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

Month: March 2017

3 Important Life Lessons Children Learn on the Playground

This post was sponsored by Landscape Structures as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. All opinions expressed in my post are my own

My family loves the playground! Up until last August we were only able to enjoy it a few months out of the year, but now that we’ve moved to Florida we visit and explore new playgrounds at least once a week.
As a young mom, I started taking Anthony to playground most afternoons as a way for him to get energy out and to enjoy the fresh air.  After the twins came, the playground was a place for me to just let go of the day’s stresses and play with all three kids.  I made the walk or drive every day without realizing all the amazing life skills my children were learning as they ran, hung, and climbed through the playground.

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On the playground, they learned how to make friendships by working together and helping one another.
The first place my children made friends, outside of family, was on the playground.  There is something heartwarming about a child being able to run onto the playground and within the blink of an eye they are jumping around with a group of kids.  They help each other and encourage each other to cross the monkey bars or face their fears and go down the high slide.  Children learn that working together will make the see-saw work and build sand box villages faster.  They learn that climbing as high as you can, is a lot more fun with someone to enjoy the view with.

They learn to use their imaginations and collaborate with each other.  
The play structure becomes a pirate ship and the slide is a plank into the alligator waters.  The climbing dome is a princess castle that is protected by magic.  They learn to use their imaginations together and create some amazing play time as each child adds a different aspect to the story.

They learn to be leaders and make decisions while celebrating each other.

As they play children learn to make decisions for themselves, which leads them to become leaders and builds their confidence.  From deciding who is going to be the captain of the ship to figuring out who is going down the slides together, decisions are made and leaders are built.

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Playgrounds are a place for play and learning, where children develop in the areas of leadership, teamwork, perseverance, and where they build valuable social relationships.  As our children play they are building life skills that they will need to create an amazing future.  For a better tomorrow, we play today!

Find a Landscape Structures playground!

Learn more about Landscape Structures here, and connect on Facebook and Twitter!

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My Families 5 Favorite Foods this Winter with Fresh from Florida!

This post was sponsored by Fresh From Florida as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central, however all opinions expressed are my own

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Winter is upon us down here in Florida and I think it might have dipped into the 60’s for a day or two.  With this being my families first winter after moving down from Boston, we were ready for the beach even on those 60 degree days.  

In New England that temperature is a cool summer night.  As you can guess, all the new northerners stand out from the true Floridians when “winter” strikes.  While my kids are at the bus stop in shorts and sandals, they’re in a sea of kids wearing fur lined hoodies.  

While it did dip into the “frigid” 60’s on a couple occasions, the rest of the winter has been incredible.  I didn’t really know what to expect weather wise in our first year, but I can honestly say Florida during the winter has my absolute favorite weather.  High 70’s and sunny pretty much 90% of the time, what’s not to love! Beyond the weather my favorite advantage of living in a region with such an amazing climate is the ability to get fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables all year round!

  I have fallen in love with being able to stroll the Tampa area farmers’ markets each weekend and pick up juicy fruits and crisp vegetables from local farmers all year long. 

With so many of my family’s favorite produce being in season this winter, my family has eaten healthier than ever before.

Curious when each fruit and vegetable is in season?  Find out here.

My Families 5 Favorite Fresh from Florida Recipes this Winter 

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Florida Grape Tomato and Orzo Pasta Salad
Tomatoes are in season all winter long in Florida and my kids would eat them by the dozen, so by putting them in a pasta salad they turn into a great afternoon lunch on a breezy sunny day.

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Cheddar-Bacon Florida Sweet Corn
Corn is another veggie the kids love that is in season all winter long, and Lilly has asked for corn-on-the-cob for breakfast on numerous mornings, so this recipe is a favorite in our house.

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Florida Strawberry Parfait
This is our go to dessert or afternoon snack.  Each member of my family says strawberries are one of their favorites and this recipe is beyond simple!

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Florida Avocado Smoothie
With 5 of us getting up and out the door during the week, mornings are crazy.  This Avocado Smoothie is an easy and quick breakfast that I can take with me and avocados are in season through January in Florida.

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Florida Beef and Sweet Pepper Skewers
My husband is Brazilian, he LOVES to barbeque and in Florida he does it constantly!  My favorite vegetable is Bell Peppers, I eat them raw, sautéed, grilled, any-way I love them.  So, this is a recipe he often grills us up and it’s delicious.

Want to check out some more yummy recipes?  Head over to Fresh from Florida!  

Whether I’m stocking up on produce at my local grocery store or at one of the cities farmers’ markets, I always look for the “Fresh from Florida” label.  That way not only am I getting fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables, I am also helping the local farmers in my community profit and be able to continue a sustainable farm and keep growing quality food for all of our families.

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Looking for a local Farmers’ Market?
Fresh from Florida has a Directory!

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5 Tips to Make Bath Time the Most Fun Time of the Day!

Disclosure: So happy to share this blog post I created as a Suave Kids partner. The Disney, Frozen and Star Wars trademarks are used by Unilever pursuant to a license agreement with The Walt Disney Company. All rights reserved.

5 Tips to Make Bath Time the Most Fun Time of the Day!

I remember when my three children were in the baby-toddler stage at the same time.  The days felt long and while my heart was full my body was exhausted.  One of the best activities for both the kids and myself was to have bath time.  There were mid-winter months, when I would throw a couple kids in the tub together 2-3 times a day.  They had fun, it instantly calmed any fussiness, and it gave me a few minutes to lounge on the bathroom floor (because moms of multiples lounge anywhere possible, because it’s usually never possible) and destress while watching the kids giggle, sing, and of course splash.

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Now that the kids are getting a little older, they still love bath time.  However now I use the time to clean the bathroom or fold laundry in the hallway, but most of the fun things I did when they were little, they still ask for.  

Making baths fun for the kids, has encouraged the kids to love bath time and which has made it my favorite time of the day.  Here are my 5 tips to make your kids bath time the best time of the day!

5 Tips to Make Bath Time the Most Fun Time of the Day

  1. Create Fun Activities:Let the kids play and use their imaginations while in the water.  Some of our fun activities are:
  • Switch up the bath toys so they’re not always the same.
  • Blow bubbles or get an automated bubble blower.
  • Let them draw with bath crayons.
  • Cut up pool noodles and make a Noodle Pit.
  • Get a hand sprayer and squeegee so they can pretend to clean. 

 

  1. Make the Water Fun: Most of the time just plain water is enough to make a kid jump right in, but sometimes I like to give them a little surprise by making the water extra cool.  Some of the ways I make the water extra fun is:
  • Overdo it with the bubble bath so they can’t see where the water starts.
  • Change the waters color with bath tablets.
  • Make the water fizz with bath bombs.

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  1. Make it a Bath Tub Party:The more the merrier, right?  My kids thought so for a long time (before they wanted more space for themselves) plus bathing two or three at once is a huge time saver.  So, we would have “Bath Tub Parties” by:
  • Have all the kids jump in the tub together, and as they got older we would have them wear bathing suits which the kids thought made the bath more fun.
  • Get windup water toys or boats and have water races.
  • Play some music and let the kids sing and dance.
  • Put down some towels outside the tub and just let the splashes happen.

4. Have Fun Shampoo, Conditioner, and Body Wash: One of my kids least favorite parts of bath time is when it’s time to wash their hair.  Because of this I am always looking for products that not only work great so that my messy kids will be clean from head to toe but I also need them to leave Lilly’s thick hair soft and smooth.
I also want the products to smell great and of course to have the kids favorite characters on the packaging to help encourage them to use it.


I am excited to say, The new Suave Kids® Disney Collection is exactly what I was looking for!  It makes bath time exciting and playful with products inspired by two of the kid’s favorite movies, Frozen and Star Wars.
We have had the Frozen line in our bathroom for the last month and it has been a huge hit, isn’t everything more magical with Disney Characters?

In the bath we have tried both the Disney Frozen Elsa 2-in-1 shampoo + conditioner and the Disney Frozen Olaf 2-in-1 shampoo + body wash.  Both are dermatologist tested to be tear free which is important when creating a fun bath time experience.  Another perk is that they both come in 28oz pump bottles, so they last and are easy to use!

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The New Disney Frozen Elsa 2-in-1 Shampoo + Conditioner in Berry Flurry:
Has a rich, creamy strawberry scented lather that rinses out easily leaving hair feeling soft and clean, in one quick step.

The New Disney Frozen Olaf 2-in-1 Shampoo + Body Wash in Icy Grape: Cleans both hair and skin with a fruity bubbly wash that rinses off easily, leaving skin soft with fruity scent the kids love.  That’s head to toe in one easy step!

  1. Make Getting Out Fun Too: Once you’re done with a relaxing and fun bath time the last thing you want is a screaming child not wanting to get out of the water.  By creating a fun after bath routine that the kids can look forward to after the water drains, you will make the evening go smoother.
  • Use fun towels!  The kids always had cute animal ones, but now that they are getting bigger they have extra soft beach towels they picked out.  Lilly has all the princesses, of course.  While Aidan has a Lightening McQueen one and Anthony’s is Star Wars.
  • Make after bath snuggling with a book or show a consistent part of the after-bath time routine. 
  • Have fun hair products.  Lilly used to hate getting out of the bath because she knew her hair needed to be brushed next.  So, making sure I have a great detangler is important.  The new Disney Frozen Anna Detangler Spray in Sparkle Berry is Lilly’s new must have!  It’s been tackling her tough knots without taking her curls away since the first use.  I love how soft her hair feels after we use it and Lilly loves that it “makes her hair smell just like Anna”!

SuaveKids

Fun Facts about Suave Kids®

  • Suave Kids® offers head-to-toe gentle products that are specially formulated for kids
  • Suave® is the #1 kids’ haircare brand
  • Suave Kids® believes every adventure ends in clean and is introducing new products that celebrate the fun of bath time.

Suave Frozen

Suave Kids® Disney collections are sold at Walmart stores, Target stores, and mass retailers nationwide with a suggested retail price of $4.99.

Click here to learn more about the Suave Kids® Disney collections!
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How do you make bath time fun for the kids?

 

How My Family Prepares for the Cold and Flu Season!

This post is written by me on behalf of Geometry Global. All opinions are entirely my own. This shop has been compensated by Acorn Influence, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

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If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve likely followed along as Lilly’s asthma acts up with each season change.  If not, let me say we have been on a roller coaster of colds, coughing fits, and hospital stays over the last few years.  I must be extremely careful to the point of obsession when it comes to cold germs or even worse the flu around her.  What would normally be a few days to a week of feeling yucky and run down for the average person, can quickly turn into pneumonia, low oxygen levels, constant nebulizer treatments, and days in the hospital for Lilly.

I know Lilly’s case is extreme, but all kids are miserable when they get sick.  Plus, once Lilly catches a cold it can quickly go through the entire house.  The boys will catch it from playing together or sharing a cup, then Aidan will want to do nothing but snuggle on the couch for the entire day.  This will lead to my husband and I catching the nasty virus and in the end, even without hospital trips we are left dragging ourselves out of piles of laundry, makeup work from school, and an endless to-do list.

We all know how draining cold season can be once it strikes so I try to prepare for it as much as possible in an effort to prevent the virus from taking over my house.
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What we do to keep the cold virus away:

Wash hands:  this seems like a no brainer, but with kids they sometimes need reminders.  Luckily, Lilly is a hand washing pro from watching an episode about it one “The Magic School Bus” and she constantly tells the boys what they are doing wrong.

Keep surfaces, switches, door knobs, and other high traffic areas disinfected.  During my daily cleaning I use an antibacterial wipe and quickly wipe down all the little spots that can easily be hotbeds for germs.

Stay healthy, I try my hardest to keep everyone active, hydrated, and nourished from a healthy diet so that their immunity is higher and their bodies have all the nutrients they need to fight off any virus’s that they come in contact with.
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I always stock up on cold season supplies, I make sure our thermometer has batteries and is working.  The same thing goes for our humidifier and oximeter.  Most importantly I stock up on Kleenex!  
I don’t want everyone sneezing and coughing into their hands and then spreading those germs everywhere they touch, and as parents, we know how gross it is to turn a shirt right side out while doing laundry to find that a little someone has wiped a day’s worth of snot on their sleeves.  So, Kleenex are a must, but I don’t trust just any tissue to help keep the cold virus from spreading.  We use Kleenex Anti-Viral tissues because they kill 99.9% of cold and flu viruses.  How amazing is that?  The active ingredients in the middle layer disrupt the viruses’ protective coating and kills the virus in the tissue within 15 minutes.
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Help prevent the virus’s from spreading at school too.  As much as I wipe surfaces and keep my kids hands clean at home, the cold virus still likes to circulate at school.  So, be your child’s teacher’s cold season hero and send a 4 pack of Kleenex Anti-Viral Facial Tissues that are available at Walmart, to school for your child’s classroom.

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Plus, each box comes with Box-Tops, which schools always appreciate.
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I try my hardest not to let the cold virus sneak up on my family and Kleenex Anti-Viral is making it easier this season.
So, for now I am waiting for cold season to be over dreaming of the fresh summer air.
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How do you prepare for cold season in your family?

Disclaimer: *In the tissue in 15 minutes.  Virucidal against: Rhinoviruses Type 1A and 2 (Rhinoviruses are the leading cause of the common cold); Influenza A and Influenza B (causes of the flu); Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV – the leading cause of lower respiratory infection in children).

6 Yummy Beauty and the Beast Themed Sweet Treats

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Are you super excited about the new Beauty and the Beast movie coming out March 17th?  My family is!!! We keep watching the trailer repeatedly, and are completely obsessed with everything Belle related.


Having Beauty and the Beast sweet treats are a perfect way to prep for all the Disney magic!  Here are 6 great recipes worth trying this month.


Beauty and the Beast Sweet Treats

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Beauty and the Beast Rose Oreos by Chantel at Nerdy Mamma

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Enchanted Rose Cupcakes by Amy at As The Bunny Hops

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Beauty and the Beast Rose Oreos by Chantel at Nerdy Mamma

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Beauty and the Beast Cupcakes by Sara at SensiblySara

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Rose Bud Butter Cookies by Wendy on The Monday Box

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The Grey Stuff Brownie Recipe by Kim at Two Kids and a Coupon

From the most elaborate to the simplest recipe, these 6 treats will make everyone excited for March 17th!

What is your favorite Beauty and the Beast themed recipe?

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