tests from hormones, thyroid tests, to Men’s/Women’s sexual health, and more.

(I was compensated for this post, all opinions are my own)

Breakfast with Santa at the Hard Rock Cafe Denver

Don’t Miss Breakfast with Santa at Hard Rock Cafe Denver on Sunday, Dec. 15th from 10 – 11:30 AM! Celebrate the joy of the season as your little legend decorates their very own doughnut with Holiday-themed treats and toppings, plus enjoy pictures with Santa Claus, special holiday surprises and family fun!

• Santa will be in the building to take pictures with children and hand out some special treats
• Circus Collective from Denver will be bringing some elves to put on a special show
• Kids themed DJ spinning all the Christmas favorites
• Family Style Breakfast Buffet
• Donut station so your little legend can design their own yummy Christmas creation
• Holiday themed coloring station
• Stocking decorating station - and some treats to fill them up

We’ll be there – Any opportunity there is for the kids to interact with Santa I LOVE because it’s something they’ll always remember or at least always associate Christmas with a time when Mommy and Daddy took them to do fun and festive things. Family time during the Holidays, that’s what most important!

(I was compensated for this post, all opinions are my own)

Scrape-A-Round

If you’re like me you’re TIRED of scraping your windows the old fashioned way. So join the Scrape-A-Round movement! You will secure your family’s safety, access new gift ideas and scrape your windows cleaner in half the time!

They currently have a holiday promotion offering a 6 pack and FREE shipping for just $27 (A $43 value)! Scrape-A-Round is the perfect holiday gift idea for stocking stuffers, neighbor gifts, work gifts, and family gifts. Simply turn the Scrape-A-Round up side down, fill with selected items, wrap it up and have a unique gift as varied as your imagination. Visit http://www.scrapearound.com and use code: BSAFE to get FREE Shipping on your order.