July 29, 2013

Lessons In Back To School Shopping

With Jayla entering Kindergarten this year and the list of school supplies in hand we were excited to go shopping and pick out all of her supplies. Along the way my excitement quickly wore off and I learned a few things along the way.

My state's tax free weekend is this weekend coming up. Anything school related, supplies, clothes, bedding, electronics, etc, is all tax free along with all the sales that will be going on. I wasn't going to battle the craziness of tax free weekend for her small school supply list when they were already having the same sales this past weekend that they will have next weekend. I am planning on going out in the craziness for some school clothes and after shopping for the supplies I am debating on how much I really want to battle that, but I will be battling that alone.

I'm all about giving Jayla choices and letting her pick her own stuff out and that is where my lesson in back to shopping comes in. Do it by yourself, leave the kids at home. Seriously, it would have been so much easier if I had just done it by myself.

One of her supplies is a clipboard, Walmart(no we don't have a Target) only had some zebra and cheetah prints for $2.98 and I figured I could get her one cheaper somewhere else so I told her we will get one at Fred's on the way home. Fred's is kind of like a Family Dollar just in case you didn't know.

We get to Fred's and she picks out a pink translucent one. Pink her is favorite color so of course she picked that one out. While waiting in line to pay for her clipboard I grab a small bag of trail mix for 99cents. I ended up leaving the store with only the trail mix because the clipboard rang up for $3.50. I'm not paying more for a lower quality, flimsy, plastic clipboard when I could have got the zebra print one at Walmart that Jayla said she wanted more.

I told her we will head back to Walmart right now before we head to the next town to pick up your bookbag that I ordered. As we are walking out of the store I hear crying and I look down at her and this is what I see.

 I'm confused as to why she is crying and this was seriously my exact reaction.
I finally got it out of her as to what she was crying about through the crocodile tears that are pouring down her face.I was not expecting the answer I got. Can you guess her reasons for crying over the clipboard even though she knew she was going to get the one she wanted more? She was going to miss the pink one. Yep, that's right, she is going to miss it.

 My only reaction to that craziness was

Once we get back to Walmart to get her zebra print clipboard guess what she finds. A pink zebra print clipboard. Once again, she is in heaven and my patience for this back to school shopping crap is wearing off quickly.

Remember that 99 cent bag of trail mix I bought, yeah I didn't get to it because when I was opening the bag it ripped and the whole bag went flying all over the inside of my car. Just my luck.

Now that the clipboard situation is under control I drive 30 minutes to pick up the backpack that I ordered. Jayla and I had already looked on etsy and picked out a cute one to order until she saw a picture of the backpack that her best friend is getting and she wanted it. Her friend got blue and Jayla was getting pink. They were cute chevron backpacks and it was cheaper then the one we had picked out on Etsy so I was down. I get to the little boutique and the backpacks are a lot smaller in person then they appeared in the picture and they have Jayla's monogram wrong. Go figure huh. The lady said it actually happens quite a bit with over the phone orders. You would think that they would figure out a way to eliminate mix ups over the phone. I was suppose to leave the store with two backpacks, Jayla's and her best friends. I only left with her best friends. I was even more aggravated at this time and was ready to pull my hair out.

Once we get back into my town I decided to make a stop at a store just by the off chance that they had cute backpacks and the first one I see is the one I was prepared to go home and order from Etsy. Score! I have a happy child, she is in love with the backpack! I pay for the backpack and go to take it off of her so we can monogram it and the tears start to flow again. She didn't want to leave it at the store but wanted to have it monogrammed. The amazing lady that was there told Jayla that she will put hers in front of everyone else and have her backpack ready in a couple of hours. 

After the day I had that was seriously awesome and now Jayla has a cute backpack for school and she told me that she likes that one better then her best friend's backpack. Score!!!

Isn't it cute!!!

 Learn from me people, go back to school shopping alone!!

July 24, 2013

Swim Like A Fish

Jayla loves swimming and being in the water and we have been battling getting her to take her floaties off and learn to swim to with out them. She likes being in the water as much as a fish does.

It's even on our Summer Bucket List to get her to swim with out her floaties and we have accomplished it!

She maybe more like a drowning fish at this point but I am so proud of her and I'm sure by the end of the summer she will have it down pat! 

I also have a video to share with you of her first time swimming with out the floaties.

Along with crossing off the swimming without floaties we can also cross off counting to 100 flawlessly but she counted to 154 before she decided she couldn't go any further.

I am one proud mama of my little girl

July 18, 2013

Q-tips Precision Tips

I was lucky enough to receive the Something Blue VoxBox from Influenster filled with goodies to try out. I recieved everything in the box complementary from Influnester.

I've always been a fan of Q-tips because of their versatile uses but the Q-tip Precision Tips are even better then regular Q-Tips.

Seriously how cute is the packaging!

I have used them to apply cuticle cream to keep my cuticles from cracking, cleaning up my manis,and getting into crevices around my keyboard. The possiblities for the Q-tips Precision Tips are endless!

July 15, 2013

Festival of Discovery

We are big barbecue fans in my house. I'm such a sucker for good barbecue and that is why the second weekend of July in my town is one of my favorites. I look forward to this festival every summer. The whole town smells like one big barbecue pit and you can smell it for miles. It is a Kansas City Barbecue Society event that just gets better and better every year. We've had Food Network's Guy Fieri, and TLC's BBQ Pittmasters attend the event before.

You can never go wrong with good barbecue,carnival rides,crafts, friends, family, and blues music playing in the background. This year me and Jayla went by ourselves and had a girls day while the hubbs was at work. 

They have a Taster's Choice where you buy tickets and you go around to the people competing and they give you samples of their amazing bbq and you vote on your favorite. The tickets are $1 a piece and you fill up quick. They give you nice size samples. I bought 12 tickets for Jayla and and I. I ended up giving 2 away to an older couple because Jayla and I were stuffed. You really do fill up quick. The competors serve you anything from pulled pork, brisket, ribs, and hash. I don't do hash so I'm on not wasting a ticket on that crap.

My favorite team was Big Red's Barbecue. Seriously the best ribs I have EVER had! They were beyond perfection and I'm already wanting more.

Jayla seriously enjoyed all the barbecue that she ate, and she ate almost as much as I did in barbecue. I'm still shocked at the amount she ate because she doesn't eat much. She said that piece of brisket was her favorite. 

After we got our fill of the barbecue we went and checked out the crafts. In the past, the crafts have seriously been lacking, to the point of not even going to look. There were only a few and the stuff they were selling looked cheap and crappy with a high price tag. I love my crafts and love supporting handmade stuff but they have just flat out sucked in the past. Luckily, it was the past. This year there were many new craft vendors with quality items! I even scored a new tumbler. I love my cups.

Once we were done with the crafts I headed on over to take Jayla to ride the rides. We always do the rides last because they are kind of out of the way from everything. It seriously is the safest and only place they can really have the rides. Seeing how the rides are out of the way and the last thing we do I always park near them. The people working the carnival were the nicest workers and they all looked presentable and clean. They definitely didn't fit the mold for carnies

I hate ferris wheels and Jayla loves them. Normally hubbs takes her on those but with him at work I knew I was going to have to suck it up and ride with her. It felt like the longest ferris wheel ride ever!
(excuse the crappy picture of me sans make up and crazy hair. It was a bit humid and had rained a little while we were there)

The view from the top of the ferris wheel. See what I mean by the rides are kind of out the way. You would never know about all the yummy barbecue right around the corner. The festival is kind of to the right of that white building(on the right) and past the trees a little bit.


July 8, 2013

Keeping Up With Us

Summer has been keeping us busy. Not as busy as I would like, rain has slowed us down some. It has seriously been raining everyday. I'm over the rain at this point. 

I figured I show you guys what we've been up too in pictures.
We've been spending a lot time at the library coloring, reading, and putting on puppet shows. It has become a great little escape to get out of the house with this crappy weather we have been having.
Isn't she just the cutest? With all the flowers in full bloom she is picking flowers every time I turn around. She loves to put them in her hair and pretend she is a hula girl.
We have satellite TV and every time it storms it gets knocked out. I swear it's like having our own little personal weatherman. If you have satellite you know what I'm talking about. Right before a storm hits, the TV goes out so my child took matters in her own hands and made herself into a TV. Complete with finger puppets. She has been a weather woman, Sophia the First, and the funnies. Who needs TV when you have her to entertain you. Love the imagination of a child.

We went and visited with my mom in Greenville and took Jayla to Falls Park to walk around and see the waterfall. She was bound and determined to pet a duck. It didn't happen, but she enjoyed trying. 
We put bubbles in the kiddie pool! She had an absolute blast having bubbles in there. It seriously kept her occupied for the longest time! I eventually slid the pool up to her slide and put dish soap on the slide when she wasn't looking. She went flying down that slide and slid right out the other side of her pool. She thought it was awesome and slid down it until she knocked all the water out of her little pool.


July 3, 2013

5 Helpful Tips in Preparing for Family Travel

With 4th of July weekend coming up and Summer in full swing many families are preparing to leave on vacation. We all know how stressful family vacations can be from the planning,packing, and traveling. To help make the process go a little easier I have a travel expert taking over the blog today to share some tips with you.

A little bio about our guest poster!

Kendra Thornton:Travel advocate,TV spokesperson, PR businesswoman,proud wife and mama of 3. I am a long time travel expert who has been packing my bags and traveling the world since I was 3 months old! I've found my utmost desire in life is right here in my own home. I have taken my excitement for travel and brought it to you with some of my favorite travel tips and tricks. Enjoy!

Photo Credit: kennymatic via Compfight cc
  Helpful Tips in Preparing for Family Travel
Spending time on a vacation with family is an excellent way to enjoy the summer. As a mom, I have found that being prepared plays a crucial role in preventing hiccups and ensuring an unforgettable trip. Here are some tips that have helped me as I prepare for summer travels.

1. Wonderful Baggage Options
When packing for your next trip, your first packing essential needs to be luggage. There is certainly no shortage of options, but choosing the right design can make or break your trip. Suitcases can be clunky and heavy duffle bags can really damage your shoulders. For carry-on’s try a backpack that will free up your hands. If you’re traveling to Europe or driving to the beach, avoid rolling bags, as wheels don’t fare well with cobblestone, stairs or sand.

2. A Fantastic Place to Visit
I’ve found that having a fantastic place to go when traveling is truly key. Take time and look at a travel guide for the summer to find terrific destinations to visit. These guides highlight wonderful restaurants, attractions in the area and amazing deals. From the 2016 Olympics in Rio to the best 4th of July fireworks displays, an unforgettable trip starts with an amazing destination. Try consulting Gogobot’s Top 25 Summer Destinations to see which locations sound appealing to your family. Then check to see what fellow parents say about the area. Want to combine culture and kid-friendly fun? Florida’s 500th Anniversary is a great time to visit the magical world of Disney! You can even celebrate by having breakfast with Mickey and Mini at one of Orlando’s top hotels.

3. Practice Firework Safety
Even when traveling, firework displays are usually a big attraction for families. With July 4th fast approaching you should make sure you know how to safely practice firework viewing with children. Unlike many shows, fireworks can be seen just as well at a distance. Watching fireworks from a balcony will still allow your child to see them while staying out of harm’s way. Sparklers are also a fun way to celebrate Independence Day. But most people don’t realize that sparklers can reach over 2,000 degrees. That’s hot enough to not only burn little fingers, but melt some metals as well. A great vacation begins with safety.

4. The Right Kind of Sticking
Another tip I’ve learned, quite possibly the hard way, is how important it is to stick to a routine. It can be quite easy to skip a nap or a meal, but children do not adjust to these changes well, particularly in a new environment. I try to do my best to keep things as normal as possible while on vacation in terms of naps, snacks and meals. Not sure how you’re going to fit in that nap? Let the experts help.

5. Searching for Hidden Airline Fees
Booking airplane tickets online is certainly a popular thing to do. There are great deals that may be found at terrific prices. However, keep in mind that there can be fees that are added to increase the final cost of flying. Hidden costs range from baggage charges to fees for seat selection, a real problem for families with small children looking to sit together. To combat this, take time and research various airlines and their potential fees. The cheapest ticket price may not have the best overall value if there are additional charges.