Giveaway

Sweet Summer Snack $25 Pay Pal Gift Card Giveaway!

By on July 31, 2015

There is nothing sweeter than sitting by the pool on a hot Summer day indulging in a sweet Summer snack.
 

I have so many memories of running to the ice cream truck with my sister and friends to get the best ice cream around. As I have gotten older I can appreciate a really delicious ice cream but sometimes I just want something sweet and healthy. 

I love that Yoplait® Original has 25% less sugar so not only do I get the same great taste but I am getting less sugar! You can’t even tell the difference. The best part is my kids love them too so it’s win win. 

Want to have some fun with your Yoplait® Original? Check out their page for delicious recipes you and your children can make this Summer. Don’t forget to get your coupon as well! Now it’s your chance to get in on the fun. Enter to win a $25 Pay Pal Gift Card below! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: The information, products and Publix gift cards were provided by General Mills through Linqia.

About Yoplait®

“At Yoplait we’re passionate about providing great-tasting yogurt that you and your family can feel good about eating.

That’s why we don’t use high-fructose corn syrup or milk cows treated with rBST. And that’s also why, for the past three years, we have been working tirelessly to reduce the amount of sugar in Yoplait Original. We tried over a hundred recipe variations before getting to a yogurt that delivered less sugar without sacrificing taste. And we’re not stopping there — less sugar is just one of the steps in an ongoing effort to make Yoplait better than ever.”


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Ace | Birthday | Party | party planning

Ace’s Super Hero Birthday Party

By on July 30, 2015

This year I decided I wanted to keep Ace’s party easy.  He has been talking about having an Avengers party for forever so we knew the theme would be Super Heroes. 


Since his birthday is in the Summer we always plan an indoor party because every year (except this year of course) it has rained on his party day. It is also disgustingly hot and humid here so no one enjoys outdoor parties unless they are water related in the Summer. 

I finally decided a movie theme would be perfect. Ace has really gotten into going to the movies so we borrowed my friends projector and popcorn maker for an authentic movie night! 

Basket: Similar

Branden Mcgyver’d up a screen on the wall where our TV usually sits and we threw a bunch of pillows and blankets on the floor to make it extra cozy. I bought these chairs and my friend passed down her daughter’s to my girls so we had extra seating with those as well. 

Chalk Sign / Popcorn Maker

I wanted to keep food simple too so I made Buffalo Chicken Dip, ordered pizza and made up a Popcorn bar. I just bought a bunch of candies from the grocery store so the kids could throw them in their bags of popcorn. They loved it! 

I ordered cupcakes from the grocery store as well. I asked them to spray two colors on each cupcake; purple and green for the Hulk, red and yellow for Iron Man and of course Red, White and Blue for Captain America. I used puffy stickers I got at Walmart as the toppers. I just taped them to toothpicks. Super easy. 

For favors I bought a bunch of Super Hero capes when we were doing Everly’s party. They were a huge hit. My girls are more obsessed with these than Ace. They are incredibly cute running around in them. 
I also had goodie bags with Avengers ritz, gummies and rice crispy treats. 

Overall we had a blast hanging out with friends on a Friday night and loved celebrating this sweet boy! 
And I had to get this picture of Ace and my cousin Brian. They have an awesome bond. The first one is from Ace’s 2nd birthday and obviously the second one is his 4th. 


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life | parenting

Moms of Newborns: Formula for Happiness #formulaforhappiness

By on July 28, 2015

Today’s post is sponsored by Gerber® Good Start® Gentle, who believe that comfort for baby means happiness for all. Here is my Formula for Happiness™.


Since Ace turned 4 I started looking back on photos of him as a little newborn. That time in our lives was actually really rough. 
Ace was a difficult newborn. He had colic, didn’t sleep at all through the night and cried all.the.time. I felt like I was failing him. Here is what helped me through the toughest times as a Mom to a newborn.
1. Ask for help. Having a newborn who doesn’t sleep can play games with your head. I actually went over to my parents house and told my Mom that my baby hated me, ha! She saw how tired I was and took Ace in her arms and let me lay down and get a little break. It felt good to sleep and know he was in good hands. There is no shame in having someone help you with a newborn and most people like cuddling that cute little bundle of joy.
Have questions on your?  Gerber® Good Start® Gentle is happy to introduce a Certified Sleep Consultant for your little one’s needs. Good sleep–for your baby and your family—is an essential component of your journey. That journey isn’t always perfect, but getting support every step of the way helps.
2. Take time for yourself. As time went on I realized I was allowed to take little breaks here and there for full time Mommy hood. It was good for my state of mind and it made me a better Mom. I wasn’t as stressed and that little time away made me appreciate my time with my son. 
I think the formula for happiness with any Mom, especially new Moms is allowing yourself to get a break. It might not be easy to go out for a date or with the girls but even a bath at the end of the day when your baby finally falls asleep can do wonders for your state of mind. This was my go to with Everly because she was also a hot mess. Ashlyn thankfully was my easy newborn but even with an easy newborn I needed a break here and there. 
3. Get out of the house! Something else I found that really helped me get through the newborn stage, especially with Everly was going for a walk in the morning. Even if I was exhausted from her being up all night I would stick her and Ashlyn in their stroller and go for a walk around our neighborhood. It would actually give me energy and start my day off right. 

4. Make time for your partner. Newborns take up a lot of our time and energy often leaving our partner out in the cold. It can make you both feel disconnected and any time you can steal away will help you reconnect as a couple. I know date nights or even nights where we can just relax and watch our favorite show together are so important to us. We can just hang out like we did when we were dating and remember what this crazy life is all about. Being a family and enjoying our time together! 
Gerber® Good Start® Gentle believes that the Formula for Happiness™ can be a lot of things, and moms have different ways of enjoying the journey through motherhood. 

Now it’s your turn to tell me what your formula for happiness is for new Moms. Use hashtag #formulaforhappiness so I can check out all your awesome tips on Instagram and Twitter


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Ace | Birthday | birthday interview | life

Ace’s 4 Year Old Interview

By on July 23, 2015

Last year I started a little birthday tradition with Ace. Well, two birthday traditions. The first one is a donut “cake” the morning of his birthday. We sing Happy Birthday and have a yummy breakfast. I also do a little interview with him and it’s really fun to see how his answers have changed since last year
1. What is your name? Ace
2. How old are you? Four
3.What is your favorite thing to do? Play round and round on my bikes. 
4. What do you want to be when you grow up? Spiderman
5. What is your favorite food? chicken and broccoli 
6. Who do you like to spend time with? Kayla and Ti Ti
7. What do you do really well? Play on my iPad.
8. What makes you laugh? When my Daddy…(does some weird monster walk)
9. What is the best time of day? Going to Disney is the best world of the day.
10. What are you afraid of? Nothing when I am 4. Last time when I turned 3 my bedroom. 
11. Who is your best friend? Brielle, Ashleen, Gavin, Brody. I just love to do something with my Dad. I love to paint with him. I love to help him paint on my house. I love to play in the garden. Help my Dad grow flowers and I want to play with everything. (We don’t have a garden)
12. What do you like to do with your family? Paint a picture.
13. What do you love to learn about? ABC’s and learning alphabets
14. Where do you like to go? I like to go to Ti Ti’s house and I love to go camping and I love to play at my house. (He’s never been camping)
15. What is your favorite book? Tigers one.
16. If you had one wish what would it be? A racing one. 
17. What is your favorite color? Pink 
18. What is your favorite animals? Cheetah 
19. What is your favorite song? The Wheels on the Bus go Round and Round
20. What is your favorite snack? Crackers 
21. What is your favorite holiday? HALLOWEEN! 
22. What did you do on your birthday? We to the Kerris wheel (carousel), went went in the cars, and we just forgot to go on the train. We didn’t go on the train. 



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advice | infertility | life

Stop Asking Women When They Will Get Pregnant!

By on July 19, 2015

It seems like the second women get married the first question they get asked is “When do you want to get pregnant?” or even “Are you all going to try for a baby now?”
These are such personal questions yet people act like it is their right to know when you will conceive a little child. 
Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think people mean any harm in asking these questions. I think most people are just so excited that you will start a family and want to know how soon. 
But here is the real issue with this question, many women suffer from infertility. They also experience miscarriages as well. Both of these experiences are truly heartbreaking and difficult to deal with. The women who go through this can feel like failures since they aren’t able to get pregnant or hold onto a pregnancy. It often times can be overwhelming and very emotional. 
I also struggled to get pregnant since I have PCOS  and suffered a miscarriage before getting pregnant with Ace I know the feeling all too well. 
You often don’t want to burden people with the news you are unable to conceive, struggling or had a loss because that look people give is often uncomfortable. 
So what can we do to help women through this? Or what is appropriate to ask? 
First, if you know someone is struggling to get pregnant or had a loss don’t tell them “It’s all in God’s plan.” or “It wasn’t meant to be.” this isn’t helpful. Also saying “Oh you will get pregnant!” when a person has been told they won’t is again not helpful. Just listen. Be a shoulder for them to cry on. Bring your friend some wine or ice cream and a comedy for a girls night. 
If you do find yourself wanting to ask that age old question of when a new couple will have a baby or get pregnant maybe ask “Do you want children?” instead. If they say yes than be encouraging but don’t pressure. 
And remember not all women become mothers through pregnancy and giving birth. There are many other options out there so be supportive! 

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Ashlyn | everly | life | The Story of Our Girls

Story Story of Our Girls: The Beginning

By on July 14, 2015

I get a lot of questions about my girls. One of the main things people ask about is which baby did we know about first? Did we decide to adopt then magically become pregnant? How did you end up adopting Ashlyn? I decided to do a series of posts on our girls to help people understand the 9 months it took us to become our complete family. 


The Beginning
This day two years ago I felt a little dizzy and funny. I realized it was the same feeling I had had before and ran upstairs to take a pregnancy test. I took the test and messed around on my phone for a bit. I went back in the bathroom totally expecting a negative test but saw two lines. 
I actually had that moment where I wanted to find the test package and make sure that was a positive. For some reason that positive test didn’t feel real. 
It was two days before Ace turned 2 and we were going to my friend’s house the next morning for a play date. I ran to Carters before going to her house to get Ace a “Big Brother” t-shirt and headed to her house. As I got there she was outside and I said “Erin, come look at this cute shirt I got for Ace for his birthday.” She looked at it and totally freaked out. Erin, is my favorite person to tell things to because her reactions are always be and hilarious. The entire day she would look at me and say “I can not believe you are pregnant!” 
Later that night I put the shirt on Ace’s changing table and asked Branden to give Ace a bath and put the PJ’s I had set out for him on. I was sitting in our room listening to him go in there and look at the shirt. He was like “What’s this mean?!” haha. 
We waited to tell family in person. I had gone to dinner with my cousins for Branden’s birthday and put Ace in the Big Brother shirt and one of my cousins actually thought he had it on for the show Big Brother! It was like the longest time waiting for them to figure it out. 
We were so excited to be adding a little peanut to our family. Little did we know we would be adding TWO little ones to our family within five months! 



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Giveaway

Giveaway: Paper Towns $25 Visa Gift Card

By on July 9, 2015


PAPER TOWNS


20th Century Fox
In theaters July 24, 2015

Visit all the PAPER TOWNS websites – #PaperTowns
Follow on Twitter & Instagram
Like ‘Paper Towns’ on Facebook
Visit the Official Website

About the Film
Adapted from the bestselling novel by author John Green (“The Fault in Our Stars”), PAPER TOWNS is a coming-of-age story centering on Quentin and his enigmatic neighbor Margo, who loved mysteries so much she became one. After taking him on an all-night adventure through their hometown, Margo suddenly disappears–leaving behind cryptic clues for Quentin to decipher. The search leads Quentin and his quick-witted friends on an exhilarating adventure that is equal parts hilarious and moving. Ultimately, to track down Margo, Quentin must find a deeper understanding of true friendship–and true love.
Starring: Nat Wolff, Cara Delevingne, Austin Abrams, Halston Sage, Justice Smith
Directed by: Jake Schreier

Screenplay By: Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber, based upon the book by John Green

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