Wednesday, January 28, 2015

DIY Lego Table

It's no surprise here that we love to play Legos. And by we, I mean me. I have always loved to play Legos. I can remember when my little brother and I used to watch the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie and build us some bad ass Lego towns.

So when Cruz finally got into Legos, I was one happy mama. I mean, what's the fun of becoming a parent if you can't play like you're a kid again? It's the best.

As Cruz's interest increased, I felt it only right that we blow out our Lego set up.

I had searched online and found a ton of different options - some weren't exactly what I wanted and others were expensive, so I opted to make our own and enlisted my mother-in-law's help. I also wanted something that could be used on the floor or would fit over top of his existing train table in case he wanted to stand around it, so we used that size as our gauge.

And around 11pm the Sunday night before Christmas, we got started.

Place the Lego base plates where you want them on the particle board, outline with pencil.

Important note: if you are putting the base plates next to each other, use Legos to connect them so you can make sure you put them the right distance apart. If you don't do this, there is a good chance you won't be able to make really awesome, huge Lego houses or bridges connecting one base plate to another. Trust me on this. (see below)

Lift off the Lego base plates and paint the exposed areas with gray paint for your road. It doesn't have to be pretty. We also painted in between the base plates because there was some exposed space showing. Oh, and it's a good idea to have a drop cloth down so you don't paint all over your kitchen island.

Place the base plates on the particle board and hot glue them down. I recommend two people for this - one to apply the glue and the other to hold the base plate and then stick it to the particle board.

Note: once we glued one of the base plates down, we applied glue to the other, quickly set it down next to the other and spaced it with the Legos to ensure we did it correctly.

Use your stencil and white paint to add the white dotted lines to your road. Allow to dry. (I didn't get a picture of this, but you can see the finished product below.

Cover and surprise the heck out of your favorite little one!

Since we technically gave this to him the Monday before Christmas, we told him the Elves had delivered it to Grandma Carol's house since they knew we were going to be there before Christmas day. He was pretty excited. And since I knew we were going to do this, I told family they could gift him with Lego sets for Christmas to get him started, which worked perfectly.

And  it's quickly become one of my our favorite toys around here and since has gained quite a few new Lego sets. He literally plays with it every single day and as much as I hate to say it, it's taken residence in our main living room which makes for an eye sore, but is oh so convenient.

Here is a list of most of the items we used and Duplo sets we have since added. Some not pictured here.

This was a fairly easy project, especially if I could do it. So enlist a pal, prep with a lot of wine, get your creative juices flowing and have some fun!

It's the Little Things

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Our Weekend

Our weekend was slightly uneventful, mostly because I worked most of it putting together a last minute presentation for work. Well - scratch that - two presentations.

So since we didn't have a ton going on, I thought....why not throw out some randoms from the last couple of days. Good? Good.

The weekend started on a great note. I booked myself a 9pm massage on Thursday night and boy was it much needed. I will tell you one thing. Businesses that have accessible hours are the best. I ended up working late that night and went straight there, however, how easy would it be for a working parent or a stay at home one to make a 9pm appointment, while still getting to put their kiddo to bed beforehand? Genius.

On Friday, we had already planned to go out and had a new sitter lined up. Dinner and the comedy club was fantastic, but even better Nick's cousin watched Cruz for the first time and did so great. I'm hoping we've found ourselves a someone to watch little man.

I spent basically the entire weekend wearing this jacket.  And I'm loving it. I don't often buy Lulu, but when I do, I buy jackets.

There you have it. Headed to KC tomorrow for the week. Thankfully my parents were able to take Cruz man to the farm this week, so I know he's having the best time while I'm gone.

And being that it is my little bro's two year anniversary, here is a little look back at his wedding weekend back home. Seriously, I love my siblings. We may have had a little fun. And Tess and I may have spent a little time in the tanning bed....don't judge.

And just look at little Cruz! He had just learned to really walk the week before the wedding. Awww... =)

Linking up with Miss B.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

2014 Travel

If there is one thing I love to do, it's travel.

Discovering new places, relaxing, trying new foods, cocktails by the pool, spending time with people I love, flying, the anticipation, the packing (def, not the unpacking)...I just love everything about it.

Fortunately Mr. Mango does as well and traveling is something we love to do together (and lucky me because he's quite the travel planner), but it's also something we love to do apart. It's good for both of us to get some time with our friends on great trips away.

I was reminiscing this weekend and going through old photo albums and it made me think of just how fortunate I've been to take some amazing trips and 2014 definitely was one of the best years for travel as far as I'm concerned.

So I figured if I liked looking at all the pics, then surely you would, right? Sure.

In January, three of my favorite gal pals and I headed for our somewhat annual trip to of my favorite places to get away to. Champagne was the name of the game that weekend and we made sure to consume as much of it as possible. Just a relaxing weekend catching up with girlfriends who no longer live in Omaha was a great way to kick off the new year.

(Check it out here)

In March, the hubs and I took somewhat of a last minute beach vacay to Play del Carmen.  Just us. An early five year anniversary celebration. It was seriously one of the best - if not THE best - vacation we've had.  We golfed, we rode ATVs & ziplined through the jungle, we drank loads of cocktails by the pool, we had couples massages on the beach, we dove into a cenote, we people watched on the streets of Playa's famous 5th avenue and I slept/napped more than I ever have in my life. It was just what we needed.

(Read more about it here & here)

{Bahamas Cruise}
We found out last minute that I was taking a group of customers on a cruise in April, so of course I had to invite my best guy along. He has great perks, doesn't he? It was our first cruise and, while I can't say we are big cruise fans, it was still amazing. Three nights/four days in and out of the Bahamas. We definitely managed to have some fun...and reinvigorate our tans from our Mexico trip.

(A short recap here)

{Las Vegas}
Work called once again and drug us to Vegas. Well it was originally just a work trip, but we tacked on a couple of days so Nick and I could sneak in a little personal time. We finally got to see the new Linq and High Roller - I actually got a really great tour via a break out group from one of our meetings that week. And then we had a cocktail reception at the newly open Giada at The Cromwell as well as dinner there the following night where I was lucky enough to stalk meet her.

The best part, though, about a long week away? Coming home to this guy. And this sign he was holding for me at the airport.

{Kansas City}
The following weekend, we planned a little family getaway to KC for Father's Day. Swimming at the hotel pool, a day at Schliterbahn Water Park, a trip to Lego Land and spending some time at the Plaza was a perfectly packed weekend.

{Virginia Beach}
In July we took an amazing beach vacay with our Manganaro-Gardner side of the family. Major blogging fail because I have yet to recap this one, but I'm going to. We rented a house right on the beach and had no agenda. It was such a great time away...and all I can say is that I got pretty lucky on the in-law side of things and for a group this size to get along as well as we all do is pretty impressive. Plus, it was little man's first time in the ocean. He wasn't a fan at first (there may have been some girly screaming) but he got the hang of things and totally wowed us with his swimming skills in our pool at the house....especially his "canyon" ball. =)

{Austin - Part One}
In September, I headed to Austin to meet my bestie for a million years and all of her friends from Houston for a weekend of debauchery for her bachelorette party. Although, I'm not sure you can count being in by 11pm the first night and not even leaving the apartment the second night, following a day full of drinking on a wine tour through the Dripping Springs Wine Trail, a debauchery though. Who knew Texas grapes were so delish.

(More about this trip here)

{New Orleans}
Yet again, I had a trip for work and this time it took me to NoLa in October. I had never been and was hoping for some free time to check out the city. We had some amazing work dinners at Palace Cafe, Restaurant Revolution and attended the opening of Johnny Sanchez, where we got to meet both John Besh and Aaron Sanchez. If you are Food Network fans, as I am, you might recognize them from the Next Iron Chef. The food didn't stop there - one of our meeting break out groups was a cooking class at Langlois, which was phenomenal. And someone might have forced me to Bourbon Street to take the obligatory jello a massive syringe. At least I didn't bring home beads. =)


{Austin - Part Two}
In October, our little fam and my mom headed back to Austin for the wedding of the year. My bestie since 6th grade was getting married and I got to stand next to her on her special day. The wedding and reception were held at Duchman Winery and it was a gorgeous backdrop for an even more gorgeous couple. was beautiful.

(More on the wedding here)

In December, we rounded out yet another one of my work trips with a little weekend getaway for just Nick and I. We had a great weekend eating and drinking our way through the city - we took in a Bulls game, went to a Second City performance and did loads of shopping. I even got to eat a deep dish pizza in bed. Mmmm pizza and red wine in bed, how can you beat that??

(Check out the recap here)

There you have it, a year of travel for the Mangos. Seeing this all typed out, I'm feeling pretty lucky to have gotten to hit up so many great places this year and check some new locations off my bucket list.

Ok, so it's almost embarrassing (not really because who cares?) but I think this tank made it into almost all of our vacation pics this year. It's so versatile and I guess you could say I like it. And obviously bought it in almost every color. =)

And sorry for the quality of some of these iPhone pics. It's vacay...I wasn't going to pulling out the fancy DSLR in the middle of all of our fun.

Now looking at where we need to travel in 2015 - any recommendations of places we need to visit?

Linking up with Miss Biana.