Monday, August 3, 2015

Back to School Shopping

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Carter’s. I received a complimentary gift card to facilitate my review and thank me for my participation.

How in the world is it already back to school time? It always amazes me how quickly time passes. Speaking of time passing my baby is already 13.5 months old! Someone pass me a tissue. It is truly unbelievable how quickly he is growing and changing and with growth comes the need for new clothes.

We are getting ready to transition in to the toddler room at my son's school next week (another tissue please) and were in need of some new clothes for this summer heat we are having and also clothes to get us in to fall. So this past weekend we made a fun Saturday morning out of it as a family and hit up one of my favorite places for cute, functional, affordable clothes that are durable; Carter's. 

And I'm here to tell you...back to school shopping can be fun! So, so fun when you are shopping for adorable clothes for your babies. See how happy even my baby is?

Ya'll, I went a little crazy. They had SO much adorable stuff and some awesome prices and markdowns. if you are in need of clothes for your little ones you need to make a trip this week to your local Carter's or search online. They have some AWESOME deals going on right now. We were able to get everything pictured below for UNDER $100! 

Even my husband who is not a shopper was super impressed. And right now you can use the below coupon or coupon code online through 8/14 to save even more money!

Carter's provides a huge selection of easy, cute, colorful, comfortable outfit sets and coordinated shorts and pants that are play ready! And did you know that Carter's now offers clothing up to size 8 and shoes up to 3y? 

What are you waiting on? Visit  or a local Carter's store to check out some of their cute options and get ready for fall and back to school and you too can score some awesome deals like we did! 

I can see clearly now...

The rain is gone.... Ha, just kidding...

Today I wanted to share with you all my new pair of glasses from Firmoo. For those of you who are not familiar with Firmoo or may have missed my previous posts about this company Firmoo is the world's most popular online glasses company. They offer great deals on glass es(seriously you can purchase a pair of glasses for less than $15) and sunglasses. I have purchased and received several different pairs of glasses from Firmoo now and have never been disappointed. Since they are affordable they are great to get yourself a few extra pairs so you can leave one at work, home, in the car, etc. 

I have shared before my struggle with chronic dry eye and how now much to my dismay I can only wear contacts a couples times a week for a few hours at a time. Luckily thanks to Firmoo I am provided an inexpensive option that allows me to shake up my style easily and inexpensively when I get tired of my pair of glasses. 

I highly recommend this company for those of you who are blind like myself, ha, or even for those of you looking for readers or sunglasses.

Disclosure: I received a free product in exchange for a honest review based on personal experience with this product. No monetary compensation was received or will be received between MFJ and the associated company with this product. 

Friday, July 31, 2015

10 Tips for Flying with 1 Year Old

I know I have mentioned it several times now but this summer has been the summer of weddings for our friends and family. In June we had the opportunity to fly to Washington D.C. for my cousin's wedding in which my one year old son was the ring bearer and I was bridesmaid (read more about it here). Since there was no way/no how we were going to drive 12+ hours with a baby in the car (nursing baby mind you) we decided to fly. But I'll be honest, the most nerve racking part of the whole trip for me was the flight there and the flight back. Yes, it was def better than driving, however, I was super nervous on how my fidgeting toddler who doesn't like to sit still would do. I was worried about his ears and the other people on the plane. However, it not only ended up going smoothly but ended up being one of the best parts of the trip (minus getting to see my cousin get married which was of course, awesome). I was prepared and our little guy ended up LOVING it. So I thought to ease any other future worried mamas who are planning a trip and are nervous as heck about flying with a little one I would share my top 10 tips for flying with a one year old. 

1. Make it fun and educational: You can prepare your little one for your upcoming adventure in advance by reading plane books and talking about planes and flying in the sky. This will help ease their fear and get them excited about the adventure ahead. 

2. Leave yourself PLENTY of extra time: This is key. There is nothing that will set you up for disaster faster than being rushed to get to the gate. Build in extra time to stop and look and talk about what you see on the runway and the airport. And that when you you have an unexpected diaper blow out there is no fear for time.

3. Bring lollipops and sippy cups for take off and landing: It really helps little ears if you can get your little one to suck on something during take off and landing. I brought a sippy cup but was worried he would not be thirsty so I also purchased some sugar free lollipops and gave him one as a treat to suck on when he got tired of drinking. I then distracted him with a toy and took it away and gave it back to him as we began our dissident. He never showed any symptoms of it bothering his eyes with this trick.

4. Let them crawl, walk, MOVE as much as possible between flights: If you are catching a connecting flight or even if you aren't try to find a big empty space where your little one can move around and crawl, walk, etc. before your flight. Little ones need to be able to stretch and move and the more than can get in prior to your flight the more likely they will be able to sit still for a flight.

5. Get a window seat: I don't care if you have to bribe someone else with a window seat with money to get their seat. It will be worth it. I promise. Talk about the things you see like water, clouds, landmarks, etc. 

6. Pack a backpack full of quiet toys: books, small toys, and coloring pads/books will help the time pass more quickly. Try to bring either new toys or toys your little guy has not played with in a while so they are new and exciting. Melissa and Doug sells as Water Wow Coloring Books that are only $5 on Amazon. These books have reusable pages that are whtie with simple line drawings when dry and reveal colors when wet. They are perfect for on the go as they don't make a mess.

7. Pack your own snacks and lots of them: You never know how long you might get stuck on a runway and having plenty of crackers and other snacks can help pass the time. 

8. Keep your phone handy: I'm usually not a big advocate of little your kids use electronics but an airplane ride is one time that I'm all about it. Look at pictures on your phone together and talk about the people and things you see. 

9. Bring a blanket: Pack your little ones favorite baby blanket. Airplanes can be cold and they can help keep their little legs warm, they also serve as a great pillow or cuddle if they get tired and can double as a cover if they need to nurse.

10. If all else fails remember you will probably never see these people again: and better yet probably 9/10 people near you have been there done that and are more sympathetic of your situation. Have fun and enjoy the trip. I will say you will feel like a celebrity as you get to be the first one to board the plane and flight attendants will go out of their way to make sure your needs are met.

Before I conclude I did want to share some tips on what to bring and not to bring as far as travel. I did not know any of this prior to flying so I thought I would share:
  • Bring your own car seat if you can and check it for free where you check luggage BEFORE going through security. If you don't want to deal with bringing your own car seat you can rent one through a car rental company but do know car rental companies usually buy the cheapest car seats on the market. You can also request an Uber with a car seat which can come in handy.
  • I can not emphasis this one enough...bring your own stroller and stroll that sucker right up to the gate. They will check it for free for you at the gate and it will great you at your landing gate. Strap your baby in and stroll on sister.
  • If you bring your own carry on bag check it at the gate for free. This way you will have less to worry about dragging and keeping up with at the airport.  You will pick it up at baggage claim. 
  • Do bring a backpack you can strap on your bag full of the recommended items above.
 I truly hope you found the above tricks helpful. Happy travels! Remember you can do this!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Touring Washington D.C. with a Toddler

As I have mentioned this has been the summer of weddings for our family. In June I was a bridesmaid and our little guy was the ring bearer in my cousin's wedding in Virginia. My husband had never been to D.C. (well apparently he did go as a young child but didn't remember the trip) so we took the opportunity to visit the city after the wedding. Just for fun here is a picture of my brother, hubby, and son before the rehearsal dinner and then another of E and my hubs before the wedding. And yes ladies, my brother IS single...any takers?

O.k. back to the DC portion of the trip. We stayed at the brand new Hampton Inn at the White House (literally it was one block from the White House). It was a little pricey but  an awesome location and the hotel staff were GREAT. Both our almost 12 month old and myself ended up being sick the entire trip which made it a little difficult but we still packed it full and had a blast non-the-less. In case you are looking in to traveling to D.C. with a little one I thought I would share some of the highlights from our trip. 

Tip #1: Bring a good stroller. Seriously you will do a ton of walking. The more space your stroller has for storage underneath the better. However, don't under estimate the metro. It really very affordable and TOTALLY worth it if you need to save time or beat the heat. 

Most of our first day was spent driving from Alexandria, VA to D.C. and returning our rental car, getting checked in to the hotel, etc. but we did manage to get in a good walking tour of the city the first evening. We started out at the White House and walked down the mall to Washington Monument. It was hot, hot, hot people and a lot of walking but still really a great way to see the city. Of course we had to get a family selfie in front of the monument, excuse the sweat.

Day #2 we started off with the National History Museum which is always great and really fun for kids. Our little loved seeing the animals the most while J and I had a blast checking out what we would have looked like a century ago.

(totally scary right)
We then headed to the National Museum of Crime and Punishment. This is one of the few museums in Washington that is not free as it is a private museum but I would still highly recommend it. We found a Groupon for it so check it out when you go to see if there are any online deals before you go. There was lots of neat things to see and even some displays I had to close my eyes was pretty intense. It was particularly neat to see the car that Bonnie and Clyde were killed in and to test drive a police car through a simulator. You also got to shoot up a criminal. So. Fun.

After that we went on a walking tour ALL over the city. We walked to the Capital. Then went through the Space and Aviation Museum (also wonderful but it was packed and we were exhausted so I failed to get any pictures). We then walked through the Botanical Gardens and made our way down to the Vietnam Memorial, followed by the WWII memorial and we were head to the Lincoln Memorial when it started to DOWN POUR. I'm talking straight up flood gates opened up. Which honestly was sort of a welcome break after the extreme heat but I pretty sure at least two people thought about reporting us to child services as we rung out our babies clothing it was so soaked. We decided to take shelter on the Lincoln Memorial. Here is our wet dog look. Hey, we made a memory right?

We then headed up to Georgetown and finished the evening out with dinner at Whole Foods in the college town. I can honestly say I don't think I have ever been so exhausted in my entire life.

Tip #2: Bring sunscreen and plenty of water bottles. Water is expensive to buy at the museums but you can bring in your own along with snacks. I highly recommend doing so as we all know when a child is hungry you need something to pop in their mouth asap and their is not always food nearby at the museums. 

Day #3 we had an afternoon flight so we got up early and headed to the Holocaust Museum which is absolutely spectacular under normal conditions. However, we had a very fussy, sick and miserable baby and the museum was packed with a large group of Holocaust survivor. The tour guide asked us to please remain silent throughout the museum out of respect to the survivors and we were ushered on to an elevator with no turning back. That is when our baby decided it would be a great time to start shrieking. We tried to exit the museum as quickly as possible but it was SO packed we felt like we were being guided into the gas chambers ourselves as we shuffled along like a cow in the crowds. This museum does have an awesome mini exhibit designed for kids (noise is o.k. here) that takes you through the life of a Jewish boy. It is very kid friendly and everything can be touched and climbed on.

We then grabbed an Uber (first ever ride and it was AWESOME-what a cool service) and headed to the airport to catch our flight home. All in all it was a fantastic, exhausting trip and I am glad we did it sick and all! 

Next family trip....? One more wedding in Athens and then in September we finally get to take our family beach trip. I'm counting down the days.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Where is your happy place? *Link Party*

We all have that one place...the place where you envision yourself when something bad or painful is happening (like labor). You know...mind displacement...the place that brings you total peace and serenity. Today I thought it would be fun to show you mine and create a link party where would could all display and show off our happy places. Maybe yours is on the beach or in the mountains or maybe it is in a big comfy chair in your living room...I would love to see 'your place.' And don't pretend you don't have one...if you are a mommy than there was something or somewhere you pictured as you fought to bring your precious child in to the world. Feel free to read about mine below (picture above) and show off yours to the blogging world!

My happy place is Lake Burton which is a little bit of paradise nestled right in the North Georgia mountains. I have had the privilege of growing up at Lake Burton (seriously I was two weeks old my first visit) my entire life. My family owns a lake house that has been in our family since my mom was high school. I have so many wonderful memories at this house and have spent so many of my spring and summers there that it honestly feels even more like home than home. 

Tragically we lost both our home and boat house (both of which had been built by my now deceased grandfather and my dad when he was dating my mom) back in 2011 in a tornado that come through the area. But we have spent the last four years re-building and we finally have both a home and a boat house to stay and play at again. You can see a previous post of images from our re-build here

I brought my son to the lake house for the first time when he was only 8 days old. At 9 days old he had his first boat ride. At 10 days old we put his feet in the water for the first time. O.k. so maybe I'm crazy...don't believe me? Here is a photo.

For me this place is totally my happy place. It does not matter if it is raining or a beautiful sunny day. All I need to do is sit out on our patio or picture myself floating on the floating dock and I have achieved my goal of total mind displacement. 

O.k. it's time, link up below and tell us about your happy place.  And just for giggles here is a photo of our little for the first time in his life vest. I'm not sure if it is hilarious or just sad. He was SO tiny!