Feb 25, 2015

Birthday Party or Family Vacation

My husband and I think we started a new family tradition without planning on it; family vacations instead of birthday parties.

Last November we went to Washington DC for a long weekend to visit with my cousins from Australia. It was right around Mark and Molly's birthday and they decided that it was their birthday trip. We didn't think anything of it and went along with it. I planned on having a movie theater birthday party for them in early December but when the time came to invite their friends they announced that they didn't want a party.

I was sad even though I'm not a fan of parties. What kind of mother doesn't throw a birthday party for their kids? But my twins wouldn't budge, they did not want a party!

Their birthday came and went and to my dismay they never changed their minds about having a party. The guilt stayed with me for weeks and I tried every angle I could to get Mark and Molly to have a party. Talk about mom guilt.

Fast forward to January and we started asking Isabella what kind of birthday party she wanted. All on her own she said she didn't want a party, instead she wanted to go to the beach.


This time there was no guilt, if she didn't want a party then why worry about it? Instead I planned a great weekend and let Isabella decide what she wanted to do and eat.

We went to Myrtle Beach last weekend for her birthday. We stayed at a resort with apartment style rooms and indoor pools and lazy rivers. The kids all had a blast and Isabella said it was the best birthday ever. As far as family trips go we had so much fun swimming and hanging out together. It was the most relaxing family trip we've ever taken. Plus the resort was dead being mid February so we practically had the place to ourselves. It was nice enough on Sunday to enjoy some playtime on the beach.

Before we left Mark and Molly said they wanted to go to a different beach next year for their birthday party. So maybe a new family tradition has started?

I can get on board with taking two extra vacations a year instead of throwing a birthday party.

Feb 23, 2015

Purex PowerShot Detergent Giveaway

Last week Raleigh got the first snowfall of the year. Yep mid February was our first and hopefully only snowfall.

With snow still covering our yard we left for the beach. It was a very strange transition.

When you have three kids snow means no school, lots of sledding, and endless laundry.
When you have three kids the beach means tons of sandy wet laundry comes home with you.

Laundry, it's the never ending story of a mother's life.

Thankfully there are some things that can make doing laundry a little easier, like Purex's Powershot Detergent.

With the Powershot Detergent you no longer have to measure your laundry detergent. All you have to do is flip the container over and the right amount of detergent comes out.

I don't know about you but having one less step when I'm doing laundry. Plus now you won't use extra detergent which will save you money. Talk about a win/win situation.

For those of you who are new to my blog, you don't know that I switched to Purex about 4 years ago. I love their detergent! My three kids can really put a detergent to the test. They are experts in getting grass stains and spilling food all over their clothes. Not only do our clothes come out clean and fresh smelling, the price is fantastic. I love that I'm saving my family money without sacrificing quality.

Purex is offering a $1 off coupon to try the PowerShot detergent and a chance to win a new washer. Enter the contest for your chance to win.

Want to try Purex Powershot for yourself? I'm giving away 3 product coupons to try it for yourself.

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Feb 18, 2015

Dog Pile Sledding and Other Snow Fun

There is snow in North Carolina again. Well not so much snow as snow that turned into ice.

Last winter I learned that living in a city where is snows occasionally means buying snow clothes are a must. You see when you're stuck at home for days on end you need to get outside. Without snow clothes, kids last exactly 10 minutes before they start whining about being cold and wet.

Unacceptable. We need to get outside longer than 10 minutes.

This fall I got some hand me down snow clothes from my sister in law and picked up the rest at a consignment sale. Having snow clothes made all the difference in the world this week. My kids played outside for 2 hours and I finally dragged them in for lunch. Later they went out to play for another 2 hours.

Yes, I'm going to pick up snow clothes at consignments sales very year now. Purchases that ensure my sanity are a must!

Driveway sledding was a huge hit yesterday, I even got in on the action. I think I had just as much fun as the kids. At one point the kids decided to go down the driveway all together. Who doesn't like a little dog pile sledding?

Fun fact, on Valentine's Day we had a huge wind storm and one of our pine trees split off at the top and fell on the roof (and through the roof too). Most of the tree was hauled away but there are some branches still on the ground. Life may have handed me holes in my roof, but my kids made a jungle gym out of the situation.

Now that the snow has turned into ice I'm ready for the sun to melt it all away. Being stuck in the house with three kids isn't exactly fun. We've done all the usual indoor activities including several obstacle courses. 

Anyone else ready for school to be open again?

Feb 1, 2015

Do You Need Some Freshness? #RepHreshHealth

Vaginal odor is not something that most women talk about to people outside their inner circle or who isn't their doctor. But today we are going to put on our big girl panties and talk about something that makes us uncomfortable. (Sorry I couldn't help myself.) 

Did you know that your PH levels fluctuate over time? Odor-causing microorganisms can flourish when vaginal pH is unbalanced. When your PH balance is off it can lead to vaginal dryness, discomfort, or odor. Not exactly a pleasant situation.You can avoid those symptoms with RepHresh a vaginal gel that restores your PH balance. received RepHresh for free from Smiley360 in exchange for my honest review. You can join Smiley360 here!"

Rephresh Vaginal Gel is an over-the-counter vaginal gel to help maintain healthy vaginal pH. You can use RepHresh for long-lasting freshness once every 3 days. Rephresh comes prefilled in disposable applicators with is very convenient and mess free. 

Personally I like that one application lasts three days. Between work and three kids my life is very busy and adding something to my routine doesn't always go well. I'm prone to forgetting things if I don't normally do them. 

I also liked that the product was mess free. No filling up applicators to use it which is never easy. Plus to put this delicately, the gel stays in place making RepHresh mess free all the way around. You can learn more about RepHresh by visiting their website. Plus stay up to date with new products and promotions by following them on Facebook and Twitter

Jan 22, 2015

Back to Work Confessions

I confess....
Today was my first day back to working outside the home in almost 7 years and I am exhausted!

Beyond Exhausted.

I confess.....
I've never been able to sleep well the night before the first day of school. Even after years of being in the classroom I always got the first day of school excitement jitters that kept me up. Last night I didn't get much sleep.

I confess....
Being up and professionally dressed is a new experience for me as a mom. Normally I'm the mom in my pjs at the bus stop. I used to care and changed into jeans but that ship sailed this year.

Curled hair should end by the second week :)

I confess....
Getting myself and 3 kids out the door by 7:30 is no joke. It doesn't help that my husband leaves for work at 6:30 so he's not around to help.

Now I'm jealous of women who have husbands who cook and are home in the morning to help with the kids.

I confess....
I really missed being in the classroom! I didn't realize how much I missed it until today.

I confess....
I'm not ready for a teaching position since it's way more work than I'm willing to take on with 3 young children. I took a teacher assistant position which has no planning, meetings, trainings, or workdays. Basically I work when the kids are at school and I was able to get a job at my kids' school.

It's a great set up.

I confess....
Molly is a little sad that I'm not home with her and I am too. I wanted to take this job in the fall but it opened up now and I decided not to gamble that it wouldn't be there for me later.

I'm going to miss our alone time too. 

I confess....
I'm glad I got to start on a Thursday, it's a nice way to ease myself back into working full time.

I confess....
I don't think I'm going to have any problem going to bed tonight.

Waking up, well that might be another story.

What are you confessing this week?

Jan 15, 2015

Gorton's #RealisticResolution Giveaway

Did you resolve to make some health changes for the New Year? Many people like myself try to eat a little healthier and exercise a little more after the holidays. I know I don't even try to resist all the amazing food that is available in December and I have to whip myself back into shape come January.

The biggest obstacle I face when it comes to making healthy meals are my picky eaters and time. I'm usually good about getting dinner on the table every night. Dance night and Saturday night is tough for me. We don't walk in the door until 7 pm on dance night and for some reason time just gets away from me on Saturdays. For the nights I'm short on time I need a 20-30 minute meal. Which is why I agreed to review Gorton's products in exchange for this review.

I made this meal in exactly 20 minutes on a busy week night. It was so easy and tasty too. I've had Gorton's fish sticks and fish fillets in the past but I've never tried their grilled fish. I had a crazy night with my kids and I just wanted a quick meal alone with my husband. To prep the meal all I had to do was open the package of fish and cut up and season the broccoli. The oven did the rest of the work.

And cooked in one pan too! 

I was impressed with the Grilled Fillets. I was afraid the fish would be too salty since they were preseasoned, but they were fine. I was also surprised that the fillets were juicy. Normally when you cook frozen food in the oven it dries out, but these fish fillets were very moist. It was the easiest meal I've made in 20 minutes in a long time. Right now Gorton's is offering a coupon to purchase one of their products, click here to download their coupon. 

If you want more help with eating healthy you can sign up for the The Spark People Realistic Resolution Challenge. It's a 30 day challenge that tackles nutrition in small steps. I signed up and I am glad that I did. I get an email in the morning with a small step I can take to stay on track. It only takes a few minutes to read the tip of the day and I think they will help me stay on track with healthy eating. Today's tip covered portion sizes and I'm always amazed how small an actual portion size is compared to what I normally eat. 

Stay up to date with Gorton's by following them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram

Spark People and Gorton's have put together a fantastic giveaway for one of my readers. The giveaway includes 
  • The SparkPeople Cookbook
  • The Spark Book
  • Two full value Gorton's coupons
  • An insulated tote bag 
  • The SparkPeople 28 Day Boot Camp Workout DVD 
You are going to love the cookbook! There are tons of healthy recipes that are easy to make. There are several that you can use Gorton's products with like the Grilled Fish with Mango Salsa or Tilapia with Roasted Tomatoes and Lemon. Both recipes look fresh and fast, just what I want in a recipe. 

Use the Rafflecopter form to enter the giveaway. 

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Gorton's Blogger Giveaway

Disclosure - I received free product coupons from Gorton's as well as the prizes in the giveaway package in exchange for this review. All opinions are mine. 

Jan 9, 2015

You Don't Have to Love Every Minute of Motherhood.

I confess...
I hate when people say to enjoy every single moment of parenting. 

I confess....
Being a mother isn't glamorous. It's sometimes tedious and a yucky job. There are good and bad aspects of everything and motherhood is no different. You don't have to love every minute of motherhood.

I confess....
Thinking that you should enjoy being a parent every single moment is a fantastic way to feel like a failure when the journey is less than perfect. Or hard. Or not what you expected.

Like when your kids are sick. Personally I don't enjoy my kids being sick.

I confess....
Compared to Kindergarten my daughter is doing much better staying healthy. I'm extremely happy we decided to remove her tonsils over the summer.

I confess....
We made it all the way to January before she had a sick day. Not too bad all things considered. The other two kids are a different story.

I confess....
Last night I decided that the worst way for a kid to wake you up is to tell you that they threw up in their bed. There is nothing worse than having to change sheets and pjs in the middle of the night.

I confess....
Until said child doesn't stop throwing up and you're up most of the night with her. Thankfully at 6 she can keep a trash can in her bed and actually use it. Again the other two, not so much.

I confess....
There is nothing more pitiful than a sick kid. It makes my heart sad seeing her sick. I do not enjoy these moments.

I confess....
She keeps telling me that this is the best day ever. You know between complaining about her stomach hurting. I love her sweet spirit. She's just happy to be home with mommy.

I confess....
I really hope no one else catches this stomach bug. I'm pretty sure that is impossible though.

I confess....
I'm exhausted from being up all night with her. All I want is a nap.

I confess....
For some reason my sweet Isabella isn't falling asleep so no nap for me so far.

So next time you're in the trenches of motherhood and someone tells you to enjoy every single moment just nod and smile. And then remember that they mean well but it's impossible to enjoy every moment of motherhood.

But the journey as a whole, well there is just nothing better that being a mother.

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