Disclaimer: Posts on this blog may include affiliate links or reviews in which I was asked to review an item or service in exchange for compensation and/or free items. All opinions, however, are 100% my own. This post is brought to you by KidloLand, makers of an app for your smart devices.

Screen time. I know. Before you start mom bashing because I let my kids have screentime, hear me out. Being a mom of four, you sometimes have to call on your village. My village just happens to include the iPad, phones, and (yes) TV. Frankly, my parents let me watch a healthy amount of popular kids’ TV shows that I let the kids watch still today – and not to boast, but I don’t feel harmed by it at all. That’s just part of why I am perfectly fine with the time our kids get in front of a screen.


The twins enjoying a nursery rhyme at the mall.

Especially when that time is focused on educational activities. With apps like KidloLand, I am confident that the girls (and even sometimes the Bigs) are getting valuable learning experiences. All it took to get me to sign up for a trial of this specific app was this description:

KidloLand is loved by kids under 5 years. Kids can learn ABCs, animals, fruits, vegetables, shapes and more with the help of 800+ interactive nursery rhymes, songs, stories and educational activities.

800+? Yup. There will be no “I’m bored” with this app. New content is added every month and you can try the app for free before you buy (a one-year subscription is $39.99).

For the twins, their favorites are the nursery rhymes because they love to dance to the beat of the music and point out things they recognize (like dogs and apples) as the videos play. Ava is keyed in on the number activities while Isla likes to play with the letters. No surprise there!




Now, to be completely honest, I had to wipe the iPad of our videos and photos in order to get the extra features to download. Try preaching patience to 21-month-olds while you do that. (You have to download the activities in the app which makes sense since there are so many. The download speed at the point in our house furthest away from the internet was max 30 seconds an activity – and I promise you our internet is super slow there.)

Check out the girls playing “Tasty Alphabets” – a fun ABC puzzle game with friendly monsters to gobble up the letters.

To give KidloLand a try, use the link that best matches your smart device of choice:

iOS (iTunes)

Google Play Store

Amazon App Store

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Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole

Doing the Whole30 sure has been eye-opening. I’m eleven days in and super happy with the changes (non scale victories) and most of all, the food. Especially my favorite meal of the day, breakfast! I’m all about quick wins for the morning, so I spent some time today prepping this sweet potato breakfast casserole to eat throughout the week.

Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole

Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole

To make this savory (Whole30 Compliant) breakfast (that I’ve also had for lunch and dinner), you’ll need:

  • 8×8 pan and a cookie sheet, each greased with EVOO spray
  • 2 large sweet potatoes – 1 cut in thin slices and 1 cut in cubes
  • Veggies of choice (recommend onions, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, or spinach)
  • 8 large eggs

Start off by roasting your sweet potato slices in the 8×8 pan (line it with the slices) and your vegetables on the cookie sheet. This happens best in a 425-degree oven for 20 minutes (recommend stirring the veggies at 10 minutes in).


While the veggies are roasting, whisk the eight eggs together. If you like spicy, mix in some red pepper flakes or garlic.

Once the veggies are roasted, pile them into the casserole dish on top of the sweet potato slices (they’re going to serve as the “base” / what bread normally would do here).

I really could have just ate these veggies…


Now pour the whisked eggs over the veggies and put the casserole dish back in the oven for another 20 minutes. You’ll want to be sure the egg cooks all the way through.


You can now cut and store this (I still was enjoying four days in), eating it when you need a quick-win meal.

If you are not doing the Whole30, you might be all like WHERE IS THE CHEESE?!?!? Let me tell you, as a cheese addict, I was skeptical at first. Try it first, the sweet potato gives it something special, something that cheese would cover up. Just trust me.

If you are doing the Whole30, perhaps you’ll want to pair this with some fruit or top with a compliant hot sauce. Totally recommending both. This is hearty and delicious!

What is your favorite breakfast casserole? 

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Giveaway for The Picket Fence: Pittsburgh Baby Stores

Disclaimer: Posts on this blog may include affiliate links or reviews in which I was asked to review an item or service in exchange for compensation and/or free items. All opinions, however, are 100% my own. This post, The Picket Fence: Pittsburgh Baby Stores, is one such post.

Okay, we forgot to call me out for not posting that the twins are 21 months old? Hint, the answer is yinz all did. How did we let another month pass up? Next thing you know, these two will be off to college and this ‘lil blog will be a thing of the “ancient” past. But for real, there are only two more monthly posts for these baby milestones left, sigh.

But I’m not going to lie, as I’ve been checking out the goodies over at The Picket Fence (a Pittsburgh baby store), I’m almost tempted to keep posting monthlies of the twinnies in all the cute things.

Because seriously, yinz. Please try to convince me these shirts aren’t winners.

the Picket FenceIt’s tough work trying to get them to cooperate for these milestone photos. Things were “easy” back when they were just itty bitty babies! I mean, back then I didn’t have a ‘lil Yinzer yelling at me for interrupting ‘Momo’ time.


But back when things were “easy” with these milestones, her ‘lil sister wasn’t rocking the ‘Bradshaw’…


…and we didn’t have the sweet voices in the morning of twin language (which is totally a real thing – they talk to each other differently than they do to us)…or wrestling baby fights…or “Sissy Baby I-ya” being said over and over over over…and said Sissy wasn’t coloring on all the things while her ‘lil big sister was begging mommy for “Diet Coke” (which is really my water with a straw, but Ava’s favorite thing to say)…or so many more adorable things.

Ah, twinnies. Another milestone down, which means we are that much closer to another birthday. Might be time for me to get back to browsing Picket Fence for some more cute things for you! xoxo


A ‘lil more about Picket Fence: Pittsburgh baby stores like this have a lot to offer ‘lil Burghers’ clothing needs. The Picket Fence is an adorable boutique with clothes for kids and women, as well as unique gifts. They are located on Walnut Street in Shadyside, PA and offer online shopping (which is how I ordered the onesies for this post). Check out what other ‘Burghers are picking as their favorites over on Instagram with #FenceFaves.

Visited their site and see something you loveYou’re in luck. I am giving away $50 to spend online at The Picket Fence. Giveaway ends January 21 at 11:59 PM. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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It’s official, 2017 is here and I am ready to take it on. This year, my word of the year will be faithful. My goals will be around ways I can be faithful in all areas of my life, starting yesterday!


It’s a brand  new slate, time to get focused and work on the things that matter (and let go of the things that don’t). This year, I will be focusing on being faithful in the following areas (psss – they’re now all categories in the blog menu, too!):

  1. Faith. Our church (family) makes this one easy, it’s the things that get thrown at us (see the end of 2016) that make it a struggle. I plan to spend more time praying, worshipping (learning guitar, too), reading the Bible, and journaling.
  2. Family. We’ve carved out nights that are dedicated to our family and I plan to keep family a priority. Putting the phones down, snuggling more, reading together, enjoying time with our extended family whenever possible.
  3. Food. For years, I’ve had a crazy relationship with food. I love food, hands down. The thing is, it doesn’t exactly love me the same way it did 10 years ago and it definitely loves me less than it did 3-4 years ago when I had been on my weight loss journey. Today, I started to partake in the 3-Day Refresh (a Beachbody program) in preparation for the Whole30. If you’re interested, I’m reading the Whole30 book, cooking out of the cookbook, and reading “Made to Crave” while doing the devotional, too. It’s time to break the habits and get back to my good eats!
  4. Fitness. You might have missed it – I am in training for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon again. Yup. I’ll also be doing YFit two nights a week. There will be stories and struggles to share, I’m sure.
  5. Fun. Even with things being tight, it’s important that we still have fun. There are lots of memories to be had – I need to be faithful to saying YES to the good opportunities for our family. We’ll continue to share reviews of things and places we discover along the way.

So, what’s your word for 2017?

(Disclaimer: Posts on my blog may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own.)

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Hello 2017

As we welcomed 2017, the day was spent with our church and then our family. Hopefully the year started peacefully for you, too. 

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Thriving: My 2016 Word of the Year

Back in January, I set my intentions. I wanted to focus on thriving, to become a better version of me. There were goals around family, faith, fun, fitness, and food. Now is the time to talk about how that went…right?

The year was pretty eventful in our house and family. Heck. This month has been pretty eventful for us. If you read my list of things I “googled” this year that I didn’t think I would, you know some of these things. At this point, we’ve had almost every appliance that came with the house fail (three remain, one could have been deadly). We watched all four kids grow by leaps and bounds. Greg and I both changed jobs, learning to navigate this new way of life, together. My blog and small business grew, but nowhere near the goals I had set for myself. Through the highs and lows, we’ve stuck together. Sure, there was some yelling and some craziness, but we are stronger together and thriving.

When it comes to faith, I can honestly say I’ve never felt more faithful, even in these recent times of hectic life. We’ve prayed harder than ever and been blessed (in both tests and triumphs). We’ve gained family in our church friends. Evan joined Rangers and we joined a home group, studying relationships. I dug more into my journaling bible and picked up a guitar to try to worship more. This was definitely a plus one in the thriving category.

There was lots of fun to be had, between trips as a family (NYC and Wisconsin) and me for business (San Francisco and Orlando) and the daily routines of imaginative play and Sesame Street watching. The fun factor was definitely a thriving area.

The first parts of the year in the way of fitness were rough to say the least. I was training for the Y’s April 5k, only to wake up the morning of to two inches of snow. My brain said pull the covers back up and I did so for almost six months. Finally, in August I ran my first 5k post-partum and took first place in my age division (cough cough). Next came YFit and the decision to start training for the 2017 Pittsburgh Half (and now my first public admission that I can’t wait to follow me there again). Frankly, I started and ended the year weighing the same, wearing the same clothes (ugh). We’ll go with fitness being a work in progress but thriving nonetheless.

And food. See above, eh? I tried, but even with Greg’s Garden, I just couldn’t get the food thing right. Over the next few days, I plan on reading a book about relationships with food and perhaps following a refresh up with an updated way of eating, too. Other than the awesomeness that was the garden, the thriving could have been better here.

All in all, tests and everything, tonight I look back at 2016 and am glad for the lessons learned and memories made. It was truly a great year of thriving.


Bonus: Here is my 2016 Best Nine from Instagram. Want to get your’s? Go to and connect your Instagram. Be sure to follow me there, too!

2016 best nine

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Things I Googled in 2016

2016. So many of us are ready to throw in the towel on this year. I get it, trust me. The last few weeks have been ridiculous around here (and I’m not even factoring in the amount of celebrity deaths). This was the year that I googled things I never imagined I’d need to. I figured it would be intriguing to look back at some of the things I searched online as a testament to how this year has been for us. (Note – some of the things I googled were not so awesome, consider this as you read on.)

How to stop a water heater from leaking. This one was just this week. Luckily I was able to quickly find a how-to guide that I could read to Greg as he rushed to save our pantry from flooding. Related…

What does my home warranty ACTUALLY cover? Because that first one up there has me rethinking having the one we have. We seriously had almost 10 calls this year to our HSA, each one costing us AT LEAST 4 times the deductible when they tell us over and over that it’s supposed to cover all the things. Heh.

What to do when your carbon monoxide detector goes off. Ugh. This was one scary night for us – and I’m a bit ashamed I didn’t know what to do before this night happened. Thank goodness we were able to resolve the issue and get back in the house, even if the fix ended up costing us almost as many k’s as we have kids (and yes, that’s with the help of the home warranty).

How to transfer 401k funds to a new 401kIn line with getting a new job at a new company, I had to think about what to do with the finances I’d been saving from my seven years at the one I started the year working for. What a blessing to be able to search for something like this!

How to handle anaphylactic shock. This was one I googled while Arianna sat in the hospital bed at Children’s, covered in hives and with labored breathing. Who knew that an allergy to pine could have led to one long night and an epi pen.

What does cellulitis look like? Don’t. Just don’t google that one. It’s gross. I’ll tell you that. Last week, Evan got a bump on his finger where a paper cut once was. It grew into a bump / infection and I shared the photo on Facebook. Yuck. After a week of antibiotic, he reports his finger is back to normal color and size, yay!

While we’re at scary kid stuffBlind cord tragedies. Every single day since that horrible day, I look at Ava and whisper prayers of thanks. I still hear her noises and still wince at blind cords, but I’m getting better. She’s got no clue how close that was or how precious she is, but you better believe she’s going to know.

Oh, and that other kid thingschool accident insurance. Evan hit his head at school which was innocent but led to a claim with the school’s insurance. Looking back, I’m glad we did it financially, but the whole process took way longer than the hospital around here liked. Sigh.

And because no child left behind…What does Croup sound like and Are there dangers to recurring croup? As if this week wasn’t hectic enough, Isla caught a cold and woke in the middle of the night with the croupy cough she had in October  (just before I left Greg to solo parent Arianna’s birthday while I was out living the Dreamforce). Of course, she was yelling for Greg, and the fact he was working didn’t help her frustration or the cough. I’m writing this while monitoring Ava for a fever and Isla’s cough, so hopefully morning brings better news and I forget to update this post, eh? Morning update, apparently having it before makes it possible for her coughs to be a little seal like. She woke up full of spirit! Hurrah!

How to change your political party on voter registration. Some harsh things happened in this election and I thought about changing my party. In the end, I didn’t, so if you want to un-friend me for being one of those people, whatever. You don’t know how I voted, but just because I am one of “them” you probably don’t care to hear, either. I didn’t, solely because I refuse to let a word or an affiliation define me. I chose my party originally because of what it stood for. Now, with that said, if the next four years are as crazy as I am prepared for, this may change.

How to Succeed as an Uber Driver. This one has been a blessing to our family. Bringing Uber into our mix has been helpful – a job Greg can do when time permits or when money is tight (like now – we’re trying to get as many drives in as we can, safely).

How to sell Girl Scout Cookies. This is another one that I should have known, but with a motivated girl, I needed to make sure I had all my bases covered. In case you’re wondering, Arianna was a super seller (among the top in Western PA) and will be selling again, starting in January. Resolutions, begone!

Twin First Birthday Party Ideas. I’d never have imagined we’d have twins. Being able to google this and come up with cute ways to celebrate their day was a fun one.

What does a 2006 Dodge Durango engine cost? Because December wasn’t crazy enough, the Durango died in the school driveway when Greg was on his way to Arianna’s Christmas program. Dead. As in getting it towed back home next week to sit until we can either afford another car payment (it’s paid off, of course) or the $ to fix it. Blargh.

Through it all, through it all…it is well. Looking forward to 2017!


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Questburgh Escape Room

Disclaimer: Posts on this blog may include affiliate links or reviews in which I was asked to review an item or service in exchange for compensation and/or free items. All opinions, however, are 100% my own. This post, Questburgh Escape Room, is one such post. 

As a blogger, words come easy. But putting words to how much fun we had at Questburgh Escape Room here in Pittsburgh is never going to do our experience justice. When the owner, Gino, first reached out to me about this escape room, I was excited, but I had no idea the level of awesome we were about to encounter.


On day two of our Pittsburgh Staycation, I met up with my brother Jack and took the kids over to the South Side to check out Questburgh. Jack and I had heard of escape rooms before and knew we’d be problem solving, but we had no idea how cool this trend was.

Before getting started, we hung out in the comfortable welcome area while I talked to Gino and Eric (our guide) about escape rooms.


Gino explained that they [escape rooms] got their start in Japan about 10 years ago then became a big thing in Europe about seven years ago. It isn’t uncommon for cities the size of Pittsburgh to have close to a hundred of these rooms – our’s has 13.

In case you’re not familiar with escape rooms, here’s my description. Teams (of 2+, Questburgh recommends 2-6 for their rooms with 2 adults to go along with kids younger than 10) are placed in a locked room. After a series of puzzles that involve logical thinking, searching for keys or clues, and team work, you “escape” to another room to get out of and then another and perhaps another. There is usually a time limit (60 minutes or so) and the possibility to get clues from the guide who is monitoring you via video. If you don’t make it out, your guide comes to the rescue.

With the kids, we did the Pirates room, a quest with a sea-faring theme. While I won’t be giving away the hints to solve the room faster than we did (53 minutes), I’ll tell you that the solutions took physical effort, logical thinking, and trying not to think too hard (some things, like a key on a chain, were obvious and took three of us to discover). There is more than one room, each detailed with pirate-themed decor. Everything was on point!

After we solved all the puzzles and unlocked the final treasure, we couldn’t stop raving about our experience. It would be great for family outings, date nights, or business team building. All four of us played a part in solving the puzzles, there’s no way we could have done it without each of our skills. Jack and I were super proud of Evan and Arianna, how they worked through the problems and helped us escape. We’ll be back – likely to do the Mafia room with Greg and some friends!



A few logistics about Questburgh:

  • Check out their website for more details!
  • Address: 30 S 6th St, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Parking: Street, typically easy to find, better so on the weekends
  • There is a closet for coats and lockers are available for bags (you’ll want all hands on deck!)
  • There are two room options – Pirates (good for kids!) and Mafia (better for adult adventurers)
  • Book online to pre-pay and reserve your spot.


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Pittsburgh Mills Sky Trail

Disclaimer: Posts on this blog may include affiliate links or reviews in which I was asked to review an item or service in exchange for compensation and/or free items. All opinions, however, are 100% my own. This post, Pittsburgh Mills Sky Trail, is one such post.

After just a few days being “cooped up” in the house together, it was clear it was time to get out and enjoy some time away on Tuesday. We opted to go with one of our Pittsburgh Staycation choices, the Pittsburgh Mills Sky Trail. Adventure awaited!

Pittsburgh Mills Sky Trail

Walking into the Pittsburgh Mills Mall’s Food Court entrance, you could see the fear in the Bigs’ eyes as we neared the course. They didn’t know that the Sky Trail was where we were headed, but soon realized this was it.

Arianna has been wanting to do a zip line, so we figured this one would be a great way to “test the waters”. Evan, being a ‘lil younger, has a few things that scare him, and we figured this was an opportunity to let him get over some fears. We quickly learned we were right.

The staff that welcomed us put them both at ease and let Evan know he was tall enough to do the higher course (that stands at 32′ tall!) with Greg’s assistance (I was with the twins, keeping them busy). They quickly (and safely) got harnessed and were on their way to the top, before there was time to think twice.


When they got to the first platform, there was one of my fears – a traffic jam! Luckily, each platform allows for movement of adventurers as they circle around and pick other obstacles. Greg took this as an opportunity to take the kids all the way to the top and see what they’d do. The result? They freaked out a ‘lil and came back down to the first platform.

Evan went off first, pulling himself across a wall obstacle. Arianna went in the other direction, by herself before realizing Greg and Evan were across the way. She surprised me and breathed in deeply then came back to meet them.

Greg telling Evan what to do for the first obstacle

Greg telling Evan what to do for the first obstacle

'lil Man being Brave

‘lil Man being Brave


Proud of her!

Proud of her!

As awesome as he did, Evan is like me and let the course get in his head. He came down and went on the Sky Tykes rope course – something that I learned Ava and Isla could have done! I would have let them, but the course stands 3′ off the ground so chaperones can assist – I was exhausted following Evan let alone adding them to the mix. The balance beam sections lift up so that parents can quickly get to their kids if they slip or need help navigating. Evan was a whiz at this course, but he would like me to say he did fall just once (and caught himself quickly).

Sky Tykes Course

Meanwhile, I look up and Greg and Arianna have zigzagged to the top of the course.


I couldn’t have been prouder…but then I look up and they are zip-lining across the 69′ zip-line above us! After that, Arianna called it a day and let Greg get some adult time in on the course.

For $14 (for the upper course) or $7 for Sky Tykes (for ages 2-7, able to walk and under 48″ tall), this is definitely a worthwhile trip. The staff is helpful and friendly, encouraging adventurers to break away from their fears. You can keep up with the Pittsburgh Mills Sky Trail on their Facebook page or Twitter.

Pittsburgh Mills Sky Trail

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Merry Christmas 2016

Merry Christmas from our family to your’s! May your day be full of love and blessings, food and fun. xoxo


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