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Freaking

Please tell me I’m not alone here.

You think you’re doing the “right” thing, replacing your beloved F word with a replacement, freaking. No, it doesn’t pack the same punch. No, it doesn’t perfectly describe your mood, or attitude, or pain at stepping on that toy (again). But freaking doesn’t turn heads said in the driveway by you as a 34 year old.

But you know what does turn heads?! Your 3.5 going on 17 year old daughter using phrases like “what the heck! My freaking cheese has a rip in it!” Or “Mommy, help me, I can’t get my freaking coat off.”

I mean what do you say? I had to bite my lip so hard to keep from cracking a smile. Part of me so proud of her correct useage in a sentence. Most of me like OMGosh did that just come out of her mouth?! & girl, please don’t say that! It’s not a good adjective for little ones!

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So yeah, anyone have (another) favorite, preschooler-repeating-friendly alternative to my beloved F word. And Eff doesn’t work either. Thankfully the real thing or “eff this” has yet to come out of this sweet face.

Don’t even get my started on “What the heck?”. I’m not sure why, but that phrase is in so many of L&Z’s current favorite movies?! Sigh. And OMG is Gosh or Goodness from me. But it’s become Zach’s favorite phrase for all his good, bad, exciting things & we don’t love that either. Sigh. Maybe I need multiple phrase advise!

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

One of the fun parts of being a “blogger” in our area is the movies! And not much has been a more anticipated release than the final film in the Hunger Games series. With a quickly replied to email, Jason & I had our first date night in a while.
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It’s been years since I read the novels. And while I enjoyed the book trilogy but have to say, I think I liked this movie more than the last book.

Mockingjay Part 2 starts where Part 1 ended, in District 13 with Peeta in recovery after being held captive & the revolution on going against President Snow & the capital.

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Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson , far left), Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence, center left), Boggs (Mahershala Ali, center right) and Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth, far right) in THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY - PART 2. Photo Credit: Murray Close

This film is action packed! I thought the effects were really good. I loved the characters & actors did a great job.
Jennifer Lawrence as Katiss shines as a strong, independent heroine. I loved seeing more of the Gale, Peeta, Katiss love triangle. And Boggs, leading the team in the photo above, was one of my favorites.

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Jennifer Lawrence stars as ‘Katniss Everdeen’ in THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY - PART 2. Photo Credit: Murray Close

As in the past films, the hair, make-up, costumes were awesome. The Capital residents like the beloved Effie’s outfits were over the top amazing!

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fie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks, left) and Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence, right) in THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 2. Photo Credit: Murray Close

Donald Sutherland does a great job portraying the loved to hate President Snow.

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onald Sutherland stars as ‘President Snow’ in THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY - PART 2. Photo Credit: Murray Close

Fans of this series, do not miss this film! Take advantage of this holiday weekend & go!

Thanks to Lionsgate media marketing for inviting me to go see this film. While Jason & I were able to get early passes to the movie, I was not otherwise compensated & my review is not influenced by the passes.

Almost 3.5

Almost 3.5 is sass, opinions & non-stop chatting. 3.5 is princess & skirts, dresses & nightgown obsessed.

Almost 3.5 is anger, throwing & back talk. 3.5 is all-things-trains & dragons, monkeys & puppy dogs.

Almost 3.5 is 85% daytime potty-trained & no end in sight for nighttime pull ups.

Almost 3.5 is kicking & crying & screaming & flailing when they don’t get their way.

But almost 3.5 is also all the cuddles, hugs, slobbery kisses, high-fives, & I Love Yous that make exhausted parents of threeangers go to sleep with happy hearts.

Zach & Lucy’s first trip to the Zoo

We were in VA this past weekend to celebrate our good family friend Emily’s wedding Saturday night. The wedding was at Lewis Ginter gardens at 6p, gorgeous timing for flowers, sunset, dinner & dancing.

Suzstreats Emily's wedding

Emily looked radiantly beautiful & so happy! I enjoyed catching up with family friends, & enjoying a night out with the husband, my brother & SIL & my parents.

Before the wedding festivities, we had a full day open. My family, not one to let a full day go by unplanned, decided we’d go to the Metro Richmond zoo for the first time.

There are so many animals there & the best part is that they are so close!

suzstreats Zoo Trip

We fed goats, sheep & deer, & saw flamingos, prairie dogs, a tiger who loved walking right by Zach, a muddy rhino that was more Lucy’s nervous style, an alligator, camels, two buffaloes & more monkeys than my monkey-loving little guy (& me too!) could keep count of. Big chimpanzees & orangutans to tiny little monkeys who leaped & flipped & swung from their branches.  The “waddle waddle” penguins were adorable & also a favorite.

Suzstreats Zoo Visit

But the giraffes won our hearts & were definitely about who Zach & Lucy ran inside to tell their Pops (who hadn’t joined us)! My mom aka Cici & Zach fed giraffes out of their hands while I snapped photos & Lucy picked up the fallen food off the ground to hand to Cici & Zach (we didn’t pay for the cup of food). It was amazing to see them so close! (& yes they had hand santizer stations all over as well as bathrooms soon after the giraffe’s area.)

SuzsTreats Zoo Giraffes

At the advice of friends, we arrived soon after they opened so the zoo wasn’t super crowded & my mom had packed a picnic lunch so once we finished up, we were able to go back to the car to grab our coolers & then eat on picnic tables there within the zoo.

Suzstreats zoo picnic

If it hadn’t been nap time, I’d have loved to go back to get another peek at the tiger & also see if the lions had woken up from their naps!

We’ll definitely be going back to the Metro Richmond zoo, I’d say it’s great for all ages ~ my 90 year old Papa enjoyed it as much as my almost- 3 year olds did! Going from 10am-1pm worked well for us but you could take your time more or easily go back for a second look at your favorite animals & stay there all day long.

Teacher Appreciation Week {Bruegger’s giveaway}

Happy first full week of May! And May means for most kids, the winding down of school & thus taking the time to thank the teachers who have helped teach & care for your children this year.

Lucy & Zach moved up to the late 2s/early 3s room at their daycare a couple months back, so these teachers they didn’t have last May or over Christmas. Making this week my time to tell these ladies a big THANK YOU! For keeping L & Z happy during the day, for making sure they eat, nap, play nicely with their friends & each other, for learning & for getting Lucy almost completely potty trained (probably another post, another time)!

In the age of Pinterest, it’s easy to find images & ideas other moms have done for Teacher Appreciation, but as a non-super crafty, overly-tired, working mom of two almost-3 year olds, I leave the Pinterest projects to someone else.

I’m relying on my trusty favorites: food & gift cards! You can’t go wrong there right?! I figured I’d stop by Target after work & grab a lip balm & little gift card for each of their 3 teachers. I won’t have specialty printed paper, but I figured I could write “You’re the balm! Love, Zach & Lucy” as my nod to the crafty moms.

And for food, no question, the Bruegger’s Big Bagel Bundle. This way I can not only give breakfast to their two morning teachers, but show my appreciation to the whole staff with 13 bagels & two yummy cream cheese tubs! A handwritten note of thanks & quick stop at Bruegger’s Friday morning is simple yet perfect! & Bruegger’s is always a delicious hit in my opinion!

Because Bruegger’s is so awesome, they’re providing me with not one, but TWO $10 gift cards to give out to TWO awesome readers. Just leave a comment letting me know What have you done or are you doing to show appreciation for the teachers in your children’s lives?! If you don’t yet have children, leave a comment with what you think is a fun idea!

And I’ll pick two random comments ~ Congratulations Elana & Crystal! Y’all won! I’ll email you both for your addresses!

In exchange for this post, Bruegger’s is providing me with gift cards for me as well as the ones for the giveaway, but my thoughts & opinions are all my own & not swayed because of their generosity.