Koziar's Christmas Village

There are a few holiday traditions that my sister and I hold dear from our childhood through out the eighties and nineties, and one of those is visiting Koziar's Christmas Village.

In Northeast Pennsylvania, it's a family tradition for many people and the insane miles upon miles long lines to get in, prove that fact. Ever since I can remember going there, it has always been like that....which led my sister and I to leave earlier every year before sunset to avoid hitting the massive traffic clog it becomes.

And the thing is...
It's not some crazy interactive theme park of Christmas, but just a plot of land out in the middle of nowhere between subdivisions and farm pastures that is lit up from head to toe in Christmas lights and decorations,

There are a few Christmas scenes set up in little shed-esque houses and many yards of homemade Christmas Story signs, but to my memory, most of it has not changed since I was a little girl.

Although my sister and I have seen the same exact thing year after year, it's a beautiful and new thing to see it through the eyes of our children.

My oldest nephew has seen it for many years now himself, so the novelty is some what wearing off, but now that I've introduced him to photography he's learning to see everything through a different lens (pun intended) and was still into it this year.

The littlest littles on the otherhand are utterly fascinated. For the last couple years, we've taken them out of our own Mommy wishes, but this year it was so much fun to see the joy in their eyes as they took in all the lights and recognized the characters and stories.

Seeing the sparkle in Amaya's eyes as she squealed at all the lights and seeing Cinderella, princesses and Peanuts characters on the story boards, was well worth the wait and lines.

I hope to continue this tradition with her and hope that she looks back on these memories and trips with fondness like my sister and I have. If not, mama is still going just for the cinnamon goodness of the churros and hot chocolate. 

Thanksgiving | 2017

Okay, so I'm just going to lay this out there...
I don't really care for Thanksgiving.
It's more like pre-Christmas for me.
Or perhaps a baby shower for baby Jesus.


But before anyone gets their pilgrim garb in a wad, let me explain, that I am indeed thankful for the many blessings I receive in my life but the whole filling up on allllllll the food thing is just not my jam.

I'm more of a carbs and desserts kind of gal so the meat and potato fiesta doesn't really excite me. In my glory 'wifey' days I was known to shove some apples and rosemary up the hind of an aptly named turkey, but now that it's just Amaya and I, I didn't have it in me this past year to put together a display of sides and 8 lbs. of turkey that most likely wouldn't be eaten.

Luckily for us, we're invited to my sisters in laws to enjoy the meal and company with them.

There are not too many times I get to brag (or jinx) myself as a parent, so I would like to toot my mama horn and admit that Amaya is a pretty good eater at this point in her life. I know that can all change in the blink of an eye but as of right now, homegirl will most likely eat (and/or) try any of the meals we put in front of her.

Including pretend turkey leg photo props...

Due to our custody agreement, I only had her from 9am-3pm, but we made the best of it playing outside, taking pictures, and building play castles in the rec room. 

And because I have no qualms with getting on her level, I withheld from  the adult tables and enjoyed our Thanksgiving together with my thick thighs stuffed under a children's play table so we could toast our cranberry sauce out of the can together. 

There may be many situations and instances in my life that I don't fully accept or wish upon myself or others, but I'm thankful for the struggles that have led me on my path in life.

If I didn't go through the things I've been through, I wouldn't be standing here today being able to enjoy this tiny human who has brought the most greatest joy to my life.

I'm incredibly thankful that I get to do life with her and even more so that I get to be her mother and raise and teach her every single day. I'll forever be grateful that she was brought into my life.

To The Christmas Tree Farm, We Go

Christmas has always held a close spot in my heart, as it probably does for many.
During my childhood, some points of it were quite rough for my sister and I but no matter what was going on, Christmas time was always a point of celebration.

We'd go pick out a tree from a local seller and then it was on to who could put the balls and tinsel on the quickest. Oh yes, tacky silver tinsel and all.

So knowing how much I value holidays and traditions, I've made it a point that even through this family transition phase, that I would continue to create memories and traditions with my daughter that I hope she will look back on fondly when she's older and know how much I tried to make it magical for her.

With that said, we have held the tradition that we go to the Christmas tree farm and pick and cut down our own tree. We went to a more local one the past couple years, but last and this year we tried a new one recommended by a coworker and WOW, COLOR ME IMPRESSED!

It is called Ponduce Farms, and it is seriously the cutest place ever.
Imagine all your little Christmas dreams all wrapped up into the cutest farm experience.

First, they pick you up in a tractor wagon to take you to your separate tree picking areas of the farm. We tend to be a Douglas Fir family, so we got off on the first stop. You can choose to physically cut down your tree yourself but if you need help, they have helpers that drive around in pick up trucks waiting to chainsaw it down for you and put it on their truck/wagon to take it off the hill for you.

After that, you take the wagon ride back down to the shop and as you wait for them to tie up and return your tree, you can enjoy the restaurant with lots of homemade goodies, the gift shop where they play Christmas movies or just stop in to enjoy their complimentary cookies and cocoa.

Seriously, I was so impressed and in love with the whole thing, and the reasonable price for our tree was an added bonus.

In full disclosure, it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows though.
Any mother of toddlers knows how the 'sour patch kid syndrome' can quickly affect your child.

She was perfectly fine for 10 minutes but then a flip switched in her and she turned into a whiny, crying, pitiful mess. She pouted her way through half of the farm but luckily within a short walk and a quick pep talk she was able to regain her composure. A few silly faced pictures might have helped to.

How was everyone's holiday weekend?
Did you do anything festive with your respective fam bams?

The Girl In The Yellow Dress

If you're a mom, nine times out of ten, your child is definitely much better dressed than yourself.

While I'm dredging around in yogurt stained yoga pants and 5 day old mom bun, Amaya is most likely twirling around in the cutest little fashions from the Cat + Jack line or Old Navy or consignment shop cuteness.

The girl can pretty much rock any look but lately she has favored dresses over anything else so we were super excited when we found this sweet little swing dress at Old Navy a couple months ago.

Dress - check
Marvelous mustard color - double check
And most importantly...
Ample swirl and twirl potential - triple check

No big deal, just making important phone calls on her sunflower phone. 

This dress could have not been any better when we visited the sunflower fields at the end of summer/beginning of fall. We bounced and ran around with her cousins trying to find the perfect sunflower for herself. 

That same day we also went on an ice cream date at Heislers and my little homegirl was ruthless. She completely abandoned her chocolate ice cream in favor of stealing mommy's vanilla milkshake.

We seriously were adventurers this day as we also hit up the craft fair and got ourselves a couple goodies. Much to my Belle loving heart, Amaya chose this Beauty and the Beast book as one of her choices, along with a nap time Shopkins pillow.

As much as I would love for Old Navy to send me this in all the colors for free, this is not a sponsored post. Amaya and I just love this dress that much and I wanted to clear out some of my pictures but still keep the cuteness in a safe place, hence why mama has a blog.

No worries though, I have already prepared for the next holiday season and picked this bad boy up in red so we can still enjoy it throughout the Christmas season.

Lazy Mama Halloween Treats

We have barreled into the season of tricks and treats and if you're anything like me, you've been swooning over your Pinterest board invisioning all the sweet treats that you're going to create with you and your boos.

But then shit....
You remember you have three parades this week, one dance class, 10 hour work days for four days, 5 hours of overtime, a dance class fundraiser, delivering for said fundraisers, amongst the the regular life shenanigans of bathing, grooming, and feeding like a regular functional person.

My head spins when I think of all the things that need to be done and the never ending to do and to buy list on constant rotation. So today, in honor of trying to be a 'fun mom', I picked up a few odds and ends to throw together some simple and fun Halloween treats for the kiddos.


Lazy Mama Halloween Treats 

Package of small sized unsalted pretzels
Package of regular sized marshmallows
Prepackaged and made Rice Krispie Treats
Green Candy Melts
Package of googly eye candy

Now focus in ladies and gents, because this where the shizz gets real...

- Follow instructions on package to melt candy melts
- When completely melted and smooth, dip assorted treats into green candy melts.
- Thickness of coverage if based on personal opinion or how sugared up you want your toddler
- Apply googly eyes with wreckless abandon
- Let melt and googly eyes cool and set

You're welcome busy and overwhelmed mamas.

Sure they might not make it on to the cover of any publication that Joanna Gaines puts out but it will put a smile on your littles face and isn't that what matters?

Simple can still be special.

Bloomsburg Fair

We try to hit up the fair every year and although Amaya is quite reserved on the usual basis, she was in all her glory at the fair this year. She walked around hand in hand with me, admiring the games and humongous stuffed animals, wanting to eat all the things (that's my girl!), and most of all wanting to play in the corn.

That is all she wanted to do since she walked in the gates to the fair and saw it set up in front of the livestock buildings. Even with all the bells and whistles that the fair brings, she was most content and excited for the most simplest activity there.

If only everyone could still see the world through the eyes of a child and enjoy the simplest pleasures of life.

I wasn't going to spend half of my life savings on fraudulent fair games, but we did play two games, one where we literally picked up a duck that said winner for her purple sword and a balloon game where anyone under the age of nine won a prize. That one was her favorite since she won a Shopkins apple plush.

This is the face of a girl who has her prizes and wants to hit up the corn bin ASAP. 

We look forward to this every year and I'm so happy that she's coming to an age where she is throughly enjoying activities that we go on.

All hail, Amaya the corn queen.