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Saturday Adventures: Historic Yates Mill

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On Saturdays, our family likes to explore all of the fun places within a short drive of Raleigh. We frequent many of the Raleigh and Wake County parks so I thought I’d share some of our Saturday Adventures with ya’ll.

This past Saturday we ventured to Historic Yates Mill located in south Raleigh. Yates Mill is a part of the Wake County Parks system and offers a variety of rich historical activities and exploration as well has beautiful nature.

We started by visiting the Finley educational center which had a good deal of hands on learning and information about the history of the mill, local agriculture and local history. The boys enjoyed playing with the dress-up clothes, puzzles, and learning about how mills work.

Then we venture down the short path to explore the historic mill. The boys were fascinated with the water powered mill. We briefly walked the Millpond trail crossing over the mill bridge and up the stone steps that overlook the mill. We didn’t walk around the entire pond as it was getting close to lunch and the smaller boys were ready to go eat.

On a previous visit the boys and I walked down to the pond boardwalk were we encountered several people finishing and bird watching. We saw a beautiful crane at the shore of the pond.

I can’t believe I’ve lived in the Raleigh area most of my live and until this year had never visited Yates Mill. It’s a beautiful historic site and wildlife refuge. We will certainly be back to explore more the park.


Keep Holiday Traditions Simple

I always have these grand ideas of baking sugar cookies from scratch with the boys and decorating them with icing and fun candies. But then reality sets in and I remember that I have to help all of the boys with their cookie decorations and none of them are particularly helpful in the kitchen, especially not Abel. Abel loves to pull out all of the pots and pans and any other cabinet he can reach in the lower cabinets. So instead of baking sugar cookies from scratch a bought a cookie decorating kit and let the boys enjoy the fun part of Christmas cookies.

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Nintendo 3DS XL Fun for the Whole Family

We are a Nintendo exclusive family. We own every Nintendo home gaming device ever released as well as most of the portable gaming devices. Over the past few months we’ve been playing with out new 3DS LX, the newest portable gaming device from Nintendo.

We are loving the new features of the 3DS XL. The 3D viewing takes games to a whole new level. The six included AR Cards bring game play right into your world. Plus, you can take 3D pictures and even record your own 3D videos. I really like that I can adjust the 3D feature or even completely disable it when needed. Sometimes it’s a cool feature but other times I like a classic game play, like when I’m playing MarioKart. The touch screen is actually a NFC (Near-Field Communication) which make the 3DS XL compatible with amiibo figures.  The Nintendo 3DS goes beyond just gaming, when connected to Wifi, you can stream movies and shows via Netflix, Hulu and more on the 3DS.

IMG_7198 Nintendo3DS

I feel like a kid again every time I play the Nintendo 3DS. I find that playing games can be very relaxing and after I’ve had a particularly stressful day it helps me to focus all of my attention in one place where I can just enjoy myself. I think my favorite game is MarioKart 7. When Joe and I were dating we used to play MarioKart so I have fond memories of racing around the Mushroom Kingdom and facing off with some of my favorite characters. My kids really love playing MarioKart 7 and they are way better than I am, in fact they love replaying the levels to beat my scores.

My husband has a 2DS so I’m able to play games on both systems which is great because we don’t have to repurchase games that we’ve been collecting for several years. However, you don’t have to purchase a lot of games to have fun on the 3DS as it comes standard with a built-in software that includes Miiverse, Mimaker, Nintenod eshop, Internet browser, 2 included games, 3DS Sound and more.

Buy the New Nintendo 3DS XL for $199.99

Nintendo of America provided me with a New Nintendo 3DS XL system and games for review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Enjoy your Children

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I’ve had this post title sitting in my drafts for several months. This is a topic I’ve been mulling over for awhile now and I don’t have it all figured out but it’s something I wanted to write about.

Yesterday I took all the boy to the Science Museum, by myself. That’s something I never would have done just a year ago but I’m slowing taking on new tasks all the time. Motherhood changes you, it changes what you desire and what motivates you. It can be so easy to get caught up in all of the “to do” lists and social obligations that we forget to actually enjoy the whole process.

This time last year I was day dreaming about the day when all of my boys would be old enough that we could venture out together without a meltdown. I tend to hope for the future a little too much. I start to forget about the present. I guess it’s better than dwelling upon the past, but still.

I’m trying hard each day to be present. To enjoy each step of life including all of the hard parts. Parenting is work and work isn’t usually easy. But at the same time parenting is part of my life and I want to live my life to the fullest. I find that the biggest factor in creating a life that is full of joy is my attitude. Hard work can still be enjoyable if you have a positive attitude. This goes for anything, not just parenting. I try to teach my boys about having a good attitude and doing their work with a joyful heart. Like most things children learn through example.

I guess what I’m trying to say is the more time I spend with my children, the more I invest in their lives, the more I challenge myself to start each day with a positive attitude and joy in my heart, I find that I really enjoy my kids. I miss days where we aren’t together. I love to hear their stories, receive their hugs and watch them grow. I just really like my family.

Parenting isn’t always easy but it can be a can be a source of great joy if we allow it.

Carolina Beach State Park Camping

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We took a mini-vacation to the beach a few days ago. We drove down to Carolina Beach on Sunday and stayed 1 night in the Carolina Beach State Park. Carolina Beach State Park added a four little cabins this year that are available to rent for a small fee.

After our day at the beach we checked into our cabin and enjoyed a nice but hot evening “camping”. I say we went camping even though we were in a cabin. The cute little cabins have 2 rooms – a front room with a double bed and little desk and a back bunk room with 2 sets of bunks and another desk. There is electricity and Air Conditioning but no running water in the cabins. The bath house is a short walk away and outside of the cabin is equipped with a picnic table, grill and fire pit. We enjoyed all the fun parts of camping but with the luxury of air conditioning… a must when vacationing in NC in July. Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 7.56.44 AM Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 7.56.35 AM Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 7.56.29 AM Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 7.56.19 AM Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 7.56.07 AM Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 7.55.55 AM Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 7.55.36 AM Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 7.55.48 AM

It rain all night long but we were safe and dry in our little cabin. The boys slept fairly well, although Abel had a little trouble falling asleep in a new place. In the morning it continued to rain and the roads and paths in the park were very flooded, which made accessing the bath house a little difficult. But we remained flexible and adjusted our plans accordingly. We packed up a little earlier than planned and headed to the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher. (Thanks to our Zoo membership we got in free!) Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 7.54.23 AM Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 7.55.12 AM Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 7.54.47 AM Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 7.54.31 AM

After the aquarium we grabbed some lunch and coffee then headed home.

It was a nice little get away and adventure with out boys. Was it relaxing, not really. Traveling with 4 small kids isn’t necessarily relaxing but it was a lot of fun.

Simple Limeade Popsicles

Over the long holiday weekend we stopped for lunch at Zoe’s Kitchen. While we were there I grabbed a gallon of their homemade limeade to take home.

My kids love Zoe’s Kitchen limeade. I thought I would make a super easy treat with the kids for our Fourth of July cookout. We made limeade popsicles. It’s so easy!

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  • Zoe’s Kitchen Limeade


  • Pour Zoe’s Kitchen Limeade into popsicle molds.
  • Place molds in freezer for about 6 hours
  • To remove from molds run under hot water for 10 seconds and gently pull apart.

With temperatures here in North Carolina easily reaching into the mid 90’s (not to mention the humidity and heat index) it’s nice to cool down with a frozen treat.

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The boys absolutely love their limeade popsicles. They’re so easy to make I foresee us making them many times over the course of the summer.


The featured product was provided to me free of charge for review purposes. The opinions expressed in this post are my own and not influenced by the company.

Stay Home and Avoid the Oops

It’s 8am and everyone is begging for breakfast but I have a baby with a stinky diaper. I run upstairs to change him only to find there are no more diapers in the box. I start to panic and then remember to check the diaper bag. Nothing. I run to the car and search for my secret stash. I find it! One diaper. It’s 2 sizes too small but it will have to do.

After everyone is fed and clothed I pile my four boys in the van and we head to the store for much needed diapers. The boys just want to go to the park but we have no choice but to go to the store. Diapers are needed ASAP.

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Taking 4 small children to the store can be an exhausting experience. I try to avoid it whenever possible, but sometimes you just have to go to the store to buy a needed item like diapers. Or do you?

Look at this crew… they’re a handful.

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You’d think after 4 kids I wouldn’t run out of diapers but it happens. I just don’t have the time to get to the store as often as I need but thanks to this thing called the internet I don’t have to go anywhere. I can order my must-have daily items like toilet paper, diapers, wipes, etc… online at

I ordered diapers, wipes, toilet paper, paper towels, and some cleaning supplies. It’s so easy to avoid the oops moments by ordering P & G products directly from Walmart.

Products Offered through Avoid the Oops:

  • Kitchen
  • Laundry
  • Cleaning
  • Baby
  • Bathroom

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This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Walmart.