Thursday, October 31, 2013

Boo to You!

Happy Halloween from my monkey family to yours! Halloween has been a really long holiday for us this year since we started celebrating in mid-September when we went to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party on our Disney World trip. The good thing about that is that we've had our costumes ready for a while. The bad thing is that I've been eating candy pretty much non-stop since then. We're excited to have some theme music this year. We loved the Boo to You Halloween music at Disney so much that we added it to our Halloween soundtrack for our neighbors to enjoy tonight.

To continue with the festivities, we'll be having mummy hot dogs for dinner and spiderweb munch for dessert (not that we need dessert tonight). Then Dadda monkey will take the monkeys trick or treating while I stay home eating handing out candy. Stay safe and have fun, everyone!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Halloween Party

The monkeys and I had a costume party to attend at a neighbors house. She requested we all bring Halloween themed treats. She had mummy dogs, gummy worms, jack o'lantern quesadillas, punch with dry ice smoke, etc... Dadda monkey requested I try something we haven't seen on every Halloween food themed article we've seen. This is the pumpkin bundt cake I attempted.

I figured it was simple enough, two bundt cakes placed with their bottoms meeting in the middle, some orange frosting, and a green ice cream cone. We've been abnormally busy the past couple of weeks so I decided to take the easy route and buy spice cake mix and cream cheese frosting. Normally, I'd make them from scratch, in fact, at the same time I also bought pumpkin just in case I had time to try a new recipe I found. The green ice cream cones were quite elusive though, despite knowing we'd seen them before. I finally grabbed them at HEB hours before the party today.

Time was still a major constraint for me and I thought we might have to go with half a pumpkin because I don't own two bundt pans so I couldn't bake both sides at once. One other thing to note is that I think the cake in this picture was baked in a smaller bundt pan because my cone didn't fit snugly in the center like this one. Lastly, I was able to get my two halves to meet together nicely only because I had this trusty tool on hand. It trimmed the bottoms perfectly and the halves sat flat on top of each other. All in all, this was a pretty easy Halloween treat to make.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Parent Teacher Conferences

Monkey girl just started kindergarten and tonight is our first parent teacher conference. We've had a few incidents since she started school, but I don't think that's out of the ordinary for kids just starting public school. There's a lot of new experiences, a large building to navigate, new teachers and classmates, a busy schedule for a full day (8-3), riding the bus, eating in a cafeteria, homework (oh gosh, the homework! It's supposed to be work for her, not me, right?!), etc... Mix that with a type A personality and I would think there's bound to be a few bumps along the way. 

We've done our best (I think) to correct any issues that have cropped up and I'm hoping that tonight goes well. Monkey girl is smart, enthusiastic, curious, and social. Yes, I'm her Mom so I may be a bit biased. However, knowing her, I can see how it's hard for her to focus. Then again, as a friend pointed out those traits that may make school a bit difficult now also indicate she'll be a good leader.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

$200 Holiday Gift Card Giveaway

Welcome to the Holiday Gift Card Blowout Giveaway!

Gift Card Blow Out

The Holidays are coming and I am sure everyone could use some extra cash to buy gifts for your loved ones or maybe fund upcoming travel $200 would totally help with all these expenses.

This giveaway is made possible by my awesome co- hosts :

My Dairy Free Gluten Free Life , What Simply Works , Oh Locked Heart , Capri"s Coupon

and a lot more of other fabulous bloggers!


One very lucky person will win a $200 Gift Card of her choice

Giveaway will run until 11/15/2013 at 11:59pm EST, is open worldwide, must be 18 + to enter, and use the Rafflecopter widget below. Good Luck!


Better Beater Blade for KitchenAid Mixers

Another of my favorite kitchen items is this Beater Blade. It's designed to be used with your KitchenAid mixer and is essential in my opinion. When I first got my Kitchenaid mixer, I noticed that I had to do a lot of scraping with my spatula to ensure things were mixed thoroughly. That is a thing of the past thanks to my beater blade. It scrapes the side of the bowl with the soft spatula-like edges and works like a charm. I highly encourage you to get this if you have a KitchenAid mixer.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Fifth Estate

I don't usually do back to back movie reviews so I will get another post up this weekend. However, I would not waste your precious weekend time watching this movie. To be honest, The Fifth Estate, didn't intrigue me much when I first heard of it, but I gave it a go anyways. I think the movie could have been an hour long TV series and done just as well. It was dry, convoluted, and the characters weren't appealing. The Fifth Estate is the story of Wikileaks - how it began, about the founder, and about the demise. It doesn't seem to find a good balance between telling a story and documenting history. There's a recurring scene that's meant to be symbolic and help you understand how the Wikileaks organization runs, but it carries it a bit too far. I enjoyed the night out, but wish it had been a better movie.

****Two Monkeys Sleeping****

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Captain Phillips, a must see!

Dadda monkey and I spent one of our date nights watching Captain Phillips. I had been looking forward to seeing this one and it did not disappoint! Tom Hanks was captivating as Captain Phillips and the story was interesting from start to finish. The movie is 2 hours and 14 minutes long, which at first seems long, but there wasn't a portion I'd cut out. There wasn't any point that I thought they were dragging it out.

It seems as Tom Hanks has gotten older he's taken on more serious roles and he excelled in this one. There were a couple of small parts that were mildly humorous, though I'm not sure they were necessarily supposed to be. At one point, he exclaims, "What was that?!" and the audience chuckled a bit. The story has some unexpected twists and leaves you trying to anticipate what comes next.

All in all, I'm really glad we got to see the film and I'm happy to see it's getting good ratings from people aside from us. I highly encourage you to go see it for yourselves.

Friday, October 11, 2013


I signed up for Greenling organic produce delivery (you can check them out here) several months ago and it's been an entertaining experiment. We've gotten to try some new things all from local farmers, but the most interesting part is what you do when you get your local box delivered. For example, today's delivery consists of: spinach, mixed greens, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, avocado, red potatoes, persimmons, and key limes. Now make a meal with that...! To be fair, they do offer recipes that incorporate that week's ingredients.

I'm not the best cook, I love to bake, but cooking is more of a team effort between Dadda monkey and I. However, I have gotten good at finding recipes to try and thank goodness for I can search by ingredients so the butternut squash will become a roasted side dish, persimmons will become cookies, and key limes will become pie (of course!). Spinach is an easy addition to our morning smoothies in the Vitamix and mixed greens will be a nice side salad. I'm hoping the red potatoes can become an easy baked potato soup, but I'll have to research that more.

There is some rain in the forecast so that will make it a bit easier to focus on this task and get started on prep. I'm looking forward to a potentially rainy evening sitting at home with our monkeys. We may make it a movie night since we have no where to be this evening. I hope you all have an enjoyable night ahead as well!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Fifth Estate

The Fifth Estate comes out next Friday. I don't usually favor political dramas, but I thought this one could be interesting. I'll let you know what I thought next week in my review. Here's a clip for you to view for yourself:

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Frozen Fun!

The monkeys and I have been looking forward to Disney's new film, Frozen. If you haven't seen the trailer, watch this:

To go along with the upcoming release, I have some family fun activities to share. Create your own Olaf, the snowman or do one of Bro Bro monkey's favorites, a fun maze!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Returning from Vacation

Does anyone else's email/desktop look like this when they return from vacation?! 66124 emails!

Also, yes, the kids have their own bookmarks to play games and watch videos on my desktop. Another aside, kaboodle has made it much easier for my husband to buy me gifts. I find something I like on the internet, I add it to my kaboodle, and voila... when it's time for him to buy me a present, he just checks my kaboodle list! :)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Potty Training

I promised I'd make this post a few weeks ago, but things (life) has been busy at the monkey household including a mouse-oriented vacation. However, the delay helped me come to some more conclusions.

 Monkey girl was potty trained around 4 years old. Despite numerous attempts to organize a schedule, setting alarms to remind her to try using potty chair, drinking more water, etc... (you know the normal routine we parents go through come potty training time), she just wasn't getting it. Then one day it was like a light switch went off in her head, as if she just realized what we were going for and from that day on, she used the potty chair (day and night) without much effort. It took a while, caused us much frustration, but in the end it was simple, she just needed to be ready and figure it out for herself.

Not that I'm saying the efforts we put forth weren't worth it, in fact I'm certain that's what helped her understand what the goal was, but I firmly believe she just needed to be physically and mentally ready. I will say I was getting nervous because of her age. Her Mother's Day Out required them to be potty trained for the 4 year old class (I know others that require it for the 3 year old class) and I had tons of friends who boasted that their 2 year olds were successfully potty trained. As I hung my head and muttered something about 'potty training going well, but not being quite there yet', I envied these friends. Why was it so simple for them?

Then after Bro Bro monkey's 3rd birthday, we decided to buckle down and get the routine going for him. After all, that four year old Mother's Day Out was looming and I knew that meant it had to get done. Talk about pressure! Bro Bro monkey still wasn't getting it as we approached his 4th birthday. Again, the nerves set in, the thoughts that I wasn't doing my best as his parent, the not knowing what I was doing wrong or what I should be doing instead...

He'd sit down on his potty when I asked him, but even when he would go pee pee, he didn't even realize he was going. It was purely coincidence that the timing of sitting on the potty chair and actually having to go lined up. It eventually became a struggle to even get him to 'try' by sitting on his potty chair.

We started a reward system just for trying to keep the training going. The reward system worked brilliantly for us. Bro Bro loves trains and Thomas engines were relatively inexpensive. With the infrequency of our successes we decided it was worth it for our endeavor. However, the more he tried, the more he'd want a reward for a drop of urine. Simultaneously, I was getting frustrated with both monkeys reluctance to clean their rooms. So we came up with a plan. For Bro Bro monkey, we'd ask him to clean his room and we'd come check on him in a couple of minutes. If he was caught playing instead of cleaning, we'd take a toy away (usually a train). In the beginning, we collected a lot of trains! We'd place them on our entertainment center, near his potty chair, and told him that when he'd try to use the potty on his own, we'd reward him by giving him one of the trains back. Thank goodness, because buying trains was starting to add up, not only in expense, but clutter! This reward system has worked brilliantly, he's been motivated not only to be efficient with his cleaning, but also to use the potty chair on his own.

Back to potty training, Bro Bro just wasn't getting it. Shortly before our trip to Disney World, he started realizing when he had to go and actually USING the potty chair. Of course, as we were about to set off on a 9 day road trip, I was less than enthused about the timing, but of course I was thrilled that things were progressing. As we've continued, we've had our setbacks, obstacles, and continued frustrations, but overall he's doing well. We need to work on using the potty chair away from home, going #2, and night time potty training, but at home, we're having almost no accidents! Plus he's become pretty adept at cleaning his room! :)

By the way, the monkeys and I highly endorse the Baby Bjorn potty chair we've been using for many years now. We have 2 of them (one highback upstairs, and the one pictured downstairs). 

Holiday Gift Card Blowout for Bloggers

Gift Card blow out photo GiftCardBlowOut_zps2bfc763e.jpgFREE With Paid OPTIONS/ OPEN WW

This giveaway is hosted by Happy Home and Family

Prize: $500 Amazon Gift Card Event

Tentative Dates: October 20 – November 20

Deadline of Sign-ups: October 5

Get 1 Free link (Twitter) with announcement post. ($5 waiver fee without announcement post)

The blog who refers the most bloggers will get free co-host spot. (If you paid for co-host and wins referral prize, your payment will be refunded)

Questions? Email me:


SIGN UP HERE and please mention that Mommy 2 Monkeys referred you

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Fiber Element Bamboo Sheet Set Giveaway!

Welcome to the

Fiber Element Bamboo Sheet Set Giveaway!

My bedroom is my sanctuary and I've made sure to make my bed very relaxing. Perhaps too relaxing! Is there anything better than snuggling in bed after a long day? With many of us spending at least a third of our lives in bed, we should spoil ourselves a bit more at bed time. One of the best ways to make bedtime feel more luxurious is with high quality, silky sheets. While many of us may love the feel of such soft sheets, however, many of us cannot afford the price tag goes alongside high quality cotton sheets, leading to us spending more money in the long run on sheets that will quickly fall apart or lose that softness after a few washings. Luckily, there is an option that is not only friendly for your wallet, but the environment as well - Fiber Elements Organic Bamboo Sheets! With Fiber Elements bamboo sheets, you are getting sheets that are not only environmentally friendly, but softer than even 1,000 thread count cotton sheets. Once you have laid your head on these sheets and felt their super soft texture, you will never buy cotton sheets again! While these sheets normally retail for $139.99 - $219.99, Fiber Elements is currently running a sale on their sheets, allowing you to buy a Full, Queen, King, or California king set even more cheaply. The only thing better than purchasing a set of these sheets, however, is winning a set of your own! Good luck!

Five lucky readers will receive a Fiber Elements Organic Bamboo Sheet set of their choice!

Giveaway ends October 23rd at 11:59pm, open to US and Canada, ages 18+. To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck.

Organized by Mom Powered Media. With special co-host My Dairy Free Gluten Free Life.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure:Mommy 2 Monkeys is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment. Please contact with questions or to see your business or blog featured on the next big event!

Yard Sale Time...Still Not Prepared

Our neighborhood is hosting a community yard sale this weekend. Despite having gone through this a couple of times now, I'm still not prepared. This time I blame it on being sick, being busy with other things, having cars parked in the garage so there's no room to organize, and just complete laziness. I also feel like I don't have any big ticket items and last time we had a yard sale without eye candy, we didn't do well. I thought about joining with another neighbor, but that means I'd need to be really prepared. We'll see how much I can accomplish Friday. 

I'm still adjusting to the monkey's school routines too. Between the start of the year at a new school, our vacation, and being sick, any semblance of a routine has gone out the window. We got monkey girl's homework done for this week, BUT I forgot to wash her nap towel so she's been without it for the last two days. Which reminds me... it's still sitting in the laundry room! Talk to you all later.