Friday, July 31, 2015

King of the road in the Ford Expedition!

We just returned from a weekend road trip to southern Indiana's beloved theme park, Holiday World. It was insanely hot and rather crowded, but we were able to tackle some fast coasters and laughter-inducing rides. And thanks to Ford Southeast, we were able to travel in comfort befitting royalty via a fully loaded platinum-series Ford Expedition!

The Ford Expedition is not for wimps. This is one powerful and large vehicle! It fit child safety seats, kids, parents, and luggage with ease. Talk about a comfortable travel vehicle... we had absolutely no bumping of elbows! My husband and I even cooled our buns - with cooled seats! Given it was an extremely hot July week in the south, we were fascinated by the cooling feature (can be heated as well). Despite the Expedition's size and truck-like look/feel, the Ford Expedition has a smooth ride and it is not difficult to drive - even for me at just 5' 4" tall. Anyone who ventures out in this vehicle will feel like the king of the road. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Mommy and Me: Baby!

So many firsts this week...

My little guy tried out his very first day of his new all-day daycare. He will be attending once a week beginning in August. I'm thrilled for a bit of a break and the ability to focus on my rapidly-growing workload for several uninterrupted hours. I am also sad. And I feel guilty. But it's needed at this point in my mommyhood.

Amelia made us lunch all by herself this week also. Nothing fancy, but she used the microwave (for our hot dogs) like a pro and selected a fruit and a snack side. She was proud that she needed no help, and I'm proud of her too!

Also, my newest nephew was born! Welcome, Mason (a.k.a. Super Cutie Pie)! Amelia and I went to the hospital to visit my sister and brother-in-law and snuggle this cute little 9-pound bundle of sweetness:

Linking up with Really, Are You Serious for today's Mommy and Me Monday.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

2015 Warriors in Pink Collection #Giveaway #MoreGoodDays

In May, Ford introduced the 2015 Warriors In Pink collection of apparel and accessories. The Warriors in Pink collection provides an opportunity to raise funds for breast cancer research and aid in developing resources that are vital to providing more good days to those dealing with breast cancer. 

Warriors in Pink supports, not one, but four breast cancer charities:
  • The Pink Fund
  • Susan G. Komen
  • Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation
  • Young Survival Coalition

Some of my favorite apparel items include the Fightin' Words Tee and the Warrior Love Hoodie. I'm all about comfort and fun design! It's heartwarming to know that the purchase proceeds support such an important cause as well.

 Over 20 years and $128 million dedicated! Ford Motor Company has been in the fight against breast cancer for 21 years. From raising funds through Warriors in Pink apparel, to raising awareness through unique media content, to giving breast cancer patients and survivors more good days.

enter to win this gorgeous scarf

Ford has also generously provided me with several Warriors in Pink scarves to give away to you! The pattern is made with beautiful navy blue, orange, and fuchsia in a design fit for any lovely warrior! I have a lot to give away, so enter to win!  (Giveaway begins midnight, 7/24)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  Ford provided the scarves in exchange for this informative post. 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Blogger mama friends!

I have a love-hate relationship with blogging. I hate when I have writer's block, when I am short on time, or when other bloggers are using their platforms to sell, sell, sell -- or attack other moms.

The pros are so much more, however. This 5+ year adventure as BalancingMama has created a lot of joy in many ways. I enjoy writing when I am inspired by something and when I have a topic that will be useful to fellow parents. I am thankful for all the amazing experiences I have been able to enjoy, especially the Social Media on the Sand conference at Beaches Turks and Caicos and media days at numerous family-friendly Atlanta attractions.

Most of all, I am genuinely thankful to have met a couple hundred fellow moms who blog. These ladies are writers, business owners, parents, pet owners, and wives. Several are now also real-life friends.

Remember #FF? Follow Friday on Twitter? Well, this will be my own version of Follow Friday today. If you haven't had the pleasure of checking out these ladies' blogs, click and read. 

InTheKitchenWithKP - Karen is a fun-loving, never-met-a-stranger kind of mama who cooks everything and brings bundt cake to blog conferences

RedheadBabyMama - Lindsey was a mom of one until just a week ago! Her redheaded preschooler is now a big brother to a sweet baby girl (with brown hair)

JaMonkey - Meghan is a mom of two girls who crafts, organizes, and decorates.

Really, Are You Serious - Krystyn is a mom of four redheaded girls and a former science teacher who shares tales from her busy household and tests a lot of baby gear

Happy weekend!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The terrible 18 months

Our little guy is a few days shy of 18 months old. We are right smack in the middle of "the terribles". He is becoming more vocal each day, making different sounds and perfecting his pointing, grunts, and a few words and signs. Unfortunately, it still isn't enough for us to understand what he desires. He gets extremely frustrated!

 Apparently, "the terribles" do not have to begin at age two. 18 months is just about right.

Reasons to meltdown include...
  • Mommy gave me a fork instead of a spoon (with my chicken nuggets)
  • Mommy won't give me her iPhone
  • Mommy is trying to wash the dishes
  • Mommy is trying to cook dinner
  • Mommy walked three feet away from me
  • Mommy won't turn on the TV
  • Mommy won't give me a sip of her coffee
  • Mommy is trying to work
  • Mommy is sitting on the couch (instead of the floor)

Yep... it's basically all MY fault!

Whew, all of that crying can be exhausting! Sometimes the TV is a life saver. No apologies here.

Linking up to Mommy and Me Monday with Really, Are You Serious - who happens to be enduring some 18 month "terribles" herself! Baby B and A just might be conspiring against us.


Thursday, July 9, 2015

Prep and freeze for easy dinners later: Freezer Meals!

Within the next two weeks, my sister will be Mom to a two year old and a newborn! We are very excited to meet another sweet nephew. I have been scouring recipes for some meal ideas that I may bring her after the extended family leaves. Here are some of my top choices from two of the absolute best food bloggers - The Pioneer Woman and Six Sisters' Stuff.

The first two are fast and easy to prepare, which is important to me as an at-home working mom with two kids of my own. So many of the freezer meal recipes are really complicated to prepare, requiring an hour or more of my time. Unfortunately, I'm just not that kind of cook. I need quick and easy - but with some flavor.

click link below for full recipe

Six Sisters' Stuff: Black Bean and Corn Salsa Chicken
click link for original location & full recipe
This recipe is slow-cooker ready. Beans, corn, salsa, and chicken breasts with taco seasoning. You freeze it up (sealed in large freezer bags) and it's simply ready to add to a slow cooker one morning. Just remember to thaw it overnight in the fridge the day prior. I like how this recipe can be versatile once cooked; you can shred it and add to tortillas, dump into greens and a taco shell bowl for a southwestern salad, or eat the chicken breasts whole smothered with the beans and sauce over rice.

Six Sisters' Stuff: Beef Stew
click link for original location & full recipe
This recipe is also slow-cooker ready. Beef stew is a feel-good and hearty fall meal for family. This recipe uses both onion soup mix and cream of mushroom soup, so you know it will be flavorful.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Snips and snails and sugar and spice? #kids

Do you remember "sugar and spice and everything nice" and "snips and snails and puppy dog tails"? Cute rhyme, but my sweet girl and baby boy are so much more.

My boy is made of grins and squeals and lots of meals. He loves to laugh and make others laugh. He has about twenty face/body movements that will crack the grumpiest of grumps. He runs everywhere with pounding little feet and squeals with joy all day long. He also eats a lot. Meals and snacks and more meals and snacks for that guy!

My girl is made of stories and flips and clever quips. She is a writer and teller of magical tales. She spends a lot of time moving, flipping and bouncing in her own hilarious ways. And she has a quick wit that gives us the giggles out of nowhere.

Kids are the best little creatures on earth, aren't they? They simultaneously make me happy and exhausted, and I cannot imagine what I ever did without them!

What's it like in your house? What would your poetry be for your child?

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Thrilled to be a #BeachesMom again!

About two months ago, I clicked into my email and happily read this subject line:
You're Invited: Beaches Resorts Social Media on the Sand

I am honored and extremely excited to have received the coveted invite once again. I will be attending the second annual Social Media on the Sand conference at the glorious Beaches Resort Turks and Caicos!

Our 2014 experience at Beaches Turks and Caicos was one of luxury, impeccable service, and amazing natural beauty. The conference was inspiring with great sponsors and influential speakers including highly successful working moms, beloved bloggers, and the CEO of Sandals Resorts himself, Adam Stewart. Last year, I was thrilled to be able to travel with my husband and daughter (baby boy was only 9 months old and had a great time with grandparents at home). Seeing Beaches through a child's eyes really makes you fall in love with the fantastic vacation experience.

I will be traveling without family in 2015, unfortunately, as it just did not work out this year with timing and finances. I look forward to focusing on the valuable conference content and seeing the resort through adult eyes this time! I am seeing more rum punch and extended relaxation by the pool for this busy mama!

If you want to check out Beaches Resorts for your next family vacation, I do highly recommend it. It is comparable to a cruise in many ways and actually so much better in others. Huge resort rooms, non-stop service with genuine smiles, and everything you could ever need is included in the original price. If you are a social media influencer, you can learn more about the Social Media on the Sand Conference and sign up for more information and a chance to be invited next year.

Turks and Caicos, Beaches Resort, and fellow #BeachesMoms and #BeachesDads.... see you in a few months!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

10 reasons: I wish to be a kid again

Who has it better, adults or kids? 

While adults get to stay up late and basically eat whatever they want (like a milkshake for dinner), I think I'd like to be a kid again. 

Why it's better to be a kid...
  • You have a chauffeur
  • You have a chef
  • You have a maid (sometimes, anyway)
  • You have a nurse when sick
  • You DON'T have to navigate office politics
  • You DON'T pay taxes
  • You DON'T need money for gasoline
  • When you feel like crying, you cry. 
  • You get summers "off"
  • You get more gifts for birthdays and holidays 

If my daughter and I could switch places for a day, I would request a lot of snacks, talk almost non-stop, eat dessert after dinner, and leave Moon Dough crumbs all over the floor. Then I'd ask to read books at night and sleep with a soothing sound machine and one dozen stuffed animals. 

What do you think, grown-up or kid?

- - -
Linked up to Mama Kat's Writers' Workshop at - prompts each week and link-ups every Thursday!
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