Thursday, May 21, 2015

Simplifying Our Morning Routine


Life with kids can be crazy hectic.

Between school, sports, church, family activities, birthday parties and the like, I feel like we are perpetually running late.

It's funny because I've always been the girl that's on time or even early, to everything. When my boys were little bitty, you could count on me to be the very first one at playgroup. If we had a doctor's appointment, I was there right on time. Meeting a friend for lunch? No problem, I'll be there early to get a good table.

But as the kids get older, it actually seems harder to get going.

Someone put on two different shoes.

This one forgot his backpack.

That one forgot his lunch.

They both forgot to use the bathroom before they headed out to the car.




One of the things we consistently struggle with is the battle over breakfast. I don't know about your kids, but if Chris or I don't sit there and police our boys, then they'll choose to goof off instead of eat in the mornings. And you might think that this battle gets easier during the summer, but that is not the case!

Why? Because all of the fun things that summer entails, like visits to the park with friends, heading off to see the grandparents, going to the lake to fish, packing up for a weekend getaway.

The great news is that I've found something new that will make my... I mean, our lives easier.


If you're like my family, we already love Kellogg's cereal. Brayden loves Fruit Loops, Brody's favorite is Frosted Flakes, I enjoy Raisin Bran Crunch and Chris likes Frosted Mini Wheats.

And now, instead of taking several precious minutes to locate four types of cereal, and get everyone fed, we can all just grab a Cereal In A Cup, new from Kellogg's. It will go wherever our busy family goes, and my kids can grab it without any help from us (score!). Best of all, it's available where I already shop - at Walmart!

If you need a quick and easy snack or breakfast, then grab your favorite Cereal In A Cup to go!


How are you #MakingTheMostOfSummer

Leave a comment below to enter for a chance to win a $100 Walmart gift card! Be sure to include your email address so I have a way to contact you if you win!


Entry Instructions:
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 5/21/15 – 6/16/15.
Be sure to visit the Kellogg’s brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

Friday, May 15, 2015

5 of the Best Books I've Read Recently

It's been awhile since I've talked about my favorite books. I've always been a big reader, though in the last year, I've slowed down a bit. Sometimes I block myself into a corner when I'm reading and I only want to read books about a certain subject matter, which can really be a hindrance! I found myself in that place recently, so I decided to look back at some of my favorite reads and see if I can get myself out of my reading slump.

And if you've read something that you love recently, let me know in the comments!



Number FIVE:

Alright. Who wants a cute book with an adorable cover and and even better title? Meeeee!

So, Jennifer Smith has several of these uber cute books (The Geography of You and Me and This Is What Happy Looks Like are two of her other ones...I just finished TGOYAM and I liked the story but hated the ending). 

The interesting thing about this book is that it takes place over 24 hours. Our main character, Hadley, is heading from her mom's home in the states, to her Dad's wedding in England, and on the way, meets Oliver. I can't say much more without giving away the plot (mostly, because it all happens in one day!) but it was a great read and one my favorite books from the last year. 


 Number FOUR:

One of Rainbow Rowell's lesser known books is Attachments. Here is a book that gripped me from the moment I started reading it and finished out with a FANTASTIC ending. It isn't a heavy read, but I don't know if I would put it in the "light, beach read" category either. I think that comes down to the fact that this particular book drew me in from the first paragraph, and I simply couldn't put it down.

I've read several books by this author but this one remains my favorite. If you like her style but haven't checked Attachments out yet, then go get it! 

(Disclaimer - I was glancing through Goodreads and saw that apparently, I had been given a free copy of this by NetGalley. Obviously that did not affect my review being as I didn't even remember getting it for free, haha!).



Number THREE:

Two words. Nicholas Sparks.

Okay, so, seriously, I'm not a Sparks groupie. There are actually a fair amount of his books that I don't care for, however, this is probably the best one I've ever, ever read. And before you ask, no, I haven't seen the movie (I read the book long before the movie came out).

Whenever I tell anyone to read this book I get the obvious Nicholas Sparks related question, "Does it have a sad ending?" I'm going to do my best to answer this question without giving anything away. I'll tell you this - yes, I cried. I'll also tell you that I hate, hate, hate sad books that leave you with nothing at the end. This book is on my list of top reads so derive from that what you will and if you want to ask me anything specific about it, email me so that I don't give it away for people that don't want any hints. ;-)




Number TWO:



Coming in at number two is Anna and the French Kiss. HORRIBLE TITLE. Seriously, she could have named it literally anything else and it would've been better. However, do not let the title, or the terrible cover speak for the actual content of this book. (That sounds a bit harsh, but I take books seriously. Like, my filter is broken when it comes to books).

So, let's just get the obvious out of the way. 

This book is about Anna.
This book is not about a girl going to France to find her one true love.

I feel better now, having gotten that out of the way. Phew. 

Okay, so if you want to read a book full of imperfect people, living imperfect lives, but finding their real happiness, this might be the story for you.

And if you want to read a book that unfolds in a beautifully written, artfully flowing manner, so that it plays out like a movie in your head, then this might be the book for you. 

So basically, if you like to read, like even the teeniest, tiniest bit, then this is the book you need to go read. Like now.

Note: The other two books that sort of relate to this one without being sequels (Lola and the Boy Next Door and Isla and the Happily Ever After) are both really great too. I rated Isla's story a 5 star read and Lola's a 4 on Goodreads.


Number ONE:

In the number one spot is The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan, aka The Fug Girls.

So here's a huge secret - I am a big fan of European royalty. Just kidding - if you've read this blog for awhile or if you follow me on twitter, then you probably already know that (I mean, I am the girl that tweeted the entire tour of Australia and both of Kate's births). So, when I heard that my twitter friends Heather and Jessica were writing a new book called The Royal We, I knew I had to read it.

It loosely follows the love story of Wills and Kate, but it is chock full of twists, turns and surprises.

If you like:
A.) Royalty
B.) Love Stories
C.) Will and Kate
D.) Tiaras
E.) Prince Harry
F.) London
Then you need to go buy this book. Like now. Come back to this post in a minute after you go buy your copy.

I should offer a slight disclaimer - I did receive a copy of this book for free. However, freebies of any sort never deter me from giving an honest opinion, and I honestly love this book and can't wait to read it again.

I am crossing my fingers that we get a sequel soon!


So, what have you read recently that you love?

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Keep Good Going & Win A $100 Visa Gift Card!


Six years ago, I started this blog to chronicle our journey with infertility and loss.

Imagine my shock when, right after launching it (quite literally within a day or two) we found out I was pregnant.

After years of struggle and heartache and loss, we finally welcomed our first son Brayden in January of 2009.

Being a mom is something I always wanted. When I was a kid and teachers would ask us what we wanted to be, my reply was always "a stay-at-home mom." I'm not sure they knew what to make of that. ;-)

That's why, when I finally became one, Mother's Day and Father's Day became a couple of my and Chris's favorite holidays.



We love making new traditions for our little family, and that doesn't just apply to Christmas or Easter, but all the holidays we celebrate.

Like many of you, Chris holds his annual Father's Day BBQ at our house. Everyone is welcome, and they each bring their favorite family side dish. It's a fun conversation starter - we all share stories about Grandma's three bean salad, or the time that someone's uncle caught the yard on fire while lighting the BBQ.

On Mother's Day, we always go out to a nice brunch (that way mom doesn't have to cook!). My boys always pick out rainbow colored roses for me and color homemade cards, while Chris often picks out a gift with my little guys initials on it. We always set the auto timer on my camera and attempt to get the "perfect" family shot, which means we have a collection of photos where I'm running to get back into the frame, or one of the kids is making a funny face.


The good people at New York Life are Celebrating Good moments and special family experiences this season, and like me, they're hoping you'll share a picture of how you Keep Good Going over on their official page (just click here).

If you're looking to start your own set of traditions, then check out the thousands of tweets that people just like us have already shared using the hashtag #KeepGoodGoing, or on their webpage.

If entering please be sure to include your email address so I have a way to contact you if you win!

Sweepstakes: To enter for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card, leave a comment below letting me know your favorite ways to celebrate Mother's Day or Father's Day! What special traditions does your family love?
Entry Instructions:
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 5/14/15 – 6/30/15.
Be sure to visit the New York Life brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!
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