The Art of the Brick

The Art of the Brick is an amazing exhibition for the entire family.


The Art of the Brick is an amazing exhibition for the entire family.  Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) is the current stop for this vibrant and whimsical global touring exhibition of artist Nathan Sawaya.  CNN has rated The Art of the Brick as one of the “Must See Exhibitions”, and after experiencing it with my family, I have to agree.

In our family, we have ages ranging from infant to preteen.  Sometimes it is hard to find a family activity that is truly fun for the entire family, while still being budget friendly.  Thanks to Groupon offering an OMSI annual family membership at more than half off, we were able to have the entire family go to The Art of the Brick for only $18 (that’s less than an adult entrance without a membership).

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Best Toddler Friendly Adventures

Carson and dad Longbeach edited 2016

One of the biggest things I have learned being a mom is that you have to create adventures for you and your child, each and every day.  It is important that we make learning fun and exciting.  We are fortunate to be able to explore with our toddlers and teach them many of the adventures that the world has to offer.

But let’s be honest, sometimes we get in a rut or just need to get out of the house.  And living where we do, in the Northwest, we have so many great places we can visit both indoors and outdoors within a very short drive.  For those times where you are having an adventure mind block, here is a list of great places for toddlers to roam free (kinda) and explore. Continue reading


How to Survive Girl Scout Cookie Season

Two families. One Girl Scout. One large cookie goal.


When I was growing up, I was never a Girl Scout. It was something I perceived as clickish and it was a group that my parents decided not to put my sister and I in. There was also definite expenses to being a Girl Scout and that was more of a want and not a need. My parents were young and on a budget. Since I was never part of it, I didn’t miss anything.

Well, my life is extremely different from my parents. They had kids in their early and mid 20’s and I had mine in my very late 30’s. I also have two step-kids which makes life very different and ever-changing. I know nothing else than being a step parent because I have had the blessing to be a step parent twice. And I have to say, I wouldn’t change a thing. I have loved all four of my step kids more than words can say.  They are all truly amazing in their own unique ways.

cookie zone

Now back to the topic of Girl Scout Cookie Season. How to survive this crazy season?

My stepdaughter changed troops this year.  Her new troop is absolutely amazing.  They are one of the top troops in the state.  They know how to make a difference in the community, develop young strong leaders and sell cookies.  Last year my Girl Scout sold about 250 boxes of cookies.  This year, she decided her goal would be 1000.  Now this is a big jump, but with amazing leadership and a drive I have never seen in her before, I know she can make it.

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Strabismus, a childhood journey

imageThis is me.  Yes, I was an adorable child.  This is probably my very favorite childhood picture.  I was happy and energetic.  I was a little bit of an imp, and I prided myself in that.  I was pretty much a healthy child, but I was born with a condition called Strabismus (“struh-BIZ-mus”). describes Strabismus as a vision problem in which both eyes do not look at the same point at the same time.  Basically, strabismus is an eye condition that makes the eye muscles not work together, which causes double vision.  Strabismus is most often diagnosed during early childhood and it is thought to be genetic.  Continue reading