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Hot Toys of the Season Giveaway!

This post contains Affiliate Links. Happy Monday y’all! It is seriously freezing here so to make your Monday a little more bearable I have an awesome giveaway for you. I know this years hot toys were Fingerlings and L.O.L. Dolls. They are all over Amazon, […]

5 Ways Get Your Kids to Pick Toys They Really Want for Christmas

5 Ways Get Your Kids to Pick Toys They Really Want for Christmas

This year was my easiest year yet to buy Christmas gifts. During our move I had listening to the The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing on Audible. I had been wanting to read it for forever but being […]

Happy Monday!

Happy Monday!

Hey guys! It’s Monday and I am going into it with a lot of positivity. We had a great weekend and I think that always helps going into a new week. What is that saying “A Sunday well spent brings a week of content”? Something like that.

I figured I would do a blog post with a little update on us and what has been going on since my other posts have been more about holidays and charities. Please make sure you check those out though!

Friday my best friend, her Mom and I all went to a Vintage Market event in Jacksonville. It was so much fun to just have some girl time and check out all the awesome items people had for sale. I ended up getting new stockings for Branden and me, a gift for him and this cool wood piece for our table but now I am thinking it might be too rugged so it might end up at my besties house. We will see.

Saturday I spent the day hanging with the kids at home and getting ready for game night. We were having my best friend’s family over and we were making lots of yummy dips and finger foods. So good but seriously so many calories, ha! We played Clue with Ace and my friend’s daughter Brielle and the little girls decided to join in. Basically Kat and I deserve and award for trying to play that with all the kids. It was super hard to play with two little girls trying to move all the people and Ace showing me all his answers. It was fun but they definitely need a few years for a good game night.

The next day we had planned to take all the kids to an event called The Compassion Experience. It is seriously such an incredible thing to bring children to. They get to go through rooms showing what it is like for children in other countries. These children aren’t afforded the same luxuries and opportunities our children are. Many die due to hunger, disease and violence. It just makes you appreciate what you have and sparks giving in your heart. It was a little too intense for Ashlyn. She was really scared because the rooms were a bit dark and she really didn’t get what was going on. She ended up being scared that night an slept with us. She said she didn’t want to go to the stories anymore. Poor baby! So I would stick to 6 years old and up for this. It is a traveling event so check it out and definitely take your children!

After dinner and baths we took the kids to this old motel that has Christmas lights and it was so fun. I just love looking at lights. It has been something we have done every year and we usually go with my cousins so I was glad we got to go with my best friend and her family because it really is such a nice family event. All the little cousins walking around together and loving on each other is the best. I’m so glad my kids get to have these memories.

Another fun thing we started on Friday was the Elf on the Shelf and by fun I am mean it’s not. Just kidding it is fun for our kids but I hate having to remember to move it. Kat and I both forgot to move ours after game night so we told the kids we were all up too late so the Elf didn’t have time to fly back to Santa. They believed it.

So now here we are, Monday morning. I am starting this week with a jump start into the 21 Day Fix. Anyone doing this or have done this? I have done it in the past and it was a great way to get back on track with eating healthy. With all the visitors we have for Thanksgiving and just eating crap because of how busy we have been it will be nice to kind of reboot our systems. If you are interested in following along with me while I do it make sure you follow me on Instagram or Facebook. I will post updates on there as well.

And please enter my giveaway for a Minted gift card! Minted isn’t just for Christmas cards but they have awesome decor as well.

An Easy Way to Give Back this Holiday Season

An Easy Way to Give Back this Holiday Season

When the holidays start we often talk about how we can help others. Many people have good intentions and say they will do something but then get caught up in their to do lists and that good deed falls to the waste side. Or maybe […]

Last MInute Christmas Card Ideas + Giveaway from Minted!

This post is sponsored by Minted. Happy Saturday! I am so very excited to share this post with you all. This year was the easiest year yet to get my Christmas cards done. I use Minted because I worked with them in the past and […]

Holiday Gift Guide: Preschoolers

Holiday Gift Guide: Preschoolers

Ok so raise your hand if you still haven’t finished your Christmas shopping! I have pretty much finished my children except for a few stocking stuffers but I feel like buying great gifts that will last for preschoolers can be a bit tough. This year we took that concept to heart and only bought toys we knew they would 100% love and play with and ones that would last. Here are toys we either got for our girls or have that we highly suggest buying.

gift guide for preschoolers

This post contains affiliate links.

1. KidKraft Play Kitchen. This has got to be my favorite play kitchen to date. My kids have had a ton of different play kitchens given to them over the years. All have been hand me downs and they have all broken or just not been for durable. Finally last year I picked this one out and my cousins got it for the girls. I love that the one we have is two pieces since we have three children playing with it sometimes all at once. It gives them the space to play and not bump into each other. There is a smaller version which my friend has and it is just as great. Both are a great price and make a great “big” Christmas present. These adorable kitchen accessories would also be a great addition to the gift.

2. Legos. These are one of my children’s most played with toys. We have both the Duplo and regular Legos. I had considered getting rid of the Duplo ones but they still play with them a lot so the combo of different sizes is fun for them. It also really sparks their creativity and I am all about that.

3. Barbies and Super Heroes. If you have a child who loves pretend play getting Barbies and Super Heroes are so fun. My girls are very into Barbies right now and I found Barbie brand and Disney Princesses are the best ones to get. I am sure this is a no brainer but we have had cheaper ones fall apart (think lost head and legs). Everly requested a Rock Star Barbie this year. Brings me back to my childhood. Ace always had Marvel Super Heroes and they are still going strong after 3 years.

4. Balance Bike. These are the girls big gifts this year. We knew we needed to get them bikes and after talking to a bunch of my friends who had balance bikes and regular bikes for their kids they suggested balance ones. They said you don’t even have to worry about teaching your child to ride a bike without training wheels because they learn to balance before ever getting on a bigger bike. I was SOLD! Not having to go through training two little girls at once to ride bikes is totally fine with me. I only wish I had gotten Ace one because he is so freaked out about riding his bike without training wheels that he won’t keep his bike balanced and leans to the side. This Cruzee UltraLite Balance Bike is so cool because it comes in a ton of colors and you can start your children on them as young as 18 months and it fits up to 5 years old. We got the girls this Costzon Balance Bike Walking Bicycle but it doesn’t come in many colors. It is a great price and goes up to 7 years old.

5. Dress up clothes. My kids are big into dressing up. I usually grab costumes after Halloween is over when they are 90% off and saved them for Christmas. I got a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles costume for Ace for only $5. And my best friend got the girls princess ones for under $10. I found this really cute Disney Princess Dress Up Trunk for $29.99 and it has 4 princess outfits with accessories and a trunk to put it all in. I think that is a pretty awesome deal.

Thankful

I wrote this post about a week ago but wanted to wait to post it on the actual day this all happened 5 years ago. Today I will be spending the actual day just being with my babies and trying to make the most of […]

5 Ways Having 3 Kids Close in Age is Easier Than You Think

Disclaimer: This post is not to say that having 3 young children isn’t hard sometimes. It definitely can be but overall we make it work and have a good time. I still have sleepless nights or my children fight.  Happy Thursday! Recently, it seems like […]

Recap of our trip to Rogers City, Michigan

Recap of our trip to Rogers City, Michigan

Oh Happy Fall Weather! Shout out to all my Florida peeps who are wearing Uggs, mittens and scarfs on this cold day. All you northerners can officially make fun of us.

So I have been a bit MIA because we went to Michigan on Thursday the 19th for my brother-in-laws wedding. It was such a beautiful weekend. The weather was perfection and we had the best time. If it didn’t get so freezing cold there I would move there in a heartbeat. I always get sad when we leave our family up there. Just a heads up this is going to be a super long post on our trip because I want to make sure we remember every bit of it.


We flew up Thursday and this was the girls first real flight, Ashlyn had only been on a plane when she was a newborn so it was really exciting for them. We flew Frontier and it was a really nice plane. Very spacious seats, only downfall was they didn’t recline unless you upgraded to a different seat. Overall a great airline. (Not sponsored but I had been wondering about it prior to flying and am happy to report it was great.)

Anyway we flew into Detroit then had to drive 4 hours to Rogers City. The kids did so well. They played with toys, colored and then we sang Disney songs when they were over all their stuff. The best part was driving down the hills and we would have them hold their hands up and scream. So freaking cute.

We stayed with Branden’s brother Robert and his wife Angie so we got there and hung out Thursday night while the kids watched movies. The next day we went to the hall where the reception was going to be and the kids got to see their cousins Elliot and Russell. It was so cute seeing them all together. After a day there we took the kids to the park and beach before rehearsal dinner. The weather was gorgeous and we took the kids on the rock wall. Ashlyn and Everly were scared but eventually walked back instead of being held. They loved running around the beach too. It was nice just sitting there watching them play.

We headed back to the hall where we ate dinner and our family did a little birthday celebration for all the kids since they don’t get to celebrate with them normally. It was seriously so sweet. They got them each their own little cake and gifts. As my brother-in-law Robert said “I think Gertie was going to vibrate out of her seat she was so happy.”

Saturday was the wedding so I hung out at home while Branden went with his brothers to get ready. Everly and I both weren’t feeling well so we took our time getting ready. I also did our niece Emily’s hair then we headed out to this gorgeous barn where the wedding was. I mean talk about breath taking. I was obsessed. The ceremony was so sweet. They have been together for 19 years so it was just fun to see them be emotional even after all these years.

When the wedding was over our nieces Emily and Chelsea took the kids to their grandma’s house to play while we went on the bus with everyone to take pictures and have some drinks. Definitely nice to get that kid free time since it is so rare for Branden and me to get anytime without kids. I captured a hilarious moment with one of my brother-in-law Rodney’s oldest friends and Branden. The two of them together are so funny and they ended up matching so I was like aw you guys hold hands. Like if you want entertainment these two are the best.

At the wedding we got to see Branden’s cousin and her girls. I was so excited for our girls to finally meet. I just adore his cousin Brittany because she is literally the sweetest person ever and her and Branden (along with her sister Sarah who we really missed) have the cutest relationship. Watching all our kids together was by far the highlight of the trip.

On Sunday we went to Branden’s grandpa’s house where we saw his Mom’s side of the family. The kids were spoiled with a little train type ride. Even the adults got in on it. The kids also made a tiny little leaf pile which was funny. Poor Florida kids thought their tiny pile was something awesome.

Next we headed to Knaebe’s apple farm where they played, fed animals and went on a carriage ride. After that we headed to Branden’s Dad’s farm and went on a buggy ride through their property. They were so nervous but had fun. They also played with these super old trucks that Branden and his siblings played with as kids. It was cool to just watch them experience things their dad did as a child.

This was hands down my favorite trip up there. Seeing our kids playing with their cousins and enjoying such a beautiful place where their dad grew up made me just feel so happy.

I am now on a mission to make yearly or every other year trips up in the summer happen so we can get Branden’s other cousin and her kids up there so we will really have a big group of kids to watch play and grow up together.

Shop the kids outfits! (I tried to find similar items for those that are sold out)

At Home Teeth Whitening That Actually Works!

Hi guys! Happy Thursday, I hope everyone is making it through the week alright. Mine feels like it is dragging a bit but that could be because I am really, really looking forward to this weekend. I am going to Food & Wine at Disney […]


My Diary

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Hi guys! Happy Thursday, I hope everyone is making it through the week alright. Mine feels like it is dragging a bit but that could be because I am really, really looking forward to this weekend. I am going to Food & Wine at Disney with my sister so bring on the weekend!

So now onto the goods. I was asked by a Smile Brilliant Rep to try out their whitening product in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Growing up I always had pretty awesome teeth. They’re pretty white and really strong. But as I got older I have noticed a slight tinge to my teeth. The first Mother’s day after the girls were born I bought a coffee maker and haven’t turned back since. So with the amount of coffee I need to survive on a day my teeth were definitely not as white as they once were.

I have always been leery of whitening products. I stuck to Crest strips when I was younger but they were more of a nuisance when I had 3 children and couldn’t just hide in my bathroom to whiten my teeth. Now I had to actually do things while whitening my teeth because I am either running after children or trying to relax the second they are in bed. And lets be real the strips that are a one size fits all are more annoying than anything. So when I had the opportunity to try custom fit whitening trays I was all sign me up! 

So here is how it went. I got the kit while we were in the process of moving so it took me forever to send everything in. Once I actually did the molds which were super easy, you literally just take the putty like substance, mash it together, place in molds and put it in your mouth for a couple

minutes (insert drool face) and then you pop them out. Super easy. Just make sure you actually follow directions and get the correct mold of your teeth. My bottom mold was too shallow which I suspected and should have fixed right then but didn’t and ended up having the redo mine. Thankfully they ship everything extremely quickly.

Once you get your custom trays it’s all really simple. You use a string to put a line of whitening gel in the tray then pop them in. I really thought they wouldn’t be much different than the strips I have used from the store. Not sure why I thought this but I didn’t realize the custom trays would make it feel like you weren’t wearing anything. The only reason you know you have them in is if you put too much gel on the tray and you need to spit it out which I did the first time.

After the trays are in place you just go about your business. No one can tell you are wearing them which is nice too. My biggest issue with doing this review was trying to get a picture of me wearing them where you can actually tell I am wearing them. Either way they are really comfortable and work! The proof is in the pictures. Now it is your turn to try get yours. Use this link to order them now. You can also enter the giveaway below for a chance to win your own whitening kit! Comment down below if you have ever tried any type of whitening toothpastes or kits and how they worked for you.

So how do you enter to win your own whitening kit? Just go HERE and put your name and email in, extra entry for following Smile Brilliant on Instagram!

How Much Is Teeth Whitening