Wondercon 2015 and Family Geekery

by Leila on April 17, 2015

We love going to geek-cons like Wondercon (conventions of ultimate geekery) for different reasons. My husband loves the artwork, getting art signed and meeting the artists. We have an insane collection of geeky artwork that we keep adding to. The kids love the cosplay aspect of it and taking pics. I love sharing something that I love with my family and friends. It’s just a good time!

My now thirteen year old (when did THAT happen) is obsessed with anime. She wanted to create a “gender bender” cosplay – It’s where you take a character and switch it’s gender – of a male character called Soul Evans from the anime Soul Eater. Soul Evans is a dude who has a pretty easy to duplicate outfit. She gave it a girly twist and added her own style to it. She rocked it!

Soul Evans Gender Bender

Our seven year old son dressed up as Captain America the first day we went to Wondercon. He loves Captain America – so does my husband… he is converting our son into a Marvel fan. LONG LIVE BATMAN!

Anyway… he was adorable in his Captain America costume. They both had a great time taking pics with other cosplayers. We had a blast. It made them giddy when someone approached them asking to take a pic of them :) Our 7 year old son has become quite the diva over it.

 Wondercon 2015

It was a store bought costume that has seen a ton of use. It’s a smidgen too small for him, but he wanted to wear it one last time before we retired it. After a long first day of walking around, checking out booths, taking pics, seeing friends and family we were hanging out in the front of the Anaheim Convention Center when the most amazing cosplay I have ever seen stomped out and made a scene.

Apocalypse.

I was holding our 10 month old and I tossed her into her Daddy’s arms, grabbed my camera, took my son’s hand and ran off to try to get a pic.

Wondercon - Apocalypse vs Captain America

It made his day.

The second day my son dressed up like Jayne from Firefly. This may have been influenced by me. Maybe. Browncoats for life. Shiny :)

Wondercon 2015 Soul Eater and Jayne

Yes, that is an R2D2 stroller! My baby cousin is NOT ready to share that droid just yet but my daughter is ready to take it over.

Wondercon R2D2 Stroller

We try to raise our kids in an environment that allows them to figure out their own interests. Our kids are very different and all have different hobbies. We have VERY different opinions on who’s the best superhero. Our oldest decided that he isn’t into these types of cons like Wondercon and part of being a supportive parent is giving them the choice to choose. Even if his choice goes against his Father’s DNA! He is the introvert. Maybe he is just being a typical teen who is rebelling against what we like. Maybe we embarrass him. It’s possible… we are kind of crazy.

It won’t stop the rest of us from geeking out!

Supporting our kids in their different areas of geekery is something I hope more parents do.

Okay, sure it may seem strange to some that your teen or young adult “baby” wants to dress up like a character and parade around with others doing the same thing. But, where is the harm in that? I’m not gonna lie… while Wondercon is VERY family friendly there are a lot of cosplayers who wear basically nothing. I saw more asses hanging out at Wondercon than should be necessary. It was hilarious watching our boys notice the butts hanging out and watching them get uncomfortable.

I never claimed to be a perfect parent. I will laugh at my kids. It’s okay because they give it right back.

If a child, tween or teen likes sci-fi and fantasy books, collectibles from their favorite movies, playing roleplaying games or nerding out on some game that they play with their friends just let them be nerds.

You don’t have to love it or understand it… but, please don’t discourage it. It may be a phase. It may be a lifetime hobby.

Just let them be nerds…

because they may find the actual Tardis. Nothing about the Doctor or the Tardis is bad.

Wondercon - Tardis and Doctor Who

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Watermelon Sundae

This Watermelon Sundae is a perfect summer treat for anyone, but it is super awesome when you are juggling multiple food allergies.

Instead of using ice cream we use scoops of watermelon and then add a mountain of delicious toppings. Sometimes we also add soy or coconut ice cream in with the watermelon scoops too! Like most food allergy planning I always advise to make a list of all the things you can have and work with that. This has been a fun go to dessert because it’s so versatile and I love using all the fresh fruit from the farmers market during the summer.

Below is a list of delicious topping ideas. This is always evolving. Let me know if there are some toppings of deliciousness that you would add to this list.

Enjoy and if you happy to share a picture of your own watermelon creation tag me in it on Instagram or Facebook!

Allergy Friendly Watermelon Sundae

Watermelon Sundae Toppings -

Bananas – Cut into circles or cut in half lengthwise if you are going to make a Banana Split!
Dark Chocolate Chips – A Tasty Antioxidant Boost!
Nesquik chocolate syrup
Allergy friendly yogurt (I’ve used soy yogurt)
Strawberries
Blueberries
Okay… all the berries you can have!
Whipped Topping (We use Soy Whip for a milk allergy friendly alternative! )
Sprinkles
Cherry on Top (Pitted!)
Kiwi
Carob Chips
Pineapple Chunks
Crumbled Graham Crackers or Cookies of Choice (We use lots of Oreos)
Honey or Agave Syrup
Favorite Jam, Jelly, Preserves or Fruit Syrup

This recipe was also featured on Super Healthy Kids many years ago as a guest post. 

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DIY Grow Light Stand aka Gardening is Good

by Leila on March 12, 2015

This year my husband and I decided to make some serious changes in our garden – starting with a DIY grow light stand for seed starting made out of pvc pipe. It’s super easy and cost us around $65 for everything.

DIY Grow LIght Stand

I love to garden. I love growing my own noms. There is something amazeballs about summer and the kids playing outside and snacking on what’s ripe in the garden. It was something we didn’t have last year after I was on bed rest and my garden was neglected. I wish I had a few acres of land, but we live in Southern California and have limited space. One day I will make that happen.

For now we are slowly transforming our garden to utilize the small amount of gardening space we have.

I knew I wanted grow lights this year. I’ve killed countless seedlings after starting them too late, too soon or the fluctuating Los Angeles weather not playing nice. After searching many options and pricing out already made options we decided to go with a DIY grow light stand. We went with PVC pipe because it’s affordable and easy to work with.

You can find awesome detailed instructions on constructing a DIY grow light stand HERE

It took us longer to buy the supplies than to build the thing. We even had our 12 year old help with the saw

DIY Grow Light Stand

One of our next projects will be to create the perfect work area. We obviously need it. But, you don’t need a fancy set up to get your DIY on. I’m just keeping it real.

In addition to making a DIY grow light stand I also purchased a seed heat mat on Amazon. I have heard heat mats make a huge difference… but, were they really worth it? Did I want to spend an extra $20 – $30 to warm the soil? I am so glad I did. Our tomatoes sprouted in just a few days and I’m convinced they are stronger because of it. My kids and I have decided we are going to do a little experiment to test this theory and I will update our results.

I will also update this after we make our modifications to your DIY grow light stand. After we have had it going for a few weeks I want to add another light. Our tomatoes are doing fabulous so far. I cannot wait to get them into our vertical garden!

DIY Vertical Garden

After you build your own DIY grow light stand what will you grow? My best advice for your edible garden this year is to grow what you love to eat and especially what costs the most. After our DIY grow light stand was built I was ready to start growing tomatoes of many different varieties. We will have tomatoes coming out of our ears! The kids and I love fresh tomatoes. My hubby hates tomatoes, but I’ll grow some cucumbers for him. Maybe.

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Boysenberry Festival

Knotts Berry Farm’s Boysenberry Festival is back and you will not want to miss all the deliciousness.

When I was a kid I loved all things boysenberry. I always cherished my jars of boysenberry preserves that we picked up after a day of funsies at Knotts. By cherished I mean I was a greedy little gnome and hated to share. I seriously hid those jars and hoped no one would find them. Again… greedy little gnome.

I may have a jar stashed away in the back of my fridge right now. I realize I may have a problem.

The Boysenberry Festival is 16 days (March 28th – April 12th) of celebrating Knott’s boysenberry deliciousness roots in historic Ghost Town. It’s 16 days of yummy boysenberry noms, entertainment, wine tastings (Yup. Booze!) and family funsies everyone will enjoy.

Our favorite food to enjoy at Knotts Berry Farm is the BBQ. We have had the best allergy friendly experience and the staff always goes above and beyond to make sure my kids are enjoying their BBQ safely. During the Boysenberry Festival I’m going to cover everything in boysenberry bbq sauce. The ribs and BBQ chicken covered with boysenberry BBQ sauce makes me so hungry I may chew on my laptop a little.

Boysenberry Festival

There will also be fried cheese curds paired with a spicy boysenberry dipping sauce, fish and chips sandwich with boysenberry tartar sauce, Boysenberry ICEE Floats, Boysenberry Frappuccino and Latte (served at the new Gourmet Coffee Hut which proudly serves Starbucks drinks), and more charbroiled treats cooked on open-air barbeques throughout the streets of the festival.

Knott’s Berry Farm’s Boysenberry Festival is included with admission to Knott’s Berry Farm, additional cost for food tasting experiences. Knott’s has extended hours from 10am to 10pm during the Festival March 28 – April 12, 2015. Enjoy Knotts all year with their affordable passes.

Want to join in on the funsies? Enter below to win two tickets to visit Knotts Berry Farm during the Boysenberry Festival! The tickets must be used between March 28th and April 12th. Good luck, my ninjas!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimers and all the good stuff – Tickets are valid during the limited Boysenberry Festival event (March 28th through April 12th 2015) only. To enter the giveaway, please use the Rafflecopter widget. The winner will be notified via valid email address and will have 24 hours to respond before prize is forfeited. My family and I were invited to the Boysenberry Festival. All opinions are my own.

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Babies Are Weird aka My Bitey Ninja

by Leila on February 6, 2015

I’ve experienced some really strange moments since I became a Mom. All babies are different and do different things. Babies all have their unique quirks, personalities and these moments where you scratch your head and wonder WTF is wrong with them.

My 8 month old? She is a little twisted. She does really odd things. She likes to bite. She bites when she is happy. She bites when she is mad. She likes to bite random objects when she is exploring them. She really likes to bite the couch. Yes, the couch.

She’s an odd one.

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Honest Newborn Tips

Parenting is a blissful process where everything runs seamlessly and we truly know everything about how life with kids is supposed to be. Right?! Not quite.

When we actually become parents we realize that we didn’t know as much as we thought we did during those naive kidless and clueless days.

Before our kids invade our existence we make a lot of assumptions. We ask for advice. We plan. We prepare. We research. We think we know everything. We don’t really realize before that bundle of joy comes home that we don’t really know what the crap to expect.

All we can do is survive those first sleepless and exhausting weeks while trying to make the most of it.

Parents are hard on themselves. Moms especially. There are a lot of things I’ve learned as a Mom that I wish I knew then. There are topics that no one likes to talk about or admit to. This is about some of those things.

Expectations are Bullshit

It doesn’t matter what Suzy WhatsHerName or Mrs WhoTheCrap experienced with their baby. Every baby is different. You are different. It’s not their life or lifestyle. What you experience with your baby is all about you and no one else matters.

Don’t compare yourself or your baby to anyone else. WHO CARES?! Why? Because if people are saying their days with their newborns were flawless, perfect and easy they are either A) Lying B) On some strong painkillers C) Forgetful or D) It does NOT matter.

Speaking of forgetful… do not expect to remember everything. No matter if you just pushed twins out of your birthing hole or you adopted a brand new human – life changes quickly. This is a time of forgetfulness. You will probably forget what you are doing often. You may forget what life was like before your baby. You are probably going to forget to shower… often. You will have moments where you forget what you should be doing or what you read in all those parenting books.

It’s okay. You will figure it out. Focus on the moment and do what feels best for you and yours.

If people offer to help then take them up on it. It’s okay to take help. It’s also okay to need it. It’s even more okay to ask for it.

Also? Screw the books. Those are vague guidelines. No one can know how to be a perfect parent from reading a damn book. If that really were the case every baby would come with a manual and parents wouldn’t spend so much time googling whatever the crap made you stumble upon these words.

Every baby is different. Every parent is different. Rinse. Repeat.

Newborns are Sleep Demons and Eat Away At Your Soul

Yes, you  won’t sleep much.

Just accept that. It’s rough.

No, no… see above where I said to not compare yourself.

A lot of people say they had these magical newborns who sleep a lot. Some people talk about how they had these amazing sleep techniques that got their newborn to sleep through the night. Simple fact is this – your newborn is going to sleep however it wants and you gotta roll with it. Just give up and accept that if your newbie human prefers to sleep on your chest it’s best you get that nap in sitting upright. Sleep survival is key. Sleep training comes later.

You are NOT failing if your baby is a sleep demon who only allows you two hours of sleepy bliss at a time.

Full disclosure – I have three biological children and all had different sleep habits as newborns. My oldest was the most horrible sleeper on the planet. I cursed my friends who said their babies slept through the night right away. I, jokingly, called all of them liars. My now seven month old started sleeping through the night right away. It happens. All you sleep deprived parents can freely hate me. It’s cool. I’ve been there. The first time Mom in me wants to kick my currently fully rested Mom me in the ass. I bring this up because there was nothing different that I did. My kids just popped out programmed with certain sleep cycles in the early days and I had to adjust accordingly.

When your kids are older these phases of frustration vanish and are replaced with new things that damage your calm. It gets better. It changes. Sometimes, it gets worse. You forget it was ever an issue and you keep moving forward. One thing I’ve learned from being a parent is that you just have to get through those hurdles and know it won’t always be rough. Laugh when you can… even if it’s that loopy, weird and sleep deprived laughter that makes you feel a little crazy.

Newborns Are Like Drunks Who Can’t Hang

Newborns puke unexpectedly.

They seem to be in a daze all the time.

They pass out at the oddest times, in the strangest positions and wake up for apparently no damn reason.

Sometimes they crap themselves and get it over EVERYTHING.

They can make things awkward and not even realize it.

Did I mention they puke unexpectedly??

You can’t expect much out of them until this phase passes.

I don’t remember what I expected as a first time Mom with my newbie human adorable… blob. Newborns just don’t do much. I affectionately call this the blob phase. It’s a great thing that our blobby babies don’t come out walking and talking because those first weeks everyone needs to rest and bond.

Your Newbie Human is Taking it Easy… YOU Need the SAME!

No matter if you had a vaginal birth, c-section or adopted your newbie baby those first weeks should be about rest, bonding and adjusting. Becoming a parent is emotionally, physically and mentally exhausting, but it is the most rewarding thing you will ever experience. Life isn’t always pure bliss and that is okay! Those first few weeks may be the hardest adjustment you have ever experienced… but, it does get easier.

Yes, everyone says to sleep when your baby does. Just do it. Everything else can wait. Sleep exhaustion sucks and it’s a real thing. Don’t push yourself because of some cleaning.

Be selfish. You need to tell yourself it’s okay to be selfish. If you don’t really want everyone coming over then don’t. Put your foot down or totally avoid them. Just know that your needs and desires in those first days are important. If you don’t want anyone coming over so you don’t have to worry about getting dressed, being upright or sharing your baby then you do not have to.

I know that is all easier said than done.

If Your Baby Came Out of You – Your Body Will Do Weird Shit

You will bleed for around four weeks as your body sheds lochia. It can be a lot. Some women bleed more and longer than others. Blood clots feel weird. You will not be able to use tampons. Invest in the biggest and most comfortable pads out there. A lot of women use Depends those first few weeks and they prevent a lot of leakage!

Yes, depends. You’re welcome.

Stitches suck no matter where they are or how many. Take damn good care of them.

I loved my squirt bottle, sits baths and tucks medicated pads for relief. Buy a lot of them! Laying witch hazel pads inside your pads is the most soothing thing that I learned after my third labor.

It’s probably going to hurt to pee if you evacuated your baby through your vagina. Pouring warm water over your lady parts helps soothe the pain. Unless you are awesomely lucky those first poops are going to hurt. You were probably prescribed stool softeners. Love and cherish them. Try to avoid eating things that back you up.

Stock up on ice packs, wrap them in a cloth, put them on your chair/bed and sit on them often for relief.

If you are breastfeeding your boobs will turn into giant, painful and rock hard milk torpedos when your milk comes in after birth. That’s how I felt. Engorgement is a weird feeling. It will pass.

Your nipples will hurt during the first few weeks of breastfeeding. I’m not going to get into all the details in this post… but, I can say from experience that if part of your nipple falls off because of breastfeeding that it eventually grows back.

If you are formula feeding people can be judgy. Ignore them. Whatever made you decide to bottle feed is YOUR choice.

If you are nursing don’t judge formula feeders. Focus on your own boobs, please.

Some women swell up like Violet from Willy Wonka after birth. My feet never swelled during pregnancy but, they did after my last labor. I retained water, looked like I had balloon feet and it was painful at times. It went away, thankfully.

During pregnancy your body went through a lot of changes. Don’t expect it to be the same. Embrace your motherly body changes. The first time I looked at my reflection after my oldest was born I thought, “Holy shit, I look like a kangaroo!” – flabby midsections and lack of elasticity is typical as are stretch marks. Embrace those tiger marks, mamas.

Your emotions may be all over the place. Hormones can be evil. If you feel off, it’s a good idea to educate yourself and be aware of postpartum depression. I refer everyone I know to the amazing site Postpartum Progress that is a plethora of information and support. A lot of the articles on Postpartum Progress are good for anyone to know to help get over the emotional transitions of becoming a parent.

If you are adoptive parents, Dad or “The Other Mother” then just know that knowledge is power. You are welcome for all the lovely descriptions and visuals.

Finding the Silver Lining

Newborns are exhausting.

It’s a life changing event.

It is often difficult… and more difficult than most want to talk about.

You have a free pass to be a lazy mess.

You have an excuse to nap often with the best smelling snuggle buddy.

Newborns smell amazing!

You can be a creepy baby stalker and stare at your newborn while he/she sleeps and see all of their strange expressions.

Or stare just because newborns are adorable.

Enjoy the adorable clothes.

Smile, talk and make will faces at your newborn. Soon… your newborn will reciprocate.

Find the people in your life who do not suck and share all the awesomeness you can. Vent when you need to.

Make yourself a priority as much as your baby.

But, no matter what road you took to become a parent just enjoy the shit out of it. Enjoy it in your way. Embrace the things you dig and not what other people say.

Welcome to parenthood. I hope you enjoy the shit out of it.

This isn’t medical advice or anything to replace a doctor’s word. If you are concerned about your well-being or your body ALWAYS seek a doctor’s help. These opinions are my opinions and the same thing I would tell any friend sitting in the same room as me.

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WTF Did You Say

I used to think I would dread the tween and teen years. Sure, the hormones suck. Sometimes they damage my calm in ways that are unimaginable. But, there are moments I really enjoy when their innocence clashes with the world they weren’t aware of in their youth. I keep open dialog with the kids as much as I am able to. It’s important to me that they know they can talk to me about anything. Even if talking to me about anything can make me uncomfortable.

Sometimes it’s hilarious.

My Sometimes Awkward 12 Year Old Daughter – Maybe he is going to be her… loooooveerrrrr…. (does this weird eyebrow thing)

Me – Uh… what? Are you having an allergic reaction? What is making you do that eyebrow thing?!

My Innocent 12 Year Old Daughter – haha What?! You know! Lover! Like someone you love a lot.

Me – That’s not exactly the definition of lover based on the way you are saying it and how you are innocently implying something you aren’t aware of.

Her – What does it mean?! I thought it was just someone you love a lot!

Me – Well, it can be used as the lover or an object like “My daughter is a lover of books”. But, the way you are using it is more like the sexual way…

Her – The what way?!?!?!?!

Me – Like a lover can be used as being someone a person is having sex with and it used to mostly mean having sex out of marriage or in an affair way…

My Completely Embarrassed 12 Year Old – Oh. NO!! EEEEEWWWWW….

Me – So, yeah. Read your fricken dictionary!

Her – MOMMY!!! You listen to a lot of inappropriate music with that word in it!!!

Me – What?!

My Adorable Now Freaking Out 12 Year Old – And oh my gosh I used that lover thing a lot and it’s all so gross now!! I’m replaying every time my friends and I said it. We are disgusting and don’t even know it. How embarrassing!!!

Me – Well, that word you keep using. I do not think it means what you think it means…

Her – Not funny… eeeewwwwwwww… I used that word with my kittens! Like that they are my lovers!!

Me – That is gross and we wouldn’t call that lovers it’s a different word entirely …

Her – I don’t want to know. Ever. I’m ruined.

Me – I’m loving this! Use. Your. Dictionary!!

My Completely Mortified 12 Year Old – Wait… WHY IS THERE A WORD ABOUT CAT SEX?!

and I left it at that… laugh snorting so hard I couldn’t breath.

Teenagers are hysterical.

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I’m not juggling my writing and timelines well at all. It’s pretty obvious but I feel it had to be said. I’m just going to blame the baby… 

A dear friend of mine, CharlaBlue, is a freaking amazing photographer. Do you remember my blog headshots where she transformed my usual tomboy self into … someone who doesn’t quite look like me? Well, her camera magic made that happen (and the wine I had helped).

We had a newborn photo session. Yes, newborn… let’s pretend I uploaded this six months ago! Honestly, this feels like it happened yesterday. I find myself already sad that the baby phase is zipping by so quickly.

I take a lot of pics of my kids… as you may have noticed on Instagram. But, there is something special about seeing your baby through someone else’s lense. I love what Charla captured.

 Charlablue Photography - Los Angeles Newborn Photography 6

Charlablue Photography - Los Angeles Newborn Photography 6

Charlablue Photography - Los Angeles Newborn Photography 6

Charlablue Photography - Los Angeles Newborn Photography 6

Charlablue Photography - Los Angeles Newborn Photography 6

If you live in the Los Angeles or Orange County area and are in search of an amazeballs photographer then check out her work. I love seeing her work pop up on my feeds. It’s gorgeous. She does everything from newborn photo session to graduation to family pics and everything in between.

You can check out the CharlaBlue Photography portfolio

Charla Blue is also on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Thanks again, Charla… You are the best!

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Infant Food Allergies – Here We Go Again

by Leila on January 15, 2015

Infant Food Allergies

When my now twelve year old daughter was a month old she broke out in hives and had difficulty breathing after I nursed her. That was when our food allergy adventure began.

Severe allergic reactions from breastfeeding aren’t common. Typically, when an infant shows signs of a food allergy it’s when solids are introduced.

Food allergies are common in my family. I did my research and prepared myself with a system of introducing solids, with pre-printed charts and I planned to make all the baby food myself when she would turn six months. Yeah, I was one of those first time Moms.

What I didn’t expect or prepare for was to go on an elimination diet, discover that she had over twenty food allergies and discover how severe “contact” sensitivities could be starting when she was a month old. Hands had to be washed thoroughly and certain foods could not be cooked in the house.

It wasn’t easy. It was a huge adjustment. Most people who should have been supportive were being downright dicks about it. The more severe her food allergies became the more I saw a judgmental and selfish side of people that I will never understand. I refused to accept a life of isolation for her like so many often wish on kids with food allergies. Again, there are some things that I will never understand about people.

Those people are filtered out and don’t become a major part of our lives. It took me awhile but I learned to not waste time with negativity. Thankfully, over the years we have made some amazing friends that we appreciate.

All the modifications and food allergy management was challenge to figure out in the beginning. I made a lot of mistakes. That was the hardest part… knowing a mistake could potentially be life threatening. That part never gets easier. But, every mistake no matter how small helped me learn.

Now, all the ways I have modified our lifestyle to keep my daughter safe has become part of the routine. It’s our normal. It’s how we roll. It keeps her safe, alive and living an almost typical life. It is so easy now that I don’t even have to stress over the constantly evolving changes. When my now seven year old son was born his minor food allergies weren’t even a hurdle because we were already living without.

When we made the decision to try for “just one more” I knew that there was a possibility we could have another child with similar or worse health hurdles. It made me apprehensive for a long time. I took comfort in the fact knowing the hardest part is behind us because I’ve done all the research, I’m happy to live without and I know the routine to keep a child safe who has life threatening allergies.

When our baby was born, after a complicated pregnancy with bedrest, I immediately started to look for the signs. At first it seemed all was well.

Then all those familiar signs started surfacing.

It’s so hard to see your child in pain especially an infant. I’ve eliminated milks, eggs, nuts and salmon since those are major triggers for my baby girl. Her eczema and reflux is under control. I hope those are the only ones that we have to manage for her, but at only seven months old I know better than to focus on the what ifs. If the food allergy signs don’t improve then I will go on a full elimination diet.

I’ve been asked often if she is showing any signs of food allergies and how that’s going. Her nut allergy seems to be the worst of them. Despite how much food allergies suck I just don’t feel stressed about it. Maybe it’s because I’m a veteran at this and that I’m just so much more informed.

I’m not taking it lightly, but I’m not freaking out either.

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New-Years-Eve-Logo #knottsnye

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post by Knotts Berry Farm

I can’t remember a lot of New Years Eve celebrations from when I was younger, but I do remember every single one I spent at Knotts Berry Farm when I was a teenager. During that transitional period of childhood to adulthood I would ring in the New Year with friends where we engorged on funnel cake and rode roller coasters that almost made said funnel cake come up.

Obviously, a lot has changed with me… I mean, now it takes me only a couple roller coasters to make me pukey. It’s so worth it.

Basically, it was a perfect time for a group or thrill seeker teens who just wanted to have fun. My friends and I had a great time running amok at Knotts Berry Farm. It was safe, fun and we felt so free.

It was all the awesomeness of Knotts Berry Farm that we loved but we could be crazy until 1am, with live entertainment, dancing and it was like a big party.

Knotts New Years Eve - #KnottsNYE

We weren’t old enough for REAL parties so this was a better time. I think my Dad knew we would get in less trouble there than anywhere else. When I think about my kids now, especially our teen and tweens, I know I where I would rather have them.

I’m a mother with five kids (ages six months to fifteen) and our kids have very different interests and personalities. I also happen to be like a big kid. Right now many of our family memories are made in amusement parks because it’s a great balance of funsies for everyone. After such a crazy year I can’t think of a more perfect place than Knotts Berry Farm to ring in the new year. I love seeing the park through the eyes of my kids and it’s like reliving my childhood again. I’m especially cherishing these times where all the kids want to be with us before they become teens who are too cool for family.

I hope they never get too cool for me, because I’m pretty freaking awesome. ;) Really though… I want these memories for my kids to be as rad as they were for me.

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