Mindy

Mindy is a stay-at-home Mom to her 2 year old daughter and infant son. She previously worked full-time as a Paralegal for more than 10 years. She loves cooking & baking, classic rock, coffee and wine, sunshine and spending time with her children.

May 292016
 

Classical music is such an important component of history and culture, and it really saddens me to think that most kids these days just don’t have the exposure to it that they should. Classical music has so many wonderful benefits, including improved memory, mood, and higher test scores. Why wouldn’t we want our children to listen to this amazing music?

My kids love to listen to classical music, and I try to play it for them a few times a week. When they get really tired and cranky during a long car ride home after a busy day, I turn the classical music on, and they calm right down. They will usually fall fast asleep, and we do not hear another peep from them until we get home.

Classical music is so relaxing and helps me to unwind and calm my anxious mind, too. I have used classical music to pull myself out of a panic attack on several occasions. It really does work!

Speaking of classical music, when I heard that the classic story of Peter and the Wolf was going to be updated for today’s generation of children, I was super excited to check it out. In case you’re not familiar with the story, Peter and the Wolf was written in 1936 by Sergei Prokofiev. It is a children’s story, spoken by a narrator and accompanied by an orchestra. The intent behind it was to cultivate “musical tastes in children from the first years of school”. Prokofiev was so inspired by this project, that he wrote Peter and the Wolf in just 4 days! Can you imagine being so passionate about something?

This post was made possible by MomSelect. I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine

Giants are Small recently released Peter and the Wolf in Hollywood, and you can download it from the iTunes app store for only $4.99. I truly think it is a worthwhile investment. It has several features that the whole family will enjoy, including the full story with the beautiful accompanying music, 8 games, an educational section and a really interesting section that shows how all of the animation was done, including how the characters are drawn, modeled, recorded and narrated. There is also a study guide available for downloading.

Making of Peter and the Wolf in Hollywood

While the core story of the traditional Russian tale has remained the same, it has been given a new modern twist. This updated version follows Peter as he travels to Hollywood to meet his hippie grandfather. The entire story is fun and captivating.

Peter and the Wolf in Hollywood

This award-winning app is such a great way to introduce children to classical music. While the recommended start age for this app is 6 years old, my 3 year old daughter, Kayleigh, really enjoyed watching the story. She often times has difficulty sitting still and concentrating on things for more than a few minutes at a time, but she was absolutely enthralled with following along with this story.

Kayleigh and Peter and the Wolf in Hollywood

The graphics are interesting and vibrant, and the classical music plays softly in the background. The story is narrated by rock n’ roll legend, Alice Cooper, which I thought was really cool.

Peter and the Wolf in Hollywood

This app is very easy for Kayleigh to navigate through. There is an arrow at the top that turns green when it is time to turn the page, and she was able to do that all by herself, just by pressing her finger on the arrow. I love that we have the option to start the story from the very beginning, or pick up where we last left off, every time we open the app. The story is approximately 48 minutes long, so it could definitely be broken up and watched over a few days, or watched all in one sitting.

Peter and the Wolf in Hollywood

I’m so happy that there is such a wonderful app out there to expose today’s children to classical music and the story of Peter and the Wolf. I think Peter and the Wolf in Hollywood is an app that will be played in our home over and over again for many years to come. My one year old son even showed interest in it!

Logan with Peter and the Wolf in Hollywood

Will you download Peter and the Wolf in Hollywood for your children?

 Posted by at 12:21 pm
May 262016
 

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Baby proofing your home is something that should be at the top of your to-do list when you are expecting a baby. As a Mom of two toddlers, I know just how overwhelming it can be after the baby is born. Both parents are exhausted while trying to get used to the middle of the night feedings, diaper changes and a totally different schedule all of the time. You are not even thinking about your baby starting to roll over, crawling or walking yet, because you are too busy trying to find a few minutes to sleep in between the excitement of your new family.

However, this is the time that you should be working on baby proofing your home. Baby proofing should be done before the baby starts moving around on their own, or even before the baby is born. Baby proofing can take time and most of the time, parents believe that they have baby proofed everything possible and then notice at least one area that they missed. (It happens to everyone!) This is the main reason why it is better to baby proof sooner, rather than later.

The first thing that you should do when you are starting to baby proof is to take a good look at your house. Write down any areas where a child can climb up on, open up and bump into. Also, write down any areas where dangerous items are out in the open and easily accessible. If any small items are located in a place that a baby can get to, then these need to be moved as well.

Tips for Baby Proofing Your Home

THINGS TO LOOK FOR WHEN BABY PROOFING YOUR HOME:

DOORS

Door holders and door stops are good things to use to keep doors from slamming shut on little fingers. The best door holder will be placed by the hinges, so that the child’s fingers will not get stuck in the area where the hinges are located.

ELECTRICAL OUTLETS AND SHARP FURNITURE

Any empty electrical outlet should have an electrical outlet cover, so that little fingers do not get inserted in it. Any furniture that has sharp edges will need padded corner guards, so that a falling toddler will not end up with a gash on their head if they fall into it.

WINDOWS

A parent can never be too safe when it comes to windows. If there are blinds in the house, the cords need to either be cut or placed up high and safety tassels and cord stops should be used. Window guards and stops can ensure that a child does not get the window open far enough for them to fall out.

STAIRS

Stairs are another dangerous area in any house. Gates should be placed at the top and bottom of the stairs, so that little ones cannot climb up and fall or fall down the stairs.

KITCHEN

Kitchens are one of the areas where the most baby proofing will be done. All of the cabinets and drawers should have safety locks on them, so that children cannot get to the sharp knives, cleaning supplies, heavy pans, breakables or any other items that are dangerous. I love these cabinet and drawer latches. I have used them in my home for the last three years, and they keep the kids from being able to get into my cabinets and drawers. A lock on the oven and the refrigerator are also necessary. The lock on the oven door will prevent a child from opening it and getting burned while a lock on the refrigerator will prevent a child from getting inside and possibly getting closed in.

BATHROOM

Many people keep cleaning supplies, medications, curling irons and hair dryers in the bathroom. All of these items need to be locked up so that children will not swallow anything harmful or burn themselves on hot items. Toilet locks are also a necessity, because toddlers are very inquisitive and there is a chance that they can fall in head first and drown.

LAUNDRY ROOM

The laundry is another area where cleaning supplies are found. It is very important that if a child has access to the laundry room at any time that these items are kept up high on a shelf or in a locked cabinet.

HEAVY FURNITURE AND TELEVISION EQUIPMENT

Any bookshelf, cabinet or dresser should be attached to a wall so that they do not fall on top of a climbing toddler. Some of these items can fall easily even if they are extremely heavy. Try to hang all televisions on a wall or keep them behind cabinet doors with a lock. Televisions can easily be pulled down off of a shelf or cabinet and they are very heavy. You can also buy a Furniture & TV Strap Kit to secure heavy furniture and televisions to your wall so that they will not fall on top of children.

CHOKING HAZARDS

Plants or small objects that toddlers and babies can reach will need to be moved. Children will possibly eat part of the plant or dirt and it can be harmful or poisonous to them. Any decorative dishes with marbles or rocks or a container filled with coins needs to be placed on a higher shelf. These are all items that a child will put in their mouths and they can choke.

It may seem to be a lot of work when parents are child proofing their house, but the time spent will be worthwhile, because at some point an accident will happen. Accidents are always much worse if a house has not been properly baby proofed.

 Posted by at 10:28 am
May 242016
 

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Have you ever wondered how to get rid of cable but still be able to watch your favorite television shows? We’re all searching for ideas to save a little bit of money, and one great way to do that is to get rid of cable television. But, how do you do this when you’re so used to watching TV? How can you get rid of cable without feeling like you’re missing out?

Honestly, it’s really not as hard as you think. My husband, John, and I got rid of our cable about 5 years ago now, and we have never once regretted it. We have saved so much money, and we are still able to watch all of the television shows we love!

The first month will probably cost about as much as your cable bill. After that, though? You’re going to be able to cut your costs, and hopefully stash away some of that extra cash!

How to Get Rid of Cable and Still Watch Your Favorite Shows

Here are the things you’ll need to get rid of cable:

Digital Antenna – Gone are the days of rabbit ears, wire coat hangers, and some aluminum foil. Since 2009, TV stations have been required to have a digital signal, and you’ll need a digital antenna to get them. Some TVs have this built in, but not all of them do. Check your TV first.

Outside antenna – You may or may not need an outside antenna. This will really depend on where you live, the terrain, where the TV stations towers are, and the strength of the signal.

A streaming device – If you have a smart TV, this will be built in. If you don’t have a smart TV, there are lots of choices out there for streaming devices. The Roku is a great option, but I am partial to Chromecast, as that is what I have used for a few years now. Amazon Fire TV Stick and Kodi devices also have rave reviews.

Roku and Kodi both have extra channels and networks you can add to their players. This gives you access to bonus shows and networks.

Now is when we get to the meat and potatoes of cutting the cable cord. The shows we can watch!

Netflix – We’re all familiar with Netflix, right? There’s tons of movies, TV shows, and even really great original programming. The selection is ever changing, and for less than $12 a month, that’s a huge savings over cable.

Hulu – Much like Netflix, Hulu has a ton of movies, episodic TV shows, and original programming. Unlike Netflix, though, Hulu also offers current season TV shows. Did you miss an episode of Empire? You can go to Hulu and watch it! It normally takes about 24 hours before the episodes are on Hulu, so you’ll want to avoid spoilers. Hulu starts at $8/mo.

Amazon Prime – Do you have Amazon Prime for their awesome free two-day shipping? Did you know they have a ton of movies and TV shows that you can watch as part of the package? You can also choose slower shipping for credits to buy episodes that you just have to have.

Apple TV – Again, you’ll need to buy either a season pass or pay per episode. But, Apple TV is a good way to see those can’t miss episodes of your favorite shows.

If you’re a sports fan, there are options for you, too. Most major leagues (MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL) have a subscription based plan for streaming. These generally allow you to catch some games, highlights, and sometimes the discussion panel shows. You can even subscribe to HBO Now and Showtime through some streaming services.

Cutting the cable cord doesn’t have to be painful. It just takes a little bit of research and navigation to get the hang of it.

 Posted by at 9:16 pm
May 232016
 

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Household tools are something that every homeowner should invest in. My husband, John, and I bought our house three years ago, and we have slowly been working on some minor home improvements since then. No matter how much work we get done on our home, it seems there is always a million things left to do!

There are a lot of great household tools available for homeowners, and we have been adding to our toolbox whenever we can. I always try to buy John a new tool for every special occasion, like Father’s Day, his birthday or Christmas. He is always really excited to receive new tools and it’s an easy way for us to build up our collection. While there are many household tools out there that you probably don’t need to always have on hand, there are a few that you definitely should.

Household Tools Everyone Should Have

If you’ve ever needed to make even a small repair around the house, and can’t find something to fix it with, this is for you. At one time, a friend had a tool kit that consisted of a butter knife and a hammer. Can you believe that?! If he couldn’t bang on it with the hammer, or turn /pry it with the butter knife, it couldn’t be fixed. Don’t be that person. Have what you need, when you need it.

When you start gathering tools, you’ll need somewhere to store them. Whether it is a fancy tool box, a plastic bin, or even a designated cardboard box, it’s no use to have tools if you can’t find them. Find a container, then find a designated space for them. When you are finished with the job at hand, clean them and put them back.

Household Tools Everyone Should Have

Hammer – A 16-ounce claw hammer is a good choice for you first hammer. It has a pounding side and a nail-pulling side. Look for a sturdy hardwood or fiberglass handle.

Drill and Drill bits – A cordless electric drill can be used as a screwdriver as well as to drill holes. Buy an assortment of drill bits in various sizes, as well as Philips (cross-head) and Slotted (wide flat blade) bits that will fit in your drill. This could be your favorite tool and new best friend. Great for putting together furniture and bookshelves.

Tape measure – Get a tape measure that is at least twenty-five feet long. You will use this more than you think, from measuring how long a wall might be to the dimensions of a window for new shades. Buy one in a bright color and it’s less likely to get lost.

Wrenches – An adjustable crescent wrench comes in handy for lots of sizes; if you purchase a set of different sizes you should be able to handle most any wrench related job. There are also single sized wrenches, a pipe wrench, and others.

Knives – a Putty Knife is great where you need a thin blade, or for spackling a hole in the wall, buy one with a thin flexible blade. A utility knife is great for opening boxes, cutting twine and rope, and a myriad of other uses. Buy a standard heavy-weight utility knife that allows you to store extra blades in the handle. Avoid the knife with snap-off blades, they never seem to be as sharp as the standard knives.

PliersNeedle nose pliers, as well as standard pliers are of great use. Also try to find a pair that have a cutter built in; you’ll be able to tell by the very angled part of the opening, almost looking like a pair of scissors.

Screwdrivers – Although you might have the screwdriver bits for your power drill. You still need a selection of long and short handled screwdrivers. They should also include both flat and Philips heads on them. A variety set of screwdrivers is inexpensive, but beware of buying cheap sets. The screwdriver blades will strip out while you are trying to unscrew something, and then you’ll be in trouble.

Good quality, long lasting flashlight – Invest in a really good flashlight, preferably with rechargeable batteries. Not just for when the power goes out, but also when you need to see inside a wall or under a sink. Get one that will stay in the tool chest and used only when repairing something; or at least make sure it gets put back after every use. This is one of those items that is never there when you need it.

Having the proper tool for the job not only makes the task easier, but also builds confidence in trying more difficult jobs. This is a small list of household tools available, but should let even the most inexperienced person have the ability to perform basic home repairs. The most important point to remember is to put them back when you are finished, so that when you do need a tool, you are able to find it.

 Posted by at 1:49 pm
May 202016
 

Best Buy Disclosure

 

 

Today’s technology just amazes me, especially when it comes to television. I remember the first big television I bought as an adult. And when I say big, I mean, the thing was huge, and super heavy. It took 3 grown men to move it! My husband actually had one of those ginormous televisions when we met, too. When we decided to move in together, he left that big old television in his apartment for someone else to deal with because he didn’t want to move that heavy thing to our new place!

Today’s televisions are so much lighter, and a whole lot cooler, too. I just can’t get over all of the awesome features of the VIZIO SmartCast™ P-Series™ Ultra HD HDR Home Theater Display™, from Best Buy. It is the first 4K ultra HD display to feature High Dynamic Range with Dolby Vision, Ultra Color Spectrum, with Google Cast™ built-in, and it includes a powerful 6” Android™ Tablet Remote. Cool, right?

Vizio at Best Buy

The 6” Android™ tablet remote is preinstalled with the ingenious VIZIO SmartCast app. You can tap, swipe, or use voice commands to work the remote (how cool is that?!) and it allows you to browse movies, shows, music, and even live TV all at once!

The P-Series™ features High Dynamic Range with Dolby Vision content support and Ultra Color Spectrum for a dramatically different visual experience with astonishing brightness, radiant contrast, and captivating color. Full-Array LED backlighting and up to 128 Active LED Zones™ deliver exceptional light uniformity and deeper, richer black levels.

I absolutely love Google Cast. I use it all the time to cast things I love, like YouTube and Netflix videos. The VIZIO SmartCast™ P-Series™ Ultra HD HDR Home Theater Display™ has Google Cast built right into it so you can cast from thousands of Google Cast-enabled apps that you already know and love!

If you’re a fan of sports and action, you’ll really love the powerful image processing of the P-Series™ with up to Clear Action™ 960 that combines a blazing 240Hz effective refresh rate achieved with backlight scanning for sharper detail in fast action scenes. With all of this and more on display, the P-Series™ is a whole new way to watch your favorite games!

Vizio at Best Buy

What you love won’t change, but how you experience it will never be the same again. Check out this video for more information, or stop by your local Best Buy to see it for yourself!

*Live TV listings compatible with IP-based set-top boxes from DirecTV® and Dish® services, with more services to be added. See vizio.com/smartcast for details.

 

 Posted by at 11:44 pm
May 102016
 

My daughter’s 3rd birthday is coming right up, so I’ve been busy planning her birthday party for a while now.

Children’s birthday parties can get really expensive and when you consider that you need to have one every year for 18 years, the total cost could probably pay for a year of college. If you have more than one child, these costs are even higher. With a little bit of creativity, it’s actually very easy to plan a phenomenal children’s birthday party on a budget.

Plan a Phenomenal Children's Birthday Party on a Budget

There are plenty of ways to save money on birthday parties without losing out on any of the good food, decorations and fun! One of the best ways to save money is to start planning a few months in advance. I know, you don’t know how you are going to find the time to do this, but I can promise you that you will not feel as frazzled at the end if you start early enough. It is the best way to save money and you can pick up items when you see them on sale or on clearance at the store.

The first thing everyone does when they are beginning to plan a party is figure out where they want to have it. While the local bowling alley or trampoline place is a great idea for a venue, they are often really pricey. It would be much cheaper to have the party at your house or a local park or YMCA. The park or YMCA would have quite a bit more space than most houses do and there are playgrounds and large areas where games can be played.

Most people enjoy sending out invitations by email now, but if you are the type of person who likes to mail or hand them out, you can find ways to spend less money. Instead of purchasing invitations that are already made, you can make your own on the computer or have the kids help and make them by hand. If you need a lot of invitations or this is a really special occasion, then you might want to look into ordering them on Vistaprint. They usually have special pricing throughout the year and you can personalize them with pictures as well.

Choosing a theme for a birthday party is always a challenge, but some themes can cost a lot less than others. For example, a beach theme would cost much less than a Star Wars theme. It would be costly to go to the store and buy everything related to Star Wars, but beach items can be found very inexpensively at the Dollar Store or Walmart.

Once a theme has been chosen, it is very easy to plan the decorations, games and the food. All of the decorations do not need to have specific characters on them. It is much cheaper to buy tablecloths, plates, cups and napkins that are a certain color and as long as the color matches the party theme, you will not need a lot of specific theme decorations. When it comes to a happy birthday sign, try to find one that will go with any type of party, so that you can reuse it for years to come. Or buy a couple and rotate between them. I’ve always kept a bin in my storage area with reusable party supplies and have even thrown parties using just those items.

Games and activities are always the best part of the party, not counting the cake. It is possible to create all of the games and you probably have much of what you need in your house. There are many printables available online that you can use as templates for different craft projects or for a pin the tail on “whatever your theme is”. You can also have a scavenger hunt, three legged race and any other activity that might get the kids tired out. Use your imagination and Pinterest and you will find that you can do a lot of activities for very little money.

The next thing you will have to decide is what time works best to have your party. If you have the party at 2 in the afternoon, you will not have to worry about serving everyone a full meal. You will be able to just serve cake, ice cream and drinks. Instead of buying a cake from a bakery, try to bake your own and decorate it for the theme of your party. You’ll be amazed at what you can do with Legos, all of those little plastic animals and cars, Barbie dolls, and any other small toy that the kids have laying around. It is easy to make different colored frostings too. Just mix vanilla frosting with food coloring until you get the shade you want. If you want to serve juice or soda, do not buy the individual pouches or cans. Buy the largest containers that you can get and pour it into cups for everyone. It is usually helpful to label everyone’s cup with their name using a Sharpie, so that people know which cup is theirs. If not, you’ll have a lot of cups with liquids and everyone will keep pouring a new glass.

If you absolutely have to serve a meal at the party, go with something easy. Do not order pizzas, because that is expensive. It is cheaper to make ziti and meatballs with a salad or hot dogs with a salad.

Party favors can be tricky because of the age of the children. A few favorites of mine are bubbles, sidewalk chalk, jump ropes, crayons and coloring books. All of these items can be picked up inexpensively. The sidewalk chalk usually comes in a large tub and I’ve always taken 3 or 4 pieces and tied them together with a ribbon for party favors.

Another way to save money on parties is to borrow or trade items with family and friends. There is no reason why everyone needs to have 5 party serving bowls for chips and other snack foods. Check with people you know, before you go out and buy things for the party, especially if it is something that you know you will never use again.

The most important thing to remember about birthday parties is that they are supposed to be fun. Your child isn’t going to remember how much you spent on the party, but they will remember all of the fun activities. And if your cake turns out looking weird, well, they’ll remember that a whole lot more than they would remember a perfect looking cake!

What are your favorite tips for planning a children’s birthday party on a budget?

 Posted by at 10:35 pm
May 092016
 

It wasn’t until I became a mother that I realized just how difficult motherhood really is. Everything about it is hard – pregnancy, birth, postpartum, breastfeeding, raising them. There are days when I just feel like I can’t breathe because I am so overwhelmed. When the house is a mess, the kids have been cranky or fighting all day, I haven’t showered or had a break in days, it’s so hard. Motherhood is a lifelong commitment that doesn’t come with an instruction book. You try your best, take one day at a time, and somehow get through it all.

Even though motherhood is one the toughest things I have ever done, it is also the most rewarding. There are so many times when I just look at my two kids, my miracles, and think about how lucky I am to be their Mom. There are lots of moments that make the trials of motherhood all worth it, but I think the moments I have listed below are my top five.

5 Moments that Make the Trials of Motherhood All Worth It

The birth of your children. I am not one of those women that loves being pregnant. I had morning sickness, sciatic nerve pain, horrible heartburn, exhaustion, and pretty much every uncomfortable pregnancy symptom with both of my kids. I also went overdue with both of them. With my daughter, Kayleigh, I endured a long and painful 24 hour natural labor, with 2.5 hours of pushing. It was hands down the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. There were many moments when I just wanted to give up, but I somehow found the strength inside of me to carry on. I wanted to meet my baby girl, my first-born child, so badly. When she finally made her appearance into this world at 12:06am, it was like all the pain I felt over the last 9 months, and the pain of labor just melted away. I was the happiest I have ever been in my life, and I got to experience that feeling all over again when my son was born. Those moments made it all worth it.

Kayleigh birth

The first time they really look into your eyes and recognize you. When you first bring your baby home from the hospital, they don’t really do much for a while. You love them immensely and you feel a close connection to them, but nothing compares to that first time they really look into your eyes and hold a gaze, showing that they truly recognize you. It’s an incredible feeling.

Best Moments of Motherhood

Whenever they smile at you. My kids test my patience on a daily basis. Having a one year old and a three year old is very challenging. They are always fighting with each other, getting into things they are not supposed to, asking the same questions over and over again, and throwing tantrums. There are many moments when I get so overwhelmed and frustrated, but whenever one of my kids smiles at me, I can’t help but smile too.

Kids Smiling

The quiet moments when all they want to do is cuddle with you. It’s really easy to get touched-out as a Mom. When your kids are climbing all over you every day, pulling your hair, wiping their food on you, pinching you, sticking their fingers up your nose and in your mouth, you just feel like you need some space, some time alone. But, when your kids finally settle down, and everything gets quiet and they just want to cuddle with you, it’s one of the best moments ever. I love to gently squeeze them in my arms, run my fingers through their hair, give them a soft kiss on the cheek. I live for those quiet, intimate moments with them, where we can really bond as mother and child.

cuddling

Every time they learn something new. Watching your kids grow up is such an amazing experience. I feel so incredibly proud every time my kids learn something new, from the first time they roll over, crawl, or walk, to learning new words, or putting sentences together. In those moments I reflect on how much they have grown since the day they were born.

Logan Superman

There is a quote about motherhood that just really sums it all up for me. The joy of motherhood comes in moments. There will be hard times and frustrating times. But amid the challenges there are shining moments of joy and satisfaction. ~Elder M. Russell Ballard

In honor of Mother’s Day, Gerber is celebrating mothers and all they do, not only for their children but for their family. I’ll be sharing my favorite mom moments throughout social media during the month of May, and I’d love for you to also! Share your favorite mom moments on social media by using the hashtag #GrowingUpGerber.

What are the moments that make motherhood all worth it for you?

 Posted by at 9:49 pm
May 072016
 

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post for Dunkin’ Donuts. All opinions are 100% my own.

 

 

It’s no secret that I love Dunkin’ Donuts. They are my go-to coffee shop, and I have blogged about them several times before. Their food and coffee is always tasty, very high quality, and affordable too. I also love that I just happen to live within minutes of several Dunkin’ Donuts locations, so it is super convenient for me to pick up my favorite menu items whenever I want. When I recently learned that Dunkin’ Donuts added two new tasty treats to their menu, I just had to check them out.

This Mother’s Day weekend, I decided to treat myself to the new Blueberry Cobbler Croissant Donut and the Caramel Latte Square. Don’t they sound delish?! Of course, I also had to indulge in a cup of hot coffee. Dunkin’ Donuts coffee is my absolute favorite!

Dunkin' Donuts Blueberry Cobbler Croissant Donut and Caramel Latte Square

DELICIOUS NEW TREATS AT DUNKIN’ DONUTS!

I tried the Caramel Latte Square first, and it was just divine. It is a yeast square shell filled with coffee buttercream, made with Dunkin’ coffee, of course, frosted with caramel icing, then topped with a white icing drizzle and Dark Chocolate Caramel Cups. I was really expecting this donut to be overly sweet and kind of dense by looking at it, but it was actually soft and the flavors were very well balanced. I enjoyed every bite of it!

Dunkin' Donuts Caramel Latte Square

I tried the Blueberry Cobbler Croissant Donut next, and oh my goodness, it was so heavenly. This donut features Dunkin’ Donuts’ classic glazed Croissant Donut with blueberry filling, made with real blueberries, finished with white icing drizzle and topped with streusel topping. It was extremely light and airy, and just kind of melted in my mouth. It was a bit on the sweet side, however, so you may want to share it with someone. I shared with my hubby :)

Dunkin' Donuts Blueberry Cobbler Croissant Donut

Fun fact: The first Croissant Donut at Dunkin’ Donuts was introduced in 2014 as a limited-time only menu item, and became one of the most popular limited-time bakery items in recent brand history!

Dunkin’ Donuts’ full menu, including breakfast items, is available all day long, so you can go try out these two new tasty treats any time you like. Hurry, though, because they are only available for a limited time!

Dunkin' Donuts Blueberry Cobbler Croissant Donut and Caramel Latte Square

 

 Posted by at 11:06 pm
May 052016
 

iConnect and Dreft Disclosure

 

Dreft on White HiRes

I love when springtime finally arrives here in Maine, and the kids and I can start spending more time playing outside. We get some pretty brutal winters here, so it’s something I really look forward to all winter long. While the spring weather is enjoyable and a refreshing change for us, it also brings more allergens to the air, and rising temperatures can trigger skin irritations for my little ones.

Kayleigh and Logan

Because it’s so important to use products that are gentle on baby’s skin, especially during the spring months, I use Dreft. Dreft is hypoallergenic and the No. 1 baby laundry detergent choice of pediatricians. Dreft has been trusted for over 80 years and comes with a baby scent beloved by moms.

Dreft

Dreft is partnering with Dr. Dyan Hes for a #DreftSpring Twitter Party! Join @Dreft on May 9th from 9-10pmEST to participate.  RSVP today and mark your calendar for the party.

Tips to Protect Your Baby’s Skin During the Spring Months

Dr. Hes is a pediatrician, and a mom herself, so she has some really great tips to ensure that your baby is protected and comfortable during the spring months:

1. Shade the sun: The long awaited spring season means increased outdoor time for parents and their babies. When heading outside, don’t forget to practice appropriate baby skin safety.

  •  For babies 6 months or older. If your baby is 6 months or older, liberally use sunscreen. Also, avoid exposing your baby to the sun during peak hours — generally 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — and dress your baby in protective clothing, a hat with a brim and sunglasses.
  • For babies younger than 6 months. If your baby is younger than 6 months, keep him or her out of direct sunlight. Protect your baby from sun exposure by dressing him or her in protective clothing, a hat with a brim and sunglasses.

2. Make bath-time beneficial: Over exposure to water can actually rob skin of natural moisture. Scaling back on tub time will help avoid resulting itch — about 10 minutes is plenty of time for water play and a quick scrub. Use warm water (vs. hot) and leave the suds to the very end. Use a mild cleanser to keep skin soft and itch-free. Gently pat skin dry and end with an after-bath moisturizer to seal in moisture and protect baby’s soft skin.

3. Load up on liquids: Staying hydrated during the spring months is important as baby gets more active outdoor time and sun exposure. Start with the inside and ensure children get enough to drink throughout the day. Infants should nurse or take a bottle often; older kids should tote a sippy cup or reusable water bottle. Include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and smoothies in your child’s diet too.

4. Choose the right fabrics and care for them properly: When it comes to fabrics, it’s extremely important to seek out gentle and hypoallergenic items to care for the items that touch baby’s sensitive skin. It’s also essential that fabrics be cared for properly. Wash baby’s items with a specially-formulated product such as Dreft, the #1 baby laundry detergent choice of pediatricians to be gentle and hypoallergenic on baby’s skin. Trusted for over 80 years, Dreft comes with a babyhood scent beloved by moms, and it remains safe and hypoallergenic for baby.

5. Protect Problem Skin: Heat is a common trigger for eczema and as the weather warms up, there are a few things you can do to help prevent flare ups of such skin irritations. The sun is strongest between the hours of 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. so try to shield baby from direct sun exposure during those times. There are also apps available that can inform you of the hottest part of the day – which can be helpful for parents as they plan any outings with their little ones!

Giveaway

Enter below for a chance to win a Dreft Hypoallergenic prize package ($60 value)! This prize package includes:

  • Dreft product (Newborn, Active Baby, & Blissfuls)
  • A gender neutral hypoallergenic blanket

Open to US residents, 18+. This giveaway ends on May 13, 2016 at 11:59pm EST.  Good luck! :)

 Posted by at 3:10 pm
May 052016
 

Summer’s almost here, and I thought it would be fun to have a little giveaway! We could all use some extra spending money during the summer months, right? $50 Paypal cash could be used for so many things – vacation money, to help spruce up your yard a bit with some plants or flowers, to buy summer toys or swimwear for the kids. The possibilities are endless!

Enter to Win $50 Paypal Cash

This giveaway is open to US residents, 18+ and will end on May 31, 2016 at 11:59pm. Enter below for your chance to win this great prize! Good luck :)

 Posted by at 9:26 am