Friday, March 21, 2014

Keep Good Going

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of New York Life. All opinions are 100% mine.

 
Just as this video has displayed, I've found that it's really important in life to keep your memories near and dear to you, and not only that but pass them down to others within your family, whether it be your own children, nieces, nephews or even just those around you. Life lesson's - which typically turn into fond memories are crucial to pass on to others. I love listening to stories from my mom, and always have. Even though she didn't live a crazy life, stories from her childhood of growing up on a farm, especially with My Grandfather, my grandmother, and my uncles always make me feel good. From her and my uncle singing like they were rock stars to popular music of the time, to her strong love for a cow her family owned that they eventually sold. Her words of fun times, as they went through rough times make me see that even though one can have a hard time with growing up and family problems that you can still have fun and live a truly amazing life. The video above truly touched me to see a grandfather telling stories about his life to his grandchild, reliving each memory as if they were yesterday - This to me is how you keep good going!

I encourage you and your family to keep good going, pass along your stories to younger generations or even ask your grandparents or parents to share some of their own with you! I'd love to hear about some of your fond memories you have with your family and stories they've told you below that relate to the video above. Learn more about how New York Life can help you and your family Keep Good Going!

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A breathtaking vacation on the horizon!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Gulf County, Florida. All opinions are 100% mine.
 
Summer is just around the corner and my daughter has been asking me none stop if it's almost time to go visit the beach, my response? Yes, yes it is. There is just nothing better than having the sand in between your toes, laying out in the beautiful sun and listening to the waves of the ocean crash into the shore. With that said I am looking to find one of the most beautiful beaches we can find and honestly, the best place in my opinion to do that, especially cost effectively, is Gulf County!
Gulf County is located in Northwest Florida and includes 43 miles of natural shoreline. The water surrounds you, and there are no high-rises or busy highways, and never will. White sands beaches facing westward into spectacular sunsets on the Gulf of Mexico and St. Joseph Bay, it's absolutely breathtaking!
 

 
On top of the beach being something out of a magazine Gulf County also has two-time zones, two stop-lights and spotty Wi-Fi, which all will let you unplug from your daily hustle and bustle and enjoy the most important thing in your life - your family! Take a look at this Pinterest page to view some amazing photos pinned by those that have visited and spent their vacations here.
 
Also, if you didn't already know the beaches in Gulf County, Florida are consistently ranked in the top ten US beaches to bring your pet on vacation! Leashed pets are welcome on the beach at all times and most rental homes will throw out the red carpet for your furry friends! Nothing beats a vacation with your pets, right?
 

 
 
One thing I saw that would be absolutely amazing to do would be paddle boarding. I have always wanted to do this and think it would be so much fun! I know Blake would definitely want to go fishing (she LOVES to fish!) - but I think we would have to decide if we want to go fresh water fishing or ocean fishing - maybe both, right? Ha! I personally love ocean fishing and grew up doing it, so I think this might be the most fun option, but we shall see :)
 

 
I've seen some images with descriptive words all about Gulf County and some of them were: quiet, pristine, friendly, tranquil, serene, secluded. Honestly, how could you possibly not want to go to a place like this for a vacation? Honestly, I don't even want to wait until summer at this point! I'm kind of getting more and more excited about it as research a bit more. Most vacations I tend to come home and think I need another vacation just because I am constantly on the run and standing in lines or just being in a crowded place with many other people, I'm thinking Gulf County may be my first vacation that won't be that way - and that is too exciting! Come visit GCFL
 
So right now there is currently a contest going on where all you have to do is go outside and snap a selfie of yourself doing what you love. Be real, be messy! For 30 days Gulf County will celebrate you "unfiltered" and will donate $1 for every entry to Outdoor Nation. Outdoor Nation believes in reconnecting the Millennial Generation, kids and teens, to the outdoors. They stand for nature and stand for adventure! So go ahead - snap your selfie and #GCFLnofilter on IG and/or Facebook for a chance to win one of five long-weekend Spring getaways to Gulf County! A winner will be drawn each week and one extra upon the sweepstakes completion. For more details click here! Also go Like GCFL on Facebook and salute real beauty! I put my "selifie" on IG of me in my backyard soaking up some sun by the koi pond! So heading to the beautiful beach shore will be my top priority to soak in those beautiful rays of sunlight! Go check it out on IG here!

 
What would your favorite thing to do at GCFL be?
 
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Thursday, March 20, 2014

you just never can be prepared ..

There are some things in parenting you can never really quite prepare yourself for, no matter how big or small things that get thrown your way may be. Recently, Blake went in to her pediatrician for her 3 year old check-up, everything being fantastic from her height to her weight (off the charts as always, my big girl!) to her vision being spot on and her verbal communication being beyond where it could be. Then came the shocker. She failed her hearing test. What? What do you mean she failed her hearing test? That was my question. My baby hears perfectly - she talks up a storm, she's smart as can be, she hears noises I barely even notice. How could she have a hearing problem? Well, let's start off with this - the pediatrician informed me that yes, she did fail her hearing test in both ears, but she also had fluid behind her eardrums in both ears, enough to make a child that would normally pass a hearing test fail. Phew, right? Yep. Even though there still was a small bit of nervousness deep inside me. I decided to chock this up and blame it on her nasty cold she had. I mean, my child hears perfectly fine, why not? Right? Well..
 
Yesterday we went in for a hearing re-test. This time we had no runny nose, no cough and I knew we were sky free. Right ear - pass, 1st try. Last time they tried each ear about 3 times or so before they told me she failed. Now on to the left ear. 1st time, "hmm seems like it's not working", 2nd time "still not working hold her head up a bit", 3rd time "I'm going to go ask another nurse to see if she can help". New nurse comes in, 1st time "hmm let's try a bigger ear bulb", 2nd time "yeah, same results - it says refer". My heart sank, but I wasn't sure what "refer" meant so I asked - "Does that mean the machine isn't working properly?". The response was a calm, soft "no, I'm sorry it means she didn't pass." At that very moment all I wanted to do was cry. I looked at my baby and thought to myself, no this can't be accurate and hugged her tightly. It was so disheartening.

 
 
I know there are so many more worse situations that could be in our court and a hearing problem in one ear isn't huge on the spectrum, but still. No one wants to hear that your perfect little child might have a "problem" for the rest of their lives. You want the absolute best for your children, and I'm not saying that if something is wrong it's not the "best" - I'm just saying you want it to be easy for them and never have to worry about extra things other than maybe a bad report card or a skinned up knee. Now I know I may be jumping to conclusions, and quite possibly there is nothing wrong and maybe she has an inner ear infection the pediatrician couldn't see - but I'm still nervous. Name a parent that wouldn't be!
 
Next week will be our visit to the specialist to see where we stand and what's going on. I feel for her. The doctor's office already makes her uneasy and nervous and now we may be going to one much more frequently. Sigh. Seeing her sit there on the table yesterday while they placed little headphones over her ears to see if she would respond to an "older child's" hearing test broke my heart. I wanted to ball my eyes out. She was so confused and didn't understand that she needed to raise her hand when she heard a noise and just looked at me with her sheepish grin. It took everything I had not to scoop her up in my arms and hold her tight in that moment. Being strong for your kids is sometimes difficult when inside you are tearing up. Whoo ..
 
I guess for now, all we can do is pray that whatever it might be is either resolvable or if it's not we can pray for the strength and determination to get through whatever might be thrown our way. No matter what the outcome is, we will get through it, I know this. However, meanwhile I'm kind of a bundle of nerves. Just saying.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Nothing says Happy Birthday more than an awesome eCard!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of eCards from American Greetings.
All opinions are 100% mine.
 
Nothing beats receiving a super cute eCard in your email on your Birthday, am I right? These little cards are great for keeping in touch! eCards are a fun and easy way to send a message to a friend or loved one that you want to reconnect with or just simply stay in touch with and wish them a special day. You can connect instantly with the ones that matter most. For easy delivery, video eCards can be sent via email, direct to mobile or to Facebook. I tend to choose the Facebook route - that way everyone else can enjoy the eCard as well and plus you can differentiate yourself from just the standard "Happy Birthday Joe!" comments :)
 
For me I always like to choose something funny, that's just me. I think that in life there is absolutely nothing better than a good belly laugh, it truly can brighten anyone's day. One of my personal favorite eCard's I've found is the Mariachi Birthday Video. Totally cracked me up and there's nothing better than when at a Mexican restaurant having a Mariachi band play for you and to dance along. (Plus everyone that know me knows how much I love Mexican food and can drink some queso! ha!). This one would definitely go out to my best friend (UBF), Mark - because he would totally be dancing away at his computer!

 
Make your American Greetings eCard now for your friend or loved one today! Membership options start at just $3.99 monthly for a monthly membership or you can pay $19.99/year for a yearly membership or the best option yet would be $29.99 for a 2-year membership. Video eCards are included in this membership and are also free with a 7-day FREE TRIAL Membership. That's right, free! So go check them out! Learn more.


 
 
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Monday, March 3, 2014

Finances made easy!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kmart Share the Word for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
 
I don't know about you but I honestly feel like one of the worst feeling's in the world is not feeling in control of your personal finances. What about you? Sigh. I've always struggled with not being able to buy a super cute outfit because I needed to save money for 50 years down the road, but it's the right thing to do, right? I mean as you have children, get married and really life's unexpected bumps come along, your finances can often take control of you instead of the other way around. Am I right?
 
Well, it's time to empower not only yourself, but your friends and family with the help of Kmart and author of "Girl, Get your Money Straight!", Glinda Bridgforth. The Share the Word Financial Empowerment platform was created to honor the African-American legacy and provide valuable resources to enhance the lives of Kmart customers.
Kmart Share the Word photo STWStacked-01_zpsb50e2957.jpg
From family budgeting and savings advice, to useful templates and money saving tips, Glinda's guide seriously has it all. In addition, she'll help you make your money go further with Kmart programs such as layaway and Shop Your Way Rewards benefits. Are you ready to take your budget by the reigns?
The first step to becoming Kmart Smart and a financially savvy shopper is downloading this guide: http://kmrt.us/LRWIw3. So be sure to go download this guide for your family budget and savings advice, and enjoy all the useful templates and helpful money saving tips! I know I will!

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Dirtier the Clothes, The Bigger the Memory

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of White Cloud. All opinions are 100% mine.

I truly think I am one of those moms that wishes my child never got dirty. I want her to be able to play endlessly but not have an ounce of dirt on her or food or whatever it might be, but I know if she is dirty she's having an amazing time. I just have the worst time getting stains out of clothes. You know how your mom seems to be able to get any stain out of any clothing item and you try and try but you never seem to be able to get any stain out unless it's a pure surface stain? That's me. I have tossed so many items of clothing out due to just not being able to get a simple stain out. Seriously!! Please tell me I'm not the only one! What do you do with your messy kids clothes?!
 
Well, I've found a solution, that actually works and not only is saving me money on clothes it's actually cutting down on my laundry because I am not washing the same shirt over and over again in hopes that the stain somehow magically disappears. What is this miracle solution? White Cloud. Plain and simple. Ha! White Cloud Laundry Care is a part of the White Cloud family of products including bath tissue, facial tissue and paper towels. They now have a new 3-in-1 Micro Clean Technology laundry care product and it's composed of an enzyme-based formula to get out even the toughest stains by containing a pre-treater, stain remover and color booster all in one. You can find this product in great size options, as well as a liquid (100oz and 150oz) and powder form (156oz box). It's also available in three different scents - Blooming Lavender, Tropical Fiesta and my personal favorite, Summer Breeze. Who doesn't love a product that smells great too?

 photo 52d1e81d-e18c-455b-a24b-fe98b1d73b15_zps31e6f2af.jpg
 
You can find White Cloud premium brand products at Walmart. Store Locator. But before you go be sure to Like White Cloud on Facebook and receive a $1 off coupon, as well as click here to receive a high value $2 off coupon by sharing the coupon on another social media site of your choice (FB, Twitter or Pinterest).

(Limit one coupon per purchase on product specified. No cash back if coupon value is higher than purchase price. Void if reproduced, transferred, used to purchase products for resale or where prohibited/regulated by law. Not vaild on trial sizes. Consumer pays sales tax. Redeemable at participating retail stores. Valid only in the US.)
 
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Saturday, January 18, 2014

curious in thought..

 When I look at my life right now I can honestly say that there are a few things that I am truly devoted to - with them being 1.) my daughter, 2.) my fitness, and 3.) my Faith. Other than those three things there's truly not much more to me at the moment. Maybe I'm bland. Maybe I'm mediocre. Thing is, I'm me, and that's all that really matters to me anymore.  
 
 I've found that most people in my position, and when I say "position" I mean being single at the age of 28, are still "partying", going out drinking and really are just on a different playing field than me. It's becoming harder and harder for me to relate to other individuals in my "grouping", especially with my three devotions. Oh and in regards to those devotions, I find it difficult to even relate to other individuals with similar devotions. It may be that I'm not the mom that gets to stay home with my daughter, I have a full-time job in order to help provide for us, so all those play groups - yeah they are during work hours and if you ask for a Saturday play date, GASP, you will get an abrupt no - because well, that's family time. Or how about my Faith - I've tried the whole "I love Jesus too" thing and come to find out I feel like I'm just not well enough into my Faith, that I don't "know" as much as the next person, or heck that maybe I'm just not as "involved" as they are. I do know that I love Jesus, but I also don't know the Bible backwards and forwards, nor understand each and every passage that I read. So where all does this leave me? Well, it leaves me with questions.
 
 When I say, questions, I really mean curiosity. Is this where divorce leaves you? So many girlfriends of mine that have gotten divorced end up with a boyfriend almost immediately, and then married shortly thereafter. Honestly, I pictured myself the same way. I really thought that I would simply be swept off of my feet by some dashing man and not necessarily be married by now, but at least be in a committed relationship with common knowledge that marriage would be in the future. I mean it has been almost 2 years now. Sure, I've found love, love so memorable that I felt completely swept off of my feet and thought THIS IS IT - this is how love is supposed to truly feel and how a relationship is supposed to come about. Yet in the end - here I sit, dumbfounded. Love is a tricky thing. Especially when you're unsure as to how it really truly works, especially since it's let me down a few times before. Now don't get me wrong - I'm not downplaying the awesomeness of love, because truly, it's single-handedly one of the utmost best feelings in the world, however, can't we all just agree to it that at the same time it also totally sucks?
 
 How does love suck? Well, it leaves you in this bubble, and when I say bubble I'm talking this tiny little bubble floating out in la la land - imagine a field full of sunflowers, sun shining, and you frolicking through it without a care in the world. Yep, that's love. Again, how does that suck? Well, because while you are in that bubble you can at times find yourself in total denial. Everyone and everything around you can be saying - RUNNNNN - but you close your eyes and just blink away every care, every worry and every negative comment someone makes and tell yourself that love will prevail. Will it? Well, only time and God will tell.
 
 Now, please don't take all of this wrong. I am not depressed nor sad in the slightest, I'm simply curious, thoughtful and wondering just where all of this will lead me. I am certain one day my three devotions will expand to much more and one of those will include that dashing man, however, until that time comes I will remain in thought, as well as in prayer for where my life will lead me to. It's actually an exciting thought of where I will end up, and how all of this will eventually come together. Something I truly cannot wait to embark on.
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