Giveaway | life

First Week of School & a GIVEAWAY!

By on August 29, 2015

Hey! So it has been crazy busy over at our house this week. 
Ace and I both went back to school on Monday. I started my new job as a advisor at my old high school and he started VPK. We had a huge hiccup on his first day and ended up switching schools. I was so upset. 

2 years old, 3 years old and 4 years old. We will miss this school! 

His last school had him as full time VPK but we only had him for the 15 hours (which are free in Florida). My husband quit his job to stay home with the girls so I could go back to work full time and there was no way we were paying the difference, it’s way too much. We loved that school and I have nothing bad to say about it just that it was a huge misunderstanding and since they only accept 10 spots for the part time we had to find another school. Thankfully our second choice school when I was looking 2 years ago had an opening since they do two sessions of VPK. We got in for the PM session and it actually worked out a lot better for us. Now Branden takes him to school and I pick him up. Branden doesn’t have to shuttle the kids around super early in the morning and take the girls out twice. So much better! I guess it was a blessing in disguise. I was still bummed about it till today when I picked Ace up early and he was so happy. He had just gotten done with recess and his teacher was talking to him and he just seemed to really like her. As we walked out he looked at me and said “Mommy, I love school! I had so much fun!” 

Branden checking out the Shipt deals online

Another awesome thing we got to experience this week is a Grocery Delivery Service! There is an app called Shipt that you have to try. It is only in certain areas around the country but it just started in South Florida so I was dying to try it. Being back to work means less time for me to do most things and being able to have someone else go grocery shop for me was a huge help. 
You just go to the app and add the items you want to your cart. It even has a Sale section. Our Publix always has amazing BOGO sales so we got a lot of those. 
You can pick a drop off time. We picked 6:00-7:00PM. When our shopper was there some of the items were sold out so she was able to text with us on whether we wanted to replace them with something else or not. 
Once she was done she let us know she was on her way so we were always aware of how things were going. Our shopper was very nice and professional. 

It’s seriously so nice having someone grocery shop for you. The best part is the membership for one year is $99. That is like paying $8.25 a month to grocery shop for you. That is so cheap! 

Delivery locations: South Florida, Tampa, Orlando, Dallas, Nashville, and Birmingham

Right now Shipt is offering THREE of my readers a FREE one year membership! 
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*I was given a membership to Shipt in order to review this service. I was not paid for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

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back to school | Giveaway | Recipe

GIVEAWAY & #CheeriosFunFlavors Recipes!

By on August 23, 2015

So I am pretty sure one of the first “snacks” a lot of us Moms give our kids is Cheerios. It is a staple in our house and I am so excited that Cheerios now has a full page of fun recipes for everyone to try. 

I decided that it would be fun to start a little back to school tradition of making fun treats to end Summer and start the School year off right. Here are two we made using #CheeriosFunFlavors! Make sure to enter to win a Pay Pal Gift Card at the bottom of the post. Make sure you grab a BOGO coupon to save BIG on these new flavors!

First up a super easy way to jazz up a simple snack of Cheerios. Mix together Multi Grain Cheerios, raisins and M&Ms for a delicious combo of flavors. 

Simple and Delicious! 
Next up a yummy back to school dessert. 
Ace loves to decorate cookies so I knew this would be a hit. It’s super easy and fun!

Then just bake your cookies…

And EAT! 

Ace was loving this and it was a pretty simple way to have fun and let him be creative. 
If you are feeling ambitious you should definitely check out all the delicious recipes Cheerios™ has to offer.  My favorite is probably the Mini Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cheerios™Bites. How can you not love that? 

Right now you can also get a BOGO coupon for any of these awesome flavors… 
• Honey Nut

• Original

• Banana Nut

• Frosted

• Multi-Grain

• Multi-Grain Peanut Butter

• Apple Cinnamon Cheerios

Now is the perfect time to head over to your local Publix and stock up on Cheerios. With kids heading back to school there is no better breakfast than Cheerios. Especially when you have so many to choose from. And the BOGO coupon and this giveaway below makes it all even sweeter!

Enter to win a $10 Gift Card now!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Adoption | Ashlyn | everly | life | The Story of Our Girls

The Story of Our Girls: Surprise We’re Adopting

By on August 17, 2015

This is the third part of a series I am sharing called The Story of Our Girls. To read the first part click HERE and second part HERE.

After finding out I was pregnant with Everly we were excited but very cautious. I had had my first OB  appointment and I just didn’t feel confident. I worried I would have a miscarriage and it just freaked me out. I had only told my closest friends and family. 

When I was about 8 weeks along I got news from one of my closest friends that she also was pregnant. I thought she might have been due around the same time as me but when I asked she revealed she was almost 7 months along. She then told me she was placing the baby for adoption. My stomach sank. The thought of the pain she would go through made me want to run to her and do whatever I could to help her through this. 

I text Branden while he was at work and his response was “Want to adopt the baby?”
I figured he was joking so I text back “Haha you know me so well.” 

But then a little bit later I get another message from my friend saying “I don’t want you to feel like you can’t be excited about your pregnancy because of what I am going through.” This is where I realize even more how fortunate I am to have the friends I do. With everything she was going through she wanted me to know she wanted me to still be happy. 

From there our conversation turned into so much more. She made a comment not completely asking us to adopt her baby but when she said it I laughed and said “So funny, Branden sent me a text asking if I wanted to adopt the baby.” Then she said “No, I am serious.” In that moment I was a ball of emotions. I was happy, scared, excited, and of course sad. I didn’t want my friend to have this loss. I didn’t want her to go through something that would bring her so much pain. I didn’t want to be the person to cause this by “taking” her baby. 

She later told me she always felt I was supposed to be Ashlyn’s mother. She had told our other friend, her best friend, that she wanted me to adopt the baby but didn’t think we would because I was pregnant. For some reason this always amazes me when she tells me this. 

She told me to really think about it and talk to Branden. She felt we were supposed to be this baby’s parents and for her to have that kind of faith in us as parents meant the world to me. 

When Branden and I got home I told him what she had said to me about adopting the baby. I could see the wheels turning in his head. He of course began to think about the logistics, cost, age of the babies and would we really be able to do this? It didn’t take long, though, for us to decide we were going for it. We had always wanted to adopt. We envisioned our family with two biological children and two adopted. We just always thought we would have two now and then two later on. 

We realized that this wasn’t what we had planned but it what was meant to be for our family. 

Next: Finding out we are having GIRLS! 

Don’t forget to enter the most recent GIVEAWAY

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Giveaway | Review

Giveaway: Dr. Browns Prize Pack

By on August 10, 2015

I want to say Thank You to Dr. Brown’s for sending me these products to try and review. All opinions are my own. I was not paid for this post. 

I had the honor of trying out Dr. Brown’s training cups and we are hooked! First of all the Training Cups are easy to clean and I love the two different styles. 

The Soft Spout Training Cups are great for babies just getting the hang of using a sippy cup. My girls really liked the handles on these. As you can see in the photos you can remove the cover if you need to. I do this when I take it out of the diaper bag since my girls like playing with the cover. 
The Hard Spout Insulated Cups are seriously awesome. They hold 10 ounces and since they are insulated their drinks stay cold making these the perfect cup to bring on a long day of errands. I am partial to the dinosaur one myself. 

We also got to try out Dr. Brown’s Healthy Wipes. I will say these seriously come in handy with 3 little ones. The nose wipes were great for Everly who never lets us wipe her face. She freaks out and these didn’t bother her at all. The bottle and pacifier wipes are great to keep in the diaper bag when you need to quickly clean them up. And we can’t forget about the little teeth! 

Since we have two little girls who love their pacifiers we also got to try out Dr. Brown’s Prevent Contoured Pacifiers. These are great because they were developed by a pediatric dentist to help prevent dental issues. I wish I had gotten these sooner. Thankfully my girls loved these and are big fans. 
Now it is your turn to get this awesome prize pack! Make sure to check out Dr. Brown’s on Facebook and Instagram and enter below! 

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life | loss

Losing my Parent

By on August 6, 2015

I originally started writing this post to talk about how my parents passing away changed the way I look at life. I didn’t intend to actually go through the day of my Dad’s death but when it just started coming out it felt therapeutic. I want to thank everyone who encouraged me to publish this post. It was such a difficult time in my life. A time I would never wish anyone to experience. My Dad was an extraordinary man. He was funny, driven and kind. There wasn’t a person who met him that didn’t love him. He was truly my best friend. He and I could sit and talk for hours and I will forever miss those moments. 

After my parents died I remember feeling numb. It was a time in my life I never imagined happening. I mean we all know our parents will pass on but we think it will happen when we are much, much older. I never really wrote about what happened at the time because it was just too much. The emotions were very raw. I feel now I can write about it and get it out. My parents passing away changed so much of my life. I have changed even. I have learned to focus even more on the good in life because so many negative things, people, and events don’t matter. In the end it’s only your family and closest friends who matter. 

In December 2012 I had this beautiful 17 month old little boy, an awesome husband and bam my parents passed away 9 days apart. 

My Mom we knew was going to pass away, we were prepared. I was grieving her when she was still here and it was such a painful experience. I went to see her every single day. I missed out on Thanksgiving with my son because I knew it would be her last. It was the day we all realized it. 
When my Mom passed away we were in funeral mode. Family and friends came into town, we were busy just dealing with the aftermath. Then when it was over I got a call from my sister and she said something happened to our Dad. I called Branden and told him to go to my Dad’s house because something happened, I had no idea he was gone. 

I drove up to his house and I saw an ambulance sitting there with lights. I parked as close I could turned off my car and left my sleeping baby in there while I ran to the house. I still have guilt over leaving him in there even though I was only a few feet away. 
I  saw my Jamie, he worked for my Dad and he was like a second father to him, walking over to my uncle who had his head down and his fists clenched. I just yelled to Jaime is he alive? He looked at me with tears in his eyes. I yelled again is he alive? And he shook his head no. I instantly started screaming no. I felt like I lost my mind. I couldn’t stop screaming. Branden ran out of the house, grabbed me and buried his face into chest, crying. I just kept saying “what are we going to do?” “I can’t do this again.” 

My Dad’s best friend James went and got Ace and brought him to the park right by my parents house and I went inside their house. I saw cops all standing outside my Dad’s room. I got on the phone with our family doctor who needed to ask us questions so the police could release his body to my Dad’s funeral home. I told him he had been complaining about heartburn and he said he had never had it before. He first felt it the night he told my Mom’s sisters she was going into hospice and the night before he died. I just cried to our doctor (he has seen all of us for over 20 years). He tried to comfort me and then I gave the phone to the police. 

After that it was all a blur. I remember taking their dog home with us that night. The only other thing I remember from that day was I was laying on the couch and Branden walked over to me with a couple of oreos and water. He didn’t know what to do or say. 

I will never forget that day. It was unbelievable. I try to remember my Dad lived a full life, he was that person that truly took advantage of his life. He made moments count. He always told me he was never afraid to die because he lived a good life. That is the only comfort I have from all of this. I got more out of my parents than a lot of people and for that I am truly grateful. I miss my parents so much. I know one day I will be reunited with them again but until then I will miss them every single day. 

Don’t forget to check out the latest Giveaway HERE

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Happy Monday!

By on August 3, 2015

 Hope everyone had an awesome weekend! Ours was pretty fun. 

Branden and I celebrated SIX years of marriage! 
We ended up going to dinner and a movie. We are super exciting I know. We saw Trainwreck which was hilarious. I was cracking up the whole time. 

Sunday night Branden and I went to see Toby Keith in concert. He was really great live. 

Today Ace and I went to The Disney Store with my sister so she could let him pick something out for his birthday. She got him a Snoopy Ice Cone maker but wanted to actually let him choose what he wanted. How fun is that? He of course picked out Cars stuff. It’s basically his go to. 

Then we had lunch at Chick-fil-A and rode the carousel. He loves going on it when we go to the mall. I love seeing how happy it makes him. Probably the best part of being a Mom is seeing your kids happy. 

And in case you missed it I posted the second part of the series The Story of Our Girls. I know a lot of people were asking for it so check it out HERE

You can also enter to win a $25 Gift Card HERE

Hope everyone had a great weekend and a happy Monday! 

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Adoption | Ashlyn | everly | life | The Story of Our Girls

The Story of Our Girls: First OBGYN Appointment

By on August 1, 2015

This is part 2 in a series about Our Girls. If you would like to read the first part click HERE

I knew exactly how far along I was with Everly since we were trying to get pregnant. We had actually planned to stop trying but since I ovulated on my Moms birthday I knew it could be good luck to try. So when I was about 6 weeks I went in for my first OBGYN appointment. 
My OB office does an ultrasound for your first appointment to estimate a due date. When she did the ultrasound I noticed the faint heartbeat. My OB is amazing and looked at how nervous I was. She said “It’s ok the heartbeat is just starting to beat.” I said “You don’t think it’s just slow?” 
She reassured me that she didn’t think it was a slow heartbeat and I was on the verge of having another miscarriage. She told me to come back in a couple of weeks but that she was not at all concerned. She knew I had miscarried in the past and this was exactly what we saw then. A slow heart beat. The only difference was I was further along and the sac was irregular. I tried to not freak out but of course it was my go to reaction. I got in the car and called Branden crying. He immediately went to the store with Ace and bought baby girl outfits. He knew this baby was going to make it and apparently we were having a girl. I couldn’t help but smile.
I got a call from my friend Erin who had been anxiously waiting for me to call her after my appointment. She knew something was up (can we talk about what an amazing friend she is?). I told her that the heartbeat was slow and she could tell I was holding back tears. And here is where she wins, she said “Brenna, that probably just means you’re having a girl and she won’t be crazy like Ace.” After that I couldn’t help but laugh and I kept that thought in my head. This baby was just taking his or her time.
See with Ace I went to the OB at 5 weeks 5 days and his heart rate was fast! My OB was so excited for me that he said now this is a viable pregnancy! So to not get that reaction this time was difficult. My OB  didn’t give me any reason at all to be concerned, it was my own issues but it still scared me. I didn’t want to go through the heartbreak of a miscarriage again. I didn’t want to keep trying for a baby because having PCOS meant long cycles and lower chances of becoming pregnant. This baby was conceived on my Mom’s birthday so I had to have faith that was a sign. She was also due in March which is a big deal for my family. My Dad was due on St. Patrick’s Day, my Grandpa was born in March, my cousin Mike and nephew are all in March too. My Dad actually told my Mom they had to try for a St. Patrick’s day baby and even though I came 10 days earlier it was just something I always wanted too. When we were trying for Ace I didn’t even ovulate for 3 months at a time so I had no option to even try for a March baby. So the fact that it worked was like a little miracle. 
Next up: Finding out about Ashlyn! 
Thanks for following along with my Blog. Make sure to check out the most recent giveaway I have going on HERE!

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