Sunday, August 30, 2015

Fun Crazy Busy Weekends ~ Last Baseball Weekend of the Summer!

Well, this is it - our last weekend of baseball travel for the summer.  This trip was to Maryland, so it wasn't too bad since it was closer than the last two trips.  We left Friday afternoon and got to our hotel, The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Washington DC-Silver Spring, around 6.  We went up to our room and it was a king bed - that was a problem!  So I called the front desk and had to go back downstairs to be assigned to a new room. When we were finally settled in our room, baby girl changed to her bathing suit and we went to the pool for a bit.  We headed out for dinner at a Hibachi place with friends.  The area was great - so many people were out and there were so many places to eat!  So we ate, celebrated the birthday of one of the player's little sister, who also happens to be my baby girl's friend!  We went back to the hotel to have some birthday cake and then bed!

The next morning we checked out, yes we only stayed 1 night.  The chance of the boys advancing was very slim so we checked out and went to the first game of the day.

Game was a loss, and now we had several hours to kill.  We looked up the closest places to visit and Inner Harbor seemed like the best place to go.  Another 2 baseball families came along and it was so much fun.  This place was so nice and there were so many stores and places to eat!

We had a great time walking around, but the day was coming to an end and it was time to head out.  We stopped to play mini golf and then off to Harford Community College for the final game of the weekend.  My son pitched this game and he was so off this night.  Not sure what happened but he just couldn't focus so he didn't last long on the mound.

Well, the weekend didn't end with the Win we would've preferred but it was a nice weekend.  We packed it up and headed home.  I think it was about 1 am when we got home and we were all happy to be back home to sleep in our own beds!!

This is probably our last getaway for the summer and we did enjoy it.  I definitely would've liked to have done some sight seeing in DC but it didn't quite work out.  I would love to go back some other time to stop and check out the sights, but I knew going in that this was strictly baseball and that's what it was!

How have your summer weekends been? 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Back to School with Little Passports

**The links in this post are affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

Little Passports has teamed up with Wendy Copley, one of their Blog Ambassadors and author of Everyday Bento: 50 Cute and Yummy Lunches to Go, to bring you an amazing Back to School Bento Box! 

Back to school is a busy time and creating the perfect lunch can be tricky and time consuming. That is where Wendy comes in. She makes the job of chief lunch maker easy and fun! She has amazing, healthy, and creative ideas. Check out Little Passports' Back to School Bento Box blog post and make your back to school lunches as easy as 123! 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Fun Crazy Busy Weekends ~ Baseball in the Smokies!

Well not exactly but close.....this weekend took us to Knoxville, TN with the town's rec baseball team.  They had a great season, played their hearts out and made it to this tournament to go up against teams from other states.  We weren't sure if we'd be able to go, but after much deliberation we decided to go.  Our son left before us again, but this time it was with his team.  The town had rented vans and the entire team, along with the coaches went in these vans - parents were on their own.

Again, we missed the first game but eventually we did make it there very early Friday morning.  We were exhausted!!  We left right after work and it took us about 14 hours to get there.  We rented a room at the same place the team was staying - Super 8.  We arrived at 3AM, checked in and went straight to our room.  Now this was last minute, and I didn't really take the time to find something else close by even though I wasn't too comfortable staying at the Super 8.  I do have a problem with dirty, smelly rooms and uncomfortable beds.  As soon as we opened the door, the stench of cigarettes hit us - wow!! We were too tired to make a big deal about it, so I just took a quick look over the beds and they looked alright so we passed out!!

The next morning we were up and ready for some baseball!  We headed out to grab breakfast at Burger King, then went to the game.

After the game, we headed back to the hotel for a nap.  After the nap, we went shopping at Target and then dinner at Golden Corral.  Wow - can those boys eat!!

Had to buy these - they were on clearance and oh so cute!!!

Late night editing

The next day, our friends who live in Murfreesboro drove to Knoxville to spend the weekend with us.  So, we headed out to Gatlinburg in the morning.  We parked and walked around, but made this trip short due to the next game that I didn't want to miss.  As we drove back, my son called to tell us that their game was being postponed.  So, we picked him up and headed to dinner at Cheddar's.  First time we've been there but our TN friends knew the place well.  This was a great choice - we all loved the food!!  Then it was back to the hotel so Chris can meet up with his team again for the next game.

Sadly, this game didn't go as well as all the others - they lost and were eliminated.  This was upsetting but we took advantage of being in TN, and stayed an additional night to hang out with friends.
The next day, we headed back up to the Smoky Mountains and Gatlinburg!!  I loved it here!
We walked around some more, then decided to buy tickets to Ripley's Aquarium, Believe It or Not Museum and mini golf!

This ends our weekend getaway in TN.  This is now on my list of places for vacation - this is a must!  There is so much more to do, but we had no time for.  It was a great weekend filled with baseball, family & friends!!  Can't wait to do it all again!!

How much fun have your weekend trips been?

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Double Digits!!!!

Ugh, double digits....yes, baby girl is 10!!!  Where has the time gone???? 
She was sooooo happy to be turning 10, she's feeling so much older now, LOL!!
Her birthday is a bit tough to celebrate due to it being right in the middle of the summer.  Everyone is on vacation!!
We cut her a cake at home the day of her birthday, and she had a friend come over to celebrate for a little while.
She loved it!!

Then, I was planning to have a birthday party at American Girl for her, but she didn't want that.  She wanted a trip to NYC and American Girl with just me and her dad - family only, as she puts it!  She's so sweet :)
Well, she got her wish.  I made reservations for brunch that weekend and it was only the 3 of us.  Now she didn't mean to exclude her brother, but we all know he would refuse to go.  I asked him anyway, and he looked at me like I had 3 heads!!  What on earth was I thinking - why would he want to go to a little girl's store - yea, that was his response so brunch just for us 3!
Saturday morning we jumped on a bus and headed into the city.  We were running a bit late, so when we got there we had to almost jog to the American Girl, my feet were killing me!!

We got there just in time!  We made the line and only waited about 5 minutes before the started letting everyone in.
Food was good, we had cinnabons, then we ordered our entrees - I had the egg scramble (forgot the name), Kat had pancakes and hubby got French toast.
After we were done, we had dessert!!  A little flower pot - chocolate mousse....mmmmmm, so good!!

Once we were done eating, it was time to go shopping.  Part of her Birthday gift was to pick out her new doll - which ofcourse was the Girl of the Year: Grace!!
Along with the doll, she got an outfit and a charm bracelet to match Grace's.

After shopping, we walked back to the bus stop but not before stopping at the Disney Store, the NBC Store to check out the Minions and enjoy our surroundings - even if it was just for a litte while!   I do have to say, hubby was a trooper!! He hates walking in NYC but he did it for us!!  We love him so much :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Fun Crazy Busy Weekends ~ VA Sports Complex

So to continue my Fun, Crazy, Busy Weekend series, now I go to our weekend in VA.  This was for the Dynamic Best in Class 6/25-6/28.  This would be the Aces first tournament of the season and we were really looking forward to this weekend.  But ofcourse, with our jobs we can't just take off when we want so our son headed down with friends and we went down the following day. We did miss the first games, but got to see the next two-one of which my son pitched :) Yes....proud mama over here!!

The weekend wasn't great thanks to the weather.  The boys did get most of their games in, but we got rained out the next day.  After some discussions and some disgruntled parents, we were packed up and headed back home to Jersey!  I would've liked to have seen them go on, but nobody can control mother nature!!  I'm just glad we left when we did - there was hail and tornado warnings all over.  I can deal with a hurricane, I guess because you are warned and have a chance to get to a safer place, but tornadoes terrify me!! 

This was our last weekend of June!  Stay tuned for a couple more weekend trips we enjoyed in July!!

Hope you all are enjoying your summer!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Back to School Shopping!!

Well - its that time of year again - Back to School shopping!!!  I have a HUGE list of things to buy to get my kids ready for school - notebooks, pens, pencils, clothing and more.  Since early July I've been comparing prices and many stores - you gotta check those sales!!!

Now I did get lazy and didn't buy much, so now I am scrambling to start narrowing down their lists and start shopping.  Many stores are now offering crazy sales so I'm excited!!  I love shopping, if you couldn't tell, and even though my kids don't let me pick out their clothes, I still know what stores they like.  So, for the next 2 days, one of my daughters favorite stores is having an amazing sale!!  Crazy 8 is having 50% off new collections but this is only for 2 days - today and tomorrow!!  So if you want to get the latest and greatest from Crazy 8 - hurry on to their website to check out their new collections and save 50% only 8/4 & 8/5.

This will definitely help my back to school shopping for my baby girl!!!  Can't wait to take advantage of this promotion and share my shopping haul with all of you!!

Happy Shopping!!!

*This post contains affiliate links but I did not recieve any comensation to provide my opinion.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Fun, Crazy Busy Weekends~Perfect Game Weekend

Well, its that time again - time to catch up!!  My days are all jumbled together, I'm still double checking the calendar to confirm that it is July 7th!  Crazy!!!

So I wanted to blog several times a week, and my goal is still to do this but for now I will be filling you in on my past couple of weekends.  Some have been quite and at home, while others have been super busy; and in all of this I still have not had time to go lay out at the beach! But we have been to the beach....more of that later.

Let's start with the first week of June.  This was a baseball weekend....and what a learning experience, a bit disappointing but it was a good weekend overall.  I signed up my son for a Perfect Game Showcase.  We've been talking for months about taking him to showcases, its just they are so expensive - its crazy!!  I have to be very selective in where I spend our money on but I've heard a lot of good things about Perfect Game showcases so I thought I'd give it a try.  He was OK with it so I paid the registration fee of $650 and we headed to South Jersey Saturday morning - very early morning since he had to be there by 7:30AM

We arrived at Rowan University at 7AM but had no idea where we had to go.  There were no signs, nobody to give directions.  There were several other families in the same predicament - we kept following each other and going around and around the university until we saw a police officer.  He was able to direct us on where to go and voila! We found it!  My son went to sign in, they gave him a hat and a shirt and told him that he was only signed up for pitching!  Oops!! Later I realized this was a big OOPS!!!

He went on to the field to warm up, they took his picture and then back to the field.  The coaches called all the kids in and gave them their instructions for the rest of the day.  My son was informed that he didn't need to stay because he was a pitcher only :/  He was told that he can return for the hitting and zep test.  On the schedule it was set for 5:30PM so we went to check into our hotel, went grocery shopping to make lunch and went for a swim at the hotel.  After the pool, we changed and headed back out to Rowan University for the hitting.  We arrived at 5 and there was hardly anyone there!  It turns out that they must've been moving quicker and my son's team had completed their hitting and zep earlier!  OMG, I was not happy at all!! No notice, no call to alert of the schedule change - nothing!  This was very disappointing.  My son was told to return tomorrow for his game, so we left.  Back to the hotel we went!

We stayed at Homewood Suites by Hilton and loved it!!  This place was great and felt like home!

The next day we headed out to the game.  We were there early, just incase they were ahead of schedule again and finally Chris would be able to do something!  Now I don't know what happened, if it was first time jitters, but he kept saying he didn't feel right.  Oh no, here we go!  He went up to pitch and he did good as far as throwing strikes, but he couldn't throw over 78.  He was really confident thinking he'd be able to throw as fast as he's done on other occasions but here he just couldn't.  He got his innings in and then was able to hit.  Unfortunately he didn't hit either - he struck out!  Ugh, what a weekend!  Now I'm feeling this was such a waste of money.

After the game, he was done - that's it! A couple of innings and that was it!

Now we were starving so we headed to Cracker Barrel - good food will make everyone feel better.

After thinking about everything, I am disappointed that he didn't get much out of this and we spent so much money on it.  It was a learning experience, though.  I know for next time, if there is a next time, to register him for another position - not just pitching.  He also needs to be relaxed and not think about what he has to do so much - I think he makes himself nervous!  Also, and this is the biggest lesson - don't follow the schedule - follow your team!!!  If they are ahead of schedule, you will not be notified so in order for you to know is to follow the team!

There is another one in MA and another in VA - so I'm not sure if we'll do this again but if we do, then he has to decide which location he'd rather attend.

It is a great way to gain exposure and get your name in the system.  Colleges and scouts can check out your profile, if they didn't see you at the events, and follow you or contact you if they choose.  So it does have its benefits, but for my son it may not be that necessary.