How I Pack My Toddler Diaper Bag with JJ Cole!

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The diaper bag struggle is REAL for most moms!  And what kind of bag you need and more importantly what goes inside it changes as your child grows.   When you have a newborn baby there is SO much you need to pack-diapers galore, a change of clothes for the many blow outs {heck maybe even an extra top for mom}, nursing cover, butt cream, the kitchen sink…just kidding….sort of.   As kids grow older you need less and less in your diaper bag!  {Thank goodness!} I love the brand JJ Cole as their bags are fashionable, reasonably priced, and they have SO many features which are perfect for staying organized! On this blog post you will read about what I love to keep in my diaper bag for my toddler’s needs!

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Here are some toddler MUST items in my JJ Cole diaper bag:

  • Diapers: 5-7 diapers for my son who isn’t potty trained
  • An extra pair of panties for my toddler girl in case of an accident
  • Wipes {You can never have too many!}
  • Snacks
  • Sippy Cups: I love Nuby’s Snack N’ Sip as it cuts down on items you need and doesn’t leak!
  • Blanket: either for keeping warm or sitting on at the park
  • Foaming Alcohol Free Hand Sanitizer–can we say park germs?
  • Sunscreen
  • Toys/Play Packs: I LOVE these things!  You can pick them up at the dollar store or dollar section at Target.    They are perfect at keeping your little one busy when out to dinner.
  • Books: I like to keep a few small books that I usually pick up at the dollar store for keeping them occupied.
  • Tissues: running toddlers = runny noses
  • Band aides: for all those boo boos

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I love that the lining of the JJ Cole diaper bag is colored!  It makes it so easy to find items inside.  Its also important to find a diaper bag that opens up wide like this one does.   I have another bag that does not open very well and it is so hard to find anything inside.

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This morning we were off to take photos with the Easter bunny-I always like to go early and beat the crowds.   I love that this JJ Cole Diaper Bag-Caprice style in gray is in a neutral color and is great to match spring fashion!

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I feel really excited that my life timeline of being a mom is the same timeline of fashion. Don’t you just love that MOM JEANS are back!  High waists are just in style to hide all my mommy imperfections.   The same thing with one piece bathing suits-but that’s a whole other post.

When picking a diaper bag, you want to make sure that it is versatile. I love that this JJ Cole Caprice bag has an arm strap, shoulder strap, and had hidden straps that you can attach that will make the bag fit perfectly on a stroller!

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The front of the JJ Cole bag is perfect for mommy’s stuff-it even has a slot for your wallet, phone, and cards! I like that there is also a smaller pocket perfect to keep your keys.

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I like that the JJ Cole Caprice diaper bag has two side pockets-perfect for drinks-and a large back pocket.   It also comes with a changing pad that can easily be wiped clean or washed.  This bag is also nice that it has SO much room!  You could probably stuff it with so many things.  I am such a minimalist so I only like to bring the essentials, but I will totally be using this bag as a carry on for our up coming family vacation.

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Light weight enough to make my two year old carry some stuff!  Hey its mostly hers anyways right? Jk.

Here is where you can get your JJ Cole Diaper Bag perfect for spring! What is your favorite diaper bag item?

XOXO

Your Redlocks and Shamrocks Girl,

Lisa Doyle

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JJ Cole

How I’ve Changed as a Teacher Since Becoming a Mother

When out and about having small talk with random people and the subject of what I do for a living comes up and I joyfully tell them “I am a teacher” the follow up question is immediately “what grade?”   When I respond proudly, “middle school” I get the same squinty, dirty look in response.   People usually retort with comments like, “wow, that must be tough” or “ew why?”   And yes it is hard and challenging but it is such a great job.   Not one adult can look back at their middle school years and think, “man, I loved my hair,” “my clothes where so cool,” or “I had it all together.”   These are the years where students make fashion disasters, learn to survive without their parent’s assistance, have their first crush, get picked on, and HOPEFULLY learn how to be hardworking, good people.  I have been an educator for many years teaching the very interesting students of them all-middle schoolers.

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Since becoming a mother my teaching practices have changed drastically.   I started by assigning less homework  I did this for two reasons; one because I realize when kids come home from a long day of work asking them to do even more work is a hard task.   Students are also involved in many different after school activities like soccer, piano, or dance-they don’t have time for homework.   Parents also get little time with their kids, and arguing with them to do some science is not a way I want to spend my evening.   I also started assigning less homework to give myself less work.  As a teacher, the more you assign, the more you grade.   And I too believe spending time with your family is valuable, precious, and can’t be replaced.    Yes, do I think it is important to read with your child every night? Of course!   But playing outside, sitting down at dinner together, having a conversation, or playing a sport is more important.

After becoming a mom, I now care less about my students “learning” and more about turning them into good people who possess values like hard work, determination, and kindness.   When I first started teaching I was all about teaching grammar, wiring, and reading comprehension.   But as an adult when was the last time you dissected a sentence for parts of speech?   Writing and reading skills are key in becoming successful, but if there is anything my students take away from having Mrs. Doyle as a teacher I want it to be that hard work will make you successful in life, being kind to others is more important than being popular, and if you do anything be determined at it-never give up.   I often tell my students, “the boss of a company is not the smartest person in the room, they are the most hardworking.”

Another way I have changed as a teacher is a sad thing that I have realized-not all of my students have good parents or live in a stable home.   I had a blind eye or maybe a naive mind when I became a teacher.   I came from a stable home, my parents who are still married to this day, are both hard working individuals who value education.   Not all of my student’s parents value education.   They don’t care if their child has or does homework, they don’t care if their kid even passes my class.   I have called parents to discuss failing grades and I am practically burdening them with the phone call.   Some-didn’t choose to become parents-they became them.   Some of my students do not have a stable home, they are living in broken homes of divorced parents, parents who are alcoholics, drug attics, or even homeless.   School, or my class, just might be the only stable thing they have in their lives.  So what if the student comes to school without paper, a pencil?   I used to get mad-how could a parent send their kids to school without a binder or something to write with?  Now being a mom, I hand them school supplies over and over again and offer a loving smile and a chance to change their future. 

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I want to be a teacher, who I hope one day when my kids are in school have.   Someone who will love my children as their own, teach them right from wrong, and encourage them to have greatness in their life.

XOXO

Your Redlocks and Shamrocks Girl,

Lisa Doyle

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Festive St. Patrick’s Day Cocktail

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As your resident St. Patrick’s Day chick I am here bringing you an EASY St. Patty’s Day cocktail!  Want to know why I LOVE St. Patty’s Day {other than the fact that it’s my second birthday being a redheaded Irish girl} read about that here-Why Redlocks and Shamrocks.

When I think of St. Patrick’s Day in my younger pre-mommy years several beverages come to mind: green beer, Irish Car Bombs, and the dreaded Jager Bomb. {I think I just puked a little-hangover memories}.   This cocktail has none of those ingredients! And if you ask me its really refreshing and perfect for a little day drinking.  🙂

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Ingredients:

  • Sparkling Moscato:  I used Barefoot Bubbly
  • Sprite
  • GREEN Grapes (fresh or frozen) for the festive look
  • Ice

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How cute are these cups from Target?  Shhh secret they are PLASTIC!

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All you need to do for this drink is fill your cup with ice and grapes then pour in the moscato-as much or as little as you want.   Next top with a tiny bit of Sprite!  And BAM a quick and refreshing cocktail!

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Btw this is my go to hair style these days-natural hot mess hair that is a few days dirty with a messy fishtail or dutch braid. 

  • Cardi: Old Navy
  • Shirt: Nordstrom
  • Watch:  Michael Kors
  • Lips:  Lipsense Color “Flour de Lisa” {duh I HAD to pick that color}  My girl Melissa is a distributor if you are interested you can contact her here.

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No matter if you are at an Irish pub or at home trying to catch a leprechaun with your little ones, have a great time celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this year readers!

XOXO

Your Redlocks and Shamrocks Girl,

Lisa Doyle

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Making Memories Last Forever with Shutterfly

Making Memories Last Forever with Shutterfly

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I have always been OBSESSED with taking photos and capturing moments even back in the era of disposable cameras.  I love going over to my parent’s house to browse though my baby books and high school scrapbooks-those memories are made to last forever because of a photo book.  Its so fun to compare myself as a child to my children.  But now in the digital age the hard copy photo book is starting to became a thing of the past because they take so long to make-but NOT WITH THIS SECRET I am going to share with you-the Shutterfly Make My Book Service.

It brings me so much joy that we live in the age of technology were 1,000 photos can be taken at just one event making them a permanent part of the history of our families.   What is sad is that most of us just load those photos on a Facebook album and that is that-lets put an end to that!   Often there is no printing, scrap booking, framing, nothing.    {I never even finished our wedding album!}  Shutterfly has made a NEW way to make photo books-they do it for you! SCORE!  Shutterfly makes it so easy with their Make My Book service-it literally took only minutes out of my day and I received a beautiful product.

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I have this new rule as I am ‘adulting’ its called-leave it up to the professionals.  Painting, wedding planning, plumbing, installing just about anything–DIYing is not really my thing anymore as my hubby and I pretty much ruin everything we touch. {Sorry babe}  I am also a working mom so often crafts and DIYs are much harder as there is NO TIME to do those things.  Its worth the time and headache to just pay someone to do it for me.  The Shutterfly Make My Book service takes all the headaches away from photo book designing.

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We seriously LOVED getting our photo book back and looking at all the wonderful memories we made.

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I really enjoy the process of making photo books on Shutterfly, making sure every photograph I like is exactly on the right page-and showing my right angles lol.  This crucial process would not only take me hours, it would take me days!  I was skeptical, but hopeful to try their new Make My Book service.   For only a $9.99 service fee they design the entire book for you-cover to cover-all you do is submit the photos.

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The process was almost too easy guys!  It took me less than 5 minutes to submit my family photos and select and overall design of the photo book.  In a matter of about 24 hours my book preview came back from the Shutterfly designers.   It was pretty much perfect!  Of course me being a psycho- I didn’t like how I looked in a few photographs.  I could easily hit ‘edit’ swap them out and it was as good as ever!  So don’t be hesitant if you think you won’t like what they come up with, you can make major changes to your book {even though I don’t think you will.}   You can also choose not to buy the book entirely–like you’ll do that–so really there is little risk involved.

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From now on I know I personally will always be using the Make My Book photo book service from Shutterfly because the product came out PERFECT and it saved me massive amounts of hours in front of my computer-precious time I could be spending with my family, or sleeping lol.  Our photo book looks FAB as a coffee table book!

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Have a great time making your photo books with the Make My Book feature from Shutterfly!

XOXO

Your Redlocks and Shamrocks Girl,

Lisa Doyle

**The photography in the Shutterfly photo book was captured by J.anne Photography

 

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Planning the Perfect Bachelorette Party!

Guest blog by Ashley Brooke

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Hey guys!  Lisa here your Redlocks and Shamrocks Girl!  Meet Ashley Brooke my guest writer for this blog post!  Ashley and I went to college together at UNLV and she was a cheerleader when I was a Rebel Girl.   Ashley is an amazing wife, working mother, and a fitness junkie!  She is SUCH an inspiration to eat right, be fit, and grow confidence.  Follower her on Instagram at @ashbrooke_balanced if you want daily fitness inspiration.  Check out her feature on my blog about planning the perfect bachelorette party! 

Hi Babes! First I want to thank Lisa for so generously offering up her blog allowing this post to happen! So many of you have commented and messaged me asking for all the details on planning the PERFECT bachelorette party and I originally intended to just do an Instagram post but there is just NO WAY I could fit it all in! If this post helps just ONE babe in planning her own/friend’s bachelorette party, I will be one happy mama! So here it goes…

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YAY!!! Your BF is getting married!!! Once the initial excitement of an engagement for your bestie has passed, the real work for the maid of honor sets in. BACHLORETTE PARTY PLANNING! Knowing your bride is the critical first step in planning, for example if your bride hates the cold, a weekend hitting the slopes in Tahoe probably isn’t the best fit. For my bride and bestie of 10 years Samantha (Sami for short) I knew she wanted a sunny and warm bachelorette party. Not sure what your bride is looking for? Ask her! Don’t want to spoil a surprise? Ask her general questions like (warm weather or cool, travel or no travel, strippers or no strippers…haha but seriously ask!). It’s better to get these ideas as specific as possible to get a really good idea of what your bride would prefer before you spend the time and money putting together a party that misses the mark. The next and final thing you need from the bride is a list of her girls, the ones she wants to spend her last big blowout single weekend with!

Once you know what your bride wants and have the list of girls, let the planning begin! After attending many bachelorette parties, I’ve been through the good, bad and ugly. Knowing that Sami wanted a sunny/warm party in January/February my options for locations were pretty limited. I narrowed my ideas down to Florida (Disney World) and Mexico. One day while driving to work and listening to the radio I heard an ad for Luke Bryan’s Crash My Playa, instantly intrigued (not even for the bachelorette party) I went to the website and saw the timing was incredible for the bachelorette party and the more I thought about it, the more I realized I was not going to find anything better. All-inclusive resort (remember the good the bad and the ugly? Splitting dinner checks and bar tabs every night between 8 girls is awful!). 4 nights of country concerts, pool side shows and most importantly SUNSHINE & BEACH! Once I knew where we were going and asked the bridesmaids if they were ok with all of the details, dates & pricing we were all set!

Since our college sorority days (shout out to Delta Zeta Girls) we have always loved to theme and match during girl’s trips, so coming up with the perfect theme for the weekend was really important to me. To be honest, I am not really sure how I came up with it but the word BEACHLORETTE popped up in my head and I couldn’t let it go and from there Sami’s Beachlorette was born. I asked a friend Josh (link below) to design a logo for me using a palm tree and some type of handwritten font to say Sami’s Beachlorette Crash My Playa 2017. I let him know the logo would be used on tank tops. He presented a few options and I picked this one!  In the same writing I asked him to also do a “Beaches” logo and “Beachlorette” logo so that we could have a second tank where all the girls were in beaches tank tops and our bride was in her Beachlorette Crop! It worked out so cute! (by the way, the font is called Lemon Tuesday and you can download it for free, just type it into google).

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Next I wanted to theme each day with our bride’s favorite things! A few of her favorite things include: unicorns, camo print, and bows so these things became the inspiration for each night.  To kick off the party we started night one in cutoff shorts & our matching beachlorette logo tanks (I did make Sami a cowboy hat with a veil, but her head was too big and it didn’t fit haha…oops). For our first day by the pool we all wore whatever swimsuit we wanted but our coordinating tank tops over them, this day was cleverly called “where my beaches at”. For night two we all had fun pretending to be unicorns. The bride was instructed to wear her favorite white dress/romper and all the girls were asked to wear their favorite black dress/romper. The next day we all wore matching swimsuits, I searched far and wide for a palm tree/beach print that had several different options that girls could choose from. These PilyQ suits were great. They had a one-piece option, two different tops and bottoms to choose from and shorts. We got so many compliments this day! For night three we were “Sami’s Soldiers” we all wore matching camo headbands, white shirts and jeans casual and comfortable after a long day in the sun. For the final day we planned a group yoga class and bought the bride a palm tree yoga outfit, each of the girls were asked to wear a solid color yoga outfit in Black, White or Gray (although we didn’t actually get to do yoga…long story…we still looked adorable J ). For the final night we decided to go BOWHO in Mexico. Each girl was asked to wear a boho outfit of their choice. In my opinion, the key to success here is to try and “theme” most of your night/days outfits that give girls flexibility to either buy a new outfit if they want or find something they already have in their closet…no matter what you choose as long as your bride has a veil on at all times, she will stand out!

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Some other fun accessories that made the weekend stand out were matching palm tree sunglasses, custom and personalized water bottles, oversized pool floats (TIP! Use the hotel blow dryer to inflate in your room…it works!)  and the adorable custom sun hats that the bride brought along for all the girls as a gift! 

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To reveal the location (and themes) of the bachelorette party to Sami and the rest of the girls I created packages from Santa. These packages included a full itinerary and each of the little accessories they needed so they could plan and coordinate their outfits. I created the itinerary using Microsoft Word and purchased boxes, tissue paper and palm tree confetti on Amazon.  

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The final step of planning was to create a “need to knows” packet. The purpose of this packet was to have all the details of the trip, contact information, location, emergency contact information ect in one place not only for us, but for our families. I also included a packing list because I typically make them anyway for my trips and I didn’t want any girl forgetting one of her themed goodies (and it worked! no one forgot!). this document was made using Microsoft word and I found little weather icons using google.

 

MY TOP 3 PLANNING TIPS:

  • Plan Ahead to avoid paying rush charges for custom items like tank tops, hats, tumblers and Veils. Give yourself at least 6-8 weeks.
  • If you are on a budget, you can DIY many of these items. Tulle is available in bulk on amazon or fabric stores for much cheaper than having someone else make them for you.
  • Choose a location that gives you all types of options for group experiences, concerts, fitness studios and down time.

MY FAVORITE BACHELORETTE PARTY LOCATIONS & THEMES!

  • Beachlorette: for obvious reasons I pick any beach and start planning! Cali, Miami and Mexico. I love the idea of all inclusive resorts because it just makes things easy!
  • Bachville: Grab your cowboys boots and head to Nashville, this is an amazing city with tons of bars, restaurants and activities. This city is packed with live music, culture and scenery.
  • NOLA: I haven’t been, but I have always thought New Orleans would be a great city for a bachelorette party, When I think of NOLA I think of taking a group pastry class to learn how to make their world famous beignets or a haunted city tour soaking gup the history.
  • Austin: This hotel looks like an incredible girls’ getaway https://travaasa.com/
  • Vegas: For the party bride you really can’t go wrong with this location. With enough girls you can generally get access to comp bottles, tables and dinners and some of the best restaurants, night clubs and day clubs.
  • Napa: How much fun would wine tours and tastings be with all your girls. Napa is a foodie town as well, a great spot to get some amazing meals.

 

SHOPPING LINKS:

Sami’s Beachlorette Logo: www.iamjoshlucas.com

Custom tank tops/crops/t-shirts: www.customizedgirl.com

Palm tree sunglasses: www.sunglassspot.com

Starfish Veil: RiosBows on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/RiosBows

Unicorn Headbands: RAQuirkybits on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/RAQuirkyBits

Custom Bridal Mrs.Veil: myeverydayparty on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/myeverydayparty

Custom Tumblers: shoparoundthecorner3 on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ShopAroundTheCorner

Custom Sun Hats: lifehasjustbegun on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/LifeHasJustBegun

Palm Tree Swim Suits: https://www.swimoutlet.com

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Thank you to Ashley for sharing her amazing tips! I hope you all enjoyed Ash’s post on planning the perfect bachelorette party!  I know I will be putting this advice to good use as I am helping plan one of my best friend’s bachelorette parties in a few months! EK!  I can only pray it is as cute as this one!  If you aren’t following her on Instagram yet @ashbrooke_balanced, you are really missing out!

XOXO

Your Redlocks and Shamrocks Girl,

Lisa Doyle

 

 

 

 

 

5 Date Nights to Have at HOME!

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My husband and I don’t get too many date nights where we get dressed up, leave the kids at home, and have a nice dinner.   There are many reasons why a month {or embarrassingly multiple months} will go by and we don’t get the opportunity to get out of the house alone-babysitters, time, not wanting to leave kids after working all day.  The list {or excuses} goes on and on, but those traditional dates don’t happen often in our relationship.  Nevertheless that doesn’t mean we don’t have a good marriage or don’t dedicate time to maintain our loving relationship.   My husband and I do several things throughout the day-even if we’re not together to show our love and affection for one another-but you can’t replace those important moments alone together.  Once our children go to bed at 8pm we often are so exhausted we want to fall asleep too, but this part of the evening is quality time just for the two of us which is why often we will do a date night AT HOME! Here are five ways we do date nights at home:

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  1. Post bedtime dinner date: Family dinners are SO important in our family and it is a tradition we are instilling in our family.  However, every now and then its okay to do dinners apart and feed your kids some grilled cheeses and eat a light snack.  Then after the kids go to bed I send my husband out for some takeout from a nicer-but not too nice restaurant.  Our go to in the Las Vegas area is I Love Sushi or Table Thai.  While my hubby is out picking up the order I set the table and light some candles-or we will pig out right on the couch.  It is a simple perfect at home date night.
  1. Sit outside: After putting the kids to bed sit outside under the stars open a bottle of wine a relax. Sometimes these moments are the best to even not talk.  Just soak up quite time with your man-after all whether you’re a SAHM or a working mom you’ve been hustling and hearing talking all day long, it’s time to wind down and relax.
  1. Movie night: After putting the kids to bed pick out a movie pop some popcorn and cuddle. Put down the phones like you would in a real theater!!! Warning- don’t pull the exhausted parent move and fall asleep during the movie like my husband does. Lol
  1. Unplug completely: I know, I know you’re behind on Real Housewives or How to Get Away with Murder and you want to see what everyone has been up to on Instagram {are you following me @redlocksandshamrocks?} but unplug-turn off the TV, put the iPhone on the charger in the next room, and talk or play an old fashion board game. Better yet make it into a drinking game.
  1. The comPARENTion– Who doesn’t love a good competition? Whoever gets their kid to do something the child hates wins a 10-minute foot, back, or neck massage! For example, our toddler hates broccoli, whoever can successfully get our child to eat the veggie (without tears or forcing it down) wins!  This can be used for food, chores, bath time whatever your kid fights you to the death not to do!

 

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Time away from your kids and quality time with your husband is crucial in maintaining a happy relationship.  It’s so easy to fall asleep on the couch, zone out on TV or social media, do chores, or even do work from home after the kids go to bed, but remember to take time to focus on the heart of your family-the husband and wife relationship.

What at home date nights do you and your spouse love?  Comment below and tell me!

XOXO

Your Redlocks and Shamrocks Girl,

Lisa Doyle

The photography in this blog post was by J. Anne Photography

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It May Not Be Your First RODEO, but It Was His!

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It may not be your first rodeo, but it was Kohen’s!   Our little man recently celebrated his first birthday so we partied cowboy style throwing him his first rodeo!  For first birthday parties I love to do themes, easy food, and festive decor!   Did you see Logie Bears’ first birthday?  Check out that blog post here. I was lucky enough to meet the wonderful event planner of Starry Eyed Events who helped decorate part of his party.   If you are in the Las Vegas area definitely hit her up for your next celebration!  The other decor was either thrown together from what I already had or from Oriental Trading.

Our little birthday boy was too excited about the balloons that Starry Eyed Events brought that you couldn’t quite see his “My First Rodeo” t-shirt.

Cowboy gear was the dress code for the event, but if a guest came unprepared I got these cute cowboy hats and bandannas to keep everyone festive.

Starry Eyed Events did a pristine job decorating the dessert table to display tempting cupcakes and the first birthday staple, the SMASH cake!  I always say the BEST place to get a small smash cake is Albertsons!  They always do a great job for a low cost and often will throw in the smash cake for FREE if you order enough cupcakes.

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Starry Eyed Events even brought an ipod and speaker filled with country jams and rodeo tunes to set the mood and ambiance of the party.  This allowed every person to grab their partner and Do Si Do!  I put up the other decorations for the party about a week in advance.   This always helps get the kids excited and give you one less thing to do as the party day comes closer!

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Other decor I threw together was a clothesline banner displaying Kohen’s monthly photographs-he grew so much in one year!

Simple number one balloons, flowers, and mason jars were great center pieces.   And Pin the Tale on the Cow was a fun game for the toddlers at the party!

I also set out a craft for the kiddos to make their own farm out of animal stickers and construction paper.   Don’t you just love this custom farm table? We get TONS of use out of it.

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Now for the food!

I have to admit I love throwing parties but I HATE making food.   Its so much work-the planning, cooking, and clean up alone! Ugh!  I always try to buy most of the food and only make a few things.   It seems to saves energy and sometimes money.

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Pulled pork, chicken, and “KoKo Beans” (baked beans) were served in my triple crock-pot, a must for parties.

Fruit, cups of popcorn, and chips made for great rodeo side dishes.

The smash cake is always my favorite party of any first birthday!   The little one’s first taste of sweetness, will they be scared?  Like it?  Be disgusted? Devour it?

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We of course shared with our older sister!

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Happy birthday to our little Bean!  I can’t wait to see the adventures you will encounter this coming year!  

XOXO

Your Redlocks and Shamrocks Girl,

Lisa Doyle

 

*This blog post was partnered with Starry Eyed Events.   This was an amazing party planning company to work with and I highly recommend it.   The thoughts and opinions of this blog are my own.

A Family Night Out at Peter Piper Pizza

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Tonight, was a momentous event in the Doyle family!  Our two-year-old is now potty trained!  Logan has worked very hard to master using the big girl potty, so as a reward she chose to eat her favorite all time food-PIZZA! We wanted to do something fun with her as a celebration so we took her to a restaurant that just came back to Las Vegas, Peter Piper Pizza! When I was a kid growing up in Las Vegas for any celebration we always begging my parents to go to pizza and play games!  The joys of being a kid having a pocket full of tokens, collecting and adding up tickets, to then select a small toy was the highlight to any kid’s month!  We are stoked that the restaurant, Peter Piper Pizza, came back in town and its better than ever!

Peter Piper Pizza is a great restaurant for a family fun night out!  It has great food, games, prizes, TVs displaying cartoons and football, and BEER!  I mean it is a restaurant for the WHOLE family!   We liked eating at this restaurant for Logie’s potty training celebration because Peter Piper Pizza’s environment geared toward kids and the games fully entertained her as we waited for our meal. 

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We had a great time playing the games at Peter Piper Pizza.   As you enter, you can buy tokens for .25 cents each, most games are 1 to 2 tokens so we bought 20 tokens for $5.00.   Logan at first was a little overwhelmed with all the lights, games, and noises, but after she tried her first game she was hooked!   Logan and I really enjoyed the easy ball drop games which guaranteed tickets-great for those toddlers unable to actually ‘beat’ a game.  

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My husband’s favorite game was of course Pop-a-Shot where he relived his basketball glory days.  There were plenty of games geared toward older kids that we didn’t try out but sure looked like a blast!

Logan surprisingly ended up winning 55 tickets!  She had a wonderful time looking though the prizes at the ticket counter and the nice worker there let her pick specific colors she liked.   Our girly girl went with mostly jewelry and one small toy.

After we played the games we worked up quite an appetite!   We ordered a serving of bread sticks, a large pizza, two sodas, and a kids drink all for around 20 bucks.

The breadsticks with a side of marinara sauce came out first.   They were the perfect combination of crispy and soft with just the right amount of garlic and parmesan sprinkled on them.   Both of my kids and husband devoured them!  If you are a carbaholic these breadsticks were wayyy better than any other pizza place!

The pizza came out piping hot and oozing with cheese!  My family is very picky on their pizza-we take it very seriously!  And this pizza is really delectable!  It was not too greasy and had just the right amount of sauce on it.   The crust almost had a sweet after taste and was nice and crispy on the bottom, but still soft on the end.   The whole family loved it-the 11 month old, 2 year old, and the parents.   Daddy even had to cut himself off-it was hard for him to turn away that last slice.

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The restaurant itself was very clean-there were constantly workers bussing tables and picking up.   Since we celebrated a newly potty trained princess we did check out the bathrooms several times which were very clean! Lol

Overall we had a great time at Peter Piper Pizza!   The kids {and parents} had a great time playing all the games, collecting tickets, and picking out prizes.   The food was delicious and both of my kids actually devoured their meal!  Which if you have toddlers, says a lot!!

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This place is fun for the whole family and is Redlocks and Shamrocks approved!  Check out both Peter Piper Pizza‘s new locations now that they are BACK in Las Vegas!

XOXO

Your Redlocks and Shamrocks Girl,

Lisa Doyle

 

*This post was sponsored by Peter Piper Pizza-the thoughts and opinions are my own.

Easy One Pan Christmas Bars: MeMaw’s Mystery Bars

Easy One Pan Christmas Bars: MeMaw’s Mystery Bars

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Growing up in my house around the holidays Christmas music was always blaring, my brothers had I were running amok around our 15 foot tall tree, and my mom was always baking & making fun foods to celebrate.   She seriously was the cutesy-crafty-amazing-mom wayyy before Pinterest was a thing.   Now as a mother myself, I still don’t know how my mother did it all!  One of my favorite cookies she makes are called Mystery Bars!  Today on the blog my mom made them with my daughter and we are sharing one of our favorite {and easy} recipes with you!  

I am doing one of the things I HATE when finding a recipe on Pinterest….telling you some long winded story before getting to the recipe.   Feel free to keep scrolling, or check out these photographs of my mom’s recipe book.   Pre-internet when you could save all your favorite recipes organized in Pinterest boards recipe books were all the rage.   This thing is from the 70’s or 80’s and has hand written recipes from my mother and my grandmother, clippings from magazines, printings from the internet, and even has cooking stains on it.   Its a very cherished item in our family-since if you’ve ever been around the O’Rourke’s when food is on the table you know food = life.

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This recipe is so easy you can whip it up quickly for a last minute holiday party or cookie exchange.   It took us no time to make even with a toddler’s help! The bars can be cut as small or as large as your holiday diet can handle.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 stick of unsalted butter or margarine
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 small bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 small bag of butterscotch chips (or you could use peanut butter chips)
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 can condensed sweetened milk

Steps:

Melt butter and pour into a 9×13 inch pan and sprinkle graham crackers on top.

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Press down firmly with a fork into the baking pan.

Layer on the chocolate chips as little or as many as you like!

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Now add the butterscotch chips.

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Next, sprinkle on the coconut!  My toddler LOVED this part! *Note my mother’s “measuring” this is why I must document her recipes-she never really follows them which makes it impossible to copy!

Lastly drizzle the milk on top evenly.

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Place in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes at 325 degrees.  Once in the oven, do a dance party!!

When the cookies are completely cool cut into bars of any size and viola!  Easy ONE PAN cookies with little clean up!  I hope you enjoy them!

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These are my favorite cookies my mom makes!  I personally like these bars when then are a few days only and not completely fresh so they are somewhat hard.

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What are your favorite family Christmas cookie traditions?  Comment below with your favorite Christmas cookie!

Have a Happy Holiday!

XOXO

Your Redlocks and Shamrocks Girl,

Lisa Doyle

5 Tips on Keeping your Home Tidy During the Holidays

5 Tips to Keep Your Home Tidy During the Holidays with BLACK+DECKER

Keep reading & scrolling for a  GIVEAWAY for a chance to win an awesome BLACK+DECKER product!

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  1. Make a Plan

I am queen of ‘to-do lists’ I feel it really helps me stay focused on what needs to get done, what’s important, and it also lets my husband know what I need help with. Wink wink.   I often will print out a calendar and mark holiday festivities to do with the family on them from seeing Christmas lights, making Christmas crafts, and even wrapping those presents to make sure every moment of the holiday season is used.   Being a working mom I often will clean my entire house on Saturday morning so I can enjoy a clean home all weekend.   I will make a list of things to do-dishes, vacuum with the BLACK+DECKER cordless hand vacuum, do laundry, tidy up bedrooms, etc. that way it can get done quick and efficiently!

  1. Minimize Clutter by Using Bins

I love being a mother, but I hate the sight of toys and clutter! Especially around the holidays when there are more things out in your home, I really like to minimize clutter by using bins that tie in with my décor.  My rule is if it doesn’t fit in the bins then it goes in the closet or gets donated!   This is a perfect time of the year to do a secret nap time toy rotation or to donate some of those rarely used toys to charity.

All of the bins in these photos have toys hidden in them!

  1. Teach the Kids to Help!

Being a parent means you’re constantly cleaning, washing, folding-but hey you also had kids to help with household chores right?   Kids are never too young to start helping out with mommy and daddy with small chores for their age group.   Little tasks for toddlers like putting away shoes, toys, or even bringing their dirty sippy cup to the sink are all chores my toddler does around the house. My toddler as learned that she must help clean up an area of the house by putting her toys away in the bins before moving on to the next activity.   Sometimes this task is done with a smile all by herself, often with help from mom, and sadly sometimes with toddler tears, but it’s a rule we like to have in our home to keep it clean.

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  1. Use the BLACK+DECKER Compact Cordless Lithium Hand Vacuum to Spot Clean Little Messes

Keeping a clean home is important to me, but it should not overhaul the entire day-this is the time to celebrate not clean! Who has time to lug out an entire large vacuum?   I love to keep my BLACK+DECKER  Compact Cordless Lithium Hand Vacuum in arms reach to quickly clean up small messes like Christmas tree pine needles, sprinkles from holiday cookies, baking disasters such as dust from flour, or milk-YES IT EVEN VACUUMS LIQUIDS!!! Hello! This tool is amazing around little ones!   The Compact Cordless Lithium Hand Vacuum is also quiet too so it doesn’t scare my toddler or wake my napping baby.

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  1. Make it a Game!

To keep little ones entertained and helpful turn any chore into a game or competition. Make the job a race and see who is the best little helper to clean up the mess the fastest.   Turn on a favorite Christmas song like ours-NSYNC’s “Merry Christmas Happy Holidays” and set a goal to get the whole area cleaned up by the time the song is over! Clean up Elf style by talking to Santa in a funny voice.   Give a prize or reward like a small candy cane or be the first family member to open a gift on Christmas morning if they can clean up the fastest.   The ‘Clean Up Monster’ was a game my dad played when I was little which was a modified version tag in the dark-whoever he caught had to clean up! Whatever game you choose, making a dull task fun can make it go much faster!

Those are my top 5 tips on keeping your home tidy not just around the holidays, but all year long!

BLACK+DECKER is a great brand, check out these other items on our Christmas wish list:

  • The 20V MAX Lithium Cordless Drill Driver will be a WONDERFUL drill for my husband to put together all the kids toys and home projects I have him complete.
  • The MarkIT Picture Hanging Tool works wonders making sure all pictures, artwork, and canvas prints are hung perfectly straight.  This is a need for the gallery wall trend in home decor right now!
  • The Cordless 2 In 1 Stick Vacuum is a fab product as it is the best of both worlds a hand vacuum for couches and everything above ground, and a regular vacuum for floors! 

Check out the BLACK+DECKER  Holiday Handbook for more holiday and Christmas tips, recipes, and DIYs!

 

**GIVEAWAY**

The BLACK+DECKER brand will be giving away a 2-in-1 Stick Vacuum to a lucky Redlocks and Shamrocks reader!  This Stick Vacuum makes cleaning super easy with the product’s cordless feature! To enter the GIVEAWAY:

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  1. Check out this LINK and read all about the 2-in-1 Stick Vacuum!
  2. Comment on my blog post below telling me what you LOVE about the cordless stick vacuum OR what you like about the other products from this post: the drill, the hand vacuum , or the picture hanger!

The giveaway is that SIMPLE!   Good luck!

I hope you all have a wonderful {and clean} Happy Holiday and Merry Christmas!

XOXO

Your Redlocks and Shamrocks Girl,

Lisa Doyle