Category - Dad

What’s In My Diaper Bag? – Diaper Bag Essentials

This is a sponsored post with Beech-Nut brand, however all opinions are my own, honest thoughts.

 

Let’s face it moms are always on-the-go, whether it’s doctor’s appointments, playdates, or running errands. It’s so hard to try to remember the list of things to bring with you as you scramble to make it out the door. Organization and pre-planning go a long way in the mommy world, and while it’s not possible to plan everything {ie, diaper blowouts, or traffic jams; both equally horrible}, there are some things that you can plan that are easy and will simplify your life.

Today’s What’s in My Diaper Bag? – Diaper Bag Essentials post isn’t an absolute list, it’s a list to get you started in the right direction and allows you to make changes that will fit your family and personal on-the-go needs.

Playtime

The type of toy will vary depending on your child’s age, but generally speaking choose toys that are easily washable. You already know those toys are going straight to the ground. Sophie la Girafe Teether** {pictured above} is a must-have diaper bag toy. She’s easy to find in stores and can be wiped down quickly {don’t use her as a bath toy}.

Some fabric toys that wrap around the carseat or shopping cart are great too. {Always look for machine-washable to save yourself some time and stress.}

Mealtime

Easy travel dining ware, like pop-up bowls and disposable flatware are great for meals on the go.

I also highly recommend easy snacks. We’re pretty mindful of what our kids are eating and compare brands to see which are the healthiest and Beech-Nut** really stands out. Not only are their baby and toddler snacks and cereals real ingredients, but they are super portable and a great addition to your diaper bag essentials.

 

Check out their Naturals™ and Organics™ lines:

 

Don’t forget the two-in-one highchair/shopping cart cover like this multi-colored Eddie Bauer Reversible Cart & High Chair Cover**. We loved ours and highly recommend keeping one in your diaper bag. {Opt for darker colors to hide stains.}

While we are at it, I love these Tommee Tippee Closer To Nature Milk Feeding Bib the unique dribble catcher absorbs moisture and is ideal for drips or teething and they’re reversible as well.

Changing time

Of course diapers and wipes are important, we heart Pampers brand. Be sure to put a few diapers in your bag, get a travel wipes case, and remember to check every so often to refill.

Changing Pads often come with diaper bags but personally I’ve always been hesitant to use them because I feel like they may not be super clean, I typically go with disposable options and you can find earth-friendly versions as well.

Don’t feel like carrying a dirty diaper around in your diaper bag? Yuck! I highly recommend having the handy Munchkin Arm & Hammer Diaper Bag Dispenser & Bags** attached to your diaper bag at all times. It clips on to the strap AND smells great.

 

 

Remember the extra change of clothes for when messes occur, trust me you’ll thank me later.

Mommy time

It’s always nice to have a few things for mom stashed away in your diaper bag. Remember some bottled water, a quick snack, extra clothes, and maybe even some shower wipes to freshen up a bit. If you can sneak a good book or magazine in, GO YOU!!

Healthy time

Disinfect the world. Okay I know some germs are good, but for public places and unexpected stops I love a good disinfecting wipe. Yep, I’m that mom.

You can buy a set of nail clippers, a thermometer, all your baby’s health needs separately, but why when you can get everything in a complete set that comes with a great little bag to keep everything in one place in your diaper bag. Love this set by Safety 1st. Check out their Deluxe Healthcare & Grooming Kit**.

Okay on this last one, I have not personally tried this but feel like I have seen parents in a standing ovation over this health product. Ladies, and gents, I give you the Fridababy NoseFrida® Nasal Aspirator**. Again, people swear by it and reviews on shopping sites are pretty impressive.

 

And don’t forget the cute Oh Joy!® Backpack Diaper Bag** that’s super stylish and just the right size to hold all your essentials and not be overwhelmingly large.

 

So tell me, What’s In Your Diaper Bag? No, seriously, I really want to know! Leave a comment below, can’t wait to see what your must-haves are.

Exploring Love Languages – Words of Affirmation

 

“Words can build you up,
Words can break you down,
Start a fire in your heart or
Put it out.”

 

These are some of the lyrics of the song Words by Hawk Nelson. This has been true since the beginning of the spoken word, even as children we proclaimed in a sing-songy voice “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”. We sang this not because it was true, but as a chant to ward off the pain that some harsh words can bring.

Though everyone is impacted in some way by words, there are some of us that give words great value. This means that discouraging or hurtful words feel even more sharp, and words of praise and encouragement mean the world to us. If it isn’t obvious by the way I’m describing this Love Language, Words of Affirmation is the number one way I feel loved.

 

 

Welcome to another installment of the Exploring Love Languages series on MommyB Knows Best. If you still haven’t read the  or taken your 5 Love Languages test (or test your family/friends) I strongly encourage you to check it out Exploring Love Languages and How to Show Them post.

If you know your love language(s) that will help you understand how you most like to be loved and also be a good determining factor in how you typically show love. Showing love to others is great no matter what way you choose to show it but in some instances love is received best using the love language of those we pour our love into. If we really care, I believe it’s important to get to know not only their personality but their love language as well.

Let’s dive into yet another love language and learn together. Each love language is so unique and I’d love your help, if you fit in the current category or know some great ways to show love using this love language won’t you please leave a comment with some advice?

 

To someone who doesn’t share this Love Language here are some ways to express love to people who value Words of Affirmation:

Use high value words

The words love, grateful, appreciate, proud, special, needed, best are some great words to focus on when speaking with someone who likes Words of Affirmation. Can you think of any others?

Compliment them

Pick something you really like about that person and tell them, it may not come easy to compliment, but will mean the world to them. Also, the more personal and specific you can get the better. Try to compliment them in an area that you know they work especially hard in. For example, if they volunteer a lot it’s likely that’s something they love and will be honored that you think enough to mention it.

Write it down

Words of Affirmation don’t have to be spoken words, they can also be written, whether it’s in a card, text, or a short note these words will be appreciated.

Reader Megan H says, “Words is not my love language but I speak words very well as words is one of my husbands love languages and also my daughters. Simple text each day to say you love them or are thinking of them are great. Also lovers of words like cards and simple notes too.”

As with all Love Languages there are several ways to show love in the way a specific person feels it. These are just a few ways to get you started. Do you have any advice on how to love (or how not to love) a person whose love language is Words of Affirmation?? Share in the comments below and if this is your love language be sure to share this post with others.

The Children’s Place Online Order Cancellations

After needing to update our girls’ wardrobes we did some shopping at The Children’s Place earlier this month. During a special promotion we received Place Cash to spend on purchases at a later date.

Yesterday I took advantage of a quiet moment to order a few things we were still lacking, excited at the great prices and the fact that The Children’s Place carries size 16 in girl’s clothing. After using my rewards coupon and Place Cash I checked out.

This afternoon, however I received an email that my orders had been canceled, which seemed very weird to me. After about an hour on the phone (34 minutes on hold and the other on and off hold with a very polite customer representative), I was told someone had hacked Place Cash numbers and used them from purchases and as a preemptive strike The Children’s Place was cancelling all online orders using Place Cash.

I received an email with new coupon and rewards codes, I’m a little surprised they didn’t offer anything for the inconvenience of having to reorder and being on the phone for so long. Also, I’m a little apprehensive filling up the cart again and also hoping we don’t miss out on any styles/sizes that we were able to “purchase” yesterday. I understand these things happen and the rep at The Children’s Place has been very understanding.

If you are stuck in this same situation, and would still like to use your cash, hopefully you won’t be on hold for the same amount of time, but be sure to call 1-877-752-2387.

 

Please comment here to let us know what your experience was.

Exploring Love Languages – Quality Time

Welcome to another installment of the Exploring Love Languages series on MommyB Knows Best. If you still haven’t read the first post or taken your 5 Love Languages test (or test your family/friends) I strongly encourage you to check it out Exploring Love Languages and How to Show Them post.

If you know your love language(s) that will help you understand how you most like to be loved and also be a good determining factor in how you typically show love. Showing love to others is great no matter what way you choose to show it but in some instances love is received best using the love language of those we pour our love into. If we really care, I believe it’s important to get to know not only their personality but their love language as well.

Join me as we dive into another love language and learn together. Each love language is so unique and I’d love your help, if you fit in the current category or know some great ways to show love using this love language won’t you please leave a comment with some advice?

 

Let’s get started with The 5 Love Languages – Quality Time

 

Quality time is often hard to come by, especially if you consider having to split that time with spouses/significant others, children, friends, extended family. Bit by bit there seems to not be enough time in the day, however if your love language is quality time it’s important to create opportunities to feed this love language.

I personally enjoy quality time though it’s not one of my top love languages, however there are several people near and dear to my heart who hold quality time above other love languages. Here are some tips for getting quality time with those you love. Please feel free to add your ideas in the comment box below as well.

 

Give someone total attention

For a person with quality time as their love language they want your full attention, now that doesn’t mean you have to stare them straight in the eye for hours on end, however it does mean that you make frequent eye contact, be a good listener, and show them you are enjoying time with them.

Do something they love

Sometimes we need to step outside our own interests and hobbies and plan quality time based on what the one you love likes to do. If you’re not sure, do some detective work, check out their Pinterest board, listen to what they talk most about, ask their friends/family. It’s especially thoughtful when that person realizes all you did to find out what they love.

Make an effort

Whether your loved one lives close by or is long distance it’s important to make an effort to spend time with them. While quality time can be a little easier if the person lives close enough to physically be together, this may not always be the case. If you are however miles apart, this means taking occasional trips to visit, making time to talk on the phone to catch up, and with the ease of technology video chatting.

Ok friends, tell me, what are your thoughts? Do you have any advice on how to love (or how not to love) a person whose love language is Quality Time?? Share in the comments below and if you feel loved with quality time be sure to share this post with others!

 

Family Date Night – McAlister’s Deli Kids Eat Free

If you’ve been reading my posts lately you’ve probably noticed I’ve been featuring Love Languages and how we can learn about our own love language as well as how others like to be loved. I’m excited to feature quality time in my next series installment and with Valentine’s Day around the corner have been thinking of ways I can show my family through quality time how much I love them.

Thinking of the things we like to do as a family and activities that have been successful in the past are great ways to figure out what will be good options for family dates. Each family is unique, so I encourage you to sit down and think of what memories you have made and also consider some new family activities that will show love especially to those whose love language is quality time.

 

 

My girls would eat out at restaurants for every meal if that was an option, not just because the food is good, but they truly enjoy being able to sit down and talk as a whole family. While we always make time for conversations with each other, there’s just something about going to a restaurant that gives us more time and freedom to do that.

At McAlister’s Deli they encourage Family Date Nights and we love that because instead of preparing dishes or grabbing something to add to our meal, DaddyB and I can sit and enjoy more uninterrupted time with our kiddos. I mean what better dates could we ask for?!?!

 

 

We love how at McAlister’s Deli they bring the food to our table and clear our place when we are done, and that means more time to hear the funny stories our girls share. Plus, with great promotions like Kids Eat Free night we are able to enjoy our meal without spending as much.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, McAlister’s Deli is encouraging you to have a family date night with your loved ones. Head to a participating McAlister’s Deli near you on February 14th where kids under 12 eat free.

(More details here: McAlister’s Family Date Night)

Love family date nights??? How does a YEAR worth of family date nights sound??! Your family can enter to win today. Head to: McAlister’s Deli Sweepstakes and enter once daily through February 14th, 2017.

 

What are you waiting for? Start making plans for family date nights. No cooking or cleaning but all the benefits of quality time, plus life is too short not to have family date nights!

 

This is a sponsored post in partnership with McAlister’s Deli. Any opinions in this post belong to MommyBKnowsBest.com

Fun and Easy Valentine’s Ideas for Kids

Valentine’s Day is a great holiday to celebrate with kids. My girls love languages are gifts, words of affirmation, physical touch, and quality time, so basically they cover 4 out of 5 of the love languages. If you haven’t heard about love languages check out my blog post on Exploring Love Languages.

 

Because they have different love languages we do a few things both leading up to Valentine’s Day and on the day itself. Here are just a couple new and old traditions that we partake in to celebrate.

Valentine’s Day Countdown – Make a paper chain, calendar countdown, or think of something creative to count your way down to Valentine’s Day. It doesn’t matter what day you start but here are some ideas of what you and your family can do to count your way down to the 14th.

  • Hug someone in your family
  • Read John 3:16
  • Make a craft with hearts
  • Say one reason you love each member of your family
  • Help cook a family meal or treat in the shape of a heart
  • Look at pictures from past V-days
  • Help someone in need
  • Spend time with another family
  • Invite someone to church
  • Color pictures for extended family members
  • Write a letter to a missionary or military family
  • Make Valentine’s Day cards
  • Decorate your home with words of kindness


Valentine’s Day Tree

We found this Valentine’s Day Tree in the dollar section at Target. It was made for the classroom, but I find a lot of great items that we can use at home are teaching tools or made for school. I love how easy it is to love with words of affirmation and kindness using this simple decoration.

 

There’s also something similar on Amazon*, and of course you could make your own as well:

 

Now that I’ve shared a couple of things we do in our home, I would love to hear your ideas for Valentine’s Day. Share how you celebrate by leaving a comment in the comment section below.

Exploring Love Languages – Gifts

Welcome to the Exploring Love Languages series on MommyB Knows Best! If you didn’t get a chance to read the first post or take your 5 Love Languages test (or test your family/friends) head back to the Exploring Love Languages and How to Show Them post to do that now.

If you know your love language that’s great, that will tell you how you most like to be loved and probably be a good indicator of how you typically love others. While I think loving others is great no matter how you do it, you may find that sometimes when you show love it’s not received in a way you might think, of course this could be the product of many factors, but one thing I’ve found is that my way of loving others may not be their preferred way. While we don’t need to “change” everything we do for others isn’t it nice to meet them where they are, especially our family members/children?

I thought it would be great to explore some love languages and gain some insight so we can all love a little better. As my love languages don’t fit every love language, I’ll need your help, if you fit in the current category or know some great ways to show love in this category won’t you please leave a comment with some tips and ideas too? We’re all in this together.

 

Let’s get started with The 5 Love Languages – Receiving Gifts.

 

 

Occasionally I’ll hear that the receiving gifts love language is a greedy one, when in reality I think each love language is valid and important. I’ve been told by several “gifts” friends and family that it doesn’t matter the size or price point of the gift, rather that someone took the time to think of them enough to give a gift.

Here are some gift ideas from across the board, some are free and others are thoughtful and I would love to hear your ideas in the comment section below!!

 

Personalized gifts – Nothing says “this gift is specifically for you” like a personalized gift. Think about something that the recipient will love like a tote bag or a journal and get their name or initials on it. Every time they see or use that item they’ll think of you, it’s a win-win.

We bought this great Summer tote from Simply Personalized for Miss A, and she loves that it has her name written in one of her favorite colors. There are a lot of great websites that will personalize almost any kind of gift.

 

Handmade gifts – This is where you will definitely want to know your recipient, some LOVE receiving handmade gifts and feel they’re from the heart, others will be disappointed thinking you don’t really know them all that well. Hayley M. mentioned to make sure if it’s handmade it’s also something that person will use. This one can be tricky but hopefully the intentions aren’t lost in translation. PS if you don’t feel super handy you can also check out Etsy.com or local vendors for some pretty amazing handcrafted items. I treasure this necklace my sister got me in memory of our mom.

 

Meaningful gifts – When it’s clear you’ve taken the time to really think through gift giving this person’s “love tank” will be overflowing. One tip I’ve found is by peeking at Pinterest boards and other social media sites the gift getter is on to see what that person has been eying. In the past, I’ve also loved making gift giving a game, making a scavenger hunt or completing a puzzle to find the gift. Some people like Jennifer M. Don’t care what the gift is as long as it means something.

 

Themed gifts – Find a theme, whether it’s red for Valentine’s Day or smiley faces to brighten someone’s day, a theme can help you buy gifts when you’re not completely sure of what to get and be a fun gift to give.

 

Things to avoid:

  • giving gift cards unless you know the recipient REALLY wants gift cards
  • missing gift giving special event, especially birthdays and Christmas
  • generic gifts, Megan H says “like coffee mugs because I’ve been gifted so many”, also things like body wash sets, slippers, again unless you know that’s what they REALLY want
  • thinking they don’t like your gift when they receive lots, Hayley M says, “I often choose one gift (unintentionally) that is my favorite and over use it. I will make my way to the others at some point.

 

I’ll admit as an over thinker I often don’t even up giving gifts because I always second guess what I am getting. Will they like it? Is it what they want/need? Will they even care? I’ve come to the conclusion though that we can’t make everyone happy, however we can at least try and our intentions do matter. So please don’t second guess yourself when it comes to gift giving, the effort counts!

 

Is gifts one of your love languages or do you know someone who is? Leave us some tips in the comment area below!!

 

**I received product from Simply Personalized which I chose to write about, this is not a paid or sponsored post.

Exploring Love Languages and How to Show Them

I love exploring personalities and learning more about myself, my family, and friends and why we are the way we are. I feel like getting to know others is so valuable in understanding them, and so important for building relationships. One of my favorite tools is The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

This tool helps you figure out how you and others love to be loved. If you ask me that’s pretty valuable. If you think so too, {I hope if you don’t you’ll think about why it might be a good idea to “step into someone else’s shoes”}, then I encourage you to check out The 5 Love Languages, there is a great website, books, and online resources available.

If you’d like to take the online test, head to The 5 Love Languages Website click “Learn Your Love Language” then select “Myself” or “My child” depending on whose love language you are trying to figure out.

*Note that the site starts quizzes at ages 5, which is in my opinion an appropriate age to start figuring out your child’s love language, if you are trying before this age you may have some difficulty answering the questions, but it won’t hurt to try, just know as they get older you want to retest as some answers may be swayed by maturity and not having certain life experiences.

The five Love Languages, in no specific order are: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. It’s said to be true that more often than not we love others the way we like to be loved. So if you highly value physical touch for example then you are more likely to give others hugs and kisses when you want to show them love and similarly with other love languages.

 

 

On my blog I’ll be starting a series exploring ways you can show love to others using their love languages, because we know it’s easy to love the way we like to be shown love. Hopefully you’ll gain some insight into other love languages and have some easy ways to show love.

 

Fresh Market Charlotte Refresh

This is a sponsored post, however all opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Before last week I had never stepped foot inside The Fresh Market grocery store. With the amount of competition in the Charlotte area amongst the grocery stores it’s easy to choose a chain and stick with it, even if it means sacrificing some things. I know some families will give up quality produce for being able to have a one-stop shopping experience, and I know others who will go to several stores to save the most money. With The Fresh Market’s new features shoppers can enjoy having their most important grocery needs met.

The Fresh Market recently enhanced its shopping experience in several Charlotte area stores.  Along with introducing a new logo, they’ve also lowered prices, and they have also increased product offerings to better serve customers.

I was able to meet with one local manager, who told me about all the recent changes and what to expect from The Fresh Market with the addition of so many great products.

It’s clear that fresh fare remains top priority, {it is of course named after freshness}. The Fresh Market offer an impressive selection of produce, meat, seafood and products from local farmers, and also high-quality items simply sourced from the best providers across the globe. I found out that they wrap and butcher their own meats, and if you’re a chicken lover their $2.99/lb chicken thigh Tuesday is now available at that low price every-single-day.

Stores now provide a larger variety of local offerings throughout the store. As you browse the aisles these items are clearly labeled and easy to spot, great for quick shopping trips. Local produce from farmers across North Carolina {Scott Farm and Lively Orchards} are displayed prominently in the store as well.

In perhaps the most dramatic change, shoppers will now find 1,300 everyday grocery essentials including baby, pet and household cleaning products to supplement the premium, gourmet and specialty items customers have come to love. Expanded product offerings at stores and optimized grocery space accommodate an increased selection of grocery and household items. The Fresh Market has also lowered prices on hundreds of items across the store making shopping both more convenient and budget-friendly.

If you’re looking for a quick bite or heading out for your lunch break, you can now find a new variety of freshly prepared, salads, entrees and wraps.

Select stores feature a new, dedicated sampling stations to offer shoppers the chance to taste flavors from across the store, including the weekly dish from the signature Little Big Meal program.

I personally love the Little Big Meal program where shoppers can easily pick up that week’s featured ingredients conveniently located at the station and whip up a delicious meal at home. Here’s an example of their current offering during my visit:

In addition to all the other great changes, The Fresh Market now offers a more comprehensive destination for health and wellness products with its new Mind & Body department {at select stores}. These areas feature a selection of over 3,300 vitamins, minerals and supplements, as well as a specialist to answer customer questions and offer recommendations.

I personally was very thankful for the clear signage that is present to guide shoppers with dietary restrictions or food allergies. These items include 1,600 organic items, 850 certified gluten-free items and 1,900 certified non-GMO items. I was impressed by how many gluten-free items they offer including many that I had never seen before.

 

The specialty grocer will continue rolling out refreshed stores across the country so make sure you visit a nearby location and take advantage of the great changes!

“The refresh of our stores will place an emphasis on delicious fresh fare, convenience, and health and wellness options,” said Rick Anicetti, president and CEO of The Fresh Market. “The company is investing in what our customers love most about The Fresh Market, while adding new categories requested by our shoppers. We look forward to offering the Charlotte community those special products they always enjoy at The Fresh Market, while adding more options to ensure they can experience extraordinary eating experiences more often.”

Be sure to check out The Fresh Market website for updated deals, specials, recipes, cooking tips and more.

With the level of care that goes into customer satisfaction and the clear regard for their shoppers as seen by the changes to so many aspects of the store, The Fresh Market is definitely a grocery store that is now on my list and I hope that you will consider checking out a location near you, to see how they’ve changed, like me, you may be pretty impressed.

 

Puppy Love Actually – The Dog Who Saved Me

It seems like DaddyB and I went back and forth on whether or not to add a puppy to our family but once we decided we started looking into hypoallergenic breeds. We had our hearts set on a mini cockapoo and started looking online for breeders to ensure that our puppy would be 100% the breed listed because I have horrible allergies and asthma.

In starting our research, and little did we know that our new puppy would come at the perfect timing. In looking at breeds we tried to figure out which breed looked best in glasses and a hipster scarf and ended up choosing a mini schnauzer.

All kidding aside, we saw some great characteristics in the breed and found a great breeder not too far from where we lived. While we were on the waitlist we saw some adorable puppies for adoption through the breeder but we knew we wanted a salt and pepper girl {the most common, gray/white} version. We figured we would wait until April so we had the Summer to focus on the puppy, but God had other plans.

Less than a week after my mom unexpectedly passed away, we received an email that the breeder had 7 puppies and only one was a salt and pepper girl. We were filled with joy which was few and far between and knew she was destined to be our puppy.

Preparing for a puppy definitely kept us busy during a time that could have been even sadder. Though we never realized how much work a puppy is {and let me tell you, it’s a LOT}, I know in my heart that our puppy has really helped me through missing my mom. She’s sweet when I’m in tears and when I need a break from life she always wants to lay down on or next to me and cuddle. And while our entire family loves her {most days}, I think I was the one who needed her and she couldn’t have come at a better time.

 

Meet our sweet, feisty, cuddly, puppy Gracie Mae:

gracie-mae

 

We couldn’t love her more.

mommyb-gracie-collage