Five on Friday

Happy Friday!

I am sorry I have been so absent from the blog world this week! I will be back full force on Monday, but for now I just wanted to share five things on this beautiful Friday! If you are wanting to check out what’s going on in Dayton this weekend, scroll on down to #5!

  1. Visiting friends. On Monday, I drove to upstate New York to visit my lifelong friend that I haven’t seen in YEARS! We have four kids under the age of three and being together was so FUN and so INSANE! So many babies. I drove back yesterday and I think I need a week or two to recover! 
  2. Third Culture Kids and marriage. My (online) friend Esther interviewed me last week on TCKs and marriage. Let me tell you what, we could have gone on for HOURS, but she managed to put everything together in this amazing blog post. TCK married friends I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on these questions, too. Are you married to another TCK or someone from another culture or someone who is monocultural (only ever lived in one culture). This is fascinating to me! Here is the post! 

    Sand from Niger mixed with sand from Michigan

  3. Family Portrait. Look at this amazing piece of art that my friend Kimberly painted for us. Seriously…I LOVE it. I don’t have a single picture with all three of my kids in it…until now. I can’t wait to frame it and hang it up!!! She has an Etsy shop and can create a custom image for you, too! 
  4. Bravo Dessert! Have you headed out to Bravo to eat some dinner and get FREE dessert on me? Well, if you haven’t there is still time!!! From now until May 22, you can head to the Dayton Bravo and any entree ordered gets a FREE dessert. These desserts are AMAZING, let me tell you!!! Let me know if you head there! 
  5. Dayton this weekend! As always, there are a TON of thing to do around these parts this weekend! Its looking like it will probably rain, but at least its not snow or freezing rain, right? I plan on heading to my favorite Learning Tree Farm for Babies on the Farm!! Other fun things include the 2017 Superhero Donut Run,  and a Family Adventure Day ! What are you up to this weekend?

Dessert Is On Me: Bravo Restaurant Review

Starting today, the dessert is on me at Bravo! With the purchase of an entree, you get a free dessert! All you have to do is mention “THE GLORIOUS MUNDANE or SUZANNE HINES” to your waiter or the manager. 

*please read below to find the dates and details of the promotion*

*I received product in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own*

Back in October, Theo and I had the chance to go on a little date night! My parents had come all the way from Africa for the birth of Kiah and since they were here, we decided to take advantage of the (rare) free babysitting and go out to dinner! As usual, we were unsure of where to go or what to do, so we eventually decided to try out a new restaurant in our area: Bravo Cucina Italiana!

We absolutely LOVED our experience there. In fact, I loved it so much that I contacted the manager to see if I could partner with them and get the word out to YOU about how fabulous this restaurant is!

Last week, we had a chance to head back to Bravo to enjoy the experience again!

Bravo at the Dayton Mall

One of the first things that sets the tone for a restaurant is what you see, feel, and hear when you walk in. When you walk into Bravo, the lights are dim, the atmosphere encourages quiet…the kind where you want to lean into your companions to hear what they are saying. The restaurant is open so that you can see all the way across the room, but the half-walls and dividers all throughout make it feel like you are the only ones there.

We were so pleased with both the wait staff and the hosts. The menu is kept simple, not bombarding you with too many things to choose from, but enough to want to come back and try a different entree! One of the things I wanted to point out is that there are over a dozen gluten free meal options on this menu! Bravo also provides any meal free of allergens if specified to the wait staff.

Our view of the restaurant.

Another thing that we loved about Bravo is that you can see the kitchen and all the food prep going on! It’s like having a front row seat to a cooking show.

First to arrive at our table were the complimentary breadsticks. These breadsticks, served with an olive oil dip, hit the spot!

Tera ate about 4 of them. Haha!

The next time we go to Bravo, I’m going to request a seat out on the patio. Isn’t this so cute?

Not only does Bravo have a bar, a restaurant and a patio, they also have banquet rooms! Doesn’t this look like the perfect place to hold a rehearsal dinner for a wedding party?

About 10 minutes after we put in our order, our food arrived at the table! YUM!!!!

I got the Pasta Bravo (Gluten Free!), Theo got the Grilled Salmon and Tera got chicken fingers.

The prices are very reasonable for a nice date night, around $12-$20 a plate.

The grilled Salmon was SO GOOD. SO, SO GOOD.

One thing that would have made OUR dining experience much more enjoyable at Bravo would have been if we went without the kids (as much as we adore them!). The restaurant is not catered towards children, and it has more of an adult, date-night vibe. There is a great kids menu, but all the items on it were more than we usually like to pay for a “kids picked-over” meal. There is also nowhere to change a diaper (and of course, we had to change a messy one). That is nothing against the restaurant, I just highly recommend finding a sitter and leaving the kids at home.

After dinner we ordered desserts, and they were HEAVENLY. Not only did they look amazing, they tasted even better. Have you ever been to a restaurant before where you order dessert and feel like you wasted $6 on a frozen brownie? Well, this was NOT what happened at Bravo. I am seriously considering going back just to get the dessert again.

I got the warm chocolate cake and Theo got the creme brûlée. Other temptations on the menu were the tiramisu, the cannoli crumble, and the warm berry white cake.

  

Although we didn’t get to try out everything, the things we did get to try were fabulous. Here are some of the other deals that Bravo offers:

  • 10% military discount on the order of any military personnel.
  • Mondays 1/2 off any bottles of wine
  • Wednesday $5 martini night
  • Thursday $5 wine night
  • M-F 3:30-6:30 Happy Hour. All bar appetizers and drinks are $5.
  • Bravo also offers a loyalty club with many discounts and benefits- signing up is free!

 

And now for the fun part:

Dessert is on me!

From now until May 22, if you head to the Bravo at the Dayton Mall and mention “THE GLORIOUS MUNDANE” or “SUZANNE HINES”, you will get one free dessert of your choice with each purchased entree.

So plan that date night or Mothers Day outing and enjoy free dessert on me! Let me know how much you LOVE Bravo!

**For my friends and readers across the US, this promotion only applies to the Dayton Bravo (2770 Miamisburg-Centerville Road Centerville, OH 45459), HOWEVER my review for the Bravo restaurant is still the same! You should check and see if you have a local Bravo and enjoy a night out!

 

 

Five on Friday

Happy Friday!

I’m so glad it’s the weekend! Here are four things I’ve been thinking about this week, and the events that are going on in the Dayton area this weekend! If you see me there, make sure you say hi!

 

  1. 75th Anniversary of the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo. I took my kiddos to the Air Force Museum on Tuesday to watch the B-1 bombers take off and do a flyover. I was worried it would be really loud and scary for the kids, but Tera loved it and Kiah just smiled at all the people. I absolutely loved it and I’m SO glad that I went! 
  2. Sweet Potato Chips from Aldi. These things are so good. It’s one of those things that if you don’t pay attention, you are suddenly scraping the bottom of the bag and realize that you have literally eaten the whole bag in one sitting. I’m not kidding. So good. I love me some Aldi. 
  3. Livin’ on Love. Did you see my blog post on Dayton Mom’s Blog? This post has almost 200 shares and I’m so humbled and honored by all the feedback and encouragement I’ve gotten from it! If you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, please do! 
  4. SPRING. Can I get a HALLELUJAH for this weather??? I LOVE it! Our fruit trees are in full bloom and I’m working on planting a garden! Let’s see if I can actually grow something this year… 
  5. Coming up this weekend in Dayton….my favorite sale of the year! Dayton Mother’s of Twins sale!!! It’s one of the biggest consignment sales I’ve ever been to, and its where I get 90% of the items that my kids need! Another thing that is worth going to is the Samojrejeme April Cloth Diaper Restash in Troy! If you are interested in cloth diapering, this is the sale for you!!! Actually, the whole story is incredible and one of my absolute favorites in the area! There is also a Food Truck Rally, Taste of Greene County festival, and two Kite Day events: one at the US Air Force Museum, and one at Lofino Park. 

 

Easter 2017

Easter Weekend 2017 was near perfect.

The weather was gorgeous and Theo had his first long weekend since he started the academy back in February.

I will admit that we didn’t do many “spiritual” things this weekend. I feel like I kind of missed the mark on that one, but at the same time I think we did a great job celebrating the life and freedom that Jesus has given us through his death and resurrection.

We kicked off the weekend by starting Kiah on some solid foods! He was not as thrilled as this picture portrays, but Tera was SO EXCITED and now insists on feeding him every time.

Tera and I dyed Easter eggs! This was the first time I’d ever done eggs with me being in charge, so we only did six eggs. Tera thought it was the coolest thing ever! Bonus points: We happened to be working on letter E last week, so Eggs went perfectly with our letter lessons!

  

So, basically, I did all the egg work and Tera posed all cute with the pictures.

Working on more solids!

On Saturday, we went for a hike. We have so many amazing hikes and trails around here and we decided to try out a new one. We LOVED it! There were gorgeous wildflowers all along the trail on the right, and on the left was a river with all kinds of animals and wildlife!

These will probably be some of my favorite pictures of Kiah ever taken.

He’s just starting to sit up on his own, so the spacey look is one of total concentration.

 

In case you were wondering if Kiah is my favorite child, I love both my children equally. Tera is TWO and refused to be photographed in the flower field. Ha.

Plus, she was in the hiking pack and didn’t want to get out!

Seriously, these flowers were breathtaking! I think that I will have to remember this field and schedule some family pictures here for next Spring. I wonder what our family will look like then?

 

First animal sighting: a frog!

Kissing her frog!

Next we saw a snake, which I encouraged Theo NOT to catch (he tried). Then Theo found a baby snapping turtle! We actually brought this little guy and another one home! They escaped in our house a couple times and then we took them up to Ethan and Kindrea’s property to live in their pond and eat the frogs.

The signs at the beginning of the park clearly say NO SWIMMING, but it’s a little contradictory when they have a rope swing set up over a little swimming hole, isn’t it? I mean…how could we resist? This is like childhood summer in a picture.

My brave girl! She’s actually verrrryyyy cautious, but Theo does a good job of pushing her out of her comfort zone and letting her have some fun!

And of course, Theo had to take a swing ride, too!

Love them.

I finally got Tera to slightly cooperate for some pictures in the wildflowers.

GAH! They were so beautiful! So is my big girl!

Aaaaaand she’s off!

Sunday morning we headed to the sunrise service at church, then had breakfast at church and attended the service. It was a beautiful day and all the services were just so beautiful. I love Easter and the glorious hope that fills our hearts. It’s such a wonderful reminder that no matter what hard things are happening in our lives, Christ has conquered. We have the victory because HE has the victory.

This is the best I got of a family picture:

LOVE.

After church we headed up to Ethan and Kindrea’s place and had lunch with them and spent the afternoon sitting outside in the gorgeous sunshine just BEING with family. They have tons of animals and Tera is always in heaven with her cousins and the animals. When it was time to leave, she wanted to stay while Theo and I left. And that’s saying something for my introvert! I did not take one single picture…oops.

Sunday night I went out with two of my girlfriends and saw Beauty and the Beast! I’m so glad that I got to go out and I really enjoyed the movie! Let me know if you want my more detailed review of it.

 

And that was our Easter weekend! How was your Easter weekend?

Love and Blues: Maintaining Church Attendance as a First Responder Family

I’m over on Love and Blues today talking about how we as a family maintain church membership when the husband is working almost every weekend.

It’s been one of the biggest challenges we have faced in our marriage, and even our spiritual lives: how do we show up at church and church events when Theo is working a schedule that is so unlike everyone else’s schedule?

It’s challenging, but I’m sharing my tips and tricks! Head on over to check it out!

 

As always, shares and comments go so incredibly far!