Tag - family

Keep Your Sanity During Holiday Travel

As an ambassador for Rayovac I have been compensated for this blog post. All thoughts and opinions on the products are my own.

Travel during the Holiday season can be a bit overwhelming. Add some children (maybe even a bitty baby), maybe a pet, inclement weather, traffic, construction, and the stress level can be almost unbearable. Trust me, I’ve been there!

Here are some tips on how my family stays sane during Holiday travel, {hope they come in handy!}:

Keep Your Sanity During Holiday Travel MommyB

It’s electric! Boogie Woogie.

{great now I have that song stuck in my head} Seriously though, we’re not HUGE screen time parents on your average day, but a 4+ hour trip, especially those longer than 10 hours call for some sort of electronic play, at least in our car.

This can be tricky though for several reasons, but here are a few tricks to keep a handle on the situation.

1. Charge EVERYTHING up before you leave. The night before or the day of your trip get your charge on.

2. Bring extra batteries. I recommend Rayovac Alkaline batteries because they’re a trusted brand name AND hold charge just as long as their competitors plus they’re a lower price, great for energy sucking travel toys. **

3. Set time limits on electronics (don’t let the kiddos play on screens for several hours on end or you’ll have crabby kiddos).

** Rayovac has some great coupons available for even greater savings on their already low priced products! Head to the Rayovac Facebook page to unlock them!!

Rayovac Coupons

 

MommyB Happy Traveling Baby

Baby Love

1. If possible, it’s best for someone to sit next to baby. It’s easier (and safer) than stopping the car or trying to reach back.

2. Plan for several stops for feeding and changing.

3. Consider buying a car-safe musical toy or mobile to keep baby entertained on the ride. Bring some extra batteries just in case!

Keep Sane During Holiday Travels MommyB

Game Plan

Decide ahead of time what games and activities you’ll bring or use to keep the kiddos occupied.

1. Of course this varies by age, but we like to bring mini dry erase boards for them and us to write words, draw pictures, and do math problems {bonus points for fun learning}.

2. Other great activities for kiddos are counting cars (choose a color and get counting), car bingo (find great printables on Pinterest), I spy, and any versions of animal, mineral, vegetable (we use nouns – person, place, thing).

3. Plan to stop at interesting places along the way. It can be planned (preferably) or impromptu, but this will give the whole family a break and if it’s an activity something fun to do, and if it’s just a beautiful scenic rest stop something to talk about on the rest of your trip.

 

What tips and tricks do you use to keep your sanity during Holiday travel?

 

Whatever you come up with for your family’s travel plans, just make sure you enjoy it. Not every second will be the most fun or memorable, but taking the good from what can be mundane is what truly builds up our family time.

Safe travels this Holiday season!!!

This is a sponsored post on behalf of my partnership with Rayovac. All opinions and thoughts expressed in this post are my own, yours may vary.

Diabetes Awareness Month Tips and Savings

This is a sponsored post in partnership with The Motherhood.

Did you know November is Diabetes Awareness Month?? According to the CDC, more than 29 million Americans have diabetes and even more that don’t know they have it. That’s a lot of people! If you aren’t personally affected by diabetes I bet you can think of someone who is.

I’ve seen people living with diabetes all my life.I grew up with a couple of children who had Type 1 diabetes and required an insulin pump and shots. In my own family, my mother had Type 2 diabetes {praise God has not been diabetic for years because of weight loss and healthier living}, and my father-in-law who passed a couple of years ago had diabetes that left him with several diabetes related conditions.

While it’s never something you want to hear that people have to live with, there are ways to modify your diet and supplements/medications that can help manage diabetes.

Diabetes Awareness Month Tips & Savings #ad

This month Johnson & Johnson is focusing their HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® program on helping manage the effects of this disease. They’re also offering up to $35 on select items at healthyessentials.com and I’m so thankful for this program!

 Here are some tips and products to help with areas of diabetic concern:

1) Supplements may support overall health.

2) You may be concerned about plaque and gingivitis, so healthy oral care habits are essential.

Product recommendations:

Listerine UltraClean for Diabetes Awareness Month #ad

LISTERINE® ULTRACLEAN® Dental Floss, Shred-resistant dental floss stretches, flexes and slides easily between teeth. MICRO-GROOVES® Technology removes 2x more plaque than Glide® Mint Floss.

LISTERINE® ULTRACLEAN® Mouthwash,– The only leading mouthwash with an anti-tartar ingredient and new EVERFRESH™ Technology for a dentist clean feeling that lasts up to three times longer vs. brushing alone. Has the clinically proven plaque and germ-killing power of LISTERINE® Antiseptic.

3) Lotion or cream such as LUBRIDERM® can help moisturize your skin. Talk to your doctor before use.

Product Recommendation:

LUBRIDERM® Daily Moisture Fragrance-Free Lotion, Replenish and moisturize dry skin. It’s fragrance-free, fortified with Vitamin B5 and skin-essential moisturizers. The clean-feeling, non-greasy formula absorbs in seconds and moisturizes for hours – in fact, it’s clinically shown to moisturize for 24 hours.

4) Check with your doctor; your wounds should be treated immediately. 

Product Recommendations:

NEOSPORIN® Original Ointment, For over 55 years, NEOSPORIN® products have been the gold standard for all your minor cuts, scrapes and burns. NEOSPORIN® Original Ointment provides 24 hour infection protection and may help minimize the appearance of scars.

BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages, America’s #1 bandage brand covers all your wound-protection needs. BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages have covered and protected minor cuts and scrapes for millions of people over 90 years.

5) Currently one in three American adults have pre-diabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. One of the most important steps you can take to lower this risk is eating well to maintain a healthy weight.

Product Recommendation:

Splenda for Diabetes Awareness Month #ad

When used to replace sugar, SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener Products can help people with diabetes reduce their intake of carbohydrate and calories. SPLENDA® Sweetener Products can contribute to a healthier lifestyle by helping to reduce calories from added sugar, and can be used almost anywhere sugar is used, including cooking and baking.

 

Whether you’re pre-diabetic, diabetic, or just wanting to make some healthy changes in your life all of the products above will get you on the right track. Don’t forget for extra savings head to healthyessentials.com to save on things that will help make this month the healthiest month for you and your family!

 

This post is part of the HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® 2014 program by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. and The Motherhood, who sent me a box of products and compensated me for my time. Opinions, experiences and photos shared here are all my own, and I hope you enjoy them.

Third Party trademarks used herein are trademarks of their respective owners.

Showing Kindness with #KleenexCare

Care Package #kleenexcares
I did some acts of kindness with Kleenex® Brand products as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars #KleenexCare

 

For our family November is a time to be thankful for all that we have in our lives. That includes special people like our friends, neighbors, and family. Sharing Kleenex® Brand Tissues. is an easy way to show you care especially now that cold and flu season is here. Kleenex® is a small act of care with major impact.

 

Acts of Kindness with Kids #kleenexcares

 

Acts of Kindness:

Consider creating a Care Kit for those less fortunate.

We try to keep a care package or two in our car for people in need that we see in our day-to-day travels.

 

Care Package #kleenexcares

 

The bags include hygiene products like toothbrushes, bandaids, and of course we put some Kleenex Brand Tissues in as well. Sometimes we include some non-perishable foods like granola bars as well. These bags are very easy to make and leave a lasting impact when you hand them out too! Plus the kids love getting involved in making them.

Another act of kindness that the B girls love being a part of is packing Christmas boxes for children overseas.

Christmas Boxes #kleenexcare

These boxes can only contain certain items and Kleenex Brand Tissues are a great addition for the hygiene category, plus the travel packs are the perfect size. Lil’ C’s school is packing them up this month and she was so excited to add them to fill up her box for a little boy.

Packing Christmas Boxes #kleenexcares

 

Now it’s your turn to join the “Share the Kleenex Care” movement.

Here are some ways you can partake in acts of kindness this month and share the care of Kleenex with others:

We all know that it’s no fun when you need a tissue and there’s none to be found.  It’s easy to leave a package of Kleenex Brand tissues where there aren’t any.

or

Create a quick and easy get-well basket for a sick friend or neighbor, filled with soup, Kleenex Brand Tissues (because Kleenex softness is a catalyst for showing kindness and care), and other healthy remedies. This will brighten their day and help them to get the rest and care they need.

Head to KleenexCare.com to find out how your acts of kindness can make a difference and get ideas from others doing good deeds.

What are some ways you show that you care??

 

 

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Socialstars and Kleenex Brand. All opinions expressed in this post are my own, honest opinions. 

Grand Opening of the NEW American Girl Store Charlotte Sneak Peek

The NEW American Girl Store at the Southpark Mall in Charlotte, North Carolina opens this weekend, Saturday, October 11th – Sunday, October 12th.

The B girls and I were invited to the store today for a sneak peek before opening day. Here are some photos of our visit:

American Girl Charlotte Sneak Peek MommyB

NEW American Girl Store Southpark Charlotte Visit MommyB

The new 12,000-square-foot retail site, located in Charlotte, North Carolina, features a fun, casual environment where girls and their family members and friends can shop for their favorite American Girl products, browse a great selection of books in their bookstore, enjoy lunch and dinner, or an unforgettable dessert in the Bistro, treat their doll to a new ‘do in the Doll Hair Salon, and celebrate birthdays or other special events.

American Girl Store Charlotte Salon MommyB

 

American Girl Charlotte bitty baby & Bookstore MommyB

 

American Girl Charlotte Beforever Collection

 

American Girl Store Charlotte Bistro MommyB

 

Details for the Grand Opening can be found on their website: American Girl Charlotte. If you’re interested in attending this weekend I highly suggest being prepared ahead of time and plan on spending hours at the mall. If you make it a day-trip it will definitely make you and your kiddos a little happier, bring activities, and plan to visit other locations in the Southpark Mall to make the time pass quicker.

 

American Girl Charlotte Grand Opening on MommyBKnowsBest

 

American Girl Store is at Southpark Mall, 4400 Sharon Road, Charlotte, NC 28211. The best entrance to park next to is the Macy’s wing of Southpark Mall and you’ll find the store as you walk to the Mall entrance on the second level. {You won’t be able to miss it.}

In all we loved learning about the history of American Girl, enjoy the wholesome values and character that this brand brings to keep our daughters young as opposed to some products available on shelves today. While the cost of an American Girl doll can be higher than some customer’s budget there are options to purchase accessories, mini versions of their favorite dolls, or a great incentive {like my girls are doing} to save up their money by doing chores and birthday dollars.

Have you ever been to an American Girl store? Will you visit the NEW American Girl store in Charlotte, North Carolina? 

 

 

This is not a paid post, I attended a media event upon request from American Girl. All opinions and thoughts are my own honest words. Your experiences may vary.

PodKeeper’s New and Improved Website and Twitter Party

As a proactive mom I’ve always felt that being scheduled and organized, while allowing for some flexibility has really helped me manage the busy-ness of parenting. As my girls get older, they have more responsibilities and activities that I need to handle and without a way to track it all, I’m often found missing out on an event or forgetting items.

MH900446326

Of course I have several Facebook groups, email threads, group text messages, newsletters, {and the list goes on} for each activity and event, but to be honest, that in itself can be a little overwhelming. I find myself wondering, did I post the thread? did I write that down in my calendar? and racking my brain just as much as if I had no system in place.

When I heard about PodKeeper I was super excited about a website that could handle my groups, events, forums, calendar all in one central location. My excitement drove me to offering social media services to PodKeeper and I currently work with a great brand, that helps me as a parent, and one that’s product I use and love.

Because I heart PodKeeper, I want you to try this free, online website, not for me, but so you can see how the site can revolutionize your definition of organizing your family.

To learn more about PodKeeper, and some great NEW features, I encourage you to join me for our upcoming Twitter Party. Susan from 5minutesformom.com will be joining us as well!

 

PodKeeper Twitter Invitation

 

Have any questions or comments? Feel free to comment here.

Hope to see you at the party!

 

PodKeeper is a client that I love and hope that you will too. All opinions and thoughts expressed in this post are my own.

Celebrating Fall Food in Charlotte North Carolina

With current temps around the low 60’s {and even cooler at night}, Charlotte, North Carolina sure feels like Fall. While we just kicked off the Autumnal Equinox there’s no hesitating ringing it in with some great food festivals to celebrate harvest time!

Two local venues I have to brag about are celebrating the next two weekends.

7th Street Public Market

First up, this Saturday, September 27th, one of my favorite uptown spots, 7th Street Market is hosting Harvest Fest. From 12:00 noon to 7:00pm you’ll be able to partake in a variety of events.

12:00pm – 3:00pm Daytime events include activities for the entire family: hayrides, pumpkin carving, corn shucking another fun Fall activities.

4:00pm – 7:00pm Get your tickets for Harvest Fest Taste of the Market where you’ll be able to sample Fall fare and drinks from local vendors and enjoy a private concert. Tickets sold HERE at $25 a piece.

Olde Mecklenburg Brewery

Olde Mecklenburg Brewery MommyB

Next weekend Charlotte’s authentic German beer haus; Olde Mecklenburg Brewery {OMB} is hosting their annual Mecktober Fest event. This year’s event will be a two-day event on October 3rd & 4th from 11:00am to midnight.

Come enjoy German beer, food, and music in OMB’s signature authentic style and new, larger location. I can tell you from first-hand experience their beer AND food are awesome, {Though I have yet to try Mecktoberfest}.

There is a $10 entry fee for those ages 21 and up, and $5 entry for designated drivers and those under 21 years old.

 

Make Dinner Easy for You, Yummy for Them, and Healthy for Your Family

This is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.

 

Now that school and extracurricular activities have begun, I often find myself at a loss for dinners. I either forget to put ingredients into my slow cooker, don’t have the right ingredients for my dishes, or end up only having a few minutes to fix something quick.

While my girls are pretty good about being thankful for the food they have they’re still kids, there are times when they don’t love what I’ve put on their plate.

I don’t know about you but some nights I really wish I had it together, so I’m always on the lookout for tips and recipes to make my weeknight dinners easy for me, tasty for them, and healthy for our family.

 

Tips to get your kids to LOVE Dinner MommyB

 

Green Giant Frozen Steamers to the rescue! Green Giant is kicking off the, “Fresh Take on What to Make” campaign in partnership with celebrity chef and TV host Gina Neely, Celebrity Chef and TV Host from “Down Home with the Neelys”.

This program offers expert tips and recipes to make back-to-school, weeknight dinners easier on parents. Gina developed 5 tips for conquering hectic weeknight dinners while making meals that are nutritious and delicious, including “one-pot wonders,” grocery list must-haves and her favorite ways to get kids involved in the kitchen.

In a Green Giant Frozen Survey, they found that more than a third of parents surveyed admitted to forgetting about, or even purposely cutting out, vegetables when crunched for time at the end of the day, leaving them out of meals an average of twice a week. This is despite four-out-of-five (83%) parents agreeing no dinner is complete without a vegetable.

Whether you’re like us and usually get a few veggies in but could always use more or end up missing out on the veggies, you won’t want to miss Gina’s ideas like Quick ‘n Easy Chicken Pot Pies and more. You can get more recipes and chat live with Gina and other parents just like us by joining tomorrow’s Google Hangout.

If you can use some ideas and inspiration come join me – Green Giant and Gina Neely are hosting a Google+ hangout tomorrow, Tuesday, September 23 at 8pm ET. Head here: http://bit.ly/1pkEbnY to RSVP and join me, can’t wait to hear your questions, and suggestions.

 

Green Giant Google Hangout

 

Comment here letting me know if you RSVPed and I can expect to see you! Also visit greengiant.com/easymeals for more meal ideas if you miss us.

 

 

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Green Giant, a brand that our family already loves and trusts and uses. We know the importance of healthy eating and want our friends to get their daily dose of vegetables as well. All opinions and thoughts in this post are my own, yours may vary.

Dining at Bonefish Grill with a Shellfish Allergy

For those of you who don’t know I have a shellfish allergy. I didn’t know I was allergic until I had a pretty severe reaction after eating shrimp at a hibachi grill {twice}. I say twice because the first time we thought it was the oil the grill used, but later found out that the culprit was indeed shellfish.

To be fair, I probably should have known this a little sooner, I have only eaten shrimp in my life once before (when I was in high school) but every time I would peel shrimp to cook for my husband my hands would itch and turn a little red.

For a while I was very cautious of dining out, especially when it came to seafood restaurants, because, well hellloooo. I know sometimes when I ask for my dish a little different at restaurants I’ve had to send them back and eating shellfish contaminated food isn’t something I’ve been willing to risk.

Luckily, Bonefish Grill takes shellfish and other allergies VERY seriously. **Please be sure to tell your waiter if you have allergies before you order.

Dining at Bonefish Grill with a Shellfish Allergy MommyB

 

Your table is “flagged” to ensure that your dishes are safe for you to eat. The staff was very respectful of my allergy and helpful to suggest dishes. Our waiter, who was amazingly friendly, also told us that the pesto dipping oil for the table bread is made from pumpkin seeds rather than pine nuts due to the increase in diners with tree nut allergies. In my opinion, that is very thoughtful of a restaurant to make that concession.

Not only was our wait staff excellent regarding my allergies and recommendations, but the food during this visit was delicious.

If I can give you some recommendations:

Start with the Fresh Watermelon Martini because it’s light and sweet and a great drink that won’t make you feel full.

Next, if you’re in the sharing mood, the Wagyu Beef & Ginger Potstickers are delicious. The sauce and crispy onions help finish off a yummy bite. Kristen from The Playful Mom and I may or may not have devoured these.

For my entree I ordered the NEW 13 oz Rib Eye steak, I HIGHLY suggest the white truffle butter. This steak melted in my mouth, it was cooked to perfection and the truffle butter completed the savory flavor. My sides were equally amazing as I could barely put my fork down for the mushroom ravioli.

Of course we had to try out the desserts, I opted for the creme brulee and Kristin tried the NEW S’mores Flatbread which is all the rage. I actually wish I had swiped some from her when she wasn’t looking. Though in all honest the creme brulee was very creamy and the fresh berries topped this dish off nicely.

I did not have any issues with allergic reactions, our food was outstanding, service was polite and prompt, and my dinner date was pretty fun too.

Bonefish Grill Review MommyB
Even though I can’t eat shellfish, I encourage you to check out some of the great NEW Bonefish Grill menu items as well as their standard favorites: bonefishgrill.com/menu

 

Do you have any food allergies??

Have you been to a Bonefish Grill? Tried any NEW menu items? What are your favorite dishes?

 

 

I received a complimentary meal in order to give you opinions about my experience. This is not a paid post and all opinions are my own honest thoughts as usual. Your opinions and experiences may vary.

Tips for Parenting a Fearful Child

There are many reasons that children are fearful. Some reasons are based on their age, some reasons are a reaction to an event, some reasons are learned, and some are just a part of that child’s personality.

God gives us the exact child(ren) that we are supposed to parent. He knows us and He knows that child and He doesn’t make mistakes.

I remember when my children were full of worry and had fears about bugs, animals, the day ahead of them, I asked their pediatrician if their fears were normal. Each time I asked he assured that it was okay and normal for them to feel the way they did.

Some part of me however felt like I needed to fix them, to take away their fears, and I found myself praying that I could find a solution to calm their anxiety.

God had a solution for me, it wasn’t what I expected though.

God reminded me that He made my children JUST THE WAY THEY ARE for a purpose. I don’t need to “fix” my kids, I don’t need to do anything other than pray for them, thank God for their strengths and realize what I might consider weakness God will bring blessings to His name through every part of them if they allow Him to.

My biggest piece of advice to parents of fearful children would be to remember God is in control and your child His child is exactly as they are meant to be.

There are ways to not change, but helping your kiddos through tough situations. Tools that can be helpful for them and you to use to calm down or remind them also to trust in God include:

Prayer – Help them create a prayer or elements of a prayer that they can say when they are worried or scared.

Communicate – Often times your fearful child may not want to talk when they are afraid, but remind them that you are available to listen and help if they feel comfortable in that moment.

Read – Grab your Bible and find verses on fear and print them out on an index card and post them where your child (and you) will see them.

Online websites, and books have a wealth of knowledge to help you parent and help your child. I especially like God is Always Good, this book is perfect for children ages 4-8 and helps to comfort children through showing different situations where they may be scared as well. I love that each situation also has a corresponding Bible verse that you can remind your child of.

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This is a really sweet book, and I really enjoyed reading it to my girls, but also the communication and questions that came up as we were reading were invaluable. Kids can even read to each other!

 

Tips for Parenting Fearful Children

{Read a few pages HERE and Buy your copy HERE}

 

Also enter here to win your copy:

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
TommyMommy-new1

 

As a Tommy Mommy I received a copy of this book. I am not compensated and all opinions expressed in this post are, as usual, my own.

Five Whole Years and a Change for the Better

5 years ago today I wrote my first blog post on MommyBKnowsBest.com. My goals were to:

1. Review products by giving my opinions and have “cool stuff” that Miss A could play with.

2. Do a job outside of being a mom {which was awesome, don’t get me wrong}, but blogging was something that would fulfill a different part of my life.

 

Here was my very first blog post on this website:

 

MBKB First Post

 

Since 2009 I have worked with a ton of amazing people, had some experiences that I would have never had if it wasn’t for blogging, and felt the fulfilment that I was looking for when I first began blogging.

As each year of blogging passes I’ve tried to assess my goals and I believe the site has grown and developed in a way that was what I had imagined in my head. With your help, I’ve gained readers, and friends on this journey and I am very excited about the next part of this adventure with you.

In my 6th year of blogging change is coming.

My goals for myself as a mom and a blogger have changed. I’ve gained insight into what is fulfilling and on the other hand “empty” for me as I spend late nights working. I’ve been able to start saying no to things that are not a good fit and realizing that my time is valuable.

I love sharing my experiences with you and that part will not change, however my experiences, my life, will be shared with more intention behind them. More meaning and less “stuff”. ”

You see somewhere along the way I feel like the “stuff” has gotten in the way. My goals are to be more authentic {though I always put a part of myself in any post I’ve done}, mindful of the things I’m sharing with you, and I hope you’ll find this to be a breath of fresh air, as I know it will be for me.

I will be finishing up some projects and prior commitments throughout my relaunch,  but in the coming months will be excited to showcase my blog not only with fresh content, a new name, and a different mission, but with a great new look that DaddyB is helping me with as well.

I know not all change is welcomed, but I hope that you’ll continue to support the site in your own way, should you feel led.

 

Thank you, I appreciate you and love you and wouldn’t be where I am 5 years later without you.

 

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Blessings!!