Sunday, June 5, 2016

Sports Apparel for Babies


In many families, there's usually a specific sports team everyone roots for. Whether it's a college team or a home town team, most families love to purchase the gear and root for their favorite teams together. While there are some families that feud about which team is best to root for, most families choose to be on the same page in terms of which team they'll be a fan of. Once you have a new member of the family, it's always nice to introduce them to the sports culture by getting them their own clothing gear to wear. Granted, they might be too little to know what's going, but when they get older, they'll appreciate the effort. We get so many compliments for the adorable sports outfits that our baby girl wears! 

1. Family Pictures

One of the best ways to capture the special moments in a family's history is through professional family portraits. Before the baby is born, it's important to book their first photos ahead of time. It's always nice to look back at pictures of them when they were little tiny infants. Nowadays, newborn photographers are extremely creative with the way they take photos of newborns. If you're from Alabama and proudly chant phrases like 'Roll Tide', along with an adorable University of Alabama onesie, you might want to ask the photographer to see if it's possible to include a football in the picture. You'd be surprised at how creative many newborn photographers have become over the years. 

2. Sports Games

If the baby is fresh out of the womb, it may not be time to allow them to go to one of the Florida State basketball games just yet. In due time, they'll be able to go. Once they're a few months old, you might consider taking them to a game to enjoy for an hour or so. While they're at the game, this is a great opportunity to let them start proudly rocking their Florida State onesie for team support. Make sure to take lots of pictures of them in uniform with the rest of the family. These types of memories are priceless. 

In addition to the fabulous onesies and jumpsuits, you can enjoy the matching shoes, hats, bibs and baby sleepers. If you have a little girl, she might want to wear the cute polo dresses or the cheerleader costumes. It's all interchangeable and the variety of options are very diverse. Just know that your precious little one will have many options to choose from in the babies NCAA infant apparel department. 

Now even though I am from Ohio, I am a HUGE Michigan fan and I fell head over heels in love with some of the adorable baby girl clothes I have found for her in sports apparel. Might need to stock up before football season!!! 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

New Kids on the Block Rock This Boat is Back!




Growing up I was THE biggest fan of New Kids on the Block. My sisters and I had everything we could get our hands on that had anything to do with the group. My cousin Jenny was the envy of all of us because she had the entire NKOTB bedroom set, complete with curtains and bedding. I can still remember all of the words to my favorite songs, even the words from their Christmas album. I tell my own children all of the time that they have no idea what it was like growing up in the 90's and how amazing it was thanks to groups like NKOTB! They are such an awesome symbol of growing up in the 90's.



If you were a fan like me or even a new fan, you will be thrilled to know that Rock this Boat is back for a 2nd season! The season premier will kick off on Wednesday, June 1 at 8:30PM/7:30c on Pop TV! In case you missed Season 1, Rock this Boat follows New Kids on the Block members Donnie Wahlberg, Danny Wood, Joey McIntyre and Jordan and Jonathan Knight on their annual fan cruise.  The series will feature 8 episodes of backstage and personal moments shared by the NKOTB members and their fans. If you are a fan, you do NOT want to miss this series!



Check out a preview below! 




This post was sponsored by the Role Mommy Writer's Network.  All opinions are 100% my own.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Must Visit Pizza Places in Seattle

Top 3 Pizza Restaurants in Seattle

Moving to Seattle can be one of the greatest decisions you’ll ever make. It’s a lively city, there’s always something to do, and the food has never been better. While many Seattle real estate agents can help give you the lowdown on all of the information you need to live a successful life there, the residents find a little solace in knowing where some of the best things in the city are located.

One of the most important things to know before moving to the city is where the best places to get a bite to eat, specifically pizza, are located:


1. Delancey
A popular pizza place in the city, Delancey uses burning wood to cook their pizzas, which may be one of the reasons that the taste is so great to the locals. Whether it's the mouthwatering ingredients, or the atmosphere of the dining room that seats 40, residents wait patiently for as long as it takes to get their pies.

2. Serious Pie
Opened in 2006, Serious Pie made its debut in downtown Seattle and has three venues in total for fans to sit down and dine. This particular establishment roasts their vegetables in an apple wood oven and is considered one of the best pizza places in the country. With a 3-day period of fermenting the dough for their crust, they have patrons returning regularly for more and more.

3. The Independent Pizzeria
Last but certainly not least, The Independent Pizzeria has been open since 2010 in Madison Park and gives its visitors a beautiful view of the water during each visit. The unique menu gives each guest a chance to try something new with every order, as well as the chance to enjoy their pizza picnic with a scenic view.

Knowing where some of the best pizza places are is a must for anyone who’s moving to a new city, so don’t forget to check these few out after settling down into your new Seattle home.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Homeowner Issues: Plumbing

As a homeowner, plumbing issues are the absolute worst. A couple of months ago,  we had a blocked drain that ended up with sewage in our basement.  We called plumbers to come out right away.  They came out and used a snake to clear our line and everything was good....so we thought. That night we got a lot of rain and when we woke up, our basement was completely flooded. We lost almost everything we had down there including photos, furniture, clothing, etc. Turns out, when they put the snake down the drain, they didn't go out far enough and there was still a blockage. When it rained, the rain didn't have anywhere to go and it all backed up into our basement. Our basement was full of both rain and sewage. Gross! 

What causes a drain to block? If you have ever experienced a blocked drain in your home then you know what a problem it can be. It does not matter which drain is blocked; the issue needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. It may not be obvious what is causing the blockage in the drain, but there are some likely causes that commonly exist. One of the easiest ways of resolving a problem with a blocked drain is to look up plumbers in places like Sydney and choose one to take a look at the issue. Often the plumber will not know exactly what is blocking the drain but they will put their experience and expertise to use making sure the blockage is cleared for you. In our case, we had a variety of things courtesy of our children including a Ring Pop! 

What can be the causes of a blocked drain? 

Different situations cause different drains to block, so different causes exist depending on what type of drain is involved. If you are having a problem with a blockage in a drain in your kitchen then this is more than likely caused by a combination of grease and oil stuck to the inside of the drain and food particles which have become trapped as a result. Of course, the situation is different in the bathroom where most sink and shower drain blockages are caused by human debris such as hairs and dead skin. One of the worst problems you can have with a blocked drain is when your toilet blocks. This happens when something that will not dissolve easily is flushed. Often this can be something as simple as a child attempting to flush a pile of toilet paper. 

How can a drain be unblocked? 

The easiest option, when it comes to dealing with a blocked drain in your home, is to call a professional plumber to help. If you would rather try and solve the problem yourself first, here are some things you may want to try:

 •​If you have a blockage in a sink drain in your home then you should try pouring boiling water down it. You should only do this if your household piping is metallic. If your pipes are made from PVC then the water you use should be hot rather than boiling. Often, boiling water can remove smaller blockages; it can also help to soften those that are more stubborn.

 •​If you do not have any success pouring boiling water down the drain then it’s a good idea to use a plunger.

 •​For blockages which are further down the drain, a drain snake can be useful. This tool can help to dislodge those difficult to reach blockages.

 •​The most obvious way of clearing a blockage in a toilet is to use a plunger. The vast majority of the time this should release a simple blockage.

These are the most common causes of a blocked drain, together with some of the methods you can use to solve the problem. If you cannot solve the problem yourself, or you do not want to spend the time doing so, then it’s a good idea to just call a professional plumber to help you out.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Professional Carpet Cleaning At A Price You Can Afford

When it comes to getting your rugs and carpets cleaned at a price you can afford, there may not be many options for you to choose. You may live in an area where there are either too few carpet cleaning professionals available, or in a region where there are simply too many to keep track of. In such a case, it's comforting to know the name of a professional rug and carpet cleaner that you can trust to take the utmost care with your precious heirlooms and treasured possessions. 




From Ancient To Modern, A Professional Cleaning Service Can Handle It All

When you need to choose a professional cleaning service for your rugs and carpets, it's a smart move to choose one that shows an ability to handle all manner of shapes, sizes, and styles, from ancient to modern. A cleaning service that only specializes in one type or style of rug is fine for the specimens you currently own, but if you ever choose to diversify in the future, you're going to be hard pressed to find a cleaner that can handle the new models that you have introduced into your home. 

Why Settle For Less If You Can Afford The Best?

Pricing is also an obvious issue that needs to be fully addressed before you decide to give your service to a professional rug and carpet cleaner. Make sure there are no hidden fees or "detail oriented" charges before you sign on the dotted line. If the price that is quoted sounds good, your next step should be to check the exact number and nature of the services this company is prepared to offer you. After all, why settle for less if you can afford the best? 

It's Time To Get Your Carpet Cleaning Service Up To Speed  

If you feel that it's time to get your carpet cleaning service up to speed, Green Choice Carpet Cleaning of New Jersey is the place you can rely on for excellent service at a price that won't break your bank. No matter whether your carpet is a year old, a century old, or an antique Persian rug, Green Choice will handle your precious possession with the utmost respect and care. Persian area rug cleaning can be really expensive and sometimes difficult to find professionals in that industry as well so knowing your options is super important. Contact Green Choice at http://www.iicrc.org/hiring-persian-rug-cleaning-service-a-1.html to see for yourself exactly what the region's leading rug and carpet cleaning professionals can do for you.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Hop Into Easter with Personalized Books from Put Me In The Story!


We are huge fans of personalized gifts and Put Me In the Story is at the top of our list every holiday. This Easter, if you are stumped on what to get the little one's in your life, look no further because Put Me In The Story has you covered with their awesome personalized Easter books! 


 Don’t Push the Button by Bill Cotter – New! $29.99 personalized book There’s only one rule in Larry’s book–don’t push the button. (Seriously, don’t even think about it!) Even if it does look kinda nice, you must never press the button. Who knows what would happen? Okay, quick. No one is looking... press the button. Uh, oh. Larry is a lovable monster, if a bit too curious for his own good. And now, you can join in on his fun adventure! In the personalized version of this interactive story, your child will discover all the surprises around that big red button. Read, play, and laugh along while your little one investigates just how BIG one little push can be! 

 An Easter Surprise $29.99 personalized book This Easter, take your little one on an “eggs-traordinary” egg-hiding adventure around the world! As fun and festive as an egg hunt, An Easter Surprise gives your child the chance to plan his or her very own Easter mission! Soaring as high as the moon in a hot air balloon, delivering eggs all over town, and stashing tasty treats all down the streets, your little one will be thrilled at the surprise twist in this Easter adventure! Make Easter morning extra magical! Personalize this exciting Easter storybook with your child’s name and hometown, along with a special message and photo on the dedication page. A sweet Easter surprise your little one will cherish long after the holiday is over! 

 I Love You Honey Bunny by Sandra Magsamen $29.99 personalized book The perfect Easter treat to add to your little “honey bunny’s” basket! I Love You Honey Bunny by Sandra Magsamen is a fun and heartfelt story to remind your little one just how much you love and cherish them. Cuddle up close and enjoy something sweet together! Celebrate your child by letting them know how they fill the world with love! Personalize this book with your honey bunny’s name, photo, and sweet message on the dedication page. You will also have the option to customize the pronoun in this book to become “I” or “We” Love You, Honey Bunny. A darling tale with a loving message that will stay with your little one forever! 

 Find more personalized gifts for Easter here: http://www.putmeinthestory.com/personalized-gift-occasions/easter 

 For Easter Delivery from Put Me In The Story

 Order USPS/Media Mail by March 9, 2016 
 Order UPS ground by March 14, 2016 
 Order 2nd Day Air by March 17, 2016 
Order Overnight Shipping by March 21, 2016 


 Enter the giveaway! 



Enter Put Me In The Story’s giveaway for a chance to win a personalized Easter Book Bundle! Giveaway ends 3/10/2016 at 11:59pm CST http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/54ca7af7284/ 


Sunday, February 21, 2016

All New Season of Survivor #BrainsBrawnBeauty

If you are Survivor fan's like us, you are probably super excited that the show has returned for a new season. Hopefully you caught the 90-minute premier on Wednesday but if not, we can fill you in on what you missed so you will be ready for next week! This season castaways will embark on the most grueling 39 days in Survivor history as they compete to see if brute strength, looks or smarts will bring them to the finish line as the Sole Survivor. 



Introducing this season's contestants!

The Brains Tribe:

Peter Baggenstos
Aubry Bracco
Joseph Del Campo
Neal Gottlieb 
Elisabeth Markham
Debbie Wanner 

The Brawn Tribe:

Cydney Gillon
Darnell Hamilton
Alecia Holden
Kyle Jason
Jennifer Lanzetti
Scot Pollard 

The Beauty Tribe:

Michele Fitzgerald 
Anna Khait 
Nick Maiorano
Caleb Reynolds
Julia Sokolowski
Tai Trang 

The show kicked off with the castaway's receiving 2 minutes to take anything and everything they could off of the boat. Players jumped to get everything they could including food, live animals (including a chicken that Caleb from the Beauty Tribe jumped off of the boat to retrieve from the water!) 

The first episode was super exciting and of course we came out with a team that we are rooting for. We knew right away that we were not into the beauty tribe, although we find Tai to be super interesting. We found positives with the Brain Tribe but in the end, we decided that we are rooting for the Brawn Tribe although we are SUPER ticked about them sending Darnell home. We did not like Alecia and didn't think she carried her weight at all throughout the entire episode. Darnell might have lost his goggles in the challenge but he pulled his weight through the rest of the 1st episode. I hope it doesn't come back to bite them in subsequent episodes. 

So, we might change our mind but after the first episode, we definitely like the Brawn Tribe!

Who are you rooting for after week 1?



Room Makeover Featuring Mohawk #ilovemymohawkrug

BEFORE 
My husband and I are somewhat obsessed with projects in our home, especially when we can make small changes that make a big difference. We are getting ready to put our home on the market and relocate to a different part of Ohio so we have been tackling little projects to increase the value of our home and one room that we decided to update was our den. It had old almost maroon colored carpet and the walls were painted red. The trim was in rough shape and the registers for the heat/air were terribly outdated. We set a budget of $1,000 to completely refinish the room and we are so excited with how it turned out. 

First we pulled up the ugly carpet and laid engineered wood flooring in it's place. We used paint and primer to take the red on the walls to a neutral gray color. We also purchased new vents and painted all of the trim a fresh coat of white paint. Some of the trim was looking pretty bad so we replaced those pieces. 

COMING ALONG! 

It's really amazing what you can actually do on your own. I am extremely fortunate that my husband is so handy because he saved us thousands of dollars that would be been spent on labor so we had funds to do other things like update the lighting. We took the blinds down and added new curtains and created a nice seating area that the family could enjoy but the big WOW that totally changed the room was the awesome rug that was sent to us by Mohawk. I love all of their flooring options but I have been a huge fan of their area rugs for a really long time (we have Mohawk rugs in almost every room of our home) so we were so excited about getting this rug for our new room. This rug is the Mohawk Home Strata Jerada Printed Rug and it's simply spectacular. It's such a high quality rug which is super important as this is a heavy traffic area in our home and the print adds color to the room and creates a warmer overall feel to the room. We absolutely love the finished product and so do our little's as you can see below. 

Finished! 
This project took about a week to complete but we are just absolutely in love with it. It turned out so good and I can't wait to tackle our next project which will be the kitchen/dining room. We will definitely be looking for another Mohawk rug to finish that room as well. They have so many prints for just about any style and the quality can't be beat. Maybe that's because they are still made in  USA


Be sure and leave us a comment below and let us know what you think. Do you like the new look?

GIVEAWAY

One lucky person is going to win their own Mohawk Rug (Up to a 5x7, $150 value) 





*Review and Giveaway were provided to us at no cost. All opinions belong to the owner's of this site* 

Monday, January 11, 2016

New Year's Ruff-olutions with Milk-Bone

It's a new year and chances are, you probably made some kind of goal or resolution for yourself or your family but sometimes we forget about our furry friends. I am sure that most of us could probably think of one or more goals for our pets for the new year whether it be keeping up better with vet visits or simply keeping your pet more active. Below you will find a great list of ideas from a Milk-Bone survey of over 3,000 Americans. There is no reason to keep our four-legged friends out of our healthy resolutions for the new year. 


Our Ruff-olution this year is to give our doggies healthier treats and we can do that with the help of great Milk-Bone products like Good Morning Daily Vitamin Treats and Milk-Bone Brushing Chews! The brushing chews are our favorite because let's face it. Brushing your pups teeth is not the easiest task in the world. With the Milk-Bone Brushing Chews, your dog can enjoy a treat that actually cleans his teeth. They come in Mini, Small/Medium and Large so your dog can enjoy the treats no matter what size he/she is.
The Good Morning Daily Vitamin Treats are also a big hit around here. These treats are great for the overall health of your dog as they contain nutrients that most dog foods don't have. What a great way to start the morning. When you take your daily vitamins, why not give a great start to your pups day as well?



Remember that the health and wellness of your pet is super important so pick a goal and stick with it this new year. Together your entire family can be healthier and happier! 






Saturday, January 9, 2016

How to be a Good Host

The holiday season is in full swing and most people have already attended or hosted multiple parties and get togethers over the past couple of months. Recently, I was involved in an online discussion about proper etiquette when attending get togethers in other people's homes and I thought it was a great discussion because it is something that most of us have dealt with at one time or another. The question is, is it ok to ask people to do or not do things to accommodate you in their home? If you think it's rude, you are not alone. In several recent polls, most people agreed that you shouldn't expect people to do things differently in their home to make you feel more comfortable. In my opinion, however, when you open your home for visitors, those visitors are YOUR guests and you should go out of your way to make sure they are comfortable in your home. Subsequently, we put together a guide on how YOU can be the perfect host. 



Smoking. If you normally smoke in your home, consider going outside or in a designated room if you are hosting visitors, especially children. I cannot stress this enough as it is one of my biggest pet peeves. As a Mom of 5 children, if you invite me over to your home and you light up around my kids, you might as well look me in the eye and tell me that you never want me to visit again. If you cannot respect the health of myself and my children enough to go outside to smoke while we are there, you obviously do not desire our company. Many children suffer from allergies and asthma and could face severe health consequences from even a single day in a smoke filled home. Recently our 5 year old faced a scary bout of pneumonia. He ended up in the hospital for 2 days after battling a severe
respiratory illness for almost 2 weeks. When we were discharged from the hospital, the doctor made it clear to us that we needed to keep him clear of crowds and especially things like smoking. Knowing we had a family holiday party coming up, I requested that there be no smoking in the home so that we could still attend. I did not feel that this was rude in any way, shape or form. Unfortunately, there were several adults who continued to smoke during the party so I spent my night running my children out of the rooms where people were smoking.  This was really a bummer for me to have the realization that the health of my children was not respected and family or not, we will limit future visits as long as smoking inside the home continues. I will not compromise the health of my children for anything in this world and I should not be expected to. If you are the visitor and not the host, never be afraid or ashamed to speak up about smoking around your family if it makes you uncomfortable. 

Pets. Let's face it. Just because you are a fan of your furry friends doesn't mean that everyone is. Some people have allergies to certain animals while other's
might have phobias. If you are inviting someone into your home, hopefully you know enough about them to know if they have issues that would make them uncomfortable around your pets. If so, consider these things while your guests are visiting. If you have an animal that is hyper and likes to jump, consider putting them somewhere away from guests, especially elderly and small children who could easily be knocked down. When my sister and brother-in-law had a very large bull mastiff dog, I was not shy about asking them to put him away when the kids and I visited. He was a big teddy bear that my kids loved but he slobbered everywhere and if he came anywhere near you, you would leave slimed. My sister was never bothered to take her dog to another room so we could visit and it was much appreciated and made us visit much more knowing we wouldn't have the dog to worry about. If you are a host who has animals, keep your visitors in mind before you decide to host. Not everyone will appreciate slobbery kisses and being climbed over. 

Food. Prior to inviting your guests for a visit, ask them about health and diet restrictions. The last thing you want to do is invite guests for dinner, prepare a huge meal and then your guests are unable to eat anything you have prepared because of dietary concerns. Are they vegetarian? Gluten free? Diabetic? If you come to my house for a party, you don't leave hungry and I make sure of that. Over Thanksgiving, we baked both a turkey and a ham because my siste
r doesn't like turkey. It is my goal to make sure we always have something that everyone will eat. I go over the menu with my mom and my sisters prior to family parties that I host to make sure we have everything covered and to make sure everyone can eat. My Dad is diabetic so its important to me to make sure I have foods for him to eat that will not make him sick. Anyone hosting parties should be mindful of these things. At a recent family party, our very picky son had nothing to eat but dinner rolls and I felt awful that he was hungry and there was nothing he could eat. I would never want a guest to go hungry in my home so I always ask ahead of time before planning my menu. Obviously if you are hosting a lot of people you can't accommodate everyone but if your guest list includes children, try to make some little people friendly foods too.

Bottom line? If you are hosting guests, you are inviting them into your home and it's your job to make them feel comfortable. If you are the guest, don't feel shy about asking questions ahead of time. When it comes to my family, I am not hesitant at all to tell my parents and siblings how I feel if they are doing something that makes me feel uncomfortable. If it's something with my in-law's, I will usually ask my husband to speak up. If it were my husband's bosses house I would probably not say anything and just not return in the future.

What did our readers and friends have to say?

Megan W. says "I think it's important to say before you go to the house if there's something you can't be around or that you might need. That way they can make the call about whether or not they feel comfortable accommodating your request and if not you can avoid going there. It might be an uncomfortable conversation but it would be worse if you waited until you got there!

Madison A. says "I feel like if it's their home you know what you are getting into by going to their house. I would never make someone feel uncomfortable in their home.....if it's that big of a problem, don't go there and have them come to your house so you can tell them what to do.

Stephanie A. says "That depends. My great grandmother used to smoke in her house so we (the grandchildren and great grandchildren) stopped taking the children there. When she asked why we asked her to stop smoking in the house and we would bring the kids over again. I'm not putting my children in danger so you can see them.

Heather D. says "My kiddo has asthma and one of his triggers is smoke. I mention that and if the person insists on smoking in the house (which is absolutely their right) I simply thank them for the visit and explain that we have to leave. It's not worth another ER trip but I respect their home. Usually they just come to us or smoke near an exhaust fan or something. I can see both sides. If someone is your friend/family, they should understand if it's for legitimate reasons and not an annoyance.

Deborah T. says "My house. I pay the bills, my rules. If you don't like it, don't visit. When I am at your house, I follow your rules.

Danielle P. says "I think it's rude for you to ask them...however, I think it's rude for them not to consider others.

Melissa M. says "I think it depends on the way a person asks. We smoke but do not if there are young children or if we know it causes problems for someone. I would not be offended if someone asked me not to smoke depending on how they asked. We always put our dog up because he can be hyper at first. I think you should respect people when they visit. They are your guests.

Jacci P. says "Approach and presentation are the keys. Rude or not rude. We do not smoke so I can relate to going to a smoker's house. However, my first gesture would be to open my home to avoid it as it still lingers and my eyes are sensitive. However, I don't think it's rude to ask and explain your family is not accustom. If they are true friends, they will understand.

Barb V. says "We don't smoke and don't where there is smoking so we would simply not go to that home. Sorry but true. The pet lives there, we don't. It's their home and their choices so we must make our own choices. You can always enjoy your friends' company in places other than the home.

Wilma K. says "I totally agree with you that if you have guests you should go out of your way to make them feel comfortable but I think it is rude to go into another person's home and expect them to change their life to make you comfortable.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to answer on Facebook and Twitter!

So what do you think? Is it rude or acceptable to make requests when visiting someone else's home?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Dino Paint App Now Available on iOS, Android and Amazon

Just in time for the holidays, Kuato is introducing their all new app, Dino Paint! Dino Paint is geared towards younger children and allows them to paint one of 24 Christmas themed coloring pages. Each picture features dinosaurs in various Christmas themes and users choose their own paints and brushes to complete their painting. Our 5 year old is really into dinosaurs so he LOVED this app. He is able to operate it on his own which is always a plus and he loves that he can save and even print his finished pictures. Dino Paint is available for just $.79 and is sure to provide your little ones with hours of entertainment and fun and a great way to get the kids into the holiday spirit! With no advertising and no in-app purchases, this is the perfect app for kids! 



As an extra special thank you, for the next 30 days, Kuato is making their Dino Flip game for iOS FREE of charge. This awesome matching game features baby dinos and 4 board sizes with each size being more difficult. Simply turn over 2 cards to try and find the matching pair. This is a perfect game to teach memory recall and visual space awareness. Dino Flip is also Christmas themed so hurry over and download it today on the app store! 





Monday, December 14, 2015

Raising Your Kids Abroad

Have you ever dreamed of moving away and starting a new life somewhere new? This has always kind of been a dream of ours, to move our family somewhere new where our children can experience a different kind of life that they won't get here in the cornfields of rural Ohio. We recently had the opportunity to speak to someone who shared with us why Australia is such a great place to raise a family and we thought it would be fun to share with our readers too! 

Australia is home to Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Great Barrier Reef, Bondi Beach, countless of breathtaking beaches and islands, historic museums and landmarks, and so many other wildlife resources. It’s another world down under! Those are just some reasons why travelers visit the place. More than travelers are visiting and sightseeing however, there are lots of newly married couples that decide to start a family in Australia. Why? 

Australia is a country and continent surrounded by Indian and Pacific Oceans. Some of its known cities include capital Cranberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, and more. 

Why Australia?



Here are some of the reasons why moms (and dads) would want to start and raise a family in the land down under:

  1. Stable economy – when talking about family, of course, you always seek stability. You wish to raise your family in a very stable country wherein you need not to worry about losing job. Australia has a very stable economy. In fact, it is continuously growing which is the number one reason why families decide to migrate here. It will give you that protection and relief feeling that you hope for your family. In line with that, there are many job opportunities waiting for you.
  2. High minimum wage – minimum wage in Australia is a lot higher than the minimum wage in the US. Some people may say that the cost of living in Australia is pricey. Yes, it is indeed true but once you start receiving your paycheck, you will forget about it. It is all because the minimum wage salary is a lot higher that it can compensate to your basic needs plus wants. 
  3. Very good climate – another advantage of living in the land down under is the perfect climate. The air is fresh too, which is perfect for the kids and adults.
  4. Superb public school education – moms are particular about the education of the kids, well, you do not need to worry about that when you move here. The quality of public education is one of the best in the entire world. It will give bright future for your kids.
  5. Top of the line healthcare system – they are also proud of their healthcare system which expats can also enjoy. 
  6. Parks everywhere – another reason why you would want to start a family in this country is because of countless beautiful parks everywhere. Whether you are living in the North, South, or East side, you will find a beautiful park to let your kids play.
  7. Beautiful beaches – for parents who love the beach and who love to surf, Australia is a haven. You can find many wonderful coasts to surf to like the Gold Coast, which is considered as Surfers Paradise, Byron Bay, Margaret River, or Bells Beach, Victoria among many others. You can have wonderful adventure every weekend!

These are just some reasons why Australia is a perfect country to live with the entire family. In case you’re also planning to move to this beautiful country, there are display homes in Brisbane by Lend Lease. It is located in a beautiful and amazing community with nearby parks and other establishments perfect for raising kids and family. 

Have you ever had the desire to pack up the family and move somewhere else???

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Teaching Kids to Save Money

Do you often daydream about making your kid a self reliant and financially wise individual? Or have you always thought it would be good if your child were street smart but aren’t really sure of the means and ways of making it happen? Well, if your answer to either of the above asked questions is yes, then you’ve certainly landed at the right place. Of course, parents wish the best for their kids and want them to grow into wise adults but do not always undertake the necessary steps. And the most helpful exercise that you ought to implement today in order to make your child a successful and financially sound grown-up is to teach him or her the art of saving. 


Saving money is an essential part of adulthood, but it's also quite dificult to develop as it takes a lot of time to become a habit. That's why it's best if you try and teach this very basic custom to your kids from an early age. No matter how old your child is, all you need to do is take a few steps to make him or her aware of the importance of money and, more importantly, the benefits of saving it. Show your children the rules of frugal shopping, which might involve coupons. There are mulitple ways you can save with those, as you can easily find them on the Internet at websites such as Discountrue.com or other useful services and shop at your favorite stores such as Kohl's. For instance, you can make learning into a game and teach your kid the rules of bartering by exchanging coupons for his favorite video game or extra playing time. Make sure they don’t become the victims of exorbitant pricing policies and schemes.
Besides of that, there are a number of ways that one can use to teach their kids the art of saving money, a few of which are enlisted below:
  • Discuss money and let your kids participate in this discussion
Discussions about money and finances are a common feature of every household. In order to make your children more aware of money and its relevance, it's good that you involve them in this important talk. There is an ample chance that your kid might not get half of the things you tend to discuss about saving and investing but this exercise would make him or her aware about how imperative the presence of adequate finances is. Let them annoy you with their innocent questions and see how quickly they grasp all the information you bestow upon them!
  • A playful way to earn and save
Giving pocket money doesn’t always teach your kids the value of it or the benefits of savings, because it has got nothing to do with his or her efforts to earn that currency. The best way of teaching your kids for real is by giving them the chance of earning the same. You can, for instance, assign them small house chores such as dusting the furniture or washing the dishes and reward them with cash. Once they realize the amount of hard work that goes into earning money, they’ll surely learn to spend it wisely.

Once your children are introduced to the sweet results that savings yield, it should be extremely easy for you to teach them all about frugal living and make that a habit for good!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Kmart's Ridiculously Awesome Fab15 Toys for the Holidays



Holiday shopping is in full swing across the country and if you have children on your list, you might be wondering what the hottest toys are this season. As a Mom of 5, every year is such a struggle to put gifts under the tree that my kids will actually enjoy playing with so it's important for me to find the latest and greatest toys that are age appropriate and fun. If you are having the same struggle this year, look no further. Kmart has you covered with their Fab 15 Toys of the year. We were thrilled to receive all 15 of these toys and there was no shortage of fun around here as our children sorted through and decided what to do with all of the fun. They were in Toy Heaven! Ultimately we allowed them to keep one thing each and we used the rest for our family charity, Project Hope, that provides toys to needy children during the holidays! 





The Kmart Fab 15 include the following toys: 



Ages 1-2


Playskool Sesame Street Play All Day Elmo by Hasbro: Interactive with over 150 responses! This was our little gal's choice of course. We are HUGE fans of Elmo and this is probably one of the best one's I have seen in the 13 years I have been a Mom! 





Ages 3-5


Hot Wheels Ultimate Auto Garage By Mattel: Speedy cars and spiraling trucks made this our 5 year old's top choice out of the Fab15. He has been a lover of all things cars since he was big enough to walk and Hot Wheels never disappoints! 


Imaginext Ultra T-Rex by Fisher-Price


Paw Patroller by Spin Master: Comes with Ryder and ATV! We love Paw Patrol so this is definitely a great gift if you have a fan in your house. 


Disney Frozen Sing Along Elsa Doll by Jakks Pacific

Vtech Kiddizoom Action Cam: This is SO cool. Our adventurous boys are always doing tricks on their bikes and skateboards and recording with a cell phone so this would be perfect for them! 

Star Wars Signature Lightsaber by Hasbro


Zoomer Kitty with Toy Mouse by Spin Master: Kmart Exclusive; purrs, plays and pounces! Our younger kids thought this was a great choice since mean Mommy and Daddy won't let them get any new pets right now! I would happily consent because this one is super cute. 


MONOPOLY Here and Now by Hasbro: A real world twist on a classic game! This is a family favorite and has been for years. I love when they come out with new themes and this one is super cool! 


Monster High Boo York Floatation Station with Astronova Doll by Mattel (Yes, she really floats!) 




Ages 6-8




Holiday Auburn Barbie 2015 Doll by Mattel (Kmart Exclusive)


FurReal Friends StarLily the Unicorn by Hasbro: Responds to both voice and touch! 


NERF Zombie Strike Doominator by Hasbro: Our boys LOVE Nerf so both of our older boys fought over this one. It comes with 24 zombie darts and was an add-on to our 10 year old's list after his older brother snagged it first. We will have to put in a word to Santa that he needs to pick up an extra gift before Christmas!


Hulk Smash RC Vehicle by Jakks Pacific: This was a close runner-up for my 5 year olds favorite picks from the Fab15. Hulks swinging arm tackles roadblocks and anything else that gets in his way. 



Ages 9+


LEGO Friends Popstar Stage Show: Dazzling Livi owns the stage with this fab toy that is perfect for girls aged 7-12. 




These are truly some of the hottest toys of the year per my kiddos so if you still have shopping to do, you will definitely want to put some of these on your list. Each year we have the opportunity to make Christmas a little bit brighter for several families in our community so we were really excited to receive the Fab15 toys from Kmart. There are going to be a lot of smiling faces on Christmas morning thanks to all of these goodies. 

Hurry to your nearest Kmart or hop over to Kmart.com to snag some of this year's Fab15 toys!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Educational Toys from Learning Resources #HGG15

My kids have a lot of toys but my favorite are those that not only can they have fun with but they can learn from at the same time. As a mom of 5 with a background in education, I know that children learn best through play so I do my best to make sure our game closet is always full of games and activities from Learning Resources. 

Gears-Pet Playland ($39.99) Ages Pre-K+



I love the Gears! Gears!  Gears! line. This particular set includes 83 pieces of mix-and-match pieces featuring 4 pets, 2 ferris wheel carriages, a teacup, airplane and so much more. Children can watch as the rides spin with a twist of the gear handle and since the pieces are mix-and-match, the possibilities are endless. Each set is also compatible with the other Gears! Gears! Gears! sets so the fun and imagination never has to end. 




This is one of our 5-year-olds favorite toys. He loves it because he can use his own critical thinking skills to create unique marble run with the long, short and curved pieces that are included in the set. He uses our refrigerator and spends countless hours moving the pieces around to ensure the marble can make it from the top to the bottom. This set includes 14 magnetic foam pieces, 4 marbles and 10 activity cards. 


Create-A-Maze ($29.99) Ages 5+

This is another great toy that uses critical thinking skills. Players build their own maze with the curvy, colorful pieces by following designs on the 10 activity cards. After the maze is complete, players told the board and guide the 4 balls through the obstacles and into the goal. 

What I love about all of the toys from Learning Resources is that they truly are kid-friendly. Our 5 year old can assemble and play any of the above toys with minimal supervision/help. This is such a great thing for him as he tries to find independence like his older siblings. Often times he doesn't want me to assist him because he's a "big kid now" (so he says!) so it's great that he can play these on his own. If you are on the lookout for great toys this holiday season, we recommend Learning Resources!!! 

GIVEAWAY

One lucky reader is going to win their choice of one of the toys above!



*Products for review and giveaway were provided by the company and/or representing PR firm. All opinions belong to the owner's of this site* 



Friday, November 20, 2015

Graco Nautilus 80 Elite 3-in-1 Car seat Perfect for Holiday Travel #HGG15



It's so hard to believe but Addy is already 6 months old which means it won't be long before we will be transitioning to a bigger car seat. The thought makes me both happy and sad. I hate that she is growing up so fast but lugging around a growing baby in an infant car seat is a struggle that all Mom's can relate to. Our little gal is starting to crawl and is definitely ready to be on the move so carrying her around in an infant seat is not so fun for me anymore! Making that transition is a big deal because I want to invest wisely in a seat that is safe, comfortable, and one that can be used for a long time. With our now 5 year old, we have already purchased 3 different seats for him as he has grown (infant seat, forward facing seat and now high back booster seat) and that can be super pricey, especially when you have multiple young children. This is why I was elated when I was introduced to the Graco Nautilus 80 Elite 3-in-1 Car Seat. This top rated seat can be used from 22-80 pounds as a 5 point harness seat then transitions to a high back booster from 30-100 pounds and eventually a backless booster for kids from 40-120 pounds!!! This is truly the last car seat we will ever need for miss Addy.




*Simply Safe Adjust harness allows you to adjust the harness and headrest together as your child grows without rethreading 

*Fuss-free harness allows for easy in and out

*Personal cup holder and storage compartment

*$199.99 Retail Price

*Can be used from 22-120 pounds

*3 position recline

*Steel reinforced frame

*One-hand adjustable head rest

*EPS, energy absorbing foam

*Rigorously crash tested for safety

*Fabric covered, contoured armrest


After having 5 children and using many different types and brands of car seats, this car seat is cream of the crop. If you are ready to transition your baby to a regular car seat, we highly recommend the Nautilus 80 Elite from Graco. 

GIVEAWAY

One lucky reader is going to win a Nautilus 80 Elite car seat of their own! ($199 value)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Product for review and giveaway were provided to us by the company. All opinions belong to the owner's of this site*