Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Get Your Kids Outside With Cozey 7 + Giveaway

Disclosure: I wrote this post on behalf of Cozey 7.  All views and opinions regarding Cozey 7 are my own and were influenced by other sources.

Being in the outdoors is my absolute favorite place to be with my family.  It's where we soak in God's beautiful masterpiece, explore new destinations, discover new things and create new memories. We have taken our kids hiking, biking, swimming and even rafting.  We have done all this in many different climates and know that comfortable and appropriate clothing is essential.

I recently learned about Cozey 7, which creates functional children's clothing made from quality, performance fabrics, that helps protect children whether it's sunny, windy, raining or snowing. Cozey 7 is made of breathable and chemical free fabrics which is easy to wash and layer.

Cozey 7 was co-founded by a mother (from Colorado) who also wanted to share her passion of the outdoors with her children and grandchildren.  She repurposed a down jacket to protect her grandson from the changing weather.  With extensive research she created superior and functional outdoor clothing layers for children that didn't exist anywhere else.  Her designs include the TrailHopper which is perfect for fall and spring or those cool summer nights, the Caribou which is great for winter, and the Grasshopper which is a thin, lightweight UPF 50 sunsuit.

Cozey 7 is blessing one my readers with a TrailHopper for your sweet tiny blessing.  The TrailHopper is made out of 80 percent recycled Polartec fleece.  Winner can choose their color of paint brush, frost blue or orchid in size Newborn to 2 Toddler.  Stay connected with Cozey 7 on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!  Simply enter the giveaway by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  This giveaway is open to US residents only.  Good luck!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Our Preemie Journey

I sat silent in the chair next to my son's bassinet.  My feet were swollen and my whole body ached.  I watched him breath as he slept with wires hooked up to his tiny body.  I heard beeping and checked the monitor to make sure it wasn't him.  I knew he was in good hands.  I knew he was going to be okay.  I had been here before.  Not this exact place, but I sat in pain next to my daughter's hospital bed, too.  We were going to make it through.

Every premature baby's journey is different and difficult in it's own way.  I struggled so much with inadequacy.  The struggle of choosing between sitting by my newborn's crib or being home with my family who I had been away from for so long, was a huge heartache for me.  Balancing life was hard! I felt as if I was unable to do any mothering duty whole-heartedly.  I was a mess inside.

Many preemies have challenges at the beginning and others have a lifetime of therapies.  That first year of Little M's life was full of uncertainty for me.  Was he ever going to be able to eat without vomiting, sleep without being held, hold his head up, sit up unassisted, crawl, walk or talk?  That whole year was full of worry and tears.

And today, I cry happy tears.  Tears of joy that God proved to me once again, that he is bigger then anything I could possibly worry about.  Bigger then any problem or need.  Today, Little M has mastered all those milestones! Thank God for this precious boy.  He is my Rockstar!

In honor of World Prematurity Day

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

5 Ways to Manage a Toy Budget

Disclosure:  I wrote this post on behalf of Pley and received compensation to thank me for my time. All opinions regarding Pley are my own and were not influenced by other sources.

We can't afford every toy our children see on tv or the toys their friends have.  We have a tight budget and rarely purchase new toys for our children.  My kids do have plenty of toys though. Probably way more then they need.  So how do I manage our toy spending on such a tight budget?

Hand-me-downs: We are blessed to have family and friends who hand down their gently used toys to our children.  The kids will even swap toys with their friends and they love it!

Garage Sales and Consignment Shops: Not only do we purchase toys from garage sales or consignment shops, we also will sell toys that are no longer used.  The children can use their money they made from the sale to buy a new toy if they choose.

Christmas and Birthday Lists: When my kids see a toy on television or something they would like to have, I remind them to put it on their Christmas or birthday list.  We don't purchase everything that is on their list, but if we know ahead of time what their interests are, we can budget for something special.  The kid's are also very blessed to have family who like to help out with purchasing gifts from their lists.

Save Up: Big C loves to help around the house.  She'll clean up toys, wash windows, and "fold" laundry.  Because she works so hard at helping me, I let her reach into the coin jar and pick a coin to put in her piggy bank.  She loves saving up her money to pay for a toy she wants.

Rent Toys: Sometimes my kids grow attached to toys, like a special stuffed animal.  But other times, my kids get bored with their toys or just grow out of them.  Another way we have managed our toy budget, is by renting them.  This is such a great way to keep clutter down!

Pley is the leading toy rental company.  For a monthly fee, starting as low as $19.99, you can received unlimited amount of toys (one at a time) right to your door.  Your children will never get bored and you don't have a crazy amount of toys collecting dust on the shelf.  Renting is a perfect solution for children's developmental needs and changing tastes!  Not to mention, you'll help the environment by reducing the amount of plastic of new toys. You'll find toys for every age from pre-schoolers through adulthood at! Check it out today!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

A Very Merry Christmas Prayer Children's Book + 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 and A Very Merry Christmas Prayer are my own and were not influenced by other sources.

I believe it's so important to thank God for all His blessings year round, not just during the Thanksgiving season.  But especially during Christmas time.  I don't want my kids to lose sight of what the true meaning of Christmas is, despite what the world conveys it to be.

The new children's book, A Very Merry Christmas Prayer, celebrates Christ's birth with a thankful heart.  The sweet, animal characters share their gratitude for all of God's Christmas blessings including pretty lights and beautiful snowflakes through their Christmas prayer.  Here's a verse from the book so you can see what I mean:

Thank You, God, for strings of light,
So twinkling and bright.
Just like the star that led wise men
On that special night.

After reading the book a few times, I asked Big C a few questions for our readers.  Here are her responses.

1. What is your favorite part about the book?  The pictures!
2. Who is your favorite character? The Polar Bear!
3. How would you describe the book, not good, okay or great?  Great!

This beautiful board book will light up your child's eyes! It's perfect for children 4 and under.  You can purchase A Very Merry Christmas Prayer from Tommy Nelson or Amazon.  Be sure to connect with Tommy Nelson on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for all their latest products, discounts and giveaways!

Tommy Nelson is giving you a chance to win a copy of A Very Merry Christmas Prayer simply by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  This giveaway is open to US residents only.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

I'm In Coupons!

Disclosure: I wrote this post on behalf of I'm In and received compensation as a thank you for my time.  All opinions regarding I'm In are my own and were not influenced by other sources.

I'm just going to put it out there.  I do not like to shop.  I know, call me crazy, but it's one of my least favorite things to do.  I don't like navigating my way through a crowd when I'm trying to find what I need.  And checking out at the cash register gives me anxiety.  I pray the whole time the check out clerk is swiping my items, that I didn't go over budget.

I get so jealous of those people who can roll up to check out with a wallet full of coupons and save so much money.  I've never been able to figure out coupons to make it worth all the time.  I just wish there was an easier way.  Well, hello there, I'm In Coupons!

No matter if you love to coupon clip or find it time consuming, shop in store or online, you'll love the site I'm In Coupons!  Imagine one place to get all your favorite brand's deals, discounts and freebies at your fingertips.  It's an awesome, free service to help you save money on groceries, apparel, gifts, gadgets, appliances and more!

I'm In Coupons even offers a new mobile app that allows you to save where ever you are, using your phone.  You don't have to miss out on great savings anymore because you forgot your coupons at home.  Create a free account and you'll start receiving discount alerts on your favorite brands.

I just started using I'm In Coupons and it's one of the easiest ways to collect coupons that I know of. You can search by zip code, store or brand.  When you find a coupon you like, click on it to clip it, and it saves it for you.  When you are ready, simply print out all the coupons you've clipped.

One of the most frustrating things I find with grocery coupons is that they always seem to be on foods or products I would never buy.  But with I'm In Coupons, they offer brands and product coupons that I love (including healthy and organic)!  One thing that would make this site even better, is if I could search by specific product.  For example, I would love to type in 'spaghetti noodles' and a list of coupons pop up.  It would be awesome to enter my grocery list and see what coupons I could find. I'm hoping it's in the works for I'm in!

How do you like to save money?

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Our Fall Fix

I've been kind of bummed out lately.  I'm missing Colorado and the beautiful seasons.  But mostly the fall weather and traditions.  Since Big C was born, we've taken her to a pumpkin patch and plucked our favorite pumpkin from the vine.  We've carved fun faces, roasted pumpkin seeds and baked yummy fall goodies.  And every year, we've felt the cooler weather come in and saw the leaves change their beautiful colors.

Here in Florida, it's still hot.  We didn't visit a pumpkin patch or carve a fun pumpkin face.  And everything is still pretty green.  We're still wearing shorts and tie our hair in pony tails.  It just doesn't feel like fall at all.

But we were very blessed to get our fall fix this year.  The kid's Pop and BeBe recently moved to North Carolina.  So we took a quick trip to see their new homeland and toured the beautiful mountains, right in the peak of the leaves changing.  I can't even begin to describe how breathtaking it was.  And it was just what I needed.

It rained almost the whole time we were there.  But that didn't stop us from exploring, breathing in the mountain air and discovering colors and falls like we've never seen before.

So, we missed out on our favorite Colorado traditions this year, but God provided us with something much different and so beautiful!  Happy Fall Ya'll!

What are your favorite fall traditions?

Monday, October 12, 2015

Our Adventures at Tampa's Lowry Park ZooBoo Kids

Disclosure: I wrote this post on behalf of Lowry Park Zoo and received free tickets in exchange for my time.  All opinions regarding Lowry Park Zoo are my own and were not influenced by other sources.

We had the opportunity to celebrate Halloween a little early, in a fun and safe environment, this weekend.  Big C dressed up in her Spider-Girl costume for the first time as we headed to Lowry Park ZooBoo Kids opening weekend!

Parking: For this event, Lowry has two free parking lots and a $10 premium lot.  The free lot on the property was filled.  The premium lot, located at the front, is what we chose.  The other free option is across the street, called the over-flow lot, which is not a far walk at all.  

Photo-Ops: There are many fun photo opportunities throughout the zoo.  So don't forget your camera!  You can pose with silly characters or find a fall scene.  Little M wasn't quite sure of this guy, but Big C thought he was pretty cool!

Rides: Throughout ZooBoo Kids, you'll find lots of rides.  A rollercoaster, bumper boats, carousal and more!  The wait times were short, except for the bumper boats.  There was only one working. Despite that, Big C waited patiently 20 minutes to ride it!  Another favorite was the rollercoaster. She sure was a brave girl.

Trick-or-Treat: When you enter the park, you'll receive a treat bag.  ZooBoo Kids has several candy stations where we stopped to trick-or-treat.  

Additional Activities: Some other activities you'll find throughout ZooBoo includes face-painting, games, crazy corn maze, Scaredy Cat's Fun House, a Monster Mash Dance Party and more!

Helpful Tips: Wear light clothing because it's hot out!  They also have a water area if you want to bring your bathing suit.  

The free parking on campus fills up fast.  So get there early or park in the over-flow lot.  Otherwise, be prepared to pay $10 cash or card.

Big C (who is almost 5) did not need a stroller, but it was helpful for Little M who is almost (20 months).  

Learn more here  about Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo and get $3.00 off park admission!