Tuesday, February 27, 2018

House Update!

Originally, this post was going to be of a different nature.  I started a draft post update when my house had an accepted offer and an offer we put on a house was accepted. Unfortunately, our situation has changed.

I was recommended a great realtor by my friend and I can't thank her enough for the recommendation.  The realtor has been wonderful and been excellent with communication and advice every step of the way.



When we first met with her and agreed to work with the realtor, everything after that went very quickly.  We spent a good part of a weekend putting away things and getting the house ready to be sold.  The rule of thumb for house showings is that a potential buyer has to imagine themselves living in your home.  Scarlett's preschool artwork had to be taken off the wall, all magnets off the fridge, any family photos off the wall and so on.  It's a lot more work than we thought but it was for the best.

Once the photos of the house were taken for the online listing, there was no turning back. The listing went live a few days after that and I was bombarded with calls.  I think we had 6 showings in one day and a total of 13 showings in about 3 days.  It was madness.  I was scrambling to keep my home clean and always in order for potential buyers.  It felt like Lynnie and Scarlett and I were always in the car since you can't be home when the individuals come over.  It was hard for me to say no to anyone asking to view the home because I felt like I was turning away someone who could potentially be interested.

Our hard work paid off because after four days on the market, our home had an offer.  The offer was 10K less than asking price and it felt too good to be true. The family had a 15 month old girl and the wife was pregnant with another girl.  They wrote us a very nice email saying that our home felt like home to them and they couldn't wait to make memories here.  Scarlett's room is pink with flowers and animals and would have been perfect for the girls.  The note made me cry because reality was setting in that we'd soon be leaving and this was a special house to us.  I didn't expect to feel that emotional about it, but I did.

About a day later, a beautiful home came on the market in a neighborhood that we primarily can't afford.  The price tag was shockingly low and we could easily afford it.  We went to see the home twice and the amount of interest in the house was unreal.  Realtors and their clients were backed up down the street waiting for their time slot to see the house.  Of course there was more interest than normal because of the low price tag and how beautiful the home was.  Due to all of this, a bidding war ensued and we had to submit an offer over asking price.  Two days later our realtor told us that the seller's agent was accepting best and final offers and this was the end of the road.  We submitted an even higher offer and it was accepted.  We were thrilled.

The home had a huge backyard and boasted four bedrooms and plenty of storage.  With over 2,200 square feet it surely would be the upgrade we were looking for.  I started mentally planning how I wanted to decorate the rooms and envisioning Scarlett and her friends playing in her backyard for the first time.

Everything was smooth sailing after that and the buyers had an inspection on our home which came back clear.  They asked for a few minor things but nothing out of the ordinary. Our inspection on the new house was set for the following week and we were ready to go through with that.

Everything changed this past Saturday when they asked to come back to our home for a second look.  They spent more time than normal here and we took that as a negative sign. Ultimately, the buyers became obsessed with squeaky floors in the house which wasn't a true problem, but they made it out to be.  This was the beginning of the end.

They were dragging their feet after this and we could tell something was not right.  Our inspection was set for the next day, and we told our realtor if the buyers are not going to seriously go through with purchasing our home, we are not spending hundreds of dollars for no reason on our own inspection.  In the end, they backed out and said they were sorry.  There was no given reason, but I honestly think it was buyers remorse and they didn't want our house.  They used the floors as a way to back out even though they didn't give a specific reason.

We are sad but know it obviously wasn't meant to be.  We're on to bigger and better things and know another house we'll love even more is just around the corner.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Kids Will Sleep More Soundly Thanks to Eclipse Curtains+ Giveaway

I'm very lucky that Scarlett has been an excellent sleeper since 6 months old.  She sleeps 12+ hours a night and doesn't wake up early.  This makes me one happy mama because I can't function before 7 AM! I'm sure it's due in part to the fact that her curtains block out the sunlight.

Eclipse Curtains offer curtain panels made exclusively for kids and incorporate tons of different prints, styles, and lengths to make any girl or boy happy.  The best part about these adorable curtains is that they have blackout and noise reducing capabilities.  You'll find prints ranging from polkadots, sports, animals, fairies and more! There's a style or print for any age range that would look wonderful in your child's room.  Find many more prints at Target




When we sleep over at Grandma's house, unfortunately her curtains bring in a lot of light and Scarlett wakes up early. Eventually, I'd like to see if she could get Eclipse curtains to solve this issue.  It can be frustrating when your little one wakes up earlier for the day then you'd like them to.  If you're like me, you like your sleep! The blackout aspect of Eclipse curtains blocks light from entering through the windows, which allows your child to sleep longer.  Parents will love this feature and children will enjoy the prints, what could be better right?

These curtains would be a perfect addition to any room especially if you're considering a room makeover.  Which curtain panel would look best in your child's room?

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Thursday, February 22, 2018

Make Pizza Night a Success with Rustic Crusts

At the end of the day after taking care of a 3 year old, I don't always have a lot of energy to cook dinner.  On the those nights where my husband works late and I'm exhausted, we look for something quick and easy to make.  My favorite meals are those that pack a lot of taste but don't require a lot of fuss.



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

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


Pizza night in my family is usually once a week, but I wish it was daily. Rustic Crusts offers pizza kits featuring 12" crusts with pizza sauce that are large and definitely will make your belly happy.  With crust flavors like crispy Italian, sea salt and basil, and cheesy herb, how can you go wrong? I know the cheesy herb and crispy Italian is right up my alley! 

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




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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

What's on My Travel Bucket List

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

Since Scarlett's been born, we've curtailed the traveling since it's not as feasible anymore.  In her short 3 year old life, she's been to North Carolina, Florida, Cape Cod, NYC, and several other places.  I'd love to travel with her more as she gets older to see and experience what this world has to offer.

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

England:

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

Italy:

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

France:

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

Switzerland:

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

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

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Spending Time With Your Children is Priceless

When I look at an album of baby pictures of Scarlett, it feels like yesterday, but so long ago at the same time.  Like the saying says, the days are long but the years are short.  Scarlett is now 3 years old and growing and changing at a rapid pace.


It doesn't feel like that long ago that I was playing peek-a-boo with her and making her laugh hysterically.  Sometimes it boggles my mind how my tiny 8 lb baby girl grew so fast into an active and opinionated 3 year old! 

I'm fortunate enough that I've been a stay-at-home-mom since day one.  It's been my greatest pleasure to see all of Scarlett's firsts and some of her firsts in present day I'd like to forget! That's for another day though.  Since Scarlett only goes to school three days a week, it's up to me to fill the other two days a week with activities to keep her busy and entertained.  Since I have so many hours with her, I like to get out of the house occasionally to break up the day.  We visit friends, go out to lunch, go shopping or just visit a kid's museum.  Scarlett is always up for a grocery store visit too and requests that we go there daily!

If we do go out, I always enjoy spending as much time as possible with my cutie.  We talk in the car and I get to hear all of her silly antics and questions, and of course we love singing along to the radio too.  It's so important to just talk! Of course sometimes it's fun to pay for an outing like the movies, but being together doesn't always have to be expensive or cost anything!  

In the warmer months of the year, take your child to the playground or the park which costs nothing.  Scarlett loves the swings at the park and she is all smiles when I push her. When we're home, you can find me coloring in a coloring book with Scarlett or doing a puzzle with her.  She loves to build castles or towers with her magnatiles and her finished product is always wildly creative.  Play-doh is also on our daily to-do list and Scarlett uses her imagination to make pretend cookies and pizza.  When I'm feeling like I'm all out of ideas for fun, we turn on some music and just have a dance party.

I think children remember the time spent with their parents one-on-one the most beyond anything else.  It would make me so happy for my daughter to grow up and remember all of the precious time we spent together.  Time passes so fast and children are only young once. Make sure to be together as much as possible!






Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Garden Lite's Superfood Veggie Cakes Will Make You Say Yum!

Like most adults, I don't eat veggies as much as I should.  Scarlett devours vegetables like candy on a daily basis and I wish I had her enthusiasm for them.  It's not that I dislike them, it's just I don't eat them as much as I should weekly.   Some of my favorite vegetables are raw peppers, cucumbers, broccoli and peas.  Broccoli is fabulous when it's roasted which is my ideal method of cooking it.  I think everyone needs a push to eat greens when given the opportunity.



Garden Lites's mission is to transform freshly picked veggies into surprisingly delicious foods. The brand line up includes souffles, baked, muffins and appetizers. You'll be pleased to know that veggies are always the first ingredient of each product.  Each and every Garden Lites product is gluten free, dairy free, nut free, non-GMO and Good House Keeping Nutritionist approved!

If you're interested in incorporating more vegetables in your diet, the Superfood Veggie Cakes would be a wonderful choice.  Normally in my book vegetables and cake don't go hand in hand, but trust me it's not what it sounds like.  These small round yummies are 100 calories each and jam-packed with kale, broccoli, bell peppers, cauliflower and brown rice.  They can be made in the toaster oven, oven or microwave to delight your belly. Having a veggie cake as an afternoon snack paired with some almonds or even a cheese stick would be a great way to tide yourself over until dinner.


Scarlett is hands down the vegetable champion in this household.  Her love for peas, broccoli and cucumbers knows no bounds.  It's surprising to me how much she adores her veggies since my friends struggle to get their children to eat them.  I should consider myself lucky, I guess! Scarlett has been known to eat an entire can of peas in one sitting and can consume a raw red bell pepper in minutes!

If your child isn't like mine and doesn't have a natural affinity for veggies, the Superfood Veggie cakes would be a great for them to get many veggies at one meal.  Sometimes children don't like having one vegetable alone like broccoli on their plate and consider it "yucky." With the veggie cakes, they look like a small cake which may intrigue children.  The cake doesn't taste like a plate of vegetables, but the taste is masked by the eggs and brown rice.  I really enjoyed the veggie cake and thought it was delicious!


The veggie cake would be a perfect side dish for a toddler meal as well as an adult meal too.  If you're watching your weight and want to have a dinner that has a lower fat and calorie content, why not pair a piece of salmon with a veggie cake and fruit? Since the cakes are so versatile they can be paired with practically anything you serve them with for lunch or dinner.

I love the fact that the cakes combine so many veggies at once, it really helps you to get your vegetable serving in for the day too. It's safe to say that Garden Lite's Super Veggie Cakes are a hit in my household! Why not try them today?

Find where to purchase Garden Lites Superfood Veggie Cakes at a location near you!

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

Friday, February 9, 2018

Treat Your Belly to a Garden Lites Muffin!

On occasion, I like to have a muffin for breakfast with some fruit instead of cereal or oatmeal.  A blueberry or chocolate muffin definitely pleases my belly and is a tasty way to start the day.  Wouldn't it be nice to have a healthy alternative to a calorie ridden muffin whenever the mood strikes?



Garden Lites's mission is to transform freshly picked veggies into surprisingly delicious foods.  The brand line up includes souffles, baked, muffins, and appetizers and veggies are always the first ingredient of each.  You'll be pleased to know that each Garden Lites product is gluten free, dairy free, nut free, non-GMO and Good House Keeping Nutritionist approved! Sink your teeth into such muffin flavors as chocolate, banana chocolate chip, or even blueberry oat.  



The frozen muffins pack a low sugar and calorie content and make a perfect breakfast paired with a smoothie or an equally as tasty after-school snack.  You can defrost the muffins at room temperature for 4 hours and enjoy the tiny treats on a road or plane trip too.


Since I'm a chocolate lover through and through, I opted to try the chocolate muffin first which is made with zucchini and carrots.  Isn't it fantastic how you can enjoy something decadent that's made with healthy ingredients at the same time? In just 35 seconds in the microwave, your belly will be having a guilt free 120 calorie treat that won't wreck your diet.

I wasn't exactly sure how a muffin packed with veggies would taste, but I knew that I was curious to try.  If you're envisioning the Garden Lites muffins tasting like cardboard, you're very wrong.  The chocolate muffin was very moist and soft and looked like an ordinary mini muffin.  I couldn't believe how much it tasted like any other bakery or grocery store muffin! There was no trace of any vegetable taste at all.  The chocolate taste was light, not overly sweet or rich.  Honestly, it's enough to curb anyone's sweet tooth though.



Scarlett was a big fan of the chocolate muffin and demanded her own muffin when I offered her a bite.  After she finished the muffin her face was a complete mess and she declared "I'm so happy!" It's easy to see why, those tasty little treats appeal to both children and adults.  I'm lucky that she is a huge veggie lover so getting her to eat nutritious veggies is not a struggle.  If your children don't love vegetables, this is an easy way to get them to eat something nutritious that is also tasty.  Sometimes parenting is about being sneaky in order to do what's best for your tiny tot.


Chocolate and banana is a classic combination and I was pleased to see that that was also one of the Garden Lites muffin flavors.  The soft yet scrumptious muffin packed a wonderful banana to chocolate ratio and each bite was just pure deliciousness! This would go great with a side fruit salad or even some eggs and coffee.

If you're looking for a break from the sweet stuff, the blueberry oat muffin is the pick for you.  This muffin has the perfect balance of oats and blueberries and is a great way to start your day.  Make sure to pair this with some Greek yogurt for a breakfast that will truly satisfy.

If you're looking to give your morning a boost of taste and flavor, it's time to introduce your belly and your freezer to Garden Lites Muffins!

Find where to purchase Garden Lites muffins at a location near you!

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


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Talkspace Offers Great Home Therapy

Let's face it, not everyone has the ability or funds to see a therapist. It's great to have someone you can talk to once or twice a week, but it's just not possible for every person out there. Unfortunately, leaving your mental problems to fester without getting some type of help can be a disaster. You might find that it ruins your lifestyle, sleeping patterns, relationships and career. If you need a better way to get in touch with a true professional, you need an app like Talkspace to help out.



Talkspace was designed to bring therapy into the home. It allows you to message a therapist, get your problems off of your chest and get viable advice from someone who cares and is experienced in the mental health field. Plus, Talkspace is a lot cheaper than traditional methods. You won't be spending hundreds of dollars per session just to see someone. Instead, you're paying per week at a relatively inexpensive rate. It allows just about anyone and everyone to make use of therapy without funds or a hectic schedule getting involved.



Talkspace is also idea for people who are unable to keep regular therapist appointments. You might have a severe anxiety problem that prevents you from leaving the house when you need or want. You might also have a mobility issue that makes it difficult to get to and from different appointments. You might just be someone who is too busy to go and see a therapist, and Talkspace allows you to do the talking from the comfort of home. Because Talkspace is available around the clock, you get to get in touch with your therapist both day and night whenever you need a listening ear or some solid advice on how to handle a specific situation at the moment.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Valentine's Day is Just Days Away!

Not everyone is into celebrating Valentine's Day, but if you are what are your plans for it? 



Scarlett's school is having a morning celebration for it and I'll be bringing in some treats for it.  She's also picked out some PJ Masks (her favorite TV show) Valentine's cards for the kids in her class so we'll get those ready this weekend.  I'm glad her school allows sugary treats for celebrations because apple slices aren't exciting for Valentine's Day but cupcakes are!

I aways like to give Scarlett something fun for each occasion so I went to the dollar store and got her a cute Valentine's Day mailbox and inside I put a stuffed animal, stickers, and a tiny bag of Hershey's kisses.  For just a few bucks, this will make her very happy.  The dollar store has a ton of Valentine's Day decorations and candy if you're not looking to break the bank but want to decorate for it.

I bought my husband Jay a card and some candy for the love-filled event.  I'm sure I'll also go out and get him something else because I love to give gifts.  Of course I'll cook a nice meal that night as well.  

Hope everyone has an enjoyable Valentine's Day filled with lots of chocolate!