Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Dark Hope: Book One of the Archangel Prophecies + Giveaway



With a new baby at home I am slowly beginning to realize how coveted yet also important "me" time is for my well being so I can be the best mommy and wife to my boys. This past month I have used my "me" time to read the first book in the Archangel Prophecies Trilogy called Dark Hope: Book One of the Archangel Prophecies. 



Dark Hope written by Monica McGurk tells the story of Hope Carmichael who is the survivor of a child abduction. Hope has lived a sheltered life under what seems to be the over protection of her very religious father. When Hope is given the chance by a court to live with her mother due to her father going overboard on what he feels is trying to protect her while on a date with a boy at the movies she jumps at the opportunity to expand her horizons and get out of her father's watchful eye. Hope is excited to begin what she hopes to be "normal life" as a teen in high school in Atlanta, GA (my hometown which made the read even more fun). However, Hope quickly finds out that her life is not normal at all when she realizes that her unique friendship with Michael is a bit out of the ordinary to say the least. Soon Hope finds her life filled with questions not just of her past but of who she is, why she is important, and of what is to become of her future. DARK HOPE introduces The Archangel Prophecies, a saga consisting of many topics that will get you thinking including angels, demons and human trafficking. 

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to all my friends. However, I must warn you. This book is one that will get you thinking. It is not only a thought provoking book but truly has a great plot and build up. You will find this book hard to put down! 

Be sure to check out Monica McGurk (the author) on social media. She is an advocate for women and truly has a voice against human trafficking:
I am giving away to one lucky US reader a hard copy of Dark Hope: Book One of the Archangel Prophecies (ARV $13.99). Enter via Rafflecopter below to be eligible to win. Winner will be selected Tuesday, September 9th! 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Bathroom Update is Coming Stay Tuned

So the hubby and I have been planning our next DIY project and we are thinking it is going to be to tackle the bathroom.  My Bathrooms has come up with a video with some really easy summer bathroom décor tips which you can use to update your bathrooms in no time (see the fun video below). 

My life long bff, Holly, just updated her bathroom at her apartment. Check out her blog post here to see some of her suggestions. She totally inspired me to update my bathrooms as well. I would really like to start by framing the boring bathrooms mirrors in our bathrooms with a wood frame. Next up would be to paint the bathroom and add some fun prints. I really like "splish splash I was taking a bath" for my son's bathroom. Here are some photos I got off of Pinterest for inspiration. Stay tuned for upcoming posts on our progress!












Summer Bathroom Décor Tips from My-Bathrooms UK

Monday, August 18, 2014

My diaper bag essentials + The Best Diapers

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.


My diaper bag has become my "don't walk 10 feet without it bag"! Forget carrying a purse. I throw my wallet and cell phone in my diaper bag because it contains all the emergency essentials I need for my baby. However, if I’m not careful my diaper bag easily gets heavily overloaded with unnecessary items. I try to check it at least once a week to see what nonsense is in there that doesn't need to be. Most of the time it’s extra clothes (if I'm not careful 4-5 outfits will pile up), miscellaneous papers and blankets. It is funny how quickly it can feel up with items other than diapers. 

Then, I cut it back to the essentials and my shoulders and back thank me. I have also experienced the opposite problem when I don't have one of the diaper bag necessities. It's a nightmare. 
So, what have I decided are the diaper bag must haves?

Pacifier Pod w/ Paci. The Pacifier Pods are awesome. They clip on to the side of your diaper bag and hold your paci so it can be easily located when you need it. Even though my baby really is not a big paci fan we still make sure to keep it nearby in case of an emergency. 


Diapers + wipes. We are sure to keep the bag stocked with Parent's Choice Diapers from Walmart.  Always have more than you think you will need. I make sure I have at LEAST four on me at all times even if I plan on just running out for 15 minutes. If we plan to be gone for an extended period of time during the day I carry up to 10. 



Baby Powder + Dr. Smith's Diaper Rash Cream. I make sure to carry both of these products in travel size containers. My pediatrician's office carries the Dr. Smith travel size containers so I make sure to get one each time we pay a visit there. 



Burp rags. Babies spit up. Throw up. Drool. And leak. This is another item that you always need more of than you think. 
First Aid Kit. Because you never know when you might need it. Ours is a miniature version that is not heavy and does not take up a lot of space in the diaper bag. 
Change of clothes + Bib. Babies leak and drool and have diaper explosions and sometimes a burp rag just does not cut it.


Swaddle Blanket. Good to lay down for the baby to lay on or if the baby gets cold, also doubles as a nursing cover! 
Feeding items. Since I am breastfeeding this includes an array of items including a nursing cover, breast shield, bib, burp cloth, and other items. 


Some sort of toy. Mainly in the stage we are in this is a rattle or some sort of colorful ball to distract and play with the baby when he wants or needs it. 

Feeding items. Since I am breastfeeding this includes an array of items including a nursing cover, breast shield, bib, burp cloth, and other items. 

Changing pad. Most every diaper bag includes one but just in case make sure you have a padded something you can lay down that is easy to wipe up if it gets messy. 



Boogie Wipes + Cleaning Wipes. Boogie wipes are fantastic! They have saline in them and are perfect for keeping your baby's nose clean. I also keep cleaning wipes that can be used for a variety of uses including cleaning off the baby's paci when it is dropped on the floor.


The Parent's Choice Diapers at Walmart I mentioned above have just as great of diaper absorbency as any leading brand but are available at a GREAT value. So great they allow you to save $240 in average annual savings which will help you keep your diaper bag stocked with all the other necessary items I mentioned above. Great news! You can currently save any more on these diapers that are already a great deal by using this coupon.



OK mommies here's your chance to weigh in...What other items are a must for your diaper bag?

Thanks to #CollectiveBias for sponsoring this post! 

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Perfect Baby Gift & Accessory for Your Little One


I was blessed to receive the adorable crocheted hat in the photo above for my baby from Momma J's Crochet. Momma J's Crochet  is owned by Linda Johnson a sweet, fellow Georgia gal from Milledgeville, Georgia. Her etsy store is listed under lindajohnson1977 if you try to search without clicking the above link.


Momma J's Crochet sells handmade baby hats, booties, and more. I am THRILLED with the adorable UGA hat she sent me for my baby and wasted no time in getting him all dressed up in red and black to take a photo shoot. :)



Linda started crocheting baby blankets for her first grandchild when her daughter was pregnant. While looking through lots of patterns online she found patterns for baby hats. She started off by making beanies but over time started making crocheted animal hats. Her daughter was amazed at how well the hats turned out and suggested that she sell some on etsy. Upon opneing her etsy store Linda was pleased to see that so many people loved her hats. Besides making a little extra money Linda loves seeing photos of little ones wearing her hats. 

Her hats are also very popular with photographers who purchase the hats for their newborn sessions. She is constantly trying new designs from suggestions she receives. Her daughter recently gave birth to her second child and Linda crocheted the cutest lion set for him complete with a tail on the diaper cover! Here are some photos of some other products Linda sells that I love:





Linda never imagined that being a Grandma would open up a whole new world as far as creative design. She told me it has given her a whole new happiness as she gets so excited every time she receives a new order. 

Be sure to check out Linda's etsy store, lindajohnson1977, and order a gift for your favorite little one. 

GREAT NEWS: If you purchase a hat or newborn set by October 1st and mention my blog to Linda in a convo you will be eligible to win a free hat of your choice! Linda also does additional giveaways every few months so be sure to like her store on etsy and send her a message to let her know that I sent you. 
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. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Love/Hate Relationship with Strollers

“I participated in a Blog Blast on behalf of Mom Central for Urbini. I received information from Urbini to facilitate my post as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”
Strollers. I have a love/hate relationship with them. They are GREAT in my ways. The not so great thing about them is how bulky many of them are and space they demand in a car. Urbini has launched as a new brand with it’s first three products in the US debuting at Walmart stores earlier last year. Among them is The Omni 3-in-One Travel System, which offers a variety of strolling options as your baby grows from nesting in an infant car seat to riding in a built in bassinet to finally riding forward or parent facing in the convertible stroller seat. This 3-in-1 Travel System allows you to take your baby from infant to toddler years with one stroller. In it’s popularity at Walmart stores and online, the Omni 3-in-One Travel System sold out in just one month when first released and is now back in stock for moms to enjoy this versatile product! Urbini also sells the Hummingbird which is the world's lightest full-featured stroller with a one handed closing capability! Urbini's other product, the Touri, includes a stroller and Petal Infant Car Seat which creates the ultimate on-the-go travel system. 
With my new little one I learned quickly that a lightweight stroller was going to be necessary when heading out for every day errands. I had received a very nice jogging stroller as a shower gift and I originally thought that would be all I need. However, one trip to the store with that stroller and I learned the jogging stroller was going to need to be just that...a jogging stroller...perfect for hikes, jogging, walks around the neighborhood, etc. but not the best stroller for errands. It simply took up too much space in my  trunk and was way to heavy to tote in and out of the car. A lightweight stroller such as the Hummingbird would be the perfect solution to this problem. 

Check out Urbini on social media below:
·         Urbini Facebook page
·         Urbini Twitter page
·         Urbini Instagram account
·         Urbini Pinterest page