Five Quick and Easy Snack Hacks for Busy Families

Five Quick and Easy Snack Hacks for Busy Families that are Peanut Butter HappyMy crazy crew is often on the move, so whenever we get ready to leave the house I have to grab a few snacks to keep everyone happy. When my toddler gets hangry (hungry/angry) I need a snack at the ready. Today I’m sharing five quick and easy snack hacks that are perfect for busy families, as well as a great giveaway from Jif. Read on to find healthy snacks for your people (little or big) and share your own ideas in the comments section.

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A Simple Solution for TB Testing ~ The TB Blood Test

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for the TB Blood Test. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

checklist3Have you ever had to take a TB skin test? My husband and I have had more than we can count because of our chosen careers. Every time I’ve had it done I stress out during the wait between the initial injection and the results visit. TB skin tests are time consuming and objective, often resulting in false positives. Until recently, I had no idea there was a better way to get tested for TB. As a mama, I love learning about reliable health care options that can simplify and de-stress our lives.

The TB Blood Test is new and a MAJOR scientific break through over the 110 year old skin test method. It is more accurate and reliable with results in just one visit. Those days of stressing out and obsessively checking the injection site are over. This post is a little outside of my normal scope, but I’m all about simplifying. Read on to find out more about TB, TB testing, and how you can make it a simplified and less stressful experience for your family.

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Frugal Living: Tips for a Happy Halloween on a Budget

Life on a budget means making choices about spending, even when it comes to holidays. Without a plan, holidays and special days can become total budget busters. Did you know that in 2014, Americans spent an estimated $7.4 BILLION on Halloween. With only about 67% of the country celebrating the holiday, that number becomes even scarier. I love celebrating Halloween with my little monsters, and with a little planning and a few smart choices we can have a happy Halloween on a budget. Today I’m sharing my favorite tips for saving money on costumes, treats, decorations, and party supplies so you can have a spooky celebration that doesn’t bust your budget.

Tips for a Happy Halloween on a Budget

 

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Hunting for Baby Deals at Sam’s Club + $50 Sam’s Club Gift Card Giveaway

Hunting for Baby Deals at Sam's Club

Buying in bulk can save time and money, and Sam’s Club is the place to go for savings on everything from groceries to toiletries. Did you know Sam’s Club also has tons of great baby deals for parents and caregivers? September is Baby Month at Sam’s Club, so there will be special savings all month long. Disposable diapers, wipes, laundry detergent, snacks, formula, books, toys, and baby gear can all be found at Sam’s Club. If shopping at a warehouse store intimidates or stresses you, don’t let it. Everything was easy to find and the whole experience was great. Read on to find out more about shopping for baby needs and enter to win a $50 gift card from Sam’s Club for your shopping trip.

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Real Home Inspiration: DIY Closet Bunkbed in Shared Bedroom and Playroom {Guest Post}

shared kids room and playroom​For the next installation in our Real Home Inspiration Series, my friend Kimie from Kimie Pruessner Photography is telling you all about her amazing shared kids’ room and playroom with a DIY closet bunkbed. When I first saw it, I thought it was the coolest and most practical space. She turned the closet in to a bunk bed, leaving all the floor space for play. This series is all about real homes and real people with creative and inspiring but lived in, unstaged spaces. I’ll turn it over to Kimie. Enjoy!

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DIY Happy Mama Lotion Recipe

DIY Happy Mama Lotion Recipe

Do you ever just need to relax, shift your focus, lift your mood, find balance, or take a quick break or perspective change to find a little joy in your day? Me too, friends. This DIY lotion recipe is so easy to whip up and while the coconut oil moisturizes your skin, the lavender can soothe your skin and relax you. The Joy blend contains  Bergamot, Ylang Ylang, Geranium, Lemon, Coriander, Tangerine, Jasmine, Roman Chamomile, Palmarosa, and Rose essential oils and the sweet smell can help with mood lifting and emotional balance. Let’s make this lovely little recipe for Happy Mama Lotion.

Ingredients:

coconut oil

Joy essential oil

Lavender essential oil

glass or metal jar

Directions:

Measure out enough coconut oil to fill your jar. I like to whip mine in my stand mixer, but you can also use a fork or hand mixer. Whip it until it softens and reaches your desired consistency. Add in a mixture of the two essential oils to your taste. My little mini mason jars hold 1/3 cup coconut oil, and I use 10 drops of Lavender and 5 drops of Joy. A little bit goes a long way, so go one drop at a time until you find your perfect blend. Enjoy!

DIY Happy Mama Lotion

What is your favorite way to make your own beauty or skin care products?

*Disclosure: I am not a doctor or medical professional and am making no medical claims in this post.

Helping Babies Learn to Chew with Gerber’s 3rd Foods® Lil Bits™ Recipes

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Introducing babies to solid food and teaching them to eat can be a daunting process, but it doesn’t have to be. The Pearl Girl and I were invited to a sponsored party to learn about new Gerber’s 3rd Foods® Lil Bits™ Recipes and today I’m sharing what we learned and how you can win daily prizes from Gerber for your little one. After babies start eating solids they soon must make the transition to chunkier pieces they have to mash and chew. That’s where Lil’ Bits come in. They fill the gap as a transitional food to help babies learn to chew textured food that is developmentally appropriate. Read on to find out more about the development of Lil’ Bits and how to win the #GerberChewU Instant Win Promotion.

Cute Babies at Gerber Chew U

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Family Travel: Visiting the Rangeley Lakes Region in Maine

Family TravelVisiting Rangeley, Maine

When my sister suggested a family vacation in Maine for this summer, I thought it was an interesting idea but so far from our usual Florida beach trips I could hardly wrap my head around it. Spoiler Alert: It was glorious.  We borrowed a friend’s house in the Rangeley Lakes region and while it was remote and getting there was a challenge, it was completely worth it. It was stunningly beautiful and so unspoiled. The air was fresh and filled with the scent of fir trees. We hiked and played and explored the region all while enjoying time away with our extended family. Read on to find out what we did and find our tips for planning your own visit.

Family Travel Visiting the Mountains of Rangeley, Maine with Kids

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Shaun the Sheep Movie Giveaway

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Lionsgate. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

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We are huge fans of Shaun the Sheep and his crazy flock around our house, and can’t wait to see the Shaun the Sheep Movie when it comes out on August 5th. In this full length movie, Shaun decides to take the day off and have some fun and gets a little more action than he bargained for.  A mix up with the Farmer, a caravan, and a very steep hill leads the flock to the Big City. Shaun and the flock have to work together to return everyone safely to the green grass of home. In honor of the upcoming premiere, I’m hosting an awesome Shaun the Sheep Movie giveaway and sharing a preview of the movie today. Watch the preview below and enter to win the prize package for your flock.

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Seven Simple Tips for Family Travel on a Budget


Seven Simple Tips for Family Travel on a BudgetFamily travel can seem out of reach when you are living on a budget, but it doesn’t have to be. With planning and strategy, we are able to have incredible adventures with our family without busting our budget. Today I’m sharing seven simple tips we’ve learned over the last few years living in financial freedom and finding space in the budget for travel. Before I start, let me say that we put travel on hold while we paid off all of our debt and created an emergency fund. While I believe travel is an important part of our lives, it is a luxury. Though we live debt free, we are on a teacher & part time blogger/non-profit salary, so we aren’t exactly rolling in the dough.  If we can do it, so can you.

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