The Mommyhood Life

Parenting

Let’s Celebrate 40 Years of Fun with Chuck E. Cheese’s, Plus a fun Giveaway!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Chuck E. Cheese’s. The opinions and text are all mine.

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If you ask my kids on any given day what they want to do, the answer is “go to Chuck E. Cheese’s” 100% of the time.
They love eating pizza, playing games, and crawling through the tubes.
I love that I can take them there when I really need to get some work done, but they’re full of energy.  I take advantage of the free Wi-Fi while they play and then we end it with pizza for dinner.  Chuck E. Cheese’s has been my “work at home mom” saving grace, but on May 19th I won’t be working during our visit, I’ll be celebrating!

Chuck E. Cheese’s is celebrating its 40th birthday by hosting a world-record breaking party!

A GUINNESS WORLD RECORDSTM record attempt

Chuck E. and friends have teamed up with GUINNESS WORLD RECORDSTM to attempt A GUINNESS WORLD RECORDSTM title in stores nationwide on May 19!

Families are invited to visit their local Chuck E. Cheese’s to be a part of the “Most People Blowing Party Blowers Simultaneously for 10 Seconds” world-record breaking event.

Every child that comes in on May 19th will receive a free slice of cake and 40 free tickets, while supplies last, regardless of participation in the record-breaking stunt.

So lets head over and celebrate with Check E. and make his birthday as special as he makes ours!

40 Days of VIP Birthday Giveaways

In honor of its own birthday, Chuck E. Cheese’s is hosting a daily sweepstakes to celebrate 40 years of fun!
In the 40 days leading up to the milestone on May 19, Chuck E. Cheese’s will be giving fans a chance to win a free VIP birthday party experience. 
To enter, upload an image of your receipt showing that you visited a Chuck E. Cheese’s between 4/10 and 5/19 for a chance to win the VIP party for up to 20 kids.

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Birthday Parties is What Chuck E Cheese’s Does Best!

We have had so many birthday parties at Chuck E. Cheese’s that I’ve lost count.  Anthony’s first birthday was there 12 years ago tomorrow and ever sense it’s been my go to party spot for an easy and fun kid’s birthday party.

Why I love Chuck E. Cheese’s Birthday Parties:

  • Online reservations, right from the start it’s simple.  I have 3 loud kids, I don’t want to be on the phone with anyone trying to make reservations.  Chuck E. Cheese lets me book my entire party online.
  • I can order the goodie bags through them if I don’t feel like making them myself.  Time saver!  Plus, Chuck E. Cheese’s now has bigger and better goody bags.
  • I can also order my cake at Chuck E. Cheese if I don’t want to order it somewhere else, or (don’t laugh) bake it myself.  
  • The kids get to run around and have a blast without tearing up your house.
  • Their new pizza recipe is delish.
  • Best of all, no clean up!  Literally I get to pack up my kids and the gifts and head back to my still (semi) clean home.

Chuck E. Cheese has come out with some great new party features including VIP parties that include having the entire party area to yourself before the restaurant opens.  Eat more Play more packages geared towards the older kids, which gives them 3 slices of pizza each.  Also they have come out with exciting new party themes to choose from including: Party Like a Rock Star, Dressed in Pink Party, Sports Sports Sports, and Chuck E. Super Fan.

Plus for a limited time only the Birthday Star gets 1,000 tickets!

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The New Eat & Play Express Package

During my usual weeknight visits, I anticipate the spending a few hours between the kids playing, eating, and visiting the prize counter.  Because I am going to make the most of my time with work, this usually doesn’t bother me.  However, there are nights that I would love to bring the kids into Chuck E. Cheese to celebrate small accomplishments or because I really want the pizza but I just don’t have the entire evening to set aside.  
Chuck E. Cheese’s has rolled out a solution, new Eat & Play package.  Visit Monday through Thursday and order the Eat & Play Express package for just $31.99-$32.99, depending on the Chuck E. Cheese’s location. 
(If your pizza does not arrive within 20 minutes, receive a FREE dessert)

Package includes:
1 Large 1-topping Pizza
4 Drinks
2 20-minute Play Pass Cards/45 tockens (for non-play pass stores)
Chuck E. Cheese Appearence
1 Dessert (giant chocolate chip cookie or cinnamon dessert pizza, based on availability)

I will definitely be taking advantage of this package during busy weeks that I want to add a little fun to!

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GIVEAWAY TIME!

Will you be joining the 40th anniversary celebration?   Make sure you snap a quick picture while you’re there!   

I am hosting a giveaway for one lucky reader who goes in-store on the 19th!  Take a picture at Chuck E. Cheese’s and post the picture in the comments section below.  One lucky winner will be chosen a random.

Winner will receive a swag bag with two guest passes, 1,000 tickets, a Chuck E. Cheese’s shirt and a goody bag.

Head over to 40YearsofFun.com for more details on Chuck E. Cheese’s birthday celebrations and enter for a chance to receive special offers.

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Chuck E. Cheese’s. The opinions and text are all mine.

Five Ways to Make Dental Hygiene Fun! #TheraBreathKids

This is a sponsored post on behalf of The Motherhood,  All opinions are my own.

WAYS TO MAKE BRUSHING FUN!

Taking care of our teeth from a young age is very important.  Cavities are painful, dentist bills can be very expensive, poor hygiene causes bad breath, and uncared for teeth can result in some scary health issues.  So, starting our children off young, with good oral hygiene skills is imperative.  However, it’s not always the easiest parenting task.

Teaching kids to follow a dental hygiene routine can be hard, getting them to enjoy taking care of their teeth without any fuss, can seem nearly impossible at times.  Luckily, I’ve compiled a list of some easy things you can do that will have kids asking to brush their teeth.

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Five Tips to Make a Dental Hygiene Routine Fun

Sing Songs and Make the Bathroom a Fun Area

I would bring my children to the bathroom sink singing some of their favorite songs, and danced as we put on the tooth paste and flossed.  Showing the kids that we could have fun as they brushed their teeth helped tremendously.

Use a Timer

Letting the kids see exactly how much time they have left to brush or swish mouthwash helps them know they only must do it for a short time and they can watch how quick the time is passing.  We use a sand timer our dentist gave us; however, I have seen some fun musical and light up ones.

Get Kids Fun Toothbrushes

Toothbrushes are available in practically every color and feature countless character options.  Let your child pick out a fun toothbrush that they love and they will likely want to use it all the time.  I know whenever we buy new toothbrushes, I don’t have to remind even my oldest son to brush.

Give Rewards

Remember as a child being able to go in the treasure chest after a good dentist appointment?  It sure did make me want to keep my teeth clean for next time.  Rewards work, try using stickers as a reward for each day they do a great job taking care of their teeth.

Choose a Great Tasting Mouthwash

Mouthwash helps prevent cavities and keeps kid’s teeth healthier.  But in order get children to successfully swish for the time needed, the mouthwash must taste great.  We started using TheraBreath for Kids! Oral Rinse and the kids can’t get enough of it.  The yummy grape flavor keeps them swishing for the full minute as directed.  TheraBreath Kids is a healthy mouth wash option for children 6 and older.

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A Healthier Kids Rinse

The kids love TheraBreath for Kids! Oral Rinse because of the great taste, as a mom, I love it for the oral health benefits and Organic ingredients.

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Made with Organic Grapes
Made with Natural Non-Sugar Sweetener
Is Certified Gluten-Free
Includes NO Artificial colors and flavors

Providing the benefits of Fluoride and Xylitol without any questionable additives!

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For my family TheraBreath for Kids! Oral Rinse is now the best way to end the kid’s oral hygiene routine each morning and night, by freshening their breath and preventing cavities.

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Interested in trying TheraBreath for Kids! Oral Rinse?
We have an awesome Buy 1 Get 1 FREE Coupon just for you!
Click here to print your coupon and find a local store.

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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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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).

10 Simple Ways to Show Kids You Love Them Everyday! #MixInImagination

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

10 Simple Ways to Show Kids You Love Them Everyday

Life gets crazy!  In my house, I have three children running from school to sports, then finishing up homework, squeezing in time to run around with friends, and so much more sometimes in a single day.  There have been days that once dinner and baths were done, and my children were tucked in to bed, I collapsed on the couch in exhaustion with a bit of mommy guilt.

Some days it felt like we had been running none stop all day.  We were doing things they had begged to do but I still wasn’t sure if I had really connected with them in those little ways that make them grin and know they are what makes my heart beat.

I decided to start trying to do little things throughout the day that would make them sporadically feel special.  Here are 10 of my favorite simple ways to show my munchkins I love them though out the day.
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10 Simple Ways to Show Your Kids You Love Them

  1. Draw on the bathroom mirror.  My oldest is in middle school and often by the time I get up with the twins, he has already woken up and got ready.  He sees the bathroom mirror before he sees me, so I love sporadically grabbing a marker and drawing silly faces on the mirror to make him smile first thing in the morning.
  2. Surprise them at school for lunch.  My tween has explicitly told me NOT to do this to him, but my elementary aged kids love it.  Every so often I will whip up some of their favorite foods, the kind that wouldn’t keep well in a lunch box, and surprise them in the cafeteria.  Their school also lets students sit outside to eat when parents come, adding to that “I’m special” feeling.
  3. Leave something special in their pockets.  We lay out the kids outfits the night before school, so it is easy for me to sneak treats or pictures into there pockets.  One day I knew my oldest was stress about a big test, so I put a small picture of us in his pocket with a note saying “I was proud of him no matter what”.
  4. Say yes when they are expecting a no.  You know, when they have already eaten half your kitchen and are asking for a second helping of dessert, expecting a no.  Or when they want to stay up late an watch a movie and you were already counting down the minutes till bedtime.  Every once in a while, say yes to the usually no’s.
  5. Call them and chat.  If I have errands or work to do on the weekends or after school, the kids are home with dad.  When I am walking from place to place, I will often call and chat with each of them throughout the day. 
  6. Listen to them read.  Now that my kids are older, they are usually off reading to themselves but sometimes I crawl into bed with them or snuggle up on the couch and tell them to read the story to me.  This gives us great one on one time, plus, it helps them master reading out loud.
  7. Bake something yummy.  When I have some extra time in the day, I will surprise them with one of their favorite treats as an afternoon snack.
  8. Build them up by bragging about them.  When I know, they are within ear shot, I will make sure to build up some of their accomplishments and brag about them on the phone to Grammy or to my husband.  With an “Anthony is doing amazing in school, I am so proud” or “Lilly has been being so kind at school, she has such a caring heart”.  
  9. Put the phone away and get off the computer.  As a work at home mom, it is easy for me to sometimes loose sense of time and get caught up in the middle of writing or answering emails, and of course the social media wormhole.  I’ve started setting an alarm 10 minutes before the kids come in from school so that when they walk in the door, they see me, not me staring at a screen.
  10. Pack their school lunch with Love Notes.  By the time the kids sit down in the cafeteria for lunch, half their day has passed.  They could be having a great day, they could also have gotten a bad grade on a test, got into a disagreement with a friend, forgot their locker combination, or just be having crumby day.  So, putting a little note of encouragement in their lunch could lift them up right when they need it.  DOLE Mixations® are now a signature in my kid’s lunch boxes.  Not only are they a delicious combination of smooth fruit sauce mixed with chunks of real fruit, they also have a customizable package that lets you draw fun designs and personal messages on the lids.  This makes sending an unexpected pick-me-up simple and yummy.

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More about DOLE Mixations!

DOLE Mixations are available in 4 great flavors
Apple-Strawberry Sauce with Dices of Apple
Pineapple-Mango Sauce with Pineapple Pieces
Peach-Apple Sauce with Pineapple Pieces
Apple-Raspberry Sauce with Dices of Apple

My kids love all four flavors and I love that they are non-GMO*, contain no high fructose corn syrup, or artificial flavors, are gluten free and rich in Vitamin C!  Making them an ideal snack.

Plus, not only are DOLE Mixations a tasty and healthy snack option, they are also an easy and mess-free snack with no liquid to spill!

Are you ready to try DOLE Mixations and send a little encouragement in your child’s lunch box?  Now’s the time to try them with this great coupon!  Save $1.00 on any one (1) package of DOLE Mixations.

Dole-Mixations

What little ways do you use to show your children you love them through out the day?


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*No genetically modified (or engineered) ingredients

 

Keeping Kids Healthy with BGCA and Triple Play!

This post was sponsored by Boys & Girls Clubs of America as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

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With the new year, we are all thinking about how to improve ourselves and making new goals and resolutions.  With our recent move to Florida, my entire family has been feeling the stress of trying to settle in, so my main goal this year is to focus on our health and wellness this year.
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Being in the “sunshine state” has given me motivation to keep the kids active and eating right.  We are no longer forced to stay cooped up indoors for most of the year, which has me wanting us to try new and adventurous things like exploring the islands of Tampa Bay.  Plus the hot weather has us loving all the juicy fresh fruit that’s available.
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Along with staying active and eating a balanced diet, I am also working on getting the kids connected with our new community.  Meeting people and making friends is vital to having a fulfilling and healthy life.

One of my favorite places to meet friends as a child the Boys and Girls Club of America.  We had a location down the street from my house and I have endless memories of weekend dances and family swimming sessions.  I now look to Boys and Girls Clubs when it comes to connecting my own children with the community.

Boys and Girls Clubs of America now offer a comprehensive health and wellness program called Triple Play.


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Triple Play focuses on young people and giving them the tool they will need to put them on the right path for a great future. 

This is a great way for both children and teens to learn that small daily health changes can have long-term impact towards a healthy lifestyle.  Triple Play’s key mantra is “I feel better when”,  when do you feel better?  For my family, I believe my mantra is I feel better when I stay active.

National support from Amerigroup and Coca-Cola makes it possible for Boys and Girls Clubs around the country to operate this amazing program.  Learn more about the mind, body, and soul triple play program and develop a game plan here!
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Love Your Hair!

This post is sponsored by Dove. All opinions are my own.
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A girl and her hair, her hair can be a source of joy or her worst enemy.

I have straight to wavy fine hair so when my daughter came out with thick curly hair, I was at a loss about how to care for it.
My biggest fear though was her not realizing how incredibly beautiful her hair was because I couldn’t figure out what to do with it.  I remember having her on my lap screaming as I tried to brush through her dry curls, at the end we were both in tears.  From that day on, I realized how important it was for me to learn how to care for her beautiful curls so that her confidence never wavered because of her at times unmanageable tresses.  
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As she’s grown, we have both learned how and when to brush her hair, what styles she likes, and what to use on her thick strong hair to keep it looking and feeling amazing.  Now at 7, she loves her hair.  When she combs it herself she is not shy about telling everybody she has beautiful hair and that makes me proud.
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I am excited to team up with Dove to share about their “Love Your Hair” campaign because there is a narrow depiction of what “beautiful hair” is believed to look like and earlier this year, Dove Hair found that 8 in 10 women feel pressure to wear their hair a certain way.  For many, these pressures begin at an early age.  In my culture long and straight hair is thought to be beautiful.  While I have at times fallen into the trap of thinking my hair needed to be straightened every day, I never wanted my daughter to feel like she needed to flatten out her full and bouncy curls.
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Dove Hair believes a positive role model can greatly impact a girl’s confidence. In fact, a recent Dove study found that 82% of girls learn to care about themselves from their mother.

These findings don’t surprise me.  My daughter has watched me style my hair, put on makeup, and has been trying on my high heels since she started to walk.  Our daughters are always watching us and as mothers, we can make a difference and help ensure our daughters grow up feeling confident.

Celebrate the beauty of your daughter’s hair today–so she loves her hair tomorrow!

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Do you tell your daughter how beautiful her hair is?  Tell her why you love her hair by creating and sharing a custom #LoveYourHair animated message with @Dove: LoveYourHair.Dove.com

24 Fun and Easy Elf on the Shelf Ideas! #MyReason #AtHomeStores

This post sponsored by At Home, all opinions are my own.
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I remember the first year we had our Elf visit.  It was about 7 years ago and back then our pore little guy Rex must have been tired because all he did was move from the Christmas tree to the book shelf and back again.  When he was really ambitious he would fly over to the top of the TV or into a stocking, but that was it, he didn’t pull any real shenanigans back then.

Fast forward to today, he started bring another elf friend along, her name is Snowflake and they are up to all sorts of craziness once the kids fall asleep.  I’m guessing now that all of their friends are making debuts on Pinterest, Rex and Snowflake had to up their game too!
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Our elves head back to the North Pole on Christmas Eve night with Santa so when we brought them out on December 1st, I jotted down some fun and easy Elf ideas, in hopes that I wouldn’t have many “OH NO! I forgot the dang elf” mornings.  
Then I had some fun shopping at the At Home store in Orlando.  We recently moved down from Massachusetts so this was my first time in an At Home store and I am now obsessed!  We are still settling in to our new place and At Home has everything I need to make it a home.  From rugs and patio furniture to fun accessories for our elves to play with!
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24 Days of Elf on the Shelf

  1. When our elves arrive they bring a little gift for the kids to celebrate their arrival.  Usually a pez dispenser, water bottle, silly putty.
  1. It’s time to bake!  December is for baking, Rex and Snowflake will get things started for us and let us know what to do next on the chalkboard cheese platter from At Home.
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  2.  Another December tradition is making gingerbread houses, our elves arrived one morning with kits from At Home and were positioned on the kitchen table to watch all the decorating fun.
  3.  Rex and Snowflake also like to spend a day sitting in the Christmas Tree so they can admire all the pretty new ornaments.
  4.  The elves like to bring some of their favorite Christmas books on some morning, usually they even wrap them up to make it extra fun.
  5.  Using a peppermint Hershey’s Kiss one day our elf used the potty, for the boys this was an epic morning!
  6.  On days that are cool enough that we won’t use our ceiling fan, the elves have fun hanging around on it.
  7.  Set up a zip line throughout the house with candy canes.
  8.  The night before we start to decorate, the elves pull out all our Christmas lights and tend to make a mess.
  9.  We are missing out on the snowy fun of New England this year, but the elves aren’t!  Rex dumped all my sugar out to make Snow Angels.
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  10.  After some busy couple weeks, the elves like to spend a cozy day hanging out in the kid’s stockings.
  11. Have the elves drink syrup because they love sugar with some staws.
  12. They plan holiday movie nights by pulling out their favorite movie and bring packages of cot chocolate.
  13.  Make a snowman out of toilet paper rolls and have the elves in the center.
  14.  While in the checkout line at At Home I decided to toss some red duct tape in my carriage because I figured I would use it for something fun over the holidays.  Well I didn’t yet, but Snowflake had some fun with it.
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  15.  Have the elves host a movie night in the microwave with some popcorn!
  16.  Our elves also love to write messages with toothpaste on the bathroom sink.
  17.  The kids know Christmas is coming really soon, once Rex and Snowflake bring their new Christmas Jammies.
  18.  Our elves will set up board games and play together all night.
  19.  They get dressed up.  I’ve seen some cute Elf on the Shelf outfits, but I decided to try something that I can use all season long instead.  Wine Bottle decorations from At Home!  I recently got a wine bottle scarf and hat set that fit on Snowflake perfectly, and I can’t wait to go back and grab some wine bottle sweaters.  Plus, on the days the elves aren’t getting festive, mommy’s wine bottles look awesome!
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  20.  One morning the elves moved around the silverware and when the kids opened up the utensil drawers for breakfast they found a couple of elves.
  21.  Snowflake loves to toast mini marshmallows over our candles.
  22.  Have the kids leave their letters for Santa with their elf to bring up to the North Pole.  We did and Santa wrote back telling them to stay on the nice list.
  23.  The kids favorite morning was when they landed in a sealed holiday bucket from At Home with a note that said “carry us around, our magic is safe”.  The kids showed Snowflake and Rex off to everyone!
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    I can’t believe Christmas will be here and our elves will be heading back to the North Pole in just 10 days.  Time seems to be passing so fast as I hold on to and cherish as much of my children’s holiday magic as I can before they grow up.  I want them to look back at these years and remember the fun mornings of December looking for their elves and that feeling of Christmas magic.  They are my reason for bringing our Elf on the Shelf alive.
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    What is your favorite Elf on the Shelf hiding place?

What’s the Fuss? Choose the Right Baby Bottle and Avoid Colic!

Compensation was provided by Philips Avent via Momtrends.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Philips Avent or Momtrends.
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I remember being a new mom with an inconsolable baby.  The screaming cries and not knowing how to help was terrifying.  My sister in-law was super helpful and explained what colic was.
We switched formulas around as well as bottles until we found the perfect fit.  For Anthony it was Philips Avent bottles, and luckily we used our experiences with Anthony to start the twins off on Philips Avent from the start and they never had any tummy troubles.

Philips Avent offers the Anti-colic bottle which is proven to reduce colic and discomfort.  When you hold your baby and feel that their crying is from pain and discomfort it absolutely breaks your heart.  As a mom you want to do anything to help them and with Philips Avent the solution could be as simple as trying the bottle brand I trust.
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I liked how easy to fill and clean they were, but the best part was my baby was happy and healthy, free of tummy pain.

The design of the Philips Avent bottle is great.  It was easy for all my kids to hold and the nipple seemed to be a very easy latch.  Plus, Philips Avent has several different flow rates of nipples that you can purchase as your baby gets older.  This was a money saver for me, the quality of the Philips Avent bottles are amazing so they lasted the entire time I was bottle feeding, so all I would have to do is buy new nipples every few months with a greater flow rate and use the same bottle.

When my kids were using Philips Avent bottles, they were called Classic+ bottles.  Now Philips Avent offers the “Anti-colic bottle” with a new look and name but with the same Classic+ features that this mom has loved for years!
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Why Chose Philips Avent Anti-colic bottle?

  • It features an Air flex venting system designed to reduce gas and colic by reducing the amount of air swollowed.
  • Fewer parts for easy cleaning and assembly, with only 4 parts there is no messy bags or inserts to clean.
  • Babies fed with Philips Avent anti-colic bottles experienced 60% less fussing at night, than babies fed with a leading competitor’s vented bottle.  That means a better night sleep for both mommy and baby! *At 2 weeks of age, babies fed with a Philips Avent bottle showed a trend to less colic compared to a conventional bottle and a significant reduction in fussing at night compared to babies fed with another leading bottle.
  • The built-in, venting system keeps air away from your baby’s stomach, which keeps their tummy happy.
  • The nipples texture prevents it from collapsing so baby has uninterrupted feedings.

When I had my oldest I wasn’t aware of the differences in bottles and it created some long hard nights with a baby hurting and a mommy overwhelmed.  With the twins, I realized how much discomfort I saved them by choosing the #1 bottle brand from the start.  Now you get to learn from my mistakes, and you can avoid feeding woes!

Philips Avent recently partnered with actress and new mom Sarah Chalke to learn about her experience with colic with her new daughter, Frankie.  Her video reminds me of my experience with my oldest.  The hours of crying and the singing, but thankfully also the end result!

 Learn more about the Anti-Colic Bottle and Connect with Philips Avent:
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