Lifestyle * Travel * Food

Mar 30, 2016

College Graduation Is Almost Here #EarnItFrameIt

I can't believe how quickly time has been creeping by since my older daughter started college. It seem like just a few years ago, she was in kindergarten. Chardonnay has had such an amazing school career and she graduates college this year! I go back to her first birthday and recall her reciting the entire alphabet for our guests. It's as if she was born a genius.


She has accomplished so much, and I remember all of her elementary/middle school teachers making it a point of staying in touch with our family to see what she does with all of her talents. She was always one of the top 5% academically at all of her schools. She excelled in her many extracurricular activities including going all the way to black belt status in karate. All of the years of dedication, practice, and training paid off. When Chardonnay goes to her little brother's karate belt tests, the instructor always brags about her to the other parents at the studio. He always shows how proud he is of his past student.


Chardonnay has had great success as a leader in so many areas over the years. She did everything from student government, assignment Australia, broadcast journalism, athletics, piano, Spanish club and Honors Society, and the list really does go on. She has always put her heart and soul into everything she is involved with. Her organization skills would put anyone to shame.

Aside from being a high achiever, she has a good and sweet heart. She is loved by so many people and she gives a lot of her time back to our community. Being a volunteer has been a big part of her life. She is so willing to help others in need and is currently working with a local organization in fundraising efforts to make repairs to their facility. It breaks her heart to ever see people suffering or lacking basic needs.

I have been in planning-mode as far as graduation goes. I really want her to have a grand celebration and nice graduation gifts for all of her hard work. There has been so much to do between setting up for photos, ordering announcements, so many other countless details. One graduation gift idea that sometimes gets overlooked is a college diploma frame. I'm not talking just any diploma frame, but a customized one to protect that hard-earned diploma. When so much hard work is put into earning a diploma, you should want to show it off with pride. There was a recent survey that showed 70% of people did not frame their diploma(s).

How gorgeous is this frame?
Church Hill Classics is a professional framing company that helps graduates and families preserve and showcase those hard-earned diplomas with officially licensed frames. With all of their diploma frames handcrafted in the USA, Church Hill Classics offers an extensive selection of custom frame styles for more than 1,500 colleges and universities. I was so pleased to find a nice selection of University of South Carolina diploma frames for Chardonnay. I was so impressed with how fancy some of the frames were. Many professionals hang up their college diplomas in their office and I'm sure my daughter will do the same. You are not only able to choose the layout you want, but can customize your colors, frame styles and even the protective outer glass to your specifications.

Church Hill Classics is celebrating its 25th anniversary! As part of the celebration, they’re offering 25 winners the chance to win a $100 eGift card. You can enter once per day, starting now! Each week, five winners will be notified by email and posted on Facebook. Sweepstakes ends April 29, 2016 at 11:00 AM EST. Total of 25 winners. Visit this link for more information and to enter.

Church Hill Classics offers some of the best college graduation gifts that are sure to be treasured for many years to come. Follow Church Hill Classics on Facebook and Twitter for product promotions and updates.

This is a sponsored post. Product was provided and all opinions are my own as always. 
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Mar 29, 2016

One Simple Step To Keeping Your Kid's Room Tidy

Do you ever feel like you have to keep nagging repeating yourself over and over again for your kids to pick up their toys? Although William does not have a ridiculous amount of toys, it's not unusual to see them everywhere they shouldn't be. It got me to thinking about ways we can eliminate some and keep his room nice and neat. I came across an old plastic storage bin and the light bulb appeared. I told William that he can pick out his favorite toys and as long as they fit in the bin, (with the lid closed) he can keep them out. I had to assure him that the remaining 4 baskets/bins of toys would be neatly tucked away in his closet and he can swap out toys every month or so. I also let him keep all of his LEGO stuff as long as everything stayed in a container. So far this has worked out beautifully. 


It is easier for William to keep his room tidy and there is no guessing where his mini Spider-Man or Buzz Lightyear toy is "hiding". I don't know why I didn't think of this before! I never have to get on him to keep his room clean. Works for me! Find more great tips, visit ParentsNeed.
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Mar 25, 2016

Make Sure You Are Prepared For The Cold Season With Pfizer Pediatric Products From Target #SickJustGotReal

***CLOSED*** Winner is LaTanya. Congrats~! 

It's Spring and we are in full bloom over here. Aside from seasonal allergies, we know our little ones can suffer from colds just as well. Sick happens without any warning it seems. Your child can go from energetic and happy, to sniffling and coughing within a matter of hours. It is very important that we have medications on hand for those unexpected cold symptoms. Good thing we can rely on the Pfizer pediatric line of products to get our little ones through it all. We can't go without those well-known, trusted brands like Children's Advil®, Children's Robitussin®, and Children's Dimetapp®. They are all available at your local Target stores and are reasonably priced.

Keeping these items on hand along with a couple extra boxes of tissues and a digital thermometer in your medicine cabinet is helpful. There is nothing worse than having a sick child late at night and not being prepared!

Information about Pfizer Pediatric products available at Target:

Ease those aches and pains, while reducing a child’s fever fast with Children’s Advil®, a great solution for kids as young as 2 and up to 11. Children’s Advil® comes in several great-tasting flavors, including: Sugar-free Dye-free Berry, Bubble Gum, Grape, Blue Raspberry, Fruit and Dye-Free White Grape flavors. There’s also Infants’ Advil® White Grape, which provides unsurpassed fever relief with a syringe for easy dosing for children 6-23 months.

Formulated just for kids, Children's Robitussin® DM Day/Night Pack (Children’s Robitussin® Cough & Chest Congestion and Children’s Robitussin® Nighttime Cough) non-drowsy daytime formula helps break up chest congestion, while the long-acting nighttime formula relieves coughs and runny noses to help kids get the rest they need.

All in a great tasting grape flavor, Children’s Dimetapp® Cold & Cough tackles a child’s most bothersome stuffy and runny noses, all while working to relieve cough.
*It is important to remember to always read and keep the cartons for complete warnings and dosing information on Pfizer Pediatric Platform products and to use as directed

I really do love the Children's Robitussin®  Day/Night pack. My husband for some reason (42 years old) still takes Dimetapp®  at night on occasion. He swears by it! Right now you can go to the Sick just got real™ website to grab some money-savings coupons. Also, be sure to follow the Sick just got real™ Facebook page for product updates and promotions.
Great news-- one lucky reader will win a Pfizer Pediatric gift pack that includes Children's Advil®, Children's Robitussin®, and Children's Dimetapp®. Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Pfizer Pediatric Platform products, information, and additional gift pack have been provided by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. All thoughts and reviews are my own.
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Mar 24, 2016

Homeschool Pluses for Families

Online education is becoming very popular, with an increase in growth every year. Children receiving homeschooling do exceptionally well on standardized tests. Colleges and universities welcome homeschoolers, and are known to be self-directed learners and employees which are reliable, as adults. There are numerous pluses for families who decide to have their child participate in an online education.

Closer Family Relationships

Families that have a child participating in eLearning have each stressed how much closer their family relationships have become since beginning these courses. Due to more time being available than with attending a physical schoolroom, parents are able to have more quality time with their children. Siblings tend to have better relationships, spending time together during their online education classes help bring them together in a positive light.


Families with Emotional Freedom

When children are bothered by competition, peer pressure, bullies, and boredom – which are a normal part of the traditional school day – they can bring these stressors home. These stressors tend to lower a child’s self-esteem, mostly in middle-school girls. Studies have shown, online homeschool girls do not have these issues. Their self-esteem stays intact and they continue to thrive throughout their teenage years. When a child experiences these stressors, entire families tend to feel it. With eLearning, there is no stressors to put onto these families.

Remaining Stable During Difficulty

There are some times that families may seem as challenging, and difficult. Possibly an illness, a new baby, or family death, and homeschooling is a way that has helped families cope through these challenging times. Online homeschool is a stabilizing factor in a family’s life where so much more is mixed-up for the time being. During the time they are eLearning, everything is settled and normal.

FutureSchool.com brings many pluses to families with their online education of math and English courses. Families become closer together, making the most of eLearning.

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Mar 13, 2016

Double Dipped French Toast at IHOP Is Back!

For a limited time, Double Dipped French Toast at IHOP is back. I was able to stop by to try it out for myself. I went with the Blackberry & Vanilla variety. 
Let me tell you, that vanilla sauce was divine. It went beautifully together with the blackberry sauce and perfectly cooked broiche French toast. This French toast is dipped in a vanilla batter and then in a corn flakes and oatmeal mixture. The crunch was just right and all of the flavors and textures all together were excellent. I had the bacon combo and of course, it was delicious and exactly what I expect from IHOP.
To find out all of the details on this limited time menu offering, see this post. If you're craving a good breakfast, I highly recommend you run out and treat your family or yourself to this delicious meal. Hurry before it's gone!

I received a gift card to try out the latest menu offering from IHOP in exchange for my honest opinion. 
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Mar 4, 2016

Health 101: How To Be Healthy When You Are A Busy Mom

We all want to look and feel our best as often as we can. But as a busy mom, we can easily forget things or become distracted. Life can get in the way. Most moms will tell you that once they have their children, they feel like they lose their identity. They forget who they once were and just get on with looking after everyone else. It’s a natural progression to make into motherhood. But you are still you. You can still look and feel good in your skin.

It’s easier than people think. By just maintaining things on a regular basis. Creating new habits that become second nature and making a few lifestyle choices can be all you need to look and feel good every day.
Source
Watch what you eat. 

What you put into your body can have a real effect on how you feel. Excessive amounts of junk food or sugary treats can make you feel lethargic and tired. What you eat can have an effect on your skin and the way you look. Too much sugar can cause skin breakouts. Whereas junk food could create a more oily skin. Even drinking too much coffee and alcohol can have an effect on the way you look and feel.

This doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself. We all like a nice treat every now and again. But just be mindful.

A great way to get some more healthy food into your body is by making fresh fruit juices or smoothies. As a mom, we often make those healthy choices for our family but not ourselves. We seem always to be on the go and never stop. So a breakfast on the go or an energizing smoothie in the afternoon could be all we need to feeling better about ourselves. Investing in some equipment to create healthier food and drink is the first thing to do and the Vitamix 5300 is the best value.

I know it can be difficult to eat a more balanced diet. Some members of the family might eat at different times, or younger children might eat different things. But by meal planning and thinking ahead you can make a big difference. Batch cooking at a weekend and freezing healthy meal choices can save you both time while still providing a healthy meal choice for the family. Using crock pots and buying in the food you need to cook your meals instead of convenience food can also make a huge difference. Your crock pot can be there on hand for any time of the evening that someone requires a meal.

Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!

Water is essential for looking and feeling good. Water can clear your skin tone making you look and feel refreshed. It’s a natural detox. Flushing your body of all the bad toxins. Drinking things like caffeine drinks and alcohol excessively can all have a damaging effect. Again drinking these things in moderation isn’t a bad thing.

But, as we have already mentioned, being a busy mom means that sometimes these things can be forgotten. So get yourself a drinks bottle that can be with you all the time. Something that you can grab at any moment or easily access. Having it close by will not only encourage you to drink more but remind you to do it.

Take care of your appearance. 

Eating and drinking the right things more regularly will have a positive effect on the way you look. But it doesn’t have to stop there. Taking care of your appearance can mean things like the clothes you wear, styling your hair and smelling good.

You could consider making some improvements to your appearance that will help boost your confidence. Things like a new haircut that you can style. A new pair of glasses that suit your face. Or whitening your teeth with a winning smile. These things could be the difference between looking and feeling good, and not doing.

But it doesn’t have to cost money or time to do these things. A lot of these things can be done at home from the comfort of your bathroom. Try and get into the habit of once a week having a pamper session. Run a hot bath, condition your hair and exfoliate your skin.

Source

Move more. 

It’s a proven fact that taking exercise can change how you feel. Exercise can provide a feeling of being more energized making you feel more happy and positive. Exercising produces endorphins and gets your heart pumping. It’s hard at first to get into a routine of moving more, but once you do, you will wonder why you didn’t start sooner.

While exercising can make you feel good about yourself, it will also have an effect on your appearance. Regular exercise can have a real impact on weight loss helping you to look good as well.

While getting yourself to a gym might be difficult, you could utilize the park. Or even just running around with your children more could be just the difference you need.

Believe in yourself. 

Finally, the last pieces of advice would be to have belief in yourself. Beauty isn’t just on the outside; it’s skin deep. Your personality is what will shine through. So have faith in yourself and the confidence to get out there and achieve what you want to.

Being a mom doesn’t mean your identity stopped when you gave birth to your children. It’s all about embracing your new world and life. Feeling comfortable in your skin and with yourself will only make you happier on the inside and in daily life.

Visualising how you want your day and life to go is another way of feeling good about yourself. Knowing you have goals you want to achieve and memories to make with your family. These things will only motivate you. A happy mum, means a happy family. A happy family means a happy life.

I hope a few different choices in your daily life can have a lasting positive effect on you.
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