Category - Charlotte

The B Family Moves Again

Some of you may remember when we moved just two years ago this past Summer. We were able to sell our home to a company that would turn it into a rental, which was a blessing because otherwise we would not have been able to sell that house for anything close to what we owed.

We moved into a beautiful home in a county where taxes are lower and while the area was a little more rural than our previous home it was also quieter and a much nicer neighborhood, plus we were close to the girls’ school.

We hadn’t originally planned to move, we actually were missing entertaining space for birthday parties and hosting gatherings, and in figuring out pricing for a screened patio, we realized that money could also go towards a downpayment on a home closer to school friends and DaddyB’s work.

That brings us to today. We moved into our new home this Summer and construction on some major structural issues began right away, little did we know though that this house would be our “fixer upper”.

I pride myself on having an eye for detail, however in our walk through we missed a lot of touches that we didn’t think about having to fix/replace. So here we are, working on project #1,264 of our new/old house, and while it’s draining mentally we’re also making this home our own.

I can’t wait to share with you the projects we’ve taken on ourselves and the changes we’ve been blessed to hire contractors for. None of the projects were funded or sponsored by brands, but can’t wait to share our experiences, good and bad.

How about you?? Are you working on any home projects? Comment below I’d love to hear your stories!!!

A Few Of Our Favorite Things Holiday Gift Guide

These are a few of our favorite things…

This Holiday Gift Guide edition features lots of our favorites and we know you will love them too!!

 

holiday-gift-guide

 

Favorite Kid Reads

Do you have a superhero lover in your family?? Downtown Bookworks has some pretty awesome book collections for your DC Comics loving kid! While Miss A is partial to Marvel, the new DC Superhero Girls series has definitely caught her eye. Here are some great DC books you’ll definitely want to pick up this holiday season.

mommyb-holiday-gift-guide-dc-superhero-books

 

Favorite Tech

The MEEM Memory Cable is GREAT for those who don’t always remember to back up their phone. It’s easy to use and backs up your phone every time you charge. The MEEM App gives full control; your personal data remains safe in your hands and inaccessible to anyone else.

meem-tech-gift

MEEM is available for Android (16gb / $49.99) and iPhone (32gb / $69.99) and on Amazon

Favorites for Her

I love a good picture of my family and can’t wait to get some pictures up on the walls of our new home. Diamonds in Ice features a great line of really unique glass photos at great prices. I especially love their coasters and ornaments great for gifts for mom or grandmom, pet lovers {or anyone really}.

diamonds-in-ice-picture

Anything from Kristin Schmucker, she has beautiful devotionals, awesome mugs, and even pretty jewelry all infused with inspiration for a grace-filled day. If you subscribe to her emails she has some pretty great deals too. Head over to:  thedailygraceco.com

Favorites for Him

If your guy is a fan of football, especially Texas football then Pigskin Rapture will be a great gift for him. Pigskin Rapture: Four Days in the Life of Texas Football by Mac Engel and Ron Jenkins is a first-ever, one-of-a-kind, 360 degree look at the athletic and cultural phenomenon that is Texas football, and launched the new Lone Star Books imprint this fall. This book is just under $13 right now on Amazon. Click the link above to purchase through my affiliate link.

 

pigskin-rapture

Favorite Stocking Stuffers

I love heading to Etsy for stocking stuffers. The creations that people come up with are a great addition to fillers. Depending on how big or small you go for stocking stuffers here are some great sites.

Vintage Stamp Jewels – pretty delicate pieces

One More Sunshine – adorable custom clothes pins

CurioPress – fun designs {love their stamped pencils}

BumbleFly N ButterBees – awesome handmade wooden toys

 

Favorite Charities

I love companies where you can purchase a gift and in turn you’re also giving to a charity. Giving Soaps is one of those small companies that is using their business to help others. They sell great, quality items that are organic and smell heavenly! Shipping is free and they always use recycled products to ship. This is a great gift option for someone who is very earth-focused.

giving-soaps-gift-basket

 

Sometimes giving to charity is a better gift than receiving a physical gift. Our family currently sponsors a little boy named Haftom in Africa and I’m so thankful that we have enough to help someone else in this world out. Whether you gift someone else the sponsorship or decided that your whole family will sponsor a child I personally recommend World Vision. {There are a lot of other amazing places to sponsor a child, I can only vouch for World Vision because we use their services.}

Thanks so much for checking out the holiday gift guide. Have a blessed holiday season and remember giving is where your heart is, not what gift you buy.

 

While this list could go on and on with loads more ideas we want to hear where your favorite places to shop and what your favorite items are this holiday season. Leave a comment, feel free to leave a link!!

 

I received samples of some of the above products, but was not paid for my opinion or inclusion on this list. The above companies and products are all things my family and I would recommend organically.

Outback Steakhouse and Bonefish Grill Open in Concord North Carolina – #Giveaway

This is a sponsored post and giveaway. Any opinions expressed are my own, honest thoughts.

 

If you are a local to the Charlotte/Concord North Carolina area you may have noticed the construction right outside of Concord Mills mall. Outback Steakhouse ® and Bonefish Grill ® are pleased to announce that they are both open for business.

 

Bloomin Brands Grand Opening of Outback & Bonefish Grill at Concord Mills Mall on 11/7/16 by Carolina Portrait Designs

Bloomin Brands Grand Opening of Outback & Bonefish Grill at Concord Mills Mall on 11/7/16 by Carolina Portrait Designs

 

Tony Reynolds, Managing Partner, Bonefish Grill says,“We look forward to serving the Concord community at the bustling Concord Mills Mall.” “Our hospitality goes far beyond our restaurant’s front doors and into the neighborhoods we serve and we’re thrilled to invite everyone to come in to sip and savor the winter season.”

 

While Concord Mills has a number of great restaurants already these two additions will give an added variety and provide more sit down restaurants for the whole family. Personally, I love the Outback Steakhouse ® and Bonefish Grill ® brands and as a person with food allergies can attest to the professionalism that these restaurants go to to ensure each guest matters.

 

bloomin-onion1

 


{Check out my post on Dining at Bonefish Grill with a Shellfish Allergy}


On that note, I strongly encourage you to consider these two restaurants as the holidays approach. Not only are they convenient for shoppers, but also provide a great meal when cooking is the last thing on your “to-do” list.

Outback Steakhouse ® is open from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Sunday – Thursday and 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Friday – Saturday. Bonefish Grill ® is open from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Monday – Thursday, 11 a.m. – 11 a.m. Friday – Saturday and 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Sunday.

Oh, and if you want to buy me a stocking stuffer I hear Outback Steakhouse ® and Bonefish Grill ® have gift certificates for purchase.

Speaking of gift certificates and giving, I’d love to give away a $50 gift certificate to your choice of either restaurant:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bouncing Around with Sky High Sports Charlotte

Before school started the B girls and I were invited to bounce our hearts out at Sky High Sports in Charlotte. I must admit this was our first time ever at a trampoline park and… we LOVED it. The girls had so much fun with the many activities within the building I secretly wish they had a location close to our house.

We not only had a great time but we think you should check it out too. Sky High Sports features a freestyle jump court, a foam pit with rope swings, laser tag, ropes course and more. The girls loved the freestyle court and foam pit and Miss A even got a chance to play some laser tag.

 

skyhigh-collage-mommyb

 

As a mom I love the diversity of a place like Sky High Sports. It’s great for taking the kids for a day of play, perfect for bouncing away some energy on a rainy day, fun for a playdate with a group of friends, and they also offer birthday/event packages not to mention field trips and fundraising nights for your school or homeschool group.

Overall the staff at Sky High Sports was very well trained and attentive watching for safety among the kids who were bouncing and playing. I wasn’t worried about the girls playing in different areas of the facility in fact, Sky High offers an open lounge area with televisions to check in on your children if you’re chasing more than one around.

This local venue caters to families with children of all ages and even has Airobics classes for adults. We love that we can have friends of all ages come play with us and know that everyone will have a good time.

We can’t wait to go bounce at Sky High Sports again, maybe you can join us!!!

 

sky-high-clt-bounce-mommyb

 

Check out Sky High Sports’ Website –  clt.skyhighsports.com for hours and details.

 

This is a brand review, we received admission to check out Sky High Sports in order to give our opinion about their services. This post features honest thoughts and opinions about this venue.

It’s an Art Party Review – Charlotte

If nothing else is true it’s that the B girls {myself included} love a good arts ‘n crafts project. Even better why not invite our friends to join us for an art party. Robin from It’s an Art Party was awesome enough to reach out after hosting a party with our friends over at Best Crowe’s Nest.

 

It's An Art Party Logo

 

We know what it’s like to be new at school having switched schools two years ago and always love to host Summer play dates and get-togethers so the returning children can see each other and new students can meet their classmates before school starts to help the new school jitters. As soon as Robin approached me I knew this would be the perfect fit for an art party.

We chose a couple art activities that Robin offers, {for her full list check out her website at itsanartparty.com} and rented a park pavillion. Though we had a little windy weather, the kids had a blast and Robin was a great instructor, teaching them some new techniques most of them had never used before.

The kids had a blast watercoloring using salt and their creations turned out so pretty.

 

It's An Art Party Salt MommyB

 

It's An Art Party Watercolor MommyB

 

The kids were also able to make some fun bubble paint creations, the wind made this a little more challenging but the kids loved this art activity.

 

It's An Art Party Bubbles MommyB

 

It's an Art Party Fun MommyB

 

Overall our get-together was a big success, the kids had a great time creating fun art and running around on the playground while socializing with new and returning classmates. I am so thankful that Robin was able to come and give the class a memorable back-to-school experience.

 

It’s An Art Party specializes in birthday parties, but you can hire them for any of your upcoming events. We really loved Robin’s care and instruction, and best of all set-up and clean-up are a part of her services.

 

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own, honest words. Your opinions may vary.

Awesome Kids Eat Free Deal & Giveaway

Disclosure: I’m proud to partner with O’Charley’s Restaurant + Bar for this opportunity. I am being sponsored to help lead this campaign, but all opinions expressed are my own, and all claims and details shared can be verified by O’Charley’s Restaurant + Bar.

 

I definitely owe O’Charley’s Restaurant + Bar a huge thank you for giving this mom a much needed break. As we prepared to get ready for school AND are the middle of a move, my mind has been in a bit of a haze. Remembering my to-do list, and making sure the girls have everything they need for school leaves me more forgetful than I like to be.

I am so thankful that O’Charley’s is offering, (in my opinion), one of the best Kids Eat Free promotions I’ve seen. We experienced this first hand when we headed to our local O’Charley’s one busy day before school started.

 

Kids Eat Free O'Charley's

 

In the midst of packing up school supplies and getting ready for Back-to-School night {where the girls would meet their teachers}, I decided it would make life so much easier to grab dinner out. The four of us headed to O’Charley’s to take advantage of their Kids Eat Free promotion.

The girls loved the kids menu selections and ended up with the #1 kid staple: pizza. DaddyB and I added a side of carrots (not included in Kids Eat Free deal) for each girl, and their drinks were included, of course they chose the pink lemonade.

 

Kids Eat Free O'Charley's MommyB

O'Charley's Kids Eat Free MommyB

For the adult meals, we could have gone the money saving route and ordered regular entrees, but since the girls ate free we decided to choose menu items that were on the pricier side {although all the meals were pretty affordable}.

I got the NEW Filet Mignon with Garlic Butter which was amazing and DaddyB chose the Fresh Cedar-Planked Salmon. He loved his dish just as much as I loved mine and of course the girls were very happy with their meals too.

The food was great the service was fantastic and during Back-to-School season, it is one less thing to worry about. I think it’s fair to say that we are all very thankful for this awesome promotion.

O'Charley's Kids Eat Free Promo MommyB

 

Whether you’re looking to save time (think not having to cook, or clean dishes) or money (for every one adult entree you receive one complimentary child’s entree) O’Charley’s is making it easy for families to dine-in during the back-to-school season. Make sure you head to your local O’Charley’s between now and September 5th to take advantage of this awesome deal.

 

O'Charley's Gift Card

Also as promised… I’m giving away one $50 gift card to O’Charley’s so not only can you get your kids meals free, but you can also treat yourselves as well.

 

How to WinComment between now and September 1st, 2016 with the entree you would like the most and the entree your child would like the most. If you’re feeling generous you can share this with your friends. All you need to do is be 18 years old and a U.S. Citizen. 

O’Charley’s Back-to-School – Kids Eat Free Promotion

Disclosure: I’m proud to partner with O’Charley’s Restaurant + Bar for this opportunity. I am being sponsored to help lead this campaign, but all opinions expressed are my own, and all claims and details shared can be verified by O’Charley’s Restaurant + Bar.

 

School supplies shopping, Meet the Teacher, haircuts, doctor’s appointments, and the list goes on. Any of these tasks sound familiar as the 2016-2017 school year is about to begin? I know we have checked off some items on our to-do list, but have a few more things looming over us before the girls start their first day of 1st grade and 4th grade.

 

I love when companies understand parents, especially during hectic times like Back-to-School. O’Charley’s Restaurant + Bar is one of those brands, brands that are making it easier to make it through long days by offering Kids Eat Free now through September 5th.

 

Kids Eat Free O'Charley's

 

You may be thinking, “okay, so what, a lot of restaurants offer Kids Eat Free nights“, but this is not your average promotion. O’Charley’s is offering free kids meals to guests all day, every day during their promotion. The only “rules” are it’s dine in (of course) at participating restaurants and one free kid’s meal for children 10 and under with purchase of adult entrée.

 

The O’Charley’s kids menu offers a variety of choices from the more traditional dinner items like the Kid’s Burger or Cheese Pizza to more unique options like Mini Corn Dogs and Bite-Size Shrimp. This promotion is available at all O’Charley’s restaurants with the exception of the Nashville International Airport location.

 

 

Next time you’re out running errands or heading to Back-to-School events be sure to drop in to O’Charley’s for a quick bite without breaking the bank. For more details on the Kids Eat Free promotion, or to check out other food offerings, head to O’Charley’s website: Ocharleys.com 

 

Also, be sure to subscribe or check back often for an upcoming post featuring the B Family’s experience with O’Charley’s and Kids Eat Free and a giveaway!

 

 

Getting our House Market Ready – Window Genie Review

The Bullocks are moving to Charlotte!

Lately our family has been getting our current home market ready and as we do so we want our home to look amazing for buyers. Our awesome realtor has helped us with staging the home, we hired a carpet cleaner to freshen up some areas in the house and recently Window Genie of Concord paid us a visit.

 

NEW WG Gold

 

Most homes around this time of year need a little cleaning and our home is no different {other than the fact that we want it to look extra nice for potential buyers}. We were introduced to Window Genie Concord and they helped us achieve a beautiful, clean looking home.

If you’re not familiar with the company, Window Genie offers a huge selection of services whether you are getting your home market ready or just want to maintain your home’s curb appeal.

Mark from Window Genie came to our home to survey areas that were in need of care and give us a recommended plan of action. We chose to have the North side of the house, North side of our inside fence, and both front and back patios/walkways powerwashed.

While they were here Mark and his team went above and beyond to make sure our home looked amazing.

Here are some before and after pictures:

 

Window Genie Patio MommyB

 

Window Genie Siding MommyB

 

Window Genie Fence MommyB

 

(No filters were used on any images but as you can tell the direction of the sun changed between photos.)

As you can see the results speak for themselves. Mark and his team were friendly, and professional. One thing I really loved too is that they moved and put back all the furniture that was where they cleaned saving me time to complete other tasks on my ever growing to-do list.

I love how clean the house and fence look and know whoever decides to tour the house will notice as well. We are so happy we worked with Window Genie to help get our home market ready. I’m already making a list of tasks for Window Genie for our new house to make it look just as great as our house now.

 

 

If you want to check them out, they’re a national company, and I can personally recommend the Concord branch. concord-nc.windowgenie.com

Mention MommyBKnowsBest to Window Genie Concord location and receive 10% off!!! 

 

I want to know: What are some things you’ve done or services you’ve used to make your house market ready??

This is a review for Window Genie services I did not receive compensation and all opinions are my own, honest thoughts.

CVS Curbside Pickup

This is a sponsored post in partnership with CVS/pharmacy.

If you’re a busy parent I guarantee that saving time is a top priorities. During the summer months finding ways to make errands shorter not only help me spend more fun time with my girls but also helps leaves me less stressed.

Ever find yourself dreading going in the store? Yeah me too! Sometimes you have a sleeping baby you really don’t want to wake up, sometimes it’s a battle to justify getting everyone in and out of the store, and other times I’m under the weather and just wish I could just stay in my car with my sniffles.

Whatever reason you dread going into the store help is here.

I recently discovered CVS/pharmacy’s new Curbside Pickup, a really cool, time-saving feature.

Here’s How It Works:

Head to the CVS Mobile app or the CVS website. Find a location near you and follow the instructions for Curbside Pickup to start shopping.

 

CVSPharmacy App

 

After processing your order CVS will text you that your order is ready and send you a pickup pass to use once you get to the store. (You can also track your order.)

 

CVS Curbside Pickup Processing MommyB

 

Typical transactions may take around an hour to fill.

Once you receive the text that your order is ready head to the CVS you placed your order with and find the CVS Curbside Sign like this:

 

CVS Curbside Pickup Sign MommyBKnowsBest

 

Then you wait for your order to be brought out to your vehicle.

The CVS employee scans the pickup pass and your transaction is complete.

Quick Details:

· The service is currently available in 3 select regions (with plans to roll out later on): Charlotte, Atlanta and San Francisco

· To use the service, customers can choose from thousands of non-prescription items through either the CVS Mobile App or website, and have them delivered curbside at a local CVS Pharmacy location within an hour

· No markups or added costs (LOVE this!!!)

· You can link your ExtraCare number to your CVS.com account and earn quarterly ExtraBucks Rewards and receive weekly ad sale prices on CVS Curbside Pickup orders (please note: item pricing will vary by store)

My Experience:

 

CVS Curbside Pickup Purchase MommyB

 

The service is awesome. It’s easy to shop and add your items if you know what you’re looking for. You can check out their featured items, search by department, or the search bar allows you to find exactly what you’re looking for.

During my use I put an item in my cart that wasn’t available at my local store. The system texted me right away letting me know I had to update my order and the store even called to clarify. Though they’re working out a few bugs I know I get the service of a live person at the store who is working hard to ensure my satisfaction.

I realized a couple of the items I had in my cart were on sale either with coupons from my ExtraCare Card or the store’s regular sale prices. Yippee!!

 

CVS Express Pickup MommyB

 

 

After placing my order I received the text it was ready within about 10 minutes.

 

CVS Curbside Pickup Ready MommyB

 

We hopped in the car (really I could have taken them without shoes or in their jammies since we didn’t have to get out of the car, hooray!!!) Once we pulled into the CVS parking lot my sister timed how long we waited for our items and it was under a minute!!! I was pretty impressed, and the service was excellent.

Seriously, doing this every time I shop would be a huge blessing. I love that CVS is starting this service and hope that more places follow suit. Now I can grab sunscreen on our way to the park if I forget it or order medicine for a headache and snacks for the kids while I’m running errands. Because we all know even the most well-behaved kiddos sometimes have a hard time “running into the store” and sometimes we just “don’t wanna”.

What’s Cool for You

· READERS/FOLLOWERS: Get $10 off your first curbside pickup order, no minimum purchase – using the code: 10CVSCURBSIDE (Expires 8/7/16)

***This code can only be used within the CVS Curbside service feature within the CVS Pharmacy app.

GIVEAWAY:

CVS/pharmacy is giving 3 lucky readers a chance to win a $50 CVS gift card. All you have to do is try out CVS Curbside Pickup and tell me about your experience. You can post a comment here, come post a picture/comment/video on my Facebook page @mommybknowsbest, tweet me @mommybknowsbest using #cvs and/or @cvs_extra, post an instagram picture and tag @mommybknowsbest @cvspharmacy #cvs, send me a snapchat @mommybknowsbest. I will be choosing the 3 best posts on July 31st, 2016 so be creative and don’t forget you have to try the service in order to be chosen to win a giftcard.

**Must be over 18 years old to enter.

 

I can’t wait to hear how your experience with CVS Curbside Pickup goes. Don’t forget, no minimum purchase required using the CVS app and code here in this blog post AND document and share your experience on any of the above mentioned social media platforms to win!!! 

Advent Ideas for the Whole Family

I know Advent has already started! I can’t believe it’s December already, not only because it was 70+ degrees here in North Carolina, but also because I don’t feel like it’s time for the end of this year. {Tell me I’m not the only one in this boat.}

In lieu of Advent, one of the most awesomest times of year that we get to celebrate the birth of Jesus and show even more love and kindness to those around us, our family likes to honor advent and count down the days until Christmas with a paper chain filled with fun activities and thoughtful acts as well.

Advent Ideas for the Whole Family MommyB

 

Here is our list {in no specific order} of things on our Advent chain.

  • Make a gingerbread house
  • Decorate the house {inside/outside}
  • Donate Food to a local food bank/cause
  • Make homemade presents
  • Wrap presents {with Christmas music and snacks of course}
  • Christmas Craft
  • Invite someone to church
  • Watch Christmas Movie {movie marathon or movie night}
  • Have a holiday playdate
  • Make a birthday cake for Jesus and sing Happy Birthday
  • Send Christmas Cards {kids help address, stuff, stamp}
  • Take gifts to civil servants, doctors, etc.
  • Head to our favorite botanical garden {we love Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens}
  • Visit a {live} nativity {we enjoyed Billy Graham Library’s festivities}
  • Read Christmas stories from the Bible and check out some great books our family likes to read.
  • Write a letter to Jesus {and leave it under your tree or read aloud and share as a family}
  • Go caroling with some friends in nearby neighborhoods or Senior Assisted living communities
  • Drive through your neighborhood or a neighborhood that’s known for it’s lights display
  • Make paper snowflakes and then display them
  • Help your child make or purchase gifts for their classmates {we made play dough one year}
  • Help your child make or purchase gifts for their teachers
  • Send a care package to missionaries, {we’re going to send ours to the Yon family}
  • Celebrate St. Nicholas Day, which just so happens to be my birthday. {Believe it or not the real St. Nicholas focused on giving more than receiving and so this day we plan on doing something kind for others}
  • Have a secret Santa with family or friends but instead of giving gifts write thoughtful notes or draw pictures.
  • Have a neighborhood night in {invite neighbors for yummy food and great fellowship}

Again, those are only a few ideas and the ones we’re using this year, it’s easy to find other ideas online as well.

 

I’d love to hear if you celebrate Advent and how you celebrate it. Also let me know if you decide to use any of these ideas too!!

Matthew 1:21 “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

 

Happy December!