Best Summer Ever!

We started this summer with a plan, I even made an official Summer Bucket List with a few things each of us wanted to do this summer.  I was looking back over my Instagram account this afternoon with my youngest and I'm so excited about how much fun we had this summer.  I'm not writing this to brag or gloat over all the cool things we've done, but rather for me to look back over the best summer ever! It's really hard for me to believe that our 10 week summer is already coming to an end.  I've been a little emotional all day thinking about it.  This was the first summer that I didn't stick my kids in summer camp most of the summer while I worked.  I decided that, as much fun as they have at camp, I really wanted to be part of their summer too.  I have an amazing boss and a flexible job that allows me to sneak away from time-to-time to make memories with my family.  I've paid for that fun by staying up past midnight many nights completing projects, but it's been so worth ... [ Read More ]

5 Fun (and Rewarding) Summer Reading Challenges for Kids

5 Fun and Rewarding Summer Reading Programs for Kids #summerreading

Are you looking for fun ways to encourage your kids to read more this summer?  Great news, there are several programs available locally and online to reward your kids for reading. The Rays have paired up with the local libraries for Reading with the Rays; if your child reads for 24 hours they get a free Rays ticket!  Plus most local libraries also have an end of summer party scheduled to celebrate your child's summer reading accomplishments.  I know the Palm Harbor Library has a party scheduled for August 2nd.     Read any 8 books and Barnes & Noble Summer Reading program will reward your child with a free book.  You can download a reading journal on their website to track your child's goals.     Once your child reads 5 books they can be entered to win prizes from the Pizza Hut Summer Book It Challenge.  Pizza Hut also has a fun Instagram contest and scavenger hunt to support their program; follow #bookitsummer online for more information.    Kids who read 8 books from a ... [ Read More ]

Carvel + Nutella = Heaven in a Cup (or Cone)

  From now until Sept 30th you can indulge on the delicious Nutella inspired recipes at Carvel ice cream shops.  The popular hazelnut spread has been added to their soft-serve, hand-scooped and sundae dashers for your summer enjoyment. “We could not be more excited to offer our handcrafted Carvel ice cream with Nutella® hazelnut spread as an exciting treat this summer,” said Carvel President Scott Colwell.  “Nutella® has such a loyal following and we know our guests will be thrilled that it’s being paired with our fresh ice cream.” What are some reasons you might be stopping by Carvel this summer?  With the kids out of school for another 2 months I'm sure I can think of a few reasons. To reward your kids for reading over summer! To salvage a crappy day from complete disaster! For a family night out on the town! For a mom's night out without the kids! For a date night (again, without the kids)! For a cool treat after a long day at the beach! For those lazy ... [ Read More ]

10 Things I Did This Summer


Have you missed me?  My last blog post was July 2nd!  I should feel ashamed that I didn't touch my blog for the entire month, but honestly I feel so refreshed.  I worked, took vacations, and had a lot of fun.  Here are the Cliff Notes for my summer: Disney World Orlando Staycation:  Did I mention that we have season passes to the parks?  We spent a few days in Orlando relaxing at our favorite resort, meeting Princesses, riding in race cars, and traveling to the moon!  Of course we never really left Orlando but it was a lot of fun.  To see a video of the new Jr. Ride-along <sponsored blogger event> at the Richard Petty Driving Experience in Orlando check out my YouTube channel.  Bryce got to take a few laps around a real race track in a real race car. Ichetucknee Springs Vacation:  We went on our annual trip to Ichetucknee Springs and tubed down the river over the 4th of July.  We stayed at our favorite Hideaway Cottages, ate smores, sat by the campfire, and this year we ... [ Read More ]

Smart Sun Safety Tips by Beyond Coastal

Sun Safety Tips

Are you looking for a good eco-friendly sunscreen that is safe for your family and kids? Since we live in Florida we spend a lot of time outdoors, especially during the summer months.  We spend the weekends splashing away in the pool or playing in the sand at the beach.  It's important for me to know how to keep myself and my kids protected from the suns damaging rays. Smart Sun Safety Tips Limit your sun exposure between the hours of 10am and 4pm (if possible) when the sun is the strongest and most damaging. Cover up!  Even in the heat of the summer the safest way to protect yourself from the sun is to cover up.  Wear light colored clothing (reflects the sun light), hats, and sunglasses when you have to be out in the sun.  Invest in a few rash guards for your children when they are swimming to keep their sun exposure to a minimum. Enjoy the shade.  We have an amazing pop up style beach tent that we bought when Lil' B was a baby.  I would highly recommend something similar or ... [ Read More ]

Summer Eco-Friendly Kids Swap

I originally wanted to hold this swap for Earth Day but I think summer will be best! My oldest will be out of school starting June 1st and this will be a wonderful activity to keep him busy! I invite you to join The Eco Chic and other families across the United States as we celebrate this wonderful planet that we live on. The Eco Chic is hosting a eco-friendly summer swap for kids (and their families) ages we're not swapping the on! The goal of this swap is to 1) meet other eco-minded families in a different state, 2) send an eco-friendly care package to one family, 3) find creative ways to REDUCE, REUSE, and RECYCLE, and 4) share creative ways to educate our children about how to take care of the planet Earth. Ideally the care packages would be made up of items that are found (from nature), handmade, reused, recycled, or upcycled. Your care package might include a short lesson related to the environment. You can be as creative as you like. If you ... [ Read More ]