Tag Archives: family fun

The Health Benefits of a Consistent Swimming Routine

Today, I’m happy to bring you a FANTASTIC guest-post, written by the author and creator of An Apple Per Day, Kaitlin Gardner. Enjoy!

Like any exercise regimen or practice, consistency is essential to long-term benefits to your health. Swimming is no exception, but the health benefits of a swimming routine are special, if for no other reason that the environment in which it takes place. Additionally, with the growing popularity of indoor swim centers, along with traditional gyms and YMCA facilities, swimming can now be enjoyed year-round in nearly every region of the country.

Why Swimming?

The benefits are plentiful, and if you ask ten people, you might get ten different answers. There are reasons why I think swimming is one of the very best overall healthy exercises a person can participate in. Here are a few links with even more great ideas and reasons working swimming into your routine:

The Health Benefits of a Consistent Swimming Routine - Baby DoodahContinue Reading

Weekend Recap

What a seriously awesome weekend!

Happy Sunday (evening) everyone!

I hope you all had a really great weekend, we sure did. This time of year is always busy because it is full of fun holiday things, but let’s be honest, it sure does feel great when things slow down and you’re able to be a bit of a lounge lizard, right? Let me tell you, there was quite a bit of lounging going on. Woot woot!

weekend family fun

I love this kid!

Saturday, Emmett was up right around 7 and we enjoyed some morning cuddles before getting up and starting our day. This time together, as a family, is one of my favorites. We’re all still a little sleepy and groggy and content to just lay there cuddling with one another. It doesn’t last long, because as soon as Emmett’s done with his morning milk, he gets impatient and is ready to start his day. We had a yummy breakfast at home and then spent a good long while playing with E’s blocks. He’s obsessed with those things, I’m sure it’s because he can so easily put them together and take them apart. He also is quite fond of helping someone else build their tower higher and higher, and I’m quite fond of watching him play. I love watching him work, I can just imagine what his brain is thinking. 🙂

The rest of the day was spent, with Seamus at the gym, Emmett napping, me doing laundry, a trip to The Cheesecake Factory (free of charge, thanks to gift cards from Seamus’ aunt), and then back home to play with BLOCKS (I told you he was obsessed) and relax!


Sunday started just about the same way as Saturday, but then we all got up and showered and headed out for some yummy brunch, and then grocery shopping. We’ve been going to the Dick Rd. location of Wegmans to avoid some of the city Wegmans congestion. So far it’s been working out great, even with it being a Sunday afternoon, it was NO WHERE near as crowded as the city. We were in and out of there in record speed, and then back home for nap time. Oh! And I found something new, and they are so good — Olivio Sea Salt and Vinegar olives. They’re so delicious, if you like olives.weekend-family-fun-112-3

While Emmett napped, Seamus and I relaxed and caught up on some TV, Dr. Pol in particular. I love this show and if you like animals, then I definitely recommend that you check it out. We had to head back out to Trader Joe’s and BJs, but other than that we spent a lot of the day playing and relaxing. It was fantastic!

Now, it’s time to get all geared up for the week ahead. I’m starting it off with a positive and focused attitude, hoping it carries through until next weekend.


Your turn!

What did you and your family do this weekend?

Erway’s Christmas Tree Adventure

We recently visited Erway’s Christmas Tree Adventure, it was such a great time!

We decided in early October, shortly before Halloween, that we would get a real tree. Our original reason for that was that the fake tree we have is much larger than the space we wanted to put it in, and I really don’t want to feel any more squished then we already are. I immediately started looking for places to get our tree, sure you can go to Home Depot or other local stores around us, but I really wanted to create a memory for us, and possibly start a new tradition.


Then – BAM! I was driving to work, and on the highway was a billboard for Erways’ Christmas Tree Adventure. I wasn’t sold at first, the billboard was kind of silly and the name was really long, but I drove by the billboard again the next more and decided I’d look it up later that day. I’m really glad I did! It is such a fantastic tree farm, filled with loads of things to do with your kids, beyond just getting a Christmas tree.


When you visit Erways’ Christmas Tree Adventure, and buy a tree, everything else is included in the cost. That means that things like, Tree shaking, Trunk Drilling, Tree Bale, Secure Car Tie and admission to their lodge, are all included. The lodge is great! There are snacks and hot drinks, and Santa on Saturdays and Sundays from 12-6. They also have live animals that you can buy feed for, several deer, bucks and goats and one cute little zebra.


Seamus and I both took off on Friday so that we could go to Erway’s early and avoid any crowds. It worked! There were people there shopping, but it was a nice pleasant amount. We got to slowly meander through the one of the greenhouses to look for our tree. We stopped at a few different ones, thinking it was THE one, but we kept on walking, we weren’t completely smitten. Then, as we continued, we found it and it is perfect! I’ll definitely share pictures of the tree we chose and how it’s decorated in a few days, but it’s not quite ready. We placed the lights on the tree, but haven’t put up the star or the ornaments, I’m sure I’ll get to that over the next few days.


While our tree was being prepared for the ride home, we went into the lodge and looked around, and then wandered through the animals. Emmett had a really fun time looking at all the different animals and kept wanting to reach in and touch them. They all had signs to be careful because they could bite, so we kept Emmett back, but close enough so that he could see them move around. He was having so much fun, he really seems to love animals!


The prices of the trees are affordable and right on par with Home Depot, or any other tree farm. Our tree is very fresh, and once placed in the tree stand, barely drank any water because it was still so fresh. Oh! And it smells amazing! I can’t stop sticking my face deep into the needles and huffing it. Mmmmm…

Because of the lighting that day, we were able to get some really really cute photos!

erway's-1 erway's-2If you’re located in Western New York, and are looking for a place to get your Christmas tree, I highly recommend Erway’s Christmas Tree Adventure. We made some great memories this year, and will likely return to Erway’s next year.

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Your turn!

Real or Fake Christmas Tree for you?

Do you have a special tradition that you follow for getting your Christmas tree?


Our Trip to the Zoo

I’m finally sharing our pics from our trip to the Buffalo zoo!

**Fair Warning – This is a picture heavy post.**

Before our vacation had rolled around (in October) we knew we wanted to take Emmett to the zoo. It is so much easier to go during the day on a weekday than on a weekend, fewer crowds means we have the opportunity to spend more time looking at the animals without being pushed away. We wanted to give that experience to Emmett, so off we went on a chilly Thursday afternoon.

zoo-12It was such an awesome day! Emmett was in a great mood and the sun was shining, we had absolutely nothing but a beautiful, perfect day in front of us.

When you first come through the gate at the Buffalo Zoo, to your right are the elephants so we head right over there. Unfortunately we couldn’t see any, they weren’t outside and they weren’t up front in their building. They did have a note saying that occasionally they had to be pulled for training, so that’s likely where they were. Either way, Emmett was in great spirits, we tried to get him to pose with the poster. 🙂

zoo-15It didn’t go so well. lol He just kept looking through it or grabbing at the edges, but it did make a cute photo.

Our next stop was over to the giraffes! We were hoping one of them would be outside, but no such luck. They were available inside, though. We came right in as they were enjoying their breakfast.

zoo-14While we were standing there a couple of the giraffes (there were a total of 5) came over to us and poked their heads and neck as far as it could through the fence. Probably wanted to give us a good smell. Emmett enjoyed watching them just move about their holders.

We made our way slowly around the zoo, stopping to look at any animal that might be out, Emmett seemed to be in awe of them all. I think my favorite picture we got of him was when we were looking at the monkeys in the rain forest exhibit, we told him what they were and he got VERY excited (he loves monkeys)!

zoo-10Isn’t that an awesome picture!? It’s one of my all-time favorites of Baby Doodah.

zoo-9We visited with the lions, too. We were able to get SO close, they were sitting right on a window ledge, even I was pretty wow’d by that.

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We spent some time indoors looking at the different reptiles and we stopped to have a snack since they had benches. Emmett liked it because he was allowed to get out of his stroller and stretch his legs a bit.

zoo-18 zoo-5Next was over to see the gorillas, where there was a mommy and baby (toddler) gorilla hanging out. It was really sweet to see the momma and baby so attached to each other.

zoo-6Emmett was pretty impressed too!

Towards the end we walked by the Baboons. They were all clustered on one large rock, picking the bugs off of one another. We stood there for awhile, just watching them, one little guy came over, very close to the fence to get a good look at us too.

zoo-20 zoo-19Seamus got some really great pictures of Emmett and I. Sadly, I’m not in a lot of photos with Emmett, but Seamus got some good ones this time around.

zoo-1 zoo-3 zoo-2And of course, I have to share the next ones because Emmett is just so gosh darn cute!

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We really had a fantastic time. I’d love to go back during the summer so that we could see more animals that were likely all cozied up in their homes for the cooler weather that has slowly moved in.

Your turn!

Have you taken your kids to the zoo?

What were your favorite exhibits?

Apple Picking – Picture Post

Emmett’s Apple Picking post!

I’ve mentioned before that I love Fall and pretty much every Fall activity that you can think of.

A few years ago, before Emmett, we went apple picking at this great apple farm, we went to Blackman Homestead Farm. It wasn’t as commercialized or popular as another one of the local farms, which was what we were looking for, I hate the idea of having to wait in line before you can even get to the orchard. We were allowed to walk right into the orchard with a bag and pick as many apples as you wanted and you paid by weight, after the fact. I remember that the apples were fantastic and all of the people working there had been so polite and helpful. When the topic of apple picking , as a family, came up I already knew that I wanted to go back to this farm!


It wasn’t difficult to remember where we went because they are at our local farmer’s market almost every week and I frequently buy their Homestead Chili Sauce, which is so so good (sweet and a little spicy – perfect combo), so it just came down to deciding when we’d go. I didn’t care which apples were in season because I’m a fan of apples in general, all I needed was a day with little to no rain and some not so chilly temps. We found just that, a few weeks ago and we all had such an amazing time!

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Emmett was adorable! As soon as we had picked a couple apples that were edible, we wiped a few of them with our shirts and allowed him to have a bite. He was able to stick his teeth in, but his jaw wasn’t strong enough to get a big chunk out. We took the apple back and took a big bite and gave it back, he had a hay day taking tiny baby bites around where Seamus had taken his. He was thoroughly enjoying his apple and probably would have eaten most of it, if he hadn’t dropped it while we were going from one type of tree to another. Whoops! Oh well! He had plenty more to eat once he was home. He’s been quite smitten with apples since.

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I absolutely love Blackman Homestead Farm because it has such a laid back atmosphere. There were quite a few people there but I never once felt any pressure to buy anything or to rush. Everyone who was there, just went about their business, picking apples or chit chatting. It was so nice! Plus they have goats, a small hay maze for little kids, apple cider slushies and they probably have wine and other animals too, we just didn’t venture that far onto the farm. If you’re local to Buffalo, I highly recommend visiting them!

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apple-picking-4 apple-picking-8 apple-picking-7 apple-picking-6 apple-picking-5 apple-picking-3 apple-pickingYour turn!

What are your favorite Fall activities?

Do you go apple picking as a family?


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