All posts by Stacey Lovett

Bella Bella Cupcakes…

Hey all you Kitsapers…there’s a new gig in town and man-o-man is it sweet.  This past weekend Bella Bella Cupcakes opened a retail shop in Silverdale and of course we had to hop right in the car for a wee bit of dessert.  Head on over to Oh Happy Days for the full report.  After that head on over to Bella Bella Cupcakes (10726 Silverdale Way) for a treat.  You can even host your child’s birthday party there…no muss no fuss and lots of sugar!

(photo courtesy of Bella Bella Cupcakes)
 
 

-Stacey is a mom of two and a wife of one who likes her family (good thing), traveling, reading celebrity gossip (I’m not ashamed), and cooking. You can read more about her and the crew at her blog Oh Happy Days.

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Christmas in Big Valley…

If you are residing in Kitsap County, love all things bright and beautiful, and have kids (though adults are equally welcome!) then Christmas in Big Valley is the place for you.  Christmas in Big Valley is a private residence on  Big Valley Road in Poulsbo that goes B-A-N-A-N-A-S for Christmas lights.  You actually get out of our car and do a walk through…past a tiny train carrying tiny passengers, up a lit trail to Santa’s workshop, stopping off at a sweet gazeebo, and then down through the angels.  My favorite is the “river” of lights cascading down the hillside.  Soooo beautiful! 

 

I must admit that my pictures are two years old (mama didn’t think to bring her camera this year) and do not do this place justice.  You must see it for yourself!!

Christmas in Big Valley is open Wed-Sun and charges $5 per adult.  Children under 12 are free.  Your ticket is good for unlimited visits/walk throughs until the end of the season.  Check out their website www.christmasinbigvalley.com for more infomation and directions.

Happy Holidays!!!
-Stacey is a mom of two and a wife of one who likes her family (good thing), traveling, reading celebrity gossip (I’m not ashamed), and cooking. You can read more about her and the crew at her blog Oh Happy Days.

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I Got Pampered…

Head on over to Oh Happy Days to get all the details of my experience at the fabulous new Gene Juarez Salon that just opened in ‘hood!

Ahhh…beauty!

-Stacey is a mom of two and a wife of one who likes her family (good thing), traveling, reading celebrity gossip (I’m not ashamed), and cooking. You can read more about her and the crew at her blog Oh Happy Days.

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Iron Girls

In September my friend Diana and I increased our chances of becoming Mothers of the Year by loading up our girls and run/walk the Iron Girl 5k.  The Iron Girl’s mission is to empower toward a healthy lifestyle. www.irongirl.com   The Iron Girl was held at Green Lake Park in Seattle this year.  The following is how it all went down. 

First we had to check in the day before.  When you check in early you have the opportunity to peruse the vendors at the expo. I have to say that this expo had some pretty decent swag and the girls did a good job loading their swag bags. Of course what vendor could refuse those faces… The alarm rang early the next morning, but the little troopers donned their shirts and race numbers and looked especially speedy even though it was before 7am…We made it to the start line with literally a minute to spare. Teams Chica Azul and The Lovett Girls were ready to rock this thing…I haven’t ever participated in a women’s only event before and I have to say that it was quite moving. The air was charged with good cheer and positive attitudes. Women of all ages, shapes and sizes were ready to run/walk. Moms and daughters held hands and wore matching shirts. As I crossed the start line with my two girls hanging onto my hands I got misty eyed at how proud I was of them for being willing to embark on this little journey with me. And I was so so proud at how awesome they did…running about half the course and always being upbeat. A even got tripped and fell at one point, but she brushed it off, braved her tears and kept going. Such little troopers…As we crossed the finish line the girls ran their hardest, we clasped hands again and all finished with an awesome time of 51 minutes. Diana and G were right on our heels and as they crossed the line Diana started to cry because she too was so proud of her little girl’s first race…and then had to laugh as G turned to her and said, “Whoohoo! Now I get water!” We all received gold medals and the girls proudly wore them for all to see… It was a wonderful mother-daughter experience and the perfect opportunity to show our 6 and 8 year old girls that we females are strong, powerful, and can do anything they set out to accomplish! 

I encourage you to try a “race” with your kids.  There are all types of fun runs around the area and most are geared to families.  Often times proceeds go to a good cause, so not only are you showing your children that health and movement are important, but you may be helping others in need.  Plus the feeling of finishing is such a sweet reward.  As I tell my girls, “We don’t have to win.  We just have to finish with a smile on our faces!” 

-Stacey is a mom of two and a wife of one who likes her family (good thing), traveling, reading celebrity gossip (I’m not ashamed), and cooking. You can read more about her and the crew at her blog Oh Happy Days.

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Olympia…Not Just a Law Makin’ Place…

 You know what is lying not too far from Kitsap County?  Olympia…our state’s capital.  And you know what it is filled with?  Family fun!  For us, Olympia had always just been a place to pass by on the way to Portland.  However, last September on a rainy (dare I even say the word for fear that it may come back?) Sunday we hopped in the car and went exploring.  This is what we found:
 
Wolf Haven is a wolf conservation where you can get up close and personal with the rehibilated animals.  They offer kid friendly tours on the hour and also provide day camps and howl-ins (evening programs).  It really is quite interesting to learn about these spectaluar animals.  Wolf Haven is located southeast of Olympia about 15 minutes or so.  They are open limited days in the summer and only on the weekends in the fall/winter.  It is definatly worth checking out.
I wouldn’t touch the real live wolves either if I were you girls…
I don’t know who looks meaner…the wolves or the girls…
He sure had a lot to say. In fact I think he was saying, “Hey tour group…get out of my space!”…
We learned from the pros…
Our next stop was the Washington State Capitol building…the birthplace of our state’s laws. http://www.ga.wa.gov/visitor/  The Capitol is a massive, beautiful building.  You can either take a self guided tour or jump in on a guided one.  They hand out packets for the kids and welcome visitors with open arms. 
George and his peeps…
A’s favorite part of the capital was the green, springy grass. “It is sooo beautiful!” “Look how it sproungs back up after you step on it!” “I love to run on it!” History making, shmistory making…the Capitol’s got grass!!!
Right across the street from the Capitol is the Hands On Children’s Museum  http://www.hocm.org/  This museum is a little gem.  We have been going since the girls were wee little babes.  It is small, but very well run, interactive, and kids love it.  And I just noticed on their website that it appears they now have an outdoor exhibit and are currently building a brand new facitlity that will open in the fall of 2011. 
Being amused…
There is also a great little bakery, Wagner’s Bakery, right around the corner from the museum in case you need to grab lunch or a sweet treat.  Not to mention The Lemon Grass.  The Lemon Grass is up the street a bit and quite possibly the best Thai food I have ever eaten.  Yummmyummm!
 
The final stop on our tour of Olympia was Cabela’s off I-5 in Lacy, WA.  While we are not big outdoor hunter/fisherman (and by not big I mean not at all), Cabela’s is pretty cool for the mere fact that it is filled with all sorts of wild animals.  They may not be alive, but they are still pretty darn impressive.  And you can purchase just about anything you would ever need pertaining to the outdoors.
Look out…Look OUT…LOOK OUT…
And that concludes our whirlwind tour of our state’s Capitol.  I know there is much more too see (like the outdoor farmer’s market for one), but we only had a day.  So go ahead and give Olympia a snoop through.  I don’t think you’ll be disappointed in what you just might find.

-Stacey is a mom of two and a wife of one who likes her family (good thing), traveling, reading celebrity gossip (I’m not ashamed), and cooking. You can read more about her and the crew at her blog Oh Happy Days.

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My Girls’ Papa…

One of my earliest memories is of when I was five years old and unfortunately it isn’t a happy memory.  I vividly remember my mom setting me up on top of the washing machine and telling me that my grandfather had passed away.  Her father.  Growing up I never really thought of not having a grandfather.  My dad’s dad was still alive when I was young, but my dad is the second youngest of eight so by the time I could really remember he was elderly and his health was failing.

However, now that I have my own children I often wonder what it would have been like to have a grandfather that was active in my life.  Luckily my two girls (and subsequently my brother’s two boys) are able to experience this joy.  My dad is very active in their lives and we love him for it.  He is the only grandfather the girls have since they don’t know their paternal grandfather.  We are lucky that my mom and dad only live two states away…a relatively easy drive, an easy flight.  We are lucky that we get to see them at least every 4 months or so and that the girls get to spend quality time with their Papa. 

Papa is a cowboy and when we go to Montana the girls enjoy riding horses, helping feed the cows, and attending “Nana and Papa Horse and Cow Camp”…by themselves…for a whole week.

Papa is handy.  Whenever he comes to visit us we have a “Papa Do” list at the ready.  Papa loves his girls…the grown up one and the still growing ones.  Papa is creating memories with my girls that I didn’t get to have and for that I will be forever grateful.

I have always believed that I am the mother that I am because of my own mother’s influence.  I also believed that I chose the man I married because I knew what true love looked like.  I chose a man that loves his own girls just as much as I was (and still am) loved by my own father.  So on this upcoming Father’s Day I want to take a moment to say “I love you Dad and THANK YOU for being such a wonderful Papa!”

-Stacey is a mom of two and a wife of one who likes her family (good thing), traveling, reading celebrity gossip (I’m not ashamed), and cooking. You can read more about her and the crew at her blog Oh Happy Days.

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Dumb Bunny…

Last week I heard the phrase “rabbits are a**holes” come from my sweet husband’s lips.  Really?  When did we arrive at this point? 

I guess it all started with a little thing we like to call a garden.  Two years ago we had a garden and the production was less than stellar.  This year Jason has been working very hard on creating a space that plants will want to come and hang out a bit.  Where they will invite their friends and have a plant party and reproduce (yeah…like one of those parties in the 1970’s I’ve heard about).  Instead, it turns out, something other than plants is having a party in our garden.  The bunnies have moved in and they are throwing one heck of a rager.  They sent out the evite, waited for the cloak of darkness, and made their move.  I am surprised that we didn’t find tiny beer cans and condom wrappers next to the gnawed off lettuce.  Or a little Lindsay Lohen bunny passed out next to the peas.  Those bunnies know how to whoop it up and in turn our garden was rapidly becoming their own personal above ground rave. 

However, the operative word here is WAS.  Jason shall not be defeated, especially by something so small and cute and furry and defenseless.  He has erected a four foot fence in order to keep the little party animals out.  The first night, however, security had been breached.  They found a hole and the next morning we found our bean plants missing.  Dumb bunnies (us, not them).  Now the fence has been buried and the holes have been patched.  If those bunnies think they are going to get a free meal off us they have another thing coming.  We will take back the night and we shall be victorious.  Yes the spoils will be ours.  Ours I say. 

And mark my words when I say that never again, in this house, will a rabbit be refered to as an a**hole.  Unless, of course, we are talking about the time I got bit by the neighbor’s pet rabbit and it drew blood.  Or the time our cat brought a baby bunny in through the cat door and it pooped all over the trim board in our playroom.  Or the time I applied to be one of Hef’s bunnies and didn’t get picked.  But I digress…that’s a whole ‘nother story for a whole ‘nother time.

-Stacey is a mom of two and a wife of one who likes her family (good thing), traveling, reading celebrity gossip (I’m not ashamed), and cooking. You can read more about her and the crew at her blog Oh Happy Days.

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Not So Taxing Travels…

Since it is April 15th, aka Tax Day, I thought it only fitting to talk about taxes.  I’m not really the one that is responsible for the taxes in our home.  OK OK…I’m totally not the one who is responsible for the taxes in our home.  In fact, I don’t even think I know how to do the taxes.  However, I do know how to travel.  And traveling with kids has the possibility of being taxing.  How’s that for a tie in?  I’m smooth like butter.  Am I right or am I right?  All right, all right, all right…I’ll get on with it. 

I love to travel.  I think it is safe to say that my husband loves to travel as long as it doesn’t center around huge crowds and crazy lines.  And I am happy to say that we are raising two little girls who love to travel.  Granted they are not up to Jolie-Pitt Clan standards, but we’ve made our mark in a quite a few places.  It helps that both our families live out of state (Maine and Montana) and in order to see Grammy KK or Nana and Papa we have to hop a train, plane, or automobile.   As a family we have conquered New England, Chicago, parts of the Pacific Coast, Hawaii,  the I-90 corridor that stretches through Washington, Idaho, Montana, and beyond.  We have had blown-out diapers at 30,000 feet,  gone comando at O’Hare,  experienced crying jags that have lasted for miles and miles, and had more roadside potty stops than I care to remember.  But we have also had some wonderfully exciting, totally memorable times.   Through all this we have learned, as parents, a very important travel lesson….ANYTHING GOES!!  That would mean unlimited snacks, bribery, and hours of DVD movies.  ANYTHING GOES goes a long way in saving our sanity.  “What?  You want to watch Barbie and the Christmas Carol for the fifth time?  Be my guest!”  “What?  You want to eat 18 pounds of red licorice and then later puke it up in the Hawaiian bushes?  Knock yourself out!”  “What?  You want a brand new Leapster game just because we are packing the carry on?  Whatever your little heart desires sweetums!”  If it keeps ’em quite and entertained, then it is cool with me.

Mind you, we do not use this philosophy in our every day life,  but we do when it comes to travel.  As a result, we are all happier for it.  Mama’s happy, Daddy’s happy, little one’s are happy, and fellow passengers are happy.  Happy, happy, happy.  We also never have to say, “We are never traveling again.  That was a nightmare!”  We have trained them well…or have they trained us?  ANYTHING GOES!!!

All packed up and ready for adventure…

What is your favorite “traveling with kids” trick?  I would love to add a few new ones to our arsenal!

-Stacey is a mom of two and a wife of one who likes her family (good thing), traveling, reading celebrity gossip (I’m not ashamed), and cooking. You can read more about her and the crew at her blog Oh Happy Days.

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The Shiniest of Them All…

Did you know that tooth fairy money is special and can’t be replaced?  Well it is and it can’t.  You know how I know?  I know because 17 days ago I was fishing poop quarter out of the toilet.  Yeah…my life is glamorous like that!  I am pretty sure Oprah will be calling me any minute to appear on a show titled either “A Behind the Scenes Look at Glamorous Mothers” or “Why Moms Drink”.  I will sit on the couch with our fair lady and recount my morning.  I can see it now…it’s going to be awesome.   The following is how it all went down.

Cast of characters:  Our youngest daughter, age 5, known on this blog as A.   Our oldest daughter, age 7, known on this blog as L.

Time:  Friday morning, 8:58am, we leave for school at 9am mind you.

A had lost her tooth the day before and that night the tooth fairy had left two quarters under her pillow.  She packed those quarters around all morning and apparently left them in the bathroom at some point in time.  L decided she “had to go” right before we were ready to walk out the door.  As we waited for her to finish up we suddenly heard, through the closed bathroom door, the distinctive clink of metal on porceline.  Apparenlty, A’s money had jumped off the bathroom counter, jumped into L’s hand, jumped out of L’s hand, and jumped into the poop filled toilet.  Oh the tears, oh the drama!  No biggie I said, I will replace it with a new quarter.  NOOOOOOOOO!!!! (and I do mean NOOOOOOOOO!!!!) tooth fairy money is special Mommy and you can’t replace it.  TEARS TEARS TEARS! 

So a plan was formed.  As the children were at school I would reach into the toilet (with gloves), fish out the quarter, and soak in bleach for 3 hours.  By the time A returned from class it will be as good as new.  And I did just that.   After the required amount of soaking I must say that even though handling poop quarter gives me a slight case of the heebie jeebies, it is quite possibly the shiniest quarter in circulation.  Not to mention quite possibly the cleanest.  Do you know how dirty money really is?  I do…I’ve seen it first hand.  

After this incident, I feel I have now paid my mother dues and I should get a free pass for the rest of the month.  If reaching in a toilet at 9:15 in the morning doesn’t get you that, I don’t know what does!

-Stacey is a mom of two and a wife of one who likes her family (good thing), traveling, reading celebrity gossip (I’m not ashamed), and cooking. You can read more about her and the crew at her blog Oh Happy Days.

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Don’t Bite The Hand…

Our oldest daughter (age 7) is a nail biter.  No not the kind of kid that does wacky stunts therefore producing nail biting induced fear from her parents.  Quite the opposite in fact…she’s a cautious one.  She, instead, is the type of nail biter that bites her nails down to little stumps.  Every time I went to cut her nails I noticed that they were already shorn to alarming lengths (or length lack thereof).  At first I suspected she was ripping them so I regaled her with, “Stop ripping your nails.  They are going to start bleeding and they’ll hurt!”  It didn’t work.  Apparently she is at home with the sight of her own blood.  Then I realized she was biting them.  I pulled on my Parenting 101 hat to get to the root of the problem.

 “Honey…are you biting your nails because you are scared of something?” Nope! 

“Honey…are you biting your nails because you are nervous at school?” Nope! 

“Honey…are you biting your nails just to bite your nails?”  Ding ding ding…winner winner chicken dinner!

 “Why?  Why would you do that?” was my ever so patient inquiry. 

“I just can’t seem to resist!” was her ever so patient response. 

I tried another tactic.  You know the one.  The one where you instill the fear in your child.  The fear of germs.  Little gross disgusting germs that reside on your hands and fingers and each and every time you put your fingers in your mouth you are putting those germs into your body…dadadadum. 

“But I just can’t seem to resist!” was her ever so patient response. 

So off to Wal Mart we go (us and about 8,000 other people on a Saturday).  After much searching I finally found what I was looking for.  A little bottle of clear fingernail polish that tastes like bleck and that will cure my daughter of this nasty habit.  And the upside…she couldn’t wait to have it!  Oh little does she know what it was going to taste like.  I remember the bitter sour concoction my mom used to paint it on my nails (wait…maybe it runs in the family?). 

When we got home she ever so eagerly offered up her fingers and as they dried she was almost giddy.  At first taste she said, “It’s spicy!”, stuck out her tongue, and proceeded to stick out her finger for her younger sister to try.  She then continued to lick them periodically throughout the night and couldn’t wait for Daddy to get home so he could taste them too.  Not really the point there sister.  You are supposed to keep your fingers OUT of your mouth…not continue to belly up to the proverbial bar for more! 

The next morning she also informed me that another good thing about the fingernail polish was that she won’t want to eat a booger when she is wearing it.  I guess we will be killing two nasty habits with one $3.87 bottle of bleck!  Score one for Team Mommy…whoot whoot!                                        

-Stacey is a mom of two and a wife of one who likes her family (good thing), traveling, reading celebrity gossip (I’m not ashamed), and cooking.  You can read more about her and the crew at her blog Oh Happy Days.

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