Friday, September 1, 2017

Planning to Pay for your Dream Wedding

Planning a wedding can be a fun time, but also one that is extremely stressful. Although my own wedding was a little bit ago (wait what, 10 year anniversary?!?), I think there always some pieces of advice that remain true no matter what happens. The big questions will always be how much are you spending and who is paying for it. My friends at Earnest, wrote a nice article on how to determine the real cost of a wedding (aka all the things we forget). Also you have to figure out who is paying for the wedding and how to afford the cost.


The first thing that I think really stands out to me is decide what is most important to you for the day and budget accordingly. Now I know this will be different for everyone, but for me the dress was not a huge importance for the day. I wanted to feel beautiful in my dress, but I knew I was wearing it for one day and I did not need to spend a ton of money to feel happy. I wanted to be sure that the reception was really fun and that all my guests enjoyed themselves. I set a budget for my dress and stuck to it. I actually got exactly what I wanted and loved it without getting near my budget!

Focus on the things that make you happy for that day. I come from a large Italian family so we needed a TON of food. That was important to both my husband and I. We had a huge selection of appetizer and stations at the cocktail hour, a nice dinner, cake and a dessert table. (Ok I might have wanted the dessert table!) Also we learned that sit down dinners are cheaper, because the catering company does not need to order as much extra food.

You can also save money on alcohol if you limit the options available to your guests. Again this goes back to how much extra needs to be ordered. We have been to several weddings with a signature cocktail, picked by the bride and groom, and a short list of beer and wine. Simple, classy, and budget friendly.

When I think back to my own wedding, there is not much I would have done differently. I was able to use my budget and get all the things that I felt I wanted or needed to make the day feel special.  To me the important part was that both my husband and I enjoyed the day with all of our friends and family.

I know that the budget does not work for everyone’s dreams of her special day, so sometimes you need to explore other options.  If you want to explore other options to help pay for your day to be everything you want, check out these great options from Earnest.

Friday, August 11, 2017

5 Things Parents Need to Know About Sleep

Check out this awesome Guest Post from Sara Westgreen is a researcher for the sleep science hub Tuck Sleep

Helping your child sleep is one of the most important things you can do to support their health. Healthy sleep is essential for development, performance at school, behavior, moods, and physical and mental health. When your child gets enough sleep, they avoid increasing their risk for behavioral problems, difficulty concentrating at school, and even more serious problems including depression, anxiety, suicide, obesity, and chronic health problems.

These five facts explain important things parents need to know about sleep, from ever-changing sleep needs to sleep disorders and the importance of avoiding screen time before bed.

  1. Good sleep habits must be taught. Sleep comes naturally, but good sleep habits may not just happen on their own. Establishing a healthy sleep routine is on you as a parent, and you can help your child create good sleep habits for life. You can do this by establishing consistent bedtimes, a regular bedtime routine, and healthy sleep hygiene, such as avoiding screen time before bed and creating a dark, cool, and calm sleep environment for your child.
  2. Sleep needs are different at each age. Teaching your child healthy sleep isn't a one-time task, as your child has different needs at every age. Newborns sleep up to 18 hours a day, much of it during the day -- and for short stretches at a time. School age children have less time in the REM stage of sleep, so they need to make the most of the deep sleep they get at night. By the preteen years, children are sleeping about 11 hours -- but it's all at night, so it's essential that kids this age have a schedule that allows plenty of time for sleeping. When teens hit puberty, they experience a circadian rhythm shift that pushes their bedtime back. This shift can make them feel like they have insomnia, and make it difficult to squeeze in enough sleep before it's time to go to school.
  3. Children can suffer from sleep disorders. Just like adults, children can suffer from sleep disorders. Parasomnias, including night terrors, sleepwalking, wetting the bed, and talking while sleeping are more common among children than adults. Children can suffer from dyssomnias as well, which include trouble getting to and staying asleep, particularly behavioral insomnia. Parents of young children may be especially familiar with behavioral insomnia, which can manifest as stalling and making excuses for not going to sleep. Children can also suffer from sleep apnea, reflux, nightmares, and narcolepsy.
  4. Screen time can interfere with healthy sleep. At any age, screen time can cause issues with sleep, especially when it occurs just before bed. Screens emit bright artificial light. This light can confuse your child's brain, telling it that it's daytime (time to be awake), even if it's just about time to go to bed. Set limits with screen time, avoiding screens for at least an hour before bedtime and never in bed.
  5. Most teens are chronically short on sleep. Parents often focus intensely on sleep during the infant and preschool years, letting older children manage their own sleep. But teens need just as much help as younger children in establishing and maintaining good sleep habits. In fact, nearly 90 percent of high school students don't get enough sleep on school nights. A lack of sleep in teens can result in poor grades, obesity, drowsy driving, and moodiness. Teens with a lack of sleep are at a higher risk of anxiety, depression, and suicide. It's important that you continue to focus on healthy sleep habits in school age children and through the teen years.

Sara Westgreen is a researcher for the sleep science hub Tuck Sleep. She sleeps on a king size bed in Texas, where she defends her territory against cats all night. A mother of three, she enjoys beer, board games, and getting as much sleep as she can get her hands on.

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Great Closet Project

When we bought our house a few years ago, I was thrilled to have his and her closets in our master. Of course Hubby let me pick which one I wanted first. Well within 10 minutes of trying to put my clothes away, I decided I wanted the other closet! (I know, I know such a female move). Now don't get me wrong, I have a nice size closet and I do did love it, but it just did not work for me. Ok so the 30 shoes boxes might have played a part in that. So here is my closet before, Hubby took everything out (check out the cute photo bomb -who was awake that night at 9:30 when I emptied my closet)


So no it was not horrible, but lots of wasted space. Here are the empty pictures:

I think it was just odd placements of shelves and either not enough space or too much in certain areas. These shelves left tons of wholes in the walls, but the amazing Hubby fixed all of those and gave the closet a new coat of white paint.


So fresh and clean.

Then it was time to re-install the shelves. Since it was Closetmaid products in the closet before hand (and we did not want to spend a fortune), we went with the Closetmaid  Shelf Track. This allowed us a lot of flexibility when we were putting up the shelves to move things around and find the best layout. (Also I can move things at any time now as well). We were able to use all the shelves (cut a few down), rods, and rod holders, and just got new brackets and these fun shoe brackets!

Here is my after pictures:


I really have to thank Hubby for doing such a great job with my new closet. It is so much more functional and I love it!

*** No compensation was received for this post, I paid for all the products we used, the labor was free though;)

Friday, July 14, 2017

Aaptiv App Follow Up

So a few weeks ago, I wrote about the Aaptiv App and the new workouts they are offering.

Now I wanted to let you know what I thought of the workouts on the Aaptiv App. I decided to first try an elliptical workout. Now I will be the first to admit that often I just phone it in on the elliptical and am really not 100% into it. Well with this workout I did not get that chance.

Jamie's voice was super engaging and keep me right in the workout the whole time. I love that she had me keep changing resistance (something I never do on my own). It keep my head and body in
the game the whole time. I really pushed myself and after 24 minutes burned about 350 calories!

I was totally pumped and ready for Day 2.

Next I tried a yoga workout. I loved having the voice to coach me through the moves so that I did not have to look at anything. This was one I for sure enjoyed.

Day 3 I decided to go with strength training and this was an awesome workout. I loved Sultan's motivation and the music was on point for sure!

I am continuing to use the Aaptiv App and I really enjoy the pre-selected music and the motivation to push me along through the workouts. If you have not yet, give the Aaptiv App a try for 7 days free!

*** No compensation was received for this posts all thoughts are my own.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Improved Seventh Generation Free and Clear Wipes

 I love Seventh Generation Free and Clear Wipes and was very happy to try the new and improved version from Generation Good

I love how thick they are and that it takes very few wipes to get most jobs done. I think that makes them a cost saving wipe as well as knowing how safe they are on my little ones sensitive skin. These wipes are by far the best that I have tried with my two little ones, and we have tried a bunch!

We love keeping these with us for on the go trips!

**No compensation was received for this post, I was sent free sample wipes to try even though we already use them!