Friday, March 31, 2017

An Easter Breakfast The Whole Family Will Love

Easter is just a few weeks away! This year is flying by, don't you think? 

If you're doing an Easter breakfast or brunch, I have an adorable festive idea to serve that "every bunny" in your family will love.  How can you resist adorable Easter Bunny Buns made with cinnamon rolls? You can't, that's how.

Ingredients: 1 package of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls or orange rolls (or you could make your own too)
8 M&M candies
4 raisins
8 almond slices

1. Place 4 of the cinnamon rolls on a baking sheet, this will be the bunny's face. 
2. Unroll the remaining 4 rolls.  Fold each unrolled roll in half, then each half in half again, creating bunny ears.  Place each one touching the top of a roll placed on the cookie sheet.  Adjust accordingly to make bunny ears.  
3. Bake according to package directions.  Use the frosting included in the can (or you can use your own homemade cinnamon roll frosting) to frost the bunny ears and face.
4. Once frosted place 2 M&M's on each bunny making eyes.  Use a raisin for the nose and 2 sliced almonds for the teeth.

This recipe makes 4 bunny buns each.  The kids in your family will love these and be very excited.  I'm sure you can even have them help you too.

You'll be asked to make this every Easter and it'll quickly become a family favorite, I'm sure.  Happy eating!

*DISCLOSURE* This recipe was taken from Real Mom Kitchen.  I am simply sharing it as I felt others would enjoy it.  All credit has been given.  
Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Make Crockpot BBQ Chicken Sandwiches For Dinner Tonight

If you didn't already know, I grew up in the south.  I love BBQ, grits, Cheerwine, and lots of Southern delicacies.  Now that I live in New England, the BBQ here is just not the same.  My favorite is when the meat is sweet, yet tangy at the same time.  There's nothing like bringing the south to the north and making your taste buds happy.

I like to use my crockpot all year round and create all sorts of delicious meals for my family.  Since I'm a stay-at-home mom, I don't always have all the time in the world to make elaborate meals. The crockpot is such a time saver! What would I do without it?

If you're a BBQ lover, I have the best recipe for you.  It's so easy and will instantly become a family favorite.

You'll need:

1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup zesty Italian dressing
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce

Mix together in a bowl and pour on top of chicken breasts in the crockpot.  Cook on high for 3-4 hours.  Once time is up, you can shred the meat and put it back in the crockpot to soak up the remaining sauce for about 10 minutes.  Don't spend time shredding the chicken with a fork, it's time consuming and your hands will end up hurting.  To speed up the process, shred the meat in an electric mixer. It'll be done in a few seconds.

You'll be left with delicious and tender shredded chicken that will have the most amazing flavor. Feel free to top the sandwiches with coleslaw and anything else you like.  I tend to like mine on the plain side with just a little more BBQ sauce on top.  Pair the sandwich with baked beans and chips for the ultimate meal that's not only delicious but easy too!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Make Relaxation A Reality With truMedic

My husband often works long and demanding hours at his job every week.  He's a hard-worker and very dedicated to his company.  I'm very grateful that he supports his family and am always appreciative of him.  Jay likes to relax at night and decompress from a long and tiring day. Massages at local spas are one of his favorite gifts to receive, but they can be expensive. Wouldn't it be nice to have a massage daily in the comfort of your own home?

truMedic is dedicated to providing safe and effective forms of pain management and relief.  The brand recently released the most diverse set of personal handheld massagers that alleviate all kinds of aches and pain, from the comfort of your own home or on the go.  Each product targets different needs including back, neck, and shoulders.  It's time to kick pain to the curb and start each day feeling your best.  Keep truMedic in mind for gifts for yourself or friends and family too.

My husband was thrilled to receive the truMedic InstaShiatsu+ Pillow Massager with Heat.  He complains about shoulder pains constantly and I knew this would be a great way to help him. Anyone will smile when they try the comfortable heated massage pillow that works great on your neck, back and shoulders.  Since it's portable and lightweight, you can use it laying down on a couch or bed, or even sitting up in a chair.  You can relax while watching TV or surfing the web while your pain is washed away.

Jay chose to use the pillow massager while resting on the couch.  The product plugs in with a long wall charger which extends a decent distance.  As soon as you turn it on, it lights up red and moves all around waiting to make your body feel better.  Scarlett was very interested in the red lights and wanted to touch the massager as it moved.  She loved watching her dad use it too! Jay always has kinks in neck and was happy to have the opportunity to have the massager help him.  He said the massage was slightly painful but it has to be to help someone's muscles.

Once he was done with his neck, he moved on to giving attention to his back.  He positioned the massager along the right side of his back where he's been told by masseuses he carries tension. Jay allowed the massager to work its magic for a few minutes until he felt satisfied.  I was told the massage was deep and he felt the massager really worked into his back well.  Even though the massager does have heat, Jay didn't think it was a very warm heat that you could easily feel.  You could only feel it once you actually touched the massager.  

My hubby was left feeling relaxed and loose and he was very happy with the results.  He does love how he has his own personal masseuse that he can use whenever he wants.  Since the product is small and compact, it can easily be stored in a closet or cabinet for future use.  

The massager would be great for anyone who has a job that involves a lot of manual labor, or for an elderly person who suffers from aches and pains.  They'd definitely appreciate the opportunity to feel better!

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

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Facts About Me!

I always enjoy reading information about other bloggers and finding out facts I didn't previously know.  I can't recall ever posting a large post about myself with information, so I figured why not?

-I grew up in the south and lived there for almost 17 years.  Since leaving the south I have moved up the east coast and now live in New England.  

-I love to travel and always enjoying visiting a place I have not been before.  Europe is still on my bucket list and I hope to one day see England, Australia, France, and Italy among many other countries!

-I moved to NYC for school when I was 17 and never looked back! I graduated with a degree in communications.  I met my husband there and we've been together for almost 10 years.  We have a 7 year age difference between us.

-During the warmer months of the year, I love to go to garage sales on the weekends.  Finding a good bargain is always fun and I've gotten some wonderful things in fabulous condition for next to nothing.

-I'm an old soul.  I enjoy older movies, music, and TV shows much more than present day ones.  I do have current modern day favorites, but you can't beat some old classics!

-It's hard for me not to overanalyze things.  It's one of my flaws, and it's something I try to work on all the time. 

-Cooking and baking is something I really love.  You can always find me in the kitchen preparing something tasty.  I'm completely self taught and I've worked my way up over the years through trial and error.  

-Chocolate and carbs are my weakness.  I don't think I go a day without eating chocolate.  I wish I could!

-I'm an only child.  I always wanted siblings when I was growing up. 

-I took Spanish all throughout high school and remember enough to have a simple conversation, ask for help, and order food.  It impresses my husband whenever I need to use Spanish!

-I'm slightly OCD with cleaning.  My kitchen gets wiped down several times a day, and I can never have any dirty dishes in the sink.  I fold laundry as soon as it's finished in the dryer too.  I vacuum twice a day.  My husband makes fun of me, but I like a clean house! 

-Blogging is probably one of the most exciting and memorable things I've ever done in my life.  Who knew I'd be at this point when I started it over 7 years ago?

-I hate mustard and mayonnaise and the sight of them disgusts me.

-I've never broken any bones in my body or had any major injuries.

-I love to take pictures and bring my camera with me to events and parties.  You'll always see me taking pictures!

-My favorite artist is Andy Warhol and I did a 10 page report on his Self Titled art piece in college.  

-I got married in 2013 and honeymooned for 10 days in Mexico.

-I've been babysitting for families since I was 11 years old.  My final job was in 2012, before I moved away from NYC.

-I am very silly and love to laugh.  I think Scarlett appreciates my sensor of humor most! 

-I value my friendships and am a very loyal friend and will be there whenever you need me.

Hope you enjoy the facts! 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

All About Lynnie

Carolyn (formerly known as Sunshine) is a Schnauzer/JRT mix that was found wandering the streets of Tennessee.  She was pregnant and brought to an animal shelter where she stayed for about 2 or 3 days.  A woman who fosters animals through a rescue organization until they are adopted brought her to her home where she had her puppies there.  Lynnie ended up having 7 puppies who all have Spring themed names that the woman's daughter picked out.

We saw Lynnie through her rescue organization via in May 2013.  There were 3 pictures of her and a little bit of information.  In the beginning we actually considered one of her puppies, but after speaking with the organization about the level of care a puppy needs, we decided that a puppy wasn't a smart fit for us.  My husband and I worked at the time and couldn't be home with the puppy to take him/her out every 2 hours.  We knew that Lynnie seemed like a good fit and filled out an application for her.

I believe the application process took about two weeks.  We were approved not long after and I was so excited! I went out and bought everything that a dog could need.  I also went a little overboard too, but hey, can you blame me?

Lynnie came on a transport bus in June 2013 from Tennessee along with countless other dogs who would be adopted up and down the Eastern Seaboard.  Her journey was 18 hours long.  We picked her up on a freezing cold and rainy night.  The rain was insane and like a monsoon.  I'll never forget that!

I do feel like she knew she was going to a good home.  She wasn't that nervous and was instantly friendly towards me and my husband.  I think the rain made her nervous slightly though.  We got home and she instantly jumped on my bed and started chewing her bone.  I didn't know what to expect and was surprised at how quickly she adjusted.

This picture is from the first week of having her.

When we first got her she had some issues with meeting new people but seems to have gotten past it for the most part.  

Fast forward almost 4 years later and Lynnie is the most loving and happiest girl.   I can't even tell you how much joy she brings us! She is now our almost 5 year old baby and best big sister around.  She loves Scarlett so much and always wants to lay near her.  They play a lot together which is cute.  I'm happy that they will be able to grow up together and be friends.

Lynnie loves treats, her family, and of course toys.  She's always squeaking her toys and wanting to play.  What a hard life, huh?

I'm very fortunate that we are in constant contact with one of Lynnie's puppies, Clover and Puddle. Clover lives in Rhode Island and we have been able to meet her and her family three times now. We just love them! Also, we were able to meet Puddle last summer too. Hopefully we'll all have another doggie reunion soon. 

Lynnie playing in Clover's backyard! Clover's in the dress.  She's my granddaughter!

We're so lucky to have Lynnie in our lives and we couldn't love her more.  Here's to many more happy years with her!
Tuesday, March 21, 2017

TaylorMadeMonograms4 Will Bring Some Fun To Your Child's Wardrobe

I'm no stranger to loving personalized items for Scarlett.  There's just something so exciting and unique about having an item made to order that you can't buy in a store.  Scarlett has personalized books and toys in her room.  When she was a baby she had personalized bibs and onesies.  She is a lucky girl and I believe she loves the items just as much as her mom does.  If your child doesn't have anything personalized for them, it's time you order something special for them today!

TaylorMadeMonograms4 is an Etsy shop ran by owner Taylor who offers affordable and adorable monograms on whatever articles of clothing and more you could be looking for.  Her designs in clothing start in toddler sizes and go up to older children and even adults.  You'll love the monogrammed pajamas, swimsuits, shirts, dresses, backpacks, bibs, and so much more.  There's even an option to monogram your bathroom towels! If you don't see exactly what you're looking for, chances are it could be made for you.  Not only is Taylor extremely creative, she's very sweet and will work with you to make exactly what you want.  Keep the shop in mind for birthday gifts as well as gifts for any occasion including baby showers!

Scarlett was sent the most adorable backpack and dress with her name on it, I can't handle how cute the items are.  It's always fun when anything comes in the mail for her!

The backpack is a toddler sized one and perfect for travel.  Since we frequently travel by plane to go visit Grandma, the backpack would be ideal for putting books, small toys, and snacks in for Scarlett to have during the flight.  We've yet to fly where she has her own seat, but since she recently turned 2 and doesn't fly free anymore, our next flight will ensure her having her own seat.  I used to carry everything for her in the diaper bag, but she's older now and would enjoy having her own bag for her possessions.  We also have family in the tri-state area that we travel to by car, so the backpack would be useful to pack things to keep her entertained when we drive.

I instantly fell in love with the sweet green backpack embroidered with Scarlett's name in a beautiful bright pink cursive font.  The font is not only youthful and fun, but has a personality to it, just like Scarlett! Even though it's a small size, it still is spacious inside and can hold plenty of things.  The front compartment offers additional storage which I appreciate.  I noticed that the embroidery job is top notch and done very well.  There was no issues with the backpack's zipper getting stuck when I opened and closed it.  Scarlett immediately wanted to put an Elmo toy in there and walk around the house wearing the backpack.  How cute! It's safe to say that the backpack will definitely be part of our future travel plans.

Since spring is here, warm thoughts have been on my mind lately.  I want to wear less layers and no jacket! While we have a few weeks until I can do that, there's no reason why I can't get ready for warmer weather mentally.  Scarlett's ridiculously cute mint green dress will look perfect on her this summer.  Her name is embroidered in peach font on the dress and I love the combination of the mint and the peach together!

The dress fits her nicely and is a good length on her.  I don't think she'll be growing that much more before summer, so it should still be a similar fit in late May/early June.  Taylor gave the dress an extra boost of personality by adding 3 layers of ruffles on the bottom for an extra girly touch.  I absolutely love it!

I'm mentally planning what shoes she'll wear with the dress and I think a brown pair of sandals would look best.  She has a new pair that I recently bought for summer that we'll pair with it. There's no doubt in my mind that Scarlett will be the talk of the town as she walks around the park in the dress.  Who can resist such a cute girl?

If you're looking to have beautiful, custom made items that will last for years to come, it's time to place an order with Taylor!

Taylor is most active on Instagram, so please check out her page there for ordering. 

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to TaylorMadeMonograms4 for providing product samples in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own. 
Monday, March 20, 2017

Summertime Plans This Year

We're finally done with winter! Today is the first day of spring and I couldn't be more thrilled.  It feels like it's been cold for a long time now and I'm looking forward to warmer weather. We've had snow and cold temperatures for longer then necessary in my opinion.  As the temperatures heat up over the next few weeks, I'm ready for summer and everything it has to offer.

Scarlett's last day of school is at the end of June.  This year of preschool flew by and her end of the year party is just in a few months! She'll be going to camp for about 14 days this summer and I know she'll be so thrilled.  In-between going to camp, we'll be making a visit to Sesame Place and also Grandma's.  Hopefully we'll be able to meet up with Lynnie's puppies families this year too just like last summer.  

Those are our major plans, but since the weather will be nice all summer I'm sure we'll have plenty of outdoor playdates and trips to the beach and pool too.  What are your summer plans? I'm ready to stop wearing a hat and jacket everyday!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Triple Peanut Butter Cookie Pie Would Be Great to Make Anytime

I firmly believe in indulging in delicious desserts on any day that ends in Y.  Whether I'm sinking my teeth into a luscious piece of chocolate cake or having an ice cream sundae, you can guarantee that my belly will be happy.

Recently, I stumbled upon a dessert recipe that I knew I had to make. Who doesn't love the flavors of smooth and creamy peanut butter with chocolate candies and Reese's peanut butter cups? The combination is both sinful and rich.  If this is right up your alley, I have a wonderful treat for you to sink your teeth into.

This Triple Peanut Butter Cookie Pie will not only make your tastebuds dance, but it'll put a big smile on your face too.  Dessert always tends to make me smile. 

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
1 large egg
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
heaping 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup all purpose flour
optional, pinch of salt to taste
12 to 14 mini peanut butter cups
about 2/3 cup peanut butter M&M's

Candy perfection


1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray a 9-inch pie dish with floured cooking spray; set aside.

2. In a large, microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.

3. Wait momentarily before adding the egg so you don't scramble it.  Add the e.g., brown sugar, peanut butter, vanilla, and whisk until smooth.

4. Add the flour, optional salt, and stir until just combined; don't over mix.

5. Turn batter out into prepared pie dish, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.

6. Evenly insert the peanut butter cups into the batter, pushing them down so the top is almost flush with the surface of the dough.

7. Evenly insert the chocolate candies into the batter, pushing them down to anchor. 

8. Bake for about 28 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter.  If your pie has risen in the center, it will deflate as it cools.  Allow pie to cool in pan for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving.  Pie will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Dessert is served

You'll be left with a luxurious and silky pie that you won't want to share with anyone.  The peanut butter flavor is perfectly matched with the chocolate candies. What a classic combination, don't you think? 

These layers of peanut butter and chocolate will make anyone happy

You'll be requested to make this delicious pie time and time again, and your family will absolutely love it.  It's so easy to make that you'll be able to whip it up in no time. 

Don't forget a tall glass of icy cold milk.

*Recipe taken from Averie Cooks*
Saturday, March 18, 2017

BumpAndBeyondDesigns Will Create The Perfect Shirt For Your Child

There's nothing like wearing a new shirt or outfit you love, it's a great feeling.  Scarlett's closet is filled with adorable clothes that I couldn't resist buying.  She has more than she should, but toddler girl's clothing is impossible to say no to.   She has her favorite pieces that she enjoys wearing on a regular basis.  I do feel that it's essential to add a few articles of new clothing to your child's closet each season, if you can.

BumpAndBeyondDesigns is an Etsy shop ran by owner Ashley.  Her shop offers fashion apparel for babies, toddlers, and kids that you'll absolutely love.  Most of the clothing featured is age themed, meaning a custom birthday shirt for a child turning 3 or a first birthday dress for a baby.  There are also back-to-school shirts as well as a few other themes.  If you don't see exactly what you're looking for, chances are it can be made for you.  The age themed shirts are so cute and will surely look great in birthday pictures or at the child's party.  All clothing comes in a variety of styles and colors depending on your preferences.  Go ahead and place an order today!

Scarlett was sent the adorable short-sleeved Two and Fabulous shirt which will be perfect for warmer weather in just a few short months.  Since she is indeed two and fabulous I thought it couldn't be more fitting! The glitter is commercial grade glitter vinyl which provides exceptional durability.  Since the glitter is embedded in the material it will not flake or peel off even after repeated washings!

I love the combination of the minty green and white stripes with the glittery lettering, the colors truly compliment each other well.  I chose to have the shirt in a bigger size to ensure it fits her all year round.  Even though it's slightly big, she'll be able to grow into it throughout the year.  Scarlett doesn't already own any age themed shirts, so I knew it'd be fun for her to have one.  She doesn't have any issues with the shirt and seemed to be comfortable when she was wearing it.  Ashley is very talented and did a great job with designing and creating the shirt.

Most likely, I'll be pairing the shirt with jean shorts or a skirt and white or gold sandals for the summer.  I think a neutral or tan sandal would look cute too.  I know Scarlett will look adorable however way I choose to style her!

I'm looking forward to ordering Scarlett a three themed shirt for her birthday in December.  I know she'll certainly be three and fabulous then too.

If you're looking for a fun shirt that'll surely be a conversation starter, it's time to head on over to BumpAndBeyondDesigns.

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

Mouthwateringly Delicious Crispy Oven Potatoes

If you're looking for a fabulous side dish to compliment a hearty winter meal, look no further than my crispy oven potatoes.

These potatoes are not only perfectly crispy and soft, but they are full of fantastic flavor. What I love about cooking is how versatile it is.  You can use your own blend of seasonings or spices and a chicken or steak dish will turn out fantastic each and every time.  Don't feel intimidated by a certain recipe, cooking is all about trial and error and finding out what works and what doesn't.  

I make these potatoes every so often, but more so during the cold months of the year.  They pair perfectly as a side dish for rotisserie chicken and would be equally as delicious with a juicy New York Strip Steak.  You can have crispy oven potatoes in about 25 minutes and it'll be like bringing a restaurant quality meal to your dinner table.

First, I line a cookie sheet with tin foil and spray it with non-stick cooking spray.  You could use wax paper to save yourself the trouble of greasing it ahead of time. Preheat your oven to 425F.  I chop potatoes into small wedges and then pour them into a mixing bowl.  Go ahead and coat generously with olive oil and a hearty amount of your favorite seasoning blend and mix together.  Rosemary is a great choice for potatoes, but you could really use anything you want including Adobe or seasoned salt.  Once you've done that, pour the potatoes onto the cookie sheet and spread them out so they cook evenly.

When your oven has hit 425F, put the potatoes in for about 22-25 minutes.  When the oven timer goes off, you'll be presented with the most beautiful golden brown crispy potatoes in the world.  The crispiness paired with the soft middle is irresistible.  You won't be able to have just one helping, I promise.  My daughter Scarlett loves the potatoes and is always excited when she has them with her meals.

If you're looking for a crowd pleasing side dish, these potatoes are definitely it.

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Newborn Stage

It seems like so long ago that Scarlett was a newborn.  I'm so used to her being the active toddler that she is now, that I have to think hard about what she was like in the early days.

The hardest part about bringing home a new baby is how overwhelming it is. Your child does nothing but cry and eat constantly, and it's up to you to meet their needs.  Scarlett was my first child and obviously I had no prior experience before her.  I never babysat for an infant or even was around an infant in my life.  Everything seems doable and manageable when you're in the hospital because you have the nurses around for help.  Once you go home, it's a whole different story.

When I was discharged from the hospital with Scarlett, I became immediately sick.  I was unable to take care of Scarlett and was throwing up day and night.  My mom actually ended up staying longer than planned to help out with the baby.  Once I was better, it was the first time I was actually taking care of the child on my own.  I cried and said I didn't know how I was going to do this.  How could I maintain my own interests and hobbies while taking care of a baby around the clock? I was adjusting to no longer having the same life I've always lead, but changing my life for my child.  It was difficult to say the least. 

Scarlett had her days and nights mixed up.  She slept all day and partied all night.  I was making bottles every 2 hours and feeding her around the clock. When the baby monitor went off with loud cries at 2 AM, I dreaded it.  My husband couldn't do any night feedings during the week because he worked.  It was up to me to feed the baby 5 days a week solidly myself.  I was very lucky that she always went back to sleep after each feeding.  I remember sitting in the rocking chair at 3 AM and thinking to myself, will I ever get through these night feedings? When will they ever end? Even though they are an essential part of the newborn stage, I loathed them.  

I don't remember napping too much when Scarlett napped as a tiny baby.  Only when she got on a schedule at 6 months did I nap with her.  I remember being tired a lot, but I think I didn't nap with her because I was unsure of how long she would sleep and I didn't want to not hear her cry. Everyone says nap when the baby naps, but it's difficult to take that advice.

The #1 item that I would recommend for all parents of newborns is the HALO sleepsack.  We started off with the sleepsack swaddle in the hospital, and now have moved up to the HALO sleepsack.  I absolutely love this product and really appreciate how it grows with your child. Everyone should have these on their registry, and I certainly give them as baby gifts.  The sleepsack swaddle comforts your child and allows them to sleep peacefully and soundly.  What mom doesn't want that?

It's funny how the newborn stage seems so difficult.  You can't see past it and can only live in it for the moment.  I couldn't picture my daughter being 3 months, 6 months, or even a year.  Now she's two years old and a little girl!.  Where does the time go? She's walking, talking, and always on the go.   Of course that comes with its own set of challenges as well.  What I wouldn't give to have that tiny baby back, even for just one day!

I know you're tired.  I know you want a break.  We've all been there.  Try to appreciate your newborn for the stage that they're in now even if it seems impossible.  In the not so distant future you'll blink and your child will be hitting all sorts of milestone and growing.  Cherish the memories and your time together and don't forget anything.
Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Put Some IFME Shoes On Your Little One's Feet

Now that Scarlett's been solidly walking for about 13 months, she's amassed quite the shoe collection! Her closet contains adorable boots, flats, sandals, and sneakers that look great on her little feetsies.  Even though she's been walking for some time now, it's still important to me that her shoes contain the support that a girl on the go needs.  When I can find a truly fashionable shoe that is good for her growing feet, that makes me happy as a mother.

IFME has always had children's developing feet in mind since 1999.  The brand was developed based on research and development with Japanese based medical professionals specializing in children's feet.  The name IFME is short for "If It Was Me", reflecting the brand's deep commitment to customer satisfaction.  The shoe styles are offered for boys and girls in both baby and child size. There are many shoe choices to choose from depending on your style and color needs.  Why not get a pair of aqua and purple shoes for your daughter and navy and red for your son today? Keep IFME in mind for all of your child's future shoe needs.

Scarlett was fortunate enough to receive the cute Purple Flower shoes to add to her closet.  I chose to receive these in a size two sizes bigger so she has room to grow into them.  Her little feet grow a lot faster than they used to! Since this is a significantly larger size she will probably fit into them by the Fall.

The shoes are really easy to take on and off and they stay securely closed with velcro.  What I like most about these shoes is the adorable purple and blue flower design.  Scarlett will be the talk of her class when she wears these to school! The bottom of the shoe is sturdy and offers the support her growing feet need.

Scarlett was instantly attracted to the pretty flowers and enjoyed pointing to them and smiling.  She had no issues walking in the shoes and she seems comfortable and happy while wearing them. They are big and certainly not ready for her to wear though.  It seems like just yesterday she was wearing a toddler size 4, now she's in a 7! Kids don't stop growing, do they?

The shoes would be perfect with black, purple, white, or any other color you could think to pair them with.  Your little one will enjoy wearing them all year-round.  Moms everywhere will appreciate a stylish shoe that's sturdy, durable and reliable.  What more could you want for your child?

If you're looking to introduce a new pair of shoes into your little one's life, why not chose IFME?

*DISCLOSURE* Thank you to IFME for providing a product sample in order to facilitate this post.  All thoughts are strictly my own. 
Monday, March 13, 2017

Parents Will Have One Less Worry With VTech's Baby Monitor

When you have a new baby, it seems like all you do is check on them constantly to make sure they're okay.  New parents have so many worries and fears which is completely normal, it's their first time doing this of course.  When Scarlett was born I spent so much time watching the baby monitor to make sure she was breathing or moving.   When babies get older you'll watch them on the monitor and see them moving or rolling around which will calm your fears.  If you recently had a new baby, it's essential that you invest in a baby monitor.

VTech is everyone's favorite leader of electronic products as well as learning toys for children and toddlers.  If you're planning on expanding your family in the near future, why not consider VTech's Safe and Sound Full Color Video Monitor? It offers a cute, bear shaped unit that's perfect for parents as it allows them to keep an eye on baby from any part of the house.  The device seamlessly fits into any type of nursery, providing comfort and ease to parents.  You'll love the high-resolution LCD parent viewing screen, soothing sounds and lullabies included, two-way talk-back intercom, and 1,000 feet of range.  This video monitor give parents everywhere peace of mind and is perfect for a growing family as well as a new baby or shower gift too.

I haven't used a baby monitor in a very long time, since Scarlett was about 6 months old.  I remember keeping it next to me on the night stand and waking up to her cries to eat every few hours.  It was a hard period of parenthood and one that I'm glad is past us for the time being! Now that Scarlett is older, she's extremely active and needs constant supervision.  I do like to give her a little bit of freedom and let her play in her room or read for a short time while I fold laundry in my bedroom just a few feet away.  It would be nice to check on her to see exactly what she's doing without interrupting her.  VTech's video monitor makes this possible and I can depend on them for that.

What attracted me to this video monitor and made it really different was the bear shape.  The bear really appeals to kids and is a lot more fun than the standard round camera units that everyone is familiar with.  Since the bear is white, it can fit in with any nursery decor for any gender.  Even Scarlett loves the bear shape too and tried to hug it when I was setting it up in her room!  For very young babies, the monitor offers soothing sounds and lullabies which can help comfort baby and put them to sleep easily.

The installation for the monitor was very easy and in moments it was plugged in and ready to go.  I put it on Scarlett's dresser, but since the camera is easy to adjust you can have the best view no matter where you place it.  If you want, you even have the option to mount it to the wall.  My last monitor did not have a built in talk-back intercom which I wish it did.  Luckily, this unit has this feature and allows you to talk to your baby or child to comfort them whenever need be.  One unique feature that this monitor has is a temperature sensor, letting you know when you need to adjust the thermostat.  Thanks to this, your baby will never be too hot or too cold and will be able to sleep soundly.

At 4.3" the viewing screen is large and very clear which was wonderful.  It was very easy to see Scarlett and I could track her every move while I wasn't in the room with her.  The parent unit is easy to hold and can be taken with you all over your home.  You can push the buttons on the side of the parent unit to zoom and pan to your liking, as well as adjust the volume among many other things.  I did tell her not to do certain things a few times and she looked around wondering where my voice was coming from! I like that I can always be a fixture in her room even when I'm not physically there.  She no longer needs to be watched at night since she sleeps through the night, but the camera does offer night-vision to clearly see your little one in the dark.

Scarlett thought the parent unit was a phone and kept saying hi and hello! 

There's no better peace of mind then checking on your baby and making sure they're okay while in the crib.  We'll also use this monitor when I eventually have a second child, it'll surely come in handy.

If you're looking for a reliable baby monitor to depend on for years to come, VTech is here to help.

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

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Why Screen Time is OK in Our House

If you're a parent, chances are you've read an article or two about how screen time is harmful for children under two.  I'm sure you've also spoken to parents who swear that their TV is always turned off when their children are around.

In our house, we allow screen time to a degree.  Scarlett's favorite show is Sesame Street and she's learned so much from it and loves all of the characters.  You don't realize how much your child picks up from a show until they show you.  Just this morning she was watching it and The Count came on and he was talking about the number eight.  Scarlett repeated the number eight and was very pleased with herself.  I can also thank Sesame Street for helping Scarlett to know some of her ABC's, color's, and shapes.  I'm sure since the show debuted I'm one of millions of parents that can applaud the show for helping to teach their child.

The only other show that Scarlett watches is Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood.  This show teaches life lessons like sharing, doing the right thing, apologizing when you're wrong, trying new foods, and any other lessons that toddlers can relate to.  It's a cute show and Scarlett enjoys it.

We try to limit her to watch only two or three 30 minute shows a day.  Sometimes it's more depending on if I have work to do or if I'm cooking or cleaning.  I always make sure to limit how much she watches and ensure it's not too much. My husband and I read a lot to Scarlett to make sure she builds her vocabulary and is taught by books too. 

Another great resource that we implement is YouTube videos.  Scarlett has a favorite series from Busy Beavers which teaches numbers, shapes, colors, ABC's, and nursery rhymes.  She requests to watch it frequently and absolutely loves it.  It's been very beneficial and I know she's learned a lot from it.  Scarlett does not use my phone and I don't have any apps downloaded on it for her. 

I don't see any problem with a child watching online videos or shows when it's kept to a minimum. It's very hard to completely shelter a child from TV and I don't think it's necessarily a good thing. Scarlett is a happy, healthy toddler who is learning everything she needs to know in a fun and relatable way.  

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Easter Desserts to Delight Your Belly

This year is just flying by.  It feels like it was just New Year's Eve, now it's already March! Easter is just a few weeks away, and I'm sure everyone is planning what their Easter dinner menu will be. You can't have a delicious dinner without a tasty after-dinner treat, of course! Here are a few recipes that would look wonderful on your table to serve.

Lemon Bars are the perfect balance of sweet and tart and require not too much work.  You'll be surprised at how easy they are to make. They'll keep in the fridge wrapped or covered for up to 3 days and will be ideal to make in advance.  

Toasted Coconut Refrigerator Cake offers a cool and creamy taste that's unbeatable.  Coconut is one of my favorite ingredients in desserts.  When you combine coconut with a buttery pound cake and a creamy custard filling, it'll be a crowd-pleasing hit. 

Don't forget to serve chocolate brownies or another chocolate goodie to go with these desserts either!

*DISCLOSURE* The recipe posts were taken from Real Simple Recipes.  I have credited and linked back to the website.  
Monday, March 6, 2017

Save Money On Diapers At Sam's Club During The Month of March!

If you're a member of Sam's Club and haven't heard about their great diaper promotion, I have some wonderful news for you that you'll be excited about.

For the month of March, Sam's is offering a Diaper Madness promotion which allows you to save money on your favorite diaper and wipe brands.  If you're a mom of a little one in diapers, you know how expensive they are.  It seems like you're off buying more diapers when you just purchased them. Everyone enjoys saving money on essentials that their family needs.  Your little one will be thrilled too!

You'll be able to purchase and save on all of the following until March 31st:

$10 off 2 Pampers diapers or wipes
$18 off 3 Pampers diapers or wipes
$8 off 2 Huggies diapers
$3 off Member's Mark diapers or wipes
Up to $18 off training pants

It's time to get happy because not only will you be saving money, the shipping is free too! Spread the word to your friends and family, they will surely appreciate it. 

*DISCLOSURE* I am working with Sam's Club to help promote the Diaper Madness promotion.  All thoughts are strictly my own. 
Sunday, March 5, 2017

Chocolate Chip Cookies Will Make You Say Yum!

Cookies warm the soul and make you smile.  There's nothing quite like a warm cookie fresh out of the oven with a glass of milk.

If you're looking for a satisfying cookie recipe to really make your belly smile, I have the perfect recipe for you.  These cookies are perfect for parties, holiday events, or just anytime of a day.  No occasion is needed to enjoy fabulous cookies. 

I've been making these cookies for years, and I always get rave reviews.  The best part about this recipe is that you can truly make it your own.  Substitute coconut for pecans or even peanut butter if you want.  Whatever you put in the cookies, they'll come out perfect and delicious each and every time. 

The ingredients for this recipe are:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) of softened butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup of flaked coconut 


Preheat oven to 375F.  Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Gradually beat in flour mixture and then stir in chocolate chips and flaked coconut. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheets.  Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes and then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

The cookie dough is beautiful.  Soft, golden brown dough mixed with large coconut flakes and chocolate chips.  What can be better? 

When your timer dings, you'll be left with the most scrumptious cookies your taste buds have ever enjoyed.  These round beauties are soft, moist, and full of fantastic flavor.  Coconut and chocolate are two classic flavors that can't be beat.

Make sure to enjoy a cookie or two.  If you're me, maybe even 3.  Don't forget to pair your sweet treat with a glass of icy cold milk.

*Recipe Courtesy of Nestle*

Friday, March 3, 2017

Giving A Child Choices Is Important

For the past 2 or 3 weeks, I've been stepping back and letting Scarlett make some of her own decisions.  Even though she's only two, that doesn't mean that she can't make some of her own choices.  I do believe that giving children choices will allow them to feel that they are in control over what they do.  It's also a small step in growing up too!

As a parent, giving children options helps alleviate some frustration.  If your little one is allowed to choose their own snack, they'll be happier than eating what you chose for them, especially if it's not what they want.  I take Scarlett to the cabinet where her snacks are and offer her two choices.  I feel that two is a small enough number to ensure she won't get overwhelmed.  

The snack choices I offer her are always things she likes, so I know she'll have no problem choosing.  I'll ask her if she wants crackers or yogurt raisins for example and pause after each item to see how she reacts.  Also, I show her each food box so she knows exactly what she's getting.  If she shakes her head at one choice, I know it's not what she wants.  When I allow Scarlett to choose her snack, I know that it's going to cause one less frustration for me in terms of her not eating what I give her and having to offer something else.  

When it comes to going out, I'll actually let her choose her own shoes.  I don't give her any choices at all, and I just tell her go pick out what shoes you'd like to wear today from your closet. Sometimes I have to intervene if she picks out shoes that are not appropriate for the outfit, like dress shoes with jeans and a sweater. Scarlett usually handles it well and the second pair of shoes she picks works better.

Scarlett also picks out her own book for us to read too.  My husband and I used to select a book for her, but why not let her read what she wants to? 

In the future when she's speaking more, I'll offer her choices for dinner to ensure she'll enjoy what she eats.  It's interesting as a parent to see your child have some control and see what choices they make.  Scarlett's just getting older and more independent and I'm doing my best to help her!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

100 First Words Book Will Quickly Become Your Child's Favorite

As a stay-at-home-mom of a 2 year old, it's my job to make sure Scarlett knows everything she needs to know.  I work with her to ensure she knows right from wrong, her colors, shapes, animals, and making sure she can identify objects too.  It's a wonderful feeling to know that your child retains what you've taught them and can show you that.  Books have been a great resource for teaching Scarlett and her zest for reading is something that I'm very proud of.

DK Publishing is the bestselling and award-winning publisher known for informing, entertaining, and educating global audiences through beautifully designed content.  DK's books include children's books, travel guides, cookbooks, photography, health and beauty, and many more.  There's surely a book for everyone's interest that would fit wonderfully in any bookshelf in your home.  With such a wide variety of titles, you'll always be able to find a new book to satisfy that itch for reading.  Why not check out a book from DK publishing today?

Scarlett's had a bookshelf in her room filled with books waiting for her since before she was born.  Overtime, she's acquired more books and needed a second shelf to hold all of her favorites.  When we do eventually move into a bigger home, I'd love to get her a large bookshelf that holds everything we have.  We spend a lot of time reading together and it's honestly the best thing you can do for your chid.  Reading helps a child's imagination, brain development, creativity, and vocabulary.  

When Scarlett was sent DK's 100 First Words book, I knew she'd love it.  We have similar books to this one but not as detailed and broad.  The large board book houses crystal-clear photos that show the wonder of the real world from baby's body and food to shapes, colors, animals, and so much more.  The delightful illustrations tell simple stories that foster learning from penguins playing in the snow to a mouse climbing a ladder.  Clear word labels encourage pointing, naming and talking, which aides in early identification and language skills.  

With 14 themed pages covering all the familiar things little ones are interested in, it's the perfect book for parents and babies to share.  Since the book is a large size, it's easy for little ones to hold while they read with mom or dad. 

Over the past few months, Scarlett's been able to identify so much in a book when she's asked.  I'm impressed by her widening-knowledge of the world and proud of her too! She was very excited to look at this book and immediately smiled and pointed at some of the pictures that interested her.  I know that it makes her feel accomplished and she gets joy out of the book too.  

One page had a picture of an owl in a tree and she made the "hoot hoot" noise that an owl made.  She's a smart girl! The colors in the book are bold and vibrant and each illustration is clear and vivid. I really think this is a beautiful book that any mom-to-be would appreciate as a baby shower gift, as well as a present for a new baby too.  

Since Scarlett is two, she knows what a majority of the illustrations are and can identify them, although there are still many that she doesn't know.  I like that each specific section of the book has many illustrations for each category.  For example, out and about has rain and a scooter in it.  Scarlett doesn't know either at this point and it's a helpful way to teach her. 

It's never too early or too late to teach your child! DK's 100 First Words book is a positive first start for any baby.

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