Friday, June 16, 2017

DIY with mama saigh: Dollar-store hacks.

Man, this blog sure has been neglected with me working full-time over at The Jason Show. Between "mom-ing", working, and trying to keep my sh*t together, I haven't gotten to take much time for myself.

But today, I'm back on-air with a fun segment featuring dollar-store hacks!


My family and I got to spend some time together this past week, prepping for this segment. While you can find everything from party supplies to pregnancy tests at your local dollar store, I've put together some easy DIY projects that can help organize your home, and keep the kiddos entertained.


Yep, this was our food pantry BEFORE I found these little plastic gems at the
Dollar Tree. Open food boxes and packages in complete disarray, annoys be beyond belief.
But now, the little snackers in our family can see their options before they more things
around, and turn our food pantry into total chaos.
After many failed Pinterest projects over the years, these little animal book-ends are
a Pinterest win! I found a couple plastic giraffe toys at the Dollar Tree, and super-glued them
onto a small piece of wood that my husband cut for me (from spare wood we had in the garage).
Then, I spray-painted everything white, let it dry for a day, and gave it one more coat. TaDa!
These book-ends look so sweet in a nursery, or a child's bedroom. Total cost: A little over $1!

This is my friend's baby girl, Emeryson, wearing a pair
of Dollar Store leggings that I made in 10 seconds. I found these retro-looking
tube socks at the Dollar Tree, and just cut the foot off of them to create baby leg-warmers.

For two years now, my jewelry has been a tangled mess, inside one box on my closet shelf.
So, I picked up a couple white plates and a candle-holder at the Dollar Tree, spray-painted the candle holder white, super-glued everything together, to create a sleek-looking jewelry tray for my bedroom dresser. You can also use the
clear-glass plates from the Dollar Tree, along with the clear-glass candle holder, to create
an antique-looking, tiered party-tray for your next get-together!


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Favorite things: Convenient, on-the-go snacks for kids.

We are seriously never home. With two kids and busy schedules, our kiddos are regularly eating in the car, or on-the-go. Since it's difficult to get my kids to stop and refuel, I'm always looking for energy-packed, dense snacks that are packed with healthy-calories, and easy to take on the road. Here are a few of my favorites for our toddler and kindergartner...

1. Bananas: Cheap, dense/filling, healthy, and no packaging or ice-packs necessary.

Make bananas FUN by dressing them up, or writing
a message on them for your kiddos!


2. Smoothies in The Original Squeeze: We are loving Chef Marshall O'Brien's Mood Boosting Smoothie, and Blueberry Smoothie with Flax Seed. I put the ingredients in our Magic Bullet, blend in the morning, and take them on-the-go in our Original Squeeze Pouches. While these snacks/meals need to be chilled if not consumed right away, they pack healthy calories/energy, and keep my kiddos fueled. I give our toddler smoothies in the Spill-Proof Spout, while our kindergartner stays mess-free with the Original Squeeze Pouch's Free-Flow Spout.

We love putting smoothies in our Original Squeeze Pouches!


3. CLIF Kid Zbar: My kids think these are a treat, as they come in a brownie, chocolate chip, and oatmeal icing flavors. These bars are made with whole grains, and are loaded with carbohydrates, making them a dense and filling snack. We buy these bars in bulk at Costco, which keeps them affordable.

4. Mini Babybel Cheese + Pistachio Nuts: Again, we buy these items in bulk at Costco, to keep them affordable.

Our toddler LOVES these calcium-packed cheese snacks!


5. Disposable Food Pouches: When it comes to a quick and convenient snack, our kindergartner is completely happy with the inexpensive/generic, organic applesauce pouches from Costco (Kirkland brand). But when I want to pack as much nutrition, healthy calories, and energy as possible in these convenient little pouches, the Plum Organics Grow Well DHA, Muscle, and Tummy pouches (90-100 calories per pouch), and the Beech Nut Breakfast-On-The-Go, and Banana, Blueberry, and Avocado pouches (80-90 calories per pouch) are my go-tos.


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Mama saigh is going back to work.

I've been keeping my "big" news under wraps for a few weeks, but now, the cat is FINALLY outta the bag! Starting May 22nd, I'll be joining The Jason Show over at FOX 9, during their national test throughout the month of June. For six weeks, I'll be a full-time working mama, returning to my TV roots.



Am I excited?! Oh, HELLS yes!

After the birth of our first kiddo, I left my job at Twin Cities Live (KSTP) to be a stay-at-home mom. I worked at TCL ever since the show first went on the air in 2007, and it was the best job I've ever had. Leaving my family at TCL was one of the most difficult decisions I've had to make. However (at the time), it was the right decision for me, and (most importantly) my mental health (I suffered from postpartum depression after our first baby was born). Since then, I've always had a strong desire to return to my career in television.

Me, E-Ries, and Em, back in my TCL days. These two are still shining stars on the show!

For the last five-and-a-half years, I've been the stay-at-home mom for our two kiddos (Linna and Jameson). While it's been the most exhausting, challenging, and stressful job of my life, my decision to become a stay-at-home mom allowed for the opportunity to move our family to Singapore for three years (2012-2015)... And what an incredible experience that was for me, Papa Saigh, and Linna!

Me and Linna in Asia.

But now, five-and-a-half years, and two babies later, I am SO excited to have the opportunity to go back to the grown-up world that I've so desperately missed. And, for six weeks (this isn't forever... or is it...?!).

I seriously feel like I'm going on a six-week "vacation" (FYI, stay-at-home-mamas, you know it's time to go back to work, when you start to view work as a "vacation"). For YEARS, I've never been able to understand why some women are able (and WANT) to dive back into their careers, post-baby, while leaving their baby/kids in childcare.

Trust me when I say that "I GET IT" now.

A). Stay-at-home-mom life is a luxury (for those who want it), but it's NOT for everyone.
B). Kids are as*holes, exhausting, and COMPLETELY unreasonable.
C). Money is nice.
D). A job/career is an "escape" from the real-life known as children/family.

All of the above have me leaping toward this opportunity at The Jason Show.

My work-hours at FOX allow me to pick up our kindergartner every day after school, and spend my afternoons with both kiddos. While I'll have to be up and at the studio before the birds even start chirping, it's the perfect "trade-off" for me and my family. This opportunity couldn't have presented itself at a better time, and I am SO ready to dive right in.

Am I going to miss my kids?

Honestly?! No. (LOL - Don't judge me!).

While I'm sure part of me will miss my little monsters when I'm at work, you will find me skipping (proudly) out the door at 5:30 a.m. on Monday, May 22nd. I have been incredibly lucky to be a stay-at-home mom for the last five-and-a-half years, but there comes a time in every mom's life when she has to do what is right for her. My passion for telling stories and producing TV segments, has been calling out to me for a while now.

And this time, I'm answering.

This is going to be a HUGE transition and learning-opportunity for our family. While we have amazing care-givers for our kiddos while mama and papa are working, I'm sure both Papa Saigh and I are in for many major challenges.

We have NEVER experienced life as two, full-time working parents. While this is how the majority of households in America run, it's a brand new world for our family.

We're going to tackle it together.

I am so thankful to be a part of the incredibly talented team at The Jason Show (thanks, Jeff & Carl!), and even more thankful to my husband for supporting me in this adventure.

Stay tuned, because WHO KNOWS where this opportunity might lead...


Monday, May 8, 2017

Ticket giveaway: A year with frog and toad.


We're giving away 2 tickets to the Children's Theatre Company's performance of A Year with Frog and Toad! This show runs through June 18th, 2017. Here's how to enter for your chance to win...

1. Share our giveaway post on our Facebook page.
2. Comment on this blog post (below) with your first and last name, and city you currently reside in.
3. Comment on our giveaway post on our Instagram (@melissasaigh) page, tagging three friends who you think would like to see the show.

Complete all three to better your odds of winning! One person will be randomly selected to win two tickets to a performance of A Year with Frog and Toad at the Children's Theatre Company in Minneapolis. The tickets can be redeemed for any performance with available seating. Entries must be received/completed by 8 p.m. CST on May 9th, 2017. The winner will be announced on our Facebook and Instagram pages, as well as on this blog post. Good luck!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Jimmy says "baby owl".

I feel like Jimmy went through a language "explosion" when we were in Florida last month over spring break. And his words just keep on coming at 17 months old. This morning, when I got him out of his crib, he picked up a stuffed owl and said "baby". I replied, "Yes Jimmy, that's a baby owl. Whoooo-whooooo!". Sweet Jimmy then said, "Baby owl. Whoooo!".

And, melt...


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

April 2017 vlog.

Just in case you're not follwing our InstaStories (@melissasaigh on Instagram), here's a video montage of my vlogging from the past few weeks...


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Spring break in florida.

What does every Minnesotan look forward to after three months of winter?!

Some fun in the sun.

This year, during our kindergartner's school spring-break, our family of four headed down to Florida for a little visit to Walt Disney World. My parents have a house near Fort Myers, so we stayed with them for a few days too. We soaked in some sun at their pool, hung out at the beach, and took on Disney's Magic Kingdom during the peak spring-break season. The word "peak", isn't big enough to describe that craziness that is Disney World during spring break. Let's just start there...

The 4 of us in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.

Linna and Jimmy with their Nana and Bompa. Jimmy's face says it all.

While we had an absolutely magical time when we took our then 3-year-old daughter Linna to Disney World in December a few years ago, this year's trip was not the same experience. Don't get me wrong, the Magic Kingdom is spectacular. However, in my opinion, it is NOT a fun place to visit during spring break. It was over-crowded, hot, and those two things don't boast well with a 16-month-old who has an agenda of his own.

This was Jimmy's first visit to Disney, and while we loved having our family together, it was a little overwhelming and stressful having the toddler with us. He wanted to get out of the stroller and run around, but the streets and sidewalks were packed with sweaty, crabby, and stressed-out parents pushing strollers, chasing their toddlers, and rushing to their next hour-long wait in line. I'm pretty sure that Papa Saigh and I were in the same "hell" as many of the other parents during our visit, judging solely by the distressed looks on their faces. We knew that this was PEAK season at Disney, but holy sh*t.

When you decide to take the plunge and bring the kids to experience the magic of Disney World, you go into it knowing 3 things...

1. You're going to spend $$$.
2. It's going to be a long day(s).
3. You're going to wait in long lines.

However, if you go to Disney World during spring break, the above mentioned are even more intense.

Much more intense.

My dad, Linna, and the Magic Kingdom fire chief. My dad is
the fire chief of our hometown of Hopkins.

Linna in front of Cinderella's castle.

Mama + Papa Saigh with Linna standing in another long, hot line.

Even if we wanted to spend the money to sit down for a decent meal in an air-conditioned restaurant in the Magic Kingdom, we had to wait an hour or more with our name on a list... And that's only IF the restaurant had room for customers outside the existing reservations. We saw so many people sitting on the ground under the hot sun, choking down a hot dog, or some other over-priced fast-food. Plus, we spent over $30 on bottled water, as the drinking fountains inside the Magic Kingdom were either not working, or dripped out warm water. To Disney's credit, they do allow you to bring your own food and drinks inside the Magic Kingdom. However, it was pretty disappointing to not be able to experience the amenities of Disney World, even when we wanted to drop the $$$.

How do people do Disney on a budget?! I'm guessing they don't go over spring break.

On a positive note, our 5-year-old had a wonderful time during her second visit to the Magic Kingdom. She ate cotton candy, rode some of her favorite rides, and even rode her first roller-coaster! Linna is pretty apprehensive when it comes to thrill rides, so we were shocked when she decided to ride the Barnstormer TWICE with her dad (this is a great "first" roller coaster for kids, by the way). The enjoyment we got out of this Disney visit, was seeing the excitement in her eyes with each of the new things she got to experience. Both of our kids even stayed up to watch the fireworks over Cinderella's castle at 9 p.m. We decided to watch from the front of the Magic Kingdom, so we could try and beat the rush to the ferry at the conclusion of the show. Thankfully, we made it on one of the first ferry boats, so we were able to get on the road back to our hotel by 9:30 p.m.

(Linna's first roller coaster ride EVER!)

Since we rented a car and drove from Fort Myers to Orlando, we decided to stay at a resort off the Disney Property. The Wyndham Orlando Resort on International Drive was a great fit for us. My parents and sister came along to Disney with us, so we stayed in a family suite with the kids, and booked an adjoining room for my parents and sister. The family suite was PERFECT for the four of us! The hotel staff had a travel cot set up for Jimmy to sleep in, and Linna slept on the bottom bunk of the bunk beds in the room. Although Linna and Jimmy were passed out by the time we arrived at the hotel, they were so excited when they woke up to see the bunk-bed area, which even had a separate TV just for them. In the morning, the kids played on their side of the room, while Papa Saigh and I laid in bed watching the Today Show. After a little breakfast at the hotel's restaurant, we put on our swimsuits and spent some time in the pools. This resort has two great pools, and neither were busy during our visit. This was a much-needed change of pace after the craziness that was our Magic Kingdom experience. The Wyndham Orlando Resort was affordable, quiet, and a good fit for a stay off the Disney property.

(Video of our stay at the Wyndham Orlando Resort.)

The rest of our vacation was spent at Fort Myers Beach, shopping at the Miramar Outlets, a Twins game, and soaking up some vitamin D at the pool. Traveling with two little ones isn't the easiest thing, so the beautiful Florida weather made up for any stresses during our spring break. It sure makes me look forward to the end of our winter, so bring on spring!

Linna and Jimmy in Nana and Bompa's Beach Wagon.

Our sassy 5-year-old at the pool in Florida.

Jimmy found his heaven on earth, with all the tennis balls on the tennis court
at my parents' house in Florida.