The Mommyhood Life – Travel, Crafts, Food, and Florida Family Fun

Month: November 2015

Swimoutlet.com Your One Stop Shop for Fitness Apparel

Product samples were submitted for review, all opinions are my own.
The holidays will soon be over and everyone will be on their new year health kick.  I’ll be one of them, I can’t wait to get back into the swing of working out and eating better.
From last winter into summer, I was feeling amazing.  I had been following the 21 day fix meal plan, walking everyday, and doing the work out videos that came with the meal plan.  Weight was slowly falling off, but more importantly I felt my best.  My energy was high, by tummy was flat and never bloated, my skin was clearer.  I swore I would never go back to eating crap and being to busy to workout.  

That was until life hit me in the face.  I ran a 5k in the morning then went to breakfast with all my friends, the beginning of the end.  I indulged with everyone, from there jumped on a bus to NYC for a conference which meant more crappy food in a hotel room.  I came back from the conference with 2 weeks to get ready for a 3 week trip to Brazil, then there was vacation and then another vacation, and then a road trip.  Once we were home and settled, the kids were getting ready for school and bam the holidays started.  Life got crazy really fast and with that one over indulgence at just the right time that had me on a spiral slide right back to where I began.
So now I’m making new goals and am ready to accomplish them.  While I have been trying to watch what I eat, life has been packed with parties, events, and work making it impossible to stick to a ridged diet.  Plus I have been having kidney problems since summer and now a chest infection that has been going on three weeks, so exercise has been the last thing I have wanted to try to make time for.
However once the holiday rush is over and I really want to get back to focusing on getting me healthy and happy.  However the worse thing for me is planning to start a new workout routine and eating plan, and then waking up to nothing to eat or nothing to wear.  Give me an excuse, especially during those first two weeks and I’m done.  So I will be out grocery shopping for everything I need the day before my meal plan starts.  
As for what to wear, swimoutlet.com has me covered.  Don’t be fooled by their name, yes they have everything you could imagine for time by the water, but they also have so much more.
Their workout clothes are adorable and very high quality.  I recently bought an under armour outfit that I am in love with and a bag that matches perfectly and will be ideal for lugging water, headphones, and all the rest of my gym accessories back and forth.
My new workout Outfit:

Under Armour Women’s HeatGear Perfect Pace T

Under Armour Women’s HeatGear Armour Legging

Seafolly Lei Tote

This is my new favorite work-out outfit and I have a wish list in my shopping cart of other adorable sets available at Swimoutlet.com
Make sure you check them out when looking for a great workout wardrobe. 
Connect with SwimOutlet.com:

7 Tips for Keep the Spark Alive, After Having Kids!

When your young and in love, passion comes easily.  Like most, I never thought it was something that I would need to work at one day.  That was until I had three kids, one crawling into bed with us each night, and twins learning to sleep through the night.  Combine sleepless nights with long days wearing old yoga pants with spit up stains on them, and the passion and romance had been replaced with bags under my eyes and a quick kiss as we ran in opposite directions.

I remember thinking this phase will pass and we will have that spark back without any hiccups.  However once we become mommies, all the phases of life seem busy. Now that the kids are in school and I am able to find a moment to shower and my yoga pants are no longer covered in baby vomit, it still takes work to keep the spark alive.  The kids are in school, yet we are running from one sport to another, homework takes times and our days are still packed.  However I have learned to make a conscious effort to stop and take time to work on my husband and I’s physical and mental connection beyond the kiss as we run out the door.  This is an important part of marriage and I want mine to last well after the kids have moved out and my days are quieter.
Here are 7 ways we keep the spark alive:
1.  Make sure to take at least one night a week to reconnect.  The kids have an 8 o’clock bedtime and on most nights my husband is at work and I’m cleaning and creating content here, however I make a conscious decision to let the dishes go and leave the toys on the floor when my husband is home for the night.  The mess can be cleaned in the morning, however my husband will be back at work.  This is our time to relax and just be together.
2.  We make date nights a priority.  Whether we are getting a babysitter and dressed up to head out for dinner, or grabbing take out and movies after the kids go to bed, doing something together is important.  The kids are finally at an age where getting a sitter isn’t as daunting but while the twins were younger we would have movie nights, game nights, or invite other couples to our house.  Just making memories as a couple helps keep the passion alive. 
3.  We take time for ourselves.  When the twins were tiny and I had 3 in diapers, this wasn’t as easy but even then something as simple as a 10 minute shower by myself would put me in a better head space so that romance could be on my mind.  Now that the kids are older I can see the difference taking an afternoon to myself can make on my mood which positively impacts my marriage.  
4.  Get out of the yoga pants, or at least put on a clean pair.  Its hard to feel sexy when your hair is in a messy bun and your clothes have unidentifiable baby fluids on them.  Take some extra time to get dressed and do your hair even if its just to sit and drink a glass of wine together.
5.  Turn off the technology.  Between social media, television shows and the internet, it is so easy to be next to your spouse yet feel miles away from each other.  Put all the gadgets away and talk, look at each other, spend time connecting.
6. Kiss!  On your way out the door, when you get home, before bed, when you wake up, KISS.  Kiss often and kiss well, pecks on the cheek like you kiss your grandmother goodbye don’t count.
7.  Get physical, touch each other often, and have sex.  Sex eases stress, counts as exercise, improves sleep and more.  So make sure your not neglecting the passion between the sheets.  Sometimes after a stressful day it can be hard to get in the mood when your head finally hits the pillow.  Sometimes we can get into a longer funk and we cant get in the mood no matter how our day goes.  Women’s sexual wellness is not addressed as often as it should be. As we all face times that we lack desire, time or effort to engage with our loved ones, we should not be embarrassed about our sexual drive (or lack thereof!).  Luckily Fiera® recognizes that women may need an extra touch, as we call it ‘before-play,’ to help get your mind and body in the mood.  
Fiera® is a new class of product that’s for “before-play,” using a unique combination of soft suction and stimulating vibration to bring back that feeling of wanting to have sex.
Learn more about Fiera® and women’s sexual wellness here!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Getting Stuff Done with the Samsung Galaxy Note5 and Sprint! #SprintMom

I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Influence Central for Sprint. I received product to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
My newest tech love is the Samsung Galaxy Note5!  
If you know me, you know I love taking notes, the notes section of my phones is jam packed with everything from a grocery list to the next date a dermatologist will be at the salon I go to.  Everything I think I might need to remember, ends up in the notes section of my phone, and the Galaxy Note5 is so perfect for me.  I am obsessed with the S Pen that has made putting notes on my phone faster and easier than any of my previous phones.

Weather I am using the S Pen as a stylus to press on the keypad or as an actual pen to write on the screen, this phone makes the entire process so quicker.
Of coarse the note taking feature is my favorite, however as a busy mom who is always on the go and a blogger who is constantly thinking about new content and taking photos of everything, the Galaxy Note5 has streamlined everything I need.
The 16 megapixel camera takes awesome pictures with burst shot, 8x zoom, LED flash, and panoramic features.
Then once I want to transfer my notes and photos to my other devices so that I can create a blog post with them, I can easily do so with the SideSync 4.0 feature.  This helps me feel so much more productive, when I can sit down to my computer and already have everything I have saved to my phone during the day waiting for me.  I now feel so much more comfortable working while out and about, sitting in the car waiting for sports practices to end and sitting in waiting rooms at the doctors.
I’m also excited to learn about Sprint Global Roaming.  We visit Brazil a lot and loosing cell service is one of the hardest parts of our trip.  My family and friends worry about us, while being unable to reach me.  Plus I am suddenly completely unconnected which hinders my ability to work, and I am usually always working while traveling.  I am psyched to be able to take advantage of this service during our next trip.
This phone is amazing, Right?
Well Amazon has a deal that will make it even more Amazing!
The Samsung Galaxy Note5 Amazon Prime Promotion:
New and existing customers that purchase and activate a Samsung Galaxy Note5 by Nov. 30 get a year of Amazon Prime for free!  That means you can get even more things done on the go.
Amazon Prime customers get unlimited free 2 day shipping on more than 20 million items, unlimited streaming of tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes with Prime Video, access to ad-free streaming of over a million songs including thousands of curated playlists and personalized stations with Prime Music, unlimited photo storage with Prime Photos and much more this holiday season and the year after.
This Amazon promotion makes the Samsung Galaxy Note5 with Sprint the perfect phone for all my work and fun needs.

Self Employed, Health Care, and Your Taxes! What it all means.

The holidays will be over before we know and the 2015 year will be coming to an end.  It really feels like this year flew by in the blink of an eye!  With the new year comes the new stress of tax time. 
Back when my husband and I both had 9 to 5 jobs with a simple W-2 form, I never gave tax time a second thought.  I would jump on Turbo Tax as soon as the W-2’s came in the mail and have our taxes finished in less than 30 minutes.
Now that we are both self employed, things have changed.  Being self employed means we no longer have the luxury of W-2 forms. I no who thinks of tax forms as luxury?  However I can honestly say going from the once a year task of entering a few numbers into a space to the now daily task of tracking our income, expenses, and potential write offs, makes me realize how easy things were.
Being self employed also means no employee health benefits.  With 3 kids, one with autism and another with severe asthma, plus having chronic health issues myself, going without health insurance doesn’t seem like a smart or cost effective option for us.  Plus now that the Affordable Care Act is in place, the penalty for not having insurance goes beyond excessive doctor bills and hits you with a penalty at tax time.
Luckily we were able to find a great health plan that was affordable, this really allowed us both to pursue our dreams without one of us having to maintain a job that provided insurance.
It is currently open enrollment time, if you are looking for health insurance.
We file our taxes every year with Turbo Tax, and have since the year I started filing my taxes my self.  I love how they make everything an easy and streamlined process, whether I have a simple W-2 or own my own business.  They ask the questions and I click on the answers and provide my end of the year calculations.  Reporting health insurance for the year is no different, for nearly 80% of taxpayers it is as simple as clicking a box while filing with Turbo Tax.
Taxpayers who have insurance through an employer, government program, such as Medicare or Medicaid, or other private insurance will receive a 1095-B or C form. You do not need these forms to report insurance and file taxes, they are for your records only.
Turbo Tax also offers a lot of tools to help you understand how ACA effects your taxes, find out if you qualify for assistance paying for insurance, and if you qualify for an exemption.  These tools include;
Along with numerous video’s to help you decide what your best option will be when it comes to health care options.

Turbo Tax has always been my go to tax resource.  When I was 18 and filing my own taxes for the first time, and now as a busy working mom who wants the peace of mind of knowing her families health care is covered.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Do More Knowing Your Child Is Safe With The LEVANA Baby Monitor!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Levana. The opinions and text are all mine.

As moms our job tasks are endless and while some of those tasks may seem menial to others, in all actuality it can often feel like the you need super powers just to get through the day with something accomplished.  Whether your cooking dinner, working from home, or cleaning the house, with young children every chore can be interrupted at any moment for an unlimited amount of reasons.
Have you ever been sitting in another room folding laundry while your children are playing quietly in their room, only to here a big bang?  Your heart races as you run up the stairs, luckily to only find that your son thinks its hilarious when his monster truck crashes off his bunk bed.  That is a daily accordance in my home, or at least something similar.  Trying to accomplish anything that requires you to take your eyes off the kids can easily start to feel impossible. 

Levana has come out with a baby monitor that solves this mommy problem!  The Ayden Video Monitor allows us to get so much more done while still being able to keep an eye on the kids.
I’ve gone through an abundance of monitors over the years with my 3 children, especially with having children with special needs that need constant supervision.  With all the monitors I’ve used, I have to say this monitor has so many features that I have never seen before, its simply amazing!
My favorite feature is the two way intercom.  I absolutely love being able to not only see what is going on, but I can also talk with the kids by pressing the speaker button.

Other great features include:
Up to 48 hour battery life
Temperature monitoring
Digital and wireless technology
Plays 3 relaxing lullabies
15 ft Night Vision with Invisible night vision LED’s
The night vision is also a favorite in my family, even now as the kids are getting older.  Aidan has a really hard time sleeping and is usually up by 3 a.m. Its still dark out and while he has learned to come get his iPad and stay in bed, we still have some days that his energy is to much for him to stay in one place.  Being able to watch him from my bedroom with a clear view has given me incredible peace of mind.  Also with Lilly’s asthma being uncontrollable in the winter, this will be a monitor that helps mommy sleep worry free!

Being a mom keeps us busy! 
What do you wish you could do more of? 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Levana. The opinions and text are all mine.

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