Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Hello Sweet, Goodbye Sugar! {Giveaway}

Today seems like the perfect day to talk about tooth paste and teeth brushing, right? :)



We are SO excited to do a little Trick-or-Treating with our kids tonight. The anticipation is high, and we can't imagine what job our teachers have with all the kids today. Rumor has it a little candy taste testing has been happening, and the sugar running through their veins as they "pre-game" has started to hit their system.

But we know even though all that sugar is fun and oh so yummy - it has to go. At least off everyone's teeth. We'll totally still be in the pantry doing a little Reece's Peanut Butter Cup reconnaissance and taste testing of our own.

HELLO SWEET, GOODBYE SUGAR!


Hello toothpaste has been a long time favorite of both of our family's. Once we were introduced a few years ago to the kids line, they haven't wanted to brush their teeth with anything else. We love that they have a "naturally-friendly" line of products that is gluten free, vegan, cruelty-free, and free of synthetic dyes, artificial sweeteners/flavors, parabens, microbeads, and triclosan. It's healthy for you beyond just your gums and teeth! 


Since their initial launch, Hello "Naturally Friendly" oral care has expanded greatly. They've added a few new items to their adult line, including a yummy whitening toothpaste. And for the kids they've added new fun flavor for the kids - Watermelon!


Blondie was our official taste tester of the new Watermelon Fluoride-Free flavor and loves it!


She's not about to give up her original favorites though, and has them on rotation at each brushing.


What we were most excited about though, was the addition of a new training toothpaste. Getting children to brush their teeth regularly is one thing, but establishing good brushing habits from the get go is key! A large part of getting little ones, who can't verbally communicate with you, to establish good teeth brushing routines is to make it FUN. From crazy brushing time songs and dances to their favorite characters on their toothbrushes to letting them play in the water while you brush for them - whatever you can to make it something they want to come back to. 


For our tiny tots a large part of that "fun" also includes taste. Because let's be honest, if it doesn't taste good to them, there's no way they are sticking anything in their mouths. Hello's fun flavors make that so much easier, and our tiniest little Magnolia absolutely loves the new apple training toothpaste

She gets so excited to brush her teeth and we've caught her a few times sneaking into the bathroom to brush on her own. Let's just say I'm glad that it's safe to swallow. 


And now that she also has been introduced to the wonderful world of Halloween candy by her siblings and fellow mini-Magnolias, we are glad she has a love for teeth brushing and apple flavored toothpaste that runs deep. 


A HALLOWEEN TREAT FOR YOU!

And since it's Halloween we wanted to give you a little treat of our own. We've teamed up with the fabulous Hello Oral Care team to give away our favorites from the Hello line. One lucky reader will win a set of kids toothpastes as well as one of our favorite whitening toothpastes for adults. Enter below and the winner will be announced on Friday, November 10th. 



Here's hoping everyone has a spook-tacular Halloween, and has fun keeping all the sweet in today with out all those sugar bugs!


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*Thank you to Hello Products for providing products for this post. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

**Giveaway: Winner must be 18 and older and a resident of the United States. Winner will be chosen randomly and must claim prize within 48hrs or a new winner will be chosen. 

Monday, October 30, 2017

Cocktail Confessions: Apple Cider Mimosas

Happy Monday friends! What else to make your Monday better than a yummy little cocktail recipe? 

Ever since we did a little Fall frolicking at our favorite apple orchard, we've had apples on the brain. And in our bellies. 

We've pretty much have been consuming them 24/7 since our return. Someone might have gone a little apple crazy in the baked goods section of the store. 

And apples were totally the inspiration for our latest little cocktail - the Apple Cider Mimosa!

apple cider mimosas

The Apple Cider Mimosas are so so yummy! And super easy to make! They only take a few ingredients and are like putting a little taste of fall right in your mouth. 


With all the fun fall holidays coming up, and tons of entertaining scheduled on the calendar, we know we will be whipping out this easy recipe repeatedly. 


From brunches to Thanksgiving dinner to maybe even a little pre-trick-or-treating happy hour, Apple Cider Mimosas are the perfect little crowd pleasing drink. 

Besides, how else will we put all those dozens of apples we picked during our fall family fun to good use? 

Apple cider mimosas recipe. Perfect cocktail for a fall brunch, baby shower, or wedding.

Check out the full recipe for Apple Cider Mimosas over on Savvy Sassy Moms, whip up a batch for tomorrow night, and thank us later! 

Cheers!


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Friday, October 27, 2017

Friday Favorites: Birthday Day Edition

Happy Friday y'all! We have all made it! 

Wahoo!!!! 

This week was filled with so much fun, and our weekend is jam packed too. We have been on birthday party overload here for a special little FOUR year old. When we started this little blog a few years ago L.C. was just a tiny little tot about to celebrate her first birthday


Look how little she looked! 

(And let's not even get on the subject of how young I looked...)

Now she is a fun, sweet/sassy little girl with a huge heart and a love for super heroes that goes deep. Her greatest passions include her family, her puppies, and cheese dip. 
She's fearless, smart, and over the top dramatic. 


And we LOVE her to pieces! 


So hopping in this week for Friday Favorites to give you a little sneak peek at some birthday fun we've been having, mixed in with some of my other favorite finds.


My first favorite of the week...SURPRISE! :) 


My sweet family invited us over to my parents house last minute when they found out Mr. Cute was headed out of town again. We walked in the door and they had a surprise party planned for this girl. She was so surprised and so excited it was a party in her honor in her favorite theme - Super Hero Girls!


My parents gave her this Disney Princess art set as one of her gifts and she literally painted, colored, stickered, and traced for hours. 


She loved the special day they planned, and it was a great way to kick off her birthday week. 



I will share more on this birthday moment next week, but I wanted to share a little sneak peek now because it was definitely one of my favorite moments of the week.  


I coordinated with L.C.'s preschool teacher to bring a little surprise to her classroom. The kids were so excited to see they not only got food treats, but they were receiving fun super hero goodie bags as well. L.C. was so surprised and felt so special. 

They were the easiest things to put together and super inexpensive too. Stay tuned for my secret...


L.C. was spoiled rotten and received quite a few gifts over the course of the week, but this might be her favorite one. 


The only thing she asked for her birthday was a phone that can take pictures. Clearly I wasn't going to give my newly four year old a new phone. I thought about reactivating one of my old ones so that should could take photos with it. I thought about just buying her her own camera (she loves taking pictures with one of mine). But then after doing some research I stumbled upon this - the KidiBuzz


It's like a smart phone for kids, but way tamed down. It has camera and video functions, as well as music, games and a few fun apps. They can also send messages from it as long as you are connected to wi-fi. It has a parental control on it that you can state how much time they can play on the games and apps. And if you want to add more, you can. 

It had mixed reviews, so I was a little nervous. It comes in two colors, but I ordered the pink one. I found that it was easy to set up, and haven't had any problems with it. L.C. loves playing with it and so does Cute if she's feeling nice at the moment and shares. 

I love it because now I don't have to share my phone or delete a 1000 blurry photos of my hard wood floors at the end of the day. 

Best. Gift. Ever.


We still have one more birthday celebration on the horizon, but after that it's full on Halloween mode. We are all so excited this year! I think it's the fact that all three Cutes will now kind of "get it". 

That, or the fact that a massive amount of Reece's Peanut Butter Cups are about to make their way into the house. 

It's a toss up. 


I've been in full on decorating mode, and still have a few final things to add this weekend, but my front porch has the beginnings of it's spooky makeover. I love my black gingham pillow covers and might use them again to mix with some red pillows for Christmas. 

Another favorite is our big orange and black spider (it's over 5ft long!). It is battery operated and comes on on its own when it starts to get dark. Spiders are our theme this year and there is more to come, but love the start. 


Sadly, I don't think my mums are going to make it. Doesn't anyone have a trick to these? Especially in the south. I purchased/planted them about three weeks ago and they are struggling. 


We still love all of our usual favorite Halloween books, but have added a new favorite or two this year. 


There are two that seem to get the most laughs out of all of them lately. A Halloween Scare in Georgia has been a long time favorite of ours. We love that it mixes in some of our local cities and hotspots with in the story (This book is also available in a bunch of different states.). Alpha Oops! H is for Halloween is our new favorite. It is so silly and a fun way to get kids to learn about the alphabet. The kids laugh hysterically at the storyline. 
And switching gears a bit from all things birthday and holiday related for my next favorite. 

It's gotten a little cooler here lately, so we've been breaking out the fall wardrobe bit by bit in between the hot days.  Our love for leopard print runs deep, and when I spotted these shoes in Chicago a few weekends ago, I couldn't resist. 


I ended up waiting until I got home to purchase them because at the time I didn't want to carry a shoe box around the city. 


They arrived this week, and I LOVE them! I tried the leopard flats on in store and they seemed to run pretty true to size. They are instantly comfortable and didn't require me to break them in at all. 


They are definitely a new favorite and I'm thinking of getting another pair just because of how comfortable they are. The style comes in a variety of colors and I loved the blue velvet ones I also spotted in the store. They would be so cute for holiday parties. 

If flats aren't your thing, the leopard print was also available in a couple of other different styles, and I loved them all!

(click pics for details)


The slip on booties were a close second to the flats for me, and I might even go back and order those too. I love a good bootie and they were super comfortable in the store. If I hadn't just purchased a new pair of leopard heels (although, can you have too many?) this pair would have been a no brainer - so cute!!



And since it's officially fall, I'm so glad CFA brought back their Chicken Tortilla soup. 


Not the most appetizing photo, but if you haven't tried it you are missing out!  It is oh so yummy! I love soup in the fall and winter months, and I've tried to replicate this to make at home, but haven't ever gotten the recipe right. If you have one  please share!

 And not once, but twice, it was my dinner of choice during my soccer mom duties this week. YUM!

Now if CFA will go ahead and bring back the Peppermint Milkshake, I will be all set for winter. :) 



And that wraps up my favorites for the week! Thanks for hanging out and can't wait to see what were some of your favorites this week!

Happy weekend!

Jen

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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Curves Strong

Thank you Curves International for sponsoring this post.  Ready to get #CurvesStrong? 

Just about a month ago we started our workout journey at Curves® and it has been a fun, positive, and successful month.  We went into this month excited to really learn what Curves® is all about and discovered that it is so much more than just exercise.

The Workout

The workout at Curves® is set up as a circuit type of training.  You alternate between cardio and hydraulic resistance machines to help keep your heart rate up.  Each machines is set up strategically focusing on both upper and lower body muscles for a full body workout.  


Music is playing and there is an announcement when it is time to move on to the next station.  It's so easy you literally have someone telling you when to move on.  We were not familiar with hydraulic machines at first and on our first attempt they seemed too easy.  Then we learned that the faster you do the machine the more resistance you will receive making it great for anyone at any age or fitness level. 


 The other piece of the puzzle is the cardio.  In between each machine are the cardio stations and there you can alter the cardio for your needs.  If you really want an intense workout you can do quick high-knees running in place for 30 seconds, but if that isn't your speed you could even just march in place.  It is all about what works for your fitness level!  


You repeat the circuit twice and then do the pre-determined stretching and that gives you the 30 minute workout. We loved that we could get in and out in a half an hour and still feel like we got a great workout.  

The Support

When we first joined Curves® we were so impressed with the amount of support we received!  The women who work there are truly invested in what they do and they are so encouraging and supportive of each and every person.  It doesn't matter if you are brand new or a regular, they come and check on each person, make sure they are using the machines properly and getting the most out of their workout.  


We were given such great instructions and support as we made our way through the circuit the first few times that we knew exactly how each machine worked.  However, we never had to feel embarrassed or nervous to ask a question if we forgot how something worked. 


They do a monthly weight and measurement session which makes some of us want to cringe, but it is really fantastic if you can get past seeing the numbers.  They help you to track and celebrate your progress each month which we absolutely loved! 


The Community

Hands down the most amazing part of our Curves® experience was seeing and being part of the amazing community.  We met women both young and old who were from all walks of life, but they are what makes Curves® way more than a workout.  You may come in with a friend or you might visit alone for the first time, but we guarantee that no matter who you are you will walk out with a smile on your face and feeling like you've met a new group of friends.  The 30 minutes spent in this setting were some of the most positive, uplifting, entertaining and heart-warming minutes that we spent all week long. We laughed until we cried somedays and learned something new with each visit! 



We met single women, married women, widows, mothers and even young soon-to-be mothers from another country living abroad for a few years.  The topics of conversations ranged from favorite football teams to meal-prep and holiday plans to fashion.  It didn't matter that we were new to this group, we were part of it and it felt so welcoming.  We wished that we had known about Curves® when we were brand new moms and just longing for some adult interaction because we would have gotten that and so much more at the time.  



It was wonderful for us to be on this Curves® journey together because although we are best friends and talk (or text rather) on a daily basis, we don't always get to see each other all that often.  This really forced us to take time out of our busy schedules to do something for ourselves.  Something to take care of us and not just our kids and to spend some quality time together.  


As we all know, moms just give and give and give to our families and often put ourselves last.  Being a part of Curves® is the perfect way to take a little time out for yourself and become a part of this amazing community, too!

To learn more about Curves®:
Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter 


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This post was sponsored by Curves International, but, as always, all of the content, ideas and opinions are our own. 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Clean like a Mom Boss

Cleaning is never really fun for any of us, right?  About 18 months ago I wrote a post about how I handle housework and to be honest, not a lot has changed. I mean, it's kind of one of those topics that isn't too exciting, but we all deal with it so maybe we can share some tips or tricks to help each other out?  Or, if you are like me,  just keep hoping that I'll get a cleaning fairy to do it all for me. There is just really no winning with kids though and it is a constant chore that has to be tackled.


Since it just comes along with the territory of being a mom, and I don't think any of us are getting that cleaning fairy anytime soon, I thought I'd share a few tips for cleaning like a mom boss!


Head on over to the redesigned Savvy Sassy Moms site to read it (HERE) and please, please, please share any tips or tricks you might have with me in the comments below.  With three messy kids and a dog, my house needs all the help it can get!


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