Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Henry Hodges Needs a Friend {Review and Giveaway}

Disclosure:  I wrote this post on behalf of Tommy Nelson and received a promotional item to thank me for my time.  All opinions regarding Tommy Nelson are my and were not influenced by other sources.

I selected this book with Big C in mind.  I thought she would be so excited.  Turns out, she wanted nothing to do with it because it had a boy on the cover.  Really, Big C?!  So I began sharing the story with Little M.  Even though Little M didn't understand a word I was saying, he was certainly enjoying the pictures.


Later on, Big C finally agreed to let me read the book to her.  And you know what?  She loved it!  I knew she would.  It's fun and encouraging story about a special friendship.  If your child has ever felt alone or left out, this book is a great reminder that friendship comes in many different forms.
Henry Hodges Needs a Friend is about a little boy who learns to find friendship with a special pet. The book is told in a fun rhyming way with cute pictures.

You can purchase the same book Little M and Big C reviewed for $14.99 from TommyNelson.com or choose from a variety of other faith products.  This book is perfect for children ages 4 - 8.  Be sure to stay connected with Tommy Nelson on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for all their latest products and discounts.

Tommy Nelson is giving away one copy of Henry Hodges Needs a Friend to one blessed reader! Simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter.  This giveaway is open to US residents only.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

A Change In Plans

Since moving back to Florida, we've been exploring areas we've never been before or revisiting them with our kids.  This past weekend, we headed to Plant City to check out the Strawberry Festival for the first time.  But unfortunately, the thirty percent chance of rain, turned into an all day splash zone.

We were pretty disappointed but decided to make the best of it.  My alma mater was just up the road.  As a Pre-K education graduate, I remembered a children's museum we visited close by.  So, I thought that would be a fun, dry place to take the kiddos.  

We played in the "neighborhood" where Big C pretended to be a firefighter.


These two flew the plane!


And Little M took over the news station.


These were just a few of the highlights from the museum.  After the rain died down a bit, we drove past my college so I could show my family where studied, lived and created so many memories.  I couldn't believe all that had changed and all that had stayed the same.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Blessings In Unexpected Places

Ever hear those stories about a mom having a terrible, no good day, when a complete stranger walks up to her and tells what a great job she's doing?  Yeah, that's never happened to me.  The part about the stranger compliment, that is.  Until tonight.

It has been a super looooong day because my little guy decided to wake at 5am and not go back to sleep.  Someone tell me where his alarm clock is, because I need to turn that sucker off.  This mama wants her sleep back.

Anyway, it was someone's brilliant idea to take two over exhausted children and a hangry mommy out to dinner.  When my daughter threw a fit in the restaurant because, basically, I wouldn't let her have sugar on top of her sugar.  There was no calming her down, so I was the mom carrying the screaming child across the restaurant and out the door.

We sat and talked until the last tear fell.  From her cheek, not mine.  Though I felt like I should have been the one crying.  We took a detour to the bathroom. As we headed out, a sweet lady stopped to say, "good job, mom."  That's all I needed to hear.

Because sometimes, it doesn't feel like I'm doing a good job.  There are more times then not that I go to bed thinking I should of handled that differently.  But not today.  Thank you lady in the restaurant bathroom.  Whoever you are.

Her sweet words were just the blessing I needed today.  And the $4.00 coupon she gave us for dinner was pretty sweet, too!

Go ahead!  Let's hear how you were blessed today!

Monday, February 23, 2015

A Rockstar Birthday

It didn't surprise me that Little M's birthday fell on Random Acts of Kindness Day.  It's like it was meant to be, with all the people who treated us with kindness.  Kindness that I could never say thank you enough or repay, but only pay it forward.  His birthday will always remind me of the love we received at such a crazy time.

Little M has rocked it since the day my water broke.  He stayed strong in mommy's belly for almost a month longer.  So it's only fitting that we celebrate his birthday the way he deserves . . . like a rockstar!


The above photo was taken on his actual birthday.  We celebrated with a family and friends over the weekend.  Which could not have been complete without a smash cake, decorated with his favorite snack, puffs.


And a few outtakes that had me laughing so hard.




Happy birthday to the little boy who keeps me guessing, laughing and crying.  I love you with all my heart!  Rock on!

Monday, February 16, 2015

First Year Giveaway

Our baby boy turned one year young today!  I can't believe it.  It feels like yesterday that tears came to my eyes, as I kissed his precious cheek, before he headed to the NICU.  This has been one of the most challenging years of my life - mentally, physically and emotionally, but Little M, you have made me so much stronger for it.

In honor of Little M's first birthday, we have gifts for you!  One blessed reader will receive everything below.  These are some of the top items that not only helped us survive, but thrive.  Thank you to each sponsor who donated an item to this special giveaway!

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Dr. Brown's Newborn Feeding Set
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MisterManPants Baltic Amber Teething Necklace
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One blessed reader will receive all the products above.  Simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter.  Open to US residents only.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Never Take A Day For Granted


This picture was taken a year ago, yesterday.  These beautiful women surprised me at my hospital bedside just days before I was to give birth to my baby boy.  I was caught by surprise when my water broke a couple of months early.  These girls knew I wasn't fully prepared.  I didn't even have clothes for him.  But these ladies left their young ones behind and came out on a cold, snowy night to shower me with love.

Though this picture is full of joy, it also brings back some tough memories.  You see Big C in the bottom, left corner?  Well, what you don't see is the nest in the back of her hair.  It was a big mess. (Kind of like the way I felt about my life at the time). That sweet, precious girl was without her mama for almost a month.  Everyday she would come visit me for about an hour, bringing me handmade gifts and hugs.  Everyday that she came in, she looked different to me - bigger, smarter, funnier.  I felt like I was missing out on so much of her.

This picture reminds me not to take life for granted.  Mine, and those close to me.  No matter how hard it is or how much I struggle, I never want to miss another day of my babies' lives.  I want to remember to make every day a meaningful day, full of love and blessings.

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24








Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Our Disney Side @Home Celebration With A Princess Pajama Tea Party

Disclosure: I received free products in order to host a Disney Side @Home Celebration.  The opinions expressed here are my own.

Since moving back to Florida, our family has been all about Disney.  So when we were selected to host a Disney Side @Home Celebration, I knew our little princess and her friends would be so thrilled!  And us caregivers were overdue for some much needed girl time.

When I first opened our Disney Side box, I was overwhelmed by the amount of Disney goodness.  I couldn't believe how much fun could be packed in one box.  I definitely had to keep this from Big C or she would go crazy.


We decided to have a Princess Pajama Tea Party with all our goodies.  My first step was organizing, planning and inviting.  Since moving into our new home about a month ago,  our lives have been very busy.  So I wanted to make sure I kept the party simple and relaxing, but tons of fun!

Decorations were all provided by Disney Side, so it was just a matter of deciding where to place the decor.  We chose after dinner for our royal tea party, so our guests were treated to snacks and desserts.  Food included popcorn, grapes, Chex Muddy Buddies, a Mickey Mouse Tie Die cake and, of course, princess pretzel wands (see recipe at the bottom of post).  Twinings of London provided us with our royal tea.



For entertainment the princesses colored, painted nails and created beautiful hair barrettes.  The barrette maker was a big hit!  We also played pin the mouth on Mickey Mouse, which made us all giggle.



Before our little princesses headed off to their own beds, they couldn't leave empty handed.  Take a little peak inside their goodie box!  And every princess' caregiver received a goody box of their own, too.



Thank you Disney Side @Home Celebrations for a magical night!  We are truly blessed to have shared a special night with family and friends!

Pretzel Fairy Wands Recipe

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups of white chocolate chips
10 pretzel wands
Decorative sugars, candies or sprinkles

Directions:

1. Microwave the white chocolate chips for 15 second intervals until they are nearly melted.  Stir the chips until you have a smooth icing.

2. Dip the tip of pretzel in the chocolate and swirl until the end is covered.

3. Sprinkle chocolate with sugar, candies or sprinkles.

4. Lay on wax paper to dry.

5. Repeat steps 2-4.

Disclosure: I received free products in order to host a Disney Side @Home Celebration.  The opinions expressed here are my own.