Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Guest Post – Budget Friendly Date Night Ideas

Hey y’all, before I start rambling on about some awesome budget friendly date night ideas I want to take a minute and introduce myself! My name is Jordan and I have my own blog (www.fitbyjordan.blogspot.com) and fitness page on Facebook (Fit by Jordan). I have been married for little over a year now to a wonderful man named Casey. I have a 5 year old son, Caleb (or Peter Parker, he answers to both because he swears he is Spider-Man) and I am due in June with another little boy, Dax Marshall.

When I met my husband 3+ years ago, I was a single mom to a 2 year old. I had to find unique, budget friendly date ideas for us to partake in. I would schedule most dates around the weekends that Caleb’s Dad had custody of him… but I would also try and find sitters here and there to squeeze dates in between the every other weekend schedule. It was hard at times but we made it work, I have to admit it did get easier when I finally decided to introduce Caleb and Casey.

Casey and I decided that even though our relationship started off with having a kid first, we would never let stop us from being a couple and enjoying date night. Having time with just your spouse is VERY important and I believe it is key in a great relationship. The happier I am with my husband, the happier mother I am at home. Plus this is setting a great example for Caleb as he grows up.

Now onto my Top 10 fun budget friendly date night ideas we have had over the past 3 years…

1.       Dinner under the stars: One night Casey and I picked up Jason’s Deli (packed it in my cute picnic basket pictured below), drove out to the middle of nowhere with the truck loaded down with tons of blankets and pillows and parked near a lake. We moved the blankets and pillows to the bed of the truck, lite a bug away candle (this is a must) and had a picnic under the stars with our Jason’s Deli. If you are on a tight budget, you can make your own picnic at home… We sat out there for about 2 hours, eating, talking, dreaming, and well you know... making out! I felt like such a teenager!!!

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2.    Drive-In Movies: At the time that we did this date, we didn’t have a local drive in near us, so we ended up driving an hour to see the double feature. You pay by the carload and not the amount of people in the car, so if you want to make this a double date you can save even more money. I would suggest bringing your own food and drinks and even some blankets or lawn chairs. Most drive-in places will do a double feature, where you pay to watch 2 movies.

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3.    Sporting Event: You might be thinking I am crazy for adding this to the budget friendly list, BUT… if you search for tickets (I usually use www.stubhub.com) you can really pull this one off. Granted you might be sitting in the nose bleeds but hey, it is a date with the man/woman you love and you aren’t sitting at the house watching TV and playing on your iphone. I am not a huge fan of baseball, but I have found that is the cheapest sporting event to attend, next is basketball, then hockey and then football. You could even skip the pros and find a local team in your area. We have enjoyed date night to watch a local hockey team for $5 a ticket… 

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4.    Bike Rides: If you live in a populated city, you have probably seen some bikes /bike racks that have been recently installed around downtown. Well, this is a FUN way to get out of the house, get a workout in, see the city you live in and spend time with your love one. We took advantage of the bikes while we were on vacation in San Antonio, Texas. We had no clue where we were going but we just rode around, would stop at parks and talk, then ride again. Don’t forget to take your GPS with you.

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5.    BINGO!: This was a FUN date (besides the smoking smell and yes we were in the smoke free room). We ended up making this a double date and we played for about an hour. We mostly people watched, a bingo hall as some GREAT people watching let me tell ya. Those old ladies are VERY serious about their bingo!!! We came close to winning, but we left losers…

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6.    Local Waterpark: Casey and I spent the day at a local waterpark last year and I have to admit, this was one of my favorite dates we have ever had. I packed a lunch for us (to save money) and found our tickets on a discount website. I have been told that some grocery stores usually have discount tickets for the waterparks near your house… example: Kroger has some for Hawaiian Falls. But if that is still out of your price range, check out the city water park. Some cities (at least here in the metroplex – DFW) have city recreational parks with little water parks or at least a pool. Go and be a kid again, it is a blast!!!

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7.     Hiking: Like I mentioned above, I have a fitness page on Facebook (shameless plug here: www.facebook.com/fitbyjordan) and I have lost over 100 pounds… well you wouldn’t know right now with me being 8 months, but I have. Fitness is a huge part of mine and Casey’s relationship but working opposite schedules, it is hard to find time to head to the gym together and then when we do it is almost like he is just another person at the gym and I am not really spending time with him. SO… we decided to find a park near our house that had some hiking trails. This gives us some great one on one time together to just talk and to just be with each other without the distractions of technology. Best part of this… it is a FREE date!!

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8.    Groupon Date – Archery: If you live in the DFW area you need to check out the Groupon for Archery at Cimarron Ranch… I promise you, you will not be disappointed. If you do not live in this area, check out Groupon for great date night ideas in your area. You might be surprised what you find. When I found this Groupon, I had never shot a bow and arrow before but thought Casey would love to try this out… so we went. It happened to be one of the best dates we have had. We had so many laughs and learned so much about each other while learning how to shoot.

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9.     Gun Range – If you are not pro guns… go ahead and skip this one. We are very much pro guns in our house but I have never owned one until I married Casey, now we have probably 6-8 shot guns, a revolver and an automatic. I told Casey I wanted to learn how to shoot them so we decided to go on a date to the gun range (indoor, hopefully we can do an outdoor one soon).  Again, this can get pricey BUT if you shop on Groupon, you might be surprised at the prices. You can find Groupons that include a gun rental in case you do not own you own. This was a double date with our best friends and even though I suck at shooting, it was a GREAT night. Plus my husband really LOVED being there and after all the “girly” dates he goes on for me (like see Magic Mike at the Drive-In) he deserved to have a “manly” date!!

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10. Game Night: Last but certainty not least… game night!! We have board games in our hall closet that we have not played in ages (not really sure where they even came from to be honest) so we decided to pull them out, invite some friends over for dinner and had game night. It was a blast to stay in, have friends over, team up and get competitive (I love to win, but hey who loves to lose?!)… We would have had just as much fun if it was just us two, but adding a couple (or 2 couples) into the mix made it even more fun!! Group date nights are a blast for sure. Dust off those board games, call some friends and make a night out of it!!! (Sadly we don't have a picture from this night... boo)

Welp, that is all I have for you! I hope that something fun sticks out and you are able to enjoy a wonderful (budget friendly) date with the one you love!!

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Guest Post - Must Have Momma Oils

Hello fellow Hanging with the Huie’s readers! I’m so excited that Kendra gave me the opportunity to do a guest post while she’s temporarily away snuggling that sweet new baby of hers. My name is Ashley. I “met” Kendra on Instagram while we were both pregnant & due in September of 2013. We instantly bonded over pregnancy woes, labor pains, and all the first time Mom problems that are to be expected.

Let me tell you a little about myself – I’m Ashley (you can call me Ash). I’m married to Sundance (aka Diz), Momma to the cutest little boy, Ford, and dog-momma to the best golden retriever, Olivia. I work full time at a busy ophthalmology clinic and I’m a dōTERRA Wellness Advocate. I used to have a pretty active blog (AshandDiz), but then I became a Mom, so now I have a pretty active Instagram!

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I got involved in dōTERRA last year after Ford got his millionth (or at least it seemed that way) illness. Previously, I was the biggest nay-sayer of essential oils. I work in the medical field (for the last 9 years). I have a lot of faith in western medicine and have the utmost respect for medical professionals. BUT – I was ready to try something else, ANYTHING else, to try to keep Ford as healthy as he could be. My friend got me some samples to try for myself and for Ford and days later I was placing an order!

I’d like to share how dōTERRA essential oils have helped my family stay healthier and happier! I’m sure many of you have heard of essential oils and some of you may already be oil users. For those of you who are new to oils, let me explain (very, very) briefly: Essential oils are the natural aromatic compounds found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. Essential oils have many uses including emotional and physical wellness applications. dōTERRA offers a ton of single oils and many proprietary blends, among many other supplements and products. There are 3 ways to use essential oils: diffused aromatically, applied topically, or taken internally as dietary supplements. That is a very basic definition and I don’t want to completely overwhelm y’all, so, if you have questions about the science-y stuff – let me know in the comments or shoot me a message.

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Here are my MUST have momma dōTERRA essential oils & how I use them:

Lavender – I used to hate Lavender scented things until I tried dōTERRA’s lavender. Smells DIVINE. I use a few drops of Lavender in Ford’s bath every night. Helps to calm him down and get him ready for bed time. I also have it in a roller bottle (diluted with FCO – fractionated coconut oil) that I use all over like a moisturizer, especially if his skin is dry or chapped, or I’ll roll it on his hands and encourage him to smell them – it’s turned into our nightly bedtime game. Lavender is a great skin soother! I made my own body balm for Ford using olive oil, coconut oil (the regular kind), beeswax and Lavender and Frankincense – it makes his skin so incredibly soft and he smells so yummy! I will also put 3-4 drops in his diffuser at night to relax him if I’m not diffusing something else already.

On Guard – LOVE LOVE LOVE this oil. I have a lot of favorites, but this is definitely number 1! I use this on Ford morning and night. I have a roller bottle, diluted with FCO and put a swipe on each foot then rub them together. Ford is so used to this routine – he lifts his feet up whenever I lay him on the changing pad – just waiting for his oils! On Guard is great for immunity boosting. Toddlers (babies and children, in general) are walking petri dishes, so I try my best to keep Ford as healthy as possible by using On Guard on him. On Guard also smells divine in the diffuser – it is a blend of Wild Orange, Clove Bud, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus, and Rosemary essential oils. When diffused, On Guard can help protect against environmental threats. There are many other products in the On Guard line. I take a beadlet or 2 every day to boost my immune system too. The toothpaste is also amazing! Even Ford uses it!

Clove – this was one of the first oils that I tried that convinced me that dōTERRA essential oils WORKED. Ford had been cutting teeth – I had been giving him over the counter pain medications and he was still miserable. One drop of this oil (very, very, very diluted) on his gums and he was a happy camper. Clove is considered a HOT oil – meaning it can give a warming (hot) sensation when used it, so it must always be diluted. I always suggest that Mom or Dad try it first so you can get a sense of what it feels like. It’s like a tingly, almost numbing sensation. I’ve had painful canker sores in my mouth that Clove helped immediately. Another thing that convinced me was the price – I had spent close to $20 on OTC products that only lasted me a week or two and a bottle of Clove is only $18.67 – and I’ll probably have enough to last me a lifetime!

Balance – ohhh. Balance. It speaks to me. This one is for the Mommas! What new Mom doesn’t feel anxious or stressed on occasion? This oil is for you! When I first smelled it, I told my friend, “I don’t know what it is, but I love the way that smells. It’s smells so soothing.” Balance is a blend of Spruce Needle, Ho Wood, Frankincense, Blue Tansy Flower, and Blue Chamomile Flower essential oils in a base of Fractionated Coconut Oil. I use this every day! I put it on my wrists when I get ready in the morning and I have some at my desk at work so I can reapply when I start to get stressed. I joke that it tames my inner beast.

Fractionated Coconut Oil (aka FCO) – an absolute necessity for any family. dōTERRA essential oils are absolutely safe for everyone in the family as long as you use them correctly. Dilution is key when using essential oils with your babies, toddlers and children.  FCO is super light and the most commonly used carrier oil for topical applications. Won’t clog your pores, it’s odorless, colorless, and non-staining. There are differing opinions on dilution ratios for kids, but most common is 1 drop of essential oil to 1 TBS of carrier oil. I will admit I don’t follow that exactly. I use 10ml roller bottles and I probably put 10-15 drops of the essential oil and fill the rest with FCO. Except for Clove, I have a sample vial that I refill when needed with 1 drop of clove then top it off with FCO.

I hope you enjoyed this post about dōTERRA essential oils. If you have any questions you can leave a comment on this post, shoot me an email at amurie14@gmail.com, or find me on Instagram @ash_and_diz and send me a DM. You can visit my dōTERRA site (http://www.mydoterra.com/ashleyurie/) or check out the virtual product guide HERE (http://www.doterratools.com/documents/usproductguide.pdf).

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Thanks so much for reading!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Baby Brother is Here

I’d like you to meet………..

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Carson James Huie
Born April 30th at 11:36 weighing 8lbs 1oz. and 21 inches long

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He’s an absolute dream boat…….cuddly, sleepy, and all things precious. 
We’ve been dealing with some digestion issues so he’s had a few fussy days thrown in the mix but for the most part he’s such a content and happy baby!

He looks just like his dad and surprised us with a head full of thick dark brown hair. Weston was born with tons as well but Carson has even more hair than his brother did. It’s soft as velvet and we all have a hard time keeping our hands out of it. It’s a good thing he loves head rubs!

He’s just a day shy of being 3 weeks old and has changed so much since we brought him home.
He’s chunking up a bit more. Oh goodness he has the sweetest little leg rolls going on and his cheeks, I just can’t! He’s super alert and is starting to stay awake for longer stretches of time, sometimes even 4 hour stretches. He has awesome eye control and loves to gaze at you while you’re holding him and his eye……just dreamy! I’ll include an Instagram photo at the bottom of the post so you can see what I’m talking about.  He’s usually happy when he’s awake as long as he’s being held (just like his brother). He’ll let you put him down for little stretches of time, juuuuuuuuust long enough for you to make a cup of coffee but don’t you dare think about drinking it!  We’re going to have another baby wearing lover in our house which I don’t mind one bit!

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Big brother is adjusting perfectly to his new role which takes things to a whole new level of cuteness.
The 1st thing out of Weston’s mouth in the morning is “See baby brother!” The other day he was crouched down next to Carson calling him “little buddy”. We even get an “I love baby brother!” every now and then, unprompted I might add.

So far no signs of regression or jealousy. Kent and I try really hard to make sure he’s being heard and he’s getting one on one attention from both mama and dada. Over the weekend Kent stayed home with the baby so I could take Weston out on a little mama and son date. We had such a good time and honestly it was probably more beneficial for my heart than his. I miss my full days with him…..just Weston and I.

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We’ve jumped right back into the role of parents to a newborn. One of the many perks to having babies so close together. It’s not the same this time as Carson is a different baby but it’s different, in a good way.

Kent took 2 weeks off work to help us all get adjusted. On day 4 he was teasing about going back to work because things were going so smoothly at home. Compared to our 1st time around they really have been. Nights with a newborn are long. I’m tired. I spend most days in pjs. Showers and a hot cup of coffee are hard to come by but things are different…..more calm….more chill this time around.

As I mentioned above Carson has his fussy days. When it happens it’s because of his digestion issues but we’re trying a few things to work through it. We’ve had a good 3 day stretch so fingers crossed. 

I never experienced that sleepy newborn phase with Weston. Kent and I were pretty much in survival mode the 1st 6 months. To have a baby that sleeps for hours on end, is happy when he’s awake, and will let you put him down for small stretches of time is a whole new world. I actually organized a cabinet the other day. I’ve been able to stay on top of laundry and pick the house up. And the fact that I’m even typing this blog says a lot. Now I’ve been working on it off and on for almost a week but there was no way I would have been about to do any of this when Weston was a newborn. Thank goodness he was our 1st!

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Kent is back at work and things are settling into place. A new messy kind of place but hey we’ll get there. Kent’s parents are helping keep the ship afloat. They watch Weston during the week and even make dinner for us. This would be a whole different post without them. I haven’t worked up the courage to take both boys out solo just yet and I’m a little afraid of managing dinner and bedtime without Kent. Weston does great at bed time but that’s usually Carson’s witching hour so I’ve been a little reluctant to take on the challenge. Again with time………..we’ll get there!

Noticing the “We’ll get there trend”

I’m trying to not rush or push things if I don’t have to. Trying to give myself grace and just enjoy things as they are. Reminding myself to accept help and let go. I’m not perfect at doing these things but I’m trying. I’ll never get these precious weeks back, Carson so tiny. A free pass to nap and rest. Weston so excited about the newness of his little brother. I know just how fast it all goes by so I’m just taking it easy and breathing it all in.

Here are a few Instagram photos from our 1st few weeks as a family of four!

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