Category - Reviews

Tips for Younger Children with Eyeglasses

Last year Lil’ C mentioned she was having a hard time seeing things in her Kindergarten classroom. Little did I know there were several signs that I brushed off that were pointing to her needing glasses. After a visit to the eye doctor, I realized that Lil’ C’s headaches probably weren’t related to allergies but most likely from eye strain.

While I was glad we went to see the eye doctor I wish I would have figured out that C’s eyes were bothering her sooner. Regardless, we found out that her eyes only need a little bit of help as her eye muscles are still developing. The ophthalmologist said this is a pretty common issue with children in this age group.

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Isn’t she cute?!?!

Since I’ve never needed glasses I wasn’t sure how to properly clean them or wear them. Luckily we’ve learned some great tips on eyeglass care for children that will help C take care of her glasses.

 

“If they’re not on your face they’re in your case.” This was a rhyme that C was taught to ensure that her glasses go in a safe place when she’s not wearing her glasses.

These days having glasses is “cool” and everyone wants a chance to wear them, unfortunately it’s also an opportunity for your child’s glasses get broken. Role play with your child scenarios where they learn to be comfortable saying, “no” to their friends when it comes to trying on glasses.

Purchase at least 2 pairs of glasses in case one is broken or misplaced. Of course buying glasses can get pricey so I suggest finding the frame shape for your child and checking out discount glasses websites like the ones we found at GlassesUSA.com. Aside from having a pair that she can use in case one is damaged, we also found that it’s nice for her to have a pair in her bedroom for nighttime reading and downstairs for school work since she’s not required to wear her glasses 24/7.

Have your eye doctor, or another adult show your child the correct way to remove their glasses. Often times Lil’ C will pull her glasses off with one hand causing her glasses to need adjusting and even going as far as bending the screws in her glasses {oops}. Sometimes you have to learn the hard way, but teaching your child is the best way to help their glasses last.

Purchase the protection plan. Trust me, it’s well worth it. See tip #4, C needed a new pair of glasses after bending one of her screws and scratching up her lenses a little, luckily we only had to pay a small copay for a replacement pair.

 

We received a

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!!

 

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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.

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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.

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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}.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

 

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{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

Daddies and Daughters

Growing up not having a father figure in my life I always wondered what it would be like to have a dad. I’m blessed to now have a relationship with my dad, but definitely missed out on all the fun things dads do with their little girls. Maybe that’s why I’ve been blessed with two beautiful little girls and a husband who adores them.

I love watching DaddyB with the girls, seeing how they talk and play and how he makes them feel special. In our house the girls have Daddy-Daughter adventures where they get to spend the day with DaddyB doing some fun things mixed in with errands, it’s quality time that they treasure.

Another annual event that all three of my favorite people love is the Daddy Daughter dance that our school hosts. I love seeing DaddyB and the girls dress up and enjoy hearing all about their night. Last week they were able to participate in this years’ dance.

{Aren’t they awesome!!!}

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They had a great time getting ready. US Angels sent the girls dresses and both of them felt like princesses. The quality of the dresses are outstanding. You can see the details in the stitching and feel it in the material.

 

As Lil’ C twirled around the room, {feeling like a princess}, she made sure to let us know her skirt had 6 layers.

 

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And Miss A, looked grown up in the best way possible. I couldn’t believe how beautiful she is and how she’s turning into a young lady.

 

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If you’re looking for a dress for a special occasion, like formal dances, holiday pictures, fancy parties, weddings, or confirmations, I would highly recommend checking out US Angels, they have great selections for little ones all the way through teenagers. usangels.com


 

At the event DaddyB and a photographer took lots of pictures and I can’t wait to see them all once they’re posted. The best thing is how the girls won’t need pictures to remember these special moments with their daddy.

 

For those of you who have lost your fathers in one way or another, take heart. I pray that you will find someone who will fill that role for you, be able to witness it in your own home as you make your own family, or be able to help others who might be missing out.

 

I received free product from US Angels, my thoughts and opinions are my own.

Make Dull Skin Bright This Winter – Conture Kinetic Skin Toning System

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Conture Skin Care. All opinions are my own.

 

Though it’s taken a while to actually feel like Winter is on it’s way, I think here in North Carolina it’s safe to say that we are feeling the cool air. Even though I love the cooler weather it also brings along some not so great things like dryness that makes my body feel tight and itchy and right about now my face is feeling the effects of the weather change.

 

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I’m noticing dry patches, and breakouts and would love to have clear, glowing skin this holiday season.

I’ve been given the opportunity to try out a product that is painless and something I can do in the comfort of my own home that will help my skin look radiant and more smooth.

 

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Over the next 30 days I’ll be using the Conture Kinetic Skin Toning System. I’m excited to see what the results will be and hope you are too.

For some great skin care products check out their website at Conture.com and for an amazing 25% discount off their entire product line be sure to use the code MommyB25

Kids Fall Fashion Tips – See Kai Run Giveaway

This is a sponsored post/giveaway in partnership with Nakturnal

 

Fall is here and that means more than just pumpkin spice everything. It means it’s time to start switching your kiddo’s wardrobe to long sleeves and pants. This past weekend I started organizing the girls’ closets. Donating clothes that are too small for C and pulling out big sister’s hand-me-downs for Fall. Miss A’s closet is a different story, since she’s the oldest I realized we need to make some shopping trips in the very near future.

 

While Miss A doesn’t love to go shopping, she definitely has her very own style even at the ripe age of 9. Don’t you miss the younger ages when most of the time you could just choose what your child would wear without much input from them?? {I know some kids are born opinionated when it comes to clothes, but I “got away” with picking out clothes for a while with Miss A.}

 

Now that the time is upon us, I figured I would share some of our favorite tips for shopping for Fall clothes.

 

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Head to consignment sales

Fall is a great time to head to the consignment sales, when you’re ready to swap out seasons. A lot of consignment stores and sales will have Fall items at a reduced rate. I’ve been noticing some great specials on some of my favorite consignment stores and at Kid-t0-Kid I can take the clothes that C has grown out of and use the store credit to buy new-to-us clothes for Miss A.

 

Take advantage of online sales

Online resources tend to have great deals right now and if you know your child’s size you’re bound to get what you need at a good price. Plus it’s easier for your child to choose the looks they like without having to head to the stores after school or even worse ….. on weekends!!! Plus aren’t these shoes adorable???

 

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Consign online

If you’re not in love with my first two tips, maybe you can combine them and find consignment choices online. My blogger friend Brittany Dixon raves about ThredUp.com. She uses the service to buy used clothing for her sweet girls and seems to love it. PS, there are other companies who do this as well but I wanted to recommend a brand I’ve heard good things about.

 

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Clothing swap

Sadly, we don’t have too many friends who hand us down for Miss A but C gets some adorable clothes from friends so her closet is always bursting with lots of options for Fall fashion. Some moms choose to host a clothing swap in their home, our school is also great about having uniform swaps, and we pack up boxes to give to our friends letting them know whatever their girls won’t wear they are free to donate or give to a friend.

 

Since sometimes updating your child’s Fall wardrobe can get a little pricey, I’m giving away a $50 giftcard to help you out.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We’d love to hear from you! What are your favorite tips for updating your child’s closet or switching seasons???

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.

 

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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!!!

 

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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.

Health Tips for Families in the Fall

This is a sponsored post.

 

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As a parent, it’s important to encourage healthy habits for the whole family. Many American children aren’t getting enough exercise or adequate nutrition, leading to serious health problems later in life. To instill a healthy lifestyle for your children, here are some great tips:

 

Get Moving

Due to an increasingly sedentary way of life, most Americans aren’t logging nearly enough hours of physical activity. Both children and parents usually sit at a desk for up to eight hours per day, so it’s extremely important to add in physical activity whenever possible. With the cooler weather that Fall brings it’s great to take a stroll around the neighborhood or explore a new wooded trail and watch the leaves change colors with the entire family. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, and when you’ve gained a bit of fitness, see if you can increase that goal to 45 minutes or an hour. To mix it up, try taking a few group classes like yoga or cycling.

 

Make Breakfast a Priority

Busy families often find it difficult to make breakfast in the morning. If you and your kids currently skip breakfast entirely or opt for something quick like sugary cereal, do your best to re-think your breakfast habits. A healthy breakfast doesn’t need to take a long time to prepare. In fact, you can prepare overnight oats the night before and have a delicious and portable breakfast ready to grab on the way out the door. Similarly, Greek yogurt topped with nuts, cinnamon and ground flax seed is a fantastic choice that takes under five minutes to prepare and hits the spot with Fall flavors. By feeding your children a nutritious breakfast, you’ll rev up their metabolism and keep them full and focused for a challenging day at school. Of course, breakfast is the most important meal of the day for everyone, not just kids. Set a good example and make sure to pack breakfast for yourself, as well.

 

Pack Your Lunch

School lunches are notoriously high calorie and unappetizing. Instead of spending money on lunches that your child most likely doesn’t enjoy, pack a lunch. This way, you’ll know exactly what went into the lunch, and you’ll rest assured that it’s fresh. Easy lunch ideas include lean meat sandwiches on whole grain bread with low calorie, low cholesterol hamptoncreek mayo, and apples are at their peak right now, so try adding few different types to your child’s lunch. For more meal ideas, visit Hampton Creek’s Facebook page or website.

 

Plan Meals Ahead of Time

Busy schedules demand foresight to avoid falling into the trap of eating out every night. When you’re tired from a day at the office and taking the kids to extracurricular activities, dinner is often the last thing you want to think about. While eating out is perfectly acceptable in moderation, you should aim to cook dinner at home most of the time, as restaurant meals are known for their huge portions and high calorie foods. The weekend is generally a good time to sit down with the family and decide on meals that you’d like for the week. Once you’ve mapped out dinners for a few nights, involve the whole family in meal prep. This will encourage kids to feel comfortable in the kitchen, setting them up for meal planning success in the future. Fall is also a great time to use your slow cooker, easy for little ones who are helping, and great for the busiest of days. Once you’ve made a few dishes, you’ll be able to freeze them for low-stress dinners for the upcoming week.

 

Make Mealtime Special

It’s often tempting to grab TV trays and head for the living room at dinnertime. However, eating in front of the television can quickly lead to overeating. Instead, make it a priority to sit down together as a family away from the distraction of technology. Family bonding time while eating a meal that you’ve prepared together is a great way to stay involved in your kids’ lives, as well as promote healthy eating and portion control.

 

Promote Responsibility With a Garden

Many of us aren’t aware of where our food comes from. If you’d like to save money as well as reduce your carbon footprint, start a garden in your own backyard. Start small, with just one or two crops. It takes time to hone your gardening skills, but once you get going and enjoy some success, you’ll be able to branch out and expand your garden. Gardening encourages more outdoor time for both kids and parents, and children will learn respect for the earth and cultivate a greater sense of responsibility. Caring for a garden is a lot of work, but the payoff is well worth it. Fall gardens can yield some of the tastiest and healthiest vegetables.

 

No matter what season these tips can be so valuable in helping your family create a healthier lifestyle. Consider changing your current habits to those above or adding in small changes that will benefit the whole family.

 

Leave a comment: Which of these tips will you work on? Do you have any fun fall health tips to add???

Classroom Central Hijacks First Day of School Pictures – Guest Post

You know those first-day- of-school photos where smiling kids proudly hold up signs to commemorate the big event? Parents often post those pictures on social media to share their joyous moments and celebrate what it means for their children to go to school.

 

Classroom Central launched its first social media campaign, featuring those same first day of school photos of disadvantaged children showcasing troubling statistics to raise awareness.

 

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As you can see in the sign, low-income students are seven times more likely to drop out and three times as likely to be unemployed.

 

The campaign was developed pro bono by Eric Mower + Associates, and it’s designed to get people to donate money and school supplies to low-income students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

 

Right now, the poverty level forces many teachers to spend an average of $500 to $1,000 of their own money each year to provide school supplies for low-income students. Classroom Central helps further. It provides paper, pencils, folders and other materials to more than 82,000 kids, helping support teachers from 200 schools in six districts.

 

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The goal this year is to supply children with a total of 1.8 million of those basic tools. Every monetary donation is matched by The Leon Levine Foundation.

Will you consider giving to the Classroom Central Fund? How about sharing this blog post to raise awareness?

Check out more details here: Classroom Central and consider how you can help these low-income children, their teachers, and impact our community.

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.

 

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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.

 

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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.