Friday, August 29, 2014

Sugarboo Morning Day Two

After a peaceful sleep (well not for a few of my bunk mates ~ apparently I sawed some wood in my sleep, SORRY...), we woke to a brand new day in our peaceful little paradise nestled in the foothills of the mountains- Sugarboo Farms.  Our schedule for the morning consisted of a healthy but DELICIOUS breakfast followed by yoga.


·         3pm check in
·         6:30pm appetizer party
·         8:30pm Farm Chic Gift Swap (bring your wrapped gift for a night of fun)
·         9:30pm firepit, smore's and games
Throughout the afternoon scheduled massages (don’t forget your cash plus tip)
Friday - Today is Arbor Day "HUG A TREE"
·         8:30am breakfast
·         9:30am yoga (bring your mat or towel)
·         12:30pm lunch
·         All day to do WHATEVER YOU WANT – when does that happen?
·         6:30pm dinner at "The Frosty Palace" (come dressed in your ugly prom dress I will have prizes)
·         8:30pm “PROM” Grease under the stars - bring your blankie to get cozy
Throughout the afternoon scheduled massages (don’t forget your cash plus tip)
·         8:30am Sugarboo Brunch/Breakfast YUMMY!
·         10am Hike (bring water)
·         12:30pm lunch
·         All day to do WHATEVER YOU WANT–when does that happen?(oh, wait it happened yesterday)?
·         6:30pm Pajama Pizza Passion Party (wear your PJs to dinner)
·         8pm moonshine tasting - Get Your Shine On!
·         8:30pm PARTY PARTY – bring your checkbook and or credit cards to buy FUN stuff!
Throughout the afternoon scheduled massages (don’t forget your cash plus tip)
·         9am breakfast

·       11:30am checkout and head home WAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Breakfast was prepared with love by our INCREDIBLE Chefs from In Sisters Kitchen.  Chef Nancy and her crew made us delicious GREEN smoothies from kale, apple and spinach.  Accompanied by the most moist and tasty homemade turkey sausage and egg biscuit sandwiches that came wrapped in the prettiest floral paper I have ever seen (which just by chance matched our table arrangements).

It was iffy with the spring weather that Friday morning so instead of holding our yoga class out on the lawn we made the decision to move it inside the Farmhouse.  After moving a few tables out of the way and setting up our yoga mats.  The scenery was just as lovely looking out those big old garage doors that open up the space so outside is inside.  The class was delightful - we stretched, relaxed, learned and even giggled a little (yogis choice...).  Special thanks to Heather Devereaux from Mountain Yoga and Massage Therapy in Blairsville, GA for giving us the opportunity to relax parts of our bodies that we didn't even know we could relax.

Look at that "after yoga" GLOW!
As you can see by the schedule above that girls had the rest of the day to do WHATEVER they wanted (which really is what the whole weekend is about - all activities are optional, they can do as much or as little as they want).  In our regular lives whether it's work or kids or work & kids - life is hectic, so I do my best to make our weekends not.  I really try on ALL my weekends to keep the days as wide open as possible to allow them flexibility.  After all, it is THEIR weekend.  If we have a group outing or activity I try to schedule for only the morning and on only ONE morning of our trips.  Most often I do provide them with maps and brochures of stuff to do in the area (the local Chamber of Commerce is always my got to for that).

If you want to read about Sugarboo Day One click > HERE.

More to come-----

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Games, games, games - not your typical Monopoly or Life

I LOVE GAMES - I mean REALLY L-O-V-E Games!  Below are some of our favorites.  Not your run of the mill games like Life and Monopoly (no offense to Life and Monopoly).  Some are perfectly suitable for the entire family while some are barely suitable for convicts (those are the real fun ones).  I LOVE portable games that I can throw in my bag.  I even store my LCR dice right in the change pocket of my wallet so that I am ready for a game at a moments notice.  I actually BOUGHT a game while pulling this post together.  I think I have a problem - is there a GAMERS anonymous I can join?  I will let you know if it is any good -

Click on the title of each game to check them out further.....

  • Mensa Select Mind Games 2002
  • Ages 12 and up (although we play with ALL our kids ages four and up)
  • Hours of fun
  • Players draw curse cards with specific instructions the goal is to continue the command or combination of commands as long as possible
  • Crazy combinations of curses for a variety of hilarious performances

Cards Against Humanity is a party game for horrible people. Unlike most of the party games you've played before, Cards Against Humanity is as despicable and awkward as you and your friends.  The game is simple. Each round, one player asks a question from a Black Card, and everyone else answers with their funniest White Card.  Kind of like an ADULT version of the game Apples to Apples ~ like really ADULT! (Don't forget your expansion sets)
DISCLAIMER - ONLY play with people you know really well and those that are not easily offended and maybe play after you have loosened up a bit (not like from yoga).

  • For 2-15 players
  • Takes 1-5 minutes to play
  • Great party game
  • The most aptly named game ever. In this exceptionally silly and awesome game, your objective is to win. Simple enough.

  • LCR/Left Center Right is a fun, fast-paced dice game that you won't be able to put down
  • Game includes three LCR specialty marked cubes, 24 chips and instructions in a Special Tin
  • For 3 or more players (I have played with as many as 20 women before! - this is a STAPLE game on my Teacher Getaway Weekends - But we ditch the plastic chips and play with COLD HARD CASH!  Three single dollar bills gets you in --- You could be the winner winner chicken dinner of some dough-re-mi!)

  • Laugh harder than you ever have, with this quick question game of "What am I?"
  • An outright hilarious adult game where you fight the clock asking creative questions to determine whether you're a person, place or thing
  • Hedbanz delivers non-stop entertainment that keeps everyone laughing from start to finish;
  • Host a party or take it on the road; Hedbanz is perfect for 2-6 players ages 14+
  • Comes with 200 Cards, 6 Adjustable Headbands, 24 Scoring Chips, 1 Timer, 1 Instruction Sheet
  • GREAT GIRLS WEEKEND FUN! - photos of headbands in use at the end of the post

  • Play Smart Ass from University Games, the game where it's OK to yell out the answer even when it's not your turn
  • Be the first to answer the Who, What, and Where Am I questions, and move closer to being the ultimate Smart Ass
  • Includes game board, 8 Smart Ass playing pieces, 490 questions, 1 jumbo die, and instructions
  • A fast-paced party game for 2 - 8 players, age 12 and up

Pickup lines
  • 150 pick up lines provided.
  • Game comes complete with instructions plus 6 plastic martini glasses, 6 plastic olives, 1 martini shaker, 75 game cards, 50 kiss tokens, and 1 red answer pad.
  • For 3-6 Adult players or teams.
  • SO FUN with a group of couples!

The Joke Game

  • Great party game - a real fun game when played with real funny people
  • For 3-6 people
  • Takes 30-60 minutes to play
  • Move your chicken across the road to win the game
  • If you don't know the punch line, make one up

Pass the pigs
  • 2 pig dice, score pad, score guide, 2 pencils
  • Attractive plastic carrying case - So portable!
  • Fun for all ages!
  • GREAT for a BIG group - we usually put a little wager down to liven it up a bit!

Toss Up

  • a whole bunch of dice-tossin' fun in this new and addictive game
  • Game contains 10 Toss Up! dice, a reusable plastic storage click-case
  • For 2 - 6 players.
  • Instructions in both English and Spanish.
  • Ages 8+
  • ONE of our FAVORITES!  - We even gave it to everyone we knew for Christmas one year!

I've Never Bar Cards
  • Outrageous card game dubbed "The outrageous drinking game of hidden secrets."
  • Perfect ice breaker, or game idea for bachelor and bachelorette parties - girls weekend giggles have come from this game - 
  • Play based on hilarious true/false questions
  • For adults ages 21 years and older ONLY!

Seeing Double

  • Here's an old favorite with a drinking party game twist. Players try to find matching cards from a deck of 54 and make their opponents perform wacky stunts!
  • Do a trick, chug a drink, sing like Barry Manilow or get naked! It's the wild new card game that will have everyone "Seeing Double"!
  • Seeing Double, the drinking game you'll flip over!
  • A game of quick wits and dulled senses! Mix'em, match'em, drink'em down!
  • Loads of outrageous challenges!

Reverse Charades

  • Multigenerational Fun - creates memories
  • Perfect ice breaker - for parties or team building
  • Active -imaginative play - great for kids
  • Easy to learn, fun to play
  • A hilarious twist on charades

also comes in Girl's Night In edition - LOVE THIS, played on SEVERAL of our Girls Trips - always a blast!

and Holiday edition 
- made for one of the BEST Christmas Parties we have EVER had!

Loaded Questions Adult version

  • Looking to expose a little more of yourself
  • The Adult Version (emphasis on the ADULT) of the game is more than suggestive and more than funny
  • It just might make your cheeks as red as the box top
  • For 4 to 6 players (we have played with more) - another fun couples game with funny couples


(like I said I will let you know how it is)

I could do an whole new post with Games I use on GIRLS WEEKENDS alone!  There are so many great conversation starter games out there.  Games are a great way to get to know new people but they are also a great way to get to know those that you thought you knew well - BETTER!


Monday, July 21, 2014

Sugarboo Farms - With all my Sugarboo Babes

This past April we had our TENTH Girls Weekend with my girlfriends group (honestly didn't even realize it was our 10th one until now).  The location for such a special trip?
Sugarboo Farms in Blairsville, Georgia!

There were 32 wonderful women in attendance.  All came so ready for an incredibly relaxing AND FUN time in the country.  I had stumbled across the property while searching LARGE vacation rentals on VRBO.  I was immediately intrigued by the quaintness of it, the rusticness (word?) of glamping and the just plain old AMAZINGNESS (again a word?) of it!  The owners are local Atlantans who have a company Sugarboo Designs that makes and sells funky fun rustic art and home furnishings.  Thus the farmtastic interiors to Sugarboo Farms.  Sugarboo Designs is even available at Target these days - HOW AWESOME IS THAT?

Anyway, the ladies arrived on Thursday afternoon with suitcase(s) and cooler(s) in hand.  I had sent them packing lists ahead of time with little reminders - like pack comfy clothes for yoga, bathing suit for the hot tub and sneakers for hiking or don't forget your wrapped $15 farm chic gift for the gift swap.  That was Thursday night's activity following the Welcome Appetizer Party.  We ran the Farm Chic Gift Swap kind of like a Chinese Auction but did it at night after dinner with drinks and s'mores in hand around the fire pit!  (ps- have done beach gift swaps and country gift swaps before on other GWs  all worked out SO fun!)

The property is just precious - you feel like you have this whole other little world ALL to yourselves (Sugarboo Farms can only be rented as an entire facility not by the cottage).  I loved watching the girls find their cottage and either stroll down the hill or take the MULE (a golf cart on steriods - true farm equipment).  We had use of the Mule all weekend long!
The "MULE" with us posing in our UGLY Prom Dresses - I'll get to that later....
I got smart and at the recommendation of a few of the girls made a RULE - NO DRIVING THE MULE AFTER DARK!  One it's dark AND two some of them had had many Dirty Arnold Palmers and/or Spicy Jalapeno Pineapple Margaritas (link includes a video on how to infuse your own Spicy Pineapple Tequila!) by the time the sun went down.
Drink Station
Each girl got one of these sweet LARGE mason jars to personalize and use all weekend (it was theirs to bring home - ps~ i drove to about 500 TJ Maxes and Marshall's to accumulate 32!)  

In each girl's cottage were fun farm welcome bags awaiting their arrival containing items like - dry shampoo spray, colgate wisps, mini flashlights, cleansing cloths, mini moonpies, branch pencilsUdderly Smooth Udder Cream, chocolates, headbands, packets of seeds, Sappo Hill Oatmeal Soap (oooo so yummy), cozy socks from the dollar store and so much more!  

Little signs with farm humor and/or inspirational messages were placed in all the bedrooms, bathrooms and common areas.
Just a few of the table tent style signs that could be found in all the cottages and farmhouse!

The room signs (indicating who slept in which cottage) were so farm funky - I used chalkboard paper, wrote on the with chalkboard marker and hung on jute twine! (don't mind my crappy handwriting)

After a VERY casual appetizer filled Welcome Party (fantastic food provided ALL weekend long by Chef Nancy & crew from In Sister's Kitchen - will post more about fun food ideas in future posts about our Sugarboo weekend), the girls grabbed their farm chic gift swap gifts for the Gift Exchange around the fire pit.  Before each chic's turn she had to introduce herself, tell either her favorite memory from a past trip if she had been on one of our weekends before OR tell what she was MOST looking forward to or why she needed this "getaway".  This was a terrific way to get to know each other a bit and the chalkboard name tags we wore the first night helped too!  We laughed into the night then slept well in the fresh mountain air with stars overhead while visions of day two danced in our heads.

The End - - -
until day two
coming soon!

Birthday Fairy Strikes Again ~ LED Balloon Surprise!

Many years ago, 14+ to be exact I started the tradition of the birthday fairy...
On the eve of our children's birthdays we place something all over the floor of their rooms.  So, when they arise a WHOLE year older on the morning of their birthday their is a surprise to get their day started off a little extra special!

I know CRAY - CRAy of me to add just one more thing to the already list of crazy things parents do for their kids (ie. the stupid elves that trash our homes, luny leprechauns that pee in your potties, etc).  But the birthday fairy is a little bit different.  It doesn't have to be B-I-G...  It is just a fun addition to their special day.  All our kids know that the birthday fairy is us!  Which is neato cause they actually thank US (not some fantasy) for our thoughtfulness and generosity.  As an added bonus often the other kids get in on the plan.  On more than one occasion - I have had another kid approach me and say, "mom, what are you doing for so and so's bday?  Because I have an idea!".  Some of the best birthday morning surprises have come from their sibling's minds - for example one year my second daughter suggested journals and notebooks for her big sister who is SUPER passionate about writing.  BEST idea ever!

Some of the things we have done in the past through the years for our four kids are -
cars (matchbox and dollar store cars not BMWs)
change (kids love money)
barbie bonanza
make-up (for my teen)
nerf stuff
princess paraphernalia
bubble gum
play doh
bras (that was for one of my preteen daughters not my son - he he)

This year we did one of MY FAVES! -- It looked so incredibly cool.  LED Balloons (that flashed!).  My second child turned 13 on Sunday and her room looked like a disco the night before.  What a way to usher in the TEEN years!

Here is the link to Amazon where I got my TOTALLY AWESOME - blinking balls of birthday fun!
(the 20 piece pack seems to be the best deal with free shipping with Amazon Prime) 


Keep in mind that this was done creatively not necessarily costing a ton of $.  Barbies were always sale ones,  lots of barbie clothes because those are reasonably priced and I even included just printed pics of the glamorous girl.  Makeup was always buy one get one and included a bunch of Dollar store stuff (thank God she didn't get an eye infection).  Bras were from Ross and TJ Maxx (great prices on undergarments)!  
You get the picture....

Friday, August 16, 2013

Navigating a City? Let the kids give it a go!

Most people either have a great sense of direction or they are lost most of the time.  Is a sense of direction or the ability to read a map something we are just born with?  Or are these learned?  In a world of GPSs, are these abilities null and void? 
I love maps!  One of my daughters loves maps. It is rare that I am lost even before the invention of the GPS I always kind of knew where I was, knew where I came from and knew where I was going. 
On our family trip to Charleston for spring break I had an idea. Charleston is a very walkable city. It was a new city to us and as easy as it would have been to use the walking option on our navigation app on our phones, I decided let's let the kids navigate us through the city. 
I had made plenty of reservations for meals and activities during our stay. Sidebar - kind of a must when visiting during a super busy time like spring break.  Due to the fact that we knew in advance where and when we needed to be certain places I printed directions from our condo to all the activities. I chose the walking option on mapquest and printed each leg of our day separately so that the kids could alternate who had the chance to be the navigator.  With print out in hand our little explorers looked excited with their new sense of purpose. To get there family from here to there. Even at the age of 11 or 9 or even 3 to have that much responsibility is fun. Yes, I did one for the baby too (only one turn). As parents it was awe inspiring to watch their tentative little faces tilt up to read street signs and raise their hands to make the letter L shape with their fingers to help them remember their left from their right. 
Yes, this whole process was more work for me before we even left our home.  Printing and highlighting activities for three days- from the condo to breakfast, from breakfast to museum, from the museum to lunch -  you get the picture.  It was certainly worth the effort. I hope to instill in our kids a sense of exploring wonder that they can manage their way through our big beautiful world with a built-in internal compass.  That will always help them find where they are going and help them find their way home. 

If you like this post check out this one you will LOVE it - Where the Road Takes You (or your kids take you)

SkyView Atlanta and More ~ Want Someone to Come Visit Us - so we can go downtown Atlanta

to check out some of the NEW or IMPROVED sites.....
I know it seems hokey but kinda want to ride the new SKYVIEW ATLANTA.  Recently completed last month sitting 20 stories high with 42 gondolas (that can accommodate up to 6 people each) right next to Centennial Olympic Park.  I love carnival type stuff and I love sightseeing - this seems to package the two very nicely.
The SkyView Ferris wheel was initially in Paris right across the street from the Louvre Museum.  It was also in Switzerland for a little while, and then it was in Pensacola, Florida. Pensacola was always a temporary destination. They moved from there to here because they decided Centennial Olympic Park was the perfect place for this attraction. - according to Jason Evans an Atlanta SkyView spokesman.
While downtown I would of course try to catch the Fountain Show at Centennial Olympic Park. There are four shows a day check out the website to see what time works for your schedule.  Search out our BRICK (maybe this time remember paper and crayons so the kids can make a rubbing of it).  Grab lunch at Googie Burger right there in the middle of the park.  They have a burger here that has a hot dog on top of it!  No need to choose burger or dog/ burger or dog, why not have BOTH?  Yummy fries and delicious shakes both for kids AND adults.  Yup, they have adult milkshakes complete with a bit o' booze in them.  Delectable flavors like - Twinkie (vanilla vodka and crème de banana) and the Red Devil (vanilla vodka, creme de cocoa, maraschino cherry juice).    Make your day at the park feel like an instant vacation.
Next up would be to visit the newly remodeled Sundial Restaurant, Bar & View at the top Westin Peachtree Plaza.  It had been closed ALL summer long for these renovations.  I would love to see this cool space brought up to today's style.  Have a drink at The Bar on 73, the rotating bar on top of the tallest hotel in the Western Hemisphere!  Don't forget your pennies and a little note pad/pen.  We like to leave a little gift at one location on the railing then when you have made the complete 360 degree rotation you can see if anybody else played along.  Either adding a penny or writing a little note back.  A complete rotation takes 35 minutes, the perfect amount of time to order a drink and a bite to eat.  As they now have a bar menu available or if you prefer for more of a sit down meal experience you can always make a reservation at The Sundial Restaurant itself.