Jack Link’s Cold Crafted

This post is sponsored by Jack Link’s.

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!

Father and Son eating Jack Links
Jack Links

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.

Father and Son enjoying Jack Links
Jack Links
Father and son eating Jack Links
Jack Links

You can pick up Jack Link’s Cold Crafted products in the refrigerated section at your local Walmart.

Jack Links in Lunch Bag
Jack Links
Son talking to father about Jack links
Jack Links
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Disney World: What I would do Differently.

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.

Just for Me Hair Care Routine

This post has been sponsored by Just for Me but the thought and opinions are all mine.

We love our little curly haired babies but getting their cute little curls to come out just right can be a bit of work. Luckily, we found a great product line – the new Just For Me® Curl Peace collection.

It is made specifically for children to leave their kinks, coils and curls tangle free, moisturized, and soft. Of course when we look for products for our curly haired kids we make sure there are natural ingredients. Luckily, their products are formulated with ingredients like shea butter, raw honey, and marshmallow root extract.

Our Daily Routine

We are still learning but here is how we get their curls on point:

  • The night before we wash and condition their hair with the Just For Me® Curl Peace ultimate detangling shampoo and conditioner. This leaves their hair feeling soft and ready for the morning style. Alissa goes to bed with protective styling.
  • In the morning we start with the easy to use Just For Me® Curl Peace 5-in-1 wonder spray. After some sprays and some combing their hair is ready to style.
Just For Me hair care great for boys
  • Then we use the Just For Me® Curl Peace defining curl & coil cream. It is real easy to lather it through their hair and style it (for Alexander) or comb it up (for Alissa).
Just For Me hair care great for girls

Our thoughts

How do we know it works? When we leave the house people of all ages want to run their fingers through our kids’ hair.

We all know getting your little ones to sit and let you do their hair is difficult. That’s why getting a great product like the Just For Me® Curl Peace collection will allow you to make the most of the short time when your child sits still. Of course when raising a family you are always on a budget so Just For Me® makes their products affordable and accessible at local stores like Walmart, Sally Beauty, Target, and Beauty Supply locations.

Why vaccinating my children was an easy choice for me.

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?

Vaccinations Facts

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.

Check out http://bit.ly/SallyButan for more info!

My Three beautiful fully vaccinated babies.

10 Words of Affirmation Every Mother Should Speak over Her Baby

There is power in the spoken word. When someone speaks positive words over you it has an effect. Think of the last time you received praise from someone you respected, admired, or loved. Think of a time when someone recognized something about you: a talent, a quality, or an accomplishment. I remember hearing from a co-worker that I respected, “You are ready for a promotion it is only a matter a time.” The co-worker went on to explain some recent work and ideas I had implemented. I felt something grow inside of me. It was my confidence and belief in myself. All of a sudden I felt worthy and capable of doing even greater work. Positive words of affirmation spoken at the right time can ignite someone on a course for success.

Imagine raising children in an environment where positive words are spoken over them. Children do not know what they are good at, what their talents are, what success looks like, and the potential and worth they have. Speaking life -giving words over them will build their confidence, belief in their abilities, and make sure they know they have worth. Unfortunately, in today’s society our children will face a lot of negative words spoken to them at school by peers and posted about them on social media. As parents we have the ability to control whether our children will be shaped by positive or negative words.

Here are positive words every parent should speak to their child that they will understand.

Words of Affirmation
Words of Affirmations every mother should to speak over her baby .

Words Of Affirmation

  1. You are a gift from God.
  2. Your life has purpose.
  3. You are so smart.
  4. You are so beautiful.
  5. You are valued.
  6. You are so special.
  7. There is no one else like you.
  8. You are very brave.
  9. You are so loved.
  10. You will do big and amazing things one day.
Words of Affirmations
Words of Affirmations every mother should to speak over her baby .
Words of Affirmations
Words of Affirmations every mother should to speak over her baby .

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5 Reasons To Read To Your Child When You Don’t Feel Like It.

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.

Reading to your children
Reading to your children

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.

Reading to your children
Reading to your children

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.