Surviving Back to School

SeattlesBest

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 ]

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 ]

Baked Spaghetti Bowls #ClassicoMakeItYourOwn

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 ]

8 Fun Things to Do at MommyCon Orlando

8 Fun Things to Do at MommyCon Orlando

MommyCon is coming to Orlando on Saturday, May 23rd and I've been looking forward to this day for the entire year.  You can view the entire agenda and schedule of events on the MommyCon Orlando website.  If you've never been to a MommyCon before, be sure you wear comfy shoes because there is a lot to do and even more to see. Use coupon code ECOCHIC15 and save $5 off your General Admission Ticket! (Affiliate link) 1. Attend a few seminars.  I'm planning on listening to the Cloth Diapering 101 seminar with Cotton Babies, Comedy Hour with the Honest Toddler's Bunmi Laditan, and Dear 25 Year Old Me with Jill Krause from Baby Rabies.  Be sure to check the schedule and mark the seminars you want to attend, the day moves very quickly and you might not get to see everything if you're not organized. 2. Shop the marketplace! There are lots and lots and lots of vendors at MommyCon.  If you're looking for cloth diapers you'll be happy to know that AppleCheeks, Thirsties, Smart Bottoms, ... [ Read More ]

The Truth About Spray Sunscreens

The Truth About Spray Sunscreens

This post is sponsored by Goddess Garden Organics Sunscreen. For years we've heard warnings that spray sunscreens should be avoided.  I have to say that as a busy mom in Florida, spray sunscreens can be very appealing.  Our kids move quick and don't sit still very long for us to apply lotion sunscreen.  I've religiously been using lotion sunscreens for the last few years and trying to explain to my friends why I don't want them used on my children. Did you know that most spray sunscreens are flammable?  Check the ingredients list and you'll most likely find alcohol as one of the ingredients in most spray sunscreens.  Alcohol is highly flammable and can turn your sunscreen bottle into a very dangerous and explosive bottle. Did you know that most spray sunscreens can be harmful if inhaled?  Any material when sprayed in or near your mouth and nose can be harmful.  When you are spraying traditional sunscreens, you're also spraying alcohol, fragrances, and lots of toxic ... [ Read More ]

Summer Sun Safety Tips with Goddess Garden Sunscreen

Summer Sun Safety Tips

This post is sponsored by Goddess Garden Organics Sunscreen. There's a lot more to sun safety than just applying a good, natural mineral sunscreen.  Our family spends a lot of time outside in the pool, at the beach, playing sports, and at school.  May is skin cancer awareness month and we can all take a little more time to protect our skin from the suns damaging rays. 1. Remember to apply a good facial sunscreen every day! Goddess Garden Facial Sunscreen can be applied under your makeup and is safe for kids.  You can get burnt even when you're driving around town with the sunroof open. 2. Wear your sunglasses! Especially if you have light colored eyes, you'll want to protect your eyes in the sun.  I can't go out without my sunglasses and it's just as important for us to teach our children the same safety tips. 3. Wear hats.  It doesn't matter what type of hat, you will add a little extra protection to your face and you'll be protecting your scalp.  It's really hard to ... [ Read More ]

Why Natural Sunscreens are Important

Goddess Garden Organics Sunscreen

This post is sponsored by Goddess Garden Organics Sunscreen. As a Florida family, sunscreen plays an important role in our lives.  We spend so much time outdoors (year-round) and if we leave the house without sunscreen, the entire family will end up with rosy cheeks, burnt noses, and a farmers tan.  As a child, I was blessed with the golden "Coppertone" style tan lines which were popular in my youth.  Since then, both of my parents have had sun spots and cancerous spots removed from their face, back, and shoulders.  I realized at that time that I should embrace my "peaches and cream" complexion and not worry about my tan.  I made it a priority in our lives to protect my children from future skin damage and slather them with sunscreen when we're outside. Unfortunately, we go through a LOT of sunscreen and there aren't many safe, natural options available at big box stores.  We've ended up relying on the cheap green "No-Ad" bottle of sunscreen that's available at WalMart.  Active ... [ Read More ]

Floridians add what to their coffee??

Seattles Best Orange Coffee

It doesn't matter how hot it gets in Florida, it's never too hot for coffee.  I didn't start drinking coffee until after my second child was born and now I don't usually miss a day.  There is something about the smell of that pot of coffee brewing in the morning to really kickstart my morning.  A few months ago I finally ditched my K-cups and fell in love with my french press.  If you aren't using a french press yet, you may enjoy this quick tutorial on how to get started (French Press 101).  All it takes is some boiling water and coffee.  Here in Florida though, we add a little bit of orange zest in the springtime to add a little sunshine to your coffee. Seattle's Best Orange Coffee Recipe 2 TBS Breakfast Blend Seattle's Best coffee 1/2 TBS Orange Zest 12oz filtered water Milk or half&half to taste Sugar or sweetener to taste If you're using a french press, add coffee grounds and orange zest directly to your press.  Add boiling water, cover, and sit for 4 ... [ Read More ]

Save a Tampon – Put A Cup In It

#putacupinit

Join the #putacupinit movement and help save the tampons from the landfill.  The idea behind put a cup in it came from a road trip that Kim and I took last month.  While we were stopped at a rest area taking a pee break we both had very similar inspirations while in the public bathrooms.  There was a sign above the toilet that asked patrons not to flush their feminine hygiene products.  What if cup users all around the globe could help introduce menstrual cups to more people with a simple sticker? Imagine you're sitting there in the loo changing those annoying tampons or pads and you saw a sticker like the one above?  Would you get online and look it up?  Would you visit the website to see what a cup was?  Would you be intrigued enough to do a quick search right there on your cell phone? When I first heard of menstrual cups over 5 years ago, I would have told you that you were crazy and that I will NEVER EVER get a cup....ewwww!!! Now, just like the thousands of other ... [ Read More ]

10 Simple Ways to Go Green This Earth Day (and Every Day)

10 Simple Ways to Go Green for Earth Day

This post is sponsored by Flipp App. Earth Day is April 22nd and it's a good time for us all to refocus and find new ways to be more eco-friendly.  We all live different lifestyles and have different resources available to us.  Regardless of where you are in your journey to live a greener lifestyle, remember that every little step we take adds up in big ways.  Here are just a few simple ways that you may be able to go green this Earth Day... 1. Teach Our Children to Love the Earth - the biggest gift we can give to our children is the ability to love and respect the natural environment. Let your children help you recycle.  Give them a small section of the garden to care for.  Teach our children that the future of this planet depends on how well we care for it. 2. Buy Less - What items have you purchased recently that you could have lived without?  That new purse?  That new Lilly Pulitzer outfit from Target?  That extra cloth diaper in the newest print?  Think before you ... [ Read More ]