The Baked Bear

On Saturday we went to the Baked Bear, which was on my summer bucket list, and it was a fun and yummy trip! For those who live in the Montgomery County area in Maryland, this one is located in Rockville/Bethesda on Rose Ave. The whole center where it’s located is really nice, and new- ish, if I’m not mistaking. The Baked Bear is a custom ice cream sandwich shop, and I looooove ice cream sandwiches lol I didn’t go crazy because I shared mine with Gio, but next time I go I’m definitely going all out!! That child eats anything sweet, so I don’t really know why I shied away from yummy options.

My order was a sprinkle cookie, a m&m cookie, vanilla ice cream, and sprinkles! I’m not huge on sprinkles but I felt like I had to get them lol I forgot to ask to get the cookies warmed up which I’m really upset about because that would have made my sandwich 100x more delicious!

I get overwhelmed sometimes ordering food but this was like a Chipotle type of setup so seeing everything laid out was nice .

Everything in the shop is freshly made and homemade, and you can definitely tell! The shop isn’t big, but there really isn’t a need for it to be. There’s a “beach” (really just a decent size sand area) right outside and tons of seating! Plus, with this summer weather, it’s perfect to have your ice cream outdoors!

Below I’ll insert and image of their site where they shared images of what people have gotten, and you’ll see what I mean about crazy and creative! This is definitely a fun stop to make in the summer. Even if it’s just once! My total was $6.30 which wasn’t too bad- I really thought I’d spend a minimum of $10. Of course the more you add to your ice cream, the more expensive.

If you have one near by, definitely try and make the trip! You won’t regret it! Thanks for reading! -Aura xoxo


It’s A Block Party!

Today Gio and I went to a Block Party in the plaza by Erwin’s job. It wasn’t anything huge, but it was so much fun!

They had a Bingo game- you’d get your bingo cards and go to the different merchants on your card and get a stamp. Then once it’s all filled up, you’d go back to the Bingo table and spin a wheel for a prize. I regret not doing it, lol.

There was also a moon bounce, an arts and craft table, and best of all, train rides! Gio LOVES trains so when he saw the train going around the parking lot he was ecstatic. We went on it about three times. We probably could have gone on more times, but we wanted to make sure that all the other kids got to go on too.

After our last ride we walked around the plaza stopping by different merchants. We went to Hallmarks table, which is where Gio got his Dory and Nemo clippers. He’s obsessed with them. He was so happy and wouldn’t stop saying thank you after I paid (they were $1!!). We walked by other stores where he collected lollipops, tattoos, and got a cupcake and popcorn.

It was a great way to spend the afternoon. The best part? Everything was FREE, unless you decided to purchase some items from the stores. I’m always in the hunt for different events in the area or areas near by. At the start of every month I search my Facebook or type in my county’s name and family events in the Google search bar. I almost always find something for each month, and right now that it’s summer there’s so much going on!

Thank you for reading! – Aura xoxo

National Air and Space Museum Trip

Today we took Gio to the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. He loved it!! He was so mesmerized when we walked in and saw all the airplanes, helicopters, rockets, etc. Gio is very into trains, cars, trucks, helicopters, airplanes, and after this trip I’m sure a love for rockets has bloomed- so this museum was perfect for his first!!

Erwin and I weren’t really able to read much, or at all, any of this history behind the many models that are at the museum, but we were still very much all entertained looking around and watching the videos available.

I’m pretty positive that Gio’s favorite part of the whole trip was in the How Things Fly exhibit where he got to sit in a aircraft. Unfortunately he only go to sit in it for a short period of time, but his face lit up when he got in with Erwin. This part of the museum is perfect to kids- its very hands on and fun while teaching so much like how airplanes work. Best part? They can touch all they want!

I think my favorite part of the trip, besides seeing Gio’s eyes light up of excitement, was seeing how it all started, the first models of planes to todays models. I don’t plan on this being our only trip there, so hopefully in the future we will be able to go back and read and learn more!

Thank you fore reading! -Aura xoxo

Summer Bucketlist

So every year I always want to do a lot of different things during different seasons, but I don’t always get to it all or half, lol. But now I want to start writing them all down and sharing them with you guys, and hopefully that motivates me to do more things and adventure out some more. Gio is also now 2 which  makes it easier to go out on different adventures too. I’ve lived in Maryland for almost 3 years now, right in-between Baltimore and D.C. and many other places, and haven’t explored as much as I should soooo here we go!

  • Go to museums. The main ones I’d like to go to are: National Air and Space Museum,    National Museum of Natural History,  and National Museum of American History
  • Go to the zoo: Smithsonian National Zoo isn’t too far from us, and it would be a fun adventure especially for Gio since it’ll be his first time seeing all kinds of animals
  • Go to a water park: not exactly sure which, but we have found some in NJ, PA, and VA that have grabbed our attention
  • Go to the carnival: in the area there’s always 2 during the summer. There’s one right now and there will be a much bigger one in mid-August if I’m not mistaken
  • Go to the lantern festival! Yessss, please
  • Go on picnics
  • Of course, beach days!
  • Lots of pool time!
  • Go to Scramble: it’s a pretty big indoor play area for children in VA and looks like so much fun!
  • Go to the sunflower field:
  • Make a photo journal: I want to try and make one for each season. We haven’t been ones to take too many pictures and I’m kind of regretful of that because I would love to have pictures of our memories and put albums together that we can look back on
  • Go on a hike: I definitely need tips and tricks for going on a hike with kids!
  • Visit a fire station
  • Go to The Baked Bear!!!
  • Go to a splash park
  • Go to the The Crayola Factory

Giving My Toddler Chores

Ever since Gio started walking and we noticed that he could follow simple instructions, we started giving him “chores”. To us it was and still is very important to give Gio his jobs around the house to teach him the importance of responsibility and the importance of taking care of your home and things.

Besides teaching the need for cleanliness, order in the household, and teaching him to be responsible, giving Gio chores also helps him develop language-skills. To do his chore he needs to know where certain areas are, where things go, and how his objective is supposed to get done.

When Gio accomplishes his chores we don’t “pay” him. He doesn’t get candy or a sticker or anything. His favorite part of helping out is the sense of pride and accomplishment once he’s done. Every time he knows he did something correctly he claps and says “I did it,” with so much excitement. Once he’s older and does jobs that are more complex then maybe we can offer a reward, but right now I don’t feel the need or see the need to do so.

Gio is only 2 so his chores aren’t washing dishes or doing laundry, which would be nice lol, but he does things like:

  • pushing our laundry basket (it has wheels) to the laundry room down the hall and back to our studio
  • helps me put laundry detergent into the washer, moves the wet clothes into the dryer, and from the dryer into the basket
  • he’s still in a diaper so he throws out his diapers into the trash (this was his very first chore)
  • before every bath he puts his dirty clothes into the dirty hamper
  • pick up and put away his toys

New chores we’re practicing:

  • throwing out trash from a snack or meal into the trash
  • helping throw out the garbage bag down the “chute”

All these chores are simple enough for him to understand and do. He might not understand the full meaning of why we do it all just yet, but continuing to do each of these consistently will teach him.

Obviously Gio didn’t learn to do these on his own. To start doing these we taught them all to him. We showed him how we do each task, then we practiced each one step by step together, and then he did it on his own. Gio is always really proud of himself when he learns something new and remembers, so teaching him chores hasn’t been too hard. At first he didn’t always want to throw out trash or move the laundry, but when we sing a song or cheer in the process, he’s always really happy in the end after doing it.

The next chores we want to teach Gio are:

  • learning to feed his fish
  • cleaning up spills and the windows
  • carrying a light grocery bag or item (he only cares about carrying his toys right now lol)
  • carrying his own backpack
  • putting his plate and cup into the dishwasher (I’m sure he’ll throw it in at first lol, so thankfully his are plastic)

The most important thing to getting toddlers, kids, teens to do a good job is consistency. At first I would forget to give Gio his diaper after I was done changing him so he forgot he even had to do it and where to take it, but once I stayed on top of it he remembered to go to the kitchen, open the cabinet, throw it in the trash, and then close the cabinet. Laundry we do every Friday, he knows he gets to push the cart so he does and he knows to stop in front of the laundry room, and once we’re done in there he knows to head to the elevator so we can go downstairs to put money in the laundry card.

My favorite part out of all this is the excitement to do things and how proud his is once he’s done. Once he’s older he probably won’t be as excited, lol, so I’ll take advantage of it now.

Thank you for reading! -Aura xoxo

Easy Way To Make Money From HOME

Sell. Sell. Sell.

After I had Gio, I haven’t worked. Erwin and I decided that the best thing for our son is to always have me around, so all my time is dedicated to my family and school. Not working is something I was never used to so it’s still an adjusting process for me. I use to work full-time and go to school. I want to help bring money into the household, even if it’s only to pay one bill or gas money but it’s something, you know?

So I did my usual Google search and looked up various ways to make money from home, stay at home mom ideas, etc. I came across surveys, apps, and so many things but something that truly stuck out to me was selling stuff we don’t need anymore.

Usually I just got rid of my clothes or threw away items we no longer wanted, but I started listing on apps to sell items and it’s been a good run for for. I’ve been doing it since Gio was born, over two years. I don’t know exactly how much I’ve made since then but between now and November I made almost $2,000, and I don’t think that’s bad at all from stuff at home! It’s also a good way to declutter!

Somethings I’ve sold are:

-Grown out clothes: of course from Gio. He had so much nice stuff just in boxes because it no longer fit him

-Grown out shoes: same story as the clothes

-Toys: just items Gio no longer paid attention to or liked

-Baby Gear: car seats, swings, jumpers, gates, chairs, play yards,

-Movies: I had duplicates of some

-My own clothing: stuff that no longer fit or grabbed my attention

-Shoes: same as clothes

-Maternity items

-Accessories: items that might not be your style anymore, maybe never wore, were gifts and you didn’t like, sell it! Rings, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, sunglasses, purses!

There’s so much you can put up, you’d be surprised!

Another way I’ve made money, is going to stores called Kid to Kid and Uptown Cheapskate. They buy used items, clothing, and shoes- even maternity items, too! They will give you 15%-20% of what they will sell it for, but it’s very quick and instant cash, unless you want store credit then they will give you an additional 20%, I believe. You do make less selling to these places rather than selling them on your own like on apps, but if you’re in need these are quick and easy places to go to!

My favorite app to sell on is Mercari, but I’ve also sold on LetGo and PoshMark.

Now another app where I’ve made money is Ibotta. I really enjoy this. This app has a list of items (groceries, magazines, cleaning supplies, baby items, etc.,) that you can purchase from almost any grocery store in your area. It’s basically a cash back. An example is, if you purchase lets say ice cream, you can make $1 back. Once you’ve made up to $20 you can redeem for rewards (old navy, Walmart, etc. giftcards), you can redeem into a PayPal account, or you can keep accumulating money. A lot if the items are items that most people purchase, at least I do, so it hasn’t been difficult for me to reach $20!

These apps and stores have been very helpful to me. I’ve been able to bring in some money to the house, get Gio things, and/ or help pay a bill here and there! It’s worth looking into, I promise 🙂

Xoxo- Aura

Where I shop for my 2 year old?

I have always loved shopping, especially clothing. So ever since I became pregnant I immediately wanted to start buying clothing, shoes, everything for Gio. Baby clothing is so cute and I always wanted it all, buuuut kids grow out of everything SO fast and spending hundreds of dollars on a few items that may last months, if that, isn’t really worth it.

I like good quality clothing, but because Gio grows out of everything so fast I also like to not spend too much either. Right now Gio wears 2T and 3T depending on the brand, and in shoes he’s either a 6 or 7 also depending on the brand. Now that he isn’t a baby, he no longer has many accidents but clothing does become stained from eating or activities. Also, we’ll be potty training this summer and I’m expecting accidents to make their way back so I don’t want him to wear expensive clothes for them to just get dirty in a short period.

I’ve found a good amount of stores that I like with different brands and/or styles that I really like, and the best part is that the clothing is good quality, too. The stores are:

  • TJ Maxx
  • Marshalls
  • Old Navy
  • Target
  • Gap
  • Kohls
  • Nordstrom Rack
  • Outlets such as Adidas, Nike (items are always much cheaper, and usually on sale too)

In addition to the stores, I have also bought Gio some items off an app, Mercari. On the app I am always more careful with what I buy. I make sure to check the condition and make sure the price is fair, and so far I’ve really enjoyed my purchases.

Here is a mini TJ Maxx haul from today:

  • Carters swim 2- piece: $14.99
  • Adidas 2- piece outfit: $12.99
  • Adidas grey shirt: $5.99
  • Ralph Lauren shirt: $7.99
  • Nike yellow/grey shorts: $4.99
  • PJ Masks and Thomas the Train pjs: $7.99 each