Our little family

Our little family
Our little family

Friday, April 25, 2014

Crafting Moment: Babysitter Box

I try and have snacks that I know my babysitters like when they come over. I also try to put it out for them so if they feel weird about going through my pantry they are out for them. Here is how I made a "sitter box" for snacks and babysitting notes to go in.

First make sure you have all the supplies you need. I used an extra fabric square I had laying around, Some thin wood letters, and a small box. The only tool I needed was a hot glue gun.

supplies...minus the box. 

This is a super easy craft. All you have to do is Stretch the fabric over the box and hot glue the seems down (I cut extra fabric off the sides so it folded flat). Then hot glue the letters to the box however you want.

Finished product :) *I didn't have enough room or wood letters
to spell out "baby" in front of sitter ;)

Then fill the box with whatever snacks your sitter likes and your babysitter notes sheet!

snacks :) (notes sheet not pictured)

* I found a generic "babysitter notes" sheet on pinterest and printed several of them. The notes sheet has where we will be and our numbers as well as any instructions for our son while we are gone, food he likes, allergies, bed time, ect.

Until Next Time...

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Road Trip Preparation: With A Toddler

Next week we are hitting the road for 2 1/2 weeks visit with family. It has been several months since we moved across the country and this trip is a little different...for one, we are all in one car (all of us...dogs included!). Here are so useful tips to help the process of traveling in a car with a toddler and some easy packing tips.

1. Start early!
         I try to start getting things ready about a week out from when we leave for our trip. Why you ask? Because I am not just packing one bag for myself..I am packing for myself, my child, 2 dogs and whatever we might need while on the road. I would be way too stressed out trying to do that a day or two before we leave.

2. Be Organized! Let me say that again...BE ORGANIZED!!!!
       Make a list a few weeks out of everything you need. Include those things that you "just know you won't forget", because if it isn't on the list, chances are you will forget it! Section the list into groups for each person you are packing for, dogs, snack/other needs for the "in the car" portion of the trip. About a week out from your trip you should start packing the things you won't need between now and your trip. *I always measure out the dog food into zip lock bags for each day...this is the kind of thing to do a week out! I also like to start packing my son's bag around a week out. I get the clothing I know he doesn't need between now and then and start getting outfits together. Based off my list (that list comes in handy!) I set out the number of outfits I need and then once I have everything out on the bed, I pack the bag. Thankfully my son has a bed in his room he doesn't use yet so I can leave things laying out a couple days while I am getting things together. Most of us have enough clothing for our kids that we don't have to wait until the last minute to pack for them. I use zip lock bags for his socks, swim suit, and small items that may become hard to find in luggage.

zip lock bags for small things.
Set outfits out so you can see what
you are packing before it goes in the bag.

3. Save your stuff for last!
       This may sound odd but if you get everyone and everything else out of the way first it will be less stressful packing your bag. Knowing everything else is done, you can focus on your stuff and not get distracted thinking about what else still needs packing.

4. Keep your list with you!
       If you are going somewhere for more than a week and you think you may "spread out" while at the hotel or family members house...keep your list packed with you so you don't forget to bring something home with you (I told you that list gets used a lot!). put the list in an easy to find spot, like a purse or backpack so you know where to find it when it comes time to re-pack to head home.

5. Only bring what you need!
      Since we are staying with my parents while away we don't need clothing for everyday, we can easily wash clothing. That right there help lessen the load we have to bring. I can also bring enough diapers to last a day or two and buy a box when I get down there for the time we are there. If you know you are going to be staying with family, take advantage of that and only pack the essentials. Staying with family? you don't need shampoo and body wash (most hotels have those things as well), you probably don't have to have your own hair dryer either, and can pack less clothes and wash.

6. Pack the car the night before you leave!
      This one is key. If you are trying to be out there door at an early time, don't wait until the morning you leave to pack your car. Big mistake! Have everything you need in the car and anything you can't put in the car yet..leave on the kitchen counter/bathroom counter. Lay clothing out the night before (don't forget to wear comfortable clothing) so all you have to do is grab a shower and get dressed. No need to "find" something to wear. Have a quick breakfast planned, or something you can eat on the road. The biggest things that make people leave late are getting dressed and eating breakfast...so be prepared the night before! also, set your alarm 20 minutes or so earlier than you need to be up. If you like to snooze, don't set your alarm for the latest possible time to get up...you will wind up waking up late!

7. Pack the car to fit your needs while on the road!
       For us, I will probably be sitting in the back seat with my son and one of the dogs. It works better if I am already back there and can easily get my son a snack or a toy he dropped rather than stopping several times for those things. Make sure your diaper bag and snack bag (or whatever bag you may need while driving/riding) is with you, not in the trunk under 3 other bags. The snack bag should be packed with enough snacks to get you to your destination and then a few more. That way in the event of whinny moments or you hit unexpected traffic, you have extras. We have an iPad that we will have some movies on for our little guy to enjoy (it's a 9 hr. drive!) while we are on the road. Make sure if you do that, you have chargers for the car and movies/shows your child will enjoy and you will not go crazy listening to for a couple hours!

8. Lastly, Enjoy your trip!
         Don't sweat the small stuff and get frustrated when you hit traffic. Plan ahead and give time for the unexpected to happen, chances are it will! The more organized and prepared you are, the less stress you will be in when the unexpected does happen and the more you can enjoy your trip.

Until Next Time...

Friday, April 18, 2014

Advocare 10 Day Cleanse Review


Well, we (my husband and I) have completed our Advocare 10 day cleanse. Several friends of mine have used the Advocare products with great success and a few friends even are distributors for the company. After seeing success from some friends and wanting to jump start my eating healthy lifestyle back into full gear (hello, summer!) I decided to give it a try. Here is how the cleanse went for me...
A snapshot of the "plan" of action for the cleanse 

I know when most (including myself) hear the word "cleanse" we think...sit on the toilet for 2 days. This is NOT like that at all. This cleanse is a very mild, more of a regulating cleanse. No need to adjust your schedule or take off work or anything like that. Just take the stuff and enjoy your day. Sounds too good to be true? keep reading!

Let's start with the fiber drink that you have to drink days 1-3 and days 8-10. To put it mildly, its nasty! A friend described it at taking triscuits and grinding them up and putting them in water to chug. That is the closest explanation I have heard so far. But you drink it first thing in the morning and move on...no after taste or anything like that. Just chug it and get it over with. I mixed my morning spark in with it to help give it some flavor and that helps (at least I feel it does). The instructions say to drink the fiber drink with breakfast or your first meal of the day followed by an 8 oz. glass of water. I have to say that on days 4-7 (no fiber drink) I felt more hungry then the days I had the fiber drink, so there is a  benefit to drinking that nasty drink.

Next is the Herbal Cleanse pills. 3 brownish looking pills you take in the evening before bed. You will take this days 1-7. Not bad at all, no taste, after all its a pill.

ProBiotic Restore Ultra Pills
The next item in the cleanse is the ProBiotic Restore Ultra pills. 2 tiny white capsules you take day 4-10, 30 minutes before your first meal of the day. Again, it's a couple pills, nothing really to say about it.

Advocare also suggests you take Omegaplex (Omega 3 fatty acid pills). You take 2 pills twice a day with meals. I typically took mine with lunch and dinner. Again, pills, not much to write home about.

Now to the Spark...my favorite (almost everyone says that!). Spark is awesome! There are many flavors to choose from (I picked pink lemonade, it's amazing!). The first day of the cleanse I only drank one spark, after that I began having a second at lunch time. It helped A LOT! You simply mix the spark in 8-10 oz. of water and drink. easy! I have also tried the grape and fruit punch as well as the mango strawberry...all good! Having the spark I can say that it keeps me energized way better than coffee.. Only downside is I need 2 spark vs. one cup of coffee. But the plus to that is, spark is better for you than coffee so it has its benefit.

        I choose to take sandwich bags and
       separate each day to help me keep track of
       taking everything I needed each day. 
I Suggest buying a blender bottle
to shake up the fiber drink & Meal
Replacement shakes.

I also got the meal replacement shakes (chocolate) (a friend gave these to me, she had some extra) and had those as my breakfast each morning with a piece of fruit. I am not a meal replacement shake person but I'm going to tell you, these are pretty good. Good enough that I am going to finish the box even after the cleanse is over. I mix it with 9 oz. of VERY cold water in one of my blender bottles. I was happily surprised that I enjoyed them enough to drink everyday.

My impression of the cleanse:
For me I have to say it was very worth it. There were days where I was hungry (especially on the weekend days) but overall looking back it really was an easy cleanse and gave me the results I wanted. Drum Roll........I lost 6 lbs.!!!!!! (husband lost 5.6 lbs.) Now, let me say you do have to follow the guidelines Advocare gives you as far as what types of foods to eat and what to avoid to see such results. Don't purchase the cleanse and think that you can just take some pills and go about your day like you always have. you have to adjust your lifestyle of eating to get results. With any diet or cleanse, It isn't for the lazy, "I want to lose weight magically without having to change anything". There is no magic Hollywood diet..Do you want to know what Hollywood does to look that good...they pay people to force them to workout and eat well. I don't know about you, but I didn't win the lottery and don't have that kind of money, so I have to motivate myself. What is my motivation...I want to get up every morning and grab something from my closet and know its going to fit..not have to worry about "oh that shirt is a little snug and isn't as comfortable". My son is 1 year old and I want my body to reflect how I feel on the inside..no more excuses about " I just had a baby". I feel good inside and want to feel good about my outside appearance. Advocare 10 day cleanse has really helped me feel that way. I currently am under my pre pregnancy weight and have 3 lbs. to lose to reach my final goal weight. (that number will remain a top secret between myself and my Dr.) The cleanse does instruct that you repeat it every 90 days. I don't think I will do that but I will for sure be doing it again after the holidays (probably in Jan.) And will continue to do it every 6 months or so. It is a great way to help jump start you into eating healthy again after the holidays or to get yourself jump started for summer/eating healthy period. currently I know of 2 friends who sell Advocare and I will post both of their links at the bottom of this post (all about fairness!) Please visit their sites if you are interested and check out the products. For me, I am so glad that I did!

Friends who sell Advocare and can help you purchase if interested: 

Amanda Lady: https://www.advocare.com/131042098/default.aspx

Tim & Allison Crawford: https://www.advocare.com/11071930/Products/default.aspx

Until Next Time...

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Citrus Lane April 2014 Box Review

Recently I switched one of my subscription boxes over to start getting one for my son. Citrus Lane came up as the top children's subscription box so I choose that one. (well that and I know someone who has been getting these for her son and loves it, Hi Holly!) Here is what I thought of our first Citrus Lane box...
excited to see what he got in his first Citrus Lane

The First thing we saw when we opened the box was a cute little blue race car (sorry, no picture, my son grabbed it right away). The car is from Green Toys. It is made of 100% recycled milk jugs. No small parts which make it great since my little guy still puts everything in his mouth. It also rolls really well, which I was at first worried it wouldn't based on its chunky make. Overall really like the car.

Green Eats company had a set of 4 snack bowls in the box as well. These were my son's favorite. I think because of the sound they made when he banged them together and lately his newest obsession is stacking things, or putting things inside one another so it was a game for him, bonus! For me, I liked the bowls a lot. Nice pastel blue color, sturdy and good size for a snack.

Next was the book ( I hear almost all the boxes have a book in them, which I love!) The book is titled Who's in my Garden and is a "peek a boo book" by Barefoot Books. Very nice large size board book. It was a cute read, I read through it aloud while my son stacked him bowls next to me. cute little cut outs on each page where an animal "peeks" through form the next page. Almost like a flip and see book without the little tabs to be ripped off...another bonus!

The last two items in this month's box where for parents. The first one was a sample size of Meyers Lemon Verbena Dish Soap. I haven't tried it yet, but it smells amazing! So that is all I can say about that since I haven't actually put it in practice yet :) They also included a card with a code for a free greeting card from Treat. I have never heard of this company but the card is really cute and has some sweet samples so I will probably order a card for mother's day or something with the code.

Over all I am very pleased with our first Citrus Lane box. I looked up the retail value of each item to see how it compared to what I paid for the box. I purchased a 6 month subscription and had a coupon code so each box in my 6 month period will cost me $20. This box retail came to right around $40 (I checked amazon and the company websites for pricing). So half off, not bad at all. We are looking forward to next month's box and the goodies that we will get.
April 2014 (one year old) Citrus Lane box. 
If you are interested in Citrus Lane you can click Here and check out their site and the subscription choices they have.

Until Next Time...