This post is sponsored by Community Coffee Company but the opinions are my own.
There’s no doubt that life looks a lot different for us now that we have three little ones at home. Kevin and I met six years ago around this time, we were full of energy and often dreamed of our future together. At the time we didn’t realize how much coffee we would consume as parents. Between the baby waking up multiple times in the middle of the night and our sweet little Alissa waking up every morning right before sunrise, Kevin and I don’t get much sleep. Thank God for Community® coffee.
Honestly, thinking about the deliciousness of the Community® coffee 37-ounce canister of American Classic™ Blend, which can be found exclusively at Walmart, is what gets us up early. Kevin and I often love to wake up very early right before the kids wake up and enjoy a warm cup of Community® coffee American Classic™ Blend, it’s enough to keep us going for the day. Community Coffee Company is a family-owned business that started in 1919. For four generations Community® has been selecting, roasting and perfecting their great-tasting blends of coffee. Community Coffee Company is the largest family-owned and operated retail coffee brand in America. Community® coffee beans are sourced from coffee farms around the globe. As noted on their website the past 100 years they’ve “maintained an unwavering dedication to making the best tasting highest quality coffee” they possibly can while “developing a better method of sourcing, superior roasting techniques, and innovative ideas to keep their coffee at its peak of flavor and freshness.”
I can really taste the care and dedication Community® puts into making the perfect blend in every cup of coffee I drink. Don’t just take our words for it, head over to your Walmart today and try the Walmart exclusive 37-ounce canister of the American Classic™ Blend for yourself. Community® coffee will make the perfect coffee for hosting and entertaining your guests this holiday season.
It seems the older our children get the busier life seems to get. Between taking our children to preschool, piano lessons, dance and karate, it seems like we never get a moment to stop and eat. That’s why we love having the convenience of bringing Jack Link’s Cold Crafted Beef and Cheese Combo with us wherever we go. It’s the perfect snack to add extra protein on the go. It gives us a feeling that we’re snacking stronger because of the source of protein and energy!
Like father, like son! My boys love conversations between Jack Link’s Beef & Pepper Jack and Jack Link’s Beef & Cheddar . I love how easy it is for them to pop up the trunk and enjoy their snacks.
You can pick up Jack Link’s Cold Crafted products in the refrigerated section at your local Walmart.
Growing up as a Floridian I have been very fortunate to have visited Disney World almost every year or every other year up until age 25. Every trip I had ever gone to as a child up to my teenage years was preplanned by my parents or my school. When I visited Disney as a young adult, I would just show up and let the Disney magic guide me.
So decided I would do the same for my first trip with my kiddos. Ladies and gentlemen please do not make the same mistake as I did. Mid way through my time at Disney I realize winging it at Disney Work does not work with little kids. Although our trip was memorable, it could have been a lot more enjoyable had I preplanned.
Here are four thing I would do differently if I were to do Disney World again with three under three.
1. Join Disney Fan-page groups on FB.
There are many dedicated Disney fan page groups on facebook that has all the information one could ever need. They are also very helpful when I comes to answering questions you may have. Although I was part of these group I didn’t do proper reacher to help me with my day at Disney. One of the very help information leads me to my next bullet point.
2. Pre-purchase your tickets.
We decided that we would pick up our tickets the day of our trip. We woke up early but not early enough. When we got to Disney, World the lines to pick up our tickets were long and slow. It took us 3 hours from parking lot, to ticket booth, to getting into the park. My children and husband were over it before we even got into the park.
3. I would go during cooler months.
This is a personal preference. The day we visited the park it was in the end of May and the temperature was 101 degrees. My kids were hot and taking pictures outside was not enjoyable. We decided coming in a cooler month would have made our trip a little more bearable.
4. Do more character meet and greets.
Meeting Mickey and Minnie was literally the highlight of my children’s trip. To this day that is all they remember about Disney world. I wish we took the time schedule more meet and greet with the characters. My son saw Peter Pan from a distance and wanted to meet him but Peter Pan was just finishing his meet and greet so we missed the opportunity. We also saw Winnie The Pooh but he was being escorted from one place to other and wasn’t able to stop for picture.
It’s been over a month since I made the decision to rock my natural hair texture. I’m not going to lie, it was hard at first but now I’m in love! I never thought that would ever happen.
When I was very young my mother relaxed my hair to make sure my coils were hidden. I grew up hating my “nappy” hair and kept it tucked away in weaves and wigs or relaxed for the bone straight look. I was thought to hid my coils and make sure my edges were brushed and gel as straight as possible.
I never thought anything of it until my curious little ones started asking questions about my fake hair. My son asked me numerous times why my hair (wig) came off and his didn’t. Beside being super embarrassing, I realized that I was hiding my hair because I was not proud of it. I also realized I have never took the time to love and learn what my hair likes to make it grow.
How could I teach my daughter to love everything about herself including her God given curl patterns if I myself didn’t love mine?
So as August 2019 I am officially what we like to call “natural”. I will no longer relax my hair to be straight ever again. I can’t say I will no longer wear extensions or wig but I will no longer use it as a means to hid my nature hair.
This post is sponsored by the Florida Department of Health; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
What I’ve Learned About Vaccinations
When you have a child you start to think differently. You start to question things you never put much thought into before. That’s a good thing because there are important decisions you have to make for your child and healthcare is definitely one of them. When I went looking for answers to some of those first-time mom questions, it was daunting and overwhelming with the amount of opinions and information out there. After going through this with 3 children, I want to share what I’ve learned to make it less stressful for a first time mom.
Here is what I have learned:
Know where you are getting your information from.
Moms love to talk and share stories, and we love to ask Dr. Google our burning questions but it’s most important to know where you are getting your information from. If a mom is giving you an opinion it may only be coming from her experience or that of someone she knows. A few people’s experiences are not as reliable as medical studies. Secondly, if you go sifting through the sites provided by Dr. Google you will find more information than you can make sense of. (To clarify there is no Dr. Google feature. I’m just referring to the search box). Whether you are listening to a mom or reading sites here are 2 things to consider: 1. Is the claim backed up by data? 2. Does this person or site have an ulterior motive?
Unfortunately, on Google the top returned search results can be companies that are trying to be the first to drive traffic to the advertisements on their sites. Many of them do not have extensive medical studies to back up their claims. So who can you trust?
I found lots of information based on facts, research, and studies through the Florida Department of Health (http://www.floridahealth.gov.) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov). You can go through your state’s health department as well.
Here are a few points I felt were important in my decision to vaccinate my 3 children:
– Getting vaccines while pregnant protects me and my baby. – Millions of children are vaccinated every year and have been for decades. – Outbreaks of diseases like whooping cough, mumps, and measles can still happen.
– Vaccines are given at the optimum times to protect children when they are most vulnerable. The CDC has posted a vaccine schedule as well www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules .
– Vaccines are studied for years before they are made available to the public.
It can be overwhelming to make sense of all the information out there while trying to figure out how to parent. I hope some of my points will help you, but my last recommendation is to talk to your child’s pediatrician. Finding a pediatrician that you can communicate well with is probably the most important thing to do. Asking my doctor questions and letting her know my concerns was probably the best decision I made. She actually explained the research and safety behind vaccines and I felt very confident in my decision to vaccinate my children.
We all know that reading is a good thing and we should encourage toddlers to read, but what are the benefits of reading to your child before they can read themselves?
It’s been a long day and you are exhausted. The kids have been fed, bathed, and now it’s time to finally put them down for bed. As you try to leave their room you hear a small voice asking for a story. Your mind goes straight to dirty dishes and laundry. Plus you worry if you slow down and read you may fall asleep. Despite wanting some quiet time to yourself and the chance to get the house in order you give in. Plus you don’t want to lose out on setting up your children for future academic success. Let me lay out 5 reasons why making the sacrifice to read to your little ones is totally worth it.
Reason # 1 – Sustained Focus
With the constant bombardment of visual media that progressively decreases our attention spans, it can be hard to have sustained focus. Our children will need that skill in school, work, and in problem solving. Reading to your children will develop and reinforce an ability to focus on a task. Additionally, children showing an interest in paper books in spite of all the attractive electronic devices should be reinforced. Books will be a part of their academic future.
Reason # 2 – Learning About Their World
Reading books exposes your child to parts of the world they may be unfamiliar with. Whether it’s animals, a different culture, or human behaviors you are exposing your children to new parts of our world that become teachable moments. Of course we would love to take our children out to experience the world, but without the time to do so, a book can act as that field trip to a part of the world they have never seen. View books as ways to expand your child’s knowledge of the world and stimulate their curiosity.
Reason # 3 – Develop Critical Thinking
If you think of reading books to your children as a task you have to do, that makes it one-sided. Learning is more effective when it is two-sided like conversation. Rather than just reading and telling your child what is in the book, try asking them. When you get to a page ask your child what they think is happening. Let them try to figure it out. You’ll be surprised at what they see and then you can guide their understanding. By allowing them to figure out the new knowledge you are developing their independent, critical thinking skills. Unfortunately our schools don’t always cultivate that, but we know in our economy those that can problem solve can make lots of money.
Reason # 4 – All the Academic Benefits
I don’t even have to cite all the studies that show when children are read to at an early age it improves their vocabulary, language acquisition, reading comprehension, etc. Of course all parents want their children to be successful in school. In the ever increasing competitive academic environments at Pre-K, private/charter/public school options, college scholarships, etc. any edge will help. What you may be seeing is that our schools are moving more and more towards individualized learning. With adaptive and responsive learning systems, A.I., and the like it is much more likely that our children will be learning faster at their pace. Early reading will get them equipped with those basic skills (language/comprehension/etc.) so they can progress even faster in those environments.
Reason # 5 – Nurturing Our Children’s Interests
I spoke to a mom who had identical triplets. She told me she read equally to all 3 of her sons early and reinforced the importance of reading. Two of her sons excelled academically, while the third struggled immensely. She couldn’t understand why her third son did not excel like the other two. As her sons grew up she realized her third son had a vastly different interests than his brothers. Her third son ended up in a career in mechanics. The other two thrived in the traditional learning environment. So although all 3 boys were reading the same books only two of them were deeply interested. Her third son who had a natural interest mechanics was rarely exposed to those topics as a child. She believed that had she provided more books on her third son’s interests his reading and academic skills would have been more advanced.
Children all have natural talents and interests. Books are an easy way to find and nurture those talents. Once you find those interests you can drive their cognitive growth through those topics.
Next time you hear that little voice asking you to read a book, remember you are not just reading a book . . . you are developing crucial life skills, unlocking interests, and building your child into an independent learner. Reading to your child each night is like investing money with compounding interest, the dividends are being built up and will eventually become very valuable.