Bringing Imagination to Life #StreamTeam

dragon art


Limit technology…

Not too much screen time...

Don’t let your kids veg!

All of those are valid points and yes screen time needs to be kept in check BUT screen time can also stir the imagination. It can give kids new ideas and help them to act out there own adventure. My kids have always found great inspiration from tv shows and movies.

They have bee on wild pirate adventures, amazing treasure hunts, become animal trainers and more.

More recently my girly girls have been adding dragon adventures to the mix. My oldest has fallen in love with the band of characters from How to Train Your Dragon and the release of the newest animated series from DreamWorks Dragons based on the hit movie How to Train Your Dragon on Netflix has renewed that love.


Encourage your kids to go on an adventure and get ideas from favorite shows, there are plenty to choose from on Netflix.


I am a Netflix ambassador, all opinions are my own.

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Dear Soon-to-Be Mom, You’ve Got It All Wrong…. And That’s Ok #ColiefMOMents

delivery new mom


Today as I stood in a pool trying to watch 3 kids at once, as 2 shouted watch me mom and one attempted to drink the whole pool and drown herself while laughing, I had a moment of clarity. It is a beautiful July day, the sun is shining and I am in a pool. Yep in a pool exactly where 99% of the people indoors sitting at desks wish they were. Yes it can be stressful and no it is never easy being a mom but my life is good. Just as I had this realization a mom I know (who has 5 kids too all boys no less) came over chasing her kids who were pushing a raft. The raft gently bumped us and I jokingly said “Hey get control of your kids”. She of course laughed knowing it was a joke and quipped “not today, any day but today”. I then shared with her my revelation and she agreed but we also shared a laugh acknowledging some days we wished we were at that desk  all alone!

All this to say before our first child is born we moms have no idea what we are in for. No matter how badly we want a child there will still be days we are pushed beyond our limits, stretched beyond reason and ready to give up. And in that moment everything you thought you knew about being a mom will seem untrue and farfetched. In that moment you will feel unprepared and inadequate and you know what? That is ok!



Keep a journal both photos, thoughts and quotes to remember these precious years!


Motherhood is not the same for any of us, heck it’s not the same with each child we have. I have 5 daughters, they all came from the same mom and dad and each and every one of them has brought me to my knees. Each of them has challenged me and made me feel like I had no idea what I was doing, nothing like a baby to keep you humble. They have also made my lie richer, better and more amazing than I could ever imagine.

Here’s the good news, you will get through it and some day you will look back and laugh or reminisce without cringing. One of the biggest struggles that really brings moms to their knees is colic. A crying and inconsolable baby is so hard to bear, it just breaks your heart. If you have a colicky baby try Colief Infant Digestive Aid a gluten-free dietary supplement for the reduction of colic-associated crying resulting from temporary lactose intolerance (TLI) in infants. My kids all have varying degrees of lactose intolerance and so I drastically adjust my diet while nursing, Colief would have been much easier to try had I known about it. Unlike other colic solutions, Colief Infant Digestive Aid is not given directly to the baby, but added to the formula or breast milk before each feeding, making it easier for them to digest the milk by breaking down most of the lactose. Available online and at Walgreens stores nationwide, or more information about Colief Infant Digestive Aid and tips for new moms or to order online, visit and join the online community at


Enter the Share Your #ColiefMOMent Giveaway now for a chance to win a $500 Walgreens gift card, a Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bag of your choice, or be one of five weekly winners to receive a package of Colief Infant Digestive Aid! Enter before 8/14 here.

Colief® Infant Digestive Aid is a gluten-free dietary supplement for the reduction of colic-associated crying resulting from temporary lactose intolerance (TLI) in infants. Colief Infant Digestive Aid may help reduce the crying time associated with colic by breaking down the lactose in breast milk or infant formula, making it easier for infants to digest. To learn more, visit or LIKE the brand on Facebook.

This is a product-provided, sponsored conversation that contains affiliate links. All opinions, text and experiences are my own. Colief Infant Digestive Aid is a dietary supplement to provide relief due to colic-associated crying from temporary lactose intolerance (TLI). These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. The product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Colief® Infant Digestive Aid is a gluten-free dietary supplement for the reduction of colic-associated crying resulting from temporary lactose intolerance (TLI) in infants. Colief Infant Digestive Aid may help reduce the crying time associated with colic by breaking down the lactose in breast milk or infant formula, making it easier for infants to digest. To learn more, visit or LIKE the brand on Facebook.

This is a product-provided, sponsored conversation that contains affiliate links. All opinions, text and experiences are my own. Colief Infant Digestive Aid is a dietary supplement to provide relief due to colic-associated crying from temporary lactose intolerance (TLI). These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. The product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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The Real Value of Blogging Conferences Like iRetreat

iretreat collage


At the end of June I attended iRetreat 2015 in New Orleans and I can honestly say it was the best conference I have ever attended. I have been to every single conference organized by this particular group of ladies formerly Double Duty Divas now iConnect. Every conference has been wonderful and I always gain valuable connections and information but this year I gained more.

Blogger Conference

When I talk to people about blogging conferences the thing I want them to understand most is that while great speakers are wonderful that is not the most important aspect of a blogging conference. We work in social media yet we are not truly social. It is very rare to get facetime with other bloggers and leaders and innovators in our industry, THAT is the real benefit of blogging conferences.

This year iRetreat attracted a stellar group of speakers as well as bloggers. I did truly benefit from every single speaker this conference, each person was an innovator in the space in their own way. I left inspired and I left with new goals that applied to me. I felt like this year the idea of each of us as CEO’s of a brand was very prevalent, it was not here are the steps to success it was here is the inspiration and support to be successful as you, not a cookie cutter copy to try to be like me.

hotel mazarin


new orleans collage

New Orleans was a breath of fresh air and inspiration for my creative soul and the hotel was luxurious and relaxing. I really have no idea how they are going to top this year but I can’t wait to see and will be the first one there next year.


intel at iretreat


Since New Orleans is a plane ride away for me I had to really take only the most valuable and useful things with me to this conference. I knew I wanted to be able to blog and access my site when in the moment advice or inspiration was given. I decided to take a risk and not take my bulky laptop but instead my Intel 2in1 . This proved to be the best decision I could have made. I had all the advantages of a full computer with a large screen and keyboard yet it was light weight and my shoulder did not ache from carrying it all day. I even found a $5 SD card reader to plug in making my Intel 2 in 1 perfect for absolutely everything I needed to do at a blogging conference.


NOTE: Register using code NOLATAKE2 by Wed. (July 15th) to 40% off

#spon: I’m required to disclose a relationship between our site and Intel This could include Intel providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

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5 Perfect Poolside Snacks for Kids

5 perfect poolside snacks


We spend most of our summer days poolside and we truly enjoy every minute of it. While sitting poolside with my kids is lots of fun they get very, very hungry and I don’t want them filling up on junk from the snack bar. I always pack a cooler full of snacks and while that saves a lot of money it doesn’t necessarily mean my kids are eating any better. It can be easy to fall into the trap of convenience food but with a little pre-planning and time you can have a cooler full of delicious snacks your kids enjoy and that makes everyone happy.

5 Perfect Poolside Snacks for Kids

  1. Watermelon – Slice up some watermelon either on the rind or diced and place it in the fridge until you leave, it keeps cool in a cooler and kids love it as a refreshing snack poolside. Grapes, strawberries and other fruits are great too.
  2. Popcorn – My kids love popcorn and it’s easy to pop a bag of light salt, butter free popcorn for a tasty treat.
  3. Applesauce – These days you can find organic applesauce in every flavor packed perfect in an on-the-go container.
  4. Gogurt® – Kids love yogurt so throw a few Yoplait Gogurt® in the freezer and they will be the perfect temperature by the time you are ready for them poolside, a nice cool treat.
  5. Chips & Dip – Pack some whole grain chips and a small container of salsa or guacamole. Pack the dip in a cooler with ice packs and enjoy poolside during break.

For drinks fill a great big water bottle with ice and then add water to make sure the water stays cool and refreshing. With water, fruit and these other yummy treats my kids are happy to stay for hours at the pool and my wallet is happy too.

You can find all of these great snacks plus a variety of Yoplait available at Walmart including Original, Light, Greek, and Gogurt®.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Yoplait®. The opinions and text are all mine.

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How to Make Easy Fruit and Yogurt Parfait On A Stick

fruit and yogurt parfait on a stick


Summer is here and my kids are sick of the same old snacks and treats that I have been serving all year. I really can’t blame them, much like my meal plan fell into a rut as the school year wound down so did my snacking ideas. This summer I have been trying to come up with new and creative snacks that my kids love and I can feel good about. Fruit is something we love and yogurt is always a great kid snack so I decided to combine them in a fun and creative way.

Yogurt parfait is a great combination of foods I want my kids to eat more of, fruit, yogurt and oats so why not make a new version that will be kid friendly and quite frankly fun. And that is how these easy fruit and yogurt parfait on a stick were born and yes they are a frozen treat just perfect for a hot summer day.


parfait on a stick



How to Make Easy Fruit and Yogurt Parfait on a Stick


First slice your bananas in half and insert a stick in them, then place in the freezer for about an hour to freeze. Once frozen remove from freezer and coat in yogurt. I find dipping the banana in the yogurt and using a spoon to scoop and cover works best. Lay yogurt covered bananas on a wax paper covered tray. Sprinkle with oatmeal and place back in freezer until ready to eat or yogurt is frozen.


yogurt parfait on a stick


As you can see these are super simple to make and your kids will love them, I know mine did. Now when they ask for a frozen treat you can give them one of these wholesome snacks and feel good about what you are serving! Be sure to check out these other wholesome snack ideas using Yoplait yogurt and make it a summer of great snacks! You can find a wide variety of Yoplait products at Walmart including Original, Light, Greek, Gogurt®.


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Yoplait®. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Bringing Stuffed Animals to Life with Duct Tape – Kid’s Crafts

This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Coolabi. All opinions are my own

duct tape dog bowls



This summer my kids have really been enjoying creative play with stuffed animals. They have bringing to life a world of creative play using shoe boxes, duct tape, tulle, beads and really anything they can get their hands on. Duct tape has been a favorite way to cover and decorate anything they can find from shoe boxes to lids. My oldest daughter took the lid of a shoe box and covered it in colored duct tape. Then she covered jar lids in duct tape. Afterwards she cut holes and set the jar lids in small holes in the box creating a dog dish for her puppy dog, so cute and so creative.


duct tape dog collar


Another one of my daughters took duct tape, beads and string and made a dog collar. She folded over the duct tape so it isn’t sticky at all and used extra pieces to hook the beaded accents onto the dog collar. I love watching my girls tackle a new idea as they create this whole imaginative world for their stuffed animals.


Poppy Group


Nurturing creative play in kids is so important and what better time to embrace boredom and the creativity it inspires than summer! Sometimes our kids need down time after all the business of summer outdoor play so check out Poppy Cat a fun and creative and adventure-filled preschool series on Sprout that encourages imaginative play. If your kids need more inspiration the Poppy Cat Facebook and Pinterest page have games, coloring sheet, art activities so be sure to follow them both.

Poppy Cat episodes air 7 days a week at 7:00 pm on Sprout. The series also airs Saturday mornings on the NBC Kids block, which is programmed by Sprout.

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Strawberry Banana Immune Boost Smoothie

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone and should not be taken as medical advice. #HealthyAndHydrated #CollectiveBias
strawberry banana immune boost smoothie



It’s summer time and that means my family is on the go, a lot. We practically live at the pool 5 days a week, between swim team and summer fun  we are outside and on the go. All that time in the sun and heat worries me about my kids and I am always looking for new ways to keep them hydrated and healthy. Drinking water is obviously important but my kids really fight me on it so I try to sneak in extra in other ways.

The heat can really kill my appetite and I know a cool fruit smoothie always sounds good to me, turns out my kids are the same. We are big fans of Emergen-C and my kids happily drink it often, especially in cold and flu season, but I wanted a new way to hydrate, stay cool and boost the immune system. I decided to add Emergen-C to my favorite fruit smoothie and the result is delicious.


strawberry banana immune boost smoothie 1


Strawberry Banana Immune Boost Smoothie


  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 2 bananas sliced
  • 6 ounces water (I used Dasani)
  • 1 packet Emergen-C Immune Boost orange


strawberry banana immune boost smoothie ingredients


smoothie directions



Take the sliced fruit and freeze it. Mix the Emergen-C Immune Boost with 6 ounces of water. Mix in the blender the fruit and Emergen-C Immune boost mixture. Then serve and enjoy!



strawberry banana immune boost smoothie drink


I have been making this for my kids once a week as a recharge and they love it. The cool fruit and Emergen-C orange combination is really, really good and perfect for summer. I love that my kids beg for this summer treat and I know it is good for them with an extra vitamin C boostm I mean it has more Vitamin C than 10 oranges! After a long day in the sun at the pool this is the perfect treat.


This June head to Walgreens and when you buy 1 Emergen-C 30 count you get 1 Dasani 1 Liter FREE.

emergen c in walgreens


*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease



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Oh the Stress of If You Are Having Babies

I participated in a Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for First Response. I received product samples as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

girl 5 ultrasound

Having babies is stressful, we all know that, but the business of trying to get pregnant and finding out if you are pregnant can be really stressful too. People like to talk about their plan for when they will have kids and it always makes me chuckle because the reality is we don’t have as much control in the when as we think we do. Oh sure there are obvious ways to avoid and obvious ways to increase your chance but the reality is infertility is all too common and getting pregnant on your first try seems less and less common.

I still remember the first pregnancy test I ever took. I was pretty shocked to be pregnant, I had only been married a month and with all of the fertility issues in my family I was sure I would have a hard time getting pregnant. I was barely past the point of being able to take a test and when I finally took one the line was so faint I wasn’t sure if I should believe it. The next morning I drove back to the store and got another test, one with words, I needed to see pregnant spelled out.

After each of my kids was born and I was at the point of wanting another I always wanted to know if I was pregnant as soon as possible. My husband used to laugh at my impatience and as I told him I needed to know if I had to cut back on my caffeine and situps, he always laughed at that. Regardless of the reason even waiting an extra day to know was awful. As someone who never had trouble getting pregnant I can not imagine how much more agonizing that extra day or two of waiting is for those struggling with infertility.


first respons early pregnancy test


First Response has come out with an innovative, and quite frankly amazing, new pregnancy test. This new test detects pregnancy up to 6 days before your missed period. This test can be used at any time of the day so if you can’t get the test until after work that’s ok you don’t have to wait until the morning to test.This new pregnancy test from First Response is FDA approved and designed to detect all relevant forms of urinary hCG. They also redesigned the the stick itself making a curved longer  handle as well as wider to all making it easier to use.

Thanks to First response the stress of waiting has been lessened by one day and that is actually a pretty big deal!


first response pregnancy test

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Banish Boredom with a Boredom Buster Punch Board

boredom punch board

I’m bored….

Those dreaded words that make every parent cringe. This summer when my kids utter the dreaded B word I will present them with 2 options. That’s right I will hold back my sigh and announce “you may clean or you may go to the punch board”.

Allow me to explain…..

My kids and I came up with a list of fun and creative activities to do this summer. Then we took each one and wrote it on a piece of paper and we created a punch board. Our punch board was super easy to make and much like on the Price is Right each punch hole has a surprise inside, in our case an activity idea or a boredom buster! I decided to make it refillable so we could do it all summer long, as I am sure you can imagine the all wanted to punch out a spot right away. This punch board is super easy to make and even the crafting challenged like me can do it, here’s how.


summer boredom punch board


How to make a punch board


  • trifold cardboard display board
  • red solo cups
  • tissue paper cut into 16 squares
  • rubber bands
  • paint and stickers for decorations
  1. Trace the red solo cups on the trifold board.
  2. Cut out the circles just inside the line
  3. Place your boredom buster ideas inside the cup
  4. place one sheet of tissue paper over cup and secure with rubber band
  5. Decorate your board
  6. Insert cups in slots


summerbordeom buster punchout board



Need ideas for inside your punch board cups? Here are our summer boredom buster ideas!


I hope this helps squelch all those cries of I’m Bored!



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If My Dashboard Could Talk… Solo Road Trip


A few weeks ago I spoke at a regional conference about 2 hours away from my house, I was supposed to make the day trip with 2 friends but last minute baby sitter issues meant they had to skip some of the conference so I went on my first ever solo road trip.

Yes I said my first ever solo road trip, sounds funny but I was a bit nervous driving all my by myself both ways in one day. Then I set about planning my road trip like any sane person would. First I picked my outfit with fabulous heels and then I picked my driving shoes. Next I planned snacks of course, my caffeinated vice is Crystal Light Energy the strawberry flavor, so I had plenty of that, then my Luna bars, sourdough pretzels and of course those delicious chewy soft Jolly Ranchers (yes I am a 5 year old child).

So outfit…..check


conference supplies….check

music….. check ( satellite radio ya’ll)


mitsubishi outlander sunroof


Now for my ride. Mitsubishi generously sent me a Mitsubishi Outlander Sport so I looked all fancy as I rolled up the the conference, I was speaking after all. Can I just say SUNROOF! I love sunroofs, they are a must for me, and this sunroof is the biggest I have ever seen, it was literally the whole roof!

The interior of the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport was fabulous, everything was well placed with a sleek and sporty design. And this car drove so nice, my ride was comfy and peaceful and ROCKING. This car was so fun to drive and it is a great looking car.


mitsubishi outlander sport details


Oh yes I was the mom gone wild singing along as I drove down the highway. I literally laughed out loud at one point as I belted out Michael Jackson at the top of my lungs and beat a rhythm on the steering wheel. Clearly I need to have more alone time LOL. I must have looked like a nut job to my fellow travelers on the road.


backseat mitsubishi outlander sport


Now for the practical stuff like the back seat and the trunk. Ok back seat gets an A+ because I can fit a car seat, booster seat and highback booster comfortably across the back, no pinched fingers trying to buckle! And as for the trunk…. well it fit all my conference junk and it passed the pool test too (it boasts 49.5 cubic feet of cargo space!).


outlander sport trunk


Overall I was impressed with this sporty crossover, it drove well, had plenty of room and made for a great road trip companion! Rated one of the 10 most affordable SUVs by Kelly Bluebook this is a great buy.


Thanks to DriveShop for the one week loaner vehicle.

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5 Simple Ways to Keep Your Family on Track this Summer

5 simple ways to keep your family on track


Summer time can be really crazy and un-structured and when structure goes out the window you can forget to take care of yourself and your family. Summer also means late nights, extra ice cream treats, and lazy days so how do you make sure that your family is totally taken care of while still enjoying summer?

Here are 5 simple ways to take total care of your family this summer:

  1. Schedule down time – Bed time seems to keep creeping later and later in the summer, there is just so much to do. Unfortunately a late bedtime does not mean kids sleep in it just means kids get crabby and then mom and dad get crabby too. Schedule downtime in your day to make sure your kids get rest. Have them read a book, watch a movie or take a nap if possible to make sure they don’t get run down.
  2. Keep Up With the Work – Kids are never happy to do schoolwork, at least not all the time, but you have to do it. Summer slide is no joke so make an effort to do something every day. We read 30 minutes a day and do 1-2 pages of my kids summer work each day Monday-Friday.
  3. Take a Lap – While you are waiting on your kids during practice or camp take a walk. Do laps around the field, the pool or the playground to make sure you are getting exercise too. Summer is the perfect time to be active, the weather is nice so get out there and get moving.
  4. Keep Your Mouth Clean – Summer is the time of ice cream, popsicles and s’mores all things that mean extra teeth brushing is needed. Keep your kid’s teeth and your teeth clean with LISTERINE® TOTAL CARE, you can find a wide range of products at Walgreens, my kids love the Frozen Listerine mouth wash and good news the dentist checkup last week came back with no cavities.
  5. Plan Ahead – Plan your day and pack your food so you can stick to healthy snacks and not fall into the trap of drive thru and concession stand meals. Not only will you save money but your waistline and your health will thank you.

This summer enjoy yourself and really embrace life and while you do it make sure you are not letting your well being slip. These 5 simple tips can keep your family on track and totally taken care of and it is so super easy!


“I received LISTERINE® Brand products and a Walgreens gift card from Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Products Division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc. and The Motherhood as part of my participation in the LISTERINE® Brand Totally Taken Care Of program. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own.”


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Why I’ll Never Figure Out This Parenting Thing

parenting thing



Before I start waxing poetic about motherhood and parenting in general let me preface this with Yes I know I have 5 kids… Yes I know this already has me looking slightly insane in your eyes and No I do not regret having a big family!

Most days I feel like I am trapped in the movie Yours, Mine and Ours and not at the happy part at the end but at the part where the two houses first combine and the parenting styles are clashing. With a big family the struggle to maintain order and chaos is real, but I don’t want to run my house like a drill sargent. If I give in to whim and creativity and everybody do your own thing well then the house quickly becomes a place that looks almost uninhabitable. So then I am a cranky tyrant barking orders and making sure my house is a well oiled machine, with no time for whimsy and fun. Or do I give into whimsy and fun and say cleanliness and organization is for the birds (which in turn makes me cranky as I live in mess and chaos).

There is an answer to this dilemma, I just don’t know what it is BUT I have learned a few things recently that are worth pondering. Here are the realities of my kids and my parenting style that have really come to the forefront of my mind this week and what they mean for our big family.

My kids are not mine.

They are not mini me’s nor are they an extension of me. My kids are unique, autonomous individuals with minds and hearts and souls that are different from mine. My kids may look like me, they may talk and even act like me but in the end they are not another me. They will do things the way that is best for them and makes sense for them. They will have likes and dislikes and they will not be the same as mine. They will succeed and they will fail and it will be their success and their failure, not mine.


In fact that is wonderful, I don’t want another me, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. How amazing and beautiful is it to watch my child discover something, learn something, appreciate something. I need to remember that and appreciate that. When my kids are doing things different than the way I want them done are they truly doing it wrong? I struggle with this sometimes in the mundane details of life. I can get frustrated when a child wants to do things a different way and I know it will take longer than my way but that’s ok. I need to make time for their way. Which brings me to a great little gem of knowledge I read this week

How would you do it?

That’s right I am trying to ask my kids that question whenever I can. Instead of telling them how to do it I am asking them how they would do it and I am biting my tongue and letting them try. Sometimes they attempt and then ask for my help. Sometimes they succeed and sometimes they fail but it’s great for both of us. The drill sargent in me cringes as my orderly time table is messed up but the creator in me rejoices. When my 2 year old insist on packing a bag of toys AS WE WALK OUT THE DOOR WITH NO TIME TO SPARE I need to appreciate her quirk and maybe even help her (so we move faster) instead of getting frustrated and reminding her she won’t even play with toys where we are going. Instead I need to adjust me so that she can be her and add a bit more cushion into our leaving time to allow for bag packing.

I will make time.

I get busy, really, really busy. I have a lot of people to take care of, a house to keep clean and running smoothly, and a blog to run. BUT I still need to make time to appreciate the things my kids love and I need to make sure they have time to do those things.

The Irresponsibilty of Being Responsible

I will also be better about taking care of me, of realizing that sleep deprivation, bad diet and no exercise leads to a cranky and unappreciative mom. So instead of staying up late to match socks I will go to bed even though it feels irresponsible.  I will leave a sink full of dirty dishes over night and I will leave things undone because I need to take care of me to best love and appreciate them.

My kids are amazing and they each have so much to teach me if I make the time to stop, focus and learn. Then and only then can I be the parent that they need and each of them needs a different version of me. Because the biggest thing I have learned is that I will never figure out this parenting thing because they will each need something different and new in each new stage of life. One needs hugs and another needs space. One needs boundaries and another needs more room to grow.

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Sometimes You Need Fluff

I am a member of the Netflix StreamTeam all opinions are my own.
when calls the heart


Sometimes you just need to shut off your brain and take in some fluff tv. Something that entertains you without making you think too much. As a busy mom often when the evening rolls around I want some easy entertainment while I do things like fold laundry and clean. Recently I was browsing Netflix and stumbled across a new to me show When Calls the Heart.

I have always loved historical romance novels and When Calls the Heart is all those novels I read come to life via video. When Calls the Heart is the story of Elizabeth a wealthy girls who gives it all up to head out to the wild west to be a teacher in a poor mining town.

“When Calls the Heart” tells the captivating story of Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow), a young teacher accustomed to her high society life, who receives her first classroom assignment in Coal Valley, a small coalmining town where life is simple, but often fraught with challenges. Lori Loughlin plays Abigail Stanton, a wife and mother whose husband, the foreman of the mine, along with a dozen other miners, has just been killed in an explosion. The newly widowed women find their faith is tested when they must go to work in the mines to keep a roof over their heads. Elizabeth charms most everyone in Coal Valley, except Constable Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing) who believes Thatcher’s wealthy father has doomed the lawman’s career by insisting he be assigned in town to protect the shipping magnate’s daughter. Living in a turn of the century coal town, Elizabeth will have to learn the ways of the frontier if she wishes to thrive in the rural west on her own.

The series is inspired by Janette Oke’s bestselling book series about the Canadian West.

Right now season 1 is on Netflix for you to enjoy. The series is airing on the Hallmark channel so you can expect it to be suitable for all audiences. Season 2 is running on the Hallmark Channel currently and I can’t wait for it to hit Netflix so I can continue to follow the story as this is the perfect show to watch when I just want to check out and be entertained, because sometimes I just need some fluff tv!

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DIY Graduation Gift: Oh The Places You Will Go Gift Card Cup

graduation gift



It’s graduation time and what do most graduates want? Gift cards of course because they are about to become really poor college students or grunt workers as they start out on a career path. And while giving a gift card in a card works great you can also make it a little more creative and create this fun Oh The Places You Will Go gift card cup. Here is what you will need.


graduation gift card cup



Putting this together is super easy, find a graduation picture to print, I used my HP ENVY 5660 Wireless All-In-One Inkjet Printer and I love how easy it is and how great the quality of the picture is. Next fill your cup with gift cards I suggest restaurant, grocery and gas gift cards. Finally add your cute little Oh The Places You Will Go tag and you have the perfect graduation gift both practical and fun.


gift card cup

I do work with HP but this post was not sponsored.

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Hotel Breakers at Cedar Point – A Fabulous Family Vacation

hotel breakers cedar point


A few weeks ago my family took a mini vacation to check out the newly renovated Hotel Breakers at Cedar Point. My husband loves roller coasters and the kids and I love amusement parks but it is really hard to take little ones to a park a few hours away. They need naps and breaks and it is rough on me and my husband to get a days worth of fun in and then drive home with tired crabby kids. When we realized that Hotel Breakers offered a place to stay that is just a short walk down the beach from Cedar Point AND guests get early access to the park well it seemed ideal.


hotel breakers bed


As a larger family hotels are really hard for us unless they are suite style. Hotel Breakers offers these fabulous suite style rooms that worked so well for our family, two weeks later my husband and I are still marveling at how well Hotel Breakers worked for our family. The layout of the hotel rooms could not have been better for us or any family. You walk into a sitting room with a couch (that pulls out to a bed), a coffee table and a chair. Off of that to one side is a small kitchenette with fridge and microwave and a few cupboards and on the other side sliding glass doors leading to a balcony over looking Lake Erie. The bedroom has two queen size beds and there is a two part bathroom that opens into both rooms (and the toilet and shower are separated by a door). All these separate spaces and little extras made our stay very, very pleasant.

hotel breakers collage


cedar point beach walk


The newly renovated rooms not only have a great layout but they look fantastic, the bold and cheery colors and great decor are fun and cheery and perfect for a theme park hotel. The hotel has an indoor pool and hot tub as well as an out door pool, outdoor hot tub and outdoor mini water park play ares for younger kids. Hotel Breakers not only sits right on the beach, with a gorgeous stretch of beach to enjoy, it has a giant fire pits to enjoy on chilly evenings.


hotel breakers pool


hotel breakers water park


hotel breakers fire pit


hotel breakers at night


For us the early entry to Cedar Point was fantastic, my kids are early risers so early entry is perfect for us. The quick walk back to the hotel made it perfect for breaks and naps so I headed back with the little ones and my husband and the big kids stayed for more fun. Then my husband did some solo coaster fun testing out the new Rugarou ( twice and he loved it all while I took the kids back to get ready for dinner.

Hotel Breakers at Cedar Point truly was perfect for us and we have a new yearly vacation location. Not only do you have Cedar Point and Lake Erie you have Soak City Waterpark too. We went in early May so it was not warm enough for the water things yet but next year we plan on going when everything is open! And for those of you with a really large group they even have adjoining rooms with a total of 4 queen size beds and 2 bathrooms!


cedar point ride


cedar point car ride


If you always wanted to visit Cedar Point but just could not see how it would work for your family then check out hotel breakers at Cedar Point I know it has now made Cedar Point a yearly summer destination for us!





Thank you to Cedar Point for the complimentary stay and park tickets, all opinions are my own.



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