Sprinkle Room! A Little Girls Dream Bedroom.

I am not going to lie, designing this room for Caroline enabled me to live vicariously through her and create the ultimate fun, bright colored, and coolest sprinkle room ever! When I first discovered sprinkle wall decals on Pinterest, I knew I had to incorporate sprinkles into our oldest daughters room design.

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When we lived in Gainesville, Fla. our home had three bedrooms, so when we found out we were pregnant with our youngest daughter we decided the girls would share a room in order to preserve the guest bedroom. The room was large, but we wanted to find a bed with extra storage or a loft to create more space for the girl’s. We looked all over and eventually settled on the IKEA KURA White, Pine Reversible bed.

 

 

We picked this bed for a few reasons: One, if she ended up scared of sleeping in a loft bed it was reversible and could be easily changed to a normal bed. Two, it was under $300.

Since it was new and we wanted the transition to be exciting for Caroline, we made the bed extra cool by adding a pink tent!

The search for the right dresser was also a challenge because of the raw wood on the loft bed but we settled with an IKEA dresser with the plan of maybe painting it or changing out the knobs but once we got it in the room it was a perfect fit as is. We used two IKEA mirrors as a vanity over her dresser. They were originally in our room but ended up being perfect for Caroline’s new room. Next, to her dresser, we created a gallery wall with all kinds of fun things!

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Of course, she needed a unicorn for her wall, we found the cutest one at Hobby Lobby and used a few pieces that were in her old room. I ordered a watercolor donut print to tie in with the sprinkle theme. A few years back I made her a holder for her bows and other hair accessories with yarn and an old rocking chair spool.

 

 

The room would not be the Sprinkle Room without the sprinkle wall! We found the decals on Amazon and they were a great deal ($12.73). My husband installed them and it was way easier than we anticipated. We painted all the other walls a soft pink per Caroline’s request and left the sprinkle wall white. On the sprinkle wall sits a fun little reading nook and bookcase.  This can also be found on Amazon for just $79.33!

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To finish off her room we wanted to create space where she could play in her bedroom but not take up too much real estate. We found an awesome wall mounted dollhouse from Ikea and got an adorable cloud light to mount above it. We ordered furniture for it off Amazon that matched her room and she LOVES it.

The light makes a great night light for her as well as looks cool over the house.

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The Sprinkle Room was the talk of the neighborhood amongst all the little girls when we first moved in and if you asked Caroline what she like most about her new house she would always answer by saying “My Sprinkle Room!” Having little girls is so fun and I love decorating their rooms by bringing imaginative colors and decor. I can’t wait to share Ella Jaye’s room next!

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7 Black Friday Shopping​ Tips

Black Friday is here, but are you ready for it? Here are seven shopping tips to help you get the most out of Black Friday 2018.

  1. Use Ebates: This is a no-brainer, but I know many people shopping online without it. Make sure to create an Ebates account, if you do not already have one. This will save you even more on top of the regular Black Friday sales. Last year, I saved over $100 on my holiday shopping by using Ebates and continue to use it all year-round.
  2. Shop online: Skip the busy stores and shop online this Friday, as most of the deals will be online and with Ebates you can save even more. You will also skip the hassle of the crowds and most retailers offer free shipping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
  3. Do your research! If you must go out, make sure you know what you are looking for. Do your research so you can get in and out without wandering around. The best deals will be gone first so hustle, hustle, hustle!
  4. Use a rewards card: This goes for all shopping but consider using your credit card with the best rewards so you can rack up the points and get even more bang for your buck!
  5. Amazon Prime: Shopping on Amazon is so easy and they categorize their black Friday deals so you can sift through it all easily. Being a Prime member is awesome year-round so don’t forget about Amazon this week when shopping.
  6. Window shop beforehand: If you have time or even on the day of you can window shop and make lists of what you want and what sizes etc. Then just go home and order them online using coupons and Ebates to save more.
  7. Arrive caffeinated: Okay, so this should be #1 but DO NOT LEAVE HOME WITHOUT YOUR COFFEE or you will get stuck in 30+ min long line for Starbucks.

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Shopping for the Photographer in Your life

Early Black Friday 2018 – Amazon Deals

Unique Gifts for Mom That Will Put You On Her Nice List!

Some links provided are affiliate links.

Gift Ideas For Your Kids that are NOT Toys.

As Mom, I try to instill a sense of appreciation and great fullness into my daughters. When they are preschool aged that can be hard. They don’t grasp the concept of their fortune and at times struggle to show appreciation for what they have.  My husband and I have given this lots of thought over the past few months and decided no more “toys” in-between birthdays and holidays and when we do gift them toys we are going to put more thought behind what we select and start providing them with more experiences, but more on that later.

In my efforts to find more practical gifts for my girls this 2018 Christmas season, I have compiled a list of some fun gift ideas that I want to share with you all!

The Nugget: This is the perfect addition to a playroom, bedroom or family room! If you have young children who love to climb, build forts and can be a tad rough on your typical couch The Nugget should be on the top of Santa’s list!

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$229

https://nuggetcomfort.com/products/the-nugget

Family Vacation: This one can be hard to decide on last min but maybe this will encourage you to consider this next year. Give your entire family the gift of travel! This can be a small weekend trip to Disney or a big family trip to Hawaii. You can get creative with how you deliver the gift depending on where you are going. I plan on getting my daughter a pink suitcase and making “plane tickets” for the family so she has something to open on Christmas morning. We will also get some travel toys for the journey as her stocking stuffers.

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We even convinced our 4 year old to ask Santa for our trip this year, so she better be good!

Monthly Subscription Box: There are lots of fun options for subscriptions such as the Bluum Box, Kiwico Box, Little Passports and may more. Find on that fits your kids age and personality. Make sure to order it before the holiday so they can unwrap their first box that day. Kids love getting mail and depending on how long of a subscription you get they will have something fun to open every month! Disclaimer, there might be toys in the box but we still think this is a fun alternative to Barbie or Nurf Guns.

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Music or Language Lessons: My 4 year old is always asking for piano, guitar and violin lessons, don’t ask me why she picked those…I would love for her to start learning so what better idea then to gift her the lessons for Christmas. She also has curiosity for language so what better way to expand on that then getting her Spanish lessons. If having one on one classes seems to costly consider buying a program to learn music or language or betty get both!

Memberships: Depending on where you live this can be a great alternative to toys. Being in Atlanta we have tons of options and when we lived in Florida we got annual passes to theme parks. However, if Disney or Sea World are not nearby you can get a membership to your Local Zoo, Museum or Aquarium.

Movie Tickets: This is a great idea of kids 4 and up, they will love using “their tickets” to go see a movie or two of their choice. It also give you something for them to look forward to doing on a rainy day or random school teacher work day in the near future.

Bird Feeder of Garden: This one seems silly but how much do you want to bet if your kid unwraps a cool bird feeder they won’t be super excited to run out back and set it up. Just make sure you have a spot for it in the yard that they can observe it year-round from the window. You can also get an indoor garden for them to learn about growing plants. Warning if you are like me and kill everything stick with the bird feeder so there is less disappointment.

A fish: Okay, yes this will be some work like the garden but you can get a simple Goldfish or Beta fish that they can keep in their room. Make sure they are responsible enough for a pet before buying this one. We obviously do not want any fish harmed…

As you can see there are all kinds of great gift ideas out there that are not Toys. This list can go on and on, but these are some of our favorite non-toy gift ideas. It is important that we teach our children the value of toys and all the wonderful things they are gifted and blessed to have. It is also important they experience life away from technology every now and then so mixing up the Christmas list a bit this year might just help them do that a little more.

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Early Black Friday 2018 – Amazon Deals

Here are some 2018 Black Friday Amazon deals you can start shopping now. First, make sure you are shopping via Ebates to save even more on this black Friday! Then start your online shopping!

This set of Adorable Girls Hair Clips (50Psc) for $7.64! What a great deal!

This Diapper Bag Back Pack for only $20.96

Ezpz Mini Mat on sale for on $15.99

Nuk Trasitional Sippy cup! These are the ones we use and they are onsale now for just $5.21

Ummm this nursing cover is only $6.39!!

This awsome trasitional High Chair is onsale for only $89.99 buy it today and it will last over the years.

Going somewhere for the holidays? Grab this check bag carseat cover for only $8.93

A set of silicone bibs $14 or less!

Make sure to check back for more Black Friday deals!

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Links provided are Amazon Affiliate links.

Best Glasses for Your Trendy Kiddo – Jonas Paul Eyewear

Finding out my oldest daughter needed to wear glasses made me sad and nervous about how hard it would be to get an independent three-year-old to wear them. We were told that she had signs of amblyopia (Lazy Eye) and that also scared me. Little did I know it is very common and her case was mild, but more on amblyopia another day.

When looking for her first pair of glassesEyewear I went with JCPenney’s Optical. We pondered getting those “unbreakable” and expensive ones you see little kids wearing all the time, but I wanted her to feel comfortable in what she had to wear on her face daily. They were having a back-to-school, buy-one-get-one-free deal, so she got a bright pink pair and some brown backups that look like the glasses my dad (her Grandfather) has.

Within the first week we were sending them out for repair and that was the start of what seemed to be my endless hunt for quality glasses for kids that are fun, trendy and don’t break the bank.

I kept seeing ads for a company called Jonas Paul with kids in the cutest glasses. However, when I saw these ads I figured anything that looks that good has got to be out of my price range so I didn’t consider them. At dance camp this summer another little girl came walking in with the cutest tortoiseshell glasses. I asked her mom where she got them and she told me Jonas Paul.

She told me about their process and that they did not cost an arm and a leg! I HAD to try them out for myself.

They are an online company, so for you to be comfortable with your choice of frames they send you a FREE try on kit will all the options. This lets you see the quality of the glasses before ordering and helps you and your kiddo pick out the best fit for her or his little face.

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Once you pick your frames, you go online and pick the color and place your order. When they send you the try-on kit you, get a postcard that tells you how to (very easily) measure the distance between your child’s eyes and poof! You’re done. It’s that simple!

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Our daughter had so much fun trying on all the different frame options. We ended up ordering two pairs because we couldn’t decide on what color we liked best. When it comes to kids having a backup is necessary, but it also gives them some freedom of choice when they get dressed in the morning. Caroline loves picking out what pair she is going to sport for the day.

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We could not be happier with the process and our new glasses! My daughter gets compliments everywhere we go about her glasses now. See all their adorable Trendy children’s glasses options here

Use this code for $10 off your purchase: Michaelson10

Special thank you to Jonas Paul for welcoming us into their affiliate program.

7 Essentials for Pumping Mammas

Being a pumping mom is hard! When I returned to work after haveing my first daughter she went on a “nursing strike.” This meant if I wanted to continue to feed her breast milk, I would have to get to work and start pumping… all… day… long… or so it seemed. Here are 7 of my pumping momma must-haves to add to your registery list or head over to Amazon today and click buy now!

1.Double Breast Pump that is small and efficient — The Pump, you will love it and you will hate it, but it will be your life for the foreseeable future. Having a good pump is key to a pumping mom’s success. When pumping exclusively you will pump every 2-3 hours for the first several months then taper down as the baby grows. This takes A LOT of time, so making sure you can move around and pump will be a lifesaver. I have the Medela Freestyle Breast Pump the second go around, and it is worth the extra money.

2. Double pumping bra store bought or self-made — For my first baby, I pumped exclusively and figuring out how to pump, work, and feed a baby all at the same time was a challenge. I actually took an old sports bra and cut two holes in the front and used that as my more affordable pumping bra. You can use an old bra that has a back clasp as well, making it easy to put on and take off. For my second baby, I ordered a strap that holds both pumps in place. Depending on your size there are many options for hands-free pumping.

3. Well insulated lunch bag — You will be transporting milk to and from work, so make sure you have a well-insulated freezer/lunch bag to keep the milk cool going to the freezer and fridge from your office, as well as some of those cool packs used in coolers.

4. Storage bags — These will save room in the freezer and fridge, and they also hold more milk then bottles and can be dated with a pen or Sharpie. I started pumping and freezing the second I got home from the hospital. As a working mom, having a good supply of frozen milk ready to go when you return to the office is key to being successful at exclusively pumping. I found that the best bags to use were Lansinoh storage bags. They are easy to use and the store, but they are also easy to reseal when you thaw out the milk for use. In addition to Amazon, these are available at Target and Walmart.

5. Storage Bins for freezer — I did not do this with my first baby and wish I had. Find plastic storage bins that fit in your fridge and can be stacked. These maximize the space you have to store and organize your frozen milk.

6. Drying rack — When you are exclusively pumping or pumping during the workday, your baby will go through a lot of bottles. Make sure you have some counter space cleared and a good drying rack for all those bottles and bottle parts needing to be washed and dried daily. This is one thing I dreaded when I found out I was pregnant again — all the bottles to wash — but being prepared will help. Boon makes a great rack that comes in small and large depending on your needs. I have three: two small and one large. We keep one upstairs in the master bathroom and two downstairs.

7. Bottle cleaners — Just as drying space is essential, so are cleaning utensils.  Making sure you have a scrubber small enough to fit all the cracks of a bottle is key to keeping them clean and your baby healthy. Bottles can pick up bacteria and mold easily if not cleaned and dried properly.

*links provided are Amazon affiliate links

Dental Care for my girls

I am embarrassed to say that the last time I went to a dentist was when I was in my first trimester with Caroline … oh crap. I need to schedule an appointment. It seems like the second I became a mother things that don’t seem as important have been pushed back. Honestly, as I type this it makes me a little overwhelmed to think about it. Maybe we will circle back to that topic in another post, but today I want to talk about dental care for my children.

Caroline went to her first dentist appointment when we lived in Gainesville, Fla. I researched via word of mouth on social media and decided on Kids Only Dental Place. To say they were awesome would be an understatement. The hygienists were excellent, the set up was great, and Dr. Bob was so good with Caroline. She first went when she was two (I believe) and again before we moved (age three).

I was dedicated to making sure I found another good dentist here in Georgia, so I could make sure she goes every six months as Dr. Bob recommended. We found one in the same office building and floor as our new pediatrician. When we went, I had my baby girl with me and they gave her a first exam for free — for the one tooth she had.

One thing that stuck with me, and I have been doing my best to do this, is to brush the baby’s teeth (even though she only has six now) every night after feeding as recommended by our new dentist.

When I came across the 360 Toothbrush by Baby Buddy, I was excited to find a product made for babies and kids that was easy to use AND reached ALL surfaces of their teeth. Not to mention both my daughters love using the 360 Toothbrush!

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We also have the Brilliant Kids Sonic (electric) Toothbrush for our four-year-old. The first time she used it she was so excited. Not only was it pink, but the neck lights up making it a fun experience. We would recommend this 100% and the best part is she wants to brush her teeth now! So, if you have kids you are trying to get excited about their nighttime and morning routine, give this a try. It comes in several colors and has animal character options!

We also use the Baby Buddy Baby’s First Toothbrush with our 9-month-old. It is perfect for cleaning her teeth and for using as a teether. Our daughter enjoys teething on it on her own, but also lets us brush her teeth with it. The silicone bristles feel good on her sore gums as those cutting teeth break through.

Overall, we are big fans of Baby Buddy because this brand has several products meant for the different stages of your children’s dental hygiene journey. (Show stages Chart) So if you haven’t already, make sure to at least try out the 360 toothbrush, and get yourself one while you at it.