Tag - moms

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.

 

30 Days of Conture Skin Enhancement

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

 

If you read my post a couple months ago you learned a little about the Conture Skin Care system. If you haven’t read it feel free to head HERE.

As a busy mom, who gets little rest and takes better care of her kids than herself {are some of you relating right now?!?!}, skin care isn’t the first thing I think of. However, with the New Year and taking a look at things I’d like to improve in my life my health and self-care are at the top of my list. Though I struggle with mommy-guilt I know taking care of myself is important and that includes my skin as well.

I have so many friends who have had skin cancer scares or even have had surgeries because of skin cancer and while using this system and other skin care products won’t directly effect health concerns, taking care of your skin will help you be more aware of any changes in your skin and noticing any areas of concern.

 

After 30 days of trying out the Conture Kinetic Skin Toning System here are some things I love:

  • The instructions and online “How To Use” sections are very easy to follow
  • Different settings for more delicate areas of your face
  • Painless way to care for your skin
  • The three serums Kinetic, Kinetic AM, and Kinetic PM feel great going on and are dry clean {meaning they’re not sticky or tacky to the touch, which I LOVE!!!!}
  • The system is wireless so no having to plug it in
  • Great for travel use
  • Really works, check out my before and after results

 

I feel like my skin is smoother and healthier, can you see the difference?

{Sorry about the different lighting same camera same room, *unedited photos.}

The only thing that I didn’t really like about the system is that it did take some time, especially considering the fact that my skin care routine took 5 minutes or less a day, again, if skin care and self care are something you are trying to work on or something you value for your overall health and beauty as well, it’s important.

You are worth the short amount of time it takes to use the Conture Kinetic Skin Toning system, trust me.

For more information on the Conture Skin Care system, visit their website at Conture.com and for an amazing 25% discount off their entire product line be sure to use the code MommyB25

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.

 

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!!

 

holiday-gift-guide

 

Favorite Kid Reads

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

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

 

Favorite Tech

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

meem-tech-gift

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

Favorites for Her

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

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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.

giving-soaps-gift-basket

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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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

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.

 

conture-kinetic-skin-toning-system

 

 

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

Unsettled

As we draw near to closing out 2016 and I reflect on my life this year I can say without any uncertainty that this year has been the year I’ve most felt Unsettled.

unsettled

 

I know the reasons I’m unsettled, my mom {who I was very close with, talked to sometimes several times a day} suddenly passed away in February. That, I’m sure is the biggest reason I’m unsettled. When someone you have such a strong bond with and someone you’re used to being a part of your daily life is all of a sudden not there it makes a huge impact. It feels as if something is not quite right. I look at pictures and phone messages and there’s a hole. It’s just not right for her not to be here. Though I have peace that I will someday be reunited with her in the Kingdom of God, I miss her. I know there will be times when I can flip through photo albums and talk about her remembering the funny and sweet moments, I see glimpses of that now. But at this moment in time, I’m just not there yet.

One thing that has been a blessing through losing my mom is that my brother and sister and I have grown closer. Death can do funny things to family, it can tear you apart or bring you closer and we are the ones that have control over that, we choose to move forward or look behind us. My only option is to move forward, I don’t have it in me to spend time on anything other than that. Life is fleeting.

I know that life is so precious, and not guaranteed to us. I hate that I have friends and even my own husband who have lost their parents before me and will lose their parents after me; spouses, children, family members and close friends. Mourning isn’t easy and the closer you are to that person, at least for me, the more I feel broken.

So, I turn to God when I don’t have words to pray, but He knows my heart. I spend time with friends who understand because they’ve “been there” or care enough to “be there”. I enjoy my family, taking in the moments knowing full well that the days we have been given are gifts. I linger outside while walking the dog, closing my eyes and feeling the wind blow on my face, thankful that I have breath.

I never used to be afraid to die because I have hope that I will live forever in God’s Kingdom. Now, I guess it’s not fear as much as not wanting to leave people behind, I know what it feels like to be left behind. Yet instead of dwelling on what could be in the future I do try to live in the now.

I’m not quite there yet to be honest, I’m broken, unsettled, filling up holes with the One I know who can repair my heart and soul. If I didn’t have my faith I’m not sure how I would make it through. If I didn’t have my family I’m not sure how I would make it through. If I didn’t have my friends I’m not sure how I would make it through.

As milestones and firsts pass sometimes I’m not sure how I make it through, but I know that I do and will continue to and this feeling of being unsettled probably won’t completely leave me, but I think that’s okay. I try to remind myself it would be more unnatural not to miss my mom than the feelings I have now.

So day-by-day I turn to the things that help me settle. I pray that if you are feeling unsettled that you too can find your peace, in faith, family, friends, nature.

An Introduction to Something New – Highly Sensitive Person

If you’ve never heard of Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) you may think I’m just talking about people who cry at commercials or don’t know how to take a joke, well believe it or not being a HSP isn’t about that.

According to Dr. Elaine Aron, the authority on HSP, at least 15-20% of animal species including humans are highly sensitive. In her book The Highly Sensitive Person, she takes a researched, in-depth look at highly sensitive people.

Just as no two people are alike, no two highly sensitive people are alike.

 

This quick test taken from The Highly Sensitive Person website:


Is this you?

Are you easily overwhelmed by such things as bright lights, strong smells, coarse fabrics, or sirens nearby?
Do you get rattled when you have a lot to do in a short amount of time?
Do you make a point of avoiding violent movies and TV shows?
Do you need to withdraw during busy days, into bed or a darkened room or some other place where you can have privacy and relief from the situation?
Do you make it a high priority to arrange your life to avoid upsetting or overwhelming situations?
Do you notice or enjoy delicate or fine scents, tastes, sounds, or works of art?
Do you have a rich and complex inner life?
When you were a child, did your parents or teachers see you as sensitive or shy?

To take the self-test or read more about HSP check out: hsperson.com


 

**Before I continue about what my experiences have been please note I am continually learning more about HSP through Dr. Aron, online groups, and daily life. I am certainly not a medical professional or an expert on HSP.

 

highly-sensitive-person

 

 

I stumbled upon HSP while looking for some tips that would help one of our daughters with some mild anxiety, little did I know, this discovery would make the past several years so much clearer as a parent and help me understand myself as well.

On my blog and social media channels I’ll be sharing my experiences with HSP both as an individual who is highly sensitive and as a mom raising two highly sensitive children. I hope that you will join me and share your own experiences as well.

 

Whether it’s someone you love who is highly sensitive or you yourself are highly sensitive or even if you’re just trying to understand others in this world, I encourage you to check out the many resources available, here are a few of my favorites:

 

Any Highly Sensitive Person books, specifically for parents – The Highly Sensitive Child

Sensitive and Extraordinary Kids

Happy Sensitive Kids

and also search Highly Sensitive groups on Facebook as well.

 

How about you? Are you familiar with HSP? Are you or someone you know an HSP???

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.

 

kids-fall-fashion-tips-mommyb

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???