Monday, February 16, 2015

Mardi Gras and Claire's 4th Birthday Party

This holiday weekend was a busy time in our house. Our good friends decided to throw a Mardi Gras party and like all their parties it was fantastic. We used Uber, stayed out a little late, ate and drank a lot. We haven't gone to a party in quite some time so it was just really fun to let loose. My sister and brother in law were in town so they joined in on the fun. What helps with a late night hangover? What about a children's birthday party!

Besides dealing with a slight headache the next day I was really pumped on decorating and hosting Claire's 4th birthday party. We had never had a birthday party for her before and it really turned out to be a fun time for all. Claire was so very excited and had talked about her party for oh at least a month. For me it was just a really fun thing to plan. I found many YouTube and Pinterest DIY crafts and went to work last week! You honestly can find almost anything DIY on those two sites. We used Something Enchanted and hired Cinderella to come make a guest appearance.

The adults were able mingle and have some wine while the kids were focused on some serious princess time. Cinderella was kind enough to bring some crafts for the boys so they could feel included as well. Claire could not believe that Cinderella was in our house!

Overall the party was a blast and clean up wasn't too bad. I bought most of the party supplies from Party City and DIY'd most of the decor. Gotta hand it to Party City however, they literally have everything you could think of.

With two big events this weekend. I am excited to get back to normal and back into the old routine. I cannot believe Claire is 4 already, Happy Birthday Claire!

for more pictures read below....

Awesome spread no?

Nik just having a beer by himself. whomp whomp

You know my husband is having a good time when he gets the guts to dance with a bunch of girls
Tissue Pom Poms I made. oh yea!

the gorgeous cake my friend made for Claire, Looks professional no?

Claire having a little one on one time with Cinderella

Promise she is happy!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Paso Robles Wine Country

Tobin James Tasting Room

As you know I love wine. I think most people do naturally. This was our second year in a row traveling to a new wine region with my in-laws and it proved again to be a great time.  I knew Paso Robles was a great wine region but did not realize that there are over 300 wineries! Insane and exciting! We rented the most amazing house downtown called "on the vine". It was this old victorian home decorated as if it were in a Restoration Hardware catalog. I just loved it. You can find the rental here: Paso Robles Vacation Rentals. It was in the perfect location to walk to town or hop in our car to head to a winery.

Beautiful right?!

It was hard to go to wineries with the kids because it's boring for them so we were only able to go to 2 or 3 wineries a day before we had meltdown city. Nevertheless I felt like we got a nice sampling of the area and I plan to come back again soon (without the kids).

The wineries we went to included: Tobin James, J Dusi, Summerwood,  Cypher, Halter Ranch, Justin, and Daou (which we immediately joined their wine club).

The most beautiful winery award went to DAOU for sure, the views were incredible and the wines were some of the best I tried. Justin was very charming and we just love and have been wine club members for a couple of years. They all were very nice and for New Years it wasn't as crowded as you would think which was also nice.

We went to two excellent restaurants while there Thomas Hill Organics and Artisan. Both were just incredible!

The drive was so short for us and the town was quaint and relaxing without huge crowds. We didn't have time to try Firestone Brewery but we have added it to our list for our next getaway weekend. That's the great thing about living in California you can have an easy and quick trip without the hassle of flying!

Skip the jump to see more photos from our trip!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Fitness Tracker Review

at the Toys for Tots Jingle Bell Run/Walk

This year Nik and I participated in the Jingle Bell Run through Old Fig Garden in December. I walked with the kids since I do not enjoy running and Nik ran the 5k. As a family we try to stay active or rather Nik and I try to stay healthy and exercise as much as we can the kids just run around regardless. The holidays are always the worst for us however as we just drink wine and don't pay attention to what we eat. It's fun and I just shrug my shoulders and take care of the weight gain in January. Regardless of social obligations we continue to at least keep up our exercise regimen because nothing feels worse then going back to the gym after a couple months off. So we try to negate that feeling.

As you know I regularly swim, cross train, and attend the Bar Method as often as I can. I have moved from being a cardio junkie to actually working to burn fat and build muscle. Nik has taken up running and plans to run the Avenger Half Marathon at Disneyland in November. Or at least that is what I tell him his goal should be so we can go to Disneyland after.

For Christmas this year I got a Fitbit and I bought Nik the Tom Tom Cardio Watch to track his runs and pace. My old polar heart rate monitor bit the dust so I figured the fitbit could take its place no problem.

I loved my Polar Heart Rate Monitor  because it told me my heart rate and my calorie burn so it was excellent for days I didn't want to workout but I would see that I  only burned 200 calories and I would stay at least until I burned 300. It pushed me. The fitbit is different. I have the flex and it tracks my steps and sleep. I have it linked up to myfitnesspal and I have connected with some friends who have the Fitbit so we challenge each other to hit 10,000 steps a day. What it doesn't track is my fitness. When I use it in the Bar Method it shows I haven't exerted myself for that hour. I also can't swim with it (I couldn't swim with the polar either) It doesn't track my heart rate so I don't get the entire picture with Fitbit.

With that said I want to combine my heart rate monitor and my everyday fitness tracker. A couple watches come to mind if you are looking to invest in the same kind of product. The Misfit Shine is a watch that while doesn't have a heart rate monitor per say you can wear it in the pool and input your activities. However the one I truly want is the Fitbit Charge HR. It tracks calories, activities, steps climbed etc, but not sure if you can swim with it. It incorporates all aspects of a healthy lifestyle right at your fingertips.

So depending on what you are looking for there is a fitness watch out there for everyone. There are now even Health Insurance companies that are jumping on the trend and giving their members fitness trackers. One that I have heard about is Oscar Health Insurance in New Jersey and New York. Oscar uses technology and design to give members the tools to be proactive about their health...
With that said they actually give out a Misfit Fitness tracker to each new member! They also have an app that members can use to search for providers and have a 24/7 doctor on call feature. Very cool. 

So there you have it. Speaking of New Year's resolutions I just want to say that I have gone one month without wine! It was incredibly hard to do but I am so proud I was able to do it. Just a small challenge I gave myself as I went into the New Year. Until next time....