Category - Reviews

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.

 

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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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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.

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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

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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. 

American Girl: WellieWishers – Learning Important Values

I’d like to introduce you to WellieWishers. American Girl’s newest content & doll lifestyle brand.

The lively group of WellieWishers friends–Willa, Kendall, Ashlyn, Emerson, and Camille–imagine and play in an enchanted neighborhood garden supervised by Aunt Miranda. Through their heartwarming and humorous adventures, the WellieWishers help a girl to learn how to “stand in another person’s wellies” to discover the skills of empathy, kindness, and compassion that will help her be a good friend.

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Available through American Girl channels, the line includes their first-ever animated series based on the WellieWishers characters, plus digital play experiences, early chapter books, and a line of adorable 14 1/2-inch dolls (retail $60) and garden-themed accessories that help bring the characters and their stories to life for young girls.

Like a lot of friends and girls around A and C’s age, we like the American Girl brand. Admittedly, we don’t have many American Girl products, not for lack of a great brand, it’s just not something we’ve been really into. We have a doll we purchased from a friend, some accessories from the Grand Opening at SouthPark, and have bought some books for our girls that came highly recommended from other bloggers and parents (I love, “The Care and Keeping of You” younger girls version). What we are HUGE fans of however are great values shared in a way that our kids can relate to. This is exactly what the newest addition to the American Girl family represents.

I let Lil’ C choose which of the WellieWishers she wanted and she chose Camille. C, our aspiring fashion designer (for people and pets) said, “I like her sense of fashion.” Camille is indeed dressed adorably, she, like her fellow WellieWishers each love different things and Camille’s favorite thing is the ocean. Of course her ensemble reflects that with her ocean colored top and skirt coordinate and her Wellie boots stand out as cute fish.

 

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The girls were ecstatic to see Camille in her box and couldn’t wait to open her up. I love how neatly the doll was packaged and back story of the WellieWishers that is included.

 

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As a mom of biracial girls I love that the dolls are different ethnicities and can totally see the WellieWishers expanding even more because of how inclusive American Girl seems to be with their other products. I think in general it’s great for kids to play with lots of different dolls to highlight how different our world is.

Along with Camille, we also received three books for review, Ashlyn’s Unsurprise Party, The Riddle of the Robin, and The Muddily-Puddily Show.

 

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My favorite aspect of the books is that it’s inspiring our kids to not only play with these adorable dolls, but that it’s okay to love nature and getting dirty, it’s not always a bad thing to change plans to include a friend, and also how to get along with friends when situations don’t turn out as planned. To me, these lessons are so valuable for our children to learn at a young age and I love that American Girl recognizes this need and is addressing it in a fun way.

The illustrations and storyline in the books are easy to follow and really engage the reader. I also love the Parent section at the end of the book with words of advice, a quick note about the story, and activities and crafts to expand on what your child has read.

Lil C who is 6 really loved these books and was easily able to explain to me what happened in the books and how the WellieWishers solved the problems they were faced with.

 

Overall, we really love the WellieWishers brand and love that the line has a lower price point. It definitely helps when you are encouraging your children to pay half or full-price for the things they want as well. Not to mention the positive messaging and age appropriateness that I think American Girl always instills.

 

How about you? Who is your child’s favorite character? Do you have a WellieWisher? Which one??

 

We received review product in order to give our honest thoughts and opinions, this is not a paid or sponsored post.

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!