A Glimpse: Ninth Anniversary Celebration

I am thrilled to partner with The Ritz Carlton to share with you some of the great events and features they have to offer.  I received an overnight stay, including meals in exchange for this post.  However, as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

So, the Mathlete and I have made it to the big 9!  Yeah, I am sure there were some doubters out there but we showed them 😉  Today, is our official 9th wedding anniversary but we celebrated over the weekend with an overnight stay at The Ritz Carlton in Tysons Corner.  We were both excited to get away for a night even if it was only a few towns over.  The location of the Ritz Carlton can’t be beat though because it put me right in the heart of Tysons Corner where I love to shop!
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Green Cleaning Options – Green Choice Carpet Cleaning

This is a sponsored post by me on behalf of Green Choice Carpet Cleaning.  All opinions stated here are my own.

As a parent, I am extremely concerned about exposing my children to unnecessary chemicals and cleaning products in my home.  I am always looking for green cleaning options.  I prefer to use green products that are free from harsh odors and skin irritants.  When our carpets needed cleaning, I struggled to find a carpet cleaning company that could assure me that their products were both organic and natural.

Green Choice Carpet Rug Cleaning definitely looked like a green cleaning option that would meet all of my expectations.

GreenChoice Carpet

Their licensed service technicians are extremely knowledgeable about the products they use which are both safe and effective. They periodically offer online coupons for extra savings on their services, so when I am ready, I know I will be able to save money as well!

All of the products Green Choice uses are non-toxic, biodegradable, and organic. They are safe for both children and pets. Green Choice also does rug cleaning as well as carpet cleaning – they even include free pickup and delivery in certain areas. Scheduling an appointment around a busy schedule is super easy. Technicians arrive promptly as scheduled and are extremely courteous. Once they are finished, I know the results will be gorgeous. My carpets will definitely be brighter, stain-free, and smell fresh and clean. I will definitely be using Green Choice in the future!

Sponsor Spotlight – March Edition

It is the end of March. Wow! How on earth did that happen so quickly?!

As always, we like to end our month around here with a big thank you to our sponsors!

Joss & Main is our newest sponsor! I can’t tell you how excited I am to have them on board. I have an alarm set up each day to be there right at 11am so I don’t miss any of the awesome items…like this awesome table I am eyeing as side table for our guest room.

I am still learning new things and tweaking my site based on the information I’ve learned from the Mom Blog to Money Blog seminar. I can see it already starting to pay off in ways and that makes me so excited!

Need a Style Reboot? I certainly felt like as I did as I was starting to sort through things for the upcoming Snap! Conference! I feel in love with this dress which I think will be perfect for the conference.

Along with new clothes for the conference, I also realized I needed some accessories. Of course, I turned to Stella & Dot . I love all of their stuff and, in April, they are donating 20% of their retail sales from their Autiusm Awareness Collection to the HollyRod Foundation.

Our fridge started beeping at me the other day because it needed a new filter. I checked out Fridge Filters and easily found what I needed and got it shipped here super fast!

We are redecorating H’s room and making some changes to E’s room too. That means I visit Land Of Nod a lot looking for different items that might work with our design. Right now, I am eyeing this bookcase which I think would work great in H’s room!

I’ve been doing a lot more projects with vinyl recently which means I need to add to my stash more often too! I always buy my vinyl from ExpressionsVinyl.com because I know I can trust the quality and the prices are great!

Summer is quickly approaching and hot summer days call for some bright, happening colors! Layla Grayce can help prepare your home and garden with beautiful summer essentials! Best of all, when you shop 3/30-3/31, Layla Grayce is offering free shipping with promo code freeship.

A lot of people ask me how I connect with sponsors? Here are a few places that I work with to connect with sponsors easily:

You blog. You Profit. Sign up for SocialSpark!

Frozen Foods Make Meals Easy

Our little family stays pretty busy!  With spring activities starting soon and both kids in school, we are only getting busier.  This makes getting dinner on the table a little difficult on nights when we also have something like gymnastics or Daisies.  Times like those require a little help.

Many times help for me comes in the form of frozen foods.  I use them either as an entire meal or as a starting point to create a larger meal.

Frozen foods got a pretty bad reputation from the early years where you might as well have eaten the box because the flavors were so bland.  That is definitely not the case anymore!  Many of the frozen meals available these days, like ones from Con Agra Foods brands Healthy Choice or Marie Callenders, are filled with fresh ingredients and are created by chefs who have developed inspired recipes.
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Breakfast Ideas for Picky Kids

Meet Picky and Pickier!
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Some days those names are reversed but, overall, they are both pretty picky eaters! I find feeding them meals to be a real challenge because I want to make sure they get exposed to a variety of foods but I also need to make sure they actually eat food too. If they had their way, their diets would consist of macaroni & cheese, pizza and cheerios.

Breakfast is our biggest challenge. I’m not home for week day breakfasts because I am at work long before they open their adorable little eyes. Mathlete handles breakfast duty and he isn’t really fond of cooking…or breakfast for that matter. So, he gets stuck with the difficult task of coming up with breakfast ideas that these two will eat in a small amount of time AND with little effort required to actually get it on the table.

Thankfully, we have an Aunt that makes the perfect breakfast for our busy little family {who may or may not eat their breakfast in the car on the way to school on many mornings some days}…Aunt Jemima!

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Finding Good Snacks {a Green Giant Surprise}

We’re a family of snackers.

When I pick my kids up from school and daycare in the afternoon, they immediately ask for a snack. So, I pack their snack in my lunch bag each morning to make sure I have something with me.
If we are headed out somewhere, we don’t leave home without our trusty snack bag either because someone will surely want a snack while we are gone.

No snack = lots of whining and complaining.

I always feel a little worried that they snack too much and don’t eat enough at meals! But, then I figure it is a phase and that their grazing will subside later in life. So, for now, snacks are a way of life for us.  I just try to make sure the snacks they eat are good snacks with nutritional benefits.

Our snacking habits are why I was so excited to hear that Green Giant {think vegetable Green Giant!} had a GIANT surprise: new veggie chips in two different flavors.

To say my kids descended on them is kind of an understatement. Mathlete did his fair share of eating them too!
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Remaking Our Breakfasts – Yopa! Yogurt

I go to work super early in the morning {like always before the sun is up!} and no one else in my house is awake.  I try to squeeze every  last minute of sleep I can out of the night so I don’t allow a lot of time for preparing breakfast.  In fact, many mornings, I don’t even remember breakfast until I am already at work and then I turn to something super unhealthy in the cafe.  Not good!

One of my missions for this year was to eat healthier.  That  meant bringing healthier foods into our home for myself and my children.   They, like me, don’t have a lot of time to fit in breakfast either.

I’ve tried healthy cereals and similar items but without much success.  Many yogurts tend to be so full of sugar that I have avoided them for the most part.   One day, in the store, I saw Yopa! yogurt and decided to check it out.

My daughter was excited to see Gabby Douglas, the gold medalist, on the front because she is really into gymnastics! {At 5, she is really picky eater so anything that gets her interested is ok with me!}  She was also excited that she could mix things into her yogurt too.  I gave her one of the flavors to try and she polished off the whole container.
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The best part…she asked for it again the next day.  I felt good saying yes because I knew she was getting important stuff for her diet like:
– protein (the 3.5 oz cup has 13% of the recommended daily value)
– calcium
– 5 cultures and 3 probiotics

I grabbed one of the cups along with a slice of toast on my way to work one morning.  It was the perfect size and made a super convenient option for me.  Bringing my own breakfast means I have so much more control over my calories AND keeps me out of the cafe.  Overall, starting off the day right with a balanced breakfast, helps me stay on track for the rest of the day!

Speaking of balance, gold medalist Gabby Douglas is an expert, and she’s challenging you to take the Yopa! Taste Challenge where you can win a variety of prizes, including $10,000! Just “like” Yopa! on Facebook for a chance to win and to grab a coupon for $.50 (or more!) off one cup of Yopa! Authentic Greek Yogurt.

I was selected for participation in this campaign as a member of Clever Girls Collective.

Just Us Four in the Kitchen

When we first moved into our house, I bought a clock for a our kitchen.  I can’t explain why… there were already 2 clocks in there when you could the microwave and the oven.  But, a clock just seemed “right”.

As I’ve started making changes around the house, I decided that the clock was totally out of place.  It was black and tan and pretty fancy.  Our kitchen is the scene of crushed cheerios on the floor and flying blueberries.  There is absolutely nothing fancy about it!

So, I started the search for what to put there.  The kitchen is still a major work in progress so, in truth, the clock stayed there for awhile.  Then, this baby entered my life

It is a picture our family had taken recently that was printed onto canvas by Wishing Tree Designs.

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Where in the World to Vacation?

During our recent getaway to New York City, Mathlete and I were talking about where we should go on our family vacation this year. Last year, we did a 1/2 staycation and 1/2 vacation at the beach. It worked out great because we actually got to relax a little and travel a little.  Of course, being only 1/2 the time of our normal vacation, we had to go somewhere pretty close to make it work.

But, we also want our kids {and us} to visit and experience more places as they get older. We briefly threw around the idea of visiting Australia for a family vacation.

We have good friends who live there and it would be awesome to see them!
Plus, you absolutely cannot beat the beauty of Australia.

It might not be 100% practical for this year since we really haven’t planned our time off from work well enough to support the trip but it did get me to thinking and researching Australian hotels.

So, tell me, where are you thinking of going on vacation this year?
Have you ever been to Australia for vacation?

Preparing for Nightmares That Might Come True – Rotorooter

I had a nightmare last night. I don’t know if it was just a weird night or if it was related to a story a coworker was telling me the previous day about a house disaster he was in the middle of dealing with but I dreamed that our sump pump backed up again and we couldn’t fix it ourselves this time. We tried all different options found on the internet but nothing would fix it.

Picture me in my $10 rain boots sloshing around in our basement trying to DIY a solution. It isn’t a pretty picture.

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