Starting is Believing

Florida Prepaid

Open enrollment in the Florida Prepaid College plans begins October 15th, 2015 and offers some new options for families who want to get started saving money for their children's futures. This post is sponsored by the Florida Prepaid College Board, through my role as a Believer Blogger.  As parents we have big dreams and expectations for our children when they get older. We want them to be happy, confident, accomplished, and have more opportunities than what we had ourselves. My parents provided for us everything we could have asked for. The one thing that they didn't provide for us was any type of college savings. They were very clear as we were growing up that if we wanted something bad enough, we would work hard for it and achieve our goals on our own. They didn't want to force higher education on us like their parents did to them.  I can respect that and I know that they helped mold me into the adult that I am today. I don't remember ever asking them for help paying for ... [ Read More ]

College Football is the Yin to My Yang


This post is sponsored by Smack Apparel.  The Yin and Yang symbol is an integral part of my being. My astrological sign is a Pisces which is represented by two fish swimming in opposite directions (similar to the Yin and Yang). There are two distinct characteristics that explain my happiness perfectly. I'm still mourning the end of summer vacation and trying to get back in the swing of the new school year. We didn't visit the beach nearly enough this summer for my "Yang" to be content. Aquamarine is still the color of choice on most days and enjoying the sun shining through the sunroof of my Jeep makes me happy. I have bags of seashells dying to be put on display from our recent trip to Sanibel Island. It still "feels" like summer. Every August I mourn that this season is coming to a close. ...but I'm equally as happy for my other side (my Yin) to make an appearance. My favorite color will be pushed to the back of the closet. My shorts will slowly be switched out for jeans. My ... [ Read More ]

Surviving Back to School


I've been dreading this day for a few weeks now, my kids are going back to school today! I have completely enjoyed our laid back summer with no bedtimes, no schedules, no routines, and no car lines. This summer was a little different than usual with my husband traveling more for business, but we managed to find our special moments and embrace them. Just last weekend we were sitting on Sanibel Island listening to the waves crash into the shore and now I'm dreading the stack of papers I'll have to fill out tonight after they get home from school. Preparing for back to school wasn't too dreadful, our school requires uniforms which makes clothes shopping very easy. It wasn't terribly painful on the bank account this year thanks to a big bag of hand-me-downs for my oldest. He should be set for the next 1-2 years even when he hits his growth spurt. The school supply list this year wasn't too bad either. I had quite the chuckle over some of the items on the middle school list though; ... [ Read More ]

How to Use Snap Pliers to Make an Adjustable Waist on Kids Clothing

Adjustable Waist

My kids have tiny waists and are tall, they get this from both my husband and I. My mom was always tacking the waist of my clothes (pre-adjustable waist clothing) as a child. Thank goodness that most clothing these days come with the adjustable waistband. I picked up 2 athletic shorts/skorts for my daughter this weekend at the Old Navy clearance sale and got home to find out they were too big in the waist!! Shocking...I know! Neither pair had drawstrings or adjustable waist so I was going to pull out the needle and thread and tack them to fit.  Then I remembered my brand new snap pliers and thought this might look nicer and be easier to undo when she grows a bit. On the first pair, I only added one snap to adjust the waist.  On the second pair, I added two snaps and I think it's a cleaner finish when it's completed. In less than 5 minutes, we have two pairs of shorts that fit my skinny waisted six year old. What you'll need: Snap press or snap pliers Snaps Small ... [ Read More ]

Minecraft 101 for Moms

Minecraft 101 For Moms

Affiliate links present in this post.  This summer my six year started playing Minecraft.  My oldest has been playing it for a while, but he's never needed "help" with it like she does.  He's pretty intuitive and if he has questions he goes to YouTube to find his answers.  We have a collection of Minecraft books that he has to help him (most are pretty advanced resources), but again, that's not something she's ready for yet.  At six, she just wants to know how to play!  My son did attempt to teach me how to play once, but I was left being buried in lava and attacked by zombies (he sabotaged me).  I decided to do a little homework, we'll see who sabotages who now! I was gifted an e-course on Udemy, Minecraft For Dummies video and eBook bundle, and it was incredibly simple to follow. The first few courses walk you through some of the basics of playing Minecraft on your computer, but most of the tutorials apply for the app and game system versions also. Minecraft For Dummies ... [ Read More ]

Girls Just Want to Have Fun Giveaway


Do you have a little girl (or a little boy who rocks pinks and purples)? Today Thirsties adds a few new items to their collection of cloth diapers.  They have added a new purple color, Iris, and a revamped print, Alice Brights.  Alice Brights has been retired for quite a few years now, but has been revamped with poppy and iris colors. The trend this year with cloth diaper companies is to freshen up their color palette and Thirsties has done a great job with that task.  While some of the soft "baby" colors remain, they are now complemented with some brighter, more vivid colors.  As we near the end of summer, Iris, Poppy, and Alice Brights are the perfect transition from Summer to Fall. Alice Brights is available in the Duo Wrap, One-Size AIO, One-Size Pocket, Newborn AIO, and wet bag.  The mailman delivered a wet bag to me today, but my daughter has already stolen it and filled it with toys! That's what I get for asking her to get the mail for me. Iris is available in the Duo ... [ Read More ]

Stonyfield Southwestern Taco Dip featuring Late July Tortilla Chips

Southwestern Taco Dip

Post sponsored by Stonyfield Yogurt as a part of their Stonyfield YoGetters Blogger Program. We usually have a house full of friends for the 4th of July holiday, but this year is going to be very quiet.  The hubs is working this year over the 4th and my daughter decided to go spend the weekend with my parents. That leaves my son and I to find our own excitement.  I have absolutely no idea what we're going to do yet.  We may invite a few friends over for an impromptu pool party before we head out to watch fireworks.  There are so many fabulous places to watch the fireworks in Pinellas County, but we may stay close to home and head up to Tarpon Springs and watch the fireworks at Sunset Beach. You can find a list of all the local fireworks by county or city at Bay News 9, Fourth of July Fireworks schedule. Before our friends stop by, I made up a tasty treat to kick off the celebrations. I'm a sucker for a good taco dip and there are a million different ways to make it.  I often ... [ Read More ]

Take a Staycation in Downtown Tampa

Tampa Streetcar

If you live in the Tampa Bay area, have you ever truly explored the downtown area?  We live in Palm Harbor and only come downtown for sporting events and shows.  When Embassy Suites Downtown Tampa invited us to spend a few nights with them I was really excited to check out parts of town that we usually just drive past on the way to an event.  It was really nice not having to worry about transportation and travel expenses to go on vacastaycation.  We spent 3 days and 2 nights downtown and we could have easily spent an entire week to see everything. The Embassy Suites is located adjacent to Amalie Arena and the Tampa Convention Center, overlooking the Bay.  It would be a great place to stay the night if you didn't want to drive home after a concert or hockey game.  On our first night we were lucky enough to be downtown during the final game of the Stanley Cup Finals and walked across the street to the Bolts watch party inside Amalie Arena.  We would never have driven 45 minutes to ... [ Read More ]

Baked Spaghetti Bowls #ClassicoMakeItYourOwn


This post contains affiliate links. Are you bored with your "go-to" spaghetti night?  Our family relies on spaghetti a few times a month and I'll be the first to admit that it's rather boring most nights.  Tonight I reDEFINED our dinner to make it fun with CLASSICO® spaghetti sauce and a few simple ingredients. You'll need spaghetti noodles, ground beef, onion,CLASSICO® spaghetti sauce, taco bowls, and shredded cheese. Brown your beef with some chopped onion while you are boiling your pasta noodles.  This only takes about 5-10 minutes depending on how many hands have decided to help me in the kitchen that night.  Tonight my six year old decided she wanted to help mommy cook.  I love how excited she gets when she's in the kitchen with me. Once your noodles and ground beef are ready, you'll want to place your taco bowls on a baking sheet.  Fill each bowl with drained noodles and top with ground beef,CLASSICO® spaghetti sauce, and shredded cheese. This is seriously one of ... [ Read More ]

6 Reasons Why Tweens With Braces are Just Like Toddlers!

Tweens With Braces are Like Toddlers

Tweens!  Now that my oldest is twelve we're entering stages of parenting that I've never experienced before.  Tweens are already a mess with all that puberty stuff and just as much fun as our own emotional pregnant and PMSing selves.  I have a feeling that parenting through this stuff is going to be a lot like parenting a toddler.  This week we added braces to our lives (his teeth, not mine) and it's been....hilarious!! Here's a video I took of him of the first day after getting braces....oh how quickly the joy and excitement wore off!   1. Do teething drops work for braces? I'm not one to medicate my child, but braces do hurt.  I remember them from when I was his age and they hurt for a while, and again every time you get them tightened. He only relied on the pain reliever for the first few days and I think he's finally getting use to the feeling of his braces. 2. Buy a splatter shield for all the spit!  There is so much spit coming from their mouth.  He hasn't ... [ Read More ]