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 ]

Parenting Isn’t Always Easy, Neither is Marriage

#CreatingConnections

Sponsored post. Tonight I'm wiping up the tears and putting on my game face for the next seven weeks.  Last week my husband got a job offer that will require him to be out of town for the next seven weeks to train for the new position; leaving me to hold down the fort at home.  I'd like to say that I'm excited about this new job, but in reality I'm scared. His new job will require him to travel...a lot! Earlier in our marriage, I was the one who had to travel upwards of 60 days out of the year.  I look back at those years and wonder how it was so easy for him.  I don't ever remember him complaining that I had to leave, or worrying about getting our toddler off to school AND make it to work on time.  He just....managed.  Part of me really enjoyed traveling and getting to see new parts of the country; but the reality was I spent most of my time alone in airports and hotels. Right now we share most of the joys of parenting.  He's able to help get the kids to and from ... [ Read More ]

Working through mom guilt…

CellPhone1

It happened, my six year old told me something brutally honest this morning. "Mommy, put your phone down! You're always playing on it. Won't you play with me instead."   (silence - let that soak in)   ...I immediately set the phone down and finished helping her get ready for school.  I made a conscious effort to not pick up my phone for the rest of the morning.  I dropped the kids off at school, came home and went to work, but those words stuck with me ALL day! Am I really on my phone THAT much? Clearly, if a six year old thinks I'm on my phone too much then it's got to be true. Here's the thing though, I have made an effort for the past year to be more present in my kids lives.  Not that I'm a absent mom (absent minded maybe, but not absent), but it's so easy to focus too much effort on the wrong things.  I've made an effort to leave my phone on my desk when the kids are home from school in the afternoon, during dinner, and while they get ready for bed. ... [ Read More ]

A Much Needed Blog Break

Confession: My last blog post was almost one month ago! I've been blogging now for going on 8 years and sometimes I just don't have the time to blog. I have a ton of great blog posts (and a few sponsored posts) that I could write, but after I've worked online all day in social media the last thing I want to do is blog. I promise I'll find my blogging mojo again soon and bring you some fun new content!! You'll be here when I get back, right?? Want to follow little glimpses in my daily life?  Be sure to "Like" and "Follow" me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. ... [ Read More ]

Valspar Championship Fun Facts and Tips 2015

Valspar Championship Tips

It's a gorgeous day in Palm Harbor and the first day of the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook.  Even if you're not a golf enthusiast, I would recommend picking up a few tickets and spending a few hours on the course this week.  Tickets are $40 and kids get in free! It's a great way to spend a sunny afternoon in Florida.  Before you go, here are just a few things you need to know: Get your tickets here! Valspar Championship Tickets Kids 15 and under get in free with an adult! Park at St. Pete College, Tarpon Campus on Belcher and Klosterman. Parking is $10. Leave your backpacks, large bags, cameras, and coolers at home. Read up on the security guidelines before you go! Wear comfy shoes! You'll be walking, a lot!! Dress colorfully! You may be spotted by a Valspar Color Scout and win some fun prizes! Find a "Shot Spot", take a picture or selfie and share it with #valsparchampionship to win even more prizes! Don't forget to visit the Snake Pit! Take the kids to the ... [ Read More ]

Sunsets in Winter

Sunset in Florida

The weather is warm this week in Florida and I decided that tonight we were going to watch the sunset on the beach.  We don't typically go out on school nights, but we were passing by the beach and I had to stop.  The ocean was calling my name. I needed to fill my soul with sunshine, sand, and salt air. Children were barefoot, rocks were tossed, sand was thrown in the air. I'll find the remnants of the trip for weeks to come in the bottom of my purse and on the floorboards of my Jeep.  Children giggled and dug holes in the sand.  They got dirty. The rays of the sun peeked through the clouds and glistened the ocean below. Strands of hair glimmered. Memories were made. Bedtimes were delayed. Dinner was quick and not very healthy. The ocean shimmered and waited anxiously for one final kiss from the sun. As the sun and the ocean became one, the clouds were tinted with every color of the rainbow. The day was done. Location: Honeymoon Island, Dunedin, FL About the photos above: ... [ Read More ]

20 Creative Discipline & Punishment Ideas for School Age Children

20 Creative Discipline & Punishment Ideas for School Age Children

Today was one of those days as a parent that I had to improvise and come up with a new plan. Late last week I had to take away some of my oldest's privileges due to some missing grades.  I took away the typical things; television, video games, electronics, etc.  The only problem with these punishments is that I'm also punished because now I have to find a way to entertain him because he's bored.  I know I'm not alone, we've all been there with our kids at different stages in their lives.  My goal today was to find that balance so that I could get some of my weekend chores done and he would not be bored. In a moment of venting I posed the following question to some of my Facebook friends, "I need a list of creative punishments that don't punish the parent! Taking away TV, computer, etc just isn't cutting it! I'm the only one that suffers." By the time I had asked this, both kids were being punished.  Don't you love it how the one child in trouble finds a way to antagonize the ... [ Read More ]

Is Your Home Worry-Free?

Florida Fire Safety Tip

This post is sponsored by Kidde Worry-Free Alarms. Florida residents can enter to win 1 Kidde Worry-Free Smoke Alarm to comply with new state regulations for fire safety; enter at the bottom of this post.  The state of Florida passed a new law (reference: Fire Safety Laws by State) Jan. 1, 2015 that says any newly installed or replacement smoke alarms must be powered by a sealed-in 10 year battery.  That means if you are completing a minor level one alterations to your home or if you’re replacing an old battery-powered smoke alarm, that you need to install a sealed-battery alarm. Our home was built in the 80's and only has 1 old-fashioned smoke alarm in the hallway.  It still works and we will continue to replace the battery in that one six months when it chirps at us in the middle of the night.  We have decided though to update our smoke alarms and add a few extra.  Why? Do you know how many smoke alarms are recommended for your home?  According to Kidde and the National ... [ Read More ]

Valspar Championship Family Friendly Events 2015

ValsparChampionship

This post is sponsored by the 2015 Valspar Championship. Continue reading to the end and enter to win a 4 pack of tickets to the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook in Palm Harbor, FL. We've lived in Palm Harbor for almost 10 years now and March is my favorite time of the year.  We didn't realize when we decided on Palm Harbor that Innisbrook was within walking distance from our house and that every March, the big blimp would be flying overhead.  It's fun for us to tell our out-of-state family to watch the Valspar Championship to see our house from the blimp and the kids love it.  What kid doesn't love to see a blimp in the sky? I don't think there's been a year that at least 1-2 of us have gone to a round of the Championship.  There were a few years when I stayed home when Bailey was a baby and let the boys enjoy the day on the course.  In 2014 we finally took our youngest (she was 5 then) to her first Championship and she loved every minute of it.  I would never have imagined ... [ Read More ]

Remember When…

YoBaby Prize Pack

This post is sponsored by Stonyfield Yogurt. Keep reading to enter to win a YoBaby prize pack.  When did my kids grow up? I'm a mom of an almost 12 year old and a 6 year old.  They are hardly babies any longer; even if they do still like to cuddle with mommy. I decided to pull out the baby book from my youngest's first year and reminisce over all the "firsts." You know, the first time they roll over, the first time they crawl, the first time the stand up and of course the first time they walk.  I remember the days when they would try any food (or toys, noses, and anything that would fit in their mouth) you put in front of them. Both of my kids were fond of yogurt as babies and I love that my kids have been able to grow up as YoBabies, YoKids and now big kids who enjoy their yogurt.  YoBaby contains organic whole milk, real fruit and nothing artificial.  It was a great first food by itself or mixed with other ingredients.  I love mixing a little fresh banana and avocado ... [ Read More ]