Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Little Tike's Swim To Me Puppy Is Adorably Fun For All Kids

To say Scarlett is a toy lover is an understatement.  We have a playroom in our upstairs loft that is every child's dream room.  It's filled with countless toys including a play kitchen, a dollhouse, easel, huge play tent, and so much more.  Scarlett and I spend most of our days up there and she absolutely loves it.  Toys not only provide entertainment and learning for little ones, but also help fine tune those fine motor skills.




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.

Scarlett and I are both avid animal lovers, and I'm glad that we both share that trait! She has a lot of dog toys and stuffed animals that provide her with hours of fun.   When I discovered that Little Tikes recently unveiled their new Swim To Me Puppy, I knew it would be perfect for my tiny tot.


Your little one will enjoy this adorable pup that walks across the floor, but the real surprise is that the puppy loves water! If you place him in water, he will doggie paddle his way all around the pool or bath tub.  With two ways to play, you can guarantee that playtime indoors or outdoors will be a blast.


As soon as Scarlett saw the adorable black and white spotted dog, she was instantly excited.  What toddler can resist a dog? I know mine can't.  He walked across the floor with ease while Scarlett tried to feed him some of our dog Lynnie's dog food along with a bottle of water.  She's very caring and always wants to make sure all animals are well-fed!

When bath time rolled around later that day, I told her we can also put the doggie in the water for some water fun.  Don't forget to put on the dog's goggles though to protect his eyes.  As soon as the water hits the dog's sensors, he instantly starts swimming.  Scarlett thought it was hysterical that the dog was actually swimming in her bath tub and couldn't stop laughing.  She's very silly and it doesn't take much to make her laugh, so her reaction didn't surprise me at all.

The dog did a great job of swimming around the tub and Scarlett loved every second of it.  She showed him her other bath friends like a squirting chicken and a rubber duck.  Although the dog loved swimming in the tub, I'm sure Scarlett would love him even more in the pool.

This toy is definitely unique and not something that we've ever owned before.  We're working on a name for the dog and are open to any suggestions anyone has. :)

If you're looking to add a new and exciting friend to your child's toy box, Little Tike's Swim To Me Puppy would be the perfect addition.

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


Monday, August 21, 2017

CrystalHouseCreates Makes Fabulous Gifts For All

I'm always on the lookout for creative and unique toys for Scarlett to play with.  Don't get me wrong, she loves traditional electronic toys just as much as the next child, but there's nothing like using your imagination to create your own fun.  Wooden toys are ideal for putting a child's mind to work to make their own adventure! What are some of your child's favorite wooden toys?

CrystalHouseCreates is an Etsy shop ran by owner Rebecca who creates adorable hand painted wooden peg dolls.  The unique thing about her dolls is that you can choose a ready made theme that she has available in her shop like Harry Potter, religious figures, Star Wars, Wonder Woman, and many others.  The best part is that she also creates custom family peg dolls! How fun would it be to have a set that is painted to look like your family? That certainly would be a conversation starter and a special keepsake that you'd want to have.  If you don't see exactly what you're looking for, Rebecca can work with you to make your peg doll dreams a reality.

I was very excited to have Rebecca create a peg doll set representing my family for Scarlett.  I knew she'd love it and it would be something unique for her to play with and use in her doll house too.

The process is very simple for creation.  I sent Rebecca several pictures of my family so she would have many examples to work from.  She uses acrylic paint to hand create a peg doll likeness from the pictures you send in.  She is very talented and I wish I had the skills and talent to do what she does.


Rebecca was very pleasant to deal with and eager to please.  The peg dolls arrived very fast and were done fabulously.  Two large dolls represented my husband and I, while the smaller one depicted Scarlett.  Rebecca really captured our clothing well on the dolls and didn't miss any tiny details.  The pattern on my shirt and on Scarlett's dress was noticeable and done well.  Our hair color is very accurate and if you turn my doll around, I have long hair!

The peg dolls are solidly built and sturdy.  You'll notice that acrylic paint is high quality and secure, you don't have to worry about it chipping or flaking off.  I loved how bright and vivid the colors were too.

Scarlett really enjoys the peg dolls and knows which one is me, her, and her dad.  She had fun putting them in her toy car and in her doll house.  I hope my peg doll was driving to the store for some chocolate cake!


I'm glad Scarlett has a fun toy set that represents her family, who is so important to her.  If you're looking to have a peg doll set done of your family, they would look great sitting on a shelf or behind a glass cabinet.  It would make a wonderful gift for the person who has everything and you never know what to buy them.

Keep CrystalHouseCreates in mind for all of your future gift giving needs, both present and future!  She'll be ready to work with you and create a fabulous finished product.

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

Look Great for Back to School With SewCuteinCarolina

My favorite part of going back to school as a child was the back-to-school shopping.  Who doesn't love getting new clothes for the school year that you absolutely love? It was imperative to have a great outfit on the first day back.  I'm sure if you think back you can remember loving the outfits you wore each new year.  I know I can.  Since Scarlett is going back to school in September, I knew she needed the perfect shirt to welcome the year in.



SewCuteinCarolina is an Etsy shop ran by owner Katie who creates personalized shirts, bibs, onesies, and more for children.  There are so many options that you can choose from including personalized beach shirts for your son's beach themed party, or a sports onesie with your favorite team on it for your new baby.  Katie has ready made options available in various sizes, or if you don't see exactly what you're looking for, she can create what you're envisioning.  All of her styles are so cute and will help your next party or occasion to be a hit!

Scarlett is entering her 3's program in exactly 30 days from today (she's going on my birthday!) and she needed to look her cutest to embrace the new school year with.  When I came across Katie's Personalized Preschool Cutie Shirt, it was definitely something I thought Scarlett would love.  My little one gravitates towards bright fun colors and prints and I knew she'd like this one.  

I chose to have the shirt made in a bigger size so I could ensure it would fit for a while.  The shirt says Little Miss Preschool Cutie with an apple and Scarlett's name underneath.  Who doesn't love the adorable multicolored cursive writing?


The shirt fits Scarlett well with some room to grow, which is always helpful.  Scarlett's going to be in a classroom that has both 3 and 4 year olds (since they combine the kids), but the room will be divided in half.  I think she'll enjoy being with the older kids and it will help her to feel like a big girl.  Time is really flying and she's growing up fast!

I think I'll pair the shirt with a cute pair of shorts and pink or black sandals.  Of course you can't forget an adorable bow to match too! What I like about this shirt is that since it's a custom shirt, I can guarantee no other child will be wearing it.  

I'm looking forward to having her be an adorable little miss preschool cutie in just a few weeks! Make sure your child has a great outfit picked out for their first day back!

If you're looking for some back to school shirts, it's not too late to order.  Contact Katie to have her make your child an adorable shirt that they'll love!

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

Make Packing a Breeze Thanks to EatSmart's TravelWise Packing Cubes #TravelWise

In my traveling experience, I have to say I enjoy packing a lot more than unpacking.  When you first pack your clothes, everything is nicely folded and in the places you want it to be.  During your trip, the clothes in the suitcase get moved around as you search for exactly what you want.  In the end, your suitcase becomes a jumbled mess and it stresses me out.  My husband could care less about the state of the suitcase, but it bothers me.  Wouldn't it be nice to keep your clothes and belongings perfectly contained when you travel?



EatSmart is a leading designer and manufacturer of innovative travel and health care products such as bathroom and kitchen scales that make life easier and more functional.  They recently unveiled their newest product which is guaranteed to make families everywhere smile when they travel. The TravelWise 5 Piece Packing Cube System is essential for kids and allows clothes to stay folded and neat when packed in their own "small drawers." You'll quickly notice that the cubes are fantastic for staying organized on both short and long travels and help avoid over packing.  

Constructed of lightweight, durable nylon, these multi-sized cubes allow you to compartmentalize similar items such as shirts, pants, swimsuits and toys to streamline packing.  The open mesh top makes searching for misplaced items a thing of the past.  Each family member can have their own individual set and color to choose from since there are 5 color choices.  The set comes in black, silver, lime green, red, teal, and purple and includes 1 small, 2 medium, and 2 large cubes.



We've been on the go a lot this summer and it seems like our suitcases and tote bags have gotten a true workout.  We're gearing up for our last trip of the summer on Saturday to stay overnight about an hour and a half away.  Packing is not something I enjoy but I power through it because I love to travel.  Between packing for myself and Scarlett, it's imperative to pack smart and organized.  I do have to admit that I do have a problem with overpacking, it's something I constantly struggle with.  Hey, a lady likes to have clothing options to choose from!

Since we're going away this weekend, the travel cubes came just in time and I was eager to use them to pack for Scarlett.  I like that there are different sizes depending on what you want to pack. For this trip, I only needed a small and medium cube since it was a short trip.  If we were going on an airplane to visit Grandma for an extended amount of time, I'm sure I'd need to use the large cubes too.

Scarlett has her own suitcase that I pack for her in whenever we travel.  Her cubes are lime green and full of fun and personality, just like her! For the smaller cube I packed her toiletries along with pull ups and wipes.  The medium cube many outfits and a pair of pajamas.  Scarlett's clothes fit perfectly in the cubes and were easily able to be zipped up and put in the suitcase.  There was even extra room on the side for me to pack a toy and a stuffed animal! Since everything was zipped up, there was no chance of anything shifting or moving in transit.

I like things as neat and tidy as possible and seeing everything so perfect in the suitcase made me extremely happy.  

Since I know exactly what's in what cube for Scarlett, there will be no guessing games or searching through a suitcase and disrupting the order.  This provides one less concern for me which makes me one happy mama.  When you're not using the cubes, simply fold them into each other and they all zip up conveniently and together.  Store them in a closet to use time and time again.  

I'm sure in the near future I'll be borrowing Scarlett's packing cubes and using them for myself. They are just too fabulous to resist.

The TravelWise Packing Cubes make an excellent gift for a frequent traveler or jet setter.  They'll absolutely love them! Keep the brand in mind for a future order for yourself or someone else.

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

A Fabulous Birthday Banner From SunshineAndClovers Will Complete Any Birthday Party

Scarlett's third birthday party is just a few months away. Can you believe she's going to be three years old? The time just flies by.  Since her party is going to be pizza themed, I knew she needed a personalized banner to represent that.  I have no creativity personally, but I really admire those who can create beautiful handmade birthday banners and signs.  Thankfully, any personalized decor you could possibly need is available at your disposable online.

SunshineAndClovers is an Etsy shop run by owner Jessica.  The shop was born from her love of creating handmade party decor.  There are so many beautiful designs at SunshineAndClovers that I know you'll instantly love like party signs, food labels, invitations, and even diaper cakes.  She has readymade themes available such as fishing, Alice in Wonderland, as well as Ninja Turtles.  If by chance you don't see exactly what you're looking for, she'll work with you to create the party decor banner of your dreams.

The birthday banner that I had in mind for Scarlett's party could not be bought in a store, it had to be custom made.  Her party is pizza themed, so we needed something adorable to match the party. I was envisioning a sign with pizza slices that had Happy Birthday Scarlett written on each slice. Jessica did have a pizza banner for sale in her shop, but it was not exactly what I was looking for. When I pitched my design idea to her, she ended up being able to create a fabulous banner that was precisely what I had in mind!



This is the photo I was sent of the banner from the shop owner.  I did not want to hang up the banner for my own picture before her December party and have anything happen to it or become damaged.  It wasn't worth the risk to me, so I hope you'll understand why I used this image.

How beautiful is this banner? Pizza is one of Scarlett's absolute favorite foods so I know she'll be over the moon to see those tasty slices hanging up on the wall!  Jessica did a wonderful job of hand making each individual letter and pizza slice, and I truly love how unique the banner is! The black, red, yellow and tan all compliment each other so well.   The quality of the banner is sturdy and secure and made well.  I'm beyond happy with how the banner turned out.  I wish I had even a quarter of the talent that Jessica possesses!

The tiered style of it is unique and will make it easy to hang and take up less room on the wall.

Please keep SunshineAndClovers in mind for any of your next party or occasion needs.  Jessica will be happy to help you come up with a specific design to make you happy.

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

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Relaxation and Excellent Food Await You at Green Acres Bed and Breakfast

This summer has been jam packed full of fun adventures for my family.  It does seem like we've been on the go a lot and the summer really has flown by.  Can you believe it's almost over? While there's still a few weeks left before cooler weather approaches, we wanted to take a last minute trip to enjoy the heat while we still could.

I've always been a fan of bed and breakfasts since I first stayed at one almost ten years ago.  The idea of staying in an establishment that usually has some historical significance paired with delicious breakfast really appeals to me.  When I came across the Green Acres Bed and Breakfast in Simsbury, CT online I knew it was the perfect choice for my family. The historical aspect appealed greatly to me and I loved how the B&B didn't seem like a cookie cutter one at all, it definitely stood out.  

If you're looking for a weekend away in the New England area, Green Acres Bed and Breakfast is there to welcome you with open arms.  The location is perfect for anyone exploring or staying in the Hartford, CT area.  Simsbury is not only a gorgeous and historic town, but it offers plenty to do for all members of the family including fabulous shops and eateries, sightseeing, parks, and of course Flamig Farm! You'll instantly be captivated by its beauty and want to return time and time again.



As soon as my family arrived, we were instantly met with a gorgeous beautifully restored 18th century farmhouse that is a true work of art.  The grounds of the B&B feature a fish pond, chicken coop, and pool which is ideal for cooling off in the hot summer months.  If you're an animal lover like Scarlett and I are, you'll enjoy the owner's dogs who are wandering around too.  Guest's animals are welcome and we brought our dog Lynnie so she could be apart of the family trip too. This B&B is unlike any others I've previously stayed at!

The Innkeepers Jim and Cathy are friendly and truly make you feel welcomed and at home from the minute you meet them.  Once you step inside the establishment, you'll quickly notice how wonderfully decorated it is and all of the little details from the fresh flowers to the pictures on the wall.  Even though the Inn has been restored, it still has charming touches like wooden plank floors and original door locks that stand out.


Jim and Cathy welcome you with drinks and snacks upon arrival.  We enjoyed the surprise fresh flowers and freshly baked cookies that were waiting for us in our room.  There was also a bowl of assorted chocolate along with a bottle of cream sherry.  How nice is that? I cannot resist cookies and they were sweet and rich.  I had to demonstrate self-control and not eat the whole plate which is the hardest thing I've ever had to do.  We were placed in the suite room and I instantly noticed how spacious it was.  One thing that was different for us this trip was that Scarlett had her own room.  Usually when we travel we stay in a single room and she sleeps in a portable bed.  This time she not only had her own bed, but her own room too! Surely, this was absolute heaven for her!



The room had a mini fridge that was stocked with complimentary snacks and drinks which was a nice touch.  If you're staying an extended period of time, there is plenty of storage space in the closet for you to hang your clothes.  Anyone will enjoy the terrycloth robe and slippers provided for you inside the closet too.  The spacious bathroom had a tub and shower that connected with the room Scarlett stayed in.  Two twin beds were in her room, while my husband and I had the queen bed.  I thought the fluffy pillows and bedding were extremely comfortable.  Plenty of included amenities were provided in the room such as soap, shampoo, a hairdryer, coffee maker, TV/DVD player and more.

Scarlett's favorite part of the B&B was the outside grounds for sure.  The property grounds were large and complete toddler heaven for my little one!  She enjoyed the chickens and had fun talking to them and feeding them leaves.  It definitely made her day to be able to hold and pet the chickens.  The fish pond also was a source of entertainment for her and she loved seeing all of the bright orange fish swim around.  For everyone else, the scenery was idyllic and there were plenty of benches to sit around and enjoy the outdoors and beautiful flowers.


The pool was enclosed outdoors and had ample seating with plenty of lounge chairs.  If the weather is good during your stay in the summer, definitely take advantage of the pool!


In your room, there is a sheet that you fill out with your choices for breakfast.  I was surprised at how many options there were and everything looked delicious! You have the choice of having breakfast in your room, or by the pool/patio.  Cathy and Jim really want to make their guests happy and will do they best they can to accommodate them.  You can choose from hot breakfast items along with continental options as well as coffee/juice/tea.


My family had breakfast by the patio with wonderful weather to boot.  The breakfast comes served to your table and looked truly fabulous.  My husband had an egg dish with fruit salad while Scarlett and I had a fruit and yogurt parfait, steel cut oatmeal with cinnamon apples, and four berry warm scones.  What's not to love? The parfait glasses were beautiful and very ornate.  Everything was delicious and we really enjoyed ourselves.

Our stay at Green Acres Bed and Breakfast was a wonderful one! The room and establishment was very clean and warm and welcoming.  I would highly recommend anyone to stay there and I hope we can return in the future!

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Green Acres B&B for providing a complimentary stay in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own.  




Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A Spinach, Apple, and Pecan Salad Will Make Your Belly Happy

There's nothing I love during the warmer months of the year than salad.  It's still warm here in New England, but cooler temps are on the horizon.  When it's hot outside nothing is more refreshing than a crisp and cool salad paired with a glass of iced tea.

Check out this fabulous spinach salad that combines apples and pecan for a crunch you won't be able to resist.



Ingredients:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 golden delicious apple, halved, cored, thinly sliced
1/4 cup red onion, cut in thin strips
3/4 lb fresh spinach, washed, stems removed, leaves torn
1/2 cup toasted pecans


Steps:
In a serving bowl whisk together oil, vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper until thick. Add the apple and the onion.  Make sure to toss until apples and onions are covered with dressing.  Place the spinach on top then the pecans.  Just before serving, toss all together. 

Feel free to change or substitute anything in this salad.  It would make a great side dish or even main entree if you're looking for a lighter option.  Serve with a roll to make it the ultimate crowd-pleasing dish.

*Recipe taken from Food.com*

Friday, August 11, 2017

Every Little Girl Would Love a Lottie Doll

Scarlett really has a maternal side when it comes to pretend play with her toys.  She will brush her Barbie's hair, hug a stuffed bear and give it a baby bottle, and push her dolls around in a stroller. It's very cute to see and she is very proud of herself.  She even says she is the doll's mommy! If you ask me, she's a very good little mommy.  All little girls enjoy playing with dolls at one point or another.  What's your child's favorite doll?



Lottie Dolls is an innovative doll line that only launched four years ago and has already won 29 wards in the US, UK, and Canada.  The dolls are meant for girls ages 3-9 and each one has a different look and outfit.  Whether you want a dark skinned doll with black hair or a light skinned doll with blonde hair, let the doll represent your child's looks and let their imagination fly.  Each doll has a different outfit that is not only fun but stylish too.  You can buy outfits separately for your doll and change up their look whenever they want. 

Lottie Dolls recognize how precious childhood is and their primary vision was to develop a range of dolls that would empower children to be themselves, have fun, and be adventurous.  They believe that childhood should be an inclusive place where every child belongs regardless of gender, ethnicity, or ability.  The brand has made it to their mission to do their part, no matter how small, to protect childhood.  I think this is a beautiful vision and it really helps children to see people for who they are and what they're capable of.


Scarlett was sent the Autumn Leaves Lottie Doll along with the Biscuit the Beagle accessory set. Since she's a big animal lover, I knew she'd enjoy the dog set to go along with the doll. The dog set includes a dressable Biscuit the Beagle dog figure, dog bag for Lottie to carry Biscuit in, leash, outfit, dog bed, bone, and drinking bowl.  Since we have a dog, this accessory set teaches responsibility and you can use it keep your child on track with helping to feed their dog and refill the water bowl when needed.




What I first noticed about the Lottie Dolls was how each one was dressed.  If you look at similar dolls in my child's age range, they are made with revealing clothing.  It's not easy to miss a doll having a short skirt, a short dress, or even a midriff top on.  Scarlett won't notice those details, but her mom will.  I want my daughter to grow up with a healthy mindset about her body and how she isn't required to wear revealing or provocative clothes.


Girls in today's world seem to grow up too fast and want to wear clothing that isn't appropriate. Lottie Dolls shares my philosophy and has created clothing for the dolls that is still stylish, but extremely appropriate.  This is surely sending the right message to young girls everywhere. I applaud them for this.

The Autumn Leaves Doll is a solidly quality made doll.  Scarlett instantly took a liking to her and wanted to brush her hair and play with Biscuit The Beagle.  She loved that you could put the dog in the bag and have Lottie wear her, she thought that was funny! The doll has blonde hair and blue eyes and comes with a coat, scarf, hat, boots, long sleeved t-shirt with a removable patch, corduroy skirt and striped leggings.  I love her leggings and boots and could certainly even see Scarlett wearing similar Fall items!

The Lottie Doll has a very warm and friendly face and is always up for some fun, just like Scarlett! Since you can change the doll's outfit, we may be buying more outfits in the future to keep her wardrobe exciting.  Since Lottie is small, she's the perfect size for traveling with for some Lottie fun on-the-go.

I'm always looking for some new and intriguing toys for Scarlett and she seems to really be interested in both the doll and the dog accessory set.  She's been having the doll ride around in her toy car with Biscuit in the other seat.  It's really interesting to sit back and watch how your child's imagination works and seeing what creative thing they come up with next.  It's one of my favorite parts about being a parent.

I know the Lottie Doll and Biscuit will provide a lot of entertainment for Scarlett, especially when the temperatures start to cool down in the next couple months and we spend more time indoors.

A Lottie Doll and accessory set would make a wonderful Christmas or birthday present for any lucky girl.  Keep the brand in mind for your present and future gift needs!

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



Thursday, August 10, 2017

Go Back to School With Russbe!

Can you believe back-to-school time is already here? This summer really has flown by.  While parents are fulfilling school supply lists and buying backpacks, it's equally as important to make sure your child's lunchbox is ready too.  For those who have school-age children, I'm sure you'll be packing a delicious and nutritious lunch for their first day back.  Russbe is here to make all of your lunch packing needs easy and convenient.



Russbe offers eco-friendly and reusable lunch containers that come in a variety of styles and sizes.  Whether you're packing your child's lunch for school or your own for work, you'll definitely find the perfect containers for your needs.  Russbe's focus is reducing waste and providing families with fun containers.  

The bento lunch boxes that Russbe offers are fabulous.  You'll notice that the boxes come in two different sizes, small and large.  If you want a small container to hold a snack, this is your best bet. The large container holds three food options like a sandwich and two sides.  I can guarantee that the bento lunch boxes will quickly become a favorite when packing lunches.

If you're looking for reusable food bags, Russbe has reusable snack pouches and sandwich bags offered in various colors and patterns.  These are fabulous for eliminating bag waste and can be used over and over.  Simply wash them and you're good to go.  

I have to say, I've really been on a container craze lately.  If I go to a store that sells home and kitchen items, I gravitate towards the containers instantly.  There's something about reusable containers in various sizes that really appeals to me.  I love that there's a size for any type of food you want to put in it, ranging from tiny to large!



The mini pink snack bento is not only adorable, but extremely useful too.  The options for what to put in this are endless.  Fill the container with nuts, dried fruit, a mini portion of pasta or fruit salad, or even popcorn! There's a fork that attaches to the lid to ensure you'll always have a utensil handy.  You can microwave the container, but not the lid.  Throw it in your lunchbox or a backpack to have a snack whenever you want.  Simply wash it in the dishwasher to use it again for next time.



If you're looking to spice up your lunchbox, the 16 qt perfect seal white bento is where it's at! In the past when I packed lunches, I would use ziploc bags.  I am ashamed to say it, but it's true.  This was BC (before containers!) Nowadays, I don't even have ziploc bags in my home.  I don't miss the bag waste at all.  Everything is stored in containers in not only lunch boxes, but my fridge too.  This bento has three perfectly sized sections to hold anything your heart desires to have. Pack a sandwich in the large section with cheese cubes and carrot sticks in the smaller sections.  If you're not feeling a sandwich that day, why not have pasta salad with blueberries and yogurt? The lid is spill-proof and clean up is a breeze since it's dishwasher safe.


Scarlett has been taking her lunch to camp a lot this summer.  She has a child's version of a bento box that I usually pack her lunch in that stores everything.  What I've noticed is that I don't have a separate container for a sandwich if I don't want to use the bento box.  When I discovered the set of 4 reusable snack and sandwich bag in the metallic polka dot pattern, I knew they'd be perfect for her.  Her bento box takes up the entire lunchbox, leaving no room for anything else.  Now I can pack a sandwich in one bag and have snacks in the snack bag.  This is ideal since it leaves room in her lunchbox to have other things in it.  I absolutely love the girly metallic polka dot print which is right up Scarlett's alley.  The fact that you can wash and reuse these over and over makes this mama happy.


All of these reusable options are simply fabulous.  You'll be able to pack a fantastic lunch in style now, thanks to Russbe.  Not only will your food stay fresh and ready to eat for lunchtime, but your heart will be happy too knowing you're helping the environment and eliminating waste.

If you're looking to give the inside of your lunchbox some love, it's time to introduce it to Russbe. 

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



Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Silverngeauxld Offers Beautiful Personalized Gifts For All Occasions

In just about a month, Scarlett will be going back to school! She'll be in a 3's program and is growing and learning more everyday.  Her first year of preschool flew by and I was so happy with her progression throughout the year.  I couldn't have asked for a better experience and she truly loved her 2's teacher.  With the new school year on the horizon, I knew I wanted something to remember the milestone with.  Luckily, Silverngeauxld was there to assist!



Silverngeauxld is an Etsy shop ran by owner Alisabeth who creates fabulous gifts for truly anyone's taste.  Alisabeth's handcrafted items can be customized in a special way for a gift recipient or even you.  The categories of items range from home and garden to car and phone accessories, kitchenware, keychains and more.  Whatever you're looking for, I can guarantee you'll find it in Alisabeth's shop.  All of her products can be made to your liking to ensure that you or the recipient will absolutely love it.  Go ahead and browse around in her shop today, I bet you'll find plenty of things that will appeal to you.

When Scarlett went to her first day of preschool last September, I didn't do anything special to commemorate it by except taking a picture.   All of the parents around me had their children pose with chalkboards with information about them on it.  The board displayed their age, interests, and who their current teacher for the year was.  I loved the chalkboards and thought it was a perfect thing to remember their school year by.  I knew I needed one for her 3's program!

Alisabeth's First Day of School Dry Erase Board is the ideal prop for back to school photos! You can have her specifically personalize categories related to your child like favorite book/tv show, favorite, food etc.  She doesn't create an actual chalkboard, but a steel dry erase board which you can use liquid chalk markers on.


Scarlett's board turned out beautifully and I couldn't have asked for a better ordering experience from Alisabeth.  I had her use a girlier font for Scarlett's name on the top, and I took out a few categories I wasn't interested in having featured.  In their places, I had favorite foods, favorite TV shows and things I enjoy added.  The space inside each box is large enough to write what you need without worry.  

The colors of the chalkboard are bold and vibrant.  I had to order a liquid chalk pen online to be able to fill out the board for the first day of school.  Since the board is reusable, this is a wonderful keepsake to be able to use for future first day of school days.  I know I'll enjoy using it each year and seeing Scarlett grow and change throughout the years.

I can't wait to see Scarlett posing with it on her first day, I don't have too much longer to wait! 

For a parent who loves to preserve memories like myself, this is an ideal thing to have.  Go ahead and order this for yourself or a relative today.  They'll absolutely love it.

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

Monday, August 7, 2017

PartyByDrake Is Here To Make Your Next Party a Hit!

Scarlett's birthday party is just a few months away now! Can you believe that she'll be 3? It's hard to wrap my mind around that! All parties need a beautiful centerpiece to compliment the table and catch your eye.  No matter if it's flowers or a hand made sign, it will look fantastic and your party guests will love it.  What centerpiece are you planning for your next party?


PartyByDrake is an Etsy shop ran by owner Lilly that features beautiful and unique party decorations and favors for your next special event.  The shop has ready made themes available like soccer, ballerinas, farm theme, and even TV shows like Doc McStuffins and Peppa Pig. Choose from center pieces and favor bags to cupcake toppers and candles! You'll love the attention to detail and craftsmanship that is in each and every piece that Lilly creates.

If you don't see exactly what you're looking for, feel free to request something made to your liking.  A party sign would look great hanging from your front door as well as being displayed on a mantel.  If you're looking for interesting and custom party decor, PartyByDrake is ready to take your order.

Scarlett's 3rd birthday party will be in the beginning of December and is pizza themed.  My little one and her friends will be gathering at a local restaurant where they will be able to make their own pizza's! How fun is that? Scarlett is a huge pizza lover so I know this will be right up her alley.  Who doesn't love pizza? With such an exciting party, it only makes sense that you need themed party decor too.


Lilly was able to create an adorable pizza party centerpiece decoration for Scarlett's birthday.  This centerpiece would be ideal for both boys and girls who are having a future pizza themed party.  You are able to personalize it to the birthday child and make it look like them! Choose from light or darker skin color with blonde, brunette, black, or red hair  It's very exciting for the birthday child for sure that their centerpiece figure will represent them.  The figure on the centerpiece is wearing a chef's coat and hat and holding a pizza which is fitting for their special day.

You can have their birthday age number in a variety of colors including colored polkadots, as well as their name on the bottom of the centerpiece. Make sure to tell Lilly if you want your base and number colors to be changed to match your party color scheme.  You'll receive the item shipped flat, and all you have to do is add the numbers and character picks to the styrofoam piece included and put it in the base.  Installation was very easy and quick.

Lilly did a wonderful job creating the centerpiece and it is constructed well and built to last. The colors are bright and vivid and Scarlett's name is easy and clear to read. I love the pink polkadot numbers that capture her girly side well.

Scarlett's centerpiece truly represented her well and she loved the girl holding the pizza.  I know it'll look great on the table for the day of her party! A centerpiece always brightens up any table and is an instant conversation starter.

I'm very happy with how the centerpiece came out and will definitely be using PartyByDrake's shop for any of my custom future party decor needs.  Keep them in mind for your next party too!

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

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Let WLAZDesignShop Create The Portrait Of Your Dreams

When I look at the walls in my home, I am presented with pictures of our family and artwork that my husband and I enjoy.  Walls are meant to be filled with love and memories, and that's what I aim to do.  I enjoy seeing pictures of my daughter when she was younger and the memories they evoke. Family means everything to me and I always enjoy adding new collages with meaningful pictures. When's the last time you updated the family photos in your home?



WLAZDesignShop is an Etsy shop ran by owner Kristy.  If you're looking for custom invitations, announcements, and decor prints, you've come to the right place.  Kristy is extremely talented and I wish I possessed even 1% of the talent she has.  She'll be able to create birthday party, wedding, baby shower, or even baptism announcements and invitations to you that will wow you.  A creative aspect of her business which happens to be my favorite thing is her custom portraits.  Whether you want to have her create a family portrait of your family, a bride and groom portrait for a wedding gift, a couple portrait, or even a portrait to commemorate an animal, it can be done! You'll absolutely love it and it will look wonderful hanging in any room of your home.

I was very excited at the thought of Kristy creating a portrait of my family, especially since I don't have anything like it.  If you know me, you know that I can't get enough pictures of my family.  The process is very simple, you just email her pictures of your family along with information about each member.  You can specify any specific clothing each person wears or certain colors they are known for.  I told her I wear a lot of dresses and sandals while Scarlett wears her hair up in a ponytail or pigtails usually.  She was even able to include Lynnie in the portrait! Make sure you send clear up-close photos to achieve the best results.



When I received the email with my file attached, I couldn't wait to open it! While the drawing of my family is obviously not 100% lifelike, it's extremely close.  I felt the picture truly captured the essence of my family and it was fun to have it in a hard copy photo format! If you ask me, the figures do look like us! 

The colors of the picture are bright and vivid and my last name is displayed at the top.  Underneath the figures of everyone are their names which is a fun touch.  I can guarantee this piece will be a conversation starter, nobody else will have this in their home!

Since I have some free space on an upstairs wall, I'm going to get this portrait printed and framed to hang there.  I know it'll instantly jazz up the wall and give it personality. When I look at this picture I feel joy and am very proud of my family!

If you're looking for a unique and fun gift, a custom portrait would be an ideal choice for practically anyone.  How about giving grandma a photo of her grandkids? There are so many ways that this gift would come in handy.  Keep Kristy in mind for all of your custom portrait needs!

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

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Make Pizza Night a Success With Rustic Crusts

At the end of the day after taking care of a 2.5 year old, I don't always have a lot of energy to cook dinner.  On the those nights where my husband works late and I'm exhausted, we look for something quick and easy to make.  My favorite meals are those that pack a lot of flavor but don't require a lot of fuss.



Rustic Crusts are here to make your pizza night delicious and fun.  The ready-made crusts are made using traditional, old world baking methods.  They use wonderful all natural ingredients with select herbs and spices, no GMOs, or artificial ingredients.  With unbleached whole grain flours, no trans fats and no added sugar, they are healthy for the whole family to enjoy.  Add your favorite toppings like pepperoni with peppers, or sausage with onion for a crowd-pleasing meal.  Go ahead and get creative too! Don't forget tons of cheese for a pizza night you won't soon forget!

My whole family loves pizza and we eat it on a regular basis.  Scarlett loves regular cheese pizza and will happily gobble it up whenever it's served to her.  Although it's fun to order pizza from takeout or a restaurant, there's nothing like creating your own pizza yourself! I could eat pizza every night if given the opportunity.  If you turn down pizza loaded with flavorful sauce and cheesy goodness, there may be something wrong with you!


We decided to make pizza night tonight because there was no reason not to.  Rustic Crusts offers pizza kits featuring 12" crusts with pizza sauce that are large and definitely will make your belly happy.  With crust flavors like crispy Italian, seasalt and basil, and cheesy herb, how can you go wrong? I know the cheesy herb and crispy Italian is right up my alley! 

Since we had 3 crusts, my mom and I shared one while my dad and husband had their own.  I had the crispy Italian with Mozzarella cheese and sausage.  My mom had roasted red peppers on her half.  My dad had Monterrey Jack cheese, sausage, and roasted red peppers on the seasalt and basil crust.  My husband had onions, roasted red peppers, Monterrey Jack cheese, and olives on the cheddar and herb crust.  Each pizza cooked perfectly in just 10 minutes.  When that oven timer rang, my belly was happy!




I've had pre-made crusts before that taste very artificial and lack flavor. Rustic Crusts really surprised me with how fantastic the crusts were.  My sausage and cheese pizza was absolutely delicious. The crust was thick, airy, and flavorful.  It truly tasted like something that was freshly baked at a pizzeria! I was shocked.  There were equal amounts of sausage and cheese in each bite and it was pure perfection.  The sauce had a nice flavor and I really loved it.  Scarlett enjoyed a few bites of sausage and roasted red peppers 

My dad and husband enjoyed their pizza's as well.  They wanted to switch up the Mozzarella cheese for something different and opted for Monterrey Jack.  Both people said it was surprising how delicious the pizza's were for something that was pre-made.  They ate the whole pizza each so it's safe to say that they thought it tasted good! 

I can't wait to have a Rustic Crust pizza night again in the near future.  I think I'll do pepperoni and sausage this time.  I'm so looking forward to it!

If you're looking for a delicious way to ramp up pizza night, Rustic Crusts would love to be the star of the show.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Rustic Crusts for providing me with pizza kits in order to facilitate this review.  All thoughts are strictly my own.  


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

What's On My Travel Bucket List

I've been fortunate enough to have done my fair share of traveling in my time.  I've been up and down the east coast and have visited the Bahamas, Mexico, Canada, and plenty of Caribbean islands.

Since Scarlett's been born, we've curtailed the traveling since it's not as feasible anymore.  In her short 2.5 year old life, she's been to North Carolina, Florida, Cape Cod, NYC, and several other places.  I'd love to travel with her more as she gets older to see and experience what this world has to offer.

In my lifetime these are the top places I'd like to see:

England:

I've wanted to visit London for as long as I can remember.  Who can resist english accents? I know I can't.  The shopping, tourist attractions, scenery, and plenty of fish and chips have always drew me in.  

Italy:

One word, Italian food.  I'm a huge Italian food lover and would be in pasta heaven if I were to ever visit.  The gorgeous countryside combined with plenty of Prosecco would be a dream.

France:

I know a lot of people who have been to France, but I can't say I have.  The high fashion there ranks high in my book.  I'm all for pain au chocolate any time of day.

Switzerland:

The beautiful swiss mountains combined with endless swiss chocolate, what more could you want?

Hopefully I can give my passport a workout in the coming years.  What cities are you on your bucket list? 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Make Playtime Fun with Cubbie Lee Toys

As Scarlett gets older, the types of toys she has interest in has certainly changed.  Gone are the days of shape sorters, baby rattles, and stacking rings.  Nowadays, my girl loves pretend play and is most happy pushing a fake vacuum or dressing up in princess costumes.  Since I stay at home with her, we spend a lot of the day playing with fake makeup or putting on pretend costume jewelry. Scarlett is very girly and enjoys all things meant for little girls!



Cubbie Lee Toys offers adorable quality made classic wooden toys that are built to last.  If you're a parent who enjoys battery-free toys for your little one, you've come to the right place.  Your child can dive into puzzles, train sets, building blocks and more starting from 6 months all the way up to 5 years old.  

Your daughter will be delighted to play with a tea set or fruit chopping set, while your son can enjoy a pull along alligator or wooden Noah's Ark.  The toys feature bright, eye-catching colors that will offer hours of fun and entertainment.  Any toy from Cubbie Lee makes a fabulous baby gift or present for any occasion for a lucky boy or girl.  Keep the brand in mind for any of your future gift giving needs. 

Our third floor loft has been Scarlett's playroom since she was born.  When you walk into the playroom, you'll instantly notice that it's any child's toy dream come true.  We have lots of fun toys that are electronic and play music, and any child who comes over to play gravitates towards them. Although we have a lot of battery operated toys, what we lack is wooden toys.  There's something so simplistic and interesting about wooden toys, and I know our playroom could benefit from them.  On the plus side, it gives my ears a break! 



Scarlett was lucky enough to receive the Afternoon Tea Set and Animal Truck.  The tea set is for 3 years and up and the truck is meant for ages 18m+.  Both toys are adorable and Scarlett was instantly drawn to them.  

The tea set offers a tray, three cakes, two tea cups, a teapot, and a set of cutlery.  You'll notice that it's made from durable and sustainable wood with long-lasting velcro to secure the cake pieces together.  Not only is this tea set perfect for improving hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills, it's ideal for children who love imaginative play.  You'll love the pretty pink color that it comes in and it would surely make any little girl happy.



As soon as we opened the box, Scarlett wanted to play right away.  I told her we were going to have a tea party and she was very excited.  I set up the set on our play table and she pointed to the fake desserts and smiled.  She's just like her mom and enjoys sweets, what can I say! For our pretend tea party, Scarlett had peppermint tea in her cup while I sipped on chamomile.  She enjoyed stirring her tea with the included spoon, but she thought I should stir mine with a fork.  I did have to remind her that the desserts were fake and we could only pretend to eat them! Next time, I should include a few real cookies to make her happy.



We spent about 45 minutes playing with the tea set which is a long time for a 2 year old! I'm happy that Scarlett enjoyed it so much and I know she will love to have a tea party with her friends when they come over soon.

Over the past few months, Scarlett has become a huge animal lover.  She loves our dog Lynnie and constantly wants to hug and pet her, as well as excitedly pointing to dogs who are out for a walk when we're out.  I'm passionate about animals myself, so it makes me happy that we share that connection.  When I found out Cubbie Lee makes an Animal Truck, I knew it would be perfect for her.  Your child will enjoy the beautifully crafted truck complete with a chunky zebra, hippo, crocodile and giraffe, each perfectly sized for little hands to grab.  The truck is made from durable and sustainable wood, with smooth edges and wheel motion.


What I like most about this truck is that it's gender neutral, since all children like animals.  The flatbed holds the four animals securely when they are driven and Scarlett enjoys driving them all around the playroom.  There was a pitstop at one point where she thought each animal was hungry and tried to give it crackers and water.  I love how caring she is! 

Since the animals are large, even the smallest of hands can hold them with ease.  Their chunky size is ideal for hours of fun.  

Wooden toys allow children to use their imagination and creativity to come up with their own fun, instead of pushing buttons which preprogram them with entertainment.  It's a nice change to see how Scarlett plays with a toy without batteries.  

Thanks to Cubbie Lee Toys, we'll have hours of fun and memories that are sure to come! 

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Cubbie Lee Toys for providing product samples in order to facilitate this review, all thoughts are strictly my own.