Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Puddle Bear Clothing Offers Themed Shirts For the Whole Family

Recently, I've gotten into the idea of having themed shirts for Scarlett to wear for various occasions.  She had a preschool shirt for her first day of preschool, a birthday shirt for her 2nd birthday, and of course she'll have one for this year's birthday as well.  It's fun to have a matching shirt for a special occasion or event.  Since we're going to Disney World in a matter of weeks, I felt it was only appropriate to have themed shirts for Disney as well!



Puddle Bear Clothing is an online company that designs and makes clothing for all ages.  The customization ideas are truly endless at the shop.  My favorite thing about Puddle Bear Clothing is that they make shirts for the whole family to wear together.  For example, you can have Christmas shirts made with each member of the family's name to wear on Christmas morning.  This is a special way to celebrate the holiday and of course very memorable too.

The shop sells matching Disney World shirts and birthday shirts for kids among many other themes.  Of course anything you'd like to be made can be done too.  The sky's the limit with creativity at Puddle Bear Clothing.  Keep the shop in mind for all of your family's themed clothing needs.

I thought it would be adorable if my husband and Scarlett and I had matching Disney raglan shirts for when we go for Scarlett's 3rd birthday. I didn't even know the matching shirts were a thing until I saw pictures of families on Facebook who all had one when at Disney.  Instantly, I fell in love with the shirts and knew I had to have them for my family too.  It's a big deal to be going to Disney World and I wanted to make the experience as memorable and exciting as possible!


The customer service between Puddle Bear Clothing and I was wonderful.  The owner really wanted to make sure I was happy with my order and the shirts were designed exactly how I wanted.  Once the shirts arrived, I couldn't wait to try them on.  Jay and I's shirt was raglan style with a grey front and black sleeves.  Scarlett's is a little bit different with dark grey sleeves and a light grey front.  My tiny girl and I each have Minnie ears on our shirt while my husband has Mickey to differentiate the genders.  How cute is that? All three shirts have our name on them in the famous Disney font.


I have to admit that all of the sizing worked out perfectly.  Everyone's shirt fit well and looks great on.  It will be really fun to have all of us coordinating at Disney World, especially for pictures! It's warmer in Orlando than I thought this time of year, but I think since the shirts have 3/4 sleeves we should be okay.  There is one day during our trip that it'll be cooler so the shirts will be ideal for that day.  The colors and font are bold and vibrant and you can tell the shirt is made well.

Puddle Bear Clothing also sent an adorable holiday themed shirt for Scarlett that she loved as soon as she saw it.  Since the shirt has an S, she said S for Scarlett! What a smart girl.  I love the S wearing a Santa hat with snowflakes on it.  Since it's a size bigger than she normally wears, she'll be able to wear it for two years which will come in handy.


I'm very excited about our Disney shirts and we don't have much longer to wait to wear them! I know we'll have a memorable trip that we'll always remember.

If you're looking for themed shirts for your next party, event, or holiday, Puddle Bear Clothing is waiting to take your order.

You can also find PuddleBear Clothing on Etsy.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Puddle Bear Clothing for providing product samples in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own. 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Make The Holidays Special With Santa.com!

Can you believe it? The holidays are upon us and it's hard to believe! This year has just flown by and we're just days away from Thanksgiving.  I have to say that this magical time of the year is my absolute favorite.  Between the holiday lights and sights and the fabulous baked goodies, what's not to love? If you haven't put your tree up yet, I'm sure it will be up in all its sparkling glory soon enough.

While the holidays are joyful and memorable for adults, they are equally as exciting and full of wonder for children.  All children can't wait for Santa to leave them toys underneath the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve.  Although we're still a few weeks away from Christmas, that doesn't mean we can't get reacquainted with the man in red in the mean time!

If you weren't aware, Santa.com is the official site of Santa Claus.  You can let your little one log onto the website to see Santa in virtual form any time they want.  Don't worry, there's nothing that won't suggest that Santa isn't real! The website offers a fully immersive experience and you'll be impressed how exciting and inviting the site is.


Santa truly represents the Christmas season and makes it even more magical for children around the world.  Remember that Santa is for ages 1-120, so we all have a little Santa in our heart no matter how old we are.  There's plenty to do and see on the website from downloading coloring page templates to reading Santa's personal blog that older children will enjoy. 

Since we're in the digital age, your child will enjoy sending an email to Santa to not only say hi, but share their Christmas wish list too. Any child would be delighted to receive a detailed reply from their favorite guy.  You can sign up for text messages from Santa as well as sending handwritten notes from Santa which is available later this month.



If you're questioning whether your child is on the naughty or nice list, you'll be able to check that on Santa.com.  Santa's nice list promotes politeness, good habits, and reading.  You'll notice that it focuses more on positive lessons, not presents.

There's so much to do and see on Santa.com that you'll always find something exciting day after day.  Make it a daily ritual to visit the site with your tiny tot daily to see what's new and different that day!

In honor of the holiday season, Santa.com would like to offer a prize package to three lucky winners.  The package contains a fidget spinner wrapped in gift paper, 1 friendly folding tote bag, Santa Libs storybook and coloring pages, 1 pen, and 1 oval bumper sticker.  All items are Santa.com themed.


Take 20% off daily text messages from Santa when you use code "sammiblog".

*DISCLOSURE* This is a sponsored post courtesy of Santa.com.  All thoughts are strictly my own. Santa.com Giveaway!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Scarlett's Love of Stop and Shop

If you ask a child where they'd like to go you might hear the typical child favorites such as the ice cream shop, the park, or the playground.  If you ask my child where we should go for the day, she says the grocery store! I'm not sure every child would share her enthusiasm for the grocery store, but that makes her unique and special.

Scarlett in her stroller about to enter her favorite place.

I can't exactly pinpoint exactly when Scarlett's love and enthusiasm for Stop and Shop started, but it's been a constant favorite for about the last 6 months.  Everyday she asks me to go to the grocery store and is beyond excited when we do get to go. As soon as we pull up to the grocery store, she starts yelling in excitement and can't get out of the car fast enough! I put her in the cart and we wander the aisles while she smiles and takes everything in.  We visit her lobster friends in the tank in the seafood department so she can say hi.  She wants one as a pet, but I don't think that's going to happen!

Scarlett's favorite departments in the store are the produce and the bakery by far.  Since she's such a fruit and veggie lover, she's always up for stopping by that section to grab her apples, bananas, and cucumbers.  Scarlett names out each fruit and veggie as we pass it with as much excitement as someone who just won the lottery.  The customers in the store always look at her and smile or laugh.  It's just my girl loving her produce!

Scarlett in the shopping cart and surrounded by food. Surely a dream come true for her! 

When we visit the bakery section, it can get a little dicey.  Scarlett wants every single cookie or brownie bucket as well as all of the refrigerated cakes.  I have to limit what treats we buy and she doesn't always accept that.  She's just like her mom and enjoys her sweets!

On the days that we can't visit the grocery store but have to drive by it to get to where we're going, she gets very upset.  I feel bad but I can't visit Stop and Shop daily.  I know she'd love to go everyday if possible.

Scarlett enjoys eating and is always up for watching me cook her favorite meals in the kitchen!  As she gets older, I hope her love for fruits and veggies stays because it's a wonderful quality to have.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Spoil Your Dog With a Box from Truly Pawsome #HolidayGiftGuide

My parents got a rescue dog named Paisley back two summers ago after losing their Bichon of 17 years.  She's a Bichon/Poodle mix who is about 3 years old.  She's very friendly and always wants to play and give kisses! I believe dogs everywhere should be spoiled and pampered to no end and that includes Paisley! It's been a while since I've sent her some goodies in the mail, and now is as good of a time as any.  When's the last time you gave your furry friend some gifts?

Truly Pawsome is a monthly subscription box that offers 4-5 hand selected natural, eco-friendly and quality doggie treats and toys.  The company offers doggy parents the chance to select items by the size of their dog.  Choose from subscription plans of 1,3,6 or 12 months.  Your dog will love having a box come to them every month! They will go woofin' crazy for squeaky toys or even duck flavored treats.  Go ahead and spoil them or another special dog in your life today.

Paisley received a fabulous box from Truly Pawsome that made her bark for joy.  She knew the box was for her since she sniffed it like crazy and couldn't wait to open it.  Inside was truly a dog's paradise and filled with a squeaky toy, training treats, duck jerky, carrot cake treats, and an eco-friendly dog baggie holder for your leash.  The treats are grain-free and 100% natural.  What more could a dog want?

The furry pup immediately went nuts for the squeaky toy.  She grabbed it and started running around the house squeaking it.  My dad enjoyed playing tug of war with her thanks to the rope on the top and Paisley loved it just as much!  


What dog doesn't like treats? Of course Paisley doesn't discriminate against any treat no matter what size, shape, or flavor it comes in! She seemed more interested in the duck jerky treats than the carrot cake for the time being, so she tried those first.  They look like real beef jerky and have an aroma that no dog can resist.  Paisley happily gobbled up the jerky and licked her lips afterwards, I think it's safe to say she was a fan!

I like that the treats included are different from what Paisley normally gets, and even from what you can buy at your local pet store.  These are not your typical run-of-the-mill milk bones or rawhide bones.  I'm sure she'll be enjoying the other treats in no time.   

The bag holder is convenient since it attaches right to your leash for quick doggy clean-up.  Forget bringing a bag with you, since you'll always have one with you! Just put a roll of doggy bags in the holder and you'll be good to go. 

Paisley is very happy with her box from Truly Pawsome and is excited that she has a new toy.  Keep Truly Pawsome in mind for your dog's Christmas present this year, they'll absolutely love it!

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Truly Pawsome for providing a product sample in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own.  

Monday, November 13, 2017

Zoodles With Spinach, Tomatoes, and Shrimp Will Delight Anyone

I always try to make healthy substitutions for my family when it comes to fat and calories. We opt for turkey chili or chicken burgers rather than beef.  Of course we do occasionally indulge in full fat options which is a treat when it occurs.  Taking care of yourself should be everyone's top priority, and it's easy to make low-cal options of your favorite unhealthy meals!

I've recently started experimenting with spiralized veggies.  Not only do these beautiful curly veggies look perfect in salads or side dishes, they work ideally in main entrees too.  If you're not familiar with spiralized vegetables, it's truly a vegetable in spiral form using a handy kitchen spiralizer.  I purchased my own spiralizer but my local grocery store sells spiralized veggies for those who don't have a spiralizer.  I'm sure your market would sell them too.  My favorite spiralized veggie to use in dishes is zucchini, but you can use carrots, squash, or any other vegetable that you like best.


Let's face it, everyone loves pasta.  Pasta comes in so many shapes and sizes and works fabulously with seafood, chicken, fish, and beef.  You can pair that lovely pasta with a variety of sauces for a wonderful meal. What's the downfall, you ask? Well the calories of course! Pasta is unhealthy especially covered with tons of sauce and cheese.  Wouldn't it be nice if you could have a pasta alternative at home that's just as delicious but cuts the calories and fat in half? 

You'll love zoodles with spinach, tomatoes, and shrimp for a light and healthy dinner any night.  If you're allergic to seafood or don't like it, feel free to substitute with another meat or even tofu for a veggie option.


I buy the frozen shrimp that's unpeeled with the tail on.  To start, you'll have to peel the shrimp and take the tails off.  Once you've done that, put olive oil in a large pan and season the shrimp with your favorite seasonings.  I like to use Adobo since it's all purpose.  I also added a little bit of butter too.  

While the shrimp is cooking, add the zoodles, spinach, and halved cherry tomatoes into another pan with a small amount of oil.  Season to taste.  Everything should cook pretty quickly in about 5 minutes. You'll know the shrimp is cooked through when it's translucent and pink.  Don't overcook it though.  Make sure the spinach is completely wilted and the zoodles and tomatoes heated through.  Pour the shrimp into this pan to heat again.  Once everything is finished, add in marinara sauce and stir to cover.  I used vodka sauce, but use what you like best.  

You'll be presented with a restaurant worthy dish that you've made in practically no time.  This is a great recipe for working mom's who are looking for a quick and easy dinner for the family.  You'll surely be adding this one to your recipe book!

Rascal Reads Allows Your Child to Be the Star of The Book!

One thing that always makes me happy is how much Scarlett enjoys reading.  We have many bookshelves filled with books about animals, nature, nursery rhymes, and so much more.  Scarlett has her favorites which she requests that you read over and over.  I always try to rotate her books and make sure she doesn't lose interest, since reading is so important.  Make sure your child always has new books to use their imagination with.



Rascal Reads create personalized children's books for kids that allow them to be an active character in the book! There are three different books to choose from based off of your child's interests.  Once you pick what book you want, you upload a picture of your child and answer a few questions about them.  The process is very simple.  Your child will love seeing their picture and name throughout the book.  A book from Rascal Reads makes a wonderful birthday present for any lucky boy or girl.  This will surely be a story they will enjoy for years to come.


I chose Rascal and Suzie's CATastrophe for Scarlett because it involves cats and she's an animal lover.  The hardcover book is full of beautiful bright and crisp illustrations that will draw your child in time and time again.  Since Scarlett is almost 3, she's a little young to appreciate that she's a character in the book, but she does enjoy seeing her picture inside.  She's learned to recognize her name at school and loves pointing it out to you whenever she sees it inside the book.

Not only is the story cute, but it's interactive and gets your child talking and participating.  Reading is direly essential for conversation starters and vocabulary building in young children.  Make sure you always read to your little one.

Scarlett's Rascal Reads book will be going on her bookshelf for her to enjoy for some time to come.  If you're looking for a really unique and interesting present for a child who seems to have it all, this would be a wonderful choice.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Rascal Reads for providing a product sample in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own.  

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Potty Training!

There's big news in our house, Scarlett has begun potty training!

When Scarlett was 18 months old, I bought her a pink princess potty to begin the process.  I knew that 18 months old was young, but I figured it was a good time to get her acquainted with the potty and potty books.  She didn't have much interest and then starting in February we tried again. 

It was extremely stressful.  Honestly, I didn't know what I was doing.  I had Scarlett sit on the potty and gave her watered down juice to go.  My thought process was if she peed in the potty after drinking juice, she'd get the connection.  I read her many potty books, talked about big girl underwear, and showed her potty videos of Elmo who she loves.  You name it, I did it! I kept reading online about potty training tips to try to educate myself too. Scarlett would get up from the potty and have an accident on the floor.  It was really not something that I was a fan of and I thought we'd take a break from trying and revisit it.


Over the summer, we had more progress.  Scarlett peed a few times in the potty and it was a very exciting moment!  We used up all of her diapers and switched to pull-ups.  I never bought a pack of diapers again. I recorded her progress on a potty chart and put a sticker underneath to give her encouragement.  I'm not sure what happened, but in time the momentum was lost.  I told myself that it was okay and maybe she's still not ready this time.  

One day early last week she told me she had to go to the bathroom.  I didn't really think anything of it because she has told me that before, but in reality just wants to wash her hands and play in the water. I sat her on the potty and she went! I was shocked and surprised.  I really didn't expect her to go.  We did a potty dance and I gave her tons of praise.  It was safe to say we were both thrilled! I gave her a sticker for going and it was a great moment.

After that day, she's been going on the potty non-stop all day! Her progress is wonderful and it's very exciting that she can now tell me when she has to go.  For the times that she doesn't, I put her on the potty just to continue the progress.  She's still very happy with the dance, praise, and sticker.  It won't be too long now until she's in big girl underwear full-time!


Monday, November 6, 2017

Make Your Belly Happy With Treats From Dancing Deer Baking Company This Holiday Season #HolidayGiftGuide

The world would be a very boring place without baked goods.  Sweet treats warm the soul and make everyone happy.  Can you imagine living day-to-day without cookies, brownies, or even cupcakes? It would be horrifying. There's nothing like indulging in a fresh out of the oven cookie, or a perfectly warm and moist brownie. It's heavenly! If you're looking to make your stomach happy, go ahead and have a chocolate or peanut butter cookie today.  Don't forget an icy cold glass of milk to go with it either.



Dancing Deer Baking Company is complete paradise for any and all sweet treat lovers. You'll go crazy for these fabulous scratch baked fabulous brownie and cookie gifts for all occasions.  With the holidays coming up, it would be a wonderful idea to send some treats to family and friends.  You can choose from such mouthwatering cookie flavors as chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, cranberry orange, and even molasses clove among others.

Who can resist heavenly brownie flavors like chocolate chunk, peanut butter, espresso, and caramel pecan?  There are plenty of gluten free options for those who have a gluten free diet.  With gift boxes of any size or treat combination, you'll definitely be making the right choice and making someone's belly happy this Christmas.  

I'm a sweets lover through and through.  Chocolate is my weakness and I find it next to impossible to resist a chocolate treat.  When friends and family get together for the holiday season, food is a main component.  You want to serve your guests fabulous food and beverages that they will remember long after your party ends.

If you have a sweet tooth that's unstoppable like mine, the Classic Deer Gift Hamper would be a perfect choice.  

This box will instantly put a smile on your face as soon as you receive it.  Once you open it you'll be in brownie and cookie heaven, I promise you.  Inside you'll find 30 cookies in flavors like molasses, chocolate chip, and cranberry orange white chocolate chip.  Four famous chocolate chunk brownies and sea salt caramel squares complete the package for an overall fantastic sampler.  Each gift box is tied with grosgrain ribbon for a beautiful finishing touch.


Since the box contains a volume of treats, it's a perfect size for sharing.  Luckily my husband Jay and my daughter Scarlett have a sweet tooth just like me.  They would never say no to a cookie and that makes me proud! The molasses cookie with clove and cinnamon is not a flavor that would be my first choice to pick at a bakery, but it was actually extremely tasty.  Molasses is a wonderful flavor that resonates with the holidays.  It's important to broaden your horizons and I am always open to trying new cookie flavors.



The cookies are extremely fresh and taste like they just came out of the oven.  Each soft cookie is a very decent size and will surely curb that sweet tooth of yours.   I noticed that the cookie flavors offered aren't your typical run-of-the-mill flavors like chocolate chip, peanut butter, and sugar. Molasses and cranberry orange white chocolate chip are certainly not everyday flavors that people will indulge in.  Of course you can never go wrong with a classic chocolate chip cookie!


I couldn't help but sample the fabulously rich chocolate chunk brownie.  As soon as I had a bite, I was in instant heaven.  The brownie was sweet but not overly sweet.  It was thick and dense and everything you could want from a brownie.  Don't forget the glass of icy cold milk with this one.

My husband Jay really loved the caramel sea salt squares too.  He said the balance between the caramel and sea salt was a perfect one.  Some baked goods overdo it on the sea salt and it overpowers the main flavor of the treat, but this was not the case.  Milk, coffee, or hot tea would be the ideal pairing for this caramel beauty.



Scarlett enjoyed the chocolate chip cookies the best, of course.  What little girl wouldn't love one? She's just like her mom and goes straight for the chocolate.  I couldn't be more proud!

I've put the rest of the sweet treats in the freezer to enjoy at a later time.  Since there's so many yummies, I can nibble on them throughout the holiday season with my family.

Dancing Deer Baking Company certainly unlocked the key to my heart with their baked goods and I thank them for that! If you're looking to make your day a delicious one, it's time to order some treats.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Dancing Deer Baking Company for providing a product sample in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own.   

Friday, November 3, 2017

Get Your Home Holiday Entertaining Ready With The Wisp

Thanksgiving begins the season of holiday entertaining and it's just a few weeks away.  While you plan your dinner menu and table decor, it's equally as important to ensure that your home is clean and in tip-top shape for guests.  Whenever I have anybody over during the holiday season, you can always find me cleaning and making sure everything in my home is in order before they arrive.  It's essential to have a clean and welcoming atmosphere for your guests.

The Wisp is a leading company that revolutionizes the way of cleaning through common-sense, scientific based sweeping products that eliminate back and knee pain.  Their handy broom and dustpan set comes in different sizes from full sized to mini depending on your cleaning job.  The Wisp's electrostatic bristle design attracts hair and fur like a magnet and makes cleaning pet hair from all surfaces easier than before.

It's ideal for using beyond hardwoods and tile in your home for surfaces like clothing, upholstery, carpets, bedding, car seats and more.  You'll be amazed at how it effortlessly removes pet hair, crumbs, lint and more.  The unique design of the Wisp keeps debris from floating around when you sweep, unlike a broom.

Depending on your color preferences, any Wisp product comes in blue, red, gray, purple, and green. It's time to tackle those messes in style!


I'm ashamed to say it, but I do not own a broom and dustpan.  Any messes in my home get vacuumed up on a daily basis.  Between Scarlett and my dog Lynnie, it seems like they both work together in unison to create messes.  Scarlett may spill food on the ground while Lynnie's pet hair is constantly on the carpet and couches.  I find myself vacuuming on a daily basis to make sure my home is rid of pet hair and debris, and it can be tiring.  I'm sure my vacuum would like a break too!


The Wisp has been fabulous to own and really makes my life easier.  I received a purple one which is ideal for my girly side.  The broom is easy to hold and I effortlessly can clean any mess in my home in seconds. When I'm done, everything gets thrown into the trashcan for a clean home I can be proud of.  There's no more bending over while sweeping, you can stand completely upright and get the job done in no time. 
  
I've noticed that a lot of build-up and debris form at my baseboards and I would usually use the hose attachment of my vacuum to suck it up.  I'm not sure what the reasoning is behind not having a broom and dustpan set previously, I think I honestly just never thought I needed one.  Thanks to the bristle comb on the dustpan, you'll never have to touch unsanitary dirt again.  Simply move the Wisp or Mini Wisp bristles back and forth the comb and all of the debris comes off into the dustpan.  This is really wonderful and makes life much simpler! My floors are thankful for this wonderful product. 


What is unique about this set is that it's not just for hardwoods, I'm able to really get a lot of pet hair out of my carpets too.  I was amazed at how much was in there that I didn't realize the first time I used it.  It's funny how we think our carpets are clean when they aren't.  Pet hair is no match for the Wisp and I'm happy to have a solution for it now.

With holiday entertaining on the horizon, the Wisp would be ideal to make sure your home is ready for your beloved friends and family.  Use it for baseboards, windowsills, and in any tight corners.  It's time to enjoy your company rather than worry about having dirty floors.  The Wisp can make this thought a reality.  I can guarantee you'll use it beyond the holidays on a daily basis to make your humble abode sparkling clean.  Go ahead and order one today.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to The Wisp for providing a product sample in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own. 






Thursday, November 2, 2017

Discipline is Extremely Important For Children

Scarlett is a good girl for the most part on a daily basis.  She is eager to please and really tries to do the right thing in life.  However, she is almost 3 which comes with typical toddler antics.  Scarlett's behavior has been changing lately and she does a lot of things for attention.  You'll find her climbing on the table and looking at you with a smile to see how you react, or having a meltdown when denied something she wants.

Parenting is not easy by any stretch of the imagination.  I'm tested on a daily basis and it's up to me to stay firm and not let my child walk all over me.  Nobody enjoys a crying and screaming child and I know some will be quick to give into their child's demands to stop the tears.  They will tell them they can only have one cookie, but then the child screams that they want another one.  Instead of saying no you can only have one, they give into the tantrum.  Honestly, this is the worst thing you can do and it teaches the child that when they cry they get their way.  This isn't helpful for the child or the parent.


I've been watching a lot of old clips on YouTube lately of Jo Frost's old show Super Nanny. If you're not familiar with Jo, she has a nanny career that spans close to three decades and is a parenting expert.  She's written many books and is incredibly smart when it comes to the A-Z's of parenting.  I remember watching the show when it was on the air on ABC years ago, way before I had a child.  

The premise of the show is that she comes to help families who have major problems with their children whether it's lack of discipline and out of control kids, children who can't sleep alone, etc.  A lot of the families practice very poor parenting skills and Jo comes to help them fix their issues.  Although I am not as bad as some of the families on there, I do see Scarlett in some of the children.  I've been watching for guidance and to see ways I can improve Scarlett's behavior before it gets out of hand.

Jo's technique is to give a child a warning when they are misbehaving to let them know that their behavior is not acceptable.  Eye contact is extremely important as is getting down to their level and keeping your voice firm.  You tell them that this is your warning, if they do whatever wrong thing again, they go into time out. Time out is one minute for however old they are.  Jo suggests a "naughty step" or "naughty bench" for implementing their time.  

You tell the child the reason they are in time out and you walk away. If the child gets up, you place them right back with zero communication.  No communication is the key because it shows the child that you're serious.  Once time is up, you explain to the child again why they went into time out and why that behavior is not acceptable.  You ask them for an apology. If they cannot give one, they go straight back into time out.  Once the apology has been stated, a hug and a kiss finishes it off. 

I've been using a lot of Jo's techniques on a day-to-day basis and they are working well for us.  Scarlett does not like to go in time out and I feel that a warning helps her to straighten up before she gets sent to it.  If she still tests me and has to do her time, I notice her behavior is instantly better when she's finished. Life is a lot easier with a toddler who listens rather than who is defiant. 

It's never too late to start disciplining your child(ren) if you haven't been stepping it up in that department.  Children need discipline and boundaries and to know that their parent is in control, not them.  Discipline makes for happy and healthier children and parents.

You'll feel better knowing you're doing everything you can to be the best parent possible.




Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Protect Your Eyes With Spektrum Glasses

When I worked at a company doing data entry several years ago, I suffered from eye strain quite frequently.  When you're staring at a computer screen and crunching numbers for 8 hours a day, it can really take a toll on your eyes.  I remember coming home with headaches and needing to close my eyes and rest.  Eye strain is not fun and it can be painful too.  Be smart and take your vision seriously.  You only have one pair of eyes!



Spektrum's Prospek collection offers the best computer glasses on the market for anyone.  You'll be satisfied with their maximum protection that still provides a comfortable solution that fits your personal style.  The glasses block UV light, blue light and guarantee a fit that you'll enjoy.  If you think these glasses are on the unfashionable side, think again! You can choose from several colors and frames in the Prospek collection for anyone's taste in the entire family.  Whether you like Wayfarers or a something stylish, it's all there! Moms, dads, teens and kids can be protected anytime, anywhere! The glasses are the only ones that feature blue light filtering.  Kids will enjoy the brightly colored Prospek glasses that keep their eyes safe from screen time.  





What I didn't realize was that the blue light that emanates from electronic devices can harm the quality of your sleep.  Not only that but it can lead to a number of ailments such as depression, obesity, cancer, and even blindness.  Studies have shown that continued exposure to blue light over time could lead to damaged retinal cells and cause vision problems.  Social media also doesn't help us to stay off our phones or computer when we're constantly uploading pictures and checking out what everyone is doing. 



I spend a lot of time on my phone running my blog whether I'm home or not.  Frequently, I find myself needing to shut off the electronics and take a break.  The screen time really does a number on my eyes and it's not a good feeling.  I'm also guilty of using my phone with the lights off when I'm in bed.  I know that's not smart at all for your eyes and it's something I need to work on.  

If you want your vision to remain top notch for as long as possible, it's time to be proactive and do what you can to protect yourself.  



Sunday, October 29, 2017

Little Adventures Will Provide Your Child Hours of Fun!

I've noticed lately that Scarlett is interested in dressing up and wearing fake jewelry.  We have a Hello Kitty jewelry box full of fake beaded necklaces and bracelets on her dresser, and she loves putting on the items and looking at herself in the mirror.  I get a kick out of it because she smiles and twirls around! I think it's safe to say she enjoys pretend play like all little girls do.



Little Adventures offers adorable dress up clothes for everyday in a variety of styles for boys and girls.  The sizes start at a year old and go all the way up to 9 years old, so your son or daughter can have years of play.  Your boy will enjoy the cloaks and hoodies along with the knight and dragon wear that comes in a variety of styles.  For the girls, there are a range of options including princesses and fairy dresses as well as accessories like wands, tutus, crowns, and tiaras.  

All children love to dress up and use their imagination for hours of fun everyday.  The clothes are soft and machine-washable for continuous use.  Keep Little Adventures in mind for gifting needs for that little one in your life.

Since Scarlett is a girly-girl, I knew she'd enjoy the Sleeping Beauty Princess Dress, the Deluxe Pink Princess 2017 dress, and the Hot Pink Fairy Halo and Wand.  All three pieces are so adorable! Since the order was delivered during nap time, I eagerly awaited Scarlett to wake up so I could see what she thought of the items.  Both dresses were ordered in a size of 1-3 years, so Scarlett can enjoy them for a while.  I liked that the dresses both came with hangers for easy hanging in the closet.  


Once Scarlett was up from her nap, the first dress we tried on was the deluxe sleeping beauty dress.  This number offers durable pink stretch velvet sewn and pink china silk with silver foil detailing fit for a princess.  Since it's freezing cold out at the moment, this velvet dress is perfect for keeping warm in the bitter temps when playing indoors.  We're also always looking to have more indoor fun since it's winter and too cold to play outside.


What I first noticed about both dresses is how well made they are.  I've seen some dress up clothes that seem like they are made with questionable materials, but that truly isn't the case for Little Adventures.  The colors are bold and vibrant and really grab a child's attention.  I'm a fan of the gorgeous silver scroll design that runs down the middle of the dress.  The dress fit Scarlett well and was a perfect length on her, it was also easy to put on.  She didn't seem to have any issues with the material being uncomfortable on her.  I've never seen dress up clothes offered for children younger than 4, so it's nice that smaller children and toddlers are accommodated.  

Scarlett smiled when I showed her what she looked like in the mirror and seemed very happy.  I put the matching fairy halo on her which really gave the dress an extra bit of pizazz.  One thing that we're missing from our dress up clothes is the requisite fake heels.  If we had a pair of silver or pink heels, I know it would have been perfect to complete the look.  I have to make a mental note to buy her some for future play.  The fairy halo is full of ribbons, sparkles, and flowy satin material to make a girl feel like a true princess.  What more could a little girl want?  What's great about the fairy halo and wand set is that it's versatile and can truly work with any dress up outfit you pair it with.  

It made me happy to see Scarlett so excited about the dress up clothes, because she's never owned anything like these dresses before.  Every parent wants to see their child's eyes light up, it's a special feeling. 

I couldn't wait to see how my tiny girl looked in the pink princess dress, I knew she'd look fabulous! Since this is a short-sleeved dress, make sure your child wears a shirt underneath so they aren't cold if you have cold weather outside.  You'll love this gorgeous two tone dress featuring a bright pink velvet bodice with silver trim that meets light pink velvet sleeves.  Your eyes will focus on the glittered collar and beautiful white rose that compliment the delicate drapes over a bright pink skirt.


This dress seemed to be Scarlett's favorite in my opinion since she started dancing and twirling when she looked at herself in the mirror.  It also was the perfect length and fit her well.  She touched the silver detail on the skirt and smiled while saying "ooh".  I'm sure she felt so beautiful, but who can blame her? She looked stunning! We also paired the fairy halo and wand set with this dress as well.  My tiny princess spent a while playing in both dresses and she didn't want to take them off when I told her it was snack time! I think it's safe to say she enjoyed being a princess.  The benefit of these dresses is that your child can be a princess whenever the mood strikes them.


Since both dresses are machine-washable, I can easily throw them in the washing machine if Scarlett does get a stain on them.  For a mom, that's extremely convenient and helpful.  

Why not let your son or daughter transform into a fairy princess or a dragon anytime they want? All you have to do is place an order at Little Adventures.  Playtime will be full of fun and adventure from here on out.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Little Adventures for providing product samples in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own.  

Make a Thanksgiving Breakfast This Year That The Whole Family Will Love

If you're looking for something delicious to have for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning, I have the perfect recipe for you.  It combines salty and sweet and is utterly fantastic.

These Cinnamon Roll Turkeys from Pillsbury will delight your entire family and they'll be asking for seconds! Don't forget to wash them down with a nice cup of joe, or icy cold milk. They are easy to make and an adorable way to celebrate the holiday. 

Hello tasty cutie

Ingredients:

1 can (17.5 oz) Pillsbury Grands cinnamon rolls with icing
10 slices of bacon
5 candy corns
5 red mini candy coated chocolate candies
10 candy eyeballs
15 mini pretzel sticks, cut in half

Steps:
-Heat oven to 350F.  Line cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper 

-Set icing aside.  Separate dough into 5 rolls; place about 3 inches apart on cookie sheet.  Unroll each one about an inch, and tuck dough into roll to create neck of turkey.

-Bake 20 minutes or until light golden brown.  Remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack and cool 5 minutes.  

-Meanwhile, cook bacon until crisp; drain on paper towel-lined plate.  Cut bacon slices in half.  Tuck 4 halves of bacon into the back of each cinnamon roll so they stick up and look like tail feathers.  

-Drizzle top of rolls with icing.  Decorate turkeys with candy eyeballs, candy corn, and candy-coated chocolates.  Before serving, place halved pretzel sticks underneath each turkey to resemble feet.

Enjoy! Let this become a family tradition to have for breakfast each Thanksgiving morning.  

*Recipe taken from Pillsbury

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Adjusting to Life With No Naps

When Scarlett was born, she initially slept a lot.  As she got older, her shut-eye time lessened and she spent more time awake than asleep.  When she was 6 months old, I put her on a sleep and feed schedule that stuck with her for more than two years.

As a parent, you deal with many challenges over the course of your child's life.  Some areas may be less difficult than others, but I'm dealing with something that I was not prepared for in the slightest.  Today, I am mourning the loss of naps.  How can you say goodbye to something you loved so much for almost 3 years? It's very difficult.  I feel lost and alone and afraid of the unknown!


When Scarlett used to nap, it was from 12-3.  I had three glorious hours to myself to do whatever I pleased whether it was clean, sleep, or just work online.  She would eat lunch at 11 AM and then nap at 12.  When she woke up at 3, I knew that we only had 2 hours until dinner and then bath time and bed would eventually follow.  The day felt easy and worry-free.  Now, I have 7 and a half hours to fill after lunch and it's concerning.  

Scarlett only goes to school twice a week for 3 hours a day.  So beyond those 6 hours a week, it's up to me to fill the time.  We used to go the park, see friends, do our shopping, etc but it seems foreign to me to have so much time on my hands now.  My friend's children no longer nap so they told me this day would eventually come.  It's not a total surprise, but still difficult to accept.  I know in time, I will adjust.

My tiny girl doesn't understand rest or quiet time.  She won't play quietly in her room without making a big mess, so that's out.  I have her in my bed and we watch a movie quietly which is better than nothing.  On the upside, we no longer have to worry about rushing home for nap time and can do more things away from home. 

I'm happy that she napped for as long as she did, but it would be very nice if she said just kidding mom, I'm going to take a nap now!


Monday, October 23, 2017

Preschoolers Everywhere Will Enjoy Little Tikes Games

Now that Scarlett is in her 3's program at school, they've been doing a lot of memory building activities lately  Whether it's matching smiling pumpkins for Halloween or finding the green ice cream cone in a sea of candy and cookies, everything helps build my tiny girl's brain.  It's important to have your little one exposed to educational toys and resources to ensure they are learning and boosting their brain power.




Little Tikes offers infant, young children's toys and furniture for indoor and outdoor use.  If fun is on your older child's agenda, let their playhouses, sandboxes, water tables, and kitchens delight your tot's imagination.  If you have a baby, they will love the jump jump's, walkers, and educational learning toys among many others.  Whatever age your child is, they will surely enjoy Little Tikes products that create and spark play and curiosity.

I was unaware that Little Tikes made learning games until very recently. The age range for the games are 3-5 and they are ideal for improving concentration, memory, and matching skills.  Your little ones will love such games as Crazy Blender, Hot Hoops, Crazy Toaster, and Farm Memory Match-Up.  It's always a wonderful idea to turn off the electronics and have your child really do something beneficial for development.

Scarlett is almost 3, so she's a little too young for all of the games except Farm Memory Match-Up.  This an ideal choice for her since she is such an avid animal lover and it ties into what she's been doing at school.  The age range for this game is 3+.  Two to four players can play the game which is ideal for your child and a friend or two.  Test your memory and matching skills by putting the animals back together.  Separate the farm animals and put each half under a haystack and shuffle them around.  Whoever matches the most animals wins! The game comes with 10 farm animals which feature a duck, cow, chicken, sheep, and more.


This is the first real boxed game that she's ever played and she's really interested.  I think the animals draw her in.  Right now, my husband Jay and I play it with her, but I'm sure when her friends come over they will enjoy it too as she gets older.  The animals are brightly colored and help to get children interested.

Scarlett's attention span for this game is impressively long considering she's not yet 3.  She really wants to find the match and seems to understand the concept which is great. Of course she does eventually want to just play with the animals and loses concentration, but hey she's still very young and it's to be expected!

As a parent, there's nothing more important to me than my child having fun through learning.  I think the best way to teach a child is to disguise it through play.  She's not realizing how much she's really learning, but I am! I think as she gets older this will be a continued favorite.


I'm looking forward to having her play more games in the future and seeing how her mind works with them.  It'll surely be interesting to see as she grows up!

If you're looking for an educational game that your young children can play, get the toy-box ready for Little Tikes Farm Memory Match-Up.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Little Tikes for providing a product sample in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own.