Helping Moms Eliminate Stress With #LuvsLeakFreeHoliday

Please include the following in your post: “This review and giveaway was made possible by Double Duty Divas and Luvs. I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine.


The holiday season is a lot of fun, but it also has more stress than any other season. As a mother, diaper leaks at the worst times are a stress I want to eliminate, not only at the holidays but all of the time. We are using Luvs and loving them because they are less expensive than the other big brands and they give us great protection and a great fit.






Let me share a little more about Luv's and how they can help you this holiday season.




This holiday, Luvs wants everyone to celebrate a Leak-Free Holiday.
·        Luvs with NightLock offers its largest absorbency area EVER to help lock wetnessaway, which means less leaks during the holiday season for baby and more time for parents to enjoy the festivities.
·  Leaks can disrupt even the most routine baby’s sleep schedule during the holidays. Keeping baby leak-free through the night will make for a merrier morning.
·        LuvsLeak Barrier Leg Gathers ensure leaks are kept away from holiday outfits and in our diaper - where they belong!
·        Have you checked out Luvs adorable "Will It Leak" video series yet? Well,
tis’ the season of holiday miracles! And this year, Luvs is turning clicks into
free diapers. From December 9th - 25th, for every view their Will It Leak
"Santa Suit" video receives on their social media channels, Luvs will
give a diaper to a child in need through the Children’s Miracle Network.
·        Watch the video here:
·        The holiday fun doesn't stop there! This holiday, Luvs is also inviting parents to whip up a baby book for their child in a few quick clicks with Luvs and
Tweekaboo. Get yours here:
https://www.tweekaboo.com/luvs'


 Please join Luvs and celebrity dad, expectant father and Donald Faison for a #LuvsLeakFreeHoliday Twitter Party on Thursday, December 11th, from 9-10pmEST, where we’ll be sharing personal holiday leak stories.


As a mom of 2 we have tried every brand of diapers, from fancy organic brands to the bottom of the barrel so cheap no one has ever heard of it brands because face it, baby will use thousands of diapers in a few years.

We always look for Luv's when we buy for Miss Harper because they work and the work well! She knock on wood never leaks and that is enough to make me keep coming back to the brand.



Guess what one lucky reader is going to get a chance to win a  Branded Luvs tote bag, #LuvsLeakFreeHoliday travel coffee mug, Hot chocolate, Luvs branded purple star ornament, MyFirst Kwanzaa book, Plush Musical Dreidel, Hanukkah gelt, Two packs of Luvs diapers and a tub of Luvs wipes!




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Gifts for Babies: The Nice List


If you are shopping for sweet little ones, these items are adorable, affordable and sure to bring a giggle of delight to any child!


Please note this post contains affiliate links and products I was sent in exchange for inclusion. If you make a purchase I may receive a little commission to help keep this blog running.


Jelly Cat Woodland Babe Bunny
Pretty Woodland Babe Bunny is the picture of bunny style, with her fluffy two-tone fur and sweet, friendly smile. Is she grey or orange? Silver or fawn? Who knows, but she’s lolloping out on the lawn!



Manhattan Toys Brilliant Bear Magnetic Stack Up Toy
A fun stacking toy for babies!


Words to Sweat By Onesie
Onesies for babies that will make fitness minded adults snicker.



UMI Cassia Cocoa Shoe
A perfectly posh wrap that allow her feet to feel as free as when they’re bare. A generous fit for those chubby baby feet and an easy hook-and-loop strap ease in even the biggest toddler shoe-skeptic. - See more at Umi 




Tiny Tots Pink Bike

Kinderfeets Tiny Tot is a 2-in-1 bike that easily converts from a tricycle to a 2-wheel balance bike! Designed for "tiny tots" ages 12 to 24 months, Kinderfeets Tiny Tot starts off as a tricycle and when needed it easily converts into a 2-wheel balance bike.










Biscotti by Kate Mack
Adorable coats and fashion for girls!








Gifts for Him : The Nice List

Are you looking for gifts that a special guy in your life will adore? From amazing coffee to things that smell good, here are some ideas to get you started on what to get him.



This gift guide does feature links to products I was sent for inclusion or affiliate links.


iCoffee Steam Brew Coffee Machine
 

The coffee grounds are steamed, releasing the flavors, the same way they are with steamed vegetables. Then, rotational jets properly. The jets continue to steam and stir until all the exquisite coffee flavor is released. You get a “French Press Effect” coffee, only faster, easier, less messy and smoother. And, since the grounds never compact, there’s no acidic taste. No bitterness. Ever.


Visit iCoffee to learn more



Don Pablo Coffee

Exceptional Coffee available in blends such as Italian Espresso, Colombian Supremo Gourmet Coffee and Signature Blend Gourmet Coffee to name a few.



Visit Don Pablo to learn more
Montagne Jeunesse
 

Give the special guy in your life a little pampering for his handsome face with Montagne Jeunesse masks for men, they have an impressive selection of products for men.


Visit Montagne Jeunesse to learn more.

Enjoy Hair Care for Men
Give your guy the gift of great hair with Enjoy!

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 $G LTE
Portability and power: Get the best of both! The lightweight, 7.0 Galaxy Tab 2 is truly designed for life on the go. With the dual-core processor, running on Verizon’s super-fast 4G LTE network, you’ll have enough multitasking power to check email, surf the web and download a movie, all while playing a game. And at only 7.63 inches tall, it will fit anywhere - even in a pocket.

Nautica Voyage By Nautica For Men
 
Fragrance Notes: Amber, Apple, Drenched Mimosa, Greenleaf, Cedar Wood, Water Lotus, Moss, Musk, Sailcloth Accord.


A Nice Tie
 

It is soft, light weight and exceptionally comfortable.

Cuisinart 14-Piece Deluxe Stainless-Steel Grill Set
Grill set includes chef's spatula, grill tongs, silicone basting brush, 4 pairs of corn holders, cleaning brush, and extra brush head. Also includes aluminum storage case--perfect for the on-the-go griller 

Christmas Traditions: Wunderland Lights

My kids are small. It is a rare event for them to be out after dark. In fact, the moon is completely magical to my son Roo, at the age of 4. It is a treat for him to be up late enough to see it during the summer, but now that it is winter, he is still amazed to get to go outside and go anywhere when the moon is out.





Last Christmas we made a magical moon light ride for Roo super special by visiting the Christmas Wunderland in Mansfield, Ohio. This is a fun drive thru display of lights and decorations that kids of all ages enjoy.







We listened to Christmas music and enjoyed the sights of too many to count lights, displays and best of all cups of cocoa.



I am really glad we did this, it created a magical memory for my 4 year old, who saw an advertisement for the display and squealed with delight. We will do this again this year, as a part of our family tradition. Complete with music and cocoa.

Making Thanksgiving Tastier Than Ever With Honey Baked Ham

When the topic of Thanksgiving came up in my home, flashbacks of last year overcame me. Suddenly I was transported back in time to a chilly November morning, I rushed around stirring, measuring ingredients, setting timers and chasing a 3 year old out of the kitchen. We had a newborn baby that was fussy on that day. But, I am a Mom! I can handle this! No biggie... right?

Right? Well, I had it under control until I burnt the pies and then caught a strange sound coming from our laundry room. The washer had malfunctioned, smoke and water were pouring out of the machine... This Mama sat down and cried. I cried over the washer needing replaced, I cried over the dinner I was ruining. I cried a great hormonal cry.


This year, I have wised up! I am not even going to try to cook for my crowd, why would I when there is a magical place on Sawmill Road in Columbus, Ohio that is ready to come to my rescue? To Honey Baked Ham I ran!

Honey Baked Ham has the best ham, so moist and delicious it literally falls apart under your fork and melts in your mouth. The turkey breast? Oh my goodness. One word only addicting! Did you know you can also get super easy to serve sides, gravy and pie to complete your meal too?



Now why in the world would anyone want to cook for their family? Honey Baked Ham is more than happy to do the cooking and let you enjoy the smiles, the oohs and ahhs and the moment of family time in general.

My family loved the Green Bean Casserole, My daughter loved the turkey, the mashed potatoes, the pie and the cheesecake sampler we picked up. My son was over the moon for the ham. He is 4 and he is fascinated by Giants... He told me "Mommy, this giant bacon is yummy!!" 






From now until 1/11/15 you can enter to win a $25,000 HoneyBaked Kitchen Makeover when you buy a Ham and Turkey Breast bundle.

Check out this limited time coupon for $7.00 off any Sliced and Glazed Whole Turkey and 4lb Quarter Ham (Or Larger) from HoneyBaked Ham to help you make your holiday dinner easy and delicious! (Offer Valid at Participating Retail Locations: Forestville, Silver Spring, Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fields Ertel, Beechmont, Kenwood, Colerain, Florence, Salem, Centerville, Sawmill Road, McNaughten, Louisville, Lexington, Fern Creek, Glendale, Paradise Valley, Superstition, Tucson East, Tucson North, Overland Park, Independence, Barry Road, Norristown, Parma, Willoughby, Rocky River, Strongsville, Maple Heights, Canton, Fairlawn and Chapel Hill.)

HoneyBaked Ham is giving away a $500 Gift Card! You can enter below!

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Car Seat Safety Tips

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in San Diego just released findings that 93% of parents leaving the hospital made at least one critical error when installing or using their car seat. While this is a troubling statistic, it’s an issue that can be easily addressed by spreading the word about car seat safety and proper installation.  

Let me tell you a little more about a great car seat from Safety 1st that will help you keep baby safe and comfy. Safety 1st car seats are quite easy to install and use by the way!



Air Protect + combines the advanced protection of the Air Protect® cushion system with patented GCell HX™ foam designed with hexagonal shapes for superior protection around the torso. TOGETHER they provide full body side impact protection.
Retailing for about $170 this rear facing seat can be used up to 35 pounds offering a safe ride for baby well into toddler-hood.

Enjoy these tips from the Experts, and safe travels to you and baby!


Car Seat Safety Tips
By the experts at Safety 1st

Importance of Rear Facing
In March of 2011 the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) updated their car seat recommendations advising that children should remain rear facing until the age of two.  According to a study in the Journal of Injury Preventionchildren under the age of two are 75% less likely to die or be severely injured in the event of a car crash if they are rear facing. When a child is rear facing their head, neck and spine are better supported and in the event of an accident, crash forces are distributed over the child’s entire body.

Location
Typically the center rear seat is the safest place for a car seat, and never install a car seat in the front seat.  If your car does not have a latch connector for the middle seat, you can use the middle seat belt to properly secure the base.  When installing, make sure the base of the car seat moves no more than an inch from side to side. An easy way to test this is to hold at the belt path.

Car Seat Expiration
Car seats do have an expiration date, it is recommended that car seats be replaced every 5-8 years, or immediately after a crash.  The reason for an expiration date is because plastic can warp and materials can fray, which can make car seats not as effective in the event of a crash.  Additionally car seat technology and state and federal car seat regulations change over time.  Important warning labels may wear out and instruction books may get lost, which can lead to improper use of the car seat.

Safeguard the Car
Childproof the inside of the car and eliminate projectiles.  Anything in the car that is not secured is a possible projectile – even a child’s toy, or a water bottle. In a crash, objects take on greater weight due to crash forces.

Tell Me About It Tuesday

I am so glad you returned to party this week. You have my deepest apologies about the last 2 weeks. School is back in session, and time short on my end. But, hey! We are back!




Let's Party!
Don't forget to visit the 2 links before yours in the party, just to keep it fair! Please visit and share as many as you can. We all love comments. {wink, hint, nudge} 
By linking up you acknowledge that the hostesses may feature your work in round ups, on pinterest or at the next party






Little Tikes Hide & Seek Climber & Swing Review

My kids love to play! My son Roo spends a great deal of time outdoors swinging and sliding on his swing set. His baby sister spends a lot of time watching him, getting excited and wishing she could play too... if she were only a little bit bigger!

Her dreams of swinging and sliding have come true thanks to Little Tikes Hide & Seek Climber & Swing. Made with little tikes in mind, this is the perfect play center for my little girl. Let me tell you a little about this super sweet toy and what we love about it.

The Little Tikes Hide & Seek Climber & Swing features a 3 point harness swing, a little climbing wall, a fun tunnel to crawl through and a slide. Sounds really fun right?! As my husband assembled the Hide & Seek Climber & Swing both of my kids watched with anticipation. My 4 year old was begging to "Play!Play!" My daughter bounced up and down with delight at the sight of her very own swing and slide.



We loved that it was easy to assemble. It took less than 15 minutes to come together. The play center is durable, it is easy to keep clean and it keeps kids busy and active. Roo has a big boy swing set, but he loves to play on this with his little sister. They spend hours a day climbing, swinging and sliding together, which makes this Mom very happy.



Retailing for $149.99, this is a really great investment. It is fun for kids to play on, it is nothing short of adorable, and it is built to last through multiple kids, {bonus!} We have been very impressed with the Little Tikes Hide & Seek Climber & Swing. This toy got the squeal of delight approval from both of my kids. I would recommend it to other parents looking for a great way to keep little kids active and playing. We set ours up inside for the time being so that the kids will have someplace to play when the weather turns cold. It is the perfect size for turning any room into a fun play place in a pinch.

Connect with Little Tikes to learn more or to explore their line of products for kids.
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My Kids Ruined My Body

Hello world, my name is Sara and I have issues. Lots and lots of issues. Big ones, small ones, weird ones, sad ones.  Pick an issue and chances are I have it, or have had it, or I will develop it at sometime in the near future. What can I say? My life is filled with drama these days.

I am having an issue as I type this blog post. A part of me wants to curl up in a ball and sleep for a week, while a part of me wants to develop an eating disorder, another part of me wants to flip a certain finger in the direction of some people and let it go.


Do you know how it feels to be told your body is "disgusting" after having children? This is my current all consuming issue. Body shame. It is a big one to me, I dwell on those words. I get angry. I break down and cry, feeling utterly ugly and unlovable. I spend hours each week obsessing about what I ate, or what I didn't eat, how many walks I took, how my clothes fit me. Goodness, clothes are so important when you are as disgusting as I am. Trust me, no one wants to see me in my naked glory of stretch marks, saggy skin or fat.

At the age of 35 I have 2 children. My son is 4 and my daughter is 10 months old. Having these children has ruined my body according to some people. Yes, you read that right. My kids ruined my body.

Here is the thing, I did gain weight since I had children. A lot of it too. I have lost weight which just makes my skin look... saggy, stretched out, not magazine worthy at all. Places I didn't know could wiggle have more jiggle than I want to admit. My butt? Applying for statehood status. Yeah, I got booty to spare and share if anyone needs a little. I had 2 c section babies. So I have a big scar above my pubic hair line.

My ruined body.

A few weeks ago I had the nerve to go to the pool with my family. I wore a very modest tankini. I know no one wants to see me in a bikini. I wore something that would cover my body so no one had to see the mess that is my stomach. It is not flat, nor is it likely to ever be like a washboard. I tried my best to keep everything in place, constantly tugging my tankini to cover my belly and as much of anything else it could cover. I feel self conscious as it is. Being in a swimsuit is like... being in underwear that are wet ya know? I generally don't parade around in a bra and panties in front of my friends, family or neighbors, but I go to a pool to let the whole world judge me. I feel exposed. I feel like everyone is staring at me, are they? Who the heck knows, but I feel like they are. My husband hands me the baby and as I try to enjoy the moment, watching my son playing happily, looking at my beautiful daughter who is smiling and happy, the pool is new and exciting to her.

My husband wants a photo of the baby and I so I adjust to hold her at an angle that will allow him to capture both of our faces. As he is saying "Smile" I hear the laughter. I try to tell myself that people are having fun, it is a pool after all!  Then I hear it again, and again. I feel eyes on me. I know I must have blushed. I look up to see 2 teenage girls laughing at me and staring. I am the object of their amusement. Me and my ruined body. I feel the breeze on a strip of my stomach where my top has worked its way up. I feel like I could cry, or leave and vow to never go swimming again, unless it is in our backyard.

That was not a good feeling. It seriously impacted the day. The rest of the day every time those girls laughed, I knew they were laughing at me, or some other Mom with a ruined, gross body. When we got home I had a good long cry. I completely wallowed in self pity. I tucked the swim suit into the back of a drawer, or maybe it went to the attic... I won't be wearing it again probably.

When I tried to talk to someone about how I felt, it only made it worse. Foolish me picked the wrong person to go to for comfort or reassurance. I guess I wanted to hear that I was not gross. That I was okay, not inducing vomiting sessions or anything. But guess what I heard instead? "If you feel gross, do something about it. You can lose 20 pounds or maybe even 30. Stop eating, start working for results...." This made me cry harder. Much much harder. Little did I know how hard the next words would hit me. "I think your body is disguising since you had kids."

So, instead of having a friend say they liked me for me, I heard I should develop an eating disorder and work out until I see results that please others.

If there has ever been a day when I could fall apart completely, a day when I felt like maybe I was so gross that I could die and spare everyone I know from the pain and ickiness of looking at me, it was that day.
I spent a long time reflecting on that. I looked in the mirror. I searched to see signs of this hideous monster that I had become. I saw a 35 year old woman that looked tired. My hair is really cute in this style of pixie short. My outfit was good. A decent skirt and a casual yet nice top. I had on great shoes, pretty nail polish.... My butt is big! I know that, but I am okay with it. The last time I checked the booty size was not a factor in what was in my heart. My butt doesn't make me a monster. My belly is a belly. I wish it were flatter, smaller. But, really how many people are subjected to the scar, the stretch marks, the evidence that my body made not one, but two miracles happen? Not very many. My upper arms are a nightmare for me, but my kids seem to think these hideous monster-ish flabby arms give great hugs.

If I couldn't see these monstrosities that are worthy pointing and laughing and hurling harsh words about my disgusting body changes why were they so evident to other people? Why did it matter to anyone else what my body looks like?

My body changed. I may have "ruined" my body according to the standards of the general masses, but when it comes down to it, my body tells a story. A story of childhood, illnesses, accidents, drunken days of youth, adventures I am glad I took. Chances I gambled on. My body tells a story of loss, of love and of miracles. I made two little people in this body. Every stretch mark, flabby patch of skin, every jiggle, every inch of my booty was well earned. I don't regret one single imperfection. They have all been worth it.

So, to the teenage girls that laugh at me in a swimsuit, or to the "friend" that thinks I am disgusting now that I am a mother, I would like to say thank you. You have reminded me that I have to work harder to make my children realize we shouldn't measure a persons worth because of their looks or lack of looks. We shouldn't let someone else tell us we are gross because we have babies. We shouldn't tolerate that type of behavior. Anyone shallow enough to look at your beautiful miraculous body and point out your flaws isn't worthy of your time or your love. Your dress size doesn't determine what kind of person you are.

To my children, I want to say, you absolutely didn't ruin my body. You made it better than it ever was before. You have softened me in all the right ways. For that, I thank you.












Saturday #227

So, here I am technically about a month behind again...it is summer. Hubs is home and the family is restless. 2 months of daily outings, but really not doing anything have taken their toll on us. If my google calendar didn't keep me on my toes I would be lost.


Going on memory here....

On Saturday #227 I had the honor of sleeping in a little. We went to breakfast in near by Mt. Gilead Ohio and Harper was really into that. She prefers whatever we are eating to baby food these days, so she had eggs, biscuits, pancakes, bananas. She was a happy girl. Mr. Picky Roo had sausage, so he was happy.

After breakfast we took a walk down one of the few hills in our area. Walking up reminded me I haven't seen many hills, nor walked them since moving to our tiny, very flat, town. We found a baby toad on the uphill walk.

After that, a dash into Kroger.

We returned home to play outside until Roo could take no more, he wanted to play cars inside where it was cool.

Not a thrilling Saturday, but we had an awesome breakfast, experienced nature, took a walk and enjoyed the summer day. I hope you had the chance to enjoy your children over the weekend.

Tell Me About It Tuesday

Welcome back to Tell Me About It Tuesday! We are glad to have you partying with us again this week!


In my world in the last week:


We took a little trip, we had relatives come to visit the day after we got back, and we hit up the Lincoln Highway yard sales. All in all it was a good week.


Make sure you hop over to see the features on Saving for My Family, Pin-n-Tell   and Woman of Many Roles. Be a dear and follow them or leave a comment if you would be so kind.

Among my favorites:

Deconstructed Smores by Our Mini Family


Haggling 101 by 702 Park Project


Let's Party!
Don't forget to visit the 2 links before yours in the party, just to keep it fair! Please visit and share as many as you can. We all love comments. {wink, hint, nudge} 
By linking up you acknowledge that the hostesses may feature your work in round ups, on pinterest or at the next party



Saturday #226

On Saturday #226 (46 for Harper) we didn't have big plans, it is still summer here and we have been staying busy. The weekends haven't needed to be packed with activity. It has been kind of nice to rest a little on the weekends honestly.

So, instead of completely boring you with details of cleaning, backyard play sessions and books read, or worse yet, me droning on and on about what I worked on when I wasn't playing with the kids or cleaning, I will tell you about a random day from the week.

We are fortunate to live fairly close to the Ohio Bird Sanctuary. We love this place. We visit the birds, they have an impressive collection of hawks, owls, crows and even a Bald Eagle. We also enjoy walking the trails on the property. {I am nearly a month behind on this series time wise again...} At the time of our visit my foot was still pretty bad. It was swollen, bruised, painful and I was resorting to kinda dragging it, limping to get around without crutches. I tried my best to handle a short trail, but there is no going downhill when you are doing this weird shuffle of a walk. Instead Harper and I enjoyed the little enclosed building that houses small birds. Armed with a few cups of worms we wanted to feed the birds, but a noisy crowd had decided to sit and talk to each other- the birds were scared and did come up as they normally would.


Never one to let a change in plans ruin my day, Harper and I instead sat on a bench and took a ton of selfies.

We observed a bee on a flower in the garden area.



We had a nice time, Harper enjoyed herself, Roo was exhausted from his little hike and despite the whole foot thing I was glad to get out into the sun for a while in a place that I love.





Tell Me About It Tuesday

Welcome back to Tell Me About It Tuesday! We are glad to have you partying with us again this week!


Since last week, I celebrated a birthday. I am {ahem} 25 again this year! My family and I took a trip to the Our Lady of Consolation Shrine and I was in awe of the lovely church and statue. My mother in law surprised me with a little shopping spree at my favorite store {Old Navy}.  All in all it was a great day!

Make sure you hop over to see the features on Saving for My Family, Pin-n-Tell   and Woman of Many Roles. Be a dear and follow them or leave a comment if you would be so kind.

I am running late on posting this again! So there are no features this week.
Apologies!

Let's Party!
Don't forget to visit the 2 links before yours in the party, just to keep it fair! Please visit and share as many as you can. We all love comments. {wink, hint, nudge} 
By linking up you acknowledge that the hostesses may feature your work in round ups, on pinterest or at the next party




Saturday #225

On Saturday #225 (45 for Miss Harper) we had plans to go to a festival, despite my inner groaning I went with as bright of a smile as I could muster. After numerous fairs and festivals I am growing tired of that scene, but I go with a smile for my kids. Roo can't get enough rides and excitement...



After watching a long parade and taking in the sights of a town we don't know much about we were off again, this time to an event that included all the fun stuff kids love, bounce houses, animals, cookies, funnel cakes... not quite a festival, but like a mini one.

The kids were again exhausted after another weekend in the sun, playing, riding rides and eating garbage. Harper had her first nibbles of a cookie and she was pleased with the experience, and considered it a win to get to munch a sweet treat.

We all got a little sun, everyone fell asleep easily that night, including me. Summer continues here for about another month, so every day seems like a weekend. I hope you have had a chance to enjoy your family this summer! Remember we only get 940 Saturdays from birth to departure for college. Thanks for stopping by the hear how we spent one of ours.


Saturday #224

Saturday #224 (44 for Harp) was the weekend of the 4th of July. On Saturday we woke up fairly early and headed north to a little town called Willard. A little festival was underway and we intended to enjoy the day. While I am not much for festivals and fairs, my family loves going to them. Roo likes the rides, Harper likes the smells and lights.

Roo was pleased as could be to get a wristband and unlimited rides. For being such a small festival they had a nice assortment of rides suitable for a 4 year old. We agreed on an hour of rides  due to the heat and let Roo lead the way. His face was priceless, he had a blast. I felt kind of bad that he had to ride solo on most rides, Roo didn't care. I was thankful that when Harper is old enough she will have her brother to keep her company, and thankful that Roo didn't care. He was just happy to be riding whatever rides he wanted.

After his hour of fun he was hungry. He was trying to talk us into french fries at the festival, but I am not one to eat fair food so I made a compromise, if he would leave the festival without a fight, without crying we could have lunch at McDonald's... that was an easy deal for Roo. He was happy to find there was a play place attached to this McDonald's, Harper was happy that they had yogurt. She is easy to please.

After Roo had his lunch and got a fun play session he was pretty tired. We made the drive home and planned to go to the fireworks in our town, but the kids could not stay up that late. The display started at 10, they were both snoozing at 8. The day had exhausted them. The sun and heat had zapped everyone energy.

The day was fun for my kids which means I was a happy mom. When I was tucking Roo in I asked him if he had a good day. He gave me a big hug and said "Uh huh...." He was too tired to say much else. A day well spent brings happy sleep, true story.

I hope you had a chance to enjoy your family over the weekend.

Tell Me About It Tuesday Party

Welcome back blogging babes! I am so glad you came to party with us again this week!


Let me tell you about my life since last week:

Imagine crying, temper tantrums, frustration, kicking and screaming...
And then the kids got involved in my pity party. Yes I just publicly admitted to having a serious case of the grumps.

Summer continues, if you can call it that. 68 degrees today in my neck of the world at the end of July. I am not complaining, the cool temps and all of the Christmas in July fun have made me crave the holidays already this year. I half jokingly mentioned getting my Halloween decor out this week... 

Okay now onto the good stuff, enough about me, lets talk features!

My favorites included:


Monday Motivation by Magna Artistic Photos




Healthy Frosted Avocado Fudge by Pink Recipe Box

Make sure you hop over to see the features on Saving for My Family, Pin-n-Tell   and Woman of Many Roles. Be a dear and follow them or leave a comment if you would be so kind.





Don't forget to visit the 2 links before yours in the party, just to keep it fair! Please visit and share as many as you can. We all love comments. {wink, hint, nudge} 
By linking up you acknowledge that the hostesses may feature your work in round ups, on pinterest or at the next party






Saturday #223

On Saturday #223 (#43 for Harp) I was indulged with another morning to sleep in. How lovely it feels to wake up on my own, to find the kids are dressed, fed and happy.

We were preparing for a visit from Grandma, so we didn't make many plans. We did minimal cleaning and made a quick trip to the grocery store. I hoped to spend time outdoors mowing and weeding, but the weather did not permit that. As soon as I mentioned mowing the rain began.

With a dreary afternoon and no real plans we turned to the video store for relief.

We rented Frozen and popped popcorn. I made Roo squeal with delight when I produced a tiny bag of Frozen Jelly Belly's. That boy loves jelly beans! When the snacks ended my son lost interest in Frozen. Ha!
Harper was happy to stay up late, eat puffies and bounce. The movie night was a fine idea in her opinion. My little girl is a lot of fun and she liked all of the singing in Frozen.

A quiet day with the family was nice. Summer continues so everyday feels like the weekend. We have been going to festivals, yard sales, watching movies, going to story time, taking walks, playing with friends and hitting the parks.

I hope you had a chance to spend time with the people you love over the weekend.

A Great Pillow Brings Great Sleep

As I write this my family is sleeping. Peacefully, deeply. Sleep comes naturally to them and I envy the way they slip into a dream and bask in the magic of sleep every night. I couldn't begin to count the number of nights I have stared at the ceiling while I listened to soft snores and regular breathing from my family. I watched night turn to day while sleep eluded me, yet again. 

I used to think I had insomnia issues. I chronically struggle to sleep a full night. I wake up after a few hours and start the day at some strange hour, or I lay in bed, reading quietly to avoid any "What time did you get up?" kind of questions. Explaining that I am a short sleeper isn't something that anyone seems to understand usually.

Over my life of short sleeping, I have learned something, it is not quantity of hours spent in bed sleeping, but it is about the quality of my sleep. If I can have 4 or 5 hours of comfortable sleep I will feel better than I do when I get a sleeping pill induced 8 hours of rest.

Part of sleeping comfortably involves having a great room for sleep. I like a dark and cool room. I like to have clean sheets and a huge quilt. I like for the things on my bed to smell good. I must have a great pillow.




Comfort Revolution sent me a pillow to try out. I consider myself to be in the know when it comes to luxury pillows. I sleep with one of the best pillows money can buy currently. I went into the review with an open mind. I ditched my fancy pillow for 4 nights. I used a standard old, bought it at Wal-Mart for $3 pillow. On the 5th night I took the Comfort Revolution Cerulean Bubbles Hydraluxe Cooling Gel Bed Pillow to bed with me. After sleeping on a not so sweet pillow for a few nights I was ready to experience a touch of comfort.




I immediately liked the fantastic bubbles of the pillow. The pillow felt cool against my head, I felt really comfortable. The urge to toss and turn and pillow flip that plagued me the past 4 nights diminished. I drifted off to sleep within moments. I stayed asleep for nearly 5 hours and I felt well rested, refreshed and ready to take on the day.

My 4 year old discovered the Comfort Revolution Hydraluxe Cooling Pillow the next day. He climbed in my bed and touched the pillow, he giggled at the bumpy bubbles under the pillow case. He laid his head on it and said " I sleep here tonight."  


I have been sleeping on the Comfort Revolution Hydraluxe Pillow for about 3 weeks now. I really like it.  In fact I am using it as much as I use my fancy pillow. At a price of about $80 this is a good option for someone that is looking for a pillow of good quality without spending over $100. 

A great pillow is an investment in your quality of life. You will sleep better with a great pillow, and when you improve your quality of sleep, you improve your quality of life. For me, having a fantastic pillow allows me to rest completely, to shut down and replenish my soul and my energy, no tossing, turning or pillow wrestling during the night. Using a pillow that cools and feels like a dream I can't wait to dive into means that I may not sleep as long as most other people, but I would wager that I slept better than they did.


To learn more about Comfort Revolution and their innovative products designed to make your life better, one night at a time connect on their website and begin experiencing a revolution in comfort.



Tell Me About It Tuesday

Welcome back blogging babes! I am so glad you came to party with us again this week!



Ugh, no features tonight. I had a great post ready and lost it. Sorry ladies but I am due to "clock in" in just a few moments!



Make sure you hop over to see the features on Saving for My Family, Pin-n-Tell   and Woman of Many Roles. Be a dear and follow them or leave a comment if you would be so kind.





Don't forget to visit the 2 links before yours in the party, just to keep it fair! Please visit and share as many as you can. We all love comments. {wink, hint, nudge} 
By linking up you acknowledge that the hostesses may feature your work in round ups, on pinterest or at the next party







Finally A Meal We Could All Agree On

Thanks to Lobel's for inspiring today's post and sending us dinner!

Sometimes I am downright ashamed of myself when I serve my family dinner. On an average day my son is eating chicken nuggets, my husband and I are an afterthought. Feeding the kids is a quite a chore on its own most of the time.  It is not that I don't want to feed awesome meals that everyone is thrilled with daily, goodness, I sure do try to expose my kids to new foods and I daydream about everyone sitting down to eat the same meals with little to no fussing involved, but I admit, a miracle worker or expert chef I am not.

However I had a taste of a daydream a few weeks ago. Lobel's sent my family a sample of their Beef Kabobs and dinner was easy, delicious and well received by everyone.

Let me tell you a little more about Lobel's Beef Kabobs before I tell you about this once in a blue moon dinner experience for my family.

Lobel's Ready-Made Beef Kabobs are not just meat cut into cubes. They're hand-cut into cubes, then threaded onto wooden skewers. Lobel's Ready-Made Kabobs are ready to grill or broil practically right out of the box—just bring them to room temperature first. 

Choose our seasoned beef kabobs with flavors of oregano, garlic, black pepper, and olive oil for the fastest kabobs ever. Or choose our unseasoned beef kabobs and simply coat with sea salt, pepper, and olive or marinate before grilling or broiling.

We were planning to have macaroni and cheese with salads on the day that the Kabobs arrived. (Confession? A favorite dish of mine because I put it in the crockpot and walk away... While I like it, and don't mind having leftovers for like 3 days, my family doesn't agree. They groan every time I make it.)
No one mentioned dinner, until I pulled out the indoor grill. The smell of meat cooking brought them inside and hopeful. Could it be? Is she cooking meat?


So, we still had mac and cheese with salads, but we also had these amazing Lobel's beef kabobs. They were so easy to cook,  other than heating up my grill there was no preparations to deal with. I opened the package, placed them on the grill, and served them. I cooked them for about 3 minutes per side. So, technically within 6 minutes my family had an amazing meal. No one complained during dinner. The kabobs were perfectly seasoned, the meat was of an exceptional quality. It made something as simple as beef kabobs into more than that.  While the meal was not fancy, it was well liked by everyone, including my very picky son. For that I am a grateful. Who would have thought that I would get a taste of my daydreams coming true by feeding my family beef kabobs?


How To Save Money on Back to School Clothes

It’s that time of year again! Time to start thinking about getting the kids ready for another round of school in the fall. With that, usually comes a whole new wardrobe which can be a drain on your budget, especially if you have lots of little ones to shop for! Here are some tips for saving money on school clothes this fall.
How to Save Money on School Clothes


Make a budget. This seems pretty obvious, but if you are able to make a budget, you won’t find yourself in trouble when you realize you spent too much later.
Don’t discount thrift stores. They can often be sources of new or very gently used clothing. Many times, the tags are still attached. You can find brands names, too.
Start shopping early as many early sales start in July or the beginning or August. If you can’t make it then, try to go right after school starts and catch the “leftover sales” when there will be discounts on stuff that is over stocked.
Convert summer clothes into cool weather clothes with just a couple modifications. For instance, polo tops and tees are great for any time of the year with a little layering and skirts go great with leggings. You can also shop end of season sales on summer clothing and make outfits with layers you buy for them.
Buy some basics and dress them up with accessories. Leggings and tunic tops for girls are great and plain t-shirts and separates are good for boys. Add in some belts, vests, scarves and jewelry to mix and match.
See what you have from last year that still fits and do an update by purchasing separates that go with them to fill in the gaps.
Hold a clothing swap. Do you have friends or neighbors with kids just a couple years older or younger than your own? Hold a back to school clothing swap and trade each other outfits for the upcoming school year. Not only will you save loads of money, but you will have extra closet room for new stuff when you get rid of your old stuff.
While at the thrift store, donate some of your old stuff. Many times, thrift stores offer coupons that give you a percentage off or a dollars off amount for every bag of clothing you donate to them to be used at a later date. Donate now and shop later for what you need.
Whatever you do, don’t sign up for new store credit card offers that give you a percentage off at the register just for signing up and charging your first purchase. You will come to regret that and many people end up spending far more money than they were going to by getting trapped in this offer.
Let your kids know up front that you won’t be spending a lot of money. If they are old enough, let them know what your budget is. If you can fit it in, allow one splurge item each.
Check out daily deals websites for savings on store credit. Many times, you can get some store credit at stores like sears for a discounted price on these types of websites.