Category Archives: family life

Entenmann’s Little Bites & Smurfs {Giveaway}

I grew up watching The Smurfs, it was one of my favorite cartoons, so I’m pretty excited about the new Smurfs movie, “Smurfs: The Lost Village.” I also grew up eating Entenmann’s® snacks so I’m super excited that Entenmann’s® is offering a special promotion for the new Smurfs movie.

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With the purchase of two 5 count, one 10 count, or one 20 count specially marked Entenmann’s® Little Bites® Smurf Blueberry Muffins packages, receive $5.00 off a movie ticket to see the “Smurfs: The Lost Village.” Available nationwide for a limited time until 4/30/17

Entenmann’s® Little Bites® Smurf Blueberry Muffins are the perfect Smurf-approved baked snacks. These moist, delicious muffins are made with real blueberries, contain no high fructose corn syrup, no trans-fat and are certified Kosher. At less than 200 calories per pouch, Entenmann’s® Little Bites® are the perfect family snack to enjoy at home or on-the-go.

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My boys aren’t familiar with Smurfs yet so I’m excited to take them to see “Smurfs: The Lost Village”. However, they are familiar with Entenmann’s and they love Little Bites.

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GIVEAWAY

One lucky reader will win a $25 Fandango gift card and (3) coupons for $5.00 off the purchase of any Entenmann’s® Little Bites®. Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Ends 4/18/17.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends on April 18, 2017. The winner to be chosen at random. Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. See giveaway rules for more information.

The coupons for product redemption, information, and gift card have been provided by Entenmann’s® Little Bites® so that I could try the product and share my thoughts and information about Entenmann’s® Little Bites®. The opinions expressed in this post are my own and do not reflect the opinions of Entenmann’s® Little Bites®.

5 Top Picks for New Parents

Top Picks

My 4th and final baby is now officially a toddler. For what seems like eternity I was in constant baby mode. I was surrounded by tiny clothes and all the latest baby gear. I’ve tried a lot of different baby products over the past 8 years and I’d like to think I’ve got a pretty good idea of what is essential and what is not. I’ll be honest you don’t need a ton of gear to have a baby but there are a few items that just make life easier and I’m all about making life easier.

So if you’re a first time parents or not, here are a few of my favorite items for new parents.

  1. Ergo Baby Carrier – Little ones love to be held but life is busy and sometimes you need to get up and do stuff, like make yourself lunch. There’s nothing better than wearing a baby so you can eat.
  2. Medela Breast Pump – If you choose to breastfeed your baby a good breast pump is a must. I breastfed all of my boys but it wasn’t until baby 2 that I finally invested in a good breast pump and it saved my life… and it literally saved his life.
  3. NoseFrida Nasal Aspirator – I know it seems gross but I’ve tried all sorts of contraptions and the NoseFrida rocks. Babies get congested and you’ll use an aspirator way more than you thought and the NoseFrida gets it done. The NoseFrida was huge life saver when baby 3 had RSV.
  4. 4Moms MamaRoo – I used our 4Moms MamaRoo with my 3 youngest boys and it. was. amazing. The different movements make it so versatile a great for a baby that loves movement while they are sleeping.
  5. Aden + Anais Swaddling Blankets – Aside from a few structured swaddles the Aden + Anais Swaddling Blankets are the best for keeping baby cozy and snug while they sleep. Plus they always have the cutest designs.

I’d also suggest a good convertible car seat and reliable stroller as these things can be used for several years.

ABOUT BABY CUBBY

The Baby Cubby team is made up of parents who have been there and are passionate about encouraging, inspiring, and reminding parents how amazing they are and how important their role is. They find the highest quality and safest baby gear to provide to parents in a fun shopping experience. They always price match, even amazon, so you know you’re getting a great deal
Plus, they carry only the highest quality and safest gear so that you can shop confidently. Free Shipping everyday at BabyCubby.com over $49

This post has been sponsored by Baby Cubby. All thoughts and reviews are my own.

Preparing for Spring {Giveaway}

This post has been sponsored by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. All thoughts and reviews are my own.

It snowed on Sunday but last week it was in the mid 70’s and the flowers had started to bloom. The snow washed away the pollen that was collecting on my back deck. North Carolina weather is crazy so you always have to be prepared .

I started to pull out the boys shorts and tee shirts last week but I kept the snow pants within reach. We bought new outdoor toys and summer shoes last week but alas this week we are bundled up in our winter wear by the fire.

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I try to be a prepared mom by being prepared for whatever hits, be it a heat wave or cold front. It seems like we are just getting over our winter colds and then our allergies start to flare up. I keep Children’s Dimetapp® Cold & Allergy in my medicine cabinet when spring arrives just in case. In a great tasting grape flavor, Children’s Dimetapp® Cold & Allergy has congestion-fighting power to relieve stuffy and runny noses, while providing relief for itchy and watery eyes, for children ages 6 and up.

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*It is important to remember to always read and keep the cartons for complete warnings and dosing information on Pfizer Pediatric products and to use as directed.

I’m ready for all of the lovely spring weather but I’m ready for the sneezing and runny noses that accompany the pollen explosion that happens each spring in my yard. But we’re prepared this year… so bring on spring.

GIVEAWAY
One lucky reader will win and Children’s Dimetapp® Cold & Allergy. Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Giveaway Ends 3/26/2017.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends on March 26, 2017. The winner to be chosen at random. Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. See giveaway rules for more information.

This post has been sponsored by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. All thoughts and reviews are my own.

Meal Planning & Chalk Markers {Giveaway}

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Every week I write out a meal plan for our family of 6. Joe bought me this cute chalkboard menu from Target a while back but the chalk that came with it kind of sucks. But I didn’t even realize there was another other until I heard about Chalkola. Chalkola Chalk Markers are make writing our my weekly meal plan so much easier. There are 2 different size markers for writing on chalkboards, whiteboards, glass, or plastic.

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The smaller makers are great for teachers, moms, artists. I have started using them on my white board for our homeschool work. I love that they come in a variety of fun, vibrant colors (including metallic) and are easy to wash away.

The kids use the Jumbo markers for creating art pieces. (Note: These marker work best on non-porous surfaces. The reason being that Porus surfaces have small holes which can absorb the liquid chalk ink and sometimes it gets difficult to completely erase them.)

I can’t wait to share what fun creations we make with our colorful selection of Chalk Pens from Chalkola.

Give them a try!
Discount Code: Save 15% off all Chalkola Products – Use Code: 15OFFSTR

Giveaway
One lucky reader will win a set of Chalkola Markers. Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Giveaway Ends 3/24/17.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Giveaway ends on March 24, 2017. The winner to be chosen at random. Winner will be notified by email and has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. See giveaway rules for more information.

This post has been sponsored by Chalkola. All thoughts and reviews are my own.

Brothers Fight and Brothers Love

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I hate when my boys fight. It drives me insane to hear them bicker with each other and boss each other around and whine about each other. But sibling rivalry and bickering is very common, in fact I think it’s sort of healthy. My children fighting can actually be a really good thing, surprising right? I want my children to know that they have a safe place where they can work out their emotions and learn how best to communicate with others when they have conflict. I’m there to mediate and guide them toward restoration. And what’s even more surprising is how much I learn about myself and my failures to communicate effectively. I often catch myself saying passive aggressive or belittling things to my own children when their constant bickering has gotten on my last nerve. In those moments it’s glaring transparent that the same behaviors I see in my children they learned from me and boy does that hurt.

I’m working on becoming better at conflict resolution not only for my own self but for the sake of my children. I want them to be compassionate and forgiving people therefore as a family we are working toward becoming more compassionate and forgiving. It’s a hard thing for me to work on especially because I am frequently overwhelmed by my daily life and I let my emotions get the best of me. I snap at my children because I’m distracted or just plain exhausted and it’s not an excuse but those are the times that I see what’s really buried down deep in my heart. I pray and ask for forgiveness but I’m really working on choosing to invest more in myself and my children when it comes to working on our relationships.

However, as much of the yucky habits my kids pick up from me there are moments when I see so much good. Habits they are picking up from following mine and Joe’s example. I love to see them help each other out. They are very giving boys, always wanting to make sure each of their brothers gets the same things they do. They hug each other and say “I love you” to each other. They pray with each other at night and pray for each other when one isn’t present. They as for forgiveness when they know they’ve wronged another.

So maybe these brother fight fiercely with each other but they also love fiercely and I guess I’m OK with that.

Saturday Adventures: Joyner Park – Wake Forest, NC

This week’s Saturday Adventure took us to Wake Forest which is a town just north of Raleigh.

Joyner Park has a variety of different features that you can enjoy. When we visited it was a lovely 75 degrees and a bit windy. We saw many people flying kites in the open fields, walking their dogs, riding bikes or just enjoying a picnic. There are several historic building on the property and a beautiful pecan grove. A small pond and many different trails to walk. The boys like riding their scooters along all of the different paths around the outdoor amphitheater. I’m sure when spring arrives the gardens will be in bloom.

The park was very well maintained and had clean restrooms that were very accessible.

We will be returning to Joyner Park again soon.

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Will we homeschool next year?

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Everyday has become a challenge. Homeschool is not what I hoped or expected it to be this year. I feel like I’m constantly wrangling cats when it’s time to get the boys to sit down and do their school work. I also feel a bit like a hostage negotiator, as I’m always trying to get the boys to participate in any activity we have lined up. It’s exhausting. There are days where we have a lot of fun and I really enjoy the opportunity I have to homeschool the boys but those are becoming fewer and fewer.

When we started on this homeschool journey I told Joe that we would take it one year at a time and one kid and a time. We are in a position where we have the luxury of choosing to homeschool or not and I want to do want is best for out whole family, that includes myself. I’ve found that this school year I have been greatly neglecting myself. From the time I get out of bed (7am) until the kids are in bed (9pm) I’m non-stop go. I’m not in a healthy place physically, emotionally or physically because I can barely catch my breath on a daily basis. (It’s also why I haven blogged much lately. Blogging is an outlet for me and something I typically make time for because it helps me organize my thoughts but I haven’t been able to make time for it lately.) I realize I can’t sustain a lifestyle like this and I also realize that some of my stress is only temporary, like having a busy toddler around the house. But instead of killing myself to do it all I’m looking into what changes I can make. We will most likely be adjusting what we do with the boys for school next year, although I’m not 100% sure what those changes are yet. But until then I’m trying to get through the end of this school year without loosing my mind. I’m extremely thankful that Joe works from home, although we probably see him less because he’s always on conference calls in his office, it still frees me up to get stuff done during Abel’s nap time. I’m also focusing on the parts of school that really work for us like field trips and outdoor learning.

I know that whatever we decide to do for school next year the boys will be fine. Kid are great at adapting and as their mom I planned to be heavily involved in whatever form of education we utilize.

Hope for a New Year

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2016 had it’s ups and downs for sure but overall it wasn’t a horrible year for our family. There were a lot of hard things we endured but we also got to celebrate a lot too. I’m not much of a goal setter when it comes to the new year but I do like to look back at my year and see what I’d like to improve or change. Sometimes we get stuck in a rut and constantly struggle with the same things and we aren’t even aware of it. So, I like to look at the areas of my life that are hard and think about ways I can change so they become less of a burden.

Each new year brings a new hope that things in our life may improve but we must adjust our actions if we want things to change. Hope is what drives us to make changes. We have hope because we know that we were designed for better things.

My prayer for this year is that when circumstances get tough and life seem overwhelming that we have hope. Hope that we are called to something bigger than just today. Hope that our circumstances do not dictate our attitude and actions. Hope that our hard work will lead us toward a life that is full, not perfect but fulfilled.

So as I look back at 2016 I reflect upon the good times that brought me so much joy. But I also look at the hard things that taught me how to look past my circumstances and to find the joy, find the hope.