Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Your Daughter Would Look Adorable in A Dress From D Liles Collection

Toddler clothes are so hard for me to resist.  I absolutely love buying clothes for Scarlett and she has way more than she should have.  Her closet is full of the most adorable clothes that I had such pleasure buying.  How can you resist sparkly pink tutu's, ruffly dresses and tons of polka dots? It's important to have options! Everyday is a fashion show with Scarlett and it makes me so happy.  Scarlett's closet has a lot in it, more than probably what's necessary. Make everyday a fashionable one with your child.

D Liles Collection is an online flower girl boutique inspired by a love of vintage, French inspired clothing, and all things girly.  The brand is about beautiful fabrics, unique designs and careful attention to detail that together create feminine and gorgeous designs for girls. If you like lace and beads, you've come to the right place!

The dresses come in sizes 1T through 11/12 and are beautiful for not only weddings and parties, but photo shoots too.  There are many different long and short styles offered in beige, white, and cream depending on your tastes.  Your little one will look absolutely gorgeous in any dress you choose.  Make sure you have an adorable matching bow or headband to go with it too!

Scarlett received the Charlotte Flower Girl Dress in white and it's beyond stunning.  We don't have any weddings or special occasions coming up at the moment where she needs to wear it, but I always like to have a fancy dress on hand for pictures.  In the summer and spring, I tend to take a lot of pictures of her outdoors and I'm always looking for a beautiful and memorable dress to wear.  This dress would certainly fit that bill.

The Charlotte is a vintage-inspired dress featuring soft delicate lace and gorgeous English tulle.  There's lace trimmed above the chest, shoulder, back and bottom hem, and finished with sweet cap sleeves. The darling detachable satin ribbon sash has a matching crystal embellished frayed chiffon flower.  You can bet this dress is certainly unlike anything you can buy in a retail environment! I absolutely love the lace and tulle combo.

The dress arrived very fast and it was just too beautiful to ignore! I'm a fan of vintage or old fashioned clothing, and this dress reminds me of something from yesteryear.  I had to put it on Scarlett and take pictures of her right away. Even though the dress looks very small, it stretches in the waist and it fit Scarlett perfectly.  It was a little long on her but it should be a perfect length for warmer weather later this year.  The white is bright and vibrant and just fabulous.  I think my favorite detail of the dress is the lacy neckline.

The fabric is soft and delicate which is perfect for toddlers and girls alike.  I'm not exactly sure what shoes I'd pair with the dress at the moment, but I'm thinking black Mary Jane's or a pretty summery sandal.

Scarlett loved the dress and kept touching it and smiling.  It's safe to say it's Scarlett approved! I love the fact that the sash is detachable depending on if you want your child to wear it or not.

I can't wait for Scarlett to be able to wear the dress this summer, but for right now it hangs in her closet waiting for the cold weather to go away.

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

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Make Valentine's Day Delicious with Gourmet Gift Baskets

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! Go ahead and 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.  Since Valentine's Day is coming up, a relative or loved one would enjoy a Valentine's Day 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! 

How about care packages for your niece or nephew away at school? 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 dark chocolate though, I cannot seem to say no! Since Valentine's Day is approaching, it's the perfect excuse and occasion to eat candy all rolled into one.  What could be better?

The Valentine's Day Cookie Gift Box is a cookie lover's dream that would make any recipient smile.  You'll love the adorable themed tin filled with mouthwatering flavors like peanut butter, chocolate chip, fudge brownie, lemon sugar, pecan sandy, and oatmeal raisin. There's truly a flavor for anyone's palette. I bet you can guess which flavors I claimed right away.

When it comes to cookies, I'm slightly particular.  I don't like a hard cookie, but I prefer soft and chewy.  These round bites of heaven were soft and perfectly chewy, just how I like it.  I absolutely inhaled the fudge brownie and peanut butter cookies quicker than I'd like to admit.  How can you turn down something so delicious though? It's impossible.  Peanut butter cookies remind me of childhood and it's a flavor that's so comforting.  The peanut butter flavor was definitely strong and prominent with this cookie and each bite was better than the next.  This cookie is definitely one for the record books.

Chocolate cookies are near and dear to my heart and the fudge brownie cookie did not disappoint at all.  It was made with a dark batter full of white chocolate chips and fudge brownie pieces.  It was honestly like having a little bite of heaven over and over again.  I just loved it! Don't forget to wash this one down with a tall glass of icy cold milk.

My husband was enthusiastic about the Winter Seasonal Beer Bucket Gift Basket, which is certainly a manly man gift.  The special guy in your life will enjoy this bucket filled with six-cold weather inspired beers and gourmet snacks, making it an ideal gift for any beer aficionado.  With artisan crackers, premium cheese and salami, it'll be one gift your Valentine won't soon forget.  Not only does this make an ideal Valentine's Day gift, but a perfect birthday present too.

Jay enjoyed the artisan crackers with the garlic cheddar cheese.  Garlic lovers will rejoice in the delicious garlic aroma that presents itself as soon as you unwrap the soft and creamy cheese.  Pair it with any one of the six beers for a late night snack by yourself or with friends.  Go ahead and slice up some salami to go with it too.  This will be one Valentine's Gift for your honey will not soon forget.

Keep Gourmet Gift Baskets in mind for any of your gift giving needs both present and future.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Gourmet Gift Baskets for providing product samples in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own. 
Thursday, January 26, 2017

Save Money And Be Happy With SearchRx

As a stay-at-home mom, I always look for the best deals for my family on food, clothing, household items, and of course medications.  I'm lucky that we don't deal with a lot of sicknesses that require medicine on a regular basis.  There's nothing more upsetting than an expensive prescription bill that insurance doesn't cover, especially when the medication is truly needed.

Did you know that Americans spend nearly $400 billion on prescriptions each year? That number is outrageous and averages out to $1300 a person! It's time to stop the spending and start the savings.

SearchRx is 100% free to use and it helps anyone find lower prices on their medications no matter what.  Instead of finding out the prescription price after you fill, they show you the best price for your drug at any pharmacy. You can even search coupons for nearly any FDA approved drug to save even more. No insurance is required, and you don't have to pay any fees to use the service either.  With more than 62,000 participating pharmacies, you'll be delighted to know you're getting the best bang for your buck.

So many people fear going to the doctor because they don't have the money to pay for their prescriptions, especially if they don't have insurance.  That's heartbreaking and it doesn't have to be a reality for America anymore.  10% of Americans are uninsured and another 10% have gigantic deductibles.  Everyone fears the rising costs of deductibles and prescriptions, but now it's time to smile again with what you'll save by using SearchRx.  Anyone can use the database, regardless of coverage.

I know I'll definitely be using the service anytime I need a prescription filled. Have you seen what generic drugs cost lately at drugstores? Simple generic skin creams to fix issues like eczema can set you back a chunk of change. If you don't have insurance, many are not able to afford these prices.  It's crazy how expensive prescription prices are.  

Tell your friends and family members about SearchRx, it's time that we stop spending exorbitant amounts on medicines when we don't have to.  Save that money for something special like a family trip where you'll make life lasting memories.

You can download SearchRx here for iTunes and Google Play. 

*DISCLOSURE* This is a post for which I received compensation for.  All thoughts are strictly my own* 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Quesadillas Are A Quick and Easy Toddler Dinner

Let's face it, whether you're a working mom or a stay-at-home-mom, they both don't have a lot of energy to make dinner at the end of the day.  If it's just one of those days where you're exhausted from a long day and don't even want to think about making anything involved for your toddler, why not focus on a delicious and easy recipe that involves minimal prep work?

One of Scarlett's favorite meals is chicken quesadillas.  I usually put black beans and corn in it along with chicken and shredded Mexican cheese. The best part about quesadillas is that you can use whatever you have on hand to please the tiny tot who'll be devouring it.  Whether you use refried beans, black beans, or even steak or pork, it'll turn out fabulous each and every time.  Don't forget lots of shredded cheese too! I even make them for myself for dinner occasionally.  


1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Put one tortilla in a non-stick pan and fill it with pre-cooked chicken, cheese, black beans, pre-cooked rice, corn, and whatever else your child likes.  I usually use chicken nuggets that I dice and then I top with shredded cheese.  Once you're done filling the bottom tortilla top it with the second tortilla.  

2. Put it in the oven for 5 minutes to crisp up the tortilla and have the cheese melt.

3. Pair the quesadilla with your favorite salsa. Scarlett's obsessed with pineapple salsa and would prefer to drink the bottle if I let her, that's how much she loves it.

I didn't have a ton of ingredients on hand since we're at Grandma's, so we opted for a classic chicken and cheese quesadilla tonight.  Of course Scarlett does not mind that it's not chock full of other ingredients and was happy to dig in regardless.

Let these quesadilla's be a quick go-to when you're feeling unmotivated or lazy in the kitchen.  You can even put veggies in them too, especially if you struggle with your child to eat veggies.  Feel free to make these your own and be as creative as you'd like.

Every Jewelry Box Needs A Piece From Six Sisters Beadworks

Along with buying clothes, purchasing jewelry is something that's always on my list.  If I'm out and I see a cute pair of earrings or a fun bracelet, you can guarantee I'll most likely be buying it.  I know my jewelry box will appreciate it.  My style of jewelry is unique and sometimes eclectic.  I don't wear what the average everyday woman wears.  What I enjoy most is big chunky earrings, unique custom pieces, and jingly bangle bracelets.  Custom pieces are my favorite because you can't just go to any local store and buy it, it's original and only you have it.

Six Sisters Beadworks offers beautifully crafted and stamped jewelry that children and women will absolutely love.  Delight a gift recipient with necklaces, bracelets, and earrings that they will remember for years to come.  The company uses high end materials such as .925 sterling silver, 14k gold filled, Swarovski birthstone and freshwater pearls in their pieces.   Choose from chokers, name plate and gemstone necklaces among many others.

Their personalized custom made jewelry is sure to become a new family heirloom as well as a perfect gift for a new bride.  Whether you use beads or have the item hand stamped with a name, it will turn out beautifully.  Why not personalize a bracelet or necklace with a friend or family member's name and birthstone for a unique and thoughtful birthday gift?  The jewelry makes a perfect baby shower or 1st birthday gift for a lucky baby girl.  Keep Six Sisters Beadworks in mind for any of your future gift giving needs. 

Scarlett was fortunate enough to receive a stunning sterling silver personalized bar necklace with her name on it.  Although she's too young to appreciate it now, I know in time she'll want to wear it.  The necklace does come in gold and rose gold too, but I prefer silver.  You have the option of choosing the font, letter color and even accent stamp.  Let this necklace be the custom item of your dreams.

The piece is ideal to make women and girls alike smile.  The long rectangular bar stamped with Scarlett's name in a classic font is something that will be in her jewelry box for years to come.  You'll notice the attention to detail with the handstamp work.  This is not a flashy or in your face kind of necklace, it's delicate and feminine.  Adjust the chain to make it longer or shorter depending on your needs.  I do feel like this is a quality necklace that will last for years to come. 

Since Scarlett is an active toddler at two years old, she doesn't wear jewelry on a regular basis because it would be lost or broken.  I would want her to wear this necklace for special occasions like the holidays or her birthday.  Surely, she'll love seeing her name on the necklace and it would make her happy. 

If you're looking for a unique custom piece of jewelry that nobody else will have, Six Sisters Beadworks is waiting for your order.  

Monday, January 23, 2017

Family Photos Are Priceless Memories Thanks to Candid Moments Photography

Photography is something that I'm very passionate about.  If any important event or celebration is going on with friends or family, you can guarantee I'm walking around with a camera snapping pictures.  Capturing the moment in hard copy form is something that I take seriously, and I love going back and looking at pictures from time past.  I have many collages and framed pictures of my my family around my home and they rare special to me.  When's the last time you had a photo taken of your entire family?

Candid Moments is a photography company based out of South Florida ran by Carly and Chantelle.  The team shoots weddings and they truly love love and the sanctity of marriage.  All of their wedding photography packages include two photographers who stay with the bride every step of the way to ensure all details are covered for the special day.

You usually only have your big day once and you want to document everything to remember it all! They have upcoming specials and will be showcasing their work in Weston, Florida at the Bonaventure Spa and Country Club on February 4th. Contact them today and they'll be happy to share their photo package information and pricing with you.

Candid Moments Photography Example Picture

Candid Moments Photography Example Picture

Although I'm already married, Carly and Chantelle were interested in shooting my family even though it wasn't a wedding feature.  I conversed with them through email and they were very responsive and eager to please for a lifestyle feature.  An added bonus about them is that they've won a Wedding Wire  award online, so you know they have fantastic work! I'm always up for new family pictures especially since Scarlett grows and changes so fast, I want to document every stage as best as I can.

Since Chantelle wasn't available on the day of our pictures, Carly was there to take them.  We met her at a park with ample space and a playground, which of course thrilled Scarlett! Carly was very friendly, easy to work with, and interested in making sure we were happy with her shooting ideas. Scarlett is very active and it's hard to keep her still, so I was concerned about how we'd be able to get decent pictures of her.  While I wrangled her, Carly did a great job of engaging with Scarlett to have her smile and cooperate for pictures which was not easy.

Carly was creative in suggesting different poses and areas for us to make the pictures fun and exciting.  She shot each picture multiple times to ensure that we'd get at least one great shot.  Since Scarlett was a typical two year old and wanted to be on the playground, Carly used that opportunity to make her happy and get some fun candid shots of her going down the slide and playing.

I was shocked at how quick the editing time was when we received 10 pictures the next day.  The photos turned out so fantastic and Carly did a really wonderful job.  We have two family pictures, one of Scarlett and my husband Jay, one of us, and then some of Scarlett playing. The variety of what was taken was great and I'm very satisfied with how the pictures came out.   I'll have to buy some new frames to display them around my home. I'm already thinking of where to put them!

I'm very impressed with Candid Moments Photography and would highly recommend them for anyone's future wedding in South Florida. You'll smile at your photos and the memories they evoke for years to come.

Contact them on Facebook and Instagram.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Candid Moments Photography for providing photos in exchange for this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own.  
Sunday, January 22, 2017

Scarlett's Experience With Preschool

Before Scarlett started her 2's program at her preschool in September, she went to camp at her school all summer long.  She absolutely loved the activities and the socialization aspect of being with other kids her age.  This was also the first time that she had been away from me in her life and it was an important milestone for us both.  She did fabulous throughout the summer and I knew she was comfortable and ready for preschool when it began.

Scarlett at her school's Christmas party.

Once she started school in the fall, she was 21 months old.  What I like most about her school is that it's play-based learning.  Children learn best through play and she has been able to be educated about weather among many other subjects through play.  The kids are outside all year round (but not in the bitter freezing temps!) and are taught about rain, sunshine, snow, nature, and so much more.  Isn't it fantastic to learn about different kinds of leaves while making an arts and crafts project involving them? Scarlett has been able to play with snow and learn all about it too.  The activities are very unique and interesting and the kids are always doing something exciting. 

Scarlett always comes home with a cute art project and my fridge is running out of room! She goes to school once a week at the moment, but will eventually transition to two days in the fall of 2017.  Education is very important to me and I want her to learn as much as possible.  She has recently started singing the ABC's which go in conjunction with a special dance that she was taught.  It's funny when she randomly bursts into song and sing the ABC's, it seems like it happens whenever the mood strikes her!

She absolutely loves her teacher and is always hugging her.  I'm happy she's close with her and is comfortable.  I always get reports that she does well at school and is very happy to be there.  Although she does have a lot of energy and is very hyper, which can be challenging.  Scarlett has fun interacting with the other children and I know being around them has many benefits.  She's not around other kids all the time, especially since she's an only child so it helps.  Let's just say that Scarlett is not happy when I pick her up when it's time to go! She will scream and cry and kick me.  We're working on that!

I hope Scarlett enjoys the rest of the school year that she has left.  I can't wait to see what else she learns.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

We Are Not Safe From the Terrible Two's

Well, it's official.  The terrible two's have entered our household and we may never be the same.  Since this is my life right now, I'm inspired to share my story and have other parents relate.

Right around the time Scarlett turned two, we noticed a big difference in her behavior.  The slightest things set her off and made her throw tantrums that were for the record books.  My sweet little child can go from smiling and happy to screaming and then calm again in 1.2 seconds.  This phase is very stressful on me. She doesn't like to hear the word "no" and will let you know it in a very loud way. 

We've started implementing time out and making her go in there when all else fails.  A warning is first given to have her know what's coming, and then if she still doesn't listen or calm down, then she goes into timeout for a few minutes to calm down.  We re-iterate why she's in time out when we put her in there and we explain it again when we take her out.  She usually goes in timeout for throwing food, ignoring us when we ask her to help clean up a mess she made, or her newfound love of hitting us.  She usually comes out happy and refreshed and all is well. 

What's difficult is that when Scarlett becomes upset, she is violent and seems to lose all control of her emotions and just sees red.  She will start throwing toys, the TV remote, anything that is within her reach.  Lynnie is also a target and had a hardcover book thrown at her head the other day.  It was terrible.  Also, she will have a huge meltdown and fall on the ground screaming and hitting her head on the floor.  It's awful and happens a few times a day.  I can tell she's frustrated partly because she's not talking, but it's also the age.

The terrible two's can strike at any moment, and you never know when which is the scary part.  Even a simple request of "Scarlett, can you put on your jacket?" makes her erupt into hysterics.  You never know what you're going to get on any given day.  Sometimes she puts on her jacket with no issues and then other days she doesn't want to wear a certain pair of shoes.  As Scarlett gets older, she's getting more independent and becoming more of her own person.  

This stage makes you feel like a terrible parent.  Honestly, it truly upsets me and I feel like I can't control my child and have to resort to timeout.  I know that isn't true and sounds ridiculous, but it's how I feel.  I'm doing my best to ensure that I'm raising my child as best as I can.  I have fears that she'll grow up and be the worst behaved out of control child, and it'll be my fault.  I hope this is not the case!

Lately, Scarlett has had so much energy and seems to have to burn it off or she will become destructive.  We have to take her to indoor play gyms or outside to run off her excess energy.  Once she does this, she's much more calm and relaxed.  This is new to me as well.  She will run amok in my house opening and closing drawers, taking everything out, ripping pages out of books, jumping and running wildly, and many more fun antics.  Why don't you just baby proof your cabinets and drawers, you ask? Oh we did, but the Incredible Hulk is too strong for us and broke all of the baby proofing including our gates.  That's another story! 

My husband and I's philosophy is to take each day by day.  We can only do our best and what we're capable of.  I do see other children who seem to be perfect children on the outside and do everything their parents ask.  I know there must be something else behind the scenes that the parents are dealing and struggling with.  All parents can reunite in the fact that raising a child is the hardest thing a person will ever do and the job never ends.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

A Puzzle from Games2Puzzle Brings The Family Together

This is a contributed post on behalf on

Nothing is more popular and brings a family together like a jigsaw puzzle. Whenever there is a puzzle going in my house it draws everyone in like a magnet, a piece here a piece there and before you know it you are sitting down and working on it for hours. Sometimes we can have three or four sitting around the table at once. The edges are the easiest place to start and then we move to those sections with distinct patterns and colors usually leaving the harder single color areas like the sky and the water for last. I just completed a picturesque 750 piece puzzle of the Maligne Lake in the Rockies. A beautiful scenic puzzle that was a little challenging but was a lot of fun. It has good quality pieces and is panoramic so it really makes the picture pop. The Rocky Mountains in the background are very beautiful but were challenging to put together.

Another great puzzle is the Master of Photography Panoramic Hot Air Balloon puzzle by Masterpieces Puzzle Company. It is a 1,000-piece puzzle and is not too hard to do because of all the different colors and contrasts. The box opens up to give a bigger picture of the whole puzzle which helps out a lot since the reflection off the water will cause some confusion.  This puzzle is o lot of fun but be warned it will take a little while to complete. Probably will need a good couple of weeks to complete or if you are a binge puzzler maybe a good couple of days.

Of course, we can’t forget about the kids puzzles. There is a nice Frozen puzzle by Ravensburger that is just challenging enough for the little ones and looks great when complete. It is recommended for kids 4+. The pieces are high quality and fit together nicely. A must have for any young fan of Frozen!

If you are looking for a good place to buy some puzzles like these, try, an online store specializing in Jigsaw Puzzles for adults and children. They have thousands of different puzzles to choose from with lots of different themes: Sports Stadium, Scenic Landscapes, Pets, Cars, Trains and so much more. Puzzle piece counts vary from 50 pieces all the way up to 5,000 pieces. Be sure to check out their children’s puzzles and games as well.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Entertain All Year Round With Beautiful Melamine Plates from The Plate Shoppe

I frequently entertain friends and family for lunch or dinner throughout the year.  It's harder to do so now that I have a 2 year old, but it's something I really enjoy.  You can find me in the kitchen preparing a delicious meal like chicken parmesan with garlic bread and a side salad.  Of course you can't forget a delicious dessert either to end the meal with.  To me, presentation is just as important as the food itself.  When you serve a meal on beautiful dishes or a platter, your guests notice and remember your efforts.  When's the last time you updated your dish ware?

The Plate Shoppe is an online shop started by owner Gail Sarasohn who sells plates and platters that are made of break resistant BPA-free melamine.  She completely hand-designs and produces the items herself and they couldn't be more stunning! You'll enjoy the fact that they are made in the USA.  Gail is very talented and surely has an eye for design.  She worked in fashion for over 10 years and made the decision to refocus and go back to her love of colors and design.  The plates are perfect for indoor and outdoor entertaining all year round, but just don't put them in the microwave! They are dishwasher safe and make every table setting a true work of art. 

Gail's plates are not just ordinary solid colored dishes, but vibrant and bursting with magnificent colors and patterns such as flowers, dots, and butterflies.  Her pieces are full of life and ready to be used or displayed in your home to make you smile all the time.  You'll love the range of colors that the plates come in making them easy to pair existing dishware with.  If you live in a warmer area of the country, invite your friends over for a fun outdoor BBQ and serve them lunch on the pink or blue Byzantine Dinner Plate.  They'll love the plates just as much as their meal and mealtime will certainly be enjoyable.

The beautiful platters make a wonderful housewarming gift as well as an ideal choice for a dinner party and to bring cookies or baked goods on for a little something for the hostess.  The Byzantine pink platter would be an perfect choice for this in my opinion.  
If you have an active toddler like I do, you'll be grateful for the break resistant melamine if your little one gets a hold of a plate accidentally! 

Plates from The Plate Shoppe would be ideal for college students living on their own for the first time, or if a child or relative recently moved into their first house or apartment.  

Gail's plates would be the perfect addition to any celebration or event, both big and small.  They'll look and fit well in both your kitchen cabinets and your heart. Go ahead and give your dishes the makeover and upgrade they deserve today.

Switching From A Nursery To A Child's Bedroom: Help For Moms To Create The New Room

Disclosure: This is a contributed post.

It only feels like five minutes ago that our little one was in nappies. But now they are becoming a little person, it’s time to make some changes in the house. After all, the bedroom can no longer be a nursery for your toddler. However, it can be a challenge to make a room which will not need changing for the next few years for your child. Therefore, here is some help for moms to switch the nursery to a child’s bedroom.

You need to repaint the room

When you created the nursery, it’s likely that you went for a yellow or cream if you didn’t know the gender of the new baby. Or perhaps a blue or pink if you did choose to find out. But now that your little one is growing up and developing a personality, it’s time to change the color of the room. After all, they are bound to have a favorite color now that they are becoming more talkative. Of course, you want a color which will last your child over the years. After all, you don’t want to have to repaint the room in a couple of years time. Therefore, choose something which is going to grow with your child. And if you decide to go for a wallpaper, make sure you go for something that your child will not hate in years to come. After all, they might be a huge fan of Peppa Pig now, but in a couple of years, you might have to change it. Therefore, it’s a good idea to go for a patterned wallpaper and then you can always accessorize with your kid’s favorite characters. That way, you can swap these out without much trouble once your child has got bored!

It’s time to upgrade the bed

As much as a cot is good to start with, it’s not viable once your child has become a toddler. Therefore, it’s time to upgrade the bed to ensure it’s more fitting for your child’s new bedroom. There is so much choice around when it comes to beds for little ones. You can get a bed which has been designed specifically for toddlers. That way, it will be the right size for your child. But if you want something they can grow into, you ought to consider a single bed. Or you might even want to look into something like a mid sleeper or cabin beds for your child’s bedroom. These are fun beds which offer a lot more than sleeping. They give you space for your kid’s belongings as they have drawers and shelves. And they really are a feature piece as they stand out when you walk into the room. Whichever bed you do go for, make sure you get an appropriate mattress which will protect your kid’s growing bones. And here is some more advice on switching from a crib to a big-kid bed!

Look into a mini table and chairs

As your child gets older, they will take part in more creative activities like painting and drawing. And while they can do it on the kitchen table (get a cover to protect it), it might be more fun to let them get creative in their own room. One way you can do this is by getting a mini table and chairs for their room. It can sit in the middle of the room and will be perfect when it’s time for some drawing. It’s also a good idea for when your little one is having a playdate. And it will last them for a good few years as they will use it to do their homework too. Just make sure you clean it to remove the pen marks quickly so it doesn’t get ruined.

Buy some book shelves

Reading is such a vital thing in a toddler’s life. After all, it’s teaching them basic skills that they need for the rest of their life. And reading books gives the child a wealth of knowledge about the world. Therefore, to ensure they have access to all their books, you should consider buying some book shelves for their room. That way, you can display all their books in the room. And when it comes to reading a bedtime story, you will be able to quickly pick out a novel for your child. They will need the bookshelves as they get older and bring home books from school. So it’s something that can grow with your child over the years!

Consider adding some pictures on the walls

When the bedroom was a nursery for your child, it’s likely that you just had wall art decorating their room. After all, photos weren’t really a must for your baby. But now as your child is getting older, it’s a good idea to add some pictures of the room. For one thing, it will make the room feel more personalized for your child. And not only this but if they wake up in the night, they will feel a lot more comforted seeing photos of their family. Therefore, add pictures of your family to the walls in your child’s room. And you could even add some pictures of your kid with their friends to the wall.

Look into adding a TV to the room

As much as the bedroom should stay a place where sleeping is the top priority, it also needs to be a room where your kid can have fun. After all, there might be times where it’s necessary they need to be in their bedroom. And it can also help to let them chill out in the room before they head to the land of nod. So one thing you should consider adding to their room is a TV. That way, they can watch the television before they go to sleep. In fact, you might want to put on a DVD when they head to bed, and they will drift off while watching it. You could even set a standby on the TV so it will turn off after a particular time. Just make sure your kid doesn’t get up in the night to watch the television!

Make sure it’s not overcrowded

It’s also vital that you make sure you leave enough space in your kid’s room for playing. After all, you don’t want them to end up having no space for them to play with their toys. In fact, you will end up with the living room filled with all their toys if there is no room in the bedroom. Therefore, make sure you think carefully before adding large items to your kid’s new big bedroom. And if you are limited for room, you might want to consider putting them in a different bedroom and then using their old nursery for a playroom. And then it can become a nursery again if you go on to have another child!

Add some toy boxes

When your little one is a newborn, it’s not necessary for them to have a load of toys in the room. But as they get older, they are bound to want the toys in the room. But then their bedroom can end up filled with toys. Therefore, when you are creating a new bedroom for the kids, you should consider getting some toy boxes. That way, they can hold all your child’s essential toys. And you can get lots of creative toy boxes which will look great in your kid’s room. And make sure you still have plenty of storage options like drawers and shelves in the rooms for your kid! They are bound to have more clothes than you before they are four!

And always think about safety when creating the perfect bedroom for your child. After all, you don’t want an accident to occur as the furniture wasn’t properly fitted or was poor quality!
Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Routines and Consistency Makes for A Happy Child

I do believe that the key to a happy child is a routine and consistency.  Children need structure to feel safe and secure and grow into healthy, successful adults. 

From the time that Scarlett turned 6 months old, I finally had a breakthrough and was able to put her on a sleep/eat schedule.  Life is so much easier when you know when your child is hungry or tired and there's no guessing.  

Now that Scarlett is two years old, she's been on the same schedule for some time now.  She wakes up anywhere from 7:15-7:45 AM and has breakfast and milk immediately.  Lunch is 11 AM and then a nap follows at 12 PM.  The block I have scheduled for nap time is 12-3 PM.  She used to sleep for 3 hours solidly, but now may sleep only 2 or 2 1/2 hours.  She's tired at nap time and goes down usually instantly.  When she wakes up we have a snack and then dinner is at 5 PM sharp.  Scarlett takes a bath every day and I do bath time right after dinner.  When we're done with the bath, she has wind-down time and we play or read books.  She has a cup of milk around 7 PM and then we brush teeth and she goes to bed at 7:30 PM.  She sleeps in her own crib. 

I've read horror stories about parents having their children go to bed at midnight and then wake up whenever they want.  My husband and I enjoy having some time to ourselves at night and I wouldn't be able to function if I couldn't decompress.  You can't be the best parent for your child if you don't have time for yourself.  

Scarlett knows exactly what to expect with her daily routine and I think the structure that it provides her makes her a happy child.  

Adorn Your Walls With Something Beautiful From Fracture

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?

Fracture is not your average traditional framed paper picture.  These beautiful pieces are made by hand and very different.  The company prints directly on pure glass, instead of paper and provides a beautiful finished product.  By doing this, the technique combines all three onto a beautiful, lasting final product.  The uploading process is simple, just upload a photo, place the order and in a few days you'll review your order ready to be mounted on the wall.  An order from Fracture makes a beautiful housewarming gift as well as a wonderful present for just about any occasion for friends or family.  Go ahead and make an order today!

The possibilities are endless for deciding what to display on your walls.  Whether you want to choose a recent family picture, your family pooch, or even a gorgeous picture of the mountains that you took, it will all look wonderful.

You'll notice the vivid and bright color printed directly on your glass photo for a lifetime of happiness and memories. The sizes range from small to extra large on portrait, landscape, and square and would look perfect in any room of your home.  Why not display some of your favorite pictures on long-lasting glass today?

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Monday, January 9, 2017

Your Child Can Ride in Style Thanks to Diono

Scarlett has a busier social calendar than me and she's only two years old! Between driving her to school, activities, and playdates, it feels like we're always in the car.  A reliable and safe car seat is mandatory when you're transporting your children around town.  You want the car seat to not only fit your little one well, but have them ride comfortably in it too.  Diono knows all about providing a quality car seat that grows with your baby.

Diono offers a full line of the highest quality safest car seats, convertible+ boosters, and accessories to meet all of your family's needs.  Whether you're looking for a car seat that offers rear and forward facing for your little one, or a just booster for your older child, Diono has you covered.  Diono's products are quality made and built to last.  The best part about the company's car seats is that they are offered in many different colors and styles depending on your needs.  Keep the brand in mind for future baby shower gifts.  I know any new mom would love a car seat to drive their baby around in. I wish I had one on my registry!

Scarlett frequently visits Grandma and the car seat that Grandma currently has is getting too small for my growing girl.  Scarlett is small for her age and has been able to ride in this current car seat for a lot longer than probably most children could.  She finally is starting to outgrow it and it's certainly time for a new one.  We have a Diono car seat in our car for almost a year now and absolutely love it. I knew Scarlett would be happy about having a similar carseat in Grandma's car too.

Grandma's car has been recently upgraded to the Diono Radian RXT in the beautiful black mist color.  It's one upgrade I'm not complaining about! 

The Radian RXT is a convertible+booster car seat which is every parent's dream come true. This seat allows your child to rear-face from 5-45 lbs, forward face from 20-80 lbs, and then converts to a booster seat for children up to 120 lbs.  As you can see, it's really a product you can use for years and years.  Scarlett rides forward facing since she's now 2 and she's happy to be able to see everything outside when we drive.

My husband easily was able to install it in the car.  It's very tall so it did take up more room in the backseat than the old car seat.  Scarlett seemed very excited about the new addition and instantly wanted to sit in it.  The straps fit her snugly and securely and I had no concerns at all about her safety.  I think all of her baby friends are jealous of her new ride! There's a cup holder on the side to hold her water or juice when she's on the go.

There's dark grey on the top of the carseat and it meets with a dark black on the bottom.  Scarlett's stroller is also black so it's nice to have matching baby gear.  I know she'll be able to use this for some time to come when at Grandma's.

I'm very satisfied with this car seat and feel confidently that my daughter is safe and secure when in the car.  You can't ask for anything more than that as a parent.

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

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Ninja Coffee Bar is Just What Your Kitchen Needs

Most people's mornings cannot begin without a cup of their favorite liquid caffeine to help them get through the day.  While some cups of coffee are better than others, wouldn't it be nice to have coffee house style coffee each and every day in your home? No this isn't a dream, it's reality.  It's time for you to delight your taste buds and treat yourself to only fantastic coffee from here on out.

The Ninja Coffee Bar Brewing System offers a coffee house experience in the comfort of your own home.  Forget the standard cup of decaf or regular coffee, it's time to change your coffee experience for the better.  This brewing system is exactly what you need for amazing coffee drinks all the time. The multi-serve dial lets you choose the precise size you need to make your taste buds happy.

With the special thermal flavor extraction technology that allows you to dial up the flavor richness level and choose a brew that fits you, you'll always be happy.  Whether you select classic, rich, over ice, or speciality brew, you can have the drink you want anytime of day.  If you have a family member who doesn't drink coffee, they'll be delighted to have a single cup of hot chocolate, iced/hot tea, or a caramel option without coffee.

Choose from simple rich brewed coffee all the way to speciality drinks like pumpkin spice latte's or chocolate hazelnut coffee.  It's time to stop spending money on expensive coffee drinks daily when you can make anything you want at home.  If you're having a party, make a full carafe of a Colombian coffee blend that will pair well with biscotti's or pound cake for dessert.

The Ninja Coffee Bar was very easy to set up and in moments it was ready to go.  It comes with a travel mug, beautiful glass carafe, frother, and permanent filter.  I love the beautiful black and brushed chrome display, as well as the easy to push buttons.  There's an included manual for being in the know about everything the machine does.

My husband Jay is the big coffee drinker in our family, and I'm more interested in speciality drinks like caramel macchiatos.  The unique thing about this machine is that you can brew coffee in several different options including half carafe, full carafe, XL mug, regular mug, or a travel cup depending on your needs.  It's very convenient to have exactly the size you need if you're serving guests at a party, or just want some coffee on your morning commute to work.

Before you make your first cup of coffee, you have to run the machine through 2 cycles to prepare it. After that, you're free to make the drink of your choice.  Jay made a standard cup of coffee using his favorite blend and brand.  He filled the water reservoir and placed a large mug underneath the spigot and chose the classic brew and the XL mug setting.  In a matter of seconds, the machine came alive and filled the mug with steaming hot liquid goodness.  In my opinion, the coffee bar machine was relatively quiet and did not make a lot of noise.  The coffee was rich, brown and smelled wonderful.  Jay really enjoyed the coffee and said it was fabulous yet bold.  He's a coffee connoisseur and always enjoys a good cup of joe.

The unit came with a big recipe book filled with wonderful single cup hot and cold drinks that I can't wait to try.  There's a drink featured made with Oreo cookies that has my name written all over it, as well as a caramel one too.  Go ahead and make a single cup of blueberry iced coffee for your friend, while your mother has a Thai iced coffee.  The coffee options are endless and you can have a new drink everyday of the week.  The best part is that you don't have to make a whole pot if there are just a few people over, and everyone can have exactly what they want. 

If you want to make an ordinary cup of regular coffee exciting, you can use the frother to add whipped cream or make the milk frothy for specialty drinks too.  Add a dash of cinnamon for some additional flavor to make your tummy smile.

What I did notice about the unit was that it's very tall and doesn't fit flush underneath my cabinet.  I do wish that it wasn't as tall so it could fit directly underneath.

The Ninja Coffee Bar is going to revolutionize my family's coffee experience for the better and I'm happy to go along for the ride!

If you're looking to upgrade your coffee machine for good, the Ninja Coffee Bar is waiting for you.

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

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Put Some Cracker Barrel In Your Mouth Today

As many of you know, I grew up in the south and lived there for 17 years. Due to this, it's made me no stranger to classic Southern fare like mac and cheese, chicken and dumplings, biscuits, and of course sweet tea.  Now that I live in New England, there's not many restaurants that cater towards southern cuisine around.  There's just something so comforting about digging into a plate of something warm and delicious that reminds you of childhood.

Cracker Barrel is an American chain of a combined restaurant and gift store that has a Southern country theme.  You'll enjoy bringing the whole family to this eatery where you can make your belly happy with such menu choices as grilled pork chops, hickory smoked country ham, rainbow trout, or even roast beef.  There's something for everyone including sandwiches, salads, soups, and even breakfast all day! Don't forget the delicious sides like mac and cheese, buttermilk biscuits, fried okra, country green beans, fried apples, and so much more.  You can't leave without finishing the meal with a sweet treat such as fruit cobbler with ice cream, a slice of pie, or even double chocolate fudge coca-cola cake!

Cracker Barrel will leave you happy and satisfied and you can walk off that meal afterwards by shopping in the gift store.  There's always something uncommon and interesting to see in the shop.  You'll love the housewares, unique food and candy options, as well as clothing and toys.  It's next to impossible to walk into the store without buying something.  

My family recently visited Cracker Barrel last night for dinner on our way down to Florida to visit my parents.  Scarlett had not previously been before and I knew she'd love it.  I hadn't been in many years and was really looking forward to the dining experience.  From the minute you walk in, you're welcomed warmly by the staff and it feels like home.  The atmosphere is cozy and offers vintage ads plastered on the walls featuring beverages, food/candy, and even car ads.  I love vintage ads and they really appeal to me.  It's fun to see all of the old signs which certainly are not like today's ads!

We started off the meal with drinks and the most delectable biscuits I have ever had in my life.  I could eat my weight in these biscuits, they were that good. Who could resist round and fluffy buttery circles of heaven? I enjoyed each and every bite of these warm beauties.  I wish I had one right now!

My husband Jay ordered country fried chicken covered with buttermilk gravy for his entree.  The three sides that came with his meal included pinto beans, fried okra, and a tomato, cucumber, and onion salad.  With 20 sides to choose from it can be hard to pick just 3! The portion size of the chicken was large and completely blanketed with the gravy.  He said the chicken was perfectly crunchy, juicy and cooked well.  The gravy gave it a nice boost of flavor that he loved.

Jay said the tomato, cucumber and onion salad was cool and refreshing as well as a nice addition to the warm chicken. The juicy tomatoes complimented the chilled cucumbers and onions and it was the perfect mix.  The pinto beans and fried okra are a classic combo and you can never go wrong with them.

I decided to be adventurous and order something completely out of the ordinary from what I normally  order.  The apple cider BBQ chicken breast caught my eye and looked like something I could enjoy.  An added bonus is that it's on the lighter section of the menu at only 330 calories.  I chose fresh apple slices and macaroni and cheese for my sides.  The chicken is seasoned with a smokey southern spice and topped with zesty apple cider BBQ sauce and a fresh gala apple and dried cranberry chutney.

My dish turned out to be beyond delicious and more than I expected!  I couldn't get over how fantastic it was and I gobbled it up in record time. The chicken was nice and thin and I loved the uncommon apple cider BBQ flavor that it offered.  It was sweet and zippy at the same time and a flavor combination that I've never had before.  The chutney consisted of a nice chunky mix of apples and cranberries and it really was a fantastic addition to my dinner.  I want to try to replicate this meal at home as soon as possible!

The macaroni and cheese that came as my side was a surprising size for a side.  They really gave you a lot which was welcomed by me since I'm a big lover of mac and cheese.  To say that I enjoyed it was an understatement.  I inhaled that cheesy goodness like it was my job.  The level of cheese provided for this dish was very generous and really made my taste buds happy.  I couldn't get over how tasty the mac and cheese was and I couldn't stop eating it. The pasta was perfectly cooked and packed with cheesy flavor that you won't soon forget.  I could have certainly eaten my weight in it!

My apple slices were fresh and flavorful and perfectly crunchy.  This was a good way to continue the apple theme from my chicken.  Scarlett also enjoyed them as that's one of her favorite fruits.

Scarlett had the kid's mac and cheese for dinner and loved it as well.  She's just like her mom and enjoys a lot of the same foods as me.  What child doesn't love mac and cheese though? She took a few bites and said "mmm" after each bite and smiled.  I think it's safe to say that she enjoyed it!

At the end of the meal, we had to follow it up with sweet treats of course.  It's a sin to finish dinner without dessert in my eyes.  Jay had blackberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream while I opted for the double fudge chocolate coca-cola cake.  I'm a chocolate lover through and through so this appealed to me more than the cobbler did.  Not long after ordering, a large piece of warm cake came with a perfectly round scoop of vanilla ice cream to accompany it.  The cake was moist and flavorful while the thick double fudge frosting was sweet and rich. I wanted to dig in as soon as I saw it.

I think the soda helps moisten the cake and make it more soft and fluffy. There was no trace at all of the soda flavor.  Cake and ice cream is a classic pairing and I loved having a bite of cool and creamy ice cream with the sweet cake at the same time, it made for a fabulous tasting!  I let Scarlett have a bite of each and she was in absolute heaven.  It's rare that she has sweets but I knew I couldn't deny her this.

Jay enjoys fruit desserts much more than I do and was excited to dig into this fruity beauty.  The blackberries were prevalent throughout the dessert and paired well with the delicious sweet crust on top.  You can't forget the generous scoop of vanilla ice cream that's on top either! All in all, Jay was very satisfied with his dessert choice.

We left the meal with full stomachs and a positive dining experience.  I bought my daughter Scarlett a cute dress in the Cracker Barrel store that I couldn't pass up as well as some candy for me.  We loved the restaurant so much that we went back for lunch the next day! Two meals at Cracker Barrel in two days is a win-win for me! I can't wait to go back again sometime soon.

If you're looking for a delicious restaurant that the whole family can enjoy, it's time to make a visit to Cracker Barrel.

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to Cracker Barrel for providing a complimentary visit in exchange for this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Secure Your Property, Or Else!

Do you know what the best career path for a criminal is? Well, it’s stealing from you. They could stick up stores and rob banks for high-risk with a high return. Chances are they will get caught, though.

So why you? Well less than fifteen-percent of home intruders are caught and you might have some valuables on offer. In 2010 alone, professionals estimated that there were over seven-hundred thousand incidents of home burglary in a year. Some go un-noticed, some go unreported - for whatever reason.

Now, estate agents use terms like ‘curb appeal’ to describe appealing properties. The more curb appeal your property has, the more value it should have. The same applies to criminals. When they are casing the property, curb appeal applies and will have an effect on their decision to steal from the property. They will take a close look at your property, multiple times over and make a move based on what they know.
So what are they looking for? Well, they are looking for something risk free. If your lawn is overgrown, it might suggest that the property is vacant. If your property is vacant, criminals are going to target it for obvious reasons. An overgrown lawn may invite the criminals to take a closer eye at your property to asses its worth to them as a target.

Now, this - above all is what you want to avoid. When criminals start taking a closer inspection, that’s the point of no-return. One criminal might be desperate enough to chance the risk when others might not. Letting criminals inspect your home or giving them reason to do so is the biggest mistake you can make.

But, you might say, it’s not in my hands! But it is. If you take simple precautions, you’ll make your property less of a target. In fact, some precautions might deter criminals altogether.

Firstly, lock your doors and windows. We all want to live in a safe world, but there’s a reason for this article. Locking your doors isn’t going to hurt you, but it is probably going to deter a break-in. Secondly, invest in a security system - there are plenty of options but a site like can help you sift through them. A security system is going to not only deter the crime, but will actively assist you in the event of a break-in by notifying the authorities. Replacing fragile points of entry is also a good idea. Not only can older doors and windows be forced open, they are easier to destroy and break. Criminals will chance making noise and damage if they believe the reward is worth it.

It’s all about advertising your property. If you make it clear that it’s worth a criminal looking at, they are going to. Don’t make it easy. Secure your property before it’s too late.