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RoCA

Since this is Midwest Mom & WIFE … let’s talk about an awesome place to check out for date night 🙂

Travis and I were lucky to have someone watch our kiddos Saturday night for Valentine’s Day. We decided we would go downtown and check out the new restaurant RoCA!

They had delicious food, drinks and wine! Travis and I are big wine drinkers so we bought a bottle of Syrah. Our bartender was very knowledgable in wine and drinks. I actually learned a bit about wine while we were there.

We also tried the Smoking Gun cocktail. Travis and I are not big bourbon drinkers, but we were intrigued on how the drink was made! They take an old bourbon bottle that has a little bourbon and maple syrup on the bottom. Then they pump smoke into the bottle. When the cocktail is brought to you, you let the smoke sit and after a few minutes you pour the drink into your cocktail glass. It has a very smokey flavor. It was something new and different!

RoCA is known for their shared plates, boards, and schpreads. I am a huge cheese lover, especially when we are drinking wine! We ordered the Combine Meat & Cheese Board. Oh my goodness, it was perfect! There was goat cheese, blue cheese, pastrami, pickled cucumbers, nuts, and more. It was perfect! We also split the Smoked Mac & Cheese, which was delish also!

RoCA is the perfect date night spot! The atmosphere is fun, the staff is knowledgeable and the food & drinks are delicious!

Science Sleuths at the Urbandale Public Library

The kids and I checked out Science Sleuths Friday at the Urbandale Public Library. The Urbandale Public Library has become one of our favorite hang outs this winter. They have so much to offer!

Science Sleuths at the Urbandale Library-2

On the second Friday of every month, they offer Science Sleuths. This is a half hour program, that takes place in the story room. Each session has a different lesson. Friday’s lesson was ‘Sink or Float’. The kids had a blast learning about items that could sink or float!

We first listened to a couple of stories explaining why some items may sink or float.

Then we did a hands on activity to discover for ourselves, what sinks or floats. Our teacher brought in a large tub full of water and several different items such as: a plastic spoon, penny, balloon, CD, and more! She placed two signs up on the walls, in separate areas of the room. One sign read ‘sink’ and the other sign read ‘float’. Before she placed the item in the tub, the kids had to go stand by the sign that read what they thought would happen! Not only was this a good learning experience, but it also got the kids up and moving!

After the activity the kids were able to create their own sail boats using foam cups and/or trays, a dowel, paper, and tape. The kids enjoyed cutting and taping and creating their own boats that would sink or float in the tub of water. Some kids also experimented with placing items on their boats, to see if it would still float.

The kids were also given a worksheet to take home to extend their learning!

I highly recommend Science Sleuths! This is a FREE class! It is designed for children ages 3 years to 6 years, accompanied by an adult. I was also able to bring Amelia in with me. She enjoyed listening and watching 🙂 You must pre-register by calling 331-4490.

Do not miss next months Science Sleuths!

Disney Jr. Live! 2015

Monte experienced his first, live show on Sunday! When we heard Disney Jr. Live! was coming to town we KNEW we had to purchase tickets to take Monte. I was a little worried about how well he would do sitting there, but once the show began, I knew there was nothing to worry about.

This tour was the Disney Jr. Live! Pirate and Princess Adventure. Monte LOVES Jake and the Neverland Pirates. He loves anything pirates right now. We dressed him up like Jake and he looked adorable!

At the beginning of the show, while everyone is getting seated and adjusted, Doc McStuffins comes out with her toy “Monte” the Monster Truck (what a coincidence!) 🙂 All the children helped Doc make her truck feel better.

Of course, Mickey and Minnie Mouse were there! They helped introduce the princesses and pirates!

The first half of the show was Sofia the First and all the princesses, including Cinderella!

The second half of the show was Jake and the Neverland Pirates and Peter Pan!

Monte enjoyed dancing, singing and getting involved in all the stories.

If you have not taken your children to a live show before, I think this one would be perfect.

WARNING: Be prepared to spend a ridiculous amount of extra money on light up toys, snow cones and food :/

Flix Brewhouse for Kids

Monte just turned 3 years old and still had not been to a movie, in a movie theater! My dad and I took him to his first movie, Ice Age 2, last Saturday at Flix Brewhouse. We all had an awesome time!

I know what you are thinking … “taking a child to a brewhouse?” Yes! Once a month Flix Brewhouse offers a special children’s movie, Saturday morning, where the kids can wear their pajamas and enjoy the theater experience. I had been wanting to check out Flix Brewhouse since they opened at Merle Hay Mall and this was the perfect opportunity.

It was amazing to see how much Merle Hay Mall has changed since the remodeling and addition of the brewhouse! The entrance/dining area was very nice and the staff were super nice and helpful also!

The awesome thing about Flix Brewhouse is not only the fact they brew beer and you can drink it DURING the movie, but they offer awesome food that you can eat DURING the movie! You have a server through out the whole movie! They offered a special brunch menu that included a breakfast burrito, pancakes (children portions), warm croissants, egg omlettes, and more!

They also offer coffee and mimosas 🙂 And of course their specialty brews. My dad and I tried the Luna Rosa Wit which is similar to a Blue Moon. Very good!

Tickets for the special monthly, children’s movie is $5 per ticket plus whatever food and drink you purchase. The food and drink is reasonably priced for a theater. When you purchase tickets online it is recommended to come 25-30 minutes before the movie start time. I would highly recommend doing this! One, they will not let you into the theater once the movie has begun. Two, it’s easier to order all your food and drinks before the movie begins, because it takes some time to get it and the lights are on. You can continue to order through out the movie also.

If you have a little one who has not been to a movie at a movie theater, I highly recommend crossing this item off your list at the Flix Brewhouse. We had so much fun!

 

Cutie Booty Box!

I have something fun and awesome to tell you about! Do you have a cloth diaper obsession?! There is a brand new business that will “help” you with that cloth diaper addiction 🙂 Cutie Booty Box! You have probably heard of StitchFix, Barkbox, Wine of the Month Club, Beer of the Month Club, etc. This is the same idea, but all about cloth diapering!

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Bianca, is the owner and creator of Cutie Booty Box. The idea came to her last year and she has worked extremely hard making her idea a reality! She is very familiar with cloth diapering and products, since she has cloth diapered her daughter. She is also located in Altoona, Iowa! She is local! Yay, for supporting local businesses! She also strives to support local businesses also.

I was VERY lucky to receive a Cutie Booty Box, to test it out! I was so excited and happy to open my package to see what goodies I had received.

Inside of every box is one diaper. You can choose from a gender neutral box, girl or boy box. I chose the gender neutral. There are also full size sample goodies from other companies for you to try out! Along with all your goodies, is a form, with a list of your goodies and descriptions of what you have received.

This months Cutie Booty Box included …

  1. Sweet Pea Bamboo AIO Diaper
  2. Sweet Pea Liners
  3. Baby Bits Try-Me Pack
  4. Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Balm Samples
  5. Rockin’ Green Water Tester

The diaper was super cute, owl print of course! I was also excited to receive the Baby Bits Try-Me pack, because I have been wanting to try cloth wipes. I had purchased some reusable “wipes” from a vendor at MommyCon last year, so this will be the perfect opportunity to test them out!

I also enjoyed using the Rockin’ Green Water Tester. Since we started cloth diapering, about three years ago, we have had on and off issues with washing our diapers. We have always been told our water was hard! Now, I got to see exactly the hardness of our water was!

Umm pretty hard water … :/

It only takes 3-easy steps to sign up for a monthly subscription of Cutie Booty Box.

  1. Choose your box – Boy, Girl or Gender Neutral
  2. Choose your plan – Month to month, 3-month prepay or 6-month prepay
  3. Then fill out your billing information and address

If you choose to do month to month it is only $29.95 a month. Just think about it. Purchasing one cloth diaper can be anywhere from $20 to $30. You are getting one cloth diaper and extra, awesome samples! Also, every month, your box is different!

To sign up just go to www.CutieBootyBox.com

You can also follow them on Facebook , Twitter, and Instagram to keep up to date with giveaways, deadline reminders, and other awesome things they are adding to their boxes.

We are also offering a FREE giveaway! Follow the rules below to win a 1-month subscription of Cutie Booty Box!

Fun at Apex Athletics

The kids and I checked out a new, fun place last week … Apex Athletics.

Apex Athletics-2

Apex Athletics is located in Johnston and known for their all-star cheerleading and tumbling. They have been open since May of 2009 and since their opening, they have won several grand championship rewards, spirit rewards, community recognition, and more!

Not only do they offer cheerleading, tumbling,  and dance for ages pre-k and older, but they also offer awesome open play times, morning out programs, kids night out, and more!

We dropped in for a Des Moines Moms Blog play date event and had a blast! The gym was open for all the kids to run around and play. All of the tumbling equipment was available, a huge trampoline to jump on, a balance beam, a large area with lots of balls to play with, and more!

There were also several kids and moms their. It was a great opportunity for moms to meet other each other and the kids made friends quickly also.

Apex Athletics offers a lot and it’s all very affordable also.

Mom’s Morning Out: Monthly registration program. $80 a month or $25 for drop-in. Monday or Friday 9 am – 12 pm. Drop the kids off while you go run errands! The kids will enjoy crafts, gym time, snacks and more!

Daytime Playtime: Available every Thursday 10:30 am – 12:00 pm. The entire family cam come and enjoy the gym. Families come meet other families, while the children run around and play. There is no age limit and it’s only $5 per family!

Lunch Bunch: Available every Friday 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm after Mom’s Morning Out. $10 per child. This includes more play time, crafts, and children bring their own lunch to eat. Register the previous week to attend and you do not have to participate in Mom’s Morning Out to attend.

Pre-K Tumbling: These specific classes are available during the week days. The classes are available as 10-week sessions. They will learn basic tumbling techniques, coordination, and more. Check here for dates, times and prices.

Recreational Cheerleading: These specific classes are available during the week days for children ages 3-6 years old. The classes are available as 10-week sessions. Children will learn tumbling, jumping, stunting, dancing and more! Check here for dates, times and prices.

They also offer a lot of special events monthly and other fun activities. This is definitely a site to bookmark to keep track of what is going on!

Thank You!

As 2014 comes to an end, I have so much to be thankful for. On the top of my list, I am thankful for my beautiful and healthy family. I have made some major changes this year including becoming a mother to two children, quitting my full-time job, staying at home with my children, starting my own business, and pursuing my blogging.

Midwest Mom & Wife officially became a business in the beginning of October and in the past three months, it has exploded with support and followers. I want to thank every single person who has began and continued following my blog and my Facebook page. I also want to thank the families who have entrusted the lives of their littles ones in my hands, while I take care of them. I am so lucky to be able to watch other children, while being able to be home with my own.

I have so many exciting things planned for Midwest Mom & Wife in 2015! Of course, I will continue with my exploration of the Des Moines area, trying out fun activities to do with the kiddos, focusing on being healthy and digging deeper into subjects that are important to me. Please keep on the watch for what else Midwest Mom & Wife will be adding to the community!

I hope everyone has a safe and fun New Year’s Eve and I look forward to what the year 2015 will bring! Happy New Year’s!

Barnes & Noble Storytime

I just learned about Storytime at the local Barnes & Noble recently. Every so often Barnes & Noble will offer Storytime, usually a Friday evening , Saturday afternoon or various other days during the week. An employee reads a special book and sometimes, there is a craft to go along!

This past Friday was a very special holiday edition of Storytime and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was read! The kids dressed up in their holiday pajamas and sat around while the classic was read to them.

They even got their own little red nose, like Rudolph!

Afterwards they were able to decorate a special gingerbread man, drank milk and ate a cookie!

In the Barnes & Noble cafe, they were offering $1.00 hot cocoa during the Storytime period. With every item you purchased in the cafe (including hot cocoa) you received a very special Rudolph shortbread cookie!

Monte and Amelia had so much fun!

Barnes & Noble has two different locations in the Des Moines area. They offer Storytimes at various times through out the week. This is a great alternative then Storytime at the libraries. It’s a nice way to change it up! Check out the event calendars for each location below, to see when the next Story Time will be!

Have you ever attended Storytime at a Barnes & Noble location? What book did you hear?

Jolly Holiday Lights 2014

If you are from Des Moines or have lived in Des Moines for awhile, you know about Jolly Holiday Lights. It is one of those “must do” holiday things.

The proceeds from this entire event goes to Make-A-Wish Iowa. Last year, this event raised enough money to make wishes come true of more than 35 children in Iowa. This truly is an event that is fun for the entire family and does some good for others 🙂

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Jolly Holiday Lights is a 3.5 mile tour of lights through Water Works Park. There are several displays and each display is donated from a local business such as KCCI, More 104, DMOS, Goode Greenhouses and many, many more!

At the end of the event is Santa’s Wish Shop! Where you can take a picture with Santa, enjoy hot cocoa & cookie, and do some small holiday shopping.

Jolly Holiday Lights runs November 25th until January 1st 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm

Santa’s Wish Shop is open Sunday through Thursday until 9:00 pm

Admission

$10.00 per car

$20 per limo/mini bus

$45 per chartered bus

You still have plenty of time to drive through Jolly Holiday Lights! Don’t miss it!

Tot Lot Waukee

We checked out another fun indoor activity last week!

Of course, Des Moines Beyond 4 Walls was behind this great find 🙂

Tot Lot Waukee

This place is perfect to let your little ones run around and burn off some energy and it’s FREE! We spent almost 2 hours running, playing, meeting new friends and did not want to leave when it was over.

There are several things available at Tot Lot.

The inflatable pool with plastic balls was a HUGE hit. It’s hard to believe something so simple, is so entertaining!

There were a bunch of tumbling mats, toy bikes, huge bin of legos, tunnels, and much more to play with!

They also had a bouncy house available to play in. I am not sure if this is always available, but the kids had an awesome time bouncing around!

Monte also loved the basketball hoop, shown above. There were also ball hoppers that the kids could bounce around on.

The Tot Lot is located in Waukee at the Public Works Building and is available Mondays 8:30-10:30 am & Wednesdays 8-10 am. The times are kind of early, so make sure you plan for it!

I highly recommend Tot Lot for these upcoming winter months. A perfect place to for the kids to burn off some energy, bring a snack and make a morning of it!