413c820bb21cd09a23535c140057f83729ced692af2597b84f .post-body img { max-width:1000px; height:auto; } Friday We're In Love Google

Friday, July 22, 2016

Spain Day 4: Barcelona: The Picasso Museum

Spain Trip Day 4:

Location: The Picasso Museum: Barcelona, Spain
Cost:  €11 per person purchased in advance online 
Time: Plan about 2-3 hours of touring, and possibly an hour wait to get in
Website: Picasso Museum

1. Buy your ticket online if you can! It's a very long wait even early in the morning without a ticket, but with a ticket the wait time is very small and getting in is a breeze! 
2. Study Picasso a bit before you go. You'll be shocked to learn how young he was compared to most famous artists, and you'll want to know what put him on the map as a big deal. He has many different painting styles, and this is where you'll see his younger works. Knowing history and his life will make the museum for you! 
3. If you plan your trip like we did splitting Madrid up as the place to fly into and leave from, plan to see the Reina Sofia after the Picasso, the title Picasso painting will have much more meaning! 

 No pictures were allowed inside the museum, so you'll just have to enjoy this cute traveler acting interested in the museum pamphlet!

The Picasso Museum is on the "Must See" list in most travel books to Spain, and I think with good reason. Picasso was ridiculously talented, and you'll be amazed to see how his classic style (which was quite impressive) slowly morphed into the modernism he's most famous for. He family held onto nearly all his works, so there are enough to make a museum, and enough to watch his thinking and feeling involve. He slowly becomes a political messenger during WWII, and as someone obsessed with history and humanities, I was shocked how little I knew until I showed up at the museum. It's really quite amazing and a side of the war you don't hear about often.

We learned so much more after we went, and Jacob admitted this museum wasn't his jam, but learning more about the politics after the fact, he admitted he would have enjoyed it more knowing in advance. Thus it's one of our tips, should you go, read up a bit! Be ready to enjoy more than just his beautiful works and the few famous pieces in the museum.

This was our one place our baby really didn't enjoy and refused to sleep in, so we went through faster than I would have liked, but I think two hours is enough time to really soak it in and read most of the history behind the paintings.

We had this grand plan to create a really cool date to share and hope others would recreate the experience for themselves should they ever get the chance to travel to Spain, I mean it's themed and it involves all things Picasso. Picasso was commissioned to paint the menu for a local restaurant in Barcelona- the 4 Cats, and it still exists today! We thought it would be really fun to go see the original menu at the museum and then head over a few blocks to the restaurant for a themed day with an activity and lunch. I'm here to tell you I wouldn't patronize the restaurant no matter what a fun plan that may sound like.
What I was shocked to see was the prejudice this restaurant holds! There seemed to be only white and Spanish patrons, and there was a wait to get in. We saw people of many nationalities and races try to get in, but the wait seemed to push some away and not others. Not a problem, we were willing to wait, but it seemed more and more peculiar who were being turned away. When our time came up and I turned around with a baby the hostesses took one look and told me "No, we don't serve your kind here!" I was pretty taken back. Those words were actually said! My first thought was pure shock. I've never had anything like that happen! It's a fairly casual restaurant with many tables on a patio, and surely a non-mobile 7 month old in a carrier wouldn't be a trouble. We'd been to nicer places in Madrid and not had a single issue. My next thought was maybe it was good for me, I finally had a taste of what so many minorities experience with racism- either explicit or by feeling unwelcome. As someone very aware there are still so many issues in the U.S. with discrimination, I have to say that day I left grateful for who I am and where I live.

Alls well that ends well I suppose, because we were able to pull up Trip Advisor and discover 4 Cats isn't the highly recommended, and we found an amazing place down the street that ended up being one of our cheapest and best meals in all of Spain!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

WaterWipes Review

“This post was sponsored by WaterWipes as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.”

We knew from the start that our kids didn't have a good gene pool to draw from in the skin department. We both have dry, fair, very sensitive skin. To say we go through warehouse size bottle of lotion quickly would be an understatement. Our talks of the need for sensitive products started way back when I was pregnant. Add sensitive skin to the heat of Arizona summers, and we've been having to change diapers a little more often to avoid rash and sensitivity.

As parents on the watch for sensitivity already, when we had the opportunity to try and review WaterWipes, we were all in! I have a sister-in-law who swears by them and only uses them, so I was excited to see how they would work for our sensitive skinned little man.

Here's a few reasons why they are so great: 1.
- WaterWipes is a chemical free baby wipe that contains only two ingredients, 99.9% pure Irish water and 0.1% grapefruit seed extract.
- Both durable and effective without containing any of the harmful chemicals that may be found in other baby wipes, WaterWipes proves a safer, natural option for your little one.

So with that in mind, we put them to the test!

We have loved seeing less red, irritated skin. We love that they are so natural and yet do such an amazing job cleaning up the mess! We also love that they are thick and you will go through less WaterWipes than many of the other wipe options out there.

I also love that I can get them at Target, and they are easy to find, and that they give me another excuse to drop by Target. I didn't mean to become the Target mom stereotype, but I am ready to be their poster child spokeswoman!

And what's exciting for anyone interested (you don't have to have a baby, trust me, wipes are great for everyone who needs to clean anything!) is you can win one of five (5) $100 Target gift cards to help you start your WaterWipes collection, and join me in being Target mom of the century (or dad, we're an inclusive bunch here). Follow the widget below to enter:

WaterWipes Target Giveaway

*I-C will randomly select winners from all program entries and will facilitate fulfillment of the winning prizes (5 winners).
Contest closes August 18

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Independent Eating and Embracing Life's Messes

This post is sponsored by The Libman Company, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. 
One of the funnest parts of being a parent is watching your child try different foods for the first time, and come up with distinct favorites. Watching small fingers learn to pick up pieces of food and feed themselves is just adorable, exciting, and hilarious. As much as I enjoy watching him fall in love with foods and gain independence, I also cringe a little each time worrying about what clothes will last through the meal and how much of a mess I'm going to have to clean up, no matter how darling spaghetti sauced hands rubbing one's head may be.
I'm grateful for the recent addition of some quality cleaning products by The Libman Company in our house which are giving me a lot more confidence to embrace life's messes, enjoy the cute moments of our toddler while he's still a toddler, and know the mess can wait and will clean up just fine after he's had his fill of food!

 I love using the Whisk Broom and dustpan to get the chunks off his high chair first, and he loves giggling watching me clean up when he's all done. I then use the Large Precision Angle Broom and dustpan to get everything off the floor. Our tile (that looks like wood flooring) stays clean and shiny (to still look like wood flooring) with the Freedom Spray Mop and the Freedom Multi-Surface Cleaner product. This mop really is awesome, it's lightweight and does a deep clean in no time- perfect for fast floor clean up after little people make big messes.

Now if only they made a transportation device to take baby straight to the bathtub- but for now we're just relying on our best efforts to get that extra last strand of spaghetti that always seems to be hiding off the baby!

I'm glad there are things in this world that remind me that babies grow up all too fast, and it's okay to let them be little and embrace life's messes- particularly when they are this cute!

Monday, July 18, 2016

One Meal Now One Meal Later: Crockpot Beef Stroganoff

I love good food, but I hate spending all my day in the kitchen. I started trying freezer meals when I had my first child, and found some are amazing time savers, and some, well, taste like the freezer. In this series I share my tried-and-true freezer meals that taste as good the second time around as they do the first! 

This one is ridiculously easy, ridiculously good, and super easy to throw together! I love when you can dump everything in your Crockpot, and I love doing it again even with a meal that's still mostly frozen! We have a lot of great chicken recipes, but today I wanted to share one of our favorite beef recipes- Crockpot Beef Stroganoff. 

Ingredients: (Remember this is for one, if you plan to make another to freeze be sure to buy two of everything!)
1 lb Beef Stew Meat
1 onion finely diced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp. dried parsley
2 fresh basil leaves
1 package of sliced mushrooms
1/2 package of cream cheese

Toss it all in the slow cooker- it's that easy!
Cook on low 3-5 hours. Serve it over egg noodles (or whatever noodles you have on hand!)

To freeze: dump all the ingredients in a freezer safe bag, seal, freeze, and use in the next 3 months. Also, go pat yourself on the back for being a super-human who makes meals appear out of no where next time you don't feel like cooking.


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