Friday, November 14, 2014

Putting a "helicopter mom" at ease!

Many have told me that I'm a "helicopter mom" and you know what? They may be right, but is that really such a bad thing? I give her breathing room, I just watch her like a hawk :) So in total following of me being a "helicopter mom" I was a bit nervous when we moved into our new house, knowing that I would quite possibly be downstairs in the living room or kitchen while Blake sleeps upstairs in her room. Sure, she's almost 4, and sleeps just fine throughout the night, but I check-in on "average" on her about 4-5 times a night before I even go to bed and then if I wake up in the middle of the night I check-in on her again! Yeah, yeah maybe I'm crazy, but oh well :)
"motorola baby monitor" "baby monitor" "pink childs room" "video baby monitors" "best video baby montior"Well, we were given a solution - the Motorola MBP36S video baby monitor. I seriously could not have been more thrilled. This monitor isn't just a simple little monitor, it's totally amazing! The monitor itself provides crystal clear two-way communication and showcases a full color LCD screen. Plus, you can remotely pan, tilt and zoom. You can even peek in at night with the infrared night vision and use the picture- in-picture feature to keep an eye on multiple rooms if you need to. I think my favorite feature of all is that you can set up the monitor to actually show on your living room TV!
I found the perfect spot within Blake's room to place the actual baby unit to give the most ideal picture of her while she sleeps. Also, not only is it a great spot to see her when she is sleeping, but also when she is playing in her room with her dolls and I'm cleaning or whatever it might be. Sometimes she yells for me and I don't hear her from her room, so she'll come trumping through the house looking for me telling me she had been calling for me, with the Motorola video baby monitor we never have this issue anymore!
Go check out to order yours today! With this monitor, you can be sure your baby is safe and sound, giving you the peace of mind you deserve. I promise you'll love it just as much as I do :)

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

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

a little milestone ..

Well, I officially made it through our first sleepover (at our house!) last weekend! Phew! I will totally admit I was super nervous to have two kids vs one. Who would've thought it would be 10x easier? Not me! Ha! I actually was able to do the dishes and clean the kitchen uninterrupted for the first time in 3+ years - it's the little things I tell ya.
Since we were going to have Blake's cousin, Allie, over for the majority of the day I decided I needed to get a few little projects for them to do to avoid them getting bored of playing Barbies and whatever else they might've gotten into so what's a mom to do? Duh! Go to Pinterest and find a craft project. (PINTEREST TO THE RESCUE! ::insert some cool music here::). I found some adorable little turkey's the girls could easily create, since Thanksgiving is right around the corner - and not only were they adorable but the supplies were inexpensive as well. #winning.

Besides our crafting project, we made blue cupcakes adorned with fish and princess sprinkles, played zebras (I was the momma zebra), made obstacle courses for them to jump over, ate pizza and watched WALL-E. Once the night came to a close the girls asked me to lay with them while they slept and I must say my heart grew about 300 sizes just watching how happy my sweet girl was and seeing how much fun the girls had that day. We all giggled in bed (me and Allie especially) as Blake tossed and turned, kept blabbering about everything and anything and wouldn't go to sleep. It was truly special. I think I may have possibly enjoyed the entire experience more than them. Honestly.
It's so funny to look back at how life was before I had Blake and to see just how different my life is today. Even talking to Allie's mom briefly, she mentioned just how much I've changed and how much more calm and just together I am these days. I don't think I'll ever begin to truly express what it means to be a mother or how it just does something to you that's unexplainable - but I am thankful each and every day for being given the opportunity to be blessed with such a beautiful, intelligent, healthy little girl. I wouldn't give up my bumpy path for anything in the world. She's my light and drives me to continue growing.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Recycling AND Crafting!

I'm always trying to find fun things to do around the house for Blake, whether it be projects, games or helping out with chores in a fun manner so when we were given the opportunity to watch Amazon's show Annedroids on Amazon Prime Instant Video, I thought about a potential recyclable project for her to do and came up with not only a fun project to keep her occupied but also a fun holiday project.
If you are saying - Annedroids what is that? It's a fun show on Amazon created by Emmy-nominated J.J. Johnson (Dino Dan) and Sinking Ship Entertainment, Annedroids is a live-action adventure series about "Anne," a young female scientist, her human friends and their android assistants, and the amazing scientific discoveries they make while undertaking the biggest experiment of them all: growing up. The series spotlights, through trial and error, how science, technology, engineering, the arts and math (STEAM) can inspire children to do great things.
Anne uses things found in her junkyard to create new inventions, so we are helping celebrate National Recycling Week by creating our own fun experiments and projects using recyclable treasures found around our home! We decided to create a Christmas decoration (don't shame me for doing it before Thanksgiving! ;) we made Turkeys over the weekend so we were "turkeyed" out lol).

 Our supplies:

(didn't end up using all of the cans, I just wasn't sure how many
or what sizes we needed)
Additional Supplies
Hot Glue
Small Wall Hanging Nail
Craft Spray Glue
Garland / Yarn
Wooden Snowflake
Wooden Dollie Rod (small, thin)

From here it's real simple - each can we removed the labels, washed and made sure there were no sharp edges, placed on some newspaper outside and sprayed them green. It took a good two coats, as I didn't use a primer (if you use a primer it will probably only take you one coat).
While your cans are drying spray your craft adhesive to the snowflake and sprinkle heavily with glitter to create your tree topper.
Once the cans are completely dry take a hammer and your wall hanging nail and place a hole in the center of your top can, be sure to make the hole large enough for your dollie rod, but not too large so it falls through. After you have created your hole, begin to hot glue the rims of the cans to the bases, stacking them, starting with the largest to the smallest, assuring to add enough glue that the cans would be very sturdy but not overfill onto the actual base. Next was the fun decorating part the Blake was able to really join in on. :) Take your hot glue and place a small dot on the backside of a pom pom and gently, but firmly stick it to the tin can and hold briefly. Add your garland/yarn, bows, even some glitter if you want from here!
Last but not least it's time to hot glue your sparkly snowflake to the dollie rod and insert it in the hole you created. WAH - LAH! A beautiful RECYCLED Christmas Tree! Ha! We had an absolute blast creating this tree and may even make another one similar but as a snowman! (check back later for that one!)
Be sure you watch a few episodes of Annedroids on Amazon Prime Instant Video for some project ideas of your own! Your kids are bound to love this show, I know Blake does :) 

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

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

animal hair = no more!

My Swiffer Big Green Box!!
Anyone that has pets knows first hand that cleaning your home can sometimes be quite the task due to animal hair, am I right? With having 4, yes 4 dogs at the house the dog hair can run pretty rampaid and truthfully it drives me crazy! I love the fur babies (Sebastian, Nolan, Sweets and Henny) but their fur on the floors and furniture? Not so much.

Me and Sebastian cleaning and painting the new house :)

Recently I received a Swiffer Big Green Box and oh my goodness, can I say amazing? Everything one could possibly need to clean their home with or without pets is included! I was especially happy considering I just moved into a new home as well, so it needed that nice *sparkle* to it :) Even my daughter made a comment about how clean the house was!
According to the Swiffer Cleaning Index, half of Americans say that concerns about pet hair and shedding in their home is one of the top reasons they worry about getting a pet, wouldn’t get a pet or don’t have one. More than one third (38 percent) of pet owners also say the leading source of “pet cleaning tensions” in their home is hair, dust bunnies and/or shedding. Whether you already have a pet or are considering a new one, Swiffer can help with the every day cleaning challenges.
Additionally, Swiffer® is supporting the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA) in a year-long effort to help find homes for animals in need and help make the challenges of cleaning up after a pet less of a concern after adoption. The brand will donate Big Green Boxes just like yours to more than 100 shelters nationwide and will gift each of an estimated 7,000 pet adopters with a free Swiffer Sweeper during the ASPCA Mega-Match-A-Thon the weekend of October 17-19.

On top of receiving my very own Swiffer Big Green Box, I received an additional one to give to a friend that has furry friends of their own. I selected a friend of mine that has 8, yes, 8 cats. She is always mentioning how she has to clean her counters at least once a day to ensure that there is no cat hair that will get into her food, as well as her fans once a week because you can see the cat on hair on them otherwise! You can't imagine how happy she was when I passed this box along to her! 
Billie, Splash, Beau and Roo - fishing in the bathtub
I have to say I believe one of my favorite items in the Swiffer Big Green Box had to be the Swiffer Wet Mopping pads. These pads made my wood floors so crystal clean and when I went to remove the pads you could physically see the dog hair, as well as the dirt that had been tracked in from all of the moving. What makes me enjoy them so much, besides how clean my floor is, is the fact that you can actually SEE what comes off of your floor vs a regular mop where the dirt just soaks into the mop pad.  You also don't truly know if you're ever getting all of that dirt out of your mop pad, where with a Swiffer Mopping pad you simply throw it away with no worries when you're done!
I'm so excited to not only be able to try out Swiffer products that I haven't tried before as well as be a part of such an incredible cause in supporting the ASPCA. All of my dogs are rescue dogs, except one, and the one that isn't is a mixed breed that was given to us at a local Walmart by a lady whose dog ended up pregnant before fixing her. So with that said the ASPCA holds true to my heart and I'm always looking for ways to support the cause!

#SwifferEffect #ASPCA

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

Monday, October 20, 2014

moral of the story - use a tape measure

I mentioned recently that I found a couch that I just loved and had my heart set on, well - that dream was crushed. Ha! Tip of advice when purchasing a home - measure your room before looking at couches. Not only was my dream of the particular couch I wanted crushed, but my dream for a sectional in general was crushed. Sigh.  I totally had my heart set on a nice sectional, because I just love the comfort of them, especially when there is more than one person on the couch with you! So with that said, the hunt for a new set up began this weekend.
After sitting in my house on the floor measuring for about a half hour or more I came to the realization that pretty much the best option was to get a larger sofa and a side chair, because that's what would fit best with still allowing for an openness within the room. WAHHH. BUTTTT - don't worry, I'm okay with this now, even though I may have shed a tear. hahaha. A local furniture store helped me out to the point where I feel like I owe them dinner of some sort or at least an invitation to my housewarming party. We looked through tons of catalogs and pulled up various sofas on their computer for a closer look and I finally settled on one that I truly love.
So not only did I not get a sectional, but I also didn't purchase one in the color I originally planned for either. Without further ado .. my new sofa -

I love it. Truly. It's not at all what I had envisioned from the get-go but the tuft pillows and the slightly curved arms are totally my style and scream contemporary yet girly at the same time. Now the throw pillows those are absolutely hideous and will immediately go into some pillow covers I am purchasing, most likely through Etsy or even at IKEA!
Now the next piece I am absolutely dying over. I wasn't sure at first if it would be "too" much for the room, almost like I was trying too hard or if it would over power the sofa, but I really think once the pillows are changed to a more modern print and throwing this comfy, furry throw I just bought at IKEA over the top of it for "decor meets warmth" it will fit in so nicely.
I'm kind of really excited now! I intend to add in some more textures to the room to ensure a warm, cohesive look, like modern styled basket bins, printed pillows and possibly some sticks or something of the like. We shall see.
While on my furniture escapade I found the most adorable bed in the world for Blake and within a second of looking at it I added it to my list of items to purchase. I'm a sucker. Yep. She needed a larger bed to transition to, although we were going to use twin bunk beds a friend of mine was going to give us, I just decided a full bed might just be the way to go so we don't have to buy again in a few years. The picture below is of the twin version but we purchased a full. Heart it.
Needless to say this was quite the busy weekend. Furniture shopping, hardware shopping and painting galore. Things are coming along nicely - much nicer than I expected and I am so relieved. Next up, is the carpet change and the completion of the paint. Hoping and crossing my fingers for a move-in this weekend, but all will depend on the installation of the carpet. Just wait til I show you the before and after photos. What a difference already!


yep, we watch TV!

I am always looking for great TV shows for my daughter to watch that not only are enjoyable for her, but also have some sort of educational value as well. We don't watch a ton of TV or stream a lot of shows, simply because I like to keep her active, but when it's time to wind down at night or on rainy days we turn to some of her favorite shows (and that list is crazy long, btw!) at times.
Recently we were given the opportunity to view the new episodes of Creative Galaxy on Amazon Prime Instant Video and I'm so glad we did! Blake absolutely loved each and every episode! The characters are so full of life and really drew her in and had her talking to my laptop, truly interacting. From singing along to some of the music and wanting to create some of her own paintings after watching, I was and am extremely pleased with this series.
In short, Creative Galaxy is a make-along, create-along, interactive art adventure series for preschoolers. Characters Arty and Epiphany travel around the galaxy to solve problems with art, inspiring creative thinking through crafts, music and dance. To give kids and parents the real-life tools they need to re-create Arty’s experience, a live-action piece at the end of each animated episode will take viewers through the craft project that Arty showcased in the galaxy.
This series is designed to support a child’s natural inclination to use their imaginations, make and create. Art make life joyful. Everywhere one goes art is evident. And the skills utilized and learned through making art are vast and useful. In every episode, our characters will use "fix it with art" to model the pervasiveness and importance of art as a resource for life for our home viewers.
The programming features a star-studded cast, including the voices of Christian Distefano (PAW Patrol) as Arty and Kira Gelineau (Dear Viola) as Epiphany, with guest stars Samantha Bee (The Daily Show), Jason Jones (The Daily Show), Cloris Leachman (Malcolm In the Middle), Jason Priestley (Beverly Hills 90210) and Brooke Shields (Lipstick Jungle). Also, Creative Galaxy is specifically for preschool age groups (ages 3-5), and Angela Santomero, the creator of Blue's Clues, Super Why! and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood is the creator and executive producer of Creative Galaxy as well! That right there won me probably before even watching the programming ;)

One of my favorite episodes Arty's mother completely forgot to create gift bags for Arty's party and instead of having his mother purchase them he decided to create his own. I thought this was such a cute concept to show kids that creativity can go a long way and you can have so much fun making things yourself. Blake's birthday is coming up on the first of January and we will now be creating our own goody bags for all the children that attend her party. She's excited to use some glitter and paint for these :) (pictures to come!!)
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

a fresh start

So although we've yet to close on our new home, I'm still avidly looking at paint colors, furniture, decor, you name it. What I've noticed is it's funny how when purchasing a new home, or maybe it's just your first home (idk), that you suddenly feel like you need to start over. I have furniture, of course it's all hand me down's, since after my divorce I didn't have any furniture, it's still furniture. Yes, not my style what so ever, but all working furniture. Yet - I've told everyone I will not be bringing one bit of it to the new house, I refuse. I would rather a room be empty than have a room full of furniture I absolutely despise.
Yes, that may sound snobbish, but you know what I'm okay with that. I want to be able to come home and look around feeling happy and in love with my home, not look around with a constant reminder that I have nothing of my "own". It may take time for me to buy the pieces that I want, but when I do, each piece will be "mine" and I will cherish them that much more.
Now, I'm sure as soon as I move in I will change my mind completely on the pieces I've selected, as that just always seems to happen, however, one piece I've found that I am pretty much dead set on is this couch from American Signature Furniture.

It's leather, which with my child I feel like is a must. She spills things left and right, she is 3! This will be a quick wipe off the couch vs a scrub down. There's a chase - which was a must. I love laying on a couch with a chase. For some reason they are just so much more comfortable to me, so when looking for a couch that was number one on my list. The leather thing was an a decision I wasn't sure of at first, because honestly, I've always thought leather couches weren't very comfortable, however, this couch proved me wrong - it's incredibly comfortable. When we went to the store, Blake even tested it out with fully diving onto the couch on her stomach :) Kid approved! The color isn't show very well here, but it's a darker grey color. I know it's just a couch, but I love it.
The demon of all of this has been paint. Ugh. Can we just talk for a minute about how many various shades of grey there are? A MILIION! I have purchased 3 different samples of grey paints, LOVING the color swatch on the card, but then paiting them on a sheet of drywall instantly knew they weren't the color. So now I have a list with about 10 different greys on it all found on Pinterest that I will be hunting down and trying out as well. The problem is the grey on the couch vs the grey on the walls need to fit nicely together. My goal is a lighter grey, but not with too much blue in it, so that the room doesn't seem dreary with the couch being quite so dark. We shall see!
Hopefully not too much longer for a closing date to be confirmed and stick. It keeps getting pushed back, thanks to it being a short sale. Soon enough it will be ours :)
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