Ashlyn | everly | life

How We Got Rid of Our Girls Pacifiers!

By on December 28, 2015


Now that the girls are at an age where they really need to get rid of their pacifiers I knew I wanted to do it in a way that would be least upsetting. It might sound dramatic but having to deal with two toddlers hysterical over their comfort items and sharing a room doesn’t sound fun to me. 

 There was a couple ideas that sounded cute like the Paci Fairy but I didn’t think Everly would really understand that. I decided that putting their pacifiers in a bear from Build-a-Bear might be a good idea because then they would have control over putting the pacifiers in the bear and they could use the bear as a comfort item. 

We took the girls on a day where Ace had camp so we could really focus on them. We let them each pick out a stuffed animal. Everly picked out a purple rock star cat thing and Ashlyn picked out a puppy. 

We headed over to the stuffing machine and had Ashlyn go first. She put her paci in and stepped on the peddle to stuff the bear. She looked a bit skeptical but did it. Everly didn’t understand what was going on as much as Ashlyn. Ashlyn knew her paci was going “bye, bye”. Everly put hers in as well and stepped on the peddle. She liked watching everything. They then picked out a heart to put in the stuffed animals and they were sewn up. We explained that’s where their pacis were now. 

They “washed” their stuffed animals and played a bit then we paid and headed out. They didn’t seem to care that their pacifiers were gone. We headed home and at one point Everly asked for her pacifier so we gave her her cat and she actually tried to scratch open it’s back and screamed. After we told her it wouldn’t come out she went off to play. 

Nap time wasn’t horrible. They didn’t sleep but they didn’t freak out either. They basically climbed back and forth to each others cribs and played. 

Bedtime was another story. Everly was losing it. She was overtired and wanted her pacifier. She was screaming and throwing herself around. I have never seen her so upset. It was bad. Ashlyn cried and said she wanted her paci back and that seriously broke my heart but I told her she couldn’t have it and it was in her puppy. She was fine when we put her to bed but Everly was screaming. Branden had to go back upstairs to rub her back and separate their cribs because she kept climbing in Ashlyn’s and crying. Ashlyn did so well though. After they fell asleep they were out for the night! I was worried they would wake up and cry for their pacifiers but they didn’t.

They next day we had a play date which was a nice distraction. They did get tired while we were there so we left and Everly fell asleep in the car, not normal for her. Once we got home I put them down for a nap and they actually went down pretty well. They cried for a few minutes but they slept! 

no napping for this girl

I took Ace to see Alvin and the Chipmunks so Branden put the girls down for bedtime and said they were fine. Talk about success. 
Naps have not been fantastic. The girls end up playing in their cribs and not sleeping. Some days Everly will go to sleep but Ashlyn hasn’t been. I am thinking Ashlyn might have to just watch a movie on the couch and Everly goes down for a nap. Ashlyn has gone through phases of not napping before but I am wondering if this is it for her. Thankfully she will sit and watch a movie and have quiet time if we do that so it won’t be the worst thing. 
If anyone is looking for an idea to get rid of them I definitely recommend putting them in a Build-a-Bear stuffed toy. It’s just a fun way to get rid of it. I mean cutting it out cold turkey is probably just as good but I liked the little experience for the girls. 
And this is not a sponsored post. I just really love the Build-a-Bear company. I think they really do an amazing job at making the experience great for children. I would love to do a birthday party there but I would go broke, ha! 
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Giveaway

Alvin & the Chipmunks GIVEAWAY!

By on December 18, 2015
This is a sponsored post.
ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE ROAD CHIP – IN THEATERS DECEMBER 18
20th Century Fox
Through a series of misunderstandings, Alvin, Simon and Theodore come to believe that Dave is going to propose to his new girlfriend in Miami…and dump them. They have three days to get to him and stop the proposal, saving themselves not only from losing Dave but possibly from gaining a terrible stepbrother.
Starring: Jason Lee, Tony Hale, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Josh Green, Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler, Jesse McCartney, Kaley Cuoco, Anna Faris, Christina Applegate
Official Websites
Visit the Official Website
Like ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip’ on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
#AlvinMovie

 Play Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip Music Mayhem game!

Rock out with Alvin, Simon and Theodore! Get started now.


One (1) winner receives:
      $25 Visa gift card to see the film in theaters
      Alvin Plush
      Alvin Lunch Bag


Open to US mailing addresses only
Prizing courtesy of 20th Century Fox

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Review

Review: Feeding Baby with the #BabyNes Machine!

By on December 15, 2015

Many thanks to Gerber® BabyNes® for sponsoring today’s story.

When my girls turned one we moved from formula to whole milk and almond milk. I had no idea there was a formula for toddlers from Gerber. Now with the BabyNes Machine you can easily feed your busy toddlers with just a touch of a button and it is ready in less than a minute!
I was lucky enough to try this incredible machine out and was instantly wishing I had it when my girls were babies. With all the craziness of getting two bottles ready it would have been so cool to be able to carry around my two crazy girls and just have a machine make a quick bottle for me. It is the perfect temperature and doesn’t require any shaking to make sure it is fully mixed. I truly think this is a must have for any new Mom especially ones with multiple babies. 


A nice feature is the BabyNes App. It helps you  keep track of how many bottles your baby has had, weight, breastfeeding and how many capsules you have left. You can also order capsules through the app. It also helps when you have two babies on two different formulas. This was the case for us with the girls. The formula is specific to their ages so Ashlyn is on the 25-36 month capsules and Everly is on the 13-24 months capsule. BabyNes was inspired by breast milks natural ability to change with your baby’s needs. How incredible is that? It isn’t a one size fits all, it is a specific formula for babies and toddlers. 
And you don’t need the machine to use the capsules all the time. They can be used without it so no worries if you are on the go. 
Now all your new Mommies out there can add the BabyNes to your registry
Thank you Gerber for sending me the BabyNes to try out! 

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Christmas | life

5 Easy Christmas Traditions

By on December 14, 2015

We are vastly approaching Christmas and I thought it would fun to share some Christmas traditions my family has done in the past and ones my husband and I do with our children. 


1. Yearly pictures. This is a tradition that is easy to do even with a cell phone camera. Taking the same picture every year is such a fun way to see how your children have changed from the previous years. One cute idea is to have them hold something (toy, book, movie, sport item) that was a big part of their life that year. If your child was in a certain sport they could wear their uniform or hold a trophy. If they loved Mickey Mouse include him in the picture too. It is a cute way to remember what they were in love with.

2. Bake off. When I was little my sister and I would go to my Grandma’s before Christmas and spend the day baking and decorating sugar cookies. We would make them from scratch and be covered in flour by the end of the day. I think this might be one of my favorite memories of my Grandma. To this day I still wish I had the huge wood board she used to roll the dough on. Now I am not the best from scratch kind of baker but it is still fun to get in the kitchen with my kids and have them help me bake cookies and decorate them.
3. Yearly Ornaments. Every year Branden and I like to get the kids a new ornament. I like to pick out something that has some kind of significance for that year. When I was pregnant with Ace I got a snowman couple and the girl one was pregnant. We also will get ones when we go on vacation. I love having ornaments that have meaning behind them. I remember as a little girl looking at all the ornaments on our tree and the ones that were my favorites were hand made, from a special trip or I was with my Mom when she bought it. It’s a nice way to look back on past memories.

4. Christmas morning breakfast. Since I work Monday through Friday I rarely get to eat breakfast with the kids. On weekends they all get up at different times and that means not eating together as a family. I think having a special Christmas morning breakfast is another way to add a nice memory to your children’s lives. You can also have a special Christmas breakfast that you don’t normally have any other time of the year. For us it can be as simple as cinnamon rolls.
5. Looking at Lights. This one is probably so obvious but with all the chaos of getting things done for Christmas it can take a back seat. I like to pick a night to get all dressed in PJs and take the kids to look at lights. We have a church that does smokes, lights and “snow”. It is so much fun for us and the kids. I also love going through the Chick-fil-A drive through and getting them peppermint milkshakes. It’s Florida so milkshakes are totally appropriate for winter here! 

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eat | Giveaway | life

EAT: Chocolate Chip Pizza + GIVEAWAY

By on December 9, 2015

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

This year we have been so behind on our Christmas decorating. We had to have our grout redone and that meant not taking the tree out till it was finished. We had it done this past Saturday and we are still slacking. Since I felt really guilty about not having our tree up I figured a fun night of baking some sweet treats would make up for it. Betty Crocker has 24 Days of Cookies which inspired our little night of baking!
Since we just decorated some cookies I wanted to try something a little different. 
Ace and I mixed up some chocolate chip cookies and made a cookie cake! 
It was pretty easy too. We used Betty Crocker‘s chocolate chip cookie mix. You only need to add an egg, water and oil. So simple. I mean lets get real, we all know I am the first to mess up a complicated recipe but not with these pouches!

After you mix the batter pour the mix into a cake pan and bake it for a couple minutes longer than suggested. Super easy! 
Make sure to use this coupon at your local Winn Dixie or Bi-Lo
Now for the fun! One lucky reader will win a $10 Gift Card. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Giveaway

Happy GIVEAWAY Monday!

By on December 7, 2015

Happy Monday! So I am sure you have noticed a trend on the blog lately. GIVEAWAYS!! I hope you have been enjoying the giveaways as much as I have enjoyed hosting them. This month will be full of even more giveaways so make sure you check back daily to enter past giveaways and new ones. 

If you haven’t had a chance to enter check out all the ones going on now.

Mezzetta Holiday Sweepstakes

 Grand Prize (1) – Instant Print Digital Camera plus a Ultimate Olive Lover’s Gift Basket including Mezzetta Olives, Olive Spoon, Cutting Board, Olive Bowl, Cocktail Napkins and Recipe Card.
Runner Up Prizes (10) – Ultimate Olive Lover’s Gift Basket including Mezzetta Olives, Olive Spoon, Cutting Board, Olive Bowl, Cocktail Napkins and Recipe Card. 

Minted $50 Gift Card Giveaway

Betty Crocker #SpreadCheer $20 Gift Card Giveaway

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Disney | life | Travel

Life Lately: Disney’s Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

By on December 5, 2015

I feel like I am so behind on posting about what we have been up to. This month has been pretty busy. 
The second weekend of November we went up to Disney for their Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. If you ever get the chance to go to it I definitely suggest it. The parade is to die for! 
I had gone when I was younger and I was really wanting to take the kids this year since the girls are at such a fun age for Disney. We met up with our friends Melissa, Mike and their daughter Hailey. 

We did some rides then headed over to the parade. If you are going to go try to go to one of the earlier nights they have the event because it wasn’t crazy trying to get a spot for the parade and we walked on to all of the rides. 

At the parade the kids were in complete amazement. Ashlyn didn’t stop waving the entire time. It was adorable. Everly screamed like a teenage girl seeing a boy band when Minnie and Mickey went by. I seriously can not handle these two. Ace sat on my lap and loved everything. Seeing how amazed they were by it all made my life. This is what being a mother is all about. The moments that make all the hard times worth it. 

After the parade we went on some more rides and we got the kids a gift from the Buzz Lightyear ride store. It was getting late so we headed out around 11. 

The next day we met up with my bestie Kat and her girls at a mall near by. It had an M&M store which was really fun for Ace and her girls. They also had a play area in the mall that the kids spent time at playing. I wish our mall had one. It was nice to just let them run around and not be outside in the heat. 

Sunday we met up with my other friend Andrea and her crew. She has 3 kids so it’s always fun for me to meet up with Moms with a lot of kids pretty close in age. They understand the chaos. She has an older son and two girls too so it was cute seeing what my life will be like in a few years since her young is my oldest age. We had a short trip since we were heading home and they had to get to Epcot for their fast passes. I wish I had planned our trip better so we could have spent more time with them but next time! 

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Giveaway | holidays

Minted Holiday Specials + Giveaway + Coupon Code!

By on December 2, 2015

Thank you Minted for Sponsoring this post

It’s that time of year again for…Holiday Cards! I was fortunate enough last year to get our cards from Minted and plan on doing the same again this year. Of course I am not even getting my pictures done until Friday but Minted has a buy now, personalize later option. It allows you to lock in the savings today of a design then add photos and customize it when you are ready. 
Minted has also extended their Cyber Monday sales till the end of today! Use codes CM2015 to get 20% off Holiday cards or 25% off your entire order. 

If you are looking for gifts for the family make sure you check out their Art section. I am thinking of getting this really cute Heart Snapshot Mix. I love the idea of having a bunch of our pictures in one frame. I so many photos I would love to post but not enough space on the walls to hang frames. 
And if all of that wasn’t good enough you can now win your own Minted Gift Card
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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eat | Giveaway

EAT: #SpreadCheer + $20 Gift Card GIVEAWAY (CLOSED)

By on

Thank you Betty Crocker for sponsoring this post.

What is more fun than making cookies for your best friends? Nothing when you are a cute 4 year old little boy. 

Last night the kids and I decided to bake some Betty Crocker sugar cookies and decorate them for our neighbors. I thought it would be a good idea to let them decorate them but in the end they ended up eating everything and getting slobber all over the spoons and candy. Super delicious. 

While they were busy spreading icing all over their faces and shoving cookies in their mouths I made some Christmas theme cookies. First I made two reindeers and then a wreath and tree cookie. I am obsessed with the reindeer cookies. 

Ace was so excited to bring the cookies to our neighbors too. He just loves his new little friends so it was nice to be able to give them a special treat. We used these super adorable cookie gift tags to personalize the gift box.  They also have really cute coloring pages and recipes for some fun holiday activities. Oh and don’t forget to download a coupon!

Now join the fun and enter to win a $20 Gift Card!
Giveaway Instructions
1. Visit the Betty Crocker #SpreadCheer page
2. Create your own #SpreadCheer basket and post the photo on your social media outlets. Make sure to use the hashtag #SpreadCheer
3. Tag 2 friends to nominate them to join the fun!
4. Come back here and post a link to your #SpreadCheer photo.
 

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