You Make My Heart Glow

You Make My Heart Glow - Under the Monkey Bars blog

YOU GUYS make my heart glow. For real! Thank you for being here and joining me on this blogging journey. I’m seriously beyond grateful. Will you be my Valentine?

The monkeys gave their school friends these super cute glow stick valentines. Our local print shop printed and cut the valentines, making it really easy this year. I ordered way too many glow sticks, but I’m sure we’ll use them for dance parties. I got the idea for glow stick valentines on Pinterest from Delia Creates. Never too early to collect ideas for next year, right? 

Homemade valentines are our family tradition. Don and I gave up on flowers and gifts years ago. I’d much rather give and receive simple homemade valentines and be with my loves than anything else. I sometimes cheat and cut up a few store bought or recycled cards. Another one of my Mommy short cuts. Shhhh! Don’t tell.

Bean wrote this poem for a heart themed poetry contest this month: 

Whenever I look at the night sky,
I see a little star-heart.
Blinking, winking, shining.
Smiling right at me.
For me.
With me.
My star.
My home away from home.
My anchor.
My heavenly friend.
I twirl and bloom under the
Protection of my heart.

Words can’t describe how proud I am of my strong, creative 10-year old. Her writing skills have really blossomed this year. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for this little lady. 

What are you up to this chilly February 14th? We’re in Stowe for the week with plans for a cozy family pajama day today. Don’s going to stoke a roaring fire while we read books and play games together. No cooking for me tonight! We have a reservation at one of our favorite restaurants here in Stowe: Idletyme (owned by Chef Michael Kloeti of Michael’s on the Hill).  Fantastic prices for farm to table food — and they are extra attentive with food allergies. 

I’m super excited for a vacation with my monkeys. It’s been a rough couple of weeks for us with my Lyme symptoms starting up again. February vacation came just at the right time. Thank you Massachusetts 🙂 

Happy Valentine’s Day! Hope your day is filled with sweetness and love.



On Friday morning after dropping off the monkeys at school, I gassed up in preparation for our trip to Loon over February Vacation.  The great thing about this winter is we have tons of snow!  The bad thing is that snow hides high curbs really well.  So I hit a curb at the gas station.  Whoops!!   The car drove fine around town the rest of the day, so Don reassured me that the red paint that rubbed off was nothing more than a battle scar for Knight (the monkeys name our cars…Don’s Mini is the evil emperor Zurg).  A little red mark on my car for Valentine’s Day…no big deal, right?

We were all set to drive up to the mountains on Friday after school until little Sweet Pea started crying.  She wanted to wake up on Valentine’s Day at home.  I’m sure you understand why we call her Sweet Pea; she is just the sweetest!  We couldn’t say no, and frankly I welcomed not having to rush up, especially when the forecast was so grim.

On Saturday morning, we exchanged homemade valentines and devoured a Daddy-style breakfast.  We drove up in two cars: Don had to be back for work on Tuesday and the monkeys and I were planning to relax, ski, and hang with family and friends.

We were a 1/2 hour away from Loon when my car started acting up.  First, the wheel was crooked.  Then, the back end started fish tailing.  After the second fish tail, I knew it wasn’t the snow on the road.  Something was really wrong and I had that out-of-control “we’re going to die” feeling.  Sweet Pea was in the backseat oblivious as my heart raced and my body started to sweat.  I was completely terrified as our lives flashed before my eyes.

In that moment, I was thankful for my yoga breathing and for my green tea that stays super hot in my favorite mug.  It calmed my nerves on the slow drive to the next exit, which seemed like forever.  Most of all, I’m thankful for my amazing husband Don, who always comes to my rescue.  We switched cars and he drove my car the rest of the way.  It was an hour worth of back roads all the way to Loon with not one complaint from my monkeys.  I squeezed and kissed these three to pieces when we arrived.  So thankful to be here in one piece!

Apparently I caused some damage to the car when I hit the curb at the gas station.  When I finally felt safe, the guilt set in.  This was all my fault.  I ruined the girls’ February Vacation…our vacation…our precious time together.  The house back in Newburyport is still under construction and won’t be the most relaxing place for a vacation.

I absolutely love escaping to the mountains.  There’s a different vibe up here.  Bean reads a ton while Sweet Pea plays dolls and pretends in the playroom.  We have movie nights and game nights.  We ski most days, inhaling that fresh mountain air that helps everyone sleep better.  It’s been about a month that Sweet Pea has been waking up with nightmares.  I think I could fall asleep standing up at this point.  Oh, parenthood.  We really need this vacation!


Don changed the tire yesterday and the car is no longer fish tailing.  He thinks I bent the rim, which would be much better than if I damaged the entire car frame.  He is calling our mechanic first thing today to figure out if the girls and I can stay up here.  We’ve been looking forward to this week of rest and relaxation with no to-do’s or commitments.  Praying I didn’t ruin our vacation…

Have you met Harry?

HarrysMeet Harry, the new razor in town.

Months after Don had been shaving with a shiny, new razor from a start up, I decided I should try it.  If you’re wondering…no he doesn’t share. 

Don and I cozied up on the couch one chilly evening to check out Harry’s.  I ordered the Truman set with an ivory razor.  It was only $15 for the razor, 3 blades, and shaving cream with free shipping. Then Don added extra blades for me to his monthly delivery (honestly, one less trip to the drugstore).

I was really excited to try out this new guy Harry.  My left armpit went first: OUCH.  Chafing…not good.  I put Harry down and went back to my old razor for the other armpit.  Then I moved on to use Harry on my legs.  The handle is way nicer to hold than my old razor.  So silky and smooth!  The blade took some getting used to though.  It’s not as forgiving as my old razor.  I had to shave slower and rinse the shaving cream more often.  After using the Harry razor a few more times, my legs stayed smoother longer and I didn’t cut myself.  I finally had the courage to try Harry on my armpits again.  Success! 

It turns out that Harry has amazing blade technology developed in Germany.  It’s a much closer, longer lasting shave.  To get used to it, move the razor slowly and don’t bare down as hard as you would with another razor.  I’ve been using Harry for a few months now, and I have less ingrown hairs and smoother legs.  Oooh la la! 

Besides the fabulous shave, Harry’s packaging is pretty.  The razors are engravable and therefore gift-able (Hello, Valentine’s Day is on Saturday people!).  Better yet: the blades are cheaper than the ones we have been buying at the drugstore for over a decade!  It’s exciting to actually SAVE money on a new product.  

Harry’s Customer Service is impressive.  About 2 weeks after I received my razor, they emailed me to see how I liked my razor.  On top of that, they have a quality guarantee: “If you don’t love your first shave, it’s on us.”

Now before I give you the link to check out some fabulous razors, heads up that Harry’s is targeting men.  They say it right on their site, and we can tell.  Not that we need pink and purple razors, but let’s be realistic here, Harry.  Women have far more surface area to shave…and we shop more.  

I have a feeling this start up will soon have a new mission – to give everyone a quality razor at a quality price.  Until then, check out Harry’s for yourself and your Valentine.  You won’t be disappointed.


Note: This post was not sponsored by Harry’s.  I purchased the razor myself and loved it so much that I had to share.