Sunday, July 23, 2017

Life With a 2 1/2 Year Old

Scarlett is now two and a half years old.  Time is really flying by.  I know it's a cliche to say that, but it's true.

In the last five or six months, I've really seen a change in her development and growth.  Her personality is shining through and I love to spend time with her.  Everyday Scarlett surprises me with new words and really has a grasp and understanding of the world around her. You have to watch what you say around her because her little brain soaks everything in like a sponge and she repeats everything she hears!


Scarlett recognizes herself and her family in pictures and gets very excited.  She has a very animated personality and loves to be silly and make you laugh.  I think Scarlett will do anything for a laugh! Her big loves in life are animals, food, her family, and Elmo.  We're very grateful for her progress with her speech because at the beginning of the year she wasn't speaking at all.  Now she probably has close to 100 words.  Her speech is constantly improving, but we still have a ways to go.  I give credit to not only her speech therapist, but her growth and maturity as she ages has something to do with it too.

It sometimes surprises me how much she can grasp and remember.  We had cupcakes the other day and she told me she enjoyed having cupcakes with her friend at her house.  That was well over a month ago and I was shocked that she recalled that fact! 


Not only does she know her colors, shapes, animals, numbers, and letters, but she loves to tell you what she sees when we drive in the car.  She will point out a red house, a blue car, or even a sign on the road.  Life is never dull with a toddler!

Scarlett's love of the outdoors knows no bounds.  I'm not as much of a fan of being outside as she is.  She'd spend the entire day out there if she could.  Her explorer mindset is interesting to watch and she really enjoys nature.  Seeing everything through the eyes of a child is magical and she lights up whenever she sees a bird, squirrel, or bunny. 


For as much fun as Scarlett is, she has a ton of energy and doesn't always listen.  We're working on discipline and time-out seems to work most of the time.  She gets frustrated easily and will have a tantrum and fall on the floor if she doesn't get her way.  This behavior is not ok and we work on a daily basis to correct it.  We put her in timeout and we tell her why she's in there when she goes in.  When the time is up, I go back in and ask her why she is in time out.  She can tell me so I know she understands then she gives me a hug and says sorry.  Parenting is never easy!

Manners is something that is important to me, and I constantly remind her to say please and thank you when necessary.  It's a wonderful feeling when she says it on her own.

Scarlett is one affectionate girl and loves to give hugs and kisses.  She has started telling my husband and I recently that she loves us.  It's about time since I've told her 100 times a day since the day she was born.  She also loves to tell Elmo and our dog Lynnie that she loves them too.  Her sweet personality is precious and I love her tiny hugs!

Parenthood is a wonderful journey that has highs and lows, but I wouldn't trade it for anything! 



Saturday, July 22, 2017

Get Rid of Pesky Bugs With Dynatrap

Summer is the one time of year where you can sit outside and entertain friends or family with a BBQ or pool party.  There's nothing more fun than making memories with the people you love most.  What's not fun is being attacked by mosquitos and bugs that leave you constantly feeling uncomfortable.  Mosquito bites are terrible! It's also irritating to have flies swarming your food too.  Wouldn't it be nice if you could enjoy your backyard without having to worry about pesky bugs during the warmer months of the year?



DynaTrap is a technology-driven indoor/outdoor insect trap that protects against mosquitos, biting flies, moths, wasps, and more.  The unit relies on UV light and Co2 to mimic human beings and maximize predatory insect attracting, rather than pesticides or harmful sprays.  Its strong yet silent fan that vacuums the insects into a retaining cage will make you happy. You'll enjoy how safe and simple DynaTrap is to use, just plug and hang it to stop the bug life cycle.  With no pesticides, chemicals, odors, noise, or hassle, it's perfect for your backyard this summer and beyond.  The DynaTrap makes a perfect gift for any friend or family member who enjoys the outdoors. 

The DynaTrap comes fully assembled and can be plugged in and put anywhere you please in your backyard.  You'll quickly fall in love with the large black unit that's ready to zap any bugs that come in its path.  There are many different sizes depending on your backyard size and needs.


It's hard to not have lunch or dinner outside in warm weather, it's almost impossible! Lately my family and I have been eaten alive when dining outdoors and were really getting fed up.  We knew we had to get something to control the amount of bugs and make outdoor dining more enjoyable.

The DynaTrap is just what we needed and has truly revolutionized being outside.  As long as you have an outdoor electric outlet, you're good to go.  The cord is long and allows you ample room to hang or place it anywhere.  The best part about DynaTrap is how extremely quiet it is, you won't even know it's on.  Of course you will notice a decrease in the amount of bugs in your backyard though!


I chose to put the DynaTrap on my fence since there's a plug right beyond it.  It captures and kills bugs on contact which is fantastic.  If you think having a citronella candle is helpful, just wait until you try the DynaTrap.  With just one day of constant use, the amount of bugs that were inside was impressive.  I couldn't get over how many were in there! Simply empty the catch cage whenever needed to keep it clean and problem-free.

I've heard from others that if you keep the DynaTrap running all the time that it greatly reduces mosquitos and makes your backyard enjoyable again.

It's time to reclaim your summer and make it enjoyable and memorable from here on out.  

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


Friday, July 21, 2017

The Guide To Choosing And Settling Into A New Home

Moving home is often a tough step to make in itself, so rest assured that you’ve already done the hard part when it comes to this big change in your life. Now, before you choose a new home to move into, you need to think about what it is you want from this new chapter in your life. Whether you’re just moving with your partner or you have children to think about, it’s important that everybody’s voice is heard. This new home needs to be a place in which you can all feel comfortable. Here are some tips to help make that a reality.




Choosing your new home.
Before you start making big plans as to how you’re going to settle into this new home, you need to choose the home itself. It has to be a decision that suits you not only in that present moment but for your foreseeable future in that new location. Perhaps you and your partner want to move in together but you don’t plan on sticking around in that area for more than a few years if you big aspirations for your careers. In that case, you might want to rent a house because you don’t necessarily want a long-term commitment if you don’t see your future in a long-term location; still, it’s important to find somewhere cozy enough to settle into for a few years.


If you do have dreams of turning your new home into a permanent base on which you can grow into a larger family in the future then you might want to look into houses and making the commitment to buy so that you’re not just pouring dead money into the place. It all depends on how much you think you’re going to need to grow into your property during the span of your time there. It’s very important that you choose a place in which you feel you can be comfortable before you start thinking about how to improve the place as a whole and settle into the community. It’s a big decision to make.


Making a ‘To Do’ list.
Now you’ve moved into your new home, you’re probably feeling overwhelmed by the number of things you feel you have to do. The best way to approach the task is to make a list of everything that needs to be done. You need space to breathe so that you can actually enjoy the novelty of living somewhere brand new. If you have a list that you can use to gradually tick off important items then you won’t worry about the possibility of forgetting all the crucial things which need to be done. It’ll probably only take a couple of weeks to get all the important stuff sorted, but you don’t have to worry about what the next thing that needs to be done may be if you can see it all in a physical list form. It also makes you feel far more productive when you get the satisfaction of putting that big tick next to something you’ve dreaded doing.


An organized unpacking routine.
The one hurdle nobody ever thinks about until they’re actually faced with it is hundreds of packed boxes. If you’re lucky enough that this is your first new home or flat with your partner then your possessions might be relatively few, but you’ll probably still have a sizeable collection of things from college or your room at home with your parents. The point is that you can very easily find yourself drowning in a mess of unorganized boxes that you’re too afraid to tackle if you don’t plan ahead. The best way to do this is to write descriptive labels on each box (not just “clothes”) because you’ll be able to categorize boxes and keep related things together that way. You’ll be able to get your new home set up far more easily if you know which box contains specific items. You might find that you want certain kitchen utensils and bathroom supplies within the first few hours of moving in, so you don’t want to spend a few hours trying to find them.




Small personal flourishes.
The hardest part of moving into a new place is that, whilst it might look modern and pretty, it doesn’t feel like home. It might feel like you’re staying in a beautiful hotel if it is modern, clean, and aesthetically-pleasing, but that doesn’t mean you necessarily feel comfortable and cozy in it just yet. It can be hard to rid yourself of that feeling that you’re a guest in your own home, but it’s all about focusing on the small things rather than making grand and overblown changes to your house (especially if you’re only renting). Adding small features such as throws to your couches or cute candles to your bedroom can make all the difference when it comes to turning a house into your home.


Get to know the neighbors.
A vital part of settling into your new home actually has nothing to do with bricks and mortar. You need to think about the people living around you because getting to know them is important to helping you feel comfortable in your home; it’s important to helping you feel a part of the small community in which you’ll find yourself. Throw a housewarming party and invite over everyone on your street; ask people to bring food and drink so that everyone chips in, and get to know one another.




Thinking about security.
Security may not be a fun thing to think about like other aspects of your settling-in process at your new home, but it’s certainly an important one that you need to consider. If you live in a rented property then you should really discuss this matter with your landlord and they’ll tell you how safe the property is. Obviously, there’s no harm in expressing any concerns you might have; you might simply want to install additional locks into doors or windows or you might want to install a burglar alarm if you think the flat or house needs that additional protection.


Again, you have to discuss all these things with the owner of your home. Of course, if you do own the property then the responsibility lies completely on your shoulders to ensure that your house is as safe as it can possibly be. Unrelated to burglary, you might want to think about things such as ensuring you have a working smoke alarm; this should be an absolute essential for any home. It’s also vital that you check your alarm regularly to ensure it’s functioning as it should be.


Settling a pet into their new home.
As a final point, you and your partner (or your family, depending on what kind of move this is), might have a pet that you’re worried about moving to a brand new home. Of course, before anything else, if you’re renting then it’s vital you ensure you rent a property which accepts pets. Once you’ve crossed that bridge then you only need to worry about how to ease your pet itself into their new abode. The best way to do this is to set boundaries from day one. They might be frightened, but you don’t want them to slip into bad habits of wetting rugs or their bed; reward their good behavior, and slowly guide them into warming to the place. Bring their old bed from your old home and fill it with all their favorite toys. Give them some way to form mental links and realize that this new home is their home.

Your Sleep Matters Too: How You Can Get More



The one thing everyone loves to tell you about having children is that you'll never sleep the same again. While they're slightly gleeful that other parents will have to experience the same sleep deprivation they did, no new parent looks forward to the sleepless nights. And it doesn't end once the child is no longer a baby. Young children often love to get up at the crack of dawn, and they're not always too keen on going to bed, either. All this impacts your sleep, and it's true that things may change a lot. However, just because you have to alter your sleep patterns, it doesn't mean you'll never get enough sleep. There are some things you can do to be well-rested.


Have Your Own Bedtime Routine


Babies and children tend to do well with set bedtime routines. It helps them get to sleep and gives them expectations. But your child isn't the only one who can benefit from a routine at bedtime. You can also help yourself get a good night's sleep by following the same schedule every night. You might do some things like reading a book for a while, having a hot (caffeine free) drink, or even doing some deep breathing exercises. Try to relax before you go to bed, so it's easier to fall asleep. You can't guarantee you won't ever be interrupted, but you can try your best to follow the same pattern each night.




Design a Sleep-friendly Bedroom


Your bedroom can play a huge part in how well you're able to sleep. Whether you've still got the baby in your room with you or you've got it all to yourself, you can make choices that help you fall and stay asleep. Start by having a comfortable mattress that supports your back and joints. Have a look at a mattress site to compare the available options, such as memory foam and latex mattresses. Think about the environment of your room too, including the temperature and lighting. The room should be cool for comfortable sleep, as well as dark. Try to avoid having any artificial lights, even tiny ones from chargers and devices.


Prioritize Rest


How much importance do you place on sleep? You might complain that you don't get enough, but when it comes down to it, how much do you try to get? Spending time on the sofa at the end of the day helps you to wind down and can give you time with your partner too. But an hour watching TV could be an extra hour when you're in bed, catching up on sleep. Make sleep a priority if you want more of it.




Have a Night Off


Being separated from your kids for the night can be tough for both them and you. However, it's healthy for you to have time apart. Your children can spend time with other family members, or with a friend or babysitter. Without them around, you could have the best night's sleep in a long time.


Kids need plenty of sleep, but so do you. Make sure you don't forget about your own sleep when you're trying to get the kids to bed.



Thursday, July 20, 2017

Dipped Strawberries From Gourmet Gift Baskets Are Perfect Any Day Of The Week

Gift baskets make the best presents.  I've given many gift baskets as birthday presents over the years and the recipients absolutely loved them.  What's not to love about a beautiful basket filled to the brim with items that you enjoy? The best part is how they are decorated.  Make sure you select a basket that's big enough to hold everything you want to give.  After that, put clear cellophane paper around the big and tie with a gorgeous bow.  It will be almost too pretty to open, but they won't be able to resist! It would be a smart idea to make some one's day extra special with a gift basket today.



Gourmet Gift Baskets is the mecca of gift baskets for any type of occasion.  A relative or loved one would enjoy a gift basket filled with tasty treats like candy, brownies or even popcorn.  There are so many gift basket choices like coffee, chocolate, tea, meat and cheese, and even sports themed! If gift baskets aren't on your radar, you can choose from dipped berries, popcorn tins, cheesecakes, and other delectable goodies to delight your taste buds with.  

How about care packages for your niece or nephew away at school or summer camp? You can't forget about the gift towers that are filled with items that will make any one's belly smile.  A gift basket would be the perfect corporate gift to thank a client, not to mention they make ideal presents for any occasion.  Go ahead and order one for a friend or family member today, or maybe even yourself!

Chocolate is my one weakness in life.  I can resist soda, fried foods, and even fast food. When it comes to that sweet and rich chocolate though, I cannot seem to say no! It's essential to indulge in chocolate on only days that end in Y.



The Summer Sports Berry Sampler is exactly what everyone needs to make their summer a delicious one.  You'll love these 12 oversized strawberries that are hand dipped into baths of rich imported Belgian chocolate.  All of the berries are decorated with signature chocolate drizzle, buttery toffee, or sweet sport candies.  They'll be almost too pretty to eat, but I'm sure you'll be able to push past that thought quickly.

These berries are not only gorgeous but large and in charge too! I've had dipped berries before but have never tried a toffee berry before, so it was a unique and welcomed surprise when I saw toffee berries.  The sports candies are cute and would be an ideal gift to give any sports fan.

Not only were these berries extremely juicy and ripe, but bursting with incredible chocolate flavor.  The beautiful vibrantly colored coating of the berries was rich, thick, and ideal for chocoholics! I absolutely loved the toffee and milk chocolate berries best.  The berry instantly curbs your sweet tooth and is a wonderful mid-day pick-me-up.  The nuttiness of the toffee provided an irresistible crunch that was delicious, while the smooth and rich milk chocolate berry was unbeatable.

Since there are 12 berries, the portion size is conducive for sharing with friends or family.  I completely understand if you don't want to share though, it's hard to share your chocolate.  I'm looking forward to enjoying the remaining berries in the coming days, and I know my stomach will not have a problem with that at all.

Keep Gourmet Gift Baskets in mind for all of your sweet treat needs both present and future.

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



Your Vacation Fashion Woes- Fixed

Going on vacation with your loved ones should be one of the most exciting times of your life. However, it can also be extremely stressful for women who aren’t comfortable wearing next to nothing each day, or just don’t have a clue what to wear in general. Let’s talk about some common vacation fashion woes and see what we can do!

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Outfits To Take You From The Beach To The Bar
You don’t want to take your entire wardrobe in your suitcase. Well, maybe it would be a little easier, but there are restrictions on that kind of thing. You’re going to have to size down. This means you need outfits that can take you from the beach to the bar. These outfits do exist!

Playsuits are super comfortable, and can be thrown on over just about anything. Not only are they comfortable and versatile, they can be super flattering, which is perfect for anybody with a ‘mummy tummy’. It could also be a good idea to take a pair of comfortable trousers that you can throw on over your bikini, along with a few tops that mix and match nicely.

Comfortable Footwear
When going on vacation, there’s nothing worse than painful feet. Painful feet can strike at any time, for a multitude of reasons. Maybe you’ve taken ill fitting shoes, or you’re doing a lot of walking. You need shoes that are going to support you, not leave you with angry blisters and bunions. By taking a look at The Iconic you can find comfortable flip flops that are perfect for casual day wear, especially a day at the beach. They keep your feet cool and comfortable, and can often prevent many of the issues people experience with their feet on holiday. It’s not uncommon for feet to swell while on vacation, especially if it’s very hot and you’re indulging in alcohol and delicious foreign food. The body tends to retain water, and as a result, the feet swell. A pair of flip flops are an absolute must for these situations.

Heels are find for night’s out, but make sure you’re not going to be doing a lot of walking in them. If you are, then a pair of low heeled mules is probably better for you. Make sure you take lots of gel cushions and foam with you, just incase you do encounter a painful sore. You can never be too prepared!

Keeping Comfort In Mind
Keeping comfort in mind is important with your outfits. Remember that towards the end of your vacation, you may be feeling a little bloated from all of the fun you’ve had. There’s no shame in it, but this is what alcohol and all you can eat buffet’s does to the body. Make sure you take something you feel comfortable in, such as a nice floaty dress, or even a shirt dress. These things usually skim over the body and look super flattering, so you don’t have to worry about any lumps and bumps showing through.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Life is Easier with DBest Products

I've noticed recently that I have a lot of cleaning products that are in different rooms in my house.  I may have Windex and Soft Scrub underneath my kitchen sink while I have a Scrubbing Bubbles bathroom cleaner in my bathroom vanity.  Of course I need the Windex to clean my bathroom mirrors too.  It's inconvenient to have to go retrieve each product from various levels of the house each time you need them.  Wouldn't it be nicer to keep everything together and organized?



DBest knows that life is tough and they are here to make it easier.  The brand has been made famous on the television show Shark Tank.  You'll quickly notice that their products encompass several traditional categories with the main focus being storage and organization.  I'm sure you'll instantly fall in love with their smart backpacks, coolers, pet carriers, and various collapsible rolling carts that will keep you organized and happy.   

One of my favorite DBest products is the Smart Cart.  This multi-purpose folding basket is perfect and convenient for anyone on the go.  Unlike an ordinary cart, this folding cart has wheels and an extendable handle for easy maneuverability.  The product is available in a variety of prints and patterns including solid colors, zebra and leopard print depending on your style.  I'm sure you'll easily find a use for a Smart Cart in your house and beyond.  Keep the product in mind for a gift for friends and family that they'll truly love! 



What I love most about the Smart Cart is how versatile it is.  Whether you're packing up for the beach for the weekend or taking a trip to the grocery store, the handy basket is built to hold a lot and give your arms and shoulder a break from carrying heavy bags.  Why deal with a heavy bag when you don't have to? The product is made with a durable, flexible water proof material making it ideal to haul important or sensitive items such as paper files or electronic equipment.  

The Smart Cart is perfect for an elderly friend or relative who lives in walking distance to a grocery store.  If they need just a few items but don't want to carry heavy bags, they'll enjoy putting everything into the Smart Cart to roll home.  With the easy to push handle, what's not to love? It has a front pocket for easy access items like a phone or money and folds down for compact storage.  Since it weighs less than 4 lbs and can be folded up to a mere 2 inches, it can easily be stored on a shelf or in a closet for use whenever needed.  It's all environmentally friendly since you can put your groceries inside and not use plastic or paper grocery bags.  

I'm sure you'll wonder how you ever lived life without the Smart Cart once you own one.  It will revolutionize your life and give you a break.  Go ahead and treat yourself to one today.

*DISCLOSURE* I received a product sample in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own. 





Gift Ideas For The Cook In Your Life

Whether you’re a man or a woman, the chances are that the way to your heart is through your belly. There are few experiences more satisfying and intimate than sitting down together to a lovingly prepared meal together. If your significant other loves nothing more than to spend hours in the kitchen perusing recipe books, experimenting with colors, flavors and ingredients then chances are they’ll also love receiving new toys to excite their culinary imagination and make their cooking even easier and more pleasurable.

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Erica Butea will tell you that there are some gadgets that no kitchen should be without, so we’ll assume that your loved one already has the essentials. Here are some more luxurious gift ideas that will make them feel like a 5 star chef and make you look like a 5 star lover! It’s also an established fact that couples who cook together tend to stay together so there’s no excuse not to roll your sleeves up and get stuck in with them.


If your beau is stir-crazy about stir fry then this round base, carbon steel wok is for them! The uncoated carbon steel surface allows for rapid and even heating and cooling that are essential in high-heat cooking. They won’t need to worry about burnt hands either, since the blond wood handle is completely non-conductive. It also comes with a lifetime guarantee!


Coffee shouldn’t just be a muddy tasting instant powder that you mix with hot water to give you a jolt in the morning. It should be something that is slowly savored and this reuseable stainless-steel filter not only eliminates the need for environmentally wasteful filter paper, it also helps to seal in every last drop of flavor with its double filtration.

Enjoy a cup of coffee made with this after your culinary creations and you’ll have the perfect ending to a perfect meal.


“I’m just not into pizza”- said nobody ever! If your partner has a passion for pizza then this compact and affordable wood fired pizza oven allows you and your partner to prepare delicious artesanal pizzas in your own backyard. As summer’s just bedding in now, why not enjoy a balmy summer’s evening together enjoying your pizzas, sipping a nice easy red and watching the sun set together. Romance and pizza in the sunset? You’re welcome!


Chopping vegetables can be easy and effortless or it can also be tedious and laborious. The difference is all in the kind of knife you use. With this high carbon, stain resistant, v-bevelled steel blade, your beloved will be able to easily slice through the toughest of sweet potatoes, cabbages and squashes.


If the love of your life has a birthday coming up, then these edible candles will be more than just the frosting on the cake. Crafted from real chocolate, they’re a delicious and fun addition to any birthday celebration.

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Raising Healthy Children Shouldn't Cost A Fortune


Most modern parents find that juggling parenthood with financial factors is an ongoing battle. But if there’s one part of your child’s upbringing that deserves to be kept at the optimum level, it surely has to be their health. Still, any opportunity to keep your son or daughter in great health without blowing your budget away should be grabbed with both hands.
 
In truth, promoting health and happiness doesn’t need to be nearly as expensive as you might first fear. Here are five simple tips that highlight those sentiments to perfection. Incorporate them today, and you’ll see positive results in no time.

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  •  Start by establishing healthy sleeping patterns for your child. A good night’s rest doesn’t only improve the energy levels and emotional health. It will additionally aid your son or daughter’s physical development. The significance of valuable recuperation time is so vast that it sets the foundations for a far better upbringing in general. If that doesn’t inspire you to focus on getting this aspect of parenting right, what will?

  •  Seek support to reduce the financial burdens surrounding family health. A discounted prescription drugs card can cut medical bills by over half. For many families, this means that you’ll no longer have to wrestle the guilt of not being able to afford the right treatments. Given that we all encounter health issues from time to time, this is essential for long-term success. Meanwhile, the savings can be actively used to bring positivity to other aspects of the ongoing challenge.   

  •  Focus on building a happy and healthy home environment with help from Thrifty Mom. Growing up in good surroundings will go a long way to boosting emotional happiness and stability. The direct benefits of those mental rewards also encourage kids to take the smarter approach in physical aspects too. In addition to the atmosphere, you must ensure that the property is properly protected. Aside from keeping your child safe, it’ll work wonders for your peace of mind.  

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  •  Quit taking the easy option with regards to nutrition. The importance of a balanced diet is unquestionable, but many parents feel that it costs a small fortune to feed kids in the right way. It doesn’t need to be that way as fresh ingredients can be grown at home. Moreover, coupons can reduce the cost of your grocery shop without sacrificing the quality of food. When combined with meal prep ideas and other cost-effective methods, maintaining the balance is simple.

  •  Seek affordable and fun days out. Rather than hitting the local paid attractions, why not head to the beach or park? Pack your lunch to keep the costs down and focus on family sports and other activities to burn off calories while laughing together. If you’re looking for inspiration, Jump Bunch has you covered. It’s certainly better than staying indoors, and it’s a lot cheaper than paying high ticket prices. You can even use the garden to great effect with similar ideas in mind.   
 
A little creative thinking coupled with a responsible approach to parenting will serve you very well indeed. More importantly, though, it’ll serve your son or daughter well too.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Preschool Is Just Around the Corner!

Even though we're in the middle of summer, Scarlett starts her 3's program of preschool in just 7 weeks!

Her first year of school flew by and she had a wonderful and very memorable experience.  I couldn't have chosen a better school for her and she let me know that by screaming and crying all the way home when I would pick her up! Luckily that subsided eventually because it was hard on me and I felt bad for her.



Scarlett starts her 3's program on my birthday! There will be some changes this year.  She will no longer attend in the afternoons, but will switch to mornings.  Scarlett will be going two days a week from 9-12.  She's raring to go in the mornings and is full of energy and will be glad to get some of her pent up energy out.  Since Scarlett went two days a week in her 2's program, she had her main teacher along with an assistant on one day, and the same main teacher and a different assistant on another day.  For the 3's program, she will have those two assistants as her two teachers now.

I know Scarlett will miss the main teacher who was her favorite, but hopefully she'll still see her each time she goes because this teacher teaches across the hall.  The main difference is that Scarlett will be in the same room as the 4's children, but the classroom is divided in the middle.  

The curriculum of her school is to teach through play.  For example, the children learn about weather by being outside in the actual weather! The kids will have experiments with rain water and snow to learn about the different elements.  The school always has really interesting and unique activities and lesson plans ready for them.  I wish I was half as creative to think of what they come up with!

I can't wait to see how she learns and grows as the year goes on! I know it will bring exciting changes.  Here's to a great year!


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Establishing A Bedtime Routine for Children is Essential

Ever since Scarlett turned 6 months old, she's been on a schedule that has made life so much easier.  

I feel that having a consistent bedtime routine nightly allows children to feel secure and comfortable about what they can expect at the end of the day.  To create a bedtime routine that works for your toddler, piece together a predictable sequence of event that you can consistently follow in the same order every night.  
Scarlett ready for bed after her bath! 

Scarlett eats dinner at 5:00 PM and right afterwards she has a bath.  I bathe her daily as it relaxes her and she enjoys playing with her tub toys.  Once she gets out and gets dressed, she's free to play until bed.  We may watch a quick half hour episode of one of her shows or play with toys.  At around 7:00 PM she has a cup of milk and my husband and I read her some books.  Bedtime is between 7:30-7:45 and we are strict on that.  I'm very lucky that bedtime is not a problem with Scarlett at all.  She enjoys sleeping and never fights it! 

Make sure that you set specific times for everything and stick to them.  Your child's body clock will adjust much more quickly to the routine if it follows a natural and consistent pattern.

If you have a new baby or are looking to establish a bedtime routine for your little one, here are some helpful tips:

Get dressed for bed: Choose comfortable, non-binding pajamas that are neither too warm nor too light.

Read a favorite story to your child: This is a particularly comforting routine especially if it's a favorite story that's associated with bedtime, such as Goodnight Moon.

Play soft music while you read: You can choose from classical or jazz, depending on your child's preference.  It's okay to let the music play as the child drifts off.

Make sure your child has a friend to sleep with: A favorite doll or teddy bear provides comfort.  Or, if you're like Scarlett you like sleeping with random objects such as a cup or a toy car!

Limit or eliminate bottles: If your child needs a bottle to fall asleep, make sure it contains only water. Milk, formula, or juice can pool around teeth causing cavities.  

Keep last "goodnights" brief: Make sure you say goodnight when it's time for you to truly leave the room and try not to come back if your child calls for you.  This sounds harsh, but if you keep coming back after your child calls for you, they will learn that they can "condition" their parents quickly.  Any hesitation on our part may be picked up by your child as an indication that you aren't serious about bedtime.  

These tips will help ensure bedtime be a smooth and easy process for you nightly.  All you have to do is enjoy the rest of the night with your spouse! 

    Wednesday, July 12, 2017

    Best Snacks for Traveling With A Toddler

    If you have children, you are well aware of meltdowns and tantrums caused by hunger. Children need to snack constantly to refuel as they burn a lot of energy.  No parent wants to be in the crosshairs of a toddler meltdown stemming from lack of food.



    Scarlett has done her fair share of traveling in her 2 1/2 years whether it's on the plane to Grandma's, or long car trips to visit relatives.  It's essential to always have snacks to not only calm her down and keep her happy, but to keep her full in-between meals.  For my baby shower, I received small multi-colored containers for kids that come in different sizes that are perfect for snacking on-the-go.  They get a lot of use and are ideal for throwing in a diaper bag or tote bag.  

    1. Crackers

    Crackers are truly a godsend.  No matter if they are wheat or cheese flavored, they are always happily accepted and devoured by my child.  Scarlett's favorites are Cheez-It's, Ritz's Mini Peanut Butter Crackers, and Wheat Thins. 

    Dried fruit:

    Scarlett can eat her weight in fruit if given the opportunity! Her love of grapes, blueberries, and apples knows no bounds.  Some dried fruit packs a ton of sugar so I like to limit it when possible.  I usually only give dried fruit when we're traveling since it's a treat.  Scarlett is partial to banana chips and apple rings.  Raisins and yogurt raisins are also big hits in my household too.  You can even do fruit bars or granola bars with fruit as well. 

    Packing perishable snacks: 

    I don't have much experience with traveling with perishable items, but I do pack Scarlett's lunch for camp with an ice pack.  If you are traveling with a cooler, how about considering cheese sticks and yogurt tubes? As long as they stay properly chilled, your little one will be happy.

    Pouches:

    When Scarlett was younger, she used to eat the fruit and veggie pouches daily.  While she doesn't eat them anymore, she does enjoy the applesauce pouches.  These pouches are amazing and are far less messy than eating a cup of applesauce with a spoon.  I've seen different brands make them and they come unflavored and flavored.  Scarlett loves the berry applesauce and would eat the entire box in one day if given the opportunity.

    Chips:

    While I don't generally let Scarlett snack on regular potato chips, she does love veggie chips and Pirate's Booty.  These snacks are not only delicious but are half the fat and calories of normal potato chips.  While she's happily chomping away, I'm happy that it's a win-win snack for both mom and toddler.

    I hope this list has given you some insight as to what to pack for your toddler for an upcoming trip.  Happy travels! 




    Tuesday, July 11, 2017

    Little Adventures Offers Hours of Fun For Any Child!

    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.